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Tap stopped as he was given new orders. He considered cycling through a few of the tools on his arm, but decided against it. "Aye Jack." he said letting the Captain know that he was on his way.
Though he did access the Alpha Panda's systems & brought up a schematic that Lei had been using of this ship through his cybernetic eye, he minimized the usual scroll of AP's vitals while he adjusted course. He would hate to accidently take a course leading through a hull breach if he could avoid it.
Adrian is fortunate, in that the Buck has mechanical air sensors, not worth stripping out or requiring a charge, and thoguh the digital display (in 2 and half languages) is not operational, the small gauge can be read, the phosphorescent paint of it's dial illuminating the indicator.
There's now air on the Other side.
A few moments later, he feels the door being tried, then a slam as someone tries to force it.
The problem before was getting the dam thing to lock, so it must be jammed from the damage to the ship.
Behind the visions of exploding spaceships, and drifting bodies, something niggles at Jack.
What was it, what was it...
Oh, yes. That.
He presses the intercom button.
"Our intentions are to rescue you. After that, we'll try and get your ship started up; if we can, we'll take her with us and claim a finder's fee. If we can't start her, we'll report her position when we hit port. Someone ought to know that the crew ain't coming back.
Your rescue will begin when we find a cutting torch; we're having some technical difficulties, I'm afraid. Looks like the door's not stood up to the pressure difference too well, and it's now jammed. We'll get you out soon's we can, though. 'Til then, you want to tell us who you are and what happened to this junker?"
Cole moves out of the way, trying to give Tap room to work. He averted his eyes from the ultra-bright light of the cutting torch's flame, and tried to make sure no sparks hit his suit... just in case. He waited, checking the safety and the chamber on his shotgun to make sure that it was ready, should he have need of it. Being trapped on a ship-turned-coffin set to float until your end of times could do funny things to a man's mind... and Cole wasn't taking any chances with the fella that was on the other side of that door.
__________________ "There's a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand."
Lei spins around in her chair. "I hope they don't need us over there." She opens up Buck's comm again. "We're trying to get the door open, but its jammed. You might want to stand back, we're coming through with a cutting torch."
Crew Quarters Corridor aboard the Buck
Tap has everything he needs close on his hand, so the Job takes less time than any other skilled cutter could manage. But atmosphere tight doors are atmosphere tight doors, and as this one is cut, the torsion in the metal untwists, fortunately not breaking the precious atmoseal.
Sounds could pass freely between the connected air spaces, and after a few more moments, the door clanged open.
"Thank you. I am relieved to hear the nature of your plans. Now, when it comes to the door, I believe I have an effective way of getting it open, but that will require you to stand back quite far from it, especially from the hinges. I will shoot them asunder with my gauss pistol, and then the door should be possible to push out.
As for the conditions of the ship, I'm afraid I have little knowledge about it, as I have been somewhat indisposed for quite some time." Adrian replies over the com before readying his gauss pistol and looking over the door to see how it will be best to blow it open.
Seeing that it is open before he gets another reply, he lowers his gun and smiles to the one on the other side "Thank you."
Sia hasn't heard anything for a while, and is getting nervous. Walking over to a companel, she hits the transmitter with her elbow so she is still sterile. Ish. Its hard to keep clean shipboard. Especially when you have to grab hold of anything just to get around.
"Well? How is he?"
Co-Founder of LUTAS. For all the less than useful Superheroes out there.
Tap had to put some focus into this. It was an easy job, just touchy, and for a moment he thought that he would lose it and have to start cutting the door from its servo's. But in the end it came out all right.
As the door opened Tap stepped off to the side to allow the others to take position, in case it came down to a fight.
As soon as Grace could see that everything was under control up here, she excused herself to the pantry. "Gotta see ter the feast. I reckon there's one in order tonight", she smiles as she takes her leave.
Soon, enticing smells and vapors begin wafting out that corner of Alpha Panda, once more accompanied by that old war-time lullaby that Grace seems to be quite fond of, because she always hums or sings it in her low, raspy voice.
Earth between my toes and a flower in my hair
That's what I was wearing when we lay among the ferns.
Earth between my toes and a flower I will wear when he returns.
