The Repossession Mambo: Wedding Crashers

Started by RUNE, February 14, 2019, 12:01:17 pm

RUNE

February 14, 2019, 12:01:17 pm Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 12:33:31 pm by RUNE


Sean entered the bridge shortly after being notified of the wave. "It's for you, guv." Amorru eyed Sean sideways as he handed over the comms unit hanging above the pilot's control station. He made no move to exit the bridge and offer Sean any privacy in the matter.

"My name isn't any more important than yours," came the scrambled voice over the speakers, "but rest assured I've got your best interests - or rather, the Tong's interests - at heart. In five minutes, the locks placed on your transport will be lifted and Wushu will have a three minute window to take off and break atmo before Alliance security forces are notified. Do not wait longer for Wushu's missing crew members. I don't need to reiterate the import of your mission. Five. Minutes."

The signal terminated before Sean could get a single question out. When he made to give the handheld comm back to Amorru, he found the pilot in the middle of keying up navigation sequences. Amorru snatched the unit out of Sean's hand, and paged the ship's public broadcast channel.

"Ladies and gents, this is your handsome and fashionable pilot speaking. We'll be departing Newhall for Bellerophon in T-minus four minutes and thirty-nine seconds. Be prepared for a hasty take off and an even hastier atmo break. Artemis, do us a favor: get the engine hot and give her a boost. Figure we're gonna need all the juice we can get." Amorru turned to Sean and offered him a wink and knowing smirk. "Don't fret, mate. I can break atmo in two minutes, tops."
CHARACTERS
[url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2527"]Wulfstan Wynne[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2226"]Maxell[/url]~[url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2353"]Rashy Pete[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2442"]Tricky O'Doyle[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2402"]Mona Heyerdahl[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2214"]Amorru Reyes[/url]

NARRATION
Odette

I know that I hung on a windy tree nine long nights, wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree of which no man knows from where its roots run.

Artemis Graham

The past few hours had been a blur and Artemis had handled the drama the only way she knew how: by retreating into herself. Gone was the half smile and the playful conversation. Now she was living up to her old nickname as 'the ice queen.' After the fray in the marketplace she had made her way back aboard in a daze. New crew and passengers  had arrived, old crew had suddenly disappeared and Art had taken it all in her stride with little more expression than the occasional nod of greeting. She did allow herself a certain level of inner smugness at seeing how right she had been about the stranger watching Charity. But she left her thoughts to herself.

Once in the safety of the engine room, Art began working through a series of checks both mechanical and personal. Was she injured? Not really, a few scrapes and a ringing in her ears was all she had to show of the attack. Was she okay with the fact that the ship was potentially captian-less? Again the answer was not really. She was running through the idea of grabbing her things and disappearing into the night when an announcement sounded over the speakers. Amorru's voice. A voice that, despite reason and experience, brought her some level of comfort.

His words snapped her to immediate attention. He'd given her a job to do and Art, always a professional, was itching to make it so. In fact she'd reached for the comm and responded with the words "On it Reyes," without even thinking. Once she'd take a breath she realised the announcement that they were making such a sudden departure out of a secured zone filled her with a sick feeling in her stomach. Gemini hadn't exactly worked inside the law but they'd essentially all had hearts of gold. A nasty thought was tugging at the back of her mind. Was someone on Wushu responsible for the attack? Is that why they were leaving?

It only took her ten seconds to realise she couldn't run, even if she wanted to. There just wasn't enough time. Besides, Wushu needed her to get moving. Abandoning them now would ruin the crew's escape plan. Art smiled for the first time in hours, although it was rather a sardonic grin. If they really were fleeing the scene that would make her an official accomplice. She'd never had any formal charges bound on her before. It would be a new experience at least.

One of her precious four and a half minutes had been used up by her indecision so Art threw herself into her work before she could think any longer. If she moved quick enough it actually silenced all the self doubt and trepidation she was feeling. Needless to say Art moved pretty gorram fast for those remaining three minutes. Also needless to say by the time the countdown timer reached zero Wushu would be damn ready for a quick escape. Artemis couldn't do a bad job on engines. Even if she wanted to.

Sionnach

"Ladies and gents, this is your handsome and fashionable pilot speaking. We'll be departing Newhall for Bellerophon in T-minus four minutes and thirty-nine seconds. Be prepared for a hasty take off and an even hastier atmo break. Artemis, do us a favor: get the engine hot and give her a boost. Figure we're gonna need all the juice we can get." Amorru turned to Sean and offered him a wink and knowing smirk. "Don't fret, mate. I can break atmo in two minutes, tops."

Suo you de dou shi dang... This already goushi situation had just piled deeper with a swiftness. There was no telling what had gone wrong or even why the Tong was risking the mission but breaking the land lock on Wushu and having them tear out of Newhall so quickly.  As usual, his mind started calculating the potential scenarios, and potential escape routes almost faster than he consciously was aware of them.

Escape routes were damn near zero, which as close to terrifying a feeling as Sean allowed himself.  This ship was going where the pilot wanted, when, and how.  Not that it would matter that much at any rate.  On or off the ship he was under the thumb of forces he was working furiously to extricate himself from and this ship and the people on it were his best chance.

As for what happened, well, there was a plethora of decidedly unpleasant options especially pertaining to the now missing crew members.  Had some or all of them been either injured or killed in the explosions? Had any of them possibly been involved with whoever set off the explosions?  Were any of them captured in connection with the crew's plan? Had any of them given them up? Hell...were any of them agents of whoever might not want the mission to succeed?  Were any of them Feds? Did the Feds somehow think Wushu's crew had been involved in the bombings...which brought him back to the thought that they might well have.  Had the Tong decided being on Newhall too long would throw off the time table of the job and just left the missing crew members to twist?

Too many variables and not enough answers. His only option now was to prepare for each eventuality, reaffirming his need to get to know these people...find out which way they'd jump in a crisis.  He wasn't going to let the Tong just start cutting people loose when they became inconvenient if he could help it.  It created too many dangers. 

All this happened behind an almost bored expression on his angular features.

"I've no doubt ye can, lad" he quipped, "Do some of that pilot lā shǐ"

Grace Halladay

February 23, 2019, 12:14:46 pm #3 Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 02:33:17 pm by Grace Halladay
Grace was in the infirmary doing, what else?  Cleaning.  She had finished patching up most of the crew though she hadn't seen the others.  So caught up in her work she hadn't really had much time to think about it.  Figuring she should check in on Emit she left her shell and began to wander the ship.  He wasn't in his bunk, not in the cargo bay nor the dining room.  She felt a sick drop in her heart, she hadn't seen the Captain either as last she knew he was heading with... Sean.  As the gears began to turn and her concern grew to panic she was struck by something even worse.

