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 Scions of the Core (First Contact)

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The Tyllic Empire

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PostSubject: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:58 pm

HCO Pathkk, Hunter-Class Frigate, Gadren System
“Are we prepared to launch the probe?”
“Affirmative, Commandant.”
“Fire.”

The entire frigate lurched as the probe detached and engaged its engines. After several tense seconds, a steady flow of data began to accumulate about the system.

“Remind me again why we’re bothering with these sweeps?” remarked the communications operator.
“High Command wants us to keep exploring Deep Core systems, and try to find at least one intact Library World. I thought you read the briefing.” The Commandant’s voice was monotone and uninterested, even in the borderline insubordination of his lesser. “Not likely that we shall find anything recoverable, however."

Nor would they. The Library World before them was majestic, true. It was a construct of remarkable size, nearly eight kilometers wide. Its orbit of the lone planet in the system, a dead, unnamed world, was stable, but the satellite was obviously inactive: A gaping hole had been shot through to its reactor core, and it was now all but gone, a shell lying in a field of debris seared by beam weaponry.

“Well, the probe hasn’t found any intact technology, Commandant. Should we…”
“… Yes, soldier? What’s the problem?” The other station operators halted in their duties, starting to take interest in the conversation.
“I’m reading… life signs, Commandant. It’s-“
“US, fool. It’s us.”
“Commandant, with all due respects, these readings are far larger than our ship’s crew capacity. We… wait.” The operator looked at his  iridescent green displays as they rang a quiet tone, flashing a bright orange light.
“Engine signatures to aft! Probe has them at roughly five thousand System Grid Units!” The rest of the bridge jumped at the cry, jumping to stations.

“Alright then, bring us about,” shouted the captain, “and activate battle code. All troops need to be suited up and at stations.” The crew scrambled about, grabbing helmets and activating weapons consoles. The viewport at the fore of the bridge was deactivated, and heavy plating slid down over the outside. It was promptly replaced by several lowered screens, displaying various types of sensory input of the nearest thousand SGUs.

“Advance, full speed. And get a coms-link with the nearest friendly forces. Let’s pray to the First Ones this isn't a Warlord fleet we have here. ” The Pathkk lurched forward, leaving the outskirts of the debris field – and their probe – behind. After all, why scavenge some wreckage when you can engage in the anxiety and exhilaration of combat?
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Magna Aurelia

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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:00 pm

Near the system's edge, another disturbance was taking place as something shot out a bubble of tachyneutrinos- nucleon decay byproducts resultant from some sort of anomaly's reaction. Traveling at a factor of several c, the tachyons would be detectable on properly-equipped vessels in three-second pulses until the final pulse passed after the sixteenth second. Aside from residual electromagnetic radiation, tachyon receptors honed towards the pinpoint disturbance would go silent once more.

---

"U'zorvb, ready your men: We've got a signature on our receptors."

The Z'srus B'nik's helmsman- completely covered in bumpy chitinous armor down to his tail and head- brandished a bodkin arrow in his gauntleted hands while his fingertips directed the point until it overlapped the arrow's shaft. The suited Aurelian kept his attention on a gelatinous dashboard, where tendrils of opaque flesh continuously remolded into strings of Aurelian text.

Behind the bridge's closed portals, in the overgrown hallway marched two Xu'tharin who, though unprotected from the surrounding void's vacuum, were still sufficiently covered by chitinous plate mail that would brush off slashing attacks with ease. Two Tihn'tharin guards faced each other outside of the doorway while their pikes' spearpoints rested gently against the endothelia. Fluorescent fungi-like organisms grew along the endothelium wall's crevices, providing what little light the Aurelian guards utilized to watch each other and the six portals leading into other biological tubules. One Tihn'tharin guard lifted his head in response to his peer's voice.

"Do you listen to what is going on?"

The aroused soldier maintained his gaze while gesturing towards the foremost portal. "If you have no faint clue, go and join our brothers and sisters in the armory! We've got a suspect convoy in sight; probably carrying our fugitives we seek."

"Hm-"

Hiss!

Both Aurelians reclaimed their attention towards the hallway's rear exit as its muscle valve contracted inward, revealing P'zrilil G'yakli as she stepped into the corridor in her chitin mail.

"R'zrku and H'snin, we need you two at the boarding proboscis. We are going to blend in under the cover of darkness, sneak up behind the convoy scarcely any meaningful distance away, and penetrate one of their ships's hull. Our Tihn'tharin have primed the appropriate A'kronin taz-" animal-like field 'guns' which spat globs of solidified toxic materiel. "- for firing position!"
"Fair enough," the starboard sentry replied as his resting pike straightened up into attention as with his partner. The three Aurelian Xu'tharin retreated down the corridor and rear exit until the vessel's expansive hangar came into view.

The port end's proboscis tubes retracted into septa-columns as loincloth-garbed Tihn'tharin finalized their boarding party's necessities. The same bioluminescent fungi in the corridor appeared in great quantity along the hangar's crevices and folds overlapping the floor, ceiling and spongy walls. To a human nose, assuming one did not die from the Aurelian cyanide-methane atmosphere, rotting insectoid flesh signaled the presence of Gol'Azkhorzin laborers, although they were bizarrely absent from the Tihn'tharin's endeavors. Most probably because of heightened paranoia following Dei'korari Azun's Departure from Tantalus as those damned rebels massacred tens of thousands of Aurelian children in their vengeful reclamation…

This raid was going to be a success, P'zrilil knew, but no longer would the Aurelians assume certainty over everything: Decades worth of osmium-iridium compounds were extracted from Tantalan crust until the Killings occurred, and that alone was probable justification for the Tantalans to mass-produce their ill-gotten warp drives until Aurelia proper fell under the AMFT's hands.

