Ties that Bind Us. (Miller Family Reunion)

Started by HumanHyperbole, July 24, 2021, 07:36:29 PM

HumanHyperbole

July 24, 2021, 07:36:29 PM Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 02:16:02 PM by HumanHyperbole
2520 - Pelorum
One day before Unification Day.


The Courtesan was already docked at the Grand Imperial Resort of Pelorum when most of the Miller family arrived via separate shuttles. Floating high above even the grandest vacation estates in Pelorum, the Grand Imperial soars above them all, both literally, and figuratively. The hotel and resort soars through the skies of Pelorum in rarified air, not just for its exclusivity, but at heights so extreme the oxygen is too sparse for unaided respiration. Meaning the only way in and out is via airlock at the docks. This affords the wealthy patrons the ability to look down upon the peons soaking up the sun on the surface, and with an extra "air" of security.

Floating above the clouds, on an island in the sky, the Millers were welcomed by smiling staff, and dozens of security guards at the gates. Things were locked down tight and the staff wound up even more with smiles faker than ever. Most of the Millers would likely pick up on this. Well, except for Marty...

Martin Miller

July 24, 2021, 08:14:55 PM #1 Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 09:05:08 PM by HumanHyperbole
Marty had a bit of bounce in his step again. His luck of late had been rough. The racing circuit wasn't gonna have him anymore. Too many bruised egos and accusations of cheating or the fact that he'd started moonlighting as a Bounty Hunter. The family had taken back the Courtesan and the business was back on its feet, but Marty was not exactly setting the world of law enforcement on fire. He'd only managed to bring in a bail jumper that got him fewer credits than he spent on finding the bastard. But, the family was finally having its long-postponed yearly reunion/vacation. And Mom was going all out this year since they missed the last two.

Maybe a trip away from it all was exactly what he needed? He walked through the weapon scanners and the lights blinked green, and he was waved through. Almost on queue, a concierge walked up next to him, greeting him by name unexpectedly. The man with a fake smile and a real datapad installed onto his forearm reviewed Marty's guest information and started guiding him towards one of the elevated, and motorized skyways. Like the motorized walkways at the ShuttlePort some jerk always stands in the middle of when you're late for a flight, except large enough for both pedestrians to the sides and motorized traffic in the middle.  It linked the many private villas and various amenities.  The moving skyways allowed guests and staff to cross great distances at a reasonable speed by foot, or at near blinding speeds afforded by hover-carts.

"Right this way Mr. Miller! We're so happy to be hosting your family's reunion this year, thank you for choosing us!"

He chuckled. He thought it should really be called the Romanova family reunion as the family Matriarch was footing the ungodly bill for this affair from *her* family's robust trust. While the old man was old money too, he was also the middle child of his brood and some drama from before the birth of his children had disinherited him, and all those Millers springing forth were cut off from the ancient wealth. They never really had to reckon with that until Mason drove the family business into the ground, revealing the degree to which their lives of luxury had previously dangled by a thread.

But the family business was back on solid footing, despite the Russos private security outfit eating into their private military business. The new CEO seemed to have his head on straight though. "Mad Marty" had even started reading the stockholder updates he'd previously had going to spam. Just putting somebody who's last name wasn't Miller inspired the banks to find enough faith in the business to float it some cash. Enough cash that Marty's inbox now had an unread message about a stock buy-out offer from the previously mentioned CEO: Bobby Wayne.

The concierge's wrist-datapad beeped and a hovering cart was lit up indicating that was Marty's hover-cart for the stay.

"Please enjoy your stay, Martin! I absolutely loved your work in..."

The concierge was speed reading a bio on Marty to try and schmooze him for a big tip.

"Racing... and, uh.. Stunts!"

The concierge smiled even bigger somehow and motioned towards the hover-cart. He leaned in and whispered as he tapped something into his datapad

"I turned off the speed governor, just between you and me.... Martin!"

"Mad Marty" smiled back at the employee and forgave his having to read his bio to remember who he was. He sure knew how to hustle for that tip. The failed stuntman, racer, and bounty hunter tossed him a hefty, and well-earned coin. Marty really felt upbeat now. Mom and dad were already split up so he didn't have to worry about drama from pops chasing skirts, and his favorite nephew would be arriving soon too. This would be the best Miller family reunion since the time Mason and Dad drunkenly herded the whole family onto the wrong boat at the yatch club and the family sorta stole a Duke's boat.

"Cheers, mate."

The hover-cart had no idea what it was in for.

