The Light After the Dusk

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Xah
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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Xah » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:56 am

Gleam, Asylum
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
B3, Canteen


Sp Jai examined the lounges provided by the Ellians and nodded his approval before finding Corporal Gentle in the canteen. "Thank you for your consideration... corporal was it?" he said to Gentle. "I acknowledge the difficulties you all must face, not only with the situation, but also the irregularity of the forces you have brought in. I trust the inconveniences we bring are outweighed by the success we will bring in the field." He flashed a bright smile with just a hint of the politician all Leaders are trained to be from early childhood.

As the Leader turned away from the armoured Ellian, Cp Tomas came stomping up, a grin spread across his large face. "You have good armour." he said in a heavily accented voice. "Will be good to fight with you all. Maybe live to share stories, no?" His eye caught sight of the frivolities behind them and paused, his face flickering with both interest and disdain. "za'u ko'a ca'o cladu" he said to the Leader, "mi pacna lo va prenu damba banzuxe'o ji'a simsa ra zbasu lo savru"

"I am sure," Jai replied to the Warrior in tones meant to be both a reply, and a mild chastisement, "All of the people here fight as well as they make noise. Shouldn't you be getting your armour ready?" He smiled apologetically to the Ellian.

Tomas looked back at the Leader, eyes narrowing. "mi jimpe gi'e tinbe" he said curtly.

Jai nodded. "ckire do" he said to Tomas, before looking at Gentle. "They are fine warriors, but lack tact. That is my job."

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Pie
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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Pie » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:26 pm

Gleam | Sierra Seven | Canteen

The Leftenant walks back up to the bar with an empty glass. He calls over the bartender and says "Just give me the rest of the bottle of that stuff." He takes the entire one-litre bottle and chugs it. "That is what we call a good drink. If any of my men come in here looking for something to drink, tell them to come to me to get some of this stuff." He walks back to the table he was at as if he hadn't had a drink for months. When he gets back to his table he removes his datapad and starts reading about the planet.

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Phorcys
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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Phorcys » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:14 am


+++Firing Retrograde
+++Decelerating
+++Approaching Periapsis
+++Chlorinating crew capsules
+++Retrieving logs


► Logged Transmission - Confederal Enclave Command

Retrofitted Mitaku Transport Ship, geo-stationary orbit of Gleam

First, pereiopods twitch, and jerk, instinctively probing for injury. Limb segments engorge one by one. Cuticles swell, clenched ridges of exoskeleton separating like tarmac cracking in heat.

The oizys are beginning to stir. Reviving from their metabolic torpor as the chlorinators hiss, and the capsule refills with the dense gloom of their native atmosphere. On Phorcys, volcanism and radiation periodically strip whole regions of life, eradicating the flora and microbes which produce the chlorine they breathe. Oizys evolved to hibernate for decades at a time, vastly lowering metabolic demands while their bodies waited for breathable levels to return. A natural form of stasis. And the perfect adaption for void travel.

Not simply because their slavestock could not have lasted them, but because the tenuous peace between Meridian and Westerner would have broken down half a dozen times over the year long journey to Gleam. The last mating outbreak did damage enough - coolant leaks, fried circuitboards and a perforated hull. Another mass frenzy might be the last. This Mitaku ship is a cheap surplus model - rundown and obsolete even when they acquired it, and what’s left is a cannibalised wreckage held together by stopgaps and oizys ingenuity. They inhabit a fragile centrifugal torus rotating around the stripped out, unpressurised hulk of the vessel itself, crew compartments gutted and replaced with a battery of enormous fission reactors. Their crude retrofitting did violence enough to the ship, let alone the chaos that broke out after the Meridians came aboard.

"Chlorination complete" chimes a synthesised stridulatory tone. "Periapsis in sixty units"

The constructed intelligence running course control has burned them into geo-stationary orbit. But the danger is far from over yet, even having reached their destination. For 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander it certainly isn’t. It takes a oizys in peak physical condition to recover from dormancy quickly - which he is not - but his enemies are.

As he stirs from the torpor he senses a shape rising over him. He can barely contract his cloaca to click, all but echoblind, but even his eyespots are enough to detect the looming movement in the darkness. He wills his drained arms to engorge, strains to lift them - but at most can flap his pereiopods harmlessly.

"Commander is awake?" comes a mocking chitter, a harsh Meridian tone that turns the lymph in his tubules to ice. "Good. 7133707 reporting to Commander"

0119859's cloacae palpitate with desperation, finally convulsing into life - to reveal 7133707-Combatant towering above his helpless body - the huge Meridian’s ovipositor raised high and fully exposed - almost a foot from base to barb. It glistens wet, swelling at the intoxicating scent of 0119859’s fear. Even if he had the strength to stridulate, around him his brood-kin still struggle to stand. He can only writhe feebly in terror, voiding his cloacae, his gizzards wheezing a shrill, strangled screech as 7133707 jerks back his ovipositor and with a triumphal trill plunges -

-and 0118860-Kinguard has his limbs deftly coiled round the Meridian before he can bring his ninth down, four monomolecular blades poised to slide between his cuticle ridges if he moves so much another segment.

“Wounds will be fatal” 0118860 clicks, sharp and high-pitched . “Retract-desist”. The command brooks no hesitation.

Cloacae hissing, spiracles flared in frustrated hunger and lust, the soldier grudgingly relents. Retracts his ovipositor. Lets his ninth limb fall flaccid. “Fast, Westerner. Will 0118860 be fast enough for all of us?”

“Silence” the Kinguard trills, pressing on the blades. 7133707-Combatant squeals shrilly but does not flinch. “7133707 to return to Meridian capsule. Will kill-mate, if here again”

“Instruct-convey your master to report” 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander rattles weakly at the prisoner, 0117771-Kinguard helping him up to his periopods. His second and only other surviving Kinguard still staggers with the torpor, but he is strong enough to lift the bulk of an experimental microfusion thrower, levelled directly at the capsule passage-lock - it has been bored through with a mining laser. Sure enough there comes a chittering of fear and anger - and probing pereiopods recoil from the still smouldering entrance.

“Meridian-asset-allies plan to kill-consume us all” 0118860-Kinguard clicks, with a nonchalant lack of surprise.

“But did not expect your fast recovery, valued-honoured-siblings” 0119859 thanks his protectors. “All Meridian report for ascertainment-punishment” he clicks more sharply to the prisoner.

