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The Wrecking Belles

Discussion in 'FanFic' started by Danger Rose, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    I joined Wiscohorndog (Rodge)'s Mission Critical Narrative Event and I'm making the trip up to Waupaca, Wisconsin tomorrow. Since it's a Narrative Event, I'll do my best to log each game so I can make Narrative Baterps of them. And to justify my Sand Cats' (and Wrecking Belles) participation, I made a small intro to this small Interlude:


    Mission Critical: Porlogue
    Raita Returns

    Ever since the beginning of the B4ackd00r Crisis, Sireen Barakat has had her hands full. However, compared to coordinating Haqqislam’s Forces during the Wotan Campaign, working in Human Edge, in command of just her ship, the Desert Duchess, and doing mostly Search and Destroy Operations, felt like a well-earned vacation.

    But trouble was brewing in Dawn, not only because the Japanese had finally seceded from the Yu Jing State-Empire, but also because her father had somehow been Resurrected by his partners and was up to his old scheme of Human Trafficking. On top of that, not being directly linked to Haqquislam High Command in a Potential War Zone, meant most of her expenses would come from her own pocket; and the Anti-Contraband and Anti-Counterfeit Agency, of which her Wrecking Belles were a part of, was not known to be a generous Patron, or pay on time.

    So, when Apple Pie came with the News that Chief Isler had joined the girls' Unit and reopened their Investigation concerning her fathers' Cube Smuggling Ring; Sireen lost no time in opening up the Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC Schedule for Contracts that would take them closer to more civilized places in the Human Sphere, and be able to restock her now depleted Turkish Coffee supplies.

    Sireen felt extremely satisfied when the first Request came in just seconds after she opened un her Company's Schedule. She even decided to answer herself, as a courtesy to her first costumer in almost a year. She opened up an AR Session with the Bridge of the Desert Duchess with her in the Captain's Chair, wearing her Commander Parade Uniform with the first three buttons of her shirt open, giving her interlocutor a clear view of her ample cleavage.

    The woman who materialized was wearing ankle-high Combat Heels, a light-green mini-skirt with a matching top and a dark-green coat that gave her a regal look; all complemented with a dark-turquoise hijab that accentuated her ginger hair.

    "Raita, darling!" said Sireen mentally cursing herself for being so spontaneous, and not checkin who was calling before answering.

    "Don't you dare 'Raita darling' me, Sireen Barakat!" said Raita Salik, War Correspondent of Nebula News Network (3N), flaring from her nostrils. "You left me down in Paradiso, while you went smack in the middle of the Wotan Gate Crisis! And adding insult to injury, you go hunting Backdoor Files and don't even bother to give me a heads up?! I thought we were FRIENDS!!!" finished Raita red as a tomato.

    Sireen couldn't supress a grin. 'Friends' was, in her opinion, a gross inaccuracy; but she had known not to get on the bad side of The Press. "Raita, you kow how it is," she said in a pleading tone. "I wanted to tell you, but you know how the Bureau Aegis gets where Paradiso is concerned..."

    Raita crossed her arms and stamped her foot. "Yeah, yeah, I know." she said taking Sireen's bait hook, line and sinker; and mumbling a not so complimentary string of adjectives for the unsuspecting Bureau Aegis.

    Sireen closed her eyes, knowing that she would regret her next sentence. "You have a job for us?"

    Raita sighed and took a deep breath. Immediately, the AR Room took a red tint as hundreds of red hexagons surrounded both women. Sireen recognized it as a Civillian Level 5 Encryption. Nothing a competent Military Hacker couldn't breach, but secure enough to give them time to notice the attempt.

    "I'm doing a piece on a Research Facility. I can't say much about it-"

    Sireen gave Raita a stern look and lifted her index finger.

    "All right, all right," said Raita raising her hands. "It's a PanOceanian Reseach Facility. They had a breach in one of their Laboratories and are hiring Mercenaries to round up some of the Test Subjects."

    Sireen Barakat narrowed her eyes.

    "I swear I don't know anything else!" continued Raita trying to sound truthful. "My contact said that they were researching something to do with Symbio-Weapons, nothing else."

