The Multiverse

Orion Spur

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a part of The Multiverse, by Remæus.

The Orion Spur is a small, nondescript branched arm of the Milky Way also referred to as "The Local Region". It is relatively sparse and lacking in resources.

Remæus holds sovereignty over Orion Spur, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Setting

The Orion Spur is a small, nondescript branched arm of the Milky Way also referred to as "The Local Region". It is relatively sparse and lacking in resources.
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Orion Spur

The Orion Spur is a small, nondescript branched arm of the Milky Way also referred to as "The Local Region". It is relatively sparse and lacking in resources.

Minimap

Orion Spur is a part of The Milky Way.

5 Places in Orion Spur:

13 Characters Here

Aaric Arlan [70] Warden, Field Marshal, Admiral, Second in Command of the Varden Expeditionary Theater
DED [70] The Directive Enforcement Department (DED) is one of the largest and most powerful branches of CONCORD, also known as the Varden.
EGO [53] A highly advanced artificial intelligence.
Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves [47] The mysterious Vice Admiral is the commander of the Dark Rain's Agency flagship, the Devastator.
Rye Apis [30] Warden, Admiral, Second in Command of the Varden Expeditionary Fleet
Tael -Keeper of Daemyrus [3] Young for an Ancient, Wise for an Arsehole.
Schuyler [3]
Rangari Vardan [2] "We Stand, a wall against the darkness, that the light may never falter"

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED

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#, as written by Varden
Aaric nodded slowly as Jenovan spoke. What he had said was true. CONCORD had some of the most advanced propulsion and navigation technology in the multiverse. It was certainly possible that they had the fastest ships.

The ever warring regions of Ayenee and Eden had caused the nations to push technology forward to stay at the cutting edge so they could best each other. CONCORD had to push harder even than them to keep the peace. There was also the Kraed who had destroyed Dodixie, the previous trade capital for the Federation located in Sing Laison region. Every man, woman, and child that had occupied the system save two had been killed.

"Thank you for your praise. I am afraid to say that I know very little of the Umbral or of the UDW. I think the establishment of a secure trade route would be a good start. Would you be willing to exchange a team of engineers? This way we can have our people exchange ideas and discover through observation and communication instead of the studying of schematics?" The creation of a efficient and safe trade route to span so many light years could only be accomplished with a gate.

Ciara finished the directional scan. Nothing new was found to report. The ship system check was completed also and everything was operating within the designated parameters.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED

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#, as written by Ikiros
Tenna frowned at the order to leave the area. Space was a pretty big place, and although he was sure he'd be able to find someplace nice and cozy to wait things about before being approached by anyone, he figured there was only so much harm that could come to him here. He almost made a snappy remark in return, something that would have likely gotten him shot, when he noticed his computer was attempting to flag his attention. He tapped the screen, and then became highly confused. Something wasn't working properly, according to the ship, in the Slipspace around them.

"What in the...? Telemetry isn't s'posed to be reading that way. Not if this is just normal space. Anomaly's gone too, so couldn't be that but..." He shook his head, trying to figure it out. Unfortunately, him trying to think things through resulted in the Solitude sitting in space, silent.

The ship, it's sensors detecting the weapons trained on it still, backed up into Slipspace, both to better read the data, and to avoid appearing harmful. Although it hadn't taken much time, the Solitude's AI had grabbed the shape of the craft that had intercepted it. Just as Tenna was about to give up, a female, vaguely pleased voice surrounded him in the cockpit.

~{Tenna, telemetry shows the anomaly at a bearing of 240 degrees x-axis, 315 degrees y-axis, and 212 degrees z-axis. Anomaly appears to be transmitting no signals available on any spectrum I can read. Additionally, I have made three-dimensional models of the intercept craft and am prepared to allow the Chameleo to overdriven, in order to account for all emissions of such a craft if you wish to disguise the Solitude.}~

The mercenary smiled and chuckled. "No need. We'll stay here a little while longer. Monitor the anomaly as best you can, and if you spot any affiliation trademarks in whatever it is, let me know. We both know that neither of us want the Aschen or UCON breathing down our necks."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED

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#, as written by Lobos
A short pause as the vice admiral's eyes ventured at what appeared to be the border of the screen, surveying holo-panels of information overlayed on his own display on Terra. A moment, and then the man nodded.

"That is possible, and acceptable to begin. The one minor issue on our end is the duty roster on the Apophis doesn't list general technical engineers, so our team would have to be dispatched from back home. From those listings, however, the source personnel are plentiful, and I'd expect no shortage of volunteers when asked." A shifting of the concealing fabric suggested a twisting of facial expression, with the likeliest chance being a smile.

