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Yreia Korou

An almost lackadaisical facade of half-lidded disinterest thinly veils ice cold determination, razor intellect, and dry humor.

0 · 223 views · located in Aston Helix Centre

a character in “The Multiverse”, originally authored by Andreis, as played by DevilishFae

Groups

Massive Research corporaion specializing in Arms Deals, Medicine Education and New Technology.

Description

Introduction

Standing at 5'8" and a simple uniform, Yreia Korou manages to seem too lackadaisical to hold the position of Director on board the Helix Orbital Station high above Cortex. While she could have never imagined her military career would lead her to administrative duties full of paperwork, she has still managed to put her combat training to some use in how calm she appears. She almost never yells and any strain in her body seems to appear in a small twitch of her finger. Her hands are often held behind her back in an at-ease position. Still, she is dedicated to the efficiency and response time of her station. She plans to die on that damnable thing and be proud to have it happen.

History

[WIP]

So begins...

Yreia Korou's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou

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#, as written by Andreis
Helix Orbital Station: Command Center
Director Korou

The station had been calm for weeks now, if one could call stacks of paperwork and bustling trade calm, of course, and Yreia Korou had almost gotten used to it. Today, though; today she had woken up with an itching feeling in the back of her mind that she was about to be given a very rude awakening. The door to the command center clicked dully as the heavy composite thing swung outward on a great big hinge. She nodded and her dark honey eyes flashed gratitude to the soldier manning the door. Before she had even finished stepping into the neocortex of Helix's arc of technological advancement, it was clear that everyone was tense.

"Report." She said calmly as she walked up to the observation window at the far end of the of the dim, computer-packed room. From there she could see everything. High in geostationary orbit, she was afforded a breathtaking view of Cortex, the entire ring of the absolutely gargantuan station, the shipyards and docks extended from it, and the stars beyond. She smiled slightly.

"Sensor network readings have picked up several spatial distortion building at 90 degrees incline." A technician reported, standing up and handing her a data-pad.

"And that is significant..." she responded with the intonation of a question but paused as she took the pad, looking it over. She skimmed the mess of details until she saw what was important: the single line that detailed the size of the second spatial distortion. Her tone of voice changed to one of understanding as she handed the device back to him. "... Ohkay that is significant." Without turning or even moving she raised the tenor of her voice and calmly commanded the room.

"Comms: Set CDF and Customs to Alert-Standby-One: We might need them to enact security on the station if this is some unknown phenomena; Systems: Station-wide Yellow Alert and set banks 2 and 3 to charge: get the docks retracted, lock everything up and get ready to enact countermeasures."

She took a deep, steady breath.

"As far as anyone is concerned, this is a routine-" She was interrupted by the technician again. "A small vessel has appeared out of the proximal distortion." Then comms piped up "Incoming Transmission" and silence befell the dimly lit space. The comms technician played the distress call after a moment. Director Korou turned around finally and inclined her head.

"Give them approach clearance and ready a CDF Relief Vesse-" She was interrupted again. Her finger twitched behind her back.

"A large vessel has come out of the second distortion. High energy readings detected off the bow." The sensor technician reported as the distress message played again. The vessels were 150 megametrs off at least, giving the station due space and timeto respond if any kind of assault. But, even so, Director Korou's heart leaped in her chest. She spun around in time to see lances of coruscating emerald converge on a single point in space. "First vessel has been destroyed" the sensors reported.

Yreia Korou watched with half-lidded interest.

"Code Red, Ready Welcome Wagon, Ready Shields - Standby." She commanded with ice in her tone and the crew set about their business with draconian efficiency. She whirled around, coat swishing slightly and marched over to her chair at the center of the space to sit gracefully. She crossed one leg over the other and dawned a headset.

"Comms: get ready to beam a transmission to the vessel."

Her eyes took on a steely edge and silence befell the room for several minutes as the 1500 meter vessel moved inside the 100 megametre mark 90 degrees incline to the station. Visuals were now projected on the dimmed glass and she saw the phoenix emblazoned shield clearly in the sun's light and the call title IAN Ice Queen. She smirked at the irony in the name but it was a marker she would commit to memory.

"Transmit now"
She paused and the comms officer nodded. Her voice was calm, commanding, and alto.

"IAN Ice Queen, you have entered Helix Corporation controlled space and discharged
weapons. Please state your purpose."


The station's control arms and docking clamps were all retracted and the bays were buttoned up. The station was nearly sealed to standard Yellow alert fashion. By now, the information was likely reaching the board of directors on Cortex and an emergency meeting being called. Today just got interesting.

(Jackson tagged because he was alerted. Not here.)

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou

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Amelia watched the displays with half-hearted interest, while using her free hand to key in command sequences to the ship's AI.

Her command staff were not so half-hearted. They were watching the station's response with keen interest, gauging data readouts, power spikes, weapons status and shield density, whoever this construct was, did not appear to take kindly to the Aschen's dispensation of justice.

Amelia was drumming her fingertips on the console, when she called out to her XO. "When is Astrometrics going to get back to me with that stellar pattern? We can't sit here forever." She growled.

"Nothing on stellars." The Navigations officer replied. "Astrometrics told me they need at least a millicenton before they can triangulate our position, and plot a jump back to the Empire. It looks like we've jumped way beyond the red line."

Amelia kept growling, before she slowly rose to her feet, and moved towards the large holographic display of the planet and the surrounding station.

"How do you want to play this, Commander?" The XO, Colonel Harland asked.

"Haymaker salvo, delta pattern." She said, keying up the display. "Tricobalt and Thalaron warheads in optimum spread, the spatial distortions will distract them while the thalaron cleanses the lifesigns. Get a flight of condors and raptor talons to recover that transport wreckage, and notify me as soon as we're ready for jump!" Amelia ordered, and on cue, without even a moment's respite, the comms officer called out.

"Incoming transmission!"

Scoffing, Amelia replied. "Put it on the speakers."

"IAN Ice Queen, you have entered Helix Corporation controlled space and discharged weapons. Please state your purpose."

Growling to herself, she picked up the receiver and took a breath, so these aliens could read Aschen IFF. A slightly amusing prospect to the Commander. '

Licking her lips, she spoke. "Helix Corporation... uhh... I'm not at liberty to divulge that sort of information to Xenos, you understand. We're maintaining a strict AO, and any attempts to approach this vessel will be construed as an act of aggression and we would be forced to defend ourselves with every terrible weapon in our arsenal; we'll be out of your hair soon enough."

Clicking the communicator, she turned to her XO. "Maintain action stations, get the Alert fighters in the black, now!"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou

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#, as written by Andreis
Helix Orbital Station: Command Center
Director Korou

The response swift and clarion but Yreia Korou found herself imagining that the vessel's respondant was a flippant teenager.

"Helix Corporation... uhh... I'm not at liberty to divulge that sort of information to Xenos, you understand. We're maintaining a strict AO, and any attempts to approach this vessel will be construed as an act of aggression and we would be forced to defend ourselves with every terrible weapon in our arsenal; we'll be out of your hair soon enough."

