Title: Throwing Down the Gauntlet
Description: Episode 1, Season 1
Endless Horizon - April 7, 2010 02:52 AM (GMT)
War: a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
Endless Horizon, long hidden away as a barge-tug between the Rim
moons, was flyin' again. Her engine roared and her wings stretched steady to the universe, but her future was shadowed akin to the fallin' of the sun down the forests of Rhinehold. One small ship flyin' against nearly ten years of Alliance dominance on the Rim; that was mighty powerful odds and they weren't lookin' in her favor.
But, oh, she knows, she remembers: She will never forget. The tiniest spark can start a fire that'll burn through all the worlds of the 'Verse, and maybe, just maybe, if that flame's bright enough, she can ride it all the way to the end, all the long hard way to independence.
Just startin' out, her crew was small, just a handful, but she was lookin' for more. And folk who didn't give up, folk who wore the brown with pride undimmed, were gettin' harder and harder to find. One of the few places she could be sure of was on Persephone, in a little dive bar called The Brown Bottle.
The openin' shots of a new war were just reachin' a beginnin'...
Titania Praed - April 7, 2010 03:29 AM (GMT)
Cargo Bay/ Bridge
Sweat dripped rainbows down the young captain's neck and throat, glueing her white tank-top to her slender body. Strands of the black hair that escaped it's high braid stuck to her face and forehead. Bare legs, hard and muscled, stretched and burned, the grey running shoes on her feet a blur as she ran.
The treadmill faced a grey steel wall, but Ty had hung before it a travel poster of a long stretch of Caribbean blue Athens beachside. It was a picture of her home, the picture of the world that existed now only in her memory: Athens before the war.
And she ran towards that picture now with all of her lean, fierce strength.
Finally, panting, she slowed to cool-down pace, and then gradually to a stop. Flipping the folding treadmill back up against the cargo bay wall, Titania Praed stretched out, touching her toes before standing to look around this new ship with its strange feel beneath her sneakered feet.
Pausing, she patted the rail before heading up to the bridge, "KalimEra," She greeted energetically as she bounced through the doors, pleased to see Persephone looming in front of the ship. "Is there time to shower 'afore we make landfall? Or should I plan on stayin' downwind?"
KalimEra- Good morning- Greek
OOC: I assumed at least Aialia was on the bridge, not sure who else is there!
Aialia Kensrowe - April 8, 2010 06:37 AM (GMT)
It was a beautiful ship, albeit one Aialia had next to no experience with. Thankfully for everyone’s sake, as well as her own, she was quite the fast learner. She had studied the controls over and over until she was confident she knew them well. After all, basic controls were generally the same. Over all, the ship flew like a dream you hoped with every particle of your being was one of those reoccurring types.
"Is there time to shower 'afore we make landfall? Or should I plan on stayin' downwind?"
“Mornin’.” She greeted, turning to give a nod of acknowledge to Titania. Aialia had been sitting in the pilot’s chair, keeping things smooth as they came ever closer to Persephone. In every bit of honesty, she spent the majority of her time here as a means of gaining more familiarity with the ship as well as to connect to its personality. She turned back around in her chair to check a screen on the right side of the panel before answering the question given to her. “It’d depend on how much time ya’d need. I’d say ya got ‘bout hour; hour and a half.”
Nate Crawford - April 8, 2010 08:52 PM (GMT)
Turning over, Nate stared at the other grey wall, the gunmetal paint flaking to reveal more grey underneath. Grey on grey. Not unlike his mood, he thought, and closed his eyes, trying again to fall asleep. And failed. In the week since they had left Sherwood and taken possession of the new ship, he had only slept a few hours a night – if that – and he was already starting to wonder if he had made a mistake in taking on this new mission. What they were setting out to do would be dangerous at best. At worst? Well, he didn't like to think of the stories he'd heard of Alliance prison camps and while they'd taken the same sort of risks aboard Sherwood, there would be no cover to fly under with Endless Horizon.
He gave up on sleep after another half hour of trying, and got out of bed to check waves and news on the Cortex. Still nothing new from Boone, which wasn't exactly good news. It meant that he hadn't found any eligible and trustworthy crew yet. They needed a mechanic who knew his or her way around the engine and one or two more gunhands would certainly come in useful. A medic, trained in more than just basic first aid was high on the list of crew wanted as well. No news, in this case, was bad news. He considered sending a wave to Boone, but his old friend knew what he was doing and if there wasn't any news, it meant there wasn't anything of interest to report and it wouldn't do any good to send him a reminder.
Instead, Nate checked the news and gave a derisive snort at the fashion predictions from Oscar Roma. “Bright colours and defining forms, a.k.a. uugg-ly,” he said out loud, before remembering that Rafe wasn't there to disagree, that there wasn't anyone on board to provide a good argument about fashion at all. He drew a deep breath and swallowed a lump in his throat, closing his eyes for a few long moments as he listened to the news anchor talk about the Prime Minister denying allegations of illness. “Rutt it,” he muttered, not really knowing if he was talking to himself or the screen.
He switched from the news to his recorded episodes of Life at St. Lucy's and moved back to his bed. Dr. Fernando was trying to talk a handsome young man out of jumping off the roof of the hospital, while at the same time solving the problem of a severely ill woman, whose diagnosis and treatment no one else to figure out. The good doctor switched from talking softly and kindly to the young man out on the ledge, giving him reasons to live, to ordering about his staff in a harsh whisper over a comm unit concealed in his ear. Meanwhile, Nurse Whitmoore was having a rather good time in the supply closet with Dr. Danes.
The screen had gone into stand-by mode when he woke up, the last of the soap's episode's having run its course at some point after he'd fallen asleep. Still tired, he figured he couldn't have slept long, but got up anyway, after checking the time, muttering a curse at the relative lateness of the morning. He was usually the first one up, but he would bet good coin that others were up by now. After splashing some water on his face, he stood for a few moments staring at himself in the mirror. Unrecognisable from a few weeks ago, his hair was longer and unkempt, and his jaw now sported a five-o'clock shadow that he wouldn't have been caught dead with earlier, but which he have the energy to remove this morning.
Turning away from himself, he dressed in a pair of black jeans, a dark green t-shirt and his combat boots. A gunbelt went around his waist with the nine millimetre pistol in the holster and on his way out of his room, he snatched the black leather jacket off its hook by the door. Habit still made him go right when he should have gone right and it wasn't until he stood in front of the aft airlock that he realised the mistake and turned around to go back to the stairs. He went up from there, to the galley, where he filled a mug from the coffee pot and moved slowly to the other side of the room to flick on the Cortex screen, checking again for any incoming waves.
Dumas Cruise - April 9, 2010 08:57 PM (GMT)
Dumas laid aside the grease-coated wrench in his gloved hand and swiped his wrist over his brow with a sigh. The sharp odors of de-greaser and cleaning solution were close and bitter in the tight space of the gunners nest, and the wirey-bodied gymnast was forced to wonder how many brain cells he might have killed off breathin' the stuff in.
But the space was as clean it could get, with years of caked on grime and neglect scraped away revealing the hard utilitarian surfaces underneath. It was just a small task, but they were a small crew, and while he wasn't over-prone to fixing, there wasn't anyone else onboard for it. Dumas capped the back of gun-port panneling, giving it a last squirt of oil, and scrabbled up his tools before climbing down to the cargo deck.
The ship had seen better days, for sure, and with a bit of luck, she might see 'em again. Or she might burn up in a blaze of bloody glory. Such, Dumas thought, is the way of life.
Cramming the tools and chemicals back where he found them in the upper cargo bay, he made his way to the bridge, not surprised to find Aialia flying and Captain already there. He'd been watching Persephone loom closer through the instrument panels as he'd worked. Now, he swept onto the bridge with a faint smile on his handsome face, bearing with him a wave of noxious chemical scents and announcing as he entered, "Persephone. Not my favorite world, but not the worst either."
"Race ya to the shower, Captain." He suggested, with no hint that he might be joking apparant in tone or expression, "I could use someone to wash my back."
Reno Carson - April 10, 2010 04:43 AM (GMT)
Mezzanine/ Reno's Bunk/ Bridge
Reno was busy making some of his homemade explosive charges since the wee hours of the morning, or what passed as morning according to the Horizon's chronograph. While he could've just done his work in his bunk, the Horizon had a makeshift workshop which was miles better than a cramped bunk. And it had better ventilation as well. Reno had made a batch of a dozen of the hockey puck sized charges. He had yet to test them out, but he didn't want to risk blowing a hole in Ty's new ship. He had a hunch she wouldn't have liked that one bet.
