Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#1
"This is F.E.F.S. Urania, requesting permission for final docking procedure."

Deep in the frontier of Federation space, the research station Fringe 1 lies hidden within a tight cluster of stationary asteroids, obscured from casual scans and visuals by a nebulous cloud. It is not well defended, but its advantage lies in its isolation. Dangerous local hazards make hyperdrive warps to its exact location impossible, and unless one knows to look for it, they will never find it.

"Roger that, Urania. You are cleared for final approach. Commence airlock connection directive alpha."

Sonya Chalice flicked some switches on her helm's controls.

"We are go for docking. Commencing 90 degree starboard attitudinal adjustment. Dorsal thrusters engaged at low." The Urania tilted in space until the bottom of the ship was lined up with the research station's airlock. "Extending airlock tube, connection in 5... 4... 3... 2... touchdown."

There was a small thud, as of the bang of a distant drum, as the two man-made spacecraft docked with one another. Sitting upright in the commander's chair, to the right of Captain Elise Anders, Commander Tai Soude gave a curt nod to Ami Zheng, the logistics officers, and Kenneth Weiss, a marine.

"Got it," muttered Ken, not needing the process explained to him again.

"Be quick about it, we have a schedule to keep," Tai reminded them before turning to the captain. "Once we offload these food and medical supplies, we can set out straight away for Forward Base Epsilon."

"What's the big rush?" Sonya asked. "Something spooking you? These squints out here probably haven't seen anybody new in months. It'd be good just to get a chance to sit down and have some chow with them..."

Meanwhile Ami and Ken had left the bridge and were heading towards the back of the ship, dropping into the mess hall to gather up the rest of the crew who were finishing breakfast.

"Everyone, the unloading will go much quicker if we all pitch in," Ami said. "These scientists have been expecting a resupply for 2 months now and have had to be rationing themselves. Let's not make them wait any longer."

Around the long communal table sat Ausel, Athryn, Tammie, Nicolas, Judith, Rachel, and Odessa.

"Well if they need to eat so bad, what are they doing all the way out here, light years from nowhere?" Tammie grumbled as she moved to get up, taking her empty plate of food into her hands. "I mean, seriously, what's so necessary to hide all the way out here?"

--------------------------

"Tentak neurospore data set 257... negative reaction," the computer's feminine, AI voice chimed in Caitlin's lab. On the camera in front of her, a live camera feed into the containment chamber showed an unresponsive Tentak crawler biding its time, unmoving, in the center of its small pen.

On the floor above her, Caitlin could here a distant knocking. The ventilation on this old station had been placed in such a way so as to negate the sound barriers between her and Dr. Egan Bothwell's work station upstairs. Despite her wishes for solitude, peace, and quiet, Caitlin had been subjected for nine months to Egan's eclectic collection of smooth jazz, synth orchestra, and ages old pop idols from a bygone era. Now was one of his quieter periods of the day, which meant he probably wasn't working. Voices floated through the vent. It sounded like Maria had stopped by his office. Everyone on the station knew that Maria, for gods-knew-what reason, had a thing for Egan, and that he felt the same way, but the two of them were so awkward about talking to the opposite sex it was painful.

"Oh! Maria... ah eh heh... what can I do for you?"

"Mm, oh nothing, nothing. I just came by because I was telling everyone that the new food rations are here. Grant is telling us we can celebrate by splurging a bit on today's lunch. And there'll be new people here too."

"Yes, yes. More military personnel to keep hush hush around. But hey that's great news. I was wondering if the Federation had forgotten about us out here."

"Yikes, knock on wood. You shouldn't say such things, it's bad karma."

"Ah, eh heh heh heh... well, I didn't really mean it. I guess that I shouldn't scare you."

"Oh, I'm not scared. Not of you. Not that you're scary normally or anything. I mean, for a guy whose studying live Tentaks."

"Well, considering we're all in that same business, it wouldn't do for us to get hung up on that sort of thing. The work we all do is important."

"Yes of course...."

"Was there something else, Maria? Something you wanted to say?"

"Oh... oh no. That's all. I didn't mean to pause like that. Silly me. Uh. I'll just go down and tell Caitlin the good news. See you at the dining hall later?"

"Uh yeah, you can bet on it! Ta tah!"

The door closed above and Caitlin heard a deep sigh from Egan. "Ta Tah? Who says that? Idiot. Stupid, stupid, stupid." He shuffled to a spot directly above where Caitlin sat and in a few moments, his music started up again, drowning everything else out.

Knock, knock, knock.

"Caitlin? The food rations came in!"
 
Nov 10, 2008
2,286
#2
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Lounging lazily in her chair in the center of the bridge, Captain Elise Anders watched through the front view port as Fringe 1 spun and rotated away from the Urania. Well, really it was the Urania that was spinning to line up with the space station, but in the ship's artificial gravity it felt like the rest of the universe was righting itself to meet them. Fringe 1 dropped out of sight as the Urania turned away to line it's airlock up with theirs. The forward view changed to showcase the vibrant hues of the nebula surrounding the deep space research station, nearby asteroids occasionally breaking up the view like chocolate sprinkles in mint ice cream. Closing her eyes, she imagined the starship, it's fresh gleaming hull, blinking running lights, and flaring thrusters, coming to rest peacefully against the station's docking port just as the pilot, Sonya Chalice, finished her countdown. The small bang of the man-made contraptions settling together resounded through the ship just on time; another perfect docking maneuver.

