Last time on BWB, the party took a load off after their first mission, taking time to unwind on the Golden Company station of Iridav. While they got together at the bar, Veta split from the group momentarily to get her prescription medicine, and Hui had to leave the group for some time in order to attend to some mage business elsewhere. In addition, the donkey Scrum, who tagged along on their ship after they escaped, has expressed his wishes to join the crew.
Reminder that the ship you managed to take is missing three vital components; a nuclear transistor, an interstellar comms unit, and an AI package. Risky was tipped off by one of the other Company workers about a supplier called Patches who runs a junk dealing business on the Ark of Alambil nearby. You can take a shuttle to the Ark from your current location.
You are all currently at the bar with Scrum, except for Veta who is at the medical ward getting a refill. A waiterbot has approached the table and offered you all a menu with the food items sold here, which mostly consists of salads and sandwiches.
Post sheets and continue.
Veta quickly pops open the bottle and swallows a few of the pills, pressing her back against the receptionist's counter and sliding down as her body finally relaxes. She gives a very deep sigh, then feels a bit sleepy as she just remembered she's got a stomach full of alcohol before taking these high-grade painkillers.
"Well…this is going to be a wild ride…."
Pyrite settles into a seat at the bar, and gives the others (Risky, mostly) a curious look "S-Shucks, I don't think I've ever been to a bar b'fore. W-What d'ya think I should get, miss Risky?"
On his way out, he hits up Veta on the phone-thingy. "Hey. I'm leaving the party for a little while, on official family business. Thank you for helping me while we were on the pirate ship. You're a good doctor, you know."
"I'm not a good doctor," she replies, sounding a bit out of it, "I'm a damn good doctor. So…have fun with…whatever it is you're gonna do."
"I'll take that burger, the beef one." I reply, pointing a talon at the item displayed.
"Rare, if ye can manage.">>688335
"Hmm.. depends on how hungry ye are, Pyrite. Ye look like a salad pony t'me, but ye've got me on the type.." i ponder, scratching my muzzle with my talons.
"You haven't earned the 'damn' yet I think."
"Well, 'a course I'm gonna get a salad, silly! I meant like… drink wise. I ain't never had any alcohol b'fore."
Taking the pills almost immediately puts you at ease, for now. You're sure you're going to regret taking them after drinking in an hour or so. "A-anything else I can do for you?" the receptionist asks.>>688340>>688344
," the waiterbot says politely. A long string of data appears on the holographic pad between its hands. "Would you like anything else for today?
" Scrum nods, ordering a fruit salad for himself.>>688340
Scrum looks slightly horrified at you ordering something with meat on it, but makes no comment. "…So, have ye thought about it?" he prods. "About me workin' for ye? If not I understand. Plenty of other places that'll hire around here."
"Yeah. Have a bed ready for me when I inevitably experience symptoms of an overdose and or the result of alcohol and painkillers mixing. For now, I'm going to take a walk and await the inevitable."
With that, Veta gets back up, brushes herself off, and makes her way back to the bar area where everyone else is.
"That'll do fer me, bot, thank ye."
"As fer employment, I'll be needin another pair o'hooves after me first mate left, if ye really can fly the ship yer welcome aboard.">>688344
"Oh. Well, I've no clue, have ye checked the drink menu? That'll be a good start."
"Uhm… what d'ya have aside from water?" the stallion asks, not particularly sure what 'beef' is. He looks over towards Scrum, and offers a friendly smile "I'd have no objections! But… it ain't up t' me."
"Um… okay." She looks very nervous and worried as she begin to type on her datapad.
With that business finished, you rejoin the rest of the group at the bar. You're already feeling a bit queasy.>>688349
Scrum nods, beaming. "I spent a good year or two workin' on that ship. I know it like the back of me hoof! Ye won't regret this decision. I promise." He seems genuinely grateful for the opportunity.>>688351
The waiterbot silently produces another menu for you to peruse. This place offers non-alcoholic beverages in the form of several kinds of soft drinks such as lemonade, and fruit juice in a variety of different flavors of your choosing (apple, orange, pineapple etc.). For alcoholic beverages, the menu consists of different kinds of wines and beers, as well as several kinds of cocktails that you don't recognize.>>688349>>688351
As you converse, you see Veta walk back in. You can't help but notice she looks a bit wan.
Waving Veta over with a hoof, I nod at hearing scrum's acceptance.
"Well then, glad t'have ya!"
"Fer the moment we'll be takin some time t'relax, then it's right back to it. I'll be needin t'visit this 'patches' the engineers mentioned, get a new core fer me ship."
Veta sits back down with a sigh next to Risky, looks at the waiterbot, and decides against ordering another drink.
"So…what exciting bar fights did I miss?"
"Y'should have seen it, Veta, half o'this bar was in flames, guns everywhere!" I reply, waving my hoof and grinning.
"Looks like ye found the doctor?"
"Hrm… Cranberry Juice sounds nice!" he whinnies, before settling in to wait. He looks over towards Veta, and asks "H-Hey, ya doin' alright? Ya look a little, u-uhm… ya look kinda sick, Miss Veta."
"I am a doctor, remember? Just needed to get to a pharmacy since Redgrave decided to dump my pills out. Damn mutt.">>688366
"Oh, just finally got my pills is all. The alcohol beforehand probably wasn't a good idea, but screw it, I need some solid sleep after what I just went through."
He smiles and nods, then immediately frowns. "…Patches? Think I might've heard of him here and there. Nothing good to report. By all accounts he's a greedy little rat. Not the sort of company y'want to keep, but if it's what it takes to get the ship in one piece then I guess we don't have much of a choice.">>688366
"Acknowledged. Your orders will arrive shortly.
" The waiterbot takes back the menu and leaves your table.
Pyrite gives the Diamond Dog a soft, friendly hug, and a dopey grin "W-Well, I hope th' sleep helps. Thanks f'r patchin' me up on th' ship!" he half-shouts, before settling back into his seat and wiggling in anticipation
"Aye, he's a scalper but we'll be needin that core t'get her warp ready again. Redgrave and his crew stripped her bare, blasted dog.">>688368
"Should've known Redgrave wouldn't parley, nearly got the lot of ye killed." I grumble, drumming my talons on the table.
There is a very low, very tired growl as Pyrite hugs her, but it ends as quickly as he lets go of her.
"I already have a room reserved in the medbay. In less than an hour, this place is going to be spinning faster than the speed my patience runs out.">>688373
"Well, at least you'll know for next time if we see him. For now, let's focus on our next misadventure before I start making out with the floor."
"Aye, true. But first, we eat! Can't adventure when ye haven't eaten, can ye?"
"Think ye can stomach something? Never know when we'll get the chance."
Yupyup! Nutrition is important!"
Scrum smirks slightly. "Not bare. There's plenty they weren't clever enough ter get. Hidden compartments and whatnot. I'll show ye next time we're on board. There's a good stash of loot in the walls we'll be able ter use for bargaining with this Patches feller.">>688381>>688378
It's not long before the waiterbot returns, expertly balancing all the orders in two arms. Without another word, it efficiently places each meal in front of the ones who served it. The food and drink all look presentable, albeit almost too perfect. They were probably made by other robots. Pyrite's salad looks crisp and fresh, the cranberry juice served in a large, tall glass, while Risky's burger comes with a healthy layer of lettuce and tomato as well as an extra thick beef patty. Scrum's fruit salad looks good as well, a delicious mixture of strawberry, blackberry, apple and mango, among others. One particular ingredient consists of cubes of very dark green fruit that you don't recognize. Scrum mumbles his thanks, and the waiterbot clasps his gloved mechanical hands. "Enjoy your meals,
" it drones before succinctly hovering away.
"Aha! Now that's what I want to hear, some good news fer once."
With that, I grip my burger with my talons and tear into it with sharpened teeth.>>688381
"So pyrite" I lead in between bites of burger "ye've had me wonderin since we started this job, why take up mercenary work? Lookin fer a way away from the norm?"
"Well, yeah. I was sorta gettin' tired 'a workin' at th' colony, even if I was pretty good at it. Someone said mercenary work might be a little more excitin'. An' I figured, if I travel a lot, I can help more folks!" he offers, before digging into the salad- without any utensils, of course. He's a horse!
You take a good bite of the burger. It's as tasty as it looks, the beef patty cooked to perfection. You hadn't noticed before, but there's also some nice melted cheese on the burger. As you swallow, you feel a bit of grease dripping down your chin. Scrum tries to stick to his own meal, evidently disgusted by your choice.>>688384
The salad is quite delicious, layers of crispy lettuce with little hints of feta cheese and avocado here and there. The whole thing has been garnished with lemon dressing.
>pausing, feel free to keep talking in character if you want
Last time on BWB, the party got to know each other a little better as they took a short break from adventuring at the Last Resort bar/bistro. Veta, meanwhile, accidentally made herself rather sick, and Teal had her suit cleaned properly before rejoining the party. All four of them, plus their newfound ally Scrum, are gathered at the Last Resort still.
Reminder that the Moonstruck is still missing three important parts: a nuclear transistor, an interstellar comms unit, and an AI package. Risky has been tipped off about an unscrupulous junk dealer called Patches operating on a nearby Ark called Alambil. Post sheets and begin!
"So, Miss Risky, what d'ya think we should go f'r first? I son't really know much 'bout starships, so I unno what any 'a th' stuff we're missin' does."
Veta picks her head up, having passed out for a brief moment.
"Ugh…anyone got the plate number of the jackass who hit me head on?"
Teal orders some avocado toast from the waiterbot's menu, then joins the party at the table. Not being the one she found for them, it seemed, but she didn't seem to mind.
She did look ragged, for sure. Her body in bad shape after the mission and especially after a 1st grade contact with Beatrice. In case any worried look were thrown her way, she'd make a clear statement:
"With the shape I'm in, they might get me down for a while. Not gonna take chances with being forced to survive on hospital rations, if I can help it" - she turns to Veta - "No offence, reckon you've had your share of the stuff, right?
>Engineering/Teal's knowledge about AI ship programming.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"Well" i begin, in between mouthfuls of burger "The biggest part o'the ship we need is that reactor, She can't fly without one, and what was left o'the first one got us here by luck."
"With scrum aboard, we'll be needin that radio next. AIs'r great fer a short crew, but with two t'drive 'er we'll be fine fer now."
"Redgrave's gonna be a headache for more than one day's worth of stomach sloshing, I'm afraid. Were I not in such a shape already, I would've opted for staying on the ship and finishing the job… honestly, last time I met someone I let go earlier, I met with ten times the air pull in the vents and -bladed- air filters. Not a nice thing to be swept into, I tell you.."
"Alright, sounds good!" the stallion whinnies, finishing off his salad "Well, any way I can help ya with it?">>688461
"Hey, Teal! I'm glad t' see you're alright!" he says, giving her a bit of a soft back pat… he's not sure how to hug a Breezie, especially one so injured.
"I'm having my share of alcohol and pain killers, so I'm pretty sure I'm set.">>688462
"Alright, great, so…can we get a start on that tomorrow?" Her head slams back down onto the table. "Not feeling all that hot, in any way, shape, or form."
Teal seems perplexed in regards to the larger-than-ordinary hoof coming in contact with her body, hence, as to not scurry away, yet let the stallion have his due, she opted to interpret it as a delicate hoof bump of sorts. She extended her hoof towards his… priming herself to soften the impact via the joints' work.
"Glad to see you're alright too, Pyrite. From what I saw, you might not have the grittest character for combat, but your body's something you can be proud of. Due to that, I'm banking on the fact that you might actually live long enough to harden your spirit as you've hardened your body."
Despite the words, being somewhat harsh, her tone is not a demeaning one and she smiles after that encouragingly too.
"Aye, we'll find a place t'rest, better ready than tired.">>688464
"Hmm. Well, we'll be needin some muscle t'hold the reactor when me'n scrum set her in. Think ye got the grit t'hold it? solid ball o'metal, those things."
Teal says the following looking at Veta primarily, though via her body language one can tell she is adressing these words to all:
"I'm getting the feeling it might be a few days' worth till we get down to another assignment, what with us being in various stages of recovery. Seems like a good opportunity to get to that Patches guy, as we can rest while that lasts.."
"True, that was me plan once we touched down, i'll be needin that reactor before we can take a mission, Can't rely on Goldie borrowin a shuttle fer everything."
"The wha?" Scrum looks up at you with a look of concern, offering you some of his fruit salad after a moment. "Ye don't look too good. I'm no doctor, but this might make ye feel better. Want some?">>688461
The waiterbot acknowledges your response and heads off to the kitchen, your meal being brought out much faster than anyone else's. You quickly see why this is; they have served you two incredibly small slices, fitting for a Breezie.
From what you know of starships, an AI package would be incredibly useful. It would be able to monitor every single system and alert its crew of any problems, keep track of everywhere the ship has been, assist in planning lightspeed routes, and warn of any unauthorized lifeforms aboard, among many other things. Some more advanced AI can even develop its own personality of sorts, as they are sometimes made to respond and adapt to interaction.>>688462
"If we have all three," Scrum adds, "we'll be even better off. AI can be a real lifesaver, y'know. 'Specially if we ever go into deep space, or out on the Outskirts."
Teal pauses for a moment as she mulls over Risky' words, seemingly caught by something in-between them.
"… I'll admit, while nothing to laugh at, the issue of not having one's own ship does seem quaint to me…"
She looks off in the distance of the bar ponderingly, as she muses:
"Only hearing you, Risky, so intent on having one's own, makes one think of that…"
Pyrite gives a mildly nervous smile back, and bobs his head "Y-Yeah! Sorry if I ain't really th' right match f'r all this stuff. B-But, I'm glad I was able t' help! I was worried ya were gonna bite it!">>688467
"Hmm? Yeah, I can do that! Liftin' an' carryin's what I do best!">>688468
"Y' can head down t' th' doc office if ya need a patch up, b-but… t-the doctor-bot's kinda creepy."
Veta gives a thumbs up to Risky.>>688471
"Old, archaic system of identifying vehicles. Took a history class with my free ride in college."
Veta looks at the fruit salad and groans.
"I mean, if you like what cherry picked studies tell you, backed by biased money, then sure."
Her chin slams back down onto the table, looking ready to go back to sleep.
Teal chomps down on her toast. The reserve is gone. While savouring the taste, she takes big bites… for a Breezie, that is.
She snorts as she hears Scrum's comment, answering in between the two slices:
"Oh, yeah, they certainly can.. but the way they usually programm it still leaves much to be desired. Gotta personally look into it… remembering that one time I got myself cornered by an automated AI scan-bots… can you believe smearing oneself in machine grease and parading around in an aluminium soda pop can actually let me have them think I'm a repair drone? Although given I had to squeeze through pipes with it for three weeks straight makes me think whether that wasn't a some cyber-tier-humour on that AI's behalf..
Seeing her cybergeared-up companion not in a great shape, she looks over her prosthetics, wondering if that might have anything to do with it.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
"I can see what ye mean. I've no clue if ye've been arkside all yer life, but fer a raider a ship is no small thing."
"T'hold a ship under yer command, able to plot yer own course, that
's what true freedom means. Ye can't truely choose a raider's life if ye don't seek that freedom with all ye got."
He looks kind of dejected at your refusal. "Eh. Suit yerself then. More fer me I s'ppose." He takes the bowl back and keeps eating.>>688476
The avo toast is quite tasty. It has little bits of feta cheese and is dusted with paprika, giving it a bit of a sour bite.
"Sounds like a fun time," Scrum comments. "Must have been garbage AI if it falls fer that. Most ones I've encountered are more advanced than that. Even basic ones like these can tell the difference." He gestures at a passing waiterbot, who stops and stares blankly for a few seconds before continuing on its course.>>688477
You're no expert on prosthetics, but it seems to you that her arms would be very uncomfortable to have affixed. That'd explain why she's so grouchy.
Scrum finishes the last of his fruit salad and looks around at the lot of you, clearing his throat. "…Maybe we should see about renting some rooms for the night? When yer all finished that is. I think we could all do with a good rest."
"I've had my start there, but no, you've got me wrong, girl. It's just funny to me, as it dawns on me just how much more I've been spending on -enemy- ships rather than those supposed to be mine"
She says that after the first portion of what Risky says. She listens intently and with decorum to what the unicorn says afterwards, realizing the gravity of the statement.
"Feels stranded without one, then? Or is it worse, even?"
"Sounds like an alright idea t' me! I think I could use a bit 'f a rest, m'self. 'Sides, we can get started on' gettin' all th' materials t'gether bright an' early!"
Veta nods with a groan.
"Aye, best we find those beds, ready fer the trip t'Patches.">>688484
"Aye, ye feel trapped on these arks, a raider's heart always longs fer open space, without a ship t'fly from ye'd go mad from standin around arkside."
"Well, can't say I've even seen a basic model packed on that chimera ship of Redgrave, so that still happens… but yeah, glad to have things progressing, honestly - and those learning AIs look promising too. Long as they don't go overboard… say, did you have a chance to work with any?" - she directs the last question to everyone at the table.
"Hmm? Worked with AI? I don't really think I have, no."
"Briefly, me very first ship had somethin simple, not like these 'learning AIs', best it could do was drive me ship when the lot o'us were piled into boardin' pods durin a raid."
Teal looks at Risky a little more intently.
"Raider, huh… hmm, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I haven't seen your face on one of the job boards at one of my earlier workspots…"
After a while she shrugs though, not seeming to think much of it.
"Eh. Even if so, the fact we're here means I did not pick that one, at least"
She continues on with her second toast slice, seeming to enjoy it, but adds aferwards:
"You know whether your former crew ain't got a bounty on them? Did you think of getting back at them using the official channels, maybe?"
After a short pause:
"You got yourself cleared before joining the company, right?"
Scrum nods. "The Moonstruck
used ter have one installed. Sasha, she were called. Well, cap'n gave her that name anyway. Had her on board for 'bout a year or two. Got real sassy by the end, she did." He smirks. "…Then Redgrave attacked us, dismantled most of the ship, including old Sasha. Sold 'er off ter junkers by now I'd wager." He trails off, looking wistful for a moment.>>688485>>688487>>688490>>688491
"Right then. No sense in tarrying. Let's get a move on. And, er, don't worry about the tab. It's on me this time." He scurries over to the bar and exchanges some words with the robotic bartender before rejoining the party.
You head out of the Last Resort and over to the admin area not far away. This is the intended reception area for visitors, and it has been decorated to look quite presentable. You are in a large atrium, adorned with potted plants, fancy furniture and several holographic paintings depicting what you assume are prominent figures in the Golden Company. The area over all is a silvery white hue, with golds, greens and browns here and there. Overall, it looks more like the entrance to a fancy hotel than it does a galaxy-renowned mercenary company.
You walk over to the counter, noting that it is made of genuine varnished mahogany. A receptionist is hard at work, this time a middle aged stallion with a strange rectangular visor over his eyes. He turns to you. "Welcome," he says cordially. "What can I do for you?"
"Hiya!" he half-whinnies, giving the mare a dopey grin "We're tryin' t' rent a few rooms t' stay in, can we do that here?" he asks, before looking to the others "I unno if we need one room f'r each 'a us, 'r a shared few."
"Lookin fer their bounty? bah, i'll fight em on our own terms."
"Part o'the code, y'see. turnin traitor and collectin their bounty'd leave me in the wrong."
"Only proper way i get me ship back is stormin the thing and takin it back by me own action, as ye should. Not fer bounty."
"As fer clearin me name, I'm sure me bounty lowered from the Raidin days, it'll be fine."
"So Redgrave seemingly didn't make use of an advanced AI himself… yet didn't go for employing that Sasha of yours in steering his own ship? Well, if she didn't agree to that, that would be one good point for AI loyalty programmes… or was it just that that Sasha of yours was not designed to run ships of different models than your cruiser? By the way, what name did you use to call it by?"
Looking over the place, Teal comments:
"Clear why Rivers was so grumpy. After such a reception, he sure must've thought it would be a smooth ride"
"We'll be lookin fer a room, got a few t'spare?"
"Hm? Oh, yes, yes, of course." He waves his right hoof; you notice it is entirely cybernetic, with glowing blue lights at several points across its surface. As he waves, his hoof creates a fully interactive holographic display, which seems to be a layout of all the rooms on the floor above you. "Company members, I presume? We can set you up for… two different rooms between the five of you. How does that sound?">>688487
You're starting to feel even worse. You can feel yourself sweating cold, and you're getting stomach cramps. You feel like you should see a doctor soon. You notice Scrum is keeping his distance somewhat, in case it's contagious. He looks genuinely worried about you, but keeps his mouth shut.>>688503
"Bit o' both really," Scrum explains. "Sasha was designed for smaller scale ships like the Moonstruck
, not whopping big freighters like Redgrave's, and especially not ramshackle messes like that hunk of junk. 'Course, she was also programmed to only follow orders from me old cap'n and his crew, so after Redgrave killed him she was… less than willing ter cooperate. Never heard anyone, run off their mouth quite like Sasha did ter Redgrave. She said things what'd even make Veta here blush." He smiles at the memory.
"Eh? The name of Redgrave's ship?" He snorts derisively. "It were called the Big Daddy
. Not by Redgrave's choice though. From what I gathered, the Big Daddy
used to belong to a group of wild scrappers. Ye might've heard of them. Lawless folk what lurk the edges of the galaxy, terrorizing anyone they come across, living off salvage. Well, these particular scrappers bit off more than they could chew and tried to square up against the pirate lord himself, Venator Veer. 'Course they were no match for him, or his fleet, so he took their ship for his collection, and gave it ter Redgrave at some point." He shrugs. "Not exactly the best ship in the 'verse, but if it works it works. Truth be told, I dunno what the scrappers were thinking, trying to take on Veer himself. I've never met him meself, but it's suicide to just up and challenge him like that. Especially if yer a bunch of half-mad, ragtag vultures what can barely build a ship."
"Works f'r me! Hope there's good space f'r th' five 'a us…uhm-">>688487
"Miss Veta, you alright? We need t' go see th' doc?" he asks, giving her a concerned look
Veta pays no mind to Scrum's stares, just gives a low growl as she holds her stomach.>>688511
Veta gives Pyrite an annoyed, incredulous look.
"Have you forgotten what I am already?"
Veta's robotic hands make up a syringe and she injects herself, also popping another pain pill for good measure.
>Canceling out the +1 to med rolls for obvious reasons
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
"Hmm. Two rooms, eh? It'll do."
"So, me, veta and Teal in one, Scrum and Pyrite in the other, looks like."
"Unless the lot of ya have another idea?"
"I-I'm sorry, Miss Veta. I tend t' f'rget stuff pretty easily."
"Naww, that sounds alright with me, if none 'a y'all object!"
"Have them be adjacent, if possible" - Teal sounds her requests to the clerk before turning to the sick-looking doggo:>>688487
"How about we go to the hospital together after lodging in? You looked better under Fernardo's fist, Veta"
She listens in to what Scrum has to say and apparently, finds that quite fascinating.
"Such a feisty response, you say… interesting. Mm… wonder what whover gets that Sasha shall do with her. From what I've heard, it's quite a hassle to reprogram an AI of this sort, especially without the use of a pre-programmed link like you, being the last one in this case… gonna keep an eye out on that, if we ever cross Redgrave - doubt we won't. If not for salvaging that Sasha for Moonstruck, then purely outta scientific curiosity… say, how did your crew's interactions with her change over time? If you don't mind me asking, of course."
She takes her time to take in the story regarding the behemoth mess of a ship they spent some time on.
"Indeed. Was meaning to look into them at some point, actually. Seemed to me like a valuable possible resource vein, given what might be getting in their hands… though their savagery does leave much to be desired in terms of negotiations. Reckon faster than them I'm gonna have to look into that Veer and his underlings. Wonder how their relations stand - if Redgrave's gonna get sneered at and punished due to his losses… or rather, supplemented and sent at us at one point… "
"No objections on my part. I'll sleep whereever, really."
"Whatever ya say, Cap'n," Veta replies, looking more focused on trying to inject herself…with a very shakey arm…and looking like someone trying to guide a hydraulic-driven needle into their own eye.
"Pyrite, maybe it would be for the best if you went with us, I believe. To carry her, if she gets any worse. That's one thing I won't do for her."
Your robotic hands are shaking, and you don't manage to do much more than prick yourself. The painkiller isn't effective at all either. Your head feels light now, and the room seems to spin. It's becoming harder and harder to stay standing.>>688511>>688515
The receptionist seems distracted for a moment, looking unnerved by Veta's condition. "…Well… I-I've booked you guys in for rooms 301 and 302," he says eventually as he taps some icons on the holographic display he created with his enhancements. "Here, you'll need these to get in." He presses a few button under the counter, which opens a drawer. He passes you each a small, flat, round metallic object with a faintly glowing green light. "…Enjoy your stay!" He smiles weakly.>>688520
He looks confused at your comment to Veta. "…Fernando? Ye mean Fernald, right?" He shudders at the memory of the silent hulk.
He shakes his head in response to your speculation. "Even if we could find her - and that's a big if - it wouldn't be the same. Redgrave had her wiped, y'see. Sasha doesn't exist no more. She wouldn't remember anything."
"I don't think there's anything good in Redgrave's future," he replies. "After they find out that he was defeated by a bunch of scruffy amateur Company mercs like ye - er, no offense - he's probably going to be a laughin' stock. Can't imagine he'll be in a good place next time we meet. If we meet again."
"Y-Yeah, 'a course." the stallion chuffs, before hunkering down a little to let Veta get on his back. He's polite, but insistent! >>688525
The stallion leaves the key to Scrum, since he'll have his hooves full today!
"Wiped? Like, she don't got her memories no more?"
"I have…hospital-level training. I know what I'm doing," she says to Teal, but more looking at the ground below her than right at her, "Just gotta get this vein to stop moving….">>688525
"Ahh, son of a bitch," she says, this time biting down on the injecting arm to keep it steady as she jabs herself once again.
"At first you don't succeed…."
>Success Through Failure, reducing assumed amount by 1
[1d10+1]Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
"Fernald, right. My bad. Heard his name, like, once, before setting out to do him in.
She offers a silent nod at the sad conclusion of Sasha's story.
"That's what I'm afraid to in regards to Redgrave though… one having little to lose is the most dangerous, after all"
She goes on to check out the rooms, but shortly afterwards, gets herself on the way to the doctor, accompanying Veta and Pyrite.
"Thank ye kindly."
Taking ahold of the key with my magic, i make my way to 301, popping the door open and heading inside.
He nods, distractedly taking the key. "Wiped as in there's naught left of her. That bastard Redgrave saw to that." He broods silently for a moment. "She was a good lass, she was.">>688529
Your hand slips again, and you scrape your arm painfully with the needle. Your legs almost give way. "Hey, easy now," Scrum grunts as he moves over to you, keeping you steady so you don't fall over. "Enough of that. Yer only getting yerself hurt even more.">>688531
"True. Redgrave isn't much without Fernald, or his Beatrice. I can only hope he finds nothing but misery from here.">>688528>>688529>>688531>>688533
You take the elevator up and to where all the rooms are. Both your allotted rooms are near identical, down to the three plain white beds, sparing furniture and fake wooden floor. They look like any other room you'd find in a decent hotel anywhere in the galaxy. "Not much to look at, are they?" Scrum comments. "Better than a pirate cell though." He turns to Veta.>>688529
"Look, doc, I really think ye should check yerself in upstairs. Yer not going to get any better in this sorry state. I bet they'll have ye right as rain in no time. Here, I'll help ye up." He offers to help you along again.>>688528
"Here, biggun, ye reckon ye could help me carry the poor doc? Don't know if I can do it on me own…"
"Shucks… well, that's unfortunate." the stallion offers, before frowning softly He heads for the elevator… after scooping Veta up on to his back, as carefully as he can manage! Luckily, he's a pretty big guy, so it doesn't bother him much. "I'll getcha t' your room in no time, Miss Veta."
The large earth stallion peers into the room, before offering a bit of a shrug in response "Uhm… so long as these got 'nough room, I'll be fine!"
"Veta ye stubborn Dog, you're ready t'keel over! Ye sure ye can self treat in that state?"
Veta ends up biting her arm harder in frustration, causing some fresh, new dings in it.
"No…no I got this."
She can already be seen trying to line it up again, but the attempt just whiffs and she strikes nothing but air. Her eyes look ready to fight.
"Hey…put me down. I'm still well enough to stabilize myself."
She tries to put up a fight, but how bad she's in, it was more like a bunch of pats and boops than actual flailing.>>688538
"I didn't go to med school for eight years just to be treated by someone else who blew their time for a piece of paper."
Says the doctor as she's carried off down the hall.
Scrum looks surprised as you easily just scoop up Veta without much effort. "…Aye, that works too I suppose.">>688540
You don't manage to accomplish anything other than looking rather pathetic. Eventually you just give in and resign yourself to your fate.
You get settled into your designated rooms, wash up and tuck yourselves in for the night. Despite your long and grueling adventure, you have a comfortable, restful sleep, with barely any dreams that you can remember. The next morning, you awake bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to head off to Alambil. Scrum is the last among you to awake, yawning loudly and rubbing his eyes. "Morning, lads," he grunts as he finishes washing up. "And lasses. Ready fer the trip arkside whenever ye are. How'd everyone sleep?">>688540
You are not as lucky as your other companions, your night being a fevered blur of unclear memories of slightly sinister robotic doctors looming over you, and of intense pain and sickness. By the next morning, however, you find yourself feeling much better, albeit exhausted with a slight headache. You are in a bright white and blue medical room filled with medical posters and monitors. "Good morning, doctor!
" a nearby medbot chirps, a perfect silver sphere with a singular blue photoreceptor. It has an annoyingly high, female voice."Your illnesses and ailments have been treated by our expert medical team! You are free to go, and all your belongings can be found at the door! However, please refrain from exerting yourself physically for the next 24 hours! Have a LOVELY day!
" You note that despite everything, even your mechanical arms are hurting less than they have in quite some time. The medical team must've done some work on them at some point during the night.
making my way out of the room unusually giddy, i make my way out into the hall, waiting for the others to get ready.
"Never better! With me new ship safe in dock and the cash t'repair her, i'm over the moon."
Pyrite gives a friendly grin to the Diamond Dog, before heading from the rooms to the medical bay. He leaves her there for now, and heads back to his room to get some sleep!
Pyrite gets up bright-eyed and giddy, much like one might expect from the overgrown colt. He's always been a morning pony, anyways! He does a bit of a morning workout regiment, mostly to just get ready for the day ahead!>>688544
"I dunno 'bout y'all, but I slept great! I'm ready t' take a trip t' the ark, yupyup!"
Veta's ears flatten back and her face scrunches in minor pain as the high voice hurts her ears. She knew she didn't want to stay in this room for much longer, or else face whatever sort of 'breakfast' this place has if prior experience was anything to go off from.
Its gathering her things she notices her arms not hurting as much. She briefly looks over them and shrugs, thinking it was just whatever they gave her still working and that her arms will no doubt go back to full pain once it works out of her system. She gets the rest of her things and heads out, giving a casual wave to whatever doctors, nurses, or receptionists she walked past. She heads for where everyone else stayed the night.
"Well…at least I didn't have to worry about bedbugs," she says to herself as the elevator door closes.
"Good to hear, cap'n!" Scrum says jovially as he stretches. "Slept like a log meself.">>688546
"Let's get a move on then. Got a big day ahead of us!">>688547
While most of the doctors there are robots, you do pass the receptionist from earlier. She seems relieved to see you in better shape.>>688544>>688546>>688547
You all reunited before heading down to the hangars, where a shuttle is due to take off within the hour. Without much hassle, you pass through the gates and board one of the shuttles. There are a few others on board the vessel with you, but they keep to themselves mostly. After about 10 minutes, there is a rambling announcement from the pilot, and the shuttle blasts off to your next destination.
After a good night's rest, the party have made their way towards the Ark known as Alambil. There, they will be able to contact a prominent supplier for the Golden Company, a junk dealer named Patches. From him, they will be able to acquire two essential components for their ship: a nuclear transistor, for being able to safely perform lightspeed jumps, and an interstellar comms unit, for communicating with other stations and vessels. In addition, they could purchase an optional component called an AI package, which would allow the Moonstruck
to perform a variety of useful functions.
The journey to Alambil is relatively uneventful, taking about an hour. In this time, you are served a bland, unappetizing breakfast, although Scrum decides to pass on his, grumbling something about shuttle food tasting like styrofoam. Overhead holographic screens are showing the galactic news; apparently, there's been another bombing orchestrated by the terrorist group known as the Spurned, this time on a mining facility not far from the galactic capital of Korine.
As the hour passes, you begin your arrival at Alambil. The Ark is small but densely populated, linking other larger Arks together via its extensive system of spaceports. The Golden Company have a prominent presence on it due to its proximity to their outpost Iridav, where you just came from. As the shuttle approaches, you can't help but notice that the Ark is shaped somewhat like the blade of a dagger, a thin, black megastructure covered in hundreds of glittering lights.
Alambil grows larger and larger as the shuttle approaches, quickly turning from a distant knife-like form to an enormous array of sprawling spires and skyscrapers. You watch as your transport descends into a large dome-shaped structure, whose top opens up in a spiral formation to allow the ship to dock. After some wait, the shuttle doors open, and the captain announces your arrival at the Ark.
After a moment, you steadily make your way out of the shuttle and exit the hangar, quickly realizing that you are at the crossroads of a remarkably large marketplace. The streets of this place are narrow, densely cramped with crowds of bustling spacers from all walks of life. Occasionally, a robot goes past, either trudging along with the crowd or hovering above them with many flashing lights. Dozens of near identical booths line the streets, occupied by humble merchants. Others are street performers such as wizards or buskers, hoping to make some profit as everyone goes from somewhere else to somewhere else.
As you take in the colorful sight, you notice that you are at the very bottom of Alambil; all around you are the bases of titanic buildings, some so tall you can't even see the top. Occasionally, you can see much smaller buildings in the distance, presumably more established shops like the one you're looking for. A large neon sign at the crossroads identifies this place simply as "The Big Market". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39U4Y09ewWU
"Hrm. Might be here a while," Scrum comments as he takes in the sight of the giant bazaar. "Far too easy ter get lost 'round these parts." He ducks his head, narrowly avoiding getting hit by a passing swarm of chattering Breezies. "Agh!… Maybe we should try askin' around? This Patches feller seems t'be well connected. Maybe someone can offer some pointers." He is talking somewhat louder than usual, although it is still hard to hear him properly over the din of the crowd.
Scrum points out three different marketgoers nearby that might be able to help:
There is a tiny store on your right that seems to be selling repair tools and spare robot parts, owned by an overweight earth pony with a five o' clock shadow wearing a singlet. "Looks like he might be in the same trade as our contact. Maybe they know each other."
Standing apart from the crowd are two identical unicorns, heatedly arguing over what looks like robot parts. "Could be that they got that from Patches. Or maybe they're taking it to him?"
Finally, you see a mare slowly leading a hulking bipedal construction robot through the crowd. She seems not to want to be seen, or at least identified, judging by the hooded jacket and scarf around her lower face. "And what about her? An employee of his, maybe?"
"Eh, I dunno really, I'm just spitballin',"Scrum shrugs. "Our contact could be anywhere really. I'm going to go and explore this way, see if I can find anything." He points down a nearby darkened alleyway, which seems less crowded and with less business. "Let's regroup back here at the hangar when we find somethin', yeah? Anyone want to come with?"
>choose a pony to investigate, or roll 1d10 to try and find something on your own
>reminder that the party's current worth is 2154 florins
Pyrite blinks a couple times as the doors open into a densely-packed marketplace, the stallion letting out a soft, uneasy whinny. He's alright with crowds, to a point, but this is more than he's used to! He looks to the others, and shuffles a little bit, before asking the others "Uhm… maybe th' mare with th' big ol' robot? Could be a decent place t' start, even if she does look a little too busy f'r chitchat." he offers
"what say we split up? can cover plenty o'ground between the lot of us searchin the place."
"I'll head t'that store, looks like a good start. Pyrite, check with that mare there, see what she knows."
"the lot of ye still got yer comms, keep in touch."
Veta looks absolutely 'thrilled' to be here if the scowl on her face was anything to go by. She listens intently, giving a hum as she weighs her options.
"Well, you all have fun with this social butterfly nonsense. I'm just going to take a walk."
She then heads off, looking around on her own to try and pick up some leads.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"Ohh, this place is great! Just the way I like it, yes!" - Teal exclaims happily, looking around and taking in the sights. The curious little bughorse started flying all around the place right from the get-go.>>688773
"Sounds like a delightful idea. I'm all up for it! Let's have some investigating fun~">>688771
Eyeing the dark alleyway, the Breezie responses:
"Tempty. Might catch up with you later there. Gonna have a look at the machines here first though…">>688772
"Nice pick, my bulky guardian friend!" - Teal says loudly, attempting to get her tiny voice above the bustle of the streets. She lands on his head temporarily as she does so - "I do want to get a closer look at that contraption of hers first though.."
As she said, she did so. Since watching and not touching was free and the robot, unlike the person leading it, was bare, she had it tell its secrets to Teal's eyes. Possibly.
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
"As long as y' think we can meet back up with each other! It might be kinda hard here…" he hums a tad, before looking to the others, and then the Breezie specifically>>688775
Alright! Two 's us, I guess." he says, before working his way through the crowd towards the mare.
"bah, it'll be fine, if ye can make yer way back t'the dock, that'll do." i reply, waving my talon dismissively.
"Alright, Miss Risky! I'll come back when we get somethin'!"
You go over to the junk stall. It looks like it hasn't been cleaned in a while.You recognize some of what's on sale as being meant for land vehicles mostly, but a lot of the vendor's wares are foreign to you, presumably for robots. The owner nods at you in greeting. "Lookin' to buy somethin'? Got some new robot merch comin' in real soon if yer into that.">>688774
You try and get away from the crowd a bit, going down a narrow alley and finding yourself in a circular plaza. The centerpiece of it is a large statue of the Holy Twins, around which are several food stalls, including a grocer, a fishmonger and even a candy stall. You can see a sleeping beggar at the foot of the central statue, as well as a unicorn dressed in brilliant red robes juggling fireballs for a small crowd. Among the crowd are a group of four ponies in blue overalls, presumably off duty workers. They could know something about the junk dealer you're looking for. Alternatively, in the distance, you can see several rows of stores advertising a disparity of wares. Maybe one of them is Patches' establishment.>>688775
You get a bit closer to the giant robot. It is painted with black and yellow stripes, and its two long arms end in a pair of mechanical prongs, like a forklift. It's definitely intended for construction, but it seems to have been modified somehow, although you can't tell how. As you get closer, its rectangular head swivels, and the robot stares at you blankly with its one circular photoreceptor.>>688777
You make your way towards the mare with the giant robot. As she sees you and Teal approach, she tries to hurry her pace, yanking on the leash she has attached to her robot to keep it moving. She pulls her scarf up a bit higher and tries to ignore your presence, presumably in a hurry to get somewhere.
