Session 8 3

Zinda Tegram stabs the drop pod with her torch.
It is unclear whether Smith survived that, but the other delegates scramble to their feet as five marines pour out of the pod. Although the alarm has sounded, ship's security is outside, and it is not immediately clear if they have their own "guests" to deal with.
[OOC] WC GM: The map: there's the head of the table where the PCs are, the foot of the table where most of the NPCs are, the main viewscreen behind the table head, mid-chamber left and mid-chamber right adjacent to all zones but each other, the exit adjacent to the foot of the table, and the boarding pod under the foot of the table. There's also an aerial zone - the ceiling - where Smith is embedded, though you'll need to do more than just walk to get there.
[OOC] WC GM: Initiative: Metis, Marine 1, Abraham/Zinda, Speaker/Marines 2&3, Spyboy, Thanes/Marines 4&5, Raz
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hahaha.
The pod is not immediately in Zinda's range.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Damn bwahahaha
[OOC] WC GM: Metis!
[OOC] WC GM: Also, mid-chamber zones are not adjacent to the pod.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So, I'll have to charge. OK.
[OOC] WC GM: Notably, the marines are between you and the pod.
Metis takes a long, evaluating glance at the boarding pod to compute numbers, armaments, temperament, and other data and process it through the Integrated network.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda will cut.
[OOC] WC GM: Put another way: the table is 2 zones, then there's the space around the table being 4 zones, then the ceiling, and the pod below the table foot.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I am having a hard time picturing this but Zinda's plan is not too complicated.
It looks like there are 5 marines, each with standard rifles, kill-or-be-killed hostile.
[OOC] WC GM: Tactics check for more details.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 - + - (Base: 4 Total: 3)
[OOC] WC GM: From Metis.
[OOC] WC GM: It's Metis's turn.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh derp.
Metis rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 - (Base: 2 Total: 1) (((tactics is not my primary function!)))
[OOC] WC GM: Result PMed.
The apparent squad leader takes aim at Abraham and fires!
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - - + (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Energy Weapons)
Metis: "[Is this standard Confederated negotiating tactics?]"
Abraham flips the table, crouches down and returns fire.
[OOC] Abraham: Agility to defend?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: + - - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 3) (Agility to Defend)
[OOC] WC GM: With free tag from "Flipped Table Cover"
[OOC] WC GM: …assuming you're using it, pass.
[OOC] Abraham: TY, will tag flipped table cover
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda's & Abraham's turn!
Abraham lays down suppressing fire ((Science to zone the marines and to convince them to keep their heads down and lay the tag 'Suppressing fire' on the marines))
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I may use that.
[OOC] WC GM: Roll it.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 7 Total: 8) (Science to zone the marines and to convince them to keep their heads down and lay the tag 'Suppressing fire' on the marines.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Agility to not be suppressed)
[OOC] WC GM: Tag placed! Zinda!
The marines duck for cover!
[OOC] Abraham: Hands above your head, keep low to the ground. Time to duck and cover…
So do Thanes and Raz. Speaker is too short to be affected.
[OOC] Abraham: Hm… if Zinda is Ivy, does that make Speaker Alec Holland?
Zinda Tegram charges the closest marine, attempting to drive her torch through their face plate in order to use them as cover.
[OOC] WC GM: They're roughly equally close. Pick one: 1-5.
Zinda Tegram rolled up Gunnery. Taking Abraham's covering fire and tagging the torch.dF: (Base: 9, Total: 9,)
Zinda Tegram: "Going in without field intelligence? Do you know what I am?"
[OOC] Metis: Just to point out, that didn't roll. Semi colon, not comma, for comments.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oops.
Zinda Tegram rolled up GunnerydF: (Base: 9, Total: 9,) (Taking Abraham's covering fire and tagging the torch.)
Marine: "Bounty's flunky."
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - + 0 + (Base: 9 Total: 10)
Marine: "That's all that maa-" is the last thing he says.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Thanks
[OOC] WC GM: Reusing Agility defense since that's the only thing they have nearly appropriate. Choosing marine randomly…
WC GM rolled up 1d5: 2 (2)
Marine 2 is in 2 pieces.
[OOC] Abraham: Sure they do. You're Pamela Isely, wanted in Gotham City for countless acts of ecoterrorism, theft, vandalism, murder and parking your giant venus fly traps in no giant venus flytrap zones.
Zinda Tegram: "I'm the monster you locked yourself in with!"
Spyboy: "Under the circumstances, they know a lot more about us than they should. Are they really from back in the Confederation?"
