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RP [Blackguard] Two of Clubs

Station

Minutes dragged on as what could be described as coasting through space dragged on as even distant as it was the marines were already caught in the massive blue ocean worlds gravity and being pulled along as that planet too hurtled along at breakneck speeds through the system.

The target station was little more than a black speck but grew concerningly in size as they traveled thousands of kilomiters a second in a vague general direction towards it. Karabuki was the first to start retro-burning to slow down, by doing so the drop in his speed practically sent them hurtling past his HUD icon before each and every one of them began the process to do the same. Slowly dropping speed the station grew from the size of a coin, to a baseball, and then even larger as red tint took up visors from collision warnings as they entered within ten thousand kilomiters of the station. G-forces strained and pulled from the inertia as every movement threatened to cause serious harm if any of the maries so much as moved too fast in the wrong direction.

And then passed right by it a thousand kilomiters out and several thousand more that it took to finally decelerate until all any of them could see was dark blue and roiling clouds. And just barely within the event horizon was the massive donut-shaped station hurtling in their direction where it would eventually pass them within several kilomiters. Seeing it now they could make out the round shape with its conical central tower and the odd, mismatched shapes of several hundred meter long ships docks at multiple ports on its side while even from their distance they could make out the distant glow of wash from a ships thrusters that was one of the expected departures.

Minutes passed and the station in its geosynchronous orbit drew ever closer as its several-kilomiter long shape came within practically seconds of flight from them. In its size it was hard to make out scale or tell were the first team was, but to Caffran and his team there were several landmarks on their side.

Of the docking ports there were several empty or made for clearly larger ships as massive rectangular hangers were open and pitch black from their angle. Likewise the entire surface of the lower ceiling of the station was facing them. Finally there was the sphere connected to the center of the station of which the bottom was facing them; smooth from their angle and dark in cover much like the rest.

"Stations at least 50km Squared." Francis guessed, "Barely a bakers dozen ships, thought I cant make out where the highlanders at, maybe in a spare hanger."

"With so few ships either the station is woefully understaffed,"
Karabuki picked up the conversation before letting it hang that the alternative was that there were more ships out there that could be in system or eventually returning to it at some point.

"The hangars are open. It is likely some are abandoned if the former is true. Even if so they could be trapped or have sensors in them. The station exterior is a safer bet but there's no telling how long it will take searching an area that long for an airlock. And the center sphere could be anything from the main interior of the station to a several kilometer sphere for all we know of the people that built it... Its a toss up." Karabuki hissed, literally hissing.

"So it's a tossup." Francis picked back up, casually burning at a slow pace towards the station trying to avoid any sensors that might pick up fast moving objects. "Anyone got any better ideas?" She asked.
 
Definitely (Not?) Lost in Space

After recovering from the shock of receiving a telepathic message - it, to put it mildly, had been a long time since he last received one - Masato frowned upon receiving Quilly’s telepathic message, as truth be told he’d been wondering about that as well. “I was wondering about that as well, Quilly-san. Off the top of my head I can think of several reasons - they’re running a tracking drill on us, they’ve been taken over and are actually in league with opfor, the…
<Boo! You finally get something to stop painting the bathrooms all night, cause when we get back I wanna sleep without you keeping me up at night... Dumbass.>
…BWAHHH!?!

The Minkan’s Hostile-clad form quite literally jumped when the nepkat’s electronic message intruded upon his thoughts with the subtlety of a drunk ID-SOL in a china shop; after spending several lengthly seconds to bring his breathing and heartbeat back under some semblance of control, he continued with “Gomen’nasai, Quilly-san, I got… startled by Haisely-san” - and immediately fired off a reply to his roommate.

<Noted, Haisely-san, though please…actually, nevermind. How is the Zytone handling thus far?>

Then came his addition to the eye-spy minigame, made after double-checking his comms were set to LASER - “I spy a dot in the distance…” - and the approach to the station, the latter of which made the Corporal’s blood turn to ice as he realized just how obscenely massive it was. Empress help us, it’s going to take at least a week - if not a month - to search that damn thing, and it’s probably crawling with power armor-equipped goons just looking for a fight. At least it isn’t kuvvies or squids… unless I just jinxed it.

