Iscariot Ep 5: On The Hunt

Started by Lomari, May 14, 2020, 02:58:43 pm

Lomari

May 14, 2020, 02:58:43 pm Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 09:35:21 am by Lomari
Iscariot Station Location: Passing the Himinbjorg System out in "The Rim."
Station Time: 1100

Iscariot had made another full circle as it moved on its deep orbit through Border Space. Its circular  build allowed for a full rotation that simulated the typical 24-Hour Day Cycle that most planet-side individuals were used to, and thus kept the station's residents and visitors on somewhat of a steady and predictable routine. Night ended, the neon signs flickering off and the artificial lighting lining the walkways and thoroughfares brightening to mimic daylight. Businesses began to open, the loud karaoke music died down to a dull throb in the shopping sectors, and the cacophonous buzzing of commerce filled the metal hunk of junk sailing through the Black.

In the past few weeks, there had been an increasing amount of chatter in the back channels about ducks and geese and other foul birds. There had also been a surge in the mentioning of snakes and eggs, but to the layman, this was all nonsense fueled by the insanity of being out in space too long, or inspired by the low-grade high-potency drugs peddled in the dark alleys of the less than lawful space station. Word on the street was that Lil' Sebastian was up to something, but what that was was anybody's guess and no one planned on asking him for specifics.

Down at the docks, ships came and went carrying cargo, tourists, and new faces who found themselves drawn to the morally ambiguous nature of the station lost out in the stars. Here, they could be whoever they wanted and no one would care enough to look too closely at a forged ID or a halfheartedly constructed backstory. Jobs were plentiful if one knew where to look, friends were plenty if one had the right temperament, and adventures were boundless if one lacked a sense of self preservation.

In another area of the Station, a certain woman's cortex pad bliped with a response to her urgent message.
"Prime Cuts," was all it said and was distinctly lacking in any sender information. It looked like most of it had been scrubbed clean very purposefully.
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
Darling ~ Iscariot

Sloane Breene

May 15, 2020, 10:20:03 am #1 Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 07:18:14 am by Sloane Breene
Location: Docks

You'd think growing up with a shipping fleet family and basically born on one of those ships that Shy Breene would be used to the general basically movement on a flying ship. You'd be wrong. Even as a twenty-seven year old woman, Sloane still got nausea whenever she flew. It was much worse when she was younger. She would actually vomit. Sometimes, depending on different factors of both Sly and the ship, more than once. Uncomfortable that the Breene's family only daughter had motion sickness, her parents tried to use to it by making her fly. Over and over. Again and again, desperately trying to get her body and mind calm during flights. The last flight is always vivid in her strangely organized brain, especially when she flies as an adult. She was sixteen. She was tired and feeling sick already and they hadn't been flying for more than five minutes. Shy wanted to go home, but her parents insisted they keep going. How was she going to get better if she didn't at least try. The nausea grew. She warned them again, Papa Breene said to just try and suck it up while Ma stared lovingly at her from her seat and told her to relax and breathe. Young Sly fought back. Oh she always fights back, but eventually, her energy drains and her stomach takes over, completely ejecting everything inside it. She did exactly that. All over the navigation computer system she sat next to. From then on, the sister only flew when absolutely necessary and usually drugged in some way when it's long distances. 

Although Sloane's stomach felt the very pains of her recent decision, it was a pain that she was willing to take in order do track who she needs to track right now. Sixteen. Just a kid. Trying to find her place in the world, her own identity and just happened to fall into a bad crowd. Everyone her poor mother desperately went to for help all said the same thing, 'She probably ran away' and that they'd do their 'best.' Shy saw differently. Leaning up to the girl actually disappearing, she called her mother at least one a day. If she was so anxious to actually run away with these guys, why would she still bothering keeping in contact with her mother? Something was wrong and Sloane saw it. She wasn't going to let this poor family become another statistic and immediately took the case. Armed with her usual case equipment, she closed the office and she headed out to Iscariot Space Station, the last known location for the group and little Jenny Espinoza. Records show someone bought four tickets under phony names to the Station the last night they vanished. Cameras at the dock show three adolescence boys and one girl matching Jenny's appearance. 

Still feeling quite green from the flight, Sly Breene found herself sitting on some stacked cargo boxes just down from where she exited the ship, fighting off the urge to hurl everything in her stomach and actually winning. Her long tattered brown hair gently scraping her shoulders as she looked around, taking in everything through her deep blue eyes. People's faces, street names, area sections, all of it she uploaded and organized it in that large virtual memory storage system to be able to access it later. "Gāisǐ de," she swore lightly to herself, her stomach grumbling back at her,"I hate flying."

