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Runt's Video Journal


Edited 1459518593
ENTRY 1 -- 1109-305 01:06:55 * image pans wildly around a cluttered stateroom before settling on a diminutive Vargr with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He grumbles something about "high-tech sorcery Bro-Ckok crap" as he adjusts the camera. Kayleb is dressed in a grubby white singlet top and a pair of cargo pants. A cigarette hangs loosely out of his mouth * Err ... g'day. Never done this kind of thing before, but I figured it'd be good for some kind of "record of my life" to be left behind for when I die ... or someth'n. * takes a long drag from his cigarette * Umm ... where do y' start? I was born on a crap world called Menorb. Pretty much a pimple on the arse of space. Basically the runt of my litter. Grew up in a cluster settlement called Oasis on the edge of the South Ausrican desert. Father was an axe player in a blacklist musical group called Groughtok. Mother a factory slave in town. Never saw much of either of them. So m' brothers 'n sisters and I just fell in with the rest of the kids on the street. Even on a good day it was a crap life. You c'n understand why I wanted to get out of there as quick as I could. So I rode a Bro-Ckok across the desert to New Menorb Startown. Picked up "working passage" off world and jumped around a bit until I ended up on board a freetrader - the "Hazard to Navigation". Turns out the crew of that ship were struggling and had turned to piracy to make ends meet. They were mainly jacking ships in the Kinorb Cluster. It didn't damage my conscience any. I guess plundering rich fatties seems like a virtue when you've grown up in poverty... * taps the ash off his cigarette before continuing * ... in fact, leaving poverty is the only think that eats me. I learned a lot with that crew. The Captain of the Hazard was a good man. I was running with them for four years before things finally fell apart. I ended up in an interrogation room with some sector navy screw. Could have spilled the beans on the captain to save my own skin. The fact that I didn't earned me some points with the Hazard crew I'd say? .... wonder if they're still alive? So ... after that I joined the line at the Imperial Marine recruiting office. It was a long shot, but they must have been low on their recruiting quota. Signed me up and shipped me off to Pixie for basic. I guess my life really started to take off for me after that. I went from being packless to being a part of the biggest, baddest pack in known space. I was flying for the marines to start off with. Assault cutters, G-Carriers. Nothing great I guess. I mean, I was a bottom feeder in that pack, but for me being a marine meant being a part of something ... bigger. Something important. * Kayleb drags the last part of his cigarette and then stubbs it out. * ... Well .. it did. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to have served. In the end though, military service is like a bloody meat grinder. You put yourself on the line, but get broken and your out. Second time I got shot up they discharged me. I tried to fall in with the Navy, maybe join flight. They had no interest in a shot up washout. Funnily enough I was drafted back into the Marines. Ground Assault. Mostly grunt work. When the Gram Fleet hit Lanth our ship was flying high guard above one of the local gas giants. One of ours had disabled the drives on a Swordworld ship and we were sent over to board it. On the way our cutter was hit. *Pauses for a moment to light up another cigarette* So that was my second medical discharge. From what I've been told I was beaten up so bad they had to put me in a cold birth and ship me off to a Navy med facility on D'Ganzio to put me back together. When I woke up, that was it. Section DMC - Medical discharge. Thanks for your service... The war is over for you... Here's a ceremonial cutlass and a pile of medical debt. Now piss off. So ... I've just been kind of lost since then. "Packless". Been bouncing around from place to place on working passage. Trying to just ... get away from it all... ... Screw the war. ... Screw the Imperium. *Kayleb reaches for the camera. There is a jolt as if he had paused and then resumed recording* How do you go backwards on this bloody thing? Stuff it... Like I said, been jumping around on working passage. Finally ended up here - the first crew with low enough standards to put me on their roster in a semi permanent way. Looked like a mercenary company so I sent them my resume. Now that I'm here though, they seem to be more about the "company" and less about the "mercenary". I hear there used to be a platoon of mercs aboard. Now they've been replaced by ... gunnery robots. Soulless tentacle monsters. ... Shit. --END OF RECORDING--

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ENTRY 2 -- 1109-310 13:55:01 *opening shot of Kayleb leaning over the camera. This time he is dressed in a close fitting TL 14 vacc suit. He rattles the camera a bit, causing the image to shake wildly* .. I can never tell if this bloody thing is on. Hello? G'day. Well I've been poking around the ship. Currently on the second day shift of our jump. Not sure where we're going to be honest. I'm a bit lost. But I found some great gear in the hold. I figure you can tell a lot about the history of a merc company by their spoils. Looks like these guys have tangled with corsairs, Zhos, there is even some Darrian stuff down there by the looks? Oh and a pair of sweeeet looking grav bikes. I mean .... mate! Looking at them was like ... like all my dirty dreams had just come true. *lowers his tone a bit* If they ever wise up and fire me I'm thinking about stealing one of them on my way out. Seriously ... those are nice bikes. Oh and I found this great vacc suit. Nice right? *rubs his hands slowly up and down his torso* I mean, it seems to have some patched up bullet holes in it, but apart from that ... I figured I could borrow this and wear it when combat armour or raggity clothing isn't really appropriate. Speaking of raggity clothing, I really need to sit down and "have a talk" with the boss people. I was so keen to fall in with a crew I signed up without negotiating a wage. I figure being on board as a gunner or as security is going to earn me a pretty minimum level of pay. But I'm figuring they may be open to some kind of "multi-role" position. This ship has two cutters. And I know a pilot's salary is always pretty sweet. Sleezy fems at starport bars always seem to gravitate toward the pilots and navigators. Or maybe I could step up as a steward? Yeah I'm a people person ... "Your attention please ladies, gentlemen, and non gender specific. In the event of explosive depressurization ... bla bla bla" Yeah I could do that. Running out of credits and cigarettes. Yeah ... time to "have a talk". --END OF RECORDING--

