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Once dismissed the group made their way to the ship and to the bridge. It was almost like second nature to everyone at this point; recognizing where they were supposed to be and seating themselves without a word. Much like Azera and Kai, Wade took a seat so he wouldn't be an obstruction to anyone. Zavier himself sat down in the Command Chair, flipping a few switches and checking the internal communications systems were working and that the Star Chart was online and functional. Their destination was blinking in the holographic projection in front of him.
It seemed everyone was immersed in what they were doing, but when Bokesh spoke to Jet, she looked up at him with a smile and a twinkle in her eye. Zavier couldn't get a bead on her; was she excited about the weapons or the Moag? [+8A2BE2 “Just call me 'Jet', Bokesh. And you're gonna love them. Trust me.”] And she winks.
[+808080 “How are our weapons and deep space communications?”]
[+8A2BE2 “All green, Commander.”] She said without even flinching. After a moment she looks over her shoulder at Zavier and grins slightly, and Zavier returns it with a polite smile. These different attitudes were something he was going to have to get used to. The Argonites were a stoic people, often criticized by other races for their 'lack of personality'. He just had to remind himself that this kind of thing [i wasn't] insubordination. And he thinks Jet might be trying to get a rise out of him which was... kind of funny he guessed?
He's brought back to reality when the ship begins moving out of the base. Everything seemed to be going smoothly so far, and when he looked to Vale expertly handling the controls, he could see why. From all of his experience in the Argonite Navy, Zavier could tell that when they were in the capable hands of a skilled pilot, and Vale was definitely one. He trusted what her file had to say about her, but experiencing it was always different.
[+red “This thing runs wicked smooth.”]
[+8A2BE2 “You can say that again. Thank our pilot.”] Jet says.
[+red “Thanks, pilot.”] They were both in their own levels of awe. To be fair, so was Zavier, but his wasn't visibly noticeable.
[i “Commander, we have reached safe distance to engage FTL Drive, on your command...”] Vale said and Zavier nodded. This was the moment; the true testament to the capabilities of the Fellowship. It was quite exciting to be in command of this new vessel and to see how she ran. He could feel everyone holding their breath in anticipation for them to hit FTL.
Zavier leans back in his chair and puts his hands in a steeple. [+808080 “Take her away, Lieutenant Commander.”] And with that, Vale pushes the lever forward and the stars become streaks as they entered FTL travel. And when Vale told them how long it would take to get to the Telmun system and that they were only working on the fifth setting, he had to admit he was impressed with the ship and Vale's knowledge of Zythanite crystals. He wasn't aware of that. [+808080 “Impressive work, Vale Ostera. Your file doesn't do you justice.”]
It didn't seem like they would be able to enjoy the moment for much longer when Azera began to act up and left the bridge. The Vorta Knight followed in tow and Zavier frowned. It seemed everyone already had their opinions set on the two criminals and Zavier had to do his best to temper his own. However, at the levied insult, Wade just grinned. This couldn't be good.
[+red “No need to come to my defence there, darling. I'm quite the handful when I need to be. Just don't need to be right now.”]
Jet turns and grins at Bokesh. [+8A2BE2 “He's an explosives expert, bet he's [i real fun] to party with.”]
[+red “I'm sure the Moag will learn I'm tons of fun. Its hard not to love me, why do you think I'm here?”]
[+808080 “Be that as it may,”] Zavier chimes in, his tone flat as usual. [+808080 “Everyone here has a job to do, and all that will be expected of anyone is that they do it to their fullest capability. Military, Chief, Knight, and Convict alike. Professionalism saves lives.”]
Wade puts his hands up in defence. [+red “He started it.”]
[+808080 “Not very professional, Wade Lawry.”] Zavier stands up from his seat. [+808080 “Either way, its finished now. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check on our two other allies. The command is all yours, Lieutenant Commander.”] He was sure Kai could deal with Azera as needed, but he didn't feel right leaving the Vorta Knight to fend for himself. They had six hours to get everyone on the same page, and it seemed Azera was a different kind of variable in this. The Argonites didn't like variables.
When Zavier leaves the bridge, Wade leans back in his seat. [+red “Woowee! That guy is some kind of intense. We got any eats on this rig?”]
Vale took up her seat and prepared for the debriefing. Beside her sat Zavier to one side, and Bokesh on the other. Between those two she not only felt very small, but looked it. Veridians were commonly known for the tall and lithe figures, but Vale was uncommonly short for her people. She looked up towards both of them and then to Vadura as he welcomed them and began to explain what was afoot.
