APPROVED

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APPROVED

Postby Jake Sjet » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:14 pm

It was raining.

It was always raining. Sometimes the rain was that misty sort, the kind that secretly soaked you through to your bones. Other times it was a good old fashion downpour that just flooded fields and made the roads as dangerous as a winter ice storm. But today it was raining lazily, that sort of rain that drivers hate: you have to keep the wipers on, but its never wet enough to get rid of that sccrreeeech! of the wiper running dry.

Corporal Brandt Smith hated the rain, which put his mood into an especially lower gear than it was usually in. And that made him think about ways of making the sun shine personally for him And as a MP with the cyan blue armband of the United Nations around his left arm, that meant his stun stick was out and tapping restlessly against his foot. Eager, ready, just in case…

Warrant Officer Viki Clementine took off her firmly planted cap and let her hair loose. Rain felt good against her scalp, it was that cool rain that refreshed everyone and everything with a light spatter. At least the prisoners wouldn’t get completely soaked through. Although the only drawback was the dampening list that was clipped neatly to the board. Paper was scarce, and old tech, but it certainly made it harder to intercept electronically, and on this particular run, it seemed that secrecy was more important than anything. There had been rumours about who was aboard. But most of them were misunderstood.

Stepping up to her MP cohort who was less cohort and more MP, Viki handed over the manifest to Smith and watched him stew, tapping and building a chip even bigger than it had been in the past. Not that she could say anything to him.

He took ahold of the clipboard, and without even glancing at it placed it on the empty seat beside him. Officially he was meant to not only countersign it, but he was meant to double check every name on the list to make sure the bus was not travelling light. But he was lost in thought, going through his own list. And that wiper blade! His brown eyes looked up slightly, scowling at the driver as he sat up front. They weren’t in motion yet, so why didn’t he just turn off the blasted wipers!

He made to get up, the knuckles on the stun stick’s handle white with tension.

Placing her hat firmly on her head, she noticed that Smith was a bit more perturbed than usual. Had someone urinated in his oatmeal? Or perhaps it was someone that had bumped his arm while walking to the Mess? It couldn’t be the Tank in the driver’s seat, sitting quietly and paying attention to the road ahead of them, despite their lack of motion. She looked around, thinking that an In Vitro was a surprise but not unexpected, even there. It was clear that the seat she was meant to occupy had a better purpose and she laid a hand gently on top of his, attempting to use psychology to defuse a situation that was building from nothing.

The way his head snapped around, the thrum of muscle tension under her hand, spoke of the very near and real threat of violence. But that was to be expected, given that Smith was a ex-Royal Canadian Air Force aviator. They trained that sort of muscle memory into their fliers, that need to react to a situation on a moment by moment basis. Of course the Higher Ups had seen his potential wasted on a cockpit, which was why he was a MP and not in a fighter cockpit.

It was most certainly not because the base shrink had written down the words ‘anger management issues’ on his pretraining psychiatric evaluation. He let the tension go, allowing it to ebb from him like the water outside. He sat back down, and pressed the small stud on the stun stick that let it slide back into its carry handle.

“I was just getting up to grab the manifest.” he grumbled, brushing off her hand as he turned to grab the list. He scowled at the curling edges of the paper, and as he turned back he allowed a sneer to enter his words “Couldn’t get it any wetter eh?”

Clementine rolled her eyes and tugged her hat down as far as it would go, shrugging away from the reaction. Whatever was up with Smith, it wouldn’t be cured with a friendly gesture, a smile, or a hand grenade. But one could hope. “It’s raining,” she deadpanned and sat in the empty spot across from him facing into the transport, looking at the empty seats. They would be full soon enough if the list was correct. This wasn’t going to be a regular run either.

“Its always raining.” Smith growled, eyeing the list as he ran a finger down it “You’d think we’d be able to control the weather by now. Interstellar travel, artificial gravity, and clean energy. But it still rains on a summers day in the middle of whatever month it is thats not June here..”

He looked up, checking the seats near them, and then the special caged section at the back. That was for the ones in the orange jumpsuits, the ones bypassing the border station Earth side and going straight to a courthouse or their state penitentiary of choice. Most of the MP’s pulling the run from the RCAF base to the New Beijing Interplanetary called that cage at the back the ‘Honeymoon Suite’.

And by most he meant the real MP’s, the ones with the talents and skills to go far: mostly people like himself.

“Last time I checked, Corporal, weather wasn’t in your jurisdiction.” Although his family might like to think so, having more money and power than a lot of the corporations that set them up out there in Groombridge. She was pushing it, but to be honest, it didn’t take much to tip him over into a mood that was fouler than the weather. There were some names on that list she didn’t like to think were going to be sharing space with them, but if anyone was handy with that stun stick, it was him.

This was usually a milk run, from Groombridge and to Earth, convicts, felons and the odd, well oddity, that defied any one psychological description, and would make her doctorate an easy achievement. It wouldn’t be long until she looked into each of their faces, wondering what might have sent them over the edge, or pushed them into a life of crime. Switzerland had been a neutral country traditionally, and her studies into the human psyche put her in that same position as an MP.

Humanity had struck out on their own, established a strong colony, yet still had their own frailties to cope with. She would have plenty of time to observe on their way back to Earth. Crimes still had consequences, and even old-fashioned ones at that.

“Well it should be!” he said, trying to keep a childish tone form his voice. He handed over the list to her and sighed “The list checks out. Those who should be on this little joy ride are on there. It’ll take 30 minutes to get them on, 45 if the tangerines play up in the Honeymoon Suite. Then we’ll spend another thirty going the epic distance of ten metres through the base checkpoint and ‘other’ check point.”