    "So you want us to be YOUR Mercenary Force." said Sireen unenthusiastically.

    "I get to do some digging, you get paid by them, Win-Win."

    "Goodbye, Raita."

    "Ok, ok, wait!!!"

    Raita opened a holoscreen and swiftly made a Credit Transfer to the Sand Cats Tactical Security Main Account. Sireen waited for the information to reach Aleph's Central Banking System in Concillium, reach Bourak's First National Bank and finally make its way to Sireen's Invoice.

    Sireen opened a holoscreen on her Comlog and nearly fainted on the exorbitant amount of money that had been transfered.

    "That's... How... Wha..."

    Now it was Raita's turn to sport a big grin. "My source was right about Wotan, and then right again with the Backdoor Crisis. 3N doesn't want anyone else beating me to this scoop."

    "You got your Mercs." said Sireen heaving. "Where do you want us to pick you up?"

    "Circular Eight. In three Cycles?"

    "We'll be there."

    The Encryption Protocol disolved, then Raita Salik's Geist and finally the AR Room. Sireen was left alone and feeling weak in the knees. With that money she could give juicy Bonuses to her Sand Cats, while also being able to get High-Quality LHosts for them, just in case. She could even order enough replacement Subdermal Armor to compensate the Wrecking Belles' Death Rate. She pressed the intercom in her office to reach her assistant, Ravenna Rowe.

    "Ravenna, get the word out, three days until Deployment."

    *Ma'am, we're in the red.* came Ravenna's reply on the comm. *I don't think it's advisable...*

    Sireen sent a copy of the recent transfer and was rewarded with absolute silence.

    *Sending the word out, Ma’am. * replied Ravenna when she finally recovered from the shock.


    ---000---


    The Common Room was bustling with activity, as women moved in groups of two and three carrying their belongings into their Quarters, and then back into another part of the ship. Eren Isler felt he had joined a PanOceanian Sorority instead of a Mercenary Company. All of the women were very young, and as they came out of the Quarters' Hall, they came out wearing Nighties and comfortable, but skimpy clothes.

    "It's like being in Heaven. Call." sighed Ouroboros, the Yuan-Yuan, while taking a swig of a Pulpi Beer can. He had joined Apple Pie, Battle Charmer, Agent Valentine and Eren Isler in a game of Poker by offering Pulpi Beer to all the participants.

    "I'm glad it's not an All-Female force, that would have made my Transfer request a tad uncomfortable. Raise." replied Eren drinking Pulpi Beer for the first time and finding the taste to his liking.

    Ouroboros roared with laughter, while the Wrecking Belles deliberately averted Eren's eyes.

    "It IS an All-Female Force!" said Ouroboros when he could finally talk again. "We're the only two male troopers, well four if you count our Pilot and First Mate Rattlesnake; but they rarely hit the field. All-In."

    "Funny, I didn't know that. Call." replied Eren with an accusatory stare at his three new team members. "How did you get accepted?"

    "Oh, it was all thanks to the Bombshell, here." said Ouroboros winking at Apple Pie; and getting a kick in the shin and a stink stare from the brunette Odalisque.

    "Apple Pie wrongly asumed Ouroboro's Gender, based on his File Name. Call." said Battle Charmer unfazed by Apple Pie's expression of shock.

    "And the man has proved too competent and resourceful to let him go. Fold." finished Agent Valentine giving Ouroboros a respectful toast.

    "Yeap, yeap, yeap, yeap, ahh! Trading my days of pillaging for this has been the best decision of my life."

    "So, about the new assignment..." began Eren to give a break to the mortified Apple Pie.

    Ouroboros shuddered. "That Raita Salik is a Storm Crow."

    "She does seem to be a Trouble Magnet. Granted, she's a Warcor, so it comes with the territory. Read 'em and weep." said Apple Pie revealing a Straight Flush.

    "Savage." said Ouroboros getting up. "That will teach me not to underestimate you." he said to Apple Pie, who gave him a toothy grin while picking all her winnings.

    "I find it awfully convenient that her gig is close to the general area of our boy Pyotr’s last known location." said Eren giving Agent Valentine a conspiratorial look.

