FRONTIER Providentia

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by William Buttersworth, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    Bridge of the Revenge - In orbit over Providentia Prime - Providentia System - Frontier​

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    William Buttersworth let the glow of the systems star bathe his skin. It did not warm him, as it was simply relayed on the massive displays that filled the bridge. Around him another landfall was being coordinated, moving more supplies, personnel and equipment down to the surface of the planet. This was the 18th landfall they had conducted on the planet and the crew had become increasingly efficient at it.

    He watched as hundreds of Lander's, large rectangular vehicles with enormous drives mounted on their chassis steadily began their descent to the colony below. As he followed their progress, his eyes refocused on the planet itself, its expansive desert, constantly wracked by dust storms, and its temperate poles, green and blue with verdant fields, forests and oceans. Even a little bit of white at the extreme poles and the tips of the mountains that separated much of the desert from the temperate regions. It was a paradise to him, and to many of his crew who were eager to set foot on their new home, however they still had the landfall to conduct before they could.

    They had arrived in the system two and a half years ago. The fledgling city down on the surface was nothing more than an expansive plateau covered in lush, waist deep grass. When the gate opened in the Sol system, William immediately dispatched an Icarus' corvette, which passed through the gates with the coalition fleet. Upon discovery that the gate in Sol lead to a hub, connected to hundreds of other gates and star systems, the corvette deployed probes, aiding and assisting those coalition vessels which had struggled with the strange properties of the newly dubbed "Slow Zone", whilst also exploring many of the systems.

    Upon discovery of a suitable world, in a resource rich system, rife with alien artifacts, William began one of the largest exoduses of the belt, emptying much of New Providence Station into his fleet of freighters, rescue vessels and the newly launched Security Fleet and set course for the gate and their new home. Since then they had steadily moved much of what they had brought with them down to the planet surface and founded their first colonial city.

    And only a year ago, after months of negotiation, taxes, fees and several bribes, the Orbital City Builder, formerly the great shipyard of New Providence Station, arrived in system. It now hung in high orbit over Providentia Prime, producing any and all equipment the colony below needed to survive. It also contained the Core Sanctum, smuggled out of the Sol System after many months of deliberation. It was decided that the safety and security of the Core and its capabilities came before the potential benefits of remaining in Sol System with their increasingly paranoid and erratic governments.

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    Now New Providence Station was little more than a way station, providing a starting point for colonists leaving Earth and Mars, and heading towards the gate. The New Providence freighter fleet forming the first space born wagon train, bearing colonists to the frontier.

    "Landfall is at 50%, all transports are showing green across the board," a member of the bridge crew called out, a volumetric display projecting the progress of each vessels around her head, fourteen in total. Each contained almost two hundred colonists, farming equipment, soil and bacteria, plants, animals and construction machinery and medicine. For many of these colonists, this would be the first time they set foot on a planet. However each had accepted that whilst they had landed on what appeared to be a paradise, life would not be easy. The colony was still many years of being self sustaining and for now they still relied on shipments of biologicals, purchased at exorbitant prices from New Tycho Station. Still, it was a price WIlliam was willing to pay. Soon, they would begin the long arduous process of excavation, revealing the extensive cave networks and alien contstructs which riddled the planet and once they had found a suitable location, the landing of the Core.
     
    #1 William Buttersworth, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  2. Rachel Lei

    Rachel Lei Free Agent of Providentia

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    "Providentia Prime traffic control, this is the Kanyari requesting permission to enter atmo." Rachel said into the microphone. She sat in Henrys chair, next to Damian. The rest of the crew were busy prepping the ship and its cargo for their first landing on the new world but by now would be safely strapped into the crash couches dotted around the cargo hold. In the time since the gates had opened the Kanyari had doubled as a private security and transport vessel, running sorties on behalf of New Providence, protecting its merchant and colony fleets as they ferried belters out of Sol system to the frontier, and also several missions for private employers.

    In their time, they had amassed a significant amount of wealth. However the promise that they had been made by Bill, as usual, could not be ignored. "Come to my colony, help get our first mining project off the ground, set up our first frontier colony and you'll never have to worry about money again," he said, looking just as confident and amiable as the last time Rachel had seen him in the Core Sanctum years ago, on New Providence Station, before it had turned into a hollow husk of a station.

    Perhaps the same could be said of Bill, but Rachel had the feeling that there may be more to Bill than ever before, even more secrets hiding behind those unsettling backlit eyes than when she had handed over to him the most important scientific discovery in the history of mankind. She had never told him that she still had a small sample, hidden on her person at all times. But she was sure one day it would all come to a head and when it did she wanted to be prepared.

    Her thoughts were lost when the planet surface came into view. They were flying over the northern pole of Providentia Prime, the great Orbital City Builder floating nearby in geosynchronous orbit over the first city. "City" was a bit of an overstatement, Bill had apparently landed three freighters on their drives and spread outward from there, even in the daylight the shadows of the massive starships, now permanently built into the fledgling city, could be seen. But her gaze soon moved onto the green of the forests, the blue grey of the vast oceans and white of snow-capped mountain peaks. Behind the mountain ranges that ringed the northern reaches of the world however, spanned a vast desert. This was their destination.

    Rachel pushed forward on the controls and the Kanyari's nose dipped down, pushing them into the atmosphere of Providentia Prime. Flames began to wreath the vessel, filling the glass of the view-port in front of them with a furious glow as fire engulfed the vessel. The internal temperature spiked, and Rachel could feel beads of sweat forming on her brow as the vibrations made her teeth chatter. It was unpleasant, however she was surprised that it felt no worse than a high G burn. As soon as it had begun, the flames disappeared revealing an expansive blue/green sky, white wispy clouds skating across it serenely. Rachel and Damian were lost in the moment for so long neither had noticed the rest of the crew joining the, marveling at the open sky, the systems distant star warming their skin and the snow capped peaks they steadily cruised over before descending into the desert.

