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Messages - Rian Carpenter

1
The Darling IC / Re: S1:Ep5 - Life from Red Clay
August 07, 2020, 02:19:47 pm
The Home Team

They got to the cargo bay and their new mechanic was gone. There wasn't a sound coming from the ship. He was speechless there for a moment. Tabby's arm still wrapped around his to coax him into a relaxing jaunt through the ship. At least that was the idea. But now that Riggs wasn't where he was supposed to be, he was worrying about that loud sound he'd heard earlier.

He looked around the room for a moment. Trying to find signs of a scuffle like blood or well any kinda hint and the mystery just deepened. The highest ranking crew-member on board found himself in quite the sudden staffing emergency. It was his first hour in charge and he'd lost half of the crew in his charge. He moved quickly to a microphone on the cargo bay wall. It was hooked up to the ship-wide PA system and he beckoned the errant mechanic.

"Riggs, your pee-gu better be on the latrine right now. Double back to the cargo bay after you wash your hands eh? Better yet just holler back at me over the intercom. There's one on the wall in most rooms."

Rian stood there for a moment by the intercom waiting. The unending wall of noise from the outside made it feel somewhere almost like too much, but so much that it all nearly homogenized into nothing, nearly silence. His right hand still rested atop his pistol. Index finger tapping out a beat synced up only to his level of anxiety. The former enforcer would take ten firefights than go through something like this. It was like walking on thin ice. Except instead of slipping and falling, its possibly a well trained assassin, versed in the art of silent death. Or Riggs is just dropping the kids off at the pool, as they say. It was that uncertainty. The possibility of any moment exploding into violence. And the possibility that this tenuous state may not end any time soon.

He sighed and looked over to Tabitha.

"You leave my sight, I'm kick'in your butt."

The gunhand jokingly wagged his finger at her. It seemed this was the only thing to do. Stay together, stay by the only way in, and out. Keep the ship safe, keep Tabby safe. They could try and find that damned engine-jockey later. All they could do is just... wait. The kid's message said they were being watched. But JUST that. But now that Riggs was gone he couldn't help but worry they had a fox in the hen-house.
2
The Home Team

Rian tucked his pistol back into its holster, and let Tabby drag him towards the cargo bay. He groaned as if annoyed but honestly was glad to have the tension cut slightly. He was going this way anyway. As they strolled through the ship though, his hand started to drift back to resting on his pistol holster, the one not being pulled in the direction of one Mr Riggs.

He tried to stay relaxed at least in appearance for Tabby's sake. Maybe he should try the away team again? Pulling his hand away from the pistol he retrieved his communicator and tried to reach his captain and the rest of the crew. They needed a head's up they'd been tracked, but this weather was making getting any sort of signal to anyone who aint close near impossible.

"Barn? You read me? Mattie?... Gorram it..."

The wall of sound continued. Snow and wind roaring into the Darling Francine's hull. It didn't snow much where he was from, and the Russo gang tended to plan their heists around inclement weather. Nobody likes standin' round holding somebody up in the snow. The restriction of his agency in this situation needled at him. He rested his hand back on the pistol.

"We's just gotta be careful is all, Tabby... We should talk to Riggs about the bug he found on Darling. I don't care much for being followed like this..."

There wasn't much cause to keep her out of the situation, so he finally admitted what had him all knotted up.

"We had a pilot we could just go tell 'em... Tā mā dì dìyù."
3
The Home-Team

Rian's pistol snapped up into the air, as if his hands had simply released it from where it belonged. He was aiming it down the hall at ... nothing. He relaxed ever so slightly and pointed the weapon down as he quickly moved down the hallway towards the direction he thought he heard the sound. But after about ten, fifteen seconds, he wasn't so sure. Maybe it was back towards Tabby? Riggs didn't say nothing. Unless that was somebody getting to him? No. It would have been a louder thud if he hit the deck.

He wasn't far from the med-bay. Might as well check on her, he thought.

"You all right Tabby?"

He backed up slowly to the wall of the hallway and continued creeping backwards, occasionally looking both ways up and down the hallway. The wall of sound outside the ship. The utter certainty of danger, but coming when and from where...The man charged with watching over the Darling started to realize just how uncertain things were. And he didn't like it.

