Episode 1: Every Mile is a Marathon

Started by HumanHyperbole, August 28, 2021, 12:04:39 PM

Reinhardt Pool

As he slammed to the deck of the ship, Pool suddenly felt every liquid and organ and bone and muscle inside his body constrict and shake and resettle. It felt... weird. Like jumping up and down after drinking too much water, but everywhere instead of just in your belly. His first instinct was to hurl, but then his daughter was on top of him, removing his helmet, and checking his vital signs. He groaned to let her know he was alive and tried to sit up, grabbing Junior's arm to assist him.

He recognized the ship they'd hired, but couldn't recall its name offhand. Something in Mandarin. He looked over to see Sid laying near him, the nurse from town hovering over him. "He alive?" Seemed to be, the way she was fussing over him. "Good, 'cuz I'm gonna kill him." Pool overestimated his body's ability to reacclimate to artificial gravity and fell on his face trying to stand up too quickly. Cheek pressed to the steel grating, he sucked air like he'd just run a marathon. "Appabum, yer shtupid shunvabirch, gorrm kidnappersh..." Shanghai. The ship was called Shanghai.

Pool chuckled. What were the odds of that? It might have been hypoxia but the old man couldn't help himself and started cackling, rolling onto his back and holding his abdomen. He was laughing so hard it nearly hurt. "We got Shanghaied! Ha!" His laughter faded finally as his senses returned to him and he looked at his daughter again. "I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm still gonna kill him but maybe in a bit. Help me up." He asked this time, reached a hand out to her, and gingerly returned to a seated position.

"What'd we give'm?"
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Beth Williams

April 09, 2022, 05:30:38 PM #41 Last Edit: May 12, 2022, 10:48:48 PM by Beth Williams
Beth hated venting perfectly good oxygen into space; oxygen was a precious commodity and not easily replaced out in the Black. Time was not with them; the pumps could have emptied the cargo hold, given time but time they did not have. So when the Captain gave the order she double checked that all the crew were out of the cargo bay, that all of the internal pressure doors and hatches leading to the cargo space were shut and sealed. Only then did she vent the air, keeping her fingers crossed that she had got it all correct and that everything in the cargo bay was well lashed down. Finally she shut off the artificial gravity and opened the cargo bay main hatch before advising Desmond that they were ready.

If the ship had a fancy way to bring back artificial gravity gently, Beth hadn't looked for it previously and didn't now have time to search for it, so she just had to press the button to restore it along with the life support, and hope that the two men weren't too high above the deck when she did.

"Systems returned to normal, Captain," Beth said over comm and then kicked herself metaphorically; the information was available on the bridge so her communication had been unnecessary at best and probably just intrusive and annoying. It was only much later that she consoled herself with the thought that perhaps he had been doing captain-y things and so her statement had meant he hadn't had to waste time looking for the information.

After a quick check that the systems were all reporting nominal, Beth ran to the cargo bay, anxious to find out whether she had caused any real damage to the men.

It was a big relief to Beth when she arrived just in time to hear Pool say: "We got Shanghaied! Ha! I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm still gonna kill him but maybe in a bit. Help me up." and watched him move to a seated position, hand outstretched to Rhiannon. She hadn't met Pool but even Beth could tell from the interaction between him and Rhiannian that he was her father. Which meant that the man that Rose was attending was Applebaum.

Beth knew she should probably return to the engine room but she hesitated, telling herself that she needed to check the cargo bay to ensure that everything was in order but knowing that she really wanted to properly reassure herself that everything was okay with the two men, still feeling guilty that she hadn't made sure that they would have a soft landing.


Dialogue Colour: Violet
Player: Clare
Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

Sidney Applebaum

April 27, 2022, 05:13:50 PM #42 Last Edit: April 27, 2022, 05:19:48 PM by Sidney Applebaum
"You guys didn't find the books did you?"

Sidney looked over at Kiddy Pool as he tried to pull himself onto his feet. He immediately fell over.

"The room was still moving a bit. Where's the medic?! Is there a treatment for the dizzies?"

He started patting his chest as if that'd help him find his over-prescribed anti-anxiety meds. Applebaum realized he'd been in space for hours without taking any. It was already a stressful situation and the meds would help. At least this way as they flew towards the angriest smut author in the universe, he'd be too blissed out in happy-town to give a hoot.

