Iscariot Ep 5: On The Hunt

Started by Lomari, May 14, 2020, 02:58:43 PM

Octavia Wynn

Octavia followed the Salon Woman into a back room. It was less than she had expected for the money and more than she had expected for being in the back of a hair salon. She'd wanted big rooms, white walls, bright lights, squeaky floors, and the clean, hard smell of antiseptic. She got the last one a little more than she wanted. The whole room burst with the smell of bleach so strongly her nose burned at little. Well, at least she knew the room was clean.

She sat in the chair as indicated and out of habit and nerves more than anything else she slid her arrow out of her boot and began twirling it between her fingers while the other woman typed away on her data pad. With the repetitive motion making her brain go blank, her body began to physically relax.

The woman paused in her typing and looked up from the pad. Octavia remembered the agreement no weapons. She hadn't really considered it a weapon when she was doing this exercise, but she could see how the other party would.
"Sorry," she said in a meek tone, "I know, no weapons." As she put the offending piece of alloy away she said to herself, "I really need to learn to do that with a coin one of these days."

Finished typing, the woman handed Octavia the datapad full of questions. She also finally had a name to call the other woman: Moira.
She could answer all of the questions with one word.
Her answer was flat and lifeless. "Explosion."

The irritated look on Moira's face let Octavia know that she was probably looking for more information. It was the same look she'd cataloged thousands of times when she answered questions with only the minimum amount of information while still giving the answers requested of her. She exhaled a quick breath and tried again.

"There was an explosion. I think I was very near the blast site. My ears rang for quite some time. A friend helped me equalize the pressure, which stopped the ringing and replaced it with absolute nothingness."
Let's see, she thought. What else might Moira need to know?

"The doctor on the ship gave me this medicine that would help for a short time before going back to silence. I didn't get a peak at the name but it came out of a purple and blue bottle. The pill was mint green and a small round shape with a score groove down the middle on one side. On the other side was printed 42." In her answering, Octavia made sure not to mention specific places, times or names. Even though she had done nothing wrong, she didn't want a repeat of the wedding.

Octavia looked at Moira's questions again. She'd answered all except how recent the injury was. She was sure there were lots of explosions lots of places for many reasons - legitimate and otherwise - but she didn't want to give any information that could help pin specifics down.

After one last consideration she added, "I've been out of the medicine for a week."

Hercules Holliday

Holliday would have laughed at the kid if he wasn't holding sharpened instruments so near his head. The kid was nervous enough it was obvious some back room stuff was happening in the... back room. What that could be was anyone's guess, but Holliday wasn't just anyone. Trained in the art of detection, with a lifetime spent on both sides of the law, he was uniquely suited to finding out just what that might be and how it might most benefit him. "Sure, I'll take the shave, kid." His soulful, puppy dog eyes found Orville's and he grinned. "I trust you." He hoped it would have the desired effect.

Effects, rather. Plural. One would be to actually inspire the young man to give him a proper shave, which he hadn't had in years. The duller by the minute electric razor he had next to the sink at Gary's rarely did the job to his satisfaction. But it was quick and efficient, kept his fine blond beard in the sink where it belonged. Winning Orville's trust was his second goal. Holliday would find out what was in that back room.

Before he could admire, or admonish, the shearing he'd received from the apprentice beginner barber, the chair fell back again, this time on purpose, though no less jarring. "Does the whiplash cost extra?" He joked, though corrected quick-like to soothe Orville's no-doubt fragile ego. "Kidding. I know you'll do fine." Charm didn't just extend to those he was determined to bed.

"That's nice." He said, as the kid whipped out a hot towel and smothered his cheeks with it. Technique was a little rushed, but the thought was there. Getting a proper shave out on the rim was a godsend, and Holliday wasn't about to complain. If the kid knew to towel him down first, and remembered to do it after, he was well trained. "Your boss teach you to shave, kid?" Steer the conversation, roundaboutslike, back to the girl. That's how it was done.
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Moira Chambers

September 29, 2020, 09:10:35 AM #22 Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 11:58:25 AM by Moira Chambers
"Sorry. I know, no weapons. I really need to learn to do that with a coin one of these days."

Moira flashed a very brief, tense smile in response to the quip before putting her serious business face back on. At least Octavia seemed to be relaxing a little, contrary to her fear that the backalley establishment would freak her out. Poor girl had to truly be desperate.

"There was an explosion. I think I was very near the blast site. My ears rang for quite some time. A friend helped me equalize the pressure, which stopped the ringing and replaced it with absolute nothingness."

Moira listened attentively. This was familiar ground to her; back on Osiris, she'd had to tend to the injuries of bystanders after a vehicle bomb went off in the street. Even those who had been spared from the shrapnel had sustained various degrees of inner ear damage from the blast. Octavia's sounded like an extreme case.