That was one of the flukes of Groombridge: the Chinese might not have gotten here first when the Groombridge Meta Stable Wormhole had been discovered in 2021, but they had brought a lot more people than any of the other settlement teams. LIke most off world colonies in the First Sphere, Groombridge had a large multi million figure population thanks to political cast offs from Earth. The Peoples Republic of China, now the Peoples Republic of Heavenly Bodies, had solved their homeland population crisis in five years thanks to shipping off indentured workers.

And now, half a century later, it meant going through a checkpoint manned by the Peoples Liberation Army to get out of the base. A process that took at least half an hour, as security passes and passports were checked over by PLA stormtroopers with guns.

“Then its onto the expressway, and another 30 minutes later we’re in the departures terminal waiting for the flight up to Far Vladivostok.” he groaned, and did the math “And hour and half easy with the dregs of the UN Colonial Sentry mandate. Not to mention the flight up the station and the transit back to Earth.”

It was going to be one of ‘those’ long weekends, and for part of it was going to be played out under the soundtrack of those blasted wipers! Stupid vat born Tank.

Clementine wasn’t sure if she was more disappointed by the outline of everything that had to happen before they were away, or that she was stuck with him. How she pulled this duty was beyond her, but it was that short end of the stick, wasn’t it… If she could just stay up in Far Vlad, watch the transport enter the wormhole and float away without her on it; plenty of navy personnel up there, a full contingent protecting the planet below from whatever might come their way. Perhaps it was more a waypoint, a place where people felt their lives could begin again, but it felt more like a military stronghold in places, and with the MP presence, and the people about to board… These thoughts weren’t going to make this trip any more pleasant. Perhaps they were reality, but certainly not helpful. How could she possibly be a positive influence on the men and women about to board, if she was as sour as the man beside her?

This day wasn’t going to be pleasant in the slightest, but it was going to run like clockwork, and be as shipshape as they could manage. No matter who was coming aboard.

He always liked flying up to Far Vladivostok. The massive rotating gravity wheel of the station was a mile wide at least, and through the shielded glass you could see the parks and small towns dotted here and there. Now that was a place where they could control the weather, and he bet it never rained there. But it was also a place where he could ogle at some serious military hardware: the station was the largest fleet yard outside of the orbit of Saturn. The majority of the United Nations Colonial Sentry fleet sortied out of Far Vlad: from massive fleet carriers from the United States Space Navy, to the smaller but just as lethal battle cruisers of the His Majesty's Royal Navy. The Russian Confederation had opted for their share of the Sentry fleet to be supply and refit vessel, giving them the in to leverage more space in Far Vlad’s massive zero gee docks for commercial vessels.

If he was lucky, maybe Smith would see one of the massive colony ships break moorings? A bright fusion powered behemoth on its way to one of the distant stars in the Second Sphere, the very fringe of human colonized space. Telus, Vaga...that was were legends and history were made, not on rainy Groombridge.

He was so lost in his thoughts he nearly jumped when a hand thumped against the glass window beside him. Outside, wearing a bright orange rain poncho, was another MP. And across from him, standing in the doorway to the bases stockade, was another MP carrying a rifle.

“Its time.” Smith said, croaking out the words as he tried to find his hat. He wanted to give the raw meat the right image to look at in a hard as nails military policeman.

Nodding brusquely, Clementine stood, snapping to attention. Even though they had been waiting, heavy in their own thoughts, it still gave her a bit of an adrenaline rush to be heading out there, and through space. She leaned over and looked out the window. “It is indeed, Corporal.” Tapping the tank on the shoulder, she moved to open the transport doors, adjusting her weapon and twisting her hat.

“Let’s get this show on the road.”
Ensign Keth Soban, Medic on the USS Legacy

Fellow Crew Injured By Keth: X


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Re: APPROVED

Postby Lucasausems » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:04 am

Made me curious...
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Re: APPROVED

Postby KendleRJ » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:19 pm

It was raining, but that seemed to be the thing.

Legend had it that the rain wasn’t actually water at all, well not in the sense of the word meaning it came from the sky. Legend told of the thousands of rich folk who lived in the towers and mega scrapers who just pissed down onto the shanties and slums that crowded in below the raised highways and pedestrian districts of New Beijing's criminal underbelly: the Down Below. If you stood in the middle of the rain slick street and looked up, apart from getting wet, you might just catch a glimpse of the stars overhead that were bright enough to shine through the light pollution of holographic adverts and auto traffic.

That same pollution was here as well: holographic dragons coiled and danced through the awnings of the pagodas and lamp posts of some sort of nightmarish fantasy idea of a classic Chinatown: banners, lanterns and all. The dragons were joined with more lewd images, promising everything The Peoples Party forbaded and much much more, and all for a reasonable price. It was late enough that the adventurous middle classes who liked the thrill of slumming it with wannabe gangsters and intern level Tirad thugs. Those out and about now were the criminal working class, the pimps and dealers, the racketeers and the smugglers. This was the beating heart of New Beijing's dark hearted economy.

And didn’t it just smell like home?

“Mne ne nravitsya dozhd'…” grumbled the giant golem of a figure who had opened the door to the cars passenger compartment, his voice so thickly accented it nearly made the Russian he was speaking unintelligible.

“You always hate the rain, brother,” Ivana Volk said in a heavily accented English, slapping him hard on his overly muscular arm. It was much like hers although a lot thicker around. She stood as tall as she could, towering over the majority of the mice that scurried through the streets calling themselves people, parting before them like the sea. It wasn’t just their size, which was formidable, but also their reputation. Ivana bore the twisted tattoos across her arms, woven like armour upward and across her chest and back, shadowed only by her sleeveless top, tucked into her khaki pants. The Volk House clearly marked not only on flesh, but their similar appearance.

