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Futuristic Burning Sails [OPEN]

Sub Genres
  1. Action
  2. Adventure
  3. AU
  4. Cyberpunk
  5. LGTBQ

Infab

The Demon Fanatic


BURNING-SAILS.png



Preface
It is the year 2426, and the Golden Age of Piracy is still going strong into the new century. At least, that's what most believe. In truth, piracy is starting to struggle under the pressure of the various galactic factions as well as internal strife inside the Renegade Quadrant. If not engaging military forces from the larger factions, bounty hunters from the Bounty Collection Bureau, or mercenaries looking for some hard cash, they have started to squabble amongst themselves or find themselves under attack from rogue factions with ulterior motives hidden inside the Renegade Quadrant. Even the grand pirate band of Blackwell's Reavers is affected, much to Valencia 'Valkyrie' Blackwell's dismay. Still searching for her lover Uric Corbett, father of Damien and Lauren Blackwell, after his disappearance several years ago, she has had a lot on her plate as of late. And a lot more is about to be piled on.

Uric has made his reappearance in the Renegade Quadrant, alive and well. And apparently wanting to come home. Choosing to meet back up with Valk, Lauren, and Damien aboard the Frontier Militia colony of VOC-1, floating above the world of Vileas. Valk is obviously ecstatic to be with her love once more. Her kids? Not so much. Not after the years of torment he put them through after his disappearance. But someone else also arrives on VOC-1, with far more sinister intentions. For both Uric as well as Valk and her Reavers. And several others are about to be caught in the crossfire.


Starpath: Burning Sails is the third RP set in the Starpath universe, created by an individual known as Doomevil on the Facepunch forums starting with Journey Across the Galaxy (though then it was simply called Spaceship Crew RP.) Set in the 24th century, specifically the year 2382, it followed a crew of special individuals as they delivered a package known as 'the Oracle' to a man named Harken Saw. This simple delivery job eventually turns into a galactic incident that changes the galaxy forever. Part 2 of Starpath, known as Scoundrels of the Interstellar Highway, was created and run by K0mori as an expansion and continuation of the Starpath universe. It is set in the year 2385, and follows the travels of the Terrika-Belladonna Company (a mercenary group lead by one of the members of the group from the first RP known as Yanim Terrika) out to make a difference in the galaxy in the aftermath of the Oracle incident. They get into their own galaxy changing event, in which three 'archives' are found which would eventually be used to awaken a long dormant planetary AI known as Starvis.

Now, Burning Sails picks things up in the year 2426, forty-one years after the previous RP. It follows the travels of Blackwell's Reavers, as they carve a bloody path through the Renegade Quadrant in the quest for vengeance.

If you wish to read through the first two RPs, check the links above!


This RP is currently open! We have three slots available!

As GM, I control various NPCs in the story, but some may be controlled by players. All events will be under my direction. Feel free to throw ideas at your fellow players. I want you guys to have fun!


Rules1. Please, be nice.
2. No power or metagaming. You have a lot of freedom and slack, but ultimately rolls determine if things happen.
3. Out of Character (OOC) chat should be in double parentheses, ((so it will look like this when you post OOC)).
4. If you go inactive or drop, your character(s) will be under my control (and may potentially die.) If you let me know you're going to be inactive for a while and can pick back up later, I'll look after your character till you return.
5. This is primarily a PvE game, but PvP can still potentially happen if its agreed upon by both parties and run by me.
6. As GM, I'm god. New rules can be implemented on the fly.

Link to the discord: Shoot me a private message if you wish to join our Discord!
Link to the Starpath Wikia:
Starpath



Sails-Character-Sheet.jpg


 
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Prologue

Infab

The Demon Fanatic

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. A burn for a burn. A life for a life. That's how all of this got started. And that's how it's going to end."




VOC-1, or rather Vileas Orbital Colony #1, spun silently above the lush world of Vileas as ships of various types and origins moved to and fro. Either moving into the numerous hangars along the solid metal sides or departing for other parts of the galaxy. There were also three large cruisers that sat nearby, operated by the Frontier Militia. Vileas and its colony were under the protection of the Frontier Militia, and both saw extensive travel from across the galaxy thanks to the numerous treaties and agreements that the Militia held with the other major factions. Originally, the colony was owned by the Upyri Federation of Planets, having been built there long ago during the Upyri's grand era of exploration. The Upyri overexerted themselves, stretching their reach far into the quadrant without considering logistics and threats of attack from others that may have existed in the quadrant already. So when the Upyri began to pull back and consolidate their core worlds and colonies, the colony eventually found itself having to rely on what it and the world beneath could produce. Eventually, the Militia came along, and provided them protection as well as a proper boost economically.

VOC-1 often found itself visited by members of the unlawful kind. Namely pirates and rogue factions of the galaxy. Based off how the Militia ran things, this was allowed as long as these groups didn't stir up any trouble during their visits. Easy enough, for the most part. Stow your weapons, keep your trap shut, and get what you came for. Then, leave. Of course, you had those that just couldn't do that, and found themselves banned from Militia territories. Only a handful had ever really met that fate, however.

Inside one of the colony's numerous hangars, specifically #117, sat the Mordred. A former freighter ship, having found itself far away from the sands of Duroma and refitted for pirate use originally by the Blackstars. Now, it was in the possession of Blackwell's Reavers, whom used it extensively along with other purchased or stolen ships. Currently, it was in the midst of refueling and general maintenance. Touch-ups on the hull plating here and there, general system tweaks. No major overhauls. Not now at least.

"So where's he supposed to be, huh? Doubt he even shows." muttered a blue haired woman, glaring through her bangs at her pink haired mother standing nearby. The mother glanced back to the daughter, giving her a look. "Side 3's central market. Near Big Lola's General Store. And he'll show." she responded. The daughter rolled her eyes, before turning away to look about the massive hangar. Then a male voice joined into the conversation. "And you know this...how? You act as though he's never lied to you, or us." he said, as a brown haired man stepped up next to the mother.

"He'll show, Damien. I swear, you and Lauren have bitched ever since he sent us that damn message." stated the mother. Damien Blackwell's eyes narrowed, but he kept quiet. Lauren Blackwell, on the other hand, spoke again. "Because he abandoned you and us. Do you really think we're just gonna fuckin' drop it, and welcome him back with open arms?"

"No. I don't expect you to." responded Valencia 'Valkyrie' Blackwell. She shoved her hands in her jacket pockets, as she turned slightly to face Lauren. "I do expect you to shut the fuck up and not cause a scene when we meet him, though." Lauren grumbled under her breath, eventually turning and walking away from where Valkyrie and Damien was standing. Damien watched her walk away, before looking to Valkyrie. Whom was already looking at him. "...I don't have to worry about you as much, but still. He's your father, Damien...We have to give him a chance to at least explain himself."

Damien didn't respond. Instead, he simply looked away and started to follow after Lauren. Valkyrie watched him walk away for a moment, before gently shaking her head. She was worried, really. What would they do once Uric showed his face? Would Lauren attack him? She was far more aggressive than Damien, but Damien seemed to be the more upset one. Drifting further and further away from both her and Lauren after Uric's reappearance. Did he wish that Uric never returned? Valk eventually looked to the Mordred, watching her Reavers move about the ship. Helping with repairs and moving cargo. Pearl was among them, the appropriately named Sanghvi looming over some of the men and women as they moved. At least she wasn't complaining. Pearl legitimately seemed excited to see Uric again. Valkyrie waved to her, smiling a little, before turning and walking after her children. Best to get this over with...and hopefully as smoothly as possible.