Marine 3 looks around, notes Speaker is still standing, and - you're not sure if it was intended as protective, compassion, or what, but tries to grab Speaker and wrestle to the ground. Speaker is only too happy to return the favor.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + + 0 (Base: 2 Total: 4) (Brawling for Marine 3)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + + + + (Base: 6 Total: 10) (Brawling for Speaker)
Marine 3 is torn to shreds. Speaker remains standing.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Spyboy reaches, metaphorically, into the Confederation communications network. They're using a modified Confederation code, which to him…means no codes at all. Metaphorically, he grabs the net with his finger and twists…then routes the output straight back into the input.
[OOC] Spyboy: Communications to drop 'squealing feedback' onto the Marines.
[OOC] WC GM: Go for it.
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: - + - 0 (Base: 6 Total: 5) (Communications)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - - 0 (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Stamina)
The remaining marines twitch, clearly affected - and as Spyboy reaches out, he finds other boarding parties all across the Roland. Although he can not see them, he knows they are all affected, and more importantly temporarily out of mutual contact.
Marine 4 tries to grab Thanes, apparently trying to take a hostage.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - - + (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Agility)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 + (Base: 7 Total: 9) (Agility + Graceful As Sin)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: …Zinda hasn't updated her stats lately. I'll have to fix that after this haha
Thanes dances out of the way, pulling moves that belong in a holo more than an actual real life fight. He even chuckles as he does so.
[OOC] WC GM: Thanes passes that Style along to the next PC who wants to use it.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda thinks she will, with her next action.
Marine 5 tries to shoot the incoming Zinda-shaped juggernaut in a panic!
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Energy Weapons)
[OOC] Spyboy: 'scalled called Spin in Diaspora.
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, right.
[OOC] WC GM: Anyway, +1.
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda, defense?
Zinda Tegram rolled up alertness.dF: (Base: 5, Total: 5,)
Marine 5 does a good job of shooting up the air around Zinda. Those poor artificial atmosphere molecules…
Zinda Tegram sees it coming, and having already positioned her previous victim between herself and her assailant, holds the upper half of their body up like a shield, continuing her approach.
Raz breaks from the table (move to exit zone) and tries opening the door. "Argh! They've jammed it! Cover me while I get this open!"
[OOC] WC GM: Round 2! Metis!
Zinda Tegram: "I'm going to tear you to SHREDS"
[OOC] Metis: Are the ships internal sensors online?
[OOC] WC GM: Somewhat. Slightly jammed.
Metis glances around at those already engaged in the struggle, then at Raz, and rises, stepping between Raz and the melee.
[OOC] Metis: Placing aspect with Stamina: Robotic Shield. Roll it?
Zinda Tegram puts a quick pheromone pulse out to request Speaker's help with her next action. It is to supply a starter culture so she can 'eat' him.
[OOC] WC GM: Don't bother: your roll's high enough for autopass.
[OOC] Metis: Got it.
Speaker sends back a quick affirmation and begins to comply.
Marine 1 ducks back into the boarding pod. Out of line of sight, you do not immediately see what he is doing.
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda & Abraham!
Zinda Tegram continues her charge towards the Marine and drives the body she is carrying into his chest before stabbing him to open a hole in his suit. Then, she starts pulling the spores in to infect the wound.
Abraham waits for a pause in the firefight, then vaults the, now raggedy, table and rushes the boarding pod intent on stopping the marine from doing… whatever. Not surrendering he supposes.
[OOC] Abraham: Any roll or just movement?
[OOC] WC GM: Roll for attack. Are you shooting him, shooting the pod's controls, grabbing him, smashing the pod's controls…?
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 + (Base: 6 Total: 7) (Medical, tagging 'Production Model')
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - + 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Agility)
[OOC] Abraham: Grabbing him
[OOC] WC GM: Agility or other skill suitable for martial arts, then.
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, turn his comms on. I want them to hear him scream."
Marine 5 is stabbed, but is not down yet.
Zinda Tegram gets up in the camera and starts sniggering madly.
Spyboy: "No."
Zinda Tegram: "Really? Hahaha, alright."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - + + (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Agility to fly (figuratively) through the hail of gunfire to tackle the marine who is so conveniently behind cover.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 3) (Agility to not get grabbed)
[OOC] Abraham: Yay! Barely succeeded!
Abraham lands a solid hold on Marine 1, grabbing his hand just before he could punch the "disengage" button and expose the chamber to vacuum.
[OOC] Abraham: Oh good. That would have sucked.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: We'd have had plenty of time given the amount of decks they breached.
Abraham: "Behave yourself, or I'll give you to my flunky."
