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Welcome to Year Eight

"Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurtin' fore she keens. Makes her a home."

Year Eight and Still Flyin'! Thank You, Everyone!


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 The Docks: "What is it Good For?", Episode 2
Jo Torwyn
Posted: Jan 17 2012, 01:03 PM


Ship's Urchin


Group: Members
Posts: 14
Member No.: 1,202
Joined: 12-July 11



As the situation rapidly dissolved, Jo let out a shaky breath and started to ease the death grip she had on her satchel's strap.

"Cryptic fellow ain't he?"

Wide-eyed, she quickly stepped to the side as Sera began to leave. Adrenaline rushes were supposed to feel good, weren't they? Then what was this sick, unsteady sensation? Oh right. Shock.

She finally found the face the previous statement belonged to and outright stared at Tara Blackthorne. A city kid all her life, then an institutional ward, the only thing that came to Jo's mind was that this other woman looked like some sort of... well. Cowboy. Cowgirl? Something like that.

"Not really."

And now Sal was following Sera. And Jo's feet may as well have been welded to the Dock's floor plating. And there was that guy again.

"Fighter speech. It's like a language they don't bother teaching in school."

The death grip returned as Jo watched the man follow Sera and Sal, and her knuckles stood out white against the dark blue strap. "Depends on the school, then, doesn't it?" she muttered toward his back, still not sold on trusting the guy. Not that she knew anyone here. Not for more than a few minutes.

She could finally sense feeling and mobility return to her legs, and as she took in a measured breath, she gave Tara another look. The tiny voice in her head told her to run like the street rat she was. The problem was that she had never been meant to be anything of the sort. The impulses warred with each other until one got the upper hand.

"Miss. You headed up to the shiny halls or staying down here?" Could never just keep her mouth shut. Isn't that how she ended up in this mess to begin with? "Don't know if I can help, but... well..." Jo shrugged, out of words as she glanced off the way the other three had gone, then the direction Dio had disappeared.
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Tara Blackthorne
Posted: Jan 18 2012, 01:24 PM


Slittin' Your Throat


Group: Members
Posts: 5
Member No.: 1,209
Joined: 26-July 11



"Miss. You headed up to the shiny halls or staying down here? Don't know if I can help, but... well..."

How cute. The urchin is impressed with me.

Judging from the look the scrawny kid was firing her way, Tara assumed she'd never seen anything quite like the limping bounty hunter. Tara had to admit, she could get used to this sort of treatment. Awe of one's prescience was very intoxicating.

The girl glanced down the direction the other three had gone, clearly torn between the desire to adventure and the drive to get the rutt out of dodge. It reminded Tara of her own childhood, that fateful day when she overcame that flight instinct and officially joined the fight for independence.

Despite herself, the kid compelled her. Not to mention the fighter's conversation was driving her mad with curiosity.

“You know,” she mused, stroking her chin casually, “I think I'll stay down here. I'm curious about what this whole encounter was about.” Besides I don't want those fine sacks of flesh getting riddled with bullets before I get a chance to sample the merchandise. “What the hell. I'll give you a hand.”

She patted the girl on the shoulder with a friendly smile. “Never sell yourself short kid. You can always help. Trust me, I grew up with four older brothers who never wanted my aid, but ended up needing it never the less. I'm sure you'll pull your weight in the end.”

Checking under her coat to confirm she was armed and ready, Tara gestured after the trio of retreating figures. “Lead on kid. I've got your back.”

OOC: Mo? Feel free to GM Tara in your next post.
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Sal McKenna
Posted: Jan 19 2012, 03:16 PM


The Blue Dragon


Group: Members
Posts: 79
Member No.: 859
Joined: 27-November 08



"I... I can't tell you where he is. But I can take you to him. And only if Draven comes with us."

Stopping dead in her tracks, Sal turned to look at the man who had trailed after them, giving him the elevator look - eyes lingering for a moment on the weapon at his side - before turning back to Sera, quietly assessing just how frightened the woman looked. As though Sal had threatened her life or worse. Sal could think of several things that were far worse than death, and by the look of her, Sera could too and perhaps Doc had a lot to do with that. She nodded slowly, in understanding and in agreement to Sera's terms and then turned back to Draven as he spoke.

