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RP: NSS Inquiry [NSS Inquiry] Mission One: Far From Home


Head in the Stars
🌟 Site Supporter
🌸 FM of Yamatai
🎖️ Game Master
Retired Staff
Atmosphere of Polup
Zachitnik-class Shuttle

After having spent weeks traveling West from the Gold Coast of Nepleslian space, the NSS Inquiry had reached its destination. The source of the signal picked up by Nepleslian sensors was a terrestrial planet of plains and forests with some minor cities that could barely be seen from the NSS Inquiry's position in orbit of the planet that had been temporarily named Polup.

The troop transport model of the Zachitnik-class shuttle was sent down to the planet's largest city by the rear admiral. Inside of the shuttle was the ten-man squad, led by Varick Stein and overseen by the platoon leader Cadence Newborn. The squad sat on two of the four benches, fully armored up in the power armor that suited their role best.

Cadence looked to Stein who wore the only Raider suit on the team as he sat on the other side of the shuttle, near the cockpit. She then looked down, at her assault rifle in her own Hostile's hands. After a moment, the pilot signaled to her it was nearly time to load out and she said to the team her commands while the shuttle touched down onto the surface.

"Follow the plan and stick together. Stein will bring up the rear with Carrick. Corbin and Nelson will flank me. The rest of you, stay in between." The the folding ramp on the rear opened for them and she stood and moved out, slowly at first.

Rocks crunched underfoot as she left the confines of the shuttle and set forth. As she got closer, she could see the buildings were made of wood and left unpainted. Most of them stood at just two stories tall, though some were squat and only one floor. There were no noises coming from the city. No activity whatsoever. There was nobody walking through the unpaved, dirt streets and nobody in the windows of the stout buildings.

A private that walked in between Stein and Cadence asked, "Should we spread out?"

"We stick to my plan. Let's clear a building," Cadence replied, not looking back but forward, eyes searching for what she could not see.

She signaled with her hand a dilapidated and weathered single story building to go into and she began to make her way there.
Tobias rocked inside his Hostile power armor, which was equipped with the now standard Upgrade package. It was a far cry from the sleeker and more comfortable M10 Raider he had used back on the Interregnum after the IPG had "recruited" him. He wished he still had it, but they had taken him out of it after knocking him out and launching him in a life pod after most of the crew went rouge.

His new Power Armor was armed with built in Rbl-1a mini missile launchers on its calves, an HPAR rifle with several extra clips of ammunition that were strapped to both thighs, and a Submachine pistol with a single extra clip on his left hip. He was also packing a vibrosaw "knife" on his right one.

This was a much heavier loadout than he was used to, and the new armor felt clunky and hard to use. He had, however, been assured that he would grow accustomed to it, and that in time he would like it much more than what the Inquiry's power armor technicians described as "Overhyped, top of the line junk." Of course, that could have just been their bitterness over not having many suits of the Raider to play with.

As he rose and began to follow Cadence, he turned around to survey his squadmates, anonymous in their armors, save for nametags that popped up on his HUD. He spoke over the radio. "So what's the plan if we run into trouble?"
Atmosphere of Polup
Zachitnik-class Shuttle

Varick was quiet as he rode down in the shuttle ride down to the planet. He checked over his Na-W3301 ‘Scout’ Cannon, cycling the bolt and slamming a fresh magazine home. He synced his Heads Up Display with the scope and placed his extra magazines into his armor. He also attached his Combat Axe to his waist.

After a while he looked up and saw Cadence looking back at him. He opened up a private channel and gave her a reassuring smile. "You'll do fine Cadence." He said nodding to her. "Just keep calm and remember your training." He said before the ramp dropped.

As ramp fell, the Master Sergeant yelled over the squad channel. "You heard the lady! Squad move out!" He ordered as the followed up in the rear.

He searched their surroundings and made sure his PA was recording it. "We don't run into trouble kid. We are the trouble." He replied to Tobias.
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Zachitnik-class Shuttle

Linda was quite on the ride down as she typed on her DataJockey, making rather obvious notes, of what however was hard to tell. She was in a Marine standard Hostile power armor, it was a reliable machine, but she did not like them much. The large size took away some of her finesse and it wasn't stealthy by any means of the word, but it was much better than the giant Aggressor or even the tactically advanced Void. However she would not be in the IPG if she would let such a thing keep her from performing.

