Farscape: The Space Chase

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Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by Halomek » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:29 am

His name was John Crichton; an astronaut. Ten years ago he got shot through a wormhole. He became trapped in a distant part of the universe aboard a living ship of escaped prisoners, who became his friends. He also made enemies. Powerful. Dangerous. All he wanted to do was to find a way home and warn Earth.

Six years ago he did - and he brought the ship and its aliens with him.

He opened Earth’s eyes to the fact that we weren’t alone in the universe. He showed us technology that far outmatched even the most advanced devices we were capable of. He threw our preconceived notions about how the galaxy worked straight out the window. He urged us to unite as one people and prepare ourselves for what was out there.

Then he left, and a few months later, he returned to save us from one of the very threats he had warned us about. In order to do it, though, he had to seal the wormhole that had connected us to all that Crichton had experienced - isolating us once more.

The International Aeronautics and Space Administration, known as IASA for short, was placed in charge of replicating Crichton’s research and opening another wormhole by the United Nations. Meanwhile, the world struggled to unite as one people, but for a species as fractious as Humans, the task wasn’t proving easy. There were many countries who resisted the very idea. Some felt that the specter of a World War III loomed high as the nations that subscribed to a united Earth put pressure on those who didn’t.

The IASA, in spite of its vital importance to the entire planet, was being underfunded and undermanned as resources were shifted elsewhere to deal with crisis after crisis. This left the doorway open for others to make their attempt: companies and corporations who weren’t restrained in their funding or their ideals.

This suited Isaac Foster just fine. The company he worked for, known as the Space Chase Corporation, had made its name by developing weapons and devices based upon what Crichton had brought back. They were still primitive next to the technology they had been reverse engineered from, but they far outshined anything else on the market. Isaac didn’t know how Space Chase had gotten its hands on the technology and he didn’t particularly care either.

He wasn’t a scientist. He was a pilot. All he cared about was getting off his home planet of homicidal apes before things got any worse. He had a small number of friends, no family he knew of, and grew just a little more disgusted with the Human race as each day passed.

Not that anyone knew how he really felt. By all appearances, he was just a pilot eager to see space for the first time. If anybody had any inkling of his true feelings, they probably would’ve scrapped him for someone else a long time ago.

He couldn’t let that happen. Not after coming so far.

The solar conditions that had caused the freak accident with the Farscape Module ten years ago were flaring up again, making it an ideal time to try and replicate Crichton’s maneuver and open another wormhole. It would be Isaac who would be responsible for the flying this time and he was willing to bet he was the best pilot in any space program. He was certain he could do on purpose what Crichton had done by accident.

Isaac stood behind a window as he looked over the launch site. It was getting dark and the interior lights reflected his image back at him. He was the perfect Space Chase poster boy - probably another reason he’d been selected over some of the other candidates. He was in the peak of health of course, and wore his brown hair short in a military cut. What people really noticed though were his baby blue eyes. The right expression with them and he could generally smooth over any trouble.

Not that he felt very calm at the moment. Tomorrow was the launch. Although the shuttle was the most advanced piece of technology on the planet, it was still essentially the same design as it ever was: a huge missile without a warhead. Space Chase was nowhere near being able to replicate a Prowler yet. Even trying to duplicate how Crichton had modified the Farscape Module was proving problematic. The new Space Chase Module would be state-of-the-art, capable of doing things no Human-built spacecraft before it could ever dream of, but it would still be junk next to what the corporation hoped to encounter when they went down the new wormhole.

If they could open one.

If the conditions were right.

If the bombs didn’t start dropping tonight…

Isaac leaned forward and rested his forehead on the window. “Tomorrow,” he thought to himself wistfully. “I’m almost there…”

OOC: For those interested, the current OOC thread is here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9261

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by TalRaimi » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:38 pm

The streets of the small commerce settlement of Klevin were hot and muggy and crowded. The fall of night had done little if anything to alleviate the blistering heat of the day and as far as Brevan Cort was concerned, the sooner he got off this hellhole of a planet the better. Despite only having made planetfall two arns ago, he imagined he could already feel his Sebacean blood boiling. As a species Sebacean’s lacked the gland necessary to regulate extremes of heat, and while Cort was a long way from the onset of Sebacean heat delirium, he was nevertheless beginning to feel uncomfortable.

