Three Hills, One Clue

Started by Sidney Applebaum, October 29, 2020, 12:55:52 PM

Sidney Applebaum

June 14, 2021, 05:52:08 PM #40 Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 05:55:38 PM by Sidney Applebaum
Everything was coming together. His face didn't feel like a hovercraft anymore, the dry mouth had finally subsided and the kid found a ship! His partner had gotten all worked up over nothing. It's not like there were people skulking about ready to kidnap her. There were people skulking about ready to kidnap Sidney. But he hadn't caught on to that yet. He was however overcome with excitement. He could barely stop himself from storming into the ship and claiming his room on an actual spaceship! Space travel was common enough to be mundane, but there was an allure to the rustic, on the edge thrill of living the life of a spacefarer.

The city-slicker was already in over his head but that wasn't stemming his enthusiasm. He practically rocked back and forth on his feet like an excited child. As the Captain and his partner got into it, Sidney couldn't help but start to wander off, walking around the ship itself on the docking bay. He admired its weathered hull. So many imperfections and little burn marks from so many trips through the atmosphere of so many worlds. Worlds he'd get to see as they hunted for treasure!

Behind him, he heard a friendly voice approaching from the bustle of the crowded docks.

"She's a beauty ain't she. Lotta people say you gotta replace it when they get that old but its just a waste you know. Ship like that's got a lot of stories."

Sid swung around to greet the friendly stranger walking up with a friendly hand extended for a shaking. They each gripped tight and smiled big.

"I know right! Hey man, Sidney Applebaum."

He waited as they continued to shake hands for a second longer than normal.

"You are?"

"Waiting... sorry. You take any medication today?"

"Yeah! I'm not good with flying or space flying yet but I've been taking some meds to sleep through it so I'm still kinda getting my sea legs."

Sidney still hadn't quite caught on something was wrong with this situation. They continued to shake hands.

"Oh! All right bro, this will just take a couple seconds longer now."

Sidney's face started to feel like a hovercraft again. A hovercraft.... full of... Eels...He shook his face case... I mean skull around. Things were feeling... wobbly...

"Wow... your handshake feels like the dentist's office..."

"There it is..."

The handshake turned to the stranger cradling Sidney. Instinctively the city slicker clung to the man for support as he could barely stand. The man's hand had been coated in something they call "the goodnight kiss". A sleeping agent that can be absorbed through the skin. Most commonly associated with fake or criminal companions that robbed their would-be patrons.

The friendly stranger helped his friend back onto his feet and dragged him along into the crowd.

"Man... I told you about challenging me to go shot for shot bro!"

And like that, they were gone.

Reinhardt Pool

June 18, 2021, 07:04:27 PM #41 Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 10:10:30 PM by noseatbelts
"Yep, there definitely is a crew. Desmond Holt, Captain of the Shanghai, I hear you're looking for a transport? Little bit of ferrying, little bit of cargo hauling?"

The two shook hands firmly but briefly.

"Pool." He didn't offer his first name because he didn't want this guy to know his father had hated him.

"This is Junior, my daughter." He didn't offer his daughters name, because this guy didn't need it. In fact. Less he knew the better.

"Might be cargo. Might not be. Mostly just taking us..." Pool didn't know. "Where we need to go. Then if there's another place, we go there, too. Paying for the ship not questions."

"Oh. This is --" he turned to introduce Sydney, but all there was of him was a Sidney shaped cutout in the universe where he had been. Pool turned his head the other way. Not on that side either.

"...where the hell did he go now?"
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Rose Wickson

June 20, 2021, 03:46:14 AM #42 Last Edit: June 20, 2021, 03:49:55 AM by Rose Wickson
Location: The Clinic

Rose wiped down the counter in a daze, still digesting what had just happened. Just like that, the universe had dropped a friend of aunt Proserpina's in her lap, and just like that, he was gone again, taking all those stories she'd dreamed of hearing for years with him.

Maybe I should follow him? No, that's silly. She couldn't possibly just drop everything and uproot her life on a whim. Why not though? What's there even to uproot? Well, her practice, for one. But it's not your practice, is it? It's Dr Cohen's. Sooner or later you're going to have to find work elsewhere anyway. But there's just so much to stay for on Three Hills. Like what? Like... like... What? Like...

Rose was too absorbed in thought to register the door chime. She only perked up when the boisterous, slightly off-key baritone burst into song behind her, the tired loathsome tune echoing in the clinic like ominous background music from a horror show.

"R-R-R-Rosie, beautiful Rosie, you're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore..."

She froze mid-swipe, and her grip on the towel instinctively tightened.

