Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

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Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:15 pm

July 27, G.R 2011

Lord Admiral Karr rested his arms on his chair and leaned back, tilting the velvet seat with him. He found it was comfortable that way, although in his days as an ensign aboard an Emperor battleship his superiors would often scold him for his lackadaisical posture. Many G.Rs had since passed to separate him from that time, as his mandatory ten year service period expired and he pursued a successful career with the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence.

His job nowadays ordinarily consisted of filling out paperwork, as a man of his rank and authority was often required to approve the numerous covert missions and infiltrations carried out constantly by SONI. On occasion he was allowed a little more excitement, as an admiral of some armada delivering classified KINGUNDERTHEMOUNTAIN artifacts- the grand Scythian Navy had been demoted to SONI’s delivery service as ships and men were diverted without explanation to the high Admiralty’s great annoyance.

Today though, was different- he was observing a classic interrogation session, a throwback to his days as an intern at SONI. Ordinarily a mission such as this would have been relegated to a subordinate, perhaps a lieutenant or a captain-level officer- but he had been informed of the potential for the discussion of information and technology too sensitive for the typical rank devoted to these tasks. He observed the scene through a large screen mounted on the wall facing him- the size and clarity of the panel could even trick the uninformed into thinking it was a window, not a video feed.

In the other room five figures surrounded a table, a glass hologram-projecting surface surrounded by a shining steel bezel. A single flickering fluorescent tube dimly lit the room as its light reflected off of dull metallic walls and flooring.

Three Scythian generals seated themselves each at an edge on one end of the table, dressed identically in claret jackets decked with banks of gleaming medals. The four-star general in the center was a rather corpulent fellow with an impressive set of whiskers and hair silvered with age. He was gnawing on an expensive cigar and impatiently tapping an expensive fountain pen against his edge of the table. Flanking him were two younger lieutenant generals, both bearing black berets and polarized sunglasses.

Across from them was the subject and the famous Scythian scientist, Professor Fuyutsia. The latter was enrobed in the typical Scythian science uniform, a red lab coat with gleaming golden buttons running along one side.

Karr was familiar with Professor Fuyutsia- a prodigy in his youth and undoubtedly one of the brightest even within an empire as vast as Scythia- he predominantly served as a tenured professor at the prestigious Scythian Faster than Light Institute, lecturing on advanced biology and its relationship to bleeding-edge physics theories. Fuyutsia every so often was called upon by SONI to assist as a consultant and bestow his expertise upon the analysis of strange artifacts and skunkworks weaponry. Now the old scientist wore a very slight grin and rubbed his hands in anticipation, glancing at his guest every so often.

The subject differentiated herself as the odd one of the group, an expatriate from the young nation of Trattoria, a state known to the brikverse for a mere four months. She had a blonde bob cut and wore a white lab coat over a blue dress, in direct contrast to the Scythian red and black. There was no doubt that she was intelligent, having mastered the standard galactic language in the span of a few weeks, although she still retained an exotic, almost Lancian accent that sometimes impeded a native listener.

The burly four-star brass commenced the interview.

“Announce your name clearly for the recording.”

The subject directed her eyes towards the general, clasping her hands in front of her and resting on the table.

“My name is Dr. Akagi, of the Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria, colloquially recognized as the Trattorian Empire. I am present to assist in the proposal process of Project E.”

Spoiler: show
This is the promised Brikwars/Eva fanfic I mentioned in the forum battle thread. With tons of brikwars flavoring.
Last edited by Colette on Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby The Shadowscythe » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:39 am

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. . . yes . . . YES . . . YEEEEEEES
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:34 pm

One of the lower generals fiddled with some buttons and turned off the light in the room, materializing a small red spider on the holo-table’s surface. It was facing off against a crouching black mess of spikes and weapon barrels- both shapes were familiar to all Scythian soldiers as the Behemoth super-walker and a Bloodwrath assault walker respectively. Both were surrounded by smaller blocks and swarms of red and black dots, representations of smaller tanks, mecha, and infantry units, as Orpheus super hover tanks buzzed around the Behemoth like angry wasps.

“This is a holographic recording of a surface engagement on planet Aergia, in one of our buffer systems on the Immortal front” the central general explained.