"Ladies and gents, this is your handsome and fashionable pilot speaking. We'll be departing Newhall for Bellerophon in T-minus four minutes and thirty-nine seconds. Be prepared for a hasty take off and an even hastier atmo break. Artemis, do us a favor: get the engine hot and give her a boost. Figure we're gonna need all the juice we can get."

They were leaving?  After all that happened?  With crew unaccounted for?  Without her employer... or Emit?  Maybe Grace wasn't in the best mindset, from the moment Amorru tackled her up until now she'd experienced a whirlwind of emotions.  Her hands had been shaking when she'd first gotten to the infirmary but her work took her focus off of that, then the revelation by Charity which she had yet to address and caused her no shortage of distress and now they were leaving her friend who could need their help?  She was going to get answers.

With purpose she about-faced and headed towards the cockpit, arriving to see Sean and Amorru in the midst of a conversation.

"Gwai-gwai long duh dong?  You keep this ship docked.  I'm not leaving here without Emit and the rest of the crew, they haven't come back yet.  Or are you that cold of a Chiang-bao hoe-tze duh, Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng?"

That was probably more cursing than she'd done in the last ten years in one sentence but the normally composed practitioner was having none of this nonsense.

Charity

Her conversation with their newest addition had left Charity feeling uncharacteristically introspective and thoughtful, her full lower lip trapped between ivory teeth as she chewed it in an idle nervous gesture. She fiddled with the locket around her neck, his words of warning echoing in her mind, the truth of what he'd said making her shoulders tense and her mood dimmer than her usually sunny disposition. King wasn't wrong, and that was what had the debutante worried. Hopefully, she had enough time to think out what to do before she'd have to face it all.

"Ladies and gents, this is your handsome and fashionable pilot speaking. We'll be departing Newhall for Bellerophon in T-minus four minutes and thirty-nine seconds. Be prepared for a hasty take off and an even hastier atmo break. Artemis, do us a favor: get the engine hot and give her a boost. Figure we're gonna need all the juice we can get," Amorru informed them over the comms.

"On it, Reyes," Artemis answered, in a similar manner.

Amorru's announcement reached through the fog of her worry and pulled her back into the here and now, dark gaze moving skyward as she listened. They were taking off now? She recalled the chaos outside the ship and was a little surprised that it had all been cleared up enough for them to allow ships to take off. They must have been very efficient workers. Charity paused, turning in the hall to look down the corridor. Amorru. Artemis. Grace. King. The spy. Lovely redhead.... Her brows furrowed and she slid her teeth over her lip as it freed itself. They seemed to be missing people, although it was possible that they'd come back onto the ship during her conversation with King. But, she supposed it wouldn't hurt to ask the pilot where the Captain was.

With a nod, a smile, and a new resolve that pulled the mask of warm perfection back onto her features, Charity turned and made her way back toward the bridge, retracing the steps she'd taken the first time she had ended up there. With a renewed pep in her step, her heels clicked smartly as she walked, skirts rustling around her legs and curls bouncing prettily. As she entered the threshold, Grace's last few words greeted the aristocrat.

"...Or are you that cold of a Chiang-bao hoe-tze duh, Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng," the doctor asked.

A gasp slipped past her lips and a hand moved to rest over her heart at the language. "Grace," she whispered, a little surprised that her doctor friend even knew those types of words. The woman looked between Grace, Amorru, and Sean, clearly confused about why Grace was so upset. "I do apologize for my interrupting...this," she waved her hand to gesture at the situation, "But is the Captain in his room? I should inform him of our new crew member," she asked, smiling sweetly once more. Charity walked forward and moved to slide her arm around one of Grace's, seeking to comfort her friend and perhaps find out why she was so upset in the process.


Sionnach

"Gwai-gwai long duh dong?  You keep this ship docked.  I'm not leaving here without Emit and the rest of the crew, they haven't come back yet.  Or are you that cold of a Chiang-bao hoe-tze duh, Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng?"

The thief smarted as the invectives seemed to slap against his skin.  It was rare that he was at a loss for words, but he felt nearly the same way as the doctor did and he barely knew the crew members they'd left behind. All the questions he had about the situation and those people wouldn't mean a jot to her even if he could express them properly...which he couldn't.  The best he could do was the truth.  He turned in the chair and met her gaze in earnest apology.

"Lass, there's nothin' we coulda done about it," he tried to explain in a calming voice, "We got a call from someone in the Moda Tong sayin' that they'd lifted the land lock an' that the Feds were on their way to the ship.  We had less than five minutes to take off an' break atmo or we'd be humped.  There's nothin' I hate more than leavin' mates in the lurch but we had no choice." he hesitated, "Wasn't jest Amorru's decision to tear out though," he lied, "was mine too."

He waited for the hail of more swearing and accusations.  This was going to suck shānyáng gāowán but it was better to spread the blame between the two of them then to have the crew rebel only against the pilot.

Octavia Wynn

Following her stint in the med bay, Sean had shown her to her bunk. Only a few hours had passed and she'd already taken one of the pills prescribed to her by Dr. Halladay. She had not wanted to be snuck up on as she settled in and unpacked. That was fine. A pill would take care of that.

Her room was nice. It was a respectable size for this ship. The bed was comfortable. Unfortunately, just as she was getting used to being able to hear again the pill wore off. She lost the hum and vibrations of the boat, the sounds of the air circulation and the footsteps passing by in the hallways.

She wasn't sure what she should do now. She needed to speak with the captain regarding the other half of her payment - the wedding ticket. He must have arrived sometime between her being led to the med bay and now. Should she wait here for someone to collect her or go find him? As she contemplated her actions, she felt the tell-tale rumble that meant take off. 

If she'd been summoned via comms somewhere between the Tuxerin wearing off and now, she'd have no way to know.

She didn't know where the captain's quarters were. She could guess since ship layout didn't vary that much, but she didn't think the crew would take kindly to her wandering around looking into people's rooms. It was then that she remembered Sean's offer to leave her some of his whiskey in the galley. She'd start there in the galley and if no one was there... well maybe she'd be lucky and Sean had already popped by there while she was otherwise engaged.

