The Western Frontier: An Episodic, Schizotech Sci-Fi RP (Started)

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Suddenly, the place seemed to be getting a bit busier. Mechty shifted a bit in xer seat, uncomfortable with the attention from multiple people, and got up to move to a quieter corner. Mechty decided to do a little stretch to loosen xer joints after sitting still for a bit too longer than was comfortable, and saw crossbow-girl watching everyone and taking notes in that interesting little journal. Maybe I could try to sneak up and... acquire... that book, take a bit of a read, see what she wrote, Mechty thought, before deciding against it. These were going to be allies for a while, afterall. No point pissing them off.
Taking a few careful steps around Nerin, Mechty did a quick bow towards the late arrivals, then turned and strode over to the as-yet unintroduced girl, gesturing at the book in her hands questioningly. Or what xe hoped seemed questioningly, and not the wavings of a demented person.

Precis was still quite confused as to what was going on, but she assumed that it had something to do with bounty hunting. With the way they had asked if this was the recruitment meeting, as well as the assortment of people of all types, she could only assume that Ray and Kin were looking to join these people, and with them, she would go along as well. She was a little nervous, being inexperienced in combat, but she definitely wanted to help in any way she can.

What confused her further though, was when Kin asked if they had a ship large enough to house the Aurora, and if not, where they would store it. She had worked pretty hard on the Aurora and she didn't want to simply let it go, so she hoped that the ship would be able to accommodate it. Looking at the others, her eyes passed by each individual before she looked curiously at the one in the orange enviro suit.

It was a few seconds before she brought her full attention to the one that seemed to be the leader. She had been introduced, so she felt it was necessary to say. "I might seem young, but I'm an experienced engineer sir. This body helps me get around the ships better, so it suits my tasks well." She wasn't exactly lying after all. Engineering was in her blood, and the body DID help her navigate the vents easily.

Kristina had been quietly sitting in the background of the conversation, occasionally making notes on the various personalities of each individual, deciding on who best to make friends with, and who to ignore to a certain degree. With a cautionary glance, she had noticed the individual in the armoured suit, gesturing to the journal itself, probably wondering what it contained.

"So, Mechty, you want to know whats inside this little journal then? Its rather simple really, its just some notes I am making about everyone here. Personalities, skills, equipment, just general tactical information, for any unpleasant eventualities. However, that is not the main focus of this journal. In the first few pages, are a list of people, individuals who I am trying to contact, people who I have a personal history with, and wish to make sure they don't cause the same pain to others, that they did to me."

Mechy digested what the girl had to say, which seemed to be a decent bit about that journal. Xe could almost taste the history emanating from the book, and pointed to it, making a reading notion, before stopping to shake xer head thoughtfully, and point straight at her, realising she still hadn't got a name yet.
Damn, but Mechty hoped that xe might get a chance to read that book, if the owner was willing. That gave xer another thought, prompting a hand to reach under the cloak and bring out the battered old Haggard's Haunters book, which xe held out as a sort of collateral. This old fiction book was very valuable, sentimentally and otherwise.
While this was going on, Mechty couldn't help but overhear the little girl, and failed to suppress a faint shudder. Oh, the bad memories. Feth that, I better be billeted nowhere near her, xe thought.

Kier'Ran stood near the ship, taking in the sights and smells of the port. Too many people, too many noises, too much of everything. He expected himself to break whenever he spent a substantial amount of time around this number of people, but he knew he wouldn't this time because there was a way out shortly.

He noticed the man in the suit with the case, he'd seen enough assassins in his day to detect the swagger, the mannerisms, and the attitude. However, he'd also seen enough messengers and company men with the exact same things, so he paid him no heed. Leaning against one of the struts, he contemplated and went over in his head again the other hunters in the room. The Animal Farmer, who apparently thought himself strong because he was from a rich family, the huntress, reading and writing in her book, quiet, which he'd appreciated, the two who had gotten into a fight that escalated much too fast for his liking, they were going to be a problem he feared. Then there had been the three that had looked as if they were in a rush to get somewhere, probably that same meeting if his instincts were correct. The man in the robes and sword had proven obnoxious, naive and demeaning, none of them good traits for someone starting in the business.

Xion wandered over to Kristina and Mechty, looking bored. He took a seat between the two, peering over at Kristina's notebook that she had so kindly offered to show to look at. He glanced at a page, noticing a specific set of writing that said "Xion Thestalos". He didn't have the time to read before she had shut it and moved it out of sight.

"Hello, m'lady" he said as he offered a wink and a sly smile. "And a good day to you stranger" he gestured toward Mechty.

"What kind of things have you wrote about me might I inquire? Not that I'm that intrigued, I'm too starved to be"

Xion looked over at Mechty, peering deep into xer visor, hoping to see some semblance of a person, but alas, it was opaque.

"Do you eat at all? Do you require food? F-o-o-d?"

He pointed to his stomach, before miming biting on a sandwich, trying to get across the message.

