After Walker gave the orders to leave, he heard he was follow up by Mar as she said, "Sweet Child of Mine, this is ORION Ground Team: Prep for a short-range FTL jump out-of-system, wait for my mark to initiate the jump. Repeat, prepare for FTL jump out-of-system, wait for mark, copy?" It was a good plan, hopefully, they can make it out in time. With that out of the way, everyone ran for their lives back to the Devil-fish.
As Walker ran back to the dropship, his mind was racing with all sort of thoughts. He let the crew talk among themselves as the tried to figure this out. Where the fuck did this go wrong? Was it Chronus who was behind this? No, too complicated and too many ways it could fall apart. That would mean a third party found out. But how the fuck did they know? Chronus tried to make this mission as small as possible without alerting anyone, so who is here?
He snaps back to focus as they were about to exit the warehouse and make their escape. Everyone was almost there as he said "Come on! Move your ass like it got a purpose!" Walker would look up as he made his way to the dropship and wish he didn't. The frigate will soon be upon them. He then turns his focus on Resha as she was protecting their Devil-fish from the fighters' attacks.
"Resha!" walker said cover comms. "We are good to go. Get the hell out of here, you're no match for a ship of that size plus fighters." Walker said as he jumps on board. "Punch it!" He said once everyone was in and the Devil-fish door was closing. As Mar did her thing, Walker look around to see the status of his people. Everyone seem to be in the clear but his focus was on Ed and his prisoner. Walking up as he got a good look at the heavy trooper. "Try not to kill her if she does anything Velka. I would hate to lose a source of info once this is done." Walker then radios the sweety. "Sweety this is Walker we are on our way back now. Follow Mar orders cause we are out of here once we get to the ship." Walker then turns to Elliot. "Might want to tell Grace to hook up with the Sweety before we get on board. He comments as he head up towards the pilot seat. Overhearing that Mar got shot. "Mar, you doing alright?"
The Fighters kept up their attack against the unknown fighter unit. They didn't know how to respond to such an odd looking design. With unknown data of such a fighter, their onboard computer data couldn't help them fully in this situation. So it was the pilots' own skills were being used here.
It was a dogfight and neither side had the upper hand. The fighters played it safe when trying to attack the unknown fighter. Though more importantly, they were just stalling until the frigate came into play and then it would be over.
"Synthetic Unit SARA, serial number 00735." The prisoner stated all of a sudden, which brought something of a shock to Velka, softening her gaze somewhat, but still managed to maintain a professional appearance. Curious to see if they were telling the truth, Velka began to cycle through her various alternate vision mode, bringing a subtle change of colour to her eyes; suffice to say, the results were fascinating.
"Impressive. Highly advanced synthetics. Operating to levels similar to my own. Obviously designed to blend in with humanity. No one would think otherwise unless they knew where to look. I guess something like this would be a bit overkill, but understand, merely a precautionary measure." Velka stated, referring to the stun gun, her voice a mix of intrigue and wonder. Her diagnostics had reconfigured to register the person in front of her as a synthetic being.
"Try not to kill her if she does anything Velka. I would hate to lose a source of info once this is done." Said, Walker, as he came over to give the prisoner a once over.
"Understood Captain. However, I do not think that Operative SARA is going to cause an issue for the time being; though we may wish to keep an eye out in case her compatriots come looking for her."
T.G.R. Backwater Planet, Sasleyria | Sasleyria Surface | Devil-Fish Cockpit
"That's not good. I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be inside my body."
Being shot, hurt. It hurt a lot. For someone who was used to a high-risk lifestyle, and tended to choose dangerous career paths, Mar was generally used to being injured in one way or another: Broken bones, cuts, scrapes, and plenty of bruises from the occasional bar or club brawl. She had never been stabbed before, and at times she had only narrowly avoided it, and before now, she had never been shot either. She wouldn't recommend it, especially as felt blood begin to pool in the pilot's seat.
She spared a glance back as she heard Edward speak up, but she didn't quite hear what he said, due to both the din outside and the fact that her mind was simply on other things right then.
"Get back, brace yourself." she said as she started to pant.
As she finished the launch preparations, she contorted painfully in her seat to look back into the cargo area. The moment she saw the last of the ground team step inside, she slammed a fist on the ramp controls. The door to the cargo area slammed shut behind Brian, and her hands grasped the controls of the shuttle again.
"Brace yourselves! All units back to the Sweetie!" Mar called out over the comms, her voice strained.
With a grunt, she twisted the controls and the thrusters on the exterior of the shuttle came to life with a roar. The entire chassis shuddered, and the Devil-Fish launched towards the sky. It was fast, faster than any shuttle should reasonably be going in-atmosphere, even to get to escape velocity. Despite the inertial dampeners, everyone inside could feel the entire Devil-Fish shake violently around them.
"Come on baby, come on baby, hold together. Go, go, go, GO!" Mar snarled, speaking to no-one but herself as adjusted the control sticks to keep her shuttle steady.
As they started to reach the upper atmosphere, the turbulence only got worse. Alarms began to blare not only in the cockpit, but throughout the cargo area as well, warnings of unsafe acceleration and failing heat shielding. Mar ignored them. She focused only on the nav-point that marked the Sweet Child of Mine, even as the edge of her vision got a little more blurry.
Then the violent tremors throughout the shuttle abruptly stopped as they exited Sasleyria's atmosphere. The alarms cut off after a few moments, and the Devil-Fish began to gain speed now that it was safely in space. But not safely away from the warring ships just above the planet.
Mar didn't bother evading at this point. They were too close.
"Sweet Child of Mine, initiate FTL Jump on my mark! All ORION Units dock with the Sweetie, NOW!" she barked over the secure channel as she readied her final approach.
The moment they got near the open cargo container meant as the Devil-Fish's docking bay, she abruptly flipped the thrusters forward and to one side to change direction. The shuttle halted, then slammed inside the container itself just as the other ships connected to the Sweetie.
"Jump!" she called.
Ready and waiting, the Sweet Child of Mine punched into faster-than-light speeds, and Mar cut the engines of the Devil-Fish before slumping back into her seat. Panting heavily, she took the opportunity to take off her helmet and glance down at her abdomen. Her entire belly was beginning to be smeared with dark crimson, and some of that crimson was starting to drip down from the edge of her seat.
"I think I'm gonna need a doctor." she said weakly as she looked back with pain-glazed eyes.
The female had been twisting and turning with the fighters. Knowing she'd need to clear the way for an exit, the female burned in a straight line, the two fighters hot on her tail now. Before they could get a chance to shoot, she pulled up hard, used her aero breaks and began to deploy the arms from the side of the fighter as the two blew past her.
Reaching out, the mecha arms tore through tbe fighter's wings before pulling back into the sides of the fighter. She immediatly orientated herself and burned upwards. Staring at her speed, she realized she wouldnt make orbital like this. "Fuck..." Groaned the girl, turning up the music and removing the limiter. The thrust from the ion engines burned harder and she watched her speedometer climb. The shields hilding up for her burn, the girl made it back to the sweety, her bio suit compensating for the extrenuous g's she had undergone. The cockpit of the fighter open now, the girl sat there and rested. She kne she'd be sore from how hard she had to get squeezed the next day and dreaded the though. Flicking a switch, the limiter went back on.
Blaring from her cockpit and into the hangar now was ofcourse "Intergalactic" by the beastie boys. Deciding to wait this out, she'd just lay there, waiting to come down from the chemicals her body had her hopped up on.
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Redeemer
Meet the Dones!
The Mechanically Inclined Catican cracked her knuckles as she entered the Drone Control Suite located midship in the Redeemer. While she could have allowed her kids to defend the ship as needed, she felt a more hands-on approach was needed, especially since the objective was to keep the area around the Sweetie free of enemy strike craft. This was complicated by the fact that the corvette was loaded down with a number of turrets that could have destroyed drones before they could do any significant damage.
"Alright kids, give me a load out." Irina cooed as she pulled up a status display of her drones.
Looking over the readout, Irina's lips pursed as she started to think up a plan as to how she could keep the fighers off of no just the Sweetie but the inbound Orion Craft as well. Whistling loudly in the emptiness of the room, the Drone handler recalled her drones to not only refuel but rearm and reload themselves as needed. With the fighters 4 minutes out, she would not have a lot of time to spare.
A chorus of chirps came through the room's audio outputs as the drones responded to her whistle, each one of them sounding rather happy to hear its master's voice.
"Okay children, listen up! The Catican Merchant Mechanic called out, bringing her charges to attention, "I'm going to need 4 Arizonas, 2 Jacks, 1 Victoria, 2 Raths, 1 Constance, 2 Sables, 1 Sylphee, 2 Lucys and a 209.
As she rattled off this seemingly non-nonsensical list of random names, the status board updated as each one of the drones chose a new load out while they refueled and reloaded themselves.
Rapid Fire Kinetic Cannon
Rapid Fire Kinetic Cannon
Rapid Fire Kinetic Cannon
Rapid Fire Kinetic Cannon
Long Range Kinetic Cannon
Long Range Kinetic Cannon
Medium Range Plasma Cannon
Medium Range Plasma Cannon
"#16? What's a [email protected]?" Irina asked loudly before she shook her head, clearing it so that she could focus on the task at hand, "Arizonas, I need you to keep the fighters 2 clicks away from me. Lucys, you target that corvette and Sables you keep the Lucys covered. Now Lucys, you probably won't get a lot of shot through but I just need you to keep the corvette busy. Jacks, you and Sylphee escort the Devil-Fish and the Archer back home. Raths and Victoia... you've got the most important job. Victoria, you escort the Raths, keep them hidden until they get close enough to rip that Corvette apart! Constance, keep me informed of anything else coming in."
If anyone needed a translation of what was going to happen, it would be this. The Arizonas, rapid fire kinetic cannon armed drones were going to keep the Sweet's airspace clear of strike craft and allow the Orion Craft to land without much issue. The Lucys, long range sniper drones were going to target the inbound corvette and keep it busy, using the Sable shield drones to keep them covered. The Jacks, plasma cannon armed drones were going to escort the Orion craft back to the ship while the Sylphee holographic drone confused anyone wanting to target those ships by making sensor and visual clones of the ships. The genius part of the plan was the Victoria and Rath combo. The Victora stealth field drone would keep the Raths hidden from view and off of sensor displays until they got right in the nose of the inbound corvette before deploying their cutting lasers, which had the ability to rapidly cut through metal hulls for salvage operations, and ripping apart that corvette in an area where its turrets could not hit.
