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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Roger that," Star Chaser says, "Sending the information to the other two ships. I'd go after him myself, but with the power out, there's a good chance I'd damage the Thunderbird's airlock trying to get out from here. Wrench the outer door off or something. Maybe take a chunk of the hull with it. Not fun."

    "The, uh, warbot," one of the engineers says apologetically, "Is too big to fit out an airlock. We had to bring it in piece by piece and assemble it up here."

    Love has no trouble going door to door and opening them up one at a time. She gets the jack from Star Chaser and, presumably, meets up with the rest of the team. Ship sensors report that the escape pod ejected and set a course for corvid territory. Unfortunately, that is also where the station is drifting: corvid space. They don't have good ships, but they do have atmospheric jumpers. If they decide to try and take the station in force, they could prove problematic.

    The comms come to life again. "Attention away teams, this is Central. Lunar Guard has deployed and is approaching the station. Remember, they will try to secure the main control room and comms. If they succeed, everypony's job will be a lot easier."

    "Message from the princesses," Star Chaser informs Harrier Squad, "Patching them through."

    Luna's voice comes first, enthusiastic and energized. "Well-fought, Harrier Squad! Thy princess approves of thy zeal and vigor! What say thee, sister?"

    "I cannot deny the effectiveness of your methods," Celestia says with a hint of reluctance, "You all are very good at what you do. Even if General Ironbeak escaped, you pressed forward and neutralized a strategy we have never seen before. For that, I must commend you."

    The ship is taken. However, the question of where the captain went remains.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    With the tactical officer in the hooves of the medical team, Rose regroups with her squad. "Thank you, your highness-es. There is still much work to be done, and we will deliver."
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The princesses' words rang hollow; how could they not? All Harrier Squad had really accomplished was shooting a few Corvids in the back and letting IronBeak escape.

    And now anything that IronBeak did was on his hooves.

    He followed protocol and thanked the princesses, but there was no weight to his words.

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Rose gently tugged on Sniper's leg. "Hey, you going to be alright? We should search around for the captain's whereabouts. Still unaccounted for."

    She looks around for any closets or storage units on the bridge. Someplace equipment may be stashed with the idea the captain got stuffed in one.


    Perception: (3d6)[8] vs. 13
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Sniper Scope concealed a wince at the contact, and covered it by contemplating Rose's question for a moment. Physically? Yes. He was unharmed and would likely remain so. Emotionally? Presently, no. But he suspected that he would feel much better once IronBeak was dead. This caveat allowed him to truthfully answer her question exactly as asked.

    "Yes. I shall be... and you are correct. We should locate the captain before attempting anything else."

    He took a quick glance about the area, taking in the details anew.

    Spoiler: OoC
    Show

    Rose already passed the perception test, so... I'll just do an observation check for the fun of it!

    (3d6)[4][3][6](13) vs. 14 (Observation skill)


  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The private armory for the bridge is the only cranny left unexplored. The door slides open easily, the lock broken into pieces by an earlier assault. Inside, Harrier Squad finds the captain. He lies inside a broken, green cocoon. He's young for a captain, though right now he looks drained, weary beyond all measure. His coat and eyes are a dull grey and he stares listlessly into space. When the door opens, he rolls over and looks towards them. "Oh look. My rescue arrived. Eh, better late than never." He chuckles and gives them the coldest smile they've ever seen. "But still too late. They already got me. Dragged the others off too."

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    "Oh look. My rescue arrived. Eh, better late than never." He chuckles and gives them the coldest smile they've ever seen. "But still too late. They already got me. Dragged the others off too."
    Rose takes a step back, training instinct reaching for her pistol. "Taken where?" she demands.
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "To the Hive," he replies matter-of-factly, "Their queen's back now, you know. They need all the food they can get." His head lolls to the side. "I suppose I should care, but I don't. They drained that from me too, the caring. You can only care about something if you love it, even if only a little. I don't. I don't love anything anymore." He sighed and lay down again. "It's very...freeing."

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    This might have been disconcerting... had Sniper Scope not played such an integral roll in botching their previous operation. Ironically, he didn't have the emotional reserve to really care about the Captain. Later, he would, but not now.

    Or perhaps there was another reason he didn't want to care about the Captain. Sniper Scope buried that train of thought.

    His eyes flicked over the area to take in details and potential hazards, then he returned his gaze to the captain.

    "Then you shouldn't mind telling us how many there were and what exactly happened."
    Last edited by D.KnightSpider; 2017-07-13 at 02:40 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "I could," the captain admits, "But you could just look at the personnel files. That'd tell you how many changelings there were aboard. One of them was my wife. Ship's cook. Best food you ever tasted." A flicker of emotion passes over his face. "She was the one who drained me. Hurt. But now it's over. I don't hurt anymore. Suppose I deserve it. Couldn't pull the trigger. Even stun weapons are sometimes lethal and her family had a history of weaker hearts. I'd be alright if I'd just not cared." He lapses into silence again.

