MARS Deserts of Mars

Discussion in 'Open Roleplay' started by Karen Ashoka, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. The Nomads

    The Nomads The wind is rising...

    Messages:
    8
    The driver grimaced as he heard city people shouting at them over their rover's PA. Even over the roar of their engine and the aggressive drone of the hostile rover it boomed across the dunes at them. They were ordering them to stop. The driver considered it briefly. It beat getting into a gunfight with a squad of marines. But they were so close to the canyons. All it would take is another hour or two of barely outpacing them and they would be able to lose them in the labyrinthine landscape they called home. Plus the lookouts would spot them coming and see them through safely. "What we gonna do bossmang?" One of the other called up to the cockpit, there was a laugh from others at the casual use of the belter language that had filtered into their own language over the last few decades. Even with trying to keep as far from the city people as possible, the tribes still needed to trade, and the belters did not care for the laws of the so called 'Republic' and assisted them regularly. It was getting harder and harder these days of course, with the city people becoming more paranoid with each passing day and keeping their skies closed, but from time to time a smuggling ship made it down, like the one they saw the day earlier heading towards Sharonov Crater.

    The driver was about to reply when an alarm blatted at him from the console. A weather warning from one of their remote radar stations had been sent to them. "What is it?" someone called, "A storm warning...class...shit...class 5!" he called back. "WHAT?! What the fuck are we going to do? We'll get buried alive, the engine can't run in that shit!"

    "I know these things Vic." Just as he pulled up a map, gunshots rang out and several holes appeared in the side of the ATV, sunlight streaming in in diagonal lines. The younger ones screamed in terror and tried to scramble into the cargo hold below, to try and shelter from any more fire. More gunshots, more holes. "Fuck, Vic, give them a taste of Martha!"

    "Okay, winding her up now."

    Vic was still in the gunners seat the plexiglass dome was thankfully bullet proof, but the rest of the ATVs armour had been stripped long ago and was mostly just metal panels and insulation now. He flipped several switches on the turret and pulled on the joystick on the armrest. With an ear piercing squeal and groan of rusted joints poorly maintained servos the turret rotated around to point the giant old 30mm, eight-barreled gatling autocannon at the city peoples rover. Two figures were on top and they seemed to freeze for a moment, like their lack of movement would stop Vic from seeing them. He didn't want to kill them though, just give his friends some more time. Squeezing the trigger for a couple of seconds, martha' spun up and spat several hundred rounds into the side of the rover. "Whhooooooo! This thing is amazing, why didn't we use it sooner?!"

    "Because using it depletes our energy cells! We're almost out, we gotta find somewhere to hide and recharge while this storm is raging."

    "Oh...right okay." The city-people had momentarily fallen back, clouds of black smoke pouring from the side of the rover he has just turned into martian swiss imitation-dairy cubes. "I found a place! It's an old tourist hub thats been abandoned for a while!" the driver called back. Vic rotated the turret back into its original forward facing position and climbed back down the ladder, wincing from his injured leg.

    "What is it?" he asked when he reached the cabin and slumped down in the co-drivers seat. "It's an old pre-colony base, one of the earliest, early millennium...Map called it 'Ares 3'. There's not much there, juts a small habitat and a few tourist information centres, all empty, but all capable of keeping us safe. "Lets do it," Vic said, "Hopefully those city thugs turn back now."

    "I wouldn't count on it, we are well past outrunning that monster." the driver said, leaning forward in his seat and looking out the viewport at the huge wall of dust and fury bearing down on them. There was a crash followed the sound of something dragging behind them. "What the hell was that?" Vic asked, peering into the side mirror. "Well when the city people left, they put up a big security fence, I guess to keep looters out."

    "Didn't expect looters to have ATVs then.."

    "No they did not. Okay, we're here."

    The ATV skidded to a halt outside a collection of low lying structures, gathered around large, transparent dome. Inside was an ancient circular hab, the words "ARES 3 - NASA" printed on its side. Opening the rear door, Vic helped Garkhan carry Pon's sister while the rest sprinted for the tourist centre, the wind was already raging and the storm was close to them, but they all made it inside safely with time to spare.

    Outside the wind continued to rise, even masking the sound of another vehicle approaching. Shortly after, everything went dark as the storm hit in earnest, and the world was reduced to a a hellish roar and a small pool of light, surrounded by teenagers and kids, in an empty habitat.
     
    #41 The Nomads, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  2. Erich Hunter

    Messages:
    25
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Erich pushed his rover closer to the fleeing ATV, there was a very slim chance these scavengers could stop and let themselves get peacefully arrested But I'm going to label that idea as a pipe dream. Erich kept his speed, slowly creeping closer to the ATV and if their final pleas over the intercomm, well Erich knew a more forceful answer would be needed.

    Keeping his eyes forward, tracking the ATV's movements as he listened in to some information coming. With very limited to no contact with Command, they were basically driving blind and Erich sighed as he pondered on how to quickly incapacitate the vehicle ahead of him.

    "Scheisse!" Erich swore, before shaking his head to refocus, "-How long before it rea-mein Gött- Hold on!" Erich shouted over the radio as he swerved the Rover to the left. Evasive maneuver to steer clear from a very deadly weapon now aimed directly at them. Rounds thudded against the armored hull of their rover, but Erich swore he heard some tear through as he continued to drive them away from the danger.

    Distance, I need distance away from that weapon Erich continued to drive them away from the scavengers and over another dune. The storm was upon them just yet, Erich could still see all the dust the scavengers were kicking up with their vehicle.

    Slowing down their own vehicle Erich sighed deeply as he finally slowed down to a stop, alerts were popping up all over his console. Shaking his head, slowly he stood back up and turned to face the rest of the squad to see if anybody got hit. "I don't see anything kicking up dust out there anymore, but with this Sandstorm coming up fast well," Erich shrugged as he moved towards the engine compartment.

    Thankful for his oxygen mask and goggles he shifted through the smoke and burnt parts of a rather sorry looking engine compartment. But it seems nothing wrong with our main power supply itself, just gotta reroute a few things and maybe- Erich began to list several things in his mind as he knelt down to inspect the damage closer.

    "Give me thirty minutes and I can get us rolling like new," Erich radioed. He crawled and shimmied on his back to get a better look at one of the circuit boards, yanking hard he heard something snap and saw a spark fly past his goggles. "-Scratch that, more like forty minutes," Erich corrected himself. Scratching the back of his head he looked over to his side and noticed a few holes.

    Yeah, this ain't going to be fun for me.



