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All Your Base (Open)

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All Your Base (Open)

Post by Hayden on Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:46 am

She sat in the depths of the massive ship that guided her fleet, her brow furrowed in contemplation. With the loss of one of the ships and Gantu's death as a result, things had become a lot more difficult for her now. Her fingers slid over the arm of her chair, sliding a panel open to reveal some buttons and a small speaker. Her fingers pressed into a few of them, a sigh escaping her lips.

"Yugo, how is our prisoner? Did anything change?"

"No, Grand Councilwoman," came a tired reply. "Jamba's still not talking."

She raised a brow in surprise. "He stopped talking?"

Something indiscernible was shouted in the background. Regardless, she still managed to catch a few words such as 'destroy' and 'evil genius'. "Let me rephrase that," Yugo replied, "he's still not giving us anything useful."

"Alright then, inform me when you do. Don't be afraid to get a little more extreme with your methods if the situation seems to call for it, but please don't kill him. If he's dead, our cause is a lost one."

"Of course, Grand Councilwoman."

"That will be all Yugo. Good Luck." Her fingers hit a reed button, before tracing over the others and getting another voice on the speaker. "Chookou, have you found out where our other ship was headed?"

"Not just yet, Grand Council woman, but we've narrowed sown some options." His voice was more scratchy and higher-pitched than Yugo. Chookou was no Gantu, but as an impromptu substitute was performing much better than would have been expected with such responsibility suddenly thrust upon them. This was of note because it was actually Chookou's last day before he retired, but the first day he'd ever conducted this job. Ideally, they wouldn't have offered him this position, but he was the highest ranking person after Gantu and the most qualified. Aside from that, the actual replacement would be here tomorrow, so this solution was temporary. "It's gotta be one of seven different worlds based on direct the ship went and travel data before it left our range. Nearest we can tell, the most likely out of those seven are AW-014, A-034, or NBC-035."

Her fingers fell together as she contemplated the possibilities. AW-014 seemed possible, certainly. The nature of the world made the occurrences there completely unpredictable. The entire world was predicated on insanity and madness, after all. NBC-035 also could have been possible, though less so than AW-014. "Chookou, why A-034 be a candidate at all? It is much more mundane than the other worlds."

There was a silence on the other end of the line. It lingered for a moment before she repeated herself. "Chookou?" Silence again, but broken by what sounded like an intense rushing of air, like somebody was blowing into the vocal receptor. Then, silence again. "Chookou?" Her voice was a little more urgent due to her surprise. Silence for a moment more. "Chookou, respond."

"Sorry, Councilwoman. Something happened to our communications for a second."

She furrowed her brow. "Chookou, I'm not a tyrant but I am a stickler for addressing people by their proper titles. That would be Grand Councilwoman, if you please."

Another pause. "My mistake, Grand Councilwoman. It slipped my mind. It won't happen again."

"You didn't answer my earlier question, either. I'll thank you to do so now. Why is A-034 a candidate versus the four remaining worlds out of the seven possible ones?"

Silence again. "Because... we, well we needed a third to present you. We know that binary choices aren't as appealing when presented, so we added a third world to make our options seem more open for exploration to yeild better results."

It occurred to the Grand Councilwoman that perhaps Chookou wasn't the best for this job, after all. She hadn't interacted with him much before Gantu's untimely passing, but now she couldn't fathom how the serious, brooding Gantu could have stood this man. The conversation started off so well, and earlier in the day he'd performed admirably. But now, it seemed his mind was slipping. Something was definitely off about his character. "Right... well, Chookou, do try not to be frivolous next time. If there are only two possibilities, then there are only two. It only makes it easier for use to locate it in reality if we narrow it down, not harder."

"Right, Grand Councilwoman. My apologies. I'll have an update ready for you tomorrow."

"Of course, Chookou. Good luck." She tapped the red button with her finger again, before suddenly feeling a pause. Did Chookou say tomorrow? Did he forget he was retiring then? She sighed. It wasn't really her problem if he forgot. She believed that the information would come when it was ready, regardless of who prepped it. He could have just as easily meant he'd tell his successor and they'd inform her, but failed to word it as such. She shrugged, when the same red light she had just hit started to flash.

Her finger tapped it again, and this time she slid the button left. "What's so urgent?"

"There's a small ship docked with us, Grand Councilwoman. We're checking it out, but it appears empty. If the pilot isn't inside, then it is safe to assume there's an intruder on board."

"Thank you, I'll inform Chookou immediately." She slid the red button back into place, and then her fingers danced across the board again. "Chookou, put the ship on lockdown. We may have an intruder."

A moment passed. "Yes, Councilwoman. I'll be sure to do that," came Chookou's response. His voice seemed remarkably unconcerned.

"Grand Councilwoman," she corrected sternly, her voice expressing agitation at Chookou's laid-back attitude. "Do it now, Chookou! We need to contain this. We don't know what or who is on board, what diseases they've brought with them, what they intend to do!"

"Understood, Grand Councilwoman. Just leave it to me."

She hit the red button, and then slid it left again. "Anything to report?"

"Nothing yet. Unless he can turn invisible, the ship is clean."

"Don't be silly," she chided. "Meet up with Chookou at his station and report back to me. Be careful with him, by the way. I spoke to him earlier, and he doesn't seem well. I do believe his age may finally be catching up to him."

