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Stygian Depths (Stygium Crystal Raid vs OP)

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
During their careers first with Omega Pyre, then with the Protectorate, both Maelion Liates and @[member="Moira Skaldi"] were placed in the high ranks of the intelligence apparatus. They had both either participated or gone to Maramere shortly after its capture. They knew what few others did; Maramere was home to a natural deposit of Stygium Crystals, objects which Archangel wanted very much.

Using that information to their advantage they even knew where the otherwise invisible island was…mostly.

As their ship came out of hyperspace they circled in as quietly as possible and made a sea approach towards the Haunted Straights, hoping to do a water landing and approach through the mists to the island, acquire what they needed, and leave quickly.

That was the plan, but making it reality was another matter.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tegaea Alcori"]

Stygium crystals were tremendously useful. The cause of the Age of Steel would be tremendously advanced by its acquisition. Back in the day when Moira had been senior agent and later head of MICO, there had been talk of utilising them for a cloaked frigate that could serve the special purposes of Omega Pyre, the real Sword of the Protectorate. Kerrigan had been enthusiastic about it, but as so often it had not materialised. Moira had her own views about that. They tended to revolve around the inability of organics to grasp opportunities and utilise resources efficiently. Most organics at least - some were intelligent enough to work properly with. Such as Velok, still unfortunately dead it seemed, or a certain Witch of the Hyperlanes.

As stealthily as possible the ship had entered the atmosphere and was now circling, approaching over the sea towards the Haunted Straights, Moira scanning the area as she waited for the signal for the landing to be given. At this time the mist was very thick, which should aid their approach as the vessel steered downward, hovering above the water as it flew through the air. The vessel was unmarked and not registered in any database, officially it had no connection to the still small Archangel corporation, but then they used cover identities for their business dealings anyway. They had not come for terror and mass destruction, though they were temendously efficient in that direction, but to get what they coveted and leave.

Of course, unknown variables tended to enter into any equation and so they had come heavily armed, just in case. Bolters of both variants, explosives, disruptor pistol, flamer, blades. Best to be prepared.
 

Karsh Lithern

The Living Mutation
Writer
@[member="Maelion Liates"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

To: Maelion Liates, Moira Skaldi
From: Karsh Lithern
Subject: Stygium crystals

Message:

Hello, I caught wind of your expedition to acquire Stygium Crystals. I would like to be able to get in on this as I have a ship going into production and it uses stealth and cloaking technology. In return I will be willing to offer you one of those ships for free once production has begun. You can find out details about this ship HERE. It will be worth your while. The ship is using advanced technology that is very expensive.


I look forward to business,
Karsh Lithern
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Karsh Lithern"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

The offer gave Maelion pause. The fact that this person had discovered their expedition was disquietening, but certainly not fatal. The offer he gave was attractive though, and he might give any defenders pause by operating from a second direction.

Thus;
Mr Lithern,
We are interested in your proposal and accept your offer. I am transmitting coordinates on Maramere to you. The island is surrounded by mist and does not show up on any scanners or map. Use our coordinates and then approach carefully by sea. If you encounter us we shall use the codeword ‘Abyss’ and you shall use the word ‘Entropy’. Best of luck,
Anastasia Solon

The coordinates were duly sent, placing Karsh on the opposite side of the island to them. Ideally they’d not run into trouble.

As she took their ship in to land Maelion prepared the small water craft they had on their ship, which would allow them to approach the island quietly and take a large amount of crystals, enough for their plans.
 

Karsh Lithern

The Living Mutation
Writer
Karsh read the message and hastily made to jump to the general area he would need to be in.

The fortunate news was that the planet had a low atmosphere so Karsh would be able to be there for a considerable amount of time. But the plan was to get what he needed. "R9! How full is the cargo bay?" The response was that it was nearly empty. Perfect. Stygium would be very important to the production of the ship he offered in return for the coordinates. Karsh's ship entered the hazy atmosphere coolly and gently. He came in low on the water which was near a glass complexion. He moved towards the island.

