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From the Front Lines Pt.1
Date October 28, 2041
Author Terri Maeanya Kopp
Internal Name stormbird_one
Internal Series Sanctum, #1 

October 28th, 2041:

A Newswire Exclusive - From the Front Lines - Part 1

By: Terri Maeanya Kopp

This is the first in a five part live blog by Investigative Journalist for the Newswire, Terri Kopp, as her and Consortium officers Rook 12, Bishop 10, and Knight 18 board the Guardian Church Sanctum Station. This article was created via transcription from the audio and video feed captured by Terri via her remote equipment. It has been edited down from several hours of footage. If you wish to obtain a full recording, please contact me with your requests.

*Camera Focus on Terri standing in the Loading Bay of the Stormbird. Behind her several Pawns are working quietly on one of the Missions Pods, preparing it for launch.*

Terri: Hello everyone. This is Terri Kopp, investigative journalist for the Global Newswire. I am here for a Newswire exclusive: A live blog on the personnel aboard the infamous C-3800-A, Stormbird. I've been given almost unlimited access to learn more about what life is really like aboard a Consortium aircraft, and the type of missions they undertake to keep us all safe. Today, we're going to be traveling to Orbital Habitat 5124, known colloquially as The Guardians' Sanctum, for a one-on-one meeting with Andrelia Cody, one of the founders of the Guardian Church. The Sanctum was purchased by the Church in 2031, and has since become one of the premier tourist destinations for Church members and critics, offering seminars, debates and educational classes about the Guardians in a setting that would put a five-star resort in the Caribbean to shame.

Since we've still got a few hours till we hook up with a TOOL and head for the Sanctum, I'm going to spend this time interviewing some of the Stormbird crew. Let's see what they have to say...

*Camera Focus as Terri walks through the lower levels of the plane and into the Medical Bay. Medical officer Pawn 18 is shown typing on a console, as Terri stops in front of her.*

Terri: Hi, I'm Terri from Newswire. I'm doing some interviews on the plane before...

Pawn18: Sorry, I'm busy.

Terri: When's a good time to catch you for an interview?

*The Pawn looks directly at the camera for a few seconds, then back to her work.*

Pawn18: Not before you're gone. I'm on duty for the next six hours.

Terri: Are you sure you can't spare a moment to talk?

Pawn18: Yeap.

*She goes back to typing. Terri turns away looking annoyed. CUT TO IN THE LOUNGE*

Terri: This is Pawn 23, one of the Logistics Officers. He's going to answer a few questions about life on the Stormbird.

Pawn23: Sure thing, ma'am.

Terri: What are your general duties?

Pawn23: Well, uh. I monitor anything happening within our grid, and am first to investigate before bringing situations to the King.

Terri: What else?

Pawn23: That's about it...

Terri: What about in your time off?

Pawn23: Mostly just read up on current events. Gotta keep on top or the Knight'll have my ass.

Terri: He runs a pretty tight crew.

Pawn23: Tightest in the Consortium ma'am.

Terri: What else can you tell us about life on the Stormbird?

Pawn23: Knight 18 doesn't like us talking too much about that.

Terri: I... see.

Knight 18: *Over an Intercom* MARTINEZ. GET THE HELL BACK HERE NOW.

Pawn23: That's my cue.

*Camera Focus, Terri watches Pawn 23 hurry off*

Terri: Unlimited access, my ass.

*CUT TO HANGER BAY*

*Inside Terri is looking at ROOK 12, LISA CONIBEAR, the Stormbird Weapons and Tactics Specialist*

Terri: Lisa Conibear, or Rook 12, is the Weapons and Tactics Specialist on board the Stormbird. She's agreed to an exclusive interview about what it's like taking care of the weaponry on board a Consortium vessel.

Rook12: I'm pretty sure the Pawns are all terrified of you asking them for an interview now.

Terri: Why's that?

Rook12: Knight 18 will probably ream them out for taking time off their duties.

Terri: I have to say, I've seen documentaries about the old navy vessels that had less discipline.

Rook12: We believe in that sort of precision. We are the flagship, and the face of the Consortium after all. We should, and do act the part.

Terri: What can you tell us about your job here on the Stormbird?

Rook12: While on mission my job is to help Bishop 10 through any combat that may arise, and also to keep an eye on the status of his weapons and equipment. Off-duty I'm to ensure his armour and weapons are kept in peak condition... otherwise, he'll give me a real shouting at.

*Rook 12 laughs for a few moments, then notices Terri isn't.*

Rook12: Sorry, inside joke. I also organize and manage the general duties of our Hanger Bay and Maintenance Pawns.

Terri: What can you tell us about the primary weapons on Stormbird?

Rook12: Sorry, Knight 18--

Terri: Doesn't like you talking too much about that.

Rook12: Yep. Though, that shouldn't be a surprise. There are a lot of groups out there that don't like the Consortium, you know? Despite what we're trying to do.

Terri: What about--

Knight18: *Over Intercom* Launch Bay. We're here. Five minutes.

Rook12: We're up. Grab your gear.

*The door opens and in walks Bishop 10. He looks at Rook 12 and she nods.*

Rook12: See you in the bay, Terri.

*Camera Focus, as Terri walks out. The door hisses behind her.*

*CUT TO INSIDE MISSION POD*

*Camera Focus as Rook 12, Knight 18, Bishop 10, and Terri are all cramped inside.*

Terri: Bishop, do you expect any problems with this mission?

Bishop10: ...

Rook12: Told you, inside joke.

Knight18: Quiet down back there. We'll be initiating landing procedures momentarily.

Rook12: I'm reading a gathering energy source coming from the Sanctum.

Knight18: What sort of energy source? What the hell would be causing that?

Rook12: I'm not sure, but, it's building at an incredible rate. I think it may be a weapon system.

Knight18: Does the Sanctum even have a weapon systems?

Rook12: In theory? No. But, uh, look over there.

*Camera Focus as Lisa points out something rising out of the top of the Sanctum. It looks like a squat gun, and it's pointing at the Mission Pod.*

Knight18: Stormbird, come in. It looks like we may have a problem here... there is something on top of the Sanctum and it looks to us like a weapon. Can you confirm?

Terri: What if it is a weapon?

Knight18: Then we'll blow it all to hell. Stormbird? Report in!

Rook12: Uh, sir... whatever the hell that is, it's spiking.

Terri: It's lighting up!

Knight18: Prepare for impa-

*STATIC*

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*STATIC*

*Camera Focus as the mission pod is plummeting towards the colony.*

Rook12: Can't get control back! Controls are fried! 10 seconds to impact!

Knight18: Stormbird! Respond! Repeat, we are on an impact vector!

Rook12: 5 seconds!

Knight18: Stormbird, repeat, we are on a-

*KATHOOM*

*STATIC*

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