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Sprinkles Thothess

Bvetin encouraged my matriarch to take chances. So here I am!

0 · 340 views · located in Sky's Edge

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by lil_kreen

Groups

Matriarchal society of herbivores that spread out through the empires due to an ecological catastrophe imposed upon them.

Description

Recently Bvetin has encouraged the Matriarchy on Sopitos to take chances for unusual matriarchs in their birth eye as they repopulate the loss of matriarchs during the Bloodbath Era. One of those chances named herself 'Sprinkles' as Matriarch are permitted to do so. She's a fairly odd member of their species in that she's far more of the Bvetin's Dreamer than many other new Matriarchs. In this sense she's a early blooming Psionic and much more humanoid in having a true biped stance. Unfortunately she still lacks any sense of vocal flaps and isn't good enough at creating sound to communicate that way through RF. She has a transceiver around her neck for making crude emotional noises but prefers psionic contact if she can.

It's worth noting that in 1g, unlike their 3g homeworld, an angry Gardener hits like a frieght train. As a result of reasons related to biped locomotion she's not really capable of running faster than most top-shelf humans are at 27mph. She can however maintain it with the effort of a light jog while carrying someone on her back.





Full Legal Name: Sprinkles Thothess
Aliases: Sprinkles
Occupation: Matriarch Seeker
Age: 20
Height: 5'2"
Weight: 180 lbs
Eye Color: Flat maroon protective eye sac, otherwise orange sclera with black irisless eyes. Reflectance noise from an advanced tapetum lucidum.
Hair Color: pink and orange
Build: Thin, chitinous underneath
Race: Gardener Matriarch
Sex: Female
Powers: Telekinesis, ectoplasmic creation, psionically accelerated healing, Flight, adhesive limbs.
Skills: Computer usage, capable cargo ship flyer, pistol use, basic ship mechanics

So begins...

Sprinkles Thothess's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Deep in the hold in an aggressively secured shielded cargo container due for delivery bore the label 'SPECIMEN IN STASIS' from some corporate entity or another from some new planet they'd been studying. Inside that 'specimen' slowly came out of torpor as it was cold here but now getting warmer. A fan on the outside of the container sensing this whirred to life as sensors indicated oxygen use inside the box went up. The coolant system on the box instead sparks as a cheap high-amp compressor circuit fails blowing out its power supply with a loud death spark. With the lifeblood of the electronics gone also went the small whirring fan its vent clicking shut.

It was dark here a sleepy mind wondered if there were grues. Then came the more pertinent issue of where was she and how did she get here after falling asleep on the transport? Playing games and sleep on the old transports was all there was to do sometimes. Why was it so dark here? She couldn't think out of the place she was in either. She reached out all four hands to find out her confines were a fairly large metal box but not quite large enough to stand in. Scraping around a bit at the metal she found the place where blowing air seeped out of a reinforced vent at least until it stopped. A flailing psionic mind reaching toward the hole however found some undulating fluid pushing it away that must be just outside the interior and interfering with her outstretching mind. She looked in the direction that the hole must be exposed to the outside world. Fumble fingers reach at her throat to find her bellspeaker was gone too. She had no voices, and could not scream. That numbing silence atop all her senses drove a growing panic.

Four chitinous fists balled with panic pound the inside of this metal box. Silent to the air she yells in Quietus on various RF channels unknowing if anything can hear outside the box. A container of lesser construction would certainly dent but this one just shifted. If unsecured there'd likely be just a rattle and shifting inertia.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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"The current cabin temperature is now 10°C, Mistress." Specter informed Rei as she scowled at an empty container. Apparently she had forgotten coffee or at least what passed for it on her last supply stop. "But, I must inform you mistress.. there is a problem in the cargo hold. It appears that the stasis support system for the specimen that we agreed to transport has regrettably gone out." The AI added, as a small hologram of a cartoon like ghost popped up in front of Rei. "Yeah and? We get paid either way." She grumbled pushing the hologram away before continuing to dig through the galley. She wasn't particularly eager to go deal with rogue cargo at the moment. "You may want to have a look, as it appears that the subject may have become loose." Specter chirped.

This was the problem with having an alpha level sim for ship's computer, it seemed to have grown a self preservation streak over the last few decades. "So?" The woman said off hand before the hologram dove back into her field of view.

