Title: Den of Thieves
Description: Season 1, Episode 1
Quiet Storm - February 1, 2012 06:04 AM (GMT)
. She had left the first page blank. What a terrific day to get writer’s block. The empty notebook sat on the desk of her room while she prepared to leave. Drea glanced back at her dorm, flipping her hair from inside the back of her jacket. She then straightened the collar of the leather. She couldn’t keep her mind off of that blank page. That blank page that would soon be the start of a chapter, of a story. It was the beginning of a journey. If only she knew how to start it, where to take that first step.
Eyes still on the door of her room, she hit a comm button to talk to the cockpit.“David, Taylor and I are leaving. I suggest you at least sit in front of the ship, leave the cargo bay door open, let people know we’re taking on crew members,”
she said, releasing the button. She paused, thinking, before pressing the button again. “Oh, and Taylor, hurry up!”
She took her finger from the button and hit a different one, opening the cargo bay doors. Her eyes took a painful moment to adjust to the light after being in such a dim ship.
Here they were. Persephone. What Drea would call “the galactic Tortuga.” On Earth-That-Was, Tortuga had been the main base for pirate operations. She imagined that’s what Persephone would be for them. Somewhat of a safe haven, although there were the occasional Alliance eyes to be aware of. Not that everything they’d be up to was illegal. Drea was all for taking legal gigs.
Taylor by her side, Drea left the confines of the ship, going to the Brown Bottle, where a few of her contacts had agreed to meet. Who knew? Maybe destiny had a few others lying in wait for the young captain. Maybe David would meet a couple on the dock who needed a ship to board. Hell, Drea would even take passengers to their chosen destination if it meant payment.
Stepping into the bar, though, the captain didn’t realize that they were taking their first step into adventure. The first line of that leather-bound notebook was being written.
[dohtml]<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-SD5GY7-k3U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/dohtml]
((So, crew, let the adventure begin! Drea and Taylor will be at the Brown Bottle
and David will be here. You can start at either place. Let's have fun!))
David Cohen - February 1, 2012 09:50 PM (GMT)
The ship was his. Well, okay, not really his. Technically, the whole thing belonged to Drea, she being the one who’d actually bought it. But this part was his. Other people might pass through the cockpit (though he wished they wouldn’t) but he was the only one who really belonged here, knew what everything was and how it all worked. That gave him a strange sense of power. Without him, the ship wouldn’t fly (well, it might, but not well). It was weird to handle such a responsibility. Then again, he’d been flying for years now. The only difference here was that he actually knew the people with whom he’d be flying. That just made the whole thing more fun.
Spinning around in his chair (the original chair had been completely stationary—he’d made Drea rip it out and get him a new one that moved) David smiled lazily. In a short time—hopefully by the end of the day—they’d be off on whatever adventure Drea had planned for them. That was exciting, but honestly he wasn’t in a big hurry to get going. Soon the ship would be full of people he didn’t know, and he’d have to socialize. He never enjoyed that. Whenever his parents had thrown parties at his home, he’d hidden in his room, hoping that no one tried to talk to him. He’d probably try to do the same here unless Drea made him talk to people. At least he could escape awkward small talk easily enough by saying something about the need to get ready to fly. Being a pilot had a few benefits, and that was one. But all of that would come later. For now, he’d just enjoy the calm before the Storm.
“David, Taylor and I are leaving. I suggest you at least sit in front of the ship, leave the cargo bay door open, let people know we’re taking on crew members.”
Or not. David sighed, leaning forward to press the button on his comm unit (which he’d labeled the “Box of Annoyances”) to reply. ”I suppose I can do that,” he replied. ”No promises on recruiting anyone, though.” Figuring that he might as well get going if he was going to do what Drea asked, he stood, slowly, and began to reluctantly make his way out of the cockpit and down to the cargo bay. As he entered the large cavern, he saw Taylor and Drea departing the ship, and help up his hand in what passed for a wave. He wasn’t entirely sure where the two were headed. Drea had told him, but since it hadn’t concerned him he hadn’t really paid that much attention. Oh well, no big deal. She’d call him when they were on their way back, and until then he’d just stand outside the ship and attempt to look interesting (not much chance of that).
Following in his friends’ footsteps, the man stepped outside, blinking rapidly to help his eyes adjust to the light. He took a few steps to the side, so he could lean against the wall of the cargo bay, and looked out at the docks. Drea might give the place some sort of romantic title, but it really wasn’t much to look at. There were a bunch of other ships sitting idle, with various crew members doing the same thing he was. Another guy across the street caught David’s eye, and both nodded as if to say, “Yeah, this is my job right now. Ain’t it grand?” Looking away from the man, David trained his eyes on the road and the people passing by. There was a decent number of them, but none were really looking at the ships, mainly just glancing as they passed by. He sighed again. An expert pilot (in his humble opinion) forced to stand outside his ship and…do what, exactly? Should he hold up an “Open” sign? Flag people down? Drea had picked the wrong man for this job. He was a recluse, not a salesman. Hopefully something, anything, would happen to alleviate his boredom. Either that, or he’d just fly off, with or without a crew.
Ai Kangeki - February 1, 2012 11:57 PM (GMT)
She was a long way from Whitefall. She didn't know much, but she did know that. Persephone was about as different from her quiet home as possible. It wasn't really intimidating; she'd been away from home plenty of times. But this time, for the first time, she felt truly lost.
David was here, or else someone here would know where he'd gone. That's what Nick had told her, and he knew David Cohen better than most. She wondered if David knew what had happened, and whether he'd be interested in helping her fulfill her fallen fiance's last request.
She wasn't sure where to even start looking for him at the moment. She was just getting her legs back under herself afterher long transport flight to this densely populated planet. The crowds and the noise were starting to get to her, and her head was starting to pound. Looking up at a nearby ship, she almost smirked at the name. Her mind was a Quiet Storm, too.
She was close to giving up when she spotted David himself, standing outside the selfsame ship she'd just made note of. He looked exactly the same as he had when they posted ways, from the way he dressed to the haircut to those jughandle ears of his. She felt herself smile. It was so good to see him again, even under the current circumstances.
She approached slowly, drawing Nick's jacket around herself a bit more tightly. She could feel him standing along with her, supporting her as she attempted to reconnect with their old friend. As she got closer to David, however, she could feel the tears coming again.
Her voice was always quiet, but now it was barely more than a whisper.
PraetorLicht - February 2, 2012 08:35 AM (GMT)
Peresphone...a place of opportunity. Having served aboard a garbage barge for the better part of six months, Praetor was looking for a new start. He had parted ways with his previous crew under a hail of thinly veiled guilt trips. After all, they had pulled his pod out of the black mere moments after the life support had gone critical. A thousand expressions of heartfelt gratitude later, he walked down the ramp of the barge and never looked back.
Informing the captain of departure intentions a month in advance had been used as a means to avoid lengthy goodbyes. Obviously, this plan had failed miserably because it was already midday. The afternoon sun beat down on Praetor's bare shoulders. He welcomed the brief departure from the cold vacuum of space. A benign breeze and the proximity of space craft in various stages of powering up or down caused the temperature to rise dramatically. The name of today's game was beating the heat.
Praetor had by now relaxed his dress as much as possible. He opted to go shirtless with his coverall top down and his shirt hanging lazily from a back pocket. A lightly packed seabag rested on one of his broad shoulders. The bag which may have once been olive drab now teetered somewhere between yellow and bleach stain; making the leather gun belt and holstered Winchester Mare's Leg all the more apparent.