Alright kiddies! Go have fun! Irina said with a smile, as she sent forth her little minions to go play.
-------------------------------------10 minutes later-------------------------------------
The Devil-Fish landed safely in the landing bay prompting Irina to whistle and recall her drones, who luckily had not suffered any significant damage. As if reading her mind, Mar's pain filled voice roared over the comms.
"Sweet Child of Mine, initiate FTL Jump on my mark! All ORION Units dock with the Sweetie, NOW!"
"alright kiddies, time to come home. Don't stop on the way back!" Irina called out, watching as each of her drones returned and docked with the Redeemer.
30 seconds later, the Sweetie jumped.
She could see what was coming towards them, and there was precious little she could do about it. Too outnumbered to last in a 'furball' and with only a couple of air-to-mud missiles and a dime of heavy birds that any awake strike craft could dodge... "Fuck it!" She said quietly to herself, and poured on the power.
Vision fuzzy, chest hurting and with blood definitely in her mouth and probably trickling out of her nose, Mary followed Irina's drones that had been sent to cover the ground team, which also put her between the incoming bandits and her ride out of this shithole system. Adding to the drone's sensor trickery, she brought her own ECM gear on line at full power, though it was less 'smoke -and-mirrors' and more 'scream-in-their-face-at point-blank-with-a-megaphone'. Bobbing and weaving across Devil-Fish's tail, she hung back from the shuttle so to force any potential hostile to have to deal with her first, before they moved on either of the unarmed vessels.
She waited out there until the last possible moment, blinding anyone who looked their way, before she too made for home...almost. At less than a klick out, she cut throttle and flipped, still coasting towards Sweety but facing away. "For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee." She flushed all ten of her medium anti-ship missiles at full burn back towards her enemies, before righting her fighter and landing. Before her hanger even had the time to start re-pressurising, they had already jumped.
10 Minutes after the independent freighter Sweet Child of Mine fled the system ----------
The flock of missiles had burned hard upon their initial launch, and then shut down. While the laser warheads where most definitely older models, the missile bodies where quite new and rather stealthy once they cut power.
Normally a sure fire way to track an incoming missile was to look for the emissions from its seeker head, but these ones had no need to look for targets, Mary had sent them out with a specific task. After the ten had dropped off of everyone's scopes, there was some very understandable concern from in approaching strike craft, and then confusion; a missile needed to go active if it stood any chance of hitting a moving target, and these ones remained stubbornly silent.
When nothing showed on some rushed scans, voices began to joke about 'dumb mercs with shitty gear'; unfortunately, the jokes were ill timed. Just as it seemed to be true, ten signal sources blossomed to life behind the space born forces, not heading towards them but the planet head of the combined Terran Grand Republic and Chronus Corporation forces.
To call the reaction panic would be a bit mild. Any capitol ship that may have been able to intercept the missiles had been drawn out of position by the arrival of the as still unknown hostile fleet, and ground-to-space defences the Sasleyrian Militia might have possessed had long since been destroyed by the assault on the planet, and the Grandies had neglected to bring any portable ones. As it was, ten 2 kiloton bomb-pumped laser warheads reached their target totally unopposed. Mary's targeting had been very last second, and as a result the warheads dispersed over a rather wide area, reducing the effects of the nuclear blasts, but spreading them over a wider area.
The gamma ray lasers created by the warhead detonations lashed across, through and around the planet head, tearing up soldiers, militia and civilians alike; structures that were outside the effect radius of the initial explosions still had chunks torn away by columns of super concentrated gamma radiation. Some people died before they even knew what was happening, others weren't so lucky; fires raged in ruler straight lines along the lasers paths, and the attacking ground forces foothold on Sasleyra was in shambles as the beams tore randomly across it; and all this in less than the blink of an eye.
Walker had said that Grace should break atmo, return to the Sweet Child of Mine. Elliot agreed, nodding to the effect and signalling her to do so. They were all piling in, and Elliot watched their captive like everyone else in proximity, with his plasma rifle. Seemed about the best course of action for him right now, apart from bracing for sudden departure.
Archer received a signal, Elliot's bug-out signal. It was just a little comm-twitch he discussed with her to indicate 'Return to ship'. Grace was in the ship, so in this case it must have meant to return to the Sweet Child. Fair enough. The Archer blasted its turret cannons at a series of targets to give the Devil-Fish extra cover before it left the atmosphere...and then did so, maximum speed. There's no time for elegance in an escape route. The point is departure, not style. Even still, Archer was an arrow bolt in space, its flight swift and dangerous.
Upon breaching into space once more, Grace swerved to the cargo vessel that was their base in space and frowned. There was a corvette. It had been on comms before, reported by the Catican. Part of Grace had considered going after it upon report, but it would have meant leaving Elliot and the others to the total lack of mercy of the frigate. It could have meant their deaths. Still, defending the Sweet Child was also important, as well as making certain Mary Williams was still alive. Grace considered ending the corvette immediately with a railgun shot, but it seemed that Irina had a bunch of drones engaging it.
The rail gun was maximum penetration. When she had killed the initial dropship earlier with such a shot, the slug continued on and made planetfall, flinging itself into the ground like a meteor. Attacking the corvette with it could send bits of the ship or the slug itself into the Redeemer and the drones, or the Sweet Child itself. That would be unacceptable. Instead, the Archer did a normal pass over the top of the corvette with a volley of passing gunfire, and made the attack of the drones more effective by a factor of ten...assuming the ship didn't just burst into flames and explode first.
This led to the Sweet Child receiving the Archer, as requested, right on time...with a small complication.
To make a long story very short, because it was already told, the Devil-Fish made it back into space and got inside the Sweet Child before the Sweet Child hyper-jumped out of this sector of space, destination unknown. Elliot was about to say something when he heard the Shree pilot call for a doctor. He stepped over to the pilot's see and...oh, that's a fair amount of blood. Elliot remembered hearing the big Catican say something about a gel for her gunshot wounds. Why the hell didn't she take it? Nevermind... His head twisted and focused on the purple juggernaut.
"Edward! Get up here with that gel! Velka, you have any Shree blood?"
Bleeding like that and subjecting herself to the pressures of atmo-breach? What was she thinking? He waited for the Catican to get up here, then spoke again.
"I'll tilt her forward, you do whatever it is you need to do. Then, we get her to Medical, alright?"
Grace frowned at the airlock. The situation was untennable, so long as they were in hyperjump. Even then, it was a little complicated. When the Archer had arrived at the Sweet Child, Grace had found that an airlock had been torn off. What by, she could only guess to be someone a little too enthusistic with their docking procedure, possibly the Redeemer...which belonged to Irina. So, you ask, what exactly did Grace do when she had only seconds to go before departing? She activated magnetic hull-grip, synched engines with the Sweet Child's relative speed, and thus kept grappled while reaching hypervelocity.
This left the airlock attached to a wall, though, and there was nothing Grace could do about it, or do to help anyone, until the problem was addressed. And then, once it was, she was going to paint that Catican the same color as the hull of the ship.
There was a lot of violent shaking as the Devil-Fish pulled itself out of the Sasleyrian atmosphere, fortunately, everyone was safe and secure inside the transport, prisoner included. There was some further shaking as the transport docked itself within the Sweet Child of Mine and said vessel performed a faster-than-light jump.
Once the dust had settled so to speak, it gave Velka the opportunity to assess the situation with their Shree pilot, whose blood loss, whilst not overly substantial, would certainly be a cause for concern if not properly dealt with; though the Reshani wasn't sure who onboard the Sweety had certified medical training, Velka really only counted herself when it came to synthetics, though that did not stop someone from assuming.
"Edward! Get up here with that gel! Velka, you have any Shree blood?" Elliot as he rushed over to get an overview of Mar's condition. Velka meanwhile took the opportunity to unbuckle herself from her seat and stowed her gear away.
"Operator Elliot, in case it hasn't escaped your notice, I am a synthetic being, and therefore lack the need to make use of blood, Shree or otherwise." Replied Velka in an attempt at sounding sarcastic. Before Elliot could retort, however, Velka put a hand up to stop him.
"Do not mistake my hesitance, for not caring about the condition of my squadmates. Mar is a valuable part of the team, giving her status as a qualified pilot." She then paused for a few moments before continuing.
"Hmm, I would have to look into it, and compare some notes, but I suppose it is possible I could use my repair kit, with modifications so that it works on organic matter to synthesise some Shree blood and to sterilise the area. That is, if the Sweet's medical facilities lacks the capability to do so." The last part she directed towards Captain Walker.
Walker looked over Mar shoulder to see the large pool of blood that used to be inside of her. "Damn it.." He was about to shout for Ed but Elliot got that cover already. Walker put Mar's arm around his shoulders and helped picked her up from the pilot seat with Elliot. Trying to carry her over to Ed so she can get patched up quicker.
"Hmm, I would have to look into it, and compare some notes, but I suppose it is possible I could use my repair kit, with modifications so that it works on organic matter to synthesise some Shree blood and to sterilise the area. That is, if the Sweet's medical facilities lacks the capability to do so.
"The Sweety's has a med bay Velka, but thanks for offering. If things turn south, I'll radio you to come help." Walker said as he helps carried Mar to Med Bay. Walker helped Ed get the gel on Mar as the bleeding was slowed at least. "Ed help me carry Mar to the Med-bay. Quickly." Both Ed and Walker pick up Mar on each side and carry her off the Devil-Fish. Walker leading them to the Med-Bay as he gets the door open. The Room was quite open, with a table in the middle. The "doctor" was platform hanging from the ceiling. It had a number of parts with different medical tools and such.
"Ah, Captain Walker. Good da- Woah..the big girl is hurt." A voice came over the speakers. "Lay her on the table and we'll get to work! Or I will. Since I'm the professional around here."
Walker was struck dumb for a bit. He doesn't remember putting a VI in the Medic Bot. Though he snapped out of it, he had a way bigger problem to deal with now. "Let's get Mar to the table." he leads Ed over and they put her on the table. Setting her on the operating table as the platform open up and the robotic arms came down. "Huh, looooks pretty...um..Hmmm, I don't know since I"m not familiar with Shree anatomy. Let's fix that.." The medic-platform starts searching up Shree anatomy. "Ah..There we go..lets get to operating!"