"The doctor on the ship gave me this medicine that would help for a short time before going back to silence. I didn't get a peak at the name but it came out of a purple and blue bottle. The pill was mint green and a small round shape with a score groove down the middle on one side. On the other side was printed 42."

Moira nodded. Tuxerin. It was primarily intended for temporary hearing loss, or to tide over someone with permanent hearing loss until they were able to get into surgery. It was not a long-term solution, only a band-aid. She waited for Octavia to finish her story, then typed up her message.

"I'm going to examine your ears now. This might feel a little uncomfortable but it should not hurt."

The otoscope supplied by Sebastian's black market contacts was an older model -- not that a layman would have been able to tell at a glance. It had all the functions Moira needed to examine her patient's inner ear in addition to the ear canal. Her initial suspicions turned out to be correct; while Octavia's eardrums seemed to have healed fine, the scanners confirmed cochlear trauma, the kind that wasn't likely to fix itself. Thanks to the advances of modern medical science, it wasn't all that big of a deal --  a fairly routine operation back on the Core, one that she'd performed before.

Correction: it shouldn't have been a big deal.

Dejected, Moira set the otoscope aside and picked up her datapad. For a second she'd been so caught up in the excitement of getting to tackle something more intricate than your standard patch-up that she'd forgotten where she was. All the high tech medical equipment she'd taken for granted back home was beyond her reach. She typed up the first two sentences of her message on her datapad and stared at them, at the spark of false hope followed by the harsh reality that snuffed it out. Was that it then? Surely she couldn't help this woman. Surely it was a pipe dream.

Surely she didn't actually care.

Moira tapped the second half of the message, then handed the datapad to the woman.

"The good news is that you should be able to regain full hearing with the correct implant. The bad news is that I don't have the implant or the equipment to perform the surgery.

But I can try to acquire them. I'm sure it will take some time and I can't make any promises this far out on the Rim, but I can try. How long will you be staying on Iscariot?"


Holliday's soulful puppy dog eyes may have had some effect on Orville; if he seemed a little antsy before, now he seemed a little antsy as well as a little flustered. He managed to go through the motions of his job anyway, mostly as usual -- he wasn't that easy to crack. Sebastian wouldn't have trusted him this precarious position if he was. Still, he hoped the customer dropped this line of questioning soon.

"Your boss teach you to shave, kid?"

"Oh, no, I used to apprentice with a barber back home." Orville removed the warm towel and set it aside. "I'm mostly on Iscariot to practice my technique, expand my horizons, you know, learn the business side of things. I'm hoping to open my own shop one day."

He lathered Holliday's face, taking the opportunity to casually shift the conversation away from himself.

"How about you, Sir? Are you staying or just passing through?"
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Hercules Holliday

"I've been around." Holliday said, a touch of the cryptic to his answer. In truth he'd only been on Iscariot full time for a couple of weeks, though it wasn't his first visit to the station. He'd been in and out a few times over the years. It wasn't the most welcome place and he'd gotten on the wrong side of Lil Sebastian almost immediately, so sticking around wasn't the most appetizing prospect. Not to mention Holliday tended to find scenery tedious, especially when around it too long. But this time was different.

He had nowhere else to go.

There were prospects, he told himself. Opportunities. Maybe he could make a life here. But he'd heard that one before. Many times. Was this time different? Probably not as much as Holliday hoped, but he was the optimistic sort. When he wasn't being cynical, skeptical, misanthropic, derisive.... He tried to think of my synonyms. Pessimistic. Suspicious... His eyes strained to see the door the women had disappeared behind. He was getting bored of the mystery. "So what's behind the door? Special services for special clients?" There was no implication of ill-repute, but he felt Orville finish his shave and put the towel back on his face, as if to stop the line of questioning.

Hrmph. Kid was loyal, Holliday had to at least give him that.

The towel was removed and Orville seemed to blush, but didn't mention it.

Let's try something else. Holliday sat up in the chair and glanced quickly at the mirror to admire Orville's work. "Listen, what's your name?"

"Orville." He squeaked.

"Orville. That was my grandfather's name." Was it? "I'm not looking for trouble. But I know the folks who run this station and if your boss is up to something, and I think she might be, wouldn't you want her to be safe? Or at least have some help? These are bad guys, man. Bad bad guys." He leaned back and threw his hands back and cradled his head. "Of course, if she's not, then you have nothing to worry about."
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Octavia Wynn

October 22, 2020, 10:41:14 AM #24 Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 10:47:53 AM by Lomari
"I'm going to examine your ears now. This might feel a little uncomfortable but it should not hurt."

Octavia flinched when Moria began to examine her ears. The woman was right, it didn't hurt but it required more touching and close contact than Octavia wanted. She felt her body tense again. Partly from the closeness and partly from the stress of wondering what Moria was seeing through her little scope.

