Jump to content
NP ST

"GINGER SNAP"

Recommended Posts

"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."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Volkov waited a heartbeat or three, just in case the thing was waiting for Maverick to withdraw her swarm before rising, magnetically clipping her rifle to her back as she dropped her cloak and shimmered back into full visibility. Out came the spear from her belt and a faint series of clacks presaged it's extension to it's full length. The armored redhead took a reverse grip on the polearm, ready to use it as a lever to force the zombie onto it's ruined stomach.

Before she got to that bit of physical labor though, she prodded the synth's neck with the butt of the spear as one last precaution, finally relaxing enough to speak aloud, "If this... thing has a chip like I think it does, I'd like to take it back with me when I go home. This creature and it's brood need to face Coalition justice. That okay with you?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The power-armored marine froze in place, featureless visor giving nothing away as she processed the thought of hundreds of nanite-forged drones pulling themselves out of the hull like fungi if this thing had managed to kill them, leaving the ship with just enough internal workings to slam into another colony and repeat the process anew. Eventually she managed to suck in a breath and get her mental feet back under her. Damned Apostates.

"Try and finish up your examination quickly then. We're chucking this thing out an airlock at the nearest star before it repeats that trick if you don't mind," Volkov replied softly, shifting her grip on the spear so that it's shimmering bladed tip was pointed back at the murderous drone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Penny?!?"

"I'm alright dad, I isolated Moxie in a ram cell so she's safe too. I had to shut down the computer core the only thing operating now is hard codded devices that wer'nt in the network. Moxie says it's a virus or something she in a  bit of a shock." Penny's voice came over the intercom and it sounded to Jericho that she might be in shock as well.

Suddenly the ship rolled and acceleration increased the artificial gravity pules send Volkov and Anna to the floor then throwing them up onto the ceiling then back to the floor. Volkov activated her magnets locking her in place Anna, not trained for this sort of thing didn't.

Jericho tried to bring the two ships under control but the flight controls were unresponsive then he saw the red countdown time spiraling to zero.

The ships jump drive had been engaged!

The Jump drive is a short cut through for want of a better term hyper-space. for it to function properly  a series of very complex calculations taking into consideration over a thousand different variables, a lot of them about gravity both where the jump drive is located and where it wants be. for this reason Ships travel great distances into deep space to lessen the variable effects of gravity on a ships jump. While possible to jump with in a gravity well it is an extremely difficult calculation and absolutely dangerous. many ships have been lost jumping to close to a gravity source some outright destroy as gravity ripped them and their contents apart, others simply vanished into nothing never to be seen again.

The Ginger Snap and Ataraxia locked together in a deadly dance were only 1 78 .63 kilometers from the moons surface well with in it's gravity well. the calculations for jump this close were massive and would take far longer than even the best computer to manage than it would to simply drive to a safe distance. Any ship making a jump this close to any world was doomed.

 

The Ginger Snap/Ataraxia  jumped into real space tumbling end over end none of her attained velocity had been shed. The drive was dark. the ships looked dead as they tumbled in a strange ballet.

In the rapidly cooling control room of the Ginger Snap, Jericho opened his eyes slowly  there was no artificial gravity so he was at the mercy of the tumble he swallowed the vomit that tried to come up from the intense vertigo. the panel in front of him was dead. His ears were ringing but not from sound. Warily he looked right then left. There! A light that meant power. He needed to get to that panel find out what it was. He reached down to unbuckle his safty belt when the control room was suddenly awash with harsh white light then dankness again. He looked up at the cockpit window saw the stars spinning due to the tumble and then there was the light again. He had feared that hey were tumbling into a sun. this may have been worse.

The ship/construct was huge and alien in design. Man had never built anything on this scale at least not as a single entity.

And the Ginger Snap/Ataraxia was head straight for it.

Spoiler

Anna is unconscious from the beating but she is now lying on the surface due to the centrifugal force of the tumble. Volkov is disoriented from the jump but concious and still looked to the deck by magnets. neither know about what happened of the new threat. It is unknown what the stat of the Ataraxia is or if Penny is still alive.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dizzy but conscious, Madeline pulled her pistol and swept the room for threats, trying to shake off whatever had hit them. She sucked in a breath as she spotted the smashed remains of the spider bot's torso. God willing, that'd mean the thing would stay dead long enough to be disposed of safely. There certainly were enough pieces of the thing scattered about to put even the most robust drone down. Still. This thing was an autonomous drone? Renegades able to field squads and legions of these things? She shuttered to think it. It would be another war. 

