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Insatiable Curiosity (The Reboot)

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    The fennec fox listened politely to the squirrel and noted, once he was out from under the console, that said squirrel was named Chuck. Giving a small nod he watched his now replaced screens that once were brick like plastic monstrosities, now replaced with smooth and thin panels display that series of boot up text that goes past in a flash and then go through the checks.
    Something bothered Curio. He pushed whatever it was down a bit.

    Curio took his AR goggles that he used for flying and noted that the wireless indicator on the side was indeed connecting to his new suite of programs and tech.
    “Seems to be in order. Did you really lay new cable for all of the power?” he said in a slightly unbelieving tone and stood on his tippy toes to look over and down the console to see one of the mechanics wheeling a big spool of cable away that probably was part of that operation.
    “So aside from the superstructure... this bird is new top to bottom huh...”

    The thing that was bothering Curio came back and this time he could put to words what it was. Ever since his original supply run to the IC he had felt out of place. He came from a part of the galaxy were ships were chunky, engines were covered in exhaust soot, plasma flames lit up the space around stations and overworked pilots and mechanics wore their stained overalls tied down to their waist. Why use component sealant for a tear when a piece of duct tape will hold it till next landing? His computer screens had been black and some primary colors in vectored lines, his AR goggles were similarly outdated and the Falcon used an unusual motorbike seat design that they had simply ripped from the more combat oriented models without thinking really of long term flight comfort.

    Now Curio was standing in the skeletal remains of the old space ship where at one point his arm was the most advanced thing on board and the entire cockpit looked like it was about to come just off of the assembly line.
    Minus his grubby seat of course... But that was going to be replaced as well.

    Not much he could do about it now so he took a breath and swung his leg over the seat and kicked his feet in the pedals. The tips of his boots had small plates on them with little holes that hooked onto a contraption that would keep his feet from sliding. One of the many strange design choices left in from taking a fighter's seat and shoving it into a hauler.
    “Let's see what you messed up.” he said jokingly to Chuck and flipped what was probably one of the few remaining hard wired switches on his dash. Another leftover from military design soon showed itself as the computer powered on, for a moment, a set of LED rings all around the cockpit that would create a sort of sphere of lights. This was so that colored lights would come on depicting friendlies, obstacles or enemies and show a pilot lacking any AR or VR where things were.
    It was a very redundant system now.

    Curio pressed on the pedals, pushed the controls down and even stood up against them at one point to make sure the feedback he had told the computer to give him was all still set the same way.
    “Very solid work. Aside form the fancy new buttons I don't feel a difference. At least not any negative ones. I can't test out the few flaws I had on the outside till the mechanics are done refitting it but everything electrical in here seems buttery smooth. Nice work, Chuck?” Curio said with another look at the nametag on the squirrel. “Worked here long? Ever seen a twenty year old bird fly in?”
    Miqu's Signature
    Curio Valence Character Sheet

    Orbona, Doomed Orbital FAQ

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      Sohdakin did notice Kel's cybernetic eye turn red while he gave her orders. Such a thing did not spook him nor did it cause him any alarm as he did understand that he was not exactly being pleasant towards her at the moment. His instincts told him that she was not about to attack him. Sure she may be imagining his head exploding about now, but he would be more worried if she didn't.

      A great weight was suddenly lifted from his shoulders the moment Kel stood up and saluted him. Sohdakin was very much relieved that she did not fight him further on the matter. He too released a deep sigh and returned the crisp salute.

      "Mmmmmm, very well Captain. I have already sent you what blueprints we do have on the target area as well as the most recent intel we have....its not as much as I would personally like, sadly the situation did not afford us time to get proper intel." Sohdakin sighed as he was not quite sure what all Kel had witnessed while on board the Insatiable Curiosity. "Fact of the matter is that we got sucker-punched and we need to regain our footing. If this operation is successful.....it will accomplish just that."

      Sohdakin looked around the room and then returned his gaze to Kel before giving her a nod "If you wish to discuss the mission, we will have to do so in a more secure setting. However, in the mean time, I want you to look over what we have and we will meet in the Battle Dress briefing room in what....an hour? Im not asking for a bulletproof plan, just your thoughts."
      Sohdakin's Signature
      Sohdakin Stonetallon - Major
      Battle Dress Assault Commander
      Insatiable Curiosity Crew Card

      Comment


        Yanktee’s response was as Haheen had predicted. The bison looked embarrassed, ashamed even, to be lauded for his bravery. This was often the case, the rat had found, with those who had been trodden down for their entire lives. Some people would do anything to gain the power they felt they deserved. Others felt any power they gained was more than they had earned.

        This wasn’t a mindset that Haheen could alter in a single conversation. But Yanktee deserved the attempt.

        Before Haheen could respond to the bison’s self-deprecation, however, his pad alerted him to a request from central security. Garaga must have found something.

        “That sounds excellent, Griffin, I’ll meet you there,” he replied to Yanktee before answering the call, “Take your time, this call is a security matter and I don’t know how long I’ll be.”

        Then, as Yanktee stepped out of the room, Haheen took the call, unsurprised to see the kangaroo staring back at him.

        “Of course, I’ll be there right away,” he replied. Ending the call, Haheen started to type out a message as he walked.

        Important security issue. Make way to Central immediately. Come armed. Tell no one.

