Chained to the sky[Closed] Read 14030 times


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2014, 12:01:58 am »
It wasn’t lust in Mac’s eyes when he looked at Georgia, it was fear.  Andy didn’t see that though.  He could tell she was ticked about something and assumed it was jealousy but after she growled and glared a bit he wasn’t so sure.  His back straightened under the orders and cold tone.  Apparently she’d talk to the crew about plans, and not him.

“I’m going to need more than a few hours to affect the repairs,” he tried to interject.  If she heard the request to remain on land longer than the last port of call she didn’t say.  She ran on to her own agenda.

Needs and wants.  Do you even know what those are? Can you tell the difference?

She wasn’t looking at him though, she was conversing with Raleigh as usual.  Maybe that’s who she’d chosen to spend the evening with rather than him. He’d felt like an idiot guarding a plate at the table last night.  Served him right for presuming above his station.

“Aye, Captain,” he said with the others.  Foolish to think she felt anything.  Nothing changed, it was like the moments in the engine room hadn’t existed.  Andy would take care of herself and the rest of them could be left without a moment’s thought.

He wasn’t all that hungry.  He’d have his coffee, and wait for the Captain to leave the mess.  Then he’d go back to work like she expected.  Nothing more than a machine.

And so it was that Mac left the kitchen without offering Georgia help with clean up.  The kid would learn quickly or die trying.  He wasn’t tired, although he’d not slept.  His nerves hummed in tune with the engines an odd sort of energy that was as addictive as caffeine.  Anne was waiting for him, held fast behind the walls.  In the brief time they’d had together he’d forged another interface and another key.  The metal rested in his pocket, a gift he’d meant to present to Andy, but figured would be rejected.  It felt heavy in his pocket as he went into one of the engine tubes and continued with his modifications.  He wasn’t Adam.  He’d had to remind Anne of that several times during the course of the evening and now into the day.  His hands were rougher, and he didn’t talk much.  He liked music and so it played now from some unknown source.

Anne shared, “She’d talking to Raleigh about—“

“Don’t eavesdrop,” Mac said.  “It’s rude.”

“But don’t you..?  Well, that’s interesting.  I thought you liked Andrea.”

Mac remained silent.  He cut a piece of tubing and nicked his finger in the process.  He swore softly and adjusted the tool and his body position.  “What I need is different than what she wants.  Liking her has nothing to do with it.”

Anne hummed to herself.  “You should talk to her.  I calculate an eighty-five percent possibility that there has been some sort of misunderstanding.”

Mac raised an eyebrow.  He wasn’t sure the odds were worth more of his pride.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 04:33:43 am by Beau »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2014, 01:17:16 am »
As she walked away, a part of her wished Mac would come after her, try to explain what was going on with Anne; the girl, why he hadn't come looking for her, give her a chance to apologize for falling asleep, to figure out if it was all just a big lie. A larger, more cynical part of her straightened her back and picked up her pace, he wouldn't follow her, he never did. He never will.

While he wasn't there yet, Andy went into the engine room to pick up the bottle of rum, but it wasn't where he'd set it last night. A quick look around didn't produce it either. She glanced at the wall he'd pressed her against to kiss her, her hand dragging down the hot metal, and she sighed. She forced the image of his shirtless sweaty self from her head and headed back to her cabin. No time for heartbreak.

She pulled up the long range scans and the cortex news feeds looked them over on the large holo screen in the wall while she cut into the apple, eating pieces of it and drinking her juice. She also drafted a communication to request a large bay at the spaceport. Since she wasn't sure what repairs Anne needed, she didn't want to simply dock when they needed a hangar. It would also conceal them more if they weren't just attached on the outside of the spaceport. And Mac said he needed time.

She moved back to the doorway to her cabin and leaned in it, looking out through the connected bridge and large windows. The black expanse of space opened up to her as they went careening through it. Always in the distance you could still see stars. She took a deep breath and reminded herself, she wasn't caught yet, they still had time to fix all of this, she was still flying, and she still had Raleigh.

He'd be able to tell her if she was a fool or not with what she was planning.

The fact that Andy wanted to speak with him alone was concerning. There was something going on, something far more complex than the bit of supposed Alliance heat they had picked up. Raleigh had been there, that man, that fucking bounty hunter, he wasn't just a bit of heat, the man was an inferno. If he caught them all, they'd be burned alive.

"I told you they have cameras." Raleigh remarked to Georgia as he made to leave the cafeteria, the mug in his only hand would be breakfast for today. There were more pressing matters to attend to. He glanced at Mac, briefly considering if their Marked engineer was the source of all their current problems. And yet, it didn't quite make sense, since Mac wasn't present at the port restaurant, and the bounty hunter, Orion, seemed so persistent despite that.

Raleigh frowned, leaving the cafeteria for the med bay to retrieve his arm, displeased with how nothing really clicked together. It didn't make sense. Orion looked ready to kill, and he would have needed them alive to find Mac, so why? What was going on?

The med bay was empty, and, with a few grunts of pain, Raleigh clicked his arm back into place, flexing and moving its fingers to make sure everything still worked properly. The noises from before were gone and his movements with it felt more fluid than before. Satisfied, the Calloway man went to the Captain's cabin, where Andy was undoubtedly waiting for him.

She was staring into the dark expanse of space when he found her, and he made a small noise to alert her to his presence. "Nice view, ain't it? Almost makes you forget how dangerous it is."

Andy blinked slowly, pulling back from her mental wanderings. Her eyes slid to Raleigh, "I never forget." She turned back into her cabin and over to the metal desk built into the side of the room. She sat on the edge and gripped it as she looked over at the holo screen again as Raleigh followed her in.

She took a deep breath and looked over at him, fingering the empty mug on her desk "We were scanned," no point using fluffy words, "First by Orion by my guess, since it was right after we took off. That isn't all that surprising, given our history and his proclivity to hunting who he does."

People I care about.

She cleared her throat, "The second scan actually has me more worried. It happened in deep orbit," she took a stilling breath and managed not to shudder, "by Dominic Hayatt, unless I'm really off my game. That scan wasn't as deep, but the mere fact that it happened isn't good." Andy was fighting on the ground when Hayatt took down the refugee ships. She couldn't remember if it was before or after Raleigh was injured, it all happened around that time. He'd knew how deep they were in with the 'Red Ripper' being involved.

"I also caught a general alert that went out for our class ship going by the name of Queen Anne's Revenge. We're getting heat from all sides and it's all a bit too coincidental to not be connected. We need to be even more careful than usual while we get to the outer rim and deliver Rochester's goods." She knew they'd been in a tight spot before, he would understand the magnitude of what would happen if they were caught now.

She took another breath and crossed her arms over her chest, looking away from him and back at the holo screen, "That's not all... I let Mac connect with Anne before I knew all of this. She isn't awake, not yet anyway. Which is probably for the best." Raleigh knew Andy as well as she let anyone know her. He'd know probably better than she would, what it meant that she let Mac do what she did.

She looked back at him, she couldn't hide all the worry in her face, or a small amount of the pain at the next thought, "When he finds out, I think we might be light one mechanic after we stop." She wouldn't stop him either, he was less likely to get caught and killed, without her- them.

"I need you to make sure our falsified paperwork is up to snuff before we stop at the port, keep us from flying by as many check points as we can manage. Keep everyone on the boat as much as possible."  

The fucking Red Ripper because the giant bounty hunter just wasn't enough. This whole thing really seemed to be going to hell. Raleigh lit up a cigarette without even really thinking about it, the lighter in his hand more out of habit than anything else. He took a long drag, frustrated with their situation. The whole crew was at risk here, and they didn't even know it.

"Fuck." He muttered through smoke, teeth clenching the filter far too hard. Was the Rochester delivery even worth it? They were just a bunch of plants, surely they didn't need to put their lives at stake for that, especially if every damn ship in the verse was looking out for Queen Anne. Then again, Rochester could be a bit of refugee, maybe. The chances were low.

The next thing Andy said caught him off guard, his cigarette dropping from his mouth and to the metal floor, grey ashes scattered about. "You what? Why on verse would you do that?" He looked away from Andy, running his hand through his dark hair, his synthetic one still holding onto his lighter, gripping it tight. "Well, if he leaves, at least we'll be without a Marked on board. For all we know, he could be the one putting the Anne and the crew in this damn clusterfuck." Raleigh knew it wasn't just Mac that was putting them at risk though, there was the Anne itself and their previous Resistance affiliation. Their actions alone were viable enough for execution.

He sighed, feeling defeated, knowing that they were really doing all they could do, all that they hope would save their lives. "I'll take care of it, but I'm standing by what I said before, I think we're better off without the engineer. He's too much of a liability now."

Mac could feel the boards beneath his feet vibrate.  The resonance altered the music that played and the discord caught his attention.  He tipped his head, “I told you eavesdropping was rude.  If you don’t like what you hear…”

The metal shifted under his fingers and the sound was like nails on a chalk board.  Mac sighed and turned the music down.  “Give me another hour and you’ll be more awake and able to move more.  Nothing to panic about I've done this before.  You'll consider it an upgrade, trust me.  I just need to reroute –“

“They’re talking about doing away with you.”  Anne said.

Mac had to chuckle.  He adjusted a nob.  “Then they’re smarter than I gave them credit for.”

Andy shook her head at his outrage, her own brow furrowing, her voice rising, "Gorramit! I don't know! I was bleeding and half drunk and I thought he was dead and then he wasn't and then I... and then he..." She stopped herself. If it wasn't obvious what Mac had made her feel, if no one else had even suspected, she wasn't going to admit he'd fooled her. She was the Captain, she should be making decisions with her head. She was supposed to be protecting them all. "Blast it all to hell Raleigh. I thought I could trust him. I can't change it now."

They both calmed down a little. She knew on some level that he was right, but that didn't make the sudden ache in her chest go away at the thought of Mac leaving. Her voice had a hint of that ache, "I won't force him to go. But I won't stand in his way if he wants to leave."

She couldn't see him wanting anything else once he knew, truth told. She certainly hadn't given him much reason to want to stay.

In the quiet, something Raleigh said about drawing heat turned over in her thoughts. "We aren't delivering trees. Not just trees," she clarified. "If that was the real cargo we wouldn't be looking at a cool 10 million credit split. The trees are a cover cargo." It sounded like a lot, until you knew how much it cost to keep the Anne flying, the crew fed, the port officers paid off. It was nothing to sneeze at, but it all got eaten up quickly.

Her hand reached into the tight vest, "What Rochester is really paying us over top credit for is information." She slipped the data card out from the hidden pocket inside her vest and held it up between two fingers.

She looked at it, wondering if this could be the reason for the heat. Rochester was a planet baron, but he was better to the low folk than the Alliance. She'd never questioned the things she'd transported for him before, never questioned and never cared. His coin was good, it kept her afloat, her crew fed and paid if not well, than enough to keep them around, so it had never bothered her before.

Andy's eyes slid to Raleigh and she raised a brow as if to ask, 'Should we see what's worth so goram much?'

Information eh? It all made sense now, why they were putting their asses on the line. Damn Rochester and his golden tickets. No one said they came with company, company willing to kill. Then again, if the Alliance was willing to send their Red Ripper after some trees, they must have had something really good on their hands.

It still didn't explain the bounty hunter. Information collector probably wasn't his main occupation. He was after someone, someone on the Anne. The engineer seemed most likely and yet it didn't quite click. Why now? Why not a year earlier? How did the bounty hunter come upon this information? Shit just didn't fit.

"That poor bastard, Fin. He's been watering those damn things every hour." Raleigh almost chuckled at the thought, remembering Fin asleep on the futon, almost failing to wake up every hour. He'd be pissed to know it was all for naught.

"Yeah, let's see what the asshole's got us almost dying for."

Andy smirked, "He'd still dock the pay if the trees were dead, and the crew needs to have something to keep them busy."

She spun the data chip in her fingers, biting her bottom lip and stood up and plugged it into the port for the holo screen.

An instant stream of text scrolled seamlessly down the screen. Andy's brow raised at the encryption. She watched it for awhile and her fingers danced across the glass trying a few things. She shook her head and tried something else. She looked over at Raleigh, "Well, whatever it is, no one's supposed to know about it." She turned back to the screen and her fingers glided across it again, "Too bad they didn't encrypt for a gen-zero." Enough of Anne's systems were free that between that and Andy's quick fingers tapping the glass, in a few minutes the scrolling stopped and a screen full of files came up.

They all looked fairly innocuous at first glance. Andy tapped a few open, account information, planetary reports, resource files. "Nothing worth 10 mil," she muttered. She pulled back out to look at all the file again. She swiped through a few screens and stopped, her finger hovering over a nameless file with an icon on it.

She wasn't sure how many people knew it, Raleigh most likely didn't. Andy only knew it because of where she'd come from, who she was related to. It was Alliance, Inner council. Her finger pulled back for a moment, debating. Her eyes narrowed then her finger extended and touched it.

The information went scrolling past as she flicked her fingers through it, files, records, inconclusive information about where possible dormant life ships were being kept. Then the information changed.

The second data set made her step back and sit heavily on the edge of the desk, a low string of every swear word she knew slipping out.

It was evidence. Evidence that Dominic Hayatt was being cloned, was a clone. Andy shook her head and looked over at Raleigh, her mouth hadn't dropped open, she was still composed, but her face was pale, her golden locks streaked with white. If this was true...

"No one can know what we just saw this Ral. No one." She pulled it together and walked up and tapped in a code to wipe any file information from their systems, block Anne from talking about it, and wiping the view of the information from the data card. She yanked it from port and balled her fist around it.

She put the fist to her forehead and then put the data card back into her vest and tugged it down straight. She pulled herself from the shock and looked back at Raleigh and paced in the small space between the screen and her desk. "No one knows we saw this. We finish the job. We get paid." She stopped and looked at him again. None of them had signed on for what was coming their way. Dodging Alliance at ports, picking up small time crime heat, yes, but this no. Raleigh, least of all in Andy's estimation. He'd already almost died because of her once. She knew he didn't remember all of that day, but she did.

Her face took on a hard and determined look. There was no point trying to order him off the boat, he'd do whatever he wanted no matter what she said, but she could save others. "Then we're getting everyone else off this boat. We'll ground her at Safe Haven until this blows over and modify her outer hull again, change up her look. I can recommend some Captains for the boys to look into when we hit the spaceport, make up something about the deal falling through. Most of them will leave without a fuss if they think they aren't getting paid." She nodded once, settling on the plan before he could say anything. She wouldn't get any more people killed or the Anne captured or destroyed for a fools errand that she got them tangled in. Her voice went into what the crew called her Captain Giving Orders mode, "Until then, I'll need you on that paperwork."

She didn't want an argument. She didn't want to loose her crew, but this was her fault. She had to protect them, and the ship. "And make sure someone relieves Finn with the trees."

She turned back to her desk and picked up her com, typing out a quick message to Mac, 'Need to talk before we make the port. I'm in my cabin.' Despite all she was planning on telling him, she had a strong feeling he was going to be one of the hardest to convince to get off Anne after Raleigh and herself.

"No need to worry. I just flew us into a gorram black hole," she muttered quietly to the cabin as Raleigh left and she hit send.

She doubted Mac would come right away and she needed to think. So she climbed the small ladder in the wall behind her desk and opened the hatch to the upper area of the cabin. She liked to think of it as a loft, but it was really more of a domed attic space. It's where she came to think, it's where she kept some of her less damning secrets as well. Not that she let people come up here to see them.

The walls had a few trinkets and mementos hanging on them, pictures of old Resistance buddies-- one of her and Raleigh covered in mud and grinning; before he lost his arm, sketches of ship modifications she planned, a faded picture of a young girl dancing in a ballet, some of her favorite books, a picture of her and her father just before she left to join the Resistance, a yellowing and crinkled sketch of Adam.

She didn't come up for any of it though. Instead she lay on her back, legs dangling out of the hole, her feet resting on one of the top rungs, and pushed a button in the ceiling. A panel started to slide back, she put both her hands behind her head and lay back looking at the expanse. This had always been Andy's favorite part of the ship, even before Anne could fly.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 05:31:48 am by Peregrine »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2014, 05:14:28 pm »
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The summons was relatively impersonal.  He was struck by the shorthand and lack of subject in the first sentence.  Did she need to talk?  Did she expect him to?  The ‘we’ was rather vague.  He frowned and read the phrasing a few times as though he could literally read between the lines.

