S1:Ep6 - Lights, Camera, Action!

Started by Lomari, August 01, 2021, 04:17:48 PM

Viktor Söderberg


Viktor gave his mother too many tight hugs before they departed. She slipped something into his coat pocket and patted it lightly.
"For later, my dear. As always, safe journeys and don't go so long before returning home next time. I love you."


The drive back to the ship had been less treacherous but Viktor drove more carefully than he had previously. The snow had stopped for the time being and the drifts were the only things to be wary of. He parked the mule diligently and said, "End of the ride, children. Everyone out!"
He was last to emerge, letting everyone get out settled before pulling himself out. Being inattentive of the mule's low ceiling - low to him, at least - he smacked his head on the frame causing him to trip a little on his exit. Clumsiness. Probably not related to his doctored coffee that morning. Yes, just plain old not paying attention.
He stood up tall, straightened his shirt and cleared his throat. Surely, no one had seen that. He grabbed his bag from the back and stood aside a little to ensure he was out of the way for everyone else unloading their things. He began removing his snow layers, folding them neatly and tucking them into the top of the bag. The cargo door was still open but being out of the wind he was starting to get very hot in all the extra clothes. He felt the blush creeping up his neck and his face turning rosy with the heat.

The preacher stepped a little closer to the open door for the cooler air. He looked around for Rian and said, "So, Captain, what's the plan?"
The word Captain felt odd on his tongue in reference to anyone but Barnaby. In fact, the mere thought of it made his throat clench. He tasted pennies.

Before he could get an answer for his query, Viktor turned out of the cargo bay door and vomited all over the pure, white snow.

Rian Carpenter

Stepping off and out of the Mule, he couldn't help but pause the moment Darling came into sight. The size of the ship had never seemed daunting before. Now he was in charge of the whole thing. And the people inside it. At least until Barnaby got back. Carpenter tried to shake the thought loose and started to press on into the ship. There was Captain-y things to do. Probably. Definitely pilot things.

"So, Captain, what's the plan?"

The title shot through him, Rian froze in place and before he could process how to reply, something else shot out of Viktor.

"Tā mā de kàn zài jīdū de fèn shàng"

He looked away from the man of God and took the lord's name in vain. Rian couldn't help but not look at the vomiting vicar as he beckoned their naturopathic medic. The girl's name left his mouth in a different tone than he'd ever used it with her before. It felt alien. No nicknames. No joking or teasing. Just a firm baritone of her full name:


He turned back to Viktor, attempting to comfort him very awkwardly, Rian half-heartedly patted the upchucking preacher's back.

"You'll be all right, Vik. It's probably just -"

He stopped abruptly and had to turn and step away for a second. Rian took a couple sharp inhales, the smell had gotten to him, and near reflexively his own breakfast and coffee was about to hasty escape. He made a deep gutteral sound and let out a long series of careful breaths. Then he got back to captain-ing.

"Tabs, can you see to Vik while I get us out of here? We're off this snowball as fast as I can complete the pre-flight checklist."

Turning his attention back to the ill member of his crew he tried to attend to him again before his clearly very sensitive nose, and stomach urged him to do otherwise. Already walking away he shouted back to Vik:

"At least I don't have to worry about making you hurl with my flying, Preacher!"

Rian did not have children, but his Dad-humor was only getting worse by the day.

Tabitha Haemish

December 21, 2021, 03:23:56 PM #22 Last Edit: December 21, 2021, 03:33:09 PM by Lomari
Tabby watched Viktor with raised brows as he exited the mule, having seen everything. She snorted softly, following him when he moved closer to the open cargo doors. She reached up, pausing when he addressed Rian.

"So, Captain, what's the plan?"

The doctor turned her head to stare in their new Captain's direction, her head tilted and lips in a quizzical diagonal slant. She could feel how foreign the title sounded, and while it did make her miss Barnaby something fierce, it also made her worry for Rian. She hoped he wasn't feeling too much pressure, although she was sure he was. Which was proven nearly immediately.

With a deep breath that strained her lung's capacity and made her see spots, Tabby turned back around to the shepherd, her hands still half raised toward him. By the time she'd spun enough to face him, he was spinning away in the opposite direction. Were they dancing? She squeaked in surprise and rushed forward as he bent over to hurl.

"Tabitha!" he called. She flinched at the tone, her eyes wide with surprise.