"Lookin fer information, y'see. Me ship is totaled, her transistor is out. Heard tell this ark had a scalper named patches, y'heard anythin about him?"
Veta decides to check out the displays and advertisements, not feeling like taking that risk of being prejudice against the blue collar. While she is looking for Patch's shop, she also decides to indulge herself and see what is around.
Pyrite blinks a little bit, and follows after the mare "Miss, please wait up! We jus' wanna talk a lil' bit!" the stallion whinnies, picking his pace up a little
The vendors were not going anywhere. That mare was a temporary sight. Hence, Teal decided to be a nuisance:
"Heeey, you've got an interesting robot there, miss. Interestingly modified, that is. Mind telling how? Not gonna stop you, just tagging along."
He looks rather surly at the mention of Patches. "Yeh, I know 'im. 'e runs a junk shop over dattaway." He points to a plaza that can be seen through a narrow alleyway. You recall seeing Veta head in that direction earlier. "You jus' lookin' fer trouble doin' business with him though. Believe it. Everythin' dere's ovahpriced garbage, cost you ya legs and ya teeth. Now me, I got all sortsa parts fer ships, bots, speeders, you name it, and I won't charge you near nothin'. So, whatcha lookin' for?">>688782
You see a variety of different stores in the area, apart from the aforementioned stalls:
"Ronnet's Discount Magical Supplies": A tall building with a small pointed tower poking out of it. It seems to specialize in arcane tools for the aspirant mage.
"Tests of Time Antiques": A small, very old concrete building with a rounded shape. It deals in a variety of trinkets and curiosities, some seemingly dating back to before the Fall of Equestria.
"The Pickled Clown": A homely looking wooden building with a dangling sign depicting a dancing pony dressed as a clown holding a tankard. Apparently, it's some sort of pub, but it's closed right now.
Finally, you take note of a plain, unassuming building with a peaked roof. A weather vane with the name TOM is perched atop it, with the letters arranged vertically so it looks the same from every angle. There's no indication of what's sold here; indeed, the only indication that it's a shop at all is a sign on the front door saying "Free gift for every customer!".
You also see a cardboard sign on the sidewalk, advertising the place you're looking for: Patches' Junkyard, with an arrow pointing to the right. Unfortunately, the sign looks like it's been abandoned for some time, so there's no way to tell which direction it originally indicated. Regardless, the fact it's here at all suggests you're close to the party's destination.>>688783>>688784
She stops in her tracks and glares at you both. >>688783
"…What do you want?" Her voice is slightly muffled by the scarf. "I'm busy.">>688784
"None of your business." She looks irritated and anxious, glancing behind apprehensively.
Veta takes note, and gets on her comm.
"Hello, this thing on? I think I'm close everyone…I think. Found an old sign for his place, but don't know how long its been here."
She raises a brow at the 'free gift' store, and decides to check out this mystery store.
"Come to the circular plaza with the Holy Twins in its center, by all the stalls. I'm off to keep looking."
She then hangs up, then checks out the plain building, more wondering what this place could be selling, considering the lack of advertisement.
"Oh, ship parts ye say?"
"Well now, glad t'see i've got options!" i reply with a grin.
"I'm lookin fer a few things t'patch me ship, blasted pirates stripped 'er bare."
"Let's see… I'll be needin a Nuclear transistor fer the engine and a new set o'comms, fer hailin ships and the like. Think ye've got the parts?">>688786
Hearing the comms ping, i turn away to answer.
"Aye, i'll be on me way in a moment. Might 'ave found a new sale fer the parts, checkin the lead now.
"Ya did? Wow, you're awfully good at lookin', Miss Veta! We'll come on over soon!">>688785
"W-We jus' wanna talk. We're tryin' t' learn 'bout a guy named Patches." he remarks, shifting around nervously
"Wow, rude. True though. Unless I were meaning to buy it. If I were, wouldn't you try recommending it to me?" - Teal does not seem to be taken aback too much by the mare's tone, having encountered opposition to her curiosity countless times in her past - "Also, I said that we're not stopping you, really. And even if you're busy, doesn't look like you have too much of a talkative companion on the leash there. Why not enjoy the walk and talk with fellow travellers?">>688786
Teal pouts hearing Veta on the intercom:
"Aww shucks, and here I thought we'd enjoy ourselves some more before that. Well, gonna be there in some time, Veta."
She looks to the side and presses her hoof to the ear as she says so, as to both show she's switching the conversation partner for a sec and hear things better.
Veta smirks and gets onto a call with Teal only.
"Take your time, I'm actually checking out another store. Besides, the sign is old as hell, he could've relocated."
You enter Tom's shop. It is quite cozy on the inside, a warmly lit store with rows upon rows of shelves containing a huge variety of objects: socks, rope, bedrolls, belts with dozens of pouches, blankets, candles, tins labeled "Pure and Clear", bags of trail mix, and many other things besides. Overall, the selection of merchandise seems to be for those going on outdoors expeditions. There are three more signs over the counter: the firs treads "Everything for the traveler!", the second repeats the promise of a free gift for every customer, and the third simply reads "Choose carefully". Curiously, there doesn't seem to be anyone home, nor are there any security measures; it is as if one could just waltz in and rob the place.>>688787
"Hmmmmm… Lemme check for ya." He pulls out an extremely grubby datapad, seemingly out of nowhere, and starts scrolling through it. "…..Nah. Sorry. Can't help ya. Don't got 'em." He shrugs. "Good luck with finding 'em though. Sure someone's gotta be sellin' one 'round 'ere.">>688788
"…I don't know him," she replies curtly. The robot hums idly as it waits for the signal to keep moving. "I know the name though. He runs a shop around here, I think. Now please, let me go.">>688789
"It's not for sale. I have things to do. Now leave me be." She looks extremely annoyed at your interruption, fidgeting on the spot.
"Ah, well. If you insist. Good luck with whatever it is you're doing!"
Seeing the mare being really in a hurry, Teal decides not to press further. Plenty other fish on the market, as they say. She waits for Pyrite to bid his adieu as well.>>688790
"Yay! Message received, miss Veta. Thank you!">>688788
"Veta might to be on the right track. Wanna join her there or keep searching with me here?"
Veta proceeds to window shop around the store a bit, looking at everything as if the gears in her head are turning. She grabs a bag of trail mix and a blanket, thinks on it a moment, then gets a pair of socks. Never know when you'd need those.
"Hello? Anyone here," she calls out, setting the stuff down on the counter and waits for someone. She sees the sign of choose carefully, then goes back to waiting.
At the news i wilt a bit, sighing. "Ah, well, thought as much. feels like the parts'r hard t'find."
thanking him for the directions, i head toward the plaza, looking for the spot veta mentioned.>>688790
"Bah! lead was a bust, seems like those parts'r harder t'find than i thought! I'm on me way."
"Right. U-Uhm, sorry t' bother ya." he says, before looking back towards Teal>>688792
"Uhm, which way's best? Think I should go with her, 'r would ya prefer I hang 'round?"
"Maybe one more chance here and then we'll head off?" - Teal proposes, pointing towards the two unicorns, seemingly entagles in a dispute regarding the robot parts.
She gives you both a withering look and yanks on the leash again, the two continuing on their way without another word.>>688793
Curiously, you find that you can't lift the bag of trail mix. When you try to let go of it, you find that you can't pull your hand away either, no matter how hard you try. You're effectively stuck there uncomfortably until someone comes along.
"You want some trail mix, friend?"
Someone has come along, apparently. You didn't hear him come in, but a tall, lean Diamond Dog with a hat on the back of his head is standing behind the counter, his arms folded and his wide mouth curved in a mocking smile. Presumably this is Tom himself. "Very sorry for the bad first impression, but Tom is not a trusting fellow." He has an odd accent that you've never really heard before. You wonder where he comes from. Tom puts one long finger behind the counter, and perhaps he casts some sort of spell, or activates a bizarre mechanism, because as he does so your own hand is released from the bag of trail mix. You stumble backwards all of a sudden.
"So," Tom says, clasping his hands together humbly, "what can I do for you? We sell all sorts of things for the weary traveler here. For instance, I saw you looking at the socks before. You won't find any better on Alambil, I assure you. They're cushioned, you see. Perfect for sore feet. And the blanket is the finest quality too, yes. Waterproof, windproof, fireproof, shockproof, just about everything-proof. And light as a feather. …Or what about these?" Before you can tell him just what you want, he starts getting into the swing of things as he picks up one of the Pure and Clear tins, opening it up to reveal a pinkish powder. "Sprinkle a bit of this on any foul water, and it'll be perfectly safe to drink. I guarantee it. Or these?" He takes a paper bag labeled Fire Beads, opening it up to reveal what look like crystal clear marbles. "Strike them and they'll start a merry blaze in no time. Perfect for a good bonfire, yes?"
"Of course, this is just a taste of what I have for sale. I'm sure you have your eyes on something around here. So," he repeats, with another wide grin, "what can I do for you?">>688794
You move into the plaza (see >>688780
for description). There's no sign of Veta anywhere around here. She's probably gone into one of the stores.
The unicorn nearby has changed from juggling fireballs to conjuring great pillars of fire, moving her hooves in strange gestures to shape it into unusual forms. It's quite an impressive sight.
"Uhm… she might jus' wanna go on her way… sorry t' bother ya, miss." he says, before turning to head to wherever Veta's found herself at- after waiting for Teal Drop, of course!
Since Pyrite expressed unwillingness to loiter in this place much more, Teal allows herself barely a short greeting and a fast, polite inquire in the direction of the unicorns before joining on the earth pony on his way.
"Let's see how Scrum's doing after that, kay?"
"Yupyup! Good thinkin', Miss Teal!" he says, before cocking his head to the side "Hey, ya need a ride? Dunno if all this'll tire ya out."
"Don't mind if I do, Pyrite. You're quite comfy, actually, you know?" - Teal says, making herself comfortable on the stallion's head - "And you're quite tall too. Makes for a good lookout."
"Not a problem. I'd ask how you did that, but I feel like that's a closely guard trade secret."
Veta is silent during his explanation, taking it all in and nodding along. She seems to think on all of it for a bit, then rolls her shoulders around to get a slight kink out of them.
"Well, I sorta came in on a whim. Was looking for Patch's Junkyard, but the lack of sign on a store caught my eye. So why not check it out while I'm here, right? Happened to be in the mood for a snack, and this would be just enough for me. And this other stuff since…well, why not? Never know when you'd need them."
"So aside from how much this would be, that old sign out there for Patch's correct?"
trotting down the row of stores, i call out for the missing dog.
"Veta? Where'd ye run off to? Where's that sign o'yours ye saw earlier?"
Pyrite chuckles a little bit as the breezie makes herself at home on his head, and keeps on heading to meet up with Veta "Well, thanks! 'S always been a little hard in cramped spaces, but bein' big's got its upsides!" he whinnies, his ears flicking a little bit
"I'm at an outdoors store. Just look for the fancy weather vane on the roof. Sign was on the ground somewhere outside. Just look for a ratty piece of cardboard."
You both pick your way through the dense crowd of marketgoers. As you pass the hangar where the shuttle is parked, you see Scrum leaning against the wall munching on a bag of peanuts. You notice that he has a satchel over his shoulder, where he didn't have one before. He must've bought something when he was on his own just now. "Hey, good t'see a friendly face," he grins, starting to follow you onwards and offering you both some of the peanuts. "Any luck findin' our target? Couldn't find anything meself.">>688802
Tom brings the trail mix, the resistant blanket and the cushioned socks over to the counter. "For you, that'll be just 30 florins," he says. "…Although, I do buy as well as sell. If you're carrying something of value, perhaps we could make a barter of sorts, yes?"
"Hm. Patches? Yes, I know of him, I suppose. He runs a junk dealership just down the road. I've never been there personally, so I can't say I know much about him." He readjusts his floppy hat.
You suddenly hear Risky calling for you from somewhere outside. Tom looks out the window, then over to you inquisitively. "A friend of yours?">>688803
There's no response, but she couldn't have gone far. She probably heard you.
Hearing a response buzzing out from my headset, i stop and start searching for that sign, following it's well worn instructions.
"Blasted sign's bound t'be round here somewhere…"
"Oh, yeah, cramped spaces are the worst. Once had to spend two weeks in a gouged out eye socket of of my former captain, covered by barely an eyepatch and a hollowed out glass eye's surface as she was interrogated, waiting for the perfect moment to strike as we knew that the one holding her captive would eventually come and laugh in her face. To bolster his ego by foulmouthing his rival where he thought himself safe…
Teal shifted her wings, adjusting them as Pyrite flickered his ears.
"… last mistake -he- made."
She stops for a short while, reminiscing. Afterwards though, she return with a happier tune:
"Yeah, being tall's the thing. Certainly no wind to blow over you, big guy! Work on your war face and there's gonna be few not dwindling before you~."
"S-Shucks, uh… I don't think I've ever been in a space that tight." the stallion says, certainly spooked by that little story. "U-Uhm, shucks… I'm glad th' two 'a ya made it out alright, then. That sounds like a pretty serious situation. I didn't used t' be as… claustraphobic 'r nothin', but I got caught in a cave-in back when I still did hard labor. Sorta, uh… s-sorta made me uneasy in spaces like that." he says, rubbing at his neck nervously.
"And, uhm, what's a war-face? Like, gettin' angry? Lookin' angry?"
Veta looks a bit surprised by the price.
"That's all? Well gee, how could one go wrong with a price like that? And thanks, don't think I've got much of anything right now, but I'll keep you in mind."
Veta also looks out the window, then sighs a bit as she's looked at.
"Something like that. I'm gonna take that as my cue to rejoin her."
She pays for the stuff then gives a nod goodbye to Tom.
"So Patches is just down the road you said right? Well, thanks for all the help."
She then walks out to join up with Risky and tell her the news she found out, carrying what she purchased.
"Yeah, it's… been worth it in the long run. T'was our best bet, really.. Much rejoicing afterwards though."
She listens in to the earth pony digging in his digging past. Her voice softens as she goes on:
"Ouuch! Sorry to hear that, Pyrite.. was that the reason you switched to the current job?"
She waits politely for his answer, then adds, regarding the last part:
"Angry? Somewhat. Not necessarily though. Imagine menace. Dread. Danger. Threat. Those and more being on display for the ones you'd wish to intimidate. They say the calmest ones are the most dangerous and scary when angered. I'd say you carry potential, Pyrite. On the plus side, you don't have to talk much when you focus on your facial muscles too. One thing at a time helps, dare I say."
She stops for a while and continues afterwards:
"Ever heard of employing terror tactics?">>688806
"Veta's gotten a trace, it seems. Nothing beside that yet though. It's a nice, bustling market. Might be a while till we get through with it~"
She happily accepts a single peanut, using her energy blade - set to a very low setting, as to not shorten Pyrite's hair by misuse- to cut it's surface and then begins the feast, caring not to eat too much though, given the potential need for drinking later - "Shall we explore a new vector together?"
"Yeah, it was pretty rough, but… I'm okay, aren't I? I wasn't hurt too bad! And, Yeah, sorta. F'r th' most part, th' folks that rescued me made such an impression that I wanted t' start doin' that. I ended up joinin' up with y'all here 'cause I figured, maybe I'd be able t' travel an' help!"
"Hrm…so, I gotta look like danger?" the stallion asks, stroking his shaggy chin in thought "Y-Yeah, not talkin' may help. I-I tend t' stutter when I get nervous…" he says, chuckling a little bit "I'll try it next time somethin' happens, an' see if I can get it!">>688806
"Heya, Scrum! Good t' see ya! Apparently, Miss Veta found some stuff! We're gonna go see!" he offers, before happily accepting a few peanuts!
You find the sign easily further on down the road from where Veta's meant to be, but it's not much more than a piece of cardboard with some scribblings on it. >>688810
"Of course. First time customers at Tom's shop deserve a good faith discount, do they not? Especially when they have such bad first impressions like you did."
He nods. "Ah, thank you, very much," he says with a slightly oily tone as he pockets the money. "Do come back. And tell your friends about me!">>688811>>688812
The peanuts taste like peanuts.>>688811
"Hrm. If Veta's onto something, then maybe we should stick with her?" Scrum suggests. "There's plenty of time to explore later, but we should do what we came here for first.">>688812
Scrum grins. "Right-o. Lead on then!">>688807>>688810>>688811>>688812
It's not long before you all reunite at the place Veta mentioned. Having a look around the area, you soon spot what you can only assume is the store you're looking for; a very large, ugly square of a building made of concrete and corrugated iron. It seems to be connected to an entire warehouse from behind. A broken sign names the establishment as "Silky Patches' Quality Junkyard".
Scrum clears his throat. "Er, I'll leave ye lot to it. I have some things I need to pick up at the market for the ship meself. Food, tools, spare parts, all that sort of thing. Need to stock up on all that if we're going to be travelin' together after all. I'll meet ye all back here, alright? If not, I'll see ye back on Iridav."
Pyrite nods happily- he's always loved the taste of peanuts!
Pyrite leads the trio on through the crowd! Luckily, someone his size has little trouble forceing his way through a crowd. He does it as politely as he can, and with a big, friendly grin on his face!
"Huh… guess this is his shop!" the stallion says, picking the pace up a little to make his way over. "Hmm? Oh, ya take care, Mister Scrum! Seeya back at th' ship!" he whinnies, before heading in thr front door!
"Aye, that's fine, see ye then, Scrum."
undeterred by the horrible look of the place, i make my way to the entrance and head inside.
"Not much t'look at, but plenty o'room fer parts at least."
Veta has ripped open the trail mix and began eating it.
"Large, ugly, and a lot in the back. Feels like I'm looking into a mirror."
Veta then heads inside with the others.
Teal munches on the peanut enthusiastically.
"Hmm… kinda tempted to go with you, Scrum" - Teal admits - "call if you get any dilemma with the parts' selection, kay? Fixed the radio on board, but there were actually a few more things a was meaning to take a look at there…">>688814>>688815>>688816
"So… just for reminding - we're meant to say we're from the Golden Company, but avoid showing we're new, right?"
"Yup! We're serious stuff! We ain't green!" he says, puffing his chest out
"Yup. So be on your guard for trick questions and crap. Gonna leave that to you three, though; I can't remember too much of that orientation."
Scrum nods. "See ye when I see ye, friends.">>688817
"Aye. I'm not much of a gearhead, but I'll see what I can do. I'm sure the boys up on Iridav will have taken a look at it for us anyway." With that, Scrum turns around and leaves. You can't help but wonder where he's getting his own money from.>>688814>>688815>>688816>>688817
As you enter, a tiny bell above the doorway announces your arrival. The store is as dingy on the inside as it is outside. It is dimly lit, and cluttered with busted robots, repair tools, cables, old datapads, bits of scrap, and all other manners of things besides. The design is very practical, albeit incredibly messy. You can't imagine this place having ever been tidy in the first place.
Sitting on a long concrete slab of a counter is a pony working on an inactive robot with a blowtorch. As the little bell rings, he perks up, drops everything and scuttles over to you. He is a very thin, grubby-looking unicorn with a dark orange coat and no mane whatsoever. He has a pointy snout, dark, squinty eyes and a large, thin-lipped grin. Veta is reminded of Tom the Shopkeeper with his sly demeanor. He wears a simple black jacket with with a few bulging pouches. You also notice that his jacket has a golden arrow embroidered on it; the same symbol on Gwenael's brooch. "Good day!" Patches chirps cheerfully in a very high, shrill voice. "Welcome to Patches' Junkyard! Looking for something in particular, or just browsing the merchandise?"
Leaving Risky the matter of speaking as the face of the party, Teal continues her watch from the height of Pyrite's head. She looks around, to see if there is any Breezie-sized equipment out there.
"Hello!" the stallion says, offering a friendly wave to patches. "I think we were lookin' f'r somethin' in particular, but I ain't th' best with words, so I'll leave it to th' others." he remarks
"Aye, that i am." I reply, picking my way through the scrap as i head over to the counter.
"I'll be needin' a few parts fer me ship, pack 'o pirates stripped her bare before we got her running."
"We'll bee needin a nuclear transistor, and a set o'comms fer mid-flight radioing."
"Her AI's missin, but that's second t'gettin her moving again."
"I'm just browsing," Veta says plainly, looking at all the other stuff that is all around the place, letting Risky do the big talking.
Most of what is on sale is more sized for ponies, not Breezies. You do spot a tiny Breezie-sized toolbox under a tangled mess of spare wires though. It could come in useful for ship repairs on the Moonstruck
. The listed price for it is 40 florins.>>688959
Patches nods in understanding. "Always happy to do business with you folks. Let me know if you see anything you like.">>688960
"Hmm…" He thinks for a moment, then seems to remember something, whipping out a datapad from one of his many pockets and entering some information on it. In the distance, you hear the heavy whirring and clanking of a robot. "You're in luck, my darling," he says with a big smile. "I happen to have just what you're after. They're beauties both. You can't go wrong with them!"
The clanking gets louder, and a door at the far end of the shop opens up as a construction robot similar to the one you saw in the marketplace stomps in. It is carrying a large, heavy looking object made of dark metal. It has three prongs sticking out one end, is covered in wires and has a glowing turquoise light at its center. "Here we are," Patches beams. "One nuclear transistor, almost brand new. Barely used by its last owner, far as I know. As for the comms unit…" He moves over to a nearby pile of scrap, eventually unearthing a small green rectangular contraption that looks like it's meant to slot in somewhere. "Found it," he says, wiping a bit of oil off his jacket. "Good as new!"
"Now, I have to warn you, this isn't going to be free, sweetin," he reminds you. "You seem like a good enough sort, but I do need to make a living somehow. I'd say you're looking at about… say… 3000 florins?" He grins toothily again. You could almost buy a new ship for that much.>>688961
As you go through the unruly mess of wares in the Junkyard, you find what looks to be a portable energy shield. Usually used to protect construction robots from debris, they can also be used by adventurers. It absorbs heavy damage on activation, but takes some time to recharge after doing so. The listed price is 60 florins. From the looks of things, Patches is much less forgiving with his prices than Tom is.>>688958>>688959>>688960>>688961
"…Say, are you lot with the Golden Company by any chance?" he asks innocuously as the robot loudly places the transistor on a nearby counter and trundles off. "There's a discount for members, and you look to me like the traveling type."
Taken aback by the price, i quickly nod my head at the mention of a discount.
"A-aye, that we are! Members enough t' work directly with 'ol Goldie in fact!"
"..Not t'say we can't pay fer it as is, o'course we can, but what o' that discount? Ye've got credits t'knock off that price?"
"Yes, I've done many house calls in my time as a doctor. You wouldn't believe how many people like tacky and gaudy things."
Veta eyes the energy shield, sets it to the side, and keeps digging through as if she was digging through her own fur for fleas.
Pyrite waits, bobbing from side to side as he lets the others do most of the talking. His ears perk up at the mention of the company, and he gives a short nod, before whinnying "Yupyup! Ya pinned us right!"
Teal looks over the aforementioned tools, seeming somewhat interested. Although she doesn't say anything of them yet, she cranks her head in that direction as she flies away from the shelf. At hand, she took it upon herself to inspect the goods at hoof, as presented to the party. First, her gaze fell at the nuclear transistor. Was it indeed one meant to match their ship?
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
At the mention of Goldie, he raises his eyebrows. After a minute, he enters something on the datapad again, seemingly running some numbers quickly. "…Well, I could knock it down to about 2500. Just for you. Because I like you." He smiles coyly. "Say, how is Goldie these days anyhow? Haven't heard from her in a lifetime.">>688964
He looks at you in slight confusion, not quite sure what to make of that statement.
You keep rifling through the piles and piles of junk. There's lots to be found amidst the shelves; a grappling hook, a radiation detector, a pre-Fall video game console in astonishingly good condition, a dentist's drill, a battered electronic chip of some sort labeled as an AI package, a deck of tarot cards, a tiny metal container labeled "Portable Microsingularity - Do Not Open", a large metal magnetic gauntlet used to facilitate heavy lifting, and a bunch of other assorted junk besides. >>688965
"Great!" He beams at you. "Any friend of the Company is a friend of mine!">>688966
You inspect the transistor closer. From what you know, it seems to be of a suitable type to be installed on a smaller cruiser like the Moonstruck
"…I suppose I could lower it a bit more than 2500," Patches muses out loud. "I do buy things as well as sell, as I'm sure you can see." He eyes Risky's PEW offhandedly. "Or, I could always use some help running errands and whatnot. What do you say? You help me, and I'll help you back."
"Errand, y'say? What do ye 'ave in mind? Nothin out o'station, hopefully?"
"As fer Goldie, she's..been better. Not the type t'venture out o'base, last fight took it outta the poor bird."
"What kinda stuff ya got f'r a guy like me? I ain't need too much, but might be good t' be a lil' sturdier."
"If I was still practicing in my office, I think she'd be seeing me quite a bit after what we just went through."
She raises a brow at the pre-Fall vidya console, looking it over more closely.
She hears talk of doing errands, and she gives a tired sigh.
"Ahh geez, here comes this
song and dance."
Hearing of the prices, Teal decides not to venture forth with the offhand bargains, given the importance of the primary aim. Nonetheless, she checks up on the comm-link and then flies around, somewhat recreationately, though somewhat focusing one what one might potentially upgrade the ship with. Naturally, one might need a bigger, more official forge for it, but knowing of the details and tidbits of scrap than one could find here was considered useful..
>Just defualting the Engineering on the Comm-link
"Well, that's no good," he pouts. "Awful shame, really. Hope she gets better soon.">>688969
He goes digging for a moment, unearthing a small rectangular device that looks like it's worn around the belt. "This is a portable energy shield," he announces. "They're usually used to protect construction robots and the like, but they can be used by anyone really. What it does is it absorbs a huge amount of kinetic energy when you activate it. Can even stop bullets. It only lasts a few seconds though, and does take a while to recharge after using it. For someone like you though, it'd be quite useful if you get into a nasty scrap! Only 60 florins, but for you, chum, I'll knock that down to 45.">>688970
You examine the console closer. It seems to be a vintage Univision 3000 console, from the long-defunct Silver Lining Entertainment Company. It has been revamped significantly from its original form; the cord has been replaced with a rechargeable battery, the device overall has a much sleeker appearance, and it has been affixed with a holographic projector screen. Most of the games it runs are extremely old and dated by modern standards. The listed price is 40 florins.>>688971
You start looking over the comms unit. It seems relatively straightforward to install onto your ship's command console, and would allow you to communicate with other ships with ease. In your experience, comms units only come in one type, and can be made to work with any sort of ship no matter the size or model.
As you look around, you spot what looks like a contraption called a scrambler at the back of the room. Made for smaller end ships, a scrambler would obscure the ship's signal from being detected by other ships, essentially making it invisible to all forms of detection, save for physically being able to see the ship itself. Scramblers are often used by contraband smugglers to avoid attention, and the legality of selling such a device is questionable at best. Most people wouldn't be able to recognize such a device, but you've seen them used before. It doesn't have a listed price.>>688968>>688969>>688970>>688971
"As for the job I had in mind, it's fairly simple, really. All I need you to do is escort one of my robots to a warehouse nearby. I have a business deal with the folks that run the place, but there's plenty of folks that will want what the robot is carrying. Make sure the cargo gets there safely, deliver it to my contacts, and I'll bring the price down to 2000 bucks, just for you."
"Now, there's a bit more you have to consider. First off, the robot is going to be carrying a crate. Don't let anyone, even yourselves, open that crate, no matter what. Second of all, if anyone comes up to you lot and asks about me, just deny it. Otherwise, they'll come looking for me, and that'll be a whole other mess. Thirdly, you'll want to avoid attention, so try to obscure your identities if you can. Some shadier folks than me will be coming after you if they know who you are."
"…That's about it really. Just make sure the cargo gets from A to B, and don't tip anyone off about it. Do that for me, and I'll be in your debt. What do you say, friends?"
"F-Forty-five, f'r me? O-Ohh, thank ya kindly, mister! I'll take it!" he chuffs, hoofing over the forty-five florins>>688972
"Hmm? Ohh, we can do that f'r ya!"
"Hmm.. fair enough."
"We'll take the job." i reply, nodding. "Somethin' simple, looks like. Watch the box, maybe crack some skulls, not too bad fer a discount."
Teal's eyes widen at the sight of such a novelty. She attempted to recall what was the Golden Company's viewpoint on such matters.
In the meantime, in case it was needed, she gave her approving nod to Risky in regards to the mission request.
Veta considers the price of the console as she listens to the details of the mission. She carefully sets it back down.
"Well, alright, sounds simple enough. Someone tell me some bad news so maybe I look upset enough to be left alone."
"Also, you do reserves on things?"
He takes the money and hands you the device. "Thanks, good compeer," he says with a smile.
>Energy Shield; automatic, recharge 3; negate up to 6 points of non-elemental damage>>688975
You don't recall anything about this sort of thing being mentioned, but from what you've seen of them so far, you assume the Company don't exactly punish lawbreaking.>>688976
"Depends on how long, I suppose," he answers. "What were you thinking of reserving, love?">>688973>>688974>>688975>>688976
"Aces," he beams. You notice that he has several gold teeth. He taps away on the datapad and you hear more mechanical clunking, and a garage door at the back of the room opens with a loud rattling sound, revealing what looks like the store's eponymous junkyard. "Right this way, then."
"Shucks, mister! Ya got a whole lotta gold teeth!" he remarks, stroking his chin in thought and chuckling "'S all shiny. An', after you!" he whinnies, following after
Following behind, i take a look at the rest of the assorted parts near the garage
"Hmm. wonder if i can upgrade me claw with some o'this. Been thinkin o'ways t'hide me plasma gun, give em a surprise in a scrap."
Teal follows, inquiring of Risky:
"Are you sure you'd wish to be hiding something so big and potentially overheating though? If that's the case, wouldn't it be better to mount it on a gravi-bike or something of the sort?"
"Aye, quite a risk true, but it'll give me somethin t'hide if we're searched. Nothin' like plasma t'end a fight."
"O'course, i'd need t'upgrade this old claw, heat ports and the like. switch off some o'these pain receptors, maybe a stabilizer. Hmm.."
"This Univision here. Not quite factory stock, but then again, neither am I," she says, rolling her shoulders where flesh and metal meet.
"The new stuff lately has just been mostly crap anyway."
Veta follows the others.
"You tend to lose them in my line of work," he says with a chuckle. "Not too hard to replace really. I made them myself.">>688979
They seem to be mainly robot upgrades.
"I actually know someone off-Ark that specializes in cybernetics," Patches offers. "Not too far from here, really. I can give you their details if you'd like.">>688982
He looks it over, nonchalantly picking it up and plonking the ancient console in a drawer. It rattles ominously. "Sure thing. As long as you need, I suppose. Don't think anyone else would be buying it anyway.">>688978>>688979>>688980>>688982
Patches leads you into the proper junkyard. It strikes you that he must make quite a lot of money, judging from how large this area is and how much he has stockpiled. Mountains upon mountains of broken robots, rusted speeders and miscellaneous rubbish are heaped all over the place, arranged to form mazelike paths all over the place. Hulking robots can be seen on occasion, hauling scrap as per their programming. Crude cardboard signs are visible on occasion, identifying what each pile consists of. Most of these signs are nearly illegible.
You carefully follow Patches, picking your way through the scrap heaps until you get to a very large robot just like the one at the marketplace, standing completely still. In its forklift hands, it is carrying a pitch black plastic crate, with the words "Happy Birthday!" sloppily painted on one side. "Here we are. Meet Sally." He gives the robot an affectionate pat, to no response. Patches presses another button on the datapad, opening a door in front of you to the outside. "I've programmed her to walk to her destination just fine, so all you have to do is follow her through the crowd. If you need to stop her at any point, just use this remote." He hands Risky a small black device with a few buttons on it, conveniently labeled things such as Start, Stop, Speed etcetera. "And remember, don't try to open the crate, don't namedrop me unless it's the people you're delivering to, and don't try to draw attention. Do this, and you'll be rewarded."
"Well, that's about it really. Off you go!" He pushes another button, and Sally springs to life, starting to trudge out of the junkyard.
"What say ye help me tinker with it? ye are
an engineer, after all. After we get me ship runnin, o'course."
Nodding, i hop to ordering from the robot's side. "We'll see to it, ye can count on it."
"Teal! hop atop the box, keep an eye out fer trouble."
"Pyrite, try n'keep ahead of it, clear a path if ye can!"
"Veta, you take the right, i'll be guardin' it's left."
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 1 = 1
"Hiya, Sally!" the stallion says, oblivious to whether or not Sally can even really understand them. He looks it over and nods a little, before saying "Shucks, sounds easy! We'll be back inna jiffy!">>688985
"Yess'm! I'll doo m' best!"
"Okay, and just who exactly is supposed to receive this? Don't want to give it to the wrong pony or whatever that may just be loitering around."
"I usually plant bombs on my enemies, not allies, but if you want me to, I don't mind. Might be quite an interesting challenge, trying to get that fitted inconspicously, so consider me game for that one.">>688983
"Hang on just a second" - Teal adresses Patches for the first time - "While that's all fine and dandy for dealing with those claiming the identity of your customers midway, how are we to identify the ones meant to receive it if we come across the wrong ones at the designation point?"
After she receives a satisfactory answer, she'd go her way after the party, blending in the crowd and activating her suit's shield.
>Defaulting Cradle on the suit
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
"Oh,and the name o'that vendor'd be nice, when we make it back o'course."
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Pyrite keeps a sharp eye out! >Perception [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"Wonderful. I know I can count on you," he says gratefully. "I knew you were a reliable sort from the moment you walked in.">>688990
"Sure, I'll give you it when you get back. Shouldn't take long.">>688987
The robot has no reaction to your greeting, rattling idly as it waits for the command to get moving.>>688988>>688989
"Hm? Oh, right, almost forgot. Sally here knows where to go, so you just need to follow her until you get to a warehouse. When you get there, you'll probably get stopped by whoever's on guard. Tell them you want to speak to Merret, and that Patches sent you to settle his debt.">>688991>>688992
As you begin to leave, you notice the silhouettes of two Diamond Dogs having a discussion at the end of an alley not far outside. They look over in your direction briefly, but make no attempt to approach your group.>>688985>>688989>>688988>>688987
You begin to follow Sally out of the junkyard and down a darkened path. You soon find yourself back amidst the stifling crowd of the Big Market, barely able to hear yourselves think as you traverse the twisted streets. Street vendors and beggars alike try to hassle you, but you keep moving towards the warehouse nonetheless. You spot more than a few people giving you curious looks, and a few try to come up to you, but seem intimidated by your looks.
As you get moving, you are approached by two spotted Diamond Dogs wearing wide brimmed hats. One has a cybernetic right hand, and the other a cybernetic left hand. They look similar in frame to the two Veta and Pyrite saw outside the junkyard. "Mornin', strangers," the left-handed Dog drawls as the right-handed Dog crouches down to adjust his boots. "We were wonderin' if you could help us. My brother and I are lookin' to do business with a junk dealer called Patches, supposed to be runnin' a shop on this here Ark. We just reckoned y'all would know somethin', what with the robot and all."
"We'd really 'ppreciate some help," the right-handed Dog adds as he stands back up. "We've been lookin' 'round for some time now, but haven't been able to find him. We're on a bit of a time crunch, so if y'all know anythin' we'd be really grateful."
Veta gives the two a very annoyed look, going as far as to shake out two of her pills.
"There's robots all over this damn place, ya know. Dunno how us having a robot means we're with this…what'd you say, some Liches guy?"
She pops the two pills and chews them unceremoniously.
"Anyway, we're on a time crunch as well. So if you really wanna find this guy, why not ask a cop or something? That's what I pay my taxes for, anyway."
"Eh? 'Patches'? I've not heard of em, though there's that scrap vendor near the port, ye might want t'check there if ye need parts."
[1d10] con artistRoll #1 9 = 9
Pyrite notices the pair of diamond dogs watching them- an unusual feat for someone as dopey as him! He shrugs a little bit, and turns to Miss Veta and Risky Hooves, before asking "I think I saw some Diamon' Dogs watchin' us! They seemed kinda disinterested, so I dunno if I saw right…"
When he spots them again, he gives the pair a wave "Heya! How're y'all?"
While the party is busy fending off the two Diamond Dogs, Teal is busy doing that with her sense of deja vu. She looked for a moment as if she wanted to say something, but glanced towards the DDs' ears and seemingly decided not to. Instead she flew up somewhat and from that vantage point sneakily checked whether there are other creatures listening in on or observing this scene.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
The duo look around. Yours is the only robot in sight, apart from two hovering drones of the sort that police use for surveillance. "Just thought we'd ask is all," the right-handed Dog says, putting his hands up defensively. "Sorry for the intrusion, ma'am," the left-handed Dog adds.>>688995
"Well, we're meant to be dealing with Patches himself," the left-handed Dog explains. "Not no one else." The two exchange a glance. "But we'll try there," the right-handed Dog adds hurriedly. "Odds are they might know his whereabouts.">>688996
"Howdy," the left-handed Dog says with a friendly smile as the right-handed Dog tips his hat. "Can't rightfully complain really. Been a productive sort of day so far. Thanks for askin'.">>688997>>688998
It's hard to tell if anyone's actually watching you or just looking over. There's a veritable sea of marketgoers of all shapes and sizes. On an upper level of one of the buildings, you can see a pegasus overlooking the crowd and speaking into a commlink, while from up ahead, a goat is looking about and hurriedly typing onto a datapad. You think you hear a very faint beeping noise nearby as well, but it could be coming from anywhere, if it exists at all.>>688994>>688995>>688996>>688997
"Well, if y'all don't know anythin', no sense in holdin' you up," the left-handed Dog says. "Thank you kindly for your time anyway." "Y'all have yourselves a good day now," the right-handed Dog adds, and with that the two continue on their path through the crowd. Sally keeps trudging onwards through the crowd, the marketgoers giving you all a wide berth.
