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File 148704560551.png - (219.24KB , 600x600 , The Sunfish2.png )
779392 No. 779392 ID: b073ca

Previous thread: http://www.tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/762401.html

Wiki: http://www.tgchan.org/wiki/The_Sunfish

Discussion thread: http://www.tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/106228.html
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No. 779396 ID: b073ca
File 148704578516.png - (96.85KB , 600x515 , 2-1.png )
779396

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No. 779397 ID: b073ca
File 148704579510.png - (102.56KB , 600x515 , 2-2.png )
779397

Incoming call

Bucky: "Sam! Sam pick up! Oh God, pick up Sam!
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No. 779398 ID: b073ca
File 148704580363.png - (96.15KB , 600x359 , 2-3.png )
779398

Groggily, you pull yourself out from under your slumbering girlfriend and find your datapad. Annie sits up and yawns with a ruffle of feathers.

Sam: "Bucky? Calm down, what's wrong?"
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No. 779399 ID: b073ca
File 148704582403.png - (127.94KB , 600x529 , 2-4.png )
779399

Bucky's voice comes to you from the edge of tears, and from the sounds of it, still in his spacesuit: "Oh God, I fucked up, Sam! Th-they found us! They just warped in!"

You feel your fur stand on end: "Who? Repo men?!?"

Annie's irises shrink to furious pinholes; she's immediately out of bed and gearing up.

Bucky swallows his fear and croaks out a terrified: "Yeah...re-repo men... Sam...I... what're we going to do?"
>>
No. 779402 ID: 398fe1

>>779399
The crew of the Sunfish will help. They want to stay hidden.

Immediately tell Polly that a hostile ship just warped in. Ask if the Sunfish has any ship to ship weapons. Also we're probably going to have to negotiate quickly with the security team to organize a joint defense if the repo-men stage a boarding party.
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No. 779403 ID: 842fc7

>>779399
>what're we going to do?
We're going to kill repo-men, Bucky.
I'd think that would be obvious.
>>
No. 779404 ID: 094652

Your best bet is to rile up security and make them force-push all the armored forces to the ground.

Lure them in, near a bottleneck, then get out of the way and let the Repos have it!
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No. 779411 ID: 3abd97

>Yeah...re-repo men... Sam...I... what're we going to do?
...hide behind the people here. Try to get them to do our work where we can. They don't all trust outsiders, and they're desperate for resources. So we feed them the repos, if we can. And we kill the fuckers ourself if they give us an opening.

Where are you Sam? We've got a crowd to hide in down here, but the ship is right out in the open.
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No. 779413 ID: bb78f2

You're at the railgun Bucky, you telling me you CAN'T obliterate them right now?
>>
No. 779421 ID: 143250

turn off the radio, panic and scream, then turn on the radio, and calmly do this: >>779411
>>
No. 779425 ID: 8d4593

We're going to kill them all, of course.
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No. 779450 ID: fe7355

>>779413
Except Sam and Annie don't know about the mass drivers built into the asteroid. Bucky found all that out while Sam and Annie were asleep and so far hasn't informed them.

Also, those are fixed position industrial mass drivers, meaning they can't move to track anything on their own. It'd require turning the entire asteroid to aim one at the repo men's ship, which means it's going to be very obvious and it's not gonna be accurate at all. And the target ship would have to be clear of the Sunfish, lest the shot blow a hole clean through both it and the Sunfish.
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No. 779462 ID: 398fe1

>>779450
It'd be easier to lure the repo ship in front of a railgun. Heck, if it tries to dock with the starlette to send in a boarding party, we can make sure the starlette's airlock or whatever is facing an area where the railguns can fire into. Then if the ship docks with the starlette we can fire the railgun and already have it aimed correctly.

Of course by doing this the asteroid will get knocked out of position, so we'd have to reposition it somehow. The starlette might be able to help with that... give it a nudge, maybe?
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No. 779468 ID: fe7355

Okay, first, tell Bucky we'll figure it out, you just need him to breathe and calm down while you think. Ask him to recount what happened with him since your last contact, and just how he knows there's a ReNu repo man ship out there, while you yank your clothes on. You can tell he's in his spacesuit, so did he get the spare suits? Is he in the bunker or on the asteroid's surface or what? Did he see the repo men's ship with his own eyes or the Starlette's sensors? Did the repo men see the Starlette? Is the Starlette safely out of their view behind the asteroid? Well, however he spotted the repo men, you need him to upload the proof of it to your datapa; Either the Starlette's sensor logs or video or images of the ship he takes from the asteroid. You're going to want to show it to Polly and anybody else on in Sunfish's crew you need the help from as proof ReNu has found the Sunfish. And keep an eye on the repo men, either by ship sensors or by eye, and keep you updated on what they're doing.

As for what you want Bucky to do, that depends on whether the repo men spotted the Starlette or not, and if they didn't how easily they can detect it. If they didn't detect it, you don't know whether you want Bucky going back to it or not. He may be spotted crossing the surface of the asteroid and that'll be that. They'll swoop in and scoop him up. And we might need to use the Starlette at some point as a misdirection or diversion that'll be risky to it and you don't want Bucky on board if it comes to that. But really, you can't say for sure what Bucky should do until you know more about the situation, both from him and elsewhere.

Ah, but there is one thing you know you want Bucky to do: Try and figure out how the repo men found us. All three of you should think back and try and figure out if any of you made a mistake. Because you know you three were damn careful about losing them, and you need to know it wasn't error on our part. Because if it wasn't a error on our part, then somebody, or something, we don't know of gave us up.

Anyway, you need to bring this emergency to Polly's attention as soon as you and Annie are dressed. She'll know more about the crew and how to inform them and possibly bring them around to helping you, or at least not wanting to lynch you for leading ReNu here.

Unfortunately, just killing the repo men more likely than not won't be the end of it. If they checked in with ReNu before jumping here, reporting the coordinates of this system and why they were coming here, and then they don't check in within a set time period, ReNu is going to figure something went wrong and possibly send another ship to investigate. The repo man's ship will have to be seized in order to pull its logs and records to find out what they know and sent back to ReNu before coming here. There's also the possibility that when the repo men run the Sunfish's name through the ship registry database it'll come back with a flag added by ReNu to immediately report its position back, which would mean either a repo man team'll enter the Sunfish before their pilot jumps back to report, or the ship'll jump back shortly. And then there's the likely situation where a repo man team'll disembark, their pilot will stay behind in radio contact, and if the repo man team doesn't report in on time or thinks they're dead, the pilot will jump away. And if that happens, the Sunfish is 110% screwed 'cause ReNu will come back with a fleet to capture it.

...And a terrible thought just went across your mind: What if it wasn't Old Sam that got you loose, but ReNu letting you go to lead them to the Sunfish. That they either couldn't get Old Sam to cooperate and give up the Sunfish's location, or she had actually died or was in the wind and all ReNu had was a sample of her genetic material and a old neural pattern scan. So they clone you up and fabricate a message from Old Sam, leave you the resources you need to get away, and then tail you to find the Sunfish... And if they did this, that may mean the Starlette is compromised. That it has a tracking beacon or some such hidden on board, leading them here. But this is speculation, and you can't go chasing after speculation. And you can't have Bucky tear the Starlette apart trying to find a tracking beacon that may not exist outside of your fearful imagination.
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No. 779471 ID: fe7355

>>779462
That's actually a decent idea. It'd just take Bucky nano-fog hacking the railgun central control system, which might be in the asteroid bunker and thus accessible to him, or convincing the relevant Sunfish crew to cooperate with the plan. Though, it raises the question of how to get the repo men to not think it was some kind of trap. 'Cause they'd figure Sam and company would be fleeing from them in the Starlette, not sitting about.
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No. 779472 ID: 91ee5f

>>779462
I'm pretty sure there's more than 1 railgun on the asteroid. We can just fire one on the opposite side to push it back into position.
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No. 779642 ID: b073ca
File 148712193177.png - (92.42KB , 600x506 , 2-5.png )
779642

Sam: "Calm down, Bucky. Its going to be okay... Now, how d'you think they found us?"

A ragged, frustrated sigh comes through the speaker: "It must have been the guys that helped me get the Starlette. I promised them a percentage of my cut and they needed info as insurance ... Renu must have gotten to them."

Getting dressed, you pause and frown: "Or maybe they were watching us the whole time..."

Bucky: "What? Why?"

Sam: "They might have set us up, gotten us to take them right to the Sunfish. There's something here that they desperately want; something that Old Sam wouldn't give them. They used us to find it."

Bucky: "What is it?"

Sam: "Immortality, Bucky. The real deal. No more installment plans, they'd be like gods... we have to stop them."
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No. 779643 ID: b073ca
File 148712194083.png - (61.98KB , 600x397 , 2-6.png )
779643

Bucky: "Dude, they have a frigate out here, the Starlette wouldn't last two seconds against that....Although..."

Sam: "Although what?"

Bucky: "The asteroid has railguns on it: industrial ones. They mighe be enough but they aren't designed to be fired at anything... I'd have to lure them into range, that or rotate the whole asteroid."

Sam: "Could you do that?"

Bucky: "With the grapples: maybe...I don't think they've seen the Lette yet, but judging by how close they warped in, they can guess where I am...they just don't care...yet. Oh by the way, I got a space suit for you, although it sounds like..."

Sam: "Yeah, we can't leave yet... I'll trust you to figure out the railguns. No matter what, keep the Starlette safe: you're our only way out of here..."

Bucky: "Sam..."

Sam: "Don't worry about us. We're going to talk to the crew here and see if we can convince them to help us resist. It sounds like they want to stay hidden, so it's in their best interests to fight back."

Bucky is quiet for a while, but you hear his breathing steady itself. He laughs: "Goddamn it... I got tears in my helmet... stupid..."
He sniffs: "Okay, leave it to me. Sam, Annie... I love you... I won't let you down."
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No. 779650 ID: 350a50

Sam: Talk to crocodile.
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No. 779654 ID: fd725e

Bucky knows what to do, we can leave him to do his thing for a bit. In the mean time we need to get the message up the chain of command as quickly as humanly possible, as safe as we can. Talk to polly, tell her to keep quiet about us being a clone and to pass us up the best way she can. Use our likeness when we need to but save it for now.
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No. 779670 ID: 398fe1

>>779643
Love you too, hot buns. We'll get through this together.
>>
No. 779713 ID: 6614b0

You bunnies, so emotional.
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No. 779714 ID: 3abd97

>>779643
Love you too, Buck. Be safe.
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No. 779829 ID: e6e9af

>>779643

Holing up in the Sunfish may be our best bet, since they wouldn't dare wreck the thing and ruin what they'd need, all things considered.

Right now as much as we need the Starlette to get out, it's too risky to try to do much more than grab what from it we can and relocate. Same with the asteroid; both are sitting targets and can drift, easy.

Let's get Bucky in as well, as risky as it is. He's safer with us and that means we can fight back if need be, too.
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No. 779887 ID: 91ee5f

>>779650
This in a place that's private.
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No. 779889 ID: b073ca
File 148720943369.png - (98.07KB , 600x546 , 2-7.png )
779889

Sam: "We love you too, Bucky. Stay safe..."

You hang up and check with Annie, she gives you a determined nod. Together you slip out of the sleeping area and go looking for Polly. You find her deep in an argument with a stocky, familiar figure.

Polly: "I don't care what Feist says. If she wants them, she can come down here and get them herself. And if you try and take em outta here I'll rip your fucking head off mister Flint..."

Flint growls defiantly back at the gharial: "Don't test me, miss Polly. I know they're down here and I have orders."

Polly: "I could give a ships worth of shit about your 'orders', butcher..." Flint flinches as she spits the word.
Polly: "You know the arrangement, when they're down here, they're mine. If you don't like it, you'll see how long you can last with no water or septic system."

Flint squirms and avoids eye contact, catching sight of you: "You! Commander Feist wants a word with you!"
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No. 779891 ID: 595d54

>>779889
"Too bad. Learn your manners."

Talking with him might end up being beneficial, but we should do it on our own terms.
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No. 779892 ID: 9145ba

And I want a word with *him*.

Look to Polly. Butcher?
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No. 779894 ID: 398fe1

>>779889
Okay, call her up on the ship's comms. She needs to know the ship is about to be boarded by a hostile force.
>>
No. 779896 ID: e6e9af

>>779889

Hey, it's the jerk that stole our stuff! Stolen goods first, then maybe we'll entertain some talk over a comm system.
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No. 779897 ID: bb78f2

>>779889
Well tough fucking cookies, I'm the one in charge here, not the commander, and I'll play in the goddamn trash all I want. I started this ship and its project after all, Mr. Flint. I'm YOUR SUPERIOR and FEIST'S AND I WILL NOT BE ORDERED AROUND.

I supersede ALL ORDERS! Save from Polly's orders, since I respect her and from the pecking order sounds like, yeah, she'd have more power than the project head anyway due to her having the loyalty of the crew.

Also, you should pull up defenses because there's now more than just us new arrivals. Men after the research here have arrived and they're no allies of ours. Our mission was to close loose ends (and make some bank from dna cough cough before that changed cough cough), but now it's to defend the research. You're going to need our help since we're more antiquated with modern tactics and their technology. Not to mention you're going to get our NEO Scavenger when this is good and done with, so hey, I'm thinking about nothing more than your best interests here. And ours too, but they're one in the same at this point.

You WANT this entire crew to be vivisected alive, or are you going to bow down to your old master, Flint?
>>
No. 779898 ID: 3abd97

>>779889
Just one word? Doesn't sound very important.

>what do
Negotiating with these guys in some way is probably important, but following him into security territory, where they can decide to hand us over to the repo men in trade or in response to threats is probably a bad idea.
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No. 779900 ID: 350a50

>>779894
This.
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No. 779902 ID: 891f4e

>>779889
"We have bigger problems than just us being here. There's a warship of Repo-men outside!"
>>
No. 779906 ID: a363ac

>>779897
DO IT MAKE THEM BOW BEFORE YOUR POWA.
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No. 779910 ID: 89b351

>>779889
Look dude you heard the nice lady, but we're willing to talk if you're also willing to listen, you've got some bad dudes incoming who are going to see and treat all of you like so many lab animals.
They don't have morals, probably won't negotiate and sure as hell aren't going to stop now that they've found this place.

Just thought you'd like to know.
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No. 779936 ID: 732277

Flip him the bird.

And by that, I mean have Annie do a somersault kick to his fucking face.
>>
No. 779961 ID: 8d4593

>>779889
You got bigger problems. A hostile assault frigate just pinched in. You'll have armed boarders to repel shortly.
>>
No. 779975 ID: 91ee5f

>>779889
>"You! Commander Feist wants a word with you!"
"Sorry, but we're not interested in talking with Feist, the second in command. Tell her to get her boss to talk with us."

And like Polly said, you're protected down here, she won't let Flint take you unless Feist herself shows up.
>>
No. 780009 ID: d36af7

Angry confrontation is the wrong approach here. To seize control of a situation effectively, first break the opposing party's rhythm by behaving in a polite and reasonable yet utterly unexpected manner.

"Ah, you must be head of security! Just the man I wanted to see right now. I'll get straight to the matter at hand: what ship-to-ship weapons do you have besides those industrial railguns?"
>>
No. 780012 ID: 350a50

>>780009
I like this one, changing vote to this.
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No. 780154 ID: b073ca
File 148729517186.png - (83.21KB , 600x466 , 2-8.png )
780154

You glare at him: "Well if you want to talk, you can start by returning our suits..."

He scoffs: "Get real kitty cat."

Sam: "But we've got bigger problems: there's a warship parked outside."

Flint snarls: "Oh? Is that a threat?"

Sam: "What? No! It belongs to the investors: the people who built the Sunfish. They know what you have hidden here and will tear the ship apart to get it."

In a smooth, calm motion Flint reaches into his coat, pulls out a communicator and holds it next to his head without ever breaking eye contact.

Flint: "Security, I want a...really... uh huh... you sure? Alright, I want a squad escorting her...."

He closes the device: "Engineering reports that they saw a ship appear a few minutes ago. Feist is on her way down..."

Polly snorts: "Great, as if it doesn't stink enough around here."
>>
No. 780197 ID: 398fe1

>>780154
Tell him if they kill the repo men you will be able to get all the resources they need for whatever they want to do in the long term on this ship. You are their golden ticket.

Let's get to Engineering to intercept Feist.
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No. 780212 ID: bb78f2

You're... really short
>>
No. 780215 ID: 8d4593

>>780212
He's so tiny the scowl suddenly makes him look adorable.
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No. 780223 ID: bb78f2

>>780215
Can we take him home?
Take him home, Sam.
So like does he know your Sam yet? What's his opinion on that?

When feist gets here, we should where she put his leash so we can take him for a walk.
>>
No. 780294 ID: 89b351

>>780154
take a deep breath, you want them on your side for now remember, even if him and his boos sounds like gits.
>>
No. 780334 ID: a363ac

>>780212
Laugh and pat his short tiny head.
>>
No. 780344 ID: 91ee5f

>>780154
"I'd rather not talk to Feist, who is only the second in command. I'd rather talk to whoever her boss is."
>>
No. 780435 ID: b073ca
File 148738388020.png - (102.31KB , 600x527 , 2-9.png )
780435

Flint stands awkwardly at attention, attempting to ignore the tension in the room as he waits for his superior. You look over his head and snicker.

Flint: "Something funny?"

Sam: "A little."

Polly strangles a laugh as the canid shoots you a glare: if looks could kill, you'd be a pink mist.
>>
No. 780436 ID: b073ca
File 148738388807.png - (109.42KB , 600x551 , 2-10.png )
780436

You spot several popsicles peeking in on the tableau, making sour faces at the security officer. A bolder soul approaches the group and, looking for a softer target, Flint snaps at him.

Flint: "What?! Something bothering you?"

The worker flinches but holds his ground: "Um... we heard there's a ship... does that mean we might get to leave? To go with them?"

Flint and Polly both suddenly seem very uncomfortable and deliberately avoid each others gaze. You can see Flint rolling several responses around in his mind.

Finally, he sighs: "I don't know. I suppose that would be up to commander Feist... and the captain..."

Polly scoffs cynically, but some of the fire has gone out of it.
Polly: "What gives you the right..."

Annie catches your eye and wordlessly sends her intentions: she wants to speak up and is looking for backup.
>>
No. 780438 ID: 3373e2

Tell her the plan we discussed with the Doctor.
>>
No. 780439 ID: 398fe1

>>780436
Let's see what she has to say.

...huh, did anyone say what the captain's name was, yet?
>>
No. 780442 ID: 3abd97

>Annie catches your eye and wordlessly sends her intentions: she wants to speak up and is looking for backup.
Nod, or make some gesture in the affirmative. You've got her back.
>>
No. 780444 ID: 9145ba

>>780435
Flint's the one who should be laughing, he'll never bang his head on an airlock.

Nod emphatically at whatever Annie says.
>>
No. 780452 ID: bb78f2

>>780436
You can go over to Annie to prob. What's Gimli gonna do anyway as long as you don't run?
>>
No. 780471 ID: 89b351

>>780436
I think we can guess the gist of what Annie's gonna say and agree: 'you don't want to go with this ship, these guys are like slavers but want to give you over to even worse people'
>>
No. 780655 ID: 6be3d1

>>780436
annie always has our backup
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No. 780987 ID: b073ca
File 148747413179.png - (83.10KB , 600x465 , 2-11.png )
780987

Sam: "You don't want to go with these people."
You feel a lot of eyes on you and the popsicle regards you suspiciously: "Why not?"

You feel Annie's hand on your shoulder as she steps closer to you: "Because they're slavers. All they want from you is your DNA so that they can keep cloning people over and over again. Your genetic code is worth more to them than your lives."

You hear another voice from the nearby shanties: ""Who're you, then? Why do you care so much?"

Sam: "We're clones, I'm a copy of someone who helped build this ship and I'd like to help. We were planning on trading medical supplies for some genetic data, then using it to figure out a way to get people off the ship... we had no idea people were still living here, we were just looking for a way to escape these slavers."
>>
No. 780988 ID: b073ca
File 148747414009.png - (131.23KB , 600x577 , 2-12.png )
780988

Flint opens his mouth to say something, but stops as he hears a group of footsteps approach. The security officer stands at attention, bringing himself up to his modest maximum height and a tall woman with a sword strapped to her hip steps into view, flanked by a trio of guards.
Feist: "Dr. Tran, you have put me in a very difficult position..."
>>
No. 780998 ID: 3abd97

>>780988
Shake your head. "Maybe Doctor Tran put you in a bad position, but I'm not her. I'm just Sam."
>>
No. 781003 ID: 9876c4

Go down to record store.
Pass out American Dickings.
>>
No. 781004 ID: 9145ba

"Sorry, my memories of that time are a little fuzzy. Which position was it? The reverse nelson, or the sideways charleston?"
>>
No. 781011 ID: 094652

"Mom does that to everyone she meets. Your point?"
>>
No. 781022 ID: 398fe1

>>780988
No I haven't. Just help me kill the slavers that arrived and we can relocate the SUNFISH. Then you'll be hidden again and everyone will be happy. Except the slavers. They'll be dead.
>>
No. 781026 ID: 91ee5f

>>780988
"I may look like her, but I'm not her. I'm just her clone with only some of her memories. Which is how I found this ship all the way out here in the middle of nowhere."