"The porn book guy is gonna kill me and I'm on a spaceship with my hero but he wants to kill me too but he SHOULD because I suck! I got his daughter in danger then this new ship and all these very nice people in it in danger and now there's a charming highwayman trying to steal our treasure..."

Sidney's mid-life crisis was colliding with the actual crisis-crisis. It was bad timing. The spinning accelerated.

"This is bad."

Rhiannon Pool

"Let's breathe together, alright?"

"I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm still gonna kill him but maybe in a bit. Help me up," Pool requested. Junior took his hand and stood, then leaned back to help tug her father up to his feet. Once he was up, she moved her hands to his wrist and looked him over for any obvious signs of physical wear and tear other than the usual scuffs and scars. 

"What'd we give'm?" her father asked.

"Eh, we..." she started, trying to remember what exactly they'd given the kidnappers.

"You guys didn't find the books did you?" Sid asked.

Junior turned her head fast enough to nearly give herself whiplash and stared daggers in the financier's direction. Now that they were back on board, her revulsion returned at having found a smut book in the man's possession that centered around her father as the love interest. Her nose scrunched up and she sneered at the man, her hands still on her father's wrist.

"This is bad," Sid spiraled. Freeing her hands, Junior stalked toward the man in the midst of an anxiety attack and grabbed his ear the same way her mother used to grab hers and her brothers when they'd gotten into too much mischief.

"Oy! I didn't even say what I gave them! You don't even know if it's the thing you think it is! Chill out!" she snapped at him, tugging his ear once to get his attention. She was definitely leaps and bounds more aggressive in her attention diverting than the doctor had been. Then, she yanked again for good measure. "I got lots of bones to pick with you, but I'll pick 'em later," she told him, releasing his ear.

"I found some scribbles in your journal and we gave that to the kidnappers. I don't know what it was," she said, turning to look at her father, then stared at Beth and Rose with pursed lips.

"Does the ship have anything for his...uh..." she gestured at Sid and his unbridled anxiety. "... all of that?" Junior asked them both.
Dialogue Color - Indianred

Rose Wickson

Applebaum's speech seemed mostly coherent, at least in terms of syntax. That was a good sign. Rose's stomach gave a lurch when he mentioned the books, but she didn't have time to dwell in her guilt before he begun to spin out of control again and then, just as she was reminding him to breathe, Rhiannon butted in. To put it lightly.

"Hey...hey!" Rose's hand shot up and grabbed the girl firmly by the wrist, only letting go once she gave up her assault on Applebaum's earlobe. The medic shot a pointed, disapproving look at Papa Pool -- given how she'd seen him manhandle the other man, she supposed it shouldn't come as a surprised that his child copied his bad behavior.

"Does the ship have anything for his... uh... all of that?" Rhiannon seemed to have calmed down and was focusing on what was actually important in the moment, and Rose followed suit. Still crouched by Sid's side, she gently slipped her arm around him and begun to help him up.

"W-would you help me get him to the infirmary?" she looked at Beth, the only person present whom she trusted enough to let her near her patient.

"You too," she told Pool and, anticipating his resistance: "I know you feel fine but I gotta make sure. It's my job."

Her face, almost by compulsion, settled into her usual meek, close-mouthed bedside smile, though this time there was a tension there that hadn't been there before. She'd given him leeway back at the clinic on Three Hills, being so used to being sidelined by older men twice her size (as if it were their God-given right to ignore her expertize). However, being so brazenly disrespected by his daughter -- who had neither age nor size on her side -- stung. Did she really have that little air of authority?

Beth Williams

June 08, 2022, 03:27:33 AM #45 Last Edit: June 10, 2022, 11:03:30 PM by Beth Williams
Beth watched in sympathetic bemusement as Sid rambled on. Bemusement because she was't sure what he was on about and sympathy because she recognised the signs of acute anxiety. The ear-pull might or might not have been merited but as far as Beth was concerned, and from bitter, personal experience, no one deserved to suffer from acute anxiety unless they were really, terribly, bad! She doubted Sid fell into that category though she had to acknowledge to herself that she didn't have much to go on in coming to that conclusion. Beth might have offered Sid some of her medication but she didn't have much to spare and she doubted Rose would approve. Rose's approval seemed to have become very important to Beth though she would have struggled to identify why.

