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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Outside the Dinari system

    David ducked back under cover, pointing his assault rifle over his head, spraying bullets down the corridor. Damn pirates, he thought as he took stock of the situation. It looked like there were about a dozen of them against him, Leo, and Casey. No telling how many were coming from elsewhere in the derelict ship, especially now that there was gunfire.

    At least they weren’t Bonecrusher’s. These were freelancers. No one would miss them if they didn’t come back.

    “Easy money,” he muttered angrily as he flicked to single-fire and nodded at Leo, who was floating above him near the floor of the ship. “‘It’s empty,’ they said. ‘It’s easy-pickings!’ they said.”

    A red light blipped on in the top right corner of his helmet display as he floated out of cover with his rifle under a hail of cover-fire from Leo. In the next three seconds five of the pirates recoiled from precise shots from his rifle and Casey’s ghost rifle. Her’s was better suited to the task, but his shots still accounted for two of the fallen.

    The pirates had grown to two-dozen in number. Fortunately, there was only one way they could attack from. Unfortunately, they were backed up to the end of a corridor that had been sheared off, the open stars behind them. The pirates would lose many men before they won, but they would win.

    The captain clicked his teeth to activate the secure channel to Gambit. “About time you showed up, dammit.”

    A short chuckle came over the channel and filled his helmet. His helmet automatically balanced the sounds over the channel and those coming from outside the suit, allowing him to hear over the gunfire without sacrificing awareness or balance. “We were busy lying-low like you told us to. We can come back if this is an inconvenient time.”

    “Puck, I will flay you alive if you so much as...” he replied, exchanging fire. A bullet glanced off his armor, sending him back into cover. A breach in his suit would definitely make any sort of rescue pointless.

    “Cool yer guns, man. We were dodging the galley that came in about half a cycle ago. We’ve been monitoring their channels. Figured now was a good time to step in.”

    “Well I don’t fancy fighting through these scum to the rendezvous, especially with this cargo. They’re well-equipped, if not well trained, and there are a lot of them. Are there any alternate routes.”

    There was a pause and then Puck’s voice came back. “I’ve got an idea.”

    Before David could begin to ask a question, the channel clicked off, and the full noise of the combat came back. He switched over to the short-range channel to speak to Leo and Casey.

    “Alright, you two. Looks like we’re getting out of here soon. Hold tight.”

    Leo snorted derisively, kicking off the floor to float across the corridor, spraying bullets. Return fire zipped and whizzed down the corridor, as well as the cries of pain and broken vacuum suits. Once on the other side, he freed one hand to grab a hold of the wall, swinging close to it and back into relative safety on the other side. “Puck keeping you in the dark again?”

    “Watch yourself, bonehead. A breach in your suit and you’re done. Not even Doc can keep you breathing then.”

    “So what do we do, captain?” Casey asked in the clear, precise manner that she adopted when under stress.

    “You heard me. Hold tight.”

    Just then, the red dot reappeared momentarily. “Alright, Puck. Tell me you got something good.”

    “You bet your ass I do,” Puck crowed. “You’re gonna love this.”

    “I’m pretty sure you’re lying to me.”

    “Here’s what you need to do...”

    David listened intently, letting Casey and Leo handle the pirates for a few seconds so he didn’t miss anything. Then he shut off the secure channel. A little display popped up in the corner of eyes, counting down from one hundred. He quickly filled Leo and Casey in on the plan.

    “Is he crazy?” Casey asked, true terror coming through in her voice. “There’s no way he can pull that off.”

    Leo just snorted as he threw a grenade down the corridor at the pirates. They were slowly making their way forward, but the grenade-blast sent them back a little. David reached over next to the safety and pushed a small switch, listening to the loud ‘whrrrr-clank’ as the chambers shifted in his gun. Then he popped out of cover, sighted down the barrel and pulled the trigger. A loud roar filled the space and the round sped down the corridor in a streak of red light, slicing through in a straight line, heedless of obstacles, breaching the suits of seven pirates before the rocket-propelled round came to a halt.

    The gun kicked hard against his shoulder, sending him into an awkward spin as he crossed the corridor to the cargo. He ejected the red-hot chamber out of the rifle, slipping a new one in, toggling the switch back. Couldn’t use that too often. The gun simply couldn’t handle the stress of too many Penetrator Rounds fired too quickly.

    “Look, Casey,” he said, grabbing a hold of the cargo-box that was their prize, secured to the wall by magnetic locks. “He can. And if he doesn’t, we’re dead anyway. So shut up and get to.”

    He released the locks and the box floated away from the wall. He planted his feet on the wall and pushed himself and the box out into the open space, twisting in midair to continue firing down the ruined corridor. Leo threw a few more grenades before jumping out towards him.

    Casey waited a few seconds, and David almost thought that she wasn’t going to follow before she crouched down and pushed away with all of her strength, catching up to them quickly. Leo reached out an arm to catch her, and they tumbled together. David continued firing into the corridor until Casey and Leo could orient themselves and take over covering fire.

    They floated further out, and David looked around them, trying to catch a glimpse of their rescue. It could also be their death, but he chose to be optimistic until Puck splattered him on the windshield. Pessimism wouldn’t help anything.

    He caught sight of Gambit approaching them at break-neck speed along the hull of the wreck. He cringed. At that speed there was a lot that could go wrong, the least of which was the bone-breaking speed at which they were about to come to a stop. He looked at the counter on his display.




    The Gambit came within the short-range mic, and David could hear Puck screaming at the top of his lungs in exhilaration as Gambit abruptly braked hard, jerking its nose away from the wreck, turning its forward dive into a spin that scooped Leo, Casey, David, and their prize into the aft airlock.

    David could hear Casey screaming in terror with another voice, possibly his own, as they passed into the cargo bay airlock. As soon as they were inside, Gambit braked hard once again as the airlock closed with a snap so that the impact against the wall was only bone-jarring instead of bone-crushing.

    {Secure} A surreal voice said calmly, and Gambit jumped forward again, this time away from the wreck.

    A second passed in which the Gambit accelerated, sending them up against the wall again before the vacuum stabilized and they were able to float away from each other. A few more seconds passed, and then the hiss of the airlock pressurizing surrounded them, and they all fell to the ground, the cargo box making a loud clang as it hit the floor.

    “Remind me once we hit planet-side that we really need to fix the fore airlocks. I don’t fancy doing an emergency pick-up like that ever again,” David said to noone in particular.

    “By all the divine light of the stars,” Casey whispered as she opened her suit, lowering her visor. “He did it. He did it, gorrammit.”

    “I told you he was good,” David said, raising the visor on his marine suit, putting his rifle aside for a moment. He clicked onto the onboard channel in the suit. “How we doing, Puck?”

    “We got flags once I came in. Some nobody pirate is threatening to tear your spine out through your nose. I told him to shut up and eat his fork. Hope you don’t mind me speaking for you.”

    “They scramble any fighters?”

    “Doesn’t look like it. Appears they are just a troop transport. We’re safe.”

    “Alright. Good flyin’. You saved our backs out there.”

    “Damn right I saved your backs.”

    “Thanks. Set a course for the rendezvous with our employer.”

    “And your fronts, and sides-” David powered down his suit before he got any further.

    “Leo! Get this crate out of the airlock and out of the way!”

    Leo and Casey set to work as David walked through the cargo bay towards his quarters. It had been a long day, and in four hours another long day was going to start.


    -Gambit resurfaces, taking a job to retrieve an unspecified cargo

    -Meeting unknown unfriendlies, they make a spectacular getaway with the goods

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Deiliri, Rasalin system

    David looked down into his cup, slowly swirling the dark brown liquid, ignoring the bustling cantina around him. Another boring drop come and gone. Even the less legal jobs had been going smoothly.

    He surely didn't miss the excitement, did he? Then why was he sitting in a cantina, staring sadly into his drink? A small smile slowly crept over his face. So maybe he did miss the excitement. It had been a few quiet months since Barkanos. He hadn't had to deal with zerg, or protoss. Well, aside from Po'Nath, but he had gotten used to dealing with the calm protoss's remarks.

    Things had been so quiet, he didn't even feel the need to bring back-up with him. He hoped it didn't last for long. Things were more lucrative when the stakes were higher.

    He downed the drink and put the cup down on the bar as he stood up. As he turned away from the bar, he saw two men walk into the cantina. He watched them with interest as he made his way closer to the door.

    They were dressed casual, but he had been in enough fights to notice combat training. Military training. These were dangerous men. And they looked to be hunting something. David almost thought it was a shame they didn't have any reason to be hunting him.

    As he skirted the wall, one of the screens above the bar caught his eye. The smallest screen was always scrolling through the latest and most high-profile fugitives. He usually paid it no mind, except when he saw a face he recognized. Like now.

    The soft blue eyes of a young woman stared down at him, with mousy brown hair and a small, cute, nose. Casey hadn't mentioned anything about being a fugitive from the Technocracy.


    After many weeks of boringly easy jobs, David is wishing for excitement.

