Atunda, Telona 16th, 12731

The Door Into Shadow

by Dizzy Flores

Year: 12731

Month: 4

Day: 16

Carmen and I are trying to have a nice private catch-up while on patrol of the "hospital" and grounds. She's dating Arrawtha (or something relationship-type). I am getting married to somebody WAY BETTER than that one twi'lek bounty hunter who tried to bedhop with Clea and also (once he had sobered up, which took weeks) totally flaked out of the engagement.
Rushlight is INCREDIBLY UPSET about the "Triune" person and about the need for an emergency extraction from hostile conditions.
Rushlight has run off with New Lady In Armor "Jelsa-Ker".
Greelo will go try to find an ambulance or other armored, fast transport.
Iwa, now dry and dressed, is going to reunite with Charkarr and also divide the rescuees into "staying here to provide security for the medics" and "go with us on the extraction".
Greelo actually got 2 ambulances working. Carmen jumps in one and blasts off to collect Rushlight.
When Carmen and Rushlight and Jelsa-Ker pass them, Segeer transforms into speederbike mode (!!!) and Iwa rides him (!!!!!). They go racing after Carmen's Ambulance. We're following shortly behind.
There are Spartan Imperium troops, you know, the guys who told me they were not even possibly coming here, are running toward the transport tube connection spot along with big four-armed green giants. They are fighting off REAVERS (send Carmen to spray fire suppression foam at the Reavers) and trying to get to the junction before the Bloodsmith Raiders (send Iwa and Charkarr at those) can attach SATCHEL CHARGES (oh fierfek) to the tube.
What a mess!
I am going to take over piloting this ambulance while Greelo pops out a hatch to fire at hostiles.
Hey, the Bloodsmith Raiders are trying to set satchel charges to disconnect the tubes, right? They have one single solitary shuttle, which is not going to be enough to fit all of them, right? So some of them are definitely on a suicide mission.
But they're still fighting for their lives. Not just for time. But for their own lives. They do not want to die, or become Reavers, or whatever.
What's going on here? Can we use it?
I do not see how we can, and Iwa does not see how we can, so we will have to put a pin in that idea and leave it for sorting out once useful data falls into our laps. That's not a problem, because I have an ambulance and can smack the storage crates which some Bloodsmith Raiders are using for cover. And I can roll down a window in the ambulance and stun lots of people through that aperture.
I discombobulate several Bloodsmith Raider combatants before BOOM! Headshot. I'm out. I might be dead.

I am not dead! I am, however, concussed. And my suit is kinda somewhat busted. I can't talk to Carmen because of the busted helmet. I can't see Iwa or Charkarr. Rushlight is fighting some dudes. The woman in the armor is atop a bridge, fighting more dudes. Greelo is crawling around the ambulance, which is teetering near a hole in the ground, and at that Greelo is mostly using just one arm to pull himself around because something is wrong with his legs and his other arm is wrapped around this gigantic diamond shape made out of purple crystal with a "cage" of black crystal fangs or something around its top and bottom sort of like jaws.
Because of the teetering, I have to be careful about standing up or we will fall. First I advise Greelo to roll himself to the opposite end of the ambulance, in hopes that he will be safer there. Then I lay my forearm along the back of the ambulance seat, angle my DC upward to fire through the window toward the "sky". I fire one grenade at the same instant that I push my body up out of the seat with my legs, hopefully turning my "downward push" momentum into more of a "sideways push".
There's a tentacle faced dude marching across the battlefield toward us, and I think he might be Sithspawn because he did that {hand gesture makes the entire ambulance move across the ground} thing.
And ... what if I just ... break the black parts of the crystal thingy?
The answer to that question is: the Triune person comes out of the crystal. Rushlight heard (in an argument with a Bloodmith Raider) that they are an energy creature, which I guess means they can be locked up in a weird holocron?
I don't have time to think about that.
Retrieve target from hostile custody: check!
I would tell Rushlight so, if my helmet had rebooted comms yet.
Triune says "thank you". I tell them "you're welcome" and then turn to head for the back door of the ambulance, because I need to clear some hostiles out of our path to the extraction point
we never defined
uhh, my bad!
A n y w a y ....
Knock a Reaver away from the back door of the ambulance while everyone else works on clearing the hostiles in their respective areas. Carmen is having so much fun playing Swooping Magpie (she calls it "Lawn Darts" but that's not how you play Lawn Darts and I would know!) as she tries to catch the Eborrean unawares. She knocked him flat but didn't make impact.
Somewhere in there, the Mirialan Bloodsmith and her bodyguard jumped in their shuttle without waiting for the rest of the Bloodsmiths and took off.
Through Greelo's comms, I can hear Rushlight telling Spartan Imperium Admiral Hunitar that some Spartan Imperium people are mind-controlled and working for the Eborrean, and getting into trouble with Reavers. Rushlight is ordering Admiral Hunitar to take steps.
This is such a bad idea!
We already know that the Spartan Imperium handles anything they find icky by the fundamental principle of "kill 'em all and atomize the remains"!