Speaker just stands there, generating spores and enzymes, and tossing them to Zinda. (Autopass tag usable by Zinda only: Spored Up)
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Spyboy takes control of the assault pod. Make sure no one tries THAT one again.
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: + + + 0 (Base: 6 Total: 9) (Communications)
[OOC] Abraham: Getting Naxxramas flashbacks.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - 0 + + (Base: 2 Total: 3) (Computers - defense programming from minimum bid contractors)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Well, Zinda's about to make a Disgaea reference, so *shrug*
Marine 4 takes a quick look around and charges the two at the door.
Spyboy: "Raz! Watch out!"
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - + + + (Base: 3 Total: 5) (Stamina to yank Metis and Raz out of the way)
[OOC] WC GM: Metis: defense? You can add your own tag if you wish, under the circumstances
Metis rolled up 4dF: + 0 + - (Base: 5 Total: 6) ((Stamina to not be yanked, how impolite.))
Metis: "Please do not engage with me. I am currently a non-combatant."
Marine 4's hand latches on firmly to Metis. Expecting to fling away a child, he nearly rips his arm out of his socket on the utterly immovable android.
Metis: "Also, you may injure yourself."
Zinda Tegram shouts back.
Marine 5 defiantly tries to shoot Zinda at point blank range.
Zinda Tegram: "If you hurt my daughter, you're next!"
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Energy Weapons)
Zinda Tegram is currently laughing.
[OOC] WC GM: Defense?
[OOC] Abraham: BRB. Also someone hurting her daughter is Zinda's happy thought?!?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: No, she's putting on an act.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: The Queen of Oldziey has a reputation to uphold!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: My defense, or Metis's?
[OOC] WC GM: Yours
[OOC] WC GM: Vs. Marine 5 shooting you while you're stabbing him
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - - - + (Base: 7 Total: 5) (Alertness, private army. I have his arm pinned beneath his comrade's body, he doesn't have an angle.)
[OOC] Spyboy: I figured she was laughing because someone injuring themselves while attempting to injure her daughter was a happy thought.
[OOC] Metis: Zinda is a walking bundle of happy thoughts, a different one each round.
Marine 5 tries to bring his gun to bear but Zinda parries with his comrade!
Zinda Tegram pushes her face right up to his faceplate.
Zinda Tegram: "Ehehehe…oh, not smart…"
[OOC] Abraham: Back.
The faceplate is currently tinted to make viewing in difficult…until Thanes reaches over and yanks Marine 5's helmet off, letting Zinda see the terror in Marine 5's eyes.
Thanes just smiles. "Better?"
Raz poke-poke-pokes at the door's controls in a hurry. "Almost got it…"
Zinda Tegram gives her best slasher grin. She doesn't say anything.
[OOC] WC GM: Round 3! Metis!
Metis activates her sensor suite, doing a scan of the area and, if possible, the outside halls. They jammed the Roland, but did they think to jam the android?
They did not.
Metis: "[Do not be in the path of this door when it opens. Someone should perhaps alert the Admiral.]"
Marine 1 tries to twist free of Abraham's grasp.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 - - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 2) (Agility)
Metis stays ready to pull Raz out of the line of partial, or perhaps complete, suicide.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 + 0 - (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Stamina to maintain the hold ((I assume that's needed.)))
Marine 1 is at Abraham's mercy.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham & Zinda!
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 9 Total: 10) (Medical. Zinda doesn't make any visible movements besides pulling her torch out of the wound and laughing into his terrified face. Actually though, she's using him to start a slither colony.)
Zinda Tegram: "Kill, and Recycle…Kill and recycle…hehehehe…hahahaha…."
[OOC] WC GM: …not even bothering to roll defense.
Marine 5's body goes limp as his peripheral nervous system shuts down. Perhaps his brain still functions, for the moment, but it is irrelevant.
Zinda Tegram lets him fall, stands up, and straightens herself out. She looks much more sane.
Zinda Tegram: "Sorry you had to see that Thanes."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: + - 0 - (Base: 4 Total: 3) (Stamina to apply sleeper hold on the marine. "Tsk. I did warn you to behave.")
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Stamina)
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, and thanks for the boost, Speaker."
The hold is applied, but the marine does not immediately fall to it.
Zinda Tegram: "Please don't do what I just did, though, it's deeply unethical."
[OOC] Abraham: Amusing, he gets a +1, I get a -1
[OOC] Metis: Abe, he's a marine; you need to shout.
Speaker curtsies. "Wel-come!"
Zinda Tegram walks over to the surviving Marine.
Thanes applauds. "I've seen showier techniques, but that was well done for sudden improv."