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ENTRY 3 -- 1109-317 10:51:11 So ... just about to go in to have that "talk"  to negotiate my job description and pay 'n such.  * Kayleb is tapping the tiny bit of tobacco out of spent cigarette butts onto a piece of thin paper. * ... I mean, I'm totally broke at the moment, but I'm only scrounging for credits in the short term. I've got some serious monies coming in soon thanks to my "investment". Yeah I met this guy at a starport a while back looking for investors in his "Groat Fleece Exponential Wealth Scheme". You invest in a couple of groats, they're given some kind of breeding stimulation injections or some such, and you sit back and watch the credits roll in as their fleece is shorn off and sold to fancy nobles. Sounded like a real winner! According to the chart he showed me the graphs representing my "potential income" all went upward! I never did hear from that guy once I gave him my money, but ... yeah I expect some of that "wealth" to be coming in real soon.  *Once he has a line of tabacco on his paper long enough he rolls it into a new cigarette and lights it up* In the mean time though I need to squeeze as many credits out of this job as I can. Hoping to sell my skills as a pilot to 'em. I mean, I'm no ace or anything like that but as far as I know they only have a couple of pilots on board. I'm guessing they're short on cutter pilots... unless they've filled that spot with some kind of robotic abomination.   Talking about 'bots, the creep machines I have to share this deck with are really giving me the dirts. I'm all for technology giving us the tools to help us do our jobs but when they start doing our jobs for us... It's like we're determined to make ourselves bloody redundant! And I couldn't help notice how openly some of this mob display their "augments". It's like they're proud of them rather than being ashamed! Don't get me wrong, they seem like fine enough people. But ... somewhere there has to be a line. You know ... how much of your meat can you replace with metal and plastic before you're not actually a living sophont any more? How machine do you have to be before you actually become a bloody machine? I don't know where that "line" is but you can be as sure as hell I'd rather not go anywhere near it. But some of these folks seem to be charging toward it with reckless a-bloody-bandon! Zhos have no problem with replacing people with robots. Most of their grunt force is robotic. No remorse, no guilt, total obedience I guess.  *snorts a half laugh and then takes a long drag from his knocked up cigarette.* Zhos program robots to act like people to do war. Our side programs people to act like machines to do war. I guess you don't have to pay medical compensation for 'bots. No need for endless " Post Conflict Trauma Counselling " sessions...  ... Maybe the Zhos are the smart ones? --END OF RECORDING-- ENTRY 4 -- 1109-317 12:05:42 Had that " talk " ... well sort of. Turns out that being signed on means I'm entitled to a cut of "contractual takings" ... or something.  So my first pay day ... ONE HUNDRED and THIRTY SIX THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED and THIRTY SEVEN CREDITS! Yeah! So ... crawling for a raise seems a bit pointless pointless now. Bloody dread the day they expect me to actually earn that level of pay though! Going to have to actually ... work.... and stuff. I'm not sure if this is just a retainer or if this kind of money will be an ongoing thing. I kind of stopped listening after they mentioned that first payment figure. Either way ... this is easily the biggest pile of money I've ever had in my account.  Apart from getting myself some basic gear, I really have no idea what to spend that kind of money on. The temptation to go into a narcotic fueled rampage of debauchery is pretty bloody strong! ... Thing is ... okay ... something that has eaten away at my conscience since I left  our slum on Menorb has been ... that I left our slum on Menorb. I'm not a better person that I should be livin' high on the hog while the those I left behind scratch around looking for fresh water and food. So ... Yeah I'm going to put most of my credits away. Save it up. Maybe if I ever get back to Menorb I'll dig a well for my old cluster community or something. Invest in some kind of "community project" Maybe? If nothing else it'll banish this little guilt monkey that's currently on my back. Talking about monkeys, I've been getting to know some of the others onboard. I was employed about the same time as one of them - Geoff I think it's name was? Seems alright for a humie. Crack shot with a laz rifle so I hear. Ex-navy Imperial Navy or some such. But despite being a navy lad he seems okay. The rest seem alright too so far.  --END OF RECORDING--

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ENTRY 5 -- 1109-317 18:46:42 I just tried to figure out where I am. I think ... * Kayleb pulls up a glossy tourist "Traveller's Guide to the Spinward Marches" pamphlet and unfolds it in front of the camera.* *points a clawed finger randomly at Darrian space and circles it around randomly a bit* I think we're here ... somewhere. I heard something about heading back toward Imperial space. Suits me fine. I jumped out this way to get away from it all, but that was pretty daft. I'm close to being in "enemy territory" these days. Would ease my mind some to start jumping back.  *Kayleb crumples the map up and tosses it off screen.* I'd ask the astrogator where we are, but he's locked up in the bridge most of the time. To be honest, I think asking would make me look like a dope anyway.  It doesn't really matter where I am I guess? As long as somebody knows where we're going.  I'm writing up a shopping list of things I need to get. I'm partially kitted out at the moment but I could use better gear. I don't want to get caught short if this company wants to throw me into the grinder. I have a grenade launcher with a few bandoliers  of grenades, A gauss pistol and a laser pistol. Gauss pistol has no ammo though. Laser isn't a problem. I'll keep snooping about the ships locker and see if I can find some extra heat to pack.  --END OF RECORDING--

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ENTRY 6 --1109-318 05:42:21 *Kayleb is wearing a suit of battle dress. He is in the ships galley* Well we're on our way you to jump point from Flammarian. Company purchased this Battledress and issued it to me. They must have noticed on my resume that I've had a bit of training in how to use this gear but *hushed tone* between you and me I never got used to wearing this junk.  So! In order to make myself a more viable asset to this company I've taken it upon myself to finish off my Marine "Battledress Advanced Exo Combat Environment Protection and Enhancement Array 101" module.  *Runts arms dart about in seemingly random directions* Y'see the trick with B'Dress is that it "empowers" your movements. Every move you make is faster and harder. But it's also got fine motor movements. One part of my training they rushed us through in order to get us onto the line was the "fine motor skills" part. Back on the base on Ivendo they set us this task - we had to make an omelet using battledress. I had no bloody idea what a frak'n omelet was at the time. It's a cooked dish made with avian eggs.  *Kayleb reads a recipe book off screen*  Right ... two eggs beaten. *He attempts to pic up an egg from a carton. Three eggs are crushed in the process. He fails several times before eventually putting his read right next to the carton and ever so slowly picking up one of the eggs with a powered gauntlet. He then attempts to crack the egg into a bowl. It simply shatters* Bloody frak'n ..... One ...  *Runt leans down again and gently lifts another egg out of the carton. This time he is too gentle. Holding the egg over the bowl with both hands he attempts to crack the egg open without sending splinters of shell into the bowl. After failing to crack the shell open, he simply pokes a hole in it with his pinky finger and lets the contents run out into the bowl.* TWO! Right . "Beat eggs, and add salt". *His attempt to beat the eggs tips the bowl up on it's side, spilling the contents out across the counter. He makes several attempts but succeeds only in turning the kitchen into a disaster area. With each breakage and spill Kayleb's profanities get louder and harsher. Defeated, he eventually turns the camera off.* --END OF RECORDING-- ENTRY 7 --1109-319 05:42:21 *Kayleb is reclining in his room. He is still in battledress. He lights up a cigarete using the pilot light on a pistol sized flame thrower. * G'day... Starting to get to know the rest of the crew better. My immediate boss  - Captain Crow ... he's alright. For a human I mean. Runs a tight ship. I mean ... real tight. Like a dolphin's sphincter tight. Every now and then the ex Navy bug up his arse goes to sleep and he settles down a bit. He's alright. He has only had to kick my arse for a couple of things so far. I made a mess of the start up checks on our way out. Still not used to these bloody robots.  --END OF RECORDING-- ENTRY 8 - 1109-323 00:00:00 Been almost two weeks since my last   MPRSR session. That stands for " Mandatory Psycological Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration "... or something. They were krok shite mostly. I mentioned it in passing to the ships doctor. Doctor Simone. Not sure if it's her thing to have folks on the couch. Probably not in her job description.  Reminds me of a joke. A tiny burrowing insect is laying on his shrink's couch. "Doc, I just feel ... insignificant. There's about a million just like me in this nest. I feel like nothing I do or say makes any real difference. It's really dragging me down." "Hmm" the doctor insect says. "Well you are only half right when you feel like you're only one in a million. There are many colonies in this area. About ten point five billion of us all together." "..Oh" says the first insect, "That ... doesn't make me feel much better." ".. And that's only in this local area." the doctor continued, "Did you know that you're actually on a round mass approximately ten thousand kilometers in diameter? If you were to count up all of our kind on this world the number of us would be closer to one hundred trillion." "I ... no I didn't know that. That doesn't really make me feel much better either." "Hmm ... well do you know of that bright glowing orb in the sky?" "The sun?" "Indeed." The ant doctor pulls out a holographic star chart for his patient. "That 'sun' is merely one of the 'stars' that you see at night. As you know, there are too many to count. And those are only the one's you can see with your naked compound eyes. There are many many more out there that you can't see."  At this point the patient insect was beginning to emotionally implode.  The doctor insect kept going, "Approximately one hundred billion stars in our galaxy. Many of them with worlds around them that are home to billions just like us. And there are about one hundred billion galaxies in our universe?  There is also the possibility that this universe is simply one of an infinite number of universes in the multiver-" " STOP! " cried the patient ant. "Just STOP! I felt like nothing when I came in here. Now I FEEL EVEN WORSE! Can't you do anything to make me better?" The doctor goes over to his desk, picks up a letter opener, and stab it down through the top of the patient's head. Before he can call his next patient in, a kid vaporizes them by focusing light from the nearest star through a piece of convex glass.... *Runt takes a deep drag from his cigarette. His face is blank.* Funny joke right? --END OF RECORDING--

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ENTRY 8 - 1109-324 01:02:59 *The first part of this entry features Kayleb unsuccessfully trying to crack eggs into a bowl while wearing battledress. He's still making a mess of it but has improved a little* Maybe if I had one of those bloody robot chips in my head I could do it? Reminds me of a joke... *Kayleb tries to get a cigarette out of a carton as he continues, almost crushing the carton in the process. He mumbles with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth as he attempts to use a cigarette lighter to light it up. For most of the video entry he is unsuccessful in getting it alight.* A poor guy ... sick of struggling for scraps ... goes for a job. Maybe if he could get solid work he cold feed himself and his family? Boss says "sorry mate. Would love to give you a job, but you're not educated." Poor guy is really upset. "But that's shite! How am I supposed to get an education without money? And how do I get money without a job?" "Tell someone who gives a krok's arse." says the boss.  Guy leaves.  The next guy comes in. This guy has a really great education. Trained for years to be qualified for this job. Boss says to him "Sorry mate, would love to give you the job, but there's an applicant here who has augmented chips plugged into his head who can do the job better than you can by the look of it. Good luck next time. Don't call us we'll call you." The educated guy says "But that's shite! I trained for years to qualify for this job, and some rich guy gets my job just because he can afford to have chips inserted into his head? He hasn't earned this job! And how am I supposed to afford chips in my brain if I can't get a job?" "Tell someone who gives a stuff." says the boss. Guy leaves. The next guy comes in. He's the one with the botware chips inserted into his head. Really expensive gear that augments his skills and his abilities to be able to do this job. Boss says to him "Sorry mate, would love to give you the job, but we're really looking for someone who'll never get tired or sick, and who'll work for fewer credits. There's an applicant here who's a robot. Will never take a day off sick, never get tired, and will only take a few hours off each day to recharge. Plus he can do the job twice as good as you for less than half the wage. Thanks for applying. Better luck next time." The augmented guy says "But that's shite! I payed a fortune to have this junk implanted into my head! I risked serious physiological damage having this stuff installed! Without a job how am I going to pay off the loan I took out to get these implants!?" "Tell someone who cares whether you live or die." Says the boss.   Guy leaves.  