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    New Member Test #1: Diggledom

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    Otagia
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    Posts : 20
    Join date : 2010-12-31
    Age : 30
    Location : Saint Louis, Missouri

    New Member Test #1: Diggledom

    Post  Otagia on Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:27 am

    Test #1
    A rogue general has taken control of one of your fleets, and is rallying support to his cause. All told, he now commands a third of your forces against you in his attempt to seize control of the empire. While he is outnumbered, you cannot afford to pull troops from Protectorate states or your borders for risk of rebellion.

    After a brutal campaign, he has finally reached striking distance of your home world. RP the climactic battle!

    Vigilance – Shield Class Space Defence Platform
    Solar System – 50 AU orbit from the Sun

    The first sign of the impending attack was a slight change in the local gravity field, assessed and then automatically ignored by the machinery. The slight change in the gravity field had been caused by a pair of objects dropping out of jump space. Each of the objects was a small jump generator, attached to a small stealth engine. They both edged through space, their reactionless drives gently guiding them towards the massive space defence platform. They were both less than 2 meters in diameter, manufactured with the latest in stealth designs.

    The first person to recognise the danger that they were in was one of the sensor technicians. The sensors had picked up a sudden build up of energy, but by then it was too late. The first generator powered up, instantly transporting a massive bite of the defence platform into jump space. Throughout the platform bulkheads slammed closed, airlocks sealing the various sections in. The platforms had been designed to withstand wide scale damage, but even so, the sudden loss of so much atmosphere, as well as the damage to the surrounding structure caused by the sudden venting to deep space had stretched the limitations of the damage control system. Alarms were sounding throughout the platform, technicians and soldiers waking up to red lights, screaming sirens and the general panic that came with a completely unexpected attack like this. Barely a minute after the first generator jumped out-system with a large portion of the platform the second generator activated, this one in the crater that the first generator had caused. This second generator completely gutted the platform, jumping out-system with almost the entire inner structure, the generators, the bridge and a large proportion of the platforms munitions.

    The sudden loss of the communication feed from the defence platform was noticed immediately, as it dropped off the defence grid operating in the solar system. Due to the recent rebellion a pair of cruisers were automatically dispatched, but no-one believed that General Amundsen would actually be foolish enough to attack Earth itself; it was put down to a comm. system error, comm. systems failed on occasion, it was simply a fact of life. The two cruisers that were dispatched were chosen as they were the fastest vessels in the solar system, a pair of Aurora Class patrol cruisers. The Aurora class fitted the cruiser designation perfectly; they were designed to be fully self sufficient for an extended patrol, their high speed meaning usually they were deployed outside the Solar system, the only reason they were in system was the refit that they had just gone through.

    They both had a full crew, 690 people all told, a mix of experienced and inexperienced crew. The higher ranks were all experienced crew members, the section heads and entire command staff of both vessels were veterans from the frontline of the rebellion, all redeployed from the dreadnaught “Bravery” who had limped back to Earth having been the only survivor of the largest battle of the rebellion so far, the battle for Ilsa.

    Bravery had jumped back in system, heavily damaged, the only survivor from a full battlegroup. Leaking atmosphere, leaving a trail of debris behind it; the return flight was already the subject of a tri-d thriller. The bearer of bad news, the rebellion had spread further and faster than had been expected, entire squadrons defecting to join General Amundsen and his forces, the Bravery had reported insurrection among the crews of the battlegroup, a mutiny starting just minutes before the Generals forces dropped into real space, slaughtering the still loyal ships and sending boarding teams to help the mutineers.



    Spur – Aurora Class Patrol Cruiser
    Solar System – 50 AU orbit from the Sun

    Commander Fuhrmann scowled as he watched the holographic display show the two cruisers slow approach to where the defence platform should have been. Long range sensors had already picked up on the floating hulk, the massive damage clearly shown, their approach slowed by the caution caused by the visible destruction that had already been sown. He looked around his bridge, catching the eye of his communications chief.

    “Open a channel to the Delight, full encryption. Route it directly to my office.”

    The communications chief looked up, he was one of the experienced crew members, having worked with the man who was now his commander for nearly ten years. He trusted him absolutely, even with the situation as bad as this was quickly becoming. He nodded once and began to arrange the communication link.

    Commander Fuhrmann sat down in his office, sighing deeply. The comm. link opened with the face of Lieutenant Commander Morton of the Delight, the younger officers face heavily scarred, flash burns having changed his once normal appearance to a nearly immobile mask, surgery would fix it, but he had simply not given himself the time required for the surgery. His face twisted into an approximation of a grin,

    “Ralf, you finally ready to get this show under way?”

    Despite himself Fuhrmann found himself grinning in return, there was something about seeing his old friend, someone that had lived through the same battles, survived the same accidents and was still standing that always made him feel more content, happier with the situation, whatever it was.

    “I am. What about you?”

    “As I ever will be, lets do this then.”

    Fuhrmann nodded, cutting the comm. link and starting the record function of his console.

    “I am Commander Ralf Fuhrmann, the Captain of this vessel. Some of you have served with me before; for some this is the first step in what I hope will be a long and rewarding career in the Protectorate Defence Force. As you may know, our mission has been to check in with the defence platform Vigilance and to ascertain the reason why they haven’t been in communication with Earth or the rest of the defence net.
    The politicians didn’t believe this could be an attack, so they have only sent two vessels to check why a defence platform, with its thousands of crew and hundreds of weapon systems may have stopped transmitting. Normally this would be the first of hundreds, if not thousands of betrayals forced upon those of us who serve the Protectorate by the politicians. The lack of funding, the lack of supplies, the lack of training, ignoring our advice, the breathtaking ignorance demonstrated by politicians across the Protectorate when it comes to the men and women serving the Protectorate, laying our very lives on the line. Enough is enough I say! I have held colleagues in my arms as they have died, due to the very lack of training and equipment we have advised them about. I have seen funding for vital equipment cut so that a politician could look good for the press.
    No longer! General Amundsen experienced the same betrayals as the rest of us, he led us in campaigns to have our voices heard by the politicians, we marched, we voted, we explained our views and we were ignored. General Amundsen spoke out publicly and for this he was disciplined for bringing the service into disrepute. Those of us who have served on the front line, away from the self publicising politicians and the glitz and glamour of the Presidential guard will know what I mean when I say; I have had enough! Too many betrayals to count, too many times I have been let down by the very people that look to me to protect them, by those I look to for my support.
    If you don’t wish to follow my example, so be it, but I will not tolerate anyone acting against me. If you don’t want to follow my orders then report to the brig, but if you begin to act against me then I can guarantee that you will end up dead. Make your choice, I have made mine.”

    He finished speaking and stared straight into the camera for a second before stopping the recording. He was reasonably confident that most of the crew would follow him, but he was definite that the section heads and the rest of the veterans would join him. He had never asked them out right, but had spent enough time with them, in enough bars, spread through the Protectorate to be confident of his judgements about his men.

    The new recruits were the ones he wasn’t so sure about; they were yet to witness the harsh realities that were included in his heartfelt speech. Even so, they appeared to respect and trust the more experienced members of the crew, he simply hoped that the bonds that formed between crewmembers would be enough to make them trust his judgement.

