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#1 Edited by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio

The Cosmic Crosswinds

(CVnU Space Location)

No Caption Provided

The Cosmic Crosswinds is a massive, semi-mobile space station owned by a loose collective of intergalactic criminal organizations and other shady entities. Tired of constant suspicion and betrayals requiring them to set up meetings in an ever-changing mess of unreliably “neutral” locations, they pooled their resources to construct the Crosswinds, and, miraculously, managed to establish something very much resembling a treaty which governed how the location would be maintained and managed.

In essence, each organization would contribute resources and personnel for the station’s upkeep and security, and while each was free to pursue its own agendas, even to the detriment of others in the collective, no action would be taken by any party that would jeopardize the station as a secure and neutral location in which all could conduct business. To ensure this, an Ephemeran mercenary named Xanarian was placed in charge of station security. This seasoned warrior follows a particular but strict code of honor, and while he may turn up his nose at the shady methods utilized by his employers, he now sees the defense of the Cosmic Crosswinds from all potential enemies, internal and external, as his sole duty.

Security Chief Xanarian
Security Chief Xanarian

Xanarian supervises an ever-rotating crew of security guards, each provided to him by the various shady syndicates with an interest in the station. He is given complete authority over them while they are in his employ, and he has not hesitated to execute those whom he feels are putting their own or their employer’s interests ahead of the station’s security. They come from many different worlds and species, but are typically provided with duranium armor that can protect them from environmental hazards (such as airborne toxins and sudden decompression) and even provide them with breathable air for short periods of time, plasma rifles and sidearms, and generally a melee weapon such a gravmace, vibroblade, or plasma-blade.

No Caption Provided

Locations

The station is truly massive, and is littered with a not-particularly-organized array of personal dwellings (both permanently owned and available for rent to the weary spacer), cantinas, shops, warehouses, arms stockpiles, safehouses, and “business offices” belonging to various interstellar crime lords. Thus, the following list is not exhaustive, but merely includes a few of the more notable locations.

The hangars: by no means a singular location, hangar bays and docking stations cover virtually the entirety of the station’s exterior, and can accommodate everything from personal fighter craft up to capital warships and heavy freight haulers. The “public” ones typically connect to areas such as the Grand Bazaar, and each syndicate in the coalition has at least one private hangar (and often more).They range from simple affairs that are little more than places to moor one’s ship while one goes about one’s business, to high-tier affairs where professional laborers and technicians can conduct repairs, load or unload cargo, and even offer basic cleaning and “companion” services.

The Grand Bazaar: probably the single largest location on the station, the Grand Bazaar is a sprawling, labyrinthine collection of markets, shops, and merchant stalls. Virtually anything can be bought and sold here (provided the seller surrenders a percentage of their earnings to the collective, or makes an “alternative arrangement”), including provisions, ship parts (as well as entire ships, themselves), weapons of both a legal and illegal nature, and even such unsavory merchandise as slaves, poisons, and narcotic substances. Likewise, this is also an excellent area in which to hire out services ranging from mercenary muscle to psychic healing, and the professionalism runs the gamut from those with impressive credentials and reputations to shady con artists. Though it is truly a place where the buyer must beware, it is probably the single best location in the universe for a customer who is either desperate or intent on staying out of the public eye.

The Villas: a colloquial term for any complex that serves as a crime lord’s primary residence or seat of power, Villas are scattered across the station. Though often the size and location of each Villa can give an indication of its owner’s relative place in the pecking order, it is not unheard of for a particularly savvy malcontent to build one to be deliberately deceptive, either by scaling down and making themselves seem less prominent than they are, or attempting to make others believe that they have more wealth and power than they actually do. Station security typically stays out of the Villas, as each owner is responsible for (and usually prefers) providing their own security, although they will investigate “crimes” if requested.

Gravity Club and Casino: the Gravity is a “high-end” establishment for the entertainment of those with resources to burn. The entry fee alone serves as a deterrent to all but the most well-heeled patrons, and the scowls of the massive bouncers usually keep most of the “undesireables” from even attempting entry. Here, one can purchase top-of-the-line food and beverages from virtually any known civilization or culture, gamble at any of the truly dizzying selection of games of chance, or show off their moves in the fully-enclosed, zero-gravity dance floor. Private booths and rooms are available for those who want a degree of privacy or discretion for conducting their business or pleasure.

The Junker: at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Gravity Club is the Junker, a seedy drinking establishment where all are “welcome” and virtually anything short of wholesale destruction of the property (which would bring unwelcome attention from station security) is tolerated. Fights are common, games of chance are not officially sanctioned but readily available, and the beverages can also be used to scour particularly stubborn carbon burns from a ship’s hull, but for the down-on-their-luck or simply none-too-picky spacer, the Junker is the watering hole of choice, if for no other reason than spending a few hours with the regular patrons is usually enough to make one welcome the empty solitude of deep space again.

Rules

  • This is an open location; you obviously need some means of traveling through space to get here, obviously, but characters can come and go freely, at least until they run afoul of security.
  • On that note, please sell the security. A skilled or higher-tier character can certainly mop the floor in a first encounter, but subsequent encounters are likely to be with guards who are more powerful, better-equipped, and better prepared.
  • Battles are fine, but anything that threatens station property or personnel will see a swift and violent response from security.
  • If you want to write a crimelord with a stake in the station as a character or NPC, feel free! Just make sure you adhere to the “code,” as laid out above.
  • Anyone can also freely create sub-loactions of their own (specific Villas, shops, cantinas, etc).
  • Don't go destroying the station.
Let's try to avoid this, at least for awhile, yes?
Let's try to avoid this, at least for awhile, yes?

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#2 Posted by Green_SentinelX (158 posts) - - Show Bio

@nordok: As a space cop, I'll be keeping an eye on this.