Not that docking with a space station was a particularly difficult process these days. If you let the navigation computer handle it, that is. All Federation starships came with automatic docking subroutines already loaded in the nav com, though Chalice had insisted on flying the ship in on manual. The kind of control and precision needed to bring a starship in to a peaceful landing unaided against another free floating object was impressive, and Sonya aimed to impress. The girl had a lot to prove, and Elise was inclined to let her. She looked over to the pilot, and gave a quick nod of approval, then spoke over the comm to Fringe 1, "F.E.F.S. Urania with supplies. This is Captain Elise Anders, we'll start unloading them right away."

Delivering supplies isn't exactly what Elise had in mind for her first posting as Captain of a starship. She had served pretty well, in her own opinion, during the fight against the Xals, and she was expecting to run similar duties with the Urania. But out of nowhere came those Zardek's and a truce sprang up between the Federation and the Xaloxians. Federation Command wasn't ready to place a fresh new captain, even one experienced with space combat like her, on the frontlines of a new war. So here she was, bringing candy and cold pills to a bunch of bookworms out in the middle of nowhere. She couldn't complain though, this is what she had spent half her life doing back with her parents, after all, so this was kind of a vacation after fighting for so long.

Elise smiled as Commander Soude set the crew to work with a mere gesture, then mentioned their schedule as if they were in a hurry. He was so uptight, she wondered if he ever even changed out of his uniform. Sonya spoke up, and Elise had to agree with her. "She's right, Tai," she said, using her second in command's first name just to tease the officious young man, "Epsilon isn't going anywhere and we've been hitting the deliveries non-stop since we left Fed Com Delta. Let's let the crew unwind a little." Standing up, Elise stretched, sighing a little with the activity after sitting for so long supervising the approach to the dangerously placed space station. "We could all use a little time relaxing, even if it's just sitting down for dinner with some eggheads. Especially you," she continued, smiling down at the commander.
 
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BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#3
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

"As you wish, Captain," Tai said, regarding her out of the corner of his eye. He leaned over the side console and began tapping various holokeys. "I will join the crew as soon as I finish a diagnostics check on the ship. This is our final delivery before reaching the Contested Zone and linking up with the Expeditionary Fleet, I want to make sure that there are no surprises once we leave Federation space."

Sonya looked at the commander a little sadly, then shrugged and brushed her hair back. "I guess you'd prefer anything to having to chat with the science geeks. They're not all bad you know. Just think of how nice our Dr. Rachel is and how... er... interesting Ausel can be. Especially after he's fed on an electron cascade."

The pilot shared a wink and a grin with the captain. The Cerulean science officer they had on board tended to be mellow and easy going at all times save right after he'd consumed his daily energy intake. Then he acted as though he'd had the equivalent of 20 cups of coffee. Apparently other Ceruleans did experience a 'high' of sorts after getting their 'buzz' on, but Ausel was apparently a rare special case. Perhaps there was some universal truth to the quirkiness of the ultra intelligent of any species?

Sonya's attempt at humor did not change Tai's expression, nor did he respond to it, other than to reiterate, "I will join you all as soon as my work here is done."

Commander Soude was an intense, strong, and handsome soldier, but his cold demeanor was hard to break. The only time he seemed to even crack a smile was in combat training, where he used it to encourage others to try again and not be frustrated. Battle and military operations appeared to be the only topics that Tai was relaxed while discussing.
 

GargantuaBlarg

Lurker
Moderator
Sep 23, 2009
2,830
#4
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Judith sneezed into her elbow suddenly, jostling her glasses out of place in the process. As she reset them, she thought about how odd it was to have only a dozen or so people crewing this ship - a cruiser, no less. They were only on supply duty in their own, relatively dangerless territories, so a skeleton crew wasn't a big deal, but even so... she guessed her drones would be enough to repel a boarding party or other emergency if it came down to that, and they'd probably be fine if she and Tammie had to deal with a major breach or whatever, but still...

...But still, it was a cruiser. Not an insignificant ship - conventional typeifications put them second in size only to the main battleships! They'd been doing supply runs for ages - there had probably been enough supplies in their cargo hold to just have let the Urania disappear for like... maybe years, if they decided to just up and go AWOL. It was a new design, but was reducing the crew capability to such a level really such a good idea? She still felt incredibly vulnerable to boarding, and had been tempted to pull a few panels here and there to make herself a little emergency hidey-hole down in the maintenance tunnels more than once.

After realizing she'd been staring blankly into space for about a solid minute or two thinking, she shook her head, and made to stand up. "Uuh," she murmured, "I'll go... I'll go get the loading drones moving that cargo, then."
 