"Understood, Grand Councilwoman. I'll keep you updated on our status."

She reclined back in her chair, sighing deeply as she ended communications again. She sat in silent contemplation for a few minutes, before realizing that no announcement had been made regarding the lockdown yet. She frustratedly attempted to contact Chookou again, but before she could even get him dialed up the red button flashed red. "Yes?"

"Grand Councilwoman, we've arrived at Chookou's station, but he isn't here. Did you instruct him to move elsewhere?"

"No," a frown spread across her face. "I did not. He's really not there?"

"I'm afraid not, Grand Councilwoman."

"Hmm, most odd indeed. Is anything out of place? Check the status of the area. He was supposed to already engaged lockdown."

"Alright, give me a moment Grand Councilwoman. I'm having somebody run a system check on the room so we can see its activity logs." A few moments later, and he spoke again. "Alright. Looking over this list, Chookou apparently never made the attempt to lock down the station, though it does look like he started trying to lock down something."

"Something? Did an experiment escape?"

"Most likely not. Those little monsters cause major damage, and everything is intact. What I don't get is why he opened the airlock before securing himself."

Something clicked in her head, the gears spinning. "I beg your pardon? You say the airlock was opened?"

"Yes, it would appear so."

"Get a team to check the exterior of the ship immediately. Something is wrong," she informed them.

"Grand Councilwoman?"

"I don't know for certain," she told them. "But, I have a suspicion I need confirmed."


It had been quite a day for Hayden. As he slunk through the bowels of the massive ship, he reflected on his previous exploits and chuckled. This place's security wasn't that great. The cameras were easily avoidable when he could turn invisible, and sealed doors weren't a problem since he could pass right through them. Still, the technology in this place was impressive. He had that greedy feeling one gets moments before opening a long-expected gift. It was excitement in its purest form.

He fully intended to take this ship for his own, and all the other ships around it too. So what if it pissed off the Galactic Federation? What were they going to do? Send him more ships?

Please do.

He crept along silently as he looked for the ship's navigation area. He wasn't sure how spaceships worked- how could he be? It wasn't like blueprints for the whole fleet were just lying about in the open for him to read. He had no floor plans, no maps, nothing. Everything so far had been guesswork, and for a person dumbly-stumbling through a ship the size of a world? He had been doing very well. Also, there were signs, too. They gave him a steady stream of directions. It was somewhat lucky that these beings used English as well, otherwise he'd be pretty screwed on that front. Yet, it wasn't at all surprising. Everything spoke English. To an extent, it was proof for the idea that everything was connected once.

The walk was taking longer than he would have liked, but that was to be expected. The ship was massive after all. It wasn't like he'd take a five minute stroll and arrive at his destination. "When I take this ship over," he mused, "I'm going study and build translocation terminals." It was genius. And so was he. Brilliant.



The Grand Council Woman's suspicions were accurate. Within moments of dispatching a team to examine the exterior of the ship, they found Chookou floating through the great void. He was very much dead after so much time spent outside the ship. The void of the sea of skies was cruel and unforgiving. It only took him fourteen seconds before he lost consciousness, but those fourteen seconds were likely rife with the most horrific agony he could have ever comprehended. A fast death, but not a merciful one. "Oh, Chookou," she lamented. "Who could subject you to such a fate?"

"Lock down initiated," came a voice from the room around her. She sighed in relief. Chookou was dead, but at least his murderer could be brought to trial.

The red button blinked once again. "Grand Councilwoman, just before lockdown we had one of our men confirm that the intruder is on the navigation deck. He's likely heading for the pilots."

Her blood chilled. What was this stranger's intention? What did he plan to do to them? "Get a team there now, right now! Do not let him escape!"



Hayden stood at the door, his hands up as the people in the navigation room had their guns trained on him. They were adequately more prepared than the last guy, though to be fair who expects a game of sword-gun-shield to include airlock as a fourth choice? "Hey now," he chided them. "This is woefully impolite."

One of the people in the back of the room seemed to relay something to somebody, and Hayden shouted at him. "Hey, hey!" Guns cocked over his voice as he shouted. "No tattling! That's not very nice!" He looked at the people in the room, and with one hand still raised he slightly lowered one and began to point and count. "One, thirteen, sixteen. Sixteen of you in all," he mused. "That's... wow, that's literally perfect." Fifteen clones erupted from Hayden's body, and Hayden himself rushed forward.

Hayden's hands called traced copies of Blade's Legacy and Blade's Prophecy, as did all of his other clones. They cut and sliced around the room, leaving the people once manning it unconscious on the floor. "You guys are lucky," Hayden mused, dismissing the weapons from his hand. He approached one who lay splayed on the floor, beaten nearly to unconsciousness. "Wow, that was actually really fast. You definitely aren't soldiers." He tapped his foot impatiently, kneeling down to look at the one fading from consciousness.

"Hey, wait, don't black out yet." Hayden smacked the man, jarring him awake. "Name?"

"T-troth."

"Alright, tuh-trough. Weird name. Your parents probably hated you, but at least I don't hate you." Troth stared at Hayden in fear, terror binding him from speech. "I like you. You don't talk much. That's good. I need you to listen and not speak. I'm not killing you. I could kill you. Are we on the same page there?"

