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Sara Weald

A rare Project Orion survivor. A Shadow equipped with RADOS who serves in the terrorist SRL faction.

0 · 67 views · located in The Abandoned Slums

a character in “The Multiverse”, originally authored by Prose, as played by RolePlayGateway

So begins...

Sara Weald's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald

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#, as written by Nemo
A convoy of SUV's rolled steadily down the cracked stone streets of the Slums. There were ten in all, all black, all with tinted windows and all bearing the Tech Con insignia emblazened on their sides. Sleek, shiny and well-maintained, the army of trucks was remarkably out of place in the gloomy, run-down streetways of the slums.

They parked outside a particularly large, rundown meat-packing factory, the faded sign above just barely spelling out "MIKE'S MEAT HOUSE: SQUEAL EM' N DEAL EM'!" The trucks took up positions on all sides of the factory, spacing themselves apart carefully. They waited for a while, the resonation from nearly a dozen different engines filling the air with a metallic hum. Finally, a singly figure exited the lead vehicle.

He was dressed extremely well, his fine suit tailored to immaculate perfection. At his side, two U-87 cylon drones stood guard, flanking him on the left and right. With his guards in place, the young man looked apprehensively towards half-destroyed warehouse entryway, drawing a deep breath before continuing forward.

He would enter the premises and await the expected party, grumbling impatiently if they weren't there immediately. The sooner he got this 'business meeting' out of the way, the better.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: LDA Agent Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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Nearly a mile away, perched atop the smokestack of an abandoned factory, Kathryn watched everything go down through the high powered scope of the new Type 100A SAP. It's high powered Wide-Spectrum scope and orbital uplink gave a real time feed directly to the singular agent as she watched, clad in full black combat gear and covered by an active camouflage net.

"Alpha team, the eagle is in position, move into position." And the team promptly checked in. One of the Tech Con mercenaries moved in behind Dominic, adjacent to the U-87s. Little did the Tech Con playboy know that one of his mercenaries was an undercover agent.

"Make sure this goes down without a hitch, Miles is paying us big bucks to make sure everything runs smoothly." She said on her earpiece, adjusting her scope and zooming in on Dominic.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: LDA Agent Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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It had been several hours after making contact with the businessman that the ambush had been prepared. Across the slums a force of dozens of capsuleers were amongst, or had actually replaced, themselves with the population of the slum -- their contact would be walking into a prepared, enveloping ambush that could threaten to consume them before ever reaching the girl.

At the sight of the convoy, their fate had been sealed as the perimeter gate of the warehouse loomed high overhead. Corroded steel and sheet metal peeled away as the checkpoint opened on an automated system: despite the dilapidation it became obvious the Aschen were walking into a prepared situation.

“Convoy, ten -- get ready to light ‘em.” A condemned apartment building just beyond the fence of the packing house stretched over the open yards of the industrial site. Peeling away from the high powered telescope an man’s obscured face turned over to the sniper behind the window.

“Faust, this is Nightwatch, they didn’t play the fucking game.”


“Oh … nooooo.” Faust callously shook his hands, plans foiled by some pretty boy who didn’t understand the concept of following directions. “Oh heavens, what do we do now?” A single light shown on him in the basement of the warehouse: a few meters away, an access into the sewers pried open as other Leaguesmen were seen transferring crates down into small boats in the sewer.

“I’m sorry, Miss Chambers. I really should’ve gotten a better buyer, I was hoping to make your business quick -- look at me, and I said I was a competent businessman” He said, not even giving a cautionary glance to the woman sat in the corner bound to the chair. Planting his hands on the wall he contemplated for a quick second. “You’d probably like to tell him your own disagreements though, right?”

As he turned back at the woman Faust clutched a flaying knife in his gloved hand and approached Valerie until coming to a crouch in front of her and wearing a look of slight, childish regret. “Hold on a sec, just gotta’ make sure this is on.” Faust held the weapon between his legs while another hand checked at the small microphone wrapped around her neck and found a soft link blinking on and off. The Scatterran made one quick indication back to a trooper before waving off his hand.

“I guess go tell Weald to break the convoy open. Hey - hey - hey! Remember the plan, you only bring me Hagan! Everyone else, gut ‘em open.” Turning back to Valerie he planted his hands together with the knife standing upright. “I think you’re pretty disappointed he didn’t follow directions too, are you? Good Miss Chambers, because I want you to tell him just that right now.”

Faust took the knife and slammed it into the woman’s kneecap, carving ligament and bone and twisting until the connection with the microphone came to life as dozens of speakers all throughout the factory winked to life and broadcast a deafening, painful scream.

A few meters in front of one of the parked cars a pole stuck from the ground with an attached telephone, and one of the previously mentioned speakers above it. As the silence and eerie quiet of the factory peeled away, searchlights sprang to life flooding the entire factory floor and its nearby locations in harsh light.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: LDA Agent Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Prose
A woman dressed in black leather that stood outside the warehouse was revealed when the flood lights snapped on. She unclasped her hands from behind her back and pushed up a pair of sunglasses further onto her nose. Her hands were clasped behind her back as she stepped toward Dominic Hagan with even and precise footsteps through the veritable junkyard of the warehouse.

The last note of Valerie Chamber’s scream died away.

There were scraps of scattered debris laying around. Most of it was torn up concrete from other bombings and attacks on Wing City. And beneath every pile of misplaced rumble was an IED powerful enough to rip the limbs off of a body.

There must have been at least thirty piles.

The capsuleer smiled after she stopped at a precise five foot distance between her and Dominic Hagan. The two drones with the man were not an issue, nor did she seem upset about the breach of agreement. All the woman did was lift an eyebrow in curiosity. Her incredible and inhuman mind began to pick away at the drones’ inner systems.

It was nothing for the capsuleer to hack into the brains of a machine for she was a greater machine than what could ever be created without flesh and blood. There was no AI that could withstand the onslaught of something like a Shadow. It would be all over in nanoseconds and the capsuleer would have absolute control over the drones protecting Dominic Hagan.

“Welcome, Dominic Hagan of Tech Con Industries,” Sara Weald said to the man standing before her. “You have failed to listen to instruction and I am sorry but The League is very disappointed in this decision you have made. And since you have made it, Mister Hagan, you will have to accept the consequences along with that decision.”