"W-would you help me get him to the infirmary?" Rose's stammer was back and Beth's sympathies switched to Rose.

"Yes, of course, Rose," Beth responded, turning to look at Rose, and as she did so, she felt an unexpected and unprecedented surge of pleasure that Rose had asked her to help. Usually when asked, Beth was happy to help or at least would feel obliged to help but this feeling went well beyond that and it surprised her. With an effort she pushed the thoughts aside to analyse, re-analyse, and over-analyse later. For now, the most important thing was making sure that she was actually of assistance and didn't inadvertently cause more harm than good. So although Beth moved quickly to do Rose's bidding, she made sure that she took plenty of care; still, she was there in time to help Rose lift Sid to his feet.

"You too .... I know you feel fine but I gotta make sure. It's my job."

Beth noticed that the stutter was absent and there were was some real authority in Rose's voice and Beth smiled at her, hoping to convey her approval and support of how Rose was handling the situation. Beth smiling was something that the rest of the crew would not yet have seen and it transformed her face from its usual dark, anxiety wrinkled frown, to reveal her true beauty. It was over in a few short moments as Beth returned her attention to helping get Sid to the infirmary.

Dialogue Colour: Violet
Player: Clare
Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

Reinhardt Pool

Pool looked at his daughter, proud of how she was taking charge. Rose's disapproval didn't even register with him. He knew Junior liked to think she took after him, but it was her mother Pool saw in her just now. His concern wasn't really on what might have been given to Ximo to point him towards their goal; it was that the motor mouth was after it at all. Pool knew exactly what had been in the holds of the Ebony and Ivory when she went down. Treasure. A lot it. The Dread Captain Meloy was not only feared, and successful; but greedy and tightfisted. What didn't go to paying the crew and keeping his beloved ship running went into his personal vault, and there it remained when she was scuttled. The fact she'd never been found to this day had made him hopeful when Sid had approached him about finding the lost ship. The last thing they needed was competition.

Sid sputtered and stammered and Pool watched him do it. Nothing but trouble since the word go. But Junior had been so keen for an adventure. And, to be honest, so had Pool. Too many years in one place. So far though, the 'verse was proving to be just as ruthless and formidable as he'd remembered and the reasons for retiring from the life were coming back to him. "He doesn't need any meds. He's just an idiot." Pool said, and stomped over to the money man. Pool didn't hit him, but he wanted to. "Now snap out of it. What ...erm porn book guy? What's in those books? And the scribbles. You told me you didn't know where the Eb and Ive was. Was that a lie, too? You better spill, Applebaum, or this little adventure is over." His head swam and he ignored it. Stakes were too high to let his age show now.
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Sidney Applebaum

Sidney tried to slow down his breathing. The stakes of it all suddenly had dawned on him. His mid-life crisis had dragged a gaggle of spacers together around his crazy idea to go find lost pirate treasure. They'd been kidnapped, and now the kidnappers were going to find him. Him who? Sidney started to snap to. Pool was inquiring on this very subject.

"They're gonna kidnap the erotic author and it's all my fault!"

He was finally talking but he was still panicking. Applebaum's voice kept rising in pitch as he rapid-fire confessed to the context he'd withheld.

"I've been looking for the Eb for years and I read everything I could about it and most of the books about you guys are by this one really horny guy but he's also very guarded. I mean literally like there's booby traps and he pointed a REALLY big gun at me and he said 'Don't you ever come around here or tell Fox Du Loc about this place...' and I don't even know who that IS! But that's what the search grid notes were. The location of the most paranoid and horny man known to the human race..."

Finishing his filibuster Sidney took several deep breaths and felt the room stabilize a little. Cleansing his soul of the burden felt good. He still felt a little lightheaded. And dizzy. Then again he had been spinning for several minutes and hyperventilated for nearly as long. Plus he was still recovering from all the shots Ximo had fed him.

"I know I'm probably a little... drippy brain right now but uhhh maybe we should try and save the smut book guy? Those kidnappers are very skilled interrogators..."