"Given the rather insecure state of this meeting, however, I'm inclined to request that either the exchange of teams be enacted either at the point of entry of your drone's visit in the past, or at an agreed upon neutral location within the Andromeda galactic mid-zone. Acceptable?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED

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#, as written by Varden
"That is acceptable. We will be prepared in two solar days and shall met you at the same location the drone made first contact in the Andromeda galactic mid-zone." They would meet again at this same time, two days from now.

He smiled but the expression faded quickly. "Do you have any conserns before I return to my ship?" Aaric tilted his head. "I ask only because there is a reported state of war between The Aschen Confederation of Planets and CONCORD. However there has not been hostilities for some time. You are allies of the Aschen, are you not? Forgive me if I am mistaken." The admiral raised a brow.

'Lieutenant Commander Molony of the Claíomh is reporting an Aschen contact in SOL orbiting Terra. Its a Reverence II.', EGO relayed in Aaric's head. Other details scrolled through his head but Aaric's expression did not change.

solar day: unit of time, roughly equal to one day

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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Everything seemed to carry on right on cue. From the ruffling in the Aschen side of Epsilon Eridani, to the Reverence in Sol.

It was likely that the CONCORD Contact would report that the Reverence II had suddenly jumped out, vanishing from it's orbit near Terra.

A Split second later, several thousand kilometers off the port side of the Apophis and the CONCORD Ship, there was an Aschen jump signature, a power surge and a flickering white light that revealed the Aschen Reverence II 'Esteem'

Her hulking form slowly came about, and on the UDW IFF the ship would show up as a Reverence from the Aschen Defense Force, the flagship of Admiral Éclaire Hanley.

----


Hanley was silent for a moment as she splayed her arms out over the command console, the AI Confirming the jump had been completed as she turned to Raphael.

"Admiral..." Hanley said, before she looked up.

"All hands, Action stations!" She called out, and the light dimmed to an aggressive red, alarms klaxxoning violently, while warning messages were broadcast out from the ship's PA System.

"AI, Tactical assessment." Hanley called out, and the female holographic form of the ship's AI Flickered on.

"One CONCORD vessel, Corvette class, the second is classified as a Heavy Cruiser, UDW. Our Tactical Advantage with full combat compliment, we're roughly 5.6 Percent advantage. I'll begin prioritizing targets and assigning IFF Tags." She replied, and Hanley nodded.

"Shields double port, all weapons full power. Pilots to their fighters, we'll only fire if fired upon." Hanley ordered, before she opened up a channel to the UDW Supercruiser.

"UDW Apophis, this is Esteem Actual, how copy." Hanley hailed. "We received a distress signal from one of our scout ships, of possible enemy movement in this sector..." She said, bringing up a magnified image of the CONCORD Corvette.

"Care to enlighten me as to what's going on here?" Hanley inquired.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Tiko
Vanessa was escorted into the CIC by a pair of marines. She was freshly showered, and had a clean change of clothes on as she was directed towards Raphael. The marines had been instructed to return her to him, after her decontamination.

The scene she walked into was well beyond anything she could have conceived of, and the orders and commands being thrown about the CIC where disorienting. She was more than a bit out of place standing there in a room full of Aschen military officers and personnel. Why was she even here at all?

"What's going on?" she asked Raphael.

It was the first thing she'd said since she had been brought aboard the ship.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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Raphael turned towards Vanessa, suprised that this was the first thing she had said since they had boarded the Reverence. Alarms klaxxoned and everyone was shouting a cacophony of orders, with Hanley and the AI Hologram in the center of it all.

"We're about to do battle." Raphael said calmly. "She's bringing the ship to alert." He said, pointing to the Hologram. "They're Communicating."

"And why am I here?" she asked.

Her eyes flitted across the holograms and various displays, but she didn't know where to even begin with making heads or tails of it all. She hadn't lied when she told Bowen she'd never been further from Lutetia than Lornaine. And now here she was standing in the CIC of a spaceship. It was too much to conceivably absorb it all.

"Because I need to keep an eye on you and keep you from escaping, You're going to look really good in a maid outfit in my house." Raphael said. He kept his hands folded in front of him while everything unfolded.

"That is the Shipboard AI.." He said. "It's like... a computer.. you have those right?"

"We do," she answered.

Vanessa couldn't tell if he was being serious with his remarks, or just trying to get a rise out of her. Either way she didn't bite. Her time in the showers had given her a chance to think, and she had determined to not give Raphael that satisfaction.

She would remain compliant and cooperative for now, because there wasn't really a better alternative at the moment, but she wouldn't make herself into a victim to fuel Raphael's cruelty either.

It was that same calm adaptivity that had kept her alive when she had been held by the Psions of Aodhan for nearly three weeks. She had been only seventeen at the time.

