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[RP]

Shingen was worried about his ship and crew. He ran through his last contract in his mind, trying to clear the fog of the last few days. How had he arrived at Frontier starbase, when is arrival point was in Droidian space?

Now he was, for all intents and purposes, in custody of the Insurgent military, and for all he knew, his ship was impounded. Now, some marine was trying to subject him to medical examinations! Screw this! He had other things to do.

"You can't tell me where to go, Haney. My injuries aren't that bad! Treat 'em here on the fly with your fancy Insurgent field medical kits or not at all. I'm interested in what this Rick Garrison wants to say to ShoHashi."

"But why do you need our help?" Shingen stared and the sentient he had be introduced to as "Badman".. being unarmed..Shingen listened and waited:

"Badman if Vanguard Fleet loses an ally as powerful as Galcom, we'll need all the friends we can get. Lieutenant Commander Williams, if you will permit Shingen to accompany us and get his injuries treated on the go as he requests, then I will reimburse you for the parts and labor cost of repairing his Sunflash cruiser, not from Earthcom funds but from my NGO's own purse." This came from another stranger named "Rick", that Shingen had couldn't quite quantify yet.

"I'm sorry, First Sergeant, I have my orders. You come with us to talk to Admiral ShoHashi and the raider Shingen goes to medibay now." The three Insurgent escorts started to lead Shingen away when canshow interjected. "Belay that order, Marines. Lieutenant Williams they are ALL coming with me right now to see ShoHashi. You just don't recognize what a bargain Garrison has offered. We are contractually obligated to repair UCV-Deathstrike because Shingen came to us in distress."

Obviously, Shingen was required to chat with some Military fleet "Admiral" type. Shingen held little tolerance for fleet types, but he had to buy time, and somehow get out of this trap.

He would wait, learn and find out what the hell was up.. and somehow get the Deathstrike back..and find out what happened to his crew.

He had the feeling that someone was still on his ship, though he couldn't be for sure. His money was on Mariko. She could survive anything and still come out taking names.

He followed the marines where they led him.. to meet the "Admiral"..whoever the hell he was..

[/RP]

this would be easier with freakin time-stamps so I know where each character is respective to everyone else... I still say we should use time stamps..ie: year-day-hour

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I'm going to establish a tenative time stamp at 13:00 military time. I don't know what year this RP is taking place in so maybe Quasar will add it. This post happens prior to the meeting with Shohashi, so please advance the time as applicable.

[RP]

UCV-Deathstrike

13:23

Mariko staggered into the medbay section of the UCV-Deathstrike favoring her left shoulder. She ran at a left-hand stance and tried to focus on everything..anything else but the pain.

Many bodies littered the medbay, most being Gammulan corpses and a few crew members. Obviously, the crew here had made a last stand of sickbay and had defended it to the death.

She staggered over to to meds auto-terminal, hacked into the console and found the strongest pain killer she could find, punched up the requisition and waited as the computer processed the chemical. She took the applicator unit that was spit out of the unit and shoved it into her arm.

The instant euphoria made her lie back against the diagnostic table.. She slept without time.

Eventually..through sheer force of will, she fought outside the blackness and regained her consciousness. She stood, and thought. The pain in her shoulder was manageable.

Where was Shingen? Where was the doc? Where was everyone? She tried to remember seeing anyone on her tormented journey here, but all she could remember were corpses. Mostly Gammulan.

She stood and focused. She headed for command.

After several agonizing minutes, (and what seemed like hours to her) she made it to the command section. Again, everything was desolate, with no souls around.

She headed to her station, which was tactical.

Minimal power.. reserve.. someone had ejected the core.

Mariko spent several more minutes accessing the damage of the ship. Then she releazed that the ship was docked!

Repair crews were boarding! New Frontier starstation?! How did we get here?!

She fled into the shadows as repair crews infiltrated the command.. she counted 6 souls...and no way for her to escape without killing or surrender.

In the black of her corner, she cursed Shingen..where the hell was Shingen?

[/RP]

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Ahh, I celebrate the true return of Shingen the master RP storyteller. :jam_on:

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[RP]

New Frontier Starstation, 1 November 3020, 1330hrs

Middle docking pylon, UCV-Deathstrike

Petty Officer 3rd Class Osaki led her team of 5 other engineers through to the Sunflash's bridge. She had been ordered to prioritize critical systems first. And now that payment for the parts and labor had been received, another 20 engineers were only 5 minutes behind her team. Osaki had been told that no one else was aboard, but she wanted to be sure. She and one of her team members found several human and gammulan corpses on their way to medibay.

Taking advantage of the configurable-gravity environment of the huge docking bay enclosing UCV-Deathstrike, the twenty additional engineers got to work on the hull armor from the outside.

------

ShoHashi's office, 1337hrs

After Commander canshow left, Rick interfaced his sub-space pocket-hub with the Admiral's internal projector. "Gentlemen, if you'll direct your attention to the space above the desk." An image of the Milky Way galaxy came into sharp focus. As of just a few weeks ago, the Terran Quadrant nations had completed charting all 1 trillion plus stars, down to the last cubic parsec (parsec ~ three light years) in the galactic core. As Terran scientists had hypothesized back in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, few star systems were likely to support life. In fact, among solid planetoids large enough to condense into a spheroid shape, only about 7 billion were massive enough to retain a significant atmosphere. Terra forming was discredited long ago as only worsening conditions for zero return on time invested. Only several thousand worlds had a thick enough atmosphere - of nitrogen, oxygen, and traces of carbon dioxide - and optimal temperature to have liquid water. Yet life originated on only 14 of these worlds. This trillion-plus-star galaxy only had 12 unique indigenous alien races. Other life-supporting worlds were not so quickly claimed, not against the competition of open space with the advanced propulsion technology used to reach them. Curiously, 26 of the starsystems containing at least one life-supporting planet - including all 14 native species worlds - were linked together by a network of stable wormholes or not-so-stable fluxfields. "Gentlemen, I have called you here to tell you, among other things, that the jumpgates *within* each of these 26 starsystems are all obsolete - no longer necessary compared to the propulsion designs I'm prepared to offer you."

