Episode Three: Charitable Endeavors

Started by HumanHyperbole, July 06, 2020, 10:04:36 PM

Joakim Soong

December 04, 2020, 03:10:30 AM #40 Last Edit: December 04, 2020, 06:49:45 AM by Joakim Soong
"The moon told me not to sleep. But I am pleased you are rested, for there are enemies all around us."

"Mhm." Jo raised his head from the pillow, his black hair tousled by a night of tossing and turning, and squinted at his crewmate through half-closed lids. After a long night of helping Alan go over the technical details and make preparations, Jo had been too tired to climb back on the Revenge and had instead collapsed on the floor of the cabin with some spare cushions and a blanket. Usually he had no trouble working until the early hours of the morning, getting a few hours of sleep in a chair or the floor, chugging some coffee and continuing to operate like a half-way normal human being. Somehow Doctor August's cozy rustic cabin, of all places, had proved to be too unfamiliar of an environment for him to have a restful night's sleep.

With some effort, Jo managed to get up and head for the kitchen. It helped that his sleeping spot on the floor wasn't very comfortable to begin with, so the temptation to stay in bed wasn't really there. The scent of breakfast also helped; it was a nice change of pace to get some fresh eggs instead of scrambled protein paste, which seemed to be the go-to breakfast for space pirates. Once in the kitchen, however, he was quickly reminded of who their host and provider of breakfast was. He eyed the dishes with hunger, but also slight apprehension.

"This is just... you know..." His sleep-addled brain struggled to find a polite, diplomatic way to say it, but was coming up short. "There's no drugs in this, right?"
Dialogue color: teal

William Breene

December 08, 2020, 08:35:09 AM #41 Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 08:36:52 AM by William Breene
Willy Breene normally wasn't a breakfast person. Typically he liked to just force down a protein bar as he hate-scrolled through the news headlines and did his morning bathroom business. He called it his morning trinity. A daily indulgence in a bit of masochism, eating something he hates while getting mad about news he can't change, and then a third thing we don't really have to get into detail about.

But it wasn't a big cabin and Breene had opted to sleep right outside it. Ricardo was more lucid this morning. And loud. Which was good, that meant he probably got the spirit visions he was looking for last night and could stay a bit more focused on his alchemy rather than his magic. Breene loved altering his state as much as anyone but when he was fairly certain that the Russo's were still looking for them, he couldn't quite unclench yet. Listening from inside his sleeping bag which he'd pulled up nearly all the way around his face in the morning sun, the crook groaned. His brief slumber had been interrupted.

The rumbling in the hills woke him throughout the night. Sleep only found him in the early hours of the morning. While Breene had successfully resisted the urge of drug and drink, he felt the sort of hangover one gets from never fully resting over the course of a night. You're awake. Annoyingly awake, but oh so tired. A feeling of exhaustion just sitting in the background, pulling at you from a distance. Then he smelled real food. In his rush to get up he dismissed that the comm unit he'd swiped from Revenge was suddenly on a dead battery...

"I could chop that up and snort it my god..."

Willy mused as he strolled into the cabin as if he'd had his morning cup of coffee already. Still totally unaware he'd been trasmitting every bit of heavy breathing and random shouts of "Don't overcook the nachos again, Macho Man Randy Savage!" in his fitful bouts of sleep through the night and early morning. He walked straight past Jo as he questioned the contents of the eggs and shoved a fork straight into the eggs on the pan, plucking out a chunk of his scrambled concoction.

He chewed for a second with no expression, then looked up as if thinking... pondering the different flavors and then wondering aloud:

"Is that..."

He chewed a little more and Doctor Ric nodded affirming it was indeed the ingredient William hadn't specified yet. He let the worry grow on Jo's face for a second.

"Just a little milk to make the eggs fluff up good.."

He clapped the tech specialist on the shoulder and then grabbed himself a scoop of the drug free scrambled eggs.

August laughed.

"Don't be crazy! We've got work to do!"

Then the good doctor put down his spatula, reached into his pocket, and pulled out a joint that looked like it could be used as a club in self defense, and popped it into his mouth as he strolled over to a window to be "mindufl of the guests" before sparking it up.

Melody

Mel looked up as Missy emerged from deeper in the ship, somehow looking fully rested and completely put together. The pilot squinted at her suspiciously. How did she do that? With a shake of her head, she gestured out toward the cabin, then followed the doctor down the ramp, the door shutting behind them with a loud thud.