Mindful of their dog - like hearing, I give them a long while before sighing in relief.
"Keep sharp, crew! We'll get there soon enough."
Veta grumbles as they walk off, not as caring of their hearing.
"Jeez, gonna burn through all m pills at this rate. This day is just gonna suck, isn't it?"
"Could be worse, ye might've lost that bottle o'pills in the crowd by now, if ye weren't near the bot!"
Veta gives an annoyed sigh and glances around, already having a slight twitch in an eye.
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
With them out of the way, I keep looking for anything suspicious.
[1d10] perceptionRoll #1 3 = 3
"Is it the noise of the crowd that's getting on your pain receptors so much, Veta?">>688999
Teal follows, looking back at the two Diamond Dogs for a while. Afterwards, she resumes her watch. That beeping could be taken as something distressing.
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"If someone stole my pills, I would make them need a doctor. Then I'd smirk at the look of horror when I tell them I am one."
"I'm mostly just unbottling right now. One of the few times I think I can be a complete and utter bitch and not have my time wasted by some desk jockey at HR."
"No problem! I hope it keeps bein' good f'r y'all!" he says cheerfully, before waving them off as they head away>>689001
"I unno, Veta! I think t'day's gonna be pretty darn good!" he whinnies>>689000
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 1 = 1
You don't notice anything out of the ordinary.>>689005
You see one Dog say something to the other, after which the latter pulls out a datapad and starts typing, looking behind himself in your general direction. You get the feeling you haven't seen the last of them. As for the beeping, you notice it seems to be coming from somewhere in the crowd, so it's probably not something to worry about.>>689000>>689001>>689005>>689008
You keep following Sally forward. Eventually the crowd begins to thin, and you start moving towards the outskirts of the Big Market. There are less stalls here, and a much less dense crowd, giving you ample room to move around in. Many of the buildings here offer hospitality services, such as low end cafes, motels and the like. Further down the road, you see what looks like a large factory, suggesting an industrial area lies ahead. You note that with all this comes a large population of homeless people. There are several beggars lining the streets, either huddled in alleyways or out in the streets asking for aid. You notice that a lot of these are Changelings, wearing the transformation-preventing collars that you've seen before.
"Hey mister!" One such beggar calls out to you, an aging, grey-bearded earth pony wearing a tattered fur coat and an amulet of Saint Cadence. A filthy piece of cardboard lies by his side, with the words "PLEASE HELP" scrawled on them alongside an empty ceramic cup. The beggar picks it up and holds it out to you hopefully. "Spare some coin? Please? Have a heart, just a few florins for me lunch is all I ask…"
Teal notices he's wearing an earpiece of sorts, attached to a cable that runs under his coat.
Pyrite gives a happy, dopey smile!>>689010
Pyrite frowns a little bit as he spots the aging beggar along the side of the street, his ears folding back as he looks to the others "Y-Y'all got any food t' give 'im? I-I don't wanna jus' leave him like this…"
Ready to pass by, I'm stopped by the sad stare of the big pony
"…aye, fine, I'll spare a few florins. But not fer every one of em! We've not got the money t'give out that freely."
Popping open my claw's storage, I float over a few florins, to cover for food.
Teal sneaks a few glances at said earpiece. Call it paranoia, but why not use such beggars as spying devices? Seemingly blending in the background, yet perfectly capable of transferring data and willing to work for little…
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
She just gives a defeated sigh.>>689010
"I'm not the one carrying anything, but here," Veta replies and drops a new, still-wrapped lollipop into the cup.
"Better than florins: you can eat it right away."
"T-Thanks, Miss Risky." he says, offering a smile… and gasping as Veta does similar!>>689014
"Thankya kindly, miss Veta!"
You give the beggar 9 florins, enough to buy a decent burger.>>689013
It's hard to tell because his coat covers up whatever he's hiding, but it definitely looks like there's more to this lowly corner beggar than meets the eye. You wonder who could be profiting from using beggars as their eyes and ears in this place. The Spurned, perhaps, or the pirate lord Redgrave works for. Or someone else entirely.>>689014
"Oh!" He looks surprised and somewhat confused by the lollipop, but takes it gratefully nonetheless.>>689011>>689012>>689011
"Ah, thank you, all of you," he breathes. "I-I won't forget this. Twins bless your kind hearts." With that, he does an awkward sort of bow and starts shambling towards a nearby fast food chain. A few other nearby beggars perk up as they see you donate, but none of them make an effort to ask for more.
Nodding as the beggar shuffles off, i rush to reach the robot's side, forgetting to slow it down during the exchange
"Alright, back t'the bot! We're nearly there."
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 2 = 2
Shucks, mister, no need t' say thanks." the earth pony offers, before looking to the others
"So, keep on keepin' on? This hasn't been so hard so far!" Pyrite says, smiling a little bit wider as he looks the robot over. "C-Can't get too comfy though, r-right!">Perception: [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Teal sneaks away, as to not have the beggar realize she's been spying on him in return. Losing adversaries in the crowd just became a lot harder, she affirmed. She flew up, continuing her watch, as the robot continued its march.
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Veta just gives a bored sigh, taking a look around as she bends her back and makes it makes a few crack/popping noises.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
You don't see anything out of the ordinary.>>689176
As the beggar moves away, you see him pull up his coat a bit, as if huddling into it. Strange behavior, considering it's not a cold day.>>689175>>689176>>689177>>689178
You keep following Sally at a modest pace as the robot trundles on through the streets of Alambil, passing through a small industrial area without much incident. You are now in a much less populated area, far away from the bustling crowds of the Big Market. This seems to be a residential area, although it doesn't seem like a particularly pleasant one. Towering apartment buildings are prevalent, all nearly identical in shape and half-crumbled with neglect over the decades. Homeless bums are a common sight, as are shabby little kiosks and darkened stores with unsavory names. In narrow alleyways, shady figures skulk about, occasionally peering out at you as they go about their seedy business. There is almost no one out and about apart from these, however; it doesn't look like the kind of place that would attract tourism.
As you keep moving, three unpleasant-looking ponies step out of the shadows to block your path. They are wearing hoodies and bandannas to hide their faces, and two of them have several tattoos. Hearing hoofsteps from behind you, you see two more similar-looking ponies step out, blocking your retreat. Although they're mostly covered up, you note that they seem fairly young, still teenagers from the looks of them.
"You lost or something?" one of them asks after a moment of silence. He's a skinny blue unicorn, with tattoos in a foreign alphabet on his left front leg. "You don't belong here."
"What's in the crate?" another asks, a brown earth pony. He seems to be the oldest in the group, but still young, no older than 18 or 19. A bulge in his hoodie pocket shows that he's carrying a weapon of some sorts, presumably a gun. "Seems expensive."
One of the thugs behind you, a slim yellow earth pony, seems to be sizing all of you up, looking for valuables on you. He seems to be the youngest, probably about 13 or 14.
Veta gives an annoyed sigh and rubs her temples with her claws.
"I'm only telling you kids once, and once only: scram. What's in that crate," her claws turn into needles and she gives the kids a cold glare, "isn't worth tangling with a killer like me. At least, not one who always gets away with it."
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Seeing the lot of them clearly pint-sized, i roll my eyes and stop sally, before sighing and approach the three.
"Lad, ye've got guts tryin t'mug me i'll give ye that, but the lot o'us aren't in the mood t'beat foals. Move on home before ye try'n cross blades with ponies that won't let ye leave livin."
Teal makes a half-circle around the ponies in front. Although, from the looks of it, there were chances they could be simply chased away, she wasn't one to take risks of this sort. Hence, leaving distracting the adversaries with the talk to others, she flew under the hoodie of the supposed leader, where she noticed the indication of the weapon. Teal opted to mess with that. Perhaps, with the weapon failing in their hooves, they'd be more willing to give up..
>Sabotage>DC reduced by 2
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
Pyrite cocks his head to the side. He's curious… but, doesn't think too much on it.
He gives a bit of a frown as they pass on through into a pretty run-down residential area, the stallion not too happy to see people put in such a rough place. He looks between the different ponies curiously, and he responds with a fairly innocent-sounding "Hmm? Well, we don't live here, so I guess that's pretty accurate. We're jus' passin' through." the stallion notes, before saying "Well, I-" he catches himself, and looks to Veta, before puffing his cheeks out a little. He may be dopey, but he can understand the situation well enough "W-Well, yeah. Th' crate ain't nothin' f'r y'all. But, uh… aren't y'all a little young t' be doin' stuff like this? Ya don't wanna go gettin' yourself in trouble b'fore you're even adults." The earth pony remarks, stepping closer to the blue unicorn and the yellow earthie. Trying to take Teal Drop's advice, he puffs his chest out in an attempt to look more imposing… maybe it'll make talking them down easier?>Stern Diplomacy [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
The three in front take a few steps back involuntarily. "I think they're for real bruv," the blue one says to the brown one. "Might be Goldens, or even Mummers. Look at her claws!" The brown one, presumably the leader, looks unnerved by the needles.>>689181>>689184
The two behind you start whispering nervously, glancing at your PEW.>>689182
You find it isn't a gun at all, or even anything particularly threatening. All he's carrying is a simple box cutter, not much more dangerous than a kitchen knife. You manage to get it jammed so the blade can't extend.>>689183
The yellow pony, as both the youngest and the smallest of the five, cowers slightly at your imposing height. The rest seem intimidated by you, although less so than the yellow one.>>689180>>689181>>689182>>689183
The five huddle together all of a sudden and start whispering to each other, glancing back at you. "Forget it," one of them says eventually, a heavyset grey pegasus. "I'm not standing around to get murked by no mercs." With that, he just ditches the rest of the group and flies off. "Oi! Wait!" the brown one yells, but it's too late. He looks around anxiously, then frustratedly beckons to the rest of his group. "…Come on then." Looking at the lot of you with a mixture of irritation and fear, the group of amateur muggers disband quickly, leaving you to push on to your task's end.
With a sigh of relief, I make my way back to Sally and get the bot moving again.
"Blasted kids, gonna get int'trouble, the lot of em. Too young t'be fightin passers-by."
Pyrite's attempt at being scary cracks a little, and he leans in a little to say "Come on now, kid. This ain't th' kinda stuff y'all wanna be gettin' into. Jus' try an find a better way, ya know?"
He offers a bit of a relieved sigh as the kids run off, and looks to the others with a smile "Shucks, am I glad we resolved that peacefully. I-I'da felt awful havin' t' fight colts…"
"All sorts of ponies in these streets… well performed, everypony" - Teal commends the party as she gets her move on - "Nice to see you trying as well, Pyrite."
Veta retracts her needles and watches them run off, making sure they stay gone. She then continues with the rest of the group.
>Perception>Success Through Failure
"Hmm…yeah," Veta remarks back, frowning a bit more than usual and looking lost in thought.Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
"T-Thanks, Miss Teal! I-I dunno how well I did, but, uhm… I-I'll keep tryin'!"
>Perception [1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
It doesn't look like those punks will be bothering you again.>>689190
You trip and almost fall over on a beer bottle in the middle of the road. It shatters into dozens of dangerous shards, but luckily you are unharmed, save for a small nick.>>689186>>689187>>689188>>689189
You keep moving through this impoverished sector of Alambil, eventually reaching a fenced off building. It looks run-down and abandoned, judging from the rusted iron roof, broken windows and ajar fence gate. From the looks of things, this place used to be a shelter for the homeless, but it doesn't look like it's been used in some time. You notice that there are a surprising amount of pigeons in the area for some reason.
Sally keeps moving past the broken gate, eventually stopping at a large iron garage door. A small hatch on the side of the door opens up after a moment, and a robotic limb with a spherical camera on the end pops out and stares at you. "Who are you?" a gruff voice demands, coming from the camera. "Outsiders aren't welcome here."
Trotting up to the door, I look into the camera as I gesture to Sally with a claw.
"Got a package fer the owner o'this place, from patches. Sent us t'guard it, looks important."
Pyrite yelps loudly as he trips over a beer bottle, and stumbles for a good few feet before catching himself. He frowns a bit at the sight of the shattered glass and carefully sweeps the shards out of the way with a guantleted hoof, completely unaware of the nick in his foreleg.
He offers a wave to the camera, and peers riiiiiiight into it "Hiya! We're here on delivery duty, mister!"
Veta just rubs her temples as Risky does the talking, sighing in relief as they seem to have gotten to their destination without any major incident.
Teal stays silent for now, sending only a meaningful look to Veta, as if agreeing with her sigh of relief somewhat.
There is an uncomfortable silence that goes on for a few minutes, during which the camera just keeps staring at you. "…Don't try anything," the voice says eventually, and the robotic stalk retracts. The door then begins to slowly creak open. The inside is a garage, as you'd expect, but much larger than it appears to be on the outside, with several gravbikes in disrepair being worked on by engineers. There are also several cages containing pigeons, as well as a few free birds perched around the area.
Standing there to greet you are a large group of grubby looking characters, mostly ponies but there are also Dogs, goats, donkeys and griffons. They are all dressed in dirty clothes and many sport scraggly, unwashed hair, overall looking like a group of homeless bums; however, they are all armed with guns of varying types. At the center of this group is a large, stoutly built black goat with large curled horns, dressed in a bulky fur-trimmed trenchcoat. On either side of him are two familiar faces in the form of the hatted Diamond Dogs that stopped you at the marketplace earlier. One of them tips his hat slightly to you.
"It's about damn time Patches paid his debts," the goat booms with a genial smile. He has a very deep, authoritative voice. Unlike the rest of the group, he seems friendly enough. "I was expecting you to get here sooner, from what my boys told me. At least nothing went wrong on your way here. Right?" The goat motions to some of his lackeys, who take the crate from Sally and start bringing it in. He extends one hoof in greeting to Risky. "The name's Merret, by the way. I run this place."
Veta looks at the two familiar dogs, giving a grin and slight laugh.
"Well, unless you've got some unruly teenagers or the hungry harassing you for whatever, then you're pretty much in the clear."
She looks around at the gravbikes being worked on, having a bit of nostalgia to her college days.
"Aye, true. Things'r movin' smoothly." I reply, shaking merret's hoof with my claw.
"Nice t'meet someone not tryin t'kill me fer a change. Name's Risky Hooves, captain o'this motley crew here." I finish, gesturing to the rest of the group. "So, this crate o'his is his debt, eh? Kept quiet o'er the whole thing, must've been worried."
Teal pays attention to how the gang look-a-likes handle the crate and where they take it. She also tries to ascertain what is it that caused the gravbikes to be in disrepair - all in order to get some information on the shady dudes.
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Pyrite looks at the camera expectantly, and bobs his head in response "I won't do nothin' wrong, mister! Promise!" he whinnies, and takes a step back as the door begins to slowly creak open. He offers a big ol' wave to the two familiar-looking Diamond Dogs, and steps aside to let Miss Risky do the talking!
Merret nods towards his crew. "As long as they behave themselves, everyone's welcome here," he replies. "I find it's easier to keep people in check if you're good to them. Lots of hungry mouths to feed here on Alambil, and all of them see things out there on the streets.">>689198
"I already know who you are," he answers with a slightly sinister smile. "No one gets on or off Alambil without me hearing about it. I am all seeing. All knowing," he says faux-theatrically with a chuckle.
"In a way, yes," he says, looking over to the large crate. "If he's brought what I think he's brought. Just between us though, I doubt it. I don't trust that scumbag, and neither should you." He snorts derisively at the text painted on the side of the crate. "'Happy birthday'. That's cute.">>689199
It looks like they're being modified somehow, as if they've been taken apart and are in the middle of being put back together. One of the engineers spots you staring and moves closer to the bike defensively. Evidently, Merret is the only remotely trusting person in here.>>689200
"Hello again," one of the twins says, the one with the robotic left hand. "Sorry for the interruption earlier. We just had to buy some time is all." You're not quite sure what he means by that.>>689197>>689198>>689199>>689200
The garage door begins to rattle shut behind you. One of the hatted Dogs begins to fiddle with the lock on the crate. "Ah, no need for that yet," Merret says. "We'll do the unboxing later." He looks over to your group. "By the way, I believe you've met my friends here, Ronsin and Adalbert Domergue. Like I said to Risky here, I know just about everything that happens here on Alambil, thanks to these two." You're not sure which one of the two is Ronsin and which one is Adalbert. "And others, of course, who you've seen around. Odds are, if you see someone that looks like they're down on their luck, they're probably with me. I'm king of the rags. Might want to keep me in mind next time you're here, on Golden Company business or besides." He chuckles again.
"Say, it's getting about that time. Would you care to join us for lunch?" he asks cordially. "There's always room for guests here." Despite Merret's affable demeanor, you're not really sure it's meant to be an invitation.
"I'd not mind a bite, if yer offerin! Our line o'work, ye never know when the next chance fer food comes around, best not waste it when ye see it." I reply with a laugh.
"Lead the way, Merret."
"Buy some time?" he cocks his head to the side curiously, before looking to the others for a bit of guidance. Regardless, he gives all the new people excited hoofshakes, before taking a seat at the table "Thank ya kindly, Mister!"
"Hmm…right. Nobody has ever taken advantage of a person's kindness before," Veta says with a bit of a solemn frown. She gives her shoulders a small roll, still adjusting to the slight lack of pain that is usually there.
"Thanks, but you seem to have enough mouths already. I've got enough weighing me down, don't need more if someone didn't eat just cause I sat in uninvited."
Teal, upon being spotted in her doings, snorts and flies away, seemingly satisfied in what she's already seen.
"Not like we're in a hurry" - she comments quietly in the comm - "Reckon it might mean offering something more than food actually" - she follows diligently.
"Hey, it's the least I can do for you. You helped me out, now I'm helping you.">>689203
"To get the message here," he elaborates. "That you were coming. Spying ain't exactly a pretty business. I hope you won't hold it against us.">>689204
"Oh, don't get me wrong, little lady," Merret intones. "If someone crosses me, my generosity runs out. And there's a whole lot of folk on this Ark that'll listen to what I have to say, and what I want them to do. An eye for an eye. You know how it goes."
"Nonsense," he says dismissively. "There's more than enough to go around. More seats at my table than I know what to do with. Come. I insist.">>689202>>689203>>689204>>689205
The crowd of gun-wielding hobos start to disperse somewhat, although a few stick around to protect Merret. He enters something on a datapad before leading you through a nearby door and down a flight of stairs, taking you under the neglected building outside.
As he leads you through the area, you soon realize that the abandoned building up above is just a front for what lies below. Over some time, Merret has slowly but surely built an extremely large underground complex that acts as a hidden shelter for the homeless. While most of Alambil's citizens live in towering buildings above, Merret's little kingdom thrives below their noses. He must have been working on this project for years, if not decades. The garage you entered through is barely the tip of the iceberg for this sprawling mazelike vault of narrow concrete passages and dim yellow lights. It starts to dawn on you how influential Merret must really be, to have built all of this.
"Quite a sight, isn't it?" Merret says proudly as you follow his entourage onwards, entering a rickety old elevator. "My life's work. My kingdom. This must be what it feels like to be a god." He chuckles to himself. "Of course, all this means squat on a larger scale. I'm not even a blip to the big guns of the galaxy. But they don't care about me, and I don't care about them. I'd prefer to keep it that way. Best to stay under the radar nowadays…"
You get off on level 3, out of 40. "Here we are. The dining hall. Well, one of a few." Moving forwards, you see a large brightly lit room with several long tables at which some folk are already eating. Surveillance drones hover silently through the air, keeping an eye on everything that happens in the room, while waiterbots in slightly poor condition patrol down the alleys ready to tend to your needs. Merret seats himself at the head of a mostly empty table, which has a veritable banquet on it. Roast chicken, whole cooked fish, bowls of lush salads and exotic fruits, wooden plates with small pastries, jugs of ale and bottles of expensive wine, and many other things besides are there for you to help yourselves to. "Sit wherever you like," he urges you as the rest of his group seat themselves eagerly, including Ronsin and Adalbert. "And eat as much as you like. You're my guests, and deserve as much. Right?"
My suspicions blown over at the sight of the spread, I take an empty seat near merret, floating over a salad bowl with my magic.
"Happy t'help, friend."
"Nicer end than the last outing",I mention, grabbing a glass of ale along with the salad, "A simple drop off and lunch t'boot!"
"Impressive" - the Breezie comments as they go.
For now, Teal makes use of the fact that she's small and seating herself between her comrades, allows herself a small Breezie-sized helping, which she pretends to eat, banking on the fact that others won't look into the miniscule differences between her actually doing the thing or not.
If anyone cares to check, she seems quite absorbed in listening to Merret.
"Wonder if he'd define Goldens as one of those big guns" - she mutters quietly in the comm again.
"Huh? Uhm, nah, didn't bother me all that much!" the stallion says, as he follows along behind Merret. He doesn't eat much meat, so the earth pony settles for a salad, and some fruit! He grabs a pastry too, since they just look so good! He settles for some water, and gives him a thankful nod- it's impolite to speak with your mouth full!
"What, the guns?" I reply, "sounds t'me he meant our outfit, golden in the name, after all."
Veta gives a drawn out whistle at the sight of the vast, underground complex.
"Well, if you're so insistent, then might as well," she says and pulls up a seat. She gets some chicken and a cup of wine, the wine she uses to take another one of her pills.
"Now…not to mix business with pleasure, but we're not going to be on the receiving end of any sort of funny business if whatever is in the crate not what you expect, right? I don't know what sort of good or bad blood you have with Patches, but frankly, I really don't care."
She sighs after finishing her wine.
"I just don't want a somewhat peaceful day to end with some hitch that has nothing to do with me."
The salad is quite crisp and the ale refreshing, almost restaurant-grade. "Again, it's the least I can do to show my hospitality. And to welcome you to Alambil proper. It's easier to catch flies with honey than it is with vinegar, as they say."
The two Diamond Dog brothers take a seat directly across from both you and Pyrite. "So, you reckon y'all will be stayin' long?" asks Ronsin, or maybe it's Adalbert, as his brother serves himself a side of fish. "Or are you just here to pick up the supplies y'all needed?">>689208
You pretend to eat quietly as you listen in to the conversation. Merret types some orders into his datapad before taking a remarkably large chicken drumstick for himself.>>689209
"Well that's good," Adalbert replies, or maybe it's Ronsin. "I'm just glad we can all be on good terms."
You tuck into the salad. It's quite fresh and tasty, consisting of a large variety of vegetables, including lettuce, olive and cucumber. As for the pastries, they are small deep fried tubular meals with steaming vegetables inside. They are also delicious, especially when dipped in a special sweet and sour sauce.>>689211
You take a piece of steaming chicken breast and a glass of red wine. Both are serviceable enough as meals, although the chicken could use a bit more seasoning.
"Hm? No, of course not, that's ridiculous," Merret answers. "No point in shooting the messenger. Rest assured, you're safe here.">>689207>>689208>>689209>>689211
As you eat your extravagant lunch, another group of ponies enter the room, carrying the crate from Patches. They set it down and start working on the number lock, eventually cracking it. The lid pops up slightly. "Here we are. The big reveal," Merret booms dramatically, gesturing at the crate with the chicken drumstick. His followers look over with interest. "Say, would you like to do the honors?" He looks over at the four of you expectantly. "Show us all what Patches was good enough to bring us, if you'd be so kind. …After you've finished eating, of course. No rush."
"Hmm…," is all Veta replies with as she opts to keep eating. At being offered to open the crate, Veta gets up and dabs a napkin against her mouth.
"Sure, why not. Might as well see what all the fuss was about…."
She goes over and opens it, not able shake a bad feeling in her gut. Or maybe it was just something she eat earlier?
"Just stopping by t'repair me ship, needed a few parts from patches, get her flying again."
"As fer that crate" I lead in, between bites of salad "I've no clue what his plan was, just t'get it here unopened. Might as well take a look, see what that box o'his is."
"After I wrap up me salad, o'course."
Teal looks at the crate for a while, pondering, then adds:
"On the way here, I've been wondering whether it might not be a bomb of sorts, to blow us up alongside whoever Patches addressed it initially to. However, with how influential you are, mister Merret, I'm getting the feeling he wouldn't quite dare go for something this blatant" - having said that quite calmly, she goes on with what she's been doing so far, watching as Veta takes care of the box.
Pyrite does a bit of drumming with his hooves in anticipation, his salad and fruit long-eaten. He is a big ol' hungry stallion, after all! He hops up to all fours and goes on over to the crate, before looking to the others to make sure it's okay and popping it open!
You finish your meal and move over to the crate. As you do so, everyone steps back and gives you an extremely wide berth, just in case something bad happens. As the lid is removed, you hear a dull pulsing noise coming from within. "Oh boy," Merret mumbles as Ronsin and Adalbert get behind the table in sudden fear. "Here we go."
Inside the crate is a tiny glass cylinder, with a purple light coming from inside. It is floating in midair, but as soon as the lid is removed fully it falls to the bottom of the crate, shattering. Everyone in the room immediately ducks for cover, overturning the banquet table with an almighty crash. The purple light begins to grow brighter and brighter, suddenly beginning to strobe rapidly, turning into a brilliant array of colors as it grows increasingly larger with no signs of stopping. The pulsing sound is almost deafening as the light from inside the crate becomes blindingly bright, engulfing everything around it.
"Gah, jeez, that's too loud!" Veta yells as she covers her ears. She makes a dive for the table, hoping that it ends soon enough before she gets another migraine.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Teal immediately pulls down the hood of her suit, sealing herself in completely within her indestructible Cradle-enchanted suit. Positioning herself so that the incoming impact would toss her in the direction of the exposed flesh of any of the other banqueters, as to make a non-lethal landing, she attempts a split-second action to save everyone. Namely, she drains additional energy from the reactor to strengthen the structure of the cylinder, so as to render its volatile contents harmless by having them contained within the indestructible shell.
>Cradle on the cylinder
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
>Misread the post, as pointed out by GM. Rolling to dodge instead:
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Pyrite looks inside curiously as the crate's lid comes off, and gives a curious, somewhat… worried glance at the interior! Not wanting to be next to that when it goes off, he tucks his ears in tight, grabs Teal Drop, and heads for cover!>Protect: Teal Drop (Even if it doesn't do much, it's what he'd try to do)>Dodge: [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
ears folded back in pain, i try and dive away from the box!
"Blasted box, look out!"
[1d10] DodgeRoll #1 7 = 7
You instinctively move in front of Teal, trying to protect her from any incoming blast.>>689219>>689222>>689360
You try and get away, almost succeeding in doing so; however, the expanding light is beginning to exert a gravitational pull, dragging you into it before you can get away.>>689221
You start to fly off, but the force of the purple light is far too strong for you, sucking you in easily.>>689218>>689220>>689222>>689360
You, a few others nearby, the crate, and a bunch of tables and chairs all get dragged into the expanding purple light. A strange, uncomfortable sensation envelops you, best described as feeling like you're being pushed through an opening several times smaller than yourselves. You cannot move, and breathing is difficult. Everything goes black for a moment.
Suddenly, you find several hundred meters above the Big Market; however, you are not plummeting to your death, but merely suspended there. You can see the neverending crowd below you, and all the tents, alcoves and squat little buildings that interlace the Ark's streets.
Everything goes black again.
You are now back in the dining room of Merret's giant bunker, not on the floor but rather a few metres above it. Merret himself is picking himself up off the floor, groaning. Ronsin and Adalbert are there as well, trying to recollect themselves. The space where the light engulfed you is completely blank now, as if the whole room were a drawing and someone had erased a portion of it. As you reappear, Merret looks up and shouts something to you.
Everything goes black again.
You are in the emptiness of space. Nothing at all can be seen in any direction. There are no Arks in sight, no ships, not even any asteroids or planets. There is just the group of you, bunched together in deafening silence. It occurs to you that you should be dying from exposure to the vacuum of outer space, but apart from the uncomfortable squeezing sensation you are fine.
Everything goes black again.
You are now on an Ark somewhere, at least that's what you'd assume. This Ark is composed of great white glimmering towers as far as the eye can see. Some of the towers have great flames at their summit, while others have dancing lights in all colors of the rainbow. You can see the Ark's skyline stretching on for miles, while when you look down you see that the towers reach so high up you cannot see the ground below.
Everything goes black again.
You are in a desert of sorts now, unlike anything you've seen before. The sand is grey, for one, almost like ash, and the sky above is of a similar hue, except the clouds are scarlet red. In the distance, you can see what looks like a ruined building, half-consumed by the desert. It looks like it must have been some sort of fortress once. You hear the faint rumbling of distant thunder.
Everything goes black.
You are thousands of kilometers above Alambil, and can see the great knife-shaped Ark far below.
Everything goes black.
You are inside a ship of sorts, polished silver with gleaming lights. Through a porthole, you can see some sort of megastructure.
Everything goes black.
You are in space again, in the middle of an asteroid field. A great pink and orange nebula surrounds you.
Everything goes black.
You regain consciousness to the smell of leaves and pollen. You're not sure how much time has passed. It takes a few moments for everything to register, but you see that you are now in some sort of forest. Great trees tower above you, with the faint sound of insects chirping and buzzing all around you. The vegetation is dense, with thick bushes surrounding you and tangled vines creeping down from the trees, sprouting multicolored wildflowers. It takes you a moment to register, but you are actually floating a few meters off the ground, descending gently after a minute.
You have been deposited here alongside the handful of others that were unlucky enough to get caught up in… whatever that was. The furniture and the crate have accompanied you also, and have gotten quickly snared among the fauna. The other ponies start to look around in confusion, muttering among themselves fearfully and trying to figure out what just happened.
For your part, your heads feel light, and you struggle a bit to keep your footing, but you are otherwise completely unharmed. Strangest of all, you all have a craving for something sweet. You get the feeling that you are being watched.
>post sheets and roll Perception
holding my head with my talons, i tentatively look around the area.
"urgh.. Crew, report. The lot of ye're alive, right?"
Veta just lays on the ground, looking completely dazed by the entire ordeal. She finally picks her head up and looks around, sighing.
"Welp, I guess it finally happened. I've died and gone to dog heaven."
She looks around, seeing the others have joined her…and there were other ponies looking at her.
"Oh wait, no I didn't, otherwise I'd be by myself."
She gives a defeated sigh and brushes herself off.
"Welp, that's what I get for getting my hopes up I guess. Maybe another time."
She looks at one of the onlookers.
"Hey, you mind telling me where the hell we are," she grumpily calls out, satisfying her sudden sweet craving with one of her lollipops.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 1 = 1
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
"Whaaat.. the hay?" - says not the most dignified of creatures right now, slowly picking herself up - "Points for me, it was not a -bomb-, but what was that? Sealed off haywire teleportation magic? Ugh, for once, when that mage could be useful, he's gone.."
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"Any clue where some scrap-pusher managed t'get a bomb like that? Blasted thing must've launched us across the ark."
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Pyrite groans a little bit, coming to his senses slowly as he begins to roll off of his back, and sit up. He rubs at his head a little bit more, before blinking once, twice, and letting out a startled yelp and searching around for Teal Drop!>[1d10] Perception>>689367
"O-Oh! Y-You're alright! I-I was worried I mighta not been able t' get in th' way quick 'nough."Roll #1 5 = 5
"Nah, your senses were acute enough for a regular explosion there. You'd make a decent bodyguard with reflexes like that, I reckon. Have you ever considered that, Pyrite? Moreover, thanks for thinking of me. Although, for your knowledge…" - Teal says as she seals off the hood part of the suit - "… while I'm still squishy on the inside of it, you'd find this suit as unbreakable as they get. If anything, it's heat or being squashed under weight, like that of debris, that I'd be worried about. A regular explosion, though pinning me down with the concussion's impact, I believe I could take without dying. Still… I guess what happened to us is all the more proof of the fact that nowadays, ponies look way further than that for wrecking others' lives…"
One of the ponies, a middle aged earth pony wearing a beanie, simply shrugs at you. "Your guess is as good as mine, lady. Wildlife resort, maybe?" He eyeballs the lollipops hungrily. "…Can I have one?">>689369
You think you've heard of something like this before, although you've never seen it in action. From what you know, it's likely that you were hit by a very rare and particularly nasty magical device called a Displacer. In a nutshell, it absorbs everything around it and transports it to a random location, usually also moving the victims forward in time. It's not guaranteed to kill anyone, but it gets them out of the way for a very long time. You could all be anywhere in the galaxy right now.
As for the crate, it seems to have had some anti-gravity fields installed inside it, to prevent the Displacer from detonating prematurely. They must have been rigged to deactivate once the crate was opened. Quite a vicious trap Patches set, although how he got hold of a Displacer is anyone's guess.>>689367
You hear something moving in the undergrowth nearby. Whatever it is, it must be quite large, judging from the rustling of the bushes and the snapping of twigs.>>689370
You can't see or hear anything out of the ordinary.>>689365
As you have a look around, you fumble straight into a spiderweb. It gets in your face and mane, with no sign of the spider anywhere. It could be hiding in your jacket for all you know.
-1 to Perception checks for the next 5 rounds>>689366
You accidentally step in a thorny bush, pricking your foot. Hopefully it's not poisonous.>Veta takes 1 hit>>689363>>689364>>689365>>689367
As you look around the immediate area, the group of you begins to spread out a little. One of the other victims of the purple light starts heading further into the undergrowth. Suddenly, you hear a low, sustained growl from somewhere close by, and everyone in the group quickly scrambles to get back together. "What was that?…"
"Uhm… I figured ya had t' be all tough 'n scary. I ain't th' scariest, an' all that." he says, before bobbing his head. He smiles a little and looks the Breezie's suit over, before letting out a sigh of relief "Well, still glad you're alright.. a-an', speakin' 'a what happened, uhhh… what did happen? Where are we?" the stallion asks, looking around>>689372
Pyrite seems more or less fine with the situation, aside from the general confusion… doesn't hear a thing!
flailing about in a panic, i claw the webs out of my mane before brandishing my PEW, aiming towards the forest, growling.
"I've had it! whatever ye are, show yerself, afore i blast half o'this forest down!"
"W-Woah now, w-what's goin' on?"
"Aside from yer captain blunderin int'some spider web? the sounds of company. Ready t'repel whatever beastie's makin that noise, pyrite!"
"No heaven dog for any of us, Veta… EVERYONE" - Teal adressed not only her crew, but the others as well - "I know what hit us and you're not gonna like it. It was a Displacer, a rare and vicious device… could've transported us anywhere… and anytime in the future as well… consider -that- at your leisure… especially if you invested in stocks or anything" - she finishes, trailing off as the sounds approach, not friendly ones, that is. She flies up, to see if she can spot any beast from there.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"W-Wait, like… w-we're where?" the stallion asks, blinking in realization "Uhh… so, like, we're anywhere, an' anytime?" he says, letting out a worried-sounding noise.>>689376
"W-Wha? Where?!" he says, whipping around and scrabbling for his shield>Perception [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
"Hold on, ye said when
? y'mean we could be in some kind o'wasteland of an ark, and not know it?"
"That.. seems to be the case. Honestly, I believe we should consider oursleves lucky to have landed in an environment with breathable atmosphere…">>689380
"Exactly, Risky. Seems like that Patches was really keen on using an elaborate scheme and not showing the crime proof to the world."
"Hmm.. ye see anything up there? Y'think we're still on an ark?"
"..I hope me ship is fine, whenever it is.."
"Well, you didn't park it in a 'first-hour-free' zone, right?"
You manage to get most of the web out of your hair, but you get the feeling that the spider is going to come back to haunt you.>>689378
You fly up to survey the area. You soon spot what's stalking the group: a huge, three-headed chimera is creeping through the bushes, readying to pounce on the party.>>689379
You can't see or hear anything else, but you get a vague feeling of impending doom.>>689374>>689373>>689377
All of a sudden, a huge beast bursts out from the undergrowth, scattering the defenceless ponies and swatting one to the ground. At first you think you're being attacked by a lion, but only the front half of the monster resembles one. The back half is that of a goat, with the goat's head protruding unnaturally from the lion's shoulderblades. The tail is a large, vicious serpent, which lashes out to protect the beast from behind. With the other survivors either fled or wounded, it turns to all of you, roaring, hissing and bleating all at the same time.>miniboss: Chimera
The chimera pauses before pouncing at Pyrite, claws bared.
The goat's head keeps a lookout for any incoming attacks.
The snake tail lashes at Risky, fangs dripping with poison.
[1d10+1]Roll #1 9 + 2 = 11
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
/ Roll #3 5 + 1 = 6
"Yup-yup! Guess we're pretty darn lucky, ye-W-Woah!" he yelps, as the chimera leaps out!>>689384
Pyrite scrabbles back a little bit, and tries out the energy shield! Maybe this'll help, if it works like it's supposed to!>Energy Shield (Instant, Automatic, Recharge 3): Negate up to six points of non-elemental damage
After that, he spots that pretty dangerous-looking snake head! He figures, maybe if he can hold it down, he could keep it from biting anyone, or maybe tie it up in a knot so it can't move!>Grapple: [1d10] (Snake Head)Roll #1 4 = 4
The Breezie opens her mouth to warn her party of danger, but as it makes its appearance nonetheless, she decides for another course of action. Although a formidable, vigiliant beast, Teal tries to sneak up on said chimera. Wonder whether the the creature with heads to spare were to be watchful against a predator from above…
>Stealth>DC reduced by 2
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
She shrugs and tosses him a pop. Shortly after, she calls the thorns a small string of expletives as she rubs her foot.>>689384
"Oh for crying out loud," Veta groans at the sight of the chimera. She begins to burrow underground.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Taking aim, i supercharge the PEW, grass nearby aglow with green.
"Y'think i'm afraid, beastie? Come on then! I'll make a cape outta that coat!
[1d10] power blast 3 (goat, lion, snake)Roll #1 10 = 10
You activate the energy shield reflexively. A bubble of white light appears around you, and the chimera recoils as it crashes against the bubble harmlessly. As it does so, the bubble disappears, leaving you vulnerable once again.
