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NeoLeaf
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Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 17:06:21


An hour has passed for Red. He is still suffering from amnesia, he actually forgot what he was doing and doesn't remember how he injured himself. More questions wrestled with his reason and imagination. he can't make a basis for a scenario at all.

He got up from his warm bed, stretched a bit and did a small warm up before leaving the premises. The man had said his thanks to the medical people and doctors. He walked out of the med bay and heard the sound of the the high tech door closing behind him.

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Fujiko

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Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 17:14:23
A soldier approached Red. "There you are, Red! The Brigadier asked me to have your gear on standby. She plans to assign you on the first explore into the mountain. Your gear has been gathered and is ready! Come with me!"

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NeoLeaf
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Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 17:43:56
Red raised an eyebrow out of hesitation. But he followed the soldier anyway.

As he fights with his mind he remembers that he signed for a mechanical suit. But now he has to be one of the first to explored the mountain? Ah... This day gets better and better.

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Fujiko

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Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 18:41:15
The corporal escorting Red mentions as they walk that he wishes he could go on an exciting mission like that. He is alternating between doing these sorts of tasks and guard duty.

Soon, Red is fitted back into his Earth Occupation: Enforcer suit. Of course, he is first given his rations, expertly prepared by the ship's cook.

"The Brigadier is not available now, nor the Colonel. Something is happening, but I'm not sure what. I'm just a Corporal, so nobody tells me anything."

The Corporal was right. Colonel Rhea was outside talking about something going on outside, as Brigadier Juno slept.

"You'll be wanted in the Ready Room for your briefing. Engineering is making a mad dash to drill into the mountain, but they have a few more hours to go. I guess it's up to you what to do next. I wouldn't go too far, though. You're still on the injured list officially, so no one will expect you off this 'ship' until you've been briefed and deployed. I think the Brigadier is going to brief you personally! That must be a real honour!"

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NeoLeaf
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Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 18:55:22

"As honorable as it may be, I wont be able to fully grasp it." He replied to the Corporal.

"Oh, thanks." Red thanked the man for his company and for filling him in.

He's fully prepped in his suit, rations and whatnot. He followed the man until both of them had reached the Ready Room. Now all has to do is walk in.

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Posted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 22:30:58
*Before strange knew what was going on, he was pressing a button on his helmet approximately over his ear. He had set up this button to be an immediate and direct line of communication to the Brigadier, Colonel Rhea, and Lieutenant Bilden the Engineer. He spoke before he could really think about what he was saying. *

Brigadier! There is a ship! An earther ship coming across the sea! Headed for the island, coming from the north!

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Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 00:28:24
"Understood, Professor. I'm receiving similar reports from the surveillance teams. You know more about Earthers than anyone here, Professor. Does it appear to be hostile?"

Colonel Rhea had to put the Sergeant Major on hold to talk about it to the Professor.

"We have strict orders not to attack the Earthers until they show hostility. I am about to send the Galactic research message telling them that this island is off-limits due to Galactic research. Hopefully, this will make them turn back. Anything else you feel I should do, Professor?"

While speaking to the Professor, he also had ordered to begin raising the research standard, and waited to begin broadcasting the message, in each of the several remaining Earth languages, then repeat all in a loop.

"This island has been designated by the Galactic Council, and approved by the leaders of Earth for historical research, in accordance with Galactic Treaty. This is because it is believed that the knowledge contained here will effect all descendants of humanity. You are not authorised to approach. Please stand down, and no harm will come to you. Trained scientists are conducting research here, fully approved by the Galactic Council. You are not authorised to approach. Aggression will be met with deadly force. Turn back now, for your own safety!"

The message would repeat 5 more times, then stop, the frequency channel open, just in case the Earthers chose to respond on the same frequency as the original message, as is normally the case.



Last Edited: Fri Nov 15, 2013 03:35:22
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Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 01:44:28
I don't know what else we could do. Send the message, I suppose. *Strange said this with a worried shrug. *



*When the message was sent, the earthers did not immediately respond. Neither did their boat turn or slow down. Instead, there was a sixty second burst of static on all channels.

It was certain that this was a signal of some sort.

After this signal was sent, a short wave radio broadcast reached the martian communication devices. *

"Spacer Fascist, Leave the Earth at once. Cease all activities on that mountain. You do not understand what you do. This message is given with the authority of the Commonwealth of Free Earthmen. A signal has already been sent, and our forces are on their way as we speak. Head us and leave at once. "


*Strange gulped, and touched his finger to his helmet again. *

Colonel, while their is a chance they are bluffing, the Commonwealth is a relatively powerful force amongst the Earthers. I do not know if they have the capability to stop us, and I think we understand what we are doing better than they do, but we should take this seriously.

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Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 04:22:48
Colonel Rhea decided that this was too much. He was not the negotiator. Ask Colonel Rhea, and he would put one of those tactical missiles through the hull of the approaching ship. To him, the only good Earther was a dead Earther.


Brigadier awoke to 4 1/2 hours of sleep. "That will have to do," she thinks as the Colonel briefs her quickly about the ship and its message.


Mai Juno knew she hadn't much time. She contacted the ship. "This is Brigadier Mai Juno of the Martian Special Task Force. Be advised that, as is our right, Martian Law has been declared on this historical site. You have had time enough to explore this mountain, to uncover the truth of what it holds. You chose not to exercise this scholarly endeavour. Earth history is Martian history, as we share a common heritage. We act in accordance with Galactic Treaty. Your words are a declaration of war against the Red Planet. We have a right to our history. Please, stand down. This is not a military operation, but a scholarly one. We seek only information and historical data. We fly the Galactic Research standard. Turn back and you will not be harmed. The possibility of war may yet be avoided. We are open to any information you have as to the mountain and its contents. Please, let us avoid the shedding of Earther blood this day."