Today, it seems oddly fitting.
Listen to it here, but take care - the video's a tad loud.
"I wanted to see the universe,
so I stole a Time Lord
and I ran away..."
The Valley Below is a Network of Craters, the Skeletal remains of trees and burned out tanks. Trenches creep across the landscape, and gun fire blazes constantly.
High above, the Alliance ASREV is silent apart from the subdued sounds and sensor read outs. Packed in the Troop Racks, silent and not all by choice Alliance Special Forces, hand picked for this deployment,
One removing his helmet as his eyes kept working on his head up display, did not see the assignment as special, every assignment was a hand picked need to know mission. The hologram is feeding tactical display for the New Kashmir Campaign.
For the Co-Pilot, Léi Tiě Yì, the mission was a first, yanked out of the communal pilot pool for this assignment. She was one of the top ranked fliers, but the Alliance Brass were well aware that conscripts weren't always suitable for missions requiring dedication.
She wasn't quite sure what the Joo Fuen Chse was going on. They had scrambled into the air half an hour ago and Major Heaton at the helm was the only one who knew what was going on. And he hadn't even told his plan to his 'Aide' a young Alliance officer who hardly had a clue what his superior was doing.
From his bars a young Lt, from the way this war, already two years long was shaping up, Starr was not an inexperienced Rupert*. He was in fact ear marked for success, hence is attachment to this mission. Head office hadn't provided any details though, Major Heaton had a fanatical devotion to the mission, but was hazy on the details. With his cryptic smile he would only issue platitudes like a political commissar. Just once his facade seemed to fade.
"The war's ending, soldier!' You know what ir's like when something somes to a sudden end? it all falls apart. That's what's happening out there right now - it's all falling apart! And when that happen, fortune can fall with it - right into our pockets. And those who know who to hang onto fortune are the ones who come out ahead."
Suddenly there is a flash from the ground, a stream of tracer shells heads snakelike towards you, A hole in the front view port lets in the undeadened sound of battle above the roar of the wind, more fire smashes again, lancing Major Heaton at the Controls. The ASREV lurches suddenly....
*Londinium Slang, meaning young officer.
Flashback: 8 years ago, 2510 Athens
Your Orbital lander is down. A sturdy shuttle, converted to military use like much of the independent fleet, but flak fire brough you to ground, only luck and skilled piloting has meant you arrive at the LZ.
Ahead of you the transport ship flashes sporadically into view between the smoking wrecks, explosions and burning remains of the battle. You can just make out the name on the side of the ship the Lucius Newberry.
You struggle up the ramp, and are quickly helping with, or overseeing the loading of the freighter with long heavy crates. The crates eventually empty a small stash, and fill the hold to the ceiling. They are secured by a tall and broad shouldered Lt. Kombe, with an impassive black face and dark cold eyes and Sgt. Hawkes, looking like many a grizzled rim world independent NCO, who supervises the securing over every crate.
You have no transport with the lander down, but the battle is seemingly over for now, and a baby faced Colonel, Bufford Maddoc, appears, pulling rank and insisting you remain on the dirt.
Flashback:2512 Higgins Moon
The Stranger to town was an off worlder, that was obvious by the quality of the gear she was wearing down to main street. Her boots alone would feed a family for a week. In her bag was her profession, a Dr and once the town's residents knew it, they would welcome her.
But for now, she was just a stranger, and as she turned onto the main strip, she saw two men facing each other. The sun shines down hot on the dusty street. One of the men is a tall broad shouldered man with black skin glistening in the sun, his hair close cropped and greying. His clothes are threadbare, and hang off his frame. His dark cold eyes seem to have trouble focusing due to a prolonged association with Mudders Milk. There's no mistaking his past, as he still wears a ragged old brown coat. He staggers as he stands there. Drunk Vets are Common now the war is over. His hands are shaking.
At the other end of the street stand a rail thin young man, with a far steadier hand and a smirk on his face. The mudders hang back, watching the fight for lack of anything better to do. The Alliance has preserved indentured servitude, and slaves can't afford cortex entertainment.
The Tall Black man slowly raises his shaking hands, but the young man slips his gun from it's holster with lightening speed. It's hammer cocking with the electronic charge of capacitors and releasing the moment the barrel comes level.