"Come on! Loads of action and excitement! Loads of fun. A hell of a lot more than the Feddies, Sol, Kosokom, or YsCom would give you!" said Aesha Drach, talking to a small group of people that had gathered around her and the handful of Reavers she had brought with her. They had been sent here mainly on a recruitment run, while their boss and her children went about their business searching for Uric. Aesha didn't know Uric herself, really. He was years before her time with the Reavers, as she had only been with them for the past three years. But from what she did know, there was some major issues to be resolved. None of her business, really. She just got paid to do what she was told...which was mainly fly the Mordred.

The other Reavers spoke as well, trying to sell the idea of becoming a pirate to these people. It seemed to be helping a little, as some of them started to grow a bit more interested in the prospect. Plus the idea of fucking over the larger factions was always a plus out here. Stick it to the man: a classic concept. Personally, she had no gripes against the Federation. She only found fault in the Upyri Interstellar Racing Circuit's directorial board, which was only loosely connected to the Federation government. But it was always fun to see Federation pilots panic when they heard her name mentioned.

As the other Reavers spoke, she took break by stepping back and downing a vial of serum as she looked about. There was a pretty decent crowd wandering about. There always was here in the central hub of Side 3, especially in the commercial district. Various types of shops, ranging from clothes to guns to food to tech. If you needed something, it was probably around here somewhere, or on one of the other two sides. They were currently standing just outside a gun shop, which often saw plenty of customers because of the Quadrant. If you were here in the Renegade Quadrant, you needed something to defend yourself with. Or attack something. It all depends on what you're about.

Eventually, she put the empty vial away and ran a hand through her orange hair. Hopefully some of these people signed up. Gonna be real fun trying to tell Valk if nobody joins. You're famous, so that'll help a bit! Yeah, right. Some people don't like the idea of getting shot or arrested, and someone being famous doesn't help to sway those thoughts anymore. She looked up towards the false sky, taking in the artificial sunlight and fluffy clouds floating above."...At least its nice in here." she muttered to herself. Nothing like being back on Sielia, though.



Elsewhere...


"[...Now, you each have your assigned tasks. You will execute them without error. Am I understood? If I see or hear of a single slip-up, I will hunt you down and shoot you myself. You will not put this mission into jeopardy with your failures.]" stated the female Upyri, as she held up her pistol. She gazed at each of the soldiers, her narrowed green eyes moving between each of them. The armored troopers each nodded at her. There wouldn't be any failures. They were better than that.

The red-haired Upyri nodded as well, before stating loudly "[Glory to Ker!]" The soldiers shouted the same in return. "[GLORY TO KER!]" The red-head then turned about, and found herself face to face with her commander. Their leader. Her icy gaze sent shivers down her spine, as well as the soldiers behind her. The cold blue eyes looked between the red-head, and the soldiers. And then she motioned for the red-head to follow her. She did as requested, leaving the troopers behind her as she ventured through the doorway into the next room. As soon as the door shut, her leader turned back to her. Once more, her cold blue eyes back on her.

"[I hope you are prepared for this, Karina. I'm sure you've heard of how strict I can be.]" stated the woman. Karina nodded rapidly. "[Aye, Lieutenant Colo--]" she started to say, before the woman interrupted her. "[I have no further use for my Federation rank, Karina Thiel, and neither do you. You will refer to me simply as Commander Anora Cortus. And as of this moment, you are one of my Lieutenants. Understood, Lieutenant Thiel?]"

Karina hesitated for a moment, but soon nodded. "[Aye, Commander Cortus.]" Anora stared at her, eyes unmoving, before eventually speaking again. "[...Good. Pray you perform better than your predecessors. Having your chest caved in isn't the most pleasant way to die.]"



A few systems away...


"Roku, if you touch the fucking controls one more time, I'm coming back to the Guillotine and breaking your damn arms with a hammer." spat a female's voice through the comms. Roku Saito twitched, due to how abrupt and sudden it was as it crackled through the comms. He immediately pulled away from the controls, looking about rapidly as he spun in his seat. The rest of the bridge crew were staring at him, with some smiling wide or snickering. All he had done was nudge a few controls to make sure the ship stayed put and didn't drift. Didn't need it slamming into the abandoned colony ship while they were checking it out. He eventually shook his head in frustration, before responding through the comms. "All I did was fucking park it. Calm your tits." he responded, in almost the same tone she had given him.

On the other end, Zadra Masir grumbled under her breath as she rubbed her eyes. He always did this shit. He acted like he couldn't let go of the controls. He had to keep it moving, regardless as to what was going on. She eventually glanced over to Lvishka 'Drav' Dravko, a tall blue Khergian whom was carrying most of their equipment. The Khergian seemed to be in agreement with her, gently shaking her head before continuing down the empty hallway of the colony ship. A voice spoke up next to her, coming from a green washing machine-sized drone. Loudmouth. "I'd break his arms anyway! Fucker doesn't need arms to fly!" said Loudmouth in almost an excited manner. "Can it. We've got work to do here." responded Zadra, before motioning for the drone to follow after her.

They had detected this old vessel while en route to VOC-1, and Valkyrie had tasked them with exploring the ship and salvaging what they could from it while they went on to VOC-1 in the Mordred. Simple task, and one that Zadra and the Reavers had done several times before. However, they had never done it with a colony ship. They had to watch for potential survivors, mutants, or rogue AI or drones. So far, there were no signs of life beyond one deep inside the vessel. That's where their other medical specialist, Easel, was headed as Typhon, their newly recruited chief medical officer, went with Valkyrie for supplies. Apparently it was in a sort of cryogenics sector of the ship. Yay, we have a popsicle.

The ship looked as though it had been through hell, with extensive damage across its hell and through most of the interior. It wasn't of Upyri make, bearing the markings of Sol's old governments. Why the hell was it way out here? Early FTL? Zadra would have to take a peek at the engine room to confirm it. Among other things, like the cargo hold and other general areas and systems. Salvage what they could, scrap the rest. She didn't want the job of disposing of the frozen...or potentially thawed...corpses in the cryogenics section. She'd leave that to the other Reavers and Easel. Drav, meanwhile, was heading for the weapons storage. Colony ships often had a cache of guns for when the colonists made landfall somewhere, and this one was likely no different. And as the Guillotine's chief armorer and weapons specialist, she'd need to inspect them.
 
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joshuadim

the writer
Off the coast of Kamchatka
1961

"One minute until drop!" the pilot of the C-130 spoke over the radio as a group of special forces got ready in the loading bay for deployment.

"Hey, what's the mission again?" one of them asked the others, "I wanna make sure we're crystal clear on the details."

"We get aboard the oil rig, we take out any Red that so much as look at us the wrong way, and nab any intel on whatever they're researching down there. Simple job, we just gotta be as quiet as possible so we don't alert reinforcements."

"You say simple, but an airdrop over open ocean with limited room for error? I call that a longshot. And who puts a research base on an oil platform?"

"It's the perfect cover; rather unassuming and is isolated so it's easy to hide whatever it is they're doing. Trust me, intel is solid on this one so try to relax rookie."

The rookie simply shook his head and nervously rubbed his hands together in anticipation for the drop. Then a sudden thought came to him as he came to a realization about something, he hadn't met the unit's commander on this hastily strung together detail yet. "Hey uh, legit question. Who is our CO?"

He then felt a hand on his shoulder as a powerful visage greeted him with a grin, one that belonged to none other than America's greatest wartime hero. "That would be me." Vance stated with a reassuring smile, "It'll be a simple job, we get in and we get out back in time for lunch back home." The rookie only nodded in response as his mouth was agape in awe as he watched a living legend walk amongst them, which prompted a few snickers from the more experienced men.

"15 seconds! If you're gonna jump, go now!"

The light on the loading bay turned green to signal readiness as the door opened to reveal the ocean and the howling winds outside. "That's our cue gentlemen!" Vance announced as he strode towards the opening. "Time to earn your stripes!" he then said as he leapt out of the aircraft, much to the shock of the rookie who took a few steps forward to register what had happened. "Did... did he just jump without a parachute!?" he asked over the radio, which prompted laughs from the others.

