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RELEASED Avali Race Mod, The second thread!

Discussion in 'Races' started by RyuujinZERO, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    The like was before the warning
    Maybe you're not fluent in chan-ese but I thought it was amusing (And the inevitable over-reaction of the Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei moderators)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  2. J_Mourne

    J_Mourne Pangalactic Porcupine


    It is kinda funny that that statement gets a warning while all the borderline content in the other thread slips mostly under the radar. At least, to me anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
    Intrebute, Quilavabom and RyuujinZERO like this.
  3. Christovski

    Christovski Ketchup Robot

    It is possible that people reported this post, but not posts on the other thread, that might be the difference maybe? IDK, I avoid the other thread
     
    Marxon likes this.
  4. traediras

    traediras Void-Bound Voyager

    Would love to see what higher-level Avali ships would look like after seeing what's coming in the nightly builds. :D
     
  5. Lazurkri

    Lazurkri Star Wrangler

    I hope they're REALLY big, because I've managed to outgrow my Normandy, and am now using the Logistics frigate.
     
  6. traediras

    traediras Void-Bound Voyager

    Can anyone confirm whether we are able to dye panels or not? I tried but it didn't really do anything :(

    Never mind me XP Total noob, forgot that the paint tool existed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    Quilavabom and J_Mourne like this.
  7. Grixster

    Grixster Intergalactic Tourist

    What is up with this thread?
    It's like a constant cycle of madness.

    I came here to good time and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now.
     
  8. J_Mourne

    J_Mourne Pangalactic Porcupine

    Well, this is your first time posting here. So I don't know how that's possible. I mean, I guess you could feel attacked by this comment, if you like.

    You don't seem to have posted in the off-topic thread either, so I'm completely uncertain who you meant to direct this rebuke toward. Anyway, a good day to you as well.
     
    RyuujinZERO, Ehksidian and Intrebute like this.
  9. Grixster

    Grixster Intergalactic Tourist

    It's like 3 in the morning and all my instincts are locked on funposting.

    Just an incredibly vague general observation.
    I was reading through this thread and it just kept changing and changing topic.

    Anyways, I apologize for being so damn rude.
     
  10. Anonfox123

    Anonfox123 Pangalactic Porcupine

    So I guess this mod will start updating again once SB updates again? Nice to see tech trees expanded, wonder what Avali versions of the Accelerator, something and something armor varieties will be like. (gunner, tank, wizard, the actual names I forget...)
     
  11. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    More or less. I've begun development of a new, significant patch which I aim to have ready for the next SB stable
     
    Marxon, Quilavabom, Corosar and 2 others like this.
  12. traediras

    traediras Void-Bound Voyager

    Would love to see how you do the Avali ship progression. :D
     
  13. Anonfox123

    Anonfox123 Pangalactic Porcupine

    *fluff space raptorness intensifies* I can hardly wait! =3
     
  14. DionZeromus

    DionZeromus Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    Huzzah to know that the Avali are getting an update! Can't wait to play with whatever new toys you craft up for the Avali!
     
  15. gray_edge

    gray_edge Void-Bound Voyager

    i was wondering if you where going to use the new ship upgrade system there adding in the nightly update
     
  16. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    Not at first that's for sure. Not sure what to do about the new system, asides from using a placeholder (ie apex ship) for now. Making the art assets for a bajillion ships takes time, hell it took Chucklefish 4 months and 3 professional sprite artists to make all the sprites for the vanilla races <,<

    And those ships are mostly copy-pasted pieces (Whereas the Avali ship is completely hand drawn)
     
  17. J_Mourne

    J_Mourne Pangalactic Porcupine

    Well, here's the final installments of that story @Reksanden requested a while back. It's purpose is to provide a backstory for her character, and as such this is really her story, even though the words are my own. I've compiled all three parts; the prologue, the main story, and the epilogue, into one post so that they could be all read together, as intended. As it's on-topic, I'm posting it here for future reference purposes.
    Nemesis:


    /'neməsis /
    noun

    1. the inescapable agent of someone's or something's downfall.
    4. retributive justice

    from Greek, nemein, "to give what is due."
    Nemesis

    Tain clutched his side as he ran. The deep puncture hurt terribly, and it bled profusely into his hand, staining his dark grey feathers a deep violet. His mind could hardly comprehend what had just happened. His pack was all dead. Every last one of them, cut down by fiends in armor with their humming aerogel blades and modified railguns with disabled safeties. His pack had fought. They’d died fighting like the rest of the colony. But they weren’t warriors or soldiers; none of them had been. They were colonists, scientists, hunters. Tain wanted to stop, sit down, and wait for the end. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to join his pack in death than to keep on struggling.

    But Tain kept moving as fast as his legs could push him forward. The side of his chest dripped blood. His legs burned with exertion. Saiumi was all he had now. Saiumi and their little daughter. The rest of her pack had been there too, had died fighting alongside the others. They’d been busy delivering survey information and retrieving supplies, for they lived out in the barren, beautiful wilderness away from the main colony. Saiumi was an explorer. He was a geologist. That was how he’d met her, when she and her pack had shown him and his pack a good place for a potential mine. Carefree days, those had been.

    Tain clutched his sword tightly with his free hand. The aerogel blade was chipped and damaged from the fighting earlier. Blood had spattered onto the hilt. Tain hadn’t known he had it in him to kill another Avali. He’d never been trained in combat. In fact he had only ever touched a blade to skin his prey. It would seem the old proverb was true that a person learned a lot about himself when he looked down the rails of a gun. He’d fought his way out of the colony, a whirlwind of blood and death that made him sick to recall.

    The renegades had only killed the males; and the females who resisted. Those few females too weak to fight or unable to defend themselves had been captured. Tain had seen from a distance, had felt his heart flare with anger and fear. He had to get to Saiumi.

    Tain ignored the surges of pain and ejected the aerogel blade from his weapon and let it forge a fresher edge. He could see the low-hanging nanocanvas of Saiumi’s tent in the distance, hidden under the shelter of dense needle trees. Maybe they hadn’t seen it yet. Maybe she was still okay.

    Tain was breathing heavily by the time he reached the hanging cloth entrance, and from more than just the exhaustion of his relentless pace and the wound in his side. His heart was racing as he checked behind him and slipped inside. The interior was dim and powerless. The reactors had been destroyed early in the attack to disable any transmissions to the combat drones. The colony had been left practically defenseless. Tain felt a horrible dread in his chest. Saiumi wasn’t here. Had she been found already?

