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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 Vindicator at Andersonville
Tsurin
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 08:07 PM


'Versal


Group: Members
Posts: 13
Member No.: 1,300
Joined: 22-March 12



The Lobby

Tsurin bent her head to look down and away, blinking rapidly, trying to look everywhere and at everyone at once, save the one person she wanted to. Made worse because the second she moved there came that little electric thrill up her spine that meant she'd made a mistake, the kind that meant she'd just gotten them killed.

Go-se.

This wasn't what she'd wanted for them. Not here, and not now. She'd wanted it to happen later. God and Buddha knew later never came, but. Still. Later.

And when that later did happen --not if, not out loud, she had known it would, wasn't so far gone as to think that, but using the word if, even in her own head, gave the seeming of a sense of control that both terrified and thrilled her, in equal measure-- she'd wanted it to happen on the Vindicator. Not here. Not in this room of fire and purpose, ablaze with pain both remembered and promised, held in the palm of your hand. No. Better for it to have unfolded there, where they would have time and experience to fall back on when the day came, too soon and not soon enough, most like. When Vanya turned to her in front of a room of polished smiles written in gunmetal and beats and declare her weak, chattel and pet both, without a word needing to be spoken. There and then, there would have been time enough and more for her to solidify herself in the minds of these men and women. That they would next turn to her with a weighing look, one not too dissimilar from what they were giving her now, but that would, hopefully, come out favoring the side that meant that those gunmetal smiles wouldn't turn to Vanya in the night.

She hadn't wanted it to happen now. Not like this. Not before either of them had had a chance to grow beyond the static roles they'd assumed simply by wearing their skins. Not when she was beaten, in chains, empty hands pressed against her thighs so they wouldn't come up to tangle in her sleeves. Not when all the impression they had of her was a tiny woman sitting in a chair. Not when it would weaken Vanya as much as her in their eyes-- for varying reasons, perhaps, but it would all come out to the same thing, the same ends considered and planned and executed before they'd even moved. No. But that the same old story, wasn't it? She hadn't picked out the cuffs, just as she hadn't picked what suit the captain would wear, but that didn't matter. Just as the question of whether that impression was really the correct one to make didn't matter, either. All that mattered was this. She had to operate on the assumption that this, this moment, would be the image that would be ingrained in their heads. Would be what they remembered. She would have to work fast to change that first impression, because if this little exchange had happened on their first day in the yard? It wouldn't matter how many faces she punched in, Vanya would still have been marked out as the stick holding up her strings. And while this room still smelled like cleaner, she made no mistake-- the lobby was the yard in all but name, and this was the first day. These were her cellmates and guards, this was her opportunity to convince them that she --and, by virtue of being hers, so was Vanya-- was too hard or too crazy to mess with, and it had just been blown.

She drew in a sharp, quick breath and glanced a look at Nikki and Miller before looking back down at her hands. They were twitching, and she stared, fascinated. The idea that this, too, was something outside of her control was oddly soothing, where the others had not. Calming. She relaxed, a conscious smoothing out of muscles gone hard and tense that started in her shoulders and went down to her toes in a shivering sigh. The chair's back tapped hard against her, bent with the press of her weight. It'd break, if she applied enough pressure. That thought, too, was soothing. A reminder, if she'd needed one, that this whole room was built up on the fairytale of intimidation-- once you remembered that the stink of new-pressed suits were as much a weapon as the chains, what hold did they possibly have on you? After Andersonville, after Paquin, what did they have?

That brought her gaze back to Hannibal Masters and his crew, idle curiosity making her gaze linger longer than it ought. What would the face of the Alliance make of their new house guests, she wondered. At a guess, they probably weren't particular impressed. And who would be, really, at a room full of violent offenders laced to their chairs like unruly children? Better than the snarling dogs they'd no doubt expected, perhaps, but not by much. The question was, now they'd got them, how would they smack that dog's nose? A stern warning would go in one ear and out the other, at which time that first ear would be bitten or chewed off, and a beating would be ignored easier than that. She wouldn't put it past them --they'd no doubt heard the same stories she had about old Earth-That-Was animal trainers, and maybe thought they'd hit upon a brilliant idea, the desk jockies'll love it, they'd say-- but she rather suspected that they had something else in mind. What that might be, though, she wasn't really sure. Well, there was always that most dramatic and drastic of options --just picking one of them at random and blowing their head off so as to impress the others with the cold-blooded efficiency of this new regime they'd fallen under-- but not only would that spectacularly fail, they'd also be lowering their task force by one. Not a pleasant option to those desk jockies, eh?

Maybe they'd grabbed one extra prisoner, though? Could still be on the table.

Huh.

A moment's further consideration, head tilted, mouth pursed, before she looked away again. Let her head loll back on her shoulders, looking up at the high ceiling like she expected to see the stars up there. It was some kind of punchline, but she didn't feel like laughing.

This post has been edited by Taokan on Apr 13 2012, 08:25 AM
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Mari Green
Posted: Apr 13 2012, 08:43 PM


'Versal


Group: Members
Posts: 11
Member No.: 1,269
Joined: 26-January 12



West Egg

Mari waited for an answer to whether or not Nikki would be able help her and Nikki answered quick enough, but she gave it mighty quiet like.

"They're callin' for the ship." "They'll have a lot better'n I got here, an' if she's got any friends waitin' on their chance, they won't be gettin' it."

