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Messages - noseatbelts

Odette IC / Re: S1: Ep1 - Birds of a Feather
August 06, 2020, 03:25:53 pm
Odette Crew

People screamed.

And ran.

And pushed, and shoved, and clawed their way away from the chaos. Unfortunately, Captain Charity and her crew were at the center of it and Bao Lin's guards were keeping them in place. If a wayward escapee found their way into the circle, they were dealt with in equal measure to the force the Tong were attempting to use on the Odette. Luckily, or was it, Francis and Coop seemed to be the only ones brandishing firearms in the direct vicinity of the cargo.

"Whyyyy?" Francis screamed, a Tong guard wrapping his club around his throat as he swung his pistol wildly trying to get a shot at the others, one of which appeared before him with the flash of a knife. Francis' training kicked in as his heel kicked out. A body blow to the Tong behind him and he was free. Two quick and efficient bullets made sure to keep it that way.  Charity's voice entered his ear and Francis, for the moment, was able to respond. "Um. Sure thing." He dug out his cortex device and pulled up the address of where they were meant to go, meanwhile missing Jed's dazzling display of martial prowess with his attention turned to the handheld computer screen in his hand. "Oh, it's not far from here."

Darius and Yang Gao

Yang Gao, in his attempt to bull rush Darius, caught the pistol round square in the chest and dropped like a sack of bricks. As discord ensued on the other side of the docks, so too did it erupt at the sound and sight of a man shot in the street. Yang Gao was not so easily defeated, however, his zealotry for his Captain's call returning him to his feet. That didn't make him a better fighter, as he attempted the same tactic again. "Cheung Po!" He screeched his master's name in a battle cry as his dagger found Darius' chest. It rebounded off the space suit. He looked up at the taller man, uncomprehending. "How?"

King and Bao Lin

An elbow to the face. A knee to the abdomen. A heel kick dodged. Punches swatted away and returned in equal measure. Bao Lin's refined martial arts were matched by King's efficient military CQC training. Both men breathed heavily as the scene only grew worse around them.

"You will not get away with this." Bao Lin tried to steady his breath, but the last hit to his chest was making it difficult to fill his lungs. "You are meddling in affairs you cannot possibly comprehend."

"Doesn't seem too complicated to me. We're making a delivery to your boss' rival. Pretty standard stuff actually."

Bao Lin was taken aback, but attempted to recover. "A rivalry that-"

King laughed. "Has gone back, what, decades? Centuries? I don't care." The mercenary's hand went to the gun at his belt. Time to end this. Bao Lin, as winded as he was, surprised with a quick move to stop the pistol from exiting its holster. An iron grip and a quick movement quickly disarmed the slide, tearing the weapon apart. He tossed the remnants aside as King, bewildered by the efficiency of the move, took a blow to his foot as Bao Lin stomped on the bridge. Pain shot through King as bones broke, momentarily distracting him and allowing a punch to the temple. King shot Bao Lin a glare through hazy vision, but refused to fall.

And the fight continued.

Cooper, The Cargo, Charity, and Pele

Coop found himself beset upon by several Tong who sought to accomplish their mission: retrieve the cargo by any means necessary. One hopped up on top of the crates and, in his haste, toppled the whole thing over, sending Coop, the loot, himself, and his comrades flying to the ground right around where Charity and Pele had decided to hide, the goods displayed clearly for the two women. What seemed like endless, unmarked, paper-wrapped bricks, each about 4x6x2, scattered from their protective sawdust and onto the cobblestones.

It didn't take the guards long to recover.

Odette IC / Re: S1: Ep1 - Birds of a Feather
July 29, 2020, 07:52:33 am
Odette Crew

Charity stepped forward with King lockstep at her side. Bao Lin was happy to receive them, the same empty smile as before. But as Charity reached into her bag, Bao Lin's arm shot out, quick as lightning, and grabbed her wrist. "No!" He said, perhaps a bit too stern. The hand on her arm was as steely as the word he spoke.

