The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    ++Something to consider along the lines of posing as Navy is that with such a technological marvel of a ship design that we fly could be an Exporator ship that has come to follow a lead from a old survey. We're known for being secretive and operating out of the loop of normal procedure, particularly the Thule secte++
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    ++Something to consider along the lines of posing as Navy is that with such a technological marvel of a ship design that we fly could be an Exporator ship that has come to follow a lead from a old survey. We're known for being secretive and operating out of the loop of normal procedure, particularly the Thule secte++
    'Maybe. As long as we don't try to talk to them for long enough to expose the lie. Although even if they are suspicious, who would want to antagonise the Mechanicus without cause.'

    'Conversely the only problem I can see with claiming to be attached to the Navy is the Sting itself. Perhaps the Navy took a raider as a prize to augment their fleet? I am confident that we can talk them into believing that we are not merely pirates, but not so much that we can't prove that we aren't what we are, namely a Rogue Trader ship with some hidden agenda.'

    'In any case, they would only need to believe us for long enough to allow us to get close.'

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    ++A Explorator ship isn't going to be interested in much communication. Code Bursts that Decree Mechanicus interests on this planet and surrounds would likely be sufficient. With a sufficient show of Force in that myself with Servitors and some of the Enginirum staff to look the part in a "official" Party while the rest of you investigate.++

    ++I shall generate some verbatim for the crew to use if they do decide to be inquisitive but if they are sensible they will leave us alone. Maybe some heavily armed and robed armsmen for skittari effect in the party aswell, given some time and parts im sure i could create some facsimiles of cybernetics for them to wear++
    Last edited by Leon; 2018-03-27 at 12:54 PM.
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    "You make a good point, Adept Ravia, the Manticore's Sting isn't your typical Navy tug. But like her doctorship says, the Navy's always short of hulls, and they've been known to press prize vessels into service, at least temporarily. But I suppose pretending to be an Explorator vessel is as good a ploy as pretending to be the Navy."

    "What I'm not really keen on the idea of any of us being aboard one of Quinn's ships - at least not if we're going to fire on her. Too much risk of our own people getting hurt, and if we have to wait for the away team to return from negotiating or planting charges, we may miss our opening and end up trading broadsides. That would be very bad for the Sting."

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    I don't like the idea of falsely claiming to be the Navy. For one, it's entirely dishonorable. For another, the real Navy would be quite upset if they discovered we were pretending to be Navy in order to attack other traders. The Explorator's ploy will work as well, by my reckoning. We drop the lure, making it look like the Fist is coming. Once they're drawn off, we approach. If anyone is left, we pretend to be a Mechanicus ship long enough to get in broadside range and take them out if they seem skeptical.

    Now, are there any mines or anything we can put in the lure to delay their return journey? We don't want to be caught with our team still planetside

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    The Manticore's Sting dropped out of warp on the edge of the system. Immediately, the augur crew started making a detailled scan of the planets. There were, as they had been told, three. Jonell's colony world was the second of those three, and was identifiable by the four ships in orbit around it. Two frigates and two smaller ships, as they had been expecting. None of the blockade seemed to notice them yet; the Sting had left warp with everything but the essentials powered down, just a step above drifting. The plasma reactors were lit, but running low and coule be cycled up to full power at a moment's notice.

    In one of the holds was a large sensor package put together by Anika and Magos Del'Karro. When activated, it would output a series of signals, as well as a radioactive aura, designed to emulate a Rak'gol cruiser as closely as possible. Looking around the system, there were plenty of places to drop the lure. The gas giant would likely shield the signals from being noticed by the blockade ships, but its many smaller moons would not. The first planet was another idea, but would involve circling back once they had set the bait. They had settled on Rak'gol after some debate on the journey here, as most of the senior officers felt the famously aggressive Xenos species would warrant a larger response from Quinn's ships.

