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sunflower

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About sunflower

Year 10
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    Surrender or Run
  • Birthday November 8

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  1. IC: If it weren't for the slight feeling of nausea induced by the massive warship's stasis fields coming online once the ship had jumped to hyperspace, it would have been nearly impossible to tell that the Insight was hurtling towards their destination. The blackened transparisteel viewports give the impression that the ship was motionless, suspended in an empty black void devoid of even stars. Whether this was a more reassuring alternative to the other-wordly swirling mass of energy that hyperspace remained to be seen. The lack of light almost gave the bridge of the Star Destroyer a serene quality to it, a polished austere amphitheater that belied the war machine it commanded. There was a faint hum of voices, though hardly conversation, as readouts, status reports, and commands were relayed across the bridge from the technicians and officers that filled the space. "Captain," A single voice, raised above the rest, the astrogator on station turning in his seat to look up at the aforementioned grey-uniformed human standing on the gantryway above the recessed section. "Dropping out of hyperspace, we've arrived on station. Holding above Dantooine." "Excellent," The response came, the captain's laconic tone not matching the word as she regarded the triangular viewports which began to clear to show the Imperial flotilla before them. "Keep our current orbit, don't form up with the Fleet just yet." Unclasping a hand from behind her back, the captain keyed in a sequence into the console next to her position. Elsewhere, deep within the massive, black-plated capital ship, a small chime came over the intercom, followed by the captain's voice. "Inquisitor Vespula," A low rumble filled the space, the unmistakable sound of the Insight's giant ion engines powering up, "We've arrived at Dantooine, currentl-" Then it hit. A wave of unease and fear that drowned out the hum in the air. One that impacted with the force of a laser cannon to the chest, surrounding and engulfing the space with a deafening intensity that threatened to suffocate. It dampened all sensation save it, clawing up and into the mind. But there was more... An undercurrent within the onslaught of emotion. An eagerness- no, a yearning. A want, hedonic desire. Every Inquisitor on the warship felt it wash over them. And every Inquisitor could recognize its Darkness. "-holding in a high orbit outside of the fleet," The captain's voice continued from over the intercom, completely unaware of what had just occurred. "Awaiting orders before hailing, I presumed you wish to be discrete with our dealings with the Navy." The wave had dissipated completely by the time the captain finished speaking, though its euphoric effects had not. * * * Far closer to the the planet, within the confines of the comparatively diminutive freighter, a small chime emanated from a pocket on Tallik's person, a note that was unfamiliar to those around and him. Investigation would reveal that it was the data chip, but something had changed. A blip was pulsating from the small viewscreen, and the numbers scrolling through were no longer the coordinates of Dantooine itself. Rather, they appeared to be planetary positioning information, outlining a sector east of the capital city. It was then that the Dark wave hit. Unlike the experience felt by the Inquisitors in high orbit above, the one felt by Kaal, Tallik, and Sunorhyyn was less intense, but just as unsettling. It was, for those lacking the familiarity with the unrestrained side of the Force, almost inviting. But an invitation tainted with a rotten, blackened core.
  2. IC: The subtle, eerie blue glow of hyperspace emanated from the freighter's viewports. Just as it had for the past few hours as the Badger made the journey through the liquid landscape of the alternate dimension. Mesmerizing, sure, but equally as unsettling. A small ping from the YT-2400's control console indicated that the route was complete, the sound preceding the amorphous shapes of hyperspace resolving themselves to pinpricks of light. Suspended among them the pale green marble of Dantooine, slowly increasing in size in the viewport as the Badger accelerated towards it. Something wasn't quite right about the planet, at first it was nothing more than a strange sense of unease that permeated the recycled air of the freighter, but the source of it became more and more apparent as they got closer. Sharp, dagger-like shapes cut through the green backdrop of the planet itself, the largest of which unmistakable from the sheer scale alone. The Imperial fleet above their destination was a rather large wrinkle in their plan. Kaal took a deep breath. She could curse her thrice ####ed Chiss brainstem and its hunches, but that wouldn't exactly be useful at the current moment--nor would it be conducive to this minor problem not becoming a Major One. One blue finger reached out and tapped the intraship communicator. That same intuition told her the passengers were going to want to land regardless of the Imperials, that they had some purpose here beyond running. The Chiss method of navigation through space was much like navigation through time. Even if you forgot how to sky-walk, you still kept your sense for when your actions were being guided by something else. "Captain Kaal speaking. We've arrived in the Dantooine system, but we have some... imperial entanglements to avoid. If you wanted to lie low here, I'm afraid we just stepped in a pretty big mess. Taking us in for a landing." She tapped over to the communication