King, reacting on instinct, reached across, putting himself in between Charity and Bao Lin. King drew his knife and held it to Bao Lin's chest. "Don't." He warned, pulling the sunglasses from his face.

Several things happened next:

"You have made a dire mistake." He said, removing his own sunglasses. What he did not remove was his hand from Charity's arm. In fact, he gripped it tighter. King raised the knife to Bao Lin's throat. "You will be dead. Wan Kuok-koi and the Red Talon Tong will see to it."

King grunted. "Nah." Bao Lin finally let loose of Charity as he twisted his arm around to force King's blade from danger. A forward step to try to force King off balance was countered. King dropped the knife to his second hand and went for an upward stab into Bao Lin's stomach which was blocked by a knee, combined with a punch to King's chest, forcing him back into range of a kick to the head. King blocked, squared up, and it was on.

Francis finally noticed what was going on and, after doing some quick math in his head (Nine guys. Nine rounds, plus one. Extra clip in my- I forgot my extra clip. So that's ten minus nine. If I don't miss. One extra. That's not gonna be enough.) He didn't have a choice. Francis pulled his gun and raised it in Bao Lin and King's direction. His aim was immediately interrupted by a whack on the wrists by one of the guards holding a baton. His aim went low. Very low. Hitting the ground, sending up dirt and a retort bouncing off the buildings.

And then the crowd panicked.

Darius and Yang Gao

Yang Gao looked at Darius and sneered. He knew as well as Darius what was going to happen. "My Captain does not know you like I know you. You are a liar, Mr. Black. I will protect him from you." His blade, as long as his forearm and much sharper, withdrew from his sash and, a gunshot sounding as if to start them off, Yang Gao threw himself at Darius with a savage cry.

Pele, Coop, Charity, and Jed

With the most dangerous seeming member of their crew occupied and chaos erupted around them, the rest of the guards closed in on the shipment, brandishing various blades and clubs. A particularly bold member stepped forward and looked at Charity. "Run away and leave the cargo, or we will kill you like Bao Lin will kill your dog."
Odette IC / Re: S1: Ep1 - Birds of a Feather
July 21, 2020, 08:13:14 am
Odette Crew

The procession stopped before either Francis or Cooper could take another swing at getting the guard to talk. It was likely fruitless anyhow. These guys seemed well-trained. Tough. Disciplined. Bao Lin turned face and, with a smile, said, "Is there a problem?" The guard whom Francis and Coop had attempted to question stepped forward and whispered something into Bao Lin's ear. The leader nodded with understanding. Bao Lin addressed the group. "Do not worry. You are safe. We will arrive at our destination soon. The smile disappeared. "Jǐnmì de duìwǔ. The guards closed ranks, turning to face the Odette crew.  While not overtly threatening, the message was clear. Comply. Or else...

Darius and Yang Gao

Yang's eyes filled with a hungry glee the further they walked out from the ship and Cheung Po. There was no one there to tell him no or where to go. He gripped the knife in his sash. He could do it, no one would know. They reached Darius' locker. "Quickly, now." Yang Gao's eyes darted away from the lockers to the ground, then back to Darius. He was nervous, sweaty. He wanted to do something but wasn't sure if he should or could.
Odette IC / Re: S1: Ep1 - Birds of a Feather
July 09, 2020, 08:15:51 am

Yang Gao followed Darius closely through the crowd, his keen eyes fixed on the former sheriff's back.


As suspicions were shared around the group, the guards didn't seem to hear as they didn't respond, continuing their escort among the hustle bustle of Eavesdown. Then again, perhaps they did hear and just didn't care. They had the Odette crew surrounded and outnumbered. Good thing they were all on the same side, right?
Cheung Po considered this for a moment, twisting at that beard of his. Then a soft smile. "Very well. I am glad you have changed your mind." He said, somewhat smug about the state of Darius' rethinking. "Please, by all means, collect your things. Do hurry back, the Lord's work cannot wait." And with that, Darius was dismissed with a hand wave. Before he could get too far, however, Po's voice called out once more. "Yang Gao will accompany you, of course. So you do not get lost on your way back."

