The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Zenath

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Mar 13, 2010
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#21
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Carnassus' eyes gave away nothing, although she lowers her hand slowly. "They cannot be allowed to leave, if that's what you're hoping. I cannot risk the Confederation discovering us."

She turns, and nimbly hops out of the pool, scrambling on all fours over to an alcove - an action that, thanks to her long arms, was rather more graceful than if she'd been human. Then she returns, clutching something and sliding back into the water, this time moving to sit next to Maria with a small sigh. "Hold still. I was waiting for you to ask, but never mind..."

Steely fingers grip onto Maria's arm, and a bulky-looking instrument is pressed against the shoulder injury. There is a sharp crackle, a burst of pain, and then the gash fades to just another ache. The alien turns and goes to replace the instrument, revealing that the injury has been apparently healed. The replacement skin is pink and tender, almost like it had been burnt, but it was a considerable improvement - and unlike a burn, it has no problem with the hot water.

When she had finished investigating this development, Carnassus was already basking in the water opposite, back in her original position.

"No, they can't be released. And I'd be obligated to prevent them leaving by any means necessary if they escaped. But otherwise? I would hope that you could persuade them to join us. If not..." She shrugs. "That would be your decision, whatever you decide here."

There seems to be something Carnassus isn't telling her, but exactly what was a good question. And it is pretty obvious that demanding answers probably wouldn't result in anything.

"I'm not asking you to betray your race, Maria. The Confederation, perhaps, but from what I learned from the Storm, that seems like no particular hardship. Some day, if you wished, you might even be able to go back there and restore order and sense to the place." She lazily opens an eye. "I would listen to your judgement, and that of any of your friends who join us, as to how to recruit more..."

"I suppose I have done and said little to make you like or trust me or my race... but isn't the fact that I'm asking, not just taking, a sign that we're not as bad as my record might indicate?"
 

Termite

A bug
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Apr 8, 2009
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#22
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

When Carn dashed out of the pool to retrieve some strange looking device Maria was instantly curious. This was an actual piece of alien technology that wasn't trying to kill her. She wondered what it would do, but when Carn said to hold still and placed it over her shoulder she kinda had it figured out. The jolt of pain followed by a wave of relief confirmed it, and while the medical device was being replaced the girl started testing her newly repaired arm. It rotated well enough, it still kinda hurt when it was touched, but it felt better and could take the heat of the water. "Thanks."

Now that she could finally get under water without feeling like she was being burned from the inside out she did just that. Her body submerged up to the top of her neck, her chin dipping in as she listened to Carn continue. When the alien said the Akarssa couldn't let their existence be known and would do anything to prevent that knowledge from being known the girl's eyes fell while she sank a little deeper. This was going to be a problem. Time to face the music.

"It's already too late for that. Back on the Storm you probably saw me working on that computer. Once I was sure nobody could interrupt it I sent a transmission to the nearest outpost. It was a full and uncut recording of the mission, so Confederate brass knows about the Altered and you." Maria realized she already fucked up some of the Akarssa's plans. Her knees were brought up to her chest to help herself cope with that glaring fact. "HQ hung me out to dry, but I doubt they'll ignore two ships disappearing out here. They'll probably amass a small assault force just to gauge your response. It's probably why they left me on an aging warship."

Her arms popped out to rest on her knees, and her head soon followed. While her body seemed guarded but relaxed her face was entirely different. There was some small war waging within the girl's heart, and by the look of pain she had it was tearing her apart far more than anything Carn had ever done. "My friends... They're trying to escape right now. They're probably sneaking through the facility as we speak." She made her choice. Those last few words were proof enough she was willing to help these aliens survive. But her head fell on its side against her propped arms as if part of her had just admitted defeat. The young warrior could very easily see that Maria was on the verge of becoming an emotional wreck, not because she was betraying her race but because she just betrayed the people she had come to care for. She betrayed her friends' trust.

Even when she looked like she was about to break down and cry herself to death she shot out of the water and stood as straight and tall as she possibly could. "Please don't hurt them!" She was desperate. It showed. But she was also determined. She would stand there and make her case. She would stand against anything if it meant she could save their lives.
 

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
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#23
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

...well, I didn't anticipate Maria ratting out the crew when I was planning out the dungeon. To the Fudgemobile! Not a problem, the challenges still line up, the story just has to change a little. It also means that this talky bit will be extended rather further...

Carnassus just listened. No reproach, no triumph, no anything. Just listened quietly.

"Thank you." She slips out of the water, moving over to a small recess, and rasps something in her own tongue. There is a short conversation, and then she turns. "They're already out and nearly at a hangar. My soldiers are short on options. If you don't want them hurt, the best chance is to go and speak with them yourself. Persuade them to stay. To join you in your choice, if you can. We can discuss the Confederation later."

The alien rests a clawed hand on Maria's uninjured shoulder, squeezing gently, then gives a rapid set of directions to catch up with the crew. "You won't be stopped by my troops. Unless you try to leave with them, of course."

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

Thanks to Carnassus' directions, Maria is able to take a short cut that gets her to the hangar in short order. There is a hard cracking of gunfire nearby; evidently she has made it before them.

The hangar doesn't actually contain any ships, but there are a couple of fairly solid vehicles with the look of APCs. Before she can investigate further, a door grinds open, and the escapees pile through, pointing stolen Akarssa weapons wildly.

Then Alyssa sees Maria, staring, and then runs over and crushes her in a bear hug, unable to speak for a moment. "How... the fuck... did you get away? Never mind, tell me on the way. They're on our tail, come on. Desarra got some parts to get the hyperdrive back online. If we can get these things to work, we'll be back on the Wolf and away before they know what's hit them."
 

Termite

A bug
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Apr 8, 2009
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#24
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

This post has been created with Zenath's cooperation.

Filmed before a live studio audience.

Her mad dash through those tunnels was confusing, but Maria followed those directions to the letter. As she ran she found more and more of the cyber-hounds patrolling the corridors. She could hear them growling as she neared and saw them crouching and preparing to pounce, but thankfully they only watched as she passed. A bit of worry crept back in when she neared a door and found a couple of Akarssa waiting with weapons drawn, but when they saw she was alone and unarmed they lowered their guns and made room for her to pass. She slowed as she came into reach, some of the fear she still held starting to crawl through her spine while the aliens practically loomed over her, but they simply motioned her to hurry as they waited near the door.

When she finally gathered the courage to punch through that doorway she found herself staring at a garage instead of a hangar. She saw a number of vehicles all over, most of them looking like they could hold a full platoon of the really large creatures, but nothing looked like it could take off and fly. Nothing looked like it could even hover over the landscape.