    Then there was a hiss of deploying aerogel and a faint hum, and Tain felt the subtle vibrations of a knife laid across his thoat. “Make a move and I’ll take your head off,” Saiumi hissed. Tain exhaled in relief.

    “Sai, it’s me.”

    “Tain!” Saiumi put her knife away and hugged him tightly with her free hand. “Tain.” In the other she cradled their little daughter. Pale, ghostly white like her mother, but streaked with the deepest midnight essence of her father’s grey feathers. Tain grimaced as she brushed his wound. Saiumi’s voice turned calm and serious immediately as she noticed. “You’re bleeding.”

    “It’s not important.” Saiumi leaned in to look at it, but Tain pushed her back. “Saiumi. It’s not important. There’s nothing you can do to treat it. I need to get you away from here.”

    Saiumi looked him in the eyes. “What about my pack?” She looked like she knew the answer already, but just needed to hear it from him.

    “They’re dead. Everyone’s dead. Your pack, my pack…” Tain could feel a tone of panic seeping into his voice. He stopped himself. “You’re all that I’ve got left, Sai. You’ve got to get away, you’ve got to live. Our little Reksalya has to live. Please, Sai. I’m fine with dying as long as you live.”

    Saiumi bowed her head, breathing haltingly. “It’s not fair of you to ask me that!”

    Tain wrapped his sword arm around her and cradled her head against his. Saiumi held little Reksalya close to her and his chests. “I know Sai. None of this is fair.” Tain’s snapped his head up as he heard metal and polymer against rock some distance outside.

    “Saiumi,” he hissed in a fierce whisper. “Run. Now.”

    Saiumi shot him an anguished look. “Promise me though that you’ll try to make it, Tain. Promise.”

    Tain gave her a fell grin, baring the sharp tips of his teeth. He felt like a stranger in his own mind. “You know me, Sai. I don’t quit.” Tain removed his hand from his side and touched Saiumi on the side of the head, and then lowered it to touch his daughter’s sleeping face. His caress left a faint smudge of his blood across her tiny ears. Tain looked at Saiumi. The faintest hint of tears were gathering in the corners of her eyes. “Out the back of the tent. Go.”

    Tain turned to face the entrance of the tent. He spun his sword in his hand, feeling its unfamiliar weight. Was this him? It certainly wasn’t who he had been the day before. Tain brushed forward through the entrance and found himself facing three renegades in powered armor, thirty meters away. One of them had a heavily-modified Firelance leveled at hi-

    The impact knocked Tain back into a support of the tent. For a moment the pain was all gone, then it came surging back even worse than before. Tain rose and started to walk forward. For all the Firelance’s power, its thin flechettes didn’t deal nearly enough damage to stop a wild animal with a mere flesh wound. And no animal was more wild, no animal more dangerous, than a predator cornered and turning to defend its own. He tried to charge, but all his legs could muster was a halting, stumbling forward stride. He looked the renegade with the Firelance straight in the eyes as he finished charging the weapon and raised it agai-

    Tain caught his fall with his arm, hissing in pain. He had felt that one. Blood dripped from his wounds. He had been dead before he even entered the tent, even if Saiumi didn’t want to admit it. But now the longer he took to kill, the further away she could get.

    Tain stood. He grinned now, a wide, full, horrifying grin. This was death, and he knew it. He continued to step forward. The next flechette hardly slowed him down. He was running now, somehow, despite his injuries and his exhaustion. The first renegade was too shocked to respond. By the time he raised his railgun, it was too late.

    Tain gutted the first without remorse, pulled his blade out and swung it wide to catch the neck of the second as he fumbled with his weapon. He laughed as he moved. He felt like a marionette driven by some insane spirit of retribution. A frail puppet of meat and bone carried along by unstoppable purpose. The third renegade, the one with the Firelance, backed up and fired. Tain felt the flechette hit him, felt it rock him back on his feet, felt the pain.

    But he didn’t care. He kept moving forward, continued swinging his blade. Blood poured down his grey feathers as he managed a long, shallow gash across the renegade’s face. Then something hit him from the side.

    As everything dimmed, the last thing he remembered before he died was Saiumi’s precious face.





    The renegade lay on his back. Blood dripped from the gash in his face. His friend approached from behind and to the left of the now-dead colonist. At least, he desperately hoped he was finally dead.

    “You alright, Vaune?”

    “Yeah, yeah I’m alright… What I want to know is what the hell,” Vaune kicked the colonist’s body in anger, “this bastard was on. It was like he was already dead and just wouldn’t die again until he took someone with him! We had him, and then next thing I knew he’d killed Ceai and Eikos!”

    “Beats me. Stimmie, perhaps?”

    Vaune muttered something unintelligible under his breath.

    “Anyway, we caught one last one in the woods back there. Had a little daughter too, recently hatched by the looks of it. The Captain said to take them back in, and that we had everyone now.” The other renegade started to walk off, then looked over his shoulder at where Vaune continued to stare at the body as blood slowly pooled under it. “Vaune, you coming?”

    Vaune shook himself. “Yeah. Coming.” He kicked the body once more for good measure. Stupid stimmie. He’d never understand how someone would be willing to disregard their own life like that. Stupid.

    Reksalya sat huddled in the corner of her cell, quietly sobbing. No tears would come, and they never had. Despite the threadbare blanket entwined with her arms and wrapped around herself, she shivered uncontrollably. Her mother had been right, she could never trust them. She’d once trusted the Captain. Despite his scars and coldness and the mysterious lack of a pack that made her captors whisper to each other that he was strange in the head, he had never laid a hand on her or her mother like so many of the others had. Her mother had given everything to try to protect her from them as best as she could, but as Reksalya had matured, and as she had grown sickly, she had become less and less able to spare her daughter.

    Then suddenly, they had just taken her mother away. Reksalya gave a muffled sob again as she remembered. She had been too terrified to move while her mother, as she was dragged away, resisted for the chance to give one last loving look and a desperate smile. They had sold her to someone, she had overheard one of the packs discussing. “About time we got rid of the sickly old hag,” Vaune had said. “I always have preferred her daughter anyway.” He had laughed then, a self-amused and malicious sound that Reksalya had learned to dread.

    Reksalya continued to shiver. She wanted her mother. Wanted her mother to tell her stories of her old pack whom Reksalya was too young to remember. Wanted her mother to tell her stories of herself, Saiumi, and of Reksalya’s father, Tain. How they’d met as brave explorers opening up the frontier. She’d told her a new one only a few weeks ago, about how Tain had died trying to get the two of them to safety. Said she was now old enough to understand. Reksalya wondered how many other stories she’d never been told.

