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RP [Blackguard] Two of Clubs


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.>

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.

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."


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.

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.

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.

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.
Station - Logistics Hub
As the rest of the team made their way into the massive warehousing facility, Tobias activated the drones from his Slayer's mistral pack as he held his HPAR at a low ready. The drones began to spread out throughout the large room, providing the team with a wide field of sensors coverage as they explored the facility. He paced slowly over to one of the cubes, and picked it up to examine it, also turning an appraising eye to the bundles and packages scattered about the large room.
Haisely swore to herself as she managed to unlock the elevator doors using the, frankly, archaic interface beside it. The fact it couldn't be remotely operated by anything let alone a completely wrong language was troubling and made the cyberkat think they'd somehow ended up back in time and half expecting the ghost of Gun Day Past to show up, the hulking form of the Zytone she was piloting kept her shoulder rotary cannon trained on the doors as Francis pried them open.

The long corridor was just as unsettling as the rest of this terrible place had been, besides the slight scare when Francis was thrown to the floor by a stray grav enabled panel causing the hacker to snap the large shotgun up to her shoulder out of fright.

By the time they had reached the logistics hub, if it could be called that, Haisely was on such an edge it was a miracle she hadn't fallen off yet.

Quilly had elected to keep herself floating out of mag-lock as the squad infiltrated the metallic box, already more innately comfortable in the air than the average soldier this didn't inconvenience her in the slightest and allowed her to keep an eye on everyone - plus, in case something was trapped, she wouldn't be in the immediate danger zone. In between sweeping the team with her vision, the bird found herself quite fascinated in the state of the station's decay.

Logistics Hub

After the somewhat tight squeeze through the hallway (entirely caused by the medic's choice of equipment), Quilly was more relieved to be in an open space again. The first thing she asked was a bit of an obvious question: "Do you think this is loot they've stolen, or goods they plan to ship elsewhere? Hey, Haisley - think you can wrangle control of the gravity system here? Tossin' those big boxes might give us an edge if someone finds us in here."

Under the uncanny blue lighting of the massive storage area the team unfolded slightly to explore their immediate surroundings. Oragnized nearly to the ceiling fifty meters or so above were hundreds of meters deep of corregated metal shelving with an uncountable amount of material upon it. Arrayed on some seemingly coherent organization structure were anything from sealed boxes and crates to bins of parts or small to medium-sized machines in various states of assembly and of unknown purpose.

"I suspect this area is a main logistics and repair hub for this part of the station." Karabuki offered, picking up a segment of pipe identicle to the ones lining the halls before continuing, "In a station this size it would make sense to keep spare and critical parts in a network of hubs. And with the needs of such an installation such hubs would be very..."

he let the word large go unspoken.

"yeah but what about all this?" Francis asked, crushing a parcel of white powder with blue specks in it as it went airborne and settled down onto the deck. "Drugs? Food?" She guessed.

"Possibly half of a dry binary chemical compound used in the station." He guessed back.

"Yeah it's gotta be drugs." Francis ignored him, Taking another parcel and placing it in a hip-container without further comment or even trying to hide it before changing the subject. "If it is what Kabuki thinks it is that means there's gotta be some sorta plan or layout of the station around here for the workers, yeah?"

Searching around for a time it was not hard to find just that. Devoid of any signs of life or even any recent traffic the logistics warehouse was empty of anyone living besides themselves as a sort of office was tracked down. Not an office in the traditional sense the warehouse opened up into a sort of hexagonal clearing in its center where all the paths of shelves seemed to lead. There was a sort of large, cylindrical desk network like one very long round table that might fit a dozen or more people side by side. At each station was another primative console, all dark and unpowered, and the various desk-clutter one might expect ranging from charcoal writing instruments, to papers with the pictographic text on it, to various tools.

In the center, however, on the floor was the clear outline of something embedded into the floor by a lip. Finding a series of handles It turned out to be a series of floor-set filing-cabinets of some kind arranged in a hex-pattern with each little drawer in them opening up to various rectangular sheets of folded laminate each containing foreign schematics for anything an engineering team might need.

The Map if it was called was the easiest to find taking up a recessed spot on the centerbetween all recepticles. As long as a flagpole when rolled up, Francis began to unravel the massive tapestry until it was nearly forty foot long and five foot tall, with several links for poles in the same cubby needing to be attached in various alcoves on the ground until the unfurled laminate map completely surrounded the round desk in a way that anyone sitting at a station would be able to look up to a specific area in front of them. It was downright confusing as well. Heavily noted in pictographic script the map gave little frame of reference looking all the world like a massive maze-game and thirty other graphs and board games all piled ontop with not even any indication of their current location, until.