Nov 10, 2008
2,286
#5
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Elise sighed as Commander Soude brushed off her attempts to get him involved with other people. He was handsome, smart, and a good soldier, but he walled himself off so much that she wondered if anyone ever got to know him. In her experience, the best crews were the ones that meshed well together, so getting Tai to lighten up a little was something of a pet project for Elise. She cracked a smile at Sonya's joke about Ausel, then winked for her own reasons.

Leaning in over Commander Soude's chair, Elise sidled up next to him, one arm draped over the head rest and her other hand on the arm rest. She slid up close to him, her face just a few inches away from his. Personal space was something the intense officer was rather protective of, so Elise specifically used it against him as she continued to try and persuade him. "Come on, Tai. Those diagnostics can wait," she said, looking down at the console he was busily punching away at. "We've been flying around in friendly space for weeks, and haven't even scratched the paint on the armor." She leaned in a little closer, a grin on her face. "Besides, Sonya's right, maybe you'll find someone interesting on Fringe. Maybe one of those dweebs is working on some fancy new weapons tech you can get them to spill the specs about. People get pretty chatty when there's food and wine and pretty new faces around, you know."
 
Dec 14, 2008
7,437
#6
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

((Need to look up a name or two, but the post if functionally done. Whee!))

“Increase density in solution by three percent, and run it again.“ Caitlin told the AI, tilting her head a little bit as the talking started to come down the vents. She wouldn‘t call the displays of social awkwardness a ‘welcome‘ distraction, but sometimes it helped to turn away from the problem at hand and take a breather. The creatures had a subconscious heirarchial order, the lowest forms were not even aware, just subservient. If she could find a way to seperate the form of communication, she could isolate a new strand on a different frequency, and they could harness the unstable lifeform for their own purposes. She was close to a breakthrough, but there was no way to be safely sure that the diminuitive tentak in there was unable to control the hive structure in the container next to it, or simply refusing to...

The mention of her name from the vent above her snapped Caitlin out of her train of thought, the woman briefly replaying the conversation in her head. A new supply ship was usually a good thing, it usually meant new subjects on top of the usual food and such they needed to survive in such a remote installation. This time, she didn‘t request any more specimens of the usual sort, but she was hoping for a few samples of similar lifeforms from Earth for comparison.

She waited for Maria‘s knock to sound at her door, the woman calling through the door. Typical, they‘d respect her privacy when it was important, then continue blasting that infernal noise the entire rest of the time. “Did those Cordyceps fungal samples arrive as well? Stop shouting through the door and come in, already!“ She replied with only a hint of her irritation coming through in her tone. When the woman did so, she put her notepad down and put her arm over the woman‘s shoulder, literally taking the woman under her wing. “Maria, we need to speak. You and Egan need to get over whatever senses of... propriety, or whatever is causing these things, and just have sex. I know theres some sort of stigma on this station about that, given the research we‘re conducting, but the scanners are posted around for a reason. All I ask is that when you do, you take it to one of your rooms, because those requests i have made -every- week for the past eight months to correct the fflaw in the vent system have gone unheeded. As much as i would be honoured were you two to ask me to join you, i have important research to do, and the sounds of that literally above my head would benefit nobody.“ She explained in a patronizing tone. “Now go on, i‘m sure you two can have a a pleasant sate over the extra supplies even. Good luck!“
 
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Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#7
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Odessa finished the last bite of her breakfast before picking up a napkin and raising it to her mouth with practiced grace. As shown by her manners, the blonde was more often than not on the careful side about how she came off to others. And while it was well-known that she could read a person's mind with little effort at all, she made it a point to ensure that others would not be able to return the favor, which lent itself well to her overall air of mystery. Still, she wasn't ever one to be unsociable or terribly cold despite this, and only proved to be particularly frustrating when sitting across the table as an opponent in card games.

"Mm, I wouldn't mind helping. Delivering long-awaited supplies certainly beats bringing them bad news... and it never hurts to be seen as someone's personal savior, after all. I'm sure it could even pay off quite nicely in the end," she said with a sultry smirk in reply to Ami's initial complaint. "At the very least, we could keep each other from getting too bored."

Meeting new people--and the minds that went along with them--was always a rather tempting prospect for the empath, even if she hadn't completely figured everyone out on her own ship just yet. Sure, space stations more often than not had some fairly eccentric folk, thanks to the relative degree of isolation provided by such positions. But it would take more than that to curb Odessa's fascination with the minds of humans, as well as other species like them. Even just those from the Sol system alone carried with them such a variety of different motivations and angles. What would the folk of Fringe 1 be like?

As her primary area of expertise came not in tinkering with ships and computers, but rather in dealing with living creatures of various races both known and unknown to the Federation, Odessa was keen to let this designation define her. Ideally, she was best infiltrating enemy plans during times of war, or amongst thinly veiled negotiations to gather as much info as possible. Like many on the ship, the captain included, delivery missions were not the psion's preferred work detail, but she had to take what she could get. Dwelling on one 'negative' aspect of any given situation simply wasn't her style. Every mind had them too, after all.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#8
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

While it was true that the Urania was at its minimum standard capacity, the ship was not large enough to fit more than twice their number. From the days of early space militarization, it had become clear that extremely large ships were easy targets and became difficult and expensive to maintain, especially so on long voyages. So smaller, faster ships with a strong payload in firepower were the modus operandus for the Federation, and with other space faring races as well. Automated systems took care of many tasks aboard the ship, meaning the the number of crew needed to run a ship was not that high. Later on, it was possible that the Urania would gain an influx of 'redshirt' marines to fill out its capacity, but right now the ship's crew was more than capable of handling itself - especially since they were still flying within friendly space.