Sweat glimmered on his skin as he paused amongst the throng of people moving amongst the ships on various forms of business. He always wore a bandana tied around his left forearm which he used presently to wipe the sweat from his brow. It was time to get down to business. "Find a ship. Get off this rock." The thought danced through his mind for what seemed like the millionth time that day.
David Cohen - February 2, 2012 09:41 PM (GMT)
The problem with the docks was that, as fine of a place as they were, they really didn’t have much to look at. And there were only so many times he could catch the eye of the guy across the street before the two were forced to begin a romantic relationship simply out of the feelings of shared awkwardness and boredom between them. In short, David was slowly going crazy.
Ten times now he’d seen someone who liked like they might be even halfway interested in the ship, but all had passed with only a second glance, occasionally a third if he was lucky. He was tempted to dance a jig, or recite poetry, anything that would give him something to do or someone to talk to. Unfortunately, he had two left feet, and Drea was the writer on their vessel. She’d tried to get him to write a few times, and it had just never taken. Why write when he could be flying around the ‘Verse?
David hadn’t been paying much attention to the crowd before him, so when Ai’s whispered greeting came to him seemingly out of nowhere, he jumped. He recovered quickly, though, turning to greet his friend with a large smile. “Ai!” he exclaimed. “What are you doing here? How’s Nick? Why isn't he with you?” He was overjoyed to see Ai, but also confused. They had been friends, along with her boyfriend Nick, while the two men were in flight school together. Their interaction had lessened after they’d gone their separate ways to look for work, so David was eager to find out what had happened to the couple since they’d last spoken. Something seemed off, though. Considering that they hadn’t seen each other in a while, Ai didn’t seem very happy. And why was she wearing Nick’s jacket? When he spoke again, there was a tiny bit of fear in his voice.
Ai Kangeki - February 3, 2012 03:59 AM (GMT)
He doesn't know...
His questions hit her like a fist to the stomach, knocking the breath from her lungs and causing her knees to buckle slightly. She had hoped beyond hope that the news had somehow already made its way to David, that she wouldn't have to tell the story again. Wouldn't have to think of Nick, battered and bloody in the hospital bed. She hugged herself tightly and took a deep breath, remembering what he'd told her on that last day...
"It's going to be all right. You're going to be all right, amo."
"Nick was... He's..." She could feel the words catching in her throat, begging to be left unsaid. A part of her thought that if she didn't say them, that Nick would just be waiting for her on Whitefall, or hiding behind a nearby storage container just waiting to pop up, like one of his and David's old pranks. But it was a very small part. "He took a dangerous job, David. You know he loved to show off... but he did it for the money. For us, that is... for me. There were these men, and they chased him and he c--" Her words caught again, and her breathing shuddered. "He crashed. But, before he died, he... he told me to find you, David. To help you. I never thought that I would find you, but..."
She wiped the tears from her eyes with the sleeve of Nick's jacket, the way she had a thousand times since the crash. "Here you are... and here I am. I'm here to follow his final wish."
David Cohen - February 3, 2012 06:03 AM (GMT)
David could see the effect his questions had on his friend, and that scared him. No, it terrified him. Ai was here alone, far away from her home, wearing Nick’s jacket. What if…? No. No. Things couldn’t be that bad. Maybe they’d just broken up or something. That was bad, sure, but far better than the scenario his mind was entertaining at the mind. There was a rational, better explanation for this. There had to be.
Ai’s arms were wrapped around her small frame as if to shield herself from something, maybe the words she didn’t want to say. As worried as he was about what was coming next, he wished she would just say it. The waiting had to be much worse than whatever she actually told him, right?
Wrong. The woman’s words struck his heart like a blade. He had been leaning against the wall of the ship, but now he slid down it, half sitting on and half collapsing to the ground. He put his head in his hands, staring at the ground but not really seeing anything. Nick was dead. His friend—one of his best friends. A tiny part of his mind—the part he always ignored—told him that it wasn’t true, that Nick had thought up a really nasty trick to punish David for their recent lack of communication. The whisper in his brain was telling him that Nick was going to round the corner any second now, laughing his head off, and everything was going to be fine.
He wanted that to be true. That would be so easy, so much better than this. This hurt. Nick was dead, and he hadn’t even gotten a chance to say goodbye. He didn’t even know when it happened. And he had told Ai to help him? Help him with what? All she had done so far was be the bearer of extremely bad news. But he couldn’t blame her for that. How was she supposed to know that no one had told him of Nick’s death?
David looked up at his friend, and his eyes were filled with tears. His voice conveyed the pain he was feeling. ”What are you going to do?” he asked. ”How can you help me?” His tone pleaded with his friend to give him the answer that would make everything better. There had to be one.
Ai Kangeki - February 4, 2012 06:49 AM (GMT)
Ai watched sadly as her news broke David. He had always been one of the nicest people she had ever known, always kind. He didn't seem the type that would take the news of a friend's death particularly well. He took it about as well as she had, which was to say, terribly. As the man sunk down to the ground, Ai felt her heart sink with him. She hadn't intended to be the bearer of the news, but she still felt guilty about the whole situation.
She knelt down beside him, putting her hand on his shoulder. She gave her friend a sad smile. She appreciated that Nick had meant so much to him as a friend. Even though they hadn't seen each other in a few years, Nick had always considered David to be his best friend. It seemed that David had felt the same way.
"I think..." She began, though she didn't feel nearly as confident as she might have sounded. "I think maybe he knew... that we would need each other to cope with this. That we would take care of each other, now that he's gone... I know it won't be easy, and that maybe it's a burden, but... maybe Nick wanted to make sure we would be okay..."
She looked up at the Quiet Storm, studying it silently. Nick had always preferred smaller, more agile ships, but she wasn't so bad, the Storm. Her eyes returned to David. "This is a beautiful ship, David. Is she yours? You know what I can do... maybe I'm supposed to come along with you, keep your ship safe. Like I used to." She gave David another soft, sad smile. "You can't do it by yourself. It's too much for just one person to bear."
David Cohen - February 4, 2012 06:37 PM (GMT)
David barely felt Ai’s hand on his shoulder, but some tiny part of his brain that wasn’t wracked with grief appreciated the gesture, reminded him that he wasn’t alone with his feelings. Ai had gone through the same thing, but it must have been worse for her. She had been closer to Nick than he had ever been, and she had had to watch the man she loved die. At least he was spared that pain. Ai could help him deal with things, if she would stay with him.
Ai was speaking, but he was barely listening. Just hearing Nick’s name wounded his heart further. But he thought she was right. Out of the things Nick could have said, endless professions of love or happiness, he had chosen to tell Ai to find their friend. Surely that meant something. If they stayed together, they could move forward. They could sit together and think of the good times, the jokes that Nick and David had played, the crazy stunts they’d managed to pull using Ai’s enhancements to their ships. They’d keep each other going, no matter what happened.
Ai looked up at the ship, and David took the opportunity to wipe his face. He knew more tears would probably be coming later, but he’d prefer to look at least halfway decent when Drea and Taylor returned. He shook his head when asked about the ownership of the ship, not ready to speak quite yet. Ai continued speaking, and he tried to respond with the ghost of a smile, but all his lips did was tremble. All he could do was pull Ai into a tight hug, hoping that the physical would convey his absolute agreement with his friend. He would have Ai on the ship as long as she would stay, and he would hear no argument against it.
