S1:Ep3 - A Tale of Darling-Do

Started by Lomari, July 23, 2019, 08:20:07 am

Lomari

Previously on The Darling...

"A lot's been happening and is still gonna happen. Mona got pinched, more her choice than the law's if I think about it. We'll handle that best we can. Rian's loose, but he knows what he's doing, you can trust that." A solemn, capable pause. "We're all gonna be safe when we come to the end of this. You got my promise. Now gettyup, we got sh*t to do."

"A touching speech, Captain. You love your crew." A voice said from the shadows, hidden from view until the source revealed himself. Abernathy, wearing that same smart suit and a slick smile emerged from the darkness, pistol in hand, and flanked by three men armed heavier. "Did you know your ship is berthed at dock eleven and not twelve?"

Mona Heyerdahl

July 25, 2019, 06:12:35 pm #1 Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 09:50:12 am by RUNE
Some time later...in a Detention Facility.

"Guuuaaaahhh..."

If Mona Heyerdahl found a machine pumping a mixture of broken glass and horse manure into her cranium until it nearly burst as she groggily opened the one eye not swollen shut she wouldn't have been the least bit surprised. In fact, she found her immediate surroundings more shocking. She squinted painfully against the humming white glow of the fluorescent lights overhead, and righted herself up slowly and carefully. Sonic shock did a serious number on one's body. Most folks know about the headaches, the balance issues, and the persistent ringing left in the ears after taking the typically non-lethal kinetic blast, but only those who've felt it knew what havoc visited the bowels as vibrations rocked the abdominal wall and the uncomfortable little aftershocks that continued to visit the system after.

"At least I got a fresh change of clothes..." Mona reassured herself before a wave of embarrassment brought a flush to her cheeks. She pulled at the loose-fitting yellow fabric around her legs and covering her arms like a generic track suit as she stared down at the baby blue flip flops on her feet and thanked the stars no one she knew shared her cell. No bars walled her off from the world, just white cement walls and a thick iron door. Mona sighed, wondering how long it'd take before someone came to question her about The Darling. She watched the door with her one good eye for around five minutes before calling out, "I"m awake!"

After another fifteen minutes, one of the cement walls flickered away to reveal the image of Commander Josie Pritchard. The way she stood, Mona thought she might have a cattle prod stuffed up her hind end. "Good afternoon, Miss Heyerdahl. I take it you find your accommodations... Fitting. Our medical staff seemed to have attended you well enough. Federal resources are the best. Even for our detainees. Wouldn't you agree?"

Mona's eyes rolled before she could stop them, a reaction she regretted as it provoked the waning throb in her head. "One of my brothers spent some time as a prisoner of war after Serenity Valley. I know how the Alliance treats its captives."

Commander Pritchard smiled flatly. "Good. That's good. That means I can skip the standard threats. You already know what's waiting for you. Though in my experience, and that of my superiors, rebels like you never learn your lessons. And you do seem the stubborn sort. But maybe you're smarter than you look." The Commander held her tight-lipped expression as she and Mona stared at one another waiting for the other to break. Neither did. Stubbornness, similarly to public relations officers, didn't seem to pick a side. Pritchard finally cocked her head. "So. Tell me how you met your captain, Mona. I want to know how 'The Valkyrie' went from trench fighter to first mate."

Mona smiled, though it hurt her face to do so, as Commander Pritchard asked her to stall for time. "Well. That's a long story."
When the battle is lost And the slain ones are chosen The Valkyries will guide us home
We'll heed the final call A call to arms The Valkyries will guide us home
Blind Guardian. "Valkyries"

Mattie Rooney

Outside the Darling

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

Mattie hadn't actually expected to get an apology for her lost revenge. In fact, she'd half-anticipated Rian to start arguing he'd saved her life and she shouldn't be complaining, or some crap like that. She turned her gaze towards him when he brought up his captured friend. He didn't look too distressed over it, but keeping cool in a crisis was part of a skilled gunhand's repertoire. It was something Mattie herself struggled with.

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

"You can usurp vengeance from me any time you want" had the ring of a bad pick-up line, but Mattie had enough context clues to know the man wasn't hitting on her. She had no idea what exactly the job he was offering her would entail, what the pay was like or if he even had the authority to hire her.

On the other hand, there was a gaggle of Feds headed their way.

"Deal," she said, fastening her seatbelt and pulling her goggles down over her eyes. At least Captain Merry-go-round couldn't be any worse than Tate.

