S1:Ep4 - You're NoBody 'Till SomeBody Loves You

Started by Lomari, February 07, 2020, 02:27:33 pm

Barnaby Goodweather

June 22, 2020, 01:36:31 pm #60 Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 08:31:23 am by Lomari
The Away-Team:

Off the ship was generally the last place that Barnaby ever wanted to be. His land legs notwithstanding, his recent run of luck left him shaky and uncertain. But, there were memories and conversations that needed addressing on the Darling and, for now at least, he could avoid those things with a little ride through the snow. There was no road to speak of, though it might have been there buried beneath the drifts of white that passed beneath the mule as it hovered to their destination. Lucky for them the all-terrain functionality was operating. Trying to drive on tires in this mess? No thank you.

He was glad to see everybody talking and getting along, aside from the Preacher, everybody was Fresh to him. This could be seen as something of a proving ground for them, particularly for Mattie, who spoke to him over the rush of wind and rumble of the mule's motor.

"Gotta be honest with you, Boss. This ain't exactly the kind of landscape I'm used to survivin' in."

"You'll do just fine, Mattie. I know it." The girl was smart as a whip and tough like the leather of one, too. Barnaby had no shortage of confidence in her abilities to help out with what he was praying would be an easy drop off. Over the din, it was hard for him to overhear what they were talking about in the back, but a small mirror at eye level kept him informed that they were at least conversing.

He found Mr. Arlo and the mirror and shared a secret smile with himself. He'd asked the man along mostly for sport- fancy pants like himself out in the wilderness? That was an opportunity Barnaby couldn't pass up. But he'd also asked the man along to see if he was amiable to the request. Barnaby had half expected Mr. Arlo to pitch some sort of fit and refuse to go. But that didn't happen, which was a pleasant surprise. Whether Mr. Arlo would prove useful to them, Barnaby wasn't sure, but he had to think there was some reason the man hadn't left the Darling yet...

Preacher, on the other hand, Barnaby knew he could count on Viktor to do whatever was needed without hesitation. Couldn't find a more reliable person, and the fact he was from St. Albans was just the cherry on top. Like most of the folk on the ship, Barnaby found himself relying on the Preacher for his particular set of skills, which seemed to be varied and vast, but it was his spiritual guidance that had helped Barnaby most often recently. A soul was a hard thing to fix, and Barnaby wasn't sure he was ready to dig into all that, but the few times he'd sought help from the Preacher, he'd come away from it feeling better.

And then Barnaby found Mr. Potter in the mirror, and the old man likewise found him. They shared a glance that crossed straight from lingering right into a cold hard stare without any notice and if Barnaby hadn't been afraid of any potential obstacles in the road he might not have been able to tear his eyes away. The man was spooky and Barnaby was beginning to suspect he was unwell. Best to get this job done and over with quick, fast, and in a hurry. "Gee, this ain't so bad. A little snow don't scare me!"

Rigger "Riggs" Mirton

June 24, 2020, 12:32:21 am #61 Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 08:31:33 am by Lomari
The Home-Team:

Moving from the cargo deck and into the crew spaces,  the ship changed. From the exterior the she resembled a large angular armoured beetle, that look continued into the cargo deck, it was a stark utilitarian space. He could see that there were softer edges that indicated the chaotic effect of the crew on its ordered structured design, but it was a "workspace" none the less.

The crew spaces felt very different however, he was vaguely aware of Miss Tabby chitter' chattin' as they moved into accommodation section, she absentmindedly closed the cargo hatch behind them and he could feel the warmth of the space wash over him, not just in temperature but in feeling. This part of the ship had completed its transformation by the crew, the all the sharp edges had been softened, the brutalist design had been gentrified by its inhabitants. This felt like a home.

They entered the crew bunk area and Riggs suppressed a grin, while the room itself had a standard, almost militaristic design that reminded Riggs of his Alliance academy days, a row of metal cots, lockers, bedside cabinets etc. Whilst most of the bunks in here would not have looked out of place in the academy, save a book or bedside lamp, one was and explosion of fairy lights and sparkle. It was obvious whose bunk that was. Riggs looked at Miss Tabby, she was still talking, not so much to him but at him, clearly just excited to meet someone new. It was difficult to not smile when looking at her, exuberance, joy and positivity radiated from here like a sun.

