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Author Topic: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again  (Read 293 times)

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Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2019, 10:47:53 PM »
"Incoming! Hit dirt!"

Mona pulled the woman next to her to the ground and rolled them both back into the trench. Mortar shells cratered the ground around them, caving in the open spot in the barbed wire where they'd attempted their advance. Hera may as well have been Hell at this point in Mona's eyes, and she cursed Hafthor for the millionth time since throwing on the brown coat she wore now. She felt a tug at her thigh and looked down, pulling the length of the coat aside to inspect her leg and seeing roughly three inches of metal sticking out. Mona flexed her knee and turned her foot, then flinched in pain. She didn't know how deep the burning chunk pierced her, but at least her limb remained mobile.

"Sar - hyack - sar... jen..." Mona crawled toward the breathless gurgle coming from the younger woman's throat. Femke's tour with the unit began only a few weeks prior, making Hera her first battle under The Valkyrie's watch. As a Staff Sergeant Mona's responsibilities usually only concerned around a dozen soldiers including another ranking Sergeant who thankfully possessed more medical knowledge than she. Her shouts failed to rise above the steady pattern of explosions and she felt her throat becoming raw with effort. Suddenly remembering her radio and for the first time recognizing the rising ringing in her ears, Mona called in the request for the medic and attempted to stall the blood flowing from the shrapnel lodged between Femke's ribs. Blood bubbled across the young specialist's lips. Desperate for ideas, Mona looked up to the heavens and saw a star shooting across the sky. Then lightning. Then thunder. "No. That's not right." Dazed and confused, Mona peeked her head above the trench and watched rockets rain down from Alliance gunships above.


"Tabby. Listen to the Preacher. Put it down."

Mona blinked twice and swallowed, reminding herself where she stood. Barnaby's rant only half registered as she worked her empty hands in an attempt to get the blood flowing back into them to chase the chill out. Her palms felt clammy and she wiped them off on her coat. She knew the frustration and the pressure that bore Barnaby's words into the cargo hold, or at least she thought so. "Deal's a deal", said her Captain. And orders were orders.

"You all heard the Captain! Less speculatin' and more workin'!" Mona barked, well aware of her own part in stoking Barnaby's fire but finding no use in apologizing for it at the moment. Barn had his job, she had hers, and the crew had theirs. Her eye's flicked toward the drink in Rian's hand. "Corporal, cup of coffee could go a long way right now." Mona disabled one more of the clocks and tossed it into the crate Rian hauled over without realizing the way she erroneously addressed him. "And Rian." She plucked another pupper from the litter and glanced toward the door, assuring herself that Barn went well out of earshot. "Got any of that armor to go around?"
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 10:53:48 PM by Mona Heyerdahl »
Shake it like a ladder to the sun; Makes me feel like a madman on the run
Find me never never far gone; So get your leather, leather, leather on on on on


- Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Zero"

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again

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Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2019, 11:57:56 PM »
Ship and Planet time: 1120
Location: Aphrodite's Space Port

They’d been attached to something harmless, and yet had caused an explosion all on their own. The clocks, now known to be hiding something far more sinister and valuable within their endearing bodies, were eventually silenced and packed back up as well as the crew was able. Only four had been broken by the end of it, and considering the number of hounds, anyone could consider that a win. But despite the sense of closure some might have felt at knowing, finally, why they’d risked life and limb for this cargo, others were still reeling from their own nightmares and emotions.

The ship, guided by Barnaby’s expert hand and patched up nice and neat thanks to Riot and any hands that’d helped hers, rocketed down through Aphrodite’s atmosphere as smoothly as the Captain could have hoped. Fire licked almost lovingly at the edges of the front window and aside from the rumbling and vibrating through the hull, The Darling seemed pleased as punch to be headed dirtside. The same could likely have been said for a fair number of her crew. It seemed that perhaps things were finally looking up for this particular job.