She slipped between Viktor and Captain Rian, shyly avoiding eye contact with the latter. Her hands lowered to settle on his back. She rubbed in slow circles and tilted her body to the side to peer up toward his face. The doctor pulled a hankie out of her pocket (a handmade quilted monstrosity) and held it out to him.

"Tabs, can you see to Vik while I get us out of here? We're off this snowball as fast as I can complete the pre-flight checklist." Rian asked. Glancing quickly in his direction, she nodded, then returned her attention to their preacher.

"Are you feeling motion sick?" she asked, brows furrowed in concern and lips pulled downward. She grabbed the back of his neck so she could press her forehead to his, standing on her tip toes and pulling him closer in order to reach. "Do you have a fever? Were you out in the snow too long? How is your breathing?" she asked, looking him in the eyes and going nearly cross-eyed in the process. Clearly, the smell didn't bother her much.

Tabby pulled her head back to look at the rest of the crew. "Anyone else feeling nauseous?" she asked, her sweet voice almost too chipper. Her heart thundered against her chest, a sliver of panic souring her stomach. She shook it off and took another deep breath. 
Dialogue Color: Pink

Mattie Rooney

December 22, 2021, 06:05:26 AM #23 Last Edit: December 22, 2021, 06:09:40 AM by Mattie Rooney
Mattie hopped off the mule and began to promptly unload her things, with little regard to what was going on around her. As she flung her backpack on her shoulder and prepared to set it aside to help others get their things, a dark patch on the floor of the cargo bay caught her eye. When she'd first joined the crew and did done chores to help around, she'd scrubbed furiously at that stain until Barnaby had showed up and told her it wouldn't be coming off.

"You're brave and honest and true, and those are my three favorite qualities in a person."

Those were the words he'd used to convince her to stay after the train job. Mattie wasn't used to praise like that. Usually it was all compliments about her good aim and cool head, with criticisms of her ill temper and bad manners thrown in. Not that it mattered. It's not like Barnaby knew her. And yet, Mattie could feel a lump form in her throat. Before she could dwell on it too much, however, Viktor's vomit attack and the subsequent commotion gave her something else to think about. She tossed her backpack aside and turned to join the others flocking around the sickly vicar.
  "Anyone else feeling nauseous?"
  "I'm peachy." Her voice sounded anything but. Actually, she was feeling a little queasy, but she knew it was not something Tabitha could fix.
Dialogue color: darkkhaki

Rian Carpenter

January 07, 2022, 02:23:03 PM #24 Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 04:18:15 PM by Rian Carpenter
The controls of the Darling were familiar, yet daunting. Sitting in the pilot's chair. Rian had nearly bolted away from Viktor as his own sensitive nose and stomach weren't dealing well with the cargo ramp becoming a vomitorium. The nausea had mostly faded but now he was cranking up the anxiety, the further into the pre-flight checklist he got. Rian thought about how he'd seen Barnaby do it plenty of times. How hard could it be?

Carpenter flipped a switch for the fuel compressor and heard a loud sputter. He looked at the checklist again, he'd skipped a step. At least he thought so. The amateur pilot rechecked his checklist. The fuel pump was already on, he just turned it off, and was actually repeating his steps. The chef/gunhand/pilot and full-time over-thinker groaned aloud and threw his head into his hands for a second. He imagined Tabby encouraging him with her trademark effusive positivity. Then Mattie smacking him.

Rian flipped the switch for the fuel compressor back into the "on" position. Then he let out a long, careful breath.

"You got this..."

He hit the intercom before the amateur pilot could lift off

"Just to be safe, everybody make sure you're uh sitting down or something. This could get bumpy."

The cargo ramp closed, everybody was inside by now. He couldn't stall any longer.

"Shit... Okay... Vertical thrusters... stabilizer's on..."

The Darling began to lift off the ground...

Viktor Söderberg

When the preacher looked up from his stomach contents in the snow, people were already beginning to press into him. Tabitha assaulted him with questions: "Are you feeling motion sick? Do you have a fever? Were you out in the snow too long? How is your breathing?"

The bodies and the questions were too overwhelming. He turned and gagged again but there was nothing left. The very little he'd had in his stomach was already in the snow. Viktor's long arms pushed them back away from him. He needed to breathe. He needed space. He needed.... what did he need? A thought came back to him from earlier that morning.

"For the love of... Back up, please. I'm not dying. My coat." He gestured in the direction of his bag where he'd already packed his things away. "I just need my coat."

