See you, Space Spikard -- Part 3

MLoader: Righty ho. When last we left, you were proceeding toward Terrapin station in the wake of your good friend and unstable mercenary, Henri Bonfleur.

Devan: Rightyhoo.

Demetrius: Yes. We'd just heard about the Emaghans mind-boggling offensive.

MLoader: Anything you were intending on doing before the ship reaches its destination?

-*Devan* Get info on that from the usual gang.

Demetrius: Ahhh... the ships in good shape, got a hanager of brand spankin' new fighters, right?

--> DevanOn? what, and from who?

MLoader: Ayup.

Demetrius: And T didn't find anything else interesting abaord the Nadir beyond the info about the chicken?

-*Devan* On the Emaghans offensive, preferably from frat boys.

-*Devan* If not, then Walker or so.

MLoader: T reports that he found lots of pirates, and pirate loot, but that was it.

Demetrius: Mm...okay.

--> DevanTrumps? aren't working, and even if they were you doubt they'd know anything about the internal happenings of one isolated Shadow.

Demetrius: Beyond that... well, we haveto cross through UE space on the way to Terrapin, so could Iplace a call to our new friends in the Admirality and see if they've turned up anything else about Fiona or Spikards?

-*Devan* Right. What DOES work here?

MLoader: Sure.

-*Devan* Actually, do I still have contact to MY shadow?

--> DevanBasically?, things that don't involve movement or cross-shadow communication work. Yes, your Shadow still can be accessed.

Demetrius: I do that, then.

-*Devan* Can't I trump from MY shadow, then?

-*Devan* but nevermind. Will learn from Merc's info.

MLoader: The admiralty reports that they haven't turned up anything new on the spikards, and that a woman matching Fiona's description supposedly met recently with the Supreme Leader of the Voinians on a Miranu courier vessel in neutral space.

--> DevanYou? could, actually.

--> DevanBut? again, none of your contacts would know jack.

-*Devan* That's okay, at least it's nice to know I have that ability.

Demetrius: what took place at this meeting?

MLoader: They have no idea. They just found out that it may have occured.

Devan: How about someone matching Gerard or... (who was the other one?)

MLoader: No news on anyone matching Gerard.

Demetrius: Mm. Which system? I assume it was one of the ten million DSN systems between the UE and Miranu?

MLoader: Yup.

Devan: *prods Demmy* What about the other one?

Demetrius: Dalt? Demetrius doesn't really know that much about Dalt beyond his reputation for Not Dying.

MLoader: No word on him.

Demetrius: I thank the Admirality kindly, and promise to look into this for them.

MLoader: Oh, and about two-thirds of the way there...

MLoader: "AMIGOS! Welcome to BIG SHOT, the show for bounty hunters!" "Hiiiiiii!!!!"

Demetrius looks at Devan. "Maybe I should have given an alias the first time the Zalchit jumped us."

Devan: "Yeah. You could've told him you were Gideon."

Devan: "Another bounty or two on him wouldn't have mattered much.

MLoader: "Wow, hombres, this is one story that just keeps getting bigger! I refer, of course, to the Dread Space Pirate Demetrius, and his boss, Devan the Galactic Scourge!" "He has a boss?" "Yes! And the boss is evil too!"

Devan: "..."

Demetrius giggles a bit, then composes himself.

Devan: "Okay, so what did I do now?"

MLoader: "The Zachit have raised their bounty! The Azdhari have doubled their bounty! The captains of Freeport have added another 5 million credits into the pot, and the MTC has thrown in a 1 million credit bounty as well! All told, that makes a grande 70 million credits!" "Holy shit." "You said it, senorita!"

Demetrius: "Go us."

Devan mutters. "Remind me, who's in charge of Freeport?"

Demetrius: "Human Renegades."

MLoader: "Golly! The lucky bounty hunter who catches them will be crawling in money!" "That's right! So good luck, all you bounty hunters, in catching the evilest men in the universe!" "Why are they so evil, huh, huh?" "They just are. Plus, Devan rapes small puppies. We have proof." "Ew! That's evil!"