The Behemoth seemed to be gaining an advantage over its adversary, relentlessly pounding the Immortal Bloodwrath with battleship-scale weapons and tearing off one of its legs, dragging the machine to the ground. It seemed the Immortals received the intended message, as the black dots and boxes began retreating and the Bloodwrath struggled for freedom. It was merely a ruse, however, as a black-hole mass-destruction-scale missile launched from a treacherous Immortal stealth cruiser in orbit tore through the Scythian shielding and impacted the crimson super tank, crunching reinforced alloy armor through its physical impact before absorbing every red holographic unit marker in a black orb that flashed in and out of existence instantaneously.

Fuyutsia switched on the light in the room, dismissing all the flickering holographic figures with a wave of his arm.

“This recording was but merely one case study in a long series of recurring events. The Behemoth is an impressive feat and demonstration of Scythian might and technological sophistication- it unfortunately seems that our enemy knows this as well and is willing to play a little unfairly in response.” He sighed before continuing. “Of course, all’s fair in war, especially to a force as ruthless as the Immortals. It is clear that the Behemoth has become outmoded for our purposes and a new solution is needed, one that preserves the durability of said vehicle while increasing speed and agility dramatically to avoid these dirty orbital bombardments and long-range artillery attacks.”

The central general slammed his pen against the desk.

“That’s impossible!” he exclaimed. “The Behemoth possesses the armor of a stationary bunker fortress! The very fact that it is capable of movement at all is a miracle, let alone expecting such feats of spryness. We have pushed our walking-tank technology to its limits!”.

“Not exactly,” Dr. Akagi calmly interrupted. “It is true that with conventional materials and construction it is impossible to achieve the goals outlined by Professor Fuyutsia. However, the Scythians have demonstrated their ability to innovate with the relatively new technology of the antimatter projector, and such ingenuity and unconventional thinking must again serve us here.”

The holographic table then projected a flat transparent panel between the generals and the scientists, complex physics equations writing themselves on its surface. The generals simply stared dumbly at the seemingly arcane mathematics before them.

Dr. Akagi noticed their looks and smirked in satisfaction.

“The Trattorians may be a new race to the brikverse at large, but we have had one of the most advanced scientific communities even before our introduction to the greater galaxy.”

She paused, taking in the moment of dumbfounding the leaders of some supposedly great and ancient empire of the brikverse.

“Anyway, to continue. I was studying the equations of a certain Dr. Liang, who has hypothesized the existence of a new force-carrying boson to explain certain...peculiarities of the universe we live in. She hopes to one day integrate said particle in the Langrangian formalism of the Standard Model, thereby completing our understanding of physics...”

Fuyutsia interrupted Dr. Akagi. “No need to belittle our audience and dwell on the specifics.”

Dr. Akagi sighed before carrying forward.

“Very well then. Obviating the derivation and discussing the direct consequences, I have discovered an interesting effect that may be useful as a pragmatic military tool. Specifically, a force field far more powerful than those generated by modern day technology, even bleeding-edge prototypes or as-yet uncatalogued models used by say the Immortals, can be induced. I and the few other experts studying this phenomenon have taken the liberty to dub it the AT Field. Unfortunately, the process of generating one from an engineering standpoint is poorly-understand and of dubious scientific rigor, involving souls and subjective emotional connections that are ordinarily beyond the jurisdiction and quite frankly, below the notice, of physicists and other actual scientists.”

The central general interrupted, losing interest.

“All right, so you made a glorified energy shield. If it’s as good as you say it is, we don’t even need the mobility, we’ll just mount it on some Behemoths and maybe some Emperors on the space front just for...”

“Not so fast there.” Dr. Akagi was clearly irritated by the general’s ignorance. “The AT Field is better than I describe in some ways, worse in others. For one, it can grant other powers such as levitation, offensive capability, and regeneration. But there are very specific requirements for creating one- the easiest route is to create a massive mecha on the scale of an Assyrian Armored Core.”

She could already hear the groans from the generals at the thought of a traditional giant mecha. The expenses involved...the Armored Core was really a white elephant for the Assyrians, an extraordinary dump of money and display of technological arrogance, a gleaming, inefficient tchotchke that could be supplanted by multiple tank battalions for its cost. Not that the Scythians were innocent of giant legged vehicles with their Behemoths and Huntsmans, but a humanoid design was so inefficient and difficult to engineer...

