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The Myrmidon (reboot)

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  • #81

    The techs were indeed fascinated by Allyn's suit, though they were equally distracted by the other suits.

    "So this is true Power Armour?" one of them mumbled as he studied the five suits.

    "What's the difference between our exoskeletons and Power Armour? They're both power-assisted aren't they?" another asked.

    That, of course, kicked off a spirited debate regarding Power Armour's electro-reactive polymer myomers, weapon mountings, and control systems, and whether armoured industrial exoskeletons counted as true Power Armour or not.

    "They're... going to be at that for a while," Verex stated, giving the tech crew an exasperated look. "It's great that they love what they do, but sometimes..."

    His Rock-Hopper chose that moment to nudge him, and he gave it a questioning look that quickly turned to comprehension at how its head was tilted.

    "Heh. Here you go, girl, you did a great job today," he said, giving the raptoroid a strip of dried meat that was eagerly, though gently, taken from his claws and snapped up.

    Brina self-consciously brushed at her plumage again when she saw what Allyn looked like beneath his armour, before

    "I could go for something to eat and drink," Kimrith affirmed when Allyn spoke up.

    "The tavern it is, then," Alinda replied, "Follow me, then."

    She strode over to another door and opened it to reveal that it led out into the area near one of the enormous mirror arms. At this close range, it was now obvious that the arm, in addition to its new structural purpose, had been covered with solar panels, providing the colony with a source of electrical power.

    The area had largely been cleared of forestry, and been tilled and sown as crop fields. There was the familiar gold of wheat nearly ready for harvest visible off in the distance, as well as barley, what looked like a local grain (given the slightly bluish tint the ripe grain had), an orchard of local fruit trees (of a different variety to that growing on the plateau) and some non-natives, and a small patch of tall wire trestles with hop plants climbing up them. There were also a couple of small buildings next to the river, as well as a couple of flat-bottomed boats out on the water. The people on one of them seemed to be tending to something in the water, while those on the other at first glance appeared to be out on the water for pleasure, given the way they were lounging, but a second glance showed that they had lines in the water. A large windmill - its rotor originally designed for a wind power plant and thus looking rather incongruous on the old-style building it had been attached to, despite the metal that replaced the wood - rotated sedately where it had been erected, not far from the hab cylinder itself.

    The group was walking along a road, paved with cobblestones, that had been laid out between the fields.

    "The tavern is inside the hab cylinder; the area outside it is largely used for farming," Alinda explained. "We actually use the cylinder and arms' shadows for cultivating shade-loving plants for textiles and other purposes. We've also got plans to expand, though; build a second ring wall, or possibly build it up to the mountain slopes."

    As they approached the hab cylinder, the crack became visible. It was actually in one of the aluminium oxy-nitrate windows that were designed to let light, reflected off of the enormous mirrors, into the interior of the habitat cylinder. A good portion of the lower end of the window (what had once been the stern of the ship) was opaque from spiderwebbing micro-fractures, but those hadn't propagated beyond the one section; they stopped abruptly several metres off the ground, not far from the top of the crack.

    The Stride's colonists and crew had, rather than patching the hole, instead opted to turn it into an entryway; the road led right up, and into the crack. There were signs of there once being a gate, but it had clearly long since been removed, likely once the wall had been completed.

    When they passed inside, the found that, in addition to the central spine and its supports being intact, the Stride's people had strung additional bracing wires... and then turned those wires into a network of enclosed foot-bridges - each a foot-path suspended from the cables with a wire mesh - that criss-crossed the interior of the cylinder, allowing them easier access to the buildings along the cylinder's interior surfaces. The ground had long since been cleared of debris, and had a spiderweb-pattern of cobblestone roads that radiated outwards from the spine of the cylinder, which serviced an array of buildings, including grain silos,

    Flyers could be seen flitting around, including the bio-luminescent lights of Crystal Dragons in the shadowed upper reaches.

    Verex spent a moment handing off his Rock-hopper to another handler (who she greeted cheerfully), before joining them again as they headed deeper inside.

