Episode 1: Every Mile is a Marathon

Started by HumanHyperbole, August 28, 2021, 12:04:39 PM

Beth Williams

A smile and nod from Rose that elicited the ghost of a smile from Beth before she turned away, her smile fading as she lost sight of Rose. It was funny that such a little thing as a smile, a smile from Rose, could make her feel better, even though the effect faded all to quickly.

This time it didn't really get a chance to fade away, instead being smashed to pieces by an overheard remark.

"What's her deal?"

"Little dog syndrome, I'd wager,"

"I'm surprised you know words that long," Beth thought unkindly, and followed it up with, "and you probably wouldn't know what a syndrome was if it hit you over the head." At least she had the sense, this time, not to actually say it out loud.

Beth turned away and traipsed off, dragging her little rain cloud with her, wondering how easy it would be to randomly alter the temperature in the Pools' cabins. She didn't intend to do it but the thought that she could was comforting, in a weird sort of way. Beth doubted that Rose would be all that impressed if she found out.

Beth was relieved that she met no one on her way to the port engineering section, locking the door behind her; the Captain would be able to get in, of course, and Beth added Rose, though she didn't expect to see her. She just didn't want her blocked if she did decide, against all the odds, to come calling.

Having checked that the engines were ready for a resumption of Shanghai's course or to change to a new one, Beth curled up in her "nest", made up from a pile of blankets in a little nook; she would have preferred a hammock, in many ways but although she had worked out where she could sling it, she didn't have one. She decided that from now on she would actively avoid everyone else, with the possible exception of Rose, and sneak out for showers and food, and then disappear back into the port engine room.

She didn't sleep, though; her mind was racing too fast for that, the effects of the aftermath of the adrenaline spike were still causing her to convulse at infrequent intervals, Beth wanted to be ready to respond to any demand from the engines that couldn't be directly invoked from the bridge, and every time she did drift of, she would wake a second later with a jerk.
Dialogue Colour: Fuchsia

Player: Clare : Other Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert


February 21, 2023, 07:04:14 PM #61 Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 07:07:42 PM by HumanHyperbole
Shanghai - Cockpit

Sid and Kiddy Pool finished awkwardly explaining how the author of the erotic novels they'd already sussed some clues about was in danger, or they were in grave danger of getting beat to their next lead on the treasure. The abductors were an odd bunch, but they were seemingly far from incompetent.

The Captain, who thought he'd been hired for a glorified transport gig that had a minor chance of a big payoff in salvage, needed clarification on the current situation.

"So we gotta go to an abandoned space station we know very little about."
"And save the horny author?"
"So - Never mind. I honestly don't want any more answers. Let's hit it."

Sid replied in the affirmative rapid-fire to each question and Holt halted it the interrogation by throwing down Shanghai's throttle. They had an eroticist to rescue. Or stop. Either way, they really needed to get a hold of this guy or else they were going to have to read the book again for more clues and psychological damage.

Two hours later, Pool and Applebaum's abductors had made their way to the space station and residence of one romance novelist: Jaeger Paisley. (Not his real name)

Ximo banged on the "entrance to Paisely Manor"

"Hey man Open up! I know you're in there!

One of his cronies beckoned.

The landing bay next to them was occupied and its windows gave them a clear view of a group of 4-5 people packing themselves into a shuttle.

Ximo did a double take. At least one of the people fleeing the station was wearing only a bedsheet.

"Guess we're late to the party...Hey, Teddy, check that access panel. That one! The one for maintenance."

"Oh yeah, but we need like special tools for that."

"You've got a laser cutter, bro."


Shanghai - Sid's bunk.

The long, thick strand of drool coming down from Sid's face hit the floor and finally dropped completely from his slightly agape mouth. He'd simply thrown himself down onto the bed, with little thought. Flying pills. Getting chased. Horses. Abduction. Getting thrown into space. The former finance bro needed his nap. As far as mid-life crises go this one was at least eventful.

Paisely Manor - Four Hours Later

Ximo pushed a wire harness out of the way as he snaked his way around a turn in the maintenance shafts. It was too tight to stand, so they'd split up, each of them taking a different turn at various forks in the proverbial road.

"Teddy you find a way to open that hatch you were talkin' about? Teddy? The one that was labeled 'Galley Entrance'? Teddy! Friggin' deaf-"

The pilot chimed in over radio:

"Yeah he's in space."