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

The mule sputtered to life, but it was badly wounded, trembling without its stabilizers and emitting the mechanical equivalent of a death rattle. Any sharp maneuvers would threaten to tip them over again, but fortunately it was just a matter of making a beeline for the ships.

As they drove past the commotion, Rian's controlled exterior cracked for a moment. Mattie wasn't good at comforting people even under the best circumstances, so she just pretended not to notice his little outburst and focused on the driving until he seemed to calm down again.

"Y'all ain't got a dress code, have you?," she asked, throwing a quick glance at Rian's suspiciously formal attire before fixing her eyes back on the road, or what she could make out of it through the gradually thickening smoke rising from their vehicle.

Rian Carpenter

Outside the Darling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Orbit or a bullet. Pick."

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

"Now!"

He shouted somewhat incredulously. Rian had just planted a lead farm in a not insignificant portion of her coworkers, but he was now strangely dependent on this stranger to stay alive and possibly rescue the crew. He gave his new partner a look of bemused exasperation as if to say. "Another day at the office, yknow?"

Barnaby Goodweather

Inside The Darling

Rian's words squawked over the radio.

The sound of pounding on the exterior of the hull.

A beacon, indicating they were being hailed by radio.

And silence.

Barnaby, Tabby, Riot, Viktor, and Mr. Arlo all stood in a line, guns pointed at them dangerously but not specifically. Abernathy and his men had gotten the drop on them. Barnaby wondered if he should have seen this coming but, then again, how could he have? Abernathy was playing a different game, and the crew of the Darling (with some possible exceptions) didn't even know the rules.

Abernathy stepped forward until he was face to face with Barnaby. "Have you considered my offer?"

"I gotta say, Mr. Abernathy, I ain't even had a chance, what with the shooting and the driving and now you kidnappin' us," Barnaby said, lying. In truth, Barnaby hadn't been impressed with Abernathy's displays at the Casino and had decided right then and there not to do business. This was not a nice man, and while business out in the Black couldn't solely be conducted around folks you had a good feeling about, there was a difference between necessary risks and acting a fool. And it was true that the last hour had been filled with a lot of excitement. But Barnaby knew now what he knew then.

Abernathy smiled liked he could read Barnaby's mind. "Well, that's okay! We've got time, don't we boys?" A chorus of laughter from Abernathy's goons. The ringleader leaned back casually against an errant crate, ready to wait.

More pounding on the hull.

The beacon chimed again.

He regarded both. "But not a lot of time, of course. That-" He said, pointing with his gun. "-is the Alliance trying to get your attention." The gun swung away from the sound and across the Darling's crew. "If only we had more time, eh, Captain Goodweather? More time to talk and make an informed decision."


The implication was clear. "Riot. G'on and do like I said, decouple the adherence gauge. Should do the trick." Barnaby said, nodding to Riot that it was safe to do so. Abernathy nodded to one of his men to follow her to the engine room. "Um. Mr. Abernathy, one of your guys a pilot? If not I'll have to be the one to get us flying."

Abernathy looked surprised. "I wouldn't think of letting someone else fly your ship, Captain. No, you and I will go to the cockpit and I'll give you some coordinates for our next stop once we break atmo. Maurice and Raul will supervise the rest of your crew." Abernathy winked at Arlo. "Sorry, old boy. Told you not to go with them."

Barnaby's heart sank. They were prisoners in their own ship. "Do like he says, folks, this'll be over pronto."

Tabitha Haemish

Inside The Darling

Hands clasped together and settled above her sternum, Tabitha looked over the group of hostile newcomers with too much fascinated curiosity than she should have been. Her heart fluttered against her chest, indicating that at least some part of her was aware that they were in danger, even if her conscious mind wasn't keen on lingering on that thought too long. Hands lowered and she idly grabbed handfuls of her skirt, wild pale curls framing her face, no longer contained as they had been before the mad dash back to the Darling.

The banging continued and the doctor flinched, turning her torso a little to stare in its direction, chin tilted to the side and brows furrowed thoughtfully. She wanted nothing more than to peek out and see who it was, but she knew better than to give in to her desire to be polite. The stranger in their home was right, that was the Alliance and they didn't seem all that pleased with the Darling Crew right now. With that thought wrapped up, her head turned back to the gunmen.

Jobs were given out and threats relayed, and Tabitha raised a hand to get Raul and Maurice's attention. "I'm sorry, pardon me, sirs?" she began, looking between them and taking a small step forward, a warm smile brightening up her face.

