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RP [Exodus/Alex] The Return

Alex Hart

Well-Known Member
RP Date
Shichigatsu, YE 41
RP Location
Reservoir/Rohini systems
Just outside the Reservoir system
By the predetermined beacon location.

The bridge was quiet as the ship waited for the arrival of their contact, stealth engaged as they waited unseen. Kessler sighed as he looked at a old wrist watch, a old habit despite having a clock on his HUD. At least the suit was comfortable, "They should be arriving soon. Fiamma, trigger the beacon once we get the sign they've arrived in the area."

"Aye capn.", Came the reply of the cat anthro first mate. The wait continued in silence, as things would hopefuly become very interesting today.

As if on cue, an unassuming Concordia arrived near the beacon, nothing too fancy. The Elysians had arrived.

With that, the cat woman pressed a key on her console and the beacon was activated for their location. Once the concordia got close, the ship's stealth systems would disengage to reveal themselves to the elysian vessel.

Inside, the operative scoffed a little. Maybe it was nice to let them pretend they didn't know where their pirate ship was cloaked. Maybe.

She wasn't too nice. So she dumb-fired a harmless training missile, barely more powerful than a firework their way, just to tell them that there wasn't any point in hiding.

Kessler chuckled at the action, finding it amusing. "Turn us about and open the bay, let our guest aboard.", He ordered as he rose from the captain's chair to head down to the cargo bay. He wouldn't head down to the bottom deck, but to the upper decks of the hold were there were places for ships to be brought beside the U shaped deck that went around the centrally open space.

The ship itself did not react as it was not hiding, having already uncloaked, the action had been pointless. It quite frankly made Kessler have less then somewhat positive views of whoever the contact was. Again he chuckled as he waited.

The communications opened, after a short while, the face of a pale-skinned Elysian woman appearing on screen. Her size seemed to be quite diminutive, but her hair was perfectly groomed into a Yamataian-style hime cut, deep violet eyes piercing through the visuals.

"Eagle sent me." she affirmed.

The display had been sent to his HUD, the woman showing up in a window that opened in the upper corner of his vision. "And you're on time, welcome aboard. Please proceed to the upper levels of the hold for docking, I'll be waiting.", Kessler said to the point in and in a rather formal neutral tone.

Through the docked airlocks, the moderately short woman stepped through. She looked around. Definite pirate ship. Reeked of all those things those criminals did, down to the last brushing of paint. She'd been briefed by Eagle, and she had noted the commander's distaste for working with pirates; the emotion oozing out of his mind as if it were chocolate melting out of its wrapper on a hot summer day.

Or maybe it was her training that let her pick it up so easily. Either way, it was not a humble statement.

Now, though, she was in full view. Rather than being dressed in complete formal Elysian attire, the little agent wore a much simpler uniform, her black-gray wings tucked neatly behind her as she made her way to the location.

Kessler was 6'2 and looked the part of a naval captain of old in a sense, the brown haired man had a beard and air of preferring space life to that of being planetside. He was dressed pretty nondescript as well, wearing cargo pants, and a jacket over some sort of EVA suit at first glance. "So how should I refer to you? Generally it's polite to introduce yourself when meeting, names Kessler Ryzka, captain of the Brimstone.", He said offering a polite smile, though if they had stepped closer he would have offered a hand.

"My current name is Micha." the agent responded, gently curtseying without so much as a smile. "I would tell you my real name, but then you'd be either subsequently signed under an actual government, or I'd have to kill you."

"Wow quite the people skills you have there Micha, so let's cut the shit and insults. We have a job to get done, and that means whether you like it, or not we have to work together. Your little attitude doesn't get us any closer to that, so how about cutting it here. Now come on we have work to do.", He said with a bitter grin. He really didn't like this chick, but it would hopefully not be for long. The faster they could get this done, the faster he could get her out of his hair, and off his ship.

'Micha' gently smirked. Third-rate criminals will always be third-rate criminals. At least she got some amusement out of them. "I'm sure of it. Where is our target?"

"There's a prison run in the system that's run by criminals like everything else here. I can show you the holos we have of the place on the bridge. This way please.", Kessler stated as he began heading towards the lift. He really wasn't liking this lady, she came off as rude and pompous in every regard.

"It appears this should be quite simple, then. I am, however curious what their standard procedure is." Micha replied, gently inspecting combing out a nonexistent curl of her hair.

"Essentially a buy out system. Show up with the money they ask, and if the currency's good, they release the prisoner. They ask for exuberant amounts though, so as you can guess, they don't release many.", he answered signalling the command to the lifts panel. The lift hummed and vibrated as it rose up to the higher decks. When the doors opened, it was a short hall that lead to what functioned as a rec room as well as a dispensary and mess for meals. On the other side of the short hall was the door to his quarters, and past the rec was the entrance to the bridge.

“No tricks, then. Just a good old fashioned extortion.” Micha replied. Typical criminals. Gray market behavior. Not that she didn’t enjoy the gray market...it did, after all, prove to be a good source of supplies of which the average armory couldn’t possibly stock. She fluffed her wings a little at these thoughts. At least they weren’t offering the prisoners up to the slave trade.

"Pretty much, and anyone can buy the prisoners as long as mentioned, the currency is good. This operation should be fairly simple, and with luck, over before anything can go wrong. We bring the money, they give us the prisoner, and we go on our merry way. So, any last minute questions, ideas, or aces up sleeves?", Kessler said as the docks where clients entered for transactions was highlighted on the display, then turning around to ask what he did. "We'll be arriving within the hour."

"I thought you'd bring the ace." Micha replied. "Well, I'll just twiddle my thumbs and look pretty then."

