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Science Fiction Mass Effect 4: Red Thread

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Saintheart, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    [IMG]


    The Red Thread

    You think just because you give us a couple of colony worlds that this makes up for what was done to my clan brother, to my people? You understand nothing of us, nothing of our honour. But I promise you, even if it leads us to extinction – we will make you understand it in blood. Ours, mixed with that of every salarian who yet breathes in the galaxy.”
    --Urdnot Wreav, Citadel Council meeting, 25 June 2187


    And it’s here that we see the real problem of it all. We didn’t realise until it was all over just how much of our knowledge, our expertise, was stored in artificial intelligences of Class Four and above. Indeed, we didn’t figure out until about two years in that it was Class Five A.I.s who taught us how to best trigger a consciousness response in a Class Six system. And that’s before we even go anywhere near the tragedy of the Geth…”
    --John Palmerston, Address to University of London, 23 February 2189


    [IMG]



    In the year 2186, Shepard defeated the Reapers.

    Shepard activated the Crucible, an ancient weapon against the terror of the galaxy, the Reapers. A cataclysmic pulse of energy reached out across the galaxy, eradicating the Reapers. But, tragically, all sentient machine intelligence up to Class 4 AIs also perished in the pulse. And by all reports, Shepard perished in the Crucible’s wave of destruction. Victory was achieved – at a high price.

    The ten years following have been harrowing, but with the relays repaired and the Citadel well on its way back to full functionality, the galaxy looks forward to an era in which its greatest threat has been extinguished. An era in which the possibility of peace is endangered, but in which hope can now flourish.

    But perhaps one should be careful of what one wishes for…

    Welcome to Mass Effect 4.


    This is a RPG set ten years after the events of Mass Effect 3. Since Mass Effect is all about importing previous characters, PCs from Ashen or indeed other Mass Effect RPGs are most welcome, but not required and knowledge of those games is not necessary to play in this game.

    It’s a game in the spirit of Mass Effect, which means it’s as much about interaction between species, people, and pasts as it is high technology or spanning the stars. There is a storyline, of course, and hopefully you’ll have some fun weaving your own character’s life in with the one that exists here.



    Rules and other useful advice

    1. Send your CSes to me for approval. Original characters only; no canon characters from ME2 or ME3 will be accepted.
    2. I don’t believe in rubberstamping CSes. Quality characters will determine whether you’re in or out. Therefore, don’t frantically hammer on the keys with a cardboard cutout for a character and click “send”. Hammer on the keys and send me something interesting. ;)
    3. Very importantly, remember that there are two threads – one following a timeline where Shepard picks the Control ending, and one following a timeline where Shepard picks the Destroy ending. Your character may well change depending on which thread you choose for that character, so choose wisely (or, if you wish, create a character for each thread for a different experience.)
    4. If a player holds things up or keeps other players from posting for a longer period of time, I will be ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL* of his character and possibly kill him or her off or write her out.
    5. “Does not play well with others” is something that should not be appearing on either your kindergarten report card or on PMs to me regarding your play style. This is a social game, so … be social. Reach out to your fellow players; interact with them. Never fear, I’ll be providing lots and lots of individual challenges, but this is your story as much as it is mine, so make it that way.
    6. I don’t have any problem with OOCs in-game, but there is an OOC thread in the Role Playing Resource forum for lengthy discussion if you want it.
    7. The game is set ten years after the events of Mass Effect 3. Further information on the state of the galaxy can be found in the OOC thread. As to whether you’ll encounter ME2 or ME3 characters … well, (a) it’s a big galaxy but (b) you never know. Why not play an IC character and find out?
    8. This is a Mass Effect game and that means most of you will have played the game before. Try not to use any meta-knowledge you have as a result. :)
    9. Above all, have fun!

    * This is your obligatory Mass Effect meme for the game. “We’ll bang, okay?” will not be said again unless you have a very, very good character justification for it. ;)
    Last edited by Saintheart, Dec 3, 2012
    Darth_Invidious likes this.
  2. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Making a character

    [IMG]



    For this game, the whole, wide Milky Way galaxy is open to you. Any role you want, whether it’s a scheming volus merchant, quarian farmer, turian naval ensign, human society queen, or even geth scout (assuming there are any geth left in your thread) can be played by you.

    Some reasonableness applies, of course: rachni will not be playable, and needless to say your proto-Reaper character will not get a favourable reception, but beyond that I’m fairly easy and open to negotiation. In particular bear in mind the comparative wealth levels between the protagonist of Mass Effect and the ordinary populace; Shepard was funded with either an entire government or shadowy organisation’s money behind him, and it shows in his gear. That would be somewhat unlikely in your case unless there are very, very good reasons for it.

    Background information on the races can be found in the Mass Effect Wiki, as indeed a number of other subjects can. For further information on the current state of the galaxy, see the OOC thread.


    Character Sheet

    Name:
    Species:
    Occupation:
    Equipment:
    Brief Biography:
    Subplot: (Required, see below)
    Appearance: (Optional, by image or description)



    Hey, what’s with the subplot?
    This is something additional I require for each character. It’s a chance to get a hand into the GMing process. Basically, whoever your character is, s/he comes with private concerns and lingering business. Some of this “personal baggage” is weaved into the game via a subplot for your character. Your biography might contain this, or it might not. Pick a subplot from one of the items below and include it in your character sheet. It’s up to you whether you reveal this subplot to your fellow players or not (at least until it starts to impact on them … perhaps.)

    Compulsion (open)
    Your character is drawn to something, compelled to indulge whenever he can. For this subplot, specify the focus of your character’s compulsion (e.g. chases, combat, romantic entanglement). This focus must be a category of activities that regularly draw your character into dangerous or dramatic circumstances.

    Debt (open)
    Basically, your character owes some serious cash. Every character’s funds can run dry, even when he’s technically rich. Problems arise that demand fast liquid cash — business ventures go south, personal possessions are trashed, and friends and relatives are kidnapped and ransomed. No matter how careful someone is, misfortune is always lurking just around the corner. For this subplot, specify the name of the character and/or organization owed, nature of the debt (e.g. monetary loan, compensation for property or honour loss, or other slight or indiscretion).

    Discredited (open)
    Your character has been shamed, due to his own actions or those of another. Regardless, he’s operating more and more on his own these days, and will have to keep his nose clean and rebuild some bridges if he wants to re-establish himself. For this subplot, specify the reason for your character’s dishonour (e.g. a botched mission, the accidental or intentional insult of a superior, a rival casting aspersions).

    Fear (open)
    Your character is unnerved or perhaps even chilled by something that affected him deeply. This Subplot is particularly common among spies, whose frantic, paranoid lifestyles spawn all manner of mental ailments. For this subplot, specify the focus of your character’s fear (e.g. shadows, crowds, cameras, intimacy). This focus must be something that can potentially come into play in ordinary life.

    Impending Doom (open)
    Your character faces some lingering threat, such as a relentless tracker, an illness, a kidnapped ally, or a time bomb or other danger to his group or personal life. For this subplot, specify the nature of the threat. Your character, his team, his faction, or a friend, relative, or contact is in danger. The nature of the threat is left to your imagination.

    Liaison (open)
    Your character is a negotiator, intermediary, or political bridge. His work can bring people together — or tear them viciously apart. For this subplot, specify the scale of the parties for whom your character is a liaison (e.g. individuals, organizations, nations). The scale need not be consistent between parties (i.e. your character might be a liaison between an individual and an organization, between two nations, or any other combination).

    Long term mission (open)
    Your character has been assigned a secondary mission that often overlaps with other orders. This subplot differs from a Personal Mission in that your character is almost always detached from the goals and details of the secondary mission (since he’s working for someone else). For this subplot, specify the nature of your character’s long-term mission (e.g. bringing a villain to justice, finding a stolen object, determining the motives or whereabouts of a criminal organization). Also, the identity of the agent through whom the long-term mission was assigned.

    Mistaken/True Identity (open)
    Somehow, people keep mistaking your character for someone he’s not. Alternately, you’ve assumed your current identity to run from your former life, or to achieve a long-term goal (perhaps to complete a ‘deep cover’ mission). For this subplot, specify the person for whom your character is mistaken, or your character’s real identity. This confusion must potentially lead to comedic, dramatic, or lethal situations for your character (per the GM’s discretion). Ideally, a mistaken identity involves your character bring mistaken for someone in the Mass Effect canon, or a famous (or infamous) NPC you create for him to include.

    Mystery (open)
    Your character is trapped in a web of intrigue. Worse, he can’t
    see the spider — at least, not yet. For this subplot, specify one nagging question (e.g. “Who murdered the Black Dahlia?” or “How did Beowulf escape death… again?”). Additionally or alternately, up to three starting clues (which need not have any obvious connection).