"So you're the second in command, huh? Where's your boss? I'd like to speak with him or her about the current situation."
>>
No. 781030 ID: 3373e2

Clarify this for her.
You are NOT Dr. Tran.
>>
No. 781051 ID: 15a025

Try and start talking about a possible game plan here on dealing with these slavers.
>>
No. 781090 ID: bb78f2

>>780988
No the people out there did. The investor's of this project there did. Me? I'm trying to get out of the position they put me in, and hopefully you too. It's in our mutual interest to work together.

We need to kill them, and then maybe actually get you to actually colonize a new planet or otherwise integrate into modern society without spilling the big secret so you can stop living miserable lives on this bucket of bolts. It's not going to last forever and you're all mentally dying without proper stimulus and engagement, which will lead to mutiny that even the harshest sanctions you could pass won't resolve.

Not to mention there's the threat of the small mutants on board I've seen.
So really, without proper adaptation, you're all either going to end up as corporate cows and frogs, kill each other, or go through a survival horror scenario as the mutants continue to grow and become more threatening. Really, it's a good thing I came. Old Sam's info can deal with the mutants, we can deal with the repo men, and some of the Starlette's equipment can tide you over until we can find a better long term solution like a new colony or modern integration. So let's get over old fueds and personal conflicts and solve some shit.

Now, let's commence the traditional diplomatic orgy to signify the deal between us and go kill those repo men. I can give tactical suggestions to your squad leader's while you're eating my ass. Come on, off with the pants, we don't have time!

Slap Ernie Keebler's ass.
>>
No. 781093 ID: fe7355

>>781022
>No I haven't. Just help me kill the slavers that arrived and we can relocate the SUNFISH.
Um... The Sunfish doesn't have a pinch drive, so the distance this ship could cover in the time before another hostile ship jumps in to investigate what happened to the one that didn't report back would be... inadequate, to put it mildly.
>>
No. 781100 ID: 398fe1

>>781093
Didn't Sam say that towing a ship was possible? We could just pinch it to orbit some other nearby planet or star.

If towing isn't possible... what about taking the pinch drive out of the starlette and installing it on the sunfish? Or something like that?
>>
No. 781106 ID: 91ee5f

>>781100
>pinch drive out of the starlette and installing it on the sunfish? Or something like that?
Better idea: Take the pinch drive out of the enemy ship and install it on the Sunfish.

It wouldn't matter either way. The Sunfish wasn't built to use pinch drives, so it'd fall apart upon activation. Or because of the crew cannibalizing the insides of the ship for who know how long, the Sunfish's structural integrity wouldn't be able to handle a pinch drive being turned on.
>>
No. 781180 ID: e6e9af

>>780988

As much as you'd like to have a doctorate and the vast knowledge of a prominent geneticist, you're just a flake that managed to get out of having her head used as the backup of someone who might be centuries dead by now.

Put simply, you're in the right place at the wrong time.
>>
No. 781194 ID: 398fe1

>>781106
Well in that case we can just get the immortal regenerating crew to overwhelm/outlast the slavers and steal their ship. It can hold more people, I'm guessing. Maybe enough to fit all the passengers in it, especially if the cryo tanks are portable. If the sunfish can't be moved, then it can be scuttled. Store all the research information, destroy any physical evidence of the research, and crash it into the planet once everyone's off of it.
>>
No. 781224 ID: 398fe1

Oh shit I had an awesome idea. How about we funnel them into whatever's sealed away in the comms section?

It could also maybe be possible to use the asteroid itself as a weapon, not just the railguns on it. How fast can it get moving? Could the starlette or the sunfish push it to get it moving fast enough to cause damage to the slaver ship, but decelerate at the last second so it doesn't take damage itself? Obviously we'd have problems with the thing being attached to the sunfish, but the equations for the relative forces involved could be solved by an engineer on board.
>>
No. 781590 ID: b073ca
File 148763972651.png - (88.30KB , 600x432 , 2-13.png )
781590

Sam: "For what it's worth, I'm not dr Tran. I'm just a clone, sent here by her."

Feist: "I figured as much: The Samantha Tran I knew would never have led the investors here. I'm afraid I don't know you or your comrade, and as such can't be sure of your intentions."

Annie bristles: " Our intentions? We want to help! We've been running from those bastards! We only came here to- to-"

Feist: "Steal our secrets and earn your freedom?"

Annie glowers: "Its not like that..."

Sam: "Look, we don't have time for this; we need to be preparing defenses or to move the ship! Where's the captain? I demand to speak with him."

Feist sighs: "Captain Stokes is, unfortunately, not in a condition to receive visitors at the moment. He has entrusted me with the safety of the crew and passengers and until this situation is resolved I ask you to accompany us."
She pauses, noticing Polly's darkening expression and exhales a haughty huff.
Feist: "Out of respect for our arrangement, however, I will allow you to remain here under Ms Polly's care, should you wish..."
>>
No. 781593 ID: 398fe1

If the crew's supposed to be immortal the captain is supposed to be too, so it should be impossible normally for him to be indisposed. "not in a condition to receive visitors" means he's probably in the blocked off area. He might even be the source of the teratomas.

Anyway, we can't do anything useful from down here. Either we go with her, or we stay here until she leaves and then we sneak away to do something.

Personally I'd go with her. Maybe find out what she thought of Old Sam.
>>
No. 781594 ID: a363ac

>>781590
So you killed Stokes some time ago and now you want to put us under your thumb so we can never escape and potentially spill the big secret, am I right. Well heres some news all we want is some fucking baby batter and to kick these repomens ass and we will be on our marry fucking way.
>>
No. 781595 ID: 3abd97

>"Steal our secrets and earn your freedom?"
We had no idea what we'd be walking into, here. We had no way to know if there were even anyone left to steal from.

>Feist: "Out of respect for our arrangement, however, I will allow you to remain here under Ms Polly's care, should you wish..."
What's the alternative? House arrest down here or up there? Or are you willing to work with us? Cause if there's one thing we know, it's fighting those bastards when they come after us.

We know their tactics, we're familiar with their gear. You need up to date intel.
>>
No. 781600 ID: 350a50

>>781595
This.
>>
No. 781602 ID: e6e9af

>>781590

Yeah, nah ... we're staying here. At present her staff have taken our stuff, threatened us, and insofar it sounds like we're more likely to be thrown into the brig or whatever their equivalent of a holding cell is rather than let go.

Is that selfish of us? Maybe, but no more selfish than making such demands after everything that has happened.
>>
No. 781609 ID: 91ee5f

>>781590
>Captain Stokes is, unfortunately, not in a condition to receive visitors at the moment. He has entrusted me with the safety of the crew and passengers
"How convenient, it's almost as if you did something to him and took over the ship by saying that he's in a 'condition' where he can't receive visitors. So what'd you do to him? Turn him into a popsicle? Kill him and jettison his body? Who else can validate your story? How many of the crew helped you take over the ship? Has anyone else seen him to confirm that he's still alive? Anyone that isn't your loyal lapdog that does whatever you say?"

"But, instead of standing around and arguing, think about this: Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since you were last in contact with civilization. Think of all the things you could use that's probably on that warship right now. Food, medical supplies, maybe even some clothes. Those are the things I can see you desperately need here. All you'd need to do is figure out how to get it from the enemy."

>"Out of respect for our arrangement, however, I will allow you to remain here under Ms Polly's care, should you wish..."
Not sure about this.

We could go with her to start building trust and show that we do want to help. Maybe even get our suits back or something. But there's no telling if she won't just attack us or shove us into cryopods and then eject us into space.

It's safer to stay with Polly because Feist can't touch us down here. But then we can't build any trust with her.

What to do?
>>
No. 781611 ID: 3abd97

>>781594
>>781609
Honestly, I don't see how pointing out her power grab / accusing her of a power grab do us any good at the moment. The accusation won't destabilize her control (her two man security team will be people she trusts, and Polly's sorters are already on the outs with the people in charge), and it'll just antagonize her.
>>
No. 781614 ID: 350a50

>>781611
Agreed.
>>
No. 781622 ID: bb78f2

Flint is Feist your Mom?
There's a resemblance.
I mean, beyond that you both start with the letter F, but I was talking about how you're both canines.

Actually no it's actually the F thing.
Flint and Feist, Flint and Feist, they'll make you shout "Jesus Christ!"

So we... can talk here then, right? In neutral territory where you have no clear advantage and kill us the minute you can hide us because it might seem like the best option to your short sighted minds?
>>
No. 781623 ID: 79a07e

>>781611
Yeah, that's not good.

Maybe we can bring a friend or two with us?
>>
No. 781638 ID: 91ee5f

>>781622
>Talk in neutral territory.
Yeah, let's do that.
>>
No. 781656 ID: 9411c6

"For all I know it's a blatant murder coverup, but I can't seem to care. Where's the best place for ambushing repo men?"
>>
No. 781660 ID: bec5e8

"If you'd rather make enemies than friends, then so be it -- but that's not the attitude a wise leader carries with her."
>>
No. 781662 ID: d4c7fb

How bad are the mutations? How warped is Captain Stokes? If the corporations get this faulty la-la land delusion of yours, they will reverse-engineer it, and they will repurpose it to their own profits. Want to find out just how thoroughly a horde of freshly mutated citizens can decimate their own planet? No? THEN TAKE OUT THAT @#$%ING SHIP.
>>
No. 781722 ID: c22a53

Mention but downplay the power grab, state we simply don't care about the captain then. If we can be of help then please let us help, if you don't want us then we'd prefer house arrest down here. We need to focus on fighting, ambushing, stealing from, fooling or escaping the repo men.
>>
No. 781724 ID: fbeeaf

>Captain Stokes not in condition to receive visitors.
Does it involve the weird cancer creatures or the ominous sounds from communications?
>>
No. 781930 ID: b073ca
File 148772921967.png - (115.56KB , 600x600 , 2-14.png )
781930

Sam: "Not receiving visitors? What is he, under the weather? I thought you people were tougher than that..."

Feist: "Do you have a point?"

Sam: "Seems odd is all. Convenient..."

Feist sighs: "Hardly. Despite our conditions, we aren't perfect; in fact the treatment can actually complicate otherwise manageable conditions. Dr. Spencer, for example, suffers from an astigmatism that is resistant to corrective surgery, Ms Polly experiences chronic pain due to her unusual size and I have to live with my gender dysphoria because of the lack of treatment options. Captain Stokes was among the oldest of us to receive the treatment and occasionally suffers from... complications."

You look to Polly for confirmation and she gives you a grudging shrug.

Polly: "Its alright... I manage."
>>
No. 781932 ID: 9145ba

Do these 'complications' tend to scuttle around in the maintenance shafts?
>>
No. 781933 ID: 398fe1

>>781930
Hmm. Well, looks like they didn't get everything they wanted, then. I'm guessing their bodies are locked to how they were when they became immortal. Chronic diseases still occur, because the body won't change. It's like they're locked in time...

Anyway, ask Polly if she has any advice here. Can you trust Feist?
>>
No. 781935 ID: 9f3729

>>781930
"Fair enough. Not trying to stoke fires, just a bit on edge. Like I said, the ship outside is bad news. We had no intention of stealing anything, we were going to sell random dna samples we found around the ship and in return for that, get you guys fitted with a warp drive. The twins can confirm it, we were being squirrely because we didn't want a rush of people going "give us a ride out of here" because our ship isn't equipped for more than a few passengers."

Or something to that effect. Honesty and an edge of desperation about the gene slavers.
>>
No. 781941 ID: 350a50

>>781930
"I'm willing to team up against the investors, but we're going to need something to guarantee we won't get stabbed in the back."
>>
No. 781942 ID: 79a07e

>>781935
Basically this.
>>
No. 781944 ID: 91ee5f

>>781930
>Ms Polly experiences chronic pain due to her unusual size
Tell Feist that it's not nice to call Polly fat.

>Polly's eyes are orange.
Ask Polly if she's knows her eyes have changed color and are orange instead of green like they were earlier.

"If you wanted to talk, then let's talk. Right here, right now. Since you all say Polly's area of the ship is considered 'neutral grounds', I'd say this is the perfect place for you and me to talk. First order of business, getting rid of those guys outside. I'm sure we can both agree that we don't want them here. So let's work together and get rid of them."
>>
No. 781945 ID: 3abd97

>awkward immortality stuff
Well, if it's any consolation, having an incomplete copy of another you in the back of your head has its downsides too.

>>781935
Yeah, you might as well come clean. Her (if that's the right pronoun) speaking honestly about their difficulties is a gesture of trust, and reaching out. Reciprocate.

You honestly didn't know what the hell you'd be finding here, so you were playing cautious.

But look, you're in trouble, you're tied to my past, are you willing to work with us here? I don't think the people out there have any of our best interests in mind, and we're gonna need each other to get through this.
>>
No. 781949 ID: bb78f2

And the treatment is... irreversible?
I mean, I guess it would be stupid to to make a cure to immortality, but there would be merit.
Maybe Old Sam working with Spencer could make a cure, I would just need to lose myself for a bit. If she thought of something, anything, well you might still have it
>>
No. 782031 ID: ebeee1

WHAT ABOUT THE CANCER CREATURES AND THE SOUND FROM COMMUNICATIONS!
>>
No. 782100 ID: 3ace27

>>781930

Alright, well … sounds like we all got off on the wrong foot and maybe acted a bit hastily, though all things considered there are some pretty pressing matters for everyone involved.

So how about we all just, walk over there so we aren't overheard, Polly comes with us, and we just … talk? Figure out what to do, work together, and make sure everyone gets out of this OK. Everyone.
>>
No. 782134 ID: c91f5b

>>781930
So I'm assuming the regeneration will repair things it believes are relevant to the specimen's biology, sort of a backup of a specific state of being even if it includes maladies?
>>
No. 782177 ID: b073ca
File 148781267755.png - (82.91KB , 600x501 , 2-15.png )
782177

Sam: "Do these 'complications' scuttle around and have multiple beady eyes?"

Feist tilts her head quizzicality: "Wha- oh, you've seen the teratomas. No, I'm afraid those tragic creatures are unrelated. If we had time I could tell you all about their sordid history, but I think our current situation takes precedent."

Annie gives you a nod and you come to a decision: "We'd like to help. We have info about what kind of technology they'll be packing, and Annie probably has much experience fighting repo men as anyone alive."

Feist does a heel turn and starts walking: "Excellent, if you'd follow us please..."

Sam: "But..."

She pauses and half turns back to you, cocking an eyebrow from over her shoulder: "But?..."

Sam: "We'd like some kind of guarantee of our safety if we do so."

The commander mulls this over for a moment and pulls her goat companion aside: "Jasper, I want you to gather their spacesuits, have them delivered into Ms Polly's care. Should we successfully repel the investors, I'll agree to allow you the freedom to come and go from the Sunfish, as long as you refrain from causing trouble. Does that satisfy you?"
>>
No. 782179 ID: 9f3729

>>782177
"Good as we can ask for. We'll try to get you guys hooked up with a pinch drive."
>>
No. 782182 ID: 3abd97

>>782177
Technically, that doesn't in any way stop her from holding the two of your prisoner once you're in her grasp, but that's about as good a gesture of good faith as she can offer you in your current circumstances.

Accept her offer. I think that's as good as you're gonna get.
>>
No. 782185 ID: bb78f2

>>782177
All right.
One more thing, so it's not hanging over our heads and we can have it out and discussed and not have it come out later at an even more pressing time.

Why is Flint's nickname the butcher and not the baker?
Cause I bet he makes mean shortstacks.
>>
No. 782189 ID: 350a50

"Sure. Let's go kick ass together."
>>
No. 782191 ID: 7b7ab3

It's a fair shine better than the alternative. Let's rock.
>>
No. 782195 ID: 91ee5f

>>782177
"Sure, that'll work."

As soon as you get your spacesuits, double--no, triple check them to make sure Feist or one of her goons didn't mess with them! I wouldn't put it past her to put something on the suits so that you have to do what she says or else she'll make your suits malfunction and have the vacuum of space kill you!
>>
No. 782295 ID: 8d4593

That's all we can really ask for.
>>
No. 782318 ID: d36af7

Sure, that's acceptable. Never thought I'd be so happy to hear about all my stuff being thrown in the garbage.
>>
No. 782601 ID: e6e9af

>>782177

Considering we'll all probably be dead if we don't? Fair enough. It's a deal.
>>
No. 782619 ID: 72a406

First up, jam communications. These guys will send out a broadcast once they've confirmed this place is the real deal. Then wipe out the enemy squadron, burn everything you find and drive the ship into the sun just to be safe.
>>
No. 782870 ID: b073ca
File 148804019094.png - (130.37KB , 600x600 , 2-16.png )
782870

Sam: "That sounds fair, count us in."

Polly: "Don't worry, I'll make sure no one messes with your stuff. You two just come back safe."

Feist motions for you to follow and you fall in behind her long, serious strides.

Feist: "We're headed for the gaps, we expect them to breach through the cargo bay and hope to hold them there. You'll have to brief me on the way: what are we up against?"

Annie: "We call them 'repo-men', they're a private military force: shock-troops mainly. Very mobile units designed to quickly breach, strike, and capture their targets."

Feist: "But not kill?"

Annie: "If they have to, they're slavers: they only get paid if their target is alive."

Flint: "Hah, better for us then."

Annie: "They rely a lot on intimidation and surprise, which means they may not be expecting an organized response. If we can force them back they may want to parley."

Feist: "We don't have a lot to parley with but we can address that problem later. What kind of tech can we expect?"

As you travel you share your info about the various items you've scavenged from previous Repo-men encounters. You arrive at one of the lower entrances to the gaps as you finish up.

Feist: "Really? Tape?"

You shrug: "It's handy stuff. What're you guys packing?"

Feist looks worried: "Very little I'm afraid. We have two pushguns for peacekeeping purposes, a mining laser, although it's too large to easily move, some grav hammers from mining and other assorted tools."
>>
No. 782871 ID: 9145ba

Perhaps you can weaponize the life support. Explosive decompression? Disable door safeties to shock them/turn them into guillotines? With some PVC piping and an air tank, you could make a potato gun that shoots... anything, really. Knives, glass shards- speaking of sharp objects, departmental tools like welders and circular saws could serve as melee weapons in a pinch if you're driven to close quarters.

Don't forget to spread space lube on the floors, honk!
>>
No. 782872 ID: b412df

We've got a piece of grav plating and a stun baton here, could probably make either another pushgun or a pulse bomb if we have a power source.

It sounds if we might be outnumbered, if we compare raw numbers of armed combatants. But we have some time to prepare which might even things out somewhat.

Try not to mention this if there's any popsicles about.
Previous data on how they operate might not apply here, since before they're trying to capture escaped installment plans, here they've got data on immortality to get. They might not know what form it takes so they might still stick to non-lethal if they suspect the crew might be immortal, but I'll bet they'll be pulling out all stops to try and get what they want, which might mean unseen equipment or just being more aggressive.

We noted that you've got industrial railguns around the asteroid that you're towing, do you think those could be used to damage their ship if it was lured into their arc of fire?
>>
No. 782873 ID: 8d4593

We also have Bucky.
Bucky has a gun.
A gun with fucking armor piercing ammunition.
>>
No. 782875 ID: e6e9af

>>782870

You're in a siege position, potentially, and if the gaps are what I recall, then you've got long shots and a bunch of heavy stuff that can crush things or become dangerous projectiles with enough momentum.

Strand and isolate them, then bring down platforms or send debris to them. Grav plating could help with that, potentially, same with the hammers. Guerrilla tactics will be safer than a frontal response, since the repo-men are likely better armed and armored than we are.

Our big surprise, though, is potentially being able to flank: Bucky. He could maneuver the ship or even the asteroid into a position where they're forced to either defend it or themselves, at which point we can likely make proper demands.
>>
No. 782876 ID: e6e9af

>"If they have to, they're slavers: they only get paid if their target is alive."