"I don't know if a crate full of cash can be considered much of an ace, and yeah you seem like you'd be good at doing that. Now smartassing aside, we need to make sure we have a plan B incase shit hits the fan.", Kessler spoke seriously, clearly not at all amused with birb's half-assed attitude. "We have weapons on board, I have a crew, and the ship has an HFD along with the onboard stealth. But I'd like to think we can come up with something better then just trying to shoot our way through and make a run for it."

"A bag of very, very classified talents." Micha replied, her violet eyes piercing into the captain's. "I'd tell you, but then you'd have to sign an NDA. And Little Rue."

At the mention of 'Little Rue,' she unholstered her Sersis Variable Pistol, the ordinary white-and-gold plates replaced with a muted pink and plastered with a few stickers, a few strange attachments here and there that didn't look like they served any purpose but to be weights as she deftly threw it in the air, let it slide down one wing, and into her other hand where she caught it. "Bang."

At that point, a technician, brought along from the NDC for the purpose of guiding the other two along to rescue whomever they were rescuing. He'd heard rumors that it was someone from the OSO, but he wasn't one to question his job, lest he be out of one.

"Hey boss, I'm ready to go; My equipment is set up to go once we're there."

"Good, that's one less thing off the check list, grab a bite and get a power nap if need be. We'll need you at your best for this one.", Kessler affirmed with a nod. He ran a check over his suit's systems once more, as well as the item that looked like a normal patching tool on his belt. Worst came to worst, that would be his most important tool. Micha had her pistol, but he wanted to keep a lid on the bigger gun he was carrying, could give away his aces now could he.

A day or two later the ship, having been moving at FTL at its maximum possible speed, arrived in the Rohini system and could begin to approach its "target".

"Now, where's the dragon we're hunting?" Micha mused, quite audibly. Of course, these people wouldn't get it. It was a reference from a side-work from the Elysian Bible, with a few legendary figures hunting down a dragon. A bit of a "fanfiction" as others would call it.

Kessler sat in his chair on the bridge, his HUD synced to the readout displays of the ship's main dome like screen that were spread across the large dome like portion of the room. He didn't comment of the Elysian's words for a moment, an odd phrase he'd have to ask his mother in law about later, but for now it was time to stay focused. "Harris, we should be arriving soon, you ready to get to work?", he asked the tech.

"I'm ready boss." The technician said as they ventured into the Rohini system. They were about 30 minutes out from the furthest planet from the sun, at which point they'd be able to start observing the system in detail.

"Fiamma, run passive scans, nothing more, don't want to draw any unwanted attention. We're just a merchant vessel passing through, or looking for left over salvage from the local collapsed government. Work with Harris to pick up the station, between you both, you should be able to pick out our target location. Have the crew remain on standby, also keep a capacitor charge just incase we need to get the hell out of dodge.", Kessler ordered as he punched in a few commands for a exfil jump set of coordinates on the chance shit hit the fan.

Soon Harris and Fiamma picked up the "station" on the ship's sensors, and displayed it. Well, it was certainly the size of a station anyways. It was massive, long like an early-era spaceship and had several rotating sections, easily over 100 meters long each. In total, the "station" looked to be at least 3 or 4 kilometers long.

With a massive engine block at the back. The displays of the area where Kessler and Micha were displayed the massive construct on them.

"I think that's legally supposed to be a dreadnought or something." Micha commented, ever so slightly impressed by the bodgery of the pirates.

Kessler was liking this even less, great more to worry about, "Can we get any indication on possible performance of this vessel, weapon compliments, and even location as well as size of hangars? I want to have as much information to work with encase we have to devise an escape plan. Surely we'll be able to outrun it if need be, but whether is we even make it that far before getting blown into an expanding cloud of debris remains to be seen as possible. Let's just hope everything goes smoothly."

The Brimstone's civilian grade equipment wasn't quite sufficient to make out anything more than basic shapes from this distance. They'd to reduce the distance between them and the object of their observations before they'd be able to observe the details.

"Wow, civilian-grade sensors are much worse than I remembered." Micha commented as Harris returned the information.

"I would have had better installed, but that would look kind of suspicious given the cover. Harris, keep it up as we get closer, but discreetly, we can gather as we go. Fiamma, prepare to bring us closer to bring us within comms distance. We'll need to hail for docking clearance, as well as establish that we're here for a deal.", the brown haired man commanded after running a hand down his beard. He'd have to have some of those MOASSs from GH installed on the next refit.

As the ship approached, several small starfighters appeared to flank them on their way in. Though they did not make any moves to attack, it was clear that they were intended to restrict the course of the Brimstone.

"Unidentified ship, state your designation and intentions." For criminals, they certainly were businesslike.

"Wow, they've stepped up from 'common bandits' to 'proper mafia' in my books." Micha stated half-heartedly, mind more focused on pondering the munition types she wanted to bring, before they turned the microphone on in the comms.

"This is the independent Star Ship, the Brimstone, here on business to buy a prisoner.", Fiamma communicated after looking back to Kessler before he signalled to answer.

Once the comm was off again, Kessler sighed, "Great, they have fighters too. Will have to make sure Neon and the new girl are ready to launch as escort if need be. Harris, how far out are we? Any estimate on arrival time yet?"

"A couple of hours, since those fighters are speeding up. Normally it'd be quite a bit longer but it looks like we'll be using gravity assists as well as intercepting that monster's orbit at its closest point to us."

"Alright, continue gathering data as we go and get closer to that behemoth of a ship. Also.....look for anything we can take advantage of in this system as we cross it. I want to know as many cards in our hand to use if shit hits the fan. We have couple of hours to prepare, let's try and make the most of it.", Kessler ordered with a nod of the head. Maybe, just maybe, there was something out there they could use to turn the tide in a sinch. Even if the odds of such were unlikely, they had to at least try, anything could prove to be a life saver. No matter how simple.