"He sure did! Now come on rookie!"

The thrill! The adrenaline! Vance never felt more alive as he dove straight downwards towards the oil rig in the distance, he'd need to time his landing perfectly onto the waters nearby so that he wouldn't have to swim as much to reach its lower levels. He wouldn't attract as much attention with his arrival so that he could make time for the rest of his team to land with their parachutes safely on the upper levels. He'd just need to be quick about it on scaling the floors and dealing with whatever guards there would be. This was where he belonged, his own time... and yet deep down he knew he would likely never be able to return home.

---

VOC-1, Present Day
Dan's Garage

Vance snapped back to reality as he finished chewing on his sandwich, coming back to the surrounding of the repair shop he had been working at for over two years now. After the debacle back at SSOID, he had taken the time to step away from the field and live normally. Or rather, as normally as he could. If these were the times he was going to live in from now on, he wanted to get used to what life was like. It had only been five years since he had been retrieved from the edges of space and awoke and yet it only felt like yesterday. He simply set aside the wrapper and sighed before getting up to walk over to his boss' office.

He had been planning on telling Dan that he was planning on leaving VOC-1 to head elsewhere, but hadn't mustered up the will to do so. He knew how much he was relied upon to keep this small business going, and yet Vance knew he couldn't stay too often in one place or another. And yet, Dan had been kind enough to help with finding a place for him to stay as well as being all around a generally great guy to work with. The longer I wait, the worse it will be. he simply stated to himself as he headed over to the door and knocked on it softly.

"Come in!" a deep voice spoke, from beyond which was Vance's cue to enter. The office itself was small and cramped to the brim with filing cabinets, paperwork, as well as additional vehicle parts and other metal contraptions that weren't used at the moment. Dan Turris simply sat at his desk and looked over financials for the business with a calm expression, which was different from the pained and stressed faces he would usually make otherwise when doing so which signaled good news overall. "Ah, Vance! What's up?" he asked as he sat the papers down and kicked his feet onto the desk.

"Hey Dan, I just... uh... well, I came to say-"

"You wanted to leave, right?"

"Yeah... how did you-?"

"Ah, c'mon Vance. I've seen that look on people's faces before 'round here." he said with a chuckle as he stood up, "I understand. Everyone has a time to spread their wings and get on out in the galaxy! I know how much of a help you've been with my shop and all and I'm eternally grateful for that."

Vance chuckled as he shook his head, "Here I thought you would be mad at me."

"Who says I ain't? Haha!" Dan replied as he gave a slap on Vance's shoulder that barely registered, "You can make it up to me at least by coming along for dinner with the family. For old time's sake and as a farewell dinner, the missus is cooking up a mighty delicious stew tonight."

"Sure, I'll be there." Vance replied with a smile before giving a quick finger salute and heading out. Well that went better than I thought it would. Still, I am gonna miss this. he thought to himself as he gathered his stuff from the garage and began to head back towards his small residence to get ready to move out tomorrow and head elsewhere.
 

SniperComZero

genuinely awful person
On VOC-1, in a Rundown Motel

BEEDEBEEDEP, BEEDEBEEDEP, BEEDEBEEDEP, BEED--

A fist quickly found itself impacting into the soft, plastic shell of the alarm, silencing the already-cracked beast. An already-bruised hand shook itself through the air, accompanied by a groan from the woman it was attached to. Slamming your hand into an alarm clock? Actually not a good idea, as it turns out. Said woman pulled herself up from under the covers, sitting up in bed, flexing her digits in, and out a few times, sucking in air through her teeth. "Gotta stop fucking doin' that..."

First order of business was to pick through her stuff. Not that she didn't trust the owners to not go through it while she was asleep. What she didn't trust, was some other slimeball rat fuck "somehow" getting their way into the room to pick through for anything that looked like it had a modicum of value to it. Down to the point where she grabbed a couple prescription bottles from deep inside her bag, shaking each one to gauge how full they were. Setting them atop the desk, along with the remnants of last night's takeout, she moved onto the more mundane things of one's morning routine. Brushing teeth, showering, that kind of thing. All to be capped off by her returning to her desk, mostly suited up, and uncapping the bottles that she had lain out on the desk, taking one pill from each. Shoving them in her mouth, and washing them down with the flat end of a soda and a grimace on her lips.

High time to check her finances, much as she knew the ugly truth of their state, or, lackthereof. Slipping a credit chip into her pad. Rental space for her mech, two hundred, the room she'd spent the night at, fifty-seven, dinner, another eleven... and her holdings? Enough to give her another couple nights, at best. Running a hand through her hair, she let out a long, drawn out sigh.

"...Guess I gotta get a job again. Nnnffhuck." Rubbing her palm into her eye, the woman reached into one of the pouches of her bag, producing an embroidered badge.

SSGT. O. KOVAK, MARS CORPS, 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION
VOX VIS, VOX POPULI


...It's a handy business card, of sorts.

Stuffing it into a pocket, Olivia made sure to dump her trash into the nearest bin before she pulled her helmet over her head. She's not an animal, after all. Of course, it mustn't have occurred to her that the mesh bin beside the desk was probably a waste paper basket. Out of the rental room, and into the wider colony at large to try and find somewhere to scrounge together a couple bucks.
 

Doomevil

Keep Moving Forward
"Glory to the journey across the Galaxy, my fellow scoundrels! ATAC-69, Doctor Proctor here on the hot take! Last week we discussed the difference between a tourist and a scoundrel. Well, we all know how it works, a tourist wanders and explores, no idea where else to go and still chasing their dreams. A scoundrel however, knows what they want, they embrace the dangers out here, surviving and armed with a crew." The mad robot spoke through the radio channel.

A woman gulped down on a can of artificial flavor soda, listening to the radio while her large reptilian friend was speaking to someone through his holotablet.

"Don't worry, Ean. Daddy's just looking for work outside of home like always. I promise I'll talk to you later during the day. Just listen to your mother, she's got enough on her plate as it is. Alright kiddo?" Roge pointed an index finger against the screen.

"Yes sir! Can mom give me something to eat while you're gone? She’s at work though." The kid asked.

"Of course. Uh, a super grubber combo and the shake? She’ll probably say yes."

"Okay. Thanks, Dad! I love you!" The kid’s video feed came to an end while

"I love you too." Roge ended the call and looked at his partner. "Are you ready to seek some jobs?"

"Ready to make the big bucks? You know me, I’m up for a challenge." The shuttle landed at a platform, with dozens of other shuttles all lined up in rows. "Vileas. Never been here before, but I heard it's a beautiful planet." Belka looked out the window and admired the planet's scenery.

"Well, we're not here for sightseeing. We're here to work. Vileas is an easy place to get started, which is why I picked it. People and the Frontier Militia usually mind their own business, so long as you don’t break the laws here and pick fights."

"Whatever you say, Roge." The young merc shrugged off.

"Pfft, I wouldn't mind taking a break from all the mercenary stuff and relax for a while. Just me, my family back home and the super grubbers I love so much."

"You're not serious about the grubbers, right? Those nasty ass burgers?"

"Of course I am. You should try one. They're delicious." Roge patted his stomach underneath his worn out armor, licking the corner of his teeth. The young partner scoffed, pulling out a stick of candy and inserted it in her mouth. "Now you're making me crave some sweets. I can see why your kids love fast food, because you fucking spoil them."

"They're worth it. Now come on, we got to get to the office." Roge turned away from his seat, and Belka followed behind him. The two mercenaries walked outside the shuttle area, and entered the main hall of the spaceport. Dozens of people were scattered around the waiting area.

