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Messages - Rian Carpenter

1
Rian smirked at seeing one of Barnaby's ex-wives. It was the first time he'd actually gotten to meet one of them in person. The circumstances made it all the funnier to him. Sure he'd just outed himself to a super crook who turned out to already be in touch with his father. But Rian figured that he was probably blown the moment Abe followed them out of that meeting. The business of his somewhat false identity could wait.

"It's an honor to finally meet you, Gerrie. I'd shake your hand but ..."

He rattled his cuffs behind his back and shrugged his shoulders.

"What you gonna do?"

The cap got right to it, and didn't give Rian any opportunity to crack any cop jokes, and he followed suit right in lock step. What about Mona? The younger man thought. His face shifted and he simply followed Goodweather's interrogative with a short:

"Yeah... 'bout that?"

The Darling was out the beagles, their payday, and so far one XO. They were doing the right thing and deserved something close to a win. Though he was already pushing his luck for the day with one fresh bullet wound in his torso to remind him of that.
2
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
February 07, 2020, 01:33:17 pm
As Rian zipped down to the train he spotted two Feds at the hatch Mattie had popped open. There was a faint billowing of smoke behind them too. It looks like the feds had them all in a neat little trap and the temporary XO's rescue plan was already shot to hell.

In another life his next move would have been to run or go through them. But Carpenter couldn't help but smirk slightly. If Barnie had played this right, they may finally be free and clear of this crazy job. Maybe even get Mona back? For now Rian would play nice with the cops. He released his rifle from his hands and let it hand freely from his shoulder strap, then put up his hands in surrender.

Dropping to his knees the feds grabbed him and pulled him inside the train, disarming him and his pulling his ident-card from his back pocket before he could.

"Would you guys believe this was all about little beagle alarm clocks?"

The feds were slapping cuffs and they dropped the Darling's security officer next to Abernathy as the feds took control of the scene. He turned to their former captor and addressed the man who in another time would have been his peer.

"Abe... no matter how this works out... remember you're the one who got yourself in this situation. You delude yourself or any of your colleagues with notions of vengeance...You know who I am."

He stared down the career criminal and was confident in his little promise to him. Rian didn't expect Abe to stay in jail too long, and if he was as legit as he presented himself to be, he'd have figured out who Carpenter was really Jimmy Russo's AWOL son and former top enforcer. Cut from the same cloth, they were both now in a familiar position to men of their ilk, shackled and on their knees before the long arm of the law.

"Anybody call top bunk at the clink yet?."

Rian looked around casually, all to comfortable with the situation.
3
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
January 30, 2020, 09:27:14 am
Quote from: undefined"Rian! Tabby! I'm dying, Tabby!"

Rian both gripped the flight controls harder and half tried to get up out of his chair. His brain firing contradictory orders to his body at the same time. Something was wrong down there... or maybe things were going exactly to plan... No. This definitely wasn't part of any kind of plan. He had to go.

Exchanging a look with Riot, he gave her a nod as if to say. "Yeah. I gotta go."

It wasn't macho posturing anymore. Barnaby was in trouble. Rian disengaged his seatbelt and as Tabby tried to stop him he caught her hand and held it gently.

"Barnie's in trouble. Please... I gotta help him help Mona, please help me help him help Mona?"

Rian winced slightly realizing how stupid that sounded. But it was true. He let go of her hand and pointed back towards the hallway.

"You can tranquilize me if you want but I'm going to try and operate some of your medical equipment, and I don't really know what I'm doing."

With that he was sprinting down the steel hallways of the Darling and grabbed the doorway to help him swing around and into the medbay. Again ripping his shirt off, he pulled the tape and gauze aside on his wound. He needed to reinforce this patch up so he could move freely.

Carpenter grabbed a medical stapler off a shelf as it was the only medical instrument he recognized. He thought back for just a split second. Just a flash of a memory, his dad shoving a bottle of whiskey into his mouth, then stapling his first bullet wound. That right of passage long behind him, he held the stapler up to his wound, and pulled the trigger.

"Gōngjī hé qiú!"

He smashed his fist down onto the tray-table beside him, then looked up and saw Tabby in the doorway. He sighed, mostly at himself and his haste.

"I can't let anything else happen...She's down there 'cos of me. So's Barnie and Mattie... I gotta go."
4
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
January 10, 2020, 10:24:24 am
Rian watched as Mattie popped the hatch like it was old hat and smirked slightly. He knew she could handle herself and she continued to pay of his trust in her and verify that instinct he had in that harrowing moment they met. Barnaby was out of his element but five times tougher than you'd guess. He chimed in over their coms once Barnaby finally got inside following the rest of the boarding team.

"Don't take anything for granted in there, ticking clock, move and clear. Watch your corners..."

And don't trust Abe any further than you can throw 'em. The temporary XO wished he could say that part.