As the hours passed, the sensors soaked up information on the surrounding area, though there was little of use yet. But as the Brimstone neared the large ship it began to be able to pick out more and more details. The prison ship was massive all right, but it was an amalgamation, many other ships built into one, mashed together. It had what looked like freighter bays, rotating gravity sections from lower tech ships held on by large tubes, hangars with many different types of fighter in various states of repair, oversized docking bays for ships the size of the brimstone or smaller, and sections of colony ships seemingly welded and bolted on, creating great jutting out sections of ship.

"Goddess, talk about a bargain bin starship. If I've seen a lemon of a ship, this is certainly it. I doubt the engines were meant to push such an additional load like that, even if they slapped on more, they wouldn't be optimized for that. So hopefully that means we have a speed advantage on it at least. Harris, any weapons detected?", the captain mused with a chuckle as the readings came in, and as the vessel in question grew larger in view on the view dome. This also meant the interior was possibly a maze from all the bashed together structures of various origins. To be frank, maintenance had to be a nightmare for these guys, and he almost felt sorry for them because of that,.....almost.

"Well, from what we can see, there's enough point defense to keep it safe from raids from pirate ships, or to make any escape impossible without disabling them first. There's also what looks like missile ports and a few large turrets." The ship was severely under armed for its size, unsurprising given its intended purpose. Now that they were close enough, the fighters peeled away and they were hailed by the ship.

"Attention ISS Brimstone, proceed to docking arm 9 and dock with the ISS Limbo."

"Fiamma, take us in and dock. Harris, anything that can point to a power source, fault, or anything to disable those guns? Is the ship shielded from EMPs?", Kessler directed as he checked his inventory for anything with enough boom, or discharge to fry, or at least scramble the ship's inner systems. He knew the Brimstone was fast, but still not fast enough sadly, and there was no guarantee that the HFD would be able to initiate the jump in time before they were shot down. That is if it came to having to run.

"Boss, these are well funded pirates. I'm almost postive they've got surge protectors in there to keep prisoners from escaping," Harris said. "And I'm no magician, I won't know this stort of stuff till I actually see what they've got. For now we should just do what they say."

As the ship came in to dock, a rather old fashioned docking arm affixed itself to the main airlock and opened up, as if to invite these visitors inside.

As the ship lurched slightly from being tethered to the behemoth of a ship, Kessler hopped off the captain's chair. "Alright then, might as well get this over with and hope things go smooth. Fiamma, idle, but keep the ship ready incase we need to try and make a fast exit. Have one of the crew bring up the currency.", he yet again directed as he straightened his jacket. As he opened the door to leave, there was a crew member standing there with the rather large case that held the money for the deal.

"Already ahead of ya capn.", Fiamma said with a smirk.

As the group exited the ship, they were greeted by a group of guards with stowed weapons, mostly wearing helmets. There was one man there, however, not wearing a helmet. He spoke up to the group of three visitors as they stepped out of the docking arm's tunnel and into the ship proper.

"Welcome aboard Captain Kessler. We weren't expecting an arms dealer to have any interest in buying prisoners. Do you need an extra set of hands, or are you looking for something to hold at night?" He said as the guards took up formation around their guests.

"Someone has to do inventory.", he answered with a chuckle, "But in all seriousness, yeah I'm looking for a skilled set of hands, preferably young and spry. Hard to find good help these days, and I heard about this place and figured I'd see about finding some here. Saves me time putting out a wanted ad, and waiting for what would most likely be some greenhorn to answer." Kessler gave the outward appearance of an easy going captain, just there to do some business.

"Alright, well I'll take you to the warden, I'm sure he can help you find what you're looking for." The guard seemed wary of these three visitors as he led the small group through the corridors. Minutes passed as they traversed the ship, passing by cells both empty and full.

"As you can see, we take great pride in our ability to keep inmates from getting out of line," The man said, as they passed a prisoner being beaten by several guards.

Micha observed the procedures. Well, they were certainly crude and worthy of common brigands, but to be fair most nations did the same too under locked doors. The sight was something to be annoyed by, but currently the mission wasn't to raid the place and liberate the prisoners.

Kessler didn't much care for it, but it wasn't his place to care about such matters. They were here for a job, and cold hearts were what made up present company. It was at these points while on the job that he had to switch his feelings off, and focus on what really mattered. "Very effectively so I can see. Place like this must discourage most attempts at pulling shit, as the location alone should. Out of curiosity, where do most of them come from, surely not just the systems around just this one. Looks like you must have most of those apprehended across western space."

"Oh, lots of small colonies across independent space have people they'd rather get rid of," The man said nonchalantly, "But most of them are from out west. I take it you're familiar with this area if you can pick them out just by looks?" They passed through transparent hallways overlooking prisoner processing areas, cell holding zones and crane arms moving around self contained cells.

"You tend to remember the dangerous areas work takes you to, and the kind of people you have to deal with there.", Was all Kessler said rather simply as he looked over the prisoners as they passed each cell. Then observed the transfer system used to move cells going through the processing sequence. Some small part of him almost thought...no hoped, that he'd see Garret here somewhere. It had been years, but he remembered that bastard well, and the score he had to settle with him. Kessler owed the man a bullet to the head for what he did to his sister those years ago, something that had fostered a deep hate for the man.

Soon the group reached a wide open area, which looked like a cargo dock. "The boss will be with you in just a minute." The un-helmeted guard said, as he left, though the other guards remained. The other guards looked inattentive at the moment, giving the group time to discuss, look around or otherwise investigate their immediate area.

More street thug than guard, Micha telepathically input into Kessler's mind. Don't talk. Just open up your mind a little bit. I can read your thoughts if I try.

That's a criminally run prison for you. To be honest, I was actually expecting much worse.
Kessler thought back, familiar with the trick by now. So, wonder what this boss is like. Hopefully he won't be difficult.

