Running from your shadow

Started by Rian Carpenter, October 11, 2018, 08:09:12 pm

Rian Carpenter

October 11, 2018, 08:09:12 pm Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 05:49:21 pm by Rian Carpenter
CLANG

Rian looked up from the counter. It was his lunch order. The bustling space-station didn't have a lot in the way of fine dining. Or anything approaching real food.

It did sort of look like ramen, and the cultured protein was doing a damn fine visual impression of chicken. He pecked out a sizable chunk of noodles and plunged it into his mouth. Yeah. Not a great impression in taste. The second he bit into it became mush in just the wrong way. The texture was all wrong. He used to get so excited to be out in the black. Usually it was just going from place to place to go rob somebody with his dad's gang but he always loved staring out at the stars. This station didn't have any windows. He was glad it didn't. Judging from most of what he'd seen so far, they would have neglected the upkeep necessary to keep from venting anyone who leans on it into space. Carpenter chewed faster and harder. This meal was some form of penance for the life he lived and he was going to just shovel it down.

As he looked back down at his bowl of disappointing fake ramen he only had a fleeting moment to ponder his lot in life. The lack of meaningful vocation. The prospects of what kind of job he can even have the temerity to apply for. The idea that wherever he ends up. The food will probably be worse.

"Rian Russo!"

A familiar voice bellowed his name like an amusing surprise from behind him. Rian didn't want to turn around. He didn't want to because the man saying his name knew the name he went by for the vast majority of his life. One dad picked for him. The mouth breather behind him usually just called him "junior".

"Tā mā de..."

Rian muttered as he stood up slowly. He didn't have his pistol, which he usually carried on a hip holster. No. That was tucked away safely in his rented room. He still turned around carefully. Francis was as dumb as he was violent. And our dumb and violent friend was still on good terms with dear ol' pappy. As he turned around he saw his old acquaintance wearing a station security uniform. And was wearing a stun baton and pistol. Just like station security would be.

"You on the job, Francis?"

Rian kept a poker face. He couldn't give away how righteously unhappy he was to see this guy. If he was lucky, maybe he'd gone straight with the security outfit and all. Maybe he hadn't been in touch with the notorious Jimmy Russo. And when he said "on the job" he meant working a heist. It was the most logical explanation for him being in the get up. But then again Francis was dumb enough he might not get the subtext.

"You know it, kiddo!"

His tone indicated he did not get the subtext. But he also seemed genuine. He couldn't help but wonder:

"How the hell did you get a job in security?"

The idiot smiled. Knowingly. Like... he wasn't an idiot. Like maybe...

"Wait..."

"Your pappy got me this new gig. He bought the contract 'er something. He was pretty kind to overlook my convictions."

Rian shifted slightly in his stance. His expression darkened.

"You're gonna stun me and drag me back to Regina aren't you?"

The idiot nodded and smiled.

"After the torture."

Carpenter nodded as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. He reached back to the counter and grabbed his bowl of ramen, still standing. He took another big slurp of his terrible food, swallowed, then threw the bowl and its contents at Francis. The bowl bounced off his shoulder and the contents splashed up into his face. Taking the opportunity, Rian vaulted over the counter and started dashing around the kitchen staff. Apologizing in Chinese the whole way. He heard a loud buzzing electrical noise and a splash of boiling water. The idiot threw his stun baton.

"I need a job..."

Barnaby Goodweather

"Spa-ghett-i and-a meat-a balls. Spag-etti and-a meat-a balls-a." Barnaby practiced ordering in Italian as he sat at a small bistro table with red checkered table cloth. The restaurant he found himself in was called Ristorante Italiano and Barnaby liked it because he thought it sounded fancy. To him, there was nothing better in the 'Verse than thin noodles, cooked in red sauce with large globes of minced meat. It was his favorite meal. Whenever they docked at this space station, this was the first place he went. His crew often stayed away, preferring to go about their own errands, or proclaiming this restaurant to be "anything but authentic" or "disgusting." But Barnaby didn't care. He knew what he liked and what he liked was Ristorante Italiano in the space port food court. "Ris-tor-ant-e I-tali-ano." The foreign language on his tongue gave Barnaby a childlike grin.

His over-pronounciation not-with-standing, he was in good company here. He was known to the staff at this restaurant to be a good customer and they always treated him well when he was hear, always giving him an extra meat ball or two, and unlimited bread sticks. The salad was extra, but Barnaby didn't really go in for greens anyhow.

It was a shame that the waitstaff seemed to come and go as they did. Barnaby couldn't recall ever being served by the same person twice. But he figured that must be how it was with most fancy restaurants. His waiter today was a teenager whose name badge called him "Eric." He appeared from the back, holding the mountain of spaghetti on a red service tray, and brought Barnaby's order to the counter to the spot under the sing marked "Order Pick-Up." Eric rang the bell that indicated Barnaby's order was ready, but the Captain was too quick for him, already up at the counter with the little tag indicating his order number.

