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 Scions of the Core (First Contact)

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The Tyllic Empire

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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:38 pm

(No problem, seeing as I'm slow at this too.)

"Why did you need to bring so many of them with you?"
"They started it, Squad Leader!"
Aboard the Tyllic boarding ship, the crew and troops erupted into a frenzy of action, trying to get away as quickly as possible.

"Somebody get the xenos in the medical bay! I don't care how many there are, just seal them in somewhere and change the atmosphere!"
"To what composition?"
"I don't - ah. Take my helm filter - figure it out."

"ALL SOLDIERS: PREPARE FOR DEPARTURE. WE'RE LEAVING WITH ALL HASTE." The shipwide com blared. Lights re-engaged, and the docking tubes strained and then, with no small amount of torque, ripped away from the alien biovessel. The frigates attacking the convoy immediately tore off at full speed, making for the system's star. Once within a few hundred SGUs, they could jump away in mere heartcycles as the star's gravity supercharged their Rip Drives.
__________

On the Destroyer, it was an entirely different story. The ship had not been engaged or sighted, so they had had the time to pick out com signals from the Pathkk survivors. However, they didn't dare engage the ships alone, and could not risk bringing down the entire fleet on themselves. Therefore, they slipped away quietly as they could, making for the star as well.
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Magna Aurelia

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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:05 pm

Z'xitr's eyes managed to clear themselves of his vessel's entrails just enough so he could take in the non-Aurelian environment. Where in K'rila are we- M'ilj. She is not here. But at least two of his wounded lieutenants were huddled near the entrance. Giving the equivalent of a sigh, Z'xitr carefully watched his tail as he sat down reasonably close to the others. One Xu'tharin was comatose with a scalemail eyepatch covering what one would imagine to be an enucleated socket, while another Aurelian had born severe burns on their midsection.

It did not take Z'xitr long to realize that he was asphyxiating, and perhaps that was the reason his vision almost faded black until some fool got the idea to feed fresh cyanide into their holding bay. Z'xitr's chest stabilized after the crimson-fleshed leader got his fix of cyanide ions into his system, and several dazed Xu'tharin were already standing against the once-sterile compartment walls.

"Is M'ilj around?"

"No."

Z'xitr sighed again. The Starmap was safe, for now. "Any weapons?"

"Not at all."

"Damn them all!"

---

The Z'srus B'nik continued its descent through Gol'Azkhor's atmosphere past the bulbous lifeforms that lurked in the ionosphere. Below, the Gol'Azkhorzin canopy shone with translucent red, purple, and blue bubble-like leaves forming a blinding mosaic to observers, and between the expanses of foliage sat murky lakes readily supplied with runoff rains that swept across the continent daily. Ahead, the horizon met the sea of jungle as a thin band of something darker grew: The ocean, or at least some body of water, laid ahead while the Z’srus B’nik cruised ahead.

Below and above the brig were what sounded like beating wings, hissing, churning, and other nauseating sounds perhaps because of activity taking place in maintenance. Or maybe these sickening noises were courtesy of the [i]Z’srus B’nik
, to keep its occupants edgy. There were no toilets in this particular brig nor slots from which food could be served. Only the protruding seats and CO2-providing cavities were available for the Pathkk’s captives.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:29 pm

Though no orders to do so were given, three of the frigate's Troopers casually stood around in front of the storage compartment the zenos were in. The rest took off their armor in the aptly-named armory bay, sterilizing each piece inside and out before taking antibiotic agents and being tested for foreign contaminants by their pair of medics. Then after-mission euphoria set in, and the troops dispersed after reassembling and putting on their suits again out of habit - some down to the rec room, others to various stations. A few males and females even paired up and went to their quarters, since regulations hadn't been strict since the Fall.

The other ships maneuvered behind the frigate bearing prisoners, turning into a diamond formation as they approached the star. The destroyer made use of its speed and caught up with them, reassembling the task force in its entirety.

__________

"We have just entered the atmosphere."
"I noticed."
Melkan and his two companions sat in the brig of the ship, simply awaiting contact by one of the aliens. They had no doubt that they were firmly within their captors' grasp this time, and it was unlikely that even one pulse gun and all their talons and claws would do much good if they ended up at a military base or at a colony world of any note to the lizards.

"We should discuss how we're going to behave ourselves in light of our situation..."
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Magna Aurelia

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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:11 pm

The ship's descent leveled off into a vector parallel to the canopy at 1.56 kilometers above the surface. The Z'srus B'nik soared above the pebble-marred beach that sloped into the ocean before it made a sharp bank right, which gave more than enough force to jolt an unwary passenger into panic. Then, for the next half hour or so, the Z'srus B'nik traversed Gol'Azkhor's M'gilxr A'e, or Great Sea, before it reached another beach in the form of an extended crescent with natural jetties breaking the otherwise uniform waves. Scattered huts weaved from some unknown variety of indigenous fauna provided housing for ordinary citizens, but what would stand out to outside observers was a massive, ziggurat-shaped structure cast from off-white xenomarble surrounded by weave-bound huts like those seen earlier.

