S1: Ep1 - Birds of a Feather

Started by noseatbelts, April 28, 2020, 01:48:53 pm

noseatbelts

Previously on...

Twenty minutes later...

Cooper and Francis had returned to the Odette with a new pilot and a new medic in tow. The pilot was a recent arrival to Iscariot Station called herself Evie and knew Cooper vaguely enough to have him remember she had been looking for work behind the stick of a ship. The medic, a venerable practitioner of both the healing and martial arts who claimed responsibility for Gwen's abandoned post and apologized on her behalf, introduced himself as Jed Rembo.

No one had cause to argue the point; they were ready, they were set, and they were gone.

Evelyn Maddox

April 28, 2020, 02:21:09 pm #1 Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 02:28:20 pm by Evelyn Maddox
Location: Odette Cockpit

Evie's heart fluttered, queasy and anxious. A thousand and one questions percolated through her racing thoughts and slipped away before she could pin one down. Her attention shifted, eyes darting left and right as she soaked in her surroundings. Much like the outer hull, the cockpit of the Odette looked spotless and new. The seat her butt occupied was stiff. It had hardly been sat in, let alone broken in. Not for the first time, Evie reached across and pinched herself on the arm to make sure this wasn't some sort of whacked out dream.

The sharp sensation that signified she was indeed awake was not as convincing as it ought to have been. It was followed by a second just to be certain. She scoffed and shook her head as her fingers tapped a rhythm-less beat against the console to expel some nervous energy.

Not even in vids did a person's luck turn around so suddenly and so completely. One minute she was ready to tear out her hair figuring out what to do with herself. The next, in comes a wave from a man she barely remembered beyond being reasonably certain she had blabbed about her career as a pilot and how one stupid mistake might have ruined it for good. And now? Now she was seated in the cockpit of a Gryphon Class vessel that looked hot out of the factory, with a crew of strangers who either didn't grasp the concept of vetting or just enjoyed making a gamble.

Or, they were desperate.Desperation was woven into that new ship smell she was so infatuated with. Whatever the reason it was the sort of thing that should have set alarm bells clanging in her head.

Surprise surprise, we're off to the races and I'm tripping on my own feet.

Her lips curled into a lopsided smile. One heavy deep breath later and her constant, nagging doubts slowed to a trickle. Even if she wasn't positively giddy about the chance to fly a ship like this one (and oh, she absolutely was), her short stint on Iscariot Station was all the persuasion needed not to become a fixture there.

"Board's green. Ready when you are skippy." Her hands slid into place on the controls that, despite being the workings of an unfamiliar ship, seemed to fit like a pair of comfortably worn gloves. Take off was smooth and steady. The engines hissed and thrummed as the ship cleared the docking bay, and after a few minutes Iscariot became a tiny blip in their rear view.
"Just tilt your head and it won't look like we're flying squiffy anymore, love."

Jedikiah Rembo

April 28, 2020, 03:57:28 pm #2 Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 03:59:03 pm by Jedikiah Rembo
At the Dojo Jedikiah realized his position quickly. Blonde lad took took too much pleasure in it. Jed let him go with a smile that said he wished he had the disposition of a man three fourths his age. And a spanking might have been given.  Even so it all seemed to fit. Gwen had wanted to see him, she was not taking flight on Odette but somewhere else. She felt bad about it though.

They met quickly at his quarters where he got a 'go' bag and his violin. They said their goodbyes and she scribbled out a note to give to Captain Charity or he was pretty sure that was what she had said. And another letter for him, to open later.

Then there was Cooper and Francis and a pilot named Evie. 'There's a fiddle sing along song there somewhere maybe' he thought cheerfully as they made their way to a new boat. Cooper and Francis seemed hurried, apparently pilot and medic were missing and replacements were in the not very picky category.

Names had been exchanged, that was about it, "Break a leg Evelyn." He said to the pilot as she wasted no time to get to the bridge. A point toward the medical bay and then his cabin. Which was better that his previous accommodations.

