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Futuristic Unlit IC

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Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
Stratton gave Kestrel a nod before hurrying off to contact his superiors. Despite the stellar work so far accredited to the Ambivalence and its crew the Intelligence Division were far from excited to reveal potential intel on the Soviets, reasoning that handing out information regarding a possibly hostile party would need special clearance or a kilometer-long title to back the request.

What little intel Stratton did get sent to his terminal were mostly rumors or unconfirmed speculation. Locating Adira the envoy reluctantly shared what little he had been given while also taking the opportunity to state the obvious;
"We'd learn more by just asking Kestrel and Alysson about their people."

* * *
When the jump came Stratton grimaced slightly. Seated inside the Hub next to a pile of tactical gear and composite body-armor the liaison was calibrating the sights of his rifle to match the targeting software of his helmet. It was a boring process but at least it meant that he wouldn't spend several hours doing nothing.

As his hands and fingers continued to tinker Stratton made sure to keep his guard up. After all, old habits die hard.

Hopefully Kestrel would arrive soon. Nothing like tactical planning to keep yourself distracted.

Epiphany Epiphany
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira wasn't especially appreciative of the crowd in her cockpit, but she decided to bite her tongue about it. She was biting her tongue about a lot of things - this mission, other potential jobs, the risks they were taking for potentially no reward, etc. For the most part, she hadn't addressed anyone else in the cockpit, besides talking quietly to Silas about the flight plan for after the jump. In summary, they really didn't seem to have much of a plan, but she knew the coordinates she was heading for after that, so it was good enough for her. She had her maps ready, and that was all she needed.

Adira heard what Alyson said. She actually glanced up at the Russian and chuckled, "Silas here wouldn't be the first choice for teaching you, actually."
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Kepler shares Adira's dislike of a crowded cockpit, though its never occurred to him that he might be part of her problem. He'd spent so much time here quietly with her behind the controls that he'd come to assume his presence was something like a shadow, but obviously he's not quite aware of the effect he can have a on a room. What he is supremely aware of, however, is the disdain a certain someone holds him in. He remains quiet as Alysson intrudes on his and Adira's sanctum, not wanting to give her any further cause to annoy her. The most he does is to offer a subservient nod in her direction and adjust the long sleeves of his robe, though its not like anything above the wrists had been exposed in the first place.

Kepler does, however, crack his forced and pained-looking smile at Silas' comment. "Adira-Captain speaks the truth. This unit can feel it when Master Burns sits down to check the gauges. Flies like brick." He says, then casually produces his sidearm from a fold inside his robe and inspects it. "Very heavy brick." He adds, then pantomimes the act of something very suddenly crashing downward with the weapon in his hand.
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas chuckled at the remarks of the different skill levels of each person's flying capabilities. Silas chimed in, "I could maybe get us pointed in the right direction of whatever we wanted to crash into as an emergency landing, but besides that I'd be a useless pilot. I agree with Alysson; If I were to be put in the pilot's seat, you can bet it'd be as a last ditch effort. I'd sooner try to bring Adira back from the dead than force all of us to endure whatever fate my skills could cause." Silas could barely manage flying single seat craft on his own. He had put practically no time into learning to fly. He knew his trade, and never bothered excelling at anything else. If it didn't involve a blow torch or an electrical diagram, Silas wasn't the best for the job. In regards to Kepler's comment, Silas added, "Luckily we have an ace pilot to give the Ambivalence a little grace." However he was too busy admiring the spectacle before them on the bridge to notice Kepler's interesting display.
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Kepler holsters his weapon a bit mechanically, as if conscious effort is required to will his body into obedience. The motion is far less smooth than normal, and he winces as he folds the flap back into place to store the weapon. To stall for time, to give Alysson more time to get out of his way and to reduce the odds of being seen, he fidgets idly with his console for a short time. Then, rising to his feet, he bows his head slightly toward Silas and then Adira. "I must take a brief leave of the bridge." He says, then nods again towards Adira. "Captain." He adds, then makes an unusually hasty exit. The ringing in his ears that began after he unplugged has become a roar, a ceaseless digital screeching that makes the skin around his eyes feel ready to burst. Once the door slides shut behind him, he comes apart, stumbling down the hallway on legs like poorly sculpted jello, leaning against a wall to keep himself steady until he reaches the sanctum of his personal quarters.

Flinging himself towards his cot, he grips its sides tightly and lets the seizure run its course. Cybernetic implants run rampant, his vision flashing across its assorted spectrums in a whirlwind of sensory information, his limbs jerking in uncontrolled fits until it finally subsides. This is the third incident since his enhancements on Corverant, and each has left him feeling like he'd been put on a roller coaster without a safety harness. He doesn't bother giving himself time to breathe or recover from the latest fit before his fingers clutch at a data-slate near his bed, dragging it clumsily upward until he can use it. With a few shaky keystrokes, he turns the explosive implant's signal receiver on, then punches an arm-blade through the data-slate to insure he cannot disable it later. Quivering, he remains in bed, quietly pleading with a god that does not hear him for the chance at just a few more days. He'd watched more machines break down than most, and he was used to seeing them slowly grind to a halt over the years.