Mari's spirits lifted, even though she was in the shape she was. She was finally getting out of there. It wasn't exactly the way she planned, but it was a start. She also didn't know Nikki was taking her leave as well. The people left here will be at a great disadvantage without her. People got hurt in Andersonville and sometimes there had to be someone who could fix it, if possible.

"You ain't gonna drop while you're standin' here, so let's catch a ride."

Mari nodded.

"I just have a couple of things to get and I'll make my way there."

She already packed a bag. She didn't know when the Vindicator would get there, so she decided she'd be ready at a moment's notice. Really, she just had the picture of her Dad, a change of clothes and a couple of modest toiletries. She figured they would provide some clothes and toiletries on the ship, but she wanted to be somewhat prepared.

She took a breath and stood up.

"I'll be OK. I've lasted the pit this long, haven't I?"

Mari gave Nikki a reassuring smile.

"I'll see you there."

She straightened up enough that she wouldn't seem too hobbled and left the area. She went to her place and took off her shirt and looked at the wound. It was bad, but not life threatening yet. She grabbed some clean cloth and pressed it against the wound and slipped a clean white tank on over it. Luckily the tank was snug enough that it would hold the cloth in place, at least for a while. Lastly, she washed the blood off her hands and her face, grabbed the small bag and high tailed it as fast as she could move without looking out of place or hurting herself some more.

Luckily, she arrived without incident. She was searched by the guards and let through.

The Lobby

Mari hadn't seen anything so clean and bright in a long time. Her eyes squinted a bit at it's starkness. She made her way to a chair and was cuffed to it, just like the others.

She briefly looked over who was in the room. She saw Nikki, the petite woman who had been whispering to the dead fighters just minutes before and another woman. Just four inmates from the West Egg including herself. The others were men. She studied each of them for a moment, quickly sizing each one up.

There were a couple of variables that were unknowns in her equation. One was that she didn't know what they had done to get themselves there, but she didn't always know that about the people she fought in the pit either. Secondly, there was the fact that they were men. Sure, she'd taken out many a larger women than her in the pit over the years, but she hadn't fought any men. But did it really matter? At the military academy where she had gone to school, she had sparred and trained with males and females alike.

So she looked at them and made a decision. She was pretty sure which ones she could take in a fair fight and which ones she would have to take in a not-so-fair fight.

Losing was never an option in her equation.
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Cristos
Posted: Apr 16 2012, 10:23 AM


La Copa de la Vida


Group: NPC
Posts: 8
Member No.: 952
Joined: 5-May 09



High Above East Egg

”Come on, Esteb…,” the guard’s face ghosted bright white behind his riot mask, when the ancient catwalk groaned under him, ”JESUS CHRIST!”

The guard behind the first placed a reassuring hand on his partner’s armored shoulder, but the lead trooper’s calm had dissolved,
”How the rutt did you even get up here, Esteban!?!

Directly in front of the pair of his jailors glared the bearded, emaciated face of Cristos Esteban. For nearly a month, he had been living in the catwalks of East Egg, high above the violence of the dome…and high above the food and water provided the evil men below.

Reaching out a hand, the lead guard tried one last stab at diplomacy,
”For Christ’s sake, Esteban, we’re not taking you back to the Egg! You’ve been conscripted into a new…a new,” he glanced over his shoulder at the man behind him, ”What the hell are they calling the Vindicator anyway?”

The trailing guard rolled his eyes upward and growled,
”Who the rutt cares what they’re calli…HOLY SHIT!”

Before the trailing guard could complete his curse and properly warn his partner, Cristos had closed the gap between them, clipped a length of rough rope to the lead guard…and kicked out the catwalk’s support strut. Beneath the weight of the three grown men, two of which sported the additional bulk of tactical armor, the catwalk gave up the ghost and buckled. While the two guards instinctively reached out for the railing, Cristos climbed over them, scaling soldier and steel to get behind them, pausing for only a fraction of a heartbeat, to clip another section of rope to the second guard.

Before the scene could return to the theater of sanity, chaos played one final matinee, as the section of catwalk broke free. Dropping, as if sentenced to the hangman’s trap, the guards disappeared in screams of terror, while Cristos sprinted over the shuddering grating. By the time, Esteban reached the formerly welded hatch leading to the catwalks above Mainstreet, the two guards had achieved the plight of Pinocchio, swinging from Esteban’s strings…with their status as ‘real boys’ very much in doubt.

Do you really want it!?!
Do you really want it!?!"


Bursting through the hatch and with the winds of Alleluia at his back, Cristos wove through the shadows of Mainstreet’s abandoned catwalks, his long, matted hair bouncing from his shoulders, granting him more than a passing similarity to the Son he worshipped. Twice he fell, his thin skin splitting on the unforgiving metal of Andersonville’s arteries, but twice he pulled his skeletal body up and continued his flight.

Here we go!!! ale, ale, ale!!
Reach for the Cup of Life
Do you really want it!?!


His heart pounding in his ears, Esteban finally reached his destination, the sister hatch of the one he had just pierced…the one that led to West Egg. Unlike the portal to East Egg, this door wasn’t welded, it was locked with an fire seal. Quickly spinning the stubborn wheel that operated the locking mechanism, Cristos spared a second to knock on the door three times and was immediately greeted with an identical knock from the inside.

Here we go!
Ale, ale, ale!
Go, go, go!