Ai Kangeki - February 4, 2012 09:07 PM (GMT)
Ai felt a smile cross her lips as David pulled her into the hug, and she squeezed him back as best she could manage with Nick's bulky coat around her. She want surprised by the hug; David had always been the more sensitive of the pair of pilots. She hoped that he found the embrace as comforting as she did, and that David could feel Nick's presence as well.
"You know that he didn't really have a family... His parents died when he was very young, and his abuela who raised him passed away when he was a teenager. After that, he jumped on board the Black Star until flight school. You're the closest thing he ever had to a brother, David. I think he would want you to know that he was thankful to have you..." She leaned away from the hug to show him her smile. "I'm thankful he had you, too..."
She spun away and moved to sitting beside him, pulling her knees up against her chest. She offered a friendly nod and a smile to the man at the ship across the way, who had apparently been watching then. She then turned her focus back to her friend. "So, if it's not your ship, whose ship is it? How did you end up here, David?"
David Cohen - February 5, 2012 06:41 PM (GMT)
The hug definitely helped. He was feeling a little better, though he knew it might be a while before he was one hundred percent okay. Just knowing that Ai was there, physically as well as emotionally, made the world seem just a bit brighter.
Ai spoke again, and at first David had no idea where she was going with her words. Then she finished and he teared up again. Thinking of Nick as one of his best friends made his death bad enough. Thinking of the pilot as his brother made it even worse. But he wasn’t going to break down again. Ai had dealt with it; he could too. He smiled slightly at Ai, whispering, ”Thanks.”
The woman sat next to him, and David scooted closer so their shoulders were touching. Her questions came as a bit of a surprise, but he understood the point behind them. She was trying to take his mind off of things, and he definitely appreciated that. When he spoke, his voice was shaky, but he still managed to sound like himself.
”The ship belongs to my friend Drea. She always said she wanted to captain her own ship. I never thought she’d actually do it. She managed to buy one, though, and then she called me to see if I would fly it.” He shrugged. ”Here I am.”
Ai Kangeki - February 6, 2012 04:34 AM (GMT)
Ai appreciated the gesture when David scooted closer. The closeness was comforting, and she knew that was all he meant it to be. It was as if the two of them had never parted ways. David had always been a confidant, especially when she needed another opinion that was more level-headed than Nick's. Nick Cruz was rash and impulsive. David Cohen tended to be more rational.
At his explanation, the girl raised an eyebrow. "Drea? She?" Ai tilted her head toward David and gave him a wicked grin. She really hoped that he had found someone to make him happy. After all, after the downer she had been, he could provably have used that sort of comfort. "Why, Mr. Cohen, is there something that I need to know about this arrangement of yours? If there are areas of the ship that I should knock before entering, best to be letting me know now. I wouldn't want to be interrupting anything... private."
She couldn't help but giggle, and it honestly felt good to laugh again. She honestly couldn't remember the last time that she had done it. Nick loved to laugh, and he loved to make her laugh. She was always good for a cute giggle or two when Nick and David really got going. She could only hope that the laughter would be as much a boost to her friend as it would be to herself.
David Cohen - February 11, 2012 04:58 AM (GMT)
Ai questioned the fact that Drea was female, and David was confused. So what if Drea was a girl? That didn’t have anything to do with her ability to captain a ship. At least, he didn’t think it did, and if he were ever to suggest anything like that she’d probably punch him right in the face. At any rate, Ai wasn’t making much sense.
Then she spoke again. At Ai’s suggestive questions, the pilot blushed, a red tinge spreading up his face, making his ears even more noticeable. ”W-what?” he stammered. ”I don’t…Drea and I aren’t…she’d…” Even more embarrassed, he looked away from Ai, trying to gather his thoughts enough to form at least one semi-coherent sentence. It took a while, but eventually he managed it.
”Drea and I are good friends, but just friends. I would never think of anything…like that…and I don’t think she would either.” He paused as an idea came to him. ”Though she does have another friend with her, Taylor. I don’t know what’s up between them. Might wanna avoid their rooms…”
David was grinning now; he felt much better. Ai had been trying to cheer him up, and she had definitely succeeded. Here they were, joking around like they usually did. It was like they’d spent no time apart at all.
Ai Kangeki - February 12, 2012 08:22 PM (GMT)
Ai smiled sweetly at David's reaction to get question. So shy and so obvious. There wasn't anything going on between David and Drea... but he wished that there was. She felt for her friend. He really was a sweet guy, but he always seemed to have a lot of "just friends" in his life. She was confident that someday, he would find someone who appreciated his kindness. But that would be difficult to do on a ship.
But that was beside the point now. Here they were, sitting on the docks by a ship that he was going to pilot. She'd pulled herself from her darkness, though she was fast from over the death of her fiance. But she'd followed his request, found their friend, and now she was going to help him with... what, exactly?
"So, I guess the question now is, what sort of ship is she? Looks like she could be for cargo, but she seems a bit more maneuverable than your average freighter. Definitely not much of a passenger liner..." She looked at David curiously. "Am I getting close? What sort of business is your Drea into?"
JiroKeio - February 24, 2012 12:48 AM (GMT)
Persephone was a lovely, sunny place to visit, if you liked cramped, dusty streets crammed with as many bodies as could manage in the thoroughfare. Perfect, really, especially for one who had just made his escape from a seedy gambling den with all of his body parts intact. As noticeable as he may have been amongst the earth-toned clothing worn by the rabble of this place, in his fine suit and all, the sheer volume of humanity was enough to cover his tracks. Ducking into an alley between two ramshackle structures, Jiro emerged from the opening at the edge of town, into the bustling docks.
Glare of the sun glinting off the hull of a space hulk struck him directly in the face... Jiro carefully reached into his jacket, producing some rather unfashionable sunglasses of a vintage truly unknown. While withdrawing them, he noted a dampness upon his tie. Jiro's free hand took hold of the silken material, lifting it for further inspection. Royal blue fabric dotted with dark circles of a liquid unknown. "It would appear that I am leaking." Still staring at the tie in one hand, holding his ugly shades in the other, he hustled over to a more well kept storefront. He inspected the damage in the dingy glass, squinting a bit to better make out his visage. Split at the lip, likely from his repeated intimate encounters with that table earlier, thanks to a most insistent host... Jiro pulled off his tie, balling it up to hold to his mouth in an effort to stem the flow, peering about as he donned the most fashionable spectacles.
It was time, surely, to acquire transport as far away from whomever saw it fit to fatten his lip today. He performed a quick check of his person to ensure all of his personal effects were still where he had left them. He looked for a transport with as little documentation and money involved as possible. Really, it was better if someone paid you to travel with them. Eyes peeled behind black-tinted lenses, he was looking for a vessel that appeared to be under the radar. Not necessarily taking on nor unloading cargo; a shady, underhanded, cloak and dagger, skullduggery sort of operation. His forward motions ceased upon finding himself at the bottom of the open loading ramp of the "Quiet Storm," although hard to tell without those mandatory bow markings... Perhaps this was what he had been looking for: wide open cargo bay occupied by nothing but a pair of children sitting together like young lovers. His hand dropped from his mouth, stuffing his bloodied tie into a pocket as he prepared to be noticed by the occupants. He was ready to make his case for passage as one foot touched steel, the thick sole of his fancy shoe clacking against the decking.
Zizi Poquett - March 5, 2012 08:41 PM (GMT)
Zizi Poquett had been almost minding her own business when she spotted them, a flyer handed out with a face on it, and the only thing that ran through her mind before she shoved her hands into her pockets and did an abrupt about-face turn was this: Tsao gao!