For the Tyllic captives, the Z'srus B'nik remained silent with regards to them even as the raider animal floated down to its designated clearing near the ziggurat structure. The five turrets of the redoubt were staffed by three Xu’tharin each, and several Xu’tharin were already flooding the wall closest to the Z’srus B’nik, hailing the injured creature in apparent confusion concerning what had happened. From the Z’srus B’nik’s current position, it became evident that this complex had seen better days: Floral overgrowth worked its way up the walls over the past hundred thousand years until only high-traffic walkways remained clear of detritus. Millennia of conflict left depressions, holes, cracks, and missing mortar in the peculiar masonry. Some of these injuries were more… recent.

Yet as ancient as this sprawling tower was, one would be able to make out ion screen projectors jutting through the masonry and casting transparent barriers over restricted passages leading downwards into whatever awaited visitors. A row of six rifles mounted against the structure with corroded hooks appeared as if they were appropriated last week, while a modest stack of depleted supercapacitor cells laid below the mounted weapons’ common center. Another set of discarded knives were jabbed deep into a single stone some raider probably chose as their practice target. The Z’srus B’nik pitched forward once more and began to encircle the massive complex, showing an aerial view of the central spire as well as weapons of yore and post-modernity: Pikes and surface-to-air MASERS laid together on balconies while Tihn’tharin patrolling the staggered levels bore weapons between those two technology tiers.. as well as those beady-eyed acid spitters, the A’kronin t’az.

The Z’srus B’nik did not achieve a complete landing but instead drifted very close to a ten meter-wide ledge and extended a flap of tissue onto the wall from near the prisoner bay. Voices from the captives’ location could be heard through the oor just as the floor and walls of the cell began quivering and the ‘seats’ relaxed into their original walls.

”Get out! Someone get these fools out!”

The back wall rippled and began contracting towards the door, leaving the Tyllic captives decreasing room to stay put until and unless they stood near the portal- at which point the exit would dissolve and reveal a group of six Xu’tharin pointing their deadly pikes into the captive group.

”Get out!”
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:54 pm

One of the shrill voices screeched at the trio of survivors as they left their shrinking cell - only to walk straight into a half-dozen of the warrior xenos with staves leveled at them. Melkan looked past them as his helmet adjusted to the light level.

The planet they seemed to be on was overgrown, humid, and fairly unclean. Any Tyllic world such as this would have been terraformed to the point of biosphere extinction, then 'paved over' with Xillan flora and fauna. The lone symbol of civilization within his field of vision was the very platform he and his compatriots found themselves on ... and even the temple structure was dilapidated and worn beyond the point of apparent habitability. Obviously it was either a small pirate base or merely an entrance to some below-canopy city, though the aged warrior seriously doubted that he would see much of it. More of those acid-spewing creatures were carried by guards on the lower levels, and a dazzlingly disorganized array of weaponry was placed unevenly across the tower. It was evident that the lone pulse rifle the three had would not be of any real use against the forces they faced.

"I think it might be best to get rid of this..." the female Trooper slowly turned the palms of her hands towards the reptiles in surrender after handing him the rifle. Melkan removed both the energy pack and the particle cartridge, emptying both with low hisses that in all likelihood could be impossible for the high-pitched beings that surrounded them to hear. He then crushed the empty containers in his fists, dropping them and the rifle on the ground. He gave several cuts to his hand through his bodyglove in doing so, but infection and pain were acceptable if it prevented some benefit to their foes' research. That is, if they actually advanced their own technology - the menagerie of gear around them certainly helped assuage a few of his fears.

"Well then, friends of mine. It would seem we must be shown where to move through prodding..."

__________

In space, the situation was far better for the Loyalists. All five ships had regrouped and crawled back within the gravity well of the star, and were keeping orbit at a safe distance from the sun itself . Several sharp spikes of gravity later, the void replaced them and the scouts moved into the light-free realm of Ripspace.

As it turned out, Commandant Darie K'nae Soprat Vailor had not been having a mood swing. Instead, the source of her abnormally childish behavior had been a severe lack of sleep, exacerbating a lack of proteins. The crew found this hard to believe, since she had a habit of sleeping whenever in Ripspace, but let the matter slide due to their greater interest in contacting the Troopers who boarded the bioship. It seemed everyone in the tiny fleet had wanted to get the glory of first blood, and the next best thing was hearing of the matter from firsthand witnesses.