Expect the worst, if he enjoys damaging his merchandise so much,
came Micha's reply. Certainly the prisoners here would be okay with a revolt if we just let them run free. We may have an option out by throwing bodies at the problem. Techie. You should be ready to find how to hack open every single jail cell in this place if worst comes.

Harris retreated behind the bodies of the two other members of the small party and took a moment to look for an access port into a computer system. It didn't take long to find one, and he leaned over a nearby desk, likely usually occupied by some sort of overseer, and plugged a data drive into one of the computers. It wasn't large, just enough to give him a wireless connection to allow for him to begin to investigate the ship's computer architecture.

One of the guards saw Harris leaning over, and spoke up, "Hey pal, mind your business before we mind it for you." The implied meaning was clear, and the technician leaned back. "Sorry, I was just curious about what kind of computers you use here. I run a business and I'm looking for something affordable to replace my out of date equipment." It was a flimsy excuse, but the guard seemed to buy it.

As this exchange ended, the man they had been waited for walked in. It was someone that Kessler recognized, but it was clear that the man from 3 years ago didn't recognize him. "And here are my clients!" He said in a grandiose manner. "What can I do for you today?"

Kessler kept a straight and normal face, but Micha would feel the thoughts of utter hate for the man before them. He certainly knew this man well, knew that damned face well enough to imagine a hundred different times of having in the sight picture of his gun sights. This was the man, the one he had been hunting for three long years. And now by some cruel twist of fate, he had to play nice with this SOB?! This man?! It's fucking Garret. I've been looking for him for three years. If we walk out of this fine, I'm coming back for him later.

"I'm looking to buy a prisoner today, preferably young and spry. Don't suppose you have any among theses brutes and back street scum perhaps?"

Garret was businesslike. "I just might, let's walk and talk." He gestured and began to lead the group into a new hallway. "How much do you know about what we do here on the Purgatory?" he asked as they passed through more of the clear hallways, above more of the blocks of cells being moved by cranes.

"You run a privately owned prison, housing the worst of the worst. Or that is the impression given by the guard who escorted us before. Is there more to this place then that?", Kessler said casually as they followed. His eyes watched the cells below, looking over the various prisoners that he could catch glimpses of.

"That's more or less the case. The prisoners here are all criminals sent to us from governments all over the fringes of civilized space. Many of them can't support very large populations, so they ship their worst criminals out here to us. Murderers, arsonists, thieves... of course, we also take prisoners who are in for... more political reasons."

"I'd hate to let out a prisoner who's bringing in too much money, so you'll have to be very specific with the kind of prisoners you want to select from."

Garret was giving the speil that he gave to all of his customers. He tried to make sure that no one cut him out of too much profit with each prisoner. After all; a one time payment was never as good as a constant source of income.

Such a reason was not a good situation for the Elysian, almost tucking herself away to be, psychologically, nearly invisible with her posture. A simple trick to learn, a good one to master. The prisoner they were looking for was probably going to cost far, far too much. She was also not authorized to make multiple different transactions that would be worth this man's time, and she wouldn't make them in the first place, either.

"Well preferably between the ages of 16 to 21, again young, though There are probably very few of those among such occupants. Criminals tend to run from young thugs, to older veterans with most having died in between, Kessler explained a bit more, but not being too specific. "Shit, if you have someone famous from the sound of how you talk about them, I might be very interested." He gave soft and well practiced false grin, as the birb was not the only one with training.

"Well you're right about that, we do see a disproportionate amount of young men lately coming from Osman, a nearby planet. Most of them are in here for political reasons from what I understand, but it's not my place to judge the people paying me to keep their prisoners secure. I'll go pull together some of the healthier males in the age bracket you specified. Are there any other specifications you'd like? We'll be bringing in over forty or so people out of a couple thousand if there are no other qualifiers." Garret was all business, and he still didn't seem to notice Kessler's identity.

Political prisoners. One of the things Micha had a distaste for. Elysia still had issues with allegations of doing so, not entirely unfounded. But political prisoners wasted space and made one's country look bad. That space could've been instead used to store actually dangerous prisoners. Of course, that was also mainly why she was marked out more as an assassin than capture agent...at least with units like her, they respected personal preference. Probably better than what Yamatai was doing, honestly.

"Any with known skills sets in maintenance, and repair if possible. Though most young criminals tend to run idiotic, nit surely I hope there are at least a few, would help conserve time spent on training them.", Kessler said almost coldly, as if he really were honestly invested in the transaction. It wasn't hard to act that way given current company, but it worked to make his cover genuine at least in appearance. "Would "political reasons" pose an issue towards transactions, or simply they were just tossed here out of the way for those reasons?"

"Preferably one with...more than a little reputation," Micha finally began to talk, focusing more on finely cleaning her nails than Garret's unamusing attempts at being a salesman. "Someone who's a little more than just waste in this universe. Although, seeing as how rough you treat your products...I may have to negotiate a little off of the price Master shall be paying. You can't possibly expect full value for bread your dirty feet stepped on."

"I suppose for a beautiful woman I can give a small discount." Garret said, as he keyed in the requirements set forth by his clients. "The prisoners will be up shortly." About 10 minutes later, several prisoners were marched out in front of the 'customers.'

Alex was among them, along with several other people of the same age, mostly men, but some women. All of them except for him had some form of visible scarring or tattooing, though they were all fairly thin.Alex seemed to have been relatively unharmed, though he was emaciated and he looked aged, and his face was gaunt.

Kessler looked over each one closely, making sure to clearly be seen scrutinizing each one in turn, and not even pausing as he did so with Alex before looking over the next one. He lowered his tone from a cheery client, to that of one making it clear to these prisoners that he was a interested client, and would not be kind to a potential servant. His expression telling in how critical his observation was of these potential purchases. "The young one there, weak and frailer then the rest. Is there something wrong with that one? He looks more worn then the rest, not an issue, just means he'll be easier to break.", Kessler said before finally redirecting his scrutinizing glare at Alex once again as he asked his question.