    @Naomi Wu @Rajendra Vaikar @The Nomads
     
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  3. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Pilot on the MCRN Atrax

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    67
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Karen was now deep in raider territory. Having dropped off two of her surveillance drones to track a possible smuggling operating, she then headed on a north-eastern route across the great expanse of dust and rock called Acidalia Planitia. As the day wore on, she switched from actively monitoring her scopes to letting the compact super computer that ran the craft do it, it had an AI built into it which was smart enough to notice potential bandit activity and flag it for her. In the mean time she pulled out her terminal and began reading one of the many novels she had saved to it, it passed the time and the craft basically flew itself at this point.

    Several hours into doing this, she had an alert chime on her HUD, a severe dust storm was sweeping across the plains. It wouldn't do too much to her here, but she temporarily gained altitude to pull the craft above the roiling mass of brown and red dust. Before it swept over the plains she swore she could have seen two dust plumes of vehicles heading north. But they were lost the moment they were engulfed by the clouds. The Atrax continued to climb until she felt barely any gravity at all. The atmosphere was so thin up here she didn't even need to switch over to the micro-epstein drives, the craft flew ballistic with nothing to slow it down. Within minutes she had passed over the storm and began descending back down into the Martian atmosphere, feeling her body grow steadily heavier again as Mars' gravity reasserted itself.

    The desert she flew over now was scoured clean by the storm. No tracks from vehicles, no slowly worn in signs that would give away human habitation in a local area, all was wiped clean by the dust and wind. It was eerily beautiful, as if the Martian surface had been returned to the days before humans had set foot on it. But even if the dust had covered the tracks of vehicles and settlements, there were some signs of human existence that a sandstorm could not hide or sweep away. Karen continued to descend through the atmosphere until she evened out at 5 kilometres above the surface. Down below, what she saw took her breath away.

    Three huge spacecraft had been crash landed into the desert. Around them were smaller wrecks of other craft, but these three dominated the landscape, they were the first generation of Martian warship, re-purposed hulks, dripping with weaponry from the days Earth was minutes away from reducing the Martian civilisation to ash. Those three ships, the Carter, Elon & Barsoom had been stripped of their weapons and reactors, their technology and electronics, then deorbited over the northern reaches of Acalia Planitia. This site was originally picked because it was so distant from many other civilised areas, however as time wore on, bandits and nomads began to move into the graveyard and began ship breaking, it was now on a semi industrial scale and there was much discussion on how and where the remains of the starships the Republic sent there ended up, it was decided the only way to find out was to tend an expedition, so far funding had not been approved, and so, every few months or years another ship was crashed into the land to be picked apart.

    Three several kilometre long canyons had been carved into the soft ground where the ships had impacted, scorched Martian soil and shards of jagged steel remained. The three vessels sat half buried in the ground, great mounds of soil were piled up around them from the impact, but even now Karen could see with the powerful scopes of her craft, the locals had began excavating in earnest, the ground crawled with thousands of figures, driving vehicles, clomping around in mechs, she even saw a few re-purposed MCRN vehicles here and there. Her orders were to gather data however, and nothing more so she set up a wide flight path that would take on several loops over the boneyard, allowing for recon photos from a number of angles. She had to get just a little closer.

    An alarm blatted at her from the console in front of her. A target lock? Here?! Her mind raced and she scanned for its location. It was coming from one of the crashed ships, somehow a targetting laser had been missed when it was stripped and they were powering it and using it to target her...Another alarm blared at her, she rangefinding laser had become a target lock followed shortly by a launch.

    "Evasive manoeuvres recommended. Deploying countermeasures." Came the cold voice of the craft's AI. Karen could see the long thin trail of smoke as a surface to air missilebraced towards her. Pushing on the control stick she sent the craft into a steep dive hoping to race underneath the incoming missile, the countermeasures sent streams of white-hot flares from her tail in an attempt to confuse the missile. As she pulled back on the stick the missile mistook one of her flares as the Atrax and detonated harmlessly behind her. Whooping she hit the accelerator, trying to put as much space between herself and whoever was attacking her. The alert sounded again, they had not lost their target lock and now three missiles chased her, erupting out of the skeletal remains of an MCRN corvette.

    "This is Karen Ashoka of the MCRDF Atrax. I am under attack by bandit anti-air units. Please respond. NorthCom, CentCom, is anyone out t-"an explosion caused the Atrax to jolt violently, slamming Karen's head into a nearby console. She would most likely have been knocked out cold if not for the flight helmet she wore. Stars exploded in her vision as she tried to work out what just happened. One of the jet engines had been hit...the others were stalling...she was going down. Keying her mike again she heard herself groggily call for assistance, "Mayday mayday, this is Karen Ashoka broadcasting in the blind. I have been hit by bandit AA and am going down. Mayday mayday." She was fast approaching the ground now. She had one more option, the micro-epstein array implanted in the back of the Atrax. It'd cook whoever was on the ground, but she didn't care, if she escaped into orbit she had no issue barbecuing anyone in the boneyard below. Flipping the safety off the ignition button she punched it without hesitation...nothing. A warning appeared on her console, sitting above the dozens of other warnings now fighting for her attention.

    -REACTOR OFFLINE - SAFETY SHUTDOWN INITIATED-

    That was it then, her last choice was gone. The craft was aerodynamic enough she could glide it in, she aimed for a large flat space between the two huge hulks of the old starships in the boneyard and glided, black smoke pouring from one of the Atrax' engines. "Mayday mayday this is Karen Ashoka going down requesting assistance...I'm going down...help...anyone...mayday." The Atrax slammed into the dirt sending a plume reaching for the grey-blue sky. It bounced off the surface once, before slamming down again and skidding to a halt. Karen could only flip one last switch to extinguish the engine fire before losing consciousness completely.
     
