[BSMS Lady Luck] Ep. 2: All Roads Lead To Roam

Discussion in 'Lorath Matriarchy' started by Ashlinn, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member


    Location: Primary Hanger Bay, ACV1- Johnny Five
    Theme: Thousand Foot Crutch - War of Change

    Engineering(Prior to arriving to medical):
    Rawley wasn't surprised to see the ring being laid out, it honestly was worse than he expected. Rubbing the back of his head he'd just exhale, then blinked at Sal when the chief chided him, "Fool and genius go hand in hand with organics some days, Chief. And, yes. This'll be a common occurrence thats why I ran that brainwave by you to see what you thought. I'm fully onboard with seeing if the residential Engineering experts got a better idea than me... I'm the Captain, not omnipotent Goddess. I'm gonna drop into medical and chat up Doc a bit, see how we're sitting." He'd give the truncated salute on his way out, "And letting second platoon handle their baby'll give them something to do while Myself and first platoon work over my baby and get her ready for the trip to the asteroid field, I'm bringing you along - Implants been keeping track of Tens progress, I don't want to give up the progress you can make within the ship to cut into a rock. The ships are all networked together so you can keep an eye on engineering while we traipse about the system and get a look at what we need to deal with."

    On his way down to medical he got First up and moving, Ship needed fueling and the pre-flights handled while he sic'd his XO on the bridge crew and got them moving to take advantage of Second Platoons handiwork.

    Medical(After the Visit to Engineering):
    Santiago was grumbling about phantom pains in his leg as his co-conspirator just crossed her arms and rolled her eyes at him, the greaseheart woman wasn't built like the giant brick Santiago was. She was, for all intents and purposes the svelt image of the biker babe and her coveralls were festooned with tools of her trade as she worked on one of the damaged components she'd had hanging off her when she'd helped Santiago in, "You keep bitching about it, and the boss is going to assign you to double the work and make sure it's all on foot work, even if the Doc might not like it." She was keeping her voice down a bit while glancing sidelong across the room where Cass was speaking to the Captain.

    That didn't save her from the nearby Nurse as she smacked the top of the womans head with a clipboard, and then Santiago's, "The both of you have time to whine, you got time to fill out the report on exactly how buttercup there broke his leg. Truthfully, or we take it to Captains Mast, aye?" Both of them nodded slowly as the nurse smiled sweetly, "Good. And Next time Cass asks you what happened, you tell them what happened. Spread the word, will you, dears?" Apparently Salvage Marine corpsmen had zero problems threatening their patients with reprisal to get them to straighten out and not give Cass issues.

    Rawley on the other hand was looking over everything he could pull from the ships systems, "Not talking huh? Well, Not going to lie Doc - that's actually pretty normal. Get with your nursing staff, they'll bring you upto snuff about dealing with intractable members of the crew. Arguably? You and the Chief wield more power over the crew than I do in a way. Don't be afraid to flex it if ya gotta. Threaten 'em with a full day on the couch as a psych eval or something equally mind-numbing. Pretty sure they'll spill the beans, if one of the nurses hasn't already -" The sound of two heads being smacked with a clip-board was muted, but audible as he grinned, "You know what Cass, if they don't want to talk to you I think you just found your hitman who'll play the bad cop for ya."

    He'd tip his head slightly towards the male nurse as he walked over to check on other patients who seemed more than happy to cooperate when the questions were getting asked. That left Rawley to grin as he stretched, "Alright - now about the trip off ship, Take a thirty minute breather if ya gotta, or hitup the Armory and get yourself suited up and familiarize yourself with your suit if you haven't already. S-4's a pretty good guy, I was there when we did a boarding action on a pirate ship and lost his arm. Guy welded his shield his armor to seal the suit so he could keep up with the front line. S'good guy, he's more machine and salt than meat, Tell Kaster the Cap'n sent you to get setup and he'll make sure you're taken care of. I'll see ya in the primary hanger bay." He'd also offer a truncated salute towards Cass after hearing any reply they had for him before departing for the hangerbay....

    Primary Hanger Bay: [30 minutes later]

    Rawley was watching the fuel lines get retracted from the ACV, the initial startup reaction required a prodigious amount of the fuel to get the ships fission plant to produce it's own miniature sun to explode into life. He felt the rumble as he sat his helmet on the armrest next to him, began flipping switches and setting dials, "Alright everyone! Strap in. IF we cocked this up? Rest assured the resulting explosion of a miniature sun will happen so fast none of us will ever know we died and neither will the Lady Luck cause it'll go right with us."

    He knew the ship, he'd built it alongside First platoon, because he used to be the commander of said platoon. So when he felt the ship slowly vibrate and the oversized powerplant begin to come online with a low rumble that filled the primary hangerbay. "Temps are in the proper ranged, Johnny Five's alive ladies and gentlemen. Once we get Sal and Cass aboard we'll head out into the belt and get some real work done while second platoon gets to sit on their ass and enjoy the view." There was a shared laugh on the network as second platoon chimed in with a 'All due respect, Captain, can you go space yourself for us?' from his XO, Second platoon was her baby and she was down Santiago and Amelia, alongside a handful of others who were detailed to engineering and medbay. That left Rawley to set the ACV to idle and begin recharging it's onboard grid after having sucked itself dry to bring it's volatile heart online.

    He'd step out onto the back ramp and roll his shoulders in his suit of REAPR gear, His suit was very obviously a command variant given it had thicker armor, and heavier weapons attacked over the shoulders. His sidearm looked more at home on a tank from the looks of it. And opposite that was every Salvage Marines best friend. His Fusion cutter looked...worn, and had hashmarks on it's housing above the main edge. The man was very obviously keeping score of how many times he'd had to use it in combat. His eyes cut towards the bay doors where Cass and Sal would have to come through before he turned to look out through the hardlight projectors at the stars beyond, "This.. is going to take some getting used to... None of them look right."
  2. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    The responsibilities were beginning the layer and stretch, but this work, so far, had proven exciting to say the least, with opportunities to branch out leaping at SALVO by the moment. "Be seeing you, Captain" with a salute.
    Mining was a new venture for Sal - not Ten specifically. They trusted Rawley to explain the specifics once they were aboard. Branching out meant yet more data that could be added to the next job - if that possibility eventuated. While cuts and bumps of minor scale were present throughout most of SALVO's operating life, the current emergency proved novel - exciting even.

    After the Captain had left earshot and work continued to undo the dead ring, one of the marines piped up. "Sal, you ever sweat?" Messina, ever the inquisitive through their harsh mic while they took the crystaline components - glittering quasicrystals in thirty two linear arrays that were striped in throughout the middle ring - and five of them had cracked.
    Sal tilted their head, the glint of the crystals catching their eye as they came closer. "Pardon?"
    "Get nervous, like." Messina clarified, looking through the crystal revealed tessellating impossible geometry against the walls, and the marine grinned - it looked kaleidoscopic, but that was all they could realistically glean.

    "I worry for my immediate structural integrity in dangerous situations, yes." Sal bent down, looking into the crystal matrix in Messina's hand with their sensor. Through multiple lenses and sensors, they saw the lines between every crystal cell, within and between existed programming that gamed the rules of physics in the name of astral propulsion - this particular application not springing to SALVO's immediate banks. How did it I/O? What was its resulting output? How was that output then manipulated? Did it output speed? Gravity? Weightlessness? Rip the fabric of space open upon demand?

