S1:Ep1 - Time is Flea-ting

Started by Lomari, October 11, 2018, 09:06:17 PM


Ship Time: 1900.
Location: 50AU out from Georgia toward Blue Sun, approaching target's last known coordinates.

Every so often, honesty and hard were were rewarded with the prospects of higher paying jobs and a steadier income. Employees of a greater (and wealthier) caliber often found themselves far more willing to repeat business once a certain level of trust had been developed between them and their contractors. Missions and jobs always started out small; carry this cargo off world to the next planet over, transport a friend of a friend half way around the world for an evening party. Eventually, however, the jobs increased not only in frequency and importance, but also in pay.

It was in this way that The Darling acquired a promising job, one Major Winston King reaching out to Captain Goodweather and his crew on behalf of Baron Hugo Tate to work another job. They'd contacted the ship before and had found their work ethic outstanding, and their clean record useful. So now, they'd been asked to find a shipment that had been lost in transit on its way to Aphrodite from Meridian. Figuring it might've been abandoned about half way, the most recent coordinates had been forwarded to the ship's captain, as well as the first fourth of their payment, which would be enough for fuel, supplies, and the cost to get out to the missing shipment. The last three fourths would be delivered upon the item's return.

It was now evening, time for the ship's nightly Family Dinner where the crew was able to relax and enjoy a meal together. It served many purposes. It brought the crew members together to form lasting bonds, enabled the Captain to inform his people of plans and updates on situations, and was altogether a great boost to moral, intentional or not. They were still a day out from their intended destination, having been traveling now for four and a half days, but the voyage was wrapping up nicely and they'd had a surprisingly smooth trip so far. Thank goodness for little favors.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Barnaby Goodweather

"Dinner time!" Barnaby Goodweather's favorite time of day was dinner time. It was a policy held over from his folks, everyone puts down their work, takes a break, and sits down to dinner at the same time. He clapped his hands and licked his lips at the thought of whatever Rian was cooking up. It had been an age since Darling had a proper cook on board, someone with a real flair in the kitchen. "C'mon everybody. Time to eat, now."

Winding his way through the hallways and corridors, stopping in most of the doorways and talking to crew as he found them, Barnaby personally made sure to check in and invite everyone on board to dinner. "Supper's the most important meal of the day, didn't ya know?"

Dialogue Color - LightBlue

Tabitha Haemish

On their last trip dirt side, the ship's Doctor had bought several strings of multi-colored Tibetan prayer flags as well as another container of varying scents of incense, glimmering, shiny rocks, and some of the more common and less expensive herbs grown on that particular planet and available locally. The expensive ones were used rarely so she wouldn't need to buy them very often and were kept in a wooden chest she kept beneath her bunk, under lock and key. It wasn't that she didn't trust the crew,  she didn't trust herself not to try to use them in just about everything.

As per usual, she'd donned an outfit that only made sense in her own mind. A baby blue skirt cut up to look like a paper doily with a darker navy blue skirt beneath that, the hem landing at her mid shin, black granny boots peeking out from beneath that. A loose white blouse was tucked into the waistband of the skirt, held tight in at her waist with a man's vest she's taken in at the sides, a man's tie matching her skirt tucked down into the V of the vest. Her mass of platinum curls were piled in a messy ponytail and held up with an assortment of rainbow ribbons.

Their newest addition Rian had been on board The Darling for a few months now, and to Tabby, that was long enough for her to have grown attached to their latest family member and set to decorating his bunk without his permission, just as she'd done to everyone else's (save the Captain, who had his own room). The smell of food cooking up in the kitchens wafted its way down into the bunks and the peppy little blonde stopped wrapping the string for the flags around the man's bunk just long enough to look in the direction of the door. She spotted the Captain making his way past, peeking in on his way toward the dining area.

"C'mon everybody. Time to eat, now." he called to the crew.

"Barnaby," she called out, watching him pause in the doorway. Bright hazel eyes lit up as she practically skipped toward the Captain, leaving behind her decorations. She'd finish it up after dinner. Holding up her index finger, the whimsical girl beamed up at him, "Don't forget to take your vitamins with dinner," she reminded him, having been a little paranoid about the crew's health since the initial epidemic that brought her on board. She'd keep them healthy and happy if it killed her. "Do you know what Rian's making for us?" she asked, tilting her head and wrapping her arms around the crook of his elbow, almost glowing with warmth and unbridled joy.
Dialogue Color: Pink

Rian Carpenter

October 13, 2018, 04:42:48 PM #3 Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 04:48:41 PM by Rian Carpenter
Rian had himself in too deep once again.

He stared at the void in the freezer where the various cuts of venison once sat. The frozen broccoli and last cuts of flank steaks in his hand he forced himself to close the door and get back to work. Carpenter took his job as cook just as seriously as he took the security of his crew. Checking routes for ambush points was fine and dandy, but the look on the faces of his crew members after they'd gone back for seconds gave him a rare satisfaction, one he rarely got from exchanging gunfire or fisticuffs. But did he have to set the standard of having real food on the table so often? Once you have a proper meal every day, going back to protein mash and oats is never fun.