"Number 27, right here." Barnaby's enthusiasm had likely never been seen by this young waiter inside this eatery. "Oh boy, am I excited. Is Chef Xong cooking today? He always makes it the best." Barnaby looked through the small window in the door between the kitchen and the counter, but couldn't see anyone. Eric shrugged apathetically and turned away from him, pulling a data pad from his pocket and focusing his attention on that.

"Shucks, well, thank ya much. I mean... grat-ziii. Can't wait to tuck in." Like a kid at Christmas, Barnaby hurried back over to his table and retook his seat. He stuffed a paper napkin into the collar of his shirt and licked his chops as he dug into his first bite. He twirled his fork through the twisted pile of noodles and sauce, collecting a healthy bite. As he raised it to his mouth, Barnaby stopped when he thought he heard something behind him, which was strange because he had his back to the wall of the restaurant.

BOOM

There it was again! Barnaby craned his neck around to look to see a crack forming in the plaster of the wall. "Huh..."

BOOM CRASH

The dry wall falls through in a shower of shards and dust and with it came a flying body, knocking Barnaby and the table to the floor.

Barnaby coughed out some of the powdered wall from his lungs as he recovered from his fall and saw his spilled dinner on the floor. "Aw man, my spaghetti!" He turned to see who it was that fell through the wall and was surprised by a familiar face. "Rian? What are you doing here?" Two mean looking gents were stepping through the whole in the wall. "Who are your friends?"

Rian Carpenter

January 14, 2019, 05:34:18 pm #2 Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 05:40:22 pm by Rian Carpenter
Up and over the prep table.
Grab the cleaver.
Pivot.


Rian planned his course as he burst through one set of swinging doors into another kitchen. He'd already sprinted through the kitchen of the Ramen restaurant, the Irish pub, and now was hoping if he could get through the god awful Italian place he could try and find his way to the escape pods. He'd set off a station-wide alert but it was his best shot at this point.

"There he is!"

He looked back for just a split second and saw a 2nd man had joined them, clad in the same security outfit. Carpenter hopped up and tucked his legs to slide over the prep table. He grabbed for the cleaver, came around to pivot and that's when the non-lethal round fired from one of his pursuers' shotgun hit him in the gut. It was something like a bean-bag, packed full of small beads that carried their own small electrical charge. His father employed them for labor disputes. In a way, this was just another. The CEO of an organization had not accepted the resignation of his chief security officer. Carpenter went limp before he could fully process what happened, and hit the floor, eyes closed before he hit the ground.

The two security guards marched over to their felled quarry. Francis scratched his head and nudged the newcomer.

"You get 'em. I got Ramen all over me. 'Sonly fair."

With a grunt, the other man, who's voice Rian hadn't placed yet grabbed onto his left arm and flipped him over.

"Get up you little sh-"

That's when the younger man's eyes opened and he in one fluid motion burst to his feet and brought the cleaver down with as much force as he could. It came down on the man's chest, Rian felt the crunch as it lodge into the top of his chest and the top of the flat blade lodged into his victim's collar bone. The man stared back at him, Rian still holding the blade planted in his chest, like nothing had happened. Blood poured as he noticed the small dial on the back of the man's neck.

That's when Carpenter recognized him as an on and off member of the gang. Buck Stanley. And Buck Stanley was known for his lack of feelings. Inside and out. He dealt pain with little abandon and felt none if he so chose. When the doctor's fixed his spine he paid for them to put in a dial on the back of his neck. The dial was turned all the way down and he couldn't feel a damned thing below his mustache.

Then that's when Buck threw Rian through the drywall.

BOOM. CRASH

Dust still powder in the air, he coughed and looked up. As if his day wasn't weird enough, there was his former brother in law. His sister in law's husband. The definition of "sort of family". It was the first time he'd seen him person since the funeral. He always thought Barnaby was a good guy. The type of good guy who doesn't deserve to get caught up in his nonsense. But his poor taste in Italian food made for their fates to intertwine yet again.

Throwing his feet back over his head, somewhat acrobatically and in a rush of adrenaline, Carpenter was back on his feet and squared up for a second before looking at Barnaby again and saw his ruined pasta dinner.

"Hey, Barnaby... I'd catch up but ..."

As Francis and Buck broke through and expanded the hole in the drywall, Rian went for the door but just as he put his hand on it, Buck took that decision away from him.

"He a friend of your, Russo?!"

Pulling the cleaver out of his chest, Butch pressed in close towards Barnaby.

"Good evening, Barnaby. Would you mind asking Rian to stay? We're with station security and we'd just hate if we had to bring you in on his behalf."