Lomari

Location: Docks - Sloane

"You look terrible," came a voice from her left, which had been preceded by the light tapping of immaculately polished and maintained Oxford shoes. A pair of scruffy black work pants covered the long legs that led up to a soot and coal covered tattered blazer. The man's face was mostly obscured by a grizzled beard and his head concealed with a worn out newsie cap, but his eyes were quite familiar to the woman forcing herself not to hurl. Paul Davisdon grinned down at her with a twinkle in his eyes, apparently playing the part of a down and out worker, although his shoes gave it away to any observant onlooker. He'd cover himself in grime and wear clothes from the bin, but he'd be damned if he's sport anything other than his signature Oxfords.

Paul was an old contact that had worked with Sly on a couple of cases back on Ariel. He'd once been on the official Alliance Police payroll before deciding private investigation was where the money (and excitement) really was. He'd been sleuthing around on Iscariot for a month now, running his own job looking for a wife who'd absconded with all of her husband's fortune, but had been trilled to receive a ping from his favorite gumshoe. When she'd told him about her current job, it had been him who'd rustled up the dock footage on Iscariot's end, following the tip Sly had given him about the tickets and their rough arrival time.

"You need a quick coffee, or are you ready to get into things?" he asked, laughter bubbling in the back of his throat as he tried to contain it. She really did look awful, but he figured laughing at her about it wouldn't have been polite, in the strictest sense of the word.
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
Darling ~ Iscariot

Sloane Breene

May 20, 2020, 06:15:14 pm #3 Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 07:21:31 am by Sloane Breene
Location: Docks

When the Breene Sister made her big decision *not* to join the Federal Division after graduating from the Alliance Law Enforcement Academy and to go into private practice instead, the breaking of the hearts of Federal Officers and Professors could be heard all throughout the black. They tried their best to try and convince her to change her mind. Even her older brother, Will, the Alliance Agent, assured her it was the right decision and how much she would thrive with the mental tools that was given to her. Unfortunately to Will's dismay, her two closer older brothers, Willy and Billy, had already gotten to her first and successful convinced her to do what their family had been doing for years: undermining and scamming the Alliance. Her parents were absolutely thrilled and gave the money to help her get started on Ariel. Even straight out of the Academy, when Fírinne Investigations was first just gaining traction as a new business. Sly completely underestimated how many people had problems that they'd rather not bring to the Alliance. Business was booming and really hadn't stopped. She has a reputation of following the truth, no matter where it leads. The word 'Fírinne' in her family's native tongue means 'Truth'. A little inside joke with her and her father since, according to William Breene Sr, it's something the Alliance never bothers to try and find.

Still sitting on the cargo boxes on the docks, Sloane finally felt her stomach stop doing back flips and began to settle down when she noticed a figure approaching her from the left. Her right hand slowly creeped into her inside jacket, feeling the safety of the handle of her pistol. On her guard, Sly stayed still until she heard a familiar clicking oxford heels first and the figure connected to those shoes soon followed out the shadows, then her disguised contact here on the station finally spoke, "You look terrible." Sly eyed him from top to bottom and couldn't stop a smirk from slithering across her face. "Your Oxford obsession is gonna put your undercover career at risk, Paul," she jested dryly, leisurely stood up from the crates and not landing the most gracefully, "No one's gonna believe your street urchin appearance with those damn fancy shoes, Alliance man."

"You need a quick coffee, or are you ready to get into things?" She answered flashing a quick look of contempt on her face, hearing the hidden laugh in his voice. Her motion sickness was known in her closer business circles and Paul and her go way back from when she first started. Once she got her got footing, the private eye and immediately started marching further into the station. "Any movement?" She asked, hastily diving right in. Stomach nausea or not, a little girl was in trouble and she wasn't leaving Iscariot without her.

Octavia Wynn

The blue glow and the buzz from her tablet woke Octavia up from her dazed state. It couldn't really be called sleep. It was more of a blank-minded doze. Technically her eyes were open so perhaps she was awake, but her brain the the rest of her body was shut down the way it does during sleep. The paper target and wall her eyes were facing were unseen. Nothing more than a dark blur. There was a buzzing sound in her brain that kept getting louder - drowning out everything she couldn't hear.
The blue light and gentle glow wakened her and she sat up straight as if electrocuted. Her hand closing its slack grip on the arrow she had been throwing before. It took her a moment of wide-eyed reviewing of her room to realize she was the only one there. In her frustration at being startled, she threw the little arrow, missed the target and stuck it firmly in the nice wardrobe about four feet to the left.