The only exception to this were the Mega class ships that defended key worlds, and the deep space Carriers that housed entire space flotillas aboard them. These ships rarely entered direct combat, instead sending many air wings of fighters off as support to the cruisers, frigates, battleships, and dreadnaughts.

"Meeow."

Judith felt a soft ball of fur nuzzling up against her calf and pawing a bit at her tights. Looking down, she saw Doughnut, her pet cat, and one of two cleared non-sentient life forms aboard the Urania. The other was Oreo, Dr. Rachel's pet black and white guinea pig.

Doughnut looked up with inquisitive eyes at Judith, apparently wanting to be a part of whatever it was her human was about to do.

"Guess Doughnut wants to help," Tammie said, coming to the side of her senior engineer. "I'll walk with you. We can get those drones up in no time between the two of us." The tall, lean-bodied, athletic engineer patted Judith on the back, and then made a flex and patted her bicep in the age-old stance of female capability.

---------------------------

"Hi Caitlin, fungal supplies?" Maria entered through the door and waved cheerily. "Yes, they're slated as being on board. Since everything's classified on this station, they're listed as sliced mushrooms on the produce crate. I was als---!"

Maria was interrupted by Caitlin's arm wrapping over her shoulders and bringing the short brown-haired woman with a sunflower hairpin in close for a conspiratorial whisper. As soon as the word 'sex' was spoken, Maria's eyes shot wide and she instinctively began to shake her head.

"Oh no, I..."

But Caitlin didn't stop there, and went on to make well-known her exasperation with the two of them beating about the bush, the unwelcome interruptions to her work, and general nausea with notion of hearing them copulate above her.

"N-now see here!" Maria said, fighting her way loose from Caitlin's grasp. She rounded on the redhead, putting her arms protectively across her chest in a clear sign of her vulnerability. "Egan is j-just a friend. I mean, I pretty sure he doesn't like me in that way and even if we did the stigma isn't just a simple taboo. Federation regulations specifically state that all such relations aboard a research vessel housing Tentak specimens must be recorded in the official logs. We could... I mean I could ne-never do that. It would just be so... so embarrassing! And h-hey... I mean, what right do you think you have to butt in? You know that the station's engineer has been busy repairing that reactor explosion in Jane's lab. If he doesn't get it fixed before the internal review comes, it could mean Jane's job, and we all don't want that. Your little vent problem is a minor detail. Just use headphones..."

Maria huffed, her face had gone puffy and red. "M-maybe you'll be able to tear yourself away from your important work to go get your fungal samples yourself!"

The flummoxed researcher fumbled with the door controls, and after pressing the wrong button twice, finally had to look away from Caitlin to see herself out.

----------------------

Tai's body went noticeably more rigid once Elise's hand touched down on his shoulder. He shot a glance at the offending hand so quickly that for a moment the captain might have thought he were a serpent about to strike. But he only stared at it intensely, before something in his gaze weakened, and he refocused on his console.

"Captain. You know by now that chatting isn't really my strong suit. I would prefer..." he sighed, still feeling Elise's hand on him, and her lower tone in his ear. "I... I suppose it is my responsibility to accompany the captain when boarding another vessel and meeting other delegates."

He offered no other explanation for what made him reconsider, but he logged off of the console and turned towards Elise, his hand going up to hers and clasping it before bringing it down and replacing it to her own side, before letting go. He gave a furtive glance at Sonya, who eyed the two, smirked, and then left the bridge without another word.

Tai waited until she had left and they were alone before continuing. "Captain Anders, I think it may be best if we didn't fraternize so freely in front of the crew. Something like that, the crew could get the wrong idea."

-------------------------

"We're on a research station! How bored can we be when there's so much brilliant SCIENCE on display?" Ausel said, outstretching both of his jittery blue hands and grinning ear to ear. "Finally, some people with whom I can discuss freely my astrological findings - at least without putting them to sleep!"

As the Cerulean rubbed his hands over and over again, he was juxtaposed nicely with Nicolas in the seat to his left, who was the epitome of calm as he stirred a sugar cube in his mug of tea. "I'm not certain that they're at liberty to discuss their research with you, Ausel. That's standard policy for deep space research."

"What? But we're all Federation science officers, aren't we? Whatever findings they uncover should be updated in the Federation data network," Ausel said, fidgeting.

"I'm afraid not. Findings have to be vetted before they can be flagged for distribution onto the network. Once it's on there, it doesn't become a secret to our enemies for very long. The Xaloxians have undercover agents just as much as we have some in the Empire. If it's important research being done here, the only people they'll report to are the higher ups. It's way above our paygrade."

