Hailing from all over the vast expanse that is the Sun-Moon Empire, you have all eventually made your separate ways aboard a transport shuttle owned by the Golden Company. You have recently departed from a major trading Ark of Alambil, and are bound to shortly arrive at a smaller station orbiting it. Property of the Golden Company, the space station known as Iridav is one of the freelancer collective's lesser known outposts, but the closest one to your location so you may become part of them.
The five of you are sitting in the passenger area of the Company shuttle, bereft of almost all your luggage save for the clothes on your backs. You are not alone; there are about three or four other passengers aboard as well, although they are either asleep or keeping themselves occupied. The ship you are currently on is a large transport vessel, of the type regularly used by commercial companies for travel within a star system as opposed to long transgalactic flights. Booking this transport was not particularly expensive, and the interior you are in seems to reflect this.
The cabin is somewhat unremarkable, being a spacious, cylindrical area with a plain metallic tone to it. It is rusting slightly in some areas, and the place has lost its tone with age, but it is still in serviceable condition. The walls are lined with plain black leather couches for passengers to rest on, with monitors protruding from the on the ceiling displaying the local news and portholes with a view of space at regular intervals. There are a handful of posters on the walls as well, mostly advertising the local Arena or remind citizens to report any Spurned activity. At the far end of the room is a cube-shaped, idly humming robot of some sort with several thin appendages and treads for legs. Its front displays a list of food and drink that one can order during the flight. Regrettably, there isn't much to choose from on the menu, being limited to a narrow selection of sandwiches and small snacks due to the briefness of the trip.
At the far end of the room, above the robot, is a countdown to your arrival at Iridav Station. Judging from the reading, it will be about 3 hours until you reach it. The Golden Company don't seem to have provided much in the way of on-flight entertainment to pass the time. Through the glass door at the far end of the cabin, you can see another room with more seats hosting other travelers to Iridav; however, apart from the five of you and the other few passengers, you are alone in this section of the vessel.
With lack of many other ways to pass the time, it occurs to you that it may be a good idea to introduce yourselves to your fellow would-be mercenaries.
Tapping my talons on the metallic walling, i hop out of the seat to stretch.
"High time we got out of this can, the higher gravity is a killer on the back.."
"Which one of you are off to sign up for this merc job?" I ask, resetting a pressure valve on my limb. "I want to know my crew before we land."
Pyrite is swaying from side to side slightly, with a big dopey grin on his face. He looks to the other four in the cart, before speaking up with "Well, howdy! Guess y'all're headin' t' Iridav too? M' na-Oh, sorry." he offers, looking over to Riky "O-Oh, that'd be me! M' name's Pyrite! 'S good t' meet ya miss!"
"Yeah? You're with me, then?"
eying the armor and shield, i nod.
"Lot of armor for one pony, i like it! You look like you can cause some damage, Pyrite."
The annoyed looking Veta can be seen lounging on the couch, mostly staring at the countdown clock and her tail tapping against the piece of furniture impatiently. While she would have normally started playing a game on her wrist, sadly, she was bored of the game currently inside it and all of the other cartridges were in her normal luggage.>>683248
"Oh, you're doing this too? And just when I thought I was done meeting the clinic duty regulars," she 'greets' while looking at Risky.
"Guess you can be glad you won't see a bill from me in about a month since it'll be free and no unmotivated interns to screw things up."
"Your crew? Oh, I didn't realize you were the captain!" Hui says in surprise. "That'd be me then too. I'm Hui of the Undisol line. I didn't get your name before I boarded, captain."
"Veta? Well isn't this a surprise! You seem as cheery as i left you a while back. Keeping up with Brimstone? Lost track of the big guy ages ago.">>683253
"Aye, i kept low 'till we were out of station range, i've got quite the rap sheet."
"You've probably heard of the scourge of open space, the wraith in red, Captain Risky Hooves?"
"Mhmm! I can take an awful lotta damage, an' I can do an alright amount m'self! Pretty dang good at keepin' other people up an' at 'em too!" the large earth pony says with an excited nod>>683252>>683253
"Oh! Are y'all gonna be on th' team too? Good t' meet ya!" he (almost) shouts "Guess you're a doc, then?" he asks, pointing at Veta "What do ya do, Mr. Hui?"
The breezie, having until now resting on top of one of the monitors, peering over the edge and checking the wiring - given how the quality of the video feed seemed to be lacking something as far as her knowledge of this model was concerned - perked up at the voice of unicorn. Sadly, it wasn't the case of the landing party coming to greet them yet. Nonetheless, someone to have a chit-chat with was a preferable option, given the potential time until arrival.
She swooped down round the the mare's vicinity, casting a curious gaze at the piratey-looking pony.
"Oh, yes, yes, definitely so! This is gonna be great! The Company seems to offer so much here… hey, name's Teal! What's yours, miss? You look like a wanderer. Are you one? Do you plan to join the mercenaries to wander more?">>683249
"Pyrite! Name like a mountain, you reverberate positively so, sir, whaaaaaa, i feel your voice resound, gonna get used to it… or is it just the ship? Hey, are we boarding yet? No, we're boarding yet. Wow, you sure wear a lot. Do you work out a lot, sir?"
"You could say that, yeah. A wanderer of a type, though i've not done much wandering lately, no ship and all."
"Y'seem busy up there, just what are you up to?"
Pyrite leans in, lowering his voice some "Shucks, good t' meet ya, Miss Teal! And, Mhmm! I used t' be a miner b'fore joinin' th' guard, so I was always workin' out in one way 'r another."