    #43 Karen Ashoka, Apr 23, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
    Haiki Haruro and Rajendra Vaikar like this.
  4. Haiki Haruro

    Messages:
    15
    Haiki manouvered the ATV around the last large boulders of the extended crater rim and onto the wide plateau which sloped down into Kasej Valles. She enjoyed the view while descending further into the valley, searching for a vantage point to offer her the best view over the landscape and searching for signs of minerals or metals on the nearby walls of rock. Discovering metal or mineral deposits wasn´t a big business anymore since all the surface has been scanned but analyzing them along the way could render a nice income on the side if you got lucky. As she scanned the horizon her gaze locked on a small dot which was moving fast over the southern horizon. It was small air- or spacecraft but it lacked the yellow and orange streak of a spacecraft entering the atmosphere and she was too far away from any major settlement to spot terminal traffic approaching from orbit. It had to be an atmospheric craft then. She slowed down on the vehicle while visually tracking the object moving from right to left high over the valley slopes. A survey drone, looking for a stranded rover maybe, although too fast for the usual automated sweeper. Then it suddenly changed course and seemed to be stationary in the sky for a moment, then changed direction again. It must have spottet her. `Shit` she yelled out into her helmet as she cranked the engine and steered into a 180 degree turn back up the slope towards the safety of the boulders she had cleared just a few minutes ago. The ATV was kicking off a lot of dust now and it was obviously that the patrol aircraft had spottet her. She knew she didn´t have a chance to outrun the patrol but that wasn´t her goal anyway. She had to lure them away from the base, the glider and most importantly from Jamal who had to be just on his way back to the outpost, his ATV loaded with contraband. If the scout found the smuggler they both were going to be in huge trouble.

    She cranked up her suits radios and tried to contact him on their company channel. The mountains ranges prohibited a direct connection but she was hoping for a couple of radio waves and reflections to reach him, hopefully to tell him that something was wrong. She knew he wouldn´t take the risk and dump the cargo in a safe spot. It would be a hassle to explain the reason for their extended EVA´s out into the desert if a squad of Martian Marines dropped onto them and conducted a thorough investigation but as long as there was no contraband there were no charges.

    While speeding the ATV back into the mountains she waited for the patrol craft to conduct a low pass or a transmission on the emergency frequency instructing her to stop the engine and surrender to an inspection but nothing happened as the ATV raced further into the mountains of Sharonov Crater and behind some boulders. Maybe they didn´t spot her after all, maybe they identified her as a repair technician or a geological scout. Or maybe they had spottet Jamal´s ATV on the other side of the mountain and were already heading for his position. In that case they both were in serious trouble.

    It wouldn´t matter now, she couldn´t do anything to change the situation so she cranked up the engine to full power again beelining back towards the base. She didn´t spot the small drones circling far above her position, tracking her every move

    @Karen Ashoka
     
  5. Rajendra Vaikar

    Rajendra Vaikar Martian Marine

    Messages:
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    Character Biography:
    Bio
    It was anti climatic. One moment bouncing over dunes, automatic weapons fire spraying wildly from both vehicles, the whine and roar of engines being pushed to their limit. All cut off as their rover began to slow, coming to a gentle stop. Raj risked a look at the driver's console, immediately wishing he hadn't. He'd basic vehicle courses completed but you didn't need to be an expert to know what the flashing red lights and warning alarms meant. A Neanderthal could have made an educated guess. And probably had a better chance of fixing it than Raj.

    The driver seemed calm, Raj found himself following him back to the engine compartment. The smell came through even the suit filters. Plenty of smoke, burnt out sections, the whole engine was for lack of a technical term, fucked.

    "Thirty minutes" he repeated in a tone that suggested like he was questioning Erich's grip on reality. The driver crawled deeper into the bowels of the engine, the radio crackling as he revised his estimate. Raj still stared. He'd have started marching if it was up to him. Beyond battering it with a spanner, he couldn't think of much else. "Is there anything I can do to help?" Another set of hands might help it speed by. "Or do you want me outside on guard?"

    @Erich Hunter @Naomi Wu @The Nomads
     
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  6. Haiki Haruro

    Messages:
    15
    As soon as she was back inside Sharonov Crater and within line of sight communication of the base Haiki radioed Jamal again on their private channel. It was a risk of course but the suits radio was weak and on normal output it was very unlikely that her transmission was being picked up by anyone outside of the crater area. If the recon bird had dropped of Marines to conduct an inspection they were likely to wait for her at the base, already securing the parameter and seizing possible contraband.

    Jamal didn´t answer. She hailed him 3 more times without success. That wasn´t good. With daylight rapidly declining he had to be within the crater basin already even if the exchange took longer than anticipated, otherwise he wouldn´t make it back before nightfall and no experienced Marian EVA specialist would risk a night EVA under these circumstances.

    She approached the base cautiously, constantly looking for signs of Marine activity. As she pulled into the base and up to the utility hangar Jamal´s ATV was still missing. If he was running late he would have dropped a message via satellite link by now. In case of emergency he would have ditched the contraband and activated his emergency transmitter. A sudden feeling of imminent danger started welling up inside her. She parked the ATV next to the airlock and ventured dinside. Once the cycle was completed she started to search the small underground habitat for human activity without bothering to take off her suit. The note was still on the table, everything just as she had left it but the feeling of danger and uncertainty transitioning into borderline panic. Her suits oxygen reserves were at 53% and Jamal had been outside longer than her, his larger body using even more oxygen than hers. Considering the emergency CO₂ filter stored in the ATV´s emergency kit he would make it through the night, but just barely. She could´t wait, she had to find him before sunset.

    While climbing back into the surface module the artificial voice of the station announcement came to life:

    `ATTENTION ALL PERSONELL, THIS IS A SECURITY ANNOUNCEMENT. SUSPEND ALL EVA AND FLIGHT OPERATIONS. MCRN FLIGHT AND MOVEMENT RESTRICTION IN PLACE FOR THIS STATION. ALL PERSONELL RETURN TO BASE AND WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS`

    `Shit` Haiki muttered to no one in particular

    @Karen Ashoka
     
  7. Erich Hunter

    Messages:
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    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Slowly Erich wiggled himself back out from underneath another compartment and dusted himself off before nodding towards one of the Marines. Offering a shrug, "From my last check I think we got ourselves close to one of those landmarks of one of the first Martian habitats from before we thought of colonizing our planet, " Erich continued to dust off his goggles and mask.

    "-No doubt our scavengers going to make that their home for this storm," Erich explained before he moved closer to the rest of the crew of the rover.

    "Derek and Kale, see if you can get some patch work down on our hull, you got limited time before the storm hits," Erich ordered before going back to the engine compartment and nodding to himself. He turned to face the Marine, "I can get our Rover running again but we got to make a choice; Go after the Scavengers or head back to base." Erich explained, his pilot goggles looking at @Rajendra Vaikar .

    Erich slowly approached another computer panel and began to take mental notes of which converters he would need to override, but he turned back over to Raj with another nod, "If you want my two cents, I don't like the idea of these scavengers fielding this type of weaponry and if we lose them now we might never find them again," Erich explained.

    The desert seemed more than willing to swallow anybody up, but Erich found that notion exciting. Their planet fought them as much as the Martians fought to make Mars theirs. Shame to let some of the history get scavenged.
     