He waited for the doctor's answer.

Next, check on that new mechanic. Keep it simple. Maintain the safety of the ship and its occupants. Confirm your headcount and then try and ascertain how safe your immediate surroundings are. Step by step. Play it cool, be calm, be prepared.

The gunhand, cook, and ranking officer on the ship tried to stay collected, at least in his own internal monologue. But the tension in the air was so thick you could choke on it.
4
The Home Team

"Thanks kid."

That was probably the smartest five credits I've spent.

Rian hit send on the reply. Somebody was following the Darling. Russo gang? Somebody after whatever the unsettling passenger was clutching? Neither was good. At least he left his armor on, and it seemed the first person he was going to need to help him right now had already found him.

The security chief looked up from his cortex at Riggs. Rian wasn't quite following the technical terminology until he mentioned where the signal might be coming from:

Quote...perhaps something installed outside the ship? On the hull?"

His eyes went wide. The sudden collision of all these factors: the hyper withholding but demanding passenger, a signal coming from their hull, and a ship recently arriving in port and asking about the Darling. Somebody was tracking them.

"Well Mr, Morton I suspect that has something to do with the message I just got.

The security specialist held up the cortex for Riggs to read himself, then put it back on the table in the work-room. Carpenter could feel the tingle of adrenaline already starting to kick in. Something was wrong.

"I'm gonna to need you to help me secure the ship. Best case scenario its pirates after whatever Potter's got wrapped up in his slimy claws. Worst case scenario its my Dad... that's a bit of a whole... thing..."

Rian grabbed his radio and tried to reach the mule, and their intrepid leader, one Barnaby Goodweather.

"Hey Barn, it's Rian. I think we've got a situation..."

Nobody was answering. At least right away. The security chief gave the new recruit a look of concern. While the newbie seemed like a nice enough guy, he was also nearly twice Rian's size and a U-war veteran. Letting go of the transmit button on the radio he gave the mechanic his first order. And it wasn't to turn a wrench.

"Cargo bay. There's an armory if you need a gun, lock her down stay there until you hear from me. Tīng qǐlái bu cuò ma?"

Tabby

Thinking now of their doctor he needed her to stay where she was safest and ready to mend casualties. Allowing Riggs to leave first, he went to find Tabby in the bunk-room. Instinctively he didn't want to alarm her, but then again she'd already been through a lot and seemingly come through it just as much an un-containable bouncy ball of sunshine.

"Tabby... Can you get to the med-bay? If you don't hear anything from me, or if you hear me shooting at some intruders, can you lock yourself inside there till me or Riggs gives the all clear?"

Rian was phrasing it as a request. But he also wasn't the best liar in the world. He leveled with her.

"Think us or the Mule is about to get some unwanted visitors. Probably both."

It hadn't even occurred to him that his hand was already resting on one of his pistol holsters.
5
The Home-Team:

"Er, Sir. We got tha' coolant an' fuel runnin', everythin's lookin' fine on our end. Eh, we jus' need you ta sign this, sayin' we ain't done no damage to yer ship. Just fer...eh...liability an' all that?"

Rian was still somewhat lost in thought, but still instinctively monitoring the outsiders traipsing about his ship. The security chief took a moment from his pondering to register the young man speaking to him nearby. He waited until he'd finally forced out every word. Not necessarily imposing, but sometimes he put out an air that people caught on to. The way he watched a room, monitored your body language, the faint look of detachment. Considering messing with the young man for a moment, he decided not to.

He looked over at the young man, then the clip-board and the old fashioned paper documents they were using for their releases and invoices. Without a word he retrieved the papers from the young man's grip, and carefully scanned the documents. He let the moment hang for a second. Then he finally addressed the boy.

"You probably see just about everybody that comes through these docks don't you? If you don't see it, you probably hear about it, I bet..."

Still scanning the documents he continued on answering his own questions.

"You see anything weird out there, more importantly, anybody regarding our ship with eyes like mine... You ping this cortex address. Dong ma?"