Once she heard the plan she stood up and readied to disembark. The frame was carrying a LCA rifle, a rather strange choice for a hostile, but there was more versatility with the ammunition and it was much easier to aim, even if it didn't pack as much of a punch. Most of the magazines were solid slugs, but she had a few HEAP and incendiary magazines as well just in case. She also made sure to keep different missiles in her launchers for versatility sake as well, the left were the RDL-03a missiles while the right were RAL-02a.

While slightly unorthodox in the load it it was not too strange, rather the strangest part of the load out for the suit was that the operator inside was wearing a ballistics vest along and the armor had a butt pack with a .45 Compact, a .357 SMG, and a knife. She was prepared to step out of her power armor and fight if need be.

Once out of the shuttle Linda moved into position without a hassle, taking only a few steps to get used to the difference in stride from her normal. As she looked around she recorded everything to the suit, and it was being backed up on the datajockey that had been stowed in the butt pack. Her armor's sensors began a detailed scan on the atmosphere to send back to the ship, it was nothing a shuttle couldn't do, but comparing it with data form around the planet would help in realizing any localized oddities faster.

"Should we try to question and bring any sentient beings we find back, or try to scatter them?" The librarian from hell finally spoke up, but it was a short and too the point question only.
Atmosphere of Polup
Zachitnik-class Shuttle

Seeing as how most of his squad mates elected to sit in silence, Alec followed suit as shook in his own Hostile armor. The short tour with the Sledge Mama still hung faintly in his mind, taking a back seat as he focused on current mission of hopefully not having the sqaud dying on a new planet and hopefully not dying in the process. He looked over his own loadout consisting of a HPAR, LSP, and standard NSMC Medical Kit that clung to his side.

As the plan was laid out and the ramp dropped, Alec moved with the group to the opposite of the Cadence from Nelson. Not wanting to be in another ambush, he kept rifle pointed towards the windows in front of the group and scanned the surroundings through his monoeye of his helmet. "Hopefully the former," He replied over the comms. "I'm not an expert in foreign relations but it might not be the best approach coming in here making a lot of noise."
Atmosphere of Polup

Althea rode out the entry, rumbling with the shuttle in the protective shell of her armor. Everything was already in place and checked. HARP in her lap, ARROW launchers loaded, vibrosaw across her chest. She napped lightly, head bobbing as the shuttle shook again. Some arcane force woke the young soldier about half a minute before Lt. Newborn gave the order to disembark. Piling out with the rest of the squad, she faced out with her rifle up as the Lieutenant rattled off instructions.

Melding into the middle, Atlhea took stock of their situation. Looked a lot like a frontier world, frankly, with the low wooden buildings and all. What wasn't normal, to her, was the total absence of people. Usually someone wanted to find out what was happening, even if the visitors were packing as much heat as the whole city combined. Her mind shifted through options at a rapid pace. It was an ambush, the whole city was rigged to blow up whoever landed; some bio agent had killed everyone; the cities were decoys for the bizarro jungle dwellers.

None of them really mattered much, as she took her position in the middle with her section. Keeping her eyes alert and checking the sensor readings for any sign of a weapon energy signature or a person, the muzzle of her HPAR swept the windows then the roofline.
City on Polup

The second lieutenant said to Stein over closed comms a quick and terse, "Thanks, sergeant."

She then chuckled at Varick Stein's comment to private Carrick. They were the trouble. Not the other way around. He was right about a lot of things, that included.

To the IPG agent, she nearly replied before Corbin did for her. "That's right. We're here to learn, though. First and foremost. The Imperium needs answers, not for us to run in here, blow stuff up, and leave. We'll be taking back any sentients that we can."

She approached the building she had set her sights on and motioned for the team to clear the door.

"Those in the back and in the middle, go to either side of the door. Those next to me, cover the entrance. Be ready to infiltrate."

She took a breath, then sidled up to the side of the door next to the handle. She pressed her shoulder into the door and tried turning the handle. Locked. She took a step back and shot at the handle and then pressed her shoulder into the door again, pushing it open. She trained her gun on the interior of the room, ready to fire. It was empty.

"This room's clear!" Cadence called and entered the room quickly, waiting for the rest of the squad to enter. She stepped forward and noticed no furniture save for a table on which sat a datajockey-like piece of equipment. It was golden on the edges and she picked it up, moving it in her hand. She looked around the rest of the room and saw stairs leading upwards. She set it down and turned to her team.

"Stein, Carrick, Sullivan, O'Riley, clear this floor," Cadence ordered. "Take the scientist with you."

