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Author Topic: Needle Down Among Needles  (Read 490 times)

Description: Episode - 02
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Needle Down Among Needles
« on: October 14, 2018, 10:13:05 PM »
The Brass Ferret had linked up with another ship, been refueled and returned to the docks on Beylix. David had been made the butt of jokes and Zeke Tapoa had written him the riot act. It had not been a fun time. This was made worse when two of his crew departed the ship for different reasons but it was still a loss of crew. There was still work to be done.

In an effort to get things repaired, Tapoa had given them the scheduled time off plus a day because of the rescue despite the fuel situation. There would be another job in a couple of days and, since the ship was grounded for the repairs, they were not expected to sleep on board if they did not want.

The next morning a couple of crew men started banging on the ventral access ports as the sun was rising. They had arrived to start work early on what was projected to be a twelve hour job. Without much fanfare, if no one arrived to let them enter within a minute, one of them entered the Fractured Field override code and ramp to lower. "FF repair crew! Coming aboard!"

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 02:38:53 AM »
Joss was very unhappy.

Having to jump from Orisis to another planet was one thing; having to do it several times was another. He had no idea what wild goose chase his friend was leading him on but he was not being entertained by it.

After what seemed like an eternity he finally arrived on Belyix in order to randevu with a ship known as 'The Brass Ferret'. Ridiculous name aside, he was not in the mood to run into any more problems.

Suitcase in one hand and medical bag in the other, he made his way to the dock where the ship was supposed to be. When he arrived -and saw what he was looking for, hard to miss by the description of the ship- he witnessed a couple of men outside as the ramp was lowering. He evidently hadn't heard what they had shouted perhaps moments prior to his arrival for he asked, "Excuse me? Is this The Brass Ferret? I believe I am supposed to meet with you; I am to be the new medical doctor of the ship."

He better not be kept waiting.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2018, 05:49:35 PM »
"Where is it?!" David shouted again, his panic rising. The featureless man in front of him folded his arms, almost smiling, as if he was happy to keep it from David.

David had his gun pointed at the man and realizing now that he was never going to give it to him, David pulled the trigger. A tiny, bloodless, hole appeared in the featureless man's head. He fell to the ground and vaporised into dust.

David began searching the office. He flung papers wildly about him, he spilled out the contents of desk drawers, he heaved flung open cupboards and tossed aside items that crashed to the floor. It wasn't here!

David turned and ran from the room, sprinting out into a maze of corridors of a mansion house. He was lost. The gigantic house had too many rooms and stairways, and everything looked the same. It was all a dim, dark blue. Almost like he was swimming in this maze of a house looking for...

Suddenly he was swimming.

No, he was drowning.

At first he fought it, whatever it was that seemed to be pulling him down. He thrashed and kicked, keeping his head above water. And then, he realised, it didn't feel bad. It wasn't painful. If he stopped trying so hard, he could gently sink, peacefully.

He could breathe under the water. Or perhaps, he didn't need to breathe.

The water was all around him. There was no surface to break through anymore; his entire world was water. And It was warm, and comfortable, and there seemed to be a freedom in it. He could move more easily, like a penguin he had seen once in the zoo; he could simply propel himself through the water. He swam about, more like a dolphin now. he frolicked and rolled...

In bed, David rolled over and almost out of bed.

It was not his bed. Not in his dinky little apartment near the scrapyard, not the bunk he hadn't used for weeks on Brass Ferret, and it certainly wasn't the hammock he strung up in the cockpit.

Oh yeah.

As he awoke, he smiled. He remembered now. He shifted onto his other side, but Beatrice wasn't there. It was her bed, of course. Then he registered the sound of running water.

It had been a very pleasant night. Needing to blow off some steam after the dabocle of a rescue mission, David had hit up his favourite townie bar (with whoever of the crew of a legal drinking age had chosen to accompany him). He only ever went with the intention of enjoying a few drinks and the live music but more often than not his interest in people lured him into conversations and those conversations sometimes led to the bed of an attractive woman.

The shower stopped and a few minutes later Beatrice emerged.

"Good morning Sleeping Beauty," she teased him.