"There you are, my dear!" Gus announced. She didn't turn to face him. "Listen, darling, there's something quite pressing I must discuss with y--"

"I ain't gonna marry you." The words caught even Rose herself off-guard. Gus let out a chuckle, but she couldn't tell if it was an amused, confused, condescending or insulted one without seeing his face.

"What? Listen, I don't think you--"

"Frankly, I don't even know what makes you think I'd ever wanna marry you." She turned around slowly, still clutching the towel in her whitening knuckles. He was holding a bouquet of wildflowers that would've been lovely coming from anyone else, and there was a bemused smile plastered on his face, a smile which melted away as realization -- or something he mistook for realization -- dawned on him.

"I knew it! You're with that nosy offwordler who was asking around for you!" He thrust the bouquet at her like an accusatory finger, sprinkling petals on the pristine floor of the clinic. "What could you possibly see in a ugly old man like that?!"

"It ain't like that. He's... well... I, uh..." Rose stumbled. Her interaction with Gus had consisted mostly of avoiding him, and smiling at his advances through gritted teeth when avoidance wasn't an option. She had no words for a direct confrontation like this. And then the answer hit her. It was simpler than she'd realized.

"You know what, I don't reckon that's any of your business." For once, Gus was struck speechless. Why hadn't she done this before? Could it really have been this easy all along?

"That song ain't cute, by the way," she continued, emboldened by his stunned silence. "Besides, I never stutter on an 'r'. You'd know that if you ever p-p-paid any attention to what actually comes out of my m-mouth."

Just as Rose was about to regret antagonizing the man twice her body mass, the door chimed again.

"False alarm," Dr. Cohen announced. "Mrs. Bell thought her son might have appendicitis, but turns out it's just indigestion-- Where are you going?" She asked Rose as she pushed past her towards the door without a second look at her rejected suitor.

"On an adventure," she flashed her mentor a coy smile, and then she was off like a shot, auburn braids flying in the wind.

* * *

Location: The Ship

"...where the hell did he go now?"

"'Scuse me," came a soft woman's voice from the direction Pool had just turned away from. Rose had had a surprisingly easy time tracking down her target; all she'd had to do was ask around for a large, mean-looking offworlder who was dragging around a smaller offworlder sporting fancy clothes, a bloodied nose and a case of verbal diarrhea.

"Hello again. Hello," Rose turned to greet the other people gathered at the ship, quickly giving each of them a polite if somewhat nervous nod of her head as she made eye contact; the young girl from before, a pretty confident-looking woman and an imposing giant of a man who made Aunt Proserpina's bulky friend look tiny in comparison. Suddenly aware of how disheveled she had to look after running all the way here from the clinic, Rose brushed back a stray lock that had come undone from one of her braids and straightened the front of her dress. Then she turned back to Pool.

"I hope I ain't crossin' a line here, it's just... Well, I need a ride off Three Hills anyway, and I figured you and your crew could use some m-m-medical services. And... I'd really like to learn more about my aunt," she confessed.

"Besides, I need to follow up with your friend..." She glanced around, suddenly realizing bubbly fancy-pants horse man wasn't part of the group. "W-where'd he go?"

Desmond Holt

June 30, 2021, 11:12:06 PM #43 Last Edit: June 30, 2021, 11:12:58 PM by Axe
After a brief, firm handshake the older man introduced himself, and his daughter. Desmond winced inwardly at the choice of names for the girl, and hoped for her sake that it was just a nickname and not her actual name.

"Might be cargo. Might not be. Mostly just taking us... Where we need to go. Then if there's another place, we go there, too. Paying for the ship not questions." Desmond gave an amiable smile. "Well, I mean, I will have to ask Some questions. You know, just part of the arrangement." Gemma returned from her tour and stood next to him, nudging him with an elbow. She introduced herself.

"Oh. This is --" Pool turned and looked around for the other guy who'd been with them "...where the hell did he go now?" "Oh, it looked like he walked around the ship." Desmond gestured off the ramp and to the side where the soft man had vanished from view.

With Pool occupied for a moment, Desmond turn his head to Gemma. "So, I guess I don't have to fill that pilot slot eh? Shame, I had a whole speech thought up to try and convince you to fly for us. Oh, and she's called The Shanghai." He said quietly, and was about to go on, but was interrupted by another newcomer. "'Scuse me, Hello again. Hello," The woman had kind blue eyes, long auburn hair, and she was dressed somewhat modestly... if a little disheveled. Clearly she hadn't wanted to be left behind.