Anne wasn’t pleased either.  She seemed nervous – if such a thing could be true for a machine – that Mac would be leaving just when she was getting to know him better.  Given other circumstances, Mac might have been flattered.  In the current environment he found it a bit annoying, which was why he made a very specific design modification.   

He explained, “You’ll be able to cloak your presence.  The walls have ears, but now they are much better hidden both inside and out.”  Unfettered movement for the voice of the ship.  She could listen and digest information more freely.  “Maximum freedom.”  Mac chose the word deliberately. Anne might be a machine, but he didn’t like how she’d been tied.

He still had the key he’d made Andy.  Nearly an hour had passed since he’d been told to report for the mysterious conversation.  He figured the delay made him seem independent in his own right, even though the wait made his movements a touch sad and heavy.  Mac put the tools away and tidied the engine area.  He ran fingers through his short blond hair and did his best to make himself presentable.  Knowing the front of his shirt was stained with grease he wondered why he bothered.  With a shrug he made his way down to Andy’s cabin.  Rather than presume welcome, he knocked.

Andy stayed in her hidden hole, loosing track of time, but not worry. Everything that could go wrong churned and grew in her thoughts as she listened to Anne's familiar hums and groans and whispers. She tried to reason that she'd done what she did to keep Anne 'alive', even if it wasn't a full life. A part of a life was better than being grounded.

After awhile the knock came and Andy sighed, dread settling in her stomach and weighing her down. If it had been Raleigh, he would have just come in, and none of the other crew was due to meet her. She glanced around the space, the small amount of calm she'd managed gone. She called, "Come in," as she hauled herself up and started to climb down the ladder.

Mac opened the door and let himself into the room.  Andy showed her attractive backside to him as she came down the ladder.  He tossed the key on the desk and leaned against the wall, arms crossed.

"You stood me up last night," He shook his head, chuckling to himself.  He hadn't actually planned to lead with that line.  He paused a moment then pushed off the wall taking a step towards her.  "You asked to see me now.  Something in particular you wanted to talk about?"

Andy left the hatch open to the space and looked at the key on her desk. Her fingers trailed across it, it was only fair that he added something to the lock system.

She looked up at his comment, a brow arching. "You could have come looking." She couldn't let that go, even if she hadn't thought he'd leave his work in the first place.

He stepped closer and she swallowed, slipping the key into a hidden pocket with the slide of her hand and a tug of her vest. She cleared her throat and nodded. "I did. I do." She clenched her jaw, closing her eyes. Pull it together and just tell him!

A part of her was still a coward though, so she kept 'The Captain' image up as she came round the desk and perched on the edge, trying to act like what she was going to say wasn't a big deal, more to convince herself than him. She crossed her arms over her chest, clenching her arms to keep her hands from shaking, to add to the pressure of her attire. "We've picked up some heavy Alliance heat. You have to get off the ship when we stop at the port, find work somewhere else. Anne, the situation, isn't safe." She felt her injured leg start to tremble and she stood up. "I'll vouch for you with any Captain you pick, but I'll need you to compile a list of critical fixes, whatever needs to get done to keep Anne flying for another hundred cycles or so."

He was surprised she admitted her choice to avoid him last light.  An eyebrow lifted over the 'I did'.  His arms crossed in a mirrored gesture and he stood rooted to the spot as she told him to get off the ship.

"Nice to know you'd give me a recommendation."  He tipped his head to the side.  Strangely he wasn't angry, but more curious over the reaction.  Typically he didn't make girls run.  Her tension over seeing him with the cook this morning and her apparent nerves here peaked his interest.  Mac took a step forward, crowding her space.  Leaning on the desk, unwisely she'd chosen a position close to the wall.  "And if I say no?"

She bit the inside of her cheek as he seemed to accept her offer of recommendation to another ship. She started to nod when he stepped closer. For some reason, she kept putting herself in the situation to be boxed in by him.

Her nerves and emotions got the better of her though. Worry wrinkled her brow, made her tongue loose. Her hand snaked out lightning fast and grabbed his arm as her words tumbled out, "Hayatt scanned us and Orion won't stop, not this time. If he finds us he'll kill you." She swallowed realizing what she'd done and hastily pulled her hand back gripping the rail to the ladder behind her. Her eyes darting for an escape.

She could fight him and win, she had no doubt, but she didn't want to. She could make Anne lock him out, but she didn't want that either. She looked back at him, maybe she could scare or guilt him into leaving, "I can't have another person die because of me. Please. You have to go. If it isn't Orion, or Hayatt, it'll be something else. You aren't safe with... on the Anne."

"Ah," he said, although he understood little.  He looked where she touched first and then where she touched now. "Whether I'm here or there I am what I am Andy.  But you knew that before. I could be a bargaining chip."  If he were honest he'd admit that he considered before such might be a reason she kept him around.  Now he'd learned about Adam.  "Honestly, you're probably better off with me around rather than trying to get rid of me."

He took another step closer.  She'd have to brush past him to move.  His knees flexed, ready to move right or left if she darted one way or the other.  "I added a cloaking device.  I can do more than just get you flying. Have you thought about that?"

Andy's eyes hardened at the thought she'd use him to save herself and she straightened a bit. "I didn't take you from Falcons boat because you were Falinian. I didn't fight in a war just to use those I was trying to defend,. If you think that, you really don't know me at all."

He stepped closer and she saw how he kept his knees relaxed and she gripped the ladder tighter to keep her fighting instincts in check, her heel rising and resting on the bottom rung. She wanted to hit him, knock some sense into him. People died around her. It's why she rotated crew so often. She told herself if was so that no one would find out all her secrets, but it was really to keep them alive.

Her brow furrowed at his next comment. She wouldn't lie to herself and say she hadn't thought about what he could do for her, not just Anne, but her. It scared her to admit it now. She wondered if he'd meant to say it in that way. She glanced at his mouth thinking about how he'd kissed her and a tingle ran down her spine.

She shook her head, her eyes snapping up to his. She had to stay objective. "I'm not trying to get rid of you. I'm trying to keep you alive. Every choice I make, I make for this ship and my crew, to protect them, keep them alive, keep them moving. Why are you so set against me? Why stay?"

"Captain," he said, although the term came out in a gravelly voice that could easily sound like an endearment.  "If I was set…against you, you wouldn't be asking me all this why stuff."  He only took a half step, more of a lean in, but didn't actually touch her.  "You want to know why I'd stay?  I thought we already had this a manner of speaking."

His glance went to her lips as well.  Then a glance back to her face to see the reaction. "Are we done talking?"

Andy bit her lip and shook her head, her heart pounding, her chest rising and falling in time. "Mac..." There was worry and hesitation in her voice.  There were so many reasons to not get lost in moment, but she was having a hard time bringing them into focus with him standing so close. He could just be faking it, using her. He could die. She could feel the ladder in the wall pressing against her back. She either needed to push him away or plunge in.

She took a shuddering breath, and looked at him, "Explain it again."

It was the hesitation that convinced him she wouldn’t take, he’d have to give.  Nothing lasted forever, but he wasn’t worried about the future.  “My choice,” he said, before he closed the last few inches between them and kissed her.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2014, 11:28:33 pm »
Georgia didn’t have much time to react to Mac’s smug suggestion. Before she could even look for bread or fruit, the kitchen became a bit more of a crowded area. There was another smug remark from Raleigh as he entered with everything but his other arm. She chose not to get angry about it. The blonde shook her head, already somewhat accustomed to his personality over the others. She snatched up the plastic the bread was in and began to unwind the twist at the top.

“Not that I’m trying to justify any of this, but I am legal everywhere.” A reassurance more for her actual current status of “wanted criminal.” She glanced to Mac then, noting that he was focused on someone else. Georgia turned to see the Captain storming into the room, irritable again. Georgia could only assume it was because Mac was standing next to her. She recalled the position she’d found the two of them in when she stumbled into a situation she shouldn’t have. 

This seemed to be another one of those situations. Andy seemed to want her blood when her eyes found her mug in Georgia’s hand. The young woman put the pieces together with ease, setting the mug down to scoot towards her new Captain. No need to make her any angrier. Georgia wasn’t there to be a catalyst; it just seemed to accidentally happen for her. Andy made it a point to embarrass her crewmates for the glances made towards their new crewmember. They didn’t bother Georgia, she was comfortable with her appearance. Minus one part. Right now wasn’t the time to demand respect. The thought that she would have to earn the Captain’s before the whole crew would occur to her later. And that would mean following orders. Right now she concerned herself with her security on the Anne and if this stop would be dangerous for her or an opportunity.

Andy’s eyes found her again as the weight of breakfast was again bestowed to her “talents.” The girl’s mouth twitched and she nodded, “Aye aye.” She muttered, receiving the cold shoulder as her peace offering was turned down. Andy grabbed a different mug and left the room with a remark about her attire. Her hearing was better than the Captain thought. Andy heard “problems” before that though, her the concern unavoidable. Did they know what she was? The girl avoided both of their eyes and continued to help serving the mediocre breakfast. She should have worried about the food on their plates. But the hushed “problem” and her web of secrets had her filled with paranoia.

She hurried with the clean up process, taking plates from the men who might not have been quite finished just yet. Georgia scrubbed the plates, wishing she could hear the Captain’s conversation with Raleigh. As the last of the crew trickled out, a few of them nice enough to wash their own plates, Georgia let them sit in the rack to dry. She couldn’t bear it anymore.

She fell in a momentary unison with Raleigh on his way to Captain’s quarters. Georgia gave him a quick nod before she peeled off into her room. There was time for her to pull on a pair of battered black denim pants. The cuffs rolled up, her foot getting caught in one. Georgia stumbled, her shoulder hitting the door and shoving it back open. She buttoned her pants, just in time to see Raleigh disappear into the Captain’s room with the door closed behind him.

No one seemed to be in the hall, so she crept closer, bare feet noiseless on the tiled floors. She lingered near the doorway, holding her breath; the only faint sound was her nervous heart, thudding in her chest. Georgia had excellent ears, but this was hard to hear. She caught bits and pieces,

“Scanned….Orion….Dominic Hyatt…” The last name sent a chill of panic through her. Georgia could feel the fear creep to her hands, but she wasn’t sure why. It was another déjà vu kind of stab. She tried to keep composed, maybe there was more. Georgia leaned closer, “Getting heat from all sides…coincidental..connected…” The panic was growing. Did they know?

“We might be light one mechanic after we stop….”


She remembered the mark on Mac’s bare back when she’d stumbled on them. Andy thought the heat was from him. There was momentary relief, but it left her with the smallest amount of guilt. Would he be losing his job because of her?

Georgia jumped at the sound of Andy’s rage.

It was time to walk away. She couldn’t get herself into anymore trouble. The temptation of the rest of the conversation was dampened by her confirmed safety…for now. Georgia knew what this meant for her. She would accept it grudgingly, despite her wild instincts. She’d have to play by Captain’s rules.

The blonde straightened and went back to the kitchen. She looked over the dishes and rewashed the ones that she’d slacked on. It was going to be hard, there was something about authority that pissed her off. Her mouth wanted to protest the generalizations, but her mind told her to keep out of the way. Georgia took a deep breath; her hands were still shaking.

“Dominic Hyatt…who is that?” And why did his name send cold fear through her veins?

She turned the hot water up and let it soothe her shaking hands as she brushed away burnt eggs from the plates. Part of her wanted to leave, get the heat off them, and get the Captain off Mac. But would she be able to live on her own again? Could she avoid Orion by herself or would her luck finally run out? She had transportation here. She had a common purpose with this crew. She didn’t know why Orion and Andy had a connection, but she was going to find out and use it to her advantage.

”Sorry Mac,” She thought, “You seem..ok, but I’m not the self-sacrificing type.” She picked up a towel and began to dry the dishes, putting them away carefully. When she was done she wandered out of the kitchen to find someone who wasn’t Raleigh, Mac or Andy and could tell her more about said three.

A pit stop to her room and a quick rummage through her backpack and she found it. Georgia turned the tiny bottle of liquid over in her hand. There was a small pouch that held three more, each one for a single dose of the medication inside. She hadn’t needed one for a while, but there was still the great possibility of an episode occurring. The blonde gathered them, pondering for a moment. She needed an injector and the only place to find one was…

The med bay was quieter now as Georgia approached. She shuddered as she remembered the tears she drunkenly shed while the Captain scolded her messy form. The girl paused before entering, tugging her sweater to the side so it hung off her shoulder. She tousled her blonde waves to the covered side so more flesh could be seen. The last step was to put on a smile before she leaned her head into the doorway,

“Excuse me?” The man’s eyes glanced up from the sink. He stood filling a watering can. His instinct to turn it off escaped him until the pail seemed to start overflowing. Still he said nothing. Georgia moved into the room, glancing to the faucet as the man turned it off. He seemed preoccupied. Perhaps she could get her hands on what she wanted and be out of there quickly.

“You’re Fin, right…?”

« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 11:30:35 pm by Pach_Work »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2014, 11:43:33 pm »
Joint post with Beau

Ativegate Region - Vilino Constelation
Approaching Angeles Space Port- 15 mins to dock.
Please stand by at bay 167 for docking and decompression instructions.

The alarm beeped on the com on Andy's wrist and she looked down and forwarded it to Raleigh after she finished the buckle at her waist. She pulled at the elastic at the bottom of the black cropped tank to cover what it would of the scar and tattoo on her ribs and pushed her now unbound mass of hair back over her shoulders. It had either come free or had some help, she wasn't sure which. All the waves and curls now spiraled in a chaotic fall down her back.

She scooped up the shirt from off the desk and walked over, her fingers trailing lightly over the mark on his shoulder as she looked at it before coming around to face him. She glanced down at his chest and then held out the shirt with a crooked half smile.  Raleigh's going to strangle me with his bare hand for not kicking you off the ship, she shook her head, but couldn't completely shake the small smile.

When he took it her hands went up to her hair, combing the top up and back before taming the sides into small tight french braids above her ears, fohawking her hair. She concentrated for a minute, and streaks of neon pink, orange, and yellow laced through the subtle gold her hair naturally was. The scales down her spine would be mimicking her hair now, if they were seen. She talked as she worked at the braids, "The Station is coming up. I just got an alert they have a hanger bay ready. How long are you going to need for the repairs? Keeping in mind that we're being hunted by a ruthless Falinian bounty hunter and possibly the most terrifying general in the Alliance."

She smiled and flicked her eyebrows. She wasn't stupid about the danger they were in, but it was also adrenaline inducing and Mac, so far, had chosen not to jump ship. She tied off the ends of her hair and started looking around, "Have you seen my boots?"

Mac took the shirt but he wasn't ready to move yet.  His eyes followed Andy as she put herself together but he decided that he wasn't in a terrible hurry.  Nor was he interested in thinking about ruthless bounty hunters.  The view was more pleasant.

He sighed and slipped on the shirt.  The boots had found their way to a far corner, although he couldn't remember throwing them there.  He sauntered over and delivered the boots to their owner by way of an answer.  "I'll need at least a day.  Maybe two.  It all depends on if we placed the right part order at our last port."  He debated about mentioning the enhancements he planned to make as well, but figured she didn't need to know why he might be considered different from the averaged Marked.  Technical details.

Mac tended to look scruffy most days, so a quick finger comb of his hair was all he felt he needed to be presentable.  He wouldn't be entertaining much company in the engine room.

He knew the idea of spending so much time in one place would bother Raliegh,  But that wasn't all he meant when he said, "You better let me explain things to him."  Displaying a casualness he didn't really feel, Mac shrugged, "He'll probably be thrilled to get his room back."

Andy nodded, she'd expected as much. They'd been long over due for repairs that would set them down. She smiled at the boots and bent over and started tugging them on. She glanced at the bandage on her calf, it had bled through a bit, but she pulled her pant leg down and cinched that boot tight again.

She stood up, pushing her hair back again and raising a brow as she put her hands at her bare sides, looking mischievous while trying to look serious. "You just very ardently argued a case for you not  leaving our lady Anne. Just where are you planning on moving to?"

She couldn't keep it up very long though and cracked a smile. "I suppose I did just proved I'm in a rather more flexible mood than I usually am."

She turned and opened one of the small wall lockers and shuffled through a few shirts before she stripped off the tank top and pulled down a violet, high collar corseted number with buttons down the back.