Luckily the two scientists were prepared for such skepticism.

Fuyutsia took the initiative. “We never said it would be cheap. We do regret however, that the financial burden will only be worse than the AC, since according to Dr. Akagi the AT field specifically requires an Evangelist cyborg...”

The general’s cigar fell out of his mouth, rolling across the table, smoldering.
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby The Shadowscythe » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:01 pm

Gotta say, I love how you have managed to pin the arrogance of the early war mindset down to a fucking tee - a damned fine beginning to a sub-tale, I wholeheartedly approve of this and will include it with my head-canon.

NOW LET THE REVVING INTENSIFY.
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:16 am

“Wait please, Dr. Akagi has really worked out the finer details. It’s not another pipe dream to create an Evangelist cyborg and field it in combat- this stuff has real science backing it! I’m sure!”

Professor Fuyutsia grabbed the sleeve of the central general, who rudely batted him away.

“You college kiddies spend too much time cooped up inside with no sense of reality. An Evangelist cyborg has been, is, and always will be out of the reach of even the greatest star empires. It’s simply too expensive.”

“It may be the key to winning the Immortal War,” offered Dr. Akagi.

The general turned towards her in a flicker of interest, then resumed his normal posture as he headed for the exit, beckoning to his lieutenant generals to follow him. As he opened door however, he was surprised by the vision of a man dressed in a red jacket, a bushy black mustache and a stubble on his face. His head was topped off with a white peaked cap and on his jacket was the unmistakable insignia of the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence.

“What the hell are you doing in the Scythian Army headquarters?” the old general angrily demanded. He was insulted that SONI had wiggled their dirty fingers even within the central sanctum of the Army, those sly and cowardly bastards.

Lord Admiral Karr leaned towards the general.

“That’s not how one addresses a Scythian lord, General Randell.” He tried to emphasize the lack of said title in his address to the general, fear bubbling up slightly in the latter’s face.

“Proposal E is hereinafter under jurisdiction of the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence, since the Army has expressed its disapproval.”

The senior general’s face once again contorted to one of anger and pride. His jealous rivalry with SONI overruled all else.

“The Army will give Fuyutsia and his friend another chance! We will hear their proposal out fully, with careful attention paid to all details! We can allocate any amount of funding we need, surely as one of the largest armies in the brikverse.”

Karr looked to the side, feeling this pitiful Army brass to be beneath him.

“It’s too late. Unlike you, I went through the effort to search for some of the studies and documents the two scientists here mentioned...” He sneered, making a subtle gesture towards the General’s rounded belly and making no effort of hiding the implications. “...and have ruled that Proposal E discusses certain artifacts that match KINGUNDERTHEMOUNTAIN classification and are therefore above your security clearance except on a need-to-know basis.”

Karr had to restrain himself from chuckling as the general’s face grew red and seethed at the mention of that accursed codephrase, a catch-all password that essentially granted SONI unlimited jurisdiction upon its use.

The general pushed Karr aside and stomped out, turning back once to wag his finger.

“I’m a four star general in the Scythian Army. I could report you to the Chief of Staff or the Emperor directly.”

Karr leaned against a wall with an expression of mock fear.

“Well then, I’m a Lord, and you know what that means.”

He decided the little arrogant Army brass was simply not worth his time as he entered the room and shut the door behind him. He motioned to the scientists to return to their seats as he settled in the chair once occupied by the senior general, relaxing his posture. Once the scientists were ready to continue their presentation, he slipped into a habit of his and steepled his hands.

“Continue.”

Dr. Akagi picked up where she left off.

“The Evangelist cyborg has a bad reputation for its formidable cost and maintenance. That is why I came to the Scythian Empire- it is one of the few factions in the brikverse capable of providing the raw resources and expertise required. However, the majority of the plight of building one in the past has simply been a misunderstanding of the process of its creation. One component that all past efforts thus far have neglected is this:”

She pulled up a three-dimensional projection of an orange bar with a humanoid embryo embedded inside. Lord Admiral Karr had to admit, even after the bizarre KINGUNDERTHEMOUNTAIN artifacts that he had seen and delivered, this one still managed to disturb him somewhat.

