Meet Up

The main hall of the Expanse Crucible was a massive chamber with a stage at the far end. The room was already filled to the brim with seekers from across the Big Black. Ciana, Marcus, and the rest of their team were situated in the middle of this massive crowd. The hall was echoing with murmurs and chatter.

However, the voices immediately died down the moment Lysenne, the head of the Expanse Crucible, descended onto the stage. Lysenne was a sim with cybernetic augmentations which allowed her to wire herself into any computer system within the immense city. These connecting cables flowed from her skull like bony tendrils which were capable of carrying her around effortlessly. Her violet hewed eyes scanned the crowd as she made her way down from the central shaft which ran down the structure's center.

She was dressed in a beautiful black and red dress with a plunging neckline that ended just before her pubic region. Her exposed skin faintly glowed with intricate circuit patterns. Beauty and function merged into one. Her entire body was designed to interface with the systems of the city, providing her with control over much of the Crucible's systems. So when she spoke, she spoke through the numerous sound speakers implanted within the hall's pillars.

Maxx found himself checking out Lysenne's exposed "V" Neck dress. Ce-Lo nudged him from the side then whispered to him.

Ce-Lo: Better not let her see you doing that big guy.

Maxx: Sorry. I wasn't expecting her to appear like that.

Ce-Lo: Just keep chill. We got a mission to do and personal time is for after when we are done.

Maxx: I got it.

"I thank you all for coming. Seekers from across the verse who have volunteered to protect your brothers and sisters in the Steel Expanse, your sacrifices will forever be remembered from here and beyond the end of time. And speaking of time, we have very little. So I will get on with the reason why you all have been called here.

"As you all well know, the shadowkin are a persistent threat for the people of The Expanse. We have waged a bloody and protracted war with them for hundreds of cycles. But today, we pray, will the the first day on the path to ending this conflict once and for all. The answer? Scouts have discovered an N-Space vault housing a vast manufacturing facility for various war machines, automata, and other war mechs."

"If we can secure this factory we can begin mass producing an army to answer the rising numbers of shadowkin that continue to push into other sections of the city. Which is why we've called you all here. We need you all to help us gain control of this factory. Like many N-Vaults discovered, this one is guarded by complex defenses and machines controlled by a Master Control Intelligence (MCI). In order to seize this vault, seekers will have to fight their way through these defenses and shut down the MCI. Do this, and we can finally put and end to the shadowkin threat..."

At this point Ce-Lo and his crew found the mission to be very dangerous and complicated. At this point Ce-Lo wanted to see who else was involved that they might know. It helped to coordinate with trustworthy types. Eventually they made their way to the central hub was a massive transit station of sorts with a circular main area with numerous gates on the edges which led to other areas of the Steel Expanse.

The central hub was a massive transit station of sorts with a circular main area with numerous gates on the edges which led to other areas of the Steel Expanse. Ciana and Marcus exited one of these gates from the Crucible into the hub, and found themselves met by an enormous mag-lev train.

"This is the Shadowlance." Marcus explained to his recruits. "One of the Crucible's most valuable assets."

"A train?" Ciana asked, puzzled.

"The Expanse's catacombs are a web of interconnected rail lines usually meant for maintenance machines to enact repairs, however, they are also a great way to get around in various sections. It utilizes the gates to get to different districts then travels across them at near-luminal velocities." Marcus explained.

"That's a fast train." A recruit remarked.

"So this is how we're getting to that vault?" Ciana asked.

"Others will be trying to get in via airships and gates. Not many would consider the maintenance areas and rail lines." Marcus reasoned. "Not to mention, the Shadowlance has its own defenses to help punch our way through anything that may be lying in wait."

"Very nice." Ciana nodded with a smirk. "When do we get going?"

Ce-Lo and his crew appeared behind Ciana.

Maxx: You always were eager to get your hands on fancy tech girl.

Ce-Lo: So you guys plan on using this to get there huh?

Maxx: Have you heard from T-ren yet?


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