Rian handed the clip-board back to the young man. There was a small handful of paper alliance bills slipped in between some of the forms he'd signed, and he scratched his cortex address into one of the bills. The killer cook gave the young man a paternalistic pat on the shoulder.

"Thanks, kid."

The wolf returned to his watchful gaze over the cargo bay. Keeping his mind on the job was helping him relax. Some people do yoga. Rian games out how he'd stage a gun-fight to defend the ship. A macabre mental exercise, but necessary in his line of work.
6
The Home-Team:

Rian thought Barnaby was walking over to say something to him, but then he just waved as he climbed onto the mule to go. The younger man returned his wave. He couldn't quite hide the expression of suspicion on his face. He knew something was up with the way the captain was acting. No matter how useful he was with a gun, the amount of guns he might be tempting to come there way was becoming a bigger liability every day. Its hard not to wonder if some of the crew leaving didn't have something to do with the heat Rian was bringing with his presence. He couldn't blame Barnie if he was waiting for the right time to fire him.

The young man contemplating how long he had left as a member of the crew was perched by the opened cargo bay doors, watching the coming and going of the dock workers. Malign actors could easily sneak in among them. Maybe paranoia, maybe just operational awareness, it still took the security specialist a second to snap to and realize he was the one who should talk to the man announcing himself to be the new mechanic. Snapping back to reality he jumped in after Tabitha introduced herself.

Walking over the gunhand introduced himself, and offered a firm handshake.

"You must be Mr. Morton. I run security on the Darling, also fix the suppers when I can, but today I'm just babysitting the kids while dad's away."

He couldn't help but keep part of his attention on the dockworkers working on the ship. The security specialist was now out of his winter get-up, but still had his pistols openly strapped to his chest. Maybe paranoia, or just an over abundance of concern for the security of the crew, Carpenter opted to delegate the tour to somebody who'd enjoy doing it more.

"Tabby! Can you show our new friend to around? I gotta keep an eye on things over here..."

The former criminal realized what was gnawing at him. Mr Potter's urgency about landing immediately. It was normal for a passenger to be impatient but that kinda impatient and a confidence about getting his way. This was at least one of the root causes as to why he was anxiously tapping his foot on the grated steel beneath him.

"You come find me if you need anything, Mr Morton."

He let Tabitha drag the mechanic away into the ship and Rian he kinda just stayed in place, like a statue. An anxious, slightly twitchy statue, worried he was about to get fired, abducted by a gang of high to-mid level criminals any minute, or run into somebody interested in whatever the hell that weird German had in that brief-case. Usually when they were that paranoid about their bags it was just sex stuff or drugs but Potter... Rian hoped it was just drugs. 
7
"I'd love some help!...Would it be okay if you helped me? You have a better eye than I do for adventure and road trips! I can get the medical supplies, what else do we need?"

Rian was for just a second a statue. He'd gotten prepped for the cold journey he worried might be necessitated by the lousy local weather. Some say meticulous, others say anal retentive, he'd say neurotic. A sort of inventory of all the magazines he'd stuffed into the customized pockets in his jacket and vest. Then there were the two pistols, and magazines for them.

Unfreezing The former Russo said:

"Ah, uh yeah. One sec."

He blinked a couple times and kept his business-like poker face on. With a flick of his finger the bolt on his rifle was disengaged - click and then the magazine popped out into his waiting hand. Clack. The gun-hand, now hands full of guns and ammo walked back over to the armory, plopping his ammo and the rifle down on the workbench, only just getting started.

Rian shot Tabby a look of slight embarrassment. He'd prepared for a mission he wasn't going on, and over prepared at that. Given how the last job went, it would be understandable if he had possibly gone overboard as clip after clip of ammo clacked onto the workbench. Finally with his jacket off and was draped over the bench's chair, despite it not being tall enough to keep the jacket from draping over the floor.

Not wanting to keep Tabby waiting any longer he left the pistols and their ammo strapped up to his chest.

"Sorry doc... so we need to get them supplies..."

He stopped mid-step as he walked out of the armory then turned right around.

"Sorry!"

Rian jogged back to the armory and started packing his rifle, and the clips into a duffel bag, then a couple pistols from the Darling's inventory, and then another box of rounds.