After take off he stepped out and walked to the medical bay with just his medical bag of personal equipment and acupuncture needles. He looked around the room and then started to take stock.
Yang Style Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu
 - And Medical Practitioner


Charity

Location: Odette Cockpit

Charity stood in much the same place she had before the sudden crew swap, just behind and to the right of the pilot's seat. Her hands were clenched atop her belly, fingers intertwined with one another, knuckles white beneath the shimmering rings that covered most of her fingers. Her expression was blessedly neutral, although a tightening at the jaw could have indicated to someone watching her that she was clenching her jaw rather tightly. So far, so good, right? Pele's stunning maneuvering out of the pilot's chair had saved her from killing all of them in a fiery crash, and somehow they'd ended up with what seemed to be a real pilot to replace her. It had all happened so quickly that she'd hardly had time to register the changes to their manifest, or to get a proper introduction from anyone.

"Board's green. Ready when you are skippy," the new pilot informed them. A dark brow quirked and she made a small noise of acknowledgement in her throat before waving a hand to indicate that the pilot was good to go on taking them out. Charity's attention slowly lowered from the front view port to eye the back of their pilot's head. 'Skippy?' she thought to herself. She shook her head. She had no right to be picky right now, and if this woman could get them off the station and out into the relative safety of the 'black', then she was already earning high marks in the aristocrat's ledger.

In no time at all, they were freed from Iscariot's docking station and past their perimeter, heading out toward the stars and in the direction of wherever their 'buyer' was going to meet them. Finally, Charity allowed herself to breathe, her hands relaxing and shoulders lowering a good inch or so. "Marvelous," she said aloud to those on the bridge, her voice an easy breeze and her smile warm as the sun. Keeping her gaze very deliberately off of Francis, the Captain brushed her hands idly over her full skirts, "I do suppose we ought to have a crew meeting? To get to know our new additions? And to fill in the rest of my companions on the details of this job?" she questioned, slowly turning her head to look in King's direction with raised questioning brows.

Francis Church

May 07, 2020, 10:12:59 am #4 Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 11:38:41 am by Lomari
Location: Odette Cockpit

Francis stewed in his seat as the Odette sailed further and further from the Iscariot and the place he'd called home for... how long was it now? Fifteen years? Yikes. He'd been working for Lil' Sebastian for almost half of his entire life. Doing everything the crime boss said without question. This realization temporarily shook his original malcontentment with... whatever it was and forced him to reflect on his life and what had gotten him there. It wasn't like this was his first time ever wondering what he was doing with his life and why he let himself get bossed around by the half-pint Lil Sebastian; and yet, even thinking ill of his benefactor made his stomach turn. Was he wasting his life away? Did he have more potential that he wasn't realizing?

Nope. Not going to go there. That was too much. His anxiety was getting away from him. Francis took a deep, cleansing breath and resumed his displeasure with how things were progressing on this new venture he was put in charge of. "Miss- Captain. A word?" He said, which Charity ignored. "Um. Hey. We need to talk." He tried again, to the same response. It was then that Francis realized he had been whispering. Alright, Frankie- Francis! Dammit. Time to be in charge. He stood, and obnoxiously cleared his throat, stopping everyone from emptying out of the cockpit. "Captain! Before the, um, meeting, I think you and I should have a, um,  meeting, don't you? Just a chit-chat." He did his best to look authoritative, hands on his hips, stern face, toe tapping.

Charity, slightly bemused, waved everyone from the room, and soon, Francis found himself alone with the Captain.

Charity

Location: Odette Cockpit

Charity watched the crew leave the cockpit, King eyeing her with a displeased frown on his way out, before she set her hands on her hips and turned to face Francis with a polite smile and mildly tilted head.

"Now, what would you like to 'chit-chat' about, Mister Francis?" she asked sweetly, feeling braver now that they were miles away from the station and the man who knew more than she found comfortable. Now, it was just his mild mannered assistant that she'd have to deal with and she'd dealt with plenty of those.

"Um. Well." Buck up, jeez. "Alright. Listen. I'm not stupid, okay? I had my doubts before, but with all of this new crew and running around and you being totally on board with Sebastian's plans, it doesn't take a genius to figure it all out, okay?"