The tiny white ghost, spun and twisted in on itself before becoming a small rectangular screen showing the cargo hold in question. "Mistress!" The screen now wailed in an attempt to get Rei's attention. "If we don't do something now, the container will compromise the entire hold!" Rei straightened and examined the screen for a minute before pushing it aside again. Taking a bite from a protein bar she'd discovered in the galley, she munched at the stale, tough and sticky item for a moment, trying to decide if it tasted more so of chocolate than the slight cardboard, papery after taste it had. "Fine, fine... only because I don't want to rewire anything in the next hundred hours.." She grumbled heading down towards the cargo bay.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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As Sprinkles woke more from torpor she realized breathing was getting harder. The grating wasn't moving air! Was she underground? The four hands stopped beating the walls for a moment as the pain hit. Fractured chitin on her hands demanded attention after pounding the container. The smell of fluorine grew in the box though with something else she didn't recognize. She couldn't see to look but poked around the new dents in the interior layer. Trembling fingers found fractures in the metal where something was leaking in. Not water but the sloshing mind damper she felt? She could try yelling for help again!

There wasn't much oxygen in this box the gravity and air pressure was so thin. Something in her knew her blood likely had it all by now but for the little that seeped in. Terrified and slowly growing delirious through hypoxia as she burned through prodigious reserves. A psionic pulse pushed out through the growing sliver where the fluid blackening her mind from freedom now drained away. At best an ill-defined psionic cry of panic for help from an individual knee-deep in ichor. Likely as not to scrawl to any mind that received it written text and graffiti all containing variations of 'HELP' at near surfaces. The signal degraded by remnants of fluid as it blasted through the top of a crate where one ever so slightly bent panel drained to the inside.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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It was quiet aboard the AHSC Stanchion, a Hastati class cruiser assigned to the furthest reaches of Imperial Space and beyond, serving as an early warning scout, as well as running interdiction for local traffic, inspecting them for contraband, weapons, or really anything else headed to the sol system that could threaten Imperial interests there.

In the lone reaches of deep space, along a frequently used shipping lane, the ship lie in wait. It's six-month tour had netted dozens of ships that had moved through, some tried to fight. The carbon scoring along the cruiser's hull was testament to that, evident battle damage but nothing too serious.

Commander Rygar Finn, a middle aged man hailing from the Province of Molecay was in charge of this machination of Aschen power projection, with a rough edge about him, he had made somewhat a name of himself running out privateers from the fringes of Imperial Space.

And now he was here, staring at a wide-spectrum readout. He was watching subspace bands, one that pricked up an energy spike on the very edge of the ship's range.

His eyes slowly went wide, before adjusting the feed.

"It's nearly half an SU out..." He said to himself, looking up to a clean DRADIS Readout.

Regardless of the distances, he had a duty to uphold, and that was to enforce the Aschen cordon around the Sol system.

"Lieutenant..." The Commander called out. "Change course, three nine eight carom one two seven, go to condition two." He ordered. "Get an inspection team aboard a Condor and ready for launch; initiate Planck field and calculate that ship's trajectory."

Nearly as quickly as the order was given, the Stanchion began to divert course, making ever so slight adjustments; it would be within range within the hour, at current speed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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"Specter, set cargo bay temperature to 21°C and resume normal gravity." Rei instructed her AI as she palmed the lock to the hold. It wasn't unusual for cargo to become loose in transit, but the container it had arrived it looked like it had had some sort of rudimentary cooling system designed to keep whatever machinery or method the specimen was kept in stasis working correctly; unfortunately not everything tended to survive 336 hours of rough transit. Rei guessed the scientists had thought that the crate would be treated with the utmost care, when in reality it was loaded by the spaceport crew on some backwater planet without caution or care.

"Cargo bay is now at 15°C and climbing, gravity becoming normal in 3... 2... 1. All gravitation and temperature systems are now normal." Specter chimed, as Rei felt the odd sensation of transitioning back from weightless and near weightless to the standard 1g of gravity most merchant ships were able to maintain. Some could use more, and some used less depending on whose ship it was and what their cargo was; but 1g as a default generally ensured that most things functioned as intended.

"Remind me again what slot that crate was it..." She asked the AI quietly as she stepped into the large hold of the ship. It had at one time held more cargo than it did now, but Rei was nearing the end of a several months long run. She'd be glad to get Medusa City on Mars and rest for awhile before heading back out with another load. But if this specimen crate was any indication, her pay day had the potential to be quite lucrative.