"We don't get to hear much of the outside while we're in our training, so I'm afraid not. Any topics I should avoid bringing up?" he asks, lowering his head in respect.>>683257
"I'm a soldier," he answers, unsure of the climate around magic among the crew. "And a collector for the Undisol family's research."
"Sounds good t' me! And, uh… I can't think 'a any topics ya shouldn't bring up."
"Cheery, right, sure," she says with a roll of her eyes, "anyway, nah, haven't seen the canned dragon meat in a while. Kind of surprised honestly; figured I'd see him overdosing on whatever it is he shoots himself up with.">>683257
Veta rubs on of her ears at the loudness of Pyrite's voice.
"No, I just carry this med school degree around for funsies.">>683259
Her gaze goes to the breezie, and she gives a groan.
"Great. Now I actually have to measure my own doses.">>683263>>683262>>683261>>683259
"So a 'soldier', a tiny butterfly, a pirate missing a limb, and a stallion head-to-toe in armor."
She shakes her head.
"Good grief, gonna have my work cut out for me. But hey, when it rains, it pours I guess…."
"Oh, really? Wl as long s ya have fun, I suppose." he says, without a hint of sarcasm
stumbling, i recover and clear my throat.
"W-well I've got a less than legal reputation to keep going, The company didn't exactly vet their pick for positions."
"Y'look level headed enough, what say you help with the negotiations? I've never been good with deal-making. A mare of action, you know how it goes."
"Understood, captain. I don't like to throw the family name around too lightly but most folks have respect for it, so they won't be much trouble with me around."
The Breezie adress both the unicorn and the diamond dog, taking turns looking from one to the other as the conversation goes on.
"Woooh, you know each other? Small galaxy! Wait, regulars? You mean you got treated often, miss Risky? Before joining the mercenaries? Jeeze, where did you work? Also, what might be your name, doctor? You are a doctor, right? Can we call you one, like now? Are the mercenaries officially cooperating with the health care system now? Wait, no ship, miss Risky? Oooh, gotcha! Wonder what we'll be having as ours. If we do. Like, they might just drop us undercover in the middle of some jungle at the other end of the galaxy, right? But hey, we're bound to get a ship eventually if we go high enough, right? And oh, that thing, eh? Seems like a model from the AX 3t4d line, but the crystalization looks just so off, like it could use calibrating. Maybe something with the core… meh, wouldn't be surprised. This whole cabin looks like it could use some refurbishing. Hope we see better once we reach the station.">>683262
"Ohh, appreciated! Say, mister, if we end up together, I'm gonna have a mighty need for someone like you. Probably. Not sure what they'll want us with. But some parts are just so heavy, aaaah. Probably not as heavy as your armor though! You a guard? Ohh, bountiful, the mercs could probably see from a differing viewpoint. All benefits..">>683263
"A soldier! That is great! Why are you changing from being a soldier though, then? Oh, or are you gonna be both a mercenary and a soldier? Twice the excitement, twice the benefit? Also, collector? You mean, like a hobby? What is that you collect?"
The more the little breezie talked, the tighter her eyes squinted at it. When there peace once again, she took her time answering as she reached in and grabbed a bottle, shook out some pills, and looked ready to take them. However, another glance at the breezie resulted in her shaking out a few more.
"Just called me Veta," she says after dry swallowing all the pills.
"What? Oh. No, this is all part of my preexisting duties to the family. Historically, they preserved many artifacts of old world culture, media, history and technology that would've been lost otherwise, so collection is all business as usual for them."
"Sure thing, miss! And it ain't too big 'a deal f'r me. I'm awfully big, so heavy armor ain't too huge'f a deal."
At Veta's reply, the Breezie laughs heartily.
"Oh, you have a sense of humour, miss! I like your already! And hey, can help with dosing if that's a deal! Just tell me what's the regular value, pretty used to being a tiny butterfly in this world with the doctors and apothecaries having meds cut out for bigger ponies already! I mean, not wanna intrude on the medical busisiness, if it's serious and you have a legal reason to do things yourself, but hey, count me in for help when that's concerned! Veta, that's such a nice sounding name! Kinda sounds like a veterinary though. Is being a doctor your family business?">>683276
"Oh, that's so exciting! Past technology holds sometimes as many mysteries as the future, aaah… like, sometimes, you backtrack the way of thinking of those genius inventors and you come to new conclusions just by applying their way of thinking to new technology; it's amazing! Like they were living up till this day! Plus, that's a lot more you're mentioning, jeeze, sounds like quite the collection! Are you becoming a mercenary to look around for more?">>683278
"Yay! Awesome to hear that, thank you! I'll make sure to get back to you on that one!"
Time passes aboard the transport, and before you know it, you are arriving at Iridav. You had been told that it was one of the smaller Arks, and it definitely shows from the outside. It's not much more than a large hunk of metal floating in space, vaguely shaped like two femurs stuck together. Not much to look at, but then again, these sorts of places rarely are. You watch as your transport moves closer and closer to Iridav, a large square panel on its surface opening and your vehicle passing through a barely visible rippling force field protecting the base itself from the outside.