They may not have owned these streets, but they had business to take them into the heart of Chinatown. Their respective nations had had dealings, and it would be poor form not to continue such a lucrative trade between them now. “We’re not ducks, we’re wolves, and we make the rain do our bidding. Even if we do get a little wet.”

"Eto ne ‘nemnogo vlazhnymi’." the larger of the two Volk Twins spoke, and closed the door to the car. Taller by two heads from his sister, which given the short stature of the average New Beijing citizen made him a giant, Sasha Volk shared the same near peroxide white hair as his sister. Where her’s was long, a wolfs brilliant tail in the night, his was buzz cut atop his head and trailed down from his chin in an impressive beard. He was dressed in a long greatcoat, one of those iron grey things that every Russian seemed to come packaged with as though stepping from the ruins of Stalingrad. His knuckles crackled noisily as he worked his fingers together, swallows and holy symbols of the orthodoxy painted upon him in blue and black inks.

It might not save his skin, but like any good boy of the Motherland he had hope for his soul.

His head twitched suddenly, his eyes tracking across the street as a nondescript door opened and red light poured out. It was more by long agreed principal that his arms did not suddenly reach into his coat, seeing as his sister had not spoke her verbal release for him to play. Instead he grunted, and motioned with his chin towards the door. A small oriental scampered out, dressed in what looked like black silk pajamas by Sasha’s opinion, and walked quickly towards them.

Ivana didn’t look back at the vehicle; she knew her large roadblock of a brother had that without question. As she had his. He didn’t think much, but he didn’t have to; he was good at looming, and intimidating his way through life and the people who were unfortunate enough to get in his way or try to come between them. He was a true son of the Motherland, never speaking any tongue but Hers, keeping true to the traditions that Ivana had grudgingly compromised on so that they could manage to keep their business humming even in New Beijing. The rain was definitely not a little as she pushed her white hair back against her scalp.

It was a simple gesture, one that made sure that little oriental knew she felt no threat, and was unconcerned with anything beneath her range of vision. Besides, Sasha could squash this little mouse like a bug. Or a mouse. At least she wasn’t talking out loud. Her mental acuity was just past her brother’s. They were twins after all.

Crossing her arms across her chest, letting the rain cascade off her bare arms, wishing she’d taken the matching coat from the car, she looked down. “What do you want, little one?” she asked. “Is this not the place?”

“Yes, yes!” said the small fellow, bowing multiple times to both Sasha and Ivana and with such rapidity that the small silk cap atop his head should have come flying off. He turned awkwardly, as though a metal rod was fixed from the base of his spine to his neck, and gestured to the door “The most honourable Wéixiǎn will receive you for your audience with him.”

Sasha blinked a few time, before tilting his head towards his sister to ask: “Chto?”

Ivana watched the man bobbing up and down in front of them and realized he was just the messenger. “He said, the Big Man is ready to see us.” She laughed and said, “G-n Opasnyy uvidite nas.” She leaned closer, speaking to her brother’s chest, as close as she could get to his ear without jumping. “Bud'te gotovy ko vsemu.” Yes, Sasha, be ready for anything. These orientals might be slight in stature, but she didn’t trust anyone whose name was Danger. It might be for show, but… wolves liked danger.

The silk clad underling lead them across the street and into the door, which had been designed for people of his stature and not the giants of another world. But they ducked and squeezed, making easy the passage from the exterior of the nondescript building. The red light shone from the walls, seeming to pour out of the bricks and mortar like walking through an artery. Of course Sasha could fell the slight metallic taste in his mouth as his fillings and two gold teeth were gently massaged by the weapon scanners MRI field: costly bit of tech, very good at picking up the heavy metallic signatures of hand guns and blades. No doubt the walls were also thin and lined with shooters ready to turn those foolish enough to walk into such a meeting carrying anything as sharp as a unkind word.

The small scanner corridor emptied out into a large open room, or what could have been a serise of rooms knocked through from one to the other. Chinamen in dark and finely tailored suits lounged and relaxed around small circular tables, bowls of rich smelling broth and clay bottles of rice wine were set before them. Women of a similar ethnic persuasion, all barefoot and wearing short kimonos marked with the two headed dragon of the 14K Triad, waited on the tables and lounged at the pleasure of the foot soldiers.

And at the head of the room, sat behind a western style desk of solid wood, was Mr Big himself: Mr Wéixiǎn. He was an older man, his hair black atop his head but silver from the temples and curling back. He was surrounded on either side by bodyguards and functionaries, his hands roving over a red leather ledger laid out before him. The greeter and his two Russian charges were marched up to stand before his desk.

And then they waited.

Sasha coughed into one ham like fist, and then attempted the impossible “Xiān zee...er...Xianshēng nhi-ak!...erm...nín hǎo.. Huò... Zoo-!. Zhǔrén?”

SIlence fell on the revellers to either side, as thugs and mol’s alike looked upon the giant white haired Russian tried to speak their native tongue. Sasha allowed his meaty brow to furrow, before his eyes flicked to his sister, and he opened his mouth to try again. Wéixiǎn raised a frail hand up, and then allowed his eyes to rise from the pages: they were the eyes of a snake, cold and dead and ever calculating. For a moment he pinned Sasha with them for a moment, before turning his attention to Ivana.

“I am told,” he said in nearly accentless English “That one of you speaks passable English? You will do me the great honour of not murdering my native tongue with your barbaric jaws. Speak your piece.”