Ausel frowned at this, mumbled to himself incoherently, and then rose from his table, exiting the room. Nicolas continued smoothly. "That reminds me. It might go without saying, but it's best to rein in your empath skills while meeting with these scientists, Odessa. I know that the Federation has every confidence in your loyalty, but the Xaloxians would love to capture an empath that has been aboard a research station. It's safer for everyone if you don't know the details of this place."
 
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Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,008
#9
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

"To be left alone, no doubt..." Athryn stated simply, her eyes subconsciously sweeping over the engineer's body as she rose to put away her tray. It was a native reflex at this point, one mostly meant to size up a person for weapons, but occasionally of use when the marine was searching for a bit of fun. Now was not such a time, however, and her subconscious didn't report anything amiss, and so her conscious mind didn't even recognize the sweep. She continued as she smoothly rose to her feet and took up her own cleaned plate and followed after the green haired engineer; "Probably some damn fool research project that'd wipe out civilization as we know it if done anywhere but in the middle of nowhere. You know how it is with these science types~" The marine rolled her eyes, but in truth she sympathized at least slightly with the scientists stationed out here. She hadn't seen her own family in months, and the issue of supplies simply not showing up when expected had always caused a great deal of friction back home.

She had opted to remain fully professional with the crew of the Urania, and in truth none of them particularly interested her romantically anyway, so as such she'd simply maintained her distance and concentrated on her duties. She hadn't even developed any real friendship with any of the rest of the crew, at least not yet, and the marine had little to no interest in changing that at the moment anyway. The only two marines were both men, and neither of them struck her as someone she'd particularly care to share more words than were necessary with, though she hadn't decided whether she had reason enough to outright dislike Tai, her superior officer, or Kenneth. The ship's psion, Odessa, creeped her out to no end, the idea of having her mind read sufficiently repulsive to the straightforward woman that she had made conscious efforts to avoid her. The engineers were.... Well, engineers, and while she respected the people that took care of her gear, their subjects of conversation interested the marine about as much as watching paint dry, and neither of them had displayed any interest to speak to her anyway. The captain and their pilot both outranked her, and Athryn had made it a personal policy to never fraternize with her superiors on any level, particularly when they were flight crew. She had next to no reason to converse with the rest of the crew beyond performing her duties, and thus simply hadn't up until now.

Depositing the cargo onto the research station was, by and large, handled by the drones that the two engineers were even then going to fix. There was hardly a need for security personnel on station for such a menial task, but she didn't exactly have anything better to do, and so the uniformed soldier proceeded to the cargo bay without hesitation, overtaking and passing Tammie and Judith while the latter was nuzzled affectionately by her cat. The marine's eye twitched at the beast, a creature that she'd found out she was painfully allergic to almost immediately upon their departure, as it had somehow ended up in her closet. She'd shown up with bloodshot eyes and the sniffles the next day, making it appear as if she'd been sobbing all night, and the irritation at the looks of concern she'd suffered for that had transferred both directly and permanently to the cat. She gave them as wide a berth as she could in the Urania's narrow corridors, proceeding on to the cargo bay, ready and willing to get the scientist's food unloaded as quickly and efficiently as possible.
 
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Dec 14, 2008
7,437
#10
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Caitlin let the other woman out from under her arm without a fuss, sighing in an exasperated manner as the woman rounded on her in turn. "Oh come on, it's not like the book would do anything but make it official. -Everyone- knows you two are dancing around each other like some sort of peacock mating ritual, just get it over with." She replied calmly while the woman fumbled at the door, pointing at the vent and the infernal music filtering down through it. "You hear that? All day, that racket filters down!"

Then Maria let loose about getting her own fungus, and Caitlin turned red a little. "Cordyceps, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, to use the latin. And probably as important as any live specimen we have on board currently. And of course I was going to get them myself! Not only are you obviously not a mailman, You probably wouldn't handle it properly!" She spat back, the fuming Maria finally getting through the door and leaving her alone. With the racket coming through the vent.

A malicious side of her briefly pondered if she could fabricate a soporific that had lighter-than air properties, but let the thought pass, organizing her workstation before heading out herself, headed for the cargo bay. Maybe she should try headphones... But then she's have to find enough music she liked to keep her occupied, and try to program something into the AI so she could receive status updates either through the music, or in some other medium...
 
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GargantuaBlarg

Lurker
Moderator
Sep 23, 2009
2,830
#11
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Purring and a little critter cuddling up against her leg brought Judith's attention southwards, where she found her cat, Doughnut. He was a little black cat, his fur turning into little white booties around his paws and the tip of his tail. Like most cats, he was standoffish and aloof sometimes, and he tended to swat her in the face when she was sleeping. He was an affectionate, adorable little furball, though, so she didn't mind.

"D'awww. Doughnut, I told you to stay in my cabin. I don't want you to wander off and get lost in the station," she chastised, not really meaning any of it - she loved having her cat around. She slipped a piece of synth-chicken off her plate to give to Doughnut once they got to the cargo bay. "Well, come on, then," she said, following Tammie out.

