|The Enemy Within|
|Summary:||An unknown faction makes an appearence, and delivers a startling message to the people of New Luna. Not in the declaration of war, but of liberation towards percieved tyranny.|
|Cast:||Jeff Ryan, Urfkgar, Taeren .|
Command Center <Hancock Station>
- Viewscreens cover the walls of this broad room, showing images both of nearby space and of the planet below. In the center of the room is a holographic display module, able to simulate almost the entirety of the L49 System. Several consoles have been set up at the base of the viewscreens, accessing the asteroid's navigational, communications, and weaponry systems. A sliding door leads to the main command deck.
23:50: HANCOCK STATION
Oh woe to thee, thee poor souls that have found thee to be placed on duty... Ew. Even at this time of night, the Command Center is a hive of activity once again. The watch officer is dressed finely in his uniform, but looks like he hasn't had a wink of sleep.
Tap, Tap, Tap. Fingers on the keyboards.
Things just look better and better as a large, smelly Zangali wanders in to make things run just that much more smoothily. Taking a quick look around, he moves over to eyeball the watch officer's work station.
"Chief Urfkgar," The stupid softskin 1st Lieutenant answers, as he looks up from his work. His voice carries the tone of a person who has had a rather formal education, sounding a bit prime and proper. "How can I be of aid to you, this unearthly time of night?" He leans back in his seat, wrinkling his nose up a little bit at Mister Smelly Zangali.
Urfkgar shifts the pulse assault rifle from one shoulder to the other. He asks, "What stuff know stupid tally glowly killeded?"
"She's dead," The 1st points out, even though Urf just stated it. "From what I've heard, it was a garrotte line to the neck... Nice and tight, she either knew her attacker or I'd say that she was surprised... That height, it'd have to be a Timonae, Zangali... I honestly don't have the faintest idea." He raises his hand up, running it over the five o'clock stubble on his chin. "No witnesses... Professional hit?"
Urfkgar scratches at his shoulder for a bit before picking at a nostril with a single claw. He says, "Urf no know. No need know morerer stuff know no want see kill stuff. Kill stupid tally glowly. Need do morerer fastererer. Need stupid tally glowly no know want kill stupid tally glowly." A ship comes into range, one IND Hyena. It just stops, no forward movement, no backwards movement, nothing. This is picked up up a scanner near where the officer sits and Urfkgar stands.
A cringe, a cringe that is warranted by the ruthless digit invasion of a nasal cavity. Then a shudder, as the 1st looks away. "I'm sorry Chief, but I'm only..." He looks a bit grin. Cryptonite to Superman is what Urf nose picking is to this Officer. He shuts his eyes tight, if he can't see it, it isn't happening, right? "I'm not Military Police."
Urfkgar grunts vaguely at the watch officer as he plucks the claw out of the hole in his snout. As he examines the glob of Zangali snot he produced, he notices the scanner in the background. He lowers his claw, casually brushing it off on the leg of his pants. After indicating the screen with a nod of his head, he asks, "What?"
The IND Hyena, she just sits there, not doing anything what so ever. She conducts a sensor scan, and then turns on her lights to signify that she has no intentions of moving. Then several of the public frequency comms go dead, no sound what so ever. No transmissions on those frequency, none going out.
"Just a merchant," the 1st states, as he kicks back in his chair, before giving a curious look towards the now quiet terminals. "Must be a power outage."
The Zangali grunts somewhat dubiously as he eyeballs the scanner. He says, "No hear stuff. No good. Urf want go see stupid softskin floaty thingy. Say stupid softskin floaty thingy go here. Stupid softskin floaty place." He pauses and gestures in the general direction of New Luna. Where he thinks New Luna is, anyway. No telling where he actually points, "No stupid softskin place."
"I'm sorry sir," says a young corporal, who'd weight 50kg, when wet. "I can't hail a frequency on her... I can't get nuting." The 1st, on the other hand, sits up right, and glances all the way up to the Zangali. "Mhmmm... I have no idea what you just said there chief."
What would Jeff find himself walking into? Well, it appears that the IND Hyena is currently sitting a safe distance away from the Hancock station, doing nothing what so ever. Several of the public transmissions simply aren't there. Nothing, zip, nada... That sums up what comes over those frequencies. Other landing channels are still fine.
"Urf no care. Urf want here. Now," says the Zangali as he shifts the pulse assault rifle from one arm to the other.