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, hold that Zinda.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ah, K.
[OOC] Spyboy: Dunno if you got Metis's hints, but she detected a LOT more Marines outside this room.
[OOC] WC GM: Marines 1 and 4 both still survive. Also, it's Spyboy's turn.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Aaah, OK. Miscounted.
[OOC] WC GM: That's not the most immediate thing Metis detected.
[OOC] Metis: Though it is technically true.
[OOC] Abraham: Wait… that can't be a space station they brought with them, it's too big…
Spyboy thumbs the safety on his energy pistol to stun and potshots Marine #4. Metis shouldn't get any conducted damage…
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: - - + - (Base: 5 Total: 3) (Energy Weapons to attack.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - + (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Resolve to remain standing)
[OOC] Spyboy: Blech. Apparently I wasn't bloodthirsty enough for Chessa. Tagging Admiral's Eyes for +1.
Marine 4 does not even bother dodging, just stands there and shrugs it off.
[OOC] Spyboy: Err, +2.
Or at least seems to, though Spyboy knows the marine felt it.
Metis looks at the marine before her. "It would be proper for you to surrender. It will save us time and you, injury."
Marine 4 tries to pick up Metis and throw her aside.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - + (Base: 3 Total: 3) (Stamina)
Zinda Tegram: "Don't resist, and you even get to stay human. Isn't that nice? You'll probably even survive without losing any bodily functions."
Metis sighs.
Metis rolled up 4dF: + - - 0 (Base: 5 Total: 4) ((Stamina, I guess, because 'made of metal' isn't a skill.))
Predictably, no substantial movement results.
Metis: "You will injure yourself if you persist in this."
Raz poke-poke-pokes and the door opens. "Aha-SHI-" And immediately dives to the floor.
Zinda Tegram sighs.
Metis steps to one side, once Raz is clear.
Behind Metis is the Roland's Executive Officer, with an anti-ship plasma lance almost glowing from overcharge, a scowl on his face, and Marine 4 in his sights.
[OOC] Abraham: I swear, if Spyboy tries to tag my eyes one more time…
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + + - - (Base: 9 Total: 9) (Gunnery + Big Gun + Fully Charged + DO NOT TOUCH MY CO!)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - + - - (Base: 3 Total: 1) (Resolve to tank it)
Marine 4 is now smoking boots.
Metis: "The door is open."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Where's Admiral Bounty?!?"
Zinda Tegram: "Fun. Spyboy, can you open cargo bay three and set the ventilation system to maximize airflow?"
[OOC] WC GM: Anyone helping Abraham in the pod with the last survivor?
Zinda Tegram wanders over.
Abraham drags Marine #? out of the breaching pod, "I'm here XO. Well done."
Metis: "He is currently right there."
Metis points. "Step around the corpses."
Zinda Tegram wanders over to Marine 1. "Hi. You didn't have very good intel."
The survivor struggles, but in vain.
Spyboy: "That's…really terrifying. Please, can you do something inhibitory, rather than give every misguided marine on board a terrifying and horrible death?"
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, that's the plan. But they want need to see the threat's real."
The Executive Officer relaxes. "Sir! Boarders are being repelled." He glances at Spyboy. "Apparently their comms system turned on them shortly after arrival."
Zinda Tegram returns to the Marine.
Zinda Tegram: "Now, everybody you brought with you is going to suffer an awful, awful, lot unless you advise them to surrender over the PA system."
Abraham: "Fancy that. Nicely done Spyboy. Is the brig still intact?"
Spyboy: "Please hold. Routing damage reports…"
ExecutiveOfficer: "That's one place they didn't board."
Metis performs a sweep of the nearby area, linking up with the Roland's sensors to see if the jamming has cleared up.
The jamming is subsiding, as the sources of jamming are being dispatched.
Abraham: "Then see if you can round up some men to escort our guest to his new indefinite quarters."
Zinda Tegram: "The fact our communication's expert is nervous about giving me tactical leeway should tell you something."
Zinda Tegram taps on the Captive's face plate.
Zinda Tegram: "OK?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "I'll do it myself." He smiles, points his lance at the marine, and begins charging it again.
The marine faints.
Zinda Tegram: "Aww, you had to do that?"
Abraham: "Oh, I had an entire speech prepared for what would happen if he didn't behave this time. Ah well."
Zinda Tegram pulls open his suit and confirms he's still alive.
Spyboy rifles over the marines to find any computers or other data storage.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Too much?" He powers down and lowers his weapon.
Metis calls for a clean up. "It may be necessary to suspend or relocate the conference, under the circumstances."