    Sal's money was on the last option, based on immediate experiences, but they had no clue where to begin on the quasicrystal's properties and application. "Anything to say about this?"
    "Being honest sir, it's beyond my paygrade." Messina shook their head. "Pretty colours though."
    "Then set it aside and store it until we find someone who can." Perhaps the VI would know where to start, or some internal documentation. A thread could get onto that train of thought, but logistics and stock needed to be taken before they left.

    BlackStar: Scrap Recycling Log
    Search: Copper, Plastic, Fibre Optics

    Copper: 156.21 kg / 344.38 lb recovered
    Plastic: 1257.36 kg / 2772.00 recovered
    Fibre Optics: 13.22 m / 43.37 ft recovered

    33 Entries Omitted...

    SALVO figured it was time to begin the scrapping and recycling process in earnest now that a stockpile of what the ship needed had accumulated acceptably. "We're halfway through our stock replacement cabling and we're not gonna cover everything." They observed over the engineer's network "Spin up the forges low and begin restocking cable, then escalate materials and output as the need arises." Simple instructions, Sal hoped.
    Ten skittered past to deposit another bundle of copper, adding a few more kilos to the pile. "R3CYCL3 R3SP0NS1BLY." They projected before scurrying down another cubbyhole to hunt for more materiel. Sal took a moment to affix a Salvage Marine cap atop Ten's head with some glue - maybe it'd make them more identifiable as personnel and not some alien being that stowed away or slipped in during the chaos.

    Around half an hour had passed, and SALVO had to divide their attention. Their senior half would continue its campaign of unscrewing the stricken Lady Luck with the marines. Their humanoid half got volunteered into overseeing the first flight of the ACV.
    SALVO stepped into the Hangar, spotting the Second squad in the midst of wiring thick data cabling from beneath the ACV into redundant ports just under the floor. The refined and current ACV was a design first pressed not from a Lorath shipyard, but a Lorath ship on long term exploration duty, from what they knew.

    Sal also felt quite exposed compared to the armed and armoured marines, but they had a feeling that'd change very soon one way or the other. The only thing Sal owned they could call a weapon was that beat-up, heavy pipe wrench they had to use for this one job, and never again - it never left the toolbelt though. Maybe it wouldn't be necessary to gussy up with the supervisory role advertised...
  3. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Location: Primary Hanger Bay, ACV1- Johnny Five
    Theme: Sturgill Simpson - Sing Along (Official Video)

    Rawley had half a dozen hardlight windows up around him as he stood at the bottom of the ramp to the ACV. He was, obviously taking advantage of the command suits ability to multi-task. He looked like a bulky robot, as if it hadn't been properly engineered, but that fact merely belied the fact the suit was designed to be robust. Not only was he also expected to pull his weight when it came to chopping up salvage, he was also wearing three other 'hats' at the same time. Coordinating each team leader alongside coordinating groundside operations with Starside movements. In this case he was actually assisting Second platoon by liaising between them and the bridge so that they didn't have to take their own foreman off the job to wrangle where the proper ports would be as they did a quick and dirty patch job that one could mistake for professional work.

    "Mac, I swear to the Goddess, I will unscrew your head and spin your ass upside down to empty it of the massive quantity of shit you seem to be full of today. We are absolutely not going to marry all three reactors to the damned gravity drive to try and 'slingshot' back through the same hole we came through. That would just melt the two remaining rings, blow out the rest of the power and... and.... " He went silent as he obviously began to actually ponder the merits of that, "And we'd have to find a neutron star with a pulse wave in the right lengths to absorb the massive amount of blowback, or even begin overcharging our reactors to that sorta power." Somewhere amidst the hustle of second platoon's bustle a power armored fist raised up into the air and then a middle finger unfolded.

    "All due respect, sir, I think you can figure out where you can go rotate for a cycle, yeah? I'm telling you! Penskiallha ran the numbers. They're solid - we might slag the drive sure - but we all know The Lady can thread a needle at super-luminal speeds flying sideways while drunk!"
    The response got a good guffaw from the crew finessing the sensor suit out of the ACV. Except for Penskiallha. The former Occhestia raised it's head and raised a vocal complaint over the shared vox, "I said it was a theory. One I am not going to even put my name to as I would rather us remain amongst the living, thankyouverymuch."

    Rawley grinned as the laughter was raised up a notch. At least the morale amongst the REAPERs was as high as ever. Likely owing to the difference in mindset between being an actual member of the REAPER corps and being a Salvage Marine. One was more combat oriented and willing to take a fusion cutter to a pirates faceplate while the other tended to focus more on practical solutions to non-standard problems. In this Case both sides of the Salvage Marines was walking hand in hand. They signed up knowing that the Holy Bottom Line was written in sacrifice upon the Goddess' alter. Today was simply another Tuesday for them. Rawley took a hardlight pen and scribbled something into a box and with a wave of his hand sent it off into the ships network to it's destination. One massive apelike arm was lifted as he waved towards Sal through one of the projections that caused it to crackle and go fussy before reconstituting itself properly. A hard blink and shift in his posture belied him receiving a vox from someone else on a private line before he snorted, "Yeah, I know. I told Second platoon to start hooking their ships sensors into The Ladies. You're gonna get a few ghosts in the machine until we can bring the ship's full sensor suites back online. Not to mention? All they have to do is slap the thing to the outer hull and the Lady becomes on giant relay so we can passively see everything around us. Why the hell do you think I'm tellin' 'em to loop this all through the ships Hardlight armor systems?"

    All Salvage marine ships abused technology, but none of them did it the way the Valkyrie-class corvette did. The Prototype ACV's had dabbled with hardlight projection armor, eventually they'd slimmed the systems down to provide angular armor that could at least kill the kinetic and thermal impacts from railguns, gauss, cannon and well most plasma and laser weaponry. They shed a lot of heat doing it though, and burnt out projectors were hot-swap ready most of the time so they could be retooled and new heatsinks applied to the whole system when they burnt out. In some cases if the pilot's reaction skills were fast enough, they could 'bank' the shots fired at them right back into enemy formations. The Valkyrie's armor was slatted in such a way that they could effectively turn the whole ship into a massive heatsink if they had to. It might raise the ships internal temp up a bit, but the results were worth it when your ship could essentially give itself cruiser level armor protection without having to carry the equivilant weight in plating. Or if needed, the hardlight projections could be 'vaned' and angles to act as commas arrays...with a creative enough hand at the design table. Crude, but effective. Like everything else aboard the ship. Rawley was making sure to patch in the gist of the conversation and explanation of what Second platoon was upto with their sensor suite.

    "Took the liberty of having you a suit built. We know you don't exactly need one, but like with Cass' own setup, if you gotta shed it - it's extra parts for a suit that gets damaged and it'll give ya places to hang any extra kit from the armory aboard Johnny Five."
  4. Ennis

    Ennis New Member

    On-time was on-time, at least in Cass' mind. Thirty minutes passed. No more, no less. Room for error allowing, by the time Cass stepped in, it was close enough to the expected mark.

    Cass stepped into the hangar bay. A slow glance was given to those present, the organics who milled about. Technicians and flight-adjacent staff. The exact role of the bodies moving to and fro, with all manner of places to be and things to do. Cass' attention slowly glanced towards SAL and the Captain. Smoothly, the android made an approach, eyes flicked between those present curiously. Changing into the suit was awkward and manageable-- Something that would likely go on a 'worlds funniest security cam feed' if there was a camera within Cass' personal quarters.