After the vessel finishes docking and the doors are opened, you gather your luggage and exit the transport into Iridav's interior, you enter what could only be described as a very large bar of sorts. It is dimly lit and circular in shape, with several alcoves at regular intervals along the perimeter. At the room's center is the counter, also circular, with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages being advertised. A spiraling set of stairs around the bar lead to a platform above the counter, which is home to a DJ set which is currently unoccupied; instead, faint, tinny electronic music is warbling through the speakers around the room. Air vents on the floor emit vapor, making the room rather hazy in appearance, the bright yellow and blue lights piercing the faint mist about the place. The are is filled with about two dozen Golden Company mercenaries of all shapes and sizes, taking time between missions to relax and enjoy a good drink. Some of them eye you up, judging you to be newcomers from the luggage you carry, but no one steps up to welcome you. You notice many of the bar's patrons are gathered around the far wall, which hosts a huge digital billboard, although you can't see what is written on it from where you are.
You recall that to enrol as a mercenary, you were recommended to speak to the one in charge around Iridav, a griffon named Gwenael Carrith. Looking around, you can see quite a few griffons among the crowd, but none of them strike you as looking particularly leaderly.
"Tch. much as i'd like to fire a few rounds to get their attention, they'd probably return the favor."
making my way further into the bar, i try and listen in for anyone barking orders or looking the part.
[1d10] SearchRoll #1 5 = 5
"Of course. Easy transport, easy pay, wide ground covered. Much more efficient than just trying to pick up leads independently. And what brought you here?">>683282
He goes up to the counter and asks to see Gweneal Carrith.
Veta holds her face in her mechanical hands, wishing the hydrocodone was faster acting.
"Oh for the love of…," she mumbles to herself, then looks at the breezie. Annoyed.
"No, I'm fine. I've treated breezies before, just remarking it's going to be a pain that I can't just take a pre-measured syringe and just jab it in you."
"And no. I have no idea what my family does anymore.">>683282
Reunited with her luggage, Veta digs in it really quick to pull out a game cartridge and swaps out the old one. She sighs.
"Finally, now let's see if I can finally beat the speeder bike level."
Veta manages to follow the group, even while playing her game, though in terms of finding Gweneal, she just shrugs and walks around the place. Mostly to look at things in between the occasional PAUSE screen, though not paying mind if she bumps into anyone.
>bumping into Gweneal…literally
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
"Shucks, I ain't really sure which one's who we're lookin' for… I ain't th' best at this, so I think I'll jus' follow along with y'all."
"Waaaah, no welcoming party, but instead, this whole place looks like one ready for a part instead!"
The Breezie eyes up the place, itching to dart in the crowd and see stuff from up close. She doesn't do that until after she responds to hear possible teammates-to-be, however:>>683284
"Oh, I'm sure they wouldn't mind you having a few shots over at the counter, teehee.. wanna get some later?">>683286
"Sounds like a perfect combination indeed! And as for me… oh, I'm actually already in the job. Just seeing what this company has to offer…">>683287
The Breezie stops, seeing the Dog grow annoyed close to mentioning the family and stops there, thinking it might have been that paw that she landed on, painfully so. She decides to give her a moment. It was a new situation for those here, after all.
Having done all that, she does as initially intended, grabbing her Breezie-sized belongings and getting to searching the place.
>Getting lost in the crowd in search for this one specific griffon
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
You make your way to the other end of the bar area, where you can see that the billboard has a rapidly changing list of available and unavailable jobs in a somewhat garish glowing green font. A huge, rectangular robot is controlling it, taking orders from the mercenaries gathered around it and updating the jobs rapidly. You ask one of the mercenaries, an older mare in a beige hoodie and an eyepatch, if she knows anything about Gwenael's whereabouts. The mare simply shrugs and mumbles something about a certain Camus.>>683286
You are greeted by one of the bartenders, a young-looking unicorn with a red jacket, thick glasses and a scruffy beard. "Bad timing," he grunts as he washes one of the glasses by hoof. A nearby out of order robot explains his doing so. "Gwen just left a few hours ago. The big boss wanted to see her, I don't know about what. She won't be back for a week. If you need anything, go down below and talk to her sister Goldie. She might be able to help you. Now, can I get you a drink or…?">>683287>>683290
You can't see any griffons who might be who you're looking for, unfortunately. She might not even be on Iridav.>>683295
You get disoriented as you fly around the bar, ending up getting tangled in the wires of the abandoned DJ set above the counter. It takes you more than a little while to get unstuck.
Pyrite sort-of follows along behind Risky Hooves, frowning a little and shrugging "Huh. Guess we oughta look 'round more, 'r see what th' others found?"
working my way through the crowd, i spot Hui near the bar and try to wave him over.
"Hui! Y'see any sign of this griffon we're after?"
"Aye, i'll check with Hui, maybe he's got something. Barkeeps know their clients."
Veta finds her way back to the others, face still in her game.
"Welp, I didn't find who we're looking for. Any luck with you?"
"Hardly. That board over there has job listings, besides that i've got nothing."
Hui shakes his head to the drink but thanks the bartender. He waves down the other members of the party as they look around. "Change of plans; Gweneal's meeting with one of her higher-ups. But, we can still get what we need from her sister Goldie. Right this way, everyone."
Sticking close to Risky, he leads the way downstairs to find Goldie.
"Oh, just what I love," she begins, her voice dripping with sarcasm, "a patient who can't keep their own appointments. They just really, REALLY make the day worth waking up for."
"Right. First mate Hui, lead the way!"
pushing through the crowd behind you, i keep an eye on the others to make sure we're together.
Pyrite nods and follows along happily. He looks over at Veta, before chuckling a little >>683311
"Glad they make ya feel that motivated!"
"Gah! One time I'm not chasing after tech and I get entagled by it in return. Talk about irony."