"The crate is in slot Gamma 2, there are no other items around it by instruction from the shippers." Specter replied through Rei's earpiece, which she had had the forethought to grab on the way down to the cargo bay. "I should also add that the instructions on this particular shipment are that it arrives alive and unharmed." With this new information Rei just rolled her eyes, and groaned inwardly as she reached down into her boot. "That's wonderful... you rotten sodding bag of bolts!"

Grabbing the monofilament blade she kept there, Rei pressed the stud on it's hilt that powered it, and cut the lock and latches on the crate. "Any idea what's in it? Or are you also waiting till the last minute on that?" She asked her AI in irritation.

Meanwhile her ship's far range sensors had yet to detect anything outside of the normal space debris, and Rei was preoccupied with this newest disaster in her cargo hold.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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By the time Rei cut the lock free from sprinkles' crate little oxygen remained in her blood let alone the box her eyes sacs turned pale. She'd just enough strength left in her to crawl forward to push at the side of her container that made noise. Her mind lacked the coherent thought to project her mental abilities it if anything was just an insensible mishmash of noises from the back of her psyche. Gardener bodies were hardy things by nature but matriarchs were not the grade those of their kind more war-hardy enjoyed. Her bent and folded wings were ragged from being held compact for so long if not the rough handling.

Crawling up toward the door she'd press her mouth of ridged plant-eating mandibles against any cracks that formed. The heavy breathing against any fresh air would be something rather easy to hear.

Elsewhere, high and low soldiers both had gone looking for the transport long since out of contact. It would be some time before they found any traces of the now-hidden transport.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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The thing with the Aschen, is they never really liked current speed, and the ship was approaching the cordon fairly fast. Commander Finn checked his readouts, and then he watched the wide spectrum.

"Initiate short tactical jump, here..." He said pointing at the holographic display. The position, along with the calculated trajectory, would place the Stanchion within nearly a million kilometers of the approaching ship. Well within range of even the most poorly assembled scanning system.

The XO offered a nod, alarms began to blare, and lights dimmed for a moment as Commander Finn stood up.

"All hands, prepare for jump in three... two... one... jump!"

Now in direct course with the approaching vessel, the Stanchion winked into existence, the brief spatial distortion erupting in a spike of energies which quickly subsided.

Once the Aschen ship completed it's jump, it began to broadcast an automated hail.

"Attention unidentified vessel, you are approaching a secure zone of demarcation; by order of the Emperor, you are to disengage your engines and bring your vessel to a complete stop, secure your cargo and paper documentation, and prepare for inspection. Compliance is mandatory, and resistance will be met with force."

Watching the approaching beacon, which was now pinging loudly on DRADIS, the Commander waited for a reply.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Muttering a slew of curse words, Rei wedged a steel toed boot into the gap of the crate before driving a pry bar into the gap further up. "Take this job they say.. it'll pay well they say..." She muttered testily as the gap in the crate widened further. "I hate to interrupt you Mistress, but we are being hailed by another ship." Specter broke in, not caring about it's mistress's current plight or annoyance with it. "This far out? There hasn't been another ship for... weeks." Rei replied as she paused for a moment to catch her breath. This was not exactly the work out she had been thinking of when she had last considered going to the gym again.

While she considered all of this, silence consumed her, the crate, and the AI who for once wasn't running what passed for a mouth. Hearing heavy breathing coming from inside of the crate, she felt her stomach drop. She hadn't exactly signed up to transport other beings, especially when the paperwork hadn't detailed the contents of the crate; customs was going to be a bitch. "Play the message back Specter." Rei finally said as she made one last effort to open the crate.

"As you wish Mistress..." The AI acknowledged, "..Attention unidentified vessel, you are approaching a secure zone of demarcation..."
The entire recording replayed itself through Rei's earpiece before ending. "Shit.. this is not what I expected. Prepare for customs inspection and boarding... this may not go well." The woman said as she finally managed to open the crate wide enough to examine the contents; and they were not what she was expecting.

"Deceleration burn in 5...4...3...2...1.." Specter began the count down, as it's electronic voice echoed throughout the ship and it's cargo hold. "A deceleration burn will now commence. All personnel are advised to return to their quarters at once." The AI advised as the ship lurched sickeningly and the artificial gravity cut itself off. All power was now currently being diverted to the ship's engines to bring the massive craft to a complete stop.