Still, another arn and I should be out of here.

Pushing his way through the throng of aliens he proceeded down the dusty streets of the commerce settlement. There had been a time not so long ago when he would felt revolted by the mixture of strange alien creatures that passed through Klevin, back when he had been a Peacekeeper he wouldn’t have dared set foot upon this planet without a full squad of Commandoes backing him up. If there was one thing the Peacekeepers excelled at, it was xenophobia.

A tall, willowy red skinned humanoid female brushed by him and Cort smiled wryly to himself. He’d long ago learned that not all aliens were bad; in fact, some could be quite… interesting. As far as Peacekeeper command was concerned he was so far past Irreversibly Contaminated it wasn’t even funny.

Like that’s the worst of my sins.

Reaching the edge of the settlement, Cort turned left into a wide avenue and spied his target just ahead; a small repair shop just off the beaten track. Reaching down he drew his Field Ranger Pulse Pistol from where it nestled on his hip and approached the single red door that marked the entrance to the repair shop. Since parting ways with his former employers, Cort had managed to eek out a fairly decent living as a mercenary and occasional bounty hunter; something his Peacekeeper training had uniquely qualified him for.

It was his latest job that had brought him to Klevin. A greedy merchant had cheated the wrong people and now those same people wanted a word with him. Cort’s intelligence indicated the repair shop was nothing more than a front and that said merchant could be found inside.

The door was locked but that was no great surprise. Glancing over his shoulder Cort made sure he was alone in the street before removing a small electronic device from his belt. Attaching the electronic lock breaker to the door he pressed a series of buttons and then stood back while the device did its work. Less than thirty seconds later a green light came on and Cort heard the telltale click of the lock disengage.

Cheap security system, he noted.

The door slid aside silently and Cort crept into the darkened interior, immediately flattening himself against the wall until his eyes became accustomed to the darkness within. He could feel the telltale rush of adrenaline as his heart started to speed up and he grinned to himself, there was nothing like the exhilaration of a hunt.

From out of the darkness shadows loomed, a large metal bench dominated the centre of the spacious bay; equipment racks crowded the walls, filled with assorted tools and spare parts, while the blocky outline of what could only be described as a pile of junk was stacked precariously in the far corner. At the back a single door led deeper into the building.

Detecting no movement, Cort moved forward towards the door when suddenly he was blinded as the lights blazed into life and a deep, emotionless voice echoed across the room.

“Halt! Drop your weapon!”

Frell!

Cort froze in mid stride, his pulse pistol held low at his side. He did not however release it. The all too familiar scuff of booted feet and creaking of leather behind him told Cort he was no longer alone. He slowly turned to look back over his shoulder and was unurpised to find himself staring into the mirrored helmets of a pair of Peacekeeper soldiers.

Double Frell!

In front of him the door opened and a second pair of soldier trooped onto the repair shop floor, followed by a tall, black and red clad officer.

“What part,” the Officer began, “of drop your weapon, do you not understand?”

Cort scowled. He had already accessed his options and they were not looking good. Four Pulse Rifles were aimed squarely at his head; he had been flanked, and caught with his eema hanging out! Yet for all that he was reluctant to relinquish his weapon, weather that was some left over impulse from his Peacekeeper training or simply his own stubbornness he wasn’t sure.

“Come now, Sergeant Cort,” the Officer flashed a mocking smile. Even someone with your exemplary record cannot hope to gun down all five of us and survive?”

Sergeant Cort? Yotz! Up until he’d heard his name Cort had simply been hoping he’d got unlucky and the Peacekeeper’s presence had been to do with the merchant hiring more security. Unfortunately it looked as if he was their target all along. Great, the bounty hunter becomes the prey.

Without a word Cort let his pulse pistol clatter to the floor.