He was lucky Riot was keen to help him hunt. Well, maybe it would be more accurately said she taught his ignorant ass whilst he thought he could just show up in the woods and shoot straight. It was not that simple. Maybe he'd be more prepared next stop planet-side? Or maybe he could talk Torvik into helping him keep that freezer stocked with real meat, and maybe he could keep this run of proper meals going. Come hell or high water, he was not going back to the stale rations he ate on so many other ships.

The sound of boiling water, and the warmth of the cast iron pan brought him back to a slightly more relaxed state. Cooking for the crew was his meditation. Problems are simple, concrete. While there is artistry, there is little abstraction. When they're on the job, there's a million factors to worry about. Right now it was just a matter of following the steps, patience, and closely monitoring the potatoes in the oven.

Rian heard the captain was making his rounds, summoning the crew for his now finished meal. But Carpenter's brain was already starting to churn in another direction. Operational security for the salvage job. He had a reading list he'd made for himself on his digital assistant. Gangs that operated in the area, files on illegal salvage outfits that run out of the nearby planets. With two jobs the work was rarely done. He put the homework away for now and put out the tray of sliced, lightly seasoned potatoes, and a bowl of broccoli on the table, plates were already piled up for the crew to help themselves. Last but not least, the flank steaks.

Rian couldn't help himself and cut off a large chunk of his steak and plopped it straight into his mouth. It might be the last of their real meat and he was going to enjoy it before he went to work in his other job. The rest of the crew could probably already smell the dinner, never mind Captain's summons. He scooped up some of the potatoes and and broccoli and sat down, pulling out his digital assistant and plopping it next to his table setting for perusal during dinner.

"Steak, potatoes, broccoli!"

He bellowed back to the captain as he arrived in the mess hall with Tabby. Rian had already picked up he shouldn't tell Tabby where the steak came from. Steak is steak, and that was probably all she needed to know. She had a bounce in her step that made him suspicious she'd been decorating his bunk against his will again. He squinted at her suspiciously as she entered, but with just enough of a hint of playfulness in his expression to give away he wasn't actually mad. Carpenter wasn't much for decorating his space, but the girl prettying up his sleeping area did make him feel at ease in his little corner of the ship.

Rian's eyes finally drifted to the PDA as everyone sat.

Dinner was done, the crew was helping themselves, he let out a long sigh, savoring the satisfaction of supplying them once again with a proper meal. Time to start reading about who might try and kill them and steal the cargo.

Viktor Söderberg

October 13, 2018, 08:52:34 PM #4 Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 08:54:11 PM by Viktor Söderberg
Viktor was wearing black on black with his clerical collar. He didn't usually wear his clericals on the ship with only the crew - though he did stick to blacks and greys - but he'd just finished a video counseling session. He'd smelled dinner and he couldn't be bothered to change before investigating the enticing scent.

He was lost in thought as he walked, going over the session in his mind again. He'd been performing a pre-marriage couple's counseling. He genuinely liked the couple and he thought they would be good together. They just needed to work out a few snags in their communication skills. After dinner, he would send them some exercises to work on before their next session.

He passed Barnaby making his dinner time rounds. This was something he'd not experienced on any ship prior to The Darling. Most ships he'd been on had a communal kitchen and people would eat or make food as they got hungry. Sometimes eating together but mostly not. Viktor enjoyed Barnaby's calls to the table. It was homey and quaint and showed that he cared for the people on board. Going on a year with The Darling, this act from the Captain still never failed to make Viktor smile.

"C'mon everybody. Time to eat, now," he called as they passed.

Viktor nodded his head in hello to the other man and said, "Smells like Rian is treating us better than we deserve, yet again Captain! Heaven forbid we ever go back to rations..." he chuckled quietly at his own quip and continued on toward the galley.

Barnaby Goodweather


Barnaby nearly blushed, realizing he hadn't taken them in several days. She had been kind to think of him when she gave him the little wooden pill box with flowers painted on it, but truth be told the little pills smelled like death and tasted even worse. "Aw, heck, Tabby Cat. You know I don't like them things." Before the doc could chastise him further, Barnaby relented. "I'll take'em, I'll take'em. Honest I will." He laughed. "Always looking out for your captain."

Before he could answer her next query, because he really didn't have the foggiest idea what Rian was making, the cook answered for him. Always where he needed to be, that Rian. Barnaby was thankful for that. Barnaby was glad he left out the venison of it all. The cuter the animal, the less likely folks were to eat the meat, Tabby especially. Barnaby stretches his suspenders with his thumbs and have the doctor another smile. "I'm going to see about everyone else. I'll see you at the table."


The captain passed the preacher and pleasantries were exchanged, tight yet warm smiles that said "I'm glad to see you." Barnaby was, indeed glad to have the preacher on board, though it had been many years since Barnaby himself had considered god as anything more than a superstition. Not that Barnaby wasn't god-fearing. Far from it. Barnaby was afraid of a lot of superstitions. No whistling on board. No leaving port on Fridays. That sort of thing. A better way to put it was that out in the Black, there wasn't a lot of time for church going. So, Barnaby reckoned, having a preacher on board and letting him stay there long as he liked, would maybe look pretty fine on him when the day should come.

"Yessir. That boy cooks a mean steak. I'll be along shortly now."

He left the preacher to his path to dinner and continued on.


