Glory ^2

Avenging the Fallen
Posted by: Sigma Raven

The communications blackout is over now that we have completed tactical operations.

Under the command of Gethsemane Blake of the Ultimates, our investigation team from Titan assisted in the seek and destroy mission against the Exhumans who attacked Xiu’s Greenhouse.

Kings Bishop, Mei-Li Yuan and I got four days of intensive sim-training from our leader en route.
It might appear Mei-Li Yuan wasn’t much use but don’t let the recordings fool you, Mei-Li Yuan was there in support every time even though Kings Bishop and I took the lead in the firefights. That was both in sim-training and in reality, she is tougher than she looks and how she looked in training.

The chance to retrieve useful intel from the targets was marginal. For me that was not the point. This was about wiping out a threat, and avenging the people on the greenhouse. It turns out they weren’t the only ones who needed avenging.

Gethsemane Blake narrowed the location of the lair down to one likely candidate, a colony of tenchno-regressives who the Exhumans had murdered. Because they hadn’t kept records we don’t know how the hostiles entered the habitat or how they killed the inhabitants.

The team entered and as we expected the power was down, so we headed for the reactor core. The team operated on the assumption that we couldn’t secure or clear the operation zone and the best course of action was to search for the targets. The chaotic layout of the habitat hindered our efforts and led to our first encounter, the primary target ambushed us and escaped.

During our search for the target it attempted to ambush us, this was encounter two. We engaged the target and destroyed it. As the footage shows, Kings Bishop withstood its initial attack, protected the team, and maneuverer it clear which gave me my firing solution. I lined it up and took the shot.

I killed the primary target but I didn’t handle that well, to my shame, this was my first time firing on a human even a former human. When I fired I was only thinking of protecting other people, but watching it fly apart made me realise that once it was a person, who I just ended. Bishop gave me a pep-talk after that that helped me keep going, and pointed out that it stopped being a person long before I fired.

Next we sought out the main reactor after that and restarted the power, which flushed out the secondary target. We pursued it but as expected it was a matter of flushing it out and drawing it into ambushing us. Luckily it ambushed me not one of the others, it happened in the tank room. This was encounter three. I engaged the second target and held my own fairly well, all things considered. My seeker weapons were not designed for point blank work but I was desperate and just hoped to wound the target enough to help the others take it out. When it caught me in melee combat I thought I was finished but this metal body stood up to the attack well. Kings Bishop and Gethsemane Blake came and saved my shiny metal tail with their beam weapons. They burned down the secondary target. This left me with 68% structural integrity damage and unarmed, but still functional. Even though he saved me, Kings Bishop was very impressed with my performance and attitude.

The team headed back to the computer room we discovered then the surveillance room and back to the shuttle for repairs and for me to re equip. The group discussed it and we chose to blow the habitat. The deciding factor was that we didn’t find the nest, we expected it near the reactor but it was somewhere else in the habitat. With the location of the nest unknown we had no hope of securing the habitat, not that we would likely fare well against that many Exhumans.
This was where Mei-Li Yuan came into her own, she was our team sapper and handled ‘the mellon’, the bomb we were going to use.

The tertiary target was in the reactor room waiting for us. Gethsemane Blake held it at bay while Kings Bishop gave fire support. When the hostile pinned our leader I failed to crash-tackle it off, instinct, instead of ramming the monster and went high, which would have been perfect for swooping in for a claw-strafing run but useless in this body. Live and learn. Mei-Li Yuan did better with her attack, sticking the beast with her sword while guarding the mellon.

Gethsemane Blake went down under the exhuman’s assault, it managed to poison him with a paralysing agent. Kings Bishop took up the challenge and burned holes in the exhuman with his beam weapon while I got a bead on the target and fired two rounds into it. Between the four of us we took it down.

We planted the mellon and got clear of the doomed habitat. I thought it was the people of Xiu’s Greenhouse who needed avenging but it was the unknown inhabitants of this habitat who needed to be avenged. Maybe it was even justice?

The word!
Ranted the Raven

I can’t believe it, Kings Bishop just used the A-word to me! Right in-front of me, to my robo-face!