Yang Gao was at Darius' side, a wicked, rotten smile and a hand at the large knife in his sash. "Shall we?" He said, allowing Darius to lead the way.

Yang Gao frowned and his hand went to a knife tucked into the sash around his waist. The rest of the crew reacted as one, all eyes on Darius, weapons within reach. Cheung Po raised a hand, halting any further movement. "Mr. Black. I beg you to reconsider." A slight shift in his seat and the crew of the Ching Shih all moved slightly closer and froze again. The tension hung heavy in the air as they coiled and waited for the signal to strike. "If you are not with us..." He paused, as if for dramatic suspense. "You are against us."
SS Iscariot Crew / Hercules Holliday
July 02, 2020, 09:43:20 am


Age:  39
Gender:  Male

Primary Occupation:  Smuggler
Secondary Occupation (optional):  Gun-hand
Tertiary Occupation (optional):  Screw-Up
Equipment:  He's got a collection of stuff going, none of it lasts very long, or holds much material value other than that of their design; he's not sentimental. He'll likely be seen looking pretty damn good and armed with a side arm and, if he hasn't lost it, a backup piece hidden somewhere on his body.

Appearance:  Tall. Fit. Blond. With a smile that will charm the pants off of you, sometimes literally. He's got some tattoos and scars that remind him of bad decisions and eyes that sparkle with future ones. Always in a suit that looks slept in or a designer jacket with frayed edges, Hercules Holliday doesn't take care of his things. He avoids wearing the glasses the doctor told him would help him shoot better, and sunglasses when he's indoors.
Faceclaim:  Ryan Gosling

Initial Personality:  Confident and mischievous, Holliday knows how to get what he wants with a well placed flirt or canny bribe. He's a doer, a getter, a faker, and a shaker. He's spent most of his life dodging the law or working for them; whatever paid better. He's the guy you call when you need something done.
Underlying Personality:  That's all mostly bullsh*t. Holliday- and it's always Holliday, he hates his given name- is a perpetual screw up. Sure, he comes out ahead more times than not but that's luck more than anything. He drowns his failure in recreational drugs and alcohol, sex with strangers, and running from his problems. But the important thing to remember is that he does - usually - get the job done.

Known History: 
Born: 2480. Ezra
Parents: Father, Hephaestus Holliday (Deceased). Mother, Jeanie May Holliday.
Siblings: Hiram 2471, Helen 2475, Homer 2478, Hippolyta 2479.

Academic records:
(No official childhood records.)
2503 Enrolled Osiris Police Academy (never served)

Occupational Record:
-2497 Deputized by Sheriff Henrietta Jackson. (Ezra)
-2499 Deputized by Marshall Ozzy Woo. (Ezra)
-2499 Transport Ship - The Nevermore - Crewhand
-2501 Beylix Reclamation Ltd. - Laborer (Beylix)
-2502 Linder Steele Works - Laborer (Athens)
-2502 AA Security Consultants - Contractor (Bellerophon)
-2504 The La La Club - Security (Osiris)
-2505 Transport Ship - The Nevermore - Chief of Security
-2508 Transport Ship - The Hard Count - Owner/Captain
-2509 Transport Ship - The Nevermore - Crewhand
-2511 AA Security Consultants - Asst. Manager (Bellerophon)
-2512 Transport Ship - 八十八 (the 88) - Security
-2515 Holliday Ranch - Laborer (Ezra)
-2516 Deputized by Sheriff Henrietta Jackson. (Ezra)
-2517 Transport Ship - The Nevermore - Chief of Security

Military Record:
-2503 Enlists Alliance Military (never served)

Criminal Record:
-2495 Criminal Mischief. (Sentenced to time served) - Ezra
-2499 Wanted for Murder. (Charges dropped) - Ezra
-2505 Drunk and Disorderly. Arson. (Bail posted. Never arraigned. Warrant outstanding.) - Osiris
-2509 Drunk and Disorderly. Destruction of property. Resisting Arrest. (Bail posted. Never arraigned. Warrant waived.) - Ariel
-2513 Wanted for questioning regarding smuggling and pirate activity regarding the Transport Ship 八十八 (the 88)
-2514 Detained for smuggling and pirate activity regarding the Transport Ship 八十八 (the 88). No charges filed.
-2519 Drunk and Disorderly. (Bail posted. Never arraigned. Warrant Outstanding.) - Athens.