"They probably broke him already, sir." Micha replied to Kessler. "He could be sick as well. Are you sure he's worth the amount we'll have to invest into him? I know you accept only the finest. This one looks like he could fall over instantly if I so much as hit him in the stomach."

Remember that these people also end up being the most loyal through gratitude, Micha communicated back to Kessler. I'm trying to devalue him.

"They say the biggest gains are gotten through the greatest risks gambled. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. However I can see what you mean. What assurance would I have that he wouldn't die soon after purchase?", Kessler admitted as he looked once more then at Alex, turning his head to Micha with a nod afterwards.

The man then turned to the man he loathed so greatly named Garret, "Sure you keep adequate levels of care for your..."merchandise"..otherwise, how do you do business if the product isn't good." He referred to them as less then people, as if they were just items to be sold and bought, like any other item at a grocery store, and that they were simply discussing perishable items close to their use by dates.

Garret paused for a moment, glancing around at the other prisoners before looking back at Alex, and then at his customers. He stared at the captain for a moment before speaking again. "Well, I've never done this before, but for the lady I can draw up a new agreement for a trade-in or money-back agreement should the product fail to meet your expectations. It'll take some time for me to draw up the paperwork."

He turned to a door nearby. "If you'll collect your choice and follow me, I can get started while you wait."

Kessler nodded with a smile as he grabbed Alex's cuffs, "Will do, and thank you for your understanding."

He then turned to Alex as he gave the cuffs a pull to get the young man to follow, A bit forceful in fact, clearly making it apparent the matter was not up for debate. I'm a bit wary about that look he gave us. Be prepared for the worst, this may go south soon, the captain thought to Micha inwardly nervous on any possible issue that might arise. He was hopefully he was just being paranoid, a product for his mistrust of Garret for obvious reasons. But that being said, he wasn't about to dismiss it either. "Come along boy, time is money, and you are costing me much.", Kessler ordered the young man.

Oh, he probably knows at this point. He knows some sort of jig is probably up. No fault on us; the plan simply threw us in the way of something like this, Micha replied. This was not good, but if a fight broke out, well...Micha did have her gun. And if a fight broke out at least they wouldn't potentially lose a whole crate of cash.

We probably tipped him the moment he read your intention to come today. It seemed like a good reason, but you have a decent crew. Enough hands to do inventory already, and what hands can't, robots can. A lesser criminal wouldn't think twice but he's being cautious. And if that's the case he might even be faking the fact he doesn't recognize you.

And don't panic.
Kessler could feel a presence - Micha's presence - worm through his mind, temporarily inhibiting his stress hormone receptors so Kessler wouldn't freak out over the information.

Kessler was far from panicked, nervousness was to be expected when one forsaw danger being imminent. However, it was not like the man had found himself in similar situations before. No, in fact he was pleased, because if that truly was the case, then he would hopefully get his chance to kill Garret then. Don't worry, I've remained cooler through similarly tense situations. If this is about to go south, then it means I'll finally have my chance at this guy......and well..if worst comes to worst, then I guess he'll have finished the job and I won't be alive to care. The priority is making sure you and Alex get out alive, that's all that really matters here., Kessler thought back to her, thankful for the calming of his nervousness, as his mind sought to figure their options. They had the boy, and the airlock wasn't too far away. It would definitely be a fight to get there, and she had some sort of pistol as well as him having his rifle. But the ship would likely be blown away before they got there, and they had no idea how to disable the ship's systems. Things didn't look good, so playing along and acting like they weren't expecting things to go wrong, seemed the best course at the moment at least, as maybe they would find an answer elsewhere.

As the group moved away, the other remaining prisoners were escorted through a door, likely back to their cells. Soon they reached another area, and once they entered the door they found themselves in a room with many metal boxes and crates, stacked roughly waist high or higher. The entrance was flanked by three men in suits of black body armor, and on the ceiling by what looked like two antipersonnel turrets.

"I'm sorry to have to cancel our deal, but I really can't afford to let that prisoner in particular go. I'm being paid a great deal to keep this prisoner captive, and I'd really hate to see that contract go."

A door opened on the wall. "Plus you're no doubt worth a great deal to some important people... captain Kessler Ryzka." As Garret was speaking, the technician who was with the group looked around, and noticed a small desk and data terminal, likely for prisoner intake. It was possible that terminal might have access to other ship systems, or the local turrets.

"I wouldn't have recognized you if not for my employer's... informants... letting me know that someone by your name was coming. You look much better than the last time I saw you, by the way."

Oh, to hell with it. Of course things went wrong. It wasn’t hard, either, to realize the optimal way to go about this was to not go full on the aggressive. For starters, the turrets didn’t have sentient minds — her kind’s only honest weakness. Luckily they were turrets.

The next issue was that she didn’t have much space to mess around with. The ancient art could only take her so far; she’d have to make the rest of the way with wit. Yes, she needed to know what was in the boxes. Firefoam was good for blotting sensors and an improvised smoke grenade of sorts, for instance...

Kessler gave a small scowl as the odds looked to have gotten worse, [Harrison, see about remote hacking those turrets through that console over there. I'll try and stall for time.] he sent to the technician via Geist. Sighing, he slowly raised his hands as if in surrender, "Well well garret, I was wondering when your senile ass would recognize me. You're damn right, I'm better. Left me and my sister for dead in the desert, with me crippled, and well....I owe you a bullet for her death. Got a new body, and fresh start, just so I could come find you. Don't suppose you want to make things easy and just stick my pistol in your mouth so I can pull the trigger huh?"

Harrison quietly slipped to the side, behind some boxes and began to access the control system for the turrets. Clearly no one had expected to be having to fend off hacking attempts, as despite the fact that there were many layers of security, all of them were fairly simple consumer grade protection programs and firewalls. He slowly began working his way through the security systems but it would take a few moments more.