Barnaby Goodweather

Barnaby took his time getting back to his feet and once he did, dusted himself off a bit. The big guy who had previously been stabbed but now wasn't, Barnaby decided he didn't want to think about how that was a possibility, squared up to the Captain. Now, Barnaby isn't a big man covered in muscles with tough guy things like tattoos and scars and shirts that show off a man's pecs, but he's sizable and has a body shaped by a lifetime of manual labor. He and Buck were of a similar height and when they stood toe to toe, there wasn't much to intimidate. "C'mon fellas. I'm sure this can be worked out peaceable. Tranquil even." Barnaby gave them a winning smile. He gave one to Rian, too, then motioned with his eyes for his ex-brother-in-law to run like hell.

No dice. The younger man didn't take the bait.

Let's try again. "Is it monetary?" He hazarded a guess, glancing at Rian and giving him the eyes again, this time with a slight head nod towards the exit. "In that case, I'd be happy to settle up for him." Barnaby reached behind him, as if going for his wallet. His slight turn let him give Rian big ol' GTHOHWAYS (get the hell out of here what are you stupid?) eyes. With a quick move, the Captain grabbed a nearby chair and gave Butch a sizable whack over the head.

The chair, surprisingly, did not break.

And neither did Buck, though he did have to recover just a little bit from the blow. Instead of hitting back, he gave Barnaby a look and said, "That all you got?"

"Tarnation, you are stalwart. Means big and tough and mean. Your mama feed you rocks, boy?" Buck only smiled. Barnaby scratched at his head and laughed, trying to remain amicable with them for just a little longer. He looked directly at Rian, straight in the eyes, and his smile disappeared. "Rian, I swear to God if you don't make tracks I will thrash you my own self." Nimble and rapid, Barnaby cross drew his revolver and fired

BANG BANG fanning the hammer back into Buck's torso and

BANG

in Francis' general direction with slightly more aim. Grabbing his brother-in-law by the collar, Barnaby made hasty their exit and spilled the two of them out into the crowded space station causeway.

Rian Carpenter

January 18, 2019, 05:30:22 pm #4 Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 05:37:59 pm by Rian Carpenter
"C'mon fellas. I'm sure this can be worked out peaceable. Tranquil even."

"Barnaby... don't..."

WHAT IN THE HELL IS HE THINKING?!

Rian froze in the doorway, equal parts of his brain screaming to run, or to get Barnaby out of this mess somehow. He had no idea what the best play was. Normally, even in a situation this intense, he could stay centered, stay rationale, and pick the next move. When you're life is on the line there's no worse decision than no decision. But the man he thought of as something of a goofball was doing the same thing. Trying to help get him out of his trouble.

"Is it monetary?"

Barnaby, I swear to god if you reach for that chair....

Trying to distract the other old Russo gang member, he barked at Francis, who was pointing a gun at Rian now.

"Hey... my friend here... he doesn't know what he's walked into! Just let him go and we can-"

WHACK

The splinters flew past Rian and he held up his hands instinctively to block the flying pieces. Buck was amused. Well at least he wasn't mad.

"Damn it, Barnaby I'm trying to save your life!"

There was a lot to unpack and explain and this was possibly the least conducive environment to explain the unholy knot of trouble he'd tangled himself up in.

"Rian, I swear to God if you don't make tracks I will thrash you my own self."

Barnaby, throwing himself face first into the heap of dung in which he was swimming, drew his pistol and fired twice. Like a shot himself, the younger man sucker punched Francis the second he turned to see the source of the gunshot. Distracting him just long enough for Barnaby to swing his pistol around and plant a shot center of mass on him. With that they were off to the races.

"RIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN!!!!"

As the man formerly known as Russo heard his old compatriot roaring his name he tapped Barnaby on the shoulder and pointed as he sharply turned around the corner.

"This way!"

If it dawned on Barnaby that the direction his ex brother in law was heading towards the hotel section of the station, the sounds of boots and shouting coming from the docking bay were already audible. It would seem Papa Russo saw fit to send a few extra guys to make sure the station was very secure. That's not to say Rian had much of a plan. All he knew was that he needed to get off this ship. And if he wanted to do that he was going to need a gun. Through his measured breathing as he ran, he tried his best to fill in the former family member.

"Those guys work for Jimmy!"

He didn't pay him the courtesy of referring to him as his father. He stopped with a skid before his apartment, holding up his FOB key, and watched the receiver blink red. He let out one exasperated sigh, stepped back, and kicked the door through. The cheap material around the door frame itself buckled and gave way, the door falling forward with a loud thud.

"Watch the door for me for 30 second! I gotta get my tzao gao, than I might trouble you for a lift..."

He clapped Captain Goodweather on the shoulder and darted into his room. Before Barnaby could suggest he was low on ammunition, he tossed his pistol and holster at him. Two spare magazines already tucked into their holsters. Dad always told him "Count their rounds and do your homework. You know when a man's out of ammunition you know when he's gonna die."

"Thanks, Barn!"

Barnaby Goodweather

As they ran, which Barnaby wasn't particularly well suited for, being on the wrong side of fifty and a life-long spacer, Barnaby did in-fact wonder why they were heading the direction they were but he decided to trust Rian for a bit. Plus it wasn't exactly like they'd planned it out ahead of time. And being as they hadn't set an itinerary and had guys with deadly intent on their tails, Barnaby thought going with the flow was the best course of action. "Jimmy?!" Barnaby asked, then remembered who Jimmy was. "Ohhhh Jimmy!" And everything made sense.