Goob job, Nordok! ^_^

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#3 Edited by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio
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#4 Posted by Ananke (967 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice place.

I'ma blow it up. >_>

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#5 Posted by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio

@ananke: It's equipped with anti-Trinity missiles. Each warhead is packed with indestructible clothing. :P

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#6 Posted by deactivated-59c71c95bdfbf (159 posts) - - Show Bio

Darn great place, ID.

I wonder...

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#7 Posted by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio
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#8 Posted by Thee_Champion (6541 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice expansion on nU space.

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#9 Posted by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio

@thee_champion: Thank you! As long as even one or two people get some enjoyment out of my unhealthy obsession, I figure it's worthwhile, lol.

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#10 Posted by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio

@green_sentinelx: You know, we do need to battle at some point, if only because of the amazing gif potential.

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#11 Posted by Green_SentinelX (158 posts) - - Show Bio
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#12 Posted by Novastar_Prime (39 posts) - - Show Bio

*Makes reservations for this place so I can taste the delicacies they have here*

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#13 Edited by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Jungala stretched her powerful frame as she stepped off of the freighter and onto the Cosmic Crosswinds. No matter how many times she experienced interstellar travel, she never seemed to get entirely used to it, and was always slightly relieved to set foot back on the solid ground of a planet. Granted, a space station was hardly a planet, but it was at least more stationary than a ship, and this one was large enough and home to enough beings that one could almost forget that it was an entirely technological construct.

She nodded to the vessel's captain she she disembarked. He'd been a decent enough host, and willing to take on two marooned strangers as passengers in exchange for a bit of labor. The fact that each passenger could could move more cargo than an industrial heavy lifter and take up no more than a typical bunk probably had a great deal to do with his willingness to be accommodating, but still...

She turned to her jade traveling companion after a moment to take in the rather spartan surroundings of a loading dock. "Well...we are here."

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#14 Edited by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

The trip had been long, but Elite was just happy to get off Mechanicus and come here. It's not Earth, but it'll do. For now. Stepping out of the freighter alongside her slightly taller companion, Elite nods Jun's way. "Finally." She quickly checks how they are doing on finances, "Well...we might have a enough credits for find a room for lodging, buy a few meals, but that's it. After that, we're done. We don't have enough to hire another Captain to take us closer to Earth, so we'll need to find a job."

And considering Elite and Jun's power, she hopes they will find no trouble in that area. Elite spots some security guards, at least they look like it. "I wonder if the security of this place is hiring? We could be useful and," She looks over Jun's body, "It might be nice to see a laser gun strapped to your waist, maybe even a uniform." She winks with a teasing grin, knowing full well that Jun prefers working without technology and wearing very little.

Elite very much doubts that uniforms come in their sizes, though. But so far all of this is just wishful thinking. Still, it doesn't hurt to think about the future and how they can gain enough credits to get off this station. It's then that Elite notices that people are staring, but not at Elite...at Jun. Mostly because of how revealing her clothes are and it's not every day a beautiful bombshell walks out of a freighter looking like she's about to take a dip in a swimming pool.

Elite is drawing less attention because she's covered a lot more. But she gets some odd stares too here and there. Elite cannot help but elicit a giggle, "Do you ever get used to the stares, Jun?"

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#15 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Jun simply made a noncommittal noise at her companion and shrugged. She was a hunter; being aware of her environment was more than just a skill, it was a crucial aspect of survival, so naturally she was aware of the attention that she was garnering. She didn't pay it much mind, though. While there were times when being inconspicuous would be be helpful, if they were looking for some kind of employment, standing out and being noticed could work in their favor. "Let them stare," she finally responded, with a wry grin at Elite "If they are foolish enough to try any more than that, we can show why we would be good security guards."

It wasn't that Jun disliked technological weapons or what more "civilized" creatures considered clothing, of course; she simply had very little need of either. Technology was subject to malfunction and failure, and even when clothing did not restrict her movement, it very frequently didn't stand up to combat very well. Her strength served her well enough in battle, and even uncomfortably hot or cold environments didn't trouble her, so her pragmatic nature simply found complicated weapons and clothing unnecessary. Still, if she had to adapt in order to continue their journey...

"We could probably find work as guards," she agreed. "We might even be able to make some money moving heavy cargo. Do you know anything about this place?" She had heard tales of massive deep-space stations from the spacers that frequented Eristes, but this was her first time on one, and form what she had gathered, each one had its own structures and culture.

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#16 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

As predicted, Elite got the humorous response she desires out of Jun and giggles softly when it happens. She likes teasing her slightly taller companion. The two hit it off ever since meeting on Mother's home planet. At Jun's question, she shakes her head gently even as she continues to walk, "Sorry, no. I may have been in space for some months now, but I don't anything about this place."

But as Elite continues to walk, she is beginning to notice that this place has a certain feel to it. An almost illegal feel. This feeling comes mostly by how a lot of the people, and aliens, are dressed. They seem to dress like they are...outlaws, space pirates or any number of shady things. "But if I had to guess from the way people dress, it's a place for criminals and outlaws. We better be careful here."

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#17 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01: Jun nodded silently, as her eyes scanned the crowd. Criminals and outlaws she could deal with; they were the most common visitors to Eristes, and their ways were far more understandable than the complicated cultural norms and incomprehensible laws of most "civilized" people. They tended to respect strength and prowess, and accepted violence as a necessity of existence.

"In that case," she responded, "we should find a cantina. The best place to find work with criminals is where they choose to drink." Her gaze was drawn to a particularly run-down looking alcove, where two large, reptilian humanoids were currently and violently ejecting a smaller, fur-covered biped through an open door. "Like this."

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#18 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

No Caption Provided

Elite doesn't like places like this and tends to avoid them if she can but this time she cannot. Jungala is right, the place to find a job is here in this cantina. She has to stay in her giant green form, however, because places like this tend to get a bit rough.

