Noah's attention snapped away from the leavings he was going to have to clean up and regarded his crew. The bright-eyed scout, a demolitions expert, his (occasionally) former rival, and then the mystery box.... The mountain of a man's gaze sat on Nelly for an extra moment. The way she snapped to: Fresh out of the Navy. In a way, they were all soldiers trying to play cops now. He tried to remind himself the newbie probably had no say in any of the last-minute roster change shenanigans.
He let out a long breath and tried to brief the crew succinctly.
"Pleasure to have you all here. Some of you are just joining us and others of you are teenagers and haven't been briefed. Our long-term mission is to keep an eye on the situation on Haven. We're supposed to be the boots on the ground bringing equitable justice and accountability to the rim and all that wank blah blah... We're here to do two things:"
The Captain paused held his hand up, as if pointing to his bullet points on a chalkboard that wasn't there.
"Monitor the situation on Haven, and if possible in the course of our duties, we could stop a labor uprising from ballooning into a system-wide civil war that's a bonus."
"Secondly and most importantly... I do actually mean it when I say we're here to look out for the people of the rim. I grew up on a farm riding around horses just like Pauly there and I had this vision of me riding into small towns, and rounding up the villains that have plagued them for years without recourse because nobody wealthy enough to finance a Parliamentarian's campaign lives here then nobody cared. But maybe that's a bit on the nose."
MacArthur glanced at Gen. The horse bit was obviously geared towards here a bit. If not an explicit apology for bringing the horse aboard it was an honest attempt to contextualize what he was doing, and what he wanted the rest of the crew to see and understand.
"We are here to carry out long-delayed justice, plain and simple. Most of us here are ex-military except for Rory but he's practically got soldier in his blood. We fought for this union and now we have to preserve it. Look out for each other and follow most of my orders and all of Gen's, we'll be grand. Cams on when we're off-ship and on duty. Exceptions apply of course for undercover work and Gen will personally murder you if you muck about out there."
Noah pointed towards the interior of the ship and dismissed the crew.
"Pick your bunks. If you end up with the one Rory's uncle was in I'm sorry for the cologne smell."
He let out a laugh through his nose and led the way into the ship.
"If any of you know a good restaurant locally that does delivery to the port, I am so hungry I might eat the delivery person too."
The Captain was joking about the cannibalism but not the menu. He could put it on his work account since they hadn't commissioned them a cook yet.
Cooper shrugged at Pele's attempt to confirm the procedure would only take five minutes.
"Can't see it takin' much longer. Like changing a lightbulb. A lightbulb that goes through a housing into the socket. With a bit of grease. A lubricated lightbulb. Yeah."
As Cooper tried to get his arms around the compressor she surprised him by thanking him for knee-capping the rapscallion who was attempting to detain her. Not that he thought she was too icy for the warmth of gratitude, rather his aide was an almost mechanical response at the time. Cooper paused picking up the compressor and wasn't quite out to correct Pele, rather he had to accept her gratitude in his way.
"Don't even think on it, Pele. Folks on this ship have had the misfortune of seeing me dispense violence more than once but for me, it was a spiritual matter. The Golden Trail's tradition is that your most basic imperative as a human being is to render aid. If the ship next to yours is out of O2, you turn your ship around and help. In this case, it involved rearranging that wanker's legs a bit."
Realizing he was pontificating on religion, which has never made a conversation between coworkers awkward, the bogan grease-jockey got back to work, after cracking a somewhat awkward smile.
"Just don't think you owe me is all. I'm glad I could help."
Letting out a focused breath as he knelt down, trying to just bend with the knees, and lift up the compressor he tried to grunt his next instruction to Pele.
"Arright so just line up that bloody thing by the open panel."
This thing was heavier than he expected and he'd taken a few good licks during the last fight. The nomad was starting to turn red pretty fast.
Focus. Breath. You've done harder jobs with worse injuries.
Coop could feel a muscle in his lower back screaming at him. An involuntary grunt escaped him.
Last post by Albie Smit - September 20, 2022, 10:48:26 AM
There was a string of farm animals across Albie's bunk when he startled awake. He stayed still, breathing evenly, blinking blearily at the sheep for a moment, processing the voice of the crew. Then he smiled, just a little. Cute. He appreciated a paper sheep; no shit to clean up.
Speaking of which, if he was going to play the shepherd, he ought to get off his rear and do it. He was tempted to lay there and feign sleep until the room was clear of people, but a the tinny echo of a certain voice chastised him in memory. You didn't put off caring for a beast, not even if you were nursing a gut-wound bound to kill you... so he compromised, sliding out of bed and out the door before anyone could speak to him, offering a quick nod to the wakeful crew in passing so as not to be impolite.