    He sighed, what was done was done, no amount of second guessing his decisions would do him any good. He opened one of the storage lockers mounted on the wall and withdrew his personal sidearm, a standard issue Protectorate Navy Gauss pistol, still in its regulation issue thigh holster. He carefully attached the holster, hanging it on his right leg, over his duty suit. As soon as he was confident that it had been properly fitted he reached back into the locker, this time removing something that certainly wasn’t standard issue, at least, not to a Commander in the Protectorate Defence Forces Fleet arm. It was a modified Protectorate Marine Gauss SMG; it fired the same ammunition as the pistol, though from a larger, 50 round, magazine. Due to the extreme rate of fire that it was capable of it had a built in gyro-stabiliser and a small data point, so that it could be linked to a HUD if one was available. The one that the commander was holding had also had a reflex sight added to it, as it had been designed to be used ‘dry’ with no other electronics to support it.

    He pushed the magazine into the feed mechanism until he heard and felt the weapon lock onto it. With a quick movement he fed the first of the 4mm darts into the chamber and then rested the SMG on the desk in front of him. He checked his watch, just over a minute to go before he was due to release his speech to the crew. He cast his mind back, across the faces of the crew that he had served with before.

    Doctor Jenna Harkin, her face partly obscured by her long hair, laughing over a vibrant green drink. Where had that been? Some dive bar somewhere, Egeriz! That was it, one of the spacer’s bars, just outside the Fleet base. He had told some terrible off colour joke and she had burst out laughing, the both of them still young in service, part time lovers, but prepared for the inevitable break-up when they were posted to different crews. She had died less than a year after that, posted to one of the older Trajectory Class frontier ships, still in use, despite the well known problems with their jump drives. She was pronounced lost in space, along with the rest of the crew, when the ship didn’t re-emerge after a routine jump.

    Cadet Hansen Thygesen, originally from Denmark back on Earth, sitting in the cockpit of the fighter that would one day kill him, the Cobra already bearing the hand painted patterns and shapes that he had done himself, seven hours of dedicated effort. During one of the routine training flights his starboard engine had flared out, sending him spinning across the sky and finally dumping him at nearly three times the speed of sound into the side of a mountain. There hadn’t been enough of him left to put in a coffin; they had to weight it down with a metal frame for the funeral.

    The faces began to speed up, just flashing through his minds eye. Kara O’Brien, another from his cadet intake, died during a skirmish on the rim of the territories. Archie Sutton, Michael Whitehead and Teodros Efrem, all dead for some pointless peacekeeping action, their ship bracketed by both sides when their captain forced his way into something that hadn’t concerned him. The faces continued to accelerate, before they were just blurs.

    He wiped his eyes, pushing his sadness back inside, replacing it with the cold anger that he had been living with for what now seemed like years. His watch beeped once, the slight electronic tone seeming to echo through his mind. He reached out and hit the button that would transmit his speech throughout the ship, his face appearing on every communication screen, his voice echoing from the public address system.

    Fuhrmann needn’t have worried, although there were some of the crew who didn’t agree with his idea, when they realised that all the senior staff, the entire of the security section and the ten man marine detachment onboard all supported the commander they surrendered without a fight, giving in to the inevitable.

    The two cruisers stayed on station, observing as in front of them the space was torn as ship after ship made the transition from jump space to real space, emerging in the home system; ready for what they hoped would be the final battle of the rebellion.

    The first ship-to-ship battle in the Solar system occurred three days after the Generals fleet jumped in system, his forward picket engaged and destroyed a loyalist corvette that was in the deep system protecting a mining facility. The battle took slightly over three hours; the outmatched corvette launched the initial attack, a spread of high yield missiles fired towards the lead frigate. The flare of their older, reaction based, thrust systems attracting the attention of the vessel straight away. The missiles were casually swatted by the Frigate, the corvettes feeble attempts at jamming and electronic warfare easily ignored by the larger frigate. The frigate launched its own attack, massive beam lasers stripping great swathes of the corvettes armour off, before breaking its spine with a pair of anti-matter warheads, delivered by the frigates railguns.

    As the fleet advanced in system they began to spread their tendrils, fighter squadrons slipping out to launch specific raids, cutting the communication systems that linked the defence network together. Occasionally a couple of vessels would slip away, with their supporting fighter elements to stand guard over the larger colonies spread through the solar system. By the time the fleet reached Earth the entire solar system expected what came next.

    The battle for control of the solar system was not the high octane, adrenaline filled space battle, so beloved of entertainment producers throughout the Protectorate, instead it was characterised by a series of skirmishes, some deep in-system, but most isolated stations or bases spread through the outer reaches, each with their guard ships, usually a corvette or two. Most of the vessels in the Solar system were quickly pulled back to defend Earth itself, spreading themselves neatly in orbit, presenting their most dangerous weapons to the oncoming secessionist fleet.

    The secessionist fleet was less than a third of the total Protectorate Space Defence force, but the fleet was more than large enough for the task that faced it. The rest of the Defence forces were spread through the Protectorate, having to remain in place to counter the threat of further rebellions, so the only loyal forces deployed in system were the aging guard ships and the Presidential Guard Squadrons. The guard ships presented no real threat, but the Presidential Guard were always the best and latest equipment and manned exclusively by people intensely loyal to the Protectorate. The only weakness that was obvious was their recruitment procedures. Unlike with the regular Defence forces, to become a member of the Presidential Guard you had to be connected somehow, sons and daughters of politicians, administrators, high-level bureaucrats, so on. This meant that they never went into dangerous situations; this would be the first time they would actually have to go up against anything that might actually be able to threaten them.

    The final battle, in the orbit over Earth was witnessed by everyone on the planet. Waves of missiles were exchanged; hyper-velocity missiles swatted from the sky by bursts of coherent light, autocannon rounds cutting through missiles. Both sides took casualties, the better equipment almost matching the skills and dedication of the veterans, but the end result was never really in doubt. The Guard squadrons were outnumbered and outgunned, trying, desperately to defend a fixed point in space; they were faced by a larger, better trained, more experienced fleet, who were free to manoeuvre, with enough vessels to ensure that none could be picked off individually, enough to let them swarm the enemy defences, to launch enough missiles to ensure that some made their way to the targets. It took almost two weeks for the battle to finish, debris falling to the surface as the Guard ships were slowly demolished.

    As soon as the Guard Ships began to engage the Ground Forces began to deploy, spreading out from their bases, deploying mobile planetary defence batteries and digging in. Each battery consisted of eight weapons, each of the massive particle cannon systems being made up of four vehicles, the cannon itself being transported independently, there was also a large sensor vehicle doubling as a command vehicle, a defence vehicle and a large generator truck. Each gun was accompanied by a platoon of mechanised infantry, forty soldiers and five armoured vehicles. They spread across the world, digging in, camouflaging themselves as best they could from orbit.

    Staff-Sergeant Lauren Craig had joined the secessionists after fighting through a number of skirmishes along the borders, as far as she was concerned they had been caused by the Politicians back home, and so they were directly responsible for the death and destruction that had followed. She was sitting in the troop compartment of one of the landing ships, surrounded by the rest of her company. Each of the troopers was ready for the drop, armour already on and weapons stowed, and all that remained now was the waiting. The insertion ships weren’t designed with comfort in mind, they were designed around the drop capsule racks, the transported troops boarding directly onto the launch deck, squaring all their kit away, before being allowed to relax and spread themselves around the deck. In ideal situations they weren’t meant to be on the deck for longer than a few hours, but this was hardly a routine situation. For the past few days the secessionist fleet had been launching drone missiles to engage and destroy the Loyalist tracking stations, but they weren’t confident that they had got them all and the larger ships were too valuable to risk, at least initially. They had chosen to launch the insertion vessels instead, letting them slowly slide up to the planet, before deploying their decoys and troops into the atmosphere.