It had been the light that disturbed her. There was no one else here. "Prime Cuts" the message radiated from her pad. No sender information, no address, no other identifying markers. No time. No contact. No clarification that Prime Cuts was a place and not a favored dish or password or ship or anything else. She consulted the station directory and, sure enough, there was a Prime Cuts among the vendors. It was a stylist.

She inferred from the very short message, that she was supposed to go there. She thought now was as good as any. In the back of her mind, she realized that she was in desperate need of a shower and wasn't much fit to be around other people at the moment. She dragged herself to the bathroom and peeled that days-old clothes off. She couldn't stand the shower, but she made the effort to wash herself over the sink. She put on fresh clothes. Clean, pressed khaki pants and a slick silk black button down with three-quarter sleeves.
Her hair was too much to even contemplate. Tangled and greasy from days of being uncared for. Well, she was going to a salon, after all.

She donned some big shades, removed the arrow from the wardrobe to stick in her boot, and left her dark, dank room for the first time in days.

Lomari

Location: Docks - Sloane

"No one's gonna believe your street urchin appearance with those damn fancy shoes, Alliance man," the Breene woman informed him, which brought another grin out from beneath his facial hair, a dirty hand moving to brush against the bridge of his nose almost bashfully. "Maybe they'll think I stole them," he countered, wagging his brows at her playfully before shoving those hands back into the tattered pockets of his coat. As they walked, he started leading her away from the docks and deeper into the station, toward the more functional warehouse and infrastructure sectors.

"Any movement?" she asked. Paul grunted a little, shrugging one shoulder and allowing the smirk to melt off his face. "Some. How much did you look into Iscariot?" he asked, turning his chin enough to eye the side of her face. "Place is run by some shell corporation, hidden pretty good behind layers of paperwork and aliases, but the daily minutia and the back end nastiness is controlled by 'Lil Sebastian.' Nothing on this station happens without his say so, especially the kind of thing you're investigating. Gonna take us to the security hub and look at some footage, trace those kids to where their generous benefactor stays, and then maybe we go pay him a visit? Hope you have some bribery cash on you. Or a wrench," he continued, grinning again. All the guns newcomers came with were confiscated upon docking and held in secure lockers until they left again, for the safety of the station residents of course. "You learn anything more about the girl from her Mama on the way here?"

Location: Shops/Sector - Octavia and Moira

As it turned out, Prime Cuts was most assuredly just a salon. Well, at least that was what it looked like from the outside. And from most of the inside! The sign above had a conspicuous gap where there had likely been a word preceding Prime Cuts, and inside there was a gentleman getting his hair trimmed by what looked like a wholesome young man. It looked above board in just about every way, so it was understandable why someone might have been confused about why they'd been sent here after asking for medical attention. Occasionally, however, a gentleman or lady of apparently ill repute would saunter past, look inside, and vanish into the crowd once more only for the pattern to repeat again an hour or so later. And there did seem to be a lot more foot traffic around this portion of the shops than what might have been normal for a salon or barber shop.
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
Darling ~ Iscariot

Moira Chambers

May 31, 2020, 09:17:33 am #6 Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 09:19:47 am by Moira Chambers
Location: Prime Cuts

Orville, the young man giving the gentleman a haircut, was currently thanking his stars for his boss being a callous weirdo. Earlier that morning, one of Sebastian's guys had showed up at the backdoor, drunk as a skunk and bleeding profusely from his forehead. He'd apparently gotten into a bar fight, and when Orville had pointed out that it was quite a feat at 10 o'clock in the morning, Moira had shot him a dirty look. Joyless and professional as always, she'd patched the man right up, and he'd thanked her by blowing chunks all over the floor of her infirmary.

Orville's heart had sank; he thought he was maybe starting to get used to the sight and smell of blood (he'd only passed out twice this week), but vomit was another thing entirely. Much to his surprise, however, Moira hadn't delegated the unpleasant task to her assistant but had told him to mind the store while she took care of it instead. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Orville didn't press further. He was just happy to be cutting hair instead of mopping up puke.

* * *

In the backroom, Moira swapped out the dirty water in her bucket for a fresh batch and glanced at the clock. It was almost lunchtime, just as she'd thought. It hadn't been the rumbling in her stomach that had alerted her to the fact, but the tingling in her mouth, that craving for the second drink of the day that usually struck her around this time. She'd have to finish cleaning up this mess first, though.

The vomit itself didn't bother Moira; by now she was so intimately familiar with everything that was inside the human body and came out of it that it did little do repulse her. She'd been more put off by the man's demeanor, the way he'd slurred his speech and thrown up his breakfast (composed almost entirely of liquids by the looks of it) when it wasn't even noon yet.