Devan: "Great. Well, now, we just have to make su..." He stares at the screen. "WHAT?!"

MLoader: Show ends.

Demetrius looks at Cupio. "You must feel left out."

MLoader: "I do, man. Mebbe I should go rape some puppies too."

Demetrius: "Say, where the hell does these morons broadcast from?"

Devan: "If they're smart, a roving base."

MLoader: "Miranu space, I think. They're an affiliate of the MTC."

Demetrius: "Mmm. I'm starting to think they're a mouthpiece for someone else."

MLoader: "After this is over, let's hunt em down and blow their fucking heads off."

Devan: "Puppies. Where do they get those things?"

MLoader: "Probably from the people who want to kill us."

Demetrius: "You get used to it after awhile, Ser Devan. The secret is to always have _one_ group that _doesn't_ want you dead."

Devan: "Right. Well, let's get on with it."

Demetrius: "Mmm."

-*Devan* Make a note, send monkeys to steal that blonde's tops. x.x

--> DevanCheck?. They steal a fighter and pilot off on that mission.

MLoader: Okay. You warp into Terrapin.

MLoader: The station, a Zidigar outpost, hangs in space. A few Zidaras are patrolling along.

Demetrius: Is Bonfluer going into a foaming frenzy and blowing shit up?

MLoader: Nope, he's cruising quietly up to the station.

Demetrius: Ah. Well, let's join him.

Demetrius orders Nelson to fly casual.

MLoader: Bonfleur docks. You dock. He starts gathering information, and soon finds that the trader who bought the rubber chicken is in docking bay 503a.

Demetrius: "Right. So how do we wanna play this?"

Devan: "Well, if we want to keep things quiet, why not just buy the chicken off him?"

MLoader: Bonfleur twitches. "Buying it would work."

Demetrius: "Yeah, probably. I mean, we'repretty flush for the moment, and these credits are pretty worthless to me anyway."

Devan: "Right. Want me to negotiate?"

Demetrius: "Sure. Would like me, Cupio, and... mmm, Vaprak? to loom menacingly in the background?"

MLoader: "VAPRAK HUNGERS!"

Devan: "Just to be on the safe side... Hm. Call me Van. Wouldn't want to remind people about the bounty, eh?"

Demetrius tosses Vaprak a piece of space scrap.

Demetrius: "Yeah, that's probably a good idea."

Devan: "Right. Everyone got that?"

MLoader: Chorus of yes.

Devan: Right. Cut to the chase and corner this guy.

Demetrius: "Right then. Mr. Bogodozan, Nelson, you're in charge. Don't do anything I wouldn't do." Err... and what Devan said.

MLoader: Okay. Your crew of bashers comes into the bay. The trader, a shifty-looking Miranu, looks rather intimidated when he sees you all. "Can I help you gentlemen?"

Devan grins, slipping into oil-charming mode. "Ah, the man I wanted to see! I hear you have all sort of goods, from the exotic to the esoteric! Would you be willing to let me take a look around?"

MLoader: "Why, of course. I have all sorts of wares," the Miranu gabbers.

Devan: "Well, then, my good man, bring them out!" as he throws his hands out in an happy Godfather-like embrace.

Demetrius stands next to Cupio and looks dangerous.

MLoader: The Miranu brings out pile after pile of useless garbage.

MLoader: Finally, out comes a rubber chicken.

Devan doesn't react. Let him bring out the rest of the stuff. Why draw unnecessary attention?

MLoader: All of it gets brought out.

Devan: Start negotiating for a few objects. Say, uh, a lava lamp, a rubber chicken, a whoopee cushion, and assorted prank stuff.

-*Demetrius* I surreptitiously scope out the chicken. Anything hidden in it? Any kind of vibe?

MLoader: Okay. He haggles a bit, but gives you a good price, then starts placing the items in a small shipping crate.

--> DemetriusUsing? what?

Devan: (And when I say A rubber chicken, I meant the one our dear little friend wants)... Okay.