channel, opening it to the ringing frequency. "Captain Kaal of the Mossy Badger speaking. Go ahead, I'm listening." The response that came over the comm was clipped and cool, bearing the unmistakable core-world accent that permeated the ranks of the Imperial forces. "Mossy Badger this is Behemoth, this space is under Imperial control, submit your manifest and flight plan immediately. Failure to comply will result in immediate use of force." Kaal pinched the bridge of her nose, looking at the stars through the front viewport of the Badger. Even as long as it had been, she could tell the Imperials were mostly trying to intimidate smaller craft while their eyes were firmly on the New Republic Fleet parked right in front of them. She could probably have submitted a flight plan scrawled on a blaster receipt with a manifest that listed the Death Star plans and they wouldn't have read it. Still, when on Coruscant... "Sending the manifest and plan now, Behemoth," Kaal responded, nodding to E3 to send it over. The flight plan listed the capital city of Tanniko as the destination, which was the truth. It gave passenger transport as the purpose, which was also the truth. It also listed two passengers, Erzibek Dann and Calliope Yohanna, two humans. That was a lie. A Wookie and Twi'lek together wasn't the most common traveling party, probably best if she didn't tell the Imperials. Besides, wasn't like the people in question would get irritated she was stealing their identities. Or, well, feel many emotions at all at this point. “Acknowledged Badger. If you deviate from your designated flight path you will be apprehended.” The last half gave the air of a threat more than a warning, but their path seemed clear even as Kaal maneuvered her ship around the Imperial battlefleet, the multi-kilometer warships filling the majority of the viewport as they approached. A tension hung among the flotilla, an ordered rigidity to their formation that spoke to a readiness. The reason for which became clear as the small freighter cleared the massive bulk of the dagger-shaped Super Star Destroyer that hung as the fleet’s centerpiece. Across the empty void that separated them from the planet itself sat another massive collection of ships, far more eclectic in design and makeup than the Imperial fleet, but just as imposing. While too far away to make out details given their low orbits, the red livery and opposition to the Imperial fleet narrowed down the possibilities to very few other powers in the sector. It was becoming more clear that the Imperials had much bigger problems to worry about than a single small freighter. It only took a few minutes to cross the intervening space between the two fleets, a no-man’s land marked with nothing but emptiness. This time a communication came through unprompted, a short message that confirmed transponder identification, and giving clearance for a flight path along with a rather solemn “safe flying” attached to the end of the message. Making good on her connections, it seems. There wasn’t time to relax though, as the red glow of atmospheric entry lit up the particle shields, slowly dissipating to the green masses of Dantooine proper...
  3. oh boy Top Side Front Angled Bottom what could this possibly be
  4. stay tuned folks, there's more worldbuilding coming in the near future. can't stop won't stop.
  5. nooooooooo don't spoil the surprisearino brooo
  6. Near death experiences are Kane Ra dung. u didn't think i'd let you just post this thing we've been working on for months without announcing it to the rest of the world now did you @Krayzikk
  7. IC: Vali 'Sakuai [OF92/EVA, Combat Space] Vali tracked the increasingly large IFF designators that made up the augmented view provided by her HUD with the M41 as the two of them rocketed forward to engage directly with the corvettes' escort. Despite herself she flinched ever so slightly as Markov flipped the booster frame around to hug the surface of their assigned target's hull. There was something uniquely exhilarating, and terrifying, about the completely open seating arrangements on the frame. She felt a pang deep in her chest as they swung around the back end of the corvette, the booster frame's shields flaring ever so slightly from the backwash from the ship's gigantic engine array, though it was difficult to say whether it was from her hearts momentarily disagreeing with the human dampener fields, or as a result of her own anticipation. She paid it little mind, Markov's maneuver put them in perfect position to attack. Vali felt the rhythmic thunk thunk thunk as the explosive warheads on the side of their frame deployed, her link to the craft relaying their targeting information before her eyes. This was it. She squeezed the weapon's trigger, and it responded in kind as the barrels spun up and unloaded into the formation of banshees ahead. She could hear it fire through her grip on the controls, a sharp report of explosives combined with the cacophony of moving parts signature to the human's primitive projectile weaponry. Though it was far cry from the hum of plasma rounds she was used to, she couldn't argue with the hardened slugs' effectiveness on the lightly shielded banshees before them. Then they were moving again, with another gut-wrenching maneuver that brought them one again close to the corvette's hull to avoid getting outmaneuvered by their more numerous foe. And presenting her a nearly unobstructed field of fire for the escort ships that survived their initial attack. Clever, Spartan. Taking the human's classification of the vehicle as ammunition to heart, Vali opted to open up with the chaingun once again, forgoing conservation of ammo for a wall of uranium rounds that lanced out into the blackness of space and towards the banshees as she walked the tracers closer on target.