His mother had known. She always knew. The woman saw everything and was a sharp as a tack.
She slipped something into his coat pocket and patted it lightly.
"For later, my dear."

The vicar rummaged for his coat pocket, trying to extract the item without disturbing anything else in the bag. Tabitha hovered, still too close to him, in her concern for his well being. It made him feel claustrophobic and sweaty. His breathing quickened as bile threatened to rise again. He took a deep breath and swallowed it down.

Finally, he pulled out the item, items in fact, that he'd be searching for. There were two stoppered vials. Julia had assumed he'd been drinking all night and not just that morning. Viktor half sat, half slid down the wall of the cargo hold. Everyone was in, the doors had been closed and the were lifting off. The slight wobble made his head spin.
"No time like the present," he said to no one in particular.

He removed the top of one vial and downed the liquid inside. It was bitter but with a lightly sweet after taste. The bitter was the ground herbs, the sweet was peppermint oil. He wasn't sure what else was in it. As far as he knew it was his mother's own recipe. It was mainly used for mine workers who'd inhaled too much of the underground gasses but it doubled as the best hangover cure in the 'verse. Of course, not enough time had passed for Viktor to have a hangover - he'd just drank too much, too fast, with only coffee in his stomach. Not a good combination.

When he was finished, he looked up at Tabby. He thought she was going to vibrate out of her skin with worry. He should have been nicer about reassuring her he was OK.
"Tabby, I'm fine. Really. I just was a bit heavy handed with the self-medication this morning." He reached out and handed her the spare vial. "My mother makes this. It'll set me right in jiff. You keep this one or put it in our coffers. Whatever you'd like."

His eye slid around to find Mattie. Now he was thinking a little bit clearer, he was surprised his arm was still intact. Mattie didn't seem like a woman to stand for being pushed aside by any man. "Sorry about that ma'am. Know you were just concerned. Had a bit of feeling closed-in, ya know? I'm not normally one to go pushin' people around."

Tabitha Haemish

January 11, 2022, 10:06:03 AM #26 Last Edit: January 11, 2022, 10:46:36 AM by Lomari
"I'm peachy." Mattie assured her. She nodded, ticking her and Rian off on a list in her mind and marking them as 'OK'.

Viktor's long arms pushed them back away from him and she stumbled back a few steps, her eyes wide and worried. The way Rian had snapped at her and now Viktor pushing her away; it took everything in her power to remind herself that none of this was personal and that they were all going through something extremely heavy and taxing at the moment. Still, it was hard not to feel a little hurt, despite her best efforts.

"For the love of... Back up, please. I'm not dying. My coat." He gestured in the direction of his bag where he'd already packed his things away. "I just need my coat." Quick to be of help, Tabitha hurried to his bag and yanked the zipper open. She pulled the bag closer to the shepherd, handed it to the him, and took a large step back.

"Just to be safe, everybody make sure you're uh sitting down or something. This could get bumpy," Rian announced over the ship's comms. Viktor was already sitting, so that was alright. Her attention turned to Mattie and the doctor grimaced. She should be sitting as well, but she was learning that the woman didn't exactly like being told what to do or being manhandled. And she was starting to think she didn't like being told what to do or being manhandled by her specifically.

"Tabby, I'm fine. Really. I just was a bit heavy handed with the self-medication this morning." He reached out and handed her the spare vial. "My mother makes this. It'll set me right in jiff. You keep this one or put it in our coffers. Whatever you'd like."

Tabitha stared down at Viktor, taking the vial into her hands and  cupping it in her palms to keep it safe. She nodded in response to his suggestions, wobbling a bit as the Darling moved through the sky under the command of its new Captain.

"Oh, okay," she whispered, looking his face over for confirmation of his being 'fine,' before she hurried away to go hide in the med bay.
Dialogue Color: Pink


Ship Time: 1142
Ship Location: Secondary Claim, St. Albans

Despite the new hands at her helm, the Darling moved through the sky and up past the atmosphere with only a few jerks and drops. She stalled only once, dropping a few feet before Rian got her back under control and they entered the relative safety of space. Up here, they couldn't fall out of the sky and there wasn't much to bump into. All he had to do was rely on the navigation system and trust the Darling to get them where they were going.