    The plan revolved around the elimination of the Earth based planetary defence system. It had long been accepted that anyone with true space superiority around a planet would win, either by inflicting so much damage that the world capitulated, or simply with the threat of the damage. General Amundsen had planned for this; the Rapid Interface Battalions were the key to his plan. As each insertion ship arrived in orbit it would deploy a number of decoys, all at approximately the same time across the orbit. If the enemy troops were deployed as per standard procedure their weapons would be on automatic, meaning they would begin to engage what they perceived as targets. By doing this they would give away their positions, allowing the Interface Battalions to engage and destroy the defence grids, winning the battle for the General.


    The ship containing Staff Sergeant Craig had been deployed over England, monitoring an area over the middle of the country. The decoys were released during the night, which was almost instantly lit by three separate firing points across England, one along the south coast, falling outside their operations area, the second was pretty much from the centre of their area, the third being further up north.

    The sensors quickly locked onto the energy bursts being released, multi-spectrum scanners pulling in as much information as could be gathered from a distance. Each of the drop pods had a briefing computer fitted so, as the troops pulled themselves into the pods, they attached themselves to the pod itself via neural link.

    As each solider stepped into their individual drop pod they connected themselves first to the pod, via a small neural jack and then began to strap themselves in. As soon as the crash web had safely cocooned them they activated the pod itself via the neural link. The pod itself was run by a virtual intelligence, designed to be able to take the pod out of orbit, through defensive fire and land at a specific point on the planet surface. While the pod was deorbiting, the soldier inside was fed the briefing information through a full neural link, meaning that when he emerged from the pod he was fully briefed, saving time and effort for those missions that required rapid deployment and limited time for briefings.

    The launch went without a hitch, the 122 man company being launched in less than a minute. As well as the manned pods decoys were launched as well, a mixture of sensor jamming systems and pods designed to split as they entered the atmosphere, presenting the ground forces with hundreds of extra targets. The decoys were designed to be more important targets, appearing larger on radar scans, warmer on thermal scans and generally more enticing than the normal drop pods. The elaborate designs weren’t needed in this case; repeated passes by the secessionist fleet had eliminated the fixed air and space defence weapons, leaving only the mobile systems in one piece, but mostly too scared to mount any effective defence.

    Staff Sergeant Craig emerged from her pod less than a second after it had landed, the training having drilled into her the requirement to move away from what was sure to be a target as soon as possible. Her armour vest was tightly cinched, done up so that it wouldn’t shift, however much work she did. Over the top of her vest she had arranged the modular pouches, magazine pouches, grenade pouches and even pouches for the various electronics that had become commonplace on the battlefield. As well as the armoured vest itself, she was wearing the extra armour components, drop down thigh and shoulder pads. She was carrying the standard weapon for the Rapid Interface Teams, the M3 Individual Combat Weapon; a dual purpose weapon, designed with the requirements of the Interface Teams in mind, the primary system was a 4.73mm caseless rifle, with a secondary 16mm grenade launcher, fed from its own five round magazine. Heavier weapons were spread through the rest of the company, a mixture of machine guns, missile launchers and other weapon systems.

    The platoon came under fire almost immediately, their pods had been aimed at a slight depression, so that they would be able to deploy without instantly coming under fire, but it was expected that they would need to enter combat as soon as they were able, so they had been expecting nothing more. Two squads took to the lip of the depression, firing out towards the enemy, while the other squad skirted out, trying flanking out and around the enemy positions. It took slightly longer than they initially expected; four hours worth of brutal fire fight before they managed to silence the orbital battery. The concerted attacks had done the job, breaking the back of the orbital defence systems.


    The battle for the Earth had been won.

    Test #2: A monster is stalking the underclass of your capital city. It is eating men, women, and children alive, tearing them to pieces while security systems inexplicably shut down, weapons jam, and robots help the creature in its killing spree.

    Unbeknownst to the authorities, the "monster" is in fact a Rhunate technomancer, a massive predatory lizard with a taste for sentient flesh and the ability to manipulate electronics. RP the hunt for the technomancer, and its conclusion (whatever that may be).

    Black Raven Private Military Contractors Forward Operating Base
    Earth
    2223 Local Time

    John Strachen bumped the door open with his hip; the door, like the rest of the facility, was aging, the hinges sticking, requiring an extra jolt with his hip before opening properly. He had a tray of self heating coffee canisters in his hands, yawning in the pre-dawn gloom that encompassed the airfield. Rain was sweeping across the hardcrete landing pads outside the “ready” hangar, so he tucked his head down and jogged across to the hangar. The door to the hangar was in better condition, opening easily as he tapped it with his toe. His arrival was greeted with a round of cheers, before being mobbed with people grabbing at the coffees he was carrying. Within seconds he was holding a completely empty tray.

    “For fucks sake guys! One of those was for me!” He shouted, trying to be heard over the heavily synthesised beats of some new wave dance track pumping out over a jury rigged speaker system at the back of what was optimistically referred to as the ‘Ready Room’

    “John, over here mon!” The deep voice with its distinctive Jamaican accent was coming from a table towards the back of the room. John began to snake through the tables towards the origin of the voice, an ex Royal Marine, Brian. The massive man was distinctive, even among the diverse group in the ready room, standing easily over 6’10”, dark black skin, a bald head and a physique that Jonathan believed had just as much to do with biochemical and medical assistance as it did with old fashioned working out. He was stretched out on one side of a table, his body armour on the floor beside him, boots up on the table and a pair of the coffee canisters in front of him.

    He pulled over a chair and sat down; ripping the tab of one of the coffee canisters back and hearing the liquid inside begin to bubble as the mechanism heated it up. He had managed a single sip of the coffee before the siren sounded; the brief moment as everyone in the room paused, disbelief threading through their minds. Before the siren hitched in its first breath and started the upward whine again everyone in the room was on their feet, heading for the weapon racks mounted along the walls.

    A brief struggle with un-lubricated catches on the weapons rack and John had one of the superannuated M7 carbines in his hands; he slung it over his shoulder and snagged his helmet from the table even as he headed for the dropship spooling up on the hardcrete outside the hangar. He was one of the first to the drop ship, so as soon as he was safely webbed in he began to sort his equipment. He spent a couple of seconds fighting to get his tactical vest secured, one of the medical sensors kept coming loose before he jammed it into is storage pocket. It wasn’t like they had the control systems that could incorporate full medical link-up, at best they probably recorded the heart rate of the staff, not all the extraneous information that the advanced vest could record.

    By the time he had stopped fighting with his vest the drop ship had taken off, the rear loading ramp had closed and the briefing had begun, the voice of one of the mission controllers back at the airfield they had just left sounding through their ear-pieces.

    “This is an urgent call; I say again, this is an urgent call. We have an orbital burn failure, followed by deep incursion. No combat is expected, I say again, no combat is expected. Mission objective is to locate landing zone of incoming craft, then contain area and provide search and rescue crews for any crew members in the craft. Full biohazard requirements, though no evidence of biohazard infection, this is a purely a safety procedure.”