As Barnaby wound his way through the corridors of his ship- "My ship..." He said, still full of wonder even after all these years. - the captain was glad to have so many people on board. The Darling had never truly found itself wanting for hired hands. The nature of their work kept her bunks pretty full. And full bunks made Barnaby happy. He didn't dissect it further than that, having been left by four women, now an adult orphan and the brother of a KIA war-hero, one might argue Barnaby had abandonment issues. Barnaby would tell you that's ridiculous. He just don't like when the ship's quiet, is all.

Before making it circle like back to the mess, Barnaby checked in with each and every one of them, Riot, the mechanic, who was working on a shaky gravitec exchange. He stopped, lent a quick hand, and got her to a stopping point so she could join for dinner. His XO Mona, which was a term Barnaby had been unfamiliar with, and she had insisted upon when he tried to call her his mate, had her door shut. But Barnaby knocked and gave her a soft order to be at the table in five. She was usually at dinner on time anyhow.

He stopped for each and every, and was glad to do it.


Barnaby entered the mess, his stomach grumbling. He saw the spread Rian had lay out and he pulled the hat from his head and placed it over his heart. "I'll be, Rian. You paint with food, my friend. And I'm one of those..." Barnaby realized there wasn't an appropriate idiom for this train of thought, but since when had he let that stop him. "...Folks that likes art." Not his worst.

Once everyone was gathered, Barnaby smiles and sat down at the head of the table. The very same chair his pappy had sat in for forty years. "Preacher? You got any words you wants to say before we dig in?"
Dialogue Color - LightBlue

Viktor Söderberg

"Preacher? You got any words you wants to say before we dig in?"

It was kind of Barnaby to extend the courtesy of an official blessing. Many-a Captain took offense and even those who didn't generally asked that Viktor say the blessing quietly to himself so as not to offend other passengers or crew. But time and again Barnaby offered the preacher a moment for quick prayer and Viktor was happy to accept.

"Thanks, Captain." He looked around the table and smiled warmly at everyone gathered. He then bowed his head and spoke in a gentle yet carrying voice. "We thank You Lord, for all you give: the food prepared before us, the ship beneath our feet and the glorious universe we so love to travel. To our loved ones near and far, please send your blessings. Help us all to live with thankful hearts and loving ways. Amen."

He looked up and turned his head to Rian. "You've outdone yourself once again. The steak smells so wonderful, I almost had to cut my counselling short to run here and taste it."
He'd said steak though Viktor strongly suspected it had started out as something a might cuter than a cow.

Tabitha Haemish

As they entered the mess hall, Rian answered her question before the Captain could and she beamed warmly in the man's direction. Small, elegant hands lifted to about chest height, palms facing him in an equally playful gesture of surrender as their food guru squinted in her direction. She giggled, knowing what he was likely thinking she'd done was absolutely correct. But hey, she couldn't help herself. His bunk was so dreadfully barren and she just knew he'd feel so much better with all the colorful flags and stones she'd dangle from around the edges of his bunk. Who wouldn't?

"I'm going to see about everyone else. I'll see you at the table," the Captain informed her and she slipped her arm out of his to offer him a friendly wave before her finger extended and she pointed at him with raised brows, doing her best attempt at threatening him should he not actually take his vitamins. Her attempt at chastising him melted into a warm smile and she moved onto her tip toes to plan an innocent kiss on his cheek before skipping her way to her seat at the table.

"This all smells absolutely fantastic, Rian," she praised honestly, clasping her hands and setting the back of one palm against her cheek, her eyes bright as she looked the food over. Sometimes she wondered where they'd gotten such nice and interesting foreign cow steak, but she figured it must have been some farmer's market the last place they'd stopped.

While the Captain made his rounds, more crew filtered in and Tabby waved enthusiastically as their mechanic made her way in, followed eventually by their intimidating XO. Personally, Mona didn't frighten Tabitha as much as she should have, but the Doctor saw the imposing woman as more of a giant polar bear that just needed some loving and cuddling and then she'd be the softest, coziest thing to cuddle in the whole verse. As Tabby thought these fuzzy thoughts, she stared at Mona, a dreamy look on her face as she imagined the woman covered head to toe in a fluffy downy blanket, only her frowny face poking out.

The Captain entered behind the rest of the crew and smiled softly at him when he sat, remembering a time when his father had sat there instead. She lifted a hand to brush a stray curl back behind her ear, where it stayed put for a second before bouncing back into place at the side of her face. As the preacher began his Grace, Tabby reached out to hold the Captain's hand in her right hand, and Riot's hand in her left. Mona sat across from her, sitting at the Captain's right hand as was proper for an XO. Beside her, Rian sat across the way from Riot and Victor took up the seat across the table from the Captain.

Once Grace was over, the Doctor released the hands she'd taken captive and smiled brightly at them all, looking each person's face over studiously and making sure they all seemed generally alright, checking to make sure no one looked flushed, tired, sickly, splotchy, too red, not red enough, etc etc etc...

"Barnaby, what would you like me to do when we reach our destination?" she asked him curiously, tilting her head and waiting for everyone to get food onto their plates before she did. She needed her family to be happy and full and healthy, after all.
Dialogue Color: Pink

Rian Carpenter

Rian took each round of praise for his meal with a suppressed smile and a "Thank you". This was the best part of the job so far. It had been a few months and things were starting to settle into a rhythm. He can stress about the new meat supply after the salvage job. For now he could just watch his crew-mates dig in and enjoy the meal. He was never going to be the verse-wide famous chef he dreamed of being as a kid. But he'd settle for being half-way to the gun-slinging bastard his father raised him to be and at least the best cook on a ship with a name that ends in "arling".