Ship Time: 0700
Ship Location: Londinium Orbit

At base speed, the Darling could make it from St. Albans to Londinium in exactly 4 days 10 hours 8 minutes and 29 seconds. With Rian at the helm, they managed to get there in 5 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 39 seconds. For his first time flying the ship, it wasn't too bad, but it did have them slightly behind schedule. Their employer, one Noah Caraway, had waved Rian every day to check on their progress. He was clearly excited about the upcoming 'opportunity for inspiration,' and had made himself quite the nuisance.

During the days between St. Albans and their destination, Tabby had kept to herself in the Med Bay, although she emerged for every meal and made the rounds once a day to check on their health a little more meticulously than usual.

Now, with his face on the screen at the pilot's console, the Darling hovered in Londinium's orbit, Caraway's personal docking pad entered into their ship's system. It was up to Rian to dock and their employer insisted upon watching the process.

"I've got my pen and paper ready, Captain!" Caraway said cheerily. From the background of his call, it was clear that the man was already waiting for them at the landing pad, someone holding the cortex pad for him so he had hands free to write.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Thackery Arlington III

"Anyone else feeling nauseous?"

Well, I certainly am now, Arlo thought but refrained from voicing aloud. He'd only just begun getting over the morning's snit from his rude awakening and now... Well. Arlo held a not-particularly-subtle handkerchief over his mouth and nose and leaned well back from the offending smell of Viktor's distress, thinking judgmental thoughts about vicars who couldn't hold their liquor.

Actually, there was something a bit catchy in that. He didn't generally care for poetry and his prose was strictly of the serious and literary variety, but there couldn't be any harm in toying with the occasional frivolous couplet in his own head, could there?

There once was a St. Alban's vicar...

Outwardly, his annoyed expression above the handkerchief remained unchanged while Arlo left Tabitha to her ministrations and went to go find a secure place to sit, but inwardly he spent the rest of the bumpy takeoff silently amusing himself with rhymes.

The rest of the journey was spent in working on his novel, which primarily involved reorganizing the galley cabinets, hovering around the helm to "take in the view" and ask Rian abrupt questions about life on the rim, and sighing forlornly about his absent typewriter. He was in the helm again as they arrived at the docking pad, leaning against a mostly out-of-the-way control panel while he tapped his pen repeatedly on his notepad. Several lines had been written and crossed out there already.

"Do you suppose—" he began, but was interrupted by Caraway's call. Just as well, he thought, realizing that Carpenter probably needed to concentrate on docking. He closed his mouth but began humming instead while he thought over his next lines and went back to tapping on the notepad.
Dialogue Color: darkseagreen | 8FBC8F

"I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle."

Rian Carpenter

January 28, 2022, 09:40:32 AM #29 Last Edit: January 28, 2022, 09:46:16 AM by Rian Carpenter
It was not a big deal. Rian just needed to get multiple tons of steel and nearly every human he cared about through the fiery crucible of atmospheric entry, and get the ship on the ground. Preferably at a reasonable speed that doesn't send their kneecaps through their necks. He took slow breaths as he started the transition into Londinium's atmosphere. Breath in. Breath out. Carpenter tried to suppress his anxiety at the sight of the glowing heat-absorbing panels.

"That's normal... It's fine..."

He felt the ship buck a little and checked the ship's sensors. They were all still showing "green".

"It's fine. Totally fine.... Okay Maybe I'm gonna puke too..."

Rian then noticed he was still connected and on a wave with their client. He'll definitely be confident about who he hired now. Rian turned to the camera and smiled half-heartedly.

"Be there in a jiffy!"

He then disconnected the wave. Carpenter's face snapped back to one of exasperated concentration. The video call disengaged, he flicked on the ships PA.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're coming in for a landing, just to be safe why don't y'all buckle up... again."

With that he flipped the switch for the PA back into the off position. Looking at the speed, he was coming in kinda fast.

"Air brakes... slow turns..."

The killer cook, and heinously amateur pilot blew air out through his teeth as they started to come in for the final landing on the writer's pad.

Tabitha Haemish

Location: Cargo Hold

The ship wobbled and vibrated in awkward protest, empty crates and work tools shaking and chattering against the floor and the straps that held them in place in the cargo hold. The air around the ship bumped against them, the once calm air turned frantic by the sudden force of their ship's arrival and passage. Tabitha tumbled over the empty crate she'd been buckling into place and landed with a thud and puff of air next to it. With Rian up in the pilot's seat and Barnaby...well, she'd volunteered to make sure the cargo hold was ready for their next employer's use.