    "Why would belterlowda want to live here?" Rachel heard someone ask, over the roar of the engines and the wind outside it was hard to tell who exactly had asked but she knew the answer. Pulling back on the throttle, the roar steadily decreased until she could speak without having to yell. "De poles are temperate, lush, green, lots of owkwa...A nice place to live ya? But de mineral wealth of de world is de desert. Rare minerals, uranium, cesium, lithium, all sorts of things. We are going to help their first mining project. There are caverns...massive networks of caverns dat span the entire planet, dis is why the gravity is so low, it's large but not very dense. You never know, maybe we get to see the inside of a world someday?"

    The Kanyari roared over the desert sky. In the distance a dust storm raged, lightening arcing across its kilometres long front. Above it clouds tumbled and rolled, and down on the surface huge dunes hundreds of metres high rose and fell like the waves of some great ocean. In the distance, rose a series of mesa's, and the jagged peak of a snow capped mountain.
     
    #2 Rachel Lei, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
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  3. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    Bridge of the Revenge - In orbit over Providentia Prime - Providentia System - Frontier

    "Landfall complete, all transports are reporting successful landings. Cargo is now being offloaded, colonists are being disembarked and directed to orientation centres," the smooth voice of the Core AI stated, followed by several whoops and cheers from the crew present. William nodded to himself with a satisfied smile and turned away from the view-screens showing the gently curving arc of the planet. "Thats almost 80% of our original plan completed..." he stated to the crew triumphantly. "The hall of representatives is nearing completion, and with it the first time we form government on this world. I want to thank each and every one of you for your efforts in this project." The crew clapped, celebrating their achievements as well as those of their leader.

    "As with all things, the matter of our safety and security is paramount. We have carved out a special place for us here, however our borders must be secured and alliances forged. Which is why the Orbital City Builder will now dedicate 20% of its output towards the construction of defensive capabilities. One day, the Sol Coalition may decide that we, free men and women they forsook in the belt, are their property, along with the world we are building here. We must be able to hold our own." The bridge was silent, except for the odd murmurings of the Core Node, a smaller version of the gargantuan Core AI stored within the OCB. It's presence was mostly to assist with the complex reloading, power management and targeting of the Revenge's three coilguns.

    "In one week the next fleet of freighters will arrive bearing with it another four thousand colonists, at the same time the OCB will complete its next batch of material to be landed on the planet. This will be the next drop and we must be ready. However we will now begin performing patrols, and station a permanent military presence on our side of the Providentia Gate. I expect you all to update yourselves on these development as they will directly impact us come the next landfall. For the time being, you are all dismissed. Good work today."

    The bridge crew stood, saluted and steadily left the bridge, leaving William there alone. Somewhere down there was an entrance to the cave network and from there the true value of Providentia Prime. The moment they had entered the system those years ago, it was reported the sample of Protomolecule he had brought with him had connected to something on the planet, as if it was reaching out to long lost nodes of a great network. It had also "reached out" to three other celestial bodies in the system, Providentia II, a world not dissimilar to the world they now settled, but with far more water and much higher gravity, and two moons of the gas giant Providentia IV.

    He already had teams on the moons, reporting significant amounts of ruins and "activated" artifacts, whatever that meant. A team was also en-route to II but would not arrive for another few days.His main focus however, was Excavation 01. Already a small town was forming around the pit, which was being sold to the workers as a mine, but in truth it was a front. The excavation was the only point on the planet where its cave networks were near the surface.
     
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  4. Henry Noam

    Henry Noam XO/Pilot of The Kanyari

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    Henry felt a thud as he finally landed the Kanyari on Providentia. Flying through atmosphere always made him nervous, but this was also his first time on the planet–or any planet. He looked to Afza, who was sleeping in the crash couch beside him. The two of them had become close in the last five years, and spent most of their time together.
    "Are we deya ye?" yawned the doctor. She had a bit more of a Belter affectation now, from living on the Kanyari for so long.
    "Just got xiya," Henry said. "Good nap?"
    Afza's answer was to head towards the coffee pot. Henry cut in front and began to pour.
    "Ever go down a well before?" he asked as he handed her the bulb.
    "No, just moons. You?"
    Henry shook his head.
    "We might not be that heavy here," she said. "But it will still be weird."

    The crew stood behind Damian, who gave his usual reaffirming nod before cycling the airlock and letting in the harsh desert sunlight. He pulled out a pair of dark glasses and donned them.
    "No warning? Ówala!" said Mack, squinting.
    "Matching is not cool," replied Damian.
    They stepped from the ship and immediately were disoriented. After some vomiting and laying on the ground, the posse moved from their landing site, up a small embankment, and finally saw the village they were sent to protect. It resembled a settlement in the old American west. The buildings were made mostly of 3D printed mud from the excavation, evoking the adobe houses of historic earth. Unlike the American west, however, there was a fortunate absence of outhouses.
    "Technology is grand, keya?" said the captain, outstretching his hands, turning around, and walking backwards. "A few months ago, this pelésh was just sand. Pagal what humans can do when there's seríp on the line."
    "Sometimes not in a good way," murmured Henry.