Tracing the initial hail, Rei opened up a channel back to the other ship, "This is Ghost Dance, we have begun our deceleration program and intend to comply with orders."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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The lit crack quivered and shimmered little moths entering her vision as the hypoxia causes small ectoplasmic delusions as much as raw hallucination. Once Rei broke the seal and she could breathe again nothing happened in her mind but focusing on breathing for several seconds. Exhausted from effort her whole body hurt her telekinetic "hands" on the lower set were now entirely numb. Attempts to muster the thought of whether they were not there or just not moving didn't seem to fit together she still had the pointed insect 'legs' that served as secondary hands of her species. The conical ends flexed just after her fluffy pink elbow tuft. They were numb too but still worked. It took a moment of flexing before realizing that her cracked primary hands actually still worked. Mostly her sluggish mind tracked them down by the throbbing pain going through them from now-sealed cracks gained from beating the metal container.

Various endocrine glands kept her from passing out for now to kill the pain and keep the mind going forward. When her head slammed into the crate it made a very hard thunk and the endocrine glands threw her delirious mind into full panic mode. The hind-brain saw out and everything in her suddenly wanted into the light. Primary and secondary hands pressed at the loosening plate as her legs took an awkward position opposite. Though cramped with bad leverage in a body barely started breathing again her frame of hydraulics and muscle pressed until the endocrine glands had to make the pain go away. Wherever her collar bell speaker was, a simple RF transceiver to turn Gardener quietus into noise, if able to recieve made sharp and very loud noises mixed with incoherent screaming.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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"Commander, vessel is compliant with our hails." The Comms officer reported, while Commander Finn nodded.

"Launch the Condors once we've reached range."

An affirmative nod, followed, and the massive Aschen warship was carefully maneuvered alongside the Ghost Dance, at two kilometers in length, the Hastati class was built and bred for war; she had a slender profile, but some of the rugged and angular features of her larger Iconoclast cousins.

"Condors are away." One of the bridge officers reported.

Six Raptor Talon starfighters, and two Condor transports moved quickly, and quietly from one of the ventral hangar bays of the Stanchion, it was a few minutes before they were within docking range of the Ghost Dance. Once they were within range, the Captain of the boarding team sent a hail.

"Ghost Dance this is Boarding Party Alpha, requesting docking coordinates."

Aboard the Stanchion, Commander Finn was looking at the ship in relative bemusement, to him the strange vessel was junk, with primitive drives, and seemingly no visible weaponry. It was these kinds of ships that always yielded the best seizures, and yet it's captain was being oddly compliant, given the Aschen's reputation.

He dwelled on it momentarily, watching the Ghost Dance through a large holographic display.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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"What the hells name is that..." Rei sputtered before being knocked off her own feet by the ship lurching about during it's deceleration burn program. "SPECTER! What the hell did you let them load on my ship?!" The woman roared now certain that this latest entanglement with the Aschen was going to cause her untold headaches. They were likely looking for contraband, and Rei was beginning to think she had agreed to it, or at least hadn't paid close enough attention to getting updated maps.

"I simply confirmed an order that you signed off on Mistress. It's all there in the documents." The AI remarked blithely. "Show them to me before I reprogram you with an axe.." She growled demanding the AI actually do it's job; something many times it seemed loathe to do. "As you wish, Mistress... but I must insist that you get our newest crew member to sickbay before the Aschen transports reach us." Specter instructed showing Rei, who was currently looking at the busted crate with immense suspicion, a brief hologram of their approaching ships.

Sighing, Rei did know that the AI had a point and she was allowing herself to become distracted with whatever this emergency happened to be. "Bloody Alpha level sims.." She muttered under her breath as she tried to figure out how to best deal with the crate's former occupant. "Incoming hail, Mistress." Specter chirped in her ear, as she reached up to press the stud to accept it. Most of the human long haul captains had cybernetic neural webs implanted in their minds, but they had never taken for Rei; instead she was largely limited to external interfaces. "Fuck... Specter.. send them to the docking coordinates.. my hands are full." The woman ordered and the AI chirped in response.

"Boarding Party Alpha, docking coordinates have been transmitted. Please proceed."