Robot comes in. All shiny and bloody awesome. "So glad you're here!" says the boss. "Congratulations! You've got the job!" "Thank you." says the robot. He bleeps and thinks for a nanosecond as he receives some information from the company's computer. "Central administration has just informed me that due to my superiority I have just been promoted. My first task it will be to maximize company profits by downsizing biological workforce. You're fired. You have thirty chronological time increments to clear out your office and vacate the facility." The boss says "That's shite! I've been working here for five terms! I have made considerable personal sacrifices for this company! I have a wealth of experience and knowledge that you're just throwing away! And I gave you your job just a few seconds ago! I'm not leaving! You are! You're fir-" The robot leans across the desk, grabs a letter opener and stabs it through the top of the boss' head. Then a solar flare from the system's star vaporizes the facility." *Kayleb gives up using the cigarette lighter to light his cigarette. By this point it's covered in egg matter from his gauntlets. Me pulls a hand flamer from a shoulder holster and uses it's pilot light to light up. He takes a long drag and pauses for a moment.* Expecting to be back in real space soon. Jump space ... I duno ... gives me the creeps, but it's kinda cozy at the same time. Out in the real universe you're nothing. Not even a spec. You can delude yourself into thinking that you're significant but ..  *takes another drag and pauses for a moment* In jump space ... you're not really in the universe any more. Nothing really exists here ... just this ship and the mooks in it. If you can forget that you'll be back in the actual universe in seven days you can actually be significant for a while.  Bowman. That's where we're heading. 'Roid miners and border jumpers mostly. Just a quick stop off I'm guessing. Refuel and head out as quick as we can. The ties in the boardroom may pick up some cargo perhaps? But I'm guessing it'll be a pretty uneventful stop.  ... "Uneventful." ... pretty much sums up my employment here so far.  --END OF RECORDING--

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* The following isn't actually a video journal entry. It's something that the security cameras may have picked up after the recovery of the Crystal. Kayleb is by Jeff's bedside. Jeff is unconscious, maybe twitching from time to time. * Crazy bloody show eh? I was going through your stuff and found your cigars. Here ... let me light one up for you.  * Kayleb puts one of Jeffs cigars in his own mouth and lights it up. After taking a couple of puffs on it he opens Jeff's lips and pops it into his mouth. He then puts a bed pan under Jeff's chin to catch any falling ash. * Running low on cigs m'self. Hey mind if I have one of these? Thanks!  * Kayleb takes a cigar for himself and lights it up * Don't want you to worry about a thing human. Naturally ... if you wake up and you're a 'puller' they're going to have to put a bullet in you. Puller or something worse ... like ... some kind of psion with awakened psionic super powers or something. Either way ... I just wanted to make sure I was here to ... you know ... "take care" of you if that ever happens. Don't want one of the others botching it up.  * takes a puff of his cigar * I know you'd do the same for me right? Yeah sure you would.  Hey talking about psionic abominations ... you want t' hear a joke? Sure you do. Okay ... two psions are in a bar. One of them says, "You know what I'd really love right about now?" The other one says, "Yep." ...  Says "yep"... ... because ... you know ... he was like reading his mind ... and stuff.  * Jeff remains totally motionless, smoldering cigar hanging limply out of his mouth * So then one psion grabs a coctail stirring stick and stabs it down through the top of the other one's head, and then the shockwave of their sun's super nova explosion atomizes both of them.  * Jeff remains motionless .* ... Yeah... you're laugh'n.  I'm really hoping you pull through. Seriously.  You're one of the very few people on this ship that isn't pushing some foreign agenda. Former Imperial Navy right? That's gota count for something. I mean, you weren't a Marine or anything, but the Navy's alright. Whenever us Marines needed to go somewhere you navy blokes were always happy to give us a ride. And for a navy lad you're a pretty good shot!... Well ... I better get back to work. Thanks for the cigar.  (( This was just one of Kayeb's bedside "chats" that he frequently has with Jeff during his unconscious adventures in the sick bay. ))

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ENTRY 9 - 1109-325 02:34:54 *Recording opens with a "from the wrist" view of Kayleb. The helmet of his battledress is open and an elaborate looking psi shield hood covers his head. He is in the engineering deck and there seems to be a fair amount of activity going on behind him, mostly crab like repair drones welding twisted metal. Kayleb is busily moving about as he gets various weapons and other pieces of equipment ready.* So ... I was pretty bloody wrong about our stop at Bowman being "uneventful"! First of all our ship gets smashed up on the way in. Not sure if it was Gev's crap navigation or crap piloting, but we barely made it through alive. I did hear someone praise him as if his piloting skills saved the ship ... which may be true I guess? But maybe if his navigation was any bloody good we wouldn't be smashing into things at all?  So we pull up to a station to put ourselves back together. Turns out everyone on the station has had their mind blotted out by some kind of psionic  ... thing. Turned them all into some kind of moron hive mind commune ... like they were Zhos or something? And Naturally they try to bash our brains out with wrenches and power tools as soon as we show up.  It was the same show down on one of the system's moons.  * picks up a ram grenade launcher, breaks it open and begins to load grenades into each of it's revolver like chambers.* We managed to find a couple of " survivors ". They're crazy but not soul dead monsters like the rest of them. Took them back to the ship, and just as our luck would have it, they were carrying some kind of filthy bloody disease that infected some of our passengers. One of our boss people also came down with ... whatever it is. Shame ... One of the passengers was smok'n hot. I did have half a mind to propose a session of simulated breeding but ... not now that she looks as disgusting as she does. I hope we won't have to jettison her out the air lock. From what I understand she's shelling out for us to escort her all the way past the coreward border into Extents territory. We'd lose a lot of business without her.  * Snaps the launcher shut and slings it across his back * So we manage to locate some parts to get the ship moving again down on the moon, and while we're off doing that a pair of the Darrians rocket off to some other part of the system and ... fall down a well or something? So now we've got to head out on some rescue mission to save 'm.  * As he talks, Kayleb draws his laser pistol and starts checking it over. Laser range finders, target painters and holographic sights light up the engine room briefly as he carries out  function tests * Don't get me wrong ... generally speaking Darrians are okay. All humans are okay in my opinion ... generally speaking. And at least Darrians have ears that are the right shape. But sneaking off and then falling down a well isn't exactly the best way to improve opinions of your species. The boss people still on board are pissed!  *Holsters his pistol* So ... reason I'm making this recording right now is ... well ... this could actually be a dangerous one. The shield hoods we're all wearing seems to have stopped us from becoming Zho-like automatons for now, but we're not even sure if they're going to hold out. We found some kind of crystal that is causing all of this. Looks like some kind of "Ancient" artifact... Not that I actually believe in the " Ancients " or anything like that. But whatever this thing is ... it's trouble.  So if this is the last post I make before being decapitated by some bloody autonatom ... or before I become one ... just want to say ... thanks for watching my video journal. Please forward it to my siblings on Menorb if you can. Their residential details are in my paper log.   * Takes a cigarette out of a box that is taped to the shoulder pad of his armour * Peace be upon you.  --END OF RECORDING--