He felt a sudden surge into his throat from his stomach. The "interrogation" was coming back to haunt him. Sidney held his hand up to his mouth as if to block his mouth and encourage the contents of his stomach to return from whence they came. He struggled for a moment but then felt his gut settle for a moment. Applebaum pulled his hand away from his mouth and dared say aloud.

"I thought I was about to pu-urrrghhhhmmmphhhhh...."

Words becoming a gutteral gargle, momentary relief turned into sudden un-restrained vomiting. All over the elder Pool's boots.

Rhiannon Pool

"I know you feel fine but I gotta make sure. It's my job," their doctor commanded. Junior stared at the other woman, contemplating retaliation for having been grabbed but eventually pushing it aside and marking a small little tally above the woman's name in her mind. She could accept the rebuke and moved on with a swiftness.

"Now snap out of it...You better spill, Applebaum, or this little adventure is over." Junior hovered silently around her father, hands held slightly aloft just in case he needed to grab onto her, but kept low enough not to be too obvious about that. Instead, she shot her own venomous glare in Applebaum's direction and waited to hear how he was going to answer her father's questions.

"They're gonna kidnap the erotic author and it's all my fault!" Her brows rose and the bridge of her nose scrunched up. Was she never going to be able to escape the horrific discovery she'd found in his things? Was the damned book of sin going to be forever a part of their lives now. She nearly heaved at the reminder of the cover alone, then shook her head to get the image out of her mind.

"But that's what the search grid notes were. The location of the most paranoid and horny man known to the human race..." Her shoulders lowered, a stress she hadn't been aware of eased by the knowledge that she hadn't given up something that would have lead to their treasure, at least not directly. Hell, maybe it wouldn't be too bad of a thing for the man who'd written the smut about her father to be beaten by elephant masked kidnappers.

"I thought I was about to pu-urrrghhhhmmmphhhhh...."

"Why?!" Junior shouted at him, hopping back to try to avoid the spray. "God," she muttered, putting her hands over her nose to avoid the nausea inducing smell of someone else's vomit. "Can we vent him back out into space?" she asked, her voice muffled behind her palms.

Taking a couple more steps back, she stared up at the doctor, mouth still covered. "Uh, they're all yours..." she told the woman, the mildest of apologies on her disgusted face. "Dad, can you go with them to the infirmary? Just in case, you know, he has any more in him to yak out?" she asked, also hoping he's get himself checked out in the meantime...
Dialogue Color - Indianred

Beth Williams

"He doesn't need any meds. He's just an idiot."

"That's not up to you, that's the doctor's call," Beth snapped. "Do you know how much air we wasted picking him up? I won't have that rendered pointless for the sake of thirty minutes while the Doctor checks him thoroughly," and then blushed, because she didn't do that sort of thing but he was indirectly undermining Rose and she wasn't about to let that happen.

Then Sidney started rambling again and Beth quickly became quite convinced that she didn't want to know what he was babbling on about, though Beth couldn't hide her smile when Sidney threw up over Reinhardt's boots; it did seem like poetic justice.

"Can we vent him back out into space?"

"Conspiracy to commit murder," Beth muttered.

"Let's get you to the infirmary, Mr. Applebaum," She said as she started to steer Sidney and Rose toward the infirmary. Just before they exited the cargo bay, she turned to look at Reinhardt. "Would you mind cleaning the deck while you are cleaning your boots?" She knew it was petty, and she knew she didn't care. Beth turned away before she said anything more that she might regret.

In the infirmary, she helped Rose get Sidney on to the bed. "Would you like me to stay, Rose?" she asked.
Player: Clare
Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

Reinhardt Pool

"I'm fine." Pool said, reassuring his daughter and waving her off. "And so is he." He said, pointing at Sid.

"That's not up to you, that's the doctor's call," Beth snapped. "Do you know how much air we wasted picking him up? I won't have that rendered pointless for the sake of thirty minutes while the Doctor checks him thoroughly,"

Pool's jaw nearly dropped at the tiny mechanic giving him what for. But instead he ground his teeth together, a low growl forming at the back of his throat. He would almost be impressed if he wasn't so annoyed. "Who the hell is she?" He thought. "Who the hell are you?" He said.