Mason Miller

Once upon a time, Mason Miller had a fling with a young woman while on assignment on Ezra right before the war. If Mason was capable of the emotion of love, at least in a romantic sense, Marion Mayfield would have been the person he loved. Instead, he didn't see her for seventeen years. There may have been moments in the intervening where thoughts drifted back to those weeks with Marion, but Mason wasn't a sentimental sort. That being said, if he had thought about her, he doubted it would have been in the context of convincing her to let their son accompany him to his family's resort vacation on Pelorum, which was apparently a large ask.

"Marion, don't be so dramatic." Mason said, in the back of what appeared to be a four person shuttle, a cortex device held at eye level.

"I am not being dramatic. Your family is a bunch of drunks!" Marion responded curtly, from her home inside of the cortex device.

"You've never even met my family! Who told you that, Rory?" Mason stopped himself from bringing the glass of whiskey to his mouth and kept it well out of view of the video screen.

"You told me that. On Ezra. Seventeen years ago. Rory won't talk about your little adventures to me, actually." She seemed put off by this. "You also told me you hated your family."

He did. Mostly. But he would never tell her that. "They're not so bad, really. And that was a long time ago. They've grown, and so have I." He forgot he was hiding his drink, and had a sip.

"Was that whiskey?"

"What? No, of course not." He lied. Mason sighed, really playing it up for the screen. "Listen, Marion. The boy asked to meet his grandparents, and they're getting on in years, no telling how long they have left."

Marion knew what he was doing and made a face, but softened slightly. "You'll watch him. No carrousing."

"How does one carrouse, exactly?" Mason teased, but acquiesced when Marioin's mood changed for the worse. "On my honor." That won't do. She knew him well enough for that. "His honor. The Scouts Honor. What are they called again? Star Scouts!" Rory had filled him in a bit on what that organization was all about. Mason had thought it a bunch of bollocks when he was a lad and refused to join. He still thought it was a bunch of bollocks, but maybe this might do it. "On my honour I shall do my best to... er... do the duty of the Alliance... sod it. Come on, Marion. It means the world to him, and to me, truly." Weirdly that part wasn't a bunch of bollocks.

Marion frowned, her arms crossed over her chest. "Alright. But if he comes back sunburned and hungover, you'll have me to answer to, Mason. When will you be picking him up?"

Mason looked up from the screen at the seat across from him and gave Rory a wink. "Oh, don't worry about that. I've arranged everything. Ta." He ended the conversation abruptly and tossed the device on the seat.

"We'll be landing in Pelorum shortly, Misters Miller." The pilot of the shuttle craft said over the intercom.

Mason smiled wolfishly at his son, rubbing his hands together. "Let's have some fun, shall we?"
Dialogue Color - DodgerBlue

Millicent Miller

July 28, 2021, 10:29:22 AM #3 Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 08:11:16 AM by Millicent Miller
Penny Miller did not at all look like she was on her way to a relaxing family vacation; her severe business suit stood out like a sore thumb in the ShuttlePort otherwise full of elegant jetsetters and carefree holiday-goers. "I do not care whose responsibility it was, I want it sorted! she snapped. The cortex audio connector in her ear was so small that one could be forgiven for assuming she was talking to herself; in fact, she got several looks of that nature from the people she brushed past, whom she ignored completely.

"Do you think we have the budget for that?!" she replied to the earpiece's murmur, clutching her shoulder bag to her side while she speed-walked through the terminal. "Did you even see Marty's latest expense report? His assignments are costing us money!" A tidal wave of Newhallian tourists occupying the entire motorized walkway rose up in front of her, forcing her to sidestep back and forth behind them until she finally turned sideways and used her bag as a shield to plow her way through, causing a mildly outraged chorus behind her – which she also ignored completely. "Listen, I thought I told you to cap his per diem last time that he— he told you what now? And you believed him?!"

At long last, the port she wanted appeared up ahead and Penny quickened her steps into a light trot and escaped the walkway to turn towards it while the hapless employee continued to make excuses in her ear. "I don't have time for this, I'm almost at the shuttle," she finally cut through. "Just figure something out, all right? We'll be unavailable for the next several days, so I'm relying on you."

An attendant stepped up to her outside the shuttle, but Penny waved off their attempt at a cheery greeting with a curt gesture to her earpiece and kept talking while she dug the datapad with her reservation information out of her bag and passed it over. "I'm sure you're up to it," she encouraged in a soothing tone, trying for a more maternal and flattering approach even though she still wore a scowl. "You're very capable, and I have every faith in you." The attendant scanned the datapad and handed it back, then ushered her through into the shuttle with chilly politeness.

