Trouble on board

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icekatze icekatze's picture
Trouble on board

((hi hi

I had this little idea for something to do if anyone feels like biting. Not planning on anything grand or spectacular, just wanted to try something out. So if you like, post however you feel like.))

|Comm Traffic Intercept|
Frequency: 12.3 GHz
Direction: Sunward +3º off Y Axis.
Source Analysis: Fusion powered craft; currently in low solar bypass trajectory.
Poor S/N, Cleanup Protocol Activated
Invalid Sender ID, Precautionary Measures Activated

|Beginning Audio Playback|
----claring ------rgency. Hija------ in p-------, navig----al cont---ls com----ised, h------uo-----erial onboard, life support ---------, request-----sistance. Please, is an-----receiving this trans------on? Re----t

Mayday Ma----
This---------nwealth flag------argo transp------- Six declari--------mergency. Hijacking in-----ess, navigational ---------promised, hazar----------- on--------- su------ d----ged, requesting assis------- Ple------ anyone re------- thi------smission? ----peat.

----is -----mon---------fla---------go tra--------ep---------- ---------
|Transmission Lost|

The large craft tumbles slowly through space, wrapped in a cocoon of cargo containers save for two habitat rings only one of which remains spinning. The navigational and communication array is missing, though in its place floats a cloud of debris. As it rolls aimlessly, the sunward side of the craft reaches a red hot glow before cooling off again on the shadow side, its radiators unable to process against the angle of the sun.

Craft's main fusion engine is inactive, unusual trajectory may suggest craft is off course. Propellant tank #3 ruptured, propellant status unknown. No data on cargo available. Several areas of the craft are beginning to show stress fractures from repetitive heating and cooling. Internal IR signatures indicate that it is still generating power. Automated stationkeeping protocols not responding. A docking port on the shadow side will remain accessible for another 17 minutes before temperature levels exceed operational parameters. A docking port on the opposite side is expected to cool within operational parameters within 43 minutes.

ssfsx17 ssfsx17's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((everything introduced in this post may be re-possessed by any subsequent poster))

"Father, I will secure justice for you," the gothic-plated knight promised as he gazed upon the mountain range separating him from his quarry: the self-proclaimed "Heavenly Master," who behaved like quite the devil from Hell. The knight drew his two-handed sword and slowly made his trek up the beaten dirt path, the whispers of foul creatures echoing throughout the air.

A cruel voice from above intoned, "A wounded bear treads upon the thicket dying of thirst, or in the common tongue, there is an urgent notification. Mayhaps the hero-errant takes notice and is repaid in kind."

The gothic-plated knight tore away at his raiments to reveal a more conventional avatar wearing a multi-layered frilly red dress with gratuitous lace on the cuffs and sleeves. The avatar spoke, "Damnit, I was almost at level 34."

"By aid of lucre and a spot of gold between the fingers, veterancy can be had expediently."

"I told you, Melodia, I am not paying real credits for that stupid game. Why do I even bother telling you these things? You are just a muse! Status report, salvage gear."

"A fine, yet discrete, boundary between fishing and hanging, the latter of which necessitates a tad more roasting beforehand."




LOAD: 13%

The avatar frowned, and her clothes turned black. I knew I should have gotten a better antimatter containment unit... lousy piece of junk jettisoned half the tank.

Melodia continued to tease, "Mayhaps the huntress needs her hawks and dogs?"

"Yes, send the notification to all trustworthy crews nearby." The avatar pulled her dress off to reveal a more utilitarian uniform. She stuck her hands in the ground, then pulled up the whole mountain as if it was a carpet, causing the whole universe to puff into a hail of flower petals and dandelion seeds, followed by a distorted representation of the target derelict laying in a spherical map. The complete ship interface blinked into existence around the avatar, complete with a leopard-fur-covered captain's chair. "Melodia, give me the full notification." The information in the previous post was imprinted into her consciousness.