Coincidentally, it was also what repeated in her mind as her pace quickened, and she heard them shout for her to halt. She wove in and out of the crowd, and as she ran her heart rate climbed, and she felt her anxiety kick into high gear. Nostrils flared, eyes narrowed, and the chase was on.
"Excuse me, watch out, pardon me, coming through, lady with a baby!" she muttered under her breath, leaving a line of confused and afronted people in her wake. The two on her tail were hard to shake this time, and Zizi felt her heart sink when a sudden cart accident spilled packages all over the street in front of her, and she skidded, feet scraping on the ground before she leapt over the mess. The two in persuit had to stop as people cowed around the packages, and Zizi had precious seconds.
A sharp right, a sudden left, skidding down an alley and an upturned trash receptacle later, and the fugitive came upon the shipyards. Dozens of ships waiting for passengers. With a quick look over her shoulder, heart pounding and chest heaving, Zizi dipped to the side, and shoved open with as much force as she could muster a wooden crate, looked around for witnesses, then threw her bag in, and quickly followed suit, shutting the crate lid behind her before a shipyard worker came around the corner, and nailed it shut.
Through a crack, Zizi was able to watch the two men pass, and heaved a sigh of releif before checking to see what it was she landed on. She picked up something round and slightly knobbly. She sniffed it, then took a bite.
"Ah, fantastic..." she muttered without enthusiasm. "My salvation comes in apple-y form.
David Cohen - March 5, 2012 10:38 PM (GMT)
David had been hoping that Ai wouldn’t ask what the purpose of Quiet Storm was, but knew that she would. The rather large problem now was how to answer that question. Ai had already committed herself to joining the ship’s crew, but coming right out and telling her that she was going to be working on a pirate ship might make her change her mind. Nick had always been the daredevil, not her. He probably would have loved the chance to be on a pirate ship. With Ai, though, David wasn’t so sure. He would need to do some more thinking before he gave a response.
There was one thing he could address now though. ”Okay, first of all,” he began. ”She’s not ‘my Drea.’ That’s just…weird.” There, that was done. Now to the main issue. ”And, um, as far as what kind of business Drea’s into, and what kind of ship Quiet Storm is…” He shrugged, unable to come up with anything good. ”You should probably just ask Drea whenever she gets back. She’ll explain it better than I could.” The pilot knew that wasn’t a good answer and that it wouldn’t satisfy his friend, but he didn’t want to be the one to tell her that she had signed on to a life of debauchery, thievery, and other words ending in “—ry.” Drea could handle that, as she would have to for whoever else she picked up.
Luckily for David, he was able to focus on something other than his inability to give Ai a straight answer when someone approached the ship. David stood as a man stepped onto Quiet Storm’s loading ramp, curious as to why this guy was interested in the ship. Drea had told him to try to gather up crew members, but, with the exception of Ai, he hadn’t succeeded in that endeavor. Heck, he hadn’t even been trying. So the fact that someone had come to the ship of their own volition was a little strange.
”Um, Can I help you,” the pilot called down to the stranger. Before the man could answer, though, something else caught David’s eye. Coming down the street were several workmen driving a large mule which carried several crates of various sizes. Drea had mentioned that they were getting a shipment of supplies sometime before they shipped off-planet. That must be it. Looked like he’d have to deal with it. ”Um, excuse me,” the pilot said to the other man, passing him to get the workmen, who had stopped just a couple feet away from the loading ramp.
The conversation with the workers was brief, David merely telling them to place the boxes in the cargo bay, preferably near the back. As the workmen began transferring the boxes with much complaining about how heavy some of the cargo was, he returned to the older man at the bottom of the loading ramp. ”Sorry about that,” he said. ”So, like said, can I help you?”
Zizi Poquett - March 5, 2012 10:53 PM (GMT)
Well, this is the finest kettle of dog dung I've been in, first they almost get me, now I'm in a crate of apples -- well. At least I /like/ apples. Zizi thought to herself as she sat in the warm crate of apples, only to cover her mouth when the crate gave a lurch. She shifts her weight, spreading her arms out a bit as she looks up at the crate's lid. Voices outside, and suddenly, with another lurch she's set down.
Zizi blinks, but doesn't dare move a muscle, not even to keep eating the apple.
This cannot come out well.
Please don't tip me over please don't tip me over please don't tip me over please don't tip me over...
Ai Kangeki - March 5, 2012 11:18 PM (GMT)
Ai wasn't at all satisfied with David's answer, and the fave she gave him in response to said answer covered that dissatisfaction quite clearly. Or, at least, she hoped it had. She really didn't think that he would fall in with slavers or anything like that. He didn't have the stomach for that kind of work. So what was it that he couldn't say to her?
Before she could ask, however, a strange looking man approached them. He looked to be in pretty rough shape, like someone that had seen the wrong end of a fair share of fistfights in his day. Perhaps even today, judging by the split in his lip. She decided to stay quiet, however, letting David do the talking as the official representative of Quiet Storm. She was in no place to speak for the ship or her captain.
David, unfortunately, was drawn away by the arrival of some cargo before he could really get into things with the man, leaving her awkwardly behind. She stared up at the stranger, tilting her head. "Did you get someone upset with you today...?"
David's return didn't give the man time for response, and Ai wasn't sure she was keen on one anyway. Something about the man told her 'do not trust.' But it wasn't her decision, anyway. She stood quietly beside her friend and let him work out the details.
JiroKeio - March 6, 2012 01:41 AM (GMT)
Things had gotten mighty exciting all the sudden here on the loading dock of this fine boat. Upon the first pseudo engagement with the male of the pair, Jiro had squared his stance a bit. Hands resting just below the pockets of his admittedly dusty slacks. The sudden intrusion of dock hands had interrupted this man's stammering statement, allowing the little girl to interject her own little comment about his person. Jiro was not oblivious to his current condition, as he hid the bloody rag that he once called a tie from view. His eyes had squinted behind his glasses at this girl, she was not a simple one to be sure, but before words could be exchanged, that man had returned his attention upon Jiro.
”So, like said, can I help you?”
The words he had managed to overhear paint a story of each of the two young people who stood before him. Both, from what he has gleaned, appear to be well spoken. The male was especially polite, perhaps being brought up in the central planets. Why would he be out here in the rim? perhaps escaping a fate set forth to him by overbearing parents? No, no time for speculation of that depth. Upon greeting each new party, the young man had paused, stumbling over what words to be employed in a situation. He came off as kind, gentle, honest, the best kind of mark, really. The lady on the other hand, had a bit of a sharper wit with her little quip of his personal appearance. But as the former returned to the exchange, she bowed out to his authority. This boy was his only concern.
Jiro's lips parted, sucking in air between his teeth with a bit of a hiss. Facial muscles shifting so his glasses would droop down his nose, allowing the man to peer over them at the vessel he stood at the foot of. "You, are shipping out soon, correct?". Jiro's speech was quite refined as well, matching the tone of the words previously offered to him. He took note of the rather scant supplies mustering in the hold, knowing this was a somewhat small operation on a somewhat small ship... But the fellow's tone was somewhat... expecting, as if he was waiting for someone or something that even he did not know. Jiro rolled the dice. "Word is, that you would be a bit short of hands in quite a few areas.". "Yes, that is it... keep it open ended, allow the mark to fill in the blanks for you.". His posture remained strong, as if he were trying to project an heir of confidence, expertise, a man who knew what he was doing and was apt to see it done this day. Even though he was in reality, making all this crap up as he goes.