Having ensured that the scene was safe as she could on short notice, she made her way over to Anna's limp and beaten form, feet clunking solidly into place as the magnets re-engaged with each step. The protectorate marine knelt by the other woman, and started looking her over for worse injuries than bruising, thoughts running through the slightly more complicated procedures of military first aid when you might not know if your fellow soldier had a pulse or not.

"Volkov to All. Robot down. Anna down. What's going on up there?" she put out over the radio, hoping that link was still up and running. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A flash of actinic light caught Volkov in a flash which caused her to look up from the seeming unhurt u unconscious Anna. At first she wasn't sure what she was seeing. The stress placed on the freighter had caused  the overhead bulkhead to crack and split the flash of light was coming from within the split. Volkov see that Anna's vital were stable stood and tried to peer into the split but her helmet was in the way but the flash of bluish light was a puzzling concern. She heard a low moan over her suit com and turned back toward Anna who was stirring.

 

Jericho flipped switches and  toggles and slowly power started coming to the ships systems. It took a supreme act of caution but he stopped himself from using the ships drive to stop the tumbling until he had some idea of what the big things was. But that was proving difficult since he could only see it every 30 7 second and then for only about 4 seconds before the tumble took it out of sight again. But now he had cameras on it and would be able to get a better look.

It was a ship of some sort he could see massive gravity impellers both for an aft. it basic structure was that of a flat oblong plate with dispersed superstructure rising from both the bottom and top of the frame. it was 3.87 kilometers long and and 2.335 wide. and was bristling with weapons many which he could identify and as worrisome as that was it was what was making that deep down sense of fear start to rise. No that was caused by the two dozen spider robots descending from that monster toward them. Robots just like the one they had faced on board the Ginger Snap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Madeline had been through enough damage control training to recognize that blue generally equaled electrical arcing and that electrical arcing equaled bad, especially in an unknown ship. That realization galvanized into imedaite  concern as she heard Ana stir, thoughts for where exactly on the line between Protectorate and renegade they stood. Things were very, very simple when space was the great enemy and your own systems only a tick behind that in danger. Get the potentially injured person out of the space. *Then* come back with the right gear to contain the disaster.

"Ana, we need to clear the space and make sure you're okay. Can you move?" she vocalized through her coms, extending one hand towards the Apostate, ready to heft her up and carry her if needed. She kept one eye on the sparking potential disaster in progress, hoping her armor would be enough to keep her mobile if something exploded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Wha...hell yeah I can move," Anna replied woozily. She shaded her eyes and squinted up at Maddie. "...I'm moving now. Spinning. Ugh. Tell...captain to stop spinning the ship."

Despite her dazed condition, she managed to roll onto her side and start to unsteadily pick herself up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anna saw the flash of light from the cracked bulkhead and thought it very curious. She pulled herself to the crack and peered inside and gasped.

Dangling from a cable and swaying to the ships tumble was a sixteen inch cylinder with electrical attachments on both ends. One however was capped the other had the cable attached. a cover of the center of the cylinder was partially open revealing the blue glow of an electrical stasis field. In the glow Anna could see many more cylinders like the one swinging were filling the space between the bulkhead.

She had found the anti-matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Okay," said Anna, her voice filled with unnatural calm that she didn't feel. As if by speaking in a low tone, she could convince the incredibly dangerous material not to explode.

"Okay. Madeline? I need you to stay focused right now, and not panic. Cannot emphasize that enough. Now is not panic time."

She pointed 'up' at the cable and the cylinder.

"I need you to...carefully...get a hold of that thing and keep it secure. Don't touch the blue glow. Don't let anything else touch the blue glow. I will explain after you have done it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Protectorate Marine frowned behind her helmet, really wishing there was a decent AR matrix running so that Anna could have passed her more precise directions, but needs must. Hands steady enough to pick off a target a kilometer out reached out to catch the swinging cable as it came around, magnets in her boots securing her in place. Anna was the combat engineer in this situation, and she hadn't gotten this far in life doubting that the combat engineers knew their business. At least when it came to keeping a ship alive. Guess she was fighting an electrical fire now.

Thunk. The cable was caught half a foot above the cylinder, it's momentum bleeding off like a metronome until the motion was small enough to let her free hand shield it's orbit. "Done," she monotoned over the radio. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A long exhalation escaped Anna as she carefully pushed up off the floor and tried to get herself stabilized.