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    I need Ravia to make a Tech-Use test at +20 to make sure you've not forgotten/missed anything when assembling and setting the lure.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    On the journey here Anika has spent alot of time helping Ravia with the device. Normally she preferred to keep her distance from the Tech-Priest but this project was important. She could only really advise, but it was good to put some of what she had read to good use. Much of what the Imperium knew about the Rak'gol was only conjecture, but enough of her books agreed on enough about them that she was confident she could help build a decent impersonation.

    When the Sting enters the system she's already on the bridge. She is mostly confident but feels a certain amount of responsibility to ensure that this plan goes well.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    Much of the Trip has been spent in building and fine tuning the Rak'Gol lure (decoy maybe a better thought process here since we don't want to lure the Rak'Gol...)

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    Tech Use @ +20 (d100)[1] 58 Int + 20 (Trained and Misc)
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    "Watch those engine readings, Hobbes," Hannabel hovers over the pilot's station. "Low and slow does it, we're in no hurry..."

    "Lord Commander, with your permission, I'm confident I can plot a course that can bring us to wherever we want to drop our lure with minimal chances of detection. Hiding it among the gas giant's moons would be a smart play in my estimation. The presence of the giant itself would help explain how our "xenos" managed to avoid showing up on the blockade ships' auspexes before we activate the lure. We could then swing wide past the colony and make our approach from the opposite direction - that would put the most space between us and any ships Quinn's commander sends out to investigate the lure."

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    Hannabel has Pilot (Spacecraft) trained and Ag 48. If we only take the default manoeuvre action while silent running, she should automatically succeed as long as Macharius grants her his exceptional leader bonus: 48 (Ag) +25 (Sting's manoeuvrability) +10 (Ordinary difficulty) +10 (Reaver background) +10 (Exceptional Leader) = 103

    Of course, this means we'll only be moving at 5 VU, but since we're not in any hurry, that shouldn't be a problem.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Macharius is at his usual position when the ship leaves the Warp , standing in front of the command throne. He sits and listens to his advisers, thinks for a second, and smiles.

    Good show, ladies! Jolly well done, Anika, Magos. Hanabelle, I like your idea. Having the Rak'gol come from inside the system would be too suspicious. We'll drop the lure and sail around to the other side of the system. Trigger it when the gas giant is far from the colony world, to maximize the distance they have to travel. Hopefully, that pulls them out of the orbit entirely to do their duty as good servants of the Emperor and exterminate the vile Xenos.

    If not, we'll go with the Mechanicus plan. Magos, could you rig up a device to either distort my voice as I speak or distort our broadcast frequencies? I don't sound much like a Mechanicus captain, if I do say so myself.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGolem View Post
    Macharius is at his usual position when the ship leaves the Warp , standing in front of the command throne. He sits and listens to his advisers, thinks for a second, and smiles.

    Good show, ladies! Jolly well done, Anika, Magos. Hanabelle, I like your idea. Having the Rak'gol come from inside the system would be too suspicious. We'll drop the lure and sail around to the other side of the system. Trigger it when the gas giant is far from the colony world, to maximize the distance they have to travel. Hopefully, that pulls them out of the orbit entirely to do their duty as good servants of the Emperor and exterminate the vile Xenos.
    'It makes sense. Even the Rak'gol have to operate their ships like the rest of us, for all that some in the Expanse seem to think speaking of them at all would be enough to summon them here.' The idea was nonsense of course, even if the reality of that species seemed to be bad enough without ascribing such powers to them.

    Anika is less optimistic about the morality of the blockade ships. 'If we're done our work well enough, maybe they'll leave the system undefended to 'xenos' attack. The type of people who would starve a colony of supplies don't seem the type to be of particularly good character.'

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    The crew put the plan into action expertly and efficiently. The void lure was jetisoned into orbit around the gas giant, set to a remote activator that Ravia had spent a great deal of time making sure would work exactly right. The Magos had been very thorough, and the lure was a fine piece of work. It would operate within α0.01 of required mission parameters.

    With their trap set, the Sting ghosted into position, still running silent. When the lure went active, it would ping on the passive sensors of every ship in range. There should be no reason for the enemy to run an active scan until they got close to it, which would allow Macharius' ship time to move in unnoticed. At last, after a series of carefully planned maneuvers by Hannabel, everything was in place. The order was given, the switch flipped, and suddenly there was what looked to all the world like a Rak'gol cruiser lit up on the auspex. It swung slowly out of the shadow of the gas giant, and the officer manning the sensor console shivered involuntarily and made the sign of the aquila.