    "The tavern's here at ground level," Alinda said, indicating a building near the central spine; a two-story affair constructed out of stone and what was obviously a mish-mash of re-shaped and welded titanium hull-plating. Curiously, it had not been repainted like the rest of the buildings around it; there were segments thatwere different shades of white (heat-damaged paint, at Kimrith's guess), and one that had the number two emblazoned across it (likely from the Stride's serial number, which had been displayed on her main engine block, in addition to the normal locations), which was now upside-down.

    "We named it 'The Scrapheap' back in the day, and it just didn't seem right to change the paint," Alinda continued. "It's part of its charm, really."

    They apparently arrived in the midst of the lunch rush, as the tavern was already fairly busy - and thus rather noisy - and cheerful in atmosphere. The second floor was actually a balcony that ran around the interior, and the central area contained a number of games-tables, ranging from Vector-ball (a pool-like game of Shree origin, which emphasised planning a bit more than pool as it used a sliding striker in a cupped housing rather than a cue) to a card table.

    There was already a game underway at the latter; a trading card "battle" game, from the looks of things. It seemed to be an intense game, given the way it had drawn a crowd.

    Alinda found a table for them, and the team sat themselves down, as did Kimrith. The wait-staff came quickly despite the lunch-rush, and handed out menus.

    "Hmm. I'll have the Forest-Strider ribs, I think," Alinda said after a moment of studying the menu, "with the savouroot and spicy sauce, and the blue wine."

    A pause.

    "Oh, shoot. We still use the Chirin as currency..." she mumbled, and opened her mouth to continue, only for Kimrith to pull out some coins.

    "I'll have the same, then," Kimrith said, checking the listed price.

    Despite every advance in digital currency, physical currency was still a thing. Physical Chirin came primarily in the form of hexagonal coins. They came in varying denominations, and had a number of anti-counterfeiting measures, including a hexagonal prism of specially-grown artificial crystal (coloured to match denomination) embedded into the centre of the coin that only the Federation Mints had the formulation for, which also contained an embedded RFID chip, and carefully-placed phosphorescent lettering (both inside the crystal and on the coin's metal surface) that would light up only when under UV.

    The RFIDs also happened to make finding lost coins much easier, but that was incidental to their real use.

    The Federation hadn't changed currency for three-hundred years, so Alinda had been perfectly justified in being worried that they had changed currency. Fortunately, however, that wasn't the case; the Federation's economy had remained strong, even through the war.

    "I'll have the tree-hopper thigh," Brina added, before turning to Allyn. "They're a type of smaller raptoroid," she explained, "that live in the trees. They've got omnivorous teeth, though their diet is actually mostly vegetarian. We've been domesticating them as a substitute for livestock we don't have. Though we need to keep their enclosures covered; Great Crosswings will prey on them if we don't."

    "Also, I recommend the house ale," verex interjected, "They brew it in-house, and it's pretty good."

    Soon after, the wait-staff returned to take their orders.
    Arratra's Signature


    Insatiable Curiosity

    Major Leon Stormstrider

    Varatyr Scorchtalon


    • #82

      Allyn watched the techs settle into their debate, chuckling to himself. It wasn't a new sight, even on the Myrmidon, the techs tended to get carried away with their work. It's that getting carried away that ended up with the Zephyr's design, so he wasn't about to begrudge them.

      He nodded to Verex, "We may as well head off then. I think things are in good hands."

      The falcon certainly noticed Brina's reaction. If he had been a vain or arrogant sort, he might've tried to show off, but instead, he just gave Brina a warm smile by turning his head to the side slightly and opening his beak ever so slightly. He had to admit, he liked Brina, and not just because she was pretty and of his own species. She seemed like a really decent bird. He certainly hoped that he would get time to get to know her.

      The trip towards the tavern was a remarkable one. He looked around, noting all the goings-on. "Farming, fishing, livestock... Plus, the whole ship looks to have been adapted into a permanent residence. I guess this is a sort of preview of what we'll need to do on the Myrmidon over the coming years."

      The tavern did indeed have a certain charm to it. It reminded him of a place he liked to frequent back home. A real place of gathering and community. The sounds and smells of the lunchtime crowd flowed over him, and he found he was hungrier than he had thought.

      Allyn sat down, he didn't take his coins out when the discussion went in that direction, but he did check for his wallet to make sure it was still there. It was.