When she arrived at the building, Mel let Missy go in first before taking a couple of seconds to stand alone outside, her gaze scanning the horizon before taking one last glance back toward their ship. Her ship? Their ship. Her hands slid over her face, rubbing at it with a frustrated grumble. Keep the Doctor company, let him do whatever he needed to make the space calculations do...something... then get their pay and head out. Go back out  into the black where things made sense and find another job to keep them swimming. Isa was better at this part than she was. Keeping her crew together, making sure everyone felt they had a voice, finding tasks that were worth while. Her hands lowered from her face and she sighed. Then, she composed herself and entered.

Inside, her crew seemed to be getting along, the whole bundle of cats eating breakfast with their new friends. This gave her momentary pause. Was she supposed to feed their cat? It always seemed happy and healthy and its belly was plump...was it getting into the food on its own? Was she a terrible pet owner? Was she even a pet owner? Where the hell had the mechanic gone?

Clearing her throat to clear her thoughts, Mel sat down and pinched the bridge of her nose, eyeing each member of her crew one by one to gather a general gist of how they looked this morning. None of them seemed like the Doctor had done anything uncivilized to them...

Dialogue Color: Brown

Missy Etheridge

January 18, 2021, 02:37:02 PM #43 Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 10:54:59 AM by Missy Etheridge
Missy was rather less chipper that morning than she had been the morning previously. She had desperately wanted to point out to the captain that it wasn't a doctor's responsibility to prevent crew members from injuring themselves in foolish ways to begin with, only to deal with the aftermath. There were limits to the hippocratic oath, beginning with the fact that she was nobody's babysitter.

But under the combined weight of a direct order, a please, and a thank you, however grudgingly given, she resigned herself to following after Holger throughout the night, playing minder and deftly removing everything he could possibly sicken or injure himself with the second he demonstrated an interest in it until he wandered on to something else.

She had, therefore, stayed up far later than she preferred to. She did not in the least feel like getting as made up and put together as she always did, but she did it anyway, expertly concealing the circles under her eyes and flicking cold water into her face until she was as shiny and bright as ever. Appearances had to be maintained, after all.

The breakfast that Mel announced over the comms was a relief, at least - all the moreso because it originated from outside, which presumably meant coffee that Holger hadn't had the chance to paw through yet. The idea put an extra, this  time authentic bounce in her step as she emerged from the ship, nodded cheerfully at Mel, and accompanied her to the building.

"There's no drugs in this, right?" Jo was asking just as she entered. Missy doubted it; August hadn't struck her as the sort of man who cooked his own breakfast, and that assistant of his seemed at least half sane. Then she saw the spatula in his hand and began to share Jo's concerns. Breene's less-than-reassuring reassurances aside, however, food was food and she was starving after that late night.

"Want me to take some back to the ship for testing?" she asked Jo ironically, giving the eggs a skeptical sniff even as she loaded them onto her plate.
Dialogue color: Cornflowerblue | 6495ED

Talk less. Smile more.
Never let them know what you're against or what you're for.

Izak Archer

Izak watched as the breakfast got off the ground, more or less ignored. That said, it wasn't like he was a plate of hot bacon and eggs. Who wouldn't pass up talking to him for breakfast. He quickly grabbed a scoop of eggs and a few strips of bacon and started eating. Pausing briefly to apologize to the doctor.

"Sorry for crashing on your couch last night, I was pretty exhausted," Izak said. He went back to his food then nodded at Breene.

"Where did you find the coffee?" He asked him, having not gotten a response when he walked in earlier. Satisfied all he had to do was wait for a response, he waited for his answer as the rest of the crew showed up, bewildered at the reality of normal food from the mad scientist that they had arrived to meet. It was an interesting mix of hesitation and 'well, food is food'. The best part was Melody's perplexed look as she couldn't seem to figure out where he was. Either that or she was still have asleep.

That aside though, the eggs were seasoned nicely and the bacon was perfectly crispy without being rock hard. It wasn't his sisters cooking, she ran a small diner back home, but it was definitely cooked well. Some sourdough toast would have tied it together however.

"Good morning to all of you too. Took you all long enough to get here," Izak said after taking another pause between bites. "You all did remember you bailed on me in the cabin last night right?"

HumanHyperbole

January 19, 2021, 08:49:00 PM #45 Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 08:51:41 PM by HumanHyperbole
Doctor August realized he'd missed his guest's earlier inquiry for coffee and put out his joint. Hastily he procured a carafe from their refrigerator.

"A thousand apologies, I have been hearing this incessant buzzing noise all morning..."

Alan emerged coming down the stairs from his bedroom, dressed and ready for the day.