    The announcement about the biohazard requirements was met with a chorus of jeers; no one liked wearing the full face masks, sealing themselves to the limited air supplies stored on the back of their suits. The rest of the briefing was fairly standard, the organisation of the three different squads, each spread across their own drop ship. Johnathan filtered most of it out, listening to his place in the plan; point man, first into the craft; and the extra little details, radio channels and so on, before checking the seal on his face mask.

    It didn’t take long for them to get to the crash site; within an hour they were hovering over the largest part of the wreckage he looked down, trying to piece the remains together into a single craft. The largest piece of wreckage was floating with less than a meter between the water and the top of its super-structure, with the occasional wave breaking across the top of the dull white dome, eddying around an open hatch. Johnathan frowned, he had never been a spacer himself, but he knew from the VR training they had all gone through as the training for the job that normally any survivors of the crash would wait in survival pods until they were rescued, not try to get out of the craft on their own.

    The dropship floated down, hovering barely ten meters above the water before they deployed the rope. Johnathan slid down, covered by the guns of the other two dropships. He had to crouch to avoid falling with the unsteady movement due to the waves, awkwardly staggering forwards until he was next to the hatch. Black scorch marks surrounded the hatchway, where the explosive bolts had blown the hatch out, probably somewhere near the bottom of the ocean by now. He risked a glance into the hatchway, looking around. Even with the damage caused by the explosive bolts it appeared in relatively good condition, an anti-septic white colour, with a single multi-purpose display flicking through its preset screens mounted on one wall. There was a pool of water in the bottom of the airlock, sloshing from side to side with the movement of the wreckage, but nothing else out of the ordinary.

    “I am entering the craft now; entry hatch has been blown, but appears to be due to explosive bolts.”

    “Acknowledged, continue with the mission.” The cool tone of a commander placed miles from the unfolding situation did nothing to calm his ever increasing level of tension.

    He reached down and grasped one of the handles mounted on the inner airlock door, moving his feet through the water so that he had a firm footing before heaving the door open, the water draining into the interior of the ship. He ducked down, activating the torch on his rifle and using it to sweep the inside of the ship. The inside of the ship was meant to be the same clinical white as the air-lock; instead it was streaked with dark red marks, darker impact craters and on one wall a line of three deep scratches.

    “Command, there is something very wrong down here. I can see structural damage that doesn’t appear to be due to the landing. Request permission to extract.”

    “Denied, continue with the mission.” The reply was almost instantaneous, prompting another scowl.

    A bigger wave hit the side of the wreckage, jolting the inner airlock door. The movement caught his attention, making him automatically reach to try and catch it, leaving him leaning across the open hatch, desperately reaching for the door. When the ship dropped over the crest of the wave it rocked enough that he lost his balance, falling towards the open hatch. He tried to grasp something with his free hand as he fell, but only succeeded in spinning his body enough that his head clipped the hatchway as he fell through it.

    “Fuuuuuuuuu...” He began to say as he fell, before being silenced as he hit the ground, his rifle adding another blow to the side of his head on its sling and his shoulder protesting at its rough treatment.

    As he looked up towards the hatch he realised he had landed softer than he would have expected, he tried to look around, before realising the torch on his rifle had died. Cursing he fished a small handheld light out of his vest before looking around again. This time he saw exactly what he had landed in; disbelief and nausea swept through him, swallowing hard against the urge to vomit he reported his new finding to control.

    Protectorate Internal Security Service Office – London Office
    Earth
    0238 Local Time

    William Morgan stretched as he got out of the taxi that he had been forced to hire to get to the office at such short notice. His car was somewhere out of the city with Sarah, she had gone to some late night office party and hadn’t been at home when he had been woken by the vid-call from the office. He had a can of amphetamine cola, trying to wake himself up enough to actually be of some use in the situation. Despite the drink he was still tired, yawning even as he tried to maintain some semblance of coherent thought. Another taxi pulled up in front of him and out stepped Martha, she too was holding a can of amphetamine cola, her face pale with lack of sleep, but even so he felt a faint stab of jealousy for her new boyfriend. He and Martha had spent a while flirting with each other, but he had been given a six month assignment one of the Lagrange stations and when he had got back she had a partner.

    She looked up and caught sight of him, smiled and raised the can in welcome.
    “They called you in to then Will?” She asked, walking over to join him at the entrance to the office.

    “Yeah, it had better be something important for him to wake us at this time of the morning.”

    It took nearly five minutes for the two to get through the security measures and make their way to the operations room. They made their way into the room; already a number of the staff were there, setting up displays, talking quietly among themselves or just trying to wake themselves up, some with coffees, others with amphetamine colas and a couple popping stim-tabs.

    There was a sudden swirling in the air at one end of the room, what appeared to be a face made up of cloud coalesced, looking down on the staff in the office below it. The sudden appearance of what appeared to be a sentient cloud didn’t alarm anyone, the overall commander of the London office was an AI that went by the name Tempest and regularly appeared as a storm cloud, floating above the operations room, seeming to watch over everyone’s shoulders as they worked.

    “I am sorry to summon you all at this time of the morning, but we have something that requires our urgent attention. At twenty-two twenty-five local time the cargo freighter Ephraim Hart suffered a catastrophic navigation failure and crashed in the Atlantic. As per standing operational procedures contractors from the Black Raven Corporation approached the vessel, when they made contact they discovered that the crew on the vessel were dead and that it appeared somebody or something had left the ship between the landing and them arriving on scene.”

    On one of the office walls a map appeared, showing the position of the crash, the route that the mercenaries had taken to the crash site and then a further series of red crosses, leading from a town on the south-west coast of England towards London itself.

    “Since the landing a series of events have raised our attention. Three bodies were discovered in the town of Barnstaple, all three of the bodies were found around the waterfront, in areas that are covered by surveillance systems. For some reason the systems have failed to record any image of the assailant, one of the victims was a night guard at one of the docks, he managed to draw and fire an electrolaser, a civilian issue one. Normally this would automatically trigger a three minute recording, but in this case the recording system failed. We have three eye-witness reports from the area, but their details are patchy and inconsistent. They all claim to have seen something that resembled a large lizard, the exact details vary, but they all agree on a few points; namely, it is approximately two meters long, it has a series of blades growing from its back, moves primarily on all fours and has a tail approximately half the length of its body.”

    Three separate pictures flashed up on one of the wall screens, broadly similar, each displayed an artist’s rendition of what the witnesses were describing.

    “For some reason this creature appears to have some kind of control over our computer systems, we haven’t managed to get an image of any kind of this creature, the three bodies were unrecoverable, their mind-stores degraded beyond usefulness and the speed at which the creature is moving indicates some kind of transport link, possibly our own. Due to these problems with our computerised systems, we have been given a tasking by Security Central Command. All agents with active field experience are to be formed into hunt teams, a number of possible intercept points have been computed, each four person team will be deployed to a single point.”

    A map of London appeared on all four of the walls, three specific points flashing in green.

    “Each hunt team will be accompanied by a combat robot; you will all have access to police communications, though the local police departments have all been briefed to stay well back from any conflict. We will also have a rapid reaction team in the air, ready to move on any location within a couple of minutes, we just need you to hold the creature in the area before we can get some support in there for you.”

    Besides each flashing green deployment point four small pictures appeared, each picture from taken from identity badges, indicating which agents would be going to which points, with a pair of gunships to one side of the map, each listing the twenty agents that would be deployed in each vessel.

    “If there are any questions please ask using the standard computer system, if not, please collect your equipment from the armoury and move to your positions.”