Tari Bedson - March 9, 2012 02:35 AM (GMT)
The room stank of heat. Not a good, sexy heat, but the dirty, shameful kind that followed a night of unchecked debauchery. It was like burning oil. Persephone's blasted sun didn't do the morning any good either, what with its insistent brightness shining in through the open bedroom window.
Wait, morning? What time was it?
It didn't matter. Tari often lost all sense of time, ambling through the day without any regard for the planet's solar cycle. It was 6:00am somewhere, and she wasn't happy about it.
“I'll be right back,” she said to the naked man sleeping in her bed, before leaving it forever. His name eluded her. Tari was too groggy and hung over to care. In lieu of dressing herself properly for the public eye, she took a swig from the bottle of whiskey hidden behind the toilet, grimaced like a proper lady, and put on the first things she found on the floor on her way out, which happened to be a pair of jeans torn at the knees and a surprisingly white tank top.
Now in the common area, she held a small suitcase by the handle with her left hand. The room was one she shared with two roommates, and it was disturbingly clean. It didn't feel lived in. She moved through this quietly, afraid of touching something and upsetting the room as if it were a sleeping bear.
Once outside, she still couldn't tell what time it was. The sun was too bright on her sensitive eyes to look at, but even having a vague sense of its position didn't help – she hadn't been on Persephone long enough to remember which side of the planet it set on.
Tari weaved through the crowds, which became progressively thicker with the heat and sweat of others, without looking up from her corpad, which wasn't even on. Though the precise time of day still eluded her, she was quite aware of her surroundings, in a bored jungle cat sort of way.
When she at last reached the docks, she bee-lined for one ship: The Cerberus.
“I'm the new cook,” she said without stopping as she passed the Captain. He grabbed her upper arm.
”No you're not,”he said, glaring at her with one good eye and one even better one – it was cybernetic and all kinds of shiny.
“Your manifest says it's open.” She wondered if he could see through walls with that thing.
“That was a week ago.”
“Do you need a second cook?”
Tari hefted her suitcase and moved on to the next ship.
“I'm the new cook,” she tried again, not stopping as she passed the man she would later learn to be the pilot, David Cohen, and continued up the ramp. The Quiet Storm. Not as dangerous sounding as the last one, and none of the people lingering around the cargo bay entrance seemed as interesting as that Cerberus fellow, except maybe the beaten up guy in the sunglasses, but it was a pretty enough name.
On her way past the men loading up the cargo bay, she found her gaze wandering to one of them. Cute and old fashioned. Cute because cheekbones, and old-fashioned because he wore a wristwatch. Perfect, now she knew the time.
If only she knew what day it was.
David Cohen - March 10, 2012 08:40 AM (GMT)
As he waited for the man to answer his question, David examined the stranger closely. He looked like he’d gotten into a fight recently, though with whom David didn’t want to know. That raised a red flag in his mind. If this man had enemies, who was to say that they weren’t looking for him right this minute? If said enemies tracked him to Quiet Storm and assumed that David and Ai were friends of his, things could get very unpleasant very quickly. David was no fighter, and he knew Ai wasn’t either, unless she’d taken some martial arts classes since they’d last seen each other. That was unlikely. But maybe he was overthinking this. It was possible—not very likely, but possible—that the man had just fallen and busted his lip. Weirder things happened. Right?
The response, when it came, was less than illuminating. They were shipping out soon, yes, and they did need to find crew members, but how did this guy know that? Had Drea posted flyers or something? He hadn’t really been listening when she’d told him where she and Taylor were headed. Perhaps that wa what they had been going to do. Drea had been whining about how impatient she was to get flying and how the only thing stopping them was a lack of bodies to staff the ship. As much as she’d complained, he wouldn’t have been too surprised if she’d shouted their need from the rooftops of Persephone. It made sense, then, that this stranger could have heard of vacancies and made his way here. There, that was settled. Now, only one thing remained.
”Yeah, we’re heading out soon,” he replied, his stance a bit more relaxed now that he had solved the problem that had been plaguing his mind. ”What position were you thinking of taking?” David realized that it was probably not the best idea to hire someone without Drea’s approval, but she had told him to try to get people interested in the ship. This guy had come to him, but surely that counted all the same?
The pilot was still waiting for a response when a woman brushed past him without stopping, her only apology coming in the form of an announcement that she was to be the ship’s cook. ”What?” David asked, confused. ”I…” The woman was past before he could complete that thought, marching into the ship as if she owned the place. He would have pursued her, but he was still stuck dealing with the older man. He’d have to ask Drea about the woman later. Maybe the woman had just been hired without Drea informing him. That was plausible.
Ai Kangeki - March 10, 2012 04:41 PM (GMT)
Ai's attention had been drifting around the docks while David dealt with the odd-looking old man. The swarm of humanity, moving from place to place like so many ants. It was amazing just how many people there actually were here. Though she had always been around people, it still impressed her. One thing she'd never done was live aboard a ship, but now she was about to. Spending your day-to-day life with only a small group was a strange concept. She hoped they would all get along.
She first spotted the blonde approaching another ship. She looked agitated. Disheveled, almost. She might've been pretty if she wasn't so dirty looking. She disappeared into the ship, only to reemerge moments later, looking even more agitated. She looked around for a moment, before making a bee-line for Quiet Storm.
“I'm the new cook." That was all the woman said as she rushed past the three on the ramp and into the ship. Ai's eyebrows went up, and she shot a glance to David. He'd be busy here, currently interviewing the rough-looking guy. She decided this would be her first shipboard duty.
She turned and followed after the cook, and found her to be looking over the cargo bay. More accurately, the guys loading in the supplies. Ai approached her casually, leaning against a crate labelled "Fresh Apples."
"Captain sent you?" She tilted her head at the woman, trying to look... something. Not something she was used to looking. It was tough for a little Japanese girl to look this something, but she was trying her best. She awaited the answer patiently.
Zizi Poquett - March 10, 2012 08:47 PM (GMT)
So, there was a guy out there who was acting shifty. Someone who was a cook, and the two people who were already on board, including the guy who bought the crate of apples. Zizi gathered that, listening in from her vantage point hidden amongst the apples. She'd paused munching on one, her head tilting as she strained to hear the voices on the outside. Every so slightly she shifted her weight, leaning slowly to try and see through the ventilation in the box, until she hears the slight creak of weight against it.
Who was leaning? One of the guys? The younger girl? The older girl? ... were they even girls?
Zizi draws back a bit, and as she does her hand brushes against a hill of apples in the crate, and knocks it against the crate's side. A soft 'thud' is heard to the outside, and maybe felt by the one leaning up against the crate.
The teenager held her breath, eyes wide and examining the inside of the crate, hoping it'd give an answer.
Tari Bedson - March 14, 2012 03:18 AM (GMT)
Tari regarded the tiny Japanese woman with as little regard as she could. Regard, frankly, was a trait she would not ever put on her resume, had she the mind to write one (she never had). Disregard would have been more appropriate, being the opposite of regard and all, but she maintained at least a fraction of the regular regard in dealing with strangers. This woman doubted her status, which was certainly something that deserved doubting, what with the lying and whatnot, but it was insulting nonetheless.
“Captain sent you?” she said with an annoying voice. Okay, maybe it wasn't that annoying, but it was annoying that she asked that question.
“Yes,” Tari said. “Ship needs a cook. Captain hired one. Great story, huh?” Tari did not like the scrutiny she was garnering. There was, after all, a girl hiding in the crate of apples her interrogator was leaning on.