    Nemesis (open)
    One of your character’s enemies rises above the rest, threatening
    to disrupt his life, or worse. For this subplot, specify the name of your character’s nemesis, at least three background details about him, and the reason for his privileged status (e.g. responsible for your character’s humiliating defeat during a previous job, for the death of a loved one).

    Personal Mission (open)
    Your character has taken on a secondary mission that often overlaps with other orders. This Subplot differs from a Long-Term Mission in that your character is almost always personally connected to the goals and details of the secondary mission. For this subplot, specify the nature of your character’s personal mission (e.g. finding a lost love, fulfilling a vow to protect a dead friend’s relative, avenging the death of a friend).

    Romance/Relationship (open)
    Your character desires someone he can’t have (possibly because the love is forbidden, or because the object of his affections isn’t interested — at least, not initially). Alternately, he’s already found the love of his life and now things are getting rocky. Either way, the entanglement affects other parts of his life — including his missions. For this subplot, specify the name and gender of the NPC with whom your character is entangled, and up to 3 details about that person’s background. If this is a Relationship Subplot, also provide the trouble afflicting your character’s relationship (e.g. discontentment, resentment, a rival for his or her affections, emotional turmoil in one or both partners, loneliness — perhaps because the character is always away on missions).

    Wanted (open)
    Your character is wanted for a crime that he may or may not have committed. For this subplot, specify the crime for which your character is wanted.


    [IMG]
  3. BLemelisk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 4
    Saintheart Approved!


    Name:
    Desyk Tharan

    Species: Drell

    Occupation: Bodyguard, Personal Representative

    Equipment: M-3 Predator pistol, M-13 Raptor Combat Rifle, Omni-tool

    Brief Biography: Before the Reaper War of 2186, Desyk had undertaken the “Compact” of service toward his race’s saviors. His family had proudly served a wealthy house of hanar for several generations even before Desyk’s birth, and he was expected to do the same. Yet this position didn’t appeal to the zealous teenage drell, who wanted to see the greater galaxy and directly aid the entire hanar race. He enrolled in Kahje’s military academy, and eventually found himself serving as a marine reconnaissance specialist aboard a hanar warship.

    His years in the navy were eventful, dealing with everything from smugglers and pirates to slavers and terrorists. Through all this he gained a great deal of experience and confidence in combat situations, as well as knowledge of the clandestine world that existed just below the gleaming veneer of Council authority.

    Everything changed when the Reapers invaded. It all happened so fast, it seemed like one of the great monsoons from his homeworld. After numerous engagements with machinations lifted from his nightmares, his vessel was returning to Kahje for leave. His hopes of seeing family and friends perhaps one last time were dashed when Sovereign-class Reapers appeared in the system, and began its utter annihilation. If it wasn't for the quick actions of their hanar captain, they would have been lost as well.

    After retreating to the Citadel, Desyk left the ship and disappeared into the Wards. He never reported back and never saw the vessel or his comrades in arms again. He was herded into a fallout shelter when the station finally came under Reaper attack and was moved by them to the human homeworld of Earth. Desyk waited out the destruction and costly victory that followed, paralyzed by too many perfectly-clear bad memories.

    As the dust settled on their hard-won triumph and the galaxy attempted to return to normal, Desyk knew he had to move forward. He volunteered himself to help rebuild the fractured Citadel and other areas around the galaxy. Working with multi-species aid groups and construction crews for three years, he became painfully aware of just how lonely things had gotten for his kind.

    In 2189 Desyk was contacted by a hanar named Etroim. It was the only surviving member of the house his own family had served. Desiring to meet in person the hanar divulged the nature of his business and the Tharan family’s role in it. They had been a crime syndicate, and Etroim had been using the last few years to try and put everything back together. And he now needed only one thing: Desyk Tharan’s total loyalty. There has been little complaint from his employer ever since.

    Subplot: Discredited – Due to his drell memory, Desyk can do little to escape the circumstances and shame of his breakdown after Kahje was attacked in the war, though few know of it but himself. He offers all he now has to his hanar master in hopes of making things right somewhere, somehow.

    Appearance:
    [IMG]
    Normally wears civilian clothes with a high collar jacket or hood to maximize anonymity, but has access to light armor as circumstances require.
  4. TheSithGirly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    GM Approved

    Character Sheet(s)

    Name: Cira
    Species: something once called Human
    Occupation: Unknown
    Equipment: Omnitool - a strange black thing, that seems to be "melted" with her flesh if anybody has a better look - which she barely allows anybody, Stiletto X Handgun, some money, some strange tools which nobody but her seem to be able to use
    Brief Biography: She was once part of the whole. She was part of things more ancient than humanity or even the galactic society. And they took it from her. Ever since the fall of the Reapers she has wandered the galaxy, has been looking for things and speaking to people and nobody knows exactly what or who she is looking for. What is easy to say is, she is not aimless. She is working towards something. Rumors say, she has returned to Cerberus, others say she has killed several key-figures in organisations in the reent years, if asked she only smiling and pointing out that everybody has to fullfill his destiny and all other things are just . . . details. Expandable details.
    Subplot: Nemesis ( she is hunted and aware of her huntress. An Asari called Aleena who still got issues due to Cira´s early days as . . . what she is now)
    Appearance: [IMG]
  5. Mitth_Fisto Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    GM Approved

    Character Sheet

    Name: Tucaldendyr
    Soul Name: Trader of Needs
    Species: Hanar
    Occupation: Privateer, Hanar Merchant Marines
    Equipment: Small tenticle pistols, one Batarian State arms pistol, tenticle braced basic Elkoss Combine Omni-tool.

    Brief Biography: Before the war, the war to compare all wars, he was little more then an a small craft operator on a colony world of First Land. Some would state him as merely a pilot in his families service of transfering goods between stations and customers, both on and off the books. A simple life that was enough, or it was before the war.

    When war came it become more important for his family to store up resources, credits, and to above all aid the war machines that were to be their salvations since the Enkindlers and Citadel forces were preoccupied with their own survival. When it was over, when all that was left was a massacured homeworld and a build up for a war that was suddenly over. . .such a life of simple living no longer appealed to it.

    Surviving the Reaper incursion it quickly stepped in to fill a potential void left in both the defensive and trade sections of the current galactic disc, taking the savings that had been set aside to aid the family to pursue his own tangent pursuits. Namely trade goods that the batarians provide, things that would be needed to rebuild, and it has been serving in such a position to rise to a nominal position by the end of the first decade of the cessation of the Reaper threat. Although with the end of any one threat, there is the start of others, and with a decade passed old wounds and betrayals are felt to be more raw. The Krogan were evidence of that, but all had paths to follow now. Only opportunity could change the paths chosen.

    Subplot: Liason between the Hanar and the Batarians, and keeping that relation a secret to other races. Mistaken Identity, no matter where it goes it seems it is being confused for some Blasto character, oblivious to the true nature of this other Hanar, this has gotten Tucaldendyr in some. . .awkward situations.
    Appearance: [IMG]
    Last edited by Ramza, Dec 8, 2012
    Trieste likes this.
  6. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Sainted, or GM approved

    Name: Aleena
    Species: Asari
    Occupation: Merecenary, Bounty Hunter, Law-Officer-for-hire
    Equipment: Stiletto X, Avenger VIII Assault Rifle
    Brief Biography: In the many decades of her existence Aleena was always sort of a loner. She was trained by her people to be a soldier once, but quickly turned into one of the galaxies better known assassins and mercenaries. Her last job on Ashen, over ten years ago changed her style of life considerably, though. Coming face to face with a giant machine alien and killing it, she soon afterwards began her fight against the Reapers. She joined her people on Illium and fought the desperate battle to defend her homeplanet.

    Shepard changed that. He defeated the Reapers. He killed them, destroyed them. And the galaxy returned to it´s old unperfect state, which once had been so full of opportunities. Now it seemed so fragile and in need of defense, suddenly. Aleena left her assassin ways behind and turned her considerable talent to other areas. She helps Governments, private persons for a fee with problems. And she is picky who she helps. She still has the reomrseless nature she once was so famous for, but nowadays she turns it against the right people.

    And nobody is better suited to feel her wrath than Cira. She had picked up the trail of th mysterious woman behind the events on Ashen and found her very much alive. A relic of the Reaper reign. And a danger to the galaxy. Nobody believes Aleena that something might have urvived the reaper-holocaust. nobody wants to hear it, so she took it upon herself to hunt down this woman down and make sure the last bit of the Reapers fall.

    Subplot: Nemesis (Cira)
    Appearance: [IMG]
    Last edited by SirakRomar, Dec 7, 2012
  7. Trieste Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    Saintheart approved

    Name: Mannovai Tor'san Venatus Ozera Ambys Caudat (usually known as Caudat Ambys)
    Species: Salarian
    Occupation: Special Tasks Group (STG) Operative
    Equipment: STG-grade omnitool, M-92 Mantis VIII
    Brief Biography: One of the primary operating theories of STG is that if nine out of ten analysts agree on something, it is the duty of the tenth analyst to disagree with his colleagues.