Troth nodded.

"Baller-baller. Okay, so listen. I'm going to cut you and your buddies here a deal. When they wake up, whenever that us, feel free to relay the message." Hayden hoisted Troth from the floor and onto his feet, pushing him against a panel with computer screens. "I don't know how to fly this ship. That's a problem, because I want it. I would like to have it mobile, to. If you guys agree to fly it for me, I won't kill you. I also won't keep you prisoner if you agree, because that clearly has no benefits to let a bunch of people with nothing to live for drive my space-car. Just think of me as your new boss."

"What about the people that refuse...?"

"Great question. Let me answer it with another question: do you know how to open an airlock?"

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No Plan is the Greatest Plan

Post by Hayden on Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:12 am

The team was in position outside the navigation room quickly enough, their weapons trained on the door. The Grand Councilwoman's voice came through to their ears, warning them to be careful and cautious. They'd already lost one good man today, they didn't need to loose any more. They stood at the ready, fingers on the triggers while their laser-rifles hummed quietly in their hands.

And it was quiet. Dead quite. Then, from behind, the sound of guns dropped were the prelude to the last man at the door falling down unconscious, his rifle too clattering against the ground. Hayden's form was revealed moments later, grinning childishly. He picked up one of the rifles of the men, and knocked against the door with its metal frame. "We got 'em," he called in a voice not his own.

The doors pulled open, with roughly three of the navigators from before tied up against the back of the room. The rest of them were allowed to recover peacefully. For the most part, Hayden couldn't discern whether they abide him out of fear or something more... intelligent. It certainly would have been a very stupid proposition to refuse him, especially when fifteen of his clones loitered about in the room, having armed themselves with traces of the laser guns that the navigators were using.

Speaking of stupid, the three tied up in the back of the room were currently in the process of re-evaluating their life choices. Loyalty to the Galactic Federation, which they had truly thought might save them, proved folly as Hayden felled all the soldiers. He approached the three of them, hands on his hips as he bent down to face them, a serious expression his brow. "So, you three. Have you changed your minds yet?"

They didn't indicate otherwise, forcing bravery and defiance into their expressions. Hayden frowned. "That's... uh, wow, unfortunate. I had expected the large group of unconscious armed guards in the hallway would change your opinion on the situation!" He spun on his heel, growling humorously as he placed his hands to his head in mock frustration. "Oh no, what ever will I do?"

At this, the clones hoisted the three bound creatures onto their shoulders, two of them offering no struggles while the other struggled profusely before a Hayden clone slapped him across the face. The original Hayden turned around. "Why? Why struggle? Why make a shitty choice and then not accept it?" He walled up to the man himself and started to smack his blue checks  rapidly and lightly, but with enough fury to make them sting. "Like, really? What happens? You somehow struggle out of my grasp and then what? I pick you up again? Are you dumb?" The clones holding the silent two stopped, while the one holding the struggling on proceeded to toss him into the airlock.

"You two. Sneak preview. Get a load of this." The door shut tightly, and the clones held the solemn faces of the other two up to the window while the one that struggled cried out in despair as he was ejected into the sea of skies. They watched him die, and Hayden chuckled lightly and then cursed. "I hate wasting resources," Hayden said as he looked at the other two sharply. They were placed down in beside the airlock, now open as the clones pulled the unconscious soldiers into it. "And I admire your dedication. I like that. It's refreshing. So, here's what: after I finish taking over this fleet, I'll give you two another chance."

He moved away from the group, leaving a few clones behind but taking ten more at his flank. "Hey, so, last thing really quick Tuh-trough." He turned on his heel, facing the man.

"It's Troth, sir."

"Yeah, neat story. Give the soldiers in the there the same ultimatum as the people out here when they wake up, but add one small caveat for me. Make sure that ALL of them agree, and if any of them don't they have two options from there. All of them can die, or they can kill the ones among them who aren't willing to surrender." Of course, it could backfire too, but something in Hayden had a doubt that such a thing would occur.

Troth was stunned as Hayden left the room, sauntering off with ten clones in tow. Then, suddenly he rushed back in. "Alright, so, I have one more thing. Uh, where is the leader of this ship located? I assume they're in charge of the whole fleet?"

"They're in the main chamber of the ship, and, yes. Head straight from here until you reach the culinary area, and swing a left immediately. It's a straight shot from there to the main chamber where the Grand Councilwoman resides."

"Good man Tuh-trough. I'll take it from- wait, what the fuck?" Hayden's face turned into a twisted expression of disappointment, Anger, and confusion. "The Grand Councilwoma- ugh I'm so dumb! And so are they! Dumbasses!

Troth became concerned, more for his life due to Hayden's state of mind than for his state of mind. "Uh, sir...?"

"I just realized, Tuh-trough!"

"Troth, sir."

"Shut the fuck up, let me try to reason this out. I didn't get it, because it was so stupid that I couldn't have ever thought it possible." He wheeled around on his heel, pointing at one of the ten clones. "You."

"Me."

"Yes, exactly." In that instant, the clone exploded and Troth, as well as several other jumped back against the wall and their desks. Hayden turned to them. "See what just happened? It fucking exploded." He glared at them, seeing if any of them would get it. The fearful expressions in their faces said that they did not in fact get it. "Ugh, alright. The Grand Councilwoman leads the Galactic Federation, yes? The entire federation?"