    "So... How do we begin, then?" Cass asked, as the android was the last to arrive.
  5. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Watching the marines banter back and forth as they executed their hare-brained plan, Sal saw the deeper connections between them. They really did trust each other to assemble spacecraft by hand. There was a curious accent that stuck out among the human voices. A lorath - the lilt, the strong accent, and a vociferous defence that their theory was only that - a theory not to be tested while more practical problems with clearer solutions loomed overhead.

    "A suit?" Sal asked, looking at all the outfits the marines were wearing - tough-worn, insulated, and pressure-sealable jumpsuits with a light exoskeleton and carapace. The machine was impressed that Rawley had already found a way to set a suit aside for their robotic anatomy. Then again, these were made in human shapes, and so too was Sal.

    Now, Sal was certain the material this suit was made from would be robust, able to withstand a little clumsiness in suiting up with a completely metal body - lord knows fabric ripped easy when put under a torque-heavy force. Its outer carapace seemed to be able to be strapped on in piecemeal, external shards and plates of armour ready to be taken and applied.

    Sal opted for a piecemeal approach instead of slipping a whole suit on - elbow and knees first, then a chest and back plate with strategic cuts for Sal's external rollcage handles, and an articulated belly/midsection. Sure, this'd help with bumps, and protected the joints and internals in the chest and undercarriage, but Sal didn't need a helmet or a fully sealed suit - they had no pressure-sensitive components or organs. "How's this?" Sal inquired, padded and armoured up.

    Ten meanwhile continued their skitter, scaring the literal crap out of a hardened marine when they poked through a vent that lead into the starboard head as they were following and replacing some fried wiring. The fact that Ten was wearing a hat only made the stunned silence a little more awkward, as the marine heard Ten's clambering through the maintenance passages just prior. "MY 4P0L0G13S, M4R1N3. D3F3C4T3 1N P34C3."
  6. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Location: Primary Hanger Bay, ACV1- Johnny Five
    Theme: (Subverse) Time Apart - Fadent

    Rawley rolled his shoulders in his command suit as he waved towards Cass, "The armor looks good on ya Doc, As for how we begin?" He'd hook a thumb over his shoulder, "ACV's are pretty robust - I've got the bulk of first squad on deck and our priority is hitting the three rocks I detailed out to the Chief here. We need organic materials, ice, biomass etcetera outta one of the ice rocks, it's not a fairly big one but I'll take what we can get. Second and third rocks are metals - we need replacement parts on the Lady and the ACV's will have to pickup the slack while she's getting repaired. By the time we're done here in the asteroid field the XO oughta have the Lady buttoned up nicely here inside the shadows of this asteroid field, it's the far edge of the asteroid ring." He'd hold up a hardlight projection for Sal and Cass, they were in the outer edge of an asteroid ring around a massive planet easily the size of Ancient Sol's planet Saturn for comparisons purposes, "It's got a breathable atmosphere according to the limited scans we got from doing a quick and dirty system sweep when we landed."

    Readouts for the planet were sparse, but what he had he displayed, Breathable atmosphere[Judging by cloud composition - the air was heavily oxygenated, possible mega-foliage judging by 'green' space coverage over the primary continent's], large tracts of what looked to be liquid on the surface[Unknown, possible water]. Three moons ringed the world and had yet to be scanned beyond they had nickel iron cores and large surface deposits of Helium 3, ferrous metals and received constant asteroid impacts due to proximity to the outer and inner edges of their orbits being near enough to the asteroid rings. The type of hazardous environment that the Salvage Marines thrived in.

    Once they were buttoned up within the ACV's interior, Rawley took the time to check Sal over, then nodded, "I didn't think you'd need the full suit, but protecting your chassis with something goes a long way to easing my worries, Chief. Same to you Doc. Besides, the newer suits have an advantage over the first generation of Salvage Marine gear. This stuffs made outta starship plating, mostly. We can yank parts off and weld 'em over fractures in the hull if we ever need to. So hey - at the very least you can say you can technically eat a main gun shot from a spaceship now. Probably not the Lady though - Her guns are a bit hotter. Full disclosure? Some egghead in R&D came up with a way to stuff a contained plasma bottle inside of a railgun round... Kinda an 'all purpose' round. Good for eating up shields, armor and chewing through a ships internals... at the cost of penetration and raw power of a standard AP Sabot round. You could probably eat a round from the ACV though, it's got standard Railgun rounds on it's underslung main gun. Got a trio of mining lasers nose and chin mounted, topdeck's got standard pulse lasers for chewing up shields and light fighter duty. Ventral and aft are a pair of small turreted beam lasers for dealing with anything that wants to try and slip behind us. Auxillary points around the ship have excess heatsinking capability for the hardlight ablative armor mods... There's also the standard oversized thrusters, engine and forge... you know standard stuff. Someone was trying to come up with a way to fit a fighter construction bay in place of the infantry bay - sorta an Ad hoc Two-fighter carrier ship. Would have to give up the mining rig and forge for it so command nixed that idea. But hey - we can build a fighter atleast if we ever get the materials.... Aaaand I'm rambling. I'll shut up now Chief, Doc - You both got a set of seats up on the bridge."

    It didn't take long to navigate through the ship - it housed two truncated decks one for the engine and forge, and one for crew quarters and the ships bridge. Main 'cargo' bay was in the belly of the ship and reachable through engineering. The bridge was top of the ship at the midline similar to the Lady Luck. Rawley himself wasted little time strapping into the pilots chair and edging the ACV out of the airlocks forcefield and letting them all have a nice view of the green and white planet in the distance before firing up engines and getting them in an intercept trajectory with the asteroid field, "Hey Sal? You wanna run the guns and auxilary systems? Cass? You're more than welcome to ride the sensors if you'd like... see if we can find anythign else while we're out here."
  7. Ennis

    Ennis New Member

    "Oh. Thank you, Captain." Came a slight chuckle, in response to Rawley's compliment.,

    Breathable air. As the light reflected in Cass' eyes from Rawley's display, a slow wiggle of the nose was given. An outward indication of thought perhaps. Oxygen was definitely a plus, though too much of it had ill omens for the android's internal mechanisms. A slow roll of the shoulders was given, as blue eyes shifted over towards Rawley once more. Cass' internal components were sealed, but all it would take is enough exposed damage to start a fire. The suit, in this case, within the android's mind, slowly began to make slightly more sense than simply as a uniform. Better something in place of nothing.

    "It seems that the crew have been very busy then." Was Cass' only response to the explanation given by Rawley, though the face barely wrinkled in any way to indicate disinterest and the tone remained placid and agreeable, "Proactivity often brings good results. I'm sure you're proud, Captain."

    During the walk, Cass took the time to digest what was even said.

    A gaze slowly slid over towards Rawley, with a brow raised. Cass' attention turned to the sensor module as the android strapped into the ship. There was a moment of hesitation on saying anything directly. As Cass' fingers brushed over the console, eyes scanned at the machinery that lay before, with a distant hint of curiosity. Cass had absolutely no idea what was going on with the various readouts and lights, with only the vaguest understanding of what was even going on with the sensors array.

    "Mnh. So, what do I look out for, then?"
  8. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    This off-shelf shell was made to deal with horrific conditions unsuitable for humans to work in - whether it was a lack of oxygen, too much radioactivity, or either extreme in temperature.
    The readouts for the planet Rawley outlined seemed hyperborean - nature running absolutely amok with no outside input, where the trees sung the songs of its multitude of alien wildlife. More pragmatically, the sort of place a well-outfitted science vessel, a morally bankrupt mining conglomerate or similarly immoral property 'developer' would kill to examine closely.