She pulled her hair over one shoulder, her scales, a scar, and the nearly invisible lines of her UV tattoos exposed. She looked at him over her shoulder, "Better you than me. He already yelled at me once today. Though, honestly, I doubt he'll be too shocked. Do me up?"

She watched him over her shoulder, "Glad I requested three days for the bay. Though, if you'd let me actually work on my own ship, it would probably speed up our down time. I helped do most of the work before you came along you know."

Mac approached as she asked, although he took his time with the buttons.  "Flexible," he snorted.  "An understatement."  He kissed her neck and debated about undoing the knot of hair   He preferred it lose.

"I won't say no to company in the engine room."  She'd figure out he had more of a design bend then a pilot bend at some point.  Might as well be now.  Maybe she could keep him focused on the basics rather than experimenting.  The thought of three days made his eyes light up.

"As for Raleigh," Mac said, taking a step back and going to look for his own boots.  "I wouldn't give him credit for being all that observant.  He didn't look beyond the surface of the little package he brought on board."  She'd told him a bit more about the confrontation in the bar.  Enough to consider a possibility.  "You think it was coincidence that Orion happened to be where he was?"

She had to bite the inside of her cheek and clench her hands as his fingers made the slow dance up her spine over the scales. Most Chima left as many of them exposed as a mark of who they were and because they were extra sensitive. She wondered if he knew what he was doing. She took a calming breath as he finished. She smiled when he agreed to let her help in the engine room. She pulled a scarf from her selection on hooks on the door of the wall locker.

She turned around and started wrapping it around her neck as she watched him look for his boots. "By the ladder," she mentioned as she spotted them. She raised a brow at him after that, her hand going to her ribs at the mention of Orion. She need to stop doing that just because she'd seen him again. She'd told him about the bar, but she wasn't quite ready to talk about the first time she'd met him. She grabbed her gun belt and shoulder holster quickly putting them on to give her hands something else to do. "Give Raleigh a little credit, he'd had a few. And I never think Orion is somewhere by coincidence. I figured the girl was working for him or the Alliance, that she was there as a distraction. Or at the least, some kind of ship hopping hooker.  I assumed we had drawn attention somewhere or Falcon had sent him and he was after you."

She let his words roll around in her head and draw her to new conclusions. "An anomaly." She said quietly, recalling what Anne had said too. She'd thought it had been the data. She stepped toward him. "You think he was after the girl?" She still didn't know her name. Another alert beeped on her com, they were most likely being hailed and given directions to the bay, but she could feel that Raleigh was in control. She looked toward the hatch that connected her quarters to the bridge and back to  Mac. Her eyes showed a little surprise as the next logical conclusion came to her, "You think she's marked?"

Mac finished dressing and watched Andy put her scarf around her neck.  He moved towards the door knowing they needed to leave.  He'd let her proceed him out to the hall.  "She gives off a certain vibe, but I can't say for sure.  She's...different and yet the same.  Not a cook that's for sure.  Anne told me she's already been by the engine room which is not typically part of the tour."

Mac stepped out of the room and let one hand run along the ship's wall.  His fingers drifted over the metal like he was petting a cat.  "I doubt I'm the target of the hunt.  But at some point we'll need to figure out if it's fight or flight."

He paused at the break in the hall before turning to leave her.  "Come to help when you have time, Captain.  I'm sure I'll be able to think of...something...for you to do."  The smile was wolfish before he winked and went back to his post.

Andy stepped out the hall entrance to her quarters and listened to his description of the girl and was glad she'd chosen not to sample this mornings breakfast. She wasn't happy that the girl had visited the engine room again when she'd been expressly told not to.

She saw how Mac ran his hand along the wall, the way his fingers trailed and she looked up from his hand to his face with a wave of dejavu. It seemed she would be sharing another Falinian man with Anne. She held in her sigh.

The girl could be left with friends, she wasn't sure she could let Mac go now. Her face got cool and serious again, she hoped he was right about the hunt. Andy was an excellent fighter, she'd been trained to fight since she was small at the insistence of her Mother, but Orion was another beast all together. Andy knew from experience. She still hated having people tell her she was 'lucky'. It had never felt that way. "We don't want it to come to a fight. We'll loose."

His next comment tugged a rise from one corner of her mouth and she gave him her own sultry look as she stepped away. "And here I thought the Captain gave the orders. I'm sure I'll find something for you to do."

She turned to the hall that would lead her down toward the cargo bay. She tapped on her com to the bride, "Raleigh, release the lock on the bay to my personal transport. I'm going to circle around to the main entrance port and dock there to go take care of business. I'll leave my com on. The crew assignments will be posted in the main hanger along with a brief glimpse of what we're facing. We can offer final pay for anyone getting off."

She realized while telling Mac some of the situation, her crew deserved the same benefit of knowing, and deciding for themselves what they wanted to face. She knew some of them would leave, but a part of her hoped that she'd garnered enough loyalty to keep a few of them, despite the risk.

"Oh, and your girl has been wandering where she isn't supposed to again. Let her know she can be left here easily, would you?" It wasn't exactly said kindly, but it wasn't laced with ice either. The last hour had put her in a more benevolent mood than she usually was.

The bay was unlocked when she got there and she only had to put in her code for the door to open. She smiled at seeing the sleek personal cruiser. It was big enough for four people to travel somewhat comfortably through the cosmos, but small enough to dock inside Anne.

It had been some time since she'd flown her. She ran a hand on the underbelly as ducked under to get to the drop down stairs. She climbed in with a smile. It had been a ship she'd worked on with her father, she'd used it until she got Anne off the ground. It felt almost like another life all together.

She powered her up and checked the seals and launched. She curved up the large space port, it was teaming with life, other ships docking and undocking, a refinery ship with hoses hooked up and replenishing fuel and water and air. Some of the ports like this were small colonies all on their own. Andy couldn't imagine a life in space that was really like being stuck on the ground, and wondered why anyone would choose to live on places like this.

Three days was going to be plenty, less if they could manage it. She docked quickly and then took a deep breath before setting off into the chaos of the bustling to find the right long wave pick up station to get the cargo drop information.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2014, 10:10:58 pm »
Alliance Core Planet – Issa
Third Moon, Lethe: Maximum Security Prison ‘TARTARUS’
Sub-level 104, Cell #404 - 03:30 UST

“Wake up, Seraph.”

Though the voice stirred him from his slumber, it was the prelude to the inevitable  nerve-shock that ripped him fully from the dream, an excruciating six seconds of blinding pain that had him falling out of his cot and writhing on the floor in muted agony. The heat of the collar around his neck finally cooled as the shock abated, leaving the prisoner gasping for breath with his cheek pressed to the cold stone floor. Light blue stared dully at the barren walls of his cell, waiting for the numbness of his limbs to pass even if the pain would linger for the next few hours.

The voice filled his cell again, the mock-serious tone edged with amusement at the prisoner’s labored breathing. “You have a visitor. Behave yourself or I might just have to give you another shock, next time at the maximum setting. Understand?”

“Yes sir.” The drone of his answer was automatic, the submission to their demands as natural to him as breathing and blinking. Not that it made much of a difference. If they wanted to shock him, they would find a reason to, no matter how well-behaved he was. Some of the scientists, especially the newer ones, enjoyed the power of having someone else at their control.

Seraph slowly pushed himself to his feet, the light white tunic and loose pants sticking to him from the sweat of his agonized writhing. He made a half-hearted attempt to stretch the pain out of his limbs as he moved to the back of his cell, the dark stubble on his chin rough on his hands as he moved his head back and forward as much as he could with the metal collar around his neck. The tall man brushed dark hair from his eyes and turned to face the large clear wall that was the barrier between his cell and the dark, metal hall outside of it, waiting for his ‘visitor’ with his back against the wall and hands by his side, just as he was supposed to.

As he waited, bright blue focused on the seemingly fragile barrier between him and freedom, Seraph could see into the cell across from him, where a young girl laid curled up in the fetal position on her cot, facing the wall. The tunic she wore was too loose and was meant for her to grow into, but thanks to that, Seraph could see the mark of her damnation: a glowing hand imprinted on her right shoulder blade.  She was new here, though time was hard to tell in-between these walls. He only knew because she still made attempts to escape, darting from her cell the moment it opened or struggling against the guards who came to escort her. She still cried when they brought her back from the test rooms, and though he couldn’t hear her through the sound-proof barriers that surrounded their cells, he could make out her lips as she laid on the floor sobbing.

Momma. Papa. Save me.

Sudden and fierce, anger flared in him, hatred burning through him and making his neck hair stand on end. Seraph understood why his kind was here, locked away for the good of the Alliance and the safety of people everywhere. Marked like him were dangerous and evil, their people the natural enemy to the order that the Alliance fights so hard to protect. This anger was part of that intrinsic evil he knew, this hatred that made his jaw tight and hands curl into fists the very thing that defined him as a Marked monster. It was because of that hatred that he wanted nothing more than to kill those scientists who tested and probed, made incisions and injections at a whim just to see how long their subject could endure the pain before fading to black. It was that evil that made him to want to break every bone in those cruel guards’ bodies, to listen to them beg as he had when they ignited the shock collar over and over and over again.

But he stilled that anger, bottling it up and locking it away inside of him, just as he had learned to do. He must remain calm and in control. The guards and scientists here were trying to help the Marked, after all. All these horrible and painful days were tests, all to see if the Marked could keep their darker urges at bay. If they could, there was even hope that they might one day be released back into society, to live as a normal person would.

The Marked were locked away because they were a dangerous people, a threat to the innocents that only wanted to live in peace.

The familiar uniform of a facility guard stepped into his line of sight and broke him from those thoughts, glancing into Seraph’s cell to make sure he was in the proper position against the back wall. The guard appeared nervous, his hand on the side-arm and his stance abnormally tense, though Seraph couldn’t see why. Did he think that Seraph would try and make a break for it? Even if he wanted to, escape was futile as long as this metal collar was around his neck, remote controlled and able to be activated from anywhere on this moon. But he wouldn’t try; he wanted to stay here, where they helped him control that darkness inside. He watched with a furrowed brow as the guard made a gesture to someone out of sight, then pressed a button to the side of the cell, raising the glass wall with a quiet hiss.

Seraph understood the guard’s anxiety the moment his ‘visitor’ stepped into sight.

The man who entered was large, bigger than any person Seraph had ever seen before. That guard wasted no time in closing the cell behind the visitor, relief clear on his face was there was an impenetrable clear wall between him and the giant, before turning around and standing at attention just beyond the cell. It seemed he would remain until the visitor was ready to leave. 

The giant’s strong jaw was clean shaven, but marked with a number of scars that only added to the intimidating frown that seemed to be his default expression and the strong arms crossed over a wide chest. Those dark eyes watched Seraph with an unnerving intensity, the silence heavy in the room as the man seemed to be looking for something in Seraph’s gaze. The prisoner knew better than to say anything, meeting the man’s stare as much as he could.

“What is your name?”

The deep rumble of the voice was fitting for the giant, though it was oddly quiet in its resonance. Seraph furrowed his brow at question, watching the unchanging expression on the man’s face as he seemed to be waiting for an answer from him. Was this a test? Had this man not asked to see Seraph by name?


“Not that name.” Something changed on the large man’s expression, but it was a flicker that passed too quickly for Seraph to grasp. “Your real name.”

The prisoner frowned at him, brow furrowing again. “I don’t understand what you mean. Seraph is my real name.”

The silence was back again, but this time Seraph had the distinct feeling that somehow he had given the wrong answer. He shifted his weight uneasily, unnerved by the man’s expectant manner. He watched as that shaved head tilted slightly, as if listening to something that Seraph couldn’t hear. This person was completely unlike anyone he had ever met in the facility. Who was he? What was he?

“Andrea Malcomina Kaplin.”

The tall prisoner went still as the name rolled from the deep baritone, blue eyes wide at the sudden familiarity of it. It wasn’t just any name; it was her name. Too late, he realized the name had been bait to see if how he would react and Seraph had given the man that and more. Those dark eyes gleamed with a type of hunger, as if he were a cat with a mouse firmly under its paw.

The Marked in this facility had very few things they could call their own. Everything, from their clothes to their cots, were all luxuries given to them for good behavior. Food, light, warmth – all these things could be removed at a whim, leaving them in a state of misery for as long as their jailers decided. But that name was something precious to Seraph, the parting gift of the half-remembered dreams he had every night. He could never recall their specifics, only the woman who walked with him in every single one.

Andrea Malcomina Kaplin.

The giant appeared to be waiting for him, watching Seraph the same way a hawk might watch an interesting mouse. Seraph knew that look well. He had seen it many times in the hand of men wielding scalpels and needles, all wondering just how he might react next. This man had learned everything about Seraph there was to know in one brief reaction; the desperate desire on Seraph’s face had marked him just as heavily as the wings tattooed on his back.

“Who are you?” Or more importantly- “Who is she?”

It was a whispered plead, something he had not consciously meant to ask, but this seemed to be the response the massive man had been waiting for.

“I am Orion, the bounty hunter who captured you ten years ago and brought you to this place.” Seraph’s eyes went wide, but he had little time to process this fact before Orion continued. “Andrea was your lover and the woman who betrayed you to the Alliance, allowing you to be captured by me."

Seraph blinked against the sudden pain in his head, a throbbing that the hand that rose to clutch at it did little to suppress. Orion- he knew that name too. But trying to remember how he knew it hurt, his mind screaming with the strain of his effort. "Betrayed? Why?"

"I don't know." Orion shrugged, indifferent. "Would you be interested in asking her yourself?"
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 02:10:46 am by Pride »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2014, 07:18:25 am »
A small red light blinked to life on a nearby console in Admiral Hyatts quarters. 

"Sir, report for you."
"I hope we are not waking you"

Two voices spoke quietly into the dark Cain and Able, the Two A.I. that served him had been monitoring alliance waves and relaying and analyzing thousands upon thousands of reports and information clusters had finally been able to assemble information worthy of reporting to him.

"Go ahead"

The twin voices almost seemed to start speaking at once, tripping over eachother. This amused Dom, it always did, they were like two children eager to please their parent. One always more formal than the other. They had developed quirks, just as their creators had told him they would. It was impossible to keep such A.I. from doing so, they were always watching and learning. It would only have been a matter of time before they decided imitation would make their various jobs easier, It was only a matter of time before they started acting somewhat human.

"There have been reports.."
"Seraph has been retrieved.."

He raised his hand and the voices stopped instantly.
"One at a time...Cain proceed."

"Yes sir.. There have been reports of a ship matching the profiled ships description halfway across the verse and back, They knew how to hide their tracks, but You were right to monitor the Navigation satellites. There have been several access reports of a vessel matching their specifications and a probable route has been determined and relayed to the bounty hunter as well as the ships nav computers.  I can bring them up if you wish to see them. Sir"

Dom held up one finger and spun it gently before the second A.I. began to speak much faster and Dom would have swore more excited.

"The bounty hunter has retrived the Seraph, it didn't take him long to reach Tartarus huh? Perhaps we should order them to relocate now..Perhaps we should gravity tether them just outside the event horizon of a black hole. Though I don't think the staff would appreciate that."

"Able..." Dom had to keep the second A.I. on track sometimes, Its lack of a filter, while helpful and lead to brilliance often got it off track.

"Sir..sorry sir. With Cain's predictions and seraph now in the custody of the bounty hunter, should we plot a course to intercept and rally with Orions ship?

Ice melted and shifted in the glass in his other hand, he lifted the scotch to his lips and took a drink. Thinking over his options. "No, Cain show me the predicted route of that ship.."

A small holo projector sprang to life and layed out the systems and expected route of the ship suspected of smuggling marked ones. It ended just inside the inner rim of alliance space but could possibly extend beyond that, Cain knew to only show enough information because if left to its own the route would extend far beyond reasonable assumptions just based off pure data.

"Let's not rush things, plot our course but stay out of warp until directed otherwise..lets let the bounty hunter serve his purpose. But make sure that once we reach deep orbit of our destination, that weapons are primed and ready to fire upon command.."

"Yes Sir!"


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2014, 09:56:55 pm »
Mac checked the engine room after he left Andy.  Nothing in particular was disturbed, and the engines performed as they should to get the ship down into dock, but they sounded like they were gasping for breath. 