“The combined technological aptitude of the brikverse is not sufficient to construct an Evangelist from scratch- we need a template, a Seed of Life as we have dubbed it. Unobtanium, from an engineering point of view. What you see in front of you is Adam, the first Angel.”

Karr raised an eyebrow. “How are you so sure that this theoretical concept, actually exists in the form you now show me?” he asked. “If this is really the keystone to the creation of an Evangelist cyborg, then why have I at SONI never heard of it, and why aren’t there a flurry of star nations fighting over it?”

“Simple. I asked one last favor from Trattorian Intelligence before I departed, to search once more for a potential Seed of Life in the brikverse. It turns out that Adam is a recent discovery, detected by Akkadian expeditionary forces on Krysto about a month ago in the aftermath of the retrieval of the Original OTC. They found a bar of orange transparent containing Adam, which had somehow reverted to this immature state. What they did next may surprise you.”

She leaned in on the table, making eye contact with Admiral Karr.

“The RIN, a member of the newly-formed Third Alliance, requested it for scientific study. However, I have reports that they are gathering materials consistent for their own Evangelist, one that would serve the Third Pan-German Alliance.”

She settled back in her seat, crossing her arms.

“This makes it all the more imperative that we attempt to hamper their efforts while promoting our own. If we want to act on our proposal then we’re going to have to gather materials first.”

“So are you telling me that we have to steal it?” the admiral asked.

“Yes. Unfortunately, it appears that we will have to contact the army and the navy to obtain...”

Karr smirked underneath that finger pyramid.

“Oh, SONI has forces all of its own...”

(As a request, does anyone have any suggestions on how to bastardize the name “Kaji”?)
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby The Shadowscythe » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:21 am

(how about Kajett? As homeworld is another series i effing love. Consider it a bastardising of both Kaji and Karen S'jet)
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:23 pm

July 30, G.R. 2011

Agent Kajet observed the twelve-year old redhead prancing in her yellow sun-dress before him. She was already a rising junior in college, and being selected as an Eva pilot had done nothing to suppress her ego.

Of course, babysitting annoying pre-teens was the least of his concerns. For now, he worked as a Scythian sleeper agent in the RIN. It was a covert arrangement after he had hacked SONI databases and sold a good part of the information to the Immortals, but despite his utility and skills SONI understandably kept him on a short leash.

In any case, that vexatious little German fräulein had been his ticket to the space station Lichthimmel, the center of the RIN’s own Evangelist efforts. Not that he was technically supposed to know that- but to his pleasant surprise, the RIN’s database security was even more lax than SONI’s.

“Kajet! Do you know when my very own Evangelist will be ready for me!”

Kajet painted a fake smile and looked towards the Second Child.

“Asuka, you must understand that it takes time to construct an Evangelist cyborg. It will likely be years at the minimum, and until then you will likely be confined to simulation scenarios.”

The girl frowned, but seemed to understand, settling down on a metal bench and working on some homework.

He pulled out his phone and looked over the last order he had received from the Scythians before he arrived at Lichthimmel. They had promised to communicate with him again only near the deployment of the extraction team, which according to a rough timeline would be a few days from now.

He would have that much time to find the location of their little artifact.
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby The Shadowscythe » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:04 pm

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AT fields, we haz them.
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:32 pm

The Shadowscythe wrote:Image

AT fields, we haz them.

The Scythians (in this short anyways) haven't even gotten Adam, let alone an Evangelist or a Rei to pilot it (I still have to figure out when and what to do with her).

I assure you that we are finally approaching an action section though.
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:23 pm

In a darkly lit room, five black rectangles were arranged in a circle, each bearing a number and the red text “Sound Only”.

The 01 monolith, chair of the assembly, commenced the meeting.

“The Akkadian Empire and this organization as a whole entrusts that the Republic of Independent Nations has provided adequate protection to the First Angel. Is the chairman correct in his assessment?”.

03 spoke up in response.

“Affirmative, honorable chairman. The RIN has placed the First Angel in a station neighboring the core worlds, out of reach or suspicion of even the largest belligerent star empires. As further security, a communications blackout has been imposed on all lower-level employees on the station to prevent leaks from within. A fleet, impressive though not too large as to provoke suspicion, has been assigned to the system.”

