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Author Topic: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves  (Read 7916 times)

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Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« on: July 01, 2012, 11:07:12 AM »
Broken Wing Tavern

It was place that looked dilapidated and run down from the outside. This craphole of a tavern on the planet of Beaumonde. The rainy afternoon had driven most indoors but the hardcore dock workers offloading what they had needed to in order to pay bills and leaving what they could afford to on their ships or in their yards. The Broken Wing Tavern with its shantytown and tin roof exterior was the haven of many on this part of Beaumonde. As scroungy as it looked on the outside, it was a place of warmth and comfort inside, even if that warmth came from several half oil drum based fireplaces burning wood. People gathered around makeshift metal tables with old-style folding chairs. Four or five tables with four chairs apiece to each fireplace and half a dozen fireplaces in the location. The bar was a big monster in the middle of the room based around the four central pillars with a fireplace in between so the help stayed warm no matter the weather. Weapons were allowed here but the patronage would kill those who killed. It was such a common occurrence the Alliance and local police just nodded, went the other way, and avoided the paperwork.

It was here Seth Shepherd had found himself and perhaps some of his crew from the ship Horizon on the rumor of possible employment. A ship that Seth was married too and would feel no qualms walking around barefoot when they had just lost cargo, which seemed to be more frequent than not as of late. The solace of the Broken Wing was an obvious draw and the place was almost packed today, especially with the rain pouring down.

Music, such as it was, spewed from a corner music box and warbled a bit like a record going in and out of tune with age. Despite the crowd, no one really seemed to look at each other's faces unless a deal of some kind was being discussed. To some of Horizon's crew, it like home. Everyone seemed to mind their own business or paid for it. There was a man who frequently appeared here with jobs it was said. Called himself Shanks Malone and he had made a living as a middle man for those looking for work with possibly dubious legality.

Occupying a corner table in the corner farthest from the front door, his shock white hair and slightly slim build belied the raspy yet clear intonations of his words. There was an edge to everything he said. Some claimed he learned it in prison which was where he had earned his nickname of Shanks. Although no one has every questioned him if it was because he knew how to make them or he used them frequently but his alert eyes spoke of survival and today he had a job to hand off to someone.




Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 12:53:26 PM »
Travis followed. His rain slicker and hat kept him dry.

He loosened the buttons the middle way down the coat to make his gun readily available, or more so to let others know it was. Otherwise, he stood off to the side to let the captain do business. Given the chance he ordered a cup of coffee.

There wasn't any effort in his narrowed eyes and less than sublte hint that he should be left alone.

'fast is fine, but accuracy is everything' Wyatt Earp

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 06:52:58 PM »
Helena pulled her jacket up over her head leaving her back vulnerable to the rain. Stepping inside the tavern she shook her hair and her body much like a wet dog.  Helena pulled away the wet strands of hair sticking to her face and combed back what she could with her fingers.  She was basically soaked, and looking back she wondered why she even bothered covering her head. 

Signaling to the tender, or whoever was working, Helena ordered a whiskey. It would at least keep her warm, plus, looking around she got the distinct feeling that it wasn't the cleanest of establishments and the alcohol would hopefully burn away whatever infectious disease lie at the bottom of her glass. Helena took off her jacket and placed it on a chair in front of the fire place, allowing it to dry a little quicker.  She leaned in toward the heat rubbing her hands together trying to regain the feeling in most of her extremities.

Her eyes wandered about the tavern seeing shady figures here and there. There was a man in the corner who looked a might disgruntled and she quickly averted her eyes. Now was not the time to be getting into trouble, they had just left a fire fight and she was in no mood to get back into one.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 06:57:38 PM by Helena Cain »

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 06:12:55 PM »
At the ship

There were some systems checks that needed to be done to monitor any damage that the blizzard and harsh cold might have done to Horizon during their brief time on St. Albans. As soon as they had landed Ally had checked all the major and obvious risks. Now she had the computer set to run a full scan on all the ship's systems. It would take a while. So, since neither she nor Jared were exactly needed on the ship, nor were they needed to accompany the Captain into town to find a job, Ally and Jared would be able to spend some time together.

Ally was dressed in jeans, a black tank top and a bright blue cardigan. She knew it accentuated her curves in all the right places. It occurred to her that it was a little strange: now that she and Jared were together, she was making more effort to look good than when she had wanted him to notice her. She figured it had something to do with shyness; now that they were a couple it didn't matter if everyone - Jared included - knew that she fancied him.

"Hey there Hot Stuff," she greeted him with a warm grin, but grimaced a little at the same time. "I know, the new nickname needs work. Grease-monkey just doesn't seem to cover it anymore. I'll work on it."

