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View character profile for: Dr Jade Black
View character profile for: Dr. Artemis K. Pritchard VI
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View character profile for: The Pritchard Skuttlings
View character profile for: Joribel 'Gerbil' Oouga
View character profile for: Yeldarb Sirrah
Fight The Power!Posted by
Posted: Jan 13, 2016, 6:54pm
Blue Dwarf was followed from a distance by a lone battlecruiser. The battered ship was covered in blaster scoring and hull breaches patched with garbage (or not patched at all). Stem to stern, the ship was covered in graffiti. Underneath, the faded markings of an extraterrestrial alien empire, the ship being stolen from said empire long ago.
The ship was all that remained of a resistance group fighting against the Infinite Empire of Thog. The rebel fleet assaulted the capital planet, only to be torn to shreds by the unnecessary amount of defenses guarding the planet. The battlecruiser made it out semi-intact, only because it fled as soon as things turned bad, instead of making a stand like the rest of the resistance.
Now, the survivors were attempting to execute their contingency plan, a , which required "volunteers" from a race that the Empire wasn't currently at war with, and an unarmed ship that could pass a customs inspection. That's where Blue Dwarf, a Human mining vessel, came in.
The crew of the cruiser waited while their plan unfolded.
If there was one upside to Artemis' demotion to protocol unit, it was that he was typically stationed in Engineering, where he could pilfer chemicals and components to conduct basic experiments. Most of his experiments were illegal robot upgrades, illegal implants, illegal chems, which he could sell to the crew for a meager profit to support his family (a protocol unit didn't make much, being that most were non-sentient robots, they only really needed a little money for the commissary to buy replacement parts and upgrades). If he could only access his confiscated lab equipment, he could churn out more product.....
"I really wish you wouldn't go under security's nose like that" The Missus objected as Artemis counted his profits for the day.
"I really wish I wasn't demoted to a lowly protocol unit, but alas my dear, wishing is almost as useless as my brother Percy's degree in Sports Appreciation. Almost" Artemis said, groaning. "Eugh, Percy. I hope that twat met his end in a soccer riot, brown-nosing, attention hogging little...."
"Artemis! Children!" The Missus yelled, smacking Artemis on the back of his tank. "I'm serious Artemis, if you get caught"
"I already cut the security chief in, he gets 10% and I avoid jail, and I only skim off the top of Engineering's stores. Never enough to hurt them, never enough for them to notice. Besides, with today's profits we can afford a new motivator for Athena!" Artemis handed the Missus a wad of Dollarpounds.
"Well....that's good and all. But we wouldn't need to buy her new parts if she'd STOP GETTING INTO FIGHTS WITH OTHER CHILDREN AND BREAKING THEM!" The Missus yelled.
"She egged me on!" Athena yelled from across the living room.
"Sneezing from across the room is not a challenge to fight!
"Look" Artemis said, tucking the cash away in a strongbox. "We're doing better, we can afford to live somewhat comfortably now, and I consulted you before starting!"
"I don't know....I still don't like it"
Artemis put his arm around his wife. "Well, how about this, we head down to the promenade for the new year's party and unwind, we've been working our asses off and I think it's about time we had some fun!"
"Okay, but consider what I've said. This isn't over"
The party was fairly "regular" for a deep space ship. Punch, loud music, co-workers drunk off their asses, and some unlucky sap who drew the short straw on duty in the Drive Room. Artemis was used to it, having served on various research ships during his tenure with Charon Labs (or at least he did in the "real" universe, in this universe he was barred from expeditions by the company after "accidentally" locking an Starbug airlock and leaving a colleague adrift in space, never to be seen again. It was the result of an argument over the usage of Tesla Coils and Plasma Globes in the backgrounds of Sci-Fi movies).
Artemis and The Missus kept to the side of the room occupied by parents and children, which had less alcohol but plenty of distractions for the little ones (and plenty of things for Archimedes to hid under).
"I wonder....if we ever encounter a research facility, if we could somehow open up a portal to our home universe" Artemis pondered aloud, alcohol coursing through his tank. "I mean, I think it collapsed when we entered this one but hey, no harm in trying right?"
"Meh, I'm okay with this universe" The Missus replied. "We're lower-middle class but at least we're not alone in the galaxy. It's nice having the other crew around for a change"
The other parents at the table were completely lost in the conversation.
"....so uh, how about the uh....weather?" someone said, trying to change the conversation.
"There's no weather in space troglodyte" Artemis snapped. "Science 1, you suck, 0!" Artemis slurred.
"What happened to your filters?" The Missus whispered, "I though they kept you from getting drunk!"
"I know right? This is a ffffff......" Artemis scratched his tank "....uh, first. Especially since I haven't actually had any alcohol tonight!"
"Yeah, I mean.....all I've had is this punch, which tastes terrible, but that wouldn't uh....y'know, fuck me up or anything. By the way, where's that waiter? Waiter!"
Artemis grabbed the shirt of someone walking by. "Hey! Boy! Get me another glass of this punch! It's so fffff...freaking good"
"First of all, I'm not a waiter. Second of all, get it yourself, asshole! I'm not taking shit from a talking brain!"
"hey Hey HEY! Watch your tone or I'll steal your fucking organs while you sleep! There's GELF's that'd pay top dollar for what you got under there!"
"You heard me! You'll wake up naked tied to an operating table, and I'll *hic* cut you open with a rusty butter knife and.....*hic*.....take out'cher organs while the Warriors soundtrack plays on an old record player in the background!"
"That is an oddly specific threat...." The person said, confused.
"Artie, please, calm down!" The Missus said, trying to tug him away from the crewmember.