Tag Sho, Shin, Badman

"The other reason we have met here today is to assess and solve the threat of the Credians. As you know they are very advanced in exploration and are engaged in a cold war with the Zelons over an ancient artifact. Seeking additional help, the Zelons applied for membership in Galactic Command. The Vesperons welcomed it as an opportunity to strenghen ties with the Credian Quadrant's best traders. But Galcom rejected Zelon admittance for precisely the reason they applied: they needed military help immediately." Rick paused to gague the expressions on his listeners' faces. ShoHashi sat across on his side of his own desk nodding, apparently Insurgents really did know almost everything. Shingen was beginning to look annoyed. How did all this relate to him? Badman was still stareing at the image of the Galaxy, with most of its secrets now unlocked.

Rick continued, "I apologize, I'll try to move this along. The United Free Nations, which is the Terran government, took a Congressional vote - and then a general population vote - and decided to go it alone and assist the Zelons without Galcom's blessing or help. We, Earth Command, have reason to believe that Galcom is acually helping the Credians in order to avoid getting on their bad side. Part of the basis for this claim of mine may lie in the bowels of GalacomHQ itself. Vanguard Fleet has ordered me to assemble a team of diverse individuals from across the galaxy to infiltrate GHQ and find out. And I think we may need canshow's help too."

Tag all

[/RP]

OOC: Tag means this is a specific statement or spot in my post for your character to respond.

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[/RP]

ShoHashi's office, 13:43

Shingen looked around the office of Admiral Shohashi. It was utilitarian..basic fleet efficiency without any aesthetics.

Shingen's eyes roamed the room until they finally locked with Shohashi's. There was recognition there. They had met before, in battle several times.

Shingen was the first to break eye contact. A sign of submission that he loathed, However, he was the only person in the room flanked by marines, in full battledress. They stood behind him, but they were still there..waiting.

Shingen felt along the left side of his leg. They were still there. The composite shuriken that were hidden into compartments of his clothing. They were composed of a nerve agent that would reduce this room to absolute death. However, it was a last resort, as Shingen could never escape the toxin in time. He had no counter agent nor any self-contained breathing module. He shifted his attention to the person speaking.

"Gentlemen, if you'll direct your attention to the space above the desk." An image of the Milky Way galaxy came into sharp focus. As of just a few weeks ago, the Terran Quadrant nations had completed charting all 1 trillion plus stars, down to the last cubic parsec (parsec ~ three light years) in the galactic core. As Terran scientists had hypothesized back in the twentieth and twenty first centuries, few star systems were likely to support life. In fact, among solid planetoids large enough to condense into a spheroid shape, only about 7 billion were massive enough to retain a significant atmosphere. Terra forming was discredited long ago as only worsening conditions for zero return on time invested. Only several thousand worlds had a thick enough atmosphere - of nitrogen, oxygen, and traces of carbon dioxide - and optimal temperature to have liquid water. Yet life originated on only 14 of these worlds. This trillion-plus-star galaxy only had 12 unique indigenous alien races. Other life-supporting worlds were not so quickly claimed, not against the competition of open space with the advanced propulsion technology used to reach them. Curiously, 26 of the starsystems containing at least one life-supporting planet - including all 14 native species worlds - were linked together by a network of stable wormholes or not-so-stable fluxfields. "Gentlemen, I have called you here to tell you, among other things, that the jumpgates *within* each of these 26 starsystems are all obsolete - no longer necessary compared to the propulsion designs I'm prepared to offer you."

Shingen stared at the Admiral..and Shohashi stared back. They both knew this.

"The other reason we have met here today is to assess and solve the threat of the Credians. As you know they are very advanced in exploration and are engaged in a cold war with the Zelons over an ancient artifact. Seeking additional help, the Zelons applied for membership in Galactic Command. The Vesperons welcomed it as an opportunity to strengthen ties with the Credian Quadrant's best traders. But Galcom rejected Zelon admittance for precisely the reason they applied: they needed military help immediately."

Shingen had many dealing with both the Credians, Zelons and the Vesperons. Khur'an, his first officer, was always a good source of information on them.

Shingen grew bored..there wasn't any new information here and his apprehension for his ship and crew grew.

"I apologize, I'll try to move this along. The United Free Nations, which is the Terran government, took a Congressional vote - and then a general population vote - and decided to go it alone and assist the Zelons without Galcom's blessing or help. We, Earth Command, have reason to believe that Galcom is acually helping the Credians in order to avoid getting on their bad side. Part of the basis for this claim of mine may lie in the bowels of GalacomHQ itself. Vanguard Fleet has ordered me to assemble a team of diverse individuals from across the galaxy to infiltrate GHQ and find out. And I think we may need canshow's help too."

Now Shingen realized what his last mission was, and why so many Gammulans were dead on his ship! The Gams knew! There was a leak, and this whole meeting bugged!

Someone..or something here, was working with the Gammulans!

[/RP]

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UCV-Deathstrike

Command

13:53

[RP]

Mariko moved between a state of consciousness and euphoria. She knew that her arm was sound..it was just stressed from the dislocation, but the drugs she had taken to ease the pain were effecting her ability to concentrate.

She shook her head and rose in violence. Mad at herself and mostly pissed off at Shingen, she stood at a combat stance.

Osaki turned to notice her.

Osaki panicked! She drew her firearm and screamed! The remaining techs hit the floor..dropping equipment as they ran for cover.

Mariko came as a force of nature..instinctively, and with trained precision, disarmed the tech. Mariko took the weapon from the tech and held it..waiting.

"Why are you on my ship?" She pressed the weapon hard again the head of Osaki.

Osaki pleaded; "We are here to repair this ship!..Please don't kill us!"

Mariko came out of her bloodlust and became aware of her surroundings.

She took the ammo charges out of the weapon and handed it back to the tech.

"Where is Shingen? Is he still alive?"

[/RP]

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[RP ON]

Admiral ShoHashi's Office, 13:43

ShoHashi leaned back in his chair and listened intently to what Garrison was saying.