Teal does her best to make her way out of the vine-like cables. Afterwards, she makes use of the elevated spot that the DJ set was resting on to see over the crowd and scan it from there… and while she didn't get a clude regarding the griffon's whereabouts, she did spot the whole party heading for one specific place.>>683303>>683305>>683306>>683309
Although at first she thinks that the party went straight for something stronger to have, it occured to her after Undisol explained the situation, what is what.
"Oh, gotcha. Well, huh, Not what expected, but hey, let's see what this station has to offer in urgent situations like this one! Great measure for how things stand overall."
That being said, she flies after the party.
"Yes, motivated enough to get sued for malpractice."
This is gonna be a long trip.
When the bartender said Goldie was down below, it was meant quite literally. Following the signs, you leave the bar and go down a spiral stairwell, covered in graffiti and with barely functioning lights making it difficult to see. You're a bit tuckered out by the time you get to the bottom, which seems to be a very large workshop of sorts, with several speeders and robots in varying states of repair lying about. There are racks upon racks of mechanical bits and pieces, and thick transparent containers containing oddly glowing magical crystals. There are four or five functioning robots working on a particularly large vehicle, although from your point of view you'd say it's beyond saving. It looks like it was in a particularly nasty collision. One end of the workshop seems to be an airlock leading into outer space.
Flapping about the workshop is a griffon, presumably Gwenael's sister Goldie. She is hard at work on the same vehicle as the robots, wearing a set of filthy blue overalls and a welding helmet. She doesn't seem to notice you at first, but eventually turns to face you. "…Um, hi. Can I help you? You seem lost." Her voice is somewhat muffled underneath the helmet, and she is still absent-mindedly clutching an active blow torch.
"Ah, you must be 'Goldie'. My crew and i were looking for your sister, though it looks like she's away."
"We'd like to sign up for this mercenary company you two are running!"
"What she said," she says with a head jerk, but walks over to one of the speeders with some genuine curiosity.
"Damn, now I'm wondering if I remembered to lock mine up before I left for this."
Teal did not expect that kind of scenery when the second-in-charge was mentioned. However, it was a pleasant surprise. Leaving the official talking to the bigger ponies, at least for now, she looked around, taking in the details of this tinkerer's abode.
The vehicle being worked on caught her eye… at first it looked so damaged that it was difficult to see what sort of a machine it was. Teal squinted her eyes, scanning for any telltale, undamaged parts, hoping to draw a conclusion from that basis.
What is it that could've had a collision in a space station? Did one of the fighters have a crash landing of sorts? Would explain the airlock nearby. As much as it was likely that some transportation machinery was used on the station, it seemed unlikely that any would travel at high enough speed to warrant a collision of those proportions..
Roll #1 9 = 9
He waits patiently while Risky explains the situation.
"Hiya! M' name's Pyrite!" he almost-shouts "We're lookin' f'r Gwenael! She was supposed t' give us some stuff t' do, I think. You know where she went?"
"Hm? Oh, right. …Well, we don't run the Company, of course. That's Camus' job. Gwen's just in charge of this facility, and I'm in charge when she's not around." She shrugs and puts out the blow torch, tossing aside carelessly. "Which she isn't. So I'm your boss for now. Goldaline Carrith." She extends her claw in a handshake. "You can call me Goldie if you want." >>683327
They seem to be of the racing variety, built for speed and agility. They remind you of the racers in one of your video games.>>683328>>683330
They seem to be made for racing, although the reinforced sides and the spikes jutting out make you unsure of their legality. This one must have crashed during one such race. As you examine the vehicle, one of the robots stops its work and turns to face you curiously before continuing its work. It is about the size of a pony, hovering above the ground on a repulsor of some kind. It's shaped kind of like a trash can with tons of spidery arms, and a head shaped like a dinner plate with one central blue eye.>>683331
You cradle your spear idly as Risky handles the talking. Goldie looks at the magical crystal curiously, but makes no comment on it.>>683333
She nods. "Nice to meet you, Pyrite. The thing with Gwen is, Camus called for an emergency meeting of all the Golden Company leaders at the last minute, and she had to leave just this morning. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but it is Camus Farshaw after all. You can't really say no to someone like that." She seems intimidated by this Camus character, whoever he may be.
Goldaline, or Goldie for short, hops off the vehicle and takes off the helmet, revealing an equally dirty face underneath. The griffon has large, bright blue eyes, and the feathers on her head are spiky and dyed purple. She grabs a relatively clean rag and begins to clean her face. "So you're new here? I hope you know what you're doing. This line of work is dangerous, and… Well, meaning no offence, but some of you don't look like you have much of a rind on you. I could be wrong, of course. I'm not much of a judge of character."
"Now then, if you really are willing to join the Company, then you're going to have to prove yourselves first. It's how it's always been done around here. We send you on a mission of our choice, then depending on how you handle it we decide if you're allowed to join the Company. You get a cool badge out of it and everything." She digs around in her pockets for a moment, eventually taking out a holographic pad with the same garish green text as the billboard in the bar upstairs. "Hm… Let's see… There's actually a few jobs available right now. Tell you what, you seem like a good enough sort, so I'll let you pick what you do. Just don't tell Gwen about it, she hates bending The Rules. They're guidelines, I say." She snorts derisively.
"Now then, if you really want to be part of our dysfunctional little family, you have a choice of the following:"
"There's a scientific outpost called Haxan a few systems over that was hit by a meteor and almost entirely destroyed. You might have heard about it, it was a pretty big story. Huge property losses. The company that own it, Polybius, they say there's an object still remaining in the ruins. A beacon of sorts, that has a recording of all the data they've obtained so far. They want us to go over and retrieve that beacon for them. The scientist in charge is around here somewhere. Annoying little fellow, buthe's offering good money. 300 florins for each of you, plus you'll be in Polybius' good books."