    Well, too bad for those interests as Captain Rawley and company - ostensibly a test ship and a long-distance mining vessel - were here first, and if the unspoken rules of space were universal, it was "finder's keepers".
    Of the planets SALVO had operated on, the worst they'd ever seen were glassed grave-worlds that didn't detranslate. The streets littered with slag, glass, fire, and misery - as though the universe itself rejected its existence. A planet like this was its complete opposite. This star and all around it was part of this universe from the beginning, far away from the Lorath cluster.
    "It's ... untouched, a pretty planet." Sal remarked after fully buttoning up with the Captain and the lead Doctor.

    The boast that the armour they were wearing could deflect or absorb a railgun-propelled sabot/flechette seemed implausible. "That is a stretch, Captain..." The fact that the ACV seemed armed not just to cut apart rocks but to hold its own in an engagement with armour and railguns intrigued Sal. It seemed like yet more human proclivity to make everything do a little of everything in addition to one specific field of use. They understood why, but as a pattern they'd seen across his working life, it was hard to un-see.

    Upon being asked to man the guns and auxiliary systems on the bridge, Sal evaluated their skills. Well, gunning was just a matter of pointing and shooting, and as long as Sal remained calm, they could be precise - it just wasn't something that came to them quickly. Keeping an eye on the aux systems seemed more their speed. Together, the disciplines seemed to fit up and Rawley put trust in Sal's machine precision.

    "Very well Sir," they acknowledged confidently as they eased into the seat. Sal took their Salvage Marine cap off and put it into an internal compartment, revealing the smooth part of their segmented headcase. They then ran a wire out from their forearm and into a port just underneath their portion of the console. Little need to operate the vast array of manual controls when the bulk of the commands could be administered via computing.

    "Hey, Cass." Sal tried making small talk, wire running from their arm into the dashboard as the robot relaxed. "Think we'll find anything else out there?" The possibility of finding something new was exciting, but tempered with the reality of having crashed into this system via the Lady Luck. Who knew how the rules here operated? SALVO's mood was elevated.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
  9. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Location: ACV1-Johnny Five, Deck 0 - Bridge
    Theme: Subverse - Strings

    Rawley flicked his head as if he was throwing a strand of hair over his shoulder as the suits inbuilt VISR system engaged and wrapped itself around his face, "You're welcome, Cass." The reply was slightly distracted as he settled into the ships systems a bit more and felt that slight detachment creep in as he took the full control over the ship and began the rundown of things to be dealt with on their little trip to the belt. Course corrections, checking in on the rest of the ship as he felt the slight discomfort of the crew bringing the inbuilt Forge systems online. There was a slight... icy emptiness as it drained off some of the capacitors. He nudged the cut-off for the red warning light that popped up next to his right arm as they dipped below the twenty five percent mark before starting to climb again, "My fault - forgot to swap the ship off the capacitors and onto the main reactor to let them fully charge." He'd shunt that display over to Sal to let him handle the auxiliary systems.

    "The Crews been gearing up and busting their assess to get The Lady up and running, Most of the crew on the ship had an actual hand in building her at the shipyards. The biggest requirement for graduation in the REAPERs is the platoon building it's own ACV that they'll be housed in and operate out of once they're sent to their main Tug. Each Tug can handle around six ACV's. It's...easier to train the unit as a whole, keeps the moral up, fosters a sense of family. Replacements are more likely to be received more favorably since everyone has the same level of basic training. Salvage Marines themselves come in multiple flavors, Logistics, R&D, Engineers, Medics, REAPERs and well... us - The BlackStars. We're not talked about nearly quite so much. No one wants to acknowledge espionage, black ops and dirty deeds done dirt cheap are kinda required of any quasi-military unit. The Valkyrie-Class been built as a dedicated warship for us, and as escort for The MotherShip... but it's also kinda got a secondary purpose in that it's the fastest ship in the fleet, and has be designed to cut down it's sensor profile... It's why I'm not too worried about the ship as it is. The Lady, atleast to lorath sensors, has the same profile as this ACV we're riding in." He sounded incredibly proud of the crew as a whole.

    "Oh right -sensors. You've probably never used anything outside what you have in the medbays. Same principle, different execution. Here." He'd rotate his wrist and the slide it along some unseen UI that likely only he could see, given he had a large sensor suit currently sitting over his face. Above the dials and knobs a hardlight surface popped up for Cass, essentially a 'tutorial' on how the whole sensor suit operated and what the buttons did in relation to the large 3D sensor display at their fingertips, "See if you can get a system scan? Don't be worried about stealth - I'm hoping the systems uninhabited. If it's not? We'll deal with that when it happens."

    He'd flip a switch on his chair and the armor plating over the ACV's viewports retracted to let them get a look at the asteroid ring they were starting to enter... Most asteroid belts were loosely packed. You could go dozens of kilometers between asteroids, here it seemed as if that may have to be re-evaluated. The field wasn't quite dense, there was easily a kilometer between rocks, but in some places you could see the rocks colliding with one another causing chain reactions deeper into the field, "Asteroid field looks a bit unstable." He'd flick another switch, "Swapping the ship over to decoupled mode, it'll make moving through the asteroid field easier at this rate. Rock we're looking for is..." The view outside the ship would begin to rotate then slide laterally as he drifted the ACV around one particularly large rock to one located in it's shadow, "And here's our first one. What do you think, Sal?" His left hand lifted and then moved as if he were moving something Sal's way, a hardlight display lighting up above Sal's station giving the composition of their first rock, ferrous metals, what looked to be Copper and Nickel, some trace percentages of Iron, a scan of a few nearby rocks drummed up similar makeups alongside some trace rarer metals near the third rock on the list, palladium, painite, gold and the likes for the electronics.

    A pair of recessed ports on the nose of the ship began to retract as he triggered a seperate vision mode to make thigns easier. Almost like turning on a 'night vision' mode that let them see their surroundings easily - outlining the asteroids and lines of the ships nose, "Deploying mining lasers, and opening forward cargo scoop alongside capture drones for the chunks we're about to cut out of the rock..." Sensors lit up across the ship as the Marines began setting up their stations around the aft end bridge, the holotank in the center of the bridge was swiftly taken up by first platoons logistic monkeys as they started plotting and calling out rocks as the bridge filled with the red glow of the mining lasers firing up. Small figures could be seen moving EVA style, the REAPERs all suited up and tagging rocks to be sent towards the ship via drone assist. Sal's station was starting to light up with requests and notices of power allocation demands from both the ship and crew.

    Cass, depending on how adventurous they wanted to be would likely have a swift answer for Sal as both the ACV itself and the Lady began to populate their display with system wide contacts of unknown origin... a few very large ones on the surface of the planet they were orbiting stood out like a sore thumb.
  10. Ennis

    Ennis New Member

    "Hello," The greeting was returned, attention momentarily returned to the android's synthetic compatriot Sal, "As far as I'm aware, anything is possible. New findings can be predictable in their unpredictability."

    As Rawley spoke, Cass' attention lingered on the various displays and readouts. Unlike most robotic counterparts, the android was not gifted with the aptitude for machinery. Wires attached to input and output sockets, switches and buttons elevated from the console beneath the screen. Baby-blue eyes reflected these things, thoughts slowly meandered through the slow-moving mind. There was a certain strangeness to guessing which apparatus served what purpose, but the logic behind its design was a lost context to Cass. The console was merely parts which, somehow, spoke to one another, and displayed a readout. The cursory glance wasn't enough to genuinely understand these things.

    A gaze shifted to the side, towards Rawley. A slow tilt of the head was given through a furrowed brow. The clear expression of listening intently was given, though the primary simulation of thought ran rampant with the sensor array. An audio file was saved of the man's explanation, deemed to be important enough information to review later.