    He is answered by finding out that Casey is a fugitive from the Technocracy.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    OOC: Sorry about the massive delay. With the holidays and everything, my schedule blew up in my face. Should be pretty calm now for a while. We'll see. :-D

    Barkanos, Davir System

    David looked up at his ship. After two weeks of working almost day and night, Gambit was pretty well space-worthy once again. It would be good to be living full-time on the ship again. It had only been his home for a few months, but those months had had an effect on him. It hadn't felt right, sleeping anywhere else. But after the fourth sleepless night due to the constant work that Haley and that Barclay guy put in, he forced himself to find a place in the locale to sleep.

    He would be glad to put this dustball and all of its problems behind him. Every minute that stayed spelled greater doom for himself and for the people of Barkanos. It was only a matter of time before the Imperium tracked him to this planet, and they weren't going to be gentle when they caught up to him. He had double-crossed them, and tipped their hand to the cerebrate.

    And that brought to mind another reason to be away from the planet as soon as possible. In the aftermath of the combat and explosions, Asala had escaped. And though he had seen the bloody mess that Leo had turned Vardanis into, he hadn't been able to find the operative later on. He surmised that Asala had returned to retrieve her teacher.

    They were out there, licking their wounds no doubt, waiting for their opportunity to get back at him. He doubted that was the last he had heard of them, and the longer they had to wait to leave, the more he anticipated the trap that he had narrowly escaped to slap closed around him.

    “You gonna stand there all day? Or are we gonna get the hell out of here?”

    He was shaken from his thoughts by Puck's chipper voice over the comm. The little imp was probably up in the cockpit, waiting to get out of here. He shook his head and stepped onto the ship. With one last look at the planet of Barkanos, David closed the cargo hatch.

    “Let's get out of here.”

    “You got it, cap'n.”


    Repairs are finished on Gambit and it is space-worthy again

    Gambit sets out for Apoca in the Dras Lana System (2 IC's until arrival)

    I am back from sabbatical :-P

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread


    “Come on, Leo!! Wake up, Leo!! I need to talk to you!!”

    Leo groaned, waking up from his heavy slumber. David was outside his door, yelling fit to wake the dead and pounding on the door.

    “Who's that, babe?” a female voice said from his chest, and he looked down at his companion from the evening before. He'd done worse.

    “That's the captain,” he said groggily, sitting up and pulling on some pants.

    “Leo, don't make me break down this door! You have until the count of three!”

    He stood up and ran a hand through his hair as he walked over to the door, muttering. He opened it to see David standing there with his sidearm pointed at where the lock had been.

    “What d'ya want, cap'n?” he asked, leaning on the door. His head was killing him. How many days had they been on the planet? Four, five? He couldn't tell anymore.

    David stepped past him into the room, reholstering his gun. The boy outside looked apologetically at Leo, before he closed the door.

    “Have you seen Rodrick?” David looked around the room. When his eyes reached the bed, he suddenly spun around, facing the wall. “Leo... Get your groupie out of here.”

    “Hey!” the woman said. Leo couldn't even remember her name. “What gives you the-”

    “Barbara,” Leo guessed. “It's alright. I need to talk to him privately.”

    “It's Sarah,” she said angrily, gathering her clothes. “Make sure you set him straight, hero. That's no way to speak to a lady.”

    Leo winced at her mention of his status here. He wasn't nearly drunk enough to handle this. Since his last talk with Rodrick, he had given up trying to convince him or the people that he wasn't a hero, he just drank and tried to ignore it.

    “Now what did you want?” he asked as the woman left the room, closing the door behind her.

    “Have you seen Rodrick?” David asked, turning around once more. “I haven't seen him since we last talked in the bar two days ago. People are starting to wonder.”

    Leo thought for a second. “Y'know... I haven't seen him. Have you asked-”

    “Yea, yea,” David interrupted him irritatedly. “I've asked everyone. No one knows where he is at.”

    Suddenly, his captain's eyes widened in shock. “No,” he said disbelievingly.

    “What?” Leo said, more than a little confused.

    “Those little, blue-skinned.... Get everyone together, we need everyone armed and ready for action. I think the Imperials have worn out their welcome.” David moved quickly to the door. “Scratch that, you just get to the ship and get your gear. Make sure the townspeople don't follow you. Last thing we need is a witch-hunt on the Imperials. Let's try to settle this without any further bloodshed.”

    Leo was suddenly struck with what was happening. The Imperials had what!? He didn't even notice David leave the room in his hurry to get dressed. Right as he was about to leave through the front door, he thought better of it, instead throwing his pack out the window. He jumped to the roof underneath him, and then grabbed his pack and jumped the rest of the way to the ground.

    He then made his way to where Gambit was berthed. He had to double-back three times to avoid being seen by the townsfolk. It really wouldn't do for them to get caught in an altercation between David and the Imperials.

    Finally, he made it to the ship, and within minutes he was in his combat armor with his heavy machine gun, standing in front of the ship. He had kept his eyes open on the ship, but he hadn't seen any of them. They were probably in the cargo hold.

    Soon, the other's began arriving. David in his combat armor, Dr. Rark in his medic armor, Casey in her ghost uniform. Haley arrived holding one of the protoss observers.

    “What are you doing here?” David asked. “This is no place for you to be.”

    “Yea?” she asked haughtily. “Without this here observer, how are you going to know where they are. They're Nerazhim, numbnuts. They'll rip you pieces before you even see them.”

    “Good point,” David answered. “Alright, you can come, but stay out of the way, and don't get dead.”

    “Believe me, I have no intentions of getting in between you guys.”

    {You realize the implications of what you are about to do, do you not?} Po'Nath said, materializing out of the shadows. The protoss was almost as stealthy as one of the dark templar. The only reason Leo had noticed him even a micro-second before he spoke was because of his suit.

    “Hey,” David began. “I'm not gonna go in guns blazing. But yes, I do realize what I'm doing if this goes sour.” He turned to the rest of them. “And I believe all of you do?”

    Everyone, Leo included, nodded.

    “If any of you want to back out, you are more than welcome to,” he went on. No one did.

    After a few moments, he went on. “Okay then. Puck.”

    “Yessir,” the chipper pilot said with a mock salute.

    “Get to the bridge and prepare to take off. Once this goes down, I want to be away from here as soon as possible.”

    “Gotcha,” Puck quipped, moving off at a run.

    “Everyone else... Let's misbehave.”

    “They appear to be in the cargo hold,” Haley added as they set out with David in the lead with his large rifle, flanked by Po'Nath and Leo. Haley and Dr. Rark walked behind them, and Casey brought up the rear.

    They made their way towards the cargo hold, and Leo couldn't help but get the pre-fight jitters. It had been awhile since he had had a good fight. It had been even longer since he had fought protoss. They were tricky opponents.

    They entered the cargo hold in formation, and David immediately gestured for them to spread out. With the help of the observers, each of them were able to find and tag the dark templar so their cloaking wouldn't work.

    Asala stood in the center of the cargo hold, with the two scout ships hanging above her and the three civilians and Rodrick, who were each huddled on the floor clutching their heads. Vardanis picked up his long, gem-studded rifle and stepped up next to her as Leo and David approached them, staying a good distance apart so as to be able to create a crossfire if the worst should happen. Leo could see Casey above them with her sniper rifle pointed down, choosing her target, an unfortunate dark templar who knew he was under crosshairs.

    “Stand down, Imperials,” David said, bringing his rifle up and pointing it at Asala. “This isn't the way we do things.”

    {And how do you do things?} Asala sneered, stepping forward. {The hallmark of inefficiency, you terrans are. Always doing things in your clumsy and childish ways. This is how you get the job done! This is how you perform your duties!}

    {Calm, Asala,} Vardanis said. He turned to David. {We are performing the duties that you have failed to in the week that we have been on this planet. A week, and no new information. A week of frivolous parties and inane banter. Do not blame us for deciding to do the job for you. Doing the job that you lack the resolve and honor to do.}

    Leo stepped forward, and found himself looking down the barrel of Vardanis's rifle. {Don't try it. You will be dead before you take another step.}

    “You let these people go!” Leo said. “They don't know anything!”

    {Then they have nothing to fear,} Vardanis replied. {But, if they are hiding something-}

    Leo took an involuntary step forward in anger, and the next seconds passed in a blur. He heard a scream “Noooo!!”, saw the muzzle flash of the protoss's rifle, and then heard a thud as a figure passed in front of him.

    The cargo hold was completely silent as Leo looked down at the crumpled heap that used to be the boy. The one that had followed him everywhere since he had made landfall. The boy who's name he still didn't know.

    A wordless roar escaped his lips as he charged the protoss. Three more muzzle flashes, and he felt a little resistance in his charge. His gun forgotten, he dropped it, seizing Vardanis's rifle and wrenching it upward as his armored shoulder slammed into the protoss's head.

    Leo faintly heard gun shots and psi-blades around him, but he had eyes only for Vardanis. He brought the rifle down like a club on the offending creature's head, and roared again as he brought the club up and down, up and down. The protoss feebly tried to defend against the armor-empowered strikes, turning the first few away, but the ferocity of Leo's attacks broke through, and Vardanis was beat down.

