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Author Topic: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory  (Read 276 times)

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Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« on: August 11, 2018, 08:03:21 AM »
Chugging forward, the train rocked its cargo and occupants around as it tumbled over the land and through the valley. Sand, dry grass and the occasional bush whipped past the sides, while the distant isolated hills seemed to follow their eyeline, always present. Blue sky looked over them, while the sun peered over the hills, hinting at the idea of a sunset in a few hours.

The train itself was fairly modern for a Rim Planet. It followed no tracks and hovered across the land, kicking up a mess of dirt and sand with its momentum. A flat track had been levelled out for it to follow, suggesting a far bumpier ride if it were to skitter over the hills. After the lead car were four open topped carriages, with wooden sides high enough to lean ones arms on as the they enjoyed the vista. They were connected by metal locks and wiring. The last two cars were stacked with crates, strapped down but still swaying from side to side as the journey progressed. At the helm was a man named 'Boss,' an old Indian gentleman, who no one was confident they could understand when they heard him speak. The two cars in between housed the crew of Bastion, winding down a nice and tidy job.

After delivering provisions to a shop on Silverhold, they had been tasked with escorting supplies to another store across the valley. There was an idea that they were aboard to protect the cargo, but the most work they had done on this trip was loading and unloading at their destination. Now they were on their way back to the main store in Newport where their ship was docked. They still had some supplies, a mix of leftovers and things to be returned.

With little to do, the crew were free to enjoy the ride however they pleased. Taking in the scenery, swapping stories or trying to make sense of what their driver was saying to them. One could sometimes pick out the odd Chinese swearword.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 07:11:15 PM »
Trina sat mostly quiet, occasionally trying to figure out what their driver was saying. All she was catching were the phrases of swearing, which she'd gotten used to hearing out of Mike now and again. It did make her smile at least, though she wasn't sure whether the man was swearing at the crew or the train they were on not doing what he wanted it to do. After a little while, she basically gave up on trying to figure that out and turned to Mike and the others.

"Any leads on the next job?" Inwardly, she was almost hoping for a repeat of the transport they'd just done. It wouldn't be the safest idea to stay put for too long, but it hadn't exactly been difficult work. Another easy job would at least give them some breathing room as far as money went. With as much work as the ship still needed here and there, they could use a little extra before heading off into the black again.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 11:23:13 PM »
Gemma was in her seat, legs curled up into her chest, as she watched the passing scenery. Most of it was a blur, but still pleasant enough to look at. It was good to have consistent work, or at least someone to share it with.  Her previous job smuggling got a bit lonely at times and Gemma by nature was a social creature.  The crew was small, but tight knit enough, it was interesting with the baby on board as well.

A lot had happened in the month they had been working together, Trina and Mike...and Desmond had saved her neck after she had been pinched. It was a happy coincidence they had all been in the same place. Though she couldn't say much for the mechanic, she still wasn't sure about him.  He just irked her some kind of way, probably because he had been a rival at one point and forgiving or forgetting was never her strong suit.  She eyed him quietly and turned back to the window, watching the it all pass by. 

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"Any leads on the next job?"

"Definitely could use one, need some coin so goldilocks here can fix our bird up before heading to the black."  She nodded her head towards Des while looking at Trina, a small grin on her lips. Pushing his buttons was one of her favorite past times. It had only been a month but Gemma made it her mission on occasion to 'poke the bear' so to speak. Not that he had a bad temper but it was entertaining and helped her pass the time.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

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Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2018, 06:56:48 AM »
"Err..." After a moment of preparation, Mike snapped into confidence. "As a captain. Everything is hand. I have plans. It's all been worked out. You have nothing to worry about." Then a pause, as the reality of Becker's mock confidence set in for everybody. "But yeah, really I was thinking we'll head to a new planet, make some friends." He nodded. It sounded wishy washy but Mike felt good about it. "We've made a good contact here. And Trina ran through the budget with me we're set for a little while." He assured the team.

"Especially with you two keeping us in the sky." He looked to Des and Gemma. One stopped the ship falling out of the sky, and the other made sure it didn't plummet into the dirt on planets.

