“Prepare for FTL travel.” An automated voice sounded throughout the frigate. The stars that sat still in space soon became beams of lights that cascaded around the ship like horizontal rainfall. The lights of stars, nebula's, and other interstellar clouds formed in to a kaleidoscope of colours as the ship blasted through space at faster than light speeds. It was one of those things where if you've seen it once, you've seen it a thousand times, but it still never ceased to amaze her.
[+purple “Lieutenant Tatum.”] A voice said and she quickly looked from one of the port windows and back to the present. She was in the Command Bridge, dominated by computers and engineers manning them. At the helm were two pilots flying the sophisticated machine. But the most important of all of the stations here, was the one she was standing in.
The centre of the Command Bridge dropped down a few steps and a large holographic table and star chart stood between those who were present. Tallulah's gaze levelled on the man directly across from her. An older man with thick black hair and a beard to match. He was uniformed much like she was, but decorated with many metals and an immaculate sword on his hip. His uniform also had long decorative leather tassets to denote rank. [b “Supreme Commander Pendragon.”] She says with a slight nod. The Commander grunts in affirmation before continuing with the task at hand.
[+purple “I'm assuming everyone read the briefing files for our mission.”] He addressed the small unit. There were six of them in total that were 'active Patrollers' for this mission. Pendragon moves his hand and the surface of the table in between them comes to life, casting images of a solar system. With a few more gestures, one of the planets is selected and then zoomed in on, and then zoomed in on again to show a holographic layout of their target: New Hope City. A technological giant on the planet and a bustling metropolis despite the world's dwindling population. [+purple “None of you have been to Earth before, and the documents you read won't do it justice when I say this; Earth is a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a place left long ago because of its lack of resources and population support.”]
[+blue “That's an interesting way to put it.”] The man next to Tallulah says and she promptly kicks his ankle. They both exchange looks and the man tries not to grin which makes Tallulah grin despite trying to choke it down. He could always get to her.
[+purple “Do I need to separate you two, Lieutenant Tatum? Lieutenant Decarlo?”]
[+blue “Sir, no, sir.”] Decarlo says and straightens alongside Tallulah. The Supreme Commander eyes them for a moment, with his signature low growl.
Tallulah Tatum and Booker Decarlo weren't exactly trouble makers. On the contrary; they were Commander Pendragon's first picks on this mission. The two had a long history together, first meeting in the Patroller Academy and then having the miracle of being assigned the same company once out on Patrol. Tallulah was a crack-shot with anything with a stock and a strong tactician. On the flipside, Booker was exceptional in close-quarters combat and an equally gifted tactician. The two worked extraordinarily well together, their teamwork being commended on several assignments they went on together and why they continue to be kept in the same company. They were family at this point. And other than him and the Supreme Commander, Tallulah wasn't familiar with the other three that were here, but she was sure she would get to know them eventually. Booker and Tallulah went over the briefing together and it seemed like it was going to be a long one.
[+purple “As I was saying: we had no leads until now, the NHPD coming in to contact with a group known as 'the Syndicate'. Not much is known about the Syndicate other than their status as an organized vigilante group and that they're based out in the slums. They're the ones who came in to contact wit our lead, a woman who is supposedly in possession of strange abilities, and could be the link to all the unusual activity in the slums.”] Right. Something fishy was happening on Earth, and they sent another agent to investigate and they went missing. This was the GDF's response; a specialized team of Patrollers. [+purple “We're currently on our way to meet with the Chief of the NHPD and this woman in their custody, and for the time being that is all I have to say. Dismissed.”] And just like that, everyone began to move back to their stations. Except Tallulah. It took a moment for Commander Pendragon to notice her as he was staring intently at a holographic tablet in his hands. His eyes narrow when he sees she had not heeded his orders.
[+purple “Something on your mind, Tallulah?”] Good, he used her first name. He wasn't pissed off at her then.
[b “Everything you said was in the written briefing, including actual details about the assignment. You were basically just trash talking Earth.”]
[+purple “I wanted to make sure you all were perfectly aware of how treacherous Earth can be. I can't write my personal opinions in an official document.”] He tells her and Tallulah nods at that. [+purple “Now go back to your station; we will be arriving in New Hope City shortly.”] And with that, the Supreme Commander goes back to his tablet and Tallulah heads back to her station to wait.
In the mean time, Tallulah headed to 'her station', which was actually lower-engineer deck mess hall B , and her and Booker went over the briefing again armed with Pendragon's opinion about Earth. If it was as treacherous as he said, then the Patroller who went missing could've hit any number of snags. It was unfortunate that they didn't get any specific information about what the undercover operative was looking in to, but from the pieces they had that he had before he went missing, it looked like he didn't know either. Lots of mention of the underground, an arms deal, and some gangs. There must have been some codes he was trying to decipher too, because there were strange circular markings, a triangular one, a crescent, and an Oni. [b “Dude was weird.”] Tallulah comments.
“Approaching Earth's defensive grid.” Rang over the intercoms and the frigate exited warp-speed, the cornucopia of colours faded back to the black and white of normal space. However, this time instead of far off stars being in sight, this time it was a big globe of blue and green. It was sort of mesmerizing. The place where humanity began. She had only ever seen pictures or holograms of Earth, and it was a lot bigger than she had expected it to be.
However, she didn't get to admire the view for long as the spacecraft plunged in to Earth's atmosphere and ripped through the sky in to New Hope City. It was night time here, but the closer you got to the city, the brighter it got with all of the lights and large buildings. The place was a metropolis, bigger than some countries on the planet she was from, and Tallulah was suddenly struck with how much ground they were going to have to cover for this assignment with just six people... And the NHPD and their vigilantes. She had almost forgotten about them.
The ship descends on to a large platform that was part of the NHPD headquarters. The building itself was large enough to hold an army, heavily fortified and lit up like most of the city. However, something that she had noticed now that she was on the ground and closer, everything seemed to have a level or dirt layer over it, probably due to pollution and overpopulation.
The Patroller team lines up behind their Supreme Commander in the cargo bay as the bay doors descends in to a ramp, the welcoming committee waiting at the bottom for them. She thought they were going to start moving when the ramp fully extended, but the Commander just stood there, staring down his nose at the crew waiting for them at the end. He just stared down at them, his face in its permanent scowl as he looked over the members of the police. [+purple “Bring me to the Chief and the woman.”] He tells them.
Watching as the GDF Command Frigate cut through the clouds and descended to the landing pad, the shadows stirred in anticipation. The space between buildings was dark, but did not provide a proper view to the arrival of the esteemed Supreme Commander Pendragon. So the shadows stirred once again before a figure darted from them and scaled the building, unseen by the authorities and invisible to their technology. Speed brought them to the top of the building and skill made sure they were unseen by all.
And it looks like hard work paid off, because the bay doors of the frigate opened and lowered, revealing the Supreme Commander of the Milky Way Galactic Defense Force. The sword on his hip drew their attention and made them very aware of the katana that lay at the ready upon their back. Pendragon was known to be a legendary soldier, and his swordsmanship skills were supposedly unmatched in the galaxy, and it made them itch to test that claim. But now was not the time. There were other things that needed attending.
[+red “They have arrived.”] The voice was modulated, but understandable and spoken in to a wrist communicator. [+red “The Supreme Commander is with them, but we will continue as planned. I will return shortly.”]
One of the officers turns his head over to the darkened part of rooftop, thinking he might have heard something. However, he sees nothing, just darkened shadows and unoccupied space... It must have been their imagination.