"I want all of you ready to do some heavy lifting. We need to grab these crystals and get off this island." He orders his droids. Piloting the ship to a beach, he lands far enough away from the water to account for the tides, yet close enough to keep the noise down. Noise wasn't a big concern for Karsh, his ship was heavily modified to reduce noise.

The ramp opened up slowly, allowing the pressure to further equalize after the initial repressurization. Karsh and his entourage of assassin droids, armed with some heavy duty repulsor lift carts went to harvest the crystals needed. Luckily, with the amount he could get today, they could fuel the entire production for a few years. Each ship requires only a small amount to run the cloaking device for the entire ship.

The group made their way inland with extreme silence. The crystals would appear somewhere, he had little idea of where to look, so he hopped wandering would be the best option.

@[member="Maelion Liates"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tamara"], @Kara Lithen

To be discovered was...annoying, but Moira recognised the tactical utility. The offer of the ship was attractive and should there be any resistance a second expedition would force the defenders to divide their strengths. While Maelion prepared the small water craft Moira brought the vessel in to land, the water having a near glass complexion, thick and foggy mist ahead of them, seemingly devouring all that dared to penetrate it. No sound of movement or engines, no birds chirping, just the slight breeze of the wind.

How very much like something out of Artam fairy tale, right down to the Haunted Island. The only thing missing were sirens, beckoning them to come into the ocean with them, where they might be devoured. Of course, only an organic would fall for such a thing. The ship having landed, it, Moira got a duffel bag and heavy duty repulsor cart ready, along with gathering her weapons. Then she joined Maelion on the water craft and activated its engines, steering it across the sea towards the island through the thick mist. There was the howl of a wind, once again Fenris might be calling them, eager to see this venture, which promised bloodshed, chaos and destruction succeed. Not that they cared for the cries of a Mad God. If he really existed he would be destroyed as well. For the only true god was the machine.

Moira kept the grip of one hand on the repeater that had been installed upon the craft, but their journey went without trouble as they stealthily navigated their way towards the island. Perhaps if Kerrigan had been around a gigantic, tentacled abomination might have emerged from the depths, but soon the island was in sight and she brought the vessel to a halt at the beach, then touched down onto the ground.
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Karsh Lithern"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

There was something...odd about the island in the mists. After finally discovering its location the two HRDs had a minor issue...the Stygium crystals messed a bit with their inbuilt scanners. Any attempt to use complex scanning, infrared or even picture enhancement was being distorted. Thus they had to rely on their humanoid eyes and visible light.

As they picked their way up the beach they saw the entire island seemed composed of crystals or remains of them. The terrain was slippery and disorientating, but manageable.
Kryptonite-Island.jpg


"Keep an eye out for unharvested formations," she said to Moira. For some reason wireless communication was being distorted also.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Tamara"]

The terrain was slippery and the mist was thick, the crystal formations gave the island an eeriee look. The human Moira might be reminded of Artam folklore, of the mystical island where malevolent spirits and fey dwelt, luring in gullible humans with promises of riches and making slaves of them, sometimes food. However, if anything this area was defined by the lack of eldritch abominations. No tentacled, winged monstrosity rose from the depths of the sea to devour them, no ancient golem guardina charged them brandishing an axe as tall as they. Not that beasts and guardians could have stopped them.

Nonetheless Moira remained cautious of her surroundings, weapons at the ready. The crystals were making a mess out of their scanners, compelling them to rely on their normal vision like humans would. Nonetheless they made good progress, passing remains of crystals and through the thick fog before finally they happened across an intact Stygium crystal formation. "Intact crystal formation detected," she spoke emotionlessly. Having to resort to verbal communication was a bit annoying. Moira wasted no time with more words than necessary, in the absence of being able to scan she had to assure herself with her humanoid eyes that no one was there, but then it was difficult to sneak up on terminatrices, and readied the repulsor lift cart after examining the crystals. The harvest would begin.
 

Karsh Lithern

The Living Mutation
Writer
After much searching, outcrops of crystals started appearing here and there. Nothing substantial. They kept traveling. There was a large feeling of unease which still wasn't settled by the fact Karsh had seven highly trained assassin droids by his side. There was an eeriness that sent even Karsh into worry. "Update." He commands his droids. His right hand told him that their sensors were becoming jammed and they are having troubles even with binocular vision. Luckily the crystals had little effect on his Force vision, which he has mastered because he has no eyes. He started to hear another ocean-beach area. The other side of the island? It seems he had traveled farther than he thought.

