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Author Topic: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life  (Read 167 times)

Description:
S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« on: June 03, 2019, 09:36:38 PM »
The Summerfair job had gone reasonably well as far as Lin was concerned. The casino was a good distraction and the funds gained from the bank next door enabled Ronin to escape detection by disappearing with some aid from the cortex. The first stop following the job had been to get Ian Dugan as close to Glory as possible. There was a debt to pay off but first, they had to head Ganzhou City on Beaumonde. The one who held Ian's marker and, thus Glory's keys, was located there in some bar.

Landing far from the Ganzhou, Lin bid Ian and Abe farewell and wished them luck on getting Glory back in one piece. The shuttle could easily get them to where they needed to be on the planet. Some of the crew disembarked on Beaumonde and did not return. He could not blame them. Then again, he did not blame most of the crew who showed up for one or two jobs and moved on. Not everyone wants the life or the cause Lin had chosen to undertake.

Lin made the choice not to stick around either and instead Ronin went to a favored planet, Harvest. New Wichita had been an irregular port of call for the ship. The relatively fresh air, actual fresh protein from one of the ranches, and atmosphere that was relaxed enough always tended to recharge Lin somewhat. It did not always work, just most of the time. He made sure they were loaded up with what they needed, albeit with a more diminished crew than normal and headed out again.

Lin was starting to feel the burnout of his constant chase of Nikola. If he was tired, she had to be exhausted. Ronin's efforts at ripping her web apart and targeting her financial backing had to have been harder on her than him and the ship. He decided to play a tourist a bit and captained Ronin to a place it had never been before -- New Melbourne.

The ocean world had actually been a breath of fresh salt air. Lin had Ronin moored at the Norray Docks which rested below a series of hills. Atop the highest hill overlooking the city stood the Leham Abbey. It was an excellent place to stop, listen to the water, the local children playing, and to tip one's feet in the water along the beach. Norray was a quiet enough town, almost picturesque, like a painting from Earth-That-Was. New Melbourne was overflowing with marine life and catches were made every day off of several piers around town.

The day after Ronin had touched down on the planet. Lin had tried to relax, center himself and refocus. The ship occupied one of only four berths in the town. Lin paid triple the going rate in order to park the ship there for such a long time. He availed himself of a local tea shop, meditated and just tried to decompress. It had been years for him chasing the situation without taking a real break. He was not sure how many of the crew would be accompanying him when Ronin lifted off again. Lin was not even sure how many had stuck around after a couple of days dirtside or is it oceanside.

For the moment, he was sitting at a cafe overlooking one of the quieter stretches of the sand drinking tea. Ronin loomed off to one side in the background. It had been peaceful. So peaceful in fact that after the second day, he took off his commband on his wrist and left it in the ship. He was aiming for no distractions but still checked the ship's messages daily. The peace would be fleeting soon enough.


« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 09:40:53 PM by Lin Kuei »

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 07:31:49 PM »
The job was accomplished, and at the end Ava returned to Ronin.  She still didn't entirely feel like crew, but she'd done her part successfully; she'd done something valuable for the mission and that helped to quiet the nagging feeling that she didn't belong.

The post-job clean-up passed in a blur of travel.  Ava'd stayed well aboard the ship in Beaumonde.  She'd dared to venture outside on Harvest, but felt wholly out of place with her Core clothes and Core manners.  Once they'd reached New Melbourne she'd taken the opportunity to head into town and buy a new wardrobe, one more suited to the Rim and the lifestyle Ava figured she would ultimately be adopting.

That urgent job out of the way, it turned out there was no next job on her list.  The infirmary was already set in order, she'd spent some time in the hydroponics, no one was ill or injured...  The doctor figured it was time to see if she was still capable of relaxing.

The beach seemed the best destination for that experiment, and Ava meandered over the sand where the waves would sometimes stretch to push up against her bare feet.  She'd tried out one of her new outfits, a white sundress with sunflowers embroidered around the hem combined with a wide-brimmed hat and large sunglasses.  She looked more like a tourist than a local, but at least she didn't look like a tourist from the Core.  She let out a heavy breath and tried to ease out the tension that had taken up permanent residence in her shoulders.

Her path took her near a group of shops overlooking the coast.  She caught sight of Lin heading into a cafe and slowed to a stop.  Many of the Ronin's crew had left over the past few days.  Ava's presence on the Ronin hadn't been so much conscious decision to stay there as the easier to place to be as she failed to decide what to do.  Ava pressed her eyes closed, wiggling her toes in the sand.  She couldn't keep going the way she was.  She had to start thinking of the future as something more definite than a giant miasma of fear.  She had to stop drifting like foam on the tide and start making plans.  A deep breath and she opened her eyes and headed for the cafe.

In the doorway, Ava glanced quickly around the room for possible security cameras, then spotting none took off her sunglasses and hung them from the neck of her dress.  Lin was easy enough to find at a table near the window and she approached quietly.  "Mind if I join you, captain?"

