S1:Ep5 - Life from Red Clay

Started by Lomari, July 28, 2020, 07:23:56 pm

Viktor Söderberg

Arlo looked into Mr. Potter's case as requested by the Captain while Viktor sat the walking corpse back upright in his seat and arranged him as comfortable as he could.

Arlo pulled out a bundle of papers and then the case was empty. He took his time reading over the documents. With no explanation, he handed them over to the preacher and said. "I believe I understand the urgency better now. Somebody in town must need what he's carrying, badly. Keeping him cold, shouldn't be a problem at any rate [...] can you help me pack snow into his clothes.

The soldier in Viktor thought it would be easier and faster to just put the man in a pile of snow outside. It would cause less of a mess in the mule and would keep him supine and still which would surely be good for his condition. But that's as far as Viktor would be able to treat him and he needed treatment sooner rather than later.

He looked at the first page of the contract he was handed. "Professional Organ Transplant Transporter" he said out loud. His voice fell like the snow down the mountain. "Oh. Yes." He'd never seen one come into town, but he'd heard tale of a local girl from his town who had - legend said - been a POTT to get some money for her family after her father, the sole earner, had died in a mine collapse. They eventually came to the church to inter her empty coffin. And request spare food supplies. She, nor the promised money for her deadly burden, had never returned. It was supposed to be an old wives tale to warn children against trusting strangers or some such. The preacher had never considered there to be any truth in it. A POTT sounded ridiculous, definitely couldn't be a real thing. Yet, here he was staring at the contract and the nearly dead man.

He flipped through the remaining pages, speaking aloud in broken sentences as he went along. "Contract for organ transport. Ownership remains with the Company until Transplant. In cases of theft, disappearance or other non-arrival situations. Forcible repossession. Client responsibilities. Delivery and payment. In cases of organ rejection or early expiration..."

The preacher's body cooled, as much from what he was reading as from the snow being packed into the mule. "Well, Barn. He ain't gunna make it. That's pretty sure. This is a contract for him to transport an organ or organs to someone - don't say who - at Primary Claim. Better than a cooler, I suppose. There's a bit here at the end about organ rejection which looks to be the stage he's in right now. Says to keep him cold. Maybe if we keep him cool and keep his fever down he can survive the transplant. Let's not hold our breaths, though."

Mattie Rooney

September 19, 2020, 12:17:54 pm #21 Last Edit: September 19, 2020, 12:19:55 pm by Mattie Rooney
"...Miss Rooney, can you help me pack snow into his clothes?"

Since when was Buttercup giving her orders? Before Mattie could protest -- not that she necessarily would have protested, given the urgency of the situation -- the Preacher spoke up.

"Professional Organ Transplant Transporter."

Mattie stared out the window in silence as he read out the papers, her expression growing darker with every sentence. She felt an unexpected stab of pity towards their fading passenger; you had to be pretty darn desperate to give up your body for something like this. She quickly forced her anger to snuff out her compassion. Potter undoubtedly knew the risks, he was an absolute moron to agree to something so insanely dangerous, and now they were all going to be buried in a snowstorm because of his little suicide mission.

"A ruttin' organ mule," she muttered under her breath, shaking her head in a mixture of disbelief and disapproval. "One of Begby's drinkin' buddies said he knew a guy who did that as a side gig. I thought he was full of ɡǒu shǐ." Still might have been. This really didn't seem like the kind of thing you could do often enough to call it a 'side gig'.

Once again she looked at the captain, expecting him to pull over and go along with Arlo's suggestion. It was the least they could do, although if Potter was going to croak anyway she didn't really see how they were supposed to keep the goods fresh until they could hand them over. As far as she was concerned, this job was a bust and she was happy if the four of them made it back to the ship without losing any fingers or toes to frostbite.

Barnaby Goodweather

Well they'd gone and done it. The impossible. They'd taken an easy peasy, smooth sailing, no frills, lickity split job and made an entire mess of the thing. His knuckles white as he steered, his foot remained firmly on the gas (as safety would allow, of course) and his gut told him don't stop. Rut that. Rut that damn Potter. He'd lied to them. Lied to him! Barnaby sulked. It wasn't fair.

Barnaby glanced in the rearview and saw the faces of his crew. "Gorram it all to hell." He cursed and switched his foot to the brake. The mule lurched to a halt and if his mood wasn't already terrible Barnaby might have been glad they were hovering and not now skidding to a stop inches from the ravine and certain death. He climbed out of the mule, struggling with the zipper cover, somehow tangling himself in his frustration.