    "Her source seems to be well informed." replied Agent Valentine with her natural Poker Face.

    "I suspect she's also smart, resourceful and very good at Poker." said Eren noticing with satisfaction the smile he drew out of the corner of Agent Valentine's mouth.
     
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  2. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    Mission Critical: 01
    Coming in Hot


    "Apple, we have a problem."

    Apple Pie had known Agent Valentine for nearly five years. They had been in hair-raising situations more times than she would have liked; and during all those times, Apple Pie just marveled at Agent Valentine's serenity through adversity. So, when Agent Valentine burst through Apple Pie's bunk with nostrils flaring, Apple Pie knew the weight of that simple statement.

    "We're off-course." said Agent Valentine on the way to the Desert Duchess' Bridge. "We're not going to Neoterra."

    "How do you know?" asked Apple Pie puzzled. In Space with no point of reference, noticing when a ship as big as the Desert Duchess changed course was usually hard, unless the ship was doing evasive maneuvers.

    "Comlog synced with the ship's Navi Computer." replied Agent Valentine in an unusually condescending tone that made Apple Pie blush in embarrassment.

    Being originally an Atek, Apple Pie still struggled with things that were intuitive to her Haqqislam-Born friends. But they were usually patient enough to walk her through all the incredible things being 'Connected' allowed. Apple Pie summarized Agent Valentine was in a really bad mood.

    As they entered the Bridge, a crestfallen Sireen Barakat was giving a sideways Death Glare to a horrified Raita Salik. The main Screen was dominated by a clean-shaven man in his late thirties with sandy hair and an aquiline nose. Immediately, Apple Pie recognized Hassassin Barid Shadow Fox; who had been the source of several of their misadventures during Operation Flamestrike, and the primary cause of Unit Foxglove's ill-gotten reputation.

    "Oh, Regina! Looking lovely as ever." said Shadow Fox looking straight at Apple Pie's chest.

    "Cut the crap, Karim! Why are we not going to Neoterra?" said Agent Valentine obstructing Shadow Fox's field of vision.

    "Nice to see you too, Teri." replied Shadow Fox with a roguish smile. "Like I was telling Sireen, the Laboratory we need you to inspect is on the Rowanoco," he said exchanging his face with the gigantic ship's frame.

    "A Generational Ship?!" replied Agent Valentine dropping her aggressive tone for a more curious one.

    "...that has a Sol-Neoterra Orbit of a ten-year half-cycle." finished Shadow Fox still in the background.

    Apple Pie couldn't suppress a grin. Agent Valentine was a Husam Spec-Op, but she had the dorkiest pastimes Apple Pie had ever seen. More than once she had stumbled upon Agent Valentine looking at ship schematics on Maya; and Apple Pie was sure Agent Valentine was two seconds away from geeking out.

    "Unfortunately, the ship has not done its scheduled One-Eighty turn and is still on a collision course with Neoterra."

    "Of course." replied Apple Pie, understanding Sireen and Raita's current moods.

    "Oh well, it can't be helped." said Agent Valentine in an ominously chirpy tone. "I suppose we will have to take control of the ship, as well as investigate the Lab."

    Shadow Fox's face reappeared on the main screen. "Thank you, Teri. I knew I could count on you!" he said clasping his hands together and cutting off the communication before Sireen or anyone else could protest.

    "I suggest we make a drop in Pods." said Agent Valentine not addressing anyone in particular. "We're going in hot and I doubt the Duchess will survive a landing at Interplanetary Cruiser speed." she said tapping Apple Pie on the shoulder and heading back to the Bridge's entrance.

    "Maybe this time we will get to save the world." replied Apple Pie influenced by Agent Valentine's good mood. "Well, not our world, but a world nevertheless." she said disappearing behind Agent Valentine.

    "They are insane!" said Raita Salik at the brink of tears.

    "I guess you will get your 'Exclusive' after all." replied Sireen Barakat not feeling any pity towards her 'friend.'

    ---000---​

    "Where's Ashley?" inquired Apple Pie when she couldn't see the Alguacil during her head count.

