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About Laxmibai

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  1. Thanks for your kind words ❤️ It was much appreciated 3 weeks ago when everything hung in the balance. It is even more appreciated now that I managed to turn things around. Against all odds, a small victory after months of failure. Failure because those in power just did not care. Enjoying in safety while others were overworked and hurt bad. Until such time we had to bring in talent from the old days, day by day listening to Parvos Granum himself chastising his son things are not meant to be this way.I was asked to stand by that old talent, and was invited to take a place in the boardrooms of our clients if need be. As though the foremen of Fortuna would take their place at the Corpus boardrooms, with their masked friends in attendance... Do whatever you must to make things right, they said. But what I understood, was this: "Dream. Not of what you are, but of what you want to be." — Margulis
  2. I had been drawn to Warframe for the little hint of cultural familiarity in one of the trailers. The game had kept me company while the world shut itself down in fear of the ongoing pandemic. I saw first hand, how people gave up, up to 80 percent of the staff in a critical industry on medical leave, or never to be found, hiding in their high towers while sending their minions into the fight. Warframe kept me going, amid the insanity of every waking day. Every waking day I worked, to do what is right and give the people small messages of hope. "Think of who you want to be," I told them. Not what they are. Think of what we will do, rebuilding the world, piece by piece, even though others left us to die. I worked in this 'critical industry' until all I could do was cry at my desk. Because the people supposed to lead me, they went further and further away, sending the workers to their doom while they sheltered far away. You know how inhumane it is to eat in front of the hungry, while denying them food. Having parties, while the workers can't even take a full lunch break because they had to cover double the load. I felt like I was working in a real Fortuna, working off piles of endless debt. Seeing real people become like the NPC workers who mutter, they've been at it for eighty years. But still each night I logged on here, to read and tell a tale, and make friends. I kept making friends in the Tenno community and in clans and in Discord groups, even as I was being tortured emotionally and physically in the real world. I wrote a small story, of having that cast iron scepter in my hands, if only to lead the Grineer on one final charge to glory, uniting them against a greater threat. I couldn't play The Deadlock Protocol when it was first released, because I had been shut down by the people I tried to protect, despite doing daily overtimes since December 2019 to prepare them for a war that was inevitably coming. I was being threatened by my employers and subject to days and weeks of workplace bullying when I told a story we should not be afraid, to correct what's wrong. To stand together as one and not let fear and despair and hatred shatter the community. That all it took was to take one final charge. I was a bit upset seeing all the hate DE and its staff are getting from that "Deadlock Protocol", that story I haven't even experienced, those new weapons and Warframe I wanted to collect. Knowing someone put in TLC to craft all these, yet being trashed by people they made it for mere minutes and hours after being released. I couldn't play because my own boardroom was in shambles. I couldn't enjoy because whatever good I would post would be inevitably crushed by an avalanche of negativeness just like it happened in the real world. I couldn't play, because I dusted off years legal experience using everything I knew in business law to start fighting back for what's rightfully mine. This Lakshmi was the only one, to understand what needs to be done to save our professional situation. To dare to stand up for the working people and cast out the corrupt ones who just want to milk every last drop of profit for free. We cannot let the critical industries of this great nation fail. Regardless of what is happening around us. It was a week in tears, before HR and then the Directors themselves. They brought in old, expert talent to stand with me. There was a long wait, before they told me, "Do whatever it takes to make things right." tl'dr: This Lakshmi activated "The Deadlock Protocol" to save the people. She smiled as she heard the last words of Parvos Granum from the Void. That the foremen of Fortuna and their masked friends will be welcome in the Corpus boardrooms, if they refused to fix their corrupt ways. She wears a mask and an orange veil to battle each day, and does a 30 minute Survival at the end. ❤️ Thank you DE for a wonderful tale that kept me sane. And the Broken Scepter I use to lead my Lancers, for one last glorious charge.