Abraham: "No… I think he's just green."
Zinda Tegram: "A little. You always make the threat conditional!"
Marine 1 is still alive, though he did void himself.
Zinda Tegram checks to see if the infected Marine can be saved.
The other marines have roughly what Spyboy expects to find: an ad hoc communications network among themselves.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Medical to save the guy's mind.)
Along with a mothership - that which brought them here so quickly…Spyboy soon has its coordinates.
Zinda is able to halt her spores' progress, trapping Marine 5's mind in a helpless body.
Zinda Tegram: "I'll fix you up more later. Sorry to leave you paralyzed like this, but you understand. Tactical considerations."
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham, help me get cargo bay three onto that mothership."
[OOC] Spyboy: What kind of mothership is it?
[OOC] Abraham: Wait a bit and you can ask what kind it was.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Derp. Sorry PC hive mind.
[OOC] Spyboy: Again, unlike Zinda, to Spyboy 'Confederation' does not equate to 'Evil.' Rather not kill them if I can just dump their power plant.
Abraham: "What's in Cargo bay 3?"
Spyboy: "Zinda."
Zinda Tegram: "My stuff."
The mothership appears to be a cloaked troop transport. Spyboy can quickly think of many things Zinda could use such a ship for.
[OOC] Abraham: Children's birthday parties?
There does not appear to be anyone left aboard the transport. All the crew disembarked via the pods.
There is a self-destruct set if none return within one hour, now down to 49 minutes.
[OOC] Abraham: Ooohhhh! It's not theft, it's salvage!
Spyboy: "Picking up no life signatures on the troop transport, and such a thing would be very handy."
Spyboy taps the boarding pod.
Abraham: "This might surprise you Zinda, but 'my stuff' is not all that revelatory."
Spyboy: "Anyone else feel like taking a trip over?"
Zinda Tegram: "I'll come."
Metis: "It would be best to investigate fully."
Spyboy: "Admiral, that's where we put her hive, remember?"
Zinda Tegram: "Sssh! Not in front of the captives!"
Abraham: "Ah. Yes. All right. I suppose we can help you salvage this abandoned vessel."
Abraham: "So the Confederacy learns that Zinda likes to keep bees. Not exactly a confidential matter."
Zinda Tegram: "Yes, thank you Abraham."
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, and let's see…"
Zinda Tegram looks around for Smith.
Zinda Tegram: "Smith? We never did get your vote!"
Smith is still embedded in the ceiling. He is not moving and unresponsive.
Zinda Tegram fishes him down and administers aid.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 + + (Base: 4 Total: 7) (Medical)
Smith's head has caved in.
He is dead.
Zinda Tegram: "…Damn…"
Dakka: "I don't know about you, but I heard an 'aye' from him."
Zinda Tegram: "Well, let's register his vote as a negative and report the news of his assassination to the public."
Kali: "Sounds right."
Zinda Tegram: "I agree, but I'd rather not lie about the outcomes of council votes."
Zinda Tegram: "Right Thanes?"
Wenser: "So, we'll go ahead and prepare an invasion defense?"
Abraham: "Yes. Let's delay the inevitable corruption as much as we can."
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah. We didn't need his vote regardless."
Thanes: "Indeed." He inhales. "Honesty…is always the best policy, in the end."
Zinda Tegram nods to Thanes.
Abraham: "And yes, we will need an invasion defense."
Zinda Tegram: "Do we have any other measures to discuss?"
Abraham: "At the moment, I would say not."
Zinda Tegram: "Then I suppose the first Hawking Confederacy council is concluded."
Thanes: "By your leave, I shall escort our…other civilian friends…" He gestures to Raz and Speaker. "…away and begin planning support for the regrettably necessary measures you are about to embark upon."
Raz just rolls his eyes.
Zinda Tegram: "Yes. I will begin staging the Oldziey fleet in Armstrong, and provide designs for our fighters to Raz."
Speaker looks slightly confused.
Zinda Tegram: "Is something the matter, Speaker?"
Raz: "Righto. I'll have the yards warmed up, both here and in Mu Cephei, once you know what you want us to build."
Speaker frowns at Thanes. "Big confusing words."
Zinda Tegram: 'Our doctrine is rather, ah, specific unfortunately.'
[OOC] Abraham: BRB as I ponder weak an weary what to make.
Thanes chuckles. "Oh ho ho. Sorry, I am used to…audiences with different tastes. You prefer simpler affairs, I take it?"
Thanes begins ushering Raz and Speaker out.
Zinda Tegram: "Thanks Thanes. Good luck."
Thanes smiles back at Zinda and gives her a two-finger salute before exiting the room.