    She closed her eyes and began to hum a little tune her mother had used to sing to her. But the sorrowful procession of her thoughts could not be halted, even by the familiar comfort of a beloved melody.

    She’d once trusted Rheni. He was the only one who’d ever been kind to her. He’d smuggled her trinkets and her only real possession, a little chipped pottery ocarina that she kept well hidden from the prying eyes of the others. He’d never touched her or her mother. Said she reminded him of a packmate he’d lost. But he’d just stood by and watched as they’d stolen her mother from her.

    Everything she could remember was contained within this station and her mother’s stories. Her mother had taught her, as best she could, about the universe. Said that the rooms were really spinning to provide gravity, and that outside everything was perfectly quiet and weightless, and there were these shining points of light called stars that were really giant balls of light and heat far off in the distance. Said that their race had found a way to jump between the stars. Said they’d found a way to think and speak and visualize in thin air at any distance. Said they’d lived in peace working together. Except for some. Renegades who believed it was a predator’s right to take what he could.

    Reksalya had asked if she had ever been there, outside the station, in the magical silence and dark. Her mother had only given a sad laugh before saying that yes she had, long ago.

    The memories sounded and resonated in her mind, a mournful countermelody to the tune she hummed falteringly between sobs. Then Reksalya’s eyes snapped open as she ended her song. No. She refused to spend the rest of her days alone, to become a slave and a toy for the amusement of these “renegades,” to grow old and eventually be sold as so much useless weight when they grew tired of her and she could no longer work.

    She would be free, and she would find her mother. Or she would die as she tried.

    ….

    > This is black operations command relaying communications through support vessel ADF Quaemoor, coordinates [REDACTED]. Specialist Epsilon, the operations zone is secure. Contact us once you have access to target systems, over.
    > Copy that, command.
    >
    >
    > Netwar specialist Epsilon reporting, command. I have access to target network. Looks like your boys did a fine job cleaning up down here. Quite the mess, but no damage to mission-critical systems, over.
    > We’ll be sure to relay that message to them for you, Epsilon. We already have an action report from them, but we’d like a repeat confirmation from your end on anything you find in those systems.
    >
    > Copy and confirm, command. Any particular way you want me to crack this target, over?
    > We would like to emphasize the need for a thorough sweep of target systems, Epsilon. Clean your traces as you can, but prioritize finding any mission-related data. Current information gives us no reason to expect the Apex will make a fuss about a raid on an illegal laboratory located on a neutral world. How copy, over?
    > Copy all, command. Proceeding as instructed.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Epsilon to command, I can confirm that this laboratory was the origin point of the emergency transmission you picked up. Source would appear to be a now-deceased female. One of ours. Cold bastards killed her while experimenting. Over, command.
    > We copy you Epsilon, and have verified your information with our operations team’s findings. Site’s morgue contains one deceased Avali female, previously presumed dead from the lost Verus Prime colony sixteen years ago, over.
    >
    > Epsilon to command, this might interest you. Are you receiving clearly, over?
    > Loud and clear, Epsilon, continue.
    > Our “friends” down here acquired the now-deceased primary mission target from a band of roving pirates operating from a station at the following coordinates [REDACTED]. The pirates had another captive they were willing to sell, but the price for a young specimen was beyond what our Apex “friends” were willing to pay. Over.
    >
    >
    >
    > How copy, command? Over.
    > We copy your previous transmission, Epsilon. Do you have any more information on potential captives?
    > That’s a negative, command. Though it’d appear these same pirates made a few sales of Avali cadavers to this lab in the past… going back almost a decade. Assuming they’re all from the Verus Prime incident, would not put great hope in there being many survivors left, command. Over.
    >
    > Finished scanning and duplicating target systems for in-depth analysis, command. Tracks wiped. Orders?
    > Copy that, Epsilon. Upload those files and wipe everything you can. Then pull out with operations specialists Alpha through Delta, over.
    > Complying, command. Change in plans, over?
    > That’s correct. New primary mission objective: eliminate all renegade forces at coordinates [REDACTED]. New secondary mission objective: search and rescue any remaining survivors. Over.
    >
    > You’re sending in this same black ops team against those rogues, command? Over.
    > Affirmative, Epsilon. Operations specialists Alpha through Gamma are qualified for zero-gee combat and for infiltration. We’ll keep you and operations specialist Delta on standby. How copy, over?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Those poor pirate bastards. Copy all, command.

    ….

    Reksalya was still sitting in the corner when the door to her cell clicked and slid open. She was no longer sobbing, but perfectly calm and expressionless. She had spent the last few hours waiting and preparing herself for this moment. She had to be quick. To her surprise, it was Rheni who entered. The door slid shut with a hiss behind him but did not lock again. Her surprise turned to anger as she remembered how he’d stood there, just watching as they took her mother away. She could feel her gut tighten as he sat down a meter away. Her hands gripped her ocarina tightly under her blanket.

    “Uh... I’m… sorry about your mother.” He lifted his hand and rubbed his ears nervously. “There wasn’t anything I could do.”

    Reksalya remained silent. She wanted to yell at him, to blame him for everything, to look to him for sympathy, but that would be foolish. He was not her friend. Not anymore.

    Her silence only seemed to make him more uncomfortable. “I… um… I guess you don’t want to talk.” He stood. “I’ll… leave you alone then…”

    “Rheni…” Reksalya whispered her entire body was one tense coil of energy. He stopped and turned around. “I’d like to tell you something.” He turned around and leaned closer to her. She reached out and touched him on the chin with both arms. He opened his mouth as if to ask a question, but Reksalya had already begun to move, slamming his head into the hard metal plating on the wall behind her. Wasting no time, she leaped to her feet and wrapped her arm around his throat. He was dazed, and only managed to scratch her once before he lost consciousness. The scratch on her arm stung and oozed a trace of deep purple blood.

    She’d been choked often enough to know its effects. Rheni would be out for a few minutes. Without wasting a moment, she cycled the door and peeked out. Nobody else was coming. It was late into the sleeping shift, so it was unlikely anyone would. As quietly and quickly as she could, she fled the handful of empty cells and pulled herself through the weightless corridors toward the aeroponics bay where she had so often been put to work.

