An Inheritance of Stars

A New Chapter Begins

Space now

Over 250 years have passed since contact was made with the Imperium of Man, and the Wild Card Virus was released in the Inequity star system. The passage of time has seen Imperial doctrine welcomed and accepted by the people of the Argylian Expanse. With this acceptance, the cold war with the Gray has excelated into outright war. The current political situation haven’t changed much over the years the old alliances and hatreds still remain. Foundling Worlds and Winterscales Realm would have long since engaged in their own war save for this ongoing conflict with the Gray, and through peace enforced by visible adherence to Imperial law. This situation has lead to an escalated cold war scenario between the Republic and the Star Kingdom.

In this new age of man, the few people truly free to chart their own course are the Rouge Traders and their ships. These explorers, by right of Warrant of Trade are charged with expanding the boarders of the Argylian Expanse, and bringing back resources for the benefit of all mankind. This vast freedom has lead some to refer to these blessed few as the Inheritors of the Stars.

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Electric Recon is the best because there is much less chance of being shot
Words to continue living by

After the Captain gave his instructions on how we are going to play out this next operations Freddy quickly went to work. He went into his room on the Minnow and pulled out one of his many confiscated and id wiped data pads and began working his way into the stations security systems. A little quick hacking and cracking (someone on this station likes to keep default passwords on their access points…) got Freddy into the outer edges of the stations main security system. Not being able to directly control or modify the systems without risking tipping their hat that shit was about to go down he settled for checking reporting logs on security locations throughout the station.

Deacon’s Deck: 2 heavy, 15 medium + genetic labs (where Richard and clones are)

Main Concourse/Catina: 1 heavy, 15 medium (prior to auction. during auction 1 heavy, and 5 med are pre-programmed to move from the deacon Deck’s down to concourse for a total of 2 Heavy and 20 medium).

Upper docking: 1 heavy, 20 medium.

Market/Habs/Mid Docking level: 1 heavy, 15 medium. (party’s ship is accessed through mid concourse to repair arm)

Lower Docking: 2 heavy, 20 medium.

Salvage: (20 medium droids patrol lower three levels in 4 groups of 5. 2 are always on the salvage level at any one time)

Warrens: Nothing Freddy could find in the system.

Outer Hulls: there are also 36 droid fighter craft which are docked 12/docking bay level.

Reserves: there are 3 heavy droids, and 30 medium droids kept on reserve in shutdown. Freddy couldn’t locate which level(s) they are located on.

Freddy got his information together and dumped it onto a data chip to bring to the crew so they could try to plan this little soiree a little more precisely. As much as he was not terrible in a fight his best tactics were still obfuscation and conversation, so this planning needed a more experienced mind.

Freddy, much to his personal horror, was starting to get used to being in the line of fire, and almost looked forward to the adrenalin rush. Might be time to see a psychologist soon before he got himself shot!

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Wild Night

What a wild night of partying last night! It was awesome. First I beat the boys at Strip Poker and then after further enjoyable drinking, I got laid. Good times. I really got to relieve some frustration that had been building up if you know what I mean. I even used some moves I learned in the Captain’s porn collection and I must say that Garry and I thought up a few new ones too. Sure I had the walk of shame since I had to walk back to my quarters from Garry’s but what ya gonna do. I’ve sobered up, had some coffee, enjoyed some Eggs Bennedict, Bacon and Toast and now I’m totally ready to kick some ass and shoot things today.

Strip poker

Walk of shame

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Time To Blow Shit Up

Now that my hangover is gone I can’t wait to get into the action and use my new power suit that Hulik built for me. I’m ready and refreshed, especially after partying with Naomi and other crew members. I get my weapons ready and munch down on some strudels.

Time to go blow the shit up on some combat droids.

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A Gathering of Forces

Captain Ivan Korsogan looked out over his mismatched crew. With the exception of the Doctor who was in the Deacon’s laboratory, and Hienrick who’s membership in the crew had always seemed…convenient; everybody was gathered on the Cobra’s bridge. Ivan doubted that anyone had ever commanded such a crew of misfits. Their ship AI was the ghost of an asteroid miner, His engineers were comprised of two girls, barely out of their teens, and a mutant with rubber skin. His security officer was a con -man, and his security forces included a strudel eating merc, an alien pirate, a feathered mute, and an assortment of gang-bangers. Yet somehow, Ivan felt pride in his crew.