It was probably better the former outlaw wasn't on the boarding party. More than likely he would have just turned on Abe and his crew in there, leaving their corpses to take the blame for their jailbreak. Though, in his injured state he likely would have gotten himself killed and endangered the crew in the process. Besides. They had some tricks up their sleeves still. Hopefully.

He got to wondering when he could get back into the game.

"Hey doc... how long before you think I'll be recovered from the blood loss? Risk of further internal injury shouldn't be too bad if I have to go down there..."

Somehow he knew this idea wasn't going to go over too well.

"Never-mind. I'm flying now. That's a thing I'm doing right now... and totally competent. I'm fine. We're fine."

He chuckled somewhat awkwardly.
5
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
December 02, 2019, 01:51:34 pm
Rian gripped the secondary set of controls in the co-pilot's seat. He'd been given a couple brief overviews of the ship's controls. Now-a-day's some modern ships barely needed a human pilot. The human operator practically ticking a series of boxes on a checklist, rather than personally maneuvering a massive hunk of steel around through galaxy. The Darling however, wasn't the newest boat on the pond so today Rian was going to have to white knuckle it with their mechanic, as they faked their way through their first turn at the controls.

He looked over at Riot and shot her a look, a sort of half smile, half panic. One that communicated his shared feeling of being out of his depth. The security specialist let a long exhale out. He tried to clear his mind and calm down. Carpenter had to push down his preoccupation with trying to seize control of the situation. No matter how involved he was with the plan, he wasn't roping down to that train himself and the reduced agency itched at him like wool underwear.

Now the ranking crewmember on the bridge, authority always fit him well, but he hated the circumstance in which it was thrust upon him. The precariousness of it all. With a few taps on the control panel he pivoted one of the exterior cameras to face the train. He carefully watched the racing locomotive beneath him. Already on the lookout for trouble.

The hapless co-pilot tried to cut the tension, quipping to Riot.

"Looks like our plan to run off together with the ship is working out gangbusters."

He paused for a moment, then clarified, immediately discarding the joke.

"Seriously though, things go south down there, we're taking this ship right back to the Baron's little fiefdom and we're gonna have words... And bullets..."
6
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
November 13, 2019, 09:14:41 am
Rian smirked. Barnaby wasn't a fighter in the sense Rian was. But he was miles from a pushover. He then considered the tactical realities of the train. This wasn't going to be his forte, but if he kept his head on straight and they all shot in the same direction, he'd be okay. The real trick would be minimizing the actual shooting.

"Make sure you put down anyone who gets in your way out there, it's just...."

The gravity of the situation, the tangled knot of obligation to the crew, but also their obligation to their consciences. They weren't all exactly the biggest supporters of the Anglo-Sino Alliance of planets, but also didn't exactly revel in the idea of gunning dozens of these young federals down.

"Things are likely to get messy. Things go south, any of Abe's guys get hit, leave 'em. If you end up alone with him... Let's just say I only care that our people come back, and if they're chasing Abe they're not chasing us. That ain't an order but don't waste any opportunities."

He motioned towards the wound on his chest that didn't take him down, then made a "two" with his fingers, tapping his chest, then a 1 with his index finger then tapped his forehead.

"Stay calm, keep it simple, keep it clean, cover them as they head back to the cable on the roof, don't take any chances. Nuclear option: there's a failsafe on every turbo train, back left corner of every car, there's emergency brake override, looks like a big black box on the wall, just jam a knife into the wiring that leads into it, 50 tonnes of steel come to a complete stop within five seconds. Mona, Barn, only priorities."

7
The Darling Crew / Re: Rian Carpenter
November 04, 2019, 04:16:27 pm
Medical Records

Official:
MALADYDESC-TREATMENT-ETC
INJURYDESC-TREATMENT-ETC

Ship Specific (If going by an assumed name):
MALADYDESC-TREATMENT-ETC
INJURYDESC-TREATMENT-ETC
8
The Darling Crew / Re: Rian Carpenter
November 04, 2019, 04:16:17 pm
Equipment

A semi-automatic rifle with a collapsible stock and short-range sight, a standard issue unification war era Alliance Officer's Pistol, a digital assistant/com link, a worn old tri-fold wallet, a small fold-out pocket knife, and a chef's journal full of recipes. He brings an ammo crate full of cooking knives, and a few cooking utensils from ship to ship. 
9
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
October 22, 2019, 05:36:00 pm
Location: Infirmary

Rian blushed slightly after the kiss on the head and the assurance he was part of this family. In his head sometimes he tried to convince himself he was a bit of a stowaway. The distance he'd put between himself and the crew had eroded a lot over the course of the job, or maybe he was just now realizing how much he'd already been pulled in. The moment of catharsis was promptly interrupted by his new friend.

He chuckled slightly at her entrance. His prediction that somebody was going to smash their way through before he ever need to try and slip through proved true. She was here on Captain's orders indicating she was at least joining up for the job. She wasn't wrong about storming through the ship with that lead riding in his rib-cage and he had to acknowledge that again. As usual the women in the room were informing him of why he was a dumb-pi gu and they weren't wrong. Though he did have the inkling the blonde enforcer probably would have done the same were roles reversed.