"Alright, let's go. Good thing I can't get drunk." Unless, of course, the alcohol was especially strong. But who says Elite is going to start drinking?

She walks inside and is greeting with the smell of smoke, alcohol and sweaty smelly aliens of all kinds. It was like walking on a Star Wars movie set and at that thought, Elite smirks.

When they enter the cantina, more than a few looks go over their way at the scantly clad Jungala and the muscle bound green skinned amazon beside her. Elite whispers in her friend''s ear, "I'll let you do the talking since it seems your getting most of the attention."

And so, Elite crosses her arms and leans on a corner of a wall as she watches the goings on of this place.

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#19 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Although Jun actually spoke a smattering of a dozen or so alien languages, picked up piecemeal from visitors to...well, not her homeworld, but the only world she could ever remember thinking of as home, she was hardly a diplomat or negotiator. Eristians tended to settle their disputes with physical prowess; the strongest warriors and the most skilled hunters generally got their way. From what she had learned, interplanetary criminal types often followed a similar code, although their was often more nuanced, as exactly what constituted "strength" could vary.

Nonetheless, she was game to try. Her volcanic gaze scanned the room until she found a likely place to start. A richly-dressed and yet entirely sloppy-looking amphibious humanoid sat at private booth, entertaining a trio of scantily clad and thoroughly bored females of several species. Surrounding the booth were a handful of excessively large, shaggy, and heavily armed creatures that were obviously the decadent one's bodyguards. Grizzlons. Perfect.

The ursine mercenaries glanced at Jungala as she strode up to them in the manner of of lioness stalking a herd of gazelles, giving her a curious but only lazily wary glance. After all, even Jun's powerful frame was half the size of theirs, and she was very obviously unarmed. What possible threat could she be?

Moving suddenly, with the speed of a striking cobra, the huntress answered the unspoken question with a savage uppercut to the jaw of the first Grizzlon, the force of the blow actually lifting the massive creature off its feet to sail head-over heels through the window on the other side of the booth. His fellows swore in their guttural tongue as they fumbled for their weapons, the amphibious one's pleasurable company fled shrieking into the startled crowd, and the boss himself could only sit, slack-jawed, as Jungala shot a quick grin over her shoulder at her jade companion. "Care to share some of this attention?"

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#20 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

Jun certainly has an interesting way of doing business. But hey, Elite loves seeing her companion do her thing because it was fun to see. It was especially funny to see the reactions she got when she started kicking butt. At Jun's invitiation, she cannot help but come walking forward. Two Grizzlon's take out their weapons but only because Elite allows them to. They point at her and say something in an alien language that she has no idea what is said. When Elite refuses to stop walking towards them, they open fire. The energy weapons sting like angry bees when they hit Elite but otherwise, no damage. She reaches out and crushes their weapons before she casually picks them and bonks their heads together. She looks at the other Grizzlons and they throw their weapons at her feet, surrendering to her and Jun with fear in their eyes.

Elite smiles at Jun, "Well, that was fun. What language are they speaking?"

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#21 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

"They were speaking their own language," Jun answered with a shrug, as she stomped on one of the surrendered firearms, shattering it as though it was made of cheap plastic, "and as for what they were saying...you would have to know something of Grizzlon mating practices for it to make sense." She strode over to where the quivering amphiboid was attempting to vanish into his seat, and proceeded to effortlessly hoist the rotund creature into the air with one arm. "Your warriors are weak and cowardly. You need new ones. You have us, now. Let us discuss payment."

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#22 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

So, that's why she did this. Elite thinks to herself, amused. Her friend certainly has a unique way of asking for a job. The Jade Amazon would have handled things differently and likely receive different results. In the end, Elite is glad that Jun has point on this.

The alien that Jun is holding smiles rather nervously, looking from her to Elite then back again. He speaks in an alien language only Jun can understand. It's pretty much gibberish to Elite, though, "Will you, perhaps, take Galactic Credits? And if that won't work, maybe I can pay you two a different way. I have other payment methods, gold perhaps? Heh heh..."

Elite glances at a reflective surface, bored of this conversation already. And it's a good thing she does because someone with an axe tries taking her head off. It shatters into a million pieces against her tough skin. Then Elite spins around and grabs the alien by the shirt, smiling, "Brings new meaning to breaking ice doesn't it?" She asks, then she throws him with such force, he is knocked out.

The alien that Jun is holding, well...his face falls. He is now out of options and gulps as he nervously looks at Jun again, "He was never with me. Heh heh..."

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#23 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Jun's grip on the alien's shirt tightens just enough that the fabric begins to tear. "We will work for you for a time, guarding you, and training new guards to better protect you. Then, you will give us whatever we need to travel elsewhere."

She glanced over her shoulder at the ineffective axe attack against Elite. "It's good that he is not with you, because that would have been very foolish, and we might decide we did not wish to work for a fool. Now, food and find us a place to sleep."

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#24 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

"Whatever you say, whatever you want, I will give you!" The rotund creature says eagerly, wishing Jun hadn't torn his clothes, they are rather expensive! He almost says as much but he chooses not to, considering this strange woman's high level of strength.

He chuckles nervously again, "Of course, of course!" He turns his head as much as he can and yells, "Barkeep! Food and drink for my illustrious guests!" The barkeep obeys, making an order. Then the overweight creature looks at Jun from his lofty height, "While we wait...heh, heh, for the food, would you mind putting me down, please, so we can discuss your payment?" He taps his short little fingers together, "Unless, of course, holding me up like this suits you better, that's fine too!"

Elite didn't understand a word this creature was saying so she let's Jun handle it. She just takes a chair and sits down on it. She looks too big for the thing, but that's only because of Nicole's size.