"I apologize, I'll try to move this along. The United Free Nations, which is the Terran government, took a Congressional vote - and then a general population vote - and decided to go it alone and assist the Zelons without Galcom's blessing or help. We, Earth Command, have reason to believe that Galcom is acually helping the Credians in order to avoid getting on their bad side. Part of the basis for this claim of mine may lie in the bowels of GalacomHQ itself. Vanguard Fleet has ordered me to assemble a team of diverse individuals from across the galaxy to infiltrate GHQ and find out. And I think we may need canshow's help too."

ShoHashi leaned forward on his desk and looked directly at Garrison.

"Ok, I'll bite," ShoHashi said. "What do you plan and what assurances do I have that this is not a trick?"

[RP OFF]

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[RP]

ShoHashi's office, 1347hrs

"Ok, I'll bite," ShoHashi said. "What do you plan and what assurances do I have that this is not a trick?"

"For starters, I'm offering designs for engine upgrades to you and to Shingen. They use parts and materials you already have, to give your capital craft and support craft the galaxy-crossing speed that allowed us to produce this map ahead of the Credians. Even wormholes will be obsolete now! No questions asked. You don't even need to agree to help me. The designs are yours, right now." He set a pad on the desk. "Commander Shingen, would you permit me to have this installed on your ship immediately?"

"Beyond that, it is a lot easier for me to provide assurances for Commander Shingen than for you, Admiral." Rick turned to Shingen, not yet knowing about Mariko, "You're just one man with one ship. If you and your crew conducted your operations alone, or on an as-needed basis with your colleagues, that will make the following assurance for you easier." Rick turned back to ShoHashi, "Admiral I ask for a full pardon for anything Commander Shingen is alleged to have done to the Insurgents. My organization is prepared to pay some restitution but we are somewhat limited. I ask that he and his ship be free to go immediately." Hopefully that had convinced Shingen that Garrison was not against him.

"My organization doesn't't have any beef with the Insurgents. Like you we generate revenue by many means all over the galaxy and have a substantial mercenary presence to boot. But you have nothing to worry about from us. Earth Command, on the other hand, did not ask for Insurgent help - only that I solicit individuals as I see fit to carry out this mission. You have my 20-plus-year service record and reputation as a Command Officer in Vanguard Fleet to protect you."

"Badman, you offer a unique perspective that we could use in the field. I imagine you possess hand-to-hand combat skill unparalleled in this time. We need all the help we can get." Rick stood up this meeting had dragged on too long already. "Admiral, I don't need a lot of personnel or ships, just a few level-headed people who know what they're doing. I've seen how Commander Crossgrove administrates New Frontier, how Admirals Eclipse and Chavik co-lead this large movement with you. I imagine you're itching for some field action. BTW I suggest you transmit these new propulsion designs to ICV Daedalus asap. canshow likely already has the necessary materials in his cargo hold."

Rick made a not on his pad and continued, "Here's my plan: If you agree to help us Shingen, and since you need a crew, I suggest we take the Deathstrike to Sol. Sho, Badman and I can be your crew for a little while. Admiral you can bring ICV Aries if you want but I think Daedalus' presence will draw plenty of attention by itself." Rick paused there, knowing the other three needed time to respond to this much before he could continue.

"Gentlemen, if we could discuss the rest of this on the way?" he headed for the door.

----------

Middle docking pylon, UCV-Deathstrike, 1354hrs

Osaki pleaded; "We are here to repair this ship!..Please don't kill us!" Mariko came out of her bloodlust and became aware of her surroundings. She took the ammo charges out of the weapon and handed it back to the tech. "Where is Shingen? Is he still alive?"

"Yes, miss. I think he's talking with Admiral ShoHashi in his office up in the operations section." She sensed this Mariko was not going to hamper her teams effort further and ordered the other four out of hiding and back to work. The 20 additional engineers were just now boarding the ship with, among other upgrades, an entirely new propulsion lineup. When the Chief Petty Officer in charge met Mariko he put up his hands and said, "We're here to upgrade your engines and other systems. I promise you, we're not installing any sort of tracking device. Is this ok with you? Do you want to watch us or install it yourself to be sure?"

----------

ECV Ashdod, cloaked near starstation Alpha Prime in the Syrian Quadrant, 1402hrs

"Nav, plot a direct hyperjump to the Daedalus from our current position. We must warn them about the blockade at SpectreHQ."

"Course plotted for nav coordinates."

The Sergeant First Class, Ashdod's XO, turned back to the viewscreen, "Engage."

[/RP]

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[RP]

ShoHashi's office, 13:56hrs

New Frontier Star station

"For starters, I'm offering designs for engine upgrades to you and to Shingen. They use parts and materials you already have, to give your capital craft and support craft the galaxy-crossing speed that allowed us to produce this map ahead of the Credians. Even wormholes will be obsolete now! No questions asked. You don't even need to agree to help me. The designs are yours, right now. Commander Shingen, would you permit me to have this installed on your ship immediately?"

Shingen sat back in his chair and stared around. Four, fully armed marines, stood around him at 3, 6, 12, and 18 degree positions. They were all armed to the teeth.

Shingen bent forward in his chair, placing both hands on his knees, he stared directly into Shohashi eyes. There was an aggravated moment of tension as the two locked eyes.

After several moments of silence, Shohachi said to Shingen; "Just give it a little time.. just listen to what the man has to say."

Shingen sat back and stared at Garrison. He could think of no way out of this trap.

"Beyond that, it is a lot easier for me to provide assurances for Commander Shingen than for you, Admiral."

The "man" turned to Shingen, looking him dead in the eye: "You're just one man with one ship. If you and your crew conducted your operations alone, or on an as-needed basis with your colleagues, that will make the following assurance for you easier."

Shingen laughed. How many times had he heard the same crap from fleet types like this...always they always, ultimately, left him hanging.

Shingen watched the "man". "Admiral I ask for a full pardon for anything Commander Shingen is alleged to have done to the Insurgents. My organization is prepared to pay some restitution but we are somewhat limited. I ask that he and his ship be free to go immediately."

Shingen had had enough and stood, ready for death.

"I have no reason to have any freakin pardon from anyone!" Shingen reduced his stance into combat mode. "This star station has no cause against me, nor does anyone else! I am a free, independent contractor, with no political allegiance to any government!"