After finishing the last of the batch, Reno decided to head over to the Bridge to see if Lia wanted anything to eat, but not before storing his freshly made explosives somewhere safe. He carefully put them into a small, padded metal box on the work bench and closed it up. Taking it in one hand, Reno then made his way to his room to put the box away. Once that was done, Reno made his way to the bridge still sporting the clothes he had on the day before and a five o'clock shadow. He wasn't the only one who was there. Ty and Dumas had beaten him to the punch.
"I could use someone to wash my back."
"I'd be more than happy to do that, Dumas. Just try not to be touchy feely with me or snapping my backside with a towel." replied Reno, looking serious before cracking a smile. He looked out at the view of the bridge's windscreen and asked Ty, "So, Cap, what's the plan once we hit dirtside?"
He didn't mind that he wasn't the First Officer anymore. Truth be told, he thought Nate was the better choice for that position anyways.
Dumas Cruise - April 19, 2010 03:24 PM (GMT)
"I'd be more than happy to do that, Dumas. Just try not to be touchy feely with me or snapping my backside with a towel."
Dumas gave Reno a body-long glance, and smiled quietly, "Thanks, but you got enough cordite in your blood that a towel snap'd probably explode ya."
"So, Cap, what's the plan once we hit dirtside?"
Deliberately, he turned his eyes towards the approaching world. Most folk thought Dumas' quiet demeanor was due to deep thoughts, but the truth was, most of the time, he just didn't have a come-back clever enough to retort with. "And does it involve a cold beer and somethin' that looks like real food?"
Titania Praed - April 19, 2010 03:38 PM (GMT)
"Oh no. No race. You two would cheat! Besides, Captain gets priority." Ty answered both men with a grin of her own. Not that she wasn't tempted, but... "At least, I think I do." She glanced to Aia, "Isn't there some ship common law that says captain gets first shower? Please tell me there is?"
"As to what's next..." She turned her back on the glowing ball growing to a solid wall of brown and blue outside the viewscreen, and crossed her arms, leaning on the console, "Nate's supposed to be making contact now. Our contact will meet us at the Brown Bottle and hopefully he's got a few folk lined up."
The young captain's eyes darkened, "I need all of you there. No one comes onboard unless we all approve. What we're doing is dangerous enough without hurtin' coming at us from the inside. Anyone has doubts about anything going down, I want you speaking up."
Titania gave a faint smile, swiping loose damp strands of hair from her face, "There's more than one shade of brown out there. I want only the best. And from where I'm standin', that's what we've got right here. Don't want to muddy that up."
"Now, I'm hittin' the shower. Someone get Aialia some nose plugs, or a clothespin or something. It's starting to reek like a machinist in a munitions factory locker room in here."
Nate Crawford - April 22, 2010 05:37 PM (GMT)
Standing alone in the commons, Nate stared at the Cortex screen for long moments, drinking his coffee slowly as he deleted the ads and offers that had made it past the filters. The one from Blue Velvet on Beaumonde had quite an alluring offer and the only reason he'd received it was that he had shopped there in the past. “Really ought to get a new wave address,” he muttered to himself and moved the Blue Velvet wave to the trash bin, then switched over to the outbox and called up Boone's wave number into a new text wave and type a short message on the keyboard bolted to the wall under the Cortex screen.
From: NATHANIEL J. CRAWFORD III
To: D. BOONE
ETA: 1 hour.
Hope you found some good people for us?
He hit the send button and drained the rest of the coffee from his mug with a grimace at the taste of the dregs, making a face as he turned off the Cortex screen, then went to dispose of the mug in the sink, replacing it with a bottle of water from the fridge. He cracked the top off as he went down the stairs, taking a long drink to chase away the bitter taste of coffee dregs. On the crew deck, he stopped for a moment to search his pockets, found that he'd forgotten both his new Ident card and the secure comm unit Hitch had given him.
Back in his room, he found the comm unit on his desk and the Ident in the inner pocket of the jacket he'd worn when they met with Hitch back on Athens. Jerome Crenshaw the name field said. Jerome was a name he'd left behind long ago and there it was again, back to haunt him, to remind him of a past he had been denying for more than a decade. “Jerome Crenshaw,” he said out loud, to the tired image in the mirror, but it still sounded wrong in his ears and felt wrong coming from his lips. Well, hopefully, he wouldn't have to use it all that much.
Aialia Kensrowe - April 23, 2010 03:32 AM (GMT)
Both Dumas and Reno showed up on the bridge shortly after Titania and automatically started on about showers. Aialia sat in her chair, overseeing the controls with all complete seriousness. It wasn’t her job to goof off; nor was it exactly within her professional personality. But despite all of that, she actually did enjoy listening to the short period of remarks back and forth. It lent an air of familiarity among all of them, which seemed to be something everyone needed after leaving Sherwood. For her, it reminded her of some of those she had met in the war. Good men and women who found themselves in the same situation for the same reasons. But it also reminded her of how much she really alienated herself from others.
"Thanks, but you got enough cordite in your blood that a towel snap'd probably explode ya."
“Ya know… Ya might be right ‘bout that.” There was no hint of anything other than complete seriousness in her voice and posture in the chair as she leaned over to flip a couple of switches on the right panel. However, her lips sported the tiniest of smiles, which she just couldn’t stop.
"Oh no. No race. You two would cheat! Besides, Captain gets priority." "At least, I think I do." "Isn't there some ship common law that says captain gets first shower? Please tell me there is?"
Aialia glanced behind her to look at her Captain. “Tha’s how it tends ta go. At least, is how it’s gone in ever’ otha ship I been on.” She sacrificed that bit of professionalism to wink at Ty before turning back around, returning her focus back on keeping the ship on its course.
"I need all of you there. No one comes onboard unless we all approve. What we're doing is dangerous enough without hurtin' coming at us from the inside. Anyone has doubts about anything going down, I want you speaking up."
There had been two different types of leaders Aialia was used to dealing with; those who made choices completely by themselves, and those who involved the entire group when making important decisions. In her experience, it was always those who wanted the opinions of their party before deciding anything that were the most worthy to follow. So she was very happy to hear Titania explain that she wanted everyone’s okay on the new crew they were hopefully going to find on Persephone.
"There's more than one shade of brown out there. I want only the best. And from where I'm standin', that's what we've got right here. Don't want to muddy that up."
She never really considered herself to be ‘one of the best’ and she wasn’t exactly sure what to think when she heard these words. In her own defense, she just tried her best at the jobs given her; no more, no less.
"Now, I'm hittin' the shower. Someone get Aialia some nose plugs, or a clothespin or something. It's starting to reek like a machinist in a munitions factory locker room in here."
“Tha smell ain’t bad… Been ‘round worse. Wha I’d really like ‘s some tea.” Her slender shoulders rose in a shrug as she glanced down at the forgotten empty mug that rested near her chair.
Titania Praed - April 27, 2010 12:56 AM (GMT)
I come to you with strange fire, I make an offering of love.
The incense of my soul is burned by the fire in my blood.
I come with a softer answer to the questions that lie in your path.
I want to harbor you from the anger find a refuge from the wrath.
At Aialia's affirmation, Ty gave the men a smirk of 'I told you so', knowing well enough that if Reno wanted that first shower, he'd probably take the chance to cram her into the first storage locker between here and there and no one would think to wonder where she was until they were on Persephone's dusty ground. Between them, it was just love. Like having big brothers.
“Tha smell ain’t bad… Been ‘round worse. Wha I’d really like ‘s some tea.”
Ty gave Dumas a playful punch on the arm, "You heard the lady. Fetch her some tea. And try not to get any grease in it."
She reached the door and gave a last warm look over her shoulder at the planet drawing close, and then to the crew. For a moment, she just held it close. Time was coming when they wouldn't have the luxury of this, this quiet banter in moments between the fire.
Mercenaries of the shrine, now who are you to speak for God?
With haughty eyes and lying tongues and hands that shed innocent blood.
Now who delivered you to power to interpret cavalry?
You gambled away our freedom to gain your own authority
If she closed her eyes, Ty thought, if she could burn this moment behind her eyes and hold it with her wherever they went or however they flew, if she could just remember right now- Reno standing there tall and ready for anything, Dumas smiling his secretive smile, Aialia flying, her hands controlling the old ship with smooth efficiency- If Titania could just hold the moment, it would always be there.
Find another state of mind.
Reach out grab hold,
Strange fire burns with the motion of love.
It would be there. And maybe they could go back to it one day.
This is a message, a message of love.
Love that moves from the inside out.
Love that never grows tired.
I come to you with strange fire.