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#25 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio
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#26 Posted by Vitus (189 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala: @elitex01:

It was time.

The Xeldossian shuttle had been prepared, its crew eliminated and its cargo replaced. It had been returned to the course from which the Imperium warship had diverted it, a navigational program now keeping the vessel en route to the Cosmic Crosswinds. When it reached the station, the automated dock attendants would begin dutifully unloading the cargo, the simple mechanicals neither knowing nor caring about the contents of the containers they would then carry into the station's interior.

On the bridge of his own vessel, which was cloaked from the station's rather lackadaisical scanners, the Cosmic Vampire sat, still as the corpse that he truly was, and observed. This exercise was, to him at least, nothing more than a simple experiment, a test of theory. The shuttle had been chosen at random, filled with containers of a new and particularly aggressive form of necrotite, and sent towards the unsuspecting inhabitants of the station merely because they presented a readily available pool of test subjects. Specifically, what Vitus hoped to learn from this endeavor was whether the unrelenting gluttony with which the negative energy-infused nanites bonded with their hosts would then be passed on to the hosts themselves; this would determine the tactical limits with which the vile technology could then be applied.

With the detached malice of twisted hunter, the undead alien observed...

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#27 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala: @vitus:

Little does Elite know that something very bad is about to happen here in this station known as the Cosmic Crosswinds. It's already been a week since she and Jun were hired to be bodyguards to an overweight frog like alien. Being the quick learner she is, Nicole even knows a few words in the station's most common dialect and she can understand now what they are saying most of the time. Well, at least the gist of what they are saying. However, she still relies on Jun to provide a translation sometimes.

And then, one day, it all turns into crap. First, it starts only as a rumor that some monster was on board killing people. Then it gets killed, with another rumor saying that when the doctor was doing an autopsy on it, he got infected with something and transformed into something straight out of a nightmare in just a matter of minutes. Before it died, it managed to infect someone else.

No Caption Provided

Rumor turns fact when the situation is no longer contained and Elite meets her first monster. It has a very long head with no eyes, humanoid shaped body, a tail, fingers that end in claws and very sharp teeth. It also has a saliva problem as it keeps leaking out of it's mouth. Even with Elite's hearing, she cannot hear a heartbeat.

That isn't the worst thing, however. The worst thing is, there is more than one of them and with each person they infect, that victim transforms into a new monster only to, in turn, infect another victim.

The creature that confronts Elite lunges at her with the intent to infect her as well. But she simply grabs it around the throat and tosses it aside. However, it comes back, lightning fast and uses it's claws tip rip into her flesh. Elite screams in surprise as dark green blood trickles down her suit. She punches the monster away only for it's tail to lodge itself inside Elite's shoulder. It uses it to drag Elite towards it, grabbing her around the shoulders, opening it's mouth and getting ready to infect her as well.

Elite knows what comes next because she's seen it happen. And she won't let this thing put it's 'tongue' inside of her mouth and force something down her throat. That simply isn't going to happen. Using her vast super-human strength, she breaks free and rips it's head off before checking to see how Jun is doing. "Careful, Jun, don't let them grab you! They are incredibly strong!"

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#28 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Nothing was ever simple. It had only been a week, but the two of them had been quickly saving up enough capital to be able to barter their way off the station (without resorting to manual labor, this time); a few more days of cracking the skulls of the many, many hired goons who wanted their erstwhile employer dead, and they'd be able to get just about anywhere in the known universe in relative comfort. That, of course, was the cue for something entirely unforeseeable to happen.

Jun had fought a huge variety of creatures in the part of her life that she could remember. From the bizarre mechanized wolf-things of Mechanicus to the street toughs of Glade City to interstellar gladiators on Battleworld, the alien huntress tended to take even the most unconventional of foes in stride. Even so, she couldn't recall ever having faced anything similar to the beings that now swarmed the station.

The corners of her mouth turned up at the hint of a grim smile as Elite yelled her warning. Strong she could handle. For as powerful as she was, Jungala was no stranger to fighting who were stronger still. A strong blow could be avoided. A fast or skillful one, less so. Though her speed and agility were hardly her most impressive attributes, they were still considerably above what many humanoids were capable of, and often startling in one of her size and build. She would use this to her advantage, as well as exploit the fact that these beasts seemed limited to rending others with fang and claw.

She violently tore a section of steel piping from the wall of the corridor in which they were fighting, somewhat belatedly hoping it wasn't connected to anything too important, and began laying about with the improvised polearm, doing her best to keep her attackers from coming close enough to grapple. "Unless you plan to kill them all right here," she shouted back to her companion, "we need to find a defensible location!"

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#29 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

Throughout the entire time Elite has known Jungala, the woman just keeps surprising her. Nicole knows for a fact that she is stronger, more durable and possibly faster than her blonde friend. But Jungala easily makes up for it with improvisation, speed and skill. Elite cannot help but admire her friend for that. The woman knows how to survive and the Jade Giantess is glad to have her companion at her back.

Elite hears Jun's words and realizes that she is correct. If they stay here, they will eventually be overwhelmed even with their considerable power. She glances towards their boss, intent on dragging him with them. Unfortunately, just as she looks she hears a yell of help from. A beast has already infected him by the time Elite knocks it away. The transformation is already overtaking her boss as he writhes on the floor in pain. Ohhh, these things are SO going to pay for that! Elite thinks to herself, getting angry and feeling her gift trying to overtake her. But she resists because now is not a good time for it.

Elite leaves her former boss and knocks a few other beasts away as she runs to Jun, "Alright, come on, I know just the place for a more defensible position. Medbay! Safest place in the entire station." But, it's a running fight all the way there.

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#30 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Well, there goes the easy way off this station.