“Excellent” 01 replied. “We were hesitant to entrust a new member of the Third Alliance with such an important artifact. There will be severe consequences if you fail us.

Additionally, the request for the study of the Second Angel by the Bavarian representative has been denied. It is as yet too precious and mysterious of an artifact to allow foreigners to investigate. For this reason, the Akkadian Empire has in lieu sent scans and information to pertinent parties. Again, though the physical body is not at stake here, we entrust that this information will not fall into enemy hands. Once the Republic of Independent Nations demonstrates practical results from their study of Adam, the request will be reconsidered. Bavaria is now called upon to deliver a report.”

02 finally entered the discussion.

“Honorable chairman, efforts to recover the soul of the Second Angel using the Akkadian scans have been fruitless so far. A request has been filed to utilize the Akkadian Lepton-Isospin Collider Experiment to assist in this effort.”

“This request will be considered” replied 01. “The Prussian Hegemony is now called upon to make its report.”

04 began to speak. “Honorable chairman, Prussian metaphysical biologists, working in conjunction with researchers at an Akkadian laboratory, have finally managed to recover the soul of the First Angel. An attempt to implant it in a human host has been unsuccessful, and a request has been filed to obtain more LCL to facilitate the process.”

“Denied as the Republic of Independent Nations has exhausted the monthly quota of LCL in the construction of the Evangelist cyborg. Project Tabris will be appended to the queue.”

01 then paused, before segueing into the conclusion of the meeting.

“Do not allow these side projects to obscure the true purpose of this organization. As a reminder, the Minifig Instrumentality Project will go on according to the overarching schedule. This meeting is now adjourned.”

Each monolith then blinked out of the room, in descending numerical order.

(A little change of pace, just to sort out various things going on in the story in written form)
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Silent-sigfig » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:28 pm

I personally prefer televangelist cyborgs
BFenix wrote:
Silent-sigfig wrote: :dog:

Coolest 1000th post ever :D
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:22 am

Silent-sigfig wrote:I personally prefer televangelist cyborgs

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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:11 pm

August 3, G.R. 2011

Lieutenant Almos felt uncomfortable in the cramped drop-pod. He was in his SIBAS suit so he knew rationally that the temperature was no inconvenience, but looking at the surrounding dark steel walls chilled him regardless. Drop-pod was his least favorite method of deployment- he had rappelled off Orpheus super hover tanks, marched out of Behemoth and Savager frigate troop bays, but in a pod he always felt a sliver of fear at the thought that once launched practically nothing separated him from the cold void outside. This mission was even worse than typical- the ordinary Scythian drop-pod model seated four marines, but to minimize the chance of losing a pod to point-defense in this mission the team had decided on a single-seater.

A screen suddenly materialized in his view. It was Colonel Katzenberg, a woman who outside of a SIBAS suit had a rather attractive face and hair that couldn’t figure out whether it was just black or a deep shade of purple.

“Our Kentaurus-class destroyer is approaching the target. All stealth measures are still active and Lichthimmel has authenticated our ripped transponder codes. The target is still one hundred fifty klicks away.”

At this range he could faintly see the objective set against the now-seemingly massive beige surface of planet Arminiar. All the visual intel they had before consisted of several poor-quality images and blueprints of the civilian models of this type of station. It was a torus fifteen kilometers in diameter, with two rings surrounding a central hub, three radial elevators connecting the wheels and the center and a space elevator tethering the station to the planet. It appeared to have the gleam and color of darkened titanium, with several red accents and a red rim on each of the rings.

Almos reviewed the mission plan one more time. The outer ring contained military facilities and vehicle support. It lacked a covering on its inner surface to allow mass numbers fighters to come in and out freely, but for the purposes of their mission that would also allow an entry point for the drop pods without severely compromising the structural integrity of the station. There they would hopefully be able to find agent Kajet, who would likely lead them to the inner administrative ring and the central Evangelist construction area, where they would secure the primary and secondary...

Almos’s cerebration was rudely interrupted by a violent jolt as his SIBAS suit’s head hit the roof of the drop-pod. He didn’t even have a chance to rub his throbbing scalp before he heard Colonel Katzenberg again.

“Colonel to bridge, status report!”.

“We’ve taken a hit to the starboard large laser turret. We have commenced retaliation and have delivered the digital package.”

