Iscariot Ep 6.5: Plastic Flowers

Started by Lomari, March 09, 2022, 08:51:24 AM


March 09, 2022, 08:51:24 AM Last Edit: March 09, 2022, 08:54:49 AM by Lomari
Iscariot Station Location
Parallel to the Automated Cortex Relay past the Himinbjorg System out in "The Rim."
Station Time: 1515


Although the danger had passed and the general attitude of the station had settled, very few residents were ready to risk heading back out or opening their shops. They'd just call today a 'wash' and try again tomorrow. It was one of the rare moments in the station's history where most walkways, corridors, and tubes were just about empty. Had there been a tumbleweed available, it would have happily bounced across a path or two. For someone wanting to carry out a clandestine meeting, there was simply no time more perfect than the present.

The station was as close to the Himinbjorg system's Automated Cortex Relay as it was going to get until meeting up with the next one in about a week. The signal to and from Iscariot was strong and reliable now, which meant any messages going out or coming in would be best sent in the next day or so to ensure their timely delivery.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Hercules Holliday

March 17, 2022, 08:59:03 AM #1 Last Edit: March 17, 2022, 08:59:37 AM by noseatbelts
The Lady Magdalene - The Theodora Suite

Holliday looked across the table at the two redheads staring back at him. Did they expect him to talk first? That made a certain amount of sense, as he was the one with the big ideas for getting this procedure done. "Okay. So. My name is Holliday, you know that, but you maybe not so much." He said to Moira and then Octavia, respectively. "I'm in the acquisitions business and Moira here said that you were having some issues-" He stopped and realized he was being rude. "Can she hear me? Can you hear me?" He said to Moira and then Octavia, respectfully.

An idea occurred to Holliday and he held up a finger, asking for patience. He pulled out his cortex device and stared at it for a moment, swiping and clicking, until at last he let out an "Aha. There we go." He smiled big and set it on the table, deliberate with its placement. "Ok. Let's try this. Testing testing."

His cortex device processed for a second and then a hologram shot out of the screen with a transcription of what he had just said.

QuoteOk let's try is test thing testing.

"Close enough."

QuoteClothes enough.

He coughed and gave Octavia a cute little shrug that said, "Hey at least I'm trying, right?" He rolled up his sleeves and rubbed his hands together. "Cool. Now you might be wondering why I've brought you here..." He motioned to the room, which was a private suite in the Iscariot Companion House. "I'm close, personal friends with the Madame Elena and she owed me a favor. I thought privacy was warranted and hey, there's no place better for private things to happen, right?"

QuoteCool now huge maybe wonder ring wives brought you here I'm closet person friends with the Madame All anal and shield me a favor. I fought privately with warrants and a the snow place better private things to happen right.

Holliday frowned at the hologram.
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Octavia Wynn

March 25, 2022, 09:37:10 AM #2 Last Edit: March 25, 2022, 09:42:26 AM by Octavia Wynn
The waiting room.

The mini-break down.

The dismissal by Moria's assistant.

Then finally, her own room again.

Octavia was mad. Pissed. Livid. She yelled and threw a tantrum in her room like the spoiled rich kid she was. In her head she sung: "I want the works. I want the whole works. Don't care how. I want it now!"

Her datapad lit up showing there was a station-wide announcement going on.

The message put her back in a responsible adult headspace. To the empty room she said, "Well. Fuck."
Octavia fell back onto her bed and tried to sleep without sliding back into a depressive state. She didn't even bother taking her boots off.

The next day the shelter order had been cleared. She may have slept, or at the very least gotten to a state where she wasn't actively thinking about anything. She was just beginning to wonder if Moria had forgotten about her when she received a new message to meet her at The Lady Magdalene.

The Lady Magdalene - The Theodora Suite

Moria was sitting at a table with the same man that had interrupted Octavia's meeting with her the day before. After a few minutes of waiting the man started speaking - she assumed. His lips were moving and he was gesturing. One of the gestures was in her direction. Was he talking to her? A few seconds later he turned his gaze fully in Octavia's direction. That body language was clear. He was speaking directly to her, at least for that part.