Ivana Volk, proud daughter of the Volk Clan, commanding their own levels of respect within the small and powerful enclave in the belly of New Beijing’s Triad territories worked her jaw, both surprised by her brother’s knowledge of a language other than their own, and put out by the old man’s disrespect of them. Granted they had come there out of respect to request more territory, expanding their power base and adding to the distribution of anything the lower dregs of society wanted. But this was… Her blue eyes glittered with their own light, anger welling in her Russian breast and nearly rolling off of her in a wave.

But they needed this alliance, no matter how tenuous, and she gritted her teeth, nearly grinding as she bit out words in English, “Passable. Da. We can talk.” If she didn’t at least give it a shot, she would never be able to hold her head high anywhere again. They had come with no metal as requested. But she was never one to give up her ceramics, slid in sheaths in her boots, as insurance against the treachery she expected every time they left their home. She met his eyes cooly, and swallowed down the anger, but it sat like an oil slick on the surface, ready to consume her if he kept pushing. He might feel safe, but there was only so much safety his money could buy.

“I would then be pleased to hear you explain to me why two-” one of his lieutenants said something softly in the old mans ear “Ah yes, why ‘three’ of my low level street dealers were found dead near the territory you have so proudly proclaimed to be yours? Though I would have you understand I do not feel animosity towards yourself or your brother for the deaths of men for whom I held no great importance.”

“If you send dogs to mark territory that we have paid well for, then they will get,” muttering in Russian she thought for a moment, and looked back. “Ah, yes, put down.” She said, voice soft and conversational. “No one important should be wandering that close to the Volks, nyet?” She smiled, her shoulders stiffening and she let her chin crawl in a small semi-circle, neck cracking as it moved.

“The price you paid was not for territory, but for being allowed to stay free and clear of my organisation. I did not grant you and your brother sanctuary here after you broke your ties with the Russian Mafia, for whom I do hold great regard as fellow business men and women. Thus far your presence here has lead to a not insignificant loss of revenue.” Wéixiǎn explained, tapping a bony finger against the ledger “I allowed you this audience so that you might balance that account amicably.”

Her lips curled upward, her face looking more like her ancestor’s name than human, teeth baring in a violent grin. “How balance?” she asked in stilted English, feeling the weight of her weapons, and the heavier burden of the dishonour they were being shown. The Volks weren’t the ones to be put down. She and Sasha had come there to challenge, not pay. It might be about time to find out how Wéixiǎn he really was.

“A total repayment of lost revenue to the sum of half a million unadjusted dollars, or swear your loyalty to myself and the 14K Triad and serve with what little honour you can garner for yourselves.” Wéixiǎn explained with a casual shrug of his shoulders.

“Chto!” Sasha snarled, baring teeth and golden canines. He took a booted foot fall closer to the old man, the sound of his movement hidden as a clicking rattle of guns being readied in holsters around the room.

He spoke of honour, this ublyudok, and she almost barked out the words to unleash Sasha. He was barely contained, barely holding back, but still, waiting for her order. She felt the danger, tasted it, lived for it, but also knew that it would have to wait for another day. “Ne zdes', a ne seychas, Sasha..” She lowered her head and allowed for the agreement to take place. “We will have to see how much we can scrape together, because I cannot see us swearing loyalty to” she took a breath and ran through every name she could call him in Russian, and English, and a few other languages she had a smattering in, “you.”

But that wouldn’t stop them from bombing this building to the ground, removing the smiling face of the snake. Let’s see how dangerous he was when he was in bloody bits, red lights highlighting his insides in a pulpy mess. There was some saying about running away and fighting another day. He was pushing. It was almost tempting to see how many they could take down with them.

Sasha’s big skull crushing mitt landed lightly on Ivana’s shoulder, giving it the gentle squeeze that she sometimes gave him when the fire rose up to melt away the mantle of Mother Winter. This was not the battlefield on which songs would be sung of ancient honours and new deeds.

He then spoke without turning his head from his sister’s gaze, holding it the way one might with a maddened dog.

“We..we will...pay.” he said in halting English, before breaking eye contact and giving a slight nopd of his head that surely allowed the bones of his shoulders to creak.

“Good, I had hoped one of you would have the sense the other did not. And I will remember that you did negate on my original offer of fealty.” Wéixiǎn said bitterly, before turning his eyes back to the ledger before him “I think our audience is concluded.”

He then ignored them utterly as one might a figment of the imagination.

Ivana made a motion as if to step forward, watching and waiting for the reactions in the room. She heard the same readiness and nodded briefly, patting her brother’s hand with her own. “We shall show ourselves out,” she said, and turned on her heel. Respect was earned, not forced down the throat. And this man had force fed them gristle and expected them to swallow. They would leave. But there would be a calling card from the Volks. “Come, Brother,” she said softly.

Like the loyal dog he was Sasha followed after his sister. They marched with pride that had warded off armies and winters with equal ease, passing the tables with their glowering thugs and tittering entertainments. Revenge was often spouted to be a dish best served cold, and if it was one thing the Russian’s knew how to do…

The passed back into the cramped corridor that led to the street outside, only this time the blood red light of the scanner was off leaving behind dull effects painted glass. Well there was no need to set the alarm off going out now was there. Sasha reached the door first, and opened it so that he could first check the exterior for threats.

He got the first salvo.

The rubber bullets were shot with marksman precision, striking his chest with impressive kinetic force that staggered him back against the wall opposite the door. Almost the instant he had passed to the wall flood lights cracked to life, bathing the now unshielded Ivana in a million candles of illumination.

“This is the New Beijing Police! Put your hands on top of your head or you will be fired upon!” came a barely english scream over a loud hailer. Sasha had now gotten to one knee, a big arm raised to ward off more of the fire from the riot police’s stun weapons.