As the ship neared the docks, it became immediately and abundantly apparent that the Alliance presence had seemingly been upped in this region of space. Official vessels took up almost all of the available stations at the port, smaller light weight vessels flew in an orderly fashion though the sky, carrying people and information this way and that like bees relaying information to their hive. A formal hail was sent up, but from the docks themselves and not the Alliance, if that was any comfort.

“Scarab Class Cargo Vessel, state your designation and purpose for the visit,” came a stern, but blessedly laid back voice through the pilot’s communications systems. Standard procedure, something familiar and easy. The kind of message that was only sent because it had to, to keep things tidy and records neat. Following the reply, the man sent them their berthing station assignment and cleared them to land. So far, so good.

Baron Hugo Tate would be expecting them in the afternoon, and they’d made good time getting to Aphrodite, so they had a few moments to spare before the meeting. As was the case with any good clandestine meeting of Employer and Employee, it was set to take place in a local bar, a place almost out of the way and almost reputable.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 01:43:14 AM by Lomari »

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2019, 02:43:17 PM »
"Don't be so hard on yourself." Barnaby said. His reflection stared back at him with a sort of patented aw shucks mope. He tried on a smile, thin and forced. It was no use. With a sigh, he picked his gunbelt off of his side table and wrapped it around his waist, belted it, and adjusted how his old Webley sat on his hip, opposite his drawing hand, until it was comfortable. He didn't wear his gun while on board the Darling. Never saw a need for it within the confines of his home. But going dirtside, that was another tale waiting to be told, with peculiarities and particulars he had no way of foretelling. Better safe than sorry. On his way out of his bunk he pulled his planetary hat from its hook, wide brimmed and sweat stained, and sat it atop his head.

Hesitating only a moment before switching the light off and heading out to face his crew, Barnaby found an assemblage of apprehension in his abdomen. That is, a knot in his stomach about what he'd said and how he acted with the crew. He could tell himself they wouldn't hold it personal. That they understood why he had done what he done and said what he said. But truth was, Barnaby would always have that little worry in the back of his mind that held one undeniable truth: he wasn't cut out for the captain life. That voice sounded an awful lot like Jeremiah Goodweather. "Button up." With that small command, Barnaby's back went straight, he stiffened his upper lip, and Pappy's voice faded away.

Barnaby could be a good captain when he set his mind to it. And boy, his mind was set, alright.

Exiting his cabin, he found the rest of the crew as ordered in the cargo bay, ready to make landfall. Barnaby gazed upon them, the shame he felt subsided for now, and replaced with admiration. "Job is simple, same as it ever was. Aside, you know, from all the times it ain't been so far." He tried on a grin that felt a bit better than the one before. "Mona, Rian, and I are gonna meet with our employer. Baron Hugo Tate. Bigwig here on Aphrodite." His hound-dog blues fell on Mona, passively double-checking his plan with her. "Riot, Tabby, Preacher, ya'll are free to reconnoiter as you like. Pick up anything that needs picking up, if it suits you." And now, the hard part.

"Next in order, I'm beggin' pardon for my words earlier. Weren't meant at any of ya'll. Been a troublesome time of late, and I'm sorry for any worse I mighta made it." Barnaby left that with a pained smile, emotions threatening to overtake him. He cleared his throat, regained composure, and continued. "Revelations of the nature of our shipment got me thinking, which is why I set our groups how I did. Don't know how this encounter will unfold. If it turns showdown, Mona and Rian are the best bet to get all three of us out in one piece." Both got a nod from him, in appreciation of their skills. "Preacher." Barnaby regarded Viktor. "Hope you'll take this with due respect to your prevailing occupation, but I know you also served and I'm counting on you to keep on eye out on Tabby. Riot."  The mechanic's turn. "I know you can take care of yourself. Keep on eye on the good reverend, wouldja?" A wink. "And if anything happens to me, I'm counting on you to fly everyone else outta here. Now, before you say you can't fly, I want you to think about that a tick. You know Darling better than anyone, inside, outside. She'll mind what you tell her." One more. "Tabby, the agenda for the three of ya'll is up to you."