    A few more gunshots rang out, as Leo dropped the rifle and stumbled around aimlessly. He fell to his knees. His legs were numb. He looked downward. His armor showed three cracked holes, one in his chest, and two in his abdomen. Blood poured out of them.

    He fell over onto his side. As his head rolled around to look upwards, and his vision fuzzed away, he saw the ships above him suddenly explode, and darkness descended on him.



    Imperials kidnap and torture Rodrick and three Barkanos citizens

    David figures this out and confronts themselves

    David and crew “kill” Vardanis and Asala, as well as three of the dark templar. The other two dark templar escape once their leaders are downed.

    Leo sustains serious gunshot wounds (10% point reduction)

    Asala self-destructs the two protoss scout ships that were hanging in the cargo bay, crippling Gambit until further notice

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Barkanos, Davir system

    Leo couldn't believe the past few days. Stepping off of Gambit, he had expected nothing more than a simple information run. Maybe apply a little pressure, break some bones, a little hot poker torture if absolutely necessary, and then adios. Nothing had prepared him for the reality.

    He couldn't remember whether he had been on the planet for two or three days. The entire time had passed in a haze of drinking, women, and merriment. And futile attempts to get Rodrick alone to explain things. It wasn't as simple as the man believed. He believed he had saved his father, but the reality was much less flattering for Leo.

    All these thoughts ran through his head as he sat at the table surrounded by townsfolk. The story we was telling he had told so many times, he didn't even have to think about it anymore. The people around were enraptured by his voice. He looked at a young man, no more than seventeen, who hadn't left his side since he had arrived. He was pretty sure the boy slept outside the room he had been given. He hadn't even learned the kid's name.

    This thought was forgotten as he looked up over the crowd and saw Rodrick and David sitting at a table talking. He stood up.

    “Sorry, boys and girls, but I just remembered something I need to talk to Captain Rodrick about,” he said as he pushed his way through the press of people. They groaned and pleaded with him to stay, but they didn't stop him.

    He stopped at the table Captain David and Captain Rodrick were sitting at. David was asking questions, and Rodrick was answering them as if it wasn't the first time he had had to.

    “-just came in, killed the Archon, freed you all, and then left, offering to take those that wanted to go with him?” David asked unbelievingly. Leo rolled his eyes. They knew that even before they landed on this planet, why was he having such a hard time believing it now that he was being told it by someone who knew?

    “That's right,” Rodrick answered.

    “Didn't demand anything? Didn't attack any of you?”

    “Only the ones that tried to stop him from getting to the Archon.”


    “That's the fourth time you've said that,” Rodrick said, and then looked up at Leo. “Please, hero, have a seat. I was just telling your captain a little about what has happened here over the past few years.”

    “I wish you'd stop calling me that,” Leo said as he sat down. “I'm not a hero.”

    “Hear that, David?” Rodrick said, slapping Leo on the back. “Not a hero? What modesty. You are an astoundingly honorable man, Leo. I hope that I'm half the man you are someday.”

    “Look,” Leo began. “Let's straighten a few things out. First of all, I didn't save your father. I was one of the ones hired to kidnap him. Things got dicey, and the others panicked, turning on each other. It's not my fault I was the last one standing.”

    Rodrick laughed uproariously. “Barkeep! Get this man another drink,” he yelled. The bar roared its approval as the barkeep complied. “You tell some of the craziest stories, man. Can you believe him?” he said to David.

    “No, this isn't a story,” Leo insisted. “I would have collected the bounty on your dad myself if I thought I could get away with it. I was sure I would have been nabbed, so I left your dad and got off that planet as fast as I could.”

    “No joke?” Rodrick asked, biting back a laugh.

    “No joke,” Leo replied seriously.

    The man busted out laughing. “And I'm the king of the Imperium!”

    Leo sighed and shook his head.



    {Where are you going, my student?} Vardanis said as he materialized out of the darkness.

    Asala stopped in her tracks, and the other Nerazhim accompanying her stopped as well. {This David has had ample time to perform his duties. It is time we took matters into our own hands.}

    {Be calm, child. Patience and composure will bring you closer to your target, not rash and unthought actions. We will give him more time. The situation is... complicated.}

    {You can wait here as long as you want,} Asala said angrily. {I'm going to do what we came here to do.} She then left the ship. The other Nerazhim waited, watching him. After a few moments, he nodded, and followed them off the ship.



    Partying commences on Barkanos

    Imperials get impatient and decide to take matters into their own hands

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - Character Creation

    Okay... Things are heating up on Barkanos, and I just wanted to let everyone know that I have a plan for how things are gonna go on the ground, and I ask that people forestall their arrivals until that gets done. I'm writing a post right now, and then Orloth has a post that he wants to put in, and then I have a wrap-up post to follow. Then it will be safe for the pirates to arrive, followed by everyone else. I'll make sure to make this go as quickly as possible so everyone isn't waiting on me. Details to follow to the people who are involved.

    Thanks guys. I appreciate it.

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Gambit, Davir system, approaching the planet Barkanos

    {You realize the Imperials cannot be trusted once we make landfall, correct?} Po'Nath asked in his uncannily calm voice. Protoss were calm, but he brought it to a whole new level of unnerving.

    “I got that,” David said as he stood behind Puck with a hand on the pilot's chair. “They were ready to start pulling fingernails a week ago when we left Domus-”

    “Four days, cap'n,” Puck interrupted.

    David waved the comment aside. “Whatever. We need to get more information before this comes to a head. We need to get an idea of what kind of force we are going to be dealing with if this 'Dagganoth' comes back here. He has some connection to this planet, or at least, his 'passengers' do. He may even follow us here.”

    {This cerebrate has shown a remarkable amount of sentimental, 'human', rational,} Po'Nath put in. {He stepped in to help free this planet from the control of an Archon when it offered no strategic or power gain for him. And then did not seek to enslave them himself, though it would be completely within his power to do so.}

    “And then he stepped in to help Erana's Order free their heroine,” Puck added.

    “Not your typical zerg M.O...” David mused.

    {Indeed,} Po'Nath said.

    “This would be an interesting specimen to study,” Dr. Rark said from his seat. He had been sitting there the entire time, listening to the conversation, but this was the first time he had said something. “But without a sample from a typical cerebrate, there wouldn't be much to compare to. But I wonder what makes him so special. Is he a new strain?...” The doctor rambled on to himself, and then turned to the console he sat at, and began taking notes.

    “Thank you, professor Nutty,” Puck said from his seat.

    “Anyway,” David went on.

    “So are you suggesting that we help the cerebrate?” Puck asked.

    “No of course not,” David said. “Or... I don't know... I don't have enough information.”

    {You are running out of time to be 'on the fence', as you humans say.}

    “I know,” he answered. “I know.”



    They were greeted on the ground by a crowd of people, led by a tallish man of medium build, wearing a simple black civilian outfit. He was a man of about thirty, but already his hair and beard were fully grey, giving him a wise and fierce look.

    “Welcome to Barkanos,” he started, extending a hand to David. “I am Rodrick. I'm kind of the de facto mayor of sorts for this colony. It's been awhile since we've received visitors, let alone visitors that aren't armed to the teeth. Are you part of a convoy?”

    Leo stood behind David with the rest of the crew. He almost laughed at Rodrick's comment. Just wait until you hear what we are here for, he thought to himself.

    Just as David was about to start speaking, Rodrick's gaze doubled back to the crew and his eyes popped open in surprise and disbelief as his gaze fixed on Leo. “Is it you?”

    He stepped around David and walked towards him. He was stunned. Rodrick looked familiar, but he had seen so many people, he just assumed it was a coincidence. He had no idea who this guy was. He searched his memories for where he could possibly know this man.

    He looked to David, who shrugged in return. The man was approaching him. I hope I didn't kill his father or something.

    {Do you know him?} Po'Nath asked him. After a moment, he shook his head and thought, I don't think so, hoping the protoss picked up the thought.

    “Do I know you?” he asked.

    “It is you. I would never forget your face. You changed my life,” Rodrick said, and Leo searched his eyes for what the man was thinking. It didn't look like he was angry. In fact, he looked like he was about to cry. Oh no, he thought, I did kill his father. Or maybe his mother. “You saved my father's life,” Rodrick said.

    “I'm so sorry. I didn't- What?”

    “You probably don't remember. But when I was a little boy, my father was kidnapped by some hired muscle. My father was a general who had deposed a crime lord and he wanted revenge. You saved my father. I was there. I watched the whole thing.”

    Suddenly, it all clicked together in Leo's head. Rodrick looked a lot like his father. “That's not exactly what happened-” he started, but he was cut off as Rodrick turned towards the crowd.

    “Everyone! This man... he is a hero. He saved my father's life many years ago, and then disappeared without asking for anything in return. I have always dreamed of the day that I would see this man and get to thank him properly. My father was a great man, and this man selflessly put himself in harm's way to help a complete stranger, when he could have walked away.”

    “And so,” he went on, turning to Leo and extending a hand. “On behalf of my father and with exceptional gratitude, I say 'thank you.'”

    Not knowing what else to say, Leo took his hand, and the crowd clapped enthusiastically.