Walker walked back a bit, letting the med-bot do its thing. He was worried as all hell about Mar, but he didn't want to alarm Mar at all. Trying to act like it was all fine. Though if anyone sees the look on his face, it would be a look of worry. "Don't worry Mar. The Med-Doc know what it's doing." Trying to offer Mar some peace of mind, if she can have any at the moment.
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route out of Sasleyria Space | Ship's Halls - Med Bay
"Steak dinner, bloody."
The wounded Shree could only grit her teeth as she felt, and heard, Elliot come up behind her and squeeze into the confines of the cockpit to help lean her forward so that she could be pulled out. It took him, Walker, and Edward combined to move her with any kind of ease, which prompted her to blearily wonder if she was really that heavy.
"You... Owe me dinner, thanks to earlier. Remember, Captain? I'm partial to steak." she murmured as the three of them carried her out of her shuttle and down the halls of the Sweet Child of Mine.
As Edward applied his Catican gel treatment to her wounds, she couldn't help but hiss through her teeth and flinch, gasping with a, "Shit, that stings."
Just as they reached the med-bay, she could hear a familiar voice over the intercom.
"ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL! ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL! REPAIRS OF AIRLOCK NUMBER 1 ARE UNDERWAY! PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING AIRLOCK 1 UNTIL REPAIRS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED! Stupid humans and their stupid fragile ships. How was I supposed to know that the airlock would shear off if I hit it too... OH CRAP!"
She was about to ask what exactly Irina was doing when she sheared off the #1 Airlock, only to be forced onto a sterile bed, one that was connected to an ominous-looking robotic auto-doctor. She stared up at it's various, spindly arms and grimaced, but it was the voice it used to speak that really started to make her nervous.
"Ah, Captain Walker. Good da- Woah..the big girl is hurt. Lay her on the table and we'll get to work! Or I will. Since I'm the professional around here."
"I can't... Help but doubt that." Mar said weakly between labored breaths.
"Huh looooks pretty...um..Hmmm I don't know since I"m not familiar with Shree anatomy. Let's fix that.. Ah..There we go..lets get to operating!"
"Walker...?" she whined softly as she shied away a little and turned all four eyes to the Captain's direction.
His reply was less than reassuring.
"Don't worry Mar. The Med-Doc know what it's doing."
With a resigned and unhappy grunt, she clenched her teeth and forced herself to lay back as the Med-Doc's arm's began to cut away at her pilot jumpsuit to better treat her wounds. All she could think was that while being shot and bleeding was bad enough, she really didn't want to be poked, prodded, or stabbed by any of those creepy little arms.
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Medbay
"ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL! ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL! REPAIRS OF AIRLOCK NUMBER 1 ARE UNDERWAY! PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING AIRLOCK 1 UNTIL REPAIRS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED!" A rather familiar voice said over the ship wide intercom, leaving Edward to wonder what had happened to that particular airlock, at least for a short while until Irina answered his question for him, "Stupid humans and their stupid fragile ships. How was I supposed to know that the airlock would sheer off if I hit it too... OH CRAP!"
The Catican Shock Trooper sighed rather loudly, shaking his head as made a mental note to add more simulator time to Irina's flight training, though he was aware that there was only so much a simulator could teach a person. That was for when there were less pressing matters that needed to be attended to. For now, the members of Orion Company needed to regroup and refocus their efforts.
Standing in the medical bay with the Captain, Edward watched as the Automated Medical Doctor started to perform some of the more basic functions that needed no anatomical mapping (such as removing metal fragments from the projectiles in Mar's body). While he was concerned over the welfare of his comrade, the Catican Shock Trooper appeared rather dispassionate, having witnessed enough similar operations to know that the chances of survival were good in the event that a wounded soldier was able to be removed from the battlefield and receive proper medical attention.
The Catican Gel had done some of the work beforehand, providing a local anesthetic and promoting cellular growth at the wound sites. While it might have been useful for the gel to start the process of removing projectile fragments, research on such a method had produced multiple substances capable of quickly dissolve flesh but not a manner that would dissolve the projectile while leaving organic matter intact.
A piece of removed bloody projectile fragment rattled around for a moment as it was dropped into a receptacle having been removed by one of the armatures.
As the Catican Shock Trooper waited, his thoughts drifted towards the prisoner that they had captured during the mission. Despite her claims to the contrary, the woman was very much a woman, though her species had yet to be determined. From the scent that wafted out of her armor, she was primarily human however not wholly. Edward could detect but not identify the other pieces of genetic material that had been spliced into her DNA. While it was possible that the genetic additions given to SARA-00735 gave her enhanced her ability to heal herself, it would not hurt to get the prisoner checked out by medical. If there was another thing that Edward had learned during his time in the Shock Trooper Corps, a healthy prisoner had a greater chance of surviving interrogation than one that was not.
Walking over to the intercom, he depressed a button and connected to the hanger.
"Requesting prisoner transfer and escort to the Medical Bay." Edward said calmly over the intercom before looking at the captain, his demeanor rather apologetic for not having consulted the captain before making the call, "Apologies if I am usurping your authority, Captain Walker, but given that our prisoner is wounded and the information she possibly carries, I though it best to ensure her health before we begin interrogations."
Resha got up out of her seat now, finally somewhat calmed down. AS she turned off the Nekrola Frame, the girl climbed down from the fighter form and stood next to it. She was just observing what was going on out of the way. With a supposed captive and her not really being trained for this environment to say the least, it was all she could do; staying out of the way and not fucking with them. She had followed what she had been told to do and considered this a success and contribution to the team.
Because the atmosphere provided on the ship wasn't exactly what her mothership ship and home were filled with, the girl still had the flight helmet up on the skin, providing a natural mixture of "air" to Resha while she calmed down and the chemicals were slowly filtered from her system. In truth, it made her look like an entirely different alien with the suit up, but it was her partner in this crazy world she was delved into and the only one she could really trust. The side effect of this was that she got to watch the happenings of the hangar bay with a good bit more detail and data from her suit picking up on things and informing her.
Mary sat, coughing in her cockpit for a moment or two, before popping the canopy of her fighter and bailing over the side, not even waiting for the boarding ladder to deploy. Landing on the deck with a solid bang, she coughed a couple more times, then reached up to unlatch the helmet from her flightsuit.
Pulling it free, she glanced inside the mass of composites, ceramics and circuitry, and grimaced slightly as the sight of a bit of aspirated blood on the mouth piece. Later... She thought, right now she had a fucking moron to correct. Tossing the helmet onto a nearby crate, she stalked out of her hanger, wiping her nose with the back of her gloved left hand as she did; her hand came back with dark streaks staining the back of the glove, showing she had a pretty good nose bleed going as well.
Storming down the corridors towards the main hanger where she knew Resha kept her rig, Mary scattered any of the ship's crew that encountered her; to say she looked like hammered shit, would be putting it lightly. Her hair was glued to her head and face because of her sweat, the whites of her eyes where now a dull pink due to a number of burst blood vessels, and blood was smeared around her nose and mouth from her coughing and such.
Stepping into the hanger, her eye's locked, first, on Resha's craft, and then moments later on the pilot herself, standing nearby. Off to one side there was ship's crew rushing around Mar's Devil-Fish, but at the moment that was a distant second in terms of priority. With brisk strides, Mary covered the distance between her and the young Kyrnoxian; "Resha!" She barked, approaching from behind. As Resha turned, Mary was within reach, and grabbed her shoulder to spin her around faster, while at the same time driving in a vicious body shot with her right fist.
Mary was going for what was colloquially known as a 'disciplinary punch'. Hard enough to hurt like hell, and stun the recipient, but not so hard as to warrant an extended sickbay stay, or at least that was the plan. As Mary's left gripped Resha's shoulder, she realized the Kyrnoxian's 'flightsuit' was more armoured than she'd realized; this would cause many people to re-evaluate their course of action...Mary just added some more force to her punch. Having swung Resha around to face her, Mary drove her mechanical right fist into the young pilot's abdomen, while switching her left hand to the suited alien's neck.
"What in the seven fresh hells were you thinking you stupid fucking cunt!?" She hollered. "Were you born that fuck retarded, or was it something you had to work up to!? Sitting up here with your fist up your fucking ass, WHEN THERE WERE HOSTILES ENCROACHING ON THE FUCKING SHIP...and then...AND THEN...you abandoned, OUR UN-FUCKING ARMED, ride out!" By this point, another nose bleed had started, adding a fresh trickle of scarlet down Mary's face. "You're just fucking lucky that frigate didn't take a shot at Sweety, or you would have killed all of us!" Letting go of Resha's neck, Mary pushed her back. "And don't give me any of that 'Walker told me to' shit. If you had any fucking common sense you should've fucking known that was a stupid call, and said so." Mary started to turn away, she still had Walker to go yell at, and wanted to swing by sickbay to get the minor bleeding sorted out, but she stopped and looked back at Resha.
"If you're stupidity puts me in danger again, I'll dump you out the nearest airlock." With that, she resumed her exit of the main hanger, muttering to herself about 'oxygen thieving amateurs'.
The pilot was observing the goings on of the hangar when she felt the shoulder and a punch that took the wind from her. Thanks to the bio mass, that was really all it did, maybe some bruising on the gut. Feeling the woman's hand through her pilot suit, she could only stare back as the translator soaked in the words for her, approximating what she was saying back to her own language. Good exercise the suit figured, but Resha herself, a basket of emotions as she tried to process this rant coming into her ears. She was angry at the woman for not understanding who she was, going immediately to some form of violence. Were all humans this violent? The captain seemed ok. But Mary had managed to upset Resha once more after an already stressful first combat where she fired on every cylinder she had, and then some. The Alien wasn't taking this one quietly, wanting to keep up the trend in showing some sort of a backbone since the meeting, she fired back for better or for worse.
Catching her breath, she stepped out and stared at the walking away Mary, pulling down the suit face so she could say it herself. "I am Scientist. No Military. I take Orders, Do them. I no merc! i no pirate, i no you! All orders keep me alive. I followed dangerous tests but lived with orders! You call me Stupid, but you hit allies who only try to help! You no think about damaging trust and relations before making yourself happy and satisfying anger instead of teaching new person! Even the pirates give me warning before attacking me, you learn something from them!" she called off, clenching a fist and trying to calm herself down. She just jumped on what her gut had told her to call out. Putting up her helmet again, the girl would need time to cool off, but she wasn't about to turn her back on Mary. That was the one thing that she had just been taught, not to trust the psychotic female. Such was the case, she'd be ready to activate the suit's personal shield to protect herself need be.
