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 Scions of the Core (First Contact)

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Magna Aurelia

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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:47 pm

A deep, guttural clicking (Something similar to this)erupted from the acid spitter's maw one more time before one Aurelian warrior managed to squeeze the base of its neck more effectively, inducing the A'kronin taz to spit up a small glob of acid at the floor before it fell silent. The opaque substance inflamed but did not burn through the floor- instead triggering some more flesh to swell around the offensive compound as it degraded rapidly into neutrality.

"I want G'yakli here!" One of the two pike-bearers hissed to her peer, who turned around and let his nasal cavity sense the vessel's pheromone network.

"She is very near."

"Return your attention here!" The A'kronin taz attendant snapped, still keeping his eyes on the Tyllics and his subdued beast ready should the peace collapse: Every golden-eyed Aurelian present took note of the familiar region- even Q'rinkal for a second as she opened an eye and saw her own star amid the mass of pinpoint specks. The female returned to unconsciousness thereafter while the two rear aliens seemed to speak in their harsh tongue:

"Where is she-?"

"I do not know! They want us to change course- right before we were to scout the anomalous star that T'iantaloumin-Jun'ikin managed to recover from T'iantaloum!"

"Do we have any chance to-"

"I won't risk it. Q'rinkal is the beast keeper- only she can command G'hizira the Foul-"

"Slaughter the cet'pho!"

"Hey! I sold three thralls to help Q'rinkal keep our scouting beast-"

"What is going on here? How dare the lot of you inflict pain upon MY Z'srus B'nik!"

The three Xu'tharin kept their eyes honed on those Tyllic hostage-keepers but knew who stood over everyone else in the room: Kh'uunari P'zrilil G'yakli, flanked by a bloodstained but ambulant H'snin and what appeared to be a diminutive, listless insect under the influence of something; stared down from where the two pike guards were before. A complete, battle hardened set of carbon fibre-studded armor draped across G'yakli's torso, providing protection against slashing wounds as well as shallower piercing attempts and lighter caliber arms. Her trousers were equally armored, but with pinkie-length horns protruding all around the biologically-based textiles of Kh'uunari G'yakli's trouser's pipes- probably useful for discouraging melee combat, too, given the individual spikes' apparent soiled, bloodied appearance. Secured in the leader's arms was a miniaturized A'kronin taz which silently stared at Melkan's direction, its translucent stomach seemingly packed with partially digested matter.

Kh'uunari G'yakli kept her own animal directed at the female Tyllic's direction even as her eyes addressed the map's appearance: The Z'srus B'nik's current system seemed to be correctly identified, but what caught the Kh'uunari's eye was the red halo encircling some nearby system. Meanwhile, as G'yakli studied the situation her Gol'Azkorzin detachment scurried back down the corridor, emitting a series of trace pheromones which would signal more of its kind to rally towards the injured portions of the Z'srus B'nik- Melkan's entry point included. At a reasonable distance from the Tyllic invaders, G'yakli let her eyes meet Q'rinkal's unconscious form... And a sort of panic appeared in her eyes as the silent alien thought about the dangerous cargo currently in hibernation.

"Cursed be those who wound the Z'srus B'nik!" P'zrilil G'yakli spoke again, this time allowing her gaze to wander to Melkan, then back at the map projector-equipped individual. With anger, G'yakli could care less if the Tyllics were able to understand their language or not. "You have insulted our fellow warrior, you've caused great discomfort to my own beast, you've shown great dishonor in my presence, Strangers. I want to individually skin each of your hides and weave dressings for my poor Z'srus B'nik, who will probably never see war again after all this damage you've done! I will feed your flesh to the Fouls until those foul beasts are forever fattened by your audacity- Your audacity to offend the Great Inhabitants of Gol'Azkhor!"

At this point, the three nervous Xu'tharin prepared their weapons, but did not fire yet. Instead, the two crossbow-wielders would examine Q'rinkal's captor for any exposed armor that wasn't Q'rinkals in preparation for a precision shot, while the A'kronin taz gunner seemed on the verge of letting his commandeered animal regurgitate its entire contents in a deluge against two- possibly three Tyllic opponents. This could possibly be Melkan's group's last chance for translating what the Aurelians said via frequency analysis, given the length of their banter, and defuse the last-second preparations with force if necessary.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:56 am

As a particularly well-armored individual joined the group glaring at them from the other end of the corridor, the man next to Melkan realized he was standing in what was left of the mostly-eaten corpse of his ally. Melkan looked at him in time to see his faceplate go opaque, for his pawn had sparked the electric current that cut the outside world off from his reactions. The movement of his body still revealed his feelings, particularly the part where the supposedly unshakable warrior slumped against the lining of whatever sort of access vein they stood in. And then began to shiver. Only the Remnant has any good troops these days.

As the armored xeno began to monologue, the female began to record it in the hopes if at least synthesizing a few tones to inflect in her own voice, even if the high-pitched aliens could not understand the exact words spoken. A Remnant ship could have decoded the language within a few hours given the long period that their race had prospered and researched less-than-aggressive technologies, but freelancers such as themselves had to do with what they could salvage. The base at the star painted in red would be able to help both them and the Aurelians, being ruled by a warlord who owed Melkan some very personal debts. That, however, would require some measure of understanding (or forcefulness) between the two groups aboard the spacefaring blob of flesh and chemicals.

Melkan was now becoming unnerved by the acid-spitting beasts the Aurelians held. They seemed to have singled him out as the leader, and were staring at him. Funny. He had lived over a hundred Imperial Orbits, seeing the horrors of the Pantheon Wars firsthand, and yet weapons with eyes gave him waves of pinpricks down the sides of his limbs - much as many species perceived 'chills' down their spinal cords.

The navigator, on the other hand, was now trying to mime what he thought was a submissive stance to the aliens, pointing at the star encircled in red. He hoped that the things that he stood in front of wouldn't try to kill them again, seeing as he was first in line. Directly behind him was an almost comical scene: Q'rinkal's holder was trying to back past both an absent-minded Melkan and a panicked trooper, even as the female tried to push through to help with the navigator's communication difficulty.

Just as the Aurelian leader seemed to run out of breath, she finally squeezed past by literally lifting her commanding officer and setting him behind her. Even as she walked forward, she attempted to imitate a mix of submissive and kind tones with her voice, supposing that their counterparts could even perceive the low voice of a Tyllic.