"What the hell am I going to do with you?" Rei asked the creature as she knelt down to haul the other up. "Specter... get a servitor down here to dispatch that crate."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Upon immersion into clean air the panic stopped and a hard endocrine crash to the floor began as her oxygen level returned to something more resembling normal. The body called off harsh panic straight to unconsciousness. The strain had put a great deal of stress on her metabolism as fluorocarbons suffusing her bloodstream vented all their oxygen when they occasionally degraded into free fluoride. That desperate metabolic bid to drain underground environments of all remaining oxygen. All just to get it inside the body to be metabolized. Gardener organs could take the punishment and could recover but hypoxia set the noxiously caustic ion to light her body afire. Some of the veins and arteries already had chemical burns on the inside. As did much one of her lung sacs where a strained diaphragm seized. Once free fluoride levels in her blood dropped her psychic profile would reemerge with neurons slowly leaving a chemically resistant state. That state currently pushed a faint EM whine from her frilly antennae the hindbrain so convinced from cardiopulmonary systems that Sprinkles is buried alive. An adaptation from long years the bloodbath era gave them cause to fight wars underground.

That chemical resistant state made her a limp weight barely moving and breathing as Rei carried her. While shorter than Rei sprinkles was certainly denser if not for the zero gravity. Pink and orange fur rustled as Rei jostled Sprinkles as if it were wiry but the thick strands individually felt smooth to touch. The fur even went down to her wrists in a thick tuft though stiff strands of hair at the joints were thick enough in the sublayer to make it harder to press against the weaker joint while leaving it flexible. Grasping the upper hands more shows her hard chitinous underlayer beneath fuzzy of limp hairs. The lower set of limbs one would rapidly find more a pointed leg covered in a similar fine coating of more instinctive hairs. The lower arm pair's skin coated in that grippy articulated scopulae much like the fuzz-covered soles of her feet. In her weak state they'd let go if the grip surface was strained but instinct still won the day at first. The ones on her upper hands were as unconscious as she was.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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The Alpha Team Commander went over the coordinates for the briefest of moments, and then he nodded towards the pilot. "Bring us in."

The Condor VTOL followed the coordinates carefully, maneuvering into the designated landing bay. Unlike the previous Raptor, the Condor was much larger.

This translated into more capacity, and the men weren't quite so cramped.

This team was comprised of six marines, two inspection officers, and the team commander. Each of the nine-man squad were outfitted in the new CUIRASSE all-purpose combat suit.

This particular apparatus consisted of a complete, hermetically sealed G-suit, lined with aramid fibers and kanvium plating to provide ample ballistics and energy weapons protection. Additionally, a powered exoskeleton allowed the wearer to enjoy increased strength, and speed.

The suits bore the emblem of the Aschen Empire on the right pauldron, and the insignia of their fleet on the left, clearly identifying them as soldiers of the Empire. If their uniforms weren't clear, the weapons they carried, the Type 03 disruptor PDW were just as unique, considering how tightly the Empire controlled the weapons.

The sealed nature of the suit meant the men would be protected from possible alien pathogens, along with an integrated Psychic isolater, their minds were protected from psionic intrusion.

The Condor's engines screamed within the landing bay, before magnetized landing gear extended and clamped firmly to the floor. At this moment the men checked their weapons one last time, conversed among eachother and prepared to disembark to conduct their inspection; tensions were high as they didn't know what to expect. Many were eager to put down another unruly ship captain, and then seize and sell the wares. State sanction piracy was what one of the Marine Sergeants described it as, and considering the Aschen's reputation, it was little more than state sanctioned piracy, as the local team commanders enjoyed wide latitude to interpret what they determined was contraband, facilitating a seizure of the ship.

An audible hiss followed the unsealing of the main hatch, the pressures equalized and the hatch opened up completely.

Each team member grabbed their weapon, the compact bullpup designed Type 03 Personal Defense Weapon, scanning equipment, and anything else they might need should a situation come up. Once the men readied their weapons, they threw the latch to open the back door, so they could form out and disembark one by one.

Forming up in a loose staggered phalanx, they first took in the sights around them, while the Commander checked his tactical readout, and moved to the front of the formation.

"On me, check everything, manifests, verify crates, I want a seizure boys, not a walk in the park!" He huffed, as he slowly started to make his way, away from the Condor. "Gibson, you're on point; I suspect the ship's captain should be down here to greet us soon, if not I suppose we'll have to go to plan B."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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As the AI dispatched of the crate as instructed, it quickly shunted the item and it's mildly combustible materials through the ship's drive as the deceleration burn ended. It would only register as the last gasp of a old ship's propulsion drives as they sputtered and shut down as per earlier demands. Meanwhile Rei struggled to find a place to deposit the creature that had come out of the crate. She wasn't really sure how above board it was to have such a thing, and it likely seemed that it wasn't going to be listed on the manifest. While she had agreed to take the shipment from the company in question, she couldn't remember that crate ever being in the order.