The communication cut off and the only the background hum of power in conduits reign in it's absence. Director Korou stared at the screen and the vessel's markings. There was a pregnant silence as the woman pondered and brooded over the current situation. It was not as though Helix could allow it to be known that this... IAN vessel... just waltzed in and did as they pleased but it was also not as though the company could afford to declare war from a single misunderstanding, either. These were the decisions laid on Yreia's shoulders.

"Sensors, gather every shred of data you can on the vessel and send it to me and the board." She finally said as she stood in a slow, languid motion. "Systems, charge the remaining capacitor banks and set defensive grid to Stage 2." Then, she clicked the button on her headset once more and said, with what could be construed as either sarcasm or professionalism, "Acknowledged, Ice Queen. Helix understands discretion in the line of duty. That being said, you are trespassing. Who do you represent?" She doubted that would get an answer either but it had been Director Korou's experience that no one acted so brashly unless they felt they were incredibly entitled or powerful. The vessel before them was neither of these, if still impressive, and if she had to guess they were backed by another corporation, a wealthy mercenary company, or a stellar nation.

Risks were not in Yreia's character or job description, but she had to get answers. As she spoke, the station went into full lock-down and field emitters across the docking sections and command section amplified their output slightly: Enough to thwart direct energy or kinetic weapons. The sensors and communication towers remained on low shielding for the moment, however. Behind the shields, hundreds of AMS nodes waited in their silent vigil, ready to take down any incoming threats.

The setting changes from helix-orbital-station to Aston Helix Centre

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander

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Jackson had expected as much, Mason was efficient and subtle, everything he needed to be. He took Mason's outstretched hand firmly, a grip that promised of a time coming where they would indeed talk again, and then he turned and walked towards the door.

-----
The room was expansive, a large space filled primarily by a long wooden table that had the Helix symbol carved meticulously into its center. Around the table were high backed leather chairs each with its right arm supporting a High-tech control panel, that the user could use to search through archives, files and communicate across the Helix network without fear of breaches in security.

Commanders from every division, adorned in their various professional garments, filled the seats surrounding the table whispering conversations of plans, possible outcomes and protocol and using their Helix consoles to perform communications and intelligence tasks. Jackson entered, and the room quietened instantly. All heads rose from their current objectives and looked expectantly in his direction. Some were concerned, some confused and some sat waiting for their turn to speak. Jackson's face was calm and his posture professional, giving no signs that could be taken any way other than the fact he was in control of the situation, and he took his place at the head of the table.

"Whats the situation?"

"Sir..." one of the men dressed in a military uniform piped up, with a furrowed brow, "Commander Korou, of the orbital station has initiated a code red. It appears an unknown vessel..." he pulled up a hologram on the table before him showing the ship "has used combative force within our jurisdiction. According to the intel, it appears that this ship was giving chase to a smaller ship heading towards us. Scans confirm it to be a merchant vessel."

"And what about the vessel, do we know anything about their intentions, who they are, or what we are dealing with?" Jackson asked clearly trying to piece together the events in his head.

A woman in a simple uniform spoke, a small pin on her chest showed she was from the Research Division.

"Sir we have looked over the events, we can confirm that the weapons used were of the energy variety, the damage they could cause whilst severe in their effects on the smaller ship, would have little effect on the defense systems in place around the station and Cortex. As for the vehicle, it appears to be a patrol vessel around 1500 meters long, we would approximate it's use being for simple scouting operations, While we don't know the technology, it is probable it is not designed for full combat situations." She seemed calmer than most with this knowledge. "Whilst we don't know who they are the vehicle is known as the IAN Ice Queen, and is emblazoned with a phoenix shield."


Jackson thought for a moment, they had just stumbled upon what was likely to be another faction within the galaxy, the thought while at face value seemed severe, in the bigger picture seemed fortuitous.

"Replay any communications we've had with them. I'd like to hear what kind of people they are."

Another man pressed a button on his device filling the room with the transmission Yreia Korou had sent them.

"Helix Corporation... uhh... I'm not at liberty to divulge that sort of information to Xenos, you understand. We're maintaining a strict AO, and any attempts to approach this vessel will be construed as an act of aggression and we would be forced to defend ourselves with every terrible weapon in our arsenal; we'll be out of your hair soon enough."

'It would have been too easy if they were to comply' Jackson mused to himself before speaking.

"So we have a number of casualties a figure which is unknown to us, who were heading to the station, we can assume, in search of asylum from their pursuers. We have no information as to why they were being pursued." Jackson stood up to walk around the table, to begin pacing out his thoughts.

"We have a captain who appears to have no knowledge of Helix or Cortex, and has taken a stance where any justice sought on this vessel would end in a firefight. It was a bold move, either they have excessive backing, or they were desperate to ensure that the smaller vessel didn't reach us. We have no way of confirming the Captain's story even if we did ask for it. What then are our options?" By now he had made a complete orbit of the table and he turned behind his chair to the table in search for opinions.

"We could offer a diplomatic talk with the captain directly to establish trust, and use the discussion as a means for finding out more about these people" One voice suggested from the end of the table.

A more muscular man, who was clearly agitated by the suggestion sounded from Jackson's left. " ...and let murder go unpunished? Justice... needs... to be served, the AMS nodes are on standby, Let's just end this problem the same way they started it."

Jackson shook his head "No commander, this is how wars begin, we know nothing about these people and i won't have a needless bloodbath stopping our expansion." He turned to face the woman who fielded the report on the vessel. "Who would you recommend to look over your report? We need to know specifics."

The woman looked down at her report whilst thinking about her contacts. "A report from Doctor Hyde Oriander could be useful from the technical division, and i can run it by Dr Errin to see if he can make any observations, his insight has proven useful before."

"Good, send them the files containing details of the ship, and the capabilities we have witnessed." He turned to the technician's looking a little overwhelmed , "Get me Commander Korou, Dr Errin and Dr Oriander from the Technical Division on a secure feed."

Jackson waited for approximately ten seconds while the multiple feeds were patched through simultaneously and secured through various encryption methods by one of the technicians preventing any interceptions.

"Commander Korou, i appreciate your quick decisions in regards to the situation, your abilities haven't gone unnoticed" he began in a friendly and respectful tone. "I understand our defenses are up, and that the AMS nodes are prepared if the situation escalates. The board and i have been discussing various scenario's and i was hoping to get your input, as you were in direct contact. We played the recording and the captain seems to have no regard for the consequences of her actions. We of course have to consider the fact that this ship could have been full of innocent people, and therefore justice needs to be served. At the same time we have no information on who this vessel represents, their combative capabilities and feel as though brash action could lead to uncertain consequences. Where do you stand in the matter Commander Korou and is there anything else you can tell us?"

He gave the commander time to think and then addressed both Dr Errin and Dr Oriander. "Good Afternoon, , i'm sorry to keep you both from your work. We have patched through files containing a vessel that we are currently dealing with, the board and i were hoping you could elaborate on, or at least approximate the capabilities of the ship in question, and it's comparison to our own technology? More specifically, are we well suited to deal with what we know about this technology?"

He turned back to the table, raised a thoughtful finger to his lips. "Justice is important, however we could learn lot from this encounter if we consider effective timing."