David laughed, put a hand to his face.

"I guess I deserve that," he replied. "What time is it?"

"Time for work," she answered, a little cooler than he would have hoped.

"Can I buy you breakfast? I know this great little place around the corner."

She stopped and stared at him. He'd gotten himself half-dressed while she was in the shower but her gaze made him feel uncomfortably naked.

"What for?" she asked.

David chuckled. "For breakfast," he replied, thrown off by her question and that look of scrutiny.

She smiled as if he amused her.

"Right, but, we go to breakfast and we talk and you make me laugh and then what - you call me in four weeks when you're back planetside? No, thank you. Last night was great. I needed it... I really needed..."

David understood. Intimacy came in many forms, not just in physical pleasure. They'd shared a night of intimacy and she'd had her fill of him. There was no more that he could offer her.

"I just, I don't see any point in starting something with someone whose never really here and I thought you made it pretty clear last night you're - you know - a free spirit? Not interested in being tied down."

David was taken aback.

"I never said that," he countered quietly.

"Well, not in so many words I guess but that's the impression you gave me. I'm sorry if I've misunderstood or given you the wrong impression..."

"Hey, chill. I just like the waffles at this place, that's all. I wasn't thinking any further than that."

Not much later, David was arriving at Fracture Field, cup of take-out coffee in hand. He would have liked to pop home to shower and change but when he'd checked his messages (as always, it took a few attempts as his device had an annoying habit of deleting a message when he tried to open it) he'd seen that a medical officer had been hired and would be waiting. That, at least, had David in good spirits.

He arrived at the ship and quickly granted access to the repair crew.

"Go on ahead boys. Ship's all yours."

He informed the repair crew if any of the ship's crew had decided to sleep aboard. Not that the repair guys would have much need to be in the crew dorm, but it was a very small ship after all.

Then David turned to the man he assumed to be the new doctor.

"Hello, Dr. Carter? I'm Captain Maverick."

David offered a hand for a shake and gave the doc his billion-credit smile.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 07:15:52 PM »
E.V. woke with a start, looking around the room in a slight panic. It took a few moments for her surroundings to make sense again. The dream she had woken from wasn't one of the bad ones, or at least not one of the really bad ones. She sat up and looked to the side, half hoping for there to be somebody there in bed beside her... but no. She was alone. She sighed. Yesterday was a bit of a blur, which always happened when she'd gone to long without sleep and then finally got some. She remembered everything that had happened, the rescue mission, meeting Freya, flirting heavily with Sienna... Sienna leaving when they got back, Carrie leaving as well. Everything was just a little... foggy.

She sighed again, and got up to stretch. The tiny hotel room could be described as spartan. It contained little more than the bed, a table, chair, and a doorway to an equally tiny bathroom with a cramped shower stall. She checked the time. Not bad, little bit of time. Enough time to make myself look halfway decent at least. She took a quick shower, and then dressed in boots, jeans, a faded pink band T shirt of a band she hadn't listened to in years, her jacket, and an assortment of bracelets, rings, and necklaces. She spent a few moments looking herself over in the bathroom mirror. Her eyes looked much less sunken today, and while the bags underneath were still there, they were greatly diminished. Satisfied with her appearance, she grabbed her bag and headed out.

The world seemed brighter and more inviting somehow today, or more likely the world seemed normal but she was actually semi rested. She smiled at people as she pasted them, paused to chat with a street vendor, bought a breakfast burrito and a coffee from another vendor, and made her way towards Fractured Field. She flirted a little with one of the gate guards who was pretty cute, and then continued on her way.

She caught sight of the Ferret, right where they'd left her. There were a few people just entering the ship. Looks like the maintenance crew... and there's David. But who's this properly dressed gentleman? He looked a little pale and gaunt, but he was still pretty attractive. New crew maybe? Guess we need a couple...

"Hello, Dr. Carter? I'm Captain Maverick."