“This is not Phorcys” 7133707-Combatant bristles, “We do not serve-follow here”

“Meridian will" 0119859 chitters with contempt. “Deny it. Lust. But to survive you depend-require us. Now flee-return! Convey instruction”

0118860-Kinguard releases his deadly hold and 7133707 wrenches free, scuttling back to the passage-lock. “Depend-require only your life, Phonotaxis-traitor-enemy” the oizys chitters, before disappearing into the chute with a menacing cloacal gurgle.

“Cannot survive without us!” 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander chirrups after him sharp and hard as he can with his still-wavering limbs - but inwardly he quails. So they know.

“Kin”, he quavers, gesturing with multiple pereiopods to his other siblings. “Guard-barricade passage-lock, close-watch for enemy”. Wordlessly his lesser brood-allies set about positioning their remaining heavy weapons to cover the entrance. Equipment crates are hauled from the aft hurriedly as they can be to form a makeshift barrier. Before treason and exile cast them into the harshness of the void, theirs was a decadent existence as scions of the greatest of the Western Kin-Leagues. Their ally-enemies are oizys born and bred for violence, military-caste mutineers shaped by the fierce eugenics regimens of the Meridian Hierarchies. The Westerners know full well that should the Meridians breach the capsule in force, none will survive.

“Meridians know” 0118860-Kinguard clicks morosely.

“Possible Meridians retrieve-salvaged decryptor during mutiny” 0117771-Kinguard surmises. “Possible Meridians listening to Confederal broadcasts”

“Then should have killed 7133707” 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander reflects bitterly. “If Meridians know we are Phonotaxis, attack inevitable. One less to face better.”

“Impossible, sibling-master. Though I wished to-” 0117771’s ovipositor writhes in its sheath with barely suppressed desire “-scent-signature of spilt lymph would create mating frenzy. Insufficient firepower to repel all Meridian at once”

“Possess Microfusion weapons? Nothing more effective”

“Experimental. Field test failure rate at 56%. Possible destroy entire vessel-craft if fired”

0119859-Taskgroup-Commander clicks with apparent unconcern at this fact. “This one knows. But they are needed".

"Master?"

"0117771 and 0118860 will bring-deploy them. We go to Meridian capsule. Establish order-control. Only chance for survival immediate deployment-commencement of surface operations. If brood cannot kill-confront Meridians, must rely on contract-enemy”

“How can Meridians be convinced to fight? Even if conceded greater share, contract-reward insignificant next to Confederal bounty on our brood. Probable treason-amnesty to return to Phorcys for kill-capturing us. They know this”

"Must destroy ship"

"What?"

"If ship gone, survival-escape only possible if contract fulfilled. Meridians must procure-employ currency to purchase new vessel-craft or secure passage-transit"

A violently dangerous plan. But such appeals to the oizys mind, even more so the desperate one. A second of hesitation passes, and 0119859's Kinguards chitter accord.

The Meridians are on the verge of fighting amongst themselves when the Westerners trundle in with their heavy hydraulic power armour. 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander almost regrets not leaving them to their own fearful devices a little longer - to let their lust do his work for him. The Meridian soldier contingent are not kin - and even dependent on each other to overpower the Westerners and claim their amnesty, still they struggle to keep from each other's sacs. At the intrusion they break off their dominance displays against each other, and, hissing and gurgling, form a ring of roiling muscle and hatred around 0119859. Even fully armoured most still dwarf the Westerners in size, and only his Kinguards' microfusion throwers keep their writhing, jabbing periopods at bay. Many of the Meridians are veterans of the Rebellion War, and they have witnessed the terrible power of these weapons before. But then they are also bred to feel no fear and even less inhibition-

6206614-Barracks-Master bounds past his soldiers and faces down the barrels of the Western guns. The Kinguards shrink back, hoping the Meridian does not call their bluff. At two and a half metres limbspan he is not the largest oizys they have ever sensed, but his is the most potent threat display. A decimetres thick exoskeleton pitted and gouged with a hundred old storm wounds and as many battle scars. Black as the void, somehow blacker where magma burns have scoured the eyespots from his cuticle. One limb is amputated at the midsegment, a crude metal prosthesis jammed in its place and sharpened to a bladed edge.

"6206614 will contain-control his soldiers" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander trills boldly, to the great distress of his Kinguards. His is a tone of misplaced arrogance borne of a lifetime of unquestioned authority. It does not help that the grooves of his armour - which imitate the stridulatory segments of oizys limbs - give his words a dull, metallic ring. "This one rescue-acquired you all from starvation, because you are commit-coerced to co-operation-agreement. No matter Confederation's offer, you depend-require our brood still. Depend-require agreement-continuity. 7490074-Aerovoid-Technician is our hostage. Force brood to kill 7490074 - all stranded. All slaves ours. Force brood to kill slaves - all starve."

6206614-Barracks-Master rears up his bulk on four pereiopods, demonstrating the immense strength of his limbs. The show of dominance provokes his soldiers sending a wave of convulsive clicking through their ranks. "Weak-Western-degenerates depend on us. You need true oizys to fight your contract. Will not. Unless 0119859 can offer more than Confederation promises for your death. Westerners will surrender-concede slaves. This one's soldiers will mate and eat - all soldiers."

The Meridians rattle and stamp with nascent frenzy at the words, but even the wary Kinguards start with indignation. 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander gurgles in utter outrage."Only twelve slaves remaining. Must ration-divide. This one's brood-kin must be sated also!"

"Always 0119859 questions why Meridians cannot be contain-controlled - but we are unkin. Must mate-fight amongst ourselves if you cannot keep us sated".

The soldiers chitter uneasily. All bear cauterised wounds and scars they have earned from each other.

"This is your difficulty-loss" 0119859 clicks coldly.

"Your resource-loss also, Westerner" 6206614 chitters deep.

0119859-Taskgroup-Commander clenches his cloacae in frustration, grinding his gizzards. He desires a way out of his plan. It carries great risk. But the Meridian dreg is an unthinking beast, it will not back down. Could there be some way to allow it to keep its dogged pride and allow him to keep his own?

"We concede-transfer eight slaves. One for each-every soldier"

"We are nine" 6206614 hisses.