"The other option is bringing in a bounty on these two jokers. One's a mad scientist of sorts, the other's his croney. They've got the death sentence on a bunch of Arks. We think they're somewhere on Alambil back where you came from. We think that they're going by pseudonyms, Sawkee and Roofoo. Could be dangerous, but the reward is worth it. 500 for each of you."
"Both jobs are pretty promising. I'll leave it up to you guys to decide." She looks up from the pad and looks at you patiently.
Returning her handshake with my talon, i take a look at the miniature job board.
"Hmm.. We'd be needing a ship for either of these jobs, something i'm fresh out of. Don't suppose you've got a vessel for us to borrow, eh?"
Miss Risky Hooves seems t' be th' boss, so she's probably got first dibs on what we're gonna do f'r a job.">>683342
"Which one d'ya think looks best, Cap'n?"
"If we're lookin for the fastest way to be hired that beacon job sounds simple enough. We'd just need a ship to reach it."
"As much as I want to go after the data recording first, those two bounties sound like they're a threat to everyone they're around if they've earned the death penalty. Taking them out'd earn us enough fame to get bigger and better jobs in our inbox. What's your priority, captain?"
"Aye, you've got a point there. If we took those two down that'd only make things easier for us!"
"But where would they be? from what she said they could be anyone on that ark."
Veta looks over the speeder while Goldie talks. Getting back with the group, she yawns a bit.
"Hmm…well, we can either act like a bunch of cops, or we can do some salvage recovery. Either or, I expect nothing but a 'good time' from both," she says with a sigh, "personally, I'm all for easy work at this point."
She moves closer and lowers her voice so only the group can hear, but mostly for Risky.
"Plus, if this is Polybius wreck, there could be some…other things that may have also survived. Not sure about you, but I always enjoy a good bonus when I put up with annoying people all day."
"Sounds good t' me!" the stallion says with a dopey grin
"Better to leave criminal catching to the empire's lapdogs, true. They'd sooner arrest me than accept the bounty.">>683340
"Where's the contact for that beacon job? Retrieval sounds like a good start."
Having had some time to consider, Teal adds briefly, getting her more serious side on:
"It seems quaint Polybius would wish for mercenaries to dig through their outpost's remains instead of a more specialized squad. Doubt they're low on ponies for it. It's almost as if something was missing in the picture. Does thiscompany run a 'no questions asked' policy?" - she addresses the last words to Goldaline.
"That's what the transports are for," she answers. "The ones you arrived on. You wouldn't be in charge or anything like that, but they'd get you where you need to go. I know they're not really optimal, but unless you can afford your own ship, then you'll have to make do.">>683350
"Well, we do have some leads," she says, tapping away on the data pad. "We know what they look like, and where they've been spotted recently. The PD suspect these two to be connected to some disappearances lately, suspected murders considering who we think they really are. I can give you all the info you need if you have pads of your own." >>683351
Goldie nods with a slight grin. "You know what's up. I'm sure they'll be happy to turn the other cheek if you "recover" a few bits and pieces here and there. That beacon is valuable to them, after all.">>683355
"Oh, he's around. We've offered to shelter him here on Iridav until his situation is taken care of. I'd rather be rid of him to be honest, but we have to be good with our clients.">>683356
She looks around confusedly for the source of the voice before spotting you. "…Well, let's just say more often than not they'd like to avoid getting tangled up with the bureaucracy. As far as we're concerned, all we have to do is go there, find that beacon, and bring it back here. It's better to be in Polybius' good books than risk annoying the number one R&D group in the Empire."
"…By the way," she says to you all, "if you guys are interested, I know a used ship salesman down on Alambil who deals with us on the reg. Sleazy little guy, as you'd expect, but he has pretty fair prices. I'm sure if you rake up enough money you'd be able to afford one from him in no time. I can give you his name and address if you want."
"They're a big time corp, so odds are, there's probably something in that beacon of theirs that wouldn't sit right with the general public. Kinda hard to stay on top if your PR sucks."
She gives that last statement some thought.
"Well, I'm an exception to that, but then again, I'm just a dog who doesn't have her real arms, not a corporation."
She gives a small chuckle.
"A lot easier to buy the silence of a bunch of mercs than let one of their own blab about it.">>683360
She smirks back to Goldie with a knowing nod.
"Sure. From how Risky is sounding, I think it's been awhile for her."
She has a sly smirk.
"I'm talking about piloting a ship, of course."
"How much are they paying to make sure that the information contained in the beacon stays on the beacon?" he asks, glancing around the room for anything suspicious like cameras or the client. [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"Alright, we'll take the beacon Job, Goldie.">>683363
"I heard that, Veta."
"Though you've got a point, I've been back to square one since our last ship. Not even a vessel to my name, sad indeed!"
Having taken in the wisdom of both the griffon's and diamond dog's words, the breezie replies:
"While the bounty hunt is officially more rewarding, it's usually a mostly graceless job. Doubt we'd see much interesting stuff by choosing it. Furthermore, the salvaging seems suspicious, so by the value of those, it has my vote."
"S-Shucks. Any idea how we're gonna get a ship?"
"I wasn't trying to be subtle about it," she replies, tone going a bit more dull again.>>683368
"From what I hear, most merc work is suspicious. Might do some things you might regret. For example, I might treat someone that, in hindsight, I shouldn't have. Though, I feel like that a lot. Either way, if you don't think you're up for it, well, one less thing for me to jab a syringe or pop a pill into."