A foot, caught up inextricably in the canvas, tripped him up and sent him face first into the snow. Barnaby thought about just staying there. Maybe the snow would bury him and he wouldn't exist anymore. That was damned fool thinking, he knew it. With a sigh, Barnaby picked himself up and went to the passenger side to help his crew save Potter the Phony's life.
Dialogue Color - LightBlue


Ship Time: 1340
Ship Location: Secondary Claim, St, Albans
Mule Location: An Hour Out from Secondary Claim.

The Home-Team:

"...Our passenger and client, Mr Potter, was quite insistent he be brought to another destination..." At that, the pair looked at each other with what was either confusion or horror. The fact that Mister Potter had moved to a different location seemed to distress them in one way or another. "...You got any way to prove that's not the case now's your time to talk...I got a man missing and I'm about ready to fill people with holes."

Tabitha peeked out at the pair of them from underneath one of Rian's armpits, brows raised in question and lips puckered thoughtfully. They didn't look like bad guys, although she probably had to admit at some point that maybe sometimes bad guys looked like good guys.

"Woah woah woah," the mustached man interjected, his hands still help up in the universal sign of, 'please don't shoot me.' "Ain't no need fer fillin' anyone with any holes. I got the proper documentation here in my coat, if it's alright if I grab it?" he asked, pointing downward at his jacket, hands still up above shoulder height just in case. He paused, however, when the ringing sound filled the cargo hold.

As he talked to the other person on the phone, the pair out in the snow looked mighty awkward. The mustachioed man cleared his throat and looked up and around at nothing in particular, while the man with the bowler hat rocked back on his heels and tried to think of fire in an attempt to keep himself warm, both of their hands still help up to avoid getting riddled with holes.

"Sorry. That was my... prostitute," Rian explained. Tabby made a startled noise and looked up at him with a chastising frown. "That's not a nice word," she told him in a hushed whisper, wagging his finger at him. He was supposed to call them Companions, if they were registered, and maybe...Ladies of the Night if they weren't. That sounded much nicer than the alternatives.

"Okay..." Bowler Hat began, looking befuddled beneath his brows. "In any case, we do have papers, so he's going to get them for you," he said, nodding his head at his companion. Mustache slowly lowered his left hand to his pocket, using his non-dominant hand, and carefully picked out a roll of papers from his jacket pocket. Then, just as slowly, he held them out to Rian, brows aloft.

Ship Time: 1350
Ship Location: Secondary Claim, St, Albans
Mule Location: An Hour Out from Secondary Claim.

The Away-Team:

As the Mule lurched to a halt, Potter slumped forward, made a soft groan, and fell silent again. It was clear, both from the Preacher's examination of him and the contract they'd found in his otherwise empty bag, that he was in dire straights. But he didn't seem to be set to expire just yet, and his chances did look better already now that the crew was aware of the situation. He just wasn't aware of all that at the moment.

Where they'd stopped, the wind was rough but the snow was still soft underfoot, not having had enough time to settle in a hard layer as flakes piled up and froze together. There also seemed to be a light post, flickering its hardest in the midst of the storm. This did indicate that they were likely close to the official road again, and would be able to get back on track as soon as they stabilized their client with some ice and hopeful thoughts.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Rian Carpenter

September 26, 2020, 05:02:53 pm #24 Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 05:33:05 pm by Rian Carpenter
Rian re-holstered his back-up and grabbed the outstretched documentation. It matched up with the docs Potter had when he got aboard. Plus their surprise made Rian start entertaining another theory. Potter was the one looking to abscond with his cargo. The cargo being his own guts. While this was yet another setback, it at least meant these men weren't his foe.

"Looks like Mr Potter has been playing the both of us."

He handed the documents back over.

"Since our interests align, I'm gonna stop pointing this at you. I will ask you keep a hand on any weapons you have and keep your head on a swivel. I wasn't joking about the mechanic disappearing. You see anybody that ain't me or the doc, pull your steel. Mechanic's a big guy, mustache and stubble..."

He let his arms rest and held the pistol in his left hand, pointed down at the ground.

"Whattayasay? Help me check the perimeter while I check in with our Captain? If he's not headed back from that storm our human sausage will probably give himself away. The Sour Kraut is creepifying but not subtle."