The injured Tyllics were faring well in that they had not yet contracted a disease, as far as the medics could tell. Still, they had yet to get their hands on a 'sample' from the previously empty cargo bay, so the greater focus after stabilizing the injured was pressing for a preliminary study.
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Magna Aurelia

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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:26 pm

"Keep moving!" Another Xu'tharin shrieked, thrusting forth a stiletto-point pike from behind the prisoners. "Get out of our -Untranslatable- Z'srus B'nik!".

Assuming the Tyllic POWs followed the Xu'tharin raiders onto the platform, one of the Xu'tharin depressed a button of flesh which deactivated an ion barrier fifteen meters ahead of the Tyllic captives. With Xu'tharin guarding the rear, flanks, and fore of the group, there would be little choice but to cross the platform and head down a flight of steps shielded by the disabled screen.

Anyone descending the stairs could find them surprisingly stable given the archaic architecture and age of the complex, although some of the xenofoliage managed to establish itself among the grouting of numerous steps. And there were dried bloodstains- some suspiciously belonging neither to the Tihn'tharin combatants nor another common hue of something clicking in the dark passage."

Clicking. Followed by hissing and screeching. The steps fed into a spacious circular chamber dominated by a colossal cylindrical pillar surrounded by loot: Silvery metal ingots. Intact combat rifles. Discarded computers- both ancient and current- having been pillaged from some poor colony or base weeks ago. But what made this collection of goods frightening was the pillar itself: Ten meters in diameter, braced by flying buttresses, and reaching upwards into darkness, from the surface of this structure hung ancient skeletons approximately insectoid in appearance near the bottom. If one couldn’t help but elevate their gaze, the said individual would find skeletons of increasing intactness until the shadowy top bore a plethora of bones from more recently-encountered species.

And the source of those sickening clicks? Bugs, or more accurately the Gol’Azkhorzin thralls which perched themselves among the higher buttresses, gazing down with deadened interest towards the newcomers. Once more, a familiar haze enveloped the insectoid sentients’ forms yet allowed enough visibility for counting all eight limbs of the enslaved race. Ever so often, movement from the outer edges of the supporting buttresses would move amid the structure as Tihn’tharin slavers doused their chattel with some incense-like powder, forming clouds of pink dust that circulated around the central pillar, drifting in and out of porthole-like croppings which had yet to be covered with bones of this Kh’uun’s enemies. The procession of Tyllics, meanwhile, attracted the attention of several labor-duty Xu’tharin and a handful of Gol’Azkhorzin bugs that had yet to be inebriated by the airborne substance.



Z’xitr and several others eyed the cargo door warily with some of Z’xitr’s cohorts clenching their reptilo-mammalian fists. If any Tyllic guards were watching the group inside the cell, they would be able to take note of two dead Aurelians lying along the cell’s edges as well as the abrupt silence from the surviving group.

”How do we get out?”

”We don’t. Yet,” One of the survivors told an injured male as she looked back at the locked entrance. Watching this, Z’xitr scooted over to the female and bobbed his head:

”U’qrl, we don’t get out. At all. Not without my permission, and then we discuss our plan. We don’t know their security features. We don’t know this vessel’s armaments. We do not where we are going. And as long as I am alive, we do not make any hasty decisions.”
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:00 pm

As the prisoners trotted past the mound of corpses and gibbering hive insects, Melkan decided that they were most certainly being held by barbarians. Despite having achieved spaceflight and interstellar travel, these xenos had stockpiled quite the personal armory - none of which matched their biological technology. If not pirates, then these beings were certainly still a tribal civilization in many aspects.

The other two soldiers stared at the mound with fear in their (thankfully covered) eyes, and Melkan simply turned away and kept walking. After a prod or two, the others followed suit. They had places to go, and people to see.

__________

The scout squadron ripped into space some several thousand SGUs away from the Praetax battlestation, which acted as host to a military force of over thirty thousand troops and a sector fleet of fifty ships. With over eight hundred Imperial-designated sectors in the galaxy, fifty ships was an ample number for a single one. The interesting part of Praetax, however, was that it acted as the jumping point for scouting missions all throughout the northern quadrant of the galaxy. All returning ships had to return through here or be fired upon.

After receiving clearance to dock, the five warships connected to one of the station's four arms via their boarding tubes - received by docking links from the station. It certainly wouldn't do to have the Remnant wreck its own vessels!

The last frigate moved to connect on the port side, so it would avoid using the heavily damaged aft on to its starboard. The moment the gates opened, garrisoned troops moved in to take the prisoners. About a decicycle later, a path in the station to the holding cells was vented and filled with the same atmosphere in the cargo bay of the frigate.