His vision felt fine.

"Update. Surroundings." According to the droids there were huge outcroppings of crystals all around him. The droid asked why they haven't collected any. So the crystals did have an effect. "Update. Life forms." After a couple minutes when they got all their results compiled collectively. No non sentient beings to be found. Two potential sentient beings. "Locate." A few clicks away. "Lead." The droids now turned to the presumed location. He sent out strong long range telepathic messages. "Entropy."

@[member="Maelion Liates"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
Unfortunately for @[member="Karsh Lithern"], both Moira and Maelion were completely and utterly unable to detect telepathy. Unlike the HRDs of another galaxy and time, they did not have telepathic receptors. And so the message passed by them without any effect.

Maelion, not seeing any other visitors, instead studied a crystal formation near to where they had landed. Even looking at it with visible light was someone difficult, she had to tell herself there was something there.
Finally, she determined where the illusive crystals were and set to work with fusion cutters and her considerable strength to break off long, delicate crystals and put them in a padded container for shipment. They would need a substantial amount, but there had been no opposition so far.

“Any sign of opposition?” Maelion asked @[member="Moira Skaldi"].
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Maelion Liates"]

"No. The Protectorate's military preparedness has significantly decreased," Moira responded emotionlessly looking, this is probably not much of a surprise by now, calm and impassive. The crystals might be messing with her scanners, but she was still alert and armed to the teeth. One did not simply sneak up on an assassin droid, who was quite proficient at moving without making a sound herself, a quality that had served her well in the past.

Another look around the area just to be certain and then she joined Maelion at the crystal formation she had discovered. The illusive crystals might fool her scanners, but the human replica droid was gifted with divination. One vision, one purpose; peace through the power of the machine. Perhaps this writer should make less attempts at meta. With a fusion cutter and her own superhuman strength she ripped off delicate crystals, breaking them out of the chrysallide formations, stacking them up in the repulsor lift cart she had brought with her. Even for one ship a substantial amount would be needed, but they were patient and could not tire.
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Moira Skaldi"] @[member="Karsh Lithern"]

When the first crystal stack was expended they moved to the next and continued their harvest. The mist and the general distortions of the island seem to have protected them from notice so far. It would not be long before they were finished and could leave the planet with their bounty.

As a side note, this writer also has noticed Moira's post count and deems it appropriate.
 

Moira Skaldi

Paperclip Maximiser
Character
@[member="Maelion Liates"]

So far so good, it seemed a good harvest was upon them. The mist and the fact that any scanners in the vicinity of the Stygium crystals would be distorted protected them as surely as the Mark of Kaine shielded its bearer. Working with the mechanical, unerring precision and single-mindedness only a droid could muster, an independent droid, free from organic control, Moira continued breaking off crystals and stacking them in the repulsor lift cart and padded container. The process took time, the mist interfered with their vision as well, but gradually a sizeable number of crystals was accumulating.

Superstitious organics might have said that the Force was with them, but those who were the engineers of the future did not need a 'mystical energy field that bound all life'.
 

Karsh Lithern

The Living Mutation
Writer
After much time of looking, Karsh gave up looking for the other beings that would be on this island. "Update. Surroundings." There were many crystal outcroppings. "Investigate." For the next few minutes, the assassin droids that Karsh had upgraded with some more function, like stronger limbs and motors, the crystal was found to be breakable. "Harvest." This was the last command he gave for a while, he stood and watched, he could "see" an odd presence being loaded in the repulsion carts. But he could not directly figure out what it was. When the carts were loaded full and the weight calculated, Karsh figured he could fit three loads like this onto his Vigo. "Return harvest. Bring back carts." He ordered four of the droids. With the others, Karsh sent one to search for the other people. An assassin droid searching by itself is always pretty effective. He needed to know more about this planet and they seemed to be the only ones that had any information.

