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Futuristic Unlit IC

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Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
Stratton's eyes darted back and forth between Adira and Alysson. While he'd trust the former rather than the latter any day of the week he couldn't help but agree that getting the Ambivalence to safety would've evened out their odds exponentially. Either way it was too late for further discussions as the pirates unleashed boarding tethers. While Silas prepared to hold off the boarders inside the kitchen and Kepler went on a massacre on the deck below Stratton's immediate focus shifted to the tether that had connected with the bridge.

"A damm shame," muttered the liaison as he checked his ammo display one last time and hunkered down behind one of the bridge consoles to face the tether. As Alysson continued to chat with Adira the old soldier shouldered his rifle at the soon-to-be express door leading into the bridge.

"Ladies," he said with a stern tone. "If you're going to pull a magic trick you better do it now. If not then I suggest you haul your asses into cover."
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira had bigger things to worry about than Alysson's complaints. Was she suicidal? That depended who ya asked. Was she insane? Also dependent. Was she right about spinning the ship? Yes.

She hardly had to put any thought into ignoring Mouse anyway, though - she was ignoring everyone. She had to listen to the switches and whines of charges and electrics behind the panels of the controls. If she could keep a constant target of fire right on the side of this freighter, then they wouldn't be able to board head-on. Given that their ship wasn't about to go anywhere for about, oh... a good few minutes, and now Silas had overcharged the shields (thank the stars he'd managed that), the least she could do was keep the pirates from being able to attack head-on.

The tethers passed cleanly through the over-charged shields and cut into the sides of the ship. This time she heard Mouse and spared a second to look at her with a dead-pan expression. "...Do you know what those landing tethers are made of? They won't transfer a bit'a current or else they'd already be fried."

Adira stood up and pulled her pistols out of their holsters, admiring the weight in her hands seconds before she heard Silas's call. A scowl cut across her lips and she flicked her head to the side, triggering her helmet's mic response to a private comm to Silas so she could sigh, "Don't worry, Silas. We've fought through worse before, we'll make it again. Too full of spite and light to go out, right?" With her helmet fully encasing her head, Mouse couldn't hear a thing. She pressed her pistol's charge back into the handle as she flicks her head again, going back to main comms, just in time to hear Kepler's farewell. Her breath hitched and she looked at the guns in her hands, tightening her grip then announcing to the group, "Better make them regret so much as looking at us, eh? Remember, we aren't a Waning ship - do what you gotta to get them off your back."

The captain pivoted and looked at Mouse. "If you're not comfortable with direct combat, step back." She kicked a drawer tucked beneath the control panel and reached into the drawer that slide out. A sharp smirk sliced across her face, hidden behind her helmet, and she brandished a hull-safe grenade. It wouldn't get hot, and the blast was small, so it couldn't damage a hull, but damn could it damage a person and make some noise. And holy hell was it illegal in Waning space. She figured it was fine, she used to be a WS officer. Adira turned and looked over at the dent in the wall and the whirring sound behind it. "Alysson? Duck."
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas didn't respond to Adira, too focused on not dying. He fell silent while keeping his attention on the semicircle currently being burned into the hull of the ship. He aimed at where he expected center mass to be, and hoped the table would act well enough as makeshift cover. His attention was momentarily pried from the breach when the trap door separating the upper and lower decks closed after various gunshots below deck. That wasn't his doing, nor was it something he was expecting. Were there tethers downstairs too? He wasn't sure, but it gave him one less corner to worry about watching, for the time being. That's when the words Kep spoke got through to his conscious. Shit. Was Kepler down there all alone? How would he be able to handle a boarding all on his own? Silas prayed to the Stars that Kep could hold out until Silas could find a way to support him. But for now, he needed to keep watch on this breach with Kestrel. Leaving this tether unwatched would allow uncountable pirates to cram their way into The Ambivalence.

The hissing of the molten torch breaching the walls stopped once the circle was mostly complete. Rustling on the other side alerted Silas to the immediate threat of the full breach. Seconds later, the weakened hull blasted open in a torrent of shrapnel. Silas hadn't thought about taking cover from the blast. Some of the metallic shards pierced his left stabilizing arm, causing ruptures in his suit. Some shrapnel also embedded itself in his visor, distorting his vision and causing him to take a moment to think if he was even still alive after it.

It took him longer than he'd want to admit to get back into reality. By the time he looked down the rail of his rifle, at least three silhouettes were already in the kitchen. None had spotted him yet through the dust, giving him initiative again. He squeezed the trigger and braced against the rifle as light abruptly turned the phantom figures into living people. The one he aimed at dropped, and the others instantly began firing blindly through the smoke that was beginning to settle. He'd try his best to take down as many possible before they could get clear sight of him. However, the ruptures in the arm of his suit caused air to leak, forcing Silas to actively fight against the vacuum. He'd worry about the fact he was wearing a ruptured suit when the threat was gone, at least for the time being.

A similar situation played out on the bridge; a moment of calm after the torching of a specific shape at the tethers, the clanging of shape charges being planted on the hull, and then the ear deafening explosion followed shortly after, with pirates forcing their way onto the bridge through the dense smoke.
 

Epiphany

Proverbs 17:9
The prospects faced by the Ambivalence were daunting.

Tethers had been attached to their ship. Raiders were on their way. This ship lacked the defensive anti-intruder measures Kestrel had grown up with, making their defense plan entirely based on crew response with crew armaments. Had she a full defensive packet issued to Cavanaughs when repelling boarders of the Mutter's Spiral, she could have deployed anti-personnel drones. But she'd been deployed to Granite with an exploration packet and she'd never seen her ship since. They just didn't have the defensive technology needed to have a useful plan of action.

Below decks, Kepler was making a (likely) last stand. There was no way to get through that bulkhead in time to help him, even if there weren't hostiles imminent.

Kestrel briefly toyed with accessing the graivmetric plating controls and amping them up high enough to drop everyone aboard, relying on her iron carbon composite bones and muscle tissue to keep her on her feet so she could shoot the intruders in the head. But trying to bring the ship back online with Silas had cost her precious time. She couldn't be sure she'd pull it off before pirates breeched and shot her in the back.

Instead, she implemented the defensive options left to her.

• One hand went down to her belt and her Chipset reflexively connected with the miniature manufactory that produced her Micro Drones. Transit time had fully restocked her, giving her twenty units to deploy. And she did. Kestrel drew out a drone, the motion like drawing a card from a card deck, and snapped it into the air with a motion normally used for skipping stones over a lake. Her hand repeated the motion nineteen more times, the full complement.