JiroKeio - March 17, 2012 09:47 PM (GMT)
Such an interesting time to step into the fray as yet another female boards like she holds the title... Much better than being on the bill of lading, honestly. The Asian girl peels off and away to confront the newcomer, overhearing that it is the new cook. Dark eyes returned to the man now without his foil, weaker as a result. Jiro smiled.
"Good thing I am not the cook". His head turned away a little, hand rising to draw the ugly sunglasses off of his face, folding them deftly with one hand while the other pulled out one side of his suit jacket. The glasses slipped into an inner pocket, and back out emerged an ident card.
"Name is Christopher Nichols. Brush pilot, skiff hopper, CQC Operations, former PMC...". That smile all too persistent as he slowly offered his immaculate identification over to the man in command with all the cool confidence of one who would fit the description given. "My recent contract on Higgin's Moon ran up, looking to freelance a bit before getting in too deep someplace else".
He closed his jacket, taking a step back to allow the young fellow some room to review his credentials. Without the glasses, it is clear it is his face on the ID presented. Although far more sullen looking in the still photograph than he is now, jovial, happy to be here! The young fellow wasn't as easy as he might have expected, not blurting out the answers the conman was seeking... But outfits like this usually grab up anyone who can execute a turn and burn while shooting a reaver in the face with a harpoon gun. I mean, Jiro can't do that, but it sure as hell looks like Christopher Nichols can.
Zizi Poquett - March 21, 2012 05:47 PM (GMT)
Zizi shifted about in the box, her lips pursed a moment. Her movements didn't seem to be caught, and she just exhales... she'd just have to wait long enough for them to move out of the cargo bay and she could slip off the ship before take off. Easy, peasy...
Except that her foot's fallen asleep now. Wiggling her toes stiffly in the crate of apples.
Ai Kangeki - March 22, 2012 12:03 PM (GMT)
“Ship needs a cook. Captain hired one. Great story, huh?”
The woman answered maybe a little too quickly. Immediately, a warning bell went off in her mind. Of course, that bell had been going off for a while now, with the questionable nature if the ship's mission and the incredibly odd and roughed-up guy that had come and spoken to David and herself. Now, this one in front of her, offering more vague explanations. She was starting to wonder what she was getting herself into.
However, she wasn't about to run off on David now. Whatever he was into, she was going to stand beside him and see him through it, as much out of loyalty to him as to Nick. That meant making sie he stayed out of trouble with Drea. That meant making sure that the cook was really sent by her.
She smiled politely to the blonde, her stance relaxing. "Hey, no offense intended. It's just protocol. I'm sure you understand, folks stow away on boats all the time for all kinds of reasons." She stood and moved slowly, casually, between the woman and the way out. "Captain Harlock is a stickler for protocol. He's kind of uptight like that. But if he vouched for you, you're good in my book."
Of course, being so caught up in the tense situation, she shrugged the movement in the create off to the product settling. Besides, the thing was nailed shut. Whatever was in there wasn't getting out anytime soon.
David Cohen - March 28, 2012 06:26 AM (GMT)
The man took off his sunglasses, letting David get a better view of his face. The pilot just now noticed the man’s injury. His lip was still leaking a little blood; it was clear to see that the wound was fairly recent. So, the guy got into a fight, and then suddenly showed up at the docks looking for a job on a ship, preferably one leaving soon? David wasn’t usually suspicious, but this man was raising all kinds of red flags in his head. What if whoever was looking for him found the ship? He could be bringing a whole heap of trouble with him, and they did not need that.
Well, he’d worry about that later. At the moment, he didn’t even know what position the guy wanted. Maybe he wouldn’t be qualified. Then the older man handed him an identification card, and that possibility fizzled into nothing. The information on the card matched that spoken. He wasn’t too happy to admit it, but Christopher Nichols looked legitimate. If only he hadn’t been going for a pilot’s spot…David didn’t see the need for a copilot. Really, he saw it as an insult. Was he not good enough of a pilot that they needed someone else messing with his controls?
But there really wasn’t much of an argument he could make against hiring someone with such good credentials. He could ask about the lip, but an excuse could easily be made up to explain it away. He had only one trick left, and it wasn’t a very good one. He handed the ident card with a nod. ”Looks good,” the pilot said. ”I’ll have to check with the captain, though, when she gets here, to make sure that you’re what we’re looking for.” Speaking of the captain…where was their fearless leader? How long could it take her to round up a bunch of strangers stupid enough to join her in her wild fantasies?
Tari Bedson - March 28, 2012 06:17 PM (GMT)
"Captain Harlock is a stickler for protocol. He's kind of uptight like that. But if he vouched for you, you're good in my book."
Tari had brought out her corpad as the tiny annoying woman kept speaking her tiny annoying words. Her thumb moved over the screen, pretending to be preoccupied, even though it was blank. She really needed to remember to charge the thing.
"Is he? Never spoke to him in person, only in writing. Didn't even catch his name, just the ship's. Thanks for putting me in your book." Tari always considered herself a pretty good liar. Too good to get caught up by someone else's lie, especially when they were so tiny. And annoying. "I'll be sure to tell Harlock how welcoming his crew was and how they didn't give me a hard time getting aboard."
Tari put her corpad away and gave her a 'is that all?' look. She very much wanted to be alone with her hangover; it often got jealous and didn't like her hanging out with other people. "I'm going to go find the kitchen and an empty bunk now. Bye."
Quiet Storm - March 31, 2012 03:07 AM (GMT)
A test is defined as the means by which the presence, quality, or genuineness of anything is determined or a means of trial. And that’s exactly what Drea put Ephraim through. She tested his pick pocketing and con skills, watching him work under the hot sun. His pick pocketing was superb, she had to admit. Still, he could be better. As for his conning… Drea thought he was average.
For the ship’s purposes, he was perfect. Who was going to accuse a kid? No one would expect it. Her mind was made. The boy was coming along. She could hear Taylor and David’s arguments in her head, but she didn’t care. Ephraim was coming along for the adventure.
Despite Drea’s alert personality, she didn’t catch on to the person following behind them, watching them. But that didn’t matter. They weren’t the person who had alerted law enforcement to arrest them. Maybe Drea and Ephraim had gotten a bit cocky, but one of the merchants had caught them, sending them into a panicked run, Drea yelling for the teenager to follow her lead.
Putting her stem phone to her ear, Drea made a call to Taylor and David.
“Get back to the ship! I need us to take off literally as soon as my foot touches the cargo bay!”
And with that, she hung up, leading Ephraim and their follower through the crowded streets of Persephone.
((All posts can now be made here))
Mira - April 2, 2012 03:11 PM (GMT)
Not knowing quite why other than the dynamic of the motley crew intriguing her Charise followed at a fair distance as the one woman tested the young chap who'd previously tempted fate trying to pick her.
They were getting through it fine, she wondered if she should have called the feds. Part of her was endorsing their behavior while something else tugged her the other way. She knew what the right thing to do was but maybe the person she was before wasn't into doing the right thing. Charise noticed flashes of a wild side in her while on Route 66. Maybe who she used to be was trying to get out, for now though that was speculation and introspection that served only to complicate the matters so she let it rest and opted to continue in strictly an observational role.
Eventually however someone did the whistle-blowing anyway and soon a couple of feds were on their tail, gaining ground before one grabbed Drea by the wrist it looked like the adventure was over.
The smell of grilling meat drew Charise to the vendor beside her, laying on the grill with smoke drifting off it was a chinese knife still with chunks of meat splattered across it's face. The owner, seemed not to be paying attention and Charise for the life of her couldn't explain why but she picked up the blade and sent it spiraling through the air until it found itself embedded deep in the forearm of the arresting officer. Wasting no time she approached the now freed woman.