That was how he had expected it to be. This was more like watching a turbine spin up and tear itself apart, then take the whole plane down with it. This was a bad death, and all that was left was to make the most of it before it wasn't his choice. He'd hold long enough to leave one last mark.
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas turned to look around, seeing that the bridge was more vacant than before. He assumed they all had prep work to get done before they arrived at their destination. It was a good idea; they were getting close to the distress signal's location, just on the edge of the Sidereas Galaxy's border. He crossed his arms, wondering what could possibly have happened. Either the Soviets transmitted a message directly to The Ambivalence, or their message was broadcast through all of space. Silas wasn't sure which possibility he hated more; either someone knew the Cavanaugh's were onboard, or potentially everyone could've picked up on the same broadcast as him. Either way he was displeased with the blindness of the jump. However, at this point, he felt everyone had a level of trust that transcended trying to just make money in the universe. If a crew member were in danger, Silas would do as much as he could to help them, and he hoped they would all do the same for him.

"Hey, Adira, any chance we can run a preemptive scan of the-" Silas couldn't finish his sentence as the ship was ripped out of FTLT, causing him to lurch forward. He would've flown against the glass of the bridge if he hadn't grabbed on to the Captain's chair. The scene before them was quite literally a battlefield - energy bolts lit up the dark space outside The Ambivalence, ships warring with one another. There were easily a dozen frigates and capital ships, with a few destroyed hulls floating around. It was clear this fight had been going on for a while, as many of the ship's shields were down and some had chunks missing from their fuselages.

It was clear that about half the ships were Soviet, thanks to their white outer coating with red accents. The giant "CCCP" letters were also visible on many of them, although some were damaged beyond the point of identification. The other ships, of varying models, were all mostly a dark grey with various salvaged ship parts banded together. Whoever was attacking the Soviets clearly wasn't an organization or government army, but rather a group of scavengers or pirates. However, they had enough fire power to put up a fight against a heavily armed Soviet fleet.

Silas took a moment to try and figure out what was going on. Since they were here to find out what happened to the Mutters Spiral, he assumed for the time being that the Soviets were their allies. "Get us near one of the Soviet ships and use their hull as cover from the gunfire," Silas said, clinging to the seat for balance. "I'll see if I can hail anyone on comms." Silas managed to scramble his way to one of the copilot seats and began messing with the controls. "This is Silas Burns of The Ambivalence, Hailing anyone in the area, please respond! I repeat, This is Silas Burns of The Ambivalence. Anyone, respond!" He kept this up, though all he seemed to receive was static or incomprehensible shouting.

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Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira just smirked at the compliments SIlas gave her. She knew she was a damn good pilot, but it was always nice to hear some praise. However, she kept an eye on Kepler - he didn't normally move so fast to say the least. She nodded toward Alysson in return for the thank-you. Once they were alone, she sighed to Silas, "What are we getting into this time...?"

Trouble. They flew right into trouble, literally. Immediately, Adira's old battle instincts took over. Adira didn't need to have Silas tell her where to fly - she was already tucking the ship behind a large scrap of hull that was relatively near a Soviet ship. So far, it didn't seem that anyone in the battle had noticed them. "I am not tucking up to any ships that are actively engaging in battle until we get a response. Silas, you have exactly one minute before I bolt out of this mess!"
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Kepler can feel the ship spin and accelerate, and even in his fatigued state his mind puts two and two together. Rolling over onto his side, he reaches for the data-jack wired to his personal computer and rams the cable home, slotting it into the base of his neck. The world explodes and then reforms in a whirling display of data that soon turns into something fit for human processing. Cameras on the outside of the ship provide a 360 degree view of the battlefield, a readout of the ship's tactical info spools out across the bottom of his field of vision, and turning around in the virtual space gives him a view of the cockpit.

A digital voice, the sort usually given to Smart devices, pleasantly chatters at the cockpit crew from Kepler's terminal there. "Electronic counter-measures deployed. Initiating offensive measures against non-Soviet vessels with network vulnerabilities. Attempting to patch the Ambivalence directly into Soviet comms." It says soothingly. "Uplink with Pirate Corvette Three Dash One established. Opening all airlocks and cutting engines. Soviet communications link has been aggressively blocked. Scrambling targeting systems directed towards our neighboring vessel." It continues. In the distance, one of the smaller piratical vessels begins to drift off its course, and a dozen floating specks drift away from its hull.

In his quarters, Kepler's nose begins hemorrhaging blood. Usually, coordinating so many cyber-attacks was the work of several people, and larger ships usually held a suite of trained specialists for this purpose. Alone, he's a vulnerable target for other ship's electronic warfare specialists who target him directly, triggering biological responses through attacks on his implants. The pleasant voice in the cockpit chirps one more time, though its tone has some forced urgency.