---

The blobby Aurelian ship was honing in on the Christanan convoy as its Tantalan-based gravity drives burned along, creating a neutrino signature which could give the slightest clue to the dark vessel otherwise camouflaged by the shadowy backdrop of the voids above and below the galactic disc.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:09 pm

Commander Jager sat in his chair slouched with his head resting upon his hand. The bridge always made this humming noise that drove him crazy. It was this insistent noise made by the computer systems, in many ways it was a symbol of silence which Jager hated. He decided that he had to break the silence in small moment of rage.

"ENSIGN!" Jager shouted.

The Ensign quickly jerked around with a nervous look on his face only being able to muster the word, "Sir?"

Jager calmed himself and took a deep breath which comforted the ensign. "How much longer until we reach the outpost?"

"Three more days at this rate. A whole squad of frigates and two cargo ships aren't exactly the definition of speed." The Ensign said while turning back to his computer.

Jager spoke with a sigh. "Well it may be longer now since we are entering dead space, We can expect pirates around here. In fact, order all ships to halt and send out a probe to scan the system."

"Yes sir." The bridge said collectively.

----

A hatch opened up releasing smoke which faded away allowing the probes to launch into the space around it. Unlike Christanan ships, the probes were fast and mobile. A scan of the system would be done in a matter of minutes. The probes went around the area scanning for any unknown substances or energy signatures. The probes then began to beep which lit up the bridge's computers.

---

"Sir, we are picking up a neutrino signature." One of the Ensigns squeeked.

Jager put on a serious demeanor and stood up straight in his captain's chair. "I want all ships on yellow alert and all power to shields for all ships. We have be dealing with extremely professional pirates."
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:51 am

Aboard the Pathkk, the small crew compliment collectively held their breath as they crept towards the engine signatures at a steady speed of three System Grid Units per heartcycle. First heart beat, a pause, second heart beat, pause, both hearts contract. A fast speed for the level of secrecy they were trying to maintain, but required in order to intercept the mobile vessels.

"Energy levels are steady..." the sensors operator quietly called out to the silence of the bridge. "No energy weapons seem to be mounted on these ships."
"I can't hail them. They don't seem to cave compatible communications technology," chimed in the communications operator. "so it's possible they aren't Tyllic at all."

The entire cabin froze in place for a moment as realization sunk in.
"Communications, how's that link with reinforcements coming along?" The Commandant's voice lost its composure, slipping into the Tyllic casual dialect. The rest of the bridge tried to ignore their suddenly weakened leader with whatever tiny calibrations and menial tasks were available as the operator signed in a negative over the crews' Battle-web, linked into their helmets.

Another orange triangle appeared on the main sensor display - both the bridge screen lowered over the now-closed viewport, as well as the hexagonal screen at the sensor operator's station. The operator hardly had to look at the update before alerting the rest of the crew to the problem.
"Potential hostility! One of the ships just launched a flight of what register as light drones, possible attack group!"
The Commandant perked up in a mix of excitement and disbelief natural to a Core World Tyllic. "That's enough hiding. Charge pulse rounds to combat capacity, get the Battle-web's artificial coordinator running, and switch in-ship communications to headset signals."

Thirty-nine affirmative responses lit up his helmet's internal display and were promptly deleted by the Battle-web's automatic coordinator.
The Commandant then signaled out a rise in speed from 3 SGUs per heartcycle to the maximum of 18 SGUs.

Unfortunately, the sensors operator had failed to note the lifeforms in their path due to the launch warning.
The entire ship shot forward in the deep of space and... glanced... off the carapace of the bioship. Inside the frigate, gravity generators struggled to keep consistency, tossing loose objects and crew around. The Battle-web exploded with chatter, crewmen opening subchannels to contact who they wanted. One of the crew had blood inside of his helmet, obscuring his visor. He signaled a minor injury to those who raised questions.

[BwIDSens1: Ship reads on the biological scans, sir. I... apologize for my oversight.
[BwIDCom1: Noted. Steady us with the galactic plane, helmsman. Bring us about.
[BwIDWep1: Pulse particles at optimal energy levels. Weapons loaded.
[BwIDCom1: Lock onto biological signature. All crew, prepare to engage.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:41 am

"We are closing in on the convoy! Xu'tharin, ready your staves, bows, and bolts-"

"Kh'uunari G'yakli! We-"

The towering, irritated Aurelian warrior span counterclockwise until her face met H'snin's. The latter threw his fingers to one of the hangar's carbon fiber-reinforced viewports:

"Look! We have something inbound-"

"What-"

The instant Kh'uunari G'yakli's vision encountered the approaching Tyllic vessel which loomed overhead, it was too late:

Grrrrrrrn- shhhhhriek!