It took a lot of nerve to maintain that calm facade though.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Ikiros
As the Reverence began to enter the nearby space, the Solitude piped up. ~{Sir, there appears to be an incoming ship. Large. All the trademarks of an Aschen vessel.}~ The message was short, and invariably cut off as the ship arrived.

~{Reverence class vessel, Mk. II of production phase. Weapons and shields being brought to bear, no indication of us being targeted. Ship in question is the Aschen Esteem, currently assigned to orbit the planet Terra.}~

Tenna tapped on his knee for a second, trying to think of what to do. He knew that trying to fight something that size was suicide, almost guaranteed, but he also knew that if he showed up, he might be able to draw the ship away from the other two. If the smaller ships had driven him off, then they probably could do without the Empire hounding them as well.

"I need some numbers run, Solitude. Percentage of evading capture, probability of doing so without damage, and I need a general number of just how stupid an idea this is...even if you tell me afterwards." He disengaged the super-luminal engine of the Solitude, allowing it to return to normal space fully. He opened a comms channel to the Reverence with a chuckle.

"Just so you know, I'm not to fond of having plasma fired over top of me in a street."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Lobos
"Excellent. I'll transmit to the Umbral and get a team prepared and waiting." Jenovan sounded pleased, though his attention narrowed like an arrow at Jovis' soft curse. The captain glanced at the screen, rising with an annoyed expression.

"Aschen Reverence just showed up, and hailing us. I'll handle the children." Flippant sarcasm, as the man rose and exited the room, heading merely for a station room a little further down the corridor. Jester stared after, amused.

"Shall we conclude this chat then, Admiral?"




Sensors went into a new flurry of activity, delegating a pair of controllers to handle the new Aschen contact, filtering through and isolating the IFF, comparing it to known vessels and further validating the new arrival. Comm's fielded the transmission, routing it through to Jovis as he synced into the heuristic network, resuming command and control from across the vessel's mammoth interior. Fire control barely shifted their eyes, as the general personnel consensus at the identity of the contact became known to a wave of eye-rolls and shrugs.

"Esteem Actual this is UDW Apophis. What situation? We're in the middle of a business communication arranging a trading partner.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Varden
Spires slowly rose, drifted and spun off the corvette only to sink back into the vessel's hull as Lieutenant Commander Ciara, pilot of the Tiománaí engaged the battle space simulation. She performed complex motions with her meta-physical hands as displays lighted and artistic representations of the ship's status and contacts on grid were identified. The Aschen contact was not on the grid. The time dilation was extreme as EGO preformed more than a trillion, trillion, trillion calculations and translated the information through sensor observation directly into the battle space simulation.The surface of the vessel sprung to life as plates shifted. A shimmering plane of force like liquid water mixed with a rainbow and the northern lights extended and then flattened across the broadside of the heavy cruiser.

ImageEGO and the ship AI responded to her thoughts. 'Aurora double to the hostile directional plane and cover the Apophis. Equalize capacitor level and harden thermal.' EGO's reply was immediate. 'Apophis hull coverage, thirty percent on hostile directional plane. Aurora thermal resistance/dispersal at ninety-five percent.' The camera drones buzzed around the ship's hull.

'Lieutenant Commander Molony of the Claíomh is reporting in position.', EGO stated. Electricity arced off another corvette as her proximity to the Apophis caused the vessel's visual camouflage to fall to pieces in brilliant fractals of spinning broken light like mirrors shattering into a billion different pieces. A male voice crashed into her head. 'This is Commander Keagen of the Garran. I am in position.' A third corvette dropped its cloak as bolts of lightning forked off its hull. Beams of twisting gold threaded off the corvettes and lapped upon the others like golden tongues of fire. 'Fleet links are engaged.', EGO said in her head. The shimmering plane of force surged across the closest side of the Apophis.

Sensor ghosts pinged and all four ships shimmered behind the shield wall to displace their true location. They were nothing now but mirrored patterns to fall across the nearby space like a mirage reflected in fun house mirrors a hundred times over. The three corvettes did not deploy any of their weapon systems but where were the other twelve ships? A CONCORD squad consists of fifteen ships: one fortress or hive class titan, two dreadnaughts, four destroyers, and eight corvettes.

'Captain Aenya of the Fórsa is in position.', EGO beamed to her head. 'Lieutenant Commander Byrne of the Scáth is in position.', said a female voice. 'Squad one is in position. Orion fleet is at attention. Inaya inhibitor control is awaiting command. Apophis hull coverage ninety-eight percent on the hostile plane and adjusting to maintain. Fleet capacitor is stable. Set to react and allow the Apophis firing solutions and target acquisition along projected arcs of engagement as pertinent to her estimated weapons compliment and adapting.'