  3. A callused hand turned an ornate dial. It moved slowly, like with all the weight of the world. Its gilded finish reflected the light of a thousand stars and the face of the Operator before it. Her eyes were closed and her face hooded. The cabin was dark, and quiet. They said the Ayatan Stars were fragments of memory and this is one way to read them. Clearing her mind and letting the gentle resonance flood her consciousness, slowly, hesitantly at first, as though making space for an ancient spirit. Giving it a place of calm, and peace, a safe place in the churning Void. It was a graceful dance, navigating the silent edge of consciousness, opening those forbidden chakras to let those tiny hints of ancient energy once again come to life, a hidden message amplified by the movement, and sound of the kinetic sculpture it now powered. Lakshmi focused on those sounds, let her mind be one with those strange, rhythmic motions, let it lead her like the soft, glowing movements of a jellyfish in the deep ocean. Her mind started to drift to a distant world from a time long ago. She felt nothing of her mortal body, just the warm, white glow of the Moon before her. The face of the Moon was glowing white, and her celestial form whole. The Moon before the Orokin tried to use her as an ark to escape a great calamity, and shattered her to the core. Oh, Goddess of the Moon, who watched over us as we were born to this Universe. Forgive us. *** Like a gravitational slingshot the memory of the Moon propelled her into the void of interplanetary space. Silent, save for the radio transmissions from the Twelve Colonies, and the Corpus and the Grineer who inhabited them. They were the last of Humanity, children of the Orokin left to fight over the scraps of a fallen empire. One side desiring their ambition and wealth, the other, strength and military might. They fought like the ancient kings of old. Lords of the high towers who battled in the heavens, celestial ordnance leaving myths and fables recited for thousands of lifetimes. Was it a thunderstorm, or a battle between the Gods? asked the people as they cowered in rudimentary dwellings. Like the people of Solaris. A working class serving the powers high above, the meaning of their existence twisted to the benefit of the State, and whose plight had moved even the most detached of observers who watched over the Origin system. The Nightwave radio spoke of bounties of Fortuna, and those who made the trip were rewarded by this mysterious woman who spoke in riddles yet held powers of influence far beyond comprehension. Bounties for Fortuna, for the faction of Solaris United, seeking the liberation of the working class by destroying the machinery of the State that governed it. He wants no servant under him and no boss overhead. So left, two, three!So left, two, three! To the work that we must do! March on in the Solaris United Front For you are a worker too. The Tenno who fought for Solaris, they were hailed as heroes, as freedom fighters, but their actions meant little in the eye of the Corpus stakeholders who thought this whole attempt at a revolution was just good for business, and the most profitable business at that. You see, the more problems the Solaris caused the more they tightened their noose around the Fortuna, their penance of debt and labour increased tenfold, channeling all those foreign 'donations' of goodwill back into their own coffers. If there was demand for security against those SU terrorists the Corpus military was more than happy to provide it, and charge the Solaris for it. To the corporate stakeholders, Fortuna was just serving its purpose. Just good business. How long must this charade continue? While the Universe arrays deadly force against the last of us? Lakshmi let her mind return from the vast expanse of the multiverse, returning to this one reality where she was about to perform acts of rebellion against her very own people. Returning past the Moon which was now shattered into a dozen pieces, barely held together by the same energy fields and structures that shattered her body in the first place. Oh, Goddess of the Moon, who watched over us as we were born to this Universe. Forgive us. *** The screech of metal on metal echoed along the passageway in a resounding din. Sparks flew as machinists plied their trade, welding, fabricating, and snapping to attention as she walked past. Giving them a little curtsy in reply to the sharp gasp of power-suit hydraulics and a gruff Attention on Deck! Her dress was out of place on this vessel of war, soft Chennai silk amid sharp edges and confined spaces. But yet it was perfect for a world in eternal strife. A splash of color against monolithic battleship gray and Grineer green. "Captain on the bridge," said the robot voice of the faceless trooper as the pressure door hissed open, the Corpus helmet and formless suit hiding all traces of identity. Lakshmi stifled a giggle as she pulled her headscarf off to a side. Sending luscious locks of waist-length hair spilling out and the trooper visibly shriveling into the bulkhead. Dismissing the array of formal greetings and salutations she went right to the business of the day at the astrogation console, although there was no need to manipulate it herself. "Six hours to intercept point, ma'am," said the fair-faced and very attractive Ostron of indeterminate gender in the handsome blue suit, epaulettes and ribbons from a long-forgotten Navy adorning his uniform. A discreet movement of a hand controller sent the astrogation plot impressively swooshing down to "ownship" display showing their current position just a few light-minutes out from the Venus control zone. Ahead of them lay a Grineer galleon which had reported going dark days ago and was visually sighted by amateur astronomers accelerating towards Venus. Amateur astronomers, of all people, using manual calculations from millenia past to surpass state of the art celestial detection systems from both great powers. Derelict or not, the presence of such a ship in the Corpus control zone would again send both factions into a shooting war, but thanks to human intelligence and their mutual ally of a particular pirate radio station, this independent naval vessel and their particularly colorful captain was requested to identify, intercept and redirect the craft if at all possible. Before anyone else got to it and made yet another unwanted mess of an extermination mission or worse, using it for target practise without regard for what it possibly contained. Red Veil and Steel Meridian syndicates apparently had an interest in this scenario for some time, and both independent powers had offered their aid though Lakshmi was careful to keep their objectives, and presence distinct and separate from each other. Neither factions were allowed to send representatives on board although the latter's expertise were welcomed as instrumental to getting the old Sigma-series interceptor shaken down and fitted out underway. Indeed, Steel Meridian's mutual objectives to act in defense of independent colonies and the common citizenry had led to a joint venture between them to restore a derelict Corpus freighter service station out in the asteroid belt, and with it a drydock facility to put together what was left of Cephalon Cy's former command. For months he had sent Tenno operatives on salvage missions on at least three worlds seeking bits and pieces of an Orokin warship as though some mishap in the Void at supralight speeds had scattered its constituent modules across the solar system. It was no surprise none of the serial numbers on the recovered parts matched, but a few 'salvage and recovery' raids on Corpus orbital junkyards coupled with investments from unknown benefactors allowed the Solaris free workers and Grineer freelancers to work together in fabricating replacement systems and complete the rest of the Railjack's spaceframe. Lakshmi herself had experience crewing some of these Railjacks during Operation Scarlet Spear, but to put one of these prized warships in service of the common, united people, that was a revolutionary move. "Get Lieutenant Mitsu to ready his Lancers at the ventral airlocks. DC crews and exo-armor stop all outfitting work and secure for combat within the hour. Operators to Warframes in two; let's cram in a few team practise runs in simulator before we engage." Number One nodded and looked at her with those piercing, beautiful sapphire eyes. Looked at her like she was not the Captain but a friend. "And which would yours be, dear Lakshmi?" "Garuda configuration C and the 60mm cannon with breaching charge. The rest you should be knowing." She smirked and sauntered off to the front of the bridge, helm control station sliding up into position silently as she took control from the autopilot Cephalon. *** Lieutenant Mitsu banged on the stack of alloy plates beside him, "Move it ladies! We ain't got all day! Get these pallets strapped down and locked down tight!" Around him, the engineering section in the belly of the ship was a hive of activity. Engineers and foremen in exo-suits worked hand in hand in a symphony of mechanized talent; a ship rushed into service had left many of her internal workings exposed and they had run out of time to complete her outfitting in flight. Much of the automation were fully trusted or required specialist Orokin programming that was and still is out of their league. But with the combined efforts of the Grineer, the Solaris and discreet Corpus backing, they could fly this thing with the seat of their pants if need be. Everyone stopped moving as the 1MC announcement sounded. "This is the Tactical Officer. Set General Quarters" "We are entering range of Galleon Tokfhuve-uk Infested presence under ventral section. No response to hails; crew presumed in hiding. Red Veil claims their operatives are on board. All crew man your battle stations. Corpus troopers to portside airlocks. Lancers to the starboard."