"Anyway... like I said, I'm starving. Do you want to come get something to eat with me Kristina?"

Kristina had taken a brief look at the book that Mechty presented to her. She had sensed that the book held some sentimental value to whoever was inside the armoured suit. It was after making a few more notes on Xion, that the man in question came over, failing to get a peek at what had been written about it him. She had snapped the book shut, and placed the book in a inside pocket of her coat, away from prying eyes.

"Whilst I find your attempts at charming me Xion, to be somewhat cute. But I'm afraid, you'll have to try better to get this girl. As for whats inside? Well, lets just say, they are secret. If your a good boy, I may share a few details with you." Kristina remarked, playing the role of a coy temptress to the best of her ability.

"However, I won't say no to getting something to eat. After all, we have a little time on our hands before the first mission." She said, noting the amount of time they had, before they were scheduled to leave. As she walked to the door, Kristina gave the naive man a sly wink.

"Well then, is there anywhere that you'd recommend?"

Mechty huffed as Xion stole away xer chance of perusing bow-girl's book, still without the introduction xe was gesticulating for. I must resist the urge to smack Xion, I must resist the urge to smack Xion, Mechty repeatedly thought, and with the promise of further interaction and data digging, xe turned away and circled around the latecomers, making sure to keep plenty of space between xerself and the kid. Damn, kids could be so annoying, especially the little female ones, with their high-pitched shrieking.
Considering what to do next, Mechty took up position by the door, hoping to catch someone willing to have a mute tag-along following behind them. Maybe Lukaas, he did say that he needed to get supplies, and xe could always help carrying them. Anything to alleviate the boredom, really. Damn that Xion, he'd get his just deserts for denying an inflow of knowledge.

"Whilst I find your attempts at charming me Xion, to be somewhat cute. But I'm afraid, you'll have to try better to get this girl.

Oooh, I like this one. So coy, she has a modest body...I might indeed try better

He returned the wink, along with a cheeky smile, before

...Is there anywhere that you'd recommend?"

"Actually, I have no idea. I'm new to this Station, only visited briefly a long time ago. We could perhaps walk around town, I'm sure there must be some restaurants here"

Xion looked over at Mechty who had had so far been unresponsive to his attempts at trying to contact xer.

"I'm sorry for earlier, allow me to formally introduce myself, Xion Thestalos, at your service"

He took a deep bow before the suited figure, it seemed strange, bowing to something that might not even be human. But Xion wasn't going to let himself be hated without good reason, he'd try to at least appear civil to those who had not yet come to know him.

"Do you know the area Mechty? Any good places one might be able to eat around here? I would be humbly grateful for your assistance"

"I'm sorry for earlier, allow me to formally introduce myself, Xion Thestalos, at your service", said Xion, before administering a respectful bow, showman like, and continuing with "Do you know the area Mechty? Any good places one might be able to eat around here? I would be humbly grateful for your assistance"
Mechty grinned wolfishly beneath xer helmet, thinking up the places xe could send this windbag. Perhaps a dumpster behind a restaurant a few corridors away, or a run-down public toilet? That would be fun, but would probably leave a bad impression. Ah, but what about a little detour? Mechty thought, pulled a piece of paper out of a spare notebook, and began scribbling energetically with a vegetable-shaped pen.
The instructions were good enough, simple directions even Xion or Vane could follow, and would lead to a decent, middle-class eatery. The route xe had written, though, involved going through a few corridors bordering on the sewage reclamation facilities, and passing through a section or two.
Mechty felt kind of bad for the girl who would get dragged along, but she probably wouldn't notice the stink of waste if some of the people here smelled half as bad as their attitudes. Xe held out the piece of paper to Xion, smiling smugly, unseen.

Meine had turned her hearing off when the group had started bickering and decided to wait for the leaders, which arrived not that long after. She turned her ear back on, to listen to what they had to say and then another group arrived.

I am broke.

She thought the room was getting too crowded and didn't really want to spend any more time than neccessary in this company. She would need to anyway, if she were to work with them from now on.

"I'll see you at the ship then." Meine said, without conveying much emotion and started heading for the exit of the cafe they were in.

"Name's Ray'skel, though you can just call me Ray. The ol' gal what spoke up is Kinraye, though I'm sure she won't mind just bein' called Kin. And the youngest and latest addition to our little travelin' band is Precis. Pleased to meet ya."

This man sounds like a bumpkin, albeit a friendly one mused Vane. Bowing as he waved his arms he pulled up his body and looked at the crew of the man. So she wasn't his daughter then. Possible concubine? But she looks too young. Probably a serving girl Vane thought. He would make an extra effort to be kind to this one, there was a solidarity between those who sold themselves, if not in action, then in understanding of their lot in the world.

"It is a pleasure to meet you Mister Ray'skel, I am Vane O Sufi, a sell-sword." Vane responded cordially, his voice reaming even.

"If you will excuse me, I am afraid that I would like to head towards the ship to rest and contemplate the strands of society" continued Vane, a warm smile lighting up his face.