    Now she only had to… do what? With a sinking feeling, Reksalya realized she hadn’t thought this far ahead. Do what? Escape on one of the spacecraft from her mother’s stories? She’d never even seen one. If they were anywhere they’d have to be on the forbidden room of the station in the direction of the tribe’s quarters. She’d have to be very careful if she headed that way, and hope she could figure out how to fly it when she got there.

    Reksalya approached the end of the cellblock’s section warily. She’d experienced the wrenching change in inertia when transferring from one centrifuge of the station to another before, but it was never a pleasant sensation. As she clumsily crawled through the transfer point, she heard running footsteps behind her. Quickly, she pulled herself into the spinning chamber that contained the aeroponics bay, stumbling for a moment as the spin imparted gravity to her once more. The bay was completely dark except for the thin strips of bright light that rested over the soft fronds of the piru barnacles she’d spent many an hour carefully tending. She quickly dashed and slid behind a stack of crates safely away from the light cast by the entryway, pressing her ears against the dented and worn metal.

    With practiced ease, Rheni swung out of the weightless intersection and down into the aeroponics bay. He was obviously still sore and she could hear the roughness in his breathing. His expression was one of panic. “Reksalya?” he asked in an anxious half-whisper. “Reks, don’t be stupid, they’ll find you! Where are you? Reks?” Reksalya remained perfectly quiet, her heart pounding in her chest.

    He stopped and turned toward a communications panel just by the entrance. Reksalya felt her heart skip a beat. If he sounded the alarm, it’d be all over. There was no way she could find a way off the station with everyone looking for her. As if he’d heard her thoughts, Rheni paused and looked around again. The seconds felt like miniature eternities, passing by with the utmost reluctance.

    Rheni reached toward the interface, but before he could touch it an uncertain blur tackled him from behind.​


    Operations specialist Beta could hear nothing but his own breathing and heartbeat inside the tight HEV suit he was wearing. At least he hadn’t had to pluck his wingfeathers for this mission. This spacewalk, tedious though it might be, was trivial compared with some of the insertions he had practiced in training. The habitat they were currently on course for was a ramshackle station built into an asteroid. Narrow corridors with large centrifuges holding sleeping quarters and infrastructure. He could see small rotating bits of it sticking out of the rocky shell if he used his helmet to zoom. Without it, the station was still just a bright fleck in the distance. Beta glanced at the timer on his neural HUD. Still plenty of time before it was time to begin his final deceleration burn. Time enough for a quick nap, in fact. He had just closed his eyes when Alpha’s cold and matter-of-fact voice crackled in on his radio.

    “Clean sweep. In and out in less than twenty minutes from the time operative Beta and I breach the hangar. I’ll find their leader, confirm a kill, and grab intel. Beta, you find the objective and get it to the hangar. Operative Gamma, you stay in vacuum and place enough charges to vent their atmosphere and decommission their reactor. All copy?”

    “Copy all,” responded Beta.

    “Wilco!” said Gamma, with entirely too much glee in his voice.

    “Radio silence from here until we regroup; we’re trying for a whisper-quiet run here,” concluded Alpha. "No drones."

    Beta closed his eyes once more and let himself drift in weightlessness and silence. It was an odd feeling, being so deaf to the environment. Beta found it curiously relaxing, but he’d also heard stories of others who had gone through the rest of their basic training without a hitch only to panic when they first entered vacuum and were left unable to hear anything. Some of them got used to it. Others refused to ever step into an HEV suit again.

    His mind drifted to the mission at hand. He wasn’t like Alpha, completely detached from his emotions. Nor was he like Gamma, approaching his work with childlike enthusiasm. He’d always tried to do his work calmly and professionally. But some of the things he’d seen during this mission; the living hell and torturous death of an innocent female and who knew how many others simply because they’d had the misfortune to be a target of opportunity for some renegade’s selfish worldview, angered him.

    It was good to acknowledge it. But not to succumb to it. Beta calmed himself. They’d taste retribution, but it would be cold and frozen, not hot and wrathful. He released his feelings. They were a motivation and nothing more.

    Once again there was nothing but the black silence. It was beautiful.

    ….

    Beta’s neural augment chirped briefly, and he opened his eyes. He began his deceleration burn, maneuvering in a tight spin and firing his main thrusters in the direction of the station. Looking to his left and to his right he could see Alpha and Gamma do the same. They reached the station and matched it’s slow rotation, drifting just above the irregular, rocky surface.

    Breaking into a station like this was always an unpredictable affair. Beta had only done something like it once before. Slowly the trio drifted across the barren rock, hugging the surface as tightly as they could, three blurry active-camouflaged specks against the dusty pale-grey rock. They’d need to find the airlock to enter or they’d trigger every environmental alarm in the station. Beta had seen it through zoom at a distance just as he saw it now as they rounded the asteroid; a wide, narrow, rectangular opening tightly sealed with enormous blast doors. They could get through those, though it’d take a while. But off to the right side he saw what he had been hoping for; a personnel airlock.

    He raised his hand to signal his two teammates to stop, made a fist, and pointed at the small airlock. He swung his hand in a jabbing motion at the sealed door. Stop. Look. Point of entry.

    Gamma reached over his shoulder and pointed at the charges strapped to his back. Alpha nodded, pointed to Beta, and motioned toward the door. Beta split off and coasted alongside Alpha toward the breach point. Gamma would remain outside to set the charges. Beta understood perfectly why. Gamma and his vacuum-specified shaped charges were to be the failsafe if shit hit the fan while they were inside. Beta touched down lightly on the metal wall of the station, his body horizontal to the door’s intended orientation. A simple key-coded access panel was the only security. In under a minute he had the code cracked and he and Alpha began the airlock’s cycle.

    As the small room began to repressurize to match the rest of the habitat, Alpha tapped his helmet’s faceplate against Beta’s. The air was still too thin for speaking, though it was gaining pressure quickly. “You find if there’s any captives still alive here and get out in twenty flat. I’m going for their leader and any opportunities for intel that I see. If either or both of us aren’t out by the end of that time, I have given operative Gamma orders to nonetheless destroy this entire station.” Alpha pulled his helmet away as the two of them drifted inside the narrow padded chamber.

    Beta nodded silently. He was already worming his way into the station’s wireless network. Beta hadn’t been trained specifically as a technician, but these renegades hadn’t built their systems anywhere near securely enough to protect against the sort of programs and backdoors a black operations specialist could exploit. Beta grinned as he found the station’s various alarms and shut them all down.

    The airlock was finishing its cycle. He checked his suit’s active camouflage and Alpha did likewise. It would hardly make them invisible, but it would make itself similar enough to the environment to possibly provide them with a crucial extra second in close-quarters combat, if it came to such. He and Alpha raised their pistols as the door opened.