    They made their way down the muddy thoroughfare, receiving suspicious and even outright hostile looks from the settlers. Afza and Henry gripped hands until they came to the storehouse. It was another adobe building like the others, the same pale yellow color that stretched for miles. When Damian knocked, a teenage boy answered. He looked about sixteen, with light, greasy hair, almond-shaped eyes, and a long Belter neck, free of the usual tattoos.
    "Na mo fut!" he said. "All gone. Go away. Pashang fong," and he closed the door. A couple seconds later, the door opened again. It was a frightened-looking woman, probably in her early forties, who Henry could tell was the boy's mother by her identical almond-shaped eyes.
    "Du sensa, im young. Nem mi Camilla. Can I help you?"
    "We're from Providence Station," said Afza before Damian could. Camilla seemed to relax. "We brought goods, but we need a wagon or something to bring them here."
    Confusion, realization, embarrassment, and anger flashed across the woman's face in rapid succession.
    "Ooooskaaaaaaar!" she screamed, craning her neck behind her. She beckoned the group inside and sat them on her couches before disappearing to the kitchen and reappearing some time later with snacks on a tray and a disgruntled-looking Oskar beside her.
    "My son is going through his 'me-against-the-universe' phase," she said as she sat. Oskar blushed.
    "Me too," said Damian. "Going on thirty-four years now."
    The captain shot a friendly grin at the boy, who tried not to return it.
    "Hah, well, mi hope im grow out of it soon," said his mother. "Desh dangerous people xiya."
    "Like who?"
    Just then, there was a knock at the door and a demanding voice.
    "Open up, skinny bitch! I'm drunk and I'm hungry!"
    Oskar's nostrils flared. He took an angry step towards the door before his mother put her hand on him and stopped him.
    "Let me," she said. She walked to the door, sighed, and opened it.
    "We're still out of food, but we're about to-"
    The man rushed the door, got inside, and took about two steps before Oskar tackled him and threw him out by the collar.
    "Stay out!" he shouted.
    "Xélixup!" shouted Mack.
    "Ooooskaaaaaaar! I told you to xalte back!" Camilla said. She stared in anger for a moment before her lips curled into a reluctant smile. "And thanks. Thank you."
    "Mi sasa, Matna."
    "Well, let's go. Let's get that food before that happens again."
    "I'm staying here," said Oskar. "In case they come back."
    "No-" started Camilla, before Damian interrupted.
    "Im kang handle im sif, Matna. Let im stay."
    The boy grinned, before remembering himself.
    "Thank you, sir. Captain."
    "Bosmang. And no problem, kid. Hold down the fort."

    The group took the long way back to the ship to avoid the rush from the shift change at the mine. Camilla walked with Henry and Afza, while the other four walked ahead.
    "So, pilot from Ceres and doctor from Ganymede," she said. "And them?"
    "Damian Slavko," said Henry in a sigh. "Yeah, Ivan's son. Don't think much of that, though. That's Mack Makiyama, fong Eros. He's a good time. That's Malik, our chef, make the best white kibble this side of–wherever we are. And that's Rachel Lei. Used to be Bill Butterworth's right hand, but something happened. Now her and Dame are pretty close, milowda pensa. It's hard to tell if they're best friends, lovers, respectful rivals or genuine foes at times."
    "God," said Afza. "That's the most I've ever heard you speak."
    Henry blushed.
    "What about you?" the doctor continued. "How did you get here?"
    "Oskar, his father, and I kom xiya at the beginning. He died in an 'accident' soon after, and milowda been sort of stuck. The man responsible for the 'accident' operated the storehouse, but he was...punished. Neither of us could work the mine, so we got the job. Here we are."
    "And that Earther before?"
    "The previous owner gave extra to his friends, and he was one of them. Tumang think everything free like on Earth. He might come back wit kopeng, we better hurry."
    They loaded up the trailer with the food, medicine, and other supplies from the cargo bay and headed back to town in the Baserunner. Once the storehouse came within eyeshot, they could see a brawl in the street; two men on the ground and a crowd surrounding them. It was Oskar and the man from before.
    Camilla screamed.
    "Take the truck and the trailer and park in the back," Damian said. "And keep an eye on it."
    He jumped out and ran to the scene.
    "Oyé!" he yelled. "Hey, fuck off!" No one moved, so he unholstered his weapon and fired in the air. Some ducked, some scattered, some froze. Oskar and the Earther separated and lifted themselves.
    "Listen, inya," Damian said, holstering his gun and walking towards the man. With his first good look at him, the Belter could see that he was short, of course, with long hair and a mustache. He looked about thirty, and his face was covered in blood. "I just saved your life from this koyo right here. You owe me. Now, milowda na gonya take na mo fong da likes of you, got mi? To gonya fuck off and never come back or I'm gonya shoot you. Go."
    "But I-"
    "Last chance."
    The man opened his mouth but nothing came out. He slinked away without taking his eyes off Damian. From the back ran Camilla, who had been watching fearfully from cover, with open arms. Following more slowly were the rest of them.
    "Stupid boy! I'm so glad you're okay. She she taki taki, Mr. Slavko."
    "Im ta nating," he replied.
    "Unloaded the supplies, bosmang," said Mack. "Baserunner is gútegow." Damian nodded.
    "Well, you know where to find us," he said to Camilla. "Our channel is always open if you need us, and we'll be around tomorrow."

    Once back at the ship, the crew gathered in the galley for dinner. Malik had made his signature white kibble as a sort of celebration.
    "Mi ta showxa that woman ere your kibble tudiye, Malik," said Henry. "And good job handling that scuffle, bosmang, im da we."
    "That kid reminds me a lot of me as a kid," said the captain.
    "I can see it," said Henry. "Da we im rush into that paxo without thinking, mostly."
    "Exactly."
     