    “In recognition of this great man and his friends, I declare the next two days to be spent celebration! Let us properly honor this man and all other men like him!”

    The crowd erupted in noise and surged forward. Leo almost panicked as they swarmed around him and he was dragged off into the town.


    Minutes later

    David and the rest of the crew stood in front of Gambit watching the departing crowd.

    {Is this your idea of 'laying low?'} Asala asked. David almost looked back, expecting to see her. The Imperial protoss had remained on the ship. They didn't want the natives to know they were there until they had a better picture of where their loyalties lay.

    “It's... all part of the new plan,” David said.

    {What's the new plan?} Po'Nath asked privately.

    I have no idea, he thought to himself.


    - Arrival on Barkanos

    - Apparently Leo isn't as heartless as he seems

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - Character Creation

    It would also present a real consequence for not writing yourself out of the story before going AWOL. When someone comes back, they should have to deal with the consequences of their actions, like any other situation.

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    To-Do Cantina, Domus

    David impatiently drank the custom concoction in front of him as he waited for his contact to show up. It had been a frustrating few weeks. At first, things had gone smoothly. All his contacts came through, and said it shouldn't be hard to find information, with promises of a huge plot to unravel. Now, he hadn't been that optimistic, but he hadn't expected the delaying games that he was getting.

    The only thing they had been able to run to ground was an obscure reference by one of Casey's contacts to a planet in the Davir system; Barkanos. It seemed like a long shot to him. And the last one had yet to pay out for him.

    He glanced across the cantina to where Leo sat at the bar. Leo shook his head, and David bit back a curse. He couldn't see the door, but Leo had just confirmed that his man hadn't shown yet.

    “You ah Captan Daveed,” a deep voice said behind him. It wasn't a question. This man knew who he was. David didn't recognize the voice.

    “That depends,” he replied coolly. He shot back the rest of his drink, and as he slammed the cup back down to the table, his other hand drifted to his side-arm. “Who's asking?” He hadn't expected Krag to have the courage to send someone after him this soon. Especially if it was only one man. He looked over to where Leo sat at the bar. His friend was busy looking at the entrance.

    The voice walked around him and sat across the table from him, revealing himself to be a black man in simple working clothes with a side-arm and a large knife on opposite hips. His hair was in long dreadlocks pulled back into a mess of snakes on the back of his head. He looked intensely at David with piercing black eyes.

    “I, am no one,” the man said. “And -”

    “Look, I'm expecting someone,” David interrupted, using the distraction to release his holster. “So cut the drama act, and get to the point.”

    The man sat back in the chair, raising his hands. “No need to get trigger happy, mon. I come to give ya' a friendly wawrnin': You in dangerous waters, mon. Best be leavin' sleepin' beasts lie. Get mah point?”

    “Who are you?” David demanded. “Who are you working for?”

    The man ignored his questions and stood up. “No need to worry yaself with tha dealings above ya head. Best stick to what ya' bitty ship can handle.” The man walked past him and disappeared into the crowded cantina.

    David stood up to follow, and was immediately met by a small man holding a bundle of papers.

    “Oh! Captain David,” the man stuttered. “Sorry I'm late, I got held up.”

    He looked over the man's shoulder, trying to catch the mess of dreadlocks as they moved through the crowd. Unsuccessful, he sat back down at the table.

    “About time you showed up, Murray,” he started. “I was about to come break your knee-caps. I don't like having my time wasted.”

    He watched in amusement as the man's small frame quivered as he sat down and placed the bundle on the table and slid it across to David. “Th-The stuff you asked for is waiting to be picked up.”

    David picked up the bundles and looked through them slowly. Satisfied, he tossed back down to the table and signaled the bartender to send over two drinks. “And the information you promised me?”

    Sweat dripped off the man's brow, and his eyes darted back and forth before he spoke. “I'm sorry man. I can't help you there. There's nothing.”

    David pulled out his pistol and placed it on the table. “Murray,” he sighed. “You know I don't like it when you lie to me. Are we gonna have to have a repeat of the last time you lied to me?

    “N-n-no!” the man cried, and David fought hard to keep the laugh underneath off his face. He hated pushing the guy like this, but he had an image to uphold from his days with Krag. “I... I just... can't tell you. I don't know anything, and if I did, I couldn't tell you.”

    “Now come on, Murray,” he started and then stopped. After a second, he put the gun back away. “Okay, Murray. I understand. You did the best you could. Let me know if you find anything.... Now get.”

    The little man got up and darted away into the crowd just as a girl came by and placed two drinks on the table. David paid the woman as a medium-built man sat across the table. Well aren't I just popular today? he thought to himself.

    “What do you want, Matthew?” he asked, taking a sip of his drink.

    The man ignored the other drink and leaned forward. He looked excited. “Hey, man. Word's been going around that you're getting into some seriously secret stuff. A lot of people aren't happy about it too.... I want in.”

    “What makes you think I'm up to anything?” David asked. This day was getting just a little too interesting.

    “Come on,” Matthew said. “I know you. You're looking to piss some people off, and I want to be there when it goes down.”

    “You've got it exactly wrong,” he replied. “What have you been hearing I'm up to.”

    “The details are sketch, but a lot of people are working to keep it that way. They don't even want people to know you're thinking about it, whatever it is.”


    “So... What are you up to?”

    David finished his drink, and stood up. “I told you. Nothing. I'm looking to not piss people off.”

    His earpiece buzzed, and he clicked it on. “Captain David.”

    “Uh, Captain?” Puck's voice began. “We've got a little bit of a situation.”

    “You'll have to excuse me, Matthew,” David said as he picked up the bundle of papers, and motioned to Leo that it was time to leave. Once he started his way towards the door, he clicked his earpiece on once again. “Go on.”

    “The 'Things That Go Bump in the Night' are getting impatient. You should hear what they have started suggesting.”

    He sighed. “What are those imperious bastards cooking up now?”

    “You'll want to hear it yourself.”


    Gambit, Domus

    “You are out of your mind!” David yelled furiously. “You can't possibly be serious. Do you really think that will work?”

    {Of course it will,} Asala said calmly. {You humans are readily willing to give up information given the proper... encouragement.}

    “That's not what I'm talking about. What you don't seem to realize is that this place thrives on information. Whoever we are against has a much better foothold than we do. If they were able to close up this information before we were able to learn anything, they'll notice if we go KIDNAPPING PEOPLE AND TORTURING INFORMATION OUT OF THEM!!”

    {Only people with information worth gaining. It would do no good to question just anybody. And you underestimate our abilities,} Vardanis said simply. {We need this information. We must track down this cerebrate and see that it will not bring further harm to the Imperium. Your methods have failed. It is time to employ the other tools at our disposal.}

    “No,” David said firmly. “I've got something. Dagganoth isn't here, and it's not likely that he would come here. Especially once his friends get word to him that we're trying to find him. But I've got a different idea. Might even bring the beast to us. Let me tell you about a planet called Barkanos, in the Davir system....”


    -David purchases security upgrades for Gambit, bringing Gambit's Security stat from a 1 to a 2, and spending 3 points (total should be 10 now)

    -David and the crew of Gambit is unable to gather any more information about Dagganoth other than an obscure story about Barkanos.

    -Imperial ambassadors get uppity and impatient

    -Gambit sets out for Barkanos (4 posts/days until arrival)

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Gambit Cargo Hold, Domus docking bay

    “Okay, you two, you know what you need to do,” David said as he stepped off his ship onto Domus. It felt good to be back.... Somewhat.... Okay, it wasn't so great. He was just glad to be able to get away from the protoss. “Get to it.”

    He watched as Casey and Po'Nath dispersed into the crowd. The Imperials didn't want to make their presence known, but they had gone over every scrap of information with him repeatedly, drilling him on how he was going to get more information. As if he had never done this before.

    He wasn't entirely comfortable leaving the ship in Leo's hands with the protoss on board, but he didn't have much choice. The Imperials couldn't really leave the ship without risking detection and/or retaliation, and he wasn't too sure he trusted them off on their own. Especially Asala.

    Putting his doubts out of his mind, he set off to begin his own information gathering. He would just have to trust that Vardanis would keep Asala in check, and that Leo would stay calm. Okay, he wouldn't be gone that long. He just had to check out this one lead the Imperials had given him.

    The Terrans that traveled with the cerebrate had used a transport ship to ferry them from the cerebrate's leviathan and Domus. If he could find out where the transport had originated, it give some clue as to Dagganoth's allies, or where he came from. It was a long shot, but longer shots had paid out for him.

    He made a few calls on his way, setting up meetings with various information brokers. These meetings were easy, telling them what information he wanted and negotiating the terms. Some brokers wanted an up-front fee, others wanted to get paid based on the value of the information. David preferred the latter, because it ensured the brokers efforts. Can't get paid for flimsy or false information.

    Then the waiting would begin.