---

"Containers 133 and 131 now unloading via Mule 1 and 2," Judy announced, queuing the containers to be offloaded, and which machines were doing it for them, from her control panel. Doughnut was in her lap, and she scratched behind his ears between taps on her touchscreen.

"...Hey," she said out loud, suddenly, so Tammie and Athryn could hear her. "If these are all rations for a buncha scientists, then couldn't you say it's 'food for thought'?"
 

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,008
#12
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

"You could," Athryn mused following Judy's joke. She seemed to take the words seriously despite the slight smile that crossed her face.
 
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BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#13
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

"Uwahhh, so laaame," Tammie said, before snickering at Judith's joke anyway. She then proceeded to crack her knuckles before turning on the controls to a manual power loader and put a few more crates in the ready area for when the mules came back.
 

Takimaru

Tentacle God
Moderator
Apr 22, 2010
1,493
#14
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

"I suppose..." replied Odessa to her blue-skinned crewmate. Her tone was quite agreeable as per usual, though it was well-known amongst the others that the empath was more often than not bored by most long-winded explanations of physical science. "Oh, it's not that you actually put me to sleep, dear. You just happen to have a terrible habit of catching me closest to my bedtime," she added with a disarming smile, making it difficult to actually tell if she was joking or not.

The woman frowned just slightly when the Cerulean exhibited obvious disappointment at his commanding officer's declaration, keeping her concerned look as he left the room. "Mm... poor guy. It's tough when there's no one to listen." While such a comment seemed like a formality of feigned sympathy, or even a poorly timed joke, there was a great deal of truth to this that Odessa had laced in herself. She knew the sentiment more than anyone, or so she felt, as solitude was her greatest fear. But clinginess was not a good way to wear that insecurity. This particular weakness, she would wear less like a jacket and more like an undergarment.

"Aww, and here I was hoping to write all of their secrets on the bathroom wall," she quipped teasingly in response to Nicolas after he made his case against the use of her powers. While it was disappointing indeed, she wasn't one to raise too much of an argument over something that otherwise made perfect sense, even to her. Of all the most valuable resources fought over between opposing sides, information was easily in the top three, and for good reason. However, she wasn't beneath making a few wisecracks every now and then.

"I do have a fancy leather blinder to keep me from seeing too much, but of course that would require someone to lead me around properly. Looks like you won't be too bored after all, Athryn," she joked. Of course, Odessa had never actually met with the female marine in any such activities, but even the most serious of the ship's crew was hardly safe from her occasional flirtatious comments. Some of the more savvy types on board, like Nicolas, realized it for what it was--a subtle prodding attempt at gaining a reaction of any kind, as the psion's way of reading a person without even having to scan their mind. And, well, such as in Athryn and Kenneth's case, the more resistant someone was to the notion of having their mind read, the naturally more intrigued Odessa would be with them, although she would be sure not to actually try and violate such mental boundaries by way of her powers.

Folding her arms under her bust, Odessa followed the others to the cargo bay, all too curious to meet with the new arrivals.
 
Nov 10, 2008
2,286
#15
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Spoiler

Elise's grin widened as Tai's resistance faltered. She knew it was only a matter of time, a matter of poking in the right spots, before a stiff guy like him softened up. "Great!" she said with a wide smile as he turned to face her, though she didn't say anything as he firmly removed her hand from his shoulder. Straightening up, Elise glanced over at Sonya with another wink as the pilot walked out, then put her hands on her hips as she looked back at Tai.

"There's nothing to worry about, Tai," Elise said, her voice soft and comforting. "Crew this size, rumors and secrets get sorted out pretty quick," she continued, "Especially with a spook around." Elise gave an instinctive shudder as she thought about Odessa, the empath that had been assigned to them. Living in tight quarters with a small close group of people tended to weed most of the secrecy and subtlety out of people, as it had with Elise from spending most of her life in a starship with her family. But Elise still didn't like the idea of someone rooting around in her brain. It wasn't something she liked to dwell on, however, and she quickly brought herself back to the moment. Her grin returned as she looked back at Tai, and said, "Besides, long voyages get pretty boring without a little drama to keep the tongues wagging."

Elise chuckled a bit at the idea of the crew gossiping about her and her second in command, then got an idea. With a wry smile, she leaned back in towards Tai, and asked, "Or maybe, I'm wrong." Her voice shifted to a breathy, seductive tone as she asked, "Maybe you don't want them getting the wrong idea, because you want it to be right?" She waited a moment, letting her words sink in, then laughed, gave him a pat on the shoulder and straightened back up again. "Relax, Tai, I'm just joking," she said happily. Just as quckly as her tone had changed, she turned and headed for the door. "Come on, Tai, we'd better get over to Fringe. Meet the top nerd and finish up the paperwork to make this delivery official," she called over her shoulder, still grinning profusely.
 