With another bow Vane turned to leave.

After getting the answer he wanted, Lukaas placed his notepad back in a hidden pouch in his jacket and made for the door. Just as he was reaching for the door knob, he overheard the one-sided conversation between Mechty and Xion. Apparently, Mechty was giving directions to a some sort of restaurant near by. Being unfamiliar with the area and hoping to get Mechty to say anything, Lukaas went up to it as Mechty was handing the slip of paper to the crimsoned-hair man.

"You know your way around this place? I could use a tour guide to all the good shops on this station, if you don't mind."

"You know your way around this place? I could use a tour guide to all the good shops on this station, if you don't mind."
Mechty turned to face Lukaas, still smiling, and released the piece of paper without seeing if Xion was ready for it. No doubt he would catch it, but it wasn't that important. A nice trip to the sewers should cool that hot head off. Mechty gave a small nod to Lukaas, and turned to bow out of the conversation, step backwards out the door, and turn on xer heel.
Ah, but what kind of shops does Lukaas want to visit? xe wondered, and pulled out another piece of paper to scrawl the question on. Xe'd need to look into buying more writing supplies at this rate, or something with more uses than plain old paper. Or take someone into xer confidence. Someone good enough at interpreting xer meanings.

Looking at the paper Mechty wrote, "Well, looks like we need to go to a book store and get you a spiral or something...better. I just need to get some more ammo, a new grindstone for my axe and some eye drops."

An unfortunate side effect of his vision augmentations to his eyes include irritation and a reduction of tear production which also causes more irritation. It is a vicious cycle.

Mechty proceeded to scrawl out a rough map, it seemed awfully convoluted for a space station, they usually consisted of a logical layout of buildings but the way this map was drawn showed a lot of twists and turns. Nevertheless, Xion was confident that xe knew what they were doing.

"Why thank you Mechty. Let no one say that those who don't speak are ill mannered"

He went to reach for the note, but Mechty turned to speak to Lukaas, dropping the note and completely ignoring Xion. This lack of respect towards him, coupled with the seemingly complicated note gave rise to a feeling that Mechty didn't like him.

Xion turned to Kristina, "So, it looks like Mechty provided us some directions" he said whilst showing the crudely drawn map.

"So... shall we make our way? Unless you have another idea of where to go?"

He looked at her with a coy smile.

"I might seem young, but I'm an experienced engineer sir. This body helps me get around the ships better, so it suits my tasks well."

"So, you're older than you look?" Gira inquired. "Well, that's a relief, means I won't have to think twice about sending you off to die on some planet."

He chuckled lightly to himself, though upon noticing that Precis failed to find his comment amusing ceased to do so. The mechanical man was unsure what prompted him to make such a remark, though he knew for a fact that his statement had a small grain of truth to it.

"In any case, welcome aboard. I'm just hoping we can hide you somewhere if the police ever search our ship, not sure if they'd believe that you're old enough to serve."

"If you're still willing to sign on, I have to ask if your ship has hangars bays, and if it does, are they large enough to handle a small transport? I'm only asking so I can make arrangements to have it stored if there isn't room."

His attention then turned to Kin, one of two professional hunters to walk in with the girl. He was unsure what to think of the woman, given her arrival with the child and all, though found himself in no position to comment on the morality of her actions considering his previous statement.

"Yeah, there're hangers on the ship, though it's been a while since we've used them. Although, personally, I doubt you'll need your own personal ship if you'll be rolling with us, but I'm fine with transporting it."

---

Mr. Saunderi stood, his humble suit stained with the blood of the men who stood between him and his vantage point, staring off the rooftop with cold, unfeeling eyes. His careful, meticulous extermination of potential threats to his personal crusade took a mere handful of minutes, the elderly man quite proud of his accomplishment, though he vowed not to celebrate until the world below him burnt to ashes.

He took a moment to assess his surroundings, searching for targets for both himself and his soon-to-be robotic minions to eliminate, before sauntering over to the radio tower, holding in his hands the portable computer in which the key to his operation's success was held within. He withdrew a cable from his coat pocket and plugged the machine in, watching with impatient eyes as the virus began to load.

He then turned his gaze to the horizon, observing the rabble, until finding a target worthy of striking down. It was a man, short and stocky, with ghostly pale skin and an outfit very muck akin to that of the common bounty hunter. The man look rough, uncouth and, perhaps most importantly to the crusader, useless to his visions of the perfect society.

"Ah, the cowboy, callous and voracious men without souls whom serve society not out of a sense of justice, but for physical wealth and self-preservation." Mr. Saunderi mumbled. "Scum, I say, more than deserving of a slow and painful purging, though sadly all I can give you from here is a quick death. Consider yourself lucky, cowboy..."

Mr. Saunderi withdrew his compactable rifle and took aim, reciting a quick prayer to gods unknown as he steadied his scope. The final words of the wish escaped his lips and, with a squeeze of the trigger, a thunderous boom echoed from the rifle, and the fate of his first victim was sealed.