"Would either of you like some tea? After such a fuss I'm sure we're all a little parched, and I was going to make myself something but I never make a cup of tea without asking if anyone would like one first," she explained, lowering her hand back to the front of her skirts. "We have a great many teas to choose from, although I have to admit that I'm partial to the lavender, it's very calming," she continued, nodding to herself and taking a couple steps toward the interior of the ship and thus the galley, brows raised at the henchmen as though waiting for them to join her or escort her.

"How many sugars do you take? Or maybe you'd prefer some milk? We have a very nice milk substitute. Milk spoils fast, you see, it's not very practical to take some onto a ship and it's marvelously expensive to get the good kind, but the substitute is just fine, I think. A little grassy, but that seems to add to the flavor of the tea. But really you should ask our Rian more about the milk, he does wonders with what we have on board even when we only have the artificial things. When he makes dinner, you'd never tell that it wasn't real rabbit!"

Her attention shifted from where she was walking and lifted toward the faces of their chaperones. "Now, which one of you is which? Your man said your names were Raul and Maurice? Those are such charming names, really. Very rich. I'm Tabitha. Were you born on this planet? I'd imagine you'd have such colorful stories, with rich names like yours," the doctor continued on, the beating of her worried heart having slowed to a calm rate once more, her cheeks rosy pink and her smile wide and genuine. She seemed to have forgotten that these men were there for potential violent reasons. Her hands lifted to pluck at her curls, fingers trying to push them back up into a sensible hairdo and failing tremendously.

Mattie Rooney

August 02, 2019, 01:37:16 pm #6 Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 02:37:28 pm by Mattie Rooney
Outside the Darling / Inside the shuttle

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

Mattie shrugged. She didn't really think a suit made you look like a professional of shooting people, maybe a professional of selling insurances if anything, but this wasn't the time to argue fashion. As another hail of bullets chipped away at their mule's structural integrity, Mattie found it increasingly difficult to maintain control of the vehicle. She was grateful to have Rian sitting next to her and doing all the brainstorming, allowing her to fully focus on not crashing -- which was really all she could do at this point; to make their inevitable grinding halt as nonfatal as possible.

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

"I hope he does," she shouted over the sounds of grinding metal and their sputtering engine. "That'll give him somethin' to weep about into his jewel-encrusted pillow."

Their mangled steed finally gave up the ghost, leaving the pair to cover the rest of the way to the shuttle on foot. Mattie tossed Daisy on her back and pulled out the revolver strapped to her waist, not her preferred weapon but the more suitable one for the situation. She followed Rian, providing covering fire. By some miracle they both made it into the cockpit of the shuttle unscathed -- or so Mattie thought initially. As Rian began to strap himself into the seat next to the pilot and she slid into the seat behind her, Mattie's gaze was drawn towards his blood-covered fingers. She frowned in response to the playful look he gave her. She was no medic, but she knew gunshot wounds were nothing to laugh off.

Pointing her revolver at the pilot with one hand, she began to undo the black tie around her neck with the other, quickly growing frustrated with it and finally yanking it off violently. She tossed the crumpled piece of fabric to Rian to give him something to apply pressure with.

"You better take care of that," she said, nodding towards his chest where she assumed his injury was located. "I've got this."

Mattie turned her attention to the pilot and nudged the back of her head with her revolver.

"Well, did he stutter?" she asked, undoing the top two buttons of her blood-stained shirt with her free hand. She was feeling much better without that stupid glorified dog collar around her neck.

Riot

Riot breathed a deep sigh of relief when the mule sped up the ramp, that caught suddenly in her throat half way to completion when she noticed who was riding in it, and who wasn't. Her eyes locked on Barnaby, a question clearly visible in her gaze. The Captain turned and gave her a nod. Riots heart sank as she half turned and hit the door control. "Rian. Can't wait for you. See what you can figure getting to us. We won't leave without you." Barnaby sighed deeply. "Mona neither." Riot gritted her teeth as her fist lashed out and struck the hull, and a low growl came from deep in her throat, unknowingly mirroring Rian's gesture from a few moments earlier. This wasn't right. This wasn't how things were supposed to go today. Bandit bumped against Riots leg and whined, responding to her masters distress.

