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[SIDESTORIES] Deep Black Sea: Get Up

The Admiralty
Writer
TERMINUS
--​

[member="Jorus Merrill"]​
It was the middle of the night (on Terminus anyway) and Daro was cursing, swearing, stumbling out of his bed at that infernal noise that was keeping him up.

The notification tab at his home terminal had been blinking for the better part of the hour (honestly more like twenty minutes, but the difference between those two were minuscule small when you were trying to sleep) and eventually Daro just gave into it. He knocked something over in his blearly stumble, groaned, leaned heavily against the wall and stared at the blue light popping in and out of existence.

Trying to see if force of will alone could make it stop.

Nope.

Still blinking.

"Feth's sake." Daro plopped down in the worn seat, much of its fabric torn to shreds and the foam pushing out at the seams. "Yeah, yeah, here we go." Dirty nail poked at a button and the blinking stopped.

Of course, after a moment of beautiful silence it was replaced with loud static and buzzing. "The feth- hold on." Brows squinted together as he let his programs clean out the signal as best as they could. It took a while, but eventually the garbled static receded to the background and the Holo-image became clearer. "Oh. General Jorus Merrill." Head tilted a bit as Daro squinted at one of the leading voices of the Outer Rim Coalition.

"...I ain't in trouble am I? Would'a worn something cleaner, if I was."

Grimy bathrobe didn't inspire much confidence.
 

Jorus Merrill

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Character
[member="Daro Tarsi"]

By the wonders of holocomm, two hundred thousand light-years of cross-galactic void didn't introduce appreciable lag. It did, however, make things staticky as all heck.

"Retired a few years back. Just a ship's captain and sheriff these days, and it's the captain that's calling. My daughter told me about your work, Force knows how she got her hands on it, and I'm thinking you're someone I need onside. I've got a unique shipboard problem that could use a unique solution. You open to taking a consultant gig from the comfort of your own home?"
 
The Admiralty
Writer
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

"Your daughter has her own brand of unique tech. So, I ain't surprised she got her hands on mine either." These circles were unusually small even on a galactic scale as far as Daro was concerned. Lots of people were willing to pull a trigger... several factors fewer were interested in figuring out how to make that trigger pull into something more than just a blaster bolt expulsion.

"Captain Merrill then." A pause as Daro mulled that proposal. He scratched his neck, studied the static filled ruin of the hologram and finally pulled a bottle of unknown substance towards him.

It was the afternoon somewhere after all.

"How can I help you?"
 

Jorus Merrill

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Character
[member="Daro Tarsi"]

"I'm in a Star Destroyer-sized bulk cruiser - half combat ship, half freighter - in Companion Besh, Firefist. We've got good engineers and good security, but they're struggling to deal with a stone mite infestation. It's all through life support and we've lost water recirc. There's a dozen people in sickbay.

"My specialty is figuring out new ways to weld things together, but there's no tech I know that'll do the job right. I need some kind of a real solution. Even a room-by-room sweeper would be a huge boost over what we've got. Oh, and whatever you come up with needs to be something we can build out of the electronic parts and print substrate we have on hand. You think you could meet the need?"
 
The Admiralty
Writer
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

Brows raised high at that.

He hadn't heard of that particular expedition- not the details anyway, just that there were some rumblings about a journey far, far away. No matter what Merrill said or claimed, he was still considered one of the leading voices of the Coalition. That meant something. His departure for a year? Well. That certainly did make a couple of waves in the right kind of circles.

"Stone mites, eh?" Daro murmured, bringing up some local information on them. He knew what they were- in concept.. but it wasn't like he had some kind of internal database on what they were about.

Gotta research.

"Don't suppose you got any oxidizer foam with ya, eh?"
 

Jorus Merrill

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Character
[member="Daro Tarsi"]

"We're all out. Chem team's been working on a replacement, but so far everything they've made is way too corrosive and outgasses something fierce. Not stuff we want to use in bulk with the life support systems on the fritz. Right now it's looking like a chemical solution just ain't in the cards. That's why I've reached out to you."

