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Pakkrat

Net-7 News Lead Anchors [N7LA]
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Everything posted by Pakkrat

  1. Wow. That totally blows me out of the market too. I am in pee-wee league compared to this level of talent. Some of my simpler art is in the Roleplaying section for Character Bios. But this - this just eats my lunch. Very marketable artist. Keep up good work and enjoy what you do. From the Graphics desk at Saturn sector's NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat
  2. Amendment: February 13, 2015 As of this post, the Progen Sentinel has been given the Skill: Build Ammunition. This now, at least in my opinion, makes the Sentinel the most self-sufficient and secure Explorer class in the game. Building 200% ammunition as one rises through overall levels is that much more secure and safe to do now that targets of the Progen Sentinel will die all the faster. This inherent weakness (aside from max Engine Tech VIII) of the class has been eradicated. There should now be zero reason why a Sentinel can't be a explorer class you can do without in a Raid or other complex target's group. So, now powerlevelling is even easier with the Progen Sentinel. Dust off yours from the shelf today! The Sabine Order needs you! From the esteemed halls of Porvenir Mons, this is the Pakkrat.
  3. I too have a weapons and ammo builder. While I think the intent and good feels behind this new skill for Progen Sentinel and the Terran Scout is nice, I have to disagree, gently, with it. Part of the challenge and inter-class commerce that was Earth & Beyond came from the fact that the Explorers did not build weapons. That has now been whittled. You don't have to change it back. But neither do I have to agree with this move. To me and for me, it belittles the classes and the game. I will not be Calling Forward any of my points to re-allocate them towards this new skill. I'd rather have something else in its place. From the drydock hangar at Saturn sector's NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat.
  4. Pakkrat

    Xanax

         My clone brother enjoys watching the archived holovids and flatscreen productions of humanity's past.  I cannot bring myself to enjoy them.  Being a Versatile, I have too scientific a mind to settle into a disbelief that overcomes the viewer when watching such stories of action, drama, science, and other genres.  I have been around far too much of the real thing to not sit still for the time it takes to succumb to the slight errors of logic and facts that writers of such productions make and use to take advantage of the viewer's ignorance.  My clone brother, Pakkrateus, a Privateer of the Collegia Segmentata, is somehow able to turn off his brain and let imagination take over.  I have no such luxury.  Reality is far too real to play with such flights of fancy.  Step inside the bridge of my Sentinel-class vessel and you will see what such viewers would label "science fiction".  Only when that morass of Ancient, alien, cybernetic, and other descriptors is experienced on a daily basis will you find such archived stories falling short of reality.        My clone brother, younger in incept date, but older in appearance, would by my estimate be stunned and horrified by the sights of the next chamber that I entered cautiously.  The coated chamber held tanks of some fluid.  The amberglass was not amber, but rather some transparent bio-polymer amber in color as I held up my chemical light to peer in each cylindrical tank.  Inside each was a specimen of fauna found in known space as humanity too had discovered.  As a Versatile, I too had been to laboratories that held similar contained examples.  This chitinous area was a biological version of the labs one might find at Arx Prima, "The Place of Death", or in the cloning facilities of Arx Spartoi "The Place of Life" in Progen space.  When passing through those facilities as a member of the Sabine Order, one becomes numbed to the preserved corpses or cloned bodies soon to live via the Call Forward.  Finally, discovering a section of this large chamber to hold human corpses, I did not immediately reel in revulsion.  My Privateer brother would have had a more visceral reaction to this containment chamber as alien as it was.  We have the same genetics but were educated differently, my brother and I.      I beheld men and women of Terran and Jenquai race.  Each single human was deceased and floating gently in some alien preservation liquid gel.  Each had been subjected to vivisection to display internal organs, bone structures, and various human biological systems.  I have to admit I was taken aback a little at the sight of an opened Terran woman who was connected by an umbilical to an unborn fetus floating adjacent to her in the same tank.  This was known to me as a Sabine, we are taught the reproductive process even though we Progen do not, except under extreme need, reproduce 'naturally', (as the Terrans will say).  Some specimens were still half-dressed in half-eaten spacesuits, perhaps to show the observer of humanity that our outer coverings were not biological, but utilitarian. I gently bypassed each dead human.  That is, until I discovered deceased Progen in tanks.  Armor and cybernetic systems still worn, the Warriors were preserved perfectly, some with their gene-map canisters still onboard their suits.  These were Progen were need of the First Charge, the duty of the Sabine Reclaimers to find and return gene-maps to the Genetic Repository for storage or to be given new life via the Call Forward.  Here, the fallen Progen waited until found.  Had I not come here under Xanax' testimony, these Progen might never see new iterations.  I paused to consider how to acquire the fallen ones' canisters.       Then the skittering of many, tiny legs caused me to whirl about with my chemical light held high and my Athanor Heavy Pistol leveled.  In the shadows some distance, whatever it was moved fast and across the chitinous floor.
  5. If you enjoyed what I just wrote above enough to dig out soda and popcorn, then you might want to go and immerse yourself further in the Roleplaying sub-Forum where I and a few others have posted short stories and novels of fan fiction set in the Earth & Beyond universe.  Each author has something to give.  Then if you are so bold, write a bio for your 'Main' and post it in the Bios thread.  This will give you something to do for a while.   From the Newsdesk at NET-7 SOL in Saturn sector, this is the Pakkrat.
  6. I gave this fair thought. Really. This would again convince the Devs I was smoking something illegal or newly-legal but here's my story-based idea. Implementing such would be far out of my technical expertise. I'm just a rat. Being white ain't easy. Here goes: Rather than 'instance' zones that are activated by a single pilot or group, how about a quantum entangled sector that is reachable randomly by one of the now-famous InfinitGate glitches. Here's how the story goes. Your toon is travelling along some well-used route, minding their own business. The pull up to an InfinitiCorp brand InfinitiGate, (not Ancient nor some sector slide gate or natural wormhole or weft). All seems well when you press the Gating button...... And while your ship is approaching the spinning and opening, hexagonal rings, a Gate Malfunction occurs! Suddenly the toon is trapped in Gating to somewhere unintended! Alarms and klaxons start hammering into the eardrums. Lights flash, graphics happen, shields buckle and armor plates rattle. When space returns to normal, the pilot's navigation and science sensors determine that due to an erratic quantum entanglement, the ship has been shunted to a parallel sector instead of the intended one. All the way out to maximum Scan range, space seems similar to the desired sector. Except that its inhabitants are not the usual mobs of the 'real' sector. Something, some attribute of this new sector is inverted, anti-spin, or otherwise out of sync with the galaxy one is used to. The planetary bodies are there. The nav bouys seem present. Look, there's the next one in the same place. But all the mobs of this parallel sector are different. Fields of asteroids are not in their known positions - or they have different ore levels. This is all wrong! We're not in Kansas anymore, TotoAI. Suddenly there is a completely new sector for exploring, one with all new and undiscovered objects to gain Explore XP from. But how to get back to an un-entangled space? That is where Missions to escape this parallel sector begin.... From the Writers' Desk at NET-7 SOL in Saturn sector, this is the Pakkrat.
  7. Massively Mulitiplayer Online Role-playing Galaxy This is what Earth & Beyond was originally labeled. If you need interaction so badly, N, why don't you use the /rp channel for all your in-character relations? I have seen quite a few players join me there, either to respond to my /n7news reports or to generally razz my poor,Progen-centric journalism. Even Zona Mason hates me. Meh. There is plenty enough interaction on [New Players], [General] (I know because I comment there often). I even advertise the Call Forward (Meet the new you!) in the [Market] channel. So many players nowadays have forgotten the R in MMORPG. Sad. But come interact with me in the above channels if you crave interaction. Be advised that other, "grizzled pilots", will look at you funny for talking to a rat. I uphold the current status quo having been given the means to Role-play with worthy, characterful pilots. Too bad the rest just want to Win. From the Situation Room aboard NET-7 SOL in Saturn sector, this is the Pakkrat.
  8. Notice, dear readers how little the above players mention Content and missions backed their meteoric rise to OL 150. Are there any, if at all, mission hounds out there who have completed every mission their race/class can? Powerlevellers must not like the world they level-up in. From the writer's desk at NET-7 SOL in Saturn sector, this is the Pakkrat.
  9. Amah says:  No No/Yes No No. Go back.  It is not safe here.     Live from Roc, Deneb, this is the Pakkrat.
  10. SATURN - (11/17/2014) The galactic census is healthy, says the Glenn Commission in cooperation with its neighbor, NET-7 SOL.  The two Factions have worked together to take as accurate as possible count of the free-ranging pilots of all three races of humanity, the philosopher-scientist Jenquai, the genetically-perfected Progen and the capitalist trader Terrans.  While the registered population is at an all time high, reports the census, active flights to and from stations is relatively low.   "Most pilots have set down roots and have real lives and real jobs as opposed to gallivanting about space and hunting space fauna and pirates," says Progen and wife Cassiopeia de Grey, spouse to Gamma Sulani Terran Loric de Grey.  "The galaxy's traffic is lower even as registered citizens continue to climb and that is heartening for future colonization," she adds.   With new features such a the Public Raid Sector, a pay for entry zone adjacent to Saturn sector, the re-vamped timed and triggered raids and signal stabilization preventing visits to Megan or real life; pilots are settling into an 'endgame' status as each profession reaches that vaunted Overall License 150.  Still, most pilots choose to stick around and help other, newer pilots.   "This community has been the best I've returned to in a long time," says one pilot.  Pilots are finding the nostalgic and camaraderie they knew from just over a decade ago.  The return or 'Emulation' has been a new take on an old favorite.   Story Content, challenging mission lines, new theme park interludes, holiday events, Guilds and guild events, all are made possible by Staff and by pilots working together to root out Emulation bugs, system imperfections, travel hazards, sector overpopulation and space-time-story continuity errors.     Guild diplomacy has met a milestone with the use of VoIP comm channels that now allow them to meet and set up new innovations such as weekly raid rotations.  With a representative of the pilots - the Player Advocate - pilots have a voice of feedback to Staff who meet weekly without fail to address issues brought to them by the elected Advocate.  Communication across the server continues to improve with the new additions of Private Channels, Roleplay channel and the latest in masercom relay communications - Net-7 News to bring pilots the latest in clues, news and helpful hints.   With these new improvements to the Earth & Beyond Emulator, pilots continue to swell the census of the Sunrise galaxy.   From the Census Department on board NET-7 SOL in Saturn Sector, this is the Pakkrat.
  11. (11/04/2013) SATURN - Galactic Manager Blacklung is overseeing the grand opening of Saturn sector's new egress gate to a Public Raid Sector.  Pilots are now testing the developed sector's various raid instances such as The Controller, Kuei Station, the Ascendant Voltoi, and a few others.  Initial testing by this Reporter during a Controller raid yielded very low lag as all pilots were able to make use of previously forbidden Skills such as Shield Inversion.  With but one raid active and only twelve pilots present in the sector, none were dropped to Megan or worse.     Pilots can proceed to the new gate and for a fee, enter the new Public Raid Sector.  When grouped and with a raid in mind, a Galactic Manager (henceforth GM) can trigger the chosen raid in its designated spot. GMs need to know what raid to trigger before grouped pilots may enter the new sector.  Pilots are then closed in as the gate is locked so as to give maximum enjoyment of the raid.  GMs warn pilots that once closed, all craft need to be inside the Public Raid Sector.  Once a pilot leaves via Wormhole Skill, exiting the gate to Saturn sector or the Defender's "Return To Base" they may not return until the gate is re-opened.  Pilots who bring a secondary craft for the sole purpose of looting a choice 'drop' will have to make sure both craft are inside the gate before it is closed.   Cleanup is a necessary step Net-7 News is told by GM Blacklung.  Each time a raid is concluded and all participants leave, the sector is wiped clean, a tabula rasa so to speak.  Any items left 'spaced' will remain in space until looted or server restart.  GMs are not responsible for missing items 'spaced' after the raid concludes.   Pilots are warned that each time they are allowed to pass the gate from Saturn sector to the new Public Raid Sector, they must Accept a fee of credits.  The pilot must have full amount in their credit account to be allowed passage.  Pilots are also warned that they should be sufficiently supplied and equipped before coming to the Public Raid Sector as the fee is recurring for each entry.  Ammunition users should gear up well in advance.     GMs suggest that all group members entering the Public Raid Sector to have a raid in mind and ready for the chosen raid.  This cuts down on wait times for all including the gatekeeping GM.  Grouped pilots with a clear goal in mind can be served efficiently when all are ready before entering the Public Raid Sector.  GMs also warn pilots to mind their Faction standings as some raids are Faction-sensitive.   Initial testing revealed that the new Public Raid Sector may be able to comfortably handle two raids simultaneously.  Though this is still in its infancy, pilots may be allowed to conduct a second raid in another part of the raid sector.   With this new feature, the galaxy's pilots can choose when and what they wish to raid against with the aid of a Galactic Manager.  It gives new purpose for fattened wallets and a stable environment for all.   Live and on location in Saturn sector, this is the Pakkrat for Net-7 News.
  12. An interesting and inviting field report, pilot. As one of two Anchors for Net-7 News, I invite you to further post these scoops in the Roleplaying Sub-forum along with all the other field reports across human space. There, your important journals can be properly archived within NET-7 SOL databases and compared with other entries in the interest of validity, integrity, prioritization to the 'front page' of our headlines. It is reports from pilots like you that help keep all of humanity in-the-know with the latest. I'm glad to have spotted your post before my colleague and rival, Zona Mason. She tends to shy away from battles and focuses upon the movers and shakers of governments, upper-echelon dignitaries and business tycoons. I on the other hand choose to spotlight the grass-roots and front lines of human space. It is refreshing to have another journalist out there, even if they are enlisted with EarthCorps. From the Situation Room at NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat.
  13. Magoo tapped me by name so here goes:   If you want to hear me rant, go here: https://forum.enb-emulator.com/index.php?/topic/9778-a-treatise-on-the-progen-sentinel/ Nobody tells this Anchor-rat he cannot come to a Raid on his PS.   Rant aside, Magoo tapped me and here is my Endgame, Raid, Spank-You-'til-You-Like it setup.  Keep in mind (also featured in the Treatise), as a Progen Sentinel, you will be switching out many Devices during a Raid.  Get a Terran to "Greasemonkey", TE buff, or go make a "GreaseMonkey Plus" IX yourself.  You will be switching out Devices before and during a Raid.  It's a fact of keeping everything maxxed.  Your fellow Raiders will thank you.   Magoo mentioned Devices, but I'm going to expand:   Weapons: As one of the most decked-out Sentinels on Sunrise, I have seen the light and have gone with a Black Spitter, Fury of the Master, Bile Cannon and depending on the target, a Zenrei Cannon (for the Energy ammo), another Bile Cannon or - yes it's a baby FotM - the Fury of the Ten-Gu.  Avoid the Singularity Mortar until the Weapon Devs fix the "funky chicken" dance targets perform when hit with the Singularity Grenades.  Nice buffs, but you and your fellow Raiders are dizzy by the end of that wave of targets.   Ammunition: I typically run with an Impact and Chemical combination as I have the Sentinel's maximum Gravity Link.  I generally don't fit Plasma rounds because the Jennies are thanking me for the Impact rounds' interruption potential.  Interrupting that nasty Hack is still important, kiddies.  The above mentioned Energy rounds are for those softies that are weak to Energy.  Then and only then do I mount the above Zenrei Cannon.   Shields: I take an Impenetrable Bastion IX with me everywhere, just for the activated Turbo Weapon buff it features.  But since I am one of those egomaniacs with a Skull shield, I add its buff while mounting it.  That fearsome skull should ADD to my maximum Menace by Artemis Jericho!  I'm letting my Skirmish Omega collect dust, but I take it with me when I need an extra shield to swap out.  Nothing is more troubling than not having one to occupy your shield slot when that beautiful new shield is waiting for you to pick it up in the loot target.   Reactors: For travel, I use the galaxy-famous Unicorn II Stallion for its activated Turbo Warp buff.  I keep it in my hold as a switch-out too.  But for combat, it's the Ambush Omega all the way.  Its buffs are more than sufficient for any Sentinel.  With Devices, I get some radical recharge that I need like a dying rat in the desert needs water.   Engines: Travelling, I mount the Obsolete Drone Booster.  There may be better out there, may be the Ursa IX.  Let's face it.  I'll trade warp speed for Critical Targeting Skill any day.  Living in Lagarto as I do and mining, I have the melodious Chang Lung's Wing.  It is also good for Looting, forward field debuffing, and has a nice Weapon Energy Conservation buff.  For combat, I strap on an Unabating Fire for deflects (which stack with below Devices); not much else to say because one drops every bloody, fish-gutsy Gate Raid.   Devices: (my favorite since Sentinels make them) Let's start with the forbidden and work our way down to the common, shall we? aa Gahtu Y  (thanks, Dutch, for dropping it in my lap with "What's this crap?") aa Gahtu Daimyo Y  (thanks, ShadowWalker, for sneaking it past customs) Tactical Advantage Omega (I made it my own self!) Deadly Grasp Drone Shield Amplifier (arguably comparable to the Something Of the Dragon) Good Fortune Waking Nightmare All of the animal Hide/Skin devices at IX (especially if you don't have a pocket Enforcer) DigiApogee RMU Prototype 3 Iota ("Because it stacks, fool" -Mr. T) Basilisk's Dread Fury IX (your Chemical users will thank you and sing your praises, so bolt that one in where a finger can reach the hotkey) Salamander's Dread Tempest IX (your Terran Explosive users will.....you know) Refuge Novem (makes you a secondary healer between Raid waves - just do it!) Steingerd's Embrace "GreaseMonkey Plus" IX (very good for pre-Raid or whenever you're not currently needed) Rage of the Vindis VIII  (pre-Raid goodie, but currently a trophy in my vault) Any of the shield deflect Devices (Pavis, Targe, Kite, etc.) IF you have learned the exact type of damage the enemy uses.  Otherwise they are green paperweights. Blackbeard's Soul IX (especially if you are still missing shots at that CL 66 boss) Tactical Computer IX (I think its only good for some quiet time while Looting) A Power or Focus of any kind (every activated Turbo Weapon buff counts) Martyr's Heart VII   ....should they ever fix it.....Cube of the Leech, but for now - meh.  EvilPaperweight is all.  I have one to weigh down my pinkslip from Vinda.   In short for combat, if you - the Sentinel - have not filled everyone's buff window full of stuff and they're finding it hard to breathe, you're not doing them enough.     Not a Raider? Quicksilver Phoenix BooBoomba's Lucky Charm   I have them but don't use them:   Atrophy Novem Energy Sing Novem Burden (useless junk) Mutator Octo Cassel's Wither (the only good, pre-Skirmish Omega Impact debuffer Device I've found and you have to go through Stanig's Progen Funhouse Themepark to get it.) Crimson MegaHurtz (but others do a better job)   Mining Golden Tooth Tooth of Destruction (yeah, I know many space it when found.  Strap one one when you go IX 'roid stripmining and never have to look at your reactor again) Roc's Dread Zeal (only for the Scan and Long Tractor Beam) you can leave this one at home as the LTB far outreaches your mining beam.  Take it with you if you don't have an equip Scan buff if you are 'aa' hunting. Use your Ambush Omega for mining.  It's a fast recharge.     There's many leave-it-at-home Devices you can bring with you when mining, but those are my minimum for mining.  Any of the above just make it smoother when Bio-whatsits arrive to ruin your zen-mining.  Power Down or kill 'em.  Cloak is for Jennies.  As a Sentinel in my home turf of Lagarto, I don't get harrassed by Rogues or Renegades.  They start out Yellow to Sentinels and Privateers, but they can turn non-aggro Red if you go stripmining with Warriors, Terrans or Jenquai as they have to fight them off.  We don't.        I use my Sentinel for more than just the above.  I've used it to help me write my books and short stories.  I generally favor my Sentinel for role-play purposes (RP, what's that you say?  See the Roleplay sub-Forum, plebian!)  AND he's my Main toon and Net-7 News reporter.  I use the alts of the Pakkrat Master Genome for their spare chat macros, tee-hee.  In my opinion, the Sentinel gets the most out of the Earth & Beyond metaplot and as Megan says, is the most Versatile of vessels.    From the hangar deck of Saturn sector's NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat. (subject to Editing pending more Content and Story)
  14. The female in question speaking through Kenlz is using a Progen vernacular. "Three lots of me claws" is 15 items of level IX. The item will have a clue as to what she wants. I can tell you she likes shinies, that is some valuable refined mining resources. Think carefully about the names of what she hints at. One of Growlz' problems is that her vernacular doesn't allow for many words that are longer than five letters, so she resorts to slang and truncated or broken words. She isn't a Progen redneck. Growlz is just.......misunderstood. There is a story behind her, one only a few players know or have gleaned. I myself received a chance encounter and interview with the Progen woman. She is quite eccentric even for a Rogue Progen. She hates Vinda and doesn't care much for Var, Kahn, or even Cassel. But your Agrippa question is a fair one, I've tried to clue you in without breaking the experience and enjoyment. I myself am stuck on the mission "Hurl Fer Kenlz" as Der Todesengel sector has not yet opened. Get a grip with Agrippa! Live from Saturn sector's NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat.
  15. Just to add my two rats in, On the Orion server, I was Pakkrat and Pakkratius (TT and PS respectively). I was in the Knighthawks Guild with Metamatic, BigRuss, Endrin, Tinuvial and others. Still glad I found the Emulator and became your Anchor-rat for Net-7 News! From the archives at NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat.
  16. April's Hunt for The Wolfsdottir is almost here. Starting this Saturday 4/19/2014 at 6am Eastern U.S., pilots of the Sabine Sentinels and the Shinwa Defenders mobilize to find or capture the Wolfsdottir. Pilots of those two classes who have not won past Hunts are invited to comb the sectors for the Kaojin Jenquai. The roleplay event rules can be read in the original post. The Hunt for The Wolfsdottir is sponsored by Pakkrat Industries, ShadowWalker's House of Pain, Jamoos' Work Shop and Net-7 News. Tune into General, Sentinels, Defenders, and Out-Of-Context chat channels to participate or observe in the event. From the Special Events department of NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat.
  17. With 45 toons at any one player's disposal all the major, desired spawn sites (and even dynamic spawn territories), raid trigger-mobs, as well as a single toon in every sector, with plenty of toons left over as 'mains' and 'vaults', can be camped in some form. Using function camera keys to see around your vessel is wide-angle enough to see the nearby aggressor mobs and warn incoming Jumpstart (or of course Jumpstart yourself providing enough power remains in the reactor). Having your ship incapacitated currently does not dispel activated buffs, yet the buffed (and de-buffed/hacked) systems remain so until their timers run out. Scan blind the incapacitated ships to 0.1k -1.0k, then if you like add buffs from activated, (but not Equipped or skills). The pilot and their systems are out for the count. The only skill that should work for an incapacitated ship is Jumpstart. If you want to increase the area that a target mob spawns, fine and dandy. I'm all for it. I'm also all for roaming asteroid and hulk fields or mobs that journey across sectors like Old Nick or Modi's Child. Like Prre, I'd like to see pilots work a lil harder with their 45 toons and multibox setup for that mob and its uber-rare drop. Is this, as Savic puts it, "drop blocking?" From the Situation Room at NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat.
  18. Making incapacitation really suck for the victim pilot would make a successful Jumpstart all the more valuable, yes? Next is the question of what actually happens to a pilot of an incapacitated ship? Did the original creators mean for downed pilots to suddenly be impervious nodes of forward-field intel? Or are they, like EVE-Online, shoved in a gel-filled egg on suspended animation life support as the Earth & Beyond Emulator says, "All systems offline - Emergency Life Support initiated." Realistic versus Easy Button. Challenging Search And Rescue versus "Dude, come save me. I'm right at x,y,z." I do have an Evil Streak when it comes to issues like this, so I may be a little biased when I see the game is vastly skewed in the favor of the pilot with a 45-toon fleet at their disposal and a multibox setup to die for. From the Situation Room at NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat. Alignment: Malignant Evil (GM) Lawful Neutral (player)
  19. Expanding on the topic: If you're incapacitated, should all your systems be offline? If you get incapped your ship's Scan range should be reduced to 0.1k - 1.0k until you are Jumpstarted. Let incapacitation have all its negatives. An incapacitated ship has no scanner capability if none of its systems are online, eh? From the hangar of NET-7 SOL, this is the Pakkrat.
  20. Pakkrat

    Xanax

    Artemis Jericho!  There was the circular, disguised hatch, just as the log had described.  I took a few seconds to find the button to open it.  I took a few more seconds to gather the nerve to press it with the long barrel of my Athanor Heavy Pistol.  With a mechanical [i]click[/i], the hatch to some form of airlock slid to a side and permitted entry.  This was as far as my life-line would allow, so I un-clipped it and put a good coil-and-a-half on the ground outside the hatch and underneath a loose stone.  A kick and a grab would have it back in my hands if I made it back outside this hidden and false asteroid.   I reached into my explorer's pouch of goodies I had gathered for such an expedition.  Out came an old Earth chemical light, the ones you bend fiercely to dislodge their liquid contents and shake to mix them for a light-shedding effect.  The yellow-green glow was weird but welcome in providing enough light to fill an immediate area.  I then clipped it to my utility belt.  I wanted my hands free.  Finally, with light, pistol and nerve, I entered the airlock.   There were no lights inside or merely the place had long been powerless.  The airlock seemed to run on mechanical means or some other strangeness.  It made no sound as it filled with breathable air.  The outer door closed behind me as I took a last look at the stars.  Then the inner airlock door hissed as it opened.  I let my sight adjust to the low-light ambiance of the corridor before me.  The walls were made of come hardened, chitinous substance that may have once been liquid then dried solid.  Though the corridor seemed to have once been rock of the asteroid, its walls were plastered with this stuff.  I dared not touch it.  I began to take cautious steps down the tunnel.  No sounds could be heard as I stopped occasionally, like the aforementioned Earth squirrel to listen.   I and my glow-stick moved further into the labyrinth of chitin-coated tunnels.
  21. Pakkrat

    Xanax

    I felt like an Earth squirrel, using chemical-pressure bursts of thrusting and then immediately re-entering the Powerdown state. It was slow-going, but I wanted to appear as nothing more than drifting flotsam in this part of the sector. It took more than an hour to micro-thrust in this fashion towards Asteroid 642. And still nothing appeared on the passive scopes. I had long stopped using any active radar or other energy-based pulse-and-ping technologies. This was truly flying "under the radar" as the old Earth saying goes. The oblong asteroid did nothing to welcome me however. It was motionless and devoid of the supposed graveyard of vessels reported in Xanax' log. Coming to rest in a geostationary hold above the space rock, I pointed the Culler away from Asteroid 642 in case I had need to execute an emergency freewarp escape. Then I let the Bogeril Solar Sails quietly recharge the reactor by the light of the stars and the Sol primary. With a lifeline and a wound-spring winch ready to haul me back to the ship, I exited my Sentinel-class explorer to descend to the surface of the low-gravity rock. And still nothing happened to me. My nerves were getting jittery again, so I drew forth my Athanor Heavy Pistol. In the Crystal Age, firearms still required air to shoot ammunition, so each cartridge came with enough for the chemical reaction needed. I checked my chemical grenades at my belt. A pull and a throw would be all they would need. The med-kit gently flopped against my thigh as I touched down on the surface. I spent fifteen minutes gently pacing about the asteroid, looking for this hidden hatch the log had mentioned. All was quiet. Too quiet.
  22. Pakkrat

    Xanax

    Whenever you're out in the depths of space with nothing around you or at least in your proximity, do you get that tingly, hair-raising feeling that you're being watched? Or is it just your imagination? Now, I'm not psionic being a Progen, but you can't just breed or genetically de-engineer intuition. So, that feeling of having my grave danced on by a graduating class of Jenquai ravers kept pinging at my consciousness as I closed in on the last mapped location of Asteroid 642. I saw no wrecks, no hulks, no derelict ships, no nothing. I was already way out past Krakow, a named asteroid in rimward Akeron's Gate. With Krakow smack-dab in the middle of all the usual nav-bouys that surrounded this quadrant, it made a vague and awkward 'eye' in this part of the sector. And with the fifth replay of Xanax' emergency, Dead-Man's, bouy log, I was beginning to imagine things. The sounds of the poor pilot's last demise kept echoing inside my head. Chitinous skittering, the man's entrails and wet splatterings resounded in my memory as I flew further into the dark. At this distance from the sun, the Sol primary looked like just another bright star in the inky black. Only the ambient glow from the Kuiper Belt and the distant Oort Cloud resonated the combined light of the other stars in the distant reaches. And still nothing came up on the scopes or scanners (active or passive). There was no nearby station. Only the ECS Colossus kept vigil upon Akeron's Gate, but even so EarthCorps was intent on staying just trailing of the Ancient Gate to Aragoth. I would get no immediate help in time if the swift death this Xanax guy suffered, were I to share in the same. Even with the threat, I consoled myself that I was Progen and that death should have no hold over me. There was always the Call Forward, right? Finally, Asteroid 642 showed on the scopes and registered on the far edge of my scan range. I drew the Culler to a halt and Powered down. Passively I watched the oblong 'roid. It did nothing to greet me. I checked my reactor readout. No change. No hulks, no wreckages, no debris at all. Was Xanax mis-naming the asteroid where he had journeyed to his demise? Would anyone believe me if I didn't find his ship's graveyard? Were I to bring back his log and try to report his last moments, I would be laughed out of the studio by Zona Mason and her entourage of executives. Then I'd get removed to space weatherman, a death blow to a career in journalism. They would say I made all of it up. Because of where I'd come from, the Sabine Order, they'd put in a request to my old Order for Reclamation. Then I'd have to go Rogue or worse Renegade. No, I needed maybe one more keepsake, some bit of physical proof of what had happened to this poor Xanax guy.
  23. Pakkrat

    Xanax

    Asteroid 642 wasn't just an arbitrary designation. Out here in the Kuiper Belt the number had a value as well as being nominal. There were too many objects to count so SolSec had been satisfied to only have designation numbers for TNOs that came with enough gravity to tug on starships and similar size satellites. I had entered Akeron's Gate and exited though the far Ancient gate to Freya sector of Aragoth. There I had sit 30k from the Ancient gate, looking much like an overlooked hulk there in a Powerdown state. The signature move hid my presence as the occasional traffic sped past me in the usual hum-drum of trade. Only the Ancient gate's whisperings at me made me uneasy as I waited out anyone that might try to tail me in my white Culler, a Sentinel class Progen explorer's vessel. After an hour of changing out my usual systems for more clunky, low-tech chemical-mechanical devices and deploying the solar panels of the Bogeril Solar Sails engine along side my ship's armored sails, I then double-checked my ship's weapons. The more biological weapons, like the Bile Cannon, Ten-Gu Fury and Wrath weapons were weird enough perhaps to endure most types of EMP power loss. My concern for the BlackSun Black Spitter was more well placed. Would it withstand such a power failure? I also had to dumb down the ship's reactor to something chemical and mechanical so as to avoid EM damage, but the obsolete gear made it so I had to budget my energy consumption on this venture. The shields would be the hardest hit by the reported energy drain, but I had very little to replace the system with that could withstand such failures. Then there were the two Ancient Artifacts devices onboard. Would they tolerate such energy drain like the other systems and devices? Who knew what the Ancients had prepared for in cases like this? I hoped that if given enough energy, they would laugh off any strangeness, strange enough as the Ancients must have been. Lastly, I emerged from Powerdown and re-entered Akeron's Gate when I was seemingly and sufficiently forgotten by all traffic. Making way to Quadrant Four, I watched my diagnostics for this Asteroid 642 as I crossed the expanse of the sector.
  24. Pakkrat