"Yeah... you're not wrong there. I was just tellin' Doctor Haemish that."

Rian nodded and made a face that was almost like a smirk but more like a self conscious bemusement at his own stupidity. Letting the moment hang for just a second, before she could get to why the Captain had sent her down, he just got right into it.

"Please tell me you're going to watch Barnaby's pee-gu on this cockamamie plan I sorta helped make...?"

The cook quickly continued, directing her to the ships armory and his additions to it:

"The armory in the cargo-bay, you probably saw it, I've got a stash in there. Ballistic armor padding, you saw me ripping that off earlier... Um but my rifle is in there, you can take that any of the breaching charges in the red box labeled 'keep away from open flames'. Probably gonna need those and when you're on the train-"

As he tried to think of what else he wanted her to know about his plan to work, he realized he still didn't know this girl's name. Rian stopped that train of thought right in its tracks and backtracked. Cursing himself out in Chinese he tried to reconcile this, as previously they'd only exchanged about ten words and he really didn't want to mess this professional relationship before it was too late.

"Wǒ shìgè báichī. Wǒ hěn bàoqiàn! Maybe we should have a normal introduction?"

He shifted to try and sit more upright, wincing just a bit from the discomfort then extended his right hand.

"Rian Carpenter. Security specialist, ship cook and temporary XO I think..."

With the bullets no longer flying, he no longer had that same confidence and bravado more characteristic of the outlaw he once was. Forced to sit this round out in the med-bay he was extra out of his element. He suppressed the urge to go on more about the job or try and give her any orders. They all knew the plan. All he could do know was rely on her and the rest of the crew to keep their head's on straight once this crazy plan got in motion. And as the time old adage goes: No plan survives contact with the enemy.
10
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
October 18, 2019, 06:08:03 pm
Med Bay

You can do this Rian. One breath in. One breath out. Repeat. You cannot control every situation, and the liberal expenditure of ammunition will not solve any of your problems right now. Yes, there are no guns within five feet of you right now. That is okay.

He took that breath, in, then out. He repeated the mantra again in his mind. Years of a certain lifestyle made it hard for him to cede even the smallest amount of what he perceived to give him control, agency, freedom. Carpenter knew that his guns were equally shackles. The longer a gun is your hammer, everything, and sometimes everyone could look like a nail. Plus it was the infirmary, if anything popped off there were at least 4 implements nearby he could use to slice an assailants throat within two paces.

Don't mention how many things there are you could use to stab somebody with in here. Tabby will take them away.

The security specialist and temporary XO reminded himself. Tabby was on the war-path to keep him from further injuring himself, or passing out from over exertion given how much blood he'd lost. He almost instinctively rejected Tabby's offer of a sandwich through her adorably stern face. But he never ate before a job, so he was actually pretty hungry, and the sooner he ate the sooner he'd start to get his energy back, and be less likely to pass out if he stood up too quickly.

Rian smiled back at his attending physician's attempt to put him in his place. It didn't intimidate him but it had its desired effect nonetheless. Resistance was futile, and Tabitha Haemish would be damned if she was going to let him go storming off into a fruitless display of toxic masculinity.

"Yeah... I'll take a sandwich. Thank you, Tabby."

The former outlaw attempted to relax and brought the bed up into an only semi-reclined position. He added 

"Not just for the sandwich. Thanks for patching me up and uhh... for benching me. I've been on this ship months now.. I've been lucky to just be the cook y'know? Thanks for telling 'old Rian' to take a hike."

He'd finally distracted himself for a moment, and just for a second he wasn't thinking about Merryweather's verkakte version of his plan. Then again, his version of the plan wasn't much better. They had a veritable buffet of crappy options to choose from. Rian didn't even realize he'd just spoken about his life before Darling with another crewmember for the first time. He'd been incredibly careful to avoid the subject so far but he'd finally slipped a little. This was beginning to feel like home now, despite or because of the insane situation. 
11
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
October 10, 2019, 12:31:37 pm
Rian was losing this fight. Defeated at every turn, his foe anticipated each move, and countered. He tried telling her:

"I'm fine, Tabs."

The cook insisted:

"This is like... the mosquito bite of gunshot wounds."

While he was well versed in combat, Carpenter found himself ill-prepared for thwarting the therapeutic imprisonment thrust upon him by the ship doctor. He couldn't get too frustrated with her about it. Tabby's superpower seemed to be that she was one of the few people in this universe that never really brought out his bad side, or even saw that much of it from a distance. Rian Russo was pretty well bottled up inside but he could practically feel himself bouncing off the walls in his mind.