The Brigadier General strides onto the command deck, perhaps due to the tenseness in the atmosphere rather than anything anybody's actually told him he knows something's up. There's none of the usual chatter or air of business (however feigned) he's used to when approaching his station, "Sitrep?" The voice is loud enough that it carries. But even as he's approaching his station he gathers from the information floating around what's up, "This another one of those Sons of Mars tricks?" The question isn't mean't to be answered perhaps, but the next one is, "Life signs?"
Tappy, tappy, tap, tap. Corporal Stick, who's parents might have followed Demarian naming conventions. Well, that stops the tappy, tappy, tap, taps at the keyboard, as he rises up to attention and snaps a sharp salute. One scary Urfkgar and a Brigadier General tends to make some people snappy and conform to the SOPs and guidelines. "No life signs sir... But she's active."
The 1st, also rises to his feet, as far as he can with Urf lingering nearby, snaps of a snappy salute that might almost be regulation. "We just lost several channels of public comms, but nothing else. The Hyena just came in and stopped where she is... Requested permission to land on a trading mission. Then nothing after that."
A strange static starts to come over those hi-jacked comm frequency. Nothing that matches code, morse, or binary... Static.
"I want Claymore squadron out there please," he glances at the comms officer. "Better put the station onto red alert and get us a boarding party together, get third squad out of bed if you have to. Edwards needs to earn his pay." He glances at weapons, "Raise the shields, if her power signature starts fluctuating I want that peace of junk gone." A small smile, "Obviously that only holds until the boarding party arrives."
Orders are orders, and promptly followed. Battle stations is called, more attempts are made to contact the Hyena. Nothing... Wait a moment, there is a power flucuation, but that ship doesn't move. Not even an inch.
By now troops are staggering out of their bunks, putting on shoes. Personell are called back from shore leave, some being drunk.
The comm signal from the Hyena starts to grow in strength, like someone was deliberately blocking in an then preparing to transmit a signal of their own.
Taeren enters, holding up a finger. "Hey, General," he begins. "I thought I'd find you ..." and then the general alarm sounds. "... here." Over the klaxon, he calls, "I'm on the next alert flight for Claymore Squad. Are we scrambling, General? What the hell is going on?"
As the power starts to fluctuate Jeff glances at weapons, "Fire on my mark..." He's distracted by Tay long enough that the comm signal catches his attention before frowning he turns to fire, "Get them together, get within weapons range but no closer than you need to. Edwards is taking third squad in to board." He glances at the information on his screen, "Bloody wierd Tay, freighter's just sitting there." He doesn't seem overly concerned, more interest piqued.
Taeren nods, saluting easily. "Will do, General," he says. "Just be sure to brief us as we're launching, all right?" The Timonae turns for the exit again, shrugging out of his jacket already.
"Aye, aye," one of the privates says, as she takes her position at the gunnery controls, and starts to bring the weapons up on line. "Sir... We can't bring the main battery up." It's rather meek, almost concerned.
The Hyena, she continues to sit there, and then the comm signal sets onto a steady pitch. There's a strange music playing, not Martian, not Lunite or Sivadian. It sounds like an Anthem.
That piqued interest becomes a frown as Jeff turns to Tay, "I want you out there now. If for any reason we don't respond on comms, you have permission to open fire after the second attempt to raise us fails." There's not a hell of a lot the General can do, "Comms, I want that order repeated to the boarding party, we fail to respond on comms after the second attempt they've either not to board or if too late to get the hell of that freighter and Claymore can destroy it."
"Will do," Taeren says again, and sprints off the deck.
"Stupid no marines softskin remphs need train morerer," grunts the Zangali disgustedly. If he notices the strange musical inclination of the Hyena's broadcasting system, he doesn't let on.
The transmission takes up something strange, that sounds more like a disguised voice. The note was found on the body, is being repeated to the people. "Brothers and sisters of New Luna," the mechanical voice states over the comms. "We all once stood united under a common flag. Working towards the good of our different people. But we have been failed repeatedly by the government. We have been pushed into the gutters and disgarded like common waste. Beaten like curs and talked to like we're Tomin Kora whores." There comes a pause, as the speaker takes his breath. By the sound of it, it was recorded on New Luna itself. "There is no truth to what the government tells us. It allows criminals to handle its militia. It allows terrorists to walk freely on the planet, murderers to command men. There is no loyalty to the common people, there is no common man. You are either like us or like them, the ones who manipulate what we hear and see. Look around you my country men, and ask yourselves this; 'How much of this is a lie? How much of this is ours?'"