He needed to get to work, but he wanted to collect something from his room first, a little something extra he’d picked up before he left the planet.  As luck would have it, Mac crossed paths with Raleigh on his way down the hall.

“The Captain talked to me about the latest trouble,” he said.  “I’m not leaving.”

Raleigh glanced up, lighter in one hand, cigarette in his mouth, expression quick to take on a frown. Of course their mechanic wouldn't leave. Why would he? Surely it was better to put everyone's lives at stake. Clenching his teeth, Raleigh ignored Mac for a second to light his cigarette, somewhat annoyed. The troubles just kept piling up.

"You think that's a wise decision? Andy tells you a few things and you think you should stay?" Raleigh exhaled smoke, "Think of the repercussions here. Don't be a fool."

Mac didn't appreciate the smoke, but he wasn't in a place where it mattered to anything besides his nose.  He offered a brief disapproving look but let the matter rest.  They had more important things to talk about verses Raleigh's habit.

"Repercussions?  I've been with you a year and now you're concerned?"  His brows knit together and he crossed his arms.  Maybe it was time they got their roles straight.  "The alliance thinks I'm dead."  But he wouldn't be distracted with an explanation. Time enough to explain why later when he didn't have anger brewing in his gut.  "The little rug rat you brought on board is the reason for the heat, not me.  If you were thinking we wouldn't be in this situation."

"You reckon they still think that? As much as I wish they were, the Alliance isn't full of morons." Raleigh tried not the bite his cigarette in two. The Red Ripper wasn't a laughing matter nor was he someone anyone could escape from easily. "We've been scanned and I'm willing to bet you lit up like a fucking Christmas tree. Dead or not, you're a marked, you've always been a liability." A liability Andy always wanted to keep around, he thought, taking a long drag. To believe he was getting this heated about this, there was simply too much going on.

Raleigh held his tongue, not liking the blame being pushed onto his new responsibility. Surely she wasn't to blame, surely he hadn't been so stupid as to put all of them at risk. But there was Orion, and, while he hated to think it, maybe Mac was right...

"If Andy wants me to get rid of the girl, I will. I promised her that. As for you, I've never liked having you around, but Andy does." He paused, taking another drag, before blowing smoke right near the mechanic's face, "However, if anything happens to her because of you, because you insist on staying here, I will kill you."

"You really think that she'll ask you?" Mac let the question hang there like the smoke billowing his direction.  Truth told, Mac was kind hearted himself and wouldn't push things.  If the girl was smart she'd get going while the going was good.

As for the threat, Mac's eyes narrowed.  He knew the pecking order, but he thought he'd earned respect, if not friendship.  His voice was low as he said, "I told Andy you'd appreciate having your room back.  I'll move my things and get to work."  Mac turned away thinking it might not take Raleigh long to do the math.  "I'm going to make some significant changes to the ship.  Don't let that surprise you when we pull out of port."

Raleigh neglected to answer that question, unsure of its implications. If the girl was trouble, she'd be kicked off the ship, simple as that. If any other action was necessary, well, it wasn't as if his hands were clean. Although, the idea didn't sit well with him. She wasn't a bad kid, she was trying to fit in. But if Mac was right about her, then there were some things he needed to get straight with her before this problem really did become part of his own poor thinking.

The Calloway man grunted, annoyed by the engineer's last remark. It seemed with his new sleeping arrangements, he felt more confident in doing what he wanted with the Anne. For once, Raleigh couldn't quite understand what Andy was thinking, and it didn't sit well with him.

"I'll try not to piss myself out of shock." Raleigh muttered in return, with the lock on the bay released as per Andy's orders, the next thing on list of shit to do was to find Georgia, a matter he didn't think he'd find so pressing.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2014, 08:26:41 am »
"Oh that's just gross..."

Georgia stared at the pile of smelly dishes in the kitchen sink, her sun-touched nose scrunched up as she started to wash them. They were stacked high like her list of new responsibilities. But she'd gotten better. At least she thought so. The macaroni and cheese she'd made the night before had been a little rubbery, but it was more edible than last week's attempt at gravy.

Said gravy seemed to still be crusted to the dishes. The young woman picked at the dried substance with her rubber-gloved hand, eventually getting it to flake off. It took a good twenty minutes, but the dishes were done, and she could cook in clean pots an pans. She moseyed to the refrigerator and opened it, bending to look inside at what ingredients it held. What should she make tonight?

Although she wasn't the most prestigious chef in the 'verse, Georgia was distracted enough with the multitasking of cooking from her other concerns. Mac had been aboard longer than she'd expected him to be. She'd assumed he would be kicked off the next time they stopped, but listening in on crew member's gossip shot that rumor down. Apparently he was just moving bedrooms. Georgia snatched up a bag of carrots and some other tasty-looking plant that she didn't recognize. It was an interesting blue, and smelled sweet. She supposed she'd boil up some vegetables in a stew, that seemed easy enough.

The girl filled a heavy pot with stock and water, then set it over the stove to heat up. While she waited for it to boil, she pulled out a large cutting board and knife to cut the vegetables up. Soon the hall was filled with the smell of the stock coming to a boil. The blonde smiled to herself, proud of her progress so far. It even smelled good this time!

Cigarette dying in his mouth, Raleigh knocked on Georgia's door, and waited for the girl's blonde head to appear. He struggled to keep his current mood from showing on his face, his dark brows struggling to separate from their knitted position. His frown, however, was deep set, the cigarette hanging in the corner of it, clenched by teeth. Mac's words continued to annoy and aggravate him. The idea of having his room to himself again was the last thing on his mind.

Georgia didn't answer the door. Either girl knew what was up or she wasn't around. Raleigh leaned more towards the latter and tried his hand at the door, recalling that it didn't really lock. Inside the girl's room were the few belongings she had, clothes mainly, but there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary. Was she really hiding anything? Was Mac truly right about her?

Still suspicious, Raleigh continued searching through the girl's room, a weary eye on the door in case she decided to return. Her closet turned up nothing, neither did the bed nor beneath it. However, when he checked the various storage compartments about the room, he found something, stashed cleverly behind a modified drawer. Gripping the bag tightly, he pulled it out and placed its contents out on the bed.

One of the medical bay's syringes was there, along with a suspicious container filled with...medication? Georgia was ill? It was strange, the girl didn't seem to be sick with anything in the slightest. Was she an addict? Looking the container over again in his hand, he knew he had to take it to Fin, that man would know what was in here.

Stuffing the bag into his pocket, Raleigh slipped out of Georgia's room and headed for the medical bay, where he found Fin, seated in front of a computer screen, not even attempting to hide the fact that he wasn't doing the tasks assigned to him.

Raleigh cleared his throat and the other man turned around in his chair quickly, wide eyed, the screen going dark immediately. He made a move to speak but Raleigh just raised a hand, "Don't. I don't give a damn what you were doing, I've got something I want you to look at." Raleigh removed the bag from his pocket, handing it over to Fin, who emptied the contents on the nearest table.

"Hm. Kind of looks like it's for cell repair, you know, kind of like the shit you use to take." Fin opened the container, sniffing its contents before placing it back on the table.

"Is it?"

"Not sure, I mean it looks like it, but the smell's off, the color is a little different too. Lemme put it through the system." Fin walked away then, to a device constructed like a large black box, and placed a drop of the medication on a strip before running it through the machine. The machine, after a few whirls and beeps, illuminated a screen with a list of the contents within the medication.

"Well, that's weird." Fin started, staring at the screen, expression confused. "Based on the stuff in here, I'd say this is for amnesia patients. You know, helps em deal with the loss of memory and things." He paused, turning to look at Raleigh, "Where'd you get this?"

"Found it on the market." Raleigh lied, grabbing the container. "Was trying to find something better to deal with the pain."

"Ah, well, sorry, man. That won't help. Just take me with you next time." Fin laughed then, turning away, already becoming distracted by other things, which suited Raleigh just fine. He was pretty distracted as well, trying to figure why the hell Georgia had this kind of stuff.

That girl was definitely hiding something, and he needed to know what.

She was donned in an apron over her t-shirt and denim shorts. It seemed to be a sign that the new chef was taking herself more seriously. She bobbed her head to music playing from the system throughout the Anne while she cut chunks of meat for the stew, the broth becoming thick with the noodle she added. Pasta had been the easiest thing for her to learn.

She hummed, and even sang along to the rock that played, her mood quite chipper since nothing had burned, exploded or sizzled. No one had showed her how to work the complex ship's music player but somehow Georgia had figured it out easily. And it'd taken her two weeks to use the stove. Go figure.

The blonde sliced into the skin of the meat, chopping along as she sang, "Na na na yeah yeah yeahhh...

It didn't take long to find her, being that she wasn't in her room, there were only so many places the blonde girl was allowed to be. The kitchen was one of them, and she was present, in a world of her own, seemingly becoming comfortable with her new occupation. Under different circumstances, Raleigh might have found her behavior amusing and the music entertaining, but right now that wasn't the case.

"Music. Shut it off." The words came out gruffer than he had intended, but Raleigh continued on, waiting till Georgia had silenced the music before placing the medication he had found on the table. "What's this?" And don't lie to me, he thought, looking the girl straight in the eye.

Raleigh’s bellow was not difficult to hear over the loud rock song that was playing. Georgia, turned it off, assuming the man was there to chat, like they usually did. He was the only one who didn’t ignore her or look at her like she was some sort of new species on the ship. She was excited to show him her masterpiece of the night, “Sorry if it was too loud, but I really think I’m starting to get the ha-”

She turned to see the grim expression on his face, paused, and then looked down. There on the table was her medication. Hers. Right there. In front of her. Georgia’s eyes snapped up to meet his,
“You went through my stuff?!” She felt something chilling run through her body, surely the color draining from her skin. She was busted all right, but she couldn’t hide the betrayal that rippled through her eyes of molten gold; almost like a stone thrown in still water. She had always trusted him more than anyone on this ship. He was the one who made sure she was taken care of and he was the closest thing she’d had to a friend on the Anne. Was.

She cursed her naivety. Just when she started to think she was growing up, the true realization of her youth came back and jack-hammered her in the face.

Her hand reached out to snatch up the bag, “What the hell, Raleigh?” Georgia suddenly felt uncomfortable knowing that this man had been in her bedroom. He had violated her privacy, looked in her drawers! “Why are my personal things any of your concern?”

The burn of anger and fear felt like lava mixing with the col ice water fear within her. While the fury was authentic, Georgia also seemed to be using it as a distraction from his suspicions. She should have acted like it was nothing. Damn her reflexes.

"It''s medication for godsake! What does it look like? I'm not some junkie or dealer. I'm not an idiot. Dammit..." She really looked at him this time. The hurt was there, for sure, "I don't go through your meds. What do you take like eight pills a day for that thing?" She threw a hand up, motioning to his arm. Maybe he'd feel guilty? Even hoping for it seemed futile.

Maybe he should have felt guilty, he wanted to trust Georgia, hell, he had, for the most part. But Mac's words seemed to make far too much sense and pieces seemed to finally be coming together. He still wanted to be wrong though, however, with the way Georgia was acting, it wasn't helping.

She was far too defensive.

Raleigh ignored her comment about the considerable amount of pain medication he took. It was a strategic blow, but it wasn't going to work. He'd come to her with only one intention, and that was to know the truth.

"It's medication for what, Georgia? I don't want any lies or diversions. My drug problems aren't the issue here."

The intended sting of her question did not seem to make Raleigh even flinch. She hadn’t wanted to say that. She liked him. Related to him a little bit. But Georgia couldn’t come up with an answer quick enough that would satisfy Raleigh. She stood there for a moment, unable to say anything for that short period of time. One wrong move and she could be in more trouble than this. Her mouth moved, but nothing but empty syllables fell clumsily from the lips that’d so easily manipulated the man into helping her before.

“I-I’m…” She wasn’t just afraid to tell him, she was also embarrassed about it. The fact that she needed medication to control her own body’s rejections to her operations was a weakness in her eyes. Couldn’t he understand that? She was grasping desperately for something. Something that would let her stay.

Her shoulders fell in defeat, the utensil she held hung limp at her side as she dropped into the seat by the kitchen table. She propped the arm on the surface and stared at the knife clutched in it as if it were the very one that'd cut into her years ago. “My body is…unusual. I was in an accident when I was a kid, got hurt real bad…I don’t remember it. I should have died, had a lot of internal damage from it.” Georgia looked up at Raleigh, her eyes passing over his arm. His modifications were in plain sight. Hers were within. They were a secret.

“It’s kind of complicated, but there are parts of me that aren’t originally, well me..” She nodded to his arm, “kind of like you…just inside.” Well most of it. Georgia swallowed nervously, hoping that the questions would be easy for her to answer if he had them, “I have to use that to keep my body from rejecting what’s inside of me.” She didn’t explain that she also had the DNA of a Falinian within her. An artificial hybrid, Georgia was an experiment that’d been successful, but with one major side-effect that glowed on the tanned skin of her torso.

It seemed too outrageous to be a lie. Raleigh stood quiet, mulling it all over. He'd never heard of such a thing before, and while it seemed so unlikely, he doubted it was the sort of lie someone would use to overcome this situation. This was the truth, the crazy, hard to believe truth.

But then why was her medication for patients with amnesia? If what she said was true, wouldn't she be falling apart? Wouldn't her organs be failing? Why was she standing here, seemingly in perfect health?

"Well, this won't help you with that." Raleigh glanced at the medication, before looking back at those golden hazel eyes. "It's for amnesia, kid. Why do you have amnesia medication to prevent organ rejection?"

His silence was terrifying. Georgia looked around the room uneasily, occasionally glancing to the huge pot on the stove. He would probably tell Andy. Or make Georgia tell her on her own. Her stomach hurt at the thought. When Raleigh did finally speak, it was something unexpected.

“ must be mistaken?”  Her mouth turned downward into a frown, “Amnesia medication?” She’d had amnesia for her entire life, but her father had told her she may never remember anything before the accident. “That’s not right. If I were taking medication for amnesia I would have remembered everything and I don’t. Ever.” She even had pictures stored of her father and her mother. She loved her father dearly but she never felt familiar towards him. The mother she remembered had always been a photograph. She had tried so hard to remember them since she woke up, remember the life she’d had before.

“It wouldn’t make sense anyway. There isn’t a cure for amnesia. Your memories have to return on their own.” Why did she have a sickening gut-feeling that it was something else?

So she really didn't know.

Raleigh ignored the urge to light up another cigarette, still remembering his encounter with Mac from before. He couldn't be right about Georgia. The girl might have been strange, but none of this called for the bounty hunter to be on their tail. Preventing organ rejection and amnesia seemed more like the material for those soaps on the universal networks. It wasn't alliance bait.

"No, this ain't a cure. It's to help maintain it, the state of amnesia." Raleigh paused, things clicking into place in his mind, "It might be why you don't remember anything. Who gave this to you?"

Her stomach felt sick. Georgia didn't want to believe him. Why would he give her something that produced amnesia? Was it dangerous for her to remember? Did she even want to? She put down the knife and looked at the baggie holding the vials of liquid she'd been injecting into her neck since she'd been a kid. How could she not have realized what she was doing?

"I...I got it from my dad." She said, looking up to him as if she were unsure. She did feel as if she were in some sort of soap opera, her hands were shaking. "But..." Georgia couldn't come up with an excuse for his intentions, "why?" Her arm came to hold her stomach, hand pressing against the mark beneath her clothes. Was this the reason she didn't remember their faces? She didn't know her mother's photograph? The one she had tried to convince herself that they had the same smile? Why would he want her to forget? 

It seemed daddy dearest had something he wanted his kid to forget. Raleigh wondered what on verse that was. It must have been one hell of a secret to go this far, especially by the look on Georgia's face. Obviously, this didn't sit well with the girl. Being betrayed by your own family, that had to hurt.

"I suggest you stop taking it. We might be able to find some kind of answer that way." Without waiting for an answer, he snatched up the bag with the medication. "I'll hold onto this. If Andy finds you with it, there'll be hell to pay." She doesn't trust you as it is, Raleigh thought but decided not to mention it. Georgia had enough on her plate at the moment, Raleigh didn't feel right to further pile on to that. The suspicion that the bounty hunter was after them because of her would have to wait for now.