Her lids closed and in her mind's eye she was looking over the anatomy texts she'd had to learn in school. She saw the little 3D hologram of the inner ear. The names of each part jumped out at her as she focused her gaze on them. She saw an image of a healthy eardrum, then next to it one that had burst. It looked like it would be painful. Of course, she had no idea if it really WAS painful. It just looked that way. Octavia set out her hopes that because there was no pain - only an initial press that had long since passed - that her eardrums were still intact.

It felt like years before Moria was done with the exam and had typed up her findings for Octavia.

"The good news is that you should be able to regain full hearing with the correct implant. The bad news is that I don't have the implant or the equipment to perform the surgery. But I can try to acquire them. I'm sure it will take some time and I can't make any promises this far out on the Rim, but I can try. How long will you be staying on Iscariot?"

In a good news/bad news situation Ocatavia really wished that people would give the bad news first, but they almost never did. So, she became elated at the news that her condition was fixable, before she read that by all intents and purposes it might not be since they were so far out on the rim.

Octavia addressed the last question first and then worked her way backwards.
I am here as long as I need to be, until you tell me this isn't possible here and then I'll go somewhere it is possible.
What type of implant? Where would it go? What are the risks?"

Moira Chambers

"I... don't..." Orville was more confused than anything. If would've been one thing had the man just been a belligerent customer, or an obvious crook, but he couldn't get a read on this guy's motives. Moira had scolded him in the past for being too quick to call her for help when a customer gave him trouble, but this was different.

"I think you may want to speak to Ms. Moira instead." He dug out his communicator to send a wave, keeping his gaze fixed on the man.


Moira was in the middle of typing Octavia a lengthy run-down of her options when Orville's cry for help came through on the small communicator she kept in her shirt pocket, announcing itself with a loud beep that went unheard by her patient. Tucking the datapad under one arm, she pulled out the device and frowned. Couldn't it wait? Orville was a good kid, but sometimes she really wished Sebastian had given her an assistant who was able to deal with difficult people on their own. Maybe a gentle giant who was happy to indulge in their secret hairdressing passion but able to throw down if a customer gave them lip.

It was probably too much to ask. She made a couple of hasty additions to her message and handed the datapad to Octavia.

"In a Core hospital we'd be able to surgically insert a completely internal cochlear implant, but those are difficult to come by on the Rim, and it's a complicated operation for a small one-doctor establishment like this. It may be easier to find a more old-fashioned implant which includes an internal receiver and an external processor. Excuse me, it seems like I am needed at the salon, would you mind stepping outside for a while? I will get back to you after I deal with it. Sorry for the inconvenience."

As sincere as she believed the woman's despair to be, she wasn't willing to leave her alone with all her medical equipment and supplies. Once Octavia finished reading the message, she led the woman back to the salon side of the establishment and gestured for her to go sit on one of the waiting benches next to the complementary tea (she reminded herself to brew a new patch once she was done with whatever nonsense this was) and pile of magazines.

She walked up to Orville, who was looking even more uncomfortable than usual, and his freshly-shaved customer, who was the picture of cucumber-like coolness. Whatever the issue was, it didn't seem very urgent, which made the interruption all the more irritating. Focusing on Octavia's case had momentarily made her forget about the liquid lunch waiting for her in one of the storeroom cupboards, but now she was feeling its pull again.

"And what seems to be the problem here?" Moira looked at Orville, then at the man lounging in the chair. Although she looked short next to Orville's lanky frame, she dwarfed him in demeanor; calm and willing to be civil, but with a palpable undercurrent of I swear to God I will throw your ass out if you cause any trouble.
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Octavia Wynn

Location: Prime Cuts

"Excuse me, it seems like I am needed at the salon, would you mind stepping outside for a while? I will get back to you after I deal with it. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Octavia sat on the bench and waited. She was less than happy about it. Could money not buy good service this far out? Was a haircut really more important than her injury?
She balked at Moira's assistant and the customer's stupid shaven face while she waited. Here she was in the middle of being briefed about possible SURGERY and she had to come out and sit by the dumb magazines (Did anyone ever read these, anyway?).

Cochlear implant. It certainly would be expensive, either here on the Rim or in the Core. She took out her data pad and did some research. Obviously the internal implant would be better. She pulled up the best doctors and facilities for this type of surgery.


It would be months before anyone could see her at any of those hospitals. And that was just for the initial appointment. The procedure would take even more waiting. She thought over her time in her room, missing the "thud" of the arrow each time it connected with her target. It had only been days to get her into that state and the only reason she had left her room was for this appointment.


What would happen in months? Would I go completely insane? Would I acclimate? Would old traumatic memories begin to resurface if I don't have any sound in my new memories? Do sounds take up memory space? What if every new thing I see and experience stays at the top of my brain forever until there is no more space in this stupid, seemingly-infinite memory of mine and that makes me go insane?