The sheep were in fine shape -- he didn't recognize the breed and hoped no one would ask him, but they were clearly well-fed and well-kept. The fleece he ran through his fingers wasn't the finest, but he expected it would make good warm wool for some frontier town. If that's where they ended up; with a rueful smile, Albie had to acknowledge to himself that he'd jumped into this role headfirst and without more information than Aw-Shucks Albie would have been able to remember. 'spose it does make it easier to commit to the bit. Ain't exactly playing dumb if I don't know anything in the first place.. But he did know sheep, and he went through the chores they required with a steady competence that was buried somewhere deeper than muscle memory.
Feeding, watering, mucking up, and even meandering through the flock checking briefly on each sheep -- which made him feel a little like a Shepherd instead of a shepherd. Be at peace, my children he thought irreverently) -- took up hardly any time. He ought to head back to his bunk, probably, or find the galley -- he was sure he'd been shown it, but everything from before sleep was hazy and a little dreamlike. It was only now, after getting more than a snatched hour or two of sleep, that he realized just how exhausted he'd been running for the past week. Or maybe longer. Shorter? It really was all a blur.
As he wandered among the sheep, the back of his mind weighed the chances of getting caught snooping against the visceral need to know every inch of this territory, just in case. He hadn't even asked how long this trip was supposed to take — well, he couldn't could he, when he ought to have known? — and the thought of perhaps months in space without a single hidey-hole in reserve made him itch all over.
Consequences lost. With a conscious effort to keep his pace to Aw-Shucks Albie's amble, he aimed for the engine room.
Jedikiah felt the urge to walk. There wasn't much for a walk about on Odette.
He took the stairs. Watched the engineering diagnostic data cycle through half a dozen times in the engineering chamber aft of the bridge. Up and down the main ladder shaft in the center of the ship, all the traveling about he soaked up the ship.
Then again, eyes closed, reaching for the ladder rungs and down again.
He smiled, relaxed and very refreshed after the Tai Chi with Miss Pele he returned to his quarters, took 'the old Lady' in her case to the extra port cargo deck.
Sitting on a small crate he took 'her' out from her case and slid her under his chin.
A little classical starting with Bach's Chaconne in D Minor and then slipped without a pause into his favorite jigs: Snowden's Jug into Callin' Baton Rouge and then he let the moment take him.
He moved from style to style, loud and triumphant, melodic and sad, then bright and country fast.
After awhile he stood and walked around the bay letting music move his soul.
The hooves of Arlo's horse thundered across the decks of the Earth-That-Was sailing vessel - never mind how the animal was managing to navigate such a space at a gallop, or how it had even attained a gallop at all while confined to a ship; that wasn't important. What was important was the wind streaming through Arlo's hair as he rode, making his ponytail breeze back in a regal echo of the horse's rippling mane and tail. His steed caught up easily to the scoundrels in question, who were all felled in short order by the snicker-snak of Arlo's rapier, toppling gloriously into the waves in bloodless droves.
When all were defeated and Arlo stood victorious, he drew the hoverbike he was riding up short by the ship's mast and dismounted to address the damsel tied there. He effortlessly pulled off the helmet that had concealed his face and shook his hair out in a slow-motion wave.
"My lady," he greeted her with a sweeping bow, ignoring the fact that she bore a remarkable resemblance to his baby sister Georgie's favorite dolly. His blade chopped through the ropes tying her to the tree in a single blow, and he said something else terribly romantic, something to do with sunsets maybe or sparkling stars, he didn't really bother coming up with the details, but she was very impressed and flattered and grateful and leapt up behind him on the horse's back, which was a horse again because he didn't really want a hoverbike after all now that he'd already done the helmet bit. "Those cufflinks go perfectly with your pocket silk," she told him admiringly.
The desert sun sparkled down on them as they dashed away though the trees, until suddenly the ground started to shake and quake and then the decks of the ship broke in two as a sharp fin crested the sand and an enormous grizzly boar rose up, roaring, from the waves, its claws raking terrible lines through the earth while its tentacles splashed about, creating tidal waves that tossed the ship to and fro.
"What's your horse's name?!" the damsel shrieked in a panic.
Arlo tipped the brim of his hat down over his eyes to squint at the bear through the dusty summer haze. A lone vulture cawed overheard and a clock somewhere tolled high noon. He slowly raised his sword and took calm and careful aim.