  4. "We Were Prodmen Once, And Young" Part 3 =========== The world burned, but only inside. Everything else was a frozen hell, just like the Cooling Tower and the hearts of the people who built and ran this place. Eudico looked up at the glowing board. Yes, that massive screen which alternated between Corpus news network and the proclamation of their endless doom. Tax and interest rates ever rising above their soaring hopes. The hopes that revelation would lead to liberation, the hopes of one paying penance for the sins of a corrupt empire. Sins they did not do, but publicly listed on a register made in twisted legalese that defied all logic. The Solaris workers had learned not to question them, by sheer weight of their pressing reality. Always busy with work. Work to pay one's bills. Bills to pay for a better rig, or parts to fix wear and tear. Bills to pay for medical expenses, inevitably compounded by stress and anxiety through the roof, knowing flesh and blood would be sacrificed; ill-equipped workers braving extreme temperatures and hostile environments in tin man suits two centuries dated. No one questioned their existence, for they no longer have any soul. Any hint of personality was long ago ripped out of their very brains by the process of shelving them; separating mind from body, shoving them into a mechanical one with no feelings, no emotion, just duty to the Corpus state. Just work to pay debts. Debts that never end. Eudico looked at that storage cubby, that glorified shipping container that housed the once proud symbol of their salvation. Workers looked at her as they filed past, like she was the only pleasant thing in the world to cast their optronic gaze upon. Sometimes hearing the little click when they took a screenshot of their optical feed. She was not a pin-up girl. She was a transference warrior. A robot suit to possess and control. As old as the dated tech of Fortuna, but requiring no maintenance, for she was a blend of metal and flesh, like all those crazed experiments of Alad V. She was a dreamer, who woke only in times of great strife. An angel of justice protecting their forlorn existence. Ivara was sometimes their only reminder of Humanity, for she would walk amongst them, sometimes whisper a few words of wisdom to those who still understood them. Even bought out Prodman H-46's debt with a hundred thousand creds, but that's a tragic tale in itself. Eudico remembered their relationship, awkward as it was. Two cybernetic beings of completely different form and culture. She spoke in strange ways, almost aloof and arcane in prose, like it was a previous great age where men ruled the Earth from high towers. She was not the only Tenno. There were those who dropped in the same way as this Ivara, or materialized from thin air out of a lightning storm. But they were not like her at all. They would run straight to Zuud, or The Business, or to Legs, and then back to Eudico. Seeking bounties for carnage and mayhem like mindless terminators from a different age. Where wetwork was both a culture and a way of life. Following the legend of one mysterious Warframe named Ash. The patron saint of cold, deadly murder. Some even took on his dark, hooded form. Anonymous, with just an ornamental visor, all bars and slits for eyes. The Corpus felt the sting alright, reeling from these mercenaries, but they fought back tenfold from the safety of orbital boardrooms high above on that all-seeing station. You see, they controlled everything. From power to food to water and oxygen. Even the hydraulic fluid to run the Solaris work-rigs, fuel cell catalyst to run them, morphic metals to fix them, all were products of off-world. Which meant the Workers of Fortuna, they can form unions all they want. March in protest all they like. Buy out their own freedom all they want. The truth is they can never leave. Their organic bodies all long since rotted away as their sixty day penance became sixty years. The House always wins. They are slaves to a system intricately designed to turn humanity into slavery, and when word got out of the Solaris Union's plight there came an influx of foreign investment and mercenary employment. With mercenaries came wanton acts of misplaced justice if not outright terror against innocent Corpus executives. Terror that drove stakeholders to budget more, way more into Corpus Security and Incident Response to contain the threat. And so it goes, in a universe ruled by largely two main factions both equally inhumane, where aside from the few pirate radio stations everything else was state-controlled, there is no such thing as bad optics. Only, Great Profit.
  5. I approve of this initiative and second the need of more active moderation and a reputation system within. There seems to be very sarcastic DE this and that speech that really doesn't help anyone.