Octavia turned to Moria with a look her on face that tried to covey without words Is this guy really thick or did you not tell him my deal?

Maybe he wasn't an idiot after all. Getting no response from Octavia, the guy fiddled on his datapad for a moment until it produced a holo-recording of his words. It didn't seem to be a very good program.

Octavia fought hard not to giggle at "Madame All anal". Her stoicism cracked and she gave a little half smile. She pulled her face quickly back into a neutral expression and said, "Who are you?"

She thought about his phrase "better private things to happen", thought about where she was and re-evaluated the man. He was handsome, fit, very blonde. He was conventionally attractive, just as Octaiva herself was, but unlike herself his clothes were wrinkled and worn, very lived in. He had a nice smile and it look like his laugh was an easy one. At a different time, in a different situation she might have appreciated this gesture from the cosmetologist. She certainly wouldn't have kicked this man out of bed for eating crackers...

Octavia didn't wait for an answer from him. She turned to Moria, "Moria, I don't need a Companion. I just need help.". Did the other woman think she was so depressed or that her (obvious. very obvious) depression could be solved this way?

The short red-head put her face in her palms again and growled into her skin "This is such a mess. I'm such a mess."

Moira Chambers

April 05, 2022, 08:17:26 AM #3 Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 09:22:42 AM by Moira Chambers
The Lady Magdalene - The Theodora Suite

Moira had been taken aback when Holliday had suggested they assemble at the companion house of all places, but she had to admit it was a suitable venue for a secret business meeting. The Companions were all about discretion, even more so than doctors, and it was safe to assume that a guild with such a high reputation to uphold did not mingle with the criminal underworld. If any room on the station was safe from Lil Sebastian's prying eyes and ears, this was it.

The surgeon sat at the table, her sleeves rolled up and her hands expectantly crossed. A wrinkle appeared between her brows when Holliday began speaking to Octavia directly, as if her total hearing loss wasn't the whole reason they were here.

"Can she hear me? Can you hear me?"

"I thought I made it quite clear that she cannot." She met Octavia's disgruntled gaze and responded with a meaningful look of her own -- A bit thick, yes.

Moira's face remained stoic throughout Holliday's battle with the speech to text. She thought she saw Octavia crack for a second, then regain her composure almost immediately. The young woman didn't seem any more taken in by Holliday's charms than Moira was, which was a relief. Maybe the two of them against one of him would be enough to maintain a comfortable level of professionalism.

"Moria, I don't need a Companion. I just need help."

Moira shook her head, ready to correct Octavia's misunderstanding, but the woman had already buried her face in her hands, and she felt a sharp pang in her chest at the sight of her despair, a panic similar to the kind she felt whenever she was expected to do something about a crying child. She gave Holliday a quick dirty look -- as if this was somehow his fault -- before pulling out her datapad and tapping out a message. She gave Octavia's shoulder a gentle pat and slid the device in front of her to read.

"He is not a Companion. He is here to help me help you with your hearing. I know he seems like a bit of a tool, but I trust that he knows what he is doing."

It was true; both the part about him being a tool, and the part about trusting him. As for why in the 'Verse Moira trusted him -- that was a mystery even to herself. But she did. She just hoped that trust came from the sensible part of her gut, as opposed to her latent appetite for self-destruction.

"Maybe it's easier if I act as an interpreter," she told Holliday.
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Hercules Holliday

April 05, 2022, 09:10:38 AM #4 Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 09:12:43 AM by noseatbelts
If he were capable of shame - the jury was still out on that - Holliday might have blushed at his blunder, but instead he stared at them with his beautiful blue eyes. He tried to discern what they were typing on the other side of the table with those eys and, when they failed him, he asked. "What... uh.. What uh... whatcha saying? What did she say? Did you tell her what I said? I didn't say what the uh..." He pointed at his device mid-ramble, which was still projecting nonsensical holographs. He picked it up and dropped it into a jacket pocket. "You told me to get a hearing implant, the implication was that your friend - you needed it."