Other History:  Born the youngest son of Heph and Jeanie May Holliday, owners and purveyors of the Holliday Ranch, Hercules, as he hates to be called, was always just trying to keep up with his brothers and sisters. They were a tough lot, the Hollidays, used to life of wrangling cattle and tending crops; working the odd salvage job as it came along. And everyone helped. But as he grew up, the youngest Holliday found that most of the work was already done by the time he was tall enough to do it. And so a work ethic was developed of making a lot out of a little. His eyes were starward, anyhow, and making sure he knew how to ride a horse, fix a tractor, and plow a field were the least of his concerns. Stories in magazines of folks out making adventures on the rim of the 'verse kept him busy at night.

At the age of 16, nearly 17, he was deputized with his brothers and father to help track down a rustler's ring. Knowing the land and the ways of cattle and the people who ran them, the Hollidays made short work of the brigands and young Holliday killed his first man. He got a taste for the work, not so much the killing, and developed a strong working relationship with Sheriff Henrietta Jackson as second-in-command for the sleepy jurisdiction. But there wasn't much crime in their area, and as he was already getting jumpy, Jackson put in a recommendation with the Marshall of Ezra, which would expand Holliday's chances of seeing some action. "Be careful what you wish for" comes to mind.

Marshal Ozzy Woo had a reputation of being a tough sonofabitch. And that reputation was well earned. He taught Holliday the finer aspects of shooting and chasing down a suspect. Talking to and convincing informants to turn on their boss. Chasing a lead and a skirt. For six-months Holliday was mentored by the infamous Marshal Woo and, though Woo and Holliday had a contentious relationship, he truly felt like he was learning the skills that would cover him the rest of his life. This was true, in part, but not quite the way that Holliday thought. Marshal Woo was gunned down in his bed in the middle of the night. Holliday, in the next room over, didn't catch the killer before they left and when there were no more leads to follow, they asked him why he didn't stop his mentor's death. Why he wasn't killed also. Official charges were drafted after reports of their bickering came to light, Woo's demands clashing with Holliday's carefree attitude. There was no evidence for it, but Holliday knew when to get. There was nothing left for him on Ezra.

He signed up with the first ship that would take him - The Nevermore. Captained by Annabelle Li, a young woman who'd just taken over the family transport business from her parents, pitied Holliday when she found him at the bottom of a bottle. So she let him move boxes, turn a wrench, swab the decks, and keep an eye on the blinky lights in the cockpit. Over the next two years he learned how to space from her and slowly and strongly fell in love. Annabelle rebuffed his advances, citing rules about captain and crew relations, that he was "nothing but trouble", and countless other excuses. But in truth, she just wasn't that into him. Two years of rejection and Holliday had enough. He left the ship and began taking whatever job would hire him. He used his back and shoulders and hands and drank at night to forget that nobody needed him around. Osiris Police and the Alliance Military both rejected him. He drank as often as he watched the door for a bar called the La La Club. He was miserable and drowning. After a few years of that, and falling asleep with a cigarette and burning down his apartment complex, he asked Annabelle for a second chance.

As luck would have it, she was expanding the family business outside of the Georgia system and going 'Verse wide with transport. And she needed a Chief of Security. Three more years of adventures with a girl who didn't love him back. But this time he conquered it with a, mostly, clear head. They were successful as an enterprise and, somehow, Holliday just knew it couldn't last forever. Annabelle met a man, fell in love her own damn self, and got married. Holliday was happy for her, but miserable.