Before she could wonder why they would call this a hangar she heard a very large and very heavy door grinding against its frame as it slowly opened. The woman swallowed hard. In truth that door opened rather quickly, but for her and her racing little heart it was nearly an hour before that thing locked into place and the first body came into view. Then there she was. Alyssa simply popped into view, the weapon she held trained straight forward as she swept the room. The determination in that face said she'd drop anything that dared cross her path while she guarded the rest of the girls following her, but when she found the lone human waiting to greet them that confident glare shattered.

Before Maria could even react she found herself swept in a hug that felt like it was literally crushing her spine, but for the moment she didn't care. She just wanted to stay there embraced by the warm body she probably cared a little too much about. The other girls swarmed the couple, and everyone looked nearly ecstatic. The only two that bothered to cover the small group's flanks were the marine and the science officer, the former doing her best to fulfill her duty and the latter probably scared that more monsters would run them down.

For a while Maria didn't do anything to move even while Desarra split off to inspect the APCs. Alyssa let go and told the girl to just follow everyone on the escape, but Maria still didn't move. "We can't go." The officer stopped moving herself and turned to face the technician. Before the slight confusion on the woman's face could turn into a question Maria noticed that someone was eying one of the APCs and was about to try and break into it.

"STOP!!!" Once again the strength in her voice caught everyone by surprise. "Get on that thing and they're gonna kill you!"

For a moment everyone froze save for the frantic girl screaming in the middle of the room, but a moment later that girl was suddenly taken from behind. The person that captured her immediately used an arm to keep her quiet. "The girl's lost it, el-tee. Let's just grab her and get the hell out of here!" Desarra's grip from behind was pretty tight, but keeping it was a bit of trouble. Maria did not want to be held down.

The Lieutenant seemed to have something else on her mind as her eyes passed over both open entrances. "Pursuit should have caught up to us by now. Ensign, drop her." Desarra looked like she had just been clocked over the head, but instead of raising hell like she always did she released the captured girl. Alyssa wasted no time in grabbing her by the shoulders. "We should be up to our armpits in hounds, but you're here telling us to stop. What's going on?"

The CO looked incredibly serious, and this brought the rest of the group's attention on the young girl. "They're holding back."

"Why?"

"Because I asked them to." Everyone was either astonished or floored. "I asked them not to hurt you, and they said I had one chance."

They all started talking at once, some saying they couldn't believe any of it while others started throwing accusations, but the Lieutenant quickly shut them all up. "Go on."

"The Akarssa are fighting a war, and they're losing. In fact they're dying. They breed slowly, and it takes years for them to mature to a point where they can fight. If they keep losing they'll probably end up extinct."

"Let them." It looked like Ivy finally found her voice. "Who cares if those monsters die out?"

"I can't ignore that!" Maria wasn't backing down. "I can't turn a blind eye to genocide!"

"So you're gonna help them?! You saw what they did to the Storm! How can you let monsters like that live?"

"They thought the Storm was hostile, and when they boarded Zaphron volunteered his crew just for that experiment!"

"And us? What about the men! They tore all the men to pieces!"

"They can't risk being exposed! They don't need someone else attacking them, but I already fucked that up! I told them that, and that's why I'm here!"

"Y...you're helping them? You betrayed us!"

"N-no...!"

"You're a traitor!" Ivy's voice rose sharply as the weapon she cared soon found itself leveled with Maria's head. "You betrayed humanity! You betrayed the Confederation!" Even with that weapon held in a near death grip its barrel rattled and shook in the brunette's hand, no doubt a result of the growing anxiety tearing her nerves to shreds.

"THEY BETRAYED US!" Ivy faltered a bit when she heard this. Most of the girls did. "Why the hell would they only send a single obsolete frigate out to retrieve me? What chance would it have against whatever took out the Storm? They had evidence of a possible alien invasion that threatened not just our borders but our very humanity, and they decide to just blow it all up and brush it under the rug?! They probably wanted to see what kind of response would take us out!"

Everyone was rather quiet after Maria dropped that bomb. There was absolutely no evidence to back her claims, but ever since she'd stumbled over that theory in the pool her mind just wouldn't let it go. The circumstances behind her retrieval didn't quite add up, but she'd been too busy dealing with everything else to give it much thought. Now that she actually heard it said aloud she was utterly convinced the military had thrown them all under the bus.

"There are two aliens right behind that door." Maria pointed to the door she used to enter the hangar. "Their orders are to stop you from escaping at all costs, but they still need help. They need humanity's help. That's why they're not in here blasting holes through our skulls. They're trying to show that we're not just things to be killed and turned into cyber-weapons." With the heat of the last few moments starting to pass she found that her strength wasn't holding. She eventually fell to her knees during one final pause. "If you want to leave I won't stop you, but...but if I have to watch you all die..." She didn't know what would happen. Maybe she'd lose it. Maybe she'd go insane. Maybe she'd just kill herself and end all this madness. She just knew she would never be able to handle it, and she hoped that they would just stop running.
 

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
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#25
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

When Maria pointed to the door, several weapons were snapped up to aim there. Nothing was said, though.

"This is mad," Desarra snaps finally. "Even if she hasn't had her brain twisted into funny shapes, why should we trust them? They're killers, freaks. I saw what they did to my engineers. I'm not going to just sit down and smile prettily while plot to rip my throat out."

"What if she's right?" Ivy counters unexpectedly. "I don't wanna die, Phaeris. What are our chances of getting out of here alive? Really? Even if we got out of this place, back to the Wolf and repaired it, there's still that fighter in orbit. I... I really don't wanna die."

Alyssa glances between the two, and then at Maria, thinking.

Desarra - or Phaeris, as it seemed her name was - spits. "Maybe it's suicide either way. I'd rather go down fighting."

"That's your answer to everything, isn't it? Just -"

"Enough," Alyssa growls. They fall silent instantly. "You're both right. But they've got all the advantages. They know the terrain, they've got at least one ship in orbit that trashed us even when we were at full strength, and it'll take a while to get the engines back up, even if they haven't scuttled her. They've got nothing to gain here."

"El-tee..." the marine pipes up. "We surrender, and we're effectively guilty of treason."

There is another silence, then Alyssa shrugs. "Fuck it." She drops the bulky gun, massaging her wrists against the strain of the heavy weapon, and then hugs Maria. "I'm willing to take the chance." She looks hard into Marias eyes again, and nods. "I'll stay."

Phaeris looks thoughtful. "You're committing a treasonous act, so you can't order any of us to stay."

"No. I can't."