One sped down the hallway to the bridge, to provide her with more immediate eyes on how the rest of the crew was faring. The others drifted over the breech point, hovering silently on tiny contragrav generators. With a thought via her Chipset, each was primed to overload by disengaging inbuilt safeties and letting their capacitors build past a safe charge. Another thought would fly them on a suicide course with the intruders, detonating on impact. They didn't have enough power to do more than replicate the kinetic impact of a bullet but they had the advantage of being above the enemy's line of sight and able to self-guide towards the weakest parts of the pirate spacesuits.

• Meanwhile, Kestrel connected directly with the Ambivalence's internal sensor net. Ship firewalls limited her access to 'view only' but it was enough to supplement her eyes the way her drones usually did. It also allowed her to cut the streaming telemetry from her drones to nearly nothing, which greatly improved her concentration. She was a Cavanaugh, bred and trained for this, but even she found more than eight streams a headache to juggle.

• Next, she took up a position in the kitchen, opposite Silas' point of defense, to provide a broader field of fire. Flipping a table over, Kestrel crouched behind it and she toggled her rifle's magnitude up. The micro-scaled mass accelerators in her guns were typically 'turned down' when aboard ships, to minimize the risk that a fired projectile could breech the hull. The bastards boarding the Ambivalence were already compromising the hull, though, and she might need the extra 'punch' to get through their armor. If it meant the ship had a couple of extra holes to patch, well, better a half day of work than no more days left at all.

• Last, she toggled her environmental suit's mode to hardened. It was unlikely the enemy would try electronic warfare but she'd finally had time over the last few missions to upgrade the originally Granite-issued security environmental suit with counterintrusion protocols in case someone tried to hack her. Might as well use them.

When the charges blew the hull apart, Kestrel stayed down behind the kitchen table. Her suit registered dozens of micro-impacts but nothing immediately compromising. Silas opted to hold fire (wait, no, internal sensors showed him prone with a compromised suit) so she did the same, silently ambling to the right around the table, using the spray of dust as its own cover. She couldn't see a damn thing but her telemetry placed the approximate positions of three intruders so far. So Kestrel aimed without being able to see, long practiced with supplemental sensors replacing her optics for the purpose of battle. She toggled the magnitude of her rifle back down due to the risk of ship damage based on her angle, just before hell broke loose.

Then Silas opened fire from the floor. Kestrel rose, rifle anchored against her shoulder, and fired once. Twice. Keep the drones in reserve. One pirate felled by Silas' rifle, one felled by hers. Third...missed. So she reacquired and fired again, took the third pirate in the shoulder and fired one last time for a center of mass shot.

Gun still raised to now cover the breech point, she took one of the nineteen drones off overload mode and sent it scrambling downwards through the breech. Kestrel had to know what was coming next.
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Alexei prefers to avoid getting in situations like this where possible; after all, its best to not be shot at at all. Still, that doesn't mean he's not prepared for this sort of outcome; after all, its best to be ready for anything at all. Despite all his problems with the bloodline he's rejected, he'll give them credit where its due. They did teach him to be ready and how to handle himself.

Like his sister, and unlike Silas, he has the presence of mind to find cover. Even given his somewhat limited personal experience with actual boarding actions, he's more than cognizant of the fact that anyone on the other side is probably interested in turning people on his side into a crude human-salsa, and that's more than enough to make him park his ass in cover. The bridge doesn't offer much of it, certainly not anything thick, so instead he ducks into the hallway where he's at least hidden from the entry points. Of course, if anyone on either side managed to get a line of sight on the hallway, he'd be cut to ribbons, but if he got shot from the direction of the kitchen at least he could die blaming it on his sister like he always has.

When the tether gripping the bridge detonates its breaching charge, sending a super-heated sheet of slag the size of a large man hurtling across the bridge, he's lucky enough to be out of the way. Still, he can hear the metallic screech as it rips across the wall hiding him from the entrance point. Once he's recovered his senses, he tilts his gaze down to the floor hoping that he won't see the one thing he'd forgotten to plan for - grenades. If these guys were well-armed, the first thing they'd do is lob a GASH-grenade inside and let it deploy. He'd seen them used before and wasn't eager to be subjected to that mess - like a little disco ball of laser-spitting death with a miniaturized retro-grav generator, it would bounce about five feet off the ground before emitting a dozen or so laser beams and then spinning. They'd rarely cut through cover, but limbs would come off like paper.

Fortunately, it doesn't come. Instead, a volley of automatic fire rips out of the hole, presumably an effort to suppress the defenders. Alexei answers it by poking the barrel of his Symax-30 around the corner and flicking the safety off before pumping a torrent of blind-fired bullets around the corner to return the favor.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Below decks, the first round of panicked howling ends as Kepler disembowels the third pirate to board. A burst of poorly aimed rifle fire screams out of the tether exit and a hot pain sears on his left side. The shot only grazed, and he whirls around to point his pistol down the tunnel and return fire. The handgun barks four times before clicking empty and he discards it before lunging into the darkened tunnel. Its dark, but he has the advantage of thermal imaging and the approaching enemies glow red-hot in the cool blue of the boarding chamber. He reaches the first before they can draw a bead on him and warm blood splashes on his face as the man's arm comes off, spraying a gout of crimson in a streak across the wall before he hits the ground. In the tight space, the roar of gunfire is deafening.

He does not make it much further. As he carves through the next boarder, a pistol round blows clean through his right shoulder and leaves it hanging limply at his side. Another rips into his thigh and he stumbles forward, colliding with the next pirate and tackling him to the floor before ramming his arm-blade through his ribcage and into the floor. Exposed and in the open, another round punches through his chest and he goes slack, his blade-arm stuck in place as he takes in a last few ragged breaths, his head hanging tiredly. His vision is a haze of thermal glows and white flashes, and he tilts his gaze upward to look down the barrel of a shotgun.

"Looks like you're out of luck, friend."

The dull thump of a shotgun roars down the tether and echoes out into the loading bay.
 
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The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas' adrenaline was pushing him into damn near panic mode at this point. It wasn't the fact he was actively being shot at that was making him aim start to falter and shake; it was the shards of metal he could see stuck in his visor and distorting his vision, along with the drops of blood permeating the glass in spots. He hoped he hadn't received a lethal amount of face shrapnel for him to bleed out soon. His mind pushed the thought out of his head for the time being, focusing more on squeezing the trigger when his crosshairs met the chest of the assailants. When he fired enough shots to seemingly incapacitate the three initial intruders, they were instantly replaced with more. Silas counted four this time, stepping in and instantly firing their weapons presumably in an attempt to suppress Kes and himself. His head ducked lower than before and kept firing, pushing forward against the recoil. Soon, his weapon was empty, and he went through the nerve racking action of changing the magazine of his weapon while under fire. He hoped the table was thick enough to stop some of the rounds coming for him. His heavy breathing fogged his visor slightly as he readied his aim above the table again. Thanks to Kestrel and his fire, it seemed the pirates weren't gaining any kind of foothold on their ship. He kept firing, and prayed that the bridge was faring as well as they did.