She nodded, running her hands thoughtfully over the front of her dress, feeling the embroidery beneath her fingertips. Her gaze lowered to the intricate detail work on the stomacher of her bodice, and her head nodded very slightly, dark tresses moving prettily in their perfect ponytail. [color="antiquewhite"]"And what, pray tell, have you figured out?"[/color] she asked, raising her gaze back to his face and offering him another politely blank smile.

"You know." Francis said, his confidence sharply fading. Maybe he hadn't figured it out. "Don't you?"

A glimmering hand rose to run over her hair, smoothing it out despite it already being nearly perfect. She shrugged in a show of comradery that they both didn't know what he'd figured out, her expression pitying and apologetic, "I'm afraid I'm entirely in the dark here, Francis," she assured him, re-clasping her hands at her navel and once again tilted her head to the side, like a colorful bird.

"But surely, we should discuss, instead, your role here?" she asked, raising her brows and nodding her chin downward encouragingly, "I'm sure you know I'm not as savvy as you are in these types of business dealings, so I will be relying on you to be my man in the know about these things," she told him, smiling brightly and moving forward to touch his arm briefly, wrapping them around his elbow and turning them toward the door but not pulling him out of the cockpit just yet. She wanted him to be the one to lead her out of the room and end this conversation on his own accord.

Well, this was unexpected. She clearly didn't seem concerned that he knew the truth. Thought he knew. Suspected is more what it was. But this lovely woman, full of grace and poise and manners- maybe he was wrong about her? Sure, Francis and his employer weren't exactly above board either, but at least they were honest about who they were. And if she was offering what he thought she was offering - a more solid place on her side rather than Lil Sebastian's- well, that fed directly into his professional ennui that plagued the back of his mind. He very nearly let her get away with it.

"Wait. No. You're trying to trick me!" He pulled away from her and leveled an accusatory finger at her. "Listen. I know that you - none of you - are who you say you are, okay? Counting folks off on his fingers. "Aquamarine isn't Aquamarine, Jesse isn't Jesse. And you aren't Charity Vornbach." The look on his face was like that of a fictional detective solving the case. He would have twirled his mustache if he had one grown and ready for twirling.

Charity moved back a step, admittedly a little surprised that he'd pulled away from her, her expression one of confused curiosity. Mild worry melted back into a warm smile and she could feel herself holding back a bubble of laughter at his conclusion. A hand moved to rest over her own heart, her expression earnest and concerned.

"Francis, I'm sure you know better than anyone, how cruel the...'verse, can be," she began making sure to stick to the slang of his sort of people. "But out here in the black, anyone can be anyone. Isn't that what makes sailing through the cosmos so freeing? If Aquamarine wants to be Aquamarine, who are we to tell her no? And if Jesse wants to be Jesse, will you tell him his dreams are rubbish?" she asked, once again setting her fingertips on his upper arm. "And what of you, Francis? Don't you think it's time you followed your dreams? You're away from the station now, out here in sea of stars. Who do you want to be?" she asked, looking up at him through her lashes.

"Huh..." He said as if waking up for the first time. "I know what I don't want to be anymore..." A killer. Was his first thought. More raced through his mind. Worrying, anxious thoughts. She was right, of course. He could be anyone he wished to be out here away from his responsibilities. But what if Lil Sebastian found out? Maybe he wouldn't. Maybe he wouldn't be mad, even if he did. Maybe that was a worry for future Francis. He smiled, feeling naughty. "Okay. Okay? Okay." It was solidifying in his mind, slowly, this notion of not necessarily doing what he was told. There was a danger to it, though, that he knew all too intimately. His face sobered. "Sebastian will only give us so much room to run. So be careful."

Slowly, her hands wrapped around his elbow once more and she stood with her side near his, looking up at him and smiling winningly. At his warning, she nodded once, "If we're all careful together, I think we'll have a very real chance,"  she acknowledged, her own expression careful and stern for just the briefest of moments before it melted back into charismatic joy. "Shall we go meet our crew?"  she asked, raising her brows again and giving him the opportunity to put the period at the end of this discussion.