The marines in the barracks, same as the pilots, they're still readying themselves. Grabbing ammunition and equipment that goes along with gearing up for boarding parties.
Jeff Ryan glances at the people around him and mutters more to himself, "Please tell me I don't sound like that."
The Zangali doesn't grace Ryan with a comment as he wanders off to the side and starts talking in a commlink to the marines, probably. "Who go?"
And yet that strange message continues going on. "Everything that has been said by Governor Seale, and his group of facists, are lies. None of this belongs to the people. It belongs to the government and large businesses, the government who won't help us, the people. The large businesses, run by those who have never done real work in their lives. It should be us, the people who struggled to forge this planet. Us, the people who struggle ourselves, but happily put money in the coffers of the fat cats." There comes a pause in the speech, and a shuffling of paper. Once more, that strange voice continues. "My friends, my country men. My brothers, my sisters. Do not be afraid to stand up and fight for what is rightfully ours to take. Do not be afraid of the lies that are being spread by this regime of terror that is meant to be our government. See the truth, and come to the light. You are not alone in your struggles, and will never be. As a people, without racial aggression, we shall stand and we shall fight this corruption." The voice takes on what could be classed as an apologetic tone. "The death of this Vollistan was needed, for she was a puppet of the facist government. I am sad that this had to occur, but she belonged to a regime that was only interested in personal gain, and nothing for the people."
Some of the personel on the bridge, as just staring at the nearest speakers, rather blankly. Then after a long pause. "The time is drawing near. The time for change is coming."
The marines are ready, and the pilots are now boarding the ships in the hanger.
>> Outside the Ship: Ryan activates the comms-unit on his station and opens a secure channel to Claymore Squadron, "They're using the Hyena to broadcast a propoganda message. I have a bad feeling something's going to happen now he's done. The ship starts to move you have permission to open fire."
Jeff Ryan's finished with his message to Claymore, he turns to comms, "Standby to give the stand-down to the boarding party if the situation changes."
>> Outside the Ship: The NLM Claymore 1 executes a sensor scan of the local space.
>> Outside the Ship: First, three brilliant streaks from Hancock's landing bay, then in more definition: three Jackhammers, painted with a Militia stripe on the nose, arrowing rapidly towards the Hyena. "Claymore flight away. Gentlemen, form up on me," Taeren's voice crackles over the commlink. "Close to firing range." There's a pause for Ryan's orders, then: "Understood, Hancock. You want us to shut 'im up first?"
Supervision, supervision seems to be the key to the Zangali's method of operation right now. He continues his conversation with the marines who probably need his supervision about as much as they need an extra hole in the head, but the on the suited up leadership puts up with it stoically for the time being. In fact, they seem to be better at the waiting game than their lizard commander because he wanders off from the command center to link up with them.
>> Outside the Ship: "Negative on that Claymore One," responds Ryan. "I want that ship in one piece if possible, but I'm not about to take any chances."
>> Outside the Ship: The Hyena allows herself to start to drift, still nothing from the ship. No life signs. The power surge to the comms drops back down, before the reactor starts to increase, but she doesn't move. The shields don't go up, the weapons don't come online.
>> Outside the Ship: "Keep an eye on their reactor," orders the Brigadier General. "Third Squad, proceed with caution."
>> Outside the Ship: The power signature of the Hyena contininues to climb, and then holds, just below a critical level. The ship continues to drift, not seeming to be under control. It's like it's waiting for something...
>> Outside the Ship: The NLM Claymore 1 zips within weapons range, then slows. "Read my mind, Hancock. We've got our eye on it." Claymore trails Hyena. "I think she's trying to convince us she's not headed somewhere. General, let me hull her engineering section," Tay requests, nervously. "I think her reactor needs to be vacuum-cooled."
>> Outside the Ship: "Negative on that Claymore 1," says Hancock's CO. "Third Squad stand down for now. Claymore, you boys are running weapons hot I presume. You'll be ready to fire when the time comes."
>> Outside the Ship: With a flash of light, the Hyena's engines come online. Oh no, she isn't heading towards the Hancock, but rather towards the planet itself. The Calliope class freighter starts to slowly lumber towards her intended destination. The reactors drop down a bit, and then the spin drives start to spool.
>> Outside the Ship: "Uh ... weapons hot, gentlemen," Tay's voice crackles back, chagrined. Claymore 1, and 2 and 3, trail after the Hyena as she drifts. "Hancock, our bird has gone live. Orders?" >> Outside the Ship: "Oh hell," comes the voice, "Fire. Now."