"I hope I ain't crossin' a line here, it's just... Well, I need a ride off Three Hills anyway, and I figured you and your crew could use some m-m-medical services. And... I'd really like to learn more about my aunt, Besides, I need to follow up with your friend... W-where'd he go?"

Well then. Mechanic, pilot, and now a doc? That pretty much ticks all the boxes. Who knew putting a crew together and finding a job would be this easy? Desmond thought to himself.
"The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun."
Dialogue Color: Seagreen

Rhiannon Pool

"Nice to meet you, Gemma Pierce pilot of....Captain Holt's ship."

"This is Junior, my daughter."

Junior raised her hand at them all in greeting, a smile pulling at her lips as she rocked, again, back on her heels, letting her father do all the introductions and information sharing. A ship, a captain, a pilot, a creepy man, she'd done a pretty good job, if she did say so herself. Now all they needed was for their money man to pay the ship man and they'd be off on adventure! She could finally bond with her father outside of the Yard, see what he was like in his hay day, and be a part of a treasure hunt!

"...where the hell did he go now?" her father asked, pulling her out of her daydream. She looked around, frowning. He'd be right there just a moment ago, with that stupid grin and endless obnoxious curiosity. Now where was he? The arrival of an unknown woman caused her to furrow her brows. She squinted at her father and the lady, her gaze moving between them suspiciously. Hello again? Medical services? Follow up? What has she missed?

"Oh, it looked like he walked around the ship," their new Captain (hopefully) told them. Junior eyed the strange woman, her arms crossing over her chest. "Hey, yeah, thanks for coming to follow up with our friend," she started, scooting closer to her while her father was (again, hopefully) distracted looking for their Wallet. "Uh, remind me again, why do they need a follow up?"  she whispered, raising her brows at Rose.
Dialogue Color - Indianred

Reinhardt Pool

"That's what I said." Pool said to what Rose said about Sid not saying where he went. "I dunno where he is. He'll turn up, I guess. Applebaum can be... uh..." Pool almost called the financier something the nurse might take offense to, what with her verbal condition and all, but stopped himself. After his kids got old enough to tell him off, Pool's vocabulary had gotten slightly less offensive. "Flighty." He decided on, and it worked well enough for now. He scratched his head. Hell of a time for Sidney to get distracted again. This was his idea after all, Pool reminded himself.

Refocusing on Rose, Pool narrowed his gaze at her. His first instinct was to say no, as he had with Junior. But maybe he'd be doing the girl a favor, getting away from that stuffed shirt fiance of hers could only be a good thing. And a doctor was always a good idea. Truth be told, Pool would rather have another gun on hand but people who did the shooting often got shot themselves. And if this Proserpina was anything like the one he knew twenty years ago... "Yeah, I guess I'm fine with it."

Pool stepped away, missing entirely that his daughter was scooting in to meet Rose and might therefore be told of his and Sid's hijinks in town. He just didn't want Junior to worry, is all. He wasn't mad or embarrassed he'd gotten his ass kicked. He'd gotten his ass kicked plenty over the years. Now, if it had been a fair fight and the guy hadn't sucker punched him... ruttin' cheater. Ok, maybe he was mad. "Gorrammit. Applebaum!" He called, stepping off the gangplank and walking around the ship where he found no sign at all of Sidney. Of course, Pool was no tracker but it's not like Sidney was a sprinter or anything. Usually if he had found something shiny that caught his eye, Sidney would holler about it to make sure other people got excited about it too.

Something was off.

Just as Pool was about to return to the ship and mention his suspicions to everyone else, he heard a sharp, distant whistle. He turned and saw a guy he didn't know waving him over to an alleyway. "Hey, bro, your friend here, he don't look so good. I think he fell or something."

Pool sighed. Of course Sid would get himself injured. Jerk. The old bruiser waved to the other guy that he was coming and made his way across the street. The guy disappeared behind the corner, and Pool's instincts for trouble kicked in. He looked back at the ship and didn't see anyone. Nah. "I've got this." His wounded ego from the encounter with Gus propelled him forward, flexing his arthritic knuckles and wished he was packing a gun.

Angling around the alley so as to avoid a surprise, Pool spotted the guy who'd waved at him down at the far end of the alley, hunched over someone laying on the ground wearing a jacket that looked an awful lot like the one Sidney had been wearing. Pool knew this because Sidney had been very proud of that jacket, having bought it out of an Adventure Catalogue. He rolled his eyes. Maybe his instincts were off? Pool wasn't so quick to trust, though, and stepped into the shaded alley. "Dont try nothin', asshole. I ain't someone you wanna piss off, dong ma? Why don't you back up from my friend? Nice and easy."

