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Author Topic: Lucinda the Black Empire Hero  (Read 306 times)

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Offline Kindred

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Lucinda the Black Empire Hero
« on: December 04, 2020, 01:09:45 PM »
Life gets complicated at the top levels of the Black Empire. Within the Imperial intelligence apparatus, it is even more byzantine. Besides watching for threats outside the borders, there are the plots between Krafs playing the Great Game, schemes within the Imperial family, and cold wars between service branches and the various Departments. Internal Intelligence, the most secret of the secret police, seethes with the distillation of all the Empire's myriad agendas. To be an Imperial agent requires one to be almost pathologically paranoid, deceitful, and calculating. It does not hurt to have fast reflexes, as well.

Lucinda of Kraf Amarin had worked her way up the ranks of Internal Intelligence rapidly, despite opinions about her background. Kraf Amarin was a small holding near the galactic rim, known for being insular and having a dark outlook on existence. Other Kraf blamed this on living in a region littered with the ruins of Tzoren works. And, yet, despite living in those devastated systems, Amarin was a strangely wealthy Kraf.  Its’ military and fleet were thoroughly equipped with the best gear available and its’ commoners were well educated, healthy, and productive. It was a mystery, and in the Black Empire, to be mysterious was to be distrusted.

Not only her Kraf counted against her; Lucinda was psionically operant.  The vast majority of Azaraim citizens feared the psionic minority.  Although not a top power, Lucinda's abilities were potent enough to be useful to her superiors.  They would use her talents, but they did not have to like her.

For many agents, rising in rank is partly based on how well they can play other roles.  Agents take on the guise of everything from common workers to rich aristocrats, the better to monitor Black Empire society.  Lucinda specialized in acting the part of the loyal bodyguard for nobles suspected of anti-Imperial motivations, or at least motivations not compatible with the vision of the Empress.  As a trusted bodyguard, Lucinda had opportunity to notice subversive actions or plots from the inside, the better to expose them.

Despite regular cosmetic surgery and false histories, she began to develop a reputation and acquire highly placed enemies. This, plus her questionable background, made her an ideal scapegoat should the need for one arise.

Eventually, she was placed in a position where she could be blamed for an operations failure, allowing her enemies to remove two problems. She was assigned cover as bodyguard to a high ranking diplomat who was suspected of attempting to manipulate the Empire into a fight over Abandon.  Assassins carrying evidence of Armarin allegiance killed the envoy en route to Abandon.  Despite the evidence against her being obviously manufactured, her rivals from Kraf Tatharis were able to pin a convoluted plot implicating her as a double agent on her, resulting in charges of treason.

Luckily, Lucinda was able to see the shape of things to come, and fled the embassy, using threats and other promises to secure passage on a Fantasian privateer’s ship.

Since then, she has served as a freelance intelligence operative and is known to be one of the most successful industrial espionage mercenary available.

Lucinda's PBA has been heavily modified using technologies she has stolen for herself; optimized for her new role as a mercenary.  As such, it is much lighter than most military PBA; the reduced protection is more than made up for by the integrated force field generator.  Her suit has three semi-autonomous manipulator tentacles, powerful enough to carry Lucinda over obstacles or up a wall.  She has also learned how to use the arms to boost her running speed or dodge attacks.  EMP weapons are installed in the claws at the ends of the arms, which allows her to strike from cover.

She also carries a pistol and a thermal blade, whose powered edge can slice through PBA or a Machine like it was butter.

Lucinda's ace in the hole are her Psionic abilities. Despite the commonly voiced fears of both aliens and other humans, Psionics are rare even in the Black Empire; deep down, nobody actually expects to meet one. Lucinda sees no shame in exploiting this advantage, fooling tracking and targeting systems or slowing opponents with her abilities.