---

On the ground below, slowly making his way through the market stalls, was a lone, doomed man, known to a few as Acarian Shelmore. He was a lively, if crude, individual, with a life having been lived well by the standards of most, having traveled the Western Frontier in search of glory and wealth for a number of years, hunting down merciless and dangerous criminals for the greater good of mankind. Downtime was a rarity for him, with most days consisting of either travel or hunting, though through some miracle he managed to find himself bartering with the local merchants and, while he had intended to eventually make his way to the Red Giant Cafe in order to join up with a group of fellow bounty hunters, found himself unable to care much about it at this time.

He would never reach the cafe, however, as fate had other plans for the unfortunate professional. As he began to make his way through the crowd, in attempt to make his way towards a man selling sets of foreign blades, a high caliber round struck his abdomen, penetrating his coat with ease, and exploded within his chest. His demise was, at least visibly, quite instantaneous, albeit incredibly gruesome, with shards of bone and pieces of pulp soaring outward.

Those within the market place found themselves witness to his end, with a handful of individuals closer to him, including one orange suited individual and xer cowboy companion, being pelted with pieces of debris.

---

Throughout the station, wielding mounted blades and built-in weaponry, the robotic sentries, once having served vigilantly and without fear, turned upon those once under their watch. The virus corrupted their artificial minds, turning all in their path into registered hostiles, and mechanical force cut down all in sight, without hesitation, with great prejudice.

Although the criminal and civilian populace would band together to put up a resistance, but against their cold, metallic assailants their was little hope to be found.

Little hope aside from Blackhearts, that is...

Keir'Ran heard the shot long before anyone else in the hangar and immediately picked up his bag by the ship and dived headlong for the nearest cover. A few strange looks accompanied him, before the echo reached the ears of the populace and they, in turn, either ran back to their ships and prepared to leave or huddled in groups as the sentries sprouted weapons and converged on the deck. Some drew weapons and engaged the robots, Kier'Ran sat behind his stack of crates and looked for anything or anybody that could start the ship. Unfortunately, there was nobody that he recognized. The fools were probably all in the marketplace, leaving him to keep the ship in relative working condition.

He pulled the chain out from the satchel and wrapped it around his real arm, securing it and readying it for the fight that was headed his way.

While arguing with a merchant about the prices of his medical eye drops, Lukaas shifted his satchel of supplies from one sore shoulder to the other ache-free one. It was a miracle that he found the Blue Sun ammo store. Looking back at his new best friend, being it's usual silent self, he wondered if Lukaas can trust something that has less personality than a rock.

Nah, best to have low expectations. That way I won't be surprised if it stabs me in the back.

"I'll only pay full price for this crap if you throw in that cream. Deal?"

He never did get the chance to make a deal before he felt a splash of warm liquid on the back of his neck with a loud boom following shortly after. Turning around to see a man with a jagged cavity in his chest. Diving down behind cover to avoid gaining a chest cavity himself, people in the market square began to panic.

Pulling out his sawn-off, Lukaas noticed that his jacket was soaked in blood.

For crying out loud, couldn't that guy decide to explode a few meter away?

Worry about the dry cleaning bill later. Just try to keep your head on your shoulders and maybe we can find out who wants to ruin our clothing.

Now, where is Mechty?

Mechty had frozen when xe heard the rifle's report and continued to stand rooted in place, white cloak speckled with blood from a dead man. Xe stared at him, lying still on the floor. His face looked so peaceful, if it hadn't been for the mortal wound in his chest, one could think he was sleeping.
Someone ran into Mechty from behind, jogging xer from the stunned thoughts, and xe dropped to the floor next to the dead man. There were bone shards lodged fast in xer cloak from being so close to such a deadly type of ammunition, but xe didn't let that get in the way, and quickly rolled under a stall opposite Lukaas, who seemed to be likewise covered in blood, but all together less shaken by such violence. Oh crap, I dropped the damn shopping straight into that pool of blood, Mechty thought, prompting a mechanical, grating laugh that only Lukaas could hear to issue forth from the modulator speakers on xer helmet. Dammit, the switch must have flipped when I dropped, xe thought while flipping it back to the off position, and gesturing at the shopping bags. Ah, but Lukaas had a gun out. The shopping wasn't important right now.
Mechty quickly scuttled out into the open, grabbed the bags, and moved over to crouch behind the same cover as Lukaas.

"So... shall we make our way? Unless you have another idea of where to go?" Xion had asked, given Kristina a coy smile afterwards, Lukaas and Mechty had already left for the markets.

"Actually, I know of this eatery near the market stalls, from what I can remember, it serves some really nice food, decent price as well." She then left the conference room at the back of the Red Giant Cafe, Xion following soon behind her. They were making their away amongst the variety of market stalls, some selling clothes, others, jewellery, even a few selling some weapons, none of which interested her.