On the bridge, the pirates that stepped through the dust and discharged their weapons at random began to fall at the Ambivalence crew's fire. Their advantage of knowing exactly where the pirates would be negated the effects of the smoke, putting more of a deterrent on the attackers. After a few bodies fell, their combined gunfire abruptly began pinging off a hard metallic surface. Soon, as the dust dissipated, A man equipped with a large shield stepped through the doorway, blocking all gunfire from the crew. he stepped forward into the bridge, and a second shield-wielding pirate emerged. One went forward towards the bridge crew, while the other stepped into the adjacent hallway and finding Alex. The pirate revealed his meter-long blade, electrified by the effects of a battery. It was clear from the quick pace he advanced that he was planning to cut Alex into pieces. Meanwhile, the shield bearer in the bridge protected two pirates on either flank, reaching around him to fire on Adira and Stratton.

Kestrel's drones would find important intel on the pirate vessel. It was clear that despite the large boarding force, there weren't a lot of staff on the ship. The occasional custodian or engineer walked about, but no real threats on the ship. On the bridge, a crew of five manned the large weaponry the ship wielded, and made sure the ship was still while they boarded both the Soviet frigate and The Ambivalence. Inside the ship, many of the pirates were boarding the Soviet vessel while only a small detachment was focusing on the Ambivalence. Only about fifty soldiers were preparing to ender the three tethers attached to the Ambi.
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira knew how to brace herself. She knew how to find cover - hiding was one of the skills that had kept her alive this far, and given her habits, that was saying something. The captain watched Alexei hide, and tapped Stratton's arm, indicating for him to duck beneath and behind the control panel she had stood by while she moved over to press herself behind an equipment cabinet, keeping out of view of the invaders. Out of view and hopefully out of shot. She would step half-out to fire on the invaders, then duck away again.

Unlike the others, her HUD on her visor didn't tell her where people were unless she set that function up, and she hadn't prepared for that. Her visor was, rather, set to locate weakpoints in enemy armor.

Not that she needed it at the moment. Adira looked over at Stratton and toward Alexei, and said into her mic, "stay down!" as she tossed the grenade - yes, the highly illegal one, and yes, right in front of Stratton. What made this grenade so nice was that it wouldn't damage the hull - rather, it relied on a small but forceful central explosion, and a lot of shrapnel that was forced at a high enough speed to break though most armor. It wasn't exactly humane, but it was effective. It wouldn't get past this shield-bearer, so she just went with the next best option, and threw it past him, right behind the two pirates defended by the shield-bearer. She ignored the screams from the one who didn't immediately die,

Now as to the shield-bearer going for Alexei... Adira looked their armor over for weaknesses, and the first thing she noticed was their imbalance. A bullet wouldn't get through,a grenade would damage everyone else more than him... But the imbalance! There were a few armor flaws they could abuse if they knocked him down! Ah, a beetle. Just knock them on their ass and they'd theoretically be vulnerable. Adira grabbed a cord that was laying on the ground - she'd apologize to Silas later - and said into her mic, "Stratton, get the other end, we can clothesline him!"
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
Stratton nodded as Adira tapped him on the arm, balling his left hand into a fist and bumping his chestplate twice before hunkering down even more. He silently counted from one to ten and back as Adira and Alexei took up their own positions. Upon hearing breach charges being attached to the hull Stratton tightened the grip of his rifle before closing his eyes. Once the pirates were through Stratton was just as about to engage when Adira called out a grenade.

In response Stratton yelled at the pirates to get their attention. Once Adira's grenade has detonated properly Stratton peeks up from cover, engaging the shielded pirate and his two companions. Cursing, Stratton drops down into cover and moves slightly to the left before popping up with his rifle ready. Through luck he managed to land a grazing hit on one of the pirates using the shield for cover, prompting whomever was behind the visor to curse repeatedly.

Next up was the shield-carrier: Reminding Stratton of riot police on backwater colonies the old liaison remembered an old trick he'd learn from an old friend in Counter-Terrorism. Lowering his aim and squeezing the trigger Stratton landed two shots on a barely-exposed foot and ankle, forcing the shield-carrier to stumble and fall. The pirate had barely enough time to react until Stratton finished him off with a headshot. Upon seeing their friend get wasted the two others wasted no time and promptly got into cover as soon as they could before Stratton could finish them off as well.

"Adira! Check your flank!" Yelled Stratton as he dropped down to reload. He glanced around the side of the terminal he used for cover before readying a flash grenade, hurling at the second shield-carrier going after Alexei.
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Alexei's world explodes into sound and fury. Sure, almost every firearm on the market nowadays had an internal suppressor, and a fairly effective one at that. Still, that wasn't much relief in the confines of the Ambivalence's bridge. When Adira lobs a grenade, Alexei fully expects to die - relatively close quarters, explosive device, what was she thinking? Might as well just open the airlock and vent everyone out.

When the explosive goes off with an ear-ringing thump but fails to blow a hole in the hull or turn Alexei into a shower of meat, he lets out a relieved sigh despite the way his heart pounds in his chest. For a moment, he thinks maybe that'll be the end of it - no one could want their ship that badly, right? He looks up in time to see a shield-bearing swordsman in what looks to be a crudely decorated and fairly ragtag suit of combat armor bearing down on him. When the first swing comes his way, he throws his weight backward, narrowly evading the electrified blade as he slides across the floor with a metallic screech. Given his disorientation, he chalks it up to sheer luck that he isn't spitted and roasting on the tip of the galaxy's saddest attempt at an energy blade.

Alexei's not terribly flashy when it comes to swordplay. He draws the Kowachi energy blade off his back, gives it a flick as he triggers the toggle to ignite it and brings it up to parry the next blow. There's an electrical clash as the blades make contact and Alexei drifts a bit further back down the hallway. This isn't a good place for this - that damned shield provides almost full protection in this narrow hall, and Alexei's got nothing to protect himself with. Maybe he could fall back and Kestrel could get a shot on him, if she wasn't too busy herself?