Tabby pushed her lion's mane of platinum curls away from her face and slapped at her long pink prairie skirt to make sure it was back where it was meant to go. She sat up and looked around, tugging the blue distressed velvet vest down a bit and shaking her hands to get her blouse's long white sleeves back down around her wrists. Her shoes were placed neatly by the door to the cargo bay and her feet were blissfully bare.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're coming in for a landing, just to be safe why don't y'all buckle up... again."

Their doctor giggled a little and pulled herself back to her feet with the help of the straps on the box next to her. "You're buckled up," she told the crate comfortingly, offering it a pleasant pat on its lid. "My turn!" she announced to herself, slipping out of the gap between boxes to sit herself in one of the emergency seats along the wall of the Hold. She buckled herself in and held onto the straps with a smile.
Dialogue Color: Pink

Mattie Rooney

Location: Crew Sleeping Quarters

Come on, Ginny, you're better than this, Mattie mentally pleaded with the young woman on the pages of the book in her hands, knowing full well it was in vain and there was no way she could save Ginny from the fate her hack author had in store for her.

Mattie had bought the cheap paperback a long time ago for reasons she no longer remembered. It had been gathering dust until her talk with Rian had inspired her to give this 'reading' thing another try, a decision which she was now sorely regretting. The only reason she'd kept her going for as long as she had was the fact that she desperately needed the distraction. At her reading level, going through the pages was a slow, agonizing slog, and she simply couldn't wrap her head around how some people could devour an entire novel in just a couple of days -- or even hours!

Her book of choice certainly didn't help. It had started out promisingly enough with the protagonist, a plucky young woman by the name of Virginia Porter, setting out on a quest for revenge against the gang who'd burned down her homestead. Soon, however, the story had become sidetracked by a romantic subplot that was, in a word, insufferable.

It was bad enough that the love interest -- a lantern-jawed, smooth-talking gunslinger with a mysterious backstory and a scar that naturally didn't tarnish his impossibly hot looks at all because god forbid people have any rough edges -- was about as interesting as a sack of potatoes, Virginia had fallen head over heels for him at first sight, and now the book seemed to assume the reader was invested in their sorry excuse for a relationship. Granted, Mattie's personal experience with romance was very limited, but even she knew true love required a connection deeper than one sultry look shared across a smoky room, and if Virginia absolutely had to be in a relationship -- which she didn't -- she at least deserved someone who actually listened to her and respected her instead of "lovingly" poking fun at her and flirting with her in serious situations where they both should have been concentrating on other things, and why couldn't this Zane Harkness guy just take a stray bullet to the ba--

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're coming in for a landing, just to be safe why don't y'all buckle up... again."

Oh, thank God. Thank God for them being ready to land, not for the fact that Rian was doing the landing. Mattie stuffed the paperback under her mattress, rather violently, not caring if she crumpled the pages in the process. Things would have to get pretty bad before she decided to subject herself to Ginny and Zane's flirtatious banter again.

Alright, Carpenter, she thought to herself as she strapped herself to the nearest available seat and braced for a bumpy landing (or fiery death). You've come this far, don't rut it up now. She couldn't be there to cheer him on in person, but maybe she could deliver an astral smack to the back of his head with the power of her mind.
Dialogue color: darkkhaki


February 05, 2022, 04:33:47 PM #32 Last Edit: February 26, 2022, 09:16:30 AM by Lomari
Ship Time: 0715
Ship Location: Caraway's Personal Landing Pad, Londinium

The Darling clattered and shuddered, tipping left and right, dropping suddenly and regaining altitude. It groaned in protest like a horse lamenting the technique of its inexperienced rider. The ship hovered above the landing pad, vibrating with the effort to remain still and on course. Slowly, it lowered, its engines kicking up dust and dirt into the air on its decent. Finally, a dull thud echoed within the Darling as its landing gears made contact with the ground and it settled its weight down onto the safety of the pad.

Outside, Mister Noah Caraway, in full view of the bridge's front ports, gave the Captain and Pilot a standing ovation. He was clearly wealthy, if the lavish building behind him was any indication. His grounds, lush and green, were covered in plants and animal shaped topiaries, as well as a hedge maze. He straightened his vest and beamed brightly at The Darling, a hand lifting to tussle his own brown hair. Beside him, an unnecessarily large and lurching bodyguard held Noah's luggage in one hand and his cortex pad in the other. The man had clearly never skipped leg day once in his life. Or arm day. Or back day. Or the muscles that make up your neck day. He was a walking Got Milk ad, his arms so large they barely touched the sides of his suit covered torso.