Perhaps the Aschen sensors would detect eight new small contacts. These were sensor probes. The system was buzzing now as the probes generated pings and space-time vibrated. The ripples overlapped from epicenters like the probes were stones thrown into a three dimensional pond at different locations.




Aaric nodded but his expression had never changed even when the reverence was reported. "We look forward to working with you. Alloway Admiral." He performed a short bow, placing his clenched fist upon his left breast and then exited the room to be escorted back to his ship which was still docked with the Apophis.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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Hanley was in a pensive silence for several moments as alarm bells continued to ring.

"Esteem Actual this is UDW Apophis. What situation? We're in the middle of a business communication arranging a trading partner."

The message from the UDW Ship played across the speakers in the Esteem's CIC as Hanley considered her response, while the Shipboard AI, though not as fast or efficient as EGO, was running her own calculations, hundreds of combat scenarios per second were being run through the ship's computer, and the AI Would choose the best one to advise the Admiral on. But with Admiral McGregor, a famed strategist, Hanley would likely dismiss the AI's suggestions.

"Admiral, I am detecting additional sensor signals, as well as sensor ghosts, the Blood Raven will coordinate and I'll try to clean it up." The AI Advised, as several red icons flickered on a large three-dimensional holographic display.

"I see." Hanley replied on the communications uplink. "Varden Hegemony ships, they your new trading partner?" She asked, making a face.

"You could never pick a more sworn enemy of the Aschen Empire... than maybe the Taiyou." Hanley said, grabbing the railing. "In any case, given that the Hegemony vessel is not in Imperial Space, I don't intend to escalate the situation, however I will have to report My findings to the Ministry of Defense, and the Emperor, and this may impact future Aschen-UDW Relations." Hanley explained.

"AI, keep an eye on those Varden ships, my order stands do not engage unless fired upon." She said, while the XO Spoke up.

"Admiral, All Combat Air Groups are reporting ready to launch."

Hanley nodded, while Raphael mulled the options over. The Shipboard AI Then spoke up.

"If there are ships here, there are likely more-- A Dozen superior Varden Capital ships against a single Reverence II Class Carrier.. With those odds i'm content with three.. Make that four kills." The AI Said, offering an assuring smile.

"Let's hope it doesn't come to that... Open a channel to the Hegemony ships." Hanley ordered, and the AI Nodded.

Hanley remained silent as the link was established, and then the AI transmitted a single message.

"Attention Varden Hegemony vessels, state the nature of your presence this close to the Imperial Zone of Military Demarcation." The AI Demanded on a wide open hailing frequency.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Lobos
Growling static across the network, Korsican trigger pings to his subordinates, calling for caution status, sending a neural request to the Argus AI to elevate to ready stations. Patching into the Comms sector, he generated a direct line communication to Admiral Hanley aboard the Esteem.

"Didn't know ahead of time Esteem Actual, and the wording of the treaty on our end was specific. We don't discriminate states based on prior enmity of allies, so long as they demonstrate good business practices. As we've had peaceful previous contact, accepting trade relations was simple procedure."

Switching to the wide band open channel, the captain nearly snarled. "CONCORD vessels, we are in allied relations to the Aschen, request stand down and maintain distance from Esteem Actual. Repeat, request distance and non-aggression. Dammit, we came here to discuss business, not engage in a bloody shooting match."

Fire Control went into caution, turrets cycling out of stow, coming to bearings not quite on target on both the Aschen Reverence and the CONCORD corvettes. A clear message garnering an impulse of approval from Captain Jovis. Power outputs were elevated to combat ready status, fighter pilots given orders over their implants and dispatched to their ships as precautionary measures. The hulk of the UDW Apophis was shaking awake, the slumbering super-heavyweight warship prepared, if not committed, to conflict.

With a mental sigh, Korsican transmitted on wide-band, with all parties in mind.

"Let's all pull our adult belts back up and holster our guns, discussing this current situation like rational men and women, shall we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Ikiros
Tenna listened to the wide-band chatter and smirked. For once, it seemed, being the guy in the little ship didn't seem to have been the issue. There were so many big toys to play with that he went virtually unnoticed in all the hullabaloo. But he would let himself out of what could, it seemed, become a rather ripe deal if he worked his way in. If they were willing to accept bargain from parties, regardless of previous, or perhaps current, ire from others states, then maybe he would be able to get the Aschen off his back, if only a little. He opened up a Comm-link towards the Apophis

"UDW Apophis, this is Mercenary Elite Tenna, pilot of the Solitude. Given that my previous negotiations with the Aschen have always tended to go sour before I can speak my peace, I'd rather keep my guns nice and warm, but I'm intrigued that you're so welcoming to other parties, despite previous relationships with your allies. The UDW wouldn't happen to have need for an extra bird by it's ships, would it?"

He chuckled softly after closing his end of the link, only to open another when he'd calmed himself down, this time towards the Esteem.