Taking a swig of home-made vodka from his flask, Ivan passed it down. “Ok guys, look sharp. We’re cutting it right on the edge here. If we pull this off, we get a big payoff, and maybe stop some bad people from getting their hands on the Wild Card Virus. If we fuck up, we’ll probably end up dead or worse. I shouldn’t have to remind you, but in two hours the auction takes place in the Deacon’s Catina. Our auction is up first, so with luck I can get the payment from the stealth drive transferred before everything goes to crap.” Looking serious he continued. “The auction for the stash of Creche Tech is second. Depending on what Heinrick does; shit could start to go wrong about here. Hopefully he’s enough of a professional to either win the bid, or to go after the gear later; our best bet is if the auction process for the Virus.” Holding up his hand, Ivan stopped the protests of his crew. “Listen; if we stop the auction before we can get access, then it could disappear. If we can get it during or immediately after the bidding ends, we have a chance of grabbing it and blasting our way out.”

Freddy raised an eyebrow. “When I wanted to rescue Richard last night, you said an assault would be stupid and suicidal; especially with the ship locked in the repair dock. What makes it different now?”

Ivan smiled a horrible smile. “Because now we’ll be able to play to our strength…the ability to capitalize on chaos.”

“Thats a stupid plan Ivan.” Stated Gnat. “There are bad people here Ivan, people that wont likely take loosing the auction well, let alone being robbed as well.”

“Thats right!” Laughed Ivan. “Look at them all. They represent governments, pirates, mercenaries, corporations and killers. And they’ve all agreed to bring an honor guard.”

“Of elite troops.” Snapped DC. “We’re gonna get our asses shot off.”

Ivan raised a finger. “Not so; I mean of course they are elite, but each group has only brought 10. The rest are on their ships, and unable to act lest their commanders be killed.”

Garry stood up. “If I can say something. I think the Captain is right. The threat of the Deacon’s combat droids is supposed to keep everyone on their best behavior. But when shit goes wrong, its gonna be chaos. There will be something like 6 or more sides in the fight. As long as we can act fast, and be the one’s to start it, then we might just pull it off in the confusion. If not we can always blow the place right?”

Hulik looked up. We can blow our ship no problem. It might even be able to take out the hulk as well; although its mass is so big I’d bet on it just taking heavy damage. With more time I might be able to guarantee it, but with two hours to work, I’d say just go nuts with your grenades, and don’t worry about venting yourself by accident. I can always blow our ship if we have to, but I’d rather keep Murphy alive to get us out of here when the time comes."

Ivan nodded. “We’ll split into two groups. The first group goes to the auction. We’ll get the payment for the stealth drive, and then steal or destroy the virus, and fight our way back to the ship. If we can we’ll rescue the Doctor as well, this will likely be our only chance. Team two, you’ll guard the ship; We’re a small enough crew that I suspect the Deacon will try to kill us to keep the vessel as salvage. In fact, I suspect he would have acted by now save for the other bidders being present. Team two, you’ll also be responsible for breaking or blowing the clamps holding us into dry dock. Try not to damage our ship, the past 2 days of work have been good for her. All the same, if we’re locked in dry-dock when it’s time to go; it wont matter if we’ve succeeded or not.” Ivan looked over his crew once more. “Get yourselves ready for a fight. Arm up with whatever weapons and armor you can find on-board. I’m expecting that we’ll all see action soon. Just remember, no matter what happens, its been an honor to work with each and every one of you. Now good luck and good hunting.”

As the crew dispersed to their tasks, Ivan felt just a little bit of optimism. The odds were slim, and his crew didn’t like their options. However this was the kind of shit-storm they excelled at surviving. If he had to go into a situation like this, there went many others he would trust at his back.