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Hanger
Goading the Goats...
If the purpose of Mary's outburst was to make an impression on the prisoner seated in the Devil-Fish, she had succeeded in confirming SARA-00735's growing suspicions regarding the mercenary group that her and her comrades had encountered on the Sasleyrian surface. This group was as inexperienced as it was ineffective in combat. It appeared that only a combination of luck and presence of the TGR and Chronus ships, comparatively greater threats than this crew, allowed for the survival of this Orion Company. Their luck would not last much longer, not if SARA-00735 had any say in the matter. Since her arrival on the Sasleyrian surface her armor had been broadcasting a heart beat beacon to her home ship, which was broadcasting a response beacon to keep her and her armor from self destructing. Now, out of range of the ship's beacon, she had two hours until self termination, an unacceptable outcome in SARA-00735's mind since it would allow for this group of bottom feeders to escape. If they were to kill her, on the other hand, her armor would use its remaining power to broadcast a hyperwave pulse which would alert her comrades to her location.
Watching the heated exchange that had transpired between the two female pilots an idea began to unfold. She needed only to get the attention of the foul mouthed pilot who appeared to have internal bleeding. As the woman passed, SARA-00735 stomped her boot against the floor of the transport.
*STOMP! ---------- STOMP! -------- STOMP! ------ STOMP! ---- STOMP! -- STOMP! STOMP! STOMP! STOMP! STOMP! STOMP! *
It was the nearest approximation of a slow clap that SARA-00735 could muster given that her forearm was still in a weakened state from the mauling she had received from the four armed purple furred exotic that had captured her. It might have served as an initial irritant to the already agitated pilot but SARA-00735 needed to ensure that she had the pilot's complete and undivided attention.
"A scientist drafted as a pilot and a pilot who does not know her own limitations! Were it not for the presence of the TGR ships, both of you would likely be flaming smears of organic matter splattered across the Sasleyrian landscape. Tell me pilot, did they they remove your self control when they removed your limbs? Or perhaps, it was your lack of common sense that gifted you those artificial limbs?" SARA-00735 called out, attempting to sound as smug and condescending as possible before turning her attention to the still suited pilot. If her two guards were demanding that she shut her mouth, she did not heed their orders since she continued to speak loudly, her words bouncing off the bare metal walls of the ship's hanger, " And for someone who calls themselves a scientist, you certainly did not apply any sort of logic nor reason when you abandoned your home ship. This transport is obviously not jump capable nor would it have survived in any prolonged combat given the state of its pilot. If you two are being completely honest, as one would expect from comrades, you should tell the truth as to what you are, a fearful girl that hides behind orders to shield herself from responsibility. Were your home ship destroyed by my comrades, you could say that the Captain ordered you to abandon it... or maybe you were all too relieved to hear an order that allowed you into a situation where you could use your fellow pilot as a shield?"
"The Sweety's has a med bay Velka, but thanks for offering. If things turn south, I'll radio you to come help." Walker replied with before he and Edward carried Mar off towards the Medical Bay. With that, Velka disembarked from the Devil-Fish transport and survey the scene. Nothing much was happening, a few technicians running about, an engineer or two checking on the docking clamps for the hangar bay, Mary and Resha arguing... wait a minute.
It appeared that the Kyrnoxian and the Human were having a rather heated argument regarding something that occurred over the skies of the mission site and the resulting implications. With the overall outcome of the mission, not helped in no small part by the prisoner they had who was involved; it was expected that some would exhibit frayed nerves, but did it have to be right after it had ended?
SARA's contribution was even less helpful in calming the situation down, in fact, it had the exact opposite effect; like she was trying to break what unity there existed between main ORION team. Velka had also been getting some odd signals coming from the synthetic unit, but couldn't pinpoint as to their purpose. Right now though, it time to put a stop to this, at least for the time being.
"Pilot Resha! Pilot Mary!" Velka called out to the two in a clear voice with her arms crossed. This managed to get their attention
"Whilst it is natural for there to be disagreements amongst team members, it is not the time for it to become a full-blown argument. I realise I do not have the authority to do so, but I order that the pair of you stay apart for the time being, and save any future disagreements for the debrief; perhaps you'll have thought things a bit more clearly by then. Speaking of which," Velka then turned to face the prisoner.
"You, Unit SARA, are not helping things." She was about to continue, the intercom system in the hangar activated. It was Edward.
"Requesting prisoner transfer and escort to the Medical Bay." Velka activated the communications channel on her wrist computer.
"Understood Pilot Edward. Meet me, Shanoa and Brian outside the Hangar Bay." With that, she closed the connection and turned to face SARA.
"Now, if you'd be so kind." She said gesturing for the prisoner to go in front of them so as not to try anything, not that she wouldn't attempt to do so.
"I am Scientist. No Military. I take Orders, Do them. I no merc! I no pirate, I no you! All orders keep me alive. I followed dangerous tests but lived with orders! You call me Stupid, but you hit allies who only try to help! You no think about damaging trust and relations before making yourself happy and satisfying anger instead of teaching new person! Even the pirates give me warning before attacking me, you learn something from them!"
Mary stopped mid stride, and slowly turned around; but before she could respond, a voice she didn't recognize snarked from the nearby Devil-Fish. Who the fuck is that? She thought, though and further questions were interrupted by Velka...ordering her? "Oh fuck that..." She muttered darkly. Ignoring Resha for the moment, she strode over to the racing shuttle and stepped inside.
Aside from Shanoa, Velka, and whom she assumed was the voice she?d heard, the shuttle was empty. Her eyes tracked across the interior, taking it all in and then focusing on the floor. There was a not insignificant fluid trail that ran the length of the craft, right up to the cockpit. The hell? Did Mar manage to get herself shot? She thought; Mary was pretty sure the big Shree was still alive, Walker would've said something?that said, that was a lot of what was probably blood. Later...
Looking away from the mess, she was focusing her attention on the newcomer, when she heard Ed-plant's voice on the comm. "Negative." She replied, glaring at Velka. "The prisoner is unprocessed and cannot be allowed into any other areas until they are clean." Cutting the channel, her eyes still bore into the bipedal AI. "Don't ever presume to give me orders, got it?" She hissed in a low voice. "In the meantime," She went on at a more conversational level. "Get the prisoner out of that armour and strip her to the skin; I'm sure the ship has a spare jumpsuit for her to wear."
Shifting her attention to the prisoner, Mary carefully removed SARA's helmet and tossed it aside. "Were you trying to upset me?" She asked calmly. "I was insulted worse than that when I was still a child." Without any warning, Mary's right hand viciously flashed through the air as she back-handed SARA hard enough to knock her to the deck of the Devil-Fish. "The prisoner will only speak when spoken to." She said in the same calm tone. Looking back to three remaining member of the ground team, she gestured to SARA. "She doesn't leave this hanger still in that armour."
Leaving them to see to the prisoner, Mary returned to were Resha was still standing. "You wanted to talk about trust?" She said finally. "I don't trust you, or anyone else or this tub, as far as I can piss. There's one person here who might be worth a damn, assuming she's still alive...and do you know why those pirates gave you a warning?" She asked mockingly. "In the hopes you'd give up your rig without damaging it; it'd be worth a lot more credits that way. For you personally? Best case scenario they just shoot you the moment they got a clear shot." For a brief moment, a flash of genuine sadness and deep loathing flashed in her eyes, and then it was gone. "Lord knows I'd eat my gun before I'd let those savages get a hold of me." She added almost absentmindedly.
Mary stood and glared at Resha for another moment or so, before another coughing fit caused her to spit a wad of blood flecked phlegm onto the decking; with that she turned away towards sick bay.
Brian stood in quiet as the shuttle went disappointed the mission was cut short by the panic of Walker over possible looming aerial supremacy of an enemy. When they landed and pulled out he returned to his labours in preparation for whatever would come next. He wasn't sure.
Weapons were reloaded, checked, and set to clean. Armour and internal systems set to do the same as he rode out the drugs and brought his manufactories online, blood being vaporized and broken down as he disconnected himself from and stepped out of his armour. His mind twitched as he disconnected himself again, it was never a pleasant thing to do so for him or the machine. He went over a simple list mentally as he moved. Ammunition drums were reloaded and swapped out, tertiary batteries were swapped out and set to charge, a second row of flares were loaded, the hydrogen cell was checked, and the chamber was resealed.
He listened to the yelling, and as it went he thought it perhaps worthwhile to offer his services in the interrogation of the prisoner which he'd ignored in the flight. It wasn't his business and they should've offed it before they took off. Useless things. If it talked it was broken. He was curious if he'd be able to break it without killing it.
Checking his pistol he walked back to the devil fish and joined in the prisoner transportation.
How, specifically, things were taken care of did not worry Elliot, as long as they were done and locked down when they needed to be, urgency where there deserved to be urgency. What Elliot knew was basic field stuff, bandaging and disinfecting and cauterizing and all that. He'd given orders out of necessity, as Mar had been bleeding quite badly and needed the attention of those with actual medical equipment and expertise. That Walker took charge of the situation for knowing the Sweet Child's facilities better and having more to offer was totally fine, so long as it got Mar out of the 'bleeding out' situation. Elliot had helped him and whoever else bring her safely to the med-bay, where he stood by in case they needed a strong man to help with something. It was kind of a good thing, because after he had heard some yelling outside of the med-bay, he saw Mary stepping on in.
There was a trace of blood on her mouth.
Elliot frowned. Mary had been on board her new fighter. She couldn't have been shot without a hull breach, and any injury somehow sustained would leave an actual mark, which meant that either she'd just been in a fist-fight - which was possible - or something really bad had happened in that cockpit. It had to be that narrow margin of issues, because anything to the left or right of that was probably death. Since he was not currently busy, and because he was on contract to look after her by her brother, he decided to approach her. It didn't help that he was still armed and armored, but he had no weapons out right now, so that should be moderately acceptable, right? Err...right?
"What happened, Mary? You don't look so good right now."
Meanwhile, and utterly due to that Catican's over-exciteable nature, Grace found herself taking care of basic maintenance and a few of the logs and such they used to keep track of things on the Archer. Nothing incredibly important, but necessary, and since she did not have time for much else...it may as well be handled now. However, this was all too easy for her, and quickly ran out of tasks to complete. Well...there was one. May as well take care of that. She opened up communications and contacted Captain Williams. The dispatch officer screened her for identification and purpose of call, all very standard, and then sent her through.
