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Charles Maxwell

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  1. ____________________________ - Incoming Coded Message -- Command Instruction Follows - - Decode Theta Protocol - Gamma83cyan: 1st - - For internal use only - ____________________________ Operation Codename: Gray Demon Planet: Oberon IV (Oberon Confederation) Terrain: River Gorge Time: Night Mission Type: Extraction Raid/High Risk/Covert Operation Payment: 78,473,669.37 C-Bills Command Rights: Integrated Transport Rights: Full Support Rights: Battle/60% Salvage Rights: 30% OVERVIEW In January 3029, the Crayven Corporation entered into a contractual, year-long trial wi
  2. Site 187 7.5 kilometers from the Gellen's Heights spaceport Gellen's Heights, Sheratan III March 11, 3029 ______________________________________________________ The sunlight poured in through the windows of the dusty administration building, columns of golden rays painting pools of oblong-shaped illumination on its old, marble-tiled floor as the doors of the lift rumbled shut behind us. "A fine place you have here indeed," Orlex commented, glancing around. "Finding ready-to-go real estate like this is practically unheard-of." "Well, one thing I learned out in the sticks
  3. Site 187 Outskirts of Gellen's Heights - Sheratan III March 11, 3029 _______________________________ Orlex Jaeger was a diamond in the rough. Despite being a jack-of-all-trades, he'd somehow managed to avoid getting poached by the big mercenary outfits the moment he set foot onto Sheratan, instead dropping from the heavens and landing squarely in our sights. To me, that represented either extraordinary luck on our part, which I largely didn't believe in, or some kind of misfortune or skeletons in the man's closet, which I considered to be a distinct possibility. The latter theo
  4. Meanwhile... Prefect Rafael Gantulga glanced around the Site 187 complex, gazing suspiciously at a motorized trike that was slowly making its way up the crumbling driveway toward the Republic. "I have to admit, it's a bit of an unusual relationship you have here," he observed, gesturing between the overtly-large Crayven Corporation DropShip sitting on our landing pad and the comparatively-diminutive Tana, parked temporarily in the grass alongside the vessel. "A courier company subcontracting out with a mercenary unit that..." The Prefect paused to consult his data pad. "...
  5. "No sir, why do you ask?" Mara Walsh's voice answered. "We've been making good progress getting the Tana unloaded for the first time in months." "Because the M.A.S.H. unit just came tear-assing out of the cargo hold like someone had lost an arm or something, then took out my gate controls before almost running over a motorcyclist," I replied, ashing my cigar over the side of the boarding ramp railing. Tradition held that you didn't ash a fine cigar, but in the moment, I was in no mood to be a cigar snob. "Stand by, sir, I'll call down to the motor pool and see what's going on," Walsh
  6. C.S.V. Republic Site 187 - Aegis Division Compound Outskirts of Gellen's Heights, Sheratan March 11, 3029 ____________________________ With a loud hiss, the seal on the main gantryway of the corporate DropShip disengaged, and the hatch slowly rolled away, allowing golden rays of sunlight to spill into the underbelly of the vessel as the filtered atmosphere of the transport began to mix with the crisp, warm air of the capital city to which we now returned. As my eyes adjusted to the natural light of day, I glanced out across the landscape, admiring the sweeping, emerald grasslands that
  7. C.S.V. Mendacius - Medical Bay Approaching system jump point Epsilon Eridani IV March 3, 3029 ___________________________ I attempted to process what I was seeing. A very-inebriated Steve Jenkins stood before me, bedecked in a lopsided hat, illuminated sunglasses, and a ragged, crimson pimp suit with the crotch and pockets burned completely away. A mass of bright white medical duct tape covered the man's dignity, a fact for which I was immeasurably grateful. Beside Steve stood Nathan Schmidt, his eyes squinted and bloodshot. He looked absolutely exhausted, and I couldn't say