Sweat poured from his forehead, as his weakened muscles struggled with what would have normally been a simple obstacle to circumvent. Finally the seal clicked open and Cristos pulled with all his might, feeling the portal move faster with a push from the other side.

With a two-foot crack open in the giant portal, Esteban reached inside and immediately felt a hand grab his. His shoulders ablaze with exertion, he pulled with all the little strength he had left. The cloaked form seemed to explode from the darkness, causing Cristos to lose his balance and fall backward, but before he could crash, the new arrival moved beneath him with inhuman speed, cradling his head with a mother’s touch.

Shaking with adrenaline and hunger, Cristos looked up into the face of his savior and whispered through cracked lips, with an accent that seemed of seas,
”Angel?”

Juniper Moore, the murderess known as Fee-Phi, winked,
”Now’s not the time for chit-chat…we’ve got to fly.”

Nodding, Esteban smiled and pulled himself upright, ready to follow his angel to freedom…or Judgment.


(Sorry for the delay)
(music by Mr. Martin)
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Hannibal Masters
Posted: Apr 21 2012, 02:34 PM


Very Nice Teeth


Group: Forum Moderators
Posts: 46
Member No.: 1,253
Joined: 6-January 12



Lobby

Beginnings.

In the past, Hannibal would have been more optimistic about his current situation. After all, there was hope in each new beginning, excitement behind each new turn of events. Yet Captain Masters knew the beginning he was getting into would be bloody; fatally so for many of his new “friends.” Despite his brooding thoughts everything seemed to be in order; his crew either arrived or in the process of arriving. No time to delay the speech he was no doubt required to give.

Striding forward purposefully, hands clasped behind his back, Hannibal Masters, Captain of the I.A.V. Vindicator cleared his throat. “Greetings, dead men, and women,” he stated, nodding at the ladies he saw. Inside, the master of the Vindicator doubted that ladies was the appropriate title for such women. “I am Captain Hannibal Masters. Henceforth, I shall be referred to as Sir, or Captain, if you prefer. The First Lieutenant will be referred to as such, the Sargent and the First Class Private as well. We are your superiors and we deserve your respect.” He paused a moment, letting the words sink into his listener's minds. “However, you are also human beings and likewise deserve respect. Me and mine will treat you with it and, in exchange, you will do the same.”

He locked gazes with each of them, informing his new charges, without words, that his will was iron. He would not back down on his decisions nor tolerate arguments against them. They were welcome to try but the results wouldn't be pleasant. “Now, to be fair, I must warn you,” Masters continued, walking forward slightly, hands still firmly clasped behind him. “The odds are firmly against you come back. Ever. We are going places that will make “Hell” look like a child's birthday party. But don't let this bleak prospect weigh you down, the future is fluid and the outlook favourable...” Hannibal went on with his speech, letting his new crew know exactly what was in store but not to despair. He was blissfully unaware of events currently happening in this very institution and just how much they would soon involve him...
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Kraken
Posted: Apr 21 2012, 02:43 PM


Bloody Dangerous


Group: Members
Posts: 4
Member No.: 1,288
Joined: 23-February 12



East Egg

Prison really was a marvellous institution. Kraken doubted that any outsider could fully appreciate the level of politics that went into everyday life behind bars. The controlled anarchy just waiting to be sprung loose on an unsuspecting populous was glorious. Everyone was intimately connected in ways they couldn't possibly begin to imagine. If the mercenary were some sort of poet, which he wasn't, he might have come up with some clever metaphor for the situation. As it was, Kraken simply knew how to manipulate it.

Take for instance, the pudgy man standing a few feet away from him, Jackal. Jackal was the primary weapons dealer for Waxer one of the big time guys. Waxer had a bitch who was connected to Breaker. Breaker knew yet another thug with ties to the Skull Takers gang.

Jackal's position of importance protected him from most of the common rabble. After all, killing him would be the equivalent of throwing a match into a room stuffed full of plastic explosives. It seemed amazing to the merc that one man's death would start a chain-reaction leading to an outbreak of horrific violence across the entire Egg. Fortunately for Kraken that was exactly what he wanted.

“Make sure you keep an eye on Lawson, Weasel.” Kraken informed his number one lackey, tone brokering no argument. “When this goes down they'll be coming for him, giving me just the opportunity I need. You do this right and you'll have enough drops to drown in.” The scrawny addict's eyes lit up at that mental image. Nodding like a bobble-head, Weasel took off towards the chop-shop at a rabbit's pace.

The security of his bait now more or less secured, Kraken strode towards his victim, shank clutched tightly in his right hand. “Nice day ain't it Jackal?” The big killer ground out menacingly, teeth clenched.

“What the fu...?” Jackal got halfway through his explicative before Kraken drove a shank right through the arms dealer's neck.

Hands going up to his wounded jugular, the convict tried desperately to stop the flow of blood. Sinking to his knees, Jackal locked gazes with Kraken even as his eyes went dark. Though he couldn't get the words out, Jackal managed to communicate them none the less. You'll pay for this.

“Sorry about that,” Kraken responded casually, pulling a very different shank out of his back pocket, “Nothing personal.” Without hesitation, the killer drove the “borrowed” blade deep into Jackal's left eye socket . With the handle protruding from the man's skull like a gruesome trophy it would be all too easy to connect the Reapers to this unfortunate murder. When Breaker's little bitch squealed about the killing it would be total pandemonium within the span of minutes. News travelled fast in the East Egg.

