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Seeking Fortune

Feilans have finally entered the realm of space in their solar system, a vast area, full of exotic planets and phenomena. The colonies created by the old Edwinish Party have developed into a new faction, the Dmitrians, whom are descended from Feilans, but whom have developed a separate cultural identity from their colonial forefathers. At the edge of the system lurks the formidable faction known as the Immortals, a group of furs whom have used technology to live forever, in a constant state of hostility with Feila and Dmitri, both of whom are on tense enough relations as it is. All natives are furry (Skin Avian are present here too). No native humans.
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Sade
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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Sade » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:24 pm

The big wolf didn’t answer any of their questions immediately. Robinson tensed subtly, his head dipping ever so slightly, when Sakura reached into her suit. He was coiled to strike. A potentially hostile guest reaching to grab something hidden in their suit was… provocative. His gleaming yellow eyes drilled into her- but he was actually watching Alfred, gauging his perception and situational awareness. When Sakura's hand withdrew with the chip, rather than some kind of weapon, he relaxed. Or at least his tension appeared to return to its previous level: You didn’t get to survive this long by relaxing.

He grabbed the chip from her and held it up to his eyes, “I’m sure this has many would-be owners, but I went through the trouble of stealing it to begin with, and that makes it mine. The encryption doesn’t matter,” he held it easily in his robotic palm, eyes glinting, “so long as I have it and Haven doesn’t.”

“Without this command and control circuit their defense systems are so much scrap metal. Uselessly impotent. It has been so many decades since they were last challenged that they have no idea their defenses don’t work! The incompetent fools.” He placed the chip in its case on the table.

“As for how I know who you are…” He turned to squarely face the dragon, holding her in his yellow stare, “I took that information from a man named Genma Takashi."

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Alden » Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:24 pm

Alfred glanced at the chip, seemingly unconcerned. "If they let the loss of one chip compromise their entire defense, they must be among the most inept men alive. They'd almost deserve it then." He muses for a moment, scratching at his whiskers. His muzzle twitched, briefly smirking before returning to his previous neutral expression. "But why Haven in particular.....?" The otter pondered aloud. "Fuel?" He seemed detached and distracted from the conversation between the wolf and Sakura, too caught up in his own thoughts and attempts to deduce the nature of Robinson's needs.

Despite that appearance, he was keenly listening to the conversation and carefully watching Robinson's every move. His eyes searched the pirate, trying to determine what weapons he might be carrying. The otter also considered the possibility that some of the prosthesis also could function as or had hidden weapons within them.
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Asyriel » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:47 pm

Robinson's reaction when she reached into her suit was a little confusing to Skakura. They'd left their weapons on the ship as instructed, and if she'd decided to attack, it was very probable he literally wouldn't have seen it coming.

Alfred wasn't the only one that found it a little hard to believe that a place like Haven would let their entire defensive system hinge on a single chip, that and the hybrid that had hired her hinted that it was a part of some sort of offensive system.

She was frustrated when Robinson didn't answer their questions, so She spoke to Alfred's thoughts. "I doubt he's doing this strictly for himself. There's only two places in the system he could have procured the drives in this ship." She muttered to the otter.

The one question that Robinson did answer froze her in place. She felt like she'd been punched in the gut with a rail slug while simultaneously receiving an I.V. full of liquid oxygen. She tried to hide the emotions that roiled through her as Robinson told her that he'd learned of her through her own father. Eventually she realized that in her shock, she'd been holding her breath, and she drew a long ragged breath of recycled air into her lungs. She knew Robinson's reputation, and what the likely answer to the question would be, but she had to ask it. "How did you get the information from him?" she asked quietly. Her hands were trembling at her side, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't stop it.

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Sade » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:29 pm

Robinson observed their reactions to his Haven defense system story. He could of course hear everything they said, muttered or not. His ears appeared natural enough- albeit shredded and frayed by endless conflict- but his eardrums were not. The Agony also heard everything said within its confines and corridors, and by extension so did the wolf.