"You clear the path," Jun calls back to her jade companion, "I have our backs!" Elite was stronger; she would have an easier time bulldozing her way through whatever lay between them and and medical facility. Jun, meanwhile, was highly experienced in fighting enemies that depended more on ferocity and instinct than tactics. She set her improvised polearm against her foot, bracing it and allowing one of the charging creature's own momentum to result in its impalement.

"Grab any survivors you see!" She called over her shoulder, before whipping the length of pipe around and hurling the dead creature on it bodily into a mass of its fellows. "There is strength in numbers!"

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#31 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

Elite does as told, knowing she's better at clearing a path than Jun is. Any survivors Nicole sees, she saves. Some of them have weapons and help out our heroes by giving them cover fire. Turns out Jun is right, there is strength in numbers. But Elite already knows that and finds that working with Jun is like they are well oiled machine. They work well together.

However, it's still a running fire fight to the med bay. But with everyone working together, they make it. Once inside, they check to see if it's clear of those monsters and it is, thankfully. Elite barricades the doors even though they are locked. For now, they will hold but not forever.

And now Elite looks around. A doctor is here, a few nurses and some patients. A few survivors that Elite and Jun managed to save on their way here comprise of all there is left. If their are other pockets of survivors on the station, they are on their own. At least for the time being.

Elite recommends any who are injured to be taken care of. Then she approaches Jun, "And now we need a new plan. Either we stay and fight them all until they are beaten or we try and escape the station."

"Or we can call the Green Sentinel Corps." One of the Survivors say, "I heard they are back in action, protecting the universe. Problem is, none of us have the communications equipment necessary to call them from here."

Elite thinks, "Whatever plan we come up, it'll require leaving med bay no matter what. What do you think, Jun?" She looks at her friend expectantly.

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#32 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

"Do we have local communication?" Jun asked, idly wiping some of what passed for the creatures' blood off her arms; the one that had flung itself at the door as they tried to see it had not gone down easily. "The station has security forces; we need to know if they are fighting back. If they cannot call in help, perhaps they can provide cover while we get to someplace where we can."

Jun glanced around the med bay, and was not encouraged. Although the facility was secure, it contained no weapons, save those a few survivors had brought with them. The medical personnel were tending to the wounded, some of whom would not be moving, much less fighting, anytime soon. The medical staff would need to remain here to tend to them, and the handful who could still fight would need to remain to protect those who could not defend themselves. Even if security was largely intact, it looked like it would be just Jun and Elite fighting to get to their next objective.

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#33 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala: One of the Nurses answers Jun's question, "Yes, we have local communications. I'll see if I can call them" She goes to do just that, trying to hail security.

While Elite waits for word, she takes a moment to rest even though she doesn't really need it. Bad enough she is stuck on a space station comprising mostly of criminals of one sort or another, but now it's like she's stepped into a horror film by Ridley Scott. Due to her enhanced senses, she can hear the monsters outside and, worse, transforming even more of the station's residents into monsters like them.

It is enough to make Elite angry, once again feeling her gift trying to overtake her. But once more, Nicole resists going into a berserker rage. If she went into that now, she would not be able to distinguish friend from foe and everyone in this room would be in danger, including Jun. It's a side of her she rarely let's out because of how dangerous it is. So she closes her eyes, taking a deep breath and letting her anger subside to the point that it's no longer a problem.

Is station security still intact? Can they help?

(Up to you, it's your station. ^_^)

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#34 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Amidst a lot of static and panicked civilian chatter, an answer came back from the central office of station security: yes, security troops were still functioning and doing what they could to stem the tide. Their commander was an able tactician, and his forces had immediately responded to the crisis as their training dictated: squads linked up, proceeding to fortified positions to assess the threat, and began securing critical objectives, beginning with communication hubs, armories, and vital technical and mechanical points such as station life support. As most of the criminal organizations had their own guards, station personnel were not making their defense a high priority, nor were they going out of their way to assist the typical merchant or spacer; their role was to keep the station itself intact and functioning, for as long as possible.

Jun simply stood for a long moment as the news was related, still and silent as a statue. "They won't be calling for help," she finally stated. "They do not want attention drawn to this place, and the dealings that go on here. Damage can be repaired, and others will come to replace the dead, but the loss of secrecy is what they fear. We must either find a way to call for aid ourselves, or find a way off this station." She paused, giving Elite a fierce grin. "Or...we find the source of this attack, and kill it."

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#35 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

Elite is glad to hear security is still up and running and putting up a decent fight it seems. Most likely caring more about the survival of the station than anything else. That hot smoldering rage that is ever burning just beneath the surface of those green eyes shines through for a split second as Jun proposes some plans.

The thought of their former 'boss' being turned into one of those things, being stuck here on this station surrounding by criminals, stuck in space for months at a time. She wants to get home, make the people pay for brainwashing her. She looks at Jun and says, "Let's find the source and I bet it came on a cargo ship of some kind. How else could these things get here? I'm going, you in?"

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#36 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Jun snorted in response. "Of course I'm going. When have I ever left you to fight alone?" Pausing only to pull an emergency fire axe from a nearby emergency supply station, the alien huntress heads for the med bay door. "Make sure to seal this up tightly behind us," she calls over her shoulder, to the other survivors, "and don't let anything in that can speak clearly."

With that, she impatiently pushes aside the impromptu barricade and flings open the door, charging out into the mass of creatures with a speed and fury that took them off-guard, hoping to give the survivors enough of a chance to re-barricade the door before any slipped in. With a savage Eristian war-cry, she sunk the axe into the shoulder of the nearest creature, striking with such force that the weapon spit it open to its pelvis. She flung its still-twitching body at the feet of another that was attempting to rush her, tripping it and causing it to fall prone. The beast began to push itself off the floor, looking up just in time to ensure that a descending axe was the last thing it would ever see.