“Will be?” Ivana spat out past the door, leaning over to touch her brother’s shoulder, now that she could reach it. Double-crossed by Mr. Big. His pockets were much deeper and reached much farther than she had ever imagined. She raised a hand to shield her face from the sudden blaring light pouring in. Revenge would be colder still in space. She had already bowed once inside, and despite every instinct rising inside of her, she had a feeling that this next set of ammunition would do more than drive him to his knees.

“Vy vyigrali etot raund. No vy budete platit',” she whispered under her breath, lifting her other arm to the top of her head.

+++

“And then we go to page two! Where we see, oh! Look another resisting arrest. Aggravated resisting arrest. A few assault charges, though what the NBPD is doing listing ‘aggravated physical assault with victims own limb’ as one of their multiple choices makes me worry about retiring here one day.”

Smith was gone, along with the wiper screeching as the driver had turned them off the moment the kid had left the bus. As was the kids tradition he wanted to greet the new visitors to the Honeymoon Suite personally, as though swaggering and talking a big game impressed people whose rap sheets literally were longer than Viki’s arm. The MP who had knocked at the door, as ‘Sjet’ someone-someone, had hopped on board out of the rain and was handing over the double transit forms for The Volk Twins. He tapped the form with one gloved finger.

“Just sign there and the siblings from Siberia are all yours.”

Clementine gave a low whistle and flipped the rap sheet back and forth, reviewing the substantial list. She was tolerant, but even she was relieved that Smith wasn’t there. He rubbed her the wrong way; he rubbed everyone the wrong way. Shrugging, Viki signed the form to complete the transaction.

“Presents for me?” she said with a grin and handed back the pen, sliding it easily into his pocket. “You shouldn’t have. People will talk.” Her smile dropped, shoulders squared and she gave the man no second glance. “How many more can we expect, soldier?”

“Well we have a grass roots Rebel up on a blackmail charge Geneva’s eager to charge on by Earthside, and a hard core Human Leaguer nut job: tats, rhetoric, the whole works. Heck let that one spin up to full rant and she’d convince you ever Bloomer and Tank in the First Sphere should be put to the torch ‘to stop the diluting of the grand human spirit’.” the MP called Sjet shook his head “That one we’ve kept in segregation away from even the Volks. Though my money says the Colonial Rebels the one to watch: quiet guy, likes crossword puzzles. If he’s anything like my five year English teacher and her crossword puzzles, he’s the dangerous one.”

He slapped her playfully on the shoulder and got up to wave over his counter part and Smith, so the procession of orange jumpsuits could begin.

“And now they're all yours: bon appetit.”
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Re: APPROVED

Postby Jake Sjet » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:37 pm

...Huum. How to begin...CUE STAR WARS CREDIT MUSIC!!!




From that guy who drank too much coffee and some how only tried to kill Dragon Squadron twice…
And that gal who didn’t quite kill the Dragons when she found the keys under a pile of unpaid SLA bills…
Comes their next big chance to ruin the SLA. Once. And. For. All.


As first drafts go for a pitch, it makes X-men 3 look like Hamlet.

Hello, as my nick suggests I’m Jake Sjet (Also called Andrew by the Inland Revenue Service) and its taken me this long to realise there is no 12 step program for the SLA. Creative folk don't get to put down the bottle, stop finding a vein, or some how convince themselves that spending large amounts of money on incendiary toothpicks is a losing proposition. Face it, if you’ve read this far into the madness you’re as much as a writing fiend as the rest of us…

And boy! Do I have a suitcase of Columbia's finest for you!

Are you tired of Star Trek sims where, invariably, you're the red shirt?
In a Star Wars sim, are you the unlucky sod who got clobbered by an Ewok or bullseyed by a Stormtrooper?
And in a Firefly...you know what, forget I said that. You're already unlucky if you tick that box.

In short, are you tired of playing the same sort of characters, just in a new uniform? Have you ever wanted to paint your face blue, scream at the sky, and go running into so many bullets the odds of your survival would make even a Las vegas bookie wince? Do you want to get your mad on, find that crazy voice on the inside of your skull, and just let it out to play with the other psychopaths?

Soto’s Psycho's is the name of a message board role play game were sanity, and probably good taste, will not often be seen. This is a group of soldiers, criminals, and lunatics that somehow forgot to kill each other on the shuttle ride over here and are now the Dirty Dozen without the glamorous A-list cast. Set in a wonderful and nearly fact free universe, for those of you wanting a little world building with your role play can doodle to your hearts content. And for those that like blowing things up, and seeing just how many bullets it takes to get to the goo centre of your enemies ribcage, we have that for you too. We have lots, and lots of that, (Trust me)

Space: Above and Beyond’ was a single season show that might have gained the popularity of Firefly had it not arrived years earlier during a flood of scifi shows like Space Precinct and other alumni of the 90’s. Set in a near future world where mankind has spread out to a handful of colonies via wormholes, disaster strikes when a powerful alien empire devastates these fringe worlds.

Its up to the United Nations Colonial Sentry fleet to defend not only the Earth, but the multi national colonies that have been chafing under the distant rule of an uncaring Earth. But fear not! You won;t be playing the role of some flag waving patriot, ready to have a rip roaring discussion about patriotism and the American way. No, for you see…

You start the game in chains, just before the war begins, and you’re about to boarded onto ConAir for the long trip back to Earth for your day in court. Maybe you’re innocent? Or perhaps you might just be insane? But the odds are good that the only way out of living in prison will be a miracle.

Will an apocalypse do instead?