Objective cynicism told him to be prepared.

Subjective optimism told him that wouldn't be necessary.

"Everyone's got my permission to take a lackadaisical approach for the next twelve hours. Somewhere middling between on and off guard, savvy? We've all earned a little furlough. Any questions?"
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 02:47:25 PM by Barnaby Goodweather »

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2019, 06:31:30 PM »
After Barnaby's clear display of frustration, Tabitha had been less upset that he'd snapped at them and more worried about what that meant for his state of mind. She'd wanted to bring him a cup of tea and something sweet to snack on after the dogs had been properly put away, but she knew sometimes people needed their alone time, even if she had a hard time knowing when that was. Boundaries were still something the doctor was getting used to, although she was thankful the other members of the crew weren't as strict with their walls all of the time wherever she was concerned.

Taking some time to get dressed for the day and tidy up the bunks, Tabby had wandered this way and that until she ended up serendipitously in the cargo hold. She'd trusted the ship to get her there eventually and hit hadn't failed her. Her mass of platinum curls were held up in a loose and messy bun via a synthetic ivory clip, although two ever petulant strands of coils refused to be done up and stayed framing her sweet face. Her gauzy blouse had been paired with a blue corduroy vest and a ruched skirt in an effort to keep cool once they got out into the mid morning, early afternoon sun. She turned her head upon seeing the Captain enter and smiled brilliantly in his direction, blue eyes twinkling. Her hands remained clasped behind her back as he told them the plans for the day and she rocked back onto the heels of her granny boots once or twice, almost tipping over each time.

"Riot, Tabby, Preacher, ya'll are free to reconnoiter as you like. Pick up anything that needs picking up, if it suits you," he told them, and the Doctor nodded. It wouldn't hurt to resupply while they were dirtside, and doing it while the Captain and the others dealt with the main delivery wouldn't be such a bad idea. Two stones...one stone? Her face scrunched up. She didn't like the idea of hitting any birds with any stones, so she resolved to make up a new saying when she had some more time. Having been assigned her team (and protectors), the woman hooked her arms with Riot's and Viktor's, grinning up at them in turn and wiggling happily. She was eager to get everyone off the ship for a while. A little sun and some fresh air would do them all some real good after their time in space. Recycled oxygen and UV lights could never really replace the feeling of warm sun dancing along your skin while a cool breeze ruffled lovingly through your hair.

The mule had been moved to the cargo boxes and they'd been placed onto the vessel and its towing attachment sometime during their approach and landing by one of the members of the crew, which was a blessed time-saver. The sooner they got these pups off the ship, the better off they'd all be. Tabby nodded firmly, agreeing with herself.

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2019, 02:40:11 AM »
Rian of course, had extra armor. He'd figured out he could order the ballistic material they used to make the much more expensive combat armor in bulk. The catch, was that it was the spare chunks of oddly shaped bits that were cut off to make proper vests and other armor. The inventive former crook would coat one side of the foam like material in a non toxic adhesive, and like a patchwork, attach it to himself before properly dressing. It was much less noticeable and conformed to the natural shape of his body. But then it was like ripping off several hundred band-aids when the job was done. It was worth getting the look Mona gave him when he explained she'd have to temporarily glue a bunch of composite material to herself naked before she got dressed for work today. A sacrifice one makes for cost savings and not ruining the lines of your outfit.

Back on the cargo bay before the briefing, Rian was early, and for a business meeting, Rian Carpenter always wore a suit. Sure it was on paper, just the sale of some adorable yip-yapping alarms. But he was a man of habits. It also helped that coming to an exchange over-dressed can give you an air of knowing what your doing. Which was especially helpful when he didn't. Today, Rian also didn't want to know what the deal was with the alarms. He was quick to question what type of deal they'd gotten themselves into, but the more evidence things had gotten murky, the more he wanted the job done and over with.

