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.
Dialogue color: darkkhaki

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

Lomari

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.
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
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.

Lomari

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.
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
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.

Mattie Rooney

Mattie kept quiet for the duration of the mule ride. She'd never seen the captain in a mood like this, not even when they were being held hostage by Abernathy and breaking into the prison train, and she definitely wasn't the person to diffuse the situation. Whatever came out of her mouth right now would just be sharp and hurtful, especially for the present company made up of a wounded teddybear, uptight upper class twit and concerned man of cloth. And a dying guy, but he was too far gone for words to reach him, let alone offend him.

She felt a palpable relief once the landing site drew near and they could make out the Darling's snow-covered form through the blizzard. Potter was still dying, but callous as it was, Mattie didn't really care. He'd made his bed and he could die in it for all she cared. The most important thing was that the crew had made it home safe.

As she climbed out of the mule, Mattie eyed the strangers apprehensively. When it became evident they posed no immediate thread, however, she decided she was too cold to care. Tabitha quickly took control of the situation with Potter and it seemed Mattie's assistance wasn't needed, which she was relieved about. As Tabby, Viktor and the strangers got to work getting the dying man to the med bay, the sniper took off her hat and tucked it under her arm, shaking her hair loose as she walked up to Rian.

"How'd you manage to lose an over six-foot-tall man?" Mattie was relieved to have a target for her barbs that didn't feel like punching down. "The guy must have some serious camouflage skills. Maybe I oughta do a second sweep?"

She tried to muster up some kind of cheeky expression, but her face was too frozen and her spirits too low for that. Instead, she shook her head and focused on removing her gloves, crunchy and glistening with frost.

"What a gorram clusterrut, huh?" she muttered, holding up a pale hand and wiggling her stiff fingers to get the blood flowing again.
Dialogue color: darkkhaki

Rian Carpenter

November 24, 2020, 05:56:05 pm #32 Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 07:59:04 pm by Rian Carpenter
The organ slinger was on the same page as Rian. His imposing approach might have been unnecessary but it was the currency he was used to trading with. Leverage and threat of force. He felt a little better about using the icy stare he inherited from his father to make sure people were just honoring an existing agreement but the way things had been going he couldn't help but not muck about.

Viktor looked to him and the Captain for orders. Now that the Captain was back, Rian was really only in charge of security. He could tell the Preacher looked a bit worried about their new crewmate's sudden disappearance. He was going to try and privately tell Barnaby that they should take a "scenic" route to wherever they go next, just to be safe. If only to try and reassure the returning crew he added to his comments about Riggs' Houdini act:

"We checked the ship top to bottom and the quests were always in the company of myself or Tabby best I recall so if Riggs was a super spy or something he stopped by seemingly just to give me an uncomfortableness. We're shiny for now."

Mattie came up, unleashing her blond locks and shaking off what seemed like a layer of ice and snow that might require a chisel. She of course gave him a well deserved prodding for misplacing a man roughly 50% bigger than him in the space of a mule ride. Rian laughed out his nose at himself. He let out an exasperated breath and shook his head, but still half smiling. He tried to think of something clever to say but just got stuck trying to think of something. They'd both had a bastard of a day so far and they were all wound like a jack in a box, trying to let out some of that tension.

Rather than words interrupting his pause after failing to find a funny retort he just blew a raspberry with his mouth at her musing of the day they'd had. Then succinctly added:

"Wǒ xiànzài kěyǐ hē hǎi..."
Translation: "I could drink an ocean right now..."

He took a deep breath then gave Maddy a more direct look in the eyes and complimented his recruit from the car chase. It wasn't that long ago he'd been quipping at her from the hood of a speeding vehicle but it also felt like a millennia ago.

"You did good today. Everbody's back in one piece so I think that means you aced your first away mission, security officer."

His tone shifted as he went on. From business like to slightly hammy. Playing up a sort of "army man from the vids" type of vibe. Sure security was his fiefdom but he couldn't muster a fully serious tone speaking to her as a superior. At least not right now. He gave her a slightly sarcastic salute as he noticed his rifle had come back with them in one piece.