        He read over the message again, then sent it. Perhaps he was taking a gamble, but with Yanktee on the sidelines, Haheen wanted a high ranking physical presence he could rely on. Someone he could trust…

        Half the ship away, Sohdakin’s pad lit up with a message.
        SliceOfDog's Signature


        My Insatiable Curiosity RP character - Haheen Jaquoi

        Comment


          *Kel nods, "Such will be case then. Will head that way once plans have been loo-ked over. Will still re-qui-re more in-for-ma-tion as well. Such as se-lect-ion of wea-pon-ry and..." She spies the pad light up and quiets, the eye turning red once more, she sighs and shakes her head, "Will get to you a-noth-er time. You have work." She salutes, "With your a-pro-val, This One wish to de-part in or-der to a-sess plans and gain kn-owl-edge on any long ri-fle, and com-pact wea-pon-ry."

          Comment


            Victorious attention was drawn from the conversation she was evesdropping on, to a wall panel beside the door that was beeping at her. When she looked in it's direction a text appeared which read “Miss Victorious, we will be going through the main corridor in about half a minute. If you do not wish to bump into us on our way down to the med-bay I would suggest you should finish your silent participation in my current conversation, and return to the common room. I will be with you shortly. I need to make sure that Mister Garran was not compromised when he last came into contact with the supersoldier. He assured me that I have his full cooperation to do so.” the text disappeared promptly after she was done reading it.

            ****

            “We shall begin by taking you to the med-bay, right this way. We need to take a look at your implants after all.” Black fox extended his hand politely inviting Garran to go through the door leading to the upper deck. Short while later they entered the med-bay. The bay consisted of a set of various rooms, clean and kept in pleasant calming colours, the corridor had windows that allowed Garran to see inside some of them. The sight could be from any small medical facility the agent had chance to visit. Various medical equipment fitted smartly in the space that was available. There was even a small ward.

            They entered one of the rooms that were isolated from the rest of the med-bay by a small airlock, inside there was a small anteroom filled with computers, consoles and monitoring equipment, then a pane made from some see-through material, and behind it an examination chamber. Various medical scanners, waldos, and things Garran could not even recognise, stood in a half circle around an examination bed. It looked like some technological sacrificial altar... Then again, maybe the grim circumstances that brought the akelian here also coloured his perception.

            “First, please upload the data you wished to share here.” Salvatore gestured towards a huge black monolithic machine, almost featureless if not for an access panel with I/O ports and few blinking status lights. “This machine is completely isolated from the network, built to handle and analyse... troublesome data. Its outputs are tightly controlled and it doubles as a secure data vault. It should be able to determine if the data you have was laced with some surprises. Possibly disable them too. It's all yours to plug your business end into.” The fox gave him a roguish grin and a wink.

            “I'll prep the machines here. We will not do anything too drastic right now. We need to test the waters first. Mister Daryn started his analysis of 'our' supersoldier” The fox said, while looking at the data slab that he had with him “and the results are... interesting. With the data you will provide us, and everything we can learn about your new condition. Hopefully we will be able to determine if you had been compromised in any way, and maybe further down the line we will be able to 'jailbreak' your system so you will have full control over it, without the fear that someone else has admin privileges over you when it comes to your body and mind. Steel you against any future attacks... But first we will do a lot of boring scanning today, take some tissue samples... maybe insert a endovascular probe to reach the brain and have a look at your implants, take samples of the cerebrospinal fluid, check what those tiny bastards been up to inside your brain. We will enter through one of your major arteries under local anesthesia, nothing to worry about.” His tone was calm and reassuring.
            Terrapun's Signature
            "A smart machine will first consider which is more worth its while: to perform the given task or, instead, to figure some way out of it."
            Stanisław Lem "The Futurological Congress"

            "The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."
            xkcd

            Comment


              Garran’s eyes steadily scanned the medical bay. There were enough medical resources here to outfit a Shambala*-class marine carrier, yet Salvatore seemed to travel alone. The Stromboli seemed to mirror its owner. As one got to know it more and more layers revealed, and yet more and more questions appeared. Was this feature a superfluous expense borne from a lavish lifestyle, or a carefully calculated requirement for the dangerous life a technical-savant and heir to a mega-corporation? From what he knew of Salvatore, the latter was much more likely. The feeling that he wasn’t marched to an interrogation hall wasn’t helped by knowing that his host could kill and revive him in a dozen different ways. Still, it was better to bear one’s deepest secrets in private instead of the public med-bay.

              The Fox’s innuendo elicited a wry chuckle from the Akalian, giving him blessed distraction from the medical jargon and litany of invasive procedures Salvatore was listing off. Garran raised a paw to stop him. “Salvatore, at this point if you wanted to puppeteer, kill, or otherwise do me ill you could do it with or without my consent,” he sighed. “Whatever you need to do, do it. Let’s just make it quick.” With that, the Akalian strolled over to the data vault. The I/O port on his finger was still there, as jarring and alien as ever.
              A very strong part of his mind wanted him to ignore it and refuse the procedures. It was a impulse common to most sentient life forms, ignore the problem exists and there is no problem. It worked well up until the problem decided it wanted to be known. Garran gulped, a knot forming in his throat as he extended his finger to the matching I/O port. With an involuntary grunt, he plunged the metal and silicon contact into the receptor.

              Nothing happened. His nanite assisted HUD sat silent. The data vault gave no indication it even received a handshake signal. Garran glanced nervously over at the fox. “Uh sorry. It’s my first time… and I get a little nervous in front of people,” he chuckles dryly to hide his own apprehension. He then looks back at the data vault. Nanite gifted intuition begins to filter into his mind, instructing him on what to do. He reaches out to his E-Butler. Making contact. I need to transfer all previously discussed files through my I/O port. Include of relevant supplementary materials on device and material synthesis, as well as cellular manipulation.
              Dusty's Signature
              IC Character Sheet

              Comment


                Understood.