That’s so insensitive, I can’t believe he said that. And it offended Gethsemane Blake so much he left the room!

My weirdest job ever. Entry three.
Posted by: Sigma Raven

Finding my perch on Locus

Quoth the raven:

So far so good! I lost myself in my work on the SLOTV in the hanger. It let me rest up from the ego-cast and to centre myself.

There’s a lot of good points to this synthmorph but caaaw there are some downers too. This synth can just go and go and go, I don’t think I ever put in such a long shift in the hangers before. And the hands are so convenient, it’s hard to describe how much easier it is navigating your human habitat with a human shaped body for a change.
It’s pretty clunky compared to my birth morph but is strong and durable, but really that’s like comparing a racing ’copter to a bulk cargo VTOL. And the visual system is really starting to grate on me, it keeps defaulting to some themed display matching the moving red-light on the eyepiece. Rho can you keep a watch for that and cancel it when it happens?

I helped with some of the research but my friends Mei-Li Yuan and Kings Bishop took the lead in our search for Tara Yu, Morteza Bey and Antoin Saul while I was working on the shuttle. They can definitely blog their findings better than I can.

After my long shift I realised two things, the first was that I got a warmer welcome here than I thought. A rise in my @-rep. Thank you all to my new watchers, you really know how to make a bird feel welcome and I really needed that updraft today.

I also realised that if I am going to flock with Mei-Li Yuan I need to work on my image. To treat myself a bit after the shift I went out, and with the help of the locals of Locus I got some gear that at least matches the synthmorph. Next resleeve I will ask her for presentation and preening tips from the start.

…I wonder if she needs a vocalist for anything? Hmm. Rho, when we get back home remind me to look up those venues back on Titan.

After that it was down to business. The local authorities had sent an initial sortie to the greenhouse as a rescue op and recon, but not had an opportunity to send a investigation team or to land a salvage team to repair the habitat. So to help them out I organised a shuttle which will arrive in a few hours. They are still short on numbers so they can’t send any of their volunteers with us, so it might just be Mei-Li Yuan, Kings Bishop and I. Wearing this body still feels like flying through turbulence sometimes, but I can definitely handle this taxi run.

With a few hours before our ride arrives I headed out to get some investigation gear. Check out what I found:
A Bird’s Eye Review

An informant contacted Mei-Li Yuan in response to her inquiries and gave her and Kings Bishop some information about our targets. It seems we are up against a tribe of semi-organised Exhumans. Unfortunately this informant couldn’t come on the mission, because I would be a lot more confident with a veteran of the Ultimates taking point. With a little luck the Exhumans will be long gone though.

- – -

The calm after the storm

Quoth the raven:

Due to the content I had Rho age-lock the footage and have put content-advisory flag some of the footage from the greenhouse. It’s not suitable for hatchlings or for anyone who doubts their mettle. And there’s security concerns too so I got the local authorities to vet the footage and decide if anything merits classified status.

To be brutally honest, I am still a bit shaken.

Docking with the station wasn’t possible so we had the SLOTV AI hold position relative to the station and entered after a brief EVA. I was quietly impressed that my friends handled themselves so well, I definitely underestimated them as mere ground-pounders.

The station AI was blinded during the attack, it had lost its spimes in the three damaged modules of the habitat. Further investigation revealed that was quite deliberate and not the bestial tactics I expected from Exhumans.

What we found inside…that was what I expected from Exhumans. It was a slaughter. The attackers were like animals, no, the attackers were animals.

The mechanics of the attack were simple enough, a modified shuttle rammed through the unfortified hull of the civilian habitat. The animals targeted the spimes with EMP and plasma weaponry. The civvies were slaughtered indiscriminately but Morteza Bey was specifically targeted.

But that was the weird part. They didn’t steal his cortical stack, they destroyed it. Or perhaps they destroyed a cortical stack to make us think Morteza Bey‘s wasn’t stolen…but…then why not just steal it and destroy it off-site? It’s almost like they wanted to destroy the information within, but I am getting ahead of myself.

While I was doing my job and documenting the scene, I was able to distract myself from the carnage. It was after that that it really hit me, when I had no duties to distract myself with. Like I said, i’m a bit shaken up by it.