I think it's part of their holy doctrine, "The Word of Blake".
Rushlight is about to get us all vaporized.
"And you can't destroy this station because-!" Rushlight yowls into the holonet connection, and then is obviously out of ideas.
"Because there's a cure for the Reaver virus aboard this station," I tell Greelo, who pitches that into comms, which means Rushlight then tells that to Admiral Hunitar. Rushlight has to guarantee on his clan that if the Spartans help us WITHOUT vaporizing the station, then Rushlight will send over the cure.
Not ideal, because Spartans; but still better than all the Spartan Imperium dudes and the four armed dudes turning into Reavers and eating the Bloodsmith Raiders' faces, and turning them also into Reavers, and then the whole lot eating our faces.
We get the tide of combat swinging our way as Spartan Imperium boarding raiders swoop in to land near us. I check my helmet systems -- I do have allcall working. Not much, but I'll take it!
"Welcome to the Chentavari Zoo and Conservation Station," I announce. "Property of us, by intergalactic law, on the principle of 'Dibs!'" Then I start listing off the rules: Reavers are not allowed, please get rid of them and disinfect the remains. Hurting the wildlife is not allowed.
You know, the reasonable rules.
Rushlight, being fuzzy, feels that he qualifies as "wildlife"! I see nothing wrong with this argument.
Before I can get to the bit about the gift shop and some sort of teaser about a Zoo Sponsor Membership program, Admiral Hunitar gets on allcall and announces that he's taking over the station.
You can't, I tell him. This is a Tapani Imperium Zoo, property of Emperor Gregor Vortapani specifically, and that would be an act of WAR!
He does not recognize the power of the Tapani Imperium this far away from the Tapani Sector, Admiral Hunitar announces. He claims this station in the name of the Spartan Imperium, he declares quarantine, he is going to kill any ship that tries to leave. (Which the Bloodsmiths in theory are only doing in the most literal sense, because the Shalent in the distant hangar had set up a static charge in the atmosphere of the gas giant to make it seem like there's an ion storm in progress. Travel is a DUMB IDEA for maybe an hour.)
Nobody accused the Spartans of being bright souls when it comes to survival.
Greelo suffocates the Eborrean to death, then claims the corpse. Suddenly all the Spartan dudes who had been working with the four-armed dudes are no longer fighting anybody but Reavers. Suddenly the four-armed dudes are blinking and gazing around, clearly bewildered and a little frightened. Jelsa-Kerr stops fighting them, starts trying out different languages to talk to them.
I am an educated woman. I recognize that "quarantine" means "we are going to line you up and execute everybody for the contamination problem of 'you know something we don't want you to know', and then we are going to walk away".
I start thinking through the tactical problem of making the Spartans decide it is in their own best interests to back off and leave this station as-is when
You know what?

This is an Ancient Aw'akeen Station



One configuration ~MUST BE~ a Travel Configuration

I yank off my helmet, shut it down completely, and look around for Segeer.
He's near Rushlight.
I trot across the decaying battlefield.
Somewhere during the past fight, Segeer took a hell of a hit to the chest. He's being treated medically by Rushlight. I commiserate: Right side of my face is all bruises, I'm on the withering end of a stimpack (properly administered by Greelo to get me up and back into the fight) and I definitely have a concussion.
And I explain my thought. Station. Charkarr. Wake it up. Transform to GET OUT MODE. Venn Run!
Segeer starts grinning at the ground. Like he is not supposed to be telling us about this, but if I figured it out and said it out loud, he can confirm the possibility which he has also been thinking about. Station gots t'have a movement mode, right? Station is Aw'akeen and Kwa joint creation, right? And Charkarr and his foul mouth can scream the dead awake, he can wake the station up! Right?
I trot across a different part of the battlefield to where Iwa is (with a Bloodsmith minion in tow). I report.
Stimpack is wearing off pretty bad, so Rushlight splits another stim with half to Segeer and half to me. Hoo rah!
Segeer warns Zadra and the other Shalent to make sure they are completely within the hangar. We send Triune, Jelsa-Kerr, and Ava-Baymax to their portal, with an agreement that we will do some data searching for Triune's "daughter" who came to our galaxy a while ago and did not have a perfect vacation with the Aw'akeen back then.
Rushlight tells Admiral Hunitar that we're still Tapani Imperium, we're leaving, here's that Reaver cure as promised.

Roll Credits

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