A holographic display began to emit images and reports on Univar and his ship. Vale thought it resembled a snake slithering through the darkness of space. At the table, Azera yawned as if bored, and continued to file her nails into sharp points, which caused a disproving look from Bokesh. Vale remained focused on Vadura’s briefing and their soon departure to the Telmun system. She wasn’t dissuaded by his mention of being out numbered and out gunned. The Veridians had been holding Univars forces back for five years now. An impressive feat. With a few taps on her tablet, she began a download of Vadura’s briefing so she could refer to it later in the future.
The truth was revealed that the base was running on emergency supplies and if they didn’t find the lost shipments soon, they’d be out of the game before it ever started. Jet seemed to think it was Space Pirates, something Vadura was certain wasn’t the case. Azera had another idea of what it could be.
[+red “I agree, pirates are sloppy. Stereotypes exist for a reason. This is a tactile group, probably special ops, or top class mercenaries. Taking out an armed shipping fleet, comes with its own inherent risk. I suspect they’ll be operating from a smaller vessel, with their own fliers designed for combat and speed.”] Azera looked at Vale then, who seemed to sit a little taller, more defensive and glared back. [+red “I hope you’re as good as they say you are little Veridian.”] Vale didn’t respond, just frowned and looked back to Vadura with a determined expression. As it stood, Telmun refused to send more supplies until the problem was dealt with. Vale couldn’t blame them, resources were always in high demand, and certain ones could always cost more than one might want to pay.
They were eventually dismissed and the group took the lift to board The Fellowship. They didn’t bother to go to their cabins, instead making their way to the bridge. Outside in the hangar alarm lights and sounds were going off for personnel to clear the hangar, as the doors were opening and the particle barriers would also be lowering soon. Bokesh took his seat at tactical with Jet, giving her a friendly shake of his hand. Both of them would be manning the weapons and communication.
[+blue “Excited to work with you Ms. Jet. Can’t wait to play with the new toys you brought for us too.”] If no-one knew any better, one might say Bokesh was flirting by the way he smiled and eyed the woman. Kai and Azera took a seat on the bridge, though they were not officers, they would remain present in the event their skills were needed. Vale took her seat at the helm and began to punch in her access code. She even had engineering readings displayed before her, and she glanced over to see someone was sitting beside her at the helm. She gave them the engineering display to help her through the preflight checklist.
[#87cefa “FTL Containment field stable.”]
[#87cefa “Engines powered. Impulse engines,”]
[i “stable and ready,”]
[#87cefa “Fuel levels”]
[i “Zythanite Crystal levels at full capacity.”]
[#87cefa “Disengaging inertial dampeners, releasing docking clamps, and initiating Nacell engines.”]
The ship began to hum with the power from the engines, while Vale worked quickly across the console, taping away like a master pianist.
[i “Systems are a go,”] she was told, and she pushed a series of buttons to begin thrusters, and slowly they began to move forward out of the hangar and into space.
[#87cefa “The Fellowship has left base... clearing base in 200 kilometers... 100 kilometers... 50, 25...10... We are clear for impulse engines. Let’s warm her up before we go full FTL.”] Vale suggested, and the ship’s impulse engines began to glow a bright blue and they were suddenly sailing quickly away from the base and towards the Telmun system. Now that they were moving, Vale prepared a course and laid it in.
[#87cefa “Commander, we have reached safe distance to engage FTL Drive, on your command...”] When Zavier gave the order, Vale reached for an actual lever and pushed it forward. The ship then vanished from sight and was zipping through the cosmos as FTL speeds. [#87cefa “We should be reaching the outer rim of the Telmun system in six hours, Commander. I’m currently running at FTL-set 5 out of nine, I don’t want to max the engines out and cause damage before we’ve started. Zythanite crystals are incredibly powerful, but new ones need broken in, just like a new pair of shoes.”] she grinned.
[+red “Well I’m already bored.”] Azera said and stood up to find something better to do. With her departure, Kai also stood up to follow her. She stopped at the doors of the bridge and glared at him. [+red “I don’t need a babysitter.”] she chided, but Kai seemed to disagree, and followed her out anyway. It was Bokesh’s turn to speak now, and he spoke with a frown towards Wade as well.
[+blue “These felons are going to be more trouble than they’re worth... mark my words...”]
[#87cefa “Optimism, Mr. Thane, Mr. Lawrey has behaved himself so far... perhaps not both of them are such a lost cause.”] In a way she had openly agreed that Azera might not have been the best choice, but as she’d said... time would tell. For now they had smooth sailing towards Telmun.