"Yeah, listen to the pink talking claw and chill out dude"
"Hey, that pink talking claw is my wife you dick!" Artemis said.
"Really? Why? They run out of floating brain women?"
The Missus let go of Artemis. "Cut out his fucking kidneys!" she said.
The man and Artemis threw punches, Artemis' punches did little other than annoy the man, and the man's punches bounced off of Artemis' metal frame. Athena ducked behind the man and whistled to her father, Artemis knocked into him. He went tumbling over Athena and head first into a table, knocking him out cold.
"Woooo! Way to go baby!" Artemis said, hoisting his daughter up over his shoulder. "Nobody fucks with the Pritchards!"
Just as he did, the countdown began. The Pritchards and the rest of the crew counted down to the new year.
Just as they reached one, there was an explosion at the front of the promenade. Alien Guerillas stormed the chamber, firing guns wildly and taking hostages.
A duo stepped onto the stage.
"Who's in charge here?" one of the aliens asked.
The DJ put his hand up, completely ignorant of the seriousness of the situation. "DJ Baby New Year bro!"
The other alien shot the DJ in the head, scaring the utter living hell out of everyone in the promenade. "Now I'm in charge!"
"Screw you Zarrack, I'm in charge!" The other alien yelled back.
"We're not doing this again! I'm in charge of fighting and you're in charge of propaganda!" the first Alien said.
"Propaganda? Eat your own asshole! I'm not sitting at a table making buttons and posters I'm leading men into battle!"
"Hey, what the fuck is going on? Why are there two lizard men dressed like Che Guevara knockoffs shooting people!?" Artemis slurred over the argument.
"Oh, shit, where are our manners?" Zarrack said, clearing his throat. "We are the Allied People's Liberation Front! We are united in our cause to defeat the Bourgeois Emperor and his legions of evil! We will establish a beautiful people's government to rule the new empire!"
"I am Thoran, this is my sidekick Zarrack" The other Alien said.
"What the hell? Sidekick? Who led us to victory in destroying the orbital military headquarters!" Zarrack snapped back.
"That was a TV satellite you asshole! And we lost our entire fleet destroying it!" Thoran said snidely.
"Are you gonna kill us!?" Some in the audience asked, fearfully.
"No, we're here to enlist you to our cause! We're taking your vessel and using it to bypass the planetary quarantine at the Imperial Capital! They'll never suspect a Human mining ship! We'll sneak past the quarantine under the guise of refueling, and then, boom! We'll hit the capital with this!"
The two men pirouetted and stood holding their hands over a covered object.
"Gurn, on the pirouette! Like we rehearsed!"
The sheet was pulled by another guerrilla, revealing a massive warhead covered in Imperial markings.
"So, what the fuck is that supposed to be?" someone asked.
"It's a Nuclear Bomb, or at least we think it is. We didn't ask the transport captain before we shot him, it might be a nerve-gas round or a dummy round. Either way, we'll use it to destroy the capital! Then, we with our new Human army will march on the ruins and take the Empire!" Thoran said.
"What makes you think the rest of the Empire will bow to you once you murder millions of innocents? What makes you think they won't send in the Calvary to kick your sorry asses!" The Missus yelled.
"Once we take the capital, we dig our way under the ruins to the Palace's Control Bunker and seize the rest of the Imperial Nuclear Arsenal!"
Artemis laughed quietly in the distance, drunkenly rambling to himself. "Fucking nukes? I made Quantum Bombs! Kick the shit out of that....shit"
"Everyone on this tub will make themselves useful to us, as a soldier, or something else we haven't thought of yet" Zarrack said.
"What makes you think we'll do what you say?" someone asked, promptly getting shot.
"The fact that our men have seized your weapons and we have a fucking nuclear warhead!" Thoran said. "I mean, come on, we're taking on an empire! How cool is that! Now, anyone that has worth will join our inner circle as a specialist, everyone else will be frontline infantry that we can send into the meat grinder to tire down the imperial guard"
Artemis rose his hand. "I'm smarter than literally *hic* everyone here! I've got like 12 PhD's and know how to make chemical weapons from memory!"
"Okay, bring us the brain tank robot thing! Everyone else, make yourselves useful! Start training and practicing dying for the cause!"
Artemis slipped a note to the Missus before being escorted up to the leaders.
"Read it and pass it to Dr. Black!" He whispered.
"What?" one of the guards asked.
"I said, I wish my ass would come back...I miss my body, *hic* you see" Artemis said.
"Oh, aww, sorry to hear that"
The Missus quickly read the note, or at least her half of it.
Take the kids and hide, I'll come for you later *hic* I have a plan She didn't know what Artemis was planning, or why he wrote the hiccup on the note, but she figured he knew what he was doing and passed the note on, instructing the person to Pass it to Dr. Black.
The note changed hands, each partygoer whispering instructions to the next.
It eventually ended up with Jade. A partygoer handed her the note and whispered "Pass the note to Dr. Black, pink dinosaur cake", the instructions having been misconstrued during their travels.
Jade opened the note
Take the kids and hide, I'll come for you later *hic* I have a plan. Oh, Dr. Black, turn the paper over, this is for The Missus
Jade turned the paper over.
Okay so I don't actually have a plan, but I'll distract the *hic* Che Guevara wannabes until you can gather the others and figure something out. K bye *hic*
I sent the note to Jade because Artemis doesn't know Gerbil or Yeldarb yet (he will soon enough).
So, we've got commies with a huge nuke that want to decimate an Alien planet, killing possibly billions in the process, all to take over an empire that they'll probably run into the ground.
How do we proceed from here? They've got our weapons and have goons all over the place.
Artemis will keep Thoran and Zarrack busy for now.