In the meantime, Garret kept talking, though he seemed to have been annoyed by Kessler's attitude. "I'm afraid I won't give up so easily, and I won't let you ruin my business! Men, I don't care if you kill Kessler or take him alive, but don't let them escape, or you'll be getting spaced!" Now the two men in body armor began to advance through the room, and the turrets turned towards Kessler and Micha. They aimed and then... sagged as they went offline. Kessler could see a thumbs up from Harrison out of the corner of his eye.

The Elysian immediately buffeted her wings, launching herself towards cover. Three shots -- three big, heavy shots in her Serseis -- but a shot would be a guaranteed kill.

She had the advantage. Wherever the men went, she could see them, but she didn't have to show herself to see them back. She could feel their sentience shifting around the room, having to react to what she was doing, while she was already thinking ahead. The bullets would probably trace her, so she tucked her wings in as she jumped, facing her feet towards the men just perfectly, spinning through the air like a dart.

With the turrets down, she now had a feasible game plan as well. As fun as it would be to partake in a little spat of melee combat with guns, it was better to just shoot them. They were in cumbersome armor that she didn't have to deal with, and more importantly, they weren't trained to be fast in that stuff.

While Micha went high, Kessler decided to go low. Drawing his pistol as soon as he heard the flap of feathers, he whipped out the Talon LSP and fired two shots each in rapid succession as he dove for cover as well. His helmet quickly extended up over his head to protect it's host.

The two men and the turrets had been dealt with, now all that was left for the group to do was escort their package out of the ship and back to the docking bays, where they could escape. It was likely that there would be more troops on the way, so they were going to need a distraction.

"Everyone okay? Harris, you still with us?" Kessler called as he checked himself quickly, then looked about. Spotting Alex in a corner, he vaulted the cover the now corpses had been using. Picking up their weapons, he approached the young man, holding neither in a threatening manner. "Alex, if you want to live and see your girlfriend, come with me. Can you hold a gun kid?" he said offering one to him.

"Harris, got one for you too, you're both gonna need em. Once loaded, search that terminal and see if you can get us a route, destination is the station's main power source. We're going to need to cripple this place and create a distraction."

Alex's eyes seemed to glance over the gun, and he grabbed it, but didn't speak. Harris grabbed the gun, and shook his head at Kessler, "I don't know if he'll be much help, but at least he'll be an extra pair of hands instead of just dead weight."

A moment of tapping later, and Harris pulled up the schematics. "The main power source is gonna be a bit out of the way, it might be easier for us to just release all the prisoners and let them to the destroying for us."

"That would require us to hit a defended security station, or go cellblock by cellblock. Either way, this isn't going to be a walk in the park. One thing however is that power source is a priority one target. We aren't getting away alive if those defense guns are still online when we take off. Pull anything else useful you can and let's go." The captain wasn't liking these odds, he really wasn't, but this wasn't his first jailbreak, and neither would it likely be his last hopefully. Having distributed the weapons and ammo, Kessler pulled the patching tool from his belt before pressing the red switch on it. Black nanoes swarmed from the grip and began assembling something around it. Twenty seconds later, Kessler held a assault carbine in his hands, the sound of rapid clicking followed by a soft clack as the magazine was filled as the rifle fabricated ammo. "Everyone good to go?"

Harris tapped on the terminal for a bit before pulling up a map to the main power source for the station. "Here you go boss." He said, as he 'tossed' the files over to Kessler. "It's not as far out of the way as I thought, but be prepared for them to be guarding it heavily.

"I'll pull point, Micha, what's the range on your mind reading? I'll try and pick off threats as we go, and relay obstacles back to you." Kessler stated as the PAK suit he wore began to kick on it's various anti-detection systems. Radar, thermal, and metal sensors would have a hard time finding it as the design was set around far greater prevention of detection then the ECS system alone. ECS was the final to kick on as particles surrounded the man before he disappeared to the naked eye. Moving to stand by the exit, he shouldered his MFCAR as he waited for responces from the others.

"One kilometer for sending and recieving messages. Classified details for exact range on glancing at surface thoughts, but it's about as good as the effective range on our firearms," Micha replied. Damn, what she would do for some decent equipment. At the very least, she could be stretching her mind out to check if she could pick up any idle thoughts that would reveal points of interest. And in fact, she decided that she would be stretching her mind out as she pressed herself up against the wall to try and make herself a small target in case any hostiles interrupted her.

"Luckily, you humans are quite psychically deaf, so feel free to make your surface thoughts loud and clear." Micha told the man.

"What's your plan, boss?" Harris asked, looking in the direction he last saw Kessler at.

"We try and be as quiet as possible, not going to be easy, but we don't need to be unseen for the most part. I'm going to pull recon and as point man. While you two watch the VIP, I'm going to try and eliminate targets in advance as we make our way to the destination. We'll move when you guys have him ready to move. Alex, can you wield that rifle? We're all going to have to pitch in to make it out, but we'll make it out as fast as possible, so hang in there with us for just a bit longer bud." Kessler said to them from his new position, keeping his voice just loud enough for the others to hear him.

Alex gave nothing but an absent nod in response. Harris gave the thumbs up that he was ready and would follow Kessler's lead.

"I'll claim rear guard," Micha declared across the inaudible waves of telepathy. "No tools, but I should be able to catch anything tailing us."

"Alright then, let's get a move on then." he acknowledged before heading through the door and into the corridor, his MFCAR raised as he kept close to the wall as he was trained for CQC. Any corners he drew near, he would check the opposite just before turning around the one he hugged. The bearded captain in a stealth suit was on edge as he progressed, alert for trouble as he stayed not too far ahead of the other three.