The bay doors opened and the ramp lowered. Noah and his guard walked out of view to meet with Captain Carpenter and his crew at the ramp.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Thackery Arlington III

Watching Londinium slowly becoming revealed through the Darling's lowering ramp was like returning home, in all the best and worst ways. At last, Arlo was within reach of civilization, real civilization, with things like down comforters, and scented soaps, and wine menus. He ached with envy to see Caraway wearing clothes that were properly tailored for him, letting his hands remain empty because a servant could deal with his luggage, blithely living the life Arlo had foolishly left behind in the name of adventure and culture and inspiration not so terribly long ago. It would be so nice to have one of his own people around for once, someone with a modicum of propriety and dignity, not just a man of class but a fellow writer, as well! 

At the same time, though, the prospect was mildly terrifying in much the same way that presenting himself at one of his parents' soirees, or being forced to endure representing the family at one of the company conferences garnered anxiety and dread. There were so many opportunities to be judged, so many potential consequences to saying the wrong thing or wearing the wrong shoes. Now Arlo was not only wearing the wrong shoes, but the wrong everything else as well. The wardrobe he'd assembled piecemeal to supplement the few clothes he'd kept with him from Tate's and replace all he'd left behind there... Well, it all fit well enough, but the fit was hardly bespoke, and it showed, not to mention the rough quality of fabrics meant for sturdiness, not style, and the fashions could most charitably be called years out of date but truly bore little passing acquaintanceship with any fashion at all. He looked like...

Well, he looked like the rest of the crew. Shuffling slightly to fade back behind the others, he couldn't quite decide which would be worse: if Noah recognized him as one of his own... or if he didn't. If he took Arlo to be another rim-born shiphand, or if he judged Arlo for how thoroughly he'd let himself go, or, worse yet, took pity on him. After all, the only thing worse than blending in was standing out.
Dialogue Color: darkseagreen | 8FBC8F

"I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle."

Mattie Rooney

Well, this was it. They'd landed at their destination on Londinium, and the grace period Mattie had granted herself for the duration of the journey three was over. She was done ruminating over Barnaby's departure and would accept the new normal, which was that Rian was the captain and she would treat him accordingly.

"Hey, we ain't a smoldering wreckage!" she greeted him in the cargo bay, a sarcastic smirk tugging at her lips.

Right. She was supposed to stop with the ribbing.

"Nice flyin', Boss." Her effortless smile of mischief twisted into something more polite and forced. It was the first time she'd called him by that term, which she'd formerly reserved for Barnaby despite his multiple requests to call him by his first name. It felt weird calling Rian that, but she'd get used to it.

As the cargo doors opened to welcome their new client and his entourage, Mattie wiped the remainder of the smile off her face and put on her business face of stone. She sized up the young man approaching them: scrawny, posh, fancies himself an intellectual -- essentially a miniature Arlo. Unlike Arlo, Mattie would do her best to be civil with Caraway, what with him being a paying customer and all.

Problem was, Mattie didn't really know how to be civil with Core-bred fops. Best she could do was keep her mouth shut and leave the courtesy to Tabby and the other more personable crew members around her. Her gaze moved to the mountain of a man accompanying Mini-Arlo, and she gave him a gruff little nod, a polite acknowledgment from one hired thug to another.
Dialogue color: darkkhaki

Viktor Söderberg

Following being medicated from his self-medication, the preacher had spent a healthy amount of time in the med bay sleeping it off. Mostly for quick access to any headache remedies, but also to soften up Tabitha and let her know he hadn't really meant any ill will. And thirdly because she liked to play cards with him and there wasn't much else for him to do at the moment.
By the time they were landing Viktor was himself again, as good as that was. He'd showered, changed back into his black on black suit and even put his clerical collar back in. The landing was a little bumpy but not horrible. Rian had done a good job. The preacher hadn't had any doubts. Well... he hadn't had many.