Once Francis had finished speaking, Masato’s mind started thinking of anything engineering-related that could help the team gain access without getting explodinated by an IED or twelve. Assuming they don’t already have us painted and locked up on sensors, we could always try that one trick I saw in that video game about a giant ring, where on the first level the enemy boarded the ship by going in through empty escape pod hatches. Problem is, we’d have to jettison the escape pod first, which would probably trigger an alarm somewhere. The hangars and airlocks are of course too risky, as that’s the obvious means of entry. Were this a ground installation I’d say to just go in through the air ducts, b-wait a minute!

With what could almost be called a smile, the Minkan keyed his suit’s comm systems again. “Francis-san, what if we board through one of the station’s thermal exhaust ports? They’re pretty standard on a station of this size, and assuming the ports are anything like the ones back home, they should be able to easily accommodate a Hostile - even an Aggressor if they squat down - though this assumes the enemy doesn’t know we’re here, which I doubt given that we’re not exactly covered in Xiulurium…
 
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<Well I'm glad you can actually hear me, wasn't sure this was going to work... but don't worry if we make it out of this I'll be sure to make it up to you.> The cyberkat teased <And yeah, Zytone is holding up, those GH designers might be crazy and geniuses strapping their starship grade thruster to a suit of PA but it makes for smooth use out of atmosphere.>

Haisely listened to the plan making and decided to start probing the station's less important systems... like cameras and door sensors to try and track any internal movement, running the Zytone helmet hud directly through her eyes while scanning over the exterior and poking the interior simultaneously, there was certainly advantages to having more cybernetic enhancements despite her dislike of replacing too many parts.

"I'm poking the cameras and door sensors internally... Trying to see if there's any sign of people inside moving around." The Nepleslian said over the team comms, until she had time to do some one on one neural comms with the others it would take too much time and concentration to bother trying to scare anyone else for the sake of a private channel.
 
On The Approach

Quilly considered the options mentioned - scouring the station's surface would delay their operation by a marginal amount compared to the wait they'd already endured just getting out here, but that close to the station means their stealth might get compromised at any moment. On the other hand, using an existing entrance means they'd almost certainly get attention more quickly, but they would be inside the target at the time.

She made the choice quickly: "Our best bet is to breach one of the hangars. If we rush in and secure our objectives before any reinforcements arrive, then we can just dip afterwards. Crawling on the station's exterior will just get us caught by someone on board and discovered before we do anything about it. We should smash and grab our way in." The medic's words were confident, perhaps a little too eager to bash some skulls in or blow a hole in the station.
 
Station

Haisley paused, her brow wrinkling as her attempts came up empty.

No cameras, no radio, lidar, radar, no electronic frequencies...

If the station didn't have the obligatory blinking hazard lights on it and ships hadn't come and gone from it and had some method to course-correct in orbit of the planet bellow she could have guessed it was completely and utterly dead. It didn't even have junkers roaming its surface like a nepleslian station!

"I don't see vents." Francis added to that before correcting, "I think there are some kind of thermal ports; There are some kind of radiators sticking out venting heat into the void," She pointed out, as some of them took note of the heat signatures on some parts of the station where some kind of fins were sticking out of the surface and exchanging heat with the cold of space.

"I think Quills is right," She continued. "We have no way of knowing which hangar has the prize but it looks like most of them are empty. We pick the nearest one, slide inside, and work from there."

Hangar

The hangar was not nepleslian standard. Lokke more than a large, open cubby in the station exposed to space the hole was empty save for some metal debris that looked like panelling of some kind that had dislodged from above and lingered. There were no lights or bay doors though there were several recessed screens that almost certainly when powered deployed some kind of simple energy shield or barrier to keep pressure and air in.

The inside was also barren. No ship or anything persisted but four smooth and bevelled walls on any side and a back wall with a lip, stairs and two sets of bulkheads with a smaller one being some kind of airlock and the larger clearly being for cargo if the elevator ramp from the lip down to the deck ten meters bellow was any indication.