"What's he... The fuckin' hatch wasn't for the galley... well played romance novel guy..."

Nine hours of Shanghai hauling ass later:

The space station was finally in sight from the cockpit. It was old and based on an old design from Earth, but she was more than enough for their author and whatever type of shindig he was just throwing.

It was time to find out who "Jaeger Paisley" really was.

Rhiannon Pool

The space station was finally in sight from the cockpit. It was old and based on an old design from Earth, but she was more than enough for their author and whatever type of shindig he was just throwing.

In the nine hours between the rescue and their arrival at their destination, Junior had done her utmost best to avoid the prickly mechanic. When she walked to the galley to get some food for her dad and Sid, she'd tip toed across the walkway so her steps didn't echo down to the engineering and engine rooms down at the ass end of the ship. She had raised two fingers in their general direction, but otherwise she'd been quiet as a mouse.

After Sid went to 'lay down' she hadn't seen or heard a peep from him. The man was probably comatose by now. Unlike her father, their financier was of a softer cut of cloth and all this adventure had likely laid him out. This thought brought Junior a healthy dose of amusement, to be sure.

While trying not to hover over her father, Junior did keep an eye on him for any sudden symptoms of anything out of the ordinary, just like the Doctor had requested. So far, so good, but she figured it would take a lot more than venting him into space to put the elder Pool out of commission. Pride swelled in her chest at that thought.

Now, she stood in the cockpit with the Captain, her arms crossed over her chest, a sandwich gripped loosely in her fingers.

"What a heap of luh suh," she muttered, grimacing out the front view port at the old world hunk of junk floating ahead of them. "Do you think it's really all that important for their structural integrity for it to look so..." she paused and looked left and right for any sign of her father in their general vicinity. When she didn't immediately see him, Junior looked back out the front. "...phallic?" she finished.
Dialogue Color - Indianred

Reinhardt Pool

February 27, 2023, 12:38:57 PM #63 Last Edit: February 27, 2023, 12:42:54 PM by noseatbelts
About 40 years ago

A dark tavern, walls covered in bric-a-brac and mementos from all over the 'verse, sits largely empty but for a table not far from the bar. Five men sit around the table, hollering and laughing drunkenly as they share tales. One, a bald fellow with a face not even his mother loved who went by Mickey, jumped up onto the table to illustrate an illicit position he was describing from his latest prostetutorial conquest. This elicited a rowdy reaction from the crowd, especially when Mick toppled off the edge and onto the floor.

"You're a gorram liar, Mick." A low, gravely voice said. The crowd hushed and a man somehow even uglier than Mick leaned forward, daring Mick to call him out. A young Reinhardt Pool spread his palms on the table and stood, leaning even further in, a fox's grin cutting his face from ear to ear.

Mick shot to his feet and stared across the table at Pool. "You calling me a liar?"

Pool looked at Mick like one look's at a dog who doesn't understand "sit." He shook his head. "You haven't seen a tit since you left your mama's skirt."

Mick works that insult out in his head. "Wait, you talkin' shit about my mom?" His eyes went wide, the booze he'd overindulged in was doing a number on his already limited brain power. "I can't let that stand, man." He pulled a gun out from under his jacket, but didn't raise it at Pool yet. "Take it back."

Another man, with thick red hair and beard stepped in between the feuding pair. "Hey, friends, let us have another drink, eh?" He was bigger than the other two, though not by much. The other men gathered around and seemed to agree that there was no need for fighting tonight.

Pool laughed. "No offense meant, Mickey. Your mama's a nice lady. Kisses on the mouth and everything." Everyone stared at Mick.

Mick narrowed his gaze. "Yeah, well, your mother does nice things with her mouth, too!" Everyone looked at Pool.

Pool laughed again. "Hear that, boys? Hans here is buying the next round!" He patted the big bearded man on the back and led everyone to the bar, where they started shouting orders at a hapless bartender who wore a paisley neckerchief. "You're alright, Heyerdahl. We're gonna miss you around here."

The big man nodded like he was going to miss it too. "I did what I left home to do, which is see the 'verse. Sow my oats. I am still young. I would like to have a family. Be a farmer. Like my father."