Landing Pad, Londinium
The preacher got himself to the cargo bay to welcome their client. Londinium wasn't a familiar sight to him. This was a place that did not particularly need (nor rarely did it want) missionaries. Through the war and his work he was used to the rim, the places most people avoid, the dirt, the quaint little towns, the humble abodes and back alleys, the falling down churches or gatherings in the nicest local fields or storehouses. That's not to say he'd never been around wealth or in wealthy areas, he just wasn't too used to it. God doesn't call preachers to wealth - not in his experience anyway. The "meek inheriting" and "the eye of the needle"* and all that. Not to mention that the wealthy have no problem sending away people they don't agree with. Most of them don't, anyway. He was stereotyping, but at least it was just in his head. Judge not, lest ye be not judged. He would know soon enough what this gentleman was like without pushing his own mold onto the man.

He stood, as he always did meeting new clients, to the back of the crew. Not everyone welcomes a man of the cloth. He didn't want to make clients nervous with all his moral ideals. Not right away, at least. Let them get on board first. Viktor laughed internally at his own joke and looked out beyond the bay doors to the scene of opulence.
Everything screamed money: from the client and his clothes to the bodyguard to the building and ground behind them.
Viktor wondered why they had been chosen for whatever job this was. Surely, this gentleman could afford much more than their ragtag group and little ship. He was eager to find out.

*But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. Psalm 37:11
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24

Rian Carpenter

Rian was feeling slightly more confident now that he hadn't killed the whole crew. A minor achievement, not burning up in the atmosphere or smashing into the side of a mountain, but this was his first time playing double duty as pilot and Captain when he had experience with neither. Flying was what had scared him the most on a visceral level. But leadership, that was scaring him on a whole different level.

As he stood there with the crew, trying to look like he knew what he was doing, pretending to be the man who was like a brother to him, it occurred to him that leadership was not alien to him. He ran much of his father's criminal empire and personally ran the "security" for the outfit. The Captain of a ship was not unlike the patriarch of a family. That's what scared him. Dad left for a pack of smokes and now his shady brother-in-law is in charge of the house.

Mattie cut right to the chase, verbally prodding him and congratulating him earnestly at the same time. At least he thought she was being partially sincere.


He laughed through his nose as the cargo ramp lowered. Caraway looked impressed with his shabby landing. Maybe the added "drama" was perfect for his book. Or cortex vid. Rian made a note to ask the man what he was actually writing.

"Mister Caraway!"

Carpenter addressed their client with a smile and as much "Captainly" charm as he could layer in. Then he clocked the security. More muscle than man he was like a pile of beef with eyes and a mouth. The former crook couldn't help but think of more than a few security guys like him he'd ripped off back in the day. Spent more time in the gym than they did training for their actual job. Muscles are great when you're within arm's reach but not as much when you're a hundred yards downrange from a well-trained marksman and a high-power rifle.

Then again, when Rian was in his twenties, he spent a lot of time in the gym trying to replicate the physique the human sausage had naturally. The acting-captin mirrored Mattie's nod to the boulder-shouldered personal assistant and bodyguard. He was on their side presumably so Rian hoped the man was half as competent as he was large.

"I can show you around the ship if you'd like, or we can get right to loading your cargo."

Acting-Captain Carpenter extended his hand to their client and hoped they'd get right to business. The killer cook felt like a used mule salesman talking spacer business when he was still trying to figure out how to be one in the first place.

Tabitha Haemish

"Hey, we ain't a smoldering wreckage! ... Nice flyin', Boss."


Tabitha observed the exchange from where she was lingering in the entry way to the cargo hold. She'd been clearly depressed since leaving St. Albans, although Viktor's presence in the Med Bay had alleviated some of her woes. Now that she knew he wasn't upset with her, the only things weighing on her were worrying about Rian and hoping Barnaby was okay, wherever he was. Shaking it off, literally, the doctor slapped her own cheeks gently and straightened her back. Moping wouldn't solve anything.

The blonde scurried to the gathered crew and stopped alongside Victor, her hand slipping into his in a subconscious attempt to both give and receive comfort and the feeling of security. She smiled up at him meekly and raised her brows a little. Hopefully this job would go well and somehow Barnaby would hear about it and be so proud of his family that he'd come home. Stranger things had happened.

Her attention turned to the two gentlemen walking up the ramp toward them and she couldn't help but let out a muffled squeak in surprise. She didn't know humans came that large. Tabby stared in wonder at the muscular behemoth, then finally managed to turn her attention to their new client. He seemed nice.