These two were more thoughtful than the previous prospects. Fools motivated by greed would have seized on the potential value of the chip, but the dragon and otter were too smart for that. They could tell something was off about his explanation, if not precisely what it was. On the one hand, that made them potentially more useful to him. On the other, they would be difficult to manipulate. At least he wouldn’t have to kill them like all the others.

The big old wolf knew what Sakura was dreading. “Actually, he was very cooperative,” he gave by way of a non-answer. ‘Cooperative’ could mean so many things. But he elaborated, “I encountered him a few years ago. He had just recently lost someone important to him, and in his desperation to find this certain scaly someone he 'found' me instead. I’m not sure what he expected, traipsing around the system by himself, poking his nose in its darkest corners.”

He looked away disdainfully, sneering with that side of his muzzle still equipped to sneer, sharpened metal fangs gleaming, “a father looking for his rebellious child…”

“What more could I do to him; he was already in agony. He was willing to do anything to get you back, even work with me. He told me about you, he gave me the technical specifications of your ship, its schematics, terabytes of files recovered from backups… and by way of payment he agreed to feed me tech intel from Feila. How could I turn this man away in his time of need?

“I agreed to find you. And that is just what I did. Years ago. I found you, and I watched you, and I followed you. Not all the time, mind you, I’m a very busy man, but I kept tabs on you. I realized you might prove more useful to me than any further insider tech from Takashi, as helpful as that has been for improving my ship.”

He turned back to face them, growling, “is that sufficient? Is everybody’s curiosity sufficiently sated? Everything tied up with neat, little, bows?” His eyes slid over to Alfred, “anything else, river-mutt?”

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Alden » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:27 pm

The otter shook his head. "Your remarks to Miss Sakura tell all really." The otter scowled. "Don't you have something better to do than to bother my skipper and get involved with a family squabble? Perhaps stealing some cargo or eating a rat or two?" The otter's expression was utterly foul, and it was clear he was rather irritated at the moment. "I like your ship, it's extravagant in a way, but outside that you're behaving like some street thug, not a captain. I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd give my skipper the respect she's due."

He shrugs slightly. "After that's taken care of, perhaps we can get to business, make arrangements and set conditions." He dusts off the shoulders of his long coat. "I would prefer it, if we could all leave in one piece.... or at least as close to as such as we can." The otter gestured to his eye patch and then Robinson's own prosthesis, chuckling.
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Asyriel » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:51 pm

Sakura was relieved as it sounded like Robinson had worked out some sort of deal with her father rather than torturing information out of him. The relief was deeply tainted with guilt though as Robinson described how he had met her father. She was sure that the guilt she felt was exactly what Robinson intended, but it didn't stop her feeling it. She hadn't expected her father to be personally traipsing through the system looking for her.

She did her best to keep a straight face through it all as Robinson continued to describe the circumstances of his meeting with her father, and the deal they had worked out. She was struck with another chill that shimmied it's way down her spine as Robinson admitted that he'd been following, and keeping tabs on her for years. She also became acutely aware that Robinson knew how to find her father, and he as much as admitted that he no longer had use for the scientist.

Robinson hadn't said it, and he didn't need to. He had leverage on her, at least as long as she cared about her father, and even though she had run off, she still cared about the man that raised her. She was sure Robinson was also quite aware of this situation. She looked down at Alfred when he spoke. She was careful not to show her surprise. It was important that, if nothing else, they showed a united front in this situation. She straightened herself a bit, and held her head up.

She took a deep breath before she spoke again. "You said you had a proposal." She prompted, hoping to find out exactly what Robinson wanted from them besides the chip, if the chip had even been anything more than an excuse to get them aboard his ship.

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Sade » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:06 pm

The old wolf smiled an ironic smile, though the damage to his face distorted it into a grimace. “Perhaps you’re right, otter. We are all professionals here. Now that we have an understanding, lets get down to business.”

He beckoned them closer to the table and depressed a series of switches on its surface with metallic claws. “I’m getting old, and when a man reaches my age he gets to thinking on how he wants to spend the rest of his years. Let the young pirates galivant around the system, the impressionable fools. There are bigger scores to be had. Big enough to provide for quite the… luxurious retirement indeed. Even if some are dangerously close to being above board,” he sneered at the words and their implications. “Here I find myself, working a contract! Me! What has the world come to?”