"I apologize for attacking your... men, if they are. We haven't outright killed anyone, so please do not retaliate." She turned towards the navigator. "Start playing a flight sequence, leaving them somewhere in their space after dropping us off with Melkan's old manager."
The shipsman looked to Melkan for guidance, only typing in the sequence once he had received an affirmative nod from the now attentive Melkan, who was finally starting to take some interest in anything other than unusual eyes once more.
"We only want to get back to friendly space." she nearly pleaded as the photonic collision image traced a line from Gadren to the red star and back towards the Imperial North of the galaxy (Commonly known as Galactic South by most other species). "Just let us go, and we can fix any damage to your host... creature... animal." She couldn't tell if the enemy warriors understood, but at least she wasn't dead yet. Which meant either they were confused or she actually managed to pull a tone translation off, minus some fine-tuning. It wouldn't help with words, but the pictographs and voice usage should have made some sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:17 pm

G'yakli's gaze studied what appeared to be a... route? A route taking them to the location and back to this sector. Her eyes seemed to show little remorse, however, and instead her fingers reached out to 'touch' the Gadren Well and slide away from the cluster until another neighborhood of stars would appear in her hand.

"Your language, we do not understand. However, this game we certainly do! You seek passage, and we return... With what? Your escape will do our Nou'tarkin no good, and I would hate for my Z'srus B'nik to go without food. For another period." Reaching her arm slowly to emphasize the alternate path again, G'yakli made a sudden hissing noise before she bobbed her head 'no' at a furious pace. "If you survive imprisonment with our other captive, you might return home."

---

"Prepare the drives! We're expecting G'yakli's word any moment!" A Tihn'tharin helmsman hissed through the bridge's vaporous atmosphere as he plunged his thumb into a gelatinous button, sending a nerve impulse to the other three Tihn'tharin crew's pods. "Received. Initiating drive..." Nervous signals from other biological nodes traversed the Z'srus B'nik's dermal tissue, coursed down the access endothelium and continued their way throughout the animal's nervous system. Alarm pheromones leaked through the hallways' lining- including Melkan's and G'yakli's- as they quickly effused into storage compartments, sleeping pod berths, the kennels, and whatever orifice was adjacent to pheromone glands. With the other vessels' presence, however, the unnamed helmsman made a facial equivalent of a grimace: The Christanan and Tyllic vessels did not look particularly pleasant, nor did the helmsman figure the Z'srus B'nik could leave without a proper fight. At least for the next several seconds, the Z'srus B'nik would be vulnerable to enemy fire as the drive maintenance Tihn'tharin readied their assigned nervous tissue nodes.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:12 pm

The moment his counterpart's decline of their demands crossed the language barrier, Melkan knew that it would not end well for them. It seemed, from his point of view, that the unidentified alien wanted them to surrender. That was not acceptable, but they could not fight their way out of this situation if those acid creatures were readied.
"Troopers, hold." He grabbed the subordinate at his feet and hauled him up, smeared with gore. "We will surrender - for now."

The other Tyllics looked at him incredulously, but obeyed upon seeing that he was absolutely and entirely serious. Even more reassuring was his grip on the pulse rifle in his lower arms: rather than letting it go, he actually tightened the vise. Letting go of their only ranged weapon was certainly not ascendant on Melkan's list of priorities.
This, however, is ours. I'll not let it fall into enemy hands.

At the same time, the Imperial Commandant was watching a green, luminescent screen in the darkened command cabin of her ship. The alien biovessel was showing a massive power spike - a surefire sign of an FTL preparation.
"Lock all sensors on that biological ship - now." She growled at an officer across the bridge. The particular crewman was tone-deaf, however, and had to tell her urgency by the rise in her upper shoulders to determine that she was quite anxious. "It must be tracked."
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:00 am

The Z'srus B'nik's neutrino signature peaked again as its graviton projector and anti graviton thruster coordinated the battle-scarred vessel's warp bubble into a bottle-like form factor. Daughter products- including neutrinos, muons and other eccentric quanta which would make Dirac piss his pants- would stream off into space at constant amounts as the Z'srus B'nik finally completed its gravitational manipulation; incoming light behind the Aurelian ship would lense around the gravitational field's edge as a sure sign of imminent leave.

Then the Z'srus B'nik shot forth into the direction of what regional star maps would identify as an orange-yellow main sequence star well into the middle of its life span. The occasional degenerate tachyon would demonstrate significant red-shift on equipped sensors, corresponding to the gravity manipulation's strength vs. change in velocity from the Tyllic fleet.

---

Gol'Azkhor. Capital of the Aurelian slavers for tens if not hundreds of thousands of years since the indigenous inhabitants were forced into indentured servitude for resisting the superior force's might. Homage to the system's history sat a rotating warp ring continuously retrofitted with the spoils of each slaver raid as it hovered near a Neptunian gas giant.

Yet that was not all which would meet a visitor's eye: What appeared to be shadowy, irregular forms protruding from the warp ring were numerous Aurelian possessions. Frigates. Native-bred bioships comparable to the Z'srus B'nik. More frigates and at least three captured freighters awaiting disassembly. Bugs- yes, the aforementioned Gol'Azkhorzin natives reduced to thralls as they tended to their assigned clans' raiding fleets inside radiation-resistant flesh armor that bled upon the slightest impact. As the Z'srus B'nik decelerated near the gas giant, no fewer than several thousand insectoid sapients took notice of the newcomer: Back to work, it seemed, and without a sedative treat.

Meanwhile, the warp ring itself bristled with blade-edged mass drivers, captured ion cannons, and numerous other armaments salvaged from captured brigand-wannabes and independent alien traders. At least one consolation, however, would be apparent on mass-displacement sensors: No significant quantities of HEU or plutonium seemed to be present, indicating the absence or near-absence of nuclear devices and their derivatives. Nevertheless, the amalgam of reused weapons could more than suffice to hold off a significant ambush by smaller parties.

(( Back from two examinations. ))
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:08 pm

As the Imperial Fleet approached the coordinates they had triangulated from the ship-creature's own tiny gravity well, the Commandant decided that it was best to lock down into battle stations. They did, after all, have absolutely no knowledge as to where they were heading. Some of the millennium-old exploratory charts would have aided significantly, but they were locked away in a Library world somewhere in the deep core - the only area of the Empire to never see a Pantheon invasion.

"Let's see what our prey has in store for us... prepare to depart as soon as we enter the gravity well." Her voice was quiet, subdued. It made her bridge crew nervous, knowing that she was apprehensive. It did not befit a true soldier, even in a first contact scenario.

She knew she had made a tactical error the instant they got sensor readings.
"Get us out of here NOW!" She nearly dragged the pilot out of his seat and laid in course for the star, hoping to dash past the armada docked at what sensors saw as a combat ring. The lead ship plunged forward with close to thrice the speed of its attendant warships, which steered as far away as possible from the planets while still making for the star. Given the distance between the two forces, it was at least hopeful that they would not be overrun despite all technological advantages.