    William was assigned to one of the gunships, he was with a pair of undercover agents he had worked with before, three Internal Affairs officers he recognised, a four man detachment from the office security team and twelve people that he knew worked in the office but wasn’t sure of any other details about.

    He quickly hunted through the photos and saw that Martha was deployed on the other drop ship; at least he wouldn’t have to try and force small talk while they waited for something that might well not happen. He looked around and spotted one of the security officers, Craig Evans, who he was deployed with. Craig was an Ajax Class bio-roid, a reinforced skeleton; a hormone boosted musculature, enhanced neural system and sharpened reflexes, combined to make him a genetically designed soldier, but one that appeared, superficially at least, to be human. Even with the negative press that some of the Ajax class had received after one was involved in a high profile crime spree William always felt better when Craig was around, his intimidating size and appearance being offset by his more gentle personality. The two of them began to head towards the armoury, the first step in them preparing for the upcoming mission.

    It wasn’t long before they were skimming over the city, the twenty agents standing in the back of the gun ship and the two crew safely ensconced in their crash-webbed seats in the cockpit, communicating with the troop compartment through a pair of mounted speakers. The compartment was relatively relaxed, some murmured conversations, a couple of people leaning against the back wall were looking at a small foldable computer screen and one of the security officers appeared to be sleeping in the corner of the hold.

    This all changed when a panicked voice came over the radio, piped through the mounted speakers. It was heavily distorted, random overlays of static obscuring the voice, but even through the interference the panic and terror was evident.

    “Engaged! I say again ...... target appears to have some ...... equipment failing ...... projectiles.”

    A sudden extra loud burst of static made him wince, when the signal came back there were no coherent words, screams and a gulping sobs. The pilot flicked a switch and routed his voice back into the troop compartment.

    “We have a location, our ETA is less than two minutes at full speed, prepare for full combat drop.”

    Another couple of controls and the gunships weapon pods flicked open, a pair of chin mounted railguns, wing mounted missile launchers slid into firing positions and a pair of hatch mounted gauss miniguns deployed, automated gunnery systems taking control of each weapon system. Whatever had managed to land on the planet was going to be welcomed with an awful lot of firepower if it appeared to present any threat to the Protectorate agents heading out to meet it.

    The gunship hovered to a stop at the largest of the capitals transport terminals, a number of magnetic levitation tracks led into it, a number of landing pads for airborne transport and even a runway for any older aircraft wishing to land at the terminal. Although it had been evacuated when Tempest had predicted that the mysterious visitor would be likely to pass through it the lights and automated systems had been left active, mass transports floating through the system, drones carrying out their pre-programmed instructions and the occasional un-manned cargo transport silently pulling up, ready to be unloaded by the tireless efforts of the drones. The twenty man team dismounted and began to make their way into the facility, even as the gun ship took flight again, its weapons swinging to cover the facility as it took a covering position, ready to provide support if necessary.

    The scene inside was faintly surreal, bearing more similarities to a tri-d horror than reality. Blood splatters and weapon damage covered the 1st floor arrival zone and there were even some shell casings near one of the pools. A pair of the station cleaning ‘bots were slowly making a dent in the mess, but even so there was ample evidence of the slaughter that had taken place within the last few minutes.

    The first sighting of the creature was as it attempted to leave the southern entrance of the transit station, unluckily for the creature it attempted to leave just as the second gun ship was arriving. The right hand minigun began to fire, ice beginning to form along the outside of its cooling sleeve even as it began to spit the 4mm darts out, the first burst lasting less than a second and firing over a hundred shots. Even as the gun fired a slight thermal updraft through the targeting off, most of the needles passing too high, but three punched through the bony plates running along the creatures spine. While this didn’t do any significant damage it did alert the creature to the impending attack, making it duck backwards into the building. The gun ship dropped towards the ground, swinging to bring its railguns into play, the two 40mm railguns beginning to pump high explosive rounds at near supersonic velocities into the front of the station. The rounds detonated with muffled explosions, each blast cratering the wall and flinging bits of ceramic wall out into the street around the entrance. The twenty man team deployed into an extended line and began to advance, aiming to push the creature back towards the first hunt team to be deployed.

    The sound of the explosions reached William and the team he was with, spurring them onwards. They moved forwards, weapons raised; hunting for their target among the waiting rooms, inspection offices, administration departments and cargo handling areas that made up the massive terminal. It was a surreal experience William thought, even as he moved forwards; normally thousands, if not millions of people would pass through here every day, but here they were, stalking through an entirely abandoned facility, the only signs of life the blood and damage to the walls. After the short burst of firing from the other side of the building there had been no more sighting of the creature, instead it had settled into a standard hunt scenario; clearing a room, closing and locking the entrances and moving onto the next one.

    The next engagement lasted for less than three seconds, as two men entered one of the stations security offices. The first one in was holding a close assault weapon, in effect a fully automatic gauss shotgun, able to empty its twenty round magazine in two seconds of firing. He died before he could fire a shot. The creature had been attempting to hide from the hunters in the room, when he entered the room it swung its clawed hand towards him. The combat equipment he was wearing was designed for policing actions, where large scale combat wasn’t expected, it could have protected against firearms, fragments from grenades or other explosives, even taken some physical force out of attacks, but the clawed hand hit his head, slamming it into the ceramic wall behind him. The helmet itself distorted under the shock, with its occupant’s skull taking enough force to shatter, killing him before he realised what happened.

    The man standing behind him saw the claw come from behind one of the walls and began to fire. He was holding a standard 4mm Gauss rifle, capable of firing darts out at slightly under 5’000 feet per second. He squeezed the trigger, aiming at the wall to the side of the door where he thought the creature was likely to be. On any normal wall the darts would have easily punched through, shredding anything the other side of the door as it suffered multiple hits; but this was one of the security offices, instead of being a single wall it was layered, designed to dissipate the force of any attack, whether energy based or kinetic. So instead of the darts penetrating the wall and hitting the creature they were stopped by the wall. This wasn’t to say they did no damage, the walls were an old design and the sheer amount of energy that the new rifle designs could bring to bear managed to fracture the inner wall, before spalling effects filled the security office with ceramic slivers. These slivers didn’t do enough damage to actually kill the creature, but covered it in superficial injuries, dripping blood from a couple of the heavier injuries, one still with a 2 centimetre sliver of wall sticking out of its leg. It still managed to escape from the shocked survivor, smashing through the door and flinging him down the corridor before turning tail and running for an exit.

    The blood trail was enough though; the survivor from the attack was quickly joined by William and the rest of the team. They followed the trail into one of the cargo handling areas, a large warehouse, filled with sealed containers. It didn’t take long for them to close down the entrances, sealing them in place with dabs of contact adhesive, enough that it would be loud and obvious if anyone tried to get through.

    As soon as they were locked in they began to search, splitting into three teams, each team with at least one close assault weapon and one of the light machine guns. William and Craig found themselves on the same team, hunting through one of the storage areas for containers holding what appeared to be some kind of clothing. Craig was the first to see it, his enhanced reactions swinging his weapon to bear and beginning to fire even as the creature attempted to dodge behind one of the metal containers. His burst blew a hole through the container, filling the air with brightly coloured shreds of clothing. One of the newer agents, probably the first time in a truly dangerous situation, began to fire too, swinging his rifle across the container the creature had dived behind. The noise of the impacts covered the sound of the creature accelerating, before diving around the corner of one container and across the open space separating two of the stacks and back into cover. The tail end of the patrol was doing his job though, even as the creature dived into view he squeezed the trigger of his light machine gun, trying to swing it fast enough to bring it to bear. He didn’t manage to get it squarely on target, but two of the needles he fired hit the creature’s tail, the kinetic energy almost tearing the appendage off the creature’s body. It screeched, a weird noise, seeming to resonate within the bones of the men present, enough to put them on edge.