As he turned the next corner, Kessler would see three guards, two in the same body armor as before, but one in heavy armor, maybe even power armor, though it was hard to tell. The one in heavier armor was carrying some sort of heavy weapon. They didn't seem to have any idea that Kessler was there.

[We have three targets around the corner here. Micah, you got anything for anything wearing a bit more armor? We got what looks like a possible PA here. I have my LCK, but I would have to get in arms reach for that.] he broadcasted back to Harris on his Geist, and via mind for Micah. The other two would be fairly simple to deal with if he was quick, but that heavy was going to be the real issue.

I can probably punch through the visor of a powered armor with my pistol. If Harrison can keep an eye on our charge for the moment, I can make my way up there. Micha said, as she conveyed to Harrison what she wanted him to do and began to move up. Soon she was at the same corner as Kessler, though she didn't dare peek in.

It was clear what her intention was though, as both of them had experience with close combat tactics. They were set up for a clearing maneuver.

Alright, I'm going to move up close along the wall. Can you hit big boy from here? If you can get him, I can take the two stooges with him, Kessler thought back as they assessed the foe ahead. It would take them being quicker then their enemy. Once I throw my knife into the one on the left, you take biggie, while I take the last with the carbine?

Micha shook her head. Keep it simple, just shoot them both. She put up a hand with three fingers up, and began to slowly count down. Three fingers... Two fingers...

One of the guards could be heard through their helmet, "Hey, did you hear someone walking around the corner.?"

"No," The other replied, "You just drank too much speed during lunch. You need to cut down on that, it's going to do some nasty shit to your blood pressure."

One finger... Zero. Micha whipped around the corner, taking only a fraction of second to aim and plant a shot on the visor of the heavily armored guard, sending them toppling over backwards.

As the heavy topple, the 6mm MFCAR was raised and both of the lighter guards were each given two suppressed bursts in quick succession. The captain did not switch off his camo, or take his finger off the trigger until he knew they were dead, switching sides of the hall as well for added measure. No need to stand in the same place just in case they weren't down for the count just yet.

Micha paused for a moment, using telepathy to check if they were dead, or just pretending. Then she moved up to the door that they were guarding. She called Harris to come up to them, and he came up, with Alex seeming to at least know that he should follow along.

"How do you want to do this?" Harris asked.

Kessler clipped the carbine to across his lower back, picking up the heavy's weapon to examine it. A heavy weapon might be helpful now, or later, depending on the circumstances. More fire power meant enemies were dispatched easier, and therefore would speed their progress along some.

"Well we have a door, which means either a transition into a room, another section, or.....well who knows. These guys were guarding it pretty heavily, either to protect something important, or to roadblock us. We probably should expect more on the other side of this door." Kessler said as he switched his camo off, his helmet collapsing into it's collar setting of the suit. Gently as he held the new weapon, he put his ear against the door to listen.

Kessler didn't hear anything except for the humming of the reactor on the other side. The directions that Harris had pulled from the ships computers were accurate. The heavy weapon didn't look like anything that Kessler had ever seen before. It had some sort of tank on the underside, and a bunch of gizmos running along its length. There were two handles, one of which had the trigger and the other of which was a grip extending from the left side of the gun. Kessler had no idea what would happen when he fired.

"So, ready to do this? This is the point of no return, because here is where we decide if we make it back, or not. Let's sweep and clear. I'll take middle, Micha you take right, and Harris I want you on the left. Alex, you stay behind me since I have the most armor. We'll enter on three. One...." Kessler said as he shuffled around to between them, readying the weapon as his helmet was extended over his head again. The strange weapon in his hands was an enigma, but the enemy had thought it potent enough to use to defend this door, so it had to work. Time to test his theories.

The door slid open as they breached the room only to find... engineers inside, cowering. "This must have been why you didn't hear anything inside," commented Micha, "It doesn't even look like they're armed." The room was large and round, with the reactor in the center and consoles lining the outsides. The only other door was on the other side.

"Good. Harris, Micha, think you can get into their systems here and do a few things? Maybe we can get these guys to cooperate with us, but don't let your guard down. Alex, I'm sorry to ask this of you, but I need you to watch this door, as I have to go watch the other. Think you can handle that?" Kessler stated turning his helmeted head to their charge as he finished.

Alex simply nodded mutely, and stood just inside the door. Harris approached the central area and began to tap away at the console for a few moments before letting out a stereotypical, "I'm in. What do you want me to do? I was just planning on shutting off the power to everything but the docking clamps and docking controls."

Kessler took up position next to the opposite door, and setting the heavy weapon on the floor by his feet, he drew the carbine and re-activated his camo. ["well if they're actually pulling out heavies, then maybe it's time we evened the playing field a bit. Think you can fluctuat the power to trip the cell releases, then set the core to overload on a timer? This place needs to go, and with everyone going to be trying to escape, they won't be as keen to try and stop us."] the captain sent back over geist to geist neural link. He wasn't sure if there was anyone on the other side of his door, possibly being more guards if there was, but he was ready to jump them if there was and they came in. Micha, what do you think we should do with the engineers here? We can either let them go, stay, or send them ahead of us.

They all work for Garret. She said, as Harris began to work on the power surge. A few minutes later, in which not much happened aside from the engineers cowering as the group stood there, power all across the ship flickered. Alarms began to sound, and some lights blew out. Then steam began to emit from the reactor housing. This was probably not what Kessler was expecting.

"Alright, looks like plan B is in order. Shut er down and sabotage, we need to make sure those defenses don't have power." he said with a scowl, cursing himself for his foolishness. "Second item, the engineers, what do you think then? Let them go, or kill them? If they work for Garret then they're possible threats, but I don't want to kill unarmed personnel if it can be avoided."

"We don't need to kill them, we should see if any of them are willing to find a new employer, they don't seem like bad people, just afraid." Harris said, as he tapped away at the console, hastening the reactor's loss of power and attempting to set it up to melt down after coolant flow ceased.