    "Of course, Captain." Was said as the hardlight flashed above it all.

    It was always harder for Cass to conceptualize engineering logic. The android's frameworks were adapted to interpret chaos, rather than read instructions. A slow gaze followed the illuminated words. None of it honestly made sense. Even when broken down such as this, there was a disconnect in learning. Context was missing. As far as Cass was aware, there would be warnings around particularly risky options, so a quick glance was given. A breath escaped Cass' lips despite the lack of need for air as the android leaned forward, blonde hair pulling forth in a drape as fingers pressed against the sensor array. Brows further furrowed, there was a distinct surrendering of interpretation, fingers flicking switches and pressed down upon buttons.

    A slow blink is given as things begin to blip on the screen, "Seems we've got... Something. Large readings on the surface on the planet."
  11. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    Sal was in a comfortable reclining position as the ACV , save for the cable leading out of their forearm and into the computing as the ship got started and its internal furnace begun spinning up. The robot could feel the changes in electrical signal throughout the ACV, springing upright with the chair as Rawley passed the duties to them. "Right, right." They relayed, getting the forge hooked up to the main reactor with CPU threads of thought and flicking some switches - the jump-start the capacitors provided were rated for take-off, emergency landing, and the occasional spell of void-aerobatics.

    "Forge now connected to mains, capacitors now on recharge," arrays of LED lights gently rose on a plastic panel of hardy construction, its main screen gorilla-glassed with a keyboard ensconced by buttons that controlled the spacecraft's internal systems. All the while, the Captain talked of their crew, the existence of less savoury aspects, and the structure of the way of living they'd created. It was the technical aspects Sal had the easiest time commenting on: "All the better for not drawing attention to ourselves..." Sal had to respect the chops The Lady brought to the table.

    What caught the robot's computer vision was the sight of of the asteroid field. No way anything could live here for that long with the possibility of asteroids slamming and glancing off each other. A whoop tone rose from Sal, ostensibly impressed with how quickly they could find something valuable. "Copper and nickel's a good start," they said, painting the asteroid with a '1' via commands from the cable leading into the dashboard. The other asteroids were then moved closer, their mark then putting a '2' down on the third rock into the array. "And this'll be icing on the cake."

    One of Sal's computing threads figured that once Rawley gave orders to go cut those rocks up, there'd be a lot of requests coming their way. Sal mentally pre-proportioned the reactor's output to the various systems throughout the ship that were about to fire up in earnest.
    The robot kept abreast of the incoming power draws and proportioning, reaching a balance suitable for comfortable mining. Speed and movement aside from rotational adjustments and moving out of the way of roving asteroids could be put lower on priority as the lasers and furnace.

    As Sal settled into reclining as the requests evened out in a balance, they looked over to Cass and saw the worry on their face as they evaluated what was coming in. Sal could've just listened in, but they didn't want to divide their attention any further than was necessary.
    "Are there any radio signals? TV? Satellites? Stations?" Sal asked, now a little concerned at how much life had been discovered. Was it civilised and organised, and if so ... would they be coming? Would those critical pieces of space-faring infrastructure be spotted in the next pass?
  12. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Location: Unknown Asteroid Belt, Unk. System.
    ACV1-Johnny Five, Deck 0 - Bridge

    Theme: Mittsies - Titanium

    Rawley was juggling controls and handling both hardlight windows around his chair and the AR windows dancing in 3D/4X space just beyond that as he felt more than saw that Sal had brought the most powerhungry system of the ship online and trimmed the caps back to recharge. Small mistakes always paved the road to a better understanding of exactly how and where one could always improve. He logged that in the back of his mind as he swung the ship around and settled the station keeping thrusters into a slow spiral around the asteroid as he opened the gaping maw that was the main cargo hatch. Secondary camera's began populating the space around him as he began directing marines to their positions, watched them anchor themselves in and then the cockpit filled with the redglow of the ships mining cutters blasting into the nickel/copper rock. Chunks of rock were blasted away and then almost instantly remote drones were swarming out of the ship after said chunks, each one piloted by a marine with the Ships VI plotting the course corrections and feeding telemetry data and composition to Sal's section. The Average concentration between Nickle, Iron(Surprise surprise!) and Copper wasn't even. Iron was at roughly 30% density, with Copper following somewhere around twenty five percent and nickel only filling in at 15%. Considering the ship contained multiple one ton hoppers that would feed the hungry beast at it's heart the materials to be separated and hammered into ingots for use later? this wasn't much of a problem. One ton of ore, and some excess wasn't going to bother him much, if anything they could just leave the stuff in the attached cargohold until The Lady was fully operational.

    "That's a lot of contacts." The words were appreciative, he'd been in a detached way following both Sal and Cass progress at their stations via his C3 implants. For all intents and purposes, Rawley was the ship. Anything they did registered as a logged and noted sensation. the contact returns felt like static, except for the solid returns. More of feeling a lump pressed against his skin in the vague direction said contact was in. The Engine was a beating heart in his breast and obviously the hungry forge itself settled like a gaping void around his stomach. It took some getting used to and each commander had their own setup, "I'll send those contact returns to the Lady herself and let the ships crew chew through them. I'm more concerned about that station that seems to be in near orbit." He didn't take control of Cass station so much as he highlighted it, and then expanded the view from a hardlight window above their station to give a enhanced imaging view. Debris ringed the satellite before the image resolved a bit better. It was a space station and the debris around it seemed to be wrecked ships. What looked to be a solar collector was snapped off at the base and hung next to the station in three pieces. Details weren't exactly very good and the grainy image was as good as the ship could manage at this distance as asteroids obscured the view pretty frequently. Didn't help Rawley was keeping the ship itself firmly in station around the rock they had almost sectioned off and depleted.

    "I agree with Sal, see if you can grab any sorta scans off it?" He surreptitiously added small 'cliffs notes' for Cass, boiling down all the pages of information to help out with the sensor package, alongside a handwritten in hardlight apology from him for not offering the cliffs notes he had since half the time he also didn't understand the sensor suite. 'The Magic smoke in this box works when you hit these buttons' kinda cliffs notes.

    "Also, mining crew reports our hoppers are full, so while they feed the forge and get those materials separated, we'll head over to the ice rock and get us a few chunks to take back. Sal? Go ahead and set the forge for whatever you need it to start spitting out, no reason we can't go ahead and get some of the work down onboard. ..We got the cargo space to carry the wiring.... Oh. OH!... Hey.. Chief?" There was a sudden... thoughtful tone in his voice as the Scrap wagon buttoned up and began weaving through the rocky field towards the small icerock that was 'near' enough to have been singled out, "Your inputs welcome on this as well, Cass, that station. " He'd casually reach down and unclip the fusion cutter and 'spark' the cutting edge of it as if testing the charge.

    "It looked pretty busted up... And a bit derelict. Think we might be able to yank anything useful off it?"
    Three constants exist in the universe.
    And Human Curiosity....
  13. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    The reactions were in motion, furnaces boiling up and being fed as the mining operation begun in earnest. Marines and a swarm of drones were chipping, carving, and blasting away at choice asteroids under the watchful eyes of the Scrapwagon's sensors. The procedure went smoothly according to Sal, so when Captain Rawley drew their attention to the derelict Cass had discovered, the robot seemed to switch tasks immediately.