Pool grimaced like he'd tasted something sour. "Family? Blech. Shoot me first."

"I want a big family. You do not want a family at all? Surely you do not wish to be a pirate all your life?"

Staring into his beer, Pool thought hard about it. Real hard.

Pool woke up. He was surrounded by paperback novels, each with a musclebound dope and a scantily clad harlot on the cover. He had been reading all night and had skimmed most of them. He had no idea who this author was: Jaeger Paisley. Stupid name. The thing about the books was that each of them had individual particularities that seemed familiar to Pool. But nothing specific enough to set off a lightbulb. Whoever wrote these books seemed to have overheard details from the Ebony and Ivory and then approximated the rest to fill some smutty narrative.

As he sat up, Pool noticed a sandwich that had undoubtedly been left by his daughter. He smiled, the details of his dream fading away. He downed the meal in a few large bites before assembling each volume of his life. There was a mystery here he wasn't seeing yet. And he didn't like it.  Pool left his bunk, and the books, and headed to the cockpit to see where they were at, giving Sid's door a harsh kick on the way up to wake him up.

Once there, he said simply, "We there yet?"
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Sidney Applebaum

March 04, 2023, 03:37:03 PM #64 Last Edit: March 04, 2023, 03:39:52 PM by Sidney Applebaum
Sid's bunk.

A sharp kick was enough to rouse him, but Sidney was still a bit crusty. He stumbled about his bunk, picking out a new outfit, something from his "adventure collection". His jacket had extra pockets. It was the one with the most pockets, and he still had some more added. As he pulled it on he felt something familiar and paused to reach into on of the "secret" pockets inside another.

It was the ticket stubs from the first movie he took Melinda to. His face dropped. The happy keepsakes were now sad keepsakes. Why did he keep these stupid things? Was this whole thing about proving he's still got some excitement left in him? Definitely.

The middle-aged goofball stuffed the tickets back into this "secret" pocket and let out a sigh, then pushed the thought from his mind.
"Who's ready to have an awkward conversation with an erotic novelist?"

Sid loudly inquired, a big smile on his face, as he entered the room. He held up his hand as if to be the first volunteer.


The former banker was many things but he had actually been here before. Unlike the hostage takers, who'd made a mistake Sidney noticed.

"Heh, they're at the wrong dock! That's the decoy dock. It's in the 3rd book when they come back to their pirate hideout for a gangb-.... a pirate party... Yarrr...."

Rose Wickson

Location: Engineering


Rose popped her braided head through the doorway to engineering, quickly followed by the rest of her body. She scoped the room, looking for Beth before spotting her cooped up in the corner.

"I've uh... I've actually never been on a ship before. I thought I'd stop by to see w-w-what makes her fly."

It was true; her visit may have been primarily motivated by wanting to check on Beth (a task for which she'd decided to put on her crewmate hat instead of doing it as part of her doctorly duties) but she was also genuinely curious to see the ship's inner workings. It was still hard to truly believe the fact that she was actually here, traveling through the Black, surrounded by artificial gravity and atmosphere.

"If that's alright, of course--" She wasn't sure what the protocol was when it came to mechanics and their work space. Rose didn't mind the idea of showing someone around the med bay when she didn't have any patients to attend to, but the line between "busy" and "not busy" seemed less clear when your job was to watch over the ship's engine and make sure it kept functioning throughout their journey. It was kind of an ever-present force.

"Oh, and I brought trail mix if you'd like some." She reached into her skirt pocket and pulled out a pouch, hand-sewn from a periwinkle piece of fabric that may or may not have been part of a pillowcase in a previous life. "It's dried apples and p-p-pecan nuts. From back home."

She offered the pouch to Beth -- it was supposed to be a simple gift, something akin to a housewarming present, but Rose had to admit she felt a little like she was trying to lure a scared critter from its hidey-hole with treats.
Dialogue color: palevioletred

Beth Williams


Caught been awake and asleep, Beth thought that she heard something but was not convinced that she had until Rose spoke again, and this time she did hear it.

"I've uh... I've actually never been on a ship before. I thought I'd stop by to see w-w-what makes her fly."

This provoked a response, a curly haired head slowly rising out of the lump in the nest of blankets, large round eyes, framed by pale skin stained by tears, opening and coming to rest on Rose's face. Beth hadn't been sure of who the voice belonged to until she managed to process the stutter and the confession that the speaker hadn't been on a ship before.