Akhsar King

King had been busy in the several hours since he and Charity had finished their talk. He'd sent a few messages to people he trusted, asking them to look into old pictures of Charity's mother and to look into insurance policies on her and her mothers jewelry. If they found what he hoped they would, and if they found it easily enough, then he was pretty confident in it being grounds for contract termination. That had only taken a few minutes, but what had occupied the majority of the 6 odd hours was trying to secure some gear.

Charity was legitimately going to hire him on as a bodyguard, assuming he could extricate himself from his contract with Boyer, and that meant he was going to need some stuff. Only basics really. A modular set of body armor, lightweight enough to be worn under clothing. An older model AK style rifle with a short barrel and folding stock, an assortment of attachments, cleaning kit, ammo, and extra magazines. A few changes of clothing, since he was going to be staying a while. And finally a suit appropriate for a fancy party, since the Wushu's crew were on their way to pull a kidnap job, and if King was to do his job of protecting Charity the odds were good that he would have to attend.

Ordinarily it would have taken an hour to collect it all, maybe two at most. However with the terrorist attack and the subsequent lock-down he was forced to rely on third party deliveries. He stood in the open cargo bay, sunglasses on, arms crossed. The very picture of a guard. At his feet sat a garment bag containing a suit in his size on top of a small duffel bag containing his new clothes. Third party numero uno hadn't had any trouble getting through the checkpoints with the clothing. Third party numero dos was bringing the armor and weapons, and they was late.

King shifted and recrossed his arms. Waiting was something he was good at.

A group of security agents ran passed. Kings head tilted a little to the side. A minute or two later a very fit woman with a walk that clearly said Ex-Military strode purposefully up the Wushu's ramp and stopped a few feet in front of King. She had a decent sized wheeled valise in tow.

"Good to see you King. I apologize for the delay, today has been... difficult for business." She said, wearing a tired smile.

King returned her smile, removing his sunglasses and hooking them onto the collar of his shirt. "Ah, no trouble at all Julie. I know how difficult it can be to move stuff like this during a lock-down. Besides, you aren't THAT late." He produced a roll of bills and palmed it to her via a handshake, as he did so she pushed the case closer to him and released it. "And its not like I'm going anywhere before they lift the lock-down anyw-" He was interrupted by Amorru's voice echoing through the ship comms.

"Ladies and gents, this is your handsome and fashionable pilot speaking. We'll be departing Newhall for Bellerophon in T-minus four minutes and thirty-nine seconds. Be prepared for a hasty take off and an even hastier atmo break. Artemis, do us a favor: get the engine hot and give her a boost. Figure we're gonna need all the juice we can get,"

Julie flashed him a crooked smile. King shrugged ruefully.

"Same old King. Guess I have to wait a bit longer for that drink you owe me, eh?" Julie said. King chuckled. "Guess so. One day though." He bent down to pick up the clothing, and grabbed the valise. "Good to see you Julie, you take care of yourself." Julie smiled at him once more. "You too" She said as she turned and jogged away from the ship.

King paused long enough to hit the controls to start the big bay door closing, and then headed up to the crew deck. As he entered the hallway he heard a raised voice coming from down on the bridge. He was pretty sure it belonged to Grace. Sounded like she was cussing someone out. He opened the door to what was now his cabin and placed all his new baggage on the bottom bunk before heading back out into the hallway. He could hear the murmur of other voices coming from the bridge now. Well, might as well go stick my nose into things. He thought to himself, and headed down the stairs.

What he found was Amorru, Charity, Grace, and Sean. He only caught the tail end of what Sean had been saying.

"-more than leavin' mates in the lurch but we had no choice." a pause, and then, "Wasn't jest Amorru's decision to tear out though, was mine too."

King looked around at the four of them, wearing the amiable expression most of them would soon assume was his default. "So we're slipping the lockdown, eh?"

Amorru Reyes

"On it Reyes," Artemis's words replied to Amorru's own. The stylishly disheveled pilot turned to the ship's resident mole, offering Sean a wink and a characteristically arrogant smirk. "Don't fret, mate. I can break atmo in two minutes, tops."


"I've no doubt ye can, lad", Sean replied as the thrum of life beat through Wushu's ignition and propulsion systems. Atta girl! Amorru grinned, admiring Artemis's quick response and competence under pressure. "Do some of that pilot lā shǐ" Amorru snorted as he flipped this switch and that. His mind formulated a sarcastic, cutting retort based around the idea that what some called lā shǐ others called měishù when the day's sixth explosion roared through the bridge.

"Gwai-gwai long duh dong?  You keep this ship docked.  I'm not leaving here without Emit and the rest of the crew, they haven't come back yet.  Or are you that cold of a Chiang-bao hoe-tze duh, Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng?" Head turning toward the verbal assault volleyed his way, Amorru's eyes narrowed into poisonous slits as he disengaged the joystick from it's locked position and the manual controls before him.

"Grace," The pilot's eyebrow arched as more trouble made its way on to the bridge. Used to be so little interest in a room like this I could sleep in it... Sean stepped in before Amorru could lash back with vitriol to test the good doctor's supply of anti-venom. "Lass, there's nothin' we coulda done about it," the mole began.

"We got a call from someone in the Moda Tong sayin' that they'd lifted the land lock an' that the Feds were on their way to the ship.  We had less than five minutes to take off an' break atmo or we'd be humped.  There's nothin' I hate more than leavin' mates in the lurch but we had no choice." A still hung in the air, which Amorru filled with the klick-klacking of his fingers keying the claw disengage sequence. "Wasn't jest Amorru's decision to tear out though. Was mine too."

"I do apologize for my interrupting...this," Charity's hand waved in pointedly dismissive motion, as if somehow she truly missed the nature of the conversation. Is it truly possible for a person to be so genuinely vapid? "But is the Captain in his room? I should inform him of our new crew member." Setting a script to disengage from the docking claw as certain parameters were met, Amorru rolled his eyes before turning awkwardly in the chair.

"Didn't ya hear the ginger, Duchess? Xavier ain't makin' it back. Ain't the missus or the pixie or the cowpuncher gonna make it either. At the insistence of one of the Tong, whose storied history I'll be happy to share with you another time, we'll be leaving right about... now-ish." Amorru squirmed as the ship's manual controls dug uncomfortably into his inner thigh. "But Xavier did tell me that in the event of his mysterious absence, I'm the only person he trusts to be in charge. So. I'm in charge." A ringed finger thrust out toward Grace, and Amorru blinked his eyes against the mental visual of his rapier's point piercing her throat. "I'm awful sorry 'bout your old man. But once we're landed on Bellerophon you can be on your merry way, nice and shiny." Amorru held Grace's disapproving gaze. Figure it'll be better that way.