Some were tourists, some were locals, some were merchants and some were mercenaries like Roge. The orbital colony had all of the businesses you could think of above a developed world: entertainment centers, casinos, weapon stores etc. The two mercenaries walked across the hall to the elevators, and entered one in particular. Dozens of other people entered as well, pushing each other around to get inside the packed elevator. The two partners stood side by side, with Belka looking at everyone.

"It's always amazing to me how so many different species can work together like this."

Roge chuckled out of sheer sarcasm, "That's because if anyone started guns blazing, the Frontier Militia would storm in. I've seen how they work. You do not want to mess with the peace. A few colleagues found out the hard way before you came along."

"Yeah, I suppose you're right. There's a certain safety in numbers."

"Safety in numbers?" Roge laughed once again, "There’s no such thing as safety. You'll learn that lesson soon enough, crim." The elevator door opened, and everyone moved out to the hallway. The two mercenaries followed the crowd to an office labeled "Mercenary Registrar." A bored Malmarian woman sat behind the desk, looking at a tablet.

She looked up as Roge and Belka entered the room, and smiled while standing up. "Good afternoon, and welcome to the Kishiro Mercenary Registrar. I am Rebra Ston. How may I help you?" She said in a dry tone, hand supporting her chin.

"We're here looking for work." Roge said, leaning on the terminal. The Malmarian sighed, “Please insert your State Issued ID and mercenary files before searching through the database.”

The merc went to separate terminals and inserted their IDs from their respective governments. Roge checked on his messages, nothing new so far. Meanwhile, Belka Vella checked her remaining finances for the day. After the terminal was done analyzing their profiles, the database showed a couple of job offers nearby the place. Namely there were a couple such as Stars and Stripes and the Band of the Crows. One familiar group stood out though, namely Blackwell’s Reavers. Roge sighed, “The Blackwells recruiting? What the heck are they doing here?”

Belka turned to the side, curious. “Friends of yours?”

“I’d rather not talk about it. We can try our luck with Stars and Stripes, their credentials are verified by the Registrar and they got a pretty decent track record. Now let's go get some lunch. I could get a cheeseburger," Roge gestured for her to follow, heading down to the food court.
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
In the midst of the mixture of yelling, chatter and shopkeeper adverts strode a trio of mercenaries. As they made their way through the crowds of people those that passed by the trio made sure to veer off and give them some space.
Usually any multitude of reasons could be the cause for this. In this case however it all boiled down to the fact that all three of them had the distinct look and swagger of quiet professionals; Former special forces or intelligence agents now relying on their training and ice-cold attitude to make money for themselves.

One of these individuals was a woman (judging by her size, build and feminine curves) while the other two were clearly men. Unlike them the woman wore a sort of infiltration suit. Hooded and masked it protected her identity- for a good reason.

Soon enough the group neared a small inconspicious storefront. A sign on the door lone metal door leading inside identified it as Hangman's Acquisitions followed by a HoloNet number and adress.
Upon entering the door locked itself behind the three mercenaries as they found themselves inside an empty room with the only exception being a simple metal desk and backroom door behind it.

As soon as the door was locked a figure emerged from the backroom. It was a Kaxan male, dressed in a casual outfit which was a rare sight as most Kaxani encounters took place aboard ships and while being on the receiving end of an array of pirate weapons.

Upon spotting the mercenaries the Kaxan's expression softened while the beak concealed by his many facial appendages clicked with joy. "You are here!" He exclaimed. "On time too. Did you find it?"

The woman nodded. She reached into the inner linings of the cloak currently concealing most of her armor and figure, producing a small metal chip. Military model.
Placing it on the Kaxan's desk and sliding it over the woman crossed her arms as the client inserted the chip into a rather compact datapad.

Line after line of data began to show while scrolling upwards, making the client click his beak once again. "Yes, yes. All good. I trust there were no issues?"

"None," replied the woman, leaving out the fact that a rival of the client had sent a squad of privateers to intercept the chip. Unfortunately for them they had been forced to retire. One of the male mercenaries chuckled.

"Excellent," said the client as he placed a small briefcase on the desk. "Your fee and added bonus for a speedy completion." He waved and made for the backroom. "Until next time."

The woman nodded and opened up the case, grabbing a third of the credits inside. She nodded towards the two others. "Your cut."

Nodding, the men collected their cuts of the profit as well. "That was a smooth op. I don't suppose we'll work together anytime soon?"

"Not likely," said the woman as she turned around and made for the door. "Watch your six."

"Likewise," replied the men as their colleague left.

Once outside the woman stretched her neck and began to stroll through the market. Time to find my next contract.

Five years. That's how long she had been doing this; Jumping from contract to contract. Never staying with a crew for longer than two, sometimes three, months. She was always on the move. Money wasn't the reason either.

She was wanted.

Concealed behind a mask and a suit of prototype armor with scratched-off symbols belonging to a certain intelligence organization was none other than Nathalie Walker.

Wanted for treason, Walker had been at the height of her career with the SSOID five years ago when she managed to uncover a very dirty conspiracy. With the help of an unlikely ally she managed to find the root of a devious plot but despite her hunt for the truth Walker was branded a traitor after the murder of a high-profile figure. She was forced to flee and had been on the run ever since, showing no sign of stopping.

Truth to be told, she enjoyed the thrill of it even though it was a very lonely and isolated life. Being on the run didn't offer much time to properly get to know people and even if she did have the time they'd end up being a liability and could very well be used to manipulate her or coax her out of hiding.

Nathalie sighed. I'm alive. That's what matters. Hopefully Vance and the others are as well.

Just as quickly as they formed however her thoughts dispersed upon seeing a large crowd ahead. By the look of things there was a job opening. Or several. Regardless, there was quite the crowd listening in on the entire debacle. Carefully maneuvering past a wide-eyed Trilothian, a shady-looking Upyri and a scarred Namur alongside some other mercenaries Nathalie managed to get close to whomever was yelling.

"Come on! Loads of action and excitement! Loads of fun. A hell of a lot more than the Feddies, Sol, Kosokom, or YsCom would give you!"

Nathalie shrugged. Didn't take much to find that type of action, truth to be told. Any schmuck with a gun could waddle into some system and end up being chased by pirates, cannibals and everything in-between. Still, this crew had a reputation. Blackwell's Reavers had made a name for themselves in recent years and Nathalie had managed to dodge them once or twice as well during her own contracts.

Crossing her arms, Nathalie continued to listen in on the pirates. These types of contracts paid well but they were risky and unlike mercenary work you couldn't expect to get a even wage (if at all). On the other hand though she wouldn't need to pay a commission fee to a handler or middleman for setting up the contract. More freelance that kind of way. Shrugging, Nathalie then tilted her head.

Perhaps it's time for a change of scenery.

Noticing that the woman whom had originally announced the search for new blood had gone to the side Nathalie decided to follow. She wasn't one to sit around and wait, no, if you want work you need to take the initiative. Without a sound she approached the orange-haired woman- a Upyri by the look of things- and cleared her throat.

"I'm looking for work," she said. "Nathalie Walker. Freelance mercenary. I don't suppose your employers could use a hired gun for a short period?"
 
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Breadman

Big loaf supreme
"How much are you getting for this one?" The old man knelled down so his one good eye could match up with the the prisoner flanked by two others. Cheap cigar burning slowly and leaving behind a foul smelling vapor.

"Bounty board said 50k alive. Theft, forgery and racketeering. Surprised there wasn't anything else on that." The woman answered. Looking around she noticed the few odd looks they were getting from the hangar's security. "You sure it's safe to do this here?"

"It's fine don't worry." He looked up to her "Told the chief about this exchange a few days in advance. Rookies are probably nervous. Only place they'd let me smoke anyway." He exhaled a cloud of smoke in the bounty's face "Though you were smart hiding in the Renegade quadrant, huh?" No answer "Well dipshit, you're lucky we like money more than photographing your carcass for the Militia."