Putting his own weapon back in its sheath, Kraken began huffing it away. He had half an Egg to cross and he wanted to cover as much ground as possible before the riot started.

He'd made it halfway there before the real violence broke out.
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Hannibal Masters
Posted: Apr 21 2012, 02:48 PM


Very Nice Teeth


Group: Forum Moderators
Posts: 46
Member No.: 1,253
Joined: 6-January 12



Lobby

“You'll each have your own living quarters and, for your own safety, you'll be locked inside them during the sleep rotation. You'll find it much safer than your current accommodations I assure you.” He gave a warm smile, letting it wash across all the convicts under his care. It might be a slow start, but it was something. However, as he looked at each convict in turn, Hannibal realized something wasn't quite right. It appeared they were one short.

“Private First Class Vance, are we missing someone?” Hannibal asked, pausing mid-speech to assess the situation.

Doing a quick headcount, the blonde nodded, “Affirmative captain, Mr Lawson isn't present.” Her words were firm but her eyes screamed at him “let's get while the getting's good!”

Hannibal was about to order some of the nearby guards to “go get his mechanic,” when they pipped up excitedly.

“Holy shit!” One of the two prison guards gazing out the window into the East Egg exclaimed, “We've got one hell of a fight breaking out down there!”

His buddy chuckled coldly, "Ten creds says the Skull Takers come out on top again. They live for this kinda shit.”

Realization struck Hannibal like a sledgehammer. His mechanic was currently inside that Egg. An egg currently wrapped in the grips of a full blown prison war.

“Damn.”

Turning his back on the prisoners and his crew, Hannibal called up Warden Devore, requesting that a detail go in and retrieve Elliot Lawson. Devore simply smiled and refused. She wasn't sending one of HER people into the Egg with all the chaos going on. Not for one man. She'd made the situation clear as day.

“Private Vance, fetch the guns please.” Hannibal stated with all the causality of ordering a side of fries, “We're going into the eye of the storm.”

OOC: Go ahead and post your preparation actions/ thoughts or statements on the mission. Rachel will have brought back the Vindicator's stash of weapons so anything you want is basically available.(Within reason, don't ask for a gorram rocket launcher dong mah?) Deacon Mykeal? Hannibal understands your condition. If you want out just say so.
Best of luck to you all.

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Fee-Phi
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 11:16 AM


In a hopeless place


Group: NPC
Posts: 11
Member No.: 1,284
Joined: 13-February 12



Just spread your wings
We’ll get higher and higher, straight up we’ll climb
Higher and higher, leave it all behind



Beneath the deep hood of her cloak, The Eagle of West Egg watched for the inevitable resistance she and Cristos would face, but with each step traveled free of conflict, Fee-Phi’s feet began to move faster and faster…and her soul dared to hope. Leaning against her back nearly riding the smaller woman, the suffering Esteban kept his pain private and matched her hurried strides with a pace of similar purpose. Together the pair swept through the damned structure, seeking the most illusive of trophies…freedom.

Fee-Phi’s red shoes, stained and worn from years of seemingly endless movement, blurred in the darkness of Andersonville’s service tunnels and hallways, travelling a map burned into her memory. Several times they had to stop, when sounds spoke of approaching enemies, but each and every time, the noises faded or simply vanished…if they had ever really even existed anywhere other than The Eagle’s stretched and raw senses.

All those years ago, Devore had spilled a closet’s worth of the prison’s skeletons and secrets, and every day since, Fee-Phi had dreamed of using that knowledge. Plans had come and gone, but always the thought of freedom had plotted and schemed, knowing that its time would come. When the Faceless fell and the riots had engulfed East Egg, she tried to escape but her perch high above West Egg had become her own prison within Andersonville. The inmates were watching her Aerie, waiting for her to come down…in short, she had barely made it back with her life.

Months had passed, and she felt her chance lost. In addition, shortly after the riots, Warden Devore had stopped communicating with her, leaving her without a patron and the horrible realization that her perch as one of the Queens of West Egg was both literally and symbolically, precarious. Without Devore, Fee-Phi wouldn’t be gifted with equipment, privilege, food or water, but most of all, any chance of living to get back to Becca would be lost without Ursula’s involement. So Juniper turned her attention to escape instead of survival.

Having earned a measure of respect from the fickle sisters, Fate had given her a partner in Cristos Esteban. Somehow, the Alleluian had found his way to the catwalks in East Egg, and by chance discovered an old wired comm-box used by the guards. Like a magic scrying-pool of fable, the box had gifted him with a crackled, barely audible, audience with one Juniper Moore, who worked the box’s twin in the catwalks of West Egg. For weeks they had talked and plotted, hoping for the chance they now had. Wrongly accused and sentenced to Hell, the pair had vowed to see the other back to the embraces of their loved ones…or die trying.


Ahead a ladder led from the service hall to the prison’s auditorium, so Fee-Phi flew ever faster hoping to make the hangar bay before the prison was alerted of their escape. Despite the adrenaline, Cristos’s strength was failing; to be honest, she had no idea how he even stood, living as long as he had on condensation and smuggled rations carried with him on his one and only climb to the catwalks. However, Esteban was a man of deep faith, and Juniper hoped that faith would keep him moving just a while longer.