She manouevered around whatever he was working on so that she could kiss him. After, she wrapped herself around him. She didn't think he minded, but lately she just couldn't seem to be near him and not entangled around him somehow.

"So, where are you taking me?" She looked at him with her goofy, child-like grin of excitement.

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 05:20:17 PM »
Travis seemed satisifed. The place was full of all sorts, nothing to be done about that. Let the Captain tend to business then. He moved near Helena.

"You know, I could take you shopping, help you pick out a few articles of suitable clothing." He smirked, not a smirk too easy to interpret. "You know," he sipped his coffee. "Little things like rain gear, a coat. Gloves. Maybe a hat that's good for rain or shine."

After a little glance at her drink he looked at a mirror behind the bar. Then a look at the bartender, that was usually a good indication of person of interest in a tavern. What was the bartender interested in.

'fast is fine, but accuracy is everything' Wyatt Earp

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

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Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 01:26:33 PM »
Broken Wing Tavern

   The sound of rain on the tinroof caused a natural sort of static. Most people remained seated or moved to the bar and then back to their seat. New arrivals, usually the regulars, seemed to fall into the latter. The two bartenders sort of rotated almost clockwise around the big bar itself taking care of customers as they went. The only time they seemed to pause beyond refilling drinks or conversing with customers was to cast an eye or two at Shanks Malone in the corner. It was if he owned, which was partially correct since it was his "business" seat. He preferred the atmosphere and knowing the patronage handled themselves and any problems was a reasonable tactic.



Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 12:34:38 PM »
Helena smirked, "Thanks but I'm alright.  I like being cold, wet and miserable. "  Helena took a sip of her drink and leaned back in her chair and took a sip of her drink let it burn it's way into the pit of her stomach.  She smiled as it warmed her inside, her eyes closed momentarily letting the warmth spread.

Opening them again she looked at Travis, and then to the bartender where his gaze lied. It was like following the arrows, who in this room was the most important? Oh that shady guy in the corner. Helena stared at him for a minute knowing that Seth was probably here to meet that guy.  She sighed hoping that it wouldn't end in a bullet wound.

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

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Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 12:06:25 PM »
Shanks seemed to note the new arrivals with but a passing glance. Although if asked later, he would be able to recall the brunette certainly. Despite the gaze and newly rained on face, she was a stunner. But he was here for business and a deal was imminent. He could always tell by the smell of credits in the hair, even over the smell of whatever was burning in the oil drums, which was not wood. He had to find the correct person. One who he felt might be able to do the job and he had already turned down to other Captains so far tonight. Then strode in the new chicken.

Shanks pegged him right away. It was all in the hungry of his eyes. While he stopped off briefly to touch with the brunette and the slit-eyed hwoon dahn, the man made his way over to him. The whispered discussion was brief, the terms settled. The job was simple: kidnap someone from one building on the planet Bellerphon and bring him back to Beaumonde then get to a different building. Very simple. The payment was easy enough: 8K upfront and 12K on delivery. The man's name was Seth. Shanks produced a small briefcase out of some in his seat. "The money and info is inside. Anything goes wrong and you're a ghost one way or another." A brief shake of hands and the deal was concluded with Seth nodding to Travis and Helena on his way out of the building.



Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 08:23:41 PM »
Travis murmered some harumph of agreement to Cain. He watched. Some in the mirror, some with a straight even line of sight.

Then there was a point to some pipe tobacco behind the bar, he paid. His coffee was refreshed. The pipe was half smoked.

The Captain was leaving with a glance at he and Cain. Chao tapped the still smoking tobacco out into a huge glass ashtray. "Cow that shite that out might want it back." he said to the bartender, who just chuckled.

"I doubt it." he answered.

Travis reached for his own bacca pouch as he headed for the exit. Coffee cup empty, taste of cheap moldy tobacco in his mouth. Just outside the door he had a smoke of his finer fill going. He smiled at a youngster waiting outside for his pa or some such.  The smile actually looked like one with the more pleasant aroma of the pipe refreshing him.

After a couple of steps he stopped. Waited for the Captain. Or Cain.
Or to realize he was to make his own way back to the ship.

'fast is fine, but accuracy is everything' Wyatt Earp

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 03:21:28 AM »
At the ship

Jared was in the engine room doing a once over of Horizon's engine to sure they would be all set to go in a hurry if need be. Everything was looking good, though he found himself extremely distracted... ever since he found out Ally loved him, he couldn't think of anything else.

Quote
"Hey there Hot Stuff," she greeted him with a warm grin, but grimaced a little at the same time. "I know, the new nickname needs work. Grease-monkey just doesn't seem to cover it anymore. I'll work on it."

Jared chuckled as he turned... and let out a low whistle. Ally looked good. Damn good. The bright blue was new for her, Ally had never been a bright dresser; Jared liked it. The color suited her, accented her natural beauty.