Barnaby jumped down from the mule as the bay doors swung closed. "Y'all are a sight. Glad at least we all made it safe. This is Mr. Arlo he's gonna join us for a while." Riot eyed the man. He was tall and lean, with brown hair, blue eyes, and very impressive cheek bones. He looked like a noble. Riot immediately disliked him, though that probably had more to do with him being here and two members of her family being absent. She opened her mouth to ask who in the hells "Mr. Arlo" was but Barnaby wasn't done speaking. Riot settled for glaring daggers at Arlo. "We ain't got much time. Riot. Get her started up. Looksee if they locked us down. Likely as not, but if we can skirt it and get outta the city, all the better. Check the adherence gauge, if you decouple it from the pressure sensor, might-could release the automated lock." Riot nodded as he gave the other crew their own tasks.

"We're all gonna be safe when we come to the end of this. You got my promise. Now gettyup, we got sh*t to do." Riot nodded again, still glaring at Arlo, and turned to take care of her assigned tasks. "Bandit, Følg." She made it two steps before she realized Bandit was stalk still, staring at a shadowed area. A low growl emanated from the wolf-dog.

"A touching speech, Captain. You love your crew." A voice said from the shadows, its source well hidden from view until he spoke. A threatening looking man dressed in an all black suit, slick smile, and holding a pistol emerged from the darkness. Three men, each seemingly better armed than the last flanked him. "Did you know your ship is berthed at dock eleven and not twelve?"

Riots mind raced. They cant be here. How did they get in. There's no way... no... The door control, someone tried to.. how did I miss... Damn it all how did I miss that! Her hand flinched towards her sidearm, but she stopped herself, silently thankful the intruders were cool headed enough that they hadn't just shot her. Bandit continued her low growl. Riot carefully turned to face the men, and went down to one knee, her hands held away non threateningly. "Bandit, Være rolig. Kom hit." She said, carefully and quietly. The big animal growled for another moment, and then walked over, predatory eyes still locked on the intruders. One of the gunhands watched carefully, his weapon not quite pointing at her and her canine companion, but Mr All Black Suit didn't even spare them a glance.

She listened to Barnaby and Abernathy's exchange, and knew in her gut where things were heading. This was not a nice man. This was a man who could kill them all and sleep like a baby afterwards.

"Riot. G'on and do like I said, decouple the adherence gauge. Should do the trick." Barnaby said, nodding to Riot that it was safe to do so. Abernathy nodded to one of his men to follow her to the engine room. "Captain..." Riot said, trying to convey many things with that one word. "Do like he says, folks, this'll be over pronto."

Riot again gritted her teeth. Kidnapped using their own gorram ship. She glared at the thug who was to be her chaperone, and rose smoothly. "Right. Come on then." She said, turning on her heel and walking towards the stairs to the engine room, the big wolf-dog falling in step beside her.

Thackery Arlington III

"This is Mr. Arlo he's gonna join us for a while."

Arlo involuntarily sucked a breath of air in through his teeth. "Now hold on just a moment, Captain, I don't quite recall settling all that just yet..." he cut in hastily. "Not to say that I'm not grateful and what-all for the ride from Tate's, which was, you must admit, not precisely free from mishap, although I won't pretend it wasn't invigorating in its own odd way, but my point is that all this gallivanting isn't really my style, and you lot aren't exactly my set -- no insult meant -- but what I mean to say is that I was under the impression that it was a singular journey of convenience as it were, chaps helping one another out while momentarily thrown together by circumstances, and I hardly intend to leave the planet entirely until I've gotten this nonsense sorted out with Hugo or at the very least retrieved my things; after all, it's not as though I'm just going to leave my typewriter and pocket silks to his tender nouveau riche mercies..."

Arlo was rambling terribly, even while the captain continued to hand out directives to the rest of his crew. He knew it. He could hear it. And yet, he somehow couldn't prevent the words from falling out of his mouth, one after another. Internally, he blamed the excitement of the day and the shock of being ejected from the baron's resort, coupled with the discomfiting glare of a rather grimy young woman he could only presume to be the ship's mechanic, assessing by the engine grease she wore like an accessory. He had to admit she was quite pretty in a rim-planet sort of way, but it was nearly impossible to keep track of a single line of thought while she apparently tried to set his hair on fire with the power of her gaze.

Really, it was more of a relief than anything when Abernathy turned his slimy face up again and saved Arlo from himself with smug preening and standard-issue threats. Arlo knew he ought to be frightened by them, but a cheerful sort of apathy had settled in -- shock, he could only presume -- and the whole situation just seemed more melodramatic than anything else. He'd lost count of then number of times he'd gone from the frying pan to the fire and back again in the past hour alone, and didn't see the point in caring which was which just at the moment. Why not throw in a few extra goons with guns? It was all the same. With or without them, all Arlo wanted was a change of clothes and cup of tea and his gorram pocket squares.