Jackson wanted to be aware of the bigger picture, it was likely he would have to talk to the Captain himself, but for now he needed all the information he could get, justice was indeed important, but the timing for such an event couldn't be worse.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander
  1. Modified to improve readability

    by lil_kreen

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Hyde might not be in the intelligence arm but he damn well had idea when something was going wrong. One of Jackson's people came calling on priority. With these particular sorts running control points it meant a capital p Problem. An anomalous reading or an active ship?

Field testing was still something you had to fight for. One had to be in the right place at the right time. Which is why if you were smart you kept your overview dossier already in your pocket. Used when a good situation came up and not placed before. Work it into options when it can be relevant. So when the alarms went off you had a gun handy to stuff in an armory. Trying to get field testing without a field to put something in was an uphill climb. As the tech connected everyone to the meeting Hyde went to work. Pre-cooked a secure transfer set up so he could feed the report across at the click of a button. This particular report and very classified project was a grenade in Hyde's pocket. In the sense of how hot as it was developing.

As he listened to the conversation Hyde looked over the data one hand tapping his chin. His glasses pop up sensor data in the background. Even raw data is useful sometimes with statistical assumptions changed. Different assumptions often teased out fringe data. Many useful statistical anomalies looked a lot like noise at the edges so often parsed out. After seeing energetic green of the firing weapons he flagged down a researcher. Profiles presented to the researcher by a nearby panel for him to work over. Hyde meanwhile looked over the weapons feed and didn't see anything he liked. That was no slug thrower nor a simple plasma weapon. Evidence of envelope spiraling along its firing plane added complexity. Some sort of destination package contained by the wave front. Impact more decomposed the ship when payload struck rather than blowing metal apart. Mass driver strikes made plasma as metal turned to vapor. It then then energized wildly by temperature. Instead, most of this explosion was the envelope heating up the top layer. Projected momentum pounded the tail inward as the payload shot holes through.

Hyde waited for a clear moment to comment, "This weapon isn't a simple one. It demonstrates a deep understanding of projected energy mechanics. What you're seeing is a plasma weapon as a secondary strike on a primary payload. After the payload hits it fatigues everything it hits from the particules used. The plasma channel I would presume is a weakening hit to internals. It also doubles as an anti-personnel weapon."

He adjusted his seat to nod sideways. Hyde then translated his fellow's assessment, "I'm getting particular patterns of hot points. Normal sensor operation filters the raw sensor data for cosmic rays. My fellow isn't wrong suspecting quantum particle strikes. They trip sensors and don't match with a increase of total background noise. That makes radiation strike unlikely since the level of background noise didn't rise. At that distance the energy involved at the impact point is considerable. I would postulate that this weapon scatterbombed with subatomic particles in the payload. Destroying everything behind it with resulting high energy particles. As they passed they break crystalline structures fatiguing whatever metal remained. Arriving high-velocity plasma then strains through the fatigue holes. A secondary wave of fragmentary steel would tear away in the plasma. I would consider the weapon used rather over-focused on human casualties. Especially for what's purported to be a patrol vessel."

Meanwhile an orthogonal exterior schematic produces from ship architecture programs. They took in the sensor data merging the result into the data stream. Hyde indicated it, "This ship is a design one would use with a very strong state that has a deep logistics arm. The design takes pains to not bring attention to any obvious reserves. This behavior is consistent with shielded refuel designs suitable more for military craft. A patrol ship with these hatch wells would tend toward thick armor the seamless ones more so due to design. Not to mention the energy shift we saw in its shield. Military-class morphic shield structures are capable of redirecting shields around at high ratios. While this may indeed be a patrol vessel it's one belonging to a war state. One designing patrols to operate in enemy territory with little expense spared. Thus it's reasonable to presume resistance to more detail about internals or material. Such efforts may come under fire by a ECM package which would fit that ship complexity. Passive and active sensor systems on the station were in partial disagreement. Even after accounting for the shielding there is either cloaking or unknown materials."

He pressed the button to send the report on the Corpse Flower project. The technicians receive classified document seals on it of Hyde's department. In the event non-classified were present hyde had to describe generally.