    A moment later, Star Chaser says softly, "I've run the calculations. Between the changelings held prisoner, the ones who were guards, and the ones on the crew of this ship, there are seventy-six uncer Chrysalis' control in total. One of them was the chief computer officer of Tartarus Station. You might have an opponent next time, Love."

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Rose puts her weapon away and attempts to get the captain up on his hooves. "Captain, we're going to get your wife back. Maybe you don't think you feel it, but deep down inside you remember her and how happy you are with her. Now let's get you to the medical bay and you get some rest."

    She will escort him there if he's being too apathetic to go anywhere.
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    He wanted to slam that stallion against the wall and beat his face beyond recognition. This time, Sniper Score was unable to suppress the reason why: it was the closest he would ever come to beating himself. The Captain was like a dark reflection of himself... and Sniper Scope hated it.

    But losing control in such a fashion would not help. He moved over to assist Rose in transporting the Captain. The stallion needed help, for he did not choose to be this way.

    "Listen to her, Captain. She is right.""

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The captain sighs and lets himself be helped up. "Oh you're right, I suppose. Duty to Equestria and all that. It would be such a pain to be court-martialed. I might have to put on pants or something." Once helped to his hooves, however, he is able to stand and move on his own, albeit in a lackadaisical, unhurried manner that speaks not of a carefree attitude but a careless one instead. "I suppose it goes without saying that unless someone stops the queen, all Equestria will share my fate," he says, "But I suppose that's no longer my concern."

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    "But I suppose that's no longer my concern."
    "At the moment, your concern is to get some rest in the company of friends and family," Rose says as she walks with him to the medical bay.
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "It still doesn't feel like ah victory letting him get away though..." Brazen sighs, not looking forward to the potential repercussions down the road for that.

    Brazen looks on the captain with a mixture of pity and anger. Yet the last thing the captain says catches his attention. "No longer your concern?" The stallion rounds on the captain. "You may be out of commission for the moment but are you throwing aside your oaths so readily? Do you have so little faith that things can't be set right? That your loved one is lost? Now, if anything, is the time to buck up soldier. Ah bet there's still ah smoldering ember still in there somewhere left by your wife, one that you need to nurture back to its previous glory. Your wife is going to need you as much as you need her right now and the sooner you realize that the better off you'll be." As he talks Brazen gets closer, and closer, to the captain till he's staring him in the face. The faceplate of his helmet lifting so he can see eye to eye. "You better march your flank down to the triage and start thinking real hard about all the memories you have with her, of all the things you've done and all that ya'll plan to do. Is that understood, soldier?"

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The captain's eyes, so cold and empty, stare back at Brazen. "The only pony I loved with all my heart tore it out of my chest and ate it not four hours ago," he says, "I have neither the time nor the inclination to listen to your impassioned speeches. And I outrank you. However..."

    A grin twists its way across his face, slowly binding the muscles around his mouth and spinning them together so tight they look like they might snap. "You did help me discover something. When all love is gone from a pony's heart, there's only one thing left." He leans in close and whispers in Brazen's ear. "Hate."

    He quietly chuckles to himself and gestures for Rose to lead him to the med-bay.
    Last edited by Miltonian; 2017-07-14 at 01:30 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The jack in her possession, she gives the thunderbird a hoof-kiss goodbye.



    When the two sisters join the comms again she could barely contain her excitement. She put a bit of dance in her motions as she follows the group forward. She wants to talk, talk to Luna. What would she say though? She's not use to being tongue-tied. What was the problem? Her mouth usually ran automatically, and here she couldn't even form a topic.

    The captain was a sad tale. No matter. He'll return to his senses in time, just a more little broken than the original. The aggression toward him didn't feel like the right call though. He seems self-aware, and a drowning pony rarely needs smothering. Love will pay him a visit again. She marks a date on her calendar.

    She wasn't leaving the armory with Rose. Not with all the beauty here! She ran up to some guns and rubs 'em as her head starts turning towards all the high-tech stuff. Oh, sweet, baby Celestia it's beautiful. She sends a pm to Luna, "Pst. I so wanted to see that warbot in action. Maybe next time. *Heart cross emoji* They're always a sight to behold in an arena."

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Don't worry, Brazen. This battle might be lost, but the war is far from over," Rose assures. She leads the captain to med-bay.
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The Captain's reaction was... less than ideal. But served to frustrate Sniper Scope more than he already was. Hate. He was familiar with that emotion.

    He attempted to lock his release away in a corner of his mind. The sooner they moved the Captain to the medical bay, the sooner this out of body experience would end.

    "I truly hope so."

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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Spoken like a pony who ain't seeing the forest through the tree." Brazen replies, not backing down one step. "If you're going to hate somepony hate the 'Queen' for forcing your wife to do that."

    Brazen keeps staring as the captain walks off before closing his helmet and turning off external speakers for a moment. "Ah take it you heard that exchange Princesses? Was that a known reaction for severe drain victims or did ah muck something up? Regardless ah recommend stripping rank from drain victims till such ah time they've recovered... Ah don't want to see his crew following him in that condition."