Turning back to the viewport, Amorru watched the docking berth's rim lower around them as spaceport security and a deputy or two made to encircle the ship. The claw disengaged. Boosters fired up. Fingers undressed one another of their gilded shackles and set the rings all in a line atop the navigation console. Amorru cracked his neck and set his hands on the control pillar. "So we're slipping the lockdown, eh?" The pilot's head snapped back, his visage twisted in a sneer. "Yes, it would certainly appear that way. Now, I suggest the lot of you either strap in to the chair or otherwise clench up and hold tight, because this bird is flying in 5... 4.... 3.... 2...."

Wushu's thrusters roared, the deck shuddered, and the docking claw disengaged. The ill-gotten boat sailed away from the spaceport at speeds testing the balance of those not strapped to a seat, secured in their cabins or the engine room, or gripping for dear life on the security netting covering the bridge's ceiling. A subatmo Peacekeeper patrolling the space port attempted to give chase as Wushu twisted and lurched, defying a logical vector beyond reason, then pitched at a neck-breaking angle towards Newhall's stratosphere and beyond. All the while, the gleeful cackle of a madman rang above the symphony of systems alarms within the bridge.
It's a mechanical bull at number one You'll take a ride from anyone
Everyone wants a ride, pulls away, Ooh, From you

Metric, "Black Sheep"

Artemis Graham

Artemis was no fool. Part of her preparations had involved securing the engine room to the best of her ability. Escaping a lock down and outrunning the law would require a certain amount of maneuvering on Wushu's part. And she had champagne she needed to keep safe. Still, she was only just buckling in when Amorru began to put Wushu through her paces. Artemis fumbled with the clasp, only just realising her hands were not just caked in oil and engine grime but also blood. She filed this fact away, half wondering if it was her own. She hadn't looked in a mirror for awhile. Truthfully she'd been afraid of what she'd see looking back. But she promised to give herself a proper once over if they survived the next assault.

There had been no real doubt that Reyes would live up to his own hype but if there had been, they would have vanished after a minute of his flying. The pilot certainly had skills. Art swore she could hear his maniacal cackling coming echoing through the ship, although that would have been damn near impossible over the engines. Maybe she was just hearing what she expected.

When things stabilised a little more she punched the comm to the bridge, slightly breathless from being thrown around so much. It had been awhile since she'd had such a rocky ride. "Everyone alive up there?" she asked. And then, turning her message ship-wide, she added, "more importantly, any glasses survive in the Mess? I don't know about anyone else but I need a drink."

She probably needed a shower more but the thirst felt more immediate in that moment.

Grace Halladay

"I do apologize for my interrupting...this... But is the Captain in his room? I should inform him of our new crew member,"

After her tirade she was still shaking with anger and her adrenaline was pumping and heart pounding against her chest.  Her situation was not aided by the arrival of Charity with whom she had some unfinished business with as well but that was far from her mind other than her annoyance that the woman dared try to comfort her.  It was amazing how quickly things could change as Grace would have welcomed the comforting grasp of the dainty mound of fabric known as Charity.  She jerked her arm away from Charity's soft grip as Sean spouted off the reasons they had to leave.  She had been vaguely involved in the conversations about the job but really now wish she'd paid closer attention to the details, maybe then she wouldn't have even stuck around.  Now she was trapped and even worse news was about to come.

"Didn't ya hear the ginger, Duchess? Xavier ain't makin' it back. Ain't the missus or the pixie or the cowpuncher gonna make it either. At the insistence of one of the Tong, whose storied history I'll be happy to share with you another time, we'll be leaving right about... now-ish... But Xavier did tell me that in the event of his mysterious absence, I'm the only person he trusts to be in charge. So. I'm in charge... I'm awful sorry 'bout your old man. But once we're landed on Bellerophon you can be on your merry way, nice and shiny."

Now whether she believed Xavier would give that kind of responsibility to Amorru was one thing but being able to do anything about it was entirely another story.  Her bitterness at the situation only spurred on by his quarter-hearted apology.  Their eyes were locked in a stalemate of rage and indifference until he broke it off and initiated the take-off sequence.  Being effectively a prisoner on this ship she had very little means of retaliation and no ability to change their minds so she could only glare holes through Sean and Amorru's head.

"Scumbags."

She looked the two over once more before turning, her eyes meeting Charity's only to roll at the sight of her and stormed off the bridge.  Catching only the last bit of their mechanics speech before she left but finding herself liking the idea of a drink about now, which was a rarity indeed since she didn't drink.  However logical thought was returning and instead she sulked off towards her bunk, head full of empty promises not to help them if they needed doctoring in the coming days.


Charity

March 01, 2019, 01:23:24 am #11 Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 04:36:09 am by Lomari
Charity’s body rocked a little as Grace yanked her arm free, surprise registering clearly across the debutante’s face. She stared at the other woman and pulled her hands away from the doctor, one hang grasping at her locket and the other resting near her stomach, unsure of what to do with it. At first, she was hurt, and a little offended, but when it came down to it, Grace’s reaction made sense. She’d just lost her employer and her friend in the confusion of the attack, so it was absolutely reasonable that the sawbones was upset and didn’t want to be touched. “Grace,” she tried again, her voice softer and her brows knit with worry. She wasn’t sure how to deal with people who needed counseling other than to lavish them with presents and hope for the best.

“So we’re slipping the lockdown, eh?” came King’s voice from behind them. Charity turned her head and offered him an apologetic smile, sure that the situation was likely stressful for him as well. Although, he did seem far more composed than anyone else on the crew now. “Yes, it would certainly appear that way,” Amorru answered a little curtly and Charity winced and shrugged her shoulders a little in some kind of defense and apology for the pilot’s manners.

“5…4…3…2…” Amorru counted. Why was he counting? She’d been so wrapped up in attempting to untangle Grace’s possible motives for being so cross with her that she’d phased out Amy’s warning for them to buckle in. Before she could ask, the pilot set out to either show them what he was made of or kill them all in a horrible explosive crash. She wasn’t quite sure which, if she was honest. In any case, she had no time to sit in the open chair and strap herself in and instead found herself stumbling forward, colliding with King in the threshold. “Amy!” she tried to chide, the sound melting into a startled gasp of air instead, what air her decorated bodice didn’t deprive her of pushed out of her by the ship’s acceleration and steep angle. She looked back in Amorru's general direction, his giggling and the alarm causing her more than a little concern. It wasn't healthy for him to be enjoying this as much as he was.