ZIP

Duffel now swung over his shoulder he motioned with a jerk of his neck towards the med bay.

"My part's done. Guess we just need gauze, tampons and something for fevers maybe?"

The tampons were for bullet wounds. Get in enough gunfights and you learn real quick what works at stopping blood in a pinch.
8
Rian looked up from the data-pad in front of him. He had been scouring the cortex for any hints of his father's activity. Ever since he outed himself as a Russo to the crew, the likelihood of his father coming knocking grew every day. He couldn't pin anything down besides the banal updates that got to the public about the mine and its profits. Just some crime reports about a couple murders involving a suspect who couldn't feel any pain. Son of a bitch, Buck Stanley was still alive.

What in the hell is he and my old man up to?

Just as that thought started to rattle back and forth in his mind, the summons to the cargo bay rang out. The cook dropped his tablet and picked up his coat off the chair in the armory behind him. While technically he resided in the common bunk room, he spent most of his alone time in the armory. Researching their security threats, working out, or occasionally doing the maintenance and minor customization on his weaponry the room was meant for.

Having been restless, he emerged from the armory into the cargo bay already dressed for the trip. Carpenter was again wearing a suit to mask the presence of his body armor, but the vest and jacket were near twice as thick as his normal suits and he was in the midst of wrapping a simple black scarf around his neck as he held his rifle up against his shoulder in the other hand. Last time he needed to escort the team he didn't have his weapon of choice when he really could have used it. He was better than most with a pistol but especially in the elements they were going into, a long-gun was going to be a necessity.

"Bad news?"

The security specialist / cook cut right to the chase as his captain and semi-relation entered the bay.
9
Location: Med Bay

Rian's mind drifted back to the last time he'd been shot.

Then

He was leading a crew of his dad's men. After they bought the mine the crime just shifted in its nature. Somebody had been sniffing around a vein of silver ore a couple hundred miles from their operation. Jimmy had his eye on that deposit, and rumors of wild hill folk had kept most prospectors away. But a particularly daring one with a small group of hired shooters to protect him for the process. Unluckily for them, there were no hill-folk. Just Rian and a select pair of his father's best men.

The fight was quick and bloody. Leading the way, and felling most of the targets, the younger Russo took a pistol round to the shoulder leading their attack. His men closed in at flanks to his side. While he took cover and checked his wound, he heard a familiar voice ring out. Jimmy Russo, his father was casually traipsing up, shotgun in hand. He poked the wound with the butt of the weapon.

"It missed the artery, confirm your kills."

Now

Just thinking of his dad poking the wound in his shoulder made him subconsciously rub the scar now. As if it might alleviate that pain he was remembering. He popped the buttons on his vest, then the button up shirt beneath. It was times like this that his belief in layering got to be a bit annoying. But always dressing like that did make it harder for people to tell when he was wearing body armor. Now sufficiently half naked, he prepared to pull off the bandage covering his wound.

"One...two...THREE!"


He nearly yelped, instinctively covering his mouth with his other hand. The tape had been freshly applied this morning so it was holding on with all its might. He joked.

"Okay, hard parts over... right?"
10
Rian smirked at the moment of dead air after Barnaby tried to initiate conversation. It was rare that they got everybody in the same room family style. It was a welcome moment of normalcy, but it was a moment he probably should ruin. Things were coming to a head with his dual identities, and hell the crew-members in the dark probably had him half figured out already.

Standing up, the deadly chef cleared his throat.

"Hey guys, I got something I need to -"

His previously relaxed demeanor started to lock up. How the hell was he supposed to spill something like this?

Clearing his throat again, though mostly just to cover for the pause in his speech, he continued.

"I didn't tell y'all everything about me, less than I should have. I was born Rian Carpenter. Barnaby didn't tell you any lies, but he left out details I asked him to. Ain't none of you should resent him an ounce over what I gotta admit to though..."

Rian's gaze had drifted slowly to the floor. He couldn't look any of the Darling's compliment in the eye when he got to this part.