@-rep: 2 | x-rep: 1 | y-rep: 1

root root's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((Sweet idea icekatze. I hope people follow your example.))

[ @-rep +1 | c-rep +1 | g-rep +1 | r-rep +1 ]

icekatze icekatze's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((hi hi))

|Data Search Possible Hit|
Message scanned on anonymous message board at 0345
|Displaying Message|
Hey, SahnaBlue, you might be interested in this, I heard you were turning your attention towards solar traffic and I just happened to have intercepted this little nugget yesterday evening. Sounds like something is up, don't know what, maybe you can fill me in? I'm parched!

Sender: Lola Reichart
Recipient: Casey Helman
Header: Something came up at work.

Honey, I know you're going to be upset, but some kind of emergency is going on and I've been called up. I'm going to be gone for a few months but I'll leave you a fork to keep you company. Please don't be mad at me, you know I didn't want to miss your birthday. I would have come over to say goodbye in person but we've got to start climbing in less than an hour and everyone over here at the port is in a fit. Seems the consortium had a ship near Caloris when whatever this is went down and they're going to try to beat us to the punch if we're not quick about it. We haven't been briefed yet but Max is beside himself worrying about it, but guessing from the preparations we're taking, I'll be heading sunward. I'll try to see if I can catch you some good close-ups, I know it won't make up for it... I gotta go, I'll be able to call you when we're on our way back I think. Love you.

|Reply|I'm not sure what all is going on SiennaSeraph, but one of my contacts informed me that the Consortium is making a move on something that we might have reason to be concerned about. Supposedly, they picked up a transmission a couple days ago and within minutes of that, they contacted one of their corvettes in Mercury orbit (PCS Thomas Hayne I think) with orders to intercept and secure the target. The Thomas H. reported engine trouble a few hours later, but I have confirmation that moments after that, they diverted a cargo ship and that it is going via V/2011 Caldwell to pick up munitions of some sort. Maybe they're thinking that if they're going to be late to the party that they'll just...
|Probe Detected, Source Deleted|

ssfsx17 ssfsx17's picture
Re: Trouble on board

A radio voice came into her simulspace world, "Maintain safe distance, be aware of improvised missile weapons, sending in troubleshooters, await further orders."

"Requesting permission to scout ahead, positively identify hostiles." Right now Melodia was a catgirl, licking her ear, jealously trying to take the simulspace representation of a radio transponder out of her hands.

"Negative, that could potentially result in company property falling into enemy hands. Do not attempt towing action, either."

She pinched Melodia on the nose to make her back off, and wiped her avatar's ear off on her sleeve. "Acknowledged, ETA troubleshooters?"

"Troubleshooters ETA 20 hours, routing through V/2011. High probability of other hostiles, in such event, do not engage, do not loiter."

"I copy that, do not engage, do not loiter, Permission to speak, sir."

"Permission granted, we've got time to kill."

"What is an anarcho-communist ship doing here, and why would it have anything of value such that pirates would hit it in such a dangerous zone? For that matter, what kind of pirates have the gear to board ships out here?"

"Identity of hijackers is unconfirmed, most certainly not common scum. Cargo contents unconfirmed. Now I have a question for you."


"When are you going to send Melodia to visit again? Mary-Belle misses her very much."

"Melodia does not reciprocate the sentiment. She told me that Mary-Belle is a bitch who ought to cut herself on the face with a razor, and also a pig cow slut who doesn't know anything about ship management, autopiloting, interfacing, researching, or calming humans."

"That language sounds very unlike Melodia."

"I'm paraphrasing of course. "


Nothing on the radar besides the expected. It was too quiet. He licked his salamander tongue around in his mouth, trying to get used to it, then blinked his eyes. This mission would rapidly become a FUBAR SNAFU, he just knew it. He could feel it in his soul. It was still a few hours until they got close enough to jump across to the ship. Plenty of time for a quick stress-reliever. He wanted to save the anti-stress drugs for when they actually beheld the enemies - both groups of them. The fact that these groups would hopefully still be shooting at each other ought to make things easier - assuming that the Titanians would still be alive by that time. More likely, the hijackers were something scary, something beyond his comprehension. He'd heard whispers and rumors of creepy things out here, similar to those found in New Mumbai but more heat-resistant. Maybe that's what had attacked the ship. Or, even worse, maybe the ship was carrying them as cargo, and they broke free and started eating the crew. Fuck it! Fuck it all to fucking bloody hell! "Mistrastis, I require stress relief."