He bowed his head during the grace and closed his eyes. He figured out after a couple awkward first attempts during the preacher's prayers as to what the basic steps were and how not to look like a damn fool. The first time he just sat up looking around, kinda just waiting for it to be done. He didn't have any particular disrespect for his potential maker or the preacher. His father was much more the "Man is his own god." type and spending this much time around a holy man was an entirely new thing for him. Today though, the felt like he totally nailed it. Head bowed and eyes closed, no nervous throat clearing. He even managed an audible: "Amen."

After Tabby inquired about her role, Rian made a stab at guessing what his role might be.

"I figure I'd like to be on the boarding team when we go looking for this salvage. My rifle works pretty good in zero g, and I'd like to keep an eye on our six while we breach. If I were going to boost whatever we're scoopin' up, I'd wait for the pros sent to find it, then come down on them like hellfire and snatch it right from 'em."

He paused then added:

"If that's all right with you, cap."

Carpenter deliberately didn't even ask what the cargo was, and to make it clear he wasn't even close to giving an order to his superior. It was always a request based on his analysis of the situation. He had some ideas about how to go about it but at the end of the day the job was to get something off a ghost ship, and if he had to tussle with an actual disembodied spirit to protect the crew and get their bounty he'd do it.


Riot gave a sigh, and grumbled to herself as she wiped away a bead of sweat, smearing s bit of grease across her forehead in the process. One of The Darlings gravitec exchanges was shaky, and the problem was proving difficult to diagnose. She was starting to worry that she would have to shut the whole system down and run a diagnostic, but finally the problem presented itself. It was a simple fix... or it would be if it wasn't almost impossible to get to. She pondered for a moment, and then slowly undid all the fastening bolts for the exchange. She was just trying to figure out how she could lift the whole assembly AND still replace the loose wire behind it when the Captain showed up. "Ah! Captain. Wonderful timing, here, hold this up would you?" Barnaby obliged, and she bent over and half crawled into the small open space.

A few moments late and she was finished. "Right, that should do it. I think next time we're planet side I'll take her apart and replace all the wiring. Probably should double check the other exchanges too..." She trailed off, pondering the prospect of rewiring every grav-exchange. Barnaby the momentary silence to inform her that dinner was almost ready, and suddenly she became aware of the wonderful aromas wafting through the ship. Her stomach growled. "Right! Dinner. Got it. Lemme just find Bandit and wash up." She said, and set about locking the big piece of machinery back into place.

- - - A few minutes later - - -

Riot walked out of engineering and onto the catwalk that ran around the walls of the cargo bay. She peered around, and then called out. "Bandit! C'mon girl, chow time!" She waited a moment, and was rewarded by the sight of one of the shadows in one corner of the huge room stretch and get up. The big black wolfdog ambled out into the middle of the bay and looked up at Riot, cocking her head to the side. Riot gestured towards the kitchen and made her way around to the ladder on the forward end of the bay, and slid down it. Bandit, who had calmly watched from the middle of the room, loped over to Riot and headbutted her in the leg. Riot chuckled and crouched down, putting her hands on either side of Bandits huge head and placing her forehead against Bandits. "Sulten? Klar til å spise?" Bandit huffed, and then licked Riots cheek, eliciting another chuckle. "Okay, okay. Well come on then." She said, standing up and opening the door.

She walked in, returning Tabitha's wave with a warm smile, and gave a nod to everyone else. She quickly washed, and then took her seat next to Tabby. Bandit laid down in her customary place in between Tabitha and Riots chairs. They all joined hands for grace. Riot had never been particularly religious, but there was no harm in it as far as she was concerned. Once that was done everyone started loading up their plates, and Tabitha and Rian inquired what their roles would be on this salvage job. Riot stayed mostly silent, instead opting to dig into her food with gusto. She did manage to pause long enough to say "Rian, this is amazing. You cook a mean meal."

Riot had been aboard The Darling for a fair few years now. Long enough that it definitely felt like home. She liked Barnaby and Tabitha and Mona and Viktor, and would happily start a fight to defend any of them... but Rian she still wasn't quite sure of. He'd been a part of the crew for only a couple months, and although he was certainly capable, and handsome, and looked real good in a shirt and tie... and had really pretty eyes... She still didn't trust him fully.

Barnaby Goodweather

Barnaby's eyes shone like a proud father at the sight of his crew gathered for dinner. "Thanks, Preacher." Between bites, he listened as everyone conversed, and as the upcoming job inevitably came up. "Right ya are, Rian. You, Mona, and Riot will board the other ship. I'll be at the helm, keepin' Darling steady. Preacher and Tabby will be on standby in case anything goes sideways. But I reckon it won't. The Major said won't be anybody else out this far. Cargo's special like, so valuable but demand ain't exactly high." He smiled around a bite of steak. "Easy in and out."