      He'd spotted some game machines off in a corner of the tavern. They would've been fairly new when the Stride had set off but was considered retro classics' now. One of them had an out of order sign on it. He'd talk to the tavern owner later after the meal to see if he could give them a hand. His computer and electronics skills might come in handy, yet.

      He turned his attention to Bina as everyone began to order. He nodded to Verex when he suggested the house ale.

      "Since I'm new, I'll follow their lead. I'll have the tree-hopper thigh and a house ale," he said to the waiter that was taking their orders.

      "Oh, and let the owner know I can probably help with their broken games over there." he gestured to the back corner. "Shame to see a classic like that not working." he continues, giving another warm smile.
      Daryn's Signature

      “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob


      • #83

        Brina returned the smile shyly, before everyone's attention was drawn by the door into the settlement opening.

        "Well, it wasn't so much adapting the Stride to permanent habitation as altering things to account for the new orientation," Alinda stated, "She was designed to become a semi-permanent, continuously inhabited colony station upon arrival anyways."

        "The Myrmidon will probably need some alterations on that front," Kimrith mused, "She was designed to serve as both a troop lander and a mobile Forward Operating Base, which, combined with her capacity for long voyages, means she's already fairly well-equipped, but she wasn't designed for long-term habitation. Though the primary thing she wasn't equipped with was the open spaces people need for their mental health on long voyages, which is... kinda moot, now."

        A pause.

        "We're definitely going to want to set something regarding food up," Kimrith added, "But given that we're a pretty small outfit... I can see where we are being able to support us. Particularly if we trade. Which is a definite possibility, given that I can't see the fruit that grows where we are here."

        "Fruit that... Wait, you mean you landed on the plateau at the origin point of the river?" Chokal asked, before his vestigial wings whirred in delight, "Excellent! Those fruits are delicious, and we don't go that far very often. And those trees don't like the soil down here, so they just don't grow."

        Kimrith winced at his slip. He hadn't intended to give away the location of the Myrmidon, since he wasn't sure yet if Captain Nightfang would allow it.

        "Don't worry," she said softly. "We won't tell anyone. Besides, Captain Frostwing is a good man."

        Kimrith relaxed a little at that.


        The waiter, a quickly scribbled down the order, before pausing at the mention of getting the broken arcade machine working.

        "Oh, you're a computer expert?" he asked, before nodding, "I'll let the owner know."

        He finished taking their orders, and headed quickly into the back.

        "So, how's the Federation doing right now?" Alinda asked after a moment.

        "Pretty well," Kimrith replied, "The economy is as strong as ever, even with the aftereffects of war, and the Federation has grown even larger."

        "I pegged you as a combat veteran," Alinda noted. "How long did you serve, and who did you fight?"

        "Ten years; I enlisted at twenty, and spent five years fighting against the Skarra Empire," Kimrith replied, before providing some explanation. "They invaded some of our border worlds, attempting to seize resource-rich systems to fuel a number of projects the Emperor had mandated; put my home colony under direct threat. It didn't end well for them, though; the Empire's been severely reduced in size. Most of that wasn't even our doing, either; they began to fly apart after we dealt them a string of humiliating defeats, worlds seceding left and right, and had to sue for peace in order to turn their attention to retaining the worlds they had left."

        He paused for a moment.

        "I spent the next five years hunting pirates in the ex-Empire territories, then mustered out after my final tour was done five years ago," he continued, "Ended up buying my armour, and becoming a mercenary. I specialized in garrison duty, training, defensive duty, bodyguarding, and pirate-hunting. The Myrmidon is similar. We were traveling to a contract location when the drive went into Runaway."

        Alinda nodded in understanding, as did some of the others.
        Arratra's Signature


        Insatiable Curiosity

        Major Leon Stormstrider

        Varatyr Scorchtalon


        • #84

          Allyn looked over to Kimrith, seeming a bit concerned about the slip, but not saying anything. He had to admit that the Myrmidon's location wasn't going to remain a secret forever. Eventually, some of their flying scouts would've been sent in that direction. Besides which, he didn't think these people were on the opposite side. He wasn't sure there was an 'opposite' side on this planet.

          He nodded to the waiter, then turned back to listen to the conversation. After Kimrith wound down Allyn spoke up.