They got to a door, which Rian kicked down as Barnaby tried to catch his breath. "Is this your room?" He wondered, but assumed must have been. Before he could remark upon the decor (unimpressive), the cleanliness (wanting), or the size (cozy), Barnaby caught a pistol and a few reloads out of the air. "You thinking we'll still pull a trigger on the way out? I shot them boys. And I ain't miss." It wasn't a brag. Barnaby had seen blood come out after the bullets went in. He wasn't a crack shot by any means but he knew his way behind a trigger pull and they had been pretty close. The captain recollected their current location in relation to where he thought the Darling was parked. "There's a supplement of them fellas, huh? Well, we got a bit of a jog to the Darling if your strategy is to shoot our way out." He locked a magazine in and loaded a round into the chamber.

Barnaby holstered the gun and wrapped the belt around his waste, clipping it on. He hazarded a glance back out the hallway, remembering he'd been put on sentry duty. A couple of tough look sumbitches caught sight of his curly head poking around the corner and Barnaby ducked back in. "Hey, uh, Rian. We got company comin'."

Rian Carpenter

March 06, 2019, 05:34:50 pm #6 Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 02:10:54 pm by Rian Carpenter
"You thinking we'll still pull a trigger on the way out? I shot them boys. And I ain't miss."

Rian was rifling through several boxes, grabbing wires, a few small strange looking electronic devices. What exactly he was looking for, or trying to assemble wouldn't be immediately apparent. He shouted back to his former in law:

"Those fellas were station security. Seems Jimmy Russo is in the private security business now which has made my life a tad too interesting for the past hour or so..."

He pulled mini-keg sized red plastic jug out from under his desk, taking the top off, he started running wires into the contents of the jug. Becoming much more obvious now, it seemed the on-the-run gunhand was building a bomb.

"There's a supplement of them fellas, huh? Well, we got a bit of a jog to the Darling if your strategy is to shoot our way out."

Rian took a deep breath, eyeing his contraption and squinting slightly with concern. He tucked his backup revolver into the back of his pants and took a deep breath. They only had a few more seconds before they needed to split. Carpenter dropped his already packed duffel bag of clothes and his crate of cooking supplies onto a dolley that popped out of a compartment on the wall. He just needed a few more seconds...

"Hey, uh, Rian. We got company comin'."

Rian pulled his rifle off the desk next to his I.E.D. and snapped back the bolt, chambering a round from the magazine.

"Take a step back for me?"

Testing a theory, Rian stepped out into the hallway, unabashedly, standing tall, rifle in his arms, but held with the barrel pointed down. The two goons Barnaby spotted squared up but took no action. He was armed, but they were still meant to take him alive. Francis gave them away earlier, revealing the intent to abduct and torture, but not kill. The problem though was one plucky and honorable former brother in law who just had to go 'round shooting his father's employees.

"BAAAARRRNNIIIEEEEE....."

Buck Stanley, the man who felt no pain was still alive, probably dying, and apparently pretty sore about it. His voice echoing from down the hall, Rian had a decision to make. In one smooth, and decisive motion, Carpenter became Russo again for a moment. His weapon snapped up with his aim, no clicking of safeties or clacking bolts for warning, just one loud pop, a slight pivot, and one more.

Rian turned back to Barnaby, as both men crumpled to the ground and blood pooled around their heads on the floor. He snapped and pointed at the improvised explosive device on his desk.

"Can you grab that for me..."

He paused, and stopped pointing, pausing for only a microsecond before elaborating.

"I can get us to the ship, but I need you to trust me. They won't shoot at me but, sure as hell you made Buck Stanley angry and that bastard won't feel nothin' you did to him until his ticker cuts out."

Knowing this was a big ask he tried to soften the blow.

"They won't shoot at you if you've got that bomb strapped to your chest... You just gotta make sure they can see the dead man's switch when you get over to the docks...

Listening to the sound of Buck's wailing getting closer he got antsy to get moving and started just strapping the bomb straight to Barnaby's chest.

"Trust me, you saved my pi gu, so I gotta make a stop on the way. You just make for the docks and wait for me there okay?"

The would be cook placed the dead man's switch in the captains paw, and with that, Rian sprinted off down the hall, dragging his cart packed with all of his worldly affects behind him, rifle in the other hand.

"And hit the deck when it kicks off!"

Rian shouted back to his brother in law. Barnaby could handle himself, but call it familial concern, he just didn't want Goodweather getting himself hurt on his account.

Barnaby Goodweather

March 07, 2019, 02:52:21 pm #7 Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 02:39:17 pm by Barnaby Goodweather
Everything happened so fast that Barnaby didn't have a chance to put a word in edgewise. First them other fellas were coming with guns and then Rian shot them and then he was messing around with all his bits and bobs. Barnaby couldn't make sense of anything other than they were in trouble. And trouble meant he'd do whatever he could to help Rian get out from under it, so he happily followed directions.