It all seemed pretty straight forward to Barnaby when the Major had laid out the job to him. Which was good. The Darling had been running jobs like this for half a century, though admittedly the space walking and such was less routine. Barnaby had faith in his crew's abilities. What could go wrong?
Dialogue Color - LightBlue

Rian Carpenter

Rian was in another gear now. The job was churning in his brain. He always, on a strange deep down level had a sense of impostor syndrome working as a gunhand. Countering security, and ensuring it has been his given craft for his entire adult life, but that feeling never truly escaped him. So he compensated. With prep. Prep. Prep. Prep. Captain made it sound simple, but Rian was running scenarios in his head and re-reading files on local gangs for the 3rd time as he finished dinner.

As he cleared his space at the table, Carpenter was deep in thought. Physically present. Mentally, he was reminding himself to adjust the trigger to accommodate the gloves for the space-suit, and running through a checklist of tasks to complete before he can even put the suit on.

"I hope everyone has enjoyed their meal, I'll see if I can fix us up with more protein for our next batch of meals after this job. If y'all see any space cow or a pig out there..."

He stopped there.

Damn it, Rian. You're not the funny guy. You know this.

He cleared his throat.

"I'm going to prep my gear, Cap'n. Y'all let me know if you need me before we make contact with the ship.

As he was about to leave, the security officer stopped mid-stride and pointed over to Riot.

"Let's all not forget to thank Riot for teaching me how to -"

His gaze went to Tabby...

"Find good deals on these steaks... I never could haggle worth a damn."

And like that Carpenter was off. Speaking of the impostor syndrome. He still felt like a stowaway going on near six months now. Maybe it was hiding a not small portion of his past. Maybe he's just gotten in his own head about it and everything was fine. He did need to stop mentioning where the meat came from around Abby. That was for sure.

Focus, Rian.

He made for the armory with purpose. Slipping his rifle off the rack in the armory his mind quieted of those anxieties. As he disassembled the trigger mechanism from the rifle Rian was back on task. At least now it was honest work. Protecting this crew was a privilege compared to the work he had to do before. A sense of calm finally coming over him.

Mona Heyerdahl

Mona squinted at the digital assistant, looking comically small in the palm of her hand. The stylus appeared even smaller, almost a toothpick, as it checked off the list of final checks required on the boarding equipment as she prepared for the crew's next mission. Barnaby remained sparse with the overall details of who and when and how much, but that business belonged to a Captain and not a soldier. Even as Barnaby's right hand aboard The Darling since she came to him in search of work years ago, Mona still preferred to think of herself as one of the crew - or, as became tradition on The Darling, the family.

The Valkyrie's mind drifted back to her blood family, the Heyerdahl's of St. Albans. She sighed as she thought of her sister Helga, wondering how she withstood their Pa's closed-minded mentality and hoped his boarish nonsense vexed her as little as possible. The rest remained scattered like stardust across the 'Verse, each following their own path throughout the cosmos. A path stitched in the thread of the Norns, if one believed Fridtjof's rambling. Mona found it intolerable at times, wondered how a person became so mad as to think they heard the voices of gods. Then her mind turned to Viktor, and she figured it helped everyone to believe in something.

Mona believed in many things: preparedness, dedication, loyalty. But above all she believed in family. Family she sought when she returned home from the Unification War. Lucky enough to remain uncaptured by Alliance forces as they stormed across the Valley of Serenity, Mona returned to St. Albans in hopes of reuniting with Hafthor, Holger, Fridtjof, Helga, even Sigurd and Erna. Mona disagreed with Hafthor's denouncement of Sigurd as a coward, having always admired the learned one's ability to excel at academic pursuits that seemed to escape the rest of the clan. And while she shared a contested history with her younger sibling, so differently minded from the rest of her family though stubborn and headstrong all the same, Mona remembered the many days and nights when only the two of them and their sister Helga huddled around the fireplace for warmth as the menfolk went about their hunting trips. Mona breathed deeply, thinking she smelled one of Helga's meals even now.

Looking down at the pad in her hand, the XO squinted at the small clock and realized she must've missed the dinner bell. Not wanting to upset the Captain or the rest of the crew by breaking tradition, Mona slid the stylus into place within the digital assistant and left the rest of the equipment to be checked sometime after dinner but before the punching bag and made her way to the dining area. Turning a corner, Mona paused for an instant as Riot and Bandit made their way from another of the ship's corridors. She admired Riot's grace of movement and understanding of the engines Mona herself never managed to fathom, no matter how familiar she got with a ship. She also admired how much of her personality the woman seemed to share with the wolf-dog, and as the XO's slid down the back of Rio's frame she admired with the way her sweater hung off her shoulders and the way her utilitarian trousers managed to hug her hips.

Sweeping a hand through her short-cropped hair in an attempt to make herself presentable, Mona drew in a breath and offered a curt nod and a short wave as she entered the dining hall. Pulling out her seat, she offered a tight smile to Barnaby as a sort of apology for running so late. Given her role aboard the ship, Mona hated to set a bad example for the rest of the crew. She smiled as earnestly as possible at the rest of the crew as Viktor said Grace. Not raised in any particular faith, and often times finding Viktor's practices as bizarre as Fridtjof's, Mona believed in one's right to believe in what they chose - or what chose them, as many claimed - and abided by the Pastor's rites as she honored those fallen on the field of battle by ensuring the bodies of as many men and women as possible made the return home to be laid to rest properly.