"You work for Mr. Gratsky."
"You have something to report?"
"Yes, and an inquiry, relevent to contract."
She explained that she, Elliot, Mary, and others had been on 'a mission', and during this mission, 'a group of unknowns' attacked in force, without warning. Grace sent him stills of the craft in question, as well, carefully taken from the Archer's cameras so as not to indicate where exactly they had been. It was for his own - and their own - anonymity. Captain Williams appeared to recognize the ships.
"I've seen vessels like this before. I'll have to check more thoroughly, though. How is Mary?"
"All hands returned to the ship prior to leaving the sector. Her ship is included. She is fine."
She gave him some stills of her fighter taking on enemy ships and beating them with ease. That seemed to calm the captain down. Afterwhich, he promised to continue payment and would look into affairs, for now. Grace signed out, then, and decided to pass the time by working out a plan on what she would do to Irina once she was out.
"Negative." Mary cried out with a glare towards Velka. "The prisoner is unprocessed and cannot be allowed into any other areas until they are clean." She then added. "Don't ever presume to give me orders, got it?" She asked rhetorically with a low hiss. "In the meantime," Her voice changed, more conversational yet still sounding rather terse. "Get the prisoner out of that armour and strip her to the skin; I'm sure the ship has a spare jumpsuit for her to wear."
With Mary done she shifted her attention towards SARA and carefully removed her helmet, then carelessly tossed it outside. "Were you trying to upset me?" She asked calmly. "I was insulted worse than that when I was still a child." Then without any prior warning decked SARA with her right hand, sending the synthetic crashing to the loading the ramp of the Devil-Fish. Velka was tempted to respond, but decided against, opting for a more cautious approach. "The prisoner will only speak when spoken to."
She then turned to face Velka, Shanoa and Brian. "She doesn't leave this hanger still in that armour." Mary then went to finish up with Resha before leaving the Hangar Bay. Velka looked to both Brian and Shanoa.
"Did anyone else get the sense of irony in part of what Mary said just now?" She asked before reaching down to pull SARA up from off the floor before retrieving the helmet.
"Might be best if I kept ahold of this for the time being. Presuming things go well, you can have it back." Looking at the helmet, there was a couple of scuff marks and the odd dent, but luckily the visor hadn't cracked. She then activated the communicator on her wrist and contacted Edward again.
"Edward, it's Velka, slight change of plans, going to need a spare jumpsuit for the prisoner. Also a quick heads up, Mary is on your way, look somewhat perturbed." Velka then turned to face SARA.
"Apologies if this sounds like a dumb question, but are you capable of removing the armour yourself, or do you need assistance?"
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Hanger
Getting to know you... getting to know everything about you...
Pain, whether caused by the firing of nerve receptors or generated by their synthetic analog, was an ideal, evolutionary proven method of negative reinforcement, a response or behavior is strengthened by stopping, removing or avoiding a negative outcome or aversive stimulus. From the standpoint of an android, pain was necessary, as not all responses could be pre-programmed at creation, but still it was an annoyance to deal with, especially since her purpose generally revolved around violence. While pain could exist without violence, violence, at its core, could not exist without pain.
Despite the fact that pain had been used as a method for behavior modification since before the dawn of civilization, it was still a useful component of learning. If one were to take SARA-00735's current situation into consideration, she had quickly learned a number of things from the singular strike to the side of her head. Primarily, she had acquired the knowledge that if she was to push the cybernetically augmented pilot toward terminating her, she needed to do more than just hurl a few choice words. The second thing that she'd learned from the strike to the head was that the pilot, later identified as Mary, appeared to suffer from deep psychological scarring due to historical, personal trauma that was not fully connected to the limbs that she had lost. This might have stemmed from childhood physical abuse or time spent in the military, which would not have allowed her to stay were it to find out about her psychological ailments. In all probability, this pilot was the sort of person that committed multiple acts of violence on a daily basis, especially since it appeared that she considered it to be a valid form of communication among comrades. While violence was also intrinsically linked with this woman's profession, without intensive psychological intervention, the pilot was likely to cause an incident that would result in the deaths of multiple thousands of non-combatants.
"The prisoner will only speak when spoken to." The Pilot stated before looking at her subordinates "She doesn't leave this hanger still in that armour."
If this pilot's purpose was to make SARA-00725 scream in outrage and thrash about over the threats implied by being stripped of her clothing, the pilot had failed. One could not dehumanize what was not human. If she had been attempting to establish her dominance over her prisoner, Mary was wasting her breath. SARA-00735 was already a simple piece of property that followed the orders that she was given by her superiors and she was aware of her position as a prisoner aboard a ship filled with en unknown number of enemy soldiers. As the android prisoner watched the pilot disembark from the transport, she had the words, "Synthetic Lifeform, SARA Serial Number 00725" on the tip of her tongue, when she was interrupted by the sensation of her body being lifted.
"Did anyone else get the sense of irony in part of what Mary said just now?" A voice said from behind the imprisoned Android. Turning to face the source of the voice, SARA was quite surprised to find a whimsically designed mechanical unit had assisted in standing. Observing the unit, SARA-00735 noted that it was holding her helmet, "Might be best if I kept ahold of this for the time being. Presuming things go well, you can have it back."
Rather than repeating the standardized line that she had been since her capture, the prisoner simply nodded and as she did, she caught sight of herself in the reflection in her helmet. She often wondered what sort of thought process had gone into her design. The ability to bruise and bleed seemed quite superfluous even if the design emphasis was on a unit that could blend in with the human populace but even then if that was the design mandate, why did the engineers design her with 25% larger than standard human eyes? Perhaps the engineers had been fans of the artistic designs of the pre-TGR nation called Japan, that would have certainly explained why she had blue hair growing synthetic hair follicles embedded in her scalp. She noted the growing bruise on her cheek underneath her right eye, compliments of the pilot named Mary.
"Edward, it's Velka, slight change of plans, going to need a spare jumpsuit for the prisoner. Also a quick heads up, Mary is on your way, look somewhat perturbed." The unit of strange design stated into her radio before turning her attention back to SARA-00735, "Apologies if this sounds like a dumb question, but are you capable of removing the armour yourself, or do you need assistance."
SARA paused for a moment, her circuits thrown into a state of confusion by the sudden turn in treatment. While her programming told her that she should be repeating her name and serial number for her captors she did not. Instead she found herself inexplicably shaking her head. The more she thought about it though, the more it made sense. If they attempted to pry off the armor, like Mary would have inevitably would have suggested, the armor's fail-safes would have activated and there would be a large hole in the hanger where the transport used to be. While this was an outcome SARA-00735 was not opposed to, her mission parameters were to ensure that no witnesses to the retrieval of the artifact went free. This meant that her armor needed to stay intact to that it could either broadcast its hyperwave signal or one of her organization's ships picked up her location beacon. Perhaps it was the pain dampeners speaking for her but she found herself speaking moments later.
"Negative. My armor cannot be removed without the properly encoded equipment. Without the properly encoded equipment, there is a high likelihood that my armor will explode, causing a rupture in this freighter's hull, a hole through which a large portion of your flight crew will be sucked into the vacuum of deep space." The Android said simply before appearing to be deep in though, "The only other method would be to activate the ejection sequence. The one issue is that the ejection system has been disabled and the only way to reactivate the system through the diagnostics port."
It might have sounded like SARA-00735 was being helpful but by activating the ejection system, which was designed to allow medics quick access to an otherwise sealed environment, but if the ejection system was activated the hyperwave pulse would be broadcast and her comrades would be informed as to the ship's location. But neither Velka nor the rest of her crew members needed to know that.
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Hanger
Catican Escort Service
Edward had gotten the message from both Mary and Velka while waiting for the Automated Medical Doctor to complete the procedure on Mar. Moving to grab a jumpsuit from a locker, Edward paused and instead turned towards the captain and excused himself.
"If you will excuse me Captain, I will go retrieve Mary for a medical screening before delivering the jumpsuit to the prisoner." The overly large Catican Shock Trooper said before exiting the Medical Bay. The corridor that lead to the hanger was relatively short, causing Edward to stoop low for a majority of the trip that ran half the length of the ship. Stopping at the door that lead into the hanger, the Catican waited for his comrade, fairly sure that she would be walking through at any time and as predicted the door opened and presented a pilot who appeared to have fought a Farland Sloth Bear and escaped to tell the tale.
"Greetings Pilot Mary, I'm here to escort you to the Medical Bay," The Over Sized Armed Purple Rug said, his eyes following Mary as she ignored him, "Pilot Mary, considering that you have burst quite a few blood vessels in your eyes, it's possible that you might have strained a few blood vessels in your brain. I am not going to insult you by offering to carry you but at the same time I am not going to risk a comrade's life when it is something as simple as making sure you get to the medical bay in one piece."
"I appreciate the concern Ed-plant, but I've been through worse," Mary said, stopping and turning before she started rolling her right shoulder for emphasis
"Yes, that is apparent, however I do not believe that you would find it worse if a blood vessel burst in your motor cortex and paralysed on half of your body for the remainder of your life, keeping you from your chosen profession as pilot. Allow me, as your comrade, to escort you to the medical bay. It is no trouble on my part and it would relieve one of many worries that have gathered up this day." Edward paused for a moment as if listening to something. From where he was standing, he could hear Mary's heart beating very rapidly in her chest, "May I also suggest that you attempt to calm yourself. An increased blood pressure can increase the likelihood in a brain bleed. If you require assistance, might I suggest a hug? According to my studies on Terran physiology... studies that I should clarify were with the purpose of killing Terrans on the battlefield... a hug is one of the many suggested manners in which Terrans can ease stress."
"Don't take this the wrong way, but touch me and I'll shoot you in the foot"
"Very well. Then rather than debate the matter, if you will lead the way, I will follow and ensure your safe arrival at the medical bay."
"Fine." The Former Terran Pirate stated after a long sigh before continuing on towards the medical bay.
"If you will allow me a question. In observing your combat prowess over the storage facility, I find your maneuvers to be quite... unconventional and dangerous for humans. Most humans I have met would have opted for a more conservative approach, especially when it comes to individuals that you have no inherent bonds with. Your knowledge of the crew is only slightly greater than that of a total stranger. So why put yourself at risk?"
"Why not? It's not like I'm likely to live to be an old woman."
