Re: REKT: The Nemesis (Battlecarrier)
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:40 am
UPDATE TIME. FINALLY.
((Sorry for the delay. A large number of entirely new IRL complications have happened in the past month or so and are still ongoing.))
With the mission briefing finally over, everyone files out of both ends of the conference room, not wanting to test SCAMPS's patience - or his ability to make good on his threats. With Saoirse and Caleb as the sole exceptions, everyone splits up, going in different directions. I mention Caleb and Saoirse in particular because they start a very deep conversation about the people in command of the ship, worry about things for a while (to little avail) and make good on their promises to each other: Saoirse pays Caleb back for the syringes she borrowed. It's the start of a beautiful friendship, the previous grievances in the mess hall completely forgotten...
...or are they? Perhaps we can imagine them throwing nasty looks at each other's backs as they turn and walk away towards separate portions of the ship - the hangar being one of the initially most popular places.
"I have accomplished the task you asked of me, Mara," Ishmael speaks, after he's gotten her attention. (It takes a bit, and involves her hitting the top of her head on the underside of a ship. She is not pleased.) "The engineers at the reactor have granted you an increased power supply.
"Yeah, great!" Mara half-shouts, gingerly massaging the bump on the top of her head (and getting her hair needlessly dirty in the process). "Yeah, I noticed! That's why I'm under here trying to fix this shit! Damn it all." The woman pulls out a pack of e-cigs and starts smoking one: an archaic practice that fortunately lacks the long-term health effects of its predecessors. After its in her mouth, she goes on, "And now I guess you want what you asked for, right?"
"Yes, I believe that was our agreement."
She shakes her head - more to herself than Ishmael. "Fukcing hell. You know we don't have gear to get you a proper cutlass, right? If you want something monofilament we need proper tools and we don't have that shit right now!"
"I understand," Ishmael says calmly. Any disappointment is masked. "I would greatly appreciate some cutting implement, however - something long and sharp - to be attached to my CASKET prior to the next mission. We can work out the cutlass design and the necessary materials later."
Mara starts wiping her hands off on a dirty rag, and lets out a grunt around her cig that almost sounds like approval. "So you're all about utility then. Well... that changes things. I can get you something sharp by next mission, yeah, as a thank-you for the extra power. Lance is a pompous windbag with an ego stronger than the smell of the brass's shit. He's all about bravado and appearance, but at the end of the day?" She tosses the rag onto a table nearby. "I'm reliable. He's not."
Ishmael nods. "I thank you," he says simply, with a little of a bow.
"I'm gonna get back to work now. Oh - and if you happen to see Brom? Tell him he can use the tools, as long as he doesn't bother me." And she goes back to work, leaving Ishmael to reflect on how his day seems to be gradually getting better.
Someone who is not having a good day, on the other hand, is Bob, who happens to find Crank very shortly after leaving the debriefing.
"Mr. Crank!" Bob says excitedly as the two approach each other. "Mr. Crank sir, could you go now introduce Bob-boss to Bryce? Bob still want work!" And Bob smiles his toothiest, most charming smile - the one that always makes the women coo.
But Mr. Crank is not a woman. "Oh gee, sorry buddy!" Crank apologizes with a frown as he approaches - and passes. "I gotta get to our debrief! It's our turn now - me and Anabais and everybody! You can find him, though! Just go on down to the hangar, I'll catch up later!" Crank gives a bit of a mechanical salute (pun) and ducks into the conference room.
His excitement somewhat subdued, Bob watches him go. "Bye Mr. Crank."
At that moment, Anabais happens to be coming down the hallway, looking as mean as ever. She ignores Bob as she passes - and Frank as well, who has tossed himself into a maintenance area in a desperate attempt to evade her. After Anabais is safely behind the conference room door, Frank leaves his little hiding spot (thanking the Great Dust Bunny for giving him the janitorial knowledge that permitted him to hide in a glorified mop closet) and starts back towards the armory. He has something very specific in mind... he wants to know if it would be all right for him to keep his alien sword.