"For man toils and labours, ever browbeaten by that harsh lord, the Sun. And though he may gain temporary respite in his home, verily the produce of the land needeth tending and so man ventures out once again into that harsh cruel world. But there is some respite, in the grape, the honeycomb, the frothing glass mug, and yea, many good things go in and out of the loins of woman. Yet even with this, time conquers all, and bones and sinews doth weaken, immortality being but a dream of the foolish..."

The quartz-morph in front of him turned an optical cable at him, and shouted over the tactical net, "Turn that bloody thing off! Nobody wants to hear your stupid-ass muse talking about stupid boring-ass shit. We're all fucked, just accept it, eh? Just come back from backup on Caldwell, eh? No sweat. After we die, our ship will blow the fuckers into bits, simple, done, over with."

@-rep: 2 | x-rep: 1 | y-rep: 1

icekatze icekatze's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((hi hi

Just a little background and description for today I'm afraid. Sleep calls.))

|Radio Traffic Intercept|
Encryption Protocol: Outdated, decrypt key on file.
Sender: Mars Orbital Guard
Header: Re: Solar Traffic Query 02.25.10b

Commonwealth flagged transport Deep Six, logged flight plan on Oct. 2nd for standard Titan/Neptune transfer via solar gravity assist.
This is an automated message.

|Structural Design Details (Abridged)|
Source: Public Safety Inspections and Licensing
Manufacturer: Samuel Melikov, "Spacecraft Artisan"
Series: S17 "Periwinkle" line, #5 of 7
Maximum cargo capacity: 5500 standard cargo containers
Internal Capacity 25 standard
Maximum passenger capacity: 120

|Design Analysis in Progress|
Barring any after market modifications... Hull configuration, thin inflatable polymesh with secondary debris buffer. The craft's main power plant is located in the aft, near the fusion drive. A long spinal column connects the drive section to the habitat rings near the fore. One cargo elevator and two access ladders run the length of the craft. A central utility duct allows transfer of electrical power, coolant, atmosphere and computer connectivity throughout the craft. Docking umbilical allow for direct access to cargo containers, however only an estimated 34% of cargo containers have compatible access points. (EVA may be required for full access without extensive cutting, calculating estimated time for full survey.) Primary command and control components located near the habitat ring central hub, secondary control center located in missing navigational compartment. The ship's solar storm cellar is also located near the habitat ring hub. (Due to solar radiation, there is a high probability that biomorph survivors would seek refuge in this central location) Habitat rings contain requisite living quarters and recreational facilities, amenities classification: low budget...

|Surface Activity Detected|
The smoldering mass of slowly tumbling metal continues to remain totally radio silent, but as if sensing it is not alone, several external camera mounts become active and begin tracking the approaching visitors. Still no radio transmissions, not even a transponder beacon.

"Hey boss, boss? Something's goin' on, we just got pinged by active lidar. It was just for an instant though, might still be one of these other ships."

"Damn, back us off to 20 million and plot a flyby. If they're all going to play it safe, then so are we. What's the status on the remote we sent ahead?"

"Oi, gimme a minute boss, I can only do so many things at once 'ere."

"Are you serious? I don't believe it! First you commandeer my ship, then you wreck it trying to get here first, and now that we've got a chance, the chance you were so eager for, we're just going to float around and watch? I don't think I need to remind you the maintenance bill we racked up by running the motor at 107% for a month..."

"How could I forget? You've mentioned it three times a day, every day since we set out. But I don't think I need to remind YOU that this is not YOUR ship. It belongs to the corp, and management gets the final say. I believe we've had this discussion before as well."