Reaching the ladder, Fee-Phi started to climb but quickly ‘felt’ the absence of her partner. Looking down, she saw the skeleton sink to his knees, as his hands tried to feebly grasp the rungs. With the grace born of life and death conflicts, the Eagle sprang from the ladder and landed lightly beside her friend. His gaunt face was colorless and his lips held an unusual mixture of blue and grey. When he spoke, his voice was nearly too weak to hear,
”Fly, angel…I fear…the trip…to paradise…must be made…without me.”

Cristos managed a weak smile and his boney finger pointed up the ladder toward freedom.

But Fee-Phi answered his smile with one of her own, and her voice brought forth the conviction of one that had never, ever lost hope,
”I’ll never make it by St. Peter without you, Cris,” her smile faded and a look of absolute resolve hardened her beautiful features, ”I promised to get you back to your brother, and you promised to get me back to Becca. You aren’t breaking your promise to me, are you?”

Cristos weakly shook his head and started to argue, but the Eagle interrupted him,
”Good. Now lets get the rutt out of this shithole.”

Squatting down in front of Cristos, Fee-Phi placed her back against his chest, pulled his thin arms over her shoulders, and laced the thin appendages through the harness she wore.

With his head against hers, Esteban whispered and had he possessed the necessary ingredients, tears would have flowed down his bearded face,
”My angel…my angel…my angel.”

Balancing herself against the ladder, the small woman rose carrying the much larger Esteban on her back. Her muscles immediately started to burn with the effort, but she ignored the hurt…and began to climb.

Just spread your wings
We’ll get higher and higher, straight up we’ll climb
Higher and higher, leave it all behind



Approximately Fifteen Minutes Later…The Lobby

“Private Vance, fetch the guns please...We're going into the eye of the storm.”

Admist the preparations, Fee-Phi and Cristos walked into the Lobby, the former still supporting the latter. Esteban wore fresh bruises and cuts along his face and defensive wounds along his arms, while all seemed fine with the Eagle.

No guards accompanied them, and they did not wear restraints.

Fee-Phi lowered her hood and locked eyes with Hannibal Masters,
”Juniper Moore and Cristos Esteban…reporting for service.”

Cristos looked over at his friend and whispered,
”This is not Paradise.”

Fee-Phi’s eyes remained fixed on Masters,
”Not yet, Cris…not yet.”
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Elliott Lawson
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 01:12 PM


Lover of Ladies


Group: Members
Posts: 19
Member No.: 1,291
Joined: 2-March 12



East Egg
Maintenance Shop


Elliott sat and stewed, his hands busying themselves with tearing down one of the smaller compressors for the tertiary atmo feed for East Egg, sector seventeen. He was good at that. Stupid Professor and his stupid face. Elliott wanted to punch him a little bit, but not enough to actually expend the energy to do it. Truth be told, he was the only decent kinda conversationalist Elliott had come across thus far, save the late Pepe. Now that the short Hispanic man was gone, he supposed he would have to find a new person to chat with from time to time on the Vindicator. Thankfully, and woefully, the Professor would be a thorn in his paw for a short time more.

He removed the bolts holding the upper housing on the compressor, two of which were damn near stripped, and removed the aluminum panel. He set it aside and stared, almost in disbelief, at what was inside. Someone had found a way to get into the gorram compressor unit itself, and hid a small pistol inside, wrapped in an oily rag and resting on top of a cooling fan’s screen.

No wonder the gorram thing wasn’t working right.

The weapon had jammed the screen into the path of the fan, preventing it from kicking on when it was needed, forcing the whole unit to overheat and shut down. Elliott sighed. Some folk just didn’t know how to treat a machine. Machines were just that. Machines. Objects designed to do a specific job, in specific conditions. Andersonville wasn’t the best of conditions by anybody’s stretch of the imagination, but Elliott and his crew had done a decent job of keeping the place from falling apart. Occasionally new parts had to be ordered, but mostly the systems were cobbled together bit by bit and piece by piece, by multiple people.

Elliott dreaded the day that they came to him wanting blueprints and schematics of Andersonville.

And shoving a steel object directly into the path of a cooling fan surely didn’t help anything. Elliott pulled the weapon out of the fan, and checked it’s ammo. Three rounds, in what appeared to be a decently cared for pistol. He clicked the safety on and slid the weapon into his pocket. No sense letting a useful machine like that go to waste. He tossed the rag towards his workbench and went back to inspecting the damage that the pistol had done.

Bent fan blades, a torn screen, and bits of broken plastic seemed to be the extent of the damage. It’d take some work with a torch to bend everything back into shape, some creative stitching to piece the screen back together, and a little fabrication with some scrap metal and he’d have the old housing good as new.

Or good as it was going to get, anyway. He began rummaging through his things, looking for the appropriate tools, until the comm panel in the wall beeped at him. The only time that happened was when the administration had a job for him. He cleared his throat and pressed a greasy finger on the call button.

“Lawson.” he said, glancing at the vid screen.

The helmeted face of his handler, a guard he only knew as Number Six, appeared in an incorrectly tinted and snowy fashion. Elliott smacked the side of the monitor, and it corrected itself. Number Six grinned beneath the heavily tinted visor of his helmet.

“And ‘ow is me favorite grease monkey? Still ‘avin’ color troubles?”

“Hey, Six. Still havin’ problems. Ya were a little purple around the gills. Well, more purple than normal, anyway.” Elliott said, chuckling.