“I’ll be more than happy to accompany you both. But are you sure you want to do this? I can’t imagine that he will be too thrilled about us just dropping in when he’s taken so much trouble to remain hidden.”

"Wouldn't've asked if I weren't sure," Sal said, putting all that certainty into her voice as she spoke, so that Draven wouldn't ask again or pry into the reasons why. It was just something she had to do and she wouldn't have been able to explain why exactly. She'd already attempted to put words to it back at Miss Fit's and had failed to get to the depth of it. All she knew was that she had a connection with the man and to find out what that meant, she had to find him. She glanced between the two, a hard expression in her eyes. "Jus' take me t' 'im, a'righ'? Lemme deal wit' th' consequences."

Something made Sal glance sideways just then, saw the street kid with the CorPlayer talking with the gunslinger who had come all too close to meddling in her confrontation with Dio, which put her square in the same category as the purplebelly who had done the same a week ago. Kid still had that deer-in-the-headlight look on her face, which was enhanced with the death-grip she had on her bag's strap and for a moment, Sal felt bad about leaving her behind with the gunslinger. Then again, she was pretty gorram sure that a kid like that would be perfectly capable of taking care of herself. And she was certain that she was tougher than she looked.

She shifted her gaze to the woman instead, noticed that ingrained movement she'd seen in other people like her as she checked her weapons under her coat and then saw that gesture in her direction. "Better make it th' long way 'round, tho'," she told Sera and Draven as she looked back at them with a smirk and a jerk of her head back in the direction they had come from, indicating the woman and the kid there. "Reckon we've made folk curious. Prolly better they don' tag along, yeah?" She knelt down for a moment, getting her switchblade out of her boot, transferring it to her pocket as she started walking again. Just in case.
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Jo Torwyn
Posted: Apr 5 2012, 02:21 PM


Ship's Urchin


Group: Members
Posts: 14
Member No.: 1,202
Joined: 12-July 11



"You know, I think I'll stay down here. I'm curious about what this whole encounter was about."

Jo's eyes, the hazel hues closer to a murky brown than their usual pale green, darted toward Tara again before narrowing slightly. She swallowed in nervous, subconscious response to her own thoughts, but she was able to move again, giving her satchel a much needed adjustment on her narrow shoulder, where the strap had started to cut in severely. She jumped slightly when Tara reached over to pat her on the other equally narrow shoulder.

"Never sell yourself short kid. You can always help. Trust me, I grew up with four older brothers who never wanted my aid, but ended up needing it never the less. I'm sure you'll pull your weight in the end."

Worry wound itself around some other emotion Jo was unable to identify, but the effect was a spike in her increasingly suspicious nature. There was no logical reason for it other than the growing desire to be moving. The direction didn't seem to matter. "Not much weight to pull," she mumbled, again watching the retreating backs of the previous trio, just in time to catch the look from Sal. Jo's uncomfortable frown grew a little deeper.

"So... you're like a detective, then?" the kid asked Tara, voice still a little scratchy from receding tension. Jo frowned as she gave the woman a brief once-over, probably looking for a badge, or... something. Maybe that weapon she kept checking, which just helped remind Jo of how very unarmed she was, herself. She started to reach toward the small silver pendant she wore, but her hand just went back to the satchel's strap instead.

"Lead on kid. I've got your back."

Possessing a good poker face is a vital skill in this walk of life, but Jo's was still just shy of its beta version; rather than playing it cool, she let a broken grimace tug its way through. "I... don't think they want to be followed," the kid began with a chin nod toward the dwindling backs of Sal, Sera, and Draven. She pressed a fist to her stomach as it growled again, but the motion was involuntary. Grimace faded, gradually replaced by curiosity with a couple half-formed layers of determination.