"Yeah, but I'm not going to know what to call anybody." Francis paused for just a moment, touched his nose in a secret sort of way and smiled at Charity. "Captain Vornbach."

As they neared the door, Charity reached out to touch the comms button, sending a message to the ship's PA system.

"If all Odette Crew could join us in the galley for a Meet and Greet, I would be remarkably pleased. Thank you!"

*Post Co-Written by NoSeatBelts/Lomari

Cooper Brown

May 07, 2020, 12:24:21 pm #6 Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 12:40:35 pm by Cooper Brown
Creative destruction. It was an important concept to the Golden Trail. All things are sacred in that all things must die and be replaced. The young become old and come to pass, and be replaced by their children. Parts fail, and are replaced. If the new parts don't fit, they are made to fit or we just make another new part. Whatever it takes. What's broken will be whole.

So while the rat's nest of wires between the inverter and the gravity relay may have caught on fire, the engine was getting a boost of about 10% in efficiency. Cooper stepped back and flipped up his goggles as he watched the arcs pop off, then back to the dial and smiled at the dial moving in the right direction. The captain was saying something about the galley and it was probably another "Hey, let's all say our name, two truths, and a lie..." things. He grunted and realized he could be late to this meeting, or he could finish this wiring job. And probably put out the fire somewhere in there.

Cooper scratched at his beard with his wrench for a moment. Plastic shielding on some of the wires were now on fire to the point they were going to melt through the shielding.

Damn it.

He flipped a breaker to his left and killed the power to his improvised power re-routing mechanism. He pulled a sign out of his tool bag, it was steel and its lettering was cut out of it with a welding tool. He hung it next to the door to the engine room on his way out the door. He marched with purpose towards the galley, and as if there wasn't any subtle menace to the disclaimer he'd left by his work area:

DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING
OR YOU WILL DIE
- COOPER

The arcs stopped and the fire started to die down slowly as he walked off. Arriving in the galley he gave the Captain a simple nod and waited for the others to arrive in a relaxed fashion. As if the engine wasn't on fire a couple seconds ago.

Jedikiah Rembo

Jedikiah figured there was a fifty-fifty chance he could guess which way was the galley. Forward or up seemed the only obvious choices. He considered waiting a couple minutes and was rewarded with the crew heading forward. First being what would have to be the engineer. Or mechanic. The difference was subtle and usually self defined.

One or the other, fifty-fifty. Either it will rain or it will not. 'I'm on a ship of dedicated spacers with honest work in mind or there will be nefariousness, malarkey, crime or all of the above.' Fifty-fifty, sure. Jedikiah wasn't a statistician but he knew the odds of the former were not half. Which was better really. The latter is always much more fun. Jedikiah Rembo is too old to be playing it safe. He hoped for the latter. But the good latter.

Hopefully there was a chance of that.

Jedikiah walked into the galley and took the soft position of off to the side where the servants would stand,
Yang Style Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu
 - And Medical Practitioner


Pele Kesher

May 13, 2020, 08:36:59 am #8 Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 08:40:17 am by Pele Kesher
Location: Odette Crew Quarters

Having done her part in bailing them out of their mess, Pele retreated into the crew quarters and let the captain handle the rest. When the ship took off less than an hour later she was still laying in her bunk and pretending to be sick with food poisoning, which wasn't actually all that difficult. She kept replaying her encounter with Johnny over and over again in her head, and it was making her legitimately nauseous.

"You better run. Mr. Soavi ain't gonna stop, girl. He ain't never gonna stop." Johnny had looked like a snarling animal when he'd spit those words at her. Had he contacted Cecil by now? How long would it take for him to sniff out her trail? If only the mechanic had aimed for his skull instead of his kneecaps, maybe she'd have one thing less to worry about right now.

"If all Odette Crew could join us in the galley for a Meet and Greet, I would be remarkably pleased. Thank you!"

Pele didn't move right away. She was hardly in the mood for a meet and greet, especially if it involved her having to pretend to be Aquamarine Reyes, the pilot extraordinaire with a mermaid's name and no professional piloting skills to speak of. Did the invite even concern her? She was supposed to be feeling unwell, after all. At least too unwell to fly the ship. That didn't necessarily mean too unwell to attend a crew meeting. Did she really want to come across as a wilting flower who was too weak to grin and bear it just long enough to meet her fellow crewmates?