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 09:08:17 PM »
"Of course, Doctor. In fact, let's sit outside and enjoy the breeze." Lin stood and moved to the patio area out in front of the building. He took a seat at the back of the patio in order to be out of the way of the sidewalk. Once he placed himself, he waited until she had sat down before he continued speaking. "You seem to be relaxing well enough here in Noorby. I think we'll be lifting off in a couple of days."

He had noticed she was still looking for cameras. While he had yet to spot any so far, Lin stayed alert to the idea they could be around. Having been moving as Ronin had needed to, he never really stepped away from the idea that someone was looking for either him or the ship. "You seem to be settling in well enough. I see you got in some shopping. Are you feeling more relaxed now, Doctor?"
 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 11:05:10 AM by Lin Kuei »

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2019, 09:09:28 PM »
"Of course, Doctor. In fact, let's sit outside and enjoy the breeze." 

A smile touched Ava's lips at the offer, an automatic response to the relief she felt at the cordial response.  She reminded herself that she didn't need to feel relief - Lin hadn't given her any reason to expect anything other than politeness, at least so long as she wasn't a threat to his crew or his ship.  "Sounds nice," she agreed and followed him out to the patio.

Once he'd staked out a table, Ava sank into a chair.  She looked to the beach, but caught herself before scanning it thoroughly.  After all, Lin would be better at noticing threats than she was.  She'd likely be better off watching him for cues.  So she relaxed, tilting back her hat to let the sun fall on her face.

"You seem to be relaxing well enough here in Noorby. I think we'll be lifting off in a couple of days."

"It's a nice town," she agreed.

"You seem to be settling in well enough. I see you got in some shopping. Are you feeling more relaxed now, Doctor?"

Well, that was the problem with changing to fit in - you'd fit in with the new people you'd encountered, but those who'd met you before would obviously notice the change.  She smiled, her cheeks turning a faint pink.  "Nothing's quite as relaxing as some good shopping," she lied easily.  Honestly, she hated shopping, but everyone rather expected her to like it, so she'd gotten used to putting on a pleasant face about the matter.  "It is relaxing here," she conceded, "But I figure a in a couple of days I'll be itching for new scenery, anyway.  Do we have a particular destination in mind?"

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 11:23:41 AM »
"Nothing's quite as relaxing as some good shopping," she lied easily. "It is relaxing here," she conceded, "But I figure in a couple of days I'll be itching for new scenery, anyway.  Do we have a particular destination in mind?"

Lin could sense her still being uneasy. She was trying to fit in and, considering the situation, it was admirable. She was the last member of the crew. He had yet to hear from Vega in more than a few days and it occurred to him that he may not hear from again. The man was not in the best of moods when he had left the ship. Lin had left his wrist-comm on board the ship as a way to stay separate from it for a couple of days and reminded himself to check it when he got back.

Lin took a sip of his tea before responding calmly as his gaze scanned the water rolling in up the beach. "We are going to need some new crew ... Mechanic, pilot, a few gunhands and maybe an extra hand from there. The closest place to look for the new crew is at the Greenleaf Skyplex. It's only a planet away and should enable us to recoup the crew's needs. However, Tyron Station is in orbit above Persephone near the Core and might allow for a different class of crew."

He tried to gauge her reaction. Ava's skills were not so poor as to be from the Rim but were more likely to be from the Core. He did not care where specifically she was from as long as she acted faithfully and loyally for the crew. People generally left the Core for only a couple of reasons including a chance to start anew or to run from something. His instinct told him one thing but he was not going to put her on the spot. "Once we get a new crew, I know of a couple of locations that need to be hit in order to continue what has become my life's work at this point." Lin took another sip of his tea as he contemplated which location to go after first.




Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 07:30:46 PM »
"We are going to need some new crew ... Mechanic, pilot, a few gunhands and maybe an extra hand from there. The closest place to look for the new crew is at the Greenleaf Skyplex. It's only a planet away and should enable us to recoup the crew's needs. However, Tyron Station is in orbit above Persephone near the Core and might allow for a different class of crew."

Ava leaned back as Lin started talking about taking on new crew - the ship had gotten increasingly empty over the last few days and that was an obvious first step to whatever came next.  The mention of the Greenleaf Skyplex earned a nod as a logical choice, but her eyes flicked down at the mention of the Core.  She pursed her lips in thought, guessing Lin was a savvy enough reader of people to catch such an obvious tell.  She marshaled her thoughts away from her personal issues and onto what Ronin would need, then looked back up to meet Lin's eyes. 

"I'm afraid HR issues are outside of my skillset," she said with a tiny, self-deprecating smirk.  "I would say, though, that quality matters for the type of jobs Ronin runs.  Getting the best crew for the job seems worth the extra time it might take to head to Persephone."

"Once we get a new crew, I know of a couple of locations that need to be hit in order to continue what has become my life's work at this point."