  8. IC: Vali 'Sakuai [OF92/EVA, Combat Space] From her position at the back of the booster frame Vali watched as the Madrigal's hangar gave way to bleak dark nothingness. Sound dropped away, and she felt the clunk of mechanisms through her boots as the piece of ammunition was deployed out onto the retaining arms. For a moment she saw nothing but blackness, the light from the destroyer's hangar drowning out the pinpricks of light that normally accompanied it. And then the clamps released, and the two of them were bound just by a skeletal frame of weapons and engines. A hum she felt all the way up into her jaw accompanied the activation of said engines, as well as the slightly nauseous sensation of the vehicle's buffer field keeping her in place as they accelerated away from the Madrigal. Stars resolved themselves in her HUD's augmented view as the light faded away, and the small element in the top right turned from yellow to blue as the frame's weapon safeties were disabled. Experimentally she gave the controls a cursory feel, and the turret rotated in kind to face forward. <<Gauss charging.>> Came the human voice over her helmet's comm following a light tone. Vali glanced down at the Spartan who currently held both his and her own life at his fingertips, the thought not the most reassuring given the circumstances, before directing her attention to their foes ahead. A section of her HUD gave a magnified view at her command, and she could clearly make out the shapes of both corvettes and their escorts. <<Extending pods, Nova Two-One weapons hot in three.>> Another reverberation she felt more than heard as the weapon pods on either side of the frame extended. And then Markov fired off the magnetic cannon, and at once the subtle buildup of anticipation disappeared into the sharpened focus of combat. In the distance she could see the impact of the round. <<Recharging, Sakuai, hang tight and watch our six. Nova Two victors our priority is the hangar bay but let's make it easier for Olympian on approach.>> <<Copy that.>> Came her reply over single-beam, the human's military parlance still colored with her accent over comms. <<Tracking nearest escort group.>> While consciously she knew it wouldn't do much, Vali still braced herself as she swung the M41 around to align it with the Banshees ahead. With any luck, her ancestors weren't still displeased with her.
  9. IC: Vali 'Sakuai [Madrigal Hangar] Vali watched with satisfaction as her armor's systems paired themselves mostly flawlessly with the mounted gun's targeting uplink. She had to hand it to herself there, it wasn't often that completely alien systems were bridged seamlessly together like that. There were still some kinks to work out, namely all of the targeting information was still almost humorously literally translated from the human's language to Sangheili, but it was definitely workable. <<M41 ELAAGat operational.>> Vali added as Nikolai went down his pre-flight checklist to her. While her tone remained the same, there was a noticeable shift in her demeanor as she enunciated the decidedly human name for the weapon. Now was the time for battle, and it was difficult to ignore the sense of prepared eagerness that had crept into her voice. <<Difficult to say.>> She replied back on single-beam in response to the Spartan's question, the anticipation in her voice now fully brought to bear. <<Traditional tactics would dictate Banshee groups be flying interference for the larger ships, though I do not believe these pirates will be adhering to any sort of doctrine of warfare. Even so, Banshees are quick but very vulnerable, and Kig-yar are nearly as bloodthirsty as I am.>> There was a slight pause, just enough to register the last part was a joke. Probably. <<I would watch for pack tactics, they will try to hunt us; surround us and cut us off from the main group. Many will attempt to score the final blow, which could work in our favor as they lose coordination.>>
  10. IC: Vali 'Sakuai [Madrigal Hangar] Vali watched as the other two Spartans began to make their way to their respective booster frames. Though her mastery of their language was far from perfect, tone was easy enough for her to pick up on. Though she had only been aboard for a short while, during that time she had more about human military culture than she could ever have from reports and stories. Some of it had been surprising, some of it had been surprisingly familiar, some of it was plain unexpected. Not the least of which had been these Spartans. For individuals who her people had called demons for the majority of the war, she was struck by just how... normal the lot of them were. For all the twisted science the humans had used to cheat nature and bring those of their own kind up to the level of her own species she had expected them to be more... alien. Instead they had wants, needs, flaws just like any other sentient being she had encountered. Some seemed not much older than children, like the pair of Headhunters that she was teamed up with; others, like Spartan Markov, seemed to be mo- Vali's musings were interrupted as she glanced over to the mentioned Spartan who had turned towards her. The expression on his face wasn't one she could decipher so quickly, and before she could inquire as to what his problem was he had already begun speaking. Cannon? Magnetic? What was talking abou- The comprehension dawned on her in sections as he slid his strangely skull-like dark helmet into place. Was that really how these Spartans planned on launching from this vessel? No that couldn't be right... There wasn't any way. Wait. Was he teasing her? The realization hit