And, like a benediction from heaven, at least one of those three presented itself on cue. All right, perhaps the offer hadn't quite been directed at Arlo specifically, but that was a nuance for another day. "Pardon me, but if there's tea on offer, I'd very much like some," he chimed in, raising his own hand politely. "Two sugars, please, but no milk; the artificial stuff has never quite agreed with me. Lavender's all right, though I'd prefer something pekoe if you have it."

Viktor Söderberg

Inside The Darling

As long as he'd known it, being inside the ship meant safety to the preacher. So, once they had scurried on-board he was all prepared to let out a small sigh of relief. Problem was, much like the pattern set by prior hours in the day, something was going wrong. The captain had slid in, well enough, but a number of her crew were still missing and despite their leader's reassurances that in the end no one would be left behind; it was still a poor feeling to not have them here. 

Viktor didn't have time to dally on that, however, as orders were being given, introductions made, and interruptions abounded. Between his captain's orders, the mysterious stranger, the even more mysterious intruder and the alliance banging on the door as if to bust it in, Viktor's attention was all over the place. He wasn't quite sure where to focus it, but the guns suddenly pointed at them tended to narrow that focus. 

"You and I will go to the cockpit [...] Maurice and Raul will supervise the rest of the crew."

Viktor reckoned that Riot's job to decouple whatever gauge would take her to the engine room with either Maurice or Raul and the other would remain with Tabby, Arlo and himself. Three against one wasn't bad odds. Two against one really - Tabitha should probably just stay out of the way. But then, didn't this Mr. Abernathy imply that Arlo had been with him at some point? Well... he'd still had worse odds than one on one. Man oh man, I'd just love to go back to some regular ol' preachin' soon.

The thought was barely out of his head when Tabitha starting being Tabitha. "I'm sorry, pardon me, sirs? Would either of you like some tea?"

The preacher rolled his eyes up to the ceiling in a weary sort of way. As much as he appreciated Tabby and loved her like a little sister, sometimes he wondered that the girl didn't have much sense in her noggin. Guns out, kidnapping in progress and she asks about tea. He opened his mouth the scold her as she started towards the galley, but thought better of it. He didn't want to make her feel badly and the goons weren't shooting - as of yet - at her turned back. 

Now that he thought about it, getting as much space between them with their escort and the other members of this little kidnapping gang seemed wise. Maybe she did know what she was doing after all. Her mention of calming tea reminded Viktor of the sleeping tincture she'd given him last night. Had that only been last night? It felt like weeks ago.

Was he reading too much into her request or was she being really very clever? Following her farther into the ship, he tried to think of the most subtle way of asking her without alerting everyone else. 

"Ms. Tabitha," he used his colloquial way of addressing her, which he only used when he was feeling particularly brotherly or else very exhausted and falling back into his old speech patterns. "What about that tea you made special for me last night? It was very settling for me, and might be just what these fine gentleman need. What do you think? Do you have any left?"

Lomari

Shuttle Time: 1340


The pilot barely had enough time to turn her head toward the commotion at the door when she found himself being verbally assaulted by a strange couple. She wasn't armed at the moment, her gun in a cabinet near the entrance to the shuttle.

"Orbit or a bullet. Pick."

Both options were pretty terrible and might've included death at the end of it all, but one of them did provide her with a longer bit of time in the 'verse before she ended up lifeless and floating in space. Still, helping these strangers in their ship hijacking was certainly signing her own death warrant, but there was always the opportunity to turn the tables and save her own hide. She hoped.

"Now!" the strange man barked. Her eyes flickered back toward the gun cabinet and her hands twitched around the throttle, her thin lips pursed together with thought and planning. However, Mattie turned her attention to the pilot and nudged the back of her head with her revolver.

"Well, did he stutter?" she asked.

Stopped in her tracks mid-plan, the pilot stiffened in her seat and leaned forward carefully to run the side of her index knuckle against several switches, the shuttle vibrating as it locked itself up and the engines roared to life. With another glance at the bleeding man beside her and a slight backward tilting of her head to verify that there was still a gun pressed against it, the Baron's pilot pulled up on the yoke, the shuttle rising from its docking clamps as it did so. "Buckle in," she advised half-heartedly, slamming the controls forward to slingshot them up away from the planet toward the expanse of space. If she couldn't fight back, she could at least make them uncomfortable.