Nods from around the room.

"So the leader of a gigantic, interworld empire is sitting in the middle of space on a Megastructure the size of a world, and with no consideration for that fact that literally all a person has to do is destroy the fleet and fuck the government up. The G.F. is not a democracy last I checked, right?" They didn't immediately respond, and pressed into them. "RIGHT!?" Nervous shrugs gave way to nods.

"They handed me a fleet, and then the ultimate bargaining chip. Oh, man, the fools! Oh, oh this orgasmic! I could die!" He began to laugh, and the other clones joined in. Then he and the other clones pointed at the scorch mark left in the ground by the exploding clone, and they're laugh intensified before dying down. "Alright, alright that's enough. I can do it with nine. Really, I only need me but this way is more entertaining." He patted one of the clones on the back, humming to himself.

Yes, he had found his new strategy. He would take the council woman and use her to bargain against the rest of the federation. Though, that could prove troublesome. It might be better if she simply disappeared. Hayden was powerful and with this fleet at his command more  so. But, fighting such a massive empire was a bit above his scope and interest. He nodded to himself, confirming that while waging a one-man war would be an interesting endeavor he had been there and done that. Instead, he decided that he was going to kill the council woman and see if she had any interesting alien traits that he could turn into weapons or armor. Failing that, maybe her fluids would make excellent lotion.

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Re: All Your Base (Open)

Post by Hayden on Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:09 am

Quite a bit of preparation had gone into this. Well, alright. That was a lie. This was rather sudden, an impulse not unlike a twitch or a flinch. It was something sudden and involuntary, an automatic response to stimuli or over-stimulus of sensation. A finger lay upon the button, pressing it down indefinitely and mid-slide. T'was a cry for help stifled by the firing of a beam rifle, her corpse empty and lifeless as the blood drained out of the hole. This was the vision that the Grand Councilwoman had as she tried to reach the soldiers that were meant to have taken down the intruder in the navigation room.

No one had responded to her calls. The emergency call button was silent, the frequency for that team's leader was empty, with what seemed to be hollow hopes. The reports were definite. A small vessel. One person could pilot it, maybe two or three could comfortably fit. It was impossible for her to believe that between one-to-three individuals no matter how heavily armed could take down an entire security team. Yet, did she have a choice? Yes, and that choice was rationalization. Clearly, they must have had help. Which meant that she needed help too.

She had already sent the other ships a distress call, and awaited a response from them for only moments before they guaranteed aid. She could practically feel them closing in on the flagship, the men aboard ready to put boots to glathos... or, glath? Plural or singular, the invaders would soon have a boot planted firmly into them. They would reach the room, discover that the lock down was in effect still, and then what? Wait outside finding a way in, only for dozens of armed men to show up and fry them.

She relaxed herself, staring forward towards a screen which displayed for her a clear image of the great void. The view was beautiful, but oddly terrifying. What if she died out here? The Federation would know something had happened, but ny transmission they sent would take a year or two to reach the home cluster. They'd only be able to inform the nearby outposts, but... something stopped her from doing the wise thing and warning of her potential doom. It was one of the most crippling things a leader can face: uncertainty.

She did not wish to cause a panic. But she did not wish to simply become another mystery victim lost to a marauding space-alien. She did not wish that for her men either. Her sense overcome her fear and she pressed the red button again, though this time she intended to twist it, and slide it upward. Her hand only went up half way before she stopped, startled by a banging on the door. She didn't move, staring intently at the metal safeguard. Would that be death, come upon ill-borne wings?

Another knock. Then, a voice. "Councilwoman! Come on! Don't be like that. It's unflattering!" Chookou's voice came from the otherside of the door. In her distraction she had released the red button, and it returned to its original position. She panicked slightly, fumbling to twist the button again and started to slide it again when she felt something halt her hand. She jerked confused, and then panicked, and then Hayden let the light was over him, shedding his invisibility. Her eyes went wide.

"Shh," he told her with a calm, assuring gaze. "You're gonna be fine, Councilwoman."

She gazed up at the man before her in shock. What manner of alien was this? It was pink, er, no. It was... brown? Brown with a light pink tint? And a tuft of white fur upon its head, adorned in strange clothing. "I..."

"Oh, you must be wondering who I am. How could I be such a rude guest?" He raised her hand gently, as if attempting to help her to her feet. Nervous and uncertain she obliged, and her led her away from the chair. "Ah, great to finally met the woman behind the communicator. I like your fancy dress. It's very... well, fancy. Not really what I thought the Galactic Federation's head honcho would be wearing, but interesting." He released her hand, stepping forward towards the large monitor. It displayed the stars, as well as the ships from the fleet gathering around to protect her. Tens of them. Dozens. Maybe a hundred. A fleet of ships one-hundred strong. "Very nice. Very intimidating."

He turned to face her, and caught her fearful but defiant gaze as he smiled. "What do you want?"

"Oh, it's really simple. Nothing too abstract or unobtainable. If you play along I'll even let you live. If you don't, then I'll have to..." he turned a finger behind him, realizing that no clones were in the room. "Oh, duh." He  snapped his fingers and one of them appeared before the two. "Awesome. Say hello."

