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Author Topic: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers  (Read 1028 times)

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Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2019, 09:08:20 PM »
Thwack

Thwack

Thwack


The Wushu had still had two days until they docked before Octavia got antsy enough to go bother Amorru. She stuck her head into the cockpit and called to Reyes:
"You have any cares about me doing some arrow shooting in the cargo?"
He waved his hand in her direction, nodding and mumbling something that sounded like an affirmative. She wasn't certain but she didn't stay around to check.

She'd set up a small shooting range on the edge of the cargo bay, out of the way of foot traffic. The first day of shooting practice on Wushu wasn't great. She didn't necessarily need full hearing to shoot a bow and arrow, but she found her balance was off and keeping a rhythm was difficult. After a few hours, she gave in a took another pill. It would eliminate one variable - her botched ears - and give her the ability to acclimate to shooting on a ship again without worrying about that.

The second day, she only had one performance variable and she was determined to get it right without the medication. It was working better than yesterday.

Thwack

Thwack

Thwack


She'd been slightly off target for the first few dozen. However, she was getting back into her meditative shooting state and all her arrows were hitting their targets now. That was until the ship gave a great lunge to one side. She missed the target all together and the arrow pinged off a bulkhead.

"Damn you, Reyes!"

Between being 'in the zone' and her diminished hearing, she'd missed any warnings that might have preceded the descent. In was clear, though, that they were landing.

She retrieved her arrows, but left her wooden target standing in the cargo bay. She would pack it away on her way out. No sense to carry it back to her room if her bags would be coming out this direction anyway. She took another pill. It was her last one. She'd have to see about getting a few more from Grace before the shindig started. She had just gotten her things all packed away when she heard a faint voice from the comms.

"Charity, Octavia! Meet me at the ramp, please!"
She'd have to see if she could get someone to turn the volume up in her quarters if she was going to use the Wushu for a return trip.

She arrived to find Charity and Reyes already gathered. Her bag was slung over her shoulder. She had been startled by the hectic sounding hail enough that she'd forgotten to leave it on her bed with her dress and bow.

"You shouted...

What can I do for you?"

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

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Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2019, 01:44:17 AM »
”I’m working on it,” Artemis's reply stopped Amorru in his tracks, the inertia nearly taking his upper half forward after the lower half stilled. Amorru stood on his tip toes and his back bowed awkwardly in an attempt to steady himself. "Right you are, then. Um. Keep up the good work!" Amorru took a step back, lingering a moment as Artemis pulled her hair into a bun and wiped the grease from her face. For a moment his mind drifted back to the first night her blonde locks caught his eye in the reflection of the mirrored walls of The Thirsty Camel. He'd wondered many times how that night may have gone had he not made the incorrect assumption that Xavier's recruitment message served to lure him into a trap as opposed to offering a legitimate opportunity to work. Maybe...

As Amorru considered or hoped what the future may yet hold, Artemis reached for something out of his line of sight. Though a pilot - and now technically a pirate - Amorru separated himself from the rest of the wash and passed on the opportunity to test his wrench-dodging skills by scampering back across the ramp. Turning down the stairs to see Charity already waiting at the bottom for him with a bundle of fabric cradled in her arms. "How're ya here so quick? There a shortcut I dunno about? Oh! Is that-" "Your coat," the duchess confirmed. Amorru held the familiar, though thoroughly altered, attire aloft and half-admired half-scrutinized the lady's handiwork. Roughly half of the coat's original construction managed to disappear in the days since Amorru wore it last, with nary a sleeve intact. "What in nine hells do ya figure I do with this?"

With a roll of her eyes and a spring in her chocolate curls as she shook her head, Charity fixed the garment over the shoulders of Amorru's formal jacket and straightened it out. "Ooooh..." Realization caught the brash pilot beneath the chin as he worked the cape back and forth with a flourish, admiring not only the craftsmanship but also the coincidental additional distraction caused by the metal floss catching the light in the room and leaving momentary streaks in the air. Charity knew nothing of the rake's fighting style - in fact Amorru doubted very much she even knew he could fight - but the swordsman could imagine quite vividly the stupefied expression upon an opponent's face as they mistook the glint in the fabric for the flash of the blade. "My, my, Duchess. I expected your stitching would give Grace's a run for her money after I saw your alterations, but I have to say - I'm rather impressed. And look! More pockets for all my shiny, stabby things! Bravo!"

The sound of what Amorru figured passed in some circles as singing came haunting into the cargo hold in the form of a slurred, Irish brogue. Amorru and Charity seemed to cast their shade in unison, eyes squinting down slender noses as the smell of whiskey wafted into their nostrils. "What is this? Why do you do this?" Amorru threw the cape back to inspect a row of watches. "It's barely past noon, and we're expecting company. Your breath smells awful. Please, try not to talk." Turning away, the interim captain cast his gaze toward a pock-marked target set up in the bay. "Have you been throwing stilettos down here? You'd best not be going through my..." Amorru pat himself down, eyeing Sean suspiciously until his hand found the ivory-handled hole-poker he cherished so well. "Ah! There she is!"

"You shouted..." Octavia Wynn joined the party, causing Amorru to nearly jump from his platform boots. "What can I do for you?" "No, no. Weren't talking about you. Though I'm glad you're here. You do have your invitations on you, don't you? I suspect whoever's about to join us will want to make quite sure we're all supposed to be here." Amorru reached for a hanging control switch and pressed whichever button made the thing go. The ramp lowered with a hiss, filling the cargo hold with a gust of dry, hot air. The desert sun shined bright as the ramp landed on the white sands of Bellerophon, threatening to reveal even those that lurked in Wushu's shadows. Radiating in the light, Captain Amorru Reyes threw the cape over his shoulder and let it catch dazzlingly in the wind.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 01:52:55 AM by Amorru Reyes »
It's a mechanical bull at number one You'll take a ride from anyone
Everyone wants a ride, pulls away, Ooh, From you

Metric, "Black Sheep"

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2019, 09:54:28 AM »
Reyes passed him as the Captain/pilot made his way to the cargo deck.
 
"It's barely past noon, and we're expecting company. Your breath smells awful. Please, try not to talk."

"Never too early for a dram, boss man," Sean piqued at the already aggravated man.

 Turning away, the interim captain cast his gaze toward a pock-marked target set up in the bay. "Have you been throwing stilettos down here? You'd best not be going through my..." Amorru pat himself down, eyeing Sean suspiciously until his hand found the ivory-handled hole-poker he cherished so well. "Ah! There she is!"