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  5. Rachel Lei

    Rachel Lei Free Agent of Providentia

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    Rachel had watched the commotion of the previous few hours without saying much. She preferred to blend in, a difficult feat when you had just stepped out of a starship parked on the outskirts of town, but luckily the rest of the crew had taken much of the attention and she got to focus on driving the Baserunner around. The massive vehicle was unlike anything she had every piloted in the past, its six huge tyres making the rough terrain between the Kanyari and the town surprisingly smooth. She had ferried supplies into town six times now, they would load up the cargo into the rear of the vehicle, head into town, drop it off and repeat.

    In the distance, Rachel could make out the snow capped peak of a huge mountain. They would see if on their approach but being on the ground now made it look imposing. It was the single tallest object in the desert as far as the eye could see, and the more she stared at it the more that feeling of hairs on the back of her neck standing up increased. But it gave her something to focus on instead of the massive, wide open horizon. She didn't particularly enjoy being outside, having thrown up pretty much the moment the cargo ramp had hit the dirt. The sunlight was harsh on her eyes, the wind felt dry and carried with it dust and dirt which she felt stinging her skin, there was also the impending feeling she could just float off into space at any moment. She knew it was bullshit, but it took time to acclimatise.

    Pulling back on the throttle, the baserunner came to a rolling stop outside the storehouse. Hitting a button on the control panel, the cargo bay doors retracted, allowing the staff from the storehouse in to unload the remaining supplies. She slip down the ladder from the cabin and made her way into the cargo hold where the towns folk were unloading. 'Dis de last load. Sasa?" She said, making the belter gestures as she spoke. One of the people nodded wit their fist while the rest walked out with containers under their arms. Rachel grabbed one, trying to help, and walked it into the storehouse where she saw the lady and her sun overseeing the transfer.

    Placing the container down, she nodded to the both of them and left again. The baserunner hummed with a deep, bassy vibration. Rachel was impressed with the vehicle. She had known the Martians were gifted scientists and engineers but the sheer scale and power of the vehicle in front of her was impressive. Hitting a button on her terminal, the cargo bay door rolled shut. A moment later the engine cut out and the rumbling ceased. It was time she did a little exploring, so she walked around the storehouse and down a small path between it and the adjacent building, coming out onto the main "road" of the town. There were two roads in the entire settlement, as least so far. The main strip ran parallel to the edge of the excavation, while the road out from the mine intersected it. The road from the mine was usually lined with carts and vehicles which transported workers from the top to the bottom, while the main strip was lined with stores, houses, shacks selling food and others selling alcoholic beverages.

    As she walked along, she could hear the steady beat of belter music coming from a nearby establishment. As she approached its double doors, a man burst through them, another man in a headlock under his arm. A brief scuffle ensued resulting in the headlocked man being thrown down the stairs to the bar. "Aaaaand stay out!" Yelled the firs,t before straightening his hat and staring at Rachel. "Mah humblest apologies miss, sometaames you just gotta be a bit straight uup with the townsfolks," he said with a thick accent, motioning to the crumpled man at the bottom of the steps who groaned and attempted to push himself onto his knees.

    "Dat's quite de accent you got kopeng," Rachel said, stepping over the groaning man and ascending the steps. The man in the hat smiled through a bristly mustache, before removing his hat and bowing extravagantly. Rachel tried not to laugh, she had never seem someone behave in such a way. It was...unusual and oddly amusing, "Harvey Kilpatrick at your service ma'am, you can thank ma parents for the accent, born and raised in Texas I was, until I decided to made ma own way amongst the star. Now i run this here establishment." he said, seating the large hat back on his head. "And you are?"

    "Lei...uh...Rachel Lei," She said shaking the man's extended hand. Harvey opened one of the doors to the bar and motioned her indoors. Inside she was even more surprised than seeing an Earther running a bar on a far flung colony, playing belter music. THe population seemed to be mostly belters, with a small table to the side consisting almost entirely of Earthers. She walked past them, boots echoing off the printed floor. Several of them stared at her as she did so, but she paid them no mind and parked herself at the bar. "Whats yer poison Miss Lei?" Harvey said, a dishrag in one hand and a glass in the other. "Whiskey."
     
    #5 Rachel Lei, Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  6. Makiyama Yamato "Mack"

    Makiyama Yamato "Mack" Chief Engineer of The Kanyari

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    Mack was in the corner of the bar with Damian and Oskar, the boy from the storehouse. As he put down the bottle he was finishing and wiped his mouth, Mack caught a glimpse of someone familiar.
    "Rachel!" he shouted drunkenly and punctuated with a belch. "Over xiya! Beratna mali was just showing us around. Dis pelésh im xélixup, keya? Milowda been xiya fo wang ora and already seen like ten fights!"
    Oskar looked up, intimidated, while Damian smiled.
    "Oyé, take a seat," said the Captain.
     
  7. Rachel Lei

    Rachel Lei Free Agent of Providentia

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    Rachel knocked back the glass of whiskey before she could taste too much of it, still it burned all the way down and made her cough slightly before breathing out the fumes. "De fuck...did you scoop this out of de Baserunners reactor?" She said, breaking out in laughter. Harvey just leaned on the bar with a trimphant smile, before pouring her another. "y, I declare we've got a right princess in the establishment! This one is on the house Miss Lei, mah compliments."

    She raised the glass up slightly and the knocked it back as well, feeling the liquid warm her stomach. She neamed her elbows on the bar for a moment, looking sidelong as the various people. Surprisingly, she didn't see many OPA tattoos however what she did notice was several people staring at hers curiously. She pulled the collar of her oversized yellow jacket up over her neck self conciously, before picking up a bottle Harvey had left next to her glass.

    She was just about to find somewhere to sit, before she heard a familiar voice.