    Caudat Ambys is the tenth analyst.

    With the destruction of the Reapers ten years ago when Caudat was a child, artificial intelligence as the galaxy knew it was destroyed completely. Everything above a Class 4 AI was wiped out, including the Geth, one of the primary intragalactic threats to galactic stability gone in mere minutes. STG began a swift but meticulous recalculation of threats to the Salarian Union and a consensus was reached that artificial intelligence no longer posed a severe and imminent threat to the security of the Union, unlike other more pressing matters. Upon joining STG after the Reaper War, Caudat Ambys was placed on the task force that rejected that assumption. Ambys has spent his professional career studying what records still remain relating to artificial intelligence.

    Ambys's research pointed to troubling conclusions. With the Reaper's technological framework gone from the galaxy, innovation no longer proceeds along predictable patterns. Accordingly, the resulting technological extrapolation could lead to uncertain outcomes, being pursued by disparate groups. Rather than face a single AI threat as existed with the Geth, it is possible that within rapid succession several AI threats could emerge near simultaneously in a perfect storm scenario. Though he is distrustful of AI, Ambys has participated in discussions regarding the wisdom of salarian investment in AI research for the purposes of reverse engineering offensive tactics against future AI threats.
    Subplot: Long Term Mission - Protect the Salarian Union against AI threats, though as a member of STG he is answerable to and commanded by that body in defense of the Union and therefore he may be retasked as needed.
    Appearance: Male salarian, aged 19 (mid age for a salarian). Light green skin with blue markings.
  8. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    OOC: Saintheart approved :)

    ---

    “This isn’t the presidium! All they have to worry about is protesters outside their free speech zones or someone’s poodle crapping on the grass. Down here we have drugs, organised crime and murder, Policing a ward is like policing new york city!”

    -Commander Armondo-Owen Bailey, 2185
     

    Name: Kairali “Rali” Nerross

    Species: Asari

    Occupation: C-Sec Officer (Sergeant - Enforcement division - Tayseri Ward)

    Equipment: C-Sec uniform, Omni-tool, M-5 Phalanx heavy pistol, patrol car

    Brief Biography:

    Kairali Nerross is a C-sec officer who is based within the citadel’s Tayseri ward. Kairali has served as a C-sec officer since 2184, having been recruited in order to bolster the number of officers after C-sec suffered heavy losses during the attack of the reaper Sovereign and the geth in 2183. After completing her training and passing her proficiently exams, she spent three months working up on the presidium before being assigned to a C-Sec outpost in Tayseri ward, in order to lend support during the massive repair and clean-up operation left in the wake of Sovereigns defeat.

    As part of the enforcement division, Kairali spent most of her time out in the field, policing the districts of Tayseri ward, But her days of dealing with brawling drunks and illegal mod dealers came to an end when the reaper war erupted across the galaxy in 2186. She found herself in the middle of a battleground, engaging Cerberus troops after they infiltrated the citadel, and was trapped aboard the station when the Reapers moved it to the sol system. Kairali and the surviving C-Sec officers did all they could to protect the civilians trapped within, leading them to emergency shelters and engaging reaper foot-soldiers and husks, but their losses were heavy and Kairali witnessed many civilians, colleagues and friends fall to the reaper onslaught.

    After Comander Shepard’s ultimate sacrifice to defeat the reapers, Kairali and the other survivors were eventually found and evacuated from the severely damaged citadel by systems alliance rescue teams and brought to earth, where Kairali and the remnants of C-Sec spent the next two years working alongside the systems alliance as the mammoth task of rebuilding everything that the reapers had destroyed got underway. When the station became safe and habitable again, Kairali returned to her old ward and helped C-sec to rebuild and re-establish themselves

    But as the galaxy started to rebuild, so did its seedy underbelly. Recently, Crime-rates onboard the citadel have started to increase, new gangs have risen up from the ashes of the old and the galaxy’s fresh start has brought new opportunities too tempting for criminals to pass up.

    Although coming up to her “Matron” stage, Kairali has found it hard to settle down and is described by her friends and co-workers as somewhat of a “work-a-holic“. She does things by the book and doesn’t suffer fools easily. That said, she does have a softer side and respects her co-workers and cares about their well-being.

    Sub-plot: Long term mission: Kairali is still fully dedicated to protecting and serving the people who make the citadel their home, her resolve strengthened all the more after the horrors she witnessed back in 2186

    Appearance:


    [IMG]

    She is tall and has an athletic build, Her skin pale green and she has dark blue eyes. She wears the regulation C-sec uniform while on duty, but off duty she shuns more traditional asari attire and prefers to wear comfy less restrictive and revealing earth style clothing such as jeans and T-shirts, an influence from when she was stationed on earth.
  9. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    GM APPROVED

    Name: Jorika Turell

    Species: Turian

    Occupation: Officer

    Equipment: Predator pistol, Avenger assault rifle, and an omnitool

    Brief Biography: Jorika was raised in the proper Turian culture, born and bred for battle. With a strong sense of allegiance and honor, he proved to be a faithful lad even before he attended the regular boot camp. Once he’d went through all the motions of training, he was put to the test. Military life was strange. The emotions were all very raw and real, heightened especially when one of his dearest allies died at his feet in a community squabble. Jorika fought through all these burdensome fears that many men were plagued by, and advanced his way through the fields.

    Along this path, he encountered someone who made him happy in an unhappy career. Laki seemed like the perfect woman for a warrior. Honorable herself, possessing all the traits of a Turian woman, she was wise in understanding Jorika’s duty. During the war of all wars, their partnership had just been in its beginning stages. Moments spent with her were special, but sparse. They added something unique and exciting to the relationship. And the war ended, tragically in some ways, and Jorika was raised to the status of an officer. Respected and even honored in some sorts, his relationship with Laki fizzled almost overnight. The closeness was much less than he had ever hoped for, and he felt a separation happening. But he had already promised himself to Laki. . .and then he noticed another woman. . .a human.

    Subplot: Relationship - He has promised himself to one woman, but he finds himself enamored to a human woman. His current partner: Laki; Female; 1.) Natural Turian childhood. 2.) Bred for duty and honor. 3.) Wishes for Jorika to be involved frequently in battle because of her own father’s death in fight. And then of course there is the other woman, a rather important one who happens to be traveling by.

    Appearance:
    [IMG]
  10. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Without.


    [IMG]


    His nervous system was shutting down.

    It did dull the pain greatly, but it also had made him feel as though he was dreaming. This irritated him. The module implanted in the medulla cluster of his brain fought with remorseless, machine tenacity against the inevitable; it could do nothing else, just as he could not tell it to give up. The era of artificial consciousness was gone.

    Everywhere felt wet with his own blood. They were making much better fragmentation grenades these days. VIs were cheaper and smaller now than ever, so much so you could happily plant one on an object whose purpose was to self-immolate. The explosion had permanently shattered his eardrums (though for some odd reason he could still hear his heart beating, ever less enthusiastically) and one of his eyes had more or less vaporised in the blast. A credit to the grenade’s maker.

    He wondered about Hell; wondered about other places, too. Wondered if she had gotten away. He hoped, as his heart staggered a few beats and screamed fear at him, she had made it. He had death enough on his conscience, but some mad feeling that this one would make up for it.

    The sky here was very beautiful, he decided. His one eye was streaming tears, but the optic nerve was still functional. The dreamlike feeling grew stronger, and with it, the certainty: coming here, even here with all its history, was the best decision he could have ever made. Just as what he had done, minutes before they’d come, was possibly the second-best.

    And then that moment when that regular drum of his heart, like the military cadences of the training so long ago, suddenly stopped.
    Oh, he thought. And was gone.

    [IMG]




    Caudat Ambys

    Audience Chamber, Hexagon Centre
    Union District, Sur’kesh

    [IMG]

    “Would you care for some wine?” Tyoncin turned from the shuttered window which looked out on the secure gardens of the government building. Her face was shredded into languid gold and blue lines from the combination of the sound-dampening material of the office and the anti-surveillance masking covering the window. The mentioned beverage sat on the small office table, two glasses already poured.

    She didn’t wait for Caudat’s answer. “It seems you have acquired something of a – how do the humans say it – a reputation for being a Jeremiah when it comes to artificial intelligences, is that so?”

    The meeting, which Caudat had already suspected would be uncomfortable just from the fact it was with no less than a full dalatrass, got a whole lot more uncomfortable. What exactly was this all about? It had been a quiet enough sort of week until the head of his STG squad silently handed him a datapad, followed by an authorisation for leave to go to the Union District. But gone he had, nonetheless. There really was little other option.