Tabby had left him alone for a few minutes now. He checked his arm and looked around him to see if he was still "plugged in" to the EKG or to any IVs. It looked like he was in the clear. He slid quietly, like a mouse, off the bed and started to tip-toe towards the exit, but only as he got the doorway, was he intercepted, and his plans of escape once again were thwarted. It was his captain this time though. He felt a slight rush of relief.

"Oh, hey Cap, I was about to go look for you after I found a shirt...I was thinking about what Abe said..."

Before his boss could interrupt him he stepped back and sat on the edge of the medical bed, wincing slightly as the wound was still a bit fresh, but pain was temporary. At least that's what his dad always said.

"I want to get Mona back. But if we're going to partner up with this guy to take her back we're gonna have to be careful."

Rian commandeered one of the tablets in the room used for medical charts and such, and switched it over to something he'd been working on when Tabby wasn't looking.

"And I'm not talking about your normal kind of careful..."

=======================================

The Darling rattled like a can kicked down the road. The combined high speed and wind coming off the turbo-train made the whole ship take on a resonance. Rian, Mattie, Riot, and Abernathy stand in the cargo bay just in front of the ramp, waiting for the door to open. The former crook and his crewmates were all dressed head to toe in black, balaclavas covering their faces, body armor on their torsos, alliance surplus sub-machine-guns in hand, pistols on hips.

They didn't look like the humble crew of a blue collar cargo ship any more. They looked much more like the Russo gang in its heyday. The cargo ramp opened up, and nearly just as soon as that happened, Abe fired a device that looked like a missile launcher and a spear gun combined. Its steel spiked tip heated up to near melting point in microseconds as it ripped through the air, and essentially welded itself onto the hull of the train on impact. A cable stretched all the way back to Abe as he slammed the other side of the launcher down on the Darling's steel floor, and it fired two bolts that locked it into place.

As the crew lined up and hitched themselves up, they slid down through a rush of air, all of them still dead silent. Landing atop the speeding train with a thud, Rian got busy with his breaching charges, and popped an emergency escape hatch from the outside, turning back and giving the team a thumbs up. Then, one by one, they dropped in. The team followed behind Rian, pressing down the hallway, watching doorways as they went.

Then, through the first junction between cars, the first guard turned, and saw them. Before words could meet tongue, a spray of bullets erupted. They pressed on, alarms began to blare, their steps still quick but deliberate. More guards came funneling down the halls towards them, into what professionals like Rian and Abe would call "a kill box" attacking right into a ready and equipped cadre. Room by room, they cleared them all, purple uniforms falling to the floor, pools of blood left as their wake.

Mona sat up from her steel bunk, looking around, she and the other prisoners were a mix of scared, confused, and excited. She looked on in confusion as she saw her crew clad head to toe in black armor, and arterial spray spattered across Rian's mask as he walked up to her cell and placed a breaching charge. The cell popped, and before she could say a word of thanks or protest, he threw a black hood over her face, and hit her neck with a small auto-injector full of sedative. The valkyerie crumbled to the floor. As she faded into unconsciousness, the Russo gang member pulled a set of charges out of his backpack and placed them in several spots as the other prisoners shouted, and pleaded to be released or told what was going on.

As they hooked up and zipped back up to the ship, a timer counted down, and anyone looking back would have seen all the train cars they crossed through suddenly buckle outwards and jets of flame blew out the windows with a thunderous explosion. Rian pulled his mask off, and along with the rest of the crew, dragged their compatriot back through the cargo bay. Abernathy finally speaking to say:

"I knew I liked you..."

===========================================
Rian took a breath and plopped the diagram of the turbo-train down. This is what it would take. This was what they'd signed themselves up for. If you want to dance with the devil, you better know the steps. He couldn't see it any other way. If they were really going to work with this black market thug, they'd have to play by his rules and leave no witnesses. No single part of Rian wanted to do this. Even the part of him that could be still called a Russo knew he could pull it off, but shuddered to think if it was truly worth it.

"I was tryin' to say earlier, Cap... We go on the dark side of the law on this, we've gotta go all the way. Or else we're gonna end up in a worse cell than Mona for the rest of our lives, or all buried in the same shallow grave by Abe's gang."

Was he seriously suggesting they become terrorists? No. But if they wanted the Alliance to think it was somebody else, the simplest way to sell that is to use the kind of brutality some of the more extreme browncoat partisans. He also, wanted to convince Barnaby of just what a bad idea it was going to be cooperating with this guy.

"Or... me and Abe have a chat in the cargo bay alone. You distract the crew for a couple minutes. You can contact the Baron and tell 'em it was me, then drop me off at the next port. They'll spend the rest of eternity coming after me and those chips. Not y'all."