@[member="Moira Skaldi"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Karsh Lithern"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

Finding another growth, Maelion set to work harvesting the crystals. Soon they had processed even more of the invaluable crystals.
The HRD did a quick examination of the weights involved. “We have acquired twenty five kilos of the crystals. Suggest one more cluster.”

As she headed to the next one though her other senses picked up another sound. Faint, undetectable so far.
“Possible contact detected, bearing 190,” she warned Moira.
 

Moira Skaldi

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Character
@[member="Maelion Liates"], @[member="Karsh Lithern"]

"Agreed," Moira said softly, having extracted her share of Stygium crystals from the outcropping that seemed to cover the area they had found, the weight being expertly calculated as the crystals were harvested and loaded into the container so that they coule be shipped. She quickly ran the calculations after hearing Maelion, consenting. One more cluster and their stock would be sufficient for the design they had in mind.

Then she believed she heard something. A sound, faint, still just a blip and eluding clear sensorial detection, but coming closer. "Noted. I shall be ready," she spoke, expression placcid and calm as ever as she retrieved the Mark One Bolter from her back, holding it in one hand while the other gripped the disruptor as she shifted her gaze into the direction Maelion had indicated. Perhaps it was the individual who had contacted them, perhaps the Protectorate, though somehow Moira strongly doubted it was the latter.
 

Karsh Lithern

The Living Mutation
Writer
The droid's transmission came back hazy through all the fog and crystals disrupting any force it came in contact with. Karsh ordered his remaining droids to continue harvesting once the others got back. Then he took off at an extreme speed, thanks to his light weight and the Force. Running as fast as he could, Karsh moved along the eerily beautiful planet. Within minutes, Karsh had caught up. Maybe earlier his implants to be able to send telepathy as electronic transmissions hadn't been strong enough. He tried again. "Entropy." His droid to continued to lead the way, while Karsh gave off his call sign on a periodic schedule.

@[member="Maelion Liates"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]
 

Maelion Liates

Terminatrix
Character
@[member="Karsh Lithern"] @[member="Moira Skaldi"]

It was at that moment that a crackle arrived in Maelion’s transmitter. It was garbled, but it was on the frequency she had supplied the other visitors to Maramere.
“E..r..o…”
A moment later. “Ent…py”

Now she understood. Quickly she sent back a message. “Abyss.” It was broadcast as strong as she could make it. Even then it would be likely garbled, so she transmitted it repeatedly. If it was their ‘friend’ they did not want to accidentally fight each other, thinking they were Protectorate soldiers.

“Load the crystals onto the water transport. I think Mr Lithern is here,” Maelion told Moira. They had enough crystals. It was time to leave.
 

Moira Skaldi

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Character
@[member="Karsh Lithern"], @[member="Maelion Liates"]

Moira received the somewhat garbled transmission at the same as Maelion. Eyes flared briefly, then there was a moment of comprehension as she put the pieces together. Maelion having broadcast their own code word, with Moira sending it likewise for good measure to be certain, she then lowered her boltgun and put the disruptor in the holster she wore on her right thigh.

"Agreed. Our work here is done," she said monotonously, gripping the container, which was now filled to the brim with crystals, along with the repulsor lift cart being activated. A quick look over the are aand she headed back through the dense fog towards the water transport, soon loading the crystals into it. No eldritch abominations had the impertinence to suddenly manifest in the fog and jump her. The harvest was complete, the real work would begin when they were off planet.
 

Karsh Lithern

The Living Mutation
Writer
Karsh's datapad gave him a notification. Multiple messages were being received. They all held the same pattern of letters. His datapad compiled them and got the word it was supposed to be. "Abyss." It was them. His droid and him carried on, getting closer. Karsh had a few questions that he needed answered, and he didn't want to send them in a comm after the mission was over. Karsh was paranoid and didn't think any form of communication except for speech was entirely safe.

Then he saw movement in the distance. "G'day." he sends.

(OOC: Just so you know, Karsh can't physically talk. But he has implants to allow telepathy to be perceived by any droid.)

@[member="Maelion Liates"] @[member=Moira Skaldi]
 
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