__________

In what the Tyllics would pronounce as the "Zurus Brick's" cargo cavities, Melkan and his squadmates felt the vibrations from exiting Faster-Than-Light speed rumble under their feet. They had not been harmed, and none of the aliens had even gone for the pulse rifle. All they had to do to stay alive for the moment was loiter around and not go touching things.

"So, final vote. Who wishes to bet that they are slavers?" One of the troopers was trying to make a game out of their fate.
"I still say they seem to be an assimilating species, like the Pantheon." Another cut in. "After all, how do you think the material for this ship was allocated?"
"I matters not," Melkan broke up the conversation with the first words he'd spoken in eight decicycles, "since I seriously doubt we will come out as the victors in this match. No matter what the end, it will not benefit us. At the least, we will lose more. At worst, we lose our lives."
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:37 pm

(( The Zurus Brick. Quite a fitting name for a disabled vessel. ^^ ))

Several bumpy nodules seemed to quiver along the warp ring's outer circumference but soon abated seconds after. The docked vessels seemed oblivious- or pretended to, at least- to the five gravitational blips occurring a ways away from Gol'Azkhor and the warp ring itself; betwixt the distant planet and the interstellar gate, three bulbous-looking vessels drifted along, albeit with the absence of any neutrino signatures from their thrusters. Furthermore, angular momentum sensors would be able to recognize rotation along the bioships' prograde axis, possibly to the extent of minimizing weightlessness side effects by exerting centripetal force upon the occupants within.

Neutrino signatures spiked moments before the warp ring activated something; perhaps in response to the signature spikes near the outer system bands? No. Instead, the graviton projectors fired their stream of gravitons towards the ring's center, striking a common point which would also receive a healthy dose of unknown particles one split-second later to contain the gravitational field from snapping off one of the protruding docked vessels. After a minute, a detachment of six smaller vessels seemed to emerge from a starry background dominated by one lagging vessel before the graviton projectors abruptly shut off, leaving some seven mid-sized biovessels drifting along a vector towards Gol'Azkhor and its lush environment. Emphasis on the word 'drift,' for though spectrometers would be able to receive wavelength spectra of the methane mixtures spewing forth from their orifices, another suspicious absence of neutrinos could put investigators on alert: Whatever drives the Z'srus B'nik had to facilitate travel between systems, it seemed these vessels relied on a long-obsolete method of travel inferior to the ZB's. In fact, only the Z'srus B'nik possessed Alcubierre Drives, leaving the remaining Aurelian ships vulnerable to an in-transit ambush.

---

AMFT operative Aemira glared at the cholesteatoma septum as her grip on a holstered handgun tightened. Damn it all, thought the Tantalan woman as her feet sank during one of the vessel's reflexive quivers. Steadying her gait, the HAZMAT-armored woman waded through the putrefied flesh of one of the A'qr 'Nizin's hollow gas vacuoles. A CRT monitor drilled into the vacuole's membrane let a cable hang towards the outer wall's 'bottom' as the insulated wire fed into a Faraday-caged drum surrounded by corroded battery packs and discarded MREs which reeked of decaying algae. Aemira Lyndon-Khan chose not to evacuate the vacuole of the alien atmosphere, instead allowing herself to remain confined lest the organism picked up her presence and alerted the entire Xu'tharin contingent. One Tantalan nationalist aboard an Aurelian warp ring, go figure.

Six chemoreceptor-based signal converters fed an unusual packet of vessel data into the magnetic memory drum, which in turn displayed the results of an elevated graviton signature tapped from the A'qr 'Nizin's nervous system: Seven strong interfering spikes, followed by a lull preceding six- or maybe seven- subtle bumps jutting from the otherwise flat line. Aemira fastened her grip on the vacuole's villi as she pulled herself closer to the intriguing data: The seven spikes seemed to shift right, suggesting that these anomalies were floating away. Behind Aemira, numerous bayonet wounds scarred into the vacuole's wall recounted the days since Aemira's abandonment- in this case, fifty-seven. The bloodied wall seemed to have lost vital control over the underlying tissue, however, and Aemira's bayonet markings seemed to blend in with the gangrenous flesh as it dissolved her work.

---

On occasion, captives in the Tyllics' location would be barely able to receive a faint buzzing from down the corridor. Not loud enough to drive a human crazy, but still audible to the tuned ear. More close to the situation, the ruptured c'hyrae capsules seemed to stop bleeding, though the severed flaps of tissue hung over their bases and gave a disagreeable odor to those olfactory sensors unfortunate enough to face the chute.

In a minute, muscular contractions within the ship's walls would gently fold out a stool-like projection for the occupants. Its scaly surface would probably not be particularly comfortable for the sensitive, but it could do as a seat.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:52 pm

"Well, that was certainly late." The navigator huffed as some sort of organic seat fell out of the wall onto it side in slow motion.
"Seating, I take it?" Melkan queried - after wincing at her use of 'well'. It seemed to him that his race was becoming less cultured by the orbit.
"Yes." Saying nothing more, she tried to sit down on it, awkwardly shifting her knees outward to accommodate for the legs of the creature... thing.
Another trooper interjected. "If it would help, those aliens have legs with only one knee, that bends forward. That would explain why your shins don't-"
"I CAN TELL." both pairs of her shoulders raised, accompanied by a straightening of the back.

__________

The Imperial destroyer banked sharply to the side after three minutes of no pursuit, coming around 145 degrees faster than its escort could move in a straight line. After a momentary communications link, the four frigates passed their lead vessel and continued on the previous route to rip out of the system.

Commandant Darie K'nae Soprat Vailor was rather interested in the aliens. Not only were their ships of flesh, but also apparently unaware of gravitational scanning. Tyllic ships had tiny energy signatures in comparison to most ships, but the gravitational signature was enhanced for a multitude of reasons. It would be hard to miss an Imperial vessel when equipped with the right types of scanners. If she could use that to her advantage, then she could try to quietly abduct prisoners of her own for study and interrogation.

The destroyer slipped slowly closer to the smallest group of bioships in the vicinity - six or seven vessels in transit to the inhabited world. It sent localized communications bands towards the aliens, hailing them as friendly...

((Yes, I'm going to introduce characters by all four names the first time. And yes, I'm making up names. Also, Tyllics legs are shaped like a Protoss Zealot's from Starcraft 2 - I don't actually know the term for that leg shape.))
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:02 pm

The Z'srus B'nik's approach continued, leaving a trace of biochemicals indicative of its injuries in the wake. Its graviton-neutrino receptors were useless at this point, having been crippled by the Pathkk's collision against the sensitive carapace. Flying beyond visual range of the Tyllic vessels did not help either, leaving the three poor SOBs to their demise...