her a moment too late, after how much she had been convinced that Markov had wanted to run her through with his blade only moments earlier the last thing she expected was for him to start joking with her. She felt somewhat embarrassed to have fallen for the now very obvious ruse. Becoming more confused by these Spartans by the minute, Vali made to follow Nik as he started off towards one of the frames. There wasn't much to them, though she could clearly see where her position on it was supposed to be; the rotary gun turret not unlike one of those on the human's ground vehicles. "It is indeed," Vali replied to his inquiry about her armor's hardiness. She tapped the blue visor on the helmet under her arm, which was almost human-like in its shape, albeit with a distinctly Sangheili flare. Given the nature of the mission, she had foregone the more traditional battle helm of her armor to the far less ornate and more utilitarian vacuum-rated one. In a single smooth motion she donned the helmet, her features disappearing behind the blue nanolaminate face plate, self-sealing to her suit with a reassuring hiss of life support systems coming online. Her next words came through his helmet itself, as a click indicated her connection to the TEAMCOM network. "Though I would not like to test its durability against plasma munitions, if it's all the same to you Spartan Markov." With that, Vali pulled herself up onto the frame of the vessel with an ease that only a lifetime of being a martial warrior could give, nearly clearing the distance in a single bound. She felt her boots secure to its metal frame, before turning to give a nod to the man who would be the pilot of their craft.
  11. IC: Vali 'Sakuai [Madrigal Hangar] Vali nodded in assent as Nikolai spoke, glad that for the time being he appeared to have dealt with whatever had been perturbing him about her presence earlier. "The, how do you call them... DAV corvettes are a very old design, their systems aren't very difficult to access. It should be relatively simple for us to recover logs from the main bridge computer," she added, before continuing, "Do take care with your flying however, their plasma cannons are just as deadly now as they were fifty years ago." The last part may have been directed at her recently assigned pilot slightly more than the other two Spartans in their squad.
  12. IC: Vali 'Sakuai [Madrigal Hangar] Oh. Oh no. Oh no. She was going on that thing. With him?? Vali decided after this was all over she was going to have to try very hard to figure out which ancestor she had upset enough to have saddled her with this... game of theirs. Then again, she had been the one to ask for this. Personally. As an experience. It appeared she was going to get exactly as much of an experience as she had asked for. Naturally, she had familiarized herself on the Madrigal's compliment of vehicles when she had first received word of her new assignment aboard the human vessel. Though she had nearly missed these craft, if they could even be call that, seeing as the manifest listed them as ammunition rather than actual vehicles. This fact was not exactly reassuring in the slightest. Even so, while it would be first, she wouldn't exactly be in the dark on their operation. One of the benefits of the human's rather crude and simplistic weaponry, it made their operation rather easy to sus out. Unfortunately, that was only half of the situation here. The other half was regarding her with one of his startlingly colorful round eyes. Vali couldn't help but wonder if the same thoughts as her own were racing behind it. "Indeed, Spartan Markov," The fact that he opted to use the name of her keep was not lost on her. She decided to pick her next words carefully. "I... look forward to it." If nothing else, it would be a learning experience. Which is what she wanted, yes?
  13. IC: Vali 'Sakuai [Madrigal Hangar] The Spartans and one of the... Ohdeesstees she had heard them be called, the soldiers who were not Spartans, were busy discussion some matters of technicality that weren't entirely clear to her. Something of adults being trained for... combat? Nevermind, humans were strange. She wasn't particularly interested in such human discussions regardless, not when something far more interesting had, apparently, finally made his appearance. Another Spartan, of course, humans seemed to enjoy sending their most proficient soldiers on the most dangerous missions, they were almost like her own people in that regard. Though this one was noticeably taller than the rest, enough so that his green mammalian eyes were level with her own, the contrast only growing with the totally black armor he wore, far cry from the various shades the other Spartans were clad in. Though that didn't so much draw her attention, and neither did the fact that his helmet was uncharacteristically human skull-like, didn't the humans shy away from ornate armor? No, the look that he watched her with did. The other humans had regarded her with a range of countenances, some with fear, some with disgust, some pretended not to see her at all. This one looked at her like a target. She felt her back tense. This one might've been an ally, but it was clear he was not a friend. "And yours, Spartan Markov," Vali replied in greeting, doing her best to recreate the name which Myra had spoken moments before. He had smiled, and though it was a facial expression of theirs that she recognized easily, there was no soul behind it. Even so, she was not here to provoke a fight. "I am called Vali 'Sakuai, though you may use Vali if you wish."
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