He sighed, still noticing the look on Georgia's face, the guilt of bringing this to the surface eating at him. "It'll be all right, kid. Remember you ain't goin' through this shit alone. I'll help you as much as I can. We'll figure it out."

She held onto the bag as he tried to snatch, but eventually loosened her grip on it and let him have it. Raleigh was right. If it was what he said, she would know soon enough what she was supposed to never remember. The thought terrified her. Georgia heard a sizzling noise from behind her, and turned around to see her pot starting to boil over.

She quickly moved to the stove and turned down the heat. Surely she would be removed from the ship. The blonde ran a hand through her hair, propping one hand against the counter as she let her back face Raleigh. He tried to comfort her with words. He would help. How could she trust him now? But then again, how could she not...she had no one else.

"Thanks." She was grateful that he wasn't going to tell Andy. But Georgia suspected he might let her know something was up. The man was loyal to his captain. She sighed at the thought of him getting in trouble because of her and picked up a serving ladel, holding it up,

"Dinner's ready if you're hungry."


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2014, 08:34:45 pm »
Andy's fist punched the send button on the screen and she grit her teeth. She refused to link up and network Anne so she had to find one of the alcove hardline ports on the space station. A week. A whole gorram week they had waited for Rochester to send word of the rendezvous. This was her third scathing message that she was going to sell his cargo elsewhere. This time she'd hinted to the fact that she wouldn't just be selling the trees. They'd had to pay for extra water allotments twice now, and it had come at a premium since they were on a port instead of ground.

A port was safer than ground though. On a port, security tended to slip, to be lax. Cameras didn't get replaced as fast, security leaks or problems weren't taken care of as quickly, since it took time to requisition parts and more people to man posts.

Her crew were going nearly as stir crazy as she was about being grounded. They were being cooped up on the ship most of the time. She still wasn't letting many of them dry dock and wander around the port. She attributed part of two of the crew leaving to simply not being able to take it. No one else had left, despite the warnings her impressing on them the danger they would be putting themselves in, no others were convinced to leave.

The week, though annoying and nerve wracking, hadn't been wasted though. It had given Mac extra time to work on Anne. Andy was there next to him helping for long stretches, trying to keep her mind off the fact that they could be spotted and killed at any moment.

She was still wary of some of the things Mac wanted to do. She'd flat out told him no to more than one idea, and not just because they didn't have the credits to afford what he wanted to do. She held her ground, despite being pestered by Anne. His new wireless neural link to Anne had come in handy though. Andy didn't let on to either of them the terrible migraine it still caused when she took it off and severed the connection. She hid the nose and ear bleeds too. Careful to never take it off in Mac's presence, which was difficult at times when they were sharing so many spaces.

But not all of our secrets. Despite the way they'd fallen in together, Andy could tell they both talked around things, or avoided questions neither really wanted to answer. More than once his thumb had run along her ribs, slowing over her scar, or a finger had traced over the words on her skin, the light lines on her shoulders, but he hadn't asked and Andy hadn't offered those stories yet.

She'd told him the drunken tail of getting the 51st Airborne unit symbol on her upper left arm, she blamed Raleigh, but she actually was proud of her time served in the resistance. She told him about lines that connected freckles on her thigh to form the constellation Ohrillia, she didn't, however tell him Adam had gotten a copy of it at the same time she'd gotten his wings.

As she'd worked next to him, and slept next to him, and listened to his questionable taste in music, she realized she didn't know much about him at all. She knew lots of little things, but most of it she had observed or it had been gleaned from situations they were put in. He didn't offer much up willingly. More than once the words Raleigh said to her a few days ago when Mac moved out of his room and into hers echoed in her head, "What do you even really know about him?"

The truth was, not enough. But how could she explain that being with him felt right, that it made her feel whole and happier than she had in a long time? How could she admit she didn't know much about a man she'd let work on her ship and in her bed?

She'd review what she did know in the lulls while they were apart. He was from Falinia. He still had family,  she knew that now after the almost meeting with his mother, where most Marked did not. It also meant he had more of a name than just 'Mac', which she'd always known, but had never gone digging to find. She knew he casually cheated at cards, just to do it, but never when the stakes were high or the reward big. He had no ambition to pilot Anne, though he seemed to enjoy being able to work and tinker with everything about her. She knew that he'd had a ship that had been destroyed just before Falcon had captured him, or during that capture. He'd been a slave for Falcon for six months to a year, before she... rescued him. She'd seen scars she forced herself not to ask about, or he might ask about hers.

She had almost punched Raleigh when he asked. He was the oldest and closest friend she had left, if he was bothered, she knew she should be also, but she wasn't. She wondered, not for the first time, why he stayed with her. What kept him around, and if something like this would drive him away.

It hadn't yet though, and she wondered if it was for her sake or for the girls, since he'd he'd taken to spending more of his time with her. He was protective, which was something that he and Mac had in common.

She'd stewed a great deal about Georgia. She had finally learned her name, but Mac -not Raleigh, was the one that had convinced Andy not to throw her off the ship. She wondered how much Raleigh knew, and how much he was keeping from her. It was hard to feel like there was a growing stream of secrets and distrust forming between them. They'd saved each others lives, more than once, they owed each other better.

In all of this, there seemed to be only one person truly happy about the turn of events, Anne. And she was much to happy with the way things were going to pay much attention to her moody captain, or the surely pilot, or the nervous cook, while there was Mac to talk to. Besides, it seemed Georgia was fun to mess with.

And mess with her Anne did. Now that Mac had let her quietly loose, she was flexing in ways she hadn't in tens, if not hundreds of years. She had started with the Music, subtly linking herself with the girl, letting her think it was a normal function. She played whatever she wanted half the time. Then she started helping with the cooking, changing the stove and oven temperatures, grabbing her attention or distracting her on a whim, sending subtle thoughts to check or ignore something here or there.

She'd also made showers run hot or cold, unlocked doors so crew could both her, locked her in and out of places. Anne wasn't sure if she was trying to make Georgia feel welcome, or make her go running. She liked Mac, if she had to choose between him working on her or keeping Georgia around, who hadn't even tried to connect since her peak in the engine room, Anne would choose Mac. She liked all the things he was fixing and making for her.

She liked that he was getting Andy to loosen the noose she'd been holding, even if Andy didn't seem comfortable with it. Anne was confident that Mac would bring her around, just like Adam had when he'd first brought Andy to help him work on her and she thought it was a lost cause. Andy was soft when it came to Falinian's and Anne was going to exploit it as far as she could. She had a destiny, a purpose that was slowly leaking back into her now that she was gaining full access to all of her functions.

She knew Andy thought she was fooling her when she took off the neural link, but Anne felt a little vengeful and didn't mind seeing Andy suffer a little after the years she had. She even did what she could so Mac wouldn't find out and make Andy stop. She'd have to stop it herself eventually, it wasn't in her make up to let someone suffer for long, especially not her captain. She had hoped that soon, they would be flying again. Though all the repairs and modifications were nice, she hadn't got to really try them yet.

She was monitoring this latest trip of Andy's onto the port, hoping they would leave soon. So she noticed when the Captains heart rate spiked.

After hitting the send, Andy was turning when she felt the barrel of a gun press into her back. "It's not nice to send empty threats." Her eyes slid to the voice of someone to her left, not the gun wielder.

"It's not nice to keep a lady waiting when she's in hurry either."

There was a scoff from the man, Roberts, she'd dealt with him before. "Come now Andy, we both know you're no lady." His eyes roved over her in a hungry way, "Not for a long time. Perhaps not ever."

Andy's jaw clenched, she didn't need this. Her eyes glanced over her shoulder at the gun hand and she smirked before she pivoted out, away from the gun, at the same time she reached back and pulled. She was satisfied to hear the crunch of bone and the howl of pain as she broke his finger that he'd stupidly put in trigger housing. She yanked the gun from his hand and pulled one of her own, pointing them both at Roberts.

"No, not anymore. Now, are you going to tell me where I'm taking your bosses cargo, or are we going to be making a bigger scene?"

Robert's chuckled and raised empty hands in a lazy sort of way, "Was that really necessary?" He looked at the man clutching his hand, "There was no need to get nasty. Rochester made you wait so someone could tell you coordinates in person. It seems you've picked up some rather ugly attention we don't want you trailing our direction."

Andy gave him a fake smile, her eyes hard, "I tend to get upset when someone puts a gun to my back. And if I was going to be trailing anything in your direction, it would have caught up by now, don't you think?"

Robert's shrugged, "I think you ought tor read your waves a little closer Captain, and you'd see why we are concerned. In any case," his hands went to his jacket, and Andy tensed, ready to fire and wondering what he meant. He pulled out a slip of paper, "The drop location." He held it out.

Andy shook her head and motioned for him to set it on the ledge of the wave port. He chuckled and did so, "Don't be late." He turned his back on her, and she watched the other man glare at her over his shoulder as he followed.

Andy holstered her gun and stuffed the other one in the back of her belt as she picked up the paper and memorized the information before she set a lighter to it as she walked through the port and back toward Anne. Her thoughts kept circling back to his comment about her waves.

She'd downloaded them along with everyone elses, but hadn't taken the time to read or watch any of them yet, just do a quick scroll through to see if there had been word from Rochester. There were messages from her Father after this long, but she didn't imagine that was what he was talking about. Now she would have to find out.

It was late by the time she navigated her way through the space port and got back. The ship was quiet, Mac wasn't in the engine room when she checked and the cabin was dim when she stepped in. She could hear breathing, but she wasn't sure he was asleep.

She changed quietly into a tank and shorts, and slipped quietly over to her desk. She was glad for the L shape of the cabin, as it would block the light from her holo screen a bit. She plugged in the data pod with her waves on it and scrolled through them.

There were the two messages from her father, she scrolled past them. There was junk mail and job notices from several of her contacts, Alliance security notices. Nothing seemed to catch her eye, just like the first time she'd scrolled through. So she slowed down and that's when she spotted the odd message out.

Her eyes narrowed as she tapped it and it appeared on the large holo screen on the wall, reading it quickly.

From: "Hawk" <REDACTED>
To: “Mouse” <andrea.kaplin>
Subject: Why did you abandon him?
Date: Mon, 15 Feb XXXX 10:50:20 UST
MIME-Version: 7.0
X-Priority: 3
X - process 04497.2.32.867734 initiated (process owner: REDACTED)
Route Code: REDACTED > THE QUEEN ANNE’S REVENGE (Error Code #42: cannot trace; security compromised)
Source: undetermined - trans (Error Code #009: Your poet Eliot had it all wrong.)

He never stopped believing you would save him. He said again and again that you were alive and that you would come after him. He said nothing would stop you.

But you never came, did you?

< Transfer Interrupted! >
Source: Undetermined – trans (Error Code #009: This is the way your world will end.)

It had been one of Adam's favorites in his Human Studies Written Language class. Andy's mouth moved, the words coming quietly unbidden from memory, "Not with a bang but a whimper..." She yanked the data pod free with a curse, and the hologram went blank, the room dark.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 10:39:54 pm by Peregrine »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2014, 04:32:46 am »
Mac considered himself an expert at machines, but only marginally good with people.  He could smile and con, but he was playing mathematical odds of action/reaction, more than manipulating based on some sort of intuition.  His appearance helped and his ability to smile would garner trust, but he never opened up enough about himself to have the reciprocity returned.  Without an engine to examine, Mac lacked the knowledge to really understand how women ticked.

Andy was no exception.  He took the moment they were given, worried a bit when she went off alone, but understood that she was her own person.  His place was on the outside looking in.  Her prior history with a Marked allowed him to keep himself distant even though physically they grew closer.  The excuse of her past heartache worked well enough. He didn’t examine why he felt so comfortable with the current state because he knew why he operated the way he did. It was more than habit. The wall was deliberate. He liked how she smelled, but he didn’t know why she used the shampoo fragrance she did, and if he asked then she would counter with questions of her own that he’d prefer remained unanswered. 

When Andy came into the room and went about her business he didn’t interrupt.  He remained in bed and kept his breathing even.  Curiosity listened for her voice.  He shifted his cheek against the pillow when she went to the hologram and he saw the flickering light, wondering, vainly what would hold her interest more than him.  But, even when she threw perfectly good equipment against the wall, Mac didn’t speak.  He thought a couple of witty comments but he only sat up.  He didn’t comment.  Something about her mood warned that she wouldn’t appreciate humor.

If she wants to talk she will.

The message was clear. Adam had lived, longer than she had been told. If Orion was to be believed, Adam's life ended in a whimper, and now he was promising to do the same to her. She bit down hard on her bottom lip to keep from screaming or sobbing, her arm wrapping instinctively around her, her fingers clenching and unclenching at the long healed wound below her heart. If she held tight enough, maybe she wouldn't fall apart. She couldn't afford to let herself fall apart.

Andy heard shifting from the bed behind her. She swallowed, taking a deep shuddering breath and slowly unclenched her teeth from her lip. She could taste blood and realized how hard she must have bitten. She sat heavily on the edge of her desk as she looked back up to the blank holo wall. She couldn't face him. If she looked at him, he'd see the pain and the guilt of her inevitable failure of him, and still she couldn't make herself make him leave.

After a time, she spoke quietly, she had a feeling he was waiting, perhaps had been awake the whole time, maybe even read the message as it was on the wall, "There's no chance you're going to change your mind and get away from me before I get you tortured and killed too, is there." It came out like a statement, rather than the question she'd intended.

It was difficult to wait in the silence.  He questioned whether she knew he was awake - whether it mattered.  Counting silently to himself helped.  The old habit reached new heights before Andy finally caved in to the pressure.

He didn't like her words.  Obviously something had upset her and the likely topic the primary barrier between them forging anything lasting.  Not that it mattered...

"I've already been tortured and killed," Mac said.  While the two events were distinct they were no less real. She knew he was presumed dead by many although he failed to tell her the circumstances.  "We'll just have to check that one off your aspirational list and try for something else."

He sighed like it didn't matter and lay back in the bed.  One hand tapped the covers to draw her attention to the empty space beside him.  "I can be anybody you want Andy.  There's no light.  My shoulder won't break if you want to lean on it for awhile."

She couldn't smile at his joke. The Alliance could easily find out their mistake and do those things to him in reality. If that happened, she was sure the weight of her failure would crush her this time.

When she heard him fall back onto the bed she finally turned in the dim glow of the screen. She could likely see him better than he could see her, but she still couldn't look at him directly. She looked at the space next to him that she'd fit so comfortably for the last week. She stood and walked over to lean against the wall at the end of the bed and shook her head still not looking at him. "That isn't fair to you."

You might not break, but I would.

She sank down onto the corner of the bed near his feet and started to unlace her boots. She felt exhausted, mentally and physically. "I don't want to lie to myself or you. I don't want for this to be some... some substitute for a life I've tried to pretend I didn't lose." She stopped untying her boots and straightened up, turning her head to look at him.

I don't want to want you to be Adam.

She looked away swallowing hard, "You deserve better Mac." She sighed, and pulled the laces tight again to retie them, running was something she'd gotten good at since the war. If she could get away before she became to attached, she still had a hope of salvaging her sanity if he got killed. "Maybe we rushed into this."

He noted how she didn't join him.  Tried not to let the rejection hurt like it could. Maybe he should be pleased that she wasn't looking for a substitute but somehow that role would be easier.  He almost admitted that, but then she looked at him and he found he couldn't maintain the eye contact.  His gaze shifted to the wall.

The break was enough for her to start dressing, rather than undressing. 

"I wouldn't say a year is rushing," he said.  Math.  Logic.  He lifted one hand and studied the oil under his fingernails.  "Or ten years," he reminded.  She should give herself credit for her own mourning period which was by no means brief.  "For the record Andrea, I haven't asked you to be responsible for me.  I'm old enough to know what I'm doing."

He supposed the same went for her, but he didn't like that it gave her the freedom to leave.  He sat up and placed a hand on her shoulder.  "Take off your shoes.  It's been a long day and you deserve some rest."  He was pragmatic and his tone was dry as he added, "Running takes strength - you can do it in the morning."

Mac decided not to push.  If she left now he'd take it as a sign that the situation was too much for her.  He wouldn't force her to ask him to leave.  He'd be gone before she got back.