“Scumbags,” Grace accused. Charity turned her attention back toward the doctor just as their gazes met. The woman began to offer up a supportive smile, pausing in another bout of hurt surprise when the doctor rolled her eyes at the aristocrat and stormed away. She wasn’t sure what she did to upset Grace, but she was trying very hard not to take it all personally. Surely it was just misplaced anger about the situation…

"Everyone alive up there?" came Artemis' voice over the comms, although Charity wasn't exactly sure if they were alright. Alive, yes... but something was definitely not alright.

Sionnach

Quote"Yes, it would certainly appear that way. Now, I suggest the lot of you either strap in to the chair or otherwise clench up and hold tight, because this bird is flying in 5... 4.... 3.... 2...."

Wushu's thrusters roared, the deck shuddered, and the docking claw disengaged. The ill-gotten boat sailed away from the spaceport at speeds testing the balance of those not strapped to a seat, secured in their cabins or the engine room, or gripping for dear life on the security netting covering the bridge's ceiling. A subatmo Peacekeeper patrolling the space port attempted to give chase as Wushu twisted and lurched, defying a logical vector beyond reason, then pitched at a neck-breaking angle towards Newhall's stratosphere and beyond. All the while, the gleeful cackle of a madman rang above the symphony of systems alarms within the bridge.


Sean fought the g-forces just enough to turn and look at the pilot with an incredulously quirked eyebrow.  Sure enough, the thief took risks that seemed mad from time to time but they were almost always calculated down to the last detail to give him the best chance of success, or...more often than he'd like...a spur of the moment gamble to save his skin in unexpected ways. This...this...was seriously mental.  Sean didn't know much about flying space craft but he knew the things Amorru was doing well exceeded what was supposed to be done when leaving atmo!  Did this man have a death wish or were his screws just loose enough that he thought this was fun enough to be worth the risk?

"Jaysus mate. Don't mind me breakfast." he said with entirely faked nonchalance and a look back over his shoulder at the debutante and her new "bodyguard" (he'd have to find out the real score on that fella quick enough) as they careened about the cabin, the faked another bored look back to "Amy" as he'd heard the pilot be called.

"Or the poor heathens scattered about the vessel, eh? Some might fancy unbroken bones and un-spilled stomachs I figure."

He stretched his arms wide and opened his mouth in a thoroughly convincing mock yawn, as he stood up; though he wasn't entirely sure that his pigu hadn't bitten a hole in his pants.

"Any other smooth and subtle maneuvers we should be prepared for? I need to know if I can lay a drink on the galley table as I promised our new passenger,"

He didn't wait for an answer as he eased past Charity and King to head toward the galley. His eyes wide as saucers and the words Holy la shi! forming soundlessly on his lips.

Octavia Wynn

March 04, 2019, 06:50:22 am #13 Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 11:55:28 am by Octavia Wynn
Just as Octavia stood, resolved to head to the galley, the calm, steady vibrations of the engine running up through her feet turned into something jerking and violent. She fell back on her bed shouting a curse at the pilot and her creator all at once.

She'd been in a heck of a mood today and this certainly wasn't helping it any. Between the shoddy piloting and the little help she'd gotten in the med bay, Octavia wondered if she should have held out or shelled out for a better ship for transport.

She grumbled every curse word she could think of, in every language she knew as she clipped her collapsed bow to her left leg and a mini-quiver to her right. She didn't need them, but they made her feel better. She reasoned that the mini-quiver would be less intimating, since it only held a few of her ammunition.

Octavia turned out from her rooms and walked slowly down the corridor. She made it to the end of the balcony before she realized her mistake and made to turn around for the galley. Oddly, she had run into no one in the corridor and saw no one from the balcony. It didn't sit rightly with her. Surely, someone should be around doing something.

Where is everyone? They can't all be hiding in their quarters, can they?

She was getting seriously concerned, not at all paying attention to where she was going when she nearly walked head-first into Sean, himself, in the doorway of the galley.

Amorru Reyes

March 05, 2019, 02:18:23 pm #14 Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 02:32:48 pm by Amorru Reyes
"Amy!" Blatantly ignoring Charity's plea for rationality, Amorru Reyes pulled the controls to and fro while letting himself enjoy the pitch and pull of the gravitational forces around him. The thrill instilled in him the same sense of death-defying danger comparable only to the intensity of the clashing of swords and piercing of flesh. He closed his eyes for a moment, allowing the ecstatic wave of adrenaline to wash over him. Opening his eyes again, he hoped his crew mates felt a similar sensation.

"Jaysus mate. Don't mind me breakfast." Amorru looked over at Sean with an impish grin that flashed a platinum canine. The glint of light coming off the tooth as the atmo burn roared around the Hotaru class transport ship seemed to match the sparkle in the pilot's emerald iris. "Do not barf on my bridge."

"Or the poor heathens scattered about the vessel, eh? Some might fancy unbroken bones and un-spilled stomachs I figure."

"Figure you're right. Figure Grace'll straighten 'em out 'fore we hit dirt."

"Scumbags."

Amorru peered back after setting the control pillar into its housing and watched Grace's exit, his eyes sticking to the back of her a bit overlong. With a huff, he turned back to the controls and set the auto pilot to guide them toward Bellerophon.

"Everyone alive up there?" Artemis's voice chimed in over the speakers in the bridge, "more importantly, any glasses survive in the Mess? I don't know about anyone else but I need a drink." Amorru pulled a communicator from the unit overhead and replied on the same ship-wide channel. "Likin' the way you think more 'n' more, love. We'll gather up in the galley shortly."

"Any other smooth and subtle maneuvers we should be prepared for? I need to know if I can lay a drink on the galley table as I promised our new passenger," Sean asked, turning out of his chair and walking out of the bridge without another word. Amorru turned toward the empty seat with a finger pointed in the air.

"Well, now ya mention it, I figure I could use a favor and - Hey! Where you off to now?" The pilot rose from his controls and made to leave the bridge himself. Turning back in the threshold, he addressed the Duchess and her companion with a subtle look of suspicion. "Well, then. Just gonna hang about and enjoy the view, or do you care to join the rest of the riff-raff for a nip or two?"

Amorru backed out of the threshold with an arched eyebrow and an accusatory finger wagging between the pair. He continued walking backward towards the stairs for... reasons... and spun at the bottom with a flair meant mostly for his own entertainment before taking them two steps at a time. With a quick step around the corner he nearly smacked into the back of Sean's fiery head as the Moda Mole stopped short. Placing a handful of ringed fingers on Sean's arm, Amorru looked at Octavia Wynn as if seeing her for the first time and glanced back and forth between the shades of red as his face scrunched two sizes smaller.