The plan changes when a metallic rattle comes from the floor. Both the shield-carrier and Alexei tilt their eyes towards the disturbance, and then his world bursts like he'd just opened his eyes to stare directly into the sun. The flare of light and thunderclap accompanying it make him trip over himself, crumpling like a ragdoll and letting out a pained groan. It felt like someone had just driven a jackhammer into his skull, and he swings his weapon blindly. Fortunately, the shield-bearer is just as helpless as he is for the moment.
 

queendilettante

Resident stupid bitch
Laoise's face went white as she observed one small ship being boarded by another from the apparently less-safe-than-she-thought Soviet ship she was currently residing within. The spacious yet terribly decorated metallic room where she set up her nearly empty stall had a view like a theater through the thick glass running the entire length of the wall. A small crowd of off duty soldiers, civilians, and miscellaneous government agents were nervously mummering as the seemingly equally clueless soldiers on duty tried in vain to ease the tensions. "The fuck's going on out there?" Laoise asked to no one in particular, accomplishing nothing but increasing the noise of the room.

Said noise was then immediately blown out of the water when the Soviets in charge decided to begin its suppression fire on the aggressor ship. One of the guns must have been situated directly adjacent to the room Laoise unfortunately occupied, as the sound of fire was bordering on completely deafening. Wonderful.

Laoise stood from her stool and paced nervously between her hired muscle, Wei, and the almost completely empty contents of her "Multitudinous Merchandise" stall. The violence wasn't really a concern, but the fallout was. Her usual hookup had been MIA for weeks and the goods she smuggled into the ship to sell at markup prices only the Soviets were stupid enough to pay were quickly running completely dry. Now that her wonderful benefactors had taken it upon themselves to get involved with the skirmish outside, there was about a 0% chance they wouldn't be needing supplies from her as soon as the fight finished; assuming, of course, that the fight ends in their favor. Laoise has neglected to mention to Wei that the Soviets would have their asses on the line if she ran out of goods, as they had paid her quite a hefty sum to maintain residency on the ship for at least five years, but she'd been trying to find a way to exit since her contact stopped responding.

Still trying to determine what to do, Laoise looked on toward the fight outside. It originally appeared to be an almost no-contest victory of the boarding ship, but with the suppression fire from the Soviets, it looked like the boarded ship had slightly better odds. She didn't really like their odds, but she also didn't really like the idea of staying put. It was either pick a side and enter their ship or be caught empty handed from battle-worn and desperate Soviets. She took a deep breath and, with a final look toward the chaos she was about to step into, Laoise pulled Wei aside.

Shouting over the suppression fire, Laoise yelled to Wei. "Hey!" she started, smiling somewhat sarcastically, "we're a bit fucked!" She opened up the back of her stall to show Wei the more meager than multitudinous amount of merchandise remaining. "Long story short, we got nothing! Nada! Zero! Zilch! We're fucked!" Laoise put her hand on her head. "I may have lost my supply and neglected to mention it," she said, more upset for having to tell Wei than the circumstance itself. She looked to her hired guard and shrugged. "Whoops," she added, apologetically.

A sudden crash from what Laoise guessed was stray fire shook the room, causing the already panicked crowd to start screaming and almost trampling the guards tasked with keeping everyone in place. Laoise pulled Wei in and shouted louder to be heard over the increased commotion. "WE. HAVE. TO. LEAVE." Laoise pointed toward the fight outside. "One of those ships is our ticket out!"
 
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Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Wei gives Laoise a reassuring clap on the shoulder, his large, metal-encased hand grasping her with surprising delicacy. The face-plate of his helmet rolls up, receding enough to expose his face, and he offers a quick smile. Her panicked yelling about their empty stockpile was somewhat amusing to him - these Strangers, so attached to their things. In their brief time together, he'd come to consider her.. well, maybe a bit skittish, like most he encountered who were not one of The People. Glittering beams in the void was just home, but others weren't so comfortable getting shot at. He understood her concern, but all the same he can't help but be a little amused by her forgetting that they had a private commlink. "Try the radio next time, Laoise." He suggests gently, then lets his face-plate roll down again.

“I... uh... wanted to yell,” Laoise added as a defense, quietly turning on her commlink.

With a whirring sound and a click, the metallic discs that comprise his suit's mohawk snap into place. "Get your suit on. Grab anything that belongs to you and follow me." He instructs calmly, retrieving his guitar from their storage space. Swinging it over his shoulder, it clicks into place for safe transport. Collecting his kit while she gathers her own things and suits up, he loads his weaponry and has his on-board computer do a quick diagnostic check. With all systems functional, he gives the laser drill on his left hand a quick test run, carving a crude line version of the Kessler Syndrome band logo into the interior hull. "I have a plan, and you're not going to like it."

Laoise, now armored up, was checking her pistol. “Why, exactly, am I not going to like this?”

Not much later, the pair have found an airlock on the Ambivalence-facing side of the ship. The fundamentals were relatively simple - she was to simply stand in front of him, facing away, and let him hold onto her as he flung them head first into the darkness, where any number of things could go wrong and kill them in a flesh-melting burst of energy, or a flak burst could cut them in half. He'd crash them into the side of the civilian vessel being boarded by pirates, take control of it, and then begin carving his way through that pirate frigate with her helping him along until they could hijack it and jump out of here. He conveys this all to her with his characteristic calmness, though occasionally he can't hide the excitement in his voice. Ever since agreeing to work with her, he's been.. well, bored. He was made to rip his way through starships, not guard a smuggler and her things. For the first time in awhile, he gets to do what he was born to do.

“Wei, for the love of god,” Laoise chimed in, “You better not fucking kill us.”

With nothing else besides a chuckle, Wei wraps his left arm around her abdomen, deploys the shield mounted on his wrist to protect her vitals, and then slaps the airlock emergency release with his right gauntlet. The exterior door squeals as it snaps open and the pair get sucked out into space as the vacuum empties out the airlock. They go hurtling into the darkness together before Wei's suit thrusters kick in to boost them in the right direction.

Hear my call, digging in!
Total war, I'm digging in!
Bodies fall, I'm digging in!
Kill them alllll!


The lyrics rattle inside his head just before the pirate vessel, and the Soviets, detect something small with a heat signature moving between them. Automated flak turrets spin to open fire, spitting clouds of razor-sharp metal into the stars, and Wei weaves like an acrobat among the clouds of shrapnel. Shards ping off his armor or embed in his shield where they otherwise would have pierced Laoise's stomach, and after a few more seconds of adrenaline-inducing terror the pair slam into the side of the Ambivalence. Immediately, the boxy device on the back of his armor breaks open and six spindly spider-like legs crawl out, snapping into place before digging their points into the hull of the Ambivalence to grip onto it with magnets. Skittering like an angry silver insect over the side of the Ambivalence, the pair eventually find the airlock on the upper deck. He examines it quickly, looking for the emergency access panel - most civilian ships had one so that someone stuck outside could at least get inside on their own. The real security was the inner door, which usually only opened when someone on the inside did it manually.