                As it always did, the E-Butler displayed the word in green text in Garran's virtual vision.

                Also, no sooner than the text appeared, the E-Butler suited the word to action; data, a lot of it, began an immediate transfer.

                What was more, was that Garran felt an odd aligning in his body - as if his cells were snow and wind was drifting the snow into new places within him. The movement was accompanied by sensations of cold, too, further adding to the comparison. It was the kind of cold one felt, when they felt fear. Except this cold wasn't just in the pit of Garran's stomach, or crawling up his back. This was from head to toe. It was enough to freeze Garran on the spot for a moment.

                A feeling like somebody walking on his grave wasn't in it. This was the stark cold one felt when they were terrified. It left Garran unable to determine if he was terrified. The not knowing probably did terrify him.

                In moments it was over, though.

                Transfer complete.

                As always, the text was green again.

                Notably, the nanomachines, nor the E-Butler had attempted any kind of infiltration. Or at least Garran believed it hadn't. He had the feeling he would know if they had. The E-Butler had followed his instructions and nothing more.

                Either way, as Salvatore's computer began processing the data, it began to catalogue pretty much what Daryn had discovered. Two nanomachines in every cell. A computer under the brain to control them. Self-replicating ability. Memory macro-cellular clusters. It was also made evident that Garran was showing signs of the development of these things in his body - the nanomachines busily formatting themselves over time for ultimate achievement of full-body infestation. They were roughly ten-percent complete. In another month, Garran would possess limited but no less remarkable control over the functions of his body. Years though, from the advanced state in which Argril's body was. Reading into the data would reveal that Argril, and the other supersoldiers were as advanced as they were, because they had spent upwards to ten months, some longer, in special 'Womb Tanks', during which their bodies were saturated by continuous exposure under special conditions.

                Also, Garran had a computer nestled under his brain. Garran's computer though, had a serial number and it was hardware. Whereas what was in Argril, and the other supersoldiers had in them, was 'Wetware'. Garran's computer had been installed by biotechnicians at a specialized military research and development center, and required specialized eyewear to achieve full function. As both Garran and Salvatore continued reading through the data, however, they were given to understand that the nanomachines had already begun an in-depth integration with this computer.

                Hence of course, Garran's E-Butler, and his ability to communicate with it with his thoughts. That development probably came as little surprise, at least to Garran.

                What may have come as a surprise, though, was the fact that Garran had one-hundred-percent control over the nanomachines in his body, and over the computer. The nanomachines weren't some evil force, then. They were simply a computer. They could be employed to do dreadful things, as was witnessed with what the supersoldiers had so far done, but it was done by subversion of the person with the machines, and not by the machines, themselves.

                That, in of itself, doubtless came as huge relief to Garran. Probably to Salvatore, too. And to Daryn - if the Commander was paying attention to what Salvatore and Garran were discovering. The nanomachines weren't evil. Advanced, yes, even in the extreme. But in the end, they were only machines. Like a gun, they didn't kill people. The person holding the gun did.

                The rest of the data was a detailed history of the Deep Sea project. Dates that it was founded, who founded it, and the date it was revealed to congressional scrutiny and subsequently dismantled.

                The name of the person who founded it meant little to all present. A Gregory Hutchison, a tiger from the colony world Bengala. Moreover, he was listed as dead - having died under suspicious circumstances two years into the project. The case had never been solved. The name responsible for its revelation to congress though, and its subsequent dismantling, everyone knew.

                Richard Siclary Canaan - Admiral 4th Fleet.

                The date of its dismantling put it to have happened just under seven years ago - just five years prior to the Admiral's purchase of his alien super-ship. The date also coincided with the Admiral's retirement, leading to the thought that he may have sacrificed his career to see the program's end.

                There was a list of thirty-odd names. All names of the scientists who had worked on the program. They were all meaningless to their readers.

                Then finally, there were the list of names who were subjects of the program. Argril's name was on it. So were all of those who were locked up in the ship's brig.

                There were three other names on it, though. Names of which either Daryn, Salvatore or Garran were familiar.

                Samson Bright - Lion - Akalian. Tawny. Special abilities: strength, speed, weaponry
                Douglas McRitter - Jaguar - Azmanean. Orange, spotted. Special abilities: stealth, speed, weaponry
                Teboken (Tebo) Cunstin - Cat - Felexian. Black. Special abilities: computer infiltration, sabotage, assassination.
                *****


                Garaga had just closed the comms with his new boss. He felt satisfied. And more than a little eager. Not only had he found the quarry Jaquoi had set him to look for, but he'd found him over the course of a single night. He had wanted to make a good impression with this new Master at Arms, and if nothing else would do it, this surely would.

                He did not see the tiny, black cat lower itself from down in the ceiling's pipes and conduits.

                Nor did he feel the laser that penetrated the back of his skull.
                Rick Canaan's Signature
                Insatiable Curiosity Roleplay Information:
                Open ContentSPOILER

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                  There was an old legend amongst the Northern Prides of Akalias. It spoke of an Icy demon who preyed on the unwary hunter. Its gaze would pull the warmth of your soul from your body and leaving nothing but pale flesh and a face frozen in an expression of pure horror. Most cubs outgrew the stories. Yet as Garran took a staggering step back from the machine, he was beginning to reconsider his beliefs. Every fiber of his being screamed against the unnatural sensations he felt. His subconscious told him to run, to crawl away in terror because it did not understand the alien things his body was doing.