Glass houses, a voice in the back of her head reminded her. She shook it off and rolled up her sleeves for another round of mopping. She was almost done with cleaning up the chunky stuff; after that all there was left to do was to disinfect every surface of the room, and then she could wind down with a glass of wine. It was looking to be a quiet day, and Orville would be fine on his own... provided no unexpected customers (or customers) showed up.

* * *

"Good morning, Miss!" Orville looked up and greeted the young red-haired woman as she entered the salon. For a split second, his gaze was drawn towards the mess on her head before he caught himself and quickly locked eyes with her again. His smile was a little goofy but seemingly genuine. "Do you have an appointment?"
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Sloane Breene

June 04, 2020, 07:26:09 pm #7 Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 08:09:16 pm by Sloane Breene
Location: Docks

As her scruffy ex-Alliance officer contact started explaining how the 'shady' Space Station was run while they strolled away from the docks, further into the streets of the Iscariot, Sloane's big blue eyes started collecting as much visual data as she could and storing it away, almost too fast for her active brain to register. She knew the place was basically ran almost like a casino, eyes and hears everywhere, all reporting back to the big man on top, 'Lil Sebastian.' She really was hoping not to step on too many toes during her time here, make as little impact here on the difficult social system already in place, but a little girl's life is in danger, so if needed, Sly was prepared to stomp on anyone who got in her way.

"Gonna take us to the security hub and look at some footage, trace those kids to where their generous benefactor stays, and then maybe we go pay him a visit?" The small, but spunky investigator nodded in agreement. She was glad to see Paul was happy to do some of the footwork for her while she was in-transit from Ariel. The minute little Jenny was taken, a clock had started and they were already running out of time. "Hope you have some bribery cash on you. Or a wrench." Her pistol had been taken and put with the rest of the travelers' weapons and put safely away from the Station's population, she was given a number and told that she'd get it back on her journey off Iscariot. She smirked and tapped softly the smart-watch with her fingertips. "I got us covered." Her 'smart-watch' was delicately, hand-made personally by one of the smartest, anti-social, germophobic, ex-Alliance Technician she had be-friended at the Academy, he was going to craft and design some amazing ground-breaking things the 'verse had ever seen. Until he had a severe nervous breakdown and had to leave. Now he crafts 'gadgets' on the black market for people with the credits to pay, usually making transactions online, never face to face. Except Sly. He liked her. She told him what she wanted, he designed and 'sculped' it to her liking because that's what he was, an artist. The things the watch could do was more than the Breene sister expected and it's physically sealed to her arm, an actual part of her now. She made the decision when she first realized what it could do and never wanting it to *ever* leave her presence. Guess her brother Willy wasn't the only partial-mechanical sibling anymore.

"You learn anything more about the girl from her Mama on the way here?" Sloane shrugged with a silent sigh, slowing down her stride with Paul until she came to a dead stop out of the pedestrian traffic walkway, "Just what Mrs. Espinoza has been saying for months, she *didn't* run off." She raised her smart watch on her wrist up and twisted it quickly in either direction in a very specific pattern until a digital screen popped out appearing on her left upper forearm. She pecked quickly at the screen with the fingers of her right hand until some files, photos and data popped up. "Ariel gang, the 'Wicked Six', dug their claws into her and snatched her away,"she spoke as she scrolled through the info before her, "already pegged as a troubled kid from the start, Alliance shrugged her off as a runaway, surprise surprise. Gang is run by the self-proclaimed leader named 'Count Kǒngbù'," she paused for Paul's reaction and made a face, rolling her eyes as well, "Yeah I know, 'Count Terror', real original. Real name Keith Steinberg, little Lā shǐ from a nice home in the Ariel burbs that decided he wanted to a gorram street thug instead and got five other morons to follow him." She palmed the watch face and the screen immediately sucked back into the watch again, continuing their walk again. 

Octavia Wynn

Location: Prime Cuts

Octavia was not sure if she should be surprised by the look of the shop or not. It looked very much like a hairdressers shop - which is exactly what it said on the tin. This wasn't a place that could help her. She was sure she'd gotten something wrong. She pulled her pad out of her bag as she walked in the door to check the two words again. "Prime Cuts" glowed from the screen.
She stuck her head back out of the door to read the sign again. "Prime Cuts." Okay. This was a joke. Someone saw she had money and figured they would jump in on it without actually offering her the service she required. A heavy, deep sigh escaped her lips and she shook her head in sadness and confusion.