"RIght. Now." She nodded at the cylinder. "That's antimatter. The glow is the containment field. Don't drop it. Anything made from matter pokes into that field, or the pod loses power...pow."

She looked up into the area behind the bulkhead and nodded.

"And those are also antimatter. Pods are still closed on them at least. Help me get this panel closed so they don't flying all over if we start tumbling again."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That... was a lot of antimatter. And raised a lot of questions Madeline wanted answered before she'd let a bunch of Apostates run off with it.

Anna couldn't see the Protectorate Marine's face, but her voice hardened to match her frown, "You knew this was here. How? And more importantly, what guarantee do I have your... 'employers' won't use it to do harm to the people I've sworn to protect at the cost of my own life, Apostate?"

Given the other woman's hacking prowess, here and now was the only chance she'd get an answer to her satisfaction, to assuage herself that the price of survival wasn't putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk if so much as one spoofed AR signature made it past the Legion. Here and now? All it would take was one punch and a final leap of faith.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I saw it, just now," Anna replied testily. "I knew there was supposed to be 'volatile cargo' on board. I did not know it was antimatter."

She reaches up to the bulkhead and starts trying to pull the panel that banged open back into place.

"Look around for the cap for that, yeah? Leaving the containment field open is asking for trouble. If we can't find it, we'll want to jettison it or something."

Finally Anna looked back and shrugged.

"I don't have guarantees, but I will say this...the guy who hired me to do this isn't a terrorist or arms dealer or anything. Apostate communities in space habs or migrant convoys need antimatter to stay alive, and they don't have Cipriani making it for them wholesale. They have to take what they can get."

She shakes her head. "Apostates aren't waging war on the Coalition. They're just trying to squeak by. Besides, if you take me out you'll still have to deal with the captain and his daughter. You going to take them out too?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, Anna sounded like too much of an idiot to be a mastermind plotter. That ruled out one problem.

"Something like that," responded the Legionary flatly, "Even if everyone your shadowbroker deals with is a saint, letting you walk away with that much antimatter guarantees me a court martial at best if I get back alive. But I made your employer a promise, and a Legionary keeps her word. Five out of seven alive and whole isn't a bad deal."

Those zombie bastards in her squad better appreciate this. Her parents were starting to ask when she'd settle down and start a family, anyway. Assuming she could with how low her Rep would be when this got out on the optimistic possibility she got back to Luna in more or less one piece.

She relaxed somewhat, still holding the cylinder in place, "And that lid would look like..?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just then coms came on, suit channels on private, "You two alive down there if so listen u drop whatever you are doing and get back to the the Ataraxia asap. We have about a dozen of those robot spiders heading toward us from the largest space craft I have ever seen and the will be on the hull in a little under three minutes."

The Apostates voice was low and clear and tinged with worry. Penny has the Atatraxia primed and ready. I will be undocking in two and a half minutes whether you are on board or not. We'll make a run for it and hope the Snap gives them something to play with and that they don't come after us immediately. So get to the ship now! Jericho out."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anna glanced over at Madeline as she already started opening the hatch again and getting pods out to transfer to the other ship.

"You know...maybe...I have another idea for that right now. Hold on."

She summoned her Esper Swarm again, a black mist pouring from her forearms, and set them to engulf the antimatter pods...pulling them into a bundle and surrounding them.

"Buzzy."

Her little wasp drone flitted over. Anna took a deep breath.

"Okay, Volkov. I'm thinking we give my friend here that pod. We all fly away. Right about when those spider monster things reach the ship, I send Buzzy a signal and he pokes a leg into that containment field. Insane or awesome? Or both? I'm thinking both."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So many questions and no time to have them answered or question the fortuitous solution to her dilemma. 

"Do it. We have ground to cover if we're going to make it back to the airlock in time," Madeline replied easily before letting go of the cord to her antimatter pod and sprinting for the exit to the space. She kept one eye behind her as she hit the first corridor, long training steadying her footfalls in the disheveled ship. The sight of the first closed hatch in her way made her frown, adding seconds to their run for each and every barrier between them and the airlock, closed during their hunt to warn them, now hindering their progress. She hoped that Anna could keep up without help, because with her having to stop and pull every single door open...

This was going to be far far too close for her taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maverick stared at her little drone buddy for a second, creating the program for it to follow even as she lamented its loss. Buzzy was dead, long live Buzzy Mk2. Once she got the payday from this.