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#37 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

It is always amusing to see Jun's varied reactions to things. The few survivors with guns nod, one of them making some comment about how crazy they both are. Elite follows her friend, the opening to med bay quickly closing and she guards her friend's back as she enters the fray. Watching Jun fight is a thing of beauty, but she cannot dwell on that for long. She can use weapons too, but prefers using her fists and feet. This, she does and begins using a skill she doesn't often get to use. Martial Arts.

Elite punches, she kicks, she flips, does round houses, blocks and parries, every fancy move she can think of. The way she moves is almost like poetry in motion, like it's one long move chained together in one long continuous one. When the last beast is either dead or fleeing, Elite wipes her hands off and smiles at her friend, "Now for some more fun."

And she heads for the ship docking bay. On the way, she grabs a pipe and uses it at as spear, impaling a creature before batting it aside with the back of her hand. Once at the ship docking bay, she begins to look for a ship that is a bit out place. She sniffs the air, knowing what the beasts smell like and where they have been. She tries to using that to take her to the ship that is the source.

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#38 Posted by Jungala (684 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

After the flurry of the initial assault, Jun followed Elite's lead. Skilled tracker that she was, the green giantess' ability to scent their foes would be a far quicker guide. They carved a path through their foes, their disparate fighting styles a study in incongruity: Elite's practiced martial arts strikes and Jun's wild, savage swings.

Once at the hangar, it was not difficult to find the shuttle they sought. It sat, its cargo half-unloaded, demolished hauling robots and bloodstains from the first infected scattered about its lowered ramp. It was not guarded, and the creatures had swiftly moved on once all the potential victims in the area had been exhausted.

"If the source isn't within the ship itself," Jun mused, wiping sweat from her eyes, "then we'll need to somehow figure out where it came from."

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#39 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@jungala:

"Should be easy enough to do once we look at the ship's flight log. But you may have to take a look at that since I'm still a little unfamiliar with the language everyone on this station uses." Elite understands about half of it now, but there is plenty she still doesn't understand about the common language the criminals use here.

So, Elite steps inside the ship, smelling each scent, trying to track the source of it. And this source is here, Elite hopes she and Jun are powerful enough to deal with it. Perhaps if they do, the station bigwigs can reward them or something.

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#40 Posted by Vitus (189 posts) - - Show Bio

@elitex01:

Aboard his cloaked vessel, the cosmic vampire sat in brooding observation. Everything about these new creatures: strength, speed, durability, intelligence, adaptability, reaction time, and every other conceivable attribute was measured and rated. It would have taken even a brilliant mind a lifetime to fully analyze the mountainous amount of data that was pouring in, but the most advanced AI systems in the Imperium were already compiling it and using it to create a full assessment of the feral cybernetics, including recommendations on their ideal tactical and strategic uses.

Pressing the attack any further, however, was becoming inadvisable. The station's inhabitants had rallied, for the most part, and dug in in defensible locations. It was not so surprising, really; the station was a hotbed of crime, intrigue, and distrust, and the various crimelords all had weapons caches and safe rooms scattered about their domains. What posed a more significant risk, however, was that eventually someone on the station would look to the outside for help, and Vitus did not wish to reveal his own hand in this matter...at least, not yet.

Almost imperceptibly, the undead alien nodded. The moment he did so, one of his attending Deathborn stepped up to a computer panel and entered a quick sequences of commands. Instantaneously, a self-destruct command went out to every bit of necrotite infecting the station's inhabitants; there would be no explosions, no thrashing of death throes, the necrotite itself would simply liquefy and become unidentifiable, leaving behind only twisted corpses in puddles of ichorous slime.

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#41 Posted by elitex01 (214 posts) - - Show Bio

@vitus: @jungala:

What creatures are here now turn to goo and Elite glances around at the mess. They never did that before, so she glances at her companion. She walks over to the communications station and it's confirmed, no creature is left alive on the station.

That leaves our heroes with some options. Steal a ship to leave this place, go to security in hopes of a reward and use their money to buy their way off or something else entirely. Elite wants to get back to Earth and the captain of this ship is likely dead anyway. She smiles at her friend, "I think we should take the opportunity to get off this station before anyone can stop us, what do you say?"

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#42 Posted by Cosmosis (285 posts) - - Show Bio

That hadn't gone as planned.

Granted, almost nothing ever went as planned. He really needed to work on that.

Daltar sank into the pilot's seat of the Aphelion as it accelerated away from the Cosmic Crosswinds. Small-arms fire splashed against the ship's shields, but there was no way any hand-held weapon would be punching through them, and his firing of his own's ship's orbital engines while he was still in the hangar all but guaranteed their own ships wouldn't be pursuing him any time soon. Of course, his contact wasn't the only one who had been keeping ships in that hangar, so he'd probably just upset a lot of uninvolved parties, but dodging blots of plasma tended to occupy one's mind to the exclusion of all else.

As his navigational computer calculated a jump to somewhere a reasonably safe distance away, the Delossian smuggler pulled off his seared vest and shirt with a painful grunt, before unlatching the scored duranium plating that he'd been wearing underneath. If the exchange hadn't gone as planned, it has also at least not gone off entirely unexpected. As the scorched armor clanked onto the floor of the cockpit, he let out a long breath and and put the vessel into lightspeed. It would be a bit before he reached his destination, but he was out of immediate danger, and that meant he had time to examine what he'd come away from this misadventure with.

Back in the cargo hold, he unsealed the crate he had been commissioned to deliver to his contact on the Crosswinds and began impatiently tearing out the insulating foam that coated its contacts. Whatever was in here, it was at least valuable enough for his contact to have tried to double-cross and kill him without payment for. Fortunately for him, what the man had lacked in honesty he had also lacked in intelligence, because he made his move before the merchandise had even been produced. Well, Daltar had done his part of the job, and the murder attempt coupled with the lack of payment made him think he was completely justified in claiming whatever cargo he'd been hauling for himself.