“I’m glad you can see reason,” the officer beamed, “Your file indicated you are a most resourceful man, a shame you are a traitor to the ranks. But still, I look forward to spending some time with you in the future. I think your interrogation will be most interesting.”

Cort could feel his anger rising. Suddenly dropping his weapon didn’t seem like such a good idea. Sure, he’d have been gunned down, but he could at least have wiped that smug grin off the Officer’s face before they dropped him!

“Now, now,” the Officer chided, “Temper, temper! I think it’s best we continue this conversation somewhere more suitable, don’t you?”

Before Cort could answer, he detected movement from behind him. He spun automatically, but not fast enough, and the last thing he remembered seeing before the world went black was the butt of a Pulse Rilfe speeding towards him…
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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by VagueDurin » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:57 am

Dr. Alicia Blackwell shook her head vigorously, sending stray strands of auburn hair in every direction. She couldn’t seem to focus tonight. The young woman continuously found herself drifting off into daydreams. The operational manual for tomorrow’s experiment lay open on the table before her but for the life of her she couldn’t force her light blue eyes to read the words.

With a soft sigh, she reached out a slender arm and picked up the half full styrofoam cup of coffee and brought it to her lips. Yuck. Stone cold. There is a solution for that. she thought to herself and stood up from the late-night study session she was having and headed down the corridor towards the cafeteria for some fresh Joe.

The fancy lighting and décor of the place still bugged her. She was still so used to the dreary labs and facilities she’d been relegated to back at Durham University and the state-of-the-art Space Chase headquarters was like something out of a dream to her. Though she knew she’d earned her spot here. Ever since she’d set off down the scientific track she’d been met with every obstacle. She was a woman, a young woman, an attractive young woman, a highly intelligent and attractive young woman.

Despite holding several degree’s and two doctorates, her non-academic attributes constantly influenced employers to overlook her for positions. No one wanted to be the person who hired Barbie to work in the astrophysics department. But all that changed with Space Chase. Someone, somewhere within the corporation realized that between her unique skills and knowledge, and her under-dog mentality she made the perfect option for tomorrow’s mission. Used to creating results without the necessary time, funding or equipment she was ideal for an operation expecting the unexpected. The fact that she also held a medical degree only bolstered her attractiveness to the operations planners.

So now, here she was. 27 years old, a doctor of both medicine and astrophysics, having fought and uphill battle her own life striving for recognition. And found it she had. Tomorrow she would make history and force the world to acknowledge her achievements.

Alicia rounded a corner and her speedy gait faltered as she saw Isaac leaning against one of the massive windows that lined the corridor. She raised an auburn eyebrow at the sight, and with a light shrug to herself she started over in his direction her quest for fresh coffee temporarily forgotten.

“Can’t sleep either?” She asked as she slowed to a stop a little under a meter away.
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"And for one last instance, I'm Human again." - Sergeant Ghost

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by Halomek » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:29 pm

With his head still on the glass, Isaac turned it to look at Alicia. “Can you blame me?” he asked with a smile before pushing himself back. “I know I should be in bed, but just the thought of what we’re going to do tomorrow gives me a rush.” He looked back out of the window towards the rocket. “I wonder how much sleep Neil Armstrong got before the Apollo 11 mission...”

“How about you, Doc?” he asked after a moment. “You’re the brains behind this thing. I need you awake and alert so we can hit those solar flares at the right threshold, otherwise this whole mission will be one colossal waste of money.”

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by VagueDurin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:22 am

Alicia let a slight smirk tug at the corner of her lips in response to his statement. He had a point. The success of tomorrow’s mission hung on both of their shoulders. Without her calculations it wouldn't matter how well Isaac piloted the craft but conversely it didn't matter how exact she could pin down the numbers if he couldn't pull off the maneuver.

"Don't you worry none, fly boy. Failure isn't part of my extensive vocabulary."
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

"And for one last instance, I'm Human again." - Sergeant Ghost

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by Halomek » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:47 am

Isaac smiled back. “It’s not part of my rather limited one either.” He walked off with a wave. “I’ll see you bright and early. It wouldn’t do to have bags under my eyes for all the press photos.”