"Admiral Hanley, it's a pleasure. I don't think we've met before, though it's undoubted that someone is well aware of who I am, or at least of the name of the ship I'm piloting. I had a question or two for you, if you're cordial enough to speak with a mercenary like me, even if your bounty on my head might prompt you towards other decisions." He smirked and let his end of that line snap shut as well, waiting.

As he sat there, the ship's AI piped back into life. ~{Tenna, fuel capacity for sub-luminal propulsion down to 48%. Super-luminal fuel capacity at 74%. Maximum range at super-luminal speeds is now 13,294 parsecs. Weapons are primed, and visual signature is confirmed on Reverence long-range weapon emplacements. If it comes to blows, we'll be prepared to trade some.}~

"Thank you, Solitude. Keep me posted."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Varden
No weapon had been deployed by a CONCORD ship. The other two ships had uncloaked only to defend a vessel held immobile and vulnerable in the dock with the UDW heavy cruiser. One-hundred and thirty-four souls were not risked lightly or without some safeguard.

'This is Admiral Rye Apis of the Whisper. I am in position.', said the rough male voice over the channel. His mental voice sounded thrilled. 'This is Admiral Aaric Arlan of the Tiománaí.', replied Aaric with a thought into the channel. 'No need to start an incident.', he thought across the channel. 'EGO reply to the Aschen AI and question if the Aschen are ready for a diplomatic resolution. We will be leaving if the answer is no or if they can't behave themselves unless they threaten the Apophis or another friendly.'

Aaric stepped aboard the Tiománaí and the docking clamps were retracted. A moment later and the smaller CONCORD ships slipped away from the Apophis's hull. The other two corvettes pealed off in different directions, moving perpendicular to the line drawn between the Apophis and Aschen ships. The aurora field that had stood between the heavy cruiser and the reverence dissipated as the CONCORD contacts moved away. When the corvettes slipped to a range of just under two-thousand meters from the heavy cruiser's hull they shimmered and vanished into the void. The effect resembled a cascade of mercury falling across their shining metal plates.

Only the Tiománaí remained uncloaked but it was flying in a wide arcing path away from the Esteem now. "Esteem this is Tiománaí. Nature of presence in the local constellation was formerly investigative and recently diplomatic. TNG has sovereign claim of local space. Do you wish to pursue a diplomatic resolution to ongoing hostilities currently held in armistice?" The AI replied coldly across a channel that was open to both the UDW and the Aschen vessel. EGO was too logical to play into the nonsense now spouted by the Aschen AI.

Apparently the Aschen could set up a line of demarcation and then move across it at will to enforce their laws in other sovereign entity's claims without alerting said entity. This was not the Esteem's original mission: to encounter the CONCORD ship while operating in TNG sovereign space. The encounter was not sanctioned by the TNG.

This is like a Vulcan ship encountering an uncloaked Klingon bird of prey on the Federation's side of the neutral zone. The Klingon bird of prey then hails the Vulcan ship and demands to know why they are so close to the neutral zone. The whole ordeal would have Aaric face palming like Picard before they even left the system. The question that should have been asked was why the Esteem was on the wrong side of the line of demarcation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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Alarms continued to loudly klaxxon as the replies came over the speakers. The AI was continuing to run simulations based on what it knew and what assumed capabilities were, while Hanley quietly considered her options.

"Get me the Emperor..." She said, opening up a line directly to the Aschen Emperor.

"Your wish, Our Command..." Hanley saluted as Mollem's face appeared on the screen. Mollem simply nodded.

"What is the meaning of this, Admiral?"

Hanley looked up. "The Varden Hegemony is suing for a finalization of a full peace to end the Armistice and our state of war." Hanley explained, and Mollem nodded. "Do what you feel is necessary, I trust you know what terms would be agreeable to the Empire. I'll submit anything you discuss with the Hegemony for ratification by the Quorum... you have my blessing." Mollem said, before he terminated the link.

Hanley made a face, and then pulled up the Communication with the UDW And the CONCORD Ships.

She knew why she was here, aside from the Aschen Empire not recognizing the TNG as a sovereign state worthy of respect of borders, she was given the blessing to respond to distress calls that threatened the interests of the Empire at home and abroad. A staple in Imperial power projection given that the TNG had no means to claim the space, or any legitimate holdings outside of SOL Itself.

There was a five minute pause after the initial hail from CONCORD to the Esteem, and a different woman's reply, a human reply this time.

"This is Admiral Hanley, of the Imperial Defense Force... I am open to discussing long term peace terms to end the state of Armistice and transition to a state of true Peace. The Empire has enough shadows in the night." She said, pausing.