SCRRRRIIIIIICH
SCRRREEEEEEEEETCH
RRRRIIIIIIIIPPPPP
CRRRRRRRRRPPPP

Barnaby found himself wrapped all up in some new fangled whosiewatsit and Rian was gone with his cart of things. The Captain wasn't sure when his brother-in-law had had time to pack all that up but, you know what, more power to him and his efficient packing abilities.

Alone, Barnaby got to thinking about this particular predicament he found himself in. He trusted Rian. They were family, after all. Or had been family. Family by marriage, when the marriage ceases to be, that was a funny thing. He reckoned he loved Rian either way. The boy was precarious though. Always in trouble. Especially with that daddy of his. Barnaby had never had the pleasure but to hear Rian tell it, boy, Jimmy Russo was a piece of work.

Poking his head out into the empty hallway, Barnaby figured he better get a move on towards the Darling. The coast was clear so he started on his path, careful to keep an eye out. He'd want to make sure the crew was ready to get moving quick as pie. Pie? Was pie quick? Barnaby didn't think so. What else was quick? Lightning? Lightning was hot. So were pies. Fire was also hot. Fire?

"A bomb?!" 

Rian Carpenter

Jimmy Russo paced across the room, looking away, addressing his young son across the room without eye contact. Speaking more in a soliloquy than as part of a conversation.

"You're a lump of coal. I am the Earth pressing down all round you, for what will feel like eternity. But when the day comes you finally see sunlight... son... you're going to be hard as a gorram diamond. But you're gonna have to cut your womanly chattering, distractions, and you are going to be the man you're meant to be."

A man with a bag over his head whimpered softly, trying to suppress it. The elder Russo finally looked at his son and pointed at the bound and hooded man, barking at the boy:

"Shut. Him. Up."

Before the young Rian "Russo" could fully raise his voice in protest:

"Now!"

GET YOUR HEAD BACK IN THE GAME, RIAN!

He shook his head and brought himself out of the moment that for some reason was coming back to mind. Possibly because he felt he may soon be the man, hooded, beaten, and bound in a chair in one of his dad's safe-house basements. Fully re-engaged in the present he'd dragged his cart of belongings all the way to the security office. Slowing down he let go of the cart and moved ahead, light on his feet. Carpenter crept up on the door and positioned himself aside it. He knocked twice on the door before bellowing at those inside:

"Jimmy Russo sent you here to get me...

He looked up at a security camera pointed at him.

"You know I've got a man with a bomb and a dead man's switch running 'round in your station. What you don't know is that I have breaching charges in this duffel here, but I'd really rather save 'em for a job where I can make some money. Right now I just want to get out of here. You walk out of there and to the shuttle bay unarmed we're peachy. But if I get to the count of ten and don't see your asses runnin' down the hall, I'm getting my breachers and a sawed-off out of there."

The one bluff was that he had a sawed-off shotgun in there. The rifle'd do fine. Before Rian could count, one of the men inside kick the door open, his very real shotgun leading the way straight forward. Rian, up against the wall simply let the man charge straight out the door and before he could see Jimmy's son in the corner of his eye, the cook's sight was already aiming squarely at the spot just above his ear, and one single gunshot echoed through the halls of the station. Flopping to the ground, Rian stepped over the corpse and into the security office, checking his corners he found a tech guy cowering. With a kick he chased the man out of the room and before he was totally out of the room, the former Russo was putting three consecutive rounds into the security system's hard drive, then pulled the wires out of the hub for their cortex uplink.

Grasping the microphone for the station-wide PA system, Rian addressed all listening.

"This is a station-wide alert! There are trespassers posing as security! Confine yourselves to quarters and seal the doors!"

And with his PSA completed, Carpenter put three more rounds into the PA system as sparks flew.

Barnaby Goodweather

Eggshells.

Eggshells on thin ice.

Eggshells on thin ice while wearing roller skates.

Eggshells on thin ice while wearing roller skates with a bomb strapped to his gorram chest.

This is how Barnaby stepped out into the hallway outside of Rian's apartment, down it, and out into the common area of the space station. It was all that, with a fair amount of ginger to it as well. With each step, Barnaby stopped to breath and wonder if it would be his last. Breath or step, didn't matter. Each seemed to be in precious supply. He barely made it out of the hallway before he heard Rian's voice over the speaker, which gave him a start. "Jiminy Christmas!" He said, before wondering if even speaking too loud might set off the contraption on his chest.

Barnaby resolved to give Rian a talking to when they got out of this mess. If they got out. Would Rian intentionally put Barnaby in danger? The Captain reckoned not, but there was this predicament he found himself in at the moment. There must've been some kind of logic to it, though Barnaby was gobsmacked if he could do the math on it.