Mike looked to Trina. "I just can't wait to get back to Hope." He smiled a little somberly. This was the longest he'd been away from his child and it had been driving him nuts the longer he'd been on the job. The building worry from being a parent tending to be his biggest concern these days.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2018, 01:20:48 AM »
Trina knew all too well the forced confidence and couldn't help but smile. She'd have to do some digging and see if there was anyone looking for transport or passage. It was when Mike mentioned Hope that she really looked at him. She was important to both of them, but she understood what he meant in what he didn't say. This was the longest they'd been away from her and it was tough on them both.

"She's fine. She's being well cared for and we'll get back and get going and you can spend all the time you want with her." That, at least, was the plan. Once they were moving again, thanks greatly in part to Gemma and Des, Mike could relax a little while and just be. The addition of Gemma and Des had been a good thing so far. Somehow, everything had fallen into place. Granted, there had been some work to get things there, but that was just par for the course. Sitting back, Trina did her best to relax for the moment as her mind wandered a little. "How long til we get back?"

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 01:28:47 AM »
Desmond had stretched out in his seat, extending his long legs into the aisle. His eyes were closed and his head was tilted back, but he was fully awake. He was absent mindedly fiddling with a bit canvas while he listened to the other three talk.

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"Definitely could use one, need some coin so goldilocks here can fix our bird up before heading to the black."

At the goldilocks comment Des opened one eye to look at Gemma, stuck out his tongue, and tossed the bit of canvas in her general direction with a grin. He was still unsure about where he stood with her. She was gorgeous, intelligent, and wonderfully sassy. Spent a good bit of time teasing and trying to get a rise out of him, which was always fun as well... but he didn't get the feeling she really liked him yet. Old rivalries die hard I suppose he mused.

Trina and Mike were alright. Good folk. Des figured they had their own demons though, people always did out here. Their kid, Hope, was cute as a button. Seemed to give them a lot of joy, and at the moment, worry. But like Trina said, they'd be back soon.

Des let out a long slow yawn, and stretched his arms up as high as they would go. He felt hit shoulders and upper back pop, and he made a noise of satisfied pleasure.

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"How long til we get back?"

He shifted back to a fully upright sitting position and looked at his watch. "Shouldn't be long now, these mag trains move deceptively quick. Something about not having the vibrations of actual wheels on tracks makes you not realize how far you've actually gone."
“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

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Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 08:09:16 AM »
Des's timing was perfect.

Just as he finished describing the speed of mag trains and their smooth motion, a jolt ran through the carriages that shook everyone forward then back, and the scenery began to pass by at a reduced pace. That pace was getting slower and slower.

Even a passenger with the slightest grip on geography would be aware that they were not close to their destination yet.

Muffled Chinese cursewords of surprise came from the front of the train.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2018, 07:47:25 PM »
Trina did her best to brace herself as the train threw the passengers around a bit. At first, her pale eyes went wide but then her brow furrowed as she looked outside through the windows. There didn't seem to be any thing along the sides that would indicate the train had hit something on the tracks, but it quickly became obvious that they were slowing down.

"He looks as surprised as anyone by that jolt. I wonder if he's slowing us down or if that's a side effect." Here, she looked to Des, who was their resident expert on such matters. Briefly, she glanced at Mike and then Gemma, a little concern on her face. Hopefully, this was simply a hiccup in the trip back to Bastion.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 07:53:30 PM by Trina »

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

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Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2018, 11:57:23 PM »
Mike tilted his head at Des's description in contrast to the action the train suddenly took.He let the irony breath for a moment.

"Just don't go saying anything to jinx Bastion."

Reaching over, Mike squeezed Trina's leg for comfort. "Ain't gonna be much. We just... ran over a cat or something." That explanation was the thinnest one that Mike had pulled from his mind. He immediately dismissed it himself. "Or something."

But the train was getting slower by the second. Perhaps this wasn't a temporary set back.