For a moment, Amorru stared...well...daggers at the thief until the man realized his property was still about his person.  Sean beamed his most innocent of smiles.

"Worry not, o' rider of the space ways and shepherd to us woebegone travelers; I don't steal from me mates," though he was dead serious, the thief had fun saying it in a tone that left the matter questionable. "On top of that," his tone and expression showing his true state of inebriation, which was none, he let the man know with no equivocation, "I'm a sober, or not, as is needed,"  He was gambling on giving away one of his bigger strategic secrets but at this point he needed the crew to know he could be counted on and when he was faking being a drunken fool and why he did it.

With that he watched Reyes join the Debutante, the Mechanic...Artemis?...he really needed to make sure of what her name was, and Octavia where Amorru put on a jacket the Debutante gave him.  The gorram thing was garish and an eyesore. It was the height of fashion of course. Sean studied such things so he'd know who had money and who faked having money. It was pointless to rob someone who'd paid their rent money trying to look fashionable when he could rob someone whose real fashion was paid for without noticing how much the garments cost.  Sean thought most of them were hideous to look at, and he'd probably have to wear something similar for this upcoming job, but it was still foppish and ugly.

With these uncharitable thoughts he kept a hawk like eye on the cargo door and became "drunk" again.


« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 02:40:15 PM by Sionnach001 »

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2019, 07:53:25 PM »
For four days Grace had nearly no contact with the rest of the crew other than passing greetings as she hid away in her room plotting her exit.  She'd made contact with one of her father's distant cousins who conveniently lived on Bellerophon and would pick her up once she found out exactly where they were landing.  The rest of the time she'd spent scouring news feeds to find out if Emit's name or any of the other crews appeared from the bombing thankful that no familiar names came up but feeling guilt at the death count she may have been able to help keep lower if she hadn't been pulled away from the scene.

Her room was packed and now she just needed to gather her tools from the medbay.  Opening the door of her cabin she found a dress hanging on the outside of it.  She took a moment to inspect it, perfectly stitched seems wove multiple fabrics together to create what could only be described as a work of art.  The emerald and black outfit was accompanied by expensive -looking- jewels and frilly lace which gave it both texture and body which knowing Charity would fit Grace like a glove, if she had any intention of wearing it.  Leaving it hanging she turned the corner and went over to the medbay, prying open the door and letting the clean scent of the sterilized room invade her senses as she lingered and looked around.  It had been a short time but she'd already put this room to good use and despite it's compact size it was quite an effective infirmary.

She turned the key and opened her medicine cabinet, inspecting the wares as she decided what she would keep and what she would leave.  First noticing the medication for Octavia she decided to leave her a prescription and so pulled out a small notepad and in only the finest of doctor's writing scribbled what might be considered similar to the latin alphabet it was mimicking and pinned it down under the pills for Octavia to find.

"Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking,"

The eye roll of all eye rolls escaped the doctor as Amorru spoke, he must have been so proud of himself for usurping that title.  He always did have the ego for the position but for everyone to fall in line so easily was almost an exasperating thought to her.

We are rapidly approaching our destination of Bellerophon and - Agk"

The ship lurched and Grace made a clumsy attempt to shut the cabinet before the inventory spilled out but only got one door shut before she crashed to the ground along with the various bottles and supplies, her right elbow cracking hard off the ground.  As the came in for the landing she could do little but hold on to the base of the bed while the other cabinet door swung open and spewed out the rest of the supplies.  At least she wouldn't have to be the one cleaning this mess up.

When they finally landed she got to her knees and began to pick through the supplies on the ground and pitched them into the small duffel bag.  Leaving the mess behind even if it ate at her a little to do so.  Returning to her room she grabbed her other bag leaving the door open and Charity's piece of art swaying from it as she headed down to the cargo bay at a quick pace hoping to be off before anyone saw her.  Unfortunately that wasn't the case as by the time she arrived most if not all of the crew had gathered.  She paused at the foot of the staircase thinking of what she was going to say but decided the best course of action was to not make any eye contact at all and bee-line it for the ramp which was now open.

Octavia and the Captain were engaged in conversation about the invitations but there was no way she was going unseen especially as it seemed their escorts were coming their way.  She would have to make the attempt anyway, she swung the larger of the two bags over her left shoulder and carried the doctor's bag gingerly in her right, still stinging from that crisp elbow shot she'd taken when she fell and with a breath moved for the exit.  Passing the crew by while holding to plan and avoiding eye contact.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2019, 09:29:23 PM »
King had spent most of the last 4 days getting used to the ship. He had memorized the layout, who bunked where, etc. He knew the ship as well as anyone could after only being aboard for a little over 4 days. He'd had some interactions with some of the crew, but they we're all at least a bit suspicious of him still, so a fair chunk of his social time had been spent chatting with Charity. She was fun to talk to. Plus he got the feeling she enjoyed being treated like a normal person, contrary to how most of the crew seemed to treat her.

As they made their final approach to Bellerophon King was in his room going over his gear one more time. Not that he needed to. He'd been over it all 3 or 4 times already, but old habits die hard. He was in the process of field-stripping his new rifle when Amorru's voice echoed through the ship.

"Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking, we are rapidly approaching our destination of Bellerophon and - Agk!" The ship lurched to one side, and a loud BANG echoed from the engine room. "Um. Art?  Seems like we're losing thrust here. What, ah... What was that? ....Sod it all... Strap in folks, and prepare for a bumpy landing. I'll just... Glide her in. Yeah. No problem..."

"Oh god, oh god, we're all going to die." King muttered to himself with a chuckle, and continued with his work, oddly confident in the pilot's ability to NOT crash and kill them all.

Just as he'd thought, Amorru managed to set the ship down without turning it into a fiery tangle of burning metal and corpses. The pilots voice echoed through the ship again as King was finishing reassembly of his rifle. "Heads up. We're about to have some companyyyyy!" There was a pause, and then over the comms Amorru spoke again. "Charity, Octavia! Meet me at the ramp, please!"

"Time to go to work." He dressed quickly and efficiently. First the chest piece of combat armor, then undershirt, pants, and then the rest of the suit. He had debated trimming his full beard down to something more professional, but in the end decided against it. He liked the beard to much.