He pondered over the new name a moment as Ally wandered over to him. "Hmmm, might need a litt---mmm"His thought process was scrambled when Ally pressed up against him and their lips met mid-sentence.

When their lips separated he looked a little stupified, she did that to him. "What was I sayin'?"

Quote
"So, where are you taking me?"

He looked shocked and worried. "I was supposed to find somewhere to take you?" When he saw her reaction, he laughed. "Kiddin'. I hear there's a nice place that serves real good food. So I hear at least. And then I figured we'd go for a ride out in the county? Been a long, long time since we been out. What ya say?"
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 03:31:28 AM by Jared Brownsfield »

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 12:39:57 PM »
Helena threw back the rest of drink and stood up. At least she was partially dry now, only to go back into the rain.  She looked at the package in Seth's hands, most likely money, but she wasn't sure if she like dealing with this guy. He seemed to be the kind of man that would not only kill you, but torture you a bit before he lets you die.  Her stomach twisted at the thought. 

Travis had left the building, most likely to go back to the ship.  Helena walked over to Seth and nodded toward the package,

"Are we going to regret doing business with this guy?"

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 02:12:31 PM »
Three of her favourite things: Jared, food and a hoverbike ride.

"You know me so well," Ally smiled. "What more could I want in a day?"

This was exactly why building a romantic relationship on a friendship made so much sense. It had taken a long time for Ally to realise that this was what she wanted. The only difficulty was stopping herself from getting carried away. She was ready to spend the rest of her life with Jared - she had to remind herself not to let things go too fast.

"You got more work to do here or are you ready to go?"

Ally started looking at what Jared had been working on before she arrived. He knew she'd be happy to sit and watch him work if there was  still more to be done. She was still interested in learning as much about mechanics as he could teach her. And besides, she was in no rush.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 02:16:16 PM by Ally Anders »

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

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Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 10:49:15 AM »
The rain seemed to intensify as Seth left The Broken Wing Tavern with the package from Shanks. With a relatively short word of "Not here" when asked about its contents, he made an unusually beeline toward Horizon. It was either to get out of the rain or to get somewhere he could safely access the package on hand. He had nodded at Travis as he exited and get his eyes peeled just in case someone was watching, even though the rain made it more difficult to see what was going on. It was not until they got back to Horizon that he seemed willing to talk about it.

"That guy basically operates out of that place and the area around it so I did not want to draw any undue attention. As for regrets, I hope not. We need this to work out." He hesitated for a second before opening the small briefcase and then seemed to mentally say "rut it". Inside the hardened case was a small vid disc, a trio of photographs, few other pieces of paper and a sizable amount of money. Two of the photographs contained pictures of buildings while the third was of a man. One building picture had Beaumonde written on the back while the other had Bellerphon. The paperwork looked to be financial statements primarily but also included a timetable and deadline as well. "So, the job is to kidnap this man from the building on Bellerphon and get him to the building on Beaumonde. We get eight grand in credits up front and another twelve when we deliver but we have to have him to Beaumonde in a week. If we fail, then whoever that guy is acting as the middleman comes after us. Seems simple, right?"



Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 05:15:58 PM »
Quote
"You know me so well," Ally smiled. "What more could I want in a day?"

"My thoughts exactly." Jared had always thought women were extremely complicated and hard to understand, yet with Ally... he just seemed to know her. Perhaps it was because they had been friends for years now, or perhaps despite their extremely different upbringing the two of them had very much in common.

Quote
"You got more work to do here or are you ready to go?"

He flipped shut the access panel that had been open. "Nope, all set. Lemme just get this suit off real quick..." With that Jared unzipped the onepiece jumpsuit he'd been wearing and let it fall to the floor of the engine room....

Underneath Jared had on a nice, button up shirt and nice jeans. "Sometimes I clean up good. You deserve a respectable lookin' escort afterall."

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2012, 04:50:08 PM »
Ally's eyes widened a little when she thought Jared was about to strip right there. He was dressed underneath - very nicely in fact - and Ally felt a little silly for thinking anything otherwise. She covered that slight embarrassment by feigning great embarrassment. "Oh, Mr. Brownsfield!" she exclaimed in her best old Core lady voice. She fanned herself with her hand to demonstrate shock. "A respectable fellow would not shock a lady so."

She grinned, never able to keep a joke going very long. Jared did look very nice. Ally would hardly call it dressed up, but there was indeed an element of respectability that grease and oil-stained mechanics' garb didn't give. Of course, Ally liked Jared covered in the marks of his trade. It was how she knew him.

If she hadn't been in such a blissful mood, the notion that she 'deserved' respectability might have bothered her. She'd spent a great deal of her life rebelling against being respectable and trying to escape her mother's ideas of what she deserved. Today, Ally was too enveloped by her happiness to read anything between the lines of what Jared had said, whether there was anything there or not.