Last edited:

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,008
#16
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

~~~~~In The Cargo Bay~~~~​

Receiving the psion's comment while putting away her tray, Athryn simply rolled her eyes and quipped back; "Oh, I dunno... Leading you around on a leash doesn't sound too exciting in the long term Odessa~ Might be fun for twenty minutes or so I guess, but then it'd be back to listening to the mad scientists talk about their doomsday project!" Athryn made it apparent in her bemused smirk and in her relaxed posture that she wasn't being particularly serious, and Odessa would have likely noted by then that she more or less always wore at least her surface emotions on her shoulder, so to speak. It was simply a mark of her straightforwardness, an aspect of her personality that some had called her "manish" for on numerous occasions, though she hadn't ever allowed such comparisons to bother her in the past and didn't intend to start now.

She hadn't bitten the hook on any of Odessa's flirtatious comments before, so to speak. She'd generally responded to them in the same manner as she did now; jokingly. While her extended period of celibacy was starting to edge at her nerves a bit, her instinctive distaste for the psion's powers had kept Athryn from attempting to pursue any such teasing in a more serious manner.

~~~~~In The Cargo Bay~~~~​

The marine set about performing a largely supervisory role in the delivery of the cargo. While the chances of violence suddenly breaking out in the cargo hold were understandably and thankfully slim, making the sidearm that she carried on her hip more or less pointless, she was still responsible for the general safety of the crew, and thus she watched Tammie power up the loader and start preparing another bunch of crates for when the mules returned attentively. The engineer had never displayed any lack of competency in her work, and the loading droid was hardly a complex piece of machinery, but mistakes could be made even on menial tasks, and a machine that large could do a lot of damage if left unchecked.

After she was content that Tammie was operating the thing safely, Athryn simply set about helping her secure the crates properly. The sooner they got this done, the sooner they'd get to listen to an explanation of whatever the scientists stationed out here had been experimenting on, something that the marine had noted was always something that researchers loved to discuss in detail with anyone foolish enough to sit there and listen. Regardless, she simply wanted to get this done as quickly as possible.

(In b4 outbreak during dinner.)
 

GargantuaBlarg

Lurker
Moderator
Sep 23, 2009
2,830
#17
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

"Mhm. So we're like, satisfying their hunger for knowledge! Man, I'm on a roll today," Judith continued, stretching out her terrible joke.

"Container 132 unsecured from it's maglock, Tammie. Hmm... according to the cargo manifest, it's just that one, 134, 135 and 136 left for this delivery. The rest go with us to Epsilon." The engineer felt uneasy - she'd signed up for the Expeditionary Fleet to go off and discover new worlds and uncharted sectors and that sort of thing, but the closer and closer her graduation from the academy came, the more she realized that, no, she wasn't going to get assigned to a cushy supply freighter or super high-tech science vessel or anything like that, and yes, she was probably going to see combat - and, terrifyingly, might even get blown up and turned into just another speck of space dust or something awful like that. Things were fine now - supply runs were very welcome, in her book - but even though she avoided the problem by just trying not to think about it, eventually, they were going to end up out at Epsilon - and then they were going to be doing what navies did, and there was no way she'd be lucky enough to never see combat...
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,054
#18
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Tai had apparently steeled himself for Elise' new tactic, having regained his composure from the unexpected touch and now on guard for when the mischievous captain moved in again. He kept silent as she lowered her voice and made her teasing come-on, and did not so much as apparently breath in the pregnant pause that followed. When at last she switched back to a lighter tone and indulged herself in another pat of his broad shoulder, he closed his eyes, and exhaled through his nose. If Elise had looked down at his hands, they would be closed tight, showing a concerted effort to remain calm and unmoving, despite whatever his inner thoughts would have been.

Despite the Captain's unease about empath skills, she might have been curious enough to have them just for a moment to peek inside Tai's mind to see what he thought about all this.

"Of course, Captain. Just joking," Tai said, rolling her own words over his own tongue, as if trying them out for himself, before moving to follow her out of the bridge. In the corridor near the airlock, the pair of them met up with Sonya, Nicolas, and Dr. Rachel.

The young doctor smiled at them in her teal and white outfit, comprising of a shirt, knee length skirt, white boots, teal tights, and her medical lab coat with a red cross on the front left breast pocket.

"The others are busy with the cargo still, but Nicolas says we should go and meet with the head researcher," the young woman said.

"That's right, no doubt they'll be appreciative of us coming aboard and mingling. Space is pretty lonely, and these good people have been out here longer than most," Nicolas said.

Providing that the captain was okay with their suggestion, the five of them would be the first to cross through the tunnel airlock. Commander Soude did the honors of pressing a button on the far side of the tunnel which opened up an intercom channel. "Fringe 1, we are prepared to come aboard."

A few moments passed, then with a series of 'ka-chunks' and a hiss, the metal wall in front of them split down the middle and slid to either side, revealing a small delegation of three people on the other side, two men and one woman. The one in the middle was the oldest of the three, short, balding on top, with thick rimmed glasses and a round face with drooping jowls. He and the short, brown haired woman next to him wore the white and green of Federation science officers. To the man's right was another male officer, but he wore blue stripes, indicating that he was likely this stations' lone engineer. He was a younger man, with an elongated face, shaped like a downward pointing arrow - a wide, high brow and a very pointed chin, which he had decorated with a strip of hair running from his soul patch down to his underchin. His hair was dreadlocked, and if one got close enough, they would realize that he smelled of a veritable cocktail of various chemicals the would be useful to strip paint off a wall.