It seemed that Zavier wasn't going to have the luxury of meeting everyone one at a time. After Zavier, Vale, and Captain Vadura were acquainted, everyone else came in to join the party. It made sense though since many of them were pooling together to get here, more covert that way and someone [i had] to transport the two prisoners here as well. They had specialists, muscle, engineers, espionage, and... His eyebrow quirks up at Kai when he speaks to Zavier. The words passed over him and tingled his psychic senses in a peculiar way. He didn't know very much about the Verdun, nor did he know much about Vorta Knights, but Zavier breathed a little easier knowing Kai was an ally.
Zavier bows his head and salutes Kai and Bo'Kesh, as a show of respect for their bravery and attendance. It seemed they had an interesting collection for their team, especially when Jet and Wade joined them finally. It was a lot different when you see people in the flesh rather than reading their dossiers. For instance, Zavier wouldn't have imagined Wade wearing a cowboy hat or how bubbly Jet seemed to be. They seemed to realize that the briefing was starting and rather than holding them up with more pleasantries, they took their seats. Which was just as well because Vadura seemed to be growing impatient... or at least least that's what Zavier thought; that might just be his face.
[b “I'm glad that you all could join us today. As I am hoping you already know, this team was put together by the Coalition in an effort to stop the Univar threat.”] And in the centre of the table, a holographic display lit up and rendered a three dimensional model of a dreadnought. Supposedly Univar's . The ends of the ship were blurry and out of focus, showing that whatever had captured this image of Univar's main ship had caught it on the move. From what Zavier could see of it, it was extremely smooth, almost serpentine with little to no portholes or windows to blemish the exterior. It almost blended in with the darkness of space which might explain why pieces of it seemed to be missing from the render.
[b “We are outmanned and outgunned, Univar being able to destroy entire sectors at a whim, and so far everything we've thrown at him has done nothing more than piss him off.”] Hopefully Vadura wasn't trying to inspire confidence. He was doing a poor job of it. [b “For the moment though, what our first undertaking is, is a visit to the Telmun System. The Telmun have agreed to supply us with valuable resources that we'll need for this war but there's been a little bit of a hiccup in their shipments. They've been disappearing once they leave the system and since we've been having more and more personnel and ordinance shipped here, its become imperative that we find these lost shipments. We're already dangerously low on what can be supplied to us.”]
[+8A2BE2 “Sounds like space pirates to me.”] That was an interesting opinion.
[b “That's very unlikely. These shipments are more than equipped to deal with something as simple as pirates.”]
[+8A2BE2 “Never said they were simple.”]
[b “I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say they're not space pirates. Its more likely a rogue colony or opposing military thinking the Telmun are going to make a move.”] And Jet shrugs her shoulders at that, leaning back in her seat to wait for Vadura to tell them what they were doing. [b “Investigate and get those supplies for us, the Telmun refuse to send more until the problem has been dealt with. Without the supply stream we risk our task-force not being able to lift off before we even take the fight to Univar. Dismissed.”]
Zavier stands and salutes, heading for the door and then to the hangar. It was time for the Fellowship's maiden voyage, and he was sure Vale was excited for lift off. He only hoped it flew to the specifications they were given.
Inside the conference room Vale shook Zavier’s hand, a friendly smile on her face. She was pleased to hear he shared the same sentiment. It was then another group of their party arrived. Vale turned to see a massive Moag enter the space, and she had to crane her neck back to look up at him. The next to come was a woman, who was having her cuffs removed at the door, and accompanied by a rare Verdun. By his attire and accompaniment of his single weapon, Vale knew what he was. A Vorta Knight.
Vale greeted them all excitedly, her hand tiny in Bo’kesh’s mighty fist. She was shocked to see how gentle he was, and how soft the pads of his palm was. Next was the Scion woman, Azera Zhan. She didn’t shake hands, just took a seat at the table and produced what appeared to be a nail file and was sharpening her nails.
[+green “Lt. Cmdr Ostera…”] Vale looked to see the man reaching out his hand to shake. Vale smiled and quickly accepted.
[#87cefa “You’re a Vorta knight! I mean -I’m sorry, Master Kai, I… I’ve only ever heard stories. I believed the Vorta Knights were only legends, but here you are… in the flesh!”] she had to reign it in, she was totally fan-girling. She smiled from ear to ear, her excitement almost childish, but don’t be fooled… Vale is no immature person. Kai smiled at her warmly, nothing short of amused by her radiant positive attitude.
[+green “Yes, we’re real, and I have been sent to help. Balance must be restored and maintained, and Univar threatens that balance.”] Vale nodded her head in eager agreement, and watched as he moved on to greet the others.