For the second time since he stepped onboard the ship, he realised the talking had stopped. A pause made him realise there had been a question directed at him.

"Yes, the engine room, that would be great Miss Tabby thank you, if you're not busy?"

He dropped his bags at the foot of the empty bunk and followed Miss Tabby once more. She had started talking again leading him up some stairs and onto the cargo bay gantry that ran around the sides of the bay pointing out locations of note and points of interest. He smiled, it did feel like home.

Rian Carpenter

June 25, 2020, 01:39:28 pm #62 Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 01:48:29 pm by Rian Carpenter
The Home-Team:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Thanks, kid."

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

Lomari

One Hour Later...

Ship Time: 1203
Ship Location: Secondary Claim, St, Albans
Mule Location: 1 Hour outside of Secondary Claim. 300 Miles away from Primary Claim.

The Away-Team:

Over the passing hour, Mister Potter's complexion continued to yellow. A sweat had broken out across his forehead and the top of his lip and the one hand not clutching the briefcase against his chest was nestled between them and grasping at his abdomen. Every so often he'd slump left or right as though his head were just about to come to a rest upon Viktor or Arlo's shoulder, before he'd jerk upright again and continue to stare forward into the sleet and flurry before them. Slowly, he turned toward Arlo, offering him the same steely, mesmerizing, unyielding gaze he'd shared with the Captain earlier.

"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far," he informed him, his tone slow and careful, as though making sure each word was formed with the perfection and weight that the sentence deserved. Then, he turned to look in Viktor's direction, finally responding to his question about chickens, although a good deal of empty air had filled the space between then and now. "We shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

As they rode, it wasn't uncommon to see another vehicle or two passing them in the snow. Locals here were used to this sort of weather and while traveling during a blizzard wasn't advised, there were those who knew how to do it with relative safety and comfort. Of course, those few had had far more time to prepare for the voyage than the Darling's crew. As they began to approach another set of lights, the two beams began flashing off and on again. A signal? An attempt to get their attention? A play of the light as it made its way through the crystalline veil between them?

The Home-Team:

Things had been relatively quiet for the hour that had passed. Tabitha had shown Riggs his new work area in the engine room and had walked him through the rest of the tour before letting him escape her gravitational pull. The fuel-up and minor repairs were concluded by the docking team, and Rian had earned himself a set of eyes outside of the ship. The ship continued to run in low power mode, staying active enough to keep the ship warm against the chill outside, but not running hot enough to deplete the fuel they'd just filled up with.

Every now and again the ship would rock ever so slightly as a stray blast of arctic wind pushed up against its side, but the majority of the wind on the edge of the blizzard was still nothing strong enough to move a ship as big and heavy as The Darling. The sound of the storm, however, gently reverberated through the hull of their metal home, and under the right circumstances, it might have been quite soothing. What wasn't soothing, was the fact that their connection to the Away Team's comms unit seemed to become weaker as the mule rode further away from them and closer to the blizzard.

With a gentle blip, Rian's cortex pad received a message from an unknown address.

"Hey, this is that dock wurker you taked to b4? Dont know if you rember me. Nother ship landed jus now, dwn the way but theyve jus kinda been siting there. Didnt seam wierd ekcept they askd about your ship. But that's all. Thot you should kno?"
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
Darling ~ Iscariot

Barnaby Goodweather

June 26, 2020, 11:42:11 am #64 Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 06:24:39 am by noseatbelts
The Away-Team

Everything was so bright, Barnaby was glad for the traffic so as to stay on the road. Otherwise he might have driven straight off into nowhere. But he didn't and for that he could be proud of himself. The wind was heavy and made driving difficult and using two hands necessary, but he was glad that the snow didn't seem to be accumulating itself on top of the mule as they moved. The prudence of their current actions still escaped him, but Barnaby and his crew were capable. He was sure of it.