    Now she’d opened proceedings with queries about his concerns on AI. Maybe this had to do with the argument he’d gotten into with Marthan Daksas three days ago: it hadn’t come to blows, but the scientist had stormed away muttering imprecations about Caudat’s lineage. Maybe he’d had more clout than Caudat had suspected. No, he decided: even Marthan didn’t have the power to have him called onto the (soundbaffled) carpet by no less than one of the highest figures in the Salarian government and asked questions about the AI.

    So. How to respond?

    TAG: Trieste




    Jorika Turell

    Aite Space, Typhon System, The Phoenix Massing

    [IMG]

    “Standard profile scan complete. No contacts on long range sensors, captain.” The comm officer’s clipped, tight voice echoed over the PA through the bridge of the Soul’s Resolve. The deck thrummed with resonant harmonics as the whine of the frigate’s Drive Core dropped to sublight.
    “Very well,” answered the captain from his position in the high chair at the centre of the bridge. Werrus Nankazinar leaned forward as if contemplating the stars visible out the viewport, long, three-fingered hands folded under his chin. Aite hung below them like a gem in the darkness, two moons hovering like worried parents around them. “All drives ahead full. Shields to standby. Start fuelling the descent shuttle. Lieutenant – your squad to launch bay. Watch yourself.”

    Jorika moved to carry out the order. This still didn’t add up. His group of six troopers were even more wired than he was, and they jogged at a just-under-battle-stations pace that was easy to see.

    Everyone on the turian frigate was on alert, and justifiably so. They were alone out here, and even if the Geth hadn’t been reported anywhere in a hundred light years or so for a decade, grim experience knew the galaxy abhorred a vacuum. There could well be pirates or slavers out this way, and though a heavily-armed frigate was no easy target for even the best-equipped shipstealing gang, the Phoenix Massing was literally on the far side of the galaxy from turian or Council space – and Quarian space could only be realistically reached if they made it back to the mass relay they’d left behind in the Tassrah system. They were deep in the Terminus Systems, and about as far “on their own” as the expression could imply.

    Jorika jogged with his men down passage after passage, savouring the cinnamon-like smells of the frigate’s interior. There was something about a turian ship that had always felt like home, felt familiar in a galaxy filled with strangeness. Captain Nankazinar, a veteran of the Last Stand, ran an efficient ship, and therefore a good one – unlike some vessels that had let themselves get loose, Nankazinar had repeatedly told them “more sweat in exercises and drills, less blood spilled in battle.” The Soul’s Resolve had the operational record to prove the truth of that: a couple of midshipmen wounded in one affray with a Batarian smuggler, but no deaths in roughly ten years of service up and down the spacelanes. Maybe that was why they’d been picked. The assignment had come suddenly, and ostensibly they were the best ship available at short notice.

    The assignment, of course, was in the cargo bay. She stood impassively by the Resolve’s shuttle, tapping out something on a datapad.

    [IMG]

    Human; diminutive, her head only reached Jorika’s chest. Dark eyes. Grim expression. And, most significantly, a certain aura. One that, so it was said, all Spectres carried. An aura not of intimidation, but of dangerous adaptability to circumstances.

    Spectres. Short for Special Tasks and Reconnaissance. The ultimate problem solver. Given unlimited power to requisition, act, and make decisions in the name of the Council, she’d commandeered their frigate back in the Serpent Nebula and ordered them all the way out here.

    Answerable only to the Council itself on the Citadel, Hierarch Intel estimated there were less than twenty Spectres left across the galaxy, out of a force that had once numbered up to maybe a hundred prior to the Reaper War. Not that they needed to work in numbers – indeed, the rumours were they worked alone or at best in twos or threes. The best testimonies as to their competence were their names. Nihlus had been one – and then disgraced the position and the turian people by personally leading a Reaper army against the Citadel. And the Shepard, who had stopped Nihlus, and later, the Reapers themselves, had been the first human Spectre.

    This one, so the skipchat said, was the second.

    The six turian marines under Jorika’s temporary command – as the lieutenant leading their squad - were collecting weapons, but he could sense the sideward looks, the questions. But he didn’t have to ask a question. The Spectre turned towards them, her voice rolling out across the flight deck with practiced ease of command.
    “We’re making landfall on the dayside of Aite, on a river delta. It’s temperate climate, no biosuits required, all open country. You’ll be moving in with me to secure a small homestead on the surface. There are possible unfriendlies in the area given what we know about it. Questions?”

    TAG: spycoder9




    Kairali, Aleena

    Briefing Room, C-Sec Divisional HQ, Tayseri Ward
    The Citadel, Earth orbit

    [IMG]

    “You’re joking.”
    “No, sergeant, I am not.” Captain Eccleston glared across the table at Mavahn Tenloss.

    The Salarian sergeant held that gaze for a moment, then folded his thin arms, shaking his head. Rali had seen Mavahn sarcastic, even cutting, with their boss before, but this level of anger was a new level entirely. Her Salarian patrol partner abruptly unfolded his arms again, dark eyes glittering, gesturing at the figure standing over in the corner in the room. “We’ve got hundreds of volunteers who’ve got training for an intercept job! You really think that bringing a merc along for this one is smart?”
    “Sergeant, if you’re implying I had much to do with Miss Aleena’s assignment to this job, you’re sadly mistaken,” replied the Captain. His black moustache twitched in a way that would have been funny in other circumstances, not that anyone including Rali was dumb enough to joke about it – in or out of work hours. Eccleston had a way of finding out things. And he had a long hickory baseball bat sitting on a rack just behind him – supposedly swung three hundred years earlier by ‘the Babe’, whoever that was.
    “In any event, what I have been told is that you’ll probably need the help. Best intel we’ve got is that this ship trying to sneak in at Margere Dock’s apparently got someone aboard Aleena’s been looking for a while now – a pretty dangerous character. So C-Sec’s agreed to deputise her for the time bei--”
    “You want to talk about dangerous characters?” Mavahn wasn’t backing off, and he turned in his seat to look at Aleena. “What was the body count on Carfax again? Twenty-five? Your reputation precedes you—”
    “We all have our orders, sergeant,” snapped Eccleston. “And you will follow yours. You will extend C-Sec’s full cooperation to Aleena on this raid. The freighter’s due in just under an hour from now at Margere. She’s meant to be carrying a load of red sand, so there’ll probably be cargo-loader mechs and a decent complement of goons to cover the offload. Do either of you have any intelligent questions to ask?”

    TAG: Jedi_padawan_Leigh, SirakRomar




    Tucaldendyr, Desyk Tharan, Cira

    Arenatsa’s (Auction House), Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula, Terminus Systems Border

    [IMG]

    “…and so we come to our --*wheeze*--last lot item for the night.” Parsang Mol’s biosuit gleamed silver with the high-grade polish that had been applied to it. The humans in the audience had a moment of déjà vu – disco balls had been out of fashion for a good hundred and fifty years, but racial memory persisted.

    The volus ambled across to the platform that rose out of the floor, taking what was apparently meant to pass as a dramatic pose a foot or two away. Whatever was on the platform was covered by a heavy cloth.

    “As our brochure tells you, this --*wheeze*-- last item comes reliably to us from the world of Aratoht. Those of you more familiar with the story might indeed --*wheeze* --*wheeze*-- wonder how that could be possible given how that world met its end. You need concern yourselves no more. The lot has been verified by three separate and independent historical authorities, including a covert check with the Batarian Museum of Antiquities. It indeed was recovered from a chamber discovered during mining on Aratoht, and subsequently --*wheeze*-- shall we say, removed from that world ahead of the destruction of its mass relay.”

    The auctioneer stalked around the covered object, three-fingered hands gesturing. “An object of the highest quality, of the rarest history --*wheeze*-- Ladies and gentlebeings, Arenatsa’s is very proud this evening to present for your consideration … the artefact.”

    A gesture, and the cloth fell away as if by magic, exposing that which lay beneath.

    [IMG]

    Even in spite of the preview that the brochure on the datapad had given, there was a rippling sort of sigh that went through the audience. Indeed the images did not do it justice. The sphere, with a mirrored shine superior to that of Parasang Mol’s biosuit, floated a foot or two above the floor, maybe a foot wide or so. And with the cloth removed, the subtle hum it gave off was now apparent.

    Hanar could not sigh, and drell only did so infrequently. Only the flickering of Etroim’s bioluminescent glands gave any sense of his wonder to Desyk, standing impassively nearby. The drell had been fitted with the cybernetic implants required to interpret the hanar form of bioluminescent signalling, so his master’s sudden awe rang out like a bell to his senses. The drell was also aware of the sudden communication that went between his master and the hanar that hovered alongside him – Tucaldendyr, an old, old associate of the Solanthus family, and the source of not a few second glances given the equipment he carried rather openly.
    This one wonders if one has ever seen such a thing? His master’s lights flickered to the other hanar. The item would appear not to be Batarian at all. This one thinks it is the work of the Enkindlers! This one appreciates honourable Tucaldendyr’s commercial commitments of course, but this one is surprised that the Illuminated Hierarchs would fund one’s mission solely to return such a treasure to the Batarian government.