"If that's alright, of course--"

The eyes just continued to watch Rose warily as she advanced, the head retreating a little as Rose came close to Beth.

"Oh, and I brought trail mix if you'd like some ... It's dried apples and p-p-pecan nuts. From back home."

The analogy was a good one; Beth did feel much like a scared critter, with a good dose of anxiety amd self-loathing thrown in on top. The bribe was sufficient to tempt Beth into slowly uncurling enough to prop herself upright in a seated position. Npw that food was mentioned, she realised that she hadn't eaten for a while and that she was indeed hungry. Nervously and tentatively she took the proffered pouch, reinforcing the scared critter vibe, and giving the strong impression that she expected either the pouch, or herself, to be snatched.

"Thank you, Rose, that sounds nice," she said, her voice tremulous and only just audible over the sounds of the machinery.

Beth shook a few pieces from the pouch into her hand and ate them. 'Does this mean she isn't angry at me?' Beth wondered. Beth wouldn't, couldn't, blame Rose if she was annoyed with her.

Perhaps it was the fact that there were not sudden moves from Rose, or the initial placebo effect of having had a little food, or both, that allowed Beth to get herself unsteadily to her feet, shedding the blankets as she did so. She shook a few more pieces into her hand and then held the pouch out to Rose, not assuming that they were all for her.

"I would love to show you around, Rose," Beth said, her voice still tremulous but managing a weak smile.
Dialogue Colour: Fuchsia

Player: Clare : Other Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

Rhiannon Pool

Location: Cockpit

"We there yet?" Pool asked. Junior gestured out toward the view port at the space station beyond it.

"Who's ready to have an awkward conversation with an erotic novelist?" Sid loudly inquired, and Junior couldn't help but flinch at the sudden loudness. She turned to eye their financier. Was he even feeling well enough to do this now? She wondered if he'd vomit again any time soon...

"Heh, they're at the wrong dock! That's the decoy dock. It's in the 3rd book when they come back to their pirate hideout for a gangb-.... a pirate party... Yarrr...."

She grimaced and shook her head, then pushed forward until her hip bumped up against the pilot's console as she tried to put space between the loudmouth and herself.

"What do you want me to do when we get there?" she asked him, leveling her gaze in her father's direction. While she figured putting his daughter in harm's way wasn't high on his to-do list, he didn't really have a lot of other options when it came to those on the ship who would do well in a tussel.

Her attention jerked toward the Captain for the briefest of seconds. Of course, the big man would probably do pretty well for himself in a scrap, of that she had no doubt. But the mechanic, Doctor, Sid... she wasn't so sure.

Junior let her eyes lead her gaze back out to the station drifting in space and she couldn't help but smile. Sure, this mission had started out as kind of a big mess, but they were making progress.

Dialogue Color - Indianred


June 13, 2023, 07:39:56 PM #68 Last Edit: June 13, 2023, 07:43:48 PM by HumanHyperbole
Shanghai slowly, and cautiously pulled up to the dock Sidney recommended. With some surprise for all, he was right on the money. The docks connected with an oddly satisfying THUNK, and the deep knock of the locks clamping down. As the crew approached the first doorway to the defunct hotel and bar, the anthem of the long-defunct Soviet Union echoed through cheap speakers.

While this wasn't the "decoy dock" it was still just the first step in a series of puzzles, tricks, and traps. Their best hope was Sidney Applebaum. Now more than a purse, his knowledge of the station, and his previous success in solving each puzzle was going to make things easy. Or at least it would have. Once everyone arrived in the entryway of the station,  Sid was practically wagging his proverbial tail. Like a kid excited to show the grown-ups he knew how to ride his bike.

A soft, almost whispered baritone addressed his guests.

"Sidney... I told you. You're cute but there's no map to X in this house- FOX DU LOC... Son of a bitch..."

Suddenly, everyone would feel the floor moving under their feet. The stars visible out the portholes spun as the room itself, and every other room on that floor started to spin to a new position. This floor of the station station was laid out like a circular maze, each room was part of a ring of rooms that could be rotated. Meaning the door that went to one room, now went to another. The entryway was now 180 degrees away from the place they'd started. The other rooms further in could be heard still moving, then stopping, and locking into place.