ENTRY 9 - 1110-012 02:34:54 *Kayleb is laying on his bunk in his battledress. He his holding the computer outstretched toward the ceiling, so the shot is looking down at him from above.* I keep forgetting to make entries. HAPPY NEW YEAR! ... wa hoo. Twelve days late. Whateva.  Just checked my last entry. Turns out we didn't all die In Bowman after all. It's like Death keeps ... like ... knocking on my door and then scurrying off giggling like a bastard. S'pose I should be thankful.  We're just about to fall out of Jump in Tenalphi. I've never been here before but I've heard of it. A lot of the packaged foodstuff in this subsector has Tenalphi's name on it. From what I've heard local mercs sometimes come here to gear up. Not sure if it's because they're so close to the boarder or if they have frisky wild life, but word is you can pick up high end gear here if you know where to find it.... which I don't ... but with luck I'm hoping to stock up. I fired my last real grenade during our capers at Bowman so reloading would be good.  Also need to pick up a new dress uniform. The one I've got stuffed in my duffle bag has a huge arse stain on it. I figure it'd be good to dress well for this "hearing" that we're off to on Lunion. Truth be told I don't really have much idea what this is all about but if I'm going to stand there clueless I may as well look good doing it. Probably should polish my medals too.  Medals ... pft ... that's a bit of a joke. Purple Hearts . If you show guts and win, you get a real medal. If you show guts and loose ... it's like "oh well, at least you tried. Here, have a Purple Heart.". Like ... a consolation prize.  But I hear we're winning the war. That's good news.   Actual soldiers are out winning the war, and I'm here on my way to some K'Krok shite hearing about some political garbage.  And after that we're off to bag some rogue Imperial Navy psion. Need to bring him in alive ... which is going to be fun.  Reminds me, I need to add more non-lethal gear to my Tenalphi shopping list.  ... and cigars. That human guy Jeff has me hooked on bloody cigars now. I guess now that I'm into some money I should be smoking to look the part.  Well that's it. Happy new year. Gods bless and all that.  --END OF RECORDING--

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((Just putting this here for now. Not actually a part of his "Video Log".)) Age Birth-10 Kayleb Groughtk is born to P'Toonah, a female factory worker with a criminal record that included prostitution and petty theft. The father is thought to be Guthner Thuerrlakh, the lead stringed base player of the black listed musical band "Groughtk". While this was never confirmed, P'Toonah used the name of the band as the "family name" for her litter as she had no family name of her own. Kayleb was born to a large litter of siblings, of which he was considered to be the runt.  Kayleb grew up in a slum settlement on the edge of one of Menorb's vast deserts.  Age 14-18trs old Zhodani forces occupy Menorb during their campaign in the 4th Frontier war. Zhodani warbots and troops patrol Kayleb's neighbourhood. They are eventually withdrawn as the war turns against the Zhodani.  Age 18-22 (1086- 1089) Kayleb leaves Menorb on a working passage, and eventually becomes a full crew member of the modified freetrader " Hazard to Navigation ". He remains on board for three years (until 1088). 304-1089 Kayleb is called to give evidence in an investigation against his former Captain. Captain is cleared of all wrongdoing. Age 22-26 (1090 - 1093) 1090 Enlisted in the Imperial Marine Corps.Basic training on Pixi/Regina 1091 - 1092 The "Quiet War" on Alell ( so called because local authorities protected the world's tourist trade by suppressing all media coverage of the conflict ) draws Imperial intervention when it is revealed that local rebels are being backed by Zhodani forces. Imperial Marines are sent on "search and destroy" missions to hunt down rebels hiding in Alell's jungles and cave network. Kayleb was piloting a G-Carrier performing a medical evacuation when a platoon of warbots swooped down on their position. The marines were forced to take cover in the jungle, and after a running battle all except for Kayleb were cut down. Cut off and alone, Kayleb managed to evade warbot patrols and observe enemy movements before return to Imperial lines undetected. Recognizing his high level of initiative, Kayleb was selected for promotion to lance corporal. 024-1093 Commissioned and sent to attend officer training on Rhylanor. Promoted to Lieutenant. Age 26 -34 (1094 - 1101) 1094 - 1100 Jonkeereen separatists on Quopist/Lanth reported to be stockpiling chemical weapons. This triggers Imperial intervention. "Operation glass eye" strikes at various Jonkeereen targets. Kayleb was in command of a lance of four APCs that were dropped from orbit in the initial phase of Operation Glass Eye. While the operation was a military success, it did not produce the desired political outcome. The situation escalated into a full scale war with pro imperial forces engaging with well equipped TL 10 Jonkeereen separatists. Even after the destruction of the separatists command structure, pro-imperial forces faced a drawn out conflict against insurgents engaging in guerrilla and terrorist operations. Kayleb was involved in a number of successful operations and eventually promoted to Captain. 361-1100 Kayleb's APC lance was ambushed during an urban patrol. His vehicle was shot down, and after escaping on foot was severely injured by Jonkeereen VRF gauss fire. After treatment Kayleb was medically discharged from the Marine Corps. 364-1101 Kayleb attempts to enlist in the Imperial Navy (flight). He is deemed by the selection panel to "lack the character and decorum required of Imperial Navy personnel" Age 34-38 (1102-1105) Kayleb is drafted back into the Imperial Marine Corps, Ground Forces Arm. He is reinstated at his previously held rank and stationed at D'Ganzio to command a security detachment at the world's primary orbital port. While stationed at D'Ganzio Kayleb was selected to receive further Officer training and advanced education in Medical treatment and Demolitions. 