  8. A few minutes later... The medical bay aboard the Mendacius was small, even as compared to the one aboard the Republic. A single room with an attached office and a critical care studio, it was outfit with only six beds, an exam station, an automated dispensary, and a large workbench backed by an oversized monitor at which the attending physician could work. As a result, with the espionage vessel having taken on a relatively large number of patients compared to its capacity - Bishop, who'd only just been discharged, Bridget, our prisoners Doctor Tao and Hu Yingyi, and, of course, Steve Jen
  9. Smithon, Aurigan Coalition Deep Periphery February 2, 3028 ___________________________ "There's another lance coming in! I'm reading a pair of SDR-5V Spiders and two COM-1B Commandos. We need to knock this BattleMaster on its ass before we're outgunned!" Commander Walsh shouted, her voice punctuated by a series of background explosions as her Orion traded blows with the hostile war machine. "I see them," I murmured, wheeling Tyche, my CPLT-C1 Catapult, toward the new blips on the radar. "Lennox and Friedman - move to reinforce Walsh. I'll buy us some time. Keep that BattleMaste
  10. Meanwhile... C.S.V. Mendacius Approaching system jump point Epsilon Eridani IV March 3, 3029 ___________________________ "So when did this happen?" I asked with a smile, slipping my arm around Alyssa's waist and pulling her snugly toward me. "What would that be?" Alissa inquired, innocently, warmth radiating from her hazel eyes as she looked back at me. "You going from being a ComStar acolyte on the lam on Smithon to you calling all the shots,." I laughed. "I think it was right around the time that you said that I caught your eye," Chase responded playfully.
  11. A few minutes prior... Nathan turned toward Nikki and me. "I guess there's a gathering at the bar tonight to celebrate, are either of you interested in coming to the event?" "Thanks, Nathan," I chuckled, "but we're not out of the woods yet. We still need to get our collective flotilla out of this system before the Capellans can respond." Captain Harlow glanced me a worried glance. "That includes you, too, Nikki. Suffice it to say, we've got a pretty big mark on our backs now," I added. "I understand," Nathan replied. "Do you need a hand with anything?" "Thanks; no
  12. A few minutes later... The Hurry Up Bessie gave a lurch as its massive frame eased against the docking adapter of the Mendacius. The crews of both ships had been forced to perform minute and precise maneuvers to navigate the two vastly-different vessels into a hull-to-hull position that would accomplish the rendezvous that William Kauffman had requested. But the gambit seemed to have paid off; after the sounding of several loud and tired-sounding klaxons, followed by the heavy roar of atmospheres equalizing, the green indicator beside Cargo Bay One's entryway cycled on, and we'd cautiousl
  13. I hated being outnumbered and outgunned. Although the arsenal of weapons carried between Hayes, Weyland, Harlow, Jenkins, and myself provided ample firepower to quell most of the situations we could expect to encounter aboard the freighter at this point, the fact of the matter was, we weren't doing anything that a squad of Capellan soldiers couldn't just as easily handle with far more brutal efficiency than our ragtag group of mismatched and under-qualified commandos could hope to muster. CCAF troops were trained to be cold, calculating, killing machines - infantry in the purest sense - and wh
  14. Simultaneously... A flurry of concerned and frenzied shouts, in a language unfamiliar to me, echoed through the corridor as the pressure door slowly rose. I steeled myself, attempting as best I could to shield my physical profile behind the frame of the security robot. Based on our previous encounter with the Capellans, I knew that this time, there would be no talking. No negotiation. There would be only violence. With my free hand, I released the safety on the cover device I'd had cooking in the palm of my hand, casting it forward forcibly with an underhand throw. The grenade tumble
  15. Approximately twenty minutes later... "Well, this would have been a goddamned fair sight easier if our electronics whiz kid wasn't KO'd, but I think we're ready," Bishop announced, slamming the rear access panels of the two still-serviceable security robots. "Here, Cap. This one's yours. Go easy on the controls. It's basically held together with chewing gum and duct tape, neither of which is a metaphor." I nodded, taking one of the two data pads from Bishop. A tendril of cables snaked from its input port, entering the back of the armored platform in a spider web of connections.
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