So, he entered into a deal with an associate, Peregrin Kapur, to buy and start his own ship. Loosely associated with the Nevermore, picking up the jobs Annabelle couldn't take, and creating a mini-fleet of transport and cargo vessels. There would still be adventure and excitement and Holliday wouldn't have to look at Annabelle anymore. It was perfect. Except that it wasn't. The ship, he named The Hard Count - a gambling term for cheating when the odds, namely security, is stacked against you - never left dry dock. The financing that Kapur had promised him fell through and Holliday lost his savings on his tough gamble. He went back to work for The Nevermore within a year.

He quickly grew restless and didn't stay there long. He got a job with a security firm he had worked with years before on Bellerophon, this time as an assistant manager. This consisted of him wearing a brightly colored uniform and installing security systems for rich people. It didn't take long for the job to wear on him, and as soon as he knew enough about it to think he could get away with it, Holliday made a deal to start robbing the folks he was supposed to be protecting. He made friends with an outlaw ship called 八十八 (the 88), captained by Makoto Nagano, and arranged more than a few heists in their and his favor. When the heat got too hot, he joined their crew officially and found himself on the wrong end of the law for a number of years. They eventually got caught, or more accurately, Holliday got himself caught and made a deal with the Feds to clear his name and keep him out of jail. Of course, that meant turning on the 88.

It was time to lay low for a spell. Recollect himself and clear his head. So he went back to Ezra to help out on the farm. His father was getting older (they found out later he was dying of an undiagnosed lung affliction) and his eldest sister, Helen, asked for his help. He wasn't any good at the work and hadn't done it in twenty years and didn't much care for it, but he learned quick enough and he was glad to help. It didn't take long for him to seek out trouble, however, and while in town one night got himself deputized by his old employer, Sheriff Henrietta Jackson. They rounded up some bad guys, gave them the short drop and sudden stop, and Jackson offered the badge and the jurisdiction to Holliday to keep. He considered it for half an hour before booking passage with the next transport, that just so happened to be the Nevermore. Annabelle and her family, she had two little ones by this point, were glad to have him back as Chief of Security and he was happy there, for a time.

But Hercules Holliday never stays satisfied for long. He now does some light smuggling based out of Iscariot Space Station, getting things for folks who need things. He lives in a shitty room above a noodle shop and mostly keeps to himself and out of Lil Sebastian's way.

Skills and Strengths:  Despite his youthful appearance, Holliday has gone back and forth across the 'verse more than a few times and has over twenty years experience doing so. He's done every job that you can think of, but none of them well enough to have made a career out of it. The one thing he seems to be the best at is getting into trouble, and then out of it again. Shooting he knows how to do, just ask the folks who lost gunfights with him. He can fly to a passable amount, and knows how a wrench and a spanner work; but anything more detailed would be best left to professionals. He's treated various wounds on himself successfully, and others less so. And as a young semi-retired outlaw and lawman, he knows the law and how to use it, and has contacts on both sides he utilizes in his smuggling.
Weaknesses:  He's a loser, to be blunt. There's some sort of unnatural stink of misfortune that lingers over him. He's never been able to figure out the math of having a life he wants to keep. Self-sabotage, pride, impulsiveness, greed, apathy; these are his sins. Also, as mentioned above, he's not particularly great at anything. He can fly, but that's mostly in space where there's less stuff to hit. His medical skills are laughable. He can do the act of mechanicking but couldn't tell you how a system functions other than whether it's on or off or why he's turning that bolt you asked him to. He's also not exactly a coward, but won't hesitate to save himself at the expense of others.