                  He hissed involuntarily. The lion’s muzzle curled, baring his fangs as he contorted his face into something between fear and wrath. The sensations he felt when he met Salvatore earlier returned. His vision narrowed as he felt his entire body tense. Fight or flight, the most basic biological response to a hostile enviroment. His eyes darted from the computer, to his still plugged-in finger, then to Salvatore. A dozen plans of escape flashed before his well-trained instincts, each discarded as a terrifying hopelessness spread across his mind. The warmth was being sucked out of him, his soul was leaving him. He growled and hissed at the feeling, animal reactions to an uncontrollable inevitability.

                  Transfer complete.
                  As quickly as the sensations began, they ended. It took several seconds for Garran’s faculties to return enough to read the floating green text. His chest heaved as he took long gulping breathes. His gazed shifted down to his finger. He gingerly removed it from the slot before taking a slow shuffling step backwards. His tail spasmed as he lost his balance and stumbled towards the examination chair. He reached out and caught himself on its arm rest. With a wrenching yank, he pulled his collapsing body into the chair.

                  He sat with his eyes closed for several moments. Slowly reaching out to his body to reassert control. Mindful meditation his instructors has called it, back when he was learning how to use his psionic abilities. Breathing first, then heart rate, then your mind. The terror subsided, as he cradled his muzzle in his paws. As his body calmed down, he glanced up to see the Data-Vault’s monitor beginning its data processing. Many of the details were on a technical level beyond Garran, but he was sure Salvatore was eating them up. Focusing on the scrolling text helped calm his nerves, so he continued. He sat in silence as he took in the information he was receiving.

                  No external attempts to infiltrate him had been made. He was in complete control of his faculties and nanites. A lump returned to his throat as he read his eventual prognosis of being like Argril, but he buried it. He still had himself. The Dog had no such luxury. The details of his own implants and the ongoing integration attempts by the nanites reminded him of why he wanted to share the data in the first place. He gestured vaguely at the screen while glancing over at Salvatore. “They want to replace my glasses, I wanted a second opinion on that,” Garran murmured.

                  The scrolling continued has Garran returned to what he could call a normal state. As the intelligence files on the Deep Sea Project begin to play, his gaze was drawn to a quick flash of information. Samson Bright, he thought to himself. He knew that name. There were precious few Akalians in the special forces community, and still fewer made it to the Super-Soldier program. One was Mufas, who was currently locked up in the Curiosity’s brig. The other was the name on the screen. Whoever they were, they were long gone by the time Garran had started his special forces career. Some of the old-timers might know him though.

                  A chime and a break in the scrolling indicated that the processing was done. The files had been neatly analyzed and sorted for a more thorough viewing later. Garran looked towards Salvatore. He attempted a small smile, “As far as first times go, I think I’ve had worse. Let’s not make a habit of this alright?”
                  Dusty's Signature
                  IC Character Sheet

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                    Haheen had no more than sent the message off to Sohdakin, when his pad beeped again. It wasn't just a regular beep, either. It was marked as urgent, its note a strident call for Haheen's immediate attention. Moreover, Haheen knew that the beep, due to its nature, would be alerting all senior staff, the Captain included.

                    As soon as Haheen opened the message, his heart probably started a swift sinking down into the pit of his stomach.

                    "Mungi Garga has been found dead at his station in Security Central. He has been murdered. By what looks like a shot through the back of his head.."

                    A second later, the Captain's face replaced the message dialogue. His face was grim.

                    "Master at Arms, report. What is your position?"

                    When Haheen gave it - he was just outside of the officer's staterooms section, the Captain nodded.

                    "Return to Captain Yanktee's quarters immediately. Remain there until an escort can be sent. You have asked Major Sohdakin to meet you?"

                    A nod of relief.

                    "Good. Miss Lyran. Get me the Major on the comms."

                    Haheen heard the 'Aye, Sir!' from the young ensign.

                    Not a moment after she answered the order, did Sohdakin's face appear next to the Captain's, the comm screen becoming two, they parting down the middle.

                    "Mister Sohdakin," Rick ordered. "Double-time it to Mister Jaquoi's position. He will be in Captain Yanktee's quarters. Sergeant Garaga has just been murdered. He was taken in Security Central. I don't have all of the details yet, but from the looks of it, he was taken by someone who can bypass our security systems. Take absolutely no chances."

                    Rick gave both Sohdakin and Haheen a grim nod.

                    "Be careful and stay alert. That is all."

                    Jesse, now being command staff, got the message, too. Zeeke was looking up at her wide-eyed as she read it to him.

                    "It has to be the Felexian," he said. "Nobody else could have gotten that close to Mungi without him seeing. And who else but one of my race could get into a place as drum tight as that security station? It's like a vault in there, almost as tight as the Helix section. The only way would be through an air duct or a power conduit."

                    His eyes widened. "Unless it was an inside job?" But he shook his head. Maybe he was seeing sprites and fancies with his fear of their being a rogue Felexian on board, but he knew it in his bones. A real fear had started to grip his little person. There were just too many red herrings for him to not know it was one of his race. The replicated footprint of Victorious' hoof. The pawprint no one could identify at the murder scene where the cougar, the one who had tried to kill the Captain, was being kept in medical.

                    He had a sudden moment on inspiration. Pulling his pad out, he dialed up Beauregard.

                    "Yes?"

                    The bloodhound's naturally lugubrious looking face came onto Zeeke's small screen.

                    "Oh," he said, brightening. "Mister Conser. What can I do for you this fine morning?"