    - Gambit arrives in Domus, and information gathering on Dagganoth commences

    - Imperial protoss stay on the ship, out of sight, with Haley, Doc, Puck, and Leo

    - Casey, David, and Po'Nath are doing the information gathering

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    OOC: Man life can sure get busy. Better now, and here's some space-cowboy romping around to make your day more pleasant. :-D


    “How far out are we?” David asked. The return trip to Domus seemed to be taking forever. The protoss on board didn't make it any more pleasant. The dark templar weren't so bad, when he could avoid thinking about the fact that they could be anywhere on his ship, but Asala....

    “About four hours closer than when you asked me four hours ago,” Puck said patiently. “We'll get there when we get there.”

    “I know,” David answered defensively. “I just want to get this over with quickly.”

    “You and me both,” the sardonic reply came. “How goes things with-”

    He was suddenly interrupted by metal clanging and clattering somewhere in the ship. David was instantly back on his feet and running towards the noise. Puck's voice came over his ear-piece. “No damage to the ship, but it looks like Haley is having a problem in the engine room.... I'd bring chocolate if I were you.”

    “Thanks for the heads up,” he answered, breezing through the communal dining and kitchen area. A few minutes later he was jogging into the engine room, where Haley was screaming incoherently and throwing things everywhere.

    He dived for cover as a toolbox came flying at his head.

    “Hey! Haley! Cool it! It's just me,” he said, poking his head out from cover.

    “It's that damned buzzing!” Haley said furiously. Her curly red hair was extremely disheveled and it looked like she hadn't slept in days. “It's everywhere! It's driving me insane.” She broke down and started crying.

    David suddenly felt uncomfortable, and he didn't know how to respond. “Buzzing?”

    “You can't hear it?” she sobbed, looking up at him with red eyes. “It's everywhere. Here. In the cockpit. In my quarters. I can't find out what it is, and it's making me crazy. It doesn't sound like anything I've ever known.”

    She looked away, and continued muttering to herself.

    David looked to the doorway again, hoping that he could find a way out of the room without setting her off. No luck. He would have to move directly into her field of vision to escape.

    “It's okay. My ears ring like that sometimes too. It's been happening a lot since those protoss got on board. Maybe it's something with their telepathic stuff. I bet it's nothing to worry about.... Haley?”

    Haley had stopped muttering and was staring intently into the engine. Suddenly, her hand shot out and grabbed one of her tools. Pointing it into the engine, she pressed a button, and the tool blipped on. "Scanning," it said in a deep male voice.

    After a few seconds, it beeped once, and a tiny red dot appeared on the little monitor of the tool.

    Thrusting the tool into David's hands, she dived into one of her tool-boxes, finally coming out with a little wand-looking tool.

    "What's that?" he asked. "What did you find?" He looked down at the tool in his hands.

    "It's a concentrated electrical pulse laser," she said. "It's useful for frying pesky little things... like nanobots." She pointed at the engine and fired.

    "Haley wait!" David yelled. He didn't like anything with the name 'concentrated electrical pulse laser' being pointed at the engine of his ship.

    He dived for cover, but instead of the explosion of electrical circuits he had expected, he heard a wave of electrical energy pass over him, and saw the shadow of Haley's flying body pass over him.

    He got back to his feet and then helped Haley up. She was unsteady on her feet and kept trying to shake the spots from her eyes. After a few moments, David was satisfied that she would be alright, and picked up the scanning device.

    He touched the little red dot, and it zoomed in to a tiny frame, showing a protoss robot. "Nanobots huh?" he muttered to himself.

    “It's... gone,” he heard Haley say behind him.

    “Good to hear that,” David said as he pocketed the scanner. “I have to talk to Vardanis.”

    David could barely contain his fury as he quickly left the engine room and sought out the 'ambassador'. He had no idea why it was put there and in other places, but if Haley didn't know about it, then it wasn't one of his, which meant it could only be one of the protoss's. He was going to get to the bottom of this.

    “Puck, call the crew to the bridge.”

    “Is there a problem?”

    “There might be. Make sure they are armed.”

    {Is there a problem, captain?} Vardanis echoed, stepping out of the shadows in front of him.

    Surprised, his pistol was out and pointed before he could think. Even faster than he could see, Vardanis forced his wrist up and pushed him against the wall. Reflexively, David pulled his second pistol hidden in the back of his shirt with his other hand, and stuck it into the protoss's ribs. Before he could fire, Vardanis's grip loosened and the protoss stepped back.

    {You are fast,} the protoss said, {but I sense that you attacked out of surprise rather than intent. I apologize for startling you. I forget you humans are not as.... trained.... as we are.}

    David reholstered both of his pistols, still trying to register what had happened. He had pulled a gun on one of the Imperial dark templar? Twice? And lived?

    “What do you have to say about this?” he asked, pulling out the scanner and throwing it to the protoss.

    Vardanis caught it and flipped it around to face him in the same motion. {It is a nanobot. One of Asala's, no doubt. She has a pension for such... gadgets.}

    “It was hidden in the engine room,” David went on. “And Haley thinks there are more throughout the ship. Did you know about this?”

    {I can assure you that I knew nothing of this,} Vardanis said.

    At first, David wanted to argue, but then he forced himself to calm down. If Vardanis had known, he wouldn't have told him about it being Asala's.

    {I understand your anger, captain,} the protoss went on. {She has breached your trust, and through her, we have. I will see that she removes her trinkets and I will personally see that it does not happen again.}

    “See that it doesn't,” David answered, turning and walking away. After he was a sufficient distance away. “Puck.”

    “Yes, captain?”

    “False alarm. But tell everyone to remain on their toes.”

    David made his way through the dining hall back to the engine room. As he entered Haley's domain, he noted that the room was still littered with the misplaced tools from before.

    "Hello?" he heard her voice from the other side of the engine. It didn't waver in the slightest, and he was surprised to see her bounce around the engine to greet him. "Oh, captain!" There was no indication in her appearance or her attitude that she had been almost literally pulling her hair out only minutes before. He almost couldn't tell that she had been crying either.

    "Are you okay?" he asked slowly.

    "Never better," she said overly happily. She leaned in, her eyes narrowed, and her voice hardened. "And if you ever tell anyone, I will skin you alive and drape the bloody rags of your flesh on the nose of my ship."

    David pulled a chocolate bar out of his pocket and put it between them. "Tell anyone what?"

    SoA: -Haley discovers nanobots placed throughout Gambit -David brings the evidence to Vardanis, demanding an explanation -Vardanis says they are Asala's and then proceeds to reprimand her privately and she removes the nanobots -Arrival in Sindiris is imminent -Other random space-cowboy stuff. David almost gets his arms ripped off ;-)

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    OOC: @Mozared: I am happy to be participating. This is great practice for me and I'm glad you are enjoying it.

    Gambit Cargo Hold, Docking Bay of the Capital Ship on the edge of the Sindiris System

    David watched as the protoss in the docking bay loaded the supplies onto his ship. It had been a very interesting few days aboard the Imperium ship. Every one of his crew had spend the days huddled in their respective bunks, trying to block out the waves of fear and panic that washed over the ship. No contact had come from the outside, and only in the past day had the terror diminished to a barely contained tension.

    While he had seen the rest of his crew at some point throughout the days, mostly at meal-times, Po'Nath had not left his bunk since they had touched down in the docking bay. He had not been able to get any answers from him about the general panic in the protoss, or anything else.

    David no longer cared about picking up another job and just wanted to get out of the system as soon as possible. He'd rather cut his losses than still be around when the tension finally broke.

    He watched a group of protoss approaching his ship. They were obviously military, their crisp movements in perfect unison as they changed direction towards him. There were five of them, one leading, with the other four fanning out in a v-shape behind him. David recognized Imperator Madron.

    “Imperator!” he called, moving to meet them. “I was wondering if you were going to be seeing us before we left. What can I do for you?”

    {I would speak to Po'Nath,} the Imperator answered shortly.

    “Sorry, Imp, Po'Nath is holed up in his bunk like a rabbit in a den. What can I help you with?” David smiled, trying to keep his suspicions from the front of his mind.

    He had no idea if his efforts were successful, as the protoss' faces never showed expression that he could discern. {You will tell Po'Nath that Imperator Madron summons him.}

    “I will what?” he couldn't help himself.

    {You will tell Po'Nath-}

    “Oh I heard you just fine. You don't seem to realize that you are on my ship, and you are talking about my crew. I don't know what has you twisted up, but you will discuss with me first anything regarding my crew, and you will not barge into my ship and throw orders around no matter how big your ship is.”

    David and the Imperator squared off. David saw Leo stand up from where he was helping load supplies and put his hand on his gun. The zealots flanking the Imperator tensed up. This could get real ugly, real fast.

    The two captains locked eyes. David could feel the push of dominance into his mind from the other. He steeled his gaze and refused to budge. He wouldn't be pushed around by anybody on his ship.

    Moments passed. They felt like hours for David. Finally the Imperator withdrew his mental presence. {You may sit in on the meeting, and you will be consulted.}

    David nodded and relaxed his stance. “Good enough. For now.” He raised his voice, “Leo! Tell Po'Nath that Imperator Madron wants to talk to him. Tell him we will be in my quarters. And make it quick!” Leo waited for a nod from David before running to comply.

