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Gathering Storm

Cold and harsh, the entire planet is covered in tundra and ice, and holds vast reserves of diamonds. Adopted homeworld of the Arkanians.

Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:00 pm

The man, very awkwardly, managed to unwedge himself right onto the floor in a sprawl before starting to push up only to stop. He looked around in embarrassment. "My legs seem to have fallen asleep." Jax rolled his eyes, nobody could see it but the way his helmet moved displayed it anyway. Still, he just stood there right outside of the Arkanian's reach waiting for the guy to un-fuck himself. Jax didn't think the guy was any danger but that was no reason to go presuming himself into danger by touching the guy.

The Arkanian fell silent with the whine of the blaster, staring at Auren wide eyed. "We were preparing a batch of Hunter Seekers, I don't know why... somebody sabotaged the processing stage... their programming didn't go in write and their final conditioning... the tubes opened on a failsafe and released the creatures a full ten minutes early... they... attacked..." It was clear to see the man was traumatized as his explaination too him back to the event that he'd witnessed while apparently diving into the locker to hide. He'd likely gotten quite the earful as the creatured did whatever they did with bodies. The Arkanian easily slipped into teacher mode, a safe respite from his humanity scolding him about his cowardice.

"They are very tough, much tougher than your average soldier, but their primary defensive qualities are their stealthy and hunting tactics. The dermal plates prevent stray shots from most conventional weapons from killing or significantly reducing a given unit's effectiveness in the mission. These ones were ordered aclimated for here and fast grown. It wasn't until the glitch error in the computer locked us out that we realized anything was wrong... that was when the incubation tubes opened. They just opened, and then the killing started. They shouldn't target Arkanians... they shouldn't target... Arkanians."

Jax shook his head as the man took to mumbling that statement in various broken sets over and over again. He looked to Auren. "I'm going to take that to mean that massed fire will work. If we have to face any we retreat until we have a choke point or shooting gallery." He looked at the Arkanian. "Alright, sharpen up. Technical data on this project, where would I find that."

The Arkanian looked up at him slowly, just staring as he lacked comprehension until he suddenly brightened. "Before today you could have accessed the data from any of these terminals. Now... they would have to be in the archival stacks."

"Yeah? .... Where's that at?"

"Three floors down... but you'd never make it. Four of them got loose, we'll be lucky if we can all go back the way you came." The Arkanian gave the bent doors a wary look.
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Fri Sep 26, 2014 6:47 pm

Auren rolled her eyes. She had no time for this Arkanian. All she was interested in at all was getting the information they needed, dealing with whatever problem was at hand, and getting the hell out of there. She'd rather not deal with the creatures if she didn't have to, but it was looking more and more as though it wasn't going to be an option to avoid them. Besides, she was being paid well for this, so if Jax wanted to tackle them, then who was she to argue?

"More than your legs'll fall asleep if you don't tell us what we need to know," she said, her blaster levelled at the man, her voice bored and flat. Now, she just wanted to get on with things and get back to some form of relative safety.

The noise of the blaster powering up had the desired effect, and the man talked as though his life depended on it. After all, as far as he was concerned, it might well do. As she listened to the man speak, Auren occasionally cast a glance across at Jax. It seemed as though it was experiment gone wrong, but only now that the creatures had started to attack their own creators. "What about the ones you sent out into the galaxy, huh? What was their purpose? Why'd you want to kill people with those ones?"

"So what you're saying is... you created a killing machine that would attack anything other than its creators, right?" Auren only just managed to avoid appending "you sick fuck" onto the end of her question. She nodded as Jax mentioned a possible defence. "Might work," she agreed, before turning back to the lily livered scientist. "What about a disruptor? Will that work?"

Jax asked a pointed question, and the man spat out the answer. "Four? Druk," muttered Auren. "That's a whole lot of poodoo we're lookin' at." She shrugged in Jax's direction. "Are there any ways down that we won't run into them?"
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:34 pm

"Out into the galaxy..." The Arkanian parroted the words back at Auren, obviously confused for a few long moments before realization dawned on him visibly. "Oh! The Devronian colony... I... that was executed by Corporate. The requisition forms listed it as a product demonstration."

Jax cocked his head. "Demonstration for who?"

"I... I don't know... it would be in their information. Also in the archives. But I imagine it's for whomever purchased the five seed pods they moved to a docking bay..."

Jax stepped aside suddenly, his helmet jerking this way and that as he activated the proper comm channels. "Hettir, hack ATC and find all occupied docking bays. Cross reference them with the gem brokers, we want the ones -not- associated with them." The massive armored figure turned to Auren then. "We need to get to those stacks, snatch all the info we can, and get topside. We need to stop those... what did you call them, pencil-neck? And what's the key for accessing the data stacks?"

"Seed pods," He said, giving the Mandalorian a long suffering look at the derogatory term. "My clearance card will get you in, but I've already told you that's suicide. We have to leave. The cleansing protocols..."