Her thoughts spiraled into a chaotic tangle practically shouting insider her own head and pinging off the walls of her skull. She put her face into her hands and made a frustrated sound.
"Ugghhh. Shut up!" she shouted into her palms. She smacked her self in the forehead with the heal of her hand a few times for good measure.

Hercules Holliday

There she was. Finally. Holliday gave the owner of the shop a once over, reminding himself of her shape. Not in a weird way. Old detective habits die hard, he reminded himself. "No problems here, right Orvie?" Holliday hopped out of the chair, which was easier said than done, as it was still reclined. His abs screamed at him as he struggled to make the endeavour seem slick. "Moira, is it? I'm just here to offer you my services. After all, you've taken such good care of me.' Was that a weird thing to say? Probably not. "Orville I mean. Lowers a mean ear." He checked the mirror to make sure. Not too bad.

Back to business. "Listen, I don't mean to pry but I couldn't help but notice your backroom." Holliday willed his eyes to remain firmly on Moira's face. "That is, the dealings you may or may not have going on back there. Orville told me all about it."

Orville squeaked in protest.

"It's alright, bud, we're all friends here." Holliday clapped the younger man on the shoulder. "You're new on the station, I get it, maybe you don't know how things go around here. A guy named Lil Sebastian runs things and if he finds out about whatever it is... well you don't want him to do that. He's a bad bad guy. You don't want to run into him, you definitely don't want to be in his debt." Holliday thought back on his dealings with the diminutive despot. He distinctly remembered being tied to a chair soon after arriving on the station, asking for his sources. A tall weird guy named Francis was standing nearby in the shadows, holding cables attached to a mule battery. "Trust me."

Holidays patted his pocket to find his wallet, but more specifically his business card inside. He then had a picture of it sitting on the counter at the Noodle Shop. "This is where I would normally hand you my business card, but I just realized I left my wallet at... home. So I'll have to owe you for the haircut and shave. But you can find me around if you need anything. My name is Holliday, owner and CEO of Acquisitions, Etc." That's what it said on the card. It was for the best that he had left his wallet. He only had the one card, anyways.
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Helena Cain

A bar on Iscariot:

Helena had been meandering her way around Iscariot waiting for her contact to reach out. Work was supposed to be coming her way, supposedly, but communications had been dead silent. Eventually, she did what any unemployed individual on a space station might do. She found her way to a bar.

She didn't look at the name but the establishment seemed like it was on the quieter side compare others in the area. Helena took a seat at a table in the corner, strategically placed to allow her to watch the door without seeming too conspicuous. Nodding gently, Helena flagged down the closest staff member and ordered a whiskey, neat.  Maybe it was too early in the day, who knew, she was never good at determining time.

Leaning back in her seat, Helena did her best to relax and wait for some kind of sign from her employer. Maybe it was all a dream and in fact no one wanted to hire her. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Martin Miller

January 04, 2021, 06:35:50 PM #29 Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 09:48:48 PM by Martin Miller
24 hours ago. Iscariot docking bay....

"Ladies and gentlemen, your former champion has arrived!!!

Marty bellowed out as he arrived back on Iscariot. He'd left the night after his shocking first last place finish. He'd been gone for a little while but it wasn't unusual for some people to be excited at his return. Sometimes nobody cared. The man was almost famous. Maybe too famous in some circles, but not enough to have any real power. Just good and bad notoriety.

Today, it was the bad kind. From among the crowd, a handful of familiar looking enforcers emerged from the others just moving about their business at the docks. Francis wasn't there though, so it couldn't be anything too bad. Or too important. At least that's what Miller assumed.

Then one of them pulled a taser. The second he heard the sound of electricity crackling in the air something instinctively kicked in. The racer was living up to his job description. Like shot he was off and into the crowd. Sebastian's boys, who were used to more immediate compliance, especially from a core-worlder and posh boy like him, froze for a split second in shock. His reputation as a flashy D-list celebrity that loves to party, they assumed he'd fold right away.

The bounding British boy bobbed through the bustle. Sebastian's sycophant's scattered trying to seek him and out and surround their suspect. But the former Tank commander, stuntman, getaway driver, and bounty hunter was not about to get snatched up by the tiny bastard's B squad. Not today.

Now...The Karaoke Bar

Marty popped his head out the doorway. He looked back into the room he'd ducked into and pulled his baseball cap down further, then slipped on his aviator sunglasses. The door shut suddenly behind him.

"Oy! Watch the money-maker!!"

He barked in his distinct, fairly well-known voice. He punched the door then clutched his hand. Shaking his hand as if to throw off the pain, he then checked it for injury and noticed his watch. Helena! His one-favor he could call in with Krüger was spent. A measly 24 hours to wait for the next day's batch of shuttles. The poor young man's luck wasn't turning either. Shuttles were delayed and he'd need to talk his acquaintance into taking this job whilst the space stations underworld was suddenly rising up against him.