Her esper swarm tightened around the antimatter pods and swept them ahead of her up the corridor as she whirled to flee, following in Volkov's footsteps.

It was actually a little surprising that she hadn't put up more of a fight...maybe there was hope for her yet.

(OOC - Details. Buzzy will set off the antimatter in the pod on receipt of an encrypted signal from Maverick)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Volkov led the way toward the airlock Anna followed pausing at the hatch to give her drone one last look. The drone floated serenely then it half turned, and its sensors swept over Ana. Maverick felt a catch in her throat as Buzzy turned back to the bulkhead. Then closing suddenly moist eyes she hit the panel closing the hatch and went after Volkov.

It took them several minutes to reach the airlock and cross to the Ataraxia, “We are in and the airlock is secured,” Volkov said over her suit radio.

“About goddamn time. Strap yourselves in and prep for zero-G maneuvers. I’m going to drop us from the ‘Snap and use RCS thrusters to keep it between us and the big ship. If they don’t notice us we’ll spool up and jump as soon as we can.” Jericho sounded all business, cool and collected.

“Good,” Anna said, “Let me know when you want and we can blow the snap up.”

“What?” Father and daughter spoke at the same time.

Volkov snapped the last buckle in place. “She can blow up the ship we cannot let them have the antimatter.”

“Antimatter?”

“Yes we found it. The AI hid it within the bulk heads I left Buzzy there and I can remotely detonate them with a signal.” Anna explained.

Penny looked at her dad who glanced at her. “What are you thinking?”

“Blowing up the snap out here isn’t going to do anything but piss it off, dad. But if we have all of the antimatter and we can release it all when it’s aboard that ship…” she cocked her head.

“Dammit, how long do you need?”

Penny slid to another station. “Anna can you show me what you saw?”

Anna didn’t answer instead she just went to work and in a few seconds Penny and her were looking at what she and Volkov had discovered.

“Ok the Ai you fought is like your drone it’s a sub-routine of the thing that’s running that ship, it is cunning but not all that smart we have it trapped in a logic puzzle. It will eventually solve it and break out but we think we have time.

The big AI ship is producing a noticeable magnetosphere. We can use that to trigger a command in the power circuits the spider built to power the AM containers. Releasing the antimatter when the ship enters the field.  Can you do that through your drone?”

Anna looked at the data penny was sending her there was a lot of engineering stuff she didn’t know but she saw what the other girls was going for. She grinned “Yeah I can, and I won’t have to leave Buzzy behind.” She opened the connection back to Buzzy and went to work.

The Ataraxia fell away from the Gingersnap as the Spiders arrived, they were single minded and took no notice of the other starship the Ginger Snap held there full attention. The ghost program Anna had rigged to imitate the spider Ai fooled them easily enough though she doubted if it would the parent Ai.

The Ataraxia fell. The drones attached themselves to the ‘Snap and began to thrust toward the monolithic vessel hat contained the parent AI. The four passengers of the drifting starship gathered in the command deck and all of them watched as the Ginger snap grew smaller and smaller as it moved closer to its doom, until they could no longer see it unaided.

Then suddenly the sky filled with light

Enough antimatter to power a whole star system for 10 years released at one. The AI vessel was annihilated.

Anna was holding Buzzy in her lap, she was reluctant to let him go. He was content. “Where did it come from,” she asked dreading the answer she already knew.

“Earth,” answered Penny, “We got that much from the splinter sub-routine it left on the Ataraxia.”

Volkov shifted and looked at the young girl then at her father. “We have to warn them.”

Jericho started flipping switches and the jump drive began it’s charging process. “Yeah, I know.”

 

 

Spoiler

This closes this chapter and probably the game. if I return to this it will be after a retooling to make it more enjoyable for me. Thank you for your patience. I will give rewards of some sort to you guys for sticking it out probably as bonuses for another game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for running this Nina. Sorry it didn't pan out, but I was loving it while it lasted. :)

Savage Worlds and transhumanistic space opera is a delicious combination. Hope we can do something like this again sometime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you might have an idea in your noggin, Nina, but I'm going to drop a thanks, too. Twus fun running and gunning with my Sister of Battle through the cramped guts of a space ship. :)

Spoiler

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes this chapter is definitely finished and thanks to each of you

I have an idea of how to put the two groups together I just have to solidify it in my head then work out some details. no promises  but don't trash your characters :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...