---

One loin-clothed Aurelian spoke, lifting his head as his eyes met the fungal-encrusted walls of the K'kr'kizm. "What will we eat this time?" As he spoke, a stunted insectoid creature no taller than 1.27 meters idly surveyed the messy mess hall. Its hardened carapace seemed eerily similar to the K'kr'kizm's, only that a good three of its fourteen total digits happened to be missing. To the Gol'Azkhorzin's fore, it saw the disarray which happened three days prior: The muscle projections appeared sunken and bluish with oxidant deprivation, probably because of a pressured vein threatening to burst somewhere else. Remnants of a butchered creature of sorts were scattered across this 'table,' with bone-like fragments spilled onto the floor for whatever violent reason.

"Is the stowaway secured? I will grind its flesh into the thralls' gruel!"

"Damn you all! Damn you!"

All heads turned towards the east, watching a burlier Gol'Azkhorzin spawn tow in a restrained human man as he bared his teeth. "Let me go, you heathens-"

Blood exploded from where his incisors were as the insectoid suddenly jabbed its compound arm into the isolation membrane, leaving the sac intact but also transferring the impact force upon the man's teeth. The remaining individuals watched in calculating science as the human captive fell silent once more.

"Go, go!" Barked the Aurelian to his insect servant. The aggravated slave veered of to its left, leaving the Aurelian occupants a perfect angle to safeguard the captive's presence. Withdrawing a rugged bone knife from his loincloth's edge, K'kr the Cet'pho Butcher as he was known let the instrument sink through the cyanide-oxygen barrier.

---

Aemira's bolt-action rifle was appended with a needlepoint bayonet three-and-a-half fingers abreast and four decimeters long. Even such a weapon could not manage another clean cut into the distended vacuole membrane; the tissue flap wilted inward upon Aemira's touch, spilling an appreciable amount of viscous fluids infused with metabolic wastes. "Damn," she cursed as Aemira sidestepped right. The fluids coagulated near the base within fifteen seconds, during which Aemira grabbed her combat knife, ammunition case, laser scope and silencer. No doubt that this gravitational disturbance notified the crews that there were other vessels in the system... But what could they do? The [i]A'qr 'Nizin
was an immotile warp ring some God-knows years old, not a damned warp-capable vessel. Aemira passed through the first tissue portal and waited for the first flap to close behind her. Then the second valve would open, and Aemira would crawl through the narrowing gas exchange duct which fed from the vacuole's "air lock," bridging the human-friendly atmosphere with the A'qr 'Nizin's xenophobic milieu. A thin pinpoint of blue light reached the curvy junction as Aemira poised her rifle down the chute: Good. Nobody was coming.

---

Uli'kiotinari Z'xitr was staring at the biofilm's ripples the moment the central brain relayed some sort of... signal?

"Y'grbik, is it one of our transports?"

”No,” the Aurelian Y’grbik interrupted as something discolored the bioluminescence of his console.

Z’xitr’s vessel rotated counterclockwise around its prograde axis as with his convoy, providing a weaker but sufficient centripetal force intended to minimize weightlessness. In the stationary bridge, though, Z’xitr struggled to maintain his grip on the fibrous tendons crisscrossing the bridge ‘floor’: Unlike those fantastic vessels being grown among the Zilun III environment with integrated graviton-projection plating, Z’xitr missed one auction too many, and his hands instead fell upon this ancient organism no younger than 1,100 years old. Z’xitr shifted extremely uncomfortably as he spoke:

”Issue a hail. We cannot abandon a fellow clan-“

”Out here? And from where-“

”Do not question me! Just give the hail!”



Of the five vessels, only one mangled transmission from what could be assumed the convoy head would reach the lone Tyllic vessel:

”Zzzzt- T’rqin B’oz here- Zzz- Identify, friend, for we do not understand-“

The weak signal would come in two formats- one radio, another as a tachyon stream. Given appropriate equipment, one would be able to detect the absence of cryptography in this stream.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:11 pm

”Zzzzt- T’rqin B’oz here- Zzz- Identify, friend, for we do not understand-“

"Well, I'm surprised that worked. Is the computer core translating?" Darie was sweating with excitement, her entire crew shaking with a miasma of fear and hope. If any of them even had the equivalent of a nose, they would have been overwhelmed by the sweet and bitter scents within their own combat suits.
"Yes, sir." One of the bridge crew relayed the translated message to her from the very type of harness Melkan would have envied - a standing position brace that locked a pilot in and gave direct controls to their six limbs, with the telltale green screens split off to the sides to give the soldier a view between them. "Shall I return a distress call?"
"Only a garbled one. Return a picture of one of our frigates from the data core, and a written message. All methods of communication - except light flashing. Stay a distance away, too. We don't want them detecting our ship. Let's lure them, not go for it right away if possible."

---under attack, alien vessels detec---- near the sun! Assistance is need---

"Let's hope they're fools, or it's good enough to get some of them to our escort." She paced around the bridge, watching her four pilots man their stations alongside an auxiliary bridge crew of three troopers not in harnesses. "I have a feeling there shall be promotions enough to go around after this!"

__________

//Burst Transmission Incoming: Location Gadren: Destination T.H.C. Tyllon//

Commandant Darie K'nae Soprat Vailor reporting; mercenary ship 'Pathkk' engaged in skirmish with hostile aliens. Destroyed for retreat and failure to complete all objectives, including peaceful contact with new species. Following alien vessel to unknown coordinates in Imperial North. Destroyed Library World in Gadren System.

//Burst Ended//
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue May 06, 2014 10:16 pm

K'kr let the scalpel-like instrument rest by the bloodied corpse's left arm, appearing rather irritated in his eyes: Nothing useful other than this human's blabbering of a God and threats of eternal Damnation to his captor's face.

"T'iantaloum rebel. How did he board this ship?"

K'kr the Cet'pho Butcher roared this as he knocked over the Tantalan human's gurney, spilling out the unfortunate contents from the disintegrating amniotic sac.

"Gol'Azkhorzin! Take this body away!"

The large insect returned, and so K'kr joined the departing Xu'tharin cadre as he left behind the messy interrogation scene. Good riddance, thought the brute when the portal contracted shut behind him.

---

Z'xitr hissed quietly as the poor-quality message replayed through the panel's tympanic membrane: "Under attack, alien vessels detec-"
"Bring us towards the signal's origin!"