His words are a careful measure, "Future research may be useful against that sort of weapon. We do have a partly autonomous fighter and drones of a nature more resistant to energy weapons. Their potentials are not yet explored to completeness. It still needs field testing. One that does not involve throwing prototypes at someone's battle-tested war machine."

~~~


The project met design goals they set for themselves and plenty. Still the project's star is close to running away with the poor bastards if one read close. Sygildrists desperate to shape its TEI structure leaves of an active ship on the fly. If they hadn't figured out how to get the thing to turn back into plates they might have had severe setbacks. Suspending the ship compressed it to a base inert form of glass plates. Folding rates decreased on reachable surfaces easy to edit. Otherwise it was hard to read TEI on active folding fractal interiors.

The side effect was now the TEI patterns in the larger cousin were moving on their own. Even on the plates themselves when 'suspended'. The drone-class duplicates hadn't that particular habit and disabled to inert hardware. They'd not yet discovered the impetus for the change in scale and complexity of the larger. Even the Vox glass now pull TEI leads across the surface at logged intervals. They found the fold rates based on impulse conduit length and system scale. Though folding the corpse flower pattern at longer periods as sleepy pile of glass plate.

Further capability report detailed the speeds of their fighter design. Theoretical max speeds equal that of light fighters even in its medium fighter class. Though they expected it still had a medium ship's momentum. The weapons note testing with small TEI structures on a 'Quantum anchored interface'. A square of rich mineral paper they drew TEI 'seed' frameworks on to describe interfaces. They then grew by inserting between plates while the ship suspends. They were confident they could get a large weapons output but lacked a field to test them on. Despite the development close to running away he kept overexcited eggheads to earth. Sane research guidance with mundane and progressive testing. Instead of random firing at test targets inside their hangar. Especially not with the first thing they could write down that worked with the interface.

Armor described as regenerative TEI conduit folding and material transmutation. It contained bare logs of not much than hand tool strikes and one very heavy impact. He sure as hell didn't let them shoot at the prototype. At least until they figured out how to make the seven smaller inert drones grow comparable to the first. He detailed their requirements to grow the drones as big as their sibling first. The report noted that Hyde convinced a superior to punish such over-excited scientist. The man tasked with fringe-hardening the TEI patterns doing quite well. Caught with a 300 kilowatt industrial drill whining up much to Hyde's terror. Given explanation was 'because the corpse flower can take it!' The problem demonstrated frame folds changed everything tampering with test results. While Hyde made sure to note that the reasoning was in part justified. The impromptu testing method was still not an approved method. A vacation recommended for the man to put his head back together. Hyde figured Jackson would read between the lines on that one.

There were some physical data as well as recordings presented as well. The Corpse Flower details there as the larger prototype referred to by the project. It hovers above the floor of the hangar when engaged with stable dimensions. Hyde noted that every now and again the ship would pivot to point at a scientist. Divination patterns at the center bow sensor passed 4 TEI folds per second when that happens. Problems remained of a sharp fighter-sized object rotating about with discussion of options. Later a frustrated scientist arrested it with a cinder block tethered by paracord. He'd used one stamped with the helix logo placed on the floor. It worked quite well much to the surprise of the scientists. The brick never moved from spots they left it. The ship still pivoted as far as its thin leash allowed never far enough to drag the block.

Development on the plate movement also suggested intelligence. Testing that was underway as soon as the cinder block incident. They estimated it instinctive at best. A short video terminated the testing of a researcher moving the multi-ton prototype. This time paracord tethered to follow the researcher as some iridescent shifting balloon. A few days after imposing the cinder block they tied a helix-marked teddy bear. Lanky researchers got tired of carrying a cinder block. They noted still worked.

Another video demonstrated an interesting foreknowledge on the ship's part. Its wing jerked to intersect a careless forklift worker from flattening a researcher. That impact shown later as a 3d scan and numbers of high resolution photos. The thick cage obliterated in sharp angles inches above head level. Thick spars split in flat angles like as if hit in odd angles by a giant glaive.

There was panic for days in the log documenting the shatter patterns with video. At least before time-lapse showed the glass was moving cracks around every TEI fold. By the next week a new deep refractance scan and electron images commenced. Whiskers of Vox infiltration recorded spreading among the cracks. At the end of that week a graphs showed the total number of cracks were flat even as the surface area decreased.

They'd tested injecting ink into the cracks to try and provide repair materials. They documented significant loss of crack quantity on the next TEI fold of the affected area. Other formulas and materials tested to differing degrees of success. It responded to a plasma welder during a repair test not as expected. It folded patterns found written around the fusion core to link the affected area. Other small energy weapons of no large threat tested to similar result. Especially after they introduced protective sygaldry to the interface.

Tests this week were on seeding Vox glass plates with protective TEI seeds. Intended to see if Vox glass could integrate guided purpose-built armor layers. They theorized it could function much like how they produced the interfaces.

The setting changes from aston-helix-centre to The City of Fiari

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Rhia Nemesis Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Banista Larine Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander

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#, as written by Andreis
Fiari City Auxiliary Landing Pad C
Doctor Carlyle Errin

Rather suddenly Dr. Errin paused as though distracted and his glasses emit a thin glow inside, as though they were tiny screens. Caryle put a hand to his right ear and cocked his head, listening. He held up a finger once more to Rhia as if to signal that he was distracted and sighed aloud. "Give me a moment, Mr. Jackson" he said impatiently before muting his microphone.

"I'm terribly sorry." he said emphatically and handed Rhia a card. "Here is my information. Do contact me! I think we can help each other out. Duty calls in the corporatocratic heirarchy!" He giggled in mania and spun about, moving swiftly toward the doors to arrivals. A guard nearly stopped him and he snarled, loud enough to be heard from far away.

"Out of my way."

The doors to the arrivals area hissed opened and he immediately turned off, badging himself into an employees only stairwell. With some peace and quiet achieved, he slowed his pace and listened while Dr. Oriander gave his assessment. Visuals were popping up on Dr. Errin's glasses as things were said and Carlyle paused in the stairwell. People outside probably heard him cursing and yelling. Thankfully, he was still muted.

When Dr. Oriander had finished, Carlyle Errin unmuted himself and hissed into the microphone.

"Imperial Aschen Navy. Very large. I was working for GenoCorp on Terra when they attempted an invasion. As for Dr. Oriander's assessment, well I am no weapons expert as you know, but I read examiner reports on some of the bodies. Particle weapons, I heard, but these are in a class called... ehh... Dis.. Disruptors. Yes that was it. They did some nasty work. They leave behind a lot of energetic residue as the charged particles disrupt molecular bonds. I always wondered how they kept them together, though... usually ions fly apart..."

The doctor fell into thought for a moment and then shook his head.

"But, yes, the Imperial Aschen Navy is a nonsensically large beast that makes utterly no sense to me. Dangerous? Yes. Unstable? Yes."

The setting changes from the-city-of-fiari to Helix Orbital Station

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander

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#, as written by Andreis
Helix Orbital Station: Command Center
Director Korou

Yreia stood in silence as she received the communique from the Board.
She switched channels.

"Comms, play any response from Ice Queen for me. I'm in a call with the board."

She listened, heavy lidded eyes gazing at information readouts. They had just finished scanning the residue of the merchant vessel and the data was being actively transmitted as well. Two voices she did not recognize spoke up first. A whole lot of needless information was spewed out and Yreia's pinky twitched.

"So, to summarize..." She said lackadaisically "... the energy weapon utilized against the merchant vessel some kind of scientific marvel; the ship utilizing it belongs to an empire and claims to have terrible weapons; ... Terrible meaning terrifying, I am sure ...and this empire attempted to invade Terra, easily the most famous planet in the galaxy?"

She straightened her spine.