The Black man staggers back, then falls heavily to the street. Mortally wounded, he see's the younger doctor standing nearby and starts pulling himself towards her, trailing a dark stain in the dirt beneath him.
"Please" he calls out to her. "Please don't let me die with this curse on me!"
Flash Back: 2014 Kung Pow Bar & Grill
There are so many bars that look so alike, Each is the same, as though they had been mass produced in the core and dumped on the rim worlds like so many settlers. This one is pretty standard, one regulation bar (Beer on Rusty Tap), one regulation set of tables and chairs. One regulation bar tender and two regulation waitresses, with regulation leering customers and regulation bleary eyed drunks. It might be an idea to join them, that's what this place is for, a spacers bar for spacers to get drunk in.
That is, if you're contact doesn't arrive soon with details of your next, semi-respectable job. Suddenly, things start to get interestin'. One of the drunks climbs up on a table, interupting the blue sun commercial playing on the regulation cortex screens. The drunk starts babbling, "I don't wanna remember, I don't wanna wake up! Give me a drink, I need a drink now"
Everyone stares at the man, who weaves unsteadily on the table.
I'm cursed, Gotta get rid of the curse!" he bellows, and he turns his unfocused eyes towards your table.
"You, were you there!? You know about the urse and the treasure!"
He scrambles down off the table and weaves towards you, he pulls a deringer out of his dishevelled waistcoat... and point it at his own throat.
Tears are streaming down his face.
"Please, I've tried to drink the curse away... and it don't work. Maybe this is the only way, to blow it clean out of my head." His hand is shaking. "You gotta help me. I don't want no treasure, I just want to be free."
2014 Higgins Moon
The Mayor was most pleased at his sons 21st birthday party. His guests were some of the most exclusive people on the moon, but as that moon was owned by him, he had included his new specialist gardner, a Distingushed core lady who went by Grace, and was responsible for the wonderful hydroponic flowers and produce on offer.
In conversation with her, and tangentially some off world buyer who's platinum the mayor was eager to show to his safe an old lady somehow linked to the mayor was holding court while the music of fiddle plays to a dancing crowd.
The Chandeliers illuminate the elegantly dressed dancers as they flow, but suddenly the crowd falls silent, as a striking older woman wearing an Alliance uniform stalks into the room. She is slender, graceful. Her face might once have been lovely, but is already set in hard lines. People turn their backs on her rigid gaze. They begin to whisper as she glares around, daring anyone to challenge her right to be her.
'I don't know what she's doing here" the woman whispers to both her companions, in the tone of one imparting the obvious with relish. "She was a gun runner during the war, who flew a cursed ship. They say her crew mutinied on her and set her adrift in the black... "
She continues after a breath.
"...That's why no one would give her command of a ship again and that's why she joined up with the Alliance. But I think she knows where her ship dissappeared too. She's just waiting for the right moment to claim a hold full of platinum!"
"All I know is that no civillised person will speak with her... let alone dance with her! Cursed treasure ship or no!"
Elric Arnesson, Off-World Buyer
Flashback 5; Ballroom
At the mention of the supposed platinum fortune, the fifty-something businessman raises his eyebrows. A curse, you say? What manner of curse? he asks the gossiping old aristocrat curiously, though loud enough for their other companion, the gardener, to hear him.
Sia walks down the street. Her last ship left days ago, leaving her here until she could get passage on another. It really didn't matter to her, she would wander until her boots fell apart, and the skies fell down on her.
She didn't even realize she was walking into the middle of a duel until the shot rang out, and the man crawled over to her.
Her weariness fled at the sound of the shot, and she rushed to the mans side, opening her bag as she went. She pressed a bandage to his wound, and knew he was not long for this world. He begged her about a curse.
Sia reached into her bag and began pulling out tools, preparing to try and save him right there on the street.
Sia is going to try and save him. I am not sure what the penalty is for improvisation, since I do not have my book with me atm, so please just subtract whatever is proper.
And I screwed up the roll. Sorry for the double post.
Co-Founder of LUTAS. For all the less than useful Superheroes out there.