The hotel's new management came back on the speakers.

"Just for you... we're going back to the old security procedures, the old layout. Meet me at the Cuba lounge upstairs if you're not a cop wearing one of those masks, silver-fox. Oh, and some friends of yours crashed a get-together I was having. Very rude. I think a couple of them are still trying to find their way out. Unless they're not friends of yours in which case... you can take care of yourselves..."

The entryway was scant on clues of what they were to do next. The entryway was littered with copies of period-accurate Soviet futurist art, a couple of dusty chairs, an empty reception desk, and a closed door that lead further into the station. Their resident expert was no longer Sidney. It was "Fox Du Loc"?

Reinhardt Pool

"I don't want you anywhere near that thing." Pool had said instinctively, but then almost instantly softened. He was only too proud to admit out loud that his not-so-little girl was better at salvaging than he was, which called for an equal mix of guts, dexterity, and mechanicking on the fly. Pool was mean enough to be brave in almost any situation, but fifty-odd-years of proving how mean he was left a toll on his hands there was no turning back from. Steroid shots helped the arthritis some, but not enough for fine motorwork. It seemed that surviving as long as he had, the way that he had, made Pool's life that much harder.

He'd handed out a shooter to each of the away team, trusting Junior and her training most of all, and insisting with the rest. "Anybody who shoots me or Junior will get the same in return from me." He had said, the warning mainly aimed toward Sid. "Safeties on and don't point it unless you're going to use it."

Junior had, long ago, proven there was no keeping her out of danger's way. So Pool had brought her, and her brother to a lesser extent (he took more after his mother), how to get themselves out of it when they found themselves neck deep. She was the person for this job.

Of course, that meant bringing Rose along as well, in case things went sideways. Not that he could stop her. Pool liked her adventurer spirit. Bringing Rose meant the engineer had to come and, heck, having another mecker couldn't be a bad thing, right? But just a single gunhand for a group of four? Pool didn't like those odds, especially with pirates, idiot or otherwise, in the mix. Which left Holt to guard the ship and, again, Pool as protection. He just wished Sid was a bit more useful. With a gun, that was. Sid had been there so could show them the way. That's how he'd prove his worth.

So, as the layout changed and they were greeted by a mysterious voice he couldn't place and a name he didn't claim, Pool looked at Sid and glared. "Now what, smart guy?"
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Rhiannon Pool

July 02, 2023, 05:17:36 PM #70 Last Edit: July 02, 2023, 07:12:49 PM by Lomari
Location: Space Station

Clearing her throat, Rhiannon inched closer to her father, her nose scrunched up in suspicion. The music was grating on her ears, the old hotel looked defunct, and there was a weird smell she couldn't quite put her finger on.

"Sidney... I told you. You're cute but there's no map to X in this house- FOX DU LOC... Son of a bitch..."

Junior glanced back at Sidney and frowned curiously. Cute? She guessed he wasn't unattractive, but was he cute? And did he have a thing with the station's mystery person? And did that matter?

She shook her head to rid herself of the questions, but that didn't seem to make her feel any more stable. In fact, now her whole body was moving? No, it's the station, she realized. The younger Pool wobbled and reached out to grab her father's upper arm both to support him and to support herself. Although she didn't bother checking up on the Mechanic, Junior did spare the Doctor a quick look to make sure she was OK.

"...Meet me at the Cuba lounge upstairs if you're not a cop wearing one of those masks, silver-fox...Unless they're not friends of yours in which case... you can take care of yourselves..."

Silver fox? She supposed her dad was the only one present who that might apply to, unless Sid was already greying and was just hiding it with dyes. Although, the person on the speaker had known his name so why would he start giving him a nickname now.

Pool looked at Sid and glared. "Now what, smart guy?"

Smaller Pool's communications device crackled to life in her ear and in the ears of anyone else wearing one, their Captain's voice melting through the connection. "You guys did a lot of puzzles when you were kids, right? You'll be fine."

"I'm guessing this muddles things?" Junior asked the financier. "Don't you have all this figured out? Or did we just get everything reset on us?" she continued, looking around and pursing her lips.

"Oh yeah it muddles AND befuddles."

Sid scratched his temple with the barrel of his pistol before quickly having his hand swatted.