This time, the Troopers who had dealt with boarding the alien vessel got a rest. The men and women from the station opened the hatch into the prisoners' accommodations. Noting the pair of corpses on the floor, they beckoned for the survivors to move into the first hallway with arm movements - Tyllic posture and speech wouldn't convey anything of import to the captives.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:35 pm

The Gol'Azkhorzin watched the passerby crowd just as the vapor clouds became increasingly opaque. Beating wings would continue to echo down the passageway which the Xu'tharin led their captives, yet that would not be the only notable issue to deal with. The moss-like growths that covered the stairs earlier gave way to a waxy, blackened propolis-like substance of disagreeable odor, with thumb-length growths occurring at intersections of these propolis tendrils.

"-Untranslatable-! Someone give the  Tihngol'Azkhorzin another douse of v'zirgh! This is disgusting!" one of the leading Xu'tharin commented, but none of their peers responded. "I promise- I will get my claws on one of-"
"Quiet!" A female lisped, taking an eye away from the captives for a moment. "The sooner we reach Kh'uunari N'rhi'hir'im, the sooner we leave! Not another word!"

---

The Z'srus B'nik procession reached a towering door five meters high and twelve Xu'tharin abreast after another ten minutes passed marching through the spacious tunnels. Hanging high above the POW train were gondola-like catwalks- all eight of them occupied by leery-eyed Xu'tharin crossbow troops pointing their toxin-tipped devices down upon whatever stood before the gate. The disabled gondola line curved around two corners above and away from sight by individuals on the ground, but it seemed whatever powered the device long ago stopped functioning.

”You fornicators will meet Kh'uunari N’rhi’hir’im. He will decide what to make of you all,” a scar-marked individual announced from the front, his chitinous armor reeking of V’zirgh or whatever the hell clung onto the biological construction. The Xu’tharin’s amber-gold eyes seemed to glint through the poorly-lit antechamber. ”Open the gate! N’rhi’hir’im has new chattel!”



"Keep your hands off me!" Z'xitr screeched, but to no avail as the troopers overpowered his weakened resistance and drove the Aurelian captives into the metallic, alien environment.

”Z’xitr!”

The senior Aurelian whipped his head to see a familiar face. ”Y’grbik!” Z’xitr called before he crawled on fours to reach the lieutenant. Y’grbik bobbed his head once, clutching at a rather nasty wound that was partially cauterized. ”I am in charge! How do you feel?”

”Fine,” Y’grbik grunted as he lowered his arm, revealing more of the grievous injury. His expression spoke nothing of his pain nor confusion. ”Z’xitr, does M’ilj have that thing we nabbed months back? Is she onboard this vessel?”

”The projector is fine. I have not seen her, though,” Z’xitr bobbed his head, taking a quick survey of his underling captives. M’ilj was absent, thank the spirits. ”We need to wait until the scum leave,” Z’xitr said, gesturing towards the rearmost Tyllic guards.

”Then we figure a plan” Y’grbik finished the thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Scions of the Core (First Contact)   Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:20 am

((OCC: Pass on Melkan's part!))

__________

As the chemical-filled passages selected for the Aurelians reverberated with the noise of armored talons and the irritatingly high xeno chattering, the guards discovered that their charges were quite rowdy. Most of the journey was occupied by pushing those who lagged behind and watching for if one of the captives would try to crawl away on the ceiling or some such foolish move. While Tyllics preferred low ceilings as a norm, it was plentiful due to Tyllic body size.

At their final destination lay a battery of pressurized holding cells - eight in total. These had been prepared with a more finely calibrated atmosphere - though each one was slightly different to avoid a single error harming or affecting all the subjects at the same time - and could hold up to four Tyllics. Two specialists in xenobiology awaited along with a guard of four warriors armed with close-quarter Kon'tar blades to immediately select a single alien to study. Their orders had come straight from the High Command after their meeting; no time should be wasted on laying a path to enslaving or destroying the Aurelians depending on their temperament.

__________

Outside Praetax, the bodies of a couple of dead aliens drifted in the cold blackness of the void. As a frigate carrying cargo to the station passed by, the crew took potshots at the jettisoned trash left behind by their compatriots and laughed. They had no reason to respect the defeated, and made sure to show it.

__________

Darie K'nae Soprat Vailor, shortly after her recovery from drug-induced sleep, received orders via the station Battleweb to leave with the same incoming ship. No name or reason, or even destination, came with the note, but she could fairly well understand. Her direct superior, member Nine on the ruling council, would practically chew her arms off over her lack of care for her individual situation. While he had the same issue as her, Nine was able to stay shuttered in from most of society with a steady access of Lithium to care for the organ implants that slowly poisoned them. They had both survived partial Pantheon assimilation, which was in and of itself a feat worth knowing, but the supply of Lithium was so rare for the Empire that it was a blunder simply to let a sufferer of the unnamed condition do anything in public regards work. Still, Darie would be the one punished for it.
She began packing for yet another trip to the center of the damnable shadow of grandeur she was stuck in.
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