-*Demetrius* For the hidden thing, my Mad Warfare Skillz. For the other, my admittedly-narrow Abyss Skillz.

Devan: We didn't see any other rubber chickens, did we? This is going a bit too easily.

--> DemetriusYou? don't sense anything.

-*Demetrius* Mmm.

MLoader: Nope, it was the only one he had.

Demetrius: Is Bonfleur actually with us?

Devan: "Thank you, my friend!" in a boehemie voice. "We'll be calling again for anything else." He snaps a finger. "Demmy, pick this up, will you?"

MLoader: And, at this point, twenty Igadzra led by a gaunt young human woman walk into the bay and level energy weapons at you. "We'll take that, if you don't mind!"

Devan: I knew this was going too smoothly.

Devan: "Well, uh, see, _I_ kinda mind, especially since you haven't the courtesy to introduce yourself." (Who the hell is this woman.

Demetrius: Wait wait, hold on a second.

Demetrius: I'm here. Devan is here. Cupio is here. Vaprak is here. Anybody else on oru side?

MLoader: Bonfleur is, indeed, with you. That's it aside from the ones you just named.

Demetrius: I knew I should have brought minions.

Demetrius falls back to the crate and lays his hands on his myriad weapons.

MLoader: "We serve the glorious Holy Igadzra Empire, which served Mahadeva." She levels her pistol at you. "Back away from the crate or die."

Demetrius arches an eyebrow and says, "This ain't Navalo, lady."

Demetrius: In Thari.

Devan scratches his ear. "Right." (And palm that staff too)

MLoader: "Indeed. For one thing, high-energy beam weapons work here. You have three seconds. One..."

-*Demetrius* I go Abyssal and shoot her gun hand.

Devan: And wham them with the staff now.

Devan: Duck, roll and wham. x.x

MLoader: 'Wham'?

MLoader: Bit more detail, please.

Devan: try and whack them with the staff, in a sweeping arc.

MLoader: Okay. They're a fair distance away, and they've got guns. You sure?

Devan: No. What does MY warfare say to do in this case?

MLoader: Your warfare says that if you absolutely have to fight twentyone psychos with beam weapons, getting behind cover and using a distance weapon is best.

Devan: Hmmm. Duck roll and find cover, after shouting "Scatter!"

MLoader: Okay. Demetrius goes into Abyss form and shoots the gun out of the woman's hand. The other twenty Igadzra open fire. Luckily for Devan, he picked this time to do his duck and roll. Bonfleur runs for the exit, Cupio dodges, and Vaprak gets blasted repeatedly and goes down in a heap.

Devan: I'd better have those distance weapons ready and take shots here and there.

Demetrius draws his sword in his free hand and starts weaving about in front of the crate, using his fog-form to confuse peoples aim while he cuts them down.

MLoader: Okay. Igadzra start getting mowed down, though Devan takes a nasty burn. The woman shapeshifts into some kind of liquid metal blob and zooms towards Demetrius.

Demetrius: "oI! cupiO! littlE helP!"

-*Demetrius* I pivot smoothly and cut her in twain.

-*Devan* Try and snag a laser gun somehow. If I have to toss a belt or something to hook a gun with.

-*Devan* without exposing myself, that is. x.x

--> DevanYou? already have one, if you'll recall.

-*Devan* "Mowed down" doesn't describe who was DOING it. If it's me, continue, while using shapeshifting to try and heal the burn, if possible.

MLoader: Demetrius's sword bounces off the blob. It smoothly engulfs the crate, ignoring him, and then starts making for an exit... just in time for a grinning Cupio to interpose himself.

MLoader: And then, Zidigar troops poor into the bay, along with a small tank. "Station security! Surrender in the name of High Lord Gato!"

-*Devan* Screw this. Shoot a round hole in the floor around the tank.

-*Devan* and the troops.

Demetrius stops blasting Igadzra, but flows over to back up Cupio.