---

The damage dealt upon the Z'srus B'nik looked pretty nasty. An entire sheet of carapace some five meters long, six decimeters wide, and two decimeters deep ripped away from the underlying flesh matrix; there, arterial passages spurted gaseous, green-blue blood into space for several minutes until the Z'srus B'nik's muscular wall severed blood circulation near the collision site, forming a cauliflower-like ovoid of contracted muscle while leaving an excised "crater." Mass spectrometers would be able to identify carbon, fluorine, hydrogen, nitrogen, and trace metals on the electromagnetic spectrum, confirming the existence of organic compounds characteristic of life.

Among these compounds, an abnormal concentration of hydrogen cyanide and methane would abound, but negligible concentrations of oxygen were present, making the prospect of igniting the methane gas impossible save for an oxygenating warhead.

---

"Get up! We're being attacked! We're being attacked-"

"Kh'uunari-"

H'snin nearly stumbled from his perch as the living vessel quivered, but his grasp clutched on tightly to a horizontal carapace 'bar' protruding from a neighboring septum. His vibrant, golden eyes stared down at G'yakli as his lips moved.

"Khuunari, what are our options?"

"Change in target. I want-"

G'yakli's pupils contracted as pheromones - the Z'srus B'nik's sophisticated analog of klaxons corresponding to individual issues - seeped through her armor. Dozens of subtle pheromone types engulfed G'yakli's system, pointing to an array of problems with the ship's integrity, yet one pheromone type seemed to overpower the rest…

She glanced to her left where several Tihn'tharin resumed their orders. Pod-like lumps of bioammunition clumped together at the base of a septum-mounted nematocyst which would scare the living shit out of human biologists: Visible to the naked eye, the waxy capsule stretched from the tip of the septum, running through the thick fleshy hull until the operculum (trapdoor) sealed off the opening between the harpoon silo and empty space.

"We are ready to initiate hostilities!"

"Fire the c'hyra!"

---

Assuming none of the crushed proboscis needles stuck to the Pathkk's hull, the swerved Aurelian vessel's starboard weapons would attempt to be the first aggressors of combat. Sensors and possibly visual observation would reveal dozens of capped pores retracting their covers… Moments before those pores unleashed dozens upon dozens of poisonous, harpoon-like carbon-fiber barbs at the Pathkk's fore. Mass spectrometers would now be able to detect pheromone-like traces emanating from the Z'srus B'nik's pores, inducing the surface carapace to quiver almost as if in barbaric rage.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:40 pm

[BwIDSens1: Sir! Enemy… vessel… just released some sort of projectile weapons at us! Impact in one Heartcycle!
[BwIDCom1: Brace fo- [Signal corrupted]

The Pathkk lurched as the spines raked across its advanced armor. Several of the things stuck into the armor, but only two penetrated through.  The intricate grid structure of the armor held relatively well against the corrosive aspects of the barbs, but not entirely. The sensors operator got back into the seat he had fallen out of. More ‘modern’ ships utilized a system where the body was harnessed into a command module, but the older warships still utilized a common seat system.

[BwIDSens1: Spikes have acidic qualities, some minor damage to the hull.
The sensors operator looked back at his screen.
[BwIDSens1: Hostiles confirmed and preparing another volley.
[BwIDCom1: Don’t let them. Fire pulse turrets.
[BwIDWep1: Directing pulse turrets.
[BwIDHelm1: Bringing us about; enemy entry of main cannon firing radius in eighteen Heartcycles.
[BwIDWep1: Firing.

At first, it seemed that the frigate’s turrets were based upon ballistic technology, with no energy buildup present. However, that changed in moments as the nodes spewed out pulse particles. The tiny molecules, designed to disassemble fragments of material into basic components, would not pierce the carapace of the biological vessel as their weapons had. However, they were still weapons, and a Tyllic ship was not the type of vessel to run.

A small swarm of tiny, luminescent particles streaked across the friction-free void of space towards their target.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:30 am

The Commander stood on the bridge pacing back and forth as reports of more and more unidentified space crafts entered the system. The convoy was at a complete stand still as they saw two forces smash each other to pieces. Jager realized he had to act and opened up communications to the unknown ships.

"Attention unidentified vessel, this is Captain Jager of the F.P.N. Shamrock and leader of this escort. Please identify yourself." The commander then took his hand off the speaking button and prepared to attend to his fleet.

"All frigates, prepare to broadside and fire on the targets we have marked red, refrain from firing on gray targets. I repeat only fire upon red targets." After Jager gave the order, the other captains move to their sides and readied their cannons.

The cannons only seconds apart from each other launched large ion blasts straight in the direction of the enemy fleet. The squad prepared for a second volley as the awaited further orders.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 pm

[BwIDWep1: Pulsefire away, volley time three Heartcycles continuous.
[BwIDComms1: Commandant, we have a disruption along our rotary sensor bandwidths.
[BwIDCom1: Put it on subchannel 3.

The communications operator set the anomaly's recording to the subchannel, and the Commandant tuned into it via his wrist controls.

[BwID???/Unknown: Eatnton un--dent'f--d vessel, ts sh capan J-ger of te F.P.N. Shawmroc n l--derr of ts scot. Pl--s ident'fy y--rslf.
The alien tongue was shrill and irritating, punctuated by unpronounceable sounds that grated on the Commandant's ears. He promptly returned to the main channel.