Garrison continued: "My organization doesn't have any beef with the Insurgents. Like you we generate revenue by many means all over the galaxy and have a substantial mercenary presence to boot. But you have nothing to worry about from us. Earth Command, on the other hand, did not ask for Insurgent help - only that I solicit individuals as I see fit to carry out this mission. You have my 20-plus-year service record and reputation as a Command Officer in Vanguard Fleet to protect you."

Shingen laughed.. and sat back into his chair. This fool wanted him to inflitrate Galcom High Command.

"Here's my plan: If you agree to help us Shingen, and since you need a crew, I suggest we take the Deathstrike to Sol. Sho, Badman and I can be your crew for a little while. Admiral you can bring ICV Aries if you want but I think Daedalus' presence will draw plenty of attention by itself." Rick paused there, knowing the other three needed time to respond to this much before he could continue.

Shingen stared at Garrison. The atmosphere of the room changed. Again, Shingen stood ready again, for combat and death..as he had no other options...

"Sol would mean my death! I can not hit Jupiter without freakin' Galcom craft coming after my ship! How do you propose to get the Deathstrike into Sol space?"

Shingen sat down again..and thought. "Plus I don't even have a crew." Shingen locked on Garrison; "My crew has been taken by the Gammulans! Have you even considered the freakin' Gammulans?"

Shingen laughed.. "You should seriously re-evaulated your threats! The Gams are at full strength and waiting for just this scenario!"

Shingen sat back in his chair and wondered about his ship.. somone was onboard. maybe Mariko...

Shingen hoped that she wouldn't kill everyone.

UCV Deathstrike

Command 14:12

Mariko lie against the floor, letting the techs repair her ship. She could've killed everyone, but she decided not to.. she thought of Shingen.

Mariko stood, walked to her terminal and hit the perscan. She watched everyone on her ship.

She sat at her stool, and stared at the console.

There was a life form in engineering! Faint, but alive!

She stood, headed for the lift and readied for combat!

[/RP]

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[RP ON]

Admiral ShoHashi's Office, 13:47

Garrison turned back to ShoHashi, "Admiral, I ask for a full pardon for anything Commander Shingen is alleged to have done to the Insurgents. My organization is prepared to pay some restitution but we are somewhat limited. I ask that he and his ship be free to go immediately."

ShoHashi thought about it a moment and said, "My apologies, but it was never my intent to arrest Commander Shingen, therefore he is free to go. To my knowledge he hasn't committed any crimes against us."

Admiral ShoHashi then turned to look at Shingen and stated, "As an act of good faith, I would like to continue having my people repair your ship. Without the needed repairs, you're kind of stuck here."

ShoHashi picked up the PAD that Garrison has laid on the table, looked at it briefly and then sat it back down.

"Thank you for the designs, Mr. Garrison. I'll be sure to have my R&D people in Eversor go over them in detail."

Garrison made a note on his pad and continued, "Here's my plan: If you agree to help us Shingen, and since you need a crew, I suggest we take the Deathstrike to Sol. Sho, Badman and I can be your crew for a little while. Admiral you can bring ICV Aries if you want but I think Daedalus' presence will draw plenty of attention by itself." Rick paused there, knowing the other three needed time to respond to this much before he could continue.

"I agree with you Garrison. We'll take the Daedalus," replied ShoHashi. "Anyways, the Aries is going through a level 1 systems diagnostic for the next few weeks."

"Gentlemen, if we could discuss the rest of this on the way?" Garrison said as he headed for the door.

[RP OFF]

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[RP]

Admiral ShoHashi's Office, 13:49

"I agree with you Garrison. We'll take the Daedalus," replied ShoHashi. "Anyways, the Aries is going through a level 1 systems diagnostic for the next few weeks."

Shingen rose from his chair, finally deciding his fate and ultimately the fate of his ship.

"Gentlemen, if we could discuss the rest of this on the way?"

"I'll need to check my ship first." Shingen was working on a gamble, that he wasn't alone. "If you will let me check my gear and my ship, I'll go with you."

UCV-Deathstrike

Engineering

Mariko entered into total black. She waited until her eyes adjusted to the night and crept down into a combat stance and listened.

She heard nothing but the basic noises of the ship.

Keeping a low center of gravity, a left-hand combat stance, she entered the blackness of engineering. Someone was still alive in here.

[/RP]

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[RP]

ICV-Daedalus, 1402hrs

Canshow sighed as he gave the order to launch. The hanger doors opened and the insurgent craft had no trouble passing the forcefield which kept the docking pylon pressurized. His route would be Khan-Lydan-Tryrus 2-Hadar 9, finally reaching Rinaal.

"Set course for Rinaal. In the meantime..." Canshow opened a channel to his research engineer. "Monitor the Nav Module. I don't want the thing to suddenly blow up while we're in the middle of a jump."

The two officers replied simultaneously, "Yes Sir."

Canshow went off to his quarters shortly afterword. He need not worry about intruders, since his craft's hyperspace engines would recharge instantly and make the next jump making it impossible for anyone to invade his carrier. He opened a compartment in his room and took out a bottle of 20th century wine which he secretly snuck onto his ship while the CO's weren't looking. He took out a glass and started to pour the wine in, swishing it in the glass before taking a taste.

"Marvelous. Too bad brewers like that aren't around anymore" canshow thought. Would he rarely taste something this good that was made after the 30tu century.

----------

ICV-Daedalus, 1434hrs

After about a good 30 minutes, Canshow returned on the bridge, receiving excellent performance from his crew. They had just exited a wormhole and arrived at Lydan a minute before canshow arrived.

"Sir, we just recieved a sub-space message from the New Frontier."

Canshow went over to the station and read the message in private. If he was reading this correctly, there were propulsion upgrade schematics right there in front of him. He cautiously read all the details two times over acknowledging he could make the upgrade without docking at a station. This was a relief to Canshow, since there were no nearby insurgent stations he could dock with.

But this did require him to cut power to the engines while doing the upgrade.

He opened up another channel to his Chief Engineer, "Kendrick, ive just recieved plans of propulsion upgrades. Im sending them to you right now. How long do you think it will take?