I have a crazy idea for if this goes catastrophically wrong. We're no use to these guys dead, right? If Bucky can stay hidden, we can keep him out of this by pretending he ran off without us. As for ourselves ...

Okay, this is crazy, but we can stage our own deaths, perhaps. Ask Fiest how exactly the "treatment" is administered, how long it takes, and what kind of damage can be recovered from. If completely necessary -- and ONLY THEN -- we could appear to die to the repo-men and they'd have no reason to do anything but back off. The trick will be "dying" in such a way that we can recover.

It's a risky bid and one we should only consider if we don't expect to be able to get out of this any other way, but ... if we "die," it also means we won't be hunted any more.

>>
No. 782880 ID: 3abd97

>Annie: "If they have to, they're slavers: they only get paid if their target is alive."
>Flint: "Hah, better for us then."
Does that matter as much here? This is a resource rich environment, for them. They could slaughter everyone who mounts a resistance then still sweep up the hundreds of popsicles who can't fight back for a payday.

And information on how the immortality tech works might be more valuable than the lives of every single person here.

>other assorted tools
A lot of tools are pretty deadly. Especially if we're talking space-future tools.
>>
No. 783029 ID: 350a50

>>782871
This. Play like a Rogue SS13 AI.
>>
No. 783034 ID: 6cbace

>>Mining tools as weaponry
aww yiss we deadspace it up in here
>>
No. 783049 ID: 15a025

If they're after the "immortal" DNA, not really sure if they're going to care too much about killing off people and just taking a bunch of their DNA samples. It'd be better to assume they intend on using lethal force without hesitation than assume they'll only use it as a last resort.
>>
No. 783112 ID: 59267c

>>782870
also the railguns.
>>
No. 783114 ID: 188451

I wonder if the repomen have some kind of solvent for the weldtape? If not, a couple pieces looped so they're sticky side up and down can do wonders. (maybe on the ladder on the way up?) If they can't move without messing up their suits/the floor/ladder they would be in a good position for us to surprise them. Only question is where would be a decent starting place? Lights off for the cargo bay to start with. Have someone primed to shut down gravity for the room. That or unsecure some of the more worthless/heavy cargo, start with grav off and turn it on to try to squash them.
Push guns would be pretty effective in knocking the enemy back/shooting debris at them in zero-g.
>>
No. 783395 ID: 8a204b

I'm idly wondering if we could Tech the Tech in order to turn one of those Pushguns into a Space-Ghetto Railgun.

Something something reverse the polarity of the graviton field and channel it along the magnetic coil tube.
>>
No. 783468 ID: b073ca
File 148823989285.png - (57.58KB , 467x600 , 2-17.png )
783468

Sam: "How about we weaponize the ship itself? Can we rig doors to electrocute them, or decompress or just locked out? We could increase or reduce the gravity in some rooms and take away their mobility..."

Annie: "We also have a loose piece of grav plating that could be adapted into another pushgun."

Commander Feist nods: "Some of our engineers should be meeting us shortly, we'll see what they can rig up."
>>
No. 783469 ID: b073ca
File 148823990313.png - (139.88KB , 600x600 , 2-18.png )
783469

A few minutes later, a small group of crewmen wearing heavy, utilitarian clothing and hauling an assortment of tools show up.

A squirrel with a head covering reports in, acknowledging you with a confused expression: "Wherde do you want us?"

Feist: "Our plan is to use the ship to bottle them up. Dachell, can you lock down the corridors leading to the gaps and force them into a chokepoint?"

While the twins' accent was clipped and chirpy, Dachell's voice is fluid, practically a purr: "How llong do we have?"

Feist: "Unknown."

Dachell exchanges a glance with a nearby engineer: a massive vulture carrying a bulky arrangement of tubes and radiators on his shoulder. You assume it must be a laser; anything with that many fins has to pump out some serious heat.

Dachell: "We can prdobably give you two or three chokes. No guarantee."
>>
No. 783470 ID: b073ca
File 148823990819.png - (91.31KB , 544x600 , 2-19.png )
783470

Annie holds up the grav plate: "can you do anything with this?"

Dachell: "Do you have a power sourdce?"

Annie shows her the baton and the engineer scratches her chin: "Give me a few minutes, I'll see whatd I can do."
>>
No. 783477 ID: 57f342

Inquire about weaponizable systems that are difficult to automate. Life support probable wasn't designed to allow someone to suddenly kill people, but maybe Bucky can take control of stuff like that.
>>
No. 783486 ID: a8bc5c

Ask if they have any explosives.

An well timed IED or throwable explosive would be absolutely devastating to a group of enemy combatants in a choke.
>>
No. 783538 ID: 9876c4

touch fluffy tail
Genuflect
>>
No. 783563 ID: fe7355

Better tell Feist now about Bucky's idea to blow the repo men's ship away with one of the asteroid's mass drivers. Tell her now because if you're gonna do it, Bucky'll have to turn the asteroid slow enough that it doesn't ping on the repo men's ship's sensors. You're also gonna need them to operate the mass driver remotely. (You don't want to risk Bucky going out on the surface of the asteroid on the side with the repo men's ship and possibly being spotted nano-fogging the right mass driver.) We're only gonna get one shot, and we have to take it 'cause if that ship isn't destroyed their pilot will jump away and report where the Sunfish is once they lose contact with the boarding party. Frankly, you'd prefer to blow that ship away before they attempt to board the Sunfish, but if the asteroid is turned too quick they'll spot it. And you also don't know if we could get a clear shot at the moment.

Also ask how extensive the Sunfish's internal network is and how many systems are hooked into it. 'Cause one potential route the repo men could take is breaking into the Sunfish's network, either via a hardline networked device or a wireless access point, and either using it for recon or turning them against us. And it'd be dead easy for them to do if they have a info warfare system on their ship, since every vulnerability of the computer systems installed in the Sunfish would have been archived, and the encryption they use is ancient.

>You assume it must be a laser; anything with that many fins has to pump out some serious heat.
Ask if that's a laser, just to confirm that it is indeed a laser. Probably the mining laser Feist mentioned.

>>783477
Trouble is, what're the odds at least one of the repo men is gonna keep their space suit on in anticipation of atmo shenanigans? After all, screwing with the air is one thing boarders would expect the defenders to do. Same for fucking with the gravity plating, so expect mag boots, and possibly a personal grav generator to counter.

However, one thing they couldn't counter would be setting up a explosive decompression trap, but not one that blows out into space. Suck the air out of one compartment, then rig up the connecting door to the compartment the repo men come in through with a remote control. Open the door as fast as possible and the rush of air'll send 'em flying into the formerly empty compartment.

>>783486
Maybe mining explosives, though I doubt they have any left after so long, if they ever had them in the first place. But another tact they maybe could use is either a dust explosion or flammable gas explosion. Run the oxygen level up in one of the choke point compartments to dangerously combustible levels, combined with a bag of flour and a pneumatic tank with a remote control valve. Or a flammable gas canister with the valve wide open ignited and shot into that compartment like a rocket. Though, the problem with running the O2 level up is their atmo sensors'll detect it and probably start screaming alerts at 'em.
>>
No. 783749 ID: 91ee5f

>>783486
Can we please not use explosives inside the ship that's literally falling apart on the inside?

Plus, the crew has been canablizing the insides for an extremely long time. There's no way of telling if the ship won't fall apart from an explosion.
>>
No. 783750 ID: d36af7

Any chance of switching the area they're likely to enter through over to a nonstandard breathing mix? Something that's safe in itself, and easy for the locals to acclimate to given a few hours, but might incapacitate intruders by isobaric counterdiffusion when they take their helmets off or suffer a suit breach.

What happens when you put a pair of opposite-polarity grav plates on the floor and ceiling, or facing walls? If you can arrange choke points, don't just station people there with improvised weapons, make sure to lay out some nasty fixed traps too. Heap of jagged red-hot slag on the "ceiling" of the most obvious approach, then an intruder "falls up" into it because that section has gravity facing the opposite way, that sort of thing.
>>
No. 783993 ID: b073ca
File 148842374603.png - (119.61KB , 600x555 , 2-20.png )
783993

You watch as the engineers get to work sealing bulkheads and cranking up the gravity, creating a corridor into the gaps. You don't see anything that could be used as an explosive, when you ask about it Dachell looks at you like you grew an extra head.
Dachell: "No, not here. Too dangerrous."
>>
No. 783994 ID: b073ca
File 148842375199.png - (133.12KB , 600x603 , 2-21.png )
783994

You help out by using your tapegun to weld shut doors and collecting debris to be used as projectiles by the pushgunners. It's not long before your datapad chimes.

Bucky: you've got incoming
Sam: how many?
Bucky: small craft, looks like a scouting crew
Sam: what's the progress on the asteroid?
Bucky: slow, trying to get the ship attached without them noticing
Sam: good luck, bun. were counting on you
>>
No. 783995 ID: b073ca
File 148842375657.png - (112.78KB , 554x600 , 2-22.png )
783995

You find commander Feist sizing up ambush points and directing officers where to wait.

Sam: "I just got word: they're coming."

Feist: "Word from where? Oh, your pilot?"

Sam: "He's on the asteroid right now, he wants to use your railguns to try an attack on their ship."

Feist: "He what? I... suppose that could work, but they can't be aimed..."

Sam:"It sounds like he's going to try and rotate the asteroid using our ship."

Feist sighs: "Then I suppose all we can do is trust him to pull through. Unless you can regenerate, I'd suggest staying behind us."
She raises her voice: "ALRIGHT! EVERYONE IN POSTITIONS! IF YOU AREN'T FRONT LINE FALL BACK AND WAIT FOR ORDERS!"
>>
No. 784000 ID: 9145ba

Unless your clothes provide some degree of ballistic protection, discard them now and save yourselves the patch job later! It will intimidate the boarders too, like Celtic warriors!
>>
No. 784008 ID: 91ee5f

>>783995
>Unless you can regenerate, I'd suggest staying behind us.
Stand directly behind her. Is she asks say, "What? You said to stay behind you guy. Being behind you has to be the safest spot!"

Wait, weren't you and Annie supposed to get your spacesuits back before the fighting started?
>>
No. 784010 ID: bb78f2

>>783995
Flirt with Feist
"Oooh, I like someone who knows how to lead"
>>
No. 784012 ID: 398fe1

>>783995
Well you're not front line. Fall back and wait for orders. Where's Annie?
>>
No. 784019 ID: 3abd97

>>783993
You'll risk dying in an explosion or sucking vacuum over being taken alive, any day.

>what do
Follow Annie's lead. She's your combat expert. She knows what she's doing, and how best to deploy you.
>>
No. 784022 ID: 350a50

>>784000
>>784012
These.
>>
No. 784043 ID: 8cb228

>>784000
Hahahahno, that was bad history, stupid Victorian shit, and you know it. Even normal clothes can protect some from shrapnel too. But DO follow the lead of others for combat stuff.
>>
No. 784050 ID: 9145ba

>>784043
Fake history or no, Victorians couldn't regenerate. These Terrans can!
>>
No. 784065 ID: 3e6146

Realize Feist is actually pretty hot, blush uncontrollably as you get into position.
>>
No. 784087 ID: 91ee5f

>>784050
Not all of them. Only the important people in the Sunfish can do that. Meaning the popsicles, Sam, Annie, and Bucky can't regenerate. And you're making the stupid suggestion that Sam should go in like an idiot with no protection.

So, no, we're not doing that!
>>
No. 784090 ID: 82e9ab

>>783995
btw, i bet they tried radioing and got the same werird clicks
>>
No. 784093 ID: 9145ba

>>784087
Is it somehow not already clear that this is a suggestion for the ones that *can* regenerate? And live on a ship where even patched up clothing is a commodity?
>>
No. 784155 ID: 4d445e

Any way to try and disable the communications of the Repomen? Don't want them to call in reinforcements if it isn't looking good for them.
>>
No. 784225 ID: 3ace27

>>783995

Okay, she's actually pretty attractive when she stands like—

Right, getting to cover! (So we can keep watching her ass. Damn, those are nice legs …)
>>
No. 784366 ID: b073ca
File 148850954650.png - (117.89KB , 585x600 , 2-23.png )
784366

You fall back to the secondary line alongside the engineering crew. Annie joins you, hefting a jury rigged pushgun.

Sam: "Will that work?"

Dachell: "We'll find out soon."
>>
No. 784367 ID: b073ca
File 148850955368.png - (73.50KB , 600x492 , 2-24.png )
784367

The dozen or so officers fall into positions around the two choke points and wait.
>>
No. 784368 ID: b073ca
File 148850955855.png - (70.70KB , 600x492 , 2-25.png )
784368

And wait.
>>
No. 784369 ID: b073ca
File 148850956382.png - (124.50KB , 600x549 , 2-26.png )
784369

A pair of loud clangs ring through the hall. The assembled squad mumbles to themselves and there's some nervous laughter.

Feist shushes everyone and you listen to the whalesong of the hull groaning: "They're attached. Keep your heads on people."

In the privacy of your mind you wonder if she's always this authoritative. You make a note to find out later; maybe Old Sam has some memories of her.
>>
No. 784370 ID: b073ca
File 148850956942.png - (108.99KB , 600x467 , 2-27.png )
784370

Various clangs and cacophonies echo from the maintenance bay and you feel your hackles rise as the seconds tick by.

There's a small noise at the end of the hall and, sensing movement, the officers duck out of sight.
>>
No. 784377 ID: 398fe1

>>784370
This reminds me of a scene from Star Wars.

...we should've set up Kilroy to get a better look at things down there.
>>
No. 784379 ID: 9145ba

FIRE AT WILL, GET THEM VALIDS BOYS
>>
No. 784381 ID: 8cb228

Follow the lead of those with more tactical training.
>>
No. 784383 ID: 91ee5f

>>784370
Whisper, "That's a scout drone! They're trying to see how many of us are here!"
>>
No. 784385 ID: 350a50

>>784383
This.
>>
No. 784394 ID: 398fe1

>>784383
You're right. They have Kilroy's evil twin! Come to think of it we can expect them to have pretty much everything we have.

Nobody get grappled, now- wait a minute. Let's grapple the drone and pull it back in here then disable it.
>>
No. 784395 ID: 3abd97

Stay frosty, follow Feist and Annie's lead. You're not the combat expert here, or in charge.

>...we should've set up Kilroy to get a better look at things down there.
We could turn on the acoustic mapping right now. Might tell us how many are down there and what they got.
>>
No. 784626 ID: b073ca
File 148859205762.png - (141.11KB , 512x600 , 2-28.png )
784626

You hiss: "Drone! Stay down!"

Various sweaty hands clutch their weapons tighter as breathless ambushers hunker down.


Annie activates Kilroy and gets it to start ultrasonic mapping. The two drones weave a confusing tapestry of information as their overlapping sound waves crash against one another. It doesn't let you see anything new, but at least should obscure your position.
>>
No. 784627 ID: b073ca
File 148859206318.png - (90.40KB , 522x600 , 2-29.png )
784627

No one moves for a full minute. You feel your teeth grind against each other as you silently beg for something to happen. Your ears prick up: a tinny click clack of petite talons as the drone brazenly marches down the hall. It pauses in the doorway as it casts its tiny eye around, unaware or unfazed by the looming death on either side of it.
>>
No. 784628 ID: b073ca
File 148859206979.png - (129.64KB , 600x536 , 2-30.png )
784628

There's a whine and a clack. You resist the urge to peek, keeping your head low. You're suddenly startled when a white orb arcs overhead, lands behind you and turns to pin you in its mechanical gaze.
>>
No. 784629 ID: 094652

Grav the sucker! It's probably outfitted with a flashbang for shock trooper tactics.

If you can make it look like a random accident by staying in stealth while blindgraving, they might think you have an environmental advantage and will change tactics to something less antipersonnel.
>>
No. 784634 ID: 9145ba

Flash it before it flashes you!
>>
No. 784663 ID: 398fe1

>>784628
Shove your grapple in its face.
>>
No. 784673 ID: 350a50

>>784663
This, grapple it by the eye and fling it back where it came from like a trebuchet.
>>
No. 784681 ID: 398fe1

>>784673
Why fling it back? Let's keep it. Turn it off or take out the battery or however you disable one of these things.
>>
No. 784712 ID: 91ee5f

>>784681
This.

Grapple it and pull it to you. Then disable it.
>>
No. 784777 ID: 2c0bc1

I don't think it saw the hammer guys by the door so we have to disable or destroy it before it does. Its also now seen us so they might be more eager to try get at us but they are now also aware that we probably informed the crew what ti expect and that we are not very well armed.
>>
No. 785022 ID: 15a025

Bust that son of a gun now!
>>
No. 785567 ID: b073ca
File 148885173589.png - (77.13KB , 600x396 , 2-31.png )
785567

You whip out the grappling gun and quickly harpoon the tiny drone, dragging it back to your hand.
>>
No. 785568 ID: b073ca
File 148885174371.png - (135.40KB , 600x582 , 2-32.png )
785568

Sam: "What'do I do now?"

Annie gives you a wild eyed shrug and grabs the orb. She slams it against the floor twice and the legs stop moving.
>>
No. 785569 ID: b073ca
File 148885175121.png - (91.16KB , 465x600 , 2-33.png )
785569

Seconds later a plume of smoke pours into the hallway, moving with sinister intelligence. As it fills the space, tendrils of fog reach for the lights and with a caress, extinguish them. The smartfog creeps into the chokepoint, spilling across your makeshift cover as the sounds of movement fill the corridor.
>>
No. 785575 ID: 398fe1

>>785569
Smartfog means any non-trivial electronics need to be stowed in a way that they cannot be used against you. That means getting Kilroy out of the room.
>>
No. 785723 ID: b2418e

Fire the pushguns!
Get the guys manning the door to bumrush straight after the volley with hammers and throw kilroy the other way down the corridor.

Fire Annie's and 1 other pushgun through the smoke, ready the laser and the other pushgun while you reload.
>>
No. 785761 ID: 91ee5f

>>785569
Sam, think quickly! How is smartfog destroyed and/or rendered useless? Fire? Water? A really strong magnet?
>>
No. 785762 ID: 3d2d5f

>>785761
Fire or heat. Nanos have very little room for heat dissipation.
>>
No. 785772 ID: 2fe26a

Breathe in all the smartfog so it can't obscure your vision!
>>
No. 785777 ID: 5b93d3

Do we have someone on HVAC control? Start up a pressure difference, blow the fog back down the corridor.
>>
No. 785893 ID: b073ca
File 148893977349.png - (104.02KB , 600x537 , 2-34.png )
785893

You keep a wary eye on the smartfog cloud, aware that it could short out Kilroy and your datapads. Fortunately, the limited size of nanites mean they can't operate for long without drawing from a power source. Once sprayed, they have only a few seconds to find a target and latch on before going dead. Thinking back to the extensive warning labels, you seem to remember something about keeping them away from open flame.

The repo men hang back in their cloud; having lost the element of surprise, they seem to be hesitating.
Something finally snaps. A howl echoes through the gaps as one of the pushguns launches a length of copper pipe into the cloud.
>>
No. 785895 ID: b073ca
File 148893979737.png - (113.21KB , 396x600 , 2-35.png )
785895

There's a thunderclap from the hallway and the projectile is hurled back, blown into a perfect metal floret. The smartfog clears and suddenly the repo men are exposed: one nursing his chest from the shieldpack explosion. Suddenly the air around you is filled with the snap of gunfire.
>>
No. 785899 ID: e6e9af

>>785895

A staff?

Did we invent Space Magic ...?
>>
No. 785901 ID: 398fe1

>>785895
Maybe you can grapple one of their guns to steal it? You'll probably need some way of anchoring yourself to ensure you don't get pulled forward, and you need to keep a real good grip on the grapple.

Annie can pushgun the busted drone back at them. It might even screw their smartfog over by causing the fog to attune to the busted drone.
>>
No. 785916 ID: b2418e

What happened to the guys either side of the doorway with gravity hammers?
Get in there, dudes.
>>
No. 785917 ID: 3abd97

>>785901
We probably need to wait for an opening before we try that. Grappling when they're prepared means we're connected to someone who might yank us out of cover, or who has mag-boots to keep them in place.
>>
No. 785924 ID: 70983e

>>785899
Or a restraining collar.