He understood why Barnaby was cranky with them. If he was in their place he'd probably have told everyone to shut up to, and possibly in a more curt manner. He sure knew when he was Rian Russo his managerial style with Russo gang wasn't exactly polite. While many would chafe at the backslide in authority, he coveted the decrease in stress and frankly, more time to devote to trying to perfect his dumplings. He only had one question for his old friend:

"Do you know where I can get good meat here? I'm thinking after this job... ribs...side salad... I think we've earned it right?"

The gunhand and cook was clearly addressing the whole room. Stress of the situation at hand, why not envision your reward? He smiled and talked of dinner, but in the corners of his own mind he was still at work thinking about operational security. Going more restrained, Rian was just sporting his side arm securely tucked into a holster under his black suit coat, and a several spare magazines tucked into pockets custom fitted to the inside. While he didn't bring along his prized rifle, not wanting to worry their contact, he did tuck his spare revolver into another holster on the other side of his jacket.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 02:43:37 AM by Rian Carpenter »

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2019, 10:37:50 PM »
In the time Viktor had been on the ship, he could count the instances of the Captain losing his temper on one hand and it was almost always to do with stress. Viktor would offer his counselling services, but he expected Barnaby would decline, as he did most times. The preacher would still offer though, soon as the deal was done and Barnaby could sit down a fraction long enough to listen. 

Viktor never did assist with the clocks. His brain was too fried and his body too slow. He'd ended up falling back asleep there in the hold with all the crew working around him. Tabitha was nice enough to escort him back to his bunk and let him sleep the remainder of the sleeping tincture off. It wasn't long but any bit of shut-eye he could manage at this point was helpful.

So it was that he found himself rushing to shed his lounge pants and cotton shirt and don his usual black on black, threading his clerical collar into his shirt. It was only after he missed the same belt loop - twice - that he took a breath and slowed down, realized the crew wasn't going to leave without him.

He was last to arrive in the cargo bay. It was only a little embarrassing, but at the very least he was more awake than the last time. He was unsure if it was the scant bit of extra sleep or the sharp realization that he'd been running late that made him more alert.

"Riot, Tabby, Preacher, ya'll are free to reconnoiter as you like. Pick up anything that needs picking up, if it suits you." "Preacher." Barnaby regarded Viktor. "Hope you'll take this with due respect to your prevailing occupation, but I know you also served and I'm counting on you to keep on eye out on Tabby. Riot, I know you can take care of yourself. Keep on eye on the good reverend, wouldja?" A wink.

The preacher gave the Captain a small but sincere solute in acknowledgement of his assigned duties. However, he was unsure that he, himself, would need looking after. He was considering their twelve hours of free time when he felt Tabby hook her arm into his elbow. She had a warm and far away look on her face when Viktor glanced down at her. He could imagine her already running through sunny fields in her mind.

Knowing full well he was intending to spend at least some of his time in a local church or temple, he turned to his companions and said, "Just the three of us, then. What kind of mischief shall we get up to?"

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2019, 10:25:20 PM »
"This is ridiculous."

Mona lined the outside of the armor fragment with the adhesive foam and pressed it into place near her collarbone. She'd laid out the pieces Rian gave her earlier and assembled them like a puzzle across her bed until they formed a shape close enough to her own, and thanked her makers yet again for blessing her with her father's shoulders instead of her mother's bust. Still the assemblage, which covered her from abdomen to shoulder well enough but left most of her back aside from her more easily reached kidneys far more open than she liked, left very little room for easy breathing. Sure beat catching hot lead, she knew for a fact. Mona glanced at the scar from a flesh wound on her left arm just beneath her shoulder.