"I saved your pe-gu from gettin' arrested. How 'bout a lift?" She hoped she'd given herself enough leverage since it was no longer safe to stay on Persephone after nearly be-handing a fed.
(OOC GM'ing of anything in this post is approved by Spy, though let me know if anything needs to change.)
Ephraim Mallory - April 4, 2012 06:13 AM (GMT)
Ephraim couldn't help but wonder just how the woman planned to test him? When she told him she wanted to see more of his thieving skills, he couldn't have been happier, though he hid the fact from her. For a second he was worried she'd ask him to do something that he wouldn't be able to manage, but if stealing was all she wanted to see, he could easily manage that.
"Oh, name's Ephraim, by the way," he said to her. "In case you need it. Been called 'E' before-" He lifted the wallet swiftly out of the back pocket of a passerby and tossed it back to the captain. "-and one girl and her little brother called me 'Ephie,' so you can call me whatever you feel like." He walked up to a lady and told her some go se story about how he and his sister hadn't eaten in days, they were so hungry, yadda yadda. He sold the story with his face, though, and enough so that the woman took out a small wad of money from her purse and handed it to him. As soon as she was out of sight, Ephraim tossed it back to his "examiner."
Several picked pockets, lifted wallets, and sob stories later, the young woman pointed out a merchant she wanted him to rob. Ephraim recognized the man as one of the merchants that had a sort of sixth sense when it came to their wallet and certain sticky fingers. Ephraim thought about voicing his concerns to the captain, but decided against it. If he spoke up, it could ruin his chances of actually getting on a ship. So he approached the man, and as he began to reach into his pocket, he spotted a woman standing a short distance away from the captain. He'd glanced her a couple times before during the test, but hadn't thought anything of it. Now, his mind was wondering if she was planning on ratting them out to the Feds. Unfortunately for him, he was focused on her while his hand was in someone else's pocket, and he felt his hand brush against the man. With a silent curse at himself for being so careless, he quickly grabbed the man's wallet and yanked his hand back. By the time the man had whipped around and started yelling, Ephraim was already several steps away, breaking into a run.
"Shall we be going?" He tossed the wallet to the captain as they broke out into a run, the Feds giving chase. He followed her through Persephone's busy streets, hollering quick apologies to the people he had to shove out of his way. As they rounded one corner, one of the Feds managed to get a hand around the captain's wrist. Ephraim stopped and turned to help her, but he paused. He'd caused enough trouble already, but assaulting a Fed? He didn't know if that was something he wanted to get busted for, even if it meant losing his chance to get on a ship. Luckily, he didn't have to make the decision as a knife came flying through the crowd and embedded itself in the arm of the Fed. Their stalker from earlier approached and asked for a ride on the ship. Ephraim made a scoffing sound. Now really wasn't the time to discuss things like that, seeing as they'd just assaulted a Fed and his friends were quickly approaching. He grabbed the two women by the wrists and started pulling them into a run.
"Hate to interrupt, he said. "But we really, really need to leave. Like now.
And with that, the chase was back on.
JiroKeio - April 13, 2012 06:37 AM (GMT)
”I’ll have to check with the captain, though, when she gets here, to make sure that you’re what we’re looking for.”
Jiro nodded to the man's words, extending his arm once more, accepting his credentials as offered. That happy smile growing back over his features. "Your terms are acceptable, sir, If you don't mind if I mill about the hold a bit while we wait?" He gestured about the somewhat open space, feeling the urge to place his glasses back on, but not wanting to feel suspicious in the shade of the ship's hull. He leaned forward, taking an assertive step forward, looking as kind and inviting as always!He discreetly stuffed his I.D. into his jacket, a mote of dust rose off his shoulder as the material strained. Nothing to see here, obviously!
David Cohen - April 18, 2012 04:21 AM (GMT)
How long could this take? Drea had said the plan was to take off that day, and that she and Taylor would only be gone for a few hours. And yet here he stood, having heard nothing to suggest that they’d be heading out any time soon. What was he supposed to tell their prospective copilot if the ship’s captain never showed up? That wasn’t exactly a professional way of doing things. Hopefully Drea would soon give him some indication of when to expect the new arrivals, or at least her and Taylor’s return. If not, he might just go looking for the two himself, leaving Ai as the sole protector of the ship and its contents.
David handed back “Mr. Nichol’s” ident card and nodded at the man’s request. ”You might as well,” he replied. ”Might be a while ‘til the Captain gets back here.” Just as he finished saying that, though, Drea’s voice came in over his stem phone. “Get back to the ship! I need us to take off literally as soon as my foot touches the cargo bay!”
Well, that changed things. ”What?!” the pilot exclaimed. ”What’s going on?!” He received no response. Whatever Drea had gotten herself into, it must be bad. ”Gorramit!” the man exclaimed. This was just like Drea. She was always rushing into things without thinking and getting herself into trouble. And it sounded like Taylor wasn’t there to help her. Great. Rutting fantastic.
”Change of plans,” he said, directing his voice to the older man. ”We’ve got to ready to go. Looks like you’re hired.” Knowing that time was of the essence, David turned away from the newest crew member to run into the cargo bay and on to the cockpit. He stopped only briefly by Ai and the cook to explain. ”Got a call, we’re leaving soon, don’t know much more than that.” He knew that wasn’t nearly as much information as one needed to know that they were suddenly shooting off into space, but he had no more information to give. He’d just have to hope that Drea got to the ship soon and explained what the hell was going on.
He moved through the ship, quickly arriving at the cockpit. His hands were at the controls even before he’d sat down, and they got to work flicking switches and pushing buttons. The ship slowly came to life, the engines whining in protest as he roused them from their long sleep. As stressful as this situation was, David couldn’t help but smile a little. This was always his favorite part. Right before take-off, when he was just waiting for the words that let him blast off into the Black. At least he’d get to fly sooner than expected.
”Ship’s ready to go,” he spoke into his stem phone. ”I’ll take off as soon as everyone’s on board. And when we’re off-planet, I better get a long, detailed explanation of what the rutt is going on.”
Quiet Storm - April 23, 2012 06:21 AM (GMT)
The captain followed her two new crew members through the crowded streets of Persephone, back to the docks. She let Ephraim lead the way, going through back alleys and shoving through people without apology. Once the odd trio reached the dock, Drea pulled ahead of them, leading the way to her precious ship, to her home.
"Stop them!" a gruff voice called out. Drea glanced behind her. Something she knew never to do, something she always spoke against, but they were closing in. Her eyes flitted around her surroundings, searching for a distraction or at least an obstacle. The captain slowed, glancing around. Up ahead, she saw Taylor pulling into the ship on the mule.
"The mule! Follow it!" she shouted to her new companions. The teenage boy stopped, looking back at her.
"What are you doing?!" Ephraim shouted.
Drea Allen - April 23, 2012 06:22 AM (GMT)
"Buying us time!" she called back. She gestured for the teen and the woman to go before running off to the side of the dock. The young captain reached into her boot and pulled out a pocket knife. Spotting a rope holding up a group of crates, Drea began cutting. One of the guards came to her. Looking up, she attempted a kick, but he quickly grabbed her foot and twisted.
Drea groaned and grabbed onto the rope with both hands. The pain shot through her ankle. She was afraid that if he twisted anymore, there'd be a snap. Drea closed her eyes, trying to find an alternative to her current idea. She wasn't much of a hand-to-hand fighter, but what choice did she have? She jumped up and twisted her body in his direction. Her boot met his face, causing him to drop her leg.