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes.
Zinda Tegram: "…I'll also forward you the specifications of our new piece of Salvage, as soon as I have them confirmed."
Zinda Tegram: "I have an idea for a little black op of our own."
Spyboy: "Please clear the room. Unfortunately, the boarding pod is going to leave a breach."
Spyboy seals the ventilation panels in the meantime.
ExecutiveOfficer: "I'll coordinate cleanup." He backs out of the room and starts closing the door. "It's good to see you alive."
Zinda Tegram: "I prefer not to let any of my charges die."
Zinda Tegram nods to the XO.
Zinda Tegram: "What kind of queen throws her flunkies' lives away, eh?"
Zinda Tegram elbows Abraham gently.
It does not take long to re-enable the boarding pod's sytems, and prep it for its return voyage.
Heggy: "Systems…responding…nominal. We are prepared to disengage."
[OOC] WC GM: I assume all the PCs are gathering in the pod? The XO took the surviving marines with him, so all that's left in the room are corpses and equipment.
[OOC] Abraham: Back.
[OOC] Metis: Correct as far as I know.
[OOC] Abraham: I am at least.
[OOC] WC GM: Alright. Depart when you're ready.
Abraham: "Disembark."
Zinda Tegram takes the disabled marine.
Heggy: "Sealing hatch. Roland, be advised that we are disengaging. Prepare for breach in conference room A."
Heggy: "And…disengaging."
Spyboy patches into the troop ship's systems.
Further examination of the marines revealed, unsurprisingly, that they all belonged to the same unit. Spyboy and Abraham remember something about a political controversy a few years before Chandley, but that was in other sectors.
[OOC] WC GM: Their insignia:
The troop ship stands ready to receive the returning pod, and to disable self-destruct upon successful docking.
Spyboy: "Ugh. I should know that…damnit. Admiral, Heggy, do you remember anything about a 'Black Lance' unit?"
Abraham: "Hrmph. Black Lance. Terran Black Ops."
Zinda Tegram: "THAT was a black ops unit? Kind of pathetic…"
Zinda Tegram pokes her limp captive with her foot.
Metis: "Unless we have mistaken their objective."
Spyboy: "Well, consider what they ran into."
Zinda Tegram: "Ab-so-lute-ly disappointing…."
Zinda Tegram rolls him over.
Abraham: "Yes, the XO can be scary when he wants to be."
Zinda Tegram sighs.
Zinda Tegram starts using the spores in her captive to scan the craft so she can reproduce it later.
The mothership is but minutes away. Docking is on the far side from the Roland, or indeed from any observer in Armstrong orbit, though sufficiently close to Armstrong to not be seen distinct from it by any observer around other points of interest in the system.
The troop transport, being a spaceship, is not so easily reproducible via organic means. Also, Zinda knows she will need the schematics…but this does not look like any ship in the Roland's databanks.
Sleeker. Meaner, if such a quality applies to starships. The lighting aboard is dim; Spyboy recognizes psychological lighting intended to motivate imminent fighting, officially discarded by Confederation military as not conducive to proper soldiering.
Metis subjects the ship to a barrage of sensor sweeps, because it is NEW!
Zinda Tegram: "I'm gonna need a few hours with this one if we want Raz to make one."
Metis easily finds a still-active computer core on what passes for the ship's bridge, for herself or Spyboy to interrogate.
Metis directs Michael's attention towards the core.
Zinda Tegram chuckles at the lighting. Amateurs.
There are no quarters; this was essentially a "bus ship" , and the marines were probably quartered on the invasion fleet. Or so it seems at first…
Spyboy: "On it."
Abraham: "Spyboy, see what you can extract."
Spyboy loots the drive, handing a database rip to Metis so that she can make her own skims.
Further examination shows life support hookups that could in theory support marines indefinitely, but the Confederation (officially) treats its soldiers as people so surely there would be quarters elsewhere…
Spyboy very quickly puts the lie to that.
Zinda Tegram starts thinking about replacing most of the equipment racks with living boarding-pod factories, along with a spare store of organic material to work with.
Spyboy: "Oh, my…"
Black Lance. Originally a black ops division of the Confederation military. Officially a disgraced and disbanded one, since the suicide in prison following his court martial of its primary sponsor Admiral Tolwyn.
Metis performs an atmosphere purity sweep, just to check for any trace of their bioweapon.
Zinda Tegram: "Hey HEY!"
Continued to exist, tapping a number of funding and support sources, increasingly without official sanction over the years, having legally passed the line to criminal syndicate long ago but still getting much unofficial support.