MLoader: Devan shoots a hole in the floor under the tank; part of it catches in the hole. The Zidigar open fire at Devan. Cupio yelps and dives out of the way of incoming Zidigar fire. The blob ignores the shots and keeps making for an exit. Igadrza die to the last man as the Zidigar mow them down. Demetrius moves to join Cupio.

-*Devan* These are laser beams they're shooting, are they?

--> DevanSome? sort of energy weapon. Phase guns, to be precise.

-*Demetrius* I jump up and go for a piercing stab into the blob.

-*Devan* Hmmm. I was thinking of shapeshifting into a form that let energy pass through. like a prism. But that wouldn't work, would it?

--> DevanIt? might, but it would be very risky. Otoh, your cover is rapidly disintegrating, and you'll be in big trouble soon.

-*Devan* Yep. Well, let's get the fuck out of here. Repeat the hole procedure, but this time do it on the ceiling above them.

-*Devan* And then as soona s it's feasible, make a break back to the ship.

-*Devan* A slightly bigger hole, mind you.

MLoader: Demetrius vaults into the air, and does a spectacular piercing stab at the blob. Which bounces harmlessly off, almost knocking the sword out of his hand from the force of the impact. Devan blows a hole in the ceiling, and starts trying to scramble through it. Cupio dodges like a madman.

MLoader: Lord Gato, who looks like a demon, emerges. "Fools! You have no chance! Your chicken belong to me!"

-*Demetrius* Have I been in close enough proximity to blob-lady to form an impression of her mental strength?

--> DemetriusNot? really.

-*Demetrius* Well, what the hell. I jump back at her, shove one of my foggy Abyss arms inot her goo, and go for the emntal invasion.

MLoader: Devan gets shot once while diving through the hole, screams, and passes out. Demetrius tries a mental invasion of the blob, and discovers that its mind is about as powerful as his own... the resulting mental conflict does, however, slow it down. Cupio John Woos like a madman, bouncing off walls and blasting Zidagar to atoms.

-*Devan* ah well. o.o

MLoader: And then the bay door explodes. An Azdara fighter screams across the hangar, phase cannons blazing. Zidigar vaporize. Demetrius and the blob get hit and fly bouncing across the room. The crate bounces in another direction.

-*Demetrius* Thank you for giving Devan valuable insight into how powerful my mind is, btw. >.<

-*Demetrius* Can I disengage?

--> DemetriusLike? he has any idea how powerful her's is. :)

--> DemetriusYou? can.

-*Demetrius* My. I give her what looks like a giant mental hammerblow, which is actually a feint, then pull off and launch acorss the room at the crate.

MLoader: Demetrius disengages and runs after the crate. The Zidagar blast at the fighter. The fighter srafes them, then wheels about as a tractor beam locks onto the crate. It starts zooming for the shattered bay door, pulling the crate in towards its cargo hatch.

-*Demetrius* Can i reach the crate before it goes?

--> DemetriusNot? on foot, no.

-*Demetrius* On foot? There's other options?

--> DemetriusWell?, not really, unless you can think of anything funky.

-*Demetrius* ah.

Demetrius sites carefully and blows away the tractor beam emitter.

MLoader: Demetrius blasts the tractor beam emittor. The crate goes flying through the bay door and out into space, as does the Azdara, though the two are no longer joined by a beam.

--> DevanYou? wake up. You are in great, massive pain.

Demetrius: "fucK!"

-*Demetrius* I whip out my bridge Trump.

MLoader: As you watch, you see a small Crescent Fighter zip past, snagging the crate. The Azdara takes off in pursuit, guns blazing.

--> DemetriusIt?'s out.

-*Demetrius* And I use it. I don't step through, though, i just wanna talk to the guys there.

--> DemetriusIt?'s not working, as trumps don't work here.

-*Devan* focus and heal self a bit to reduce pain so I can focus elsewhere. c.x

-*Demetrius* Oh, damn.

Demetrius turns about and runs at Devan to scoop him up. "oI, cupiO! graB vapraK, it'S timE to bloW!"