    The reaction from the blockade ships was immediate. The smallest of the two escorts turned the other direction and started burning its engines to get away, either to report to Quinn or just escape the percieved threat. The two frigates formed up with the other escort, moving away from the colony world to take up a more defensible position near the inner planet. When they entered the shadow of the planet, the escort split off and went dark. If they wanted to see what it was doing, they'd need to do a more focused scan to look for it. In the meantime, they had an opening.

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    You rolled really, really well on that Tech-Use test. If you want to do anything fancy with the lure, by all means have at it. I just described its basic function here, there's room for a couple extra gimmicks with a roll like that.
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  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Pytho

    Wires as fine and flexible as human hairs extend from one of the astropath's servo-skulls into a secondary auspex terminal, the gaps in Anika's display lighting up.

    Pytho himself is quiet, watching the immaterium for any outward communications from the Quinn ships.
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    When the enemy escort went dark, the Sting started looking harder. The ship's augurs were designed to be unobtrusive, so they could search the void without blowing their own cover. With the assistance of a servo skull, Anika borrowed the augury station from a crew member and set to searching. The first pass didn't yield anything, but the second found the escort drifting towards their lure. Looked like they were going to check it out, try and figure out what was going on while the frigates put up a show of taking defensive positions. It was a good tactic, but of course they weren't expecting another ship to be watching their every move.

    This was an opportunity.
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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Anika normally leaves this sort of thing to those better qualified for it, but she at least knows how to read the augur. 'I take it we can't wait until the other escort leaves before ambushing this one? The idea that the other ship might enter the warp still believing that the Rak'gol were in the system was appealing to her, but she doubted they could be that lucky.

    'If they decide something's up and turn around, they are still far from their friends. Would that make it our next target?' Now they were in the opening stages of the battle there was no point being anything other than ruthless about all this. There was no reason to assume that Quinn's people wouldn't behave the same way if the situation was reversed.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    "There she is!" Hannabel whispers excitedly when the enemy escort appears on the auspex. "Steady as she goes, Hobbes, you're doing fine. Just keep us on course to close with that scow, and I'll get us lined up for the shot." She fairly skips over to the main gunnery pit and begins to relay orders down to the gun decks. When all is ready to her satisfaction, she looks up expectantly at Macharius. "Say the word, Lord Commander, and she's dead before they know what hit them."

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Macharius raises his hand. Hold a moment, Mistress Shanx. Wait until that moon passes between us and the rest of their fleet- don't want an Imperial ship suddenly appearing on their auspex, what? While we wait, I shall remind the crew of why we fight.

    He strides to the shipboard vox and speaks into it, his voice resounding through the ship. Glorious Master of Mankind, we dedicate this battle to you. Our foe profanes Your holy name, polluting the sanctity of the Warrant of Trade by engaging in piracy. Your sacred Writ, given that we humble men may drive out the Xenos, the Heretic, and the Daemon, is used as base cover for preying on Your loyal servants! For this I name them heretic and blasphemer. And yet they sink further! They shirk the duty You have lain upon all men, turning tail and fleeing from the Xenos, leaving a colony of souls commended to Your light in grave danger. They deny the sanctity, primacy, and superiority of Humanity in their cowardice! For this I name them twice accursed.

    But the men and women of the Manticore's Sting are loyal and true, oh Glorious Emperor! We will fall upon the heretics like Your sword of judgement! We will send them screaming to the oblivion that awaits all who deny Your glorious Imperial Truth! We fear not war, for we fight in Your name! We fear not death, for we will live eternal at Your side! We are the Manticore's Sting, and we shall triumph! For the Emperor and Absalom!


    The speech is perfectly timed for the climax to coincide with the ship's passing behind cover. He steps back and faces Hannabel. You may fire when ready, Mistress Shanx. Bring down the fire of the God-Emperor.