Zinda Tegram: "I was using that!"
Zinda Tegram sighs as her spores get swept around.
The only remaining bioweapon Metis finds is Zinda's.
[OOC] Metis: Now is that supposed to be comforting…
[OOC] WC GM: It's a statement of fact.
Various elements in the Confederation government - a very few of them having so much as names - continued to support Black Lance, purposing it toward the prototype of a better Confederation citizen - apparently genetic enhancement applied to humans only - while suppressing independent competing efforts.
Zinda Tegram sits down and grins at her captive, rolling him back and forth.
Zinda Tegram: "Oooh, scary, hehehe…."
The more Spyboy and Metis dig into it, the more they are reminded of Isabel - and somewhat of Morello, and even somewhat what Hrrin was fleeing.
Zinda Tegram: "Hey, Kali, any stunning insights here?"
Apparently they intercepted the returning Confederation pilot and decided the systems beyond Chandley were irrecoverable. The orders of the invasion fleet are to purge all sentient life, before the official Confederation Navy can reach these stars.
Kali: "Going over the feed. Huh. Always figured HQ was corrupt but I didn't think it went this far."
Kali: "I thought it was just my paranoia."
Abraham: "I'd heard the rumors, of course, back when I was a lieutenant, but I never thought there was anything too them."
Kali: "I wish we weren't right. But we are."
Zinda Tegram: "Then, it's them or us."
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, you gonna keep holding me back?"
Spyboy: "Yes, I'm sure there's a third way out."
Spyboy: "Also, I'm not a monster and I'd prefer to stay that way."
Spyboy: "Basically what I'm getting is, the real Navy hasn't been told that we are still alive."
Metis looks over the information. Is there any indication of what elements (names, ranks, serial numbers) were supporting this?
Zinda Tegram: "I see. Shame."
Kali: "This isn't just military, or all military. Backers are probably rich and powerful - you know, 'wannabe secret masters' types."
Spyboy: "That said, while there are limits to what I'll help you do to the Black Lance, there's certainly plenty I will do to help."
Abraham: "Our first priority is to get in contact with them then. Zinda, we may need to keep this ship as evidence. Sorry."
Metis finds serial numbers and ranks for the marines. Names seem, confusingly, to use elements of the serial numbers.
Metis: "Zinda, I will pass the schematics to you once my scan is complete."
Also the pictures of the faces seem to be copied and pasted.
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, thanks 'hon."
Zinda Tegram: "…Evidence? For what?"
Metis studies the names/numbers: is there a correlating pattern that would indicate they all came from a similar source, such as a gene bank?
They were all born on space stations, and not many of them.
[OOC] Abraham: We're in the second Star Wars movie. WC sent in the clones.
[OOC] WC GM: Hey, it worked for them.
Zinda Tegram: "Let's use it. Board one of their capital ships, use it collapse Chandley for real before there's a civilian population there, and then build up a real defense and explore the unknown systems to expand."
Digging into genetic data…this can't be right: they all seem to have the same genetic fingerprint. But cloning, at least for reproductive use like this, is illegal.
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, I will try not to execute any more than necessary but I think the gloves need to be off here."
Abraham: "Look around Zinda. This ship is entirely utility. It wears it's function on it's sleeve. There can be no more convincing evidence of Black Lance and what they are about."
Zinda Tegram: "You could say the same of an Oldziey transit craft."
Metis: "If the incident is caused by a rogue faction, then certainly it should be given no more consideration than any other form of malware. Delete it. But that does not implicate the source process in anything other than 'security is hard'."
Spyboy: "I disagree, firmly and harshly."
Spyboy: "We need to be better than them. We also don't know if Chandley really could be collapsed the way we thought it was."
Abraham: "Yes. And if you wanted to convince me that Oldziey existed, that would be a big piece of evidence."
Zinda Tegram: "Then at the very least seizing their capital craft could buy us time for real defenses."
Zinda Tegram: "They outstrip us, technologically and numerically, and I'm not here to fight a guerrilla war."
Metis cross-references the cloning process used with the cloning methods employed by the Nephilim. Any correlation?
Spyboy: "Numerically, yes. Technologically - remember that you're not just part of Oldziey anymore."
Cloning is cloning, although the specifics suggest independent reinvention.
Abraham: "Well, they might be… a year or so ahead of us in tech. Certainly not insurmountable."
Metis: "They do not have technological superiority. You do."
Metis: "It seems they were not cooperating with the Nephilim."
Spyboy: "They're a year ahead of Armstrong."
Metis checks into the navigation. Was there a return course set, or a listed point of origin?