          "I came onto the Myrmidon about a year ago. I used to be a computer security contractor, but I gave that up after a particularly bad job," he said, pausing to collect his thoughts.

          "I'd been contracted by a big company. You know, the three-letter conglomorate, to investigate suspicious activity. I found a whole lot of things that shouldn't have been going on. Skimming off the top by employees, an Advanced Persistent Threat planted by a rival, and a whole heap of bad policies and configurations." he said, seeming to relax as he spoke.

          "Well, they were all too happy to learn about their issues, and they told me to send them a bill. Standard practice. It's nothing I hadn't done before. Well, months go by and I they just keep giving me the runaround. The next thing I know, I have a wolf in a black suit at my door, telling me I'm being investigated for sabotaging their systems and I have all my assets seized." he shook his head, looking disgusted, "It took another nine months to get that mess cleared up. Though, I never did get paid for the work."

          Allyn shrugged, looking a bit annoyed as he remembers the events, "As it turns out, I was too good. I wasn't supposed to find the APT. Well, that should go without saying, it's something that gets on a company's network and gives the owner a way of secretly looking in and exfiltrating whatever they want. Companies or agencies that use them don't want to be found out. Though I found out about this one, I didn't find out who had planted it. So as I was doing my investigations over the course of a couple of weeks, they found out who I was and tried to ruin me."

          He shook his head, then looked over to Kimrith, "I hadn't considered mercenary work, but after talking with Kimrith, it seemed like my skills could be put to use in a more practical and less abstract manner." he paused, a his beak opening slightly and his eyes twinkled a bit, "The Zephyr was what we came up with to help me be more effective in the field."
          Daryn's Signature

          “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob


          • #85

            "Well, that's scummy," Ranger commented, sounding disgusted.

            "Yeah, I think they're still investigating that frame-up," Kimrith noted. "Whoever was responsible made a mistake going after Allyn, though; when one of the best in the business gets accused of something like that, other people in the business start investigating. And an IT security specialist can make a company's life a living hell if they want to."

            He shrugged.

            "Your skills are indeed extremely valuable on the battlefield," Alinda added, her eyes far away for a moment, before snapping back, "A good Electronic Warfare specialist can wreak utter havoc on enemy communications and sever the chain of command if they don't have someone of similar ability working for them. I saw it happen myself, while I was still serving."

            "I saw it happen, too," Kimrith added, "I was there for one of the Empire's most humiliating defeats, and it was partly because E-war was able to completely sever the Empire's ability to communicate effectively; they were left almost completely uncoordinated, which let us destroy them in detail."

            A few moments later, two of the wait-staff reached the table, expertly carrying trays of drinks.

            "Your beverages," the well-dressed fox in the lead said, deftly taking the drinks from the tray and placing them in front of the one who ordered them.

            In front of Alinda and Kimrith were placed two wine-glasses filled with what was quite obviously a wine, despite it being blue in colour; evidently, it had been made from a local grape analogue, or possibly other fruit (after all, Allyn had seen Kimrith sampling a mango wine while off-duty during their last contract).

            Allyn's ale came in a pint stein, and had just the right-sized head of froth. When he sampled it, it proved to be quite good; flavourful, with a touch of something fruity under the hops.

            The others each had differing drinks; Range had chosen a beer just like Allyn, while Chokal had opted for a juice (which was fair enough; his species tended to be lightweights when it came to alcohol), Verex a cup of what smelled rather like hot cola (but was actually apparently sassafras tea), Brina a mug of cider ( a mix of apple and a local fruit), and Magmus had a massive mug of something from his species' homeworld that was steaming-hot and smelled fiery, which he was clearly enjoying.

            "This is good," Kimrith commented after sampling his wine, "Nicely fruity."

            "Glad you like it," Alinda replied, before turning to Allyn. "How's your drink?"
            Arratra's Signature


            Insatiable Curiosity

            Major Leon Stormstrider

            Varatyr Scorchtalon


            • #86

              Allyn nodded slowly, "Yeah, it wasn't a good look for anyone. There's still a lot of misinformation around about it, too." he said, shrugging, "That's in the past now. FIU might've made good by now, but well..." he gestured around the room, "That doesn't really matter anymore. This is a frontier, and near as I can tell, it's ours."