A few minutes of walking around in circles to try and lose any tails later, Marty was strolling into the Karaoke bar he'd forced his prospective colleague to wait for him in. He looked around trying to spot any of Sebastian's boys. None so far, but nearly everyone reported back to him one way or another. Cautiously he sauntered over to the seat next to Helena.

"Sorry I'm late... I wasn't expecting my first day back on Iscariot to be so... totally buggered."

If Helena had been paying attention to some of the promotional posters lining the walls for his last race, many had been graffitied since being left up. In the recent weeks his fame had shifted to infamy. The poster next to his apartment had even been tagged with a word balloon next to his face "I'm a wanker and a cheat." It wasn't particularly clever but it got to the point. It seems some, most importantly, certain people named Sebastian had gotten the impression he lost his first race, and came in dead last to beat a point spread, and throw the race.

The young man also suddenly had come into money as well and had been spending it lavishly. What people didn't know was that he'd run a one-off bounty hunting operation that netted him and his family's business a metric-butt-load of credits. Marty neglected to share this information with his underworld friends because they'd likely assume he'd been a cop or a fed all along and pull his insides back outside.

The low rumble of activity in the bar dipped, not quite hushed but lowered in tone. It would seem people saw right through his disguise and took notice of the former underground racing champion, and now presumed race-thrower was about to bend an elbow in their midst. Marty hadn't caught on yet, but his contact would have noticed the reaction from the patrons she'd been waiting with.

Marty tried to act casual.

"Pint of your best, mate... Apologies again for my tardiness."

He tried to repress his distinct regional dialect. But dropping the "mate" in there and the wide open Anglo vowels, and non-rhotic Rs couldn't be hidden. He tried not to make eye contact with the barkeep and instead kept his eyes on Helena. Normally he tried not to be this dismissive of the people that served his drinks but he was still under the illusion he was a smooth operator, and under the radar.

Helena Cain

Helena sipped her drink quietly as she watched the door.  The bar hummed on ignoring her presence, save for a wave down for another drink. Sure she was a pretty thing, and it was odd she was sitting by herself, but Iscariot attracted all types, and maybe she was just looking for a midday drink or two on her own.

She was half way through her second drink when a boyishly handsome individual walked through the door. Helena watched him intently continuing to sip as he looked around like a skittishly. Clearly he was trying to avoid someone, he certainly looked the type that would get into trouble. Or would get her into trouble. She furrowed her brow as his face stirred a distant memory...Krueger...Tricky. Ah yes. Marty.  She chuckled at the memory of that job and just shook her head. Seemed like a life time ago.

"Sorry I'm late... I wasn't expecting my first day back on Iscariot to be so... totally buggered."

Buggered, what a choice of words. Helena quietly watched her twitchy acquaintance who was clearly running from something. Which never boded well for work. The bar had slowed down since she had arrived, and it was no coincidence.

"Pint of your best, mate... Apologies again for my tardiness."

He also seemed blissfully unaware of the attention he had drawn.  Helena smiled back at the charmer,

"Not sure how much time you'll have to drink that ...I suspect whoever you're running from will have heard about the hubbub from of a few of these patrons on their way out." The beer arrived and she took a quick swig, "Figured you could use the help." Helena winked unable to control her natural inclination to flirt with anything that was male and attractive. Looking around a few people had left, and a few were still looking over their shoulders in Marty's direction.

"Perhaps we should get out of here and find some place a little more...private?" Leaving a few credits on the table, Helena slid out of her seat and nodded towards the door. "Shall we?"

Moira Chambers

Location: Prime Cuts

Moira felt a headache coming on. What's this guy's deal? The more he talked, the more her thoughts wandered to the bottle of wine waiting for her after all of this was over and done with. She was all but ready to zone out and let his words go in one ear and out the other when he said something that made her perk up.

"Listen, I don't mean to pry but I couldn't help but notice your backroom. That is, the dealings you may or may not have going on back there. Orville told me all about it."

Moira's gaze, which had been intently fixed on the man's eyes in contrast to her wandering mind, briefly flew in the direction of her cowering apprentice. Surely Orville wasn't that bad at keeping secrets? As much as the mention of 'backroom dealings' got her hackles up, she didn't buy whatever this guy was selling. She let him prattle on, her shoulders relaxing once he started talking about what a dangerous guy Lil' Sebastian was. He was bluffing. Of course he was. She felt a perverse twist of pleasure at knowing something he didn't; that he was actually talking to a member of Sebastian's rotten crew at this very moment.

The question remained; what on was this guy's deal? Was he working for a rival gangster, fishing for protection money? Or was this some kind of elaborate test by Sebastian to see how she would handle the situation?