Kendrick, "These plans are efficient and good. Shouldn't take more than 2 hours if all my men are working on it.

"Start it. We'll have the required systems shut off until your done. The longer we stay, the increased chance of intruders." The screen turned off.

"Alright, listen up. We'll be in deadspace for about two-hours. During this time, i want the engines, launch control, and all weapon systems offline. To minimize risk of intruders, we'll be doing 5 minute cloaking intervals. Capeesh? Now go back to work."

If he was right, he could arrive at Spectre HQ in less than 30 minutes when the upgrade was finished. The plan wasn't even that complicated, which made it do-able in space. His crew was experienced and smart enough. With that thought in his head, Canshow went near the window and watched the scenery...

[/RP]

whyd i have 2 get the complicated part? lol.

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[RP]

UCV-Deathstrike

Engineering

14:20hrs

Mariko's eyes adjusted to the darkness. She felt no immediate threat, and moved to the command console of Engineering. She keyed in the basic reserve lighting commands from memory. Slowly, several illumination modules activated sending an eerie orange glow across the floor of the bay.

Mariko looked around. There where two shuttles in the launch bay, no bodies..no Gammulans..obviously they hadn't made it down here. But why was the core gone? Someone had dumped the core!

Suddenly, Mariko was struck from behind!

She fell, and rolling with the momentum...she found her feet! She entered a combat stance and prepared for death...

"Well if dat don't beat all! I figured you were dead.." The large Kandorian smiled back at Mariko.

"Smitty! You damn Kandie idiot! I could've killed you!" Mariko stood and ran to the large Kandorian engineer and hugged him tight!

"Whoe..little miss.. let's not have all that..Smit can take care of his'elf"

Mariko released the massive brute and sighed.

"Have you seen anyone else? Have you seen Shin?"

"No little miss..I done got knocked out after I had to spit out our core! It was either that or we were all freakin' fireworks!" Smitty reached into his flak jacket and withdrew a charoot. He lit the tobacco roll off the sparking of a nearby plasma conduit. "I haven't heard from the Commander since he told me to kill the core, after then, it was all black after that.."

"Can you get us flying?"

"Not without a core, little miss.. we aren't going nowhere without a reactor. Where are we?"

Mariko thought, then headed back to the turbolift. Smitty followed behind her, not asking any questions. He knew Mariko well enough not to question her.. except for his boss, she was the deadliest person he knew.

[/RP]

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[RP]

Admiral ShoHashi's Office, 14:12

Shohashi stood and stared at Shingen. He waved off the marine escort.

"We'll adjourn for now. Obviously everyone here needs a break. Shingen, you are free to move

around this station, and check your ship. The Insurgents are not an oppresive, fascist government, you have not threatened us, so we do not threaten you." Shohashi rose and walked out of the room.

The marines that surrounded Shingen left.

Shingen looked around..dumbfounded. "I feel really stupid asking this, but does anyone know where the bathroom is? I really gotta piss!"

Shingen was shown to a bathroom down the hall.. Afterwards, he walked outside. No marines were there. People passed him as if he were a common person on the station.

He went directly to the docking section of the station.

His ship was moored into the bay, with repair crews servicing the outside damage.

He walked up to the landing and entered his ship. Gammulan corpses still littered the hallway.

He went directly towards engineering... as he approached the lift, he was met with Mariko and Smitty.

Mariko saw him, she instantly took a low combat stance and struck Shingen with an upward cross. The blow sent Shingen across the floor and on his back. Blood came from his lip as he stared up at the female who had just hit him.

"You feel better now?"

Smitty laughed loudly as Mariko glared at her Commander. Mariko moved to hit Shingen again, but he rolled and took her down and held her in a death grip. Mariko began to loose consciousness, and then Shingen let her go... finally, he sat next to her as she regained her breath.

"Feeling better now?"

Smitty smiled at his boss. "Look boss, we got no core."

Shingen held up his hand. "I need you people to trust me." He stood up and headed for his personal suite. He had things to get.

Smitty took ahold of Mariko's hand and lifted her off the floor. "You still can't kick the old man's ass..can ya?"

Mariko glared at the Kandorian and followed after Shingen.

[/RP]

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Admiral ShoHashi's Office, 1348hrs

"I have no reason to have any freakin pardon from anyone!" Shingen reduced his stance into combat mode. "This star station has no cause against me, nor does anyone else! I am a free, independent contractor, with no political allegiance to any government!"

"Slow down there, Commander. I said alleged, not confirmed. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt."

"Sol would mean my death! I can not hit Jupiter without freakin' Galcom craft coming after my ship! How do you propose to get the Deathstrike into Sol space?"

"Fair enough, I deduce that you're not interested in helping us. The engine upgrades are still yours if you want them."

Shingen sat down again..and thought. "Plus I don't even have a crew." Shingen locked on Garrison; "My crew has been taken by the Gammulans! Have you even considered the freakin' Gammulans?" Shingen laughed.. "You should seriously re-evaulated your threats! The Gams are at full strength and waiting for just this scenario!"

"Earth Command is playing down the threat Hernaor Fleet poses to us. But like you, I don't buy it. I will revisit the issue of your crew in time."

ShoHashi thought about it a moment and said, "My apologies, but it was never my intent to arrest Commander Shingen, therefore he is free to go. To my knowledge he hasn't committed any crimes against us."

"Thank you, Admiral." Rick turned to Shingen and dropped the formality in his tone for a moment, "Commander, I hope you don't still think this meeting is some sort of trap or something. I meant what I said, and Admiral ShoHashi has now confirmed it: You and your ship are free to go right now, if you want."

Admiral ShoHashi then turned to look at Shingen and stated, "As an act of good faith, I would like to continue having my people repair your ship. Without the needed repairs, you're kind of stuck here."

"I insist on fully compensating you for your parts and labor."

[snip]

"Gentlemen, if we could discuss the rest of this on the way?" Garrison said as he headed for the door.

"I'll need to check my ship first." Shingen said. "If you will let me check my gear and my ship, I'll go with you."