It was Pele's pride that finally forced her to get up and resign to her fate. She took a look in the mirror before leaving the quarters; she looked radiant as always, which unfortunately wasn't what the occasion called for. She wiped off her lipstick and dabbed a sheer layer of concealer its place to make herself look just a little on the pallid side. Satisfied with the subtle effect, she headed for the galley.

Evelyn Maddox

Take-off was smooth as silk. Really, Evie could not have asked for a better introduction. She was all smiles once they were in the black, but when she cast a glance over her shoulder toward the others present on the bridge, the corner's of her mouth twitched slightly. There was something unspoken going on. What brought it about she couldn't begin to guess, but the tension was palpable enough that it seemed to have the lad who escorted her to the Odette in quite a fix. Torn by not wanting to rock the boat and her own curiosity, Evie lingered in the threshold after being requested to clear the cockpit.

But only for a moment. After eavesdropping on just a few words from the other side of the door, the pilot decided ignorance was bliss, and jeopardizing a new gig wasn't worth a few tidbits of galley-floor gossip. She carried herself down the deck access steps at a hurried pace, lingering in the main foyer by her lonesome until Charity's voice burst to life through the ship's intercom.

Right. Galley, galley. Which way am I going? She went over the ship's design in her head and figured she had about a fifty fifty shot of guessing correctly. Her feet steered toward the aft of the ship - at least until Evie spotted a familiar face headed in the opposite direction.

"Fancy seeing you here Jed. Whaddya think about the ship so far? Spiffy bird, eh?" Her expression brightened with a generous smile as if she was meeting up with an old friend. That he was headed in the opposite direction was persuasion enough to turn around and stick with him. Even if he was wrong, Evie firmly believed it was better to get lost together.

And, as it turned out, he was not wrong at all.

"Just tilt your head and it won't look like we're flying squiffy anymore, love."

Francis Church

Satisfied with how his meeting went with the newly minted Captain "Charity" - Francis mentally resolved to one day find out her true identity - it was now time to brief the crew on the plan. Or at least, the plan as he knew it. Maybe he and the Captain should have talked about that as well? Ah well. No time like the present. With everyone gathered, Francis clapped his hands once to show comradery and get everyone's attention. He thought he'd seen a sports coach do that once in a cortex drama. "Alright, folks. For those that don't know me, I'm Francis and I'm kind of in charge here. Of course, we got your Captain here calling the shots-" He tossed Charity a knowing wink. "-But with Lil Sebastian financing this operation, I'm his direct representative. So. Yeah. Captain Vornbach is the Captain. Sebastian is at the top. And I'm after Sebastian. But before her. But she's in charge. Except when I am. Or Sebastian." Clear as mud.

"So we're delivering some food - protein bars - to Persephone. Sort of a charitable deal, we're helping make sure these supplies get to people who really need it." Francis laid a hand over his heart. "Doing our part, you know?" Awkward silence. Chances were that the people gathered here knew who Lil Sebastian was and what sort of business he was usually in. And they might have even known of Francis' reputation as Sebastian's number one enforcer. So believing that they were doing charitable works might be a bit of a stretch. Time to sell it. "Hey. Forget what you've heard about Sebastian. He's really a pretty nice guy if you get to know him." Nailed it.

"Cool. Well. That's it, I guess. We'll get to Persephone in like- " He looked at Evie as if asking her a question. "Two or three days? Yeah. Couple of days. Um." Save me Captain Vornbach, you're my only hope. This is precisely why they needed someone like Charity as a face of their organization. Because Sebastian was a cunning, vicious, blood-thirsty businessman and Francis was a loyal lap dog with a particular set of skills. Talking was not either of their bags.

Charity

Location: Galley

Charity stood with her hands clasped before her and a pleasant smile on her lips as the crew began to filter into the room. She felt a hard knot in the bottom of her stomach, but was adamant with herself that she'd deal with that later when she could find the Captain's Quarters (if this boat had one) and lock herself in for a little while. She could see King standing near them, having already set up shop in the galley after her announcement and clearly ready to step in to do something or another if the Captain should find herself in some semblance of danger during this meeting. She offered him a smile of appreciation.