You try and grab a hold of the tail, but the snake twitches and jerks away from you, hissing wildly.>>689386
You try to get to cover, but the goat's head flops around eerilyand makes eye contact with you. It bleats a warning to the other heads.>>689387
You start digging a hole instinctively. It isn't very effective, but at least you could try and lure the beastie to trap it there if it were a little deeper.>>689388
You try to avoid the snake's gnashing fangs, but it manages to scrape your shoulder. You almost instantly feel weakened, your heart starting to pump intensely.>Risky takes 1 hit + 1 wound/turn for 2 turns
Trying to regain your focus after being poisoned, you start pumping up the PEW. It starts shaking dangerously in your grip as you take aim at the chimera, and you stumble backwards as you open fire. The ensuing projectile scorches the grass and blows the chimera away, incinerating both the goat and the snake heads and leaving a smoldering hole in the creature's side. It roars in pain and thrashes about, trying to get back up.>>689385>>689386>>689387>>689388
The voice comes from behind you, emanating from a tinny filter as a robotic drone flies overhead. It is jet black, and pyramid-shaped. "Don't kill it! They're an endangered species!" Someone must be nearby, speaking through the drone.
Sure enough, an earth pony comes rushing through the bushes. He is dressed in a heavy overcoat, with a protective dome-shaped helmet and with what looks like a dart gun on his belt, along with several spray bottles. Probably a ranger of some sort. He just looks around in confusion for a moment. To an outsider, the scene must look bizarre. The four of you look completely out of place, there's a heavily wounded animal lying in the bushes, and there are bits of furniture and an empty crate lying about, not to mention the homeless-looking ponies taking cover from the rampaging monster. "…What are you doing here?" he asks, utterly perplexed.
Boiling with rage, utterly confused and worryingly dizzy, i pull my shotgun from it's holster with my magic, taking aim at the earth pony while struggling to hold the PEW aimed at the creature.
"..Ye'd best start tellin me where and when
we are, else i'll throw ye in with the beast here." i reply darkly, nodding to the half charred creature.
"And here I thought -we- were the endangered ones here, you know?" - Teal addresses the earth pony newcomer, flying nearby - "Want it to live, then tranquilize it or whatever quick" - she says in a serious, though not intimidating tone.
She keeps her distance away from the chimera from now, keeping the ranger between her and the beast, if needed.
Pyrite is a little shocked when the shield works- and even better than he'd expected! "I-I, uhm, s-sorry! I didn't know it was endangered!" the stallion says to whoever might be talking to them. He looks over at the earth pony, and looks him up and down, before nervously saying "I-I don't know- none 'a us do."
"Well it tried to kill us, so…yeah, what do you expect?"
Despite this sudden intervention, Veta still goes over to Risky, getting her needle claws ready.
"1…2…and, well, you know the drill," she says as she jabs Risky.
>Rejuvenate, DC 4
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
The ranger takes a few steps back, clearly intimidated by you. "…E-Everfree Wildlife Sanctuary," he stammers eventually. "24th of June, 3E248." This would mean that it's been 3 and a half months since the displacement incident. You're going to have a lot of catching up to you.>Risky takes 1 wound>>689391
He nods, steadily moving towards the wounded but still very angry chimera, loading his dart gun and shooting it. After a minute or two, it loses consciousness. He shakes his head in disbelief. "…Send for an emergency team, and an escort group," he says to the drone, and it silently flashes lights across its surface in acknowledgement.>>689392
"You… don't know how you got here?" he asks, sounding somewhat suspicious. "What, did you just drop out of the sky or something?" He looks around, presumably looking for signs of a landed escape pod nearby.>>689393
The ranger turns as if to retort, but then just shrug as if to say 'fair enough'.
Seeing Risky falter from the poison, you manage to patch her up to stave it off for the moment.>Risky is healed of 1 wound>>689390>>689391>>689392>>689393
He crouches down over the unconscious chimera, checking its pulse. He then stands up. "Look," he says, his voice echoing and sounding hollow through his helmet, "whoever you are, you can't stay here. It's not safe. Come with me, I'll take you to our research outpost. It's not far. Are any of you seriously injured?"
Replacing my PEW and shotgun, I sigh and just shrug
"Aside from that pet o'yers chewin me shoulder, we're fine. Ye got anythin fer venom?"
"Well… yeah. There was a bigol' flash 'a light from this… thingamajigger, an'… poof." the stallion waves his forelegs "H-Here we are. And, sure, I'll come with ya! Miss Risky got snakebit, but th' rest 'a us'r fine."
"Aye, not much o'the snake left, but it got me good." i mention, nodding. "Doubt i'll be needin t'be carted off, but that venom's nothin t'sneeze at."
"Three and a half? That's… not so bad" - Teal muses, seemingly reminiscing - "about the same time it took me to choke that one ship's crew by reverse-pumping the exhaust fumes from their engines and sabotaging the air filter systems. Now that took a while… might be a bit of a bother catching up, but unless the galaxy is in flames we should be alright. Hey, ranger" - Teal adresses the earth pony - "Name's Teal. What's yours? And did any major conflict break out during the last few months? Cutting things short, we got hit by magic that teleported us forward in time ad outta the place.">>689395
Teal flies over to Risky, locating the wound and says:
"Clench your teeth."
She makes a quick slice along the snake bite.
"Better lose some blood than get more poison in your system, especially if it might be deadly."
"No, just very confused at the moment, but I'm not overly hurt. Unless there's something vile about those thorns back there…."
Bracing for the cut, i nod.
"Aye, fair point, no clue if that blasted snake is deadly, best be careful."
"Better safe'n sorry though, yeah?" he says, keeping a afe distance from the snake. He winces a little as he watches the cut, and trots in place a little
The ranger thinks for a moment, then digs around in his overcoat for a moment, eventually passing you a vial with some clear liquid inside it. "Here, drink this. It should act as an antidote. You got lucky it only grazed you," he adds. "If it had gotten a good bite in, you'd be done for.">Risky takes 1 wound>>689396
You can't see his face under the helmet, but he still just looks even more confused by your retelling of what happened. "…Right. So, you were teleported here by something then?">>689398
"Gyroscope," he answers. "And I don't think much has happened, at least not on a galactic scale. The capital has a new Administrator, Spurned have been laying low, Polybius are butting heads with Pygmalion Corp. That's about it."
He overhears you talking to Risky. "You don't have to worry about her," he says to you. "She only got a tiny dose, not a full bite. She's extremely lucky.">>689399
He looks back. "Nah, they're not poisonous," he answers. "You'll be fine.">>689395>>689396>>689398>>689399
"Come on, this way. The outpost is just ahead." Gyroscope starts leading you and the others out of the are and on a nearby trail through the woodlands, marked by the occasional flag. "I'm assuming you're not ordinary citizens," he comments as he walks. "All that weaponry, those enhancements, magical mishaps… Mercs, I'd wager. You with a group like the Stormbreakers or the Windblown, or you working on your own? And where were you before you were here?"
"Aye, mercenaries, part o'the Golden company. Last we were around was a package job on Alambil, looked like that box we were guardin' was some kind o'bomb, sent us here."
"What she said. That bomb being a Displacer, a rare and crafty magical device. Is it far from Alambil here?"
"Yeah, we were. S-Sorry I don't know much more, mister. I don't really know what happened."
"And, yeah! What cap'n Risky said! We're from th' Golden Company."
"Ordinary? These guys?" Veta says somewhat sarcastically, clearly trying to make light of the situation.
"Either way, a ship back to Alambil as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated. I got a word or two to jam into Patches' skull next time I see the crazy, old son of a bitch."
"Shouldn't we round up Merret's goons while we're at it?"
She adds, looking around for those.
"Well, he -did- honestly warn us not to open it, didn't he? Can you really blame him for what happened to us, if he only planned to target Merret?"
"Yeah, I guess. Just so we're all together and all.">>689408
"Yeah, I can," she replies bluntly and without much thought.
"Yeah, good thinkin'!"
Not like we'd get in the way o'his plan if he just told us about that blasted box."
"Last thing ye want is t'be thrown forward in time, better we know and get it t'him than open it like we did."
"…Alambil? Never heard of it." Getting back might be harder than you thought.>>689405
"Hm. The Company I do know, come to think of it. There's a station of theirs on an Ark not far from here. Maybe they can help you.">>689407
You look around, seeing them tailing your group now that the chimera is out of the picture. None of them look hurt, just winded from being swatted by a giant three headed monster.>>689403>>689404>>689405
"Come on, let's not waste time. Sun'll be going down soon."
Gyroscope leads you all on the trail through the woodland forest with the drone hovering above him, eventually leaving the forest and exiting into an open field which hosts a large series of dome-shaped buildings. Many of them are fenced off, and around them you can see several paddocks where lesser creatures such as cows and sheep are grazing. On the opposite end, you can see a large pond bordering on the edge of the forest, where an enormous hydra can be seen idly sunbathing. "Home sweet home," Gyroscope comments as he unlocks the fence.
You enter Gyroscope's research station. Right off the bat, you notice that it seems like no one apart from him lives here. There are many robots, especially floating drones, going busily about their business, but no one else. As he leads you in, you pass a series of what seem to be greenhouses, with many bizarre and brightly colored plants growing inside, some of which seem to be swaying of their own free will. It is slightly muggy in here, making you sweat a little.
Next, Gyroscope takes you into a darkened laboratory. He presses his hoof up to a door, and it unlocks automatically, the gleaming white lights illuminating the room. "Welcome back, Doctor Gyroscope," a tinny, disembodied AI voice says chirpily. "I see you've got guests!" He just ignores the voice and takes off his helmet, grabbing a datapad from a slot in the wall and beginning to type away on it. You see that he is a young, light gray unicorn with an untidy black mane. Judging from the stubble and the dark eye sockets, he probably doesn't get much sleep.
Looking around, you see the lab is filled with several glass containers hosting preserved animals and animal parts. One holds the large bloodshot eye of a creature you don't recognize, while another even larger tank is holding the severed head of a hydra, which twitches ever so slightly every once in a while. The gleaming white lights behind the tanks filled with embalming fluids give the whole place an eerie yellow glow. There are a few other robots, slender bipedal designs with many delicate limbs. They are hard at work seemingly dissecting some unknown creature, and don't acknowledge your presence.
"…I won't keep you for long," Gyroscope says without looking up from the datapad. "I'm sure you don't want to be here any more than I want you to be here. No offense, but you're just causing trouble. No one's meant to be here except me, you see. …We've got this autopiloted ship that's programmed to fly from here to Tobin and back. That's the nearest Ark to here. We usually use it for supply runs, but I can make an exception for you, since it's a difficult situation. There's a Golden Company base there, so if you talk to them I'm sure they can get you back on track."
"Now, is there anything else I can do for you before you go? Any questions, supplies? If not, then I'll show you to the ship."
Eying the jars as we pass by, i shrug.
"Seems like we'll be fine, better t'put this blasted mess behind us."
"Warped three months int'the future, then a Chimera attack? Sooner we get t'patches, sooner i can wring that discount out o'him!"
"Yikes, mister.ya look awfully tired… Ya doin' alright out here?" he asks, looking around a little bit "And, Uhm… I can't think 'a anything we need! We're awfully greatful f'r th' ride back, Mister!"
"Interesting collection you' ve got there. That being said, no, fine by me. Thanks."
"…I think we have Wifi on board the ship," he answers, "but I'm not too sure about that.">>689727
The giant eye eyes you back.
"Right then. I hope you can get your lives back on track. Can't imagine what this must be like for you.">>689728
"Hm? Oh, I'm fine," he says distractedly. "Just… busy, really. Thanks for asking.">>689729
"Collection? …Oh, right. The samples. I guess you could call it that," he says with a slight smile. "They're not really for show. See, what we're doing here is not only keeping the native Equestrian wildlife alive, but also trying to find a way to revive them without resorting to magical practices. Reanimation, if you will. The hydra is an especially good candidate for experimenting, because of their regenerative properties, and… Er… Well, I won't bore you with the details.">>689726>>689727>>689728>>689729
He keeps typing for a bit, presumably contacting his coworkers, then puts the pad back. "Alright then. Let's get you out of here."
Gyroscope shows you and the other five lost mercs out of the lab, eventually taking you to a large dome-shaped hangar where a largish rectangle-shaped ship is docked. He moves over to a terminal nearby and starts entering some codes, and the hangar gate above opens alongside the ship's own cargo door. Steam starts hissing from the ship's rear engines, and you hear a faint voice warbling indistinctly from inside. He then leads you into the ship itself, a fairly nondescript vessel not unlike a Golden Company shuttle, only even more barebones. "Just get seated and I'll send you on your way. The journey should only take about an hour," Gyroscope mumbles. "And, don't take this the wrong way, but I hope we don't meet again."
"Fine, fine, looks like this mess o'ours caused ye enough trouble, i get yer point."
"…Oh, and uh, hope that beastie o'yours recovers, a bit overkill t'blast the heads off, looked like we were about t'be dinner y'see, didn't want t'take the chance."
"Shucks. Hope it goes well for you. Truth be told, I was actually kinda hoping we would stay and do some sightseeing first. Getting to know new ponies and places is one of the few perks of being a hired blade these days. Nonetheless, see ya~"
"Funny, that's the same farewell I give to all my patients," Veta says with a bit of a laugh as she gets on the ship.
"as long as you're sure, Mister. Lack 'a sleep can be dangerous!" he notes, before shaking his head and chuckling "Naw, I getcha. You're busy, an' don't need t' be disturbed. I hope things go well f'r ya!" he whinnies, before settling into a chair as comortably as he can manage."
"…It's fine," he says somewhat coldly. "I get it.">>689732
"Sorry, but this place isn't meant to be open for the public. It's a research station. We're meant to keep interaction with the wildlife to a minimum so they can thrive on their own.">>689733
He just nods, giving you a stony look. He doesn't seem to have much of a sense of humor.>>689734
"Thanks, and same to you." He gives you a small smile. >>689731>>689732>>689733>>689734
You get settled and strap in for the flight, Merret's henchmen moving into a separate cabin. It doesn't take long before you begin the flight; through the window, you catch a glimpse of the Preserve, little more than a flat green disc orbiting around Tobin, the Ark you're headed to, a small, shapeless spiky structure which in turn is orbiting around a distant star.
An hour or two later, you're entering Tobin's atmosphere, heading towards one of assumedly many of its cities in the distance. The autopiloted ship has begun its descent, and below you see a rather ugly sight; you are flying above a seemingly endless expanse of rubbish, gathered from all over the Ark and dumped unceremoniously here. You can see the tiny specks of ponies who live among the trash heap, picking out everyone else's leftovers.
Suddenly, tsomething impacts on the robotic ship's hull with a loud bang. You jolt around violently, then suddenly the whole ship goes dark. All your electronic equipment, including prosthetics, suddenly stop working properly. The ship shudders and sputters, and you hear a whining sound as its engines begin to die out. It begins to descend, falling violently out of the sky.
There's precious little time to waste; unless you find an escape route, the ship will crash with all of you in it.
"Oh for the love of-if I die here, I'm gonna haunt so many people's ass so damn hard, starting with Patches," Veta says, lookingaround for an escape route and, due to her arms being shut down, kicking at things she thinks might be one.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Teal springs into action, trying to grasp at any EMP-proof mechanical crash landing stabilizers on board or emergency power supplies, while trying to simultaneously to recall the architecture of the ship, as to how one could get outta it with such a crisis on hoof.
[1d10][1d10][1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
/ Roll #2 3 = 3
/ Roll #3 3 = 3
Pyrite settles in and, despite the day's excitement, dozes off a little. He's awoken by the sudden slamming, and the power going out, letting out a startled yelp and scrabbling out of his chair! "W-What's goin' on? A-Are we okay?" he asks, looking around for something, or anything!>Perception: [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
"Gah! The blasted ship is going down?!"
hopping out of my seat, i try and look for a control method, some kind of steering
[1d10] searchRoll #1 9 = 9
"Looks like we're hit! Knocked the power out, need t'find something t'get us stable!"
There's an emergency escape hatch that you manage to get open, along with several parachutes. You should have enough for everyone, except for Teal, as there are no parachutes in her size. However, she is small enough that she could potentially cling to one of you on the way down.>>689737
There's also an escape pod, but it isn't active at the moment because of the outage. It seems like it could be made to work if the ship were powered back up.>>689737
You find a backup generator that could possibly save the ship, but with such limited tools and information at your disposal, you can't quite figure out how to get it working again.>>689739
You run into the cockpit, which has several warning lights flashing. There is a lever to turn off autopilot and be able to pilot it yourself, but without the power you won't be able to use it fully; however, you could steer the ship into landing somewhere relatively safe, assuming the fall doesn't kill you all.>>689736>>689737>>689738>>689739
Your stomach drops as the ship begins to plummet even further down. Your heads feel light and your ears are ringing due to the rapid change in pressure. You don't have much longer. Through the window, you can hear clamoring from Merret's henchmen as they struggle to put on parachutes of their own.
"R-Right! Uhm, I see… an escape hatch! A-And some parachutes! There may not be one f'r Miss Teal, but she could hitch a ride on my head while we jump!"
Wasting no time, i jump into the pilot's seat, flipping the autopilot lever off and pulling hard on the controls!
between my magic and single hoof, i try and angle us into one of the larger mounds of junk
"Brace yerselves!" i shout, hoping the others can hear from the cockpit "This'll be rough!"Roll #1 5 = 5
"Teal, giving ya one chance to jump out with me. Cause this dog is too pretty to go to Hell just yet," Veta says as she puts the parachute on, proceeding to jump out of the emergency hatch (with Teal if she comes along).
"On it, Pyrite. Ready when you are. Everyone, I don't think I can get it working back on time. I suggest making sure about our safety, not the ship's. That concerns you too, Risky!"
Truthful to what she says, Teal braces herself for the jump, clinging to Pyrite's hair.
Pyrite straps himself into a parachute, checks for Teal, and, once she's safe, jumps for it!
You fasten your parachutes and jump out of the hatch. There are a few gutwrenching seconds of freefall, then you slam the button to release the parachute. The force of it yanks you backwards, disorienting you momentarily. Your head spins as you try and make sense of your surroundings, but eventually you manage to right yourselves. The ship is plummeting down towards a heap of rubbish, while Merret's men are mere specks in the distance by now, aiming to touch down in a relatively clear spot. They're at least a kilometer or two away from you by now.
Controlling your landing is proving to be much trickier than you'd think. Right now you are aiming to land roughly in a sharp pile of twisted metal. You'd probably survive, but you'd be in a pretty rough spot if you stayed the course. You should be able to maneuver yourselves to a better spot, although at the rate you're descending you don't have much time to do so.
>roll to control your landing>>689743
You try and steer the ship away from the mountains of rubbish, but it's extremely difficult to do so. You might still have time to maneuver it; there's a large clearing that you could try to land in at a good angle, but it's going to be very risky.
"…that reminds me, am I due for my tetanus shot?"
Veta starts jerking her body and doing a sort of bicycle-peddling motion in an attempt to land away from the gnarled looking metal.
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Pyrite yelps from the hard yank of the parachute, and shakes his head to try and regain focus… unfortunately, heights aren't his strong suit. He lets out a nervous whinny and flails his legs frantically as he tries to control his fall!
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Planning on simply taking flight once ground comes closes, Teal nonetheless tries to return the due, trying to get her shield transfer working after the yet unexplained operational ceasure, as to enhance Pyrite's hoofplates <or whatever ponies land on> as to not have him be penetrated by the pointy stuff below!
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Eying the distance from the clearing, i work the crippled ship into a favorable angle towards the open area and hold it steady.
"Bah! I'll get this blasted ship down far easier than tryin t'parachute out! I've driven ships in far worse shape than a blown engine!"
[1d10] PilotingRoll #1 3 + 2 = 5
/ Roll #2 9 = 9
You can only hope that you aren't. You crash right into the scrap heap, leaving you with many scrapes, bruises and deep cuts, unable to move momentarily from the sudden painful impact. >Veta takes 4 hits and 1 wound>>689750
You try to maneuver yourself to land safely, but fail to do so, for the most part. Although not as severe as Veta's injuries, you too find yourself with some painful gashes, disorienting you momentarily. Luckily, a last minute shielding from Teal saves you from the worst of it.>Pyrite takes 3 hits>>689751
You manage to fly to safety instead of landing, perching yourself atop an old, moldering sofa. While your shield initially sputters uselessly due to the sudden EMP, you give it a few good whacks to get it working again, targeting several key points on Pyrite's body and cushioning him from severe injuries.>>689752
Despite the ship's choking and rattling, you manage to keep it steady even with only one working hoof, pulling it up to be roughly parallel with the ground. As the ship crash lands, you are tossed about like a ragdoll, hitting the window with a painful crack as the ship careens into the ground. It keeps rocketing forward for a good 30 seconds, eventually coming to a halt as it hits a pile of rubbish that crumbles onto the cockpit.
You are bruised all over from the impact, have a very painful cut across your back, and you feel like throwing up. To make things worse, your mechanical hoof was smashed and warped in the crash, rendering it nearly useless in combat.>Risky takes 4 hits and 1 wound>-3 to melee attack rolls until your arm is repaired
Pyrite blinks in surprise from the sudden shielding, and fumbles about a little as he hits the ground with a painful thump, and a panicked whinny. He pulls himself up and searches his body over for injuries, before blinking once or twice and offering a shaky grin "T-Thanks f'r th' save, Miss Teal! I-I'm sorta scared 'a heights, so I wasn't sure what t' do. I thought I was a goner!"
Veta trembles in the scrap heap, mouth kept tightly shut and looking even more distressed/in-pain than she usually is. She doesn't move from her spot, pretty much staying out and letting out a raspy, pitiful 'ow' as she just stays still until she feels ready enough to even attempt getting out of the scrap.
Taking a moment to realize I've not died, i struggle onto my hooves, talons slowly and noisily retracting before shorting out entirely in an array of sparks.
laughing quietly to myself at the 'successful' landing, i try and see if anything resembling a map can be pulled from the systems before pulling my weapons from the cockpit.
"..Told ye I'd land it." i mutter to myself before limping towards the landing ramp.
[1d10] SearchRoll #1 6 = 6
"Phew… glad things worked out. Got your back, Pyrite… believe it or not, despite having wings, I'm not fancying being too high up myself, what with the turbulent breezes out there. Wouldn't have been great for me to just get outta that ship, oh no. Guess that makes us even?"
She looks around for others:
"Hey, is everyone alright!? Wait, did Risky jump out in the end or not?" - realizing being unsure of that, she tries to locate the potential mangled metal pile that she suspected their temporary ship to be now.
At hearing Teal's voice, Veta just took a deep breath, then opened her mouth for a calm, reasonable repl-
"FUUUUUUUCK MEEEEE! AAAAAAUGH, I WANNA DIE!"
You're going to have more than a few lumps after your less than graceful landing, not to mention the stinging scrapes on your legs and face. Nothing you can't walk off, though.>>689755
Between jumping out of a crashing ship at a few thousand feet, getting attacked by a three headed monster and getting kidnapped and beaten by pirates, you're starting to wonder if the last month or so hasn't been just a really bad fever dream. >>689756
You fumble about what's left of the cockpit, eventually finding a datapad in working condition that looks like it might have a map of the galaxy imprinted on it. With it secured, you lope out of the ship and rejoin your team amidst the endless piles of garbage.>>689757
You see Risky clamber out of the wreckage, looking more than a little worse for wear. The ship is completely totalled, little more than a smoldering pile of scrap. As you examine it, you soon see what caused the ship to short circuit. A huge rusted metal arrow, not unlike a scorpion bolt, has been fired into the ship's hull, sparking with electricity. It looks like whoever built this, presumably the scavengers that inhabit this place, managed to put together a makeshift projectile EMP for downing ships that pass over this area so they can pick it apart.>>689754>>689755>>689756>>689757
As you try and gather yourselves, you hear a sizzling bang come from nearby, then a large red flare shoots up into the sky and explodes. You soon see the source of the flare; atop one of the endless rubbish mounds is an extremely filthy bat pony wearing goggles, wrappings over his face and body and what look like very high soled boots. He looks down at you all for a moment, then turns around and yells something in a language you don't recognize. Faintly, you hear someone yell back at him, then the distant sound of many others coming your way.
"Yeah, even! Shucks, I'm jus glad it went we-W-Wait, Risky didn't jump?" The stallion asks, his eyes going wide. He frantically hops to all fours, and gallops off towards the wreckage in search of the captain. >>689759
"Risky! Oh, thank goodness! I thought y' were dead!" he shouts, wrapping her up in a gentle, but firm hug. He sets her on to his back and hurries on over towards Veta, asking "M-Miss Risky! Are ya hurt? D-D'ya need help? I'll getcha t' Miss Veta right away!"
The bat pony makes his way down from his vantage point, approaching your group cautiously. He is soon joined by other equally grubby scavengers of various races, all wearing similar wrapping covering most of their bodies and faces and wearing the same thick soled boots, seemingly to help pick through rubbish. Most of them are carrying crude, makeshift weapons: spears made from twisted bits of scrap, baseball bats with nails through them, rusted old butcher's knives, spring loaded crossbows cobbled together from machine parts, and so forth. There are ten or so of the scavengers in front of you, and eight more behind; the latter start immediately rifling through your crashed ship, searching for valuables in the wreckage.
As for the ones facing you, they don't seem very friendly, spreading out and slowly beginning to surround your group with their weapons at the ready. One of the scavengers, a zebra from the looks of him, barks something at you in a language you don't recognize.
Veta just stares at the group, both not understanding them and really not caring at the moment due to the amount of pain that she's in.
"What?! Sweet fucking hell this shit hurts!"
"U-Uhm, uh… please! We ain't hostile! We didn't mean t' barge, err… crash in on ya like this. W-We're jus' as lost as we look!">Diplomacy? (Perhaps the tone alone could help) [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"Aye I'm fine, I'm fine! The landing roughed me up but i'll live."
"The lot o'ya bail out while leavin yer poor captain alone, ye'd think there'd be some faith in me flyin' skills…" i mention, feigning upset.>>689825
Upon seeing the flare and approaching group of ponies, i raise my PEW, the area awash in green.
"Tch. ye wander over with scrap fer tools, expectin me t'roll over and let ye do what ye will? Me shoulder's probably broken, but don't think i'll not take half o'ya down with me!"
[1d10] IntimidationRoll #1 4 = 4
"Tch. Would've liked to see what they got otherwise, but they picked the wrong target."
Teal attempts to conceal herself within the piles of rubbish.
>Stealth>DC reduced by 2
You start yelling at the scavengers, but they don't seem very intimidated. One of them, a tiny little lump of a Diamond Dog, actually has the nerve to waddle over to you and try to remove one of your arms, only to give up and back away once he realizes they're implants.>>689827
The group back up slightly. You're not sure if they understood you, but they seems lightly less hostile.>>689828
You fumble as you try to raise the rifle, but fumble and drop it due to your mangled claw. You hear faint chuckling from the small group.>>689829>>689830
You easily avoid detection as you fly low, darting between the group's legs before nestling under a moldy bo of pizza.>>689826>>689827>>689828>>689829
"Adjon nekünk mindent, amivel rendelkezel!" the bat pony demands. He is holding a strange-looking spear with a casing of some sort at its tip instead of a pointed head. "Után, akkor engedjük el. …A fegyverek, kérem," he adds, pointing at the PEW and at Pyrite's shield. No one translates, but the meaning is clear enough. The scavengers seem to want your weapons as tribute, or they won't let you pass.
"Way to propose a roundabout surrender. I wouldn't and I shall pretend I didn't hear it. Reckon their word ain't worth much."
Teal flies off unseen towards the group within the ship and ambushes those, hopefully creating havoc, as to aid the ones the rest of the crew were facing.
>>Cleave on 4 targets>Critfail on 3>DC reduced by 2>Autocrits
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
supporting my rifle with my magic, i grit my teeth and glare at the assembled bandits.
"I've no clue what the lot o'ya are sayin, but if ye think i'll be partin' with me new toy here, ye'll have t'pry it from me cold dead hooves!"
Mangled but furious, i draw myself upright before drawing a bead on the batpony.
"Come on then, fools! See if ye've got the mettle t'cross blades with me, Pirate Captain Risky Hooves!"
with that, i send the rifle into overdrive, lancing an arc of plasma across the nearest two to the bat!
[1d10] Overcharge, cleave 3Roll #1 10 = 10
"GET THE HELL OFF ME!"
Mad enough, Veta grunts and yells a bit as she gets herself out of the metal rubble.
"And you bunch! We just crash landed here, just hurt on ALL THIS SHIT, and you have the nerve, the motherfucking BALLS, to start this 'demanding' crap?! How about dinner, a hotel room, and the guarentee of smokes afterwards before you try to FUCK US like this!"
>angry yelling to make them back off
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
Pyrite's mouth gets all squiggly and huffs as he sees the crew grow aggressive. Figuring that scaring them off may be the best plan, he puffs himself up and whinnies angrily "Get outta here!">Intimidate! [1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
You dash out from your hiding place and into the ship. Six of the scavengers are picking their way through the ship already, while two are standing watch outside. Bypassing the two easily, you ready your blade and cut down four of them in a single slash. They grunt in pain and fall to the ground with a heavy thud. The other two shout in alarm, trying to swing at you with makeshift clubs as the two standing outside rush in.
The scavengers begin to scramble and shout as you raise the PEW properly this time. The bat pony, who seems to be leading the expedition, flies out of the way. Two other scavengers are not so lucky. The PEW almost knocks you off your hooves with the force of the recoil, the ensuing projectile incinerating the hapless trash-dwellers in an instant, leaving nothing but scorched ashes.>>689835
The squat little Dog jumps and cowers in fear at your outburst, silently acknowledging you as the proverbial alpha male. Suddenly losing his nerve, he turns tail and begins fleeing the area as violence begins to erupt.>>689836
You try your best to look mean, but your best isn't good enough this time.>>689832>>689834>>689835>>689836
As a fight begins to break out, the bat pony flies higher into the air, accompanied by a smaller bat pony carrying what looks like a quiver full of the odd-looking spears he's carrying. He shoots another flare into the air to summon reinforcements before readying one of the spears.
Two of the crossbowmen fire at Risky, while a third wielding an axe moves in to get a hit on her.
Two more of the scavengers, a pair of mangy griffons, start swooping Pyrite trying to bring him down.
One mean-looking pony pulls out a meat hook and swings at Veta with it.
[1d10]Roll #1 9, 7 = 16
/ Roll #2 4, 10 = 14
/ Roll #3 6 = 6
/ Roll #4 5, 10 = 15
/ Roll #5 10 = 10
Veta snarls, trying to fix herself up a bit, just in time for her to see the meat hook being swung at her.
"Oh fuck me!"
>Rejuvenate, DC 4
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Trying to buy time for her teammates, instead of dashing off towards the safety of concealment, Teal tries to last a little longer in this engagement, opting to try and mitigate at least one of the attacks coming her way.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Pyrite lets out a startled yelp as the make a beeline for Risky, and he jumps in front to absorb the blows!>Protect: Risky Hooves [Instant, Automatic]
The stallion could care less about the griffons coming towards him, saving the personal shield generator for later. While unable to protect Veta in the same manner, he tries to slam the mean-looking meathook pony with his shield to stop him as best he can manage>Slam: [1d10] (Martial Defender: Crits on 8+)
"Y-Y'all leave them alone, ya big dumb meanies!"Roll #1 6 = 6
"Aha! First t'fight me head on, i see!"
Rushing the axe-wielding pony, i meet him head on, unloading two slugs into him from close range!>taking 10
>>689837>correction: only one griffon attacks Pyrite>>689838
You take a minute to self-medicate, but in doing so you don't have enough time to dodge the swing, leaving you with a deep, painful gash across the shoulderblade. Knocked off balance from the blow, you fall to the ground, your head spinning.>Veta takes 5 hits, helpless at 0/3 due to Rejuvenate>>689839
You manage to avoid one swing, but take the full force of another, almost knocking you out cold.>Teal takes 4 hits>>689840
You manage to duck just in time to avoid getting clawed at by the griffon, knocking him off balance momentarily with a retaliating swing. Seeing Risky and Veta in danger, you raise your shield block the incoming crossbow bolt as well as the axe swing., following up by charging the meat hook wielding pony, knocking him over.>Pyrite will take 4 hits when Protect expires
Your shotgun cripples his flimsy scrap metal armor with the first shot, then bowls him over with the second. He groans from the impact, struggling to get back up.
Now joined by backup, the four remaining scavengers in the ship all attack Teal at once.
The meat hook wielding pony stands back up, joining the griffon in attacking Pyrite.
The axe pony fighting Risky tries to pull himself up, severely weakened by the shots.
Veta does the same.
The crossbowmen reload and fire, both at Pyrite.
From up above, the bat pony takes aim with a spear. "TÄNT VAR DET HÄR!" he shouts, before throwing the strange weapon at Risky, bypassing Pyrite's defences.>roll to dodgeRoll #1 9, 9, 4, 2 = 24
/ Roll #2 7, 4 = 11
/ Roll #3 6 = 6
/ Roll #4 6 = 6
/ Roll #5 3, 10 = 13
Knocking the pony over, i look up in time to see the spear flying, making an attempt to leap out of the way!
"Y'think some spear'll scare me?"Roll #1 6 = 6
Staggered from the blow, but not yet down and out, Teal mutters, while re-setting the course with her wings given the forceful impact:
"Urgh. Evened out the odds, I see?"
She tries to use her knowledge of the ship to her advantage, hoping to lose the scavengers inside it, hoping she won't find a dead end too soon, now that it has been wrecked good.
>Stealth>DC reduced by 2
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Gulping down, Teal admits:
"Need help. Made a wrong call."
"Bah! Might be time t'cut and run, these scrap jockies'r puttin up quite the fight!"
Pyrite whinnies a little bit as he sees Veta go down, and panics a little bit! He spots a few taking a move for Teal, and tries his best to knock one of them out of the way!
>Mean ol' bodycheck! [1d10+1] (+1: Grapple)
(Protect has one round remaining. If Risky were to go helpless, I would go helpless instead.
Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7
"A-As long as we all get out okay! I don't want none 'a y'all hurt."
"Aye, I've got just the plan fer this, but we'll need t'get everypony up and out o'the line o'fire!">>689846
"Wherever ye snuck off to, get t'my position if ye can! If they got ye pinned i'll get to ye!"
Veta pulls herself back up again.>>689844
The pony facing you gets back up.
You soon find that a spear should frighten you. It lodges into the ground, the tip exploding violently in a fiery blaze. You are not quick enough to remain unscathed, the explosion knocking you off your feet. "Másik!" the bat pony calls, and his assistant hands him another spear.>Risky takes 1 hit, helpless>>689845
You kick two of them in the shins and try to make a break for it, but get swatted like a common fly, slamming against the ship's hull painfully. You drop to the ground, dazed.>Teal takes 8 hits, helpless at 0/3>>689848
You move into the smoldering wreckage, knocking one of Teal's assailants out of the way. You are followed, however, getting struck by one of the crossbow bolts as well as the hook wielding pony. You swing at the griffon before he can get you, knocking him out of the sky, but you eventually succumb to the blows, falling to the ground.>Pyrite takes 6 hits + 4 from protecting Risky, helpless
As you fall, one by one, the scavengers stop attacking you, scrambling over like vultures and working together to try and take your belongings. "Megad," the bat pony barks, another spear at the ready, "és ne kelj fel, kérlek." It sounds like he's demanding surrender.
One pony tries to take Risky's PEW, while the other claims her shotgun.
Three ponies try to work together to haul away Pyrite's shield.
One tries to deprive Teal of her energy blade.
[1d10]Roll #1 6, 2 = 8
/ Roll #2 9, 6, 2 = 17
/ Roll #3 8 = 8
Also, Veta tries to help up Risky.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
"Keep yer blasted hooves off me guns, ye walkin scrap heaps!"
Struggling to hold onto my things, i try and buck the two looters off of me as i try and get back up!
[1d10] kick!Roll #1 2 = 2
Pyrite drops to the ground, wheezing a little bit from the exertion. As they try to take his shield, he lets them remove it from him, and tries to wrap his party members up in some haphazard protective stance>Recover: [1d10]
"P-Please, don't hurt 'em."Roll #1 4 = 4
Struggling as she gets her valuable stuff pulled off her, Teal tries to slip away from the overwhelming force of the grunts.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Veta tries to give you a hand, but the scavengers push her away. You rail defiantly against your robbers, but to limited effect; you kick the one trying to take your shotgun in the face, but the other one manages to nab your PEW and makes off with it, cackling like a madman. The other one utters a string of foreign curses as he holds his nose and stumbles away from you.>>689854
One of them buckles under the weight of the shield, but the other two manage to help her up and carry your shield away steadily.>>689855
You fail to get up as the pony pockets your blade.
"Bocsánat," the bat pony says to you as he starts leading the scavengers away. A couple of them stay behind for a moment, gathering the bodies you left and hauling them away, giving you all dirty looks. Before long, the scavengers are scattering, leaving you with no food, no water, and almost nothing to defend yourself with, baking in the hot sun amidst endless piles of rubbish. They're not quite out of sight yet, however, giving you some room to tail them to wherever they're going. You could also start looking for resources in this forsaken wasteland, or start your trek towards the distant city that was meant to be your destination. As it stands, however, you're effectively marooned right now.
"I-Is everyone alright? Shucks, I'm sorry I couldn't protect y'all better… b-but, uh, w-we're alive?"
"Well" - Teal starts, lying on the ground where she was - "There were some better days. There were some worse ones though. Do we have a permission to stalk them, captain?"
"Don't fret, Pyrite. They had us outnumbered in open field roughly 3 to 1, counting the 4 I brought down in the ship. There are some fights you can't win outright. It's the question of picking them that often discerns who wins."
Scrambling back onto my hooves, I pace about in a rage, steaming at the humiliation.
"Those blasted junkers have the gall t'steal me best gun and just LEAVE?! If I had me ship I'd blast their little scrap huts t'atoms from orbit! If we had the crew I'd tear them t'bloody pieces one by one! If I.. If i… i uh.."
Working myself into a frenzy, I take a minute to catch my breath, before finishing.
"We're gonna follow em.">>689858
"Ye best bet we do! I'll have that gun back in me claw afore we head t'the base.">>689856
Eying the distance between us, I keep their position in mind as I start heading their way!
"I-I'm sorry, Miss Risky! I-I really am." he mumbles, hanging his head as he gets up to follow the others>>689859
"A-Alright. I'll try t' remember that."