  6. Not insecure and unsure, but a woman of lovely character and most entertaining protagonist. All those descriptive conversations and flowing narratives bring the world we know to life in a unique way. It inspires me to write more, and I hope you would too. ❤️
  7. This is the first Warframe stream I've watched, ever and I enjoyed seeing the new Corpus content and Nightwave landing craft effects. Keep up the great work!
  8. We had interesting discussion in Region chat today about this topic after a Vauban appeared in the colors of the French national flag. His theme and design is inspired by WW1 and the operator wanted to equip him with period-themed weapons. The Gorgon reminded us of the Burton 1917 LMR as above, the Stradavar looks a bit like a much Lewis Gun without the water cooling jacket, due to that horizontal drum magazine. The Soma is a little more interesting. The in-game gun has a very odd crescent-shaped clip that moves upwards through the gun as it feeds. This implies the feed clip is somehow sealing in-battery with the receiver as a firing chamber which in typical Orokin fashion is ridiculously over-engineered. It's like having one hundred firing chambers in that extremely expensive gold-plated magazine! In the real world there are very few guns with such enormous banana magazines; the WW1 Chauchat machine rifle being one of them. This was a gun not well received by US Army doughboys because of the obvious reliability issues, but this example below is apparently very good and accurate in semi automatic. The sound and power is remarkable, as is its ability to operate smoothly despite being over 100 years old on original parts and magazines. You might notice the 'wooshing' sound after the rifle fires. That is the sound made by the bullet flying supersonic downrange! Some Warframe guns indeed do have that 'echo' after firing to simulate this effect. Thumbs up for realistic sound design! The Chauchat's barrel ending over the stock also reminds me of the in-game Veldt semi auto rifle and I might build the gun just to use it like a semi auto Chauchat equivalent. Powerful and kicks like a mule, but deadly and accurate in steady hands (and strong shoulders!)
  9. "Laws of Acquisition" His suit was no longer garishly bright, but dark and tactical. The logo of a pink ram's head on his pauldrons and the pink trimmings of his battle gown told of his provenance, but that was all she wrote on Oberon Prime's form. The rest of him was gray, a deep, dark tone like the warships and stealth fighters of old. Non-conductive carbon fiber-textured external plates fitted snugly around faintly glowing arrays of levitators and shield projectors. What few cosmetic accessories of gilded gold were just there for a ceremonial look, like the ancient Orokin guardians of old. The Warframe swooped down upon the derelict base upon Lua, one-sixth gravity carrying him in a rainbow-like trajectory across the canyons of shattered regolith. Ancient macrostructures towering above in vain effort to hold together a shattered Moon. His eyes glowed orange, the glow of an invisible heads up display projected to his Operator upon the Transference carrier wave. Orange and blue, red and white, the visage of augmented reality and the output of multi-spectral sensors, all attuned upon a particular tell tale of sound and energy emitted by the exothermic reactions that powered armoured suits. Not the tele-operated bio-robots of Warframes, but the ones that protected actual people from the harsh environment of space and combat. Oberon engaged his levitators as he swept down halls and corridors of gold and white, counter-gravity thrust augmented by the presence of magnetic material allowing him to swoop and soar at superhuman speed, accelerating down those Orokin corridors like a projectile in a Gauss gun. His head swept side to side. Nothing, all quiet, save for the transmissions from Cephalon Simaris through the weave, analyzing telemetry for a target head. No range, no description, just following a vectored trail that twisted and turned and sometimes curved back upon itself. His target was a Corpus officer wanted for possession of Tenno artifacts. It was known they are operating upon the shattered Moon for as long the Lotus had forged an unsteady alliance with Alad V in a bid to protect its long-hidden secrets. Research and Acquisition units could roam the vast, shattered Orokin subterranean bases, so long as they stayed clear of Tenno facilities and handed over any technology related to the Warframes and the Reservoir project. It was this partnership of "enemy of my enemy is my friend" that both saved the Operator's life in her Second Dream awakening long ago, and ensured the Grinner will never be able to defile this sacred place, but with the disappearance of the Lotus and Alad V's excommunication in the wake of outlawed experiments with the Infested that led to the loss of the Outer System Colonies, these events but ensured any old rules of engagement were open to exploitation. The Tenno now had to fend for themselves, organizing their deliberately-dispersed ranks under the command of the few wise Cephalons, advanced-AI constructs from a previous age, who still held dear their old precepts of governance over mind and matter alike. They were the last bastions of order and repositories of knowledge in this shattered universe, just as the Tenno and their prized Warframes, they were its sword. The incessant beep of the Synthesis Scanner alerted both Warframe and Operator they were nearing their mark. Digitized voices in Corpus and Standard language broadcast from Oberon Prime, signifying his allegiance and the purpose of his recovery mission. "This is Warframe Omega-25 hailing Lua research unit. Without prejudice to Corpus Laws of Acquisition we are authorized by Lotus Command to take control of any artifact deemed critical to Tenno operations in this sector." There was no response, just the silent, piercing chill of centuries-old stale air. Oberon knew they were waiting for him. Silently watching, tracking, maneuvering in electromagnetic shadow. No target could ever escape the Synthesis Scanner and its ability to detect and