Spyboy: "We also have the resources of Mu Cephei and Collins."
Zinda Tegram: "…That's all? I figured the homeworld would have advanced more than that…"
Spyboy: "It's been, what, a year?"
Abraham: "And we have not been /entirely/ idle."
No return course was set, although there are coordinates for the fleet in Grissom.
[OOC] Metis: Their fleet or our fleet?
[OOC] Spyboy: Is that a Black Lance fleet, or Confederation?
[OOC] WC GM: Their fleet. Black Lance so far as you know.
Zinda Tegram: "…Let's go take it."
Spyboy: "Agreed."
[OOC] Metis: Since Spyboy would have Metis' data feed…
Metis: "…how much of this information is flagged confidential? Do we conceal it from the council delegates?"
There is a navigation log, showing construction of the ship and transit from Foster system, a "cul-de-sac" (only one jump point in the system) 4 systems away from Chandley.
Zinda Tegram: "Oh, and ah, Spyboy?"
Spyboy: "I…think…we should…not…classify it."
Zinda Tegram: "Let's use my bees."
Spyboy says that through clenched teeth.
Zinda Tegram: "Nah, let the council know."
Zinda Tegram: "I am, after all, on it."
Abraham: "I agree."
Zinda Tegram chuckles.
Metis performs a sweep of Michael. Is he running a fever?
[OOC] Abraham: And the universe ends since all three are in agreement.
Zinda Tegram: "Shall we tow this in and prepare it for an op, then?"
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, if only universicide were so easy.
[OOC] Spyboy: Nah, generally if Zinda and Spyboy agree, so does Abraham. He's just the tiebreaker the rest of the time.
[OOC] WC GM: Celesticide? Something like that.
[OOC] Metis: Celesticide is what the Dragon-Blooded want to invent.
Zinda Tegram motions for the others to join her and her captive in the boarding pod, after spyboy has disabled the self destruct.
Spyboy: "Why do I get the feeling…"
[OOC] Metis: Spyboy, its okay, you can talk about your feelings.
[OOC] Spyboy: Nope.
[OOC] WC GM: I wouldn't object.
Zinda Tegram: "Something the matter?"
Zinda Tegram: "The bomb's disabled, right?"
Spyboy: "No, but I get the feeling you're going to do something I don't want to see."
The self-destruct disabled itself when the group docked.
Zinda Tegram: "What do you mean?"
Spyboy: "Basically, anything involving your beehives gives me the willies. At best."
Zinda Tegram: "It'll be fine. Anyone who winds up merged would of gotten shot anyways."
Zinda Tegram emphasizes the word 'merged' to freak Spyboy out.
Metis: "I do not know if that will reassure him."
Zinda Tegram: "It's not supposed to."
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, you may not appreciate this…but you don't really have a say here."
Zinda Tegram frowns at him.
Zinda Tegram: "I'm running this op, if not with you then with my own fleet."
Zinda Tegram: "That said, I would value a strong comms officer's input."
Spyboy: "Let's be clear. I don't answer to you. I answer to him."
Spyboy nods at Abraham.
Spyboy: "He's still my boss, and if he says to do something, I will. Up to a point, anyway."
Spyboy: "But…that's what separates us from…well, 'them.'"
Zinda Tegram grins.
Metis: "Who is Heggy's boss?"
Zinda Tegram: "Well then, shall we?"
Spyboy: "Also the Admiral."
Metis looks at Zinda. "Do I have a boss?"
Zinda Tegram looks at Metis. "You have a parent, so kind of. But it's not quite the same."
Zinda Tegram pats Metis on the head.
Metis: "Because you cannot fire me?"
Zinda Tegram laughs.
Zinda Tegram: "Sort of."
Zinda Tegram: "But also because I love you."
[OOC] Abraham: "Yes. Spyboy and Heggy have a boss because they are flammable."
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, Zinda probably does not have the physical strength to heft any gun that could load Metis as ammunition. Though perhaps she could operate it if it was ship-mounted.
[OOC] Metis: Metis is ammo. Okay, I'm fine with that.
[OOC] WC GM: …if she is then Metis is reusable ammo, and Zinda recovers her arrows, or something.
[OOC] Metis: Zinda, this sounds like a stunt. Get on it.
Spyboy: "Wait. …Back in Mu Cephei. That…was…a Nephilim ship launching that plague, right?"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Aww.
Zinda Tegram leans down and hugs Metis.
Zinda Tegram: "Yes. Why?"
Metis hugs Zinda. "I love you too, Mom."
Zinda Tegram blinks back a tear.
[OOC] Abraham: Okay, that's a logend line right there.
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.

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