Valerie Chambers desperate cries for help echoed out over the otherwise silent concrete yard of the warehouse.

All the vehicles had parked over an improvised explosive device that had been placed by Sara Weald. The Tech Con insignia was painted all over the SUVs. Fission explosions were going to be a glorious and wondrous sight to see once Sara Weald activated the bombs.

“Now with that being said… The League is always up for renegotiation. I am sure we can come up with a new deal between you and me, Mister Hagan,” said Sara Weald.

The black-clad capsuleer lifted her empty hand and pushed up the sunglasses on her nose by the corner of the frame. High pitched whines screamed from beneath the Tech Con SUVs as they activated and detonated in synchronized explosions.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: LDA Agent Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Tiko
Whisper was waiting in the back of the lead SUV at Dominic's request as he himself had exited the vehicle. It had taken a bit of pushing for him to relent to her being present at all, but she didn't much care to report back to Mollem that she had simply decided to take the evening off. She was uneasy with this place though and had obliged Dominic on the matter of her remaining in the car.

Was it instinct or perhaps her empathy that had her on edge? It was hard to say, but her senses swept their surroundings picking up on the hostility and adrenaline that permeated the area, and with each passing moment her instincts told her that something was going down. Something that neither she nor Dominic wanted to be here for.

Against the abrupt objection of the men still in the vehicle with her, Whisper pulled the door of the SUV open and stepped out.

"Domin-"

A woman's scream cut her off and she paled.

The frail woman didn't look like much as she stood there beside the open door of the SUV with uncertainty and unease painted all over her expression.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: LDA Agent Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Nemo
Dominic frowned at the woman. It took every ounce of his not inconsiderable willpower to refrain from flat-out snarling at her. The screaming echoed in his ears long after it'd died from the speakers.

"I see the League doesn't follow directions very well either," the aristocrat smirked at Sara, nonchalantly removing his gloves from his hands, "I said I wanted her alive and unharmed. Now, unless that scream is the sound of your companion wailing about how much money he may have just lost from this deal, I'd say that we're both in an economically unfavorable position." He offered Sara a sarcastic grin. "Needless to say, I believe that we both can benefit from a bit of 'renegotiation' at this point."

Hagan turned swiftly as he heard Whisper's voice. "Get back in the car, Jacquelyn." He spoke very sternly. Perhaps, for a brief moment, the facade of elegant pomp and businessman monotone fell from his handsome visage. Perhaps, for a moment as he looked back at Whisper, he allowed himself to appear every bit as afraid as he probably felt.

But then he turned back to Sara and everything was normal. Cool. Calm. Collected. Certainly a bit annoyed. There was nothing about his mannerisms that betrayed the fact that he was bartering with terrorists.

"Now," he straightened his jacket, "perhaps we can discuss this after I've seen-"

And then everything went boom.

The trucks. The explosions. The noise. The fire. It all happened at once. Dominic was nearly thrown off his feet on to the ground as the whole earth seemed to quake. Spinning swiftly on his heels, he watched nearly every one of his convoy trucks go up in a ball of flame. Those lucky few that were spaced out far enough from the blast-zone still suffered significant debris damage. Most of the drivers had been controlled by an AI, but he still had nearly half a dozen men in total loaded up in those cars. He looked fearfully over to the lead vehicle, splintered with debris. At least Whisper had gotten out on time...

Smoke billowed into the air. Plasmic fires raged and cackled. Dominic's hands curled into ball-knuckled fists. He turned slowly to Sara, his teeth grit.

"That is not how this is going to go down."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: LDA Agent Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Tiko
Whisper hesitated as Dominic told her to get back in the car, and for a moment it seemed she might. That is before the high pitched whine of the bombs drew her attention. It was the only warning offered before the detonation but it was all the warning needed. Her mind snapped to focus and zeroed in on the device, but already the chemical reactions had begun.

What seemed to happen in but a moment to the rest of the onlookers had taken on a surreal sluggishness to Whisper; It was as if she had all the time in the world to assess the situation and react.

The lead vehicle sat just beyond the worst of the damage, but for the woman standing outside in the open, the fragments of the other vehicles would kill her just the same.

The heat and flaming bits of debris overtook her, but none of the deadly shrapnel seemed to find its mark. Save for a few small tears in her clothes, and a scrape along her upper arm the woman appeared largely unharmed.

When she reopened her eyes the unease from earlier was gone, replaced by something harder. When Dominic looked to her, she met his gaze and for a moment one might have thought there a crimson hue to her eyes - a trick of the lighting and the flames.

She said nothing though, nor moved as Dominic turned back to Sara.

While Dominic spoke, Whisper threw out a telekinetic web to draw up an image of their surroundings within her minds eye that was unhindered by physical barriers and obstacles that might bar her vision.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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The lone LDA Agent flinched as the explosions rocked the slums, ripping through the buildings and causing the rooftop to shudder while Kathryn watched the events unfold through the scope of her rifle.

"Shit, go to contingency, now!" She hissed into her comm link, centering the cross-hairs of the scope onto the black clad capsuleer.

"ShitShitShitShit..." The Agent fussed, as she locked onto the target before her, but her placement made a shot difficult, as Dominic was too close to the target, and the heat from the shot would liquefy him along with the target.

"K, this is Command, prepare for contigency."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Prose
“This is exactly how it is going to go down, Dominic Hagan,” said Sara. She reached up and took the sunglasses off.

“You broke the agreement and now I get to change it. We would not have hurt your dear Valerie but you showed up with extra guests. Tsk tsk,” the capsuleer woman said with a wag of her index finger.

The drones that had come with Dominic Hagan stepped forward and trained their weapons on the man and Whisper. It was now obvious that someone had tampered with their AI. Sara was controlling them by the sheer willpower of her mind. And if that failed there were multiple bodies converging in on Dominic and Whisper from the shadows of the fires rolling around the warehouse.

Each of the capsuleers had a battle rifle in their hands and aimed at Dominic Hagan’s heart as well as Whisper’s. They were surrounded and the only option to stay alive was to surrender.

“If you want to live and if you want your precious Valerie to live then you will surrender. You will give yourself to The League. I’ll be sure to sell the two of you together since you seem so attached. I’m not as cruel as I may seem,” Sara said to Dominic.

“She’s been very hopeful that you would come to save her,” said Sara.