"Oh, one last thing!" Penny remembered as she was about to disconnect, dropping her bag on the shuttle seat. "Can you swing by the office and make sure that— oh yes, that's right. Where did you say you are, again? Oh. Ehrm. No, that's fine. Just sort out the Novakova account and then you can take the rest of the holiday weekend." Penny collapsed down next to her bag and winced silently while she pulled her heels off and rubbed her aching feet. "Happy U Day and all that," she finished, tilting her head back against the seat and pinching the bridge of her nose. "And... er, sorry for your loss. Best wishes to your grandmother. Let me know about that account."
Dialogue Color: royalblue

Rory Mayfield

Rory pretended to be focused on the view outside the shuttle window, but he couldn't help but sneak nervous peeks at his father every time his mother raised her voice over the cortex link. The only time he actively interjected was when his father butchered the Star Scout pledge; he began to mouth the correct words before he realized Mason didn't care, and resumed staring out the window, his shoulders slumping.

The youngest member of the Miller clan was dressed in a combo of a white polo shirt and shorts which made him resemble a counselor at some dubious youth camp that was actually a front for a cult. Marion had no reason to worry about him getting sunburned; Rory had already learned the hard way that his rosy complexion and the flaming orb in the sky didn't get along for long periods of time, and had made sure to slather himself with sunscreen, complete with a visible white strip covering his nose.

As for the hangover... Rory had actually turned 18 a few months ago. To celebrate the occasion, Shay had dragged him to a bar, where he'd proceeded to feel sick after one pint and they'd just ended up going back to Shay's place and playing video games like usual. Since then he'd kept a tight lid on the fact that he was of legal drinking age, and wasn't even sure his father knew -- not that he'd cared about pesky little formalities like that in the past.

It wasn't really the drinking he was worried about, though. It was just a convenient scapegoat to focus on while he tried to not become paralyzed by all that other stuff being a legal adult entailed. Like figuring out what he wanted to do for a living. It was something he'd somehow managed not to think about too hard, despite (because of?) Marion and her parents always going on about what a driven and promising young man he was. Shay had started to lose interest in the Star Scouts and was considering quitting altogether, which made Rory worried about the future of his most important non-familial relationship.

Mason's son may have looked quiet on the outside as he stared out the window, but there was a jumble of questions bouncing around inside his head. What was his next move? Should he leave the scouts too? Would Shay and him stay in touch? Speaking of which, should he tell his best friend that he liked him? Like, like-liked him? At least he thought he maybe like-liked him, but he wasn't sure. Was he over-thinking things? How could you tell if you like-liked someone, let alone like-liked them enough that jeopardizing a years-long friendship was worth it? What if the occasional butterflies he got around Shay were just, like, indigestion, or--

"Let's have some fun, shall we?" Rory almost jumped when Mason suddenly addressed him directly; he hadn't realized he'd hung up on Marion already. His gaze snapped to his father, his posture straightening.

"Yes!" Rory tried to summon up a cheerful, nonchalant air. "Fun! That's what I just was thinking about. Fun. Oh boy. Can't wait to meet my grandparents. It's going to be... uh, it's going to be fun."

He nodded vigorously before turning to look through the window again, this time legitimately curious to catch a glimpse of their destination as they touched down.
Dialogue color: pink

Matilda Miller

Why had she accepted the invitation? Probably because she knew it wasn't really an invitation and was more of a mandatory summons. She could have said no. She could have hopped on a ship and launched it at a sun. There were plenty to choose from. All she had to do was pick a bright spot in the sky and fly until the ship melted. At least then she wouldn't be here, in this shuttle, touching down on the floating resort where her siblings and parents were sure to be waiting for her. Judging. She handn't done much that they'd deem 'productive' since the last time they'd been together. Just more underground fighting tournaments, drinking, and making bad choices. Out of frustration, most likely. She really had wanted things to work out the last time...

Penny was sure to be there looking like she'd effortlessly emerged from some old world painting, meanwhile Matilda looked like she'd crawled out of a greasy car port, even when trying her best to look presentable. She ran a hand through her shoulder length mess of hair, then reached down to tug at the hem of her leather jacket curtly to get it back into place. She opened her mouth in a silent scream, then punched the seat next to her several times.

"Gaisi de gaise! Ba wo bian cheng tiaozao, yong chuizi za wo!" she cursed and pleaded. The man shuttling her down to the resort looked back at her and frowned. She smoothed out her hair, flipped him off, and sat back in the seat again, arms crossed over her chest. She was sure her family was tipping everyone handsomely enough that he could deal with her mini tantrum.

When they landed, she slipped out and looked back to make sure her things were being collected before she stomped her way through the weapons scanner and toward a little man waiting for her with a bright and nervous smile.