"I mean it's the same puzzle the pieces are just in a new place I guess? Guys a horned up space communist with a thing for pirates. Look for stuff related to that? Worked last time."

"Last time," she muttered, keeping a hand hovering above his gun hand, just in case. "You and him..." she asked, raising and lowering her brows several times and hooking a thumb toward where the voice had come from. "Can't you just...puppy dog eyes and tell him to let us through?" she whispered.

"I tried that AFTER solving all the puzzles last time too, Kiddy Pool. I'm lucky he didn't airlock me! Honestly I think we just gotta get to the author first 'cos that goodnight kiss gang is still in here. What's left of 'em."

He put his gun in his holster and tried to make the current plan sound more fun.

"Let's start in here, Junior, should we try the doors first? Or look for a wacky secret handle for a shortcut because I vote shortcut!"

Sid held up his hand, Junior's hand around the wrist, as a show of support for his own idea.

"And what do we do if we run into the Elephant guy?" she asked her father under her breath, glancing back again toward Beth and Rose, all the while shaking Sid's wrist slightly while she spoke.

"Elephant guy!?" Pool racked his brain trying to think what she meant. Then he remembered his kidnapper's mask. ""Oh! Ximo? He's harmless. And stupid. So that means he dangerous. Shoot him, probably."

With a downward tilt of her lips in understanding, she shrugged and released Sid's hand.

*Dialogue written with Noseatbelts and Humanhyperbole and advised by Axe
Dialogue Color - Indianred

Beth Williams

Beth and Rose had spent a bit of time together, and has had been hoped, the company and the dried apples and pecan nuts that Rose had shared with her had helped improve her mood. It was a low base by normal standards but not unusual for Beth so 'improved' meant that she was more-or-less able to function, and to respond when the ship docked and the away team was called to the assembly point.

Beth was well equipped with tools, some on a belt, and more in a backpack, because she didn't know what might be needed. She had stopped short of a plasma torch, figuring that if it was that serious they probably wouldn't have time to get it set up anyway. And besides, it was heavy. She also had her anxiety medication; she had taken a dose before going to the assembly point but she had been reasonably sure that one dose would not be enough to carry her through.

When Reinhardt had held the gun out to her, Beth visibly paled. "No," she had said, her voice barely audible above the background hum of the ship, her hands down by her side. If Pool had insisted, she would have put her hands behind her back with further, equally quiet protestations, signalling, she would have hoped, that she was not going to take it. There were multiple reasons that she didn't want the gun; one was that she had never fired one and didn't intend to start now, another was that she knew that she would be constantly and debilitatingly terrified that she would hit a friend rather than a foe, and the third was that she really didn't think that she could actually shoot someone. She knew with utter certainty that she couldn't shoot someone in defence of herself, and she was reasonably certain that she couldn't do it in defence of someone else, even Rose. Not carrying a pistol ensured that she wouldn't have to find out, which was cowardice on her part but then Beth would be the first to admit that she was a coward. Even coming on the away mission had been as much cowardice as anything else; standing up to Pool over the gun was one thing, standing up to him when he said that she might be needed, was another.

"Anybody who shoots me or Junior will get the same in return from me."

And that statement removed any speck of doubt that Beth might have had about refusing the pistol.

That wasn't to say Beth wasn't armed, she had a moderately heavy wrench in her tool belt that was good for giving someone a headache, if she could bring herself to do it, which of course was just as unlikely as using a firearm.

They left the relative safety of Shanghai crossing to the station, and as they did so, Beth's worried frown deepened, defying the experts who said that it couldn't possibly do so. She trailed behind the others, though not too far, not wanting to lose contact with them, or find herself ambushed from behind with the others too far away to help.

"Sidney... I told you. You're cute but there's no map to X in this house- FOX DU LOC... Son of a bitch..."

Despite the soft, almost whispered nature of the voice, Beth still visibly jumped, surprising probably no one. The temptation to hold Rose's hand, for her own comfort, a constant since crossing to the space station, became almost irresistible and she found herself drifting closer to the doctor, her shoulder almost brushing Rose's. By the time the voice had finished, she had returned to her normal state of fear though she didn't move away.

