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  1. Shit...this is NOT what I signed up for, Anna thought furiously to herself. The ship was supposed to have been secure! There wasn't time to bitch about it now though. They had to survive first. "We have to restore power to the Ginger Snap," she said. "Engineering deck. And it'll probably figure we're going there, so..." Still spinning slowly in midair, Maverick got her coilgun out. Not the little holdout pistol, but the bullpup PDW. It wasn't a particularly menacing looking weapon, but it was accurate, had a high rate of fire, and enough punch to chew through personal armor. Probably not enough against this thing, but you never knew. "Buzzy, wake up." The 'wasp' drone unfolded from its recharging node on the shoulder of her armor and came free, awaiting orders. Anna held out a hand. "Push me over to the wall, big guy, then follow ten meters back and make sure nothing's coming up behind us." In a gravity well, the thrust produced by the tiny drone would barely have been felt, but in zero G it gave her a slow impulse over to the wall of the Ginger Snap's corridor. From there she could use handholds to pull and push herself along. It then whisked back to watch their asses. But since they were now officially being stalked by something that would probably get the jump on them at some point...it paid to be careful. When Anna had been human, interfacing with a swarm of espers had been basically impossible. The amount of data you had to wrangle was pretty nuts. There were millions of the little things too coordinate. Even the bog-standard mindset didn't have the processing power to do it. It took a little something extra. She tuned into the swarm hive, and concentrated to sync up with the nano-bots. The 'soft' limiters she'd left in place in her mindset were overridden, and the esper swarm went active. Something like black smoke came pouring out of her forearms. In zero-gravity the espers had complete control of their movement, causing the swarm to curl around Anna and start circling her in complex patterns. As she moved, the swarm moved along with her. Unlike Anna, they could see every way at once, could react even faster than her overclocked mindset. They'd always been enough to keep her safe until now.
  2. Anna got up from her seat. "The ones saying it's half the battle are just seeding disinfo to make sure no one else learns the real ratio." She shot a finger-gun at Jericho. "Gonna go get my shit. Meetcha at the airlock." With that Anna headed back to her cabin, spartan as it might be. Some of her gear was there. She figured the card the Apostle had given her would probably give her access to the gun locker. She went out that way last on the way to the main airlock to show up at the airlock kitted out and ready to go.
  3. "Sorry," Anna interrupted sharply. "I couldn't hear you over the sound of all the conclusions you were jumping to. Look, this image is from awhile ago. The thing on the Ginger Snap could have been the same one you killed." She accepted the access card with a nod at Jericho. "Thanks." "That said, wouldn't be a terrible idea to go over the remains we have access to. Knowing is nine-tenths the battle, so they say."
  4. A ship was not a thing of metal and tempered glass and hollow places for people to scurry through in between them for Anna. For her it was a construct of light caught in cables, like a vast spiderweb of glittering energy frozen in space and time. She barely noticed the bulkheads and control panels and seats as she walked through it all. Unseen to any but herself, her persona, her avatar flitted through the walls as if they weren't there, following datatrails and diving into network nodes like the old Earth aquatic mammal it resembled, and having just as much fun doing it. It took only minutes to roll back the clock and tell the sad tale of the Ginger Snap, as captured by its onboard systems. For all the carnage, there wasn't much to say. Anna met the others in the common room. "About a week before 'the Apostate' here found the Ginger Snap, it made landfall on a suspiciously nondescript planet in HR9038. Prior to that, there's a flight log and itinerary, but it's all garbage. Someone on the ship was covering their tracks. For some reason they didn't wash HR9038 off the record. My guess, given the circumstances, is that they never got a chance to. That kind of deep data removal and alteration takes time, and it doesn't look like they had much between leaving that planet and winding up a drifting hulk." She nods at The Apostate. "There's two extra bodies you found compared to crew records. The headless ones. Everyone else was registered to the ship, though their personnel records are definitely faked. There's not really anything else to learn here, I think. Next stop would be HR9038 and hope we can pick up the trail from there. Whatever was on that ship that got them killed came from there." (OOC - Software roll for when we get to the bunker to give Nina time to decide what Anna finds out when we get there. Software in bunker: 1d10 9 1d6 4 Ah, so close to an ace!)
  5. Anna frowned a little at that and gave Lark a look, then shrugged. "Alright then. Lets see what the cat dragged in. Lead the way to the ship, and I'll see what I can piece together."
  6. "Definitely too high," Anna says to the Apostate. "The Protectorate only cares about protecting one thing, and it isn't people. We're probably better off without her."
  7. "Hi Madeline," Anna greeted. "Soldier, eh? Which House?"
  8. Anna's lips quirked into a smile. The Apostate...crazy presumptuous name, but then 'Maverick' wasn't exactly throwing rocks from a concrete house, was she? "Alright then. I'll need to see the spot it was taken from. Might need to visit the place you found the ship at too...but we'll avoid that if it was just drifting in deep space, cuz that'd be a biiiiiiiitch to find again, I expect." She held out a hand to the Apostate. "Permission to come aboard?"
  9. Maverick pursed her lips, then said, "Maybe. Probably, given time. Before we go much further, lets talk about the other elephant in the room." She nodded at Madeline seen through he glass sitting in the other room. "Who is she and why is she in there?"