Before she could make the decision to walk out the door, however, she saw a young man raise his head in her direction. From the moving of his lips and the lack of other people in the room, she surmised that he was speaking to her. She caught his glance to the disaster of her hair and she self-consciously put her hands to her hair attempting, unsuccessfully to smooth it out.
She bobbed her head, more to herself than anything that the man might be saying to her, and shifted her weight between her feet, uncertain whether to leave or stay, ask for hair service or medical help.

One of the stylist stations caught her eye. The scissors and pointy metal ends of the rat tail comb gleamed in the florescent lighting from above. She imagined anyone standing behind her with anything sharp. She thought about the man putting his hands in her hair with no warning from the sounds of his movements. She flinched at the mere thought.

No. That was not going to work for her.

Another moment of shuffling indecision and, in silence, she turned the screen of her tablet to him. The establishment name shining green from the black mirror, no other information to be given to the young man.

Lomari

Location: Docks - Sloane

Paul halted as she did, looking down at the screen at her wrist with a curious tilt of his head. One hand rose to idly scratch at where his beard met his skin, little flakes of 'coal' dust fluttering free as they were agitated. He nodded slowly as she spoke, mentally verifying information and marking where it synced up with what he knew. "Yea, that sounds about right," he murmured, falling into step with her when she began moving again, "Let's see what Iscariot's watchful eye got a look at."

Location: Sector 3: Control Center - Sloane

After a few minutes of walking, and moving between Sectors of the station, they made it to the Control Center settled into the working zones of Sector 2. Sector 3 had a Security Center, but that was sure to be controlled by Lil' Sebastian and his men. Sure, this center was probably being surveilled by the little crime lord as well, but it was a little further removed from the fence's physical location of operation and might give them more time to react should they be found out. A dim green light shone out from the cracks along the door and Paul moved to stand one one side, leaving Sloane on the other. He rapped on the door with his knuckles, then shot his companion a toothy grin.

"Who is it?"

"Paul."

"Paul, who?"

"Damnit Felix, you know which Paul!"

There was a light chuckle from behind the door, muffled by the metal between them, then the door slid open to a friendly looking gentleman in a pressed work suit with Iscariot's logo on a patch above his heart.

"Oh, that Paul," he said amid restrained chortles. He looked in Sloane's direction and pointed at her, "And this? You guys bring me something to eat? Any snacks? Some alcohol?" he asked, raising a brow. Paul reached into his dingy coat pocket and wrestled free a baggie of what might have looked like chocolate pearls, dropping them into Felix's hand. The man grimaced at the offering, but stepped aside to let them in. "What can I do you for?" Felix asked.
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
Darling ~ Iscariot

Moira Chambers

June 24, 2020, 01:34:09 pm #10 Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 01:37:20 pm by Moira Chambers
Location: Prime Cuts

Orville took a look at the display and nodded. "Yup, Prime Cuts, you've got the right place. What can we do for you today?" He beamed at her and waited for a response; when he didn't get one, his smile faltered. He excused himself, disappeared into the backroom and returned shortly followed by a woman with rolled-up sleeves and a ponytail that seemed awful messy for someone in charge of a hairdressing establishment.

Moira managed to do an admirable job hiding her annoyance at being interrupted just before lunchtime; unfortunately, the pungent sting of disinfecting alcohol with a whiff of bile lingering around her was harder to mask. She hoped it wasn't too noticeable, but even if it was, well, smelling like disinfectant was just a sign of cleanliness, wasn't it? She ushered Orville back to work, approached the newcomer, crossed her arms and took a quick glance at the text on her device before making eye contact with her -- or whatever eye contact she could make through those sunglasses.

"How can I help you?" She studied the young woman, trying to gauge whether she was here for the legal or illegal side of her business. Between her unkempt hair and the sickly pallor on her cheeks Moira could see her going either way, but there was a certain skittishness to her demeanor that was more suggestive of her shadier clientele.

The doctor glanced over her shoulder to see if the other customer was listening in, but Orville had already managed to suck him into an enthusiastic back-and-forth about the station race from the other night. She had to admit that the boy's gift of the gab could come in handy sometimes. Still, when she turned back to the young woman she lowered her voice just in case. "Are you... one of Sebastian's?"
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Octavia Wynn

Location: Prime Cuts

After he read her tablet, the young man retreated to the back and professionally dressed but messy looking woman returned to Octavia. The gentleman returned to his station.
The new woman said something and then glanced to the pair at the station. Getting no response from Octavia, the woman leaned in slightly and from the tighter form of her lips, Octavia thought she might be whispering.