    He turned back to the protoss. “Now. Some of your boys will have to wait here, but if you would follow me.” He led the Imperator and two of his guards out of the cargo hold.

    David's Quarters, Docking Bay of the capital ship on the edge of the Sindiris System

    “You want me?...” David asked.

    The Imperator nodded.

    “To track down a zerg cerebrate?...”


    “So you can kill it?...”

    Nod. {If necessary. It was at least one of the parties involved in the plot that freed Erana, as you have already found out. And you will, of course, be supplied with appropriate support. What we really want is information from him. And you will be paid handsomely for the information that you are able to gain.}

    David looked to Po'Nath. He had barely said anything the entire time. Unless he and Madron were having a private conversation, which was entirely possible.

    {It would be a good opportunity to form a lasting friendship with the Imperium. They are not the type of people you want to make into your enemy.} Po'Nath said pointedly. {Especially right now.}

    He darted a glance at the Imperator until he realized that the thought was sent only to him.

    He turned back to Madron. “I have some conditions: I am the captain. You're people will take their orders from me, and I will decide how best to handle the situation.”

    The Imperator's eyes narrowed in what David guessed to be fury. He quickly went on before the protoss could interject.

    “And secondly: If this requires me to go into zerg-space, the deal is off. I'm not equipped for that kind of journey. At that time, I'll find your people a ship they can take wherever they want to go, into the lion's mouth or back here. Hell, I'll even bring them back if that is what they want.”

    {On the second point, your escort will be small and difficult to detect. I do not think you will be in danger unless you bring attention to yourself.}

    “Doesn't matter. I'm not going to risk my ship in zerg-space. If this job takes me into one of their systems, I'm done. I'm not having it.”

    {Under those circumstances, you will only be paid the advance sum, and you will not be paid for any information you may have gathered.}


    {And on the first point, our team has their orders. With respect, they are much better equipped and trained to handle this situation than you are. You get to command your ship and what risks it will take, and they will decide what risks they will take and how they will take them. If they ask you to risk your ship or your crew, you may decline. With the same condition that you will not be paid for your services. If not, then they have the authority to act in whatever way they see fit. Does that sound fair?}

    David extended a hand. “Fair enough.” The protoss looked down at the hand, and after a few moments, David withdrew the hand awkwardly.

    {I will have your advance payment loaded onto your ship along with the rest of the supplies. The 'ambassadors' will be ready to leave whenever you are.}

    “Sounds good to me.”

    {One other thing. Don't call me 'Imp' again.}

    “Sure thing, maitre,” David answered.


    -Gambit is hired by the Imperium to track down Dagganoth and retrieve information or kill him.
    -Paid 10 points in advance, more to be paid conditionally upon completion.
    -'Ambassadors' Vardanis and Asala board Gambit with their escort of 5 dark templar, 3 observers, and 2 scouts.
    -Gambit leaves Sindiris, heading back to Domus... Once again 8 ICs

    Sorry for the long gap between posts. Life got hectic... Plus I had to wait on Vjetar XD

    Edit: Correction... That is 7 ICs... I forgot David blew up the ship before the departure from Domus so there was a post delay. No delay this time.

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Bridge of Gambit, Sindiris system

    “Deactivating Hyperdrive,” Puck said as the blackness around the ship stabilized into the familiar star-studded expanse of space. This transition was much smoother than the forced deactivation earlier in the trip.

    David looked out the windows of the ship into the system of Sindiris. It didn't take him long to see the protoss ships in the systems, and there were a lot of them.

    “Cap'n, they've locked on. Something's got them mighty jumpy.”

    “I see it. Now let's just hope they ask who we are before they start shooting... Three... Two... One...”

    As if on cue, the terminal in front of David blinked as the psychic translators received the signals from the fleet, and he quickly tapped the channel open.

    {This is Imperator Madron. Identify yourself, or you will be hunted down and destroyed.} The hard 'voice' of the protoss commanded authority, and David was glad he had a good reason to be there. They weren't likely to shoot him down with their own people on board. He hoped.

    “Hey there. This is Captain Kanaro, of the transport ship Gambit. We are transporting some of your people from Domus. They are-”

    The Imperator's eyes narrowed, and David cringed a little. Now he'd done it.

    {You have survivors from the battle on the edge of the Ilyr system!?} He could feel the anger and out-rage coming out of the terminal. {That is impossible! Prove this.}

    David blinked. He quickly pulled up the passenger manifest and sent it across. “I've sent over the-”

    {I do not want to see your treacherous 'manifest',} the Imperator said with scorn. {A document can easily be faked or modified. Let me speak to Khalos.}

    Once again he was surprised, until he realized the Imperator had read his mind.

    “I'll get right on that, sir. Give me a moment,” David said quickly, putting the Imperator on hold. As the screen shrank into the corner of the screen, he stood up and started to move towards the cargo hold. “Damn protoss. Puck, keep us from getting shot until I get back.”

    “What do you expect me to do? Shadow puppets?” he asked as David left the bridge and moved quickly down the hallway. Po'Nath stepped out of a side corridor as he passed it.

    {Greetings, captain,} the protoss said with the complete calm that always unnerved him. {I take it the negotiations are going well?}

    “Well, they haven't shot us yet,” David said as he exited the corridor and out of sight.


    Interesting, Po'Nath thought as he shifted his gaze to the bridge of the ship. After a moment, he stepped onto the bridge. He nodded to Puck, who nodded back, as he moved over to the terminal. He selected the Imperator's link to the Gambit and opened it.

    After a few moments, the Imperator's face reappeared on the screen. Madron's eyes narrowed, {You aren't Khalos. Who are you?}

    Po'Nath bowed his head, {I am but a hand in the arm of the Empire.}

    This time, it was the Imperator that was surprised, but he knew that the Imperator would not trust him so easily. {I am a member of the crew of this ship. Shall we say... a liaison between this ship and our people.}

    {Can you verify this Kanaro's claims? Are there survivors aboard that ship? Are you one of them?}

    {I am not. But yes, these are survivors from that.} Po'Nath punctuated the last word sharply, the only time his voice changed it's inflection.
    Madron nodded. {Shuttles are en route to bring them aboard. After our people are away, you will be escorted to a dock where you can resupply.}

    {En Taro Tassadar, Imperator.}

    {En Taro Tassadar.}

    Po'Nath put the channel back on hold. Puck was watching him warily. He had carefully shielded his voice from reaching the terran, and he was sure the Imperator had as well.

    He nodded to the human, and then left the bridge as David came up the stairs to the bridge, with Khalos behind him. He met eyes with the other protoss as they passed each other, and Po'Nath bowed his head to him. Khalos returned the gesture and then followed the captain onto the bridge.


    David stepped up to the terminal again and opened the call. Almost immediately, the Imperator reappeared. He stepped away from the terminal and gestured Khalos towards it. The protoss stepped in front of the screen and inclined his head.

    {En Taro Tassadar, Imperator.}

    {En Taro Tassadar, Khalos.} Madron returned. {I can see that the captain did not lie, unless you are held against your will?}

    {Captain Kanaro was gracious enough to provide us with passage here even though we had nothing to offer him.}

    Imperator Madron nodded. {How many are with you?}

    {There are 18 of us in total.}

    Suddenly the Imperator's eyes widened, and the channel went blank. Khalos seemed to recoil from something, and stepped away from the terminal.

    “Is there a problem?” David asked tentatively.

    Khalos turned to him, and he took a step back. Is that terror?

    The protoss turned back to the terminal as it blinked back on.

    {There are shuttles en route to retrieve you and make sure that the captain has been true to his word. Barring an issue, he will be escorted to dock where he will be able to resupply, free of charge. We will also provide an extra bonus of resources in payment for your help. We ask that you do not leave your ship after docking for your own safety. We will contact you to load the supplies.} The screen blinked out almost before he finished speaking.

    David blinked. What is going on?

    Khalos turned and left without a word, leaving both Puck and David on the bridge.



    - Gambit arrives in Sindiris and is intercepted by one of the Imperium's fleets.
    - Gambit is paid 5 points for the transport of the refugees and they are dropped off with the fleet
    - Po'Nath is more than he appears to be
    - Gambit and its crew are now stuck in the mass panic

    Posted in: General Chat
  • 0

    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    David's quarters, Gambit transport ship, outside Jorin system

    David shifted on the hard cot in his room, staring at the dark ceiling above him, as the clock slowly ticked closer to the ship's day-cycle. So much had happened in the past few days and he finally had the time to sit back and relax. And now, of course, his mind raced with the things that he finally had time to think about.

    Sighing tiredly, he pushed himself up into a sitting position, and his feet touched the cold, metal floor underneath him. He leaned forward, holding his head in his hands as he tried to collect himself.

    Suddenly, the ship shook violently, and he slipped from the cot. What in the hell was that? he thought as he stood up and pulled on pants and a shirt. Without time to get fully geared, he climbed up the ladder to get out of his bunk room.

    His bare feet slapped against the cold metal as he ran towards the bridge. He looked up at one of the windows out into the blackness of space. It was immediately clear that they were no longer in Hyperdrive. Please tell me it isn't zerg, he hoped. After all, they were flying between protoss and zerg-space right now.