    Just as the Captain was plugged into the ship, so too was Sal - accessing it through a couple of layers of abstraction and drivers in SALVO's runtime. They did not feel the ship - the machine read it in cascading code and data views, dynamically translated into separate views - able to drill in and out of each metric the Scrapwagon emitted in its operation. They could see the view of the derelict hanging in the void, gently spinning on an unplanned orbit that didn't match the ideal vectors for a well of gravity to occur via centrifugal force, relative to its shape.

    The fact that there were dozens of potential contacts out there sent a digital shiver up Sal's runtime. "Aye. Let's figure out if anything's transmitting before we make a door in it, so..." the cautious approach came from the threat of pirates and hostile alien life - and either could draw yet more attention and trouble the Blackstar didn't need. So - it was time for some more direct scans, connecting and bouncing through the Blackstar's systems.

    The first instructions SALVO sent were simple heat and power transfer scans - and there were faint signs. Whatever systems were still running were doing so in spite of the station's damage. Signals were diffuse as power to any transmitters or antennae kept blinking in and out, making long-term attacks reliant on a continuous stream tenuous at best. Still, Sal looked through the API and dreamt a string of instructions. "I'm surprised those solar panels are intact enough to keep the lights on."
    BLACKSTAR - Obfuscated and Covert Communications Interface v0.8 (OCCI-0.8)
    Reticulating Splines...
    Salting Hashes...
    > target = self.scrapwagon.getRadarTarget(getMemoryAddress(0x00A34210))
    > recon.snoop(target)
    Method unspecified - Searching...
    Wireless network found.
    Scraping software and hardware data...
    The process of probing the space station for a way in or through the net was a log trickling into the Blackstar's systems. "There's a network there, but its likely to be the vestiges of whatever systems ran the station left to their own devices. Logs aren't picking up any active users or security processes on the surface..."

    Then the ice-ball drifted into their notifications from Rawley. The idea behind mining ice didn't click initially, but fell into place with a cross-reference. Maybe this was of scientific significance to take a material sample? Or, it could be used for water once it was purified. Come to think of it, Sal did a ping back to The Lady for water supplies. "Can't think of a reason not to. Take us over, captain." In the meantime, they'd be configuring the forges to begin processing for making the components for electronics, as laid out in their earlier plans.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
  14. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Location: Unknown Asteroid Belt, Unk. System.
    ACV1-Johnny Five, Deck 0 - Bridge

    Theme: Mittsies - Alchemy

    Rawley was juggling a number of things, not the least of which was a camera drone that was giving him a real-time feed and visuals of what was going on around them in the immediate area. It also let them have a nice view of the Lady as it slowly coasted into the asteroid field and began anchoring itself to the planet side facing of the largest asteroid it could find with a solid metal core. That would easily hide it, and bank most of the ships emissions. radiator vents opened up and began letting the ship's excess heat it had accrued and been keeping sealed away were directed down into the rock. the large sensor suite from the second ACV was currently free floating in the voice above the rock and other than a friendly tightbeam laser ping to let them know ship was secure, safe and processing the sensor returns, it was going dark.

    Rawleys attention turned inwards as he felt something pull just slightly when Sal began to scrape away at the derelicts data.

    >|Access De-graniedted excep----on|<
    snykSecurity(tokenCredentialId: 'SNYK_TOKEN', failOnBuild: true, test --SDF
    SYS run -it
        -e "SNYK_TOKEN=<TOKEN>"
        -e "USER_ID=1672"
        -e "MONITOR=true"
        -v "<PROJECT_DIRECTORY>:/project"
        -v "/var/run/SDFcheck.sock:/var/run/SDFAuth.sock"
      snyk/snyk-cli:SDFtest --docker authapp:notag --file=<SDF-FILEACCEPT? Y/N. . . . . .>
    Rawley made a light noise as whatever operative systems aboard that station seemed to atleast be...somewhat friendly to the scrape... since it apparently had yeilded them an access token that autoexecuted... He paused midthought, "Why can we read their language?" He'd blink away the codewindow, doublecheck on The Lady and then the mining crews before looking over the codebase. Binary... coded binary but nothing the ACV's Limited AI couldn't piece together and translate for them. However... whatever they'd done seemed to be wakening the beast as the readings from the station seemed to change slightly, long unused conduits seemed to be coming to life, possible backup batteries? power sources? An Alarm came to life as something locked onto the ACV and began scanning it.... A small softball sized drone was lazily drifting from the station towards the ACV and broadcasting a simple Binary distress code directly at the ACV.

    <He--//llo!...H/// --- eeelp! Po---wwer @ 3% S-stta---ion iiin nee33d of 
    r333p41rssss! Time sinceeeee atttack by [LAI T/n: Vaagiian Empire] 2357 Cycles [LAI T/n: 24 hour day conversion: 6.457534 years] M3ssage will re---peat!>
    <He--//llo!...H/// --- eeelp! Po---wwer @ 3% ----[LAI: Message Repeats]>
  15. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    "Sir, I..." The robot trailed off for a moment as they made revelation shortly after Rawley did - there was no need to try and interpret what they were seeing from any other perspective - it was already there for them once the AI had decoded it. "...recognise its format." The code was in a binary standard that was recognised throughout what Sal knew of the galaxy, but that only raised further questions.

    How do I recognise this? Sal pondered before continuing, their error log filling up with warnings about the conflicting information. Sal had the luxury of being able to accept both, or neither as true by means of compartmentalisation, rather than having to wade through a mental morass of cognitive dissonance the humans and other organics had to contend with. Was I always able to recognise this...? Rawley could see the robot stop for a moment that lasted a bit too long to chew on this idea.

    MemoryWarning: Contradiction arising from:
    Unknown Binary format recognition.

    Closest Match(es): BinaryAssembly_v4.88a.lib, SemioticAssemblyLanguage.pak, MachineIntelStandard#57329.lib

    Running checksum for fragmented data...

    Even so, Sal had to press on; the dissonance could wait. "Something's stirring, Captain-" Sal made the call to take what they'd found and disconnect from snooping in case something else was actively monitoring the network. Even so, another blip arose. "We have contact, something small and transmitting."

    They relayed the distress signal's key words and traits along to Rawley: The station was attacked by something called the Vaagiian Empire, approximately six and a half years ago, station says its in need of repairs and sounded as though it was waiting a very long time. "Sir, what say you? Think someone's still alive on there after six years, or is it a trap laid by bandits?" Either possibility was equally exciting.
  16. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Location: Unknown Asteroid Belt, Unk. System.
    ACV1-Johnny Five, Deck 0 - Bridge

    Theme: Bea Miller - Playground

    On approach to Derelict station. [Image]

    Rawley grunted, "Yeah, I see it too Sal... Apparently standard binary translates extremely well. That means intelligent design." There was a slight shift in the ships gravity as he spun it and orientated it properly with the station, pinged the Lady and informed them they were to remain comms silent and that they were going in to check the station. The Interior lighting of the Johnny Five went red as the ships combat mode was engaged and a ping was sent to the probe, registering it and acknowledging the distress code had been received... the small softball probe transmitted a 128bit encryption key. Apparently it was mistaking them as a SDF 'destroyer' and giving them full credentials to access the station.

    "They're a particularly trusting bunch... aren't they? guess that token was scraped from them must've held some sort of IFF? Right. Well. Keep an eye on the station as we come in, I've already got pings for autodocking."