"Ugh... where the hell am I going to put you?" Rei muttered as she dragged the other out of the primary cargo bay. Thinking quickly, she dumped the other into a now disused crew room. Locking the door, and this new guest in the room, Rei made a mad dash for the cargo hold the Aschen customs team was likely digging through with little regard for what would happen after they left.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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The RF whine ceased abruptly midway to the crew quarters as her blood oxygen raised above safe levels. That didn't do much for her internal chemical burns but organs and brain stabilized enough to keep her from getting much worse. While Rei ran through the hallways Sprinkles awoke with a start bending up without any noise. Her whole body throbbed pins and needles from deprivation burn. She didn't have the good luck for the small dark box to be a dream.

The maroon eye sacs pulled back revealing two orange eyes flexing a pinhole wide to cover the dark. Shiny speckles from regions of reflectance helped put together the dark disused room she was in. It didn't look like a cell but a large old storage area. Where was she? Not a gardener transport since they had tables on the ceilings too. No saddle chairs either only the non-biped races like hers even bothered to make them.

Sprinkles used the wall to stand but something told her she didn't want to be in the room when whoever it was that put her in a box came back. Her wings hurt from the cramped conditions they were just in but they still flexed okay. As they fold in they furled as two long fluffy pink cloaks. So recently out of torpor with immediate panicked effort the mesotherm's body hurt and her heat signature was chaotic. It slowly cooled to roughly room temperature as her sore muscles cooled down. All four hands wrapped her torso as Sprinkles looked for a service panel. Every ship had them hallways were so space expensive.

There had to be somewhere not obvious she could hide to recover. Her former pirate transport, wherever Grace now was, had a lot of them to connect smuggling compartments. A basic mechanic by necessity for Grace, her one-person cargo ship, if there was a panel she could get her quivering cracked fingers into she could likely figure out how to open them. Quite agile with her limbs pulling compartment panels closed with her sticky feet wasn't too hard.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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By the time Rei had reached the cargo hold, the inspection teams had already managed to dismantle a great deal of the crates within, going through and checking against manifests, as well as checking for contraband, when Rei finally arrived, she was greeted by the Sergeant who, in his powered suit was a good foot taller.

"This is a cordon inspection, I'll need the ship's registration, your identity documentation, and the manifest for all cargo." He said, his voice reverberating through the hermetically sealed faceplate.

"As well as a listing of all passengers onboard." He added.

"I'll also need detailed schematics, so my team can conduct their inspection."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Rei groaned inwardly as she looked at the Sergeant in his power armor. 'Great... so they're giving these guys armor now? Sounds more like a tin can.' She thought to herself with little amusement. The Aschen were generally to be avoided at all costs, especially ones like these. "Of course.. I had not been made aware of a cordon. It is my mistake." Rei replied trying to shove aside her annoyance and impatience just long enough to be rid of these men.

The documentation was no problem to produce, but she'd really rather not give them a manifest, or anything else; forgeries or not.

"There are no other passengers, sir. The ship is largely automated... I have had crew in past times, but most do not have the taste for long hours and hard work." She explained carefully while she handed the man the requested items. Rei was obviously unused to speaking the galactic common that she had been addressed in, and didn't seem terribly happy about having to use it either.


She just hoped she could stall for time, and have the AI with it's fleet of servitors dispatch of her stow away, or else she could just claim ignorance; after all the crate had been disposed of.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Sprinkles took a moment to breathe after finding there wasn't a channel out of the room. It didn't do her any good to panic and she was getting out of breath very quickly. Some of her chest felt numb she worried the box damaged her organs but didn't hurt too badly. The urge to hide somewhere dark was passing at least and there wasn't an immediate threat. Sprinkles sat down at a table to breathe but there was a harsh squelch from the seized lung whenever she did.

Quieting her mind sprinkles meditated of the first self as matriarchs Thothess taught her. The memory her body carried the said how it should be to instruct the body on how to respond to injuries. Instead as she mustered the power it swallowed her focus her veins throbbing with pain. Too much of her blood had broken down. She needed a calcium chloride shot to settle her flouride level but where would she get it on some other stranger's ship?