That last sentence was an honest mistake. The term "Earther", although very commonly used on Mars, is considered an insult towards the people who stayed on the planet after the Galactic Migration. It basically implies that they were so entranced with the idea that life began on Earth, that they were too stupid to see that life on Earth was ending, the toxic content too great, the mutagens too horrendous, the quality of life far to poor to justify reproduction.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Bilden reports back to the Colonel, "Even working at top speed, I will need at least an hour before the sensors can fire and the drill will operate." That would put Leiutenant Bilden just over an hour ahead of the Brigadier's time schedule."

Colonel Rhea's reply to the Engineer was a simple, "Proceed."

Mai Juno exited the compound and began approaching the ship. As she passed Red, she tells him, "Wait here. I'll be back shortly. We shall begin your briefing as soon as I return."

She went as far as the edge of the island, and then stopped, waiting for another reply, ready to negotiate, prepared to send the Earth monkeys inside it straight to Davy Jones' locker, as it had once been called.

Last Edited: Fri Nov 15, 2013 04:41:26
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Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 05:29:41
*Strange cringed just a bit when the Brigadier used the phrase Earther to the earthers.

The earther's response was short and sweet, concise and elegant, overall it was simply inspired. Two puffs of smoke appeared on the deck of the Freighter. There was a wooshing sound, and two artillery shells smashed into the island. The first landing harmlessly a few hundred meters from the Hull of the ship. The second smashing into Survey Team two.

Strange was close enough to this blast to be very scared, but far enough away that he was unharmed. It had been more of a lucky shot than a good one, it had kill or injured most of the five man team, and the gear was more or less obliterated. Strange responded in the only way which he knew how. He pressed on his ear, and spoke into the mircophone. *

HOOLY SHIT KILL THEM! SHIT SHIT SHIT! THEY GOT THE ENGINEERS! SHIT!

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Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:57:17

Whatever The Brigador is doing has to be more important then sending out a ready man. Something must have happened. Red can't do anything to get in the way of the military and thier duties. As obidiently as a pamperred dog he waited until her return.



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Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 13:50:51
Mai Juno's response was immediate and precise. She'd been down this road before.

She whispered sweetly into her targeting computer, "tactical missile, target ship's engine."

The targeting computer immediately launched one of the sholder-mounted tactical missiles (the very same from the crate which had so unfortunately landed on the good Professor during their landing).

Maybe they had fired blindly and that was intended to be a warning shot, but a Martian casualty meant that war would be imminent.

As the ship's engine exploded, Mai Juno sent out an unsecured broad-band transmission.

"This is Brigadier Mai Juno Commander of the Special Task Force. An earth vessel has wantonly attacked and a peaceful research station. Martian casualties confirmed. Unless immediate reparations are offered, it will be understood as a deliberate attack upon the Sovereign Red Planet and that a state of war has been declared against Mars by the people of Earth. Destroy the enemy ship!"

This was what the soldiers stationed around the island had been waiting for. These were Martian Military Police in Earth Occupation Enforcers. Though the suits had never before been tested in live combat, they were quite effective, and with Juno herself leading the attack, morale was still high. These were soldiers, after all. They did not want to sit around and watch academics search for artefacts.

After deploying the missile, Mai Juno opened up with her laser side-arms, constructed into the battle-suit. She targeted the Earthers' weapons systems. It seemed no retaliatory striked were coming, but Juno kept firing, at wherever she thought she saw movement. Luckily with the strategic integrated capabilities of the BattleSuit, where she thought she saw movement there was, in fact, movement.

Juno used the Battle Suit's flight capability to "jump" to the Professor's location. As she did, she opened a secure transmission to the medic team, "Med-evac needed at engineering location, specifics to follow, standby."

She then switched her comm to the Professor, "Who got hit?"

Last Edited: Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:25:26
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Posted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 17:33:24
*Strange watched as the old rusted freighter began to sink. It was never intended as a military vessel, and one shot was more than enough to put it down.

Screams carried on the window, traveling across the choppy waters to the rocky island. When the Brigadier landed next to him, Strange spoke. *


They knew good and well that would happen. Yet, they still fired, it wasn't even a modern weapon, just some old shell thrower they found, probably 21st century level technology! Madmen, all of them. *He shook his head, and looked to the Brigadier. *

The shell hit right on the sensory array. *He gestured to a small crater filled with twisted metal debris, and burning plastic components. * The team was all around it assembling and programming. They didn't have a chance.

*The team had been thrown by the blast, some in pieces. Two were still alive, the others had just been too close to the blast for their suits to handle the forces. Both of the survivors were in varying stages of critical,with heavy bleeding from shrapnel, and thoroughly shellshocked. Limbs were still mostly attached though. Small miracles. *

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Fujiko

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Posted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 02:50:45
The med-evac team soon arrived to transport the two injured men away from the site, and back to medical.
They would survive, probably. Mai Juno seemed to remember something of a famous surgeon being aboard, though she hadn't come across him. She hadn't sought him out either, really though.

"Ok Professor, there's no time to try to build another unit, especially now that we're short 5 engineers. We will have to make due with two. The third location I will have to call in a seismic analysis by the large ship still orbiting the planet. I want those engineering personnel who were not injured in the blast to continue work on them," she said to those engineers who were beginning to return to the site.

"Professor Strange, come with me."

Brigadier Juno takes the Professor back to the Ready Room.

"Perhaps now isn't the right time for this. Perhaps it is."

Juno pauses for a moment. How to say this?