"Doctor, I hope you'll forgive me I already threw the metaphorical switch on the algorithm."

The doctor's assistant didn't want to wait through whatever pagan ritual his brilliant but mad boss had in mind before they got started. He spotted the carafe of cold-brew.

"Can I grab a cup of that too before we run out? It'll be a long day and.... can ANYONE else here that buzzing?"

Doctor August made an expression like "I knew I wasn't the only one!" and threw his free hand up and pointed at his astute assistant.

Breene stopped eating his eggs and started listening too. Anyone else who did would have heard it too. Not just coming from one direction, but coming from multiple points and each of those points of origin creating their own echoes throughout the valley. The Revenge's radar beeped intermittently, its systems getting momentary fixes on dozens of targets too small to accurately track.

Once the crew of the Revenge looked outside they'd just what looked almost like formations of birds in the distance closing in steadily. But what was approaching?

Melody

Melody eyed the food laid out for them, dubious (like most of her crew) about the safety of the meal, but also not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth. She was pretty sure they were in need of picking up food for the Revenge that extended past the strictly regimented Alliance food already on board. They'd refueled and refilled the water tanks back on Iscariot, but had been in a bit of a hurry getting away from the station and food hadn't been technically 'needed' back then.

"Want me to take some back to the ship for testing?" Missy asked Jo, and the Captain grinned, moving into line to shovel some eggs onto her own plate, "Better not," she replied. "Sometimes, ignorance is bliss," Melody clarified, grinning and nabbing a piece of toast to use as a vessel in bringing the eggs from the plate to her mouth. Her gaze scanned the room again, mentally taking a head count for likely the fourth or fifth time before sighing and deciding their mechanic was either a ghost, melted into the ship, or they left him behind somewhere. Oops...

"Good morning to all of you too. Took you all long enough to get here, you all did remember you bailed on me in the cabin last night right?" Izak noted between bites of food.

"Everyone slept in the cabin except Missy and me. And maybe the mechanic. And the cat. No one bailed on you," she told him idly, shoving a toast covered chunk of egg into her mouth and eyeing him sternly as she chewed. She wasn't fond of dramatics, although she noted that lately her life was filled with nothing but dramatics. Her expression soured at that thought.

"Can I grab a cup of that too before we run out? It'll be a long day and.... can ANYONE else hear that buzzing?"

Melody stopped chewing and set her plate down slowly, listening to the sound coming from outside. Her shoulders stiffened and she shot Holger a look before hurrying to a window and peering out at the sky. She swallowed hard, coughing a little as some of the egg and toast scraped hard against the sides of her throat. "Holger," she warned, glancing toward their ship and then back up at the sky and wondering if they could get to the Revenge in time. Being a part of the Alliance Navy, anything 'buzzing' and moving with any kind of formation (without loud honking typically accompanying geese) was a clear sign of danger. "Who's armed?" she asked sternly, still watching the skies.
Dialogue Color: Brown

Holger Heyerdahl

Holger couldn't eat any more than he could sleep. His skin felt alive, the ginger hair prickled with warning. Melody didn't need to tell him to start moving, but her voice saying his name spurred him anyways. His instinct was to grab a shovel and start digging. Any time there was enemy incoming, he and his infantry brethren would dig a trench. He spent more time digging than fighting in the war, truth be told. Inside of the ground, Holger felt safer. He could feel the haft of the shovel in his hand. The grain worn from use, smooth to the touch. The smell of the dirt, the howl of the tunnels.

He snapped back to the present. There would be time later for giving in to his baser emotions. Now, he would fall back on his training. Judging by the proximity of the buzz, whatever it might be, they didn't have time for a proper trench. At least, without using explosives. Holger eyed Dr. August and considered asking the wild man if he had something suitably eruptive. Probably, but there really weren't enough of them for the trench to do much good. The basement would suffice for cover in a pinch. He mentally clocked those in the room who could fight. Himself and Breene surely. Izak and Melody were navy trained, so better suited to providing their own air support. Joakim, Drs. Missy, August, and Alan; certainly all had their uses but Holger didn't figure them for warriors.

But Holger was no tactician and no general. The orders were not his to give. "Captain?" His training indicated he had no choice to but to use her rank. He smiled. He knew she'd hate it.
Dialogue Color - Orange

William Breene

February 21, 2021, 10:23:19 PM #48 Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 10:50:49 PM by William Breene
"Willy, you've got the heart of a warrior, and a poet. But you're a bit of an arse. You don't think at all about where your go-seh lands."