"My recommendation is that we leverage their association to the Empire and contact the Empire directly. Maybe our unexpected guests from off-world know more about the location of the Empire. In the mean-time, we can just as easily assume that the vessel was full of criminals escaping justice as we can that it was full of innocent people escaping tyranny. That is not my purview to judge. I leave the rest up to you."

Then she waited. Both for the Aschen vessel and for the board. Her job entailed a lot of waiting but she didn't particularly mind. She gestured to one of the armed guards in the room.

"Be a dear and get someone fetch me a cup of Ginseng Jasmine tea?" The guard blinked several times and nodded, walking away. Yreia smiled for the first time since she was apprised of the situation.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander

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The Aschen Cruiser held it's position despite the prying eyes of the station, and the Helix corporation as a whole. It's direct fire batteries remained at ease, but what was disconcerting about a ship seemingly intended for deep space patrol runs was what was happening.

All along the dorsal bow structure, armored doors slowly slid up, and away to expose roughly a dozen dome shaped devices within cylindrical chambers; these were the Type 20A-2 Thunderbolt strategic missile system, each missile carried up to three hundred Multiple-independent targeting kill vehicles; and their decoys, each of these independant kill vehicles was packed with either a tricobalt warhead, which upon detonation tore the very fabric of space, rending massive holes into subspace, but these were not the most fearsome weapons the lone cruiser were preparing.

The second signature was an odd signature on the tertiary EM band, piggybacked on a device designed to emit a cascading biogenic pulse. A single detonation was capable of sterilizing an entire continent, or even an entire ship. These specific warheads were explicitly designed to maximize casualties wherever they were deployed.

The Aschen could sterilize entire planets of life with the proper deployment of Thalaron weapons.

With the missiles out, and hot, but not launched, the cruiser began garnering targeting solutions, as each AMS node came online, the Aschen cruiser readied any possible counterattack, or even a pre-emptive strike should the situation call for one.

The next moment a squadron of F-13x Raptor Talon star-fighters, and two Condor transports emerged from a bay on the ventral side of the ship. Each raptor talon was elegant, spinning and weaving about in formations towards the wreckage, which was slowly beginning to drift back towards the cruiser, under the influence of the Ice Queen's powerful gravity projectors.

Back inside the CIC, Amelia was silently weighing her options, they had her outgunned, and could technically do with them as they pleased, though, if these xenos tried, they'd take staggering losses. Of this the Commander was certain.

"They're preparing for attack." Colonel Harland commented, as he watched the screens intently. The station was retracting docking bays; diverting power to shield systems.

"Can we signal the fleet?" Montrose asked.

Harland nodded in the affirmative.

"Then do so." Montrose said flatly.

With a nod, the communications officer began keying the datalink, sending a short-burst pattern of coded bitstream signals through subspace, facilitating nearly undetectable; faster than light communications.

It was then the transmission from the station came through.

"Acknowledged, Ice Queen. Helix understands discretion in the line of duty. That being said, you are trespassing. Who do you represent?"

The reply generated an almost stunned silence within the CIC.

In Amelia's experience, people either cowered in fear from the Aschen Empire, or openly challenged them. These people, while presenting slight challenge, were neither fearful nor openly hostile. These people were not aware of the reputation the Aschen upheld, and Montrose thought for the briefest time, to teach them the folly of that.

Clicking the reciever, Amelia spoke her reply.

"I represent the Aschen Navy's Fleet of Imperial Retribution, of the United Aschen Empire." Montrose replied, interrupted by an outburst from her communications officer.

"Standby..." She said, disconnecting the link.

"This is Ice Queen Actual, go ahead." She said, changing screens to display Gina Inviere, her commanding officer.

"We recieved your signal, and we're coordinating your location... I understand we have a first contact scenario, transmit all data you've collected so far. Additional units will be en-route in three millicentons."

Once Inviere terminated the link, Amelia turned her attention back to the readout with Yreia, awaiting further replies.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander

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Jackson listened to the first feed, while he wasn't aware of the scientific implications shared by Hyde Oriander in regards to the vessel, but he gathered what he had needed to hear. The Ice Queen was dangerous if not directly then on a greater scheme of indirect affiliation.

"Thank you doctor for your time and your patience, your advice won't be taken lightly. " He paused a moment, before continuing, "Please send me a report in concern to the Project described, its current capabilities, and the requirements for its furtherance. I'll go over the project in the coming days and consider further funding to get you the conditions you seek.Please bare in mind we cannot all be scientists as much as i admire your hard work.." He had meant it as a compliment, The Corpse Flower project was indeed to be marveled, but there were times when Jackson felt his knowledge on the experiments was inadequate. "Lehman's terms in the report please doctor."

He turned his attention to the feed coming from Doctor Errin, who surprised him by having direct knowledge of these people. The Aschen Empire.

"Doctor Errin, thank you, you have provided information we can use efficiently to gauge our visitors with greater care. If you can think of any more information, i trust you'll contact the board."

Lastly the transmission from the Commander Korou focused his attention. "Leverage, the only request they have made of us is to be left alone. Very well, i shall be in touch shortly Commander."

He looked down at the table before pulling out his chair and sitting, slightly turned to one side. His fingers interlocked as his brow furrowed and a worried expression crossed his face.

"There really is no more time to talk." He turned to the commander in a military uniform. " Ready our flight squad for a pursuit if things fail to move forward on peaceful terms, your orders are to detain and return this captain to Cortex for questioning. Inform Commander Korou she will take the head of the operation."

The rest of the table looked at him expectantly, they had the same information he did, and there was every chance this could end badly.

"Get me the Ice Queen on a communications line."

The technicians took a bit longer this time, pressing buttons to find the correct frequency on which to broadcast.

"Sir, patching you through now"

Jackson took the moment to prepare himself, a small sigh escaped his lips before he was live on the channel.

"Ice Queen, this is Jackson Helix, president of the Helix Corporation speaking. I apologize for hacking into your frequencies but i wanted to talk to you in person. You have left us in a precarious situation, There was no prior communications before the fatal engagement, had there been perhaps the situation would have been different. Therefore i offer you one chance of a peaceful resolution to this situation. I ask that you dock your vessel aboard the orbital station where you have been contacted previously. You will be transferred to the planet surface from there, and treated as a guest for the duration of your time on Cortex. Some of my board believe your actions had malicious intent, i wont jump to conclusions and would like to hear your side of the story, face to face."

Some of the board gasped as Jackson suggested the idea, the armed guards in the room also looked startled as if there jobs had become a thousand times harder, but none of them said anything.

"If you fail to comply, i will be forced to pursue justice by whatever means, having no other evidence or options. I hope my initial thoughts were wrong about you captain, and that we can figure this out diplomatically."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander

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While Amelia was awaiting a reply from the command station, another transmission came in piggybacked on another frequency, considering the unsecured nature of the channel, there wasn't much hacking going on, and even if there was, Aschen ships were notoriously difficult to hack, with newer generations even more so.

The Commander considered this ignorant Jackson's words, but she was making a face at being addressed as a captain, such brought snickers from the various command stations within the CIC.

"My rank is Commander, Mr. Helix." Amelia retorted, while Colonel Harland was going over the tactical options. "We've recovered the wreckage and the ships are returning to bay seven." He reported, while Amelia steepled her fingers. He had given her an ultimatum, and protocol was clear in this matter. The ship's commander was forbidden to put themselves in a position where they could be captured, or their ship could be jeopardized by hostile enemy forces. The way Mr. Helix worded his transmission, conveyed hostile intent, something that was not tolerated Imperial military officials.

"I will not put myself in a position where I, or my ship could be captured. I don't trust your intentions, Mr. Helix." Amelia said coldly, depressing the mute key.

"Tell Astrometrics to get their asses into gear, if they don't come up with a jump solution so help me I'll have them all tossed out the gods damned airlock."

The Comms officer nodded before getting back on the intercom, while Amelia turned to Col. Harland.