He strapped on his sidearm and exited his room, heading towards the cargo bay. He found the rest of the crew already there. As he entered, the cargo ramp had just finished lowering. Charity, Amorru, Sean, and Octavia were in a cluster next the the ramp, Artemis was off to the side in what would have been shadows, and Grace stood at the foot of the stairs... looking very much like the was packed up and about to walk away. Well, he couldn't really blame her for leaving. He didn't know the details but there was obviously some history between her and Amorru. Still, not having a Doc was going to be less than ideal if someone caught a severe case of lead poisoning.

He was half way down the stairs when she started walking towards the ramp. His longer stride and lack of baggage meant that he made it to the rest of the crew a moment before Grace drew level with them. He took up a position just behind and to the right of Charity. "Sorry I'm late. Looks like the Doc is making a break for it." He said, inclining his head towards Grace.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2019, 12:21:15 AM »
"No, no. Weren't talking about you. Though I'm glad you're here. You do have your invitations on you, don't you? I suspect whoever's about to join us will want to make quite sure we're all supposed to be here."

As Amorru was talking to her she spotted, out of the corner of her eye, the arrow that had drastically missed the target on descent. She moved to pick it up and stabbed it into the bullseye for safekeeping until she cleared all of her things out.

Turning back to the new captain she said, "Well, I'm certainly supposed to be here. Can't say for any of you - except for whoever you have decided is my plus-one."

She rifled through her bag and pulled out a slightly bent, luscious-looking envelope. It had a subtle shimmer to it as if it had been dipped in glitter. The names "Mr. Alex Rosenthal and Ms. Alice Rosenthal" were written in looping purple letters on the front.

Looking at the names she blushed as she realized this envelope was not addressed to her.
"Pigu! Hang on. The invitation transfer approval is in my tablet." She shoved the stationary into Amorru's hand, not waiting for him to fully grasp it before she went back to digging in her bag. The piece of tech was likely all the way at the bottom.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 12:27:38 AM by Octavia Wynn »

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

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Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2019, 03:31:29 AM »
Five armed security personnel in light armor strapped over formal attire made their way on to the ship in a V formation. One of them made eye contract with Grace in her attempt at egress and motioned firmly for her to return to the cargo hold with the rest of the crew. "Something illegal in the luggage, Miss? Or is there some other reason you wanted to go for a stroll through the desert?"

Amorru attempted to smooth things over by introducing himself and explaining things. "Pardon Grace's behavior, gentlemen. She's been under quite a bit of stress lately. Oh! Where are my manners? I'm Alexander Rosenthal," he said, putting an arm around Octavia and presenting their invitations, "and this is my lovely wife, Alice. There you are." Amorru 'knowingly' winked and nodded at Wushu's passenger, clearly misunderstanding her intentions after she handed him the envelope.

The head of the security team checked he invitations over and nodded. "What about the rest?" "Ah, of course." Amorru moved aside his half cape and presented a few more envelopes from within his jacket. Handing the invitations from Xavier's office over, he began to make introductions. "May I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Jarold Thorington." The 'Captain' motioned towards Charity and King. "Jarold's one of the most successful cattle barons on Jiangyin, and his lovely lady Amethyst is quite a homemaker."

Amorru moved to introduce Artemis next, according to the name on her invitation. "Caitlyn Marx, an engineering consultant educated on Ariel who's done me the favor of looking over my engines. In fact, I believe she was about to share her suggestions for repair as you hailed us." A wry smile pulled at half of Amorru's mouth as he glanced over to Sean. "And this is Alice's dearest cousin, Rathbin Addleberry. The poor boy was born with bad blood, you see, and is quite daft as a consequence. Please forgive his slurred speech and generally aloof nature. He's quite harmless, I assure you, but does require a bit of extra care. Thankfully, we are blessed with the presence of his nurse, Grace, who was just packing some of Rath's required amenities. Unfortunately she has no formal invitation, but I think you'll forgive the breach of etiquette. Considering the circumstances, of course."

The crew waited patiently as the head of the team held a one sided conversation with someone on the other end of the comm-link in his ear. "Seven, sir. Seems a family owned ship, carrying passengers from Ariel and Jiangyin. Only one without an invitation. She seems to be a caretaker of one of the... guests. It's a Hotaru Class, equipped with a shuttle." Addressing Amorru, the guard asked "Is your shuttle operational?" Amorru's eyebrow and shoulders began to rise out of instinct before he shook the expression from his face and nodded in confidence. "Shuttle's operational. Shall we escort them to the estate? Affirmative." The man motioned for his team to return to their own ship before addressing Amorru again. "Seal up your transport and dispatch your shuttle. We'll escort you to the Ainsworth Estate. Oh, wait!" Amorru flinched visibly and recoiled slightly, assuming the jig was up already. "Welcome to Bellerophon!"
I know that I hung on a windy tree nine long nights, wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree of which no man knows from where its roots run.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2019, 03:49:35 PM »
Nothing like a new role to play Sean thought, and quickly. He let his features become ever so slightly become more slack and his eyes seem a wee bit more dazed as Amorru spun his web with the security officer.

He idly picked his nose and made a small show of where he should deposit it as the officer finished speaking into his comm unit:

 The man motioned for his team to return to their own ship before addressing Amorru again. "Seal up your transport and dispatch your shuttle. We'll escort you to the Ainsworth Estate. Oh, wait!" Amorru flinched visibly and recoiled slightly, assuming the jig was up already. "Welcome to Bellerophon!"

Sean beamed and smiled wide with with joy as a child might and flapped his hands in excitement, bogey firmly in place.

"Alice! Alice! Are we going to the party now?" he all but crowed, with no trace of his Irish accent, but kept it subdued. Theatrics were fine but overselling was overselling.

He brought his hands together in another expression of excitement and "discovered", as if it had appeared out of nowhere, what was there and aimlessly wiped it on a bulkhead, then smiled in triumph at Amorru...waiting for praise at the accomplishment.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 11:50:20 PM by Sionnach001 »

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

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Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2019, 12:47:48 AM »
"Oh! Well thank you so much! The escort will be greatly appreciated, of course!" Amorru placed the invitations back into his vestments and clasped his hands before himself, ignoring Sean's display with a practiced smile. Perhaps the visage of forced tolerance one might expect from a patient and understanding spouse helped put the outburst over as something natural and expected. Perhaps the security officer just cared so little to remain involved that he turned with a passive, impersonal nod and stepped back down the ramp with a whistle to his crew. They fell in behind him and departed while Amorru turned toward his crew. "Phew. Okay, that's a start innit? Although, Sean. Right now you're up here, but I think we need you down here. And you can wipe all the boogers on the Ainsworth's curtains as you like, but do us a favor and leave my - er, our - poor ship alone. Right! So. Who knows where the shuttle is?"