    Given how low the power reserves were being billed at, and the slowly turning station seemed to be attempting to extend what looked to be a sort of backup solar sail that seemed to only partially deploy... It must have been enough as what looked to be a docking hangar on the ventral hull seemed to begin flashing as it's interior lit up and flickered off an on. The debris field however was thicker around the station. Whatever had happened here had been violent enough to rip whole sections off the hull and what looked to be smashed chunks of ships were visible tumbling in the darkness or embedded within nearby asteroids. Rawley busied himself on the way in with overlaying points of interest on the stations hull and the larger chunks of debris. the Reaper contingent within the ships hull were already pinging back that they were already set and ready to go as soon as they docked.

    "Whatever happened here, happened fast. Those look like remote sentry guns." He'd highlight them for everyone to see as one of the ships own weapons pivoted to track it, the free-floating orb had a long sleek body with 'fins' deployed, what must've been solar panels on it were melted and twisted and the 'barrel' of it's weapon looked to have been sliced in half if the freespinning tube nearby was any indication.

    Trajectory corrections, and a few vector lights intermittently seemed to come on on their approach to the hangar, the stations internal hotspots seemed to be concentrated around the hanger and something deeper inside, likely a central power source or databanks.

    "Right. Setting down in the hanger.... now!" The ACV flipped around and spun as he ensured that it was pointed right back out the hangar and backed the ship into the hangar, a pair of large bore point defense guns hung from the hull surrounding the hangars mail slot. The ACV thumped down as the landing struts magnetically locked down the ship in place. Rawley was already setting the ships LAI to a high alert state as the panels around the rest of the ships guns popped open and began to rotate and cover the angled around the ship in the bay.

    The Hangar bay itself was... not in the best of shape as red lights flickered about, sparks emitted from a few consoles lining the massive hangar doors as power tried feeding itself to long broken systems. It didn't take long for Rawley to detach himself from the chair and grab his combat rifle as the locker along the back of the pilot chair popped open allowing him access to something larger than the large bore pistol that had been holstered at his thigh. Sal's systems would easily detect the faint 'welcome' pulse form whatever systems were still running in the station. It was compromised, but holding a thin atmosphere, close enough to human breathable, and the binary 'welcome message' was on backup power and feeding a list of systems that were in need to help. Life-support was hovering barely around 10%, almost all decks had some form of damage, the stations native AI was... a scrambled mess, fragmenting slowly as systems continued to deteriorate. In all, Sal had probably seen worse in his time with the Reaper. this place looked to have just been smashed and forgotten. What could be scraped easily was that the small SDF station was part of a large network of them in nearby systems designed to be an early warning border station.

    Minimal civilian habitation beyond a few research crews (all currently missing or unknown status), skeleton crew of SDF soldiers to oversea the small research and civilian staff keeping an eye out for any Vaagiian Empire incursions along it's border... it's sole 'combat' capable ship was a smashed wreck along the far side of the hangar - whatever hit the ship had slapped it free of the gantry overhead and embedded itself into the hull. Given the ship itself was easily twice the size of the lady, it must've been hit before it could even get free of the station by something capable of hurling an ACV sized round into it.

    Rawley stood at the bridge airlock, "Got the REAPERs already fanning out and securing the hangar. Station AI? LAI? seems friendly enough..." He'd tap the VISR of his helm, "If a little annoyed that we're a few years late, I bet."
  17. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    To Sal, the use of a binary as an under-laying system didn't exclusively suggest an intelligent design. After all, it was what he was running on. During his salvage of alien ships and some other oddball human designs, he'd seen trinary, quadrary or even quintary computing systems - all simply different applications of voltages upon the circuitry. Hell, Sal had seen computing systems on beat-up tugs using vacuum tubes to handle their electronics, but he never had the time to examine them in greater detail before passing the machinery off for recycling.

    "Seems our data scrape's yielded good, Captain..." Sal relayed as they watched the data logs scroll by and all the authentications get waved through, the ACV being mistaken for a local ship with the right keys taken. The state of the station's exterior told an incongruous story: Clearly the locale had been thrashed with something heavy a long time ago, six years to be exact if the records were still being kept up to date.

    Now closer to the station and with indication from Rawley, SALVO subconsciously begun comparing the indicated drone against anything SALVO had disassembled. No direct matches for the specific shape or interior designs came up, but patterns were close enough regarding weapons - how many ways were there to create an auto-cannon or pulsing laser? What if this new universe had figured out new ways of killing each other or worse?

    The machine intelligence was going to raise a caution to Captain Rawley, but the captain seemed to want to press the advantage of being mistaken for a friendly, going ahead with the landing sequence indicated. SALVO couldn't help but cycle upon how long such grace would last. "This is a goldmine and ordinarily I'd be chomping at the bit to flip this place," Rawley could sense apprehension in Sal's vocal processing as they watched the marines preparing to sortie into the station, "but I am curious as to what happened here, and how it may leap out to hurt us. We don't have anything regarding who owned this place, or what did it in."

    While the ACV was settling onto the landing pad a thought occurred in SALVO's wetware components as they looked out of the airlock, visual processing tracing the contour of the docking cylinder from floor to 'ceiling' and back again in three-hundred and sixty degrees as the marines begun their investigation. "If we're feeling bold, we could track down a navigation computer, figure out where we are in relation to Lorath space, and regain our coordinates and position, Captain." After all, they still had accurate charts of the new Lorath space on hand, but they were disconnected from any other system.

    Speaking of finding ways, it didn't take long until the marines had discovered a rudimentary floorplan of the cylindrical station. SALVO couldn't immediately identify any similarities to layouts on space stations they'd seen, but then again commonalities were present; adjacent in function even if the form wasn't one to one with anything they'd seen. Rawley could see SALVO processing and chewing on the map data, looking for optimised routes towards key areas ... but mindful that this map didn't display any changes made by damage to the station. Rawley also noticed SALVO wasn't seeking to talk to the AI on board either, so close to their auspices and with so much to risk.
  18. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Rawley stepped off the docking ramp into the derelict station and took his time to look around, engineers were already hard at work under the watchful eye of their fellows who manned perimeters and were also in turn covered by the ACV's own hardpoints as the scrapwagon's LAI ensured everything was covered as best they could to ensure that the work crews didn't get hit by any unexpected surprises. As the CO he knew he was taking a risk, but... well. The Lady was crippled, and his XO was an old hand at ensuring the safety of crews. He was putting trust into, and relying upon each person to put their best foot forward and help everyone else out. Sal's words were echoing through his mind as he grunted, "This is a goldmine, Sal. And I wholly intend to keep that in mind. Goldmines also have a tendency to collapse and be hostile to all known life if not handled properly."

    He'd take a moment to lift up his hand, looking at the wrist computer as data continued scrawling in swiftly, the systems AI seemed to be... losing coherency at a prodigious rate given that it was now sucking up more power to bring what sections online that it could for them. Some sort of backup plan and contingency? As it stood he was pretty certain the poor AI was going to be an error ridden mess and probably not too useful in the long-term so... he did something he probably could catch hell for as he extended a digital bridge to the AI to have it download itself into a denser storage medium and continue it's work from there without causing harm to the station.

    "Hey Sal, how good are you at AI reconstruction? Or rather LAI reconstruction?" He was watching the loading bar as the, now that his suspicions were confirmed, LAI downloaded itself into what was essentially a 'black box' that would be disconnected from all outside connections.
    "Right, LAI, it's uh... downloaded itself into one of our black box storage mediums for preservation. So... you pretty much have run of the station to do whatever you wanna do and need to do." He actually sounded mildly surprised and disappointed in the AI's decision, "On one hand this makes it easier for us, on the other... that's a trusting little thing and that's one potential threat eliminated."