"So what? Somebody splash some water on you and another popped out?" Amorru didn't bother to wait for a response as he heard the familiar swishing of Charity's skirts ascending the stairs behind him. He gestured toward Wushu's new passenger and directed the debutante her way. "Dear Duchess, do us a favor if you please? Take Miss - uh - our guest to the galley and fetch her some refreshments. Ah, anything but the flapjacks, actually. There you are. Thank you so much. Yes. What a gracious hostess." Once Charity and Octavia made their way toward the dining table, Amorru turned to Sean. "Listen mate, normally I'm not the type to discourage a lad from chasin' tail on company time - and honestly, I feel a might awkward sayin' this - but we've got slightly more pressing matters and I think your, ah, skill set should come in quite handy. C'mon, I'll show you what I mean."

Amorru turned toward the cargo hangar, taking a sharp left up the set of stairs leading to the Captain's Quarters. "Figure neither of us wants your bosses cross with us, so it might do us both some good to know exactly what this job is and maybe share it with the rest of the crew. After all, the sooner we get this done you can go back to doing, well, whatever it is you do -" Amorru spoke without looking back, assuming Sean followed, "- and I can get back to doing what I do. Which may or may not include the continued hijacking of this ship." Amorru stopped short of the door to the Captain's chambers, where he meant to glean some information regarding the crew's next move. Inexplicably he punched a series of random symbols into the electronic lock on the outside of the door and found himself heartily rejected. "Bugger all. Suppose it was worth a shot." He gestured toward the keypad with a smile. "Fancy a go, ol' son?"
It's a mechanical bull at number one You'll take a ride from anyone
Everyone wants a ride, pulls away, Ooh, From you

Metric, "Black Sheep"

Sionnach

 With a quick step around the corner he nearly smacked into the back of Sean's fiery head as the Moda Mole stopped short. Placing a handful of ringed fingers on Sean's arm, Amorru looked at Octavia Wynn as if seeing her for the first time and glanced back and forth between the shades of red as his face scrunched two sizes smaller.

Sean made a small show of twisting his arm out from under the dandy's hand in an action that said he didn't like to be touched.

"So what? Somebody splash some water on you and another popped out?" Amorru didn't bother to wait for a response as he heard the familiar swishing of Charity's skirts ascending the stairs behind him. He gestured toward Wushu's new passenger and directed the debutante her way. "Dear Duchess, do us a favor if you please? Take Miss - uh - our guest to the galley and fetch her some refreshments.

Ah, anything but the flapjacks, actually. There you are. Thank you so much. Yes. What a gracious hostess."
Once Charity and Octavia made their way toward the dining table, Amorru turned to Sean. "Listen mate, normally I'm not the type to discourage a lad from chasin' tail on company time - and honestly, I feel a might awkward sayin' this - but we've got slightly more pressing matters and I think your, ah, skill set should come in quite handy. C'mon, I'll show you what I mean."

The thief slid the bottle of scotch and handed it over to Octavia and held up a finger to indicated he'd be a moment, not knowing she was temporarily able to hear.  Then he turned to follow Amorru with no small amount of curiosity.

Amorru turned toward the cargo hangar, taking a sharp left up the set of stairs leading to the Captain's Quarters. "Figure neither of us wants your bosses cross with us, so it might do us both some good to know exactly what this job is and maybe share it with the rest of the crew. After all, the sooner we get this done you can go back to doing, well, whatever it is you do -" Amorru spoke without looking back, assuming Sean followed, "- and I can get back to doing what I do. Which may or may not include the continued hijacking of this ship." Amorru stopped short of the door to the Captain's chambers, where he meant to glean some information regarding the crew's next move. Inexplicably he punched a series of random symbols into the electronic lock on the outside of the door and found himself heartily rejected. "Bugger all. Suppose it was worth a shot." He gestured toward the keypad with a smile. "Fancy a go, ol' son?"

"Aye, masterful bit o' skullduggery an' breakin' and enterin' ye' were at there, boyo," Sean tsk'd as he fished a deceptively small and delicate looking device from his long coat.  Hardly seeming to pay attention to it, he used a thin too to flip open a small access port in the side of the lock, insert a tiny card attached to a lead and by no means Amy could deduce used the bit under Sean's thumb to find out the correct code to open the door, which Sean punched in.  The lock clicked open cooperatively.

"After you,"


Akhsar King

March 06, 2019, 06:10:17 am #16 Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 06:25:34 am by Akhsar King
"So we're slipping the lockdown, eh?"

Amorru looked back at King with a sneer. "Yes, it would certainly appear that way. Now, I suggest the lot of you either strap in to the chair or otherwise clench up and hold tight, because this bird is flying in 5... 4.... 3.... 2...."

King braced himself as the pilot counted down. He was looking forward to seeing if the cocksure pilot was actually any good at his job. A question that was answered pretty emphatically. The mans cockiness was justified, at least in how skillfully he could fly a starship. Not that King would say anything to stroke the mans ego.

Charity seemed to have been off in her own little world, because she made no attempt to brace herself, or to buckle herself into the other vacant seat. Amorru's generous maneuvering caused her to stumble forward, colliding with King. One arm reflexively snaked around Charity's waist and held on, while his other reached up and took hold of the security netting that covered the bridge's ceiling. "Easy there Cherry, I've got you."

"Jaysus mate. Don't mind me breakfast." Sean said with a nonchalance that didn't quite convince King.

Finally the maneuvering calmed down. Once King was reasonably sure that the mildly insane man at the controls was done tossing them about, he released Charity. "You good?" He said quietly to her.

Sean and Amorru quipped back and forth for a moment, and a few seconds later Artemis's voice filled the bridge. "Everyone alive up there?" Grace gave Amorru and Sean a look of rage that King wondered at. Clearly there was some history there. "Scumbags." Grace said. She turned, gave Charity a look, and stormed off the bridge. Clearly something going on there too. Interesting. Amorru turned his head to watch Grace leave. The look lasted a little long. There were definitely some complicated relationships aboard the Wushu.

A moment later Artemis's voice echoed through the ship wide comms, "more importantly, any glasses survive in the Mess? I don't know about anyone else but I need a drink."

Sean stretched, yawned, and then stood. "Any other smooth and subtle maneuvers we should be prepared for? I need to know if I can lay a drink on the galley table as I promised our new passenger," Not waiting for a reply he turned and slipped past Charity and King off the bridge.