"Goldi-" He cut himself off, winced, then smiled. "Des." Mike got up and jerked his head towards the helm. If the train did have a problem this was the best reason to have a mechanic along for the ride.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2018, 12:31:40 AM »
Gemma tossed the canvas back at Des squinting at him and rolling her eyes, a small smirk forcing its way through. He wasn't so bad, at least not anymore now that he wasn't stealing her business. Plus he was also quite good at fixing things, and looked quite doing it.  Not that it mattered.

A small lurch in the train brought Gemma's legs forcefully to the floor and out of her seat.  One seemed to have fallen asleep, she scrunched her toes on the side of her shoe trying to relieve her self of the pins and needs and odd tingling sensation moving throughout her thigh. Her face scrunched a bit in discomfort as she looked down at the wretched limb.

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"He looks as surprised as anyone by that jolt. I wonder if he's slowing us down or if that's a side effect."
Trina looked at Des, and Gemma followed suit, he was the expert after all, "Do tell us world class mechanic, what could be the problem...unless trains are beyond your mechanical expertise." She grinned at him, one of these days it was going to work, but he was a tough nut to crack, or antagonize in this case.

Mike asked him to head up to the front, most likely where the thing was operating from.  "Well go on don't lollygag, he doesn't pay you to sit there and look pretty all day." Giving him a cheeky grin she turned back to Trina,

"Don't worry Trina, I'm sure it's fine, and if not, well, we'll do what we do best." Giving her a reassuring wink she gave her side arm a quick pat.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2018, 01:42:12 AM »
No sooner had the words left his mouth Desmond was thrown forwards and back by the trains sudden deceleration. He looked around, craning his neck. The view outside the window certainly didn't look like town, which was slightly worrying. Mag trains didn't get robbed very often, on account of their speed, but it had been known to happen. His left hand drifted close to his thigh, and the butt of the big hand canon holstered there.

There was a fair amount of surprised sounding Chinese curse words coming from the front of the train as well.

Quote
"He looks as surprised as anyone by that jolt. I wonder if he's slowing us down or if that's a side effect." Here, she looked to Des...

"Do tell us world class mechanic, what could be the problem...unless trains are beyond your mechanical expertise." She grinned at him

Des offered a shrug and a little grin to Trina and Gem. "Certainly sounds like it wasn't a planned slowdown."

Quote
"Just don't go saying anything to jinx Bastion."
Reaching over, Mike squeezed Trina's leg for comfort. "Ain't gonna be much. We just... ran over a cat or something." That explanation was the thinnest one that Mike had pulled from his mind. He immediately dismissed it himself. "Or something."
"Goldi-" He cut himself off, winced, then smiled. "Des." Mike got up and jerked his head towards the helm.

Desmond caught Gemma's eye, and then flicked his gaze down to her holstered pistol, and then back to her eyes. He hoped she understood the meaning behind the look, could be trouble... be ready, and didn't just think he was staring at her hips. Not the her hips didn't deserve to be stared at, but this was neither the time nor the place.

He slid to his feet, ready to follow Mike up the train. "Lead on Boss."
“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”

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Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2018, 03:21:39 AM »
The train continued to slow.

a couple of soft bangs came from the first carriage, and now the train was starting to pass debris. Bits of smashed up wood crossed Trina and Gemma's view. It grew more substantial the further they got. Supplies were seen, spilled out across the sand in a now widening area. The train was undeniably coming to a stop.

Mike and Des got the full view as they reached the front of the train. Infront of them was another mag train, derailed and blocking the path. This one was a few carriages smaller, and those carriages were beat up, separated and buried in the sand to the side of the path. Cargo and its contents were sprawled out too, most crates smashed, looking as though they had fell by the wayside.

The train came to complete stop.

The driver, with one more Chinese utterance, jumped out of the train and started running away from the path, toward the distant nothing.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2018, 03:19:00 PM »
Watching as the men moved forward, Trina looked out the windows. She didn't like what she was seeing as bits of smashed up wood and other debris littered the sides of the rails. Looking to Gemma, she stood up to follow Mike and Des. Then, she watched in disbelief as the conductor jumped from the train and ran. "What in all the verse..."

