It has been 2000 years since the Galactic Empire fell. The planet Meka, an old border world colonized on the edge of controlled space, has had no outside contact since the collapse, and tumbled into Dark Ages. This is: AFTER EMPIRE.
 
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 Badlands Desert, Ruins approximately 20 Km out of Old Athens

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Jakob Sokolov
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PostSubject: Badlands Desert, Ruins approximately 20 Km out of Old Athens   Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:15 pm

Jakob walked across the burnt desert surface, his Colombian hunting rifle comfortably shouldered, supported by a sling. He had set up camp in the crumbling, deserted city of Old Athens, and left as early as he could to reach these untouched ruins. It was almost noon now, and the sun bore down on him with a wrathful intensity.

He had seen the ruins when he first drove out of Colombia a month before, and charted its location in case he had the chance to return.

Ahead was a singular mass of twisted steel, burnt black. It was the only object on the horizon, and the distortion from the heat made it dance through Jakob's visor. Even with the suits basic atmospheric controls, he started to sweat.

As he neared the ruins, it became more clear. Plasma scores had boiled the sand into glass, and punched through what was now evidently a crashed gravity skiff, destroyed by an unknown aerial foe.

As Jakob approached the wreck, he looked at the melted sand. A series of footsteps had kicked up fresh sand onto the chard black blast marks, and wandered into the crashed landskimmer.

He quickly raised his rifle and hunkered down, scanning the wreck. Shit. I am not alone.
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Jakob Sokolov
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PostSubject: Re: Badlands Desert, Ruins approximately 20 Km out of Old Athens   Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:15 pm

Jakob slowly, quietly traced the footsteps to the wreck, making sure to not make new tracks. The tracks disappeared at the foot of the wreck, with no obvious way inside. Letting the sling take the weight of the rifle, he held the weapon in one hand as he pulled himself onto the wreck, making sure to step only on places that looked structurally sound. Climbing on top of the wreck, he spotted a rusted door. The ship must be embedded in the sand at a near 90 degree angle. He walked to the door, and scanned inside, but it was too dark to see.

So much for being undetected. He said, and turned on the small flashlight taped to the end of the gun. The inside of the ship lit up, and he could see rust and destroyed paneling. He jumped in and slid to the side wall. He lifted his gun, and spun around, checking that he was alone, and then proceeded to what he assumed would be the cargo hold. The most valuable items would probably be there. If the ship had already been stripped, he'd check the vital technical components, an equally valuable yet usually overlooked prize.

He crept along, ducking through two now sideways bulkheads, past the smashed anti-grav train and into the cargo hold.
Inside, the contents were thrown and toppled. Several crates, which apparently held some sort of preservative-rich grain, had their contents spilled across the floor. The grain had long sense dried in the still, hot air and now was harder than rocks. Jakob quickly checked for traps and listened for anyone else before moving in to shift through the contents.
There was little in the way of old tech-- it appeared that someone had made a quick run-over of the wreck before scramming with the loot. He began methodically shifting through the waste, and found a crate of junky robotic toys he had seen hundreds of on the market, a small metal trinket, made of something like gold, and a box of corroded papers.

Maybe I can sell the wreck's location to an archeologist, seeing the prospects here.

He quietly stood again, and moved back through the grav engine room. It was a wreck, and looked like he'd find no salvageable parts.

He move through the bulkhead, and back into the main hallway. Ahead was the crew living space and then the cockpit, it's door mostly shut. He reached to open it, and then noticed the dust and sand had been disturbed, in the shape of a hand.
Jakob raised his rifle, and pushed the door down along its sliding track. There was a single man sitting in a chair he had taken from the lounge table, not facing Jakob.

"Mr. Sokolov..." He began.
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Jakob Sokolov
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PostSubject: Re: Badlands Desert, Ruins approximately 20 Km out of Old Athens   Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:32 pm

The man in the chair was in simple, synthetic desert garb-- perfect for the conditions, but lightly used. Not local. On his right shoulder was an emblazoned red symbol, crudely added with spraypaint and stencil. It was a skull, encircled by a gear. The spraypaint had ran when it dried, giving the impression of splattered blood.

Jakob recognized the symbol. He had seen it once before, in Abstergia.

"We thought you as good as dead, you know. But rumors of an unknown armored man from Abstergia roaming the Badlands caught our notice. And hear you are. You destroyed something of ours, and we don't forget easily."

Tense, Jakob scanned the man for weapons. Nothing.

"Neither do I. You killed my team."

It was quiet for a moment, both men watching the other, waiting to move. Jakob quickly flipped his rifle off his back and fired two shots before ducking back through the bulkhead and into cover.
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