She pulled a loose, tattered sweater over her torso as best she could before turning to the gray, unarmored, decommissioned Alliance issue flak vest she set out for herself. A momentary glance toward the crate in which the brown leather trencher rested threatened to stoke the old embers of defiance into raging wildfire. She drew in as much air as she dared to allow herself as the adhesive compound set, knowing the gaps that existed between the pieces of cobbled together scrap plate already left her prone to thin blades and not wanting to widen them further, then released her reluctance with a sigh. Mona thought of her family, friends, and her home aboard the Darling. She wouldn't let Hafthor's war burn this patch of paradise.

After zipping the vest over the sweater and knocking on the hidden plates to reassure herself of their stopping power, Mona strapped on a modified holster which held a .44 Magnum revolver beneath her left arm and allowed her to carry a 12 gauge, double-barreled coach gun across her back. The pistol holster carried extra ammunition for the shotgun in the strip of tailored excess leather hanging beneath it. The Valkyrie hoped not to use either weapon, but hoped against losing anyone in her crew a might more. The whole gorram get up itched to the dickens as Mona marched toward the cargo bay, per Captain's orders.

Mona thought briefly on her part in stoking Barnaby's frustrations earlier with the clocks and wondered if she ought to apologize for acting out of line. She understood the stress of command, and while one might argue the difference between fighting it out in a trench and transporting goods for a living, Mona knew the work the Goodweathers did during the war and admired them for it. Its one thing to leave your blood behind on St. Albans to continue the legacy if you don't make it back from the frontlines, and another thing altogether to put both your family and your home on the line in any situation. Arriving at the cargo bay, Mona looked for Rian to question him about the reliance of his plating method and, when he finally arrived, almost wondered aloud whether the two of them could be any more oppositely fashioned. She shook her head at his polished appearance, but had to admit he cleaned up rather well. Not that dapper gentlemen were usually her type.

Once the Captain came to address the crew, Mona only nodded along with the beat. She didn't think he had anything to apologize for: a crew needed to stay focused on working hard and getting food in their bellies, not breeding paranoia and doubt about the nature of the job. When Barnaby mentioned her and Rian's reliability in a firefight she returned his gesture with a stern nod of her own. She smiled in spite of herself at Rian's request for dining suggestions, before replying. "I'd say you got the right idea there, Chef. Though I think I'd prefer a shiny, juicy, steak and a couple taters aside." Mona looked around with a smile toward the rest of the crew, hoping to reinforce Barnaby's words about lackadaisical furlough despite her potentially heavy-handed armaments.

As the crew split into its assigned groups, Mona edged in close to Barnaby as she thought acceptable and spoke to him in a low voice. "For what it's worth, Captain, I ought to be the one to apologize. I'm the The Darling's first officer, and it's my job to keep the crew on task. I should've reported my findings to you in private, and instead I let them wind themselves up with scuttlebutt. You ought not to even have to concern yourself with a mess like that, so... Don't know if 'sorry' is what you want to hear, and when I was enlisted we were learnt that apologies didn't amount to much. But you're more than my commanding officer, Cap - you're the head of this family and master of the house, and I want you to know that I know I owe you a might better than that."
Shake it like a ladder to the sun; Makes me feel like a madman on the run
Find me never never far gone; So get your leather, leather, leather on on on on


- Yeah Yeah Yeahs, "Zero"

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again

Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
« Reply #27 on: Today at 03:49:23 AM »
"Ya'll quitcher bitchin' and get these damned clocks turned off. And that's all they is, clocks dammit. Ain't gonna get no higher price just because they's made from some de-luxe hardware. I made a deal and a deal's a deal, so so so so... deal with it." Riot blinked at the uncharacteristically flustered outburst from the Captain, and her mouth fell open a little bit. She hadn't been bitching had she? She didn't think she had.

"Half-hour from landing. Get the rest of these turned off. I'll be at the helm." Barnaby said, and stormed off. "Anymore of 'em get broke, comes outcher pay." He said before leaving the cargo bay. Riots eyes fell back to the amalgamation of clockwork and circuitry in her hands. She sighed. Mona, snapping back into hardline XO mode barked out a command. "You all heard the Captain! Less speculatin' and more workin'!"