One of the passing vehicles turned out not to be, flashed their lights at them and slowed their speed; a common motorist parlance requesting the same. "Alright." Barnaby said, putting on the brake. "Mat'." He didn't figure he had to tell her what to do in a situation such as this, but just wanted to make sure she was ready. It could be nothing. Road could be out down the way. Could be they needed help themselves. There was nasty, mean spirited, awful folk in the 'Verse and Barnaby Goodweather wasn't one of them. "I'm gon' slow and see what's what. Preacher. Any insight on what they might want would be helpful about now."

Their mule came to a rest and the engine coughed a touch at idling, but held steady. Barnaby unzipped the driver's side "window" and let the wind in. "Hi!" He said with a holler. "Some wind, huh? What can I do you for?"

Rigger "Riggs" Mirton

June 28, 2020, 12:00:24 pm #65 Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 12:01:55 pm by Rigger "Riggs" Mirton
The Home-Team

Miss Tabby was lovely and welcoming and enthusiastic, but Riggs was glad that the he now had a moment or two to look around the engine room and get a feel for the ships systems in silence, well, not quite silence, the ship sang to him in this room.

He took his time to examine the ships systems; fuel was as full as it got, the engines themselves seemed fine, pressures were in the green, power generation was in the expected ball park for a ship in dock. The grav plating was out slightly, there was a phase misalignment, it was nothing to worry about but he would enjoy tracking that down at some point. His first job, once the Captain returned would be to discuss the Captains requirements.

Rummaging around he found the Routine maintenance pack from the previous mechanic. They had run a tight system, he was duly impressed, outside of his engineering corps days he hadn't seen any ship with a maintenance schedule this comprehensive. He reached into the leg pocket on his coverall and pulled a well thumbed, well read brown notepad with the legend "Riggs Brain" scribed across its front cover. He opened the book and flipped through the pages until he found the scarab class specs he was looking for. Sure enough the Darling Francine's readings were well within the expected parameters, despite her age.

As he was comparing the grav plate specs he noticed a spike in the fields flash up for a second, he adjusted the gain sensitivity, nothing changed and he assumed it was just another glitch. But as he was about to look away the field spiked again. His curiosity piqued, he put down the brown pad and adjusted the gain and frequency controls, nothing, then it flashed again. This time Riggs was ready and he tapped a button at the edge of the console, digits slowly rotated, Riggs didn't take his eyes from the frequency screen. The spike flashed again. Riggs tapped the button, flicked his eyes to the reading then, almost instantly, tapped the button again.

The spike flashed and the button was pressed five more times. Riggs wanted to be sure. The Frequency spike was happening every 14.23 seconds. 14.23. Not 14, not 14.5, 14.23. That was damned peculiar.

Riggs worked his way through as many of the ships systems and the maintenance workbook twice before he stood up, faced the door and said out loud, No choice then, no doubt.

Leaving the engine room, Riggs scanned the cargo bay looking for him, not there, he made his way round the circumferential gantry to the crew section. Sealing the hatch behind him Riggs went down the stairs to the galley, he could hear Miss Tabby humming in the bunkroom, but still no sign, the door to the work room and forward hatch was closed, Riggs, rapped the door with a knuckle, "Mr Rian? Its Riggs, the mech, are you..?"

Unlatching the door he entered the workroom, Riggs could see the man he was looking for examining a cortex reader, "Mr Rian, I'm sorry to bother you, can I just check? I'm not sure you'd know or anything, I mean to say you said to come to you if I needed anything," Riggs was already feeling his face flush with embarrassed attention, "well, she is, um, I mean I'm reading a low frequency energy pulse affecting the ships grav plate fields, its nothing major, but I cant find the source of it on the ship itself, do you know if there might have been any modifications or anything to the ship that might be causing it, perhaps something installed outside the ship? On the hull?"

Rian Carpenter

June 28, 2020, 03:11:40 pm #66 Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:21:02 pm by Rian Carpenter
The Home Team

"Thanks kid."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tabby

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

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

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

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

It hadn't even occurred to him that his hand was already resting on one of his pistol holsters.