"Well, now ya mention it, I figure I could use a favor and - Hey! Where you off to now?" Rose as well and pushed past Charity and King, pausing to look back at them from the door. "Well, then. Just gonna hang about and enjoy the view, or do you care to join the rest of the riff-raff for a nip or two?"

King looked over at Charity and shrugged. Amorru backed out of the room with an arched eyebrow, pointing a finger back and forth between them. The man continued walking backwards all the way to the base of the stairs before finally turning around and taking the steps two at a time. "Half expected him to walk up the stairs backwards there... He certainly has... character." King said with a chuckle.

He headed up the stairs into the crew quarters area and turned towards the galley. There was a bit of a traffic jam. Sean, Amorru, and Octavia were bunched up in the entryway. King waited patiently, and a few moments later Charity joined him. Amorru turned and gestured to the debutante. "Dear Duchess, do us a favor if you please? Take Miss - uh - our guest to the galley and fetch her some refreshments. Ah, anything but the flapjacks, actually. There you are. Thank you so much. Yes. What a gracious hostess."

After the traffic jam was remedied King headed past Amorru and Sean into the galley. He stayed near the door for the moment, and as luck would have it he overheard Amorru talking to Sean. "Listen... normally I'm not the type to discourage a... chasin' tail on company time... awkward sayin' this - but we've got slightly more pressing matters.... your, ah, skill set should come in quite handy. C'mon... I mean." This was followed by retreating footsteps. Kings head tilted a little to the side, and the corner of his mouth twitched upwards. Time to stick my nose into things again.

He casually glanced around the galley, and then walked out into the crew quarters. He made his way out onto the landing, moving as quietly as he could. He caught Amorru's voice again, now coming from up the stairs to the left. Which, if he was remembering the tour correctly, led to the captains quarters. King moved over next to the stairs, careful to make no noise, and to not get within line of sight of the top of the stairs. He listened.

"...do us both some good to know exactly what this job is and maybe share it with the rest of the crew. After all, the sooner we get this done you can go back to doing, well, whatever it is you do and I can get back to doing what I do. Which may or may not include the continued hijacking of this ship." Hijacking? Was the ship stolen? Or was he referring to them leaving without the Captain? There was a pause, and then the sound of... keys? Likely an electric lock on the door. "Bugger all. Suppose it was worth a shot. Fancy a go, ol' son?"

The next voice he heard was Sean's. "Aye, masterful bit o' skullduggery an' breakin' and enterin' ye' were at there, boyo," There was another pause, and then the sound of keys being entered. This time followed by the clack of a lock opening. "After you,"

The two men entered, and the door closed. King casually leaned back against the wall and pondered. He couldn't really fault them for what they were doing. If there was some hidden facet of the job that only the captain knew, then it would definitely be better for the crew to know it too. Especially seeing as the captain was still dirt side. Honestly he probably would do the same, since not knowing a hidden detail of the job could put his protectee in danger.

He briefly considered just heading back to the galley, but almost immediately rejected that course of action. No, it would be better if he stayed here casually leaning against the wall with his amiable expression. He wondered exactly how they'd react when they passed him. The thought made him grin with genuine humor.

RUNE

Accessing the Captain's Quarters, Sean and Amorru found the place a bit of a wreck - no doubt in no small part due to Abigail's whirlwind departure. While sparsely decorated, what personal effects JAX left behind on display made the area markedly his own. Perhaps "their" own, for what tatters of Abigail's presence yet remained. Bits of Browncoat memorabilia lined the walls next to a capture of a once happy couple, but Amy and Sean's instincts drew them almost immediately to the fine oak desk. The piece of executive furniture saw better days in it's time to be sure, but retained that regal aura which drew the pair in. After unlocking the center drawer, notes were found scribbling the hidden details of the crew's upcoming mission: "Charles Ainsworth" "Organs" "make target drop on Ariel for payment in full". Exiting the apartment with the vital information they sought, Amorru asked Sean to alter the passcode in the event they needed to access the room again. The unlikely duo of conspirators made their way back toward the galley to meet the rest of the crew when they found a bemused Akhsar King lurking below.

Meanwhile in the galley, a quick inspection of drinking containers proved fruitful and rounds and shots began to be poured for everyone out of Wushu's meager stores of spirits, ales, and 'fine' wine - at least, in regards to spacers' standards. Some gathered earlier than others, as a few had more pressing concerns of both public and private interest. But, around fifteen minutes after Artemis brought the concept to the table, the entirety of the crew eventually found themselves gathered for a meeting.
CHARACTERS
[url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2527"]Wulfstan Wynne[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2226"]Maxell[/url]~[url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2353"]Rashy Pete[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2442"]Tricky O'Doyle[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2402"]Mona Heyerdahl[/url]~ [url="https://www.findingserenity.net/index.php?topic=2214"]Amorru Reyes[/url]

NARRATION
Odette

I know that I hung on a windy tree nine long nights, wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree of which no man knows from where its roots run.

Octavia Wynn

March 06, 2019, 02:10:18 pm #18 Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 01:12:33 am by Octavia Wynn
Octavia's collision with Sean seemed to have caused quite the pileup in the doorway. The pilot appeared behind Sean landing a hand on the other man's shoulders. The way Sean pulled away from it was all too familiar. She'd done this maneuver countless times. It was interesting to see it from someone else.

"So what? Somebody splash some water on you and another popped out?" He gestured toward Wushu's new passenger and directed the debutante her way.
Octavia's eyebrows flew up in amazement. Her pill had worn off some time ago but she could hear Amorru's voice. It was clear that she still had some loss and it sounded like she was under water but it was there! She must have been too upset when she was in her room to realize that she was, again, hearing her own voice. She was elated, although, as the pilot went on, she wasn't sure if she wouldn't rather go back to complete deafness. He actually reminded her of a more flamboyant version of Alice. Much more flamboyant and very talkative. She thought that would either make his interesting to hang around or exhausting.

"Dear Duchess, do us a favor if you please? Take Miss - uh - our guest to the galley and fetch her some refreshments. Ah, anything but the flapjacks, actually. There you are. Thank you so much. Yes. What a gracious hostess."

The thief slid the bottle of scotch and handed it over to Octavia and held up a finger to indicated he'd be a moment.