"You must be Matilda! Engineer!" he greeted. She frowned at him and clenched her jaw. "We just received word that Mason Miller and Rory Mayfield's shuttle just touched down, so if it's alright with you, we can wait here for just a moment longer and you can all ride in together!" he told her, his expression hopeful and somehow terrified. This was the most efficient way to do things so he hoped she'd say yes.

Mason was here now? With his kid? She liked the little sprout... maybe riding with her nephew would give her some Zen before she had to stand in front of Penny and her parents. She could use some Zen. Desperately. Zen or some alcohol. "Yea, sounds fine," she told the man who smiled in relief.

Mason Miller

Mason hopped up out of his seat as soon as they touched down, the glass of brown liquor clenched tightly in his hand as he exited the vehicle. He squinted against the sunlight, cooly placing a pair of designer sunglasses, and searched for the closest Concierge. He didn't have to look far. Nearby, a small, nebbish fellow with no chin was fawning over his sister, Matilda. Mason made a face. He had been hoping that they would be the last to arrive.

No matter. Bellhops appeared for their belongings, Mason snapped sharply at one of them to collect the now empty glass from him. "I'll take another." The young man looked at Mason like that wasn't his job, and Mason looked right back like it was. Mason won the staring contest. He glanced again at Tilly who seemed to still be hogging the Concierge. Mason frowned. "Typical." He remembered his son was with him, just then, and decided to check on him. Mason turned to find Rory, but instead the Concierge had appeared next to him. "Ah!" It took extraordinary skill to sneak up on Mason Miller, and he was immediately annoyed that the concierge had done so. "About bloody time. I'm..."

"Mason Miller and that's your son, Rory Mayfield. Of course, sir. Welcome!"

"Quite." Mason had forgotten what it was like to be around properly trained help. "A glass of..."

"Single malt scotch. Yes, of course, sir." A waiter with a silver tray carrying a glass of golden whiskey appeared. The concierge smiled stupidly, though he seemed to be anything but.

Mason accepted the glass and found it exquisite at first sip.

"A special vintage, sir. Ordered specifically for the Miller party." The concierge answered before Mason could ask. He opened his mouth once more but was outwitted once more. [coolor=white]"Your room is right this way. I took the liberty of giving young Master Mayfield his own room, adjoining, of course."[/color] The bellhops seemed ready to lead them into the resort. "Will there be anything else, Mr. Miller?"

Mason could only shake his head dumbly and offered a folded Alliance credit in between two fingers. The concierge accepted it without a word and disappeared. Mason looked over at Rory with a satisfied smile. He was going to like this trip. "Shall we?"
Dialogue Color - DodgerBlue

Rory Mayfield

As they stepped out of the shuttle, it occurred to Rory that amidst all his rigorous sunscreen application he had forgotten something important: sunglasses. He squinted under the searing Pelorum sun and cast an envious glance in Mason's direction; for once, his father was the one who was prepared. His eyes were barely beginning to adjust when a gaggle of bellhops descended upon them.

"Oh, you don't have to get that," Rory said instinctively when one of them made a move to grab his luggage. He had harnessed his boy scout skills to make the most of the limited space he had to pack his belongings, and as a result his suitcase was much heavier than its small size suggested.

"It's my job, Sir," the bellhop responded with a cordial smile. For a second, the rays of the sun hit his dark, curly head of hair just right, and he seemed bathed in a misty, otherworldly light.

No wait, that was just Rory's exposed eyes watering. He blinked to clear his vision; when he looked again, the bellhop had already picked up the suitcase and was carrying it away like it was no big deal. Because that was his job.

"Right." He felt a hot flush creep up his neck, the feeling reminiscent of when you accidentally called a teacher "mom" in front of the entire class. Stupid. Fortunately Mason was too distracted to notice his son make a fool out of himself two minutes after landing, and soon the son also had something to distract himself from the humiliation.

"Gū gu!" Rory rushed to greet his favorite aunt (don't tell Penny!), stopping just short of hugging her. "It's great to see you again! How are you?"
Dialogue color: pink

HumanHyperbole

August 12, 2021, 07:43:27 PM #8 Last Edit: August 14, 2021, 09:55:26 AM by HumanHyperbole
Another shuttle door opened, it was a luxurious long-distance travel model. Out of the shuttle fit for half a dozen first-class seats, walked Bobby Wayne.

He also had some sunglasses on like Mason, rather his were cheap Aviator style glasses. Something he must have impulsively bought at the airport. He grinned big and shot Mason an overly familiar nod as he scanned the clustering group of Millers. He sauntered over confidently, the family concierge noticed he seemed to make a B line for them. The chinless hotel employee casually slid over to position himself to intercept Bobby, unaware just as they that he'd be in attendance.