[BwIDCom1: Helmsman, Weapons, belay orders. Take us out of combat range, and FIND ME FRIENDLY FORCES.
[BwIDComms1: Taskforce 37 is ripping in from the Torrl gravity well. Size four frigates, one destroyer.
[BwIDSens1: - Convoy is firing an EMP weapo-
[BwIDWep1: -Response fire underway.
[BwIDHelm1: Initiating evasive maneuvers.

The small ship was hit by several of the ion shots, and the ship barely managed to avoid another hit. Small sections of armor were chipped off, and the underbelly of the ship took a direct hit.

[BwIDSens1: Hull is holding, but there is severe damage to the disintegrator cannon's firing array.
[BwIDCom1: Retreat.


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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:26 pm

The pulse weapons' bursts left second-degree burns on the Z'srus B'nik's carapace, but otherwise left the underlying tissues unscathed while activating countless pain nerve endings in the epidermis. Pores amid the carapace violently threw off pheromone vapors near the sections of affected hull, alerting chemoreceptors embedded on several proboscises to draw the crew's attention to the animal's misery.

What no one could see, however, was the flash of energy which impaled the Z'srus B'nik's stern- ripping through the Alcubierre drive, gravity generators, and killing several dozen Tihn'tharin as the stream of shots cleaved through the softened bioship.

Grrrrn!

"Damage report!"

"I... don't know," H'snin uttered after he gradually pushed himself upright from the spongified floor. G'yakli brandished a segment of carbon fiber which fell from above before her attention changed to the [i]c'hyrae batteries: Two crew members laid dead, their bodies mutilated by flying bioshrapnel while the survivors each experienced some degree of non-debilitative injury. As for the things themselves, at least one column collapsed after the Z'srus Bnik stretched just a tad distance too far. Chunks of blood-encrusted flesh were astray on the deck… Until the vessel's gravity generators finally petered out, and G'yakli instinctively lurched towards the floor the moment her barometric nerves became disoriented in the microgravity environment.

Damn it all-

Grrrrrrn!

Xu'tharin warriors streamed into the atrium seconds after the hull breach pheromones diffused into the warriors' pod berths. G'yakli filed in before a gangly-built Xu'tharin as her eyes honed to one surviving c'hyra. Foul-smelling, toxic pus leeched from each crevice in the hangar floor as G'yakli's fingers pulled her along the microgravity environment.

"Launch the second wave!"

---

Though a third of all pores were scorched over, the Tyllic vessel and its Christanan backdrop would still be at risk so as long as the foremost c'hyrae continued to eject their toxin-tipped projectiles toward the Tyllic vessel; among the remaining three dozen c'hyrae, at least six returned fire in the direction of the Christanan raiders even without a proper visual. The Z'srus B'nik continued to ripple its carapace in dire pain, however, suggesting that the joint Tyllic-Christanan barrage was working… And quite possibly to a slight disadvantage to potential boarders as cyanides, phosphines, and other anthrotoxic compounds leached from wounded carapace sections.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:16 pm

[BwIDSens1: Another volley, larger than the last! Spines incoming!

The Commandant did not have a chance to order another brace. The Pathkk, having turned to face its thicker dorsal armor towards the Christanans, took the full force of the wave of spears. The crew rocked around as gravity once again rectified itself.

[BwIDSens1: … Twelve hits.

The commandant stared silently at the spike that had split out of the floor and into the command deck, spearing one of the minor operators into his seat.

[BwIDCom1: Damage?
[BwIDSens1: Three dead, another two dying. Subdeck 2.2 is depressurized, and the lower pulse turret is damaged.
[BwIDWep1: Firing options are becoming limited.
[BwIDHelm1: Engines are still operational. I suggest emergency strategy BC-3, with half the suggested force.

The Commandant mused over the possibility.

[BwIDCom1: How is the Disintegrator cannon damaged? And how long will the reinforcements take?
[BwIDEng2: The pulse chamber is cut off.
[BwIDComms1: They’re still charging.
[BwIDCom1: Where is the Main Engineer? And those reinforcements certainly are taking their time, aren’t they?
[BwIDEng2: Dead.
[BwIDCom1: … Initiate BC-3, half strength. I lead, followers will be keyed into the Battle-web. Helmsman, you have command.

As the Pathkk turned to face the biovessel, it launched its main cannon. However, with the pulse particle supply cut off from it, it did not fire its usual stream of death. The Pathkk’s main gun instead released a half-dozen Tyllics in full battlesuit, crunching legs into torso to maximize starting speed. As the frigate turned still more, it pushed engines to the maximum and left the troopers streaming towards the alien vessel.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:07 pm

The Pathkk's boarding party would find themselves unopposed by potential enemy fire- probably due to poor visibility and or the c'hyrae crews preparing another volley aimed at the retreating Tyllic ship and its Christanan peer- as they dived towards the Z'srus B'nik. Most of the carapace spines which normally protruded from the hull were either floating off into the void or remained suspended in a precarious cloud of rotating spikes that could pose a potential threat to the Tyllic soldiers.

G'yakli scaled her way back to the bridge on all fours with each 'ascent' bringing her further away from the bridge: Three Tihn'tharin trailed behind, but only deep breathing interrupted by hissing bouts disturbed the eerie silence wrought by the artificial gravity plating's demise.

"Secure the halls. We shall hurl one final volley at these [i]s'kikdreme-" Fornicators, or so the Aurelian expression went without elevating its vulgarity- "And leave. We need reinforcements!"

"Understood."