OOC: Charlie? You're good to Plot Prog!
Lyrics: "Strange Fire" Indigo Girls
Endless Horizon - May 1, 2010 04:30 PM (GMT)
The yellow-brown Falcon Caravel drops from the Black like the bird of prey she was named for, the large thruster pods blasting bright trails across the blue sky as she descends on the crowded Docks below. In the capable hands of her pilot the Endless Horizon
comes to a smooth landing on the hard ground, raising her pods above her back, like her name-sake folding its wings, as she comes to rest, squatting down on the landing struts, dust kicked up from the landing swirling around her as she settles down to wait patiently for her crew to conduct their business.
The crew assemble in the cargo bay for a last briefing, simple and to the point; as mentioned earlier, everybody comes along to the Brown Bottle, everybody has a say in the choosing of new crew. More importantly, stick together, especially if the go-se hits the fan and never, never
, leave anybody behind! Everyone on the crew already knows that, but it is not a bad ritual to repeat now, although there is a bitter taste to the words today, as they all know that crew has been left behind on the Sherwood
and others has left to find their own way in the Black.
When the short briefing is done, the crew leave the ship to fend for herself, locking up the cargo bay doors and setting alarms that will alert the captain and the first mate in case anyone attempts to gain entry. The only sounds left aboard the old war bird is the quiet hum of electronics and the whir of ventilators as she sits on the dusty Eavesdown Docks, waiting for the return of her crew.Posting continues at the Brown Bottle
Endless Horizon - May 25, 2010 12:20 AM (GMT)
OOC: If you have off-shipping posting left to do, please tell it as part of your entry post onboard so as not to hold up other posters. :)
Crew Notes- If there are not enough bunks to go around, please figure out who you'd like to bunk with. If not sure, pm Charlie so we can assign you.
Dumas and Ti are both used to bunk-sharing.
POSTING CONTINUES FROMHERE- THE BROWN BOTTLE
The crew returns in twos and threes to Endless Horizon, dragging with them luggage, shopping cartons, and, even heavier, the baggage of pasts looking to be left behind.
For one crewmember in particular, there awaits an unexpected, but dreamed of, surprise...
Daveth Blackwood - May 25, 2010 02:00 AM (GMT)
Daveth Blackwood gave the ship before him a frank evaluation. Like any good Navy man, Daveth was of the opinion that the condition of the ship was a good indicators of the nature of its crew and commanders. A well-maintained ship was a sign of disciplined, orderly crew. Discipline had always been more of an issue with the Independents than it had been with the Alliance; the Independent Navy had too many volunteers and not enough career military men and women, and things had only gotten worse after most of the Independents gave up the fight.
Ever since the Independents had officially given up the fight, the people who still carried on the fight divided into two categories; the ones who strayed from the cause, and ones who stayed true. When all-out war came to an end there were still a modest number ship captains that wanted to keep in the fight, but it had not taken them long to run into problems. Ships needed fuel, spare parts, ammunition, and dozens of other things. When there had still been a functioning Independent command structure all these things had been provided by the Navy, but now each captain had to find those things for themselves. Fuel costs money. Parts cost money. Ammunition cost money.
A lot of Independents lost their way over the years. Daveth had seen it happen more than once; the need to make money in order to keep the ship flying became a struggle that consumed all of the crew's energies, especially since a proper Browncoat ship had a smaller and smaller selection of people willing to hire them. Some ships lost their way, becoming little more than semi-legitimate cargo haulers that struggled to make ends meet and had no time to spare for fighting the good fight. Those ships were the lucky ones; others turned to crime to keep funded, becoming slavers and worse.
That was not the way to win the war. The instant the Independent compromised their principles, they lost; even if debasing themselves allowed the Independents to gain victory on the battlefield, such a victory would be a hollow, pointless thing. The true war had never been between the governments of the Alliance and the Independents, but between the ideals the two represented. If the Independents gave up what they believed in to win the physical clash, then they gave up the only thing that actually made the war worth winning.
The Endless Horizon was clearly not one of the ships that had lost its way. The ship itself had clearly been through some trials and had been hard-used, but the fundamental core of the ship was still solid. The ship could still fly fast and shoot straight, and for all the struggles it had been through, it clearly was not about to give up fighting just yet. This was a ship that would keep fighting strong and pure until the rotten structure of the Alliance came crashing down. It was exactly the sort of ship Daveth Blackwood needed.
"Yes, I think this will do quite nicely." Daveth muttered approvingly. A good ship and a good captain to keep up the struggle to carve out a little bit of decency in this rotten universe, and maybe one day even strike a genuine blow for righteousness.
Daveth was no fool; the Independents lost the war when there had been a dozen Browncoat ships in the sky for every one that was still fighting now. He could dream of taking down the Alliance, but he knew carrying on the fight could generously be described as all but suicidal. However, the odds were not important; what mattered was that their cause was just. If something was the right thing to do then you did it, no matter how dangerous it was.
Daveth continued to study the ship, his mind already conjuring visions of what the next battle in the ongoing War for Independence would be like.
Titania Praed - May 25, 2010 04:15 PM (GMT)
Titania marched through the docks without glancing back to see who all had joined her, her thoughts much muddled with her interactions with Covenant. He wasn't the man she had once known, she thought sadly, nor did he find her to be that innocent little girl. Not anymore.
The crew looked all right at the outset. Gwil was a bit mad, perhaps, but weren't they all for going along with this? And every good unit benefited from a mad mercenary, so long as one knew how to handle them. Holly seemed ready for anything, but it would remain to be seen how she'd hold together when the flames were high and the bullets were low. Jinx was a wonderful surprise; a man with grease in his hands who'd worked so many different systems. If he could do all that he said he could, their Endless would be able to live up to her namesake.
India, though, didn't seem to catch on all that quick. Maybe she was too used to working in the Core, with Core ideals and Core sensibilities. Ty didn't have time for courtly introductions and long discourses. Perhaps the woman wouldn't turn up, which would lead to another problem, if she decided to go to the authorities. Under the roof of the Brown Bottle, they hadn't been exactly discreet.
But that, if the case was called for, was why Covenant was there.
So were Titania Praed's thoughts as she strode down the wide promenade, dodging cart and horse, crates and barrels, and rather randomly, a knee-high pink and black piglet that ran squealing to and fro down the lane.
But as she approached the berth of Endless Horizon, she came to a stop. For a long moment she stood, arms crossed, watching the man who was studying the ship in minute detail.
"It's not for sale, buster!" She called out brusquelly, but however hard she tried, she couldn't stop the rare and bright smile that sprang across her lips.
Daveth was here, he'd come! Now, oh, now, they had a crew that would be reckoned with.
Daveth Blackwood - May 25, 2010 09:45 PM (GMT)
"Pity, it's a good ship." Daveth carefully kept his back to Titania, otherwise his facial expression would have given away the game. After pausing for a few moments, Daveth heaved out a dramatic sigh and declared. "Then again, I doubt I could afford a ship this fine even if it was for sale." Daveth turned about to face Titania, and met her smile with one of his own. As far as he was concerned, Daveth could count the number of truly good and decent human beings in the 'Verse on the fingers of a single hand. Titania Praed was one of them.
"Besides, even if I did end up buying the ship I'm no Captain, I'm just a Master Chief." Daveth let out a soft chuckle as his memory took him back to the very beginning of his naval career. "Reminds me of that old saying in the Navy: 'On this ship there is no God but the Captain, and the Master Chief is her prophet.'"
"Good to see you again Titania, though I suppose from now on it will have to be Captain Praed." Daveth's hand stopped halfway to making a formal salute; saluting in a public area was dangerous, it drew attention that was better left avoided, Daveth had been a Navy man in one capacity or another for his entire life, and old habits died hard. "So, Captain, care to give your prophet a quick briefing on his duties and responsibilities?"
Boone - May 31, 2010 06:41 PM (GMT)
It was a quiet walk from the Brown Bottle to his hotel room, Boone not saying much and Nate being unusually quiet. It wasn't just the quiet that worried him, it was the mood the sniper seemed to be in. As if he had taken the weight of the world on his shoulders and wouldn't let anyone share it with him. And gorram if that dark mood wasn't infectious, Boone starting to feel as if colour drained away from the Docks as they walked together in silence, neither wanting to open up the inevitable conversation.
Once up the stairs and inside the dingy hotel room, Boone closed the door, his eyes on Nate's back, the other man standing there with his hands in his pockets, head down, refusing to turn and look him in the eye. A few steps took him within reach of the other man and he reached out to lay a gentle hand on his shoulder, then took another half step to stand so close that he could feel Nate's body heat on his chest. “Everything will be alright, Nate. Just give it time.”