[+blue “Captain Vadura, Bo’kesh of the House Thane reporting for duty.”] Vadura gave an approving nod of his head and greeted Kai in the same manner.
[+green “Commander Zavier, how fortunate we have a war hero such as yourself. We’ll need that bravery if we hope to win,”] Kai said almost cryptically, Vale listening in curiously, and glanced between them both. Kai did not salute, but Bo’kesh did -in a way. He crossed his arms across his chest and pounded his first against his biceps in a show of respect to Vadura, Zavier, and Vale as his superior officers.
People moved to begin taking their seats as the final pair arrived. Vale knew that Jet would be just as impressive in real life as her dossier had worked her up to be. Vale hadn’t been expecting her to be so intimidating. As for Wade Lawry, his first impression was one that certainly amused her… until she realized he was another ex-con. She didn’t bother to say hello to Azera Zhan… Vale already knew everything she needed to know about that Traitor.
The next ship to arrive was a Kafar shuttle craft. Its crew consisted of three more members for the Fellowship party. Seated in the pilot’s chair was a massive beast of a man. He filled up the better part of the cabin as he reached across to begin docking preparations. His entire body was covered in velvet soft grey fur with a scattered pattern of darker grey patches, and warm amber eyes. Seated beside him dressed in robes of tan and brown, was an equally odd life form. He sat quiet and still, his eyes closed in meditation, while behind them both sat a devil of a woman. Bo’kesh of the House Thane was a Moag, standing at nearly seven feet tall and clearly the muscle of the operation. He was a respected warrior among his people who valued strength and honor above all things. Among the Coalition Moags were considered a lesser species based on the fact they were a boisterous race, full of shouting, laughter, and a penchant for fighting. To disrespect a Moag was a dangerous thing to do, for a Moag male, like Bo’kesh, could take a Terran skull and crush it in his hand with little to no effort.
His people had offered to pick up the Verdun who sat beside him, while the Verdun’s had offered to act as the Scion woman’s custodian. He had collected them both from a Maximum Security Prison station in orbit around a massive gas giant.
[+blue “landing struts stabilized. Engines shutting down. We are clear to disembark. ”] Bo’kesh informed the group. Beside him the Verdun opened his orange eyes and looked at the hangar through the plate of glass ahead of the helm. Outside robotic droids and living staff moved about the hangar bay. Centered in the space was the massive ship they would be calling home during this mission.
[+green “Excellent news. That must be our new ship.”]
[+blue “Just need to get the woman on that ship.”]
[+green “I don’t think we have to worry about her running, my large furry friend.”]
[+red “I can here you. I am seated behind you.”]
Her voice was grave and cold, if not a touch annoyed. Her skin was ashen white with black streaks that patterned her body and like a wreath, black horns decorated her skull and curled up from a sheet of raven black hair. Her red eyes stood our sharply against her monochromatic look.
[+blue “As if we hadn’t forgotten,”] Bo’kesh grumbled, unstrapping himself from his seat harness and getting up to leave the shuttle. The woman looked to the brute as he passed grabbing bags and boxes of gear on his way out, but now standing before her was the Verdun. She looked him up and down. From his plain beige and brown robes, dirty black boots, and nothing more than a simple belt around his waist which carried an interesting looking weapon on his hip. His skin was an odd shade of greenish brown, with long dreaded fibrous hair hanging in a mohawk down his back. His eyes were kind, despite his flat snake like face, and wooden nails.
[+green “Are you ready, Azera?”]
[+red “Are you?”] she challenged in reference to something entirely different. She raised her cuffed hands, a devilish grin on her face, and wiggled her black claw tipped nails.
[+green “You haven’t given reason to trust you. Your history warns us of making such a mistake.”]
[+red “I thought you believed in a balance, Kai. One that says a person could be saved from darkness.”] The Verdun, Kai nodded his head in agreement and reached forward to release her harness straps and helped her stand up. Her hands and fists were bound in sturdy metal cuffs of a golden hue.
[+green “You’re close, but some people are simply in too deep and can’t come back out… I fear… until proven otherwise… you have dug yourself in too deep. I can only hope that your knowledge will help us in stopping Univar. It takes Evil to know Evil…”]
[+red “Is that what you think I am?”] she smirked dangerously with pale lips.
[+green “It doesn’t matter what I think.”]