Everyone in the bridge braced their ground as the T'rqin B'oz rotated counterclockwise to meet the unknown source's direction. The four trailing vessels retained their route, though no doubt some of the awake crews were probably confused at their leading vessel's divergence. Being set to follow the lead vessel's scent trail, though, the other four freighter vessels arced behind the T'rqin B'oz while they drew closer to the unknown source. Two vessels yonder seemed unaffected by the signal, instead proceeding full speed ahead to the biological warp ring.

The five lumpy vessels all had one major weakness: Being propelled by methane expulsion, it would take hours until their velocities matched the appropriate vector collinear with the unknown destroyer, leaving their eventual return to the ring a questionable endeavor even barring effective capture.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Fri May 09, 2014 12:49 am

"Perfect..." Commandant Darie experienced a shudder of relief and joy as the mounds of flesh pursued. Her other forces near the star itself approached at maximum speed, hoping to rush onto the convoy. The five ships were evenly matched; this would be a contest of skill and technology. The four frigates, while newer, were only marginally better in actual combat than the Pathkk had been before it's untimely destruction.

"We're almost 5 minutes of travel time from our allies, my commander."
"Perfect. Once we arrive, let's shoot down four of the ships and take the last one if possible." Inside her helm, her primary eyes were open wider than normal, glaring at the 3-dimensional photon collider in the rear of the bridge. The small dots flashed green for friendly and orange for hostile, with everything else in colorless (or white) light. "I want half the crew to board the last one and take roughly a half-dozen prisoners. After that, we run and jump away as planned. All ships are to concentrate fire, one vessel at a time."

As battle warnings blared from internal comma and engineers clamped pulse particle feeds to the various ship turrets, she remembered one last thing.
"Also, lower the viewport armoring."
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:02 pm

Circulatory fluids followed Aemira's wake as her rifle's bayonet cut against the capillary's endothelium. Between her and the hangar arc segment were no fewer than several thousand Gol'Azkhorzin and Aurelian guards, so Aemira elected to keep inside the atmosphere circulation veins. She fought off several unsuspecting Gol'Azkhorzin over a three month period. Not a scratch. But this time, things were different. The remote monitor panel beeped inside Aemira's helm as it received and translated the incoming graviton feeds from the den's mainframe: Aemira could tell from the crescendo tone that something was approaching the Aurelian vessels.

Well, that's three fewer beasts-

Aemira's bayonet hit something rigid as she took another step. The thin, continuous crack of severed tissue met the obstruction at a bony joint shielding some sort of capillary pump. With a firmer tug, the bayonet sliced through the biological ring's cartilage, carving up into a fluid sac which sprayed detritus out and upon Aemira's space-activity suit. "Shit," was all Aemira mustered once the bayonet pulled free from the offending section of tissue. Right when her eyes met the hideous outline of a Gol'Azkhorzin standing silently some ten meters away, its wings humming somewhere between thirty to forty Hertz. An earsplitting shriek echoed down the corridor, overwhelming Aemira's audio receptors as the bug lurched into the bayonet.

---

Something about these unknowns wasn't Aurelian, but it wasn't that the Tantalans managed to mass-produce these incoming structures even if the absence of atmospheric trailings suggested otherwise. Z'xitr gently carved flakes of reinforced keratin out from his console with the edge of a hunting knife, giving its edge an extra dose of whetting in case Z'xitr had to do some utility work elsewhere.

"The Trqin B'oz is not picking up any plumes!"

"I hear you!" Z'xitr could be heard shouting ahead of an unnamed Aurelian crew as she watched the conversation between Kh'uunari and subordinate continue. "Bring us in and ready the logistic c'hyrae. Whether we need to help a fellow Kh'uun or add to our menagerie some wandering fools, I want our boarders ready!"

---

The five Aurelian vessels would now enter visual range with respect to the four Tyllic vessels, yet it would not be for another fifty meters or so until the Aurelians could see them. Much smaller than a colonizing animal yet still formidable in capacity, these five Aurelian bioships would bristle with eight c'hyrae and numerous surface spines each- the former being well obfuscated from view save for their slightly thicker girth and superior length.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:43 pm

"Aaanndddd....... FULL SPREAD! FIRE, FIRE NOW!" The destroyer's master screeched. One of the braced pilots - one far less on edge than his boss - finalized a console command that initiated the destroyer's turrets. Those same weapons began launching their weak payloads, particularly at the alien formation in general rather than at a single ship.

The frigates en route to the ambush took this as a sign that they were to engage as well. All secrecy cast aside, two took off at full speed to move around the enemy formation and hit from another side. The remaining pair opted to utilize their main guns, actually backing away as they fired. If there had been any before, there could no longer be any doubts: the Tyllic skirmishers were hostile and fully intended to fire until they ran out of pulse particles or won.

The Commandant was now literally having fits, laying on her bridge while both laughing and musing at the internal sensor suite. One of the unbraced officers gave her a rather quizzical look, and the two in the back gave each other a concerned look that plainly read I need a transfer. While it was not unexpected for a Tyllic to have mood swings, this was simply too much.

"Sir."
"What is it now?" Darie whipped around, baring her teeth at the interruption.
"Well, how shall I put this..." the soldier fidgeted nervously, "I believe you may need to calm down considerably."
"... Oh. I see. Take the helm, then. Just save me some samples, and leave one ship intact for boarding." She stood up, only to fall down and be hoisted up by the door guards.

When the bridge access sealed, the trooper turned back to a silent bridge... which was then filled with relieved sighs.
"Yikes. I guess poorly cooked yelot really does upset your blood composition." A lone pilot broke the tension from behind his screens.
"Alright, back to stations, already! The show's over!"
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:53 am

The lagging two Aurelian vessels were completely engulfed with spilled cyanide as a pulse particle salvo punctured the vessels' vital organelles; to their front, the third vessel's bridge seemed shot up and in poor shape overall. Z'xitr fell backward before he opened his mouth, however, when something detonated several decks below. Those oxygen vats and cellul- "Grrn! Return fire, return fire!" Z'xitr managed to grunt as he regained his footing and crawled out of the bridge into its corridor. Pain pheromones seemed to do the trick, though, for the bridge c'hyrae launched their first volley of spikes towards the unknown fleet.

---

With three out of five ships crippled, the remaining Aurelian vessels returned fire with vengeance, though with lesser effect since these were Aurelian freighter bioships rather than combat frigates. Several dozen spines would soar in the Tyllics' direction, glinting faintly as the orange-yellow dwarf's lighting refracted through the crystalline structure.