              Allyn gave Alinda a smile as she and Kimrith recounted their stories, "True enough. So far, though, our contracts have been quite a bit tamer. I haven't had to do anything really crazy."

              When his drink arrived, Allyn took a long first draw, and sat there for a moment, beak slightly agape.

              "This is better than a lot of the beers I've had back home. Just the right amount of hops, not too bitter, and a nice fruity sweetness underneath. It's a shame I can't check this in on Untappd. I'd have given it a 5-star rating!" he said, genuinely impressed.

              He had another sip but didn't drink too much, the food still hadn't arrived, yet, and he wanted to save some for that.

              Allyn looked back over to Kimrith, "We're well past the 20-minute mark of our visit. Nobody has shot anyone, and we haven't been arrested. So, I'd say things are likely going well with the Captains." he said it in jest, but there was a serious undertone to it that he hoped the dragon would pick up. If things went bad, they'd need to act, but the signs so far were all positive. Best to stay on guard. Perhaps it was the paranoia of a security officer, but that's how Allyn felt.
              Daryn's Signature

              “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob


              • #87

                "That's how it is in peacetime," Jaxamar stated. "The jobs available to mercenaries are mostly garrison and training contracts. Stuff like that. That's actually the job we were contracted for," he added to Alinda. "We'd been contracted to serve as trainers and Op-For (Opposing Force) for a newly-formed garrison unit out on the frontier."

                Alinda nodded in understanding.

                It was at that point that the drinks arrived.

                "Glad you like it," Verex replied to Allyn's comment, though he looked a little confused.

                "Untappd is a popular rating board for inns, taverns, taphouses, and breweries," Kimrith explained, "Ratings are given in stars, the higher the better, and five's the highest it goes."

                There were sounds of understanding, and some of pride, from around the table.

                Kimrith gave Allyn a nod when he spoke.

                Things did indeed seem to be going well. He hoped it stayed that way, though he was prepared to move if it came down to it.

                "Your food," the waiter said, sliding up to the table again, this time carrying two plates. He was accompanied by four others, each also carrying covered plates, or in one case a large platter.

                "Two serves of forest-strider ribs, two serves of Tree-hopper thigh, a serve of sausages, a serve of river-skimmer crosswing breast, a small river platter, and Magmus' usual large mixed platter," the head waiter announced, placing the plates of ribs in front of the two Crystal Dragons, and motioning the other waiters to place the plates in front of them, before whipping off the cloth- lined wire-frame covers with a flourish and a slightly theatrical bow (an affectation the staff seemed to enjoy, given the faint smiles).

                "I do hope you enjoy your meal," the head waiter finished, before retreating.

                The tree-hopper thigh had been filleted, and had been seasoned with herbs and a pinch of salt, and been carefully arranged and served with a red-tinted sauce and gravy. No vegetables, but that was the norm for a meal served to a carnivore.

                The ribs, on the other hand, had been served for omnivores, and was thus a bit lighter on the meat, and had been served with oven-baked seasoned savouroot wedges and a brown savory sauce.

                "This looks good," Kimrith commented, before taking a bite. He let out an appreciative hum.

                Allyn's meal was also very good. The flavour was difficult to describe; not quite like anything he had encountered before, but nonetheless quite good.

                (OOC: Minor time-skip, do you think?)
                Arratra's Signature


                Insatiable Curiosity

                Major Leon Stormstrider

                Varatyr Scorchtalon


                • #88

                  Allyn tucked into his meal, seeing that Brina and the others were doing the same. The flavour was indeed hard to describe. It had a vaguely poultry like texture, but it was richer. All he knew was that he quite enjoyed it.

                  If nothing else, it was starting to become clear that they wouldn't be malnourished on this planet. There was compatible food, and that was one less thing for him to worry about.

                  "Untappd also has a section specific to beers, and a badge system for checking in. It was a lot of fun to participate in." he commented, his sentence softening towards the end as he realized just how far that life was, now.

                  He looked over to Brina, then to the others, changing the subject, "Hopefully, if things went well, we might have you over, too."

                  (( Sorry for the short post. Yeah, I think a time skip is a good way to go. ))
                  Daryn's Signature

                  “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob