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Topics - Ragebrew

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Fan Media & Fiction / For Hearth and Home
« on: August 26, 2019, 11:14:19 PM »
The soft crash of the endless waves, rippling across the perpetual sea of The Hearth, against the enormous hull of a lone synthetic island, sent salty sprays rolling up the sloping metal, sending verdant green water against shimmering blue forcefield, protecting the xenobotanical garden, the collection of a hundred worlds, surrounding a home more akin to a bunker than a house. Squat, made of thick metal walls and only a few small windows, it looked capable of enduring anything short of ship grade weaponry. Sitting in an authentic wooden chair on a retractable patio, sipping from a bottle of home made spirits, was an old, grizzled and gray woman, looking out onto HER sunset.

Her name was Immo Late, and she was the sole survivor of an ill fated mining expedition from a golden era. Draining the bottle one sip at a time, she saw high above the motes of light swirling around the refurbished and revitalized orbital station that had been her tomb for several lifetimes. Closing one eye, and thinking very intently, she took control of one of the numerous drones orbiting the station, and began drifting about it aimlessly, taking a moment to savor all that she had worked for. Her old ship sat in her dock, immaculate as the day she left dry dock for the void. It had cost a small fortune to bring the venerable Apogee back to pristine. It was wroth every credit.

It's rude to stare. Came the flickering message across her view, as she felt another entity join her in the drone's control matrix. The other being who technically made her the sole survivor, because they had never been alive in the first place. "So is cramming yourself into a drone built for one." Releasing control and jaunting to the nearest free drone, Immo spun about until she saw the IFF of her oldest friend Silver Frond, Beta level AI. Here I was thinking you were the intimate sort. "Don't you have a satellite to run?" You know I always have processing power dedicated to keeping an optic on you. "Thanks. You sure know how to make a girl feel like the paranoia is justified." It's not paranoia if they are actually out to get you.

That left Immo laughing, first in amusement, then bitter contempt, dropping out of the drone and back to her sunset "They just don't know when to leave well enough alone, do they?" Draining the last, gritty and far too sweet mouthful of alcohol, and leaving a quick mental note to throw away the rest of the batch, Immo rose from her chair and began marching into her house. The heavy thump of industrial work boots proceeding her, she took a moment to look over the thousands of mineral samples taken from just as many worlds, slabs of stone ranging from mundane and lifeless to bejeweled and worth a small fortune to the right collector. A few sat encased in transparent radiation shielding. Each a story, some more interesting than others. A few bore plaques, dedications to those lost in their discovery. Each name had a more impressive memorial, obelisks of adamantine orbiting The Hearth, etched with their name and story. She didn't see those every monuments every day. She ran a thumb across one plaque as she walked by, leaving the brass just a little shinier. "You were right, garden is really nice..." She muttered under her breath.

Detachment procedures are underway, Immo. "Be there shortly. Just need t-" I have already marked the "Rockberry and Mint Vodka" not fit for public consumption based on your biometrics and have dispatched a biomass reclamation drone to your distillery. If you don't like it, it must make radiator wine taste like ambrosia. "I wish I could hit you." Alas, only your wit may wound me. "I could always go rockhounding for a week and then take a bath in your coolant pool." ...Please do not. "The frostbite would be worth it." Don't make me crash this ship.

Entering her private quarters, a series of clamps detached themselves from her villa, reverberating through the metal like a personal earthquake. Immo's island abruptly became a submersible, plunging deep beneath the waves to anchor itself at the bottom of the sea. The Hearth, while covered in water, was shallow enough to see traces of sunlight from the ocean floor. Nestling in a coral reef,  shimmering with bioluminescent coral. Through the brief plunge, the exterior shield had sealed itself closed, fully encasing the island in a metal shell. The holographic projection cast against the metal dome was quite convincing however.