                    "Never mind all that, Josh," Zeeke said hastily. "Those scans you took of the two murder scenes - the ones where you found the pawprint and the hoofprint. Did your data come up with any anomalous gasses in those areas?"

                    The bloodhound looked thoughtful a moment, his already wrinkled brow wrinkling down further.

                    "Why, now that you mention it, yes."

                    "What kind of gasses?" Zeeke demanded, his tail starting to lash excitedly. He was holding his pad over now, so Jesse could look on and see what he was seeing.

                    "Well, that's the odd thing," Beauregard said. "I found trace amounts of rocket-propellant exhaust in both instances. I thought it unusual of course, and catalogued both anomalies for further inquiry. I filed a report with Damage Control, too, to have them look into it, thinking perhaps a leak had sprung in some of our systems. All things being equal, I didn't consider it too far outside a realm of possibility, what with the burnout we experienced."

                    'Burnout' was putting it mildly. A full eighth of the ship had been all but consumed in an electromagnetic storm of catastrophic proportions.

                    "Has Damage Control reported any other findings?" Zeeke asked next, his excitement growing.

                    "I don't know," Beauregard said, now looking concerned. "You'll have to check with the damage control chief. It's Lieutenant Riker. I can check with him if you wish. But why do you ask?"

                    Zeeke let out a breath. He glanced up at Jesse. When he looked back down to Beauregard on his pad, he said, "It's a long story, but the short of it is, I think we might have a rogue Felexian on board. Don't ask me how I know. I just know, or have some information that leads me to some really strong suspicions."

                    "I see," Beauregard said, he too understanding the significance. A rogue Felexian? Light. The damage one of their people could do, if they had a mind to, was not insignificant.

                    "Thanks, Josh!" Zeeke said. "I'm gonna give Riker a call. Stay close to your pad. I have a feeling this is going to get dicey."

                    "I know," Beauregard said. "I was about to head down to security - that was until the Captain ordered that everyone remain at their stations. Something about Mungi Garaga being murdered? Do you suspect this Felexian?"

                    "It's too early to say for sure," Zeeke said. "But I think it's possible, yes."

                    Beauregard nodded. He looked grim and lugubrious at the same time now. His eyes were keen, though.

                    "Keep me in the loop," he told the small feline. His eyes then came up to Jesse's. "Lieutenant Commander," he said by way of formal greeting, then signed off.

                    Zeeke wasted no time. He called Lieutenant Riker as soon as Beauregard had signed off. After a short explanation, Riker's brows went up. He was a jack rabbit. His ears came straight up and he rubbed thoughtfully at his chin.

                    "Frankly, I found the request a little odd," he said abruptly. "Rocket-propellant exhaust? We have no equipment, not any, that uses any kind of standard rocket propellant. The only thing close would be the fighters and dropships. Their RCS systems. But those mostly use things like nitrogen, they working like a spray aerosol. They don't burn anything to create thrust."

                    Zeeke nodded, impatient.

                    "Well, did you find any, Sir?"

                    Riker gave a shrug. "I'm not sure. I assigned a detail to scan some random sections of the ship. I'll have to look to see if they found anything. Just a sec."

                    Zeeke nodded and waited.

                    A moment later, Riker was shaking his head.

                    "The team I assigned reported that they found nothing."

                    His eyes narrowed. "Why is this so important? Do you know of someone using rockets aboard ship?"

                    "It's a possibility," Zeeke answered. "But I don't know enough yet to come to any conclusions. Thanks for the info, Sir. You've been a big help."

                    Riker shrugged, nodded, and then signed off.

                    Zeeke looked up at Jesse, triumphant. "I knew it!" he said. "That old trick from back home! We do have a Felexian on board, and I'll bet my boots that he's behind a lot of what's been going on!"
                    Rick Canaan's Signature
                    Insatiable Curiosity Roleplay Information:
                    Open ContentSPOILER

                    Comment


                      Not having enough intel bothered the Major as much as it did Kel. Sohdakin did understand all too well what it was like to go into a mission almost blind. Sometimes circumstances did not permit them the luxury of having good enough intel to give everyone the warm fuzzy. It was then that skill and talent....and a whole lot of luck, would help the mission move along.

                      Sohdakin nodded his broad muzzle at Kel "Mmmmm, as soon as I find out more, I will make sure you recieve all you need to complete any assigned tasks. You will have access to the armory to pick out what you need...well provided they fit within your RoE*. As much as I would like to give you whatever you want, we do not want any holes punched through the hull." He held up a talon as he anticipated some argument from her "No, I am not questioning your skill as I am sure you are an excellent shot....however, I am speaking on the potential of unforeseen circumstances and I would hate to put you in a position that might cost you your life."

                      During his reply, Sohdakin's datapad did blink with the urgent message. The big Rohkah did not so much as miss a beat as he continued his reply to Kel and tapped a button that would silence the alert. A brief smile cracked his lips as he noted that Kel was quick to notice the urgent alert.

                      "If you run into any problems, seek out Gunny Wilter, he will take care of you should you need it" he rumbled and returned the salute. "Dismissed Captain, be safe out there"

                      Sohdakin placed both talons on the table and pulled up the urgent com using his neural interface. The message and its sender made his brow raise a moment before he stowed his pad and rushed out the door, but not before sending the message 'On my way!'

                      As the Major made his way to the nearest armory point, he was alerted to an incoming priority com from the Admiral. Having a feeling that it may have something to do with Haheen's message he paused in the corridor and answered with his neural implant. Rick would know this as a computerized rendering of the Major would fill his half of the com channel instead of a live video feed.