Kai walked Azera Zhan of Scion off the ship, guiding her towards the lift doors. Bo’kesh was already waiting with a bag slung across his shoulder, and crewman busy loading their cargo onto The Fellowship as well as cargo stamped with the infamous Hammertech Logo. Bo’kesh smirked. [+blue [i ‘New toys…’]] he thought to himself. The doors closed and the lift took them to the conference room.
Like the outside and the hangar, the base itself was huge. Long metal corridors lined with doors and a lot of research labs. It wasn't hard to divine that before this base was re-purposed for the use of the team it had been some kind of research facility. It had all of the features of one down to old and decommissioned mining rigs. This place must've cost a fortune to have up and running.
Zavier stops for a brief moment, a double door with lots of warning logos painted on it catching his attention. A lot of the words were in that unfamiliar language like the ship, but some of them read in Galactic Common. Lots of 'Warning' and 'Do Not Enter', and the Argonite Commander didn't really like that. And it seemed the IGC operative caught on, noticing he was no longer walking with her when she was halfway down the hall already.
“That's one of the power stations.” She tells him and Zavier glances at her from the side. “I think it mentioned somewhere in your file that you don't like surprises. I also read about your tour on Yinin. There's no biologically constructed weapons within these walls.” He couldn't help but crack a smile at that. Zavier was glad someone had a sense of humour.
[+808080 “I remember looking at a door very much like this one and heeding the warnings.”] He tells her.
The woman nods at him and gestures to the door. “I've read all of your reports as well as everyone else's.” And just when he was going to ask how that was possible—especially considering the number of reports he [i alone] has written—she answered him. “I'm an android. Would you care to take a quick look?”
Surprisingly enough, this power station was a lot smaller than he had imagined. Lots of computer consoles with servitor droids attending to them, tubes and wires, and in the centre a cylindrical dome about half of Zavier's height filled with super heated plasma that filtered through some of the tubes and in to the facility. He had a very basic understanding of what he was looking at, but he was pleased to note that there were no bio-engineered monsters lurking behind closed doors.
“The facility takes the gas from the Gas Giant, super heats it, and powers everything with the plasma created.” They did very similar things on Argon and in most of the Argonite System, but on a larger scale than this. There must be more of these power stations scattered throughout the facility in the event one shuts down. It also cut down on a lot of damage and casualties when a core was damaged. “Now if you will, please follow me.”
Of course it was her. It couldn't be anyone else, could it? What, of course they didn't need their Chief of Security for the intergalactic business empire! But she knew that it was more than that, she was just annoyed by how they were going about it.
Hammertech was an intergalactic business empire as already stated. They specialized in weaponry and space-age technology for the creation and the ability to sustain large colonies on planets to be inhabited. Kind of a niche market if you look at it, but everyone's population was always growing and everyone wanted to expand their empire. Including Hammertech.
That's where Jet came in to it. Weapon specialist, expert-combatant, and ex-Major of Exodus Prime's military. An exemplary candidate to become the Chief of Security for Hammertech's own private military, especially since every CoS seemed to have a very fast expiration date. Because of this it made them very expendable. It made Jet expendable. Hell, literally every position in Hammertech was waiting to be filled by at least a hundred cut-throat blue bloods. And just like the blue bloods, Hammertech was opportunistic. They wanted an actual seat within the IGC, not just the sway they had now. They wanted to be recognized like an actual system and hold power like one too. So who better to send in than Cereza Jet, the bad-ass Chief of Security, a shit ton of weapons, and some Shinys from their own PMC? Oh boy did that look good on their resume.
Not to mention they sent Jet to [i personally] escort one of their teammates to the IGC base that was literally out in the middle of nowhere. What was his name? Wyatt? Wayne? Something that started with a W. Some old Terran name that could be traced back to Old Earth millennia ago. Either way, from what she gleamed from his file, William or whatever, was quite the screw up, either being escorted to the IGC's newfangled team or a triple max prison planet. Both in the middle of nowhere, but swings and roundabouts. She'd take this kind of action over rotting and probably being killed in a cell any day.
[+red “Are we there yet?”] Warren or whatever asks like a child. He was shackled to a seat, his hands in front of him bound as well. Honestly, he reminded her of one of those old-school cowboys she's seen on history holo-vids. He was a rugged looking guy with dark military fatigues stitched together, and literally wore a cowboy hat. Everything about him was sort of in stark contrast to Jet who wore and was armed in the latest in Hammertech armour and weaponry. He was sort of pale and dusty like most folk from New Terra III while Jet had a dark complexion with hair to match.
[+8A2BE2 “Yup.”] She answers with a grin.