Can a disgraced leader, a genetically bred In Vitro pilot, and a rag tag team of misfits and monsters beat the odds when mankind learns the answer to the ages old question of ‘are we alone in the universe’?

….

No, seriously I have to ask, because all the ideas I’ve had about this game has made me cackle like a poorly written Bond villain.

+++

((Meanwhile, in the happy land of caffeinated editing…))

Kendle: I just kept thinking as I read… “You want to be the heroes? You want to take that long ride into glory in the cockpit of the finest the UN has to offer and wave a flag while you’re doing it? Well, that’s not us. We’re the other guys.” You know there might be flak if we take cute pot shots at the other sims… I so want to. My tact button is nearly pressed too far in… but I gotta ask… I know it’s all meant in fun and hell, it’s you, Andrew. You’ve written on them all at least what, 2 or 3 dozen times apiece? And are still going... I get that, but not everyone will have a sense of humour. Mind you, I don’t think I’d want to write with those folks anyway… But well, we do need Psychos!

Sjet: I see where you're coming from, in a sort of hippieish, ‘lets all hold hands’ kinda way (don't go into character, don;t go into character) but as we name no names, and speak in generalities (Though I could list faults till the sun rises) I don’t see many points of contention. If writers who are on those these sort of games see this, and decide to join the crazy train then its because it spoke to them and made them want to do something fun. If someone reads it and gets their tightie whities in a bunch, then we know our target audience has been hit with enough pinpoint precision to qualify for laser guidance...but if you want I’ll put a disclaimer on it somewhere. (Disclaimer, see, put it right here)

Kendle: I’m not the kind of person who’s going to be singing Kumbaya, so to be honest, I’m all on board with it. It says what we are, what we want, and who we want in it. It will separate the ‘men from the boys’, because let’s face it, we want writers with some chops, some humour, and the same feeling of greatness and potential that we have already for the Sim. If we wanted buy in from the same dried up folks who are doing the same things, you would have been a bit different in your phrasing. But, and yes, I’m dropping the ‘f’ bomb, to be quite honest, we don’t ((Cranberries!)) want those ones. We do want the ones who will take those chances, pull those rip cords, and seriously blow ((Stuffing!)) up. And challenge things, create things, and ((Dandelion Fluff!)) it all, make different characters that can have meaning, social commentary, or seriously, just moon the stars and run naked through the compound. Whatever works. *gets off her soap box* So post it! And don’t change a blessed thing. Although I’d still have loved to have that exchange with Soto. ;)

Sjet: Soon Kendle, soon. Hehe...haha...BWUAHAHAHA!

+++

(((And that kids is why Sjet and Kendle are no longer invited to the bi-monthly SLA slumber parties. Fin)))
Ensign Keth Soban, Medic on the USS Legacy

Fellow Crew Injured By Keth: X


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Re: APPROVED

Postby Amanda Rose » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:36 pm

Well, frak, I'm in. I think I'm the biggest psycho in the SLA. (Did I really put that in print? Will anyone believe it?)

And hey! Not everyone's a red shirt in my Trek games! Shame on you, Sjet! :P
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Re: APPROVED

Postby KendleRJ » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:15 pm

It was all about the desk. The spartan office had little in it to define the man that occupied it, except for the overly large mahogany desk that sat nearly central to the entire space. It dwarfed the man behind it, almost like he was an accessory to it, until he stood, and then, it became abundantly clear that they were like a matching pair of larger than life. It was real wood, passed down for generations, antique inlaid ebony and ivory in a pattern that hearkened back to tribal artistry and a penchant for pride in handiwork.

It must have cost a small fortune to have it shipped out this far; but it didn’t appear that the owner cared one way or the other. It came with him, was something that he treasured beyond measure, and made any place he was stationed bearable, despite the distance that kept putting him further and further from his home on Earth.

It spoke of tradition, and a stalwart steadiness, and despite the filigree which might have lessened the masculine impact, it spoke volumes about the man. Commodore Leif Bjorklund, a strapping example of Swedish descent, stood, waiting for a man of equal stature to enter. There was a sense of respect, but still, protocol was protocol, and he had to hear the man out before bringing the hammer down.

He was firm but fair, but could be a hard ass, and make the tough decisions when it was called for. He wasn’t a mouthpiece, and had challenged the Brass above him more times than was polite to mention, but like a good soldier, he knew how to pick his battles. And when. It didn’t sit well with him, but he might have to give up a few to keep them happy at home and still maintain discipline out this far. He heard a sharp rap at the door, and said in a loud booming voice that could cross the compound, “Come.”

The door opened, revealing a towering figure of a man that just about fit into the size requirements for active service in the United Nations Colonial Sentry Force. He was broad of shoulder, limbs like baby tree trunks that in places strained against the uniform he wore, and his skin was the varnished consistency of the wooden desks lacquer. On his shoulder was the cyan arm band of the UNCSF, the traditional UN open world crest with a pair of swords crossed under it, and just peaking over the band was the multi colored flag of the South African Federation.

The hulking brute then took a step to one side, and ushered the Commodores afternoon appointment into his office.

This man was of more human proportions, and far older than the loyal aide de camp who had been following the Commodore from Helsinki to Barnard's Star, and back again. He had skin like aged leather, but instead of making him look old and weathered the effect had the opposite effect: he looked fit, a energy in his step and a hardness of steel in his grey eyes. He had the look of a soldier even whilst he was dressed in undress greens that lacked any of the rank and ornamentation his service jacket said was his due. The pair of silver crosses would go there, the Actarus Starburst would hang from a sash, and the squadron of purple hearts would…

He stepped further into the office, before drawing himself up to attention before the desk with a click of booted heels and a spine straight enough to use for trigonometry.

