The Black Forge, a collection of misfits all, attempts to survive in a hostile universe, by trading, fighting, and exploring while running low on spare parts, food, and keeping one step a head of the bank.
Dav was sitting in the plush offices of the local deal broker, MECHA. His contact here assured him that the person coming to meet with him was reputable. It went without saying that anybody that did business with mecha was vetted and bonded, or at least escrow-ed. This arrangement allowed both parties to feel safe enough to deal. To break a deal with the Mecha logo embossed on the contract was to court death...literally. Dav was the recipient of one such broken deals, as him and his team had just finished a contract with a mecha representative to punish an offending group turned pirate. It wasn't the pirate part that bothered mecha, it was the failure to pay for the goods. Now they were almost all dead, save the one survivor who would tell the tale of not messing with a mecha contract.
With this understanding, Dav rested comfortably. Anybody that wished to do business here would be good to their word, or at least as good as anybody could be with in this expansive area of space with cold blooded thieves, murderers, or just plain ass-holish beings.
The room Dav sat in was filled with a high tech ovoid office table, inlaid with gold and mahogany like wood. overstuffed chairs surrounded the table, exactly a dozen. Around the edge of the room was another two dozen simpler, but no less high end chairs. These were presumable for attendants or assistants. Various controls lined the edge of the table and an expensive holo-projector rested in the center of the table. Filtered light cascaded through the expansive bay style windows. While some would worry about the exposure to potential assassins, no such worry existed for Dav. Last year somebody tried to shoot through the glass, not realizing that three feet of transparent aluminum formed the core of the windows, virtually impenetrable by any small or medium arms fire.
Thus Dav waited for his contact...
"So What-chu need man?!"
His contact practically exploded through the double-doors of the room, forcing both of them open with a hearty shove as he made his way toward the table. The man's clothing seeming just as bombastic as his entrance, his body decorated with a variety of old-war-antiques without too much concern for how the outfit worked as a whole. His head was topped with a replica M1-helmet, a gatchamon card tucked into the band and 'GET FUCKED' written in black marker around the front. His eyes were covered by dark mirrored aviator sunglasses. A ratty-flack-vest covered his chest along with baggy green cargo pants that were held up by a leather belt that looked right out of an old western, complete with an engraved six shooter and a number of extra silver bullets along the front. His giant silver belt-buckle just seemed to be screaming for attention and the outfit was completed by a set of leather cowboy boots with spurs.
He represented the entirety of the PMC 'Fortunite Son' which had the notable distinction of 'Owning a Freighter' and 'Being within Dav's price range'.
Despite all the war-junk he was wearing, he clearly wasn't the most physically fit of men. Plenty of weight was clinging around his midsection, and long durations sitting at the freighter's control panel did nothing to improve his physique.
Dav stood up, extending his hand to the man. Dav was a tall man, with the most common of hair, the very dark brown, clipped short in the military style with the temples shaved. rounded ears and nose competed with the strong square jaw. tight lobe-less ears rounded out his physical features, save for the tanned and weathered skin, a hint of Ancient Caucasian skin blended with the uncharacteristic almond green eyes. Dav is clad in dark trousers, a dingy, antique white shirt, and knee high Armored Mecha Pilot boots.
"I welcome you, sir. My name is Dav and I represent The Black forge. I am glad you were able to take some time out of your busy schedule to meet with me."
Out of seemingly nowhere a diminutive woman in formal business attire appeared in the seat at the head of the table, a small data pad resting in front of her. She sat silently.
"Whoa!" The man seemed startled, "Shit, didn't see you there miss.... Anyways nice to be meetin' ya Mr. Dav. You can call me Charlie. I understand you've got a need for someone with a ship?"
Though Charlie was white and pasty, he did seem to be eager to cut right to the point. He hadn't even bothered to sit down, choosing to stand next to the table, leaning over it with both of his hands flat on the surface.
Dav lowered his hand, seeing this "Charlie" was more of a lets get this done kind of fellow. Dav sat down, conceding the height advantage. " I have a full company of mecha that need transport to the Atraxis IV spaceport, and i have credit to pay for it. As you seem to be a man of action, here is my initial offer." Dav pressed a button on the side of the table and a contract with a number appeared above the table. Or rather two numbers...the length of the contract was over 20 pages and the number, in Hexacoaxium milligrams, was 5 digits long.
It would take some time for Charlie to read through the documentation, reading a page, then another, then another.... all until he finally got to that number at the end.
"So, you uh... not expecting to get shot at then? 'cuz this is one of those 'I'm not getting shot at' numbers." Charlie stated, there was a noticeable pause before his next set of words, like he was thinking through just what he meant, "...And Atraxis is kinda shitty. Like a bad neighborhood in space. Its the kinda planet that'd put bars on the window."