The clone waved at the Grand Councilwoman. "Hello," it called.

She stared at it intently, opting not to engage with it. Hayden and the clone exchanged glances and shrugged. "Hey clone," Hayden called to it, a toothy smile on his face as he crooked his head. "You?"

"Me."

"Yes, exactly." It exploded violently, leaving a crack and scorch marks in the floor. He turned back towards her,  drinking in her shock, though she did keep it in check fairly well. "See that? That will be you."

"My, at least my death won't be as mundane as an airlock," she quipped with venom.

"Hey, not nice. Airlocks can be our friends. Also, did you just imply that you wouldn't accept my deal before you even knew what it was?"

"I'll drop the pretense and outright state it if it'll make my position any more clear. We don't negotiate with terrorists."

"Do you barter with traders?"

"Do traders murder?"

"No more than soldiers might if their jobs called for it."

"That's not relevant."

"Not really, no. Then again, neither is this part of the conversation. I want your fleet so give it to me or I'll kill you slowly."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Well, alright. Explosions aren't a slow death so I-"

"Did you just say that you want the fleet?"

Hayden nodded excitedly. "Yes, oh gosh," he clasped his hands together like a child expecting a gift. "That means you're going to give it to me I assume, so thank you in advance."

"What? Why would think that's what that meant? I'm not giving you the entire fleet?"

"Why not?" His voice dropped in tone sharply to something more threatening. "Don't rain on my space parade, or I'll pop your float something good."

"Are you real?"

"Yes. I think. About ninety percent sure actually. But, let's get back on topic. So, giving me the fleet? How thoughtful of you."

"I'm not giving you the fleet. I don't have that kind of authority."

"You are literally the closest thing to Ruler of the Universe that actually exists. The 'I don't have that kind of authority' schtick loses value when you actually do have that kind of authority."

"Yes, I am the leader but I'm not the war council. I can't hand over this fleet to you, and even if I could I wouldn't."

Silence.

"Ha, funny. Give me the keys to the spaceship."

"It doesn't have keys."

"Oh."

Silence.

Explosion.

Then, an unconscious form where the councilwoman lay. Hayden giggled to himself as he lifted her body up, holding her head and jaw and making it talk like a puppet. "Yes, you can have the fleet. You seem like a nice man. So nice. You are handsome and wonderfully smart."

"Aw, thanks," he said as he dropped her unconscious form onto the floor, grabbing a leg and dragging it towards the airlock. "I think you're pretty neat too. I'm going to take you to the neat room and show you how neat it is out in the Neat of Skies." He tossed her inside, and hit the button to lock her in. "But first, I'm going to demoralize you and your men when I convert them to my side and try you as a traitor. It'll be like a litmus test- those that speak up, protest, or fight for your freedom will join you in that Neat room and you guys can be neat together. It'll be neat." He clicked his teeth. "Neat. Neat." Neat was a neat word.

Outside the door, his clones had already dispatched of the first wave that came after him. They were onto the second. Another group tried to "free" the soldiers and pilots. That didn't go well for them at all either. Hayden walked back over to the screen, and counted the ships. There were exactly... a lot of them. Like, bunches. Honey bunches, even. He clicked his teeth again, thinking about how many soldiers, pilots, scientists, and more were stowed away on those ships ripe to be exploited. "Neat."

So, for the most part, this ship was cleared. Kind of. It was the size of the world and he'd only been here ten minutes or so... hmm. Alright, so this might take a bit longer than he thought. But, that wasn't such a bad thing. Hayden used his armor, and created around 75 clones within just about thirty seconds. Using magic, he created another 30 in about a minute. Additionally, he had all those lovely clones already outside. So, tallied, he had about 120 clones. Plus himself. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

Another three stepped out from him, and then he raised a clone from his shadow. He duplicated one of the original three clones. Alright, so that made 125 Clones. Plus himself. Hmm. Good enough for now. He'd be seeing that number bolster... now. An additional 125 Clones appeared as Hayden rubbed his hands together, populating the room with his image. "Lovely. Ah, yes. This is a party. A rave! Everybody," he rallied the clones.

The clones looked to him. "You know what people do at raves?" The clones murmured, and shook their heads. "Of course you don't! Because I don't! Duh! We're gonna fuck this place up and take it for ourselves!" The clones cheered. He was basically just cheering for himself, but never mind that true fact. "Rules are simple! Only kill if we have to, otherwise knock them out and show our lovely hosts into the nearest available neat rooms! We'll get to them as time allows!" Once more, cheers erupted. All the clones created either swords or laser guns, and rushed the safety steel door. Their combined might broke it easily, and they joined the clones in the corridor.

Hayden turned on his heel as the clones vacated the room, smiling happily as he walked up the Grand Councilwoman's chair. He examined it for a moment, taking note of the buttons on the hand rest. He smirked, took a seat and began to play with the buttons. Some combinations yielded voices, while others changed the screen to different images or videos. He clicked the buttons, eyes transfixed on the screen before him. He smiled broadly.

"Neat."