"A cryptic answer but an answer never the less. Another question... has anyone ever questioned your sanity?"
"Once or twice a day usually." Mary said with a grin.
Staring at the prisoner Brian considered the words of the manufactured soldier and what he remembered of his dealings with such things. After a few moments he spoke into one of the comms channels through his implants, assuming the two AI in the room next to him would be able to hear it, and assuming it was one of the ones Walker would be monitoring as he'd heard him speak on it. "This is Brian Wojtek. The prisoner claims to be rigged with explosives. It's also offering a way to disarm them. I find this suspect. A manufactured units priority is often suicide in the case of capture to prevent capture of proprietary technology." Still looking at the armour he paused briefly before continuing, "I'm going to take a shot in the dark and assume there's a tracking device of some variety activated by disarming the suicide switch. Does this vessel have the capacity to jam outbound long range transmission?"
Speaking openly he asked SARA, "Where's the diagnostic port?"
Continuing in the comms channel without waiting for a response from Walker, he directed a question at the two next to him "What do you think the odds are that enabling the system is what sets the charge off?"
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route out of Sasleyria Space | Med Bay
"If it doesn't shut up, I'll shut it up myself."
One could call the Sweet Child of Mine's Med Bay quiet, if they had walked in at that very moment. But only if they ignored not only the mechanical whirring of the Med-Doc's spindly arms, but also it's synthesized voice arguing with it's patient.
"Be more gentle, that fucking hurts, you know!" Mar growled through her teeth as she laid on her stomach on the now-bloodied exam table.
She was effectively shirtless, with the top-half of her pilot's jumpsuit having been cut off to get better access to her wounds. It showed that, true-to-form for a non-mammalian species, Shree had no breasts, though the smooth barrel-chest she did have could be considered attractive in its own way.
As it had turned out, two out of the three gunshot wounds had been through-and-through, though they left a few bullet shards in her. The last, however, had well and truly embedded itself in her stubborn Shree flesh.
"You're lucky. Those shots only grazed some of your organs, they didn't rip through them. If they had, you would have been even worse off. So just lay still while I get this last... There!" the Med-Doc exclaimed triumphantly as one of it's arms pulled out the final bullet from her back.
The process caused Mar to flinch on the table, then level a sideways glare at Walker, who decided to keep her company during the procedure. To say that she was unhappy with her current situation was an understatement, and having an audience didn't exactly help matters.
"Good, you got it out, now finish the job and shut down you irritating piece of medical excrement!" she barked at the Med-Doc, before adding to Walker, "You know, we oughta modify this thing. Make it quieter. I don't need some porcine-handed robotic doctor chatting away at me at the same time as it's cutting on me!"
While the Med-Doc muttered about being unappreciated in the workplace, it sprayed a sterile wound-sealant over the entry wounds on her back, just like it had on the exit wounds in her belly earlier. Over the sounds of the automated doctor's work, Mar could hear the sound of footsteps getting closer just outside in the hall, and she propped herself up a little with all four hands and looked back.
"Looks like we've got visitors." she told Walker before calling out, "You guys come to see the dumbass pilot who got shot on the ground on her first mission, or am I not the only one on our side who took a bullet today? Sure hope not."
Stepping through the doors of the infirmary, Mary's grin faltered a bit when she spotted Walker; but she quickly put those feelings aside for now. Heal now, yell later. She thought as she angled towards the medical supply cabinets.
"What happened, Mary? You don't look so good right now."
She cautiously eyed the approaching bounty hunter. Why the concern? She thought; she'd gotten here under her own power, wasn't leaking anything on the floor, and they certainly hadn't developed a rapport since they'd all signed on. Unable to come up with a satisfactory answer in the moment, she set all that aside for the moment. "Like I said to Ed-plant," She replied, jerking a thumb towards the big Catican behind her. "I've been hurt worse. Over stressed my inertial dampeners during my last dive; a little internal bleeding, nothing major."
"You guys come to see the dumbass pilot who got shot on the ground on her first mission, or am I not the only one on our side who took a bullet today? Sure hope not."
Looking over at the top-less Shree, Mary gave Mar a huge smile. "Nope, you're the only one to get her dumb ass shot." She chirped as she began to dig around amongst the medical supplies. "Couldn't help but noticing too, that there were no holes in Devil-Fish's hull." Emerging from the cabinet with a canister, a medical face mask and a cloth, she moved over to a nearby counter that was more in Mar's line of sight.
"That means you were outside the ship when you decided to play 'catch' with whomever was shooting at you." As she spoke, Mary set about attaching the mask to the canister. "Now I know the Shree are a fighty bunch, but I figured you were smart enough to leave the crawling in the muck to 'these' knuckle draggers." She added gesturing to the others. "On a purely selfish note," She went on. "I'd appreciate you not getting your ass shot off...you're the only one here I can talk flying to."
Construction complete, she stuck the mask over her nose and mouth and depressed a button on the side of the canister. There was a rapid 'hiss' of gas, then Mary seemed to stagger, dropping the canister as she did. Catching herself, she coughed a few times and beat her balled up right fist against the counter top, while supporting her body with her left. "Fucking Hell that stings..." She gasped after a moment. Wetting the cloth in a nearby sink, she wiped her face before turning back to the others.
"Direct inhalation of DNA-origami nanobots. Little fuckers are great for rapidly dealing with large scale minor wounds, but they sting like a bastard." She still looked, and smelled, sweaty and battered, but the blood shot eyes were rapidly clearing and her breathing was so much clearer. After setting the canister back on the counter, she ignored the protestations of the overhead Auto-Doc and walked up to Mar to get a good look. "Ah, not too bad; make up a good story to go with it and it may even get you a free, whatever the Hell those things you Shree like to traumatize, are."
Walker sighed as the doc was working on Mar. This whole mission was one big fucked up. He went to a wall and lean against it. Trying to figure out what their next move should be in this all. Both Chronus and the TGR are going to be pissed. Though how much of it will be unknown until the time comes.
Walker heard Edward asking for the prisoner to be transferred over to the medical bay. Thinking it was a good call as he was a bit to focus on Mar. He knew he should be taking command better of his own ship, but he needed to make sure his own people were taken care of first and foremost.
"Apologies if I am usurping your authority, Captain Walker, but given that our prisoner is wounded and the information she possibly carries, I thought it best to ensure her health before we begin interrogations."
"Don't worry Ed. I would have made the call myself but I was a bit worried about Mar." He then said something softly to himself. "I don't want to lose anyone else..." He was about to think up some bad memories of his ex-team but push those thoughts aside. There was nothing he could do now about them. Right now he had to think about this team.
That was then Walker heard Mary over the radio, "Negative. The prisoner is unprocessed and cannot be allowed into any other areas until they are clean."
Walker sigh as while he would rather make sure the Prisoner was fine. He also knew Mary was right. Though before he could say a thing, someone else chimes in about the prisoner.
"This is Brian Wojtek. The prisoner claims to be rigged with explosives. It's also offering a way to disarm them. I find this suspect. A manufactured units priority is often suicide in the case of capture to prevent capture of proprietary technology. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and assume there's a tracking device of some variety activated by disarming the suicide switch. Does this vessel have the capacity to jam outbound long range transmission?"
"Alright...here the plan people. If no one else has any expertise with this kind of explosive, take the prisoner to Pitt's workshop room. Work off the armor the best you can and Shanona can you keep making sure that the prisoner doesn't give off any signals to be tracked? I rather not get shot in the ass while we are still recovering from this fucked up mission."
After he got off the radio he turns his head to Mar to see how she was doing. Seeing her operation was finished, "You know, we oughta modify this thing. Make it quieter. I don't need some porcine-handed robotic doctor chatting away at me at the same time as it's cutting on me!" Walker chuckled at her reaction.
Before Walker could say anything else, he heard someone coming and then Mar spoke up. "Looks like we've got visitors.You guys come to see the dumbass pilot who got shot on the ground on her first mission, or am I not the only one on our side who took a bullet today? Sure hope not."
Walker shook his head, "Not a dumbass. Just an unlucky one." Walker adds in. Though he saw it was Mary as he hoped she was alright as he watches her start to work on herself.
The Auto-doc try to talk to Mary about letting him look over her, but he was getting igrored. Walker just kept to himself while Mary and Mar chatted. Walking back up to Ed as he look over at the purple cat. "So need anything while we are here, or are you fine?"
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Hanger
Critical Care Cat
Despite being familiar with the custom, most Catican Shock Trooper never understood the behavior where one comrade teased another comrade regarding wounds they had received on the battlefield. The reason a soldier was wounded came in one of two ways: Either the soldier was negligent and provided an opportunity for the enemy to shoot them or the enemy had superior tactics. Regardless of the reason a soldier was wounded, the wound was the lesson to either be more careful in the future or come up with better strategies. There was no need to reinforce a lesson through humor when the bullet had already done so with much greater efficiency. Like his brethren, Edward did not fully grasp the tradition but he had been around other species long enough to know that it was a tradition that was welcomed.
"Looks like we've got visitors. You guys come to see the dumbass pilot who got shot on the ground on her first mission, or am I not the only one on our side who took a bullet today? Sure hope not." The Shree Patient said with a voice filled with expectation.
"Nope, you're the only one to get her dumb ass shot." The Human of the crew's two primary pilots prefaced, "Couldn't help but noticing too, that there were no holes in Devil-Fish's hull. That means you were outside the ship when you decided to play 'catch' with whomever was shooting at you. Now I know the Shree are a fighty bunch, but I figured you were smart enough to leave the crawling in the muck to 'these' knuckle draggers." Mary continued before arriving at a punchline, "On a purely selfish note, I'd appreciate you not getting your ass shot off...you're the only one here I can talk flying to."
"Not a dumbass. Just an unlucky one." The Captain added signaling it was Edward's turn.
"Perhaps next time you decide to get wounded in the line of duty, you could get shot a few more times," The Four Eyed, Four Armed, Purple Furred Murderator started hesitantly but with a slightly uncomfortable grin on his face, "I believe the captain would have been delighted to carry you to the medical bay if you were a several bullet sized chunks of flesh lighter."
Satisfied with and relieved to have given with his words of encouragement to the wounded pilot, the Catican Shock Trooper walked towards one of the storage lockers intent on retrieving a jumpsuit for the prisoner aboard the Devil-Fish, his thoughts one the transmission that his fellow combat lead, Brian Wojtek had sent.