He itched at the bandage on his bare chest and looked down at the floor. Rian was the one who drove off as he watched Mona get cuffed. Part of him knew he could have tried harder to get her back, but those who fell behind stayed behind on his old crew. For sins recent and long past, Rian wanted penance, even if he didn't deserve forgiveness. He didn't want any of these things to happen, but he wanted his crew happy and whole again. Even if that meant he'd have to walk through fire.
12
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
October 07, 2019, 09:12:46 am
Rian had holstered his weapon, giving into Tabby's medical decision to bench him. He was just off to the side as Riot and Mattie kept Abernathy honest, so to speak. He was leaning back on the steel hull peeling off his glued-on ballistic material, to allow Tabby to work. Carpenter was bloody, exhausted, nearly out of ammunition and in a really bad mood. nothing about Abernathy really made sense to him. He'd taken over the ship via a sort of "silk glove" invasion, and now Barnaby was still letting him have his way, even now that they've retaken the ship.

Carpenter tugged on a larger piece of the ballistic material, making a long protracted ripping sound and he groaned slightly at the pain of the bullet lodged in his rib-cage as he continued tearing off his armor. He couldn't help but chuckle slightly though, at Abernathy's "real men" comment. Not one for enforcing gender roles, the cook noticed everyone else noticing him laughing lightly to himself.

"Oh. I just thought it was funny what he's saying. I tell you what, if he's a 'fake man' that impostor's got a point..."

While he'd been making fun of the Arlo's name earlier, the posh guest did know when to take action and make himself part of the solution.

"I can't help but wonder why you're suddenly so friendly, huh? Let's cut the goh-se. You had this ship more or less hostage up until: oh, say thirty seconds ago. If any of that agony over our misfortune was real you'd have met us at the docks with a mule, not in the ship with a handful of shooters... Hell, I thought I needed to offer my new blood spattered friend here a job to even the score."

He winced slightly as he pulled off the final piece of his ballistic padding and propped himself up against the wall, his adrenaline was still going. Carpenter, eyed Barnaby and just shook his head as the shirtless culinary artist resigned himself to the current state of affairs. Every instinct in his body was telling him to waste no more time on Abernathy spare what it took to put a 9mm in his brain-pan then vent him out the airlock with the rest of his goons. But that's not how they did business on the Darling.

"I'm fixing to get Mona back from the feds, but we do it with this guy...If we're gonna get out clean we're still gonna end up bloody..."

He started walking back down the hall and away from Abernathy and the assembled crew. This was supposed to be a simple salvage job, but the longer it went on, the more it called on the part of him he'd hoped to retire kept creeping back out. Slumping slightly in his posture from the pain and exhaustion, he departed, his words echoing back:

"... but what do I know? I'm just the cook."
13
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
September 27, 2019, 05:12:07 pm
Rian, exercising proper "muzzle discipline", pointed his weapon down at the ground the second Tabby entered his frame of vision. Just as soon as she emerged, so did Riot, neither of them seemed to be particularly captive at the moment. Now he was confused, but gave a thumbs up to Mattie, to indicate they were okay to let their guard down a bit. Confused, angry, bleeding, but still, he was relieved.

"Hey guys..."

The security specialist still carefully approached the engine room Riot had just exited, and saw the unconscious goon Bandit had knocked out, smiling sightly he popped back out of the engine room. He was proud of his crew for standing up for themselves in his absence. But they weren't in the clear yet. One unwelcome guest on a ship can be ten pounds of trouble and he wasn't going to relax or even think about medical treatment until he shoved that smug son of a bitch into their airlock. Intuiting the situation somewhat, he started moving towards the front and the cockpit, motioning with a jerk of his head to Mattie to follow.

"Are all of our guests besides Abernathy all tucked in? I think I should join the Captain and see if they could use some more company."

With his free hand, Carpenter pulled the shirt/bandage tight around his stomach. The patch-work of ballistic material looked like a ratty sleeveless shirt and a tire had a love child, but had done a good enough job to decelerate the round now grinding into one of his ribs, and the white shirt was slowly turning more red. The death dealing culinary artist gritted his teeth and controlled his breathing. Now wasn't the time to relax. At least not yet.

The son of a crook proceeded forward passed his crewmates, weapon aimed forward, back in the game, checking corners, right up to the door of the cockpit. Sliding up next to the entry he bellowed out one more time:

"Abernathy! You're going to step out of there, hands interlocked above your head. Slow, and calm..."

Rian steeled himself. The man had an upper crust wardrobe, but his body language and the way he watched the room before screamed that the two of them were cut from near the same cloth. He couldn't trust this would go smooth. Not for a second. After only a second he barked again.

"You're still in there by '1' I'm comin' in blasting.... Three... Two..."
14
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
September 12, 2019, 06:14:32 pm
Rian's eyes lit up, and some of that precious adrenaline hit his bloodstream. He turned his head over to the pilot. His and Mattie's seats were staggered back slightly, but he still made sure that his gun was again pointed at the pilot, but not so close she could try and head-butt it or otherwise make a quick play at it to try and turn the tables.

"I'm going to cut you loose. My friend is going to keep you honest while you get us in position."