    Rachel swaggered over to their table and mock saluted Damian, "Yess'ir," she said as she dragged back a plastic chair and slumped into it. "Last place I expected to find you lot, thought you'd be too scared to leave de kanny." She filled their glasses and knocked another one back.
     
    #7 Rachel Lei, Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  8. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Patrolling the Slow Zone

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    "Transition complete, all ships reporting green across the board." Ashoka breathed a sigh of relief, even though she had transitioned dozens of times now it still gave her the creeps. She jammed her eyes shut whenever the event horizon passed through the ship, it made her feel like a scared little girl but the visual distortions is caused in her vision were eerie and unsettling, so she avoided them altogether.

    On the display in front of her, the Frigga was powering up. Lights illuminating its hull as they activated from the reactor up. "Uh...ma'am we're detecting a lot of activity nearby," Suwako said, bringing the sensor readings up on the main display. Outside the gate several construction projects were taking place, four small stations were being built at top, sides and bottom of the ring like directions on a compass. She raised her eyebrow in curiosity. "Make sure you get scans of all of this..." She said, staring at the activity. Dozens of skiffs and construction vessels moved about them, bringing construction supplies from a freighter parked nearby. "We're being hailed," Suwako reported again, looking back and down at Ashoka in the commanders crash couch.

    A woman appeared, wearing a black and grey uniform. She had a tattoo on her neck, one that Karen had seen on many belters. "You have entered Providentia System. State your purpose." She said curtly, without breaking eye contact with Ashoka. "My name is Commander Ashoka of the MCRN, I am here to provide escort duties for the Frigga. We have filed a flight plan." She responded, trying to sound as official as possible. This was an entirely different experience to the Jules Verne System, where she felt like the Nautilans were cowboys from back home, she got a cold, almost unfriendly vibe from the Providentians. As the waited, the task force steadily drifted into positions around the Frigga. The Templar and Spaniard on either side, with the Atrax flying far above.

    The screen came to life again as the Providentians reinitiated contact. "MCR flotilla you have been granted access to the inner system. Your flight plan has been approved and preparations are being made for your arrival at Providentia Prime. You will be contacted again en route with further information. Gate Control out."

    Gate...Control? Is that what they were building here? She buried the thoughts for the time being, there was a mission to complete. "Initiate flight plan, relay orders to the rest of the group," She ordered, "Steady as she goes helm." She felt once again the familiar pressure as the Templar's drive kicked on and they began to move into the system.
     
    #8 Karen Ashoka, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  9. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    Providentia Prime - Northern Polar Region

    William walked through the waist deep grass as it blew lazily in the wind. Here and there small insects, analogs of crickets or cicadas would fly up from his path, catch the wind and be whisked away. The ground felt good on his bare feet, damp and cool, yet soft, and it stretched out for kilometres in every direction, rolling across small hills and intersected with the occasional brook or stream. Here and there strange trees grew, with narrow, bent trunks which would steadily work their way into the sky and then splay out horizontally in every direction, their circular leaves glinting and shimmering in the light from the nearby star.

    As he walked, he dragged his hands along the fronds of grass, letting them pass between his fingers. The world was, as far as he could currently see, a paradise. He knew that just over the horizon to the north west was an expansive ocean filled with strange, otherworldly habitats and creatures. Luckily none had yet been deemed a risk and already he had heard reports of people flocking to the beaches that dotted the coast near the city, and enjoying the water.

    As he walked, a sonic boom pierced the serenity followed by the steadily increasing drone of a landing craft. Looking up and to the east, he saw the vessel flying low and fast over the terrain until it neared him. It then slowed to a halt and settled onto the grass. The ramp at the vehicle's back lowered to the ground and out of it an officer stepped, dressed in the black and grey uniform of the systems security force. She saluted him, a gesture which he returned, even though he felt slightly absurd being bare foot in a field of wavy grass.

    "An update?" He said, crouching down in the grass and looking at the black soil beneath. Worms, or analogs of worms, writhed in the small divots he had excavated with his toes. They burrowed away quickly. "Sir, the Frigga is making its way in system with an escort fleet, they will arrive in six days. It looks like the Martians have been spooked recently and are escorting many high value transports," she said, watching Bill with an amused look as he stood back up, a clump of dark soil in his hand which he broke apart to inspect the root structures within. "Yes that is to be expected. There is talk of Earther Supremacists buying and arming cheap ships, holding up colonies with no defenses in orbit. It is not an issue here, although we can forgive the Martians for being ignorant of what we are trying to accomplish."

    The woman stood, her black hair normally straight while inside a starship, was blowing wildly in the breeze which had picked up in force to a strong wind. The grass rippled around them like waves in an ocean, sending cascading waves and patterns rolling across the landscape. "Sir the Revenge's retrofit is underway in the OCB, the railguns have been removed per our agreement with the Martians, they are being replaced with our Drax-Type Coilguns per your request, and the torpedo tubes have been replaced with missile pods. The pods are a new design from the Core, less y-"

    "Less yield per warhead but four times the launch capacity." William said, cutting her off, staring intently at the strange roots in the soil before dropping it to the ground and wiping his hands. "The other projects?"

    The woman tapped on her terminal for a moment. The wind had died down again, and in the distance William heard three sonic booms, another land fall over the city most likely. "The Daedalus is en-route to the gate, it will arrive in two days. With the fresh supplies onboard it should increase construction speed. Project completion is on track for six months from now." William closed his eyes and smiled, soon they would be free from the UN and their puppets, the Martians on the other had had been more than amenable to his proposal. The meeting with the incoming fleet would be one for the books.
     