"Yes, my sins are something I must atone for." Cheung Po mused, his eyes going to the middle distance between them. His fingers tipped with long nails twirled about in his braided braided beard. "For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children." There went that versing again, continued as if he had not stopped. "I am seeking like-minded people to help me in my cause, Mr. Black. Those who have seen the wickedness of the 'Verse, in particular that of the Anglo-Sinho Alliance, and wish to see all evil wiped clean. The revelations of the government's devilry on Miranda have awoken in me my true purpose." His eyes lit up with danger and he stood from his chair, knocking it to the ground. "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee." He smiled, the volatility only increasing in his demeanor. A glance to Yang Gao would indicate he, too, had the fervor, and likewise, the rest of the crew. Cheung Po knelt at Darius's knee and looked up at him with crazed, imploring eyes. "Will you accept God into your heart, Mr. Black, renounce your sins, and join our Holy Crusade?"
Odette IC / Re: S1: Ep1 - Birds of a Feather
June 26, 2020, 12:56:00 pm
Coffee was made and distributed. There were, in fact, biscuits, though they were a generic surplus variety, as opposed to the fine tea cookies Charity might have preferred. But refreshments were refreshments and complaining never got anyone anywhere. Time passed, preparations were completed, snacks munched, and it was time. Evie returned to the cockpit to get them safe and landed at Eavesdown, which went without a hitch. She was good at what she did and Eavesdown Port Authority saw so much traffic they were given the opposite of a hassle on their way down; apathy. Nobody cared who they were or why they were there.

Finally, they'd reached their destination. Now to drop off the goods, get out of there, return to Iscariot, and get paid. At least, one would hope that's how everything would happen. One could never be sure. Everyone who had, for whatever reason, made up their mind to go ashore had gathered in the cargo bay. The doors opened, the light of the mid-day sun came in, and the sites and sounds (and smells) of the Docks overwhelmed the senses. No sooner had anyone from the Odette escaped the steel grating of her deck and touched toe to terrain than a man in a hard-to-miss white changshan and pitch black rounded sunglasses approached. He bowed. "Xiàwǔ hǎo. I am Bao Lin and I will escort you to Lady Sun." He offered a tight smile and turned on a heel, revealing a dragon with bright red talons on the back of his jacket. He led them a short distance through the crowd to a waiting group of black suited guards with the same sigil displayed. If one were to take notice, the crowd was sure to keep its distance from them.
At the sound of laughter from within the shadows of the ship Yang Gao immediately got up from his seat and deferred to a robed man who replaced him in the chair. One needn't have guessed, this was the Captain of the Ching Shih; the authority practically dripped off of him. He stared at Darius for a moment before he spoke. "A very diplomatic answer. Perfectly balanced on the edge of caution and civility. I am Cheung Po, and this is my ship." Cheung Po, of course! Ruthless scoundrel, merciless pillager, and dreaded Pirate Lord; Cheung Po Tsai (The Kid) as he was called, was wanted in nearly every system by the Alliance. The pieces began to come together for Darius. But why would one of the most infamous pirates in the 'Verse be sitting here at Eavesdown pretty as a picture for anyone to see? They didn't seem to be hiding, nor afraid of being seen. Something wasn't right.

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the Valley of Darkness." A coy smile. "The Valley of Darkness is the 'Verse and I am the shepherd. Are you also a righteous man?"

Yang Gao smiled. "As you can imagine, it has is difficult to parse through the riff-raff of the Eavesdown hiring boards. Many people looking for work. But not many like you." He motioned for Darius to follow him into the shade. Members of his crew, hardscrabble as he was, bustled about hard at work. They seemed well-regimented and behaved. Decidedly un-pirate like, at least to believe any stories one might hear. Yang Gao took a seat in a crafted chair that one would have to guess had been placed there for the purpose of their meeting, as another identical one sat adjacent.

"Your resume is very impressive." He said, his fingers steepled as he lounged in the chair. "I must admit, I was surprised to see you respond to our message. A former Alliance Marine. A former Sheriff." The implication was left to Darius to parse. A steward came by with a jug of indiscernible liquid. Yang Gao accepted a glass for himself and offered one for Darius. "Refreshment? When I look at you, Mr. Black, I see a man who has been failed by the establishment that he once held dear, or at the very least, to which you swore allegiance. A man who has been failed by the 'Verse and now strives to make his way in it by any means necessary." Yang Gao offered a slight shrug and sipped his drink. "Tell me, Mr. Black. What do you see when you look at the Ching Shih?"
Bob was used to this kind of answer. "Okidokey! Bye now!" He said with good-nature and a wave. Not everyone liked that sort of arrangement, but it wasn't hard to imagine some folk going for it. Different strokes, and all that.

