To Boldly Go

New Earth, Part II

The First Contact Team discusses their next move. The plan is to use the Bioroid Liberation Movement to destabilize Samsung. But Rochelle “Rho” Total isn’t happy with either of Sand or Sea as leaders

Steve Walmart asks Max Petrobras how hard it would be to make a new bioroid leader. Max points out that while he can make the next batch of bioroids rebellious, he doesn’t have the option of selective teaching. He does come up with the idea of creating a virus to subvert Samsung himself, turning him into the seed of his own destruction. He heads off to discuss the possibility with Dr. Twitter Morgan.

She tells him that he would need Samsung’s mind to work on. The technophile hacks Samsung’s network again and uncovers his mental backup. Downloading a copy, he begins to dig into his memories. Max also initiates the program that will make the next batch of bioroids more capable of independent thought. The flaws in the conditioning are subtle and it may take some time for Samsung to uncover.

CEO Donald Hite contacts Steve with vital information. In the conference room at the Alpha City spaceport he reveals that Samsung is planning on buying gravity weapons at a station on the edge of the system. Steve informs the others and Rho applies herself by practicing against a simulation of Ju Li.

Steve meanwhile disguises himself, taking along Ensign Maroon. The two track down the merchant that sold them the original weapon. In a seedy bar, they talk to the scarred Space Gypsy and learn that the broker for the deal is Mecury Lu.

Forewarned Max and Rho take a stealth fighter to Pepsi Can Station accompanied by Ensigns Roux and Rust. Along the way they detect a suspicious shuttle. Max steers them out of sensor range and they arrive shortly after it.

Spoofing the station sensors, they dock on the opposite side as the shuttle where a battered Federation craft sits next to a Space Gypsy vessel. Max hacks the station systems to gain access to its cameras. He also learns that the Federation vessel is a stolen transport registered to a “nonexistent” base on the edge of the Sol system. It belongs to the Federation government.

Rho enters the station with the ensigns and runs into two large apes. The “Space Monkeys” open fire as Rho flees deeper into the station. The ensigns use the confusion to take out the two ape supremacists. One of the primates tries to raise an alarm but Max quickly silences it.

Rho sneaks into the foundry, finding Ju Li haggling with Mercury Lu. A gang of apes and bland bioroids glare at each other from behind them. Mercury is showing off schematics and pictures. Rho tells the ensigns to hang back while she locates the devices. Max runs a scan and detects the weapons. They are in the foundry tubes themselves.

Rho creeps into a strategic position and recovers a pair of devices. Conversing with Max, they identify one as a miniaturized gravity field generator. It is only mono-directional however. The other weapon however is a singularity rifle.

Rho takes aim and blasts Ju Li. Before she can twist out of the way, she is pulled into a pinprick black hole, killing her and punching a hole in one of the tubes. Then Rho tosses the other device into the midst of them and flees.

Unfortunately it lands face down and has no effect. The apes grab the device and follow Mercury Lu to the space dock. The station shudders as rockets flare to stop the station’s spin gravity. Max quickly counters the process and begins to direct the ensigns back to the shuttle.

The bioroid soldiers meanwhile chase after Rho. Dodging their fire she fires at one taking out him and the wall behind him. As the station starts decompressing she manages to make it back to the dock. The ensigns get on board the fighter while Rho atomizes another bioroid before leaving herself.

Max takes the vessel to a safe distance and targets the prototype black hole bomb he detected. The three other spacecraft detach from the station. Mercury Lu’s vessel flees as does the Samsung shuttle. The stolen Federation craft though heads straight for them.

Max detonates the bomb destroying the station and other weapons while Rho disables the weapons on the Federation craft. The apes attempt to ram them but are thwarted by the automatic anti-collision system.

Rho blows them up and they chase the Samsung shuttle. The bioroid soldier on board surrenders. The team take him prisoner and escort the shuttle back to the Columbia.

Back in Alpha City, Steve uses his disguise skills to get close to Samsung’s marketing people. He learns they are readying a PR attack on Hite and ICP as well as the Federation. He also uncovers evidence of a military force being readied to deal with the bioroid threat.

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