"This is where I would normally hand you my business card, but I just realized I left my wallet at... home. So I'll have to owe you for the haircut and shave. But you can find me around if you need anything. My name is Holliday, owner and CEO of Acquisitions, Etc."

Moira stared at the guy in silence. Behind her, Octavia let out a muffled scream. Right. She still had her to deal with after she dealt with this guy. And here comes the headache. She wished she could tell both of them to just rut off. It was almost lunch time, wasn't it?

"Well, Mr. Holliday, she turned her attention to her datapad as she had so many times that day, typing as she spoke. "As a fellow business owner I'm sure you know what a backroom is, and that most shops have one and it's hardly a suspicious fixture. Orville, go take care of her," she waved her apprentice over, shoved the datapad in his hand and gestured towards Octavia. Then she turned back to Holliday.

"As touched I am by your concern for my well-being, we're not a charity. Do you have anything you could give me as collateral while I wait for you to swing by with an actual payment?"


While Moira had her hands full with the detective, Orville approached the weeping woman on the bench. He stood in front of her awkwardly, helpless in the face of the obvious distress she was in and uncertain what, exactly, 'taking care of her' meant in this case. He had a feeling whatever was troubling  her was beyond his humble skillset.

"Uh, Miss... Excuse me..." he finally pushed the datapand into the woman's hands, trying to make as little actual contact as possible. Moira's message was dry and to the point as usual, although if you looked real close, you could perhaps tell her patience was starting to wear a little thin.

"Sorry. I need to deal with this clown and then it's my lunch break. Please come back in an hour and we'll work out the details of your case."
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Martin Miller

January 21, 2021, 09:16:52 PM #32 Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 09:22:21 PM by Martin Miller
Marty made a face of disbelief. Sure he'd hired Cain for her skills, but he felt like he couldn't have already blown his cover. He slowly pivoted around, still feeling somewhat skeptical. He saw the sea of faces looking at him then glancing back down at their drinks.

Gorram it.

The racer turned back and his face had shifted from doubt to disappointment in himself. Mason was always going on about his lack of "situational awareness". He then raced through his beer, downing about half of it in one long series of gulps then paused for a breath.

"I'll finish my pint so as not to look to susp-"

"Hey, Marty!"

Marty didn't turn around this time, this time opting just to pick up his glass and start draining the remains of the pint. He recognized the voice of the man who was now approaching. The odd cadence of his steps making his level of inebriation clear. But he was also drunk enough to be the boldest in the room. He worked for Sebastian but as a low level bookie. Sure he'd busted a few knee caps in his day but Sebastian had other guys for that too anyway. The bookie was probably chief among those sore about momentarily blowing up the station's betting market.

"Don't act like you can't hear me, limey húndàn!"

Marty got to the bottom of his glass.


Before he could finish his sentence he popped off his barstool and elbowed the bookie in the stomach with his left, then punched him in the face with with his right in a quick combo. One thing his brother taught him that he hadn't forgotten. That and to know how to recognize situations you aren't going to be able to talk your way out of.

He grabbed Helena's hand as they both bolted for the door.

"...we can go now!"

Helena Cain

It didn't take long after Helena stood up for someone to recognize Marty. What was originally supposed to be a quiet easy way to earn money, had turned into a slightly more complicated endeavor. She felt her body jerk forward as Marty pulled her towards the exit. On their way out its seemed the bookie wasn't alone, two burly gentleman launched off their stools barreling towards them. 

Her eyes widened and moved faster pushing Marty out the door, "Move your arse we've got company." She grabbed Marty's hand to pull him along. The goal at this point was to get as far away from the two goons as possible.  Clearly Marty was in some kind of trouble and she wasn't entirely certain what, or who was after him. The docks were too crowded, they needed some place to hide, her eyes searched rapidly for any place that would help them hide.

Pushing her way through a large crowd, hoping for some sort of cover, Helena took a quick turn into a store of some sort. For now the two men weren't behind them. Turning from the door Helena looked around, she wasn't entirely sure where they had ended up. There was an odd floral sent in the air, a woman in the back was hanging scarves and a tapestry was hanging from the wall. Thankfully there was some space in the back that provided minimal cover...and an exit out the back. 

Helena grabbed Marty's hand again and pulled him towards the back door,

"Marty dear. I think you have some explaining to do."

Martin Miller

February 03, 2021, 12:04:07 PM #34 Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 12:06:13 PM by Martin Miller
"It turns out associating yourself with thieves and criminals can have a downside. Can you believe it?"

Marty quipped with a strangely chipper delivery. He was at most aggravated by his current conundrum. For whatever reason, he still had complete faith that the truth would win out the day in a den of paranoid criminal underworld social climbers. But at least Helena might see reason.