He squinted in puzzlement when he finally found what all the padding had been protecting: a smallish device, about the size of a belt buckle. He turned the bit of tech over in his hands a few times, before a broad grin began to creep across his scarred and weathered face. If this was what he thought it was, it was worth far more than he had stood to get paid. He experimentally clipped it to the buckle of his own belt and activated it, glancing at the nearest reflective surface and laughing out loud as no reflection greeted him. A personal cloaking shield. These things were illegal on most planets and almost impossible to find on the rest, for good reason.

Yeah, he was going to misuse this.

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#43 Posted by Night_Dragon (151 posts) - - Show Bio

As the take was tallied, the bar restocked, and custodial android cleaned up the remains of the night's one rowdy customer, Dragon sat at one of the booth's idly filing down the jagged edge of a claw that had gotten chipped in the night's melee. She mused that it hadn't been a bad night, by all accounts, but it also hadn't been a particularly busy one. There's been a smattering of spacers, but most of the customers had been regulars. Business was holding steady, but it wasn't growing, and that was a problem, in her opinion.

Her staff, while dedicated and very professional, was still relatively small. She wondered if she might bring in bigger crowds with additional performers and wait staff. It probably couldn't hurt to try, at least; she could certainly afford to put a few more on the payroll, and worst-case scenario, workers in this station tended to just move on by their own accord pretty quickly if they sensed a lack of profits.

She rose, heading towards her modest office behind the bar, her every movement expressing confidence, grace, and a certain predatory air that convinced most of the station's inhabitants to tread cautiously around her. With a few quick commands to her central business AI, the holographic display that proudly announced the Dragon's Lair at its entrance altered to include some smaller, though still prominent text that would scroll beneath it in a dozen of the station's most common languages.

Now Hiring

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#44 Posted by Trinity-Blue (4133 posts) - - Show Bio

Some time had passed but the confrontation with Nordok still lingered in her mind. The best Trinity could try to do was ignore it for the time. The mere fact he once again had a presence in her mind was humiliating, even before accounting for his unfiltered access to her thoughts. But those she could still control, for the moment, so she turned them toward her experiment.

The Ephemeran experiment--or rather, the subjects who'd managed to escape their planet-turned-prison with the help of her one-time companion, Dolter...Or whatever his name was. I'd've been better off crashing the whole damn planet into Infernus, she thought spitefully.

No Caption Provided

This is it. I think...This is where he took them. It'd have been easier - and faster - to take help from her maker in finding the Crosswinds; he was, if nothing else (and she was sure there was nothing else), knowledgeable about where things in the cosmos were, but the Ancient's Daughter refused to allow herself the ultimate humiliation of asking for his help. But now that she'd laid eyes upon it Trinity realized she had virtually no way of telling Ephemerans from any of the other countless bodies aboard the station. Had they even arrived? Could they have arrived and left by then? One way to find out. The Destructor announced her presence and intent the only way she knew how.

Violently crashing through a glass pane, the vacuum of space welcomed several denizens forcefully ejected in the split second before on-board security measures kicked in and sealed the breach with a metal barrier. One lucky denizen, chosen at random and caught by the ankle on his way out, soon found himself lying face-up on the floor, staring into the eyes of the scowling blonde hovering a foot or so above him.

"Two ways to save your life right now. The Ephemerans or the smuggler."

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#45 Posted by King_Leo (534 posts) - - Show Bio

@nordok: @trinity-blue:

Like a lightning bolt in his bones, Leonel felt it. A familiar spike of thermal radiation. And one that came from a space station by the name of the Cosmic Crosswinds. There was no mistaking senses as precise as his, it was Trinity. Armed with the femto-scale computer he'd invented, the Prince of Power stepped out ordinary space-time - into the hyper-spatial bulk - and back out again to float in the sea of stardust where the Cosmic Crosswinds drifted. From above the space station, Leonel hovered like a Roman general come to silence the rebellion of an unruly province. White cape catching the glow of faraway stars, Leonel descended and his gaze pierced through the space station's hull to zero in on Trinity's thermal signature.

There.

"Look, I don't have time for this"

Mirroring Trinity's entrance, the Prince of Power crashed into the space station from above. The armored hull yielded, the station rocked an inch or so as his boots crashed into the cold floor, and above him, alien technology sealed the puncture hull like a scab with a wound. Soon, station security swarmed in, surrounding him with plasma blades, combat robots and rifles. Their aim perfect and their resolve steely, they awaited a response. And yet, as Leonel's eyes passed over each weapon and the face behind them, a laugh flowed out his throat low and calm. "Look, I don't have time for this. So I'll keep this short. At my best, I walk in the stars that keep your dusty homeworld planets warm - and at my worst, I walk in those planets' molten cores. So, you can get out of my way and live, or I can just kill you all now. Are you going to make me do that?", he asked, smirk gone and eyes white and glowing.

"Take your time", Leonel taunted, moving and vanishing before their brains could process his threat. Like a blur, he popped into Trinity's view to met eyes with his friend for the first time in what felt like an eternity. "Trinity", he said, the relief and emotion of finally locating his longtime friend buried under a warrior-king's harsh exterior. For a moment, his words lingered between them. He'd searched for so long, and had struggled so furiously. But now he had it, something to purge the Ancient One from Trinity's mind. He smiled, but the matter was serious. Urgent. "I have something to remove that plague from your mind".

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#46 Edited by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio

@king_leo: @trinity-blue:

So it begins...

The Ancient One would have noted Leo's arrival from a star system away; the being's potent energy was as unmistakable as it was irresistible; power such as that must be applied towards the greatest cause of all: his cause. It was, all things considered, a fortuitous arrival. Leo was one who would have required hunting down, at some point in the future; having him seek them out would make the process that much more efficient. Combined with the fact that his presence would only fertilize the seeds he was planting in Trinity's mind...