MLoader: High Lord Gato stares in shock, then pulls out a comm unit. "All ships and defence squadrons! Take off every Zig! You know what you doing! Move Zig! GET THAT CRATE! FOR GREAT SERPENT!"

MLoader: Cupio grabds Vaprak, who is already coming around. Where you running to, the ship?

Devan staggers to his feet, barely... in time to get scooped up by by Demetrius. Still unsteady on his feet, though.

Demetrius: Yes.

MLoader: You barrel into the Radiant. Terrapin Station occasionally shudders as blasts hit it. On the bridge tactical display, you can see over three hundred yellow, green, and purple dots representing Zidagar, Igadzra, and Azdgari warships, all embroiled in a three-way battle.

Demetrius: Which ship has the crate now? Or is it confused?

MLoader: You can't tell atm.

Demetrius drums his fingers. "Dammit."

Demetrius: "Launch fighter screen and pull back aways. We'll wait to see who gets the crate, then jump'em when all sides have expended themselves."

Devan: "... Oi, Demmy? Keep an lookout for any particular ship that's being ganged up on or defended. It probably has the crate."

Devan: (Use your warfare, in that case, I think?)

MLoader: The Red Barons launch. The Radiant retreats a bit, occasionally having to blast an Azdara or Zig.

MLoader: After a time, your combat analysis spots what you think is the ship with the crate in tow.

Demetrius: I assume bonvleurs in there mixing it up?

MLoader: Yup, the City of Trier is in there dogfighting with the rest.

Devan mutters. "Want me to take weapon fire again?" as he looks towards (who was sitting there?)

Demetrius carefully issues a series of orders for the Radiant to swoop in, cut the ship with crate out like a bull from a herd, and snag the crate.

Demetrius: OOC: Barrington.

MLoader: Cupio takes the helm, and motions for Devan to take weapons.

MLoader: Anyway, the Radiant starts moving towards the fight.

MLoader: And thats when the 250-ship Voinian Warfleet hyperjumps into the system almost on top of you. Cupio yelps as he almost collides with a Voinian Heavy Cruiser literally a few feet away.

Demetrius: "..."

Devan: "Bloody fuck!" He's in charge of weapons. Gonna tell ME to not shoot?

Demetrius: No.

-*Demetrius* My Warfare extends to inciting people to fight,does it not?

Demetrius thinks rapidly.

--> DemetriusYes?.

Devan: Take fire, then. On assorted key spots, especially weapon ports.

Demetrius opens a general-comms frequency to the Azdgari, Zidagar, and Igadzra. "Ho! Peopleof the Strands!"

Demetrius: "Are you all goign to sit here and blow each other to spaecbits while these conquest-driven fascisti Voinians swoop in and take what's yours, or are you going to SHOW SOME SPECIES SOLIDARITY, STAND UP, AND KICK THEIR DAMN, RHINO-LIKE ASSES!" Demetrius continues in this vein for several minutes.

MLoader: The shield readouts scream in panic as half the Voinian Navy opens up on you. Devan shoots. He hardly even has to aim because Voinian warships are EVERYWHERE. Cupio is cursing in language even the Abyss Pirates would never use, frantically trying to dodge hundreds of incoming rockets and goatloads of Neutron blasts.

Devan: Start targetting all those incoming missiles! x.x

Devan: fraticide the missiles, etc!

Demetrius: Let's try and take cover with the Crescenters, shall we?

MLoader: The Radiant breaks out of the Voinian pack, pursued by thousands of Voinian fighters. Devan wisely uses his guns to shoot down rockets. Cupio is dripping with sweat and mouthing a mantra about not dying fuck you. The Strands seem woefully uninspired by Demetrius's speech, though a few strafe the Voinians.

MLoader: Oh, and you notice something.

Demetrius: the fact that this sucks?

Demetrius: *Dammit. The Speech usually works.*

MLoader: Emerging from the Voinian pack and leading the charge is the biggest, nastiest, scariest ship in the galaxy. It's big and grey and looks like a huge flying arrowhead.

Demetrius: It's an Imperial Star Destroyer, isn't it?