"7133707-Combatant does not mate" the Commander watches with growing satisfaction the barely contained rage swelling behind his would-be impregnator's cuticle. "May feed from others kills - what he can take"

"We take-claim all slaves if dysgenic-traitor-enemies refuse!" 7133707 stalks forward heedless of the guns, pereiopods engorged and outstretched. The Meridians begin to press forward, chittering in violent accord, levelling their kinetic slug-weapons. 6206614-Barracks-Master beats his pereiopods against his cuticle in a rousing threat display. All feel the blackness of the killing frenzy beginning to descend-

"Fool-dregs force me!" 0119859 stridulates at a high pitch, audible even over the stamp of pereiopods and the convulsing of cloacae. "Listen close-carefully - charges activated, there are seconds to reach landers-"

-7133707-Combatant gives into the urge and lunges for the Commander - 0118860-Kinguard intercepts the assault mid-air and collapses to the ground in a heaving tangle of stabbing limbs. The other two siblings flee down the passage-lock with thankless haste as the Meridians swarm the downed Kinguard, 0118860's power armour no defence against sheer size and ferocity.

But who lose control perish before they can tear off the armour enjoy their prize.

The warning was no bluff. Streaming wreckage hurtles down into the upper atmosphere as detonations rip the ship apart.

Vicinity of Sierra Seven, Surface of Gleam

From the base the impacts would have been visible, even through the blizzard. The debris field is scoured across several miles of the icy wastes. Anyone watching would have seen the two landers that followed, aerobraking on wide trajectories, monopropellant retro-thrusters flaring seconds before surfacefall.

The emergency-hatch is blown twenty feet clear by the pressure differential, and 0117771-Kinguard clambers out from his lander's blackened hull, a dense cloud of chlorine gas billowing into the air in his wake. The feeble gravity and the raging winds make him feel unsteady on his pereiopods at first, but he digs them into the ice and anchors himself easily. Conditions on Phorcys are a thousand times more inhospitable than anything else the cosmos can throw at him, 0117771 knows that much. He calls out for his master and the others to descend.

0119859-Taskgroup-Commander scuttles from the wreckage in full power-armour, his other siblings and their train of slaves in pressurised armour-padded exosuits.

"The Meridians? 0119859 asks, stridulating high over the roar of the blizzard.

The total lack of visibility is no impediment to the near-sightless oizys. 0117771-Kinguard has echolocated the other lander. The Meridian are clustered around it. From their gesticulations they seem to have located them too.

"Six have survive-landed" 0117771 reports. "We possesses advantage. Closer to Sierra Seven. Will reach safety first."

"Good. If reached before base probable Meridians kill us. But even they possess sense-comprehension not to kill supposed partners in front of paymasters"

Over his suit radio 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander sends a transmission to their Ellian contractors - hopefully still willing to take on the services of their significantly reduced and fractious company.
"Designatable-Taskgroup of Independent Agents arrived on surface of Gleam. Approximate distance three thousand metres from Sierra Seven perimeter. Approaching on pereiopod
"Master?" 0117771 stridulates tremulously.

"Report-" 0119859 demands but he does not need to be told. He can echosense it plain enough.

"Meridians have somehow retrieve-transported the oizysform"

The monstrous figure of the oizys mech suit is almost visible even through the blizzard, twice the size of the largest oizys and twice as fast on open ground-

"Run"

The brood makes for Sierra Seven
Last edited by Phorcys on Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ella2 6
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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Ella2 6 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:40 am

Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Lounge, Floor -3


“Like I said before, your watches are the key around the base,” Gentle told the Xahians. He keyed in a couple of buttons on the terminal by the door before scanning his own timepiece to authorise the action. The system quickly prepared a voice call to Timothy Ava, the quartermaster. “Kiyo koyuma.”

Kiyo koyuma,” the receiver returned, “How goes the induction of our allied forces?”

“It's basically done,” the corporal replied, “but I've got some two sections of two-and-a-half metre tall Xahian warriors that don't feel like fitting into our barracks.”

“Ah, well yes. That would be a problem,” Timothy agreed. He paused slightly before continuing. “I dare to assume you've already come up with an alternative?”

“Yeah, we can give them a few mini-lounges, but I need some permissions juggling.”

“Too easy. Any room preferences?”

They went through the group and eventually managed to settle on a configuration of roommates that everyone was happy with. Once the Xahians were settled in and comfortable, Gentle checked around the barracks one last time. He stopped briefly to scold the Sinikivians before heading to the canteen to find Lax. He was instead intercepted by Jai, and later Tomas.

"All is well," he replied, "Tactless warriors more or less describe much of Ellian Clone Army." He pretended to check his watch. "If you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I must go report to my superior. We can resume this conversation afterwards if that suits your schedule." The Xahian leader nodded in agreement and they parted.

Gentle found Lax with Rosie and a ring of marines around her. “Commander Lax. Commander Rosie," he saluted, "The induction's all done.”

Lax nodded in acknowledgement. “Th-” A large burst of shouting and laughter erupted from the next table as one of the SEAL champions was wrestled to the floor by another. The two operatives glanced back them. Gentle's frown was disapproving, but Lax remained neutral. Rosie rose from her seat and quieted them down, temporarily. “Thanks, Corporal,” the commander managed to finish, “We've got one more group coming in later. Did you want to do them too?”

“Sure thing,” he agreed, “When will they be here?”

The pink-haired girl shrugged slightly. “Probably in an hour or so. There should be here some time before we leave.” She sat up only very slightly straighter as a Qorsikan approached them.

“Excuse me, Captain. I'm Captain Sun,” the foreigner introduced, “I'd like to know where I can set up my comms so I may tell my team when and where to drop to on the field. They're currently aboard our vessel in orbit.”

“It depends on the type of comms,” the Commander replied, ignoring the misunderstanding of her rank, “what are your requirements?”

Seeing that the conversation might take a while, Gentle decided that the time was appropriate to make a graceful exit. “An hour is plenty of time,” he said, glancing at his watch, “I'll grab a quick bite to eat then. I'm famished.” They exchanged a quick nod and the corporal left to join the small queue forming before the front counter of the kitchen.

The kitchen was a large, industrial facility that churned out a fixed menu at regular intervals. There was no distinction between breakfast, lunch and dinner - one simply ate what was available during the meal times. However, the food was hot and usually very good. If one was lucky, the cook Jamie Amber would be free during off-peak hours and he would prepare small (usually cold) dishes on a per-order basis.