We sent our findings back to the local authorities and set course back to Locus. Somehow, and I am not sure how, Mei-Li Yuan had managed to get a response from the formerly recalcitrant Antoin Saul of the Reclaimers. He sent a fork to talk to us and we got some more information about Tara Yu’s movements and Morteza Bey’s as well.

I have a bit of interest in the Reclaimers cause, and asked him how they were doing. As expected he was focused only on reclaiming earth and was blind to the potential of other words or the value of not putting all your eggs in one nest.

The reason I grilled Antoin Saul‘s fork was I was curious about how they planned to deal with some of the remaining Titan ordinance down there. He was very interested in my old war stories like the time I saw a TITAN War-machine in the distance and my thankfully limited run-ins with TITAN Nanoswarms. What am I saying, they weren’t run-ins, run-froms! The refugees and I were the last rescue-flight to dust off from <classified> and just made it out, when the swarm hit the colony I saw a glimpse of what those things can do…and don’t want to go anywhere near one again!

Antoin Saul’s fork was intercepted on the way back to get reintegrated. A Kaos AI erased him. In my eyes, the difference between that and murder is not worth mentioning, and I will not forget. If it is within my power, I will see justice done on this killer.

That was the second time someone tried to kill the message, kill the information. But why? This cowardly murder was pointless, because I have already sent a recording of our conversation and everything the fork learned back to Anton Sol.

I will not forget.

We have some leads and know where we need to go next. Sorry to leave you in suspense but we have our reasons, and you’ll learn all about it in my next entry.

Until next time, this is Sigma Raven, signing off.

A Bird's Eye Review
Posted by: Sigma Raven

RayBans VX-5.3 Specs

Today I’ve been preparing for an investigation of Morteza Bey’s habitat and got my claws on some investigation gear, not to mention this better outfit. If I am going to travel with Mei-Li Yuan I have got to start keeping up appearances!

I was lucky to find these excellent RayBans VX-5.3 Specs. These offer a far higher performance level than generic specs, and will help a lot on the investigation. The smart materials are a great touch, the feature lets these adapt to any morph even to unusual synthmorphs.

When I am done with the RayBans I will hand these over to the local authorities, to repay them for the help they’ve offered so far.

Morphic Elegance
Coming to Locus

Hey there all you guys out there in blog land. It’s me again, Mei-Li Yuan here to sparkle up your nights.

By now everyone’s checked out my vid. Hope you liked it. It’s been a while since I’ve been on Locus and I always enjoy the scenery. By now you may all be wonderin’ what I’m doing on Locus, besides making excellent fashion shopping vids? Well to cut a long story short, I’ve been looking for Tara Yu. Big side job. All hush-hush. grins

Just a couple of days ago I was on Titan and getting myself integrated with one of my forks. I’d been up for a while so I decided to check out one of the bars around town and took my new friend Sigma Ravenwith me. Oh and this guy I work with, Armin Zola as well though he wasn’t going by that name then. Bit of a recluse if you ask me.

Anyways, we were enjoyin’ a good meal and checking out the morph fashions when I saw this blog from our own Armin. Seems he’s got a thing for designing morphs as well and I whole heartedly agree about the waif fashion at the moment: no good can come of it. You want to be that thin, get yourself an exo-morph. However, we did get into a heated argument about flying morphs. of course it gathered quite a crowd (as I do) and of course my expertise won the day.

As a side note, it also got me a few orders for flight morph mods. Thanks to Sigma I got some good schematics and I think I might have another morphic design line to my Morphic Le Elegant collection.

After some relaxing katas, we finally organised an ego-cast to Locus where I got a quite nice half Asian / Caucasian morph. I’m enjoying the blond hair and red eyes. My other two companions didn’t seem to go as well with their selections. Hey Sigma, what was with the robot? We really need to hook you up with a better morph next time.

Of course I needed a place to stay so I sent a message to all my fans out there and as you know, the winner was none other than James Nyugen. I really like to thank him for helping me with the fashion vid. You guys need to check out his home. It’s got a great Japanese aesthetic with an amazing view of The Amoeba. Maybe I should make this place my second home. What do you think guys?