It was then that a loud boom was heard, the surrounding people then began to panic, taking shelter wherever they could. Kristina pulled out her crossbow, ready to fire at whoever took the shot. A group of security mechs were patrolling the area near them at the time, ignoring the sound that was just made. Suddenly they stopped, and turned to face Kristina, their optics glowing red, and their weapons armed.

With a slow and steady plod, they began marching towards her, with a grim look of determination on their cold metal faces. She could sense that something wasn't right with them, as they never normally acted in this manner. Feeling as though they would attack, Kristina held her crossbow in one hand, and pulled on the trigger.

In a moments notice, a security mech had fallen down, its head slowly rolling away. This caused the others to increase their movement speed, now a heavy thud. Realising that she wouldn't have enough time to fire off another bolt, she returned her crossbow to its place, and withdrew her sword from underneath her coat. Swinging it around a few times, she raised it in challenge.

"Come on then, let us see how you perform in battle."

"Actually, I know of this eatery near the market stalls" Kristina remarked as they made their way into the market district. There were a variety of wares available, a set of blades caught Xion's eye, but they were nothing but cheap replicas made to sell to tourists.

"...From what I can remember, it serves some really nice food, decent price as well..."

It was then that a loud noise was heard, it was unmistakably a gunshot. It's sound rang out across the station, and was accompanied by a series of screams coming from across the market as the bullet inevitably found it's target. Some poor sap was probably just covered in someone's brain confetti.

A small group of security robots appeared from around the corner, and began to march their way towards the couple with a steady pace, their weapons poised and ready to strike at Kristina. Showing such unwarranted aggression was not something that security bots normally did; clearly they were malfunctioning, either that or their protocols had been hacked into.

As they began to speed towards her, she raised her arm, crossbow in hand, and fired a bolt that took a mech's head clean off. Such a primitive weapon, it's silence would do her no help, it's mechanism was far too slow to reload. Kristina appeared to realise this, as immediately after she expended it, she proceeded to draw her longsword in anticipation of the oncoming attack. Swinging it around a few times, she raised it in challenge.

"Come on then, let us see how you perform in battle."

Sigh... These tin cans won't prove much of a challenge at all...

Xion drew his katana, and rushed towards the group of bots, his sword in hand. In one fell swoop, it's vibroblade cleaved through their weapons like butter. He cleanly decapitated (if it could be classified as a head) one of the bots, leaving it spurting oil as well as sending up sparks, a devastating combination.
He kicked it's body with his full force, sending it hurtling towards the rest of the mechs, the explosion resulting in a shower of alloy, his coat protecting him from the rain of metallic shards.

"Well...that wasn't very fun at all..." he said before noticing another group of four security robots made their appearance from behind Kristina.

Xion twirled his sword, throwing the oil that had gathered on the surface it's blade on the floor whilst still leaving a dull sheen that coated it.
He walked his way towards her, leaving the flames of the mechs behind him. He stood ready, with the katana in his right hand poised, whilst his left hand beckoned the security bots towards him.

He turned his head to speak to Kristina.

"Apologies for stealing your challenge, would you like to take these ones? Or would you require assistance?"

The bots began moving in, these ones more heavily armed than the rest of the station simply because this was the first place anybody arrived at. There was a group of men who pulled guns from under their coats and began firing at them as the sentries began moving on them and revealing their own weaponry.

The small group of sentries fell to combined fire from them and were followed by another small group in the hangar. Kier'Ran just sat behind the crate, he wasn't getting paid for this and protecting the ship was all he really cared about just now. The sentries began moving in more forcefully then, pushing back the lines of fire until they closed. A group of three of them tore through a group and got too close to the ship. Kier'Ran jumped out of hiding, swinging the chain which caught one by the leg and after a quick tug, fell to the floor. He ran up behind it and slammed his boot through it's head, crushing the power supply inside. The other two turned and engaged. With a *schlict* the claws hidden in his arm sprouted and he carved a hole through the armor plating of the one on his left before ducking and causing the one of his right to send a spike into the other's head. The compromised sentry began flailing his arms about, hitting the undamaged one several time before being targeted by a gun mounted on the shoulder of the final bot.

Kier'Ran led with the chain, swinging it and slamming the bot with his full strength, busting a hole in a leg and causing it to fall to the ground where it was helpless to his arm's power. The three were dealt with and could continue to be used as cover. Most importantly, the ship was unscathed, though he had made his presence known to the sentries and more converged on him. The smell of oil and fire filled the air.

Kristina watched as Xion tackled the security mechs head on, impressed with his skills with the blade. After defeating them, he calmly walked away, twirling his katana to flick away the oil that had spurted from the machines. She began to clap briefly.

"Apologies for stealing your challenge, would you like to take these ones? Or would you require assistance?"

"No worries Xion, they was going to go down anyway, it was just a matter of by whom. I must say though, your skill with the blade is good, great even. As for these next ones, I shall take care of them." Kristina responded with, charging in to face the group.