The engineer shakes her head and sighs before dropping her own weapon. "If you're wrong, I'll hunt you down in hell and hold the demons' coats while they torture you."

"Love you too." Alyssa grins as one by one, with varying degrees of reluctance, the crew put down their weapons.

The moment the last hand cannon is dropped, the doors grind open and the two Akarssa stalk in, a couple of Nakatta hounds growling softly. One of the towering aliens hisses a command, and a hound pads forward. Desarra almost picks up her weapon again, but Ivy grabs her hand as the cyborg approaches, merely collecting the stolen weapons in its claws and retreating.

The lead Akarssa pads over to Maria. This one is smaller than the old Carnassus, but still looms over the group. "Carnassus wishes to see you. Your friends will be taken to their new quarters. Come."

"I'm going with her," Alyssa butts in firmly.

The monster had half-turned away, but now rotates to look at the lieutenant again. "Carnassus wishes to see her new aide alone, human."

"I'm going with her."

The monster hesitates, then glances at Maria. For a moment she is confused, and then it clicks; by pouring her heart and soul into holding back her companions, she had passed some kind of test. It had called her Carnassus' aide. So, in theory, she could give orders. So she nods firmly.

The Akarssa grunts, then turns and pads off. "Follow."

Alyssa turns and mutters to Phaeris. "Stick together and stay alert. I'll be back soon." Desarra nods, and then leads the rest of the crew in following the second Akarssa.

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

The darkened chamber of Carnassus is much the same. As the door seals behind the two humans as before, a gentle splashing suggests where the occupant is, and Maria hesitantly pushes forward, through the darkness and to the side-room. Alyssa squeezes her arm, and murmurs, "Assuming they're not playing some sick game, you're a big cheese now. Remember that. Though I'm dying to know what the fuck you promised..."

Maria pauses, and explains briefly. Alyssa snorts. "The bitch in there wants us to make an army of shock troops? Us? Compared to what they have?"

"Your bodies are less important than your minds, human." Carnassus stands in the doorway, silhouetted in the dim light and eyeing the two. "Bodies can be enhanced, rebuilt. Minds... those are easy to break, but hard to forge. And Maria showed me that human minds have... a lot of potential." She inclines her head gracefully. "But I don't believe I know your... companion, Maria."
 
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Termite

A bug
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Apr 8, 2009
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#26
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

There was a small storm brewing in Maria's mind. The Confederation would not take any of this lightly. There had to be some sort of response heading toward the nebula, and her promise to help the Akarssa would probably mean she'd have to fight her own kind. If any survivors caught sight of the tech assisting the "hostile aliens" then she'd be labeled a traitor. There was no telling what kind of lengths the government would take to gain some advantage. They'd probably start by seizing all her assets and spreading some extremely damaging propaganda, but ultimately they would target her family. Even if she hadn't seen them in years it was no secret she loved her parents more than anything else. If any kind of word got out that she had turned rogue then Mom and Dad were in far more trouble than she could ever imagine.

But behind the doubts and second guesses and what ifs, underneath all the troubles and worries plaguing her nearly exhausted mind she could feel her heart sing. Her body practically rejoiced even if one of those fear-inducing behemoths escorting her down the halls. The girl had only really wanted one thing throughout this entire ordeal, and it was walking right beside her. When Alyssa had dropped her weapon back in the hangar Maria's heart had nearly skipped a few beats. In that moment she knew the Lieutenant was all she needed. It was a rather cold truth she was forced to face. A large part of her would have probably broken down and cried if the other women decided they were going to take their chances, but at the very pit of her core she knew that as long as Alyssa was by her side she would eventually get over it. A part of her was extremely disgusted at how petty she could be, but it could do nothing to dampen her high spirits.

When the two humans entered Carnassus' chamber Maria heard the slight splashing coming from the side room containing the pool. She took a long breath and exhaled before turning to her companion. "Get ready for a surprise." As she pushed forward the hand squeezing her arm was reassuring even if the question put her a little on edge. "Well...basically she wants our help recruiting human soldiers." Putting it that bluntly sounded a bit ridiculous, and Alyssa must have thought so as well. Her objections were understandable, and a moment later Carnassus herself appeared to answer them.

Then the question was asked. Maria knew she would need to explain Alyssa's presence, and she'd been trying to form an answer for quite a while. "This is Lieutenant Alyssa Varza, second in command of the TCF Wolf and current senior officer. She's...quite frankly I think she's stronger than me. When we were all held in that cell she was willing to take my place while everyone else escaped, and before that she's been the only one able to keep her cool no matter how bad things looked." The girl paused for a bit while she thought over what exactly to say. "I think it would be best if you explained everything to both of us. That way we can both present your cause to the rest of our crew and let them decide if they are willing to help."
 

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
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#27
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Woot, almost time to actually roll a dice! xP

Carnassus nods, looking thoughtful, then vanishes for a moment. When she returns, she has wrapped herself in some hybrid of a towel and a robe.

"You might recognise this, Maria."

She alien slinks into the darkness. A light flicks on next to her, illuminating a large table. Assorted implements, both alien and recognisable, hang from the wall, as do what she is referring to: the implants of the Altered. Or at least, that is how they appear at first. Closer inspection would reveal these to be sleeker, more advanced, and with several types that she didn't see in the nightmare of sickbay on the Storm.

"As I said. Bodies can be enhanced." She picks up something rather like a scalpel, running the blade along a finger slowly. "You've seen what we can craft, both with the humans and with the Nakatta. Both are nothing compared to what I could give you. We Akarssa don't use the technology much on ourselves - our immune systems do not get on well with cybernetics - but I can turn you into a force of nature."

"Uh huh." Alyssa doesn't sound convinced. "If it doesn't work for you, why did you develop it?"

The alien replaces the tool, and shrugs. "We stole it from the Nakatta. You'd be hard pressed to see much difference between their warriors and the ones we enslave. I know you have little reason to trust or believe me on this..."

"You're damn right," Alyssa interrupts. "I saw the bodies of some of the freaks on the Storm. What's to stop you from just fucking with our brains in the process?"

Carnassus growls, faintly annoyed. "I'd have thought that the fact that I didn't just drag you onto a table and tear into your flesh while you were still fresh from capture would be a good indication that I've got no interest in mindless servants. You were only able to hold off our troops thanks to your defensive position and shields. The moment those went down, you were annihilated, despite only being slightly outnumbered. Do you really want to fight alongside us with only your current, soft, weak flesh?"