“I'll take a tinayuku roll,” Gentle said. Jamie nodded and quickly went to work. Tinayuku and tsunayuki were staples of the Ellian diet and more or less always available. Moreover, it was just one of those things that could be prepared very quickly, which was always a bonus when there was only one chef and the diner was starving. It took under a minute for the seasoned cook to present the corporal with a short length of fish rolled in rice and seaweed. “Thanks.”

Turning around, he found Martinez standing behind him. “Are you on duty still corporal... or on leave? As if former then I would need to ask something to clarify things.”

Gentle regarded the shorter Sinikivian with a slightly amused smile. “There's no such thing as off duty in this line of work,” he chuckled softly, “What do you need to know?”

Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Gunsmith, Floor -3


Charles' eyebrows shot up at the second question. ““What's with?”” he echoed, “What's with you barging into my office, demanding answers?” He laid down the gun he was working on on the table. “Plasma is faster. Plasma hits harder. You want to snipe a guy riding on top of an APC doing one hundred kilometres a second from a thousand metres away, my girl, you just have to point the barrel at his head and he's a dead man. No gravity drop. No wind correction. No nothing. Just point and shoot.”

“Even at Mach ten, your little tungsten carbide kinetics have to lead a distance of sixty-five metres from the guy to hit him and I'm willing to bet you aren't even thinking about tilting you gun up a little higher so the shot doesn't land under the wheels at that point in time. You want to know how much sixty-five metres at a kilometre translates to in terms of angle of correction? Four degrees. You're not pinpoint enough to turn four degrees in any direction without some serious automation.”

“I'd demonstrate it for you right here if the sonic boom didn't turn both of us permanently deaf.” He picked up the automatic rifle again and continued methodically tearing it apart. “As for your original query; we don't stock tungsten carbide here since we don't use it. I'm afraid you'll have to restock from home.”

Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Hanger, Floor -1


Meteors were far from uncommon on the icy world of Gleam, but one falling down so close to the base was cause for alarm, particularly when the advanced Technocratic Union sensors revealed that it was not a meteor shower, but ships experiencing atmospheric reentry. The base's automated defence systems trained themselves on the fireballs, though they were only to open fire if the vessels changed course to ram the base.

A few minutes later, the vessels hit the snow and a radio broadcast was received by the base. Not too long afterwards, Sierra Seven returned a similar signal to the sender.

Code: Select all

THIS IS SIERRA SEVEN STOP WE COPY STOP YOU ARE CLEARED FOR ENTRY INTO BASE PERIMETER STOP YOU WILL BE RECEIVED BY SENTINELS UPON ARRIVAL STOP

Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Hanger, Floor -1


The hanger was filled by hundreds of personnel, half of which were the two hundred marines belonging to Rosie's Sunlight Company. Lax nodded as the various unit leaders completed their roll calls and reported all units accounted for. She stepped forward, waving for their attention. "Ladies and gentlemen, the hour is upon us. You'll be departing on your first ghoul elimination operation so here are all the details."

"There will be nine insertion teams: The Sinikivians, the Piethrixians, the Xahians, the Qorsikans, the Oizys, the Eldenians, Castle and the two centuries of Sunlight Company will be split up. Each group will have exactly three randomly designated buildings to clear. The positions of these three buildings will be given to you later. Each team must fully secure all of their assigned buildings, though how they go about this is up to them. Sunlight Company will receive additional duties, however."

"This operation will be conducted in the open air in a low ghoul density area. There will multiple dropships circling above the site to provide air support in the event that a team gets into serious trouble. But don't rely on them. There won't be any dropships in future operations. The purpose of this operation is to expose you to close-combat against ghouls in a controlled environment before operations commence proper, so keep calm and pay attention."

"Now, a little bit more on the ghouls. The brains of a ghoul is an electronic control chip located somewhere on their body. The chip is usually located close to their major nerve centres such as their head, neck and spine so stick with your regular training and target mass centre." She turned to the marines in a rather deliberate manner before continuing. "Ghouls are not subject to sensory overload. Torches and flashbangs will have no effect on them."

"Lastly, for this mission, you are not required to confirm kills. However, know for future reference that confirming kills means you must dispose of the corpse via cremation. This is the one and only rule for ghoul elimination operations. Be mindful, however, that the ghouls are intelligent and deceptive. A ghoul that looks dead might not actually be dead, so keep your wit about you and take caution when approaching bodies." She looked to the flight controller, who had just finished briefing the pilots separately from the ground troops. The officer nodded and she nodded back. "Ladies and gentlemen, your dropships are ready. Good luck and good hunting."
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Qora
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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Qora » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:08 am

Gleam, Asylum
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
B3, Canteen
Captain Sun nods at Gentle as they leave. "Oh, you know. The usual kind. An average sized radio with several large crates worth of mechanical and digital encryption. I'm sure this is just standard affair for you all seeing as your peoples are no stranger to warfare. Unless you want to get technical I have the... required energy output in this folder."

She places a manilla folder on the table and gestures to it.

"We Qorsikans are rather... secretive hence all the decryption methods we use."
Gleam, Asylum
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
B3, Gunsmith
Adreka sighs, obviously looking disappointed at being unable to acquire her munitions. "I'll accept that you don't stock it, but nothing else you've just said. We Qorsikans require modularity in our methods of war. If you can provide a completely modular model of your "precious" arms to where an untrained soldier can turn his rifle into a squad automatic weapon in less than 5 minutes than I'll happily requisition some arms from you."

"However... Qorsikan plasma arms are capable of penetrating said APC's armour and destroying it entirely and cleansing everything inside it. It is strictly an anti-armour weapon. Seeing as we're fighting mere infantry our "meager" armaments, as you're implying, are far more than enough to pierce whatever may armour our targets. Not the least it is capable of piercing energy based armour systems. Can your plasma do the same? We Qorsikans have fought a war with another species that made the same claim for their weapons. We survived... they did not."

"Oh, and if you're going to rely on a near flat trajectory for your weapons than either it lacks the range to cleanse targets that desperately require cleansing, such as snipers, or your armed forces are made up of complete amateurs who are too dense and... inept... to calculate the trajectory in their mind instantaneously and take precise aim. I'm rather thinking it's both."