This is where the regenerating meatshields come into play. They should have spared their clothing from the bullet wounds, but does anyone listen? Nooooooo.
>>
No. 785966 ID: d36af7

Anybody on your team with guns, focus fire on the stunned guy so as to use up the rest of his shieldpacks. Grapple the staff and brace your feet against the crates. If the repo man in back holds on to it, you'll be dragging him deeper into the killbox while knocking the rest of his team out of formation. If he lets go, you probably get a new nonlethal melee weapon.
>>
No. 785968 ID: 91ee5f

>>785966
>If the repo man in back holds on to it, you'll be dragging him deeper into the killbox while knocking the rest of his team out of formation.
Or he turns on his magnetic boots and his buddies cut the cable.
>>
No. 786084 ID: 0bdb1a

My God they're birds! Was old Annie part of the repomen?
>>
No. 786102 ID: d36af7

>>785968
Magnetic boots don't make somebody immune to leverage, and if you see one of them reaching for a knife you can probably hit the 'release' button before they bring it to bear.

All that being said, on second thought delay grappling until you're reasonably certain shieldpacks have been depleted, unless you're confident the grappling hook wouldn't be targeted as a projectile.
>>
No. 786120 ID: 350a50

>>786084
What if all Repomen are brainwashed clones of the same model as Annie?
>>
No. 786202 ID: b073ca
File 148902397753.png - (113.17KB , 600x506 , 2-36.png )
786202

In seconds everything has gone to hell. The two hammer wielding guards rush the corridor, and you hear a series of wet slaps at they catch multiple rounds in their center mass. One manages to connect with a hammer, only to have it shrugged aside as its sensitive electronics are disabled by the smartfog.
>>
No. 786203 ID: b073ca
File 148902398331.png - (136.91KB , 600x600 , 2-37.png )
786203

Peeking from cover, you eye the staff, having never seen anything like it before. You take aim with the grappling gun and try to snag it.

Your claw is swatted out of the air by a second concussive blast, clattering to the floor in a wretched ball like a dead spider.
>>
No. 786204 ID: b073ca
File 148902399012.png - (114.27KB , 527x600 , 2-38.png )
786204

The vulture with the laser hoists it to his shoulder and aims it at the group. Seeing the weapon, the guy with the staff raises it and you feel a shiver course through you as the group instantly vanishes.
>>
No. 786205 ID: 70983e

Well now that you've dented the grappling hook beyond usefulness, you can keep rewinding it to shoot it and waste the rest of their shieldpacks.
>>
No. 786206 ID: b412df

Fuuuck, Cloaking Tech. We need AoE, can you do a sweep with that laser at say shin height towards the entrance, big guy?
>>
No. 786208 ID: 398fe1

>>786204
Well great. Use Kilroy to see if they're still there. They've either teleported or gone invisible, and we need to know which is the case.

Ping via ultrasound, I mean. Non-visual location.
>>
No. 786224 ID: 628e9f

Interesting, their shield-packs seem to overexert itself when faced with massive force or velocity.
The fact that the pushguns work should be capitalized, once Kilroy here echolocates them.

Anyways, do we have an improvised shotgun/scattergun/shrapnel launcher/mini flak cannon handy? We could detect their shields and cause damage simultaneously this way, should Kilroy's echolocation fails.
>>
No. 786235 ID: 398fe1

Oh, one problem with them being invisible is if it's done by bending light around them the laser will bend around them too. Heck, they did this in reaction to the laser and not just immediately, so it's probably JUST to defend against the laser. Don't waste the shot!
>>
No. 786255 ID: 350a50

>>786235
This.
>>
No. 786284 ID: 8a204b

Depends on what kind of Cloak it is.

If it's just your basic light-bending field, then you could easily track them via heat sources or ultrasound.

It gets a bit trickier if it's more of a phase shift that slips them into subspace or some other extra-dimensional layer of the fabric of space/time.
>>
No. 786376 ID: b073ca
File 148911261929.png - (103.17KB , 600x600 , 2-39.png )
786376

Feist glares at you: "What happened? Where are they?"
>>
No. 786377 ID: b073ca
File 148911263462.png - (100.57KB , 484x600 , 2-40.png )
786377

You stammer: "I, I dont- this is something new. Some kind of-"
>>
No. 786378 ID: b073ca
File 148911264584.png - (179.28KB , 600x600 , 2-41.png )
786378

A shiver passes through you again and something slams into your neck. You smell your fur burning as an electrical charge slams through your body like a truck. As your limbs spasm you're dimly aware of a modulated voice calmly reporting: "secondary targets identified, restraining."
>>
No. 786391 ID: 70983e

Switch perspective to Bucky and his asteroid blasteroid.
>>
No. 786395 ID: 3abd97

Not the best move, tactically. In the actual combat action here, you're one of the least dangerous people here, and they've got one of your guys and the stealth stick occupied locking you down.

And your lover(s?) are gonna frikken rip them apart for that. And it cements their brutality in the eyes of the defenders here, by hitting a sympathetic target.

Unless they can immediately withdraw carrying you, they wasted their element of surprise there.

The gloves must be insulted to protect the vulture. But is the rest of his suit? Try and hook one of his legs with yours. If you're lucky, you can take him down with you by conducting the shock. Honestly, there ain't much else you can do right now.
>>
No. 786405 ID: 87a906

Isn't Feist semi immortal? Sword those motherfuckers! Also isn't there a large semi immortal crocodile around here somewhere?
>>
No. 786408 ID: 91ee5f

>>786405
Sword ain't gonna help because at least one of them has a shield pack. Shield packs have a maximum of 3 charges on them and theirs have already gone off 2 times, so it's still got 1 charge left. Unless the other 3 guys also have shield packs, then it'll be 1 guy with 1 charge left and 3 guys with 3 charges each.

Also, Polly is still downstairs because she said she'd watch Sam and Annie's stuff to make sure no one messes with it, which obviously meant she wasn't going to be fighting with everyone else.
>>
No. 786443 ID: eeb519

>>786378
If he's using the staff like this, he can't use it to disappear again. It's laser time!
>>
No. 786469 ID: fa73ea

>>786378
if it's any consolation, revealing their secret weapon and keeping the hesd honcho occupied is probably the best you can manage in a fight.
do try not to get captured and taken on their ship, that would suck.
>>
No. 786653 ID: b073ca
File 148926449165.png - (215.46KB , 600x600 , 2-42.png )
786653

Your limbs batter themselves against the ground as your muscles fire randomly, the agony of electric hell encompassing your whole body.

A rising, hateful scream fills your ears. Annie stands up and her pushgun vomits sparks as she dumps power into it. You feel a wave of pressure pass overhead like some huge angry animal and the painful clamp around your neck disappears.
>>
No. 786654 ID: b073ca
File 148926450050.png - (70.13KB , 513x600 , 2-43.png )
786654

Limbs still twitching, you crawl forward, trying to outrun the dark curtain of unconscious as it envelops you.
>>
No. 786655 ID: b073ca
File 148926450549.png - (104.72KB , 600x495 , 2-44.png )
786655

You are now Bucky.
>>
No. 786656 ID: 398fe1

>>786655
How close are you to annihilating their ship?
>>
No. 786658 ID: 8d4593

>>786656
Any chance of disabling the engines or cockpit? Or will you be lucky just hitting the damn thing?
>>
No. 786667 ID: 0b99d7

>>786655
okay inside is dealing with the boarding party, how goes ship fuckery?
>>
No. 786747 ID: 15a025

That death cannon ready to blow up their ship yet Bucky?
>>
No. 786828 ID: d36af7

Set up your neural-stimulation funtimes to activate upon confirmation of a crippling kinetic hit on the repo ship.
>>
No. 786866 ID: e6e9af

>>786655

Hypothetical ideas here, but how do their grapples to the Sunfish look? Could we compromise those, set the bastards to drifting, and potentially drop an asteroid on them?

Or in the very least create a LOT of problems for them by mucking things up. Provided they didn't spacewalk over.
>>
No. 787158 ID: b073ca
File 148945161309.png - (79.31KB , 600x354 , 2-45.png )
787158

You sigh and peek back at the sunfish. Moments ago an ugly black cockroach of a landing craft grappled to the deck and disgorged a small squad of repo men. You try to put your worry for Sam and Annie in the back of your mind, trusting them to stay safe. You turn your attention back to doing your job.
>>
No. 787159 ID: b073ca
File 148945161979.png - (64.15KB , 600x433 , 2-46.png )
787159

Much of the asteroid is covered in a fine silicate dust, making grappling onto it difficult. After some hunting, you managed to find some exposed chunks of iron large enough to attach the cables. Aiming the launchers remotely, you target the stones and watch as the grappling heads decend from above. A pair of impacts vibrate through your feet, indicating good contact.
To be honest, you aren't really sure how you're going to get this to work. You'll only get one shot at it once the asteroid starts rotating. Additionally, you're worried about being caught in the open, should things go wrong. You consider retreating back into the mining complex, but realize that it'll mean you won't be able to control the Starlette while inside.
>>
No. 787162 ID: 398fe1

>>787159
Get the asteroid moving then position the starlette so that the cables will pull taut again at the right spot to get the railgun to aim at the target. Then tell it to hold position there. After that you can get inside the mining complex and feed ammo into the railgun before firing it.
>>
No. 787165 ID: 350a50

>>787162
This.
>>
No. 787166 ID: 91ee5f

Hope you've got good aim. If you miss, you'll end up hitting the Sunfish, which'll end up possibly killing Sam and Annie!
>>
No. 787167 ID: 398fe1

>>787166
We're not shooting at the enemy shuttle though.
>>
No. 787366 ID: 5b93d3

>>787159
>Additionally, you're worried about being caught in the open, should things go wrong. You consider retreating back into the mining complex, but realize that it'll mean you won't be able to control the Starlette while inside.
How about standing on one of the grapples? If you need to bug out, you can ride it up to the Starlette while piloting away to the other side of the asteroid. In the event the railgun strike fails to destroy the main repo-man ship, you can at least play interference by heading to the other side: either they give chase and leave their shuttle vulnerable, or you get a chance to reposition the asteroid for another shot (and act as a ship-in-being they need to keep in mind before trying to depart with their own ship).
>>
No. 787386 ID: b073ca
File 148953976885.png - (89.80KB , 600x525 , 2-47.png )
787386

You key in a flight plan for the starlette and watch as its thrusters light up. The tow cables stretch and vibrate like titanic bowstrings, and you feel the slightly tipsy whirl of inertia start pulling at you.
>>
No. 787387 ID: b073ca
File 148953977375.png - (96.43KB , 600x452 , 2-48.png )
787387

Wasting no time, you scramble for the mining companies complex and let yourself in. The ladder up seems to lead to the control room, while the railguns themselves seem to be accessed by entering deeper into the facility.
>>
No. 787390 ID: 398fe1

>>787387
Check the control room to see if there's an automated loading process first.
>>
No. 787426 ID: 732757

Are the mechanics still there? Can you recruit them for extra help?
>>
No. 787474 ID: 81bc65

Well, hop to it, long ears! Get this cut-rate BFG warmed up!
>>
No. 787657 ID: b073ca
File 148962616743.png - (153.75KB , 600x600 , 2-49.png )
787657

You scramble up the ladder to the control room. Inside is a collection of displays: each showing various camera angles, statistics and control programs. The electronics look as if they've all seen better days, having been much repaired with centuries of improvized engineering. Many of these systems look like they were custom made, and although they are ancient, they're pretty intuitive.
You look through them until you find one that looks like a master control for the railgun system. You identify the emplacement closest to the repo men's ship and set its capacitors to charge. There's a noticeable dimming of the lights, and the computer stutters a little as the facility shifts the power load.
You find the command to load the firing chamber, but an error prompt stops you.
Load unsuccessful: return null- continue for test fire y/n?
>>
No. 787658 ID: 398fe1

Hit N then run down there to the ammo is at. Either the rotation of the asteroid screwed it up or there was no ammo ready to be loaded in the first place.
>>
No. 787659 ID: 70983e

This is your time to shine Bucky. You always knew it was your destiny to be a railgun projectile. Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.
>>
No. 787680 ID: b88e47

You are going to have to manually load something in there. Get to it.
>>
No. 787909 ID: c31aac

>>787657
Be careful to prop the loading door open! In case of shenanigans!
>>
No. 788079 ID: bfdaf0

>>787658
>>787680
Go check, but in fact, DON'T hit N first. You need to see if the loading was actually failed, or if the function merely erroneously reported failure (in which case trying to load it again could damage the railgun).
>>
No. 788505 ID: b073ca
File 148987155821.png - (163.61KB , 600x341 , 2-50.png )
788505

You realize you're going to have to manually inspect the railgun. You leave the console and head downstairs and open the doors into the center of the asteroid.
Inside is an ants' nest of rock, crisscrossed with reinforcing supports and scaffolding. Theres a gleam to the stone that indicates a lot of raw metal, the edges having a melted, scalloped edge to them that looks like laser burns. Flecks of rock dust drift through the air and you're left wondering how long has it been since they've used this place. One of the first things you notice is a large chamber filled with squat, heavily insulated objects. Each one is connected to a set of panels by wrist thick bundles of cable, which then snakes out the door and deep into the facility.
>>
No. 788512 ID: 398fe1

>>788505
Batteries? Check the panels, you need to find the cables that hook up to the railgun you're operating, then follow them to it.
>>
No. 788514 ID: b412df

Careful, if they're not batteries then they might be the railgun's capacitors (Although I'd expect that to be closer to the gun), which are charged since you didn't abort the test fire.
>>
No. 788530 ID: fe7355

Looks like either the batteries or the capacitors for the mass drivers. And since you didn't test fire the mass driver, you might be able to figure out whichever of these units is for that particular mass driver and trace its cable to the mass driver. If they're batteries, then the one battery with low charge would be the one you're looking for. If they're capacitors, then the one that is charged would be the one you're looking for. Now you just need a way to know what is charged or not. You don't have any sensors that can detect electomagnetic or heat do you? If you don't then look at the electrical panels. Do they have gauges or indicators on them? If they don't then you'll have to either spritz each panel with nano-fog and query their status, or, preferably, look about for a central control unit and spray that one.
>>
No. 788584 ID: fe7355

>>788530
On second thought, deploying nano-fog near high voltage switching circuitry may be a bad idea. Those nanites are basically metal particulates, and unless they're non-conductive ones, a cloud of them touching both terminals of the high voltage side of the switch gear at the same time may be enough to create a arc. And a arc in here would be all kinds of bad. But then, what means does that leave you to figure out which of these units is connected to the mass driver you're looking for? ...Hm. Perhaps the heat of the unit and the feed cable into it. The amount of current dumped through those lines has to have warmed them up more than the others. If you don't have thermal sensors, then removing a glove and pressing the back of your hand to the gear would work.
>>
No. 788645 ID: 15a025

Check to make sure the cables aren't severed anywhere.
>>
No. 789141 ID: b073ca
File 149005998813.png - (141.29KB , 600x464 , 2-51.png )
789141

You tuck yourself into the cramped space and look at the readouts on the panel. A green light illuminates an LCD screen with a staggering number of zeros on it, labeled CAP 4.

You find the squat shape with a large 4 on it and follow the cable running out of it into the hall. You trace your hand along the conduit, and suddenly stagger as the whole asteroid lurches. It seems like the Starlette has reversed thrusters, slowing the rotation as it ponderously aims the railgun: all part of your flightplan. A cloud of rock dust is kicked up, casting strange shadows through the empty mine.
>>
No. 789143 ID: 398fe1

Huh. Well, there are ghost rumors. Might as well keep a look out (one of the shadows looks humanoid behind you).
>>
No. 789394 ID: b073ca
File 149015651792.png - (126.20KB , 600x451 , 2-52.png )
789394

You feel the fur on the back of your neck bristling. Sensing eyes on you, you fumble to unfold the corner-gun with gloved hands. You whip around in a panicked arc and point the weapon into the shadows, daring anything to move. You feel awkward and stupid, not at all like an invincible badass.
>>
No. 789397 ID: 398fe1

Well keep the gun unfolded, anyways, and keep going. You don't need both arms at the moment.
>>
No. 789418 ID: 8d4593

Keep your cool. You got a job to do.
>>
No. 789420 ID: bb78f2

>>789394
That's definitely a space ghost
Prepare to go coast to coast
>>
No. 789421 ID: d66364

That's not smartfog, is it?
>>
No. 789422 ID: 91ee5f

>>789394
If the dust continues to make humanoid shapes, then odds are that the dust is clinging to someone that's invisible and you're not alone in here. Wether the invisible person is from the Sunfish or one of the repo guys remains to be seen.
>>
No. 789424 ID: fe7355

Yeah, that's the appropriate feeling you should have after wasting valuable time jumping at shadows. Now hustle! The fate of Sam, Annie and everyone else on the Sunfish is hinging on you blowing the Repo Men's frigate to bits and every second counts.

Check how much time you have until the Starlette's flight plan program completes and mentally go over what you'll need to do to fire this mass driver. Will you need any mass, any magnetically conductive mass, or will you need specific ammo like a shaped rod? Hopefully they left the launch mass stored next to the mass driver, but they might have moved it elsewhere thinking they wouldn't need to fire the mass driver again on short notice. Think back to when you were going through the lockers and remember if there were any rods like what would be perfect for a mass driver kept in the shuttle bay. If there were you'll have to decide if you run back and get one or risk that some are stored next to the mass driver.

Once the mass driver is loaded, what will you need to do to fire it? Will you have to run back to the command center or can you smartfog the network interface and hook back into the cameras and firing system? And you will want eyes on the target via camera before firing, 'cause if it's moved from it's current location you'll need to adjust the aim from the one you programmed the Starlette to take. You'll also want to roll the camera footage back to check if their boarding shuttle returned, because if it did then it's possible Sam, Annie or both of them are aboard.

And also think of what will happen if you do land a perfect hit on that frigate and blow it to pieces. Can the Sunfish's hull take getting peppered with debris from the destroyed frigate? Does the frigate have a reactor core or other parts that would explode?

>>789421
It's very, very unlikely that that is smartfog. The Repo Men would have had to launch a shuttle from their frigate without Bucky seeing it, then fly around and infiltrate via a mass driver to get in here without running into him, since the only actual airlocks into the mine are in the mining bunker Bucky just came from.
>>
No. 789425 ID: eb3cf7

>>789394
Shoot at that shadowy figure on your left. Don't bother doubting yourself or hesitating, just shoot. Worst case, you waste a few rounds.
>>
No. 789427 ID: 91ee5f

>>789425
And hit something important that, when damage, completely disables the railgun that we're currently trying to fix!
>>
No. 789460 ID: 401ef6

Shout a warning. If you don't get a response, fire for effect. This is a bit too high stakes to not shoot first and ask questions later.

Afterwards, scan for smartfog.
>>
No. 789467 ID: 012e3e

>>789427
It all looks like sturdy, non-wired industrial paneling, to me.
>>
No. 789468 ID: 012e3e

>>789467
Besides, smartfog could fix anything we break.
>>
No. 789469 ID: 0555b9

Deploy your own smartfog. Fight fire with NANOMACHINES, SON!
>>
No. 789560 ID: fe7355

Guys, can we please not freak out and waste precious ammo and time firing at shadows and dust clouds. It's highly improbable that the Repo Men got down here and deployed a smartfog cloud 'cause it doesn't make sense if you think it through logically. If the Repo Men on their frigate had noticed the asteroid moving, they would have brought the frigate itself around to investigate from a distance, not send a boarding shuttle. And if they did that, then they would have seen the Starlette and either blown it away or shot out the tethers before they'd think of sending a boarding party down to check the mine. There isn't enough time to allow for a Repo Men team to get down here and catch up with Bucky. Especially considering he was in the control room only a few minutes ago watching the Repo Men's frigate on cameras the whole time and didn't spot any craft launching from it and heading here.
>>
No. 789595 ID: b073ca
File 149023088231.png - (110.93KB , 600x405 , 2-53.png )
789595

Still shouldering the gun, you step backwards, uncertainly.
Bucky: "H-Hello? Who's there?!" You challenge.

Nothing.
You fire a round, which pings against several walls before running out of kinetic energy.

Feeling foolish, you check the time on the Starlette's flight plan: 10 more minutes. You turn back to the task at hand, and continue following the conduit.
>>
No. 789596 ID: b073ca
File 149023090455.png - (92.04KB , 600x340 , 2-54.png )
789596

As you hurry into the heart of the asteroid, the other cables branch away to connect with the other railguns. You pass a number of alcoves stuffed with panels and support struts. You're surprised to see so much effort spent reinforcing a zero gravity mine, but you imagine the railguns must put a lot of stress on the foundation.
You finally find the end of the conduit: a large, roughly carved chamber braced with supports and housing a monsterous tower of electromagnetic coils. The entire structure is set into a wide, steel platform that distributes the railguns inertia into the asteroid without shattering it. A panel near the base is open, revealing an empty chamber.
>>
No. 789597 ID: 70983e

Enter empty chamber.
>>
No. 789598 ID: 398fe1

>>789596
I think we need to put a slug in there? Look around for where they've put the railgun slugs.
>>
No. 789601 ID: b412df

Ok, unless the railgun has a metal sled to put things into, you're going to need something conductive to put in there. So go find that something.
>>
No. 789610 ID: 398fe1

I wonder if any of the support struts are small enough to fit in there?
>>
No. 789634 ID: 8159df

Somethings wrong here keep on your toes.
>>
No. 789700 ID: 8bbe34

Are there no projectiles nearby? Where does it look like people usually get ballast from?