Grabbing the med bag she always carried, she slid it over her shoulder and then made a quick check of her gun. Something wasn't right at all. Moving forward she caught up with Mike and Des, guessing that Gemma was right behind her, and slowed as she finally caught a little glimpse of the tracks ahead of them. "How..." She couldn't finish the question before the doctor in her kicked in and she tried to push past the men. It wasn't likely there was anyone alive, but she had to check, wanted to check.

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Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2018, 05:45:00 AM »
"Where the heck is he going?" It was the driver heading for the hills that was the most concerning image here. What did he know that he wasn't sharing? Becker then looked back to the wreckage and shared his thoughts with Des. "Well whatever happened here, it was a damn mess." Not a clean assault if that's what it was. It also seemed to chaotic to be an accident. But above all else, it seemed still now. At least from what he could see.

"We need to clear a path." First thing was first, if the train driver was taking a hike, they shouldn't look to stick around. Getting back to town was favourable. "Gem! Could you drive this thing?"

From behind him came Trina, who instinctively regretted putting in any possible danger. "Hey wait up." He said, as he saw her instincts kick in. "Stay behind me." He drew a gun and exited the ship accompanying her to see if this wreckage still had crew.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2018, 01:32:29 PM »
Gemma raised a brow, watching out the window as the wreckage began to show it self.  A wave of concern washing over her.  She looked back at Trina, clearly her mind in the same place. The doctor had gotten up at this point to make her way to the front. Gemma got up and looked towards Mike and Des.

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"We need to clear a path." First thing was first, if the train driver was taking a hike, they shouldn't look to stick around. Getting back to town was favourable. "Gem! Could you drive this thing?"

Her eyes widening, train wasn't exactly in her repertoire, but it couldn't be that different right? Fake it till you make it...or something like that. "Sure yea, I could give it a shot...Des care to help me me make sure everything is till running?"  Looking over at the mechanic.

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory

Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2018, 07:15:08 AM »
Des breathed a curse or two as the wreckage came into view, his right hand unconsciously now firmly resting on one of his holstered weapons. The day had just gotten very interesting, and not in a good way.

Quote
"Well whatever happened here, it was a damn mess."

"Yep. That's one way of puttin it." He said in reply, his eyes scanning the wreckage and the horizon. He'd never had a soldiers instincts, but he had smugglers instincts, which were usually better... at least in his experience. And his instincts were at present screaming at him that this was not going to be a good day.

Quote
"We need to clear a path." "Gem! Could you drive this thing?"

Trina had also seen the wreckage, and pushed past him, her doctors instincts clearly kicking in. Mike followed after her, drawing his gun in the process. The man had some good instincts too at least.

Quote
"Sure yea, I could give it a shot...Des care to help me me make sure everything is till running?"

He shot a look at Gemma and nodded. "Sure thing." He headed towards the cab, hoping they'd find no big blinking red lights that read "Error, system non functional". It would be a long walk back to town, even if it turned out that there weren't any bandits about to swarm them.
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Re: Episode 1 - Strength Without Glory
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2018, 12:50:37 AM »
Des joined Gemma up front. There was no indication of fault with their own vehicle, just a blockage in the prescribed path ahead. With some careful navigation that might be able to go off road and around. Gemma got familiar with the controls. They were different, but straightforward. Most of it was automatic, unless the driver decided to go manual. The first carriage always led the way, and additional cars followed suit.

Mike and Trina stepped out into the chaos, where they both hoped to bring their own brands of good to the field.  A good bit of heave hoing and some additional arms could move the carriage blocking their path. Investigating the upturned drivers cab showed no sign of crew. No one. Their had to be crew right? If they were dead, where were the bodies? If they were alive, just where did one head to when they were in the middle of nowhere. There were no signs of life, only a carriage that had recently been abandoned in the chaos.

The cause could be assumed at least. On the other side of the derailed carriage were a few small craters in the path with remnants of ash and vehicle parts. The current scene appeared to be far from an accident.

 

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