Garrison shrugged, "Do what you wish, Commander." ShoHashi waved off the marine escort and everyone vacated his office. While Shingen went off to use the men's room, Garrison, Badman, and ShoHashi moved through New Frontier's Operations section out into the larger promenade, toward the docking pylons. ShoHashi flagged down Crossgrove, "Commander, I have uploaded a message for canshow to the main computer, transmit it asap. I'm going to take these gentlemen to ICV Daedalus. Have your engineers already modified SH-63 as I ordered?"

"Yes, sir." Commander Crossgrove replied, joining them on their walk throught the promenade. "The Chief was mighty impressed with the test flight - made it to Alpha Cygini and back without even entering any Gam censor range enroute. She's all ready to go. Lower docking pylon, pad Q. It's right next to UCV Deathstrike, sir"

"Very good, carry on, Commander. I shouldn't be gone more than a few days."

Badman, who had been silent most of the meeting, said, "What part would you have me play?" Rick smiled at the time traveler, "We will discuss that enroute to Daedalus. Don't let me forget!"

----------

Bay 2, Pad Q - 1406hrs

Shingen's light cruiser loomed large and menacing next to the small modified Insurgent shuttle craft. More enigneers began to board her, carrying with them the parts for a whole new reactor core, among other odds and ends - intending to give it a whold new set of engines.

ShoHashi's Yeoman stood on the pad waiting for the group. She gave ShoHashi a bag of some of his personal belongings he had requested for this trip. "Thank you, Yeoman. You're dismissed."

Rick raised his hand to the group. "Gentlemen, this is where we decide who will go where and on what ship. Please make up your minds. Shingen has no doubt already checked on his ship's repairs."

[/RP]

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This RP rox!

Kudos to Quazar..

[RP]

UVC-Deathstrike

Command

14:43hrs

Shingen sat at his command chair and studied all of the relevent data. He stood up and called Smitty to him.

"Smit, I need you to coordinate with these techs and get us up to speed. Give them what they need."

He walked over to Mariko at tactical.. "You'll be coming with me.. get your gear."

Mariko stared at him for a moment, then headed off to your personal quarters.

After awhile, she met Shingen at the port leading to Frontier Station.

"Are you ready?"

"Let's do this!"

They both left the UCV-Deathstrike and walked down the gangway.

They both stood in front of Rick.

"We're ready".

[RP]

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[RP]

UCV-Deathstrike

Engineering

15:13

The Engineering bay of the UCV-Deathstrike radiated an eerie glow of orange, coming off the emergency lighting that ran the length of the floor and ceiling.

Smitty sat at his command station and watched as the insurgent techs run helter-skelter over his bay.

The green docking light activated, and the warning bell soundedà someone was docking...

Smitty turned and watched as a small MKI shuttle docked with the Deathstrikeà ( the other, second shuttle, was on a mining mission on the planetÆs surface collecting repair ores for his ship).

The insurgent techs ran to the shuttle as the back bay doors opened. One of the techs ran up to Smitty: ôHave you got anything we can use to move this core?ö

Smitty laughed. He rose from his chair, walked over to the loading drone, which was hidden in the dark. He punched in the activation sequence and walked the massive machine over to the shuttle. It's monstrous grappling arms grabbed the engine core with two massive "hands" and deposited the large component on the floor of the bay.

Smitty walked the drone back to itÆs recharge area, hooked it back up, and returned to his chair and command/engineering.

Another tech ran up to him. ôCan you move that part into position, please?ö

Smitty was not amused.

He stood.

All 7Æ4ö of his massive Kandorian frame rose above the human tech. ôAm I to babysit all of you people? I thought you were all here to refit this damn ship?ö

The insurgent tech cowarded. Smitty shook his head and walked back to the loading drone. He unhooked it, and positioning himself inside, walked it over to the engine core and lifted it.

He then moved it all the way around to the core interface.. a massive collection of wires and circuits that dangled and moved in the darkened air.

He sat the core down..released it from the drone and walked the drone back to itÆs terminal.

Once outside the drone.. Smitty lit a charoot and watched the techs. They swarmed over the engine core, finally able to move it with the anti-grav units that were hand-held and used to move massive loads a short distance.

Smitty moved closer.. something wasn't right.

He ran with all his girth and knocked down one of the techs, sending the small human flying across the bay.

"Dammit! Obviously you freakin' idiots haven't even bothered to read the damn refit schematics of this damn freakin' Solnar!" Smitty worked hard to contain his anger. He wouldn't solve nothin by killing these techs.

"I've documented everything into the logs! I spent a hell of a lotta time doing it too!" Smitty threw his smoke down and waved off all the terrified techs that surrounding him.

"You stupid people are going to blow us all to hell! You can't hook this main-core up that way on this ship - the power conduits are all changed!!"

The scared techs stared at him.

Smitty sighed. He motioned for the closest handheld anti-grav, and went to work...

He was a master teacher in a crowd of students.

[/RP]

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[rp]

GCV - Bison Gon Flurie, Firestrom Class Supercarrier

Command Deck

Polaris 1

The lights dimmed within the bridge of the GCV - Bison Gon Flurie as it exited the jump-point into the Polaris 1 system, off to the sides were two Nightstar class carriers: The GVC - Arestes and the GVC - Fereten.

Both Nightstars menuvered to cover the Firestrom. As the ship lingered in space, a squad of fighters launched from the main fighter bays to perform a CAP, or Combat Air Patrol.

"Scan space, keep us close to the jump-point," ordered Kalshion as he examined the tactical map. "There are a few ships here, some traders and even a police heavy cruiser, tag and watch them," he added.

His officers all gave a chorus of 'yes sirs' and jumped to the task. He recalled the warning he had gotten from intell related to increased insurgeant activity and had been told to keep an eye out for anything suspicious, of course, everything in space could be deemed suspicious.

In seconds, the Firestrom turned into a ghostly blur against space before becoming completely invisible - the only signs that a ship was even there was a barely noticable wavyness against space.

"Send orders to the GCV - Aretes and Fereten to make their way to Jupiter and hold position. I want them there in case any insurgents make a break," he said.

"Sir, we'll be without our escorts," warned his XO.