The table whirred as a holographic projector spun up to speed beneath its nearly-opaque obsidian surface. A field of glowing yellow energy manifested above, an object spinning within. It was a crumpled cylinder of some unfamiliar metal. A small amount of viscous liquid could be seen through cracked transparent portholes, emitting a deep violet light visible even in the faded color of the holo-projection. Robinson moved to the other side of the table, watching their faces through the shimmering projection, “this is what I seek. The remains of an ancient artifact. It’s on Feila, beyond my reach, and only unique individuals with certain special talents can access it. That is where the two of you come in. You’re going to travel to Feila and acquire this thing for me.” He looked between the two of them, and back to Sakura, “perhaps its fate that you hired on your new crewmale. A former Navy man will be a useful thing in the weeks to come.”

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Alden » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:11 pm

The otter carefully examined the projection. "And this is.... what exactly?" He scratches his whiskers again, and paces around the table. He looked directly at the old wolf when he mentioned Alfred's former career. "How exactly were you thinking to make use of me?" The otter shrugged. "I don't have up to date patrol schedules if that's what you are after."

He frowns. "If the artifact is on Feila, it may be difficult to acquire. What's in it for me?" He quickly corrects himself. "For us..." he says, looking at Sakura. "Other than you not attempting to kill us that is."
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Sade » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:21 pm

(Figured I'd answer some questions and fill in some of the details while we wait for Asyriel.)

“It is some kind of energy concentrator,” Robinson explained. “I’ve been told it predates the old Information Age by a thousand years or more, if you’re given to believe such things, but not much else about it. I’m working a contract, remember, and my employers haven’t gone into excruciating detail. They need it to finish whatever it is they’re working on, and they have pockets deep enough to buy my service.”

“What’s in it for you is my friendship and good will… and my refraining from killing everyone you care about… and, of course, your share of the spoils. This is a pirate ship: do your share and you’ll get your share. My reclusive employers have very, very deep pockets, and with your share of the contract you’ll be able to buy almost anything you could possibly want.” He jabbed the tabletop’s controls and the artifact was replaced with a cascade of numbers, starting with the total contract payout- which was astronomical- and broken down between Robinson, his crew, and the two of them. The wolf was taking the largest share by far of course, but even accounting for that and the shares going to his crew, Alfred and Sakura would walk away with hundreds of millions of credits. The trick was surviving to walk away at all.

“I won’t be making use of you. Your lady captain is the one with the supernatural powers I need. But who better to escort her through civilized space without suspicion than a former naval officer? She’ll have to figure out how best to use you. All I know is that you smell useful.”

(Hope you two had a good holiday season!)
Last edited by Sade on Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Asyriel » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:15 pm

Sakura fought the urge to roll her eyes at the wolf's apparent disdain for the idea of working for somebody else. Her attention was quickly seized by the projection. Something about that image seemed very familiar to her, but she just couldn't quite put her finger on it. She frowned a bit when special talents were mentioned. Had her father actually disclosed that much to the wolf, she wondered to herself. She had questions, too many of them. As she tried to sort through those questions, the advantage of a former naval officer was mentioned, and she nodded absently in acknowledgement.

As she started to ask the first of her questions, Alfred beat her to it, and asked a few of his own. A couple of the questions were things she was curious about as well. The question of how Alfred would be useful seemed fairly obvious to her; it wasn't likely that Robinson was going to directly accompany them, and there was the possibility that Alfred knew a few furs that would be able to help get the two of them into Feilan space without too much fuss. She wasn't going to point that out in front of Robinson though.

Her attention was drawn back to the hologram as Robinson explained what the object was, and suddenly she remembered where she had seen something similar. It wasn't the object itself, but her own employer had been lookin at a similar hologram the last time they had met.