"I only spent a small part of my life being the sort of man my mother meant. Being Rian Carpenter. At least that's what I think... Jimmy Russo pulled me from my mother's arms before I could get to know much about her. You don't know my pa, consider yourself lucky. I killed a man before I'd shaved, I stole for him, and I didn't just pull a trigger for him. I planned jobs. He bought a mine, I ran the prod gang, security we called it. The rocks just became a wash for the blood on his coin. I smacked away the hand of those looking to feed their kin..."

He was having a hard time restraining the welling of emotions bottled up inside. Rian didn't like the taste of all this guilt in his mouth, and he'd felt it for too long.

"So I uhh... I tried to fix things. It did not work out... so I ran. I ran some more, then while I was running I bumped into this old fool..."

The younger man looked over to his brother in law and smirked slightly for a split second. The kindness he'd showed him hadn't yet been repaid and he knew it. He owed him and he owed this crew. At least the truth was part of that debt.

"So here I am... 'the cook' if you still believe it. But Abernathy sure didn't. I am pretty sure he recognized me at the Baron's. If he hasn't told my dad and his crew that he's seen me here, he will soon. Prison doesn't silence anybody."

This was it. This was the part where they were going to throw him off the ship. Right? Maybe the prospect of cake, now filling the room with an enticing aroma might help?

"I'm sorry..."
11
Rian pivoted and pointed to Viktor, quickly switching from pointing at him to a sort of fist pump.

"That's perfect. Closer to the source we can get, better prices better supplies."

While things were going well for him in his pursuits as the cook, he was being a little over-bearing as security officer. It was probably unnecessary for him to shadow while Barnaby walks the new guy through his first day. Slightly embarrassed but trying to be cool despite his hovering and chief gun-shooter posturing. He scratched at his eyebrow and acknowledged Barnie's request for a little breathing room.

"Oh yeah of course... I'll uhh-"

Looking over to Tabby he shrugged after being ordered to "check something?" The gunhand pointed towards the med-bay.

"You want to help me get that staple out, doc? I'd try but I think I'd somehow end up more injured."

That extra medical staple he'd self administered was probably unnecessary at this point. It Felt weird having that bit of metal pointing out of him, despite that he knew there was a few shards of a bullet's metal jacket riding around in his shoulder still. If there was anybody on this ship who wasn't going to hold his past against him it was Tabby. They didn't run him off the ship like he feared but there was still the nagging concern. Perhaps just another manifestation of the mass accumulation of guilt buried deep under layers of wannabe tough guy repression.
12
Rian positioned himself a few paces back behind Barnaby, just off to the left. Still in security chief mode. He eyed the new arrival with a sort of distant perfunctory smile. The type one musters as they start running an automated Cortex search on your background of them as you walk past. He'd already checked out Kayne and he came up clean.

Potter gave him just an innate uneasiness. He'd known the man for less time than it takes to spit but he felt like he could imagine the man saddling up to a hearty bowl of eyeballs over milk for breakfast like it was normal. With a few taps he added a parameter to try and see if the name itself came up as an alias if it didn't hit any hard data or background. The search tool wasn't particularly powerful, it was the best a scrub like him could find and wouldn't match the wealth of databases an Fed could check out.

The former crook and enforcer wasn't much of one to judge. No matter what kinda bad vibes the old German gave off, Rian was the one who should probably be casting a looming shadow of darkness around him. Things he'd done, the pain he'd inflicted. Everyone around him should naturally just be choking on their own disgust. The retiree was probably just doomed with a villainous aura.

The gunhand tucked his cortex unit into his shirt pocket and let the search run in the background. Unconsciously he itched at the bandage still under his shirt as he inquired with their guest:
"Welcome aboard, Mr Potter. I'm Rian I'll be cookin' for you tonight, you let me know if you've got any food allergies, or anything. It'll all be mostly synthetic protein anyway but it never hurts to check."

Next as Barnaby greeted their new crew-member he hung back and stayed quiet until the Cap mentioned his dual duty as the chef, and he apologized for their current lack of culinary choices.

"It's not gonna be anything to write home about for a bit, but I'm hoping on St Alban's I'll be able to get us stocked up on some real protein and veggies."