Waving her four hands Sprinkles tried the obvious first talking at anyone watching in basic text transmissions over low em bands. Low em bands didn't pass walls well and were better for interaction without overtaking each other. She knew galactic common in text to fill out forms and such for docking but couldn't speak it yet. Her ship had receivers in every room for devices and herself so perhaps this ship had systems to watch as well?

((Sprinkles to anyone! Hello! Does anyone receive me? I need a shot of Florinert! I am unwell! What happened?!))

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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The lead officer grunted and then gestured over to his assistant, passing him the paperwork.

"Then our inspection should be brief, and without incident." He said, gesturing for Rei to lead the way.

Bringing out sophisticated scanning equipment, the squad were ready to follow their leader.

"You, find main engineering and interface with the ship's computer." He said to one of the adjacent technicians. The technician nodded and pulled out a small datapad, which barely picked up the scant FM Spikes, which was attributed to background noise.

While the team was preparing for their inspection, the Stanchion was performing scans of it's own, deep penetrating thermal and EMF Scans while the crew was conducting their inspection.

"I've got something on thermals, Alpha team, could be background noise, could be a life-form; I'm sending you the coordinates now."

Pausing, the Team Leader turned to Rei. "No Other passengers? Very well, I've been instructed to inspect for anomalous readings in this room, can you take me there?" He said, holding up the datapad, where Sprinkle's barely registered thermal signature was pinging.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Rei groaned inwardly, this was not what she wanted to be dealing with. She wanted the Aschen off her ship as soon as possible; especially with as nosey as they were being. Thankfully, Ghost Dance wasn't always willing to divulge it's secrets easily and generally would make those who wanted them pay dearly.

"Good luck with the computer. It is slightly temperamental." Rei said with a derisive snort as her attention was brought to the datapad the man was waving around. Scowling, she resisted the urge to snatch the thing out of the man's hands, muttering something under her breath. "Nyet. No other passengers. I will take you there and I will show you." She said bluntly as she motioned for the man in the hulking suit of armor to follow her down the narrow, winding passageways of the ship.

How Harkov who was fairly tall herself made it through such narrow confines was difficult to explain, "Watch head." She commented pointing to a low hanging bulkhead close to the crew quarters.

Either the thing had hid itself well, or else she'd let the Aschen deal with it.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Most Matriarchs were precognitives and though some explicitly so, others implicit ones, Sprinkles was the weakest with little but a gut she had to trust without always understanding its metaphor. Right now it told her the oppressors were coming for her with fire in their eyes. Her power was a shaper that built ephemeral things out of the dream. Though fully real for a short time slowly its whole reality faded away into nothing like dreams do. It had to work to her advantage but they did not come until she talked how did they know where she was?

Sprinkles looked at her hands and felt the throbbing burn in her veins. Her whole body was inflamed! She had to hide in a place hard to see her and the EM rumblings of a compressor brought her attention to a cold box. High soldiers? The deepest living high soldiers could see heat sometimes. She had to give a heated quarry and cover her tracks. Sprinkles knew she didn't have much time and couldn't pick a complex organism. There were a lot of space vermin she could choose and picked a particularly large bulbous centipede tendrils of ectoplasm weaving from her hands as she shaped the dream into reality like some living cocoon. It wasn't the best but this centipede ate insulation and wasn't an elegant creature to start with. Shimmering thread rocketing out her four hands hurriedly shaped into the thoughtform she had in mind as she finished some stubby antennae it flushed the creature's steel-grey mottled coating with melted-looking flesh. She couldn't make a living dream so this one was dead. She touched it with a finger the warm flesh deflecting inward as she felt the heart stop under this mockery of flesh. It wouldn't be stable for very long.

While she didn't find a corridor in her earlier search she did find an access panel for the kitchen equipment. That was her next stop. She might not be familiar with the ship's systems but it was easier to make problems than fix them. A thin weaving of false cross wires and cycle chips pushed heater and power circuits toward regular but randomly fatal interactions. She didn't know if it would propagate upward into other systems but ectoplasmic chips and wires would definitely cause failures as they unraveled unpredictably a few minutes from now. Her hands didn't have oil like humans did so she didn't bother to worry about handprints or other such things.