Tabitha Haemish

The Home-Team:

After she'd left Riggs alone to learn about the engine and become fast friends with the ship's inner workings, she's made her way to the bunk room to begin the task of decorating his bunk to make him feel welcome. A handmade quilt was laid atop the mattress and the pillow fluffed and plumped with care. Tibetan flags and dried flowers she'd picked the last time they'd had enough free time to do so were hung with clips around the bed frame, to bring a little nature into the metal environment of their home. She hummed as she worked, taking a dustpan and little broom to the area beneath the bed, not wanting their new family member to have to worry about any dust or allergens that might've been hiding under there. All the while she was very careful not to disturb his things or intrude into his privacy. She was halfway sticking out from beneath the bed when Rian found her.

"Tabby..." She yelped a little and wiggled the rest of the way out, sitting up and looking in his direction, her mane of platinum curls sticking every which way like she'd been electrocuted. She sat straight with wide, attentive eyes, feeling the trepidation in his tone almost immediately. "Can you get to the med-bay? If you don't hear anything from me, or if you hear me shooting at some intruders, can you lock yourself inside there till me or Riggs gives the all clear?"

She thought on this for a moment, head tilting left, then right, and lips pursed in a gentle pout. She trusted his judgement entirely, but she also didn't like the idea of leaving him and their new friend helpless in the event that shooting was deemed necessary. But she also recognized that in a fire fight, she would be more of a hindrance than a help... But she also also was hoping there could be some peaceful alternative to a gun fight. Who were they fighting? Her expression did absolutely nothing to hide the full spectrum of her emotions as she thought on this. She might as well have been thinking aloud. Finally, the doctor stood, lifting her hands up above her head in an attempt to coax the over-sized sleeves of her giant sweater to roll themselves down her arms and release her hands from their confines. When one hand was free, she pushed some curls away from her face.

"Think us or the Mule is about to get some unwanted visitors. Probably both," Rian confided, his hand on his holster. Light blue irises lowered momentarily to look at his hand as it rested on his gun, before she moved forward and put her hands on his cheeks, smushing them together a little. "Don't worry about me, I'm okay! I'll tend to the med-bay and lock up like a tiny little clam until you tell me to open up. I'll be okey dokey," she moved his cheeks around and smiled up at him, eyes twinkling with her typical exuberant mirth, "And after, we can make s'mores. I have emergency chocolate," she let him know, lowering her hands and offering him a conspiratorial wink. Of course, her stomach was in knots at the idea of their crew, both away and at home, being in danger, but she didn't want to add to Rian's stress and knew it was best to let him work the way he felt most comfortable. And if that meant waiting in the med-bay, she'd wait in the med-bay.

Mattie Rooney

The Away-Team

After the initial exchange of words with the captain, Mattie fell silent for the rest of the ride. She would occasionally glance behind her shoulder at the three men in the backseat, namely the middle one, whose alarming change in complexion was not helping the bad feeling she'd had about him from the get-go. Most of the time, however, she kept her eyes on the landscape while the captain had his on the road. It wasn't much to look at, just an expanse of white hills that made her feel exposed.

When they were hailed by the other mule and the captain pulled over, Mattie tensed up -- not that an outside observer would've been able to tell with the bulky layers of clothing covering her body. Sure, could be they just wanted to ask for directions or something, but their passenger had planted a queasy feeling in her stomach that made her suspicious of every obstacle in their path. She inched her hand closer to the revolver on her hip and waited to see how the encounter unfolded.

Thackery Arlington III

The Away-Team

"By the way, it is very easy to hypnotize a chicken."

"Is that... is that so?" Arlo inquired as politely as he could manage, which at this point wasn't very. Then of course, the preacher-man had to go and offer to acquire some. Why must you encourage him? Arlo wondered painfully, though of course he didn't voice the grievance aloud.

The ride only grew more uncomfortable from that point on, and that was even discounting the freezing cold and jostling road. Every time Potter's glistening, jaundiced brow came within mere inches of Arlo's shoulder, the latter froze like a startled hare, good manners locked in a fight to the death against the urge to lean as far away as possible.

It was almost a relief when the man finally spoke again. "Oh, that's really quite good!" Arlo answered with genuine enthusiasm, wishing he had a notepad handy to jot down the quotation. "Did you write it yourself?" But before Potter could answer, the captain suddenly slowed down, apparently at the behest of another vehicle. "Oh bother, what's this now? And must it be on the side of the road? Can't it wait until we're warm inside somewhere?"

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