"They're primative whoever built this place. But I don't think we could have recreated something like this if we were at their level of technology." Colonel Hargraves said from the periphery of Tobias cybernetic eye that only he could see and hear as the AI kill program impersonating the vengeful ghost of the old penal units warden appraised the map, genuinely impressed and interested despite his programming to kill Tobias.

"It's in four dimensions, kid." Leo pointed out, drawing an abstract shape in the air in glowing holographic lines that looked like one of the sections of the station before flattening out a section like a cutaway identical to a portion of the layout on the map behind him before he disappeared in a blink. With the perspective put in place Tobias could at least use a frame of reference to...

A section stood out much like the one they were in, heavily anointed with pictographic notes of some kind that had to be their storage area in the logistics hub. And following the strata he could at least make out several other notable locations on the map.

Sister hangars like the ones they entered on either side of them a kilometer distant.
Some kind of blacked out area on the map likely restricted to general entry with its layout classified in the center of the station in the sphere.
A brig of some kind by the block layout of cells large enough to house tens of prisoners.
Some kind of large, open room with adjoining stations that might be a galley near them and kitchen.
A large bay where a hangar would have been situated with a lot of equipment that might be a repair yard or in-station drydock near the donut-hole of the station.
An entire deck a half-mile across shaped like a massive bridge of a starship that could only be some kind of command deck.
And some kind of nearby security deck by the number of reinforced security doors on the map past the galley.
That Room With All The Crates

Taking in the map, now that it had fallen into focus thanks to the stowaway inside his head, Tobias took stock of the points of interest presented by it. Hangars or the repair yard might contain the Highlander, but it would take too much time to check each of them manually. The blacked out central area represented too much of an unknown to push it as an angle, too easy to walk into danger. The brig might also hold their HVT, and would be an important thing to check, once he managed to get eyes around the station.

Recalling his drones and saving a digitized version of the map to his armor, and his mindware, Tobias maneuvered his Slayer armor over to the nearest wall interface he could find. "We've got a few POI's," He said to the group as he shot the digitized map across the group's commnet, "I'm going to see what I can't do to narrow this down for us."

Deploying a hardline connection wire out from the left wrist of his armor, custom made to adapt to as many interfaces as were known to the Nepleslian hacker-culture at the time he'd had it custom manufactured at considerable expense. If able to find a suitable port, or adapt the wire to an unfamiliar one, his first order of business would be to attempt to gain access to the camera network of the station; something that would normally be low security given its lack of utility to hostile forces, but supremely useful to him in this instance for finding the squad's HVT.
A very literal interpretation of an "open concept" office

The bird had been focused on looking at the colossal map, turning slowly as she tried her best to clean any potentially useful information out of it that she could. Despite her best efforts, and her experience with poor instructions in the past, she was unable to make any headway in comprehension until Tobias spoke up.

"If necessary, we may need to divide our forces to investigate those points of interest you're listing. It seems that the station's abandoned nature may work in our favor here - any area with signs of activity will almost certainly have something of use," Quilly said, occasionally standing on one of the desks to get a peek over the map-wall-combination to make sure nothing was sneaking up on the old Riders.

Like haisley before him Tobias found the nature of the native technology entirely foreign to him. The function was there but lacking any inherent latent connections be it analog or wireless the process allowed him to go further than haisley did with the first terminal after not finding anything to connect to the tech specialist managed to find an indented seem for separating the embedded screen from the terminal and dexterously remove the sections.

The internals of the terminal were foreign though of clear technological base. The screen was little more than a kind of magnifying glass to enhance a much smaller octagonal black screen made of hundreds of small cathode-ray tubes to create a main screen that the magnifier enhanced. The smaller screen itself, dead and blank had one massive wire of copper connected to the large diode on the bottom of the screen that seemed rather inefficient and wasteful while further examine of the terminals insides hinting towards a base nature of drawing electricity and data through rather thick cables but the familiarity ended there as chips and databoards had not been a path of advancement for whoever built the station but instead foggy cylinders that looked like re-fire purposed fuses in complex shapes with wound rows and rows of copper wire made up the simulation of a very simple computer system that fired on discharge paths instead of base code or AI that received electrical signals and depending on the frequency performed a complex return signal to dictate computation.

It was backwards but still rather ingenious for a people that had never invented the circuit board or by the thickness of the cables on the walls they saw just to draw power without dropoff unlikely that they had the capability or even resources to have developed advanced AI.

It put them entirely back at step one with the local technology simply being too far behind for Tobias or Haisley to be able to interface with it much in the same way an expert marksman with a rifle might recognize a blackpowder canon but have no idea how to fire it let alone hit the broad side of a barn.

What they did have, however, was minatureized supercomputers in their suits in the form of JANEs that the creators of the station likely would have gone to war over just getting their hands on.