The alien pauses, looking away, then her tone softens, becoming conciliatory. "I know you don't have good associations with the Alteration technology, but I have no wish to lose soldiers simply because they are not as strong as they can be. If you wish, I can do the process on one of you myself, right here, with no others of my kind present. The other can watch the whole time, with a weapon, and if I break my word in what I have done... you can kill me." She stretches out an arm with a small smile. "I'm nowhere near as formidable as I used to be."

Alyssa glances at Maria, her expression uncertain. "...your call, girl... I'll watch over you if you want to trust her." She laughs a little. "After all, I seem to be turning into your bodyguard..."
 

Termite

A bug
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Apr 8, 2009
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#28
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

When the table was revealed Maria started to feel a little sick. They may look sleeker, more refined, maybe even more advanced, but they were still the parts of the Altered. The memory of the sickbay experiment sprang to mind almost immediately. The Doctor and his complete and total disregard for life as he cut through that nearly dead marine sent shivers up and down her spine. Her hand instinctively came up to her chest to press against the tags that should have been under her shirt, but when she remembered she gave them to Carnassus her eyes found the shorter alien and immediately started searching. "The tags, please." She really needed to have them back, not because they comforted her but because they were the only physical proof of the most selfless act she had ever seen. She wanted to make sure at least something of that remained.

A short while later the situation seemed to have devolved a bit. Alyssa was asserting herself with some genuine concerns mixed with a bit of indignation, and Carnassus seemed to be getting a little more annoyed with her new guest. But the alien had patience, and she offered to demonstrate the procedure right then and there. She also offered her own life as a guarantee that she would do nothing to override the human mind. Maria was still rather reluctant to allow herself to be mechanized, but she owed the alien commander a great deal, and if she was going to help them then there would be no avoiding it. Her eyes met the Lieutenant. "Bodyguard sounds good." She then addressed the young Akarssa. "Okay, I'm putting my body in your hands. I just have one question. The cloning process you used to keep from dying, can it be adapted for human use? I'm not one of those lunatic purists, but I'm 100% natural and really want to stay that way. It'd be nice to know that once all of this is completely over and done with I have the option to go back to being an all natural human."
 
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Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
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#29
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Willpower - 30/30
Combat and HP - 2 and 0/20
Explore and Stam - 6 and 27/30
Tech K-H and Knowledge - 11 and 10/10
Naughty and Lewd - 6 and 40/40

Combat (14): 1+2 = 3, fail (Lose 11 HP. Ouch.)

Carnassus wordlessly passes the tags over, and then nods in similar silence when Maria agrees, turning to the wall and selecting a heavy pistol-like weapon, giving it to Alyssa.

She hesitates as the lieutenant examines the weapon. "It... has not been tested on human physiology. Adapting it to your kind would take time. But I do not think it would be impossible. I'll take a sample of your blood for deep storage, so that we can work from that. Now... whenever you're ready, lie on the table."

Alyssa sights along the pistol, and then pulls the trigger, pointing at the wall. It shrieks, and rubble falls in a cloud of dust. Then she throws Carnassus a 'Whaaat?' look, which is met by cool, faint amusement.

When Maria has lain on the operating table, Carnassus prods a switch, and an energy field snaps on, keeping her locked in place. She almost panics from the sudden enforced paralysis, then she feels a pinprick in the back of her neck, and the world goes numb and distant.

She vaguely hears Carnassus explain that she has to be conscious for the procedure, but that it should be almost painless. She finds it hard to focus on the alien, her eyes wandering, coming to rest on Alyssa, just on the edge of her vision.

Alyssa gives her a thumbs up, smiling encouragingly, but one senses that she's putting a brave face on it.

Then the anesthetic dulls even her senses, and she is only aware of an almost comfortable vagueness. Something like a dull impact hammers at her arms, and she is just about conscious enough to be aware of being turned over, and something slicing into her back.

Suddenly, she feels even more dead, those few sensations blanking out in a final kind of way. She wants to struggle, to call out to Alyssa, but the anesthetic is strong enough that she almost doesn't care.

The world fades to nothing...

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

Naughty (15): 15+6 = 21, pass
Cybernetic Alyssa smexiness coming up. Wasn't the original point of the test, but works better with this storyline. Under the circumstances, test represents Maria's ability to handle this rather new experience.

Maria's Alterations are much the same as Alyssa's. They're kind of modular; the arm metal can snap open into a shield and forward as claws, but can also have other stuff attached. She'll also be a lot faster, stronger and more agile.

Also, feel free to play out the scene as you wish, you did a far better job of the last sex scene than I could have managed :p

Soft.

That's the first thought as Maria slowly returns to the waking world. The second is surprise, as she had been sure that she was dying on that table.

She stretches slowly, and winces. Her back screams at her not to do that again, and she suppresses a moan of pain.

Then she feels something warm wrap around her (apparently nude) body, and a familiar, human scent. She opens her eyes a crack, some corner of her mind noting that the feeling on her back is entirely different from where she is touched elsewhere.

Alyssa smiles at her, a small tear in the corner of her eye. "Welcome back. We almost thought we'd lost you. I was this close to putting a bullet through that bitch's head... but you're ok."

As Maria opens her eyes a little wider, she realises that some time must have passed. She is in unfamiliar surroundings; a comfortably lit room, not dissimilar to Carnassus' chamber but without dark corners. The pair are lying on a large bed, with some kind of fur covers.

The other thing that clues her in is Alyssa.

The lieutenant's eyes are glowing green orbs, clearly cybernetic (and indeed, Maria realises that she can see far better than before herself). Thin pieces of metal form a kind of mask rising from her face, looking like they are meant to attach to something. The back of her arms are black, jointed metal that seem designed to unfold or expand in some way, and most of her back seems to have been altered with more folded metal. Oddly, it isn't that cool to the touch; perhaps kept warm by Alyssa's own body heat.

"You've been out for a couple of days," Alyssa says softly. "Stupid Akarssa severed your spinal cord in the wrong place, nearly killed you. But it's over now. Most of the others have gone through the process as well, though Phaeris took a lot of persuading."

Then she hugs Maria tightly with a laugh, and a hint of a suggestive purr in her voice. "You know... even Altered, you're still damn cute..."

The metal on the lieutenant's back unfolds with a soft rasp, revealing two surprisingly long, sinuous metal tentacles, ending in elongated cones. They look like dangerous weapons, with small joins suggesting that the cones can unfold like mouths, and tiny ridges and bumps look entirely ready to snap up into spines or something similar. But, assuming the owner has full control of them... they could be used for other purposes...

Encampment!
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,097
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#30
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

And two weeks later Termite finally manages to make a post! Hooray...