---

Aemira sprinted through the smallest corridor she saw ten minutes ago even after the harsh insectoid clicking subsided. Her rifle bayonet was badly deteriorated from Gol'Azkhorzin blood corrosion, lending to it a purplish black coating which exposed parts of the reinforcing rebar beneath the aluminium plating. Six chutes each lined the corridor on both sides with the end pinched off by a closed muscle valve. Aemira peered through one chute, grimacing at the shut valve.

"Shit! My bayonet..."

It was enough to withdraw the stiletto blade from the insect's corpse, but it was in no condition to endure another slice. Rotating the rifle one-hundred-and-eighty degrees until the stock faced the valve, the suited human charged at the valve... Only to be pleasantly welcomed with the muscle contracting a second before her visored face would smash into the deal. It closed shut behind her just as the luminescing fungi lit the interior with cyan light. Aemira wasted no time. Seating herself before the strange alien console, she plunged her right five fingers into the gelatinous panel.

Grrrrn!

"Let's get the hell out of here," murmured the escapee before she tapped another tendril-encrusted button disengaging the airlock connection and activating the retrofitted sodium-ion engine. Far from the activity going on in Z'xitr's portion of the system, other ships in the ring's vicinity drifted in a confused matter while their Kh'uunarin appeared to confirm the disturbance's direction, distance, and travel time. None seemed to mind one disengaged pod the size of a mid-girth freighter bringing itself around to aim at the wormhole's center, or else the Red Devils were too preoccupied with counting Cet'pho heads in the holds.

"Zzzzt- Identify and input destination."

"Damn... Hm?"

The warp ring seemed to communicate with its spawn or so as some of the tendrils beneath Aemira's panel rearranged themselves into different stars- one of which was blacked out. Zeus. The Tantalan system.

"Repeat prior... route" Aemira frowned while struggling to string the correct accent. The link went silent.

---

The Z'srus B'nik continued its path towards Gol'Azkhor, ignoring the disappearing vessels in the starry background while its trajectory took it towards the flora-infested planet. Vast maturing creatures seemed to bask in orbit around Gol'Azkhor, their hides transparent to allow the starlight to reach the planetary surface. Some appeared comparable to specialized carriers, others to shipping freighters. And some of the monstrosities were not under maturation but were, in fact, weapons platforms bristling with captured rail guns, surface-to-aerospace gun-laser-and-missile (SAGLaM) units, unguided multiple-launch rocket systems. Deuterium, cyanide, and nitrogen fuel pods jutted below the platforms along tentacle-like stalks which almost reached the edge of Gol'Azkhor's thermosphere. Numerous raider vessels drifted around the planet like worker insects in a hive mind- their sole mission being the utmost dedication to and protection of the Aurelian home world.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:20 pm

By this point, the flanking frigates had stopped the retreat and began to slowly turn along the galactic plane, attempting to bring their main guns to bear on the prey they sought. The duo to the fore took the brunt of the enemy's response fire. Those that hit the armor shell glanced off the angled surface and skittered away into space; however, the several that hit the relatively unprotected cannon areas had no angle and little armor to compete with. They buried deep into the bulkheads of the vessels.

"Sir, one of the frigates reports a ruptured particle bay! They're leaking ammunition!" The destroyer's communicator reported.
"Well, they won't be much use like that." The bridge officer mused. "Very well. Tell them to engage in boarding action with one of the more heavily damaged enemy vessels. Order the other ships to move in and defend our boarding party. We'll stay at a distance and maintain a focus on scanning for reinforcements. Bring us out of combat range!"

The looming warship once again put it's engines to good use, carrying dozens of warriors and one sick commander away from a fight that most of them would have preferred to continue participating in. However, the frigates attempted to pick up the slack for their comrades. All four of them closed in on the aliens' pack - with one preparing to board. It would pull up alongside the enemy ship as close as possible, shut off its internal lights to hinder counterboarding, and finally, launch two reinforced hatches into the enemy ship. This tactic relied on the enemy being immobile and shieldless, however, so it required a disabled target - thus the choosing of one of the heavily damaged ships.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:36 am

Z'xitr held a neurotoxin-tipped spear between his teeth when something new wafted around his corner; two separate pheromone trails leading from two ulcerating breaches, signaling what available Xu'tharin were onboard to reach the affected site. "What now, M'ilj?"

"Two deep wounds starboard from here," replied an armored entourage clad in chitin armor as she floated behind. "The Tihn'tharin are already bewildered-"

"We have only forty against unknowns!" Z'xitr snapped. "I know well they are bewildered if you tell me that!"

---

The blackout seemed to do the trick, for neither the remaining crew in the lead ship's bridge nor the faltering vessel behind seemed to notice the boarding frigate. However, the breaching of alien flesh would not go unpunished: Considerable amounts of toxic, alien blood would pool around the edges of the breach while throwing off cyanide-methane fumes into wherever the gases could diffuse through. Not too terrible a problem for armored soldiers or immune species as it would for underprepared parties, but the breach could be very messy.

On the other end, one would find surprisingly few Aurelian warriors loitering in this particular section given the confusing state of the vessel's entire crew as well as the near-invisible superficiality of the wound. At least three Xu'tharin brandishing staves and crossbows would be present, but nowhere was an A'kronin t'az to be found or any similar heavy weaponry once and if the hatch bore through the 0.61 meter 'hull.'
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:08 am

"Ach! What is this -untranslatable-?" The lead trooper hissed through his helmet's communicator. He had stepped straight out the pressure-sealed boarding hatch into an environment that seemed a cross between an intestine and a ship swept by the Flayer Plague.
"Why do I always get the worst jobs? I mean, it's not as if-"
A bladed staff weapon skidded off his shoulder armor out of the blue, thereafter connecting with the edge of his headpiece. He stumbled back (despite weighing almost four hundred Earth pounds with his armor), swiveling to look at at least two aliens of a much shorter disposition. They both held the odd pike weapons, but that didn't help when the now free-to-exit boarding squad came tumbling into the poor excuse for a corridor.

In short order the hall was filled with nearly a dozen armored forms, fighting hand-to-hand with now a half dozen of the stocky xenos. No doubt the same scenario played out forty LGUs down the ship, in another area.

__________

At the same time, Daerie's burst message had been received on Tyllon. In a large metal structure harkening to an Egyptian temple, a small set of politicians read it over and decided whether or not to act.