"Great. Now then, remember this: The workshop you want is at 601 Cavendish Road, in the Solaris District. You can't miss it, it's the biggest building around. It's the owner you'll want to talk to. His name is Patches. Silky Patches. Earn your Company badge, show it to him and he'll be sure to give you a discount. Just heed my advice and try not to show that you're new to the Golden Company. If he knows you're new, he'll try and pull some parlor tricks on you and sell you a crap ship.">>683366
There's no cameras or spies anywhere in sight.
"I don't deal in finances," she shrugs. "I'm not even in charge around here, my sister is. It's Polybius though, so I'm guessing it's a lot.">>683367>>683368
"Splendid!" She beams. "I'm sure you'll do a great job. The guy you want to talk to is on level 3, room number 8. We're on level 0, for reference. His name is Wolfgang Rivers. Or Dr Wolfgang, as he insists on being called." She rolls her eyes. "He'll tell you everything you need to know. When you're done, come back here and I'll set up a transport for you to the research station."
"Oh, by the way, I don't think I got all of your names, apart from Risky. Just need to add you to the list as newcomers, that's all." She gestures at her pad.
Teal offers Veta a moderate smile.
"True, tiz the nature of this line of work. Don't get me wrong though. I wouldn't mind either, it's just preference of one over the other."
"Sounds like Goldie knows a ship seller. All it'd take would be some credits to buy us a ship."
"Level three, room eight.."
Nodding, i make my way over to the staircase.
"i'll wait for everyone to sign in, best we all see this 'Wolfgang' together."
"Oh, right! I'd best get my name on there!" he says, before walking a little closer "M' name's Pyrite! Like, th' mineral."
He puts in his name, then follows Risky back up the stairs.
"Oh, I don't think it's going to be that hard to remember."
Veta replies as she types the information into her PDA, making sure to put in bold 'Typical Used Shipsalesman' as a sort of reminder of what to and what not to do.
"Oh great, one of 'those' doctors," she remarks dryly, "welp, let's go meet the contact with a degree-inflated ego. I'm sure he'll be a treat."
"Oh right. Officially I would be Dr. Veta, but since I'm on work leave at the moment, just Veta."
She looks at Goldie seriously.
"Please, for the love of shiny gems, just leave it as Veta. Last thing I want is everyone coming to me just because they have the sniffles."
Teal thought to herself as the echo of the first part of Goldie's last sentence carried a different air than the rest of it. For a thought, it appeared as if there was an actual attempt on the company's side to record all the rookies before they get shot down. In the end, it was all formalities though, huh.
Not letting that brief flow of thought come to the surface, the little mare presented herself, saying aloud:
"Teal Drop. Looking forward to see what this place has to offer, miss Goldie."
Miss Goldie… of the Golden Company. Coincidence, that one? - she wondered.
The breezie takes look at the list before signing it, checking how many of newcomers are there as of now. She was meaning to gauge the flow of fresh blood in this place.
Shortly before leaving, she allowed herself one informal comment:
"By the way, that's one fine piece of steel you got there. Bet it'll shine once repaired… added those modifications yourself, perchance?"
She nods. "I'm sure he'll have less of a mouth on him with the lot of you around.">>683375
"'Pyrite'," she parrots as she taps away. "Well, that's easy enough to remember I suppose.">>683376
It takes her a few attempts to get your name right, and you have to spell it out for her several times. "So you're one of them mages then?" she muses. "I mean, not that that's a bad thing. Just don't really see your kind around here very often. Interesting.">>683377
"Veta? Just Veta? No last name?" She looks at you oddly, but puts it in anyway. "Fair enough. Welcome aboard, Doc," she says with a cheeky grin.>>683378
"Teal Drop. Right." She types it in. "Well, I'm sure you'll learn for yourself soon enough. It's a pretty big commitment, being part of this place."
"Hm? Oh no, it came like that," she says in response to your question. "It's a hobby of mine really, fixing all these broken things. I'd like to work on a proper ship, but Gwen won't let me. They need me here I guess. Still, I shouldn't complain. I can tinker away in peace, and nobody's shooting at me in here." She smiles and starts getting back to her work as you and the rest of the group prepare to leave.
"Good luck on the mission, guys!" she says cheerily as you leave her workshop. "I'm sure you're going to do great. You'll have to tell me all about it when you get back!" She gives you all a friendly thumbs up, then rolls up her sleeves and gets working again.
Last time on BWB, the party arrived at the Golden Company outpost of Iridav in hopes that they would be able to join the renowned mercenary group, making each others' acquaintance while aboard their transport. While their boss Gwenael was unavailable at the time, they made the acquaintance of the second in command, a griffon called Goldaline 'Goldie' Carrith and Gwenael's younger sister.
Taking Gwenael's place, Goldie gave the party their first mission to prove themselves worthy of joining the Company: they were to travel to a derelict research station called Haxan, which had recently collided with a meteor and all but destroyed. The party's mission, should they choose to accept it, is to travel to Haxan and retrieve an object called a data beacon, which contains information valuable to the Polybius Corporation. For their services, Polybius are offering 300 florins to each party member.
The party are currently at Iridav, walking to the room where one of the station's guests is waiting, a Polybius scientist named Wolfgang Rivers.
Following Goldie's instructions, you leave her workshop and go to pay Dr Rivers a visit. To your slight chagrin, you find that the elevator is out of order, forcing you to take the stairs up to level 3. Your legs are aching a bit by the time you get there. You are in a rather plain-looking hallway, evidently hosting temporary apartments for the Golden Company's clients. It is lit by dim red lights, and a tiny dome-shaped robot is trundling along through the hall, presumably cleaning.