Are the rocks magnetic enough to work?
>>
No. 789758 ID: 5f2b81

Damn it, Toxoglossa, he was supposed to shoot without first warning our stalker to duck out of the way.

Alright. Look for a slug.
>>
No. 789812 ID: 91e039

>>789700
If we can't find anything better, as many big boulders as we can load onto this thing may have to do...I get the feeling this is going to do little more than destroy the rail gun though.
>>
No. 790143 ID: b073ca
File 149040049816.png - (158.53KB , 600x547 , 2-55.png )
790143

You take a look at the empty chamber: it looks like it's designed to hold something square, roughly two feet across. Knowing that, you look around for something matching the dimensions. A few alcoves back, you find a row of objects stuck to a magnetic strip. Each one seems to be a brightly polished, steel collar wrapped around a darker, coarse ingot of slag. Under standard gravitational conditions there's no way you'd be able to move it on your own, but once you pry one off the wall your able to shove it around.
>>
No. 790145 ID: b073ca
File 149040050870.png - (111.98KB , 600x456 , 2-56.png )
790145

You shoulder the massive cube down the roughly cut mineshaft, shepherding it around like a dottering old relative. You pause, letting your payload drift ahead for a moment. There's definitely someone behind you, but you don't dare turn around yet.
>>
No. 790148 ID: 99be3c

Slowly put your hands in the air.
Make no sudden movements.
>>
No. 790150 ID: eb3cf7

>>790148
That gives away whatever element of surprise we have. See if you can casually push the cube around a corner, then be waiting with your gun raised by the time your stalker follows.
>>
No. 790163 ID: 398fe1

>>790150
Yeah, we can do this. If whoever it is is following us then they'll be spotted at the corner. If they don't come around the corner then Bucky should really just continue loading the railgun. That's more important than jumping at shadows.
>>
No. 790244 ID: 952c30

>>790145
your corner gun. would bending it towards them be faster than drawing it? we don't need accuracy for the first shot, only to make them take cover and give you time to draw the weapon.
>>
No. 790276 ID: 7c3ae5

>>790244
Careful here, that person seems equipped with melee weapon. "scrambling for cover" might resolve to "Chaaarge!" for them.
>>
No. 790321 ID: d36af7

Do the slowest, clumsiest-looking forward flip you can manage. Kick some extra dust back toward them as you go, to further highlight air currents and spoil whatever active camo they're using. If they're not completely accustomed to microgravity, they'll read that as you tripping and falling down. Then, at the moment when your legs are pointing straight toward them, minimizing your target profile and putting thick layers of leg-meat between your vitals and danger, shoot 'em with the corner gun. Brace against the railgun slug to control recoil.
>>
No. 790440 ID: fe7355

Does the corner gun have a muzzle camera with a wireless link you could connect to? I figure it has some kind of camera to allow aiming around corners, since otherwise you'd probably just waste your six shots blind firing. If it does and you can link your neural interface to it, then could you shuffle the gun around discreetly to get its camera pointed behind you to get a view of whoever that is, if there's anybody there.

If there is someone shadowing you, it's unlikely they're a Repo Man, since if they were there'd be more than one, and you'd either be dead or captured by now. But if it's someone from the Sunfish, how could they have survived inside this airless asteroid hidden from the rest of the Sunfish crew? And how are they able to hide themselves from you so well? Was active camo space suits even a possible thing back in the time the Sunfish launched?
>>
No. 790496 ID: 15a025

Act like a clutz and drop the cube. As you bend over to pick it back up, slowly whip out your gun and get ready.
>>
No. 790535 ID: fe7355

>>790496
Bucky can't do that 'cause the mine is a zero-G environment; No artificial gravity plating in here. He wouldn't be able to even budge that railgun round if it was normal gravity here.
>>
No. 790578 ID: 7c3ae5

I advise against attacking first. We're not yet sure whether Mr Stealthy here is a repo man or mining personnel.
>>
No. 790600 ID: 5b93d3

We're in microgravity, and the enemy's gate is down. Climb 'over' the Railgun round and stand on it using the boot clamps, so the round is directly 'beneath' you between you and the intruder. You can stick the corner gun out and aim down at him, but he'd have to fire through a big chunk of slag to hit you unless he advanced very quickly, at which point you'd be ideally positioned to push off of the railgun round and away at full speed (with the bonus of the round then flying back at him).
>>
No. 790620 ID: 398fe1

Oh right I forgot the corner gun lets you see around corners. Go around the corner and use the gun to get a look at what's following you without having to stick your head out.
>>
No. 791008 ID: b073ca
File 149066522382.png - (97.55KB , 600x590 , 2-57.png )
791008

You slowly and casually reach for your gun. Staring straight ahead, you fold the weapon 90 degrees and carefully point it over your shoulder.
>>
No. 791009 ID: b073ca
File 149066522966.png - (142.84KB , 600x600 , 2-58.png )
791009

You look through reticle on your heads up display giving you a shaky, sideways view of your pursuer. Whatever it is, its bipedal, a little shorter than you and twitching violently. It lacks the bulky insulation of a space suit, letting its emaciated limbs flail through empty space, one hand wrapped around a hammer. You nearly drop your gun in shock as you realize: it doesn't have a head.
>>
No. 791011 ID: 70983e

Shoot it in the h-Oh, right.
Go for the optics!
>>
No. 791012 ID: c31aac

>>791009
clearly you must fuck it to achieve victory
drop your pants and intimidate the beast with your brazen display of nudity
>>
No. 791013 ID: 398fe1

>>791009
Welllll fuck. One point in your favor: the monster has no suit so it also has no mag boots. It will have to zero-g maneuver everywhere.

Well, it's still just following you, despite being armed and acting really freaky. How about you spin around and yell at it to go away? If it maneuvers at you, then you can shoot.
>>
No. 791015 ID: bb78f2

>>791009
space ghost
I KNEW IT
>>
No. 791016 ID: 8cb228

So is it walking around in vacuum like that? Shouting, and your space suit, won't help... throw things at it, drive it off, then if it keeps moving, shoot at and keep shooting until well after it stops moving, varying where you are shooting that thing. You've seen enough horror movies!
>>
No. 791017 ID: 8cb228

(Wait, no, we aren't in vacuum, sorry got confused. But your spacesuit does muffle you, and is designed to be hard to take off the helmet by yourself when panicked, yes?)
>>
No. 791022 ID: eb3cf7

Shoot the FUCK out of that thing.
>>
No. 791037 ID: fe7355

Hold your goddamn fire! Odds are shooting this mutant abomination won't do more than waste your ammo. Anything that can survive in hard vacuum without food or water for who the fuck knows how long after losing its goddamn HEAD is probably going to shrug off your shots like they were spitwads. And you're on the clock here. Sam, Annie and everyone else on the Sunfish are counting on you getting this slug into the railgun and blowing that Repo Man frigate away. That takes priority. But if this abomination starts to close distance while you're doing that and gets too close, then you can shoot it. Hopefully its lack of mag-boots will hinder its speed enough for you to out pace it... Though, how the heck is it still standing on the floor in zero-G without mag-boots? ...Does it have sticky feet?

Start recording the feed from the corner gun; You'll send it to Sam once you're out of this hole so she can pointedly ask the Sunfish crew what the fuck it is. Stick the gun where it'll have a view behind you while still within reach while you push the slug on with all your might. Use your suit's thrusters to give some extra "oomph" to your pushes as well, if you think you can do so without losing control. And if that mutant does get too close, put the railgun slug between you and it while you shoot it.
>>
No. 791042 ID: fc2586

FEUER FREI
>>
No. 791051 ID: 952c30

>>791009
take a picture if you can!

maybe it's not aggressive. it can use tools so it's inteligent, it could be a very deformed human. it hadn't done anything more aggressive than hold a tool and have a horribly disfiguring disease. it can't exactly announce its presence in empty space, it might have just seen the muzzle flash and came to see wtf that was, it might be pissing itself from fear right now.
then again it could be trying to sneak up on you to bash open your head and eat its contents.
literally no way to know other than asking.
>>
No. 791065 ID: 91ee5f

>>791015
That's not Space Ghost! You can tell cause this guy ain't going coast to coast! XD
>>
No. 791084 ID: 1ba789

Fuck now we have to find and destroy The Red Marker!

Is this another byproduct of immortality cause if it is fuck that shit the investors can have there "perfection"!
>>
No. 791090 ID: 094652

Hey Sunfish, what was that about "insignificant rat-sized mutant animals"?

Lure the rat king. Minimize aggro, just shine a red laser dot and move it into a secure area. Shoot it at the ship. If you can get it in the line of fire of the repo men, they'll vaporize the @#$%er and start panicking about space horror movies.
>>
No. 791133 ID: 8a204b

>>791009
It's other arm seems to be fused to it's torso. If you can, I say try to disable the arm holding the hammer. That at least neutralizes the threat of heavy metal being introduced to your skull.
>>
No. 791147 ID: e01e87

I think the confusion here is not knowing how close it is to you, and how fast is it closing on you. If it's keeping its distance, try to avoid shooting it at least until you get the railgun prepared. If it's closing in on you, from behind, with a giant hammer, incinerate the damn thing and stomp on the ashes for good measure.
>>
No. 791168 ID: d36af7

If you've got some targeting program available that could confidently hit an inch-wide target at this distance, try shooting the hammer in such a way as to break the head off of the handle.
>>
No. 791256 ID: e6e9af

>>791009

Grav-hammer and looks like a very advanced teratoma ... bad sign.
>>
No. 791258 ID: 0b99d7

>>791009
Holy fuck, okay don't panic.
If you've got time to take careful aim, try to take out one of the joints in the hammer arm, shoulder is probably your best bet.
>>
No. 791304 ID: b073ca
File 149074795576.png - (122.78KB , 600x454 , 2-59.png )
791304

Your hands are shaking too much to make a precision shot, even with the guns gyroscopic stabilizers. Instead you take a photo and let the gun float by your side to watch it's movements. You don't think you can get a signal to anyone else but you send the photo anyway, because what the fuck....
You continue pushing the railgun slug; feeling your suit chafe as a cold sweat pours off of your body. The creature follows you slowly, bouncing a little in the low gravity but keeping its distance as if curious.
You goose your thrusters a little to help push things along. The sudden noise causes the creature to flinch and emit a chorus of squeals. You watch as one of its limbs drops off its body and scuttles away in panic. You feel your head swimming, a little burp of nausea escapes your lips as your stomach does a kick flip.
>>
No. 791305 ID: 398fe1

>>791304
It's easily spooked? Maybe you can just tell it to shoo.

On the other hand that hammer could be useful. Maybe if you shoot it, it'll drop the hammer so you can use it.
Hey, is that hammer electronic? You could use smartfog to disable it, or even cause it to misfire.
>>
No. 791306 ID: bb78f2

Maybe it's more afraid of you then you are of it? It's just curious.

It's scuttling away.
>>
No. 791375 ID: 7c3ae5

>>791304
Is the full creature scuttling away, or just the limb?
>>
No. 791392 ID: c31aac

Huh. Try turning at it and screaming with your gun pointed at it rather than trying for a shoulder shot
>>
No. 791433 ID: 398fe1

Also seriously, do not puke in your suit.
>>
No. 791518 ID: e6e9af

>>791304

That lowest red point ...

... isn't that about where Suity-McDeadguy had a rupture?
>>
No. 791562 ID: b073ca
File 149083757274.png - (148.07KB , 600x589 , 2-60.png )
791562

You get the feeling that this thing is more scared of you than you of it. You turn to face it and advance on it.

Bucky: "Hey! Get lost! Fuck off-"

Your intimidate check is interrupted by a hammer swing that narrowly misses you and slams against the wall in a shower of sparks.

You retreat, hands raised: "Okay, okay! Backing up now!"
>>
No. 791563 ID: b073ca
File 149083757846.png - (142.91KB , 600x600 , 2-61.png )
791563

Not having grappling boots, the force of the strike lifts the creature off the ground and hurls it against a wall which it turns and strikes, rebounding it again. It enters a kind of frenzy: blindly lashing out and bouncing randomly from the grav hammer's recoil with no idea how to stop. Even through your suit, you feel your senses assaulted by the clattering din, watching as flakes of iron spall from the walls and spark like novae in the dark.
>>
No. 791564 ID: 70983e

I think it just needs a little push. From your gun.
>>
No. 791569 ID: 094652

Smart enough to swing a hammer but dumb enough to swing it wildly. What if its brain consists of the neurons left in the body, and it has literal muscle memory of the last few minutes of the host before they got infected?

If so, then it's incapable of specialized attacks. Push the sucker, it will not adapt with a grapple!
>>
No. 791577 ID: fe7355

>>791564
>>791569
It's already applying enough push to itself in the form of equal-and-opposite reactions to its flailing grav hammer hitting the walls. It'll send itself tumbling all over the place and unable to advance just from that. A bullet wouldn't impart enough kinetic energy to significantly push it away, and might just end up going through its flesh. And getting close enough to push, let alone grapple, this creature sounds like a really bad idea, and that's before including it's swinging a gravity hammer all over the place.

Bucky, take the lucky opportunity your mistake of approaching this creature gave you and book it while it is thrashing about and unable to follow. Grab that slug, fire up your suit thrusters for assistance and shove it.

Also, this creature probably was afraid of either the loud noise or, more likely, the flame of your suit's thrusters. Keep that in mind if it gets too close to you and try blasting it with them.
>>
No. 791589 ID: 398fe1

>>791563
Spray the smartfog to disable that hammer. I think the additional oomph from it is confusing the poor thing. Maybe it'll calm down once it figures out how to stop.

If not, you should probably shoot it.
>>
No. 791604 ID: fe7355

>>791589
But why take the time to shoot it? Bucky came here to load a railgun, not destroy strange mutant creatures, and he doesn't have unlimited time to do so. He should focus on getting that slug to where it needs to be as fast as possible rather than shooting this creature. If it looks like it's closing distance as he's shoving the slug along, then would be when he should try to shoot the creature.
>>
No. 791609 ID: 91ee5f

>>791604
But he has to shoot it. Even if he loads the slug into the railgun, this thing is currently blocking the hallway back to the ladder that leads up to the control room where he has to push the button to fire the railgun.
>>
No. 791610 ID: 8d4593

Fascinating. Go load that railgun while its preoccupied.
>>
No. 791611 ID: a8bc5c

You know what you should do? Make like donkey kong. Throw a barrel or other suitable large object at it.

then load the railgun while it recovers and get the fuck out.
>>
No. 791612 ID: a7e5d6

Load the rail gun first while keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get to close and damage the gun then either kill it of get it out of the way and away from here.
If you do kill it take the hammer.
>>
No. 791614 ID: 213d84

If its hitting the wall each time and it can't get out of its movement, it's just gonna speed up until it tires out and hits something with its body.

Skedaddle outa there and leave it be, put some distance between you and it and the only thing you'll need to worry about is that hand running around.

Speaking of, if you see the hand (or the missing head) floating around it might be more mobile. Be careful.
>>
No. 791615 ID: 398fe1

...it occurs to me if we can take that hammer, it'll be useful in moving the slug around a lot faster!
>>
No. 791623 ID: fe7355

>>791609
And if it follows Bucky all the way to the railgun chamber, there's enough room in there for Bucky to get around this creature and back into the tunnel. Especially if Bucky turns off his boots and uses his suit thrusters to maneuver around the creature and keep his distance. And besides that, there's almost certainly side tunnels that'd lead back to the one with the power cable, so Bucky could try going that way if he doesn't have another option.

>>791612
It flailing about with that gravity hammer might blow up the plan if the railgun power cable runs through this tunnel. That hammer hits and breaks that cable and this'll all be for naught. If the cable does run through here and the monster is swinging dangerously close to it, then Bucky can't risk its wild flailing damaging that cable. He'll have to shoot, preferably to break the monster's grip.
>>
No. 791634 ID: e01e87

>chorus of squeals
>arm scuttles away

incidentally, this is multiple creatures clinging to each other. Shoot to disable, because kill shots to central areas probably won't work.
>>
No. 791940 ID: 952c30

>>791634
why would they form a humanoid shape? idgi. weird.
anyhow, it's agressive. fire at will.
>>
No. 792184 ID: b073ca
File 149101796285.png - (102.31KB , 600x517 , 2-62.png )
792184

You spritz some smartfog into the tunnel and as the hammer passes through it, some of the nanites take hold. A window pops up on your HUD and you use it to power down the grav emitter. You don't kill the creatures momentum, but hopefully it'll slow it down enough enough to chill out a bit. 
>>
No. 792185 ID: b073ca
File 149101797204.png - (152.35KB , 600x503 , 2-63.png )
792185

You grab the slug and fire your boosters again. Ignoring the squealing behind you, you hurry the cube towards your goal. 
>>
No. 792186 ID: b073ca
File 149101797804.png - (125.73KB , 600x501 , 2-64.png )
792186

You shove the block into the railgun chamber, realizing too late that you're traveling too fast. You try to slow down but the smooth sides of the cube slip from your hands and it careens into the wall like a freight train. It rebounds, coming right at you. 
>>
No. 792190 ID: 398fe1

>>792186
Dodge! I think ducking would work best.

Ughhhh that thing is gonna be heading right back where we came from. Hopefully the creature takes issue with it and smashes it with the grav hammer.

If that's about to happen, be sure to turn the emitter back on so that the slug is more likely to rebound from the creature.
>>
No. 792194 ID: 211d83

Just duck to avoid it. Trying to catch it will get you hurt.
>>
No. 792199 ID: afc71c

Redirect it atleast, so it doesn't go back to the monster. Easyist would be to duck under it then standup while pushing it into an upword angle. Then get ready to stop it when it bounces back down.
>>
No. 792252 ID: 8d4593

Turn off your boosters and mag boots and catch it with your center of mass, then use your boosters to bleed off the inertia and regain control.
>>
No. 792263 ID: 4546ab

The first thing you learn in zero G training is to never try and stop anything you got moving fast.

That thing must weigh a literal ton. It took you awhile to get it moving that fast and that means it will take a equal amount of time to slow it down again.

If you try to stop it by grabbing it you will get dragged along and possibly crushed when it hits whatever is in front of it.

Just get the fuck out of its way and once you are safe carefully work on slowing it down.

Also its probably going to hit that creepy monster.
>>
No. 792269 ID: fe7355

>>792252
The slug has so much mass and is moving so fast that that plan sounds like it would be a sure fire way for Bucky to at the least get the wind knocked out of him and a broken rib or two, and probably worse.
>>
No. 792274 ID: 91ee5f

>>792252
Don't do this. That's a good way to break your ribs!
>>
No. 792277 ID: e01e87

You're facing sideways to it, so your best bet to get out of the way is engaging your jets. Ducking won't actually lower your center of gravity unless your boots are attached to something. It could just pull your lower body up into the path of the slug.
>>
No. 792320 ID: 8ad498

>>792199 sounds good, with a touch of >>792277
>>
No. 792329 ID: 213d84

>>792186
We could try to side step (with or without jets), grab it from the side as it goes past and redirect it somewhere else with less momentum. Only problem then is we need to hold on tight or we'll be thrown back in the monster's direction.

...thats if we can even grab it due to mass, agility and grip of the space suit. Point is, dodge.

>>792277
I agree, but I swear the boots were switched on since we got inside the asteroid. Bucky's been walking in the last few panels.
>>
No. 792338 ID: 70983e

Duck and redirect it upwards!
>>
No. 792651 ID: 15a025

Duck and roll boy!
>>
No. 793193 ID: 9a036d
File 149126556391.png - (126.34KB , 573x600 , 2-65.png )
793193

You bend your legs and force your body to the floor in a zero-g, evasive duck. The anvil sized cube sails overhead and clangs into something behind you.
>>
No. 793194 ID: 9a036d
File 149126557042.png - (102.73KB , 600x529 , 2-66.png )
793194

By the time you stand up, the slug had shed most of its kinetic energy and drifting slowly. With a little bit of manhandling, you get it moving again and slot it into the railgun's loading chamber. Sensing the payload, the chamber closes with a hiss as it forms an airtight seal. You check your timer again: 5 minutes left in the flight plan.
>>
No. 793202 ID: 398fe1

Then hustle back to the control room so you can fire it.