The mention of deep pockets, and what they would get out of the deal had her looking at Robinson again. The threat she had guessed at previously was openly displayed, but genuine reward was also dangled in front of them. They were left with little choice but to accept the bargain if they had anyone they still cared about, but the promise of a reward did take away a little of that sting. She looked at the figures that were displayed, and couldn't help the little bit of a jaw drop, though she quickly recovered and snapped her mouth shut.

She frowned a bit as she looked at the numbers again. The list of entities that she could think of that had pockets that deep was pretty short; there were the governments of Feila and Dmitri, a handful of corporate groups, and one other she could think of. It was the last one that worried her the most, though a move like this seemed almost beneath that entity that occupied the space around Nantes, or at least it seemed that way by her limited knowledge. She couldn't help but cringe a little when Robinson mentioned her having supernatural abilities. It did seem that her father had given up those details.

Eventually she spoke. "Do you know where on Feila we're going to find this thing? Why would my abilities be specifically needed to retrieve it?" She asked "And who are your employers?" She hadn't explicitly agreed to the deal, but it wasn't like she had much other choice anyway so she spoke as if it were a done deal.

((Holidays were pretty good, thanks. How were yours? Sorry for the slow posting, playing post holiday catch-up at work has been eating into my time/mental capacity for posting.))

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Alden » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:32 am

(I'm not sure that I have anything productive to add, so I'll skip my turn this time I suppose)
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Sade » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:44 am

(No worries about slow posting. I’m back at college and a new semester just started, so I’m in the same boat. Holidays were a nice break from coursework but not much else for me.

I’m going to leave the details surrounding the magicapacitor’s current location, whether it is still defended and by whom, etc, to you Asyriel. I don't want to monopolize control of the plot.)

Robinson depressed additional controls on the tabletop and withdrew a data card from a slot along its edge, “I can do you one better than telling you where it is; I can give you leads and let you figure it out.” He handed the data card to her, “this contains all the data I’ve gathered about its location. My best information places it in the ruins of Edwin, at least as of a hundred years ago anyway.”

“As for why I need your powers… that is something you might want to see for yourself...” He stepped back toward the table and manipulated its switches. The cascade of credits fizzled out and was replaced by… something. The holoprojector created a 2D plain like a floating screen and played a video file on it. The imagery was confusing at first until it popped into perspective: they were viewing a rough landscape from far above, perhaps through a Feila-observation satellite. The video was grainy and degraded by compression artifacts from being copied and recopied and recopied over hundreds of years. It was a skirmish; a few dozen feilans in combat with each other. They scurried about. Primitive flying machines hovered overhead, harassing them with gunfire. At the center of all this was a dragon. Even through all the file corruption and the birds-eye view it was impossible to miss what she was doing, to miss the boulder lifting from the ground at her behest and hurtling through the air to smash into one of the machines. The flying machine- the helicopter- tumbled from the sky, struck the ground and exploded as its volatile liquid fuel ignited. The satellite operator had evidently had an interest in the dragon, for the image ballooned up as its optics tried to get an image of her face. Alas the task was beyond the surveillance technology of the time and there just wasn’t any good detail there.

Robinson reversed the video and paused it at the moment the boulder left the ground. “That,” he said, jabbing a metal claw at the jittering image of the dragon, “is your adversary.”

“Well… she was the last known protector of the artifact, anyway. Who she was, I can’t tell you. Every time I come close to finding something out about her, I come up against… encryption, unlike anything the Agony’s computers have seen before.” He shrugged his cybernetic shoulders. “Not just any normal person could walk up to this thing and take it for his own. I am sure of that. Everything else I’ve been able to scrounge up is on the data card.”

The question about his employers did not faze him. “Religious fundamentalists,” he said, sneering another mutilated sneer in contempt of the concept, “very secretive folk. They wear powered armor to conceal themselves when talking with outsiders. But they’re harmless enough. And rich enough.”

“They want to leave the solar system in search of their god. If they want to go get themselves killed they’re free to it, as long as they pay me first.” He waved a prosthetic hand dismissively, “Ludolf can show you the way, if you have a need to meet them,” his yellow eyes bore into them, “just don’t waste my time sating idle curiosity. You have a job to do. Get it done.”

