S1: Ep2 - War Hawks

Started by noseatbelts, July 05, 2021, 11:50:23 AM

Pele Kesher

The first of Jedikiah's questions was straightforward enough, but the second one gave Pele pause. She thought back to her years of companion training, the rigorous schedule packed full of art, music, exercise, socialization... it was enough to make her feel dizzy now. How had she ever found enough hours in a day to keep up with all of that? Or the brain capacity? And for what? After so many lazy, aimless years spent as a second-class socialite, most of her former skills and knowledge had faded into a hazy blur.

"I took a few courses in Yang style throughout my teen years." She decided to be vague about her background, but truthful where it mattered. "I had a lot of hobbies and I'm afraid the art of tai chi was never my main focus. More of an on-again, off-again thing -- something to provide stress relief. And improve coordination."

That was the thing, wasn't it? For a companion in training, even the supposedly relaxing activities had to somehow serve the goal of self-improvement. No soaking in a bubble bath with a nice glass of rosé. God, when was the last time she'd taken a bath?

"I wouldn't mind delving in deeper now that I have less distractions." It was true enough -- knowing a martial art might make her feel marginally less terrified about being the runaway bride of a ruthless mobster. "But it has been over five years, so I could use a refresher of the basics to begin with."

Jedikiah Rembo

June 11, 2022, 02:03:14 PM #81 Last Edit: June 11, 2022, 02:04:48 PM by Jedikiah Rembo
Odette, Lounge

Jedikiah nodded in the affirmative. He had a plan on how to proceed. First a walk through of the short form, perhaps finish it, perhaps not. That would depend on how solid her recollection and previous training. The short form of 24 movements or forms was a quick (well shorter, Tai Chi was not meant to be quick) method to determine an unknown prospective student's advancement. The longer forms had 72 movements.

"I'll stand a little to your left and in front, but keep you head straight, I'll just turn mine a little to observe." He began in the standing Tai Chi position and began, calling out the form, "Beginning." Up with the arms and down.

"Parting of the Wild Horse's Mane, left

And on through a dozen forms.

After studying the young woman's gracious movements he stopped. "A moment. You have a natural grace and control, this usually comes after much practice, though not necessarily in Tai Chi. There are though subtle corrections that I think would make your continuing of greater benefit. Each form must be done with a certain .. exactness. Not perfection. If you like we could proceed in that manner, rather than, " a little shrug, "just going through the motions".

Jed had her go through the first half dozen forms again, during each one he offered a correction or two. A slight moving of an elbow, the lessening of the bends of the fingers, and slowing the motion.
"Balance changes from one foot to another with always the same continuous flow."

"Let us go again, empty your mind and do not think of the corrections, let the chi flow through you and keep your mind clear."

"There is no objective.
There is no goal."
No more elaboration. His own instinct suggested she understood. Now it was simply, to do.

They completed the short form in about twenty minutes.

Jedikiah bowed. "You have an amazing elegance. Fluid and adroit. A dancer perhaps? Ballet?" A smile offered.
I think you will find other comforts if you would like to continue in your practice."
A small deep breath of his own.
"There is in my humble opinion, much of value in this practice."
Yang Style Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu
 - And Medical Practitioner

Cooper Brown

June 15, 2022, 06:30:25 PM #82 Last Edit: June 15, 2022, 06:32:32 PM by Cooper Brown
Cooper nodded at the captain's suggestion he stay behind. Shame. Disgust. Fear. They dominated his mind. The Golden Trail had many rules. The thoughts running through the background of his mind were forbidden. His eyes darted over to her. To Velocity. His eyes quickly shot back to the ground.

"May I be excused? My uh... it's just a bit of shrapnel in my shoulder... alloy that uhh interacts with the artificial grav systems. Maks it kinda wiggle waggle in there..."

His eyes darted over to her again. It was an excuse but the anecdote about a reactive piece of shrapnel in his shoulder was true.

"I'm gonna go have a bit of a lie down for a minute...Call me on comms if you need me."

The previously unflappable mechanic made a hasty exit, trying and failing to keep his cool. As he rounded his way through the halls towards the engine room he couldn't help but admonish himself.

Such thoughts are impure, and a slap in the face of your traditions. To think of her like that.... As some kind of monster that will eat your guts while you watch? The brothers and sisters of the stars are to be welcomed with open arms. Its the entire point of your religion based around bloody space! To join with our interstellar brothers and sisters. Even thinking of them as Aliens is an insult and against every bit of our ways!

His internal monologue continued to admonish the devout follower of the Golden Trail's obscure religion. Cooper couldn't help but keep imagining her, over and over again, ripping his head off and eating his brains.


Location: Cargo Hold

"I'm ready, Captain," Velocity said. She didn't know why, but something about the timid woman's apparent resolution made her feel proud. She hadn't known her long but she figured this was a big step for the pilot, and it thrilled her to see that she was ready and willing to be a part of the team.

"May I be excused?..." Cooper rambled, looking awfully uncomfortable. Charity quirked a brow and stared at him, watching him squirm and throw several glances in their new pilot's direction. She turned her head slightly to look Velocity over, frowning when she didn't find anything obviously out of place on the taller woman. So, not seeing a reason for Cooper's concern, the Captain turned her dark gaze back toward the mechanic.