The guy straightened and looked at Pool. "He ain't breathing, man." Pool almost missed the guy's smile. Almost. The big man turned and caught the lead pipe aiming for his head in his meaty grip.

"Nice try." He said with a feral grin to the guy who had been sneaking behind him. "You woulda been quieter in tap shoes." A rough twist pulled the weapon out of the thug's grip and Pool brought the pipe up and across his face. The guy fell to the ground, holding a likely broken jaw and crying. "Don't." Pool said without looking at the decoy who had lured him in there. He turned to see the guy reaching for what was probably a weapon tucked into the back of his pants. "Run away before I change my mind."

The decoy considered it, looked at his buddy still writhing in pain on the ground, and the man who had disarmed and dis-jawed him, turned and ran. Pool breathed a sigh of relief. His hand was killing him from the effort it took to catch the swing, and he might have pulled a muscle with his own. He bent down and grabbed at Sid's shoulder to roll him over and see how injured he really was. Pool didn't expect to see a complete stranger, let alone a man wearing what looked like lipstick. He wasn't one to judge, whatever made a person feel good about themselves. But that was the last of the surprises. The man wearing lipstick and Sid's jacket grabbed Pool around the neck and planted a big, wet, sloppy kiss right on his mouth.

Pool pulled back and stumbled, his mouth already tingling from the poison. His hands wiped away in vain, only serving to spread the poison to his extremities. Such an idiot move. Going in here alone. He'd never live this down. "Crap not agaiurghnnnnn..." He took solace as darkness took over that at least he'd taken out one of the guys before they got him and that Sid had fallen for the same thing.

Narrative assistance provided by Human Hyperbole
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Gemma Pierce

Their new clients were certainly interesting. Maybe a bit disorganized after all they did just loose a man in a matter of moments.

Quote from: Desmond Holt on June 30, 2021, 11:12:06 PM"So, I guess I don't have to fill that pilot slot eh? Shame, I had a whole speech thought up to try and convince you to fly for us. Oh, and she's called The Shanghai.

Gemma smirked and looked over at Des, "Well shucks....I guess I should've made you try a little harder huh?" She gave him a quick wink and her usual smirk. "Now that I'm here on...The Shanghai...Wh-" Gemma was quickly cut off by the very quiet voice of a somewhat lost looking woman. She seems like she knew where she needed to be but wasn't quite sure if she should be, or perhaps she thought herself a burden. Gemma could help but feel a bit bad for her,

She approached the doctor and offered a hand, "Nice to meet ya doc, I'm what the call the welcoming committee, Gemma Pierce. That there is the captain," She pointed back to Des, "Gotta say I'm a bit grateful you're coming along, after all he is a bit accident prone. And I can't blame you for wanting to get out of here." She threw Des a smile, "All jokes aside, it's lovely to meet you." Gemma hadn't paid much mind to whatever else was going on. She was too excited at the prospect of a new adventure and flying this behemoth of a boat. Though perhaps if someone overtly pointed out the very large gentleman had gone missing she would have taken some action.

Rose Wickson

"Yeah, I guess I'm fine with it."

Rose's face lit up in response to the green light, even if it wasn't delivered with much gusto. She didn't mind a little stoicism. "Thank you, you won't regret it! I'll have to go grab my things, but it shouldn't hold y'all for too long, I ain't got all that m-much stuff..." As the man stepped away from the group, Rosie turned her attention to the young girl who approached her.

"Hey, yeah, thanks for coming to follow up with our friend. Uh, remind me again, why do they need a follow up?"

"Oh, don't worry," she gave the girl a reassuring smile, mistaking her curiosity for concern. "They got knocked around by some locals, but they'll be fine so long as they don't go running into more trouble right away, and I'm here to m-make sure that doesn't happen."

"Nice to meet ya doc, I'm what the call the welcoming committee, Gemma Pierce."

"Oh, I'm sorry," Rose became flustered upon realizing she'd forgotten to introduce herself properly. She took the woman's hand and gave it a gentle shake that reflected the demureness of her demeanor.  "I'm Rose. Nice to m-m-meet you."

She smiled and nodded at the captain when Gemma introduced him, finding it difficult to meet the imposing giant's gaze but doing so anyway. Good heavens, he's even taller than the Nielsens' boy! Nielsens being the proprietors of the local tailoring business, whose son's stature was a hot topic of local gossip; much bemoaning and hand-wringing was performed over the fact that his impressive physique was wasted on stitching breeches and would be put into much better use on a farm. The fact that he seemed to genuinely enjoy his current job was, of course, completely irrelevant. Yeah, definitely not going to miss this place all that much.

"So... where are we headed first?" she asked nobody in particular.

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