---

Once the Tyllic boarding party came within 100 meters of the Z'srus B'nik, observers could note multi-decimeter pores and their characteristic pheromone gases which fluoresced a dull blue in the UV ray-rich environment. The Aurelians were preparing a final volley even as the Z'srus B'nik prepared to rotate ten degrees clockwise with respect to its yaw axis.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:38 am

A ripple appeared in space as gravity spiked for a nearly undetectable moment, replacing vacuum with five starships, each bearing a crest that the Pathkk did not. The commandant of the lead vessel watched in silence as the privateer ship failed again and again, culminating in one of the most miserable failures she had ever seen in her three hundred years of service: the crew of the old vessel tried to board an unknown vessel. And MISSED. The xenos’ bio-barge tilted several degrees, leaving the Tyllic boarders to float off and miss their target by mere deciunits.

“Well, that is that.” She turned towards her gunnery officer. “Destroy the Pathkk and pull back while we prepare the engines for another jump. We aren’t dragging failures back with us, and I shall not have us engage without a certainty of victory. However, if I am right, then High Command will be pleased that we have located two potential client races.”

A brief pause ensued, her underlings staring at her in confusion.

“… just destroy the Pathkk and let’s go.”

The Pathkk’s remaining crew hailed their friends repeatedly, only to be responded to by focused pulse fire. The frigate was gutted by the weapons’ fire, punctuated by the hull rupturing. The lone vessel split in twain, followed by its pulse stores detonating. A single bright green flash winked in and out of existence, leaving barely any debris. Its lost crew hurtled on into space - almost certainly doomed to die alone in the void, pleas over their communications nets unanswered.


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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:01 pm

(OOC: For future reference, it's considered good etiquette to post the actions of 'your' people and allow your RP partners to post the results on 'their' people unless you discussed it beforehand. So, you would say that 'your' people fired, then your RP partner would discuss what damage the fire caused on 'their' people.

Nice to see people posting again!)
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:15 pm

"Get me our bearings!" G'yakli grunted as she dipped her alien fingers into the gelatinous console. The ship's response was sluggish... But bearable, so as long as the screen responded with the appropriate feedback. Thirteen degrees away from achieving her appropriate vector, the Z'srus B'nik's parietal eyes detected several... Lifeforms. Floating away from the combat scene. G'yakli was notified as such through another pheromone storm, to which she responded with a quick scratch upon the console before it rippled to an infrared display of the situation. Her eyes glimmered.

"Do we have any proboscises available?"

"Only three-"

"Perfect. Extend them to these floaters, and hurry. Remove their weapons if applicable."

---

Three undamaged proboscises would seem to quiver a second before they sprang: Gnarly growths of flesh bubbled through the three extending needles until the latter reached twice their original length. From these growths, several modified c'hyrae launched tethered threads of adhesive phlegm towards the six-something Tyllic soldiers- all of which would attempt to bind with and pull those Tyllic boarders back into membrane-bound chrysalises isolated from the Aurelian vessel's alien atmosphere.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:22 am

As Melkan D'Radoth Torian Vescenci hung in the void, he could not help but notice the irony of his name. The four names, a normal number due to the half-trillion members the Xill had once incorporated thousands of generations past (or so he was told) represented qualities his procreators once had. Vescenci was a title shared by every other Tyllic born on his homeworld - though it literally was the name of his planet, law had required it to organize recognition of his origin. Torian was his heritage-given name, and could not be changed until he claimed a female to bond with. His other names were chosen by his predecessors for a particularly heavy-handed sense of duty and an inclination towards a warrior upbringing.

A warrior he had become - but after abandoning his post as the last of the old Imperial worlds fell ten  Imperial orbits ago, his duty had been nonexistent. As commander of an under-maintained, old ship, he had chosen to become a privateer for the Tyllon Council - the fools that took the Empire's place even as its remnants had finally organized sufficiently to hold the line.

And here he was, at his lowest point yet. No Torian was a stranger to boarding, yet he had entirely failed, as evidenced by the fact that four of his fellows panicked while the last choked on her own bodily fluids. He couldn't hear it - he had deliberately deactivated his helm to avoid his shame - but he saw her writhe in agony, blood freezing around the shard of macrodebris that had splintered off the alien's carapace. He wasn't even sure if it was a ship or a creature anymore. The ghastly surface of it had passed by so close, yet too far for gaining purchase. It seemed just like his luck to abandon him after all else had failed.

He was jerked to attention by a green flare at the corner of his visor. Magnifying the image only sank him deeper into misery. Since he had outlived his usefulness, his ship was 'decommissioned' and his men left to die.

One of the other suits within the void reached out and grabbed their pulse rifle back, leveling their feet towards the biovessel. Before he could look around , his visor was covered by a slimy substance registering as biological, and his intuition told him that his colleagues may be suffering a similar experience.

Well, Melkan thought to himself as he was tugged into the organism's bowels, at least one of us has a gun. I don't think fists will help against a monster such as that, talons or not.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:17 am

Several more c'hyrae shot their sticky payload at the ensnared boarders as they approached the swollen pores from which sensors would register a nitrogenous mixture of carbon and hydrogen. Like a fly being snatched by its amphibious predator, the Tyllics would be engulfed by the closing myoskeletal septum which sealed the captured contents from the deaerated environment, albeit with greater room for some form of movement; pirated graviton-projection panels would provide a super-Terran gravitational strength of 1.5g, though not necessarily at this constant strength as the vessel's backup reactors struggled to restore energy to the biomechanics components.