Getting in touch with Barnaby and the away team however was a whole 'nother story. He turned to Tabby and shot her a look that sort of said:

I have no idea what is going on.

While he didn't know the shape of Potter's scheme, or where the mechanic went. The concept of a living organ moving contract was nothing new to him. Hell, Jimmy Russo used to keep a couple people on contract who's entire jobs was to keep back up organs ready for the company's top shooters. Got expensive and he made Rian dump them all in a mineshaft.

Viktor Söderberg

Viktor felt a little heartsick at the state of their client. He was sure down to his soles that Mr. Potter wasn't going to make it. For a moment, it seemed as though Barnaby wasn't going to stop to get the man a snow-coat and Viktor wondered if their leader felt the same.
"Gorram it all to hell."
"Now Captain, let's not Damn it all just yet. There's always hope."

The preacher didn't know if he actually felt the hope he prescribed, but it was his job to rally everyone and keep their heads up. Despite his Good words a black mood remained over the group. They all seemed angry and frustrated and rightfully so. He returned to his thought that they should just throw Potter in a pile of snow and let him be. He wondered at this notion considering he didn't even think the snow would save the man, but it would save them from riding the rest of the way home with a corpse.

He stepped out of the mule to allow better access to the dying man. He took hold of the man under his arms pulled him horizonal on the seat and was half way to pulling him out of the door and directly into the snow before he realized what he was doing. Viktor settled the man on the seat and moved aside for those gathering snow.

As he paused and stayed out of the way to ensure there was not a "too many cooks" situation, he looked around to see if he could identify were they were. He saw a light that gave the impression of dancing between the snow fall. Lamp posts amost always mean the road was close. He walked a little away from their gathered group to see if he could tell how far it was. Maybe there would be a Miricle and there would be a doctor passing by.

But just as likely not.


October 22, 2020, 11:48:38 am #26 Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 11:51:24 am by Lomari
Ship Time: 1340
Ship Location: Secondary Claim, St. Albans
Mule Location: An Hour Out from Secondary Claim.

"Looks like Mr. Potter has been playing the both of us... Help me check the perimeter while I check in with our Captain?"

The two men looked at one another, shooting each other a look that was remarkably similar to the one Rian had given Tabby. At least no one knew what was happening and they were on a level playing field. "I s'ppose we can do that, but maybe check an' see how far out the Cap'n is?" the mustached man asked, his nose scrunched up, which made his facial hair bristle and cause him to resemble a beaver or a porcupine. Tabitha giggled at the imagery.

Almost on cue, Rian's comms system finally crackled to life, the sound full of white noise as though the storm itself was attempting to communicate with those on the Darling. "May...Mayday Darlin. Com...cold... sick. Road was...back. I repeat...back. Ov-."

Bowler Hat frowned at the garbled message and rose his brows at Rian and Tabitha. That didn't sound good. If it sounded like anything at all.

Ship Time: 1445
Ship Location: Secondary Claim, St. Albans
Mule Location: Docks of Secondary Claim, St. Albans

The Away Team:

Their attempts to bundle Mister Potter up in snow seemed to have worked, for the time being. Viktor's instincts had been correct, and they'd been not too far from the official road. No further vehicles passed them in the flurry, and once they put the Mule back in the Mule, the temperature of the vessel dropped to a further level of uncomfortable. The hour drive back to the docks was spent in relative silence, each member of the team either contemplating their feelings about the current situation, their place in the stars, or their role on the ship. To say the air in the mule was thick with tension would have been an understatement of the highest order.

Occasionally, Potter would rouse a bit and groan something awful, making the kinds of sounds animals made that had been shot in the stomach and left to bleed out by a substandard hunter. Then, just as quickly as he started, the man fell silent again, content to sweat profusely and fill the mule with the smell of ammonia and body odor. At least the chill helped with that. A little.

When they finally pulled back up to the docks, the snow storm had joined them there and people were closing up their ships and ducking into bars or supply stores to get last minute goods before hunkering down to wait. The Darling was curled up right where they'd left her, snuggled under a thick blanket of snow, a gentle glow coming from the view ports and looking as close to a warm winter's cabin as any ship could. The cargo bay doors were wide open, as though the ship were beckoning her crew to come home.