“I’m terrible pleased that you’ve concerned yerself wi’ my well bein’, but I’ve got news fo’ ya, monkey boy. Your ride is ‘ere, and you’re late.”

Elliott glanced at the chrono on the wall, and swore at its battered face.

“Tah ma de!” he said, dashing for his tool/weapon belt.

The Vindicator was here and he was on the wrong gorram end of the Egg. He slung his belt around his waist, cinched it tight, and grabbed his leather vest from where it hung by the tool bench. He drew the pistol from his pocket, clicked the safety off, and slid it into the interior vest holster he’d crafted for a long ago lost weapon. He began snagging up the sharpened wrenches he kept as weapons, sliding them into their small leather straps on the belt.

“Now there’s a pretty little toy. Careful, Lawson. Don’t let the masses stand in your way.”

Elliott paused, confused.

“Huh?”

“Don’t know if you’ve been payin’ attention, monkey boy, but there’s a full blown riot goin’ on outside your door.”

Elliott moved towards the door of the shop, and out the doorway he saw what Number Six was talking about. Sure enough, the whole Egg had erupted into violence. Fires, or more fires than usual, burned brightly, and a man engulfed in the flames staggered past the doorway.

“Tah...ma...de...” Elliott muttered, stepping back into the shop to grab hammers as well. “Hey, Six? I hate ta chat and run, but I gotta boat ta catch. Thanks for the heads up.”

He didn’t believe for a second that he and Number Six were friends, and he was fairly certain that given the opportunity to make a profit, the guard would sell him upstream in a heartbeat, but the man had done him a solid when he knew it wouldn’t be repaid.

“Fair skies to ya, Lawson. Try not ‘a fall out of ‘em.” the guard said, as Elliott dashed out the doorway, a hammer in each hand, ready (or as ready as one could be) for all who stood between him and his exit.
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Deron Briggs
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 01:14 PM


The Mad Professor


Group: Members
Posts: 14
Member No.: 1,277
Joined: 4-February 12



The Lobby

The Professor had stood quietly as the dregs of humanity filtered in around him, each one more deplorable than the last. Rapists, thieves, killers. Not a single redeeming quality amongst them. Watching Hannibal Masters give his oh-so-inspiring speech, Deron couldn't help but wonder what he actually expected to get done with such a crew. The part about some of them never coming back made perfect sense to him, however. In Andersonville, they were all as good as dead anyway. May as well put them to some use. Give them purposeful deaths, instead of meaningless slaughter at the hands of disgusting wild animals.

Admittedly, Masters was a far cry from some of the folks they'd dealt with down in the Egg. He was calm, collected, humane. Even to the menagerie of strange and terrible beasts before him, he acted as if they had some value. To him, the Professor supposed, they did. They were pawns in some Alliance game, the rules of which he wasn't fully aware but he would slowly learn them. And he would find a way to game the system.

Then the alarm went up. Lawson was missing. Good riddance. With any luck, he was lying face down in the dirt with a vent in his throat. Maybe, if there was a just god, his killer had taken certain advantages of the rapist on his way out. Not a tear would be shed for the death of Elliot Lawson. He spat on the floor in Lawson's memory.

But no, Masters seemed to think that Lawson was alive and, even worse, worth rescuing. Deron gritted his teeth at the thought of wasting time and blood searching for the dog. He looked squarely, coldly toward Masters, his voice even and low. "Why waste time saving him? There are no shortage of fixers in the Egg. No shortage of rapists, either, if that's what you're after. He isn't worth risking any of our lives over... I say let him rot down there. It's more than he deserves." He jerked his head upward to punctuate. He had no problem speaking his mind, and even moreso to denounce Lawson for the base creature he was. Hopefully, Masters would see some sense in it, find another mechanic and press on.
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Felix Lann
Posted: Apr 23 2012, 02:35 PM


'Versal


Group: Members
Posts: 15
Member No.: 1,267
Joined: 20-January 12



The Lobby


A couple of his fellow troublemakers were having a conversation, but Felix paid them no mind. He wasn’t here to make friends, only to throw his life away on command. All he wanted was to get out of this hell and quietly settle down somewhere to be alone with his memories. Friends of this ilk were unlikely to help him do that, unless relationships were founded on agreements to avoid violence towards each other. Felix didn’t trust any of his fellow crew members, and was determined to keep a close eye on all of them, just in case.

There was the clinking sound of handcuffs snapping closed next to him, and Felix looked down to see who had arrived and had the great fortune to be seated right next to him. He was surprised and very amused to see Storm sitting there waving at him as though the two were great friends who were meeting after a long time apart. He smiled, the expression a mixture of mirth and pity. ”Hello again,” he said. ”Didn’t expect to see you here.”

As funny as it was to see a boy joining the ragtag bunch of villains, it did make Felix wonder what kind of Captain would willingly throw someone so young into the mess that the crew was sure to be. Felix wasn’t sure what had earned Storm a place in the hotel of the damned (he’d never asked), but surely the miniscule chance of freedom wasn’t worth the far larger chance of ending his life prematurely?

No sooner had his thoughts turned to the Captain than the man himself came strolling into the Lobby, all dark and serious. He began his speech with a boring bit about respect, which Felix ignored. To him, respect meant, “No, I won’t stab you with my knife.” Technically, the Captain and his underlings hadn’t earned that yet, but he’d pretend they had for his own sake. They had guns and he didn’t. That meant that they had more power, and thus should be treated with caution. If his definition of caution matched their definition of respect, good for them.