*hangs head in shame*

Encampment bonus goes to HP, making it 10/20

For a moment Maria simply froze when she saw those tentacles. Her last encounter with cybernetics probably should have scarred her for life, but for some reason the fear she knew should be tearing through her nerves refused to surface. Before she could even wonder why that was Alyssa shifted her weight. Maria was rather enjoying the feeling of her lover pressed against her body, but when she made a move to wrap her arms around the woman's neck her body refused to move. She tried once again with the same results. Her arms, her legs, her fingers, her toes, nothing below her neck was willing to respond. Now she was starting to get scared. "I...I can't move...!"

"Hm, she said this might happen." Alyssa had managed to straddle the poor girl's pelvis once again, but when Maria said she was paralyzed the officer looked more annoyed than concerned. "You can still feel this, right?" The back of a lone finger was run along the prone girl's stomach, and she squealed in between gasps at the slight tickling sensation. A mischievous little smile spread across the taller woman's lips, and her torture continued as she poked and prodded the girl's sides while reveling in the fact that poor little Maria could only sit and howl for mercy. "Since your spine was damaged your body needs to readjust all its connections now that you're awake. Looks like you'll be helpless for a few minutes. So..." With her attack coming to an end she bent forward, her body slowly lowering against the body beneath her until both were pressing against the other. Maria could feel Alyssa's nipples mashing against her own. "...What can your bodyguard do for you?"

Alyssa could see it in her eyes. Maria was sure of it. The frustration caused by her inability to move. The desire growing from her tormentor practically whispering in the girl's ear. They were fighting each other, forcing her to try and gather her thoughts as one side wanted to get up and pay Alyssa back while the other was begging her not to stop. It all mixed into the cutest little angry fuck-me look the officer had ever seen. When the woman simply grinned in triumph Maria quickly turned her eyes to something else as she finally managed to whisper something. "You're playing dirty."

The Lieutenant continued to grin while she backed away. "I know, but I think you like it." Dammit, she was right. Maria was enjoying this far more than she should. "And I know you're gonna love this." Right on cue those tentacles lowered to the girl's stomach and began crawling higher. Watching them slither across her ribs and over her sides was strangely hypnotic. She imagined she was watching a pair of snakes, each one tracing a path that soon coiled around her modest little breasts before rising into the air. For a moment her mind played a trick on her causing the girl to see something resembling a tongue flick out of those 'mouths' and taste the air, but that all ended once the crawling came to an end.

For a split second an anxious calm shot through Maria's spine as she wondered just what would come next. Before her mind could wander through the possibilities the coils began to squeeze. The pressure was strong, insistent, unyielding, but the touch itself was gentle and soft. She could feel her flesh molding against the warm metal, the trapped portion slightly bulging within its confines until the coils rose. She could feel them sliding across her skin, the flesh underneath nearly rolling as that pressure became tighter and tighter the closer it came to the tip. It wasn't a long trip, but to Maria it felt like divine torture that ended just before it could pinch one of her quickly growing nipples.

When one cycle ended she had time to moan quickly before another cycle stole her breath away. After a couple minutes Alyssa chose to simple do the same in reverse. Maria's trapped tits were constantly being massaged from tip to base, and with each pass it felt like every sensation was being forced into her engorged nipples. After a few more minutes the pressure died, and she finally had a chance to catch her breath. "Useful, aren't they?" Somewhere in the back of her mind she could hear Alyssa talking, but she didn't have the will to actually crook her head and look. "They're very nimble, and believe it or not the plating is pressure sensitive. Being able to feel makes doing things like this much easier."

To demonstrate the lower half of the coils began to press inward. This time they were more insistent and nearly dug into her skin. She could feel that pressure breaking through that very sensitive top layer to attack the more neglected tissue underneath. At first it was a little too rough. The nerves that deep weren't used to this kind of treatment, but before she could complain she felt something brush against each nipple. She felt a hot jolt simply explode from those points that spread throughout her body. Her nerves seemed confused. They had trouble distinguishing pleasure from pain while her little nubs were being prodded and rolled in all directions. When whatever was attacking them appeared to stop she dared to open her eyes and found the end of those tentacles rising ever so slightly from her chest, each one pausing for just one moment before they opened slightly. She simply watched as they lowered, opening just a tad more before they surrounded her swollen buttons and caught them in their mouths.

"Oh...fffffFFFFUUUUCK!" The moment she felt those clamps Maria practically screamed in orgasmic bliss. It felt like each nipple was having its own little orgasm, and that feeling shot through her body like liquid fire. The rough massage that bothered her only seconds earlier was now pushing pure unadulterated pleasure deeper than she'd ever felt before. Her tits felt like they were being fucked out of their minds, and right then she wanted them to cum. She wanted to explode in those fucking mouths, to drench them in liquid pleasure and have them lick and suck it out of her until she had nothing left to give.

As great as it felt to be fucked through her tits Maria began to notice a strong need pulsing between her legs. Her mind had been preoccupied with other things up until now,, but the excitement leaking out of her had pooled under her ass and made her feel like she was sitting in a swamp made of her own juices. She didn't even need to look to see that her clit was standing at full attention. Her hood could do nothing to hide her arousal, and it was clearly begging for some kind of attention, but all the girl could muster was a very weak but almost constant moan. She couldn't focus. She couldn't even tell where she was. All she knew was that she was being fucked into a pile of goo, and she wanted more, goddammit!

A short spark jumped across her spine causing a small yelp to interrupt her continual moan. Someone's hands had brushed the inside of her legs before catching the back of her knees. Maria felt herself being lifted and parted at the same time. A small portion of her mind noted that her ass could finally breath and that her crotch was probably presenting itself to whoever was there. She could definitely feel her lips parting as well as her nectar dribbling through the valley of her rear and over her puckering little bud. At this point she didn't care what happened just as long as something did. Hell, she'd take a cock in her ass. Her body felt like it was twisting itself in knots at this point, and she just wanted SOMETHING to happen down there before she went mad.

Her prayers were answered when she felt a tongue dive right into her slit. Her body rejoiced when that tongue returned and caught the underside of her over-excited clit, and she nearly cried when it pulled hard against that button until it could pull no more and ended up flicking that turgid little nub. During that entire event the girl could only hold her breath, and while the tongue reset itself for another pass she could only pant in need while she felt like she was just about to break. She fully expected to cum when that tongue made its second pass, but after being forced to hold her breath one more time she felt like the knot at the pit of her stomach had only twisted tighter. A third pass left her mind struggling to hold itself together while her desire for release was slowly tearing her apart.