MLoader: "GAH!" screams Bonfleur over the comm. "It didn't stay DEAD!"

MLoader: "Voinian Dreadnought! They must have built another!"

Devan: "Great. Now what?" even as he keeps shoooting

Demetrius: "Uh-huh." Demetrius turns to Devan. "Perhaps we should teach them the follies of leading from the front."

Demetrius unlocks the Main Gun and transfers control to Devan's console.

MLoader: You zoom into the Crescenters. They shoot at you too. Blue dots appear on the screen as 400 fighters and Aradas of the Zachit hyperjump in.

Demetrius: "... and after that, perhaps we could simply run like we've never run before."

Devan eyes the main gun, and gets it loaded and ready. "Whenever you're ready."

--> DevanWhat? are you going to shoot at?

-*Demetrius* Which are, in essence, sight on the voinian dreadnight, blow it away, then escape in the confusion.

Demetrius issues a series of orders.

MLoader: Zachit go careening through the melee, firring at the Radiant. The Voinians are fighting the Crescenters now, and kicking their asses.

MLoader: 300-odd Human and alien Renegade ships hyper in, and start attacking other craft. "HAR HAR!"

Demetrius: "... this is rapidly becoming the single most psychotic battle of career."

Demetrius: "This includes the time I fought carnivorous rabbits."

-*Devan* At the moment? The bigass ship that's leading everything.

MLoader: Devan fires the main gun at the Dreadnought.

MLoader: He misses.

Devan: "...

Demetrius: He MISSED a two-mile long dreadnought?

Devan: How the hell do you miss something that big? o.o

MLoader: The Dreadnought somehow anticipated the attack, and tricked a squardrom of Zidara into flying into the blast as it used an afterburner shunt to sideslip.

MLoader: A pretty damn impressive feat.

Demetrius: "..."

Demetrius: "Gentlemen, I believe the time has come for a strategic retreat."

Devan: "Bloody fuck. Who the fuck's piloting that thing?"

MLoader: "NOW YOU SEE THE POWER OF KUNG FOOD!" yells a voice suspiciously like Ivan's amidst all the the comm traffic.

Devan: "FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!"

MLoader: Bonfleur's ship explodes. An Azdara zooms out of the wreckage, and you see the crate vanish inside it.

Demetrius hails the Azdara. It might be Bonfluer.

MLoader: No responce.

MLoader: And then 200 Emalghan warships jump into the system.

Devan: I don't get your logic there, Demmy.

Demetrius: He might have had it as an escape craft.

MLoader: They zoom through the melee like mad weasels. Ships explode left and right. They proceed like some unstoppable force of nature.

Devan: ... Right. Main gun recharged?

MLoader: Yup.

Demetrius simply stares at the situation gone horribly out of his control. He also tracks the Azdara, and tries to have Cupio move in on it while everyone else is distracted.

Demetrius: "Ser Devan, try not to antagonize the Emalghans."

MLoader: Cupio zooms after the Azdara.

Devan: "Right. Now let's see... that bigass ship better not have anything in front of it this time.

Demetrius: "Ignore it for now, Ser Devan. We have to pivot the entireship to aim that monster."

MLoader: The Emalgha are killing everything that gets in their way. Voinians explode in droves.

-*Demetrius* Which would be quicker, blowing it out of space, or using or probably much, much stronger tracotr beams to haul it int?

Devan mutters, and switches over to the other weapons. Any incoming missiles, take care of, otherwise deal with the enemy.

Demetrius: "No Emalghans, Ser Devan."

MLoader: The Azdara flies evasion through the thickest parts of the battle, obviously trying to get clear enough to use hyperdrive.

--> DemetriusIt?'s going too fast for a tractor lock.

Devan: "Okay, okay! Jeez, one mistake...!"

Demetrius takes over gun controls from Devan, and carefully tries to cripple the Azdgara.

Demetrius: Azdara.

MLoader: The Azdara flickers around. Whoever's piloting it is damn good, and the fighter is the best in the galaxy. You get glancing blows on the shields repeatedly, but it evades and they come back up. Your own shields vanish as a group of Zachit fighters do a strafing run on you.