Octavia showed her pad with the words "Prime Cuts" as she did with the young man.
In a quiet, raspy voice ragged from disuse Octavia said "This was a reply. To a message I sent. Just this."

She shook her head at the woman, feeling the frayed ends of her hair brush her arms. "My name's Octavia, but there must be some sort of misunderstanding. I think I'm in the wrong place."

She turned back towards the entrance waving a pale hand in that direction. "I really probably should go."

Hercules Holliday

Noodle Shop

"Can you just make me a sandwich please?" Holliday sat where he always sat, the same stool at the same counter at the same noodle shop. This noodle shop also happened to be where he lived, though not at this stool. Holliday rented a room in the back. It was tiny, with enough room for a small chest of his things and a bed and, really, who needed more space than that? And so, since he lived so close, Holliday ate at the noodle shop a lot. Gary, the owner and head chef, pointed at the sign above his head, which proclaimed the establishment as a noodle shop. Holliday didn't need to look to read it. "I know what your sign says, Gary. But I don't want noodles today."

A soft-pack of cigarettes came from his inner jacket pocket and Holliday tapped one out and put it to his lips. He ignored the "Absolutely No Smoking" sign as he tried to find his matches. Gary didn't seem concerned about the smoking, but he did insist on the noodles. "Gary. C'mon, you're telling me you have no bread back there?" Gary nodded in the affirmative. Holliday sighed. "Well, what do you make the noodles from? Make some bread out of that." Gary shook his head. Cigarette unlit and dangling, Holliday stared at Gary for a second before giving up. "Alright, fine. Noodles it is." He found his matches and struck one, pausing before lighting his smoke. You know, one of these days, Gary, I'm going to win that argument." Gary doubted that.

Holliday inhaled deeply and felt unhealthy having done it. But that was the price one paid for nicotine. Holliday hopped off his stool and rounded the corner to get himself a cup of coffee. He sipped the warm brown bean juice and looked out towards the promenade of Iscariot through the fogged windows of the noodle shop. Had he, as a kid growing up on Ezra, imagined he'd live in a noodle shop on a space station working a smuggling operation under the nose of a foul-tempered would-be crime boss? No. A flask appeared from another pocket and emptied into the coffee cup. He tasted the mixture and found it to be to his liking. Mostly because once he got a good buzz on he wouldn't have to think about where his life had gone wrong.

The bell rang. His noodles were ready.
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Moira Chambers

Location: Prime Cuts

"My name's Octavia, but there must be some sort of misunderstanding. I think I'm in the wrong place."

"No, you've come to the right place, alright..." Moira muttered under her breath as she eyed the message on the datapad, frowning. Was Sebastian just sending random travelers her way now? The woman seemed too genuinely clueless to be part of his crew. Then again, that man had his tendrils in the most surprising of places.

"I really probably should go." While Moira took her time assessing the situation, her customer turned to flee the store with all the confused terror of a startled woodland critter "Wait," the doctor called out, but received no reaction until she placed her hand gently but firmly on Octavia's arm and pulled her back. Something was off. The woman seemed a little slow somehow... No, that wasn't it...

"Are you... are you hard of hearing?" she tried to mouth the words as clearly as possible, tapping her own ears to emphasize the message. She cursed herself for not knowing sign language, but something about Octavia's bewildered demeanor led her to believe it might not be of much use in this situation anyway -- not if this was a recent development.

She held up a hand, indicating for the woman to wait while she dug out her datapad, typed in a message and showed it to her: "Do you have a medical emergency?"

She nodded towards the woman's own datapad and waited. She'd rather she write out her response than speak out loud, not only because she worried about prying ears, but also because Octavia didn't seem entirely comfortable speaking.
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Octavia Wynn

Location: Prime Cuts

"Wait," the doctor called out, but received no reaction until she placed her hand gently but firmly on Octavia's arm and pulled her back.

She gave a huge flinch and gasp about being grabbed from behind. As the woman tugged her back into the shop, Octavia wrested her arm from the woman's hold. Her opposite hand darted down into her boot and the arrow was pointed under the woman's chin before either really knew what had happened.

Octavia's eye were wild and wide. A deer caught in the headlights. Her hair seemed to frizz more with the electricity of her fear. But unlike the deer she had a fight response. Flight was not in her repertoire at the moment.  The arrow being what is was, and the women standing so close together, the two men in the shop couldn't see the small weapon.

With their faces so near each other, Octavia watched the other woman's lips move. Something about a lost earring? No. The woman tapped her ears. Not earring. Hearing. Hard of hearing, most likely.
The shop woman didn't seem terribly phased by the arrow and the "hard of hearing" comment made Octavia think she might be in the right place after all.