Through translucent membranes which probably served as c'hyrae reload points, the captured aliens would be able to see the sickly brown-green interior of this beast: sinewy folds of muscle lined the endothelium and flexed as the Z'srus B'nik withdrew its extended column into her larger compartment, bringing the captured Tyllics closer to their captors through a drawn-out endocytosis. Within each chrysalis structure, Melkan's men and himself would be able to notice protruding nodules of tissue closing in on their persons as they attempted to smell whatever trace of alien atmosphere they could have brought from their vessel amid potential contours, creases, and or whatever their armor possibly harbored. Then, according to each contact's detected atmosphere, an appropriate type of gas would effuse into each chrysalis at the same rate the Aurelian cyanide-methane mixture got sucked into the chrysalis walls via active transport, giving a nontoxic if somewhat inadequate atmosphere based on the sensitive chemical trace.

---

Q'rinkal poised her crossbow towards the dissolving septum which fed into the capture bay, where seven other Xu'tharin readied themselves near the access corridor.

"We've got them! I can taste the c'hyrae's pheromones on my tongue!"

"I can tell. Foolish Gol'Azkorzin would take forever."

"Especially in light of our Loss"

Still on all fours in case the vessel's syncretic hardware failed again, Q'rinkal bobbed her head impatiently before she used the endothelial folds to bring her over to the second portal: Through another segment of translucent tissue, Q'rinkal saw that the Z'srus B'nik finished recovering its remaining flagella as it rested inside the pore.

"Let us go."

---

The Tyllic prisoners would be able to see movement through the translucent flesh panels: Amid the bioluminescent corridor one could see humanoid shadows creep towards the prisoners' section before one crimson-fleshed, gold tattooed Aurelian clad in some sort of translucent, HAZMAT carapace armor appeared. Followed by another one brandishing a poison-tipped carbon fibre pike along with a comparable crossbow-like device bristling with toxic bolts in its magazine vacuole. Q'rinkal followed her two peers afterwards, brimming with another set of carapace armor trimmed with razor-edge horns.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:29 pm

As Melkan was surrounded by the disgusting brownish tissue, he nearly lost his stomach – which could be taken as losing his stomach or bowels, since Tyllics literally threw up whatever they could not digest – in horror. He could barely see his comrades through the vacuole with his heat-recepting secondary eyes, struggling themselves. All of the sudden, the area around him expanded and began to fill with carbon dioxide. Melkan cautiously set his helm to filter the air just to be safe, opening the intake vents.

The compound felt wonderful in his lungs, not being mixed heavily with his own exhalations of oxygen and methane. The walls of the area had expanded enough for him to move and stand, though the gravity was light. It felt like the time over Ilken when his ship had taken damage to its gravitational compensators…

His ship, however, was gone. Torn from existence by his ‘reinforcements’ sent, no doubt, with orders strait from Tyllon High Command. Now he and those who had trusted his leadership would die surrounded by nothing but foes, just as their ancestors had on hundreds of worl-

[BwIDStrike3: Sir? My Commandant? Can you hear me?
[BwIDStrike1: … How… did you break into my helmet?
[BwIDStrike 4: You couldn’t hear us, so we had to. How doesn’t matter. Look towards the lighter side of your cell.

Melkan glanced over at the gravitationally oriented side of his capsule. Sure enough, even his primary eyes could see blurrs through the thin membrane.

[BwIDStrike1: I see. Three of them, most certainly armed. Who still has their gun?
[BwIDStrike4: I do. I can already tell what you’re thinking.

If they were released, they were five combat-suited warriors against three. Though their captors were no doubt prepared, they seemed at least a head’s height shorter than Melkan’s troopers. Upon release, it would become a struggle of soldier against alien in a hostile environment. Failing that, their metal-covered talons on both hands and feet could break the membranes given several moments, independent of the xenos’ intent.

Melkan, a true scion of the core worlds, took one last breath of the fresh air and sealed his armor.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:00 pm

The organism quickly retreated into the spongy yet durable muscle of Melkan's containment vacuole, leaving behind only a grubby knob which continued to maintain the atmosphere's equilibrium. Other than that, however, one could see a fourth Aurelian's shadow before the being poised its pike from below a partial septum.

"Q'rinkal and V'dran, stay put! Let me bring in G'yakli and prime the A'kronin taz!"

If present, laser acoustic equipment could possibly receive the Aurelian's muffled chatter, though their language differed completely from the Christanan chatter: Shrill-sounding and articulate, the Aurelians spoke an entirely different beast of language. Q'rinkal and the male Aurelian who was possibly V'dran kept their gaze on the chrysalises as all but one of their peers ascended the access corridor, leaving both of them vulnerable to an ambush if only for several seconds.

((Sorry for the short post! I figure your soldiers would break out at this point?))
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:47 pm

((It's all right. In close combat, posts tend to be pretty short.))

[BwIDStrike1: Comms silence now. Begin.