  10. Maverick came awake startled. The smell of frying bacon and coffee filled her nostrils. She slipped out of bed and into a robe and stuck her head out of the tiny sleep cubicle that had been her home for the last week to find Lark standing in the even smaller kitchen cooking up some breakfast, a huge grin on his face. "Good morning Missy," he said with his booming voice, "hope ya slept well and have an appetite cause you my little sweet friend are about to get put to work." "?" the look on her faced asked the question she didn't need to voice. "Haha, Yeah seems the Ginger snap made landfall this morning that's the ship with our cargo. we'll head there after you get some food in you. Details are a bit sketchy and there's another ship that came in at the same time The Ataraxia, captained by a mean SOB but not a pirate so Not sure whats up we are to meet the Sheriff at he port as soon as we can." Maverick rushed over grabbed a biscuit and some bacon and then ran back to her cubicle. "Gimme a minute to get dressed" she said as she gobbled down the food. -- She pulled on her clothes, making a mental note for the umpteenth time to buy another set or something. The outfit she'd brought from Mars was good shit, with integrated thermal regulation and little nano-actuators woven into the joints of the shirt and pants that could augment movements and the outer layer of the fabric was woven spider-silk derived ballistic fabric...but it always looked the same, and despite the assurances on the manufacturer's tags she always felt nervous washing it with all that techie hoo-ha in it. Her only other outfit was the tactical armor though, and hard experience had taught her that walking around the settlement looking like a soldier was a great way to be treated like a soldier. A potentially hostile one. Once she had more than her 'PJs' on, she headed back to where Lark was finishing up for a quick gulp of Joe and another forkful of eggs. Who knew if they were real...if life with apostates had taught her anything, it was to not look too hard at where the protein was coming from. They tasted real though, and that was a fine, fine thing. "Mean SOB, not a pirate, unexpected ship...you going armed?" she asked, contemplating the sleek, dangerous-looking outline of her gun's case stuffed into the little cubby over her bed. Lark shrugged and swallowed his bacon. "I don't do guns. You go your own way though." Maverick gave Lark a look, then shrugged. "No guns will work for this." Besides, it's not like I'm ever unarmed. - At the settlement's port, she held her tongue while 'the' Apostate told Lark what was going on. There were a lot of questions to be asked, but one really bubbled up to the forefront. Mav looked sidelong at Lark. "So...that thing you wanted me to have a look at's gone I'm guessing. Unless we track these pirates down, yeah?"
  11. Third rate. Instead of first rate. Hah hah, funny guy. Well, at least he wasn't trying to pull that shit where 'your payment is good rep with me.' She'd left THAT behind and wouldn't miss it even a little. "Alright, sounds like something I can handle. Where's your friend and what's the system?"
  12. SANCTUARY 70 LY from Sol Maverick grinned and spread her hands. "I figure I could drop everything I got on me and you'd still wonder if it was a good deal. In my case, it's not so much a question of what I have to offer right now, but what I can do for you." "For one, I used to be one of them. Lived on the other side. And I know, you're thinking 'bah, so what, plenty of people come across,' but recently? Lately? My intel's still good. Past that though, my big break moment...the whole reason I came over...was because I did it." She taps her left temple. "I set myself free. Now I'm still learning what that means, but at a minimum it means I can get into just about any system you've got." Anna then unrolled her sleeves a bit and held her hands up. "And of course, I'm a package deal. You work with me, you're also working with my friends." Black smoke came pouring out of her wrists, thickening in midair until it was thoroughly opaque, pooling into a sort of lump on the ground in front of her. The black lump then quivered and formed into a humanoid shape, and haltingly waved at Lark. it then started dissolving, streaming away into her arms again. "So you tell me, Lark. What would make this introduction I'm asking you for worthwhile?"
  13. SANCTUARY 70 LY from Sol Anna nodded. Right to the meat then. Alright, she could roll with that. "The Darkive. I heard from a friend that you might be able to hook me up." Ugh, did that sound as corny outside her head as it did inside? Hook her up? Oh well. Said was said. Maverick let her eyes roam around the room, idly trying to identify the function of the various gadgets and gizmos spread around. She could at least dig this guy's sense of decor.
  14. “I'm Lark, Miss Maverick, sorry I wasn't here to greet ya proper.” Relief flooded Anna and she slapped her forehead with her right hand. "Oh man, no, it's okay. You weren't even really late or anything. I haven't been here long." She looked back at the sheriff and shook her head. "Sorry if I freaked people out. I didn't really think about what it'd look like, me showing up with tech on me like that. People back home kind of know me already, and I just got used to that." She held out a hand, first to the sheriff (dibs to the one who has guns after all), then to Lark. "I'm Anna."
  15. SANCTUARY 70 LY from Sol “Can I help you with something Miss?” Anna clicked her tongue against the back of her teeth. Everyone was so nervous here. Who did they think she was? "Yeah, maybe." Taking some care to keep her hands away from herself and open, she turned around to face the man speaking. "I'm gonna be totally straight with you. I came here just to meet a guy, showed up, he's not home...so okay, I figure maybe I can look him up. And then everyone's staring at me like I just ate a baby, and you three show up looking like you expect me to change into a dragon or something." She nodded. "So if you can give me some idea of what's going on here, ideally without ending up with me stuck in a virtuality because my sleeve only exists in a single-atom-thick smudge on the ground here...that'd be a huge help." Anna looked up wryly and added, "Annnnnd if that's too big an ask, I will settle for the second part by itself."