    The hangar was empty except for a pair of ramshackle and obviously scavenged dropships. Everything of importance was strapped down with tethers. Beta pushed off the wall of the airlock and coasted up to a handhold on the roof to get a good covering angle. They couldn’t be sure what time the station’s inhabitants were on. They’d guessed that they were using the same time cycles as the nearest planet, but they could just as well be using military cycles or some arrangement of their own.

    There at the end of the hangar was another airlock, closed and locked. They’d have to crack it’s security as well. Beta glanced at Alpha, but he was already moving in that direction.

    Nineteen minutes left. Best make them count.

    ….

    Beta flew along the central spine of yet another corridor. The station had turned out to be an unpredictable warren of corridors and dead-ends and cramped workspaces. It had taken Beta precious minutes to find a holographic marker to put him on the correct heading for “CELLBLOCKS – LIFE SUPPORT – AEROPONICS.”

    But as he approached the next centrifuge, he heard someone loudly whispering something. Beta grabbed a handhold on the wall to stop himself, and peered inside. It was very dim, lit only by the faint florescent glow of an aeroponics nursery. A few dark metal struts gave him some impression of the speed of rotation. On the far end of the gently drifting centrifuge was an unidentified figure, a young Avali, breathing hard and with a slight rasp. He was backlit by the corridor behind him.

    “Reks, don’t be stupid, they’ll find you! Where are you? Reks?”

    The shadow turned his back to look at a communications panel. Not good. Beta pushed off of the wall of the corridor, hard. Centrifuges were tricky affairs in combat. While the illusion of gravity was often useful, it was just that; an illusion granted by inertia relative to the rotation. If he didn’t touch the walls, he would remain weightless. Beta reached over his shoulder and unholstered his old combat knife. He’d like to take this rogue alive, if he could, but there were never guarantees in combat. Beta engaged his suit’s maneuvering thrusters, accelerating and aiming his flight vector toward where the rotation of the cylinder would carry his target. Beta slammed into the unsuspecting back of the darkened figure as he reached for the alarm console, carrying them both to the floor.

    Before the stunned renegade could make a sound, Beta placed his arm across his throat and pinned him to the ground. Beta holstered his pistol and switched his knife to his other hand. Nearly just a kit, Beta realized with dismay. “What…” the rogue wheezed out.

    Beta interrupted in a harsh whisper. “This is how this is going to work. I will ask questions. You will answer. You will not do anything other than answer my questions, or I will kill you immediately. How many others are here on the station?” Beta released his pressure on the renegade’s throat somewhat to let him speak.

    The rogue’s head was trembling, but he said nothing. Keeping his arm firmly against his throat, Beta leaned back and spoke again. “This blade is made from metal, not printed aerogel. That’s because I am trained in certain techniques involving continual use of it.” Beta covered the rogue’s mouth with his gauntleted hand, stabbed him in the left shoulder and dragged the tip of his combat blade down the arm. The renegade whimpered, did not try to scream. “That is the penalty for an incorrect answer.” Beta transferred his arm back to the renegade’s throat. “Now how many are there here on the station?”

    “F-forty seven, I think.”

    “You learn fast.” Beta leaned in and forced him to look directly at the blurred and shifting camouflage of his faceplate. “How many are awake right now?”

    “J-just me.”

    “Where’s the rest of your pack?”

    “Dead. I-I don’t have a pack anymore.” Beta paused. He could be lying, but the answer had been quick and seemed sincere. He’d take a chance that it was the truth.

    “Are there any prisoners aboard this station?”

    The renegade froze. Beta waited for a response, but none came. Without a sound, Beta stabbed him in the joint of the upper knee and worked the blade around just the precise amount. Training had been more specific about how to maximize the effects, but he was rushed for time. And he didn’t want to look into the hurt on this little one’s face longer than he needed to.

    “Are there any prisoners aboard this habitat?”

    The renegade remained silent, trembling but defiant. Beta knocked his head hard with his blade’s hilt.

    “Are there any prisoners aboard?” The renegade stared at him with kit’s eyes. Terrified, but resolutely silent. Beta rose into a crouch. He didn’t have time, and there were things no amount of interrogation could force someone to reveal.

    Then the renegade whispered something, “If I tell you, will you hurt her?” Beta looked back down, his momentary surprise thankfully hidden by the featureless shell of his helmet. He paused as he considered what to say. He couldn’t forget that this was an enemy unit. But, as Beta looked into his face, he could also see a scared young Avali who was holding on to something stronger to him than loyalty to a tribe of pirates and murderers, stronger to him than pain.

    Beta gambled. “I’m here to get her out.”

    The renegade let out a shuddering breath. “One prisoner. She just escaped and I don’t know where she has gone. Her name’s Reksalya, and she has white feathers with black markings.” He looked Beta in the face and closed his eyes tightly.

    Beta put his blood-stained knife away and drew his pistol. “I’ll take care of her for you,” he whispered. Then he squeezed the trigger and the subsonic slug snapped the poor rogue’s head back against the ground. A quick, painless death. Beta knew he’d always regret this moment. Knew that he’d do it again and again if his missions demanded it. He rose to his feet. A single escaped prisoner loose on the station, female, white feathers, black markings. Beta grimaced inside his helmet. It wasn’t a lot to go on, particularly with time running out. Eleven minutes left.

    From elsewhere in the station, Beta heard a burst of staccato gunfire. Alpha’s voice sounded suddenly in Beta’s headset. “Alpha to squad, disregard radio silence. Status reports, now, over.”

    “Charges are in place, eleven minutes to detonation, over.” Gamma reported, a hint of boredom creeping into his voice.

    “Captured and interrogated an enemy unit. New intel: we’ve got approximately forty-seven hostiles aboard the station, and one prisoner, escaped and somewhere onboard. Prisoner is female, with white feathers and black markings. Request further time to locate her as per secondary mission objective, over.”

    “Granted. Operative Gamma, disregard previous orders and detonate on my signal or after fifteen minutes with no contact with me or operative Beta. Confirm new orders received, over.”

    Gamma sounded disappointed. “Copy all, Alpha.”

    “Operative Beta, I need you to make some noise elsewhere in the station, over.”

    Beta was already moving. “Complying.”