"And most importantly of all, you didn't lose my favorite gun. That's an 'A plus plus' then."

He whistled to get everyone's attention and tried to project his voice without quite shouting.

"Hot chocolate, coffee, maybe a little winter warmer in the galley in five."

Rian taking the captain's request for hot beverages, to be a priority, he deduced a meal might be in order as well:

"You guys forgive me for not helping unload I'll get crackin' on some soup or somethin' too.... Matty? You mind helping me actually? We gotta talk our new security concerns over anyway."

He'd put the idea of whether Barnaby was going to elevate him to the vacated position of XO away for now. After the day he'd had he wasn't as worried about his position on the crew, and was just glad he still had them at all. Rian jogged back towards Matty. Hushed as if it was a serious security matter, once he got close, he clarified:

"I don't really need help but you look like you could use a break 'bout as much as I do. Plus it'll be funny to watch the Archduke try and get the top off the mule later on the security footage."

Rian was suggesting something bordering on a prank. Further he knew Arlington's name but felt something not quite like an innate disdain for the man. Rather, a sort of dismissive bemusement at this aristocrat thrown by circumstance into their odd cadre of spacefarers. He had no business being there but made it work. But he looked like somebody with all thumbs trying to do it, which made it all the more fun for Rian.

Barnaby Goodweather

At the slew of information thrown at him as warmth returned to his body, Barnaby could only shrug. "New Mech's gone, eh? Well, that's a shame, but folks come and go. I trust ya that Darlin' is secure." Barnaby gave Rian a tight grin and clapped him on the shoulder. To the guests on board. "Ya'll have the financials. Tabby'll see to your man proper. By the by, Potter mentioned double for the trouble. I expect ya'll to honor that.  If you'll excuse me, I got some warming up to do." And with that, he left the cargo bay and headed for the galley, with a short stop at his cabin to drop off his winter wear.

While in his cabin, Barnaby paused in reflection. It was only a moment, but Barnaby remembered a lifetime. Fifty years on the Darling Francine. He knew every inch of this ship, stem to stern. Trouble was, as much as he knew his ship, Barnaby knew even less about the universe beyond her hull. The last few weeks- hell, the last thirty years of captaining and co-captaining and executive officering- had proven that. He thought back to the time before he was captain and found a wistful grin on his jaw. A picture on the wall of two young men, one Barnaby, smooth faced and happy, the other his best friend Buddy Frenkle, arms over shoulders. He and Buddy had lost touch in recent years, but a friendship like that was forever.

The picture reminded him of his carefree youth, where the worries of feeding a crew and keeping a ship floating were far from mind. He and Buddy got into a lot of trouble together. And they had a lot of fun, too. Barnaby didn't like dwelling on the past. As fond as so many of those memories were, there was plenty of heartache as well. His eyes drifted across images of his ex-wives, his family, former crew that had left. Such was the nature of his life.

That winter warmer with a side of hot chocolate was calling his name, plus whatever Rian managed to rustle up out of the pantry. His tummy grumbled and his thirst unquenched: Barnaby left his cabin and couldn't quite let go of thoughts of yesteryear.

Exiting his quarters, Barnaby found a choice ahead of him. He could descend straight to the galley and indulge in his baser desires- drink and chocolate. Or do the Captainly thing and check on the goings on of his crew and ship. With a sigh of jaded wear, Barnaby found himself stepping upon the catwalk to get a good look at the cargo bay before ducking into the medbay to check on their cargo. He propped himself up in the doorway and tried to get a sense of what was happening with Tabby and Victor huddled around the bed. "How is he?" He asked, though he strangely found himself only passably caring.
Dialogue Color - LightBlue

Mattie Rooney

December 07, 2020, 08:43:12 am #34 Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 12:25:16 pm by Mattie Rooney
"I don't really need help but you look like you could use a break 'bout as much as I do. Plus it'll be funny to watch the Archduke try and get the top off the mule later on the security footage."