  8. Naomi Wu

    Messages:
    9
    Naomi, already inside the rover by this point, idled around while contemplating her next plan. They weren't too far out from the canyons, as far as she knew, and she had them trapped, again, as far as she knew. With the sandstorm, they were virtually trapped. They could make it back to base with several breaks to clear the internals of the rover of dust, but that would take far too long, and the nomads would be free to run as far as possible as well.

    Suddenly, an idea. Naomi hurried over to the cockpit, and looked over the monitors, and the gauges. She turned around, and headed to the cabin, removing her helmet she spoke up, addressing the crew which was all huddled in the room.

    "Listen up!" She spoke loudly, and with authority.

    "We're trapped, whether we like it or not. The dust storm is going to make any mobility far too difficult to move, and besides, even if we could, it wouldn't be right. These damned traitors have injured fellow Marines, and we can't let that slide. It's not a slight we'll take lying down is it!?" She hollered, not waiting for an answer before continuing, believing she knows the answer.

    "It's risky, but we must do anything possible to regain comms with the nearest CB, and get reinforcements. They'll be fitted for the dust, and able to reinforce our position. We have the traitors cornered, they have nowhere to go. We can starve them out, or go in gun blazing. That won't be up to me, but what is up to me, is that they'll pay! Whether by prison time, or death, they'll pay for injuring ours, and their brothers." She continues her speech, vigorously, and proudly, shouting in a way a leader would rally a crowd.

    "We'll sit here, do our best to prevent the rover of drowning in dust. Get in contact with Command, and watch to make sure the traitors don't slip away like the worms they are! It's our duty, as Marines, and Martians!" She shouts, raising her fist in the air.

    She's breathing heavily now, having riled herself up. She looks around the room, before asking.

    "Well what do you say!?" She shouts, a large smile on her face.

    "Let's get these traitors!" She screams, pumped up.
     
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  9. Rajendra Vaikar

    Rajendra Vaikar Martian Marine

    Messages:
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    Character Biography:
    Bio
    "I'm not the senior rank here so it's not my choice" Raj shrugged, giving him a sympathetic look. He removed his helmet, rubbing at his eyes. It didn't make much difference, it was still the same recycled air. You got used to it as a Martian but the cramped confines of a rover were about as bad as it got.

    He winced when Naomi barked out her orders. He'd been on comms for the past few hours so it was a strange sensation to be hearing someone up close with his ears again. He opened his mouth to speak but she'd powered on regardless. He listened with a blank expression on his face. It wasn't that Rajendra wasn't enthusiastic. It was just he'd spent the last few years being shot at on pointless patrols or hunting pirates for little gain out in the Belt. He tended to switch off whenever rousing speeches or rhetoric were used.

    On the plus side despite the sergeant's bloodlust, she wasn't about to order them out in the middle of a storm. He gave a nod before coughing to clear his throat, "Absolutely capital Sergeant" he agreed, "Our driver here is working on getting the engine operational and at least if we can't move through the storm, neither can our bandit friends".

    He wanted revenge just as much for Ahand but he was knackered. He'd been shot at enough today to not mind too much if they slipped away and another patrol caught them. At least this might mean he'd get some rest. "I'm no comms tech but this console doesn't seem to have the power to punch through the interference. I'd welcome another's expertise though".

    His foot tapped Erich's leg. "Has this rover got any rations aboard?"

    @Naomi Wu @Erich Hunter
     
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  10. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Pilot on the MCRN Atrax

    Messages:
    67
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Karen's awareness swam, her reality drifted in and out sometimes stealing sights, sounds, smells and delivering them to her mind, before disappearing into unconsciousness yet again. She knew...as far as she could remember, she was lying down, on a soft bed. The first soft bed she had slept in in years. Soft sunlight filtered into the area she resided in, suspended white linen creating a dappled pattern on the sheets around her. Sometimes she would smell food, other times dust. She could hear the far away sound of children playing, shrieking and giggling that faded as she continued to drift in and out of consciousness. Water would appear next to her bed from time to time and she would try and feebly drink it, sometimes noticing the bandages covering her arms, the distant but sharp pain that moved through her body as she moved.

    As time wore on her consciousness could assert itself over her body more easily. She willed herself to stay consciousness many times but eventually lost the battle. One day the deep rumbling of a huge engine woke her, and at the foot of the bed another woman sat, her eyes looking away from Karen. She was alert, awake, her mind sharp. It felt like years had passed. "How long was"

    "How long were you asleep? Almost seven sols." Came the reply. The woman had a strong Persian accent, however her features looked like nothing Karen had ever seen. She had the dark, olive skin of Mediterranean decent, however her hair was blonde, worn in a long braid on her shoulder, it had streaks of grey through it. Her skin was sun-kissed and weathered, along with her clothes, the clothes of a nomad.

    "How did I get here...my ship...I got shot down..." Her voice cracked, changing from mild disorientation and confusion to anguish, bordering on anger. "Where is it?"

    "Your vessel is safe. It is not far from you, it had to be transported somewhere safe, less the city-people....your people found it."

    "You should have left it, I would have been rescued. it was bad enough you shot me down."

    "That rocket was not condoned by us. The person responsible has been punished."

    "Bullshit! You shot me down!" Karen said, her voice rising. At the sound of anger two other women rushed into the room, both bearing shockingly primitive steel hand weapons, curved blades with handles wrapped in cloth. The woman at the end of the bed turned to them quickly and shooed them away. They left, content that Karen was no immediate threat. "Were those...swords?"

    "Yes, we have to make do with that we can out here..."

    "Where...exactly is here? There's sunlight...and a breeze...we can't be outside."

    "We are deep in the canyons near what you and your people affectionately know as the Boneyards. The place you throw your trash when you are done with them. Out of necessity we had to flee further into the canyons when those two huge behemoths fell from the sky, it forced us to come up with...new methods to survive. The entire canyon network is riddled with tunnels, where we live. It is fully sealed, every section independent and sealed from the next, or rather, it can be if there is ever a breach. We redirect sunlight through it using mirrors. All the materials we used have been scavenged from the ships of the Boneyard."

    "You mean...you have a city down here?"

    "More than that, so much more. You must rest, Karen Ashoka of the Martian Republic. Soon you will stand, and when you do we must decide what is to be done with you."
     
    #50 Karen Ashoka, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  11. The Nomads

    The Nomads The wind is rising...

    Messages:
    8
    "Don't do it!" A whisper came from the dark. "Shutup, we need power otherwise we'll freeze to death."