"Right, fine, whatever... but now we're here, ahead of schedule like you wanted, why are we waiting around?"

"Boss? Boss!"

"Yes? I'm listening. What's the status on the remote?"

"Nevermind that, they're starting up their engines!"

A flash of light - atoms smashing together to produce a brilliant burst of energy, and though weak by comparison to the nearby original, it is no less remarkable. The massive craft shudders like a beast in pain as it slowly begins to accelerate. Its slow tumble begins to pick up speed. climbing up into a higher trajectory, then leveling out and diving back down again. The radiators, hopelessly out of alignment begin to glow a bright cherry red, then orange, and within minutes small droplets of molten metal mixed with coolant begin floating away through space like a little swarm of fireflies. Almost as suddenly as it started, but much less unexpectedly, the activity comes to a halt as the #2 engine bell melts clean through then explodes in a puff of cooked hydrogen.

ssfsx17 ssfsx17's picture
Re: Trouble on board

"What was that? Did you see that?"

"I saw that!"

"Holy shit!"

"That's not supposed to happen on a hijacked ship!"

"Do you think they're onto us?"

"I dunno, maybe the big logos on our bows gave them a clue."

"They sounded pretty desperate, maybe they're attempting direct physical contact?"

"I knew it! It's full of them! Oh my God!"

"Full of what?"

"Cut the chatter! This is Jackpot to all ships, execute in five minutes. Jackpot to all ships, execute in five minutes."

"Hayne to Radlum, tank is full, you may disengage."

"Zebra to Hayne, confirmed backup and Melodia received."

"Jackpot to Hayne, Whitehead, Valius. Jackpot to Hayne, Whitehead, Valius, status report."

"Valius here, harpoons are ready."

"Whitehead here, harpoons are ready."

"The worm wriggles and writhes with anticipation, unaware of its place in the plot."

"Jackpot to Hayne, set Melodia to serious mode for remainder of mission. Engage harpoons."




"Jackpot to Charlie and Epsilon, Jackpot to Charlie and Epsilon, execute."

"Epsilon, go."

"Charlie, go."


"I can't hold on!"

"Yes you can!"

"Snap your backup on the tether, you'll be fine."

"These quartzes take some getting used to."

"Charlie reporting delay, ten seconds."

"Jackpot to Charlie, better safe than sorry."

"Whitehead to Jackpot, reporting high stresses on winch systems."

"Jackpot to Whitehead, better safe than sorry, let it slack. Our boys can handle the turbulence."

"Charlie reporting ETA 6 minutes. No hostiles sighted. Airlock remains closed."

"Epsilon reporting ETA 5 minutes. No hostiles sighted. Airlock is ajar, lights are out."

"Delta to Epsilon, requesting T-ray visual."

"...why... is... that..."

" cannot be serious!"

((hopefully a third poster will join in, so that both me and icekatze will be surprised by what comes next))

@-rep: 2 | x-rep: 1 | y-rep: 1

icekatze icekatze's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((hi hi

If you like, I can keep it rolling, or we can wait for someone else to step in.))

ssfsx17 ssfsx17's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((go ahead))

@-rep: 2 | x-rep: 1 | y-rep: 1

icekatze icekatze's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((hi hi

Alright me, gotta get back in character, you can do it!))

The thin outer hull surrounding the airlock appears as little more than a faint white outline crisscrossed by seemingly random wiring. A random pattern of lighter spots sporadically coat the exterior bulkhead, some unknown material flash melted to the surface in the intense heat. The thicker core bulkhead returns a chaotic scene of twisted, jagged metal; torn by some physical stress and cratered by detonations. Someone, it seems, did not go without a fight.

|Faint Radio Transmission Detected|
Source: Aft section
Analysis: Makeshift transistor oscillation