"Alright. I reckon their base of prerations shouldn't be too far away - the EMP harpoon they used was too big to be mounted comfortably on a portable device. They will be slowed down by their loot as well."
After a long sigh I shake my head, patting your back with my disabled prosthetic.
"It's fine, Pyrite. Ye did what ye could, you're not the problem here, it's the blasted scrap hoarders that're the problem."
"Aye, that gun o'theres had t'be close by."
"Ye see why I wanted t'hide me gun in the claw? Better t'risk overheating than havin the whole blasted thing stolen."
Also, Veta gets to work patching up the crew, starting with Risky.>Risky is now at 5/4, Rejuvenate on CD this round>>689860>>689861>>689862
You start clambering over the rubbish mound, following behind the scavengers. From your vantage point, you can see that they have dispersed already, having gotten a head start on you; all except one at the foot of the mound, a sturdily built earth pony, huffing and puffing as he hauls a large engine piece salvaged from the ship. He is struggling to follow the others, who are far ahead of him already. Concentrated on his task as he is, he has not noticed you behind him.
Far off in the distance, you can see enormous box-like vehicles hovering above the piles of rubbish. Two great doors open on their undersides, and great loads of even more garbage tumble out unceremoniously, adding even more to the landscape of this place.
Teal flies over to give Pyrite a comforting pat to compliment the reassuring words from earlier before heading after Risky.
Pyrite pulls the two in to a big, soft hug, and relaxes a little bit "W-Well, glad I could help as much as I could. A-And, yeah! I bet we can catch 'em in no time!"
picking my way down the pile, i follow the struggling pony from a safe distance.
"y'think he's part o'the group from earlier?"
"I'd reckon yeah! Whatcha think we should do, Cap'n?"
"I'd say so.">>689949
"If I may… How often do you think they have combat encounters around these parts? We don't have that much time, but I think we should try infiltrating their encampment when they move out."
"I unno, actually. They seemed pretty darned good at it, so often?"
Veta gives an annoyed sigh, getting to work on jabbing whoever needs it the most at the moment.
"Can we just go home? I'm sure they've got another gun like it on sale in some pirate black market…or on a superstore ark's sporting section."
>Rejuvenate on lowest wound person cause I have no clue who is at what at the moment, DC 4
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
"We'll follow the blasted fool, o'course! keep yer head down and hold back 'til he gets ahead. We'll follow 'till we find that camp o'there's."
"y'think i'm goin fer just the gun? Me pride is at stake, here! word goes 'round some scrappers stole our guns and the whole system'll be laughin'!"
"I'm sure somewhere can sell you a fresh, new pair of pride. Maybe even get a Company discount on it or something."
"A-Alright! Let's get a move on!"
You start doing what you do best, treating Teal's injuries as best you can. >Teal is at 5/4>>689948>>689949>>689950>>689952
You keep your distance as you make your way down the mound of refuse and tail the straggler. It seems like he's part of the group that jumped you, as you can see the rest of them up ahead, the bat pony flying up at their front.
Eventually, the struggling pony begins to falter, eventually having to sit down for a moment to take a quick breather. The rest of his allies have gotten ahead of him, well out of earshot by now. In the distance, you can see a collection of large dome-shaped buildings or guys, made mostly of canvas and rebar. It looks like it might be their encampment.
The pony hasn't noticed you tailing him yet. You could try to ambush him, but it could alert the others to your presence if you make too much noise.
"I may try sneaking in whatever he's carrying, have a look around the camp and give you some data on that, before we do anything grand" - Teal proposes to the team, observing said pony.
"Well, I would say have Teal sneak in and have a nice little 'chat' with our tired-looking fried over there, or," she picks up a random piece of scrap, "if someone is feeling lucky in their hoofball skills, maybe hail mary this and see if it knocks him out on the first go."
"Aye, ye'd have the best bet o'findin our gear. We'll avoid takin em head on, fer now, just grab our things and run."
Encouraged by her teammates, Teal sneaks up on the pony carrying the payload, finds a place on what he's carrying that would hopefully let her avoid detection and braces herself for infiltrating the scrapper camp.
"Jus' be careful if ya do, Miss Teal!" he mumbles, trying not to be too loud!>>689961
"Resta us jus' stay put f'r now?"
"Aye, this'll take some time.."
"What say we look around? Maybe some poor pony tossed their wallet out with the trash."
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
"Hmm…sure, why not? Hell, maybe we can find something Patches had in his junkyard, but at least this'd be free; both in price and dealing with some shady character."
Veta takes a look around, digging through the junk as if she were looking for fleas on herself.
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Picking my away through the trash, i sift through with my magic away from the camp's line of sight.
[1d10] SearchRoll #1 4 = 4
"Sure thing, Cap'n!" he says, before beginning to cheerfully root around in the garbage for anything of use >Perception: [1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
You fly ahead, catching up to the rest of the scrapper convoy and perchimg under a sheet of metal as they enter the settlement. The place looks absolutely miserable, almost indistinguishable from the barren landscape of rubbish all around. There are other scrappers about, hard at work dismantling various contraptions or sifting through rubbish heaps for anything of worth. They all look extremely sickly and malnourished, and many of the glum workers are still children. It occurs to you that taking down your ship and robbing you was just what they have to do to survive in this awful place.
You see the bat pony, the apparent leader of the settlement, start barking orders to the others to start splitting up the haul. While you don't know what he's saying, you recognize the language as Arktalk: a mishmash of different languages from around the Empire, adopted by the lower class as a sort of code. More importantly, however, you see them take your group's weaponry into one of the makeshift huts, where you catch a glimpse of a larger stash of weaponry. It seems that retrieving your gear won't be easy: either you'll have to wait for another convoy to go out so you can take them while the camp is unprotected, or you could try and disguise yourselves as scrappers and sneak in, or simply fight your way in.
While looking around, you also see several vehicles parked nearby. While most of the don't seem to be in working condition, one looks good enough that you could potentially hijack it to facilitate transport to the great city off in the distance. >>689966
You look around for anything of use, but only manage to find a moldy, half-eaten pizza.>>689967
You find some old clothes, one size too big for you and riddled with holes. You'd fit right in with the scrapper wearing this.>>689968
You manage to find an old couch someone threw out. Between the cushions, you find quite a bit of spare change. You also find an abandoned teddy bear, a magnifying glass and several folds of cloth. Digging a bit deeper, you also find a strange spherical device with a red switch on it. Whatever it is, it seems to still work.>>689966>>689967>>689968
As you dig through the rubbish, the scrapper pony below finally notices you behind him. He starts yelling something in the odd language they use here, pulling out a makeshift club and waving it threateningly.
"Risky! I found somethin' neat!" he says, waving the ball around a little before starting to make his way back towards her. He yelps a little in surprise as the scrapper pony shouts at them, before asking "Maybe we oughta go elsewhere?"
Also >+15 florins
Veta growls a bit.
"Alright, fine! Have your damn pizza, you fucking mongrel!"
Veta then throws throws the slice of pizza at the bat pony, but not before wrapping it around a blunt-piece of scrap, then flipping him off as the junk travels through the air.
>Moldy Hail Mary throw to the head
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Teal tries to get around said stash after scrappers leave it. She checks for both her blade - as something as little as could potentially be taken without others noticing - and, having an idea, explosives.
>Roll if needed for the explosives
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Shouting back in gibberish, i wave my disabled claw angrily before moving back and away from the ridge.>>689970
"Hmm? A ball you say?"
"Could be some toy or other… After that time bomb, i'd wait 'till Teal can check it."
[1d10] SearchRoll #1 10 = 10
"Yeah! 'S got a switch on it!"
"ye'd best avoid that switch 'till Teal gets a look at it, last thing we need is t'be blown ahead in time again."
As you toss it about, it starts whirring ominously. >>689972
The pizza just flops right off and lands at your feet, while the metal bar goes flying wide and hits a broken fridge. Annoyed, the scrapper retaliates by grabbing a rock and lobbing it at your head.
You manage to dig up a variety of objects: a broken wine bottle, a set of jumper cables, a blank datapad, a monkey wrench, a flashlight, and an unopened tin of almonds. You also find a prosthetic lower arm, intended for bikers. It's much less complex than yours, being unable to move the actual hand, not to mention it'd be a bit clunky attached to your foreleg, but it could serve as a replacement until you get your own leg fixed.
As dor Pyrite's discovery, you don't need Teal's diagnosis to know that he just found a grenade.>>689973
There are no explosives to be found here, but you think that with time you could rig some yourself. You do, however, manage to find your blade again. From the gunk on it, it looks like one of the scrappers used it to clean some orifice.Roll #1 5 = 5
Veta's annoyance doesn't let up, using some chemicals to try and make the pizza stiffer and harder, then chucks it at the scrapper pony.
"Either go to sleep or choke on it!"
>Success Through Failure
[1d10+2]Roll #1 6 + 2 = 8
"Aha! figured there'd be more than junk!"
slipping the datapad into my vest pocket, i take a seat on some flattened cardboard and start prying open my claw's access panel, detaching the gripper and connecting the new limb.
[1d10] hot swapRoll #1 4 = 4
Pyrite looks at the orb worriedly, and looks at the others, before nodding a little bit>>689976
"Don't flip th' switch? Sure thing. I-It's makin' some awfully funny noises, anyways." he chuffs, before setting it in the unicorn's hooves.
Feeling rather disgusted at this misuse of prefessional equipment, Teal handles her apparatus precariously, preferably through something else and tries to clean it up first. She makes sure the rest of the party's weapons are located in this place and checks whether the pile contains anything else that could potentially come in handy when launching a strike from inside out - assuming the party can get inside.
Afterwards, she flies off to check the cars. She pries inside to see whether they haven't been drained of fuel. Wouldn't wanna have that hampering the escape at a crucial moment… also, yes, cars and not the car. She checks the ones currently not working too.Roll #1 2 = 2
trying to hold it with one hoof, i float it nearby with my magic.
? Ye'd best be careful! Lookin at it now, ye found a blasted Grenade!"
"The switch is fine, but i've no clue how long its been here, could be faulty!"
"A-Ack! I've never used a grenade b'fore, I don't know what they look like!" he shouts worriedly, passing it off to Risky without any delay
Gingerly setting it down nearby, i pull some trash to prop it up and get back to tinkering.
"Hmm.. Faulty or no, we c'n use this t'blast some scrappers.. Or at least scare em off."
You instinctively duck the incoming rock and spray some mysterious fluids on the gross pizza, petrifying it. You lob your makeshift weapon at the angry scrapper, hitting him dead on and knocking him out cold. You feel satisfied that you can now add "almost killed someone with a pizza" to your resume. >>689979
It takes significant effort, but you manage to attach the prosthetic eventually. It's extremely awkward to use, being much longer than your other leg, but it'll do for now.>-3 unarmed attack penalty reduced to -1>>689980
You gingerly pass the grenade to Risky, making sure not to touch the big red switch, or even look at it funny. >>689981
You locate Pyrite's shield amid the pile, but not Risky's PEW. You take note that there are mostly crude melee weapons in their storage, but also a few makeshift bows and crossbows.
You check the vehicles outside, avoiding unwanted attention. You find that there are two in working condition.
One is a construction truck that's been rebuilt almost from scratch with extra armoring made from sheets of corrugated metal. It has spikes on the front, indicating it's meant for ramming into things.
The other is much sleeker and high tech, an anti-gravity vehicle known as a blinker. Much like the truck, it's been revamped by the scrappers from a leisure vehicle into one that seems to be made for scouting out the landscape.
Nearby, the scrapper leader is arguing with a few others, jabbering away in Arktalk. It looks like they're arguing over who gets to keep Risky's PEW, as the leader is cradling it defensively.
Veta takes a deep breath in, then gives a long exhale.
"There…I feel much better now."
She looks to the rest of the group.
"So, took care of our little lookout problem. Any word from Teal?"
"No sign of her, probably best t'give her some time, tryin' t'get a signal out might alert the scrappers."
fiddling with the new limb, i try and practice moving around with it, compensating for the added length.
"Think we should loot that scrapper? Might have a key or some sort."
"Yeah, sure, just let's drag him somewhere safer here none of his buddies can catch us."
She looks at Risky and her new limb.
"Mind lending me a hoof with that, or you gonna make me ask Pyrite?"
"Aye, lets try and haul him up.">>689985
picking my way down the slope, i try and grab ahold of him with my magic, working on pulling him up and over the ridge.
[1d10] HaulingRoll #1 10 = 10
Confirming the status on that, Teal makes a note to check on who ultimately keeps the weapon. She doesn't look very surprised by this particular turn of events. Literally a pearl among scraps, that PEW. She makes notice of who is it that is having an argument with the leader, believing it might come in handy later.
For now, she moves on to the final, yet longest taking task before contacting the crew. Teal scrutinizes the layout of the encampment, remembers which tent stands for what, counts the amount of scrappers and memorizes the guards' count.
"Are ya gonna be alright usin' that leg? I could carry ya if it'd be easier." he offers, before looking over towards the Scrapper. He leans down to reach out and grab him once he gets close enough
"I'll be fine, might be the wrong size, but it'll do, least 'till we get back t'base and i can get me claw looked at."
"Perhaps we ought t'invest in EMP shielding, not the first time that claw's been totaled."
Between you, you manage to haul the unconscious scrapper up into your vantage point. After giving him a patdown, you also find he's carrying his club, a pack of cigarettes and a keyring. The keys on said keyring seem to be for vehicles.>>689990
The tiff seems to mostly be between the leader and a zebra with a ponytail. It is resolved when the leader shoves her away forcefully, knocking her roughly to the floor and admonishing her. She seems to resent it, but does not get up.
The camp is larger than you originally estimated. It has dozens of little huts and tents, roughly half of which are sleeping quarters. The other half are for storage: weapons, clothing, valuables, tinned food, machine parts, and so forth. All in all, there are about 100 scrappers inhabiting the settlement, about half of which look like able fighters. There may be even more out scavenging. Overall, it's unlikely you'll be able to fight your way out of this one.
The bat pony leader, whose name appears to be Rakka, does a head count, then frowns, starting to boss around the other scrappers again. It seems like they've noticed one is missing.
"Alright! As long as you're sure!">>689993
"Hey, maybe one 'a these works f'r a car 'round here, 'r somethin'?" he asks. The stallion takes a few moments to look around, seeing if he can spot any cars these might work on!>Perception: [1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
"Keys, eh? y'think he'll notice they're missing if we leave him where we found him?"
Teal backs away, finding a secure spot away from the crowd and contacts the rest of the party, reporting:
"Teal in. Secure so far. The establishment is going to a hundred in count, half readily combat-able. There's a valid infiltration chance with escape routes via one of the two vehicles present, with everything we've lost to them, except the PEW, being carried around by their leader, Rakka, personally. I'm assuming you're not interested in that solution though, are you, Risky? There's a conflict betweem a leader and someone daring to go against him regarding your prized weapon. Might see if I can pour some olive in that fire, but it might take time and there's little nourishment around here even for these scrappers here. Moreover, seems they've been irked by somepony missing from the last convoy. Was that the slacker we tailed""
"Aye, looks like it, though i doubt a scrapper car'll get us far enough along this trash heap."
"Can't fleece him fer much, aside from the keys looks like. Best we put him back down where we got him.">>689996
"Aye, that was him." i reply, pocketing the keys. Fleeced the keys off this one, looks like he's the driver, plenty o'keys on the ring. If they're comin fer him best we try and retreat till they pass."
"Get out o'there when ye can, sounds like we'll be needin a new plan."
"How about stealthily hijacking both the vehicles and using them to trample the whole encampment? It seems they've been modified to ram things. I could probably set them to autopilot or overdrive and have them do havoc on auto as well."
"I'll take those," Veta says, taking the pack of cigs, "all this fuckery happening to me and nobody has offered smokes to me yet? Jeez, the hell did I do to deserve this; be a massive bitch to anyone and everyone…oh yeah."
"Anyone got a light? And before you say anything: do as I say, not as I do."
"Ye think they've got autopilot on them? sound like a good idea, get em runnin while we sweep by fer the shield and PEW."
"only problem is gettin the keys t'the cars before they notice.. Maybe sneak in tonight?"
"If these blasted scrappers didn't short out me claw i'd let ye use the welder, else i've got nothin."
"If you say so. I'll see first if I can't manage without the keys though."
>Engineering on each of the vehicles
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
"Yikes. Good work, but keep on bein' careful, Miss Teal! An', yeah, that's th' guy we found. He had a whole buncha keys on him!">>689997
"Yeah, we'd best. Want me t' slide him down there?"
"Mhm, lets move 'im back afore he comes to, pretend we weren't here.">>689993
With the keys lifted from the pony, i work with pyrite to carefully slide him back down to where he passed out.
[1d10] MovingRoll #1 1 = 1
"Roger!">Move: [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
After tinkering with both vehicles for a while, you think you could potentially get the truck going without the need for keys. Not so the blinker, however, although unlike the truck, it does have an autopilot function.
Rakka sends four scrappers off in the direction the convoy came from, presumably investigating the disappearance. The zebra who tried to take the PEW is one of them, glowering as she brings up a wrap around her lower face and takes a rudimentary spear. >>690005
Alas, the scrapper doesn't have a lighter on him. There might be one among the rubbish heaps here. One can never tell. >>689999>>690004
You try to carry him down, but Risky fumbles due to the awkward ill-fitting shape of her makeshift prosthetic, dropping him roughly on a pile of rusted bars. He groans from the impact as he starts to come to, mumbling obscenities in Arktalk.
Seeing the scrapper start to come to, i try and knock him out again with a strike via hoof
"Teal, ye think ye can lace the camp with those bombs o'yours? Between that n'the cars goin haywire the lot of us can sneak int'the camp."Roll #1 2 - 1 = 1
Teal contacts the team:
"Could potentially one of the two operational. Keys would still come in handy. I propose one of us actively drives the truck, as it ain't possessing an autopilot, as to maximize damage output. Should I or does anyone else wish to? Moreover, should I rendezvous with you guys or stay here for now? Planting the bombs on the fuel as we speak, just in case."
As she says, so she does.
>Defaulting sabotage on the truck's fuel tank (can't do both at once due to the cooldown)
"The explosives I carry are meant for precision strikes and do not carry enough firepower to cause enough distraction of this kind. I could try and make some from the materials availible here, but it would take time."
Veta hears the hostage coming to and does a knuckle-cracking motion of her claws.
"Re-administering anesthesia," she says and tries to punch the scrapper pony hard enough in the head/face to knock him back out.
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
"Hmm. How about a fire? The smoke'll give us cover, distract em long enough t'steal out gear and a car."
Pyrite takes a chance to rummage for a lighter!>Perception: [1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
"Certainly more viable. Reckon they have little water to spare for extinguishing as is. Will check whether they carry any chemical ones too and rid them of those as well, if I can."
You only succeed in giving him a good backhoof, waking him up even more.>>690063
After making sure the coast is clear, you start planting some tiny yet powerful explosives on the truck, rigging it to explode as soon as you trigger them. It should be enough to cause some serious mayhem among the scavengers.>>690065
Now conscious thanks to Risky, he manages to avoid your punch, although barely so. He make no attempt to fight back, clearly still dazed as he tries to make sense of his surroundings.>>690067
You don't manage to find a lighter, but you do manage to find a matchbox half-buried under a pile of rusted tins. It still has [1d6] (min. 2) matches remaining.>>690062>>690065>>690067
From the trail leading to the encampment, four more scrappers approach your group, armed with makeshift melee weapons. The one at the front, a spear-wielding zebra with a ponytail and wrappings around her lower face, shouts something at the straggling scrapper, and he promptly hobbles over to the group and engages in conversation with the zebra, presumably talking about your group. The other three keep their weapons trained on you, seemingly waiting for an order from the zebra who seems to be leading this small group.Roll #1 4 = 4
Having accomplished that task, Teal proceeds to penetrate the encampment yet again. Steering clear of view, she tries to spot any fire extinguishers that the scrappers might potentially have at hoof.
>Not sure if perception is needed, rolling just in case
She still awaits the party's response to the questions from >>690063
too.Roll #1 8 = 8
"Looks like that zebra ye were talkin about spotted us. I'll try t'communicate, if ye hear gunshots best cause some havoc in the base."
"if i can sneak to ye i'll drive it, though it's lookin like we're havin problems.">>690069
trying my best to recall what little i know of arktalk, i try and talk with the zebra.
"Erm, Lagundu.. gaitzazu.
devenir leader, saame relvad tagasi"
(to the effect of: 'how's that leader of yours? big fan of his?')>improvise
[1d10] ark-speakRoll #1 7 = 7
Veta looks around with the look of someone obviously trying to avoid trouble.
"Whatever he says about me, he's lying."
"H-Hey, I found a matchbox! I think it could help a little bit!" the stallion half-whinnies, before quieting down. He'll let Risky do the talking.
Flying around the settlement, you spot one fire extinguisher lying about outside someone's tent. No more than that, however. These scavengers have to take what they can get, it seems.>>690071
At first she raises her spear suspiciously, along with the rest of the group, eyeballing you hard. You're not sure if she understood you. After a moment, she turns and gives the other scrappers some orders, and they start leaving without her.
"…Mitä haluat, extranjera?" she answers eventually, still wary. You notice she's using an Arktalk dialect you're more familiar with now, more often used in the galactic core Arks. This translates roughly to "What do you want from me, stranger?
"…Shi nah seh notin," the zebra simply answers. It seems she does speak a little Basic, albeit in an extremely thick accent.>>690073
The zebra doesn't answer, but instead looks at you suspiciously. You get the feeling she's not looking for a fight, though.
"Ma tahan oma gewere en skild arrière"We're here for the weapons your leader stole from me.
"Zer egin dezakegu?"what'll it take to get them back?
[1d10] chatterRoll #1 1 = 1
"Uhh… At least she seems t' be nice 'nough. I'll let y'all do th' talkin', though."
Veta gives a sigh.
"I knew I should've taken Arktalk back in high school and not fucking Manedarin. Seriously."
She rubs her temples and simply shrugs, trying to convey she doesn't understand him through the accent.
Remembering the place with the fire extinguisher, Teal takes a while to observe ponies moving around the encampment. Does it look like they're avoiding any spots? She checks those, as well as a bit beside that, for traps that they may've set.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
"This Ark chatter's grating on the throat, you're better off not botherin."
"Had t'pick it up when raidin some ships, can't haul prisoners if ye can't order em around."
"Trust me, Manedarin is worst. Someone finds out you speak it, and they send you to make all deals with me."
She gives a disgusted sigh.
"Most conniving, sneaky bunch you'd ever have the displeasure of dealing with. Rather take a bullet to the leg from a raider than get screwed because of their so called 'great deals.'"
She looks taken aback by how upfront you are about your intentions, and the implication of her helping you. "Voetsak," she simply says derisively with a snort, and turns to leave. If you want to convince her to help you, you'll have to do better than that.>>690077
She seems to get the message across, ignoring you for now.>>690078
It doesn't look like they're avoiding any areas, nor have they set any traps. The only defences they have seem to be armed lookouts around the camp perimeter. In addition, they have two mounted scorpions made from spare parts at the back of the encampment. They are on wheels, allowing for transportation from one place to another, as well as scopes mounted on top. It looks like these are the contraptions that were used to down your ship.
"Tch. Too blunt, eh? How about this
stepping forward, i gesture to the camp with my prosthetic.
"Ahoana ny amin'ny fitarihana?"How about running the group? I hear you're not a fan of his.
"Laguntza laguntza"We'll help you beat him, you give us our gear.
[1d10] persuasionRoll #1 2 + 2 = 4
/ Roll #2 7 = 7
Teal flies over to said contraptions, checking what kind of ammunition they have at the ready and in the stock. Moreover, she estimates, how many ponies or how much force is required to operate and or/fire one to begin with.
"Just give us our shit back, asshole, or I'll unleash a vial of Super AIDS or something equally as deadly" Veta yells at the zebra, looking very annoyed again.
>Every speaks the intergalatic language of intimidation, right?
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
"That bad, eh? ye've been approached by em before?"
Her metalic claw clenches into such a fist, the hydraulics make a straining noise.
"Don't make me remember."
"H-Hey, do-" the stallion starts, before deciding that now's probably a great time to take Teal's advice. He puffs his cheeks out and bears down on the zebra, trying to look scary.>Intimidation [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
She stops and turns back to you, eyeballing you again, clearly weighing her options. Eventually, she approaches you slowly.
"Saa, jeg tror ikke det, men överväga detta: Ty pomozhesh' mne vybrat'sya otsyuda, a urobím to isté. Que te parece?"I don't know about all that, but how about this: you help me get off of this stinking shitpile of an Ark, and I'll help you get your equipment back. Deal?>>690084>>690087
She scoffs, mostly at Pyrite's meager attempt to look menacing. "Lófaszt," she answers, clearly calling your bluff. "Yuh du nah ave de tallowah.">>690083
It looks like it's designed to be operate by one pony. A nearby tent reveals a variety of bolts that could be used, most of which have the electric pulse emitters attached like the ones that downed your ship. Others look explosive, and others more are just plain meant for impaling.
Pyrite frowns a little bit, and folds his ears back "S-Shucks, I ain't good at that at all. W-We jus' really need out stuff back. I-I'm sorry, miss."
"Wir haben ein Schiff,
nga mahimo nako."we've got friends here, we can get you off the ark easy.>>690087>>690086>>690083
"Ahaha! We've got an out, crew! We get her off the ark and we'll have our gear safe and sound!" i finish, updating teal and the others.
"No idea what you're saying. So mind getting our shit now? Thanks."
"… really? You mean she's going to smuggle our weapons out?"
"Aye, looks like it! What luck, and here i was plottin some three part plan t'get our gear back!"
"W-We do? Oh, that's great!" the stallion says, before offering a bit of a bow to the zebra
"That easy huh? Well good, cause I didn't feel like going through the paperwork to actually get a vial of Super AIDS."
"Alright, if you deem her able, I'd be glad to have it that way. Beating those scrappers wouldn't yield much reward other than our own things anyway, I believe. I'll be on the lookout until you have your stuff back, just in case. Unless we want to try and get just the transports. Do we?"
"That is, if we steal one of their vehicles and dispose of the second one, we should be in a good spot with traversing this barren land, right?"
"good plan, keep an eye out fer the moment, just in case she gets int'trouble with that boss o'hers."
"sounds about right, best check with her afore we blow any of em just yet."
"Doesn't matter how many vehicles we steal; we don't even have a way of getting ourselves off this damn Ark, let alone someone else. At this point, I'm just along for the ride and keeping you lot alive it seems like."
For now, then, Teal stays put, overlooking the area, as to see how will the Zebra fare.
"Far as i recall there's bound t'be a Golden company base somewhere past this field o'junk."
"That makes sense, yeah! They can't follow us if they don't got no car!"
She keeps giving you the hairy eyeball for a moment, then lightens up, smiling under her wrappings. "Ah, 'sal gud mon," she says with a slight chuckle. "Mi see wat mi can du.">>690090
She nods and smiles, extending her hoof in a sign of trust.
"Wakatta."You got it.>>690091
She nods. "Don fret, oman. Mi ago help yu.">>690101
You overlook the landscape, staying out of sight of the guards. You can see the rest of the party talking to the zebra, as well as the entrance to the encampment.>>690089>>690090>>690091
"Quedense aqui hasta sunavaee shor, þá koma og berjast." With that, the zebra gallops off in the direction of the scrapper encampment.>>690090
"Wait here until you start hearing a ruckus, then come join the fun.
After some deliberation, you see the zebra run back to the encampment, going straight up to Rakka. When he goes to ask her something, she quickly snatches the PEW out of his hooves and smacks him in the face with it, trying to run off back towards the party. Several guards catch up with her, and she manages to fend off two of them before getting knocked down by a third, struggling to prime the PEW. It looks like she's in a rough spot.>>690089>>690090>>690091
After a few minutes, you hear faint yelling coming from the direction the zebra left in. It sounds like she's getting into a fight with some scrappers.
hearing the zebra enter the fray, i load my shotgun and diver down the ridge, towards the camp.
"Looks like our friend could use some help! Get to the camp, on the double!">>690101
"Teal, we're gonna need that distraction! just make sure we've got a car t'make our exit!"
Veta's ears perked up at the sounds of commotion, then watches Risky run off towards it. She gives a long sigh.
"So the plan is just running into a fight again? Jeez…."
She figured she better get ready for a long fight again and sets her limbs to start making some adrenaline shots as she follows after Risky.
"Hey, slow down. This old bitch was built for desk work, not running a damn marathon."
[1d10+1]Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9
Pyrite smiles a little bit, and gives the mare a thankful pat on the shoulder. "Well, c'mon, y'all!"
"Bah! It'll do ye some good t'run off that crash, Veta!"
"I'm no spring chicken, but give me the chance t'crack some skulls and i'll feel like a foal in a candyshop!"
Teal flies to the truck, setting it on and getting it to work. Avoiding direct contact with the area she heard the commotion in, the weapon pile, as well as the other vehicle, she begins to trample the rest of the camp.
"Gonna get out of that truck to get the key to the other one from you as soon as you get what you want from that camp. That or try to get the anti-grav working yourself. Shouldn't be an issue with the keys you've got! I'll clear the way before then."
[3d10]Roll #1 9, 9, 2 = 20
You cock your shotgun and gallop towards the camp, ready to throw down and reclaim what's yours.>>690106
As you get moving, you start preparing some shots, eventually getting three adrenaline injections ready. You get the feeling this won't be easy.>>690107
She just nods at you before taking off.
You charge in with the rest of your companions, getting ready for a fight.>>690109>>690110
You manage to hotwire the truck. It comes to life with a deafening roar of its engine, running out of control through several tents. Scrappers scatter left and right to avoid the vehicle, with at least four getting sent flying. None of them know how to stop the vehicle, with a few winged scrappers trying to get onto it from above but to no avail. It runs headlong into a tent of food supplies, sending moldy fruit and bread flying everywhere before crashing headlong into a mound of miscellaneous rubbish and finally coming to a stop, smoldering ominously. >>690105>>690106>>690107
You arrive to a scene of utter chaos as an industrial grade truck runs amok through the dismal little scrapper campsite, sending them scattering left and right, eventually crashing headlong into a pile of junk.
At one end of the camp, you see your newfound ally struggling to fend off two other scrappers, eventually managing to fire the PEW and take down one of them. The other manages to tackle her down while she's distracted.
The bat pony leader Rakka sees you run in, beginning to shout orders in Arktalk. Three scrappers start throwing javelins at Pyrite, while one with a large club swings at Risky.
Rakka himself flies up and starts readying one of the explosive spears, taking aim at your group. Several more scrappers start rushing towards you all from further out in the camp, too far off to be able to do anything yet.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3niT-cnjpQRoll #1 6, 8, 5 = 19
/ Roll #2 6 = 6
galloping into the battle, i set my sights on the flying leader, firing off a few rounds, frustratingly out of range but hopefully enough to distract him.
"Pengecut! Come down and fight me, ye blasted bat!"Roll #1 6 = 6
Pyrite yeps as the scrappers hurl the spears at him, really wishing he had his trusty shield! He goes for the closest of the three, and, without many options, just tries… an elbow drop! It worked on the Wrestling match he saw!>Slam: [1d10+1] (Crits on 8+, +1 from Grapple)Roll #1 9 + 1 = 10
Teal leaves the truck, planning on delaying the explosion till the scrappers gather by to check up on it and its phantom driver. She takes a gander at the other vehicle, checking if anypony is going that way, in the unlikely scenario that they had a spare key to that one and then, seeing the party being in need of her direct support, Teal flies up to the scrappers' leader, currently being the only one able to do that, and prepares his explosive spears to detonate perhaps a bit sooner than the bat pony would be wishing for.
>Sabotage>DC reduced by 2
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"Even with the distraction we've got t'make this quick, blasted camp is full o'lackeys!"
"Peel the scrappers off our friend here and make fer the armory! she's got the PEW, we'll grab yer shield and run fer the anti-grav!"
While shotguns are by design meant for shorter range, you manage to clip him in the wing slightly, making him falter and messing up his aim. He winces from the shot, but does not reply, instead turning his attention to you in particular.
The club-wielding scrapper manages to get a fairly good hit in on you, hitting you across the back of the head and making you stumble slightly. It hurts, but nothing you can't handle. >Risky takes 1 hit>>690113
Your armor stops the worst of the javelins, two of them clattering uselessly while the third grazing your cheek. It smarts pretty hard. You retaliate by charging at one of them, jumping up and ramming into him elbow first, leaving him winded and down for the count.>Pyrite takes 2 hits>>690114
You wouldn't be able to rig his current spear without alerting him to your presence, but you do manage to rig one of the others to explode on your command.
Your zebra friend keeps struggling against her attacker, trying to get back up again.
The other two javelin throwers keep attacking Pyrite.
The pony attacking Risky doesn't let up on his assault.
Rakka changes his mind and hurls the explosive javelin directly at Risky.>roll to dodge>pausingRoll #1 10 = 10
/ Roll #2 9, 1 = 10
/ Roll #3 1 = 1
Last time on BWB, the party were caught in a trap set by Patches that transported them several months forward in time, marooning them in a remote corner of the galaxy. They secured transport to a nearby inhabited Ark, but their ship was downed by a group of scrappers, who took their equipment and left them for dead.
After some planning, the party managed to strike a deal with one of the scrappers, ensuring her transport off of this Ark in exchange for her helping them recover their gear and escape the scrappers' territory. The plan is to take their equipment back by force, take control of one of the vehicles the scrappers own, and take off towards the distant city; the scrappers are simply too many to be able to take on as it is.
>Risky is at 4/4
>Pyrite is at 5/5
>Teal is at 5/4
>Veta is at 5/3
Post sheets and reply to the post above.
Seeing their leader ready another spear, i dive away from the area, trying to take cover
"Aha! Ye really think that'll work on me twice? Not a chance, doqon!"
[1d10] dodgeRoll #1 4 = 4
Veta decides to let everyone else fight and tries to slink away into the base stealthily in the confusion of combat. While they fight, she might as well get a start on getting the equipment back.
>sneaky sneak in
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
Pyrite lets out a startled yelp as he sees the javelin coming right at him, and fumbles around for the energy field generator! He gives it a click and braces, hoping it'll do the trick!>Energy Shield (Automatic, Recharge 3)
Teal joins in on the clash, seeing how it needs a helping hoof and a bit of shock value to get things moving smoothly. She sweeps the battlefield, starting from jabbing the leader and then attempting to score hits on the underlings before they get warned by their chief.
"Hurry!" - she nags them through the intercom to her team - "Don't focus too much on the fight, focus on getting to the transport and staying alive while at it."
>Cleave 4>DC reduced by 2>Critfails on 3->Autocrits
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
"Aye i'm tryin! We'll be needin t'get them off our zebra friend and grab the rest o'our kit, she's got me gun and veta's off t'grab the shield!"
"ye got one o'those cars ready? It'll be down t'the wire!"
"The other one needs a key, though works on autopilot. Either you get there and pilot it or you get me the key and I fetch it here. Which do you want?"
"Make yer way t'me and i'll toss ye the keys, get her runnin and we'll hop aboard once we get the zebra free!"
You see the pony's attack coming, punching your assailant square in the jaw and knocking him out cold. Scrambling for cover, you are unfortunately not fast enough to avoid the blast from the exploding spear. It sends you stumbling backwards, leaving you stunned with your ears ringing.>Risky takes 4 hits >>690227
You try to avoid attention, but to little effect. A grubby looking pony with dreadlocks and an eye patch confronts you, shouting to the others before pulling out a rusted machete.>>690228
You activate the energy shield. A translucent blue bubble surrounds you instantly, the incoming javelins clattering off of it fruitlessly. The barrier dissipates as quickly as it appeared, leaving you unscathed.>>690229
You unsheathe your trusty blade, shanking Rakka right in the leg. He hisses and flaps about, trying to right himself as he looks around for his attacker to no avail. You follow up with similar attacks to several scrappers, leaving them all heavily wounded.>>690226>>690227>>690228>>690229
Your newfound ally gets up, triumphantly wielding the PEW. "Oi! Toma!" She lobs it towards Risky before darting into the tent containing the scrappers' armory, presumably searching for the rest of the party's gear. She might need some help carrying the shield.
Rakka's eyes narrow and he readies another spear. As he goes to throw it at the zebra, however, it backfires due to Teal's previous efforts, exploding in his face and knocking him out of the sky. He careens to the ground unceremoniously, groaning from the unexpected backfire. He is quickly helped up by a couple of his goons, although he doesn't seem to be in a state for fighting anymore. He starts barking orders again, pulling out his flare gun and shooting it up into the sky, calling for reinforcements. He then simply points at the party, and six scrappers get ready to keep fighting in his stead.
One of them attacks Risky.
The one confronting Veta takes a swing.
Two of them pull out makeshift swords and lunge at Pyrite.
Yet another goes for Teal.
The last one takes a javelin and lopes into the tent, moving to attack your ally.Roll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 7, 4 = 11
/ Roll #4 6 = 6
"Guess I'm gonna have to do that then…." Veta then runs past the pony and into the base.
Veta keeps bolting, trying to put considerable distance between her and the pony.
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Pyrite yelps a little as he spots another one going for the already-wounded Risky, and puffs his chest out. He barrels right through the two trying to trying to hit him, and throws himself in front of the mare to try and take the hit!>Protect: Risky [Instant, Automatic, Recharge 3]>Bodycheck/Overrun on either of the two attacking Pyrite: [1d10+1]Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9
Blown back by the explosion, i manage to grab my PEW with magic, using it to steady myself as i try and get back onto my hooves
"T'the armory! Grab the shield and break fer the car!"Roll #1 1 = 1
Teal grabs the key off of Risky and flies towards the camp in the direction of the antigrav, hoping to lose her assailant in the midst.
>Stealth>DC reduced by 2
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
"Pyrite, make fer the armory, she'll need help gettin yer shield! Teal'l grab our ride, i'll keep em off o'us"
"H-Huh? What about you, Risky? I-I can't jus' leave ya here?"
"Bah! Once i get back on me hooves i'll blow 'em away with plasmafire, don't ye start fretting over yer captain, it'll take more than some scrappers t'off me!"
He manages to get a nasty hit in on you, but you power through it and get into the tent, outrunning your attacker. There seems to be a large stockpile of weapons in here, including Pyrite's shield. It looks quite heavy.