"Your usual 20?"

"Nah, I'll just take 10% this time." He motioned for the other two to pick up the bounty "If I take 20, I'll these two will want a larger share and they haven't earned their allowance yet."

"Since when did you become such a cheapskate?"

"Hey, I'm a retired merc working to teach these knuckleheads how to do what you do." He eyed the two dragging the poor bastard to the ship "That involves finances. Besides, I heard you're looking to get out too."

"Have to." She lifted her facemask since it was getting uncomfortable "I'm getting too old for this. The other reason is my wife. She's a nice and cuddly, but if I piss her off one more time, I'm going to end up dead in a ditch somewhere in ass end of the galaxy."

"Ahh, marriage." He exhaled another cloud of smoke "The rare but deadly career ender of the bounty hunter." They shared a brief laugh between them "Not me though, saw how that ended up for my brother and the result of the divorce. No thanks."

"You we're always married to your jobs, Seth."

"Guess I was." he shrugged "Speaking of, time to drop off the bounty. You need a ride, Koronova?"

"No thanks. I have someone to pick me up. Figured I'd see what this place has to offer. See you around, Seth." She waved goodbye before turning to leave the hangar. Behind her she could hear him bark orders in the distance before his ship took off. They joked about it often, but it always nagged in the back of her mind. They were getting old. The wounds and injuries were adding up. With each year and new job, pushing their luck further and further. She needed to cash out before it ran out. Not just for her sake.

The thoughts started to retreat in a few minutes as she entered the colony proper. The lively market and recreational areas reminding her of different planets and locals her job had taken her. Not a bad place, this colony. Hopefully it stays that way. She got herself something to drink as she walked the streets looking for something that might catch her eye. As it turns out, someone did poke her curiosity.

Come on! Loads of action and excitement! Loads of fun. A hell of a lot more than the Feddies, Sol, Kosokom, or YsCom would give you!
She stopped in her tracks to look to the recruiter. The marking instantly stood out to her. 'No, can't be.' she thought. But it was right there in front of her. Valk's group of pirates. It's been decades since she's seen her. Not since Starvis. Every sensible part of her mind was telling her not to get involved in whatever pirate shenanigans they had cooked up, but something else was telling her otherwise. She had to see what that woman was up to. She did still owe her one for the Creed.

"Out of the way, junior." She elbowed her way through some of the hopefuls to the front "Hey, do me a favor will you?" She spoke to the recruiter woman as she pushed and shoved her way through "Tell your boss an old colleague is interested in seeing her again. Amy Koronova. We worked together in TBC up till before Starvis."
 
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Emperor Sagan

Lord Commissar
Being a journalist wasn't so bad. He could get into a lot of places for free with his press pass - a real press pass, Castilian issued, and guild certified - and people had a habit of shoveling more free things your way if you smiled and nodded and showed just the right mixture of interest and boredom until you were stumbling away drunk or with a belly ache from all the appetizers. Most people did everything they could to impress you. Was the AC not cold enough? Let me fix that for you. Is your booth too hard? We have a better one over here. Want an orbital view? Table right this way. All in all, it wasn't that different from being an idol. Well, more like a two-bit, backstreet idol and not the premium star of Castilia that shaped the entire face of fashion and music. It was... quaint! A bit old-fashioned, like the original stars back on Earth when real fashion hadn't been invented yet.

Here on this rather backwater and kind of smelly orbital colony, Shelby du Pont - under the clever alias Shelby White - had no trouble getting into the little casinos, nightclubs, and lounge parlors so long as he smiled the right way. Then it was another night of fun, but from the wrong side of the velvet ropes. At the very least, the free food and drinks ensured he wouldn't go hungry any time soon, so that was pretty cool. But the urge to hop up on stage, set the lights right, and show the crowd a phenomenal show never managed to go away. He had to keep ahead of the corporate snatch squads, and there were undoubtedly quite a few closer than he expected, and the quickest way to end up with a bag over his head was to advertise that he was the runaway Castilian idol. Slumming it was one thing - carrying on like nothing changed was another. For now, he was the preeminent journalist Shelby White. If you searched for his articles and you couldn't find them, thats because you were a dummy who didn't know anything about crypto-journalism on the dark subnet.

Still, he couldn't count how many times someone thought he was a waiter or bartender. His conservative clothing consisted of a long black skirt, stockings, and a white high-collared blouse with a cute short, but wide black tie. It was very cute and fashionable and... he looked like a bartender. The algorithms back home, and by extension elsewhere, knew him better with the more skin he showed off. He couldn't exactly prance around in shorts and a crop-top like he did half the time, and a suit the other half. Shelby the lady journalist was very much not Shelby du Pont the most famous and best starpop idol.

Fidgeting with his handheld camcorder - all the rage back home to go back to these nifty hand devices - Shelby accidentally zoomed in on some of the crowd across the way gathering around some prospective pirates. There were a lot of them here. Shelby had imagined more beefy muscles and red bandanas on their heads, or more killing in the streets, but they seemed strangely civil a lot of the time. When the camera focused and the image of the fiery orange-haired woman trying to recruit people cleared up, Shelby sucked in a gasp. Ohmygosh is that the Aesha Drach!? Shelby snatched his backpack and suitcase up, and practically flew across the street into the crowd. He had a taser in his skirt pocket and wasn't afraid to use it to get closer.

"Miss Drach! Miss Drach! Uh... you are Miss Drach, right? The super cool racer?" Shelby asked, eyes wide and beaming.
 

Doomevil

Keep Moving Forward
Roge and Belka entered the Tamadan Stay-Inn, containing a hotel and a staff run kitchen for all kinds of loyal customers. One of the cooks carried out a basket of flour, setting it down while the others knead the dough on their palms in a circular motion. An Artisynth chef tossed a slab of lean meat on the cutting board, slicing it into even chunks and poured the bits inside a bowl. His raccoon eyes brightened as he poured a tangy black liquid against the cut meat, letting it spread and sit. An android kneaded a mash of ground beef using her hands, rounding it out into a large smooth ball. She then made a big hole in the middle to place a hard boiled egg in, adding dried prunes before sealing the meatball completely. Meanwhile behind the female chef, the pot of mixed garlic and onion fried at medium heat, pouring a cup of water while she was at it, creating a puff of hot steam in the air.

Within a few minutes, an android waiter carried out their trays and walked at a brisk pace, setting the food down gently. Roge's eyes stared down at the tray of hot torsh, licking his teeth and prepared the fork and knife in his hands. Belka rubbed her hands graciously, "Peace be to you, brother." She bowed her head to the waiter.

"And bless the Ascension, sister." The waiter replied with respect, returning to the kitchen. Belka began to cut the large meatball in half, seeing the dripping egg yolk and the fresh herbs inside as her nostrils picked up the fresh onion garlic. Roge jammed a fork into the dark meat and took a bite, trying some of the white rice.

"Look at you, making friends with carpet beaters and black mouths. I guess it's a step up from two bit gangs, but it's your life." Roge made a quick comment, causing Belka to sigh.

"Come on, Roge. You can at least admit that the food is good. You’d do better when you’re hungry.”

“They don’t even eat it, they just cook it. Who does that?” The Kercan growled shaking his head, despite this, he still ate the dish. Belka Vella gave a playful squint and responded, “Robot cooks. Duh.” She tapped an index finger against the side of her head, rolling her eyes.

“Listen, back in Amul, my mom always made the best Ghetti whenever the kids played across the cobblestone streets. I got to meet a lot of friends there. I’m just saying, maybe the Achaeans want to ease relations. Look at Kanan.” She gestured outwards, leaning against the chair while Roge scoffed.