As seemingly the entire rest of the crew aside from Amorru and Grace took the first step toward the shuttle, the Captain took the opportunity to lean in toward the doctor so determined to depart. "So, I realize you're so eager to be done with us you're willing to die in a desert over it, but I'm afraid recent developments require me to alter our previous agreement. Going to need you to stay on with us until we make it to Ariel. Should only be a couple more days, like." Amorru looked Grace over, eyes narrowing at her stern expression. "Look, I won't even mention how I saved your bacon back there. But understand I wouldn't even be bothered with begging you like this if we didn't absolutely need you. Your talents, I mean. Come on. It's not like I'm even asking you to do this for me. But do it for them. Just a couple more days, and when we're finished at Ariel we're... Well. I guess we're finished." Amorru stood before her a moment, eyes flickering to the grated floor. He turned abruptly before Grace could respond, lifted boot falls echoing through the corridor behind him as he double timed it to the shuttle as if he knew its location all along.

Once inside the shuttle, Amorru sat himself in one of the rows of passenger seats and looked around. "So, who wants to fly? Have to say I'm more than a bit tired of flappin' me arms for one week. And how about the radio, while we're at it? I'd rather not hear myself think at the moment, if it's all the same to the rest of ya." The radio locked on to a planetary signal broadcasting across Bellerophon, apparently stuck on a news station from its last use. "Of course the Ainstworth wedding is what everyone's abuzz about this weekend, and we'll be there to report live from the gala. A follow up now on our earlier coverage of the terrifying attacks on Newhall. The ongoing investigation within the city of Heraklion has uncovered evidence of a terrorist group comprised of former Independent soldiers apparently responsible for the attacks. Of course the Independent rebellion ceased following the Battle of Serenity Valley on Hera, signalling the end of the so-called Unification War over a decade ago. Strange and somewhat inspiring how some loyalties never really die, but are those loyalties truly worth the cost of innocent lives in order to carry on a decade old grudge? This reporter staunchly disagrees."

Images of Independent iconography flashed before Amorru's inner eye. Newhall was so far out of the way between Greenleaf and Bellerophon. Fuel and supplies as low as they were, could Xavier have put together the crew as a cover for his role in the attacks? Was Abigail part of it all? Did the Moda Tong serve only as a minor inconvenience to him, something to cast off on the remainder of the crew while JAX disappeared into the nether en route to the next bombing? Amorru clasped his hands behind his head as he settled back into his seat. "Curiouser and curiouser..."
It's a mechanical bull at number one You'll take a ride from anyone
Everyone wants a ride, pulls away, Ooh, From you

Metric, "Black Sheep"

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2019, 01:35:28 PM »
Charity seemed to beam brightly at the rare compliment from Amorru. She was happy that he might have been warming up to her, and that her work on his ‘coat’ had been appreciated and immediately put to use. She didn’t feel like she was very useful on a ship like this, and most of her extensive knowledge was theoretical, but she was glad that in this small moment, she had been helpful. The drunk’s stumbling entrance broke her good mood and she found herself eyeing him dubiously alongside Amy before sharing a knowing glance with the man. He mentioned that he was sober…and not… so then what was the point? Her gaze slid over Sean slowly, brows aloft and clear skepticism written plain as day across porcelain features. Rolling her dark eyes at the man’s unnecessary showmanship, the debutante turned to face the lowering ramp, noticing King’s ghostly arrival just as it settled down on the dessert floor.

He mentioned the Doc making a break for it and Charity’s head whipped around to search for and finally stare at Grace as she began making her way out into the vast nothingness they’d landed upon. “Wh…” she began, beginning to rock forward toward the other woman, stopping only when the guest they’d picked up began mentioning her tickets and handed them over to Amorru. She recalled them having four tickets themselves, with an extra from the woman’s plus one, but she also wasn’t sure how accurate that was. Their Captain hadn’t been all that honest with them before, it seemed. Again, before she could delve further into that line of thought, the security team arrived at their lowered cargo ramp. With a clearing of her throat, the aristocrat clasped her hands in front of her lap once more and wiggled her shoulders once or twice before becoming still as stone, the very image of prim and proper poise.

As an envelope was handed to her, she took it carefully and offered a warm smile at the man who seemed to be in charge, her body freezing at the name they’d been given, as well as the role. Still, her face did not betray her surprise or disgust at being given Thorington as a surname. With a gentle, almost imperceptible clearing of her throat, Charity wrapped her arms gently around King’s elbow, leaning against him like a woman in love. Her elegant hand patted the man’s chest gently during Amorru’s prattling about King’s (or Jarold’s, rather) fine skills as a cattle baron, acting every bit the doting, homemaking, wealthy wife she’d been made out to be.

Curious about how they’d handle their new identities, Charity watched as each new character was introduced, smiling to herself and tilting her head to the side. Oh course, the drunk-not-drunk had to make a performance out of everything and Charity groaned inwardly (and perhaps a little outwardly) before shaking her head and looking away from him. He really was too much. However, despite the possibility of his show putting the guards on edge, they seemed to accept the clear deceptions and welcome them to the planet before leaving back to their own ship. She let out  a breath, unknowingly keeping her arms around King’s.

“Sean. Right now you’re up here, but I think we need you down here,” he advised and again, Charity shook her head in annoyance, absolutely agreeing with the ‘Captain’. She turned and began walking (with King) toward the shuttle, only pausing to glance back at the Doctor and Pilot turned Captain having a hushed conversation. Her lower lip became trapped between her teeth at the thought of Grace leaving them all behind, but there was nothing she could do about it right now. They had a job. Slipping free of King, Charity offered him a smile and hurried back up to the hall near their rooms, hastily grabbing all the garment bags and dresses before she too made her way into the shuttle, finding herself being the last one in. “My apologies for my tardiness. I thought it might be prudent to bring these along,” she told them, smiling winningly before struggling to get to a seat with the mass of fabric held in her arms. She sat, as best as she could, and tried to fiddle with the belt, having more than a little trouble getting it into place around or beneath the dresses and suits. “Oh, bother,” she whispered to herself, half listening to and half ignoring the radio broadcast.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2019, 11:00:55 PM »
Grace's decent from the ship was halted rather unsatisfyingly as a group of armed men came up the ramp stopping her in her tracks while motioning her back further into the ship.  She hesitantly complied backing up a few metres to comply.