    "Still in the Pod out cold." replied Holly, who apart from the Odalisques, seemed to be the only one standing. "Her Crash-Webbing failed." she replied to Apple Pie's questioning look.

    The Sand Cats had been grouped with three other Mercenary Companies by Raita's Contractor and were ordered to secure Sector 375 of the ship to set their HQ. The had managed to land both Boarding Pods, despite the vertiginous speed of the Rowanoco. Unfortunately, the trip and landing had been so rocky, almost everyone left the Pods crawling.

    The first thing that hit Apple Pie was the cinnamon smell; followed by the wild like flora that covered the gigantic hangar. For some reason, it reminded her of the jungles of Paradiso, which put her on edge. Soft ankle-high grass brushed her Combat Heels, while bushes of assorted colors and leaf shapes and sizes moved softly to the soft breeze of the Climate Control System which seemed to be working perfectly. Something that looked like a Symbiomorph scurried into the bushes.

    "I see wildlife." she stated while slowly advancing. "This place doesn't seem ideal to set up an HQ. Too many open spaces."

    "I'll let Commander Poeschl know." replied Holly. "Siri, Selma, be good dears and scout ahead."

    "Right on, Knight Lady!" said Siri, the redhead, jumping as one with her robin's egg blue-haired twin sister. As they landed, a pair of Crazy Koalas zoomed out of a nearby structure and ran into Siri.

    "Fuck!"

    With practiced expertise, the young Yuan-Yuan unbuckled her Jump Pack and launched it in the direction of one of the Koalas, while simultaneously throwing her Chain Rifle to the other. A technique Ouroboros called the 'Screw This, I'm Out!' maneuver.

    The blast put everyone on alert, but it also allowed an Intruder to unleash his Heavy Machine Gun on an unsuspecting Selma and Raita Salik, who had decided to use that moment to take a picture.

    "HMG!" said Eren Isler coming out of his Holo State and shooting a rocket at the Intruder, but miraculously unable to even dent his armor. "As tough as ever..." he mused to himself, remembering old scuffles with those deadly Commandos.

    "I'll deal with him." said Sand Wasp adjusting her Multi-Spectral Visor and looking for a better position. Without warning, a Panzerfaust Warhead exploded at her feet and catapulted her several meters back.

    "Sand Wasp is down." said Holly keeping track on her Comlog. Sand Wasp's vitals were critical, but her regeneration seemed to be working hard to keep her alive.

    "Target locked." said Doc Starlight, who unloaded her Spitfire on the offending Nomad Trooper without waiting for a confirmation. "Aaaaand neutralized." she said as the hapless woman hit the floor.

    Agent Valentine activated her Cybermask Protocol and for all intents and purposes, looked like an Alguacil. She advanced closely followed by Holly, but stopped when a smoke bomb took over the other flank.

    When the smoke settled, the Sand Cats collectively gasped at the appearance of a Taskmaster.

    "Oh great." said Apple Pie unloading the hollow-point rounds magazine of her Submachine Gun and inserting the Armor-Piercing one.

    "I'll take him out on one condition." said Eren Isler dead serious, while training his Heavy Rocket Launcher at the Heavy Armored Behemoth.

    "Name your price, Probie." said Obliterette, immediately getting whacked by a disapproving Apple Pie.

    "You did the same with Ouroboros, to whom you still owe a date, you Little Miss Self-Righteous." hissed Obliterette nursing the back of her head.

    "And I got into a world of trouble for it." replied a flustered Apple Pie.

    “Sorry.” replied Obliterette meekly.

    Eren shot several rockets in quick succession, engulfing the Taskmaster in a column of fire. After a few tense seconds that seemed like an eternity, the Taskmaster lurched and fell forward with a resounding clank.

    "I want a real Call Sign." said Eren sitting snuggly on his high position.

    "Oh, way to go, Blit!" said Doc Starlight upset. "We finally get a Probie and you just let him chose his terms."

    "It was fun while it lasted." replied Battle Charmer in her melodious tone, getting an angry stare from Doc Starlight.

    "Well done, 'Purple Tanager'." said Apple Pie with finality.