Jax cut him off by snatching the badge off the front of his white coat and tossing it to Auren. "You've got three options. Crawl back into your locker, go out the way we came in, or stick with us to the best of your ability. But we are going down to those stacks double time." Jax turned, without giving the scientist a chance to consider his answer, and started for the torn open doors at the corner of the lab. He pinged his sonar just before poking his head out and checking both directions down the corridor. Jax then stepped out and turned left, heading toward that central shaft that they had booby trapped the top of.

The sound of the turbolift doors in the lab was the last they heard of the scientist.
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:59 am

"A demonstration? Sheesh, are you skroggin' mental??" Auren's eyes flashed with fury and derision. "You knew what these damn things could do, and you decimated a colony with one? What kind of sick freak are you?"

She looked at the man in disbelief. "I don't believe you don't know who ordered it, not unless there's been more than one or two of these 'demonstrations'," she spat, barely resisting the urge to kick out at the man. "An' if there's more than one or two of these things running around the galaxy, you better tell us who you created them for, an' where they are."

Jax, though, was in control, and ordered Hettir to start making the checks, before he turned to her. "Got it," she said, her voice serious and urgent. She caught the pass as Jax tossed it to her. "What do you mean, 'cleansing protocols'," she said, her voice coloured with suspicion. "What's the facility set up to do in case of something like this going down?" There must be some form of containment, and she didn't like the look on the man's face as he was talking. It was almost as though he had condemned himself to certain death.

Auren followed Jax, keeping a close eye on their six, as they ventured back out into the corridor again. "Strangest bug hunt I ever been on," she muttered.
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:51 pm

"Auren. He's just a designer, like the engineers at blastec. Can't blame them when some soldier guns down a group of smugglers just to see how well full auto works." Jax waved her along, the scientist was just a guy who was very good at whatever subject he was good at that brought him there. The violence caused by the weapon had to be laid at the feet of whoever pulled the trigger.

The Arkanian could only shake his head in confusion and shrug helplessly at Auren's accusation. "All distribution his handled by corporate. They said they wanted a seed pod with a set of parameters, so we produced a seed pot with that set of parameters. What business is it of ours who wanted to see it or who agreed?" Then he looked at her in confusion once more when she asked about cleansing protocols. "A series of events. First, to eliminate any biological contamination a aresol based accelerant will be released into the air until it reaches the saturation point, then ignited. Then the facility will self-destruct to eliminate any contextual materials to protect the company's intellectual rights and legal standing."

"We have to hurry," Jax pronounced sentence on the situation. He led Auren down the halls and then around a corner, pinging his helmet all the way to make sure they didn't stumble into a terrible situation for lack of attentiveness. And when they came around the corner there was the hole, just like the one they'd seen before only this time it was in a wall and into the shaft. "I'm going to need you to mount me, we're going to drop fast and I want at least one of us in a firing position." He walked over and shoulder slung his weapon even as he attached a powerful mag-clamp to the wall inside the shaft. Next he attached a feeder cord to the clamp, checking that it was secured to his combat harness. Then he turned to Auren and held out his arms while bending his knees slightly.

"Come on, you've wanted to wrap your legs around me since we met. Here's your chance to excuse it with a situational necessity." Always enough time to cut the tension with some levity.
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:54 pm

Auren twitched up a wry eyebrow. "What, you mean he's someone who's forgotten the word 'why'," she asked, her voice dry, even as she lowered her blaster. "You wouldn't catch me doin' a job without knowin' the reasons behind what I'm doin, or who I'm doin' it for, an' you've seen that first hand." Someone who did a job without knowing the ins and outs of it was no better than a drone, in her opinion.

She snorted with derision as the scientist placed blame firmly on another department. She flat out refused to believe that he knew as little as he was claiming, but now, time was of the essence. The cleansing protocol wasn't something she wanted to stick around for. No matter what, they needed to find and stop the damn creature - the seed pod - and then get the hell out of there before the whole facility blew.

The last thing she wanted was for their collective asses to be fired into orbit.

"I kinda got that," replied Auren, a cocky smirk on her face once more, hiding the tension she was feeling behind her usual don't-care facade. Keeping an eye on their six, Auren followed Jax back through the halls until they came to another hole, clearly one that had been created by the creature.

Auren couldn't help bu grin. "Askin' a girl to mount you in public..." She shook her head, giving a long, low whistle. Isn't that a bit forward, big man," she chuckled. However, she didn't need to be told twice, and clambered up Jax until her legs were wrapped snugly around his waist, and her gun was at the ready. "People are gonna talk, you know," she grinned.
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:35 pm

"Science types are favored by evil beings all across the galaxy because the endeavor is often all the reason they need, the effort to prove they can all the justification they require to do almost anything." Jax wasn't excusing them, just explaining why things like the Death Stars, Galaxy Gun, World Devastators, and the Sun Crusher had come into existence. And that was all in or immediately after Emperor Palpatine's time. "Always somebody who just wants to see if they can be the one to figure something else, to be challenged in such a way that achievement -is- why."