"You want what now?"
Dennis Hoffman, Chief Armory Officer, scratches his head in puzzlement.
"I want my sword from the mission," Frank explains again. "I got it off a dead guy."
"Hrm..." Hoffman mutters, his lips twitching as he eyes Frank up and down. "You know, you don't look like the type to wield a sword..." When Frank only nods understandingly, the man goes on, "How about I get you a nice, sharp one from here? Tartarus Inc's best. You'll love it, lad! Sturdy alloy blade, monofilament edge, and the standard Tartarus Inc. year-long warranty - hard to beat that, you know! Why, when I was younger, I - "
Frank is shaking his head. "I just want the one I brought back from the mission."
The officer's lips twitch again, and he adjusts his cap. "Hmm... This is highly irregular, you know. Our swords are a lot more reliable than that one you brought back. You know, I --" Frank interrupts him with another headshake in the negative. "Okay, so you're sure you really want to --" Frank nods. "Well, I guess we can make an exception then... just this time. That's going to be more paperwork for me, though."
This is exactly why Saoirse decided to skip as much of it as possible. She sits on a bench in a little hallway alcove and ignores the crewmen rushing past as she scrolls through the little datapages of her PDA.
"Hmm... Light suit armor sounds good," she mumbles quietly to herself. "Can't go wrong with a little survivability." She inputs this data and sends it to the armory, and then continues on through the lists of potential purchases. Rocket boots sound pretty cool. So does a cryo psyamp. She purchases both of these, noting as she does that it's really nice that she's good at using her PDA.
After she finishes browsing, she sends a tell to Ellie Mercer - the Chief Medical Officer, whom she met once before.
Quick question - I would like to purchase an upgrade to a cyborg leg (for my biological left leg) and to an armored leg (for my prosthetic right leg).
I know however that the medbay is very busy right now, and it's not super urgent (would like to get it done before we're let out of the ship again), so I didn't want to barge in and ask for it.
Could you let me know when it's ok for me to come in?
PS: How is Davin doing?
Saoirse does not realize of course that she has committed yet another major social faux pas, but she will before long. In her haste to send the tell, she accidentally bugged out the tell app and selected a "send to group" option. The people in the medbay will not be happy.
And, speaking of the people in the medbay...
Ishmael, Vynkor and Gene have all found themselves in the medbay, and after much asking around, have also obtained the attention of one Kenji Akronis, the lead Bioengineer. Kenji stands in one of the cluttered, empty hallways, eyeing them warily, fiddling with his arm as though it's uncomfortable. You almost think it might be the full tattoo job he sports.
"You don't look like janitors," Kenji states flatly. "You look more like those, ah - those guys out of cryo, you know? I was looking for janitors, not the cryo-people. This wing needs cleaned up before the engineers will so much as look at it, ayvahda. I have mops, buckets, scrap receptacles..." His accent is hard to place; it must be Spacer Midworld somewhere.
"Actually," Vynkor interrupts, stepping forward and speaking for the group, "We found this in the PDA catalogs." She holds out her PDA, showing off the augment screens. "I know you guys aren't exactly in tip-top condition, but do you think I could see a little more? I'm particularly interested in this phase mesh thing."
"See a little more? A little more what?" Kenji asks. "Look around you - this is my little shop. The Nemesis was never capable of installing new implants, only maintaining." He lifts up his arm, which flips open like a swiss army knife - a dizzying array of gadgets fold out smoothly. "Got to keep our parts in working shape, ah? See? But with no tools, no materials, I can hardly maintain my own units. I have some mops for you if you'd like..."
Somehow, mopping the floor in the medbay doesn't sound like a particularly exciting prospect.
"Well," Gene interjects, "We were actually thinking that maybe you needed the assistance of an engineer. We could get everything up and running for you." He glances at Vynkor, who nods and affirms that she's an engineer too.