"Oh, right... and our arms aren't as pathetic as your enemies if you think they have that much of a drop at a single kilometer."
Gleam, Asylum
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
B1, Hangar
The entire team that has arrived so far listened to the speech in utter silence. Captain Sun mutters "I'll send for them to drop the plasma throwers. I trust you have the kit required to maintain them with you, Adreka?"

"Yes, m'lady."

"Good."

"They're going to want someone on the dropships," Zhang whispers, "I'll be going with the other two. More optimal study environment than what they have here." Sun nods to them and they walk off and board the dropship provided to them. "Adreka, have you been able to secure us ammunition for the fighting personnel?"

Adreka sighs and shakes her head. "Their gunsmith is thick headed. They do not have the resources we need and I radioed the crew and they said there is a lack of mineral resources that we need."

"Unfortunate."

"Though we have been able to secure plasma weaponry that these... Xenos use. Their gunsmith claims it to be versatile though it lacks the modularity we require. Not very suitable for us but practical at least for the logistics."
Last edited by Qora on Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Pie » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:26 pm

Gleam | Sierra Seven | Hangar

The Leftenant turns to his group of soldiers formed up behind him. and starts pacing back and forth in front of them. "The Century will be circling above at around 10 thousand meters and will give precise bombardments with its railguns and beams if needed, Remember if you have a beam weapon to set it to full power, and use it to set the bodies on fire. Our P7s will finish off any of the Ghouls easily, but you will never know if they are dead. After clearing a building I am giving you all Long range beacons to signal to the Century if needed. The Century will give you exactly 30 seconds to get away from the beacon before it brings down hell." He stops walking, any questions? "None, good. "Dis-miss." The Soldiers turn to the right and march 5 paces before dispersing to find their Dropships.

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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Oiniane » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:49 am

Earlier
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Lounge, Floor -3

Martinez would have finally found Gentle, she'd listen to his answer as he seemed to smile at her. “There's no such thing as off duty in this line of work,” after a chuckle he added: “What do you need to know?”. Martinez would flinch slightly. "No breaks nor leaves? How do you-?... that's not the actual question. First of all, I can walk you to your table, I don't want to take your time away form your meal. Yet I would need to know something more meaningful indeed. First of all, do we have any sort of operation wide channel or, do we only report to your high command? As in does the squads contact eachother? After that..." She'd give the corporal time to answer, as well as atleast let him get seated. She'd either sit oppposite to him, or remaining standing, depending on the ammount of people around them (if Gentle even wished to sit down to eat his food). Only after she'd ask the more, vital question. "Incase if... we'd need specialized equipment from back home or in worst case... men to fill the empthy rows left by the ghouls, who I'd need to request aid from? We can't... travel in space and are completely debendant on your transportation."

Present
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Hanger, Floor -1

Well there the ragtag group is, all in mostly fur-made winter gear, everyone with different weapons and with different insignias on both of them. Once told to head out, they would, bringing along the armored vehicle if they'd be allowed to drive it into one of the dropships (and if they are large enough for them to begin with). ((I can hear the darn X-COM music in my head now))

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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Phorcys » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:59 pm

Three kilometres from Sierra Seven

The slaves haul emergency equipment from the lander onto sledges - tanks of chlorine, digging tools, electrolysis units, inflatable pressure-locks. The load is great and their work must be fast - but they are Western slave-stock, vat-grown, implanted with nerve-breakers that render them sub-sapient and impervious to fear or fatigue. They will haul at the utmost limits of their strength until they drop.

"Retreat-reach perimeter!" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander chitters at them, sparking an electromitter more to relieve his own fear than to motivate the mindless things. A few hundred metres away the Meridians are dragging out their copious supply of weapons - and trying to restart the oizyform. If that mech is chasing them their headstart won't count for anything.

The slaves speed off. In the low gravity and atmospheric pressure of Gleam, a species native to the 2G of Phorcys exerts considerable power, and even hauling their sleds the slaves bound across the ice, propelled from their pereiopods with each stride. The Phonotaxis brood scuttle behind, radial symmetry allowing them to cover the rear even as they race for the perimeter.

A metallic shriek sounds out above the howl of the blizzard - it can only be the oizysform, screaming into life as it's fired up for the first time in a year. The half-sane machine-spliced pilot flails with disorientation, pealing discordant noise from his vocoders. The Meridians try to grapple down its limbs - and in one swift motion an oizys is impaled on a mechanical pereiopod, and flung like a helpless spawnling across the ice. The Westerners briefly hope the Meridians will be held up by the monstrosity - until it starts rolling towards them, covering ground at even more incredible speed for its size.

0117771 tracks it expertly with his microfusion thrower as it bears down on his brood - the ungainliness of the heavy weapon mitigated by the low G - but the 56% failure rate blares in his mind. He wills himself to be bold - for Phonotaxis - but he cannot take the shot.

"0117940!" he stridulates instead to a lesser brood-sibling, who grips dead 0118860's thrower with trembling pereiopods. The oizys saved the weapon from 0118860-Kinguard's dismembered corpse - and earned himself a most unwanted promotion to the position for it. "You fire!" 0117771 tells him.

Obediently 0117940-Attendant primes his weapon, levels it at the charging mech and - explodes in a conflagration of blinding plasma.

0117771 rattles in frustration - and terror - as the oizysform gains on them.

"Sibling take sledge!" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander calls out to him, "send-expend slaves to slow down!"

They don't get the chance. The macrosuit is close enough to trigger its sonic defence systems - and though every oizys clenches his exoskeletal ridges shut before irreparable auditory damage can be done - it leaves them echoblind, careening deafly through the blizzard with only vestigial vision to guide them. It can pick them off one by one as they fall apart - point-defence coilguns chatter, ripping apart another sibling. A mechanical pereiopod spears a slave and overturns a sled, sending supplies crashing into the snow. Bounding frenziedly in a random direction 0117771-Kinguard sees a darkness looming behind him, and raises his thrower with a trill of defiance - only for an explosion to knock him off his pereiopods and send the darkness reeling away.

The sonic emittance stops - the Westerners unclench their cuticles-

-To find the oizysform sprawled on the ice, a smouldering crater pitted in its central mass and a dismembered arm lying next to it, exposed synthetic muscle spasming and crackling with arcs of electricity.

The soldiers would have reached them by this point, the superior physiques of the huge Meridian oizys giving them the advantage in the race - but they stop dead in their tracks at the echo of the toppled mech, digging their pereiopods into the ice to bring themselves to a halt.