"Is someo-----ut there? Please ---- me, I'm h---ng in the fusion contr------cessor but I don-----ow how much longer------keep them-------ey're physically alteri--------- don't wa----to end like this,-------- this! You've -----got to ----"

|Transmission End|

A quick glance down the axis shows that the utility conduits between control and propulsion have been deliberately severed in multiple locations. Looking up towards the fore returns a flicker of movement inside the habitat ring before the entire command module lights up with its own t-ray emissions. Dozens of points of light slow to a halt, then begin flowing in unison in the direction of the airlock. Somewhere deep inside, a compartment depressurizes, causing a gentle gust of atmosphere and tiny metal flakes to exhale from the open airlock.

ssfsx17 ssfsx17's picture
Re: Trouble on board

((sorry for not posting lately, I am very bad with PbP and always did better with text-chat or voice games))

@-rep: 2 | x-rep: 1 | y-rep: 1

ssfsx17 ssfsx17's picture
Re: Trouble on board

No sound but the sound of his own body clicking and whirring inside of its armored space suit. No sights but the terminal in front of him, broadcasting error messages on a common unsecured protocol. He turned a finger back and flashed a laser light, carrying the sound of his simul-voice saying, "No signs of physical tampering, beginning hack."

A laser light flashed onto the palm of his suit, carrying the sound of another man's simul-voice saying, "Acknowledged. Nothing on this end."

A voice chuckled inside his head, then suggestively intoned, You realize that our arrangement only keeps us physically-secure. Soon as the shit hits the fan, we'll both get hacked at the same time.

He thought hard, Not true. I take the brunt of the attack, you disconnect me and keep shooting.

Doesn't that just sound so comforting for you?

I backed up soon as we started the tether, same as you. You just keep our right arm handy on that gun and let me worry about my job.

Heh, worry indeed. I once rode on a friggin reaper, couldn't lock down half the arms before the other half started shooting up my partner's brain. Missed my own cyberbrain by three millimeters, still felt the shock wave through my thoughts.

Specialist Antonanivo, I strongly urge you to cease non-mission chatter immediately. Keep our eyes on that hallway and our hand on the gun. Engaging internal network partition. That seemed to shut him up. The terminal's security was surprisingly-lax, even compared to hippie scum barge security. Data was organized in a neat, organized, relational format. He didn't need to crack anything to get insert, update, and delete privileges. This was almost too easy. Well, if it was going to be this easy, he might as well...


Well, that was interesting, but nothing beyond his scope of knowledge. People still used that? Seriously?

SELECT * FROM SECURITY.VLOG WHERE DATE < 21239876890234 AND DATE > 21239000000000

He felt a bit dizzy after soaking in the data. Despite the peculiarities of this database, its data-transfer protocol was quite up-to-date. He had to purposely send it BYE messages through some of his inserts so that his mind wouldn't be completely consumed. It only took three seconds, after which he immediately started diving in.

So far, nothing out of the ordinary: someone pushing a cargo box into place. Suddenly, all of his mental senses were assaulted by a sound like static, visuals as if all reality was filtered through some ancient digital converter that made everything look green, a taste like copper needles on the tongue. The eyes on the back of his buttocks were squinting hard, trying not to cry, and the penis growing out of his nose was unusually flaccid and weak.


"Your partner's done with the dive?"

"Not a clue, he's been at it for ten whole seconds. I'm getting worried."

"Do not reestablish a connection with his brain, I repeat, do not break partition. Are you feeling anything strange? Any parts of the body not moving as they should?"

"Twelve seconds now. Not feeling anything. Just let me know when to pop the mechanical switch... Hello? You there? Shit. This is not good. I can't see or hear anything! Can anyone hear me! This is an open mesh broadcast to team, hellooooooo? Okay. That's it."

He took the gun, aimed carefully at his own face (or what passed for a synthmorph face), and sent the trigger-signal. At the last tenth of a second, his hand suddenly jerked ever so slightly, and it was his own brain that was blown out rather than his partner's.

@-rep: 2 | x-rep: 1 | y-rep: 1