    #9 William Buttersworth, Jul 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
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  10. Damian Slavko

    Damian Slavko Captain of The Kanyari

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    "Oskar here wanted a tour of the Kanny, and we wanted a drink, so we found a compromise," said the captain. Mack raised his glass.
    "Drink first, ask questions later," he said. "Ketim to wanya go?"
    "Once I'm drunk. Catch up, Gunny," said the Captain with a grin. "And let me get a refill."
     
  11. Rachel Lei

    Rachel Lei Free Agent of Providentia

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    121
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    "Trying mi," Rachel mumbled, pouring herself and Damian a glass each, and then knocking hers back. The bar was noisy but not rowdy, there were enough conversations going in every direction that she felt almost comfortable, that she could blend in with the rest of the belters...Probably shouldn't have worn your yellow jacket idiot...She thought to herself, before having another drink. A moment later she got up, empty bottle in hand and headed for the bar, when a hand grabbed her arm. "Whats a pretty thing like you doing in a place like this?" Said a Earther, squat and square jawed, he may have even been slightly handsome at one point is he was younger...and less of an alcoholic, Rachel could see, even with her eyes having trouble focusing too well, the collapsed blood veins on the mans nose and face.

    She tried to shake her arm free, "Pashang fong," she swore, loudly shaking her arm. But the mans grip remained and her insult just made him laugh. Rolling her eyes she rounded on him, twisting her arm in his grip, "you let go now, I forgot dis happen." She glared at him, shaking from adrenaline and anger. She helped build this world, her work in Sol made New Providence the power it was, it meant they had to capability to leave that system behind for good, yet the Earther in front smelled the gold in the soil and followed, knowing that they'd be paid for their expertise in mining down gravity wells.

    He tightened his grip and Rachel balled her hand into a fist, pivoting her body, she put as much force behind the punch as she could, slamming the man clean off his seat and onto the dirty floor. "Pashang welwala! Coming to my pashang world and treat me like dis?" She roared, jumping on him and hitting him with her fists.
     
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  12. Makiyama Yamato "Mack"

    Makiyama Yamato "Mack" Chief Engineer of The Kanyari

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    The two men didnt hesitate to move through the gawking crowd toward Rachel and the man. By the time they got there she was on top of him, pummeling and berating him wildly with her fists and words. Damian had only ever seen her like this once before, when they first met. She had almost murdered him.
    They each grabbed an arm and lifted her up, despite her flailing.
    "Calm down, Gunny, let's go fo wa gang. Grab the squat, Mack, make sure he's pointed toward xom then meet us ere the Kanny. Oskar, xalte wit Milowda."

    Mack took the Earther by the collar and dragged him outside. Blood dripped down his shirt and streaked the floor as he moved.
    "Listen, mang," Mack said once they were out in the street. Do you know who you just messed wit?"
    The Earther shook his head dumbly.
    "Das Rachel Lei. Gunner for da Kanny. Ex-something-important for Bill Buttersworth. General badass. Dont let her see you again, get out of here."
    The Earther waddled off, stunned and bloody, and Mack headed towards the Kanny.
     
  13. Rachel Lei

    Rachel Lei Free Agent of Providentia

    Messages:
    121
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    Back on the Kanny, Rachel reclined in one of the crash couches on the bridge, ice packs wrapped around her knuckles. "Du sensa, Damian. Should tenya bang go from de inya...Just made so gova-tet mi." She rested her head back into the couch and exhales explosively, flexing her fingers one hand at a time. The bridge was quiet, Afza stood off to the side looking at her terminal. On it the scans she had taken of Rachels hands zoomed in and highlighted possible micro-fractures, then popped up with various medication recommendations. Damian sat across from her, leaning forward in his couch staring at Rachel with concern.

    "Can't believe Bill lets those inyas walk around here like they own de place...Just cos they've worked on mines down a well...Why not Martians...at least dey aren't so entitled..." She said, sitting up in the crouch. The device sighed with a pneumatic hiss as it reorientated to her new position. Damian didn't say much, just nodded thoughtfully to himself.

    Some time later, a shudder vibrated through the ship, crash couches swinging in their pivots, a couple of stray coffee bulbs falling off surfaces and bouncing around the deck chaotically. Rachel, Afza and Damian exchanged looks and climbed to their feet. Afza went for the comms station at the same time as Damian, while Rachel walked over to the viewport and peered out. In the distance the lights of Hopper's Rock flickered, neon signs and street lights flashing in the darkness.

    A moment later, the shuddering stopped and the settlements power returned to normal. Rachel narrowed her eyes gazing past the village towards the enormous chasm which was the open cut strip mine. There was no plume of dust or smoke rising into the air, a telltale sign of some kind of collapse. She could see the headlights of loaders trundling up paths carved into the mine wall, as if nothing had happened.

    As she scanned the horizon she became away of the warmth from another body next to hers and the familiar scent of Damian. "From the mine?" He asked quietly. Rachel shook her head, forgetting Damian wasn't exactly familiar with the gesture. "No...something else......There!" In the distance, at the base of the snow capped mountain that loomed over the settlement, lights began to glow. Rachel felt the hairs on her neck stand on end as they tinged the same baleful blue of the protomolecule. "Someting out dere..."
     
  14. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Patrolling the Slow Zone

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    [​IMG]
    Karen Ashoka stood aboard the large space station in orbit over Providentia Prime and marveled at the world below. In many ways it reminded her of her own home, the expansive deserts, the dust storms that spanned thousands of kilometres, the Martian vessels floating serenely in orbit...Her vessels...They had arrived a day ago and so far, the transfer of goods from the Frigga was was going well, almost a quarter of its cargo had been loaded onto the Martian landing craft and were behind dropped down the gravity well to the city below.

