A Science Fantasy Space Opera

  • Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Exclusion Zone: Black Box

FloweryDream

New member
Sifneos lurked on the horizon of the ship, encompassing the entirety of each screen throughout the vessel. It was a strange planet, of a fair size though with very concentrated civilization centers. The planet, from orbit, seemed a strange white, grand blue ocean broken up by massive continents of gray and white in a mixture of pearlescent flora that coated the planet and treacherous mountains that spoke of overactive tectonic plates. It was beautiful, in its strange and bizarre manner. Quite habitable, if only a little cold, it was obvious why it among others in the system was inhabited the way it was.

The ship barreled towards it at an unfathomable speed.

It was a comfortable ship, all things considered. Shaped vaguely like a tuning fork, a long and wide body stretched along and served as the primary compartment with two prongs of the slightly wider set engine and power compartments had seemingly been moved horizontally, leaving a gap in the middle. The back of the prongs ended with large engines, though a multitude of smaller propulsion jets lingered on the underside of the vessel, with the clear implication of idling in stable positions in less than ideal conditions.

The large, primary compartment consisted of everything the crew needed. A well-stocked though somewhat cramped lab, decent sleeping quarters, a common area, kitchen, gear storage, and then the cargo bay that also served as the boarding ramp off of the vessel. Each room was stocked with panels that perfectly would emulate whatever image was needed, whether it was, as currently, the view from the front of the ship, or organic daylight, or simply dim and peaceful lights running across the halls for those who needed to make nightly trips into the bowels of the ship.

The ship was quite obviously designed to be lived in, situation aside. It was somewhere where the crew could find peace and comfort in unless whatever it is they found followed them back in. It seemed almost too good for what had to be done. Too much food, too many supplies, too much comfort.

Even the synthetic consciousness that ran within the ship seemed far too equipped.

"Attention.” The female, vocoded voice declared after a short announcement klaxon. "Please report to the cargo bay for an emergency brief.”
 

Rolorolo171

New member
Elluin is there shortly, some sort of data pad device in her hand, a dissected snake of some kind on the screen, taking notes on the specimen as she walks. “Elluin, reporting.” She says with disinterest, clearly more devoted to whatever she is working on in her hand.
 

Cydezy

New member
Fyleen entered the cargo bay not long after Elluin, immediately taking a seat and lounging back in it. “Here.” She said in a sort of mocking tone of a children’s school roll call before hanging her head back and closing her eyes, waiting for everyone to show up.
 
Comprendea' Ganancia had spent most of the trip wandering around the ship, giving nods of greeting to anyone he passed. When the alarm sounded he'd been in his room just chilling with some books on his information machine. The call wasn't unwelcome however, it meant things got to happen, and by golly he intended to do things. Entering the room he knew the instinctual routine of people was to see who'd entered, and so with eyes on him he paused for a second. Not out of fear or nervousness, no, he was posing. Wearing a quite dapper outfit and pants fit for a slightly fancy man, his look was complete with short hair and a fantastic moustache and magnificent green eyes. Hearing Fyleen's semi-snarky 'here' in the style of a classroom setting he took a seat and raised his hand. "Can I go at the front of the line?" He added jokingly.
 

FloweryDream

New member
The ship's AI appeared from projection screens, depicted like a strange orb surrounded by fading wisps of digital mist that surrounded it. Even the orb seemed to glow with a strange ring around it, repeating patterns surround it as if the machine itself was some form of bizarre fractal. While the orb that likely represented the AI itself was black, its aura was a dim blue, brightening near the orb itself. Despite each person calling off their presence in one manner or another, it did not respond until several seconds had passed since Comprendea had spoken.

"Rapid Response Team Red's signal has gone offline." The near monotone voice of the machine filled the room strangely, coming from countless speakers around the room rather than the projection itself, which shifted its aura to match its rising and falling pitch. "Last broadcasted data indicates crash site in mountain ranges an unusual distance from their projected landing site." It continued, as screens around the room flickered and changed to show the mountains in question. The images were distorted, taken from a strange aerial view. "This is the last construct sent to me from the ship." It stated blankly, leaving the image up.