    An Alguacil tried to move sideways but was quickly brought down by Apple Pie and Obliterette at the same time.

    "Yeah, a deal is a deal." finished Obliterette shrugging.

    "We need to head west." interrupted Holly unapologetically. "Command found a better spot for our HQ, and we're now assigned to hunt Symbiomorphs."

    "Hunt Symbiomorphs?" replied the Wrecking Belles in unison.
     
    #22 Danger Rose, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  3. DaRedOne

    DaRedOne Morat Warrior Philosopher

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    Your writing style has improved considerably recent. That's great! I'm a tad upset about how the SandCats keep running into adversary nomad forces though :P

    What's next, enemy Morats? D:

    Jokes aside, awesome work. It might be a good idea to review the first paragraphs of their landing in ship, as that felt slightly confusing, clashing hard with the earlier text and the fairly good flowing action once the koalas came out.
     
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  4. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    Thanks! I'll fix that ASAP
     
  5. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    Mission Critical 02:
    In Space...


    The Hab-Dome was intended to be a City in Space. Living quarters, entertainment venues and businesses were supposed to populate the structures that now had been claimed by the alien jungle. Several Mercenary Companies had signed in to investigate the Rowanoco and were now dispersed all over the Hab-Dome.

    The Sand Cats had been subcontracted by FlaxCo. Their Contractor's orders were to collect samples of the Symbio-Weapons and leave before the Rowanoco crashed into Neoterra; a plan that did not sit well with Apple Pie, who had to be physically restrained, and her Comlog blocked for internal communications only, when she heard her orders.

    "A woman of action to the core, huh?" said Purple Tanager amidst Apple Pie's protestations.

    *Sigh* "More like a superheroine complex." replied Obliterette. "She'll calm down when CHARM assesses her command." she finished looking straight at Battle Charmer; who was clearly enjoying seeing Leticia, in full Azra'il Heavy Armor, sitting on top of Apple Pie; while the Amazonian brunette flailed her free arm and legs futilely.

    "Aww, all right." said Battle Charmer in her melodious tone. "Apple, honey, StarCo. is here."

    As if a switch was turned off, Apple Pie stopped moving her limbs. "And why didn't you say so before?" she said looking up at Battle Charmer and giving her a death glare.

    "Because it's good to see you being you." replied the sliver-maned Odalisque with a motherly smile. "Now, let's go hunt bugs and let the Pros save the world this time."

    Apple Pie pushed herself upward rolling the much heavier Leticia to one side with seemingly no effort. "Turret Spider, is there an Auxiliary Access to the ship's Command Center nearby?"

    The Hawwa Hacker deactivated her Basic Camo Cloak and opened her Assault Smartphone. "Hmm. There's a terminal, twelve klicks South-Southwest- Wait, you're not planning to..."

    But Apple Pie was already sprinting in the direction Turret Spider had mentioned; closely followed by the rest of the Wrecking Belles.

    "Do they do that frequently?" asked Purple Tanager looking at the Odalisques disappear into the forest.

    "All the time." replied Turret Spider in exasperation.

    When Purple Tanager finally caught up with the Wrecking Belles, they were stalking what seemed like a Symbiomorph. Tanager had seen several of those in Paradiso, but always close to Tohaa soldiers.

    "You took your time, old man." said Doc Starlight unapologetically.

    "I know your real age, Helena." replied Tanager making Doc Starlight blush and pout.

    "You're adapting quite well." said Obliterette giving Tanager a thumbs-up.

    "Perks of being a Hafza. What have we got?"

    Apple Pie wiggled closer to Purple Tanager not to raise her voice. "Two marks, possibly three. One at Ten o’clock, one at One o’clock and a possible third one at Three o’clock."

    "Is the one at One o’clock the green one that Jaguar is poaching?"

    "Yeah, that's the one- HEY!!!"

    Apple Pie leapt brandishing her submachine gun, but the Jaguar bagged the stunned Symbiomorph and hurled smoke bombs in her general direction.

    "They are taking away our Symbiomates!" said Apple Pie huddling behind a tree to avoid being shot. An Intruder had moved forward as if appearing out of thin air and was spraying bullets from his heavy machine gun. "Intruder. Perfect!" she said in frustration.