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Re: All Your Base (Open)

Post by Hayden on Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:46 am

From the beginning, this hadn't been a particularly strenuous effort. Sure, he had attempted to be steathily right at the start, but that was before he slowly realized the full magnitude of the endeavor he was embarking on. This wasn't an assassination mission. He wasn't trying to steal a small object from beneath a slumbering lion that lay deep within its lair. He had thought of it like that at first, but now he understood his folly. He wasn't stealing the lion's treasure. The lion was the treasure. And its cave. And its actual treasure.

Slowly, Hayden had been coming to understand the full nature of his goal more and more as it came further within reach. From the moment Hayden took a seat in the Grand Councilwoman's chair, he fully realized that this was no longer a stealth mission. There was no need to view stealth as a valuable asset to his "mission", though obviously ambushes and surprise attacks, as well as deception and other related tactics still held obvious value and advantage. Again, this wasn't particularly difficult.

And, truthfully, had it been time efficient? Hayden would have gladly kept up the charade befitting his illusory talents. But Hayden was a rather impulsive beast, and one who was ultimately a slave to no one man but restrained terribly by his own whims. On a whim had Hayden decided he wanted Deep Space, realizing only moments before what he could do with it. On a whim had Hayden invaded this ship, deciding that Stealth was the most viable. But right then, as Hayden found himself staring into the screen with about a hundred other ships full of armed and trained men?

Hayden decided, more based on observation than fantastic whimsy, that pure stealth was no longer the object. Again, something he had started to realize earlier, though it was only a lover that nibbled gently as his ear. Now it was a raging beast, excited by reality. This didn't make anything more difficult. On the contrary, this made things potentially much easier. Much, much easier.

This was only due to one detail. Hayden outclassed them, yes, but had it been just Hayden against all of these men he would be at a severe disadvantage. In fact from experience against the weak, unarmed Heartless hordes Hayden recalled how easily even the most powerful can be overwhelmed. Hayden's advantage came from the fact that there were as many of Hayden as he needed them to be. A virtually endless supply of the Foreteller of Blades marauded the halls of these ships now, and he would have them.

He had long since left the control room, joining his clones in other areas of the ship. Yes, there were still many more ships but this one was by far the biggest. He gave them very simple orders. Ask them to surrender, knock out whoever doesn't, and then when they wake up ask them again. Refusal meant a stay in the Neat Room until further arguments could be made, as a war-zone was not a great place. Clearing out this ship gave them a foothold regarding the other, smaller ships and how they dealt with them.

It was proving difficult to do without a way to keep their troops from entering, but while Hayden knew there was a way to initiate lockdown he had no actual way to do it, nor did he feel it mattered enough to learn how in the heat of the moment. Instead, he and his ever swelling army of clones surged through the halls, like clockwork. They moved in tandem, calculating, with not a single strike or attack wasted on their foes. Their truly was no kill like over kill, but only when something troublesome required a heavy-handed approach.

It was a forgone conclusion that Hayden would overtake the main ship in due time. The people who didn't immediately get captured were locked away for safe keeping. He had given all the currently held soldiers the same ultimatum he had given the first group, seeing as that it apparently worked better than he had hoped. Either all the living ones (important phrasing) left in the airlocks agreed to join him, or they all got ejected. If somebody objected? Kill that person. The point of that was to create a sort of shared guilt among the participants. He made them responsible for caving into fear and accepting that choice. While he didn't imagine all of them would be so profoundly effected, enough would be.

Unless Aliens really had completely different psychological and neurological processes. In which case? They may very well be playing him, though he imagined they'd have already observed that he was not a wise person to play and thus any games they might attempt would be limited in scope and orchestrated by very few, which made them easy to deal with. Ultimately any sentient life at its core developed to procreate and survive, not necessarily in that order. So, play to the survival aspect. He made a fair guess that death was not a preferable outcome.

Yet, his battle had only just begun. His duplicates and he felt the lull in the combat, likely stemming from the enemy's confusion. It made sense if they hadn't sent more men over yet. They quite possibly didn't even know that the original waves had already been addressed. Hayden took the opportunity to move back to navigation and rally with Tuh-trough. His first question was, "What buttons do I push to communicate with all of these other ships?"

Okay, so not super difficult, exactly as one might hope. There were various ways on this ship that one could contact other ships, with most of those methods being facilitated through the same means. For example, that navigation room where the pilots were had an emergency broadcast station in case something major occurred or if exceedingly important information needed to be relayed to all the ships. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Hayden didn't wait very long afterwards. He took a few moments to be absolutely sure he understood its function, before smacking the emergency switch and hitting the broadcast button. "Testing, testing," he heard his voice echo around him lightly. It wasn't loud enough to create feedback, perhaps due to some very intelligent foresight. Whatever the case, he continued to speak.

"People of the Galactic Federation," he began. "Soldiers, scientists, civilians, other plural words that are relevant and preferably keep with the theme of alliteration, I have an announcement to make. I'll take a moment to pause to make sure you are listening to me. Moment starts now." He fell silent, grinning. "Moment's over. Now, let's have a moment of silence for a mister... uh, Chakalu?" Those listening would hear a smaller, quieter voice behind him attempt to correct the name. "Chookou? That was his name? Fucking try hard writers, am I right?" He stifled a laugh.

"Let's all have a moment of silence for dearly departed Chookou, who discovered today the dangers of standing near poorly maintained airlocks and the importance of airlock safety and maintenance. Moment of silence begins now." He was quiet once more, but resumed it steadily. "Moment of silence is over. And finally, let us have a moment of silence for all of the people who've either been beaten to death by their allies, friends and coworkers for non-conformity or ejected out of an airlock for total non-compliance."