"The God-Emperor respects your work. He respects the manner by which you use your knowledge as a tool to advance your standing in the eyes of your colleagues. *Ahem* Scientists and academics do not write treaties, Professor. Politicians and soldiers write them. Often, those two groups contain.. well, idiots.

So why bring an historian on an archaeological mission? No, nobody has specifically told me, but I think I know what Our Imperial Genius was going for.

Basically, there is a loophole in the Galactic treaty, which states we have the right to declare Martian Law on the Earth over small areas of historical interest, for basically the same reason I told the Earthers. We Martians did originate from Earth, so Earth History prior to the point of the Galactic Migration and the Colonisation of Mars is rightfully ours as well.

As you know, Earthers have not made significant academic achievements in many, many moons. They are too busy fighting amongst themselves, fighting the mutant creatures popping up all around them, and looking for basic things like food and reasonably clean water.

However, the way the treaty was written, this applies to historical sites and "of historical significance". Therefore, since the writers of the treaty, being oblivious to the academically understood difference between the study of history and archaeology wrote it that way, probably thinking them to be the same.

As an historian, your prominence in this mission makes YOU mission-critical because YOU are the reason our actions are legal, from a Galactic Law perspective.

As Commanding Officer, yes, I have had access to personal information about everyone on this mission.
I know more about everyone on this ship than I'd rather. For example, our ship psychiatrist, Dr. Smith was assigned here because there are no children on board. Well, one, but as that one is a colleague, Smith shouldn't, well, never mind about that.

Until such time as we have explored the mountain, found what it does or does not contain, and transport it back safely to Mars, we are researchers aboard the Deimos Historical Research station. Why would you care? I'm about to tell you.

God-emperor Qwath Von Pelorat may be considered generous by many, and demanding by others. He asks quite a bit, but is similarly generous to those who do well. Unfortunately, much of the academic knowledge of the ancients is considered Classified. It has been forbidden through the years, to suppress.. undesirable ideological movements that could potentially be inspired by the controlled materials.

Like most academics, I'm sure you feel the desire, perhaps even perceive a need to be exempt from such restrictions. I'm sure of this because you have applied for access to them on several occasions, although, much like the rest of your colleagues, you have been repeatedly and consistently denied.

However, that has changed when you accepted this mission. In exchange for your service here, the God-Emperor has authorised me to present you with this."

She produces a small card, the size of a business card. It is an old-fashioned swipe-card, rarely used anymore. It bears the name Professor Strange, and grants access to the Repository, where "potentially dangerous" information is held. Only a select few are allowed access. Like everything else on Mars, access is either earned or "need-to-know".

In the Professor's case, it was a bit of both.

"As you know, God-emperor Qwath Von Pelorat is the most well-educated man on Mars, partially because of his access to both the Martian Library of State and the Repository. He himself has put some classified materials related to Earth and this mission on this computer, and I now need you to review it thoroughly."

Mai Juno removes a small panel, enters her military access code into a keypad, another panel opens and she removes a small laptop-style computer.

"And so the question remains, why you? We need your skills in negotiating with the Earthers. I've called them Earthers all my life. Its all I've heard, its all I know, to me, its what they are. Regrettably, it would seem that the term insults them, probably because they do not want to take responsibility for their ancestors' idiocy for staying on this doomed rock after they'd already polluted it and tapped its resources past the point of this being a reasonable abode. *ahem*"

Mai Juno was going off topic. She needed to re-focus.

"Earth governments do not want war with Mars. That would be like us kicking someone after already having broken both their elbows and kneecaps. The ship that brought us here is doing the legal things necessary to make Earth's Government protect our Historical Research station here. They want to arrange a diplomatic meeting between their Board of Inquiry and our head researcher. That would be you. Should this diplomacy come to pass, it would be in our best interest to have done what would be necessary to pass said inquiry."

Mai Juno powers on the small computer, filled with data from the Repository, which the God-Emperor thinks might either interest the professor, or help him convince the Earthers.

"You are on this mission, Professor Strange, because your modus operandi is just what we need from a diplomatic standpoint. Our actions here ARE perfectly legal. We are out-manoeuvring the Earhters, as we always have. They never bothered to legally register a request to research this mountain. We, as Martians, have that right. We are taking it. First."

Mai Juno takes another pause.

"Professor, use any book, any set of notes, any scholarly thesis or dissertation that you like. The unclassified stuff is on the main computer. You must prepare to use this information in your standard way, to convince the Earthers that we are performing historical research here at this 'research station'. Not only will they be unable to attack us, any 'historical artefact' that we might encounter.. becomes property of Mars, because WE, not the Earthers, have discovered it."

Brigadier Juno finishes off by saying, "Professor, do what you do best. Make a presentation so lengthy, so stilted, with enough confusing academic cross-references that it will bore the Earthers into submission, such that even an hundred Earth scholars would give up trying to counter it. It is the only way we will win such an encounter. Legally, we are correct. Realistically, the Earthers will do everything in their power to prevent us from conquering their superstition and digging up their 'sacred mountain'. I'm not sure how successful Martian attempts at diplomacy will be. On the one hand digging up the sacred mountain, removing its contents and taking it back to Mars, on the other, being destroyed by Martian forces for violating the Galactic treaty. In any event, you must be prepared to argue our justification for this research to what the Earthers call their "scholars", which are probably politicians, truth be told. Contact me when you are satisfied with your state of preparedness. Otherwise, take as long as you need. Do you have any questions for me?"