Perimeter of Sierra Seven

0117771-Kinguard trains his weapon on 6206614-Barracks-Master. With him his siblings raise what weapons they have left - coilguns, sonic emitters. The Meridians level their kinetic sluggers in turn. Not enough to damage 0117771 or 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander's power armour, but the heavy caliber rounds will easily penetrate their siblings' and their slaves' armour-padded suits.

"What happened to oizysform?" 0117771 asks, breaking the stridulatory silence.

After a few moments of deadlocked hostility the Meridians relent. "Presume perimeter defences triggered" 6206614-Barracks-Master clicks tersely. "Directed energy weapon - struck after oizysform opened fire". They have all but reached the base - the perimeter walls loom above them, and what 0117771 presumes to be turrets are pointed directly at the wreckage. Slowly Meridian and Westerner alike lower their weapons, realising their uselessness - but none of the tension abates. Even cut off from each other's flesh by exosuits and armour, the violent drives of the oizys remain.

"Then oizys under authority-protection of E't'i'a" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander declares, producing the best approximation of the word 'Ellian' an oizys can with a combination of slow stridulatory clicks and cloacal gurgles. "Desist. Continued violence-contention impossible"

"Possible weapon discharge triggers defences" 6206614-Barracks-Master responds, "did not fire when oizysform impale-attacked" - and dropping their weapons the Meridians begin to press forwards once again. "Can tear dysgenic-Western-weaklings apart without" 7133707-Combatant chitters with high-pitched menace.

"No!" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander trills. "We have 7490074-Aerovoid-Technician! Cannot retrofit escape ship without 7490074!"

"This one knows" 6206614-Barracks-Master clicks coldly, pointing a periopod at him. 0119859 winces. They'd tried to disguise him as a slave, branding him with the scar markings of vat-stock, even castrating him. But beneath the suit the racial physiognomy of an East Continental is unconcealable - as is the messiness of their imprecise hacking and cauterisation of the ovipositor sheath. "Come with us, valued-asset-friend" 6206614 tells the hostage. "We kill oizys that cut you. Will not harm you" he jabs a pereiopod forcefully at 7133707-Combatant, forcing the flesh-eager oizys back to make the point of his authority in that regard.

490074-Aerovoid-Technician moves towards the Meridians but before he can take more than a step the other slaves have surrounded him in a barrier of mindless muscle. Their nerve-breaker implants are keyed to the unique signature of 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander's clicks, and in barely a half-second's rapid tapping he can convey complex coded orders.

"Release" 6206614-Barracks-Master rattles, cloacae hissing.

"Torn apart before Meridians reach" 0119859 warns, and with another second's stridulatory chittering the slaves close in and grapple the East Continental.

But 7133707-Combatant takes little heed. The Meridian stalks forward, slowly, blatantly daring any oizys to open fire. 0117771-Kinguard clasps his thrower tightly. If it has truly come to it, he will die to defend the continuity of his fleshline.

"This one does not believe you will kill-order" 6206614-Barracks-Master trills. "Would strand Westerners also". The Meridians do not intervene with 7133707's approach. As he draws near the Westerners recoil, edging back, arraying their limbs together in defensive latices to receive any charge - but the Meridian is almost twice their size and his limbs twice as thick. He darts his pereiopods forward to make the Westerners flinch - testing reactions, probing for the weakest link in their formation.

0119859-Taskgroup-Commander responds with another stutter of barely audible clicks and a trio of slaves break off, hauling out to the front of the brood one of 0119859's own siblings. "Kin-master?" the oizys cries in confusion and terror, thrashing futilely in the slave-stocks' grasp. 7133707 draws towards the offering and 0119859's other kin chitter nervously as they consider the value of their loyalty. "What is this?" 0117771-Kinguard asks.

"This" 0119859 responds - but to the Meridans, not to him, "is 0219911-Bioengineer. Will 6206614 let his soldier kill him?"

The threat appears to give 6206614 pause. The Barracks-Master does not believe the Commander will kill his hostage - but he does believe a Meridian on the edge of frenzy will kill without thinking. The Bioengineer was an experimenter, a theorist, a researcher providing gene therapies to wealthy Kin-League clients - but he is still the closest thing the company has to a medic.

"Depend-require my knowledge!" 0219911-Bioengineer rattles desperately in the slaves' grip. "Meridians know exposure-effect on oizys body? This one perform-observed experiments for Confederal Air-Void Command - pressure-differential causes hydrostats to distend - then burst. Death slow. If any are wounded - only this one can save you from this death!"

6206614-Barracks-Master holds his impassive stance, observing 7133707's every movement carefully. But another Meridian stridulates out to the Westerners - "accept previous agreement!"

"What?" 6206614 demands, turning to the oizys. He cannot allow his authority to be so undermined.

"Agreement in orbit" 3672448-Combatant stridulates. "All Meridians mate-feed, 7133707-Combatant does not"

"What?" demands 7133707, the shock pulling him out of his attack-approach.

But more Meridians begin to chitter in accord. "You cannot accept!" 7133707 trills out to 6206614-Barracks-Master, but as the others of his band begin to stamp their pereiopods and turn menacingly towards 7133707 instead of the Westerners, 6206614 senses the danger towards his authority and clicks in the affirmative.

Without warning the oizysform rears back up to its mechanical pereiopods - spilling coolant and billowing chlorine from its sparking wounds with each exertion. Before 7133707 can react it grasps him with unnatural speed and lifts the Meridian bodily into the air, thrashing helplessly. "This one mate-feeds also" its vocoders boom. The others start back in surprised fear - but it soon seems the damage has brought the pilot out of the volatile reawakening state.

0119859-Taskgroup-Commander clicks at the Meridian handlers "can damage be repaired?"

"Possible repair-refit takes multiple rotations. But possible. Designed for redundancy-modularity".

Confederal tech is designed for robustness first, and robustness second - anything must be to survive on Phorcys. The oizysform was built for active combat in the acid storms of the planet's irradiated surface. It will take more than a direct hit from weaponised plasma and massive structural damage to bring it down.

"Then this one concedes additional slave. Accord confirm-agreed?" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander clicks his satisfaction. It was never the slaves at stake - it was his authority.