This time when the silence passed, there would be no more pauses. "Moment of silence is now over. Now, onto a brief explanation. I am an entrepreneur, and I've decided that I like your fleet so much that I am going to take it for my own. I've incapacitated your Grand Coucilwhatever, I've already recruited or killed most of your forces that were aboard or have come aboard, and now that I can speak to you all at once then I'll go ahead and make your positions as clear as I possibly can."

He cleared his throat. "Each one of you hearing this has three options. The first: you join me. I'll be sure to see that you are fine and taken care of. I'm not a wholly unreasonable guy, I swear. Now, the second option is a bit tricky though. So, your second option is fight. You could always try to oppose me, but if you do so for just a bit too long then like poor Chookou and the groups of people who decided on principal versus survival you get to have the fun experience of dying in what I can only imagine is one of the most horrific ways possible."

"And then there is your third option, and it simple: opt out. I don't care. If you don't want to be here, then you don't have to be. But I'm not flying your asses back to the federation. I'm taking you to the nearest world that seems habitable enough to support life more complex than a single celled organism and dumping you there. Getting back to the Galactic Federation later becomes your prerogative."

"And, because I'm a sporting fellow, I'll make entire ships a variant offer not entirely unlike the one I made the people who have been checked in for a visit to my little neat rooms. You can leave the people who opt out alone. But, for those of you that favor submission: subdue the ones that oppose you and contain them. We'll deal with them later. This simply makes the whole process smoother and less time consuming. And, don't worry. Just because we don't seem to be on your ships yet doesn't mean we can't be soon. I have no problem with showing up in a ship dozens of times smaller than this behemoth and and cleaning out threats and opposition to my goals. Now that this had been established, are there any questions?"

He fell silent for a second, waiting for a response to come when Troth approached him. "Sir? It's a one way broadcast station, for emergencies. There isn't a corresponding way for them to reply to you here."

Hayden frowned. "Well... fuck."

He turned around in the navigation room and walked towards the windowed edge. He could see all the ships out there, and he mused over their existence for a second. Strangely, the true view of space was less impressive than the one from the panoramic screen earlier in the night. "Probably the lighting," he guessed aloud. Lighting did that for mood in an environment.

Then, he caught sight of something happening. In the distance, a small explosion could be seen in the side of one of the ships. "Huh." He clicked his tongue. "Well, I mean, I guess somebody took what I said to heart. Wish they didn't damage my ship... ha. Ha. Oh I might have to discipline people based on the damage they do to the hardware. Not to mention the software. I can't imagine its just replaceable at the drop of a hat." Yes, this was drawing to close sooner than expected, but he couldn't help but feel it was far from over.

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Re: All Your Base (Open)

Post by Hayden on Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:44 pm

And the war was over. Huh.... anti-climatic. War did indeed rage for hours, but in under a day it was over. Those who supported Hayden weren't necessarily as plentiful as those that were loyal or those who had opted out, yet the loyalists were more desperate as time went on due to Hayden providing their opposition with ever-mounting support. The fight ended quickly, as Hayden's clones alone outnumbered the average force sent against his might in any given area.

Then, it came down to the second phase. Those that didn't immediately surrender but were overcome found themselves sealed in an airlock. By that point, their three options had shrunken to just two- either everybody inside the airlock who was alive surrendered, or they all got ejected into space. Of course, they were free to kill those that didn't conform to ensure that everybody alive surrendered. It was a minimization of resource loss. And of course, afterwards those survivors were free to opt out.

Curiously, the airlock conundrum seemed to resolve itself much better than expected. He had guessed that maybe half of the airlocks would need to be purged, with causalities from those that did not being around two-to-four for the survivors. It still left him with more than a skeleton crew if it worked like that, meaning that if he did do this properly and had guessed correctly, he would have enough people to control the fleet safely.

What had actually occurred was better than that initial projection could have lead him to believe. Less than a quarter of the airlocks had to purged, and of the ones that didn't the average was about two per group that had to be killed. Surprisingly only a few opted out afterwards, as well. This left Hayden with not just a crew, but a functional standing army comparable to an actual world. After all, this was a war fleet and while most of the crew weren't exclusively trained in the art of death-murder-kill, he'd found out shortly later that technically all of them were considered military, and had all received training.

Lovely. Obviously, it didn't mean anything against him, but it gave him a standing in negotiations where the power and size of a military force was required. After all, it would be better if nobody was aware of how strong he was from the get go. It was the superior's opinion that he would judge a person's character to be more or less agreeable before doing business with him. If they were disrespectful or threatening before knowing his capabilities, then, well... obvious solutions are obvious.

So, only one final thing remained to do. That day, Hayden called all those who were loyal to the room where trials were often conducted. Those who arrived too late were accommodated with other methods to view what would unfold, while the first arrivals took their seats. Hayden sat in the judge's chair, twiddling thumbs as he waited for the people to gather. A light shone in the middle of the room illuminating one spot more than the others, drawing attention to the emptiness inside of it.