"Something illegal in the luggage, Miss? Or is there some other reason you wanted to go for a stroll through the desert?"

"I..."  She started her response only to be cut off by Amorru who apparently had everything all figured out.  He went about explaining their situation and introducing them.  Grace considered interrupting him as well but thought better of it and chose not to fight this battle.  As Amy yammered on giving instructing the crew of the Wushu on their roles just as much as educating the security detail she retreated a little further considering the alias she was given.  Same name perhaps but her role now apparently was as the keeper of Sean playing a challenged individual.

Grace wasn't really surprised at how convincing the man was.  Self-confidence wasn't in short supply for the pilo..... Captain and his conviction to his altered facts was enough for the men as they wrapped up their visit and the rest of the crew moved for the shuttle.  All except for Amorru who approached Grace.  She wasn't sure what to expect from this conversation but she knew from the look in his eyes it wasn't going to be pleasant.

"So, I realize you're so eager to be done with us you're willing to die in a desert over it, but I'm afraid recent developments require me to alter our previous agreement. Going to need you to stay on with us until we make it to Ariel. Should only be a couple more days, like."

As he spoke there were several moments she wanted to speak but he really didn't give her an opening.  Mentioning that she had arranged for her father's cousin picking her up off a GPS ping would negate the dying in the desert.  The fact that she had no previous agreement with him at all at this point but her option to retort was never presented as he continued on.

"Look, I won't even mention how I saved your bacon back there. But understand I wouldn't even be bothered with begging you like this if we didn't absolutely need you. Your talents, I mean. Come on. It's not like I'm even asking you to do this for me. But do it for them. Just a couple more days, and when we're finished at Ariel we're... Well. I guess we're finished."

Amorru took on a more serious expression and tone as he continued.  His first real valid point came about in the second breath, she did always marvel at his lung capacity to push out so many words with so little air.  She regret now more than before she hadn't addressed him saving her life, it wasn't lost on her and she was thankful however her concern for the people they left behind had built up and her frustration overshadowed her sense of humility.  She should have made more of an effort to have that conversation sooner.  He lingered only a moment after that last statement, his eyes looking to the ground.  She wondered what that meant, his delivery of the words hinted either pain at the saying of it or maybe there was more to it.  Did he still have feelings?  She couldn't deny that there was still something in her that wanted to reconcile even now as he for maybe the first time had a moral high ground over her.  As she tried to unpack and compartmentalize all of her emotions he turned suddenly and departing leaving her slightly lost and slightly more ashamed at her actions.  She was going to leave this ship, these people she'd signed on to help and heal because Reyes had the audacity to save her life.

She lingered alone in the cargo bay a moment longer before taking a deep breath and heading to the shuttle only to remember she'd left the dress Charity made her and turned to go retrieve it.  Once she arrived at her berth however it was already gone.  Charity must have rounded it up but while she was there Grace tossed her one bag back in her room and headed to the shuttle.  She didn't make eye contact with any of the crew as she sat down, buckled in and planted her eyes at the ground feeling very much stripped down from their acting Captain's speech and her own dereliction of duty.  Her eyes only met once with any other crew as she looked to Charity a moment but quickly returned her gaze downwards.  Feeling very uncertain of herself.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2019, 05:36:05 PM »
Octavia hadn’t yet managed to dig the tablet out when the security team boarded the ship. It was stuck underneath something heavy, mostly the impractical shoes Alice had chosen to go with Octavia’s ridiculous dress.

“Oh! Where are my manners? I'm Alexander Rosenthal," he said.

“What!” She started before being quickly steamrolled by Amorru’s arm around her and his continuing, "and this is my lovely wife, Alice. There you are."

She flinched away from his touch as much as at the thought of Alex – not Alexander! – and Alice being husband and wife.
Amorru was so far from being like Alex it was funny. He reminded her a lot of Alice, though this probably wasn’t the time to bring that up.

The pilot-captain continued on introducing everyone with incorrect names arriving finally at Sean who’s manner completely changed on hearing his new role.

Rathbin Addleberry, what an unfortunate name choice. Might as well just called him Crazy VonRichie. And cousins! So, just because they both had red hair they were related?

“Alice! Alice! Are we going to the party now?"
She rolled her eyes in response. This was all so unnecessary. She had the official transfer right here in her bag. Surely, they’d be worse off for being caught in this lie.

Octavia was not sold on Amy’s lies, nor on Sean’s rather outlandish performance. She was certain the security wouldn’t be either. So, she was mighty surprised when they were welcomed so effortlessly to Bellerophon.

What kind of security didn’t notice the Ms. as opposed to Mrs.? Better yet what kind of security didn’t check for visual ID? What kind of security didn’t know that it wasn’t supposed to be Alex and Alice arriving at all? Had they even looked at the revised guest list?
She worried about the amount of explaining this was going to take later, but for now there was nothing to do but to gather her things and get on the shuttle.

She returned to her room, secured her weapons to her person and slung her dress bag over the opposing shoulder to her duffel. Back in the cargo, she folded up her little target and shoved it in the top of her bag, sliding the arrow back into its home. She didn’t want to leave anything here. She wasn’t certain if she would be returning after the event.
On board the shuttle she found Grace near the back staring at the floor. There was an empty seat near her and Octavia took it, as well as the opportunity to speak to the doctor quickly before the vessel left.

“Before we leave,” Octavia started, her voice raised in hopes of catching the ear of whomever was piloting the shuttle in a not-so-subtle hint “I needed to see to a medical concern Grace.”

She continued, her words back down to a regular volume,   “I’m all out of them hearing pills you gave me. I was hoping I could get a few more before the wedding. You know to hear the vows and such.”

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2019, 12:12:36 PM »
Artemis took her introduction without expression. She simply nodded in greeting towards the most dominant looking man on the floor and folded her arms across her chest. Since slipping on her blazer she was channeling her debutante upbringing and so good was her training that a stranger could barely notice the dust and grease stains dappling her outfit. Although her face was unreadable her mind processed the new information. She'd only followed the others to the cargo bay to make sure that she wasn't, once again, out of the loop when something major happened. Now suddenly she was part of the con, with an alter ego to boot.