Usually.
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
"Adira! Check your flank!"

Adira immediately dropped to the cable she had held and raised her right pistol as she ducked. The one unarmored pirate that hadn't gotten completely shredded by the grenade - the same one Stratton grazed - took a round to the chest and another to the side of his head. Taking that moment to shoot him twice also provided her some protection from the flashbang - thankfully her helmet protected her from the sound being so loud.

She immediately turned toward where the last shield bearer was baring down on Alexei - or would have been were he not stunned. Now, Adira was a really good shot with her pistols. she really was. But between her guns being weaker than Stratton's, and Stratton having made that fantastic shot to the other Shield-bearer's head? She knew her place. Adira called, "Stratton! Aim for the neck!" into her mic. "I got the entry, if any more come through I've got them! Focus on Alexei!"
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas propped himself against the desk, his breathing heavy and the fog on his mask getting worse. Silas never enjoyed this part of combat; the fatigue after something nearly life ending happened. Sure, his adrenaline was keeping him wide awake and hyper focused, but he felt every part of his body say, just lay down and take a nap, your face probably looks like you just fought off a knife-wielding thief with your face and you're currently running out of oxygen. It finally donned on Silas to take a moment to try and patch his visor with the adhesive strips on his suit. In the commotion he completely forgot about them. They're block his vision terribly, but at least he wouldn't be losing any more air. "Kes," He called out through the cacophony of gunfire. "Patching myself up, hold the breach for a bit." Silas pressed his back to the table and ripped off an adhesive strip on his thigh. He applied the thin fabric to the spots of his helmet that needed it the most, where the largest cracks were. Soon, the hissing sounds of air leaving his suit subsided to barely audible. He knew he didn't get all of it, but Silas could work the finer particles when he had a moment. All in all it took him a minute or two, faster than he anticipated. Silas grabbed his rifle, breathed a steadying sigh, and propped himself above the desk again to begin firing at whoever was standing in the tether's breach. He admittedly could barely see thanks to the adhesive strips, but it was better than having his entire mask fog up.

The bridge crew was putting an impressive hurt on the boarding party. Adira's grenade combined with the arms fire of herself and Stratton turned anyone who stepped on the bridge into fresh corpses. It worked surprisingly well even for what a battle expert would assume; they relieved the shield bearer and the two flank soldiers swiftly. Anyone else trying to come down the tether for the moment being would be temporarily dissuaded from doing so because of the flashbang.

The shield bearer going for Alexei stumbled after turning to fully witness the flash bang go off. He dropped his shield and covered his eyes, occasionally taking wild swings towards where Alexei was.

The kitchen breach was going much worse comparatively. Kestrel and Silas didn't have great positions at viewing the breach. In addition, Silas was pretty much a liability at this point, so they essentially had just Kestrel protecting the kitchen. Silas was actively working to help but it was more suppressive fire than direct combat engagement. He barely peeked his head over the table as he fired, prepping himself in the event of another grenade or explosion going off in front of him. He wouldn't make the same mistake he just did, that was certain. Silas fire was momentarily interrupted when he heard a loud bang resonate through the hull. He wouldn't have caught it if he wasn't practically right up against it. Something physical just hit the ship. What the hell was that? He didn't think anyone would be firing at them in their current state. Silas pushed it out of his mind. There was already too much going on to have another potential crisis go through his head.

By now, the kitchen was properly established as a beachhead for the pirates. At least five had made it in and used the various crevices in the kitchen as cover. Three sat directly behind the counter Kestrel was up against, firing over at Silas and Kestrel's direction. It wasn't looking great for them - Silas keyed his comms, "We could use another gun down here," As a shot ricocheted behind him. "Bridge crew, how's your end? Kep, Risa? You alive?" He spoke on the open comms to hopefully catch anyone who could give him an update on what was going on at other parts of the ship. If all three points were as bad as his, they'd no doubt lose the Ambivalence. The biggest problem for Silas currently was that both him and Kestrel were cornered; without the staircase being accessible, they were stuck in the Hub unless they made a mad dash for the hall Alexei was in, which was simply a terrible idea.
 
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Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
"Stratton! Aim for the neck!"

Stratton nodded. "Roger, moving." The liaison stood up and laid down suppressing fire down the tether- just in case- before focusing his attention on the shield bearer. While still suffering from the effects of Stratton's flash grenade the man was blindly cutting air with his air when Stratton landed a hit mid-sprint. The man clasped against his neckguard which had absorbed the projectile before being tackled to the ground, dropping his sword.

Quickly, Stratton used his rifle muzzle as a blunt weapon against the man's visor before shooting twice. Confident that the man was dead Stratton scooted over to Alexei and bopped him on the helmet twice. "Alexei, you still with us?"

"We could use another gun down here..."

Stratton cursed before activating his comms. "Negative, bridge under heavy assault. Won't be able to relocate until we know our end is clear."

Refocusing on Alexei, Stratton tapped the man once more. "Hunker down into cover Alex and stay there. Just watch the Captain's back- do not let her get flanked."
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas was caught needing to reload once again, cursing under his breath as he fumbled with the weapon in his hands. He was never proficient at combat, especially not compared to career soldiers or privateers. He enjoyed the stress of mechanical work, not the stress of gunfire above his head. He just wished he could throw a wrench at their attackers and take them all down with it. That wouldn't work of course, but it was a nice thought to have. He also felt pressured into performing well, lest he get Kestrel caught in an increasingly difficult to defend horde of pirates alone. They couldn't get any backup from the bridge crew, and he wasn't receiving any response from those below decks. The situation was worrying, and it looked more and more like this was really going to be the way Silas died. One final stand on the decks of the Ambivalence, his crew fighting valiantly until the end. Silas hated thinking of each of their gruesome deaths, but it was how it would happen. Silas just needed to keep firing at the enemy for as long as he could to keep them all alive as long as possible. Maybe by some miracle the Stars would come through and save them somehow. That was wishful thinking, even for Silas.