"This is Brian Wojtek. The prisoner claims to be rigged with explosives. It's also offering a way to disarm them. I find this suspect. A manufactured units priority is often suicide in the case of capture to prevent capture of proprietary technology."
In response, The Captain had ordered that they take the prisoner to the workshop while jamming any signal being broadcast by both the prisoner and her armor, an order that was fairly logical, though Edward had some doubts as to whether or not the prisoner was worth all the trouble that they were going through in order to ensure her survival. Ground soldiers were seldom given knowledge of overall operational strategy in case of capture and were very rarely given knowledge of future operations prior to being mobilized. However, there was always the possibility that the truth of why the events unfolded as they had on Sasleyria could be pieced together based on what the prisoner knew.
The intelligence regarding the enemy force that had surprised Orion Company on Sasleyria, felt secondary to the Catican Trooper however, as he had caught a strange scent on Mary as they had traversed the ship corridors. Having gotten a better look at his comrade, he realized that the curious scent was not her's but rather came from the small splotch of blood on Mary's clothing. While the scent held no Catican genes, what it did have was the tell tale scent of the chemicals used in Catican gene splicing. This left the Catican Shock Trooper wondering what sort of organization they were dealing with that had access to a closely guarded Catican secret.
"Negative. My armour cannot be removed without the properly encoded equipment. Without the properly encoded equipment, there is a high likelihood that my armour will explode, causing a rupture in this freighter's hull, a hole through which a large portion of your flight crew will be sucked into the vacuum of deep space."
'Well, that is somewhat worrying.' Thought Velka as Unit SARA gave a brief pause in her response before continuing. "The only other method would be to activate the ejection sequence. The one issue is that the ejection system has been disabled and the only way to reactivate the system is through the diagnostics port."
'Makes you think how it got disabled in the first place. Perhaps a diagnostic on the armour once disabled will yield results.' Velka was about to pose that question to Unit SARA before receiving a transmission on the private comm link, albeit not directed specifically at her.
"This is Brian Wojtek. The prisoner claims to be rigged with explosives. It's also offering a way to disarm them. I find this suspect. A manufactured units priority is often suicide in the case of capture to prevent capture of proprietary technology."
"I'm going to take a shot in the dark and assume there's a tracking device of some variety activated by disarming the suicide switch. Does this vessel have the capacity to jam outbound long range transmission?" Brian then casually asked Unit SARA in person where the diagnostic port was, just to show they were at least considering the idea. Moments later, he sent a private message to both Velka and Shanoa.
"What do you think the odds are that enabling the system is what sets the charge off?" After a few moments to compose her response, Velka sent her thoughts on the subject.
"Hmm, it is certainly possible Pilot Wojtek, I have been getting some unusual signals from the Unit in the last few moments. Or it could be that the reactivation of the system simply arms the explosives, allowing her the opportunity to set them off at her convenience. Probably should keep talking with her though, just in case she suspects we know something." By then she received the orders from Captain Walker to move SARA to the workshop.
"Right, a change of destination before we get you to Medical, Prisoner SARA. A stop off at the ship's workshop to see if we have something that can help with the reactivation sequence. Pilot Wojtek you take point, myself and Operative Shanoa will take the rearguard."
Shanoa had zoned out for most the flight back. She had the strangest feeling of dejavu and that was bothering her, so she was focused on that. At least until 'the pirate' decided to start barking orders. Which she readily ignored in-favor of pretending to be 'off line'. Sides if the prisoner was an issue they should just toss her out the nearest air lock ...
Shanoa again found her self pausing, this time mid thought. She might not be any kind of saint, and had no issue with killing people, but she preferred to at least have a reason to do so first. Tossing some one out the air lock for such a minor, and easily remedied, thing was a new one on her.
"There's no need to move her yet." Shanoa, finally speaking up, and walking toward the group. "Just give me an access port and I'll deal with this, here and now."
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Hanger
Tracking down the tracking device
"Alright all you Jennas, good job. Come back home and we'll get you recharged and bunked up... [email protected]!
get back over here! Works done! No... no you can't use your plasma cannons to weld another screw in place! Just... just get back in here!" The Drone Wrangler cooed and screeched to her brood before sending a message to the Archer, "Redeemer to Archer. Repairs on Sweetie's Airlock are all set. You should be able to hook up and stretch your legs now." The Not-So-Professional Pilot paused for a moment, her face turning slightly red despite the fact that no one was in the room to see her,"... ummm... sorry about that... Redeemer out."
With the three Jenna repair drones on their way back to the shuttle, Irina Rostikova checked the status of her six Constance surveillance drones and her singular Victoria cloaking drone, making sure that they were in the proper position relative to the freighter. Having been on the run from the Catican Hegemony for a while now, she, at Edward's insistence, had settled into a habit of deploying her drones whenever the Redeemer stopped to recharge or perform jump calibration. Seeing as how they had just evaded being turned into frozen chunks of meat floating in vacuum, the impromptu Catican Communications analyst thought that monitoring ship traffic around the Sweetie would be another way to help extend their strained chances of survival. Now that the repairs were completed and the jump drive was likely recharged by now, it was just about time to recall the Constance and Victoria drones, though she would leave that to the Captain's discretion since he had a better overall view of what was going on.
"Captain Walker" The Casteless Catican Merchant Mechanic called out over comms, "Repairs on Airlock #1 are finished. I've recalled my Jennas. I've got some Constance sensor drones out around our airspace checking comms and ship traffic. Give me a head's up whenever we're ready to get underway again and I'll recall them before we jump to... where ever we're going to go next."
Checking the positions of her Constance surveillance drones, Irina's eyes were drawn to a sudden narrow band broadcast. While it should not have been any cause for concern, the fact that the encrypted broadcast had originated from the Sweetie was definitely a cause for concern. While a random communications burst might have been nothing, the cautious Catican decided not to take any chances, checking her sensor logs since their arrival in the middle of nowhere.
"Dammit." The Catican Kitten cursed, noting that the same burst had been broadcast ten minutes prior and then ten minutes prior to that one... almost like a homing beacon.
"Hey Constances... I'll need your help for this one..." The Drone Mom said as she attempted to triangulate the source of the signal.
The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Hanger
Dialogue over Diagnostics
Were the android prisoner capable of suffering from metaphorical whiplash, she might have suffered a severe case what with the sudden changes in plans. First she was not to be moved out of the hanger without being removed out of her armor and then she was to be moved to the ship's workshop and now with the latest suggestion, she was once again being forced to stay aboard the transport ship. Having a decentralized chain of command was advantageous if the ship's Captain were ever killed in the line of duty but running a ship as some sort of strange democracy was a few degrees of crazy greater than obscenely ludicrous. With this many "Captains" aboard a ship, there was little doubt as to why they had failed to retrieve the artifact while her obedient and organized comrades had successfully retrieved the artifact.
"Where's the diagnostic port?" A heavily armored guard asked, prompting SARA-00735 to lean forward, displaying a silver spinal support column built into the back of her matte black armor. The port itself was a standard eighth generation Firebolt universal serial bus port that was compatible with most terminals and machine interfaces. While it might have been easier to have designed a wireless diagnostics protocol, it would have been inviting unauthorized enemy operators to hack into her armor's subsystems right in the middle of combat.
"Right, a change of destination before we get you to Medical, Prisoner SARA. A stop off at the ship's workshop to see if we have something that can help with the reactivation sequence. Pilot Wojtek you take point, myself and Operative Shanoa will take the rearguard." The Humanoid Mechanical Unit ordered, prompting prisoner SARA-00735 to start standing up.
"There's no need to move her yet." The feline mechanical unit stated, moving towards the prisoner, prompting her to stop mid stand, "Just give me an access port and I'll deal with this, here and now."
"Perhaps you should move your workshop into this ship as a compromise?" the reconnaissance android quipped before presenting her armor's diagnostics port once again, "According to the design specifications for my armor, the self destruct system will automatically disengage if the armor's emergency release system is activated. The emergency release was designed to allow a medic quick access to a wounded combatant. If you are thinking that the emergency release also triggers the armor's self destruct sequence, that is a flawed hypothesis as the resulting explosion would kill both the armor's wearer as well as the medic attempting to assist the armor's wearer."
Continuing the lean forward, the android waited for any member of the trio aboard the ship to plug into the diagnostics port, hoping that they would not place the armor in storage mode where it would assume a small compact for ideal for storage.
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route out of Sasleyria Space | Med Bay
"Now that you mention it, I could go for a Tsi'vaan right about now."
Once she finished calling out into the hallway, Mar could hear Walker's voice off to one side. She spared a glance over in his direction as he spoke.
"Not a dumbass. Just an unlucky one."
"Still feel like a dumbass." she murmured, before turning to see who walked into the Med Bay.
She was a little surprised to watch both Edward and Mary stride in, especially since she was pretty sure that Mary wasn't hit while in the Sasleyrian skies, and Edward seemed to avoid the bullets flying in the warehouse a whole lot better than she had. Considering his sheer size, that only made Mar feel more embarrassed about having been shot. His words of encouragement didn't help matters.
"Perhaps next time you decide to get wounded in the line of duty, you could get shot a few more times, believe the captain would have been delighted to carry you to the medical bay if you were a several bullet sized chunks of flesh lighter."
Something was off, though, and Mar couldn't pin down just what it was until Elliot asked Mary what was wrong. The Shree's eyes narrowed as she inspected the former Pirate more intensely at a distance and she realized he was right: She was looking a little rough herself.
"Like I said to Ed-plant, I've been hurt worse. Over stressed my inertial dampeners during my last dive; a little internal bleeding, nothing major."
While internal bleeding sounded rather major to Mar, she wasn't too surprised at the cause. The next moment, Mary turned to her and grinned wide even as she riffled through some of the cabinets and drawers for what she needed.
"Nope, you're the only one to get her dumb ass shot. Couldn't help but noticing too, that there were no holes in Devil-Fish's hull."
"No, but there are a few dents now..." Mar grumbled, only for Mary to continue.
"That means you were outside the ship when you decided to play 'catch' with whomever was shooting at you. Now I know the Shree are a fighty bunch, but I figured you were smart enough to leave the crawling in the muck to 'these' knuckle draggers."
Her four eyes narrowed again, this time into a glare. Twisting uncomfortably on the operating table, she swung her legs out from under her so that she could actually sit, and she absentmindedly placed a false-hand on her belly where her exit-wounds were.