Masters (good name for his position) continued, letting them know that their deaths were very likely. Felix wondered if he was expecting anyone to back out after he said that. Really, their deaths were probably far more likely in Andersonville than anywhere the Vindicator would take them. As far as Felix was concerned, he was in it for the long haul, whatever that might be.

More was said about the living situation aboard the ship, but the convict had stopped listening. He didn’t care where he lived as long as it wasn’t a cell anymore. Far more interesting was the chatter of the guards. It seemed that the riot from earlier had grown. Felix was glad he wasn’t a part of that rabble anymore.

Then Masters ordered the retrieval of guns, and Felix stared at him in surprise. They were being sent back out into hell? Why? To retrieve some man to which most of them had no connection? Felix had leapt at the chance to get out of this place; he wasn’t going to risk his life going back in. As two more people entered the Lobby, the Professor spoke up, voicing Felix’s thoughts with a bit more of a personal touch. Figuring another voice of dissent couldn’t hurt anything, the man pushed himself off of the wall on which he had been leaning and spoke.

”I have no issue with Lawson, but the Professor is right. We all found our ways here; let him do the same. I’m not willing to risk my life for a man I don’t know, especially if doing so means the possibility of dying even before leaving this place. Besides…” He indicated his clothes, which were still bloody from the earlier altercation. ”I’ve had my fun for the day.”

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Fee-Phi
Posted: Apr 24 2012, 12:54 PM


In a hopeless place


Group: NPC
Posts: 11
Member No.: 1,284
Joined: 13-February 12



”They could use the Walks,” whispered Cristos weakly, ”If there’s a riot…might save some lives…to go in that way.”

Fee-Phi took in the rest of the conscripted prisoners, weighing each of the assembled in the Court of Juniper Moore. Finally, her eyes returned to Hannibal Masters, and she conducted her final judgment.

Her gaze narrowed and her voice lowered to little more than a breath,
”No, Cris…lets see what our new friends are made of.”

Drawing her hood up, Fee-Phi returned to the shadows.
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Nikki
Posted: Apr 24 2012, 10:07 PM


'Versal


Group: Members
Posts: 10
Member No.: 1,301
Joined: 22-March 12



East Egg was rioting.

Nikki looked over at "Private Vance" and back to the Captain. Yeah, that'd go really well. East Egg's exploding, so send in a woman with a gun. Man gets hold of a gun in there, he's got a ticket to the big time, least until someone cuts his throat in his sleep for it, and a woman . . . Yeah, it's like that. Hell, they might pause in their rioting long enough to stare and belt out a "What the rutting rutt . . ."

Then they'd focus in like starving dogs. Even if they got the gun, warden wouldn't likely send anyone in to take it away, just let them kill each other with it and over it until it ran out of bullets. Just another collection of graves and stories to repeat. If they got the woman, it would be another form letter for the Alliance military, probably a "training accident" or something.

And the men who knew what was in there were talking like they thought the whole thing just got thrown up for a vote. Least it made one thing clear.

Watch your gorram back. It wasn't like they'd be any help if you got stuck somewhere.

Yeah, they were going in, and it was gorram suicide. But then again, a riot meant lots of obvious danger for anyone caught up in it to watch, so anyone doing a good job of laying low could get in and out clean if their luck matched their ability.

Back in New Las Vegas, people in gang controlled neighborhoods wouldn't call the cops if there was shooting out in the streets, but they'd call the ambulance. How many times had they driven in to discover the shooting victims were still in the process of being shot, and the war wasn't yet over? Course they didn't have guns, and they'd stay back until it got decided.

Rutt it.

"Somethin' tells me y'all ain't gettin' your preferences on this." she said. "But Captain, assumin' you want me doin' my job, that man ain't goin' nowhere but the infirmary. If he was ridin' my ambulance, siren's'd be on, know what I'm sayin'?"

Course, Mari Green really ought to be going along there as well, but she wasn't about to out her as injured in front of the men, not even knowing them. Let her decide if her injury would slow her down enough to matter. Push her in front of the others, she might feel challenged and get stupid. Let her make up her own mind, the survivor would call the shots.

Shaking her head, she looked back over to the private.

"You goin' in there, best cover yourself an' carry a gun you can hide 'till you need to use it." she said. "They see a woman with a military rifle, you ain't gonna have enough bullets."

Alliance might be the biggest and baddest gang in the gorram 'Verse, but sometimes, they were also the ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng craziest.



Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng = Frog riding bastard
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Storm Xiao
Posted: Apr 25 2012, 01:06 AM


The Deaf Prisoner


Group: Members
Posts: 13
Member No.: 1,274
Joined: 1-February 12



The teenager missed the captain's first few words, mainly because he had missed the sound. Noting that everyone's attention was on him, Storm looked at Masters, specifically his lips. He watched how they moved, watched what he said. The rules and regulations. Storm already had the intentions of following the rules... for the most part. He was getting access to the Cortex again. His search for Amber wasn't over and he'd break rules in order to find her. That was obvious, seeing as he was in jail.