She looked up at him with flirty smile. "Well I don't know what I did to deserve ya but I'm very glad - you do clean up very, very good." She kissed him briefly but keenly before they headed out.

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

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Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2012, 02:24:07 AM »
It was almost missed at first. A slight jolt to his nervous system and Seth steadied himself on a console for a brief second. Then an involuntary convulsive reflex came from his stomach and something rose from the back of his throat. The facial expression was seriously pained. A sudden second wave of convulsion hit him quickly and his body reacted by expelling blood and mucus out of his nose and mouth. Seth's hands seemed to lose all muscle control as he fell and his head slammed into the deck. The Captain of Horizon lay unconscious now with blood flowing from his mouth and nose. His pulse was still there but very weak, almost too weak.



Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2012, 07:06:26 PM »
Helena had followed Seth back to the ship. 

Quote
"That guy basically operates out of that place and the area around it so I did not want to draw any undue attention. As for regrets, I hope not. We need this to work out...So, the job is to kidnap this man from the building on Bellerphon and get him to the building on Beaumonde. We get eight grand in credits up front and another twelve when we deliver but we have to have him to Beaumonde in a week. If we fail, then whoever that guy is acting as the middleman comes after us. Seems simple, right?"

She looked over the documents and photos that were encased in the envelope.  A kidnapping sounded interesting. However the man coming after them didn't. But Seth had already opening the envelope so it was do or die now, literally. 

"I'm guessing this timetable is where he'll be and when? What do you think? Seduce and snag?" She grinned waiting for his input however a strange look had come over his face.  Helena grabbed his arm, but let go rapidly as he began to vomit up blood. He fell to the floor and the sound of his head banging against the metal rang through the room.
"S**t!"

Helena ran to the comm, "We need help in the cargo bay now.  The captain is down." She rushed back to Seth rolling him on his side should he continue to vomit blood. Her fingers rested on his neck, monitoring his almost non-existent pulse.

Helena's heart pounded every second, it felt like an eternity, where was everyone? And why didn't they have a God Damn medic. 

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2012, 08:32:46 PM »
Travis had followed at some distance. He'd stayed near the cargo deck doors. Listened.

A kidnapping for hire didn't seem like his idea of honest work; not by any standard. Sure he nabbed folk and dragged them back to 'justice'. But there folk already in the court system, free only because they'd agreed to a set of conditions. It was legal. Not kidnapping.  Heck most just slouched and went along peaceful.

But this.. Seth hadn't struck him as the sort... then he was sick. Just like that.

The immediate thought was poisoning of some kind. The envelope.

Cain was a bit more practicle. Travis kneeled near the Captain, "You want me to fetch an outsider?" He gave a warning look at the papers and envelope. This was too much of a coincidence.


'fast is fine, but accuracy is everything' Wyatt Earp

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2012, 12:02:09 AM »
"Tzao gao," Ally muttered in response to Helena's voice over the comm. Ally cast a look of dread at Jared. Her face had paled.

"I'll get a med kit," she told Jared quickly as she dashed through the lounge and into the med-bay. With no doctor aboard Ally had patched up Jared after St. Albans so she knew her way around in there. She grabbed a first-aid box, paused for a second but then decided it would be better to get the kit to Helena and run back for anything else once she knew what was needed. Ally ran out and hurried down the stairs into the cargo bay.

At the bottom of the stairs she paused again, just briefly to assess what was happening - were they under attack again? There were no signs of danger, just the Captain on the floor spewing up blood. She ran over and put down/handed over the med kit.

Ally felt sick; she'd seen bullet wounds and stab wounds but never something as horrific as this. She took a few steps back, out of the way. She had no idea how to help but wouldn't hesitate if given direction.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 12:05:01 AM by Ally Anders »

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves

Re: Horizon Episode 3: Wage Slaves
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2012, 12:45:07 PM »
"You want me to fetch an outsider?"

Helena nodded, "If you can find a doctor, yes.  I've got a feeling that our best chance to help him is a real medical facility. Unless anyone else has a better idea."

Ally came down the stairs, her face turned slightly green at the sight, Helena reached out her hand grabbing a med kit,

"Just put on a pair of gloves and take this stuff away," She noted toward the envelope and its contents, spilled on the floor, "Be careful, this is the last thing he touched before all this happened." Helena was helpless, blood most likely on her clothing now, but she didn't care. Provided she wouldn't be doing the same in all of five seconds.  An unsettling feeling built up in her stomach at the idea of throwing up blood. She took her own advice and put on a pair of gloves, holding Seth up on his side with her knee.  She took what was available and began to wipe his mouth clean, that's the only thing she could think to do at the moment.

 

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