Still gripping the rope, her body dropped, the soles of her feet lading on the pavement. She let out a relieved breath, pulling herself upright. She finished cutting down the rope, causing the crates to fall to the ground, creating a mess in the middle of the dock. Drea placed a kick to the guard's face before running off towards her ship.
"Go!" Drea called into her stem phone to David before her foot was even on the ship ramp. She saw the ramp coming up and sped up. Leaping, she managed a landing onto the barely lifted ramp. She ran into the cargo bay as the ship lifted, out of breath. She looked at what crew she had gathered in the ship, a smile gracing her face. "Close shave."
Grant Gardener - April 23, 2012 02:59 PM (GMT)
Grant held on to the cargo rack for dear life as Taylor gunned the engine of the mule down the crowded street, the wheels in his shoes sending vibrations all the way up into his ribs with their humming speed. This was way better than downhill wheeling. That required climbing up the hill. This way, he could just ride behind. There was a slingshot effect to be used here, somehow. Grant was sure of it. As they neared the ship, Grant caught sight of her, and grinned.
Sleek and slightly avian in form, the Quiet Storm reminded him of a predatory bird. Dents, scratches, carbon scoring, and general use weathering covered her hull, but she was gorgeous nonetheless. She was obviously tough, looked fast sitting still, and the one plasma turret he could see meant that she was ready to bite back at those who attacked. He couldn’t wait to hear her voice.
Each piece of technology had its own sounds and codes and personality, when it came to Cortex operations. Ships and large buildings were his favorites. They were all unique, and had much more robust systems for him to work with. They spoke to him, and he loved to speak back. Most of his work was on the Cortex, searching through feeds and proxies and backdoors into systems that he probably shouldn’t be mucking about in, but sometimes it was nice to just shut out all the external noise and information and listen to a single system (even if that single system was running thousands or millions of subsystems). A single voice in the crowd that was the Cortex.
Mr. Universe, the mysterious man that any Cortex Jock worth a half a cred looked up to, might call it, a single ship’s system, Grant’s signal. Mr. Universe followed “The Signal”, something he’d expounded upon to many a captive audience (since he’d taken control of all the feeds in the area). Grant was satisfied with listening to his own personal signals, listening to each ship or place’s “voice”, as opposed to following “The Signal”.
As they neared the ship, Grant spotted Drea with her foot in the grasp of a member of the local constabulary. With fierceness, style, grace, and power, she used the ropes she held in her hands, and the man’s own grip, to slam her booted foot into his face, releasing his grip and sending him to the ground.
He was so busy watching her spin-kicky-face-smashy-rope-cutty-Captainy-awesomeness that Grant forgot to let go of the mule as they reached the Quiet Storm’s bay door, and so when they reached the edge of the ramp, the mule just rolled right in on its nice large wheels, and Grant’s smaller ones caught the edge, sending him sprawling. He rolled to a stop, a few bumps and bruises to show for his entrance, and slowly got to his feet, just as the Captain leapt aboard. He felt the deck sway under his feet, and knew that they were taking off in a hurry. He made sure to move over to the nearest secured container and put a hand on it for support.
Grant nodded his assent.
“How mad are the razors you pissed off, Cap? Should I start covering our tracks already, or do we have a moment to catch our breath?” he asked, reaching into his messenger bag and removing his upgraded Corpad to start checking for interception of the electronic kind.
The last thing he wanted was a remote takeover of the ship by the Feds. He’d seen an old junker boat once upon a time that had one engine slaved to it’s Cortex systems, and the other on manual mode. The Feds had taken control, and the manual engine had kept reaching for atmo, and between the two of them they crashed the ship. The last thing he wanted on the first day of his new job was to let the Feds crash the storm. That’d be a bad day.
Also, she was much too pretty for him to let her crash on account of him.
Ai Kangeki - April 23, 2012 06:34 PM (GMT)
David had come in just after the untrustworthy blonde had headed further into the ship. Ai shot him a nervous smile. Things were already getting weird, and with the haggard looking guy from outside following her friend, they stood to get weirder.
And then, all Hell broke loose.
The roar of an engine filled the cargo bay, as the mule rolled in from the world. Ai counted the riders, including the lanky guy who somehow fell off of the back of the moving machine and planted face on the ramp. Ai backed out of the way of the rush, trying to keep herself out of harm's way. Whatever was happening, it was awfully urgent. Her stomach flipped over once, and she wondered whether David wasn't into something dangerous this time. Something deep. Maybe it was a mistake to have come here. She didn't assume that Nick would want her to be involved in something potentially illegal.
And then the captain came, her entrance as grand as any she'd seen. The young woman barely caught the edge of the ramp and pulled herself into the ship before it closed. Ai turned to look toward David, but he was absent, and that's when she noticed that the ship was moving now. More than likely heading for atmosphere. Any thoughts she had of pulling herself out of this situation were dashed. Whatever was going to happen from this point on, she was along for the ride.
"Close shave." This coming from the young captain, Drea. Ai sized the woman up and decided that it was no wonder David was so willing to follow her around, as she was awfully pretty. How someone so young had become a captain that inspired such loyalty was anyone's guess, and Ai began to wonder whether she wanted to know the answer.
“How mad are the razors you pissed off, Cap? Should I start covering our tracks already, or do we have a moment to catch our breath?” This came from the lanky guy, and her attention immediately shifted. He was handsome enough, if you liked them slightly elfin. His comment, however, was cause for concern, as Ai couldn't imagine who they would be needing to cover their tracks against. It was getting to be a little much. She took a deep breath and stepped forward, her voice only shaking a little, right?
"Okay, what exactly is going on here?" Her focus turned back toward the captain, and she tried to look mad but probably looked more nauseated. "David wouldn't tell me what you were up to here, but I'm hoping that you'll be straightforward with me..."
Ephraim Mallory - April 30, 2012 02:23 PM (GMT)
Ephraim led the women through Persephone's back alleys as best he could. Normally, he'd have taken a shorter route, but that involved a lot of box-jumping, fence-hopping, wall-running, and other such improvisations, and he had no clue whether or not the women had any sort of skill in that department. Besides, with the Feds as hot on their tails as they were, flat-out running was probably the better idea.
The stretch of the docks appeared before them and Ephraim charged ahead, though now that he thought about it, he had no clue which ship he was supposed to be running towards. Luckily, the captain pointed out a mule with several passengers and told them to follow it. Ephraim had taken a few steps before he realized she'd stopped following. He called out to her, and she shouted back something about buying time. He wanted to go and help her, but every nuance of his instincts were screaming at him to run. So he ran. He followed the mule up into the ship's cargo bay and finally stopped running. After the Captain's near-miss of an entrance, Ephraim got his first look at his new companions. Besides the captain and mystery woman he'd just run a marathon with, there were the two tense-looking guys from the bar and the jumpy suit who'd looked so out-of-place. With them was some gangly creature who Ephraim vaguely recalled being in the bar as well. Then there was the older, shifty man, the small Asian girl, and the unseen pilot who was flying the ship. All-in-all, a very odd variety of misfits.
"Little stealin', lotta runnin'," Ephraim said in response the the small woman's question. He pointed toward the captain and the mystery woman. "Those two decided to play whack-a-Fed. Y'know...the usual. And by the way, nice show Cap! They'll be cleaning that mess up for hours." He gave the captain a thumbs-up and laughed.
He had no clue what his future with these people held, but he was mobile again. For once, Ephraim was actually glad that he'd been starving.