She walked a little quicker, and came up to them just after David said his greeting and offered the newcomer a handshake. "Morning David, and hello... Doctor Cater? Oh good, are you our new medic? Oh, er, sorry. I'm E.V." She leaned against the cargo-bay door frame and took a sip of her coffee.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 10:25:25 PM »
The sound of movement inside the ship echoed down the corridors before entering the crew bunks of the Brass Ferret. Still being plenty young, Freya had not been able to or unwilling to somehow rent an apartment or hotel room dirt side and had opted to sleep in the ship. At first, she'd tried to sleep in a real bed like a real person but had found herself migrating first to the cargo bay, then several nooks and crannies in the duct system, before finally returning in sleepy frustration to her assigned bunk. She was tired, of course, who wouldn't be after what she'd been through, but she just couldn't find the comfort to sleep. She'd paced about thoughtfully before an idea had finally formed in her deliriously tired mind...

The girl stirred slowly in the fort she'd constructed from the mattresses of the other bunks, the blankets draped over it to shut out light and some amount of sound while she curled up in the dark cube she'd created for herself. She felt safe in the confines of the beds and the warmth from her body was kept inside her cushioned castle, keeping the child nice and cozy. Freya had slept in her clothing and her mass of dark hair was an absolute rat's nest from all the tossing and turning, her braids knotted and wrapped around one another.

The sound of the repair crew making their rounds brought her face to a crack in the mattresses, her nose pressed against it and one eye peering out. She inhaled a puff of cold, fresh air and waited to see who was on the ship. Freya was so used to bolting whenever someone approached that she had to physically grab her arms with her hands to keep herself still. She was allowed to be on this ship and that was something she had to constantly remind herself of, both throughout the night and now.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2018, 10:10:37 PM »
Admittedly, Joss was now feeling somewhat foolish for addressing the wrong set of individuals. To be fair, on his end, his friend hadn't given him all of the instructions in the universe concerning who was going to be on the ship. He just knew there were people on it. Obviously.

He at least knew of the the captain's name -that of Captain Maverick- so he was not surprised when the man, who had allowed the first set of individuals access to the ship, introduced himself. Another individual also came forward and introduced herself (the name was peculiar but he tried his best to ignore saying anything about it for the time being). He brought his own hand forward to shake the offered hand, trying to replicate the most calm smile he could think of.

He was not a calm man.

Nor was he one to smile often.

But first impressions were the most important and he had already botched it a little bit. Fortunately, the captain didn't seem to address his blunder, which was why he avoided the subject completely when he spoke again, "Yes, that is who I am. It is a pleasure to meet the both of you, Captain Maverick and E.V." Still, a strange name but he made sure he said it as naturally as possible. This was his only chance of being safe and he couldn't ruin it now.

"If you do not mind me asking..." he paused briefly to drift his attention to the ship, "is there a problem with the ship?" He had deduced by now that the original set of individuals were, more than likely, a repair crew of some sort so he was a tad bit worried. It could simply be a procedural process since the ship had just docked but he had wanted to make sure. He wasn't fond of the idea of being on something faulty, let alone in the vast emptiness of space. The other questions would come after the most important one was answered.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 07:01:17 PM »
David smiled in his usual, winning way. He saw no reason to hide the truth from the new doctor, despite David sensing he might not be the most comfortable with ship travel in general. At any rate, if there was a reason to be concerned about the ship, the Captain certainly didn't seem to think so.

"We had a minor calibration issue with the ship's computer, so we're getting everything double-checked to make sure everything's copacetic."

David paused briefly to assess Dr. Carter's reaction. If necessary, David would want to alleviate any of Dr. Carter's concerns but he was also trying to get a good read on the new doctor.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 08:12:53 PM »
Freya wasn't the only one who'd spent the night on the Brass Ferret. Briar hadn't gone through all the trouble of getting hired on a vessel just to go back to some dingy motel room. There were times when staying dirtside after a long trip was a welcome change, but generally Briar found comfort within the steel walls of a ship she could call home.

Freya also wasn't the only one who had found herself an unconventional sleeping spot. The topic of David stringing up a hammock in the bridge had come up in passing the day before; Briar had found the thought of him building himself a little mancave away from the estrogen-filled sleeping quarters amusing, but also appealing, and so, after he and E.V. had gone their way and left her alone with Freya, Briar had snuck into the cockpit, strung up David's hammock and curled up among the slumbering switches and lights.