    He saw Puck climbing the stairs to the bridge ahead of him and called to him, “Got any ideas?”

    Puck stopped and turned towards the captain, waiting for him to catch up. “No idea. Not likely the Hyperdrive went out this fast. It's practically new the way Haley put it together.”

    Breezing past Puck and up the stairs, David entered the bridge. “No matter. Check anyway. A problem is a problem and we need to-”

    He slowly trailed off and came to a stop as he looked out the bridge windows into the vast expanse of space in front of him. In front of the ship was a massive Terran battlecruiser slowly passing in front of them.

    Puck quickly sat in the pilot's seat. “That must have been what pulled us out of Hyperdrive.”

    “Hail them and let them know we are here. Then see about getting us out of here.”

    Puck punched a few keys on various consoles and was about to request a link when he glanced at their scanners. “Captain?”

    David was standing next to him, staring out the window at the battlecruiser. His eyes scanned the ship. What were they doing here? This was far from Terran-space. Surrounded by enemies, it was unlikely that they would be sitting there all alone.

    “What is it?”

    “I think we've got a problem. Those aren't Terrans.”

    “What do you mean?” he asked. And then he saw it.

    He noticed the hive structures that bulged out from from the battlecruiser, and the spore crawlers nested in the gun ports. That battlecruiser was zerg-infested.

    “Oh shit. Belay that order. Don't make contact. Keep the engines silent. We don't want their sensors to detect us. Have they detected us yet? Are we on a collision course?”

    Puck's hands blurred across the pilot's controls. “They haven't shown any signs of contact or detection, and it appears that we will miss them unless they change their course. We will be clear of them in an hour and a half.”

    David sighed. “So we wait.” He went over to a console and pushed a few buttons, linking to the ship's intercom. “Attention. This is your captain speaking. All crew personnel report to the bridge immediately.”

    It didn't take much time for the rest of the crew to make their way to the bridge.

    “As you can see behind me, there is a Terran cruiser here. Turns out, it's zerg-infested,” David said calmly. He waited, letting the severity of the situation sink into each of them. Po'Nath seemed as impassive as ever. Casey narrowed her eyes, obviously not sure what was going on. Haley's eyes widened in fear. Leo sighed, and Dr. Rark got a look of determination.

    “They haven't spotted us. They likely won't unless we kick on the engines or Hyperdrive, so we have to wait. We are coasting on by them and we'll be clear of them in an hour and a half. There really isn't much to do if they spot us but hope we can escape before they get a shot off. Puck, you stay here and be ready to kick on the engines and begin evasive maneuvers if they show even a hint of action. Haley, we need you down in the engine so if things start happening you can get the Hyperdrive ready as quickly as possible. Everyone else, go to your bunks and be ready for a bumpy ride. I'll let you know if the situation changes. Dismissed.”

    The rest of the crew filed out until David, Puck, and Po'Nath were the only ones left on the bridge.

    Po'Nath watched the captain. {Do you plan to tell Executor Khalos of these developments?}

    He looked up at the protoss. “You already know I am.”

    {I thought it would be polite to ask before saying anything further,} he replied as he made his way to the exit. {I suggest caution when breaking the news. These protoss have been through enough already at the hands of the zerg. They will not take this news very well.} Po'Nath exited the bridge, leaving Puck and David alone.

    “I'll keep that in mind,” the captain said under his breath as he left the bridge and made his way to the cargo hold where the protoss were staying. There wasn't enough room in the crew quarters to hold that many people so David had them camp in the hold where they could all be in one place and he could keep an eye on them.


    Minutes later, in the cargo hold

    David entered the cargo hold to a congregation of the protoss, with Executor Khalos in front, waiting for him. Damned telepathic snakes! he thought to himself and nodded respectfully to the Executor.

    Khalos's eyes narrowed, and he realized the protoss had heard his thought. {You have something to tell us?}

    David looked to the protoss behind Khalos. He could feel the fear radiating off of them. They knew how unsure he was of their safety this close to the infested battlecruiser.

    “We have a situation. There is a zerg-infested battlecruiser in our path. It isn't likely to detect us, but we can't reinitiate the Hyperdrive until we are clear of them or they will detect us.”

    One of the crowd stepped forward. {We can't stay here! They will see us! They will come for us. You didn't see what they did! We're all going to die! They will rip the flesh from our bones!} David was barraged by the fear radiating from the protoss, and he saw the fear and uneasiness grow in the rest of the group.

    Khalos stepped forward. {I will accompany you to the bridge where we can discuss our options,} he said, smoothly assuming command.

    The doom-cryer was still gibbering psionically, but he had backed into the crowd again, and the rest of them were looking to Khalos, drawing confidence from his presence.

    “I really don't think that is nec-” David began.

    {My experience as an Executor will be invaluable if the worst comes to pass,} the protoss said matter-of-factly and walked past him towards the bridge.


    An hour and a half later, on the bridge

    “We're almost out of range, captain,” Puck said.

    David looked to the executor, who had stood at the back of the bridge, the entire hour and a half, saying nothing. After a moment the Executor nodded to David and then left the bridge.

    “Alright then, get us out of here. Haley!” he opened his link to the Engine Room. “Get ready to initiate the Hyperdrive.”

    “Out of sensor range,” Puck confirmed. "Ready to initiate Hyperdrive."

    “Haley. Ready... Initiate Hyperdrive.”



    -Filler post: Gambit is pulled out of Hyperdrive by proximity to a Themos Brood infested battlecruiser. Is able to pass by the ship without being detected and gets under way again with only a small delay.

    Posted in: General Chat
  • 0

    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    OOC: Permission from GM Orloth to double-post.

    To-Do Cantina, Domus

    “What's a pretty lady like you doing looking for work as a gunhand?” David inquired as he made no attempts to hide his blatantly appreciative glances at the woman's athletic figure. The woman shyly standing in front of him had long, mousy brown hair, and her small nose and thin-chin gave her the appearance of a school-teacher instead of the mercenary she was trying to be. She wore a simple, black bodysuit that showed off her figure very well, and she had a small pistol holstered at her hip. She carried a case that obviously held a rifle of some kind, possibly a sniper rifle, and a small sling-bag hung from her shoulder.

    “C-Casey. My name is Casey,” she said quietly, darting a glance up into David's face. Something in his eyes reassured her, and she confidently went on. “There aren't many places where a woman like me can be treated decently.”

    David chuckled a little, “And boy are you looking in the wrong place!” He gestured to the cantina around them, and the pirates and mercenaries that infested the place. “This place ain't exactly swimming in gentlemen. Doom's alright, if you can get work from him, but the further from him you get, to the point where you're takin' jobs in a dump like this, the less likely you are to find any decency. I'm surprised a doll like you ain't dead in an alley somewhere... or worse.” After a moment's thought, he shook his head and returned his gaze to Casey. “Look, girl, I'll tell you what. I'll give you half a share until you prove yourself. After this little jump into Protoss space, I might give you a full share if you prove yourself. Other than that, you got protection and food as long as you find a way to make yourself useful. Deal?”

    Casey peered into David's eyes for what seemed to him to be an almost unbearably long time. Damn, is she a beaut! he thought to himself before shaking the his head. He extended his right hand across the table, “What do you say?”

    “Deal,” she said after another moments pause and took his hand. She said it with a note of finality and determination that he had to respect her for. I think I'm gonna like this one.


    Half an hour later, Docking Bay 04, Domus

    “Hey! Leo!” David yelled as he walked across the bay floor towards the ship, Casey following behind him. “How's the loading going!?”

    She looked up at the small ship that towered above her. Without any weapons, it was obviously meant to be nothing but a cargo ship. It strangely reminded her of a bird, and she cocked her head slightly as she studied the old and beaten ship that was now her home. Home, she thought to herself, tasting the word. She knew what it meant, but she had never had the experience. I wonder what it will be like, having a home, she mused.

    David was now talking to a large, heavily-muscled man who was pushing a large cart of what looked to be spare parts into the hold of the ship. Three more carts were lined up in front of the first, and the man pushed the entire train, the veins on his arms almost bursting from the strain as he spoke quietly to David. Though his arms looked almost to the bursting point, the man was barely sweating, and his breathing was only slightly heavy.

    She felt something behind her, and she turned to notice a make-shift baggage cart being pushed towards the ship by an older man in plain, civilian clothing. As the cart slid by her, she noticed that the cart was laden with mostly by a large case big enough to hold a fully armored marine. She wondered curiously to herself what could be inside, but purged the thought from her mind, as the man stopped and nodded to her.

    “Good day, milady,” he began, bowing slightly to her, his kindly eyes and voice instantly making her feel welcome. “I am Dr. Jonathan Rark. You will be traveling with us as well?”

    “Casey,” she replied, instinctively dipping in a shallow curtsy. Whatever possessed me to do that? She thought to herself. She had never curtsied before in her life, but this man's gentlemanly behavior somehow made it feel natural.

    After a few moments, she realized that she hadn't answered the doctor's question, and she shook the absent-minded look from her eyes. “Yes, I will be traveling on- with you,” she said quietly, looking back up to the small ship. “What is it called?”