***

The media coverage for the launch was not nearly as large as Space Chase had expected. During the night, China had launched an invasion of India, drawing away much of the attention that would have otherwise been spent on such a historic endeavor. No matter how important this was, sex and violence always got the front page. Isaac reflected somewhat darkly to himself that they’d get their desired coverage if the shuttle exploded.

Launch, however, was as smooth as could be expected. The same went for the detachment of the Space Chase module. It resembled the Farscape Module in many ways, even taking into account Crichton’s modification of it into a two-seater. Isaac took the pilot’s seat in front while Alicia kept an eye on the instruments in back.

Isaac couldn’t help grinning as the module detached from the shuttle and roared to life. It was a slug compared to a Prowler, but thanks to the advancements Space Chase had been able to pioneer, it had an unmatched fuel efficiency over the last generation spacecraft. He could fly around the Earth at full thrusters if need be and still have enough to get them back home. It was meant to give them a second chance at completing the experiment in case they failed the initial attempt, but Isaac was determined to get it right the first time.

“Alright Flyboy it's game time.” Alicia said before keying up the operations channel, “Module to command, we are picking up signs of flare activity. Preparing for maneuvers on my mark. Isaac head for grid coordinates 223.”

Isaac checked the grid against their location before nodding. “I’m ready.”

Alicia was quiet as she studied her screens. The wait seemed to take forever before she gave the command. “Now!”

Isaac didn’t waste any time opening up the throttle. He couldn’t see the flares since their energy was outside the Human spectrum, so all he could do was trust Alicia’s calculations and hope the instruments on the module were as accurate as Space Chase claimed.

As he began skimming the outer atmosphere bursts of energy created by the friction erupted over the cockpit. Even if they failed in making a wormhole, Isaac had to be careful about their angle of flight or the slingshot maneuver would burn their craft to cinders. If one thought logically about the maneuver they were trying to pull off, it could rightly be described as insane. He loved it.

The module suddenly began to shake more violently than before and Isaac could only guess that they’d hit the edge of the flare. “Command, are you seeing this? Something is definitely happening here!” Alicia exclaimed a second later. “The readings are off the chart!”

And then their wormhole appeared.

Everything seemed to slow down as it opened in front of the module. It was one of the most beautiful sights Isaac had ever seen. A force so unknown, so powerful, and yet so organic and oddly calming, that he found he had no words to properly describe it.

He didn’t have the time to think of any either since the module was also inexorably drawn into the phenomenon. Isaac’s skills were put to the test as the module hurtled down the rip in space and time, barely under control as it was battered by forces trying to drag it one way and then another. Isaac gritted his teeth as he concentrated fully on navigating the tunnel. It was like trying to fly through the eye of a tornado.

Then, with a burst of energy, the module was suddenly spit out again, tumbling through space before Isaac was able to return them to a level flight. He laughed with triumph. “We did it! Ha! That was amazing!”

“The wormhole appears to be highly unstable,” Alicia reported. “We need to head back and report before it collapses and strands us here.”

Isaac hesitated. He didn’t want to go back, but he didn’t have the right to strand Alicia with him. He hadn’t thought any further than the mission at hand. Everything had been theoretical up until this point, but now that he was here…

He sighed as he came to a hard decision. “Right you are, Doc. Let’s get this data back to Space Chase.”

The module suddenly shuddered as an explosion sounded from behind them and threw the module end over end. Isaac checked his own readouts before cursing as he struggled to get them back to level flight again. “One of the main engines blew out! I know I didn’t hit anything. I’m not sure what caused it.”

“Can you get us back to the wormhole?” Alicia asked, struggling against her restraints to search the star speckled space around them for where they'd emerged from.

“We’d never make it through in one piece in this condition,” Isaac answered her. “The other two engines are threatening to go critical. It’s this new tech! Space Chase warned us that it was still in development. The stress on the module of going through the wormhole must have been greater than anticipated.”