Another harrowing scream sliced the air of the warehouse. Valerie had screamed Dominic’s name.

“It’s just business.” The capsuleer smiled like a shark about to devour a school of tuna.

“Now, don’t make me ask again, Mister Hagan. Come along. It’s quite nice inside,” Sara said to the two of them. She extended a hand and beckoned for Dominic and Whisper to follow her into the warehouse. The barrels of guns hovered near their spines and ribs. Resistance was not an option with two overthrown drones and ten armed capsuleers circling around like vultures over two carcasses.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Tiko
Whisper stepped closer to Dominic and slipped her arms around one of his to keep close to him. Her fingers entwined against the cloth of his suit while her eyes sought out Sara's. There was something off about the frail, white-haired girl though.

While her actions were those of a frightened woman - her eyes held no fear. There was a weight of cold neutrality behind them and one was left to wonder if she was seeking protection from Dominic, or if it was she who sought to protect him.

Meanwhile it was with calculated precision that her psyche sorted through the influx of information her telekinetic web was providing her. She was no longer seeing through her eyes, but rather the eyes of everyone else. Their adrenalin was her adrenalin, the weight of a finger against a trigger was her own.

Much like the thought process of an AI, she was sifting through numerous scenarios and possibilities, weighing and calculating the likely outcomes of each with rapid fire precision.

Her assessments kept coming back around to the same conclusion.

'This woman hadn't brought near enough men.'

She took no action though as a woman's agonized scream assaulted them once more, and her fingers tightened against Dominic's arm. Her calculations didn't account for the woman that Dominic had come for - or the chilling cry of another that had preceded Valerie's second scream. There were variables not yet accounted for.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Nemo
Though the Cylons could be reprogrammed, it would be immensely hard to do so. The Capsuleer's would need access to the Tech Con security mainframe and would need the technical know-how and cybernetic strength to overpower an AI directive, all of which protected the drones from being rewired through sheer psionic force. That said, if the League was able to do all of this, the Cylons would be completely at their disposal.

Either way, things didn't look good for the young CEO. With most of his convoy destroyed in a matter of seconds, and with ten different guns scoped in on his skull (guns wielded by men and women who literally had lifetimes of training behind a trigger), Dominic was quickly realizing just how bad his situation was.

"Leave the girl," he said plainly. He tried to put himself in front of Whisper. "She's nothing to you. Taking her or killing her would only make things worse for all of us. Let her go."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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After leaving the basement Faust tightened the glove around his right hand tightly, standing by like a silent observer as the combat teams sprang into action. Just a few floors up, the sounds of battle raged and rifles chattered in an automatic symphony as Faust took the scenery in. Turning to follow a machinegun crew as they hefted a 12.7mm assault weapon and a tripod Faust reached out as he passed a crate and pulled an automatic rifle into his grip.

“Clean up Miss Chambers and get her out of here, no proper woman such as her needs this sort of violence.” He remarked bitterly to a passing trooper, a quick salute not even noticed by the commander until he departed from the machinegun crew and ascended up a catwalk.

“Fucking Aschen and their fucking plans … “ Faust continued on down the catwalk, while watching an exchange of gunfire fly underneath him. “All their little fucking plans … “ He grit his teeth in a moment of furious rage, one hand wrapping the sling around his arm. With the other, he cradled the battle rifle into his shoulder. “And their fucking weird ass money.” Putting one elbow onto the railing he aimed the rifle downward and brought the scope to his eye.

“I’m so fucking glad they didn’t end you in the Galactic War.” Notching the safety off he chambered a single 9x56mm projectile into the chamber and felt the hum of the rifle’s magnetic rails.

The scope magnified the battle nearly threefold, and peering down into the lot that surrounded the industrial site Faust quickly tagged the various figures and shadows flickering about the factory.

After spotting Hagan three loud thundersnaps rang out, the battle rifle jolting in his hands as Faust sent a round at the two figures huddled together: a woman gripping at the young Hagan’s arm the image caught in his scope before his vision was blinded by the muzzle flash for a split second.

“Move in and secure that fucking Aschen.”




On the main floor of the meat packing station a heavily armed team of capsuleers was seen flanking beside a prepared machinegun nest: the GPMG mounted on a tripod and protected by a sandbag dugout spitting hot lead across the open spaces leading to and from the packing factor. Launching projectiles the size of a child’s forearm, attempting to run or simply back out the same way they had came would have to be done through a literal gauntlet of weapons fire.

“Eyes on the spook, up there!” One of the gunmen shouted through his microphone until he brought the KLS-89 into his shoulder, Sara and the two targets just ahead of them.

“Covering the flank!” Two of the troopers said before activating the flashlights on the foreguard of their weapons and illuminating Hagan and the woman beside him in light. “Just fuckin’ get them already dammit, there’s a whole mil riding on this!”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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Kathryn silently watched the exchange before everything erupted into a literal gauntlet of weapons fire. "Screw this." She brought her scope to a dilapidated sign and some power lines above Sara's head, and she took the shot.

There was a brief whine, and the energy exchange from the high-capacity battery pack mounted on the agent's back into the rifle began, the initial capacitors powered up, followed by the secondary capacitors.

It all released in a sudden fever pitch and a deafening boom.

There was a blinding green flash of light at the muzzle of the rifle, the concrete under the weapon instantly liquefied from the sudden heat. Kathryn's face was instantly sunburned from the sheer amount of radiation from the cannon, and finally the bolt began to travel downrange at blinding speeds, impacting the signage above the exchange with a plume of orange-green flame and sending a hail of liquefied metal, concrete, and other superheated debris raining down on Sara and Dominic.

The weapon whined, and signified it's second charge, where Kathryn lined up the second shot on the muzzle flashes from inside the warehouse.

She pulled the trigger, and the weapon barked it's report, sending a massive green streak of light headed straight for Faust, liquefying everything around it and sending liquid metal and concrete raining down on anyone unfortunate to be under the bolt.

---

That wasn't all that was starting to transpire, with Contingency in place, a team of twenty LDA Spec-ops clad in full combat gear inched in on the exchange, and suddenly a firefight began to erupt between Aschen LDA Agents and SRL Capsuleers. Rapid-strobe like green flashes of light lit up the alleys, along with muzzle flashes from SRL Weapons.