Unbeknownst to Cadence, the floor was empty of hostiles. In an apparent kitchen, they would find knives, an oven, and an empty freezer. In a hallway, they would see a display screen and in the last one on that floor, another display screen one one wall and a single table with two of the same data-jockey-like pieces of tech that Cadence Newborn had picked up in the first room. Every room had windows with which the team could be seen through if they did not take the proper precautions.

"Corbin, Sharpe, and Nelson, clear the stairs with me and work up to the top floor," she said and positioned herself next to the wall that the stairs were on the other side of. " Milton, guard the entrance we came through. Dornseif, be prepped for anything and stay behind my team on the stairs.

When the other two had assembled on either side of the stairs, she brought herself around the corner and strode up the empty staircase. She then turned to enter the first room on the top level of the building, gun steady and ready.

"You're going to have to see this," Cadence said over comms to Sharpe, Corbin, and Nelson. "It's clear, but..."

In the room were racks for green and chrome silver power armor, hanging limply with helmets below each one.

"We have a problem, Stein," she said to the sergeant privately.
City on Polup

Linda followed the group, taking care to even while in something as big as the Hostile, to reduce her profile and make as little sound as possible with each step. Newborn's answer to her question was a bit unexpected, however it was the right answer. Linda was ready for her to be a trigger happy Marine, but was relieved to be wrong, it made her job easier. She made a note and sent it to her datajokey that Newborn might be useful as things develop.

Once inside Linda kept watch to make sure no one showed up until they were given orders. She followed standard procedure to ascend the stairs and make sure nothing was missed, but she did break formation slightly when they saw the power armor inside the room. She took a few steps forward and scanned the armors, they wouldn't give too much in the way of signals with their power off, but she could as least get some information on the materials they were made out of. "Was this...supposed to be a military structure?"
City on Polyp

Stein did as he was told and he began clearing the first floor. He rounded a corner and scanned the room quickly with his rifle. "Clear left." He replied. He quickly turned 180 degrees and scanned the other way. "Clear right." He was tense... why had they not seen anyone yet?

When he heard Cadence's voice over private comms he grimaced. "What's wrong Cadence?" He replied to the Lieutenant. He looked over to the others in his group. "Finish clearing the ground level, then take up defensive positions. Something's not right..." He ordered his squad.
City on Polup

Althea kept her rifle at the ready and acknowledged Cadence's orders, "Copy that ma'am."

There was something in her that wanted to warn the officer about picking up suspicious objects. Especially when they didn't know who, or what, lived here. It was no doubt, she thought, that this whole setup was weird. Weird enough they'd booby trap their datajockeys? Maybe.

She eased up the steps backwards, keeping security for the Lieutenant's fire team as it went upwards. About halfway up she came to a halt, letting everyone else clear the stairs before moving almost to the head, far enough up to see over the top step but not far enough to present her whole armored figure.

The corners of her mouth worked, as she swallowed, tense and on alert as Newborn called the others in. Althea's finger hovered near the safety... There probably wasn't much to these walls, so she'd have to avoid any firing arc that would put rounds through the room everyone was in at the top. Her vision carefully shifted between the hallway ahead and the floor below.
City on Polup

Tobias, given his technical prowess and background, was the first to notice and collect some of the foreign technology, coming perilously close to putting himself in view from the window. He heard Stien's orders and crouched near one of the windows.
City on Polup

Alec went through motions of his orders, covering the door and bringing up the rear of the group as everyone moved it. The lack of contact with anything was almost reliving if weren't for the unnerving feeling of something being very wrong. Cities usually aren't this empty without a very good reason.

The medic quickly backed into the structure and moved to stack up with the others before Cadence spoke over the comms. He followed them up into the room, looking it over. "Seems like the locals could be packing a punch of their own. Let's not try to incur it."
City on Polup

Cadence nodded to those on the second floor, "If it is a military building, Nelson, it is a rudimentary one. But this PA is telling of something more than primitive."

To Stein over private comms, she said, "There's fucking PA here, only five of them, but still."

When Stein had made it up the stairs, Cadence looked to him, then pointed to the power armor and spoke over open comms, "This has no dust on it. No sign of disuse. We need to get this on the shuttle for further testing on the Inquiry! Stein and Corbin, please take this to the shuttle. We'll clear another building. Away team, follow my lead."

Cadence Newborn then jogged down the stairs, gun at the alert while she did so and moved out of the building, laying low and swinging her sights one way to the other to search for potential hostiles. She waited at the base of the building for the rest of the away team to follow her out, then headed towards the building directly opposite the one they had cleared at a sprint.

"Sidle up as we did last time. Breach and clear. Same drill!" Cadence said to them, looking around the veritable ghost town.
City on Polup

Althea waited, counting everyone past her down the stairs before backing to follow them. Down they went and across the street, filling the rear slot as they stacked up on the next door.