Moments later, after the shuffling and speech had died into in silent murmurs, Hayden began. "Please, bring out our special guest for the evening." Two larger armed men brought the Grand Councilwoman out, still wearing her clothing as they placed her in the light. They weren't necessarily rough or gentle with her. They were uncaring, or cold, or maybe they were trying to ignore the nagging sensations in their hearts.

The Grand Councilwoman knelt, but looked as defiant as she had ever been as she observed Hayden. Her eyes did not contain malice, but something familiar. It caused one of Hayden's eyes to twitch involuntarily from discomfort, as what she carried in her gaze was an emotion that he recognized. He didn't realized that the entire space around him had become nearly completely silent now, leaning in towards her as though he meant to examine her very being.

"I know," he replied as though her face alone was the statement that needed addressing. "You're feeling a lot of things right now. Anger. Betrayal. Disappointment. Failure. Sadness. It's only natural to do so."

She shook her head, but her did not leave his face. "You're wrong."

Hayden raised an eyebrow, surprised at her claim. "Enlighten me, then."

"No. You wouldn't understand, in the way that something born without eyes can never understand color. What I feel may not be beyond your understanding, but why I feel it is. So, I won't bother."

"Oh, come now. That's not very nice." He frowned mockingly, pretending to be hurt. "Maybe I seem like a bad guy to people who are victims of me, but that's only because they're my victims in the first place. Everybody has a victim." He stood from the desk, and began to walk down and towards her. "That's the thing nobody gets. Good? Evil? All are subjective. You have an opinion of me. I have an opinion of you. We also have opinions of ourselves."

"You missed the point by the second sentence," she calmly stated. "That is how I know you won't get it."

"Well then," he clicked his tongue. "That's... neat." In reality, it irked him. He doubted that she really knew something he didn't, and he wouldn't let himself be so easily baited into a prolonging this any longer than he needed. "So neat, in fact, that I'm going to go ahead an render my judgement. It is time for you to die, as you are guilty."

Murmurs erupted from the crowd, all of them inaudible. The Grand Councilwoman simply followed Hayden's form around with her head, surveying him closely. "What exactly are you guilty of? Quite simply: if you had merely handed over the fleet, you and your men would be in much better straits. As a result there were casualties, property damage, wasted resources with much more time was wasted. All to prevent me from getting what I wanted, which is the greatest crime of all."

She fired back. "You are an arrogant, childish tyrant who couldn't command these men through respect and chose to do so through deceit, murder, and fear."

"Childish and arrogant. Hmm," he mused. "Maybe so, but Tyrant? Hardly. I simply take what I want when I'm stricken with the realization I should do so." He stood at the Grand Councilwoman's back, and placed his hands on her shoulders as he began to message them.

"You abuse your power like a toy," she chided.

"A toy? A tool? What does it matter how I use it, when it is mine to abuse as I see fit?" He chuckled lightly as his fingers dug into her shoulders, and she winced.

"You think that you are the most powerful person here? No. I am still stronger than you."

"Neat. Care to elaborate?"

She lifted her head through the pain, tears forming slightly from her eyes. "Because I never had to command their fear. Through strength of character and charitable leadership I earned their respect. Eventually, these men will become numb to the fear. The horror you've inflicted on them to make them follow you will wear thin, and they'll become strong enough to fight back. What stops them then?"

He dug his fingers deeper into her shoulders, and she cried out as he head fell. "The need to survive," he whispered to her. "They want to live, and I can show them life. Fear is the gateway into their hearts for me. But, still, it seems that something in your logic is flawed. You aren't the most powerful person here. It is still me." He hoisted her into the air, showing her off to the world. "But, I'll let you have the chance to show me that I'm wrong. Do something. Use respect to show me the power you wield."

She looked at the people that were once her allies, and let her eyes trace over all of them. She took a deep breath, and exhaled. "I forgive you," she told Hayden, "and I forgive the rest of you. I'm proud that you've accompanied me this far. Thank you."

Silence. A guilty, heavy silence over all of them.

Hayden blinked, waiting for something to happen. "Is... that all?"

"Yes."

"What power did that hold?"

"For you? I don't know. For them? It'll help them survive longer, to know that it's okay."

"Interesting. Noble. But, I don't see any evidence of power in those words. It seems you're confused as to what power truly is." Hayden slammed her into the floor, a loud thud echoing as she came into contact with the metal floor beneath. "I suppose this is where you misunderstand your position. Respect is not power. Fear is not power. Words are not power." He formed Blade's Prophecy in his hand, grinning. "Power is power, and nothing more." He slammed her face into the floor, and she fell unconscious moments before a sword plunged into her neck, and severed her head.

Hayden picked the head up of the Grand Councilwoman, and held it at chest height. "Are there any objections?" No words. "Come on, last chance to opt out." No movement. All of them sat demoralized, and they were bound by fear. "Great. If you need to talk to somebody about what happened today, I'll be sure to find and recruit some therapists for you to talk to. Otherwise? Welcome! You are all the first draftees to the new Union of Blades!"

Silence.

Hayden scowled, but rebounded into a mocking smile as he clapped, the head being tossed to the side. "Yay, Union of Blades, yay. Take a rest and recover. We've all had a long day. I expect that we'll be back to full operations within a twenty-four hour period. Good?"

Silence.

"Neat."

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Re: All Your Base (Open)

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