The Home Team:

Tabitha sat with Moustache in the galley, the poor man covered in five home-made quilts and holding a mug of hot cocoa, two large marshmallows floating on their surface. "Didn't know he had an infection, an' the power in the ship shut off, so all we hears is this moanin' in the dark and shufflin' feet. Thought he was one 'a them 'Zombies' you read 'bout in books. Near enough to a Reaver fer me. I shot him. He was jus' one of our crew an' I shot 'im," he blubbered, staring at nothing at first and then crying into his cup. Tabitha reached out to gently pat his head and nod sympathetically. "There, there," she murmured. "It was jus' meningitis!"

Further in the ship, Bowler Hat had helped Rian scour the vessel for their missing Mechanic. They'd found his gloves discarded in the engine room and naught much else. His coat was in the bunk room, likely from when he'd lent it to Tabby upon arriving. "You think the Captain will be back soon?" he asked, his voice accented and mildly frustrated. After they'd temporarily given up on finding the missing man, the pair of them ended up sitting in the cargo bay exchanging excruciating small-talk and staring in silence out at the snow like two broody watchdogs.
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha

Darling ~ Iscariot

Barnaby Goodweather

"Mayday, Mayday Darlin. Comin in hot... well cold. Potter took sick. Road was damn impassable. We're comin back. I repeat. Comin back. Over." No response. Barnaby had to wonder if the message even went through, but he couldn't worry about that too hard. He had a mule to drive.

Though the lights did little to illuminate their path, it did point Barnaby in the right direction, and were therefore just what he needed. As if some inner barometer were gauging his mood based on his distance from the Darling, the closer they approached the better he started to feel. Damn land-legs. He thought. They were the cause of all of it, he was sure. That tumble he took in the snow was the least of it. Whenever he was off-ship, Barnaby just felt off. There was no other way to describe it. His normal clarity was clouded. His sense of direction went all higgidy. Being back on Darling, he'd know what to do and how to get them out of this mess.

And there she was, warm and inviting. Small still, but getting bigger. The time it had taken to pack Potter with polarized precipitation and arriving on their doorstep had gone in a flash, or at least so it seemed now. Home. Things would be better there, Barnaby just knew it. Tabby would see to Potter. They could wait out the storm in the warmth of the ship's belly. Maybe Rian could make a stew. Preacher could tell stories, maybe. Mr. Arlo, Barnaby was certain, would appreciate being back where it was snug and civilized. And Mattie... Barnaby spared a glance at the young woman in the co-pilot's seat. Well, maybe she'd warm up, too.

Potter could go spit, for all Barnaby reckoned. Old bastard had lied to them. No. Not that again, Barn'. Ain't fallin back into the hole. Things'll be right soon, just you wait.

At least they better be.

He didn't get a reply from Darling after his radio in, best to try again before they came barging in through the doors. "Darlin'. This is your Captain speaking. We's almost back." As if it slipped his mind, he added. "Oh and Potter's sick. ETA um soon."

They pulled up and into the cargo bay and as Barnaby killed the ignition he didn't even really care that there was a stranger sitting next to Rian waiting for them. He hopped out of the vehicle and stamped his feet to get the snow off and bring a little life back into his legs. "Hey there." The captain extended a hand in greeting. "Rian, who's your friend? Oh-" He remembered. "Dunno if you got my message. Potter's in a bad way. Instructions in his case said keep him cold so we packed him with snow. Get Tabby down here-" Their wispy doctor appeared, as if summoned. "Tabby. See what you can do with Mr. Potter, wouldja? He ain't feelin' so hot." Barnaby grinned at his own joke. "Get it?" Barnaby clocked yet another new friend. He couldn't remember off-hand, was one of them the new mechanic? He didn't think so. That fella was taller.

"Speakin' of hot, Rian, we got any cocoa?" He noticed the cup in Tabby's hand. "Bingo. I'll take one of them please and thank you."
Dialogue Color - LightBlue

Rian Carpenter

October 30, 2020, 09:10:07 pm #28 Last Edit: October 30, 2020, 09:59:40 pm by Rian Carpenter
Rian was both dreading and impatiently awaiting the Mule's return with the rest of the crew. He hopped up from his seat atop an empty crate.

"See? I told you they'd be here soon."

Which had been a bluff.

The gunhand was relieved to have the captain back. In multiple ways given he wasn't in charge anymore, and they were all okay. Everyone who counted at least. Even the stuffy Brit.