                      "Sergeant Garaga...in Security Central...murdered? By the breath...they can not defeat us head on so they sneak in the shadows like cowards!" The computerized version of his voice did its best to imitate a low growl as it read the Major's emotions. As quickly as those emotions arose, they were gone with Sohdakin's next words "Aye Admiral, proceeding to Lieutenant Commander Jaquoi's position. Shall I send a Battle Dress to the bridge?"

                      While Sohdakin continued to conversed with Rick and Haheen, he altered his course to proceeded to the nearest armory point that took him towards the Officer's quarters and sent Kel a priority critic message 'Change of plan, arm yourself immediately and report to the officers quarters. Proceed with caution'. With the message, Sohdakin included the nearest armory point that Kel would be able to access and arm herself. Once Sodhakin arrived at the armory point a section of the wall opened up to reveal a rack of various weapons that were available to be used aboard the ship. More importantly, this particular armory point had weapons more fitting for the Major. One of which was the powerful Dado 1201 Heavy Ion Rifle, modified to allow the Rohkah's larger talons to operate it. Also within the AP were two modified Dado 606 Ion pistols. While its outward appearance was larger than a regular 606, they had the same internal components.

                      "Lieutenant Commander, I hope you and Captain Yanktee are armed. If not, I will be with you two shortly, Captain Ve'Houl will be joining us as well. ETA is 2 minutes"

                      Sohdakin brought up his rifle and proceeded quickly and cautiously to Yanktee's quarters. Despite his bulk, the large Rohkah still could move like a predator and could be remarkably quiet when he wanted to. He wanted to make as little noise as possible for two reasons, he did not want to give his own position away to potential enemies and he also wanted to ensure that he could hear anything approaching him. He made a silent prayer to the Godess that he and Kel would make it to Haheen's position and that all of them would be alive and safe.

                      (*RoE = Rules of Engagement)
                      Sohdakin's Signature
                      Sohdakin Stonetallon - Major
                      Battle Dress Assault Commander
                      Insatiable Curiosity Crew Card

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                        Jesse had a decidedly sour look on her face by this point. A rogue Felexian saboteur, that was something that could be dealt with. But if this Felexian was also a murderer or assassin, that put things on an entirely different level. “This just keeps getting better and better. Doesn’t it?” She shook her head, then opened the comms to call Haheen. “Master Jacquoi. Be very careful in entering security. Officer Conser here believes you’re dealing with a rogue element of his own race.” she looked over o Zeeke, “And a malicious one at that. For all we know, he may even be enhanced in some way. So be careful.”

                        She signed off, knowing that Haheen probably knew this already. Still, the extra warning probably couldn’t hurt.

                        “Admiral Canaan wants everyone to hold tight, but if we’re dealing with another Felexian, he could drop in on us from just about anywhere.” Jesse looked at the various vents and conduits. “You’ve got full run of the printers in the workshop. You also know the sorts of tricks he might use. Let’s secure our position here, and relay that intelligence to security and everyone involved in that investigation. Most of them won’t have any idea what to expect!”

                        Jesse stood up, opened a small-arms locker and armed herself with an ion pistol. She doubted the Felexian would find his way over to them, but it certainly would not hurt to be prepared.



                        Daryn made his way to the conference room with Argril following along protectively. He was the only one that had arrived as of yet, so he set Argril to take a guard position inside the room, but not one that would prevent Salvatore or anyone else from approaching or entering. He made sure to grant exceptions for them and then had a seat at the table and pulled out his pad to catch up on what’s been going on. Another murder aboard the ship, the possibility of a rogue Felexian. That was a prospect he didn’t like one bit. Zeeke could get up to all sorts of mischief, but a Felexian with a mind to do harm could do so much worse.

                        Eventually, the reports from Garran’s information dump were scanned and relayed to his pad. Daryn began to read through it, and it was a fascinating story. Misuse, greed, and corruption all played a part of it. Then his eyes went wide at the third name listed in the files. Teboken Cunstin, a Felexian, with full nanite integration.

                        Daryn shivered and his mouth went dry. He started to hyperventilate, but by force of will pulled himself out of it. He opened a link to the security team. “Commander SkyStrike here. No time for explanation. The Felexian is a nanite-integrated super-soldier. Proceed with EXTREME CAUTION!”

                        He shook his head as he fired the message off and looked to Argril, “I don’t suppose you have any recollection or information on this Felexian?” he asked, but didn’t really expect to get much of an answer. There wasn’t much there to answer. He was talking to a computer system. There wasn’t anything inherently evil about it, the only evil came from how it was created and put to use.

                        Daryn fired off another message, this one to Glory, Salvatore, and Garran, “To the conference room, immediately. I think our timetable is going to have to be accelerated.”



                        Chuck made way for the Fennec to pass him, he could see his unease mixed with a sense of being overwhelmed at how fast things were moving. “Yeah, my name’s Chuck. I came aboard not long after the ship began its life as a cruise-liner. I thought I was signing on or a nice job doing embedded systems, and then all sorts of stuff started happening.” he shook his head, “You, well, you were making a living hauling cargo, getting by on what you had, and then all of a sudden you find yourself face-to-face with Admiral Canaan and things just sort of move very quickly after that.”

                        Chuck laughed, his rodent teeth showing, “Anyway, I can’t imagine that we’re mistreating your ship here. I’m sure that once you’d started bringing in money working for the Curiosity you’d have made all kinds of upgrades to this beauty of a ship.” he said that absolutely sincerely. While the Falcon was an older ship, it did sport the sorts of design touches that even the Ascenseoners would appreciate.