Though I suspect you could just fire it remotely by spraying the railgun itself with smartfog, like you did that other one on the surface. Or is it the same one?
>>
No. 793233 ID: fe7355

Wait a second... Did you load that slug the right way around? Isn't the length of the slug core supposed to be pointed in the same direction as the railgun barrel, the dark ends towards the muzzle and the breech? Normally you could safely assume the loading mechanism would detect improper orientation, but with how broke down and jerry-rigged everything is around here you really can't.
>>
No. 793238 ID: 486e87

>>793233
I think it should be fine, the projectile should still complete the circuit within the railgun. Might not fire perfectly, but it should still fire. Aerodynamics don't really apply in space.

How much wiggle room do you have before you have to get back to the control room, Bucky? How long did it take you to get to the railgun?
>>
No. 793245 ID: e01e87

Fuck yeah, superhero duck!

Is the colony still flailing around? How are you gonna get past it to reach the control room?
>>
No. 793249 ID: 91ee5f

>>793194
Now you just need to get past that thing t get back to the control room.
>>
No. 793726 ID: 9a036d
File 149143113830.png - (120.00KB , 600x470 , 2-67.png )
793726

You hear the projectile clunk into place and you step back from the machine. You check to see if you can access the central computer on your collar, but the signal is blocked by a couple hundred feet of raw iron. You consider smartfogging the railgun itself, which would likely let you fire it but you'd be shooting blind. You'd much rather check the position of the asteroid first.

You turn around and head for the control room. It isn't long before you run into your old friend, somewhat stabilized and now missing a leg.
>>
No. 793727 ID: 3abd97

>>793726
Wave, cautiously.
>>
No. 793728 ID: 398fe1

>>793726
Get your gun ready, then tell it to shoo.

If it won't get out of the way then open fire. Watch out for ricochet, though.
>>
No. 793751 ID: 95366e

>>793726
Turn the grav hammer's sensitivity up to 50,000% for 10 seconds, make them unstable again and slip past. Keep an eye out for a head, an arm and a leg.
>>
No. 793755 ID: 5b93d3

It seemed unfazed by anything except your MMU exhausts (i.e. it doesn't like fire). If you go for whatever the minimum thrust is in reverse and walk forward with the mag boots, you might be able to drive it back as you approach.
>>
No. 793757 ID: 70983e

Poke it with a stick.
>>
No. 793876 ID: 5e00fb

Try talk with it?
>>
No. 794009 ID: 9a036d
File 149152637449.png - (116.49KB , 600x452 , 2-68.png )
794009

You turn around and flash your thrusters at the creature. It squeals and backs off, releasing the hammer in order to better scramble over the rock. By following it at a steady pace and occasionally flaring your jets, you're able to back it into an intersection and slip around it. You grab the hammer as you pass.

Bucky: "Sorry buddy, I'm in a hurry."
>>
No. 794014 ID: 398fe1

>>794009
Smooth. Let's get back to the control room. Keep an eye out for the creature's missing pieces and also the main body. Don't want to get ambushed on the way back.
>>
No. 794024 ID: 91ee5f

Make sure when you get back up there, you close the big blast doors here: >>787387 so that the creature doesn't follow you!
>>
No. 794027 ID: 143250

Don't get to distracted with that monster and its party. You need to also be wary of those repo men.
>>
No. 794098 ID: 4d445e

I'd say watch out for those limbs, I'm sure they'll be back later and try and get the jump on you
>>
No. 794499 ID: 9a036d
File 149169966856.png - (138.39KB , 600x600 , 2-69.png )
794499

You make a mad dash for the control room, pausing to close the blast doors behind you. You watch as the chamber slams shut, ensuring nothing sneaks through before clambering upstairs. You check the position of the frigate in the security cams.

You watch for several seconds, feeling the subtle rotation of the asteroid beneath you. You check the timer on your display: a rudimentary program you wrote gives you roughly one minute until the bridge of the ship is in view.

You feel yourself sweating your spacesuit: should you aim for the bridge, the main body, or the engine section? You only get one shot at this and you need to do as much damage as possible.
>>
No. 794511 ID: 211d83

When aiming anything you are not sure of hitting you just have to aim for center mass and hope for the best.
>>
No. 794512 ID: 143250

Engine. We can't let them get away if they succeed.
>>
No. 794514 ID: 9522b5

Main body. You've only got one shot and you do not want to miss. Sure, the cockpit is a great idea but it's god damn tiny.
>>
No. 794515 ID: 70983e

Bridge. Take out their comms and their command, and presumably their ability to navigate. Cut off the head and the body will die. Or engines, if that'll kill their power too.
>>
No. 794539 ID: 91ee5f

Since you can't control the Starlette from in here, you better hope the recoil of the gun doesn't make the asteroid hit the Starlette!
>>
No. 794545 ID: fe7355

>>794539
But Bucky can control the Starlette from here, since "here" is the control room in the entrance bunker on the asteroid surface. He set the flight program for the Starlette while here, remember?
>>
No. 794549 ID: 15a025

Aim for the main body. It's probably our best shot.
>>
No. 794553 ID: 91ee5f

>>794545
No, he set the flight program outside on the asteroid's surface while standing directly under the ship.

He said right here: >>787159 , that won't be able to control the Starlette while inside the mining complex and the control room is inside the mining complex. So he can't control the ship!
>>
No. 794563 ID: fe7355

>>794553
Okay, I was wrong about where Bucky entered in the flight program. However, in the previous thread he still had his connection to the Starlette while in the bunker's airlock. See >>/questarch/778719 where it's mentioned he lost link from the EMP when the railgun test fired. I assume from that he can maintain a radio link through the thickness of a single bunker exterior wall. Also, looking at the exterior image of the bunker from >>/questarch/777729, the control room also appears to have some exterior windows which are more radio transparent than walls. So based on this, when Bucky said "mining complex" I figured he was referring to the portion underground, cut into a iron-rich asteroid, and not the surface bunker.
>>
No. 794589 ID: fe7355

Aim for the engine section. If you hit the bridge, those in the main body could still potentially pilot the frigate from auxiliary controls and fire its weapons. If you hit the main body, you may not do enough damage to disable it and it could still come after you or get away. And given that it's a warship, it likely has redundant power and control conduits through there, so one hit won't take the frigate down. But if you take out the engine section, the frigate won't be able to jump away with its prize, leaving the Starlette as the only jump-capable ship in the system. And it won't be able to use it's main engine to accelerate, instead stuck on auxiliary power and thrusters to move and maneuver. It may not even be able to fire it's weapons without main power. Go for the engine section.
>>
No. 794590 ID: 398fe1

Don't forget to compensate for the asteroid's rotation! The rotation will change the railgun's firing arc. Unless the Starlette stops the rotation completely before it fires...
>>
No. 794619 ID: 6311a8

Aim for center mass.
>>
No. 794621 ID: 65e280

the bridge. they're obviously well-organized, so cut off the head and the rest should crumble.
>>
No. 794622 ID: 682c58

Engine section. They're here on retrieval and you need to make damn sure they can't do that.
>>
No. 794627 ID: 5b93d3

>>794499
Main body, centre of mass. This is a one-off trick to pull, so missing is the biggest risk.
>>794590
The ship is so close to the asteroid, and the asteroid spinning so slowly compared to the railgun armature velocity, that tangent velocity can be ignored. Likewise with recoil, a single railgun round is not going to impart a masive velocity to the asteroid, giving plenty of time to move the Starlette further away (if it's stationkeeping doesn't already know to do that).
>>
No. 794752 ID: 241e41

>>794499
Hit the engine section.

There are two scenarios we need to avoid at all costs. The first is the repo men leaving the system with any of our friends in tow, and the second is them leaving the system with the Sunfish's location and coming back for it later. The best way to prevent both of these is to prevent them from leaving the system.

Taking out their weapons is a secondary priority. Since we're more valuable to them alive, they won't do anything drastic except as a last resort. If we caused damage to their ship but left their FTL capabilities intact, they could decide to cut their losses and come back when they're better prepared.

It might be a good idea to aim for the bridge instead, and take out all their systems at once. But that's a best-case scenario. If you can get this railgun working with just smartfog, there's a good chance that they could get any systems they have left working without the bridge controls. We don't even know if their main computers are located there, or if they're just connected there from another part of the ship. On the other hand, if you did significant damage directly to their engines, they won't get them up and running again before we have the situation under control.

...Wait a second. These people make a career out of hunting down escaped slaves. What are the chances they've got prisoners locked up somewhere in their ship that they were planning to sell off later? In any case, that's all the more reason to aim for the engine, since it's the least likely place for them to store delicate cargo.
>>
No. 794755 ID: 0569d3

Engine
>>
No. 794759 ID: 241e41

>>794499
>>794752
Wait, wait, wait, hold on. If you destroyed the bridge, they'd be able to re-establish control of their systems, but they'd need some time to do it, right? In that time, do you think you could reconnect with the Starlette and disable their engines with your own onboard weapons? That would be an ideal solution if the odds are in your favor, as it would not only prevent them from leaving but also reduce their ability to coordiante their attacks. But I don't know what your ship is capable of in a fight or what its chances against a temporarily disabled slaver ship would be.

You'd know better than we would, Bucky. It's your call.
>>
No. 794787 ID: a40e8b

Center of mass
>>
No. 794791 ID: 91ee5f

>>794759
This, if possible.
>>
No. 794848 ID: 42e327

>>794499
If you think you can hit it, go for the engine. If there's even a chance it might miss, go for the body.
>>
No. 794860 ID: e6e9af

>>794759

Honestly, we're in a bind.

A body-shot might only compromise a lesser hold or damage the structure in a way that's non-critical. A blow to the bridge could severely cripple them, but there's no telling what backups they have (or if they've got a collar uplink and can just sit in a comfy cabin and pilot from there).

Likewise, recommending a shot straight at the communications array (if one is visible and large enough to hit reliable) would prevent them from radioing for help or transmitting our coordinates, but could place the Sunfish at risk of being cannibalized and make the repomen more aggressive in their attack.

An engine shot is not recommended, as secondary engines may be able to compensate and I highly doubt we could puncture deep enough to take out the pinch drive (in what could result in massive collateral damage if it somehow fires as a result).

TL;DR: Bucky, let's aim to cripple these fuckers as hard as we can. Make your best judgment of where it'll hurt them most.
>>
No. 794884 ID: 8d4593

The bridge shot could kill thier senior crew. A decapitation attack would destroy thier moral and ability to organize. On the dowside the bridge will be hardened and systems that pass through it are surely redundent. The ship damage will be localized and repairable.

An engine hit could easily disable the ship for good, however the engines will also be a hardened area. Damage probobly won't spread outside of engineering. Though thier ship might be dead, youll be facing an entire army out to take yours.

A body hit will likely miss key systems, but totally rip through the unhardened belly of the ship. Multiple hull breaches will slaughter the crew...
But that'll leave the pissed off elite senior crew at the helm pf a warship...

I vote for a fourth option.
Eva to the frigate. Use the smartfog to hack in and obtain a schematic of the ship.
Return to the roid, re aim the cannon directly at thier ftl core, and blow them all to hell!
>>
No. 794890 ID: 0555b9

>>794860
>>794759
>You'd know better than we would, Bucky. It's your call.
>Make your best judgment of where it'll hurt them most.
Can you miss the point of a quest any harder, folks. YOU'RE Bucky's best judgment.
>>
No. 794970 ID: 449741

Gentlemen, I feel as if there's a major flaw to targeting the engine block: What if it goes critical and damages the Sunfish?
>>
No. 795127 ID: 9a036d
File 149195845258.png - (112.22KB , 600x600 , 2-70.png )
795127

Counting seconds, you watch as the bridge passes into view. Not knowing how accurate or effective the railgun is, you opt to aim for the center of the ship. You triple check the controls and bring your palm down on the firing button with a silent prayer. 
You feel your fur stand on end and all of the screens momentarily glitch out as billions of joules pour through the facility and rows of electromagnets flare to life. A tiny quake shudders through the floor, slamming into your legs like a heavy landing. You watch the monitor as a tiny, brilliant point of light wrapped in a shrieking cloud of iron plasma meteors towards its target. 
>>
No. 795128 ID: 9a036d
File 149195849011.png - (162.07KB , 600x600 , 2-71.png )
795128

Most ship to ship combat takes place dozens of kilometers apart, using chemical lasers and guided missiles. While the repo men's frigate is a robust piece of work, whoever designed it never expected a point blank sledgehammer blow from a railgun. Your broadside slams into the center hull like the fist of an angry god, balling the metal up into a crumpled rose. Moments later, the far side of the ship erupts into a glittering constellation of steel and gas; a flame crackles briefly through the cloud of loose oxygen before snuffing out. A secondary explosion ripples through the ship as some kind of weapon emplacement cooks off. 

The frigate reels drunkenly; struggling to correct then over-correcting and listing wildly. You can't imagine the sudden hell you've unleashed over there, feeling a certain level of empathy even for repo men. You watch the fireworks, desperately hoping that you've stuck a mortal blow. 
>>
No. 795129 ID: 9a036d
File 149195849869.png - (235.15KB , 600x600 , 2-72.png )
795129

The camera suddenly fills with a blisteringly radiant flare. You feel the asteroid shudder as laser light rakes the surface, vaporizing iron and exploding pockets of gas as the hornets' nest retaliates. Horrified, you watch as the umbilical cable suddenly bursts into flame and blasts apart
>>
No. 795130 ID: 9a036d
File 149195850661.png - (103.76KB , 600x592 , 2-73.png )
795130

Seconds later, the screens flicker off and the power goes out, leaving you standing in the dark. 
>>
No. 795134 ID: 449741

>>795130
Time to go. We're not going to be able to do anything else on this asteroid so we need to leg it before it drifts any further away from the Sunfish - and before it exposes the Starlette as it's sitting idle.
>>
No. 795135 ID: e559a4

Ask your new monster friend if he brought a light. :)
>>
No. 795139 ID: 7b7ab3

Job's done!
Time to leave!
>>
No. 795141 ID: b412df

Lorentz force is badass! Nice job Bucky, time to get out of here.
>>
No. 795142 ID: 398fe1

>>795130
Welp. How are you gonna get back to the Starlette? I wouldn't advise trying to just walk out the airlock since their weapons are still working and you'd be a sitting duck out there. Though... maybe they're about to send some men down to try to capture you.

Time to hunker down and shoot anyone that tries to come through the airlock (via manual override I assume)

Try contacting the others to tell them how it went, and if they have any cameras that can tell you what's going on on the surface of the asteroid now.
>>
No. 795145 ID: fe7355

Fuck. Time to bail before they land a shot on the bunker. Flip on your suit's headlamp, grab the grav hammer and book it down the ladder and into the mine proper. You'll have to make your way to the railgun closest to the Starlette and try to exit through it to get to your ship, since the surface of the asteroid is going to be under fire. Hopefully the bunker and mine has working backup power for emergency lighting, or at least for the airlocks and doors, 'cause otherwise it's gonna be slow going using manual overrides to open them.
>>
No. 795167 ID: 91ee5f

>>795145
He can't go through the railguns because he has stated multiple times that he can't fit in them because he will get stuck!
>>
No. 795168 ID: fe7355

>>795167
No, he said the loading mechanism looked rather smaller than he'd feel safe trying to fold himself into to get through, not the railgun barrel itself. (>>/questarch/777347) If he pulled the loading mechanism he might be able to get out, if he could find a way to manually open the exterior blast shield. And if he doesn't have the tools to do the job gracefully, he can just apply that gravity hammer to the mechanism until there's a big enough hole.
>>
No. 795169 ID: e01e87

You just singlehandedly crippled a Repoman ship, and they couldn't do shit to you in return because you have an asteroid in between you and them. Granted that railgun's not gonna be firing again any time soon, but damn son.
>>
No. 795273 ID: 8a204b

OH BOY LOOK AT THE TIME BEST BE GOING.
>>
No. 795290 ID: 0555b9

Congrats! You aimed at nothing and thus did nothing but piss them off! The asteroid's railguns are useless now so all you can do is defeat the crew in shipboard combat. Evacuate the bunker and correct the Starlette's course to avoid the rogue asteroid.
>>
No. 795292 ID: 0b99d7

>>795130
Every moment not crossing the distance between here and the sunfish is another moment drifting away. It might not be much but don't take any chances, get outta there.
>>
No. 795299 ID: 449741

>>795290
It was still the best chance. We could have aimed at the bridge and missed entirely, since we don't exactly have a targeting computer for this industrial railgun in a stationary emplacement. Or even worse, we could have aimed at the engine block, hit it, and had it go critical right between us and the Sunfish. Who knows what happens when a pinch drive cooks off?
>>
No. 795327 ID: 9a036d
File 149204595107.png - (89.03KB , 468x600 , 2-74.png )
795327

You decide it's time to get the hell out of there. You don't think the repo men have enough firepower to carve up the whole asteroid, but you'd feel safer onboard the starlette. Plus you're starting to worry about your O2 levels. 
You flick on your headlamps and climb down the ladder into the loading bay. You punch the open button for the blast shield, opting to head into the mine rather than risk being hit by a laser. The door opens about half a foot and gives up with a groan. 
>>
No. 795328 ID: 398fe1

>>795327
Give it a good smack with the grav hammer to shove the door open the rest of the way.
>>
No. 795332 ID: 9917c4

Make damn sure that the thing you encountered earlier is not behind you before you pop open that door.
>>
No. 795340 ID: b412df

Well that's a problem. Check to see if there's a emergency release for the door or something, so you can open it by hand. If there isn't just give it a good ol whack with the grav hammer.
>>
No. 795353 ID: 449741

>>795327
Find a breaker bar and pry the opening a little more open. Then use the grav hammer to hammer the door the rest of the way open.
>>
No. 795355 ID: 91ee5f

>>795332
It's not behind him, it's under him past the big blast door that failed to open. Because that's where he ran into it.
>>
No. 795372 ID: 70983e

>>795327
*CLANG*
Grav hammer it. The repair bill is the least of your worries.
>>
No. 795414 ID: 449741

>>795372
But make sure to aim properly. Last thing we need is for the thing to jam.
>>
No. 795422 ID: fe7355

Figures the door backup power cell would be near completely worn out. Can't ever be easy, can it? Alright, don't go banging on it right off with the gravity hammer. Don't wanna warp it in its track or something. When you were searching the place, did you see any tools or anything else, like a pipe, that could be used to pry the door open enough to fit the gravity hammer head in the gap? A crowbar or length of pipe? If you do, get it, widen the door gap, insert the gravity hammer and give it a pulse to hopefully thump the door open. But if there aren't any tools or improvised levers about, you could use the handle of the gravity hammer. That's probably plenty sturdy for prying the door open a bit.

Once you're through, see if there's any way you could pull the mine door closed behind you and get it sealed again. You'd prefer closing the door in case the frigate hits the bunker and blows a hole in it. Otherwise the mine will violently decompress out through the bunker, causing a gale force wind that might carry you away and dash you against the walls.

>Plus you're starting to worry about your O2 levels.
What's the estimated time remaining on your O2 supply, and did you spot any thing in the bunker or down in the mine that might be a means to recharge it? There's probably a O2 tank recharge point up here for the miners, so did you spot anything like that? Or maybe down in the mine? Failing that, the life support system would have O2 tanks you could probably hook up to, if its valve type can mate with your suit's fill valve.
>>
No. 795457 ID: b88e47

There should be an emergency release to break the door mechanism free from the motor. After that you need to force the doors open with a pry bar or by hand.
>>
No. 795460 ID: 5b93d3

>>795327
Check for a manual crank before wailing on it with the hammer (which might jamb the door).
>>
No. 795955 ID: 9a036d
File 149221433678.png - (111.96KB , 442x600 , 2-75.png )
795955

You cast your headlights around the room for a manual control, but give up after feeling another barrage hit the asteroid.

You flip your hammer over and, using the handle, pry the door open a few more inches. You jam the head of the hammer into the gap, turn it on and give it a tap, knocking it open with a crash that echoes deep into the mine.