"You think he likes quilts?" Tabby whispered to Viktor, not specifying if she was talking about Mister Caraway or the security.
Dialogue Color: Pink


Ship Time: 0718
Ship Location: Caraway's Personal Landing Pad, Londinium

"Mister Caraway!" Rian greeted.

Noah Caraway grinned and sauntered the rest of the way up the ramp, breaking out into a light skipping jog once he neared the top. Clearing the distance between himself and the Captain, Noah jutted his hand out with a broad smile. The other hand grabbed at the lapel of his blazer, idly tugging it to make sure it was right were it was meant to be.

"Captain Carpenter!" Noah greeted, with ample enthusiasm and oozing charm. The security eyed Rian, then made his way slowly around the cargo hold, not asking permission before doing so. He peered behind support beams and into crevices, his gaze missing nothing. Then, he approached the gathered crew and looked each of them over carefully, assessing. The only one he seemed to linger on was Mattie. He looked down at her hands, stared thoughtfully at the squaring of her shoulders, and finally locked eyes with her and frowned. With a nod to himself, as though making some sort of mental note, the gentleman turned away and returned to his employer.

"I can show you around the ship if you'd like, or we can get right to loading your cargo," Rian offered.

Noah clapped his hands together and rocked back on his heels. "That would be splendid! I hope you don't mind the smell of livestock," he said with a chuckle. "I've never been too fond of it, but the new experience is positively exhilarating. Say, do you write at all? Oh!" he paused, realizing his excitement had made him forget his manners. Turning from Rian, Noah offered the crew a little bow, followed by a boyish smile.

"Greetings, crew! I am Noah Caraway. You may call me Noah, if you feel so inclined. Ah! A preacher! Perfect! You must know heaps about tending to a flock," he noted, laughing cheerily and gesturing back down the ramp they way he'd come. Almost on que, several servants rounded the ship leading a flock of fluffy white sheep. They bleated and stomped around curiously, led up the ramp by the help, who looked frazzled and exhausted. Clearly, this particular duty wasn't part of their regular responsibilities and they were obviously out of their depth.

"Oh, I am so eager to get started. Just act normally, pretend I'm not even here! I'll just be flitting around, making notes and observing," he added, then pointed at each member of the crew, counting them. Out came a pad of paper and he began jotting things down. "For my records, would you mind introducing yourselves? Oh and if you'd like, we can play two truths and a lie! I find that works wonders in breaking the ice!" he told them, although he'd really never been able to get anyone to play along. Perhaps this was the day.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Mattie Rooney

Mattie kept her gaze firmly fixed on the bodyguard as he scouted the perimeter and then sized her up. She met his eyes without flinching and was pleased to note that he seemed to recognize her as a worthy opponent, despite her being approximately one third his size. Her pleasure was short-lived as Caraway opened his mouth and greeted them with an enthusiasm she knew would get on her last nerve by the end of the day. She had mixed feelings about the sheep; on one hand, she was definitely going to sneak to the cargo bay and pet one or two of them once she was absolutely sure nobody was watching. On the other hand, she wasn't looking forward to all the droppings that would need cleaning up.

Right now, however, there were more pressing matters than swabbing the poop deck to deal with. Namely...

"For my records, would you mind introducing yourselves? Oh and if you'd like, we can play two truths and a lie! I find that works wonders in breaking the ice!"

No. No, no, no. Mattie had tried to be civil, but she drew the line at ice breaking games. Technically, Caraway had just given them permission to act normally, which in her case would usually have meant turning around and stomping off without a word -- but she felt compelled not to embarrass Rian on his first real job as the acting captain.

She needed an out, some excuse to remove herself from the situation under the pretense of dealing with Important Crew Business that Caraway wouldn't understand. Her gaze quickly swept across her crewmates: Rian was the one person who had a legitimate obligation to deal with Caraway right now, Tabitha was undoubtedly unironically loving the idea two truths and a lie, and she didn't feel quite right involving the Preacher in her scheme to shirk her responsibilities.

That only left one person.

"Hey, I gotta talk to you 'bout somethin'." She grabbed Arlo by the sleeve, firmly enough to compel him into coming with her without making a fuss, but not violently enough to look suspicious. As far as their client was concerned, this was totally normal; Mattie regularly talked to Arlo about stuff and that stuff was work-related and of a high priority.

"'Scuse us," she mumbled without meeting anybody's eyes before making her swift exit pursued by a hapless writer.
Dialogue color: darkkhaki

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