SPACE Slipping Away

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Tadgh, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Tadgh

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    Private thread: open to Goldtail crew members


    He heard something strike one of the bulkheads. It was impossible to work out which direction it came from. With no atmo it travelled into his suit through his feet.

    “Colson, that you again?”

    “You don't need worry. Mi can make enough noise if in trouble, keyá?”

    Tadgh chuckled back before switching off his radio. Glen Colson was referring to another salvage run three months back when he had got his hand trapped. He'd screamed until they'd uncrewed the transmitter from his suit to get him back aboard before his suit couple depressurise. Glen could slip into belter creole easily enough, but Tadgh could generally follow him. In fact when they'd picked up a couple of belters who he could barely understand Glen had almost been a translator. Those two had left the Goldtail on Ceres to get a transport back to Eros.

    “Who's even going to buy this stuff?” That was Catherine. She was searching the main hold with Colson whilst Tadgh explored on ahead. He wanted to make sure there weren't any active drones or hazards ahead. “I mean...who needs rounds and parts for a Martian PDC? They're not going to buy it back off us.”

    “OPA!”

    “It's not campaign rally time Glen,” Tadgh said before Glen could start working up to a speech about arming the belt to free the belt.

    “Tadgh?” The microphone in his ear crackled to life after a few seconds of silence. It kept crackling.

    “Captain. What's up with the signal?”

    “Martians might be a problem. We’re using low power.”

    Tadgh pushed the body in front of him out of the way with the muzzle of his rifle. The bright MCRN logo stood out on the plain black coveralls. “Don't think the martians are going to be a problem…” Their ship wasn't the largest but with ice as a premium they'd made a run to Saturn. This salvage op was an opportunistic detour after they'd picked up some debris on the scopes. They'd come in as quietly as possible in case it was a trap and sent in the Goldtail to see what they'd found. The martian frigate was split almost neatly in two. It didn't seem like the work of a torpedo.

    “We've picked up a hard burn pointed in our direction.”

    “Shit.” That meant a ship heading their way had turned and started to decelerate to make an approach.

    “Exactly.”

    “Can we out run them on a hard burn?”

    “Doesn't matter if they're slow or not. Torp can survive more Gs than us. Just get the Wing back aboard. We’re going to move into the shadow of this thing.”

    Tadgh shook his head and slung his rifle over his shoulder, tightening the strap. He lifted his left boot and pressed it against the wall in front of him. Then he leaned back as he brought up his right to re-orientate himself. Now he was standing on the bulkhead. He pushed off the wall to propel himself back down the corridor.

    “Drop whatever you're salvaging and get back to the shuttle. We've got company.” Several voices acknowledged him. If that was a gunship they wouldn't get out of this without being caught. If the martians found an independent freighter picking the bones off one of their own they would probably confiscate the Goldtail.

    In his rush his hand almost missed the lip of the door and his turn was ungainly. His knee struck the opening painfully before he could find a good hold to launch himself back into the old to catch up with the others.

    “Tadgh. Good and bad news. We think. Another drive signature. Might be a UN vessel.”

    “Did we just stumble into a battle? I didn't think they'd started firing yet.” It was only a matter of time. Everyone knew that since the martians had blown up the Cant. Or hadn't. Tadgh wasn't sure what the current position was.

    “I hope not. The first ship is closer and burning harder. They’ve been pushing hard to get here first it seems.”

    “Won't be happy to find out they didn't.”

    “Same thought crossed my mind.” He pushed through the opening in the hull and had to force down a surge of vertigo as he was out into open space. The squat form of the Bluewing was still anchored to the black and red hull. He'd often wondered if their freighter and shuttle had once been painted to match their names. He had never spotted a fleck of paint on either to suggest they had been.
     
    #1 Tadgh, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  2. Tadgh

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    "Tadgh are you strapped in?" Shouted Catherine. She was at the controls already. He was the last back. Glen was up front and two more salvagers were strapped down. He slammed the door to the airlock behind him. The Bluewing wasn't pressurised at the moment to ensure they could load with salvage quickly.

    "Hold on," he called as he found a chair and strapped himself in. He saw Catherine look over her shoulder and a moment later was pressed down into his seat as they pulled away from the remains of the frigate.

    "Sorry Tadgh, gotta move," she apologised. As the port side thrusters fired he nearly lost his grip on the rifle. His gloved hand caught the strap and yanked it back into his chest where he held it tight. He was supposed to be in charge of the salvage crew, not her. They could discuss that later when the situation wasn't looking so bleak.