----

Of the few things they’d had left to discuss, Ludolf, the grizzly bear with the artificial eye from before, was probably the biggest contention. Robinson had decided that the bear would accompany them on their mission. Nominally he would be a part of the crew and subject to Sakura’s orders, but he was obviously there to keep an eye on them for the old wolf.

Ludolf’s cybernetic left eye glowed its baleful red glow as he escorted them back through the Agony’s corridors to the docking gantry and the Inari. He was somewhat short, but massive, wide and heavily built; thick brown fur covered some of the paunch and corpulence typical of his species layered over the dense bulk of a powerful musculature.

He’d been startled when he learned he’d be accompanying them, but now his expression was neutral. He wordlessly followed the dragon and otter into their ship. The airlock cycled and almost immediately they lurched as the docking clamps disengaged and the Black Agony unceremoniously released them. The huge Gothic menace heaved up and twisted away as Robinson set a new course, intent on whatever other business he had to attend to. They’d survived their encounter, after a fashion.

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Asyriel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:42 pm

Sakura kept herself from rolling her eyes when Robinson claimed he was doing better than telling her where it was by giving her some information, and letting her do the work. The fact that the last reliable information about the artifact's location was a hundred years old was concerning. She took the memory card from him though and stuffed it into her flight suit, presumably in the same place she had kept the chip she had given Robinson.

Robinson mentioned seeing why he needed her abilities for herself, and she couldn't help the slight frown as the wolf called something new up on the display. The frown deepened in the first few seconds, until she realized exactly what she was looking at. She wouldn't have been surprised if the video they were watching was older than some of his information. The events in the footage itself would have been unbelievable had it not been that she was capable of similar feats. Something else struck her more than the flying boulder was a strange feeling of recognition. She felt like she had met that dragon before, though for all she knew the dragon in the video was long dead. She dearly wished the closeup image had been discernible. Robinson's claim that the dragon in the video was her adversary elicited an incredulous look on her part, but the wolf seemed fairly convinced. The fact that information about her was apparently well guarded made the whole scenario just that much more confusing.

She wasn't sure she believed that Robinson was actually working for religious fanatics either. It was quite possible he believed he was, but she wasn't too sure about it. "I might go visit them." She commented. "I'd like to know just how they expect a broken artifact to get them out of the solar system." She let the comment about satin idle curiosity roll off her shoulders. If she was going to do all the hands on work, she wanted to be as informed as she possibly could.

Robinson's insistence of sending Ludolf along with them rubbed her the wrong way. She hated having a crew member basically forced on her without any kind of interview, and even worse was that it seemed felt he was outside any of her command. The only consolation was that it had seemed he wasn't expecting, or too pleased with the situation either. She was a little surprised at the Inari's lurch and how quickly the Black Agony released them.

Sakura sighed and turned to Alfred. "Well, I suppose that could have gone worse." She commented quietly. She turned her attention to Ludolf for a moment. "Bunks are down that way." She told the bear, pointing in the direction of the crew quarters. "May as well grab an unoccupied one for yourself." She prompted, hoping to buy a few minuted alone with Alfred. "Alfred, come help me set a new course please." She said before heading for the cockpit. Once they were hopefully alone, she turned to the otter. "I think this is more complex that a group of religious zealots trying to leave the solar system." She told Alfred, hoping for his thoughts on their current situation.

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Re: Seeking Fortune

Post by Alden » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:28 pm

The otter followed Sakura back to the cockpit, also eager to avoid the new crewman for now. He nods. "I agree. Even if that device does have a navigational purpose, its not for nothing that someone would want to leave the system. Seems more likely to be some kind of component for something larger, or perhaps a computer of sorts."

He scowls. "I don't like how Robinson forced that bear on us. Especially since he's got cybernetics.That eye could be showing Robinson everything for all we know. If possible, I'd like to check for any unregistered coms in the area. Maybe jam them too, just to see if that affects our new..... friend..." He suggests, scratching at his whiskers. "So... where to captain?" He asks, taking his seat once again.
"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

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