Melkan kicked at the fibrous membrane - it was surprisingly tough, but possibly made for a species without natural weapons. The four-deciunit claws on his feet, lengthened to five by the armor plating over them, sheared through it and sprayed him with fluids. He raked his foot down to create a large slash down the creature and then threw himself headfirst through it, parting the few strips still connected with his weight. His inertia carried him into a rather short, surprised-looking creature carrying what appeared to be a bladed stick. Taking a moment to get up, he stomped on the alien's chest and grabbed for the weapon with all four arms.

Two cells to the side, parts of the creature seemed to melt away into ashes as a pulse weapon unloaded into it. Another trooper barreled out in short order, raising his upper arms to protect his face. The lower arms held his pulse rifle, the heavy barrel pointed towards the other two opponents. This left his back to the access corridor - exposed to an ambush, but hopefully worth the risk if they could capture hostages rather than have to kill them.

The others struggled greatly with their biological cages, unable to break free in time to join in. One was able to see the combat, but could not yet interfere.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:25 pm

The pike-wielding Aurelian did not respond in time: Melkan's impact fractured one major compound rib, forcing it through V'dran's lung as it tore through the fine tissue, cartilage, and alveoli beneath. Q'rinkal, partly inundated by shock from this tragedy, sloppily attempted to bayonet Melkan with one of her crossbow's curved horns in a sideways strike- leaving her vulnerable to the second captive's movements; in the access tunnel, the other pike-bearing alien saw what had happened the moment he reached the operculum and instead deserted Q'rinkal to alert his peers what had happened.

If the Tyllics could detect alien pheromones, one would be able to tell that tearing open holes in an already-pissed organism was not necessarily a good thing; the walls quivered to such an extent that an unaccustomed visitor could be thrown off their feet as the endothelium vibrated with unparalleled ferocity, releasing even more chemicals into the air which would alert sensitive individuals to the location and extents of said damage from well over a considerable distance away. Melkan's former cell continued to bleed out increasingly-opaque fluids from its wound as it coagulated around the affected site, drawing away healing factors from the other cells which could mean decreased structural integrity in this instance.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:37 am

Melkan seized his advantage, bringing his lower left hand to bear on his shocked opponent's face. His knuckle-embedded talons left deep gouges in the being's cheeks - unnecessary, but sure to keep him/her/it preoccupied. The other alien tried to stab him with some sort of biological, pick-shaped weapon with a projectile mechanism in the middle, but it scraped off of his armor, leaving a good deal of the dark green paint missing. The exposed armor was a near-black shade of gray, filled with hexagonal and triangular grid sections so small as to be barely visible to the naked eye.

The other trooper simply pressed the initiator on the pulse rifle he carried, sending a short burst of pulse particles cascading at the xeno wielding the pick object. He turned away to block the access corridor, hardly caring if the sentient died or not. There was, after all, one already captive to his Commandant - though it might not live for long, given that Melkan must have been twice its weight when armor was considered. The warrior's landing would have been rough on the victim.

In the meanwhile, the internal membranes of the ship trembled and oozed noxious fluids, trying to regrow the damaged tissue. The troopers' olfactory helmet sensors promptly began to be choked with gaseous compounds, even as the shaking became violent enough to toss those still in their cells towards the gravitational bottom of the vessel. One soldier fell forward into the half-ruined side of her container. The fibers snapped, spilling her onto the 'floor'.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:13 pm

The feeling of having one's flesh ionized was unfathomable, but to Q'rinkal, she screamed as the second soldier's shot cut a deep burn along the left side of her torso, revealing patches of burned flesh which dripped with blood. Q'rinkal collapsed- releasing her hold on the crossbow before she crumpled in an unconscious heap. Nearby, V'dran seemed to enter the Aurelian equivalent of a cardiac arrest as his cardiovascular system shut down from shock. The ivory studs of V'dran's armor sunk into the Z'srus B'nik's flesh, prompting a slight inflammatory response around the vessel's pinpoint wounds.

Up and beyond the access chute, three Xu'tharin fortified their positions behind a knee-high villus fold as their mounted crossbows pointed into the vacated shaft, ready to shoot out the throat of any foolish captive attempting to pass over the concave-down curve. What could probably be the Tyllics' greatest concern was not an Aurelian, but instead an angry-looking, tripodal organism being mounted onto the vertex of the fold by a fourth Tihn'tharin reservist- a warrior not in uniform- as she cautiously but expediently adjusted the animal's acid-projection cavity towards the chute exit. Two-and-a-half humanoid arms in diameter and possibly weighing thrice as much, the A'kronin taz oozed a mucus-like parallel through its solidifying skin as its stomach churned, fermented, and regurgitated a corrosive compound into its buccal cavity.

"The Z'srus B'nik will lose function of its-"

"Forget it! I want their bones plucked from their liquified corpses! My older children will train with their sharpened bones, and you can nurse your own post back!"

As two of the Xu'tharin argued, further up the corridor were another two Aurelians holding position behind their own septum, their pikes braced across each other to block entry to and fro the hot zone below. Being this far made the two soldiers next to useless, however, should one of the Tyllics breach the front line. And so as long as they were still setting up the A'kronin taz, only the Aurelians' lighter arms would be able to stall an abrupt breakthrough- less so if the Tyllics bypassed the main access corridor through a hidden panel to the left end respective of the Xu'tharin crossbow wielders; between the chute exit and Aurelian cluster, at least one lymphatic access point- though it was in line of fire of the soldiers- would make the Tyllics' job much easier as it could take them to the nutrient storeroom.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:17 am

"Give me your rifle." Melkan had just reopened his auditory speakers, having been unable to understand the aliens' chittering shrieks that passed for language. Granted, Tyllics had low voices and many were even tone-deaf, but the wails that emanated from these long-tailed, stunted figures were simply absurd. It seemed unlikely that they would be able to translate the troopers' own words in the heat of the moment.