MLoader: Behind you, the Voinian Dreadnought explodes as the Emalgha zoom through it's wreckage, spewing death from every gun.

Demetrius: *I knew I should have gone for the armor.*

Demetrius tries to lead the Azdara into a firing trap, tracking one way then the next in a series of clever feints. "Ser Devan, take secondary weapons control."

Devan takes control and works on coordinating with Demetrius' firing trap concept.

MLoader: Demetrius, Devan, and Cupio together is enough to fool the fighter, and it takes a full blast. The fighter starts disintegrating, and the pilot jettisons his escape pod. The crate tumbles out of the wreckage... as your internal alarms blare. "WARNING! LOSING HULL!" The Zachit keep mercilessly strafing you.

-*Demetrius* can we snag the crate via tractor as we run up to hyperspace?

Devan: "Aw FUCK!" as he starts working on taking out the zachit.

--> DemetriusNot? while aligning for hyperspace, no.

-*Demetrius* Can the ship live long enough to grab the crate, then jump?

--> DemetriusNot? with the Zachit pounding on it like this.

-*Demetrius* Do we have surviving fightercraft who could snag the craft as they dockedwhile we aligned for hyperspace?

--> DemetriusYou? do, yes, but the craft need to be retrieved before aligning.

MLoader: Devan starts blowing away Zachit.

-*Demetrius* Before ALIGNING, or before JUMPING?

--> DemetriusAligning?.

-*Demetrius* So we'd die before THAT went down to, wouldn't we?

--> DemetriusIF? the Zachit are still blowing you away like this, yes.

Devan: Demmy, turn the ship over to the side or something so SOME other armor covers us!

-*Demetrius* Hmmmm. Everybody hates and fears space mines, don't they?

--> DemetriusYes?.

-*Demetrius* And you can't really tell if they're armed or not whena ship drops them, can you?

--> DemetriusHowever?, they're of little use vs nimble fighters.

--> DemetriusRight?.

-*Demetrius* So I could drop a whole pisspot full of them, causing the Zachit to scury away before we ALL died?

-*Demetrius* at leats, so they'd think.

--> DemetriusSee? above. Fighters don't mind mines, as they're able to dodge em, and the Zachit exclusively use Arada and Crescent Fighters.

-*Demetrius* Hmm. Anything bigger than space mines? I mena, something REALLY huge that if it went off, would vaprize everything even remotely near us.

--> DemetriusThe? dreaded Forklift, but you've never actually seen one, and neither has anyone else. It's a myth.

-*Demetrius* but people are scared of it, aren't they? What's it supposed to look like?

MLoader: No-one knows.

MLoader: Page that.

-*Demetrius* Well, it's worth a shot. What'sthe freakiest-looking thing we have onboard tha dos precisely nothing?

--> DemetriusAbyss? probe.

Demetrius: "Patience, Ser Devan." He issues a few orders into the internal comm. "I have a plan."

Demetrius opens a channel to the Zachit,and assumes his Abyss form. "zachiT! herE mE!i aM thE dreaD piratE demetriuS!"

MLoader: "It had fucking better me a QUICK plan, Captain Kangaroo!" Cupio snarls, hunched over his panel.

Devan: "Yeah!"

Demetrius: "yoU maY havE mY shiP, buT i wilL noT gO alonE! beholD...the FORKLIFT!" His hand slaps down on a button.

MLoader: They respond by continuing to strafe you.

MLoader: Hull breach on deck ten.

Demetrius: "yoU shalL alL servE mE iN thE worlD tO comE!" He winks at Devan and Cupio.

MLoader: The probe launches.

-*Demetrius* Bingo. Okay.... start tracotring the crate.

MLoader: The Zachit peel off and flee in all directions.

Devan: "..."

MLoader: The crate is tractored in.

Demetrius collapses in his chair. "Get us the fuck out of here, Cupio."

The Thrilling Conclusion! Part 4!