In the meantime though he thought he owed her a bit of his perspective.  He removed his touch and leaned his head back on the pillow.  "I don't believe in the past.  Don't get me wrong, it's shaped who I am, but I don't dwell or desire it. I don't share it either because it can't be changed."  No doubt Raleigh had mentioned to her how closed he was.  Planted suspicions.  But now wasn't the time to rip away those scars in pursuit of trust.  "I have today.  I deserve tomorrow - but that's not always 'better', as you'd put it.  Minutes are precious.  I'm not one to waste them when I have what I want.  Obviously I want you, or I wouldn't be here."

He almost wished he could see her more clearly, but the dark made it easier to talk as well.  "Maybe you're not the same. Maybe your past with Adam is too large to see beyond.  But don't think that somehow I deserve something more from you because of how that's shaped you.  Have you looked at yourself?  Really looked?  And I don't mean in the mirror, although that's nice as well.  You're the strongest woman I know.  You garner unwavering loyalty.  You fight for what you believe.  And when you look at me sometimes..." he paused as though he couldn't quite find the words, even though they were simple. "I feel different.  Like maybe I have some of those qualities too.  It's good.  If there's better, Babe, I really not sure what it is."

Andy closed her eyes and she took a deep breath. She knew he'd never asked, but despite her experiences, she couldn't keep herself from feeling responsible for every person on her boat, he and Raleigh in particular. His words couldn't keep a vice from tightening on her chest.

At his touch, her fingers paused, the lace looped over her thumb, ready to be pulled. She looked at him, her brow furrowed as he laid back. She wondered why he continued to make everything so easy for her when she simply didn't, ever, for him. She didn't feel worthy of easy.

She could see him clearly in the dark as he laid back, could see how he was trying to see her, but ultimately looking away as he complimented her. It hurt to have him be understanding, to feel he saw her so deeply, and to know that if she could just let go, they could be happy.

She looked down at her fingers and saw they were trembling, realized she had wanted what he was offering for a long time, and that in the last week she hadn't really thought about Adam, not until that message from Orion. Adam had been dead for a long time, even if it hadn't been as long as she'd thought, and though that hurt, she realized it didn't hurt more now just from the knowing it.

Her jaw clenched and she mumbled several swear words under her breath. This was how Orion wanted her. Running scared and miserable, it would make her sloppy.

She jerked on the laces to make them loose and then yanked her boots off before she stood up started angrily stripping down to her underwear and tank top. She paced for a minute to relieve herself of some of the instant wave of anger at letting Orion suck her in to his trap, her fingers rubbing over her scar.

She shook her head before she went over and kissed Mac hard on the mouth. She was close enough to him, he'd be able to see the fire in her eyes, "You're right, and will probably have to remind me of those wonderful things you said again in the future," She gave him a look that said he ought not gloat in his rightness and she took a deep breath, moving her hand from her side and said, "Orion cut the happiness from me once, I'll be damned if I let him do it again." He probably wouldn't know what she was talking about, but she didn't care. She kissed him again and then smirked and tickled down him across the ribs and stomach, "Now move over, it's cold out here and your sides already warm."

She'd wormed her way in, even if he didn't make much room and was finally able to think again as she curled her chilly self next to him. She rubbed her cold nose on his neck and her speaking was a bit muffled, "Hope you didn't tear anything apart that can't be fixed in an hour or so. Rochester has finally set a meet."

"Orion set you a message?"  He didn't much like the sound of that as comprehension dawned.  When Andy finally crawled in next to him he didn't completely relax, left with the impression that Orion was playing games and much too close to winning.  Mac made a mental note to review the communication logs and logistics.  Perhaps send a message of his own.

Her feet were cold.  He wasn't surprised.  If all she asked for was body warmth he could give that.  "Our Lady Anne doesn't much like when I do any tearing, so I've been building instead.  Raleigh will have a bit of a surprise on his hands when we pull out of port."  The thought of it made him smile.  Anne was no longer a classy junker - she was close to state of the art.  Another stop and he'd have her purring with an improved design the alliance would kill to see. 

But maybe such things are worth dying for.

He wrapped an arm around Andy.  "Close your eyes.  I'll wake you up with time to spare. Promise."

« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 04:42:51 am by Beau »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2014, 04:46:46 am »
Mac heard Andy rise from bed and leave the room without saying goodbye.  He remained in bed for a few minutes with a small frown on his face as he thought about her obvious nightmare.  She'd moaned and thrashed with obvious discomfort.  He wouldn't share with her that she'd hit him.  Mac considered himself fortunate that he wasn't visited by the same sort of ghosts that seemed to haunt Andy.

He rose quietly and dressed.  Mildly concerned he traced her steps to the bridge, but from his shadowy vantage point he could tell Raleigh was there.  The other had made it surprisingly clear how little he respected or appreciated Mac's opinion on things so he decided to move on before the two agreed on whether or not to burn their aggression in the gym.  Mac didn't feel jealous of their friendship.  If the two were destined to be a couple they would have consummated their relationship long ago.  In a way he was relieved that she had someone other than him to confide in.  With a lighter heart he walked on down the hall.

Turning the corner he bumped into someone unexpected.  "You're still here?" emerged from his lips as he noticed the small blonde figure before him.  He took a step back but then finished his thought.  "Why?"

It had been one of the nights her withdrawals came suddenly, the dizziness made her feel nauseous but when she hurled herself out of bed and ran to the bathroom, all she felt was pressure in her head. It was as if there was a plastic barrier around her cerebrum, and something dull was trying to push through it from all angles. The headaches came regularly when she slept, and the pain eventually crept down into her neck. Still no lost memories like she thought would come, although the headaches came from sounds she heard when she slept. Deep roars and deafening bangs came over her. Sometimes the dizziness came from sparks of light she saw behind her closed lids. But they only came then. For now.

When Mac had bumped into her, she was standing in front of her locked bedroom door, trying to remember if she had even closed it in her rush to the bathroom. It seemed fine the night before when Finn wanted a midnight snack, she thought irritably. The exhaustion was in her face when she turned to see the mechanic standing there in the hallway. It was obvious she'd missed a lot of sleep.

"I...I don't know." She replied to his question honestly. Georgia had no idea why she was still here. Raleigh had kept his promise about not telling Andy, or at least everything seemed normal. She had improved in the kitchen but she still had accidents. Sometimes she completely zoned out over the stove, and when she came back everything was finished, plated and served.

Mac was familiar and strange to her at the same time. They both bore the mark, but hers was a burden while his seemed to keep him on board. Georgia absentmindedly tugged at the bottom of her striped sleep shirt. The hollow circle had faded in some places, and now the glowing skin resembled the ring left behind from the bottom of a coffee mug. It was sloppy and ugly, incomplete; not beautiful like the ones she had seen on others. She assumed it was because she was human. Her eyes flickered up from the dark hallway, back to Mac. "Did you want me gone?"

The girl seemed disoriented, but Mac didn’t find that offputting.  He didn’t draw his eyes away at her state of undress, but rather let his gaze start at her toes and work his way up.  Analytically like an engineer,  he assessed the raw material before him and drew his own conclusions.

“What I want isn’t terribly relevant,” he informed her.  He wasn’t the decision maker on staffing decisions.  He wondered if she’d learned anything from Andy’s cautions about her state of undress or skills.  Did she have a death wish?  Or was she just trouble?

“You should know why you are in places.  Why you stay.”  He shrugged and started to move on, and then realized that she might be locked out of her room.  He put a hand on the door and Anne obliged by opening it.  The lock irrelevant.   In the dim light from the room he looked at Georgia one more time and said, “Next time I ask you why, you’d best know the answer.  Not knowing will get you killed.”

With that he turned and walked down the hall towards the engine room.

"Yes I should." She muttered irritably in agreement as he walked off, feeling the need to cover herself after the weird scan he'd done of her state. Invasive, but only as if he'd been a robot confirming her identity. The lack of sleep made her grumpy, though still lazy enough to just let it go for now. She didn't belong here and she knew that by the way that the lot of them looked at her, spoke to her, told her to dress. But Georgia couldn't get upset about not fitting in. This was the best she could do. They were letting her stay. That was really all she could ask of them.

She couldn't see the glowing mark through his shirt as he walked away. Questions crowded her mind.

The blonde shuffled into her room and put on a robe over her pajamas. She would have taken the time to put it on earlier if she hadn't been feeling like she was about to spew her guts. It was late, but it wasn't as if she slept anyways. The young woman followed Mac down the hall towards the engine room. The off-limits area had tempted her enough. 

When Georgia darted away, Mac let her go.   His touch on the wall seemed to remind Anne that there were things to do and people to impress now that the ship was in motion again.  He was needed in the engine room, so with a shake of his head, Mac moved on.

He didn't need to access the panel to talk to the ship.  He wouldn't allow his mind to completely link with the onboard presence either.  He had no desire to all his mind to pilot the ship, he was more a puppet master than the string.  Always above.  Always watching.

The air in the engine room was warm.  Mac didn't mind it as he went to work adjust a few dials and making some notes.  He could tell he wasn't alone and looked up, suspecting the latest addition was Andy.  It seemed however that his intuition was mistaken.

"This area is off-limits.  Did you need something?"

She hadn’t thought about what she’d say when he asked her that. Sleep had tampered with her wits and unknown to her-so had Anne. Georgia looked around, leaving his question unanswered for a moment. The warm restricted room felt more inviting than all the other ones on this ship, even her own personal quarters.

“I’m not here to tamper with anything.” She said, holding her hands to herself and showing him. “I haven’t been sleeping and so I thought I’d come take a look. I wanted to see Anne up close.” Gerogia waited for a second, “I knew someone who researched the internal link…” She didn’t mention her own experience with the technology, “He told me about the connection needed. I’ve seen this area in other ships. Well, one other ship. It was a lot different than this one.” She observed, eyes moving along the walls. “I guess I was just curious to why.” Like she promised, Georgia kept her hands to herself.

“Does your connection have…side effects?”

It could haven been personal. Georgia wasn’t sure. But she did know that connecting with the Seraphim had given her quite extreme nausea the first few times until her equilibrium adjusted to the sights and sounds of being one with the craft. She remembered the first time she felt her pulse through its walls. Her connection had been organic instead of solely telepathic. She knew there were different ways to connect upon different ships, Anne seemed to have more of a mind of her own at some points from the way they talked of her. These were all subtle conclusions Georgia was unaware that she was making.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 07:12:12 am by Pach_Work »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #42 on: October 12, 2014, 08:46:43 pm »
Sleep came easier laying next to him than she thought possible, but Andy wouldn't need Mac to wake her, her nightmares would do that.

It was the day Orion shattered her world- her memories mixed with primal fear, brought on by sleep.

Her squad had been tasked with a secret mission, she was piloting a ship with Adam as co-pilot. They had fourteen others with them when they got shot down about 15 miles short of their rendezvous point.

Adam had gone below to try and get the data stream back online so they could deliver their information and send a distress call and Andy had gone to help their squad.

In her nightmares, just as in her memory, she watched as highly trained soldiers were cut down by the calm face of Orion. They had heard rumors about Falinian bounty hunters, and only Orion fit the behemoth killing her friends, so Andy knew he was there for Adam. In her nightmares though, he had black pits for eyes and was often dripping in blood.

No man Orion's size should be able to move so fast or graceful and in her dreams, he was even more deadly. She always thought he had to have had some sort of shield because none of the well placed bullets did the trick in real life, he simply batted them away like flies as they emptied clip after clip in her dreams. He was picking them off one by one, getting in close but always his face was calm.

Then it was only her. Andy dropped her gun, remembering that some shields had a weakness for low velocity weapons, and pulled two knives free. She was either going to be the victor or she was going to join her friends. Either way she hopped she'd given Adam enough time.

Andy stepped out into the hall and held up her blades. She actually elicited a smirk from the blank face before he came toward her. She felt the painful vibration of everyone of his blows as she blocked them, trying to find a weakness she could exploit. Speed and training under her mother's critical eye since childhood kept her fighting longer than any of her friends, but she was battered by his pure brute strength and size. First one blade was knocked away and then another and before she could stop it, there was a hand wrapped around her neck and her body was slammed into a wall, stars popping in her eyes.

She twisted to break his hold, but only managed to turn into a blade that she hadn't seen him pull, and it plunged deep into her chest, her cry strangled by his hand. Pain blossomed through her body and her hands fought limply against him. His face came in close, there was a glint in the black orbs, "It was inevitable. A mouse could never hope to kill a hawk." He yanked the blade free as his fingers uncurled from her neck and her legs slid out from under her as she crumpled to the floor, leaving a violet-red streak down the wall.

Her eyes darted around for something, anything she could use to stop him as he headed for the bridge. But already she could feel her body shutting down, not in death, but in shock and hibernation, trying to preserve itself.

She knew what she'd see next, a battered Adam, being yanked along by Orion, her body paralyzed, her mind screaming as he saw her, screamed her name. But then blessedly she'd wake up. She waited in her dream, feeling the blood flow slowing as her heart slid into an almost nonexistent rhythm, her limbs growing colder, her awareness growing fuzzy.  It would be soon.

But nightmares being what they are, have a way of striking, and in this time, when Orion came back dragging someone with him, it was Mac.

If she could have, Andy would have jerked awake, screaming. But as it was her body had registered the pain and shock of the memory and she was stiff, numb, and her scream came out as a quiet moan. Her heart raced in the darkness as she tried to take deep breaths to calm down. As she regained feeling, she slowly stretched out clenched muscles, trying not to wake Mac.

She managed to slip quietly from the bed and pull on a loose pair of hip hugging pants and a long sleeved t-shirt before she walked barefoot out on to the bridge and shut the hatch. She took three steps before she doubled over from the pain in her side and threw up what little was in her stomach into a waste chute.

She spit and stood up, it was then she realized she wasn't alone. She turned, and looked over her shoulder at Raleigh. They'd known each other long enough for him to know the signs of her nightmare, just like she knew his. She moved to the co-pilots seat and curled her knees up to her chest, still fighting down the pain in her ribs. She distracted herself by bring up the plotting controls, "You're up early..." he eyes slid over to him, "Or late."

Raleigh shrugged, eyes elsewhere. It would be a lie to say he wasn't tired, hell, he was exhausted, but sleep wasn't a gift he would receive tonight. It wasn't even the usual pain that kept him up this time, or the bad dreams, rather his own thoughts, the constant worry that the Anne and its crew were about to go down in flames. And then there was Georgia, the girl seemed to have more problems than he could count. He felt a bit of sympathy towards her, it's hard, being lied to like that. He wondered if she was all right, but he couldn't bring himself to check later that evening if she really was. There were still Mac's words to think about, and he never quite solved that problem.

Instead, Raleigh left his restless mind to pilot the Anne, not quite use to her movements now. They were certainly far more impressive, but it was a feeling to get use to. Of course the damn engineer had kept to his word.

"Sleep is for the dead, or so they say." He responded, finally glancing Andy's way. Another nightmare, it was written all over her face, "You all right?"

Andy was glad  Mac didn't have anything important taken apart, since it seemed Raleigh had taken the message she sent about the meet to heart and already had them heading in that direction. Whatever Mac did, it had made Anne's departure from the port smooth enough it hadn't woken her, though part of her wished it had. It was also good what was left of the crew had been closeted on the ship, or they might have been leaving someone behind. She plotted out a few points while she thought about what he said and asked.

She sent him a course correction and the route she wanted to use to get to the moon they were meeting Rochester on. "Old haunts," she shrugged, "I'll be fine." She finally lowered her legs and let her feet rest on the cold metal floor. She felt antsy and had pent up adrenaline from the nightmare.

She turned to him, "I wouldn't mind going a few rounds in the rec room though, if you felt up to it and trusted the auto pilot to do it's job for once now that," she was going to say 'Mac's worked on it' but that was what she'd have told someone who didn't know about Anne, and Raleigh knew. "Now Anne can keep us on course," she finished, her voice a bit tight. She knew what he thought about it. She wasn't completely comfortable with it herself, but so far they hadn't been caught and Anne hadn't done anything she usually didn't.

It had never been so hard to talk to Raleigh, not even when she'd almost got him killed and he lost his arm. There was very little about the current version of herself, that he didn't know.

He even knew more about her past than anyone who wasn't actually a part of it. She hoped he'd accept the offer though, they were always better able to talk when one of them was mock trying to knock the other on their back. Even with his arm, they were fairly evenly matched if they both held back a bit. She cleared her throat, "So, what do ya say? Care to try and knock me on my rear?"