"Well it was either go out and help on the ground, or be a sitting water fowl in my very stationary, quite unarmed shuttle. And since I got to fry a few of the bastards down there, I'd say it wasn't a complete waste of my time. Even saved the Captain here." she added, jerking a true-hands thumb in Walker's direction and saying a little more loudly, "For which he owes me dinner!"
"On a purely selfish note, I'd appreciate you not getting your ass shot off...you're the only one here I can talk flying to."
With a soft chuckle and a wince, Mar said, "You and me both."
The Shree then watched as Mary put on a breathing mask hooked up to an odd metal canister and inhaled, before nearly doubling over and beating on the nearby counter with a free hand. She started to reach over with a true-hand out of concerned reflex before the former pirate let out a few coughs.
"Fucking Hell that stings... Direct inhalation of DNA-origami nanobots. Little fuckers are great for rapidly dealing with large scale minor wounds, but they sting like a bastard."
The look of concern didn't leave Mar's face, looking her over with a frown. But Mary didn't seem to pay any mind as she walked over and inspected the Shree's wounds.
"Ah, not too bad; make up a good story to go with it and it may even get you a free, whatever the Hell those things you Shree like to traumatize, are."
At that point, whatever concern she had vanished. Mostly, anyway. With a look of mock-indignation, Mar huffed and got to her feet, gathering the scraps that were left of the top-half of her jumpsuit.
"Those things that Shree like to 'traumatize', as you call it, are Tsi'vaan. Or, translated more directly, Mind-Crawlers. They're one of the few remaining parts of my people's culture, dammit." she said, though it was clear that there was an upward twitch to the corners of her mouth.
At that point, the Med-Doc finally spoke up again, this time with some authority in it's synthesized voice.
"Don't overdo it. You've still lost a lot of blood. Your coordination will be impaired, and you shouldn't move too much. The wound-seal that I sprayed on will only hold up to so much, so don't reopen your wounds." it told her.
Mar knew that it was right thanks to the sudden bout of dizziness she had now that she was on her feet, but she forced herself to stand straight out of a sense of bruised pride if nothing else.
"I'll be fine. I don't plan on tearing my wounds back open, and as for the blood-loss, a few tubes of nutrient paste and something to drink will help." Mar shot back testily.
"There's no need to move her yet," Said Shanoa, who finally seemed to have been paying attention to what was going on around her, having looked a bit spaced out for most of the flight back. "Just give me an access port and I'll deal with this, here and now."
"Perhaps you should move your workshop into this ship as a compromise?" SARA asked rhetorically, presenting her diagnostics port in the process.
"According to the design specifications for my armour, the self-destruct system will automatically disengage if the armour's emergency release system is activated. The emergency release was designed to allow a medic quick access to a wounded combatant. If you are thinking that the emergency release also triggers the armour's self-destruct sequence, that is a flawed hypothesis as the resulting explosion would kill both the armour's wearer as well as the medic attempting to assist the armour's wearer."
"Look," Velka said aloud focusing attention on her. "Can we just get moving to the workshop please instead of standing around here, soon as we have the armour safely analysed and then removed, the sooner we can proceed with things."
"As I was saying, Wojtek, you take the lead in the transfer, myself and Shanoa will act as rearguard. Now, let us get moving before we waste more time; whilst we're not exactly on a schedule, it would be preferable to have this sorted sooner rather than later." With that out of the way and everyone positioned, the group moved out of the makeshift hangar bay. Along the way, she sent a private message to the Captain.
Moving prisoner to the workshop to begin armour analysis, will keep you informed of developments.
Time spent in the medbay was somewhere between morbid and amusing to watch. Now that Mar was in the capable appendages of the auto-doc, the life-threatening part of this emergency was essentially over. Robot doctors were as expert as how they were programmed, which is to say 'Very well'. Out of all the things that the Sweet Child could skimp on, at least this wasn't one of them. They'd need a competent doc, assuming other people didn't feel like doing their own surgery. Seeing a fella in the same company as you get bloody was never fun. Of course, uhh...Elliot was never actually IN company. He just played one on TV, so to speak.
"Docs are programmed to be distracting on purpose. Don't let 'im bother you. Or rather, DO let 'im so he can do his job."
Aaand that was when Mary walked in, perhaps a little confused or wary of him showing any sort of concern at all. There was every possible chance that she would figure it out, of course, but Elliot wasn't gonna help her to understand. So far as she was concerned, they were two mercs who just happened to be on the same ship. Elliot didn't exactly have time to chit-chat, anyway. Sounded like their prisoner was rigged to blow by her superiors. What kind of people were they dealing with here. Without a word, Elliot decided to go and have a look at this. He wasn't a perfect demo-man, but he was skilled. Mary being in the medbay, looking after herself, he could consider his side-job secure as he headed on down towards the area which they were still keeping their prisoner, because she wasn't allowed access to the ship yet.
He was, in fact, arriving at the tail-end of a discussion on the functions of her explosive armor, where Velka pretty much decided they should take the other soldier to Pit's workshop. Okay, this ought to be interesting. Pit was more enigmatic than he was.
"I'll provide support and cover on this mission. Can't have a hole bored in the ship."
He would basically be keeping an eye on things and rendering assistance, as needed. On the way here, he'd grabbed and attached one of the Paladin Shields he'd bought before, just in case. He didn't expect to be protected from he blackness of space, but on the off-chance that the explosion didn't rip open the ship, he wanted to be protected from getting ripped open himself.
"Can't say that I like the idea of a rigged armor. It's the choice armament of a suicide soldier, and that doesn't track, since you're still here. Why do your superiors want you to die?"
That oughta' fluster her a bit. Still, Elliot was now a part of this, making sure SARA was nnot actually a kamekaze.
The waiting was getting to her. Ordinarily, a situation like this would have her reading a book, taking a nap, training herself, or whatever else was possible. In times of irritation, though, all Grace could think of was how to pay that cat-woman back for this. It was completely idiotic to have broken the ship and left her in this situation, when Archer was bigger and she had always parked it perfectly. Grace did not respond to either of the messages from the Catican, just simply put the Archer back in place while the Sweet Child was recharging its jump engine...and prepared her equipment.
She went down to the back of their armory and opened up the case with the green dot on it. There were several implements handy. In this case, though, she would be using the nitrous oxide and anasthetic gas grenades on a bandolier, as well forest green and navy blue spraypaint cans. She also had a full set of markers on her belt now. You might ask yourself why Grace would prepare something like prank items so thoroughly, and the answer would come back that...well...people get bored in space. She was heading for the Redeemer now, preparing to give it a really ugly paint job. And if Irina tried to stop her, she'd make her laugh...and then give her a really ugly paint job.
Walker was glad that his team was safe now and seem to be in ok shape.
"Mar just to be safe, I want you on bed rest until we get to the next port. I don't want you to over do it. And I'm still going to get you that dinner. Just don't break my bank account when I do."
Letting the girls continue to chat among themselves he turn to Elliot to talk to him but found him gone already.
"Well, I'm off for now. If you need anything radio me." Walker said as he left as well. He would go to the workshop and see what has become of their prisoner but he felt like there were enough people there already. As well as Velka will keep him updated on any recent events.
With free time, Walker explores his ship a bit. Seeing if any damage came to it while he was away. He also wanted to check up on Irina and see what type of damage she cause his ship while he was busy with getting Mar to the med-doc.
As Mar forced herself up, Mary could see the Shree wobble a bit, so she moved closer just in case Mar wasn't as stable as she believed she was.
"I'll be fine. I don't plan on tearing my wounds back open, and as for the blood-loss, a few tubes of nutrient paste and something to drink will help."
"Hey," She said, a touch of real concern ghosting into her voice. "While whomever thought making an Auto-Doc speak is an idiot, the machine isn't wrong. Take it from someone who has been shot before." She added with a smirk.
"Mar just to be safe, I want you on bed rest until we get to the next port. I don't want you to overdo it; and I'm still going to get you that dinner. Just don't break my bank account when I do. Well, I'm off for now. If you need anything radio me."
Mary's head snapped towards Walker as he said his goodbye. "Shit, Walker wa-!" She called, but he was already out the door. "Fuck..." She muttered, before giving Mar a light pat on the shoulder with her left hand. "I'll catch you later." With that she set off after the nominal 'leader' of this bad of assholes; he'd been moving faster than she'd expected, because by the time she made it to the corridor, he'd already vanished.
Snagging the first crewman she spotted, he gave her Walker's last known position; hustling after, she caught up with him just short of the airlocks. "Yo Cockhead!" She called out as she caught up, the anger she'd set aside upon seeing Mar injured, bubbling back. "I've got a fucking question. Are you normally this much of an idiot, or is this new?" Moving so she was standing in front of the man, she jabbed him in the chest with her right index finger. "What in the seven Hells were you thinking, ordering Resha to drop? Redeemer, Archer and myself had enough firepower to keep the Devil-Fish clear."
"Instead..." She growled, jabbing him once again. "You called down our 'ace-in-the-hole' pointlessly; not only telling the enemy we had more than what they'd believed, but more importantly YOU LEFT OUR ONLY RIDE OUT UTTERLY EXPOSED!" Her voice echoed along the corridor. "If one of those assholes had taken a potshot at this junk pile, we'd all probably be dead; so I gotta know, is this level of mind-numbing stupidity your S.O.P.? Because if so, I'm gone at the next port we hit."
'Oh boy, here we go.' Walker thought as he heard Mary yelled at him from behind. He turns around and sees how pissed she look and he got ready just in case she tried to throw a punch at him. Letting her yelled at him as he waited until she was done. Feeling her jabs of her right index finger as she poked him over and over as she yelled at him. Once she was done he clear his throat and spoke his side.
"Well..to answer your first question, I'm probably normally this stupid. Mostly run in my family." He said as he crosses his arms and stares back at her, making sure she knew he wasn't going to back down from her. "And if I remember correctly, both the Archer and the Redeemer had their hands full with their own problems when we were trying to make our escape. If one of those damn fighters have gotten lucky and shot our ship down. The majority of the crew wouldn't be here right now. Besides Resha is still way too green to fight by herself. You saw her try to fight those pirates. And I didn't want to even call her into action, she way to green to fight at the moment."
Walker said as he then added, "You are a hell of a pilot Mary. This team needs you to stay. I'll admit, i'm not so great with the whole damn space fighting. Never had much to do with it. When everyone rested up and we have our meeting, I'll say about having a second in command in control our space fighters. Alright?"