Nate Crawford - May 31, 2010 06:44 PM (GMT)
Boone's touch made Nate tense his shoulders, grit his teeth. It felt like a lifetime since anyone had last touched him like that, but it was hardly any longer than a week since Rafe had left and taken four years of comfort and happiness with him. And here was Boone, ready to step into his place and Nate was sorely tempted to let him. He turned, hands still in his pocket, and looked into Boone's eyes, seeing the worry there. “We don't have time,” he said, simply and stepped back and away from Boone's touch, looking around the room. “Get your stuff, we need to get back to the ship.” As he stepped around Boone, he avoided the other's eyes, keeping his own on the floor as he walked to the door, stopping with his hand on the handle. “I'll wait downstairs.”
He hadn't even gone halfway down the stair when he heard Boone's steps behind him. He hadn't even needed to pack, as Nate well knew, a guy like him never even unpacked in the first place unless he was staying somewhere more secure than this hotel. Not waiting for Boone to catch up, he continued down the stairs and out the lobby, starting slowly back along the Docks toward Endless Horizon. Boone caught up as the ship came into view, but Nate didn't pay much attention to him, seeing Ty in conversation with a man who was distinctly of the browncoat persuasion. Moving closer, he stopped a few steps behind Titania, keeping his eyes on the old 'coat. “You going to introduce us, Ty?”
Titania Praed - June 1, 2010 05:46 AM (GMT)
"Good to see you again Titania, though I suppose from now on it will have to be Captain Praed."
Ty had to force her feet to hold firm to the earth so as not to fly into his arms. Daveth probably wouldn't appreciate such a gesture. But her smile felt as though it had taken that leap all on it's own. "Ty. You get to call me Ty. And..." A sudden lump rose in her throat, and she had to gulp it back, "I... I can't tell you how glad I am you decided to come. No, really, I can't... "cause if I do, I'm gonna ruin my captainly facade!"
"So, Captain, care to give your prophet a quick briefing on his duties and responsibilities?"
Tucking an through Daveth's, Titania replied as she raised her hand to punch in the security code that would open the cargo bay doors, "As handy as a prophecy would be about now, your responsibility is solely to keep me out of trouble. Think you're up to it?"
“You going to introduce us, Ty?”
Glancing over her shoulder, she spotted Nate coming, and looking none to happy. Behind him, Boon came along, absent his usual smile. It hurt a bit to see that. Was this going to break them all? Even if they suceeded, would they all be broken beyond repair?
"Nate!" She let go of Daveth's arm as the cargo bay door slide open behind her, "This is Daveth Blackwood, we've worked together before, back when I was a stumbling rookie. Well, more than I am now, even, I mean. Daveth, meet Nate Crawford, my second in command, and our blessed Boone, without whom we would be utterly lost."[/b]
Far behind them, she could see Dumas dragging up a small cart full of groceries. Hopefully the others were right behind. She was anxious to get off this moon and back to the Black.
Daveth Blackwood - June 1, 2010 09:08 AM (GMT)
Daveth matched Titania's smile with one of his own. "Coming was no trouble, in truth I was glad for the chance to serve under a good captain. Chin up; we can not have our captain looking anything less than perfectly squared away, can we?" Daveth's smile slowly faded as he spoke to the woman now attached to his arm. "Normally, protocol demands that an enlisted member of the crew always address the captain by rank and last name." The veteran began, keeping his tone completely flat and businesslike. "But then, I did just give a nice little speech about how the Captain of a Navy Vessel is practically a god, and gods are allowed to toss the regs out if they feel like it." Daveth kept his tone almost completely deadpan as he continued. "I suppose, if it is an order, then I have no choice but to obey, do I Ty?" A slight twitch of his mouth gave him away, and before long a smile found its way onto Daveth's face despite his efforts to hide it away.
In truth, Daveth was a bit wary of too much fraternization between himself and Titania. While she was certainly a delightful woman and profoundly decent human being, most professional military forces banned fraternization for very good reasons. Of course, the Independents had not been nearly so strict about enforcing those rules and rejecting the woman's friendship would cause far more problems than accepting it. Besides, Daveth knew that he could trust Titania to do the right thing for the Horizon and its crew, regardless of any bonds she might share with her Master Chief. Besides, he had no desire to deprive himself of Titania's companionship unless it became absolutely necessary for the good of the ship and its crew.
When Titania's second in command arrived, Daveth gave the man a respectful nod in lieu of the normal salute. "XO, Mr. Boone, I am looking forward to working with you." Daveth had paused briefly before addressing Boone, not quite sure how to great the man since Titania had given no indication of the man's rank. That is hardly unusual; maintaining a formal military hierarchy was difficult enough when we had a functional high command; I expect most of the crew has no proper rank. As long as the chain of command is clear, it should not be a problem.
Daveth shot Titania a brief grin, reminiscing on his memories of when they had first met. "You give yourself too little credit Ty. Trust me, when you have a been a career Navy man like I have, an intelligent and well-meaning, if a touch inexperienced, neophyte is a blessing. After dealing with so many newly minted ensigns fresh out of the Naval Academy and certain they knew everything about anything, you were a welcome relief. When I pointed out your mistakes, you listened, paid attention, remembered what I said, and learned from the experience. That is why I am quite certain you will be an excellent captain."
Daveth dropped his voice down to a soft whisper intended for Titania's ears alone as he added. "If it is any reassurance, I can promise you that if you do happen make any particularly boneheaded errors, I will not hesitate to give you a proper bawling out once we are out of sight and hearing from the rest of the crew." Unless it was literally a matter of life and death, Daveth would never take Titania to task in front of the crew. Openly questioning or undermining a captain's authority in full sight of the crew was an unforgivable offense, no matter how close the two of them were.
Holly Brewer - June 2, 2010 04:07 AM (GMT)
Holly had pulled ahead of the others and passed up Dumas as they approached the ship, riding on the hover cart with her luggage. It wasn't exactly fast fast, but it was faster than a walk, and with the ship in sight, she had found herself eager to get off the streets before bad luck could send someone walking along who might recognize her. Sure, you weren't supposed to ride on the gorram thing, and the generic safety warning sticker on the side of the counterweighted engine compartment said so quite clearly, but it didn't mean you couldn't. It just meant that you had to know how to finesse the control bar so as not to tip yourself or nose into the dirt. Impatient or weary travellers, lazy porters and horseplaying dock workers did it all the time, and besides, it wasn't a real risk, like rebelling against the Alliance government. If they could slap a little cartoon shillouette warning sticker on the side of the 'Verse, she was pretty sure it would caution against that.
She came to a stop as she approached the others, the nose of the cart rising slightly as she brought it to a stop (that was where most riders nosed into the dirt; stopping or slowing down abruptly and not keeping the nose up) and hopped sideways off the cart as it drifted in a short, lazy arc of momentum before leveling out.
"Nice looking ship." she said, looking upwards at the Endless Horizon towering over them. She pulled her goggles back up over the brim of her hat again, having lowered them to ride the hover cart down the dusty streets of the Eavesdowne Docks.
"You new here too?" she asked, looking over at Daveth Blackwood. "Or did you come with the ship?"
Dumas Cruise - June 2, 2010 04:14 PM (GMT)
Dumas dragged up the small wheeled cart stuffed with as much food as he figured he could stretch into this crews bellies over however long it would be before they landed again. Mostly processed protein in every color of the rainbow, freeze-dried fruit and vegetable mashes- anything that would last and be edible down the road. He'd managed to budget in a few fresh and canned goods, though. Something about the athlete in him refused to deny his body the nutrition it craved.
"Thanks for the help there, Brewer." The former acrobat only half-joshed as he shoved the cart past her hover-luggage that she'd so stylishly arrived on top of. Giving the groceries a push, he sent them rolling into the depths of the bay, and dusted off his hands.
"This is Daveth Blackwood," Ty was introducing, "An old friend come to lend us a hand. Daveth, this is Holy Brewer and that's..."
"Dumas Cruise, Welcome onboard." He introduced himself with a raised hand to Blackwood, a man he knew only from reputation. Standing back a bit, he took a moment to take in the dynamic between Nate and Boone: All wasn't well in paradise, for sure. Nate was still pining over Raph, their failed relationship casting a shadow. Still, long as the queen didn't do anything dramatic, like throw himself in front a bullet, Dumas couldn't see where it was any of his business.