"I'm open to suggestions for a neutral zone to discuss any agreements in person, the Emperor has assured me any terms will be reviewed by the Quorum." She said, holding her hand up.

"Bring us down to Condition Two..." Hanley ordered.

"Give us a time and place, and we'll see if we can agree to it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Lobos
Content to let the two parties exchange communications while poring over the intercepted transmissions, the bridge team of the Apophis maintained a vigil over the comm, electing to remain at a higher alert status. At the incoming transmission from the Solitude, Jovis assumed command of the response, replying directly.

>"Mercenary Tenna, if you're willing, I'll personally add you to the Enlisted Free Agents List on the irregular rosters. You are cleared to this transmitted vector and location, and I'll assign a flight controller to you. Final decision is your's, immediate payroll assignment will be part of the the transmission. Payment on conclusion of immediate contract, move to transmitted point to confirm."<

Should the Solitude move to the transmitted point, sent via secure burst transmission, his contact would be transferred to a flight controller in communication with the bridge. Contract payment amount was for 30,000 UDW Numeral, or the equivalency of his choice. A fairly sizable sum, by national standards, although justified by the UDW's recognition that unaffiliated mercenaries occasionally proved invaluable assets.

Shifting back to wide band, the captain addressed both the Aschen and CONCORD contingents.

"With respect, we would accompany to the designated rendezvous point, with the function of mediator."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Ikiros
Tenna was shocked when the Apohphis responded to his transmission, expecting them to brush him off as the Aschen had. Frankly, however, the Aschen action had taken him even more by surprise. Although his data was showing they were prepared to fight, they hadn't arrived guns blazing like he'd have thought they would. Perhaps they begun to be more civilized after all, and rather than show up and shoot they were involving themselves in political wars. Too bad for them.

He smirked and opened his comms back up with the UDW vessel.

"Before I jump into any contract, you mind giving me an estimate on how long before contract termination and, if I may be so bold, what kind of termination protocol is used by the UDW? I've known contractors to kill their mercs after a job, and I'm none too keen on following that line of work." With a flip of a switch, he had his receiver off, sitting in listen mode. Without much thought, he scratched at the side of his neck, fingers grazing an old scar.

"Bastards never did tell me what they found in my blood. Just wish I wasn't on such bad terms with them so I could go and find out. Or maybe I'll find myself a decent enough hacker to break in and steal the info, because knowing UCON, my files are on backup and in pristine condition somewhere."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Varden
"We continue to drive the Cáidheach before us. They will soon be pushed from Wicked Creek but this correspondence is not to relay that information. I write you to give answer to my brother's position.

The Solari hold that it is their holy duty given to them by the ultimate authority to 'reclaim' all of Ayenee and Eden and unite all sentient races in the universe under the banner of their faith. They are not unique in their belief that the universe requires unification under one cause or another. The Solari demand fealty to their goddess. The Ardenians fight to spread their democratic monopoly. The Sekhmet force the masses to join their empire.

They believe that it is right and proper that all sentient life should be of one mind and purpose. I believe differently. I believe that if we have any divine purpose at all it is to be an agent of chaos and conflict. This is not a bad thing. Greed is destructive but destruction is not a negative force in the universe. The old and rusty must be torn down to make way for the new and vibrant. Without destruction there would be no need for creation. The universe would have no purpose except to endure, stagnant, static, forever...

Do you disagree with me? Good. Conflict strengthens us. That being said, I would rather die a thousand times in this dystopian heaven than live in your utopia. Fortunately for me, I am able to do so. I do not accept the call to take my brother's position in CONCORD. I am forever a mercenary." - Alric Rosenthal, Sky Marshal of SOCO to Quennel Chevalle, Speaker of CONCORD's Council





There was a long break in communication and the Tiománaí stopped pulling range but it did not stop moving. The ship orbited the far distant Esteem, giving it a wide berth. Finally Aaric communicated back to the UDW officer and Éclaire. "This is Admiral Arland. We accept your suggestion Captain Korsican. Alloway Admiral Hanley. I am Admiral Arland. I invite you or your diplomat to board with a small security contingent. Does this meet your satisfaction? If it does not please make a suggestion."

The sensor probes the Esteem had detected earlier warped onto the grid with the Tiománaí and were quickly pulled into her hold. Metal plates on the smaller ship continued to shift around as if it were a mechanical puzzle built around a perpetual motion machine. Other CONCORD ships continued to maneuver.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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Hanley made a face as the Admiral proposed that she board the Concord ship with a small security contingent. She didn't trust them, she didn't trust that she wouldn't be harmed, and she didn't trust that.

"Admiral McGregor..." Hanley said, turning to face Raphael, while turning off any microphones.

"Are you confident in your abilities to get us out of there if something happens?" Hanley asked, turning to face him, while Raphael frowned, and then looked to Vanessa.