She glanced over at Tara one more time, took a quick breath, then shifted her satchel behind her as she headed in the trio's direction, wanted or not. She only looked back once to see that Tara was following, but she left any further conversation behind and entered the darker recesses of the Docks. Whether or not they were able to follow the trio was another story.

(OOC: Tara GMed with permission.)
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Route 66
Posted: Apr 30 2012, 08:32 PM


That's no moon...


Group: NPC
Posts: 55
Member No.: 756
Joined: 19-September 08



The slumdragon. Doc had forged this creature from the blood, sweat, and tears of himself, and the lives of many others. There had always been death in its depths, but never before Doc's presence had that death been used to further its purpose - it had simply existed for the sake of blood and chaos. To turn the tide of bloodshed toward a common goal made the bald, unassuming man in the dark ball cap both terrifying and great.

Its scales are like armor. Crystalline safeguards that thwart all attackers. No enemy could penetrate the lizard's hide without considerable resources beyond their means. It is not just a center of trade one must contend with, it is a culture of despondent misfits that hold a fierce loyalty to their way of life, and that is the core of the slumdragon. An attack against them, an attack against the guardian of the slums, serves to bring the inner core closer together. However it is the head that rules the beast.

Its teeth are razors built upon razors. The eyes see all and judge with cold indifference. Its breath is fire and its mighty roar makes lesser beings tremble in their poorly dug lairs. To earn the wrath of the slumdragon's gaze is either a grave sentence with a reaper standing at one end, or a notable accomplishment that brings one closer to the devil's right hand. One week ago it was the former.

Poe's death was monumental in many ways, some yet to be felt by the Waystation outcasts. With Doc gone, the head of the slumdragon had been removed, and like the mythical hydra, many fought to take its place. What happened to the man of the blade? What could cause the red right hand of slaughter to hesitate in the face of an enemy?

To learn this, we must go back to the day of the event. Shortly after one madman murdered the second-in-command of another, the nature of the beast known as the slumdragon shifted, and with it would come consequences few could predict...
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Doc
Posted: Apr 30 2012, 09:45 PM


Mercy


Group: Members
Posts: 10
Member No.: 889
Joined: 10-January 09



The slumdragon. Doc had forged this creature from the blood, sweat, and tears of himself, and the lives of many others. There had always been death in its depths, but never before Doc's presence had that death been used to further its purpose - it had simply existed for the sake of blood and chaos. To turn the tide of bloodshed toward a common goal made the bald, unassuming man in the dark ball cap both terrifying and great.

Its scales are like armor. Crystalline safeguards that thwart all attackers. No enemy could penetrate the lizard's hide without considerable resources beyond their means. It is not just a center of trade one must contend with, it is a culture of misfits that hold a fierce loyalty to their way of life, and that is the core of the slumdragon. An attack against them, an attack against the guardian of the slums, serves to bring the inner core closer together. However it is the head that rules the beast.

Its teeth are razors built upon razors. The eyes see all and judge with cold indifference. Its breath is fire and its mighty roar makes lesser beings tremble in their poorly dug lairs. To earn the wrath of the slumdragon's gaze is either a grave sentence with a reaper standing at one end, or a notable accomplishment that brings one closer to the devil's right hand. One week ago it was the former.

Poe's death was monumental in many ways, some yet to be felt by the Waystation outcasts. With Doc gone, the head of the slumdragon had been removed, and like the mythical hydra, many fought to take its place. What happened to the man of the blade? What could cause the red right hand of slaughter to hesitate in the face of an enemy?

To learn this, we must go back to the day of the event. Shortly after one madman murdered the second-in-command of another, the nature of the beast known as the slumdragon shifted, and with it would come consequences few could predict...


One Week Ago

The Crucible was an old ship, full of pain and anguish and rage. Death stalked the halls, haunted the crew, and left its tainted mark on all those who had lived under its previous captain.

Mortimer Barnett had been a disgusting man. He mostly kept his operation in the Dakota System, but back then the Waystation had been a central hub for criminal activity, and the savage would often use it to broker his sales to the rest of the 'verse. He was cruel to his crew, and absolutely barbaric to his enemies.