Although wrapped up in her own thoughts and fears, the gist of the conversation made it through to Beth

"Shall I look at this door?" Beth asked, moving towards it on the assumption that someone would say no firmly if they didn't want her to. Of course she wasn't really sure of what she might be looking for other than something that looked out of place or any suggestion of some unusual locking mechanism. Assuming that she had understood what had been said, of course, which was something that she was not at all confident about.
Dialogue Colour: Fuchsia

Player: Clare : Other Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

Sidney Applebaum

July 25, 2023, 06:39:07 PM #72 Last Edit: July 25, 2023, 07:11:19 PM by HumanHyperbole
Before - Cargo Bay - (When Pool was handing out firearms like a really messed up Santa Claus)

"Oooh! Can I have her gun? I got two hands. Easy-peasy!"

The look Reinhardt gave him. It shot right through him. Sid made a face, momentarily frustrated. He was about to protest but thought better of it. Applebaum knew it'd be fun to run around a strange space station with two guns like he's a super spy from one of the vids. He also knew he didn't really have much experience running around anywhere with one gun.


Now - As Beth is possibly moments from venting herself into space

"Shall I look at this door?"

Deep in thought, Sidney scratched his chin with the barrel of his pistol.

"Yeah give it a shot... not like you'll-"

Sid was doing something stupid and realized it. Not scratching his chin with a loaded gun. He hadn't realized that was stupid yet. The financier panicked.

"Don't touch the door!"

He ran over and put himself between the mechanic and the door.

"This is a wacky rotating communist space puzzle. Doors aren't doors!"

Applebaum gesticulated a bit too broadly then tapped his head again with that pistol he probably shouldn't have.

"We gotta think like a guy who's trying to impress us with how smart he is."

The PA crackled to life.
"I heard that."

"Oh shit! Right. He can see and hear everything we're doing. LOVELY HOME..."

He forced a smile and turned back to the mechanic.

"Let's look for pirate ... ephemera... Last time I opened a staircase under a desk by rotating a painting of a parrot. "

Finally putting away the weapon, Sid started rifling through a rack of old pamphlets, from back when this place was meant to be some sort of themed vacation destination. Just a bunch of condensed communist theory, and guides to the facilities in the central ring

"The maintenance hatches might still be accessible. I don't like tight spaces so I'm sticking with the erotic author's treasure hunt."


July 25, 2023, 06:59:28 PM #73 Last Edit: July 25, 2023, 07:02:25 PM by HumanHyperbole
There were a small handful of Pirate-esque, or Piratey items in the room one might notice after looking around. The clock had a teeny little flintlock pistol as one of its hands. The empty aquarium featured a toy treasure chest. The portrait of Stalin on the wall had an eye-patch. And last but not least, if you stomped your feet on the floor, you might hear a section that sounded more hollow than the rest. There was a hatch for the maintenance crawlspace in the room.

"I'm enjoying this but just to add some incentive, I'm going to shuffle the other guys closer to you the longer you take to find your way in..."

Sitting reclined in his chair, in the manager's office of The Cuba Lounge, Paisley chuckled to himself. It was feeding his ego having this many people vying for his attention and his expertise. Given his prose, the man was either desperately starved of, or suffered from an extreme over-abundance of positive reinforcement growing up. He knew Ximo wasn't on their side now and the sub-par literary artist was going to enjoy his moment as a villain of the week.

Reinhardt Pool

Pool grunted to signify he heard Sid and started scanning the room for the X that marked the spot. He didn't see anything at first, annoyed by having to play this guy's game. Who'd he think he was, anyway? Pool still wasn't sure who Paisley might have been, but Paisley sure seemed to know him. Finally, his eyes fell on the portrait of the  mustachioed gentleman with an eyepatch. Pool didn't recognize him, either. Seemed like he didn't take any shit. Pool liked him immediately, but got the feeling he wasn't a good guy.

"This guy looks like a pirate." Pool took a closer look at the painting, which seemed pretty unremarkable but for the unbeknownst-to-Pool-but-knownst-to-us genocidal maniac known as Joseph Stalin. "Maybe he's not a pirate. Looks like somebody painted the eyepatch on after." Pool scratched his stubble. "Let's see here..." He lifted the painting off of its hook to get a look at the back.
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Rose Wickson

Rose accepted the gun, but she was not happy about it. More specifically, she was not happy about how indiscriminately Reinhardt was handing out firearms without checking if anyone could actually use them. Beth shrunk away from the weapon, a predictable and understandable reaction. Even without her anxious condition, what reason did a mechanic have to tote a pistol?