For a bit she wondered if she had gone mad. Within her entire life her body has never taken this much sexual abuse without breaking. Something was off. She...wanted more. She needed more. Her libido began to scream in her ear for something more, something to finally tip those scales, to bring that relief she needed. She wanted someone to fucking eat her. She wanted someone to ram that tongue into her gushing little pussy and fuck her. She wanted to feel it sliding into her hole as deep it could and taste every inch of her before it pulled out just to pound into her one more time. Her libido found a voice that rang through her head, each scream of "EAT ME! EAT ME!" sounding so real she couldn't tell whether she was actually yelling or not.

Apparently she had. She quite literally sang when she felt a mouth dig into her needy little twat and grant her wish. And she still couldn't cum. That mouth left its home and rose toward her exposed button. A pair of pursed lips gave it a quick little kiss before it was sucked between them. That mouth treated her excited little clit like a cock, the lips slowly sliding toward the tip while the tongue lathered that nub until it was so slick with saliva that it popped out of its own accord. And she still couldn't cum. The mouth returned to her slit, and this time she could feel it opening as its lips stretched to take in her own. The light suction that followed made it feel like something was wrapping around her entire crotch. That tongue proved its worth once again when it plunged into her depths. She could feel it twisting and thrashing as it tasted her from the inside out. She could feel the honey it stirred pouring from her only to be caught and swallowed by the mouth that was fucking her senseless. And she still couldn't cum!

How much more could she take? Maria felt like she was desperately fighting against a force that had grabbed her feet and was trying to tear her in two. Her mind was already stretched to its limit. She had no idea where she was, who she was with, or why she should even care. There was a sexual god working her body into a frenzy she could never have imagined. That's all she needed to worry-

[Reconfiguration complete. Restoring all nerve control.]

Those words flashed before her eyes just before they opened and focused on some random point on the ceiling. Every muscle in her body twitched just once before a wave of pleasure forced her to howl. Her back arched, her legs wrapped around the head now stuck between them, her hands grabbed a fist full of hair, her entire body was readying itself while she felt whatever obstacle that kept her from sweet, merciful release would finally be washed away. For what seemed like hours each near orgasmic pulse had been bouncing against each other, and without a means of escape they soon crowded then stacked until there was nowhere left to run. Now that her control was restored her muscles contorted to burn part of those pent up sensations while the brunt rushed to the only exit it could find. Her orgasm quite literally exploded into the mouth trapped against her mound, and after that initial blast she felt it simply pouring out of her.

Second after second, minute after minute, hour after hour, there was no telling how long her body kept pouring itself the single most potent climax she had. It just kept coming and coming, every single pulse merging with the one before it and keeping her cumming and cumming. As it finally started emptying her mind and body started restoring itself. The first thing she noticed was that the mouths that had been torturing her hyper-sensitive little tits had long since retreated. The next was the periodic moaning against her folds that had been keeping her orgasmic state running longer than it should. The tongue that had been rummaging around in her honeypot was having trouble licking its way past her lips, but it tried with every moan she felt vibrating against her flesh. Eventually the girl realized that someone had been trapped between her legs this entire time, and a little later her mind remembered Alyssa was the last person she'd been with. When her arms and legs finally relaxed the mouth that felt like it was plastered to her body abandoned its work to take a deep breath before it cried in passion itself. The cry led to small gasps and pants before it once again started moaning in short bursts that became longer and longer with each passing second.

For a moment Maria wondered what was wrong with her lover before another pulse pushed her thoughts to the side. When her mind came to once again she vaguely heard the familiar sound of a small motor humming away somewhere in the background. The memories of her visit to the Storm's sickbay came to light, and in her still quite arounsed state that wonderful feeling of that vaginal drill was all she could remember at the moment. A little later a different memory started worming its way into the spotlight. She recalled how she was utterly helpless and so fucking turned on she couldn't even remember whose hands were rolling her body. But she wasn't as helpless as she had thought. As her back was curled so Alyssa could enjoy the treat that had presented itself a small part of Maria's overwhelmed mind managed to realize it still had control over the cybernetics. When Alyssa began licking the girl's folds a tentacle managed to sneak its way out of her back. When Alyssa began lathering the girl's clit that tentacle had worked its way behind the pair unnoticed and managed to line itself to the Lieutenant's dripping sex. When the woman began eating out Maria that tentacle drove forward and entered the woman effortlessly. From there it began sliding in and out as the woman attacked her victim. Then it began pounding through her as she worked that poor girl into her mind-numbing frenzy. Alyssa was already quite worked up at Maria's state, and that transition was enough to make her cum right then. But Maria's state knew no control, and it kept pounding into Alyssa even while her walls were instinctively trying to milk the intruder. She was forced to ride the crest of one wave while another soon built and overcame the first. And Maria's subconscious refused to let up. It just kept plugging away, spurred on by her inability to climax and forcing Alyssa to experience release after release that bled into each other until the woman could no longer tell when one ended and another began. When Maria had finally cum the tentacle's motion stopped only to give rise to the submerged head starting to spin. The continual friction against her walls was too much to bear, and while Maria was forced to ride her perpetual climax Alyssa was forced to endure an unending barrage of microgasms that combined into her own unending torture.

Now that she knew Maria consciously ordered her improvised drill to stop, and once it did Alyssa visibly began to relax. The woman's entire body collapsed, and her cheek lightly dug into the girl's still quivering mound and nearly forced her to cum once again. Both bodies were visibly exhausted, even if one had spent the last two days resting, but Maria scrounged for what little energy she could find and managed to cup her hands around Alyssa's flushed cheeks. The woman managed to twist her head and lock her vacant eyes onto Maria's own before she noticed the very slight, almost nonexistant pull. The officer-turned-bodyguard managed to claw her way forward until she once again collapsed, this time with her face buried next to Maria's ear and unable to do much more than breath. As exhausted as she was she somehow managed to find the strength to speak. "How was it?"

Once again Maria's hand cupped the Lieutenant's face, only this time she used that hand to turn Alyssa's head before her lips embraced the woman. She smelled and tasted of sex, and Maria recognized the unique flavor that was her own, but she still kissed the woman before breaking away to answer. "Shut up and go to sleep."

The Lieutenant lightly chuckled while she threw an arm across the body that was holding her. "Yes, sir." The last thing she remembered was an arm draping itself across her back before her body finally gave in and shut itself down for the day.
 

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
0
#31
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

They were left undisturbed for a long time, or what felt like a long time. Underground, the passage of time is a tricky thing.

Regardless, when she awakens, Maria feels refreshed, ready for anything. Stronger and healthier than she's ever been. Although there are a few regrets over letting Carnassus mold her body like that, she can't help liking the new sense of power. After so long being the victim, the weakling... it's a nice change to feel like she could actually hold her own.