"I've got a slave with me, Admiral. An uncollared one at that... I can't risk her running there." He said, looking back to Vanessa, as Hanley thought for a moment. "We don't have any collars, McGregor, we're a Reverence not a slave ship." Hanley rebuked, and Raphael frowned.

"Why don't we bring them here, Admiral? It would be easier for us, and we can open a line to the Emperor if we needed him to sign off on something. It's not tactically sound to put yourself in harms way like that. We can't trust them." Raphael explained.

"Good point, McGregor; I didn't want to go on their ship anyway..." She added, before she opened a channel to Admiral Aarlan.

"Admiral Aarlan, this is Admiral Hanley I'll have to respectfully decline your offer, and suggest you come aboard the Esteem, where we can make direct talks with the Emperor. The UDW Is also welcome to send a contingent, but unfortunately I cannot leave this ship, and I do not have any diplomatic personnel at my disposal to negotiate in my stead."

A moment passed, and a Lieutenant turned to Hanley. "What about the second contact? He's wanted by the Confessor Cabal."

Hanley shrugged. "I'm a military officer not a bounty hunter, let the LDA Handle him.. I've got bigger things to worry about... Send word down the pipe, tell them to prepare a conference room for our guests... Direct them to hangar bay four." Hanley added, before she turned to Raphael.

"Get cleaned up, we need to greet our guests." Hanley added.

Raphael simply glared at Vanessa. "No funny business, or you're not leaving this ship alive." He said, gesturing for her to come with him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Varden
Fate loves the fearless. - Terran Poet

'Such cowardice.', thought Admiral Apis over the link. To deny the request of an enemy and then request the same thing in return could be called nothing else but cowardice. Admiral Apis had a poor opinion of the Aschen from the start and Admiral Arlan's opinion had fallen considerably since the start of this encounter. If Admiral Hanley had suggested the UDW ship, a planet, or some other neutral location in reply, Admiral Arlan would have understood, but she didn't. She was unwilling to come aboard the CONCORD ship but had suggested the he come aboard the Esteem. The few pilots on the link that had retained some neutrality now viewed Admiral Hanley as craven and deceitful as a consequence.

There was a brief pause in communication. "Very well Admiral Hanley. I will pilot a shuttle to meet with you. Captain Korsican you are welcome to send any force or agent you deem necessary to mediate or provide security. Admiral Arlan out." No more than ten minutes pass before a small shuttle left the Tiománaí with one lifeform aboard. The shuttle would be guided by the Aschen or their AI to dock.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Lobos
>"Jester, I wanted you on a shuttle with a Wolf team five fucking minutes ago."<

Korsican nearly snarled through the connections aboard the ship, triggering a new flurry of activity as the Midnight operative sprinted down the hall, issuing his own commands on his implant as he headed for the nearest docking bay.

"UDW Apophis to Esteem, we have a mediator plus security inbound."




The flight controller assigned to the Solitude handled the mercenary's query with prompt, efficient haste. The female voice over the comm was official in tone. "Estimated time is hard to establish, but I would imagine until the separation of present vessels on their respective ways, Mercenary. Termination protocols for contracts are payment, verification of payment, and then both we and you go our separate ways. As Captain Korsican stated, the offer for extended enlistment on our free agents stands. Short of your actions intentionally leading to a loss of assets to us, the terms remain the same. Job, payment, parting, until the next time."




A scant few minutes later, an Owl skidded out of the supercruiser's flank, making an approach to the Esteem. Onboard, Jester ran his hands over the creases in his suit, regarding the stony eyed quartet accompanying him. Equipped solely with bead pistols and combat blades, his security team didn't look like much, but the Midnight man offered a brief smile to the men, getting a full set of matching grins from the Wolves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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As the Shuttle made it's way towards the Esteem, the AI provided guidance, tracking and landing signalling into the esteem's hangar bay.

Blast doors retracted, and a forcefield engaged to keep the hangar pressurized and allow incoming and outgoing traffic. The field itself shimmered like the surface tension on water, rippling about as the shuttle passed through it.

The Esteem's Executive officer was standing in silence as he waited to greet the ambassador from the shuttle, while Admiral Hanley, and Admiral McGregor were setting up in a conference room, which was a short tram ride away from the hangar bay.

When the CONCORD delegate arrived, he would be greeted by stares in the Hangar bay; technicians and crewman stopped what they were doing and the entire bay was bathed in a dead silence as all eyes fell on the CONCORD Representative.

The Executive officer turned and gestured for him to board the Tram. "Admiral Hanley is waiting." He said, stepping towards the tram, which would be a short ride to the Conference block.

---

The pair of Aschen Admirals found their seats, and waited for the CONCORD representative, glasses of water were poured for the pair of Aschen officers, while they watched a holographic display.