They weren't just clocks, and Barnaby knew it. The hardware in all those clocks could kill a lot of people if used correctly. But. That wasn't their problem. They'd been hired to do a job. If they didn't do the job they didn't get paid. If they didn't get paid they didn't eat, or worse, they wouldn't be able to keep flying. Riot grimaced. She didn't like it, but this was how it was for a small ship out here in the black. You do the job, and then you get paid.

----------

They'd touched down without a hitch, and now Riot and the rest of the crew were in the cargo bay waiting for the Captain.

Riot was dressed for town. Jeans, a t shirt covered by an old beat up canvas jacket, finger-less leather gloves, and her gun belt. Today she was packing her .357 and a solid knife with a 4 inch blade. Bandit sat at her feet, fidgeting in anticipation of new smalls and room to really run.

Barnaby entered, and the crew all turned to him as he spoke. "Job is simple, same as it ever was. Aside, you know, from all the times it ain't been so far. Mona, Rian, and I are gonna meet with our employer. Baron Hugo Tate. Bigwig here on Aphrodite. Riot, Tabby, Preacher, ya'll are free to reconnoiter as you like. Pick up anything that needs picking up, if it suits you." Riot nodded. Tabitha hooked her arms through Riots and Viktors, and was wiggling with anticipation some fresh air and sunshine. Barnaby paused a moment, and then continued.

"Next in order, I'm beggin' pardon for my words earlier. Weren't meant at any of ya'll. Been a troublesome time of late, and I'm sorry for any worse I mighta made it" Barnaby said with a pained smile. Riot smiled back at him, hopefully conveying that she understood and that no pardon was necessary.

"Revelations of the nature of our shipment got me thinking, which is why I set our groups how I did. Don't know how this encounter will unfold. If it turns showdown, Mona and Rian are the best bet to get all three of us out in one piece." That definitely made sense. Riot was no stranger to violence, and she'd killed more than a few people in her life, but Mona was on another level. And if Rian was as good as he was supposed to be, Riot felt comfortable with him watching the Captains back.

"Preacher. Hope you'll take this with due respect to your prevailing occupation, but I know you also served and I'm counting on you to keep on eye out on Tabby. Riot."

Barnaby turned his eyes to Riot. "I know you can take care of yourself. Keep on eye on the good reverend, wouldja?" He winked, and she grinned and nodded. "And if anything happens to me, I'm counting on you to fly everyone else outta here. Now, before you say you can't fly, I want you to think about that a tick. You know Darling better than anyone, inside, outside. She'll mind what you tell her." Her grin turned slightly mischievous. "Jeg forstår. Anything happens to you, I take my ship and I come rescue you. Got it." It was only partially in jest. If there was a solid chance she could rescue them without endangering the rest of the crew, she would... but if there wasn't, she would get everyone to safety.

"Tabby, the agenda for the three of ya'll is up to you. Everyone's got my permission to take a lackadaisical approach for the next twelve hours. Somewhere middling between on and off guard, savvy? We've all earned a little furlough. Any questions?"

"Do you know where I can get good meat here? I'm thinking after this job... ribs...side salad... I think we've earned it right?" Rian piped up.

"I'd say you got the right idea there, Chef. Though I think I'd prefer a shiny, juicy, steak and a couple taters aside." Mona replied, to which Riot made an exaggerated sound of longing. "That. Let's do that. Ribs, salad, steak, taters. All of that. Gorramit, now I'm hungry!" She said to Mona and Rian, maintaining her grin. "I blame both of you."

Viktor looked over at Tabby and Riot. "Just the three of us, then. What kind of mischief shall we get up to?" Riot turned her grin towards him. "Oh I'm sure this one will get us into all sorts of trouble." She said, leaning over and giving Tabitha an affectionate headbump.

 

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