Except that bein' trapped in the Black with Gloomy Gus ignoring the overt flirtations of Captain Obvious was gonna get tiring really quick. Ignoring the problem was only gonna make it worse. Sucking in a deep breath, and at the risk of driving a bigger spike between them, Dumas pressed his voice to a casual invite, "Nate? Give me a hand putting things away? Wanna get all squared away before Jinx gets here so I can show him what I been workin' on."
India Choi - June 2, 2010 07:03 PM (GMT)
India kept her pace slow, it was exciting though getting on a new ship and meeting new people was fun enough. She was hardly infused with Browncoat spirit but she didn't see that as necessary, she was here and there was a job to do. It might well tear her life up but then that was going to be fun to, as long as she kept her wits about her. Ever since she was arrested she'd gotten a little bit of a taste for being on the run, it was something else entirely. Being wanted from here to Ziyou was quite different from just one moon but it was still, similar. She's spent a bit of money with the promise of a new ship and had gotten a few goodies before it got too late. Enough that she had thought herself rather blessed to have found a friendly cart and owner heading in their direction. The pony was pulling the rickety wooden contraption along with three relatively heavy sacks packed up. It wasn't a heavy load for the creature and it meant the cart didn't bounce so much, a bonus for the owner. It parted the way between the crowd that make following easy enough, her mind not focused India looked at her shopping companion with a smile. It hadn't taken long or too much shopping for base food elements to twig that he was either a bad cook or not one at all. He was also a mite jumpy, there was a longing for something in his blue eyes that made India feel a bit perturbed. He was a strange one all right.
Everything had gone well enough though, she'd gotten a few charts, she almost collected them. There was also enough base food stuff for a week or two before the real drawl of almost food kicked in. Flour, herbs, spices, sugar, salt, oil and rice, even some milk and butter thrown in though they wouldn't last. The rest would keep for a good few weeks in the cool dry, as long as there weren't rats. They'd also been a moment where she had considered a few baby tomato plants and a sack for them, without seeing the ship she couldn't know if it was a good idea or not. India had also picked up a new shirt and jeans, the only other things were odds and ends for a would-be room, however things ended up. It was nice to really move into something and it seemed that they wanted people for the long haul, which made this more permanent.
At her side India still carried her own case which until she was settled never left her sight, slung over her shoulder. Her whole life was pretty much right there, just about everything she had. Some of it was worth a pretty penny so it best not to leave it alone. Finally after a pause that seemed to last too long to be comfortable she asked, “What do you really make of this ship then?” It was coming into view now and that also meant it was the end of the easy times. Finishing the woman put her eyes back on the shopping and with a quick step picked up the first of the sacks, hefting it in a swing to him letting go just about an inch before it reached him and letting the weight carry it. With the other two she just picked up the ends and let the pony do the work. Sliding off the cart both were placed on the ground, they were heavy enough to carry two was no easy task. India looked around to see if any of the rest of their new cremates were around before trying to heft them, dragging seemed like such a waste.
The ship as she saw it looked like a hunk of scrap with its bird wings and other surfaces. Still if it worked it would be interesting to see how something older than she was flew and if it was really falling apart then it would be more interesting to fix. She was looking forward to the ship and the crew both, it was the goals of them both that had her a little worried, she didn't plan on dying for something she never much cared for. She had better be able to get her money back on the ship, if they planned on having anything interesting to eat they better. Else she would be living on the good stuff until it ran out, less they get her to share.
Most the crew seemed to be around, at least the people she'd seen in the bar before. Caught up in their own business, she wasn't the only one to have gone shopping though, that much was clear. Who to get to help her was a good question though, you couldn't drag people around carrying something. Maybe crazy windmill arms would give them a hand.
Jinx - June 3, 2010 06:31 PM (GMT)
Jinx made a quick trip to collect the rest of his belongings, a couple of large tool chests and a trunk of his accumulated gear, arriving at the ship pulling his whole world behind him on a rickety cart.
Hulking over the port was the squat, blocky shape of the Horizon, which he gave a quick glance at. He stood for a long moment, his body twisting at the waist as though waving in the breeze, casting his eye over her. Sure, she wouldn’t be winning any beauty contests but she looked sturdy and there weren’t too many lash ups and hash ups that he could see, on the outside at least. She had strength and she had purpose, maybe all hidden by the grime, grease and knocks that she’d had over her life, but she had a soul, he could see that. He smiled.
Still smiling, he crossed to the gaggle of crew, misfits and whodyacallems chatting in front of the ship, tipping his hat in greeting as he approached.
“Ladies, gents, sorry to interrupt, hope I ain’t late. Might I be troublin’ Mr Cruise here to be showin’ me where I can bunk up and stow my gear?”
Titania Praed - June 4, 2010 05:21 PM (GMT)
"If it is any reassurance, I can promise you that if you do happen make any particularly boneheaded errors, I will not hesitate to give you a proper bawling out once we are out of sight and hearing from the rest of the crew."
And after The Sherwood, that's exactly why she wanted Blackwood there. She wanted a crew that would follow her orders, but not one that wouldn't tell her their opinions. She didn't just want a crew. She wanted a team. Her voice was warm as she whispered back, "I'm counting on it, friend."
India and Gwil showed up with more food, luxury stuffs from the looks of it. Well, Gwil was the cook, if he said he needed it, he needed it. And if nothing else, it might go a long way towards feeding some needy family out on the edge.
“Ladies, gents, sorry to interrupt, hope I ain’t late. Might I be troublin’ Mr Cruise here to be showin’ me where I can bunk up and stow my gear?”
And the man known as Jinx. Ty felt a grin spread across her face as he towed up, heaped with tools and gear. Jinx or just maybe high-jinx, either way, sometimes having the right man for the job was everything. "As to bunks, Some of us are gonna have to double. My rooms biggest, so, Holly? You're with me. Dumas? Jinx can bunk with you. And Boone..."
A man like that on a closed ship was like tossing a wolf in the goat-pen! Could be fun... for a while. A flash of wicked humor crossed her eyes, but through some magical effort of will, didn't reach the rest of her face as she came to the only safe conclusion, "You're with Daveth. He's the only one I can trust you with. The rest of you, anything that's open is yours."
Scraping up a bag of the goods India and Gwil brought back, Titania slung it over her shoulder, easily bearing up under the load that only a few weeks ago might have staggered her. "Let's get things stowed and ready to fly. Aia, why don't you show India the cockpit and get us in the air, please. We got a long way to go and a short time to get there."
OOC: That puts Jinx & Dumas in Bunk 5, Boone and Daveth in Bunk 6. Holly & Ty in the Captains quarters. Everyone else ahs a choice of bunks 1-4. :)
Daveth Blackwood - June 4, 2010 07:47 PM (GMT)
"Miss Brewer, Mister Cruise, glad to make your acquaintance." Daveth gave each of the new arrivals a nod. He did not get a proper introduction to other two new arrivals, but Titania addressed the woman by name, and simple process of elimination made it simple to identify the man. "Miss India, Mister Jinx, likewise." Given the fact that Titania did not seem to be maintaining any sort of hierarchy of military rank, Daveth suspected he would be defaulting to the generic "Mister" and "Miss," except in the case of the captain herself. If things on the Horizon were going to be informal, he would probably make his way to a first name basis with the rest of the crew once he got to know them a bit better.
Daveth took the news that he was going to be sharing his quarters stoically. After the joy of his early days as a newly minted sailor, stuck in one big room with several dozen other brand new sailors and sleeping in uncomfortable cheap bunks with nothing resembling privacy, just sharing his room with one other person did not seem like it would be too much of a burden.
"Mister Boone," Daveth strode forward to greet his new roommate. "I suppose we had best become somewhat acquainted if we're going to be bunking together. Hope you don't snore, because I do and I always hate competition." Daveth shot the man a quick grin to let him know it was a joke. "Need any help getting your gear stowed?" Daveth, like any navy man, travelled light; several changes of clothes, basic toiletries, and his well-used semi-automatic shotgun with a barrel short enough to be illegal for civilian use, all stuffed into a single large duffel bag. He was not sure how much gear Boone had, but offering to help get it stowed seemed like a good way to get things started. Since they were going to be bunking together, making a good first impression would do a lot to help them get along.
Gwil - June 8, 2010 04:28 PM (GMT)
“What do you really make of this ship then?"
Gwil shrugged as he caught the bag. He wasn't sure why he had gone with the woman. to fit in, most likely. Since it was pretty clear that the Nate fellow wasn't quite sure about him. Nor was the woman captain. Though, to him, it seemed as though Nate was more like the captain than her. Maybe it was some sort of ship thing. Make Titania seem as though she was the captain, so if something happened to her, the real one could keep soldiering on.