As she's toying with her assorted cybernetics and flexing, trying to get a feeling for her new abilities without waking up Alyssa, she realises that they are not alone. Carnassus is watching her with interest and - although she might be imagining it on the alien visage - a little jealousy.

"Good to see you up and about," the alien remarks. "You had us worried. Get your 'bodyguard' up and get to the briefing room. Your unit is about to face its first challenge."

"I'm awake," Alyssa says, opening her eyes. "What's going on?"

"Confederate attack cruiser of some kind inbound. Looks like your prediction was correct. Be ready." Then Carnassus was gone.

Alyssa groans. "I miss the Wolf. Fuck all ever happened there. Better do as Her Creepiness commands, I guess... you want first shower or second? Then we should get to the briefing room..."

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

Some time later, dressed and refreshed, both are in the main briefing room. A couple of plates of bizarre looking fruit (or presumably fruit) along with one or two other breakfast-like things are nestled in a convenient corner. Ivy is inspecting one with a mixture of suspicion and interest, and the rest of the human survivors are bunched up on one side of the central table. Assorted Akarrsa loom on the other side, politely ignoring the occasionally nasty looks they are given.

"Good, we're all here," Carnassus says from the head of the table. She glances at both sides with a bit of a 'play nicely[/]i, children' look, then stabs a control. A hologram rises from the table of a bulky Confederate warship. "Any of you recognise this?"

Looks are exchanged.

"Oh, fuck," Alyssa remarks simply.

They knew it, all right. The TCBC Deathstrike. Pride of the sector fleet. Not the hardest hitting, nor the flagship, but her reputation for long-range hit-and-run tactics, elite crew and just plain luck were known to all. Twice the firepower of the Storm, enough speed to keep up with a frigate, and the experience and guts to use both to their full advantage.

Alyssa gives a succinct overview, and Carnassus grates her teeth. "I was worried you'd say something like that."

((I presume your encampment bonus will go into HP?))
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,097
63
#32
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

(Correct, restore HP.)

Sometimes she hated being right. Sitting in the shower and letting the hot water relax her slightly tense muscles Maria couldn't help but think on the looming Confederate threat. The brass probably had all the time they needed to plan out an appropriate response. She wondered if they managed to keep an unseen eye on the Wolf and the lone fighter that nearly tore the frigate in two. There was a wealth of information in just a few seconds of that battle, and if there was a cruiser on its way here than this next battle was going to be nasty.

But...but Maria didn't feel as apprehensive as she thought she should. There was a very real danger in being captured and labeled a traitor, and more than likely if they were they'd be bound and dissected to learn what they could of the Alteration technology, but she just wasn't worried. The Akarssa were monsters that could brush off particle rounds as if they were pea shooters. Even if the fighter had been disabled it managed to seriously cripple a frigate one on one. Those were nothing compared to what she herself could feel. The cybernetics were no longer alien pieces of machinery haphazardly attached to her body. These were natural extensions, parts she never knew she had been missing that were now as much a part of her as her old hands. Right now she felt she could take anything on, and when she pounded one of her fists into the palm of the other the resounding thud echoing through the shower revealed just how strong she had become.

----------

"Dammit..." And all that confidence simply vanished. Not much is known about military affairs when it comes to the Confederation's citizens, but nothing is more known than the exploits of the Deathstrike. The tales of its conquests are known to every boy and girl. The ship itself was a marvel of technology, constantly upgraded to remain state-of-the-art, but its true strength lay in its crew. There were no finer officers in the entire fleet, and no matter what seemingly impossible odds they faced they managed to pull through and grasp victory time and again. Not even Maria's little exploits on the Storm could match the tales the crew of that cruiser could tell.

No no no, she couldn't think like that! Most everyone she cared about was in this room surrounded by creatures the likes of which the government has never seen. Her crewmates were just like her, a combination of flesh and metal woven together into a work of art far more capable than any human could ever wish to become. They couldn't lose. She wouldn't allow it. She won't let the Confederation take anything more from her!

"What's the plan of attack?" If anyone had been watching they would have seen Maria go from an almost defeated slump to a rigid, determined creature with a smoldering gaze that dared anything to try and cross her path. The fact that her eyes were artificial would make that look all the more intimidating.
 

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
0
#33
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Willpower - 30/30
Combat and HP - 2 and 10/20
Explore and Stam - 6 and 27/30
Tech K-H and Knowledge - 11 and 10/10
Naughty and Lewd - 6 and 40/40

Carnassus glances at Alyssa, who takes her cue, leaning forward.

"Deathstrike isn't the worst thing we could be facing. She's still just one ship - a fucking good ship with one of the best crew out there, but just one ship. Most of the details about her are classified, but I know a bit." She stabs a finger at several points on the image.

"She's based on the BC-277D - highly upgraded, but there are some things you can only patch up on a hull. For a start, she's got a big blind spot just in front of the engines. She's got a wing of Switchblade fighters to cover that, but it's a weakness. She's also got a total of five turret mounts and the forward battery - the 281 that superseded it has twelve turrets. Deathstrike might have huge amounts of firepower, but its focused into only a few locations. Each turret represents a major victory if taken out. What assets do we have?"

One of the Akarssa, a brute with very dark skin and several noticeably missing fangs, growls a response. "Four raiders. You disabled the fifth, and we lost two against the Storm."

"Show me the Storm."

Another hologram comes up, showing the sleek hull of the research cruiser next to the bigger, more vicious battlecruiser.

For some minutes, it dissolved into back-and-forth between Alyssa and several Akarssa, with Desarra butting in occasionally. Maria could understand much of the technobabble, but the military talk was a little over her head.

Then she notices something. A small point in the hull where the guns couldn't point at, and probably just the right size to sneak one of the Akarssan raiders into.

And then conduct a boarding action.

It sounded like suicide.

But between her companions, the Akarssa, maybe a few of those Nakatta hound-things... there was probably a higher chance than trying to take on the pride of the fleet with half the force that took on the far inferior Storm.

She hesitates, then clears her throat, and makes the suggestion.

Looks are exchanged. In the background, having been listening quietly, Carnassus grins broadly.

"We'd have to time it carefully," the dark Akarssa muses slowly. "And that raider would need cover."

"Switchblades would tear it apart if it stayed docked. This would be a one-way trip," Alyssa remarks. "No retreat, no surrender. We'd have to take the key systems, and either trigger self destruct and grab escape pods, or capture the thing."