They arrived an hour later, touching down in one of Hammertech's fancy transports. Four more followed suit and soldiers armed to the teeth came filing out to join the ranks of the IGC and others race's personnel. She could see Argonite, Veridian... Were those Braxian over there?
A whistle comes from behind her, and Jet turns to see the cowboy having his cuffs removed and weapons returned to him. She followed his eyes to the work of art dead centre in the hangar. She couldn't help but whistle at it as well.
[+red “Now that it a mighty fine looking piece of machinery. Does that say 'Fellowship' on the side?”] And Jet squints at the lettering. She had no idea.
[+8A2BE2 “It sure does!”]
The briefing room was as one would expect. A large oval room with a long able in the centre, chairs lining its sides, and a large holo-screen on the far wall. However, there was an adornment that didn't belong in this room. Rather than sitting on one of the chairs, a man sat on the corner of the long conference table, arms crossed, and facing the door. Zavier was struck with his intense red gaze. As a Seisian, Vadura had stark marble skin, black hair, and completely red eyes. He was also several inches taller than Zavier who stood at six feet and an inch. Its been a long time since he's been this close to a Seisian and he forgot how intimidating they could be.
[b “Were you satisfied with what you saw?”] Vadura asked, which confused Zavier for a second. He was about to answer before someone else answered Vadura. He turns to look at the responder and it seemed to be the Veridian known as Vale. She seemed quite... Excited. But to be fair, the ship was an impressive piece of technology, he went over the specs on his way here; he'd probably be excited too if he got to fly it. But that wasn't his job. His job was worrying about Univar.
When Vale saluted, he did the same. Right fist over his left pectoral and his right hand clasped to his side. [+808080 “Lieutenant Commander Vale Ostera.”] He says and then nods his head for her to be at ease. Zavier's hand comes out to meet hers and gives her a firm handshake and a small smile. [+808080 “I am honoured to be working with you as well. I read your file and you have quite an impressive record, I'm happy to have you aboard the team.”] He was hopeful for the alliance between the Argonites and the Veridians as well.
With introducing himself to Vale out of the way, he turns to Vadura and salutes him. [+808080 “Captain Vadura.”] And the man nods. Instead of moving or anything, he motions to Zavier and Vale to take a seat.
[b “The others will be arriving soon and then we can talk about our first undertaking.”] He didn't seem happy about whatever that was supposed to be. Zavier took notice that he didn't use the word 'mission'.
[#87cefa “Five years, two hundred thirty-seven days, and thirteen hours. Roughly 15,700 IGC workers and engineers to construct the project, not including the research it took to conceptualize this ship. She has fully stocked and armed Photon Torpedos, hull-piercing Hydrogen Missiles, EMP Charges, and rechargeable phaser banks. Reinforced deflector shielding, and particle barrier shields. A state-of-the-art Zythanite Crystal FTL Drive, Nacell Plasma Engines, and impulse thrusters. All that and a stellar cartography and sciences lab that is to die for. With all those bells and whistles… I’m excited to see how she flies, Sir.”]
She stood at a whopping 5 foot six inches, with creamy pale skin, luminous blue eyes, and rusted orange hair that curled and coiffed in a feminine fashion. There was a no-nonsense air about her stature, which aided the sharp uniform she wore. She was a typical humanoid species, but as Veridian she had sharp claw-like nails, pointed ears, and sharp incisors which she showcased with a coy smile. Two men turned from the massive glass window that showed the hangar bay and inside, getting its finishing touches, The Fellowship. One man who stood was dressed in an equally sharp IGC uniform, who was undoubtedly Captain Vadura. The man beside him was a fellow Veridian, and her planet’s ambassador.
[b “Ah Captain Vadura, Lt. Cmdr Vale Ostera, of Veridian Prime. She was the top student in her graduating class, and she was the youngest of her class. Her service record is impeccable. She will be our emissary during this mission. She will be most beneficial to the mission as she is not only an engineer and perfectly qualified to infuse Veridian Technology with Argonian, she is also one of our top pilots.”] The ambassador stated, and upon her introduction, she quickly saluted her new Captain. Vadura looked her over but made no comment towards her. That didn’t deter Vale. [#87cefa “Permission to tour The Fellowship, Sir. I’d like to get familiar with a ship before I fly her.”]