“You mean, black eyes? Is painting pictures and making music supposed to impress me now? Remind me why we bring him the weirdest junk to his place?”

“Kanan’s an artist. He mentioned how after the Sol-USR War, he wanted to experiment more and felt lost beneath the sand. I wouldn’t know what he meant by that, but I got a pretty good guess whenever we get another job from him.”

Both of them finished up their meals and split the payments 50/50, leaving the Tamadan and went off exploring. Belka Vella decided to split up and head to the weaponry shops, leaving Roge to look for Stars and Stripes around the recruitment run area. He spotted a few from the Reavers and a couple of groups he recognized also.
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
"I'm looking for work," she said. "Nathalie Walker. Freelance mercenary. I don't suppose your employers could use a hired gun for a short period?"

Aesha's head shifted, rotating about to look at Nathalie with her uncovered eye. She looked the woman over for a moment, folding her thick arms, before replying. "Yeah. We can work something out, I guess. Where are you from, and what kind of experience do you have? Just saying you're a merc doesn't do much for me, really. Seen two recruits lie through their teeth, and end up getting smeared across the deck of a Feddie freighter because they didn't know how to actually fight."

"Hey, do me a favor will you?" She spoke to the recruiter woman as she pushed and shoved her way through "Tell your boss an old colleague is interested in seeing her again. Amy Koronova. We worked together in TBC up till before Starvis."

Aesha looked to Amy, tilting her head before glancing to the other Reavers nearby. "Valkyrie? She should be around somewhere. She and her kids are waiting to see someone." she replied. "Starvis was what...over fourty years ago? Time flies, doesn't it?"

She then glanced over to see another individual push through to where she stood. Some girl, dressed almost like a bartender. And she seemed pretty excited. Aesha cocked an eyebrow as she approached.

"Miss Drach! Miss Drach! Uh... you are Miss Drach, right? The super cool racer?"

Aesha nodded. "The one and only." she responded, smiling and rubbing the back of her neck. "Former Upyri Federation Navy Ace, winner of the Nyxian Platinum Cup six times in a row. Sol System Astroracing champion four times in a row. Kosokom Gauntlet champion twice. The first Duroma Hell Ride champion. Interstellar Circuit Champion seventeen times over...I think I'm rambling." She let her arm drop back to her side. "You here to sign up? Or just want a picture or autograph?"
 

K0mori

Servant Supreme
Through the narrow bridge windows, the captain and pilot of the Hermes-51, a courier ship, watched as the open hangar bay seemed to swallow up the ship, which navigated itself on auto-pilot to a suitable landing pad. Here, they would be exchanging a few parcels and refueling before moving on. The two men, both humans and veterans of this business, exchanged glances as if reluctant to go over their plans again, and yet finding it necessary to do so. You always had to have a plan in the Renegade Quadrant, even in the supposedly safer areas.

"After I get a bite to eat, I'm going to the market to check in on the dark stuff," the captain said. "You get us refueled and make sure we make room for more riders."

The pilot nodded. "Yeah, I know. I'll have Rick handle the general deliveries while I deal with the ship and the passengers. I know we have a few getting off here, and at least one I can get rid of right out-"

"That kanad girl?" the captain asked.

"Yeah," the pilot replied. "You know exactly what I'm thinking."

---
The ship set down with a gentle thump, snapping Vixaya out of her sleepless daze as she rested her head against the porthole window. Looking up, bleary-eyed and tired, she wasn't quite sure where she was. Gathering her few possessions, which all fit into the bags she hefted onto her back aside from the case which stowed her personal weapon, she shuffled along behind the other passengers who were departing onto VOC-1, unaware that nearly all of them intended to stay there. Vixaya only wanted to find a meal, as the scant food available on the ship to the passengers was all western cuisine she was unfamiliar with.

Outside of the small passenger compartment ahead of the cargo bay, Vixaya turned and stepped down the landing ramp and entered the hangar. Scanning around at the spacious station, she felt just as small and weak as she was, compared to the aliens all around her. At 144 cm, she was small even for a kanad, and quite unusual-looking, with natural black hair, florescent yellow eyes, and a large chunk missing out of her right ear, just like an alley cat. However, as everyone, even those who lived in these remote parts, far away from Kosokom, knew- the kanads made up for their physical weaknesses with some of the most efficient weaponry ever invented, and possibly the most adept spirit for organized violence in the galaxy.

Vixaya knew the stereotypes were partially true. She had already lived them in the most brutal of ways. Having grown up on Spirra, the epicenter of Kosokom's recent civil war, she hadn't just been close to the fighting; her father was directly involved in the rebellion's planning and leadership, and had denied her a proper childhood, or even a proper education, in favor of creating a perfect soldier. In some ways, he had succeeded, but one would never guess from simply looking at her. Now, however, he was gone, as was her mother, and without any remaining family to take her in, she was adrift and in search of a niche where she could be useful. It couldn't be in Kosokom- the whole Astral Collective was still raw from the affair, and child soldiers weren't exactly being embraced by the new, supposedly-progressive government.

No, she needed to find a new war. Specifically, she needed to find and join a mercenary outfit, and use the money to pay for her education, and to learn skills outside of shooting and piloting mechs. Then... Then maybe she could fight her own wars under her own name. Maybe then she could get the recognition she wanted out of the only family that still mattered to her.

She shook her head, trying to stay alert despite the lack of sleep. She wasn't used to all this- the traveling, the unfamiliar planets and stations, and having to trust races other than her own. Kosokom was a strange, artificially homogenous place, while the rest of the galaxy was a salad bowl of species and cultures. The human trade language - English, they called it - was everywhere and she didn't speak it. So aboard the Hermes-51, she couldn't sleep properly, and even when she nodded off for a wink, she was troubled by nightmares from the war. She struggled to remember, how long did the pilot say they would be docked here? He had used the kanad word for "hour" and held up two fingers. She had plenty of time, but she still hurried.

Her goal was to reach the southwest quadrant, where she knew the major mercenary outfits were on a perpetual hiring drive. The couriers were among the cheapest methods of getting from the northeast, in the Foxglove region adjacent to the warzone, down to the southwest where the jobs were, and would allow her to avoid passing through loyalist Kosok territory where she might have been arrested for some imaginary violation, despite the official law of amnesty, post-war. They would never forget that she was an insurrectionist, but frankly, that didn't bother her. The other planets of Kosokom never felt like a part of her home. Her home was the planet they carpet bombed into ruin. She hated them.

Less than an hour later, she returned to the docking pad, a small bag of food in hand, to find the Hermes-51 had departed the station minutes earlier. They had taken her money and abandoned her here, selling her seat to another passenger in the process. The main cargo hold was full of parcels, while the secret hold was full of drugs and weaponry. The humans at the helm had simply done what they always did to scrape a little bit of money together on the side, and it was nothing personal. You don't give up your seat on a courier ship in these parts, even if you paid for it- everyone knows that, except for foreigners who can't read or speak English.

Vixaya hung her head for a moment and turned away. What now? There was very little money left, not enough to hire another ship to take her the rest of the way. Maybe there was a way to make money quick in this station. She began to wander, aimlessly, until she finally found herself at the rear of a small crowd. Curious as to what they were looking at, she wormed her way past them until she could see the recruiters, although she couldn't understand their pitch. She reached into her long, red coat studded with brass buttons, and pulled out an old and well-used translator device. Flicking the switch several times, the indicator light failed to come on; there were no batteries. Dejectedly, she stood and listened instead.

"[Are you lost?]" a nearby upyri asked in the kanad language.

Vixaya's expression told the woman everything she needed to know, from the relief at having found someone she could speak with, to the tiredness in her eyes suggesting her current struggle. Nevertheless, she answered her. "[Yes. I have no money and no job. Do you know where I could find work?]"