Rian holstered his pistol and cut the tie loose before unbuckling himself for a moment to pull off his suit jacket and then just rip off his shirt, popping the buttons right off. Rather than a proper undershirt or his bare-chest, there was the patch-work of ballistic material he'd glued right onto his body. He rolled up the shirt then tied it around his torso like as an improvised bandage. He smacked his chest once to help jolt his adrenaline.

"Full disclosure, I gotta double check with Barnaby, but he hasn't responded to what I radio'd earlier. Which means somebody's probably got them leaving orbit at gunpoint. Cap wouldn't leave me behind knowing I wasn't pinched or dead."

Carpenter shifted his attention to the pilot:

"Don't wait for them to come to us. Dock, close the doors behind us and hit the gas. You ain't ever going to see us again. Assuming you do the smart thing and find a new job."

Strapping himself back in as the pilot, changed course and the afterburners punched them back into their seats. The darling grew larger and larger in their vision. The security specialist tried to brief Mattie best he could for the mess he was pulling her into.

"You'll recognize the people who were at the meet but check your fire when we breach. We show this asshole we mean business he'll back down. If he's smart. I'll watch left, you clear the right. There will be rooms on each side as we advance, we go straight all the way to the bow. After we clear the first floor, we secure the bridge. They'll probably have at least four or five men to effectively overpower the crew."

The ship reversed thrust hard as they came to an even harder stop, smacking into the darling hard enough that everybody on the ship should have felt it. Scrambling, Rian undid his restraints and sprang out of his chair, letting Mattie keep on eye on their chauffeur for a second as he bolted towards the airlock, pulling back on his shoulder holsters as he ran.

"Barnaby, if you can hear this... French fries."

He warned Barnaby over the comm, before pocketing it. Carpenter opened the shuttle doors to reveal the Darling's cargo-bay doors, then he punched in a code on a keypad. The knocking of metal could be felt as the locks and then the doors themselves moved. As soon as the doors opened wide enough for him to fit through, he exploded forward into the cargo bay.

"Abernathy!!!"
15
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
August 09, 2019, 05:56:56 pm
Orbit

Rian snatched the tie with his free hand and held onto it for a minute as they escaped the bounds of the planet's gravity, keeping his weapon trained on the captive pilot. He didn't take any microsecond he had somebody held at gunpoint for granted. Most of the Baron's employees were ready to fight and die for their paycheck. Save one. As he felt the ship settle into orbit, waiting for the Darling to break atmo herself, Rian needed to keep the Pilot under control if she got any ideas.

"Now what?"

She asked pointedly. His blood red index finger pointed toward the cockpit windscreen indicated he wanted her to stay eyes front. His voice calm, and almost polite he told his captive:

"You're doing great. Face forward, bring your arms back towards me like you're hugging the seat backwards."

The man had obviously held a lot of people at gunpoint before. If Mattie hadn't caught on this shepherd spent some time as a wolf, it likely became a bit obvious now. Carpenter had pressed the tie against his wound only for a few moments as they'd entered the atmosphere, but it was still a bit damp with blood as he wrapped it around the pilot's wrists to keep her from trying anything stupid for a moment. It was less severe than the method of crowd control his father had always preferred. The compact breaching charges they all carried made convenient motivators. A strip applied to the base of the skull between the neck and the spine on each prisoner, and a hand on a dead man's switch was just about fool-proof.

He dismissed the thought and holstered his weapon after he pulled the knot tight. Rian's eyes stayed on the radar on the shuttle's dashboard. Rian couldn't fly, but he had memorized the Darling's transponder ID, and the second it popped up on their proximity screen he'd free up the pilot's hands so they could make a hasty rendezvous with his employer. A seemingly endless moment passed, and Rian sighed, wondering what was taking them so long to get into orbit. Riot should have had the engines spooled up and ready to go. Something was still off.

Rian thought of the nouveau riche fellow who made a bid for the goods. The killer cook switched his gaze over to his new blond compatriot:

"You know anything about that tall guy with the beard at The Baron's? You helped escort Thappington Montgomery Moneypants or whatever out with us..."

Carpenter asked, pausing only for a moment, his face had grown more serious. The idea his crew might still be in danger without him or Mona on the ship was starting to bug him. Especially since he was starting to suspect their friend from the Baron's fortress of doom was making his play, and that's why the Darling was delayed. His devil may care mid-battle veneer shifted to something slightly different. Rian addressed the pilot again.

"The moment The Darling is zero G, I want you to make an emergency docking maneuver. I killed some of your co-workers but that's only on account of them trying to murder my crew. My friend here made a different choice. I ain't got one drop of hate for you, but I need to get back to my ship before somebody kills my crew. Roles reversed, I imagine you might do something similar. But since we're putting ourselves in each other's shoes, don't think for a second I won't cut you apart if you don't let me save them."

He sat back in his chair, and noted that he hadn't started to feel faint yet. He could feel the sting in his chest and as adrenaline was fading. The bullet was lodged into his ribcage. It would bleed and hurt like hell until Tabby plucked it out, but he figured he wasn't in mortal danger. Rian glanced over at Mattie:

"Hey... Thanks."