You cautiously check for any signs of the creature from earlier but, seeing none, press forward into the dark.
>>
No. 795957 ID: 449741

>>795955
Press on. Move quickly, the more time we're here the farther away the asteroid is.
>>
No. 795962 ID: 398fe1

>>795955
Hopefully the repomen won't go around the asteroid and notice the Starlette.
>>
No. 796182 ID: 15a025

Hop to it Bucky, the repo men are going to end up finding your ship and possibly raid it looking for you.
>>
No. 796194 ID: 315280

Hurry it up dude before the repo men find yo ship
>>
No. 796716 ID: 9a036d
File 149256121430.png - (118.84KB , 600x600 , 2-76.png )
796716

With the walls rumbling around you, you slip into the mine. You find the conduits that power the railguns and follow them into the dark. You're desperate to get back to the Starlette before the frigate manages to find it. Unfortunately the impacts to the asteroid have sent a number of objects adrift, as well as a fine cloud of rock dust. Your visibility is reduced to only a few feet and you're forced to slow down in order to keep from getting lost.
>>
No. 796717 ID: 398fe1

>>796716
You have acquired a passenger, on your leg. That regular hammer floating over there could be used to pry it off or bash it, if it turns out to be a hostile passenger.
>>
No. 796718 ID: c31aac

Hey what's that wrapped around your right leg?
>>
No. 796720 ID: 70983e

Swap hammer hands, pick up new friend on foot.
>>
No. 796725 ID: 1e7aa8

Is your suit armored? if it is, carefully aim and slam whatever the hell it is that has now wrapped itself around your right foot.
>>
No. 796742 ID: 62b97b

>>796716
FUCK! YOUR RIGHT LEG!
scrape it off but be careful not to damage the suit
>>
No. 796796 ID: 398fe1

I should make my position more clear: you probably don't have to hurt the thing. It's just being grabby right now. Think of it as a wild animal.
>>
No. 796829 ID: 91ee5f

>>796716
If you can't pull that thing off your leg, try turning on your thrusters to scare it off.
>>
No. 796912 ID: 9a036d
File 149264672440.png - (118.96KB , 496x600 , 2-77.png )
796912

You pause, feeling something off...
Aiming your headlamps down, you reveal... three feet; one of them clinging to your knee with a whiplike tendril. You gently try to dislodge it with the handle of the hammer; it writhes and lashes tighter, but doesn't seem hostile. It seems like it just... wants to be a leg. You give it another poke and as it tightens again, you feel teeth pressing into your suit.
>>
No. 796913 ID: 70983e

Firmly pry it off before it causes a suit rupture.
>>
No. 796915 ID: 398fe1

>>796912
Let it be. The girls are gonna be so impressed with your third leg!
Also you can do science to it later, or something.
>>
No. 796916 ID: 143250

I wonder if it knows the place is being attacked, and wants you to save it...
>>
No. 796917 ID: 47160d

I mean... if it wasn't being bad before let's just try working with it
>>
No. 796919 ID: 211d83

Leave it alone for now and wait for it to get bored of helping you.
>>
No. 796925 ID: 094652

Leave it alone for now, but try to find something else for it to latch on to. If it persists, set your leg on fire.
>>
No. 796967 ID: 449741

>>796912
If it doesn't actually hinder you or press the suit further, ignore it. We don't have time to dick around with it right now. It'll probably die in the vacuum of space anyways.
>>
No. 797048 ID: 904bad

... do we have a new pet?
>>
No. 797114 ID: 4f2b65

>>796912
Fire thrusters, don't poke. Maybe that'll scare it?
>>
No. 797139 ID: d38e72

>>796912
Thank goodness we're wearing the suit!
Walk around a little and use the jets to navigate around somewhere that would need jets, just a little to see what it does.
>>
No. 797330 ID: 9a036d
File 149281717777.png - (88.86KB , 600x442 , 2-78.png )
797330

Not wanting to risk tearing your suit, you leave the rogue limb alone. It'll probably die in the vacuum anyway. You continue picking your way through the mine with your hitchhiker flopping loosely against your leg. You reach an agreement intersection where the conduits branch off and you stop to assess which direction you need to follow. You remember taking a left to get to the railgun that faced the frigate.
>>
No. 797331 ID: 70983e

Take a left, and another left, and another left.
>>
No. 797334 ID: 91ee5f

>>797330
OH SHIT, IT'S BEHIND YOU!!!!! TURN ON YOUR THRUSTERS AND SCARE IT AWAY!!!!! D8
>>
No. 797336 ID: b412df

>>797334
Where? I don't see anything. You better not be trying to scare Bucky for the sake of it.

If we're going to use our thrusters we better be sure we need to use them, otherwise we might spook the foot creature that has a hold on us, we don't want it to tear our suit.
>>
No. 797341 ID: 449741

>>797330
>taking a left to get to the railgun

This means we need to take the righthand path, since we're going the opposite way.
>>
No. 797346 ID: 70983e

>>797336
It's directly behind him, in the glare of the lights. This is the trouble with accepting hitchhikers...
>>
No. 797348 ID: b412df

>>797346
Oh crud I see it now, those claw like things either side of him? Thought those were the thrusters of Bucky's MMU.
>>
No. 797542 ID: 15a025

Turn around and apply hammer to monster.
>>
No. 797584 ID: ca6312

Activate thrusters NOW.
>>
No. 797588 ID: e6e9af

>>797330

Keep calm. It only seemed to act threatening when we threatened it -- kind of like our, ahem, "third leg" right now.

Let's leave it be, but if comes too close or makes any sudden moves, put in some distance.
>>
No. 797639 ID: e38f48

Duck and roll forward, if you can.
>>
No. 797655 ID: 91ee5f

>>797588
In case you haven't noticed, it's already too close!
>>
No. 797799 ID: 9a036d
File 149307960698.png - (124.68KB , 600x459 , 2-79.png )
797799

You take a right and as you do something flickers in the corner of your eye. A toothy limb clamps onto your shoulder and you hear hear a pop as one of your hoses is ripped loose, spewing O2 for a moment before sealing itself.

The creature claws it's way onto your back, shifting your center of gravity and you pitch back and forth trying to dislodge it.
>>
No. 797800 ID: 9a036d
File 149307961715.png - (123.36KB , 600x512 , 2-80.png )
797800

You fire up your MMU thrusters to scare it off but this thing is done backing down. It's habitat has been disturbed, it's faced scary flashes of fire and it's taken a very confusing and painful ride on a power tool. It screeches as the jets torch its skin and responds by biting down on your ear, shaking it like a rag. Your shriek of pain fills your helmet as your head is whipped back suddenly.
>>
No. 797802 ID: 70983e

Peace through superior firepower.
>>
No. 797805 ID: 398fe1

>>797800
I think it's time to start shooting it.

Toss the grav hammer behind you (maybe it'll break off to try to grab it) then get your gun and aim for center mass. This thing has no central brain obviously so a headshot won't kill it instantly. Though it might make the ear-chewing piece of it stop biting you.
>>
No. 797806 ID: 26f38d

Stick your thumb in its eye.
>>
No. 797807 ID: d9d492

Yeah, poke it in the shoulder-eye.
>>
No. 797851 ID: 8f9fd0

>>797800
aww look, it's nuzzling your ear. it probably just wants to cuddle.
no but seriously you're in a bad spot. get your gun out.
>>
No. 797986 ID: 9a036d
File 149316563812.png - (163.58KB , 600x600 , 2-81.png )
797986

You swing your hammer up over your shoulder and feel a sizzle as it makes contact. The creature is thrown off your back by the force of the impact and hurled against the wall.
>>
No. 797987 ID: 9a036d
File 149316564268.png - (115.17KB , 600x600 , 2-82.png )
797987

You cast your searchlights through the dark, grab your gun and fire from the hip. Meat and blood fountain into strange zero gravity contrails as your bullets strike home. You aren't sure exactly what to aim for, but you manage to elicit a screech as one of its eyes disappears in a fountain of gore.

Your corner gun clicks and you swap the ammo mag out for a high velocity one. Your attacker shifts painfully and you keep your weapon trained on it.
>>
No. 797988 ID: b412df

Check yourself to see if your third leg is causing an issue. If it is, remove it.

If not, approach the thing, gun trained. It'd probably best you pulverise this thing with the grav hammer, just ker splat it.
>>
No. 797992 ID: 398fe1

>>797986
Ah, thank goodness its limbs weren't strong enough to keep a grip on you when being hit by the hammer.

>>797987
Watch it, you've still got an arm and a leg around somewhere. Is the leg still attached to you? Maybe it's time to evict it. Try to get it to pay attention to the main body so it'll attach to that instead of you. Keep an eye on the body and maybe get some distance after the leg's off you and the arm isn't coming after you either.

Tell it to keep its hands to itself.
>>
No. 797993 ID: 449741

>>797987
Keep backing up towards the righthand path. It's dangerous, but we can't spend too much time on it. Keep moving back towards the Starlette, but turn around and check every 30 or so seconds until we're sure it's finally not following us.
>>
No. 797995 ID: 398fe1

...hang on, would those high velocity rounds do any damage to the enemy ship?
>>
No. 797997 ID: 70983e

>>797995
Maybe if they were fifty times bigger.
>>
No. 798024 ID: 449741

>>797995
Would a pistol do any damage to a warship? Probably not.
>>
No. 798027 ID: fe7355

Hold your fire. Don't waste your HV rounds on a soft target that's already down. If it gets up and moves to attack you again, then you can open fire to stop it.

Keep your gun trained on the creature while you do a quick check around you for any more creepy-crawlies and look down the tunnel you were going to go down. And pull the creature's hand off your suit, if it hasn't gotten stuck on like that damn leg. If the coast down the tunnel looks clear, start walking backwards along it, keeping the creature in your gun's sights. Once you put enough distance between you and it it won't be able to rush you, turn around and hurry up.

Check your suit's status and diagnostics. How much O2 did you lose, how much breathing time do you have left, and what will you have to do to patch your suit up? You have anything like a field patch kit as standard on the suit?
>>
No. 798047 ID: 91ee5f

>>797995
If we were going by video game logic, then yes. However, since that's not what's happening, these bullets won't help against that ship.
>>
No. 798194 ID: 9a036d
File 149325305655.png - (146.04KB , 600x600 , 2-83.png )
798194

You back away from the stricken form, gun still trained on it. You feel movement on your chest, look down and swat away the grasping claw with a gasp. It continues to writhe and clutch blindly on the floor.

Once you get a safe distance away, you reattach your O2 line and run a quick check. Pressure diagnostics tell you that the suit is still intact, but there's a slickness to your ear that tells you that it's bleeding. You look down at your passenger: still a leg.
>>
No. 798197 ID: 398fe1

>>798194
So its teeth aren't sharp enough to puncture your suit. Good to know.

Personally I think you should grab your "leg" and rip it off before it has a chance to react, then toss it over to the main body. Then get back to the escape plan.
>>
No. 798222 ID: 3abd97

If the leg isn't damaging your suit or interfering with you, I think we should let it be.

Let's get out of here. You'll have to deal with your ear later.
>>
No. 798264 ID: 70983e

Shoot yourself in the foot. No, not that foot, the other one.
>>
No. 798267 ID: f0f32d

Keep the leg on if it's not attacking you: You want to encourage that.
>>
No. 798287 ID: daff15

>>798194
time to go, wasting time.
>>
No. 798288 ID: a3cd80

>>798267
Wait, are you suggesting that we keep it as a pet? Because I like that idea lets do that!
We should also give it a name: I'm thinking 'fluffy'.
>>
No. 798322 ID: 8111b6

While the 'third leg' joke potential is good, we'll have to get rid of it eventually. It's far too bitey to be a pet, and we don't even know what it eats, other than people that won't let it be a leg.
>>
No. 798359 ID: 91ee5f

We need to get rid of that thing. This might turn into Resident Evil and infect Bucky and turn him into a space zombie!
>>
No. 798611 ID: 9a036d
File 149342831410.png - (93.09KB , 600x434 , 2-84.png )
798611

You raise your leg up and the rogue limb dangles from your knee.
"Sorry bud, not taking any chances." 
You give it a shove with a pulse of the  grav hammer and it's hurled away with a screech. You check your suit: no punctures
>>
No. 798612 ID: 9a036d
File 149342832056.png - (123.12KB , 600x600 , 2-85.png )
798612

It takes you a moment to find your bearings again and you rush for the railgun. Following the conduit, you find yourself in a similar hollowed out room. An identical railgun sits on a recoil platform and anchor lines stretch into the ceiling. 
>>
No. 798613 ID: 70983e

Now climb in and become the Terran Cannonball!
>>
No. 798615 ID: 3ce125

>>798612
Alright, look for a button or lever to put it into maintenance mode. Then climb on in and see if it's got a tiny airlock in there.
>>
No. 798622 ID: 91ee5f

>>798615
This place has no power. Pushing buttons isn't gonna make anything happen.
>>
No. 798677 ID: 449741

>>798612
Open it up, and see you can climb out of it. We're without power, so we don't have to worry about getting fired out of it.

But double check that it's powered down, just in case.
>>
No. 798684 ID: 3ce125

Guys. There may not be a power cable connected to this place anymore but there's still a capacitor bank that might have charge left in it.
>>
No. 798685 ID: cbb6df

>>798677
Also check to make sure we can open the hatch without power, from the inside.
>>
No. 798886 ID: 15a025

Think you might be able to climb your way out of with it?
>>
No. 798956 ID: 682c58

Bucky, see if there are any cables that can be unplugged or disconnected with a breaker, the last thing we need right now is becoming a bunny smear if the power somehow comes back on or those capacitors discharge.
>>
No. 798985 ID: e6e9af

>>798612

Any chance of a second shot? Could do more than cripple those bastards if so ...

... though you'd likely send yourself drifting in the process.
>>
No. 798988 ID: 91ee5f

>>798985
The facility doesn't have any power and he can't aim from where he's at. How the fuck do you expect him to get a second shot off?
>>
No. 799213 ID: 9a036d
File 149368696308.png - (125.98KB , 600x600 , 5-86.png )
799213

You peek into the loading mechanism: it's not a lot of space to work with, basically a very tiny airlock. You think you can squeeze inside but you run into a few problems. First, there's no power to open it with. You might be able to force it open with the hammer, or use its battery to power the hatch. 
Second: it's too small to fit yourself and your MMU unit. You'd have to detach it (and your O2) and figure out a way to cycle yourself and the pack separately. If you can't, it means climbing out and making it to the ship with only the oxygen in your suit and no maneuvering gear. You might be able to find a smaller cylinder of O2 mix back in the mine, but you risk getting lost, and that thing is still in there. 
Third: the asteroid is still pressurized. You're not sure how much charge your hammer still has, but if you can't cycle the airlock, then you'll have to smash your way out. That means releasing the entire atmospheric contents of the mine through an aperture only a couple feet wide. Something you'd probably prefer doing from a safe distance. 
>>
No. 799215 ID: 3ce125

>>799213
Safe distance, huh? Your collar is connected to the hammer. Wedge it in there then get away and activate the hammer to blow the airlock, then wait for the asteroid to vent. Obviously you want to brace yourself somehow. Mag boots might be enough?
>>
No. 799220 ID: b412df

Ugh. I'm tempted to say find a different exit but we really can't. Trace the cables back to which capacitor bank this is connected to, then see if you can rewire it to power the cycling mechanisms but not the rails / linear motor, then use smartfog + collar for remote control. How good of a electrical engineer are you, Bucky?
>>
No. 799232 ID: 70983e

Test fire- I mean, cycle- your MMU first. Carry your oxy tank in hand.
>>
No. 799290 ID: d36af7

Force the inner hatch open, see if you and your MMU can fit inside the railgun's barrel at the same time.
>>
No. 799341 ID: a321e6

Step 1: Detach all cables and beams in this room with the grav hammer, weaken the roof support structure, especially around the rail cannon and anywhere with beams near the roof.
Step 2: Rig up the power from the hammer to the airlock, remote control via collar.
Step 3: Tie your waist with the steel cable, use magboots on the wall, maybe dig out a burrow in the wall with the gravhammer before you use it. Anything like that, just find somewhere strong and quake resistant and hide in it.
Step 4: Force the airlock cycle open, the massive pressure on the 2 foot space should push the area around it and hopefully be enough to make the entire cavern ceiling (or hopefully just the railgun) collapse outwards into space and quickly vent the mine, solving the squeeze, the pressure and the O2 problems.
>>
No. 799384 ID: 9a036d
File 149377299647.png - (103.59KB , 600x474 , 2-86.png )
799384

You briefly consider finding the capacitor and rewiring it but going back into the mine seems like too much of a risk. Besides, engineering of that caliber would require waking up Old Man Bucky. He's cantankerous at the best of times, and you try to avoid waking him unless Sam or Annie are around to bring you back. 
You sigh, hoping they're okay. 

Instead you wedge the hammer into the firing chamber and back away. You find a safe looking corner and, using the strap from your gun, secure yourself to one of the structural supports. 
You take a deep breath, steel yourself and remotely crank the output on the hammer up to eleven. 
>>
No. 799385 ID: 9a036d
File 149377300168.png - (199.04KB , 600x600 , 2-87.png )
799385

The railgun chamber erupts in a tympani of thunder as the hammer slams itself back and forth like a caged beast. You can hear the power tool ravaging the inside of the machine, changing pitch as the inner seal surrenders to Thor's drum solo. 
>>
No. 799386 ID: 9a036d
File 149377300779.png - (111.47KB , 600x528 , 2-88.png )
799386

There's one final clang and your heads up display sends you an error: "lost signal."
You barely have time to register the message before you are yanked forward by a tremendous current of air. Your boots keep you rooted to the floor but you feel yourself being crushed against the strap, causing your ribs to creak. The pressure is so intense you struggle to breathe, ragdolled as rock and dust is drawn into the room in a swirling around you in a maelstrom. You think… you might… black out… need to… do something…
>>
No. 799390 ID: fe7355

Fire your MMU counter to the gale's direction hard enough to take the pressure off your ribs so you can breathe and to stabilize you so you're not flopping about. Then increase thrust so there's slack in the gun's strap and shift the gun around to your chest. The gun has a larger surface area, so it won't bite into your ribs like the strap did. Then let off the MMU thrust until you can just safely breathe. You're looking to conserve your MMU propellant since you don't know how long it'll take until the air pressure in the mine falls to where it isn't a maelstrom.

Now that the railgun's inner doors and outer blast door have been forcibly removed, do you think it's possible a radio signal could get back out that way to the Starlette from your collar? Even a weak reply from the Starlette would be a relief since it'd show she hasn't been blown away by that Repo Man frigate.
>>
No. 799392 ID: e6e9af

>>799386

Well, if we weren't drifting from the Sunfish, we definitely are now with the effective thrust we've just created. Hopefully the Starlette's still tethered, or we're going to have one long spacewalk.
>>
No. 799403 ID: b88e47

Fire maneuvering unit to counter the air current. It will relieve stress on the strap.
>>
No. 799425 ID: 3ce125

>>799386
Use your allowance! The rush of pleasure should keep you conscious.
>>
No. 799583 ID: 91ee5f

>>799425
That'll only stop him from feeling his ribs get broken, it doesn't stop his ribs from actually getting broken!

>>799390
>>799403
These.
>>
No. 799739 ID: 9a036d
File 149394528870.png - (108.60KB , 364x600 , 2-89.png )
799739

You rotate your thrusters and fire them in full reverse. You feel the pressure ease off of your chest, take a grateful breath of air and watch the tunnel vision of unconsciousness recede. 
Dust and small objects whip past you but eventually the violence of decompression starts to recede. You feel your thrusters start to sputter and you cut them off. 
>>
No. 799740 ID: 9a036d
File 149394529690.png - (128.33KB , 549x600 , 2-90.png )
799740

Standing in the eerily silent room, you survey the damage: the firing chamber had several large rocks and tools wedged in it, but once you clear them out you should have a clear shot to the surface. 
>>
No. 799741 ID: 3ce125

>>799740
The monster probably got blown in here too. If you don't see it in the wreckage or in the corridor, just... keep looking around every couple seconds as you remove the debris. Don't forget to look up.