201-1103 During a "police action" down on the planet's surface Kayleb hit by laser sniper fire. The shot punctured his vacc suit and caused significant damage. He was later awarded a purple heart. Age 38-42 (1105-1109) 270-1106 Kayleb completes Advanced Education module - fusion power plant operations. 1107 5th Frontier war breaks out. Lanth is subject to a surprise attack by the Sword Worlds Gram fleet. Fierce planetary fighting was followed by a brief occupation by Sword World forces. Swordworld Gram Fleet moves on to attack D'Ganzio. Kayleb's regiment is attached to the 100th fleet and deployed to retake Lanth. Imperial 100th Fleet and the Sword Worlds Gram Fleet fight a series of battles for control of the system. Kayleb is involved in a number of ground assaults and boarding operations. 013-1109 Elements of the 100th fleet stationed in High Guard above the system's second gas giant are attacked at close range by swordworld strike ships. The drives and power plant of one swordworld ship were disabled. Kayleb's unit was sent as an assault force to board the disabled craft. During transit Kayleb's shuttle is critically damaged. Disregarding his injuries, Kayleb and his platoon continue to the disabled swordworld ship EV. Once on board Kayleb is struck by an anti-armour rocket assisted grenade. The attack breached his armour and destroyed his shoulder and right lung. He was then "finished off" by a swordworld officer with three shots from a heavy caliber pistol. One shot penetrated the chest plate, piercing Kayleb's heart and shattering his spinal chord. The second struck his neck and while partially deflected by armour caused a rupture of the jugular. The third penetrated the abdomen plate, destroying his spleen and causing massive internal damage. The follow up assault was successful and the swordworlders on board were defeated. Kayleb's wounds were pronounced "fatal" by fleet medical officers. He was placed in a low berth and evacuated to the naval medical facility on D'Ganzio where he was reassembled and reanimated. It was later established that Kayleb had operated "outside of mission parameters" by continuing the assault Extra Vehicular, meaning the Imperial Marine Corps was not obligated to cover the considerable medical expenses. Kayleb is issued a second Medical Discharge from the Marine Corps along with a considerable medical debt.
Dodgy ungrateful bastards...
Your character has really gone through a lot, if you still have that huge medical debt I know Jeff would be willing to put forward some credits to help out Kayleb. Even though Jeff started in poverty, he worked his way up the ladder incredibly fast and could've been a really high ranking Naval officer(Bob wouldn't let me because I was super inexperienced at the game and wouldn't know how to deal with being such a high Social Standing) he decided to stay as a grunt because he wasn't a huge fan of attention. Along with all that he had 17Mcr when he left the Navy. Even though he has gotten so much, he understands the struggle of poverty and is more than willing to help out a friend and smoking buddy.

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Note that the Artemis Mercenary Corporation [AMC] was on D'Ganzio when the Gram Fleet first invaded that system and forced our 200dT Free Trader to run for 100D after shooting two fighters down.  Later AMC returned to D'Ganzio with some troops from Skull and helped retrieve that medical module that had soft landed on the dunes of D'Ganzio.  AMC retrieved the module, delivered the Skull troops and then left for safer parts of the Marches.  So, it's possible that Kayleb's 1107 history can be tied in.  Alby's prerogative.
Well to be honest I was deliberately vague about teh D'Ganzio attack. It wasn't really clear if the Gram fleet attacked D'Ganzio and then withdrew back to Lanth, or if it was a different fleet that attacked. And it wasn't clear about what kind of damage the swordworlders did at D'Ganzio, if they won or lost. So it could either be that Kayleb fought at D'Ganzio and was then attached to the 100th and later went off to join the fight at Lanth, or that he left for Lanth and while in Jump the Swordworlders hit D'Ganzio.  So thanks for leaving it up to me, but I'm happy for it to be up to you Pakkrat. But even if Kayleb was there it may be unlikely that I had much to do with the Artemis. He was probably busy moshing with swordies if he was there.  Oh and thanks for help with that medical debt. He's fine though. The way it actually turned out was that he medical debt totally demolished his cash benefit when mustering out. But these days he is totally "in the black". 
Oh ok, well if you ever get into serious debt, Jeff is more than willing to help... as long as you repay him back in some way, ie, saving my life, Cigars, paying back the debt, etc. And if the debt is 50K or less he won't even ask for repayment. Though if you just want spending money, wrong guy to ask over here.
* Starts making plans to go into serious debt * Oh wait ... not for spending money.... alright. Never mind. 
Though the Sword Worlders of the Gram Fleet did secure the space around D'Ganzio, resistance fighters kept them from fully taking the dustbowl Downport and Startown.  With so many orbital installations, Instellarms LIC with a surplus of weaponry to police, an extensive medical satellite and other orbital goodies, the Swordies were not so impressed with the desert world below.  D'Ganzio was never fully taken the entirety of the the Fifth Frontier War.  If Artemis Mercenary Corporation had stayed on the planet, it'd have been a resistance war like in Dune, only it'd be local mercs versus the Swordies.  I was prepared to go either direction, a planetary campaign or a space campaign.  As it was, the company dusted off and headed deeper into the Marches. Lanth was hit first, D'Ganzio second but it really didn't matter.  The Swordies fielded three huge fleets, the Gram Fleet, the Joyeuse Fleet and the Sacnoth Fleet with plenty of pillaging mercenaries chewing on their wakes.  The Tree Sharks we fought in Bowman were one such merc unit.  Since Lanth was the subsector capital, Kayleb was sent there over D'Ganzio because of planetary priority.  Lanth had the A-Starport, the Naval Base and a Scout Base, Oceanic (90% hydrosphere).  The Gram Fleet crossed into Lanth Subsector through Arba then did their worst to Lanth and gave conquer-ish lip service to D'Ganzio.  D'Ganzio is a Desert, Hellworld, Non-Industrial and Poor world.  Not worth taking though they were held off by the local resistance of desert folk, local merc companies, Instellarms on the sly, the medical facilities (dropping modules to the surface they claimed were hit by Swordie starships), and others who pulled their weight until Lanth was liberated later in the War. So go with the second choice, Alby.  AMC was there from 1105 to 1107 though, training their employees and spending funds from the sale of the Annic Nova.   Sergei went up to the medical station and came back the Terminator, such was he so cybered out.  Gevaudan's elder Sister-Dame appeared in 1107 with her attache, Uthka and Witness to offer AMC a job to investigate Wypoc.  The rest is campaign history.