    "But they'll find us and kill us!" came the reply. "Not once they realise that without us they are going to die too. Their vehicle is toast until the storm ends, they have no heating, they will freeze like us unless I turn the power on, now shut up or you can spend the night in the atv." The other figures shoulders slumped as they walked back to the small pool of light in the middle of the room, surrounded by several shivering bodies, in the vain hope that the photons ejected by the lamp would somehow warm them. The driver was correct though. Without the energy stored in the facility's batteries over years, collected by its solar panels on the roof, they would die of hypothermia as the temperature dropped far below freezing.

    The risk was that when the power was activated, the facility would spring back to life and welcome the city-people in. It was a risk the driver was willing to take. Maybe they could barricade themselves into the airlock near their ATV. At least they would be warm. The almost-man shone a small led light over a switchboard, it was covered in cables, converters, fuses and touch panels, all long dead and covered in a fine layer of dust. Then he found it: Master On. Pump lever three times to fire system. A heavy black switch jutted from a grey panel, surrounded by warning stickers of black and yellow with white lightening bolts on them. He grabbed the lever and pulled, hard. With a high pitched screech it budged an inch. He tried again, this time it moved slightly more. Getting frustrated he grabbed it with both hands and wrenched up. The years of grit and dust dislodged and the lever pumped once, a dozen small LEDs on the panels around it blinked to life for a moment before fading away. He pumped the lever two more times and hit the large "ignition" button above it.

    Suddenly the lights in the room flared to life, followed by the next room, and the room after that. The kids all stood up grinning at the light, followed by the sound of the air condition firing up. After a moments, with a great whoosh, giant clouds of dust billowed out of the air vents, bringing stale, dusty but warm air into the room.

    "You did it!" Pon yelled, throwing her arms around the driver. "I did...I hope they last the night..."

    "That's not gonna be our main problem..." Came the solem tone of Garkhan who was peering out of a nearby window across the wind and dust-swept landscape. In the distance, the unmistakable silhouette of the city-peoples rover could be seen against the faint light of the setting sun. Above the facility, an enormous neon light sparked to life in multiple colours: "Ares 3: Where Mars was officially colonised!"

    "Shit..." three of the kids said at once.
     
    #51 The Nomads, May 15, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2018
  12. Erich Hunter

    Messages:
    25
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Martian toughness was nurtured in everyone since birth, their expectations taught them that life was difficult and the rewards never matched the effort. But their pride in just their survival kept their heads held high, it also came from the fact Mars was thriving and striving for strength. Earth may produce naturally humans with denser bones and handle more gravity, but Mars instead teaches Martians to soar and fight.

    But at least on Earth they don't have to breathe recycled air and worry about massive dust storms on the monthly rate we do Erich wearily sighed, his inner thoughts kept quiet as listened to Naomi's speech. He felt someone tap his leg and Erich quickly got back up, he already had enough information to start fixing the damage.

    "Yeah we got plenty of rations for a rainy day, pick your MRE poison," Erich answered gesturing with his free hand, "-They'll be in the third cabinet across from the main doors, and the fridge below with the cold water. Also if you see eggs, flour and other stuff leave it alone, " Erich added.

    That was for later when we all got back home
    . "My parents taught me how to make a mean scotch egg, unfortunately it's mostly synthesized stuff but beats whatever emergency protein bars Top Brass thinks won't kill us," Erich said as an almost after thought.

    Sounds of wielding torches assured Erich that their hull won't leak any sand into their rover, and perhaps with a few more repairs he could reroute enough power back into their comms. "Naomi, I'm know we can get our Rover ready for action soon but with the sand storm coming in fast I doubt our Comms will be able to punch through with that much interference," He explained his concerns, and to wait for the storm to pass and keep on with the chase well was not Erich's first choice "and I don't want to take another chance for those Scavengers to take pot shots at our reactor engine again," Erich explained.

    "If we want to take this Op and grab these Scavengers we should wait for the dust storm to pick up around us and move in under its cover," Erich explained as he slowly moved toward's the driver's window, "-And if you're wondering how we'll see our target through the storm-" Erich pointed outwards through the window to show a large bright neon sign, "-Our new friends seem to have gracefully given us their exact position as we move through the storm,"

    @Naomi Wu @Rajendra Vaikar @The Nomads
     
  13. Haiki Haruro

    Messages:
    15
    The airlock took only a few minutes to cycle but it felt like hours. Haiki stared at the green numbers counting down on the display while the pressure was evacuated into the holding tanks. The faint hiss of air weakened then disappeared as the residual pressure was vented into the Martian atmosphere and the outer hatch opened without a sound. Haiki stepped outside, her gaze wandering above the crater rim horizon. No aircraft or spacecraft were visible. Maybe the recon bird hadn´t carried troops, maybe it had been a drone on a fix patrol pattern. It didn´t matter, she was running out of time. Chances were that a customs patrol or a military contingent was going to arrive soon and they would ask questions she couldn´t answer. She had to find Jamal and get out of the area before they arrived. The easiest way to avoid detection would be taking the ATV but she didn´t have the time. An MMC dropship could be on top of her within half an hour.

    She moved over the landing pad in wide leaps and climbed the 3 steps of the extendable ladder into the nose airlock, punched the cycle button and waited for the outer hatch to close and the narrow compartment to fill with nitrogen and oxygen. Once the cycle was complete she pulled herself into the galley compartment and up into the cabin past the empty operator station into the cockpit. Once she fired up the electrics the right-hand screen automatically switched to a satellite projection of the area of Kasej Valles and Accidalia Planitia. A red warning sign blinked on top of the screen: `DUST STORM APPROACHING – CATEGORY 8`. The storm had developed in Accidalia Planitia for days and had finally grown to a serious flight hazard, outlined in an angry orange on the satellite map. It was the perfect escape route. An MCRN or MMC patrol was likely to arrive from the south. If she could manage to sneak into the valleys and stay low until reaching the edge of the storm she could vanish into the storm and make orbit. She proceeded through the checklist and deactivated both transponders which usually uploaded their position and flight info to the MCRN flight control unit as soon as she lifted off the landing pad. She rushed through preflight checklist and instructed the computer to disengage and retract the two fuel probes under the right wing. Once the departure checklist blinked a happy green she cranked up the 3 vertical engines and the ship vibrated under her as it pushed into the sky. Once she cleared the buildings of the base she activated the main engines propelling her into horizontal flight and gradually retarded the vertical thrusters as the deltawing began to create aerodynamic lift as she gained speed heading to the north-eastern ridge of Sharonov Crater.
     