"It's a ship. It got wings, engine. It flies, it's as good as the next one. All that really matters when you think about it."
Leaning over, he batted away a bug that seemed like it wanted to hitch a ride with him off world. "One hitch-hiker at a time" he muttered to the insect as it flew away. "This time, it's me." A brief touch at his calf reassured him that his blade was still there. It was slowly turning into a touchstone for him. Kept the panic away enough so he could at least try to think.
His mind still felt like it was going too fast for his body, same as it had back in the bar, but he could at least breathe. And the walking forced him to move, which was good too. No clear jitters.
"Miss Brewer, Mister Cruise, glad to make your acquaintance. Miss India, Mister Jinx, likewise".
The new arrival ignored him. Gwil was fine with that. He got a cop vibe off of the man. Someone who was sure he was right and everything else was wrong. Gwil had never gotten along well with those. He usually found himself in some sort of fight within ten or fifteen minutes of knowing them. Hearing that he was staying with the crew--that he was a part of the crew--made Gwil aware that he had to play nice. No attacking without a reason. No insults. Rules of the street when in a new area and you didn't want to get noticed. Was like with talking to a dealer. Be good, and you can come back.
Cpt. Hannibal Lowry - June 13, 2010 05:12 PM (GMT)
Captain Lowry had a love-hate relationship with his ship. IAV Santa Fe was his home away from home and he had made his small cabin into something that was bearable to live in for three or four weeks at a stretch. A few pictures of his family, some drawings made by his two children when they were much younger and a blanket he shared with his wife when he was home. At this point in the rounds, it still had her scent embedded in the fabric. It was just about enough to keep him from quitting this job and go back to Newhall for good.
On the other hand, the ship was hardly a shining example of Alliance technology. It was an ugly brute, 'a huge cargo container with an engine attached,' the pilot had called it, the first time she had seen it. After she had flown it, she had added, 'and with the manoeuvrability of a brick'. It didn't help that their supply route took them out on the Rim, on a circuit that took weeks to complete. Being crew on Santa Fe was the kind of job the brass gave to rookies like Lisa North and old navy men like Lowry, who had never had an interest in climbing the career ladder.
The bright side of the three week long trips to the Rim was the two weeks, Lowry had off duty when their cargo had been delivered. When his children had still been young, it was time he had spent enjoying their company, taking them out on the boat after school to go fishing and camping on the weekends. Now that the kids were grown and had lives of their own, he spent the days at home on his own, doing chores around the house, catching up on the things that needed to be fixed while waiting for his wife to return from work.
Now, Santa Fe was only two days into her tour, and by ship time, the crew had just finished their evening meal. Lowry had retired to his small cabin, while his three man crew had scattered to go about their own business, although the captain had a fairly good idea of what exactly North and Rawlins were getting up to in their shared bunk. There weren't really any rules set against fraternising with crew, not as long as it didn't interfere with their work and thus far, the pilot and mechanic had been getting along splendidly and Lowry suspected that theirs was nothing more than a physical kind of relationship.
Lowry had just started the second chapter of Animal Farm, when there was a knock on his door, followed by a second knock then a third. He closed the book, pondering the fate of poor old Major as he got to his feet to let in the obsessive-compulsive supply officer. If the man had gathered up the courage to disturb the captain at this time of night, Lowry knew it had to be important. “Davies, come on in,” he said, taking a step back to let the man into the small room, offering him to take the chair by the desk while he sat on the bed. “What can I do for you?”
“There's a discrepancy in the cargo, sir,” Davies said, speaking quickly as his fingers tapped on the CorPad he had brought along. “Three crates on board that are not accounted for. No manifest for them, no records or papers has followed them, no file to tell me what is in those crates, sir. This is not within regulations, sir. Not at all. Those three crates should not be there. They're out of bounds, sir.” The supply officer found what he was looking for on the CorPad and turned it so Lowry could see; a long list of numbers and letters that meant nothing to the captain other than knowing that they would be codes for what was in their cargo hold.
Lowry leaned forward and almost put a hand on the other man's forearm, a gesture that would calm most people, but which only make Davies jumpy, so the captain stopped himself and instead pointed at the screen. “Calm down, Ronald,” he said, his eyes on the screen rather than the supply officer, who had issues with making eye contact. “It's my fault. The crates came aboard back on Persephone, while you were taking inventory in the galley. It's machine parts for a power station on Ita. Here...” He stood and moved around Davies to open a drawer in his desk, rummaging for the papers that had come along with the shipment. “There you go. All present and accounted for. My deepest apologies, Ron. It completely slipped my mind.”
Having the papers seemed to satisfy Davies and he nodded quickly and started to enter the new data to his CorPad, then stopped when Lowry coughed and gave him a smile and a slight nod toward the door. “Right. Sorry, sir. I'll go do this in my bunk. Goodnight, sir,” the supply officers said and got out quickly, leaving Lowry to return to his book, picking the story back up where the pigs were beginning to systematize old Major's thoughts.
IAV Santa Fe flew herself into the night, the controls fully autopiloted, as her crew were otherwise occupied with themselves and each other. So when a light started blinking on a radar screen, there were no one on the bridge to notice that a ship was approaching from behind, its heading much the same as Santa Fe's.
Endless Horizon - June 13, 2010 05:13 PM (GMT)
For two days, Endless Horizon had been on a course for Triumph, taking it nice and slowly as not to overwork engines that hadn't seen much use for almost two decades. Officially, the ship was simply another cargo hauler just going into business and headed to the Rim planet to fill the hold with livestock and fresh produce before returning to the Border to sell the cargo for a profit. It was a story like thousands of others and it was entirely fake.
Since leaving Eavesdown, the new crew has been initiated in the true purpose of Endless Horizon, her mission in the 'Verse has been disclosed to all, at least in broad strokes. Some things remain secret, such as why the ship's demolitions expert, Reno, is no longer on board, while other things are now well known among the crew, such as the fact that it is a ship and crew intent on continuing to hold the hope of independence for all planets and that they are taking that hope into action.
Not all fought in the war, not all hate the Alliance, but all have a reason to be on board the old Falcon class and whatever that reason may have been initially, they are now committed to the ship, if not the cause itself. Out in the Black, on an old and demanding ship such as Endless Horizon, everyone much pitch in with day to day jobs, regardless of political standing or willingness to participate actively in the upcoming missions.
Now, as they approach Triumph, the crew meet in the common room for a final briefing of Endless Horizon's first mission...
Nate Crawford - June 13, 2010 05:14 PM (GMT)
Standing at the head of the table with Ty, Nate kept his eyes down, looking at the blueprints laid out in front of him. Not that he needed to look at them again; he had already committed them to memory, but it was a good excuse to keep from making eye contact with anyone. Or, if he was honest with himself, having to make eye contact with Boone or Dumas. So far, he had managed to avoid having the conversation the two of them wanted to have with him and he aimed to keep it that way, at least until this mission was over with.
He tapped the plans and took a deep breath, looking up without looking anyone in the eye, then pushed the plans down the length of the table, so the rest of the crew could have a look at them. “This is the IAV Santa Fe. Alliance cargo vessel, currently en route to a listening post nicknamed Last Chance. In about five hours, we're going to board her and steal their cargo,” he said, giving a quick glance around those gathered around the table. They all should know about the plan by now, if not the details.
“Four crew, captain included and as far as our Intel goes, none of them have any combat training aside from basic Alliance bootcamp,” he continued, crossing his arms over his chest as he finally met their eyes one after another, looking at the pilots first. “Lia, India, you two will get us docked to the Santa Fe. After that I want at least one of you to stay on the bridge, monitoring comm traffic. Don't want anyone sneaking up on us.”
Glancing at Titania before continuing, Nate shifted his gaze to Jinx and Dumas. “Jinx, Dumas, you guys stay with the engine until we dock. Then get over to the Alliance boat and see what you can do about disabling their engine without damaging the life support.” He paused and looked around the others with a hopeful kind of look in his eyes. “I'd prefer if we can pull this off without getting anyone killed.”
“Dav, I'd like to have you in the gunner's seat on approach, just in case we need to give a show of force,” he said, looking at the browncoat, before he scanned across to the rest of the crew, his gaze flickering quickly by Boone before landing on Gwil, then Holly. “Boone, Gwil, Holly, you three are with myself and Titania as the initial boarding party. Dav and Dumas, join us as soon as possible. As I said, it's unlikely that the crew will put up much of a fight, but if they do, try and subdue them with a minimum of force. We have some non-lethal weapons for your disposal.”