"I understand, Charlie. How about an addendum?" Dav replied. Dav pressed another button, and an additional file uploaded to the current contract, with an additional 25 pages detailing various possible "dangerous" events as well as the compensation of each event.
"Well... Yeah, but are they gunning for YOU specifically? Am I gonna have to load up on firepower before goin' out there? And do you need an option to buy a return trip now or is this one of those one way kin'a things?....
... Also, I want your boots." Charlie added.
Dav gave Charlie an awkward glance at the mention of his boots, but continued on. "I'm not expecting any special trouble, but you are correct to ask. As for a return...that wont be necessary. We intend to secure any additional transport needed there."
"As for my boots...If they interest you so much, then yes you can have my boots as a...gift." Dav didn't understand the fascination with is boots, but if that is what it took to secure this deal than so be it. Dav extended his hand once more to Charlie, this time with the look of closing this deal
"Fuckin' deal man!" Charlie said, reaching over to Dav to shake his hand, "Get your shit ready and you've got a ride lined up!"
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4 and Uso.]]
While the captain was off doing what ever business needing done, Xir took a close look at the Friend's injured hide. While assessing the injuries from the battle with the pirates, Xir overheard the other humanoids talking and staring at Xir and the bio-mecha. Repeatedly they spoke of the bio-mech as a beast and how dangerous it was, not only to the enemy, but what it did to the drop ship cargo door before it's jump. Xir took note of this name. My fiend, speaking to the bio-mecha on their own fashion, they speak of you as a beast. I have never given you a name. What do you think of this as your name? Beast sent back a thought of approval and even purred a little. The purring but slight to Beast, was loud to those in the hanger to hear. Many ran away from the area in fear, others watched intently out of curiosity and admiration.
Xir told Beast that the injuries will take time to heal but are not serious. Xir then set up a bio-adaptor that connected directly to the fire hose on the hanger bay. With minor effort the adapter was inserted into Beasts leg like an IV then hooked the water hose to the adapter. Beast just laid there and enjoyed the noticeable cool sensation of the water entering it's body to assist in its healing of its injuries. Xir knew the adapter would shut off the flow of water when it was time, so Xir went in search of the rest of the crew, to officially meet some, and get to know better others.
Steven overlooked all the mechs for any internal or external damages. Scouring parts that have been collected from the past contract spoils of war including the destroyed pirate mecha.thinking of plausible ways to fix the mecha and repair the current mecha.
While Xir walked bast Steven it noticed him looking over the pirate mecha that Beast destroyed with the Gravity Point weapon. With noticeable improvement of using the tentacles to speak "I"m sorry about that one Steven. Ive never fought against these kinds of weapons before and was unsure how much damage it would do to it."
Xir hesitated for Steven to respond before continuing on his way across the hanger.
After returning from mecha, Dav flopped down in his padded folding chair, tilting down a new ball cap picked up from a street vendor just a few hours ago. The logo read Sydenham Paladins, which didn't matter as much as the fact it had a large bill to pull down over his eyes.
With a few minutes of respite, Dav began to ponder his shortage of permanent and trained mecha pilots.
Alex hadn't been in Sydenham for very long; mostly visiting to follow up on a lead about possible employment. He had been directed by locals of the city to this area, and had found the barracks of the Black Forge with little trouble. He entered through the front door and looked around for the leader.
The cavernous Mecha hangar housed just the one mercenary company, with 10 cubicles filled with mechs, including the construction project of one Atraxian monstrosity. Various tools and parts littered the space in between the cubicles, along with take out boxes.
Dav peeked at the newcomer, sizing him up for skills. Lifting up his cap with his right hand, Dav crossed his arms. "welcome, friend. What can I do for you?" Dav's hand rested on the butt of his pistol, taking no chances after demolishing a pirate group.
Looking at this fop of a rich boy, as judged by his new clean clothing and bearing, Dav relaxed quite a bit.
"I apologize for being a bit rude, but Muk's boys helped out on our last job, and we took everything. No really, everything. Muk's boys also grabbed the kitchen sink from out of the old supply depot." Dav said.
Glancing over to one of the Boys carrying a metal kitchen sink towards Muk's salvaged monstrosity, Dav shook his head.
Alex looked over to the same area that Dav was, and winced at the metal abomination briefly before making it more clear why he was there. "I was told that this is where I would find the Black Forge," he said simply, "I'd like to join."
Thinking this man would probably be better than another Atraxian at the controls of a mecha, Dav extended his hand. "Your in luck, my boy. We are looking for some additional hands. Lets go into my office and sign the paperwork. I'm sure we can find you a job that fits your skills." Dav replied.