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    The captain's eyes become hollow and lifeless again. He sways wearily, as if having a single emotion was enough to wear him out right now. He allows himself to be led to the medical bay without further complaints.

    "He will be relieved of all duties for the duration of his recovery," Celestia replies solemnly, "Cadence is particularly good at treating this sort of illness, so he will be spending time in the Crystal Empire. Though we haven't seen a case this severe in a long time. And I daresay I've never seen that reaction before, though I've also never seen a pony berate a victim like that." There is no sign of approval or disapproval in her tone. It has been carefully removed.

    Central clears his throat. "Harrier Squad, remember to follow proper protocol on the comms. While it's fine for the princesses to address you, things get a little murky when you start responding with more than answers to direct questions."

    "Oh, I don't mind at all."

    "We must follow procedure, princess."

    As for the armory, though it was looted by the corvids, it contains a lot of electrolaser rifles and ammunition for all conventional weaponry. There are even a few power-packs that could be used in a laser sniper rifle. A few sets of body armor as well, though most of them have been torn apart. It stands to reason that this is where the Corvids got the materials for their cobbled-together armor.

    From the Philomena, two sections of the station are theoretically accessible: the heavily damaged Prisoner Module 3, which is designed to hold highly magical beings including dragons and unicorns, and the Central Module. Both tracks were heavily damaged, but reports say that the corvids came from the tram that leads to storage at the bottom of the Central Module, so it should theoretically be usable. Assuming, of course, they didn't sabotage it.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Unless there is unfinished business on this ship, I suggest we reload and take the path to Module 3. Magic would be a dangerous asset under Chrysalis' control and so we should wrest that out of her grasp first," Rose says, although she's of course open to other suggestions from her team.
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Ah was hoping to try and shake him out of it... Stands to reason they wouldn't drain everything else where would they get food in the future? Ah suppose we now know the severity of the matter at least if every victim is like that." Brazen shakes his head and gets back to the matter at hand. "Star Chaser. Can you crunch the dossiers and track whoever may be at risk of complications if we use stunners? The captain mentioned his wife had ah weak heart and that makes me worried about tagging the wrong pony with the wrong method. Ah'll be saving my tangles for such targets."

    "We could keep the magical ones out of her grasp by securing the Central Module no? Shut the doors so they don't go nowhere."

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "It would be a harder fight, but might be possible to lock the different sections down and divide Chrysalis' forces from the central core," Rose says. "Love, any expertise you can provide on the station's layout for that idea?"
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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "I can certainly come up with a list, but if she's disguised as somepony else, I'm not sure it will help. Even if we can tell who the changelings are, we won't be able to tell changeling from changeling with just an infared scan," Star Chaser says. After Rose speaks again, she clears her throat and says, "There is...another concern. I'm afraid of what might happen if Chrysalis has released the other three prisoners in her module. Crow Lock tore through an army in a blind rage before he finally calmed down enough to think rationally again. The Old Iron King won't die, no matter what happens to him. He's got that cursed stone inside of him that keeps bringing him back. And Coffin Nail...she's just a little filly, but if Chrysalis has her under mind control too... Just getting near her would kill you."

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "Ah understand that but at least we've made an attempt not just for her but for others to. Sounds like getting security up and running is our next priority though. If we can get eyes up and running then we can pick our engagements."

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Love looks at her text and frowns. She will replace her power cell that she used to open the doors.

    She puts her hoof to her chin before she answers Rose, "It might be possible to do it on hoof. The thing is if we get caught we'll have lost the element of surprise and be out of position."

    "If we're trying to lock down the deep core it might be safer to go after the stations command then go after our target. The question: are we striking for the mission targets now or are we going after securing the station?"

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    Quote Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
    And Coffin Nail...she's just a little filly, but if Chrysalis has her under mind control too... Just getting near her would kill you.[/B]"
    The words brought Sniper Scope to a halt. Coffin Nail was a filly. They put a child on board this station, this prison, all because of circumstances beyond the filly's control.

    Perhaps he had been exiled to Tatarus and this was his fate. It was as though the station itself existed to torment him.

    He finished changing his load out, swapping out the electrolaser pistol for the rifle (he had always preferred the feel of a rifle over a pistol) and lightening his pack slightly more roughly than strictly necessary.

    "You saw the Captain. Imagine what would happen if Chrysalis bled the Elements of Harmony dry. Time is of the utmost importance. Whatever you decide to do, it must be done quickly."

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    "Yeah, one way or the other. We gotta pick a direction and get moving."
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  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: Celestia's Finest: The Sun Always Rises

    "According to my scans," Star Chaser says, "The tram car the corvids used to get to the ship is still in operation. It's right outside the ship, so you'd need space suits to walk over to it. There should be some of those right nearby." She sends a map with a small closet two doors down the hallway marked on it. "Should have something for everypony."

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