Alicia was quiet for a moment. “I’m reading a planet not too far from here. I think we can make it with our remaining fuel. Do you think we’ll hold together long enough to reach it?”

Isaac eyed the fuel gauge and then the engine readouts. “If we don’t try, we’re probably as good as dead anyway. Cross your fingers, toes, and any other body part you think will give us luck.”

***

It took about an hour for the module to reach the planet, partly due to Isaac needing to periodically shut down the engines to cool them before they overheated. It appeared as though a failure in the cooling system was the main culprit to their mechanical woes.

When they finally reached the planet, Isaac didn’t hesitate in bringing them in. Fortunately the world looked like it could sustain life and had a settlement or two on it already. If luck stayed with them, he’d be able to bring down the module in one piece and they’d be able to find someone to repair it and upgrade it. On its own, the module didn’t have the power to break free from a planet’s gravity once it landed otherwise.

The ride down was bumpy, and Isaac felt as though he was holding his breath the entire time, but thankfully the other two engines held out long enough for him to bring the module down for a water landing in a nearby lake. It was a tricky maneuver, but Isaac was able to use the friction against the water to slow them down so that they hit the shore at a safe speed.

After everything was powered down, Isaac popped the canopy. He looked back at Alicia with a relieved grin. “Well, I guess this means we get to test just how well these homegrown translator microbes work.”

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by Jagtai » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:09 am

Ran-Shok opened his eyes. He immediately recognized his surroundings as those of a Peacekeeper shuttle.

Ran-Shok was a Colarta, a species of lizard-like hunters often indentured to the Peacekeepers as bounty hunters. Ran-Shok had completed seven of the nine required 'search-and-destroy' missions, when he'd killed his handler in a fit of rage. Righteous rage as far as Ran-Shok was concerned.

It had been a year ago that he had killed his handler. A very long year, filled with pain and torment. The Peacekeepers, especially Lieutenant Torman Sarn, enjoyed tormenting aliens.

Sarn. Where was he? Ran-Shok rose with some difficulty, his left leg hurting from the latest 'interrogation'. Last he remembered, he had been onboard a Peacekeeper Command Carrier. Where were they taking him now?

Then he noticed movement out of his eye. He turned his head, ready to fight, and saw a young man. No, his smell revealed her to be a woman, even if his eyes did not. He studied the unconscious form. Zenetan. He returned to his corner and slumped, keeping an eye on the Zenetan.

* * * * *

Demaia opened her eyes. Her head hurt from the blow she had taken from the Peacekeeper who had 'arrested' her. She sat up slowly. She had been a member of a band of Zenetan Pirates, when her ship had been overtaken by Peacekeepers. Damn that Darryn! If he had not taken them out of their usual haunt, they would not have been captured. She silently cursed him.

Just then, she noticed the pair of gleaming red eyes staring at her from the opposite corner of the cell. She pressed herself against the wall.

"Who are you?"

A low, almost growling voice replied:

"I am Ran-Shok."
"Show yourself."

The eyes moved, and a large lizard-like humanoid came into view. Demaia stopped looking at the crimson eyes and started staring at the fang-filled maw beneath them.

"Don't kill me" she pleaded. Ran-Shok's face took on a curious appearance, and Demaia realized that the Colarta was smiling.

"I am a prisoner too. Killing you would gain me nothing."
"Where are we going?"
"No idea. We'll soon find out, I think."

With that, the Colarta retreated back into the shadows, leaving Demaia looking at the crimson eyes once again...

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by VagueDurin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:54 am

Dr. Blackwell raised an eyebrow upward as she regarded her pilot with a decidedly dry expression. She'd just spent the past hour coming to terms with the fact that not only had she just made her first trip into outerspace, but that she was now stranded in a completely different Galaxy. The scientist in her was hyper and ecstatic about the possibilities of exploration and discovery that potentially awaited them, but the rest of her was terrified beyond belief.