After Rian's announcement, people ran to and fro, some of them screaming, some of them not. All manner of panic and chaos as folks headed for cover. Every jostle and nudge he got as people hurried past him sent a lump into his throat. Sweat poured out of him like someone had turned on a faucet. Tabby might mention something about his blood pressure and Barnaby wondered if she might have a tonic for such a thing. He bet that she did. She had one for everything else. "Tabby! Mona! Riot! Preacher!" He said, rattling off each current member of his crew, somehow nervously not wanting to leave anyone out, while not actually speaking to anyone who was listening. He had to let them know he was coming and coming in hot.

He reached for his mobile commlink, and remembered the other doo-hicky that Rian had thrust upon him. "Dead. Man's. Switch." Barnaby had a notion what that might mean. Shame it was in his right hand. That was his good hand. So, with the kind of awkward purpose generally reserved for someone, well, roller skating on thin ice and egg shells with a gorram bomb strapped to his chest, Barnaby reached around with his left hand to the opposite hip and, after some to-do, managed to get the communicator out. Just as he was about to open up a channel, he stopped, and looked up.

Two men he didn't recognize were standing there staring at him. They each held guns and didn't seem concerned with the general hullabaloo going on about them. "You!" One of them said, pointing at Barnaby. "Don't. Move." The man reached for his own comm.

Barnaby slowly raised the commlink to his mouth, mirroring the man he had to assume to be one of Russo's thugs.

"Hey! I said don't move."

Barnaby froze. His thumb pressed on the button. "Darlingit'sBarnI'mcomin'back,getterfiredup,wegottagetoutofhere." He said, quick as he could, before the other goon fired a crack shot and shattered the device out of his hand. Barnaby flinched away from the shot and, in the process, dropped the dead man's switch to the ground.

The goon who did the talking slapped the good who did the shooting. "You idiot!" They both dove for cover.

He didn't know how long he had, but Barnaby knew it wasn't a goodly amount of time, so he took the quickest way he could think of. He pulled his shirt up and over his head and was suddenly glad he'd decided to go casual that day with just the shirt and no vest or jacket or straps. With the bomb now up around his face, Barnaby had a revelation. "French fries?" No time for guess the smell. The shirt was off and he swung it once, twice over his head and threw it as far as he could from him, just like Rian said. As luck would have it, the bomb went straight at Russo's men. Well, lucky for Barnaby anyhow.

He didn't wait to see the fireworks. He turned tail and ran for the docks, rollerskating on ice-thin eggshells be damned.

Rian Carpenter

May 14, 2019, 07:51:58 pm #10 Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 02:02:33 pm by Rian Carpenter
Bullets clattered off the steel of the door he opened to shield himself. It seemed one of the new "security" guys took offense at how many of his compatriots he'd slain. Jimmy's order not to kill his son was currently being ignored but it was understandable. Emotions were high.  Rian had been clearing his ways through the halls, pulling along a cart crammed full of all his worldly possessions whilst a gang of armed thugs tried to abduct or kill him. One of the shooter's compatriots ran over and kicked him and tried to calm him down.

"Just pin him down I"ll..."

Before he could finish his statement, their quarry popped around the side of the door he'd crept behind and plopped two rounds center of mass one on of them, and the man who'd just been firing on him took aim but he in turn took two more rounds to the chest and as he recoiled back took a third to his head. As Rian went back to his cart and pulled it past his felled opponents, the one who'd tried to diffuse the situation coughed and strained to warn Rian.

"He told you what'd happen if you ran..."

The aspring culinary artist stopped. He turned back slowly. Trying to abduct him was one thing. But condescending to him was another. The man formerly known as Russo leaned over the felled former brother in arms.

"I'm sorry what's that?"

He put his finger up to his ear and leaned it closer for effect.

"I said he told you! Gorram it, boy!

Carpenter smiled. A sort of crooked smile. If he was more like his father he would have just finished the man off. Instead he picked up the man's hand and made him press it down on his own wound.

"You keep applying pressure, and I'll tell you what I told Jimmy...I told him this would happen. And if he doesn't get it now, you tell him for me: The day I come home is the day he dies."

With that he stood and was back racing back to the docks, and hopefully to Barnaby. Rounding the corner he saw several of the "security" goons jumping for cover and saw the good Captain Goodweather sprinting in the other direction shirtless. One of the men was starting to realize it had been a couple seconds. No boom. One of them kicked the device as Rian crept up behind them. The top popped open, and out spewed Rian's used cooking oil.

"What in the..."

'Scuse me where's the docks?"

As both men spun around, Rian had his rifle in one hand, and his backup revolver in the other, two concurrent shots echoed through he hall for a few seconds as the only blast Barnaby would have heard. Somewhat cockily, Rian slung his rifle up onto his shoulder and shouted to his future boss as he ran away shirtless.