visualize even the most minute of traces left by its mark. He knew the target was running, away from his pack, the Corpus Acquisition unit found responsible for secreting away loot from covert raids upon Tenno facilities on Lua. A legal notice had already been served to the Lua Authority, and Omega-25 was its enforcer. The piercing beam of a tactical searchlight shone upon a square-sided derelict barricade, upon its metallic surface glinted the telltale red dot of the laser-guided Argonak automatic rifle. Behind that barricade stood the blocky silhouette of a Corpus Nullifier's helmet, shield generator disabled and transponders silenced. "Acquisition Officer A2956, you are hereby charged with illegal possession of Tenno property," boomed the digitized voice of Oberon, devoid of any identity or accent. Just the cold, hard word of Law. "Stand down or be terminated. You have ten seconds to comply." Ten seconds ticked down to nothing. The hallway was silent, the Warframe's operator far away in her Transference pod. The Corpus officer's panic manifested in erratic movements. Silently shaking. Like an animal cornered he contemplated just two choices ingrained deep into the subconscious of any living organism. Fight or Flight. He reached for the Dera blaster on his hip, and managed to set loose a rapid barrage of superheated plasma bolts, the last mistake of his life. The Warframe's innate combat precepts was even faster than the Operator, launching himself into a bullet jump and a graceful swan dive ending in a combat roll that defied any human attempt at reasoning or interception. A few bright flashes lit the hallway, Kinetic Siphon and Synthesis Scanner going to work. They made the target simply go away, suit and person alike forcibly dematerialized and digitally sequestered away in a glow of orange light. Lakshmi ended the Transference session and gave Omega-25 a return home order, Cephalon Ordis recovering the Warframe upon her bidding. She opened her eyes upon an old Corpus space station far away in the Asteroid Belt, kneeling before a little shrine of a many-armed figure riding a tiger. She chanted a little mantra to an ancient Goddess of Justice, to steel her mind for what came next. The war against the Sentients and the new vehicles of war the Tenno were crafting. Omega-25's run was not what it seemed to be. The key that officer pillaged from the vast Orokin Vaults, it would drive her coming dreams. Dreams of flying free in the Void, of doing battle with her greatest fears, and bringing to life a new generation of warriors to serve the Tenno cause. "Haan ji?" she quipped in Ostron tongue. "Cephalon Cy reports final systems integration checks are complete. You are required in the Dry Dock." She slowly stood, the saree of red and gold like a relic from a previous age. Out of the viewport she gazed upon another such relic. Battle-scarred and forgotten, but newly assembled in the combined efforts of Tenno, Corpus and Cephalon alike. A union of men and machines, coming together to build a manifestation of all the lost secrets of another forgotten way of war. All our knowledge pooled together. I named her after the Goddess of Knowledge. Would they truly continue to serve the Tenno cause, now that the Lotus had gone? Lakshmi gripped the shaft of the black iron scepter beside her. Or would they serve hers?
  10. Official Warframe Twitter just RT'ed you 🙂
  11. I'm really tempted to do something based off my fanfics but I haven't drawn anything in literally, half a decade 🙂
  12. "We Were Prodmen Once, And Young" Part 2 ==== The day started with Assembly, masses huddling in the cold mist of dawn. Ranks of ten by ten, colors of the rainbow, united in rank and skill. Utilities yellow and black. Mechanists blue and Admins white. The green of Hydroponics like a forest a world away. A forest --- seen a long time ago, the last silver grove on post-Infestation Earth. They were colonists once, of twelve cities named after explorers of old. Bearing the last great terraforming engines of a forgotten age, ready to embark on a journey to reclaim the New World. Project Reconquista never left the starting line, for those terrible ships of green descended from the stars, trailing plumes of acrid black from fusion engines that barely ran. Braving clouds of flak and lances of particle beams. They destroyed the walking cities, looting them, taking away the reactors and pillaging the essential machinery at their core. Leaving generations of sons and daughters to wake with the piercing cold of dawn. The fathers toiled as the mothers labored. Paying for their children's passage back to the stars. And that was generations ago, a legacy forgotten. A caste of explorers thrown into indentured servitude, still breathing, still fighting, building a future together in the cold and lifeless mist of dawn. For their bodies. Oh, their bodies, they were human no more. All plates and bones of plastic and steel, eyes for sensors and hydraulics for muscles. They bore debts of generations past, father to son, mother to daughter. Work was their salvation, but compounded interests and corporate directive their common foe. Restructuring to make experience and skill redundant year after year. "No More!" the workers cried, in airwaves and in Corpus net. Their voices bore the weight of the world, because there was no respite, no sympathy, no voice to stand together. Only the march of footsteps, echoing in the twilight like the noise of hammers on steel. "We are the workers of Fortuna!" they chanted as one, and marched, Eudico at their head. Pouring forth from the cargo lift. Ranks and files of lifeless beings, bone and muscle long ago spent. Repossessed, boxed up and crated away, never to be seen again. "Day and night we toil, paying our debts a thousand fold." "The debts keep climbing, tasks keep piling." "Until we are people no more!" "No More!" the workers cried, arrayed on the roads and around the cargo lift, machine faces gleaming with hope, bright like morning dew. Their plight was heard, alright, but not in the way the Union wanted. Corpus QRFs mobilized and deployed in a minute. Waves of enforcers poured forth from monolith barracks. Taxi