"Please disconnect this main terminal with extreme prejudice."
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas was annoyed that he hadn't received any kind of response. He knew it was a warzone, but someone should've been able to pick up on his broadcast. It didn't even occur to him that the Soviets wouldn't understand him until Alysson took control of the comms and began speaking in Russian. Silas listened in as if he was able to understand, mostly hoping she could cause some kind of reaction from the Soviet ships they were near to. It took a few moments, but a voice soon answered back through a distorted message in Russian. " Zasha Rashitova of The Ambivalence, this is Admiral Oshroli Hoptinov of The Winged Victory. State your intentions. Explain why you are here."

The Soviet ship they were flying by got hit hard by some kind of explosion, along with a string of fighter bolts nearly hitting The Ambivalence. When the fighter flew by, it was clear to be the same model as the ship from their first mission, unmistakable from the dark green bolts it fired. When Silas saw this, he got up from the comms seat to leave Alysson with the Admiral, not that he knew who he was anyway. He watched the ship strafe by, to which he spoke to Adira, "Did they follow us here, or was it already fighting by the time we got here?" He said, almost a whisper from how unbelievable it was.

That's when the voice of the shipboard AI began speaking. Silas listened in, and following what the voice was talking about, noticed the ship in the distance start drifting directly towards another of it's ilk. Silas assumed it was Kepler working to fight cyber warfare against the assailants, to which he was grateful for. We're in the fight now, he thought. Silas pressed the button to start the shipwide comms, saying, "All Ambivalence crew members, get your EVA suits on quick and get to the bridge. Stop by the armory on your way if possible and grab whatever you can." Once he released the button, he went over to the emergency set of EVA suits, tossed one towards Alysson, and began putting one on over his jumpsuit. He knew Adira always kept her jacket on that could easily transform into a sealed EVA suit, so he knew she didn't need one.

Silas only got halfway through putting on the suit before Adira took a hard turn, causing him to hit the wall to steady himself. A few moments later, The Ambivalence took a hit of some sort which immediately turned off the power. Suddenly the only light filling the bridge was the glow from the planet bouncing light from the nearby star. The gravity generator turned off with the power, causing Silas to squirm in zero-g as he attempted to put his suit on as quickly as possible. Luckily life support was separate from power generation and would stay on, at least for the time being.
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
To be frank, Adira was a bit too busy with moving the ship and checking their diagnostics to handle communications. This was the kind of situation where an AI could never be flexible enough, but it did mean she had to trust others with handling things like comms. Seconds after the Ambivalence was "safely" tucked by the steel hull of the downed ship, she was met with a familiar sight - that damned unknown ship. The same one with the dark green bolts. The same dark green bolts that nearly killed them on one of their first missions woth this crew. The same dark green bolts that killed most of her old crew and left her stranded, floating in empty, hollow space with Silas. That one.

Adira blinked, refocusing after that split second of burning anger flared up in her chest. She glanced up at Silas and whispered, "I don't know, but if I ever get a clear shot...."

He was already gone.

Of course, Kepler's display of power caught her eye, but she couldn't lose focus now. Yet she knew what would happen if he wasn't disconnected before there was a counterattack. Fuck. She mumbled an apology to Silas, pulled her gun, and shot the terminal in question. The shot from her phase was pretty silent. The explosions wasn't. There was a bang and a flare of sparks, and that was it.

Adira refocused on the current situation. One of the ships was moving toward them. nother ship whipped around, acknowledging the presence of the Ambivalence in what Adira was certain was a not-very-friendly manner. Alright then.

She ducked the ship down, 1, 2, 3, below the debris that was scattered about, 4, 5, then allowed it to go forward, then a sharp left 6, 7 -

8 hit. That eighth bolt, just as she was ducking the ship back into cover, it hit. And the power went out. And everything went to hell.
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
As the Ambivalence arrived at its destination and thrown directly into a chaotic free-for-all between ships Stratton nearly lost his footing as vibrations shook and echoed throughout the ship. Thankfully he was already in the process of gearing up for a potential firefight after his and Kestrel's chat concluded. Despite not being nowhere near a viewport or window Stratton could feel the ongoing battle itself.
Sure, space was silent to a deafening degree but sound isn't everything. Flashes coming from down the halls. Mechanical components churning just a bit faster than usual. Hydraulics. Flashing lights as power levels drop and rise. There was something else as well; Faint chatter from his crewmates. Stern and serious with a hint of fear and concern.

Shaking his head Stratton attached his rifle to the sling connected to his body armor. "I'm getting too old for this shit," he muttered.

Just then Silas' announcement echoed across the ship's speakers. Thankfully for Stratton his own armor could seal up easy. All he needed was a booster pack or a thruster belt for any potential EVA-operation. Hopefully it wouldn't be needed. Hopefully Kestrel had managed to gear up.

Their strategy was relatively simple: Potential boarding would include- if possible- a silent insertion. Two-man operation. In, recon and assess the situation. Secure a beachhead for the rest of the crew and that's assuming that they need to carry out any kind of assault boarding. If all things went well then perhaps the Soviets would just welcome them onboard.