Then just like that Carpenter directed his attention back to the radar screen, waiting, hoping, everything short of praying to see her pop up on screen.
16
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do
July 27, 2019, 10:26:18 am
Outside the Darling

Rian watched the crowd carefully as Mattie worked her way through the melee unfolding before them but his eyes narrowed on the Darling as she came in sight, and her closed ramp. This threw his plan into the shredder and the gunhand started looking for another option. The Darling needed to get into orbit with the cargo now while they had a chance of getting away with their freedom and their potential payday. Almost chuckling at Mattie's question about the dress code he smiled somewhat self consciously.

"No... I just try to look the part of a professional...You seem to let your actions do the talkin'.."

Carpenter pulled the communicator out of his jacket and informed Barnaby of his new plan as he caught sight of a shuttle at the docks bearing the Baron's mark.

"We'll meet you in orbit, Darling."

A trio of the baron's guards huddled around his overly ornate shuttle, pointing it out to Mattie he tucked the communicator back into his pocket and withdrew his forty caliber. As they drew in, the guard's took notice and once again bullets were pinging off the mule's engine block and it started to finally give out.

"Like I said... appearance of being professional... think your boss will miss a shuttle too?"

As they ground to a halt, Rian came out guns blazing and kept moving, darting to the side and strafing fire across the clustered group. Between him and Mattie they had enough firepower and surprise to put a round in each of the guards before they had a chance to properly take aim before returning fire. Bursting through the door to the cockpit, Carpenter made his intentions and expectations very clear.

"Orbit or a bullet. Pick."

He found himself worrying about if the pilot didn't cooperate, how he was going to get this thing in the air, why nobody had answered back from the Darling yet, and what that stinging sensation was in his middle chest. He felt the area with his free hands as he aimed the other at the pilot's head. He let his hand fall back to his side, showing slight touch of red from the blood that had seeped through his subtle armor under his suit. The round had been slowed down but nothing was truly bulletproof. His adrenaline still pumping, Rian decided now wasn't the time to address such trivial things and sat himself down next to the pilot and started strapping himself in with his bloodied hand.

"Now!"

He shouted somewhat incredulously. Rian had just planted a lead farm in a not insignificant portion of her coworkers, but he was now strangely dependent on this stranger to stay alive and possibly rescue the crew. He gave his new partner a look of bemused exasperation as if to say. "Another day at the office, yknow?"
17
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
July 22, 2019, 06:21:26 pm
Rian watched as Mona leaped off the mule, distracting the feds as he neutralized the threat. He recognized the sonic weapons coming out and the group assembling around her. It distracted him from his jokingly flirtatious greeting to his new friend. As smoke rose from the vehicle he'd just shot up and the Darling's mule slipped into the chaotic crowd on the docks and the gunhand brought his attention back to Mattie.

"Aiya... Sorry about usurping your vengeance there...I think a friend of mine just got herself pinched..."

He made a show of carefully placing his pistol back into his shoulder holster under his suit jacket. The chaotic scene juxtaposed with his somewhat nonchalant demeanor didn't betray how worried he was about Mona at the moment. He could join the fray, but that'd likely only get him and his new friend locked up too. He tied it off, and shut the thought from his mind. Focusing on getting Mona out of the lockup would just land him in a matching cell. Best he could see, he and the blond badass had about one shot to try and gun the shot-up mule towards the Darling.

"I don't know what brought you 'round to my side of the fight, but I'm sure glad you were on it. If you can help me get to the Darling, you can usurp vengeance from me any time you want."

Rian didn't have much time to make his pitch and seeing the group of approaching purple bellies, he hoped that the implied job offer wouldn't come off as a flirtation, and that Barnaby would be okay with that seeing as how security was his job, he wasn't exactly cleared to start hiring strange women he'd just met, but today was a weird day, that called for weird solutions. He threw his hands up as if to ask "What you gonna do?" as the feds got closer and he pointed towards a gap in the crowd and the Alliance agents.

"We go flat out towards that gap, we might make it before this hunk of junk departs this world."

Pulling on a seat-belt he stretched one arm then the other. Preparing for a rough ride.

"Darling, myself and a friend are going to be approaching in the mule that just attacked. I'd ask you kindly not shoot us."

He paused for just a second, considering omitting what just happened to their XO, and the sacrifice play she'd just made for them.

"Feds have Mona."

With that, a bit of emotion, and frustration finally registered amid the fracas. Rian punched the plastic dashboard of the mule and growled, momentarily venting the feelings of guilt that accompanied telling Mattie to drive right past the agents as they locked her up. He rattled off several very profane things in Chinese and only a second or so later had himself calmed down and back in the game. Mostly.
18
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
June 27, 2019, 05:01:24 pm
Richie Rich was full of sass today. Any other day he'd find it annoying but given the circumstances, it just added a layer of absurdist comedy to him. Rather than try and correct him on his use of the term "contact" or whether he needed his tips on what to shoot at, it turned out their erudite passenger was on to something and hit the weak spot he'd been talking about. The man was a bit too indignant for his taste but he wasn't all talk at least. The gunhand squeezed out the last couple of rounds in his magazine at the vehicle as it started to approach again after crashing through the mall.