Fire licked at the windows as they pushed through the atmosphere, and the ship shook around them although it was just the expected run of the mill 'space turbulence'. After a couple of minutes, the strain on their bodies eased and for the brief second before the artificial gravity kicked in, they were weightless. "Now what?" the pilot asked, turning her head slowly to glare at Rian.

noseatbelts

Cargo Bay

Raul (long dark ponytail and a tactical turtle neck) and Maurice (bald, with a vicious looking scar on one side from his brow to his jaw) looked at each other and shrugged. "Boss didn't say we couldn't go no where." Raul said and motioned for Tabby to lead the way and falling in step behind her.

"No funny stuff." said Maurice, using his rifle to prod Viktor and Arlo into formation and taking up the rear.

It took no time at all to get to the galley.

Engine Room

Off of the Cargo Bay, Riot led the third thug, a fella with a dark complexion and a tattoo under one eye that said "Charlie", into the Engine Room and stood at the door to cut off any obvious escape. "Andale, chica. We ain't got all day."



Rian Carpenter

August 09, 2019, 05:56:56 pm #12 Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 06:17:32 pm by Rian Carpenter
Orbit

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

"Now what?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hey... Thanks."

Then just like that Carpenter directed his attention back to the radar screen, waiting, hoping, everything short of praying to see her pop up on screen.

Tabitha Haemish

August 18, 2019, 12:02:07 pm #13 Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 10:17:11 pm by Tabitha Haemish
Galley

"Pardon me, but if there's tea on offer, I'd very much like some," the stranger chimed in, raising his own hand politely. "Two sugars, please, but no milk; the artificial stuff has never quite agreed with me. Lavender's all right, though I'd prefer something pekoe if you have it."

Tabitha smiled like the sun up at the men who'd essentially kidnapped them, then turned and gestured toward the galley's seating area. "Two sugars, no milk!" she repeated easily enough, having no qualms about serving the man she'd never met before some tea. She had offered, after all. Turning, the doctor made her way to their work space and set to getting some water boiling.

"Ms. Tabitha," the preacher began and she held up an index finger, her eyes moving away from the water and up to his face, "Tabby", she corrected, as she had many times before. It didn't bother her to keep doing so and she would continue to remind him of her more familiar nickname until he felt comfortable using it. With that out of the way, her hands took to opening the wooden drawers of the apothecary's cabinet she kept the teas in. Was is practical, no. But it made her feel just so special and that was what mattered, wasn't it? Out in the black, it felt good to feel good.

"What about that tea you made special for me last night? It was very settling for me, and might be just what these fine gentleman need. What do you think? Do you have any left?"

Her head tilted innocently to the side as she recalled the tea she'd given him, then fought back a giggle when she'd remembered. One hand opened several different drawers while the other grabbed their vast array of mismatched tea infusers. She spooned a bit of leafy material into one in the shape of a metal ball and set it into a thick mug. "Orange Pekoe for the fancy gentleman," she listed, looking up to offer Mister Arlo a kind smile that set her baby blues twinkling.

Another spoonful of a darker mass of leaves went into an infuser the shape of a triangle and was dropped into a mug that looked like it had been glued back together a couple times. This was repeated with an infuser that looked like it had once been bent into the shape of some kind of animal but had long since come to resemble a formless blob. With a plink, it came to rest in the bowels of a red cup. "Lavender for our guests, do you take any sugar or cream?" she asked, getting out the container of sugar and placing it between their guests and the mugs. "Viktor dear, what kind would you like?" she asked, pulling out the bottom drawer of her tea set and looking down at three little glass bottles with eye dropper lids. Finding the one she wanted, Tabby pulled it out and nonchalantly added a couple drips to each of the lavender cups, and pretended to add some to Arlo's cup, her own china teacup, and the white mug she'd set out for the pastor, just in case they saw her and got curious about her tea making methods. When that was finished, the bottle went back into its place in the drawer and two sugars were added to Mister Alo's mug. 

As she set to work getting the last two cups of tea ready to go, she hummed cheerily to herself, clearly either not understanding the danger or not minding it too terribly. The boiling water was carried over and portioned out into each mug, the steam rising up and coiling around itself before dissipating into the air to be recycled later by she ship's systems. "What did you lovely gentlemen do before you were body guards?" she asked curiously, apparently including Arlo in this question, perhaps assuming he was a part of their very legitimate business venture. She grabbed the mugs by the handles all at once, holding them like a bouquet of flowers as she made her slow and careful way to the table. "Do you have any siblings?" she added, very gently setting the cups down and they putting them in front of their intended drinkers. "Or any pets? We have bandit, of course, but she's more of a member of the crew than a pet."