    The Bluewing was supposedly capable of atmospheric flight. Whilst there was no sign of blue there were wings. Tadgh had never seen it done in practise. The idea of flying into a thick atmospheric soup in this rickety old thing wouldn't fill him with confidence. Through the front screen he caught sight of the Goldtail. She was running completely dark, not even any lights to give herself away. Then it vanished from view. The cockpit was designed so that the shuttle could be flown in two orthogonal orientations for vacuum or atmosphere.

    "Alright salvage team, get in and strap down," Argyle called. His voice was more clear over the low powered radio now they were close. "We're going to make a high G thrust and keep the drive powered down until we've got some distance between ourselves and the boys in blue and red.
     
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  3. Kaori Tsang

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    The first time she had ever done such a thing, she was thirteen years old.

    She was walking home from school and a guy grabbed her, dragging her into an alley. Her initial, panic filled, struggles only brought grunts of pains. Her guards were no where to be seen, which filled her with more panic. Her right foot slammed back and hit her captor in the knee cap, and she was bodily flung against a wall. A part of her wanted to curl up into a ball, but Father would see that as weak. She stood, turning her body to present a smaller target, and bringing her hands up into a defensive pose. Her assailant smiled and rushed in. Her form was nearly perfect, but she was a small girl. Her foot struck out, hitting the side of the mans knee. It tripped him up, but caused him to fall on her. She was taken to the ground in a tangle of limbs, struggling to get away.

    The jacket he was wearing lifted up, revealing a pistol in the back of his waistband. She struck out with elbows and nails, scrabbling while his arms wrapped around her, trying to crush her small body.

    Her fingers brushed the gun once. The man, finally clued in on what she was going for, start punching her in the ribs and stomach. Each hit sent spasms of light and darkness through her vision, but her hand grabbed the pistol. It was too big for her hand, and the first shot went wild. The man shoved her away, trying to clear himself from the tangle so he could grab the gun from her hands.

    BLAM

    BLAM

    BLAM

    Kaori's eyes flew open, her nostrils flaring to pull oxygen in at something approaching the pace of her heartbeat. Darkness greeted her.

    BAM

    BAM

    BAM

    She finally clued into where she was. Kaori tumbled out of bed and took the single step to the door of her room, opening it to the bright lights of the corridor.

    "We're getting ready to do a hard burn, need you in your seat."

    Kaori nodded and bent to grab a shipsuit off the floor, pulling it on in a few simple movements, covering the bra and panties she had worn to bed. She shoved her feet into boots, then followed to the bridge. She slipped into her seat at the controls and buckled in through muscle memory. On her screens she saw Bluewing clawing towards them, and the blips of ships at the periphery of her screen, lines intersecting the derelict they were next to.

    Someone put coffee in her hands, and she had downed half of it before she noticed it was black. Her mind only cared a little, still trying to separate reality from the dream. She been dreaming of her first time killing a man for the past few nights, and it was deeply messing with her calm.

    "Kay, once the Wing is locked in, I need a hard burn to get us as far from them as possible. Don't want to be the Cant 2.0." Argyle said as he strapped into his own burn couch. The joke caused silence, which Kaori assumed was the point. Her fingers danced on the console to her left. She resolved the plot of the two ships, compared it to the angle they were already facing. They were seventeen degrees away from a perfect perpendicular to their course. Under a hard burn, turning even that much would pull from their forward momentum. Luckily, they were seventeen degrees pointed towards the inside of their course, and a few degrees up from the plane they were on. Kaori plotted a course that would point them a bit more towards the ships, which should cause the maximum possible speed difference between them. She didn't have any specs on them, but that would shorten their active torpedo envelope. "The Wing is locked down, punch it!"

    Kaori hit execute on her course, and shoved the console out of the way. Her hands slipped onto the controls, and her eyes focused on the monitors. The stick in her left hand was attached to attitude thrusters. Her right on the engine output. This wasn't a military corvette designed to push to maximum accel in the shortest amount of time, she had to match the push from the engines to the stress on their frame. As the accel built, she got pushed further into the cushions on her couch, but her fingers were still light enough on the controls.

    Hopefully Argyle had had them running dark, and the first notion whoever was burning for the derelict had that they were here was when their torch went to standby, then lit to thrust them forward.