His father had once said this to him after bailing him and his brother Billy out of the local lock-up. It was Willy's scheme that'd gotten them caught by the local purple-belly-patrol after all. While his father grounded him for six months over that endeavor, he let him sneak a beer from the fridge that night because he'd stood up for his brother and taken the rap, and the marks on his juvenile record, rather than let Billy hang with him on a lesser punishment.

Today, Willy's latest scheme was once again getting everyone else neck deep in his BS. Two days ago he was practically counting the coin this job was going to bring. Now he was staring at the sky trying to discern if they were about to be descended upon by a wave of drones. And why were they so loud? Mel asked the team to sound off if they were armed. Breene tapped the pistol on his hip as he got up to open the door to a closet and pulled a bolt action rifle with a basic scope out. He checked the chamber for a round and it was already loaded.

"Who wants the deer-slayer? I can scrap but I'm no sniper."

The ex-con and ex-partisan fighter knew his strengths. He was at his best with a couple pistols in the tight steel hallways of a ship, taking the enemy by surprise. Long range, few rounds, no option to run. This wasn't his type of fight and it wasn't going to help anyone for him to pretend it was. Before he could toss the rifle to whoever'd ask for it, he noticed a uniquely close sounding buzz among the chorus of buzzing.

He poked his head into a window, moving aside the drapes and felt the glass shattering and peppering his forehead before he could register the sound of the distant rifle-crack that birthed it, nor where the round came from exactly. But at least one of their bogey's had managed to get close enough to start popping off rounds. Breene pulled his big dumb head inside, and yanked the drapes back shut. Taking cover away from the window he ripped off part of his t-shirt's sleeve to press against his forehead.

William quickly ran his hand around his face checking to make sure his brains weren't leaking out the other side. Breene looked around the room at everyone and couldn't help but remark on their situation with a half chuckle.

"Everybody cozy?"

Making a break for the ship was becoming a riskier endeavor. The distinct "Ping!" of bullets smacking off of impervious steel started echoing through the valley. Their closest flying foe had shifted to making sure they didn't get to the Revenge's weaponry. Willy asked of the group:

"Any of you guys get a look at one of these jerks yet? Are we in a siege with really loud and lead spitting mosquitoes?"

Alan, now hiding in the closet Breene had found a rifle in, attempted to correct Breene.

"They're not mosquitoes! They're auto-gyros!"

"Auto-whatnow? I didn't think we were having THAT kind of weekend..."

Alan wasn't referencing what Breene thought he was. The locals, occupying the hillsides and mountains had taken to a very unique transportation solution for their means and locale: Auto-gyros. Essentially they are primitive home-made helicopters. The residents had taken to them as an alternative to horses and "mules". The hill-folk weren't just amateur aviation enthusiasts. They had their own air-cavalry militia.

There were still a million questions but Professor August was already pouring over numbers being spit out of his hand-held cortex unit. The siege seemed to practically be a secondary concern to him. Breene ran over to him and shoved the eccentric scientist down on to the floor, where he could look over his numbers with a lower chance of getting hit by a stray round.

Breene again offered up the rifle by holding it up from his spot on the floor, over his head. Meanwhile, Alan was also concerned about the experiment.

"Can someone please check the equipment downstairs?! I need the printouts!!"

HumanHyperbole

March 09, 2021, 03:00:05 PM #49 Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 08:17:03 AM by HumanHyperbole
The buzzing gave way to a low rumble and roar of combustion engines. Rounds started impacting the ship and the lodge from multiple angles. Too many of the rickety auto-gyros were close enough to start taking pop shots at them. An alliance surplus shuttle settled into a loop it flew around the valley just out of the planet-bound Revenge's canons. Bullets ripped through the windows every couple of seconds. Any time someone opened the front door, the only entrance and exit, bullets started hitting the door before they could hope to go through it. Somebody in the shuttle was playing spotter for the improvised air cavalry.

That of course, was Yank and Valiente. Inside their shuttle Yank flew and sipped on a glass of bourbon, bopping his head to the beat of a song he was blasting. Yank had a VR type headset on, manning the controls for the ship's military grade surveillance system.  They couldn't get their hands on armed Alliance hardware. But sophisticated optics were totally legal and available to contractors like Russo Enterprises.

"Woo! We got these húndàns boxed in! Tell 'em to keep hittin' those windows!"

The crew of the Revenge, their guest, and the scientists could move about the house, but only if they stayed low and away from windows. Most of the rounds couldn't puncture the walls but you had to be conscious of every movement lest you draw fire. Each moment felt like hours, but slowly, and gradually they each gave way and passed by under great stress.

To be continued in Episode Four

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