He shrugged and made a face that kinda said "You know how it is." They weren't noblemen, so getting a steady supply of what many called real food was a struggle equal to trying to unionize under gunfire in his estimation.
13
Rian waved away the Preacher's offer to help with the cake. He went over to grab the pan and as he'd timed his prep just about right, the oven let out a satisfying DING! It was time to stop abusing that batter and get it into the pan.

"I got it, Vic. This is how I relax believe it or not. I kinda got a system..."

Rian suppressed a chuckle at the sight of Tabby dragging along the newest member of his now 2 person security team as if she'd been lasso'd. She was a welcome addition and somebody else for Tabby to focus her intense as the sun friendliness towards. They hadn't gotten their pay-day but they managed to slip out of a rather well laid scam to smuggle Alliance military hardware. But just for the moment, he had the crew back together and whole. Mission accomplished. Payday be damned. In that moment Rian was happy to just be the cook.

The gunslinger/culinary artist plopped down the Pan and paused his "system" to introduce the preacher to the newest member of his security team.

"Preach, that there is one of the finest shots I've been lucky enough to have decide not to shoot me: Mattie."

He smiled and was genuinely grateful she'd made that split second call to switch sides. Carpenter saw her in action and if she'd had less scruples he might not have had the chance to even try at his car-jumping antics. The captain managed to take advantage of this pause, to sneak a finger into the mixing bowl. Pivoting around he jokingly made a fist like it was a serious transgression, but making an exaggerated face to indicate it was faux outrage.

"Damn it, Cap! How am I supposed to cement my authority as the security chief if I can't protect the damn mixing bowl?"

He put his hands on his hips then shook his head, and chuckled breaking character quickly. The catharsis of the moment wasn't lost on him right now. The man formerly known as Russo was feeling really comfortable in his new skin as one of the good guys. He quickly poured the batter into the cake-pan and slid it into the oven. Rian started prepping to make his signature frosting. The trick of course was real sugar. Rian took a seat at the table and slowly and carefully mixed the frosting. He had plenty of time to mix this and he seconded the Captain's plea for a song. His order, unbeknownst to him, was probably his first as XO.

"Yeah! Raise our spirits in the timeless art of song, good doctor."
14
Rian was already in the kitchen. Prepping dinner. At times like this, making a really involved meal always helped calm him down, or at least center him in a way. Today it was prep work for the cake he was going to make. He had about half a dozen real eggs and a pound of flower left in his supplies he'd been saving for a special occasion. Today, they were alive after nearly getting locked up and killed at least half a dozen times. Sure they didn't get a payday, but maybe a cake would make people feel better?

The gunhand wasn't sure. He wasn't good at some things. Like flying, getting the spices right for Mexican food, and gauging how to console normal people who aren't used to nearly dying all the time. The cook was also considering coming clean with the whole crew about his dual identities, and his past. Abe definitely had the means to reach out to Jimmy while locked up, so trouble was going to come knocking if he was going to stick around.

Maybe cake was a silly idea? Maybe he should go? Would that be the right thing to do? Abe and Jimmy were likely to just come after Barnaby and the Darling crew all the same if he split. No, the best thing he could do was stay put, tell the truth, and do everything he could to protect them once that go-se hit their fan. He tried to channel all this worry and anxiety into his furious mixing of the ingredients.

Just about as his wrist was starting to cramp, Carpenter spotted the preacher arriving. He paused and put the bowl down.

"Hey Preacher..."

He stopped halfway as he almost tried to cover the cake he hoped to surprise the crew with. But then realized that was a doomed plan, since the smell was bound to start luring people towards the galley anyway once he popped this into the oven.

"Ehh I was hoping to surprise everybody but no biggie... What do you think, chocolate or crap, just chocolate I guess."

The killer cook eyed his crate of baking supplies and saw he only had the ingredients for chocolate frosting. He heard somebody else coming down the hall and called out to them. There was a palpable tension still on the ship and for some reason he felt like it was his job to try and put everybody back at ease.

"Cake's not ready yet! I see anybody try and stick their mitts in the batter, I'm gonna smack you before Tabby can lecture you about uncooked eggs!"
15
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.
16
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.
17
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."
18
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.
19
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..."
20
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."

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