Looking to Barnaby with more than a little guilt weighing heavily in the pit of her stomach, Mona pursed her lips as she imagined her Pa's disapproving scowl awaiting her. In truth, Barnaby merely carried that sparkling glint of his joie de vivre - a shimmering, contagious beacon in The Black shared by all those gathered at The Darling's dinner table. After taking a bite of Rian's latest mouth-watering creation once the Pastor's prayer finished, Mona took a sip of water and tilted her heard toward Tabby as she noticed the ship's doctor watching her with a curious smile upon her face. "I should thank you for your latest round of decorating, dear. I never knew I wanted to sleep beneath a makeshift canopy. And you've done wonders for our resident chef's rather drab furnishings." Mona smiled broadly, turning her head to face the cook. "And I agree, Rian. You've outdone yourself here. You cook a finer meal than my dear sister Helga, and believe me that's no small task." Mona wondered for a moment why she thought to mention a sibling's name at the dinner table once again, then considered how ironic that she found in the Black what no longer truly awaited her on St. Alban's: family.
When the battle is lost And the slain ones are chosen The Valkyries will guide us home
We'll heed the final call A call to arms The Valkyries will guide us home
Blind Guardian. "Valkyries"

Tabitha Haemish

The Doctor looked between Rian and the Captain with wide, curious eyes as they laid out the basic skeleton of the plan, her attention focused solely upon them while her hands mindlessly cut her 'steak' into bite-sized portions, arranging it onto a pile on her plate akin to what the Pyramids might've looked like once upon a time. She was eager to know her part of the plan and didn't want to have a mouthful of food when Barnaby got to it, so she waited, her stomach grumbling in protest. It really wanted to make the steak's acquaintance.

"Preacher and Tabby will be on standby in case anything goes sideways," Barnaby finally said, thereby releasing her from her trance. Tabby nodded, smiled, and saluted playfully with her free hand before finally setting to eating again. Every so often during the conversations around the table, the Doctor plucked a bit of meat from her table and slyly lowered it between Riot's and her chair, giving it to the pup resting politely between them. She wasn't technically supposed to feed Bandit from the table but that wasn't going to be stopping her anytime soon. The big fluff was a part of the family and as such, wasn't she supposed to be eating dinner with them? Tabitha thought so.

Her eyes wandered over the gathered faces, her lips curved up happily and her eyes bright. As always, she found herself watching Mona curiously. The woman was larger than life to the Doctor, and everything she did seemed so out of this world and magical, even when it was something as mundane as eating dinner or engaging in conversation. Her back straightened a little as their eyes met and her smile broadened sweetly.

"I should thank you for your latest round of decorating, dear. I never knew I wanted to sleep beneath a makeshift canopy. And you've done wonders for our resident chef's rather drab furnishings," the XO complimented. Tabitha positively beamed with joy, happy that the other woman enjoyed the way she'd decorated her bunk. Setting down the fork, Tabby's hands clapped together in front of her and she grinned, "I knew you'd love it! You never told me so, but I just knew you would, the 'Verse told me so," she informed her cheerily.

"I hope everyone has enjoyed their meal, I'll see if I can fix us up with more protein for our next batch of meals after this job. If y'all see any space cow or a pig out there..." Even if Rian didn't think he was funny, Tabitha did, and she laughed honestly at the thought of cows and pigs floating around in herds in the vastness of space. She even imagined them wearing space suits and the image absolutely delighted her.

"Let's all not forget to thank Riot for teaching me how to -Find good deals on these steaks... I never could haggle worth a damn," the man added, glancing in Tabby's direction mid sentence. The Doctor met her gaze and smiled wholeheartedly, lifting her brows encouragingly, thinking maybe he'd just gotten a little shy in the middle of his thanks. When he was gone, she turned back to the Captain and offered him a warm smile, approving of his decision to bring the man aboard.

She didn't have much in the way of preparation for their upcoming mission. Her medical bag was already packed and her stock refilled. She'd just have to go about her business and wait for the next day when they'd arrive. Hopefully, she wouldn't be needed anyway.
Dialogue Color: Pink


Ship Time: 1034.
Location: Ten minutes out from target's last known coordinates. Within visual range.

After the Family Dinner, the crew had had the rest of the evening to prepare for the upcoming mission. Those who were meant to take the space walk were prepped and had been given detailed instructions and refreshers on proper procedure from the ship's XO, not wanting to leave anything to chance. This was not the sort of mission in which an accident or a slip would go unnoticed. The evening had passed relatively smoothly. Weapons were checked, space suits tested and made ready, and the essential details of the plan were once more relayed to the relevant crew members.

At roughly ten the next morning, the proximity alarm sounded in the cockpit and in the Captain's quarters, warning him with ample time that they were nearing their target. It had drifted a little from the coordinated they'd been given, but that was to be expected. From this distance, the ship's corpse was within visual range, although the pilot would need to maneuver them closer on their own. From what they could see where they were, the ship looked relatively intact, although it spun slowly in place, which might have accounted for the drifting. It wasn't starkly apparent from this distance what had incapacitated the ship, but there were empty alcoves along the side of it where there had likely been escape shuttles, proving a hopeful sign when it came to the status of the ghost ship's crew. There was a slight sparkle and shimmer floating around the boat like a thin misty cloud, reflecting light from the ship's still functioning exterior flashers out in several directions. It was unclear exactly what caused this glimmer, but a closer inspection either with scanners or proximity might have assisted in the crew's understanding of this strange little phenomena.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Barnaby Goodweather

Up late making sure everything was in place for the mission, Barnaby had instructed folks to sleep in as late as they could so as to be well rested. He couldn't speak for everyone, but Barnaby knew he had a hard time sleeping night before a job, and so letting a little slack on morning chores helped a body stay relaxed and steady. Of course, the three cups of coffee he'd had since he got up might have counteracted all of that.