Very slowly, she slid the arrow back in her tall boot, only the fletching visible out of the top of the shoe. Her full attention was finally back on the other woman showing her text on a data pad.
"Do you have a medical emergency?"

"Yes. Yes I do," she said out loud, misunderstanding the woman's gesture toward Octavia's own tablet.
Octavia brought up her original wave by tapping a few buttons and faced the screen to the other red-head.

URGENT MESSAGE: Seeking Medical Attention. Surgeon Needed for Inner Ear Damage. Total Hearing Loss. Will Pay Whatever it Takes to Repair. Please Contact on Iscariot Station ASAP.

Hercules Holliday

Noodle Shop

The noodles slurped, the coffee sipped, the cigarette smoldered, and Holliday reckoned that to be a pretty good breakfast, all things considered. He had even talked Gary into dropping an egg in the broth. Holliday checked his watch, and then remembered he had nothing to do today. Business had been slow, being relatively new to the station and trying to stay under Lil Sebastian's nose - quite the feat, when you think about it. So... now what?

Holliday caught sight of himself in the reflection of the napkin dispenser at his table, and he didn't like what he saw. [color=cyan"Yikes."[/color] He said, grabbing the shiny metal object and giving himself a proper glance. Haggard as a mudder's mule. "Gary." He said, announcing to a man who did not care. "I think I'll have a shave and a haircut." Two bits. "Hold all my calls." Hopping down off the stool, Holliday collected his things - a pair of sunglasses he'd found behind a glass case at a boutique on Beaumonde, his wallet, from which he dropped a few paper credits onto the table top for his meal, a ring of metal keys that he carried with him but had no use for, a snub nosed revolver in a leather belt clip with three rounds in it, and his smokes. Into the pockets they all went and he was ready to go.

Prime Cuts

Outside the shop, Holliday stamped out his walking cigarette and looked at the sign hanging with apathy. It'll do. This place was newer to the station or at least the owner was. He hadn't known THE Priya well, but she'd cut his hair a time or two. He'd flirted and she'd shot him down. Typical. Wouldn't want to get too involved with a colleague anyways. Close proximity made for poor bedfellows, in his experience. Plus, she would always have been covered in hair.

The door opened, the bell chimed, and Holliday found himself looking at two red-heads, one tall, one short. He knew immediately which one he preferred and he hoped she was the barber. The other one was cute, too, though. He removed his sunglasses to get a better look "I don't have an appointment. But I hope you'll see me anyway." He said with a slight croon. Dropping into a chair in the waiting room, he picked up a magazine that seemed to have been sprayed with blood. Charming. "I don't mind waiting. Just a shave and a haircut." Two bits.
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Moira Chambers

Location: Prime Cuts

The arrow in the boot made Moira momentarily second-guess her first impression of Octavia not being part of the underworld, but the message confirmed her initial judgment had been correct. What she had here was a desperate drifter willing to cough up some major dough for surgery that was standard fare in elite hospitals on the Core, but a real tall order this far out on the Rim. Sebastian's gang must have spotted the lucrative opportunity to exploit her and swooped in like the vultures they were. The thought didn't sit well with Moira, but neither did the thought of turning the poor girl away... even if she had just threatened her with a sharp object.

The chime of the entrance bell made Moira look up and over Octavia's shoulder at the stubbly man swaggering in. Great. Just what she needed. When it rains it pours, indeed.

"I don't have an appointment. But I hope you'll see me anyway. I don't mind waiting. Just a shave and a haircut."

"It might be quite a while, but since you don't mind waiting..." Something about the man's roguish demeanor and the hint of cigarette smoke wafting around him instantly rubbed Moira the wrong way, and she couldn't really be bothered to hide the fact, not today. She turned to holler at Orville across the room. "Something came up. You mind taking this one if you're free before I'm done here?"

She turned back to Octavia, quickly tapped a message on her datapad and held it for her to read.

"That's not a simple request, but I'm the only person on this station who might be able to help. I'll have a look, but first you must swear to keep absolutely quiet about this and promise not to pull any more weapons on me. Do we have an agreement?"

She stared the woman down and waited for her response.
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

Octavia Wynn

Location: Prime Cuts

The taller woman looked over Octavia's shoulder to something behind her. Octavia turned, once again, toward the door to see a man standing in the entrance way. Subconsciously, she shifted away from him. It put her closer to the other woman than she was comfortable. Recoiling, she felt trapped between the two bodies. All she could do was step sideways into the open floor of the shop.

The other woman turned back to Octavia, quickly tapped a message on her datapad and held it for her to read.