She would just as well have gone in her work duds, but the Mayor had procured a dress for her and insisted she wear it. At least he had taste, whatever other faults there may have been to his personality. Her corkscrew curls pinned up to a bun that fashionably was disintegrating slowly, she almost felt like she was on the core again. She'd been away from all this for so long…. Still, being once more part of civilization (well, some part at least) felt strangely good.
She wondered where Fess was. She didn't approve of how the Mayor treated his son, feeling a connection to the lonely boy. Despite this ostentatiously being his birthday party, he was probably doing what she herself would have liked to do right now: Hiding from his father. Alas, she worked for him, and as long as he wanted to parade her creations around she would have to stay. She should have known he'd make her part of his business. That man made money from mud. She wouldn't have minded, too, but this was all drawing some really unwanted attention.
As the Alliance officer walks into the room and the conversation comes to a screeching halt only through her presence, a little crack can be heard from the flower display. A small earthenware pot has slipped from Grace's fingers, and shattered on the scrupulously clean tile floor. An orchid, one of a kind, slowly beds its vibrant blossoms on the flagstones. Grace makes no move to pick up the precious plant, just staring at the woman in uniform as the old lady and the trader babble on about the curse. There's nowhere to hide.
"I wanted to see the universe,
so I stole a Time Lord
and I ran away..."
It's hard to focus on the words of dying old drunk as you begin emergency first aid to try and stabilise him. It's not enough to save him from the blood loss, and you can see him slipping away as he convoluses in agony.
With dying strength he grabs you and pulls you closer.
'They took it from us.' he whispers.
'A treasure worth in worlds! They took it and all they left was a curse! There's only Sam Hawkes left now - You gotta warn him! Warn Him about the curse!"
...Sia looks down into the cold impassive empty eyes of a dead man staring back at her. His Hands feels as cold as ice to her touch.
The silence ends with the broken pot, like a starting shot beginning a race, the moment of silence passes back into conversation. The rising babble includes the haughty voice of your companion.
"Oh, some say she flew a cursed ship during the war. But they say a lot about the war don't they...
The Dancing resumes, and the Alliance officer is entirely consumed with watching the swirling couples motion, not even glancing at the other guests, who pointedly ignore her.
The landing was touch and go, to say the least. Especially after the fuel lines to the thrusters took a piece of shrapnel. But at least no-one can say that dodging anti-aircraft fire with faulty thrusters isn't exciting. It's only on the final approach that they fail altogether, and the ship drops from the sky; fortunately low enough that the landing is merely bumpy, rather than explodey.
One the ground, Jack doesn't hesitate to kill the engines. Burst fuel lines are bad. Although not as bad as making an emergency landing in no-man's land during an artillery barrage, which is why he hadn't landed sooner.
"Alright boys and girls, welcome to scenic Athens. The tourist center will happily direct you to the nearest tourist locations, such as the sites of historic battles - many of which are being fought as we speak.
We'd like to thank you for flying with Browncoat Airlines, and hope to see you all again real soon. Please pick up all your luggage on the way out, as unattended bags will probably be stolen by the next set of passengers through,"
Replacing the ship board intercom handset, Jack leans back for a moment and lets out a long sigh before turning and grinning at his co-pilot.
"Looks like we did it, Cap'n - though I don't want to do it again any time soon," he says, scratcing her ears.
Cap'n Rogue errupts into a deep and insistent purring at the attention, so Jack scoops her up and strolls down to the cargo bay to help with the unloading, with Rogue draped over one shoulder.
A short time later...
"What do you mean we can't leave on your ship?" Jack stares aghast at the colonel blocking the cargo bay of Lucius Newberry. "We're stranded, and all these folk have got other places to be. The lander needs a proper mechanic at her to get her flying again, and we're in the middle of a war zone if you haven't noticed. We can't even call for evac, as our long-range radio took a hit. We just gave most of our supplies to you, so we can't hold out here forever. What the rutting hell is it you're expecting us to do now?"
After a moment, he adds a judicious and long-delayed "...Sir,"
Idiot, she's probably not even here because of you! Doesn't look like she'd have the security clearance, anyway… Grace awakens from her rigor and starts picking up the broken pot and the expensive orchid, turning away from the entrance. She murmurs a quiet excuse to the rotund merchant and gives him a forlorn smile.