Last Edited: Sat Nov 16, 2013 02:52:41
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Posted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 04:17:50
*As they were back inside, strange removed his helmet, and stared into the Brigadier's eyes. *

Well, that is certainly a plan, and I'll go through with it, but I don't think it'll help brigadier. The Earthers don't operate like we do Ma'am. The commonwealth will negotiate with us, but if we declare war or scare them away, Earthers are still going to come. They aren't organized like we are, from my understanding of the situation, we aren't going to be fighting a military in any real sense, they can't afford to actually send troops up here when they have a revolution every ten years or so.

No ma'am, what we are going to be dealing with are fanatics, like the crazies on that ship. They know we can kill them, and they are fine with that. They'll still fight, and they'll still die trying to keep us out of the mountain no matter what the God-Emperor, the Commonwealth, or any law says. What we are doing here is akin to walking into the Grand Imperial Cathedral and digging up the floor to exhume the First Emperor, a large section of earth's population literally believes that a god, demon, whatever lives under that mountain *he said, gesturing out the window towards the looming peak.*

In my humble opinion, Brigadier, we need to get those surveys, get drilling, and get the hell out, if you'll pardon my spacer.

*Strange paused for a moment, and swallowed. *

That all being said, I will say two more things. The first is that I still want that card very very badly. *A hunger appeared in the academic's eyes, and then faded away when he resumed speaking. *

The second is that I will speak to any future earthers that arrive, I know enough about them that I can try to talk them down. That being said, we are still going to be dealing with fanatics, so whatever they say, they are dangerous.



*Strange seemed to finish, then rather sheepishly added a final statement. * I am sorry I did not tell you these things earlier, Ma'am, it never occurred in my mind that people wouldn't know. I am too used to dealing with other historians. I will attempt to be more forward with what I know of our situation here in the future.

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Posted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 02:12:40
Brigadier Juno laughed a bit at the Professor's words. "Professor, I would use far stronger language than that if it would get me off this rock!" Mai Juno never made any secret that she did not want to go to Earth.

"I concur. We don't have time to sit about and argue or negotiate with fanatics. They only understand one thing, that being deadly force. From the looks of things, they declared war on us, by attacking the Engineers. Feel free to attempt to negotiate with them, but if they get within firing range, from this point forward the sentry Enforcers will attack on sight. Hold that thought..."

Brigadier Juno then contacts the Destroyer. A liaison was on standby, constantly monitoring for transmissions from the surface team. "This is Brigadier Juno, commanding. Be advised that we have suffered light casualties from an unprovoked attack initiated by a rogue Earth ship. This could be interpreted as a declaration of war, but I do not want to make the situation bigger than it is. Be advised that Earth vessels and craft approaching the Deimos research station will be considered hostile and responded to as hostile forces intent on destroying the research station and/or preventing mission accomplishment. They will be killed on sight, excepting if I am contacted prior to arrival. Give me advance notice in the event of a diplomatic success, and the Earthers are sending a diplomatic envoy, along with the appropriate frequency to contact them. This is mandatory in accordance with the common operating procedure relating to hostilities in decentralised territories. Due to the nature of the attack, I must request a seismic scan at grid coordinates 65, 167 to make up for the loss of three engineers, injury of two others and the destruction of one of the three surface seismic scanners. Juno out."

Mai Juno turns back to address the Professor. "This is for the best. We don't have time to negotiate with fanatical Earthers. I will be contacted prior to approach if the diplomatic/scientific inquiry team from Earth manages to be sent. Otherwise, we shoot on sight. I don't see any reason to attempt civil diplomacy with hostiles who will attack our station unprovoked."

Mai Juno knew perfectly well that she had provoked them by use of the term, but the rules of engagement do not consider such minor insults as an act of war, whereas firing on the station clearly is an act of war, particularly since it resulted in loss of Martian life and property.

The Brigadier sets the card on the table, next to the laptop DRU (Data Retrieval Unit). She then takes a military-issue pen and countersigns her name to a piece of paper. The paper is an official recognition of Professor Strange, a standard form letter, but signed by God-emperor Qwath Von Pelorat's own hand.

"In recognition of his meritorious service to The Holy Red Planet Mars, it is my privilege to grant access to the Martian Repository to Professor Strange. It is given with the understanding that it is to be used to advance the academic progress of the Martian people. Academic works citing works assigned to the Repository will themselves be considered classified, and also stored in the Repository. A small stipend is paid to authors of works or publications assigned to the Repository, as well as the authors of works assigned to the Repository used as references by other authors in works accepted by the Repository. You are now a member of an elite group of scholars, with a special trust relationship with the Martian Government. Your discretion with use of materials and information contained in the Repository are mandatory. Under no circumstances will such information be shared with someone who does not have access. If provided for that purpose, the information may be used at your discretion on off-world diplomatic assignments. By my order, God-emperor Qwath Von Pelorat Countersigned, Brigadier Mai Juno, Commander, Deimos Research Station" The paper was affixed with the golden seal of the Martian Government, with the date stamped into the seal. The date was about 2 weeks ago, so this was all clearly planned well in advance.

Brigadier Juno reads the paper to the Professor, shakes his hand and places the paper on the table next to the card.

"Professor, if it will motivate you to complete this mission and survive to return to Mars, imagine the feeling of accomplishment that could come from casually mentioning to one of your colleagues, 'Later today I plan to stop by the Repository to clarify my understanding of the root causes of the Queeg Rebellion.'" (The Queeg rebellion was a highly classified incident. It was violently suppressed, but the reasons for it were never released to the public. Textbooks mention it in passing, and next to no details about it are given. To understand it in depth would require access to the Repository.)