Vale, who had been the first to arrive, wanted the extra time to view the helm and the engines. Vadura, seeing no reason why she couldn’t, allowed her to board the ship. Vale entered the ship with a curious eye and decided to make her way to engineering first. The ship itself was sleek, state-of-the-art, and designed to be tactical. The doors slid open at her proximity and she was granted access to the ship’s main engine room. It consisted of three aft decks, with massive tubes that rushed superheated plasma safely through the ship’s power systems, including sub-light engine speeds. They wove among the other, each matched accordingly, with control panels set out at spaced intervals depending on their appropriate system. It all centered around one massive reaction chamber, that extended from the floor to the ceiling of the massive engineering hanger. The FTL Drive reached upwards like a great monument, glowing a brilliant shade of blue, the lights marking the core casing gleamed green signaling safe parameters. At each side of aft port and Starboard, engineering ended where the massive Nacell Engines used to navigate solar systems.
The Fellowship was a feat of engineering genius. Engineering was the heart of the entire ship, it branched out to all sections, corridors and Jeffrey tubes with access panels scattered over the ship for emergency work and repairs. The vast majority of any Starship Crew held engineers capable of keeping the ship going, the engineers were the lifeblood –they kept the ship in working order, maintaining everything from Replicators, to the Simulators, FTL Drive, environmental controls, and all labs on the ship. Since this was a covert mission, a skeleton crew was all the ship was allowed, and that meant Vale might have her work cut out for her.
She made her way to the Bridge next. It was an efficient floor plan with plenty of command stations and a helm that had her rushing to the seat. She quickly occupied the comfortable leather seat and reached out to bring the panel online. She swept through the features, familiarizing herself. To be able to actually sit at the helm was much different than the manual had been allowed to tell her. The response time was instant, and she had everything from navigation control, star charting, auto-pilot, pilot assist, and manual override. Out of curiosity, and perhaps this was a bit out of bounds for her, she brought up manual pilot settings. From under the helm, a compartment opened up and a set of joysticks extended out to greet her. She took a quick note that this was specifically engineered to be structured much the same way a Veridian ship would be. How kind of them to take into consideration their Veridian Pilot. She then pulled out her own tablet from her inside coat pocket. It was a thin plate of glass, and a single tiny blue light once activated displayed a diagnostic program. Seeing as how this was to be her new bird to fly, she wanted to know everything she could. She simply placed the plate of glass on the helm and it established a connection. There was no logic in placing an unprepared pilot at the helm before launch. It would be most embarrassing if she went to depart from the dock, only to scrub the launch with ignorance. The way she saw it, she was doing the crew and mission a favor. Everything checked out with perfect marks, and she learned a few more things about the ship. Satisfied she returned the manual joysticks back to their concealed compartment under the helm and began closing out her helm to the way she found it.
[#87cefa “You are a work of art…”] she sighed in summation to the ship and gave it one final look. Other ships had begun to arrive which alerted Vale to leave the Fellowship and meet her new comrades. She had gone over their profiles before arriving, any good CO would make sure she knew her team. There were a couple names that concerned her, criminals mostly, but so long as they remained true to the mission, Vale would hope there would be no problems.
It was the Argonian Commander, Vale would be serving under, that had arrived after her. She returned to the briefing room just as Zavier did, and gave a thankful nod towards Captain Vadura who finally spoke to her.
[b “Were you satisfied with what you saw?”] he finally asked her. Vale snapped to attention immediately and nodded her head.
[#87cefa “Yes sir, she’s a work of engineering genius, Sir. I can’t wait to fly her and see what she can do.”]
Captain Vadura seemed to find her response adequate and left her to approach Zavier. Vale took the opportunity to finally claim her seat and await the rest of her team. She did not sit, however, as she waited until the Captain and Commander had made their introductions, and Vale could make her own introduction. When finally face to face with Zavier she acted in the appropriate militant response. She saluted and awaited permission to stand at ready. The Veridian Council had made it explicitly clear that Veridian was to put their best foot forward and secure an alliance with Argonians. The Prime Minister’s idea… to send Vale. While she was not much in the role of a soldier, she was a useful pilot and engineer, with plenty of the traits they looked for with an ambassadorship. A lot of Vale’s career was on the line… if she survived the mission that was.
[#87cefa “Commander Zavier, it will be an honor to serve with you, sir. I hope this will begin the first steps of a wonderful alliance between our peoples. One that hopefully can flourish if we are successful.”] A final caveat to her olive branch came in the form of the universal handshake and friendly smile.
[i Univar.] The very name was enough to send a whole room in a downward spiral of fear and uncertainty. The nature of this new entity was an enigma to the whole universe, having appeared to come from nowhere and began a brutal conquest throughout many galaxies. His might and his forces spread fast as they left chaos and mayhem in their wake. Empires that had stood for thousands of years were brought down in days by Univar's power.