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Preparations: Sex and Explosions TBA

Doctors coats were wonderful, great place to hide a datapad. And a small pistol or two. A good club for Richard the Hulk was not hard to find. An hour of drinks with Freddy, and the items were easily passed under the table, and deposited in the appropriate internal pockets. And arranged for Richard to wear a black band on his arm, so the crew could tell him from the clones.

Now he made himself busy in the lab, waiting for the Clone Escape Committee, or more likely, Clever Clone, to come pick up what he had. They were much better at dodging security after all. In the meantime he busied himself with fabrications of his own. Alas, so little time… what to do… a couple pounds of explosives would go a long way to getting everyone off this level… then again… who knows when another chance to meet one of the Sokuja would come up…

The door hissed softly as Clever Clone entered. The droids outside the door ignored him as usual, standing on guard for… who knows what. Tribbles?
“You are here. I was beginning to think you changed your mind.” Richard said, turning to face him.
“Never. What could you get us?”
“Not much, a data-pad of course. You should be able to use it for communications, and of course, door hacks or whatnot. I’d considered reprogramming Dumb and Dumber over there, but it hadn’t been worth the time to do individuals. Now if someone could get to the central droid system, and perform the appropriate software updates…” he handed over the datapad, a spare blaster, and a solid steel bar. “Either way, those should get you where you need to go.”
Clever Clone nodded, and the items disappeared into his cloths. “I am a bit surprised, you seemed to be getting along so well with the deacon, i was worried you would simply ignore us. Some feared you would turn us in.”
Richard snorted at that. “Please, the Deacon is quite intelligent, and seems to be quite interested in my help, and it’s not like I am un-interested in his work… But he’s a religious fanatic. Can’t trust fanatics, they are so likely to go murderous on a whim. Speaking of work, do you think you could get into the cloning lab, either now, or during the escape?”
“Perhaps. It is one of the most secure rooms.”
“Ah a pity. I would have liked to pour a liter or two of bleach on the corps. Guess we shall have to hope with the destruction of the entire Hulk then.”
“I said perhaps, not that it is impossible. Could you not do it?”
Richard shook his head. “No, I will have to be at the auction, to rejoin my crew. There’s room for a few good men on our ship, if you can make it there. Though I suppose you have the proper set-up for your own crew?”
“We do,” Clever Clone nodded. “We have our eyes on one of the smaller ships.”
“Right. Well, let me know how that goes. Oh, this lab is fairly secure, I’ve checked, there’s no working security in the room. And it’s fairly well stocked with chemicals of all sorts. You could mix up some explosives with just the stuff in those containers over there.”
“I can do that. You are working on…?”
“I have a personal project. Whats the point of living free and unexploded if you cant enjoy the finer things in life? A woman’s sweet lips, the caress of her tail…”
Clever blinked. “What?”
“Exactly! For science, and a glorious future!” Richard exclaimed as if it was an explanation. “Access to the lab computers has been wonderful. So much information on a number of non-humanoid species.” His face clouded for a moment. “The Deacon keeps some systems locked still, mostly to do with the Clone in the other lab, and his history. Like I said, fanatic. Corpse seems to be like a god to him, or as close as humanly possible.” He brightened again. “But then, who cares about that. I am 99% positive that I have all I need to synthesize a bit of the appropriate perfume. Just enough to arouse interest, but not override sentience. I’m not a monster.”
Clever just shook his head “I don’t actually know what you are speaking about. That is rather new to me.”
“Well never-mind it then. Lets get to work.”
With that they both went to their sections. Some time later, their dialog turned more to more generic ‘shop-talk’, and bouncing ideas or questions off each other. Within a short time, they both made their way towards the door. “Well, it was a pleasure working with you. We should co-operate on future endeavors.”
“I concur. Oh, I would recommend you wait till the auction is well underway, or possibly over. I predict that once the winners for it are found, there will be chaos spreading like wildfire. Not a single one of the buyers is a good loser. I expect the security forces to be VERY distracted.”
“Of course.”

With that, thy left the lab, Richard heading to the VIP lounge, and Clever ducking behind the security drones and out of sight.

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Wait what?