All the while during that plunge, Immo had been getting properly dressed. It took her about ten minutes to get properly dressed, but given she was putting on nearly half a ton of motorized industrial EVA equipment, she prided herself on being able to do it alone that quickly. It had long since violated every single warranty and user agreement possible, having enough after market modifications to make a pirate blush. She felt the cold, invasion mind/machine interface connect her to the suit like her own body, and rouse the beast inside. //User Registered// Designation: Immo Late // Access Granted // Are We Killing Soon? Came the sterile question across her vision, but her skin crawled slightly at the rush of bloodlust that lingered within the synthetic corners of her mind. Burning Man, Gamma level AI, hardwired into her hardsuit, her caged beserker. Anyone who tried to take her alive would find she'd fight the death, and then keep fighting until reduced to slag.

 Diplomacy has failed. //Predicted Result//Greed Prevails//Ignorance Reigns//25 Credits Owed What do you even spend it on? //Crab Farm//Pay Up// Immo facepalmed with a resounding thud, sealing the final vacuum lock on her suit, and lumbering into a launch tube. //Aquajets Operational//Silo Clear//Deploying Idiot// Like a torpedo of ancient Terran seas, the tube filled with water, and propelled Immo into the ocean. Schools of native and invasive fish scattered in horror as the purple and bronze projectile flew through the water, a few of the less agile ones bouncing off the metal plating, to the ravenous glee of the survivors.

All systems are operational, and awaiting your arrival. We have received reports from the IBI "Find Your Center, and Burst Through It's Chest" that the Hegemony force has refused to leave our space and has begun a full burn for The Armoury. Above her, an enormous shadow was cast on Immo, first an indistinct blur of darkness, but quickly came into focus. The single beam of light that pierced the center gave it away. The IBI "Go Forth And Conquer" her personal Paragon flagship. The culmination of her second life, and she wished she could just let it rest idle. No such luck. Slowing to a halt inside an awaiting airlock, Immo could only feel pity for the pockets of ocean life that had made a home along the hull. Vibrant sea fans, limpets, a few mollusks. Soon they'd either be hurtling back to the sea from low orbit, or they'd end up drifting in the void. "Guess you thought this would be a peaceful place too?"

Immo just shook her head as she sealed the airlock behind her and began marching towards the bridge. She didn't pass a single other person as she did, only an army of small drones rushing about in harmonized chaos. They flowed around Immo like water as she moved through the cramped corridors, hunched forward and using her plated knuckles to walk like some robotic ape. She stood infront of the bridge airlock, and slammed a fist into it. //Fee//Fi//Fo//Fum//Open The Door, You Lazy Bum

The bridge was stripped down to two things: A command throne for Immo's bulky frame, and an AI coolant tank. She rested a hand on the reinforced barrier that protected Silver Frond's physical form. She could feel the thrum of power through the tactile feedback of her gauntlet. "Ready. Begin ascent, and open communications to the fleet." The ship began to shudder as the engine roared into life and began to force kilotons of water out of the way, rising from the ocean shallows like a slumbering guardian to exact vengeance upon those who dire defile it's sanctum.

Across dozens of ships and hundreds of fighter craft, all comm channels were cleared and thousands of heads turned to the nearest intercom. "All Iron Bloom Incorporated wings, this is your boss. Each and everyone of you joined me out here, in the edge of known space for one reason: A better life, away from the endless conflict of the Core sector. You all know the cost of forging this life from untamed wilderness, and we have all paid it ten fold. Now, those who we sought to escape seek to bring us under their thumb, and take what all we have made. They say it's for our protection, to guard us from a hostile sector. Where were they went The Quarry was pillaged? Where was their protection when we crushed the Sigma Draconis Savages, and forced the last corsair out of our home? Busy screaming like children with high explosives at their neighbors. All of them. Well, we are going to tell them that we don't want anything they're offering, we can do it ourselves, and their involuntary donation of an entire invasion force is greatly appreciated. All ships, link navcom, and prepare for tranverse jump. We're going to catch those blighters as they pass The Orphan and pincer them between the Armoury Guard. For Hearth and Home!"

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This was fun to write, hope you enjoyed, hope I didn't step on any lore. I'll write more, like how the trio ended up there, or the fight for Home if folks like this.

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