Kalshion tapped his chin. "I know, but the insurgents don't have much in the way of detecting a cloaked ship. That being said, everytime a new ship enters the system, cloak us and scan the vessel. If it's found to be friendly then decloak," he ordered. His XO saluted and relayed the new orders to the crew.

Standing thier with his hands clasped behind his back, he watched the tactical map with curious intent.

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/RP ON

Bay 2, Pad Q - 1406hrs

Badman had been lost in thought for some time, with most of the discussion in ShoHashi's office enough to put him into a confused trance. Admittedly, up until recently he still considered "stars" as pinholes in the curtain of night, but now had been witness to all the heavens spread out before him as if someone had trapped eternity in their pocket. His intent had been to "find the wisest or highest ranking" person he could find, but now a different perspective was germinating. ALL of these men would be valuable, there was something noble afoot here, but nobility coupled with politics was perhaps not the best tact in this instance. The "lost in thought" had yielded a decision.

"Garrison", Badman replied, "I would request that I be stationed with Shingen for this leg of the journey. I know I have said to you that there is something I must say, and I need to approach this from the direction that is most appropriate - so that the ends justify the means. You are a military man, as am I, so I would traditionally have reached for you as a staple-mate or brother in arms to share this burden, but I fear that my mission may conflict with your mission, also your code as a leader at this juncture. I will tell you all I know, but I must consult with someone of a rebellious nature first, as the actions spawned by the information may require some breaking of treaties and laws, and not just the ones made by man or beast; this may be at odds with your mandate ..... please give me some time, and trust".

Garrison looked deep into Badman's eyes, as a lover would just before the slapping of the face, or the embrace of understanding.

/RP OFF

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Welcome Kalshion. Galcom has now entered the foray!

[RP]

ECV Ashdod, 1409hrs

The Euporie-class Starcruiser skimmed through hyperspace between Terran and Syrion Quadrants heading for Credian space. Nav Officer Sergeant Claire Tolen had plotted around the galactic core with ease now after much practice. First Officer Sergeant First Class Tracey Dodds sat in the command chair contemplating a course change, she didn't know why. "Have we confirmed there is in fact a blockade in place at Anits?" she asked. Comms. Officer Lance Corporal Hidetoshi Kamezaki had anticipated such an inquiry and already had the answer. No Sergeant, it's unconfirmed at this time."

"Very well, then." Dodds said, satisfied that she could continue Ashdod's cargo run. "Mrs. Tolen, adjust our course toward Procyon. Mr Skidmore, drop us out of hyperspace at Actis V."

"Yes, ma'am." Said Flight Officer Corporal Ryan Skidmore. In addition to its UFN budget increasing of late, Vanguard Fleet had become a lot more self-sustaining in recent months - hence the cargo runs in peace time. Dodds asked, "ETA?"

"20 minutes, Sergeant." Tolen responded. It had been a while since ECV Ashdod had visited Procyon. Dodds wondered what the Galcom station there was up to these days.

----------

UCV Deathstrike, docked at New Frontier starstation, 1515hrs

Insurgent Chief Petty Officer K'tha, an Empirian, quieted his team of engineers and techs who grew frustrated at the Solnar's modifications. "Deal with it, that's an order." He said. "This chief engineer knows how Commander Shingen's ship works better than any of us. So pay attention to him this time!"

----------

Bay 2, Pad Q, 1408hrs

Garrison looked deep into Badman's eyes, as a lover would just before the slapping of the face, or the embrace of understanding. "You have my trust, Badman. Do not misplace it."

Shingen and Mariko left the UCV-Deathstrike and walked down the gangway and stopped in front of Rick. "Garrison, this is Mariko, my XO. We're ready".

"A pleasure, Mariko. All aboard the shuttle." In moments Rick, Sho, Shin, Badman, and Mariko were all in the shuttle and the door closed. They received launch clearance and moved out into open space. "Gentlemen, and Mariko, you'll no doubt want to see how this works." Rick said as he looked up ICV Daedalus' last known position in the Krynon system. "Computer engage!" The journey would take about 2hrs.

[/RP]

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GVC - Aretes and Freten

En-route to Sol. Jupitar

Location: Polaris II

Commander Presto let out a sigh of relief as his ship, along with his sister ship, cleared the jump-point. He was always nervous when his commanding officer decided to be alone in a system with very little backup. He had already wondered if Kalshion had a death-wish, but then again, he considered that if he was that rank he must be good at what he does.

Despite that, Presto watched his officer. Most of them were new, fresh out of training, his ship served the purpose of 'weeding out cowards' as he ran it rather strictly.

He paid close attention to the tactical map; tapping the arm of his chair with thought. "The Ashdod?" he pondered as the map tracked the ship. "What are they doing in this system I wonder?"

"Shall we hail them sir?" Leutinent Johna, who manned Comms. asked.

"This is commander Presto of the Aretes to Ashdod, please state your reasons for being in this sector."

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I'm going to discontinue the time-stamps, as Quazar said that they limit the RP.. though I disagree, as I personally like time stamps, this isn't my RP so I'll follow the suggestions of the RP's creator.

[RP]

Shuttle heading towards ICV-Daedalus

crew quarters

Shingen sat around the table with Mariko and Badman playing a game of Texas Hold-em. A repair droid stood at the table as dealer.

Shingen watched as the droid nimbly shuffled the cards and placed the deck in front of Badman. He cut the deck and handed them back to the droid. The droid then deftly flung two cards to each player, and set the "river card" in the center of the table.

The ante was 100 credits.

Shingen looked at his cards. He had two aces.. hearts and clubs. He pushed his 100 credit ante towards the center of the table.

The river card was a deuce of clubs.

Mariko added her ante and badman folded. Obviously no joy there.

The droid put another card in the center of the table.. a 3 of hearts.

Shingen bet 1000 credits. Mariko glared at him. She instantly raised the bet to 5000 creds.

Shingen looked at his hand, and then looked over at the large stack of credit chips in front of Mariko.

Badman looked at him and smiled.

Shingen sat back in his chair and sighed. Was she bluffing or did she have a hand? Mariko placed her cards face down on the table and walked over to the bar. She made herself another drink and walked back to the table.

Shingen threw another 10000 credits on the bet. "Call" he said. Mariko matched the bet.