There wasn't anything he said that was wrong, at least to his thinking. Sid was being a big baby, this was a fact. Did Sid need any meds? While it was true that Pool was not a doctor, he was pretty sure that neither was Rose. She was a nurse, last he knew. But maybe he was just being spiteful. "I'm the..." He began, but trailed off. What was he on this ship? He wasn't the captain. He wasn't the financier. He wasn't even Chief of Security, which was a role he actually had fulfilled in years past. He was just the map. So what authority did he have to order anybody around? Pool was not one to let that stop him. "I'm the dude around here, 'kay? This operation doesn't happen without me. You don't tell me what to do. I tell you what to do. So...'

Sid starting rambling again, and finally got to the business of erotic books and booby traps (hopefully unrelated) and Pool was more confused than ever. And then Sid barfed.

It wasn't anger that Pool felt. Sure, he was unhappy about the puke on his boots. Who wouldn't be? But can you be mad at a baby for puking? Or a puppy? That was how Pool felt. And if he had a rolled up newspaper, he would have bopped Sid on the nose with it. Instead, Pool had his fists and as he curled one up to use it, Beth interrupted him.

"Would you mind cleaning the deck while you are cleaning your boots?"

Beth didn't wait for a response and left with Sid and Rose in tow. Pool seethed. "No." He said petulantly and shook his boots off, splattering the puke all over the floor.
Dialogue Color: firebrick

Beth Williams

Even before Rose answered, Beth changed her mind; not to leave but to say, "Actually, Rose, would you mind if I stayed. I am not sure I wouldn't be tempted to space the Pools. She sighed. "Why do people think that violence is the answer? Especially when they haven't even bothered to work out what the right question to ask is.

She had seen Reinhardt's fist curling, had listened to his, 'I'm the man,' nonsense. Beth would have liked to think that she had hastened Sidney out of the cargo hold to avoid him being hit but she knew that it had just been a coincidence.

"Men," she thought disgustedly. "Always beating their chests and trying to act like they are gorillas, without their grace or intelligence."

"What can I do to help, Rose?"
Player: Clare
Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

Rhiannon Pool

"Conspiracy to commit murder," Beth muttered. Junior rolled her eyes.

"Would you mind cleaning the deck while you are cleaning your boots?" The young woman's jaw dropped and she looked Beth over with wide, stunned eyes, which quickly narrowed to angry slits. Who was this waif of a woman to tell her father what to do? He wasn't the janitor. Sure, he wasn't the Captain, but he might as well have been. Without her father, Sydney wouldn't have hired the ship that hired Beth, which basically made Pool her boss! Indirectly...loosely...in wobbly theory. Before she could pounce on the woman like a rabbid junkyard dog, she'd left with Sid and the Doctor.

"Oy!" Junior called out to their backs, then hopped to one side as her father shook his boot around and nearly splattered her shoes with the vile internal concoction. "Oy," she said again, softer this time and now aimed at her dad. "I'll meet you on the bridge, or wherever you end up," she told him before stomping off after the trio. By the time she arrived at the infirmary, she was able to hear some of what Beth was saying to the doctor.

"...I am not sure I wouldn't be tempted to space the Pools."

"Conspiracy to commit murder," Junior repeated as she rounded the corner of the threshold and slipped inside, leveling an annoyed, but slightly triumphant smirk in the woman's direction.

"You okay?" she asked Sid, shooting him a glance before looking around the med bay.

"Uh, I don't wanna disturb your stuff, but can I have somethin' for my dad? He's not gonna let any of us drag him in here but he might let me give him something, if I make that face he hates," she muttered to Rose. "Maybe like, something for if he feels bad later? Or some pain meds? Or... I dunno... an ice pack?" she listed, not sure what her father might need later if he ended up needing anything at all. But this was the closest thing to an apology that Rose was going to get for her temper earlier. Beth, on the other hand, would be receiving no form of apology.
Dialogue Color - Indianred

Beth Williams

December 01, 2022, 01:08:25 AM #53 Last Edit: December 01, 2022, 01:20:46 AM by Beth Williams
"No," Beth said, her voice resigned. "Trying to prevent one, which you would know if you had heard all of what I said," Beth responded to Rhiannon's parroting of what she had said earlier, her tone more than a little sulky. "Fag-end Charlie," she muttered under her breath.