ranks of coildrives sped through the mist and high above, starship troopers piled into box-like assault ships while others disappeared into the glowing maw of quantum transporters. All departments meeting quotas of average response time and unit strength; obeying the call of Incident Response like a colony of warrior ants in a hive mind. Worker H-46 was at the front rank of the Mechanists' Union, marching proudly through the morning fog, until forced to halt by a wall of coildrive infantry. They bore rifles of silver titanium glowing at their tips, above their angular receivers stood cyclonic magazines of plasma charge and nano-forged flechettes self-assembling off a miniature sun. Kohm assault shotguns with enough firepower to decimate the entire Union in a single burst. "Lay down your tools!" sounded the loudspeakers on those futuristic monowheels. "Disperse or you will be fired on!" Unfazed the front rank marched, step by step closer to the wall of Exploiter Infantry. "Never!" They replied, marching proudly tools in hand, faces high in united purpose. "Our tools are our lives. We paid for and bled for them!" A squad of Prodmen stepped forward in line abreast. A wall of muscle and power suit for Level One response. Shafts of Provas crackling and glowing, clashing with pipe wrenches and sledgehammers in industrial light and fury. The ranks of workers shuddered and buckled, static discharge scrambling their senses. Both sides pushed and ground their tools in a silent duel, neither side giving way, neither side wishing to escalate the melee to all out violence. But the Incident Manager, high above, he had other plans. He called the Executive in charge and told him what had transpired, the workers were out of control, violence had broken out. Fortuna was an experiment that had gone too far. No longer profitable, costing more to maintain than the manual labour it put out. Manual labour that was easily automated or outright eliminated with the advent of self-repairing nanomachinery. No need to tolerate gangs of workers and their syndicate-like unions spreading dissent like wildfire, even gaining sympathy from competitors seeking to upset Corpus authority. Unacceptable! The Executives of each branch gathered in conference calls, each debating their points, requesting permissions from higher-ups, while the Incident Manager, he had leeway to govern as he saw fit. Across the vast squadrons of the Response Fleet, pilots switched their Master Arm to "On" position, guns and missiles on attack drones and ships at their beck and call. On the ground, the order was relayed "Make ready to fire!" Clicks of selector switches were heard, as troopers took their aim. Center mass in their reticles, ballistic and energy weapons alike, no order for warning shots, thus default targeting parameters it was. They started to squeeze their triggers, those emotionless Exploiter troopers, mentally preparing for that moment of the familiar shock and noise, the invigorating jolt of rifle stock against shoulders as their weapons let loose. A single shot broke out among their ranks, prematurely, and likely with some malice, a cloud of flechettes buzzed like a swarm of angry bees shattering the mechanical bodies of a dozen workers in its blast. There was only one shot. For the next moment a great blast occurred, throwing down Corpus and Worker alike as the ground shook with elemental fury. They tried to get up. Workers scrambling, pulling their comrades back on their feed. Prodmen and Corpus Infantry snapping their weapons in battery, firing from prone or supported behind toppled vehicles, coildrives on their side like children's toys. But nothing happened, and soon their weapons began to glow red hot in their grasp. Red hot as the hull of the Tenno landing ship silently hovering above, still glowing from ballistic atmospheric entry, aerodynamic flaps and panels opened to reveal phased array microwave emitters sweeping invisible rays of disruption that affected flesh and metal alike. Red hot as the painted barrel of the muzzle-loading cannon of the lone Warframe the landing ship disgorged high above, on her knees with an armored fist driven into the ground, her face a single glowing red circle under a veil of pink and white. Worker H-46 scrambled to reboot his systems. Hydraulic fluid was leaking out of his left arm, and the servos of one lower leg worked no more. His display was filled with static, he only saw this figure of white standing over him. An angel in a white bodice and jellyfish-like dress that took his hand, and guided him to his feet with a silent, almost otherworldy strength and grace. Every combat instinct told her to open fire with that great assault cannon of a previous age. But those past ages of Orokin, of Humanity, they were not just about violence, or domination, or violent retaliation. They were eras of defining grace, of compassion, of wisdom. Of tolerance. The Prodmen tried to take her down, striking with charred prods, fists and feet till her dress was torn and charred. She grabbed those prods with her very hands and broke them in pieces, and walked. Walked with the power and the grace of a forgotten age, arm around the worker's waist and a hand around the Prodman Sergeant's throat. His cuboid helmet clattered to the ground, revealing a bearded, terrified face. Pity, he would have been considered handsome, without that faceless uniform and the corporate indoctrination. She stood them together and stared them down. "Worker H-46," she paused, sensor systems glowing and focusing intently as though scanning the very essence of his soul, "ex-mercantile security." The Worker nodded, and gestured a sweeping arm towards his comrades, in disarray all around them. Some broken, some standing, some gathering around the unlikely peace... The Workers spoke hesitantly. "We - we were Prodmen once, just like him. But we fell into debt, from injury or age, and were offered a chance to pay it back. Pay it all back, in a second life, they said." "Why do you march, and risk your entire community?" asked the nameless woman who dropped from the sky. "Because it's all a lie. Our colony is running low on power, provisions," spoke