"[These people, the Reavers, are pirates. They're looking for new recruits,]" the upyri answered. "[Is that the sort of thing you'd be interested in?]"

"[Piracy?]" Vixaya repeated. After considering it for a moment, she decided it didn't really matter. She had been fighting a supposedly-illegal war for most of her life, and mercenary work was often illegal in the eastern quadrants anyway... No matter which path she took in the killing business, it was always going to be illegal from somebody's point of view. "[I... I suppose so, yes. What about you?]"

The upyri woman shook her head. "[No, I don't think so. I have my own line of work.]"

Vixaya nodded and thanked her before approaching the recruiters. Reaching into her collar, she pulled up her dog tags from the rebellion on Spirra. On the same chain, a chipped device a keen eye would recognize as a kanad mech ignition key dangled, the alphanumeric code X-070 etched into the plastic shell. She let go of these items, so that they still hung from her neck, but in plain sight of the recruiters. "How... join?" she asked, sheepishly.
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
"How... join?"

As Aesha waited on the reply from the bartender looking girl, she looked over to see that a small, odd looking Kanad had walked up dressed in red. Dog tags hanging from their neck, with what Aesha recognized as a mech ignition key attached to them. They must have fought in that civil war a few years back. Veterans of the war were common in certain places, but it was especially rare to see mech pilots that fought in the war. It was likely that they were the real deal, and not just someone that stole some tags and a key.

Lucky Aesha was familiar with the Kanad language. It was a standard practice in the Federation to take foreign language courses. She had already grown up knowing Upyrian and Sol's main trade language, so she had picked Kanad to tack on as a third language. It helped a lot when she had to travel to Kosokom for races. "[Stay here with us, and we'll get everything sorted out. What's your name?]" she asked in Kanad.

Another voice soon surprised her, and it was one all too familiar. "How's the recruiting going?" Valkyrie strolled up behind her, her hands shoved in her jacket pockets and with Lauren and Damien in tow. Lauren didn't look all that interested, as she looked inside the gunshop while gulping down a soda. Damien, on the other hand, eyed the crowd as well as those that were talking to Aesha.

Aesha motioned to those with her. "These two are interested." she replied as she motioned to Nathalie and the kanad clad in red. She then pointed to the bartender looking girl. "Don't know what this one wants yet." Then finally, Aesha pointed to Amy. "And this one says she knows you."

Valk cocked an eyebrow, looking to Amy for a few moments. And then it hit her. "Holy shit, Amy!?" she said, as her eyes widened and a grin stretched across her face. Damien looked confused, not knowing who this woman was at all. Lauren, meanwhile, still looked uninterested as she continued to peer through the glass of the weapons shop.
 
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Breadman

Big loaf supreme
Starvis was what...over fourty years ago? Time flies, doesn't it?
"What can I say, we work in very different parts of the galaxy." She shrugged. Another woman looking like a bartender came up next and inquired about the recruiter. She looked out of place and somehow familiar, but Amy wrote it off. Maybe she had one of those faces. When Aesha started listing off her accomplishments, she couldn't help but be a little bit impressed. "Now I feel I should ask you for an autograph."

She couldn't say much as the kanad girl showed up. Amy never did learn to properly speak their language or most other ones for that matter. Her time with the Sisters gave her an opportunity for that, but she missed it due to running the hell away from them. Her attention was drawn to the very familiar, but slightly different voice belonging to Valk.

Holy shit, Amy!?
"Who else?" Amy raised her arms and spread them for a greeting while smiling. "It's been too long Valk, how have you been?"
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
"Just saying you're a merc doesn't do much for me, really. Seen two recruits lie through their teeth, and end up getting smeared across the deck of a Feddie freighter because they didn't know how to actually fight."

Nathalie nodded and was about to reply when some other mercenary shoved her way through. Sighing she glanced at the other merc and patiently waited for her to finish talking. Then a rather young adoring fan showed up to praise the recruiter whom, in turn, flexed with her resume. Then more people showed up and Nathalie decided to cross her arms and waited.

"These two are interested."

Clearing her throat, Nathalie glanced between Aesha and the trio of pirates that just arrived. "As I was saying; Walker. Freelance mercenary. Former SSOID. Infiltration, interrogation and intel recovery specialist." She paused, letting her words sink in. "I know my way with a gun. Better than most of the rabble currently begging you for a job. I'll work for you, you'll pay me and refrain from asking questions about my past."
 

ANIMAL MOTHER

I DEFEATED THE C-VIRUS!
The soft glow of a television screen paints the dreary interior of a shuttle with the colors of a bright morning day. The silence inside is drowned out by the sound of a crowd cheering and applauding, and a moment later, of a newscaster speaking over them.

"-And this marks the beginning of what is the 40th anniversary of the Great Victory against the deceitful, treacherous United Sol Resistance! Celebrations have begun in New Tehran with the Mahdi himself joining the party!"

The camera cuts to footage of the Mahdi and his secretary Hanai shaking hands and laughing along with the leaders and representative of other races the Kingdom had invited in or liberated from crueler powers in the region. Surrounding them are some of the higher-ranking personnel of both the Basij and the Achaemenid Artisynth Army; also engaged in festivities. It then pans over to the rest of the massive crowd not too far away. They're all smiling, clapping, playing instruments, performing folk dances, and holding up posters of the Mahdi's face. Everyone's in a good mood as they celebrate the freedom and liberation the Artisynth had fought for many decades ago...

But not Typhon.

He takes a long draw of his cigarette, staring blankly at the TV as he reclines in his seat, and watching his former congregation live happily back at home. He can still recall the better times when he preached the word to them, and they would listen. He remembers all the raids and attacks he had sent them out on, and how willingly they killed for Ummah. They looked up to him once, now they want him dead all for doing his job and leading them. What a fool he is, honestly. He should've known they would've hated him for all he did for them. Decades worth of anger, of frustration, and of envy boil deep inside, but it's no use. He's learned long ago to abandon any hope of rejoining his people. They'll never let him back, ever, for what they accuse him of doing. They wouldn't understand why anyway; they're much too shortsighted now. For those who were not around during his time, they made sure there's no reason necessary to hate him. For those old enough to remember him and the rest of the ayatollahs, there's no excuse possible not to.

The only thing serving as a break to take his mind off of any of it is his cybernetic hand acting up; it locked up again when he tries letting go of his smoke. It feels like it's going to give up soon, so he probably should be browsing the stores for a new one while he still has time. Maybe he ought to take a look and see if the vendors have any prosthetic tissue as well since the rest of his body is rotting to dust. The door to his ambulance shuttle opens up and sees the Mordred parked not too far away. He also sees a few of the Reavers come out with an empty dolly. Looks like they're done moving his belongings inside, leaving only his shuttle left. The rest of the Lions have been notified though, and will send two of their own to come by and bring it back to the Zulfiqar later. For now though, there's nothing else for Typhon to do and no patients to attend to currently. So he walks.

The recruitment area's the first place he decides to roam around in until he's summoned; curious to see how Valkyrie and the rest of the Reavers are doing in terms of getting future organ donors. Seems like they're attracting quite a few so far with Aesha being their big draw. Watching her glow with a friendly smile as she advertises them, he shakes his head at her. He can't understand how she's able to make this life sound exciting when it's anything but. Killing people, stealing people, smuggling people, selling people, robbing people, torturing people, starving people, raping and pillaging and burning homes, villages, and cities just for the thrill of action, it's anything but fun. He would know, he's had a while to figure that out. Though as he turns to walk away while he's still able to stomach it, he accidentally bumps into a rather big man who smells like he just ate a whole kebab.

"Excuse you." he says to the Kercan.
 