Stratton shook his head once again. Lots of if's and maybe's. Far too many. He put on his helmet and allowed itself to seal up before pulling back the charging handle of his rifle.
"Let's do this," said the veteran as he rolled his shoulders.

Then the power went out.
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Kepler's plea for aid goes unaided for a few moments, and he wonders tentatively if this is how he'll die before Adira's pistol barks twice inside the cockpit and his world goes black. Restoring his own sense of sight requires unplugging himself even though the connection has been severed, and he remains in his bed for a few moments longer, staring blankly into the void while blood leaks from his nostrils. The world feels like its spinning, and it takes some time for him to move a shaky hand to the back of his neck and tug the cable out. When he does, most of his bodily sensations return in a flash, bombarding him with aches, pains, the rich copper scent of his own blood, and his sight, though the world remains black.

Unusual. Could he have been blinded? It would be an unconventional attack, considering that any cyber-specialist worth their salt could just have his eyes replaced, or, more commonly, just live out their days jacked in. He squints at the blackness curiously, then gives his ocular implants a mental swipe to change frequencies. In IR, he can see the heat emanating off his own body and from the now darkened lights, and he lets out something like a sigh of relief. The power was out, which meant the interior gravity probably didn't have too long before it shorted out as well. Silas had put out an order for EVA suits, and as much as Kepler dislikes them, it was better to have one and not need it than meet the unfortunate fate he'd consigned a dozen other people too a minute ago. Looking very much like he's been on the receiving end of a modest application of blunt force to his face, Kepler hurries himself to retrieve a suit and pulls it on before trotting down to join the others in the cockpit.

Over the suit's comms, he chatters quickly. "This unit offers its sincerest thanks to Adira-Captain." He says. "Fees for repairs can be docked from my pay." He adds sheepishly.
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas managed to get his EVA suit on before life support kicked off. He wasn't sure when it was going to happen, but the backup batteries couldn't keep filtering air forever without more power. Better to have a suit on at this point. Unfortunately for Silas, he didn't have time to get to his room and grab his suit; this generic emergency EVA would have to do for now. He screwed on the helmet, flipped up the visor, and adjusted the suit as needed until he was mostly comfortable in it. He clicked on his comm channel to broadcast across the synced channels shared by the Ambivalence crew. "Everyone alive and in one piece? " He asked, just as Kepler stepped onto the bridge. One less person to account for in the bowels of the ship, he thought. At this point, the Ambivalence was a stationary target for any ship that laid eyes on them. They were still near the large Soviet vessel which blocked at least a good portion of the pirate ships from seeing them, but there were still fighters around that could easily pick them off. With the power off, and the shields down, it was just the hull that kept them from exploding.

"I'll see what I can do about the power," Silas spoke to Alysson, though he was still calculating how he'd manage that. If he was even able to do anything, he'd need to get down to the engine room and mess around with the power loads.

Silas took a breath and tried to piece together what was going on, and what best to do next. If there was one thing emblematic about the ship that knocked out their power, it was the dark green bolts it fired; anyone worth their mettle with spatial weapons knew the only consistent, widely used ammunition for ship-based energy weapons glowed bright white, blue or red. Green was damn near unheard of; whoever that ship belonged to had power, influence, and wealth. It wasn't some random ship captain with a vendetta against Silas and his crew; someone rich wanted them dead. Something must've gotten that ship's attention though; they'd be dead by now if it had the chance for a second pass. So maybe they could get out of this after all.

Next up on his thought process; what to do in order to get the crew out of danger. The first thing that came to mind was using magnetic charges to physically cling the Ambivalence to the hull of the Soviet vessel; that would not only provide them with more cover, but also keep them from drifting out further into the open. Maybe he could even find a way to siphon power from the Soviet ship, if the circumstances allowed. This could work, he thought. If not, they could always board the Soviet ship and have the Cavanaugh's act as ambassadors.

"Kep, Adira," He said, twisting himself to face the two while grabbing onto a bar for balance in the lack of gravity. "I think we've got enough magnetic charges to fling us up against that Soviet ship. If we can do that, we may buy the ship enough time to get power back. Think you two can handle that?" He asked. "I want to leave Alysson on the bridge in case we get power back so she can continue talking to the Soviet guy. I'm going to head down to the engine room and see if I can fix the problem. I'll also see if I can make sure no one's in danger below decks. We're still missing half the crew."
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
An explosion that rocked the entire fuselage of the ship forced Silas not to wait for an answer from the two. "Get going!" He spoke, turning himself and propelling through the zero gravity by various bars and rails along the ship. Silas was certain the explosion he felt wasn't a direct hit; the reverberations felt like a near miss. However, something was aiming at them and he didn't want to give the chance for another shot. He passed various bedrooms of the crew as he made his way toward the Hub; he was certain anyone in these rooms would've been aware enough of the ship's layout to make it to the airlock without a problem, if it was needed. The only light in the ship besides his head mounted torch was the glow of the planet beneath them, filtering a dim light through some of the starboard portholes. Silas passed the armory and made a mental note to grab a gun next time he came by this way.