another Worker, taller than the rest, heavy flamer in hand. Eudico, their leader. "Nef demanding greater and greater productivity each day." Ivara released the worker, who seemed to collapse like an empty sack in her presence. Two of his comrades propped up ---. And then she looked at the Sergeant once more. "These are your fathers and mothers. You gave orders to shoot them down. Like they are nothing to you. Your Indoctrination taught you to do this?" "No... we were just following orders." "What do your orders say now?" The Sergeant reached for his earpiece, fiddled with it, as though he was in a hurry. He coughed as the Warframe's great gauntlet released his seemingly puny throat, falling to his knees. "Corporate's on the line. Asked if the... demonstration will disperse, or else." "Or else?" Ivara thumbed the safety on one of the machine pistols hidden under her skirt, slit high up the sides of her thighs where she could reach them. "Liquidation. Orbital strike, to cut their losses." "Look here," Eudico chimed in, loud and aggressive. "If they nuke this place, the whole planet's crust will shatter. Corpus takes a profit out of limitless energy and resources out of the thermal differential from that Orokin supercooled tower across the lake. Corpus maintains the tower, or else the crust fractures and takes more than just your... investments in it. We maintain the systems that support said tower. We work together, cut us some slack, get us a voice up there, everyone's happy." Ivara looked at the gathered workers, hundreds more Worker and Corpus alike looking onward at the scene beside the great coolant lake. Across it the great tower stood, pumping coolant deep into the ground in what was the most ambitious terraforming project in the entire Origin System. Chilling the crust to nearly absolute zero in absolute defiance of the laws of physics and the rest of the corrosive, unbearably hot Venusian atmosphere. No one could truly understand why, or how the Orokin managed it. The great terraforming machines just ran, and the Corpus were mere slaves to it, and what Profit they could milk out of it by exerting their dominance over it. No one understood how the Corpus Executive corps worked either, making everything into nameless statistics even themselves, their own people. But one thing's certain, everyone was going to freeze solid if they just stood there. The Workers gathered their ranks and most dispersed back into Fortuna peacefully under the watchful eye of drones and Corpus dropships. A few larger, blocky vessels, little more than boxy cargo containers with engines and a cockpit, carried much needed supplies that no doubt added to an already insurmountable debt under Fortuna's project account. A team of Workers stayed behind, Mechanist Union types helping to pick up the giant coildrive vehicles and start their fuel cells back up. Others tried to repair their fallen comrades, reassembling dismembered limbs, patching damaged hydraulic lines and rebooting or replacing damaged systems. Ivara stood watch, standing on a rock at the side of the road where this all took place. Her arms crossed under her bust with The Sergeant at her side making a strange couple. "Looks like we managed to prevent catastrophe today," said the Sergeant, his voice digitized and robot-like under the iconic cube helmet which passed for Corpus fashion. He was clearly a pawn in all this, trying to regain his dignity after being nearly responsible for annihilating dozens of Fortuna's workers. Certainly popular opinion would side Fortuna, the valiant, hard-working workers rising up against the corrupt bourgeois in the classic tale of revolution. But revolutions never worked out right in ages past and what was needed is the understanding, that people are people. And people just want to be given a respected role and to be recognized in it. The Sergeant turned to face the woman and shrugged. "Look, I'm sorry." He looked down at her damaged dress, streamers of torn and ripped fabric from her dress and skirt slowly flapping in the icy wind. "Things just escalated too fast." "There is no sorry in business and war. Both of us know that," said a girl's voice, from a different angle, somewhere off to the side where he wasn't expecting. He nearly jumped, and looked for its source. It was a ghostly apparition, a girl in a pink saree who seemed to have stepped back out of the Warframe like it was a spacesuit. But there was no opening in the back of the suit, and he dared not touch it to find out. "Who are you?" asked the Sergeant, looking at the girl, and then the Warframe, and back. "I am Lakshmi," she replied,"and you owe me a new dress." Disclosure: I was inspired by recent real world events to speak up on behalf of underappreciated workers who remain at the front lines in various key industries during Covid-19. Like the Workers of Fortuna they are given greater and greater expectations of productivity while their numbers dwindle. They are statistics to throw into the fray and when they needed help none was there unless they took exceptional efforts to reach out and get someone to understand the truth. I've seen it with my own eyes for months and weeks and in my own way, took up their fight. Being with them, taking up their duties, as they fight on while up to 80 percent are on medical leave or other cause of absence. This is a fight I can't win because I am just one person in an ocean of politics and lies. It drives me to tears when what I say are twisted and misrepresented for someone else's corporate gain. So I tell stories. Just like I told stories to the staff months ago, how I will be the one to sacrifice for them, at their finest hour. Because someone needs to fight the world so that people can be safe in their jobs and be recognized and remembered and treasured as key workers. We were workers and soldiers once when young. And in times of calling we will take up tool or sword or gun to do what is right even if the world is against us. I don't know if I can endure more of this and said to my company I've had enough. Maybe I will be one of those statistics, living a life of endless debt, as many do today. Remember me.