    The firing from the back of the group was enough to distract the in-experienced agent, who turned away from the area he was meant to be watching in order to see what was happening. As silence descended on the group again they could hear the faint sounds of claws on metal, as one they looked at the three high stack of containers the creature had hidden behind, somewhere behind that stack the creature was doing something, though they weren’t going to wait to find out. They began to file towards one end of the box before another hissing scream broke the air, followed by louder sounds of claw on metal.

    Craig was the first around the corner, pausing in surprise at the scene before him. The creature’s tail lay on the floor, next to a strip of metal that had been torn from the back of the container before being used for the crude surgery. A pool of blood was spreading from the tail and there were smears of blood leading up the side of the container, he quickly looked up and saw the creature disappearing over the top of the stack, heading away from them again. He suddenly changed direction, his enhancements coming into stark regard when compared to the reactions of the un-enhanced humans surrounding him. They were moving as if trapped in amber, while he dodged through them, heading back towards the original side of the container. He had made his way through the group before the first one started to follow him. He grinned inside his helmet, it was moments like this that made him feel so good, deep down he knew it was because it was programmed into him on a genetic level to enjoy the thrill of combat, but on the surface he didn’t care, he never felt so excited with anything bar combat.

    He reached the front of the container in time to see the creature begin to slide towards the ground. Easily enough time to raise his rifle and begin to fire, he aimed at a point on the second container, in line with the direction the creature was travelling, then, holding his finger on the trigger, he began to raise his rifle, walking the line of darts up towards the creature. There was barely enough time for the creature begin to screech before the darts walked up and through its body, blood spraying from the holes the small darts punched through the armoured skin of the lizard. The controlled descent became a free fall, followed by a sickly crunch as the creature hit the floor, folding into a pose no human could ever hope to copy.

    William managed to round the corner in time to see the end of the hunt. Craig approached the downed creature, weapon raised, eyes scanning for any signs of life. There was a sudden twitch from one of the creatures legs, already covered in blood, but there was no hesitation by Craig, he fired another burst straight into the leg, blood, muscle and what appeared to be bone spraying out across the floor before he turned his aim to the creatures head. Instead of firing a burst he switched to single shot, punching two needles straight through the brain and into the warehouse floor. The creature slumped even further, the little remaining tension easing out of its muscles. It was dead, but it raised more questions than it answered, it was something that had never been seen before, something that appeared intimately familiar with Humans, but made no attempt to communicate with them. All in all, it raised more questions than it solved and certainly didn’t do anything from inter-species relationships, even with the aliens that obviously weren’t related to the lizard creature.

    OOC:
    Well, there we go, not amazingly happy with the end but I couldn’t really think of a better way to finish.
    Incidentally what is happening if the board shuts down? Do our efforts get redirected somewhere else?

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    Otagia
    Admin

    Posts : 20
    Join date : 2010-12-31
    Age : 30
    Location : Saint Louis, Missouri

    Re: New Member Test #1: Diggledom

    Post  Otagia on Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:31 am

    Due to a small change in the testing parameters, we'll go ahead and let you choose the third test. Pick from the menu, preferably from either category 2 or 3 given the subject matter of your first 2 tests.

    Diggledom

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2011-01-02
    Age : 28
    Location : Nottingham, UK

    Re: New Member Test #1: Diggledom

    Post  Diggledom on Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:13 pm

    Alexander woke up to the smell of coffee and the gentle but insistent buzzing of his alarm clock. He sat up and fumbled his alarm off, feeling like he had been asleep for mere seconds. He threw his covers down the bed and slid out, heading straight for the bathroom. He had drank more than was wise for a night before work and was beginning to regret it, a pounding headache, a severe desire for the toilet and an aftertaste that made him want to be sick. After quickly washing his mouth out he threw on an old t-shirt and a loose pair of trousers before heading through to his living room to inspect the damage from last night.

    There were a couple of empty beer crates against one wall, empty foil containers still littered across the kitchen cabinets. The variable glass windows had been left on full transparency and he squinted as he walked out into the early morning sunlight. Part of the reason he had selected the flat had been for the view from the windows, over the skyline of the city, but it did mean that it was exposed to the sun from dawn to midday, not something that did any great favours for his hangovers. There were still some bodies lying around, Nick was lying across one of the sofas, bare-chested, with his legs hanging over the arm rest. Laura was in a sleeping bag, lying against a wall, her head only just visible in the over sized sleeping bag. The door to the second bedroom was open and as he padded through his living room he saw a tousled head rise, bright green hair in an untidy mop and a wry grin on the face of his patrol partner, Greg. He returned his nod and started to hunt through the kitchen for any food that was still edible.

    He settled on a large cup of coffee and a micro waved pastry, chewing as he began the clean up attempt in his kitchen. He had managed to place all the dishes in a dishwasher and binned most of the empty foil containers before Greg emerged, looking as neat as ever. He was wearing a pair of the issue black combat trousers and a black t-shirt with scrolling white text, “You have the right to remain silent, exercise it!” Alex scowled at him, Greg was in a Vimes-type bio-roid with all that entailed, improved metabolism, extra glands and some heavily modified internal organs meant that he didn’t get hangovers and never got more than slightly buzzed, however much he drank. Greg simply smiled, they had worked together for almost two years now and he was used to the reaction he created in his partner, especially in the morning after a heavy night. He snagged himself the second croissant on Alex’s plate and sat down on a clear chair before theatrically checking his implanted wrist time display.

    “Oh look, we are going to be late.”

    Alex swore, before activating his own wrist ‘plant and swearing again. It had taken him longer than he expected to wake up and to get to work on time they would need to set off within ten minutes. He poured his coffee down the drain and headed back to his bedroom, throwing his uniform on and sliding his feet in a pair of patrol boots. By the time he made it back out to the lounge he was cutting it fine, his mood not helped by Greg standing next to the door, a dark green thigh length jacket on over his uniform and spinning the keys to his car around his forefinger.

    The lift to the ground floor was equipped with subsonics which did their work, taking the edge of his anger and letting him appreciate the two painkillers that he was passed, despite the long suffering smile that accompanied them. He got to his vehicle and started the onboard computer, starting the programmed journey to work. The trip took nearly half an hour, the computer automatically steering them clear of any traffic problems, covering the hundred and seven mile journey easily. The journey ended with the car neatly parked in the underground car park, secure doors closing, three meter thick nano-tube reinforced concrete slabs slamming closed behind the vehicle.

    They dumped their jackets in the car and made their way straight to the briefing room, arriving just in time, the last two to sit down at the back of the briefing room. They slid into their seats and activated the built in computers. They had just logged onto the system when the divisional inspector walked into the room and a sergeant neither had seen before with him. The Inspector was the first to speak,

    “Hello everyone, I am afraid that there has been a slight change of plan. We have brought four section in on overtime to cover your normal shift and Sergeant Davidson here will brief you on what is going to be happening.”

    He quickly walked out of the room, nodding to Alex as he passed. He paused momentarily, as if to say something but thought better of it.