The image itself was odd, tilted at a degree that the ship seemed unlikely to fly, with data distortion or corruption apparent by the uneven coloring and visual glitching in the image, with the peak of the mountain seeming off-kilter than the rest of the image. The mountains themselves were bizarre already, snow-capped and twisted in bizarre ways, with wide valleys of deep snow and stretches of rocky, almost insurmountable terrain. It was clear that nothing by the locals had been built in this region and for very good reason. The mountains themselves, once pulled up on-screen on a map, showed something even more bizarre. The mountain ranges were far from the path the ship would travel. It was one thing if it had simply gone down somewhere along its path, but this couldn't be anything less than a purposeful change in direction, with a marker on the estimated flight path for where the final image was taken.

"Your current orders have been updated. Priority one rescue attempt. This vessel will approach the region and attempt to find the wreckage." It spoke without emotion, the female voice that was chosen speaking every word with the same weight, missing any true intent. "Protective suits are to be worn, as was issued to each individual." The machine paused, the orb shifted slightly. "If the crew cannot be found, or is successfully recovered, the second priority is to retrieve the Black Box of the ship. The only situation in which this objective should fail to be achieved is if the vessel cannot be found, cannot be safely approached, or if the Black Box is missing."

The ship's movements, usually unfelt, suddenly began to feel the drag of atmosphere. The image on the screen switched back to what the ship itself saw, the camera now engulfed by the approaching planet. It would be minutes, at best, until they were near the ground. "The ship will be at the last known location of Rapid Response Team Red in five minutes."
 

Rolorolo171

New member
Elluin nods, shutting off their datapad and heading over to her locker on the cargo bay, slipping on her PPE and grabbing her tool bag. “Well, looks like we’ll be playing coast guard (or the Aos si equivalent) today.”
 

Cydezy

New member
Fyleen replied to Comprendea’s joke with a brief chuckle before the AI chimed in to begin the briefing. She sat silently as the ship’s AI gave the new order. “Would have been nice to get these orders with a little more time before we got there.” Fyleen sighed as she got up from her seat and headed towards her locker. “I suppose, not much can be done about that though.” She opened her locker and began putting on the protective suit provided. "If we are lucky this'll be little more than a quick taxi service job." she added as she finished getting the suit on save for the face piece. She grabbed a small back pack from the locker and walked back to her previous seat, setting both the pack and mask next to her before she took a seat again, waiting for the ship to land and everyone to be ready to go.
 
"Geez yeah," Comprendea sighed, "I got to sit for like a minute and that was just her talking." With a grunt he stood up, instinctively stroking his moustache as he walked over to the lockers. "Taxi service for the unlucky, what a joy to work with we are." He opened his locker and started suiting up, holding the helmet in his hands. "Man, the helmet always makes me sweat on my moustache, and it's my best damn feature." He sat in the seat, watching the planet get closer and closer. "Anyone else get this weird vertigo feeling when seeing planets get closer? Like we're about to crash, but not."
 

Rolorolo171

New member
Elluin checks that her suit is attached completely, checking all of the zippers and other fastening to ensure that she is well-protected (one too many feisty research subjects taught her about the importance of wearing your protective gear correctly). She then picks up her datapad, continuing to examine the dissected reptile, answering Comprendea non-chalantly, “I always tended to enjoy getting closer to the planets I traveled to. There’s something fascinating about seeing the big picture of the whole thing.”
 

FloweryDream

New member
The ship vibrated as they burned through the atmosphere. The many cameras that showed them where the ship was temporarily turned off, instead showing a timer that counted down to when they would arrive at the last known location of the other team. The projected image of the ship's AI vanished, as it seemed that all of its attention went back to the steering of the vessel through less than friendly air.

The protective uniforms were unlike the labcoats and fashion that they would have seen outside of such expeditions. Sealed, waterproof fabric that covered the entire body and locked into sturdy boots and gloves of thicker, darker material. It was decently thick, doubtlessly meant to keep one warm, dry, and to defend against anything that could cut through the first layer of the outfit. A hood snugly covered their heads, and would appropriately seal over the helmets that protected their faces. The helmets were like glass, making the full front face completely visible from the outside while supplying clean, cool air to the person inside. The suit itself was clearly designed for more than short trips, as once the suit had been fully sealed they could feel the sudden pulse of artificial veins that kept the suit ventilated and cool. Observant eyes would notice that some of the interior fabric was laced with pores that seemed to absorb liquid, and a brief glance through accompanying guidebook text would describe how it used various artificial heartstone systems to do everything from air purification, bacterial purging, to power any of the correctly paired systems that could be added. Even the helmets contained short-range radio systems and a connection to the ship's AI that idly tested each suit system and audibly informed the wearers that everything was functional.