"This one concurs" 6206614-Barracks-Master replies, before any other Meridian can answer for him - though it is hard not to grind his gizzards and let on his rage at the words. But it is done. Their main combat asset is crippled, and the Westerners hold hostage the company's most essential personnel. This co-operation must continue, for now at least if he is to retain dominance over his fellow Meridians. But his position, this has made clear, is tenuous - and a show of force or some shift in dynamic is urgently needed to rectify the imbalance...

Sierra Seven Exterior

Resigned to working together - at least until their immediate needs are met - the oizys set to work. First generators are deployed to power their electrolysis units, providing a supply of chlorine gas before they all asphyxiate. Segregated work crews dig out separate burrows, and inflatable passage-locks seal off the tunnel entrances, providing hospitable levels of pressure below ground. In hours, a miniature base has been constructed within the boundaries of Sierra Seven. The oizysform is dragged into a burrow of its own where 0219911-Bioengineer works with a few of the slightly less massive and violent Meridians begin to perform field repairs on the downed mech.

Released from their suits the Meridians indulge in slave-slaughter. At their request the slaves have been reconfigured to defend themselves - the Commander resisted at first, not wanting any more injuries before combat operations began - but eugenics-indoctrinated Meridians will only take mates that are up on their pereiopods and fighting to survive. In a secluded burrow, 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander and his Kinguard mate unresisting slave-partners instead, implants set to docility. The Western way. They do not have enough slave-stock to spare for all 0119859's brood, and except for leadership the soldiers - as per their agreement - come first. But at least 7133707-Combatant is held prisoner by the other Meridians, bound and at gunpoint and forced to watch as the others plunge and partake.

Yet this is not an end to discord - far from it. It never can be among the oizys. In the Westerners' warrens the denied brood-siblings seethe with resentment, and even with the Commander in his private chamber, 0117771-Kinguard dwells on grievances.

"Valued-honoured-sibling operates well" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander tells him as they withdraw ovipositors from the twitching corpses of their stock, ninth limbs glistening with black lymph. His master parts his now bared limbs in an oizys gesture of trust and friendship - rare even among kin. Back home, many years ago, 0117771 would have considered the display the honour of his entire career. But no longer.

"Current situation-predicament must not progress" he says instead. "Cannot."

"What is 0117771's meaning?" the Commander asks, but already a tone of hostility has crept into his stridulation. This would not be the first time this has been raised.

"We are last of Kin-League Phonotaxis. If operation fails, Phonotaxis genome extinct with us. We have lost so many-"

"-No choice. Require funds!"

"Require a home! Where Phonotaxis can begin again! Where our brood can mate-multiply, gather-restore strength".

"Cannot remain at any location. Sibling knows this" 0119859 pops his cloacae in frustrated anger. "Can never stop. Confederal agents then find us!"

"Risk superior to certain-inevitable failure" 0117771 implores.

"Silence, Kinguard" 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander settles the exchange. "This one will hear-listen no more of such dangerous-inadvisable plans"

0117771's spiracles flare at his kin-superior's command - an offence against the Kin-League and the Swarm that would have been punishable by castration back on Phorcys. But 0119859 has learnt bitterly that he must tolerate such truculence and insubordination out in exile, where his authority means only as much as there are oizys he can trust to obey him. Of which there are none. Not even his own Kinguard, he thinks now, clenching in dismay.

"This one has communicated our number and strength to paymasters" he informs 0117771. "We go-report now, to receive orders. Must go with 6206614-Barracks-Master for implication-pretence of equal footing - to sustain accord. Escort-protect this one"

"This one obeys, sibling-master" 0117771 dutifully replies, grinding his gizzards within.

Sierra Seven,
The Hanger, Floor -1


Four oizys enter the facility.

One a Westerner of little greater radial span than an average human's height - but wearing a heavily armoured powerskeleton, its surface ridged and barbed like the oizys cuticle to allow them to produce their stridulatory speech even fully enclosed - and to retain their natural deadliness.

The other wears only a pressurised, padded exosuit - but the Meridian's limbspan reaches over two and a half metres, every hydrostatic limb as powerfully-built as the power armour's. A viciously bladed metal prosthesis is jammed into the mid-segment of one in place of a pereiopod.

Behind 0119859-Taskgroup-Commander and 6206614-Barracks-Master is an even huger oizys - 7133707-Combatant - towering at almost three metres high. A hulk of iron-hard cuticle and muscle. And at the Meridian's side another near-human scale oizys - 0117771-Kinguard - only two metres across, limbs lean but fast, contorting erratically in defensive layers. Once again the Meridian in an armour-padded environmental suit, the Westerner in power armour.

"Designatable-Taskgroup of Independent Agents report-answers to paymasters" 0119859 clicks, trusting the aliens will have translation softwares, as they invariably do.

As they form up to receive their instructions 6206614-Barracks-Master regards the feeble softworlders they are to fight alongside - and fight for - with silent contempt. With what the oizys have learnt are sub-audible clicks he scans through the alien bodies - all so alike in their weakness, with their soft, fleshy, fabric-thin cuticles, their ungainly and inefficient bipedal forms. Skeletons ridiculously trapped on the inside, where they can provide no protection. Muscles bound to fragile junctions and joints. Vulnerable pulmonary sacs. If the nanite plague they face merely repurposes such feeble forms what threat can their company face? Even the large ones - the oizys-sized Xahians - share the deficiencies of their lessers, and they too cower in power suits like dysgenic Western scum.

0119859-Taskgroup-Commander, however, has spent longer years in exile than the Meridian, and he knows to fear the softworlders' inscrutable creations, even if not the creatures themselves. What confuses him about the aliens is no longer how they survive at all in such miserable forms, but the obscurer mysteries of their existence. Questions like the seemingly purposeless, yet apparently purposeful deformations of their armour and weapons - the Qorsikans, in particular, are covered in them. Symbols. Some aliens have tried to explain the concept to him before. A kind of script, to his understanding, yet needlessly elaborate and recursive, unparseable to oizys translators. It is always so with aliens - they display seemingly endless inefficiencies, redundancies, idiocies - and yet somehow these are the creatures that rule the stars, while the oizys do not. 0119859 seeks to understand how and why.

He knows he can never return home, he knows he must survive the rest of his life among foreign beings - and he knows he must understand them in order to survive. 0119859 can tell the Meridian is chafing at the presence of what he considers his natural inferiors - he abhors even the presence of 'weakling' Westerners like himself enough. But where the Meridian looks away with contempt, the Westerner will look. That has always been his people's way, and the source of their superiority in spite of all the selective breeding and moulding hardship the Meridian Hierarchies ever inflicted on their own.