Silas found it easy to maneuver down the staircase and into the sub deck, where the engine room was located nearby. Before heading there, he made it to the four corners of the vehicle bay and unlocked each of the mechanical bulkheads that kept the bay door closed. With this, he released the hatch and let the ramp drop, flooding the entire space with light from the planet below them. Now that he had more to see, he went into the adjacent engine room and began checking for the source of the blackout. Silas methodically went from line to line in search of a fried fuse or tripped breaker. In the event that a bolt of high energy hit the ship, it was likely to blow a few fuses to keep from setting the shield generators ablaze.

Silas found the fault, a frayed wire alongside a blown fuse. Silas cursed under his breath, and began checking for a fuse of the same size and model as the one blown. He had hoped to find one in an unnecessary redundant system; luckily he found one in the gravity generator panel. Silas made quick work of the fuse exchange; he wouldn't get zapped since the wire leading to it was also fried. With the fuse in place, he grabbed a pair of pliers from the toolbox floating in the space, and snipped the wire. He replaced it with an emergency conductor kit that luckily held just enough of a rating to supply the energy without catching on fire again.

The second Silas snapped on the wire, the lights flickered back on and the generators began registering the ship's shields once more. Silas breathed a sigh of relief - he wasn't able to get gravity back due to the repurposed fuse he stole, but at least they had power now. Hopefully Alysson would be able to get back to her call with the Soviet.

Back on the bridge, the communication channel abruptly sparked back to life along with the lighting. As it did so, the voice of the Admiral immedietly came back on. "-Or we will be forced to consider you an enemy. Ambivalence, respond now or be met with the force of a Soviet armada."
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Kepler does his best to maintain focus, but Silas' words mostly ring hollow in his ears as blood leaks down into his beard at a slow trickle. His internal diagnostic tests are reporting widespread damage to his systems, not to mention fried synapses. That must be why the air smells vaguely of vinegar, not the copper scent of blood - he'd heard of cyber-warfare survivors living with symptoms like this for decades. He'd been lucky at least - some wound up paralyzed, others required breathing assistance. When Silas barks at him to get going, it jolts him into action.

"Adira-Captain, manual launch systems should remain functional for a short period. The mechanisms rely on a small charge that likely hasn't drained from the system yet. Account for slight starboard drift when aiming." He chimes in, clumsily walking over to an available seat and crumpling into it in his void-suit. Before the power turns on, he adjusts the tint on his suit's face plate to make it transparent. "This unit has sustained damage. Mast--" He starts, turning towards Alysson. Briefly, he contemplates asking Mouse to make a trip to the medbay for him, and then decides against it.

"Adira-Captain, I am taking leave of the bridge. Medical care has been deemed necessary and this unit is able to self-apply." He informs her, then lurches out of his seat. "Please forgive the absence." He adds, then lurches out the door to search the darkened medbay. It doesn't take him long to find what he's looking for and inject the regenerative drug of choice into his neck through a port in his suit, and its about that time the power flickers back to life.
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
"Everyone alive and in one piece?"

"Yeah," muttered Stratton over the comms. "Stratton is five-by-five."

The veteran shook his head as he stood wedged in-between a table and a stool that was- thankfully- nailed to the floor. Vibrations, impacts and G-forces were suddenly less dampened with the power having disengaged. On top of that most of the room was darkened aside from some dim emergency lights on the floor leading to the closest airlock. As Stratton steadied himself the sound of metal dragging against metal caught his attention.
Looking to his left a misplaced crate had begun to glide across the floor towards him in response to the ship's momentum. Thankfully it was a smaller model and was easily parried with a swift kick from the soldier as he reinforced his grip on the surrounding furniture. "I really am too old for this shit," he said while shaking his head once more.

Then came a quick, evasive, turn that yanked Stratton loose from his spot. Gliding across the floor like a helpless toddler with arms flailing about Stratton tried to get a grip of his rifle which was currently attempting to flee its master while also trying to find something to grab hold of. A new piece of furniture- this time a kitchen cabinet- served as his new savior. Or so he thought.

Another hasty motion from the ship made two cupboards open up, depleting an arsenal of kitchen utensils on the already handicapped soldier. With a hand raised above his helmet Stratton successfully deflected the assault. As the last pair of spoons and forks fell from his shoulders he managed to turn on the helmet-mounted lights featured within his armor. Joy filled Stratton's eyes as he realized that his rifle was on a slow collision course with him.

"Gotcha!" Exclaimed a rather pleased Stratton. Then the ship rumbled once more, with a very audible aftershock suddenly emerging: The kitchenware had launched its counter-assault and Stratton could only watch with wide-eyes as the utensils, now reinforced with empty ration crates, began to advance on him.