You are quickly joined by the zebra, who wastes no time in making a beeline for the shield and trying to haul it out, to limited effect. As she motions for you to help her, a scrapper bursts in, carrying a brutal looking scrap metal spear.
>Veta takes 3 hits>>690235
You go to protect Risky, but are not quite fast enough to stop her from getting attacked. One of your attackers manages to get a hit in on you, but you retaliate by slamming into him, then elbowing the other that tried to hit you. Both of them back off easily, infuriating Rakka.>Pyrite takes 1 hit>>690236
You try to steady yourself, but your attacker knocks you back down with a powerful punch that leaves you seeing stars.>Risky takes 1 wound>>690237
You manage to dodge the worst of the strike, getting nicked across the wings. It doesn't stop you from eluding your attacker by darting here and there unpredictably, sticking close to the ground and zooming among the endless trash to avoid detection. You manage to make it to the blinker, inserting the keys and getting it running easily. It comes to life with an array of flashing lights and a little musical jingle. It seems to be in operable enough condition.>Teal takes 1 hit
Risky's assailant turns his attention to Pyrite, taking a swing at him.
Hearing the blinker start up, the zebra tries to carry Pyrite's shield twice as hard as before.
While the scrapper attacking her goes for a lunge.
In the distance, you hear the rumbling of distant engines. It seems like the reinforcements Rakka called for aren't just more of his own men.Roll #1 4 = 4
/ Roll #2 8 = 8
/ Roll #3 4 = 4
Pyrite huffs a little bit. He doesn't have time for Risky to play tough! He yanks her up and on to his back and heads for the armory! He shrugs off that nasty hook, which he'll feel later… but, that's not important! He skids to a stop by the Zebra and offers a big, dopey grin, before gingerly taking his shield off her hooves. Now armed with his trusty shield, the huge earth stallion turns around and rams it into the snout of her attacker!>Slam: [1d10] (Crits on 8+)Roll #1 9 = 9
gritting my teeth, i try and force myself up!
"cmon, yer not finished yet.." i growl under my breath as i struggle to stand.
[1d10] RecoverRoll #1 3 = 3
Having booted up the machine, Teal gets a grip on the controls and does her best to get the vehicle running in the direction of her team. Unlike with the truck, she does not ram every place along the way, fearing getting the somewhat more fragile frame stuck or damaged in case there was something hard or edgy inside any of the tents, but she doesn't exactly go out of her way to avoid the fleshbags that are the scrappers along the way.
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
Veta gets an idea. She goes to the zebra to help lift the shield, pats the flat side of it, then points at the doorway.
"Go, go, go!"
She then has the shield face the doorway and, with the help of the zebra, run at the doorway to barrel through the scrapper.
[1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
Hoisted onto your back, i grumble incoherently, bleeding onto your armor as i drag the PEW behind us.
"Bah, let me down.. i'll take em all on.. blasted scrappers won't know what..ugh."
You manage to shove your new attacker out of the way, doing likewise to the scrapper attacking the zebra after taking up your shield. He falls to the ground from your blow, dazed. "Domo!" the zebra says with a friendly grin, which you can only assume means thank you. She looks around for a moment, grabs Risky's prosthetic arm and some weapons, then follows you out.>>690243
You try to get up, but your head still feels light from the blow, and you struggle to no result. You feel Pyrite grabbing you easily, so at least for now you're out of harm's way.>>690244>>690245
The blinker is clearly meant for a pony to drive. For someone of your size, it is nearly impossible to control, and you end up steering madly through a crowd of scrappers. A few of them are hit, but not hard enough to kill them, and most of them manage to scramble out of the way. You eventually manage to get the blinker into position and wait for your companions outside the armory.>>690246
Before you can put your plan into action, Pyrite stomps in with Risky in tow and cleans up the mess for you. As the group go to exit, the zebra holds out a spring-loaded crossbow she grabbed from the wepaons pile. She doesn't say anything, but obviously wants you to take it.>>690242>>690243>>690244>>690245
The rumbling grows louder, and you can see Rakka's crew starting to back away. Whatever's coming for you, it's not going to be much fun. The zebra is the first to climb into the blinker, having taken a few things from their arsenal. In addition to the grenade you found earlier, you now have five of the exploding spears, as well as two scrap metal crossbows along with some ammunition. "Ikuyo," the zebra urges you, presumably saying to get going. She looks a bit nervous all of a sudden.
"Oh, well that works as well," Veta says with a shrug as her plan doesn't have to be used this time. Veta looks at the crossbow handed to her.
"Oh…uhh thanks," she says looking it over. "Hmm…tetanus maybe, or just something else not fun…."
Her thinking is interrupted by the rumbling.
"Okay, yeah, let's get our lucky asses out of here now. Also," she looks at Risky and gets a needle ready, "damn Risky. You're the best job security a doctor could ask for."
>Rejuvenate, DC 4
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Pyrite nods eagerly in response to the Zebra, before turning to look for the Blinker.
Pyrite settles Risky into the passenger's seat of the Blinker, giving her a hopeful smile "A-Are you alright? S-Sorry I didn't get there sooner, Cap'n." Afterwards, he clambers into the back, gripping his shield tightly "Ready t' go!"
"Well i do my best.. got t'make sure those limbs o'yers work somehow." i reply with a bloody grin.>>690250
"Long as we get out o'here, i'll be fine, Pyrite."
"Feels like i'm spendin more time draped o'er yer back than in the fight, maybe i am
getting too old fer this." i finish, laughing weakly.
Teal, elated from the rush of emotions brought by the wild drive huffs quite loudly for a Breezie while awaiting her companions. As soon as they get in, she gets the blinker going, using autopilot this time though, setting it in the direction opposite to where the rumbling sounds is coming from.
"P-Please, miss Risky! Y'ain't too old f'r this! Ya look plenty spry! Y-Ya jus' ain't as sturdy as I am!" the stallion whinnies, before slapping his chest a couple times "A-An', ya jus' got a little unlucky. You'll knock 'em outta th' park next time!"
Teal comments on the weapon being handed over to the Diamond Dog:
"You know, she has a point, Veta. Ponies around these parts won't exactly avoid harming you cause of your doctor's license. You could carry a weapon just as well, even if they manage to understand you. A sign of common sense, if you will. I just hope we won't have to have you use it against whatever the heck's coming that even these scrappers seem afraid of.."
"Yeah, true, though I have a feeling I might have to get an upgrade at some point….">>690254
Veta looks at Teal with a raised brow.
"Wait, you can understand them?" She sighs. "So much for my college education."
"Not a word, doc. The look she's giving you seems clear to me tho. Seen enough danger warning in my time. You can learn that stare's meaning just by implying to ponies you're out of coffee in the morning."
Trying to sit up in my seat, i motion for us to get moving.
"Got t'get out o'here.. whatever that is ye'd best bet it's better t'not know.."
You accidentally miss Risky's vein while administering the shot, resulting in nothing but drawing blood from the poor pony. She's not looking well.>Risky takes 1 wound>>690252
You get the blinker into motion. It takes its sweet time accelerating, humming and throbbing as it lifts up off the ground and hovering by some anti-gravity mechanism. Once it gets moving towards the city, however, you find it to be quite fast.>>690249>>690250>>690251>>690252>Blinker has 35 hits remaining
Coming over a rubbish mound, you see what has the scrappers getting to cover. An absolute monster of a vehicle is in pursuit. It looks like it was some sort of armored truck at some point, but has over time been built and rebuilt into something more akin to a tank. Eight pony-sized wheels flank its sides, the outer chassis covered in thick plates and menacing spikes. Atop the thing, you can see several scrappers pointing at you and shouting orders. A deafeningly loud, low horn blares as the war machine trundles slowly but deliberately towards you.
You can see the city ahead of you. You're still a far ways off, but you can see some sort of chasm separating it from the rubbish dump you're in, connected by several bridges. The war machine looks far too big and heavy to be able to cross the bridge safely, so it seems that once you get there you'll be safe.
Gunfire roars as shots are fired from the war machine, aiming to damage your blinker.
bleeding and looking pale, i lean back in my seat to look at the oncoming truck.
"…ye've got t'be kiddin me."
shifting to reach for my gun, i try and stir enough life to lift it up.
"..ye'd best bet i'll not.. let em take us this easy."
[1d10] RecoverRoll #1 2 = 2
Veta just groans as she finds herself in another crazy situation.
"Oh for crying out-everyone take one," she says and passes out the adrenaline shots from before.>Health potions to Risky, Teal, and Pyrite.
She then tries to pick up and stabilize Risky.
"Ah shit, sorry about that one."
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
"Pyrite.. Use the PEW.. lost too much blood t'aim 'er properly."
slumped in my seat, i hold out the rifle with flickering magic.
"use the seat t'steady yer aim.."
"Aim's as on point as ever, eh Veta?" i mutter
"Give it t'me straight, doc. Am i long fer this world?" i joke, ducking down to avoid gunfire.
Pyrite winces as Risky's condition seems to worsen further, and further, before tearing up a little "I-I can't do that, Risky! Y-You can do it!" he whinnies, trying to help out with his own adrenaline shot.>Help Risky recover: [1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
Grabbing the shot from Veta and hastily getting back on the wheel, using whatever little body weight she has, combined with straining against the panel with her legs as leverage, Teal desperately tries to steer the vehicle, as autopilot doesn't quite acknowledge incoming bullets as terrain difficulty. Hopefully, she doesn't crash the car before Risky gets up again…
>Steering the vehicle to avoid damage
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Your head is still spinning, and you fail to recover from your mounting injuries.>>690261
Your hands are still a bit glitchy since the EMP blast that took out the ship you were on, so it probably wasn't your fault for wounding Risky. You fail to help her up.>>690264
You give Risky the injection. It seems to improve her condition somewhat, for now at least. You also feel somewhat dizzy from the blow you took earlier, but you should be fine.>Risky is healed for full hits and 1 wound>end of Protect>Pyrite takes 1 hit total>>690265
You manage to avoid some of it, but the vehicle still takes significant damage. The rear bumpers are blown off and the vehicle stutters, jerking up into the air slightly as the anti-gravity mechanism malfunctions for a moment.>>690260>>690261>>690264>>690265>Blinker has 28 hits remaining>3 turns remaining until you reach the bridge
You hear a loud *thunk* sound come from the war machine, and a huge ball of scrap metal is launched from the back out of a catapult. It hurtles through the air and lands right in front of you, the ground quaking from the impact. This is followed by another hail of bullet fire.>DC+2 to avoiding damage on this round
The zebra yells curses at the war machine as she readies one of the spears and chucks it at the monstrous vehicle's grill. "Kurwa! Perkele!"
Heart racing from the adrenaline, i shake my head as i reach for the wheel.
"ugh.. alive fer the moment, but not out o'danger yet."
"grab somethin t'fire back! this whole ride'll crumble at this rate!"Roll #1 4 = 4
"Risky! Stuff ahead! I need you here pronto!"
Teal says, trying her best with the steering till the unicorn gets there, at least.
>Steering the vehicle to avoid damage
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
>celestia take the wheel
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
me Pyrite gives the mare an excited smile as the color comes back into her face! He doesn't quite know what was in that vial, but he's happy it worked! With that out of the way, he grabs the PEW and tries to shoot at one of the tires out as best he can manage!>Ranged! [1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Veta looks at the war machine and gets to thinking.
"Hey, someone mind handing me something that blows up? Maybe…ah!"
Veta grabs one of the exploding spears, closes one eye as she tries to line up her throw.
"And Veta, looking at the endzone for omeone open…."
She then chucks the spear, trying to get it where it could maybe lodge itself somewhere important and blow something up/off the machine.
[1d10]Roll #1 10 = 10
Even through your combined efforts, you are unable to avoid the oncoming bulletfire and the scrap boulder. The entire right side of the blinker scrapes deafeningly against it, while the other side is peppered with shots from the war machine. The blinker shuts down for a moment, then starts back up again as it hurtles along towards the bridge.>>690270
You fiddle with a lever on its side for a moment, then fire. It almost bowls you over with the force of the shot, with a loud pew
sound and a blinding light heralding the rippling force of your shot. It leaves a smoldering hole on the war machine's front, the edges of the hole glowing orange from the searing heat.>>690271
With a weakness exposed by Pyrite's shot, you take careful aim then throw it. The enormous machine actually falters for a moment as the spear explodes, igniting a flame on its front. You hear panicked shouting coming from the scrappers operating it.
>Blinker has 16 hits remaining>2 turns remaining until you reach the bridge
The zebra's spear further stokes the flame that's started on the front of the war machine. Several pegasi fly out and start working to extinguish it, the war machine slowing to a crawl for repairs. Looking immensely satisfied with the party's handiwork, the zebra spits in the vehicle's direction, then ducks as a scattering volley of shots are fired towards you.>DC-4 to avoiding damage on this round
"AHA! Fine shot, Pyrite! We'll make fer the bridge and away from this blasted scrap heap in no time!"
leaning the car to it's left stabilizers, i gun it for the bridge!>improvise
[1d10] Punch it!Roll #1 6 = 6
"Hey, we got it! W-Well, sorta, but we got it!" the stallion whinnies, passing Risky her arm and humming a little bit "W-What should I do now? They seem like they've stopped. Is there anythin' I can do t' help drivin'?"
"R-Right! Lemme try again!" the stallion says, before trying to take another shot at the vehicle. He doesn't wanna blow it up or anything, but putting it outta commission'd be good!>Ranged! [1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
Leaving the vehicle in the trusty hands of the pirate mercenary captain, Teal jumps down on the seat, not risking flight at this speedy a ride. She tackles the unmanned crossbow, as to move it so as to face the exposed pegasi and tries to take one of them down from the skies, believing regular crossbow bolts to prove of little use against the machine.
>Basic ranged attack
[1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
Veta watches the spear fly and be part of her's and Pyrite's little mid-flight one-two.
"Holy shit, is this actually worked?"
Then the explosions happened.
"Holy shit, that actually worked!"
With her medical equipment ready to go again, she goes back to Risky, needle ready.
"Well shit, let's save one of these things. I wanna hang it in an office if I ever get one again."
>Rejuvenate, DC 4
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
"Ye've done enough with that shot o'yers, though if they get that heap runnin i'm trustin ye t'bring it down with another shot."
You manage to avoid the bullets fairly easily this time. It looks like they're focusing more on undoing your damage for now, although they still clip the blinker a bit.>>690275
You fire the PEW again. You hear ominous clanking from the war machine as your shot lands, causing the mechanics to back off for a moment. It didn't seem to be nearly as effective as before, however, but it looks like it did do some damage to its hull.>>690276
To someone of your stature, the spring-loaded crossbow might as well be a ballista. You try to lift one of the bolts, but it falls on you and traps you underneath. The zebra lifts it easily, laughing slightly at your predicament.>Teal takes 2 hits>>690277
You prepare an injection and use it on Risky, revitalizing her.>Risky is healed for 5/1>>690273>>690274>>690276>>690277>Blinker has 14 hits remaining>1 turn remaining until you reach the bridge
The bridge leading to the city lies before you, and with it, safety. You're not out of the woods yet, however. The war machine eventually roars back to life, continuing its pursuit. Instead of boulders or bullets, this time they fire a harpoon attached to a thick chain, trying to slow you down and preventing your escape. It whistles through the air, aiming to latch on to your blinker from the rear. You note that they're the same sorts of harpoons that were used to take down your ship.
With everyone looking good at the moment, Veta grabs another spear and tries to chuck it at the same place she had it land before.
[1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
"Gah! Another o'those blasted harpoons!"
turning the wheel, i swerve to avoid the shot!
"Hold ont'the railing! This one'll be rough!"
[1d10] dodgeRoll #1 8 = 8
Pyrite frowns a little bit as Teal's smooshed by the crossbow, giving her a sympathetic look. He's shaken out of the mood by the loud 'thunk' of the harpoon firing. He grips the PEW tightly, before leaning out and trying to shoot the harpoon out of the air!>Ranged Attack! [1d10]Roll #1 1 = 1
The small stealthy bughorse was just simply so stealthy that it accidentally stealthed itself under the crossbow bolt and had issues unstealthing itself. It's not like she was trapped underneath it, b-baka…
Teal looks at the zebra with a mixture of gratefulness and a bit of embarassment, though no ill will. Seeing how she can't really think of a way to be useful to the party right now, she simply stays low to avoid fire and encourages her teammates:
"Almost there! You're doing a great job, everyone!"
>Words of encouragement
>Taking the shot from Veta, automatic instantRoll #1 1 = 1
You see the war machine actually veer to try and avoid the spear, but to no avail. A fire ignites just as the mechanics finish putting the first one out, followed by several, smaller fires. It seems you dealt a fairly significant blow to the mighty construct.>>690281
You manage to swerve to dodge the harpoon. It scrapes against your beaten up vehicle, causing some damage to it, but fails to latch on. You can almost feel the frustration from the scrappers as the chain is slowly pulled back in.>>690282
You try and fire again, but it is still steaming from overuse. You burn your hooves on it.>Pyrite takes 1 hit>>690283
Your words fall on deaf ears as the rest of the party concentrate on their respective tasks, paying little attention to you. Taking the injection, you feel better almost instantly.>Teal is healed for 5/1>>690280>>690281>>690282>>690283
A wave of relief rushes over you as you make it onto the metallic bridge leading to the city. The war machine stops dead in its tracks as you begin to cross to safety, a final fruitless round of bullet fire being sprayed in your general direction. "Eba!!" the zebra cheers, making obscene gestures towards the rubbish heap as it slowly shrinks into the distance.
You note that the sun is starting to set. You'll probably be at the city by nightfall.
"Well now, looks like we've made it across!"
"Might've nearly killed us, but we got our gear back and
made it t'the city."
"Now t'pay patches a visit, wring the parts outta him, find that mechanic fer me claw and repair the ship."
Pyrite yelps and drops PEW, shaking his hooves frantically as he tries to cool them off. He lets out a huge sigh of relief as they clear the bridge, setting the overheated PEW back by Risky and giggling nervously>>690286
"U-Uhm, I sorta overheated it, I think. S-Sorry."he mumbles, before offering a bit of a grin "B-But, we made it! A-An' you an' Teal 'r okay, too!" the stallion whinnies, pulling Whiskey into a tight hug. He can't really hug Teal, but he does give her a big smile. "Y-You okay?"
pulling *Riskey into a tight hug
crushed into a hug, i pat you on the back with my temporary limb in return
"It'll be fine, just needs t'cool down, ye didn't break it."
"Good t'see that brawl didn't dampen that good mood o'yers at least, as cheery as ever despite the beating the lot of us took!"
"Oh hell yeah! I am AMAZING with this thing!"
Veta has a huge grin on her face, relaxing in the Blinker with a huge, cocky grin on her face.>>690286
"And we got some neat toys, too. I usually like precision, but no way I could have the kind of fun I had just now."
"It's over?" - Teal asks looking up from under her hooves at the bottom of the seats - "Ok, good. Yeah, what she said. Good day. Say thanks to our zebra friend here from us, would you?">>690287
She climbs up the seat and seeing Pyrite's expressions, does come over and lean her back against him looking up.
"You were pretty smashing right there, big guy. Keep up the good work.">>690290
"Same goes for you, Veta. Did you ever go try shooting or was that experience from hurling stuff at lazy colleagues speaking?"
"W-Well, yeah! No one got seriously hurt, a-an' we made it out as good as we coulda! I don't think I've ever managed t' hit somethin' with a gun b'fore, s-so I feel pretty crazy right now!" he says, before looking down to give Teal Drop a big, happy smile>>690291
"T-Thanks, Teal! I tried m' best!"
"Also, yep. Right as rain. Think I got scratched the least out of all of you."
Veta gives Teal a big, wide smirk in response to the question.
"The fun ones were the ones who had the sense to duck or hide behind a corner."
"Good t' hear! I don't feel all that bad, m'self!">>690294
"By th' way, Miss Veta- I didn't know y' could chuck spears like that! Didja use t' play college ball?"
"Toma." The zebra digs around for a bit and hands you your original prosthetic, in lieu of the ill-fitting one. It's mangled from the crash, but at least it wouldn't be as cumbersome to use.>>690291
"…Mi can hear yu," she says, sounding a bit offended. "Mi speak a likle." She thinks for a minute, trying to come up with the right words in Basic, but her knowledge appears to be limited, although she can hold a conversation somewhat. "Calle," she says eventually, pointing to herself. Seems like you finally have a name for your companion.
>pausing, feel free to keep talking IC if you want
"Hmm?" he cocks his head to the side, before offering a friendly smile "M' name's Pyrite! 'S good t' meet ya, Miss Calle!" the oversized stallion says, before offering his hoof to shake "Thanks f'r all th' help t'day! We couldn't 'a made it out without ya!"
"Not really. But I have treated my fair share of players."
She rotates her shoulder around a bit.
"Then you get free tickets to their games. Front row. With extra attention from the popcorn vendor."
An hour or so passes before you arrive into the main city on this Ark from the rubbish heap you just left behind, night having fallen as you fly in. In stark contrast to the miserable wasteland just outside the city borders, the city of Tobin is a thriving metropolis. The buildings tower above you slightly ominously, lit by colorful lights from their many windows. Many neon signs decorate the landscape, advertising a variety of things in both Basic and other languages you don't know. High above, ships can be seen traveling to and fro, and on ground level where you are, pedestrians of a disparity of races huddle together on the sidewalks, some of them giving you odd glances as you go past in a busted blinker. Calle, your zebra companion, seems awestruck by the sight of the city, saying nothing as she marvels at the sight of the great city she's only ever seen from afar.
This seems to be a fairly popular area for Tobin's night life. You can see several malls still open, as well as hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, and nightclubs being distinctly advertised all over the place. You recall that somewhere on this Ark is a Golden Company outpost that could help get you home.
"Have ya never seen th' city b'fore then, Miss Calle? I figured ya woulda, since it's jus' a little ways down th' road."
"But, uh… I reckon we oughta find a hospital first, yeah? I reckon we all took a beatin', an' R-Risky still looks pretty bad… N-No offense!"
"Oh! Sorry, I thought no. Thanks, Calle" - Teal answers apologetically, using relatively simple language though, as to not give her a hard time - "You fought well there."
As the city envelops the party's blinker, Teal stays mostly put, away from the crossbow. She looks around in search for signs regarding the outpost, commenting first:
"Dunno about you, but I wouldn't mind going after a snack… right after a shower at the company quarters, preferably. We smell like trash right now, most probably."
"Yeah, that is true. Also, hygiene, given these wounds… but yeah. Reckon the ones at the Golden Company outpost could give us a treatment."
pulling the blinker off away from traffic, i take a look at the map from earlier, checking for a city view.
"First order o'business it t'search fer a map o'the city. Hopefully this pad has somethin in street view…">>690518
"Bah! I'm fit as a fiddle, ye worry too much." i reply, waving you off with my still broken prosthetic.
"Had a fair share'a closer scrapes in me youth, back there was peanuts t'the dangers o'raidin."
"Mhmm! I reckon it'll be pretty quick, too!" he whinnies, before blinking at Risky's reply>>690521
"N-No, Miss Risky. I'm gonna take ya t' th' docs, an' there ain't nothin' y' can do t' convince me otherwise." he says, puffing his cheeks out and folding his arms with finality
"Great idea. My medical equipment seems to be on the fritz, anyway. Maybe get to a mechanic at some point to get it checked out."
Veta sighs, looking over at Calle's reaction to the city.
"Enjoy the wonder while you can."
"..Fine, fine, t'the doctor once we find the base. Suppose i'll be needin a mechanic too, fer the claw." i concede, rolling my eyes.
"Mhmm! Heck, I bet y' can find some new equipment t' replace th' more fritzy stuff!">>690524
Pyrite gives Risky an eager grin, before stretching out his legs a little bit "Thank ya, Miss Risky!"
"Well, I'd be much more willing to cover myself in oil after I get the one on me off me. Fun how that rolls… that being said, I do hope those at the Company don't give us a hard time due to the months away. It's a give and go job, but still."
"Yeah…even though I've kinda become attached to this temperamental junk. Not just physically, sentimentally."
Calle shakes her head. "Is tu fah," she states simply. Seems she's lived out in the dregs for most if not all of her life.>>690519
She seems to accept your apology, nodding gratefully and smiling in response. "I help," she says proudly, puffing her chest out a bit.
You look around for a moment. You can't see any signs of Golden Company activity here, but then again, this is mostly a downtown metropolitan area. Not really the sort of place you'd expect a mercenary company to be stationed. Perhaps asking around might get your group some answers.>>690521
You examine the map you found earlier. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it'll help much. It only shows a 3D map of the galaxy as a whole, not your local area. However, you do manage to see just how far you are from Alambil right now, where you were before. It looks like even at hyperspeed, it would take at least a week to reach it. You almost couldn't be further from where you started.>>690523
She simply nods, quickly getting distracted by a huge blimp-like robot that hovers overhead. You're not sure she even understood what you said.>>690518>>690519>>690521>>690523
As your broken little vehicle is pulled over, you are approached by a slightly ratty-looking griffon street vendor. He is holding a remote which controls a large robot that's been repurposed to be a stall for his wares. In his case, he is selling a variety of fresh fruit: apples, bananas, strawberries, oranges, grapes, pears, etcetera. Most of them are priced quite cheaply: 1 or 2 florins each. "You looking to buy?" the hawker asks, with a thick regional accent. "Is good."
"I know how ya feel. I love m' shield!"
"Count me in">>690529>>690527>>690524
"Got only card and I doubt this guy handles stuff other than cash. Be as kind as to get me a few strawberries? Will pay you back at the first occasion."
"Ah, figured as much, blasted map's not fer planets. Plan B then."
perusing the fruit for as few bruises as possible, i take the chance to grab an apple, floating over the florins for it.
"Thank ye kindly, 'bout time t'grab some food."
"..say, We're lookin fer a mercenary compound, goes by 'the Golden Company', Might ye know which way from here?"
"Ahh… Well, I hope ya enjoy it while you're here, Miss Calle! Cities can be really nice!" he offers, before looking to Teal Drop.>>690530
The stallion buys about… five strawberries, three apples, and a couple bunches of grapes! "I'll cover ya, Teal! No need t' pay me back!"
Veta gives a sigh slight and shakes her head, remembering the language barrier between the two right now. Seeing the others talking, she figured she'd keep Calle company.
"Robot," she says slowly and clearly, pointing at it.
"Aw shucks.. thanks, Pyrite. Appreciated."
The hawker thinks for a moment, then nods vigorously, pointing at a side path leading away from this downtown area. "Through there, then one - no, two blocks down, on the left. Is big, very big. You cannot miss.">>690533
She doesn't seem to hear you at first, seeming oddly fascinated with a passing blinker, but then perks up and nods. "…Robit?" she struggles to repeat, examining the walking fruit stand. It seems to start to wander off for a moment, but the hawker irritably presses some buttons on his remote and it comes back.>>690530>>690531>>690532
You buy a largish haul of fruit from the vendor, who hands it all over happily. "Spasibe!" he says cheerily, before taking the money and moving on. He starts loudly advertising his fresh fruit in an attempt to draw more customers. Calle perks up at the sight of the fruit, helping herself to a few grapes.>-13 florins
Pyrite passes over the florins, and grins happily in thanks to the merchant! He happily gives Calle a bunch of grapes, and a big ol' smile "Help yourself!">>690534
"No problem, Miss Teal! Happy t' help!"
"Bot. Ro-bot," she tries to explain again to her.
Teal watches the robot's and its master's shenanigans briefly, before getting to the fruit proper. She hops on one of the strawberries and starts cheerily munching on it. Cue a happy breezie with even the little red fruit classified as her literal pile of food.
"Sho… whe ghoing? Om nom.."
"Ah, perfect! Thanks fer the help."
holding the apple with my magic, i bite into the fruit while rolling the engine, setting the damaged car down the path pointed out.>>690538
"Aye, headin there now." i reply, between bites.
"Yeah, ro-bot! 'S like, a metal pony!"
"Aye, Robot's like.. hmm. Ah!"
"..Shaqaalaha birta">Metal Servants
"That's the word, yes."
Where before she was slightly unsure as to whether she was allowed to take them, as you offer them to her she eagerly digs in, relishing the taste of fresh food that isn't from a dumpster. She doesn't say anything, but it's clear she's very grateful.>>690537
She doesn't answer for a moment as she wolfs down an entire bunch of grapes, but eventually tries again. "Robot," she repeats, trying hard to get the pronunciation right.>>690538
Despite the vendor's slightly seedy appearance, the strawberries are quite fresh and delicious, albeit rather small even by your standards. >>690539
The apples are a little bit too sweet, but perfectly edible, and juicy to boot.>>690540>>690541
She nods. "Mi kno wha robot be," she answers, sounding slightly miffed. "Mi work wit dem. Just don kno word.">>690536>>690537>>690538>>690539
You move on through the path the hawker told you about, ending up in a less populated part of town. There's not much around except for a few motels, a docking bay and the Golden Company building. The latter is a tall skyscraper, looking rather unremarkable if not for the size of it. It must have easily over a dozen floors, and sticks out like a sore thumb next to the other buildings. The exterior is sparsely decorated, save for the golden spear symbol indicating its purpose.
The interior looks more like a doctor's office than a merc hangout. The room is painted gold and sterile white, with faint radio music playing. There are some couches to sit on as well as a billboard with a list of names that change every so often, presumably of Company members and their status. On one wall is a holographic photo of a graying, fierce-looking donkey with a grizzled beard and an eye patch. The caption identifies him as "Camus Farshaw".
Behind the plain white reception desk is an earth pony with a calm, stoic demeanor to him. He doesn't bat an eyelid as you walk in, looking and smelling pretty bad. Calle seems somewhat suspicious of the pony, but says nothing. "Hello," the receptionist says softly. "How may I help you?"
Pyrite happily digs into one of the apples himself, along with some grapes! He's all too happy to share with Calle, Risky, Teal, and the others.
Pyrite doesn't have much exposure to skyscrapers, so the sight of one is pretty surprising to him! He steps inside of the building and makes his way up to the front desk, before asking "Hello! We're here t' see if we can get a bit 'a medical attention. Our last run was, uhm… a little rough."
"Aye, yes we're with the golden company, had some dealin t'do on Alambil few months back, long story, but me crew and I need t'get a flight back t'the system" i reply, gesturing to the group behind me.
"Should be listed under 'Captain Risky Hooves' or some sort on the manifest."
"Looks like they didn't get broke or anything during those few months, at least."
After that comment, Teal flies over to the list of the members, to check up on both their status and potentially the few others that they had listed here. Was that the local group or one of all the company?
"Hey, there you go. You got it," Veta says, patting Calle on the back.
Seeing a couch, Veta goes and jumps on one, rolling around on her back a bit.
"Oh thank whatever higher power that be! Finally something to lay down on!"
You examine the billboard. It seems to be a list of Company members, listing where they're stationed, the last mission they took, and their current status. It changes to show a new list of names periodically, but you do not recognize any of them. It loops several times, but you can't see you and your teammates listed on it.>>690543>>690544
The receptionist stands oddly still as he listens to you, then begins inputting some information onto a datapad. Unless your ears deceive you, you think you can hear a soft whirring as he moves. He might be an android of some sort.>>690546
Calle grins, looking very proud of herself.
The couch is even more comfortable than it looks, or perhaps it's just that you haven't had a chance to have any comfort for quite some time. You get dirt everywhere, but the receptionist doesn't seem to mind.
"Understood," the receptionist answers eventually. "There is a long-distance shuttle to Alambil leaving from our hangar adjacent to here. It will leave tomorrow morning at approximately 5:00 AM, and contains cryosleep chambers for long flights such as this one. In addition, we have a wide range of medical services available on the second floor."
"Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Teal flies over to the counter.
"Anywhere one could clean oneself or sleep at or are we relegated to third party services? Moreover, does this litst include those in association with the company, alike one known as Patches?"
Pyrite hardly hears the whirring, and if he had, he'd probably assume it was some sorta fan "Yupyup! We're varyin' degrees 'a hurt, so, sorry if we're a bit'd a hassle. And, yeah! Ya got anywhere f'r us t' stay?"
"That'll do, thank ye."
"Oh, ye know if this compound's got a mechanic? need t'get me prosthetic looked at, work-related damage."
"Nope. Just let me enjoy this feeling for right now."
Veta was so happy right now, she was even making slight whining noises.
"Searching…" The receptionist uses the datapad again. You can see that he is going through the same list as the one on the billboard nearby. "Affirmative. The Company member known as Silky Patches was last seen on Alambil earlier today.">>690550
"We have a workshop on level L1. Our mechanics are experienced with robotic, cybernetic and vehicular repair and modifications.">>690548>>690549
Affirmative. Floors 8 through to 12 are dedicated accommodation for Company members and patrons alike. Searching…. There is a room available for five on floor 8. Your room number will be 808." He leans under the desk and passes you a card to open the lock with. "Do enjoy your stay."
The rest of the evening is eventful. You visit the hospital wing, where you receive extensive treatment for your injuries, then adjourn to Room 808, a fairly unimpressive room that is nonetheless quite comfortable. Risky joins the rest of the group later, as she visits the workshop and has her claw repaired by a swarm of fast-talking Breezies. Calle takes quite some time to get clean, and is almost unrecognizable afterwards. She finds a datapad in the room, and she spends most of the evening practicing her Basic.
The following morning, you get up bright and early to board your transport to Alambil. The shuttle is quite ostentatious compared to the more plain ones you're used to seeing on the base of Iridav, more like a commercial space cruiser than a shuttle. You are shown to the cryopods by the staff, and the last thing you remember is a slight hissing sound and a sudden feeling of exhaustion.>timeskip
You wake up to the sound of your pods opening and an announcement that you've arrived on Alambil. You feel refreshed and incredibly well-rested, having had the best sleep in many years. Calle looks completely lost, yawning loudly as she regains sense of her surroundings. "Wha… whagwan?" she mumbles. You have no idea what she just said.
Through a window, you can see that you are in a very similar hangar as the one that you landed in when you arrived on Alambil for the first time. Very faintly, you can hear the constant bustle of the Big Market, suggesting you're probably closer to Patches than you'd think.
Teal flies outta the chamber and strtches herself.
"Aaah, nothing better than the relief of waking up from the cryostasis in the place you were -meant- to wake up."
As she looks over her teammates, she adds:
"Looking good, girls. You too, Pyrite. So, tell me, how do we plan on checking up on Patches? What do we say and what do we do?"
Rubbing my eyes with the back of my claw, i hop out of the pod, adjusting myself to moving again before looking through the window.
"Finally.. Time t'pay patches that visit!">>690554
"Much as i'd like t'skin the dog alive, we still need the parts o'his, that and contact with his limb specialist. Fer now, we have'a chat with him, see about our pay."
Veta gives a loud yawn and cracks her neck and back.
"Ahh damn, best night's sleep I've gotten this past while."
She looks over at Calle, sighing a bit.
"Hang-er. Its where stuff like this is stored safely from…stuff that wanna take it apart, for example."
She looks to the rest.
"Well, guess I'll show our new friend around the city a bit? Be against my doctorly training to go and punch Patches in the face, afterall."
"Well, that went pretty darn good!I feel a million times better!" the bulky stallion says, stretching out and whinnying happily. He looks over to Calle, before smiling a little bit and saying "It's called Cryostasis! 'S like, we went t' sleep, an' they sorta… paused us? Froze us?" he offers, before looking to Teal Drop "S-Shucks, thanks! You look pretty good, too!" he offers, before humming "I dunno… I-I'll leave that up t' y'all. I dunno what t' say, ya know? I ain't th' best at that."
It takes you a minute to recover from the cryosleep. Your ears are ringing slightly, and you're feeling a bit stiff, but you're otherwise okay. Calle doesn't seem to be as experienced, stretching her limbs constantly.>>690556
"Hanger," she parrots and nods, looking out the window curiously. She cracks her neck extremely loudly and yawns again.>>690557
Calle is looking a bit worse for wear, her mane all messy as her usual ponytail has come undone, and she seems to be having trouble readjusting to her surroundings after the cryosleep. She looks like she'll be fine though. She nods and looks very intrigued as you explain the process to her, examining the pods with fascination.>>690554>>690555>>690556>>690557
You hear a loud hiss as the shuttle doors open, letting you leave the hangar to explore the Big Market. A few other mercenaries from nearby start clambering out of their cryosleep pods, grumbling and yawning as they readjust themselves.
Previously on BWB, the party crash landed in the middle of a rubbish dump, narrowly escaping being captured by scrappers. In doing so, they made the acquaintance of a scrapper named Calle, who is tagging along in hopes that she can see the galaxy. They have recently made their way back to the Ark of Alambil, where they are long overdue for a reunion with the one that threw them into this whole time hopping mess: the junk dealer known as Silky Patches.
You leave the Company transport ship and exit into the Big Market. Inconveniently, it is raining heavily today, and the ubiquitous crowd is nigh invisible under a sea of umbrellas. Lacking ones yourselves, you are forced to stick to the overhangs of the buildings above you to avoid getting soaked to the bone.
You soon realize that you are in a part of the Market you don't recognize at all. It's a much more open area with mostly food merchants as well as souvenir peddlers showing off their craftsmanship. The Market seems slightly slower than usual, most likely due to the rain. If you're to get to Patches' store, you'll probably have to ask around again, or search for it yourselves.
Calle seems fascinated by the rain, running about in the open and marveling at what is for most others a completely normal phenomenon. She's completely drenched, but she doesn't seem to mind at all. Some of the passersby give her odd looks as she splashes about for a bit.
Pyrite giggles a little bit as Calle runs around in the rain, and joins her- partly because it looks fun, and partly to make sure she doesn't get separated from the group. "Rain's kinda fun, huh? Some folks don't like gettin' drenched, but I never minded."
Veta watches Calle play in the rain, giving a bit of a sigh.
"Ignorance really is bliss," she mutters to herself, stretching and making a few places make popping noises.
"Alright, let's go give Patches a piece of our mind. Maybe one of those spears if I'm feeling extra cranky."
Grumbling as i try and avoid water splashing up from the street, i try and look for familiar signs or streets.
"Blasted rain, ye'd think an ark would be climate controlled.."