The odds were against them? Is that what the captain had said? Storm figured he had a better chance on the Vindicator than he did in Hell. His clock was running down in Andersonville. He could only watch his back for so long. One day, his attention would drop and he would be caught in that short moment of being off-guard. Masters could throw these odds at him. Storm was getting no closer to Amber in prison.

Storm cocked an eyebrow, noting Masters' change in topic. There was a subtle change in expression. It wasn't worry. Worry didn't seem like an emotion the man felt. In fact, there were probably several emotions on his list of "I Do Not Feel These". No, what his expression displayed was... different. Storm didn't know how to explain it, but a revelation had obviously come over him. He was... enlightened.

The guards who spoke of the riot were unheard by the deaf teenager. Their backs were to him, so he couldn't read them. He did, however, catch Masters' next command.

“Private Vance, fetch the guns please. We're going into the eye of the storm.”

The thing that increased the pace of Storm's heart was the fact that the captain was so calm when he said it. His face was relaxed and his mouth moved steadily.

Lifting his hands, Storm signed, "I don't understand. What's going on?" Cat was out of the bag. Now everyone knew he was deaf.

Storm looked back at the other prisoners and noticed a couple speaking. The first thing he caught was, "I say let him rot down there. It's more than he deserves." Storm noticed Felix move slightly, which told Storm he was speaking. Wait, were they supposed to go get someone? He was confused.

Storm sighed, reaching up to his ear and turning on his aid just in time to hear one of the women speak.

"Somethin' tells me y'all ain't gettin' your preferences on this. But Captain, assumin' you want me doin' my job, that man ain't goin' nowhere but the infirmary. If he was ridin' my ambulance, siren's'd be on, know what I'm sayin'? You goin' in there, best cover yourself an' carry a gun you can hide 'till you need to use it. They see a woman with a military rifle, you ain't gonna have enough bullets."

The hearing aid volume was low, but he wasn't turning it up any louder. Besides, the aid could only amplify the sound vibrations so much.

He noticed the weapons being brought out. It was now more obvious that they were being sent back into the fray. Someone was trapped in there and it was obvious that Masters wanted them to do a rescue mission. Storm doubted that fighting him on this would convince him to let them move on. This was not just a rut in the plans. This was now a test.

Storm stood up and lifted his hands in front of his chest.

"Hand me a pistol. The faster we do this, the faster we get out of here."
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Belle Josephine Faust
Posted: Apr 25 2012, 06:40 PM


First Lieutenant


Group: Members
Posts: 8
Member No.: 1,276
Joined: 1-February 12



Belle stopped just short of ordering the prisoners to shut the hell up and let the commanding officer finish giving the orders. She would have ripped both Deron Briggs and Felix Lann in two with a verbal machete had she been the senior officer in the room. As it was, she was inclined to side with them. One missing mechanic was not a good way to start the mission – it was an integral position and there was no way the Alliance would waste a good mechanic on a perceived suicide mission - but that was why they had Vanya Tabris. Elliott Lawson was expendable. Well, they all were really, but him particularly so at this junction.

However, even though the 'crew' had only been assembled for mere minutes, Belle could already imagine Masters spouting off some variation of 'never leave a man behind' if she protested. That did not mean she would risk herself or any Alliance lives on rescuing a convicted rapist, so when the tong doctor, Nikki Reese of New Las Vegas, offered up a more sensible alternative, the first lieutenant stepped forward in agreement.

“Sir, I agree with the doctor.” Sending in a single, capable person would have been ideal, but it was likely they would be perceived as a target simply by being alone. Also, she had no idea who she could label as 'capable' amongst their new members, if any. “I suggest we send a small group of the prisoners to go in covertly and retrieve Lawson, unarmed, so there's no chance our weapons fall into the wrong hands.” They survived this long without guns, they could do it a little while longer. “And maybe if Devore won't let you use her men, she'll let you use her monitors to coordinate the mission.”

The blind kid signed something out of the corner of her eye. She had studied some rudimentary sign language after learning they would be taking him on board, but she missed what he said. Didn't matter, what good could he do in there?

Belle slung her rifle off her shoulder and brought out the scope attachment from her belt. It snapped on with a metallic click. “Is there any high ground in the Egg? I can provide support fire from a distance if they run into trouble.” When they run into trouble, that probably would have been the more accurate thing to say.
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Vanya
Posted: Apr 26 2012, 05:46 PM


'Versal


Group: Members
Posts: 10
Member No.: 1,298
Joined: 20-March 12



Vanya remained silent for a while as she listened to each say their piece some wanted, some didn't..one made strange gestures... All in all... she felt amused. Glancing at Tsurin, Vanya then cleared her throat as her words flowed out. "Unarmed you say?.. Well, I do like a good fisticuffs as any, but unarmed, First Lieutenant?.. Least give us a tool or two... A knife perhaps? Or something blunt... Easily disarmed from any others that would dare take it from us.. Hmm.."

Vanya shifted in her seat as she folded her legs daintily. Her eyes looked to the still silent Tsurin. "What do you say, Hun?..I think it would benefit those that plan.. to go."

Her lips curled into a polite smile, this was a fringed smile. One of her many that meant so much more then just what was at the surface. Though it looked to be for everyone, Tsurin would know it was for her, and her alone. It was Vanya's way of telling Tsurin, that Vanya 'might' do something stupid.. like open her top, assume that words could get her past the rapists, murderers... That if she went.. Vanya might purposely place herself into more danger then the late-for-the-party Mr. Lawson.
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