    A short flicker of his screen later and he was transmitting credentials and overrides to every member of the crew in order to ensure they had administrative level and military officer level bypasses. Which left Rawley to turn and grin, his VISR turning transparent as he looked over towards Sal, "I'm pretty much of the same mind - finding some nav data would be perfect, we already know what our trajectory was entering the system and exiting ours, so hopefully we can back trace that with any data we get here. And... uh yeah, about that information and charts we got from the lorath? See... The problem with our systems being so isolated? Is that we have plenty of views of the surrounding locals we know what our system looks like and any other systems around it. So that'll help a lot, gotta love inquisitive minds and them not being satisfied with the Lorath taking so long to get us better charts of the area. Our own people have been doing what they're good at: Getting into trouble."

    He took some time to crouch down and look at the deckplating below them, nudging bits and pieces of debris, "These...are bones." He'd grimace as he lifted up what had to be a access card, "And the way these plates are twisted... That's some high heat capacity." The card was a bit warped but the face of the former owner wasn't fully washed away just quite yet. An angular face and a pair of nearly comically large eyes looked up at them what could only be described as some sort of 'raptor-shark' hybrid was staring at them as he flicked the card to Sal in the low gravity, "Let's go see if we can make our way to the central computer - that might give us some security logs or videos, and give us an idea what sorta things built this place. they atleast breathed oxygen like we did. So that's good."

    A number of salvage marines were already pinging back update map information with visual and audio logs of what they were finding as they began mapping the corridors outside the hanger. The whole place was a wreck, but it was salvageable. And the materials from the wrecked sections could go a long way to fixing their mothership who was already sending back requests for parts and materials the wrecked sections could be used immediately. Mainly for getting their sensors working and reduce their risk of being seen because of their makeshift solution.
  19. Luca

    Luca Administrator Staff Member

    The captain's words on this space station being a gold mine was not lost on SALVO. During their formative years cutting hulks apart, the tugs would tow a 'goldmine' among them with enough of its bits and bobs intact to create a new spacecraft to spec. Even modest boats could be considered goldmines depending on cargo. Human operators working alongside machines like SALVO made these judgements as to what constituted a valuable wreck whether it was the contents, or the client's bequests. Bereft of the importance of currency and money, SALVO saw all wrecks being the same in the end - steel, piping, components and other pieces including personal effects and long-dead husks whose value transcended numerics.

    "My old scrapyard would've killed for a scrape like this," This space station they were standing in was one of the largest assignments that'd ever come their way, if Captain Rawley was serious in future about cannibalising this thing in full, "but a wreck of any size can be dangerous." SALVO's generous estimate would give it a couple of months to completely pick apart, assuming there was no outside interference or serious problems. The risk of losing power alone in space with Rawley and the Salvage Marines outweighed the risks presented by plumbing this station.

    "AI Reconstruction, Captain?" Sal queried, "Limited Intelligences are only elaborate flowcharts when you decompile their action structure." Even if it didn't show at all in their stiff body language and lack of intricate facial features, Sal's synthesised voice carried their intrigue, their mono-eye's lenses kept whirring and refocussing. "I'll give it a probe as we walk." Sal took the plunge into the code as they followed Rawley, occasionally prying doors open - opening the command line in their mind's optics as they travelled with Rawley through the warped corridors and wreckage.
    >sudo run laidip -src "ext-P:/" -readaddress "2x00A09231AB5DDCFF" -safemode "5" -checkintegrity
    Opening Address... DONE
    Connection Status: Stable
    Reading Headers... DONE
    Searching for compatible Codec Libraries...
    Libraries not found. Commencing schema analysis...
    AnalysisError: Incoherence warning at addresses 2x0000A03494418947
    ################# WARNING! ##################
    Are you sure you want to interface this L.AI? Y/N:
    "W-W-W-W-Welcome to Sta-Station P-P-Pers-Perseu-Pe-ive." Came the stuttered introduction of the limited artificial intelligence, voice fragmented and wavering wildly between dialects and voices, words truncating midway and recasting themselves. The diagnostics Sal was reading as it introduced itself were grim: The fragmentation of the persona had been occurring steadily since the station was taken offline.

    "MyyyyyyYYYYYyyy name. Name. Is Pan-a-a-a-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-" Sal muted the audio. Secondary tools diagnostic tools to map the circuitry of the ship in Sal's computer vision were used to figure out the worst of the technological damage, with Sal surmising that a combination of short circuiting RAM, a lack of hardware maintenance otherwise for wear components like optical disks and a prolonged period without personal interactions.

    That said, the schema analysis has about halfway done cataloguing the choices and design of the LAI, and Sal's black-box copy was slowly beginning to steady out, but it'd take a day or so for the fragmentation to settle by Sal's estimate. "Captain, the LAI analysis is underway in the blackbox..." When the captain pointed the bones out, Sal paused, but continued: "...but it needs time to be defragmented."
    Looking at the identification card Rawley picked up over their shoulder, Sal didn't recognise an alien in that shape, so there was intelligent life out there. Negotiable? Sal didn't have enough data to make a firm conclusion...

    To the end of locating a computer and their whereabouts, Sal already had a hook into the station's network from their initial approach, and beamed commands to take advantage of the station's floor navigation system, put together by the various marines and scavenged data. The whirring mono-eye in Sal's robotic headcase projected arrows - ordinarily these would be projected by the station, but Sal shimmed their way into the function to take over projection duty. "It's about five hundred metres away, down this walkway and to the right." The robot pointed out, looking in two places at once as their vision scouted ahead in two places at once. "Some debris is in the way." and for problems like that, the saws always had the last word.
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
  20. Ashlinn

    Ashlinn Member

    Rawley was more than happy with SAL's results as he glanced ta his wristcomp and tapped it casually, looking over anything SAL saw fit to share. He was also multitasking as a hardlight display sprung up in the air over his wrist. If anything else? the fact the station was holding together was, in all honesty a miracle. The degradation could be halted easily enough. He was already dedicating teams to carefully picking through each section they encountered. Just because the station was mostly wrecked and dormant didn't mean that the place wasn't still 'active'. Last thing he needed was a Marine getting sloppy and caught out by a security measure. Lives were a precious resource and he did not intend to spend them at all if there were other ways to handle things.

    "Take however long ya need, buddy. If we can reconstruct the LAI to a point of stability? That'd be fantastic. Would also mean we can outright circumvent a lot of the problems with the station itself - Like security measures. Though it seems we're pretty much good on that front? Whatever it's confused little brain did seems to be letting our boys and girls pick through the place without triggering anything. So far."

    The blocked off hallway got a grunt from Rawley as he reached down to his left hip and detached the fusion cutter as the end of it sparked and hissed to life. It was as much Weapon, Symbol and tool to the REAPERs and everyone carried one. No exceptions. He'd snap his visor shut as he let the suits sensors pick through the debris, giving him a sort of cross sectional view as he started cutting the beams that'd fallen into the hallway into sections that could be easily hauled off with SALs help.
    "You know, SAL, I never thought to ask ya, buddy, I know you were assigned here to all this but what made you volunteer for the chief engineers position? You coulda easily declined the posting to the ship. Not a lotta people were too keen to try out the maiden voyage of an experimental ship and jumpdrive."

    As he spoke he was constant rechecking his measurements before cutting, the Axiom 'Measure thrice cut once' was a bit overkill, but he wasn't taking chances he cut a beam too far and caused more of the stuff to call down onto them. He was, however very keen on ensuring he didn't snip any cables or wires. Those got carefully separated and crimped off to prevent bare wires from touching metal or marine. He absolutely did not want to test the armors conductivity ratings.
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