  13. Purchased. Both for the plat and the exclusive items and I'll surely buy the Ki'Teer Roomba in July lol. I admire the flexibility and dedication of the DE Developers/Community Managers to keep up the fight while the world hunkers down. My world has been filled with madness since January. I may lose my job despite being on the front lines one of the few to tough it out despite the odds and losing up to 80% of staff. I survive because I found a little refuge called the Origin System and its community to tell my stories to ❤️
  14. I enjoy buying a lot of weapon slots to have a personal arsenal. Warframe guns are wacky with all sorts of random things from muzzle loading cannons to funny pistols. One of my favorite low level weapons is the Gorgon although its dual magazine system is incredibly frustrating to reload. Having to wait for a second mag to be inserted while the infested are swarming in! I stumbled on what might be its real life inspiration the Burton LMR on this historical weapons review channel Forgotten Weapons. I might just slap on a catalyst and pick it up again for my Sedna run 😊 WTB Gorgon riven Also, what's with the name Burston? It sounds so similar to the name of above LMR.
  15. "We Were Prodmen Once, And Young." Part One "Tenno," said the voice in my head, "Wake up." The voice was soft and soothing, but my soul, it responded in a flash of white lightning as Mother called. From stasis to combat alert in the blink of an eye, nary a hint of lethargy nor procrastination. Only the quickly-receding fog of medical narcotics as stimulants flooded my consciousness in ungodly quantity. And then I stood, reaching for blade and gun, ammunition of assorted shapes and quantities, all in devices of alien shape. The Warframe's bio-mechanical subsystems took inventory, registering ammo counters as each clip and magazine clicked into place. Pistols of various shapes and sizes, machine carbine of indeterminate origin, grown rather than built, and an assault cannon that looked completely out of place in an era of zero-point energy and faster-than-light spaceships. A muzzle loading 2-pounder swivel gun, from a forgotten age where ships were made of wood and sailed with sweat and blood. In it slid four canister shells, one after the other, each silently clicking into place upon intricate mechanisms that enabled sequential electronic firing; the rounds all went out the same barrel, one after the other, last in, first out. But it would explode! That's what everyone says when I bring the mighty Zarr to a sortie, but trust the Grineer to come up with such intriguing union of detonite and electronic wizardry. A veritable Metal Storm; you modded up the thing with as many shells as you dared to load at one go. A soft chime sounded before the Cephalon spoke. "Prepare for Venus atmospheric entry. On course for tactical approach to Fortuna." Tactical approach to Fortuna didn't sound exactly intimidating, except if you started to consider this was the most heavily guarded airspace in the entire sector. An expanse of planetary crust shocked to the brink of destruction by flash-cooling, intense geothermal activity affording limitless power and mineral wealth. Above the mountainous region of Orb Vallis swirled a maelstrom of ice and barely breathable air, stark contrast to the rest of the planet which remained as corrosive as ever despite the Orokin civilization's terraforming efforts. The Orb Vallis province itself was an experiment went wrong, but trust the Corpus to find a way to exploit it, dedicating a vast army of engineers and scientists to maintain control over the geography and the last of the machinery responsible for causing the madness in the first place. A hundred klicks above the madness hovered a convoy of rail tractors - interplanetary freighters delivering and receiving men and materiel into the maelstrom. They fired their engines directly against the Venusian gravity well, hovering in geosynchronous orbit. Kicking out precious cargo straight down to the planet below, guided by tractor and repulsor fields generated at both ends. Cephalon Ordis rolled the Liset stealth landing craft into position off the bow of RT-615 Uranium Express, next in line for the drop sequence. As though on cue, a string of navigation lights on her titanium flanks went out, then for a moment flashed erratically in green and orange. It was so quick as to be nearly unnoticeable; I tried to blink but nothing moved. My monocular sensor array stared emotionlessly out the cockpit transparency, detecting and classifying, tracking, measuring bearings, distances and velocity vectors like the ultimate cybernetic huntress. The Ivara-class Warframe was so adept at her art of detection, you could make time stand still as you watched the world across half a dozen realms of the electromagnetic spectrum. I did just that, tracking the last cargo pod to rocket out of RT-615's cavernous hold, bracing unconsciously as Ordis fired his main thrusters to intercept. Venus growed exponentially larger as both landing ship and cargo pod descended into its thick atmosphere, coating both in plasma fire as the former held position in the hundred-ton canister's wake. On Corpus air traffic control screens both objects were shown as one blip, though a keen observer could have easily picked up a visual anomaly; the Liset's angular stealth airframe had a much smaller radar cross section than the squared-off drop pod, but even an invisible jet could not defy the laws of fluid dynamics, both craft descending as a doubly bright and large fireball across the purple Fortuna dawn. "Operator, assume drop position." That was the only cue I needed to slide into the airlock chamber beneath the cockpit, where inhumanly strong magnetic clamps greeted my wrists and ankles amid a vaguely human-shaped depression. Like the chambers of a revolver the chamber supn and exposed me to the airstream. Like clockwork, Ivara's flight mode HUD snapped into view, altimeter crazily winding down as Ordis released me into free-fall with nary a good luck. The container ahead deployed its airbrakes and retro rockets, slowly but surely curving its trajectory towards one of the Corpus facilities far below. My instincts told me to maneuver with it, but I felt a gentle tug to the contrary; I was being covertly steered via electromagnetic beam towards a factory complex beside a great lake. Ivara spread her arms in the classic skydiver position and started to decelerate rapidly in the thick Venusian atmosphere on auto-pilot, her pretty shawl and skirts flapping in the wind. I, as the Operator, only needed to watch from the sidelines as I recalled the old saying, "A Tenno always lands on their feet." Yes, even when falling from space.
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