In the end logic dictated that since there was no way to control the unkown, there was no need to let fear of it control her. Had her thought process gone the other way, Isaac's nonchalant comment probably would have sent her over the edge. As it was, she allowed herself a sardonic smile before responding.

"You first, Flyboy."
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by Halomek » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:03 pm

“Gladly,” Isaac replied with a grin as he hopped out and splashed into the surf. “The damage doesn’t look too bad, but if we can’t get it modified to fly it back off the planet, we might have to resort to Directive Alpha.”

Directive Alpha was Space Chase’s code of compliance with international law, handed down from IASA. One thing John Crichton had stressed during his time back on Earth and in the notes he left behind was the importance of keeping wormhole technology out of other people’s hands – especially the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans. If the module and its research data couldn’t be returned to Earth, Directive Alpha meant that it had to be destroyed.

Now that they had successfully opened and flown through a wormhole, their downed module could be seen as a liability. No doubt some bureaucrat back at Space Chase would see their present situation as a need to implement Directive Alpha, but Isaac wasn’t quite willing to go that far yet. He didn’t care about being stranded, but there was still a possibility that he could get Alicia back home.

Assuming their cruise through the atmosphere hadn’t attracted too much attention…

***

Senior Officer Tio Kabian was pleased with the success of his mission. Commander Xoshra was sure to reward him for the capture of Brevan Cort. There were few things more reviled among the Peacekeepers than being Irreversibly Contaminated. Cort only fell behind Aeryn Sun as one of the most outstanding embarrassments to Peacekeeper High Command. At least Captain Crais had had the good moral standing to kill himself, even if that had meant the loss of a Command Carrier. The fact was that Crais was dead and couldn’t besmirch the reputation of the Peacekeepers any further. Not so for Sun and Cort.

Kabian smiled as he corrected himself. Cort was no longer on that list.

Officer Soan walked up to him with a salute. “A report from the scouts that might interest you, sir.”

Kabian raised an eyebrow. “We have Cort. What else could be on this detestable furnace of a planet worth keeping us here?”

Soan was silent as he handed Kabian a data readout. Kabian read it over before looking back at Soan with a more subdued expression. “This is accurate? Crichton’s module was spotted going down outside of the settlement?”

“We don’t have the technology to peel back the image here, but his craft is rather distinctive, sir,” Soan confirmed.

Kabian was thoughtful as he mulled it over. He had no desire to stay on Klevin for even a microt longer, but one couldn’t ignore the windfall that had fallen into his lap. If he could capture Crichton, his advancement would be unparalleled.

More to the point, if he didn’t investigate it, and Commander Xoshra learned he let such an opportunity go by, she’d find new and interesting ways to punish him.

Finally he nodded. “Right, recall the retrieval squad to the Marauder. Let’s take a look.”

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by Halomek » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:18 am

By the time Isaac was done checking the module for any additional damage, he heard the unmistakable growl of an engine overhead. He looked around until he spotted a boxy ship flying in their direction. It only took Isaac a few moments to realize that the ship was headed right for them.

“I think we’ve got another problem,” Isaac said to Alicia. “I recognize that model from our briefings, it’s a Peacekeeper Marauder.” He looked around the landscape for a moment but it was pretty clear from the barren topography that hiding places were scare at best. “Which leave us with a choice to make, Doc. There’s nowhere for us to hide or to hide the module in time before they land, so do we initiate Directive Alpha or take a chance that these Peacekeepers will be the helpful sort?”

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Re: Farscape: The Space Chase

Post by VagueDurin » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:45 pm

Dr. Blackwell clambered her way out of the module to stand next to him, and then searched the sky for the vessel he was speaking of. She listened to him speak silently and then shook her head slowly. She hadn't left alot behind at home, and had known that this always could be a one way trip. She looked up into Isaac's eyes and spoke quickly.

"From what I remember, making assumptions about Peacekeepers and their behavior is a last mistake, sort of thing. Initiate the directive, Flyboy, we're in trouble here."
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

"And for one last instance, I'm Human again." - Sergeant Ghost

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