"Whatever you need me to do," Ava offered, trusting that Lin was a wise enough captain not to try and use her for something she wouldn't be any good at.  She was trying not to admit it too much to herself, but she'd enjoyed much of the part she'd played in the last job.  The detailed planning she'd done, the careful execution - even if hers had been a small part and the least dangerous part of the job - within the scope of her mission, she'd had control of something and whatever the long-term consequences of that might be, that fleeting feeling of control had been a relief.

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 08:50:28 PM »
"I'm afraid HR issues are outside of my skillset, ... I would say, though, that quality matters for the type of jobs Ronin runs.  Getting the best crew for the job seems worth the extra time it might take to head to Persephone."

"Whatever you need me to do,"

Lin listened as Ava spoke and took a sip of tea. As he drank from the cup, his hand went into his pocket to look at paying the bill.  For a moment, he felt something and realized the comm-band was in his pocket and not on board the ship. Ava's word emphasis about Persephone was, perhaps unintentionally, a little icy. Lin raised an eyebrow and noted to himself that the Greenleaf Skyplex would be the better choice. "Excuse me for just a moment, Ava." Lin quickly tapped out a message on the comm band.

"There may still be people in Persephone looking for Ronin and, if not there, definitely on Pelorum. They tend to when you knock over a casino on a resort planet even if it is owned by a crimelord. As a note on that job, it did help us in setting up the hydroponics garden for the ship. We'll leave tomorrow so take a long last look at New Melbourne and enjoy the sunset." Lin finished his tea and raised a hand to the waiter in the window indicating they both needed a refill of their cups. "I did mean to ask. Do you have a certain medical specialty at all?'



Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 10:15:33 AM »
"Excuse me for just a moment, Ava." Lin quickly tapped out a message on the comm band.

"Of course."  Ava looked out to sea as Lin typed out his message, giving him a modicum of privacy.  Lin was hard to read - she'd hoped to get a sense of how he'd taken her reaction to Persephone, whether she'd played it cool enough that he hadn't gotten anything significant from her, but all he gave was a brief lift of his eyebrow.  She got the feeling that her acting wasn't winning her any awards and held back a sigh.  It was probably better that he did have some sense of her unease, but before she could start to seriously consider exactly how much she ought to be sharing on that subject, he'd put away the comm band.

"There may still be people in Persephone looking for Ronin and, if not there, definitely on Pelorum. They tend to when you knock over a casino on a resort planet even if it is owned by a crimelord. As a note on that job, it did help us in setting up the hydroponics garden for the ship. We'll leave tomorrow so take a long last look at New Melbourne and enjoy the sunset."

It was back to business, and Ava frowned at the mention of crimelords.  The knowledge that they weren't going near the Core was a relief, but she wasn't particularly enthusiastic about the idea of more people putting her on their disfavored people list, though...  hiding from crimelords was a good cover for hiding from anyone else.  "I'll have my bags packed," she promised cheerfully, a little disappointed that she wasn't disappointed to leave.  New Melbourne was an ideal place for a vacation, but all she could feel about leaving was relief to be back on the ship.

"I did mean to ask. Do you have a certain medical specialty at all?'

"Oh, yes.  I'm a surgeon - that's what I was going into originally after my residency," she explained, her manner subconsciously relaxing as the topic turned to medicine.  She leaned forward slightly, resting an arm on the table.  "I did my residency in the ER; lots of vehicle crashes, accidental trauma, similar enough to the types of injuries we're likely to run into out here for the most part..."  The part that was different, of course, was that the things she'd pulled out of people before had been shards of glass and metal from accidents, and almost never bullets...

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2019, 08:02:32 PM »
After the Casino job Leory's future on Ronin was uncertain at best. The plan went off with only a few hitches but nothing Ronin's crew couldn't handle as they adjusted on the fly.

Afterward while on Beaumonde the idea of jumping ship had plagued his mind but in the end he stuck around for the next port of call, Harvest. Leroy had visited this particular rock once before but never made it to New Wichita. Leroy spent his time here trying to secure another place of employment. Seeing as most of the crew by now had left the Mechanic got to thinking that maybe he was a bit slow in making his move.

When the Captain mentioned they were headed for New Melbourne next Leroy tossed aside a possible job offer and followed Ronin to the ocean world. Once the ship was berthed Leroy took his leave without any distinct words about his future plans, hell he wasn't even sure what was coming next. So it was easier to side step any questioning from Lin for the time being and hit the beach bars for some much needed rest and hydration.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 08:15:33 PM by Monty »

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life

Re: S2E9 - A Beach Is Not Life
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2019, 07:52:24 PM »
The next morning, early for New Melbourne, Lin made sure both Monty and Dr. Ava Gray were on board before he started his checklist. He had actually started to get slightly better than competent but he would still rather have a full-fledged pilot in the cockpit. The ship had almost gotten rusty on the outside being so close to the ocean so there was some sense of relief as it got off the ground with minimal fuss. Guiding it into the upper atmosphere then breaking out into the Black, Lin pointed it toward the Greenleaf Skyplex and locked in the course. There would at the orbiting station in less than twelve hours.


 

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