    If not, they could end up being the Cant 2.0 indeed.

    @Tadgh
     
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  4. Tadgh

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    "Tadgh, no time to move over. As soon as you're locked in just stay strapped down." Tadgh still had his helmet on and could hear his captain right in his ear. Twisting his left forearm he exposed the control panel that controlled his suit's radios. They were under almost no external forces at all now with Catherine easing them in to connect with their home ship. The Bluetail slotted neatly into a groove on the dorsal hull. Tadgh tapped a key and switched to the channel for his salvage team.

    "Everyone stay strapped down, we're not moving across! Get ready for a burn"

    As soon as they locked into place he could feel the Goldwing's thrusters firing through his seat. No one wanted to be on the shuttle during a hard burn; the seats weren't as supportive. Glen let off a colourful string of belter curses once he realised what was going on.

    Tadgh opened the front of his helmet and slotted a gumshield into his mouth.

    "Bring on da dzhush!" Glen whooped.

    "You enjoy you nap!" Tadgh mumbled through his gumshield. Most of the crew got a mix with sedatives to keep them calm during a burn. Essential personnel got a mix that kept them alert and heightened the senses. Tadgh couldn't do much from the shuttle whilst they were attached of course, but he couldn't go and swap over the juice rigged into his chair now.

    The rumble of thrusters stopped. They were left in zero-g for a few moments with the freighter just following her course. Then the injectors snapped into place on either side of his neck. This never got more comfortable. He took in a sharp intake of breath as the milky white fluid started to push into his veins. A few seconds later and the acceleration started. It began as a gentle pull, then passed through 1g. At her best the ship could get some high Gs, but not fully laden with ice. Even a few Gs for a sustained period was a big ask of the body.

    If he'd been on the bridge he would have had control over the two PDCs. Not that either was in a condition that could track a military torpedo. They were almost exclusively for deterring the pirates of the belt. As things were, he found a patch of the ceiling and centred his gaze on it, letting his vision move in and out of focus.

    As soon as the drive fired the UN and Mars ships would see them fleeing the wreckage. Captain Argyle immediately sent a broadcast that didn't identify them, but pleaded that they had been considering salvage but were now leaving the vicinity.

    Now it depended on whether the blues or reds wanted to point their weapons at anything other than each other.
     
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  5. Kaori Tsang

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    Time did funny things when Kaori rode the stick.

    Her eyes and attention focused, the only things in her world were the screens showing their position, and the controls under her fingers. The bridge faded away, and even the pressure of their hard burn didn't seem to cross her mind. Breaths came in and out by rote, but her eyes tracked the angle of their burn, and the angles of the burns of the two ships closing.

    As they closed, the plot revealed their size with a smaller degree of error. Only time would tell if their courses changed to follow or cut off the Goldtail, for the moment it was too close to tell.

    The border of her screens turned red as an alarm blared in her ear. The lead ship had sent a ranging ping that sent their scanners for a loop. For a few moments they were blind as they burned, and Kaori kept her hands steady until they cleared. She glanced at the structural integrity monitor. Her fingers twitched lightly, reducing their burn by a small percentage, and starting to spin slowly into their turn. The stresses shifted slowly as the screens cleared. The plots still lagged since the ping, but she was able to see something in them again.

    @Tadgh
     
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  6. Tadgh

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    @Kaori Tsang

    It was almost lonely in the shuttle. The rest of the salvage crew were either unconscious or so zoned out it was hard to tell if they were awake. In some ways not being on the Ops deck absolved of him some responsibility. On the other hand it also kept him out of the loop. If they were going to be nuked he would like a few moments to gather his thoughts before being vaporised and scattered to the solar winds.

    He just had the strength to reach his wrist and activate the intercom connection into his suite.

    "How..." He growled, but it would take another couple of seconds to compose himself against the high G of the burn. "...are we looking."

    "They've had a look," the Captain replied. It didn't mean much. They could burn hard but it still took time to reach the speeds for interplanetary travel. The military ships were burning hard to slow down and intercept the salvage, but they could still burn even harder. Even in a full pursuit it would take them time to go from positive velocity towards to salvage to negative - like the Goldtail.

    "This old girl is for looking, not touching," Catherine added. The shuttle pilot was still alert at the stick, but had nothing to do. If it came to it the shuttle had a full tank and could probably burn back for Io. Might even have enough oxygen to get them there alive.
     
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