    The other Sergeant made his way to the front of the room, a bulky figure even without his nanoweave bodysuit and tactical vest. He had an artificial eye, red stippling around it and down his cheekbone indicating a recent injury and a slightly lopsided grin, the muscles under his artificial eye still recovering from the surgery.

    “I am Sergeant Davidson from the Serious Crimes Unit; I will leave the pleasantries to one side as we don’t have much time.”

    He touched a button on the lectern in front of him and the display behind him came to life, an automated briefing beginning even as he spoke.

    “Last night several men were arrested during a raid on one of the L-5 habitats. There were a number of fatalities during the operation, but after being edited into compliance the station AI has confirmed that a pair of downlink stations are in the East Midlands area, one in the Tucker Arcology and one in the Marian Arcology. We have put together this operation to take both of the stations at the same time, the Arcology computer systems show both of the office terminals being rented out by an out system company, so we have no real idea of the occupants affiliations. They moved in a number of boxes of equipment themselves when they leased the offices, but we have set one of our AI’s on the job. Initial findings indicate a total of twenty four different individuals entering the two offices, none with obvious mods.”

    The wall behind him flashed up a building map, the location of the office flashing red.

    “We have obtained a warrant for both addresses and like I said we plan to hit them both at the same time. My team only have enough manpower to execute one warrant on our own; you guys will be the muscle for both raids and we will deal with any arrests that come from them. We don’t expect any serious resistance, the initial attack on the orbital station eliminated their communication ability and we are confident they wont be expecting any attack.”

    He paused for a second to look around the room,

    “The back three rows will be with me, the rest of you can go outside, there is another sergeant from the SCU who can brief you out there.”

    The front rows stood up and filed out, leaving the back three rows to listen to the briefing. It wasn’t a long briefing, they had very little information about the inside arrangement of the office and there simply wasn’t time for them to do a full recon, they would have to go of the limited information stored in the Arcology servers. The lack of any precise information meant that they could only put together a very basic plan. The team would be divided in two, four officers securing the exterior wall of the office while the remaining fifteen would go through the main door. They had the access permission from the AI, but there was no guarantee that the inhabitants had not installed some of their own physical locks.

    As soon as they made entrance they would flood it with uniforms, each with a combination weapon, electrolaser and standard kinetic, so they could take prisoners if possible, bodies if not. From there they would regroup and move on with the job, doing anything necessary to preserve any evidence in the offices. The one problem that Alexander could foresee was the wait, they would need to spend almost an hour in the back of one of the surveillance vehicles, first travelling to the city and then waiting for the four man team to get into position to prevent any escape attempts from the rear windows.

    He thought back to the last time he had done one of these warrants and sighed. A similar situation, a high risk warrant, no time for them to do the proper recon as the information was likely to be actionable only for a short while. He had been one of the first through the door, smoke still threading through the air, a door slid open; a man stumbled out, coughing as he breathed in.

    “Police! Down! On the ground! On the ground now!”

    The man turned, whippet like, thrust a hand beneath his jacket. Two loud cracks from behind him and he was down, a pair of small metal canisters attached to him, the twin high voltage electric shocks making him twitch even in unconsciousness.

    Two deep breaths, sucking the filtered air in as he moved forwards, weapon thrust forwards in both hands. Another figure, no warning this time, the faint buzz of his electrolaser and the figure dropped, no movement at all from this one. He moved onwards, pausing momentarily at a door way so the rest of the team could catch up. He could feel the adrenaline flowing now, the sound of shouts and weapon fire behind him filtered out. A pair of hard slaps on his shoulder and he went through the door, hard and fast, searching for targets even as he moved in.

    His military experience was all that saved him; even as he entered the room he saw the figure in front of him raising a pistol sized weapon, one that he had used himself while on operations, a heavy plasma pistol. The weapon was illegal for civilian owners and even its military use was frowned upon, some special operations teams used them, for the notoriety as much as for the sheer destructive power that it would wield. It worked by superheating a pellet of hydrogen using a small laser, then magnetically confining the resultant for a split second before focusing it into a bolt and releasing it at a hypersonic velocity, riding a laser beam to the target.

    He didn’t bother shooting, attempting to turn back or doing anything bar diving for cover, screaming as he did. The training that had been drilled into him meant that he just ducked out of the way; the second person through the door attempted to shout a warning but was hit in the chest by the first shot. The armour did nothing to prevent the massive damage, flinging the partially dismembered body backwards in a spray of blood and superheated steam.

    The second person through the door had been Alison, someone he had gone through the academy with, training together for years and becoming housemates when they had both joined the same force. It had been her wake the night before; she was the cause of his present foul mood. Normally she would make smart comments, exercise a very dry wit and force a grin. Everyone knew the two of them had been close, there had been rumours for a while that they were a couple, but the two had never become lovers, firm friends, more like brother and sister than anything else.

    He hated it; the glances people shot him when they thought he wasn’t watching, the careful way people spoke around him, the deference he seemed to be accorded simply because of what had happened. Everything, he hated it all.

    He avoided talking to everyone during the trip to the Arcology, sitting next to Greg, nursing a strong cup of coffee and a scowl, the faint threads of his hangover coming back, despite the painkillers he had taken earlier. Once they arrived it didn’t take as long as they were worried it might for the outside team to get into position, once they confirmed their readiness Sergeant Davidson stood up and looked around.

    “Right guys, I am useless at the heroic speech crap. We have a job to do, lets go and do it shall we?”

    There was a moment of silence before it was broken by a snort of laughter. The sound seemed to prompt everyone into action, boiling the police officers out of the van and starting towards the office entrance.

    The front of the office was a typical Arcology office, a small frontage on one of the thoroughfare passages, three screens of LCLS panels, these in their standard plain white configuration. The entry was a single door, reinforced plastic, like with the LCLS panels it was basic, slate grey and with no obvious external markings. There was a identity card reader mounted just under the door handle, but it was the one that was connected to the Arcology AI, so they had the access codes for the system.

    The door swung open as soon as they tried the override code, surprising him slightly even as he breathed a sigh of relief, if they had properly armoured the door then it could have made everything incredibly more troublesome. The main hallway extended the length of the offices, with doors leading off to the right. The lighting had been left on, but even as they moved into the building something seemed odd, it didn’t feel lived in, there was no build up of dust or other rubbish, a clean floor, covered with thin plastic sheeting. There were three doors, spread down the corridor, they appeared normal bar the fact that each was taped in place, wide packaging tape run around the sides of each door, sealing them in place.

    The tape stopped them for a few seconds, each door way quickly being scanned to see if the tape was concealing anything, wires or detonators of some kind being the most likely. Nothing was detected; the tape was just that, tape, serving no obvious purpose. Alex pulled out a pocket knife and carefully sliced down the tape, using only the tip of the knife so that it wasn’t going to be visible on the other side of the door. The tape fluttered slightly as he cut it, a faint breeze coming from inside the room. He looked down the corridor; each of the three doors had a four man team standing outside, quick hand signals flicked up and down the corridor.

    When the thumbs up flashed from each point man they began the countdown.

    5.... Weapon ready, finger on the trigger.

    4.... Hand on the door handle, ready to twist.

    3....Firm slap on the shoulder, the rest of the team ready.

    2....Deep breath in, ready to shout.

    1....Shift your weight, ready to move quick.