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So "he left for Lanth and while in Jump the Swordworlders hit D'Ganzio.". Got it.  Kayleb did return to D'Ganzio to be put back together and mustered out, but I think that was well after the Artemis crew left. 
No problem there, Alby.  D'Ganzio had extensive, high-tech, orbital, medical facilities.  Perhaps he mustered out and over the course of time, found himself in elf space, right where Artemis picked him up.
Tenacious Techhunter said: Dodgy ungrateful bastards... You mean "doggy"? Don't you.?
VIC e. said: Tenacious Techhunter said: Dodgy ungrateful bastards... You mean "doggy"? Don't you.? "Ha ha ... oh ... wait ... what was that monkey creature?"

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*Image is of Kayleb sitting back casually on a chair in his stateroom. The computer taking the video looks as if it has been set up on the bed. Kayleb is dressed in a singlet top and a dirty pair of Y front underpants.* ENTRY10 - 1110-028 12:04:16 Bit of a story ... from my youth. I was fresh out of boot and stationed in the J on a world called Ayell... or Alell ... or something. Our lance had settled down in a clearing. We were on a long range patrol trying to root out some local rebels. I was about twenty-something. So I'm on picket duty that night. G-Carriers parked to form a perimeter. Just sitting there out the top hatch behind a plasma gun... watching night time jungle life in Infra Red. And - BAMPH - This Zho just appears right in front of me. He had a satchel, so I guess his plan was to plan a few charges and teleport out again. But he's right there, just meters away from me. I could almost see his "oh crap" expression through his bug eyed helmet.  * He takes a drag from his cigarette before continuing * So I pull the trigger on him. And his head just like ... disappears. Burst like a melon. Like a balloon at a kids party. After the flash his body just stood there for a bit. Streamers of smoldering turban floating down ... I remember the smell too. Ozone ... chard flesh ... iron ... As his body finally fell I was ... like ... thinking to myself ... that evil bastard had a mum and a dad. Maybe a woman back home with kids ... he probably had big plans and dreams about what he was going to do when he finished his military service for his tyranical polity ... but now ... gone. I just flexed a finger and it all ended for him.  * stubs out his cigarette * I mean ... good ! Right? Normally you kill someone and it's a terrible crime. Killing someone is one of the worst thing you can do in most people's opinion. But people don't get it. They're all safe and sound, making useless moral judgments and giving empty speeches ... living in total denial of horror. The Horror that keeps them safe and free. The horror that has to be inflicted upon their enemies. The horror that their military has to inflict upon it's self so that it's fit to fight. ... They've got no idea.  * lights up another cigarette.* Every now and then I like to think about that guy. I think about his head exploding. It just ... reminds me ... doing the right thing isn't the nicest thing. Rarely the kindest thing. Most of the time the right thing is the horrible thing. The worst thing. You've got to have the guts to do it. To pay the price.  I'm surrounded by ... bloody .. Zho lovers and cyborgs. .. They don't get it.  --END OF RECORDING-- ENTRY10 - 1110-037 08:23:50 *Kayleb is dressed in a Marine dress uniform. Black blazer, white trousers, shiny black boots. His chest is adorned with a collection of medals and other decorations. His fur seems to have been conditioned and groomed. He is almost unrecognizable.* Courtroom drama today! Could be my last day working for this company. Hope not, but some things you've just got to do.  Could also be my last day among the living. The place seems secure but we have folks keep to take us out. We're all in one place at one time. Very public. If I was going to take us out this could be a great time to try.  Althougth .... I'm always saying that.. I'm always saying " oooohh ... maybe this time we'll die. " ... bloody morbid. Sometimes I really think I need to cheer the hell up.  Well ... I've got some fems to beguile. EEeeeowww..  --END OF RECORDING--
ENTRY 12 - 1110-040 08:23:50 * Vidlog image flickers a bit before showing the interior of a downport hotel room. Old "colonial" style fittings adorn the room, with a wooden bladed fan on the ceiling slowly turning. Kayleb is looking out across the landing fields at a city skyline. Sun has almost set, casting a deep orange haze through the poluted atmosphere. Cigarette hangs limply out of his mouth.* Lunion downport.... ....Shite I'm still only on Lunion. Every time I think I'm going to wake up back in the shite. When mustered out after my initial terms it was worse. ... I'd wake up ... and there'd be nothing. When I was in the shite, I wanted to be out. When I'm out, all I could think about is getting back into the shite. ... Been here a week now. ...Waiting for a mission. ...Getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker. Every minute Oscar Charlie infiltrators squat in the bush getting stronger. Each time I look around the walls get in a little tighter. * Checks the Chronometre on his wrist * The buffet opens at 19 hundred. Tonight is "Aquatic invertebrate" night.  Better get myself sorted. They have a dress code. Don't want to be late again. Missed out on the shrimp last time.  --END OF RECORDING--
Mm mm! Aquatic invertebrate!