A consistent coughing sound comes from behind the door to room number 8. You notice that like most of the other doors, it sports a small but clearly visible round camera on the front. As you knock on it, you hear footsteps before the door is unlocked. Standing there is a small, portly little Diamond Dog, with round glasses. "…Well, it's about time they sent someone," he says after an initial somewhat awkward silence. "I've been waiting for days to get a response from you lot. Lovely service you have here, absolutely lovely." He coughs loudly again as he moves aside to let you pass. "I'm assuming you want details on the Haxan job, yes?"
"You read my mind, dog!"
wandering into his room, i take a seat in what passses for a chair, waving him on with a talon.
"How exactly can i, Captain Risky Hooves, help you recover this 'data beacon' you mentioned?"
Pyrite hums softly as they reach room 8, before looking the Diamond Dog over. He gives a happy grin before offering a hoof to shake "Heya! M' name's Pyrite! And, uhm… yeah, s'pose we are! Think you could tell us some stuff 'bout it?"
"Yes, details would be nice," Veta says, walking inside the room and sitting down on a chair/something that can be used as a chair.
"I'd usually like to know what kind of shape my patients are in before I go shoving pills and needles in them."
The Breezie flutters about, trying not be directly in the vicinity of the Diamond Dog though, given the coughing fit.
"Definitely, mister! Firstly, are you coming with us for the job? From the sounds of it, you're in no good shape, my condolences. Would need fewer questions if you went alongside us, naturally."
"On top of those other questions the others brought up, what kind of other groups would be hunting for this beacon? Who might we encounter who're also after the information it contains?"
"Straight to business then. Good. I'm assuming you already know who I am, otherwise you wouldn't be here."
The room is fairly bland and uninteresting as rooms go. It looks like one you could find at any motel in the galaxy, with a plain bed, a single metal table with four chairs, a faded old couch, and a bedside lamp that looks more like a wilted flower. An attempt has been made to liven it up, judging from the painting hung askew over the bed. It is an absolutely hideous painting of a group of kittens.
You can see that Rivers has been keeping himself busy, seeing as he has a rather large stack of holopads on top of the table. He quickly clears those out, standing there stiffly as opposed to taking a seat.>>684160>>684162
The chairs are clearly meant for a more clinical environment. You find them extremely cold and uncomfortable to sit on.>>684161
He returns the hoofshake, albeit seemingly reluctantly. He has a very firm grip.>>684160>>684161
Rivers nods and grabs one of the pads, tapping away on it for a moment before showing you an image of a strange-looking device. It is shaped like a double tetrahedron, completely smooth, pitch black in color and having a neon blue line across its perimeter. "This is what you're looking for on Haxan," he explains. "It's called a Data Beacon. The station isn't very large, and it's a rather hefty object, so it shouldn't be too hard for you to find. Assuming it isn't buried under rubble, that is. You lot have your ways of dealing with that, I'm sure.">>684163
"I suppose I'll have to, but I'm not setting foot on the station. I'll wait on the ship for when you come back, and you'll be able to contact me at any time." He seems irritated at the prospect, clearly not wanting to be in this situation.>>684164
"There's the rub, really. There's a group of pirates - scavengers, really - who've already started to loot Haxan. They might have found the beacon already, although they wouldn't know what it's worth, the savages. So really, your job is twofold. Find the beacon, and get those vultures off our property. The beacon is the most important job, but if you manage to scare them off, there might be a bonus in it for you. Not up to me to decide though." He shrugs, turning away from you to cough again.
"Was there anything else you wanted to know? We should get moving as soon as we can. I've been here long enough as it is."
Pyrite grins happily and shakes vigorously, before trying to focus a little and listen "Shucks, alright. Don't sound too hard. Any clue if th' folks there at Haxan'r okay? We might be able t' help 'em if we can."
"We're as ready as ever! No second-rate pirate is going to loot that station before i
Veta doesn't mind the cold, nor the lack of comfort. She was used to chairs such as these.
"These pirates have a name," she asks, turning the chair around and using the backrest to lean her chest against.
"I'm slightly curious who we're going to be scaring off, and likely which shitlist we're going to be put on. But please, feel free to talk as we walk," she says, standing up, "multitasking isn't that hard, after all."
Teal does not seem surprised by the Diamond Dog's mentioning of the scavengers. Everyone is always in for easy money, after all.
"Sounds like quite the rudimentary assignment. Only two questions from my side. Truly, the sooner we get there, the better chances we have. Firstly, how big a pirate force are we dealing with? Secondly, other than the Data Beacon, is Polybius looking forward to recycling the station? Asking in case blowing up its remainders alongside the scavengers comes into question."
"One last thing: What would happen if those pirates cracked open the data beacon, and figured out what was inside? Hypothetically. What would our job be then?"
"Wreckage robbing is commonplace this far away from Empire space. If these foals are as unprepared as us we might have a free ship, once we tear it free from them."
"Call it doctor's intuition, or dog's instinct, but I have a feeling they'll be plenty prepared for anything that might come their way."
"If they're anything like the last crew we've seen, we've got a chance."
The Breezie turns her head towards the two, looking interested in what is it that Risky might be implying, but doesn't butt in yet.