The Captain did his rounds, starting with checking the suits again. Made sure all of the patches were solid and that the seal was strong on each. No space walk asphyxiation on his watch. Not again. Space suits were an easy thing to let go into disrepair. Lots of crews never saw them used at all. And, truth be told, Barnaby wasn't sure exactly the last time theirs had been used. He reckoned at least a year, if not closer to two.

He remembered the time a member of his crew had lost oxygen flow to the suit. That was even longer ago. Right after his pappy had stepped down as captain and promoted Barnaby. Couldn't even be said to be anyone's fault, let alone the captain. They'd been hit by a meteorite shower, tiny little buggers. No bigger than a pin's head. Didn't do much damage other than ripping a hole in Dharma's suit. They reeled her back in quick-like with no harm done. But she was shook, and Dharma quit soon after that, tired of the spacer life and the dangers that went with it. Barnaby blamed himself, of course, though no one else did. His pappy said that if the worst that happened is that it made Barnaby over cautious with space walks, well then it was a good thing it happened at all. Barnaby couldn't argue with that.

Down in the engine room, Barnaby double-checked the gravitec exchange. It wasn't shaking anymore, at least for the moment. That was good. Everything seemed to be working like it was supposed to, more or less. Riot kept The Darling running nice and smooth, for sure, but she was an old ship with peculiarities that required regular maintenance. She'd hold, Barnaby figured. The crew was counting on it, and he was confident in his ship.

Up in the cockpit, Barnaby caught wind of the proximity alert and checked their status. Right on schedule, if your clock is set to showing up pretty much when you get there. Barnaby, a fourth cup of coffee in hand (it was a weakness of his), idly tapped a few buttons on the console to run some scans as he sipped the steaming liquid. The Darling didn't have fancy long range telemetrics. But she had atmospheric, thermal, radiation, and proximity scanners. Pretty standard stuff.

Atmospheric read as expected, that is there was no atmosphere on the ship. Life support systems were down. That was good.   

Thermal read cold, no life signs on board. That was good.

Radiation levels were within normal limits for a spaced derelict. Suits would protect against any latent glowies floating about. If the reactor core was in tact, it either wasn't leaking or had burned out long ago. That was also good.

Proximity scanners indicated that there was a derelict vessel nearby, which, of course, Barnaby knew about. Showed some other debris, likely from whatever had crippled the ship. Barnaby guessed that was likely the source of the mist that haloed the ship as well, but that was hard to guess at. Vacuum of space did strange things to all manner of objects. Barnaby had once watched an errant wrench spin outside an airlock for two hours with no sign of stopping. Space was funny and unpredictable. As likely as it was dust around this ship it could be some sort of liquid, Barnaby figured on water and prayed it wasn't fuel. Though it was likely fine debris. They'd know more when they got a bit closer.

He picked up the ship wide com-link, thumbed the transmit button, and spoke to his crew. "This is your cap'n speakin'. Mornin'! Boarding crew report to the airlock and suit up. I'm on my way down." He hung up the transmitter and took one last sip of coffee before setting it on its usual spot on the console, and headed for the airlock.
Dialogue Color - LightBlue

Rian Carpenter

November 01, 2018, 05:42:47 PM #16 Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 05:44:53 PM by Rian Carpenter
Rian's foot tapped softly as he stood by the airlock. His suit already on save the helmet, held by his side. By now the anxieties around the practicalities and existential terror that is the blackness of space had passed. His adrenaline was already flowing, the job was on. A simple salvage job and a space walk. At least that's what the brochure said. But to Rian, stepping out into the black was not a casual thing for him. He'd done it a handful of times in his various careers thus far and it always.... its a chore. An intense chore that can kill you in a million painful ways. The new security officer just wanted to get on with the gorram job. The hardest part of spacer life was the game of "hurry up and wait".

Carpenter's foot tapping stopped when the captain entered. He didn't quite "stand at attention" but he perked up and greeted him promptly.


While he'd known the captain for a time, it was a surprisingly brief adjustment to go from former in-law relatives to being his subordinate. The captain had an affable, disarming demeanor, but he was also uniquely suited to his task. Goodweather lived and breathed being a spacer. Rian admired that. The slightly younger man always felt slightly out of place in every vocation he took. This job felt like an opportunity to prove to the crew and to himself, that he can hack it as a spacer. This would be his first space-walk on a salvage job. The type of work that's their bread and butter. All things go as planned this rifle would stay on its strap, and secured magnetically on his back. Ready at a second's notice. But hopefully just there as insurance.

Carpenter looked over at Mona and Riot then back to the captain. He let himself get back into his head for just a fleeting moment. Allowing himself to worry on whether he'd won over Riot or Mona yet. It was just him and them on this job and of any members of the crew with whom the jury was still out on Rian, it was these two. And they were about to have to go for a walk in space together. He told himself to stop worrying so damn much about other people's opinion of himself. Even after their hunting trip he knew Riot wasn't sold yet. Possibly because of how poorly he acquitted himself at first or because she smells lies of omission all over him.