"Good, good, all good," Kenji nods. "Engineers with mops are efficient. That's good style you have."
Vynkor shakes her head. "No no - we want to help fix whatever we have to in order to get augments."
"I'm interested as well," Ishmael pipes up. Helping people is indeed something he's quite all right with, even if he's not specifically looking for augments.
Kenji looks back and forth between the three of them. "You're not joking about this, are you..."
Three heads shake in the negative.
For what feels like a long time, Kenji is silent. "Hmm... no mops then. Ayvahda," he mutters, pacing back and forth, his keen eyes raptly on their figures as he runs a hand through his blackened hair. One almost feels like he's examining them, wondering where implants might fit best, or perhaps who would be best-suited for them - or, perhaps even his expert eye is able to tell from a glance who has implants, and who doesn't. "You - name," he finally barks sharply, coming to a stop in front of an inmate.
"You've not held a mop before? I'll give you a cutting tool, you can handle cutting debris into manageable pieces. Good arms on you. And you - girl with the vat skin." He gestures at Vynkor. "You carry his cut trash to rubbish cart. And ... fat boy."
Ishmael stands to attention, awaiting his orders.
Kenji hesitates uncomfortably, perhaps intimidated by the width of Ishmael's figure. Finally, he just says, "You may... push the cart. Carefully." He turns about on his heel and starts marching down the hallway. "Follow, three: I will lead you to cart and cutter."
"Er, hi," Saoirse mumbles.
Nobody hears her.
The hustle and bustle of the research department swarms around her. Research? Not a chance. Right now people are just focused on salvaging what they can. A woman weeps near her in a corner for reasons unclear, and a man, trying to talk to her, nearly gets knocked over by a group of workers manually carrying a heavy metal beam. "PIVOT! PIVOT!" one of them yells, while another yells back that they are.
"Excuse me," Saoirse says more loudly. Then, as she starts to grow more impatient, "HEY!"
She startles her target: a heavyset man with curly black hair. He nearly stabs himself with the instrument he's peering into. "Sweet merciful Freya," he breathes, closing his eyes to calm himself. His jaw clenches visibly. "Don't you have anything better to do? I'm busy, can't you see? I could've messed up my eye, you know, and then where would I be? Certainly not here in the labs, I can tell you that much!"
"Yeah, sorry," the lady apologizes. "You work for the researching department, right?"
He narrows an annoyed glare at her.
"...Okaaaaay." Saoirse decides it might be better to start again from the top. "Well, I was wondering, is it possible for me to get some info on how the tech we have works? 'Cause I used to work on PSI tech myself but I got to use Tartarus equipment last mission and the stuff you have is so cool, like the amount of precision and power the PSI pack has, and the subtle control of the electro amp, and the battlestaff too, which I assume works by using precise gravitational fields to alter its momentum in response to the user's mental input, but the fine control speed you guys have put into it -"
As she runs on ad infinitum, the glare becomes more and more piercing until she finally gets the hint. Thank the gods, she shuts up. "Is there something you actually want from me?" the man asks. "And - I am sorry for being cross with you. I'm short on sleep and just trying to get this work completed."
Saoirse nods, not at all taking the hint. "I'd love to know how all this stuff works internally. I understand if it's classified, of course..."
The man just sighs. After a pause, he sets his instruments down on the table in front of him, and then calmly leans back in his seat. "You're one of the new inmates. The ones from cryo."
"Well then," the man says decidedly, "sit down across from me and I'll tell you what I can, but we need to make it quick. I'll start with the basics - the theories behind anomalous materials, bubbleverses, projected realities and dimensions, quantum energy, spacetime fluctuations, and we'll move on from there, depending on how quick a study you are. And in return," he says menacingly, inclining his head forward to stare keenly at the woman through his graying, bushy eyebrows, "you can work for me later, if you survive your missions. Feel free to interrupt me at any time if you grow weary." He doesn't wait for her to reply before he launches quickly into a tired monologue about the prevailing theories on anomalous materials and their origins. "I suppose you've studied enough history to know about the NES Himalaya in the Northern Exclusion Zone, yes? They discovered an ancient vessel just over 200 years ago, and firing lasers at its hull caused it to teleport out of the way. Orders to destroy it were immediately canceled investigation was launched, whereupon it was discovered..." he continues on for a good while in this vein, moving swiftly from topic to topic. It is really quite hypnotic.