"Spool the FTL Drives, we can re-acquire somewhere else, let's just not have it be here. Get internal Planck systems online, all hands prepare for combat!" Amelia called out.

"Initiate the self destruct, one millicenton countdown."

The pair of officers inserted their command codes, bringing up a flickering red display and a numerical countdown. The Communications officer worked swiftly to signal the fleet, appraising them of the turn of events, the weapons officer prepared his master arm codes, arming each of the thunderbolt missiles, and bringing the ship's massive gun batteries to life.

At that moment, the Commander brought the communications back up to Jackson Helix.

"Any attempts to interdict or attack this vessel will be construed as an act of war, the Imperial fleet is aware of what is transpiring here, and reinforcements are en-route. If you truly desire peace, then you will allow us to depart without hindrance. We have ambassadors and diplomats en-route who would be more qualified to speak with you."

The Navigation officer cleared his throat, watching the display intently.

"FTL Drives are spooling, we'll be ready to jump in five centons."

There was a surge of energy within the ship, much like the energy spike that immediately preceded it's arrival, along with the ship's aft thrusters coming to life, slowly it began to pick up speed as the energy surge increased astronomically. Shield systems redirected in real time

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander

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#, as written by Andreis
Helix Orbital Station: Command Center
Director Korou

The response came tacked with what seemed like a note of indignant pride and Yreia found her eyebrow involuntarily raising. "I represent the Aschen Navy's Fleet of Imperial Retribution, of the United Aschen Empire." It seemed as though Doctor Errin was correct about the emblem and Commander Korou was not about to wait and find out if the rest was true. She did not move a bare inch as she spoke, save for the steady rhythm of her breath.

"Ready SD-Launchers with Amplifier payload. 120 degree spread. Distance 75 megametres. Begin charging V-Field generators and prepare to pulse the emitters" she ordered with the type of authority that one simply embodied rather than projected. Then a communique rang clarion once more, this time from the surface. "Mr. Helix is attempting to negotiate a talk with the commander of the enemy vessel. If the negotiation fails, we are to pursue. It's your operation. I'm in a shuttle inbound to the station now.."

Commander Korou paused and stare at the screen as the smaller craft carried the merchant vessel wreckage back to the larger ship. "Understood, Commander." she said in a tone that sounded distracted. She ended the link, her eyes never leaving the screens in front of her.

"They're getting ready to leave."

She said aloud mere moments before her sensors officer shouted "Energy spike detected in enemy vessel. Spatial distortion growing." Apparently negotiations had failed and she had not responded to Ice Queen. Oh how she hated being in the dark.

"Fire." She barely finished speaking before there was a surge of hundreds of high-power spikes across the station signaling the deployment of Amplifiers. Unseen and unregistered ghosts wrapped in a warp bubble of space moving at magnitudes the speed of light. Clusters of large metallic egg-shaped devices blinked into existence in a hemispherical spread 75,000 kilometers from the station. There was not even enough time to register their existence save for a blib before they detonated. What might have been fire and radiation was instead a colorful streaming cloud of particles and gasses that spread out like fireworks. Between the thousands of munitions, the resulting cloud was enormous and created an odd nebulous partial dome so far away from the station.

A moment's silence fell between the cloud's emergence and the deafening roar across the station as capacitor banks dumped the last of their power into the emitters, pulsing a titanic wave of energy across the distance between station and vessel. The pulse moved at nearly the speed of light and took a fraction of a second to reach the nebulous cloud of gasses and particles that were intended to land upon the Aschen vessel. The entire hemisphere lit up like fire and previously nullified compounds in the gas underwent rapid change, turning the calm sea of space into a raging storm surge intended to inhibit FTL Travel, Communication, and Readings.

Hoping that the tactic had worked, Yreia Korou beamed a transmission at the point of space where the ship should have been.

"IAN Ice Queen, you are hereby detained for the crimes of discharging a weapon in protected space, evading arrest, inciting civil unrest, resisting arrest, disrupting trade, and any other charges that are found by the preponderance of evidence. Stand down, Ice Queen. This doesn't have to be difficult."

Little did Yreia Korou know, more Aschen were on their way. Had she known, her little comfort would have been in the FTL Inhibitor preventing them from jumping inside of 100,000 Km of the planet. Far too distant to make effective military strikes. Of course, that also meant that no one was fleeing from this side of the planet. Not even a warp field would remain stable now.

"The commander's team has docked and are inbound to secure hangar 3." Yreia nodded.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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Jackson seemed slightly offended at the accusations, he knew as did his citizens that if he made a promise then he kept to it, whether financially related or personal it didn't matter, but he couldn't blame these people for their lack of knowledge. If anything, it gave him more incentive to expand.

He looked around the table, clearly he was in deep here, the last thing he wanted was a war on his hands, he had to consider more tactile means of negotiation.

"We have a situation here that is turning more temperamental by the second, i suggest we look forward at the bigger picture, if this faction is as big as Dr Errin suggests, they could prove useful. I appreciate the necessity for justice but we need to consider the facts. For all we know the merchant ship was more of a threat to us, and these people have firepower that could cause some issues. The safety of Cortex is paramount." He looked around the table in search of opposition.

The older man down the left hand side of the table looked astounded.

"If your father was still here he'd have sent out a fleet by now. Whats right is-" but Jackson interrupted before the man could finish.

"Where is my father now? hmm? And what kind of justice did his murderer receive? None. I won't let the biased opinions of a few claim the lives of the many."

One of the hard faces of a stoic man from the medical center spoke up.

"Forgive me, if you remember Mr Helix, Aino Iwamoto, she may be of interest to you, while i cant disclose details due to confidentiality, i believe she may be of some use in this matter."

Jackson had remembered her, They had met a handful of times beforehand, on exchanges of intelligence. He knew very little other than her military background and her once affiliation with the Terrans.

"Very well." He turned to a technician sitting up against one of the panels at the side of the room. "Send for Major Iwamoto, ask her politely that her presence is urgent. In the meantime tell all advancing parties to cease any advancments immediately. Lets give them some room, and see where things stand."

"Ice queen, come in. Commander, my apologies for any offence given, and whilst i don't have any agenda's concerning my invitation i can also understand that trust must be earnt. I have called back any attempts to detain you, could you perhaps tell us of your intentions as you engaged the merchant vessel, this might clear up any concerns my board have regarding your presence here. I personally am aware we may not have all the facts." he eyed the man that had mentioned his father daringly as he said the latter in complete spite of his outburst.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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Aino was at the sniper range. It wasn't time for to qualify but perfect practice made perfect. Despite the environmental conditions, the sun beating down on her, a bug crawling up her neck, and other distractions, her focus was unshakable. Her breathing kept her heart rate low, she could hear each heart beat and when she was certain her heart couldn't get any slower, she took a breath. She held it in for a moment and released it. She commenced to squeeze the trigger ever so lightly, increasing the amount of pressure slowly...If she just slammed down it would jerk the rifle slightly. Years of practice on live targets and the distant paper silhouettes at ranges made her perfect this art...She fired in between heart beats and surprised herself when the gun fired, the flight of the bullet perfectly calculated as she lowered her heart rate... It was smooth sailing from the end of her barrel to the target some few hundred meters out. Next target...distance, approximately 950 mete_

A siren started blasting and a pre-recording warning started being transmitted across the installation. To Aino the scene changed to an artillery flattened cityscape. The air raid sirens were blasting and for the last 74 hours, she had not moved from her position... Mars was next to her, looking through a pair of binos as she stared through the scope and kept her other eye open to scan the general area her scope wasn't covering. "Ready to go?".

"What?".

"Go!? You ready to go Major?!" She returned to the present, a lieutenant standing over her with a concerned look. "Go...?"Aino replied, slowly raising from her prone position. She took in her surroundings and the sounds to gauge the situation. "I know where to report to in this kind of situation, Lieutenant." She replied sternly, the loaded rifle in her grasp still pointed down range.