[1d10] street searchRoll #1 8 = 8
"Last thing ye want is t'trudge around waterlogged, sooner take a bath than stick me head out int'this storm."
"Maybe it is, actually" - Teal suggests, though not seemingly too keen on the weather pattern change herself. The downpour didn't make flying an appealing option. Hence, she stayed where she was, hitching a ride alongside the strawberry remains. She did pay attention enough as to listen to crowds nearby as they talked, if just to absorb data as they go.
[1d10]Roll #1 7 = 7
"W-Well, I don't mind it much! Then again, I don't got a mechanic arm like you do, Miss Risky!"
You stick with her, keeping an eye on the rest of the party so you don't get split up. She doesn't seem to hear you at first, but then nods, a wide grin on her face. "…Rain? How it work?" she asks innocently after a moment, looking equally excited and puzzled. It occurs to you that considering how hot and arid her Ark was, she may not have actually seen rain before.>>691517
You're still a bit stiff from the cryo, and your feet are a little swollen to boot. Nothing unexpected from being a meat popsicle for about a week. Overall though, you feel well rested from it.>>691521
You take shelter amid the remains of the party's food supply, keeping an ear out for the marketplace chatter. While most of it is just idle talk, you manage to overhear a small group of passing spacers discussing a rather strange occurrence. An Ark somewhere in the galaxy has completely disappeared, from one day to the next. No communications can be made, and a search party has returned absolutely zero trace of it. This is utterly unprecedented, for a megastructure like an Ark to just vanish into thin air. Very mysterious. It's suspected to be the work of some never-before-seen magical anomaly.
In addition, you hear another more mundane conversation about a recent workers' strike on an asteroid field. The crew were being hired to clear out the field in order to make way for more interstellar trade routes, but reportedly stopped working because of their unfair working conditions; their base's proximity to a sun means that their electronics routinely stop working due to solar flares, and no effort is being made by their higher-ups to relocate the base.>>691517>>691519>>691521>>691521
You look around the market for a while, and eventually manage to orient yourselves in the right direction. You find a path that leads to the plaza near where Patches' store is located, and you are easily able to retrace your steps from there.
You make your way through the Ark's twisted streets and approach Patches' junkyard, out of the way of the rest of the market. As you enter, the tiny bell above the doorway announces your arrival, and Patches picks his way through the eternally messy interior to greet you. He looks somehow even skinnier than last you saw him, and more worn. You notice that his right front leg is in a cast. Presumably he suffered some nasty injury between now and the last time you saw him. It's still strange to think that was technically almost four months ago, due to the time displacement.
Patches doesn't seem to remember you. "Good day!" he says, trotting up to you cheerily with his typical wide, thin-lipped smile. "Can I help you fine ladies? Er, and gent?"
"Aye, ye can."
hesitating to choke the scrap dealer, i instead shoot him a glare.
"Surprised ye forgot about us, it's only been a few months. Fer your sake i hope ye didn't sell that reactor.."
Teal enjoyed listening to the foreign Arkers, mulling over the stories heard.
"With stoppages alike that workers' strike it ain't likely the Empire's going to grow fast. Reckon they should really focus on the very foundations of operations, here on the outskirts. With little to work with, ponies are sorta pioneers, even if they do hail from the more grown Arks."
She ponders, while saying that, about the other piece of news. Particularly, she considers if what happened to them could've been reproduced on a scale as large as an Ark.
>Roll if needed
As they arrive at Patches, she keeps low where she is, for now. Seemed the others were more passionate about this reunion..Roll #1 6 = 6
"Well… 's like- Water gets hot, an' evaporates! Then, it goes up, reeeaaal high! It's colder up there, so it sorta turns back int' water, an' makes clouds! Then, th' clouds get real heavy, an' they drop some 'a th' water- which, is rain! It's a cycle, sorta!" he explains, giving a nice, big smile
"Yeah, you mind sending us back about…four months back? I kinda don't want to catch up on all my missed soaps from when you had us deliver that present to now."
"Reactor? …Sorry love, but you'll have to be more specific than that. I've got reactors coming out of my ears at this point. All sorts of them stocked up out back. What exactly were you after?" He looks at you oddly. Presumably you look a bit familiar to him by now.>>691526
You believe it's possible, but very unlikely, that the Ark was displaced like you were. Although the trap you and the rest of the group set off was quite powerful, it's not very likely that one could be made powerful enough to absorb an entire Ark, at least not without attracting attention.
You stay low as the party arrives at Patches' store. Looking around, you notice the store looks a bit more disheveled than usual, as if there'd been a fight at some point. There's a crack in one wall, and a shelf has been knocked askew close by. It might have something to do with Patches' injury.>>691527
You're not sure she completely understood you, but she seems interested regardless, nodding vigorously at your explanation. As the two of you enter Patches' store, she starts having a look around at the various mechanical pieces contraptions. She seems to be in her element her, amid all the scrap. While Patches isn't looking, and while she thinks no one else is watching her, she surreptitiously grabs a core of some sort off of a table and slips it in her pocket.>>691528
"Hm? Four months?" He tilts his shiny bald head, looking confused. He studies you for a moment, as if he's trying to remember whether he's seen you before. Something seems to click with him all of a sudden, and his ever-present smile fades. He takes a step backwards, giggling nervously. "Oh. Hehehe. Well. This is quite something, isn't it. Wow.">>691528>>691525
"W-well now, let's just all calm down," Patches stammers. "Let's talk about this like civilized adults, yeah? I… I know I must have inconvenienced you, terribly so, but I never meant for you to be on the receiving end of all that nasty business. And hey, no harm done! You're all here now, in one piece, alive and kicking! All's well that ends well, as they say. …So, what about we let bygones be bygones, eh? Put this whole mess behind us and… get back to business talk!" His squinty little eyes shift from one of you to the other, hoping you'll accept his meager apology.
Pyrite's pretty sure she got the gist of what he'd said, which is enough! They head on inside, and briefly looks to Patches… before puffing his cheeks out, and huffing. He's certain Risky and Veta can handle that though, so he turns back to Calle, and- "H-Hey. No, ya can't jus' take his stuff. Ya gotta pay f'r it." he explains, before cocking his head to the side
At this point Teal pops out and actually delivers a speech on the working mechanics of the rare device that Patches served them with was, pronouncing the odds of survival, the dubiousness of circumstances in which he probably had gotten this device in the first place and the reputation of the company regarding those dealings in the first place. She ends it, adding:
"We almost lost our lives barely getting back here and you cost government a ship's loss on the way here all the more. Say, if you were to have four months taken out of your life, locked away, how much is it that you'd pay to get out? Just a thought, 'really'. Weigh your answer.
"I mean, hey, I got to live one of those weird, cheesy, post-apocalyptic movies. Never thought I'd do that in my miserable life."
"You're lucky I had some fun with that. Some. But more than that: do you even remember what our business with you was?"
Glaring for a long moment more, i sigh.
"Much as i'd like t'skin ye alive fer blastin us into the future, i'm in polite company, one of em especially not fond o'barbarism."
"So fer now, i'll be reasonable: ye get that nuclear transistor and
the radio parts fer me ship's comms gift wrapped t'go, and i'll not cause a ruckus."
[1d10] Con artistRoll #1 2 = 2
She raises her hoof defensively, as if instinctively preparing for a fight, then relaxes. She looks embarrassed at having been caught, and reluctantly places the curio back on the shelf where it belongs. She grumbles something in Arktalk, but makes no further attempt to loot the store, although she does glance at the object somewhat longingly. On closer inspection, it doesn't seem to be a core at all, but rather some sort of puzzle box.>>691531
Patches does a double take as you start to talk. It's likely he didn't notice you until you asserted yourself. He listens to what you have to say, occasionally shooting sidelong glances at Veta and Risky.
He chuckles as you pose your question. "Well, friend, I don't know what to say. Honestly, I don't envy your position at all. I regret having put you through all this, really I do. Still, look on the bright side! Those four months, they won't count towards your lifespan at all! So you'll have a slightly longer lifespan than you would otherwise! …You should be thanking me really." He says this last part with a cheeky grin, although the joke is in quite poor taste.>>691532
"Well then, you're welcome I suppose. Hehe."
"I do indeed!" he answers, sounding more relieved now that he feels he's off the hook. "And I've still got that item on hold that you asked for." He limps over to a cabinet and digs out the old video game console you'd requested. "Tell you what, sweetin. Since I put you through the wringer the way I did, you can have this one for free. Consider it a token of my sincerity. Right and proper, eh?" He grins again, and you notice that he has even more gold teeth than before.>>691533
"Oh, yes yes, right away! I'll have them sent up and installed onto your ship with the next transport to Iridav. The Moonstruck
, was it? That will be 2250 florins, by the way. I do have to keep this business running, you know? No hard feelings."
You don't recall that being the price you agreed on. You could have sworn it was lower.
"Hmm… Would ya like me t' buy that f'r ya, Calle? I wouldn't mind." he offers, before picking it up and heading to the counter. He gives Patches a cutious look, before cocking his head to the side "I don't remember it bein' that high."
"Ye'd do well t'remember that deal o'yers, Patches! Remember? 'half off if we drop that bomb o'yers off', right?"
[1d10] Con artistRoll #1 5 = 5
"Patches… just looking at you and your shop, one could tell your customers aren't always satisfied. You're working yourself into yet another situation of the sort. I know it's your business to earn money like that, but you're working yourself into issues you could avoid, you know?"
Veta stares at him for a moment, looking very unamused.
"Right, sure. Because a vintage game system makes up for nearly being impaled to death on a pile of sharp scrap."
She begins to look very annoyed, almost trying to glare right into his soul as she's looking ready to vent on him.
"Nice cast, by the way. I think I could arrange for a full-body one so everything matches if you keep all this bullshit up."
She squints her eyes angrily at him.
"So how about you do a bit better since I was NEARLY KILLED THREE GOD DAMN TIMES BECAUSE OF YOUR STUPID STUNT!!"
[1d10]Roll #1 6 = 6
Pyrite tries his best to add to it, giving Patches his most serious glare.>Intimidation! [1d10]Roll #1 9 = 9
She perks up and nods vigorously. You're not sure why she's taken such an interest in the spherical puzzle. "Hm?" Patches looks over to you as you approach with the item. "Oh, you can just hold onto that. Consider it a gift!">>691536
"Half?" He frowns and pulls out a datapad that seems to be a sort of ledger, perusing it for a moment. "Oh, here we go. It was actually 2000. I guess we both made a mistake. Eh?" He grins again. "So yeah, love. I'll have the goods sent up to Iridav as soon as you pay. No sense beating around the bush. I imagine you want this over with as quickly as possible, don't you? Like ripping off a bandage. I know it's a hefty price, but believe you me, it took quite a bit of effort to get them. Quite rare, these parts.">>691537
He shrugs. "True, true. I won't deny that. But the Golden Company need my services, so that keeps me running. And more importantly," he adds with a sly grin, "you
need my services. Trust me on this one, my love, you won't find a nuclear transistor in better condition anywhere else on Alambil. Probably.">>691538>>691539
Through the combined efforts of Veta's verbal smackdown and Pyrite's serious stinkeye, Patches cowers before you, stumbling backwards and into a shelf. He yelps in sudden pain as a heavy object thuds off of his cast. He takes a moment to right himself, hobbling about somewhat pathetically for a moment before turning to face you, shrinking before you. He blusters incoherently for a moment, trying to think of what else he could do to appease you. "Er… Well… I suppose… Given the circumstances…. Oh, I know!">>691535>>691536>>691537>>691538
Patches grabs a small black rectangular cartridge. "You lot were after one of these, weren't you? It's an AI package. State of the art. Fully customizable voice, personality, even appearance if your ship has a holo-emanator. Which it should. It's really something else, let me tell you. Everything you could ever want to see and hear. How's that sound, friend? I'll toss it in, free of charge, along with the other goods. You deserve it after all!" He puts the game console, the AI package and the spherical puzzle on the counter, looking at you expectantly. "Why, just look at all these goods you're getting! If it were anyone else, I'd call it robbery!"
"Hm. You know, I'd keep out an open eye on those, but if I did and told you about a place of this kind, I'd be worried you'd treat it the same as you tried with those thugs. Can see why you'd go for the time warp instead of a regular explosive, but how did you amass such a debt in the first place? One making the use of such a rare device viable when you could just sell it and get a lot of Credits in the first place. Makes one wonder how big a debt that was too, but I'm not gonna pry into that."
Teal examines the goods, though she acknowledges that Patches' reactions seem genuine, at least outwardly.
Veta just rolls her eyes at the pathetic display, as if enduring several years of medical cases had made her jaded to when people are in a pitiful state. She just gives an annoyed sigh and let her shoulders relax.
"Honestly, between falling in some scrap and blowing up a giant tank-thing with an exploding spear, I forgot what was on our little shopping list. But eh…I guess this is fine."
She as she takes the game console and AI package, she also leaves two things: a red lollipop and a syringe.
"The syringe is for your leg. If you're as important to the Golden Company as you say you are, then last thing they'd want is your bumbling getting you killed in your very store. The lolli is for you mouth; enjoy it."
"..Aye, that'll do. We'll take it." i reply after a moment, nodding.
"..Oh, and i'll be needin the address o'that prosthetic expert ye mentioned, somethin t'tinker with fer me claw."
Pyrite happily passes the puzzle sphere on over to Calle, before grinning "He said we can have it! Ain't that good 'a him?" the stallion says, before looking back to Patches. Since he can't follow it up with talk, he stays quiet.
He squirms a little, clearly uncomfortable with being put on the spot about his connections. "Well, Merret and I, there's… some bad blood between us, shall we say. I have good reason to want him out of the picture completely, and it's not just because of the debt I had to him. He knows this. And as far as we're concerned, we're just about even now." He gestures at his injured leg. "I'd say I deserved a little worse, honestly. Heh. …Why am I even telling you all this?" He looks defensive all of a sudden. "My private affairs aren't your business!">>691542
He looks somewhat stunned, gingerly taking your offerings. "Oh. Well, thank you. Very much." He's not quite sure what to make of you.>>691543
"Hm? Oh, yes that. You're in luck. My associate, he's a bit of a roving spirit. But he just happens to be stopping by Iridav Station. When you go back there, ask around in their garage for someone by the name of Hotwire. He's… a bit rough around the edges, but an absolute wizard with tinkering. The Organic Mechanic, they call him. He'll fix you right up, I guarantee it!">>691544
"Spasibe!" she says cheerily. You assume that means thank you in Arktalk. She immediately begins working on it. You can see that it has several rotating parts on its surface, much like a Rubiks Cube, and can be reconfigured into a variety of shapes. As she moves it about, you hear a hollow rattling from its center, suggesting there is something inside.
"Right then!" Patches' upbeat demeanor returns as he starts punching something into the datapad he used before. "I'll have the goods sent up for you on the next transport, and I'll get the engies up there to install it all." In the background, you hear some construction robots come to life and start moving things around, assumedly to carry your new ship materials.
"Now then, chums, is there anything else I can do for you? Have a look around! I'm sure you'll find something you need!"
"Bah, that'll do fer me, best i get back t'the base anyway, the rest o'the crew's probably wonderin where we ran off to."
picking my way through the scrap, i head towards the door and out to the street
"Well, thank ya kindly! I can't think 'a anythin' else I need, so I'm good t' go!" he says, ducking his head as a sort of bow.
He looks over at Calle as he starts for the door, and hums as he listens "Looks like there's somethin' inside it, too!">>691548
"Hmm? R-Right, I completely f'rgot!"
She just shrugs at being given thanks, turning around and going out the door once hearing business has been concluded.
"Maybe another time. For now, I'm beat. I just wanna stay home and eat chips for awhile."
"Aye, and Scrum's probably signin off on our gravestone as we speak!" i add with a chuckle.
"Wonder what that donky's been up to, anyway. Hope he was watchin me ship at least."
"Perhaps you lack a trusted soul to tell that to instead, Patches? Dunno, I said I'm not prying.. and don't worry. Not gonna use that against you. That's just poor taste.
She turns towards the cybernectics-enhanced members of the party:
"Hit me up when you'll be getting to that prosthetics' guy. I'd gladly see his work… or him at work, rather.
She has a gentle smile about her as she sees the zebra get to the puzzle enthuiastically.
As Patches gets back on his hooves himself and his show on the road, she does remember something:
"Actually, there is one thing. That shield you provided our earth pony friend with has proved quite reliable. I'd be willing to turn a blind eye to the fact one could probably get one for cheaper than 45, if you can find me one fitting the size of a Breezie. What do you say?"
She nods in acknowledgement, struggling vainly to get it open, first by fiddling then by force. It doesn't work. She seems a little frustrated.>>691552
Patches gives you a sly smile. "Oh, I'd be a right idiot to trust anyone, sweetin. It's not exactly a secret that Merret and I don't see eye to eye. Otherwise I wouldn't be telling you, of all people, now would I?"
"Hm? Oh yes, let me see what I can do for you." He starts digging about in a corner of the room, muttering to himself. "Aha, here we go!" He passes you a device identical to the one Pyrite wears on his belt, only much, much smaller. "This one's actually meant for protecting materials and such, but I don't see why it wouldn't suit you just as well as any. Works the same way too." He hands it to you. "For you, that'll be 40 florins. Little discount on my behalf. For the trouble.">-40 florins>>691548>>691549>>691550>>691552
"Alright then! Enjoy your new loot! It's good stuff, it is," he assures you in a slightly oily tone. "And don't forget who got it for you, eh? Heh heh…"
You leave Patches' establishment and head back the way you came, towards the main marketplace. The rain seems to have cleared up some by now, although it is still fairly heavy. It's not long before you're soaked again.
You can see the docking bay you arrived from nearby, emblazoned with the Golden Company's logo. There is a billboard attached to it showing the times of arrivals and departures. It seems like the next shuttle to Iridav will depart in 5 minutes, with the next one being a half hour after that. This gives you a little time to have a look around the markets with what money you have left, or you may simply enter the very next shuttle and leave immediately.>current party worth: 45 florins
Failing to keep dry, i take a seat while waiting for the shuttle.
"More rain.. might need t'invest in a hat, keep the mane dry. Something red."
"Mm, thanks I guess. Also, true. See you next time, though not as much into the future, I reckon."
She takes the offered gadget, regulating the payment and flies off after the party.>>691554
"Invest in pockets" - she mentions casually as Risky considers getting a new piece of clothing - "Wouldn't mind something soft in your leg's chamber while we're at it too, in case I'd have to spend time sneaking in through there. When one needs to spend potentially weeks in confinement, one really gets to appreciate simple goods like that."
"I'd advise against a tricorn then. Don't need water pooling up and then spilling over."
She plops down onto the seat with a relaxed exhale.
"Or do. That actually sounds entertaining to watch. Would give Teal her own little water slide."
"Hrm… lemme give it a shot! I never was too good at these puzzle things, but I might get it!" he offers, before trying to solve it.>Solving (If she lets me, of course!) [1d10]>>691554>>691555
"Maybe somethin' waterproof? Or, like, little galoshes!" the stallion offers, grinning excitedly.Roll #1 8 = 8
"Aye, but ye really can't beat a classic."
"Not like we'll be dealin' with rain out in space."
"At least one that is not red."
"Don't speak so soon on that. After all this shit, rain in space may be our next surprise encounter."
"A hidin' hole in me leg? Between that n'me Blaster there won't be enough hoof left t'trot with!"
"Count me in on that one.">>691557
"I think those would make for a pool rather. Haha!">>691561
"Oh, you're still bent on that? Well, I was thinking just about using the space you have available right now, but if you do plan to forfeit it for the sake of the gun…. I dunno. Seems like a waste to me."
"O'course I am! After losin' me gun twice now I'm not takin' any chances."
"They'll have t'pry it outta me cold dead hoof then, better that than somepony runnin of with it."
Pyrite snickers a little bit, and sticks his tongue out "Yeah, guess so!"
You take shelter from the rain. As you look around, you spot a stall nearby that happens to be selling clothes, as well as umbrellas. Unsurprisingly, the latter seem to be in high demand. You notice that their clothes selection includes hats, jackets and t-shirts. Some of these are rather tacky and obviously tourist-oriented, but their hats and jackets especially come in a variety of styles and colors, such as a red cap in a military style, or a dark grey bomber jacket. Sadly, a tricorn is not among the selection. Calle seems interested in the stall, but as she goes to grab one of the hats the owner tells her off for trying to shoplift again.>>691556
You spot a food vendor passing by as you sit on the bench. They appear to be selling a variety of sweets, including large multicolored lollipops, a large selection of ice creams, and huge slabs of chocolate sold by the kilo. Her portable stall appears to be homemade, essentially a motorbike with all the different goods attached to carts around it. It is playing faint, tinny music.>>691557
You try fiddling with the sphere, jiggling its different segments to and fro until it no longer resembles a sphere at all. At first you think you achieved nothing, but then you hear a loud and satisfying click
from inside, and a pin on the sphere's exterior protrudes all of a sudden. There seem to be seven more of these. You're not quite sure how you did it, but it worked, somehow. Calle jumps slightly at the sudden noise, but her intrigue is doubled as she takes it off you somewhat rudely. "Eh? How yu…?" She starts fiddling it herself in a similar fashion, to limited results. She eventually loses interest and starts looking around the markets.
Veta looks at the vendor, then strokes her chin in thought.
"Hmm…think I should start giving out those multi-colored ones? I personally like the single-flavor ones, but I know how a lot of people like gaudy things."
Back to Seaworld with you!
"I, uh… I just sorta fiddled with it. I unno." the stallion remarks. He fiddles with it a tad more, before whinnying as it's taken, and given back.
"Do ya wanna look 'round more, Calle? The markets have all kindsa stuff. Anything ya wanna look f'r?">puzzle 2 boogaloo [1d10]Roll #1 2 = 2
You fail to make any more progress on the little puzzle contraption. Calle tries fiddling with it as well, to no avail. She grumbles frustratedly and just tucks it in her pocket, for now.
At your question, she looks from you to the rest of the party. Seeing that they all seem rather eager to get going, she shakes her head. "Les go!">>691563>>691962>>691964
You board the next available transport to Iridav station. The trip there is relatively uneventful, and takes a few hours. You pass the time by catching up on the galactic news, which has relatively little to report. Calle, for her part, is relatively silent throughout all this, nodding off to sleep during the flight.
As you soon arrive back on Iridav, you exit the shuttle amidst the hissing steam of the opening door to find yourselves in one of the station's many hangars. Looking around, several workers and robots can be seen around the large open area transporting cargo to and from ships, as well as repairing the hangar itself or touching up some ships. Among these workers, you see a familiar face. Goldie, who you traveled with on your first mission, seems to be overseeing a group project to fix a severely damaged cruiser, dressed in high visibility clothes and wearing a protective helmet. The grievous wounds she suffered during her travels alongside you seem to have taken their toll; she is strapped to an anti-gravity chair of some sort, much of her lower torso having visible stitches. It appears that she is crippled, and unable to do manual work as she did before, although it seems her ailment is only temporary while she heals. She shoots you a glance as the shuttle arrives, but doesn't seem to recognize your party as she turns back to her crew and starts ordering them around.
now finally back aboard the Iridav station, i disembark from the shuttle, flipping on my communicator.
"Scrum? Are ye there? Ye'd better have kept me ship from being towed off!"
"Was a real hassle t'get the parts, but we're nearly ready fer takeoff."
Pyrite nods a little to Calle, and hurries along to join the group.
He whinnies excitedly as he spots Goldie, and wraps her up in a tight hug "Hey! Sorry we were away so long, got, uh… that item we delivered threw us 4 months in the future. Though, we met Calle, which is nice! Calle, our sorta-boss! Goldie, this is Calle!"
Veta stretches, making her back make a couple of popping noises as she rolls her shoulders around to work out some kinks.
"Finally, home sweet home away from home. And damn, Goldie's chair looks better than these hunks of junk for arms."
No response from Scrum. He probably hasn't had his communicator on for the last four months. He might not even be on Iridav at all, for that matter.>>691968
Goldie lights up as she recognizes you. She winces slightly but returns the hug as best she can with a wide grin. "Oh Gods, I thought you'd all gone off and died somewhere! Wrote you off from the system and everyth- Wait. Time travel? What? How?" She looks confused, but just shrugs it off. "Guessing it's a long story. But wow! It's great to see you guys again!" It seems that she hasn't let her current disability dampen her spirits.
She leans forward in her chair slightly and extends one claw in greeting to Calle. "Pleased to meet you! I'm not really the boss, my sister's the one in charge. But welcome! You here to join the Company?" Calle looks apprehensive, but smiles and nods, returning the hoofshake. "Great!" Goldie beams. "I'm a little busy right now, but I'll get you signed up once I'm done here. I'm sure the others can show you the ropes!">>691966>>691969
Goldie orders one of the other workers to take over from her temporarily, then hovers over in her little chair to say hi to the rest of you. "Damn, I can't believe you're all in one piece! Sounds like you've been through the wringer, from what Pyrite told me. At least you're alive though! Was pretty worried actually, when no one had heard from you since forever ago. The Moonstruck
's still here though! I think it's undergoing some maintenance right now though. Got an order in just now to install some parts for it. I'm guessing that was your doing?"
"Aye, managed t'wring em outta patches fer the grief o'that 'mission' he gave us."
"Ah but it looks like yer finally up and about! Ye had me worried when we hauled ye off the ship. How's the company? Didn't miss much did we?"
"Yeah. Let's just say we had a 'friendly' chat with Patches after doing him a small favor. Took more time than I would've liked."
She gives a curious raise of the eyebrow at Goldie.
"You happen to watch the Bachelorette? I wanna know which phony stud she picked this season, but not feeling keen about binge watching all I missed."
"Anyway, I think you'll like this one," she says, motioning to Calle, "has a real thing for metal and machine-like. Just don't expect me to translate for you."
I don't really know how we're in one piece either! We took a job to get th' money t' fix our ship, and it exploded when we opened it! We popped up somewhere else entirely, an' wprked our way here! Sorry if we made ya worry. And, yeah, it was our doin'! We went back t' th' guy that put us on th' job, an' after he talked to Veta and Miss Risky, he decided to change it for us!"
"Well, 'up and about' in the loosest sense," she says, gesturing at the chair with a slight smirk, or maybe it's a grimace. "Doc says I should be able to walk on my own in a few more weeks, but until then, I have to use this doover to get around." She shrugs. "It is what it is I suppose. …Company's about the same as usual. Not much to report. That Scrum guy you picked up is working the kitchens, I think. He didn't really have anywhere to go after you all disappeared, so he asked around and Gwen put him to to some honest work.">>691972
"Hm? Nah, I don't watch that stuff. Sorry. I'm more of an Imperial Idol fan. Astral Echo was so good in the finals…"
"Is that so?" She turns to Calle and starts asking her something in Arktalk, albeit what seems to you like a somewhat broken dialect. Calle responds in turn, and Goldie nods understandingly. "Yeah, she'll do. Can put her to work around here. Unless you guys wanted to take her along next time you're out and about?">>691973
"Sounds like a hell of a time. Can't say I envy you. Four months of time completely lost… I can't imagine what that would be like.">>691971>>691972>>691973
"Ah. Patches, was it." She folds her arms and purses her lips. "That explains a lot. If EVER someone's rubbed me the wrong way… Ugh. Can't stand that guy. I empathize. Anyway, I got a few minutes before I need to get back to work. You guys want me to show you to the Moonstruck
, or do you reckon you can find it yourselves?"
"Hmm.. Shouldn't be too hard t'find me ship, not many places t'hide here."
"Better t'not keep ye busy, looks like ye've got yer talons full."
heading further into the hanger after a wave goodbye, i look above the bustle of the base to find a sign of my ship.
[1d10]Roll #1 3 = 3
"Guess I'll have to binge afterall. And sadly, my vote went to Harmonious Ardor that night. I still say that whole thing was rigged just cause she was a changeling, but whatever."
She gives a slight groan.
"Right. Next time. Hopefully our next time doesn't have us going to some alternate dimension where everyone we know is the same, but are talking chalupa people…or some other weird crap like that."
"Anyway, considering last I saw the ship it was just as much as a hunk of junk as my arms, I'm not sure I'd recognize it if you've been working on it. So sure, if you've got time to spare, I'd like some help finding it."
"Oh, and if Calle here wants t'work with ye after all i'm not the one t'tell her no. I may be captain but unless Calle wants t'join me crew it's her choice."
"Well, ya don't gotta. It was… weird. Like, it didn't feel like nothin' t' us." he remarks, before shrugging "Yeah, I'd love t' take Calle along! She's super resourceful! And, uh… I stand with Risky! We oughta be able t' find our ship! 'R, she should."
Goldie nods. "I think Ardor made it to the semifinals actually. She was alright I suppose."
"Well, it's an occupational hazard," she shrugs. "I once knew a guy who once messed with this one pirate wizard and ended up having to fight off a horde of sentient screaming fungi. So that must've been fun."
"Right then. This way." She leads you out and into the hangar next door, where you can see the Moonstruck
currently being exited by a pair of conical, many-armed robots. It looks just the same as you remember it from the outside, a large, bulky hunk of junk with a bad paintjob. "She's a beauty, isn't she?" Goldie remarks, although you can't tell if it's meant to be sarcastic or not. "We've been holding it together with duct tape for a while now, but it should get you from A to B now that the parts have been installed. >>691978>>691977
Calle nods vigorously at the prospect of being recruited, saluting Risky and standing up stiffly in an effort to look presentable. "I help," she insists. Goldie looks at you as if to say it's your call.>>691978>>691979>>691975
You manage to find it on your own terms. It looks weathered and beaten-up as ever, but it's better than having no ship at all. It seems as if the robots exiting it have just finished installing the parts Patches had ordered for you. Behind you, you see Goldie enter, leading Veta along to the ship as well.
"Hmm.. Very well. Welcome aboard, Calle!" i reply, patting her on the back with my claw.
"As promised, off o'that planet and, even better, onto me crew."
following Pyrite to the ship, i run my claw along the side in silent appreciation before heading inside.
"Aye she's a right mess, but she's mine
, and that's
all the difference."
once inside, i head to the cockpit to check our inventory.
Veta glances at the many-armed bots for a moment, then back to Goldie.
"Really? Shame. The duct tape added character."
"So any other recommendations of what we should do for this, or this ready to get abducted by more pirates once we unwind after this whole fiasco with Patches?"
"Yeah! Welcome aboard, Miss Calle!" he whinnies, before looking over the Moonstuck
"Well… it looks cleaner! I think! What d'ya think, Miss Risky?"
"She's lookin' ship-shape, at least fer the inside. Once we get ahold o'some credits she'll be needin a fresh coat o'paint, armor too."
"But first, let me check the logs, see how the new hardware's fairing.."
You enter the Moonstruck
. It is dimly lit by white lights, with several wide, circular passages leading to the other areas of the ship. The main hold is spacious, with a large round central table that is outfitted to be able to emit holographic projections. Overall it is as worn on the inside as it is on the outside, with several signs of rust and weathering.
Heading to the cockpit, you find it is a small space, with several large overhead panels showing the ship's current status. It appears to be fully fueled and ready to go at a moment's notice. Checking the ship's logs, you can see that Scrum was thoughtful enough to fit it with plenty of frozen food, water, medical equipment and oxygen supplies, all of which should last at least six months. While the ship's hull is outfitted with deflector shields, they do not seem like they would withstand much damage due to being a light cruiser. It also seems that it would take a while to go from normal mode into hyperspeed, due to being old and out of shape.
As you look it all over, you see there is an empty slot on the interface for an AI package, much like the one you got from Patches. There is also a screen with a feed of available jobs you may take for the Golden Company, as well as a holomap of the galaxy for planning. It even has a radio, although this is turned off at the moment.>>691982
"Hm. Well, you could just up and go I suppose, if you have nothing else you want to do in this place. We've outfitted the ship to be able to receive info from the Company, so you don't have to check in here every time you want to take a job. Unless you want to stop by and say hi, of course!">>691983
"I'd certainly hope it looks cleaner!" Goldie comments. "From what I heard it took my guys an eternity and a half to get it in good shape. Redgrave's crew must have done a real number on it.">>691981>>691983
Calle beams, clearly excited to be working with you all. She follows Risky into the ship and starts having a look around, starting to make herself at home.
"Well now, it looks like she's ready t'go already!"
with a fire in my eyes, i quickly hop into the seat, working the keys with my claw and my magic as i check the feed for work and switch the radio on.
"I'll be checkin in with Hotwire soon, but first, lets see what we've got here."
While waiting for the feed to load, i take a moment to reach for the AI package, inserting it into the slot on the console. "And the package too, lets unwrap that 'gift' o'patches, see how it works.
"Yeah! They were nasty folk, so I'm sorry if it was rough. Thanks f'r all the cleanup!" the stallion says, before stepping aboard and looking around himself!
"Now all we need is a good television package that doesn't gouge us too hard and we'll be good to go then."
She looks around the ship, nodding slightly in approval in it actually running and all the nice, convenient stuff added.>>691985
Veta grins over at Risky.
"So, ready to look like a crazy mare and start talking to the ship," she asks, pointing over at the AI port.
"Bah, it'll be fine. Won't be crazy if the ship starts talkin back!"
You soon turn the radio on. Bad pop music starts warbling out of a nearby speaker. In the distance, you hear Calle jump at the sudden sound, knocking something over.
The feed is an extensive list of thousands of different jobs. You are no longer limited to ones filed at Iridav specifically, so now you are receiving ones from all over the galaxy. Mercifully, there is an option to narrow the list down to a few more local jobs your crew could take.>>691986>>691987>>691988
"So uh, I need to get back to work," Goldie says. "Sorry I can't stay and chat, but I have a lot to do still. Catch you later!" With that, she floats out of the hangar and leaves you all to it. See the previous post for a description of the ship's interior.
From the feed, you can see that the following jobs are available for you right now:
>Station: Iridav>Reward: 400 florins
A petty smuggler called Second Wind has made the mistake of double crossing a local crime lord and gotten a sizable price placed on his head. He has contracted the Company to provide him safe transport, protecting him from a bounty hunter who he knows is coming after him.
>Station: Da'at>Reward: 350 florins
A local mining foreman named Anthius needs someone to transport a shipment from his outpost to another. Due to a recent strike and because of the increased potential threat of looters trying to take the cargo for themselves, his workers are unwilling to do it, so he has outsourced to the Golden Company. The shipment consists of several metric tons of valuable mineral ore.
>Station: Kulesh>Reward: 700 florins
This one has been posted by a diplomat by the name of Erin Shax. Lady Diana Faulkner, an ambassador of some renown, has been kidnapped by a group of pirates who are demanding a ransom of 5000 florins. The Company may either pay said ransom or, more preferably, rescue Lady Faulkner from the pirates and return her to safety.
>Station: Oriab>Reward: 1100 florins
This is a military job, outsourced to the Company because of the Empire's ongoing struggle against the Spurned terrorist group. Sergeant Rillian Bryant, of the Second Corps, is asking for a group of worthy explorers to investigate the lack of communications from the spaceship Dauntless
. It is listed as being an experimental craft focusing more on incorporating magical energy into its design. It and its crew have gone completely silent over communications, and they need someone to investigate it and find out why.
As Risky plugs in the AI package, a soothing voice emanates from the speakers around the ship. You can't identify it as either a male or a female voice, presumably designed to be completely neutral as the default setting. "Pre-loading. Please stand by. …Pre-load complete. Initiating setup. Thank you for choosing Pygmalion Artificial Intelligence Systems. Would you like to customize a name, appearance and personality for this AI package, or use the default options?
"Hmm.. quite a spread t'pick from.."
bookmarking the list, i hop out of the seat.
"so you're the AI, eh?" i say to the air, preoccupied with logging out of the system.
"Personalities.. Nothin' comes t'mind, so ye can keep the default fer now. I'll think o'something eventually."
signing out, i make my way out of the cockpit and towards the loading ramp, intent on scouring the garage for Hotwire.
"I'll be stepping out fer the moment, crew. Do as ye'd like bit o'shore leave til i speak t'hotwire.."
"Yeah, yeah! Ya take care, Miss Goldie!" he says, giving her a one-armed hug and waving her off. He looks over the three available jobs, cocking his head to the side and shrugging "I, uh… whichever ya prefer, Cap'n! th' last one may be nice, f'r savin' folks."
"Hmm, i'll be givin' it some thought, but i'd better find this 'Hotwire' before we ship off, last thing i need is fer the fool t'run as we're off makin' credits."
"Take it easy with the work, Goldie. I'm sure I don't need to remind you to take it easy with those stitches," Veta says with a smirk and waving her goodbye.
As Veta looks over at the list of jobs, there is a slight scrunching of her nose at the Da'at job. She doesn't seem particularly happy.>>691992
"Last time we went on a 'search here' job, our ship got obducted and I practically had my head punched off by a hamburger in a gimp outfit," Veta says to Pyrite, clearly not too keen on that job, "any of those other two have the whole 'saving folks' bit to it. That mining job can kiss my clinically depressed ass, though."
"Thanks, I'll try!!" she calls. "Good luck out there! You'll need it!" With that, she's gone.>>691991
"Understood. Please note that you may edit this at any time after initial setup. Installing default… Installation complete. Rebooting…
" There is silence for a time, then you hear a distinctive four-note jingle - B, D, E, D. The voice then speaks to you again. "Hello,
" it says politely. "My name is Ash. I am a Pygmalion Artificial Intelligence System, designed specifically for assisting you with the operation of this vessel. To this end, I am able to control every remote function of this ship, but cannot act unless ordered to. I hope I will be able to serve you well.
You leave the ship running for the moment, having a look around the hangar. It seems smaller than the one you were just in, with more workbenches and empty crates lying about. You see a large group of workers in one corner toiling on a broken down construction robot. Perhaps they'll know where you can find him, or you could keep looking on your own.
The party have returned to the Golden Company base of Iridav, where they have reunited with their old ally Goldie and reclaimed their ship, the Moonstruck
, which has been restored to be ready to go at a moment's notice. After installing the AI package they received, whose default name is Ash, they have found four options for the missions they could complete next. See >>691990
for the full list. In addition, they have yet to reunite with their former companion Scrum, who is apparently working the kitchens on Iridav, and also have the opportunity to consult an expert on prosthetics named Hotwire, who is visiting Iridav on Company business.
The party are currently all gathered in the Moonstruck
, debating where to go next. Calle is on board as well, although separate from the party as she takes a look around the ship.