"Biscuits," he said grimly, and fired. The shot was perfect, hitting its mark dead-on, but to no avail. Uninjured, the bore simply roared again and towered over Arlo, then came crashing down with a tender smooch on his forehead.
"Ahh! Biscuits!" Arlo yelled, jerking awake and nearly colliding foreheads with the ship's doctor. "Tabitha! What? What are you doing?" He looked wildly around his bunk, which was suddenly much tidier than he was sure he'd left it. "And where have all my pocket silks gone?"
Willy Breene was just starting to practice his "this is a robbery" shtick when the ship jolted and forcefully docked with the lead ship in the convoy.
"Arright! This is a robbery! Everybody keep your hands on your empty corporate heads and we'll be making off with any valuables, fresh food, booze, and maybe a lightly used skin sleeve for a proste-
Lurching forward with a gun in each hand, Breene nearly blew his Willy off, if it weren't for his strict trigger discipline. Instead, he took a "this will give me a headache in a minute" knock to the noggin as he braced himself with his head rather than his hands. Bouncing backward a step, Willy saw the light turn green on the docking indicator.
The Blue Sun vessel's docking bay door had no windows. They had no preview of what awaited them. But Breene was assuming they'd see maybe a couple of rent-a-fed types. Maybe a few infantry washouts from the post-war era. The type who'd fold at the sight of real pirates. Holstering one of his guns, Breene, much to Mel's chagrin, popped an earpiece for his com unit in. So he could keep in CONSTANT contact. He'd taken Ick's advice to heart about being less of an ass, but he couldn't completely shut it off.
"Seals are green! Breaching in 3... 2... Mel, please don't worry about me, I'll be okay... one let's go!"
The untrustworthy smuggler and newly turned pirate hit the magnetic override. Plus-side from riding around in a stolen Alliance ship, they had all those fun toys they don't give every Tom, Dick, and Willy. The lead ship's door's resisted, but the silent pull of their electromagnets ripped the cargo-hold open.
He announced the override's success over the open com channel.
"Hands in the air! I've got the runs today and either somebody's getting shot, robbed or cleaning my underpants, the choice of which is up to... huh..."
Willy Breene trailed off from his newly improvised robbery routine. All he saw was steel cargo containers, and weapons haphazardly aimed up and over the cover of said containers. A sea of chest-high steel and seemingly sheepish defenders, none of whom were risking putting their heads above their cover. All seemingly ready to just start blind firing.
"All right guys, I get it! You want to put up a token effort, but I think we can all just agree to wipe the security footage and we can come to an ag-"
Automatic fire erupted from each of the blind-firing defenders.
"I'm gonna shit my pants and it will all be your fault, guys!"
The weirdest part was, as Willy rushed forward, taking cover behind one of the very same metal crates on the opposite side of his foes, he didn't even have diarrhea today. He was just committing to the bit.
Last post by Melody - September 06, 2022, 03:50:52 PM
Mel's brows furrowed and her grip tightened on the controls as the ship's proximity alarms blared in her ears. "I heard you, Gorramit!" she snapped at the ship, reaching up quickly to turn the alarms off. They were coming in fast, but that was entirely on purpose. With their target having front-facing canons and a thick skin, she needed to get in there before they could lock down tight and prepare for a siege.
"Jo, get ready. The dock is going to be quick and messy, but the second you see us hooked up to their ship I need you to work your magic and get their door open," she told the Tech, her voice strained with concentration. Another alarm turned itself back on and Mel hissed in annoyance.
"Izak, the second we're in, I want the turrets on the starboard side facing our quarry, and the rest scanning our surroundings. I don't doubt once we get in there they're going to call for reinforcements and I don't want us caught with our pants 'round our ankles," she told him, glancing over in the direction of his console for a moment before her attention snapped back to the controls in front of her.
The pilot took a deep breath and reached up to punch the comms button so she could do it quickly and get her hands back in place on the yoke. "Ick, the ship's not going to like what I'm about to do. Make sure she doesn't get too angry with me? Doctor, buckle up. Boarding crew, get ready. Making contact in 5...4...3...2...Contact," she announced over the speakers.
The Revenge docked with the other ship. Well, to be more accurate, the ships slid against each other with a rumbling and teeth-vibrating metallic grinding noise. The two docking ports clicked into place and Mel slammed the thrusters into reverse to match the other ship's speed, working quickly to make sure the two ships didn't rip the docking ports off of each other. Of course, that meant those inside the Revenge were treated to a nice bump and then jolt.