I’m glad I could make a fashion vid for you guys too. Check it out now. :P Remember that anyone can buy smart fabric clothing but you really have to know how to pull it off with your morphs characteristics.

Got some more leads on this Tara woman. I’ll keep you guys posted. And keep me posted on any new parties happening. All work and no play… :)

My weirdest job ever. Entry two.
Posted by: Sigma Raven

The day after

Quoth the raven:

Hello my ornithologist friends.

After I returned from Vishnukan, or my fork returned, okay I am not sure how this works.  Let me start over.

After fork-me returned to normal-me and we got re-integrated by <error>Kings Bishop<error>, Mei-Li Yuan and I took the day off to recover.  It’s so weird having two sets of memories for yesterday.  Tova was unavailable, she needs a few days to sort out some work commitments.

Mei-Li Yuan took Bishop and I to a great little establishment she knew and we spent the morning chilling.  You all saw my review <review> but I want to say again that the place was so welcoming.  That was as refreshing as the food and drink.  If you follow my blog then you’ll know it’s not uncommon that I get the old ‘snub the bird’ routine.  There was none of that at the establishment, it was a welcome change and I can’t speak highly enough of the place, staff, or patrons there.  Enough of that griping, i’m in too good a mood today.

During the morning we got into a discussion about flight morphs.  Mei-Li Yuan and Bishop didn’t know much about the practical details of flight, poor things, but they had some great ideas for making flight-capable biomorphs for the skies of Titan.  Back before the fall I got some modifications and upgrades to let me fly in the skies of Mars, and Mei-Li Yuan took some notes and scans of me to help start the design process.  I am glad I could help my friends and I offered to test-pilot the morph.

After that discussion, I couldn’t help myself and took to the air.  It was a great flight <video-1>,  <video-2>,  <video-3>, and I met another bird.  His name was Lee White, and he was in a dragonfly morph.  I found him while checking dragonfly designs for tomorrow.  My brother Omicron is in a dragonfly since he was killed in action, I’ve been keen to try one on for size since then and hoped it was a worthy morph for my brother and other birds and lovers of flight.  He showed me what his morph could do <video-performance_test> <morph-model> and i’ll try to get one tomorrow.  

That brings up another thing…maybe it’s about time I picked a name?  Um, nickname I guess.  Lee told me about how and why he chose his.  It’s not that I don’t like the name Mother gave me, it’s just…it seems not many other uplifts keep their original names, they choose new ones for themselves.  Sorry, I don’t think I’m explaining this well friends.I think I still have a bit of fork-lag or something.  

During the flight I let the boss know I’ll be out of town for a little while, like I warned her when Prof Magnus Ming hired us.  What happened later was weird.  After the flight I found out Bishop had started using this alias.  His Mesh ID said he was <error>Mr Pixel Face<error>.  I didn’t recognise his face at first but Rho did.  I’m not sure what the point of the alias was, humans are weird.  

Well, I am going to try to sleep off the rest of this fork-lag and hope Bishop makes more sense in the morning. 

- – -

To Locus or bust

Quoth the raven:

Greetings everyone.  

Our employer Magnus Ming helped organize our ego-cast to Locus.  It’s been a long time since I was last here, on a freight run.  I can’t express how much better it was being there in my own body not this crude shell.  But I am getting ahead of myself.

The ego-bridge facility at Locus was as good as the one on Titan, and their service was prompt and professional.  I probably should have told them it was only my third time re-sleeving?  Good facility, great staff, then my luck ran out.  Would you believe they didn’t have a dragonfly?  Not one.  It turns out that dragonfly morphs are rare here.  I had thought that they would be more common because of all the zero-G areas but apparently not.  Go figure.  

Instead I picked a really robot looking synth, nice and bulky and mechanical.  Check the moving red-light thing on the eye…eyepiece, visor, thing.  There’s method to my madness this time, even if I can’t get a dragonfly I can try on this synthetic morph on for size.  I’ve already learned I am spoilt and that my morph, my birth morph, is excellent.  Thanks be to blessed Mother.  This synth is solidly built but slow, well, slower, in body and mind. And its senses are so dim, compared to my real body this one feels like I am flying through a martian dust cloud.  I am getting used to it but it’s all wrong, I keep trying to use the wrong limb for things and my balance is much different.  Not to mention this weird not being tired thing?  