Juno then prepares to return to the drill site. She will assist the engineers to make up for lost time. With her Doctorate in Military Science, she is more than qualified. Brigadier Juno could use the materials to build a fully functional tank, or even a small spacecraft if needed. She was just going to finish assembling the drill, so that the surviving and uninjured engineers could finish up with the two remaining seismic testers. Since the third location would be scanned by the Destroyer from space, it would have to be timed exactly. They had two hours remaining, and were back on Strange's original projected time schedule.

Just before she leaves the ready room, Juno tells the Professor, "You have your orders. Prepare the presentation, and contact me when you feel confident with it. I know as well as you that it will probably not be used, but we Martians make every effort to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Galactic law is on our side, and with Mars' premier historian making a presentation like that, the Earthers will have no choice but to either follow the law and let us complete the research without interference, or to reject law and to fall into a state of war. Neither outcome is probably desirable for Earth, as you indicated, but that's not our problem. We are simply lawfully exercising our right to peaceful historical research."

As she leaves the Ready Room for the drill site, she turns to Red. "Stone, come with me."

Last Edited: Sun Nov 17, 2013 02:14:52
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Posted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 03:32:33
Let me know as soon as you have the sensor data, please! *Strange called after the departing Brigadier. He then looked to the console, and shook his head. He was pretty certain the Earther's wouldn't negotiate. Not because of any wish for war, but because their governments went through upheavals every other Thursday. He'd prepare a presentation, but he did not expect to ever show it to anyone. The signal had already been sent, and he suspected that fanatics were loading up all across the globe, regardless of which nation they came from.

He gave a sigh, and set to work, typing the coordinates of the mountain into the search feature of the archive. *

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NeoLeaf
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Posted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 05:40:16

"Yes ma'am." Red replied.

hurriedly he approached the brigator and would follow at any pace.

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Fujiko

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Posted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 00:26:43
Mai Juno hurries to the drill site. She takes the engineers off the drill project and splits them between the two remaining seismic surveyors. Mai Juno herself prepares the drill. With her massive strength, and technical skill, she finishes quickly, all the while trying to brief Red Stone on his mission.

"Red, cover the Engineers. There will be no more incidents. If you need backup, contact me directly."

The BattleSuit protected MaiJuno. Honestly, she wished they had fired at her instead of the engineers.

Mai Juno knows that the BattleSuit computer has highly integrated systems which monitor her surroundings. In emergency situations, it can enact defensive manoeuvres. Its computer can launch a counter-attack, a defensive manoeuvre such as throwing up a force-field, or even, if the situation required it, it could put Mai Juno herself into a state of near-death, such that she would not be perceived to be alive unless removed from the BattleSuit.

Why, then, did the BattleSuit not counter the attack against the Engineers?

That is a good question, and the answer lies in the fact that the computer systems are fully integrated into Mai Juno's own nervous system and neural networks. It could to those things to protect Mai Juno because Mai Juno is doing them herself, out of her own natural self-preservation instinct, her senses, strength and movement speed enhanced significantly at the nano-level.

Mai Juno was not able to retaliate the Earthers' attack because, quite honestly, the BattleSuit and Mai Juno both knew that it was not an immediate threat to Mai Juno and her BattleSuit. The self-preservation instinct did not kick in, and truth be told, Mai Juno, in the back of her mind, wanted to provoke the Earthers. She wanted to be able to shoot them on sight. She was daring them to attack, but had to accept it when they did.

Therefore Mai Juno's BattleSuit was quite unique, being at the height of the integration between man and machine at the nano level. It hasn't quite caught on with the rest of the military, due to "ghost in the shell"- type concerns. Juno herself has none of these. The suit is a prototype. It was designed, and built (almost entirely) by Juno herself, as part of the Doctoral Thesis in Military Science. Perhaps this is why the entire BattleDome thing irked her. They had modified her design for profit. BattleDome was a farce. Nobody else wanted that degree of flesh-computer interaction. Despite the memory, processing, strength, endurance, skill, reaction time, predictive manoeuvring, and all around utter improvement, even the Martians, for the most part, rejected its use for themselves, all the while applauding Mai Juno for her amazing skill with it. As such, the fact that she would win was a foregone conclusion.

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Posted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 00:59:40
*While Strange tapped away at the little console, he was shocked to find there was very little information about the mountain. There were little tidbits of data, scraps which suggested a larger narrative, but there was no real meat to these resources. Mentions, hints, and clues....



While strange puzzled at forming a coherent story of the island, a prediction of his came to pass. All across the earth there were flurries of activities as more and more people heard about the martian desecration of the island. There was no official military units involved, but more than a few soldiers were deserting their units and taking their gear with the as more and more earthers began seeking transportation to the little island.


It was also at this time that something nearly magical happened. There was a tiny hiccup on board the destroyer's central navigation terminal.

It was not enough to send the destroyer crashing to the surface, but it was just enough to make the orbit of the ship not quite geosynchronous...*

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Posted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 01:53:43
Just as Mai Juno was finishing up preparing the drill, more bad news. "Brigadier, Juno, this is Captain Trip of the Destroyer. Be advised that a glitch in our navigation system has thrown us slightly off course, such that we are unable to comply with your request for a surface seismo-scan. Destroyer out."

Quite obviously, that was the last thing she wanted to hear.