"Darie K'nae Soprat Vailor is not experienced. Nor shall I let it be forgotten that her bloodline has the taint of near-insanity to it." A male known only to his fellows as 'Three' quipped. "It would be unwise to risk resources to aid her. I venture that we wait."
"Absolutely not!" 'Two' cried. "A new subject species would be the perfect break for us!" Her voice rang out in the lightless room, constructed so that even Tyllic councillors could only ever know each others' identities by outlines in their secondary eyes.
"Shut it." 'Eight' cut off what could have turned into another monologue on the Empire's restoration. "Let's get the Staveki and Hvex first. After all, they're closer, have no space flight as of yet, and we have extensive data on them. Plus, the Hvex use traditional types of machinery. Not to mention their birth rate is an asset."
"Any comment, One?" 'Two' looked at the outline in the podium to her right. 'One' merely gave a slight twist of the torso - a no.

It took a small while before they came to an agreement, minus the ever-silent 'One'. The decision the Council arrived at was to wait for the Commandant's return, and invade or uplift their two interstellar neighbors in the meantime. Afterwards the meeting adjourned.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:07 pm

Two of the Xu'tharin pike-wielders died within minutes of entry, their forms cloven by whatever close quarter armaments the Tyllic boarders carried within. "Help- we are under attack!"
Stress pheromones mixed with pungent pain compounds diffused down the corridors with each passing minute of combat. One Aurelian Xu'tharin managed to recover its balance and retreat from the foray, its grasps leaving behind nasty wounds in the living ship's corridor as blood joined the chemical mix. An opaque haze of reacting pheromones filled the area which could give both attackers and defenders a visibility disadvantage in several minutes. Already, portions of the muscle-lined hallways were constricting to half their prior diameter.

---

M'ilj scampered down the weightless metabolism corridor which ran parallel to the length of flesh where most of the fighting took place. Behind M'ilj were two crossbow-armed Xu'tharin and Z'xitr. "Have we reached the end?"
"No, Z'xitr, but we are safe. Why are we here when our clan needs help?"
"We need to retrieve an artifact. This old vessel cannot return to heal,"
Z'xitr groaned just before he pulled himself ahead of the triad. "As much as I want to rip out someone's brains and feast onto them, we are trapped. I am not leaving behind the map."

The two Xu'tharin kept their posts at the opposite exit while Z'xitr and M'ilj passed through the Kh'uunarin G'al- Kh'uunarin Region- and into a darkened room dominated by one bioluminescent bulb suspended by flesh at the top and bottom to the organism's walls: A tetrahedral projector floated within the aqueous phenol-formaldehyde solution. Z'xitr withdrew a stiletto-thin knife, and plunged the instrument through the amniotic membrane and underlying compound before he forced it back out.
"M'ilj, keep this with you as you rally every available Xu'tharin to the corridors. I have unsettled business to take care of."
M'ilj bobbed her head for an instant as she snatched the tetrahedron from Z'xitr's grasp and floated back through the G'al into the upcoming war zone. Z'xitr, meanwhile, reinforced his grasp on the burst vacuole to deliver a second, more crippling stab down the center of the stalk and leave the offending blade there. Then, Z'xitr followed M'ilj down the weightless area.

(( Sorry for the hiatus! ))
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:14 am

As the brawl continued, the squad's leader received a message from his own superior, at the aft breaching tunnel.
"Second Squad's failed!" He yelled over the comm. "Their shaft didn't punch through, so we need to make room for them HERE!"
"Sir!" A trooper crushed the skull of one of the aliens with the large talons on his foot, aided somewhat by the metal sheathes that his suit granted. He pointed down the artery as he returned the leg to a normal stance. "We need to move, or we won't have room for us!"
Sure enough, the walls of the ship trembled and released a mix of gasses into the air - probably deadly to the Tyllics, save for their armor. As they did so, the tube began to shrink in diameter.

"Fine. Casualties?"
"One Trooper badly injured, one more with a ruptured suit. Can't risk biological contamination."
"They go back. The rest of you, on me! Someone tell Second Squad to wait!"
As ten armored forms forced their way down the ever-smaller hallway, two more limped back onboard the frigate.

__________

As the troopers moved, they left holes in the floor from their feet. They soon had to rely on their secondary eyes; the air was foggy and the tunnel left no room to avoid it. They nearly could not walk, considering their reverse-jointed legs. A crouching jog was the best they could possibly manage.
The squad leader halted them at an intersection, around which he could see another alien. The tunnel began to shrivel in response to their mere walking.
"We need to move, or our surprise on the next group of foes will be lost!" A trooper said over the comm. His voice, muted to the outside by a sealed helmet, carried a mildly formal tone - suggesting a middle-age warrior underneath the mask. Not the ideal Tyllic soldier, but enough to give the squad an element of experience.
"Well, we should just- Grkk!!" An odd projectile slammed into another trooper's neck, penetrating into but not entirely through him. He ducked/fell sideways on the fleshy wall as the others instinctively took cover by pressing themselves as deeply into the tense muscle as possible. Without a word, the soldiers gaussed the hallway behind them and in front with pulse rifles, while three of thier number dove around the corner to find whatever had killed their comrade.

"Okay, tell Second Squad to move in!" Their officer cried out to nobody in particular. "We need pulse repeaters!"

((No prob. I feel awkward about my posting every time, wondering if I'm being overbearing or not thorough enough. Plus, I did forget to herald my return!))
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:06 am

The remaining Xu'tharin on the opposite end sustained their crossbow volleys followed by intermittent advances around the protruding; two more Aurelian crossbow-wielders joined the solitary Aurelian in firing a blind barrage down the corridor, their bolts vaguely resembling a stream of machine gun bullets suppressing an enemy position. Granted, many shots would end up piercing the walls of this vessel due in part to the fog, but any further advance would be met with an unequivocal barrage from the repeating crossbows.

That is, until the Tyllics returned fire, including one shot that burned through one Xu'thari's shoulder. "I am hit-" Another DEW shot made its mark spot-on the Aurelian's chest, leaving a gaping wound that felled the Aurelian gunner. Then three more Xu'tharin- including one brandishing another crossbow- appeared at the Aurelian-held section and started to entrench themselves into the spongy floor.

"Where is Z'xitr? We need him!" Screamed one of the Xu'tharin arrivals as it released yet another stream of four crossbow bolts down the opaque corridor, then a pulse rifle's round returned fire and grazed the leader's chitin armor.
"He said something about an artifact- oh, will someone rip out these intruders' throats!" Cried a female's voice after several pulse rifle shots vaporized the ship's circulatory fluids in her face.