“Once we've subdued the crew, we'll need all of you to help get the cargo transferred to our cargo hold as quickly as possible.” He stopped, suddenly uncomfortable standing here giving out the orders, when he had always been the one following them. The only reason that it was him and not Ty giving the briefing was because he had military experience, not because he was any kind of leader. He took a breath and looked around again, unable to think of anything else to say. He'd explained the plan, told them who was doing what and when. “Any questions?”
India Choi - June 13, 2010 08:00 PM (GMT)
India sat two seats down from Nate at the head, on his right. Her arms loosely folded on the wooden table and her brown eyes on the blueprints he was looking oh so intently at. The ship was nice and simple, a good Alliance design for a cargo ship. No real frills and not to expensive, it did its job and not that much else, it wasn't that much of a challenging target. It was also nice that it was standardised, that would make her first outing as a pirate much easier. There was a reason why most didn't target them though, those that did never seemed to last too long, known pirates were fired at on sight out here. To try as much as possible to guard against that in her head India's own check list was appearing. She looked focused, a pale pink blouse with tiny plastic buttons and clean blue jeans made her relatively smartly dressed. Brown and orange hair nestled around the collar, natural waves forcing shape into it. Combat boots on her feet dashed the look just a little but, she managed to pull it off in her own way.
The young woman's brain was ticking away. For the approach coming in from behind at a thirty degree dorsal angle would help keep out of sight and going dark to keep under the radar. The hard bit would be angling this ship to dock, assuming they were using the docking hatch. There was a question, the basic plan was sound and while this bit didn't concern her too much India raised her eyes to look around before speaking. Making sure she had the chance to bring it forwards in lieu of other concerns. With a smile and a unfolding of her arms she looked at Nate directly, top of his head anyway, “How do you plan on getting through their airlock, if they don't want to open up?” India knew it was hard to force a door like that open and any length of time long enough to cut through it gave the ships crew ample time to mount a defence. Losses weren't a good thing but, well. People dying was bad but if she ended up with a ship of her own from it, bad train of thought. Even though it had only been two days she didn't want most of the people on the ship to come to harm, well bar one.
She was committed in her own way now, she was getting to know the ship, she liked working with some of the crew, and all her stuff was here. India had made her mark, in the cockpit, kitchen, infirmary and even the engine room. Small impressions on the crew too, so she hoped, bribing them with bread and cakes. If that didn't work then giving her blood to the ship should have done. Two packets of her O- were hanging in the medial fridge, helpful even if it would most helpful be saving her own skin. She was part of this crew now even if she found the whole thing more than a little questionable and even more than anything wanted someone to sit down and explain what the actual goals of all this were. She was still here wasn't she?
Her hands clasped together as her eyebrow cocked a little waiting for an answer, she could always say she was kidnapped if it all went pì gu over rǔ fáng. Failing that she could always get a wooden leg and a eye patch. This thing was rather more violent than she was used to but best to learn by doing, she knew the plot and what parts she needed to play with, just needed to pull it all off. And run away, very fast.
pì gu over rǔ fáng = ass over tits
Aialia Kensrowe - June 13, 2010 11:13 PM (GMT)
Aialia sat in a seat across from India at the table as she listened to Nate’s plan while looking over the blue prints; committing them to memory. This was the kind of thing she was used to dealing with; her kind of thing. The plan was likable; simple, honest, and fair. From the sounds of things, the ship was sparsely crewed, making the odds better for this crew; especially if they didn’t have much in the way of combat training as Intel suggested.
“Lia, India, you two will get us docked to the [I]Santa Fe. After that I want at least one of you to stay on the bridge, monitoring comm traffic. Don't want anyone sneaking up on us.”[/I]
She nodded her head to Nate in response, understanding the orders completely. Her chocolate eyes then turned to India, wondering which position she would rather have. The girl had already proved herself more than capable as a pilot; as well as some knowledge of other areas a ship needed crew for. But she could still tell that piloting was the girl’s passion; her life. Much different from Aialia’s point of view. Piloting to her was nothing more than another job. Her passion was with the ship and its mission. She loved the good fight, and the stealth needed for infiltration. Hell, the only reason she got into flying was because she had volunteered to train as a pilot when the position was in high demand in the war.
She almost thought about asking after Reno but quickly dismissed the idea. It didn’t seem quite right that he wasn’t here but she knew that he had his reason to be gone. And it had to have been something real important for him not to say goodbye to her or anything of the like. Of anything else, however, Aialia had no question to ask. It was laid out and fairly simple.
“How do you plan on getting through their airlock, if they don't want to open up?”
India’s question brought her eyes and attention back to the girl. It was a fair question, though the answer was likely to be an easy one. Still, an idea came to mind that Aialia decided she would talk to her about after the mission was completed; or perhaps before-hand. It all depended how events played out, really.
Titania Praed - June 14, 2010 05:38 PM (GMT)
Ty had been munching an apple while Nate talked, her knife clipping slim wedges and guiding them between her lips. Fresh fruit to one who's youth was spent on Athens meant oranges, tangerines, lemons, grapes. The refreshing sweet-tart of Granny Smith apples was a treat.
She knew the decision to have Nate give the briefing might be seen as undermining her leadership, but while her heart was that of a soldier, she'd never had the training, the discipline. That's why she needed Nate and Daveth and Reno and Holly.
“How do you plan on getting through their airlock, if they don't want to open up?”
Chucking the core of her apple at the garbage can, Ty spoke up, her Athenian accent falling soft over the crew, "It goes like this, I'm afraid. We give them a choice, either open up, or we open it for them. Reno left us plenty of charges to make sure we can hold true on that promise if we must. But most captains, most, would rather give up their cargo than risk their entire ship."
"We take the Alliance cargo only. Not their personal food and belongings, dong ma? That crew has done nothing to harm us- They're just doing their jobs. We get the goods, we get out. Jinx? Have a plan to muck them up just enough that they can't call for help or start up their engines for a couple hours. I don't want them drifting alone out there for days or anything, just long enough for us to burn off and get out of search-range."
Daveth Blackwood - June 14, 2010 06:26 PM (GMT)
Daveth remained silent through the briefing, content to listen and watch while his mind put the situation together. Their mission was an obvious shakedown cruise; going after an Alliance cargo hauler with no weapons and only a couple unarmed crewmen should be a simple bit of piracy. A simple, uncomplicated mission was exactly what a new ship and a new crew needed; something to get them all used to the Horizon and to working together as a single unit. If there were going to be problems, and there were always problems, it was best that they come out now on a relatively safe mission so they could be fixed before the Horizon got into serious trouble. Any Browncoat ship still fighting the war had more than enough trouble on its plate as it was; they could not afford to have conflict among the crew or issues with the ship itself.
Daveth was quite pleased by the order to use non-lethal weapons and not cause any unnecessary trouble for the Alliance crew. A lot of Browncoats would not get past the fact that the crew was Alliance, and would see them as an enemy to be destroyed. To be sure, Daveth would not hesitate to IAV Santa Fe or any member of its crew if there was a threat to the Horizon's safety or its cause, but as long as it was just a cargo hauler that happened to have the wrong flag painted on its hull, there was no reason not to be civilized about things.
"Will we be using Prize Rules for this op, XO?" Daveth asked. Normally he would have aimed the question at the captain herself, but Daveth did not want to risk putting Ty on the spot when it came to military terminology. Ty had never gone through a naval academy or been formally prepared for command, so she might not know about laws of war governing exactly how a naval vessel was supposed to board and capture a merchant ship. After all, most of those laws dated back to when ships had sails on them and only plied the oceans of Earth-That-Was. Issues like that were probably why Ty had deferred the briefing to Crawford in the first place; it was much better to let someone else handle the briefing than to risk getting caught with a question she could not answer.
Daveth considered the ship's second-in-command for a moment, and with a grim smile added a second question. "Also, what are the rules for it things get RUBAR?" Daveth doubted the plan would fall apart horribly on a simple mission like this, but it was never wise to ignore one of the oldest realities of the battlefield. No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
RUBAR: Rutted Up Beyond All Recognition
Boone - June 16, 2010 07:55 PM (GMT)
“How do you plan on getting through their airlock, if they don't want to open up?”
"It goes like this, I'm afraid. We give them a choice, either open up, or we open it for them. Reno left us plenty of charges to make sure we can hold true on that promise if we must. But most captains, most, would rather give up their cargo than risk their entire ship."
Boone leaned forward, raising a hand to gain attention, glancing from India to Titania and giving Nate a brief look, then back to the captain. “Actually, depending on their security systems, I might be able to break their locks without relying on explosives,” he said, letting a mischievous smile cross his lips as he continued, looking like the proverbial cat who swallowed the canary. “It's a skill that's come in useful in certain tight situations.”