"Hey Barn, wait up! I think we're cl-"

Before he could finish the sentence, a shuttle bay door suddenly opened beside him, and before Rian could even turn half-way to face, them, he took a stomach full of compressed rock-salt fired out of Buck Stanely's shotgun. Flying back and onto the ground, he was bloodied, bruised, and dazed. His father was a big believer in DIY less lethal rounds. Buck stepped sure-footed out of the docked shuttle and into the station. Somewhat ingeniously, he'd taken a shuttle the whole-way around to cut him off. Two men wielding stun batons stepped out beside him.

Clutching his wounds he growled down at the younger man.

"I"m gonna take you back to your father... and THEN... ohh haha! I'm gonna kill everyone on that damn Starling and Goodfeather I swear on my father..."

Barnaby Goodweather

May 30, 2019, 01:54:42 pm #11 Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 09:10:09 am by Barnaby Goodweather
"Not if I got any say in it, partner." Barnaby said, a faux drawl thick in his voice as he appeared to the side of Buck, several paces between them. Shirtless, covered and grease, and winded, Barnaby was at his wit's end. "You let him go. And me too, or I'll be forced to use this." He allowed attention to go down to the gun hanging at his belt, where his fingers fluttered with deadly intent. "I shot you once, pal, can't say I'd mind doing it a second time." Barnaby had a thought. "Hey, Rian? He use both barrels on you?"

Rian wheezed from the ground. "Yup."

His confidence renewed, the Captain grinned. "Ah ha. Gotcha now." Barnaby pulled the gun from its holster and, the slick cooking oil that coated his hand eliminated any purchase he had in his grasp, the gun went flying up into the air, in an arch as big as his eyes widened. "Well, how about that?" Barnaby said, incredulous marvel forcing a smile made of dumb luck.

Boots sounded as a couple more of Russo's goons filled in the corridor on the other side, and a glance behind confirmed that they were now surrounded.

"What now, Captain?" Buck said, a devilish grin crossing that ugly face of his as he turned to face Barnaby. The big man dropped the now empty shotgun to the ground and took a step toward Barnaby, his steps surprisingly steady considering his previous injuries. Buck made a big show of popping the knuckles in his fists and neck.

"Well, guess we's gonna have ourselves a fight." Barnaby said, attempting the same but not having much luck looking intimidating.

Now, before we get too involved with the following melee, let's talk a bit about our combatants. (Russo's goons don't warrant much consideration one way or the other and, besides, we all know what happened to them at the end of this.)

The main event starts with Rian. On the smaller side, Rian Carpenter (formerly Russo) stood at five feet and nine inches, and if you doused in him in water fully clothed he might top out at a buck fifty (about 150 imperial pounds or 70 kilograms.) He was quick, agile, and well trained in combat, but don't forget he'd just been shot with two barrels full of rock salt. Buck Stanley, on the other end of the spectrum, was close to seven foot tall though he'd claim to top it. Arms and legs thick like tree trunks, he easily cleared a two bucks with plenty of change leftover. He was as mean as he was big, and even meaner since he was bleeding from a couple of bullet wounds. Don't let that fool you, however, he had killed more men than the other two put together, with or without having been shot. Now, of course, that was only because Barnaby had a deficit in that regard. Speaking of the last of our three; Barnaby Goodweather, Captain sat somewhere in the middle of the two. Despite his affable demeanor, he had a barrel-chested build and a bit of height to him (An even two bucks on a 6'2'' frame) and had spent a lifetime lifting cargo crates from here to there. And fights, why, he'd seen a few. At the moment, Barnaby was a just a bit winded but he was catching up alright. Oh, and he was covered in grease.

The Captain rushed at Buck, all bull with no grace or finesse. Barnaby had found over the years that his size was his greatest ally in altercations such as this, and decided that would be the best approach. Buck wrapped his giant arms around Barnaby, but immediately recoiled at the feel of him. Somehow both sticky and slick at the same time. "The hell?" He said, just before taking a sloppy right hook to the chin. Buck shook it off, and unleashed a practiced one, two, three combo to Barnaby's gut, chin, and nose respectively. Dazed, Barnaby stepped back, wobbled, then slipped on his own grease.

Happenstance would have it that the men at his flank decided to attack just then, and found themselves reaching for a man who was now floor level. So, instead of each grabbing an arm and holding Barnaby for Buck's punches, all three dogpiled on Barnaby.

From underneath the bodies, Rian could hear a mumbled cry. "RURANRURN!"

Rian Carpenter

July 05, 2019, 06:15:44 pm #12 Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 06:50:42 pm by Rian Carpenter
The room had just stopped spinning as Barnaby dropped his gun. Rian sat upright, Buck was exchanging words with his in-law right before they started laying into each other. He tried to get on his feet but couldn't get steady footing. He was still too dizzy. Grasping for control over his faculties, tooth and claw, he roared with anger and frustration. Falling forward onto his hands, he crawled, pistol still in hand. He'd dropped the rifle but still had grip on his trusty .40 caliber. The goons and king-goon were all just a mass of struggling limbs and Carpenter was still seeing double, they resembled some kind of horrifying blob from a science experiment gone horribly wrong.