Rose herself wasn't any good with a gun, but at least she came from a community where they were commonplace. She knew the basic safety protocols and, having treated more than one gunshot wound at Dr. Coen's clinic, what happened if you did not follow them.

The same could not be said for Sidney. Beth's deep aversion was just one of the possible reactions a person not used to guns might have to them; Sidney was showcasing the other extreme. Rose instinctively put herself between Beth and the buffoon, watching him like a hawk as he waved his loaded weapon around absentmindedly. She was about to put on her best kindergarten teacher voice and gently ask him to put the gun away until he actually needed it when he thankfully did it all by himself.

"How are you holdin' up?" She turned to Beth, expecting her to be more or less miserable. "Let's just... think of it as a game, alright? Like a scavenger hunt. You, uh, you ever do one of those?"

Rose had. On her sixteenth birthday Joshua, her now late husband, then best friend on the cusp of becoming her sweetheart, had organized a treasure hunt for her. He had constructed a series of clues based on her favorite books which eventually led her to her present, a thick tome of pirate tales she'd read out loud to him later that night.

This current situation was obviously nothing like that. This wasn't some cute adolescent pretend-adventure, this was very real.  They were in dire danger. And yet... Rose had to admit she was a little excited.

She wandered around the room, stopping in front of the aquarium and the little treasure chest within. It seemed so obvious. Too obvious? Then again, when were pirate tales ever subtle? She scanned the tank for signs of some nefarious hand-trapping contraption before reaching in to grab the chest.
Dialogue color: palevioletred

Beth Williams

Sid"Yeah give it a shot... not like you'll- ... ... "Don't touch the door!"

Beth put her hand on the door control, and was within half a second of opening it when Sid yelled at her not to touch it, and then pushed her out of the way.

"No need to shout," she grumbled.

Sid"This is a wacky rotating communist space puzzle. Doors aren't doors! ... We gotta think like a guy who's trying to impress us with how smart he is."

"He is certainly impressing me with how sick in the head he is," Beth muttered, having not really taken in that they were being closely monitored until it was too late, despite the voice that had said he had heard what Sydney had said. The way she was feeling, she really didn't care if he had heard her.

Sid"The maintenance hatches might still be accessible. I don't like tight spaces so I'm sticking with the erotic author's treasure hunt."

Maintenance hatches she could do. Cramped dark places were just the sort of thing she favoured. "If it comes up, I don't mind crawling through," she offered, sounding slightly more enthusiastic.

Paisley"I'm enjoying this but just to add some incentive, I'm going to shuffle the other guys closer to you the longer you take to find your way in..."

Beth rolled her eyes as the voice proved her point. Again.

"Did you check for booby traps?" Beth said, when Pool lifted the painting off the bulkhead to see if there was something behind it. "Of course not," she added sardonically. "Next time let me check it first," she continued, her opinion being that if it exploded with her right there, there would be no loss to the ship, and she wouldn't have to put up with the Pools or the madman they were trying to find. Then Rose spoke, and she was reminded that there was one person that she cared about, and that perhaps she should take some care for Rose's sake.

Rose"How are you holdin' up?"

Beth shrugged. "I have had better days," she acknowledged. She had taken her meds earlier but she had forgotten to bring any with her, and she could feel her mood spiralling down, and her anxiety levels increasing.

Rose"Let's just... think of it as a game, alright? Like a scavenger hunt. You, uh, you ever do one of those?"

Beth shook her head. "No." Beth hadn't had friends. She hadn't just been the last person when sides were being picked but she was usually ignored by the other kids, and only put on a team because the teacher had said she had to be on one. Beth would have been quite happy being excluded altogether but apparently, according to the teacher, that wasn't an option. During the lunch break she had usually found somewhere to hide so that she wouldn't be bullied unmercifully. She wasn't always successful. No one had ever invited her to a party, birthday or otherwise, and no one had accepted her invitation, so party games had never happened.

"Why can't he challenge us to something simple like Bridge?" she complained rhetorically but then sighed deeply, and for Rose's sake, asked, "So how does it work?" she asked as she followed Rose to the aquarium.
Dialogue Colour: Fuchsia

Player: Clare : Other Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

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