Time to collect yourself, Holls. He took a deep breath and tugged on his jacket collar, as if to snap his rumpled mind back to crispness. "Let's start over, ok? I'm Holliday. You can call me Holliday. Or Holls, if you like. I'm in the acquisitions business and your barber friend has hired me to help you with your cochlear problem." He gave Moira a moment to type out all of that, then reconsidered. "I decided I don't like Holls." Another pause to make sure that Moira relayed that information as well.

"So, the device itself was not difficult to find but it is expensive. I assume that's not the problem. You're here, on Iscariot, for a reason. Same reason we're all here." He left that implication out to dry. "Now, the real issue is finding someone capable of popping it in, so to speak. And a place to, uh, pop it."

A smile spread on his face, mischief plain as day. His pack of cigarettes appeared in his hand and he pulled one with his teeth. It stayed unlit, a prop to gesture with for now. "I think I figured out a way to do both. There's a-" Holliday searched for the correct word. "-Service in the 'Verse not for the likes of us. A sort of traveling facelifter that will come to the rich and/or famous so they aren't seen entering a metropolitan hospital for their tweaks and tucks." He seemed rather proud of his idea and began counting off the benefits on his fingers. "They'll supply the device, the procedure, the facility, everything. So we just need them to think you're famous enough to warrant a visit."

A pack of matches was procured from a pocket, struck, and lit his cigarette as if to celebrate a job well done.
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Octavia Wynn

Her face was buried in her hands and Octavia thought she just might cry. Her self-pity was interrupted by a tap on her shoulder.

"He is not a Companion. He is here to help me help you with your hearing. I know he seems like a bit of a tool, but I trust that he knows what he is doing."
When she lifted her gaze up from the device, her face was a shade of red that was nearing the color of her hair - partially from her near crying episode, partially from embarrassment.
She looked at the man across the table, "I. Uh. Oh my gods. I am so sorry. I- You- uh, ok..."

Holliday's information was relayed to Octavia through Moria. Her typing was far more proficient than his speech to text device.
"They'll supply the device, the procedure, the facility, everything. So we just need them to think you're famous enough to warrant a visit."

The redhead probably should have had more questions, like: What's the "acquisitions business?" Why are you here on Iscariot? How do you know these doctors for the rich and famous?

But only one thing concerned her at the moment. "How long? How long will it take? Because if it's a long wait, I may as well just fly myself back to the Core and wait there."
While she waiting for his answer she glanced through the text again "rich and/or famous". Or.
"I might not be famous," she blurted out, not caring at the moment if she was speaking over him, "but I have money."

Hercules Holliday

Holliday took in everything that Octavia said to him. His brain worked at it, but it didn't make any sense to him. Back to the core? Money? He planted his hands on the desk, arms straight, the cigarette dangling precariously from his mouth as he let his head sink. "What do you mean 'back to the Core'? What do you mean you have money?" He stood up straight and looked at Moira. "What are we doing here? I thought this was, like, clandestine. Why all the hush-hush, undercover, cloak and dagger bullshit? What's the story, Moira?" He said, not even noticing his near rhyme.

Holliday was kind of pissed, though he didn't really have any right to be. Maybe it was that he'd been one step behind when he had thought he'd been several ahead. Or maybe it was the sudden realization that he wasn't needed, after all. Whatever the reason, deep insecurities at fault or not, one thing was true. There were several pages open and nobody was on the same one. He took a deep breath of cigarette smoke, which despite depositing large amounts of the highly addictive stimulant nicotine into his bloodstream, calmed him down.

As the smoke emptied from his lungs in a manner that can only be described as exasperated, Holliday sat back down in his chair as if exhausted. "Listen, I'm happy to help. Hell, I've been helping. It's what I do. But it doesn't really sound like you need me. If I'm wrong, please-" He pressed his hands together in a pleading gesture. "-let me know." He gave Moira a meaningful look, as if to say, tell her what I said but also, tell me what the hell is going on here.
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Moira Chambers

"What's the story, Moira?"