"Go go go! Corvettes will be here any millicenton!" A Team leader called out, while he raised his PDW up at a group of SRL fighters, and laid down a rapid-fire spray of disruptor bolts downrange, suppressing the targets and allowing the rest of his team to move closer.

Up above two Apollos darted over. "Command, I'm trying to raise the Kobol's Killers, try to get them in on this shitstorm."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Prose
“Patience,” said Sara with a look over her shoulder. She had not seemed disturbed by the rounds that had by her ear whatsoever. Whether the bullets that Faust had shot at Whisper and Dominic Hagan struck, the Shadow still turned back to face the two with utter calm. There was even a small smile teasing the corner of her mouth.

“The other is valuable as well, Faust.”

The drones that Sara Weald had captured with her unfathomable resources and capabilities as a Shadow attempted to apprehend both Whisper and Dominic into submission and incapacitation. If they tried to run than the other ten capsuleers under Sara’s directive were going to shoot simultaneously at the targets’ knees, legs, and feet.

“As for the new terms, Dominic Hagan, you have not even allowed me to explain. I will personally let the woman leave if you surrender yourself,” Sara said before the sky shattered and exploded above her head. The split second before the debris came crashing down in a molten, screaming, and twisting storm of chaos there was an exasperated look on Sara’s face.

The Shadow’s body was crushed and annihilated right before Dominic and Whisper’s very eyes. The flesh melted off the bone that had cracked under the weight of the sign. An explosion of the body’s blood splashed everywhere on the impact. The capsuleers surrounding Whisper and Dominic immediately kept them all pinned to their current position. No one was going anywhere. And if they attempted to run, they were going to open fire and to kill this time.

The sound of someone’s hand clapping came from around the corner of the warehouse. The clapping stopped and Sara Weald pushed her sunglasses up onto the bridge of her nose. She looked down at the crushed body and arched a brow. There was an amused look on her face.

“Good shot. Commendable,” Sara Weald stated as she flexed the fingers of her right hand. A static discharge encapsulated the hand. It was very subtle and very near unnoticeable in the wash of the artificial light shining down on them all. It was Sara’s RADOS activating.

The time for games and teasing was now over. No more room for the dramatics. Just results. Sara was more than disappointed. She so loved her drama and the suspense that came along with it.

A charge of electricity ignited in Sara’s hand and created a blinding light. She struck the ground and an eardrum shattering explosive sound of disorienting noise rolled across the Abandoned Slums. It was as if lightning had struck precisely where the Shadow’s hand had impacted the pavement.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Tiko
Faust's bullet that was meant for Whisper was an abrupt pressure upon Whisper's psyche as it crossed into her telekinetic web and it seemed to slow to the surreal sluggishness of molasses. Her eyes flicked to the side as the energy of the bullet built like an elastic band before the projectile was returned back along its original path.

Though the battle was unfolding at a sluggish pace to Whisper, this was purely a matter of perspective as the bullet refound Faust's location as swiftly as he had pulled the trigger.

Other wayward projectiles likewise found themselves repelled, but as the drones moved in to grab her and Dominic she shifted her attention. The young psionics eyes narrowed and with a push of her mind, she sent all manner of wreckage from the exploded vehicles through the air for both the drones with force enough to skewer flesh and bone with ease.

As the capsaleers opened fire Whisper turned her head to the side, her brow furrowed heavily at the weight of the building energy bearing down on her psyche. Bullets were flying in all directions striking the very same men who had fired them, and ricocheting off walls - but none seemed to reach Whisper or Dominic.

She couldn't keep up this level of concentration though. Several bullets scarcely missed striking Dominic and herself as they penetrated her defensive efforts, but she couldn't go on the offensive while under direct and very heavy fire. It was all she could do to simply stand there and maintain the heightened sense of awareness required to disperse the gunfire.

As the Aschen weapon struck its mark overhead her concentration wavered. Whisper and Dominic were both in the path of the falling debris. Fire and plasma rained down as both she and him began to lose substance and form, and the falling debris simply passed through their incorporeal and fading wraith-like forms.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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On the catwalks Faust stood aside as two other troopers approached carrying shoulder-fired launchers. Aiming down the KGW-70 Faust sighted the first of the inbound security forces to rescue Hagan. Pointing the launcher team into a position on the catwalk Faust rushed down the railing to a ladder, when an MG-99 roared to life from a prepared position on the flank of the factory lot.

“Multiple security personnel inbound!”

Nearing the ground Faust stopped and ducked under the railing as a hand grenade went sailing out into the lot right in front of him. Nearly sliding on his back the rest of the way down the capsuleer joined a fireteam of shock troopers, assault rifles and combat shotguns outfitted with flashlights and CQB equipment. “Envelop them and watch for reinforcements, when they send in backup you know what to do.”

Drawing the battle rifle over his shoulder Faust accepted a compact, bull-pup NR-83 rifle and covered a firing position as part of the fireteam departed. Only a few seconds passed by before several teams of Resistance insurgents opened fire at point-blank ranges in prepared ambush points on the Aschen forces.

Leading the other element parallel to the gunfight Faust directed the team into a runoff canal fed by the abandoned factory. Keeping the bull-up in his shoulder Faust descended the slant of the canal in a slide, shadows from muzzle flashes and gunfire thrown opposite him. “You and you, over there in rifle positions now!” Forcing his way through muck and debris the capsuleer was quickly ascending to the mouth of the canal, nearby a pedestrian walkway. From a position able to plunge fire down at the targets from behind, the insurgents seemed to be drawing a wide noose around the battlespace.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miles Hagan Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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Kathryn growled as she watched everything unfold in the enhanced scope. She watched each capsuleer move out and around to form a wide noose around the encroaching Security teams. A mixture of LDA Operatives, Tech Con Mercenaries and Terran mercenaries working for Tech Con were obliviously walking into a wide noose.

But suddenly there was a deafening crack, and Kathryn ducked behind a brick redoubt and onto her back as she watched the night sky split apart and the hulking hammer-shaped form of the TCN Hyperion slid down and moved to settle over the slums. This large vessel, though diminutive compared to the larger, newer Reverence Is, at the length of five football fields, it alone still packed quite a punch and was more than capable of simultaneously handling air and ground threats.

Kathryn winced her eyes as the ship swooped over and lowered itself towards the ground, which was shuddering and shaking under the immense force of the massive vessel above.