"Maim, President Helix asked for you personally. I'm here to escort you to him.".

Aino thought his timing was off, actually more than that. There were better times for him to do this. However, part of her was relieved. He finally was going to get his favor huh?

"Very well, Lieutenant. Lead the way.".

SOMETIME LATER

Aino was standing before the door leading into Mr Helix's office, the President and owner of the multi billion dollar Helix Corporation. She would have liked to change uniforms, the one she was wearing was what she called a field uniform, one she did not care to get dirty, and the nicer ones were back in her quarters but supposedly this was urgent. Before knocking she formally dismissed the Lieutenant and then knocked three times before taking a step back from the door and waiting at the position of parade rest.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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"The aliens forces have called for a retreat, they have opted not to pursue our vessel." Colonel Harland reported, while Amelia carefully considered the words spoken over the radio.

"A wise decision, Mr. Helix." She replied, depressing the communicator. "The truth is the vessel which we destroyed, were weapons smugglers caught trying to smuggle weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups in the Empire, had they succeeded, many lives would have been lost; I wanted to ascertain your intent before revealing that much informati-- standby.."

Amelia was suddenly interrupted by the communications officer calling out. "Additional contacts!"

There was another distortion, a brief wink, and then a massive spike of energy, as roughly 250,000 kilometers from the station, a massive sixteen-kilometer long vessel, torus shaped in nature jumped in, it's insignia and IFF Displayed it as the IAN Rosa De Maius, and it was a command ship of some kind.

A few seconds later, a massive thirty kilometer assault carrier jumped in, sending spatial shockwaves out in all directions, the Reverence II 'Valorous Salvation'

A dozen Hastati class cruisers followed suit, similar in build to the Ice Queen, each taking up a staggered defensive line around the Rosa de Maius, while also allowing a defensive position around the Valorous Salvation.

Two Iconoclast Class battleships winked in next, massive three-barreled weapons batteries swiveling into position, each eight kilometer long ship positioned itself between the Ice Queen, and the Command Carrier.

None of these vessels readied weapons or shields, and they held position while a firmer, more seasoned female voice called out over the radio.

"Attention all involved parties, this is Gina Inviere, supreme commander of the Imperial Aschen Navy... Will the designated leader of this world's government come forward and identify, we are prepared to initiate peaceful first contact."

The setting changes from helix-orbital-station to Aston Helix Centre

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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Jackson turned as the door to the boardroom sounded someone's arrival. One of the technicians stood to approach the door but Jackson waved him off. "sit." He turned, and his pale hands pulled the large padded door to.

"Major, my apologies for pulling you up on short notice, and i appreciate your quick arrival." He stepped back leaving room for her to enter, the many faces of the room eyeing her curiously.

"To bring you up to speed, it seems a faction named the Aschen Empire have arrived on our doorstep, we are waiting to hear from them regarding their intention's but a smaller merchant vessel was blown up in the process. I have decided that a diplomatic approach would be best suited to what would seem everybody's best intentions." He gestured subtly so Aino would be able to see the man who had suggested her presence. "I can't say i know much of your experiences Major, and am unaware of your current treatment, however these people seem quite serious ans i could do with whatever help you can offer."

The transmission came through the channel,

"A wise decision, Mr. Helix." She replied, depressing the communicator. "The truth is the vessel which we destroyed, were weapons smugglers caught trying to smuggle weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups in the Empire, had they succeeded, many lives would have been lost; I wanted to ascertain your intent before revealing that much informati-- standby.."

His gut had been right, and he breathed a sigh of relief.

"That explains the strange signatures we've been picking up." One of the technicians added verifying the story, and Jackson slumped into his chair the small amount of tension he kept hidden eased away.

A transmission from the Orbital station piped in. "We have energetic disturbances, vehicles approaching 2-300k from the station, sending details now."

The whole room turned to their consoles and observed the large vessels on their doorsteps, some were outraged others were confused but Jackson looked unnerved.

Another Transmission, a different voice this time aired throughout the room.

"Attention all involved parties, this is Gina Inviere, supreme commander of the Imperial Aschen Navy... Will the designated leader of this world's government come forward and identify, we are prepared to initiate peaceful first contact."

After clearing his throat Aschen broadcast.

"Greetings Supreme Commander, President Jackson Helix of the Helix Corporation speaking, welcome to Cortex airspace."

He turned to Aino and eyed her for a second. "I have very little knowledge of these people, If you think this is going to be an issue, now is the time to tell me. Otherwise i would ask that you accompany me as my personal advisor in these relations."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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Aino was surprised that the President himself opened the door for her, as opposed to well...she was used to opening the door herself in such a scenario usually after being told by the individual who ordered to report in by them just shouting "Enter.". Part of her thought someone of least lesser station should have opened the door for him but perhaps everyone else was busy. The Lieutenant briefed her on the way there on the things that had happened. It was sort of a culture shock really. From her end of the universe, it was impossible to run into someone who had not heard of the Aschen Empire but here she was, the only person in a multi-billion dollar corporation who could be considered a "Subject Matter Expert" when it came to the Aschen.

It was sort of disappointing, not so much having the Aschen knocking on her doorstep just as she had found a place that wasn't a war ridden hell hole, but she had suspected that this meeting was going to result in Mr Helix revealing why he had grabbed her off the streets when he had found her amongst the dead of her old team, Prima Donna, shot up and bruised...waiting for her own end to come. She had done work for him before and given the money and power he had, Aino assumed she was just an asset worth more alive and in his pocket than dead on the streets of Wing City.

Guess she would have to wait till after the talks with the Aschen to find out when, for in her mind there was no if, he would reveal what he wanted her for. Something would eventually come up that required her particular skillset... Aino entered the room and stood, as she was still taught to do when summoned by one of superior rank. She saluted and sounded off. "Sir, Major Aino Iwamoto reporting in as requested.". She awaited the command to take a seat until she did so but it did not come... Instead she was asked for her opinion on his

"Sir, with all due respect, It is my firm belief that should the Aschen decide to wage war with us after these "diplomatic talks" it would be because your ignorance of their culture and traditions, perhaps even their very existence, offended them. The Aschen do not acknowledge international laws, there is no set of laws that is above their own. Few are the races whom the Aschen respect as equals and most of those few are still existing under the rule of the Aschen. From personal experience fighting and leading troops against the Aschen as a Terran soldier and later as a Terran Special Forces Warrant Officer, they possess superior weaponry in all categories. Their military doctrine is battle tested and the battle rhythm of their troops on the ground is brutal. They do not value the lives of their enemies, for the enemies of the Aschen are all savage xenos and Sir as of this moment, it is we who are viewed as Xenos by the Aschen. However, the Aschen are not cruel overlords hell bent on conquering all they see. Should we convince them that we are not a threat to be annihilated, they should not bother wasting assets to conquer us. However, this plan of attack if you will, is complicated by the presence of the Supreme Commander, Gina Inviere. While on Terra I experienced her military genius first hand. Despite having laid out the plans which resulted in the deaths of many of my friends, I respect that woman for her exemplary leadership and finesse on the battlefield. Unlike most Aschen who would be fine with you stroking their ego, she does not. Make no mistake, she does not believe she and her peoples are better than you, that is a matter of fact with the Aschen. She merely enjoys crushing worms when they try to crawl up her boots. I do not know if having me, a woman of Taiyou descent who was also a Terran Special Forces present would better your chances. Aschen and Terran relations are still...I am certain we are still killing one another on Terra to this day... However, I am in no position to disobey any lawful and ethical orders you issue...Sir.".