>> Outside the Ship: Drift? Nah, the Hyena's going for the planet, slowly building up speed at is goes towards the planet. Instead of going for the usual approach for landing, using the under belly to protect the ship during reentry, she goes upside down... Most likely with the intent to burn herself in the atmosphere. The powered up fighters, they don't seem to bothering the ship. The spin drive continues to build up a charge.
>> Outside the Ship: "Claymore Squadron, target the port aft quarter of the ship," Tay snaps. Targeting the port aft engines himself, the Claymore opens fire. "Let's knock her off trajectory," he explains. "Keep her out of atmo. She gets into a decaying orbit, we can't follow."
>> Outside the Ship: "If you can take her out without blowing her up so much the better," offers Ryan.
>> Outside the Ship: The Hyena buckles under the barrage of well aimed shots from the pesky little Jackhammers. All shots hitting true, and causing the ship to buckle and bounce under each blow. Perhaps a bit too good in some places, as the Calliope now with out spin drive, or a functional reactor or life support. Redirected, indeed she was. Damaged, certainly is. Screwed... Yeah, pretty much so.
Where the blows hand landed, forces the ship into a lazy nose to tail tumble. Gravity does indeed snatch its prey.
>> Outside the Ship: "Good shooting, team," Tay says, moving his fighter to zip around to the other side of the vessel's trajectory. "Claymore 2, with me. Three, fall back -- not enough room. Keep it tight, two. We're going to play a physics game."
>> Outside the Ship: "Good job gentlemen," says Jeff. "She'll be coming down safe..." There's a small pause, "Damnit, just bought that car last week!"
>> Outside the Ship: "Good job gentlemen," says Jeff. "She'll be coming down safe... mostly. A warning's been issued to the harbour."
>> Outside the Ship: Closer and closer she goes, where she's going to crash, obviously someone knows. She's not in distance for super hot plasma to start licking away, but the planets seized it like a child seizes a prized toy. Will the Jackhammers manage, or will they not?
>> Outside the Ship: The NLM Claymore 1 fires its guns at the forward section of the Hyena, clearly attempting to stop it's end-over-end spin. "Forward hemisphere of the ship, Two," Tay barks. "Let's get this thing stable so we can nudge it out of orbit."
>> Outside the Ship: "Ah, you boys don't give up easy," says the Brigadier General. "Good."
>> Outside the Ship: Yeah... That worked well. If they flight was attempting to push it further into orbit. Once more the Hyena shivers after the strikes from the Jackhammers. Well, she might have broken up before, but she's well and truely screwed now. The uncrewed ship starts to draw closer to the atmosphere, perhaps giving the pilots a dangerous last chance.
>> Outside the Ship: "Negative, General, I don't like losing," Taeren says. "Two, there's not enough room to breathe here, bug out." Claymore One jukes and jives, working for another firing solution to knock the Hyena stable - close to midships, where there's still an abundance of hull plating.
>> Outside the Ship: Comms remain open, but the CO's silent for now.
>> Outside the Ship: "Sorry sir," the pilot of the Two says, as he breaks off the attack on the ship. "...I can't do it... Not going to burn up like them."
The other Jackhammer remains a fair distance away.
Sweet, sweet ironry. Tay's shots hit true, striking the ship perfectly. In fact, causing a large section of it to shatter away from the super structure. Seized, soon super heated plasma starts to lick up the edges of the Hyena, and the ship starts to break up. Well, except for that part of the ship that Tay managed to get to break away.
The aft quarter of the ship, to be correct. Well, he partially succeeded in his goal.
Both from the Hancock station, the civilians below and the cockpits of the fights, the Hyena puts up a remarkable fireworks show as bits and peices of her start to break away and go off in different directions.
>> Outside the Ship: "Well, at least she isn't going planetside," offers Ryan over the secure channel. "And there might be some clues in the wreckage as to what the hell happened. I'll have an engineering detail assigned to recover what we can."
>> Outside the Ship: The NLM Claymore 1 jukes and jives out from under the rain of ex-Hyena debris, moving towards the aft chunk of the ship he kept out of gravity. Nosing towards it, he says, "I'm going to get it out of orbit. Sorry about the mess."
>> Outside the Ship: The aft section floats lazily in space, other bits and pieces of debris float around the planet or burn up in re-entry. It is safe to assume that aft section isn't going anywhere.