The first one came at her with a stun rod, but she quickly rolled underneath the electrified baton, and sweeping the mech's legs, sending it to the floor. Kristina then plunged her sword straight into what would be considered its heart, causing oil to spurt out. Another, this time with a large club tried knocking her off balance, to no avail. She leapt over its back, striking at the neck with one of her wrist blades. As one fell, another rose to challenge her resolve. It was a pair of blades instead of hands. She quickly defeated this one, by tricking it into sticking its blades into the ground, pinning it. Kristina finished it off, by decapitating its head.

"Yeah, there're hangers on the ship, though it's been a while since we've used them. Although, personally, I doubt you'll need your own personal ship if you'll be rolling with us, but I'm fine with transporting it."

"Excellent." Kin responded. "It can easily be converted to a drop ship if necessary, which will at least give us a bit more flexibility in how we engage an objective." She was pleased that she wouldn't have to sell the Aurora, and they'd still be able to keep their workshop. "I'll get it ready right now, have it on board shortly."

She turned to Ray and Precis. "Shall we?" Kin asked, starting for the door. Outside, she was greeted by the sounds of a battle starting up on the other end of the station. Shouldn't the security mechs be taking care of that? Why's it sound like it's getting closer?

"We may have to fight our way to the ship. Ya have all your weapons ready to go, Ray?" Ordinarily, Kin wouldn't be all that worried, but with Precis right there, she was going to be extra careful.

Vane had slowly been making his way out of the cafe, his mind far off in better places. when he heard the sound of gunshots going from outside. The patrons of the cafe looked scared, huddling away from windows. Shouldn't the security mechs stop large scale fights mused Vane for a moment before he turned and ran for the door.

How Ironic he smiled to himself looking at the perpetrators of the discord.

Outside the street was panic, a tempest of steel and bullets. Vane drew his sword from the scabbard and whispered an old mantra under his breath. The hilt seemed to produce thick tendrils of ink, which ran up the length of the blade, dying it a deep midnight black. The image of the Panter started to animate and began to pace up and down the blade, it's gold contrasting with the black background. Vane's robes began to pulsate blues rapidly, making his body look like a shoal of fish constantly writhing and twisting. His voice took on a more synthetic tone, as he began to recite the long battle verse from memory.

Assuming the form of the Tiger's claws, Vane drifted towards the nearest combat drone that was wrecking havoc, His blade lashing out like a serpent's tongue and ripping out a vital part of the sensor unit. The droid flailed blindly, but was quickly finished by the Sufian Swordsman. Turning his head he saw a group of individuals from earlier, the Fire crowned man, and the woman dressed in blood rain, Vane he seeing a brief flash of orange, battling against the drones. Knowing the ancient rules forbidding a Sufian from ever carrying a gun, he made his way towards them hopefully to fight along side them

His voice raised to a harsh echoing bellow he screamed "You there, It's me the Sufian, from the Blackhearts". Distracting someone from combat would have horrid consequences but Vane knew they needed to link up to suffer this storm of disorder.

"Shall we?"

"After you," Ray said, nodding for the doorway. Once Kin pushed open the doors, his ears were met with the sounds of gunfire and screaming in the distance.

"We may have to fight our way to the ship. Ya have all your weapons ready to go, Ray?"

"Woman, when don't I have them ready?" Ray asked, taking his rifle off his shoulder and keeping it at the ready. He looked down at Precis as he made his way to the door, "Alright li'l miss, things're gonna get pretty ugly. Don't you worry none, just stick with Kin and you'll be alright."

Ray pulled the bolt of his rifle back and chambered a .577 Nitro Express round with swift, experienced precision right before pushing the bolt back in place. "I'm gonna clear the way."

Looking out at the sprawl before him, he could see dozens of security bots fighting against people. It soon became clear that something was wrong with the machines when he saw them cutting down defenseless people in the streets. A small group quickly began converging on a couple of combatants, a man and a woman from the meeting. It also seemed that a walking light show was striding towards them with a black blade of some sort. The pair looked to be in quite the fray and the striding strobe light was being quick to jump right in.

"Gorram bots, goin' on the fritz," Ray mumbled as he raised his rifle. The haywire machines were close enough that the scope wasn't necessary, so he took aim and fired. The round burst from the barrel with a loud boom and tore through the hull of one of the metal contraptions. Ray continued reloading and firing, muttering every time he chambered another round. "This is why...you don't let...a goddamn...tin can...act...on its own...goddamn...accord!"

With each pause, another round was fired and another machine dropped to the ground with a large hole through its casing. He lowered his rifle once he felt it was clear enough to advance safely.