Mattie cocked her head and looked past Rian's shoulder at Arlo. To be fair to the Archduke in question, he hadn't actually been as useless as she'd expected; in fact, he'd been the first one to roll his sleeves and jump in the snow to help their dying passenger, a development that had surprised Mattie but which she hadn't had time to really reflect on until now.

That didn't mean Mattie found him any less annoying. It also didn't erase the fact that, at the end of the day, she was a bit of a bastard.

"Sure." She spoke loud enough for Arlo to hear her. "I'm real good at... boilin' water."

As Rian and her made their way towards the galley, Mattie unbuttoned her coat, her fingers having warmed up enough to do so. Her expression was also warming up. Nothing like some good old-fashioned schoolyard bullying to lift the spirits.

"You sure know how to cheer a girl up, huh?" She smiled at him and immediately felt mortified. That sounded weird, not like something she'd say. "Or a guy. People in general."

Speaking of which...

"Listen, I, uh..." Mattie stopped suddenly in the doorway of the galley. Her brow furrowed and her jaw clenched as she tried to find the right words to say.

"I know I ain't been around for long, so maybe this is just something he does on a regular basis, but... the Boss seems to be havin' a real rough time with this job. Probably blames himself for the whole mess, and I sure as hell ain't makin' him feel any better. I ain't close to him and I ain't no good at talkin' to people anyway, but you are, so, uh... could you check up on him? Make sure he knows this ain't his fault?"

She didn't look Rian in the eye, opting instead to stare somewhere around the tips of his shoes the whole time. This was stupid. She was getting paid to make sure none of her crewmates got shot, and to shoot anyone who might shoot at them. Cheering up others wasn't her job, yet she felt strangely inadequate for not being able even take crack at it.
Dialogue color: darkkhaki

Lomari

Ship Time: 1400
Ship Location: Secondary Claim, St. Albans

The Med-Bay - Viktor, Barnaby, and Tabby

Machinery beeped soothingly, (at least it was soothing to Tabby), as they monitored the man's vitals. It had been touch and go at first, but she'd been able to at least get him stable and work on that fever he was fighting. It seemed that his body was beginning to reject the organs and they'd need to be either removed or swapped soon, which was a process that Tabitha was not prepared to do. She stood by the bed, gently patting the old stranger's forehead with a damp cloth while Leonard loomed in the background, eyeing both his client as well as the preacher.

"How is he?"

Tabby turned her head to look in the direction of their Captain's voice and smiled brightly, "He's okey dokey. Much better now." She wrapped an arm around Viktor's and settled the side of her head on the man's bicep, "Viktor was a perfect assistant, and I think our passenger is about ready to go with his friends. Did they bring a stretcher? It'd be a ton easier to get him back down with one," she asked, brows aloft. Leonard cleared his throat, "Eh, we have one yeah. Could probably, uh, bring it over," he answered, his voice gentle and a little confused. Being around Tabby for extended periods could do that to a person. He reached into his pocket for his own comms unity and relayed the request.

The Galley - Rian and Mattie

Bowler Hat stuck his head in through the doorway after a while, "Any update on our man?" he asked, a frown pulling at his lips. He'd been left alone in the cargo hold after the crew had split up. "I got the creds transferring to your Captain's account, but, you know, we would like to start heading out soon. Can't say I'm in love with the idea of being on this planet any longer than necessary," he explained, hand idly fiddling with the brim of his hat, making sure it was settled securely atop his head.