She'd drifted away in no time flat and slept like a baby -- the metaphorical one that people always referred to when describing how well they'd slept, not an actual baby who woke up crying every two hours and wet themselves for good measure. There had been a few times throughout the night when she'd been momentarily woken by a distant clank or a creak coming from deep within the ship's metallic bowels, but she'd quickly fallen asleep again.

Briar woke up feeling remarkably refreshed. The first thing she did was take down the hammock and put it back where she'd found it -- David didn't seem like the kind of guy who'd get upset at her borrowing his bunk, but better safe than sorry. What he didn't know couldn't hurt him or something, and it's not like she had really bad b.o. that rubbed off on the fabric or anything like that. With her pillow under one arm and her rolled-up blanket under the other, she headed to the sleeping quarters to change out of her sleepwear which, to be honest, wasn't that different from her daywear - same t-shirt, just ratty pajama bottoms in place of regular pants.

When she entered the bedroom, she was greeted by a mess -- no, not a mess, a very carefully constructed little fort of mattresses. Looks like somebody's had trouble sleeping. That would explain the sounds she'd heard in the night. Briar smiled and tossed her pillow and blanket onto her bed. Then she crouched next to Freya's little hidey-hole, waiting for the girl to poke her head out.

"Rise and shine, Wispy", she said. "You should've told me you were building a pillow fort, I coulda helped you."

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 07:05:24 AM »
Footsteps moved closer and closer to the bunks and the girl froze inside her cushioned fortress, brows furrowed and lips press outward in a cautious pout. The sound entered the room and paused, and from where Freya had her face pressed against a crack in the mattresses, she could see the knees and downward of someone standing in the room likely looking around. However, the person wasn’t wearing uniform slacks or workman’s pants, they had on pajamas and thus had to be a member of the crew or a very lost sleepwalker.

Freya flinched in the smallest measure of surprise when two light thumps came from another bed outside her fort and she almost tried to sit up before forcing herself back down, not wanting to let the person’s legs out of her sight. Then, the legs approached. Holding back a noise of distress, she waited. A wash of relief passed over her when the rest of the woman’s body came into view and the girl recognized her as a member of the crew.

"Rise and shine, Wispy", the lady said. "You should've told me you were building a pillow fort, I coulda helped you."

Both the use of her nickname and the recognition of the woman’s voice as the nice lady who’d helped her avoid turning into charcoal when she’d launched herself at the sun, brought Freya’s head up and she reached forward to gently push two of the mattresses aside, widening the gap she’d been peering out from. Her lips parted and a breath slipped in past her lips, the girl clearly preparing to say something. However, the movement of her carefully and precariously constructed fortress from its previously stable position caused the roof to tip forward and collapse down onto Freya’s head, hiding her beneath it and drawing out a surprised ‘Oof?’ from the wisp.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

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Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2018, 07:05:02 PM »
The repair crew started to move swiftly through the ship when David arrived. "We should be out of hair by sundown but hopefully earlier than that." Grabbing a hold of their gear, including the trolley for the larger pieces, they proceeded up into the cargo area then split up. One went forward into engineering and promptly started ripping open panels looking for wiring. The other went aft to start checking power feeds. "There might be some obvious power fluctuations as we test stuff. Might as well take the day off, Captain."

As if to emphasize the point, all the lights upstairs went out including the emergency lighting leaving the living area and cockpit in complete darkness. The overcast sky did not push a lot of light through the front window of the ship to light the interior. Luckily, no one was in the bathroom when this happened. The banging from down below as the workman moved around echoed upstairs. There was a loud jolt followed by a short scream in pain from the aft engine room.