The last time I was in a synthetic morph was when I got conscripted to help the rapid response team work on the Cygnus when it needed emergency repairs.  That time everything happened so fast on the damage control team that I didn’t have time to really savor the slyhteroid morph at all.  And we managed to saved that ship.  At least that was better than the time they had me in a cheap CASE on Venus in 15BF, it got me through but it was a clunking piece of junk always on the verge of glitching or falling apart.  Hard to appreciate a morph when moving your waist-joint shock you and you need to re-tighten your knee joints every few hours.  On the other claw I didn’t have the temperature tolerance mod’s back then and would have bean a roasted birdie.  Compared to the CASE this synth is a smooth ride, and much more robust.

It’s ironic that yesterday I moaned about the brush-off from some anarchist types in the Titan because i’m a bird, because a lot of the people here are downright rude because I have ties to the hypercorps.  Heck, I was designed and made by a corp!  How exactly is that my fault?  One moment, Rho wants to tell me something…


Well that sure derailed my little rant, by holy Mother, no wonder the people here hate the hypercorps and The Planetary Consortium! Rho looked it up from the context-search when I started blogging about it, and filled me in. It sounded like conspiracy fiction when she told me and showed me the documentation, I can still barely believe it. Invasion fleets? INVASION FLEETS?! This is madness! And why did no-one tell me, wait, who else haven’t they told about this bit of ugly-history? What else haven’t I been told?

What total idiocy, there are few enough humans left without war, without more war. Your human wars are what led to the fall and to humanity being a scattered remnant exiled from Earth. To make matters worse it was fleets, plural, TWO Planetary Consortium fleets were sent to Locus. And for what? FOR WHAT?! What could possibly justify yet another human war?

And before anyone thinks i’m getting all anti-corp over this, think about it for a moment. There was no organizational, logistical or economic reason for an invasion. Locus is a decent trade hub but why not let the locals run the place and cut the overheads? There are basically no natural resources here worth taking, so, why try? Now instead of being an open port it’s a hostile port, and rightly so. So how exactly was this debacle in the interests of The Planetary Consortium? Who botched the cost-benefit-analysis and the risk-assessment for this exercise? And who repeated the mistake and sent a second fleet?!

Rho, look up who was responsible and what punitive actions were taken against them! That might ease my temper!

I’ve said many times before that the hypercorps are good at organization, planning, and resource management. That’s their strengths but the corp way is not the only way, which I’ve said before…but only after I worked it out from seeing it first hand. No wonder my first visit here was so much more pleasant, it was before this idiocy. And caw, I can’t think of any way to bastardize the corp way than an ill-planned and unnecessary military action that squandered countless lives and wasted resources.

I’m not anti-corp, or against The Autonomist Alliance, but I am opposed to war, work for human survival, and am definitely anti-idiocy. If anything, launching those invasions was anti-corp, it is a disgrace to the corp-way I was taught all my life.

Ten years ago I flew against the TITANs during the fall, on rescue missions to evacuate people. I did it proudly, and don’t regret it in the slightest. But if they’d asked me to fly against humans and try to invade Locus, i’d have told them to go get pecked, contract or no contract! We’re all struggling for survival here, and each life is more important than the flag they follow…and some idiots launched one fleet of people against a civilian station full of more people…and then some fools did it again?

I can’t reconcile this, this is not the way I was raised and trained by the corp that hatched me or the corp that bought and trained me, or any I have worked for since. I’m so angry, I feel so betrayed, the values I was brought up with got violated, and why did no-one tell me? I…I just have no more words for this, Rho, pause recording.

- – -

Rho, resume recording. Now I am working on the ships here in the Comet Express branch office, and getting used to the new body.  I thought it might be a good idea to give the locals a wide berth for a while. And, I really need the distraction right now.