----

"Mr. Hagan we have arrived just in time, LDA Units have called for contingency." A Tech Con officer reported, while the Helmsmen worked to keep the ship stable.

"Get us as low as you can, then deploy the bottom bays so they can extract my sun, flatten anything around him."

The Officer nodded.

"All Batteries selective fire, you are free to engage." He called on the comms, which signaled the acknowledgement of the order.

The bottom batteries of the ship, which were heavy plasma cannons traversed and swiveled to life. With high-powered sensors it began to pick up SRL Targets moving in the dense slums, and those that surrounded Dominic and Whisper.

With bullets going in all directions, the Tech Con team moved in. They descended on harnesses and lines under the ship, armed with beam rifles they began to pick off any exposed targets with lethal precision.

The ship's secondary laser and plasma batteries came to life, and began to pepper indiscriminately around the pair, not so much to try and hit anything; but to keep the SRL suppressed long enough for the extraction to finish. As explosions plumed and mushroomed up around Hagan and Whisper, a pair of Tech Con mercenaries descended down on lines besides where the two once were, and moved quickly to try and locate where Whisper had phased too. While the surroundings were lit up simultaneously by the gem encrusted ship above. Likely forcing Aschen and SRL into cover alike.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miles Hagan Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Nemo
Dominic tensed as the bullets and debris came flying, fully expecting the worst. His personal shields might save him from death, but whatever was about to happen was certainly going to hurt...

Of course, Dominic had NOT been expecting Whisper's latent psionic talent. He stood astonished as a hail of deadly projectiles collided against her telepathic shields, dashing themselves upon the strength of her will to no avail. Although Hagan had suspected Whisper to be in possession of some sort of supernatural power, he had never expected them to be so influential.

But then the attacks came thricefold, and Whisper's concentration began to fail. A bullet made it through here. A chunk of plasma there. They wouldn't last long.

"Jacquelyn, we need to move," he urged her, "we need to find cover no-AUUGHHH!" Dominic suddenly fell over a hunk of concrete crashed through Whisper's barrier and slammed into his leg, pinning him to the ground. Were his shields not activated, it would have severed the limb entirely. As it was, he had only a few broken bones.

Although going ethereal may have allowed Dominic to free himself from the debris, the damage was still done. He was seriously crippled. In their ethereal state, they were temporarily invulnerable... though not invisible. The two could still be easily tracked and found. Things did not look good.

"Th-the factory..." Dominic growled, mustering his willpower and forcing himself onto his good leg, "quickly we need to find cover..." Though it was enemy territory, it was the closest building. He only hoped that the skirmish between the SRL and the LDA would distract his foes long enough for them to get to safety and, hopefully, rescue Valerie. Dominic also noted with ire the carelessness of the Tech Con platoon deployed by his father (easily recognized in his gem-studded transport ship). The crossfire of the Aschen fighters was just as much a threat to Dominic and Whisper at this point as was the SRL.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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#, as written by Prose
Valerie was panting hard and attempting to keep as calm as possible. Blood was running down her leg in a red sheath. It was ruining her pants and that was unacceptable. Pain lanced up into her spine and Valerie wanted to do nothing more than curled into a ball to weep. That was never going to happen.

The owner of Daedalus Enterprises had been tortured, beaten, and broken before. These SRL terrorists were nothing compared to Eris Driscoll. It almost made Valerie laugh but it was cut short by a particularly painful stab of agony up her thigh.

The sound of gunfire erupting around the warehouse was disturbing to Valerie. There was panic in her thoughts but she did not let them control her. It was very possible that Dominic was dead. Valerie had to face that probability. He was no soldier and these people were trained with years of experience in warfare.

A soldier approached her and began to clean Valerie’s wound despite the firefight. There was no confused expression on her face as the nameless man took care of her. Her wound was healed up with some odd medical device. The pain was still present but it was not as intense as it had been before. Valerie used the skin-to-skin contact to her advantage.

She slipped into the capsuleer’s mind and began to manipulate him toward her own goals. She sent a strong impulse for him to release her. Valerie’s binds came loose and she pulled her hands out of the harsh rope. Her right hand immediately connected with the capsuleer’s skin again.

“Take me out of here,” commanded Valerie. The armed man nodded and complied. Every foot step pained Valerie but she held her composure. If she remained calm and did not act like she was escaping than all would be fine. Everyone was far too distracted by the ongoing battle to pay attention to her.


Sara stood directly next to Dominic and Whisper had been just seconds ago. They were gone and the mission was failed. She tugged off her gloves by pinching one finger at a time. The Shadow was not particularly worried about being killed or shot. It was like getting stung by a honey bee to her. It only hurt for a second.

"Target lost, Faust," said Sara. "Mission failed. Congratulations."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald Character Portrait: Kathryn Connors

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Faust ascended from the runoff canal by a small ladder, reaching a gun emplacement perched near a roadway overhang at a bridge across the canal. Taking his rifle from the sling on his side the capsuleer flashed a hand signal to the first gunner. Across the slums entrenched anti-air installations began firing in wide volleys, bright lights streaking into the sky from various caliber weapons hidden amongst buildings and sidestreets.

Taking a ruggedized communicator from a gunner Faust checked a quick readout, a remote survey of over a dozen guns and other installations in a spiderweb out from the factory. At this particular installation a double-barreled 57mm anti-aircraft gun opened fire into the air and spat autocannon rounds into nearby VTOL craft or closer ships. The Resistance commander quickly requisitioned a militarized motorcycle, leaving the guncrew as a large vessel passed overhead.

Keying into a handheld, Faust piloted the vehicle back towards the factory, weaving his way through the foot traffic and activity as fighters and insurgents came out of the woodwork of the slums. “This is Faust, ready the ballistic missiles.”


Faust idly stood himself inbetween the woman, and the soldier helping her, after appearing from a service tunnel. Clutching the magnum he reached forward and pulled the trigger, sending one round through the man’s chest and causing him to fly backwards, spilling Valerie to the ground with him. The capsuleer gurgled as his chest filled with blood and Faust racked the hammer once again as he strode towards Valerie. “You will be quiet the flight risk for whatever poor shmuck buys you ‘eh? I’ll be sure to look for someone who likes a good struggle.” Reaching a gloved hand down to her neck the capsuleer waved another pair of troopers over.