The Commodore nodded at his Aide and said, “You’re dismissed.” There was no need for additional personnel, despite the reason for this appointment. “And tell the others to remain outside.” His blue eyes regarded the man before him with some trepidation, and said, “At ease, Nabaal. Why don’t you have a seat?”

They had been in this office countless times, awarding medals of honour, pinning them to his chest, handing them in boxes, and recommending him for commendations of valour. This meeting was different, and despite their longstanding friendship, there was now an air of formality to this. And one thing he knew in the service was it was never too early to have a drink. “What’s your poison?” Bjorklund asked as he waited for the man to sit.

“Little late in the day to be asking about the poison, now ain’t it?” he asked wryly, taking the offered seat with all due formality “And if you're picking the bottle from your private stock, well Bjork I doubt I’ll be within spitting distance of brännvin again in this lifetime. Might as well savor it whilst I can.”

The Commodore chuckled, glad that the man sat down, sitting afterward and leaning down, reaching for a key to unlock a secret drawer in his desk. “Nothing but the best,” he said, pulling out the bottle and two glasses, making a show of blowing off the dust before placing it down on the desk. He poured the first two, and then pushed the bottle across the desk with one of the glasses, raising his in a voiceless toast.

He to poured a finger of the ‘burn wine’ into his glass, and held it up in perfect memory to the commodores. No words were spoken, as none were needed between soldiers this long in the tooth: to absent friends, to comrades long gone and enemies vanquished. Might as give all their bet to days to come, all their love to long ago to those left behind. The liquor from the Bjorks native Sweden burned, but it was the good sort of burn that one knew would ease with another shot or two. He brought the glass down from his lips, his hands working it over and over as he looked at it.

“Todays the day.” Soto Nabaal asked softly.

The Commodore nodded solemnly, drinking down the glass in one gulp. Maybe to honour those passed, or perhaps for some need to ease the bitterness of what was happening. He hated to be a part of it, but there was nothing more to be done. With all of his power, his voice had fallen on deaf ears, and his warning from on high was absolute. Accept it, and let it go. Support us, or you can join him.

“Why?” he asked softly, finally giving voice to the question he’d never asked. Nor was it ever posed during the court martial.

“Evil prevails, because good men stand by and do nothing.” he said loftily to his empty glass, before smiling “Damn, that sounded nearly poetical.”

His face allowed a smile to dance upon his lips for a moment, before with a heavy sigh he put the glass back down the desk and eyed Bjork. They had been friends for years, allies in the bureaucratic trench warfare that was the UNCSF: an extragovernmental body that was mandated to protect the myriad worlds of man scattered across the industrialised First Sphere and frontier worlds of the Second Sphere. Comically underfunded, with units and fleets constantly reasigned by their home governments to safe gaurd their own national interests. It was one of the reason a Royal Canadian Air Force base on Groombridge was headed by a soldier from the Swedish Air Force.

And yet, for all those years…

“Bjork I could tell you why, spin it to make them I did wrong were the devils kin, and I the saint vowed on settin’em on the rightious path.” he said simply “Truth of it is I saw something that didn’t sit right with me, and I took exception to. I took nine separate exception to it according the JAG officer thats gone hung me.”

Nine: the same number of rounds in a Sig Sauer 10mm dart pistol, standard issue sidearm to all UNCSF troopers. The same weapon that, according to the Judge Advocate General’s office, was used to murder the commanding officer and his staff of the Second Sphere colony world of Prism. The whole thing might have been kept quiet, apart from the fact the grisly scene had taken place in a hotel room with a shockingly large number of cameras positioned around it. Of course the JAG office failed to mention that the recordings those cameras held showed the command staff of the colony enjoying themselves with many people, the majority of whom look both unwilling and under the age to vote.

All the camera showed was a soldier in UNCSF greens, his face clear enough for recognition software to throw up a 98% match, calmly entering the room and shooting nine men and women in similar uniforms as his own without much in the way of reason. The tenth man left at the table, the local garrisons CO, had choked on the dart pistols barrel. That CO had been the nephew of someone on the Security Council.

And that was the truth that no one would know.

“You must have pissed somebody off.” Leaning forward, he grabbed the neck of the open bottle and poured one for himself, tipping more into Nabaal’ glass. The Commodore had more to wash out of his mouth than the taste of injustice. He’d seen the footage, watched the trial, and was not even called as his Commanding Officer. Everything had been closed, despite his demands to speak on his behalf in front of the judiciary hearing. That was shot down, and he was politely requested to cease and desist. There was something going on far deeper than he liked, and if he had been a younger man without the need of a pension to support his ex-wives and their respective children, he might have gone into the fray to have his friend’s back again. He felt the bile rise as his own failings threatened to come back on him.

He hated the job, and everything it stood for when good men were hauled up to cover someone else’s failings. But what was done was done. All he could do now was drown the guilt in his gut and give the man the respect he deserved. He drank this one a little more slowly, and left the bottle in front of his friend.

Nabaal had been right; where he was going, there would be nothing like this nectar he had been saving. It would have been better to celebrate a victory, but even in defeat, it made it just a little easier to swallow.

“Old preacher I knew, man of Books and all, once told a younger fellow who shared my name but not my deeds: If you can’t do something smart, do something right. Guess I’m just living up to the expectations handed to me by a man who thought God lived on a cloud and not in the magazine of a Marine M6.” he groused, taking the second glass and using it to chase the second into his gut “I got myself a feeling I won’t be enjoying the hospitality of the state long when I get back Earthside. I got me this feeling a lot of things are coming to an end soon.”