"Gosh, Goldie sure got it tough, having suffered for so long after that endeavour with us. Does offer her great credentials for the future though. A leader meaning to go so far for the teammates is certainly worth following. She would make a good one one day, wouldn't she, Risky?"
Teal flies about, moderately excited in regards to the whole ship renovating prospect.
"Ahh, and the AI is as vanilla as they go. Yep, certainly feels like a fresh start out here."
She checks the signs, if there are any, regarding which way does one go to the kitchen.
"While Hotwire's one dealer we certainly should stop at, I reckon we should greet Scrum as well. Seems like he hasn't forgotten us and this ship during all this time. Poor guy. Hope he hasn't been too disappointed to take it easy for a while."
"Yupyup! Let's go swing by an' say hi t' Scrum! He'll probably be happy t' see us again!" the stallion says, before looking back to Risky
"So, Cap'n! Which job?"
Veta sits and awaits which mission is picked, yawning a bit as she doesn't seem to have any strong preferences for which one.
"So, first line o'business is t'check with hotwire, need t'get an estimate on that project i've been thinkin of. After that we'll find a job!"
Heading back down the ship's ramp, i make my way back towards the workers from earlier.
"Lets see where that mechanic's hidin..">>692400
"Aye, it'll be quite the shock t'hear from us after months o'no contact.">>692401
"Hmm.. given the chance o'findin military tech, we may want t'check in on that Oriab job.. Though whatever sent em silent may do us in.."
"Looks like there's a job right here on station, might be worth checkin' that lead."
"Sure thing, miss!"
"I'd be voting for either the one here or the one from Kulesh. Veta doesn't seem keen on the one from Da'at and the one from Oriab strikes me as a little above what we can offer right from the get go. Reckon we might take it a little more easy, if any part of the mercenary work can be called so, at least to break in Calle here and work out potential issues on the go."
"Hrm… that's a pretty good point too." the stallion says, stroking his chin in thought.
You exit the hangar and take a conveniently labeled elevator up towards the recreational area, eventually making your way towards the dark, eternally steam-covered bar/bistro you've been in a few times now. Presumably, Scrum would be working out of sight, at the back of this place. You notice that some of the bartender and waiter robots have been replaced with actual employees, assumedly for repairs. Nevertheless, you are greeted by a rectangular waiterbot, who rolls up to you, clasping its gloved mechanical hands. "Good afternoon! How may I serve you?
You remain in the ship for now, sitting in the main hold at the round table at its center. You can hear Calle faffing about in the cargo hold; after a moment, you hear a loud clatter and some cursing as she tips something over.
Ash, meanwhile, appears to be speaking to itself as it adjusts itself to the ship's layout. The filtered, oddly soothing voice echoes throughout the ship faintly. "Retrieving prior data archives. …Retrieval complete. Downloading blueprints. …Download complete. Reconfiguring to BIAL Sparrowhawk-class cruiser. …Reconfiguration complete. Performing routine function test.
" The doors all around the ship open and close, and the lights turn off and on again. The ship's engine powers down, then starts up again. This repeats for a while before stopping. You hear the B-D-E-D jingle again. "Routine function test complete. Scanning for life forms aboard. …Scan complete. Three life forms found and identified on board."
"Vessel configuration complete. No major anomalies or threats found. Entering idle mode. Awaiting further instructions.
" With that, Ash falls silent, for now.>>692403
You approach the workers. There are about seven of them, all earth ponies, all working on the one remarkably large robot. As you approach, they stop what they are doing and turn to you. The closest one to you nods in greeting, a beast of an earth pony rivaling Pyrite in size. "Looking for something?" he asks.
"Well, that and you certainly seemed more keen on the saving folks duties too. Wouldn't wanna see anything but the best from you" - Teal winks at Pyrite.
"Heya! Uhm… could I get a salad, actually?" the stallion asks, before shaking his head a little "Oh! And, is Scrum here? We wanted t' say hey!">>692408
"S-Shucks, thanks!" he says, stepping in place a little
"Aye, that i am." i reply back "Heard there was a mechanic aboard by the name o'Hotwire, ye seen him around here? Need t'check with him fer a job."
"Aye, feeling like some lettuce, tomatoes and onions salad. That and what the big guy said - is one known as Scrum busy around here? If so, would you mind telling old friends came to say hi? Should we wish to speak with him, would we need to wait till the closing hours, by the way?"
At hearing all the commotion, Veta sighs and gets up.
"Just decide on something. I'm taking a quick walk."
Veta walks to the cargo hold, making sure Calle didn't hurt herself too much.
"What are you doing?"
"Of course, sir!
" A few lights flash on the robot's torso.>>692411
"Of course, madam!
" More lights flash across its body. "I will notify Mr Scrum of your message at once. He will come and see you promptly.
The waiterbot shows you to a nearby table. "Please take a seat. Your order, and the staff member you requested, will be with you shortly.
" It trundles away, vanishing behind the kitchen doors.
The locale doesn't seem to be too busy this time of day, with only a few other mercs sitting about. None of them look familiar to you. It isn't long before your meals are placed before you, looking fresh as always. Accompanying the waiterbot is Scrum. He looks less scrawny than when last you met, and he's grown a full ginger beard. He is wearing a plain white apron with a few stains on it. He looks confused as he approaches your table, then looks astounded as he recognizes the two of you. "Well, I'll be!" he exclaims. "Thought ye'd gone and gotten yerselves killed back on Alambil somehow! Can't believe yer still kickin'…" He looks concerned after a moment. "Wait. Where's the cap'n? And that grumpy dog? Did they… not make it?">>692410
The worker nods, gesturing towards a nearby door. "In the workshop over there, last I saw him." That's all he has to say about that, and without so much as a goodbye he gets back to work repairing the large robot.
You enter the workshop he indicated. It is a jumble of spare parts and broken down robots. It is dimly lit, most of the light coming from the sparks emitted by an object on a nearby bench, being tinkered with by a unicorn. Steam is hissing from a nearby vent, making it even more difficult to see.
He is short and quite stout, with an orange coat. Upon closer inspection you see that he is a proper cyborg if ever you've seen one. Three of his four legs are entirely mechanical, as is most of his back. He has two additional spidery limbs sprouting from his shoulderblades, where the wings would be on a pegasus. He is wearing large brass goggles, and sports an impressive bushy black beard. The object he is working on appears to be a mechanical claw for a griffon. His left foreleg has reconfigured itself into a welding tool for the job.
"What do you want?" Hotwire grunts as you enter, not looking up from his hard work. "If you're here about the Thane job, I already spoke with Leng about it.">>692412
There is no response from Ash for now.
You enter the cargo hold. It is quite spacious, with several stacked metal boxes and crates lining the walls. There is a workbench at the far end. Your attention is drawn, however, to Calle. She looks extremely uncomfortable as she is unsuccessfully trying to shoo away a very large, overweight tabby cat. It is rubbing itself contentedly against her legs, much to her chagrin. She looks to you with a disgruntled frown, explaining something in Arktalk. You have no idea what she said, but you catch the word "kot" several times in reference to the cat. Seems it was hiding among the boxes and jumped out at her, although it doesn't seem hostile to you.
"Wha? Thane? Nah i'm not here fer that," i reply, pulling my PEW from my back and setting it onto a nearby counter. "I'm lookin fer some way t'miniaturize this blaster, refit me claw t'hide it in. Better t'keep it hidden on me than risk havin the thing stolen again."
"Certainly nice that they're allowing that" - Teal comments to Pyrite about the procedure - "then again, I guess they can allow themselves that, what with the mercenaries of the Golden Company knowing one another only so much."
Teal grins as Scrum approaches, exclaiming loudly for a Breezie:
"Well, close to that, pal! Imagine, we got hit by a Displacer on Iridav and -lived-. Now if that ain't some luck, I dunno what is. With how that threw us forward in time a few months, for us, it feels like we've last seen you but a few days ago, ahhah… gosh, hope we didn't wreck your plans too much? Sorry for disappearing like that - but answering your question, all's fine and dandy with cap'n and grumpdog. Checking on some contacts as is, I belive."
As the salad arrives, Teal takes some bites, allowing Pyrite to talk some too, before continuing:
"Have you been satisfied with your current position? You did mention being a mean cook out there, but if you're looking for a switch, we'll be getting ourselves a new assignment shortly, most probably. Gotten the ship parts necessary and all that. Thanks for stocking up on the supplies too, by the way"
Veta looks back-and-forth between Calle and the cat.
"…what? It's just a cat."
Veta just stares at Calle somewhat annoyed and unamused.
"You've never petted a cat before?"
Pyrite settles into the seat and hums happily as he waits for the salad! He offers Scrum an excited wave as he follows the waiterbot out, and takes a couple bites of salad before saying "Hmm? Oh! They're here with me!Jus' elsewhere in th' place. And, yeah! We got thrown four months in th' future! It was crazy!
Hotwire examines the PEW, then looks back at you. You can't see his eyes behind hte goggles, but you feel like he's sizing you up like a tailor would. "I can do it," he drawls. "Not for free though. I need to make a living here. Give me 200 florins and about two hours, and I can have it done for you." He then gestures at your own prosthetic with one of his extra mechanical limbs. "Gonna need that too, obviously." You recall that between all of you, you only have 85 florins at the moment.>>692415>>692417
You find the salad to be perfectly agreeable.
Scrum's eyes widen as you tell him what happened, and he lets out a low whistle. "A Displacer. Geez. Well, at least you made it, despite everythin'. Good ter know everyone's fine. Had me worried fer the first two months, then I just moved on I suppose.">>692415
"Oh, yeah, everyone's been great ter me. Didn't have much ter do since ye all went missin', so I started doin' volunteer work in the kitchens. Doesn't pay, but it's better than fritterin' away waiting fer somethin' ter happen." He shrugs. "I can leave at a moment's notice, if yer still willin' ter have me along. I'd much rather be out there workin' than cooped up in here!">>692416
She shakes her head, looking somewhat repulsed by the large hairy creature currently doing its best to try and trip her up. "At home," she explains, making an effort to improve her Basic, "dey are pests. No good. …Some eat dem. No mi tho." She hesitates, then tries petting it herself, to limited success. The cat decides it's had enough of her and only now seems to notice you, confidently making its way over to you and headbutting you purposefully. It seems extremely well-fed for a stray. Presumably, it's been living on board the Moonstruck
for some time now, while everyone else was away. Calle looks suspicious of the animal. "Wha wi gon du wit it?" Calle asks. "Take it? Tos it off ship?"
"Yeah, it was crazy! We got attacked by some crazy folks there, but we got out okay! And, we found a new crewmember, a really nice zebra named Calle!"
"200, eh? Hmm.. Short on funds fer the moment, how long are ye plannin on workin here? Me crew and I're plannin on running a job, shouldn't take that
long t'get the florins."
Teal nods, adding:
"More than a little rough around the stripes, that one, but she's got guts, for sure. You're welcome to butt in anytime soon, Scrum. If you want to say your goodbyes here, finish the shift or whatever else, we could give you a call over the comm when we'd be about to leave. Shouldn't be an issue staying over a night too. Didn't have a chance to rest proper for a while now.
She proceeds to continue enjoying the crispy-juicyness of the salad.
"You deal out some fine stuff here, chef"
Veta reaches down and pets as gently as best as her robotic arms would allow.
"Gonna have to ask the rest of the crew, first. I'd say keep it around. It's probably been hunting mice and other stuff on this ship."
"Yeah, Miss Teal's right! This's a pretty good salad!" the stallion says, grinning happily
He nods. "Crazy folks, you say? Like, scrappers? Sounds like a hell of an adventure either way.">>692421>>692419>>692423
"Sure thing!" he says cheerfully. "I'll be finished in about half an hour. I'll go explain the situation to the rest of the gang, grab me things and then meet the rest of ye back at the ship."
He smiles at the compliment as you finish off the salads. "Heh, thanks. I find the secret ter a good salad is getting the right amount of dressin'. Ye cannot give up on the dressin'."
"Well, I'd better get a move on then. See ye all in a bit!" With that, he waves goodbye and leaves back towards the kitchen. The waiterbot, which has been humming idly behind him the whole time, starts collecting your plates quickly and professionally. "Please approach the counter whenever you are ready,
" it chirps, and rolls off into the kitchen.>>692420
"Leaving in six days," he responds curtly, examining the PEW more closely. His extra arms start tinkering with the griffon claw he was holding earlier. "Either you get the money by then, or no dice. No discounts either." >>692422
The cat seems quite affectionate, rubbing the side of its face against your robot hands and coiling its tail around your leg. Once satisfied it's claimed both you and Calle as its property, it wanders off to explore the rest of the ship. Calle nods, although she still looks a bit unsure. "…Is gud. Wil need name tho… Hm… What is gud name?"
"Yeah, Scrappers! Nasty folk, but we got away!" Pyrite says, finishing his salad off and nodding "Right! We'll seeya at th' ship, Scrum!" >>692421
"So, Miss Teal! Ready t' go, 'r are ya still eatin'?" he asks, his tail swishing back and forth
"Six days? Fair enough, long as nothin goes haywire we'll be back with time t'spare."
slinging the PEW across my back once again, i say my goodbyes and pick my way back to the ship, opening the comms along the way.
"Alright, crew! I've got a plan formed fer our next job!"
"We'll be takin on that escort line fer convenience sake, Hotwire's leavin the station in six days time, time enough t'rest up afore we head off. I'll be gettin int'contact with the client and we'll get the plan squared away."
"Alright, see you soon then!"
Teal buries herself in the napkin after finishing the meal.
"Yep, I'm good, let's pay and meet up with the rest"
The breezie flies over to the counter to regulate the payment and then gets on the path to the ship, lest Pyrite wishes otherwise.
"Escort, Risky? You mean the cargo escort or the smuggler escort?" - Teal asks unsure of what the unicorn meant.
Veta gives a shrug.
"Well, some would go for simple features, like Stripe or Spot. Others may go for something they hold near and dear and to some sentimental regard."
She rolls her eyes.
"All kind of dumb. I'd say call it Moonbeam. Was on the ship, and the ship has 'moon' in the name. Might as well give it a nice, homey kind of name. Plus, the others will think its 'cool' and 'rad' or something like that.">>692426
Hearing the comms go off, Veta listens to Risky.
"Alright, sure. Oh hey, while I got you all: how do you feel about cats? Any of you allergic to them?"
Pyrite follows Teal Drop on over to the counter, and offers to pay for the food! It's only the polite thing to do!
You go over to the counter and pay for the meal. Fortunately, because you are with the Company, you get a discount.>-25 florins>>692426
"Mhm." He looks disinterested as he turns back to his original work. >>692429
"Moonbeam," Calle parrots. "I like!" She grins and starts following behind the cat.>>692425>>692426>>692427
You return to the Moonstruck
, only to be greeted by an unfamiliar sight. A large, fat, brown and black striped tabby cat is sitting comfortably at the top of the loading ramp as if it owns the ship. It stares back at you contentedly with narrow bright green eyes. Calle soon comes to see what the noise is about, then grins and waves slightly as she sees you all return. "Miss Veta say her name Moonbeam," she explains, gesturing at the cat. She just shrugs. "We keep it or…?"
The AI's familar four note jingle plays as Ash comes back online. "Reactivating. Welcome back, captain. Your ship is ready for launch. May I ask you and your crew's names, so I may log them for future reference?
"Oh! Hiya, Calle! Good t' see ya! I hope you're settlin' in alright!"
He leans in closer to the cat, and gives it a gentle pat on the head "Well, hiya there Moonbeam! I dob't see a problem keepin' it!"
"Moobeam, huh? Mmm, I guess I don't have anything specifically against cats, but they do have… a tendency to chase after small, rapidly moving things and creatures, you know? And I wouldn't wanna have to hurt it. Let's see…" - she flies over cautiously to the cat, checking whether it is domesticated enough as to not treat the breezie as a fly to catch.
She waits for the confirmation from Risky's side, wondering which escort job will it be. She taken this moment to add:
"We've gotten in contact with Scrum. All good on his side; seems he's glad to be able to finally get down to business alongside us. He should be coming shortly."
"O-Oh! Right, I didn't think 'a that. S-Sorry, Miss Teal."
"The smuggler escort, looks like they're already here, we'll just have t'haul em somewhere safer.">>692431
"A cat? When did that get here?"
"Given how big the thing is it looks like it made itself at home, too."
"..well, it's already aboard, and I doubt the lot of ya are willin t'part with it, so fine, it can stay. But clean up after it!"
As I head towards the cockpit to pull up the smuggler's contact info, I rattle off the current crew.
"Aye, let me think.. ye've got me, captain Risky Hooves, Doctor Veta, engineer Teal Drop, deckhand Pyrite, scrum, Calle.. and one cat, Moonbeam." I add, rolling my eyes.
"That'll be the crew, fer now, Ash."
"Hey, don't mess with the cat too much," Veta calls out to Calle, "or I'll be the one to say I told ya so when it scratches you."
Hearing the rest of the crew come back, Veta comes out to greet the others.
"Yeah, decided to stick around, even with my ugly mug. The cat has balls, I'll give it that much."
"Oh, and Ash, contact that smuggler, tell em we'll take the job point em to the hanger we're in."
Moonbeam doesn't seem to be afraid of strangers. She (or he, it's hard to tell) sniffs your hoof curiously then butts into it rather aggressively, all without getting up.>>692433
Moonbeam watches you with great interest, pupils wide and tail flicking. The cat gets up momentarily to sniff in your general direction, then bats at you lazily; however, it doesn't seem to be very interested in actually chasing you, mercifully enough. To you, it's big enough to eat you in one bite. You can only hope it doesn't actually try.>>692435
Moonbeam just stares back at you lazily, as if to say that you are on its ship, rather than it on yours.
"Logging and scanning.
" A small camera opens from one of the ship's panels, emitting a thin blue laser that opens up in a fan shape to pass over everyone in the room. Moonbeam looks a bit startled by it, and scurries off deeper into the ship. "Scan complete. It is a pleasure to meet you, Captain.
Moonbeam just blinks at you slowly. You're pretty sure that's a sign of affection among cats. It seems comfortable with your presence.>>692437
"Acknowledged. Contacting Second Wind on Iridav Station.
A few moments later, you hear hoofsteps heralding the arrival of Scrum, bearing a fully loaded pack and rocking a grizzly ginger beard. "Cap'n," he nods to Risky with a smile and a brief salute. He also nods at Veta before starting to look around fondly at the ship he used to work on, placing one hoof on the iron walls. "Feels like an age since I were in here last…" He doesn't seem to notice Calle at first, but then looks over, grinning and extending his hoof. "Hey. Ye must be the one that Pyrite mentioned. Name's Scrum."
"Calle," she replies tacitly, and returns the hoofshake.
A few moments after that, a harrowed-looking blue and teal pegasus cautiously pokes his head in. He is wearing a bedraggled duster coat and a small kente style cap, faded over time. He sports some scruffy stubble, and looks like he hasn't slept well in quite some time. Slung at his side are some bulging bags of what seems like money. "This is the M-Moonstruck
, isn't it? Bit easy to get lost in this p-p-place." Despite his stutter, he doesn't seem the nervous type. "S-so, I'll g-g-get to the point. My n-name's Second Wind, I pissed off the wrong f-f-f-folks, and I need help getting to the Ark of Endriga as soon as possible. I-I'll p-p-pay, of course. Once we g-get there." He looks around at the lot of you expectantly. "…I… I am
in the right p-place, a-aren't I?"
Pyrite smiles a little, and goes to pat the cat's head, before blinks as it scurries off into the ship.
"Uh… huh. Skittish fella."
He turns around as he hears Second Wind approach, and offers a welcoming smile "Yupyup, ya are! Welcome aboard, Mister Second Wind! Y-You look pretty rough, yikes…"
"Aye, ye made it t'the right ship." I confirm for the paranoid pony.
"Ye can calm down fer the moment, we scanned the ship earlier, just us aboard her."
"Might I ask just who decided t'make yer flank a target? Must be important t'send a bounty hunter after one Pegasus."
"Guess you'll be on this wild ride as well," Veta says and pets Moonbeam on the head as Veta passes by to get comfortable and settled back into the ship.
Veta looks at Second Wind and, without flinching, replies simply with, "no, second ship from the right."
She gives a bit of a yawn.
"Kidding. So how about you tell us what's up with all the stuttering. You get a bargain bin voice box put in you by bottom of the barrel surgeons as well?"
"Ehheh… good kitty.." - a little nervous, Teal nonetheless approaches the cat a little further, extending her hoof as to establish some kind of physical contact. From what she heard, letting that kinda predator know one's smell actually made it more familiar to it and less likely to eat you… she hoped. One could tell from her expression - "Got few issues with dealing with regular pony-sized races and bigger, but cats, dogs and the wise… are kinda my grey area, if not to say weakness…"
As it scurries off due to the scan, she allows herself a deeper, calming breath, having gone past that initial familiarization. Clearing her throat, she adresses Risky:
"Actually, call me paranoid, but could we scan the cat to check if it ain't a Changeling or something? I've had that happen to my crew once, albeit with a dog. The assassin fed off the love for our crew's critter for weeks before striking when our defences were at our weakest."
Once Second Wind arrives and presents his case, she greets him merrily:
"You're safe here with us, sir. Relax. get comfortable and we'll get you right where you need. Unless there is anything that you'd like to tell about those who might be coming after you that might help with fending them off."
"Thanks. And y-yeah, I know. Comes with b-being chased by a d-damn bounty hunter halfway ac-c-cross the g-galaxy. Absolute b-bloodhound, he is." >>692440
"I-it was some boss d-down on Alambil, name of M-Merret," he explains. "I was an i-idiot, thought I-I'd be able to swindle him scot f-free, 'cause he didn't s-s-seem all that much. Little did I know, h-he could afford to g-get the word out about me. S-so, yeah, I'm in a p-pickle.">>692441
He does a double take as you misdirect him. "H-hilarious," he deadpans.
He shrugs. "It's just a th-th-thing. Had it since I was a f-foal. Could n-never shake it. Trust me, it's n-not fun. W-would shake it in a heartbeat, if I could.">>692440>>692442
"Hm? Oh, I-I'm not n-nervous, mate. Not r-right now at least. It's safe here, you know. One of the f-few rules you lot have is that y-you can't do "b-business" aboard a G-Golden Company station. Or s-so I've heard. Dunno if it's true.">>692442
"Hm? Oh, right. W-well, I don't know much about him, but he's relentless. Tried to bring me in three- n-no, four times now. Don't even know his name, b-but he knows who I am, where I am r-right now, and wh-where I'm going. Fortunately, because of the r-rules, he can't b-bring me in right now, but he is on b-board Iridav. I think he a-also might be a Changeling. So he could come after me a-at any time. I've got plenty of friends on Endriga though. O-once I get there, they'll m-make sure he doesn't get to me, and I'll be in the c-c-clear.">>692439>>692440>>692441>>692442
"S-so, which one of you's the c-captain?" He reaches into his duster and pulls out a chip, not unlike the AI package. "Th-th-this'll transfer the c-coords to get to Endriga. Specifically, wh-where I have to be. G-get me there s-safely, and you'll b-be rewarded. N-no questions asked."
At the question of who is captain, Veta points right at Risky. Veta eyes the chip, raising her brow at it.
"This isn't bugged or anything, right? If you've got some real bastards after you, I'd assume they'd be trying their best t keep tabs on you."
"Cap'n's Miss Risky Hooves, there!" he points her out, before smiling again "Welcome aboard!"
That last bit does give him pause, though "Swindled? Well, shucks, that seems like a bad idea."
Taking ahold of the chip with my magic, I bring it over to the cockpit to plug in.
"Ash, I'll be needin ye t'read the coordinates off o'this chip, should have directions t'Endriga."
"Oh, and see what ye can scan about that cat, fer Teals sake."
"As fer merret, I'm not too sure what happened t'him past that time bomb. Fer all we know he was caught on the blast, hard t'tell."
"Yeah, now that even this guy's suggesting the possibility of a Changeling at play, I'm all the more up for checking the cat. Sorry, no honour among rogues" - she shrugs - "I'll admit I was actually kinda curious about what stance in regards to us would Merret take after that one incident - even if doubtfully warm - but I guess we're gonna find out about it one way or the other. "
Teal flies up somewhere high. No intent of dealing with the cat right now.
"Say when you'll want someone to show you to the dorms" - she says to the smuggler.
"I th-thought about that a-already," he answers. "Had it checked out b-by some of the crew on here. It w-was bugged before, which is how h-he knows where I am and where I'm g-going. It's not now. He might b-b-b-be able to find us en route, b-but once we g-get to Endriga, it should be smooth sailing from th-th-there.">>692445
He nods grimly. "Yeah, I know. Seriously b-b-bad move on m-my part. N-need to lay low for a while until this whole b-business blows over.">>692446
"Cheers," Wind grunts as you take the chip. "This whole M-Merret business happened a-about a month ago. Don't know anything a-about a t-time bomb, but he's definitely still around. Else I w-wouldn't be h-here now."
You plug the chip into the navigational panel. It lights up, displaying a lengthy series of coordinates.
"Understood. Planning most direct hyperspeed path to the requested coordinates. … Planning complete.
" On a nearby screen, a map of the galaxy appears, with a route from your location to Endriga planned out. "Scanning life form as requested.
" Somewhere on the ship, you hear Moonbeam knock something over in sudden fright. "Scan complete. Analysis: Subject appears to be an ordinary female member of the species
Felis silvestris catus. She belongs to the breed colloquially known as Maine Coons, known for their prodigious size, lion-like mane of fur, and hunting skills. No abnormalities detected.
"Wh-what, you've had dealings with Merret as well? N-nothing bad, I hope. N-never should've messed with him."
"Oh, r-right, the dorms. Lead on then. No sense in delaying it." He stands poised to follow you to the dormitories.>>692444>>692445>>692446>>692447
Wind makes his way further into the ship, almost tripping over a nervous-looking Moonbeam in the process. "R-r-right then. Best we get moving as soon as possible. And, th-thanks for h-helping me. I'll m-make sure you don't regret it."
"Initializing startup sequence.
" The Moonstruck
begins to whirr, the engine coming to life. Steam starts hissing from some vents on the floor, frightening Moonbeam even more. You see her dart at full speed across the main hold and hide under the table, eyes the size of dinner plates. "Startup sequence complete,
" Ash announces, calm as ever. "The ship is ready to depart on your command.
"I can show 'im! I need t' drop stuff off, anyhow!">>692448
The stallion beckons to the paranoid pegasus, and leads him on into the ship "I'll come on back after I get mister Second Wind settled in an' comfortable! Err, as comfortable as I can!"
Previously on BWB, the party returned to Iridav and claimed the Moonstruck as their own, recruiting both Calle and Scrum to their crew. They also met their ship's new AI, Ash, and a stray cat that had taken up residence in the ship in the party's absence, who they decided to call Moonbeam.
Risky found out from the tinkerer Hotwire that he could make the prosthetic she desired, but for a price that the party were unable to match. To this end, they embarked on an escort mission, transporting a thief who had crossed the crime lord Merret to safety on the Ark known as Endriga. They rendezvoused with the thief, a stuttering pegasus called Second Wind, and he provided them with the appropriate coordinates.
"On your command, captain," Ash intones as the ship whirrs and shakes, standing poised to depart to Endriga. Calle struggles to maintain her balance, while Scrum grabs a firm hold of the table. "This ol' rust bucket can be temperamental," he grunts. "Ye might want to hold on ter somethin', folks." Moonbeam scurries under the table, ears flat and eyes huge, making herself as small as is physically possible. Second Wind stumbles a bit, but manages to brace himself, grabbing a handle on the wall. "S-so, we doing this o-or what?"
Pyrite gives the cat an eager little petpat on the head, and chuckles like a goofball before looking back to the rest of the crew as they start to take off. He lumbers on over to Calle, and sets a heavy hoof on her shoulder to try and help her keep her balance. "Yeah, it can be a little rough. I know th' first time I got in a space shit I was tumblin' 'round all over th' deck."https://pastebin.com/F4168Tu8
Veta gets into a seat and straps on the seatbelts, resting a cheek in her hand and resting her elbow on her knee as she is shaken about with an unamused look on her face.
Taking my place at the helm, i grab the seat with my claw to hold steady.
"Aye, fire the engines! We're off t'Endriga!"
"Iiiiiii Neeeeeeeeeed a cuuuuuushiooon" - Teal announces, her voice reverberating due to the vibrations, her body somewhat flattened after the much needed, if not necessary landing - "Thiiiiiis shiiiiiip haas nooo saaaafety meeeeasuuures for breeeezies, dooooes it, Aaaaaash?"
She wondered if the cat would experience similar vexation now, if it talked.
Moonbeam shrinks away from your pat and licks her chops. She looks very stressed by the sudden racket. Calle gladly accepts your help, grabbing on to your shoulder to steady herself. "Thenk," she says with a grateful nod. "Is hard… but I lern. I live.">>693127
You go to strap yourself in, only to find there's no seatbelts on the ship anywhere. Seems safety isn't really a priority aboard a smuggling vessel.>>693128
"The engines whir as the ship struggles slightly to lift off of the ground at your command.>>693129
"Scanning… Scan complete. No essential takeoff safety measures detected on board. I apologize for the inconvenience.
" Judging by her look of absolute terror, it's likely the cat would have a thing or so to say about the Moonstruck
's safety protocol compliance.>>693126>>693127>>693128>>693129
Your stomach turns a little as the ship begins to lift with a violent shudder and a whine of the engines. It feels like it's going to fall apart at any minute, but eventually it manages to lift up and fly out of the hangar, rapidly accelerating.
"Modifying for hyperspeed in three… two… one.
" A colorful glow surrounds the ship's hull and the engines start working overtime, but it manages to get to hyperspeed in time. "Jump complete. Arriving at Endriga in approximately 4 hours.
For the next four hours, you make yourselves at home and get well acquainted with the ship.
The dormitories have bunkers for at least 12 ponies, 6 in each room. They are not much to look at, having only the bare essentials of a mattress, some blankets and an extendable tray to act as a bedside table. They're better than nothing.
The engine room is a mess of rusted tools and spare parts. The lights don't work to boot, making it difficult to see. However, all the engine parts seem to be in order, despite the ship being a bucket with rockets attached.
The workshop is a similar story, albeit less messy and with working lights. It is equipped with several work benches and a variety of tools.
The larder is well stocked with rations and assorted ingredients, courtesy of Scrum. You should have enough for at least six months. "Got everythin' we need fer a good kitchen," Scrum comments with a grin. "Set it all up meself!"
The medical bay is also well stocked, although not 100% clean. It has a full kit of doctor's equipment, as well as a bed, a blank datapad and some emergency surgical tools.
The security room is in working order, having full camera access to every part of the ship, as well as controlling the oxygen supply and most of the doors on the ship. It also has a full log of recordings of the ship's past that you could pore over if you're curious.
Finally, the ship is equipped with two turrets, on the top and the bottom of the ship, accessed by a ladder. They seem fairly straightforward to use, with a built-in monitor helping with aim and ammo count.
Time passes, and you eventually pull out of hyperspeed and begin your descent to Endriga. The Ark is spherical in shape, although it seems to be under contruction at the moment judging from the large empty patches on its surface. It orbits a large dark green gas giant planet with several asteroid rings. You have emerged into what seems to be a popular route for spacers like yourselves, as you can see several other ships fly past to and from the Ark, occasionally blinking into hyperspeed. "H-here we go," Second Wind comments, looking relieved as he sees Endriga in the distance. "Not long to g-go now!"
Suddenly, you hear a beeping coming from the security room. "Transmission request received," Ash informs you. "Origin unknown. Will you receive the message?"
"Hmm.. I've a bad feelin about this.."
"Crew, man the turrets! whichever out o'ye can figure them out, be on alert."
"Ash, Patch that message through! If it's that bounty hunter we may be in fer a shootout."
Having braced the jump procedure and being still on the ship, Teal looked into the few places she believed to find herself spending most of the time in. It looked pretty basic, but she could do with that, she commented.
She was a little hestitant when checking out the security room.
"Risky? Do you think we should maybe delete the recordings at least until around the time Scrum and his crew lost the ship? I am thinking of the potential that someone would use the camera records to identify the ship as a smuggling vessel and use its shady past to help push charges against us, whatever they might be."
She does ask Scrum about this too:
"Would you mind it? Do you want to view some beforehand if we do this?"
As the notification about the transmission arrives, she comments to no one in particular:
"Now that would be too easy now, would it…?"
"Well now, we've still got those recordings after all? Hardly matter past this point, if they were plannin t'fix charges on us they'd just need t'see me face."
"..Well, far as i know they're after me. Might be a cold case fer all i know."
"Ugh…okay, next bit of cash, we're making this shit safe."
At hearing a call to the turrets, Veta looks around confused, so she goes to the next best thing: the garbage airlock. And looks around for inconsequential things to load into it and fire out like a trash shotgun.
Pyrite frowns a little bit, and decides to leave the cat be. Cats are cats, after all. They're best on their own when they want to be there!
He looks to Calle, and nods a little bit "No problem, Miss Calle! You'll get your sea legs- err, space legs, in no time! Just you wait!">>693132>>693134
"Uhm, w-what d'ya think it is? Somethin' bad?"
If i were t'wager, it's that bounty hunter.
"Acknowledged. Initiating handshake. …Handshake complete. Connection established. Transmission origin located. Pinpointing on monitor.
" A screen showing the ship's surroundings lights up, highlighting one of the ships nearby. It is a sleek, bullet-shaped vessel, pitch black with several protrusions near the rear. You can see it has turrets, as well as what might be a missile launcher. >>693133
Scrum nods slightly at your proposal, looking rather stony. "…I don' mind. Do what ye have ter. It's prob'ly fer the best. Don' want any more trouble than we're already gonna get.">>693135
You scour the ship for any rubbish you can jettison. You manage to find a few empty crates in the cargo hold, as well as some empty metal drums. One of them is suspiciously labeled "Fresh Chicken". While it probably won't do any real damage to an enemy ship, it should provide enough of a visual distraction for the Moonstruck
to be able to get an advantage.>>693136
She tentatively lets go of your shoulder and takes a few steps as the ship enters hyperspeed, getting used to the constant trembling and shaking. She almost falls over, but stops herself and gets back up. "Is not so bad," she says with a smirk. "I can do.">>693132>>693133>>693135>>693136
"Vessel identified. Callsign: BIFV
Axalara. Transmitting message.
A familiar voice warbles from the ship's speakers. "Alright, we're gonna make this short. We don't know who you are, but we know who you have on board. We got a deal for you." The voice belongs to either Ronsin or Adalbert, the twin Dogs that act as Merret's henchmen. Now, our proposal's simple. Hand over the rat, and you get a part of the bounty. We'll split it 50/50. 600 for you, 600 for us. We're givin' y'all ten minutes to decide. I hope you're smart enough to make the right choice. No one has to die today."
"End of transmission.
" Wind looks pale, sweating and fidgeting as he looks from one of you to the other. "Th-th-th-that's him! The changeling! The one that's b-b-been hunting me! D-d-don't you d-DARE go back on our ag-g-greement!" he sputters. Scrum and Calle seem unsure of what to do, looking for you all for an answer.
"Seems like pretending to accept it would be the way to go. If he wants a transfer on the planet, that's gonna be easier. If he wants that via ship-to-ship, that's leaving us options too. Wonder how many creatures he has to back him up."
"Y-Yikes, they seem like they mean business, Captain Risky! What d'ya think is th' best thing t' do?">>693139
"I think that's a solid idea… I unno if they'll buy it."
Glaring at the vessel from the viewport, i drum my talons on the console.
"Tch, blasted mercs have us outgunned. The Moonstruck
, she's hardly fit t'field fer combat, even with me at the helm.."
"Ash, run the odds o'us outrunning them t'the dock. If our engines hold we can make a break fer safety.">>693139
"Hmm, so fake the transfer, then turn it on em?"
"That could work, though given who we're fightin Merret'll be none too happy.."
"Risky, it's a changeling. If what Second Wind here is saying is true, it's pretending to be one of Merret's boys."
She stays at the garbage airlock, looking ready to bombard the spaceship with trash. As she does, her arms tries to get some adrenaline shots ready.
"So if they're a bunch of fakes, then we'll be some fakes as well. Do a fake transfer."
[1d10+1]Roll #1 6 + 1 = 7
"It could work," Scrum pipes up. "I don' think there's anywhere to land on that planet though. Looks like a gas giant. An' I don' know how we'd pull a fast one on them if it's ship ter ship, which it probably is. Hm…">>693141
"Acknowledged. Analyzing enemy vessel. …Analysis complete. The
Axalara appears to be a BIFV Gharial class fighter, sacrificing mobility for more firepower. Analysing odds of escape. …Analysis complete. Without factoring the perceived skill of both vessel's pilots, odds of the
Moonstruck escaping are twelve to one.
You get to work preparing some shots, eventually producing three syringes. >>693139>>693140>>693141>>693142
"Five minutes remaining until the
Axalara demands an ultimatum,
" Ash advises. Wind starts pacing around the main hold nervously, biting at his hooves.
Teal thinks for a sec, then pipes up:
"Actually, how about we try something to throw him off the beat? How about we use the fact that Risky has a bounty on her head, tie her up and send a feed of her to him with the acknowledgement of his deal, pretending that's the one he was meaning? I reckon that Risky's bounty was more than that of Second Wind, so despite being unexpected, he might actually be interested and play along, trying to get Risky. He's a bounty hunter, hence he should recognize her and we can wish for his help, as her contract might be old and only a bounty hunter like him would know where they still offer a prize for her. We can arrange the transfer on the arc, as he woudn't have much of an issue to go against that. Just gotta haggle a bit on the price as to fool him that we're really interested."
"W-Wait, that could be risky! I-I mean, it would be risky t' use Risky. I-I jus, uhm… I mean, it doesn't sound too
bad, but… Would you be okay with it, Captain?"
As the others keep talking, Veta just starts to load up as many empty crates/barrels she can into the airlock.
"So, we hide second wind and use me fer bait?"
"..Well it's not the worst idea we've had, maybe the ling'd fall fer it."
"Teal, i'll have ye act as captain, have Ash radio in t'the bounty hunters when we're ready. Pyrite, find some rope and help me look the part, and