"Professor, this is Mai Juno. I regret that we shall have to proceed in a different manner. We haven't the time to attempt to build a third sensor array. We shall just have to use the two we have and a bit of adjustment. I will take about 30 minutes to boost the array on both and place them on opposing sides of the mountain. They will then have to be transported and recalibrated to run a second scan. Therefore, we will scan North/South, reposition and scan East/West. Since we needn't wait for the ship to pass, we should be about 1 hour ahead of your initial projected timeframe, if all goes well. We should be able to begin the drilling operation about 1 hour before sunrise. I have an increased feeling that the signal sent by the freighter will draw more Earthers to our location. I don't wish to slow down your diplomatic project, but please use your knowledge of Earth customs and superstition to write a message to the approaching fanatical combatants, to be transmitted as a deterrent. Warn them that they will be shot on sight. Warn them that we have released their devil, and that they will be taken straightaway to Hell if they approach. Anything. Anything that you project will make them turn back. I trust your discretion, Professor. Resume diplomatic preparations after the transmission is being sent in the common Earth languages in a repeating arrangement. Sentry Earth Occupation Enforcers will shoot approaching Earthers on sight, as soon as they are in firing range. That is all."

Mai Juno did not particularly feel the need to use military radio protocol with a civilian. Why would she?

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Posted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 03:46:41
I understand Brigadier Juno, and will do my best. I can help with interpreting the scan data when you have it. I will try to get the message done around the same time the scans are done. Thank you.


*Strange turned off his comm link, and saved the half finished presentation to his suit's drive. It would be a nice souvenir when this was all over, he supposed. He opened up a new document, and began furiously typing, then stopped, deleted everything, and started over.

He would have to get this message just as perfect as he could.


And as he thought about that, he realized what he would need. A camera, and some voice alteration software...*

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Posted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 14:53:52

Red had arrived and stopped for a short introduction.

"Name's Red. The Brigadier ordered me to protect you guys." real simple and straight forward. He doesn't really understand exactly happened but it would seem that their lives are in danger. Priority is now to protect the engineers.

Red looked at his deformed arm. A grim expression grew on his face as a he realized the situation. How is he going to protect anyone if he is still inside his suit? Breaking the suit doesn't seem possible and it's too risky to even try to make an opening somewhere.

f**k!

Wait, this is a Earth Occupation Suit, doesn't it also have combat abilities? He also trained in cryo thanks to the help of the brigadier. He should be able to hold on his own against random missiles and a small infantry of hostile Earthers. The Earth Oriental Suit belonging to Red is unique in a few ways. For example: its size is enormous since Red himself above 6 feet ( Around double as tall as Red ), and has a slender-ish build with light weight nano armour to promote manueverability/flexability and have its wearer inside. Its arms change between three fingered "claws" for manipulating objects and to a kind of mini-gun. Located at the back of the suit are missiles and or flash missiles. The suit has serveral cameras that act as "eyes" around the torso area so that if the "head" went missing he wouldn't suffer from its design flaw.

Seems fit for the job. lets hope nothing bad happens.

Last Edited: Tue Nov 19, 2013 17:40:21
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Posted on Mon Nov 18, 2013 23:39:30
Colonel Rhea stops by the ready room. "Doing all-right in here, Professor?"

Colonel Rhea actually just wanted a beak from all the questions. He almost wished that the Earthers would come in droves so that he'd have some targets. Almost.

Like everyone else, more than anything else, he wants to get off this forsaken planet, and back to Mars.

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Posted on Tue Nov 19, 2013 00:59:22
*Strange has currently fiddling with the options on a microphone which he had attached to a console. He looked up beifly when the Colonel entered, then returned to fiddling with a small control panel. *

What would you say that an Earther sounds like, Colonel? Gritty? Gruff? Weak? Strong? They won't listen if we tell them what to do, with our high class martian accents and dialects. But if one of their own told them not to come, maybe they would listen.

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Posted on Tue Nov 19, 2013 20:34:57
"Thank you for the compliment, Professor, but I am just a soldier in His Holy Imperial Majesty's army. My personal opinion is that they sound as if their throats are coated with filthy Earth toxins, and their speech sounds to me almost like blowing into a bugle that has been dipped in sewage and then allowed to dry with filth inside it."

The Colonel considered that the Professor is not trained in Military Science, so he may not know how to best use all the equipment available to him there in the ready room.

"Professor, if you need someone who knows how to use it really well, there's a soldier I know who can use it better than I can. He's Special Forces, done some off-world exploration and recovery and is a communications expert. If anyone can show you how to use the equipment in here, he can. I'll try to find him and send him in."

Could the Colonel simply have used his communicator to contact him? Certainly. Did he want to? No. In the absence of combat, Colonel Rhea was merely using this as an excuse to do something, anything, rather than sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Meanwhile, Brigadier Juno asks Stone to remain where he is standing, takes over repairs of the other seismic scanner, and sends the engineers there to the one Red is guarding. She begins repairs on the one she is standing next to herself. They finish at about the same time. Now its all a matter of positioning.

"I will position and calibrate this scanner to the North. Red, cover the Engineers as they position and calibrate that unit to the South. Maximize the array. There's a chance it will be enough, so that we do not have to reposition and recalibrate for East/West."

Mai Juno then contacts the sentry units surrounding the mountain. "Expand protected area to just outside these coordinates," and gives the coordinates of both sensor array locations for North/South.

If they're lucky, they will be back on her schedule. More than likely, it will take an additional hour after the first array to reposition and re-run East/West. "Then again," Mai Juno thinks to herself, "Its about time something went right for us for once. Maybe this will be it."

As for that actually coming to pass, Mai Juno expected it about as much as return to ship for mission cancellation and immediate transport back to Mars. Missions like this are *never* just "called off".

Last Edited: Thu Nov 21, 2013 01:21:39
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Posted on Wed Nov 20, 2013 19:23:42

"Understood." Red spoke through his comms.

The 10 feet tall mecha began to move with the engineers, his belief is that he now has to stay/escort the engineers because he doesn't want to position himself farther away from them after that recent event.