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    Inspiring Leader on Hannabel's shooting
    Last edited by PotatoGolem; 2018-04-10 at 08:50 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Intoning the Litany of the machine Ravia makes the adjustments to the lure 's relay that makes it seem to be powering up something (a timed release of radioactive effects)
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

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  19. - Top - End - #79
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    "Missiles, launch! Now the sunbeams, target the bridge!" Hannabel barks. The Manticore's Sting shudders as the first salvo of missiles launches, followed by the thrum of giant lasers unleashing their deadly pulses of light across the void. Hannabel grins savagely as tightly packed explosions lace the length of the enemy vessel, tearing great holes in the escort's armour. "Lord Commander, we have multiple direct hits!" she exclaims, sounding for all the world like a child delighting in a fireworks display.

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Splendid, splendid! Excellently done, Mistress Shanx. Now, can we jam their communications? Wouldn't do to have them broadcast back that they're being attacked by a human vessel.

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    The Manticore's Sting struck without warning. A volley of missiles streaked across the void, impacting on the enemy destroyer. The first few exploded against the void shields, but the fields rapidly overloaded against the sustained assault. With the shields down, the Sting's lasers raked across her foe. Multiple explosions blossomed across the hull, gas and debris venting into space. In the middle of Macharius' question about jamming them, a secondary explosion rocked the target, and all their lights winked out.

    "Multiple hits confirmed, sir!" The crewman at the augur station looked up at his commander. "I'm getting void shields destroyed, and we've hit their main drive. She's dead in the water."

    Ravia's manipulations to the lure had been perfectly timed. To the other enemy ships, it would have looked like the 'Rak'gol' ship had a power spike, followed immediately by horrendous damage to their escort.
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  22. - Top - End - #82
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    ++Excellent Gunnery++
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

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  23. - Top - End - #83
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    "Thank you, thank you!" Hannabel responds to the compliments with an overdone bow. "We aim to please!"

    "Now, what do we do about those poor devils over there, Lord Commander? They're powerless, so they won't be transmitting any information about who attacked them unless they have an astropath aboard. And I think we managed to time our attack so that the frigates will believe the "Rak'gol" did it. If we kill the escort for real, that would be in line with expectations when dealing with Rak'gol, but it does run the risk of blowing our cover. If we go silent now, we can set up a new ambush for the frigates, but we run the risk of the destroyer getting power back and letting them know that it wasn't the lure what got 'em. And no matter what we do, going up against a pair of frigates is a much tougher fight than this one..."

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Macharius smiles. No, Mistress Shanx, what the Rak'gol would do is board the ship and slaughter all those inside. And while the command staff are clearly heretical reprobates of the highest order, the ship herself and some of her ignorant, benighted crew may yet be redeemable.

    Commodore Gilead! Have the marines board the assault shuttles and commence full-scale boarding action. Winston! Prepare my lander. See to it that my jump-pack and armaments are properly delivered.
    He turns back to Hannabel, Ravia and Pytho and gestures grandly towards the shuttle bay. Care to join me for a little excursion, dear chums?
    Last edited by PotatoGolem; 2018-04-12 at 09:36 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    ++I will join you in the dock++
    Ravia leaves to prepare and gather her arms and amour for a boarding.
    Last edited by Leon; 2018-04-12 at 11:08 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #86
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    'Have fun.' As they shouldn't be in any real danger Anika didn't feel any compelling reason to go with them.

    She will make a brief note to herself to reward the crew of the weapon that had inflicted the most damage on their target. Perhaps it hadn't been needed but a deal was a deal.

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Onboard the shuttle, Macharius relays orders into the vox. He's dressed for battle in a fine suit of black and gold carapace armor with the Absalom sigil gleaming on the front. His Rosarius hangs prominently on the middle of his chest.

    We seek to redeem the benighted ignorant who followed their leaders child-like into the darkness. Our goal for the crew is pacification and a return to the Emperor's glorious light, not wholesale slaughter. Kill the leaders of any resistance, as well as any security forces that oppose you, but show mercy to the non-combatants and those who surrender. We come like Saint Jeremiah to spread the word of the Emperor to his wayward children, not like Saint Alenikov to slaughter the recalcitrant. Attempt to capture as many of the command staff alive as possible, that they may be called to answer for their heretical treason.