Keep in mind without air you won't be able to hear it coming. If you see it and it isn't an immediate threat, threaten it with your gun. It should remember that you can hurt it. If it's coming at you, don't be afraid to open fire.
>>
No. 799745 ID: 91ee5f

>>799740
Hopefully, that monster was ejected into the void of space because there is a possibility that it is in the firing chamber and trapped in between a bunch of debris. Maybe it was crushed by the debris and you'll just find a lifeless monster body. If it's not dead, then that means it's immunes to getting crushed and it doesn't need oxygen to survive!
>>
No. 800587 ID: 9a036d
File 149429230018.png - (124.40KB , 600x600 , 2-91.png )
800587

You start clearing a path through the chamber. Fortunately the microgravity lets you just shove things out of the way.
It’s a tight fit but you manage to clamber through the much abused passageway and finally see the surface of the asteroid.
>>
No. 800588 ID: 9a036d
File 149429230184.png - (124.40KB , 600x600 , 2-91.png )
800588

You start clearing a path through the chamber. Fortunately the microgravity lets you just shove things out of the way.
It’s a tight fit but you manage to clamber through the much abused passageway and finally stand proud on the surface of the asteroid.
>>
No. 800589 ID: 9a036d
File 149429232558.png - (106.06KB , 489x600 , 2-92.png )
800589

Awww beans…
>>
No. 800590 ID: f5a96a

RUN, RABBIT, RUN!
>>
No. 800592 ID: 3abd97

Retreat! Back down the rabbit hole!
>>
No. 800593 ID: 3ce125

>>800589
No, don't retreat! The gun is on the front, and that's the rear! You're in the clear to approach. DO SO. You are armed, and those inside are likely busy with repairs. Make sure the Starlette is disengaged with the asteroid and ready to come pick you up at a moment's notice, but don't attract attention with it.
>>
No. 800595 ID: b412df

>>800593
We're out of fuel for our MMU trusters, we can't board their ship unless we want to risk missing the jump and spending eternity drifting in space, because they will shoot the starlette down if we call it over to rescue us. We need to go back down. Darnit.
>>
No. 800599 ID: 3ce125

>>800595
Dude, their ship is right there. They've landed on the asteroid for repairs. We don't need thrusters to get to it. Also we COULD probably get the starlette over here since I doubt the engines on the enemy ship are ready to go. They landed for a reason!

At the very least we should pull out the tablet and tell the others where the enemy ship is so they can get a boarding party over here.
>>
No. 800600 ID: b412df

>>800599
That doesn't look landed to me, more like a really big thing close to the asteroid with part of it going below the horizon.
>>
No. 800604 ID: 3ce125

Oh, and even if the MMU thrusters are out of juice, we can use the recoil from the gun to maneuver in space to an extent.
>>
No. 800650 ID: fe7355

>>800593
No, you're wrong. The frigate has laser cannons on this side. Check the update where they opened fire on the asteroid. (>>795129) The shots clearly came from the boxy lower portion of the frigate on this side of it. Which means if they're coming up over the horizon and not going down behind it, they can and will open fire on Bucky's position the second their sensors detect him. Going out in the open in that case would be suicidal.

>>800599
They haven't landed. Check the previous images of the frigate, like when they open fire on the asteroid. (>>795129) There's clearly a boxy portion of the ship that is still below the horizon. They're moving around the asteroid. Now, the big question is, are they coming up over the horizon, or heading below it right now.

And why the heck would they need to land for repairs at all? Whether their hull is touching rock or they're floating free, the repairs will still need to be done via space walk. Now, maybe they'd be worried about the Sunfish's mining laser taking a few pot shots at 'em before they can return fire, but they could just hang out on the far side of the asteroid from the Sunfish in that case. Or so close to the Sunfish that the mining laser can't hit them.

>>800604
With that frigate patrolling about Bucky would be a sitting duck the second he was out of cover. They'd easily pick him off with a laser barrage.
>>
No. 800651 ID: 3ce125

>>800650
Oh, all right, I misremembered. Then Bucky should stay down and hope they just pass by.
>>
No. 800653 ID: fe7355

Your immediate course of action here is very much tied to whether that frigate is coming up over the horizon or dipping below it. If it's rising, then get below ground now and keep going down 'cause as soon as even one of their laser cannons clear the horizon they will get a bead on your dumb ass and vaporize you. And no, you cannot possibly make a run for it. Even if you did have MMU fuel left you couldn't get over the horizon before they opened fire. On mag-booted foot you're as good as dead out there.

Now, if the frigate is falling below the horizon and, importantly, doesn't start to slow like they spotted you and are reversing thrust to bring their guns to bear, then you have a small window of time to figure out what the fuck you're gonna do. Whether you bring the Starlette in low to get you or run to meet it. But if they do slow up then you're gonna have to duck back underground before they can get a shot on you.

Simultaneously check if you can get a radio link back to the Starlette. It should be near this position so you ought to be able to reach it. If you can't, then either the frigate blew it away already, it's been boarded and taken over, or the frigate is running a jammer. The first one means you're well and truly fucked, the second means you're fucked, and the third that you're possibly fucked. But if you can link with the Starlette, in the case the frigate is coming up over the horizon order the Starlette to release its tethers and execute a evasive maneuver program that'll keep the asteroid between it and the frigate. In the case the frigate is going below the horizon and not slowing up to reverse course, fly the Starlette in low and fast to get you, then keep the asteroid between you and the frigate.

In the case you have to duck back below ground, check your O2 level, pull back into the tunnels and expect a Repo Man team to drop in to hunt you down. Thankfully the iron-rich asteroid will block their comms back out, so if by some miracle you or the creatures in here wipe them out the frigate will be none the wiser. ...Assuming they don't come packing a bag of comm relays to stick down as they go along. And you'll probably end up having to search the mine for a charged O2 canister as well. The atmo generation system for the mine likely has one.

Oh, and make sure to mark the tunnels you've gone down. Grab one of the ruined tools you cleared out use it to gouge in the left hand wall of each tunnel entrance you go into.
>>
No. 800720 ID: 5f2b81

>>800650
No one's shooting at Bucky. They need him alive and intact.
>>
No. 800727 ID: 5b93d3

>>800650
It's also possible the frigate bas belly-landed on the surface and the lower module is obscured behind a lump of the asteroid's surface.

If Bucky has a good knowledge of starship sensors (i.e. whether they are even able to detect a human moving against a rock background from off-axis at a few tens of metres, which may not be the case for a broadband array meant to look for metallic objects at megametre distances) then it may be feasible to approach on foot undetected. If so, simply external sabotage like inserting rocks into RCS ports and the main engine bells if possible would be extremely effective. Such action is minimally detectable until the engines are fired (because who installs a non-pressure-based FOD sensor in a starship engine?) and does not carry the risk of actually trying to enter the ship.
>>
No. 800761 ID: 9a036d
File 149437432513.png - (131.74KB , 600x455 , 2-93.png )
800761

You send the Starlette a quick update: moments later the two tethers detach from their moorings and the corvette's thrusters burst to life. Your ship drops below the horizon just as the frigate's weapons pod rises into view.

Lasers lash the surface of the rock in frustration and you duck back into the hole.

You check your O2 levels: your mix levels are starting to get low and CO2 is up slightly as the scrubbers struggle. The Starlette is programmed to play cat and mouse, keeping the asteroid between itself and the Repo-men. It'll end up costing you fuel, but hopefully the Repo-men aren't in any condition to give chase. However, pinned as you are, all they have to do is wait you out.

You're surprised when a message flashes onto your HUD: Shut down engines and surrender immediately.
>>
No. 800762 ID: 70983e

Don't reply, your electronics are compromised. Can the Starlette handle evasion by itself or do you need to remain outside the asteroid?
>>
No. 800763 ID: 3ce125

>>800761
They think you're on the Starlette? This is fine. Keep watch on the enemy ship. Optimally what we want to do is jump to it and start a hostile boarding action by entering through the hole in their hull.

I wonder if you can accomplish this by complying with their demands then sneaking up on their ship when they dock with yours?
>>
No. 800820 ID: 91ee5f

You said you couldn't fit through there while wearing your jetpack thingy, so is there a reason it won't fit while you drag it behind you or push it in front of you? That way you can put it back on after you climb out.
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No. 800829 ID: fe7355

>>800820
But Bucky can fit through the barrel of the railgun while wearing his MMU just fine. It was the railgun's loader airlock that he couldn't fit into while still wearing it and be able to cycle the airlock. And thanks to the airlock getting smashed open Bucky could then squeeze through while still wearing his MMU. It's how he got to where he is now, at the muzzle of the railgun's barrel.
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No. 800845 ID: b88e47

Do not answer.
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No. 800848 ID: e01e87

I don't think Bucky... wants to try a hostile boarding action. A handheld blaster versus... everything they've got?

The problem is the Starlett is their only ticket out of there, so he can't just go hide in the Sunfish. Unless he could hide the Starlett inside the Sunfish somehow?

I don't know if there's anything he can do at this point. He's already accomplished the impossible and destroyed their ship with a broken railgun. If that only slightly inconvenienced them, then all I can think is he needs some other way to sabotage them. Explosives, maybe?

Otherwise, just... keep staying out of their sights, and hope for the best I guess? If you surrender, they'll take apart your ship to repair their own, and blow up the rest. So, if that's your only option, you're gonna have to blow it up first.
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No. 800859 ID: d36af7

Shut down the Starlette's engines and tell them that no one currently on board the Starlette will resist, but you can't be held responsible for everything on the asteroid or the Sunfish.

Assuming they fall for that lie of omission, and send a boarding party over to the wrong place to capture you, seal the Starlette's airlocks and screw around with the life support settings to keep them alive but contained, and presto you've got hostages. Assuming they're not willing to risk killing their own boarding party, that gives you the option of shooting at their ship, using any weapons on your ship, with minimal worry about return fire.
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No. 800861 ID: 91ee5f

>>800859
That's not going to work. If they send someone over to capture whoever they think is on the ship, they'll have weapons in case of resistance, so they'll just shoot apart the Starlette to get out. And they also have smart fog, meaning they only need to spray it all over the Starlette's controls and they'll have taken over our ship!

We better not let them onto our ship!
>>
No. 800866 ID: 8d4593

Could just Kamikazi the Starlette into the frigate.
Sure you'd be stuck here too, but the single repoman boarding party would quickly be overwhelmed by the Sunfishes sheer numerical superiority. You'd be left with two ships worth of scrap to pick over. With Old Buckey's help you might have hope of building the sunfish a pinch drive. Or maybe one for a shuttle. At the very least, with all that scrap conditions on the sunfish would get a bit more comfortable.
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No. 801001 ID: 9a036d
File 149446387987.png - (106.43KB , 600x600 , 2-94.png )
801001

You settle back into the narrow passage and think about what you have at your advantage.

It doesn't seem like the Repos know your position and are broadcasting on a wide bandwidth. You might be able to use that to mislead them.

Also to your advantage is the Frigate's weapon system. Anything that can vaporize slabs of iron is going to produce an enormous amount of heat, and managing your temperature is one of the hardest and most critical things to do in space. It's fairly easy to fry yourself with your own weapons if you aren't careful about dumping heat; and with that recent light show, they're probably running a fever right now. With any luck, your attack may have even damaged their heat pumps.

Your third advantage is the Starlette itself. Now that you've reestablished contact with it, you have access to its ship to ship defenses: which are...limited, but better than nothing. It's primary defense is it's "shields": essentially massive reflective sails several times larger than the ship itself, but only a few molecules thick. The idea is to unfurl them and place them between yourself and enemy laser fire, while trying to position yourself to snipe around the enemy shields. It's kind of like jousting... but with a lance of infinite length and shield a kilometer wide. The problem is that shields are extremely fragile and easily destroyed by projectiles, which is why most combat takes place over vast distances.

Also onboard is a chemical laser of modest power. Normally you wouldn't trust it to go up against a military grade warship, but you diiiiid just put a gaping hole in its armor, as well as compromised the dorsal weapons system.
>>
No. 801002 ID: 3ce125

>>801001
In other words, if you engage in combat with them they're going to overheat?

Hey, if shields are laser defenses that can be pierced by projectile fire, why don't you lay down some projectile fire once the fighting starts? Shred their shields and you can do some damage with that mining laser.

I say go for it. You could even pilot the starlette to try to play peek-a-boo with the repo men to get them to waste shots and overheat even faster.
>>
No. 801141 ID: 5b93d3

>>801001
High-risk-high-reward strategy would be to let the shield free-float around the asteroid towards the frigate, and fly the Starlette around the other way. Got to time it so the shields crest the Frigate's horizon just seconds before the starlette does: the goal is to get the Frigate to see the shields, oreint their 'best' side to it to being to bear weapons and position their own shields, then have the Starlette pop them from behind before they can re-orient again. The main risk is if they have a working weapons array on the other side too.
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No. 801162 ID: fc33ea

is it possible to damage their shields with small arms? You shoot at the shields and draw their attention, the Starlette comes outta nowhere and finishes 'em off.
>>
No. 801172 ID: a1190b

>>801001
Go for it. Let's dogfight.
Consider pinging the Starlette's comms to send a message via the ship broadcast. Something to get the enemy ship going, like "Suck my dick, slave owner."
>>
No. 801214 ID: 70983e

Compromise that weapons pod even further.
>>
No. 801242 ID: d36af7

>>801162
Awesome enough to be worth a try. Since this is way inside the usual engagement range for ship-to-ship stuff, you shouldn't have too much trouble picking out specific targets. Top priority would be the source of their beams, since even a tiny flaw in the lens of a weapons-grade laser rapidly deteriorates into acute gun-blowing-up-in-your-hand syndrome. Once their weapons are disabled (or hidden behind armored shutters) the next best thing would be the hole you made with that railgun, since it's a known breach in the armor. Heat deposited on internal structures whose plumbing is already out of commission will be a lot harder for them to deal with that any sort of surface damage.

The clever part is, you pick your target with the Starlette's laser as if the shield was gone, and then aim your corner gun at the conveniently bright spot on their shield, shattering it with kinetics at the relevant point, all while keeping your delicate organs behind several meters of rock. Might need to lead your shots to account for a moving target, but there's no significant gravity or atmo to worry about.
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No. 801255 ID: 7b3f54

Keep in mind that they're probably aware of the tactic to shred the guy's shields with bulet so your lasers can get them. They can do it to your ship just as much as you can to theirs. The heat issue would probably be the best advantage. Not only are their systems compromised, your disadvantage at operating remotely becomes an advantage when your ship doesn't have to keep the insides at comfortable temperatures.

If only there was some way to turn up the heat for this battle... but you're far away from any star or other heat source.
>>
No. 801371 ID: 449741

>>801255
The hell we are. Do you think the Sunfish's engines still work?
>>
No. 801372 ID: 449741

>>801371
Oh, wait, nevermind. Comms is out. We have no way to signal them.
>>
No. 801416 ID: 9a036d
File 149463622211.png - (88.64KB , 600x345 , 2-95.png )
801416

You grin to yourself in the dark as you relay instructions to the Starlette
Above you, the frigate flares into evasive maneuvers as a shimmering golden curtain explodes over the horizon. The Repo-men silently deploy their own shields, positioning them over their damaged midsection. You cackle.
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No. 801417 ID: 9a036d
File 149463622775.png - (135.24KB , 700x350 , 2-96.png )
801417

Seconds later the Starlette crests the opposite horizon at full burn. The Frigate's turret swivels in a panic to counter your feint as the detached shield drifts by, forgotten. The Starlette's laser cuts a boiling scar across the black surface of the hull, slips inside and pours its deadly light into the heart of the slaver ship. 
"Choke on my giant! Laser! Co-"
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No. 801418 ID: 9a036d
File 149463624258.png - (95.01KB , 340x600 , 2-97.png )
801418

"-AAAAAUGH!"
You look down, still screaming.
A familiar gleaming eye winks back at you in the darkness as jagged rows of teeth sink into your flesh. You flail your leg against the wall in exasperated fury, feeling the fangs saw deeper as the jaws tighten. 
>>
No. 801419 ID: 9a036d
File 149463624802.png - (234.11KB , 600x600 , 2-98.png )
801419

You stop. 
"Fuck! No, no, no!"
You signal the Starlette, frantically dumping the maneuvering thrusters into space as momentum does its terrible work. You watch helplessly as the Starlette lifts its nose and tries to twist away before slamming into the enemy frigate. The two ships wrap around each other violently like broken-necked swans before pirouetting away in opposite directions. 
>>
No. 801420 ID: 9a036d
File 149463625370.png - (70.00KB , 600x600 , 2-99.png )
801420

You climb out of your hole, heart sinking and pain momentarily forgotten as you watch your ship drift away into the void. 

END OF CHAPTER 2
>>
No. 801421 ID: e5b57f

:O

Holy shit.
>>
No. 801423 ID: 3ce125

Nipped that problem in the bud! Call your friends and arrange for a pickup.

Or I guess you could just jump over to the sunfish.
>>
No. 801429 ID: d79f26

take rage out on leg biter
>>
No. 801436 ID: 91ee5f

>>801423
We're out of communication range. Which means we've gotta be pretty far away from the Sunfish. So far away, that it'll either be a tiny speck in the distance or we've drifted far enough away that we can't see it anymore. I think Bucky's stuck and, unless Sam and Annie can convince the Sunfish's captain to get the ship moving to follow the asteroid, he's gonna die from lack of oxygen.
>>
No. 801443 ID: fe7355

It's a terrible loss, Bucky, but even if the cost was too high you removed the threat of that frigate and left the Repo Men on the Sunfish with nowhere to go and no backup. Now just focus on staying alive and getting back to Sam and Annie.

Take photos of the wrecks of the Starlette and the frigate and sensor readings so you'll know where they're drifting to. It may be possible to tow and salvage them using the maintenance skiffs from the Sunfish. There's also that boarding craft the Repo Men used that could possibly be used if it's captured in working order.

Hurry back into communication range of the Sunfish and contact Sam or Annie and give them the bad news. Upload the images you've taken, along with the one of the monster, and the sensor data so maybe a salvage crew from the Sunfish can get to the wrecks before they're out of range.

>>801423
Yes, that did nip that particular problem while creating a much bigger one. The Starlette and that frigate were the only two FTL jump capable ships in the system. With them both destroyed, Sam, Annie, Bucky and everyone else on the Sunfish are trapped in this star system. Trapped either for the rest of their lives or until another ship jumps into the system and finds the Sunfish. And if these Repo Men sent back a report to ReNu on where they were going before jumping in, that next ship will likely be another Repo Men one, or more than one, and will come much, much sooner than anyone would like.

And don't suggest anything like salvaging the pinch drive from either wrecked ship, bolting it to the Sunfish and jumping away. For one the Sunfish is much, much larger than even the frigate and would need a pinch drive of appropriate size. Two, it almost certainly takes more than just the drive to make a ship jump capable. Stuff like the ship superstructure being built to take it and a suitably large power source. It's not a drop-in and go module.

>>801429
Don't! If it's bitten into flesh that means its compromised the suit's integrity. Pulling it off may result in damage too severe for the suit's auto-repair to fix.

>>801436
What the fuck are you basing that on? That Bucky couldn't reach the Sunfish while inside the asteroid? He couldn't because the asteroid is iron rich, and that blocked the radio signal. And if you're basing it on the Sunfish not being in view right now, it's probably because Bucky is on the far side from the Sunfish. And the asteroid was not that far from the Sunfish, so even with the tether cut it won't have gone far. And that's taking into account the force of one railgun shot and one rapid decompression from the opposite side from the railgun that did shoot pushing in the opposite direction.
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No. 801490 ID: 8d4593

It's a bitter victory, but a victory none the less.
Contact the girls.
>>
No. 801506 ID: fe7355

Take a photo of the goddamn legbiter as well to send alongside your query as to what the fuck it is and request as to how the fuck you get it off yourself without ripping your suit beyond auto-repair.
>>
No. 801519 ID: 8a204b

"Good news everyone! The Repo ship totally beefed it.

The bad news is that our ship also beefed it."
>>
No. 801520 ID: 5b93d3

>>801420
In the event you do need to salvage parts from them, check the time and try and remember the stars the ships are drifting past (make up your own constellations to make them memorable). That should be enough to figure out later what their trajectories are in order to catch up with them.
>>
No. 801556 ID: 3ce125

>>801443
I was trying to be funny. Yeah, losing both FTL-capable ships is a huge, huge problem. We are absolutely going to have to try to retrieve them. The Sunfish itself can chase after them if the skiffs don't have enough range to do so by the time we can organize an attempt; it has engines!

It occurs to me that the wrecked ships are likely still in orbit (it depends on how much Tox is fudging how gravity and momentum are working here) and that orbit may not be stable. We may not have a lot of time to pull them into a more stable trajectory, either. Bucky needs to do some math to calculate the danger and how much time we have to fix it.
>>
No. 801559 ID: 8d4593

>>801556
Yeah it takes a lot to disrupt an orbit. they didn't really have enough room to accelerate to seriously alter their orbital arrangement in any quick way. though salvage should be done sooner rather than later as fuel is surely at a premium.
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No. 801583 ID: 3ce125

>>801559
Well if the orbit is stable then we can just wait for them to come back around. Depends on if we're willing to wait long enough.
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No. 801600 ID: 8d4593

>>801583
True but if they are sharing roughly the same orbit that could take WEEKS.

The difference in our velocities is going to be miniscule when compared to the speed required to maintain orbit.
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No. 801743 ID: 8111b6

>>801600
Well, we could drop periapsis to catch up. ...or raise apoapsis so they orbit faster.
>>
No. 801984 ID: 9a036d

Next Chapter: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/801983.html
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