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  1. "Oh I'm done. Chuck it out at your leisure. Might be good to download its memory and instructions first, but we'll need the captain's okay on that. I don't have anywhere to put that much data on me." The ship shuddered, and Anna quickly took hold of one of the bulkheads. "This might not be the best time to ask though."
  2. Maverick shrugged. "It's dead. Justice is served as far as I'm concerned. Though..." She hunkered down over the 'body,' and poked at it, frowning. For a moment Anna looked back up at the nearby bulkhead, then back at the synth. "You know, this thing didn't have a mindset, but...yeah. This plating here came from the Ginger Snap. It's the same metal." Anna leaned forward and pulled the sensor cluster of the thing's 'head' to the left, exposing a deep set of scratches in its chassis. "This is the same one as before. The one you said you killed. It's not a different one...it came back on, repaired itself with stuff from the ship."
  3. "Looks like the derelict had a stowaway that Jericho missed, and got onto this ship..." Maverick paused to let the gunshots go off, making a mental note that Volkov took the lesson of 'being sure' very...very...seriously. "...or if you mean why did it suddenly stop moving and just let you shoot it, that was me." She wiggled her fingertips, waving hello. "I cracked its security and locked it in a diagnostic loop at what might charitably be called an inopportune moment." The black fog of her esper swarm clustered around her arms again, and vanished into the tiny ports built into them. "I, uh, think you got it. Lets pull the brainbox and see what we can salvage."
  4. "Good boys," Anna whispers to her espers, and focuses her concentration on the hulking synth shell currently bending the bulkheads in front of her. She wasn't sure offhand if it was automated or had a mindset, and right now it didn't matter. She just needed to keep it from moving to give Madeline a clear shot to finish it off. In her augmented-reality senses, she saw her agent persona dive out and slip across the room and loop crazily around their attacker. Meanwhile Anna's mindset bristled with data being exchanged; the real battlefield was data and encryption and subverted programming code. If l'outre could break through this thing's secured systems, all she had to do was issue a simple instruction. Stop. A massive-caliber railgun round would do the rest.
  5. Anna would have reflected to herself that it was a damn fine thing that the gravity had come back on when it did. That fighting this thing in zero-G, possibly after being ambushed by it, would not have gone well. She would have, if the fight-or-flight regions of her amygdala were not frantically firing. With a squeak of treads on smooth ship flooring, she jinked sideways away from Madeline, firing her PDW from the hip as she ran for a stack of crates off to one side. The bullets from her weapon spattered against the creature's hide, though she couldn't tell if they'd actually HURT the thing. Hopefully Maddie's much more powerful gun would get this thing's attention. Maverick had much better weapons than guns at her disposal, but it'd take a second to make it happen.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. "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."
  9. 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!)
  10. 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."
  11. "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."
  12. "Hi Madeline," Anna greeted. "Soldier, eh? Which House?"
  13. 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?"
  14. 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?"
  15. 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?"
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