Pissed. She should have been pissed. But strangely she was kind of elated. When she'd been Captain of Gemini she'd had to deal with these sorts of shenanigans all the time. In fact she'd even hired another mechanic to make sure she was free to do whatever necessary to keep the ship running. Since leaving her, Art had been all engineering all the time. It was kind of nice to be back in the game. And there were worse names than Caitlyn, although she would be calling herself Cat in her introductions. Maybe even Kit.

She was so caught up in said game that she hadn't really considered the major problem until she was standing in the shuttle. Who was going to get Wushu up and running again? If they were expected to make a speedy getaway she would need to stay behind and get the engines moving. Cursing inwardly for allowing herself to believe she could have a bit of fun, even for a moment, Art turned to her new Captain and tried to not look too put out. "As much as I'm enjoying being part of the farce I'm going to have to stay behind, aren't I? Ships not going to fix itself and there's no hiding when our entry must have been so...eventful."

Dammit, dammit, dammit. Once again it sounded like all work and no play for Art. And she was already feeling pretty dull to start with.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2019, 12:39:08 AM »
King listened a Amorru gave the introductions to the security officer. "May I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Jarold Thorington." Amorru said, gesturing to King and Charity. "Jarold's one of the most successful cattle barons on Jiangyin, and his lovely lady Amethyst is quite a homemaker."

It was extremely difficult for King to stop himself from rolling his eyes. Cattle Baron? Really? Oh well. At least I kept the beard, it probably fits. "Amethyst" wrapped her arms around "Jarolds" elbow and leaned against him, immediately slipping into her role. King kept his expression neutral, nodding vaguely, and looking rather bored. He briefly reached up to squeeze his "wifes" hand when she patted his chest.

Finally the security personnel seemed satisfied and left. He felt Charity let out the breath she'd been holding, and noticed that she didn't immediately release his arm. "...Right! So. Who knows where the shuttle is?"

He and Charity made their way up towards the shuttle. At the landing she gave him an apologetic smile and hurried back towards the crew quarters, presumably to grab the garment bags for those not already dressed for their parts. King continued on up to the shuttle and took a seat.

"So, who wants to fly? Have to say I'm more than a bit tired of flappin' me arms for one week. And how about the radio, while we're at it? I'd rather not hear myself think at the moment, if it's all the same to the rest of ya." King just stared at the man, and then shook his head with a chuckle. "I'm passable with a shuttle, if you're really going to sit this one out Ru." He said, moving towards the pilots seat. "Unless someone else would prefer...?" He wasn't sure if anyone else aboard even had flight experience.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2019, 03:43:24 PM »
Sean grinned maniacally at "Alexander" and crossed his eyes cheekily, then let his face return to normal.

"Be right back The Sir,"

Sean jogged on nimble feet to his room and grabbed the second of his two duffels, his "B" bag which contained spare clothes as well as his basic thieving, sneaking, and breaking and entering gear.  All of it made of carbon fiber or plastic or batteries and chemicals sealed in sealed boxes our bags that had been sealed and treated to be proof against chemical and magnetic resonance and x-ray detection.  They weren't nearly as good as his best gear but they were enough to do what he needed to do except with a lot more reliance on  his skill, wit, and ingenuity.  Truth be told, he found that a lot more fun...if less safe, that with all the wiz bang tech anyway.  The various implements were either collapsed, folded, retracted, or otherwise made as small or thin as possible in various hidden pouches of the thick nylon/canvas type bag so that someone would be having to look specifically for something like them to find them.

He stopped and did a mental checklist of everything in the bag, including appropriate clothing and toiletries (some of the gear being in false compartments in the toiletries as well). He wished he had some sort of toys to go along with Amorru's back story but it couldn't be helped.  Satisfied, he shouldered the bag and walked his way back to the shuttle and limbered his lanky frame into the craft, then taking an available seat after securing the bag.

"Where are we going now, Alice?" he said in a much dialed down version of his earlier performance.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

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Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2019, 02:55:03 AM »
The Shuttle

The crew entered the shuttle one by one, all bringing along what they would need for a couple nights' stay (and knowing this crew, each of them a little more than that). Charity dutifully carried aboard the formal attire, where it seemed the rest were more like to forget. Amorru gratefully offered King his blessing to take the controls, seemingly fully intent on getting his rest in as he proclaimed. When Artemis questioned her role in the upcoming sequence of events, he assured her she was deserving of at least one night off and encouraged her to join the rest of the crew and use the shuttle to return to Wushu later. The shuttle disengaged from Wushu after "Captain" Reyes, apparently not quite trusting King with one code or another, typed in a few sequences to the control panel and declared the separation a success. "There she is, bright 'n' shiny." Turning away from the controls to retake his seat, Amorru patted King on the shoulder casually before leaning in and speaking low. "Figure we ought to catch a nip or two and go over the details of your, ah, employment as it were. Just us blokes." Amorru's tone, though friendly, dripped with the same suspicion he cast at King since Heraklion.

Ainsworth's Security Shuttle

Grisham, whose team investigated the site of the somehow only very slightly crashed vessel Wushu, called in to his superior back at the Ainsworth estate. "Right, Mr. Mercer. Wasn't too suspicious at first, despite the reckless landing. Expecting a burnt out hull, honestly. One of 'em musta been one hell of a pilot, or a complete idiot to try it, I'm still not sure. No, didn't catch who. Something doesn't add up with the invitations. Not the Thoringtons. Renting a couple cabins and floating along on some fleabit transport seems like their idea of a romantic getaway. It's the Rosenthal's. Fella introduced himself as Alexander instead of Alex like his invitation said, and his wife's was addressed to a "miss" and not a "missus". Didn't Ainsworth make a big stink about hiring a professional letterer and checking each invitation himself?" Grisham awaited Mercer's reply, answered in the affirmative, and continued. "And one more thing. They've got an extra coming along with them. At least they say she's one. Supposed to be taking care of one of the guests, but didn't have an invitation of her own. You want we should escort her to the mailroom? Or let her check in with her friends?"

Grisham answered in the affirmative again, and then the ship continued to escort Wushu's shuttle towards the Ainsworth Estate.