The final quirk was even as they entered there was no gravity. There was a cradle of some kind for a ship, but as they entered they remained free-floating as they were. Flying up and allowing her raiders armor to mag-lock to the deck francis walked to the side of the airlock and looked in through a transparent segment. After a moment a light on her helmet went on and then off in a flash as she blinked it to get a better view.

"It's dark down there." She reported, "No screen or tablet on the door but there is a levar. And no light on the other side of the airlock but there is some kind of, hold on," She paused her statement to move to the larger cargo door and elevator to look into that instead.

"No, the big door goes down. Prob into some kind of cargo bay or something but I'm not station-builder. The small door has some small instrument lights down the end of the hall from it though. No cameras from what I can see either... Weird..." She mused before looking back at the rest of the group.

"It's possible there is a tram or corridor system between hangars if we go down." Karabuki offered though sounded unsure himself.
 
Hanger

Vana and Porky took up the rear. Even though Porky took to the space suit like a champ there was still a pit of a learning curve to it. Vana stuck close to her Gunhound to make sure he didn't accidently launch himself into space. Vana engaged the mag lock boots on Porky's suit as soon as they entered the hanger bay from control pad attached her her wrist.

Caffran moved over beside her while he was scanning their surroundings. "Everything good?" He asked. He was also using hand signals that they had both grown up using and that had been the only way to talk to Vana for the last few years before she had finally made enough money to buy hearing implants that actually worked. "I'm good. A little jumpy being back in the field. Especially in space without my sniper rifle." She admitted.

Caffran moved up to where Francis indicated and peered down the hall. "Could be a control room for the hanger." He motioned to Haisely. "You want to see if there's a terminal or something you can hook up to and try to access the station?"
 
Haisely, clad in the huge armoured suit not of Nepleslian make, couldn't believe what the readouts in front of her eyes and in her head were saying.

How could a station this size just have, nothing,

The cyberkat, now pissed off and frustrated at both the architects and outfitters doubled down and began looking for any single unsecured system she could access, from lighting to door access, hell even a smart fridge or a fucking toaster would do, she needed to know there was something going on in there.

The voice of Caffran snapped the girl back to the present as the large black and gold helmet swivelled round to look at the man. "If there is a terminal I doubt it can do more than make a coffee, I can't find a single piece of equipment that could tell me if there's people in here, not a solitary stray wave anywhere... But there's still a chance there's something useful in there I suppose, anyone feel like holding my hand in-case I get lost?"

Even as she made her quip, Haisely was on her way towards the potential control room, only time would tell what lay beyond, but if it wasn't friendly the rotary cannon and the heavy ordinance disguised as a shotgun in her hands would make swift work of it.
 
Hanger

The minutes dragged on as the station drew ever closer, its imposing size filling their visors and causing a sense of tension among the Marines.

The station passed them at a safe distance, revealing its vast expanse and its many mysteries. Gustav listened as the Marines exchanged observations and theories as they prepared to board her. He let out a sigh when they ruled out the vents as an entrance.

-I definitely wouldn't have liked that place.

Finally, they decided to enter the nearest hangar, a dark hole in the station that seemed empty and abandoned. With no gravity inside, Gustav floated freely as they explored the place for clues as to what awaited them inside the station.

- They are clearly inside, dead or alive, the cameras or systems should have detected us

Cautiously, Gustav prepared to descend into the station, aware that he was entering the unknown, and even though he was with comrades in arms, Gustav felt alone. The tension in the air was palpable so he brought up the rear with the others.
 
Hangar

The terminal at the door was familiar in function if not the shape and design. More round than flat it appeared as though a bubble beside the door and was made of a dirty, gunmetal gray metal from which a round, bulging screen extruded and distorted the screen from off angles as if trying to center on the bubble of vision in a pair of binoculars.