Things were starting to look up for the men holding the hangar. They were pushing back the tide of sentry bots, though at the present, things had come to a standstill. The bots couldn't move forward without being almost instantaneously cut down, and the smugglers,merchants,guards,guns-for-hire, and more than a few bounty hunters couldn't move up because of the sentries calling for reinforcements, and getting them. The reinforcements came in the form of a half-dozen green-painted, rough, but much less worn models, equipped with all manner of firearm and from the demonstrations they'd given, had a very good targeting protocol imbedded into their programming. Two had been taken down, but four remained, and anyone popping their head up almost instantly had a cascade of bullets fired at them. Most of the people were shredded within seconds, but a few were lucky enough to be hiding behind reinforced bulkheads,thick crates, or the like. Kier'Ran was one of the few still at the edge, of the fight, crouched behind a small ship near the Blackheart's own.

"And this is why I shy from large settlements. Bots with all kinds of guns you can't get close and engage, no, they stay back and shoot at you. Fucking tufaas"

He jumped out and ran towards a group of people huddled behind a stack of pylons, and most of them had guns of some sort. A hail of fire accompanied his advance, ricocheting off the beams, and catching one of the few in the throat, he jumped up in surprise and was cut down. He was closer now, if he could get some kind of distraction, he could take it out. They didn't seem to have any kind of close-range weaponry, just well-maintained guns being fed from within their casings, which he supposed simply recycled the rounds since they hadn't dropped a single bullet casing the whole time.

Precis had been taking in her local surroundings out of curiosity, since she had never left Galatea before stowing away with Kin and Ray, but her attention was quickly brought back to her new friends when the combat happened outside the room. Quickly hurrying back to the two and listening to Ray telling her to stay close, she nodded her head and said. "Y-yessir, I'll stay close!" When the door was opened her eyes widened. It was a complete slaughter. Innocent men and women were being cut down by the rampaging robots, and it seemed to hit Precis especially hard. Her body was shaking and her eyes were filled with fear as she muttered something along the lines of. "R-robby..It's just like Robby."

Robby had been the name of the robot Precis had built by herself when she was only a small child, and until her ninth year of life, she had worked on improving and making adjustments to the bot. That was until she messed with the wrong chip, and caused Robby to go haywire, resulting in the explosion that killed her father and made her into the heavily augmented child she was now.

Precis reached out and took a hold of Kin's clothes before saying. "W-why are they attacking the people? Robots are supposed to be good..they shouldn't hurt people.." Her eyes were still filled with fear and her voice was shaky.

While looking for the sniper, Lukaas heard what could've been mistaken for laughter coming near him. Courious at the source, he saw that Mechty had planted xeself next to him behind cover with the shopping bag in hand.

"Ah, there you are. Could've swore I heard someone laugh. Why anyone being laughing now, I don't know. Anyway, we need to take care of that sniper. No idea if he is an assassin with a robot army to cover his tracks or a just a madman having himself some target practice. Either way, I'm going to introduce his face with my axe repeatily."

Looking over his cover for a moment, he caught a quick glimps of a person, gender unknown, looking down a rifle on top of the building with the radio tower. A man with normal unaltered vision would've seen nothing, but Lukaas's vision isn't unaltered.

"Alright, I've got a plan but you might not like it. Before I lay it out, can you run at all in that suit?"

What are you doing, Lukaas? You have no reason to get this guy. No one is paying you to get him.

There was no reason for him to murder that man in cold blood, eithber.

"Woman, when don't I have them ready?"

"Well, there was that time on that asteroid near Alpha Centauri." Kin responded, drawing her revolver and positioning herself in front of Precis. "Remember? Those damned mercs nearly got us, and you were sitting there trying to load that cannon you call a rifle!" She held her fire for the moment, the bots were far enough away that her gun wouldn't do much damage.

Kin turned around when she felt someone grab at her duster, and quickly turned. She instantly saw that she didn't need to be worried, though, as it was Precis trying to get her attention.

"W-why are they attacking the people? Robots are supposed to be good..they shouldn't hurt people.."

Kin's heart went out to the poor girl, seeing her standing there, scared, and she couldn't help but try to comfort her. "I think they all got broken, someone musta messed with their programming." She said, kneeling down next to her. "Don't worry though, we'll make it through just fine." The security bots tried to make a liar out of her, as two of them exploded out of a side passage, blades already swinging.

Kin saw them coming in time to push Precis back, but was forced to drop her revolver in the process to counter their blades with one of her own. It came to a stop near where Precis landed from the shove.

Dammit... I'll have to refinish it when we get back to the Aurora... Darting inside the closer of the two combat bot's reach to prevent it from getting a full swing on her, she drew one of her throwing knives and used it to keep the bot's weapon arm at bay as she set to striking at it's joints, trying to hit something that would shut the robot down. Kin knew she only had a limited opening before the other bot flanked her, so she worked her way around so the one she was concentrating on was between her and the other.

Kin struck at the neck of the bot, and interrupted it's main power cable with her blade. This shut the bot down, but also inadvertently caused the full burst of power to knock her away from the bots. As she lay upon the ground, trying with all her will to regain control of her twitching limbs, the second combat bot moved in for the kill...