    Xanax

    "...and that is why I need you to take Dot with you and run a diversion like I'd just handed you the keys to Roc sector, brother," I concluded my tale so far to my younger clone-brother, Imperator Pakkrateus. "Dot won't like it, but you tell her she may get to hunt whomever tries to follow you two from Mason's contacts, then she'll understand with that fanged grin of hers." The plan was for me to send my brother off as if I has passed the Dead Man's bouy message to him and the Wolfsdottir, my adopted daughter and be very visible to my co-Anchor, Zona Mason. Then I could get a little rest as I geared up for a low-tech expedition to Akeron's Gate. "Be careful, brother," warned my brother, the Pakkrateus. "She hates you and would love nothing more than to have you to die at the claws - or whatever - of some alien in the proximity of the Ancients' gate." Then he got up and swigged the last of his drink. I later saw him again leaving with my adopted Jenquai daughter Dot. She paused once to look up to a station monitor, a camera she knew I would use to watch them exit NET-7 SOL. When my camera zoomed in on her, she smiled her signature Dog Soldier smile of a hunter. I dislike thinking of that side of her trying to bubble up from the depths of her Id. Yet she was going with my clone-brother who could apparently handle his dates, (he had conferred with me about his first true date with Siobhan last month). I was going to need system that were purely chemical and mechanical, using only the barest of electronics. The Tech I Camera had arrived yesterday from my and my clone-brother's secret gene-father, the Pakkrat, a Terran of all ancestors. He had looted the old image capture machine from somewhere in Aragoth Prime and had included some film with the relic. While waiting for the Pakkrat's camera to arrive, I had run back and forth, in the middle of the station's night between Decryption and Cartography to plot the supposed location of this asteroid mention in the Dead Man's bouy message. Quadrant Four of Akeron's Gate was generally devoid of the hulk-vulture Chavez pirates and featured very little in harmful field fauna. Rock spores and crystal mites seemed to be lot of that region. I had also quietly and manually moved my devices from my station vault to my ship, the Culler so that their movements would not be logged by the hangar's cargo manifesto logs, an automatic function of many mainstream stations these days in the Crystal Age. Lastly, I stocked up on personal weapons, my Athanor Heavy Pistol, some Progen Republic caustic chemical grenades, my med kit, gene-map cryo-canister, and double-checked my EVA suit. It would need to be dumbed-down a bit technologically if the story behind this 'Xanax' fellow were true. Then I laid down on my bed in my domicile and got an uneasy nap for a few hours before heading out.
  25. Pakkrat

    Xanax

    The message's tablet came to me just as I was stepping off-camera next to that Terran witch who hates me, Zona Mason. Giving the data-tablet a cursory reading, I hid my reaction to the "Eyes only Pakrat" even though my name had been misspelled by the sender. Mason, who was about to receive more visiting dignitaries from the Jenquai Hierate, shot me a curious and hate-filled glance before putting on a social mask of welcoming to the psionic Grandmasters from the Sha'ha'dem. She had missed the tablet, or so it seemed. The woman had eyes like a hungry gull from Zweihander Planet. I walked, calmly and casually, to my mini-lab and domicile above the NET-7 SOL station lounge. Making sure I was not followed, I stepped through my sliding door. The door's knife penetration, thanks to the ShadowWalker's knife, scraped the door frame as I stepped inside the darkened environs. I needed to repair the thing soon. I quietly stepped into my mini-lab and connected the data-tablet to a universal cord and sent the message data-tablet's contents to my forearm vambrace's PDA. I left the front page title of the tablet intact, but erased the subsequent page-screens. If Mason somehow go ahold of the tablet, she'd get very little off of it. Now someone would have to take my arm off to access the Eyes-only that had come to me. Then I read the full contents of the Dead-Man Switch bouy message. Then I was sure about my precautions.
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