A nebulous projection of Nordok appeared in the Destructor's vision, standing immediately behind Leo. As the Prince of Power finished saying his piece, the macabre spectre that only Trinity could see would smile and nod. "You see, my dear? It is as I foretold; this one comes to you under a pretense of friendship to strip away the power that is your birthright. Your strength rivals his, and thus threatens him, so he would seek to weaken you and deceive you into responding with gratitude."

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#47 Posted by Trinity-Blue (4133 posts) - - Show Bio

@nordok: @king_leo:

"Look, I'm telling you, I don—Mmph!"

"Shh!" That's—!

The miscreant clawed frenetically at his mouth, which Trinity'd abruptly sealed shut. Her attention suddenly focused elsewhere, he scrambled along the floor seeking what he presumed would be a safe distance. He wasn't entirely wrong; the instant she sensed Leo's approaching energy, for the briefest of moments nothing existed but the two cosmic prodigies.

An unwitting smile cracked her face—brieflyas she heard her name in his voice. It was almost purely reflex but the Destructor herself wasn't entirely sure what sentiment, what thoughts, lay behind the uncommon muscular contraction. Varying shades of ambivalence cast unfiltered on her features as she struggled to understand what she wanted to feel, pure feelings about Leo mixing contentiously with antagonistic attitudes toward her maker and his desire. Which, she understood, was not entirely misaligned with her own. This was his fault after all. Soon, the familiar furrow in her brow morphed and deepened. She fixed Leo with a fiery glare.

"I'm busy." Her eyes alternated once between Leo and the ephemeral shadow of the Ancient, addressing both at once before lowering herself to hoist up her prisoner by the ankle. "When I'm done fixing the experiment then I'll deal with you."

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#48 Edited by King_Leo (534 posts) - - Show Bio

@nordok: @trinity-blue:

"No"

For the briefest of seconds it had existed, Leonel'd caught the smile on Trinity's face - before meeting her warlike glare with a roll of the eyes. He'd unearthed a science unlike any other. Slaved away at forges man was never meant to know and smithed machines the cosmos had never seen. He'd seen to Ra's "disappearance" as vengeance for the then 8th Wonder's part in Trinity's current condition Devoted himself to isolation for perfection. Of his machine. Of what it could do for Trinity. For the great friend who took offense to his decision to mourn his mother's death. He had finally found her. The Prince of Power would not wait. "No", he dismissed. And that was that.

In an instant, he popped into hyper-dimensional space and made the complex space-time calculations to exit the hyper-spatial bulk - midway through Trinity's first words to him, or in other words, seconds ago in the past. His femto-scale machines'd flash bright, and purge the Ancient One's consciousness from Trinity's mind. How? By dipping into the very quantum foam of the universe, without which nothing could exist, and using it as a conduit - a temporary quantum prison - to which the femto-scale machines'd transfer the quantum information that constituted Nordok's hideous consciousness. But the Ancient One was a cosmic abomination, and his consciousness, a horrible monstrosity. And so, the femto-scale machines needed power. True power to succeed. And true power they had, from exomatter, an ultra-dense tachyonic matter from the hyper-spatial bulk, from a place that was simply beyond.

The machines'd purge the Ancient One from Trinity's mind, and weaken him in doing so. So he waited, watched to see if Trinity felt differently. And as he watched, the femto-scale machines in his mind oversaw the ionic currents between his neurons. They'd mastered them, and Leonel hoped to later do the same for Trinity, to shield her mind from the Ancient One's future attempts. For now, he didn't care for her anger or aggression. He'd deal with her so long as Nordok had been expelled from her mind and chained to a temporary low energy prison.

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#49 Posted by Nordok (2151 posts) - - Show Bio

@king_leo: @trinity-blue:

[Fantastic posts! I want to respond tonight, but am too tired. Plus, I'm considering how attached I really am to this location.] >;)

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#50 Posted by Night_Dragon (151 posts) - - Show Bio

@king_leo: @trinity-blue:

The comm-scanner she'd had in her office had just paid off. Most days, it had served as little more than a source of entertainment, allowing the owner of the Dragon's Lair to amuse herself by listening in on security forces discussing the drunken ruffians they'd had to beat down, as well as the occasional bit of illicit information shared by some fool over an unsecured channel. Every so often, it had given her the ability to get out ahead of some potential trouble.

This was a whole different level entirely, though. One hull breach was rare. Two in rabid succession was unheard of, except in case of an attack. The station could manage the occasional batch of pirates, but an assault by something with weaponry that could make such short work of the defensive armor was no pirate frigate. The station, and thus everyone on it, was in danger.

She sprung into action, some deep-seated conditioning in her brain that she didn't fully understand kicking into effect. She closed up shop, pushing out the confused patrons with the help of the puzzled but professional bouncers. She then activated a hidden panel behind the main stage and ushered her employees down a circular set of stairs into a cramped living area, which was presently occupied by tenants she was housing in order to pay off a favor: a group of mostly young and terrified-looking Ephemeran refugees. Herding the growing group down yet another hidden set of stairs, she squeezed them all onto an antique but still operational escape pod. Boarding herself and sealing the hatch behind her, she ejected it into the space beyond the station, and it began swiftly leaving the Cosmic Crosswinds behind it.

The pod couldn't travel indefinitely, and had only a few basic supplies, but it was designed to show up on even passive radar as a meteorite containing a large quantity or rare and valuable ore. In a well-traveled area of space like this, it wouldn't be long until scavengers or other opportunists picked them up. At that point, the Lady Dragon would use her charms (or, more likely, her claws) and convince them to take the occupants somewhere safe. In return, they'd be allowed to keep the pods, along with their own pristine throats.