    Reksalya could hardly breathe as the shadowy monster stalked away and vanished into the dark. Her mother had never told her about horrors like that out in the great emptiness. Rheni’s body lay motionless and still in the faint light. Deep violet blood spattered the floor all around and pooled under his limp head. Once she was sure the creature had left, she slowly and carefully padded out, stepping around the drops of purple. Her breath caught despite herself as she looked at his face. Rheni was certainly dead. There was a thin puncture on his knee, a horrible gash down his left arm, and a tiny entrance wound on the front of his head. Dread uncoiled in her chest, but she couldn’t look away.

    He had been her friend. Even though he’d hurt her he’d been the only friend she’d ever had. And now he was bleeding and broken and dead on the ground, flayed and killed by a flickering thing from beyond the station. Why hadn’t her mother told her? His eyes were closed, and his mouth caught in a half-smile for reasons Reksalya could only guess at. Reksalya reached into the tattered folds of her blanket and withdrew the ocarina he’d given her. Its familiar surface was chipped and worn from years of hiding and quiet use when Rheni would come and visit her and ask her to play. It had belonged to a packmate of his, he’d said. Back from when he had a pack.

    Reksalya reached down and put the small pottery-brown instrument in his stiff hands. Reksalya felt her grief crushing down on her, like a weight on her chest. First her mother stolen, and now her only friend dead. He’d had flaws, but he’d never meant to hurt her.

    Reksalya tore her eyes away. She had to get off this station before the others found her. Or the monsters. She shuddered, folded her blanket, and ran.

    ….

    The Captain stared at the blank, nanocanvas-panelled wall of his small room. Its furnishings were spartan even by the standards of a veteran space-dweller. A cot and a small footlocker were the only decorations the Captain permitted himself. He could hear the gunfire from elsewhere in the station. It was growing closer.

    Where had he gone so wrong? He knew, really. But it was good to ask these questions; to be sure the answer and the shame would burn itself into his memory. It was the trade with those Apex researchers. He should never have sold that slave to them. Their words had been eager, their goods plentiful and valuable. And they’d sold him out to the Council, he knew.

    He’d betrayed his philosophy and everything he claimed to stand for, and now he was reaping the consequences. He could see it all clearly now. The Apex were weak, and so could not be trusted. Only the strong would have no reason to lie. And lie they Apex had, with their smooth-voiced negotiators and glimmering shipping crates. And he had fallen for it, exchanged something of his, useless though it had become, for their goods. That was not the predator’s way. If he and his men were as strong as they claimed to be, then the goods should have been theirs by right of force.

    The Captain wondered if he had grown soft in his isolation, if he had allowed his men to grow soft. They’d all been driven, one by one, from their homes and tribes by the anger and fear of the Council, and they had been hard, then. They’d had to be, as in violation of all laws of nature the strong were made subservient to the weak. And the Council was weak, then as now, not in force of arms but in the will to use them, in the will to conquer, to dominate, to excel. The Captain had not been afraid of such things, and for that he had been hunted.

    Until now through a lapse in his deepest beliefs, and Apex treachery, the Council’s dogs had finally brought him to bay. The Captain lifted the old military service pistol sitting on his lap and chambered the first flechette. So be it. He would show them how a free Avali could figh-

    The subsonic flechette scattered the Captain’s thoughts across the far wall as Alpha silently and wordlessly entered the room. He glanced around until he spotted the small compartment hidden in the wall’s paneling that he had been hunting for. He opened it, grabbed the data chits it contained, and left.

    He had never even given the Captain’s slumped corpse a second glance.

    ….

    Reksalya pulled herself along the empty corridors as the sharp snapping of weapons fire echoed in the distance and, one by one, fell silent. She knew why. She had seen the monster and what it could do. It was killing everyone aboard the vessel, skinning and slashing and stabbing and shooting. Reksalya moved as quietly as she could, but quickly.

    The monster’s presence had given her one glimmer of hope. If that thing could get into the station somehow, then there had to be some way for her to get out.​


    Beta rushed through the winding hallways with terrifying speed and purpose. He hadn’t known Alpha very long nor very well, but he knew him well enough to understand the unspoken condition that the prisoner’s life depended on him working to stabilize the situation inside the habitat; and before Alpha decided to use Gamma’s charges to ensure no renegades would be left alive. If it came to it, their suits could survive total loss of pressure within the station. The renegades – and the missing prisoner – could not.

    But he would not let her die. He had made a promise.

    He toggled his suit to actively search the environment, scanning for heartbeats, motion, gunfire; any signs of hostiles or that lost kit. Alpha was doing the same, and their suits automatically shared the information between the two of them.

    Using Alpha’s spotting data, Beta hunted down renegades seeking cover or trying to pin down Alpha’s position. In the resulting chaos, he could see as Alpha slipped through their lines, carving a thin, precise swath of death. But his main focus was on stragglers, isolated signatures that might be his missing objective. She had to be here somewhere. The sudden doubt slipped into his mind that she might’ve been caught and killed in the confusion.

    Alpha came in on the radio. “Confirm primary mission objectives complete. Returning to hangar area for extraction. Operative Beta, conclude your operations, over.”

    Shit. Beta landed on a wall and recoiled himself backward in the direction of the hangar. There were only maybe twenty-three spotted signatures left on the station, most of them hiding in the crew cabins that Alpha was now exiting. Where was that kit?

    The only place he hadn’t scanned was the industrial side of the station, where he’d been before he’d activated his sensors. The cellblocks, the reactor core, aeroponics and life support, the hangar bay.

    The hangar bay. She was in the hangar bay. She wouldn’t have broken out of her cell without a plan to get off the station, so she must have known that’s where the renegades’ dropships were held. Beta single-mindedly propelled himself along the station’s narrow passageways and rotating chambers. He nearly laughed in vindication as a point lit up on his suit’s sensors just outside the hangar’s airlock entrance.

    Grabbing a handhold and swinging around the last corner to the hangar bay, Beta had partially relaxed in the knowledge that the mission was almost over.

    So when rather than the scared black-streaked white kit he had been expecting he found himself face-to-face with a wild-eyed renegade in the process of cycling the door, he did something he hadn’t done in a very long time. He missed his shot.

    The renegade pulled himself inside the airlock door and slammed it shut, and then locked.

    A second signature appeared on Beta’s sensors, inside the door, on the far side of the room, retreating from the renegade. Beta snarled inside his helmet. Engaging his thrusters, he braced himself and accelerated his densely-armored form toward the door.

    .…

    Reksalya clung, weightless, to the wall of the station. The shooting had stopped, and the total silence that clung to the habitat made her uneasy. She moved as quickly as she could, half-expecting each corner to bring her face-to-face with the monster.