It had power, as well. Dim, and nearly unable to see at all from worn foggy, rubber-like material the screen was made of it gave slightly at the touch as if the screen was made of a soft, silicone material. Giving no indication of being able to interface with it remotely the dark black-green screen had a small number of lights on it that eventually made themselves out into a more familiar layout Haisley could somewhat recognize as a diagram and user-interface. She couldn't read the faint, orange-glowing cubile-pictographic language that was on it, all lines and complicated cross sections that made it up but after placing an armored finger and dragging it up and down some of the lines lit up randomly much like a very scattered highlight or selection might.

With so little on the screen that actually responded to interaction it was a short trial and error before an option she chose lit up an orange light above the non-elevator door. Twitching slightly the door appeared as though it would open but stuck almost immediately and soundlessly in the void still closed.

It was, however, no longer locked. Powered armored fingers wedged into the surprisingly soft metal and pulled as the door easily unstuck and recessed into a slit in the wall. As it opened it revealed a familiar layout of an airlock save for the door on the other side being a crack open, the seal broken. No air rushed out to the void or past them and with a little more effort Francis was able to wrench the door open to reveal a long, really long, passageway that was dark save for the occasional surfaced light dim and neglected.

Dock - Maintenance

Whoever had built the station was clearly several generations behind Nepleslia both technology wise, and at least as many utility-wise. Barely ten-foot across and only seven tall the hall was cramped and wasted space liberally and recklessly. Finding no actual doors in a dark hall that seemed to go at least a hundred meters straight the only noticeable things were rows and rows of managed pipes about 4-inches across in size that, with some already broken over, revealed thick strands of interwoven fiberous wires that led into inverter-style pannels every twenty meters or so. While cubbies in the wall either contained hexagonal covets leaking a tar-like substance that waved out of them thick and syrupy in the lack of gravity, and occasionally a light to a different type of recess pannel that more often than not contained spare pipe-tubes and splicing patches for the wires.

The only actual surprise moving slowly down the hall had been in one brief period where, floating gingerly ahead of them, Francis Slammed into the floor unceremoniously. Getting onto her feet and likely looking flustered under her armor she had examined a seam on the deck plating and wedged it up to reveal an off-color pannel with a surface charge that somehow supplied gravity to that section of the floor. It had been the only one active as evident of francis lurching forwards back into zero-G as soon as she stepped off of it. The others had avoided the hazard easily enough after knowing where it was.

After reaching the end of the hall, Francis carefully looked around either corner of the four-way intersection. To either side were bulkheads, all opened. While ahead of them was a closed door. There were no signs or indications of what went wear save for, when caught in their suits lights, a pattern of colored strata on the walls with two green stripes with a third between them in the middle leading back the way they came. To the left had a very thin yellow-orange single line that went down the hall for at least twenty meters before turning deeper into the station. While the right had a thick, brown line that led to another closed door.

Ahead of them lines from either side in at least seven different color combinations led into the closed door. Pressing her visor against the transparent part of the door, Francis wedged her fingers in and then wrenched it open. This time, a rush of compressed air whizzed past them for several seconds before stopping. Still dimmly lit but clearly in much better condition than the obviously abandoned dock they had come from the door she wedged open had been the only one of the three with even a bit of dim light coming through it and was pointing towards the center of the station. Floating in somewhat, Francis was able to catch herself this time when the gravity-pannels in the corridor caught her. Taking up a position she called the rest of the team inside as they took in the new location.

Station - Logistics Hub

The hall was short and led into a wide warehouse-like facility. Crates made of a blue, plastic-like material were hapazzardly stacked into some kind of organized formation almost up to the fifty-meter tall ceiling from which traverseable and uninhabited scaffolding lined alongside the tallest levels and were accomplished by some sort of elevator-gurney system. Nearest to them, illuminated by the now prevalent but not overbearing blue lights were smaller stacks of simular and unsimular packages both large and small. One such pile was tipped over nearest the door, recent and likely from the decompression if the disturbed dust-spot around it was any indication and scattered about the now gravity-enacted floor white, paper wrapped packages, bundles of leather wrapped objects, and small cubes of dice-sized chrome and cherry-red metal.
 
RPG-D RPGfix
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