Riot

August 19, 2019, 05:33:13 pm #14 Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 05:35:56 pm by Riot
Engine Room

Riots mind worked as she walked. Thinking up plans to take out her chaperone, and rejecting each one of them almost as soon as she thought them up. She couldn't risk provoking Abernathy. Not while her family was in harms way.

They entered the engineroom, or rather she and Bandit entered. "Charlie" stood just inside the doorway, pointlessly blocking the obvious escape route. "Andale, chica. We ain't got all day." She rolled her eyes and favored the man with a mockingly sweet smile. "Thank you, Charlie, for that wonderfully helpful statement." She spun and stalked over to the engine and set about disconnecting the adherence gauge. The pressure sensor was buried a ways in, and she had to reach almost shoulder deep to get at it without disassembling a third of the engine.

Bandit padded over to the pile of blankets Riot had been sleeping on, and sat down, not taking her eyes off the man in the doorway for even a second. If Riot gave the right command, the wolf-dog could cover the short distance and be doing her best to tear out the mans throat in a little over a second and a half.

"I give thanks our dear and fluffy lord that you were here to make sure I remembered that I have an extremely important task to accomplish!" Riot said as she worked. "I had forgotten all about the Alliance knocking on our door, not to mention the land-lock preventing us from leaving! Truly, I'd be lost without you. Chillido idiota... Håpløs ekorn hjerne... Gao yang jong duh goo yang!"

With her last word and a little snapping sound, the sensor cable came free. The little red warning light on the gauge slowly faded off. She glared at "Charlie" as she walked over to the wall mounted com unit and opened a channel to the bridge. "Cap, pressure sensor disconnected, thanks entirely to my lovely chaperone's brilliant input. Did that do the trick?"

Thackery Arlington III

Galley

Oblivious to the clever subterfuge being conducted right before him, Arlo took a deep inhale of the beautifully scented steam wafting up from his rustic mug and let it out in a contented sigh. There really was nothing like a good cuppa to set the world to rights, if only for a moment, and the strange young woman clearly knew her teas.

She was an excellent hostess, too, as it turned out, making everyone comfortable and deftly rolling out the small talk with the apparent ease of long practice. It was amazing how some people could do more with an antagonistic assortment of tradesmen and hired guns in a ship's galley than certain barons could with a carefully curated guest list and an entire bloody moon.

Arlo took a moment longer to savor the steam while he waited for the tea to steep, then answered her last question first, chatting as though they were all making each other's acquaintance at any tea room back on Bellerophon. "Ah, yes, Bandit; that must be the, ah..." He took a careful moment to select an adjective. "...Sizable creature accompanying your mechanic back there. We had several terriers when I was growing up - Jack Russels, I believe. My mother bred them for a time. Never was close to them myself, though; they weren't really family pets. Siblings, however, yes, we're quite close. My brother Bing and my sister Georgie, both younger. Georgie's off to university soon."

That ought to have been enough time for the tea, so Arlo gave it a cautious little sip, closing his eyes to better appreciate it. "Mmm, exquisite," he pronounced. "And what of you? Any brothers or sisters to speak of?"

noseatbelts

Galley:

Abernathy's guards exchanged a shrug at the young healer's offer of tea. "Don't see any harm in it." Raul said, placing his weapon on the nearby countertop and extending his hands to Tabby's and accepting the cup. "Thanks."

Maurice let his rifle fall on its strap and hang from his shoulder as he reached for his cup. He laughed as he blew on it, releasing heat and steam. "I have seven sisters. I'm the youngest if you can believe it. Is there any sugar?"


Engine Room:

Charlie watched Riot studiously as if to make sure she didn't try anything. After a moment, he realized that he, too, was being watched. Slowly, his eyes turned, catching a slight glimpse of Bandit. He turned cautiously. "Hey, that dog ain't gonna bite me, right?" His hands shifted nervously on his rifle. "Tell it to lay down or whatever."

Riot

Engine Room:

Riot watched Charlies eyes shift over to Bandit, and her gaze narrowed dangerously. "Hey, that dog ain't gonna bite me, right?" His hands shifted nervously on his rifle. "Tell it to lay down or whatever."

Riot smiled a very un-reassuring smile. "Bandit, ligg ned." The wolf looked over at Riot, somewhat dubiously, and then did as she was told and laid down. It didnt really matter if she was sitting or laying down, she could still be on Charlie in just over a second. "She wont bite unless I tell her too, so don't worry Char-Char, you're safe." Riot paused, and her expression became oddly reminiscent of her companions. "At least as long as you dont hurt my dog. If you do that, you'll be very, very not safe."