“Launch the package and all drop-pods!”

Oh boy... Almos thought to himself. The worst part of the mission had finally arrived.
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Re: Project E (A Kind-Of Scythian short)

Postby Colette » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:58 am

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Yay, this story is not dead. Granted, this installment is shit, but I'm going to post it before falling into another months-long writer's block.

As his pod raced towards the station, Almos could see the torus’s lights blinking on and off, before settling for darkness dotted by red emergency beams. As much of a bastard as Kajet was, he really had to admire the man’s hacking ability.

The head of his SIBAS suit once again met the drop pod ceiling as Almos remembered the ramifications of the time integral of force- only this time, the door opened and afforded him a view of the fighter bay he had crashed into. The small, primitive RT-powered planes would be no match for a Scythian Katana squadron.

If we had one, that is... he thought, before stepping out and examining his surroundings. To his sides were massive glass walls that looked out towards space and the planet below. Directly in front of him stood a towering structure of girders and cables that connected to the central hub above his head. If only he could reach that elevator without resistance, it would...

He ducked instinctively to the characteristic sound of an RIN rifle discharge, before the RT-particle beam seared a crater in the fighter to his left.

“Careful where you aim, rookie, those fighters don’t grow on trees,” he heard in the distance.

“I can’t, all I have are these red emergency lights” another voice carped.

Almos straightened the grip on his rifle- he had already forgotten about the current darkness of the station thanks to his SIBAS’s wonderful night vision. He scanned the area and highlighted the two targets with his HUD, syncing the aim with his rifle and dispatching the nuisances.

Having gained a moment of calm, he took the opportunity to contact the rest of the team while heading in the general direction of the elevator.

“This is unit 3 reporting in, I would like confirmation that the rest of the team has successfully landed.”

The faces of his other five comrades materialized on the side of his HUD, each replying affirmatively. The pilot of the Titanus mech reported some damage from landing, but fortunately landed right next to one of the elevators. The stern Katzenberg silenced the other channels to inform Almos of Kajet’s whereabouts and intelligence.

“He is currently in the vicinity of building A-14. As you will likely be the last to reach the elevator, you are to assist the Titanus in obtaining as many canisters of LCL as you can. They are clearly marked, and the fluid resembles viscous orange juice. You two are to congregate in building A-8, where Kajet reports the majority of it to be stored. He also warned of the possibility of light resistance.”

“That’s reassuring,” Almos replied, before closing all channels. He had reached the elevator while listening to Katzenberg’s report, encountering no other soldiers. He guffawed at the incompetence of RIN forces, before remembering the virus they had earlier implanted on all of the station’s systems. With no way to communicate, a pathetic defense was only to be expected. He entered the selected elevator and pressed the button for the inner ring.

This mission was too peaceful, lacking the typical adversities and predicaments of a SONI assignment. As the elevator glided towards the inner ring, he anticipated flurries of RT beams and mobs of angry soldiers. He was instead greeted by silence and desolation.

He went to the small warehouse labeled “8”, finding several strewn RIN bodies and the towering red Titanus mech dutifully loading a hover-cart with the steel LCL canisters. This specific model had been specially modified to have usable hands, the railguns instead moved up behind the shoulders.

“C’mon Lieutenant Almos, this cart ain’t gonna push itself. We’ve got to get to the one cargo elevator we didn’t disable.”

Almos grabbed the handles of the cart, somewhat reluctant to put the technological marvel that was his SIBAS suit to such a menial task. The exosuit did negate much of the effort in impelling the load of dense canisters, however.

Motioning to the Titanus, Almos decided to make the report to the rest of the team.

“Well that was an easy mission, Colonel Katzenberg. We have secured the LCL and we are heading towards the designated cargo elevator. We will take the first shuttle we see and escape the station.”

The colonel’s countenance remained stern.

“We have not completed the mission, Lieutenant Almos. Although we have secured both objectives, there are many things that could go wrong before we manage to leave this...”

Before she could even finish, the ambient red emergency lights of the station gave way to brilliant white fluorescent overheads, basking him and the Titanus in a kind of unfocused spotlight.

“Oh shit,” Almos thought to himself, before hearing the signature sound of an RIN rifle discharge. Not an individual noise this time, but a chorus.
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