“Put her under before moving her out again, from here on out we move her under NBC conditions -- go, go god dammit!”

The setting changes from the-abandoned-slums to Cordimir

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sara Weald

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#, as written by Prose
“This is a bad idea, Gil,” whispered Jon. The man’s nervous eyes took a glance around at the empty catacombs of Eustare. It was well beyond sleeping hours but armed Federation patrols were not nonexistent in the newly established underground city.

The silence of darkness was misleading in the massive geothermal colony.

“I just need a few more minutes then we’ll be inside.”

“I can’t do this,” Jon snapped in a hush voice. Gil looked over his shoulder and stared into his eyes. A bolt of fear shot like electricity down Jon’s spine. The muscles in his gut clenched and the man knew that he might have just made the last mistake of his life.

There was nothing physically terrifying about Gil. He stood head and shoulders under Jon, had a frame like a beanpole, a frostbitten nose, a receding hairline, and he dressed in rags. None of it softened the cold look of a killer. Gil had murdered and raped men, women, and children.

Gil was the most singularly dangerous man that had been sent to Cordimir. Jon was not far behind him with multiple rape charges of women. Both men were convicts sentenced to hard labor on the frozen planet by the Federation. Most of the colonists in Eustare City had been sentenced with outrageous crimes. It was a prisoner camp sanctioned under the false pretenses of colonization for the Federation. No one was sent here to live a free man's life.

Jon swallowed and took a step back with hands held up in surrender. Gil made no acknowledge of the larger man’s submission before he turned back to the tangle of wires. A silent sigh of relief was released through Jon’s nostrils. It was bittersweet to know he was going to live another day in the bowels of Hell.

“I’m not about to let my girl starve while this bitch lives in the lap of fuckin’ luxury,” said Gil. He grunted and dug his arm into the wall until his knobby elbow was swallowed. The plate metal was warm against Gil’s face and sent a wash of goosebumps down his grease stained neck. Each breath condensed in the cold air of the catacombs.

“Dumb bitch even gots heat,” growled Gil with hatred laced into every facet of his voice.

Jon paced nervously back and forth. He chewed down the stumps of his fingernails until there was nothing else left to chew. Beads of dirty sweat rolled down Jon’s temples and neck to collect in the worn cotton of his shirt.

They were going to get caught. He could feel it in the depths of his balls that something was going to go wrong. This was all a fucking bad idea. Jon’s fist clenched and unclenched as his adrenaline wound tighter and tighter in the pit of his stomach.

Gil grunted and pulled out a panel from deep within the wall that separated the catacombs from the quarters compartment behind. A tangle of multicolored wires and a larger insulated wire were all connected to the panel. Gil dropped down onto his knees and took out a pair of long nose pliers from his pocket.

“I can’t do this, man. This shit don’t feel right, Gil,” muttered Jon. Gil looked up at him with an unreadable expression on his weathered face. A frigid moment passed between the two men and then the tension was released as Gil waved Jon closer to him.

“Get your ass down here and help me,” instructed Gil.

“Alright,” said Jon as he squatted down next to the murderer. Gil handed Jon a pair of wire strippers and pointed to a clusterfuck of the damn things.

“Get those first, one at a time. Expose the wire underneath. Look for cobalt alloy.”

“Alright. Cool, yeah, I got this,” said Jon as he concentrated on cutting into the plastic insulation that covered each wire. It was the fifth wire that Jon exposed before he saw blood spurt over the panel. His brown eyes turned to look at Gil with confusion.

Gil drew back his arm and Jon got a glimpse of the bloodied pliers. The man’s eyes widened in sheer horror when the realization dawned on Jon. Warm blood ran down his front in a red sheet, pulsing in time with the frantic beating of his heart. The sickly sweet scent of copper and iron filled Jon’s nose.

A body slammed against him and Jon couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe as Gil’s weight settled down on his chest. The man’s arms and legs flailed around uselessly as blood poured over the mesh walkway.

Gil plunged the pliers again and again into Jon’s chest with quick efficiency. He stopped after fifteen. Gil had always stopped at fifteen. It was the tell-tale signature that had connected each of his murders and ultimately gotten him sentence to a life of hard labor until death. It was a glorious number.

Metal rang against metal as Gil pulled the crowbar across the floor as he stood up over the half-dead man’s body. The serial murderer pulled the crowbar above his head. His hands were as steady as a surgeon’s. His decision had been made through a precise algorithm, and his blood rushed from sheer ecstasy of the culling the pathetic herd.

Metal crunched bone as Gil brought down the carbon steel on Jon’s skull. The dying man’s skin split in a wide laceration from the sheer force of the blunt attack. White bone was exposed and Gil kept bringing the crowbar down on Jon’s face until the soft tissue of brain splattered across his face.

The body of Jon stopped seizing violently as the man’s spirit vacated his mortal body. Gil nodded and yanked the crowbar from the mushy remains of the other man’s crushed head. He wiped off the blood and brain matter on the bar using Jon’s clothes. Gil slicked back his greasy hair and threw the tool aside. It clanged in a loud ring against the catwalk.

“Fuckin’ pussy,” spat Gil. "I ain't gonna let my girl starve."

It was time to get back to work. There was no way that Gil was going to let this stuck up bitch horde a trove of treasure while his girl, his beautiful and sweet Cashmere, starved to death.

Gil was tired of seeing his precious kitten lose its fur. It was torture to run his calloused fingers along her tiny rib bones sticking out from the thin sheath of her skin. Her pathetic meows cut far too deep into his soul when she cried for food to eat. No more, Gil said to himself. No more.

The setting changes from cordimir to The Abandoned Slums

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miles Hagan Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Dominic Hagan Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald

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Aboard the TCN Hyperion, Miles Hagan was watching the battle unfold as the ship bucked and rocked from AAA Peppering it's hull and it's shields. However the Sagittaron Class Battlecruiser remained over the city.

"Triangulate that AAA And return fire, full salvo." The Tech Con officer ordered, while Hagan watched in silence.

"Destroy that warehouse too." Hagan ordered, and the Tech Con crew rapidly followed suit maneuvering the ship into position directly above the warehouse.