    One we have control, disarm the ship's defenders and move our own people in to take control of the armories and critical systems. Forward, for the Emperor and Absalom!


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    Striking to maximize Morale damage and minimize Population damage by targeted killing of leaders and defenders. Stop killing once they surrender. Command: (1d100)[19], target number 212

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    The stricken enemy vessel tilted to one side, a massive gaping hole in its midsection. It was an Iconoclast Destroyer, one of inumerable such ships in the Expanse. Small and fast, the Iconoclast is a true escort type vessel as opposed to the near-frigate status of the Manticore's Sting. This one bore the scars of older battles, as well as the fresh wounds inflicted on it by the 'Rak'gol.' Macharius' aquila moved in alongside a swarm of smaller boarding shuttles. Back on silent, the Sting moved up in support. Their enemy wasn't going anywhere.

    The easiest mode of access for the boarders was the hull breach they'd caused. The shuttles moved in, bumping aside shattered pieces of adamantite hull plating and dead men, their bodies drifting through the void. Macharius' men were all in heavy-duty voidsuits, armed with boarding shotguns and other low-impact weaponry from the ship's stores. The small-arms damage wasn't likely to matter all that much compared to the devastation inflicted by the Sting's weapon batteries, but they did want to capture this ship. Less damage now would mean fewer repairs later. Even so, it would take a long time for the vessel to be properly spaceworthy again. On they way in, they got a look at what remained of the void shield generators; twisted metal and loose cables, shattered deck plates, a thousand glittering shards of glass. The rest of the damage could be fixed, given time. The shields would need to be torn out and replaced entirely.

    Hatches opened, and the boarders poured out into the stricken ship. There was no gravity. Ignoring the noncombatants as per Macharius' orders, his men hit hard and fast against the defenders. Fighting was fierce, but sporadic. The crew had little time to raise a proper defense. Cries of 'for Absalom!' and 'for the Emperor!' sounded over the vox. Macharius led the push for the bridge, his jump pack allowing him to navigate the zero-gravity environment inside the ship with greater ease. The Rogue Trader sliced through the lock to the bridge with his power sword, and was in the thick of the fighting from there. He personally slew the opposing captain, who had been trying to coordinate the defense. After that, the fight went out of the enemy - a few of those remaining on the bridge threw down their arms in surrender, and were captured by Absalom marines. When the rest saw that surrender was an option, they took it.

    The final tally was hugely in Macharius' favour. He'd lost a small handful of men, but he'd captured most of the enemy officers and taken the ship relatively bloodlessly. Of the original crew of sixteen thousand, fewer than six thousand remained... but most of those had been killed in the opening salvo. The boarding action had been clean and efficient, and looked very very good for keeping up the Rak'gol pretense. Anika, who had remained aboard the Manticore's Sting, reported that the other escort had made the jump to warp. The two frigates, likely fearing a full on assault by a Rak'gol cruiser following the loss of their scout, looked ready to follow suit. Both were running full burn on a course for the opposite side of the system. Ravia kept up the lure's broadcasting until they were gone.

    All told, the plan had been very successful.
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  29. - Top - End - #89
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    ++This will be a interesting archive to go through at a later time, there much this ship has seen that could be very useful for my line of knowledge++
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    take this virtual +1.

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    Hannabel sticks close to the Lord Commander, emptying her laspistols into any enemy that shows himself. Her movements are smooth, professional, and she seems quite unfazed by the carnage they encounter as the battle rages through the ship.

    Once the bridge is secured, she gathers a small escort of marines and immediately sets off to inspect the damage her gunners inflicted. She tuts disapprovingly as she notes that most of the damage seems to have been caused by the Sunsears. The Jovians appear to have managed little beyond knocking down the void shields.

    "Not up to spec, not up to spec at all. Someone's going to be doing extra shooting drills for the next month or so..."

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