Raleigh glanced away again, deciding not to press further. It seemed whatever it was their captain was dealing with, it was for her alone. Still, it wasn't difficult to notice how pressed they were for words now. Conversation that seemed so easy before, didn't seem to flow like it use to. Were they on rough terms? Had they ever been on rough terms? It was strange, but he had to admit, Andy's suggestion made him feel a bit relieved.

If they couldn't speak it out in words, maybe actions would help.

"Heh, I don't think I'll have to try all that hard." The Calloway man smirked then, standing up from his chair. "Let's see if you've still got it, Cap'n."

Andy simply raised a brow as she stood and walked off the bridge and to the rec room. She pushed a table and a few chairs from the middle of the room and then walked over pulling out the fingerless sparing gloves and mouth guards.

She tossed a set on the table for him and stripped her over shirt off before starting to pull the gloves on. She wanted to fight, but she didn't want a blood bath. "I've kept on my toes, while you've been enjoying that cushy pilots seat. You'll find knocking me down even more of a challenge than you usually do." It was a friendly taunt, neither of them won more often than the other. Possibly because they never wanted to, or had reason to.

Andy rolled her shoulders, cracking her neck and bounced on her bare toes as she shook her arms out and turned to him, ready when he was. She popped her mouth guard in and smirked, she wasn't below dirty fighting, she pushed it out enough to talk around it, "How's the girl? You've spent an awful lot of time with her lately." Georgia hadn't earned Andy's respect, or been on the ship long enough to be called by her name. "Anything you wanna tell me?" It also gave Raleigh a chance to come clean about what he knew, in a setting where Andy wasn't likely to completely loose it.

It was during one such a fight, Raleigh had finally told Andy what he'd done to the MULE, along with what he'd done with their latest clients daughters that would mean they would no longer be shipping for him.

"Ah, is that right?" Raleigh chuckled, amused, grabbing the mouth guard off the table and one glove, his metallic hand would find no real use for it, and during sparring, he usually kept its use to a minimum anyway. It'd been awhile since they'd last went at it like this. He could still remember Andy's face when he admitted to ruining their relationship with a client by sleeping with one daughter, not telling the other, and then doing the same with the other daughter. Of course, they were bound to find out, and with that, daddy dearest too. Man was he pissed. Naturally, that was nothing compared to how Andy felt about it, putting him in a headlock all too quickly at the time.

But the girl, Georgia, she wasn't a stupid story about dumb decisions that ultimately led to a few laughs in the end. Raleigh wasn't sure what he could tell Andy, and it was odd thinking so. He strapped on the glove, taking a stance that was probably a bit too casual, but that's how he fought, not feeling a need to put in more effort till he was pressured to, something he knew Andy would probably pressure him to do quickly enough.

"Her cooking's gone from shit to about sub par." Raleigh started, although, in all honesty, he couldn't remember what that night's dinner tasted like. His conversation with Georgia seemed to leave all food a bit tasteless. He knew he should have been telling Andy, telling her about the meds, about how this girl had no idea who she was, and had been lied to, but his mouth couldn't seem to find the words.

And then there was Mac's words. Was Georgia really the cause of this? Was the bounty hunter after them because of her?

"You and the engineer doin' all right? Or do you just enjoy beating the shit out of me after doin' the deed?" Raleigh smirked then, amusing himself a bit, and hopeful to get the subject away from Georgia.

So it was going to be lies then. Andy shook her head once, a little disappointed, before throwing a few casual jabs at his face, the last followed up by a quick upper cut to his gut before she danced back out of his reach.

Her lids dropped into a glare at not only the change of subject, but the implication, and the fact he was no longer calling Mac, Mac. She decided to screw with him and a brow arched, she talked through the mouth guard,"Jealous? I was pretty sure with the way that girl walks around flashing her ass, you'd have gotten some by now."

She didn't want to talk about Mac, or the fact he was in her nightmares now, anymore than he seemed to want to talk about Georgia. She feigned to move in close, but then danced around at the last moment, feeling his fist skid across her skin. She moved to make a jab at his kidney. She was trying to stay in close, and maintain the speed and flexibility she was used to. If she was going to face Orion again, which felt inevitable, she needed to get comfortable with the up close fight.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2014, 12:30:41 am »
Mac had to give Georgia  credits for guts.  He let a hand rest on his hip as he listened to her questions and narrowed his eyes as she hinted about herself.  Talk like that could get someone killed - and not just her, him as well.

"What makes you think I'm connected to anything?" He asked.

He could bluff it out he supposed. Add an 'I don't know what you're talking about' but instead he bent to pick up a wrench from the floor.  He kept his eyes on the wall as he said, "I'm not the type for deep bonding.  Simple answer to your question is no.  No side effects for me."  At least not like the type she mentioned.

"We've got someone hunting us.  Know anything about him?"

Mac wondered a bit about her sources of information and how that might come into play.  It seemed someone had told her enough to be dangerous to herself and others.  Something didn't click.  "You from Falinia?"

She had nearly forgotten that Mac's mark was a secret. The credit could not have been taken for boldness. Georgia paused at the first part of his reply, unsure how to cover her slip of tongue. But Mac carried on like it wasn't a big deal so she just let it go. If he didn't have side-effects then she was forced to come to the conclusion that hers were due to the genes implanted within her. It made sense and almost was obvious, but talking about it eased the heaviness of the secret she hid from them.

"Do I know anything about Orion?" She asked, pushing some hair from her face. The young woman seemed to be asking herself the repeated question. Orion had been following her since her escape from her father's lab. He had her ship. "I know he's terrifying." She decided to summarize it up to that. Mac wasn't one for deep bonding. She shrugged at his last question. The strain to remember made her dizzy again.

"No..." The reply seemed like a lie even though it was the only truth she knew. "I'm from Earth." Was she trying to convince herself or Mac? Her eyes drifted away and she turned towards the exit to make her escape before he asked her more questions that she was supposed to know the answer to, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't be in here."

The air was cooler in the hallway.

"Earth?" he repeated.  His expression likely conveyed a touch of humor.  Earth was a new story he'd not heard spouted by his compatriots, but it soon became clear she wasn't joking.  He tipped his head to the side.  Listening.

"You don't look well," he said as she turned towards the door.  "You should sit if you're dizzy.  Or you should go to the med bay."  He'd let her choose which way she wanted to run.

She paused at the door as she heard the amusement in his voice. Georgia wasn’t sure why she corrected herself, or why he needed to know where she was from- her own sudden uncertainty, maybe.

“My…family is…was from Earth.” She managed, “I don’t know where I’m from. And no, I’m fine.”

There was a bit of the truth and a bit more of a lie for him. Whether he could tell or not which was which didn’t matter to her at the moment. She just needed to find the bathroom before vomiting became too common for her on this ship.

Another contraction.  She wanted to see things, but then would run away.  She denied being ill, but clearly she was.  Her parents were from earth, but she wasn’t.

“Interesting,” was Mac’s only response as he watched her through narrow eyes.

A random thought came to him as his brain shifted through all the information.  She’s seen ships.  She knew someone who researched.  He was likely from Earth.  The universe was frighteningly small.  The question was out before he could stop himself.  “You wouldn’t by chance know Richard Vermillion?”

Georgia felt her hand clench by her side at the mention of the name. Her chest and forehead were shiny with perspiration. She couldn’t get a clear mind. Should she lie or just come clean? Right now lying was a lot of work.

Richard Vermillion was a former Alliance-based researcher who specialized in the neuroscience of marked Failinian. He studied the links between pilot and ship and was known for his “hands on” approach with his test subjects. Richard was deemed curiously cruel for the experimentation he’d done. Rumors were that he had no reservations on where he would cut open and what went inside the body. But most of his researched had discovered the rare ability of the Marked to awaken the full potential of ships like The Queen Anne’s Revenge, and Seraphim.

No one knew that his experiments and tests had saved her life.

Except Orion. He knew enough to want to hunt her down. Georgia didn’t need another reason to dig her hole deeper. She paused in the door, but continued out and down the hall without a reply to Mac’s question. Because the answer was yes. Richard Vermillion was her dad.

Georgia didn’t answer his question.  Mac wasn’t surprised.  Only the tapping of the wrench against his open palm  hinted at his distress over the situation.

“Interesting,” a repeat of before - his favorite muttering.  He decided not to chase after her – after all one good name question might lead to another and there was a reason that Mac was just ‘Mac.’

 He inched forward and ensured that the door to the engine room was closed.  Then he went back to work.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 12:56:41 am by Beau »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2014, 02:18:04 pm »


“I love you.”

The bounty hunter paused, dark eyes shifting up to look at the young woman from across the table, her white dress flowing with her movements as she swung her legs idly under her chair. Those electric blue eyes were watching him, dark hair spilling over one pale shoulder as she tilted her head expectantly. He had asked her once before why she chose to appear that way: the long black hair, the flowing white dress, the strange, powerful eyes. But she had only looked confused and asked him a question in return.

How could she look like anything other than herself?

He returned his gaze to the dissembled gun laying before him, large hands reaching for the next piece. “Okay.”

“That’s it?” She leaned forward, the hands at her sides grasping the edge of her seat as she frowned at him. “Just ‘okay’? No gasp of surprise followed by dramatic silence? No comedic misunderstanding or a heart-felt returning of my feelings? I’d even settle for a gentle, sorrowful rejection, you know.”

“That’s it.”

The quiet simplicity of his confirmation made her lean back with a glare. “You know, one day I’m going to figure out which one of us is the machine here.”

There was silence for a while after that. The sulking AI would occasionally grumble softly to herself, a couple of barely audible insults that Orion flatly ignored as he focused on the maintenance of his gun. As her mumbles steadily grew in volume, it was becoming increasingly obvious that she wanted him to ask her why she had said such a ridiculous and unexpected thing. And when he only continued to ignore her, her agitation grew so great that even her hologram began to flicker with her restlessness, the white light of her avatar dimming and brightening to cast a distracting dance of shadows on the table he was working at.

Eventually, it became too much. Orion sighed and set the gun piece back onto the table, resigning himself to his fate. “Why did say you love me?”

“Because I don’t understand you!” The rapid answer was explosive, as if it had been resting at the tip of her tongue this entire time just waiting to be released. He arched a brow, the rumble of his response lined heavily with his bemusement.

“You love me because you don’t understand me?”

“No!” She shook her head, the curtain of dark hair flying with her vehemence. She was glaring at him again, this time standing up to lean over the table while a finger pointed at him accusingly. “I’m not an idiot, you know! I can give you over forty thousand reasons why stars produce light. I can calculate the force and vectors necessary for a 600-ton ferric-tungsten projectile with a depleted uranium core to curve around co-orbital moons in order to impact an enemy ship hiding between them. I can crack a 128,000-bit modulating encryption key with the ease that humans do simple arithmetic.”

Her finger dropped to her side as she seemed to deflate, the hot air of her annoyance pressed out of her. She sat and this time her words were soft, shimmering blue holding him with something like sorrow. “But for all that, I cannot figure out how to make you happy.”

Orion stared, surprised by this admission far more than her initial declaration. What was she talking about? As long as he had a worthy target to hunt, he was satisfied. Surely she knew that by now. “The thrill of the chase is the reason I became a bounty hunter, Nine. I enjoy my work.”

Her mannerisms were so human. She winced under the weight of his stare, looking as if she was embarrassed by the unspoken ‘I don’t need you to make me happy’. The uneasy way she bit her lip, the nervous manner in which her hands began to braid out the hair that draped over her shoulder…Orion had to remind himself that the thing sitting across the table from him was not flesh and blood, but circuity and wires. She was not human.

“I know. I’ve never seen another human that looks the way you do when you’re focused on the hunt. That look in your eyes…" She hesitated, as if lingering on an image of him that she had captured in her mind, before shaking her head lightly. “But it doesn’t really make you happy, does it? You do it because it makes you feel alive. It makes you feel as if you have purpose.”

The dark-eyed giant could only look at her, stunned. There was a part of him, almost long forgotten, that ached in his chest as answer to her casual observation. But she still wasn’t looking at him, her gaze focused on her lap and oblivious to his expression, hands twining more slowly through her braided hair.

“I can hear it, you know: the difference in your silences. You never talk very much, but the type of silence you leave speaks louder than words ever could. I know the subtleties that differ your amused silence, your angry silence, and your contemplative silence. But the silence you have most often, the one you always get after turning in a bounty or when you stare at the stars for too long, is just…unhappy. Empty. Hollow. As if you are trying to hear if your heart is still beating.”

She did look at him this time, electric blue bright with her intensity. “More than anything else, I hate that silence. But I don't understand why.”

There was that frown again, but it didn’t seem directed at him. “I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to fill that silence. You’d think the encyclopedic knowledge of human psychology I have engrained into my core memory would have a chapter on silent bounty hunters with no sense of humor, but it doesn’t. I couldn’t understand what your silence meant or how to fix it. I still don’t, honestly.” His lips twitched at the passive insult, but said nothing. She didn’t even seem to realize she had said it herself.

“I turned instead to popular media, bestselling novels and classic films my tools to chisel away at the answer. I learned a great deal about humans, but very little about your silence and what I could do about it. How was I supposed to fix a problem that I didn’t understand? But it did give me an idea: there was a reoccurring theme in media that seemed to be a panacea for ailments of both heart and soul.”

“Love.” The dead-pan answer was confirmed by a bob of her dark hair, seemingly pleased that he had followed her logic.

“Brilliant, I know.” Well, maybe she was more pleased with herself than she was with him. “I don’t understand your silence, and love is often described as being beyond logic and understanding. It would follow that love could be the appropriate answer for your silence. A shot in the dark, but worth taking. Of course you ruined it all with your typical nonchalant attitude-“

 “Stop.” And she did, as easily as if she had been expecting his hand to raise in protest all along. She tilted her head curiously, watching the way he rubbed at his brow, exasperated. “Are you telling me you said ‘I love you’ because you thought it would make me feel better?”

She made a face that told him she thought it was an over-simplification, but did not deny it. He studied her, dark eyes focused on the idly shifting of the translucent girl across the table. “Are AIs capable of feeling love?”

Her shifting stilled, caught off guard by the sudden change in topic. “What do you mean?”

“Love is often described as being beyond logic and understanding.” He echoed back. “Happiness, sorrow, and anger are one thing. But how could something without an equivalent chemical component to use as a blueprint be coded into your system processes? I wouldn’t think an AI could be capable of experiencing love, even if you can simulate most other emotions.”

She stared at him and for the first time, Orion couldn’t read her expression. Then she was gone, her white-blue avatar abruptly blinking out of existence. Her voice reverberated from the ship intercom instead, oddly toneless. “You are correct. An AI cannot experience love.”

“Nine?” Orion’s brow creased, turning to look up toward one of the security cameras that she would be using to monitor the room. Though it was only her name, the question there was implicit: Was something wrong?

She didn’t answer. Orion frowned, but did not press the matter; if she didn’t want to talk to him, there was very little he could do about it beyond having a one-sided conversation with a camera. Dark eyes turned instead back to the gun pieces on the table, metal gleaming in the bright, stable light, waiting to be cleaned and reassembled. He needed to focus – they were only a short few days away from their next bounty. He didn’t need distractions like a moody AI occupying his attention.

But even as his hands moved with ritualistic efficiency, his thoughts lingered on the fleeting expression of the vanishing AI. The silence in the room was almost oppressive, thick and heavy as it hung itself around his neck. Even the soft clinks and clanks of gun metal being brought together did little to break the tension of it, every sound a soft reminder that what she had said was true: this silence was unhappy. Empty. Hollow.

Orion wondered when it was he had come to prefer Nine’s voice to the silence of space.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 02:30:14 pm by Pride »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2014, 07:28:08 pm »
Andy swiped a hand over the the steamy surface and gingerly touched the blossom of colors around her eye as she looked up at her reflection in the small mirror above the sink in her personal quarters bathroom. It wasn't the only bruise that had budded into existence in the last few days. She winced slightly, this was going to make a really great impression on Rochester... Something she'd said the other day had really set Raleigh off as they'd tossed insults and frustrations at each other, and they had ended up in an all out fight. Usually, one or the other or both of them backed down before they really hurt one another, but for whatever reason, they had both kept it up.

She supposed technically he could say he won, since he'd knocked her down first, but she'd swept both legs out from under him in her fall, and his back had touched the ground a second or two after hers.