That was the more complex problem that the universe at large was facing. Univar seemed to conquer and destroy indiscriminately; occupying one sector and completely obliterating the other. The latter has become the greatest concern for the super powers of the universe, especially since no pattern or goal could be ascertained from the destruction, so potentially everyone could be a target, and no one could seemingly stop him.
These super powers made up the organization known throughout the universe as 'the Intergalactic Coalition', an organization tasked with keeping order within the universe. The universe itself was far from a peaceful place, wars and skirmishes between galactic authorities being commonplace, but it has been many centuries since they've had to come together over a crisis like this. And even then there was nothing close to the magnitude of Univar. It was a daunting and nigh impossible task, but the IGC wasn't going to give up without trying, especially after losing several allied members to Univar. Those remaining had a plan, but it was one that had to remain a secret because if Univar caught wind of it, they would surely be destroyed. There were only a select few of trusted people that knew about this, and as such they began doing what was necessary for the mission.
Zavier had been briefed, much like everyone else had, so he was told. The intergalactic threat of Univar was on everyone's radar's and the IGC was putting together a team to take down Univar. Covertly. And by any means necessary. So not covertly if worse comes to worse. Zavier himself was recruited for his tactical prowess in the Argonite Navy, his advanced psychic abilities, and as his discretion, having been on some very hush-hush missions before. This came with Osmium level clearance, very [i high level] clearance, some Argonite support personnel, and his rank of Commander carried over from the Argonites to the IGC. The only person on deck who was ranked above him was a man known as Captain Vadura.
He read Vadura's file, as well as the other's who would be joining them on the team, and it seemed they were all fairly competent, but there were other members who... concerned him. The Captain wasn't one of them. He was from the Seisian System, and had been a Major General for many years, and Zavier has never seen so many black boxes on someone's file in his life. Clearly Vadura wasn't a stranger to highly dangerous and covert missions, which might be why they had chosen him to be the Captain of this team.
Next up on the roster from Veridian Prime, a Lieutenant Commander by the name of Vale Ostera, an ace pilot and engineer. That was interesting. The Argonites haven't had a lot of dealings with the Veridian people, but he did know they were a technologically advanced people on par with the Argonites. Along with the Lieutenant Commander came some personnel and equipment as well, which would be very beneficial to them. He felt better knowing that other governments were willing to throw more than just bodies at the problem. Veridian Prime was definitely an important asset to the mission and the IGC was smart to approach them.
It was interesting to read the files of those who wanted to throw their hats in to ring. They had a Koshi, an endangered species of plant people with a strange belief system, a Clan Chief belonging to a race of shifters, and even some kind of representative from Hammertech. Then there were the two that concerned Zavier. An Azera Zhan and a Wade Lawry. A disavowed agent from Scion and an ex-mercenary convict of New Terra III, respectively. There wasn't much on Azera, other than a brief bit about her capture and that she was here because of a death penalty levelled against her for [i war crimes]. He told himself there had to be a good reason as to why she was placed on this team, and that he should probably forget he read her file unless it became pertinent. He would try to forget Wade's file as well, considering he had a laundry list of priors, and was going to be put on a triple max prison planet if he didn't agree to join. At least they had some kind of experience that would be needed in the mission they were being put through together.
“Commander.” A voice takes his attention from the files. He looks up to see one of the Ensigns standing over him expectantly. “We've arrived.” And Zavier nodded, stood up, and moved to one of the portholes, looking out in to the abyss.
The location that the IGC's team wasn't exactly disclosed to them until the very last minute, and when it was, it was just coordinates. They were in a seemingly uncharted planet system. The IGC was playing this pretty close to the chest, and now Zavier could see why. They were in an asteroid belt within spitting distance of a Gas Giant, and upon approaching one of the larger asteroids, Zavier could make out a structure built in to the rock. It was hard to tell exactly how large it was because it was built in to the asteroid, but he assumed the base itself took up most of the radius. It was something hard to miss and detect, which he assumed is why they chose this location. It also didn't have any identifying markers... What were they doing here before they used it for this alliance?
Large hangar doors open, and the Argonite shuttle enters an energy field before landing on solid concrete. It was just like Zavier had imagined; the interior was enormous, holding multiple shuttles with room for more, and a larger cruiser in the centre. The cruiser in question seemed to be going through some final pieces of maintenance, and had symbols airbrushed on the side, something in an unfamiliar dialect.
“Commander Zavier?” He turns to look at them. It was one of the support staff. He could tell because of their uniform very reminiscent of IGC operatives. “Captain Vadura is in the briefing room and is waiting for you and the others to arrive. Please follow me.”
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