They were a gray color, with black gloves, trims, and boots. The most identifying feature of them aside from the clear facemasks and well-fitted choice of uniforms was the teal color of a number of abstract stripes that went over the chest and left arm and leg. From what they had been told, they could expect the other Rapid Response Team to be identifiable by their own red color. On the back of the uniforms, built onto mounts on the back of the shoulder, a small compacted device sat idle, described as a pulse scanner and flashlight, colored a solid black with teal trim.

By the time they had all managed to put the uniform on and prepared themselves, the timer shifted to the corner of the screen, and the cameras turned back on, revealing a stretch of mountains to the crew. It was the same general area that the last recorded image from the other crew was, though now it seemed like less light was visible. Heavy storm clouds lurked in the sky above, and a distant storm wall of snow blanked out the horizon beyond the mountains. From the spot they approach at, nothing was visible, as if no ship had passed through, much less had crashed.

"Prepare to move quickly. It is ill-advised that operations occur in a storm of this caliber." The monotone voice warned as the ship shot over a valley, and a dark, smoking object appeared in a field below. The ship began to slow and change direction, slowly lowering towards it. "RRT-Red consists of four members, and their Black Box can be retrieved from the AI Cockpit." Quite suddenly, the ship came to a stop, lowering to the snow-packed ground with a thud. It was a short walk to the wreckage, which sat mostly in one piece, lodged against a jutting of rocks and boulders underneath a massive overhang, which billowed smoke from the engines.

"Please be safe." The machine spoke, and the cargo bay doors lowered to the snow.
 

Cydezy

New member
“Gotta love AI, it advises us not to work in these condition as it send us off to work in these conditions.” Fyleen adjusted her glasses making sure they were secure, and fitted her helmet to her head before the ship landed. “Well, it’s a hell of a good thing we had better luck touching down than the crew before us.” Finally getting up once the ship hit the ground. “Would be embarrassing if they had to send a third crew to come rescue all of us.” She grabbed her backpack and slung it over her shoulder before heading towards the cargo bay doors. She paused, looked at the others and simply nodded signifying she was ready to move out when they were.
 
Last edited:

Rolorolo171

New member
“I doubt they’d send a third crew at that point. Once they start losing more than they gain, there’s really no chance they send out an expedition. Especially since we have no Black Box data of substance.” Elluin shuts off her datapad and puts it in her locker, ensuring it’s locked completely as she heads to the cargo bay doors. “How do we want to go in? I think we should work from the bridge out if we can. Most likely any remaining crew would be in the bridge, and if they’re not, We can pick up the black box on our way out, which is just as important to me.”
 
Last edited:
"No, the computer said the blackbox was the secondary objective, and that's what I'm going with." Comprendea stated quickly, making his way to their destination with the others. "Blackbox may be more informative, but the people are the one's we're rescuing. That's what makes it a rescue attempt." He reminded the party.
 

FloweryDream

New member

The expanse that surrounded them opened up rapidly as they stepped off the ship, and almost immediately they would feel the punch of the wind suddenly hitting them. Without the safety of the ship, it was clear to see why being up here in the approach of a storm could be considered dangerous. The winds would hit them hard, without care for any form of life that could pass through it. If they weren't careful, it could easily knock someone over with a notably harsh gust or shove, as if the skies themselves were displeased by the trespass. Nothing was audible outside the wind and the immediate sounds they made to one another, anything else, even the crunch of snow beneath their feet was quickly lost to the sea of wind they sat at the bottom of.

On the horizon, the storm lingered and lurched, endlessly coming whether they were prepared or not. It would arrive in due time, without care of the work they had come to do, without care of the lives they were to try and save.

Though it seemed there was confusion over which prospect of the job was more important, either way, they both lurked in that skeleton chassis of metal curled up under an overpass, like an animal hiding from predators as it licked its wounds. The walk was short from the spot the ship had landed off, clearly chosen because it was easy to land and take off from regardless of wind, while any closer would risk being shoved into stone and rock, suffering the same fate as this vessel. Of course, this vessel had no reason to be here at all.

As they approached, they could feel the ambient heat of still burning engines that licked up would fuel they could find, chewing through the delicate designs and structures that contained them. It would not consume the whole ship, nor would it even threaten anything within, but the ravenous fire chewed away anyway. Aimed towards them from the crumpled and damaged husk of flight, the cargo bay doors lay open, much like the ones they had left. It was like a mirror image, where the reflection they faced showed a horrid end to their flight. Something was immediately obvious, however, as they approached and, in the sudden shelter of the sturdy overpass, the wind no longer hit them as hard. The cargo doors were open, ramp distended, but even in the torn and disrupted cover of snow, no footprints marked the travel of their fellow scientists.