Bjorklund look at him for a moment, noticing that the bullet that had his name on it had left a scar, barely noticeable now. But the man across from him had saved his life. There was no way to repay such a sacrifice, but he would be managing to at least show the man he respect he deserved for a long and illustrious service record. Whatever God might have had it in for him, set that man between him and certain death.

Taking a deep breath, he nodded, placing the glass lightly on the desk. “Seems like a lot is stirring; like something in the wind.” More troop movements, colonization moving out past Groombridge taking humanity further than it had ever been before. The regular runs were doubled, and pushed beyond the standard perimeters that had been set up and agreed upon by all Nations. The UN had specified on more than one occasion that equality had to be maintained, and everyone had to be represented. Even that far out.

The Commodore offered Nabaal another glass, lifting the bottle and waiting for a response. “Whatever’s coming, I’d feel safer with you out here than there. No matter what they said.” But it might not even come to that.

“Well I wouldn’t worry to much old friend: you're sat on one of the most densely populated planets in the First Sphere, with a good third of the UNCSF Fleet parked in orbit around Far Vladivostok. This is probably the most secure system in the entirety of human colonised space.” he began to bring the glass to his lips, when a polite knock came from the door. Both men turned to look, and saw the small mousey features of the UN civilian aide that was not part of the military, but part of the political dance and shuffle that was New Beijing.

“Looks like my times up.” Soto said with a smile.

Bjorklund scowled at the man as only a Swede could, a vicious smile curling his lips back. “Looks like, old friend,” he managed to say and stood. “You can wait a moment,” he said to the Aide, and gave a nod to his own through the open door. “I’ve planned some additional personnel to accompany you.”

Taking the glass, he lifted it and said, “To a good journey,” and drained it, feeling the heated liquid make its way down to his gut.

“Good journey.” he echoed the sentiment, and emptied the glass. He then turned, stepped past the civilian aide, and was gone. The aide watched him go, trying to place where he knew him from. Probably the news or something, but as a civilian working in the military he had barely enough time for sleep. He pressed on into the room, and began to put down sheet of papers before the Commodore.

“We have a lot of paper work to get through today Sir!” he said as brightly as he could, indicating each in turn “Requisition forms for new uniforms, rations and the usual minimal spare parts requests. Also the paperwork needed to transition the prisoners in the stockade, we wouldn’t want some of them being shipped back due to faulty paperwork now would we!”

He held out a pen towards Bjork, smiling as he waited for him to take it.

The Commodore watched his old friend leave his office for the last time, and swept the glasses towards him, capping the bottle and clearing it as the Aide kept his schedule humming. He took a look at the papers in front of him, flipping through a few, scanning them quickly. Regular day, with regular things. Except for one.

Taking the pen, he began putting his signature on each one, signing and initialling as he skimmed through them all. He reached the transition papers and flipped through them, eyebrows raising at some of the names. He took a moment to glance through their information, and then signed all, leaving his friend’s for last, as though that might delay his departure. He would finish that bottle when everything was completed. He handed back the pen, and sat heavily in his chair.

The aide looked over the paperwork, humming tunelessly to himself before with a smile he swept the paperwork up and turned to leave. It was only as he reached the door that he stopped, pausing there as though caught between two choices. He decided better to be told he was wasting the commodores time than make assumptions.

“There is one piece of bad news Sir, well not really bad news persay but more along the times that it might cause some delay in the filing of these requests with Central back on Earth.” he said, turning around and wincing “There’s been some sort of technical screw up in orbit. One of the bases communication techs received flash traffic by accident that had been directed from the Far Vladivostok to the Ladnyy, the Russian Confederation battlecruiser thats heading up the Sentry fleet stationed here.”

He reached into the paper work, and fished out the rapidly printed flash traffic message from where it had been hidden and handed it to the Commodore.

FLASH-FLASH-FLASH
From: Far Vlad Space Traffic Control (FV-STC)
To: Officer of Watch RCNS Ladnyy, UNCSF (2rd Fleet)

All contact with Archimedes Celestial Weather Monitoring Station lost as of 6am Zulu Time.
Due to light speed lag and distance to Oort cloud of Groombridge system radio broadcast will take 28 hours to reach station and 28 hours to return.
Request Fleet service craft dispatched to Oort cloud to assess damage, if any, to the Archimedes station. Nature of failure believed to electrical overload, as high energy discharge was received on the stations communications system prior to loss of signal.


On the surface the request seemed mundane enough, but any spacer worth their salt knew the importance of such space stations to the thinly connected colonies of mankind. Wormhole travel did not always exist in a stable connect like the Groombridge/Earth wormhole. Most connections were regular, but transitory affairs lasting weeks or even hours, and had been the bane of military planner for a half century. In every colonised system in the First Sphere there was a Archimedes station, manned by scientists and astronomers, who monitored for the subtle gravitational cues of a opening wormhole bridge and determined its destination. The loss of such a station could mean a colony was cut off from the rest of the First Sphere for days, or in some cases months before survey teams could map a new route to the wayward colony.

“It was a foul up on their end I assure you sir, fancy them sending us traffic that has no bearing on planetary operations.” the aide sigh camply “I’ll issue a formal complaint with your electronic signature attached as soon as I’m done filing the paperwork Sir?”
USS Legacy
Ensign Navkiran Khangura - Engineering
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

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Re: APPROVED

Postby Tavey » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:54 am

(( This isn't the spot for this chaps. Please see Prax's note in the guidelines section, posted in 2009. :wink: We do have a section for new sims, and testing stuff out. It is 100% visible to everyone, so it allows potential members to get all interested and the like!))
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