Hulik performed a last-minute inspection of her droid minions, ensuring they were all in perfect working order. “Hey Murph, Naomi knows verses of the Ball of Kerrymuir I’ve never heard before!. I’m going to have to get her to teach them to me. She and Garry know some awesome drinking songs.”
Two self-deploying limpet mine rats, two general purpose rats, and one tiny repair/infiltration wasp.

She began going over her personal items. Toolkit, with tiny welder, check. Blaster pistol, check. She frowned at it, thinking “I screwed up badly, I don’t want to be someplace I have to use this. That usually means people are shooting at ME. And on that thought…” Hulik layered on a suit of light combat armour. A couple of datapads and cards loaded with malware went into her utility pockets, to await…creative use.

Hulik went to give Anita final instructions on how to set up to blow the docking clamps. “Preset as much as you can, and I’ll leave you one of my rats to help cut. The faster we’re loose the faster we can blow this popsicle stand.” Wondering briefly what a popsicle might be, she headed to meet with the rest of the group.

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An Harmless Asteroid

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The drifting chunk of rock was large, but its mass was small enough that it would have been destroyed if it had drifted into the warp on its own. It was likely a piece of a larger asteroid which had been struck and damaged by another drifting object within the warp. It was also old, its small cloud of debris indicated that it had probably drifting for years. The only reason that navigation computers noted it at all was because it would pass within 50km of the gathered ships. Since the object wasn’t large enough to do serious damage to the structure of the Morpheus even if it hit, and the other ships could move out of the way, the object was not logged as a concern.

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The End of Freedom

It was late, Retread turned away from the chrono on the wall. Any moment now the results of the election would come in. The issue was “Human Rights” or at least the denial of rights to those not considered human. Retread scowled, no matter the result of the vote, it was unfair that the scum-bag of a Governor would still be considered “human.” It made him want to spit, that the man who orchestrated this sham was also making 25 credits off of each and every person who voted one way or another. It was the kind of corruption that made him want to pick up a blaster himself. Fortunately he had people for that; as if on cue with his thoughts, the door chimed. As it opened, a hideously muscled and scaled green arm preceded a figure with his face obstructed by a wide brimmed hat.

“I still don’t know why you do that.” Stated Retread, “Your face is fine, but you hide it, and flaunt that arm.”

“It just proves that there are things you still don’t know.” The tone of voice did nothing to hide the owners dislike for the man in front of him.

“You may not like me detective, but you heard the Governor last week. It doesn’t matter if his son is alive or not. He plans to destroy this city and all of its occupants within the next two weeks.”

Detective Carter didn’t like that the information broker was right, but it didn’t change anything about the situation. Without acknowledging the other’s comment, he continued. “I don’t think we can withstand any kind of major assault on the city. But crews have blocked off most of the conventional ship docking berths and access points. It wont stop someone from cutting through the hull, or a missile bombardment, but it’ll slow down anything short of full military action. We’ve also been repairing and preparing all of the ships left intact within the docking rings. They cant get out with the barricades in place, but when we blow them, I think we have a chance of evacuating from 100k – 150k people. Its not even 10% of the people in the city, but its something.”

“If they can make it past the warships blockading the station.” Commented Retread bitterly. “Some of the people who developed powers will be able to assist in the evacuation, but very few are capable of affecting a space battle. Most of them are helpless unless we are actually boarded.”

“And if the enemy gets on board, they’ll do their best to blow our reactor. Its not an ideal situation.” Admitted the former Detective. “In fact its pretty damn shitty. But as much as I don’t like you, you’re this cities best shot at making it through this. So stop feeling sorry for yourself, and use your contacts, your Intel, and that supposedly genius brain of yours, and figure out how we’re going to make it through this.” By the time he was finished, Carter was flushed from the passion of his speech.

Retread waited a moment before speaking. The gestured towards a small blinking red light on his terminal. “Are you quite finished? While you are correct of course, and I don’t want to burst your bubble, it seems that the news has come in. According to this report here, the vote passed. As of Midnight on December 1st it was voted to abolish any and all rights of those beings not considered human. This law includes any and all xenos races which do not possess the human genotype. Humans who have mutated beyond acceptable tolerances for racial purity. Androids and robotic entities without human DNA. There is an exception for cyber sapiens beings which retain at least a human brain and genetic material. ….It looks like we’ve got out work cut out for us.”