    “Gambit,” David said proudly as he approached the two of them. “I named her myself. And 'it' is a 'she.' Doctor,” he said, nodding to the older man.

    “What do you think?” he asked, looking back to Casey. “Isn't she pretty?”

    Casey debated how to answer, and finally settled on the safe answer. “She is.”

    “I'll let the doctor show you around. I've got business to see to before we can get under way,” he said as he stepped away from them and strode purposefully into the ship.


    Twenty-four minutes later, cockpit of Gambit, Domus

    “No, Cap'n, don't!” Haley yelled as David flipped a switch and the ship powered to life. She dived for a fire extinguisher as the console in front of Captain exploded in sparks and fire, throwing him out of the chair onto the floor of the bridge. She could hear small explosions happening throughout the ship as she started putting the fires out. She tossed the fire extinguisher to Puck and leapt over the captain, exiting the cockpit and running to the engineering where she frantically put the fires out and began tinkering away. Haley was a tall, pale-skinned, fiery redhead, almost as tall as Leo. She wore a pair of ill-fitting coveralls and a plain white t-shirtcovered in grease and oil stains and her curly hair was pulled back from her face.

    David rolled over, “Ugh... Lazarus' scrotem, that hurt!” He slowly got to his feet as the last of the fires were put out by Puck. Jerry “Puck” Pockin was the pilot that he had hired to fly Gambit, and Haley was the mechanic he had hired to repair her. Puck was a stockily-built blonde man in his late-twenties. He could have been a Viking pilot, David thought to himself as he watched Puck sit in the pilot's seat and assess the damage, quickly dismantling the console and pulling out the mess of wires.

    “I told you not to,” Puck said, sighing heavily. While he seemed only slightly annoyed at the captain's blunder, David could hear Haley in the engineering room, yelling loudly, and inventing her own swear-words.

    “You didn't tell me it would do that,” David petulantly replied. “Besides, you told me all the repairs were- What is it, Leo?” he interrupted himself as his earpiece beeped, letting him know that Leo wanted his attention.

    “Cap'n, I got a protoss down here. Says he wants to talk to ya. Shall I send 'im up?”

    Giving the obliviously working Puck a scalding glare, David replied, “Yea. Send him up to the cockpit.”

    “Aye aye,” Leo said absently and the low beep ended the call.

    David turned his attention back to Puck. “You told me all the repairs were done.”

    “That I did. I, however, said nothing about this ship being ready for power yet. We still hadn't closed everything up. Now, thanks to your handiwork, we will be stuck here til at least the day after tomorrow.”

    “No no no no,” David said, gritting his teeth in frustration. “Even if you have to work through the night, we are leaving tomorrow morning, on schedule.”

    “As you wish, Cap'n,” Puck said sardonically as he continued separating and cutting wires from the console. “Now. About that-”


    Twenty minutes after David entered Gambit, Docking Bay 04, Domus

    Po'Nath slowly observed each of the ships in the docking bay until he came to a small transport ship tucked in one of the corners. As his mind swept over the ship, he tilted his head, noting the unusual presence that resided in the ship. Barely psionic, and somehow familiar, yet completely foreign at the same time.

    Interesting, he thought to himself as he glided over to where the monstrous man who thought of himself as 'Leo' pushed a train of carts into the ship. Po'Nath knew immediately that this was not the captain, but he approached him anyway.

    {Excuse me, Leo-} he began. The human straightened, looking around. His eyes finally settled on the protoss.

    “I'd keep yer grubby-” he began.

    Po'Nath deciphered the thoughts faster than the human could speak the words. {I meant no offense. I simply assumed that since the thoughts were unguarded, that you wished others to know them. I am Po'Nath. I am looking for Captain David Kanaro. I have an offer for him.}

    Leo looked taken aback for a moment, but then he raised a hand to his ear, and Po'Nath waited patiently.

    “Cap'n, I got a protoss down here. Says he wants to talk to ya. Shall I send 'im up?”

    Even before Leo was finished speaking, Po'Nath knew the answer and slowly starting to glide into the ship. Leo followed him with his eyes, but didn't say anything to stop him.

    As he glided through the ships corriders, he tasted the minds of the other crew members. The human calling herself 'Haley' was an amusing specimen. So full of energy and misplaced rage. But very talented. Just the cursory glance he received made him quite confident in her abilities.

    Then there was the Doctor. So much useless knowledge in that one. He will prove very useful.

    Puck he dismissed with barely a thought. A savant pilot, there was little remarkable about him aside from the company he kept.

    And finally David. A noble man. He tried very hard to appear the hardened criminal that could survive in the harsh world of piracy, but one cannot hide from oneself. At least not when seen from without, as Po'Nath now viewed him. He will make a fine captain, Po'Nath though. For a human.

    He immediately chastised himself for the prejudiced thought. Give them a chance before you condemn them to inferioriy.

    As he neared the cockpit, Po'Nath once again began paying close attention to his surroundings, but he still kept his mind aware of that one other presence on the ship. Casey.

    He focused on the conversation in front of him, and kept his monitoring of the foreign presence in the back of his mind.

    “-cargo is loaded up and Leo is putting away all of the supplies. We will be fully stocked by lights-out,” Puck was telling the captain.

    Po'Nath studied the captain. He was of average height for a human, and was athletically built. He was wearing very functional cargo pants of a heavy fabric. He wore a tight black sleeveless shirt with a brown leather vest over it left open. His fingers poked out of black, fingerless gloves and heavy black boots were on his feet. The sidearm strapped to David's thigh seemed to be a part of his clothing, and didn't hinder him in the slightest. It belonged there.

    David noticed Po'Nath approaching the cockpit and straightened from where he leaned over Puck in the pilot's seat. David's dark brown eyes and short brown hair made him look younger than his years, thirty-four. His brow gave him a constantly serious look, even when he smiled, which he did with his eyes as well as he greeted Po'Nath.

    “You must be the protoss that Leo mentioned,” he said as he approached Po'Nath.

    {I am Po'Nath. I come-} he began, but was cut off by David raising a hand.

    “Stay out of my head,” he said. “If you're gonna speak, speak plain. None of that protoss 'mind stuff'.”

    Po'Nath stared blankly at David for a few long moments. David stared back, waiting for him to go on. After a good fifteen seconds, he started to shift uncomfortably under the high templar's stare.

    “Cap'n,” the pilot spoke up from where he was still re-wiring the console. “He's a protoss. They don't have mouths.”

    The captain looked back at Puck, and then at the protoss. Po'Nath still watched him impassively. “Oh. Well then, you can do your 'mind stuff',” he said slowly. “But no funny business.”

    {Of course not, captain.} Po'Nath said. {I am Po'Nath. I come to offer you an opportunity.}

    David blinked. “What kind of opportunity?”

    {As you may or may not know, a small number of protoss refugees are currently residing here since Executor Erana's prison ship was attacked. They-}

    “Wait! Executor Erana was killed?” David asked incredulously.

    {They wish passage back to their own territory.}

    “No! Go back. Who attacked Executor Erana's prison ship? Is she dead?” David asked, and Puck had stopped working, turning in his chair to watch the high templar.

    {That is irrelevant to the task at hand. The refugees wish passage back to their own territory.}

    David scratched his head. “I don't know whether I want to be getting involved with any protoss if Executor Erana is involved. I aim to keep my head, not lose it because some up-start can't see I'm a civilian.

    {It is, of course, your decision. I merely wished to inform you of the opportunity.} Po'Nath said, bowing his head in deference.

    “What are they paying?” David said.

    {That is between you and the Imperium when you arrive in Sendiris.} he answered calmly.

    “Interesting,” David said. “And these are passengers, not prisoners?”

    {Passengers,} Po'Nath replied. {And I would like to offer my services to you and your crew.}

    David blinked again. “You want to what?”

    {I wish to travel with you after the other passengers are dropped in Sendiris.} he said levelly. {I have no interest in returning to the Imperium at this point, and there is much to see in a vessel such as this.}

    The human watched Po'Nath for a few seconds, and he could sense the thoughts rapidly firing through the captain's mind. He is debating whether or not he can trust me. A fair question.

    “Set it up,” David finally said, and Po'Nath nodded.


    -Casey Yaff is introduced and hired as gunhand on Gambit
    -Dr. Jonathan Rark is introduced, having paid his way with David to be taken into protoss space so he could study the aliens.
    -Repairs are delayed by an idiot captain and Haley Morgan and Puck are introduced.
    -Po'Nath offers Captain Kanaro an opportunity to help the Imperium by transporting the 18 protoss refugees back to Sendiris. Mission accepted, payment to be discussed on delivery of the refugees. Po'Nath also offers his services to David and is hired on as another member of the crew. The whole crew is now assembled. (Avengers! Assemble! XD)
    -Gambit disembarks from Domus after supplying and repairing itself, delayed by 1 post because of last minute repairs. (4 * 12)/7 = 6.85 (rounded to 7) +1 (idiot captain XD) = 8 posts until arrival in Sendiris

    Posted in: General Chat
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