Slicer (Profession)

Description:  They are gone long before you realize they were there.  Slicing requires skill, concentration and extreme patience.  The long hours it takes to break into a computer system can be more than worthwhile if the hacked information can be sold on the black market to interested parties.  Most slicers try and operate remotely, their expertise falling squarely in the realm of computers rather than combat.  But the truly bold -the truly successful- slicers prefer a more... hands on... approach. 

Narrow Vision (Adventure) - Gorg Chum Saga 5

"Councilor Chum, I fail to see where you're going with this point."

Gorg turned from the accusation, desperate to keep his emotions under control.  The view from the council chamber was truly spectacular.  One could see the entire capital city.  Schools of brightly colored fish swam by and sunlight trickled through the ocean depths.

There had been no news of Calen's arrival.  A good sign.  Outsiders were always of note so he probably would have hear a rumor by now if his people suspected.

"The council has already made clear that we are to take no offensive action against the Imperium," Gorg said finally.  "But given the current galactic political instability, it would be prudent to build up our planetary defenses."

"That would be a waste of resources," another council member observed.  "Resources we could well use for other projects."

Gorg swam away from the window to the center of the room.  "And what if the Imperium attacks?  We will have no planet left to develop!  My fellow councilors, I beg you to consider this matter with a broader viewpoint.  Our planet is generally viewed to be impenetrable by most but we cannot rely on our reputation to defend!  All it would take is one spy to report our weaknesses and we would be finished."

"Again, we have no reason to suspect the Imperium will attack.  We even have peaceful trading negotiations with them."

"And when has that ever been enough for the Imperium?  They won't rest until all planets are under their control.  They have made this clear by their actions.  Shawm is one of the few planets that could offer serious resistance.  Councilors, it's not a matter of if they attack, it's when."

They murmured.  "Your argument is strong.  But peace requires trust.  If we start to prepare for war, it would surely incite the Imperium to do the same.  No, we must do nothing."

Training Day 76 (Adventure) - Reuben Calloway Saga 10

Reuben thought he was going to be sick.  His C.O. had drilled the safety and tactical instructions into his head until he was muttering them in his sleep.  But nothing could prepare him for... the view.

The transport shuttle had taken Reuben up to the topmost layer of atmosphere and then opened the cargo doors.

"The first jump is the worst," Reuben heard Sargent Bamtrob say in his suit's earpiece.  "Then it becomes easer once you know what to expect."

"But... it looks like a planet!" Reuben blurted out.

This wrung a rare laugh from Bamtrob.  "You're doing a high altitude drop.  What did you expect?"

"I don't know... like I was flying really high in the sky? But I can see the curve of the planet! What if I miss?"

Reuben had no idea why seeing Tabor from what seemed like space scared him so.  But it did.  All the confidence in his abilities that he had painstakingly acquired were swept away in one quick second.

"It just looks that way," Bamtrob assured.  "We're still well within the planet's gravitational pull.  You won't miss.  Don't think.  Just jump."

Reuben took a breath and then ran out the cargo bay doors.

For one perfect moment he was suspended above his home planet.  He felt an unexpected sense of peace wash over him.  There was no one to fall back on.  It was only him.

Angling his body downward, he began plummeting toward the distant ground with increasing speed.  High altitude jumps such as this were done for the sake of speed and secrecy, not sight seeing.

His jump suit regulated his air but seemed to do little for the massive force against his body as he continued his decent.  Reuben tried to relax his breathing as best he could.  If he started hyperventilating as this altitude, there was a good chance he would pass out.

Carefully watching the coordinates displayed on the corder of his faceplate, Reuben aimed himself toward the landing site.

Just a few more seconds and he would have to engage his landing gear.

Almost.... almost...


He spread his arms and legs, activating the superfine material on his suit that connected them.  It almost felt as if he slammed to a halt as the material did its job catching air and slowing his decent.

The view had gone from terrifying to spectacular.  If only he wasn't doing a training exercise and getting marks, he might actually be enjoying himself.  Reuben relaxed a little, allowing the currents to catch him and help direct his movements.

The landing site was close.

He allowed himself to drift and then used the repulsors in the feet and hands of his suit try and complete the job.  He felt himself wobble as he struggled for balance and then dropped to the ground just a little too soon.

Reuben landed on his back with a thud and tried to blink away the stars that were dazedly floating before his eyes.  "Ow...."

"Good work, cadet," Bambtrob's voice said over the earpiece.  "You landed right on target.  We'll wait a few hours and then attempt a nighttime jump."

Saraband Cloaking Device (Weapon)

Creators:  Humans on Tabor

Description:  Cloaking technology is still very much in its infancy.  This particular device is only issued to soldiers on delicate missions in the Special Assault Corp as they are far too expensive for the average grunt.  The Saraband is a wristband but it could, in theory, attach to almost any limb.  It detects the surrounding light levels and reflects them before the rays have a chance to hit the wearer.

It is far from perfect, however.  This device works on a charge and must work harder where there is more light to reflect.  Therefore, nighttime use is recommended.  The Saraband also only makes the wearer visually invisible.  So one must take care to avoid those with excellent senses of smell or hearing.

The Imperium is very protective of the Saraband for obvious reasons.  Only trusted soldiers with solid service records are allowed to use them.  There have been rumors, however, that somehow a few of these devices have disappeared and are now on the black market.

Artwork by Andrew de Guzman