"I made a slightly dodgy... maybe even some might say, and I know its uncharacteristic for me... cocky decision to use a highly modified shuttle that had last been serviced by the station's dispensary owner... Local book makers have been cleaned out by the 2000-1 odds on my disqualification and the Frenchman's victory."

He shrugged.

"I just lost but a lot of very gnarly people are out money, or are now in debt to other gnarly blokes... Presuming I threw the race makes the story simpler for their debtors."

As they wormed their way through the hippy-den he felt a nagging feeling to give the full context.

"They might be making assumptions also on account of some of my..."

The anglo-accented stunt-man and pilot tucked his brand new watch under his jacket sleeves.

"My recent... largesse."

Bounty hunting can be quite lucrative if you go after the right contracts. He held that detail to himself for a moment longer. The consequences of word getting about his dabbling in the world of free-lance law enforcement were still too dire for him to let it slip. They needed to find someplace they could lay low or at least be inconspicuous.

As they slipped out the back and were once again among other station residents and guests, Marty began speaking "in character" as he pulled his cap down lower over his face.

"Honey... don't you think we should get some new clothes while we're here on uh... vacation!"

There was a clothing shop full of knock-off clothes based on the core's fashion from at least two years ago down the hall. He was a crappy improviser, but at least he was making it clear his idea was for them to try and change outfits or attempt disguises. It was the best he could think of for now until they got an update on those damn shuttles going off station. Still, obviously a former stunt-man. Not actor.

Helena Cain

Helena listened to Marty as he danced around his words trying to explain why an overweight and out of breath bookie was after them. Her eyes narrowed and sighed shaking her head. It's always the pretty ones. She pursed her lips thinking of the best way to get them out. The next shuttle wasn't available for a while, and they could only wander around these shops and places for so long, without being noticed. The only thing all of this made her want to do was double check her gun was still holstered on her side in case anything got a little to...exciting.

They were out the door and amongst other patrons again, Marty quickly settled into the next rouse to avoid detection,

"Honey... don't you think we should get some new clothes while we're here on uh... vacation!"

Helena rose a brow and looked at him with a smirk, she shook her head, "What a fine idea dear your clothing is looking a bit drab isn't it." Helena interlaced her fingers with his as any couple on vacation would and   started walking towards the store.

It was full of some of the more...interesting looks out there. She never was one for fashion but it would likely be better to blend at this point than stick out with some neon looking getup. She grabbed a few things and shoved them at Marty nodding towards the dressing rooms. Without a word she grabbed some items for her self and head back to try them on.

Martin Miller

February 21, 2021, 08:37:49 PM #36 Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 08:45:35 PM by Martin Miller
Marty eyed the clothes she'd grabbed for him. He wasn't sure to what degree she was charmed, or annoyed. Probably a combination of both. His father often pointed out it was that slight advantage of Miller charm that kept his mother around. Generally. The pants weren't bad. The jacket was a leather motorcycle style jacket. He thought back and remembered the fad where half of Londinium were all getting hover-bikes and getting biker gear after a cortex series about a crime solving nomadic biker named "Burt Justice" exploded in popularity.

Slipping on his now out of date getup, he still kinda dug it as he mugged for the mirror just outside the changing room. He pointed two finger guns at the imaginary camera filming him. He swept the imaginary weapons back and forth, crossing them over each other dramatically.

"It's time for justice... Burt Justice..."

He grinned at himself and then paused. He remembered something small for a second. Season 2 of Burt Justice was the first job to blackball him after infamous accidental star-crushing. He was up to be the new driving stunt-double for the show's villain. They ended up just putting a dirty blond wig on the main stuntman for the lead for those scenes.

The young man pushed the memory aside and pulled off the jacket.

"Maybe something more... colorful..."

Martin's cortex unit buzzed. He popped it up to his ear as he browsed through some more jacket options.


He greeted his brother Miles cheekily, referencing his prior service in the Navy.


The former Marine orbital-assault-tank pilot waited a moment for his older brother to complete his sentence.

"Yessss bruv...?"

"What bloody job has Mason got you running, mate? Don't play stupid with me. There's a handful of reasons for me to see money popping out the account anywhere but that karoke bar I can just smell through my screen, Martin. What are you playing at up there?"

Martin was confused and insulted. He didn't quite understand how his brother was aware of his spending, never mind his current location.

"Oy! What are you playing at in my accounts, Miles?! And how?!"

There was a pause. Martin's 2nd eldest brother wasn't the best at expressing himself, and conversationally was all thumbs.

"Honestly Martin do you think computers are just a series of wires and pornography? I hope Ms Cain enjoys her salary before you get her killed by some gypsy hit-squad."

The call disconnected. The younger brother groaned angrily then stuffed the cortex unit back into his back pocket. The cheek it took to watch his credit accounts and trace his location. As he started to bring his attention back to another suit-jacket he noticed his cortex buzzed again. He quickly glanced at it between jackets. It was a series of photos. Of tattoos. Golden Trail tattoos. Odd.