Sprinkles stumbled toward the ice box having exhausted her pool of power to well below low tide. She had one more thing to do before she passed out. The ice box hadn't been used in ages and random failures were already causing the lights to blink in the area as phase problems started to cause backflow behind circuits where it should not be. The ice box was a simple creature operating on basic electronics. It was robust and ignorant. Opening the lid she turned away at the sight of long-forgotten rotten flesh of some animal or another. The power must have failed before. She slid in under the door holding the top open enough for light behind the frozen infested meat holding it upward to string a struggling frayed web between the walls that stretched taut. She bent her legs and wings painfully to cram herself as flat as she could. The false floor was warped and looked as if the paint was peeled from her deep exhaustion but it slowly took shape with the meat deposited on top.

Her body slowly went into torpor while the chest freezer drained heat away as the last corner of the false floor turned to white enamel. She hoped it would fail eventually so she'd wake up again before halfway asphyxiating twice. Hibernation released her telekinesis releasing the top with a soft 'thup' of magnet strip.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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The Technician interfacing with the computer scowled through his visor, and continued to tap at the keys.

"You better pray to whatever gods you have your computer cooperates, or we'll seize the ship." The power armored technician threatened, while trying to go through cargo logs, star charts, and navigation records.

Despite being in somewhat bulky power armor, the men followed Rei fairly well, snaking their way through the tight corridors, and ducking through low hanging bulkheads, one of the men behind the team leader complained, grumbling in Anquietas about how the person who designed this ship should have been shot.

The Aschen were used to wide corridors and large rooms in their ships, large well lit corridors where one could move freely. The tight, dark, cramped corridors of this ship were proving to be an annoyance, along with the fact that it seemed there was nothing of value here.

Once they reached the room, the Team Leader readied his disruptor rifle, an audible whine coming from the weapon as it powered up.

The bright light mounted on the sights illuminated the room fairly well, the remains of some kind of creature that seemed to have recently died, boxes, and a cooler chest that was situated near the rear of the room.

"The ship had something on thermals, I'm not picking anything up." The man said, switching his HUD to a thermal overlay.

They started to open cabinets, boxes, access panels, rummaging indiscriminately through whatever they could get their hands on. One even opened the cooler chest, prodding at the meat and grunting in disgust. The hermetically sealed suit spared the smell, and a couple glances followed before he closed the ice box, moving on to the next piece of storage.

"It's clean." One of the inspection teams reported. "Cruiser's got nothing."

The Team Leader turned back to Rei and scowled. "Where is your point of origin, and where is your destination." The large man demanded.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Rei snorted in amusement as she listened to the technician complaining about the computer. She supposed she could instruct the AI to stop playing the the techs, even though it was entertaining, and technically the Aschen had it coming to them eventually. 'Do your stuff buddy.' Rei instructed the AI sub vocally, through a small pickup embedded into the ear piece she wore. There was no need to draw additional attention to herself, but a few more games with the men might worth it.

On Rei's instruction, the AI released a flood of data to the technician; all of it random, meaningless, and hardly useful. But, it would show at least some cooperation to the team, not that Rei particularly cared about cooperation. Really, she just wanted them off her ship and off to annoy some other poor soul. "Origin point is Heifong 1, destination is Terra." The woman explained boredly, all that same stuff was present on the documentation she'd just given them.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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Sprinkles was deep in torpor as the creature began to degrade when they left. As some ice cream left in the hot sun the poorly woven sculpture of a creature began to degrade not some five minutes later. As did, however, the electronics she'd installed in the small patch panel on one wall. The electronics causing runaway oscillations that were easy to balance started to crosslink wires as they also melted.

A rapid cyclic short circuiting later a fuse box helpfully blew with a loud spark killing power inside the room. The fuse in the chest appliance blew once again, the first time creating the piece of rotten meat, so inside the Gardener slowly warmed back up again though Sprinkles was still well-insulated. Deep in torpor she couldn't do anything about the meat that slowly sank through a degrading floor. Nearly burnt out when she crafted the false floor it hadn't much resembling a stable dream in it.

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Character Portrait: Rei Harkov Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Sprinkles Thothess

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"No it's not, Terra is off limits, subject to a trade embargo imposed by the Empire." The large soldier said, his voice reverberating through a speaker in his suit.

"Ships that attempt to breach the cordon are subject to seizure, with the crew facing hefty fines and imprisonment." The man added, shouldering his disruptor rifle.

"We'd be willing to look the other way... for the right price, of course." The man explained, gesturing for his men to continue working, conducting deep scans.

The technician growled slightly at the AI sending in random data, and the thought briefly crossed his mind to upload an intruder program and purge the entire system, but he decided against it, opting to disconnect the computron and look to the team leader.

"Clear."