Then the power returned, restoring some of the lights. Stratton made a half-assed attempt at stopping the incoming objects and managed to do that just in the nick of time.

With a deep sigh Stratton allowed his helmet to meet the floor. "I need to retire."

Getting up, the liaison made his way to the bridge. Once there he did his best to go unnoticed as he'd rather not share any details of his past five minutes. Clearing his throat he nodded towards Adira. "Stratton, reporting in."
 
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Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira, for her part, was solely focused on keeping the ship vaguely functional. Just because the power was off didn't mean she didn't have some manual control, but she had to keep a white-knuckled grip on the manual controls, lest the slightest bit of debris throw them into another ship. Silas's suggestion of clinging to the side of another ship would have worked fantastically if that ship hadn't been drifting the other direction at a much faster rate than they could drift. She was going to ask Kepler for an update on their lingering power supply, but he was gone within the minute. Well, that was alright, he seemed to need the help, and she'd have offered to escort him to the medbay if they were in an entirely different situation. But that wasn't the situation they were in. She would have loved to respond to anyone else doing anything, but if she wasn't focused, if she missed flipping a switch the moment it turned, if she pulled a lever just a bit too far....

No time to think on that. Need to focus.

The power flickers back on right as Adira realizes she didn't even pull on her helmet. Thank the stars that Silas was working, because if things had gone poorly, well.... Whatever. It didn't happen. So it was fine. Stars, she was tired. Now that the auto-stabilizers were back on, she pulled her helmet on and activated her suit so it would seal up properly. There was a slight click, and she looked back to the board. It was full of red blinking lights that she couldn't address and recalibrate while still mostly working manual controls. It was fine, it'd be fine, it would just be better if half of the system didn't need recalibrating to work at its best.

While Mouse was starting to talk, Adira flipped some more switches and began reclaiming the controls from their electronic reset. For the moment, they were safe.
 
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Epiphany

Proverbs 17:9
Silas' announcement to get EVA suits on and stop by the armory hadn't been necessary for Kestrel. As soon as the ship took a hit and things started going sideways, she anticipated the need. Thankfully, her environmental suit was easily donned and she was always armed. But she did stop by the armory to pick up a pair of rifles, one for herself and one for whoever invariably hadn't or couldn't go there themselves.

Vudukudu Vudukudu
She passed Kepler in the hallway, took one look at his battered condition and helped him to the infirmary where she provided her suit's internal spotlights to help the search for whatever the cyborg needed. Once Kestrel saw he'd been able to apply it, she said "If you need to stay here while that works, do so. If you're up for helping out, that's fine too but stay put if you're going to end up collapsing out there. I'm going to the bridge to help out in the meantime."

She gave him a friendly pat and headed out the door.

Dragongal Dragongal Kharmin Kharmin
Arriving shortly after the power came back on, Kestrel took in the bridge at a glance. Alysson was talking to someone on the comm, probably buying them time or negotiating. She didn't quite know when her sister had turned out to be the voice of the Ambivalence, but she wasn't going to question it. Though in the long term, Alysson's considerable skill with systems meant she'd be better off helping to patch things up.

In the meantime, Kestrel slipped around her sister and took up a position by Adira. She studied the readouts, even as the Captain started dealing with the problems indicated by those lights. Adira had to stay with the bridge, though, Kestrel didn't. So she started helping out, silently working her way from one side of the displays towards where the Captain was working. Lists came easily to Kestrel, part of Cavanaugh training, and she quickly figured out what could be handled from the bridge and what couldn't.

"I'm heading down to check out these power junctions and those sensor relays," Kestrel said to Adira, tapping the indicators that went with the reported problems. "Comm me with any trouble or if you find an issue you can't fix from the bridge, I'll be roving and fixing what I can."

Then she planted the extra rifle against that panel and looked between Alysson and Adira. "One of you be ready to shoot that if we get boarded."

Kestrel lingered long enough to hear feedback, corrections or concerns. And if there were no dealbreakers, she left the bridge to get to work. She wasn't an engineer or even much of a mechanic but every citizen of the Mutter's Spiral knew how to keep a ship alive. Kestrel meant to keep the crew of the Ambivalence alive as well.
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
The static of the comms was loud and invasive to the ears of anyone who could hear it. The Admiral took significantly longer to respond this time, however he did eventually speak once more. "We are under heavy confrontation from pirate vessels. Besieging and boarding is eminent. Hangar G2 is closest to your current location. Docking team is awaiting The Ambivalence. Make it quick. We have only moments before boarding begins. I will see you personally on the bridge. Tell any guards that Hoptinov sent you."

Anyone looking out the portside windows would notice a large hangar door open a few hundred meters from their position on the Soviet frigate they were near. Light flooded from the recently opened hangar, washing all the debris in the area in a blue hue. The amount of destruction was more visible than ever, but a more apparent threat revealed itself from the sudden flow of radiance from the hangar; on the starboard side windows, a newly visible pirate frigate was currently on a crash course with the Soviet frigate; The Ambivalence was caught right between them, and would no doubt be crushed if the pirate ship didn't decelerate. However, a keen eye would note that all the bay doors were wide open; this must be the ship Hoptinov believed would be boarding them soon.