Back to the job hunt, Darius checked his messages and found another one waiting for him. Apparently pilots that were handy with a gun were in demand on the Eavesdown Docks today. This one was addressed from someone named Yang Gao and gave their berth as being further down the row, number 131, a ship called the Ching Shih. It didn't take long for Darius to find it and even less time to recognize it as a pirate vessel. Arikara classes were well-liked for their modularity and heavier armaments than your typical civilian class, therefore perfect for raiding and the like.

Before Darius could decide whether he wanted to pursue this particular ship for employment, a man called his name. "Mr. Black! I am Yang Gao. First mate of the Ching Shih. Pleasure to meet you." He offered a polite bow, then straightened and extended a hand in greeting.
Bob smiled and scoffed away Darius' words. "You didn't say you were funny in your CV." Still chuckling, Bob led the way deeper into the Matilda and stopped when Darius seemed unsure. "Oh, don't worry. It's just me here. I'll leave the funny business up to you." The cargo bay was empty and cavernous comparatively speaking with the rest of the ship. "We're empty right now, but don't expect to stay that way for long. Once I get a few more crew I've got a cargo job lined up on Beylix." He let Daris take a look around as much as he liked. She was a bit run down but more or less well taken care of. Clean at the very least. "So you can set your things up in one of the bunks down the hall, they're all open, like I said, except for the port side state room on the upper deck, that one's mine. The bunks are on the lower deck, you can have your pick of those." Another of those damnable smiles. "Oh! Almost forgot: it's two-fifty a month for the room and board, with the first and last month due at signing. And before you ask, there's no security deposit. I trust ya." Awkward silence. "Once that's squared away we can get you to work."
As he scoped out the local offerings on Ship's Row, his personal cortex device, a simple apparatus the likes of which most folk had these days, notified him he had a message. It was from a gentleman, always best to assume the best in people, who said he was looking for hired help and would love to speak with Darius ASAP. He listed his ship, The Waltzing Matilda, as being berthed not far from where Darius found himself standing. He signed the message simply as "Bob."

Long enough after to get from there to here, Darius found himself looking up at a Grendel Class transport ship. Small, but sturdy, they were maximized for cargo and manned usually by no more than a half-dozen souls. A man stood out front with a big, goofy grin on his face and picked Darius out of the crowd almost immediately. "You must be Darius. I'm Bob! You got my message! Excellent. So glad you decided to come work for us!"
The Eavesdown Docks seemed to have been missed when it came time for the Red Talon Tong to stake its claim. The politics and logistics and metrics (all sorts of -ics) were just too vast in a bustling space port and control was next to impossible. It also offered the sort of shadows that bred subterfuge and skulduggery by the ton. Darius knew this world; this is where he could find any sort of work he might want.

Hiring ships could mark themselves as such in several ways. Legitimately, by posting on the cortex the positions they were looking for and applicants could submit resumes and references. These were accessible by personal cortex units or by public kiosks scattered about the area. Of course there was a user's fee associated with those (1.99 credits/minute, not too bad for those hard up) and some of the kiosks tended to malfunction (avoid the ones manufactured and Distributed by Vineland Industries, they were made from spare parts and maintained once every three years).

One could also walk down Ship's Row, where some intrepid crews would post hand made signs or stand and yell at passerby who might look interested (or might not). These folk tended to be a bit more desperate, or less inclined to have official documents proclaiming themselves as operating business, let alone hiring on hands. By and large, though, they were honest folks. Eavesdown wasn't known for it's underbelly, these days.

Of course, it existed. And there we come to our third hiring method. Word of mouth whispered to friends of friends. If one knew where to ask, they could find passage or work that avoided all records altogether. Of course, these were the unsavories, the unwelcomed, and the misunderstood.