This and much more he knew about the ship, and it all circulated in the background of his mind, but barely registered, as Doc, master of the slumdragon, stood over one of the original crew.

In the pale white light of the infirmary, Doc removed the switchblade from his pocket, revealing the silver blade and letting it become an extension of his body. His intended victim seemed stable. Pale, sunken, and weak, but no longer in the clutches of the reaper.

He knew from the medic with the oddly familiar face that one of Poe's last living acts was to give his blood to this man. Doc intended to take back that gift, and see it spill onto the floor and watch The Crucible feast upon it, like it had so many others in years past.

There was no rational logic behind it. A veil of bloodlust distorted all thought - he could not find Poe's killer, but he had to strike out at something. He had to inflict pain like he felt, to see the blood flow and satiate the vampiric desire within him. It had always been Poe who had subdued him in these darker moments... he was quite literally the only one who could understand.

His hand made it mere millimeters before the sound of a cocking pistol broke the steady silence of the infirmary. Doc did not have to turn around to know who it was - Barnett's victim and successor. She did not speak, so he filled the empty space with his words.

"What would you have done if he had perished? Where would you be now?" His rage, which he always embraced so readily, felt different this time. Despondent. "Out to avenge him, maybe? To take their lives as they took his? No, he did that already. My men cleaned up the bodies."

He saw the third crew member at the edge of his peripheral vision. An older woman with a shotgun.

"Perhaps you noticed, or perhaps you were too caught up in the ordeal to pay any attention, but Poe was different. Special. I... adopted him as a teenager. Taught him ways to harness his... ability. I protected him from The Alliance. They would have killed for the blood that now flows in Shadrach's veins." Grief was such a foreign emotion to him, not since he was a boy could he remember feeling it. But here it was, deadening his desire, and quieting his anger. No, it would not do to have Poe's blood shed twice in one day.

He turned slowly and looked past the darkness of the gun's barrel and straight into the blue eyes of Abednego Mayweather. Storms now raged where he had last seen a vast, empty ocean. He wondered what she saw in his own gaze - flames, or ashes?

"You will launch as soon as I have left the ship. You will not return to this station. You will not return to this system. You will not sell your product to anyone affiliated with me, and if you do, I will make Barnett look like a tender lover in comparison." He turned and made his exit, but stopped just outside the door.

"Make sure he knows the name of the one who saved him."


Three Days Ago

“Get out.”

Silence. Dead and endless as an ocean.

“You can't stay here forever.” But she would let him. The silence grew longer.

“There's food in the fridge.”

He was thin now. Thinner than he'd ever been. He once slit his own wrists to escape a pair of Alliance handcuffs, and survived two weeks on an abandoned shuttle on two days rations, yet he now felt weaker and closer to death than in any of those moments.

There was no future for him now. All that could be seen was now dead. And how? How could one so gifted be brought down, without ever seeing it coming? Lost now. It was that edge, that little inkling into the future that kept him afloat, that kept all of them afloat, and now it was gone.

At least he wasn't alone. Misery is its own company.


Present

Sera's apartment was the third floor of an apartment complex built, like most of the underworld, out of old shipping containers. The corrugated walls and steel floors left much to be desired, but the hand woven rugs and elaborate paintings by Kosta made it easy to call the place home.

Doc soon realized the allocated water quotients among the Dock denizens were woefully inadequate. He was dirty and he needed a shower.

Before he could perform this mundane task, however, the front door of the apartment swung open. He did not attempt to hide himself from Sal Mckenna and Draven Raedwolf. He was not well, both physically and mentally.

His world had been shattered, and his body began breaking down without it. He knew things, things he needed to tell others, but there was little left for this man without his lieutenant. Except....

There was something about the air surrounding Sal Mckenna that drew him from his stupor. That brought about the urge to clean himself up and prepare himself to make a second coming upon the world. To see the fighter next to Draven, as Sera presented him to them like a zoo animal, there was a flicker of something. A new beginning, perhaps.

In any case, the head of the slumdragon had been exposed, and it was time to act before some careless knight attempted to slay him.
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