Having hands here is convenient and I am starting to get the hang of it.  Not to mention that working on a ship like this, I am getting a real temptation to get back into the long haul space flights.  I wonder if Comet Express needs another freighter pilot, or a tech’?

While working here in the hanger we learned some things about Tara Yu, she was here a while back and we have some leads.  I won’t go into specifics.  The deck chief here has helped a lot, we plotted out some of Tara’s movements but have another set of leads to chase up.  She ego-cast out of here though so it looks like my time in Locus and this body will be limited.  Sorry for being vague but we’re mid-investigation.

Bishop is flocking with the researchers, I didn’t know he was so influential and well respected in the academic community.  Oh, and he’s using a new alias, Armin Zola, but luckily Bishop’s peers still know who he is.  I have to ask my brother Upsilon if knows either of my new menton friends and their academic achievements.  I wonder if they know him? 

Mei-li, wow, she’s a celebrity!  I had no idea.  I thought she just did morph design for the rich and famous, I didn’t know she was a celebrity.  Yeah, I know somewhere my sister Lambda is going to laugh at that.  You know I am hopeless at that stuff, sister.  But in my defense dear sister she is an expert at fashion and stuff, and I am definitely not.

They’re both really impressive and did great work today! They discovered a lot about tara Yu’s movements and it’ll help us track down the damsel in probable-distress. Prof Magnus Ming and his thrice-accursed vagueness, I had no idea Bishop and Mei-li were each so famous, and feel a bit embarrassed to be teamed up with these influential big-shots.

Feel free to message me, because I plan to keep working here in the hanger and to see how long I can go in this new body.

My weirdest job ever. Entry one.
Posted by: Sigma Raven

Quoth the raven:

Greetings my ornithologist friends.

Just like the title says, this has to be the weirdest job I have ever gotten. Professor Magnus Ming [profile], head of computational archaeology faculty at TAU, contacted me and some humans to track down his missing archaeology colleague.

The rest of the crew the professor chose are my new friends Mei-li Yuan, Tova Aune and Kings Bishop.

  • Mei-Li Yuan the famous morph designer, an expert in rare morphs. Her store is amazing, check it out!
  • Tova Aune the explorer and field academic. She looks very smart and capable, but is the quiet type. Maybe from so long exploring alone, with no one to talk to?
  • <error>Kings Bishop<error> who seems to be a colleague of Magnus Ming. Maybe a former colleague? No offence Mr Bishop but I am not buying that animosity act, but blame the professor’s bad acting.

We have to find and retrieve this Tara Yu [ profile] person, dead or alive. I suppose academic work is more dangerous than I thought? But that’s not what made it weird. If was the vaguest mission briefing of my life! I like my mission briefings simple, as you know. The basic “take the passengers and/or cargo from here to there in this craft”. We even had to drag the woman’s name out of the professor! He had no idea where Tara Yu went, what happened to her, when she left Titan, why she didn’t contact him, nothing. He only had the vaguest idea what she was looking for too, some old Earth satellite.

And that’s why I hit you all up for info. By the way thank you for your time and help, sorry for the bother and inconvenience. But we had to learn something about the passenger. We all met up at Mei-Li Yuan‘s shop, which was a top-flight establishment, and we shared what we’d discovered so far. Next up was working out where to retrieve her from.

The four of us plied our long-suffering networks and tracked Tara Yu’s activities, which resulted in my having to cast a fork to Vishnukan Station in Earth Orbit. You all know how much I just love forking. At least there was no resleeving! Anyway the people there were very helpful in our search for the missing lady, even though we came at a bad time and were imposing.

I didn’t realise that the satellite was a sensitive topic either, it was a military satellite that was salvaged about 7 years ago. I am chalking that one up to that vague-tailed briefing.

Next stop, Locus. Well, I have always wanted to see the place, but I wanted to visit on a freighter run not by ego casting there.
I hope I can at least arrange a flying morph of some kind at the other end, maybe a dragonfly? But definitely a synthmorph, if they try to put me in a human body I think i’ll flip my beak! No offence to my human readers, it’s a good look on you but not on me.

Wish me luck! I know I am going to need it.


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