First in was Mister Cooper, whose nod was returned as she watched him settle in. She'd like to speak to him more about this ship, and perhaps about Little Sebastian and Francis. He seemed to be in the know about such things. Next was Evie and Jed, who Charity was only a little surprised to see enter together. Her head tilted to the side a little before she shook it at herself. They'd both come to this ship last minute and with little to no explanation of things, so she supposed it did make sense for them to stick together. They had commonalities among a bunch of strangers. Last to enter was Pele, looking appropriately pallid, although it did little to dull her shine. Charity's grin grew before she reached down into her pocket and pulled out the little black fan and snapping it open with a flick of her wrist to hide the smile behind the accessory.

"Yeah. Captain Vornbach is the Captain. Sebastian is at the top. And I'm after Sebastian. But before her. But she's in charge. Except when I am. Or Sebastian," Francis explained eloquently. Her stomach churned at her last name being said aloud, but she kept the fan fluttering near half of her face to keep her expressions delicately hidden. "Cool. Well. That's it, I guess. We'll get to Persephone in like -Two or three days? Yeah. Couple of days. Um."

Lowering the fan, Charity snapped it shut and held it idly against her chest as she took a step forward to stand slightly in front of Francis. "I know this is all very strange for some of you, and stranger for the rest. I do appreciate your flexibility. This will be a new venture for all of us, I think, but if our information is to be trusted," she eyed Francis a little at that, "then we're about to do some real good in delivering these rations and that is only possible because of all of you," she told them, her smile genuine and warm.

"Now, Mister Francis and I have come to an agreement about the nature of this ship, and I do want to keep you all apprised of such situations. So, in the spirit of camaraderie and openness..." she began, then titled her head to the side. Well, in the spirit of half-honesty, "...there is something I believe we need to get out of the way. Names. What would you prefer we call you? If there is something other than you given name that you'd rather we use, now is the time to tell us," she let them know, raising her brows in caution. She figured she'd start, gesturing at herself with the fan. "Names, specialties, and any questions you have about all of this?"

"You may call me Captain Charity," she informed them, tilting the fan toward the room to let them know it was now their turn.

Jedikiah Rembo

May 19, 2020, 04:15:51 pm #12 Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 10:59:38 pm by Jedikiah Rembo
The other rookie in the group joined him on the way. She seemed as lost as he had been, though he had the benefit of seeing someone else duck into the galley just before Evelyn had spotted him, following.

She had greeted him, "Fancy seeing you here Jed. Whaddya think about the ship so far? Spiffy bird, eh?"
And he had just enough time for a polite reply, "Very spiffy Evelyn," They had already agreed on first names in their brief walk from their meeting point to the dock and door of Odette. "The Infirmary is a little sparse, but should suffice. Barring anything untoward in our purpose."

And then they were in the galley getting the introduction.

Mister Francis and Captain Charity gave their introductions and opening speech of sorts in which some clarity as to their purpose was stated. Jedikiah didn't believe, and found it odd that they thought anyone would. He did not know little Sebastian, but he knew how people talked about different types of employers. Or bosses. There was something nefarious about their mission. Which was no surprise, the Iscariot was not the bastion source of humanitarian aid.

It was not announced, nor was it his business. So long as it did not cross long drawn lines. There was a lot of latitude between Alliance Law and living life in the verse. He was crew. Hired to do a job. It would be done.

Just like his fellow rookie he stood next to.

Jedikiah waited for a brief pause before volunteering to start. Stepping forward he pressed his hands together, bowed, "I am Dr. Jedikiah Rembo, Jed or Jedikiah is fine to get my attention. Graduated Sihnon Wuhan Medical University, a bit before most of you were born I am quite sure." He smiled and looked around at the crew. "I also practice other medical forms, including acupuncture and pressure. If there is anything I can do for any of you, I'm sure you'll be able to find me."
Yang Style Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu
 - And Medical Practitioner


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