                        “Anyway,” he continued, “To answer your questions, I haven’t really seen a ship this old before. That’s mainly due to the fact I don’t get to see many ships on the whole. My job doesn’t, well, didn’t have me outfitting them much. Commander SkyStrike, though, he’s outfitted a few.”

                        Chuck pointed to the LED sphere that now bathed them both in colored lights, “I didn’t pull that out because it’s a really robust system that just works. It’s also got the advantage of being stand-alone. So even if the computers crash and reboot, you’re not going to lose tactical.” he chuckled, “Not that I expect them to, mind you.”

                        Chuck then started to pack up his kit into the two tool-cases he’d brought onboard. As he does so, he continues chatting with Curio, “Oh, we totally changed out all the cabling. Truth to tell it probably wasn’t strictly necessary to replace all of it, but as a future-proofing measure, it made sense. Though that throttle line had some pretty high resistance on it. If you felt the ship was moving sluggishly, that was why.” he said, smiling, “Oh, and we’re putting your old systems in storage, just in case there’s something you need from them.”

                        “So...” he said, sending Curio his contact info, “If you need anything, feel free to get in touch. The same goes if you just want to have a drink, listen to some metal, or both.”
                        Daryn's Signature

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                          "Negative, Major."

                          Rick shook his head at Sohdakin's image.

                          "I have my personal escort on station. Please ensure Captain Rian is on station in Engineering. And have him send a squad of his most trusted people to meet with Lieutenant Commander Hammond. She is in the R&D labs back in proving station Three. She is to be escorted to Engineering without delay. If we are dealing with someone who can get through our air duct systems, the Helix needs to be our top priority."

                          Right after that, Rick ordered Lyran to call up Jesse again. As soon as he reached her, he asked without preamble, "Is Mister Conser still with you?" At her confirmation, he nodded.

                          "Miss Hammond. You are to help Mister Conser get himself equipped with anything he needs."

                          Zeeke, by then, had moved himself up onto Jesse's shoulder, so he could be directly addressed by the Captain, too.

                          Rick's eyes, as hard as polished granite, flicked up to the small feline.

                          "Mister Conser, your orders are to go after this Felexian. You are to attempt to follow him and relay his position to security."

                          Rick's face, if it was possible, became even more grim. "And to stop him, if the possibility presents itself."

                          Zeeke's little ears fell, and Jesse could feel him tremble up on her shoulder.

                          "Understood, Sir," he said. His voice broke, but a glance up from Jesse would reveal that while he was scared, he was determined, too.

                          "At all costs," Rick emphasized. "I don't need to tell anyone what the consequences might be if he gets into Engineering."

                          "Understood, Sir," Zeeke repeated, sounding both grim but also more determined. "I'll do my best, Captain."

                          Rick gave the Felexian a firm nod. "Understood." Then another nod, this one just as firm, and grim, but also one which conveyed respect. "Carry on."

                          Rick's eyes returned to Jesse. "You have five minutes," he said.

                          His expression told Jesse that Rick knew he was ordering Zeeke to his likely death. "Then I want Mister Conser in those conduits and going after this rogue element."

                          Zeeke broke in at this point. "I am ready now, Captain," he said. "I have my tool kit and a weapon." He took out a laser wand that was part of his equipment. It was about the only thing the Felexian had in his bag of tricks that was an actual weapon. He showed it then put it back in his thigh pack, where at least a half a dozen other tools bristled. The same was matched by a pack on his other thigh.

                          Jesse, Rick and Zeeke knew that the Felexian had everything else he needed in his head. His wits, his resourcefulness and his knowledge of the ship. Rick gave them both a nod. Then he turned back to Jesse. Zeeke had already leaped from her shoulder and was scampering over toward one of the conduit inspection ports down by the deck.

                          "I have ordered a security escort to meet you, Lieutenant Commander. Their orders will be to escort you directly to Engineering. Begin ordering its complete lockdown immediately, then once there, begin overseeing it and make sure that there is no way in there, not even for a dust speck or a mouse."

                          Right after this, Rick signed off, doubtlessly switching to other personnel to coordinate further efforts.

                          When Jesse looked up from her pad, she found that Zeeke already had the inspection panel open. He nodded up at her. As before, he looked scared, but determined, too. 'I can do this', his expression said. It was also not a fare well. It was an acknowledgement between colleagues. The situation sucks, but a lot of people might be depending on us. So we need to stay focused.

                          Then with that, Zeeke was gone, his little form vanishing up into the conduit.
                          *****


                          Sohdakin reached Captain Yanktee's quarters without incident. When he was let in, he found Haheen in the quarters, along with Yanktee, the latter of whom was looking like he'd just finished showering and was just buttoning up the last buttons on his duty uniform. Tan shirt and pants with a red stripe down the seams, and plain buttons on the shirt. The four pawtoes of his rank stood on one collar, the emblem for security on his other. He also had a 909 easy to hand. He evidently kept one in his quarters. He also had a 606 holstered on his belt.

                          Finishing his buttons, he snapped to attention and gave Sohdakin a smart salute. He then looked down at Haheen, splitting his gaze between him and Sohdakin. "I'm ready when you are, Sirs," he said smartly.
                          Rick Canaan's Signature
                          Insatiable Curiosity Roleplay Information:
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                            (Previous Post Addendum):

                            Sohdakin was about to open his mouth to reply to Yanktee, when suddenly, his implant got a hacking alert.

                            Was somebody trying to hack into his implant?