His morbid thoughts were rudely interrupted by the excruciating sound of metal twisting. It was enough to momentarily make Silas even forget he was getting shot at. He peeked his head just barely over the cover to see what was going on; the gunfire ceased for just a moment, no doubt trying to figure out what the stress was coming from. Was something pushing on the hull hard enough to cause it to bend and tear in such an awful way? Was someone else boarding them, or maybe cleaving the Ambivalence in half? Silas couldn't tell, but it didn't quite seem like it was ship-wide destruction. Maybe more like a single reinforced door being pried open...
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Alexei winces as something raps on his helmet twice. This is it - they're mocking him before they feed him a bullet at point blank. Then, Stratton's voice - maybe the old man wasn't so bad after all. Still reeling from the flashbang, he nods and scoots across the floor, fumbling with the door panel behind him until the door into Kepler's room slides open. He scrambles in, laying low while he reloads his pistol. From here, can at least poke his head out either way down the hallway. As his ears start ringing a little less, his eyebrows rise. Was that... a guitar solo?

-------------------------------------------------------
Not far from Alexei's current position, Wei slams his armored fist into the access panel to enter the airlock again and again. The plastic and electronics give way until he pries the panel off, then delicately tampers with the wiring on the inside until the outer door slides open. He reaches out for Laoise's hand, then swings her around to put her inside before clambering in after her. He rights himself for the ship's gravity, then thumps the emergency button to seal the outer door again. "Stand back." He warns plainly, then lumbers over to the inner door once the room has repressurized. The shoulder-mounted lasers on his armor spin lazily, the suit's on-board targeting systems seeking out targets to direct ear-ringing blasts of sound at. In the meantime, they broadcast Kessler Syndrome. One of the SASERs drifts over the wall, in Alexei's direction. Wei crams his hands into the interior airlock door, the metal crunching slowly as he begins to pry it apart. The servos of his suit scream angrily as he begins ripping the door open.

--------------------------------------------------------
Surrounded by the enemy
A wolf, among the hounds
Thunder turns to silence
It took the hundred to bring me down!

Wolf brothers falling at my side
In battle I will die!
And in the cradle of my kin
I will be reborn!


Alexei squints as the sound passes faintly through the walls and into his ears. When it dawns on him what he is hearing, he flails to slap the transmitter on his suit to contact the entire crew. "G-guys we've got a fucking problem! Esskoat!" He shouts. Those lyrics and the sound of the airlock getting wrenched open could only mean one thing, after all. Death was coming for them all.

----------------------------------------------------------
The interior airlock door screams in protest as Wei begins to bend it, the screeching sound of metal folding. "Laoise, take the bridge. One tether there. I will take the other two." He grunts. Gripping the jagged twisted edges of the door, he wrenches his body aside, bending the left half of the door towards himself completely to open a breach into the ship. "And keep your head down." He adds, then lumbers through the breach. He draws his shotgun off its sling, racks the pump, and then lumbers through the opening before breaking left. At a run, each of his steps clangs loudly on the metal floor as he pushes towards the hub. No targets in the hall, except for a coward hunkering down in one of the bedrooms.

When he reaches the Hub, he lurches forward. There seemed to be two crew members here, a woman, mostly holding the line while her injured comrade did what he could to help. He ignores them, swiveling so that his shotgun is directed at the tether. Two men burst forth attempting to board, and the gun roars once, splitting the first man in half at the waist. The shotgun bucks again in his hands and the second man's left shoulder explodes into a pink mist. He turns his head to face the woman, his mohawked helm streaked with war paint.

"Get your wounded to safety." He shouts, gesturing with his elbow at Silas before cruising towards the opening in the tether. He racks the shotgun's pump to chamber another shell, then peeks around the corner into the tunnel. More men are approaching, though cautiously after witnessing their latest vanguard party get turned to paste. Good.

He likes when they are afraid.

queendilettante queendilettante Epiphany Epiphany The Jenkins Curse The Jenkins Curse
 

queendilettante

Resident stupid bitch
Wei's enthusiastic approach to the barely-held-together ship they've just arrived on left Laoise slightly dizzy. The shots that just barely missed her would have been enough on their own, but the force of the landing and breakneck speed with which Wei tore his way through the hull and left Laoise to her own devices were, well, dizzying. She watched as the armor clad near-giant entered the breach in the ship and lumbered off down a hall. It felt like the Wei that Laoise saw over the past few minutes was a complete turn from the man she had employed for the previous few weeks. The Wei she thought she knew seemed like a bored teenager compared to the one currently so enthralled with the possibility of death. Just who was this man that she got herself involved with?

Lagging after Wei, Laoise looked through the tattered breach to check for hostile forces inside. Not seeing anything more dangerous than her present circumstances, she shoved herself through the breach and, after checking Wei's 6, turned to face the opposite direction. The ship was filled with smoke and debris, dangerously limited Laoise's visibility. Nevertheless, she cautiously trudged on down the hall and quickly found herself at the bridge. A man and a woman were clearly on the defense from an unknown number of assailants coming from another part of the ship. Laoise quickly ducked behind cover and called out to the two on open comms. "Hey, sorry to intrude, but it looked like you two could use some help," Laoise waved at the two from cover to try and get their attention. Still largely clueless as to what she and Wei had gotten themselves into, Laoise called out again: "So... what's the status here exactly?"

Dragongal Dragongal Viper Actual Viper Actual
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira heard what was going on. She heard Stratton's words to Alexei, and she heard Silas's call for help. And as much as it pained her, she couldn't move. She stayed on one knee, half of her body protected by the metal beam she was tucked behind, and the other half barely expose so she could continue shooting each of the pirates that continued flooding in through the tether. It had slowed from a flood to a steady stream, now, and the pickings were easy. Three shots to the chest or one to the head - whatever she could make quickest.

As much as she wanted to see what was going on behind her, ever time she thought it was safe to turn, another would come in through the tether, muzzles bright with gunfire. Stratton seemed to have things handled behind her. Alexei... well who knew what he was up to. She sure didn't. There was some vague music in the background, and Alexei said a name, but Adira couldn't catch it past the sound of another heavy gun firing in her general direction. Three more bullets, one more body thumping at the base of the tether.

Laoise, though. That was someone moving toward her general direction from behind, addressing her, someone Stratton wasn't shooting. Adira kills another pirate, and turns to look over her shoulder at Laoise. "Pirates are still coming in h - ot!" Adira's voice spiked an octave as an armor-piercing bullet grazed into her right arm, ripping open her suit and taking a considerable chunk of flesh with it. She gritted her teeth and clamped her hand over the bleeding wound, turning back to firing at the pirate who had dared to draw her blood. He was dead quickly, but she wasn't even willing to take her eyes off of the tether to examine the extent of her wound anymore - she couldn't afford to be careless. Her suit would patch itself up in time, but the oxygen loss was fairly rapid. All she could do was keep her hand clamped over the wound, blood seeping between the fingers of her white glove, staining it a gray-tinted crimson.