    0....Door open, enter, out of the kill zone, begin to shout even as you turn to the left, trust your second man to go right, scan the sector, engage targets in your sector only, trust the team.

    The entire sequence was so practised that it went without fault, the only problem, there were no targets. The warning shouts and instructions seemed to be swallowed by the atmosphere in the room. Instead of the living quarters or storerooms they expected it resembled something closer to a laboratory, two big computer mainframes dominated the centre of the room, their squat shapes glowing slightly, lights flickering across the surface. Around each of the walls stood large tubes, each with a small transparent viewing pane set in the centre of the tube.

    Alex exchanged puzzled glances with the rest of his team; they hadn’t been expecting anything like this. He made his way over to one of the tubes and peered inside. There was a floating body inside, a large mask strapped around its head. Alex raised his head so that he could peer around the inside of the tube. The figure appeared to be female, somewhere in the late teens or early twenties, blonde hair floating in the bio-fluid that filled the tube. Her eyes were closed, appearing entirely relaxed, a gentle stream of bubbles coming from beneath the mask as she exhaled.

    The steady hum of the computer servers behind him suddenly changed pitch, all the officers spinning around to look at the central console. Lights flickered across it before a sudden hissing crackle sounded and a faint odour of burning plastic filled the room. Self-destructing computer hardware, Alex sighed, it meant that they would be unlikely to get any real information off what would by now be slagged remains. There was the sound of boots coming down the corridor outside heralded Davidson, who pushed his head through the door and asked,

    “Computer fried here too?”

    The wordless nod he received in response elicited a muttered curse and he set off to the final room, disappearing from their sight again. Alex finally began to relax, slinging his carbine onto his back and pulling a stick of chewing gun out of one of his pockets before loudly beginning to chew.

    “Do you have....” Greg’s normal protest was cut short by a dull thud coming from one of the tubes behind Alex. Suddenly all around the room the tubes began to sound, thumping noises coming from all the tubes. Alex quickly moved back to the tube he had been looking in before and checked again; this time the girls eyes were wide open, staring in terror as she tried to claw herself out of the tube. Alex stepped back in shock, staring at the tube, there must be someway to get her out. There was a control panel mounted on the side of the tube with a small text display above it. There must be someway to open the tube, some kind of emergency release.

    He looked across the control panel, buttons for pH balance, temperature control, drug supplies and in the corner a small red button, covered with a hinged plastic shield. He struggled momentarily with the small shield due to his gloves before losing patience and clamping the finger of his glove in his teeth to get it off and doing it barehanded. The button did as he hoped, the front of the tube sliding up, releasing a wave of fluid across the floor, followed by the girl, still with a number of drug shunts and a neural connection attached. She slithered out of the tube and almost immediately starting to shiver. Alex crouched down next to her, gently reaching out to remove the drug shunts and neural connection. All around the room the tubes were opening, each depositing a young girl at the feet of the officer who had opened the tube. It took a second before Alex realised what he was finding so odd. All the girls looked identical, this wasn’t any random office, this was a bioroid growth facility. This was a massive find, even without the computers.

    Bioroids weren’t a new invention; nanotechnology had advanced to the stage where it was easy to use it to create a biological entity, biogenesis. Of course, as soon as governments realised the implications behind the ability to create artificial life they began to regulate it, doing their best to legislate ethical limits into the production, instead of eliminating the problem it simply pushed it under ground. Illegal pleasure bioroids began to pop up; designs with extra body parts, modified nerves and perhaps more disturbingly, heavily modified brain chemistry. During one bust in Canada a number of bioroids had been found that had been designed to never age past puberty, appearing to be permanently children. It had caused outrage, news services playing images from the raid again and again, experts brought in to comment on other possibilities, even some knee-jerk reaction laws.

    These appeared more normal, externally at least, young adults, fully formed. Alex pulled off his jacket and gently placed it around the woman, covering her up as she sat, hunched up, on the floor. The touch, gentle though it was seemed to startle her, she looked up, seeming to notice him properly for the first time. She reached out, gingerly brushing a finger across his face. She still seemed scared, though there was something else about the way she looked, something almost hungry. She suddenly jumped forwards, arms wrapping around him, face nuzzling into his neck. The shock of it almost made him through an arm out in defence but he reigned in the response, seeing the other figures around the room doing the same to the other officers, bar the one in front of Greg who was staring at him with an expression of almost child like curiosity.

    It was when she started trying to kiss him that it got weird.

    It took nearly two hours for them to transport all the women to the Arcology hospital and start the treatment, closing off two wards for their use. Full biological scans indicated a number of differences between them and normal humans, but they key ones were in their brain chemistry. There were a number of cross links, but the one that had caused the problems in the office was the connection between fear and arousal; something that had been intentionally designed in it seemed. For some reason the attraction didn’t extend to some bioroid designs, so the only people that were able to go into the wards were the medical robots and the three bioroids that were on the team, interviewing each of the ladies and trying to link any information they received with the little that they had managed to extract from the computers in the office.

    It was another two hours before they could begin to put the picture together, pleasure bioroids, illegal AI systems, some kind of deep space link. The section spread themselves out among the spare beds in one of the side rooms, it looked like it wouldn’t just be a single warrant they would be doing, this was going to be HUGE.


    OOC:

    And finished, the last bit I toned down a bit from what I originally had in mind, didn't really know what would breach the adult situations rule, so possibly erred on the side of safety.

    And sorry about the RL issues, even though the sympathy of a stranger probably doesn't mean too much.
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    Otagia
    Admin

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    Age : 30
    Location : Saint Louis, Missouri

    Re: New Member Test #1: Diggledom

    Post  Otagia on Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:07 am

    Test 1:
    5/5 Grammar
    12/15 Character
    15/25 Dialogue
    20/25 Imagery
    25/30 Plot
    Total: 77

    I liked it a lot, but it had a couple things I think you could improve: The characters of the commanders were well done, but probably could have been involved more across the rest of the RP. It would have been nice to hear the fates of their specific vessels and crews. Imagery could also be worked on IMO. It seemed a bit overly matter-of-fact for my tastes. Of course, I'm probably prone to a bit of purple prose myself, so don't take that too harshly.

    I marked off a couple points for dialogue simply because there isn't much of it. No real problems there.

    Test 2:
    5/5 Grammar
    15/15 Character
    25/25 Dialogue
    25/25 Imagery
    30/30 Plot
    Total: 100

    Not much to say about this one. Didn't find anything I felt worth deducting points for. Good job.

    5/5 Grammar
    15/15 Character
    20/25 Dialogue
    25/25 Imagery
    30/30 Plot
    Total: 95

    Another great one. The dialogue seemed a bit stiff to me: Not enough contractions.

    Grand Total: 272. Pass.

    Welcome to the ESUS.

    Diggledom

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2011-01-02
    Age : 28
    Location : Nottingham, UK

    Re: New Member Test #1: Diggledom

    Post  Diggledom on Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:02 am

    Well, I am happy with that outcome it has to be said. Is it worth waiting for the new wiki to appear before I post any of the background and history, or should I post it on one of the other areas of the forum?
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    Otagia
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    Re: New Member Test #1: Diggledom

    Post  Otagia on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:40 pm

    The old wiki is still accessible at wiki.esusalliance.co.uk. All data on it should be carried over when it's inevitably transfered to our new .com address (currently in a holding pattern), so using it still probably won't hurt anything.

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    Re: New Member Test #1: Diggledom

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