The man in the middle rubbed his hands together and then stepped forward with a smile on his face. "Permission to board granted! Welcome, welcome! We're relieved you've finally come. We were starting to get a little antsy, but all's right now, isn't it? Ah. My manners. I am Dr. Bernard Tully, head researcher and commanding officer of Fringe 1. To my right is Maria Cleareau, our medical researcher, and to my left is Spencer Tote, our resident engineer."

"You can call me Sparky," Spencer said. "Everyone does. Pleased to meet you all. Uhhh, sir?" The young man turned to the older one with a raised brow.

"Oh yes, well, sorry to have to ask for a favor having just met you all, but a few months back we experienced a little hiccup on the station - purely a minor accident, but we broke a part of our main reactor that we just didn't have a replacement for and it wasn't on our last requisition list due to a clerical error. Would you mind terribly if Spar -- I mean Spencer here had a chat with your engineers about seeing if you have a spare aboard the Urania? Other than that, you can follow Maria and I to the mess hall. We've prepared a modest spread for your crew to relax with. And there's a lounge for relaxing if you'd like as well. Please do be our guests for this evening."


-------------
(Several minutes later)

Due to most of the crew working together and helping to get everything loaded and a path cleared, the crates were offloaded from the Urania in roughly 10 minutes. Odessa, Athryn, Judith, Tammie, Kenneth, and Ami guided the mules down the connecting airlock between the two vessels.

Waiting for them on the path was an odd, arrow-faced man with funky hair who introduced himself as Spencer, the station's engineer. Noticing Judith first by the color of her uniform he approached her.

"Hey, you must be the chief engineer. I was wondering if you might be able to help me solve a problem with the station's main fusion reactor. I've had to jury rig a fix for months and to be honest, it's not sitting well with the head researcher, given the delicate nature of some of the experiments here. Would you mind helping me fix it? I'm sure the rest of you can find the cargo bay easily enough. It's just to the left, and the first giant door on your right. Caitlin's probably already there, waiting for you. She's been waiting forever for her, uh... um... her mushrooms. Eh heh... girl really likes mushrooms."

For those who continued on past Spencer, they would follow his simple directions into the station's cargo bay, where his prediction was proven correct. A long, auburn haired woman in a lab coat stood with folded arms watching them as they moved into the room and started putting the crates in place.

-----

Caitlin had only to wait about five minutes before at last the crew of this delivery ship made it into the cargo bay. It seemed like there were way too many of them for this one simple job. Two tough looking individuals, a man and a woman, in red and white uniforms observed the proceedings from the side, while the purple haired logistics officer, and the turquoise haired engineer did most of the mule driving. Walking in behind them all was a blonde woman wearing a rarely seen uniform, grey and white, and it took a moment for Caitlin to fully process what that meant. The Federation had sent an Empath to Fringe 1.
 
Dec 14, 2008
7,437
#19
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Caitlin stood just beside the door leading to the rest of the station, leaning against the wall with her arm crossed and her foot impatiently tapping. All the crates looked the same to her, with a few minor variations. She wouldn't be able to recognize the one she needed on sight, so she'd have to get a hold of the cargo manifest. Sighing lightly, she started striding toward the logistics officer, before spotting the empath striding in. That caused her to raise an eyebrow, and she picked her way across to that one instead.

"You look like you have a moment. I have two questions, the order you answer them doesn't particularly matter. Where is the shipping manifest for this delivery, and why are you all arriving three months late? If yu were three months late leaving the station, doesn't matter, but I have a crate of sliced mushrooms in here that is likely to be useless to me if it's been in your hold for that much time." She said in an annoyed tone, her gaze flicking back and forth to every loader that passed by her, just in case.
 

Tassadar

Panda King
Moderator
Nov 10, 2008
16,008
#20
Re: Dark Frontier (Game Thread)

Athryn, upon entering the research station with the others helping to move the cargo, adopted the somberness that might more appropriately be applied during a funeral. She received the head researches welcome frostily, and though she made no effort to keep herself apart, she also simply didn't attempt to make any contact. The soldier wasn't making an attempt to be unfriendly and wasn't uncomfortable, however - she was simply trying to remain unnoticed, or at least unapproached. The ramblings of scientists were only amusing when one wasn't being forced to listen to them, and as they would likely be here for a while so that the rest of the crew could get some R and R, Athryn hoped to be able to walk away from one without seeming rude if she wanted to. Besides, staying back would allow her to see the others and single out one of the locals for a tour. Exploring was, after all, her favored pastime when visiting new places.

When she spotted one approaching Odessa, Athryn took note but opted to watch and listen to the exchange from afar, not seeming like she was doing such even to the normally perceptive psion. The question about mushrooms was.... Strange, and the confirmation that the girl was a researcher at least helped the soldier scratch a face off of her list. That only left the amusing spectacle of seeing how the other woman would react to the strange question, something that Athryn was actually mildly curious about.