Precis let out a squeak of both fear and surprise when she was pushed away from Kin so the older woman could counter the blades of the robots. Still in shock from the scene, all she could do was watch as Kin attacked and defended. She didn't know what she could do to help, since she had no combat experience and didn't even know much about these robots. As she tried to get up, her hand brushed something on the ground. It was Kin's revolver, the one that she had dropped before! She had been about to pick it up and throw it back to its owner but when she looked over, Kin was on the ground suffering from the effects of an electrical shock.

The young girl knew she had to do something to save her, and she clumsily held the revolver in her hands before taking aim. Her hands were trembling, but she managed to aim at the robot long enough to pull the trigger..and miss completely. The shot flew harmlessly in the air, but it seemed to get the security bots attention. Its threat priority coding must have still been working at least. Now she had a different problem..it was coming for her now! Lifting up the revolver again, she started firing blindly at the machine and managed to puncture more than a few vital systems. Practically in tears from fear, she opened her eyes to see the machine on the ground before her, completely motionless. It was just as well too, because she had fired off all the rounds in the revolver.

Before long, it appeared as though a group of bots thought flanking the three would be the bestcourse of action. Three came from the right, charging Ray from the corner of the Café. The rancher raised his rifle again and began firing. He managed to put big holes in two of them, but was in reach of the third before he could chamber another cartridge. He had to lean back, almost to the point of toppling backwards to avoid getting sliced by the bot's blades. The machine was quickly on the offensive, slashing through the air as it kept vying to slash the evasive gunslinger.

Ray could tell Kin was having some trouble of her own as he heard the sounds of the fighting behind him. The bot sought to finish Ray by bringing both of its attacking arms into him. He dove to the side and rolled to his feet with an odd grace and grasped his rifle by the barrel. The heat of the rapid-firing was still present in the barrel, a heat he could even feel through his gloves, which he quickly realized as he raised his rifle like a club and swiftly brought it down onto the bot's top. The machined tweaked and turned to the rancher who only brought the butt of his rifle onto the bot again and again until its internal systems were either crushed or knocked out of place.

Ray stood up straight and huffed loudly after his victory, the spoils of which were only a dented rifle stock and a knotting shoulder. He heard the sounds of gunfire not more than tweny feet from him and turned to see Precis holding a big-bore revolver, the owner of which lying on the ground, electrocuted, and a bot full of holes between them. Hurrying to Kin's side, he checked to see if she was alright. Seeing that she was still alive and well, he grabbed her hand and helped her off the ground. Shaking his head and smirking, he chuckled a bit as he jokingly said, "Woman, you're thirty-tears years of age and ya still need someone to tell ya not to be stickin' your cutlery in electrical sockets?"

Ray looked over at Precis who appeared to still be a shook up about the situation. He walked over to her and kneeled before her, gently taking the revolver from her grasp as he did. "Y'alright, Li'l Miss? Ya did good, savin' Kin's bacon like that. Now, c'mon, we still gotta ship to get to."

Mechty gently placed the bloodied bag onto the ground, and stuck xer head up to look for whatever Lukaas was searching for, before quickly ducking back from the sound of more gunshots. Things were starting to get interesting, and interesting was profitable.
"Alright, I've got a plan but you might not like it. Before I lay it out, can you run at all in that suit?", Lukaas asked, to which Mechty nodded in reply, before noticing someone scurrying around nearby.
It was that damned kid from earlier, the one xe had beat down twice. The little bugger was pilfering the pockets of the dead. Mechty threw a nearby bottle at him to get some attention, before waving xer arms about menacingly to scare him off. It worked, as the kid scampered off towards an open air duct, probably saving his life.
Stupid kids, always getting in the way of trouble, xe thought, and idly turned over some nearby bottles to check the labels. Some of these were ones Lukaas had been bargaining for earlier. Mechty grabbed a handful and shoved them into the shopping bag.
Might as well procure necessary supplies while buyer demand is high and the prices are nil...

As Kin was fighting to regain control of her limbs, the second bot bearing down on her, she suddenly heard the sound of gunfire near where she had pushed Precis away from danger. Hope that's her with my gun and not someone else... She thought.

Whoever it was, they drew the bot's attention and removed Kin from danger, and the next thing she saw, sparks and fluid were pouring out of several holes in the combat drone, which soon ground to a halt. Kin had just gotten enough control back to try standing when Ray walked over. He helped her up, asking "Woman, you're thirty-tears years of age and ya still need someone to tell ya not to be stickin' your cutlery in electrical sockets?"

"Not funny, Ray." Kin responded, obviously shaken from the ordeal. She recovered her blades from the ground near the bot she had disabled, and checked them for damage. The combat knife was blackened where she had hit the power supply of the bot, but other than that appeared to be in good shape.

Looking back to Ray, she noticed he had taken her revolver from Precis. "Thanks for saving my ass." Kin said to Precis, taking the revolver from Ray. She removed all the empty casings and put them in an inside pocket in her duster, so she could reload them, and then loaded the cylinder with rounds from her gunbelt.

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