Vanessa would also be escorted with Raphael to the conference hall, and the Marine that escorted her gestured for her to stand behind him.

Raphael turned to the pitcher of water, and then he turned to Vanessa.

"I'm thirsty." The Aschen Admiral remarked.

Vanessa's lips pressed firmly together at Raphael's words. She picked up on the implication clearly enough and she bit back the words she wanted to say as she poured the water.

Calling the man a pig right here and now wouldn't accomplish anything.

"Anything else?" she asked.

"Some for the Admiral." Raphael said, gesturing to Hanley, before he leaned back in his seat.

"And try to look like you belong... make sure the drinks are topped off and the food is served in a timely manner. And stick behind me." Raphael said.

Meanwhile, the AI flickered into view and turned to Admiral Hanley.

"The UDW Contingent and security is en route, shall I have additional security assigned to this conference hall?" The AI Inquired, while Hanley nodded.

"Make it so.."

Now it would be time to wait until both parties found the designated conference hall, and ultimately their seats.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vallen Slava Character Portrait: Tetri Plume Character Portrait: Casper V. Character Portrait: Jay S. King Character Portrait: Ruby Eclipse Character Portrait: Alyssa Callahan

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#, as written by Nevan
(Sorry it took me almost a month to post. Personal issues, motivational issues, mood issues, time issues and all the issues came up. I'll start posting again but my next one after this won't be 'til friday at the least. Might be sooner, but don't hold your hopes up for that.

EDIT: Don't reply here. I wanna move the scene to another random location in space in order to avoid having to make these guys retag all their shit every time they need to post.)

Vallen took another book as the boy rambled on about dragons and adventures; listening but not reacting as he span and hurled the hardback issue of Relative Motion, Speed and Velocity with a mean overarm swing right at one of the two guards who were stood several meters back and looking over the room. The book didn't miss, and almost knocked the guard over when it hit him in the side of the head.

In response, the magnetic plates within the sleeves of his jacket activated, slamming his wrists together and stopping him from causing any more trouble as the second guard pulled a small handgun with military precision and fired a taser wire into his chest. Vallen crumpled to the ground under the shock of the electricity, as the other guard recovered and quickly leapt over to the downed psychic to kick him in the side.

He wasn't sure how well it would work, but he imagined the others in the room wouldn't take too kindly to one of their own being beaten on by the 'establishment'. Hopefully they would seize the opportunity, just like he wanted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Varden
ImageThe shuttle's lift elevator lowered and a single man stepped out into the hanger. A personal defense system encompassed his body. He was armed to the teeth but he was the only one on the shuttle. Locked to the plate upon his back were two weapons, one slightly smaller than the other. Upon his right thigh was a holster and in that holster resided a sidearm. Upon his left breast was sheathed a knife.

There was one thing out of place for Aaric was not a knight of a centuries long passed away. There upon his left hip was a sword in its scabbard. A blue sheen graced the surface of the hilt and a intricate weave of rich leather encircled the grip. The scabbard was well tended, the leather oiled. The lines of the ancient belt did not betray its true age. This was the same sword and scabbard that Warden Falls had carried before entering into the Imperial Palace of Nobuo Tatsu Takayama, Emperor of the Taiyou Empire of Greater Niihama. This was a Valorium blade and though it was only a reproduction and meant to be a badge of station it was still a peerless weapon. The value of the blade quite possibly dwarfed every single vessel in the local region.

He stood alone. His helmet collapsed around his head and folded into the high collar around his neck. His eyes shone a bright steel instead of their normal brown and were lit vibrantly from behind as if a small star resided in his head. A mop of messy brown hair sat upon the top of his head. Aaric looked to the executive officer, nodded, and then stepped onto the tram without saying a word.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: SOLCOM Character Portrait: Dark Rain Character Portrait: Raphael E. McGregor Character Portrait: Tenna Character Portrait: Vice Admiral Jenovan Grieves Character Portrait: Rye Apis Character Portrait: EGO Character Portrait: Aaric Arlan Character Portrait: DED Character Portrait: Vanessa Richard Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley

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#, as written by Lobos
Guided in by the Esteem’s AI to an assigned bay, the Owl pilot set the troop transport down with practiced ease, Jester and his retinue barely noticing the touchdown bump. A bail out door cycled aside, the small group striding out of the craft. Jester’s appearance was average, the most apparent thing his suit. The Midnight man was, of the mediation delegation, the most heavily armed, ironically. Knives, small pistols, and the various other tools of his trade secreted about his person as was proper in the UDW. The Wolf team retained their more modest armaments, but that they were elite troopers was evident enough in their builds, their strides, and their mannerisms.

Following the escort, Jester breathed easy, ready to operate the center of yet another arrangement between two parties.