That was a very good question. A hot flush of humiliation crept up Moira's neck at the unexpected turn of events. She felt foolish, getting swept away in some silly rescue fantasy, thinking she was swooping in to save a fellow social reject when it was just some rich little girl slumming. Well, that was the least favorable interpretation. There were reasons why Octavia might be shopping the black market, even if returning to the Core was technically still an option. It had technically been an option for Moira, too, until she'd made the deliberate choice to jump off the edge for good.

Whatever the case was, it wasn't really Octavia's misdirection itself that made Moira's cheeks burn, but how it made her look in front of Holliday. Ignorant. Out of the loop. The unhinged plan he'd sprung on her was bad enough, this was just the cherry on top. She already knew he liked seeing her squirm; he was probably enjoying this, too. A nice show to go with his cigarette. She regretted returning that lighter to him.

"Listen, I'm happy to help. Hell, I've been helping. It's what I do. But it doesn't really sound like you need me. If I'm wrong, please--let me know."

"Have you though? Been helping, I mean." Even if the flecks of red on Moira's cheeks hadn't betrayed her anger, the iciness in her voice rivaled St. Albans. "I commissioned you to acquire an item for me, and you come back with this harebrained plan for a...heist? I knew your professionalism left something to be desired, but this is something else."

She turned her attention to her datapad, continuing to address Holliday while typing a message for Octavia, not bothering to look at him while she spoke. It was the least she could do to take back some control of the situation.

"You said the device wasn't difficult to find, she said money's not an issue. I don't see what's so confusing here. Contact me when you want to actually talk business instead of living out your secret agent fantasies."

She showed her datapad to Octavia long enough for her to read the message: "Come see me tomorrow after shop hours. We need to talk."
Without waiting for a response from either party, and ignoring any possible protests, Moira stood up and gathered her things. She looked up at Holliday, having managed to gather her composure.

"Have a nice day, Mr Holliday."

Then she walked out.
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Octavia Wynn

March 04, 2023, 03:03:42 PM #8 Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 06:30:32 AM by noseatbelts
"Listen, I'm happy to help. Hell, I've been helping. It's what I do. But it doesn't really sound like you need me. If I'm wrong, please--let me know."

There had clearly been some kind of misunderstanding. Octavia wasn't quite 100% on what the confusion was, but something had gotten lost in translation.

Before the redhead had gotten her barring Moria had shoved the data pad toward her. She read, "Come see me tomorrow after shop hours. We need to talk." before the pad and and woman had whisked away.

It took a minute for her to get her barrings back in this unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. When she did she looked Holiday right in the eye and said, "Look, I'm not sure what is going on here but I need my hearing back and I need it back tomorrow. It can't wait. I can't wait. I may do something... regrettable."

She wanted to leave and follow Moria, but this man had something she desperately needed. Or, she thought he had it. She was getting confused.
She pulled out her own data pad and handed to him for his response.

Hercules Holliday

Holliday stared after Moira and tried to hide his flinch when she shut the door behind her. "Fine! I will have a good day!" He lied. Holliday dropped into his thoughts for a moment and allowed himself a self-destructive spiral for good measure. What was I thinking? Going all macho hero bullshit artist. You do this every time, Hercules. What a joke. Wait, what am I talking about? She's the crazy one. Moira was the one who started the secret agent stuff. I was just playing her game. Well if she thinks she's gonna win, she's got another thing coming.

So lost in his inner monologue, Holliday didn't even hear Octavia.


"Yeah, it is regrettable. But sometimes things don't work out." He muttered, stamping out his cigarette. To his credit, he immediately realized she wouldn't have heard him. He looked at Octavia regretfully and picked up the device. He began typing out, "Sorry your friend is a-" He raised his eyes from the screen and met Octavia's again. Pleading. Desperate. He deleted what he wrote and started again. "Sorry I screwed up-" Delete delete delete.

Finally he left the device on the table, got up from the chair and opened the door. Before he lwent through it, he threw an apologetic look Octavia's way. The screen just said, "Sorry."
Dialogue Color - Cyan

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