"Will we be using Prize Rules for this op, XO? ... Also, what are the rules for it things get RUBAR?"
Prize rules? Boone had to grudgingly admit to himself that he had no idea what that meant and glanced toward Nate, knowing that if anyone around this table knew what prize rules were, it was him. When Blackwood added a second question Boone nearly cringed. It was a necessary question, at least on a ship where half the crew had no military training, but asking it – in Boone's experience – was an open invitation for Murphy to turn up and without thinking of it, he gave the table a light tap with his knuckles, whispering to himself; “Knock on wood...”
Jinx - June 18, 2010 11:26 PM (GMT)
Jinx had settled into his duties relatively easily, simply reverting to Naval discipline. In addition to his normal rounds he had begun a systematic systems check, noting issues and potential problems and prioritising them. He was frequently seen wandering the ship, tracing systems, recording his findings and taking notes on a clip board. It was just like old times and he was glad to be back in the service, no matter how unofficial it was. The rest of his time was spent in the bowls of the engine, mostly grease smeared and elbows deep inside one system or another.
Days later, sat in a rickety chair at the briefing, Jinx listened as the full scope of the ship’s purpose was revealed. He did not have issue with it, in fact if anything, he was keen to get things moving, but he kept the eagerness in check.
That crew has done nothing to harm us- They're just doing their jobs. We get the goods, we get out. Jinx? Have a plan to muck them up just enough that they can't call for help or start up their engines for a couple hours. I don't want them drifting alone out there for days or anything, just long enough for us to burn off and get out of search-range."
“Yes ma’am, I can do that. There’s a whole hullfull o’ systems that can be monkeyed with to give the effect you need. It’ll take me about 30 minutes or so on board, I reckon. You need us to do anything to stop them identifying our ship ma’am, broadcast white noise or somethin’, overwhelm their sensors to prevent them eyeballing our class? Ain’t too many of these babies left flying, ma’am.”
Gwil - June 24, 2010 08:41 PM (GMT)
You need us to do anything to stop them identifying our ship ma’am, broadcast white noise or somethin’, overwhelm their sensors to prevent them eyeballing our class? Ain’t too many of these babies left flying, ma’am.
Gwil couldn't help but laugh. "If they look out the window and see us bearing down at them, I don't think any manner of rutting up the sensors will keep them from realizing what we are."
He looked around. "I know I'm not much more than a twitchy, deaf jack-rabbit," he told them, taking Boone's term for himself, "but I know a bit about hiding."
'More than a bit...', he thought. With hiding on the streets, the drugs, hiding from the Alliance. But it wasn't the time to think about that. Attempting to control the jitters, he got up and began to wander around the room as he attempted to get his brain and mouth to work together.
"And the first rule is that you don't go blazing in in the one thing that you have keeping you alive. Or in anything that is easily recognizable."
Dumas Cruise - July 9, 2010 04:14 AM (GMT)
"Will we be using Prize Rules for this op, XO? Also, what are the rules for it things get RUBAR?"
Wasn't really his place to answer the more experienced officer, but Dumas, with a face that could be carved from stone, answered, "We're robbin' the place, Blackwood. Not occupyin' it. And if goes bad, well, that's just means it got fun, right?"
"And the first rule is that you don't go blazing in in the one thing that you have keeping you alive. Or in anything that is easily recognizable."
Dumas nodded slowly at Gwil's words, his fingers tapping a light '3-2-4-1' pattern on the table in front of him. He got what Gwil was saying, but he was guessin', just guessing, that they weren't hiding anymore. "We don't got much else we can take 'em in." He gestured around them to the small fighting ship. A faint rare smile quirked one side of his mouth, "So long as Aia and India can get us locked in, the rest aughta be a piece of ... well, pie's kinda rare out here."
With a wink, he met Gwil's eye and, popping the clip from his pistol, laid it on the table. "I'll bet you one custom-grip Blue-Tech, sans my good ammo, that we can convince those poor delivery boys they saw a big black Victory Class with a dozen laser cannons and a bloodthirsty crew of hundreds."
The sturdy fighter glanced from Ty to Nate, smile disippating, "No Alliance officer worth his commission's gonna want to admit a dusty old Browncoat boat got their goods. I think we're lookin' at a good catch. Call me crazy, but I say it's about time."
Holly Brewer - July 9, 2010 04:41 AM (GMT)
"Well, maybe it is." said Holly. "But we've got a ship, not a fleet backed up by an army, at the moment, and I'm going to take a chance and say we probably want to be able to show our faces outside the rim without setting off too many alarms for now. So . . . live witnesses means they probably shouldn't be seeing our faces or hearing us calling each other by name. Not this early on. We're not established yet. We don't have enough on the street, and unless I'm missing out on it, we don't have the connections up high to skate by on this. They need to know they got hit by Big Brown, not some random schlep thief, but they don't need photos and stats for the wanted posters. Not until we're big enough we can frame 'em up on the galley wall and laugh at 'em."
Nate Crawford - July 9, 2010 06:20 AM (GMT)
Nate had to close his eyes for a moment as everyone and their dog put in with a question or a comment. Bad idea to open the floor for gorram questions, he told himself. Kassad never would have. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes, meeting everyone else's gaze, even Boone's for a moment, then stood up a little straighter. Thankfully, Ty and Boone answered the co-pilot's question and Dumas took care of Daveth and Gwil's questions rather handily, while Holly added some thoughts of her own. Still, he ought to comment with his own opinion even if it matched what the more experience crew had already said.
“We'll try the peaceful way first,” he told India, giving a quick glance at Titania with an apologetic smile. “Knock on the door and if they don't open, we give Boone a chance at the locks. That don't work and we get a volunteer to try and work out Reno's charges.” He wasn't sure he wanted to be that volunteer. Reno's explosives were highly improvised and Nate had no clue how to work them, how powerful they were or how long they would have from setting the detonators until the stuff exploded.
“As for Prize Rules and RUBAR,” he continued, looking at the vet with a crooked smile. He'd had to dig deep in his memory to remember what the rutt Prize Rules were, all the way back to his days at the Academy, which was a place he would rather just forget about. “Like Ty and Dumas said. We're not keeping the ship, nor are we going to cripple them beyond repair. Nor are we going to kill anyone. That's what the non-lethals are for. If things get rutted up beyond any possibility of safe exit...” He exhaled, not really wanting to think about that, because it meant too many casualties on both sides. “If that happens... Don't leave anyone behind. Clear?”
He paused long enough that everyone got that message. Never leave anyone behind. Ever! He looked at Jinx and considered his proposal for a moment. “If you can fix a way to mask our transponder, Jinx, that'd be mighty appreciated. This boat might be rare out here,” he said and glanced at Gwil for a moment before turning back to the mechanic. “But we don't have to announce her name to them. It's the reason we haven't painted it on the hull, after all. Maybe you can work with Boone on that? He's got some experience with those kinds of electronics.”
“And we don't have shuttles, in case you haven't noticed that, Gwil?” he added to Dumas and Holly's comments, waving a hand around him, then pointed in the direction of the cargo bay below. “What did you think the lifepods were for?” Really, he was very much regretting that he'd hired the bloke just because he'd impressed him back at the bar by challenging him with the knife trick. He did make a fairly good meal, though. But right now, he wasn't sure he wanted the guy backing him up on the boarding mission. “We have spacesuits, though. But I think it'd be a long swim through vacuum to get there if you don't want them eyeballing us...”
To Holly, he nodded, mostly agreeing with what she was saying. No reason to show them their faces. “We have ski-masks. They'll probably still get our height and weight, but unless you want to sacrifice manoeuvrability, there's not much to do about that. Wear your 'coats, if you have them. If not, you can borrow.” He didn't mention the kind of connection he had up high, it wasn't one he would be able to make use of anyway. He hadn't talked to his parents in more than a decade and he doubted that his father would come to his aid if he was ever arrested.
He was about to ask if there was any more questions, but changed his mind and just looked around, locking eyes with each of them, even Boone, with a strong and steady gaze. “We hit them in five hours. You all know what to do. Get some rest if you need it. Meditate, eat, pray,” he said, imitating words he had heard various sergeants and lieutenants say during the war. “Whatever you need to get ready. The boarding team meet in the cargo bay in four and a half hours.” He watched them for a few moments, thinking that only a few of them looked ready for the mission ahead, then gave a nod to them and added in an unusually commanding voice, hoping that Titania didn't have anything to say. “Dismissed.”
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