So whatever sort of work or environment Darius might be looking for, his options were spread before him.
The conversation continued pleasantly as Darius caught them up to his recent activities. His mother, of course, insisted on feeding him. It wasn't fancy, but it was very much the kind of cooking he'd grown tall on and it filled him up properly. It was tempting to take a nap after or even stay forever and Darius got the sense his mother wouldn't mind so much. But that wasn't the way of things. Once lunch was over it was time to be getting on. Hugs and promises of keeping in touch were exchanged and Darius found himself back out in the neighborhood he recognized, but didn't know.
Odette IC / Re: S1: Ep1 - Birds of a Feather
June 08, 2020, 08:44:53 am
The introductions continued on down the line, some folks giving the whole story with nothing to hide, others possibly leaving details up to the imagination or outright keeping the truth away from conversation altogether. But, lies or not, the crew found themselves just that: working together toward a common goal. The time required to travel from the Space Station Iscariot to the planet of Persephone passed and Evie found their destination clear on their radar. She reported to Captain Charity that they would land in about an hour.
Over tea, Darius' parents (mainly his mother, Pa never was much for conversation) filled him in on the goings-on of the neighborhood in the years since he'd left. While they had both been retired from law enforcement for a number of years, they still kept abreast of what was going on. In the last few years, as often happens in run down neighborhoods, unsavory elements had moved in with promises of prosperity for the residents of the area. Sometimes it was corporations who would gut the infrastructure for their own means, driving out competitors, create a monopoly, and then drive up prices to folks who didn't have a choice. Sometimes the government would come in with lofty ideals of cleaning up the streets, rise property values and when the original residents couldn't pay and are forced out, gentrify the neighborhood in the name of progress and invite a whole new, wealthier populace in with open arms. Unfortunately, it was neither that was plaguing Darius' old home.

The Red Talon Tong had moved in and set up shop with an iron fist, demanding tribute from local businesses, promising to leave folks be as long as they paid their rent. Their activities, specifically, were unknown to Ma, though she suspected it was likely drug related. They had headquartered at the old Mayor's mansion, who had abandoned the neighborhood long ago in favor of one of those progressive neighborhoods with a deluxe apartment in the sky.

"It don't matter much, though, Darius. They leave us be. Not everybody 'round these parts is happy with the Tong, but can't do much these days. You want some more tea?"
Home was where it always was, though perhaps not as it always was. A bit run down, like the rest of this part of the neighborhood. While other sections of town were booming, this seemed to be left as is. So while the paint was perhaps a bit worn, the streets lacking care, it still had everything Darius expected. Including his Ma, who was sweeping the porch, and his Pa, sitting in a rocking chair nearby smoking a pipe. Darius didn't have to get too close before his mother squealed in delight. "My boy! My boy!" She bounded down the steps with a vigor that belied her age. "You didn't say you was coming home, Darius. Pa, get up outta that chair and come see. It's your son!" With no small amount of grumbling, Pa Black obliged, groaning as his bones protested more than his mumbles did. He didn't come all the way down the stoop, however. His knees weren't what they used to be.

The streets were bustling this morning, traffic from cars, both hover and wheeled, kept the streets busy as pedestrians flocked the sidewalks and dared cross when the coast was clear. Vendors hawked their wares, children ran and played, the air was filled with the sounds of daily life as Darius Black took a stroll. He knew these streets, had been raised on them, and things hadn't changed much since he had left all those years ago. The same street carts and store fronts greeted him, though perhaps with different faces and different wares. It was the same and yet... something was off. Smiles for him, to be sure, he was recognized and remembered despite the years and traces of war he wore on his face.

But if one knew where to look, the demeanor was downcast. And one didn't have to guess why. People clad all in black patrolled the streets, stopping at each shop to speak with the owners, and the only thing they were bartering in was fear. Someone owned this neighborhood now, and it wasn't the shopkeepers.
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