"I'm good. I'm good. Just a bit of a flash is all." The technician walked out and his hands were covered in black. He looked at David. "I'll be fine. It is nowhere near as bad as what happened last month." He nervously chuckled for a few seconds. "Uh, it is probably going to be longer than twelve hours at this point. Looks like most of the wiring heading out of the engine room toward the beacons are fraying so we have to remove everything along those paths to replace the wiring. Could take a couple of days. ... Look at it this way, you are Beylix and go ice ring spotting all day long." A mock cheeriness with a thumbs up seemed to folly the little speech. "Tapoa will not let you out of here until we are done so you might as well enjoy the holiday from the ship.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2018, 03:01:51 AM »
Joss nodded at the captain's answer. That would do. He was still somewhat uncertain about ship travel, especially since it had been a rare occasion for him to be on one outside of public transportation, though the captain was confident that it was a small matter. Or, at the very least, he was convincing enough to reassure everyone that it was a small matter.

Maybe Joss was simply being paranoid at this point.

In his defense, having a bomb go off that was meant to kill him was unnerving at the very least.

He was about to give a verbal response to his previous action when some sounds went off from within the ship itself. He couldn't entirely hear what it was, per say, though when one of the workers walked out with blackened hands he figured something had gone wrong. And, in fact, he was correct; the sheepish individual conveyed to the captain what the issue was and... that they were stuck here for longer than half a day. Maybe even a few.

He did not hide his displeasure as he peered at the worker.

He quickly regained his composure and returned his attention to the captain. "I suppose this means that there is a change of plans?" In all honesty, he was sort of relieved; he was still nervous about flying on that gorram ship. This also meant that he didn't necessarily have to linger with the actual crew in a closed space. He could do what he wanted. More or less.

There was still another issue, however... "At the very least, is there a chance for me to place my belongings inside the ship? It would be rather cumbersome to be carrying these around all day long." He lifted his suitcase and medical bag up slightly to give emphasis to said belongings.

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 02:49:25 PM »
A small startled yelp escaped Briar's lips when Freya's fort collapsed on her. She rushed over to drag the mattress off her and pulled the girl up from the pillowy rubble.

"I do declare, Ms. Wisp, I don't think this building is up to code," she said with a chuckle. "Are you okay?"

After making sure that Freya hadn't sustained any soft force trauma, Briar walked over to her own bunk and began stripping off her pajama bottoms.

"I had trouble sleeping too," she said as she scavenged up the pair of cargo pants she'd haphazardly discarded on the floor the night before. "I kinda had to built a nest for myself, too. I actually ended up sleeping in the Captain's hammock in the cockpit..."

She paused for a moment, then turned to Freya.

"Uh, could you not mention that to him?" she asked. "I mean, I don't think he'd mind, but, y'know, maybe it's a little awkward-"

Briar had just finished buttoning up the top button of her pants when all the lights in the bedroom suddenly went out. She thought she heard movement from deep below them, and for a fleeting moment an image flashed in her mind of reavers scampering on board, chewing on the wiring as an appetizer before chowing down on the crew. Then she realized the much more likely scenario, and relaxed.

"Shiny," she sighed. "I guess that'd be the maintenance crew."

Re: Needle Down Among Needles

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Re: Needle Down Among Needles
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2019, 03:07:17 AM »
24 hours later ...

It had been a full day since the Brass Ferret had started repairs. Things were progressing slower than expected and the electrical system was in full teardown for the time being. Zeke Tapoa was displeased with the ship being grounded longer than normal. There were needs to be filled including more crew for the Brass Ferret. Until those crew had been arranged, he had another job which needed to be done and reached out to Capt. Maverick through his messaging device.

"David, it is Tapoa. As long as you are dirtside, I have another job for you to handle. I need you to come back to the dockyards, grab one of the larger trucks and head off to Yanjing settlement to acquire something. It is a simple 'pick up items and then transport them back' job. It should take you about six to eight hours depending on the roads and traffic. I need you to go to Yanjing and find Wei Fu's Hydroponics. She has four large crates each of coffee and tea to be brought back to the yard. Do it and you'll get the first pick of the merchandise for the Ferret. Unless of course, you would prefer to drink flavored water when you get out into the Black. Let me know when you can head out. Might want to take some of your crew with you so they or you do not get into trouble."

The message ended with an emphasis that it occurs sooner rather than later. Better than sitting around all day wasting time while the ship got fixed.


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