Slowly turning around in a panoramic the AI were able to make a digital snapshot of the map and expand it from a two to three dimensional shortform map they could relate on their own huds.

"Oh, shit, that's better." Francis whistled as the data was shared as she began staring off into the distance likely studying it.

"The hangars are pointless. We would have to check each one and that would take hours just to reach a handful of them," Karabuki surmised, knocking at least the outer hangars off the list.

"This communal space, possibly a mess area for its size if the estimated crew compliment a station this size must have had is one of the closest to us, and this long stretch of command platform through the secure area are all close by to our current position. Our time is quite limited, however." He added.


Inside what could only generously be described as a mess hall and more of a sports stadium sized dining hall with tiered floors the party was going strong.

Hundreds of saurian-looking pirates were in various stages of consumption as crowds and lines hustled and shoved in some sort of inside-game of position where many of them snapped their jaws or shoved each other out of lines to various sets of raucous cheers and barks and the intimidating sound of toothy maws snapping shut in the Ragnori peoples form of some kind of barking laughter.

The Pirates were only half fitting of the bill the small handful of Nepleslian NAM techs and marines had learned from their few days of imprisonment on the station when the pirates had boarded the Highwayman in force after surrounding it with their ships.

Clearly intimidating the Saurian-like Ragnori were an upright-walking lizard people that looked like a combination of a man and some kind of crocodile or hyper-lizard with the body mass of clear predator species. Less competent than the marines by a clear margin they had all the numbers to make affording a counter-action unlikely and under orders from Adapt the crew and marines had surrendered after some awkward attempts at communication with neither side speaking the same language.

Violent and overly physical the Ragnori pirates had looted their ship, their belongings, in some cases their clothes, and had locked up anyone not required to fly the ship under arms until they had arrived at the station where their demenor had changed drastically.

The marines, sailors, and NAM techs had been paraded past thousands of Ragnori and other species like a celebration of cheers and were examined, prodded, and barked at relentlessly. Some even shook them or hit them on the back or arm affectionately in a universal gesture. The marines and sailors had been separated and the NAM techs shortly after.

As captos the Ragnori were strange. They guarded the marines but through either a lack of discipline or some cultural reason did not isolate them. The marines were kept together in a large room set up with beds and some supplies and commonly pirates would enter and try to communicate, try to chat, or get some explanation from some of their tech in a way that seemed rather conversational instead of interogational.

And now, like what happened twice daily, the marines had been taken to the large dining hall and left practically to their own devices. There was some sort of religious or cultural aspect to the Ragnori and eating, and while the Nepleslian-specied marines might stick out like a sore thumb they were always the center of affectionate attention as fruits, vegetables, and various non-protien related foodstuffs were practically piled onto them in a celebratory manner to the point one of the marines was convinced they were being fattened up for slaughter.

But for all it seemed the Saurian like Ragnori despite their sharp teeth and alagator-jaws were mostly herbivores and ate communal as was apparent by the large 50-foot long lunchroom-style table the five marines sat at side by side with about twenty of the lizards and hundreds of others at other tables as the lizards stuffed their faces between chattering in their barking language to each other or the marines who couldn't understand them.

"AND THEN!" A booming voice sounded like a gunshot as the lone ID-SOL marine in their group, Sergeant Beckett, barked, smashing a massive meaty fist on the table causing bowls to jump and lizards to flinch at the sheer depth of his drum-like voice. "I beat the damn cat with her own arm asking her 'WHY ARE YE HITTING YESELF?!' "

The man started off into roarus laughter, shaking one of the Ragnori before shoving him like a bully as the lizard fell off his seat and the other lizards started washing their teeth in their laughing tones as well, despite not knowing the seargeants words though understood his tone and mirth.

"It took half the weight of my VOID on her chest to finally stop- They're pretty damn hard to kill, trust me," He kept going, the grin on the marines face as he kept up his usual act not reaching his eyes that the lizards clearly didn't read as he tried to play down the fact that he wasn't a ten foot tall, six and a half hundred pound killing machine that could tear any of the lizards in half. And it had been working as the marine was the only one they had slightly restrained with the large engine-block looking piece of metal they had chained to his back now replaced with a much smaller lead block cuffed on a four-foot chain to one of his wrists like a ball and chain as the SOL had been the most amenable one to their captors clearly building a report.

As he slammed his fist on the table again getting another set of cheers one of the marines caught his bowl of sliced fruits and leaves before it turned over and looked to the marine next to him.

"Sooner or later he's going to put that fist through the table and they're going to remember the first day when he tore the reinforced doors off our room." Corporal Yule said to Private Jugg, the hyena-like mutant next to him as the non-com gave the mutie a once over.

"How you holding up, Jugg?"