By the time a good hour has passed, it becomes apparent that Saoirse is actually retaining at least some degree of the information. "All right, you're still here, so that's a good sign," the man says, stifling a yawn. "However, I really do need to finish my work, so if we could perhaps reconvene at a later date, would that be all right with you? We've only just begun to scratch the surface of anomalous studies."
As excited by the prospect as Saoirse is, she instead merely states that she understands, and then asks, "Is there some kind of digital library I can access to review this stuff? And there's some stuff I wanted to brush up on in my free time..."
"Library? Hmm..." the man mutters. "Perhaps. You could head down to the bow of the ship, port side, and ask Miss Maliese if she could assist you. She was our librarian... well, before the attack spaced our library. Captain Machellan had a certain fondness for printed literature, so she kept a small selection."
AND SO, things aligned in such a way that Caleb and Saoirse would fatefully reunite in the port side of the bow of the Nemesis, due entirely to the fact that both happened to be looking for Anelle Maliese, and this is not at all a contrived coincidence in any way, shape or form! Radical, right?
After a quick "Hi hello", the pair quickly gets down to business.
"So uh," Caleb asks Saoirse, "Why are you down here exactly?"
The lights flicker menacingly. For the most part, they are dim enough to only just provide enough light to walk. In many areas - especially those creedy side passages - the lights are out completely. Here and there, sparks sputter from broken circuitry on the walls. It's rather ominous scenery, by and large.
"I'm just looking for 'Miss Maliese'," Saoirse explains.
"Yeah, me too. Anelle Maliese? The crewman I asked said she was the librarian."
The girl nods. "For me it was someone in the labs. He said the same thing. I did ask specifically for a digital library though."
"And the crewman said the library was destroyed," Caleb points out. "So why would Anelle be down here?"
Saoirse only shrugs in response.
The lights flicker.
A voice emanates from the darkness ahead. "H - hello? Is someone there?" The echoing feminine voice sounds scared - airy - almost otherworldly.
Again the lights flicker. An ominous hissing is heard.
"Anelle Maliese?" Caleb calls out. "We were told to come find you."
There's a loud thump; the sound of a door closing, a shriek, and a sharp startled cry. Then... silence. True to form, Caleb rushes forward to see what happened, shouting "Anelle? Are you all right?" Saoirse follows a short distance behind.
Fortunately, Tal is a better writer than this, and a laughably gruesome monster has not attacked the poor girl. Instead, she's merely fallen over. Caleb helps her back to her feet.
"Oh... Oh, thank you," she says softly, straightening and brushing herself off. "I - well, you see..."
Stopping just beside them, Saoirse picks up a wad of material off the ground. "This is a spacesuit," she points out. "Why do you have a suit?"
The woman pauses, searching the inmates' eyes for some sign of compassion. There is none to be found in Saoirse's awkward stare, but Caleb is fortunately a different story. "Well... I - I know it's off-limits, but... I just wanted to see if any books were left in the library after all the damage. The blast doors are closed off and I can't get them open. I spent the past eight years working on that library - it's like my life's work. I just... I just need to know if any of it is okay."
"So you are the ship's librarian?" Caleb asks, extending a hand. "I'm Caleb, from Beta Squad."
"The cryo people," Anelle whispers, timidly accepting the handshake. "Yes, I'm Anelle. I'm glad to meet you. I already met Miles, and Bob. Are they all right?"
((If you guys would like to streamline this, I'll finish the post by saying that you had a brief conversation and she took you to a place where you could access the ship's digital library.))