  14. Naomi Wu

    Messages:
    9
    Naomi stood around for a bit, watching as the crew began to work following her orders. Pleased, she reached down, taking out her phone, and simply checked the weather forecast for Mars. She pursed her lips at the view, brushing her short hair behind her ear as she tapped around.

    "It's going to last all night..." She whispered to herself.

    She stowed her phone, ignoring her social media app, and focusing on the task at hand.

    "Naomi..." She heard come from behind her.

    Walking towards Erich, she listened to his report on their current situation regarding she nodded, listening intently.

    "Alright. Do your best. But I'm hesitant about sending out a team blind into the sand." She said, before interrupted.

    Walking towards Erich, it was unmistakable. The bright lights from the facility could have even possibly been seen through to the sky, past all of the dust.

    "What the hell..." Naomi stepped back, cursing something in Japanese, as she reached her hand up to her chin to think. Her armour clacked together a bit, as she looked over to her helmet.

    She pursed her lips together again, thinking. She went over to the cockpit, and looked out the large windows, sure enough, the lights were still on. She was positive that the Rebels weren't equipped to travel in the storm, not for a while, in a storm this size at least. She looked back into the main cabin, and the crew were either idling with food, or working on something to make sure the rover remains functional through to the end. She let out a quiet groan, as she had made up her mind. Stepping into the main cabin, she slammed onto the hull of the rover, emitting a bang loud enough for everyone to hear, before cursing in Japanese again.

    "Alright everyone, listen up! Here's the game plan..." She shouted, letting everyone get settled in.

    "If you look out the Eastern window, you can see that the rebels have made refuge in some old facility of some sort. I'm guessing the reactors must have recharged enough to turn on the lights, I'm unsure why else they would be in there." She says as a heated blows warm air on her ankles.

    "Point is, anyone who is not injured is gearing up. We're going in there and apprehending the criminals. And if we're lucky, we can use the facilities comms systems as well. Or if anything, take our own gear up to the top of the tower, and see if the extra height doesn't help somehow." She says, almost morosely.

    "Look, I know just as much as any of you that marching into this storm is going to MASSIVELY suck, which is why I'm going to take some safety precautions." She says, pulling out several metres of paracord, and flat climbing rope.

    "We'll keep in touch with our suits HUDs, as well, we'll all be connected by the paracord. Clasp the rope onto your belt." She says, pulling out a couple hooks too. "In conjunction, we'll be breachin through the windows above them. This should allow us to have plenty of freedom in choice when approaching the threats." She says, dropping the hooks onto the ground. "If we have amy means of launching them, that'd be much better than throwing them manually." She says, before looking towards Erich, but addressing the question to the group. "Does anyone know what type of facility this was? Mining, some sort of outpost perhaps? Anything that might help us guess the layout of its insides." Naomi asks, hoping for a good answer.

    She steps back, thinking the plan through a bit more, she certainly doesn't want anything to go ary that could end in anymore injuries.

    "Also." She says, reaching out, with a slight laugh. "Don't go kitting up yet. Let's have a break, eat something, and then head out." She says with a chuckle.

    @Erich Hunter @The Nomads @Karen Ashoka @Haiki Haruro
     
  15. Hector Royce

    Hector Royce MCR Marine, MCRN Bexar

    Messages:
    22
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Royce polished the faceplate of his helmet, getting the dust out of its filter and vox. It was good practice to clean out the filters every chance one got, dust could clog up the oxygen intake and slowly suffocate the wearer. He wasn’t wearing Goliath armor, but the lightweight recon armor that resembled Naval armor, with a rebreather instead of a full faceplate, except in a sand colored camouflage, with a brown cloak and hood. For a weapon, Royce had decided to carry a sniper rifle, the next thing he would be cleaning.

    While breaking down the rifle and wiping off the components, Royce chewed on some Ganymede beef jerky his father made for him. Munching silently and cleaning, it was a meditation for him, a preparation for combat. Some of the other marines had tried to talk small with him, but he would politely ask for privacy, and eventually they left him alone. War was coming, and he wanted to savor the quiet before.

    He finished cleaning the rifle, and reassembled it and performed the functions check. Then he spent to the windows and shoulders the rifle, looking through the long scope. A lens installed in his eye reacted with the scope, zooming in on the target building until he could about see the windows, and the silhouettes moving inside.

    He was ready to get outside. Recon Marines trained for extreme weather conditions like this, and Royce loved it. He honestly detested the big bulky Goliath suits, all silver and gaudy, preferring the flexibility and agility of the recon armor. And besides all that, Royce loved being on the surface. He’d always had a fascination with deserts, and what better desert than Mars?

    He unshouldered his weapon and stood up, stretching out his back by holding his rifle over his head, wincing as his back popped. He Hen walked over to where Naomi stood and nodded.

    “Hey, I was thinking, we could use a long range position while the main group assaults the position. I could go get set up now if you like.”
     
  16. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Pilot on the MCRN Atrax

    Messages:
    67
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    “Abandoned” Base - Sharonov Crater

    Through their bulbous, multi-lensed eyes the two drones watched and recorded as a figure exited the base embodied in the side of the crater wall and lifted off. The vessel was the standard wedge shape of a heavy lift transport, designed to traverse both atmosphere and vacuum. With a roar it shot off towards the dark clouds on the horizon, dark due to Sol setting, and the great sandstorm gathering over Acidalia Planitia.

    One of the drones issues a series of ultrasonic and audible tones, beeps and boops as it conferred with its colleague on the next course of action. Having recently lost their uplink to the Atrax, they were now running autonomously, the artificial intelligence contained within them making its own decisions within the constrains of its programming. After a few moments the drones turned in opposite directions and shot off across the darkening landscape, small plumes of dust rising behind them as they gained speed.

    One headed in the direction of the leaving shuttle, with a sputtering and then a roar a small thruster on the back of the machine activated, providing it with a much needed acceleration boost. The tiny spec of the shuttle on the horizon grew and grew until the drone was within firing range, firing two harpoons into the shuttle, it reeled itself in and magnetically attached itself to the hull.

    @Haiki Haruro
    ---

    As this occurred, the second drone was racing east across Acidalia Planitia. It could cover distances as a relatively fast pace, however the desert was large, and even when heading in a straight line it took several hours to approach its target; a small facility, two vehicles parked nearby, with a vintage neon sign blinking in the darkening landscape. The drone decellerated and began scanning the vehicles.

    One was an unregistered model, a light but heavily armed ATV of some sort with a combustion engine powered on methane gas. The drone stored this for later analysis as such technology was often used by the nomadic tribes of the northern hemisphere.