"Alright guys, hop to it."

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Posted on Sat Nov 23, 2013 04:04:09
That sounds excellent Colonel. It certainly sounds better than trying to piece it together with what I know about sound systems.

*The professor said this with a shrug. He was not fully sure what he was doing, just trying to so his best. There was something about the brigadier that made him very much want to succeed. *

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Posted on Fri Dec 06, 2013 15:47:38
"Hello, Captain." said the small holographic projection to Brigadier Juno.

"Colonel," replied Brigadier Juno.

The Colonel was a very special simulation, brought about during her days in the Martian Military Academy.

When Mai Juno entered the Academy, she had nothing but her military background, a Baccalaureate in Military Science, her own determination, and an idea. Having just finished her degree in Military Science, she knew what she planned to pursue. She would continue her father's work. His idea was simple, but controversial, even now. He wanted to improve the Martian military via the near-seamless integration between man and machine.

Mai Juno's rank then was "Cadet". She seemed no different than any other cadet, excepting that Mai Juno was slightly younger, due to her head start in her studies (she had used credit by examination on about a year's worth of preparatory coursework, the maximum allowed), and therefore, she was a bit more clumsy than the other cadets.

Her performance, then, was fairly average during her first two weeks of Academy life. Her favourite teacher was Captain Fontaine. He taught her first class, Military Ethics. The class was easy and fun for Mai. She had been raised in a military family, and it was all she knew. She had most of the answers already, and that class was her time to shine. Soon, Captain Fontaine was asking the class, "Does anyone excepting Juno know.." before asking them questions.

Normally, cadets don't gain rank (Second Lieutenant then First Lieutenant then Captain) until they complete the Academy. Sometimes, however, soldiers with merit can earn battlefield promotions. Occasionally, battlefield promotions are awarded during a training exercise. Some things Mai Juno wasn't told. That was one.

Those first days were mostly rigorous assessments. All kinds of assessments, physical, mental, academic, and even emotional. Mai Juno felt very average during this assessment process. Then something unexpected happened. They were deployed, her entire home-room class.

Martian soldiers are always ready for combat, or so says the Army. Ensigns are not excluded. Recruits are not excluded. You need to be in the hospital to be considered not ready. This exercise, however was not "real" combat. As is Martian military custom, however, that was not considered "need to know" so these Ensigns were not told this. Her father didn't warn her about the Academy, so no advantage for Juno there.

This "deployment" was an elaborate simulation. It was, in fact, a recreation of one of the biggest failures in the history of the Martian Army. It so infuriated the God-Emperor that it was ordered that it will NEVER again be repeated in a live environment. It ended up being one of the simulations used to separate out the leaders. This exercise was different. It was, for all intents and purposes, live combat. As such, this was one of the very few training simulations for which field promotions are given.

The class was sent to a large asteroid on which a workstation was set up. The simulation was such that the class believed that they were really sent. They were issued live weapons. They were issued working exo-suits or "exo's" as they were called. These did not have the integrated weaponry or limited flight capabilities of the BattleSuit. They display rank on an LED display. However, ensign does not have a rank insignia in the Martian Army, so the LED was easily overlooked, as it was dark. These were specially designed exo-suits, however. How they were special, only Mai Juno was to discover.

In the actual, historical mission, a small team about the size of Juno's class, made up of mosly Ensigns, but one Captain, and one Liutenant were also sent with these instructions:

Enemy has stationed a number of drones in standby mode on the asteroid. These drones had full flight capabilities and high-powered weaponry. The mission was to assemble a weapon capable of destroying, not the weapons, but the probe that would activate the drones. An engineering workstation broke away from the landing craft, and landed on the planet. Ensigns were given instructions to standby. They and the Lieutenant were charged with engaging the drones in the event that they were activated.

The Lieutenant stayed with the Ensigns. It was the Captain's job to find the workstation, assemble the weapon, and accomplish the mission by destroying the incoming probe before it got into range of activating the drones.

In the historical mission, the Captain had died of a heart attack during touchdown, but as he was in a separate area designed for the Senior Officer, nobody even noticed. They deployed, covered the drones, and waited. Meanwhile the Captain sat there, freshly dead, with no hope of assembling the weapon.

The weapon was called the X9 Anti-probe. It was basically a big shoulder-mounted particle cannon. It was still experimental, so only a Captain or higher was authorised to assemble or use one. A command comm terminal was attached to the workstation. It was only to be used in a dire emergency that would effect mission success. It linked directly to the Brigadier in charge of the operation, and this Brigadier was known not to like being bothered.

So, they deployed and assembled just out of sensor range to the drones and trained their weapons on their location. They just waited. There was no sign of the Captain. After an hour, Mai Juno couldn't take it any more.

"Lieutenant, Ensign Mai Juno requesting permission to break formation and find the Captain."

In the historical mission, the First Lieutenant was an enemy double-agent. He had "arranged" the Captain's unfortunate heart attack. He kept the Ensigns there, knowing that the drones would obliterate them.

This simulation was no different.

"Ensign, you insolent little bitch! You think because your father is a Colonel that you have legacy command authority? You don't. But, permission granted. Go save the mission, little miss hero. If you don't, if you're wrong, I'll write a report that will get you drummed out of this Martian's army! Dismissed!"

Juno returned to the ship. She tried to radio the Captain, with no response. She reached the sealed door to the Captain's quarters. It was still sealed. She did not have the rank to open it. She knocked. No response. She knew it was pointless. The Captain must be dead. The mission's success depended on the assembly and use of the X-9. Fortunately, Mai Juno was somewhat of a prodigy in the field of Military Science. She did what she knew she had to do. She headed for the Engineering station.