    Perhaps the only person less enthralled by the look of this thing was the humanoid figure standing in a corner of the room, shaping up the twenty-five or so occupants, shaping up the room’s dimensions, and shaping up her funds. Cira had been given a decent amount of credits for the purposes of this auction, but her instructions had been clear – acquire the artefact by any means, lawful or … more persuasive.

    “What am I bid?” called Parasang Mol, raising a three-fingered arm in a less-than-impressive gesture. “Shall we start the bidding at, say, one hundred thousand?”

    TAG: BLemelisk, TheSithGirly, Mitth_Fisto
    Last edited by Saintheart, Dec 12, 2012
    spycoder9, BLemelisk and Trieste like this.
  11. Trieste Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Caudat Ambys
    Audience Chamber, Hexagon Centre
    Union District, Sur’kesh


    Would I like some wine? Yes, very much in fact. Thank you, Dalatrass. That’s very kind of you. I am even not on duty at the moment. However, seeing as you are a dalatrass, I should probably be at the very height of my mental faculties. Given my propensity to relax when under the influence of wine, it would not be the safest move. If I were with a human, whose system metabolizes the influence of alcohol at a much slower rate, I might indulge. My momentary mental lethargy would probably go unnoticed by a turian as well. However, seeing as we are of the same species and our reaction rates are not substantially different, you would undoubtedly notice the effects. I regret this quite a bit considering the fact that as a dalatrass you likely have an excellent vintage.

    But perhaps the dalatrass thinks STG is too upright and therefore believes I need to relax. A very real possibility. However, upon further reflection, no, thank you. I will maintain my mental precision even at the risk of being perceived as a typical, high strung STG op.

    All of this took a couple of seconds in the workings of the salarian’s mind. He was not one who shared everything he thought, so he merely shook his head once at the dalatrass’s offer, tempting as it was.

    But now he had the dalatrass asking him about his work on AI. His life’s work. And, with salarian precision, she managed to open a complicated subject with a single sentence. Brilliant. I would expect nothing less from a dalatrass. Superb.

    Had he been engaging a peer, such as Marthan, in one of STG’s analytical debates designed to eliminate built-in bias of their position papers, Caudat would have replied with his own one sentence answer: “If you have heard such, then it must be true.” That would have gotten under Marthan’s skin, which would have been enjoyable. However, one should probably be a little more circumspect with a dalatrass.

    “Conventional thought assumes that there is no danger of AI threats in the galaxy. That is the official position of all respected military intelligence organizations, including STG,” was what Caudat actually said, “My official charge is to continually attack the position, thus ensuring its accuracy.”

    Caudat paused. Enough of an answer under normal circumstances. But this is a dalatrass. She is well aware of STG operating procedure. It is a logical assumption that she has a desire to achieve a deeper understanding of the subject.

    “Standard procedure, dalatrass, but uncomfortable for those who must defend shaky positions, as has been the case for many of my colleagues who believe that the odds of an AI threat are minimal at best. ‘Non-existent’ was the last assessment, I believe. Nature, however, abhors a vacuum, dalatrass, and the Reapers and Geth left a gigantic one. Some entity will move to fill this void. Several, even. In our current state we are completely unprepared for an AI threat of any magnitude. We have no meaningful data on the direction of potential AI development, making the Union woefully unprepared for such an eventuality. I have proposed AI research to make up the difference. Given constraints on the STG budget, calls for large R&D expenditures are rarely met with any enthusiasm.

    “To return to your original query, these calls have not made me popular with some of my colleagues.”

    A large number of them, in fact. Enough to attract the attention of a dalatrass, it seems.

    Tag: @Saintheart
    Saintheart likes this.
  12. BLemelisk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Desyk Tharan
    Arenatsa’s, Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula

    Standing motionless for extended periods of time was easier for a drell than most other species in the known galaxy. It was due to their naturally dense and less massive muscle tissue which supported their skeletal frame more effectively than most species. This product of evolution served members of the species well, especially if they ever found themselves standing for hours around an auction house. The proceedings had been interesting enough, and all manner of exclusive valuables had been exchanged for exorbitant sums. But the reason Desyk Tharan was truly there was because of his hanar master’s interest in the final piece of the evening, a “mysterious artifact originating from a forgotten system,” to quote the brochure. Certainly the kind of tagline to bring wealthy collectors through Arenatsa’s doors, but he had known it would also mean stiff bidding competition. And on a planet like Illium, so close to the Terminus Systems, they needed to be ready for anything.

    Once the strangely beautiful object was unveiled, the crowd buzzed to life. But the excited bioluminescent reaction from Desyk’s master Etroim to his acquaintance Tucaldendyr would have been an immense tell to the rest of the bidders, had they been equipped with the same unique implants that allowed the drell to interpret the hanar’s incredibly complex forms of nonverbal communication.

    This one wonders if one has ever seen such a thing? Etroim practically sang to the other, The item would appear not to be Batarian at all. This one thinks it is the work of the Enkindlers! This one appreciates honourable Tucaldendyr’s commercial commitments of course, but this one is surprised that the Illuminated Hierarchs would fund one’s mission solely to return such a treasure to the Batarian government.

    Desyk had worked side-by-side with Etroim for seven years now. He knew his master well, and by the look of things he was trying to get inside Tucaldendyr’s…head, for lack of a more direct biological analogue. There was little the drell was needed for at this moment, so he kept himself quiet and waited for Etroim’s signal – Desyk was to place all bids in his master’s stead.

    He took in a short breath while the gleaming volus merchant attempted to set a price, and scanned to the same corner of the room he had been inconspicuously examining the entire evening. The only other person in Arenatsa’s that had been more stoic than him, a human female that looked a certain color of strange. And he couldn’t put his finger on what it was, she just seemed off. He knew to watch for these kinds of people given his line of work, as they could prove dangerous. Deadly dangerous.

    TAG: @Saintheart, @TheSithGirly, @Mitth_Fisto
    Last edited by BLemelisk, Dec 12, 2012
    Saintheart likes this.
  13. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Aleena
    Briefing Room, C-Sec Divisional HQ, Tayseri Ward
    The Citadel, Earth orbit

    The other Asari was irritating her, not because she did not feel comfortable around her people. No, the problem was, she did not understand how that poor thing endured surrounded by so much idiots. Carfax? Was it the best Cor-Sec intelligence could do? Carfax? Why did they not just quote the papers. Aleena kept her arms crossed and slowly turned her head to the human who had spoken to her. "Does it?" That was all she said, before slowly rising from the seat, preparing her Avenger assault rifle and checking her Stiletto. Both were pretty advanced models and obth had already been hers on Ashen. Reminders of what happened there, who she was. "And knowing my reputation you would prefer to have me against you instead of me having your back? Well, I need to work on my reputation or you have to work on your strategic abilities, Captain."

    She looked at the Salarian, then at each and every one of the others present. Finally she looked at the other Asari and gave her a cold smile.

    "Do we get to work now? This ship doesn´t raid themselves, you know?"

    Tag: @Jedi_padawan_leigh, @Saintheart
  14. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Kairali Nerross
    Briefing Room, C-Sec Divisional HQ, Tayseri Ward
    The Citadel, Earth orbit


    Kairali Nerross had not expected this turn of events when she walked into work this morning.

    One minute she was undertaking the unenviable task of typing up incident reports and electronically filing away details of solved cases, the next she was sitting in the captains office, stuck in the middle of a heated squabble. Mavahn Tenloss, her hot-headed Salarian partner, crossed his arms and shook his head in disbelief, his anger almost palpable as the human captain glared at him, clearly unimpressed. Unfolding his arm’s Mavahn gestured sharply towards a corner of the room, where the target of his ire stood quietly observing the heated exchange.

    “We’ve got hundreds of volunteers who’ve got training for an intercept job! You really think that bringing a merc along for this one is smart?”