Whatever they'd found in the first building must've been military related; arms, explosives, armor, something. Whatever it was meant she was ready to engage at a moment's notice, whatever Sgt. Nelson or Lt. Newborn might want. Any visible threat wasn't going to have much of a choice if it came down to the squad vs. them.
City on Polup

Stein nodded to Cadence. "Roger that Lt." He said over the open comm. He then opened a private channel to her. "Be careful Cadence. Something isn't right." He said with a hint of concern. "Corbin, on me!" He ordered as he hefted the suit onto his back in a fireman's carry, slinging his sniper rifle behind his back.

He lugged the armor down the stairs of the building and moved out the door. "Watch my six kid." He added as he walked out the door and began making his way towards the waiting shuttle.
City on Polup

Alec quickly nodded and followed Stein. He lifted one of the suits of armor onto his back and hold onto it over his shoulder. He kept is rifle raised at his side with his free hand in case someone wanted to take the armor back violently.

He followed the Master Sergeant outside, keeping his head and rifle on a swivel as he eyed the urban jungle around them. "On it. Let's hope the owners of these things don't have some sort of anti-theft device..."
City on Polup

Linda hung back a moment and eyed the room once everyone had left. It was easier to see what was and wasn't there now. She took a few steps across the room over to a table and picked up a small device, she had her suspicions about what it was but she would save that for the tech team. As she was about to leave she noticed a scrap of leather fall off the table and under it a datapad. With a little fiddling it turned on but it was in a language she never saw before. Either way it was of use and she made her way out of the room and down the stairs.

She placed the items in her buttpack, it was getting full but she didn't want to give them more to carry already. She spoke over the squad's closed channel, and made sure her mic was off as she caught back up with Cadence. "There was a device and a datapad in the room. They might be related to the power armors so I took them along." She stacked up at the door though as if nothing had happened and then opened the door from the side to let the others in while she covered outside.
Tobias followed the rest of the group as they escorted Stein while he carried the power armor. His HPAR swept the area, his eyes scanning for possible threats. The marine training years ago was coming back quickly. Something seemed off and he said as much to the rest of the team.

"Everyone be on guard. Something seems fishy about this."
City on Polup

Stein lugged the armor across the open ground between the abandoned city and their shuttle which sat there idling. He knew this wasn't right... Those building looked like they had been inhabited recently, and yet right now there was no sign of any life.

He ascended the ramp and drop secured the unknown PA to the floor of the ship, and directed Alec up the ramp and pointed to where he wanted the armor. He unslung his sniper rifle began walking back when...


Stein stopped dead in his tracks. His head turned slightly towards the noise, and he heard another crack and rustling in the trees. He dropped to a knee and brought the rifle up, switching his HUD to IR. "I got something over here. Home in on my position." He said over squad comms. "Corbin on me." He ordered as he scanned for enemy threats. He wasn't hallucinating... he heard something. But what in the fuck was it.
City on Polup

Cadence turned her head sharply, scanning the area. There was nothing to be seen, but the shuttle was some distance away. She waved her arm towards the shuttle where Stein and Corbin were and nodded to the team, having them follow the Master Sergeant's orders.

The whole team hustled to the shuttle quickly and efficiently before Cadence asked Stein, "Where are we looking?"

Stein moved his arm up to point in the direction he had heard the rustling and the squad raised their guns as they turned to face the area. Their infrared vision showed several dozen ambiguous heat signatures that were low to the ground.

"Infrared on! Split up into two and flank 'em! Stein, sniper support!" Cadence called and rattled off the names of who went where before the team began assembling.

When they were dozens of feet away from the creatures, which looked animalistic on all fours, the unknown contacts seemed to raise up into the air, becoming more visible. Cadence put a foot back and was ready to shoot, arms locked and gun cocked.

It was at that moment that there was a great multitude of flashing lights on their infrared displays. There was one on the top of each of the unknown creatures' faces that blinded Cadence. She knew that she needed to tell her away team that they had to switch off infrared as she herself went to do so.

She went to speak, but couldn't.

She made to move, but couldn't.

Shit! Cadence thought. Fuck this shit in the ass. What the fuck in nature is going on?

No matter what they did, the rest of the away team was unable to move or speak, as well. The neural probe of their armor was unable to pick up brain patterns denoting movement.

These creatures had stunned them and were back on all fours, sprinting in a dozen different directions.

What the fuck?! Cadence thought to herself.