Alex followed the mercenary leader into his office. "What kind of jobs do you have available? I gathered that your company primarily uses battle-frames, and I was hoping to become a pilot." He had always been good with driving machines, and even small aircraft, so this seemed like a good idea.
"We have a little time during travel to our next stop to try you out. If you are game, we can run you through a few simulations on the way. You are hired regardless of your abilities, but If you do poorly, you may end up bunking with the Atraxians as a mecha mechanic." Dav winked, cracking a mischievous smile.
Dav"s smile quickly disappeared, replaced by a somber face. Dav spoke softly, "But more important than your skills is your adherence to the Black Codex, our bible. All members are held to these standards, no exceptions. If you can agree to these terms, you have a place here."
Xir walked up to the Captain and some stranger while he was in his office. I"m sure to the new comer the appearance of Xir was startling at first sense he surely has never seen one of his species before. "Good day captain. Yes I'm getting better at speaking with these tentacles. How was your trip to M.E.C.H.A., and Who is our new comer here?"
"This is...actually i don't know his name. He will be another hand, possibly a pilot" Dav replied
"I'm Alex." He said simply, before asking a fairly important question. "But what does this Black Codex entail?"
Dav said, "The Black Codex, at its core, is a set of laws and values we hold in the highest regard. We live these beliefs on a daily basis, as brothers in arms, and hold each other to these same standards." Dav hands Alex a small data tablet. "Here is our codex. Input your bio-metric at the bottom if you can agree to these terms.
Alex read the terms of the 'contract', if it could be called that, and said "Seems simple enough." before pressing his finger to the pad. "What's this about simulations though?"
Xir took note of the Alex and his lack of surprise from such a strange creature entering the room. Maybe the standard person truly wouldn't have as much issue with its species as possibly perceived. Xir sat it's hind legs on the floor and just watched and listened, Waiting
I propose you duel Xir here in a simulated combat. I will observe and evaluate your performance" Dav replied.
Xir chimes in "Sounds interesting".
"Sounds good." Alex responded, "Would we be using the same kind of frames, or no?"
We shall use the practice simulation pods here at the mecha barracks. I have seen Xir in action and have little doubts about his ability to pilot almost anything. He would be a good match." Dav responded.
Xir says "I'll set the tech's to modifying the pods to my anatomy. It will take a little while." Xir then leaves.
"I guess I can wait." Alex said. After Xir left, Alex turned to Dav. "Never seen someone like that before. Any idea where they're from?"
"No Idea. Found him in a bar, drinking water. Who does that?" said Dav
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, Mechameme, SloanRocks2, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]
Greater Sydenham Metropolis
The whole of The Black Forge stood around the viewing room, awaiting the feeds from the simulation room. Two pods sat in an ajacent room, awaiting the competators. Xir and Alex stood beside their respective pods.
Dav explained to the two competators and the audience, "Battle until you have disabled your opponents mecha or killed them...virtually. Xir, no climbing out of the pod and disabling the pilot physically. I saw what you did to two of Muks boys when they started fighting over a wrench."
"Captain, those two boys were agitating Beast, I saved there lives... mostly" Xir responded.
Dav tapped his head mic and said "LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE".
Xir climbed into its adjusted pod and powered up the simulator. Grabbing the modified hand hold (held together by duct tap) and extending two tentacles to the floor peddles (sense Xir was to big) a larger screan with two smsller screans ware set up (also held in place by duct tap) for better 180 degree vision in the simulator sense the helmet couldn't fit Xir's head.
The pod was the started and powered up by Xir.
Alex slid into the pod, looking over the different controls before sitting down on the seat. It seemed simple enough to get into, arms through the arm sleeves, legs on the pedals. He pulled the helmet down onto his head and began to fasten it as he looked for the startup button on the console.
Dav selected a Desert biome for this battle
As the pod powered up, Alex was faced with a frame and weapon selection screen. He picked a frame called a Puma, and selected a fairly balanced loadout, with both kinetic and energy weaponry.
Xir chose a Tiger frame with mostly pulse weapon load but also 25 mm cause cannons on the right arm.
Dav began his count down."Three...two...one...battle!"
Xir started running toward Alex a left angle setting the 25mm gauess gun preparing for defensive fire against any missile fire and, Knowing being out of range, shot the pulse weapons at the sandy surface in front of Alexs puma.
Exploding sand sprayed high into the air.
Alex started out by testing the range of his weapons, The pulse laser spat light towards the enemy as he maneuvered to stay out of range of his enemy, but these pulse beams were ineffective due to the sand spray.