As the AAA impacted the shields, the Sagittaron returned fire by triangulating the incoming fire, and releasing a salvo of high-powered missiles in the direction of the dug in emplacements, the missiles upon impact would detonate in a brilliant plume of plasma which mushroomed high into the sky. The immediate warehouse below suffered an even worse fate.


A Set of four doors on the bottom of the ship began to open up, and racks of bombs descended from the opened doors.

The bombs released, and detonated in violent fireballs in the warehouse, sending shock waves through the slums and flattening nearby shanties.

The setting changes from the-abandoned-slums to Cordimir

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sara Weald

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#, as written by Prose
The song of a lone music box chimed a melancholy and disharmonious tune through the compartment as Gil stepped inside. What he saw was nothing that had been expected. There were bureaus scattered haphazardly throughout the room with collections of mundane items precisely placed on top. Shelves lined every single wall and were filled with every clock imaginable. Gil looked up and saw thousands of wind chimes hanging down from the ceiling.

Gil took a step further into the room. The music from the box stopped. There was nothing but dead silence in the room as the man maneuvered around the maze of bureaus. It was like a museum that Gil had stepped into and not someone's home. The man had to force himself to close his mouth.

Cashmere was going to eat well tonight, Gil thought to himself. The door closed behind the man without a single sound. As he stepped around the corner of a dresser painted white, Gil noticed something hanging at the end of the hallway. There was a cloth covering it but it didn't completely hide the gold twinkle from the dim lighting.

A greedy grin spread across Gil's face and he made way for the picture, or mirror, or whatever was hanging on the wall. A gold frame was going to have him eating high on the horse for a long time on Cordimir. A lustful laugh gurgled in the back of his throat.

Silver spoons tinkled together as Gil swooped up a handful from the top of another bureau. He shoved them into a raggedy canvas sack. His blood shot eyes never left the tease of gold hanging on the wall. Each clumsy step took him closer and closer to the prize. Items from atop the dressers fell onto the floor, passed up like unwanted garbage even to a desperate man.

“Look at what we have here,” crooned Gil as he dropped the bag on the floor. His hand reached out for the dust cloth to tear it down. A cacophonous chorus of clock chimes cut into the silence. The man jumped and jerked his hand away. His heart banged against his ribcage and Gil nervously flicked his eyes around the room.

“Heh. Just a bunch of fuckin' coo-coo clocks,” Gil muttered to himself as he shook off the fright. He rolled his shoulders to let loose the tension and then reached up to rip down the cloth covering the gold frame. Just before his fingers grasped the chimes of the clocks all died away.

A song. A familiar tune that all Scatterrans knew played throughout the compartment from a music box.

Gil's brow drew together in a tight knot and he looked over his shoulder again. Beads of nervous sweat trickled down his neck. His hand trembled and Gil took a few steps to turn himself to face the room behind him. The man's eyes scanned over the dressers and shelves for music boxes. He couldn't see any.

So … where was the music coming from?

Gil snorted and spit out thick mucus onto the floor near his feet. He wasn't about to let some noises spook him. Cashmere needed to eat and she was going to have the best food in all of the colonies. His girl deserved the absolute best. She was the sweetest thing to ever come into his life. Gil was not going to let her die.

“Just a bunch of fucking clocks,” Gil spat out as he turned back to the frame hanging on the wall. He ripped down the white sheet and stared into a mirror. A look of sheer horror crossed the murderer's face.

Gil took a shaken step backward and tripped over his untied boot laces. He held out a hand as if to ward off whatever it was that he saw in the mirror. Nothing but garbled sounds elicited from his throat as his words were shut off entirely by unadulterated fear.

A music box sat by the feet of a woman standing in a reflection of the hallway behind Gil. Her hand petted the dead cat in her arms with gentle strokes of love. Cashmere's insides had been ripped from its open belly. Cords of gray intestines poured over the woman's arms. The smell of rotting meat permeated around Gil.

A strangled cry of terror and mourning poured from Gil's throat as the woman's hand slid into the body of the dead cat. Her fingers twisted in the organs and ripped them from the membranes that kept them leashed inside the cat's body. She disemboweled it right before Gil's very eyes before dropped the floppy body of the kitten onto the floor.

Gil heard the thump behind him and scrambled away with fingernails digging into the carpet of the floor. A wet piss stain followed in his wake. The man cowered in a corner and tried to shield himself with his hand as the sound of foot steps came closer and closer.

“Please … G-God … help me!” whimpered Gil.

There is no God.

The man screamed at the voice in his head as he grabbed his skull between his hands.

The setting changes from cordimir to The Abandoned Slums

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald

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#, as written by Nemo
The League was departing swiftly under the pressure of the Aschen assault and the disappearance of Dominic, scurrying back into the shadows of the slums from whence they'd come. It was no mass retreat, of course. The deathless terrorists were much too smart for that. Each squad of troopers had their own exit point and specified direction in the service tunnels. No singular cluster of troops. A full-on route would be impossible.

In the wreckage of a nearby building, three capsuleers were hurriedly packing up a mounted turret.

"Hurry the fuck up man," one of them growled, "Faust called the retreat five minutes ago. Every other squad is already in the tunnels."

"Faust can suck my dick," the other snarled, wiping his brow as he worked, "motherfucker didn't say ANYTHING about a fleet. Just supposed to be a goddamn rich boy and his entourage of ass-whipers. I came out here for a bust, not a fucking war."

The other soldier spared a hesitant glance outside the nearby window. "Shit, those ships are getting closer. You ever been killed by a disruptor before?"

"No, and I don't wanna find out. Help me with this goddamn mount." The capsuleer hastened to the side of his companion. They soon had the thing packed up in two separate cases.

"Good," the lead terrorist huffed, "now let's get the-"

Two hands shot out of the splintered floorboards, black and taloned, slamming into the ankles of the nearest capsuleer. He fell on his face.

"HOLY FUCKING SHIT!" he screamed, his arms flailing outwards, desperate to get his fingers on anything stable. The jagged holes from whence the claws had come from was now a crater: dark, deep and saturated in some foul, foreboding energy. He was dragged mercilessly into its maw, his cries echoing into a swift silence as he disappeared from sight.

The other two soldiers stared dumbfounded, adrenaline and training finally kicking-in where terror and confusion ended. Hoisting their rifles, they fired wordlessly into the pit and surrounding floorboards, spewing wood and sawdust into the air. They stopped when they ran out of bullets.