The Cargo Hold

Another pair of strangers walked up the ramp, pausing at the entrance to the ship and looking in with confused frowns. They had a hovering stretcher between them, but didn't see their crewmates. One of them stomped his feet to get some feeling back into them while the other breathed into his hands, a puff of hot air rising from his mouth. Cautiously, one of them knocked on the side of the wall before another saw their comms button and tapped it. "Eh, stretcher here. Cargo bay?" he announced over the ship-wide comms.
CHARACTERS
Charity ~ Melody ~ Tabitha


NARRATION
Darling ~ Iscariot

Rian Carpenter

December 15, 2020, 01:18:17 pm #36 Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 06:26:41 pm by Rian Carpenter
Location: Galley

Rian had elicited a smile, if only fleetingly from Mattie. He smirked slightly to himself, then she quickly backtracked given the comment's possible proximity to flirtation. He admonished himself mentally, as if his dead wife or the companion he sees once a year would be offended. Luckily she changed the subject as he got out the pans for the stew before he could allow himself to mentally unpack everything that would make him act an awkward fool.

She too had noticed something had been eating at the cap. This job had been a brutal slog for them, more a psychological crucible for Rian. He stopped pulling ingredients and prepping. The part time cook was taking off the chef's hat again. Rian was closest there was to an XO on the ship right now but this might not even be the occasion for him to put that cap on either.

"I gotta put on my 'friend hat' for this conversation with him, don't I?"

Hearing the gut slinger coming, Rian tapped his cutting board with his fist and looked Mattie dead in the eye and nodded. She didn't need to say any more and neither did the killer chef.

He regarded bowler a simple nod then an index finger held up to indicate how many moments he'll need to find out the answer to his question. With his other hand he retrieved his communicator and called out for their bubbly medic.

"Bag of guts to go, please."

Tabby who clearly had started to catch on to his macabre humor chimed back after only a beat:

"He's okey dokey!"

Carpenter's upheld index finger switched to a thumbs up.

"Pleasure doin' business with ya'. Y'all take care in that storm out there."

He hit the folksy intonation in a way that just barely disguised his disdain for the organ dealing trade. They'd been bamboozled into partaking in it but they'd committed to the job and last thing they needed was to get sued or pursued by gut slingers on top of everything else. The business of the day was concluded but his concerns for his brother were still front of mind.

Rian shot Mattie another look and another nod. He suppressed a smile that bordered on a smirk. Now overcompensating for trying not to flirt with his co-worker. Booze! He promised winter warmer.

A row of glasses clanked onto the table alongside a bottle of bourbon he'd squirrelled away. Trick was hiding it with the freeze dried fake broccoli boxes. Next came the hot chocolate and stew. Before he knew it he was a flurry of activity, prepping both home made hot cocoa and improvising a stew from their leftovers and ingredients meant for other meals.

*Tabby dialogue provided by Lomari

Barnaby Goodweather

Barnaby nodded, satisfied that their cargo was in good hands and being passed into hands that would carry him from the ship and their care. He leaned back from the medbay door and hollered at the man in the cargo bay. "C'mon up!" As the stretcher came in and the men loaded Potter up, Barnaby felt a slight pang of guilt, but he was quick to dispel it. The old man had done this to himself, Barnaby told himself. If he'd just been reasonable he'd be walking out on his own accord. Barnaby felt sure that he and his had done right by Potter. As the stretcher passed, a jaundiced, wrinkled hand shot out from the blanket and grabbed hold of Barnaby's arm, the grip like death itself. The voice that emanated from Potter's mouth was no less eerie.

"Am I in the wrong place here, or in the wrong life? Did I not recognize, as I sat in a train that raced past a station and did not stop, that I was on the wrong train, and did I not learn from the conductor that the train would not stop at the next station, either, a hundred kilometers away, and did he not also admit to me, whispering with his hand shielding his mouth, that the train would not stop again at all?"

"W-what?" Barnaby stammered. Before he could ask more, the stretcher with Potter reclined was out of the medbay and heading for the open door of the cargo bay. Barnaby leaned over the catwalk, his knuckles white gripping the railing. "What the tarnation does that mean, you old wizard?"