"No, again," Beth said when the words finally stopped. 'Didn't they come with an off switch?' she thought snarkily. "If he needs something, then he needs to act like an adult, and come here himself." Beth's voice transitioned from its sulky tone to become edged with anger while she spoke but she had to hold on to the edge of the medbay bed to stop the tremor in her hands from becoming too obvious. She had not just gone out of her comfort zone but leapt of the edge without a parachute. Beth hated it when she did this to herself, hated knowing that she would suffer the after effects for hours, if not days. Somehow, though, she had suddenly become very protective of Rose, and was trying to put herself between the Pools and Rose, physically and metaphorically. That made the cost worthwhile.

"If you want an icepack, you could try the freezer," Beth added, then continued with, "You should be able to find it, its in the galley. There's bound to be something in there you could use." Beth turned her back on Rhiannon, and focused her attention on Rose and Sid, especially Rose.

"I'm sorry, Rose," she apologised meekly. "I overstepped," she added. Beth was going to add that the Pools rubbed her up the wrong way but she decided that that was very obvious and she wanted her apology to be unequivocal and unqualified. She hoped the tremor in her hands wasn't being transmitted into the bed as she fought the nausea and waves of anxiety that flooded through her; it was the same every time she became even mildly confrontational, though she did admit to herself that she had been more than mildly confrontational this time. Her face had lost all its colour, appearing very white against the brown of her hair.
Player: Clare
Characters: Velocity Grey-Lambert

Rose Wickson

Rose was unfazed by Applebaum's vomit attack; all it did was hasten her steps as she wrangled him to the med bay, where she sat him down on the edge of the examination table, not letting him lay down in case there was more of the stuff on the way. While Beth vented her frustrations, the healer zipped around the room, rummaging through the cabinets of her still-unfamiliar working space. She returned to Sid's side and handed him a metallic bedpan.

"In c-case you need to vomit again. Still feelin' nauseous?"

Before she could get to work properly examining her patient, Rhiannon arrived, drawing another round of ire from Beth. If Rose was an impatient person this would have been the point where her patience began to wear thin. Instead, she just wished everybody would calm down. The last thing any of them needed right now was infighting.

"Uh, I don't wanna disturb your stuff, but can I have somethin' for my dad? He's not gonna let any of us drag him in here but he might let me give him something, if I make that face he hates...Maybe like, something for if he feels bad later? Or some pain meds? Or... I dunno... an ice pack?"

Before Rose could respond, Beth stepped in. It was difficult to tell if the advice she was giving was intended as completely sincere or if there was a little passive aggression mixed in there -- either way, Rose worried it would only serve to antagonize the Pool girl further. Beth seemed to realize her mistake, the wind of righteous fury suddenly gone from her sails as she turned to apologize.

"I'm sorry, Rose. I overstepped."

"It's alright. You're just trying to help." She tried to offer her a reassuring a smile, not wanting to fan the flames of her anxiety by admonishing her right now, no matter how gently. The poor woman was queasy enough already.

"You should sit down," she gestured Beth toward one of the benches on the side of the room, then turned to Rhiannon.

"I c-can't give your father anything if he won't let me examine him," she echoed the mechanic's words, minus the venom. She hadn't been impressed with the way the younger Pool had conducted herself back in the cargo bay, but she appreciated the fact that she was trying to be more level-headed now. It couldn't have been easy, dealing with a parent like that.

She glanced at Sid, then leaned closer to Rhiannon, lowering her voice.

"It w-would be helpful to know what, exactly, was done to them. If he's up to talkin' about it." She didn't want to crowd Sid with questions about the exact nature of his presumed torture in his current state, but she had a feeling that for Pool, being roughed up was business as usual. Hell, he might even brag about it.

"If he's really that stubborn, k-k-keep an eye on him for me for now. If he throws up, or feels dizzy, slurs his words, anythin' like that -- you c-c-call me immediately, alright? An' tell him that if he's hurtin' and wants somethin' for it, he'll have to come to me directly. No middlemen."

With the others hopefully taken care of for now, Rose was finally able to focus on her patient number one.

"Follow the light." She held a little penlight up to Sid's eyes, checking his pupils. "How do you feel?"

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