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ENTRY 12 - 1111-040 08:23:50 Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a ticket... ...and for my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service... News that we were moving out ... that Artemis had signed the Wypoc ticket. It's a real choice ticket - and when it's done I'm sure I'll never want another. Worst possible target. Worst possible environment. Worst possible situation. Worst possible ticket. Marrg. Psionic cyborg in battledress with nukes. Also has naval support, maybe even a squad of marines. Shite even a handful of marines will fark our shite up. I did some homework on wypoc's atmosphere. hydrofluoric, hydrochloric, sulfuric acids, with trace Hydrogen cyanide. I'm no chemist but from what I've been reading wypoc air is a nightmare mix of horrific shite. After if finishes destroying your vacc suit it makes sort work of killing you. "Burns with areas larger than 160 cm2 have the potential to cause lethal systemic toxicity" ... fark. Going in and trying to wack him on his own turf would be bad enough. We've got to "rescue" his "students". Any one of them could actually be all for Maarg and keen to kill us. We have absolutely no way of knowing. But we have to take them out by the hand ... while Maarg and friends and Artemis are trying to murder each other. Worst target, worst environment, worst situation.  And the cherry on top is that Norris has ordered the hit. Originally the plan was to bring him in alive. No doubt Maarg has dirt on Norris that Norris wants to delete. Was probably Norris that ordered the strike on Darrian. Norris doesn't want Maarg talking. Neither does Isis. Both are paying good money for peace and quiet. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to erase Norris' misdeeds. He's a hero and for the stability of the Marches he needs to remain so. I'm just surprised the rest of them are going for it. So far they've acted like civilians, all " innocent until proven guilty " and " fair trial " and such. That kind of thinking is perfectly fine on the street. Of no use when you're pulling military ops though. You just don't have the luxury to think like that when the shite is flying off the fan in all directions.  Seems like they're coming around .  .... The whole show is fracked.  --END OF RECORDING-- ((OOC:  Just so you know, I shamelessly plagiarized my last two posts:  Still only in Saigon,    For my sins   ))
So that means you are a chick called Trump? ;)
VIC e. said: So that means you are a chick called Trump? ;) Yeah I'm secretly one of Trump's concubines. 
1111-203 (just for reference. Plan to catch up with vid journal entries soon)

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ENTRY 13 - 1111-262 08:23:50 Been a long time since I've made an entry. Too bloody busy I guess? New job; "Chief of Security". Less spare time to waste on a journal. Barely enough time to scratch my arse. To fill you in, we made it off Wypoc alive and with Maarg's head. Luckily for us one of the nukes that Maarg had set up for us only detonated after we left. Sadly, the blast did end up killing that Psi-Ops woman we picked up in Bowman and her team. They were on our tail for some reason. Dam shame... * takes a drag of his cigarette * Dam bloody shame ... ... So we made our way back to Lunion and waited for the completion of the Athena. She's over a thousand tons of ship so we needed to recruit and train some new crew. That kept me pretty busy. While we were drilling new folks on Lunion the Captain and some members of the board flew off to Mora. Can't say on a vid log why they were heading over there for. It shouldn't have taken that long but as fate would have it their ship miss-jumped. They ended up way off to coreward. Then, again by some amazing quirk of fate, they miss-jumped back our way .... kind of ... the story gets a bit odd and to be honest I've never really had much luck following it. But during their reality bending journey they picked up a vargr -"R.V." from the extents who - despite my strong protests - was added to our crew roster. Now I've been wrong before ... a few times ... maybe ... but I have to admit that I was wrong about RV. I had a pretty sharp argument with the Captain about RV actually. The way I see it - there are two kinds of beings that infest this universe. The better type are the ones that understand the value of living in community. Most single celled organisms figure this out early on. The more you value the one next to you, the stronger your community is - and the better you are. It's the one attitude that makes a sentient being's life of any value at all. Military service of any kind teaches you this pretty quick. The other type are the beings that can't see past themselves.  Incapable of thinking of anyone's advancement but their own. Always scrambling to be the top of the pack. Always prospering at the expense of others. Useless, drooling animals. Beings like this are a blight on the very concept of life and the universe is a better place without them. Every living being knows this in their guts too. While this useless kind of being may be adored by their own kind - who secretly covet their status - better sentient beings loathe them. Such creatures are not fit to breathe the air that the righteous breathed. It's a good and just thing to wish the worst for these individuals. Again, I'm a bit hazy on the details, but this RV character saved the Captain's bacon when they picked him up. So I guess the Captain saw at least a spark of that first kind of being in RV. Must have figured that if RV was willing to put something on the line to save others then he wasn't like the other barely sentient barbarians from the Extents. To me, on the other hand , RV was a mindless brute. Not only was RV a barely useful moron in my eyes, but we were all morons for placing any kind of trust in him. Vargr from the extents are chronically incapable of functioning within a community consisting of actual sentient beings. Yeah some of them may be smart enough to be useful, but they all eventually bite the hand that feeds them. It's a solid fact. Events in our recent past have proven this to be so. ... Or so I thought. But ... turns out ... I was wrong. Captain Crow was right. The rest of the board trusted RV to fly a newly acquired ship off on a decoy run. They did this fully trusting that he would return to the group. Didn't even feel the need to consult me. And he's due to join us again soon. Normally I guess I'd have a bruised ego about being wrong, but truth be told I'm kinda glad I was wrong. I think RV has skills that may help this company out. Maybe ... Ol' Kayleb was wrong about Vargr from the Extents all along ? Maybe I let a few " bad eggs " spoil my view of them all? * takes a thoughtful drag from his cigarette * Oh .. talking about that ship that RV few off in, we came across that as a part of a pretty cracked story... Not sure how much of it I should say in this journal. But at the moment we're on Beck's World waiting to meet up again with RV ... and another new guy ... Zack? Again, board figured it would be good to bring on another new crew member without letting me vet him first. I guess their judgement has been pretty good so far though. They seem to be placing their faith in the right people so I guess I don't mind having some decisions taken out of my hands. Gives me time to do all the other stuff that I haven't been doing. Beck's World is a crap hole by the way. Never come here. --END OF RECORDING--