Couldn't look away. Not now. She'd fight to keep these bastards off her ship as long as she could, out of spite if nothing more. It was her ship, after all, and she'd go down with it before she surrenderd.
 

Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
"Hey, sorry to intrude, but it looked like you two could use some help..."

Eyebrow raised and with one foot turned halfway to allow for a quick spin Stratton was about to reply to the stranger when Adira yelped from behind her cover.

Still hunkered down Stratton made a dash towards Adira while his muzzle remained trained at the hostile entry point. Once he was beside her he grabbed his rifle and shoved it out of the way, letting it rest against his left hip as he produced a small canister from one of his pouches. Lifting Adira's hand from the wound Stratton held up the canister and sprayed a foam-like substance all over it. Soon enough the shell of it would harden while the inside remained almost jelly-like. Once the procedure was done Stratton discarded the canister over his shoulder before grabbing Adira by the shoulder.

"You're okay Adira," he said, voice surprisingly soft for once. "It's just a small wound. QuickZeal should do its magic right about now." He gave her a friendly tap on the shoulder and smiled reassuringly before returning to the neutral expression he had seconds before. "You'll be a bit stiff captain but at least you won't be leaking any oxygen."

A near-miss from a short salvo of pirate gunfire reminded him of where he was. Stratton gritted his teeth and popped out of cover to return fire, sending multiple projectiles down range.
He glanced at the stranger and nodded towards the tether. "We can't do anything but hold them off for now. I don't suppose you brought some reinforcements, eh?"
 

The Jenkins Curse

Among the Stars
Silas was admittedly starting to get rather lightheaded. He had sealed the major breaches in his helmet and arm, but there were still plenty of tiny, barely visible specks of shattered suit that kept him from being completely sealed. He didn't have enough nylon straps to secure them all. He just had to deal with it. But even still, applying the straps to his suit did nothing to stop whatever bleeding was going on inside the suit. His arm was shredded and his face may well have been in the same state. Silas was still rather convinced this would be the spot he'd die in, so he wasn't too worried about it anymore. He just tried to sling as much lead at the bastards as he could. He ran through the bullets in his magazine one by one, depleting most of the reserves he had for himself. By the time he got halfway through his second to last magazine, the unmistakable sound of metal playing on extremely loud stereos was nearly deafening. Who the hell was playing music at this time?

Loud thumps from down the hall got closer as a seeming behemoth made its way to personally drain the life out of Kestrel and Silas. When the brute arrived, bearing a shotgun mean enough to make anyone weary, Silas let out a short sigh. Yeah, this was it. He was clad in enough armor to survive an atomic bomb. There was no way Silas and Kestrel could handle him on their own. However even after the man took glances at Silas and Kestrel, he didn't open fire on them. Unexpectedly, he actually began firing on pirates entering the bay.

Well, shit. Now Silas couldn't just throw his life away. If they had that monster on their side, they may be able to pull this off. He could not longer just make a final stand, and once again had to make plans for what to do after the immediate moment. Silas dropped his rifle to the ground and pressed his back against the table, coughing violently as he brought up his wrist mounted data pad and began tapping away at it. He monitored the vitals of various crew members; everyone seemed at least alive at this point, at least for those who were still hooked up to the monitor system. He then checked the Ambivalence's diagnostics. The report he got wasn't good at all. From the AI's estimates, it wasn't FTLT capable, weapons systems were mostly offline, and life support was dwindling. They couldn't stay on the Ambi if they planned to survive.

Silas keyed his comms, hoping to catch anyone who was able to speak with him. "The Ambivalence isn't gonna make it much longer, we need to find a way out of here." Silas racked his brain for a possible solution. The only thing he could think of was fending off the pirates and going down their tethers to counter-board. If they were lucky, the only people left on the pirate ship would be administration and custodian staff. No real soldiers left. They could try and crash the Ambi into a hangar and get the hell out of there after disconnecting the tethers. It was risky, but they really didn't have any other option. Silas changed his channel from crew-wide broadcasting to anyone in his vicinity. "Hey, big guy, not sure why you're here, but we could use you if you plan on sticking around. We gotta get on their ship. Think you can help with that?"
 

Dragongal

Miss Medic
Adira kept her head down and nodded at Stratton, her lips sealed shut against the hiss of pain in her throat. The wound would hurt, a stinging reminder of her own mortality, but at least she wasn't going to pass out from the oxygen loss any time soon. She allowed herself to take a breath and mumble, "Thanks, Stratton." She flashed a quick smile that couldn't be seen past the dark glass of her helmet, but let her head tip forward a bit to clank against his helmet in a gentle "thank you" gesture to get the point across, since she didn't feel like she had the breath in her lungs while her oxygen supply slowly regenerated.

A second later, she was returning fire at the pirates that were still trying to invade the Ambivalence through the tether. She could hear Silas through her comms - he was right. This ship was destroyed, they would need to get out before the ship completely stopped functioning.

Adira slowly looked over at the control panel, then at the hangar bay she could just barely see through the viewing window. Maybe it was time to turn this defensive into an offensive.

"Hey guys? Be prepared for some movement and a collision - we're gonna turn some tides."
 
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Viper Actual

Ask me about my tourniquet fetish.
Stratton watched as another pirate fell with a hiss as several of his rifle projectiles pierced the man's body. Taking a knee to reload in cover, Stratton shook his head and cursed as Silas spoke over the comms.
"Not to be that guy but if possible I'd like to preserve the Ambivalence; There's sensitive data on my terminal. I either need time to wipe and extract everything on it or arm a failsafe device to make sure it won't be salvagable."

Peeking once again Stratton downed yet another pirate, this one rushing forward with a warcry, causing him to stumble and very audibly break his neck on one of the terminals after getting hit in the legs.
Stratton continued; "What if we can bring her to safety somehow?"

Then Adira spoke up. Stratton glanced at her, the terminal, the viewport and then back at Adira. Cursing, he switched position, hunkering down next to her.

"I guess it's time for me to witness another one of your stories. Good thing there's no brass around to chew you out afterwards," said James, half-serious and half-joking.
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Wei lumbers forward as the injured crewman suggests they push forward and take the pirate's ship, as if they owned it. "Their ship?" He replies, the face-plates of his helm retracting to either side to show his face. "It is only theirs if they can keep it, and I don't think they can keep it." He finishes with a smirk. His helm shuts again and he gives his shotgun a twist that collapses it down to a more storable configuration before returning it to its place on his back as he approaches the boarding tube. His voice rumbles over his speakers again. "Follow me when the shooting stops."