“Markings” 0119859 asks the prominently attired Qorsikan he takes to be their warren-master, as they file out for the dropships. He gestures to the spaulders and the drape. “Explicate?”

A question it would never occur to any Meridian to ask. Western ingenuity will see him triumphant.

Surviving Oizys:

Phonotaxis Exiles:
0119859-Taskgroup-Commander (Overall command)
0117771-Kinguard (trained combatant and bodyguard)
0219911-Bioengineer (taking on medical duties)
0191858-Agriengineer (responsible for maintaining temporary burrow habitats)
0188179-Logistician (responsible for supplies)
0191997-Attendant (once a decadent sycophant, now a talentless waste of space, others plan to eat him)
0111795-Attendant (desperately making himself useful by performing odd jobs. A quick learner)
Weapons: 2x portable coilguns, 1 microfusion plasma thrower, 2x sonic tightbeam weapons, 2x electromitters, 8x monomolecular blades

Meridian Mutineers
6206614-Barracks-Master (Strong even for an oizys, keeps non-kin soldiery in line through force)
3672448-Combatant (big)
7133707-Combatant (bigger)
9503026-Combat-Engineer (relied upon for field repairs, too important to try and mate)
4933073-Reconitor (of light build for a Meridian, but his kin-group bred for an excellent sense of smell)
Weapons: 5x kinetic slug throwers, 3x arms-grade micro-fission breaching lasers, oizyform mech armed with sonic defence system, anti-personnel missile pods, and point-defence coilguns

Others
7490074-Aerovoid-Technician (the only possibility for escape)
6 castrated slaves (no designations)
The Oizys of the Confederation of Swarms
A dysfunctional kratocracy of lethally reproducing hermaphrodites
Post-Humanity and the Church of Autology
A transhumanist cult of precursor worshipping evangelists
The Great Ones of the Cryojovian Volume
An advanced post-civilisational race of solitary space nomads
The Ecdysites of the Heterarchy
A post-apocalyptic bronze-age tribe plagued by the resurrected monsters that haunt their DNA
The Iridescence
A symbiotic race enthralled to the superorganism that sustains their biology - and devours them

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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Xah » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:28 pm

Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
The Hanger, Floor -1


The Xahian Paladins were all suited up in their bulky powered armour and one of the technicians had even had the bright idea of adapting the Ellian plasma pistols to the suit's hardpoints. She had taken the pistols allocated to the standard infantry and rigged them in groups of five to be fired in a sequential manner from a single trigger, then using some of the equipment available, had taken each of the five pistol groups and attached them to the un-used hardpoint on the suit's left arm, wiring it up to the firing mechanism. Now, as well as the Xahian weapon on the right arm, each Paladin had a five-barrelled plasma weapon on the left. The technician had even had the good sense to include a failsafe, so if the weapons ran out of charge, or otherwise malfunctioned, they could be released with a single command. Sp Jai was impressed, and made a mental note to recommend the technician for a promotion once back in Xah.

The soldiers listened to the instructions from Lax, then to the translation by Jai describing their mission. It seemed a relatively simple search and cleanse operation, something they were experienced with, given the hive nature of Xahian cities. The climate wasn't much of an issue to any of them, so much like home, a few had even commented on the similarities between Xah and this alien moon.

The presence of the Oizys had caused a bit of a stir with the standard infantry; most of them had never served with anything other than other humanoids, and the obviously alien forms had piqued their interest. Jai was a little concerned with the display of curiosity, something that shouldn't have been expressed in a good Warrior, but as he watched his men, the interest appeared to be more of the 'where would we shoot them to kill' variety, and his concerns eased. He gave Tomas the nod, and the assembled Warriors trooped off to their dropship, designated targets now showing on their HUDs.

Current strength (in field)

Command
Sp Jai Kohl-Smith - light armoured environment suit, GP-2 flechette pistol
Paladins
Cp Tomas Kaiser - Umka power armour, Tesla Gauss Rifle
Lt Phoenix Campbell - Umka power armour, Hammer autocannon
Sg Josie - Umka power armour, Hammer autocannon
Cr Norm - Umka power armour, Arktos rotary cannon
Cr Tam - Umka power armour, Arktos rotary cannon
Squad Alpha & Squad Beta
Each squad: one Lieutenant, one sergeant, one corporal, seven privates - Fox heavy environment armour, eight GH-5 flechette rifles, two GR-70 support rifles

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Re: The Light After the Dusk

Post by Qora » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:00 pm

Gleam, Asylum
Sierra Seven, The Diamond Mountains
B1, Hangar
The physician notices the Oizys figure perambulating towards their way and is astonished at actually being able to see one in person. Instantly he recalls all sorts of facts of their physiology and their culture associated with it. How they view their exoskeletons as superior to other species and how they can navigate primarily through clicking and such abilities regarding it. Then confusion strikes him, "Why is this Oizys taking an interest in somebody here? Why are they not with the Confederation of Swarms?"

“Markings,” 0119859 asks the prominently attired Qorsikan he takes to be their warren-master, as they file out for the dropships. He gestures to the spaulders and the drape. “Explicate?”

Captain sun turns to the Oizys curious what the Oizys means by the question of the markings on the spaulders and the cape on the side of her arm. "Oizys see primarily through echolocation and seems to have a curiosity with the inlays in your spaulder. As for the heraldry on your small cape... it sees it more as blurs of colour than anything. They do not much understand our use of symbolism, to be honest."

"I see..." Sun turns to the Oizys. She takes out a small speaker translating her speech into clicking and activates it, "Well the symbols on this," gesturing to her spaulder, "indicates that I am subservient to a very specific Clan among my people. That clan rules all among my people whether we like it or not and to show subservience to them we put their symbols on our shoulder. This reduces the amount of infighting we have as we all know we all belong to them and that they have supreme power over us." She then gestures to the cape draping over her arm, a white two-headed peacock flanked by both swords pointing outward. "This tells other people that I have no clan and am adopted by the ruling clan. I have no home, but I am free to offer services outside of our... nation."

"It is mainly to show others what clan I belong to and others will have all kinds of different styles cape. Helps us to know who to be friendly to and share our secrets with and who do not do so."

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