Before he could inquire about Bobby's presence, he spit gum out of his mouth, into his hand, then as if it was a tip, handed it to the concierge.

"Hey! Thanks man! I'm Melinda's plus-one, she's probably still puking back at the spaceport on Osiris. It was hilarious."

No longer making eye contact with the help, he gave Rory an overly familiar wink.

"What's up slugger?"

He stood there for a moment. As if it was normal for him to be tagging along for the family getaway. Nevermind as the plus one for the recently divorced Melinda Miller.

Bobby continued in his overly familiar way. He slapped Mason on the arm and then noticed he made him spill some of his brown liquor.

"What's up, Mace. You fire your brother yet? Oh crap sorry about your rum or whatever. I'll get you a pina colada at our bar. I love this place, every family suite comes with your own bar and restaurant staff if you don't want to mingle with the lower classes at the Entertainment citadel you know? They saved up all year for the discount bungalows..."

He looked around, as if waiting for somebody to put a drink in his hand. He intercepted the bellhop taking Rory's bags.

"Bro! Pina colada... light on the pina extra rum-ulata or whatever am I right?!"

The air suddenly seemed to rush out of the room. A hush came over everything as the largest set of docking bay doors opened. A half dozen heavily armored security personnel suddenly fanned out into the room. In that way where they aren't running, but moving so quickly with such purpose you could swear they were charging in towards a threat. But instead, they were just quickly taking control of the room, covering and checking every angle. Long rifles with advanced optics, smaller close-quarter SMGs, then someone who was clearly in charge of the security team stepped out.

"Looks good. We've only got one unscreened guest, but I just ran him..."

Bobby Wayne turned to see a full-on machine gun in his face.

"OH SWEET BUDDHA!"

The weapon lowered almost immediately. Bobby Wayne collapsed completely onto the floor regardless. He flattened himself against the ground as if he could sink into it and disappear.

"- and he's harmless. I'll clear the riff-raff out of here and we can bring him to the cart once we've cleared the tracks. One of these jackasses was doing laps around the resort and caused a couple of accidents on our way in. These people are rich... but they're also all morons."

A woman in an ostentatious fur-coat walking by audibly huffed, and the mysterious security guard sarcastically smiled back.

The security guard with a machine gun pointed at the carts and the tracks connecting the various sections of the floating resort. It was time to get moving, as these high-end mercenaries were clearly keen to clear the area.

Matilda Miller

"Gū gu!" came a familiar voice. The tension in her shoulders melted and she turned to face the oncoming individual. Her frown turned itself promptly right upside down upon seeing her nephew heading in her direction, the semi permanent lines between her eyebrows smoothed out to near completion. "It's great to see you again! How are you?" he asked. She opened her arms and wrapped them around Rory, pulling him into a hug and squeezing him tightly. "Ahhh, I missed you," she told him sincerely, using her cheek to muss up the top of his hair before finally releasing him and holding him at arms length, her hands on his shoulders. "I'm fine, better now. How're you? How's your friend? And the turtle?...tortoise?... turtle." she asked, looking like she confused herself.

Her warm demeanor clamped back up and soured when she spotted Bobby heading their way. Instinctively, she moved to stand between him and her nephew, her arms crossed over her chest and her jaw clenched. "What's up slugger?" he asked and she could feel that vein in her forehead pulsating. If there was ever a person whose face just screamed, 'punch me,' it was Bobby.

She relaxed only marginally when he shifted his attention to her brother, who she was more than happy to see being slightly harassed. Her smile returned and she stared at him with wide eyes. She wanted him to know she thought this was funny. Her gaze slid to the side as a security detail entered the area, a brow raising while she watched them work, still managing to maneuver herself to be between 'the world' and her sweet, perfect, baby nephew.

"Looks good. We've only got one unscreened guest, but I just ran him..."

"OH SWEET BUDDHA!"

At that, Matilda laughed aloud, one short burst of surprised and completely genuine laughter. She rummaged around in her pocket, pulling out her cortex device and snapping a photo of Bobby flattened against the floor and doing his best impression of a rug.

"- and he's harmless...One of these jackasses was doing laps around the resort and caused a couple of accidents on our way in. These people are rich... but they're also all morons," the security man continued. Again, she laughed, a hand lifting to cover her face in an attempt to hide it from everyone and failing miserably. Turning, she whispered to Rory, "Hey, how much do you want to bet the 'jackass' is your uncle Marty?" she asked, winking at him and standing straight again. She did shoot the security man a look before he continued on, one of mild interest, or maybe appreciation?

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