Snapping his shield into place, he draws his sword and turns the corner. He's met by a hail of gunfire, his left arm rattling as rounds ping off his raised shield. One of the benefits of fighting in space is that most people aren't trying to shoot holes in the hull if they miss, meaning most rounds used are specifically designed not to have a great deal of armor penetrating capacity. Sure, enough to kill, but nothing like they'd load if they were fighting dirtside. The first pair of pirates to face him are reduced to meat when his sword rams through the first's chest and the second gets slammed into the wall by a shield bash with 400 pounds of raging muscle and metal behind it.

The boarding tube is a nightmare to fight in when all you have on your side is numbers. Ships are designed with the intent to funnel enemies and reduce the value of sheer manpower, but this tube is like trying to have a shootout in a coffin. There's not enough room to shoulder rifles, not enough room to maneuver, and the weight of your reinforcements behind you keeps you from retreating. There is only forward, and forward there is only death marching in armor stained incarnadine.

----------------------------------------------------

Alexei, upon seeing the newcomer stroll down the hallway like he owned the place without stopping to kill him, regains a shred of his wits. His head is still pounding, but he's not dead, and maybe that means the stories he's heard about the Esskoat being ruthless stars-cursed man-eaters aren't entirely true, though the robotic spider clinging to the small of the juggernaut's back didn't help his image much.

"Giving up the ship isn't exactly in my bloodline, but the Ambi's a goner. We should seal off the bridge if we can, grab anything we can, and follow the celebrity. At least, I think it's him." He chimes in over comms, broadcasting ship-wide. "Ideally before they realize he's here, retreat, and blow us to pieces instead."

-----------------------------------------------------
There aren't a great many left to oppose Wei as he carves his way down the tunnel, leaving death and ruin in his wake. Kestrel and Silas had put up a good fight and thinned out their numbers on this tube, and after he shattered their point-men morale crumbled among the already ill-disciplined pirates. After a few more kills that amount to executions more than proper duels, the rest break and flee, hoping to get back to their ship pull together a defensive line to keep him from boarding them.
 

queendilettante

Resident stupid bitch
Despite nearly getting killed during the flight to the ship and then again while dawdling prior to entry, the scope of the danger this crew was facing became readily apparent. When, who Laoise discovered was the captain, Adira was shot turning away for just a moment, Laoise hugged the small cover she was hiding behind a bit tighter, praying that her head wasn't exposed. As the other, the one the captain called Stratton, quickly patched the captain up, Laoise took a deep breath and fired a few pot shots at the stream of pirates with her pistol. Despite seemingly killing 3 or 4 in the short time Stratton was attending to the captain, the pirates just kept coming. What could possibly be so important on this ship that these pirates are just throwing themselves through a literal pile of their fallen comrades to find it?

"The Ambivalence isn't...much longer, we need...out..here..."

Laoise struggled to piece together what the voice on the open comms was saying, but the possibilities were fairly slim. Anyone still alive could see the damage this ship had sustained. Damn, and we just got here too.

Laoise peaked above the cover and continued to fire at the tether, hoping to take some of the pressure off Adira and Stratton. She glanced at the two wounded members of this ships' crew and felt a pang of... guilt? Pity? She wasn't sure. These people would almost definitely have been goners if she hadn't escaped here from the Soviets with Wei. For whatever reason, Laoise felt as if the crew wouldn't be too keen on helping her and Wei if they realized they only arrived through purely selfish means. She hoped Wei hadn't spilled their intentions to the others yet.

WOOSH.

A bullet sped past Laoise's head and immediately brought her back from her dazed day dream. Focus, girl.

"Hey guys? Be prepared for some movement and a collision - we're gonna turn some tides."

"Roger, roger!" Laoise called back to the captain. Continuing on the open comms, Laoise called out to Wei, hoping he could hear her. "Wei? Wei, this is Laoise. If you can hear me, meet me down the other side of the hall with whoever's left alive. We gotta bounce again."

Dragongal Dragongal Viper Actual Viper Actual Vudukudu Vudukudu
 

Vudukudu

Farseer to the Warsong Clan
Wei roars down the boarding tunnel on the opposite side of the ship, carving through one fleeing pirate before throwing his left shoulder forward and hitting his maneuvering thrusters. There's a roar as the engines ignite, throwing him forward like a human missile that crashes into the next man and carries the two of them into the wall, turning the smaller man into a thick red slurry inside his vac-suit as he's crushed against the metal wall. Foot back, pivot, and a backhand swing takes the head off the last victim of his rampage. He comes to a halt short of boarding the next ship, chest heaving and his ears ringing with the angry roar of his own twin heartbeats hammering. He wants to continue, to do what he does best, but he has other matters to attend to.

The other matter's voice brings him back down to the floor, her urgent message making him loose a string of curses in Esskoati before he activates his comms to reply.

"Yeah, yeah, I hear you. But you're comin' to me." He grunts as he sheathes his sword, collapses his shield, and pulls his heavy assault rifle off his back. He peeks both corners stepping out of the boarding tunnel, finding the hallway satisfactorily clear. There'd be a control center somewhere for the boarding tubes on a frigate of this class. He'd boarded a Scipiani before, knew its layout. It was an old ship meant for Waning Stars customs and pirate-hunting, and that meant it needed a boarding area attached to a repair bay so that smaller vessels found needing aid, or captured ones in need of impounding, could be hauled in for emergency repairs.

"Hold onto something, haila." He radios over to Laoise. He's used the term to refer to her dozens of times by now, and had always refused to explain what it meant. Esskoati have never volunteered to have their language worked into most translator protocols, though the term just means "Amusing Stranger." When the Esskoati first emerged on the galactic scene, they'd mostly used it to refer to more interesting hostages. In times since, its become something more like how one might refer to a beloved pet.

Wei breaches the repair bay and emerges onto a catwalk overlooking it. Sweeping the room with his eyes, he finds the control center and rolls himself over the guard rail, tumbling down a story before crashing to the ground with a thump that echoes in the bay.

"The hell was that?" A voice calls, and a crewman in a ruddy orange jumpsuit pops out from behind a nearby container to look for the disturbance.

"Surprise?" Wei replies, his voice rumbling over the speakers before he puts two rounds through the man's chest.

When no other targets make themselves apparent, he makes his way to the control station and yanks on the lever to draw the Ambivalence in. The boarding tunnels begin collapsing in on themselves like accordions, then begin to pull back towards the frigate, hauling the Ambivalence towards them with a series of jerky lurching motions, tilting the ship port to starboard again and again as it draws it into the frigate's belly.
 
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