He didn't want to lay it on too thick, but the outlaw tech world wasn't the largest. Only so many places and service providers ever rose above the level of gadgeteer or chop shop. Tarsi had a rep for discretion, innovation, and a certain disregard for cleanliness. All of the above sounded plenty trustworthy by Jorus' standards.

"We also tried repelling'em from bulkhead sections using a modded anticoncussion field, but the success rate's way too low. Do it to a patch of a thousand mites and maybe two hundred flake off."
 
The Admiralty
Writer
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

"Figured, figured, had to ask, before I suggested something more elaborate..." Daro murmured as he pondered on this particular problem. He hadn't had the issue himself, mostly because he didn't spend that much time in space. Didn't like it. Wasn't his thing. Not anymore. But it was an interesting problem and that did draw in his attention like nothing else.

"Guessing that at this point a bunch of 'em merged together and caused even more trouble for ya, yeah?" They liked doing that- eat, eat, eat, then get together and start growing into one another.

At that point you were rightly fethed as far as the orthodox solutions went.

"Grr, you probably don't got any ionite either- would'a make this easy as feth." Head tilted. "Though I guess ya don't need ionite, s'long as... hrrm."
 

Jorus Merrill

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Character
[member="Daro Tarsi"]

"Yeah, there's merging going on left right and centre. And no, we don't have any serious ionite aboard, though that'd definitely do the job. Problem is, it'd also wreck half the ship parts they're chewing on. One of my security guys brought some ionite bullets, and we tried breaking them down and using them, but it just wasn't workable. Too much damage, too slow."

He ran his fingers through greasy hair -- half the sonic showers had started vibrating hard enough to shred fingernail, and the other half just didn't work. "We've got almost a hundred klicks of corridor here, and that's just the hallways. One handful of ionite won't do the trick. We need replicable, and we need speed."
 
The Admiralty
Writer
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

"Would suggest magnets, overcharge the feth out of them and you could probably sweep every floor with them. Same problem as the ionite though, you are running the risk of fething with your own ship too." Daro did notice the hand brushing through hair and that gave him an interesting idea. Risky, sure, but if the inertial stabilizers of the ship were solid then that wouldn't matter much.

"How would you feel about breaking out half your sonic showers?" The question came a moment later.

Those were important- not hygiene itself, but the feeling of being fresh sometimes. It did wonders for morale.... but something told him that stone mites chewing through their reactor core would hit their morale way more than even less showers.
 

Jorus Merrill

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Character
[member="Daro Tarsi"]

A slow smile broke over Jorus' face. "Now there's an idea. We looked at modding sonic weapons, but you're right: the sonic shower emitters are a whole other animal. Do me a favor. See what kind of prototype you can work up, make sure it works against the kind of thing we're talking about, then do up the mod instructions so my people can make a bunch of'em. And yeah, I'll definitely see you're paid for your time and expenses. The Foundation Trust is funding the expedition, and they'll back whatever party recommendation I make. Solve this for us and you'll get what's more than fair."
 
The Admiralty
Writer
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

"I will draw up some relatively easily-replicable schematics, test 'em out- pretty sure I can find a stone mite or two around these parts." It was an abandoned rail station deep below the ground of one of Terminus' city. There would most definitely be stone mites around. Probably farther from where his base though, so he'd have to send in a few probe droids to track them down.

Not the most difficult thing, but still something that needed doing.

"I will probably have a thing for you in a few days, I will keep ya posted with my progress."

--

Took him three.

He managed to hijack a sonic shower emitter within the first couple of hours, at that point it was really just about regulating the frequency and make sure it didn't kark with anything other than the mites. The rest of the time was really spend waiting for the probes to track a few down and bring them back without being chomped to hell and back themselves.

Once all of that was wrapped Merrill and Gossamer received a short-burst with some gift-wrapped schematics.

Daro threw in a surprise too- besides the Stone-Mite-Away he also had tinkered with the sonic shower thing. Managed to scrap together a design that wouldn't boil the skin off their body or barely scrap the dirt away.

"Ya hair will thank me. On the house, captain. - D"
 
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