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Nicholas Schuster

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  1. Meanwhile... "Go ahead and link up with Orlex; he's coordinating resources for these projects," Captain Maxwell said, I'll let him know what we've decided." "What about Bishop?" I asked hesitantly. "Think he'd be able to shed some light on the matter?" Captain Maxwell froze with a look of concern. "Let's continue to afford him plausible deniability for now. We'll cross that bridge if and when we get to it." the Captain said. He was right of course, the last thing we wanted to do was either create an awkward situation between Bishop and the Crayven Corporation, whose contract we
  2. I had been back on the ship for less than 24 hours, and already, certain machinations had pulled me into a murky project that I was already pretty sure was going to involve some ethically-gray maneuvering. It was a foregone conclusion that this was what it was going to be. You don't get pulled off your day job via a really cryptic pitch and a trip down to a shadowy, disused vault if the job is on the level. Especially when the job you're doing is for someone who you don't actually work for who has access to people with much higher-end talents than your own. So that narrowed it down to ei
  3. Hurry Up Bessie Oberon Confederation - in transit to Oberon VI jump point October 9, 3029 - 0100 hours ship's time ____________________________________ I shut off the shower in the communal bathing compartment, watching the water swirl down the drain as I heard strains of Steve Jenkins singing merrily in the stall a few alcoves down from me. Showering had been the first thing I wanted to do when we had gotten back to the ship, even over sleeping. There would be plenty of time to sleep between now and our return to Sheratan. But in the mean time, I wanted to wash away the grime, stre
  4. As the landing craft roared toward the tower, I leaned back against my chair and breathed out heavily. Lt. Orlex's team had somehow managed to get the artifact and get to the roof without further incident. It was almost over. Now we just needed to get back to the Hurry Up Bessie and get home. I had to wonder what the deal was with this artifact. Why so much bloodshed and so much expense was involved in it. I was hoping to have a chance to get a look at it when it was aboard the ship, if Captain Maxwell was willing to let me. I looked over at Book Gamble who fumbled with a medical kit and
  5. Simultaneously... While Steve climbed out of the Landing Craft to board the airship and Book rummaged through the medical supplies looking for a trauma kit in preparation for saving people's lives, I had a task that sat the polar opposite of that spectrum. I was about to become the harbinger of death for an entire squad of assassins who happened to wake up on the wrong team today. Death meeting death. An unstoppable force meeting an immovable object would normally seem to apply, but in this case, there was very little that was going to stop belt-fed 25mm rounds fired indoors, at fleshy ta
  6. Simultaneously........ OptiFire Communications Rooftop security annex Oberon VI - Oberon Confederation October 8, 3029 _______________________________________________ "Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck..." I panicked as I typed furiously into my noteputer while running out of the security building and onto the roof. Overhead, the Hurry Up Bessie's landing craft Gemini roared into view, the 70 meter long ship dwarfing the VTOL sitting on the pad underneath it. Whoever was flying put out a boarding ladder since they couldn't actually set the ship down on an obstructed pad. I shielded my
  7. I watched the securicams helplessly as Captain Maxwell made his way up the stairs, wolflike, stalking his prey. I'd already done all that I could do: locking the doors, and beyond that, I had never seen him in quite this mode before. A cold, vengeful demeanor had taken hold and he'd thrown all caution to the wind, striding into battle as a one man army intent on getting Alyssa back. It was both terrifying and admirable all at the same time. Terrifying because there was a good chance that he might not make it out of the saga alive. Admirable because it was clear he was the kind of commander tha
  8. Meanwhile... "...Bastion, they got *hiss* ...Radar, bastards took her." A cold chill ran down my spine as the words hissed in my ear. I would have attributed it to the rain, but it wasn't raining anymore. "Eden, come again. What happened to Radar?" Orlex pressed. My fingers flew across the terminal's keyboard, shutting down the connection to the military robot's interface and frantically bringing up the building's CCTV feeds. "Rebus to Dionysus and...'Thermo Man'...hold off on shutting down the cameras. Go ahead and kill everything else. We've had a contingency." I transmi
  9. "Sky Team this is Ground Team 2, I hope your EW Ops are going to plan because we need immediate assistance. We've got a Security Bot on the 40th floor that is very angry with our presence, make that two Security Bots, and I imagine there are some on the 41st floor that'll be looking for us shortly. Anything you can do to assist would be greatly appreciated." "Shitshitshitshitshitshit...!" I hissed, "Come on, come on, come on!" I watched in a panic as the Crayven Corporation logo slowly turned on the screen before me, lines of code running in opposite directions on either side of the
  10. And then me and Captain Maxwell went to sleep soothed by the sounds of hundreds of roaches burping fire and that little sizzling sound you hear when fire goes out. It was epic. THE END...... .........OR IS IT??!?!?!?!??!?!?!
  11. Meanwhile... As I circled the helicopter around, I suddenly saw the patrol VTOL that had, moments before, been parked on the roof of the tower, go careening skyward at a ludicrous rate. As it did so, it began to bank harder and harder to the left, yawing drunkenly toward a residential high rise before slamming headlong into it. A flaming fireball lit up the rainy night sky, streaks of fire smearing down the front of the building as the VTOL wrecked into the street below. I watched in shock for a moment and then quickly yanked over on the controls to bring my own helicopter into a sharp de
  12. Simultaneously... I circled the helicopter over the city blocks surrounding the corporate tower, hoping beyond hope that I wouldn't be spotted by the rooftop guards. I didn't know how much time we had left, but whatever amount we were working on, it was borrowed. "Stolen parking spot" definitely wasn't in the cards during the mission brief, and if the patrols didn't cook my goose, the weather or fuel running out would. As I bounced around in the turbulent night sky, I heard Steve and Book checking on on the comms. I let out a sigh of relief...they had made it, against all odds, and
  13. Above the OptiFire Communications tower Oberon VI - Oberon Confederation October 8, 3029 _________________ The VTOL swerved brutally as a gust of wind hammered into its port side, the OptiFire Communications tower sliding out of view and a spray of rain hitting the aircraft's windshield. I cranked up the rate of wiping and grabbed the PDA out of my pocket. “Hey Nick,” Gamble suddenly said, leaning forward toward the gap between the front seats. “I know you’re all badass mercenary guys who do this all the time, and I don’t want to let you down, but I have no idea how to do any
  14. Elsewhere... The VTOL lurched and swayed drunkenly as I nervously lifted it off the spaceport pad, slowly pushing it up into the increasingly overcast sky and squinting at the GPS to try to make sense of where the corporate tower was releative to our position. "Whoa, you fly like I walk after a long night of alcohol drinks!" Steve Jenkins yelled as he stuck his head forward into the cockpit. "Look, flying a helicopter isn't the same as flying a LAM, and I don't have much experience with either." I said in frustration, nudging Steve back into the passenger seat with my free hand.
  15. I stared at the tactical overview, looking at what amounted to a corporate fortress as various animations illustrated its emplacements and security measures. We were basically about to be stepping out on faith. A huge leap of faith that the assumptions made by Captain Maxwell and Lieutenant Wayland were correct. And a huge leap of faith that what we were walking into wasn't a meat grinder. Which it had the increased risk to be as once again, Captain Maxwell was using his Mech pilots as infantry, generally considered a bad move by most tactical experts. The sum of the situation was as I had hea
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