With that Aino continued to wait, standing perfectly still in the position of attention with her eyes looking forward and only forward.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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It had been several moments since first contact, and Inviere's arrival, and of course out of diplomatic courtesy, she opted to observe all the diplomatic protocols that the people of Helix demanded of her.

Prior to departing her Command Carrier, she instructed the ship's commander to initiate orbital bombardment and lay seige of the planet, in the event that she failed to check in every six hours, this meant it was paramount that she kept in contact with her fleet.

Otherwise, she opted to bring a small contingent of armed security personnel down to the planet, more as something to make herself feel more secure, than any threat to the people of Cortex.

She moved through the security checkpoints, and her staff kept watchful eyes on their surroundings, eventually Inviere would likely be shown to meet Jackson Helix himself, and the door opened to reveal the slender Aschen woman, hair tightly bound into a ponytail above her collar, which was a dark blue in color, contrasting with a dark grey uniform adorned with medals, commendations, and rank insignia.

She made a slight face, frowning, lips creasing into a thin grimace as she surveyed Aino, and Jackson before her.

She was alone, having instructed her security staff to remain outside while she met with the leaders of these previously un-contacted Xenos.

"She's a terran... I've seen her somewhere." Inviere said quietly to herself, but paid the notion little further mind before taking a step forward, hand outstretched.

"I'm Chairman Gina Inviere, supreme commander of the naval forces of the United Aschen Empire." She said, formally introducing herself.

"Your staff have been kind to me so far, to the point where I am willing to overlook your previous transgression concerning Commander Montrose." Inviere said calmly.

Her heavy boots clicked on the floor as she walked into the boardroom, looking at all the board members, sizing them up with a seasoned gaze.

Milk drinkers, all of them.

At 5'10 she was tall, her boots making her seem even moreso. The dark uniform of the Aschen Empire gave her an imposing appearance, and the look she cast on the other board-members betrayed the fact she held no respect for those before her, not so much for not being Aschen, but she could tell they hadn't seen a fraction of the suffering in their careers, as she had in hers. They were stuffy businessmen, and they reminded her of the Tech Con executives.

However she extended her hand to Jackson, and inclined her head slowly. "It's a pleasure to make contact." Inviere said, though she was thinking of a million different ways to seize the planet, enslave it's people, and exploit it's resources.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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Jackson observed Inviere closely when she arrived, he had been told privately of her security personnel outside the door and was keeping a watchful eye on her face when she observed Aino, and hr surroundings.

He made a small gesture with his hand and the room bounced to life, each of the board gathering up their things and shuffling out, by the time the last one had left, Aino, Inviere and Jackson were left alone.

"I am hoping you value your privacy Supreme commander, while they are helpful a lot of them talk like old crones once outside these walls. Which i don't think is appropriate." He took Inviere's hand and shook it.

"Jackson Helix, President of The Helix Corporation, you'll have to forgive me supreme commander i am not accustom to your civilization's rules or it's etiquettes, should i have been, perhaps the events with Commander Montrose would have been different. On behalf of me and my citizens we welcome you warmly to Cortex. We can accommodate you and your security team in the embassy building where i hope you will find time to recuperate after your long journey. If however you are feeling up to it perhaps we can sit, and talk."

He looked over at Aino, unsure of how she was feeling, but empathizing with her, this probably wasn't very easy considering her past.

"This is Major Iwamoto, one of my advisors and a good friend."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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 Aino felt something simmering beneath the surface of her being. It was anger and the desire for vengeance. So many Terrans, so many innocence, so many of her friends were dead because of this woman. Here she was, so casually extending her hand to Mr Helix. How easy would it be for Aino to draw her service pistol and kill her?

 "Dusk listen to me! Your an Officer dammit, think of the bigger picture! You take that shot and the Aschen commence an orbital bombardment the likes of which Terra has never seen!".

 It was Mars. He was in the room, talking to her. Warning her. Just as he did back then. He was right, again. If she had moved against Inviere back then and succeeded in striking a killing blow, it would only have fueled the flames of war further. She would become a martyr and her name would become the battle cry of the next wave. It was true back then and it was true now. Aino didn't like it but if they could somehow befriend the Aschen, or even be seen as a vassal state to them, it could considered a victory. Pride must be put aside here, the priority was the safety and well being of those who counted on Helix Corps.

Looking over Mr Helix's exaggeration, Aino did not recall her ever being on such terms with him, she snapped to attention at the mentioning of her name and swiftly transitioned to Parade Rest, rendering a salute with the right arm as was the fashion of the Terran Army when she served. Though it was an outdated motto, it was the only one Aino knew of the Aschen Navy and it was the one used by the Aschen during her service.

 "I worship his shadow, Supreme Commander!

Despite President Helix's words, I was only recently appointed as an advisor moments after contact, still I take full responsibility for the shortcomings and disrespect shown to the crew under your Command. I have instructed our personnel that you and your party be treated with the dignity and respect you are entitled to as our Guests. Should you become aware of any deficiencies or should any of our staff mistreat you, It is request that you inform me so that we may see that they are properly disciplined and that all shortcomings are addressed accordingly. If for whatever reason you cannot contact me, it is requested that you inform the nearest Helix Officer present and they will pass the message to me.".

 The entire time she was speaking, Aino did not flinch or drop her salute. As Supreme Commander Inviere held the higher rank (much higher rank), for Aino to drop her salute or move from her position, would be a sign of disrespect. However like this Inveire could easily see without a doubt that Aino was indeed a Terran and one whom served in the Terran Army. She could deduce that the reason why she was appointed as an Advisor was because of this service with the Terran Army and even that during her service it was Inveire's forces whom she battled against. Whether or not Inveire took offense to these things or think well of Mr Helix for his decision.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Errin Character Portrait: Gina Inviere Character Portrait: Amelia Montrose Character Portrait: Jackson Helix Character Portrait: Mason Talbert Character Portrait: Yreia Korou Character Portrait: Hyde Oriander Character Portrait: Aino Iwamoto

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"I know who she is." Inviere replied, turning briefly to face Aino as she offered her salute.

"I worship his shadow."

Inviere didn't seem to react to the use of an incorrect salute from a regime that collapsed, instead she opted to politely correct Iwamoto with her own, returning salute.

Clicking her heels together, she brought her fist to her chest in the new Aschen salute. "Ad Victoriam." Inviere replied, and once she moved to an at ease stance, she looked to Jackson with concern, curiosity even.

"I find it odd, that you employ a former Terran special forces operative... and have no knowledge of the Aschen Empire, or it's customs." Inviere said, moving slowly to pace around Aino. Her eyes stared deep into the woman's soul almost, she was studying her, carefully watching her.

The last time she had seen Aino, was on Terra, during a raid on a Terran convoy. She remembered the fighting, the shooting, the sizzle of disruptor bolts.

"You may address me by my rank, Chairman, or simply call me Inviere." Gina corrected.

Turning her attention back to Jackson, she clasped her hands behind her back, and maintained an arrogant posture, as if standing over him. "I assure you, the trip wasn't long at all, our FTL Drives are far more efficient than most of the primitive forms of Faster-than-light travel known to man. Our vessels can travel instantly, anywhere in the universe." Inviere boasted.

"That being said, I'm a woman of little patience, and I have a busy schedule, so perhaps we should cut right to the chase."

She was a woman who carried herself with considerable gravitas.

Once again Aino was brought to her attention, a flashback crossed her mind, back on Terra; her eyes narrowed, stared at Aino, perhaps even past her.

Aino's head was centered in the flickering holographic cross-hairs of her disruptor rifle, she had popped out from the hatch of a Hummvee, firing it's .50 into pinned Aschen troops.

Inviere remembered pulling the trigger, and the red indicator flashing on her sights.

'Vis Deicens' - Energy depleted'

She should have killed her, and she vividly remembered Aino gunning down four of her men that day.

"Your adviser is incompetent, your commanders are incompetent, do not show me that you too, are incompetent, Mr. Helix." Inviere said coldly, staring at Aino.

Inviere had an entire village of people lined up and shot that day, as revenge for losing her men.