---

Z'xitr and M'ilj parted ways, and the latter soon found herself staring down the last several centimeters of an opening through the constricting corridor's valve. Wrong turn, M'ilj hissed as she floated left into a darkened Gol'Azkhorzin swarm room that had been emptied several weeks ago of its living cargo. The strong insectoid stench was nigh impossible to ignore under normal conditions, but M'ilj thought little of it as her eyes settled on an abandoned pod-like structure taking center stage: Listless they may be, but this was a perfect opportunity to jettison the artifact off-ship... If only it had the appropriate activation pheromones for proper control, hailing, and extraction maneuvers: Sending the projector into an isolated swamp was no better than letting it hurtle through the unforgiving void. Expediently, M'ilj scoured over various litter, hoping to find one intact pheromone canister from which an appropriate authority would be able to program a route to the warp ring and beyond.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:41 am

As the bolts streamed down the corridor, Tyllic armor lattice proved its value many times over. However, it was impossible to expect the same of the unarmored joints, and the squad was down by two more men with their coverless position: one Trooper was now a corpse held up by his comeades as a shield, while another was spraying mechanical sealant around an arrow in the back of his upper left knee and putting the collected cusses of a civilization so old that even its abnormally long-lived people had no idea of its origins.

"You realize that stuff's meant to seal suit ruptures, right?" A female crouched past him, ramming an extra mass pack and battery into her pulse rifle. She then resumed lobbing the translucent green shots into the mist, where her secondary eyes could barely see a few distortions.
"YeaAHHH...." The arrow had brushed against the trembling flesh of the beast they stood in. "But it IS a suit rupture. Plus, I really don't want more alien germs than that arrow's already given me."
"I see your point..." The female said.

At this point, the other twelve Tyllic warriors should be on board with akrit blades and bindings for captives, as well as better weaponry. Their frigate had three pulse repeaters on board; weapons with fully automatic fire and a much larger mass magazine, at the expense of having less power to each shot. The squad leader knew this - and now he had a steady supply of potential captives.
"Back to the ship!" He yelled over the comm, then stooping and yanking the arrow out of his wounded man. Ignoring the curses he received for it, he began dragging him down the tunnel. Carrying would have to be reserved for someone lighter and with more space between the floor and the roof.

Two carried the corpse in front of them as a shield, while three more shot over them down the artery as they went. The rest lagged behind, covering the rear with most of their remaining ammunition.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:34 pm

(( Sorry for the hiatus! ))

Another pulse shot tore through H'gir's arm, sending the Aurelian backward before crumpling into a heap of pain. "H'gir!" Hissed one of the remaining Aurelians before he fired another shot towards the intruders holding an armored corpse. "I'm running low on bolts-"
"Take H'gir's when you lack bolts!"
"Gladly!"

The stiffening flesh continued to constrict until the diameter was five-eighths of its original size. Histamine-like vapors gave the fog a beautiful mauve hue which circulated like eddies in a cloud, though it would also make it harder for both sides to sustain worthwhile combat until and if the Tyllics brought in their big guns.

Once the second crew of boarders arrived, a first group of six hostages including X'zitr would yield their arms, knowing well of their impending defeat. M'ilj, meanwhile, was hidden aboard the vessel in some compartment, waiting out the raid for as feasibly long as possible with the tetrahedral holoprojector. Some of the fog would condense into an adhesive fluid which would accrete around some of the nastier vessel's wounds. Elsewhere, crossbow bolts would continue to make their presence known until either the boarders killed them off or their fire teams ran low on the sharp projectiles.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:05 pm

The second squad flooded into the same chamber the first had, albeit with two heavier pulse weapons carried by dedicated gunners. These weapons, while still handheld, were far heavier and noticeably larger than their smaller counterparts. The two carrying these assumed the front of the line, leading a shuffle-crouching convoy down the passageway and over alien corpses. Their talons left a procession of punctures behind them, muscle and tendon quivering along their path.
As they advanced, it became difficult to see. All the ship was similar in terms of temperature - save for the injured areas - and a fog of chemicals clouded their visors. They should have had the ability to see better, but the collapse of the Xill Empire had left their technology stagnant and resources at a premium. They simply didn’t get modern equipment, even though they were better off than the warlords and raiders that had to make do with run-down gear that had seen decades of use. So, they didn’t see the living aliens up ahead until they nearly bumped into a pair from behind.
One of the xenos shrieked something and loosed a projectile at the lead Tyllic, cracking her visor and leaving an orange warning flashing in the corner of her vision. She was shoved to the side by another, who forced his way past the other heavily-armed warrior as well. Four armored fists ripped the weapon away and grabbed the creature’s wrists, while the other decided to fire and run. However, its shot went wild when two men from the earlier unit rammed into it from the side, using a corpse as a blunt weapon.
“There! Come on now, we must leave!” one shouted over an open frequency. Several more came about the corner, following the second squad back to their boarding location. The last one grabbed the apparently stunned alien, the live one’s captor brought it along, and the one Tyllic corpse and two wounded Troopers were dragged along. Long, bloody ruts appeared behind the little military parade, surrounded by countless pinpricks in the living materials of the vessel.
__________

The space battle was going moderately well. Despite some hits to the less well-armored sections of their frigates, the Tyllic squadron was more than a match for a few blobs of flesh and needles. They also unfortunately had alerted a larger vessel, which was bearing down on them with all the speed of a Sharnian. Despite its plodding along, the Imperials could not tell if it was a warship, and so decided they were better off taking the safer path.
The moment their troops returned, all four frigates would leave behind anything still living and make for the system’s star, which would boost their FTL capabilities in the extreme. Normal rip jumps took entire cycles to charge, while large gravity wells could reduce that time to mere heartcycles. The only time this did not work was with black holes, which simply sucked the ship in before it could jump, because the position of the vessel changed too rapidly to compensate for. Once they ripped away, they would be home free.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:54 pm

(( University's been back for a while, but I'm here. ))

Both Aurelian warriors laid dead or dying as the Tyllics pulled back into their boarding vessel, and hints of the biovessel sustaining gangrene appeared in the form of disintegrating flesh that had been overwhelmed by the biochemical storm, leaving strips of blackened dead flesh peeling from the corridor's surface.

M'ilj clutched at the sharp, angular artifact while watching the Tyllics disembark from their raid to return to their ships. At minimum, the remaining ships were laying suppressive counter-fire at the offensive Tyllic party, but this was perhaps in vain as several more c'hyrae emplacements received a proper beating from their hostile peers and forced the remaining mobile vessels to retreat opposite from the Tyllics who had now orchestrated their own withdrawal. Offship were some twenty injured Xu'tharin captives in addition to three senior Tihn'tharin officials. Among them was Z'xitr, whose eyes were caked with bioship blood and made seeing the surrounding alien ship almost impossible.

We are dead, and through our own volition, thought Z'xitr wherever he was. If the Tyllics were beating him into a bloody pulp or otherwise inflicting torture, he wasn't feeling anything but the shock of loss for the first time in his soon-to-be-ending career.

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Scions of the Core (First Contact)
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