The droid threw out another river card. It was a ace of diamonds. That gave Shingen 3 aces.

He waited for mariko who checked the hand. Shingen pushed all his credits into the center. "All in." The pot was now about 28k creds.

Mariko threw her cards down and folded.

Shingen drew in his credits and stacked them in front of him.

The droid collected all the cards and began to shuffle.

"Bastard.." Mariko said under her breath.

Shingen smiled and sat back drinking his ale.

[/RP]

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/ON

"What a shit cut". Badman thought as he stared at his four 2's ..... low number - He still didn't know how to play this game.

Fold.

Again, his mind wandered as it had done so many times over the past few weeks since he had fallen cold and naked to the deck of the Starstation Ragnarok. As strange as this "new" place still was to him, words like "Ragnarok" held meaning in that they represented an earlier time in Earth's past, times long before the existence that surrounded him now. According to the lingua lătīna translated databases that the crew had allowed him access to, Ragnarok meant "End-of-Time" or Apocalypse to a people called the Norse Vikings. He knew nothing of these people of course, as they had existed some 700 years after his birth, but still the use of the word now gave him some comfort. The irony and underlying relevance of the name "Ragnarok" was not lost on him however; End-of-Time, not a good omen.

"Bastard.." Mariko said under her breath.

Shingen smiled and sat back drinking his ale.

Badman knew Shingen's type. Were it not for his ship that could fly through the heavens, he would be a down-right pirate. Be that as it may, he would be the type that would fight for purse or love, the type not bound by any code other than his own. Provided that code was sound and not twisted by greed or power, then he would be mentally strong and ideologically flexible.

Mariko, on the other hand, seemed young and impulsive, enough so to be dangerously unpredictable; a trait that unfortunately Badman was way too fond of in a woman.

ôMariko, tell me again how you are driven to want to beat Shingen's head in at every opportunityö, he said. A flicker of embarrassment, just enough, then "Just jokin' milady. Your spirit is vibrant and commands respect, please forgive me". That same wry smile was barely contained on Badman's face, to which Mariko burst out laughing.

"Shingen, I know that you have only heard pockets of what I have had to say so far, but at most I have only spoken of the importance of a 'message' that I am compelled to convey. Before I go on, I need to ask you a question", Badman took a sip from his ale as he gently eye'd Shingen over the froth. ôCan your ship stop inside a wormhole?"

/OFF

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[RP]

ECV-Ashdod arrived in Actis V, Procyon and delivered its cargo to the Galcom Starstation there. First Officer Dodds then ordered the ship to the Polaris system to pick up a new shipment, bound for a different selling point this time. Comms Officer Kamezaki observed a transmittion an said, "Sergeant, we're being hailed by a Prime Fleet carrier."

Dodds nodded. "Put it through." she said.

The face and upper uniform of an experienced Galcom commander came on the bridgeviewer. "This is commander Presto of the Aretes to Ashdod, please state your reasons for being in this sector."

Reasons? As far as Tracey could recall, Earthcom had joursdiction over as much territory as did Galcom. Still, she had nothing to lose by being polite, honest and forthright. "Certainly, Commander Presto. I'm Sergeant First Class Tracey Dodds, First Officer of this vessel. Our Commander, First Sergeant Richard Garrison, is currently away on other business. In his stead, I've been ordered to conduct a standard roaming patrol until ordered otherwise. In the process we've been conducting some trading runs to help supplement Vanguard Fleet's UFN budget. What can we do for you? Would you care to accompany us?"

------

New Frontier Starstation

ShoHashi, Badman, Garrison, Shingen and Mariko boarded the modified Insurgent shuttle and launched from the station. Garrison took the helm as Badman, and the two indies entertained themselves in a card game. "Admiral, would you care to join me at the ops station?" Rick offered.

[/RP]

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[rp]

"Certainly, Commander Presto. I'm Sergeant First Class Tracey Dodds, First Officer of this vessel. Our Commander, First Sergeant Richard Garrison, is currently away on other business. In his stead, I've been ordered to conduct a standard roaming patrol until ordered otherwise. In the process we've been conducting some trading runs to help supplement Vanguard Fleet's UFN budget. What can we do for you? Would you care to accompany us?"

Presto listened to the response and looked over at his sensors officer who nodded her head. "I appreciate the response and apologize for the harshness of the request, we've had insurgent gun-runners recently in the area and have used false identification codes, including labeling a ship as being something it isn't. I have confirmed who you are, though I must also apologize that I can't accompany you. I am under orders to head to Sol."

---

Kalshion watched the tactical display; it showed the Ashbob and the Aretes currently in another sector. He pondered what was being said amongst the two ships, his probe that he was using only permitted sensor data and not the ability to ease drop on private conversations.

"Do we know where the Ashbob is headed?" he asked one of his officers.

"Negative sir, but it's safe to assume based on their current heading that they are most likely headed to Procyon," his tactical officer said as she ran through the tactical display.

"Hmm....." Kalshion rubbed his chin in thought. He tapped the display, changing it to show Actis V. The sector showed up to be relatively barren, save for a few of his patrols running between the gate and planet. "Comm. Send orders to Commander Presto, escort Ashbob while she remains with Procyon or Polaris. Inform Commander Johnsten of the Freten to continue heading to Jupiter, I want two cruisers to accompany him... send orders to the GCV - Ragote and GCV - Everen to meet up with the Freten in Lyrius."

He continued to watch the tactical display. "Also, send orders to the GCV - Deten to escort the Ashbob as well."

His communications officer blinked and nodded her head. "Aye aye sir," she said and started typing away at the keyboard, sending orders, verifying and checking on the locations of the required ships.

Kalshion let out a sigh and turned his attention back to the tactical display of his current sector. It was still too quiet. "Tactical, send out probes please, I want to be informed ahead of time in the event we have hostiles," he ordered.

---

Presto was about to silence the communiquÚ when his communications officer relayed the message from his commanding officer. "Actually Sergeant, I seem to have orders to escort you while you are in Polaris and Procyon," Presto said with a shrug of his shoulders. He then relayed an order to his helmsmen, who turned the Nightstar about and started heading toward the Ashbob.

[/rp]

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