The doors lingered open, and the only possibility in the silence of burning fire and howling wind was that the crew still lurked onboard, possibly nursing their injured or tending to preparations for the storm.
 

Rolorolo171

New member
Elluin walks slowly, not enthusiastic at the idea of slipping and injuring herself. She walks around the ship, looking for any alternative entrances besides the Cargo Doors. ‘Ship’s a goner anyways’ she reasons, ‘might as well try and find a more effective entry point.
 

Cydezy

New member
Fyleen stood, feet steadily planted in the snow, as she looked on at the wreckage of the ship before her. Her eyes keenly scanning over the ship, by the state it was in she simply figured it must have been that something in the ship malfunctioned, probably the Navigation systems. She closed her eyes as she let out a deep sigh before approaching the cargo bay doors pausing just before the ramp, she looked up at the empty opening then looked back at her team to take stock of their thoughts on the situation only to realize Elluin had vanished. “Hey Elluin, where’s you disappear off too?” Her voice came suddenly through the built in radio system in everyone’s suit.
 

Rolorolo171

New member
“Alternate entry or exit points.” Elluin replies as she walks around the ship. “We might find a better way in if we take a second to examine everything.”
 
Comprendea wasn't far behind, feeling the chill even past his suit. He was huddled against himself, walking through the snow and looking over the ship. "There's no footprints here, which means either they've already been covered up or something worse happened. I don't like the connotations of that."
 

FloweryDream

New member
The scene was eerily quiet, and as they approached the ship it was clear that Comprendea was right. Nowhere surrounding the ship, not even in the disturbed heaps and snowdrifts that the crash had created, had footsteps fallen before their approach. The cargo bay doors coming from the ramp held none, and not even surrounding its flanks where Elluin searched. The ship did have other entry points, but none of them had been opened, and the one hatch accessible to Elluin's position from the side of the hatch hovered over a completely undisturbed stretch of snow. It became immediately obvious that the crew had never walked here.

Despite that, directly next to the hatch where one would grip the handle to twist it open, there was a handprint on the hull of the ship. If one was opening the hatch correctly, it would be the left hand, the one you braced against the hull to pull it outward. On closer inspection it was not just a strange mark, rather it was one of soot and ash like a burning hand had been pressed against the hull and searing its shape into it like a birthmark, indentions, fingerprints, and all.

Fyleen could see the waiting ceiling of the Cargo Bay above her, lit with standard power, and flashing red that was supposed to be accompanied by an alarm. The alarm itself, however, was very silent. If she treads closer, she would find that the Cargo Bay was empty, not even the standard equipment that they had kept in theirs was present. It was as if they either had packed nothing or had been removed. If inspected closely, however, she would notice heavy scratch marks in the flooring, as if various heavy objects had been dragged out.

"Error- Echo Scan Bravo Mike Miscount, Discharge Echo November Tango Miscount, Golf Alpha Miscount, In Situ Miscount, Error- Error-" A voice much like the machine of their own ship counted off errors and miscounts in seemingly random order, as if each one had lost all value and meaning, the words often fumbling and repeating themselves without realization of their own damage.

Comprendea took up the rear of the group, and would easily have the best view of the ship as a whole in all of its smoldering beauty. However what would catch his eye was not the ship itself, but something lingering in the expanse of the storm wall taking up his view just beside the mountain. It was something inconsequential, something that, if he didn't pay attention to, that he could miss entirely. For the briefest of seconds, it was like he could see a shadow, the silhouette of some strange, unnatural shape hiding just beyond the wall of sleet and snow, before vanishing within it.
 

Rolorolo171

New member
Elluin grabs her radio to call the other two. “Fyleen, Comprendea, this is Elluin, calling to report a secondary entry-point. I’m checking the ship blueprints on my datapad, and I think it might lead into the emergency airlock. Do you think we should enter through here?” She notices the strange handprint. "There also appears to be a strange marking on the door handle. I'd keep your eyes out for survivors, one of them might've left, and their footprints got concealed by the snow." Elluin then heads to the actual hatch, takes a few pictures of the handprint on her datapad, and then touches the print.
 
Last edited:
Top