Reloading, they poised and waited. The sudden silence was twice as deafening as the earlier gunfire.

The two exchanged hand motions before one of them stepped slowly forward, the rotted deck groaning under the weight of his boots. He came hesitantly towards the edge of the abyss, rifle trained on the oozing darkness. To his credit, he was not shaking.

A whhhhrrr and a loud thhhmmmp. The capsuleer swung madly on his feet to find his partner felled, a black dart sticking out of his neck.

The soldier grit his teeth. "...you... son of a..."

Something struck him in the stomach. He doubled over, bile seething out of his throat into his mouth. Another blow to his chin broke his jaw and knocked out two of his teeth. Desperate to return-fire before the pain incapacitated him, the capsuleer threw a wild haymaker in the direction he believed his attacker must be... only to have his blow caught in mid swing above the crook of his arm. He peered out from behind blurry eyes, barely distinguishing the silhouette of a strange man dressed in black. He saw the stranger rest his forearm on his cloaked shoulder, raise his outward hand and...

...no...

With a single deft movement, the stranger knocked the capsuleer's elbow in on itself, the bone snapping and jutting crudely out of the skin. His brachial artery missed by only a fraction of an inch, the terrorist knew he'd been spared a slow and messy death by blood loss... but that didn't stop the agonizing pain searing through his body. He opened his mouth to scream, but suddenly found his breath caught. He choked on his agony, his free hand clawing deftly at whatever was constricting his throat. His radio wire. This guy was strangling him with his own comm system.

Positioned behind the gasping trooper, keeping a firm grip on the radio coil wrapped around his victim's neck, Paragon began to speak into the League's secure transmission line, directly into Faust's and Weld's private comm-command.

"Commander Faust," Paragon's cold, raspy voice only sounded all the more inhuman over the staticy radio. The strangling capsuleer provided macabre background music. "You and the terrorist organization known as the 'SRL' have been deemed guilty of atrocious crimes against mankind. Countless innocents have suffered and died because of your greed." Paragon slacked the noose just enough to let the rebel sputter a few strained breaths before tightening on the chord once again. "I offer you one chance to release the girl and lay down your weapons. Do you accept my offer?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Valerie Chambers Character Portrait: Paragon Character Portrait: Commander Faust Character Portrait: Sara Weald

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#, as written by Prose
A capsuleer deep in the underground tunnels beneath the abandoned slums jolted Valerie Chambers on his shoulder. The Federation woman had been knocked out cold with a simple concoction of sedatives. She now was nothing more than a bag of flesh and bones.

The man named Isaac Holden stopped when the cacophonous thunder of explosions rolled above the thick slab of concrete between him and the surface. His keen brown eyes watched motes of dust fall from between the pipe work.

“Move it along,” Quam ordered Isaac.

“Rog—”

Isaac took one more step with Valerie on his shoulder before he collapsed down onto one knee. He clutched at his chest and his breathing became labored. A strange sensation of heaviness was settling itself into Isaac's torso. It felt as if his heart was being restricted by an invisible hand that wanted to crush the very life out of him.

“For fuck's sake. What's the problem this time?” Quam stalked over to Isaac and grabbed his shoulder none too gently to give the capsuleer a shake. When Isaac stayed non-responsive, Quam took Valerie from the man's shoulder before she got dropped onto her head. He dumped the Terran woman into the arms of another capsuleer.

“Get up, you son of a bitch or I'll fucking shoot you,” threatened Quam.

Isaac wanted to say that he couldn't breathe. It felt like he was having a heart attack. His vision swam but there was no pain to make him teary-eyed. It was just heaviness; like something was trying to push him out of his own body.

Quam back tracked on his earlier attitude and knelt down in front of Isaac. It did seem that something was wrong with the other capsuleer. Maybe Isaac had finally gone off the deep end. He had seen one of their kind lose it before and Quam didn't need an encore show.

“Isaac. Keep it together, man. This shit is almost over and then you can get some time in a isolation tank to rest, alright,” consoled Quam. It didn't seem to be working. Isaac fell down onto his hands and knees. The two capsuleers were beginning to fall behind the line as everyone continued on toward the next phase of the mission.

Quam's eyes watched the retreating figures of the capsuleers for a few brief seconds until he returned his attention back to Isaac. The man looked him dead in the eye and Quam saw something that he had never before seen in his lives.

Isaac's pupils dilated as Quam knew by some otherworld sense that the man had died. Isaac's spirit had vacated the body that he had kept for thirty five years. There was no mistaking the lack of soul inside someone's body.

And yet … just as soon as it had happened Isaac's pupils returned to normal and contracted to adjust for the dim lighting in the tunnel. Quam took a step back with a gasp bit back in his throat. There was someone or something inside Isaac.


*****


Sara Weald flexed her new fingers and rolled her neck after she stood up from the ground. She ran a hand across the unfamiliar face she now wore and then looked an unfamiliar capsuleer man in the eye. He took a step back and she tilted her head curiously.

There was a wondrous strength to the body she had invaded. It had amazing tensile strength compared to her last form. Sara was quite pleased to be in a male body once again. Although with the first step she took the chaffing between her legs most certainly caught her attention.

How annoying.

Did men not ever think about what fabrics they wore and how it may affect particular portions of anatomy on their bodies?

“Carry on,” Sara's new basso voice rumbled through the silence as she looked at Quam. The man was too stunned to follow the order. It was clear from the very wide-eyed expression of horror on his face that he was going to be of no more use to her.

Sara—in Isaac's body—blinked once before she aimed her battle rifle at the older man and shot him in the chest twice and once in the head.

There was no room for insubordination when dealing with Sara. Not even for a split second.

The Shadow bent down over the fallen soldier and she plucked his comms device from Quam.

As soon as Paragon's message came through the link a wide and amused smile spread across Isaac's face. How righteous this savior was in his outcry for justice against Sara's crimes. The Shadow laughed as she walked down the tunnels.

“I commit no crime,” Sara responded to Paragon in Isaac's deep and raspy voice. “All this trouble over one woman. Her buying price just increased. Who would have thought that an Edenite could command such attention on this back water planet.”

“If you would like to make a purchase I suggest making an appointment.”

Isaac's body dropped dead in the dust.