He was still coming to terms with the way that the Puma moved, but it was fairly intuitive to him. He took a moment to aim at one of the arms of Xir's sluggish Tiger frame and loosed a few 75mm gauss rounds.
Several rounds from Alex's gauss cannon struck Xirs cannon arm, shearing the weapon pod off at the elbow. Xir felt a moment of vertigo as the mecha compensated for the loss of nearly ten tons of structure, armor, and weaponry.
Using a zig zag method, Xir turns the Tiger and runs at full speed towards the Puma. Xir fire again at the sandy soil in front of the puma with the medium pulse cannons from the torses.
Forgoing energy weapons for the moment, Alex began to pull back towards what a map told him was thick, dune-y area. There, he hoped that Xir's heavy Tiger frame would suffer because of it's weight while his more mobile Puma frame managed the terrain.
As he pulled back more, he opened fire with a missile pod, allowing the missiles to lock before firing them. Alex then fired off the Ionic pulse weapon, not sure of what it would do.
Xir attempted to shoot down the missiles with the gamarayl Vulcan gun located in the tigers center torso but braces itself for the impact of the ionic pulse weapon, but continued on running in the zig zag motion towards the puma.
With Xir continually blasting sand and dirt into the air, Alex's energy weapons were diffused eoungh to do little damage, merely scorching some armor on the Tigers torso. The gamma vulcan also faired well against Alex's missle barrage.
The distance between the two mecha began to grow closer by the second.
Alex continued to pull back, firing his pulse laser and gamma ray vulcan at the top of a dune, creating sprays of sand to obscure any observation of his movement and diffuse energy weapons as he moved further into the dunes. Xir would have to enter if he wanted to take Alex on.
Xir slowed pushing through the thick sand anticipating the artificial sand storm made by both the puma and the tigers fire to settle and all hell breaking loose. Who ever opens fire first will truely have the best day here.
Alex waited now, his firing having stopped a while back. He had noticed a button for ECM earlier, and as soon as he had begun to move further into the dunes he had turned it on, to make himself disappear from sensors. Weapons now cool, he waited for Xir to crest the ridge of the dune he was lurking behind. Once it happened, He dropped the ECM and opened fire with his rapid fire energy weaponry at the top of the dune, where Xir was standing, both to destabilize his opponent and diffuse weapons.
Then his jump jets flared to life, lifting him into the air and towards Xir's Tiger frame. One mechanical leg lashed out towards his enemy as he passed overhead, attempting to kick Xir's mech in the head before landing on the other side.
As Alex's puma glided over the Tiger, he misjudged the height of the Tiger post firing, having slide down the dune several meters. Landing on the soft sand Alex quickly stabilized his mecha, his ECM and Sand cover conceling his mecha once more.
Xir quickly braced his mecha after sliding down the dune, maintaining his balance. His opponent disappeared from his scopes. In a real battle Xir would have sensed the movement, but in a simulator as basic as these, little was known other than what these primative screens showed.
Xir was very impressed by that maneuver and had every chance of working. Now Xir realizes some specific disadvantages that this heavier clunky mecha has.
Xir began to move at the sluggish speed along the length of the dune at its base watching for a visual spotting of Alex. Xir could see about 200 meters that the sandy surface becomes more solid again and the dune tapers off. Its time to get back in the tigers prefered land.
Xir wouldn't have been able to see, but Alex was making his way towards the edges of the sand as well, so as to head off Xir. As he approached, ECM was still running, and his speed let him keep up with and overtake the Tiger frame.
He knelt his mech down, waited for Xir to pass, and then just barely poked over the ridge of the dune enough to allow him to fire, beginning to run alongside Xir and opened fire with his shorter range weapons, aiming for the legs and torso region. Two autocannons roared, energy weapons blazed and his 75mm cannon fired a few shots as he opened up with an alpha strike.
Alex's strike hit home, coring the virtual fusion engine on the wounded Tiger. As the containment on the fusion engine ruptured, the radiation from a wild fusion process irradiated the ammunition from Xir's autocannon. A virtual fireworks display played out in the observation area as Xirs's pod powered down with a message: You are dead, have a nice day. Xir thought, "primitive technology, never again will i suffer this."
Dav spoke to Alex over the comms as the watching Atraxians whooped and hollered while swapping various shiniy coins.
Dav said,"Welcome abord, Alex. You definately have a place on the pilot roster."
Xir approaches Alex and extends it elongated 3 digit hand to Alex, and uses its tentacles to say. "Good fight I look forward to seeing you in action."
[[OOC: JP completed by Bullroarer4, Mechameme, ArsenicJohn, SloanRocks2, and Dimirhunterjsh23.]]