    Kairali was also none too keen about what the captain had just proposed, but Mavahn was displaying enough anger for the both of them and she didn’t want to make the situation any worse than it already was. Not that she didn’t feel like smacking her partner upside the head right now. She admired Mavahn, but sometimes he really needed to learn to not run his mouth like that.
    “Sergeant, if you’re implying I had much to do with Miss Aleena’s assignment to this job, you’re sadly mistaken,”

    Eccleston replied matter-of-factly, his facial hair twitching in that strange way that many of the staff found so funny. Kairali glanced quickly over at the figure, An asari, like herself. Aleena appeared to be younger than Kairali, but her presence…her aura, it made her feel like she had at least another 200 years on the older asari. And her eyes… there was a hunger there, a steely dark determination. There was no denying that she was a dangerous individual to cross. Eccleston cleared his throat and Kairali turned her attentions back to him

    “In any event, what I have been told is that you’ll probably need the help. Best Intel we’ve got is that this ship trying to sneak in at Margere Dock’s apparently got someone aboard Aleena’s been looking for a while now – a pretty dangerous character. So C-Sec’s agreed to deputise her for the time bei--”

    “You want to talk about dangerous characters? Mavahn snapped, still not ready to let the matter slide. Kairali inwardly grimaced as he turned in his chair and shot the mercenary an icy glare “What was the body count on Carfax again? Twenty-five? Your reputation precedes you—”

    “We all have our orders, sergeant,” snapped Eccleston, cutting her irate partner off mid sentence. Kairali knew that tone all too well, and if Mavahn was smart he would knock the attitude on the head ASAP. “And you will follow yours. You will extend C-Sec’s full cooperation to Aleena on this raid. The freighter’s due in just under an hour from now at Margere. She’s meant to be carrying a load of red sand, so there’ll probably be cargo-loader mechs and a decent complement of goons to cover the offload. Do either of you have any intelligent questions to ask?”

    “No, no questions, Captain” Kairali responded as she stood up from her chair. It was a highly irregular situation, but if Eccleston had been given orders from above, then there was nothing she nor Mavahn could do about it except keep an eye on Aleena and hope that she didn‘t run amok through the ward. She wondered who could have authorised such an order, Someone high up in the asari government? Or had it been Councillor Tevos? Straightening up, her gaze met Aleena’s as she was checking her weapons and the other Asari shot her a cold smile

    "Do we get to work now? This ship doesn’t raid themselves, you know?"

    Kairali nodded her head before turning to Mavahn “Report to the armory and grab your gear, I’ll bring the sky-car around. If were dealing with red sand dealers, they will most likely be armed so we’ll wear armor as a precaution” Turning back to look at Aleena, she crossed her arms in front of her “If you need any equipment before we leave, our requisitions office is down the hall and to the left. Meet us on the landing pad when your ready”
     

    TAG: @Saintheart @SirakRomar
    Last edited by Jedi_padawan_leigh, Dec 13, 2012
  15. Mitth_Fisto Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    IC: TucaldendyrArenatsa’s (Auction House), Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula, Terminus Systems Border

    Being on the border of worlds, to float within the deep of space upon this world was a step removed from what this one was used to experiencing. Life was best in space, perhaps perceived only that way for having lived that way for one's near complete experience always made standing on land feel. . .odd. Shifting slightly one's weight for a slight rocking upon psuedo-pods it was an eagerly awaited for relief when the reason one had been standing here was revealed. It was awe-inspiring.

    The Hanar beside one spoke quickly to one directly, interupting one's own moment of introspection upon the artifact that was before them that the Volus was beginning the bidding for. This one would not start the bidding, best to let the others ware themselves out so that one could take advantage of observing and knowing the final price, and whether it was within range of one's abilities. You are possibly correct of it's origins, sadly one has not seen the like to verify. As for this one's intentions one appears well informed, but one is unable to discuss such things openly here. Perhaps after we can engage in a more enlightened discussion of the Enkindlers and the artifact?

    Leaving that as it was, one quickly shifted slightly awaiting the beginning of the true bargaining for the artifact. One possibly of Enkindler origins. A small part of one wanted to keep the artifact, and the fact that it may soon be on one's ship left one curious if a short study could happen before turning the artifact over later.

    TAG: @BLemelisk, @TheSithGirly, @Saintheart
  16. TheSithGirly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    Cira
    Arenatsa’s (Auction House), Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula, Terminus Systems Border

    She kept sunglasses on at any time these days. Her eyes were a little disturbing top everyone nowadays. She kept her sunglasses on right then and allowed herself enough time to watch the artifact. She tried to feel something, hoped for a resonance. Then she sighed and looked at the trader and the potential other buyers. Finally her eyes fell on the trader. Guards, bodyguards, traders, a Hanar. Hanar, that reminded her of the Hanar on Ashen. She had dried that one out, certainly.

    She decided there was no need yet to disobey orders. Orders, as if humans, as if those blind fools who remained even understood what that was . . . an order. When your mind was filled by one will, one purpose and this will revealed what needed to be done, THAT was an order. No, the time she had received true orders was over.

    Under her robes her handslowly wandered to the device at her arm. "Authenticity is key here. Is there any proof of it´s origin?" She said the words without looking at the trader. She simply said them and starred at the Sphere. She would have bet despite all mathematically impossibilities, the Sphere was perfect.

    Tag: @Saintheart, @BLemelisk, @Mitth_Fisto
  17. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Jorika Turell
    Aite Space, Typhon System
    The Pheonix Massing


    “Lieutenant - your squad to launch bay. Watch yourself.” The captain finally addressed Jorika personally, over the intercom system. The urgency in the situation lay underneath the captain’s words. Jorika shared a glance with his other men, before hopping to his feet and hurrying down the halls. Not a word was shared between them. There didn’t even need to be. The apparent fear and slight confusion was in the air, along with an underlying urgency that Jorika could feel boiling in his skin.

    The tension, at least, had a good explanation. They were alone in space, basically no help near. And though most wouldn’t dare dream of attacking a ship as of this stature, the worry was still there in the back of a person’s mind. It always was, never having dimmed completely from the war of all wars. At least the run proved to be pleasurable. The smells and aromas that wafted the halls reminded him of life at home. And while that was nice, it also reminded of the woman waiting for him at home. And he didn’t want to think about her.

    Waiting for their arrival, the Spectre glanced up from her data pad. Small, like most humans, in comparison to Jorika. Her face gave no doubt that danger was all that awaited them where they were going.

    Before Jorika had a chance to ask, she was speaking. “We’re making landfall on the dayside of Aite, on a river delta. It’s temperate climate, no biosuits required, all open country. You’ll be moving in with me to secure a small homestead on the surface. There are possible unfriendlies in the area given what we know about it. Questions?” Serious and technical, as Jorika had expected someone of her career to be, at least she had gotten all of his basic inquires correct. The fact that she was indeed a Spectre, and addressed to the Council specifically, frightened him just a bit more than lowering onto this planet. Jorika had to be sure to make her mission as smooth as possible.

    And yet, did that ever happen?

    “You answered all of them.” Jorika replied, watching his six other men prepared their weapons. All the while sneaking an interested glance in the woman’s direction. “You just do what needs to be done, and we’ll be here to keep you alive. Should be a simple job, right? Unless those unfriendlies prove to be. . .unfriendly?” He'd always been good with a gun, but words? He'd always had to work on them.



    TAG: @ Saintheart
  18. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Tucaldendyr, Desyk Tharan, Cira

    Arenatsa’s (Auction House), Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula, Terminus Systems Border


    Cira’s words rang out into the silence.
    They drew a chuckle from the audience. For a moment.
    Then, from the back of the room: “A hundred thousand!” And it began.
    “Hundred and twenty!”
    “Thirty!”
    “Sixty!”
    Eighty!

    The volus auctioneer was in his element, now: gleaming, his masked eyes darted back and forth between bidders as the price began to climb.

    TAG: Mitth_Fisto, BLemelisk, TheSithGirly




    Kairali, Aleena

    Magere Docks, Tayseri Ward
    The Citadel, Earth orbit


    The flight from C-Sec Headquarters in Kairali’s skycar was relatively short. Short enough, anyway, to purposefully ignore those sections of the Ward which hadn’t yet been repaired from the battle on the Citadel itself. The Ward was a patchwork of light and darkness, shattered, broken fingers pointing accusingly into the skies here and there down its length.
    Mavahn nodded at a cluster of buildings. “Looks like Mazzart’s got his generators back up and running. Didn’t think the bastard had the pull for that.” It was, indeed, criminal: Mazzart the Elcor was one of the better-connected weapons dealers on the Citadel, and even though they’d shut down at least six of his shipments, there’d been a good seven more which had gotten through as far as Intel knew. Kairali and Mavahn had hit the generators of his personal complex a few nights ago, but it looked like that little act of unofficial terrorism was just as pointless as stopping his weapons getting through – the shard shape of his complex was a gleaming spike through the palm of the Ward, glittering in the dark.

    The Salarian leaned back in his seat, glancing over at the third occupant in the rear of the car. “So who’s this hardcase you think is on this flight? I wouldn’t mind knowing what we’re up against before I get my horns shot off.”