    Hope spilled into her chest as after what seemed like an eternity of wary half-crawling she reached the forbidden room. The door was open for the first time that she could remember, and inside she could see two small, oddly-shaped vehicles, each with a pair of thick, stubby wings on reactive bearings. They were old and scratched and half-made of junk, but to her they were the most beautiful things she’d seen.

    But then from behind her she heard the scuff of feet against nanofiber cloth, the faint thud of someone leaping off of a wall. Nearly panicking, she spun herself around and saw Vaune glide into view, his eyes crazed and a patch of blood matting the feathers on his side. In fright, Reksalya pushed away from airlock’s frame back into the hangar, slamming her back into the wall harder than she’d intended. She scanned the room for someplace to hide or run. But the hangar was nearly empty and the spacecraft were tightly sealed, and she didn’t even know where to look for a hatch. There was nowhere for her to go.

    The door hissed open and Vaune slipped inside in a rush, slamming the button to close it and rapidly typing in a code to lock it as well. He paid Reksalya no attention for the moment, but backed away from the door slowly. Something slammed into the door with more force than Reksalya thought possible, denting inward slightly. Reksalya nearly laughed in bitterness at her misfortune. Not just Vaune, but the monster too?

    Vaune chuckled. It was a desperate laugh. He grabbed a handhold near the door, and turned around to face Reksalya, his body floating off the ground at a crooked angle. The monster hit the door again, continuing to bend it inward. “Well now, what are you doing out of your cell?” He bared his teeth in a wicked grin. Reksalya flinched at the impact against the door. Vaune’s face showed no reaction to it at all, just wry acceptance. “It’s no matter I suppose, pretty thing.” He laughed, and Reksalya shuddered at the sound. “At least I’ll die happy.”

    Reksalya felt her heart pounding. She tried to push away from the wall, but Vaune leaped forward and his inertia slammed her back again. He let his pistol drift in the air out of her reach and grabbed her arms. Reksalya could feel him trying to push her legs apart with his own as he leaned his body close to hers and said in a vicious whisper “Now don’t you struggle...” Reksalya’s heart felt ready to leap out of her chest as she fell into a panic. She knew far too well what happened next.

    She twisted and struggled to shake him loose, but he was stronger and more accustomed to the lack of gravity. Reksalya’s panic cut still deeper as she struggled to find some leverage to push him away with.

    At last, with all the force of desperation, Reksalya jabbed her upper knee into the wound on his side. Vaune screamed, and his grip loosened. She shook him away and launched herself toward his pistol, clawing out for a grip on it. Somehow, blindly, she spun around, pointed it at him and pulled the trigger again and again and again and again until it wouldn’t depress anymore and Vaune hung drifting and shuddering painfully as round globules of violet blood floated away from him, a half-dozen holes in the wall behind him and another half-dozen holes in his chest.

    Reksalya’s hands started shaking uncontrollably.

    With an almighty crash, the airlock gave way and the metal shattered inward. The monster coasted through, hissing jets of smoke shooting from his back. He took aim and fired two rounds into Vaune’s head.

    Reksalya pointed the pistol at him and tried to pull the trigger, but there were no rounds left inside. She felt despair overwhelm her as she turned her head away from the creature, curled up, closed her eyes, and began to sob once more.

    She had gotten so close. So very close. Hopefully it would be quick.

    ….

    Beta lowered his weapon and slowly maneuvered over to the sobbing kit. To her credit, she shed no tears. Beta was unsure of what to do. She looked unhurt, physically; but years of captivity could do horrible things to anyone’s mental state. “Shh, shh.” He hesitatingly reached out and cradled her in his armored arms. “You’re okay. I’m here to get you out of here. You’re okay.”

    “But you… you killed him…”

    “Shh. You’re okay.” The kit wrapped her arms around his neck, clinging to them tightly.

    Alpha coasted through the wrecked door, sweeping the room with his weapon. “If you needed to get through the airlock door I hacked,” he said, coolly, “you should’ve asked me to open it. What’s your status.”

    “All clear,” Beta whispered into his headset. “Secondary objective secured. Let’s fire up one of these dropships and get out.”

    “Copy that and affirm. I’m covering you.”

    .…

    Gamma looked eagerly at the viewscreen as he depressed the trigger on his detonator. Small puffs of fire and debris burst off of the surface of the habitat and just as quickly disappeared into space. “Even if there’s any of them with vacuum gear, the radiation from that reactor’ll fry the rest within days,” he crowed.

    Alpha sat silently in the pilot’s seat, speaking quietly, coldly, and matter-of-factly with their handlers aboard the Quaemoor.

    The kit sat across from him, her wings wrapped tightly around herself, and a tattered blanket around her shoulders. Beta reached up and released his helmet. Leaning toward her, he spoke in a confidential whisper, “My name’s Lir. I think I know yours already, but are you willing to tell me yourself?”

    The kit looked at him silently for a moment, as if unsure of his intentions. “My name’s Reksalya.” Then, all in a rush, “I want to find my mother. They took my mother.” She looked nearly broken, but to Beta’s eye it was the hard kind of broken, the sort that only got tougher, never shattered. He reached out and touched her on the shoulder. She flinched involuntarily, but didn’t push his hand away.

    “Your mother is dead. She died getting a beacon to us to come and find you.” Reksalya’s head drooped, and she nodded her head. “You’ll be okay, Reksalya,” Beta added. “I promised someone I respect that I’d look after you.

    “And I never break my promises.”​


    Lir brushed aside the hanging tapestry and stepped out of the cold desert morning into the quiet murmur of the small café. News bulletins and abstract holographic art pieces floated over low tables. A few packs sat kneeling discussing recent events, personal business, or whatever else concerned them. At the center of the irregular tent was a bar counter where a genial, elderly Avali mixed herbal drinks for her patrons. In the corners and edges of the tent, a few Avali were catching a quick nap amongst the piles of cushions.

    Lir was alone, as always. He brushed the dry snow off of his traveller’s cloak and walked toward the counter, his armor sliding silently beneath. He’d headed here to see Reksalya immediately after being sent on leave. Under his arm he held a small, thin, cloth-wrapped package.

    It’d been a long time since he’d first met her. She’d had nobody then, had just been a tiny young kit alone in a cold universe. But Lir had taken her in and helped her as best he could. Helped to teach her, to advise her. Lir had never had a pack, but Reksalya was the closest he’d had. But now she was fully-grown, ready to explore on her own. And so here he now was, with one last gift.