With a new passenger aboard and a job focus on, everyone had gone about their duties after the initial hellos. For Viktor, that meant Cortex counseling sessions. He had three sessions lined up for the week as well as two new patient interviews. He had fallen fast alseep reviewing patient files. When he woke, a blanket had been pulled over him and his data pad tucked away in his footlocker. Tabby had a habit of doing this just as Viktor had a habit of falling asleep reading his files. It was a comfort. This afternoon is was a session with a couple who were having trouble communicating and then a meeting with a lovely older lady looking for grief counseling after her daughter had passed away. The preacher didn't normally take more than one meeting in a day when he was in the black but the older lady had seemed very distraught and couldn't work in a call at any other time this week. Besides his own mental health and the sometimes spotty connections, time alone in the quarters could be hard to arrange and with confidentiality on the line he had be to certain of no interruptions. He'd have to see if he could find a better space. "Tabs?" He'd asked, once he found her. "Barring any medical emergencies, would it be OK if I used that med bay for my sessions today? Just two, this afternoon?"
Hidden behind her colleagues, Velocity's fists clenched with anger at the disrespect the men were showing to Captain Charity; the clenching of her jaw was a little more noticeable but only a little. She couldn't see what King's expression had been but she was gratified with the response it seemed to engender.
"Shouldn't be necessary," she thought and wondered how she might take her revenge. "Careful, my love," Bonnie said but Velocity could sense her late wife's anger; she too did not had not dealt well with misogyny.
Velocity's mood was not improved when Sergeant James only seemed interested in whether the men had served, not Charity or herself. All she could do was sigh and mark the misogyny up on the slate of things to be avenged.
Velocity was used to people looking at her twice but normally she would look away, pretend not to notice, or try to make herself as inconspicuous as practicable. This time, such were her feelings, that she stared back aggressively at Sergeant James; if looks could kill the snow would have been stained red with his blood but that was as aggressive as Velocity got; she didn't believe in violence. That hadn't stopped her serving with the Browncoats but it had meant that she had flown unarmed ships that could neither defend themselves nor attack, and which, except when she was piloting high speed courier vessels, were much slower than the ships the Alliance attacked them with.
The moment passed and Velocity found herself walking toward the truck when every instinct told her to run back to the ship. Velocity's misgivings were only heightened by the reception that the three of them got when they clambered into the back of the truck. The cold seemed to bite deeper as the truck travelled along the road and Velocity's unhealthily thin body was ill-equipped to cope, even with Charity's warm coat. She started to shiver and pulled the coat closer around herself as she tried to draw herself into the smallest ball she could while still maintain balance against the lurching of the truck.
Velocity didn't feel any better about the situation when the truck turned into the compound and the gates closed behind it. The mention of dinner didn't raise her spirits much but it had a predictable result; Velocity's stomach rumbled very loudly which had an equally predictable result; Velocity's normally very pale skin turned a vivid shade of red. Not that she had any real hope that she might be fed; she had a feeling that the offer to dine was directed at Charity directly rather than a wider offer to the rest of them.
Walking back over to their waiting spot. "Yeah. Super Diver Nemo: Ascension Quest. Alfie's got good taste." Holliday said this so off-hand, Briar might wonder if it happened at all. Holliday had seen his fair share of animated programs, and wasn't too shy about it either. It had started with Annabelle's kids, Allan and Nelson. Holliday couldn't recall their ages, but he knew they were less than ten. They called him Hunk, a portmanteau of Uncle H necessitated by developing vocabularies that had stuck. What soured Holliday most of all was how cool Ronnie was with it all.
He hadn't visited much, since he'd left. And Annabelle had made her feelings for him abundantly clear when she'd married whasisname. But Holliday still wanted to be close to her and her kids. "About a year ago, uh, these kids I know just would not shut up about that show." He shrugged, playing it off. "So I got curious and checked it out. But of course, by the time I watched that one, they'd already moved on to another one. So now, they message me every so often to give me new ones to watch." This was clearly way more personal than Holliday had planned to get with her, and he was beginning to realize it. "Not my kids. Just a good friend's."Just good friends.
With a sigh, Holliday hunkered down against a crate and pulled his smokes from within his jacket and stared at them with melancholy envy, remembering he had promised those same kids (and their mother) that he'd quit. They probably wouldn't like the kind of work he was doing, either, so double-jeopardy or something. He drew out a cigarette with his teeth and lit the end with a cheap plastic lighter he's absconded from somewhere. Smoke filled his lungs and threatened to kill him, and he told it to shut the hell up and to deposit some nicotine on its way out. 'So you're a borrower, I'm a borrower. We both 'don't really' watch Ascension Quest. Blond. Beautiful. We're basically the same." Why not flirt to pass the time?