"I'll make some more hot chocolate when I get the stew on in a minute...Cap, things have been a might too interesting. These these folks are here for Potter. Seems he might be sick on account of those aren't his guts but y'all probably already figured that out 'round when he turned ill. Everybody else sound?"

He eyed the rest of the crew dismounting from the mule and saw they were in good health and was relieved again, his question answering itself. He then felt the lump in his throat as he had to admit his own bad news.

"Riggs vanished like the ship ate him up. Only about a minute after he let me know he found a tracker... checked the hull, wasn't a damn thing..."

Carpenter shifted his attention over to one of Potter's keepers.

"Our security hurdles aside, I reckon y'all can ensure payment for our services rendered given Mister Potter's present state and previous treachery?"

Rian shot the company man a look that said he didn't want to point a gun at him again but it wasn't going to ruin his day either.

Tabitha Haemish

Hearing a commotion down in the cargo hold, Tabitha and her new friend Mustache (whose name she had learned was Leonard) made their way from where they had holed up in the galley down to meet the group below. Her eyes lit up at the sight of them, and she reached out to tug at Leonard's sleeve excitedly, "Oh! They're back! Isn't that wonderful!" she exclaimed. The moustachio'd stranger nodded a little, looking dazed or confused. "Uh, yep?" he answered.

"Tabby. See what you can do with Mr. Potter, wouldja? He ain't feelin' so hot - Get it?" The doctor handed Leonard her cup and bounded down the rest of the way to where the Captain was giving orders. She threw her arms around him and placed a large, long kiss on his cheek, burrowing her lips into the side of his face. "Welcome home!" she greeted, releasing him from her hold so she could hurry to the Mule and check on Mr. Potter. Seeing his condition, she grimaced a little and looked at Viktor, Mattie, and Arlo for some more information. Already, the doctor in her had kicked in and she reached out to start manually pulling the man from the vehicle, grunting and huffing with effort.

Once he was out, with or without help from the crew by the mule, she pointed in Leonard and Bowler Hat's direction. "Please help me carry him to the med bay! I can get him stabilized, at least," she ordered, her voice more firm than usual but still light and pleasant. Bowler Hat crossed his arms over his chest and pushed off the box he'd been sitting on.

"Our security hurdles aside, I reckon y'all can ensure payment for our services rendered given Mister Potter's present state and previous treachery?"

"Yeah, nothing's changed except some wasted time," he assured Rian, leaving the assisting of the doctor up to poor Leonard. "Once your doctor's got him stable, we'll bring our crew over to cart him to our ship. We have facilities on board that... well, we'll get it done proper," he continued, cutting himself off to keep from telling them too much about the intricacies of their operation.
Dialogue Color: Pink

Viktor Söderberg

The mule pulled up to the ship and to Viktor's astonishment, Mr. Potter was still alive. It looked to be a close thing, but he was still breathing. Tabby's greeting was as cheerful as ever, despite the fact that things were clearly out of sorts here at home too. There was a man Viktor didn't recognize and Rian appeared as he'd been on edge for some time.

Since Tabby had come to his side of the mule, Viktor helped her pull Potter out and get him into the hands of yet another unknown person. Though wary of the strangers in his home, Tabby was comfortable enough letting Mr. Unknown assist in getting Potter to the med bay. Then again, Tabby's judgement was much more... open... than most people's.

"Riggs vanished like the ship ate him up. Only about a minute after he let me know he found a tracker... checked the hull, wasn't a damn thing..."
It took Viktor a second to remember who Riggs was. With so many new people around lately some of them were starting to meld together in his brain.

Go with Tabby and Mr. Unknown or find Riggs? His urge to protect her pulled him towards Tabby, but then who knew what Riggs was up to. He gave a significant glance over to the Captain, not wanting to interrupt any exchange taking place there. He shifted his gaze between Tabby and Rian, silently requesting his orders. Barnaby tipped his head toward Tabitha. Viktor gave a nod in understanding and went.

His long-legged stride got him caught up to the trio and allowed him to wind around them before they reached med bay. He made it into the room first. This allowed him to quickly move some things around, putting what he thought were the most useful tools nearer the table and getting unnecessary things out of the way. He put a large metal container on the floor near the cot for Potter's snow soaked clothing. He knew Tabitha wouldn't want to get the furniture wet and a wet floor was a definite slipping hazard. This task done he stepped out of the way pressing his tall frame into a corner, there if needed.

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