The Estate



The Ainsworth Estate is an expansive affair even when compared to others of its type floating nearby. Possessing its own dock, power plant, farmland, woodlands, and various amenities spread across its lush and lively acreage, the Estate seemed like a city unto its own. Once they landed and the shuttle locked in its berth along a docking protrusion jutting out not unlike a marina floating on the empty air, the crew were free to make their way toward the west guest buildings, check in, and be seen to their rooms. They were never far from the eyes and pulse rifles of Ainsworth's security team, however, and there was still the matter of Grace's lack of an invitation to resolve. For now, how easy the next few hours of this trip were going to be for the good doctor hinged on John Mercer's discretion.
I know that I hung on a windy tree nine long nights, wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree of which no man knows from where its roots run.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2019, 03:15:06 PM »
Once the shuttle was underway dropped his act to speak conversationally to Octavia and Grace.

"Alright. I once had me a mate who's sister was autistic like," he began, "so I've had a chance to note quite a bit of the behavior for a good long bit.  I know ye probably know more 'bout it than me Doc but here's how I plan t' do this."

"When she talked to folk, she'd never look 'em in the eye, always at the floor or a wall or the like.  Never quite seemed to catch the the feelin' of a conversation...I mean t' say as it confounded her if someone was happy or mad at her a lot.  It frustrated and worried her."

"She also talked like this pretty much constantly,"
he let his voice take up the syncopation of an almost mechanical monotone. "Not sure why that is but it's how she talked.  She also repeated herself quite a bit"

"Hmmmm, oh yeh, she had t' have her things...things that belonged to her...hair brushes, dolls and the like in certainly places just so or she'd get straight apoplectic.  It was sad t' see truth be told."

"The last bit I been thinkin' on and it's hard to fake but I've come up with a solution.  She was dead on otherworldly with math, and I've heard it told others with her affliction have similar talents.  I mean she could calculate figures the way a computer can...it was fantastic to see bein' honest."

"I can't do anything like that, but after years of practice and it being a good thing to know for me occupation I've gotten to where I can tell the the volume of a space I'm in within a meter of five.  I figure whenever I enter a room I'll chant off that figure."


The thief looked to the doctor, scratching his head. 

"Anything else you know of? Anything I missed?"

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

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Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2019, 06:50:38 PM »
Amorru turned from King without taking much notice of the man's reaction. While Charity vouched for the man and he carried himself as if he might excel at manual labor or hold his own in a fight, he seemed to lurk around at all the wrong times and otherwise showed little signs of possessing any particularly useful skills. Wushu's pilot turned interim captain admittedly appreciated the opportunity to just sit back and relax after four days of constant navigational alterations, mostly manual course correction, and very little sleep, but still tried to keep some edge up as he expected himself to be bagged and hauled off for Persephone just as soon as he and Charity's hired help found themselves truly alone. Furthermore, the matter of the man's all-too-perfect timing raised multiple flags. Perhaps King conspired with the Xaviers in the Heraklion plot himself, using a common bond as sore losers in the Unification War as a step to interject himself as Charity's knight in tarnished leather in order to use the often vapid debutante's trust to get one step closer to his bounty. A convoluted plot, sure, but Amorru once dispatched a man who hid in a crate of onions for two days in order to be picked up by the Journey's crew on a supply run, and a quick whiff of the Duchess's bodyguard revealed the same stench of conspiracy.

Retaking the seat between Artemis and Charity, Amorru overheard the tail-end of Sean's pitch. Impressive as the man's attention to detail seemed the potential for increased suspicion of his complex proposal. The pilot craned his head around, feeling a series of small pops that brought him some momentary relief from the tension he felt growing in his back and neck over the past couple of days. "Don't figure the details will be overly necessary mate, and the simpler your act the better. Like to be more for you to do aside acting a git once we're aside, and besides that I was just busting bollocks. Relax, enjoy the party, and if anybody gets too inquisitive about your mental state just - y'know - be yourself." Amorru added a wry smirk before wheeling himself back to look out the forward view port.

He squirmed slightly and wrenched his neck the opposite direction, attempting to wring just a few more relieving pops before settling in his seat. "If this thing's anything like any Bellerophon shindig I ever heard of, it's like to have a guest list in quadruple digits. So long as we blend in, I figure nobody'll show much interest in stilling their desire to boast long enough to actually catch the details. Parties like this are mostly just opportunities for new money types to flash their wealth and flex whatever power that's afforded them." Amorru cleared his throat and involuntarily narrowed his eyes toward the back of King's head, fearful of offering up too much of his knowledge regarding the lifestyles of the rich and garish. "At least, that's how I figure."

Coming up on the cluster of estates floating like vast lily pads atop a pool of air, the shuttle felt smaller and smaller as the details of these villas finally came into view. A variety of ornate architecture ranging from sprawling stonework spires to late-Earth-That-Was ultra modern mansions dotted individual landscapes, looking like colossal snow globes contained entire forests and transplanted lakes within. In some, it appeared the actual living space hid itself within the foliage in favor of small scale mountain ranges, waterfalls, and flowing rivers that recycled into the guts of the floating discs and regurgitated over and over at no small cost.

Amorru admitted the lavish expense impressed the part of him born as Galileo Duschane, noble-blooded lordling of Persephone and all-around stuffy wanker, but not even the most braggadocious and overconfident of House Wing's pompous progeny dared erect a monument to one's own self-worth the likes of which Wushu's crew witnessed before them: an Olympian pool designed to invoke the ancient city of Earth-That-Was Athens; no less than three guest houses the size of hotels; no small amount of recreational grounds including tennis courts, archery ranges, riding stables, and what appeared to be a racing track; and a central structure rivaling even Persephone's Governor's Castle, designed as some bizarre attempt at reflecting the finest buildings of Earth-That-Was Venice, Paris, and Barcelona all at the same time. Amorru's jade eyes rolled around inside his head as he found himself feeling a lot better about delivering Master Ainsworth's innards for repossession by harvest after all.

King brought the shuttle up to rest after receiving docking instruction from the security detail that followed them. Amorru wondered if his paranoia projected further than it should, or if the voice that welcome them to the Ainsworth Estates really sounded as sardonic as it seemed to him. Shaking off the feeling, Amorru watched as the crowd of invitees exited their luxury yachts and vacation ships and made their way up the docks escorted by their personal attendants. "Just as I figured. This place is a gorram circus. Well, my vote's on the lot of us enjoyin' the host's kindness for the evening, then baggin' the geezer after he's seduced by the Duchess, shipjackin' one of them shiny yachts over yonder, and makin' our way to Ariel before daybreak. Heh. 'Course, I'm open to suggestions."
It's a mechanical bull at number one You'll take a ride from anyone
Everyone wants a ride, pulls away, Ooh, From you

Metric, "Black Sheep"

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #58 on: April 16, 2019, 09:22:10 PM »
A writhing mass of bodies in varying states of undress and undulation covered every surface of the very aptly-named pleasure yacht on which Bolin Babylon found their-self. Sitting in a wing back chair, legs crossed in a white patent-leather body suit, very low cut with sky-high stiletto heels, Bolin was the picture of core world sophistication and high fashion. The wilted bunny ears were just a result of the ongoing party. A party that had become frightfully boring.