                            It may have spelled a moment of fear for the big Rhokah, but in the next moment, that fear turned into bemusement. Perhaps even enchantment.

                            A smirking smilie-face appeared in Sohdakin's virtual vision. It had a cocked upward slash of a mouth and a pair of upside-down tear-drop eyes. Sohdakin had seen this only one time before. Zeeke had drawn one just like it on a paper cup one night, perhaps a year gone - he had drawn it right after beating Sohdakin at a game of Stones in his quarters that night.

                            Zeeke also was one of the few people who knew the access codes to Sohdakin's implant. Sohdakin had permitted him to do some adjustments on it after he'd taken a fairly serious blow to the head in a wrestling match with Raymond Sansiqual, to get it back into 'focus', it having been made a little 'blurry' by the blow he'd taken. He had let Zeeke do it, because he didn't want to run the risk of running into Waterrunner down in Medical and getting himself a nice earful from her about grown men acting like boys or some such.

                            With the smilie face, Zeeke was telling him he had just opened a private communique with him.

                            Almost as soon as the smilie-face appeared, it began to fade. After it finally faded away, it was replaced with three characters:

                            'K', the numeral '3' and the letter 'L'.

                            Sohdakin had to think for a few seconds before he recognized the combination. 'K 3 L' was the opening move in a game Sohdakin and Zeeke regularly played. The game of Stones! Zeeke was telling him to be ready to make his move!

                            Zeeke had taught Sohdakin how to play the game. It was a kind of Chess-like analogy that used flat pieces of 'stone' with special markings on them. The two of them had played dozens of games together during their two-year association aboard the Insatiable Curiosity. Zeeke was communicating with Sohdakin using the game's movement sequences! It was also a game that was invented by an author from one of Zeeke's favorite book series. Few knew of it aboard the ship. So far as Sohdakin and Zeeke knew, they were the only two people aboard who were familiar with it enough to know its complex sequences.

                            Those three characters faded. They were almost immediately replaced with: 'L 7 U'.

                            That move in the game was a 'wait and see what your opponent did before your next move'. Zeeke was telling Sohdakin then, to standby and wait for further communications from him.

                            That was immediately replaced with 'H Y 4'. 'I am going to make my move soon'. Then that was followed by 'Z Z 0'. That was a bungled move that could cost a player the game. 'Don't bungle it', Zeeke was telling him. That was followed by 'L Q 1'. 'Don't transmit your intentions'. Zeeke was telling Sohdakin to keep these communiques to only himself and only those he knew he could trust.

                            Those letters then faded. They were replaced by the smile face. This one had an eye that winked. It then faded, too.
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                              *Kel listened and nodded. Shortly after he had left, she did make a beeline to the armory, following him by a decent margin silently, anticipating a break in path. When he did not, she made a fairly decent attempt to blend into the background as she continued her silence. Once he was armed and gone, she received the distinct impression something was- oh! A message was just received a moment ago, to which she opens and reads! Finding the message to be rather to the point, she would enter the armory herself and become just as armed... but with lesser equipment.

                              Specifically being requested: A form of mild, but light armor, a Dado 909, and would attempt to receive an automatic Dado 606, if not then would settle for the standard. She will see to having her own weapons shipped to her once the time presented itself. In the meantime, if and when armed, she would rapidly and quietly make her way to the requested destination. Her eyepatch was off, allowing her to see anything considered deceptive, to allow her the ability to see through their guises, if had. Upon nearing her destination, she would slow and have her side arm drawn. Checking corners and looking for anything hostile...

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                                Curio, back when he first got this second hand ship, always found that the motorcycle design seat was an illogical design choice for a hauler. It made you want to stand up and lean to maneuver your craft, something you did with the smaller ships. If you did that in this thing the backside would swing out and crumple whatever it came into contact with. He hoped the new chair would be in place before he would be called upon to do the run on the station so he could set it to his likes.
                                He was still messing with the pedals and buttons, though absentmindedly, as he listened to the IT squirrel. By now the LED hud had stopped calibrating and was idle.
                                “Yes, lots of this bird is wired more analog style since it was just a refitted military ship... The new versions are all nice and sleek with everything behind easy clip off and on panels rather than some of them being bolted down. I wonder if this refit cost more than a brand new one...” Curio said and sat back in the chair, letting go of the dual handlebar controls who both gently slid back into position.

                                “Well old systems... The mothballed remains of at least four systems taped together you mean. When I got this ship she wasn't with all her original parts so it only got worse down the line. And sure, if I get bored I'll look you up!” he added with a smile. “For now I'm going to remain here and keep messing with all this new stuff until it is all the way I want it. Maybe I'll get a new AR headset as well. Seems a bit silly to run around with this outdated pair.” Curio pointed at his decade old goggles on his head.

                                When Chuck had left Curio took out his pad and made a note to the quarter master and requested a set of AR goggles to pick up along with his uniform and then decided to try once again to find that blasted tiny model of the Eagle fighter ship that had been lost in his cockpit. He assumed it might be somewhere underneath the pedals or consoles so now that it wasn't a web of tangled wires anymore he could perhaps find it. An hour later he gave up and figured a miniature black hole opened up among those wires and got the model so he decided to just sit in his chair until he was needed, still thinking this was all just a bit too new and shiny for him. The ships, the hangar, the Captain. You wouldn't be able to tell he had just gone through serious loss but then again Curio had only met him once now. He'd have to wait and see what sort of people worked on the IC.

                                So far though, the ones he had met he liked.
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                                Curio Valence Character Sheet

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