That's when his brother's earlier use of a border-line term "gypsy hit squad" started rattling around again in his head. As the pilot pulled on another jacket and started preening before the mirror again, two dots connected. The Golden Trail were often derogatorily referred to as gypsies due to various factors. Miles, if allowed to elaborate further could have told Marty about how veterans of their secretive espionage and defense force: The Peshmerga had started peeling off after the war to the highest bidders.

Marty started looking around with eyes wide as saucers. He ran over to the women's changing room door and knocked on it, trying to suppress his suddenly less casual attitude. The stunt man was again trying to act.

"Darling... I would never dream to rush you but..."

He kept his voice cool, but his foot started tapping out a rapid beat.

Helena Cain

Helena watched Marty walk off towards the dress room, shaking her head with a small smile as she made her way to dressing rooms with her own gettup. She entered the room closing the door behind her, Helena pursed her lips as she sorted through her different options. A fur jacket, or what was supposed to be fur, that was bright pink and what one could only assume was an animal print of some sort. It wasn't really her style and far too bright.  She tossed it a side, along with several other items that were just...a bit too loud. A jean jacket had thankfully found its way into the pile, and she quickly slipped it on. It was about two seconds later that she heard a small knock on the door,

"Darling... I would never dream to rush you but..."

Helena smirked, that accent. She sighed and replied in kind, "Be right there dearest." Helena opened the door and posed for Marty, "What do you think, hobo chic?" She gave him a playful wink as she spun around.  However the act was short lived as she noticed his overall demeanor. Something was clearly very wrong - her eyes scanned the room but from what she saw there was no perceived threat, so what did he know that she didn't.

She did her best to keep it light, "Now dear what's got your knickers in a twist, couldn't find your favorite brand?"

Martin Miller

Marty laughed with a hint of nervousness. His bodyguard could tell something was up. He really should have taken that drama class instead of choir in primary school. Sucking at improv he gestured awkwardly at his clothes and tried to feign like it should be clear he found a great ensemble. Miller cleared his throat and motioned towards the checkout.

"It ahh was... "

Scrambling for a lie he failed.

"my brother calling... about...assas-"

Catching himself he tried to pivot half way through the word assassins but couldn't think of anything but:


He giggled at his inappropriate ad-lib but tried to run with it.

"Silly old Miles and his ceaseless passion for posteriors...."

Taking Helena's hand he brought them both towards the register. The cashier was reading something on her cortex. Seemingly unaware of their presence. While something of a D list celebrity, he wasn't one to be rude to people in the service industry. At least not intentionally.

"Mate could we trouble you to cash out?"

Martin implored politely. His eyes darted around though. The cashier finally turned on her register. She slapped it as it's old fans took a second to kick on. It sounded like it had centuries old disk style hard drives or something. The core world brat tried not to groan in frustration. Attempting to be sly, he gently nudged Helena with his shoulder, as if just a boyfriend teasing his girlfriend. But rather he was alerting her to look over at him and notice he was holding up his cortex unit just out of the cashier's view.

There was a simple sentence carrying a dire warning.

Mercs incoming.

Still holding hands for the sake of their cover he gripped her hand a little tighter. Catching her eye he took a deep breath. While he was a bit of a showy wannabe playboy, he was well trained soldier, and would have been an officer if it weren't for his penchant for pranks. His body language shifted, a side of him few people besides his family or people who ran jobs with him saw.

"Ready for the party, darling?"

Helena Cain

Marty's demeanor continued to devolve in front of Helena's eyes. Her brow raised slightly - but perhaps it was more than just nerves and the man's sanity at this point. Following Marty up to the register Helena slowly looked around for any suspicious behavior, she didn't see anything out of the ordinary which could only mean Marty knew something she didn't. As he rushed the cashier, Helena felt the small playful nudge from Marty. She gently shoved him back playing the part whilst taking on his queue.

Looking down Helena's eyes widened and a sense of urgency rushed through her system. She gave him a small nod of acknowledgement. His grip tightened and she responded in kind, it was time to move and this cashier was of no help.

"You know actually - I think we should stay in. Grab some food, bottle of wine. After all it is our anniversary - you know get some time alone." Helena gave him a playful nudge and a wink turning back to the cashier she leaned in with a whisper,

"Would you mind speeding up a smidge dear. I appreciate your time and all but we're itching to get home and I mean...well, look at him." Helena added a nod back towards Marty as well as a quick blush. "You get it, right?"

Turning back to Marty, she grabbed his upper arm with her other hand, playing up the farce, she took the opportunity to look out the windows inconspicuously. Hoping anyone walking by would think they were just an overly affectionate couple out for a day of shopping.

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