"Yes", she loudly says in her habitual clipped Core accent, answering the old lady's comment. "They do indeed." What an insufferable tattletale!
"I wanted to see the universe,
so I stole a Time Lord
and I ran away..."
Scene 5, Higgins Moon
When the pot shatters, the man does the eyebrow raising thing again, but offers no other reaction. At Grace's apology, the shakes his head and raises his hands. No, madam, it's no trouble at all. I would offer to help... but I see your nimble hands are making swift work of it, and I think the mayor is expecting me.... Excuse me, says the businessman, with a quiet nod to the gossipy woman. He departs in search of the Mayor.
Adrian Starr Scene 1: Alliance ASREV
As the tracer shells start coming, Adrian Starr grins: "Here it comes falling, so hold your pockets wide, soldiers!"
But then, as the major falls, and the vessel takes a dive he shouts:
"Stabilize the vessel to original course!" not because that was a command that needed to be given. It was quite obvious what needed to be done, but he had not been flying before with Léi Tiě Yì, and some people froze up in sudden danger. That was what officers war for: point out the obvious when people were unable to go on on their own "Who possesses medical training?" he asks next "Whoever of you is closest to the Major Heaton will initiate first aid as soon as the vessel is back in horizontal position!"
Lei grabs for the controls, and opens her comm, boradcasting into the the rest of the ship. 该死的！我们已经被打！准备冲击! She shakes Major Heaton, and there is no response Medic to the bridge! With a few commands entered into the systems, full control of the ship switches to her station. She tries to regain a stable flight, or at least keep the ship from plowing into the ground. I'm not dying like a wet-behind-the-ears landlubber. Don't stick me in the ground, all buried and crushed.
该死的！我们已经被打！准备冲击! = [expletive]! We've been hit! Prepare for impact!
The ASREV screams as it plummets towards the grounds, Lei's efforts failing to halt their descent. Major Heaton Yells cut through the roar of wind and gun fire, maybe his Com is Broadcasting... 'Elizabeth, I'm still going to try and make it -'
The Impact is soft, then the ASREV impacts a concrete bunker and breast works. Amid the Smoke, the Collisions and the Jolts, there is the Sudden Crump of an Explosion.
Most of the Crew and SF complement are thrown clear, but Major Heaton hasn't made it out of the wreck, and a carbonised something in his seat can be seen now the fire is down. The Battle Field here is otherwise empty, you are well behind your own lines as the conflict shifts.
Morgan struggles to his feet, and picks his helmet up off the ground, slapping it over his head before reaching for the rifle slung over his shoulder, scanning the area surrounding the crash. He hits a command on his wrist communicator, and a metallic voice lets out from the Spec Ops soldier's suit.
Thanks to Terry for my irate Nightmare Alchemist Avatar
Originally Posted by Dust
Creed, you guys are awesome.
Originally Posted by Tychris1
Now for Creed to quote me and say something snarky. And the circle of life will be complete.
Check out all the cool s*** Creed is doing here, including his DIY projects!
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, will forever make better grammatical balance than turning the other cheek."
Stirling takes his hand away from the handle of his holstered pistol, slowly. He had nearly shot this poor, dumb bastard when the deringer came out. It wouldn't be the first time a man had come at him with a gun.
'You'll be wanting to slow down there, boy. You're liable to shoot yourself, or something equally unwise. I've gots some time to kill, why don't you go ahead and sit on down, now, and tell me about this cursed treasure up in your head?'
Shooter motions to the barkeep for another glass of whiskey, on the double. Then he turns to fully face the deranged, deringer-ed kook. He extends his hand and motions to the chair next to him.
'Come on, now, son, I ain't got all day... Sit your posterior over here. Tell me something good.'
It wasn't that the man holding the gun to his own throat didn't perturb him, like it did the rest of the seedy bar's clientele; he just didn't really care whether this idiot blew himself away. So he was calm. Cool as a cucumber, as some would say. Still, he made sure his hand was near enough his pistol to make the draw, if the situation suddenly escalated.
__________________ The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.