"You don't have to worry about that. The research team saw the collision coming and managed to get out before impact. No casualties, luckily, otherwise they'd probably still be doing the paperwork.">>684167
He doesn't seem too enthused by that, looking at you with scrutiny. You have a feeling he knows who you are.>>684168
"I'd wager they're nobodies, really," he shrugs. "I don't think you'll have to worry about the consequences of getting rid of those lowlifes.">>684169
He takes up his pad again and taps away on it, showing you a grainy recording of the pirates' ship in space. It is a large, oblong vessel, seemingly cobbled together from parts of other ships. "They may not look like much, but from what we gather, there's a lot of them. Like I said, your job isn't really to get rid of them, but if you find a way to, then even better."
"To answer your second question, there's not really much left to recycle. It's all dust and echoes out there. The beacon is the only thing that's important to Polybius at the moment. Still, it's company property, o if you blow it up you'll have to deal with the consequences.">>684170
"I doubt they're smart enough to be able to crack it, but what worries me -us- is what could happen if they sell it to our competitors. The fact that they're still there now means they probably haven't been able to find it, or if they have, they don't know what it is yet."
As he talks, Rivers packs his personal belongings into a suitcase, eventually being ready to leave. "Right. Let's get a move on. …You do have a ship, don't you?"
"That doesn't answer the question, but I get the implication, I suppose."
"Erm.. Well i had
a ship, was on loan, you see."
"I hear those shuttles they have around the station could take us."
"That's pretty relievin', I guess! Don't see how somepony could be doin' paperwork if they'd gone 'n been hit by a meteor."
He nods vigorously and works his helmet back on to his head, before shrugging "I don't got a ship, naw. I can't even really fly 'em alright."
"That doesn't put me at ease…," she dully replies.
"Anyway, we got to talk to someone about our ride, first. So…I dunno, grab a coffee to-go or whatever while we get that set up," she says, idly waving one of her cybernetic claws as she leaves to head back to Goldie to discuss setting up transport.
The Breezie focuses on the image from the holopad, trying to roughly estimate the quality of the ship, given the components used to create it - assuming one call them from the image.
"Understood. No more inquiries from my side, for now."
Good to know Polybius is as vigilant as ever in trying to get the best of their insurances, she thought.
She let the captain handle the ship talk. Although the lack of one was a definite downgrade for the status of the group, the Breezie mercenary, having experienced the situation from both sides a few times, found awaiting Rivers's response to be somewhat amusing.Roll #1 4 = 4
He nods. "It's in your interests not to ask too many questions when it comes to Polybius. If you must know, if the beacon isn't anywhere to be found this whole mess would be out of your hands and more our concern than it already is. Er, hooves.">>684178>>684179
He nods. "You should get that fixed, you know. You can't keep using the Company's transport forever. It's in your best interests to get a ship as soon as you can. Complete this mission, and you'll be at least partway there to being able to buy one for yourselves.">>684180
"Meet me in the bar, then. I can't imagine you could have missed it if you just arrived here.">>684181
It's hard to tell from the video quality, but it looks to be in a pretty ramshackle state to you. A ship is a ship, though, and it poses as much of a threat to you as any other.
You leave the dull little room and make your way back to Goldie, who gives you the number of the transport you'll be taking to Haxan. After that, you go and find Rivers, and alongside him you make your way to the hangars, where your transport awaits. It is identical to the one you first arrived on in almost every aspect.
To your surprise, you find Goldie there, seemingly waiting for you. "I just figured I'd tag along on this mission," she explains as the ship's door opens with a mechanical hiss. "I know I'm meant to be taking care of this place and all, but it's so boring. Nothing ever gets done around here. Don't you worry, I've left this place in good hands." Rivers looks irritated by her presence, and Goldie returns his look of disdain. "So, shall we get going? It's not too far from here to Haxan. We should be back here in about three days, depending on how the mission goes. Er, you don't mind me coming along, do you? I just need to get out of this dump…"
"Shucks, I'll try m' best!">timeskip
Pyrite grins dopeily and nods, before heading on to the shuttle "Don't sound too bad, then, so let's skidaddle. Glad t' have ya along, Miss Goldie! More th' merrier, I'd say!"
"Fine, fine, don't let me stop you.. If you get your tail blown off don't complain."
"Now now, you two play nice," Veta says, noticing the slight tension between the two, "I would like to not use more of my medical supplies than I have to."
She punctuates that by tapping one of her arms as it shifts into its 'miniature doctor's office' mode.
"But please, tag along. You can contact my previous employer; I just loved taking a lot of walks to clear my head. But you better have a good alibi if someone didn't want you leaving and all."
There is some whirring from her arms, and Veta gives her arm a slight glance as she observes.>Distill Life
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
All things considered, the Breezie is somewhat suprised, though not unstatisfied to welcome Goldie as a member of the crew. It carried some risks, sure, but it seemed worth her presence.
"Oh, by stars, sure we don't mind, miss Goldie! Oh, it's gonna be great, I can tell! Hope this trip, with all the danger involved, makes up for leaving the station for now."
"Understood," he says to the dog. To Goldie, he adds, "As long as you're fine in a potential combat zone. What are you bringing to the table?"
You prepare some adrenaline shots, but the formula unfortunately comes out all wrong, being effectively as useful as a shot of plain water.>>684187
She shrugs. "I've been in my share of fights, I suppose. I can handle myself hand to hand, and I did pack a handgun in case things go completely south. I'm better at mechanics than anything else though, so if anything bad happens to this ship, I'll be able to take care of it.>>684183>>684184>>684185>>684186
"Great!" She beams as she gets on board. "Let's not waste any more time then. We have a job to do!" Rivers silently follows suit, looking like a storm cloud is raining on him and him alone.