The two women walked to a table, Octavia slightly behind. She grabbed a cup down and sat at the table. As she poured herself a drink, she said, her voice slightly too loud for polite conversation, "I'm not usually one to be dictated as to where I go and with whom, Charity, but as the only two people I've talked with on this boat are not currently here..." She didn't bother finishing the thought. She wasn't any good at small talk and she'd been told on several occasions that she'd do best to skip it all together.

Charity

March 07, 2019, 01:20:06 am #19 Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 01:20:30 am by Lomari
Charity stared up at King for a moment longer than was polite before she nodded and took a quick step away from the man, her hands running over the front of her bodice and skirts to smooth it back to perfection. The smallest hint of pink made its way across her ivory cheeks and settled at the tips of her sweetly curved ears. The woman glanced up at him secretively every so often as she worked to undo the wrinkles in the fabric. Amy’s voice startled her out of her thoughts and she turned to stare at him, hands frozen mid-movement at her skirts.

“Well, then. Just gonna hang about and enjoy the view, or do you care to join the rest of the riff-raff for a nip or two?” he asked, pointing and wagging his finger between them. She frowned at him in confusion and turned her chin away at the finger motions, not sure she liked them. Charity did, however, allow her gaze to flicker first toward the front of the ship and then back in King’s direction. Which view was Amy referring to, she wondered.

“Half expected him to walk up the stairs backwards there…He certainly has…character,” King said, chuckling. The sound pulled her own lips upward and the debutante nodded a little, finally pulling herself free of her thoughts and moving toward the stairs with a deep breath. “That he does,” she agreed, grinning up at him with an amused glimmer in her dark eyes. She followed the man out of the empty bridge, pausing when she was first stuck in a traffic jam of people and then conscripted to service by their pilot.  Was he authorized to give her orders? Again, she frowned at the man’s back.

“Thank you so much. Yes. What a gracious hostess,” he said, effectively talking over any arguments she might have had, not that she’d have expressed them in front of their new friend. That would have been rude, after all. She watched Amorru, Sean, and eventually King leave, her cherry lips pressed into a pout. She was being left out of something, clearly. With a gentle sigh, Charity half-led, half-followed Octavia into the galley, standing at the table’s edge and watching the liquid slosh into the glass.

“I’m not usually one to be dictated as to where I go and with whom, Charity, but as the only two people I’ve talked with on this boar are not currently here…” Octavia told her, and she couldn’t help but wince a little at the volume, one hand lifting to rest over her heart as though the mildly less well-mannered volume hurt her physically. “If you stay much longer,” she began, her shoulders relaxing and a pleasant smile returning to her lips, “I’m sure you’ll get used to it,” she informed her, laughing musically. Looking around, she spotted Grace trying to make her way toward or into her bunk and the woman rushed off in that direction, skirts rustling and heels clicking.

“Grace, dear. Why don’t you come meet this lovely new guest of ours? Have a drink, relax, I’m sure your nerves are quite shot, and some companionship would be absolutely medical,” she crooned lovingly, still trying to make things right in a situation she wasn’t fully understanding. Positively dragging a likely uninterested and unhappy doctor along with her, she set the woman at the table with Octavia. “There we go, friends make everything better, don’t you agree?” she asked them both, laughing to hide her nervousness at Grace’s clear disapproval of her.

“Now, I do hate to be so absolutely impolite, but there is one little thing I must attend to, if you sweethearts don’t mind,” she told them, half dipping into the smallest and quickest curtsy in the history of unnecessary traditional motions before she turned, waved, and slipped out of the galley all together.

Under the guise of heading back toward her room, she paused just at the entrance and fiddled with her door, nibbling on her lip in deep contemplation. Charity glanced back toward the hall leading to the galley, then stared hard at her door again, one hand sliding into the pocket hidden in the folds of her dress. Shaking her head a little, she made one more furtive look in the direction of the galley to make sure no one was looking before turning on her heel and hurrying across the way to Amorru’s room. This was silly, fruitless, obviously he would have locked the door to his room. She set her hand on the door and moved to open it, freezing in surprise when it slid open easier than anything.

Well… With another glance down the hall, the debutante slipped into his room and shut the door behind her, locking it just to be safe. Pausing to catch her breath and listen for anyone coming to stop her, the woman chewed on her lower lip and looked around the room, trying to be as silent as she could. When no one yanked the door open and pulled her out, Charity finally let out a breath and stepped away from the door, pulling the key she’d swiped from Amorru out of her pocket and looking around. What did it go to…

A lock for a key, she thought to herself over and over, peering through his things without touching anything, not wanting to make it obvious that someone had been snooping. A lock…for…a key, she though again, getting down on her knees and peeking under his bed. A slow smile pulled at her lips and she reached out to gently free the case from beneath his sleeping area. This looked familiar…why? Oh! He’d been holding this like it was his child when they’d picked him up in the bar at the station. Her lips formed in an excited ‘O’ and the woman sat with the case in front of her, the key in her hand. Of course she hesitated for a moment, this was rude and snoopy and surely he wouldn’t appreciate it, but he was clearly hiding something from everyone, especially from her, and she knew something wasn’t adding up. Did that mean she should invade his privacy? No, but the other options would only lead to him lying to her or absolute boredom.

The key slid into the lock with a soft metallic scratching, her body having made the decision for her, it seemed. Once more, she glanced toward the door before her wrist turned and a gentle ‘click’ told her the key was home in the right box. Okay… no turning back now. With one hand on each side, Charity slowly lifted the top of the case, leaning forward in curious excitement. Time seemed to stop around her and every inch the top opened felt as though it took a lifetime. Finally, the contents were revealed and Charity stopped, her brows furrowed and a confused frown playing across her lips.

A sword?

Inside the container, obviously lovingly placed and well cared for, was a beautiful sword with intricate detail and shimmering metal. On the hilt, just under the guard, was a crest or seal of some kind bearing the resemblance of what might have been a bird, or a phoenix, to be more accurate. Sitting back on her calves, her arms crossed over her chest and Charity stared hard at the weapon. A sword. This was not at all what she had been expecting and did not help her one bit. Reaching out, the woman rolled the blade over to better see the emblem before she rolled her eyes, sighed, and shut the container again. A sword, she thought to herself for the third time, not quite able to grasp what or why someone would be carrying around such an ornate relic of useless weaponry. Although, it did make sense that the solution to the Amorru riddle would just be another riddle.

With a displeased little noise, she pushed the entire container, key and all, back under the bed before standing up and making her way to the door. After a quick peek outside to make sure no one was in the hall, Charity left his room and shut the door behind her, heading back to the galley just as everyone else was finishing with their business and coming together.

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