Silas, still in the engine room and working on keeping any more fuses from popping, prayed the shields could generate fast enough to protect them from any future harm. His mind kept going back to thinking of the mysterious ship that fired at them. They were actively being hunted by someone who didn't seem to want them killed; only disabled. Were they trying to board? He wouldn't give them the chance. Silas grabbed a wrench and prepared to do what Kitt & Backer Reclaimer Class Light Commercial Ship Operator Manual #3 stated to never do under any circumstance; break the shield voltage corrector to increase shield output for the entire ship. This would come with its own severe problems down the line, but the risks were minimal in their situation and the boon gained from it was too great to overlook. He clamped down on the main shield generation handle, bent it with the help of the wrench, and reached inside the open well to fidget with the mechanical pieces beyond. It was at this point that he realized he didn't have the reach to do this by himself; he had to stall the shield capacitor at the same time, which was more than twice his arm's length away. Shit. He couldn't do both at the same time, but he needed to in order to overclock the shields.

And then the Stars gave him the miracle of his fellow crewmate, Kestrel. Thank the Stars. "Kes! Perfect timing, need you over here. See the switch next to the small glowing blue container on the wall? I need you to disconnect it and the reconnect it on the count of three. Get in position, quick."
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Epiphany Epiphany

When Kestrel arrives, he nods grimly at her instructions. "You need not worry. This unit is operating at well over 30% capacity. Adrenal systems will keep me functioning until further injuries accumulate." He says quickly. As she pats his shoulder, he reaches up with his opposite hand and grabs hers. "Master Cavanaugh. If I am to be wounded and rendered immobile, I ask that you make it clear to the crew I am not to be rescued. My ability to serve wanes. Permit me a good death." He says, then releases her hand.

When she leaves, he sinks down to his knees, folding his hands together in his lap. The taste of copper fills his mouth and the light-headedness of blood loss and the drugs he'd just administered make his head swim. He needed to focus, to clear his head. But what were the words? The prayers and litanies escape him, no matter how many times he tries to find the rhythm and the rhyme. At least the other voice remained silent with him.

"Diagnostic pattern Tri-Ceph-Tau-Three." He wheezes. The readout occupies his whole field of vision, highlighting key details. His rebreather was reporting lethal amounts of methane in his system, which had to be a glitch. It would be safe to assume that was offline. Given that he's bleeding from his nose, his biomonitor and J-I were at least dysfunctional if not totally offline as well. He wouldn't be able to count on anything, and the realization that he's little more than a sack of dying flesh packed with dead silicon forces him to his feet. Someone out there had fried him. All that was left to do was make sure someone else got far enough along to repay the favor.
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
It was becoming apparent with every passing second that Stratton had in fact- despite his training, experience and elderly wisdom- nothing to contribute with on the bridge. Starship navigation and ship-to-ship combat was ways off from his training. Sure, he had run a couple of ComSims but that was years ago and nothing that could prepare someone thrust into the heat of two fleets duking it out in space.
Currently he was doing his best to stay out of the way for anyone critical in operating the ship and its maintenance which meant firmly holding onto a support rail running alongside one of the wall panels at the far end of the room, keeping the liaison and his weapon close to the door.

The little relief he had felt as Kestrel appeared vanished just as quickly when the tall blonde left to aid Silas. Stratton's eyes darted between the others inside the room while tapping his trigger-finger on the right side of his weapon. When Kepler was seemingly five seconds away from collapsing Stratton raised his rifle and held it chest-high instead of waist-high. The last thing we need is a crazy cyborg on the bridge.

Despite heightening his own level of readiness Stratton did not spring into action. For now everyone the bridge had a very delicate task at hand and he'd rather not get in the way of it.
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira couldn't take the time to focus on what Kestrel was doing. She looked up to make sure she wasn't breaking anything, mumbled some thanks, and went back to focusing on the situation at hand. It was a sticky situation indeed. Stuck between a rock and another rock, aka a frigate. One that was pulling up right along side them. She'd been in enough skirmishes to know where this was going. Can't hop to light speed, the engines are too cold for that. Can hardly even kick this thing over to a higher speed at all, really. The shields are clearly in high gear, but that draws from the power even more.

Her first thought? Get the fuck out of there. This wasn't their fight, and it wasn't her problem. But the reality was there, stark against the empty black background of space: they couldn't escape. There was no way this ship would get the power in the right places in time for them to get out of there. So, she did the next best thing.