"You may," she finally decided, not that she would have kept him here. She'd find out later what was going on with him, or maybe King could chat him up about it. They seemed to have bonded a little in the infirmary. Charity shook her head a little and sighed, her dark curls bouncing. 

"I'm gonna go have a bit of a lie down for a minute...Call me on comms if you need me," he said on his way out. Charity stepped out of his way and turned to stare at him before shaking it off and taking a long, deep breath.

"Mister Francis," she began, moving back to the control panel and pressing the button for the cargo bay doors. "I believe you should lead the way, yes?" Charity politely requested, her polite smile having returned. He was the one with the most information about this particular mission and their contact, after all.
Dialogue Color: AntiqueWhite

Francis Church

"Mister Francis, I believe you should lead the way, yes?"

"What? Oh, right. Of course. Follow me." Francis had been distracted by trying not to be distracted and had nearly missed his name being called. He steeled himself as the doors dropped and a cloudy, gray landscape greeted him. A booted step out onto the hard packed snow, thinly spread over the forest floor, crunched satisfactorily. Pine needles poked out of the snow, leavings from the evergreens that towered overhead. It was quiet. Serene. Nice.

As the away party exited the ship, Francis walked them a few yards away from the ship and looked around them. "Huh..." He said, stumped. "That's weird." Panic began to set in, again. Hazard was supposed to meet them. In his mind, this was the last point before things were officially sideways for Francis. He turned on his heel and gave Charity a wide-eyed look of worry that he hoped was subtle enough to hide from the rest of the crew. He surely failed in that.

Luckily, the sound of a truck approached from down the road, formerly the way Francis had been facing. He perked up and even smiled. They were just running late. He spun again and saw what appeared to be a surplus military vehicle stopping, armed soldiers hanging off the side and hopping down to the snowy ground. They seemed prepared to fight, but not actively threatening the assembled Odette away team.

Francis perked down and spun to look at Charity. Behind him a grizzled soldier stepped forward ahead of the rest and spoke."Who's in charge here?"
Dialogue Color - MediumVioletRed

On Odette's bridge, Velocity had been completely unaware of the effect that she was having on Odette's engineer and probably would have been so even if she had known him very much better. Reading body language and noticing tone and timbre had never been strong points and, on the bridge, she had been too focused on getting her few but precious possessions secured to have noticed Cooper's behaviour.

In the cargo bay, with no immediate concerns or duties, Velocity did, at least subconsciously, notice that Cooper's gaze abruptly landed on her and then, just as abruptly, moved to the cargo bay deck.

"That's odd," Bonnie commented, He can't look at you!".

It was enough to bring Cooper's odd behaviour, not limited to the glance, to Velocity's attention in time for her to see his second glance.

"Is he interested in my like that? she wondered in alarm and it was her turn to shudder.

That he thought her some sort of monster would have appalled her and amused Bonnie. It was true that she could resemble a spider, or a Marsh-Wiggle; her height was in her legs, and her arms were similarly long but there was nothing in her temperament that would suggest Velocity was capable of being such.

Velocity followed the others down the ramp and out into the cold which immediately seeped through even Charity's warm coat and the leather armour she wore underneath. Velocity shivered and pulled the coat tighter and looked around, a little surprised that they didn't go very far from the ship.

The arrival of the military vehicle surprised her, and the sight of the armed soldiers hanging off it alarmed her, causing her to shrink back further behind the others, trying to make herself inconspicuous; a futile gesture given her height, even if the shock of white hair that stuck out from the hood of the jacket blended into the white snowy backdrop. Velocity had always hated guns, had always hated men with guns even more, and the fact that they didn't seem to be threatening them with the guns didn't make much difference to her. They were noisy, messy, and too often inaccurate; and then there were the guns.

Player: Clare
Characters: Beth


Away Team

"Huh..." He said, stumped. "That's weird."

Charity's brow rose and she inched closer to King, keeping their newest crew member nestled between them. It wasn't clear if she'd done this with any tactical defense in mind or if it had just been a subconscious movement with little strategic thought behind it, but this kept Charity and King on either side of the uncertain Velocity. Francis' worry sparked a nervous fire in her gut, but she set both hands demurely over her belly to soothe the flame. Before she could ask him if his contact was late or if he thought perhaps they'd been set up to fail here, the sound of the approaching vehicles stilled her tongue.

The debutante swallowed hard and squared her shoulders, offering Velocity a warm pat on her hand before she stepped forward to join Francis at the head of the group.

"Who's in charge here?" the grizzled stranger asked.

"That would be me," Charity answered, smiling in welcome at the man. "Captain Charity," she clarified, canting her head forward in a polite nod of greeting. "And who do I have the honor of addressing?" she asked, brows raised in question. The worry that she'd be shot for the second time did cross her mind, and her dark gaze scanned the stranger's armed compatriots before finally returning to the man who seemed to be in charge. She'd have to push that fear down into the deeper recesses of her mind with the other ones.

A second worry, that this was not who they were meant to be meeting and might have been someone probing for incriminating information, also crossed her mind, so she kept her responses vague and generally friendly.
Dialogue Color: AntiqueWhite

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