"That's not a simple request, but I'm the only person on this station who might be able to help. I'll have a look, but first you must swear to keep absolutely quiet about this and promise not to pull any more weapons on me. Do we have an agreement?"

She stared Octavia down and waited for her response.

Octavia read the first four words of the message, rolled her eyes and muttered "no shit" - more to herself than to the shop owner.
Keep quiet, no weapons... okay okay I can do that. I think, she thought to herself.

She still felt jumpy and out of sorts. However, the new man having taken a seat away from her and knowing that a process was about to be underway made her feel a little better. Octavia crossed her arms rather than offering out a hand to shake but nodded her head sharply and purposefully and said "Agreed. Let's do this."

Hercules Holliday

Holliday looked at Orville, who smiled nervously. "Sure. Sounds great." Not wanting to seem like a creep or anything, he shrugged and walked over to sit in the chair offered by the young man. He couldn't help but be curious about the two women, however, who were acting kinda weird. But that was none of his business. Settling into the chair, which had that quality all barber chairs had of being much more comfortable than they looked, Holliday removed his sunglasses and pocketed them. "Just trim it up." His eyes found the women again in the mirror, and his ears did a bit of poking around as well. All he heard was tapping on cortex units. Curious. "And a shave, if you have a sharp razor and a steady hand." Holliday looked at Orville again and grimaced.

Orville draped him and tucked his collar. A good sign. Maybe the kid knew what he was doing after all. Holliday relaxed a bit. The kid tapped the mechanism to raise the chair, but missed and hit the recline, which dropped Holliday roughly to a supine position. "Sorry! Orville said as he tried to fix the issue.

Holliday was only slightly annoyed, but glad that maybe he wouldn't have to tip. As he was raised back into position, Holliday offered a tight smile. "Maybe just the haircut."

Orville nodded nervously and got to work.

As Holliday felt too much hair getting cut, his eyes once again probed the mirror for any information he could gather about what the owner and her guest were doing. Old habits. As a former law man and current opportunist, it couldn't be helped that he'd want to try and find something with which to involve himself. He was resourceful and had a damsel complex. Maybe he could help. Or at least get them to pay him to do something. Being a hero was good, but getting paid was better. "So tell me about your boss."
Dialogue Color - Cyan

Moira Chambers

Location: Prime Cuts

"Agreed. Let's do this."

That was all Moira needed. She responded to Octavia's firm nod in kind and gestured her to follow her to the backroom. She tried to put on a warm, encouraging face to ease the young woman's anxiety and hoped it came across as genuine. Daniel was always so good at this kind of stuff. That was probably the reason why he'd become a pediatrician while she'd made her career cutting up unconscious patients.

Once they got into the backroom, Moira waited for Octavia to look away before quickly locking the door behind them. She felt a pang of guilt for exploiting the fact that the poor woman couldn't hear the click of the lock, but she seemed so jumpy Moira worried she might slip into a panic attack if she realized she'd been trapped inside a shady backalley clinic. It had to be done, though; no salon clients had attempted to barge into the backroom uninvited so far, but there was a first time for everything.

The sharp smell of disinfectant still lingered heavily in the air. Moira thought she could catch a faint whiff of vomit buried underneath it, but she wasn't sure if that was just because she knew it was there. She hoped Octavia didn't smell it. The set-up looked shady enough as it was. She gestured towards the operating table slash examination chair, which was currently in an upright position, hoping Octavia would take the hint and have a seat while she typed another message on her datapad.

"Am I correct in assuming your loss of hearing is a recent development? Can you please describe how it happened? Was it sudden or gradual? Have you suffered any serious injuries or illnesses lately?"

Moira listed as many questions as she could thrust upon the poor woman at once; the more she could streamline this examination process, the better. She held the pad up for Octavia to read, realized she'd left out something crucial, tapped an addition at the end of the message and held it up again.

"Please call me Moira."

---

Location: Prime Cuts, Salon Side

"So tell me about your boss."

"Ms. Moira?" Orville's body stiffened for a second, then relaxed as he willed himself to play it cool. How successful he was would depend on how good the man in the chair was at sniffing out nerves. "She took over the salon after Ms. Priya left a while back. Don't know what else to tell you. Wouldn't want to get into trouble with the boss, you know? Heh heh... Not that she's not a nice lady, don't get me wrong. Say, are you sure you don't want a shave as well?"

Orville's gaze met Holliday's in the mirror, his face twisted into a customer service smile that was perhaps just a tad too wide.
Dialogue color: mediumpurple
Owner of Prime Cuts

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