    The other was a heavy Rover of the MCR. Recognising the configuration the drone approached the vessel and emitted three sharp chirps, like the sound of of a police siren.

    @Rajendra Vaikar @Erich Hunter @Naomi Wu @Hector Royce
     
    #56 Karen Ashoka, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
    Rajendra Vaikar likes this.
  17. Rajendra Vaikar

    Rajendra Vaikar Martian Marine

    Messages:
    28
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    The briefing was quite clear. Martian troops didn't get the luxury of sitting out the storm. Raj would have been happy with bunking down, getting comfortable, and moving once it had cleared but duty called. At least they had a bit of a respite before they had to head out. He copied the others, checking his gear was serviceable, cleaning his weapon, getting some food in him. He ate the tasteless rations without much enthusiasm, not his ideal last supper.

    They were an eclectic bunch. He'd have been much happier back on the Nergal with a section that hated him but at least he knew them. The loud sound of the siren jerked him from his reverie. He snapped the rest of his assault rifle back together, sliding to one of the portholes. "We've got company" he announced, making sure a fresh magazine was in place.

    "I think it's one of ours" he went on, squinting to try and make out more detail. He wasn't about to walk out there on that hunch and risk being blown apart. "Can anyone ping its authentication code?"
     
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  18. Karen Ashoka

    Karen Ashoka Pilot on the MCRN Atrax

    Messages:
    67
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Karen had been in the city for several days now. Even with the lack of actual sky, the complex network of mirrors and light tunnels meant that the city grew light and dark with the rising and setting of the sun. She had learned it’s name was Tanis, a long lost settlement that was once a valuable source of mineral wealth for the fledgling colony. However over the decades it was slowly abandoned, it’s machinery fell silent, and the dunes of the desert slowly began to reclaim it. The locals had found it after their colony convoy was lost during a great storm that lasted 6 months. Rather than face starvation and death, the convoy journeyed into the tunnels until they were safe from the elements, since then they had broken free from the authoritarian yolk of the Republic, and formed their own near tribal society.

    In her wanderings through the labyrinthine network, she never saw money, she never saw anyone steal, never saw someone who looked sick or hungry. She allowed herself to believe that it was due to their seemingly peaceful way of life, not the fact that even though they seemed happy, the city survived on the edge of a knife, maybe there were no old or sick because they made them leave? Gave them a canteen of water and a emergency vac-suit and sent them to meet their destiny in the shifting sands. She didn’t ask…not yet, she preferred to watch from a distance.

    One day she was drawn by the sound of many voices, what she found when she rounded the bend took her breath away. A cavern, cathedral-like, and apparently natural due to the rock formations, was full of people, hundreds of them. Children, adults, animals and great machines moved this way and that through the bustling crowd, vendors shouted their wares, bartering with food, water and technology. Karen had to flatten herself against a wall momentarily as a large, four wheeled vehicle rumbled by, pulling behind it a trailer full of scrap metal, the MCRN logo could be seen on a scorched piece.

    Suspended from the roof of the cavern, great hydroponic rigs dangled, thousands of different plants Hund from them and in turn, condensation and moisture dripped down onto the crowd and the floor. Moss and lichen was even spreading across the damp roof of the cavern, tendrils of green spreading from this great, central hall out through the rest of the city. She wondered how long these people had survived like this, how they had come so far without being crushed under the military weight of the Republic…then again she hadn’t even known the city existed and her surveillance photos were the best recon the military had.

    As she walked further into the ground, people began to notice her and fell silent, creating a sort of bubble of timid, curious silence around her. Feeling awkward she continued on through the cavern until she saw something familiar. In an alcove, under a dusty tarpaulin saw the menacing and unique hull of her craft, the Atrax. Several large locals, holding intimidating weapons hovered at the entrance of the alcove and formed a barrier as she approached. “Thats my ship! Get out my way” she began to shout, pushing and shoving a bearded man blocking her path. “Let her pass…she won’t try to escape so close to innocents.” Out from behind the tallest of those blocking her path, the woman who had spoken Karen when she woke emerged. The men lowered their weapons and parted, allowing her to pass through.

    Karen grinned as she ran over to her craft, and then grimaced as she noticed the scorched, twisted hole on the underside that had managed to knock her out of the sky. Punching in her access code the cockpit descended out of the bottom of the Atrax, the multitude of displays blinking back to life. Immediately several warnings erupted across them as a deep throbbing rumble began to emanate from the internals of the craft. “It’s okay, it’s just the computer warming up…nothing dangerous.” She said, as several locals, men and women holding guns, approached.

    Pulling a screen around to face her she began tapping at it furiously.

    //Reactor is offline
    //Drones located
    //Drone 1 > Commandeering smuggler aircraft and approaching current location
    //Drone 2 > Made contact with MCR Forces


    Karen knew that even with a backup aircraft, the smuggling vessel might not entirely secure her escape. According to the drones readouts it could still potentially reach orbit, however perhaps not with a strike fighter attached to its belly. She turned her attention to the second drone and began entering commands.



    Ares 3 Tourist Centre

    The drone registered several upticks in heart rate as it issued its alert signal. Several of the occupants of the rover scuttled around it taking up supposed firing positions. The drone tracked the yellow-red blobs through its heat sensitive camera. A query from the rover was registered, an authentication key request followed by a handshake protocol.

    The drone sent its auth key in response and after handshaking with the Rovers systems, began to take over it’s systems.

    //Life support - working
    //Defence countermeasures - working/expended
    //Sensor & communication suite - offline/damaged
    //Reactor - working
    //Propulsion - compromised



    Inside the rover, several displays went black, followed by red text scrolling across them:

    Message begins: This is Lieutenant Karen Ashoka of the MCRDF. Being held in nomad city, North of Acidalia Planitia Canyons. East of Boneyards. Requesting assistance. My craft was shot down and it’s reactor is offline. Authority has been granted for this drone to assume operational command of any personell below my rank //2nd Lieutenant//.
    Make best speed to designated location.


    This message was followed by a string of GPS coordinates, watched in stunned silence by members of the Rover’s crew.



    Outside the Rover, the howling winds and dust began to settle, dunes, great hills of sand, a new landscape existed where previously where was nothing but dust blowing through the air. Through the storm, the landscape has been converted to that of barren, rocky outcrops, to soft flowing dunes as far as the eye could see. Above, the stars glittered in the heavens as the atmosphere continued to clear. The worst of the storm had passed, but as it did the temperature began to drop even faster.