Micha, on the other hand, gave her opinion in a much cooler manner, through telepathy broadcast to both Harris and Kessler. They're security risks. If we take even one with us there's no telling if they could compromise operational security and leak information after we've gotten away. Plus it'd mean more people that we have to protect. But it's your call.

"We'll take them with us. If they cause trouble, they know we'll kill them. They're unarmed and unarmored, we are, they're screwed if they cross us." Kessler decided as he began to wave for them to gather and file out of the room, making it clear he meant business as he had his carbine slung, and the heavy weapon leveled at them. "As for information, leak, they won't have much. We can just drop them off at the closest independant station once we leave the area. I won't leave people to die, I've been done that way, and I won't do it to someone else without good cause."

If you say so, Micha simply responded.

A moment later, Harris gave Kessler a thumbs-up signal. "Set to go boss, the reactor will melt down in ten, I suggest we be out of here before then. I've also rerouted what little power is left to the life support and the docking clamps, so that we can keep there folks alive long enough to get to the ship and then get away. I can't guarantee how long the power will last though."

"Alright, let's get the hell out of here. Need to get these people moving quickly, stay sharp though." the captain confirmed as he hefted the heavy weapon and started ushering those closest to him towards the direction of the dock. "Alex, stick close, just a little longer bud."

The engineers began to follow, as did Alex. The group made its way from the reactor room towards the docking bays. Behind them, and a rumble shook the ship. Air rushed out towards the direction they had come from, and a blast door slammed down, stopping the flow of air, though not before one of the engineers was sucked away into the void.

Kessler continued to usher them forward as he beat feet alongside his group, the weapon still hefted in his hands. The whoosh and cry of the engineer was coldly ignored as he kept directing. He was not going to die in this place, he still had a bone to pick with Garret. If that fucker had already left the station, he would find him again. There were afterall, only so many worlds for him to hide on.

But that was for later, now he had a charge to get home, and he was bringing him closer with each boot fall.

The group entered the large unloading area that they had been through briefly on their way in. Ahead of them, 5 armed soldiers, and two heavies lay in wait. Engineers ducked for cover behind metal crates, and rounds began to fly. One of the heavies had a large riot shield, and began to close in on Kessler and the others.

Kessler looking for a clear line of fire, took a gamble and fired the heavy weapon he had been toting with him since earlier, firing towards the big boy with the shield. Even as he did, he moved to the closest free cover, his helmet still up, the carbine clattering against him as he moved. "Everyone get down! Micah, need cover fire! Harris, keep the asset safe!" he shouted to the others.

As the weapon fired, it let out a loud BLAP sound, and a glob of foaming goo went flying at the heavy soldier. It seemed to stick to where it hit, causing the soldier's feet to stick to the ground, and then foamed up and started to harden quickly, stopping almost all movement as it caught the shield in its grasp.

Micha began to fire shot after shot as she swapped from cover to cover, keeping the normal soldiers pinned down for the moment. Harris pulled Alex down and shoved him against the back of a box, next to some engineers. Alex clutched the rifle in his hands with the same borderline blank stare. He looked up and to the side for a moment, before beginning to make a paltry attempt to help, pointing the gun he held over the top of the box and pulling the trigger as it sprayed inaccurately towards the soldiers. A bullet struck a box that no one was taking cover behind, causing it to burst open and spilled what looked like EMP grenades across the floor.

"Great, a fucking goo gun." he grumbled to himself as he was hunkered down behind a crate. Looking for better options, he spotted the spilled contents and grinned, "Micah, keep it up, I got a plan!" Kessler moved quickly from his cover to go for the grenades, laying down the trigger for a series of blaps as he fired more goo down range. Ducking behind the crate, he began to gather a few of the EMPs.

Soon, the goo began to present obstacles that both sides had to fire around. Micha was reloading one pistol with one hand while shooting with the other. One unlucky soldier had gotten hit in the chest while leaning out to fire, and the fight was slowing down to a standstill. At this rate, they'd be stuck here until reinforcements arrived. It would take drastic measures to change things.

Pulling the pins, he chucked five, one after another towards the enemies and the area between them. As the power went out in the room, and the artificial gravity faltered, Kessler hefted the goo cannon to his side before spinning around and chucking it. Ducking back down, he unslung the carbine before taking aim at the weapon's tank and firing off a short burst with a grin.

The tank exploded, goo expanding and filling the room as the lights flickered. The soldiers were absorbed by the mass, which quickly began to harden. As the power came back on, the lights flickered again, and the gravity returned, and the mass of now hardening goo fell to the floor, sticking to it and hardening to a rock-like consistency. The way was now clear to leave.

"Alright, everyone go go go! Not much time left! Harris, get him aboard now. Micha, you're covering with me as everyone boards." Kessler declared as he slid over the crate, and with rifle now in hand, made a dash towards the ship with everyone. Once he got up by the ramp, he watched to make sure everyone got aboard, most importantly his teammates, and his charge.

Everyone made their way onto the ship, and as the doors were beginning to close, explosions began to be heard.

"Fiamma! Hit the thrust at full and cycle those capacitors, I want us folding NOW! This place is going and we do not want to be here damnit!" Kessler called up to the bridge as the hatch finished closing and sealed. As if to wordlessly answer his call, the ship made a scraping sound as the large freighter tore free of its tethers and dock clamps. The shields were raised to full, as large plumes of exhaust left the engines in an intense flash of discharge. As the station behind them began to fall apart, the core going critical, the capacitors were cycled to the HFD.

As the ship jumped away into space, the engineers slumped down and began to breathe sighs of relief. Alex let the rifle fall from his hands and leaned on the wall. Harris began to check everyone for any injuries, and Micha gave her wings a small flutter, as if to clear non-existent dust off them. They had done it.

 
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