Doomevil

Keep Moving Forward
Roge was just minding his own damn business until someone else had to make an appearance. Just his luck, it'll be another jumbotron. Roge gave a smirk, staring at the Artisynth's poor appearance. "Careful with the cigarettes, black lung. You've already lost your hand, don't want to lose your lungs, if you still have them." Roge replied back, staring at the pale robot while the crowd went about their day. "Where's the rest of your posse? Did they stood you up or something?"
 
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ANIMAL MOTHER

I DEFEATED THE C-VIRUS!
Unamused by Roge's insult, Typhon blows as much smoke as his lungs could hold towards his face. "My 'posse' is here, swamp thing." he snubs venomously. "So be mindful of what you say, or they might just be your last words."
 

Doomevil

Keep Moving Forward
Roge took in the smell of nicotine and smoke, rolling his eyes back in annoyance, "Or what, Jihadi Jon? Pfft, so much for the peace be with you bullcrap. Tell me, do you recite your faith in Sol or Binary?"
 

SniperComZero

genuinely awful person
...Blackwell's Reavers, huh? Olivia figured the name sounded familiar-- she just couldn't place where from. She'd been around the quadrant for a good couple years now, jobs of odds and ends-- mostly on protection runs. Turns out people feel safer with ten feet and five tons of metal behind them. Where had she heard the name, though. Had she had to fight 'em off? Worked a job or two for them at some point? Pirates're a dime a dozen, of course, but this could just be one of the big ones, since she's heard the name before.

Either way, quite the crowd's sitting outside their booths, and anything else that she can find seems to be all just cheap one-and-done jobs. She needs to find a more stable line of work. Bad.

Pushing her way past some arguing crocodile and cyborg-looking guy, and about two dozen hapless assholes looking to become pirate cannon-fodder, she unclipped her pouch, taking the patch from inside of it, and holding it up between two of her fingers. "I want in." She really figured that it, plus her get-up, would be more than enough convincing that she's an experienced hire.
 

ANIMAL MOTHER

I DEFEATED THE C-VIRUS!
"Or what, Jihadi Jon? Pfft, so much for the peace be with you bullcrap. Tell me, do you recite your faith in Sol or Binary?"
"In Farsi." Typhon retorts. "A language I am sure you can't speak with that pre-historic mouth of yours." He takes another draw from his smoke. "And that's Doctor Jihadi Jon to you."
 

Doomevil

Keep Moving Forward
"Oh! Doctor Jihadi Jon, that's just terrific," Roge chuckled to himself, swaying his big head to the right. "They're finally letting in doctors that heal and kill their patients during the operation, especially ones who lost their hand because they can't hold a bonesaw right."
 

ANIMAL MOTHER

I DEFEATED THE C-VIRUS!
"They're finally letting in doctors that heal and kill their patients during the operation, especially ones who lost their hand because they can't hold a bonesaw right."
"Only patient I would ever harm is you, you talking animal!" bites back Typhon. "Be fortunate I'm a surgeon and not a veterinarian!"
 

Infab

The Demon Fanatic
"It's been too long Valk, how have you been?"

"Yeah, WAY too fuckin' long." said Valk, walking over and giving Amy a short hug. Ignoring what was going on around her. After she broke the hug, she spoke again."I've been...better. Lots of stress over the past few years. Waiting on someone important to show up, so I decided to swing by to see how Aesha here was doing on recruitment." She glanced back at Damien, and noticed that he was giving both Amy and Valk a look. "Oh, Amy, this is my son Damien. The blue haired girl there is my daughter Lauren." she said, introducing them. "Damien, this is Amy Koronova. We worked together for the Terrika-Belladonna Company a little over forty years ago, before I started the Reavers. Happened around the time the whole shit with Starvis happened." Damien's confused expression changed a bit, as he slowly nodded and looked to Amy.

"As I was saying; Walker. Freelance mercenary. Former SSOID. Infiltration, interrogation and intel recovery specialist." She paused, letting her words sink in. "I know my way with a gun. Better than most of the rabble currently begging you for a job. I'll work for you, you'll pay me and refrain from asking questions about my past."

Lauren caught this, her head snapping around and a sly grin appearing on her face. "Woah woah woah!" she said, giggling as she walked over to where Aesha and Nathalie were standing. "You can't just say you're ex-SSOID and expect us NOT to ask about your history, girl! That just ain't right!" She sipped from her soda, before grinning at Aesha. "I say we hire her. It'd be fun to poke and prod that brain of hers for Sol secrets. At least for me."

Before Aesha could reply however, another one walked up and held up a patch of some sort.

"I want in."

Aesha looked at the patch, and soon recognized it as something from Sol. Another mech pilot. Wonderful. "Alright, you're in too. We can always use more mech pilots." said Aesha, glancing to Lauren. Lauren peered at the patch, before nodding. "Hope you're not too fond of Sol...but you wouldn't be out here if you were."
 

Emperor Sagan

Lord Commissar
Shelby giggled at Aesha's listing of her past big wins on the racing circuits, and he waved his hand casually. "Oh, hah, yeah I know all about that. My family made a lot," he paused, suddenly clearing his throat, "um, I mean, some, money on betting!" The du Pont family had made, and still makes, a fortune from their shipping and trading lineage, but like all of the Great Families on Castilia, had a hand in just about everything else. Several million sectioned off into the hands of private bookies was low-level, casual stuff, almost off the books just for being such a pittance of money. So long as they made money, they had free reign on any betting, and the space racing scene proved remarkably lucrative. After all, Castilia was a luxury and entertainment world. Gambling was one of the largest sectors overall, fullstop.

More people drifted into the little crowd, jostling the lithe Shelby around. These were all the big, tough types. Ex-soldiers, from the sound of it, or scary mercenaries. One was even a Kanad. Private schooling at the academy had been as thorough as it had been exhausting, which was to say, most days he felt like he could barely move or think - and still needed to perform afterwards. While he had never met a Kanad, he remembered briefly keeping track of the now finished war. War was particularly profitable for the Great Families, though the Sinclair family, the foremost arms dealers on Castilia, had some issues securing good deals with the Kanad - those aliens had far superior technology and didn't need anything from the Sinclair.

Standing back on his tiptoes and elbowing closer again, Shelby held up his real, but fraudulent, press pass. It certainly wasn't more impressive than a military badge, but it was high time he moved on again, and being with nomadic pirates was a great idea to keep ahead of his corporate pursuers. Perhaps then he could finally relax. "I want to join, too! I'm really skilled with... uh... dancing, singing, and... reporting! Since I'm a reporter. Well, journalist, actually, but is there a difference? Haha... ah...." Compared to these military types, definitely not that impressive. "I'm also really flexible, and know hand-to-hand skills, and I went to school, and... oh! I can also shoot!" Shelby grasped the hem of his skirt and pulled it up to his thigh, revealing the slim compact pistol holstered there around his leg over the stocking. "See? I even own a gun."
 

Breadman

Big loaf supreme
"I've seen the bounty on your head, Valk. I can imagine the the stress you're going through daily." She paused for a second, realizing the company she was in. "Don't worry, I'm not dumb or evil enough to try it. You risked your neck for me and Alex to get Stanislav." Valk didn't need reassuring, but her crew were a different story.
Oh, Amy, this is my son Damien. The blue haired girl there is my daughter Lauren... Damien, this is Amy Koronova. We worked together for the Terrika-Belladonna Company a little over forty years ago, before I started the Reavers. Happened around the time the whole shit with Starvis happened.
Amy glanced between the tree of them. The girl resembled her mother more, but the similarities were there. Looks like the former merc wasn't the only one that had a family after Starvis.

"I have to make up for two baby showers I see." She joked while looking to her son. "Nice to meet you, Damian." She looked back to Valk "Got to ask you for advice on motherhood sometime, because I have a few running around at home with my wife on Duroma. Have pictures, but rather show them to you when you're not up to your neck."
 

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