There was no answer and, soon, Potter and his caretakers were gone. And Barnaby was left with... thoughts. What the hell had Potter meant by his his his his invective? The captain felt a chill and didn't consider whether it was merely the open door sending a shiver down his spine. He felt shaken, to his very core. Was he the train? Or the conductor? Or was he merely on the train, unable to dictate the direction? Potter had been next to death and had perhaps been a death ramble. Or had he seen straight through Barnaby? "Uhhhh..."

Barnaby stumbled down to the galley. "Uhhhh..."
Dialogue Color - LightBlue

Viktor Söderberg

Despite the dying man - who Tabby was miraculously able to stabilize - Viktor's work in the medbay was peaceful. In his time on the Darling, he'd always been friendly and protective of Tabitha, like a little sister. It was hard for anyone not to be friendly with their resident medic. However, he'd noticed recently that not only was her company enjoyable and pleasant, it often soothed the post traumatic stress that always lingered in his mind.

He considered what could be gained from her company and her medical experience, however "off book" it may be. Potter gone on his stretcher and the bay straightened up, it was time for the two of them to reconvene with the rest. Tabby was in the doorway ready to see who else needed tending or tea but Viktor stopped her with a light hand on her shoulder.

"Miss Tabitha, after all this mess is done and we have a little while to recharge what would you think about spending some time and teaching me a bit about your skills here? This boat certainly doesn't need two doctors but it can't hurt to have someone else with a little of your knowledge, if we're ever in a pinch."

If... more like "when". They were in more and more pinches these days if anyone was keeping count. It seemed someone was constantly getting shot or stabbed or filled with rejecting organs or hurting in one manner or another.

Thinking of someone being hurt, he remembered their missing mechanic. Maybe someone ought to go looking for him among the ship's hidey-holes. He'd check with Rian and the Cap to make sure the mech hadn't left and then see who he could fin

Thackery Arlington III

By the time the mule made it back to the Darling, Arlo felt more like an ice cube than a human being. He barely even spoke on the way, half-convinced that his lips had frozen together. After getting Potter on ice, he'd put back on his awkward and ill-fitting assortment of dinner jackets and formal coats that had been intended neither to insulate or to be layered with one another, but snow had already crept its way into his shirtsleeves and was melting back down his arms in icy rivulets.

He was shivering violently as they finally pulled to a halt. "Oh, thank heavens," he responded feelingly to the announcement of hot drinks in the galley, his relief at the prospect overcoming even the fear of his mouthing having frozen shut - which, in fact, it hadn't.

Actually making it to the galley was another matter. Between the urgency of rushing Potter out and the excitement of getting warm, everyone had vanished from the mule in record time, and no one seemed inclined to help Arlo clamber down to safety. Nothing for it but to do it himself, then, he supposed. At any rate, how difficult could it be?

The answer proved to be very. It might not normally have been so, but he quickly discovered that, as unfounded as his fears had been regarding his face, the sleeves of his outermost jacked had, in fact, frozen to his sides, severely impairing his movement. Combine that with the excessive shiver that had yet to subside, and his hands shook most inconveniently as he grasped at the rails that been slickened by the ice still gradually melting from them. In almost no time, Arlo had managed to completely lose his grip and faceplant on the floor a mercifully short distance below. At least the fall had managed to tear his sleeves free, leaving him with the full use of his arms again so he could make his way unsteadily back to his feet.

He felt a flash of heat run over his upper lip, contrasting dramatically with the cold, and found blood on his fingertips when he reached up to gingerly investigate his nose, which seemed to be running with quite  lot of snot as well. Common sense dictated he go straight to the medical bay to deal with his nose as well as the probable cold he'd caught out in the weather. Vanity demanded he go first to his rooms, to wash his face and change into something less undignified, not to mention warmer. Both were outvoted by every other impulse he had, which all directed him to the galley for the promised cocoa.

After all, his nose wasn't bleeding very much, and wasn't likely to be actually broken, although he couldn't have sworn that he'd feel it if it was. A kitchen towel could deal with it as effectively as anything the doctor could offer, and the medbay didn't have soup.
Dialogue Color: Darkseagreen | 8FBC8F

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