"Looks like your idea helped but we still haven't gotten their insurance information!"

Rian nudged Thackery playfully as he slapped a fresh clip into his pistol.

"Try not to shoot me okay?"

As the pursuing mule got close he shouted to his Captain, some sort of wild plan Barnaby would probably disapprove of already formed in his mind:

"I'm gonna go see if I can get their contact information, Cap! I'll be right back."

The enemy mule now pressing up to their bumper, he leaped across and landed in a crouched position on their hood, but not before a bump nearly threw him loose and he had to grab onto the passenger's side mirror. Now close enough to see clearly what had unfolded on their mule since they'd crashed through the shopping center, it must have been their turncoat passenger who lobbed one of their sorry asses out of the vehicle, and not Rian's shot at his dome. It finally dawned on him that Mattie had switched sides and The Darling's security specialist gave Mattie a mischievous smile as he asked:

"Hey, you mind grabbing the wheel?"

Rian's pistol was already pointed at the driver so she could put her hands on the controls. The second she did, with no warning he put a round into Bret's forehead. His cold calculus put them at equal chance of crashing anyway in the vehicle's wobbly state, and a live man fighting them for control wasn't something he wanted to contend with right now. He scrambled over and into the passenger's seat as Mattie drove from the back seat.

"Anyway, hi. I'm Rian. This may be a bit forward and all seeing as we just met and there's a teeny bit of arterial spray in your hair, but you wanna maybe get out of here and ambush an ambush?"
19
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
June 12, 2019, 06:39:26 pm
Location: En Route to The Darling

"Nǐ zài shuǎ wǒ ma?"

He watched the mule approach. As they drew closer, their shouting to each other over the rushing air was loud enough for him to hear once they got within a reasonable distance. Not the particulars but he clocked the attractive and capable looking blond security guard from Baron Fancy Pants' place and it was for sure. Since Rian had climbed on the back, he had a perfect view of them as they encroached, then lined up. Borrowing some military vernacular he learned from a vet he ran jobs with, Carpenter shouted to everyone aboard:

"CONTACT! SIX O'CLOCK!"

Firmly holding onto a steel handle, he felt the mule practically kick out from beneath him with the impact and as they spun around. But just as quickly as they'd spun around they were facing foward again and in motion as the all-purpose vehicle and their captain regained control. Rian counted about three gunhands in the Baron's mule. But they weren't shooting yet, that meant Serge, the driver, just jumped up to the top of Rian's list of people he's going to shoot at. The second the mule stabilized under him, Rian's hand came out from inside his jacket where it had been resting on his pistol, lined him up, and squeezed the trigger, then shifted one spot over to Bret and Carpenter let loose another. 

"I swear to god, Cap!"

Rian held on for dear life and gritted his teeth in frustration. Another time he'd have lit them up sooner, but seeing as he probably needed to let them attack before anything he did might start getting considered manslaughter-y if there were cameras. Aiming at the engine of the vehicle chasing them he let loose four more rounds in quick succession.

POP-POP-POP-POP

Why he hadn't taken any shots at the blond? Chivalry? Ingrained sexism? Rian wasn't sure but she was in the back and wouldn't be a threat in a disabled vehicle. Hopefully. It was the sort of thing his dad would have kicked his pi gu for back in the day.

"I'm like a reverse lucky charm, everywhere we go somebody tries to kill us!"

And then I have to kill a bunch of people...

Pistol still firmly in hand, he tried to keep it aimed at the enemy mule as they sped off.
20
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep2 - Blasting Off Again
June 05, 2019, 09:52:19 am
Location: Cythera Casino and Resort

"We made a new friend, she's awful pretty. A little stern but we all have our flaws. She wants to speak to the Captain, wants to take the boxes from us, but we told her we don't have any idea what she's talking about,"

He smiled, but wanted to caution the doctor. He was glad she didn't give much of anything away but a flat denial like that could get them in trouble.

"You just keep that pretty Alliance Officer busy and stay off-topic and I'll make dessert tonight-"

The preacher ruined his plan for a bribe:

""Headed back home now Rian, a little light on the groceries. We'll have to have those ribs another time.""

Cursing in Chinese as Rian climbed up onto the back of the mule on the driver's side. He perched himself so that he could pivot around and watch the crowds as they made their way back to the docks. He could feel in Barnaby's driving that his suspicion had grown contagious.

"Don't you worry about it, Vic. We're on our way home..."

As they sped down the streets he eyed each alley suspiciously, any clusters of individuals near a choke point. Carpenter could feel the noose tightening around them as he rested his hand on his holster.
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