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Naomi is going stir crazy

I am so bored right now. I am going stir crazy. I’ve spent the last two weeks reading up on this virus, reading the captain’s pad, working out, talking with Murphy and Hulik. Hulik was talking about cybernetic implants and that she could maybe install some if she had time. Murphy, well, he is still a bit crazy but seems to be more sane as the days go by. Really settling into his new role as an AI. Hulik is trying to teach him more about ship systems. Well as much as a guy like that could be anyway.

I tried to talk to Murphy about how not all doctors are bad. I told him about the clinic in the slums that was run by a charity where I grew up. They were sweet doctors and nurses. They didn’t get paid much at all, they worked tirelessly, never giving up on the people in my neighbourhood. They wanted to cure the many diseases that would run rampant throughout the slums. They also ran soup kitchens and if it wasn’t for their care, a lot of us wouldn’t have survived. I tried to tell him that there are good doctors and if it wasn’t for doctors, I wouldn’t be alive today. Maybe he shouldn’t try to kill any more of them? Doctors are needed to take care of the crew right? Well, who knows if I got through to him at all, but I think he just needs someone to talk to.

Early in my confinement, Murphy even offered to open the locks for me to get out. He saw how upset I was getting. He tried to sweeten the deal by saying if I took “care” of the doctors, he would let me out right away. I told him that it was okay. I could probably get out on my own anyway, but if I got out, there would be nowhere for me to go. I didn’t know enough about the virus, I couldn’t be 100% sure that I wasn’t infected. I needed to do more research about the virus and what happened on this ship. There must be information on the captain’s padd and on the ship’s computer, Murphy could give me access. I had lots of time to spend here; I might as well put in to good use.

I was so mad when the survivors from my group were put into quarantine and couldn’t move the ship freely, and the crew from the Minnow weren’t. Some of them claim that their space suits protected them and would continue to protect them from any chance of infection, but can anything be 100% effective in preventing transmission? I do not like being imprisoned against my will. The small room reminded me of the orphanage where I grew up and I did not have good memories of that place.

I am saddened that only 4 of my group survived. Poor Wesley, he was a good guy, pretty brave for an engineer, he never asked for any of this. It was too bad that Doctor Zhivago died, hopefully he was able to provide some information before he passed or information was found in his records. I’ve seen firsthand what that virus does to people. I need to do something about it. I need to find out more about who created the virus. They’ll probably just keep testing it on poor defenseless populations. The cure needs to be found as well.

Corporal Erikson seems to be immune, he would be a great person to work with. Tarquin was a great security officer and if he can adjust to his mutation, he could be a great asset as well. The male nurse who attended to Doctor Zhivago, well, having a nurse around would always be helpful. I would have to see what their plans were as well.

The crew of the Minnow claims to be after the crew as well, but some of their number’s seeming disregard for human life troubles me. Their “shoot out the airlock first and ask questions later” mentality is not something I really agree with. What if other useful or important information was sucked out the airlock without them realizing it? Maybe one of the many mutants that they “vacuumed” out of the ship had information that they could use? They were very effective at what they were doing, I will give them that.

The Minnow crew did a good job against the mutants on the ship; they seemed to have a lot of useful skills. I felt that I proved my worth to them during the battles, but I don’t feel they have given me much respect while they have been here. Their cutting off communications with me and not responding to me when they put me in here was maddening. I know I was not taking things well, but I just wanted explanations and why they were acting the way they were. I think I would be a useful asset to the group, I don’t fully trust them yet though. My trust might be hard to get but I think well worth it once earned. They didn’t tell me the truth when they first came here, and they claim to be telling the truth now, but as long as they keep telling me the truth, then there may be a way forward here. Truth and respect are things that are important to me. I need to hear what they have to say in regards to this virus and what they have encountered before they came here. If they plan to go after who created the virus, it may be possible to go with them.

Naomi in bed

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