The journey to Bellerephon had been uneventful, though that was the idea, wasn't it? Not to draw too much attention. For a few years now, Bolin was mobbed with attention wherever they went. Galas and parties and events and weddings, which is how Bolin had found an exclusive invite to this event, promised to be the event of the year. They always promised that. Bolin chewed playfully on a finger tip - a quick check proved it was their own - as they thought about the one and only time that promise had been fulfilled.

Osiris in the summer.

A Prince named Mohammed.

Kidnapping.

A smile formed.

Glass shattered across the room and a drunken woman wearing a pair of clogs, and only clogs, got up off of the coffee table, now destroyed by her fall. Bolin tore the bunny ears of their head and went to their room to collect their things. "This party is over." Anyone who overheard Bolin quickly panicked, not wanting to be the last one at a party that had been declared as over. The yacht descended into chaos, which Bolin ignored, calmly collecting their belongings. Two broad-shouldered men wearing tuxedos met Bolin at the gangway of the yacht, ready to take their bags to the suite reserved for them on the Estate. A wide brimmed hat and a pair of fashion forward sunglasses were thrown on before they descended to the ground and into the waiting limousine.

Special guests of the bride were treated exceptionally well.

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Re: The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2019, 10:31:55 PM »
Jonathan was sorting out the mess in the kitchen - the caterer had subcontracted the ice sculptures to a company outside the pre-approved network at the last minute and some fancy frozen birds had to be put on ice while Mercer assigned out the task of last minute security checks - when the second call from Grisham came in.  The call was patched directly to his earpiece now, so the security chief listened to the report and quickly changed his direction to the security control room.  There was simply too much data to manage today for him to manage with his usual folder, so Jonathan pulled out a small tablet and quickly flicked to the folder that held the security checks for the attendees. 

"Right, Mr. Mercer. Wasn't too suspicious at first, despite the reckless landing. Expecting a burnt out hull, honestly. One of 'em musta been one hell of a pilot, or a complete idiot to try it, I'm still not sure. No, didn't catch who. Something doesn't add up with the invitations. Not the Thoringtons. Renting a couple cabins and floating along on some fleabit transport seems like their idea of a romantic getaway. It's the Rosenthal's. Fella introduced himself as Alexander instead of Alex like his invitation said, and his wife's was addressed to a "miss" and not a "missus". Didn't Ainsworth make a big stink about hiring a professional letterer and checking each invitation himself?"

Not only was 'Alexander' not married to Alice Rosenthal, the tickets had been preapproved to be transferred to a new couple - Octavia Wynn and her as yet unnamed guest.  A cold smile touched the professional's lips, for it seemed like the fish were finally biting.  "Good catch there, Grisham.  We'll handle it on our end.  No need to make you sweat it out in the sun while we straighten out the paperwork."

"And one more thing. They've got an extra coming along with them. At least they say she's one. Supposed to be taking care of one of the guests, but didn't have an invitation of her own. You want we should escort her to the mailroom? Or let her check in with her friends?"

Mercer pushed open the door to the control room and settled down at a computer next to Wallace.  "Let her stay with the patient for now.  But she was the only non-ticketed person on the ship?  A ship full of no one but ticketed guests added to the list of things that seemed off.  He pulled up the records for the transport Wushu and glanced over the crew manifest.  The doctor's name was there, one Grace Halladay, which was good, but there were certainly other crew listed.  There wasn't a pilot or an engineer to take up our offer of hospitality?"  When Grisham confirmed that was indeed the case, Mercer frowned.  "Once you've escorted them to the estate, I'd like you to swing back around and verify that ship came in with no crew." 

"Problem, sir?" asked Wallace. 

"Could be..."  Jonathan typed in a quick query on the doctor, and came up with what looked like a perfectly legitimate ID and qualifications.  "Let the nurse know we're going to have some guests who're going to need to stop by for a consultation on co-ordination of care.  And dig into this name."  Jon shared his tablet screen with Grace's ID displayed.  "I need to know that she's really who they're saying she is.  Full background check.  This'll take priority."  The names of the Rosenthal's never came up in Wallace's hearing.  Jonathan did have a job to do, and had to be appearing to do it to the best of his ability.  The Wushu looked too fishy not to investigate, but if he had to give his men a thread to pull on, it seemed from his brief examination, that Grace's thread was the one least likely to unravel.  A few taps on his tablet and Mercer had the name of the agent with the least pressing duties, who he quickly reassigned to keep an eye on the new guests.  "Keep them all in the conservatory until I've cleared them," came the order, just as news came of another guest's impending arrival.

Jonathan didn't need to refer to his lists to recognize the name - Miss Whitestone had been happily publishing the fact that Bolin Babylon was attending her wedding the way a big game hunter might mount a taxidermied head on a wall.  "No rest for the weary," he joked with a smile to Wallace and stood, ready to head out.  "Let me know what you find on Ms. Holliday."

As much as Jonathan wanted to head straight over to check and see if his suspicions about the rescued guests were correct, he knew Miss Whitestone would throw a fit if she found out that one of her most prized guests had received less than the most prestigious welcome.  He arrived just in time to see the limousine pulling in, and once Babylon had exited the vehicle, he stepped forward with a slight bow.  "Mx. Babylon, welcome to the Ainsworth Estate.  Miss Whitestone was ecstatic that you were able to find time in your busy schedule to attend.  There are guests gathering in the conservatory for tea, if you'd care to join them, or we can escort you directly to your suite, whichever you'd prefer.  And if there's anything you need, please don't hestitate to ask."  The goodwill in the greeting was sincere.  Some security personnel Mercer had worked with in the past had resented the deference and stilted manners required in working with the elite, but it had never bothered Jonathan.  It was part of the job, just as much as being willing to take a bullet, and if he was going to do the job, he was going to do it all very well.

 

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