    TAG: Jedi_padawan_leigh, SirakRomar




    Caudat Ambys

    Audience Chamber, Hexagon Centre
    Union District, Sur’kesh


    “So I understand,” said the dalatrass, gliding to the table and resuming her seat, frowning as she regarded the contents of a datapad she picked up. “For my part, I agree with you. Some of my colleagues seem overly optimistic about the role the Geth played in our strategic calculations across the galaxy. It’s an attitude that clearly filters down to STG as well. I’m aware of your passion on the subject. Your, shall we say, extracurricular interest in technological developments out of the Quarian resettlement is one of the few sources of coherent information we have on that subject.”

    The dalatrass set the datapad back on the table. “Let me come to the point. Your views are unpopular in STG, even allowing for the philosophical requirements of the service for a ‘doubter’ in the ranks. You have managed to, how do the humans say, tick off a number of your colleagues with your views. Marthan Daksas has rather more influence than you might suspect. I take a rather different view to them, but within normal STG channels. You are alone, Caudat Ambys. You have no mentor, no … ally, further in the tree. And I, believing much the same as you, have no freedom with which to act for the good of the Union of my own accord.”

    The dalatrass looked at him evenly. “We may be able to be of assistance to one another. But to do so, I will need you to leave Sur’kesh. Administratively, there will be no problem. One of STG’s teams is rotating one of off the Citadel, and I should be able to massage the paperwork for you to take his place. I see you are wondering why now. Very well, then. Something rather interesting seems to be happening in the Terminus Systems. We have it on good authority that a Spectre – Ashley Williams – was called in by someone high up in C-Sec’s ranks. We also know she commandeered a turian frigate which seems to have set out with all speed for Aite, a world in the Typhon space, out of the Phoenix Massing. Aite, we know, was the subject of a Cerberus project – Project Overlord -- prior to the Reaper War – an attempt at harnessing a VI to a sentient subject, a project which Commander Shepard attended. It is entirely possible this Spectre’s journey has something to do with it. Either way, there is a good chance that when the Spectre returns, she’ll be coming back to the Citadel. And I want you on the station looking into the matter when she comes. You’ll be given credentials to get you into C-Sec, and you’ll be acclimatised and more extensively briefed by one of our agents on the station – Mavahn Tenloss. What say you?”

    TAG: Trieste

    OOC: spycoder9: hang in there, I haven’t forgotten you – just working on your update. Should be up tonight or tomorrow.
  19. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Jorika Turell

    Aite, Typhon System, The Phoenix Massing

    The Spectre looked at him for a long, silent moment, then turned away, moving to don the dense, quantum-bound deep blue armour that no human wore.

    The Soul's Resolve hit geosynchronous orbit about ten minutes later. That, at least, was enough time for the turian and his squad to pull some quick details from the ship's nav about Aite:

    [IMG]

    Aesthetically pleasing views; ringed world; two moons, one of which would be crashing into the planet in the next two centuries. Aite had originally been a colony swearing allegiance to Citadel space, but it had broken away in 2133, sixty years ago. As the Council expected, it then broke into internecine warfare, the bloody conflict congealing into a group of feuding frontier-town city-states. The sort of planet where it was every sentient for himself/herself/itself. Geth incursions had been sporadic, but after Shepard destroyed the Reapers...
    Ten years ago. The Reaper War had spared the planet; too concerned with cutting the grass on major hub worlds first, Aite had been bypassed, at least for enough time for Shepard to solve the unsolvable problem.

    It didn't add up, and Jorika wasn't the only member of the squad puzzling over it. Aite had no great natural resources, no burgeoning deposits of eezo to fight over. It had no mass relay in it and no terribly attractive neighbours within several light years. And its settlements still had one thing in common: none recognised the authority of the Citadel or the Council. It was, in short, about the last place in the galaxy you'd anticipate a Spectre making all speed for. So that left the homestead, which suggested something or someone important to the Council was present on it. And therefore more questions - the most relevant one being, who in the name of the spirits would choose to live out here, on one of the wildest frontiers of space, about as far from Citadel protection as you could get?

    [IMG]

    The shuttle screamed in across the terminator, taking a wide circle of the compound -- the homestead. Residential area; a large-looking greenhouse; a utilitarian, heavyset-looking building that must've had the homestead's fusion reactor; and the long spine of a communications tower. No smoke to indicate the buildings had burned, but even on the viewscreens there were still telltales that something had happened here: black flash marks across the homestead's landing pad, scattered earth here and there.
    Out of the corner of his eye, Jorika saw the Spectre's gauntlet press harder on the rail she held, her eyes narrowing. More questions.
    "No ground-to-air LADAR emissions, sir, so no SAMs from what I can see," said the shuttle pilot from behind a polarised helmet. "Ground scans indicate the earth's solid enough that we don't have to land on the pad, lieutenant. I could insert your team next to any of the four major structures. Or I could back you off to a few hundred metres for insertion there."
    The turian glanced at the Spectre, but she was still watching the screens, silent.

    TAG: spycoder9
  20. Trieste Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2010
    star 5
    IC: Caudat Ambys
    Audience Chamber, Hexagon Centre
    Union District, Sur’kesh


    “Optimistic”? I think current consensus projections are not merely optimistic; they completely discount the possibility of AI threats. That is not optimism. That is blindness. Madness would be going a bit too far. Besides, we are not turians. “This is madness? This is Palaven!” Good movie. I should rewatch that. Of course, it’s hard not to go for a Blasto movie when one wants a good shoot ‘em up—oh, yes, my work on Quarian technological development. Why thank you, Caudat thought, running along with the dalatrass’s conversation, Admittedly there has been an implicit trust in the Quarians not to repeat the mistakes of the past and it’s highly unlikely they would make the same mistakes now that the geth are eliminated, one can never be sure. I do think it is one of the more unlikely possibilities, but the whole point of the exercise is not to take anything for granted.

    …unpopular? Typical. How typical. Especially of Marthan. Institutional controls are in place for a reason! Caudat was fuming, but hoped that he was hiding it decently from the dalatrass. Perhaps he was blinking a little furiously. But only just a little. As he listened to the dalatrass’s sympathy, Caudat had to set his teeth in disgust. Unbelievable the destruction a bureaucracy can wreak. If AI was truly intelligent it would smother us to death in paperwork and inaction. Heaven save us if a dalatrass can’t save us from it.

    The truth was that Caudat was disheartened by what he was hearing. It meant that such insular views were not limited to the rank and file of STG. If upper management was not taking his work seriously then the system had broken down. What was the use of having a voice crying out in the wilderness if no one would at least listen? Even if Caudat was wrong, what would it harm them to be ready to at least fathom the possibility?


    And then things changed. Oh. Assistance…leave Sur’kesh. Of course. Citadel? How exciting! I’ve always wanted to go. Good restaurants. Excellent shopping. They even have live theater. Yes? Wondering why? Of course I am…Spectre…Williams… Caudat listened carefully to this information and focused. He had read the reports on Overlord. They were incomplete but he knew Shepard had been involved. That alone was interesting about Overlord. He had assumed, along with the report writers, that Overlord was dead, shutdown, destroyed. But if a Spectre was looking into it…

    “I appreciate you sharing this information with me, dalatrass,” Caudat said, “It is a tenuous lead…but it is the largest lead regarding AI development since the Reaper War.” Things were crystallizing in Caudat’s head. If I’ve ignored it, then I’ve been so stupid. Could an organic have dragged AI along with him and saved the intelligence from the destruction wrought by the Reapers? “I accept the assignment. It is a situation that must be investigated, even if it comes to naught. That has been the guiding principle of my work thus far and there’s no reason to change now.” He smiled at the slight witticism. “Permit me to state the obvious, but this obviously a very unofficial charge, correct? There will be no proverbial cavalry backing me up?”

    Caudat figured that, as with much of his work, this would be a solo mission. It was worth hearing it before he left though.

    Tag: @Saintheart
  21. TheSithGirly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2007
    star 3
    Cira
    The Auction
    Arenatsa’s (Auction House), Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula, Terminus Systems Border

    Cira yawned and ignored the auction and the laughter. She ignored the others. She concentated on the sphere and wondered what it was. She missed the voices revealing the hidden truth behind every veil and web of deception life had prepared. She missed them. She missed herself. "I just ask, because we have been offered the same thing and then it was a Dis artifact, possibly used to manipulate time." She looked up as if she was seriously angry about it, allowing her eyes to gleam under her hood. Under the robes her hand grabbed her gun and she slowly walked towards the artifact. "It found an anonymus buyer. You haven´t bought by accident on Terminus about three weeks ago and now are reslling it as a Promethean artifact, are you?" She did not need a discusssion. She just needed someone to start shooting.

    Tag: Saintheart
  22. Mitth_Fisto Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    IC: Tucaldendyr
    The Auction
    Arenatsa’s (Auction House), Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula, Terminus Systems Border

    The Hanar shifted from front to back resting tentacles as the unknown one from before spoke again. So far one had refrained from tapping out a bid or causing a vocalization for the others present. The plan was laid out well enough, and one knew what one had to bid with. Still the woman if one recognized the gender properly for its specific alien species, was now making very serious accusations against the propriator of this estate.