Pausing as he'd gotten closer, he lifted the pistol up but with everyone on top of each other and his somewhat duplicated vision, shooting was ill advised.

"Gorram it!!!"

He slid the weapon past the struggling trio and just out of reach for most of them, but closest to Barnaby. Well as best he could in his current state. For a moment he let the old man win. Rian shouted again as he threw himself into the melee. He followed an axiom his father taught him: That no matter how outmatched you are in a fight, no matter how much bigger the other guy is, the man willing to become the most violent, the least restrained, he would always win. He couldn't bring them into focus but he could wrap his hands around the neck of one of the goons, each hand going for one of the two necks he saw. Pulling one back violently, he slammed the first faux-guard's head into the steel floor, momentarily dazing him. The other saw Rian pulling away his friend and tried to come to his aid, but by then, Rian had already moved on to him and pulled the short knife that slipped into a discrete holster on the side of his belt.

The thug connected a shot to Rian's chin but Rian's thrust into his stomach connected, Rian fell back onto his back again but scrambled back up as the first goon who's head he'd smashed rose once again, himself still daze. But Rian's adrenaline was cooking and the daze of the salty shotgun blast was wearing off. Both came at him, but now back on his feet, he charged forward, locked one of their arms, and thrust his knife into his throat, then brought it around just like he'd been shown. His partner slightly dazed and unprepared to see his friend opened up, he threw a sloppy haymaker. Rian threw up his elbow to absorb the attack and thrust the knife forward into his assailants chest once, then again, and again as he fell back.

Then again as Rian knelt over him. The Russo former gangmember put one hand down to feel for his beating heart, mark the spot carefully, then brought the blade down with both hands.

"Buuuuucckkkk!!!!!"

Rian shouted over to his former coworker as he rose from the bloodied corpses he'd just created. He pointed the blade at Stanley and advised him in an all too calm manner:

"Let go of my friend."

For just a flash of a moment, Rian's mind went back to the last time he'd seen Barnaby in person. It was his wife's funeral. By the time Barnaby himself was long since a widower. Rian didn't expect him to show but, she did always talk about the loveable goofball like he was still her brother, never mind "in law". Rian felt at first a duty to pay it lip service, but it wasn't until the days after, where Barnaby just stuck around for a couple days to keep an eye on him, they made a world of difference. The difference between just walking into his father's office, blowing his brains all over the walls before getting blown away himself, and rather resolving to try and right his father's wrongs. He still failed in that enterprise too. But at least he tried, and was still alive to resist him in the only way he could. To live outside of his control.

Snapping back into the moment, the unemployed "cook" caught Barnaby's eye and then darted his eyes over to the gun he'd thrown near them, then back to Goodweather. His vision was just starting to lock into focus, just barely. Rian flipped the blade around in his hand and threw it at buck with all his might. The weapon made contact with an unsatisfying *thunk* and hit him in the head handle first.

"Go-se."

Barnaby Goodweather

July 09, 2019, 09:40:43 am #13 Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 06:35:16 am by Barnaby Goodweather
Buck reared back quick and violent from the scrum, covered in blood and grease and sweat and defeat. Rian's knife struck true, though not with it's murderous intent. The big man, wide-eyed and barbaric, breathed heavy as he considered his options. Both he and Barnaby found the gun on the ground. The Captain, now free of encumbrance and closer, made his move and reached his fingers for his gun, got a good grip on it, and turned ready to fire it at Buck if the man should decide to attack again. Barnaby found his aim filled with empty corridor, as Buck's retreating form rounded the nearest corner and was gone.

"Hoooooo!" Barnaby said, the relief forcing his head to the ground and the air from his lungs in a long exasperation. His lungs heaved in his chest, blood pumped in his ears, and it was all Barnaby could do to heave himself from his prostration to get while the getting was good. "Come on, Rian. We gotta-" The words stopped in his throat as he noticed the destruction he and Rian had wrought.

This was not the first death at Barnaby's hand. While he was no practiced killer like Rian and Buck, Barnaby had been forced to pull a deadly trigger a time or two in his fifty years. Cab Fortuna in 2482. There was no argument for Cab's defense. It had been a fair fight and Barnaby felt vindicated in standing while the other man had fallen. He had a recollection of perhaps two people he had fatally shot in 2499, but he had no verification of anyone's demise. There had been a lot of shooting that day. And of course, the death of his beloved Anna-Maria. While there had been no trigger pulling that day, Barnaby still held himself culpable for her death. As he was certain that Rian must have done for Maya.

The connection they had between their two deceased wives may have been what brought the two of them together. It bound them in a sort of brotherhood, but it defined neither of them. They were not the choices they had made, they were not the things that had happened to them, they were not the people they killed. They were men who reacted to life as best as they could and survived to spite it. And that was all anyone could be.

Barnaby found his feet and helped Rian to his. "Let's go home." Leaning on each other, they limped away, never returning at the back of their mind.

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