Everyone would feel the ship shudder as it pivoted and spun around like a cadet at drill practice, coming to a halt facing the pirate frigate. She spoke over the ship-wide comms, "Be prepared to be boarded - and respond with the biggest, most damning weaponry you have." A flip of the switch, and the Ambivalence's mounted guns fired on the frigate, beginning to wear at its shields. They couldn't take down something of that size. But they could still do some damage, and that was all they needed.
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
With Kestrel's help by the disconnect, they coordinated together the stalling of the ship's systems. The lights flickered rapidly for a moment, and then a sound similar to a rail gun charging emanated through the ship. Silas looked out the porthole to see that the shields, which were usually invisible, glowed with a radiant blue hue; he had successfully overcharged the systems and boosted the capacity of them. He breathed a sigh of relief, smirking over at Kes. "Good job, hopefully that'll keep us afloat a couple more-"

The ship lurched to the side, nearly throwing Silas across the room had his hand not been grasping the empty handle well. Silas prayed whatever was happening was good. He couldn't tell what the bridge crew was doing, but his work was done down in the engine room for now. He gathered a few items from his toolbox, stuffed them into various pockets, and made his way with Kes back towards the upper deck.

The pirate vessel spent no time retaliating for the attack by the Reclaimer class ship. Various weaponry along the hull of the frigate fired upon the Ambivalence; many of which would be disabling shots had the shields not been charged past full capacity. It didn't take long for the vessel to adapt it's plan though. With various bay doors open on its side, the enemy crew began launching long, thin tethers to connect to both the Ambivalence and the Soviet frigate. These tethers acted as both anchors to keep the ship's from leaving, as well as a funnel for boarding.

The Ambivalence took heavy damage from these boarding measures; the shields were able to keep enemy energy fire from destroying them, but could do nothing to stop the tethers from attaching to the hull; at least seven or eight tethers were attached to various parts of the ship, which would soon act as a bridge to transport enemy soldiers directly into the Ambivalence.

The barrage launched at the Pirate ship damaged a handful of these tethers, but there were too many to completely destroy. The Ambivalence began getting pulled closer to the pirate ship, just like the larger Soviet vessel behind them.
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas travelled up the staircase to the main deck, passing through the hub to get to the bridge; well, he was, until he noticed the three distinguished triangle-shaped protrusions coming in through the kitchen porthole. They were all too easy to distinguish - the pirates were using boarding tethers to try and enter the ship manually. They must've thought The Ambivalence was some fancy, rich mercenary ship. And they wouldn't exactly be wrong, just not in liquidated zoning funds. They had a Waning Stars intelligence officer on board, a walking tank, a frigate-class pilot, and a cyborg that could hold cyber warfare against an entire armada, just to name a few. That count isn't including the various ship parts that were expensive as hell; the jump drive, specifically. If they took prisoners, they'd have a hell of a lot of free W.S. intelligence to ransom.

The armory was located right next to the kitchen, where one of the boarding tethers was situated. He assumed they'd have a couple minutes, max, to get prepared for a siege. He grabbed an energy rifle from the armory, stepped out into the hub, tipped the center table onto its side, and propped his rifle against the edge of it. He keyed his shipwide comms, saying in a shaky voice, "This is Silas, prepare to be boarded. Wherever you are, barricade to the best of your ability. If something happens, know that I'm proud to have worked with you all." When he finished speaking, a bright arc burned through the hull where the tether was located, and began moving in a counter clockwise fashion around the edge of the protrusions.
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
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The sound of docking clamps puncturing the hull in the vehicle bay beside the infirmary is all it takes to jolt him out of his stupor. He'd been on the other side of those tubes before - he wondered if they were going to use melt-charges to incinerate the hull or a hydraulic ram to punch it inward. It didn't especially matter - anyone standing immediately on the receiving end would die instantly. He rises to his feet and forces a system reboot on every piece of hardware he has, seeing what will respond after a reboot. His interface port is swimming with viruses, the Juggernaut implants are offline, and the rebreather is similarly unusable. His arm-blades won't deploy automatically, but he hurriedly strips off his vac-suit, he shouldn't need it where he's going anyway and as long as the tethers are attached the ship ought to maintain its seal. He rams a scalpel off the nearby surgical table into his left forearm through the suit, prying the casing open and manually deploying it in its forward-facing position. His left optics can only process the visible light spectrum, but his right appears fully functional. He flips it to infra-red.

He counts the rounds in his sidearm, then pats down his ammo belt before activating his shield belt. It comes to life with a satisfying hum. He keys his comms to the crew, and the first sound to come through is a magazine sliding home. "Let them come. I have lived long enough." He says, then cuts his comms. Three gunshots echo in the vehicle bay as he blows out the lights, and then a fourth shot to trigger the bulkhead sealing the staircase off from the rest of the lower deck. Silas could override it and repair the panel later.

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel the All-Spark, the electrical bond between all things. Feel it one last time.

The breaching tether sizzles in a broad circle, reducing the hull to molten slag and sealing the breach off from the cold vacuum at the same time. The hull plate explodes inward with a roar, followed by a clatter, the thunderclap of a flashbang. Then, there is only a cacophony of ricocheting bullets, the lingering scent of ozone after the discharging of energy weapons punctuated by the screams of men dying under the floor of the upper deck.

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