    "Aww, don't sweat it 'Pechugona'. We just want the Pokemons; and your phone number, maybe?"

    Apple Pie blushed furiously while hyperventilating. The unmistakable voice of Sr. Massacre was followed by the man himself, edging closer to the Wrecking Belles position with catlike stealth.

    "Is she all right?" asked Purple Tanager with concern, while trying to get a better position.

    "Star struct." sighed Obliterette pinching the bridge of her nose. "Apple is a huge fan of Sr. Massacre, and really gets affected every time he's around. It's annoying as hell."

    "Well, she has three seconds to say goodbye to him." said Purple Tanager going for his Heavy Rocket Launcher. The Heavy Rocket Launcher he apparently had left back at the Drop Pod, since his back Mag-Clamp was empty.

    "Fuck."


    *BLAM*


    "Stay down Grandpa," said Sr. Massacre controlling the area. "I'm glad we're past the PG-13 shit, so don't make me Shish kebab you. My good friend Sergio Velho will just bag the other Pokemon and we're out of here."

    An Alguacil redhead passed right in front of Sr. Massacre and started to climb a parapet.

    "Whoa, whoa, whoa, who are you?" asked Massacre in confusion.

    "Alice, from Accounting." replied the Alguacil not looking back at him.

    "Huh."

    "Hey, Massacre!" called Tanager on the floor, trying to stem the bleeding from his shoulder's wound. "You already have two Symbiomorphs. Give the ladies a chance and let them have the last one."

    "Sure thing, Pops. Yo, reprobates, wrap it up!"

    As Sr. Massacre and his me were leaving, Alice from Accounting raised her Shock Marksman Rifle.

    "Wait a minute, there's no Alice from Accounting in our crew..."

    *BLAM*

    Sr. Massacre looked to the dead symbiomorph to the revealed Agent Valentine, back to the symbiomorph, and then back to Agent Valentine. "You are a heartless bitch." he said with a smile.

    "I'll take that as a compliment." replied Agent Valentine jumping down from the paraphet to avoid the hail of bullets coming her way.

    Apple Pie moved closer to the area where the last symbiomorph was located; but instead of a questionably adorable alien pet, she went face to face with a nest of dog-sized rats!



    "Aaaaaaaiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
     
  6. Danger Rose

    Danger Rose Sand Cats Tactical Security LLC

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    Kurage Crisis: 00
    Dawn of Opportunities


    In other News, Legacy Ship and Mobile Laboratory of RajCorp, Rowanoco crashed into Neoterra killing thousands. While the official report concluded that the event was the consequence of mechanical malfunction due to a rat infestation; we do have reports of Mercenary Activity on the ship before it crash-landed. Raita Salik has more details-


    Sireen Barakat turned off the News Feed and dropped her head on her desk, burying her face in her crossed arms.

    Apple Pie shifted uncomfortably in her chair. Their mission aboard the Rowanoco had been a monumental catastrophe. When they thought they had stopped the ship's thrusters, they got ambushed by ninjas. A ninja to be precise, but the Wrecking Belles agreed that such a detail was trivial. Hurting their pride, as much as their bodies, the Ninja sabotaged the Auxiliary Terminal, bringing the chances to avoid a disaster down to zero.

    To prevent an Interplanetary incident involving Sand Cats Tactical Security, and the ill-reputed Wrecking Belles, Sireen Barakat reached an out-of-court settlement in which no mention of her Company would be made, for a very large fee. And while her company and the Wrecking Belles' names were safe; the Sand Cats' finances were once again in the red.

    “So, is this a bad time to report that the Amberwitch was spotted in Svalarheima?” said Agent Valentine referring to the Black Lab Ship of Equinox Cell ‘Cinder.’

    “We don’t have enough money to dock locally in Neoterra,” said Sireen Barakat not lifting her head.

    “I’m sure we couldn’t dock in Neoterra even if we wanted to-“ began Doc Starlight but was swiftly cut short by a kick to the shin from Obliterette.