"Yes, sir," noted the soldier, eager to stop having to type everything he wanted to say into the nine-keyed panel on his wrist. "though I would feel much better if I still had a weapon." He strolled over to the being his superior had landed on, now obviously in shock - a fact confirmed by a quick once-over by helmet sensors. "I wonder... would this go all the way through if I threw it at one of them?"

A short while later, the ship's tremors had ceased and they were all free, with one of their number guarding the entryway. Melkan had the pulse rifle, while his underlings carried the stick weapon, the unconscious captive that had been shot, and the pick organism. The last of them had only his fists, though the talons alleviated this disadvantage somewhat - in their minds.

The first step outside the holding stomach, however, ended in the pike-wielding Tyllic drowning in acid. While the hardened metal plating held, the acid ate through the cloth and bonded fibers inbetween the sections. He collapsed, screaming, as the staff he held rolled away ignored. Melkan took shots at the gun emplacement, but was sent back into his initial position after a projectile from one of the pick launchers cracked his faceplate. So that's what they do.
The other mercenary realized much the same thing, but could not fit his finger into what he thought was the firing mechanism. So instead, he just threw the launcher at their former captors.

"It's time to try another strategy. Let's use our hostage." The female holding the alien perked up.
Within heartcycles of their retreat, the Tyllics cautiously sent one of their own out, using the xeno as a meat-shield. Melkan and the others stayed in cover behind the passageway, hoping that the enemy would understand their intent to cease fire. Or perhaps wondering if the ship was about to eat their comrade somehow.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:22 pm

The A'kronin taz was just finished when the first intruder attempted to advance beyond the depression, though not before someone had stimulated the animal to shoot one glob of corrosive fluid towards the Tyllic offender while another Xu'tharin unleashed their volley in Melkan's direction.

The appearance of an unconscious but alive Q'rinkal supported by one of these offenders made all three gunners nervous, to the point their slenderer fingers did not even try to shoot at any possible exposed segment of the captor. One Aurelian fighter held the A'kronin taz by its neck as the angry, beady-eyed creature wailed with its piercing shriek- loud enough that Q'rinkal opened her eyes for a moment and gasped.

"Don't... Shoot. Let them come."

The two pike-bearing aliens stumbled down from the intersection, only to be blocked by one Xu'tharin's muscular arm.

"Halt! Let them come..."

---

Though the three Xu'tharin were vulnerable to a potential surprise attack, the two inbound warriors from above would provide as temporary reinforcements until the bulk of the vessel's crew arrived- speaking of which, biosensors would be able to discern a small but steady mass coming around the intersection before four Tihn'tharin appeared at the far end of the corridor, bringing the total number of aliens to nine- five currently prepared to resume combat.

((Bah. My posting isn't too well this night, either. X_x ))
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:37 pm

"Do you have a scan completed?" Melkan glanced at one of the troopers, who was trying to find a comfortable way to stand on the floor. Its surface depressed slightly when her talons touched it, popping open to release some sort of fluid similar to blood. The miniature tremors this caused did not help her to regain a steady stance.
"I have the reading, though this vessel is getting in the way by its very nature. There are about a dozen living creatures nearby - though there is a large chance of inaccuracy. So, between ten and twenty within this area. I believe I have discerned which end of the ship is forward."
"Very well. That will have to do," the Commandant went back around the corner, "it is time to visit an old friend."

As the master of their remaining crew came out behind him, the trooper holding the tailed alien noticed it speak, and its fellows stopped short in the corridor, just behind their biological barricade. He decided that it might be best to keep this one alive and well; it seemed to have some measure of authority. Or perhaps these creatures had a strong sense of camaraderie. Either way, the Pathkk's survivors could make good use of the fact.
Taking both its arms in his upper hands, he took out a fibrous repair section from his suit's waist-mounted containers. The fabric and adhesive was meant for a suit, but it should work for any carbon or silicon-based life in the short term. He looked down at the wound. It seemed the veins had been closed by cooling elemental compounds, which meant his captive wouldn't die. A heavy dose of healing stimulants would be required, as well as a small amount of micropulse probing to clear the free-formed carbon residues that the shot had left behind.
Placing the patch over its skin, he noticed that the adhesive held tightly. Good. It should return to full awareness soon enough. With the patch on, it won't be able to move enough to tear the wound open more.

The last Tyllic stepped in front of him and his effort, activating the sector map contained within his helmet. As a navigator, he was one of the only Tyllics aboard the Pathkk authorized to carry a star chart in his helmet database, even if it was only of the local cluster of stars. He activated a double-projection from the sides of his helmet, the intersections of the light showing much brighter than the remaining photons that lit up the unusual substitute for a ceiling. It showed the direction of the galactic core and the Gadren gravity well, also lighting a star system roughly eighty-three lightyears away in a red halo. No words should be needed for understanding the meaning of the image, given that the warriors had a hostage and were giving their former guards a direction to go. It certainly wouldn't show the Aurelians exactly where to make for, but it was a start.
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