    This could become interesting, one wonders if someone will note the fact that this lot is simply identified as an artefact? Or whether the volus is preparred for such eventualities occuring within the volus' auction house? Tucaldendyr asked his fellow Hanar as one shifted from near to further back tentacles as the middle curled up under one's body. If this was true responses should be interesting to hear, if this was false one needed to be ready for anything, including unwanted guests at the auction causing trouble beyond outbidding one.

    TAG: @Saintheart, @TheSithGirly, @BLemelisk
  23. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Aleena
    Magere Docks, Tayseri Ward
    The Citadel, Earth orbit


    Aleena looked at the Salarian and considered her options. she had tried to convince people that the woman she was hutning was partly Reaper, but the Reapers were dead and nobody wanted to believe anything else. So Aleena would keep that part for her. There were enough scary details about "Cira" to give away, anyway. "Among all the mass-murderers of the galaxy that are left, the woman we are looking for might be the Apex-predator. Smart, agile, adaptable and very deadly. She killed hundreds of people. On Ashen, on Illium and the gods know where else. She is a highly bale technician, possessing some quite unique technological items, she is strong, fast and ... " Aleena thought about the reports of the survivors and the look in their eyes, of the video how Cira killed the poor Doctor. " . . . remorseless." She ended her sentence.

    Her hands instinctivly went to her gun as she spoke. "If you lay eyes on a beautiful woman with a very strange auro while you are on the ship, don´t ask, don´t talk. Kill her. Or she will kill you." Aleena nodded. They would not take her advise immediately, she knew that. After they lost a few they might change that, though. And if Aleena had any chance at all, she would kill Cira before Cira killed any more people.

    "Her name is Cira." She finally ended the report about the few things she knew. "She is a former or current employee of Cerberus, but in her history she also served . . . much, much darker Masters."

    Tag: @Jedi_padawan_leigh, @Saintheart
  24. Jedi_padawan_leigh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Kairali Nerross
    Magere Docks, Tayseri Ward
    The Citadel, Earth orbit


    Kairali piloted the sky-car with easy confidence. Their destination wasn’t far, but she had to allow for detours and changes to the designated flight lanes. Tayseri ward stretched far off into the distance, but the sight was less impressive now than it had been years ago. Once, giant gleaming skyscrapers dominated the surface, now most of them were blackened empty shells, broken and derelict. Awaiting either eventual repair or demolition. and where once the ward glittered with millions of lights, it was now a patch-work of light and dark. Some of the more superstitious citizens had even given Tayseri the nick-name, “the cursed arm” after it took the brunt of the damage from Sovereign’s corpse in 2183

    The rebuilding still had not been fully completed by the commencement of the reaper war, and all the work that had been completed had been undone in the blink of an eye when the reaper forces had descended onto the space station once more. Many inhabitants died on board the citadel, and of those who survived, some did not bother returning to Tayseri ward after that…Ten years later and the rents were cheaper than anywhere else on the Citadel, and developers were trying to promote the ward as a place of new opportunities, what was that human saying? A Phoenix rising from the ashes or something? But try telling that to the citizens, who had not only lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods once, but twice in the space of a few short years. In a way, Kairali didn’t blame them for jumping ship. Mavhan’s voice pulled her out of her thoughts and she spared a sideways glance at her partner.

    “Looks like Mazzart’s got his generators back up and running. Didn’t think the bastard had the pull for that.”

    He said, nodding at a cluster of buildings. Kairali’s blue eyes fell on the gleaming shard shaped complex through the viewport as they passed and her jaw tensed, her mouth set into a thin line.

    “Well apparently he does…“

    She muttered as the complex disappeared from view. Mazzart had been a splinter in C-Sec’s palm long before the reaper war, and even more so now. An elcor weapons dealer with numerous criminal connections, for every one of his weapons shipments that C-Sec intercepted, another managed to get through and onto the station, much to Kairali’s frustration. The fact that that scheming Pyjack had been able to get his base of operations fixed up while the rest of the ward was struggling made Kairali’s blood boil. They had even attempted to cut power to his complex’s generators in order to stop him siphoning power away from residential areas, but as Mavhan had just pointed out, their efforts had been for naught. She made a mental note to bring this development up with the captain when they got back to HQ. From the corner of her eye, she noticed Mavhan turn around to address their passenger in the rear seat.

    “So who’s this hardcase you think is on this flight? I wouldn’t mind knowing what we’re up against before I get my horns shot off.”

    It was a fair enough question, and to Kairali’s surprise, Aleena was rather forthcoming with her information, though the more she divulged, the bigger the nervous knot that started to form in the older asari’s stomach despite her best efforts. A mass-murderer with no remorse? With highly honed skills, specialist equipment and a kill count in the hundreds? How the hell did Eccleston green light this? This sort of job was usually left to the special response branch of C-Sec, not enforcement, yet here they were…

    "If you lay eyes on a beautiful woman with a very strange auro while you are on the ship, don´t ask, don´t talk. Kill her. Or she will kill you…"Her name is Cira…She is a former or current employee of Cerberus, but in her history she also served . . . much, much darker Masters"

    Aleena finished and Kairali’s eyes flashed for a second. “Cerberus?” She mentally cursed at the mention of that name. She didn’t turn around, but her grip on the skycar controls tightened and her heartbeat started to increase under the armoured chest guard she wearing. If this Cira was as dangerous as Aleena was making out, would the three of them be enough to bring her in? From Aleena’s description, it seemed that even a platoon of blood-rage filled krogan would struggle to deal with this particular individual. In front of her on the dashboard, a console bleeped and she selected a highlighted button with her finger. They were close to the docks now. Kairali sighed heavily

    "I’m guessing you..omitted some of these details when pitching your mission to our captain?” She replied, not able to hide the disapproval in her tone as she brought the sky-car around in a wide arc and the downwards towards the surface and their destination. But a cold feeling shot up Kairali’s spine as she glanced at her fellow asari.

    “I hope you know what your doing Aleena”
     

    TAG: @Saintheart @SirakRomar
    Last edited by Jedi_padawan_leigh, Dec 27, 2012
    Trieste likes this.
  25. BLemelisk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 4
    IC: Desyk Tharan
    Arenatsa’s, Dantius Towers, Nos Astra
    Illium, Tasale System, Crescent Nebula

    Over the low hum of the crowd, he was able to discern a single low utterance coming from the corner of the room and the location of the ominous human, "Authenticity is key here. Is there any proof of it´s origin?

    Desyk snapped his head subtly toward the sound of the voice as Etroim and Tucaldendyr’s fascination was piqued by the artifact for sale. Yet he and the others present hardly reacted to the question. Although Illium itself was a hive of clandestine criminality, a famous auction venue such as Arenatsa’s, housed in the late Nassana Dantius’ monolithic office towers no less, would have its facts straight.

    A disembodied cry of, “A hundred thousand!” rang out from somewhere in the house, and the bidding took off. Tharan turned back toward Etroim and the other hanar for a moment to confirm their ceiling bid, but the pace was quickening and his master’s bioluminescence told all he needed to know – ”This one and you are leaving here with that sphere!”

    “Hundred and twenty!”
    “Thirty!”
    “Sixty!”
    “Eighty!"

    As the volus’ short arms shot back and forth across the crowd as the bids climbed, Desyk knew it was time nearly time for Etroim’s first bid. He began to raise his left hand to signal to the auctioneer, but his acute drell situational awareness alerted him to the fact that the human female from before had left her spot in the corner and was now moving slowly toward the auction floor. The advantage was she was not facing in his direction.

    He looked directly at her, a robed figure that screamed “security risk.” In a moment, his mind’s eye flitted among the past times that beings looking exactly like her had put him or his compatriots in life and death situations. Dark figure in back alley. Citadel wards glittering damaged overhead. ”You think you’re some kind of priest?” Cardos sneers. “Take your hood off.” The sandstone turian reaches for the cloth. A shotgun beneath cleaves a hole in his chest. Jumpy salarian courier. Wrong place, wrong time.

    The human moved a hand beneath her robe. She had a weapon, and Desyk Tharan wouldn’t allow his master to come to harm. It was the way of the Compact. Reaching his right hand deliberately toward his holstered pistol, he called out in his species’ flanging tone, “Human! Stand still and bid like the rest of us.”

    He then fully raised his left hand toward the auctioneer, not taking his eyes off of the human. “Two hundred thousand.”

    TAG: @TheSithGirly, @Mitth_Fisto, @Saintheart
    Last edited by BLemelisk, Dec 28, 2012
    Trieste likes this.
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