    She was impressed had how fast the Providentian government had managed to form a functional society. They hired specialists from Earth and Mars, paid them well and in return learned from them the centuries of knowledge of living, working and mining down a gravity well. Belters had no need for developing terrestrial vehicles, so they bought them from Mars. They had no need for boats or fishing craft and no engineers who had produced any, so they purchased them from Earth. Soon enough, the technology would be reverse engineered and they would become self sufficient, but for the time being the small, fledgling nation down on the surface was doing well, better than most.

    That did not stop her from having a couple of run ins whilst aboard the OCB, security was tight. They had allowed the Templar to dock and only her to disembark. The rest of her task force remained nearby. Her movements aboard the OCB itself were limited, and whenever she moved about the station she had the feeling she was being followed. Still, the belters...or rather Providentians, kept out of her way. When she walked into a room or area that was off limits she would be told sternly to leave.

    She was not exactly sure why they had allowed her to set foot on the shipyard, it was obviously back in full production but the locals were suspiciously tight-lipped over what exactly they were building, and why. And since their brief interaction with a Providentian corvette several days earlier, she had only seen one other armed ship. No sign of the Revenge, the locals supposedly illegal cruiser. She had set the Atrax, with its powerful sensor suite, to the task of locating it but so far it had reported nothing back.

    A faint chime behind her signaled that the door to the room she currently occupied had opened. She turned around noticed a truly odd looking man standing in the doorway. He wasn't particularly tall for a belter, although still taller than her, the back and sides of his head was shaved in customary belter form, and cybernetic implants crisscrossed his skull and down his neck. His eyes seemed to glow with a peculiar opalescent sheen which seemed to fade as he blinked, smiled, and then entered the room.

    "Commander Ashoka, A pleasure to meet you. My name is William Buttersworth, former Governor of New Providence Station." He extended his hand, which she took and gave it a brief but firm shake before straightening her back and saluting. "Commander Karen Ashoka, Martian Congressional Republic Navy. Thank you for your hospitality Mr. Buttersworth, I hadn't expected to be allowed off my ship, let alone onto your shipyard."

    "Well, we are trying to show we are not the pirates we started off as back in Sol, we've come a long way now." He said, moving over to the window and looking down at the world below. Storm clouds were concentrating at one of the poles, tiny pinpricks of lightning sparked in the dark. "I never thought we would have the chance to make a world for our kind, much less that I would be the one to lead it, but here we are."

    "Your kind...Sir?"

    "Belter. My Father was an inner, like you, but I am a belter through and through, and this world...so far...is the only one we've found with gravity light enough for us to live without drugs."

    "It is a beautiful looking place. What I hoped Mars could look like one day."

    Out of the corner of her eye she could see the man's shoulders slump somewhat, like a sadness had suddenly overcome him. But as soon as she noticed it, it was gone. He somehow sensed her gaze because at that moment his head snapped to the left, a strange grin on his face. "Your superiors have sent you here for more than just guard duty, I have been told."

    "I'm not at liberty to discuss orders from command, especially with colonial representatives."

    "Of course, but we are not blind. We have been fortunate enough to have the gift of modern technology. It did not take us long to detect your scans. You're looking for the Revenge, are you not?"
     
    #14 Karen Ashoka, Aug 2, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  15. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    63
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    The Martian looked mildly surprised, but any frustration of anger she had was not evident. Instead she smiled thinly and turned her gaze back toward the planet below. "We have to keep track of any armed vessels in the frontier. Including ones which according to our records, contravene several established laws." She was of course, referring to Donnager's Law, a particularly masterful piece of legislation the Sol Coalition had passed when it became apparent they could not control every single colony through political will alone.

    It forbade any of the colonies from having sizable security forces, large armed vessels and high powered weaponry. William knew all this, but didn't care. Soon enough he would be beyond the reach of the inners, they would have their own problems to deal with eventually. Right now however, he had to play nice; Mars were willing to be on their side for a change and Bill had to play ball to get what he needed.

    "The flagship is currently in drydock, right here aboard the OCB. She is having her railguns removed, per the regulations your government has stipulated." In reality it was only partially true, the obvious armaments such as the flagships formidable array of torpedo tubes and railguns were being removed, there was unfortunately no way to hide those and the easiest thing to do was strip them off, mothballs them and weld over their hardpoints.

    In their place, missile pods were being built into the ship's hull, retractable armour plating keeping them hidden from view. The railguns were to be replaced with retractable coilgun turrets, smaller, less destructive, but with much higher fire rates and when paired with the Revenge's high powered sensor suite, able to disable larger vessels with pinpoint accuracy. This next phase of the ship's customisation would begin shortly, but right now was the perfect time to show off the flagship, with its claws clipped and fangs blunted.

    "I have prepared a brief tour, for your convenience. You will of course be permitted to take any photographic evidence your superiors require, as proof of our compliance to the law." He motioned towards the other end of the walkway on which they now stood, where a small, four person motorised cart rolled up.

    ---

    The cart, much like everything else on the OCB, had magnetic wheels which clung to the deck even when hurtling along at high speed. The chairs contained several straps which helps the cart's occupants firmly in their seats, and webbling around its frame to keep any loose objects from tumbling off into the cavernous insides of the OCB. Together, William Buttersworth and Karen Ashoka hurtled through various tunnels and corridors of the OCB, turning this way and that as they drew closer to the shipyards great drydocks.