    Lir studied each of the handful of packs seated in the café as he walked. Not many up while the day was still so cold. A few that had the look of grizzled miners about to begin a shift controlling extraction drones, a few researchers absorbed in scientific journals and notes. On a table to the side he noticed Reksalya, listening to a handsome young male who appeared to be telling a story. Lir walked over to the counter and ordered a spiced Kiri cider.

    As he waited, he sized up the young Avali. Despite his somewhat over-confident attitude, he carried himself with the measured tension of someone with military training. Lir slowly looked around as the kindly bartender prepared his drink. The young one seemed to have three packmates with him. One, the biggest Avali Lir had seen, was looking right back at Lir, no doubt sizing him up as well. Lir gave him a nod as a sign of of professional acknowledgement. Two others, a coffee-brown male and a dusty tan female, looked to have unintentionally fallen asleep against each other.

    “Here ya go,” said the bartender as she slid Lir a mug of steaming cider. “What brings you here? You don’t look like a miner.” She winked at him.

    “Meeting a friend.” Lir took a sip from his drink and looked over at Reksalya. She was listening politely, but her emotions were unreadable. He’d let her finish talking with that young one first.

    “Alone? Where’s the rest of your pack?” Lir simply smiled at her and said nothing. The elderly Avali raised her hands. “Fair enough. You let me know if you need anything else.” Lir nodded, and continued to watch Reksalya. She glanced over her shoulder and waved at him. He raised a hand in response and took another sip. He’d had a few short flings himself when he was younger. He hoped Reksalya would be able to open up and have some fun like that too.

    Reksalya said something to him, and the young Avali stepped away and started to say his goodbyes. Lir took his cider and walked over to the table. Reksalya was clearly ready for the fellow to leave, but he seemed reluctant. He hid it well behind a mask of nonchalance, but to Lir’s eye, it looked that Reksalya’s response had confused him. Lir sat down across from Reksalya, positioning himself between her and the young man. He winked at her and she gave the slightest grin back. Behind him, Lir could hear the dejected young Avali walk back to the rest of his pack. “Making a close friend?” Lir asked with a teasing grin.

    “Hah,” Reksalya smiled faintly, “no, he came over to me.”

    “He seemed nice enough. Certainly quite charming.” Lir kept his easy smile, but watched Reksalya’s response closely.

    “I’m not going to open up to someone just because they’re charming. Sike is charming with everyone he meets.”

    Lir nodded. “Just be sure to open up sometime. I know that’s a whole mess of pain for you, but it’s also a part of life that I don’t want you to regret missing. I know I regret I didn’t take such things more seriously when I was your age.”

    Reksalya broke into a full-fledged grin. “And what was it like back then, having to hunt with ice spears?”

    “Ah, Reks, you wound me!” Lir rocked back in the maglev chair and took another swig from his cider. “I could be your packmate you know. On some planets.”

    “A very few planets.”

    “Well, alright, practically none. Still, I’m not that old.” Lir smiled into his cider. They both sat in silence for a few minutes. Then Lir reached into his cloak and pulled out the cloth-wrapped bundle, and placed it on the low table. “Though,” he finally continued, “I’m certainly not getting any younger.”

    Reksalya looked at the bundle curiously, then back up at Lir. “What…“ she trailed off as she saw how serious Lir’s eyes were.

    “I’d like you to have something, Reks. Something of mine that I hope you put to better use than I have.” Carefully, slowly, Lir reached out and unwound the grey cloth. Now that it had come to it, he was discovering that he was... afraid. Afraid of how Reksalya would react. He revealed a long combat dagger in a polymer sheath. The blade was metal. It was his old blade, still carefully maintained and in strong as it had ever been. Lir knew every scratch and mark on its surface by heart, knew its grip and its balance. He wasn’t interested in those. He was looking intensely at Reksalya, his four ears all perked in her direction.

    She reached out and brushed the weapon’s worn hilt, feeling the scrapes and scars and chips. She didn’t know how bloody that weapon was. How many lives it’d claimed in his hands. She looked up at him, her expression impossible for Lir to read. “Why-“

    “Why give you this? My old combat dagger?” Lir paused, reinforced his external composure. “Reks, I’ve lived a… dark life. You know that I can’t ever tell you most of it. But I’ve killed people who deserved to live, and saved people who deserved to die, and inflicted pain and death and sorrow everywhere I’ve gone. All that in the name of the people’s greater benefit, our race’s future. In my hands, this dagger has tasted more than its fair share of blood and torment. Reks, there’s no hope for me. I’d do it all again if I were told. But I hope that in your hands, this weapon will be used for good.”

    Lir felt his voice starting to crack. “I want to believe it can be redeemed. I-“ He silenced himself. No more. Only to wait.

    Reksalya lifted the weapon carefully by the sheathed blade, inspecting the accumulated wear of years of service. Lir focused only on her, on her eyes as they glanced from point to point on the weapon. Her ears as they twitched unconsciously to track sounds in the café. Then she carefully put it back down and wrapped it in the cloth again. Lir felt a pang of sadness. He’d hoped she’d accept. But perhaps it was too much to ask anyone. Perhaps it was too dirtied by its past.

    “I will,” she said. And she smiled at him.​


    All together, this is probably my longest story arc yet, at nearly ten thousand words long (9536 words, to be precise). I hope you enjoyed reading it despite its length. As always, comments and review are welcomed so that I can improve my stories for next time. And I hope it was worth the wait for a happy ending to the bittersweet of the earlier installments.


    And some music to conclude with. Take care, everyone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
    Lodish, Comito, Pacman6511 and 8 others like this.
  18. Anonfox123

    Anonfox123 Pangalactic Porcupine

    Nice epilogue! A good ending to a mildly dark piece. (just how I like my chocolate!)
     
  19. Roland Weiss

    Roland Weiss Tiy's Beard

    An idea to deal with the ship problem; instead of a small ship that gets progressively larger, have a damaged large ship with the majority of the interior inaccessible. Upgrades would render more and more of the ship usable.
     
    J_Mourne, Quilavabom and RyuujinZERO like this.
  20. Anonfox123

    Anonfox123 Pangalactic Porcupine

    Anyone got the typical DPS values on an Avali PD4 sidearm and AR4 railgun? I'm taking a crack at making a simple racial gunmod and I think the avali guns are balanced enough to follow their lead. (taking avali DPS values and the ratio to typical teir-4 monster health, then scaling up at the same ratio of DPS to monster health.)
     

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