    “Our situation is dire,” said Alguacil Ashley standing next to Sireen and rubbing her back supportively. “We’re out of money and out of clients. That last Charlie-Foxtrot with RajCorp put us in a very bad position.”

    “Especially with PanO clients, I presume.” complimented Purple Tanager realizing the bad position they were in. Without enough money to pay the Circular Transport Fee, they would have to rely on local Neoterran costumers. But while their involvement in the Rowanoco Disaster was not public knowledge, the Hexaedron knew, and already sent a warning barring Sand Cats Tactical Security from working anywhere near Neoterra. They were, as USariadnans would say, ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place.’

    “I did something,” said Apple Pie sitting straight with fists on her lap and not daring to look up.

    Obliterette knew that look and gasped audibly. “You didn’t!”

    “Do what?” asked Sireen and Tanager in unison.

    “I called my husband…”

    And as if on cue, a Virtual Data Pack with the Daghercore logo materialized in front of Sireen Barakat. “When?” she asked dumbfounded.

    “Just right now, while you were all commiserating,” replied Apple Pie blushing furiously.

    “Oh? Our little Atek made her fist Geist call!” said Doc Starlight cheerfully.

    Apple Pie blushed even more than was thought possible. Despite having a Cube and being able to connect to the Augmented Reality Network, she had so far relied on the most basic functions. It was not until recently that she learned that each of her friends had an AR Avatar, which they called Geists, and that she had unwittingly configured hers to block all visual AR feed from her.

    “Welcome to the Future.” said Purple Tanager with a pat on the brunette’s back. He had been the one to notice that Apple Pie was not reacting to Doc Starlight’s Nurse Geist jokes, and took it upon himself to teach Apple Pie a bit more about Human Sphere Technology.

    “NOVYY CIMMERIA!!??” exclaimed Sireen Barakat, making everyone jump.

    “He’s offering a Tactical Consultant job post at the Duban Prospecting Site in Novyy Cimmeria, Dawn.” she said in an angry tone. “Where, coincidentally, the Japanese have recently discovered a rich Nessium vein. Did you share Classified Information with your husband?” she asked giving Apple Pie an inquisitive look.

    “No!” replied Apple Pie wounded by such accusation. “He has his own sources, and I only asked him for a loan. I didn’t know he was going to offer us a job.”

    “It’s a good paying job,” said Ashley reading the contract over Sireen’s shoulder. “Oh, and he’s even covering our expenses to reach Dawn! I’ll get the crew ready.”

    Ashley left the room swiftly, leaving Sireen alone with the Wrecking Belles.

    “Well, we don’t have much of a choice.” said Sireen in a defeated tone. “I guess we’ll go to your home planet, Apple Pie.”


    --- 000 ---


    As they reached Dawn space, Sireen realized her fears were not unfounded. She recognized several Admiralty ships from the Wotan Blockade, and was greeted by old comrades-in-arms welcoming her back to the fray. It seemed Novyy Cimmeria, was going to be Flamia all over again.

    When they finally met planetfall, Sireen and her Sand Cats were greeted by the imposing figure of Tarik Mansuri, Amir of the Kawarij. “Welcome, Young Lady Sireen,” he said with a broad smile that melted glaciers. “You arrive just in time. I have the need of some Rems, an Infiltrator and maybe one of your lovely Odalisques?”

    Sireen could feel the giddiness of the Wrecking Belles behind her, and their superhuman effort to keep their cool. “While certainly, Sir. I’d be honored.”

    “I heard Young Lady Regina, Miss Apple Pie, is Ariadnan of birth?”

    “Yes sir!” replied Apple Pie feeling weak in the knees.

    “Excellent, a local is always a good help when in a new environment.” He said giving her a sagely nod that, Purple Tanager noticed, ended with his face aligned with Apple Pie’s chest. “Meet me at Docking Station 3 with the Remotes and Young Lady Fanny, Turret Spider. I have heard great thing of her.” he said turning and heading to another group of disembarking troops.

    Behind the Wrecking Belles, Sand Wasp the Djanbazan had to hold her twin sister, Turret Spider, to prevent her from falling on the floor fainted.
     
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