"Not quite." Carnassus speaks up for the first time. "We have a limited form of teleportation. Pulls something back to a specific point. It's how I escaped the Storm. But if you wanted to have that option, it would limit the size of the strike team. It's bulky technology, you wouldn't be able to fit as many onto the raider."

"Bigger team with greater chance of success, or smaller team with a way out." Alyssa shakes her head, then glances at Maria. "Your idea. And you're our commander. What's your instinct?"
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,097
63
#34
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

"Smaller team." There was almost no hesitation when Maria was asked for her opinion. "It may make the job harder, but I want to make sure everybody can get off that thing in case we need to retreat. I don't want anyone getting left behind to become a Confederate guinea pig." If someone couldn't tell by the tone of her voice the way she stared into every single individual there as she spoke would show she was dead serious.

With her piece said and done Maria sat back in her seat and tried to follow the military planning as best she could. It was a rather useless effort, though. She wasn't a trained soldier, she had no understanding of military tactics, and to make matters worse she never did spend all that much time riding around in space vessels. She began to question just how much of a commander she could be while obviously missing these rather important qualities. It didn't feel right to throw her friends at a problem without being able to fully think it through. Alyssa was far more suited for this job. That WAS her job before they had all been captured. All Maria could do was promise to give everything she had to make sure they all remained safe.

Would that be enough? That question started rolling through the woman's mind, but she brushed it aside and focused on the approaching threat. She at least knew it would be terrible to rearrange the current line of command, especially since she was the one who dragged them all into this. She was responsible, so this was her burden. Maybe some time later when she had the chance to corner the Lieutenant one on one she would ask for an honest opinion on being made the group's commander, but when it came time for the actual mission Alyssa would definitely be the one calling the shots.
 

Zenath

Demon Girl Pro
Mar 13, 2010
126
0
#35
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

Willpower - 30/30
Combat and HP - 2 and 10/20
Explore and Stam - 6 and 27/30
Tech K-H and Knowledge - 11 and 10/10
Naughty and Lewd - 6 and 40/40

The meeting finishes, with the plan roughly in place, and the various groups vanish off to their assignments. Half an hour until launch, and the aura of tension was almost palpable.

Maria tags along with Alyssa as the lieutenant sets off for the armoury, but at a quiet moment, she pulls on the woman's arm, and voices her concerns.

Alyssa shrugs. "I'm not sure it's up to us, girl. Carn was pretty hell for leather about you being in charge, and she's the boss. I don't think she's stupid, though."

She pauses, then continues. "I know you've had no military training or anything, but you're lucky, you're tough, and most importantly, you've got drive. You've held the crew together twice and made them follow you; when we were defending the Wolf, and in the hangar. You certainly made me believe. You're a good symbol, Maria. And you're a symbol that knows she's just a symbol, so I can sit in the background and make sure everything works. Seems like a good system to me."

The lieutenant smiles, leans forward to give Maria a kiss, then turns and hurries on to the armoury.

Maria nearly jumps a foot as something leaps out at her, a metal monster with a snarling visage and massive, clawed arms... then realises, as it starts giggling, that the occupant was none other than Ivy. "Like it? This is what the full ensemble looks like. I feel safer than if I were in a Confederate battle tank."

Alyssa indicates a suit of armour mounted to one side of the room, which was evidently Maria's.

It was effectively a set of full-body metal carapacing, designed to lock into the assorted metal plates rising from her body, arms and face. Several compact weapons are attached to the arms. She can't help feeling a little more hopeful. With suits like this on their side... maybe they did have a chance.

She begins pulling it on, with a little help from Alyssa. Now she sees what Ivy meant by 'full ensemble'; it fits her so snugly that it really does feel like part of her enhancements, rather than a bulky suit of metal. There is a small, unpleasant jolt as she slides the helmet into place, and there is an odd, metal taste in her mouth for a moment.

"That's it connecting to the stuff in your brain," Alyssa remarks, working on her own suit. "I went and pinned Carn down to demand what everything does. She said that there's a kind of feedback loop between your brain and the suit that acts like a combat drug, boosts your reactions and speed and stuff, but it wears off when you don't need it. It's safe, don't worry. Tested it already. Messes with your mind a bit, but instinct can be better than conscious thought in a close fight anyway."

She pauses with an encouraging smile. "Anything else you want to ask or get sorted out before dust-off?"
 

Termite

A bug
Moderator
Apr 8, 2009
2,097
63
#36
Re: The Hunting of the Wolf (Termite)

As nervous and unsure of herself as Maria was the small talk with Alyssa helped restore some of her lost confidence, and the kiss that followed was just the reassurance she needed to know that she would always have someone watching her back to make sure everything worked out in the end. The small woman stood for a bit just watching her lover rush off to the armory, her feet finally moving after a few seconds as she took in a deep breath to focus on the upcoming battle. She couldn't let herself be distracted with all this during the mission. There'd be plenty of time for that after everyone was home.

During that breath Maria had closed her eyes for just a moment, but when she opened them she was greeted by a monster of metal practically leaping at her arms and claws that reminded her of her first meeting with Carnassus. Her heart nearly leapt out of her chest, but once that monstrosity started giggling she calmed down enough to realize her body was actually tensing to attack. "Like it? This is what the full ensemble looks like. I feel safer than if I were in a Confederate battle tank."

"Dammit, Ivy, don't scare me like that!" Maria was nearly livid at the ex-science officer, and she had to consciously force her extended claws to retract while the plating covering the tentacles on her back closed on their own. Even then her voice did calm down as she started inspecting the exoskeleton. Her hand nearly reached out to touch Ivy's side before a slight whistle from Alyssa caught the girl's attention and brought it to the unoccupied suit over on the wall. "Oh...! E-excuse me!"

The technician was mentally kicking herself as she hurried over to her own armor. She couldn't believe she let herself get distracted when she vowed she wouldn't, but that was immediately lost once she was close enough to start climbing in. Alyssa gave the girl a hand, but she didn't really notice as she felt her cybernetics reaching out to connect with each piece that was starting to envelop her. At first it felt like cold, dead machinery simply being laid over her skin, but once it was properly attached it felt like nothing more than a second layer that felt nearly as natural as the tentacles sitting in her back. The only thing making it feel somewhat alien was that slightly unsettling jolt once the connection was made as well as that odd metallic taste in her mouth. The explanation felt accurate. Her nerves may be reaching out to connect to the new additions, but that connection was made through another connection. It was like watching a video of a video. It never looked quite as clear, and that was the way her body felt.

Once Maria was fully encased and given a few seconds to adjust Alyssa asked if there was anything else she felt like asking or addressing before this operation began. "Not really. You all know what you're doing, and you've probably done this a whole lot more than I have."