Tabitha Haemish

Galley

Tabitha giggled softly at the fancy gentleman's hesitation in describing their canine crew mate, her chin nodding downward a couple of times in a good natured nod. The doctor made her way to a cabinet and unlatched it, opening one side and reaching in. "Oh! University! How exciting. Does she know what sort of profession she might like to study for? I find that learning on the road and jumping right in is always a good way to really learn a skill. Just immerse yourself in it and make it your life!" she mused aloud, nodding and coming out of the cabinet with a quilted blanket and a long rectangle of poorly knit creativity that she likely would have called a blanket. It was very clearly something she'd made for the ship despite not having much working knowledge when it came to crochet.

Patting the blankets as she hung them over one arm, Tabby smiled sweetly at her guests, standing beside the preacher and for a moment tilting her head to rest her cheek naturally against the side of his arm. She watched Maurice as he told of his own lineage, then gasped a little at his question. "Oh of course!" she told him, setting the blankets down on the tabletop before almost skipping back to the kitchen's counter. "Sugar, sugar, sugar," she sung to herself, the words dissolving into a cheery hum as she grabbed the container and a little spoon for scooping. "Seven sisters," the doctor repeated. "I'd imagine that was quite a time you had growing up!" she exclaimed, beaming in his direction, "But you know, I think I can sense the sort of resilience and the gentle spirit that comes from growing up that way," she nodded, gesturing to all of him with a soft hand, "Your aura is a very sweet blue," she informed him, making her way back to the table with sugar in hand.

She held up two fingers with her free hand and nodded a little, "As for myself, I have two siblings! My little sister Emily and big brother Jeremy," she answered, pulling out a seat but not sitting quite yet. "They're both very creative and I find their enthusiasm for their passions absolutely infectious! Emily is sure to become quite popular back home making fashionable clothing for the working person! I have a frock she made for me, would you like to see it?" she asked, expression genuinely hopeful and eager. While she spoke, the guests drank their tea and listened with far better manners than one might have expected given their profession and the company they kept. And as she talked about her sister and the magnificent colors used in her line of 'fashion', their eyes became heavy and their shoulders loose. The cups slowly settled on countertop or table and chins moved down toward sternums.

Viktor Söderberg

Galley

"Viktor dear, what kind would you like?"

He had ignored her correction from Ms. Tabitha to Tabby. He knew her preference, but stress'll do what it does. He addressed her question about tea instead.

"None for me, thanks. I think I'm all tea-d out for the moment."

His eyes scanned the counters quickly. He was pretty sure he'd left his Bible in here from reading it when he couldn't sleep - before his own dose of the tea he'd recommended for the professional gentlemen. He found it on the counter, pushed to the corner as to save it from food or drink spills. Reaching for it, he watched Tabby grab the accursed mixture along with the proper teas and begin setting to her work as hostess. 

With Tabitha flitting around making tea and conversation, Viktor felt free to sit and assess. He pulled a chair to the far wall, so his back would be against it and he could see everyone in the room. He sat back with his feet firmly planted on the floor. He leaned his Bible against his chest as if to read it and opened to his bookmarked place. The posture would allow him to look over the Book on occasion without much suspicion and to stand quickly should it be needed. 

He recognized the passages he'd been studying, something to assist a young woman he was counselling. Unfortunately, it was not relevant to their current situation. As much as he had Faith and believed in Miracles, things didn't generally happen that way and usually required much more preparation and study. 

His eyes moved back and forth across the page, but he wasn't really reading. He was listening for any usual information or tell-tale signs of dissonance or scuffle deaper in the ship. The conversation in the galley wasn't anything of particular use at the moment. Except, it reminded Viktor that these people were just that. People. They had lives and families and dreams regardless of their underhanded jobs. He wished Tabitha hadn't talked about families, but there wasn't much to do about that now. 

Before long, Viktor saw their lids getting heavy and their limbs and heads begining to droop. They would be completely out before too long, but he waited another minute or so to speak on the off chance that they were still alert enough to hear him and hit some sort of panic button or call to their boss. 

"Tabs?" he questioned, "will their doses last as long and be as deep as the one you gave me? What kind of time are we working with here?"

Asking the question, he second guessed that his request did not include Arlo. He wasn't sure if the unknown man was going to be a hindrance or a help in this situation. Only time would tell.

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