Jax grinned and his body language made it obvious he was as he looked her over. "In hushed and envious tones." He put one hand on the line and the other in the small of her back as he stepped back into the opening. "But I'm sure you're used to being envied by now," he said as he hopped over the edge and let the machine feed them out twenty feet, he bounced off the wall and dropped another twenty. He then paused. "Keep us covered, I've got some work to do." Jax moved against her, which would have been provocative if not for the inches of armor and padding between them.

He dug out paste dispenser, drawing a large circle on the wall behind her while she, presumably, watched above and below. When the circle was finished a very small device was attached to it, then a command in his helmet bounced them back up about twenty feet. Yet another command and a bright light that smelled like brimstone, ran the length of the paste as it burned right through the wall. Jax dropped them back down after a ten count with his bryar pistol pointed into the newly made hole even before he kicked out the chunk of war. "Door."
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:46 pm

"So for all that 'curiosity', they have little to no actual curiosity, you mean," Auren said, her voice as dry as bone. She was the kind of person who needed to know the ins and outs of a bantha's behind before doing something, and she couldn't imagine that that would be any different if she was a scientist. "I get that people want to see if they just can, but if someone else is gonna be makin' credits offa that somethin', I'd sure as hell be wantin' to know who an' why." Maybe that was just her, but, to Auren, that was a perfectly natural reaction.

She couldn't help but laugh as Jax made it obvious that he was checking her out. "Who says that' you're not the one being envied," she chuckled, making sure that she was settled in firmly enough not to slip off. This wasn't something she did every day, after all, at least not with layers of armour in the way. "Hey, easy there, tiger," she grinned, his hips meeting hers. The movement was instinctive and in direct counterpoint to what he was doing with his hands, and wasn't something that he could have helped, any more than she could help breathing.

Scanning both the top and bottom of the shaft, Auren let Jax get on with whatever it was he was doing. She didn't need to ask questions: he was a consummate professional, and she trusted that he wasn't going to do anything to get them both blown to smithereens. However, she wasn't ready for the line to jerk upwards, and she wrapped her legs around Jax's waist a little tighter to stop herself from slipping. She was more prepared for the rapid descent again, and blinked back the chemicals that were making her eyes water.

"Yeah, as good a door as any. You want me to jump or somethin'?"
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:00 am

"His way would get him killed in the space of a few hours in our world. Our ways wouldn't even get us hired in his. He's a fool, without values or purpose, so you're free to kill him as far as I'm concerned. He's just not worth the wear and tear on my trigger mechanism personally." Jax wasn't about to get into a full blown debate on the subject of comparative morality, he was fairly certain that would be like trying to color a rainbow with a box full of grey crayons for him and Auren. He'd killed people who probably didn't have it coming, he was certain Auren had contributed to some bad stuff over her years too. It was how spacers got along, being the grey area between the black and the white of the galaxy's moral spectrum.

Personally, Jax would have been wanting to know the 'how much' so he could properly calculate his fees.

Jax chuckled where she could hear it but didn't contribute to the reputation she suggested, or else he would have been proving himself a liar in the whole 'Mandalorians don't create their reputation, they just live up to it' theory he'd provided her with. She gave a casual exclamation at the situation unfolding betwixt them and Jax grinned right back, metaphysically. "Don't worry, I'll be gentle." Well, as gentle as repelling down an access shaft was likely to allow. She took it like a trooper though, never complaining. And when it was all over she merely asked the next logical question.

He shook his head as he raised them up to just above the burned hole. "As much as I wouldn't mind seeing you bounce a bit I think it'd be better if you just prepared to dismount on my mark. I'll set you on your feet and be landing near by. You cover left, I'll cover right. Ready?" He asked as he took a large, armored handful of the back of her gun belt. When she confirmed that she was he pushed off of the wall, dropped a couple of feet, and as they swung through the hole, he called "mark" and pulled her off himself. A quick twist of his wrist and she was standing on her feet facing left down the hallway as he thudded heavily on his own feet facing right with his weapon aimed down the length of the corridor.
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Re: Gathering Storm

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:01 am

Auren twitched up an eyebrow. Her blaster stayed down, though. She didn't kill indiscriminately, didn't take down some poor bastard just because he pissed her off. That wasn't her style, and if she had wanted to take that path in her life, she would have become an assassin, not a smuggler and a spacer. Sure, she killed when it was needed, but she didn't have the killer instinct that would have allowed her to just take a life for the sake of it, or just because she was paid to do so. She glanced across at the scientist. "Go. Before I change my mind," she grunted, sounding at least relatively convincing.

She smirked as Jax promised to be gentle. "Aaaaw, that's no fun," she grinned, keeping her eyes peeled and her blaster at the ready. Anything could happen, especially seeing as they didn't know exactly what they were looking for, or where. At the moment, she was the one who needed to keep them alive should the poodoo hit the fan.

Nodding as Jax outlined his plan, Auren tensed herself as she felt his hand reach through her belt, ready to push off and be on her feet the moment they landed. She took a step to gain her balance, and, as agreed, covered the left.

Nothing.

Frowning, she kept her blaster trained down the corridor. "You got anythin'," she asked, narrowing her eyes and staring down the hall for any clues as to whether the creature might have gone that way.
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