    William could tell the Commander was getting tired of only looking at the inside of corridors, but smiled to himself briefly in anticipation of what was about to happen. Coming to a halt an an airlock, a display in the wall instructed them to don vacuum suits. They complied, and a moment later were back in the cart. When the AI which ran the station approved of their new outfits, a heavy door slammed shut behind them and the familiar sound of an airlock cycling could be heard, after a moment, the door infront of them retracted into the celing and the cart lurched forwards again. As they travelled along, the bulkheads and roof of the corridor ended, revealing around them an enormous space with vaulted ceilings that disappeared into misty darkness. Above them the Revenge hung in space, hundreds of waldoes, gantries and skiffs buzzing around it, busy with the vessels modifications. Next to it, in orderly rows floated other vessels in various stages of construction. Colony ships, freighters, exploration vessels, survey ships and gunboats. Each lit up with dozens of floodlights and torches and being steadily built by the workers of Providentia Prime.

    [​IMG]

    The cart continued along the unsuspended path which bridged the expansive open space, and slowly came to a half near the titanic drive cones of the Revenge. "Remember to keep your mag boots on," Bill said with a grin as he climbed out of the cart and walked to the edge of the bridge. The Revenge looked so close, Bill felt like he could almost touch it, it saddened to see his flagship being gutted by his own people, only five years since its launch, but the time this step bought him was worth it. "So, Commander Ashoka, is there anything else you need before returning back through the gate?"
     
    #15 William Buttersworth, Aug 5, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  16. Rachel Lei

    Rachel Lei Free Agent of Providentia

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    The moment they had pointed the Kanny's telescopes at the disturbance at the foot of the mountain, Rachel felt that familiar cold, icy dread fill her body. The last time she had felt that was on Phoebe, looking at the aftermath of Protogen's work there. The Protomolecule was activating on the planet, her planet...and they had no idea what to do. The others had left the bridge, speaking of getting weapons and transport arranged. Rachel stayed behind, scanning the scopes and trying to work out what was happening. All they saw was the telltale blue light of the protomolecule, and dusty plumes reaching into the sky. Whatever was happening there, it wasn't calming down...at least the tremors had stopped.

    "It's always when you feel the safest, that's when they pull the rug out from underneath you."

    Rachel jolted out of her crash couch, pulling her hand cannon from its holster and pointing it at the source of the voice. In front of her, her old Captain, Bartholomew Buttersworth stood. His eyes glowed with blue light, and small blue wisps...like fireflies...floated around him. She lowered her gun for a moment, as a sensation of dizziness and vertigo washed over his. "What...what...de pashang...?" She said, confusion and fear in her eyes.

    "Yeah...you never found out what happened to me did you?"

    Rachel felt her eyes begin to sting, her vision blurred slightly. "You died! How the pashang are you here?" Her voice wavered as she spoke, her hand cannon trembling in her grip.

    The Captain scratched his beard and took a few steps toward her. "Wasn't actually dead...almost...but not quite, was one hell of a coma apparently. And all it took was you giving my Son that sample...and him using it on my comatose body and voila, you're being haunted."

    "You're...you're a ghost?"

    "I'm...not sure. All I know is that it wants me to do something...and the closer you get to that mountain...the clearer my thoughts get." He smiled briefly, before bursting into a cloud of blue wisps and disappearing. Damian came up the stairs and back into the bridge and stopped at the door, his eyes on her hand cannon. "You...feeling okay kopeng?"
     
    #16 Rachel Lei, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  17. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Patrolling the Slow Zone

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    Ashoka was distracted momentarily as she gazed at the massive belter vessel. It was a lot nicer than she had expected. Its hull was smooth, well made and the colours of grey and white. Obvious weapon hardpoints had been replaced by large plates of armour, a curious choice for a unarmed vessel, but the frontier was a wild place, she couldn't fault them for beefing up their defences in the face of the restrictions imposed by her government.

    She realised she had not replied to the man who stood next to her, who politely looked out at the view. "Yes, actually. Our records show that your security vessels had at least eight railguns attached to them and as a stockpile of three hundred high yield torpedoes. From your scans we can confirm these weapons have been removed from your vessels, and we thank you for your cooperation, however my commanding officers will require proof. These weapons must be stored somewhere?"

    William Buttersworth nodded as she spoke, and waited several moments after she had finished, as if mulling over something in that cybernetic head of his. "The weapons of which you speak are aboard this station. You are correct, eight railguns in total. Three from the Revenge here, two from the Black Horse, and one each from the three Corvette class's guarding the gate. Our stockpile of torpedoes however, has been dismantled. Their resources recycled and spread throughout the colony. I have the full reports, which have been audted and confirmed by third party observers."

    Ashoka was surprised, most colonies would have put up a significant fight against such restrictions but the man in front of her was offering full transparency. An unexpected turn of events, but not an unwelcome one. "I will need to see the railguns."

    "As you wish," Bill responded, motioning towards the cart. After half an hour of driving through the expansive station, they arrived at a heady metal blast door, with two guards stationed outside. As they saw William approach they stood aside followed by a hiss of the door retracting. Inside, suspended from massive gantries and slings, were the eight formidable weapons. Two of them were easily three times the size of the rest, the heavy rails which were removed from the Black Horse.

    "What are your intentions for these weapons, Mr. Buttersworth?"

    "Please, call me Bill," William responded, stepping into the large chamber. "We have them mothballed here for the time being. The magnets in these devices are hard to come by and we intend on recycling them for use in our planet based mining and infrastructure operations. The rest will simply be recycled into raw materials and used in the shipyard."

    ---

    Three hours later, Ashoka was back aboard the Templar. It had been a long day, and she was growing tired of the strange, unsettling demeanor of the Providentian leader. "Helm, lay in a course for Providentia Gate, transmit our flight plan to the locals. It's time we headed home."
     

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