When she arrived the Captain was not there. She hesitated for just a moment. There was no choice. It couldn't be helped. She had to use the command comm terminal. The moment she pushed the button, the screen lit up. Within seconds, there was the Brigadier. He looked rather cross.

"Ensign, what the hell are you doing? You should be in formation with the others. Where is the Captain? If I am to be contacted, the Captain should be the one to do it, not you!"

"Brigadier, the Captain is unresponsive and presumed dead. Request permission to assemble the X-9 and complete this mission successfully."

The Brigadier scowled. But, not being able to see the Captain, and being able to verify that the X-9 workstation had not been activated, the Brigadier responded thus:

"Fine. exo-suit #295279 diagnostic on Ensign Juno. Report to me her capability to assemble and use the X-9 anti-probe."

Mai Juno felt as if her entire body was being engulfed in electric shock. It was rather painful.

"Capability confirmed, Brigadier." responded the exo."

"Ensign Juno, you are hereby given a battlefield promotion to the rank of Captain. Build the X-9 anti-probe, destroy the probe and complete the mission. I will deal with the Lieutenant personally. If the Captain never left the ship, that was his responsibility. Make no mention of it to him, Captain. That's an order. Brigadier Helmsworth out." The screen went dark.

The LED on Mai Juno's exo immediately displayed Captain's bars. The Engineering terminal then activated, and a tiny, faceless hologram of a Colonel appeared. It was not supposed to be there. The program had been written on a lark by one of the IT nerds. He wrote it as a tech assistant, because the official one was inefficient. This simulation used the manufacturer's abridged diagnostics and instructions, which is to say that it used the efficient steps of the designer of the weapon, rather than the lengthy one used by official military design. Why a Colonel, and why did it activate? Normally the tech assistant was a fellow Captain. The idea was that they should work together. But, as a simulation cannot receive a battlefield promotion, she technically would have outranked it, so only the Colonel was left to activate. They were re-vamping the tech assistants, and nobody had taken the same course of action as Mai Juno on this simulation in years.

Mai Juno was technically proficient. With the tech assistant's guidance he had the X-9 assembled in a short time, but just before completion, she told the faceless tech assistant, being as it was an anomaly, "Tech assistant, transmit your raw source code to my datapad."

It complied. It was written as a joke (almost). It had no security protocol.

Mai Juno ran to the contact point, where the Captain was meant to stand. She locked the sensor array onto the incoming probe, which was almost in range, and when the X9 fired, the probe had just reached the thin atmosphere surrounding the large asteroid. It exploded like a fireworks display.

And so it was that Captain Juno, though she was still basically an Ensign for training purposes (as she still had yet to complete all the required coursework), was allowed to sit at the Captains' table at meals. She was saluted by the Ensigns and Lieutenants, and she technically outranked other Captains who had received their promotion through administrative process. Unfortunately, for Captain Fontaine, he had to be reassigned. One of his now students outranked him, and that was a no-go. The class was picked up by Lieutenant Major Balzak.

When she got home, she called her father, rather, she tried. Instead, when she entered her code to identify who she was to the phone's messaging system, she got a recorded message from him. He advised her that if she was hearing this message, he must be dead. It gave her instructions as to how to download his memories and personality index. He had been working on a fully simulated version on himself. It was his project. He had it almost completed. When she downloaded it, however, she had forgotten to partition the tech assistant. The programs somehow meshed, giving her father's face and personality to the tech assistant. Mai Juno modified the program slightly. It was still a program. She made it so that he would always be her Colonel, and that it would only ever recognise her as a Captain. That way, if she was ever promoted to Brigadier, he wouldn't leave her forever. Martian ranks were funny that way.

With the Colonel's help, Mai Juno finished assembling and calibrating the one seismic scanner, while Red covered the engineers as they finished the second. At her command they started the North-South scan. The results would take several minutes.

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Posted on Wed Dec 11, 2013 03:13:46
Johnny Live was a normal, average guy, in his mid twenties, having the second near-to the crappiest day in quite a short while. In fact, he didnt have such a crappy day since he was for two years until only recently salvaging debris just off of Pluto. Right now, though, he was of the opinion that no matter what he was doing, there was always going to be some sort of other populace just ruining his day. If it isnt a gang of spacepirates who hate to have their messes cleaned up, it just has to be some damned Earthers hating to have their old unused Emperor-interested crap dug up. Screw me once, screw me twice...

Of course, Johnny wasnt one to speak up that quickly. He was quiet. Calculated. Humble. Observant, and most of all, knocked-the-hell-out when they crashed on the Earth surface. The second time in little over a month that hed had a very, very bad landing, knocked his noggin and only came to after most of the work hard already finished. A shame, and yet a miracle hed survived. If it wasnt for that suit, or the weight of the communications gear he was packing , hed probably have been flung out of the wreckage at a much larger height.
Well. At least this time he didnt crash his burning, screaming wreck into a patrolling Martian frigate with six firing pirate pods on his tail. No wonder the God Emperor sent him on a suicide run to the least hospitable place of the solar system with the sole exception of the moon.

He came to with a start, yet lacked the surprise. He had served a short career in the Special Forces unit, rising to a Lieutenant as he was discharged and hid from public eye on a salvaging job half across the solar system.
He didnt have it easy then again, no one on this mission would have it easy.

Waking up from a black-out was nothing new. Seeing blurred bodyshapes move to his sudden movement didnt either. He recognised some of the faces, and he sure as hell recognised the uniforms.

His brief moment of respite was interrupted. A colonel burst in with orders, and he instinctively jumped to his feet and struck a pose of attention.


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