    In the distance, the roar of multiple engines could be heard over the subtle whirring of the Drones engines. With an explosion of dust and sand, three more nomad vehicles crested a nearby dune and made a beeline for the rover.

    The drone sensing the new threat, spun about on its axis, its three red “eyes” tracking the incoming hostiles, before launching two missiles. The weapons streaked across the landscape, flying low and fast. Two of the vehicles tried to veer off, however the missiles autocorrected their course and simultaneously slammed into the hostiles. The two vehicles were catapulted into the air, lifted aloft by blossoming fireballs, before crashing back to land in fiery wrecks. The third vehicle was apparently untouched however it no longer accelerated. After several metres it coasted to a stop several metres from the Rover.

    The drone emitted several more odd, discordant tones before text began appearing on the rovers display again. It hovered close to the windows of the rover so its three glowing red visual sensors filled the cockpit view.

    //Hostiles in this vehicle have suffered critical concussive injuries. Orders are as follows:
    - Secure hostile vehicle
    - Extract reactor from Rover
    - Use vehicle to locate 2nd Lieutenant Karen Ashoka
    - Deliver Reactor to Atrax
    - Further orders will follow

    @Rajendra Vaikar @Erich Hunter @Naomi Wu @Hector Royce
     
  19. Erich Hunter

    Messages:
    25
    Character Biography:
    Bio
    Erich almost smashed his head into a panel as he heard news of some drone locating them. Oh finally some contact from Command the thought comforted him a bit as getting some backup would be a possibility. He stepped back into the main interior of the rover and moved closer to view the drone a bit better. His eyes perked up as he walked over to the pilot's seat and figured that the drone could simply scan the rover's ID for a simple authentication check.

    Before though Erich could hail the little metal bird all his screened turned black and the drone's message typed out before him. Eyes narrowed he carefully scanned each line and swore softly as he tried to process the current situation. Karen must have got into hard contact with some similar scavengers, but what is driving them to be so aggressive tow-

    His thought never finished as the sound of two missiles launched stunned Erich as he turned his head upwards to see two careening fireballs flip over and land on the dunes ahead of them. Another vehicle slowly came to a halt not too far from them in an almost comical matter but Erich couldn't really laugh as he looked back down on his screen.

    Oh-

    "So it appears we got to salvage our own rover and go help 2nd Lieutenant Ashoka," Erich finally voice, getting up from the pilot's seat and making his way into the reactor room. Great, now we got three problems to figure out, the scavengers hiding out in the hab, the scavengers holding Karen and now we got to figure out what to do with our rover Erich almost voiced his frustration, his hands placed on either side of his helmet as he began to think and focus.

    "Derek, Kale get about making our reactor ready for transport but don't remove it just yet." Erich called out as he placed back a panel he had earlier removed. He turned to face the rest of the crew, "-The other scavengers hiding in the hab has another vehicle we can use," He started to explain.

    "-It appears we got to get inside a Nomad City, probably ready to shoot down or blow up anything remotely MCR that approaches them. . . but what if we can convince those guys in the hab to help us? I don't want to abandon our vehicle but if we can pretend the scavengers are the ones that nabbed a great prize, well I don't see why we shouldn't prep a Trojan horse," Erich finished his plan. If he wasn't wearing his goggles the rest could have seen a gleam in his eyes an grin tugging the corners of his lips.

    Erich loved history, especially about his personal hero Archimedes, but the story of the Trojan horse always fascinated the young boy growing up. He did all he could to not giggle with mischievousness.

    @Karen Ashoka @Naomi Wu @Rajendra Vaikar @Hector Royce
     
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  20. The Nomads

    The Nomads The wind is rising...

    Messages:
    8
    The driver woke suddenly to the sound of two explosions outside the building they were camped in. Around him his friends stirred, rubbed the sleep from their eyes and looked around in confusion and concern. Sunlight was pouring in through the dusty windows, casting jagged shadows across the room. The driver and Gharkan climbed to their feet and went over to a nearby window to see what had happened. Outside, columns of black smoke could be seen in the distance, the smoke poured from two wrecks of vehicles near the Republic Rover, a third vehicle stood idle not far from the wrecks, apparently untouched. Above them, a dark, flat drone hovered menacingly in the air, turning this way and that before zipping over to the Rover and hovering just in front of its cockpit. From it's underside hung a bundle of middles and sensors. The storm it seemed, had passed on, having deposited a fresh later of sand and dust over the landscape. The sky was a clear grey/blue, the sun shining brilliantly as it climbed up above the horizon.

    "Fuck we're so dead," said Garkhan. "We can't run or that thing will kill us..."

    "I'm pretty sure those vehicles were sent out to find us as well." The driver said, his face growing pale upon the realisation that maybe some of their family had been aboard those burning wrecks. "I...I don't know what to do."

    "What can we do? I think we're dead no matter what we do. We shot a couple of their guys back near that factory...who knows if they're even alive now. And then shot up their vehicle..." Replied Garhkan, turning around to face the rest of the group. T hey were all awake now, staring back at the two of them with fear in their eyes. "We should never have come out here. The scrap we salvaged is not worth this..."

    "Maybe we can surrender to them?"

    "What?? They'll kill us where we stand!"

    "No listen to me, those drones...I've seen them before. They're dropped from their fighters...They never hang around ground troops unless somethings happened to the fighter...I think...it's there to get their help...And what shoots down fighters out here? Us! Chances are they're heading to the city...and we just happen to have the map."

    "You're fucking insane dude. Alright...Your funeral. You go out there waving a white flag and the rest of us will stay in here where at least they can't kill us...immediately."

    The driver shrugged, they had no other choices left. The drone would destroy them the moment they fired up the ATV, and the soldiers would eventually find them anyway. Pulling a stained white/yellow click from his satchel he walked over to the airlock. "All of you should get in the ATV. If they shoot me, get the hell out of here...or at least try."

    With that he stepped into the airlock and cycled its atmosphere as he pulled his facemask over his head.

    The walk towards the Rover was longer than he expected. The vehicle was massive and from the hab it seemed not that far off, but as he approached the true scale of the monster was apparent. One of its wheels could easily crush a man, even an ATV at sufficient speed. It was eerily quiet as he walked up to it, the white cloth held up in his hand. As he neared the vehicle, the drone sprang to life, its turbines whirring with a dull shriek was it spun around and moved unsettlingly fast towards him. Before it had a chance to make up its machine brain about what to do with him however, he shouted up at the behemoth in front of him, "I'm here to surrender! We're kids, we don't want to die!"

    @Erich Hunter @Naomi Wu @Rajendra Vaikar @Hector Royce
     

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