Focus up Rian, stop letting yourself worry about winning prom king. Job at hand.

With that he popped his helmet on and snapped the lock at the neck. The security officer gave his helmet a little tap with his gloved fist just to feel that it was secure. His occasionally  neurotic head firmly back in the game.

Mona Heyerdahl

"Get plenty of extra rest... Yeah, right." Mona didn't dream often, but when she did the same highlight reel of her time in the Unification War woke her in a cold, sheet-soaking sweat. Raising temporarily to relieve herself, the Darling's second in command felt like a wobbly legged private spending her first night in a trench as she returned to her bed only to stare up at the bottom of the bunk around hers and sigh heavily as she cursed Barnaby for issuing a command she seemed incapable of following.

Her fingers reached out on arms longer than most carbines she'd held, parting the hanging sheets about the bunk. For a moment she imagined herself as some kind of monster, emerging with a roar from camouflage netting with an antler handled knife in her hand and blue paint smeared over her face and bare breasts as she dove upon enemy combatants. The throats of proud, bright-eyed Alliance boys opened wide, arterial spray misting in the air and joining the blue warpaint upon the pale white canvas of her skin and slicked golden hair - a horrid bastardization of the Alliance's own colors come to life and howling with rabid, unbridled fury. For a moment Mona imagined that nightmarish creature bore her own face beneath all the rage and gore, and squinted her eyes shut as she tried to force the image away.

Thankfully, or maybe regrettably, Barnaby's voice crackled to life over The Darling's PA system, pulling Mona out of her own head and dragging her back into the present. She dragged herself back out of the bunk, checking to make sure Rian and Rio did the same. Rio she knew well enough to trust with her part in the mission. Rian she just hoped she could trust to handle himself as well among as the wreckage as he did in the kitchen. She ran her scanning equipment through a preliminary performance check before sliding, clipping, and hooking everything into a carrying harness. She suited up, double checking the seal around her gloves and boots before donning the harness and meeting Barnaby by the airlock.

"Mornin' Captain. Any last minute changes the mish - er. Job, sir? Captain. Sorry Bar. Its been a long night."
When the battle is lost And the slain ones are chosen The Valkyries will guide us home
We'll heed the final call A call to arms The Valkyries will guide us home
Blind Guardian. "Valkyries"

Viktor Söderberg

After dinner the preacher's evening had been terribly routine - not that that was a bad thing for him. Routine was nice. Routine meant nothing was going wrong. He followed up with some of the sessions he'd had that day, tidied his bunk area. He did some chores. Finally, he made his usual late night loop around the ship. He liked to walk and think and this loop also allowed him to look in on everyone around the ship. The individuals aboard were not his charges nor his flock, but his caring nature could not be overruled. It comforted him to make sure everyone was doing well. He would stop and talk if someone engaged him. Mostly, he simply walked passed, glancing in and giving a wave or head nod. He also took this walk to remind the crew that he was available if needed for counselling purposes. It wasn't often that he was taken up on this service, but a reminder never hurt anyone.
The captain was up late, but this was no surprise. He was a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of Captain when it came to orders of being well-rested. Viktor understood though. Many soldiers had troubles sleeping, and the preacher was no exception - another reason for these late night strolls. Things seemed well enough for the evening before a job and eventually Viktor settled down and slept.

An early riser by habit more than necessity, he was already awake and working on some reports in the galley when the captain's announcement came over the comms.
"This is your cap'n speakin'. Mornin'! Boarding crew report to the airlock and suit up. I'm on my way down."

He didn't have a particular duty for this job, but he gathered up his tablet and notes and went to the airlock anyway. Even when he wasn't involved in the work - frankly, even when he didn't particularly agree with the work - he could be found at the airlock seeing the crew off. Barnaby, Rian and Mona were already gathered. Viktor half-stood, half-perched himself against a crate in a relaxed manner out of the way of the people doing the work.

In his head he said a little prayer of safety and grace. Out loud he said, "Morning all. Let me know if I can be of any service for this one."

Tabitha Haemish

Knowing they wouldn't call her unless they needed her, Tabby had spent most of the morning milling about the Captain's office, which was where she kept her extra medical supplies on the off chance they needed to use the room as an emergency med bay. After she'd double checked that everything was in order, the Doctor had flittered about the spot tidying up papers and sweeping out of nerves, tidying up to keep herself calm. Space walks were scary, and even though she wasn't going to be going out there herself, she worried on behalf of her crew.

"This is your cap'n speakin'. Mornin'! Boarding crew report to the airlock and suit up. I'm on my way down," came the Captain's voice over the speakers.

Putting the broom back into its proper place, Tabitha moved down the access way from the office which was positioned over the garage and next to the bay where the crew was gathering. Once she'd made her way down to join the others, the Doctor held her medical bag against her chest and smiled sheepishly at those of the crew suiting up, her face pale and her brows knit in worry.

"Make sure you double check your helmets. And keep yourselves tethered. And don't touch anything you think might be sharp. And..." she trailed off, not sure what else to remind them that they weren't already thinking about. Tabby took a deep breath and chewed on her lower lip, looking around the room and pressing the toes of her boot agains the other foot's toes, her grip on her bag tight.
Dialogue Color: Pink

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