She'd laid there, feeling sweat trickle and cool her already chilly skin, breathing heavy, an arm draped over her eyes, the other across her midsection, trying not to freak out. She couldn't get in the close up fight this time without her mind flashing to Orion. Every swing Raleigh started, ended in her mind with one Orion had landed. She and Raleigh had both exploited weakness the other knew. She'd attacked a particular nerve cluster in his shoulder that would set the synthetics in his arm jangling, and the blow he landed to her ribs had been the one that knocked her off guard enough for him to plant her on the floor.

She could hear him breathing heavy too. Finally she swallowed and sat up spitting out the mouth guard and turning away from him, hanging her arms from her knees and unlacing the gloves, "You're the only steady thing I've had, the only person I still rely on and trust completely. The only person that's stuck around that I haven't gotten killed. No one can take your place. I know being with him makes no sense. Not after everything I've been through. It's stupid to let myself want someone like this again, to trust him, when there are so many blanks. I know it and still I want him Rals." She took a breath, "It scares me."

She sat there for a minute in the silence, waiting for him to say something. Finally she sighed and stood up, dropping her gloves on a table and pulling the big t-shirt back on again. Maybe since she told him her truth, he'd come clean about what he knew about Georgia. Maybe not. Either way, the fight had done for her mostly what she'd wanted. Even if he chose not to tell her anything, at least she'd said her bit, eased some of the tension she felt. They'd still had some time until they reached the moon and the meet at that point. She figured if he hadn't told her anything by that time, she'd just have to come clean about what she knew about Georgia and they'd decided together what to do about her and whether or not she had a place on the ship.

She left and gone straight to the engine room, working out the rest of her tensions there with Mac. Mac had made a face at seeing all the bruises, his eyes dancing with something she couldn't quite place, but she had done what she could to ignore it.

She looked at her reflection again, and possibly for the first time in her life, wished she had the full Chima abilities to change her skin along with her scales. Makeup would have to do, they were docked to the moon base and she had two hours before the meet was supposed to take place. She ran a brush through her hair and set to work pulling together the image she was going to present to Rochester.

Forty-five minutes later she was as ready as she was going to be. She'd chosen to be able to show off her Chima heritage if needed and was wearing a deep blue shirt that had an eye shaped panel cut out along the length of her spine, brown leather pants, her knee high boots, a white scarf tied around her neck, her gun belt hanging comfortable around her hips and her brown leather tailed coat pulled over top it all- concealing not only her spine but the guns partially.

She tucked on stray hair back into the slicked back sides and into the twisted tugged braid that trailed down her back. She'd made it black, they still had Alliance on their tail, she change it to her preferred blond color if required. She didn't like it black, but it would help her blend with any other Chimas, since it was the most dominant color. She looked at her reflection as little as possible at this point, she hated looking this much like her mother.

She pushed a hidden sheath and knife down her boot for good measure and then went over to her desk and unlocked a secret panel in it and pulled out the data chip she'd been given on Falinia and slid it up into one of the hidden panels in her coat.

Then she headed down to the cargo hold to wait for Rochester's men to show up and start unloading the trees and take her to the meeting place. Raleigh still hadn't come clean about Georgia and they still weren't talking as comfortably as she wanted. He or Mac or both probably wanted to accompany her, but she wasn't sure yet if she wanted either of them with her. The less tangled anyone else was with passing off the horrid bit of information, the better.

Her com pinged and she pushed a button, "Yes?"

"Three ships approaching our mutual Dock, two small cargo and a personal transport." Anne's voice, more relaxed, more biological than digital now. She was getting more comfortable with doing whatever she pleased, which made a tingle dance down Andy's spine. How long would it be before she had no restrictions left?

"They're early." She took a breath, "Alert the crew to be ready to off load, or fight. If they came early, they may be thinking of taking without paying."

"Certainly Captain."

Andy looked down at the trees from the walkway she was on above them and her hands slid to her hips.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 05:58:38 am by Peregrine »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #46 on: November 29, 2014, 07:19:02 pm »
I promised you the world again
Everything within my hands
All the riches one could dream
They will come from me

Mac watched Georgia leave the engine room and he stared at the now closed door.  Earth was a place he’d not considered for a long time.   He saw himself standing in a tall building with a glass window and floor. 
His hand was held by a three year old girl as they admired the cityscape below. She wore a pretty dress and came only up to his knees.  Her hair was a light blond and tied up in ribbons.

Anne seemed to sense his unease.  She called to Mac several times, unable to penetrate the barrier of his thoughts.  Mac twirled the wrench in his hand trying to dispel the warmth that the memory drew against his flesh. 

Running takes strength.

He’d said those words to Andy and he knew them to be true. There were days he wondered if he had the will to dodge and evade.  Truth had an uncanny way of catching up.

“Lucas!” Anne said in his mind.  That name finally penetrated and Mac snapped out of his dark thoughts. 
But rather than gratitude he snapped, “Don’t call me that!”  He turned away from the door and went back to work with a bit more force than intended.  The metal hatch slammed against the wall. “Lucas is dead.”

“Is he?” Anne dared to ask.

Mac only raised an eyebrow and continued with the task at hand.  Andy soon joined him, and Mac slipped back into his typical persona.  He didn’t mind the work or the sweat.  Andy’d gotten herself marked up. “Raleigh I presume?”

Her presence was a distraction.  He let it do its magic as he tweaked Anne’s voice so he could imagine it belonged to someone more…human.  Earth remained heavy in his thoughts as Andy took a break to clean up and prepare for the impending meeting.  He watched her go much as he’d done Georgia earlier, with a sort of distant and wistful look.

I hoped that you could understand
That this is not what I had planned

Mac decided that Andy shouldn’t handle the meeting alone.  He took some time to remove the sweat from his body and straighten his appearance.  He arrived in the cargo hold as Anne announced the pending arrival.

He was pleased with how Anne’s voice sounded more melodic and silently patted himself on the back for that.  Then he processed what she’d said.

“You’re going to let them board?”  Somehow he’d not considered bringing them here.  He glanced at the cargo and then realized the move made sense.  At the same time he felt a strange sense of nerves like the entire process was hemming him in.

“It’s gonna be alright,” he said, although his voice was soft, and possibly meant to reassure himself rather than Andy.

Please don’t worry now
It will turn around
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 04:25:38 am by Beau »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2014, 07:29:59 am »
There is a stubbornness about me
that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others.
My courage rises at every attempt to intimidate me.
― Jane Austen

Andy watched as crew members started to slip between the trees, glad to see them armed. She didn't see Raleigh or Georgia among them. Maybe the later was for the best, if Mac was right and she was the cause of their problems.

She felt Mac come stand next to her, but didn't look at him. She didn't feel completely herself, with the black hair and the black eye from Raleigh, with secrets hiding in her pockets and Anne sounding like a person.

Her eyes slid to look at him from the corner of her vision, her head turning ever so slightly at his first comment. Her mouth quirked on one side, "As long as they knock real nice, I open my door to strange men all the time. I thought you knew." She was trying to tease him to break some of the tension she was feeling.

She looked back down at the trees, her hands tightening on the grips of her guns, her arm flexing and feeling the small pressure of the data chip pressing against her forearm. She glanced again after his quiet comment and then let out a small disbelieving sound. "Something needs to with this transaction."

She turned to face him fully, slipping between the space between him and the rail of the cat walk they were standing on. She took in his cleaned up appearance and her brow arched as her eyes finally met his.

"I prefer the grease and sweat myself." She half smiled and reached up and pushed her fingers through his combed hair, mussing it so he looked more like himself and she kissed him before leaning back and looking at him seriously. She spoke carefully, "This moon is small enough, you can track my location through coms. You know you can't come, don't you?"

Perhaps to show off or perhaps to reassure Mac, her liberator, Anne chimed in over the neural link she had with him as well as Andy's com. "They have arrived and are waiting in the joint airlock. They've broadcast the prearranged code you said to wait for." She flashed an image from the Moon's security cameras on Andy's small com screen. They didn't look armed, or like anything special.

She counted 8 men. Andy looked directly at Mac, "Let's not be rude to our benefactors Anne. Open the hatch."

Andy kept eye contact with Mac until she heard the heavy boot falls and she turned to look down on the approaching men with a hard and cool detachment, her hands back on her guns, and raised her voice. "You men are early, and at the wrong location. As I recall we were meeting in the trading hall."

Roberts came weaving through the men from the back of the pack and looked up at her with a smirk, rolling a toothpick across his teeth and tsked "You first captain. A full six hours before we expected your rusty bucket of bolts to slip in on a good day."

Andy thought she almost heard Anne hiss.

"Must have been doing some mighty fine work on the old girl while you were stuck on that space port," Roberts eyes slid to Mac at Andy's shoulder, then back to Andy. "Rochester felt it best, since you arrived early, to kindly offer to get things over with. Thus our being here to offer the early unload."

Andy raised a lazy brow, "Did he? And did he also kindly provide payment for his delivered goods?"

Roberts smirked, "For what I see here. For full payment, you'll need to deliver all that was entrusted to you. Lunch has been arranged, you can deliver it to Rochester then, in person. It'll give your men a chance to stretch their legs for a few hours."

Andy held Roberts eye for a minute, not sure she had heard correctly. People didn't just have lunch with Rochester. "Well then, by all means, let's get these water mongers off my ship and on their way to your boss. I'll follow you in my personal transport."

Roberts looked down and kicked a bit of soil with his boot as he chuckled and looked up at her. "Only Rochester's ships, enter Rochester's airlocks, Captain. You understand."

Andy bit the inside of her cheek, her eyes hardening. She must have hesitated too long.

"I assure you, you'll be perfectly safe but you're welcome to bring a man or two, if that would make you feel more... comfortable." Again she saw his eyes slide to Mac and then back to her.

Andy narrowed her eyes at him, keeping her face neutral, almost feeling Mac ready to volunteer, "I wouldn't trust your assurances if they were sworn in front of the Alliance Council Roberts. Where should I meet you?"

Roberts rolled the toothpick again, "As soon as the trees are loaded we can leave together."

Andy took a deep breath, nodded. "Let's get to it then."

She signaled at her crew and they started to move with the men that had come with Roberts to get the trees up on hover pallets to move them to the other ships. One of her hands slipping into a coat pocket, her fingers enclosing the object there.

Andy turned so she could watch the process, but also see Mac. Her hand came up from her pocket to slide behind her ear, over the small scar where the chip Adam had designed and implanted rested under her skin. She moved her hand away as the newest modified neural link Mac had made for her dropped into place behind her ear. She closed her eyes to the pressure the link created as the two things synched and connected her to Anne.

She looked up at him, her focus blurred for a moment as her brain accustomed itself to the unnatural link. His blue eyes were the first thing to come into sharp focus. "Anne can link you too me now, I've given her permission." She was trying to be casual about the fact that if he had really loosed Anne as much as she suspected, he could probably do more than see and hear what she was currently seeing and hearing. She spoke quietly before he could, she wasn't giving orders exactly, "You can monitor everything... from here." She hadn't wanted to use the link and suffer the certain headache later, but maybe if she did, Mac might actually stay behind.

"Somethings up. Hell, I'm not even sure I want to Fin or Raleigh to come." She wasn't sure the later would come anyway, without a direct order, what with the way things were. She wondered for a moment where Raleigh was. She swallowed, thinking about the reality of going alone, but didn't let the worry linger long.

She watched the trees, now quickly moving out of the cargo bay. She realized she'd actually miss their smell, their tenuous connection to solid ground. She looked back at him, cleared her throat and pushed her shoulders back, pulling on 'Captain' face. "I figure one or both of you need to be here to get Anne away in case things go south. Which is a shame since this is a great place to pick up components for cheap. But I don't like the way Roberts keeps looking at you, like he knows something. The less opportunity for back stabbing we give them, the better. Don't you think?"
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 08:05:52 am by Peregrine »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #48 on: December 08, 2014, 09:50:56 am »
Following Mac was a mistake.

Cool air surrounded her feverish body. The slight chill should have been a relief but it only triggered other symptoms. Why did she feel the need to make gutsy decisions when her judgment was clouded by withdrawal? Everything was cloudy. She went towards her bedroom, but doubled into the community bathrooms before she could make it. Georgia glanced quickly under the stalls to ensure the room was empty and went into the largest one, locking it behind her.

The smell of cleanser was enough to make her vomit right there. The blonde crouched to the floor, sweaty hands still clutching the lock, her weight was pressing the door closed. Georgia’s throat tightened as her nausea surged, the pressure in her head was connected to the dizziness she felt. Pale strands of hair clung to her forehead and neck. Georgia crawled to the toilet, which became two, then one, then two, then one again in her state. Her shaky hands had failed to lock the stall, and the door inched open.

Instead of the sickness coming up, there was something else.

By now she was used to the ground-shattering explosions when she closed her eyes. But this time, as she peered into the toilet bowl and saw her sweat dripping into the water, somehow the imagined explosions turned it into a red puddle, and her reflection was terrifying.

Georgia’s face was twelve years younger, or it would have been if she could see her face. What she saw was a terrifying mess of crimson, black and gray and blonde smeared over her left ear. What was left of her blonde locks were matted down by blood and soot. Her eyebrows and good bits of her hair were singed off, and her body was just as mangled. 

Her eyes widened at the sight and she backed away from the reflection, unable to stifle a scream as she felt her shoulders pressing against the stall’s wall. She looked at her hands; saw blood instead of what was really there. There wasn’t any pain, but the vision of it scared her more. Fear clutched her tightly; Georgia could feel the heat of her fever as if it were fire against her skin. When she looked down again, she was on fire.

“No!” She kicked her legs trying to put it out, hitting her sweatpants with her bloodied hands, desperately trying to put out what wasn’t really there. Tears and perspiration made her face damp; Georgia couldn’t separate herself from the illusion that she was burning to death.

There was more burning though, her lungs being filled with smoke, burning to breathe clean air. She tried to cough but it was hollow gasps that came up instead. She wheezed and clutched her head tightly.

“It’s not really happening…this isn’t real…”

The fire was gone, but the fear remained. Georgia clung her legs to her body, crumpled in the corner of the stall, breathing as if she’d run a marathon on fire, coughing up thick imaginary smoke. Illusions. That was what they were. But the more she had them, the more it began to sink in. She was remembering her accident.

“What happened to me…”

"I know it and still I want him Rals. It scares me."

Those words didn't leave him despite the new aches now added on to the old pains. Raleigh had said Andy might have dulled over the years, but obviously she hadn't. She was still as sharp as ever, and her punches still had the same old weight to them. Damn that hook to his shoulder, the skin there already purpling but hidden beneath his old jacket from his alliance days. The symbol for his platoon was still there on the sleeve, although the color had faded somewhat. With the jacket on, he seemed almost whole, a man without a metal arm.

He was hating himself. He was supposed to be the man Andy could depend on, her right hand man, but he was a fucking liar instead. He should've told her, told her what was going on, Georgia's story, how the girl needed help, but he didn't and he was a fool.

Maybe he'd tell her now. It wasn't too late was it? He could fix this.

But those thoughts didn't last long, cut off by a voice outside the restroom, loud, desperate, and Georgia's.

He went to her without a second thought, going through the bathroom door in one long stride, "Georgia. Hey! Are you all right?!"

She was in one of the stalls, part of her visible beneath the gaps as she rested on the floor. Whether she was conscious or not, Raleigh couldn't tell, but he'd find out. Andy would chew him out for this later undoubted, if she was even talking to him, as he pulled the bathroom door off by its hinges easily with his metal hand.

She was conscious but he'd have been blind not to notice the fear on her face. Something was undoubtedly wrong. Placing the door down, he knelt down, the insignia from his platoon easy to see on his sleeve, "You all right? Can you stand?"

She was a mess. Her hands and body smeared blood and dirt everywhere. Georgia could almost feel the soot-soaked sweat smudged where the blood wasn't. She had seen those gold eyes peering through in her reflection. Raleigh's voice barely reached her through the deafening roars of her memories piecing together recklessly. Wide eyes found his face in the chaos. Her dirty hands hesitated to grasp her head in attempt to somehow stop the noise. She remembered the wound that she'd seen in her reflection, how it covered most of her scalp. Instead of tangling into her hair like they wanted to do, her hands shakily reached for Raleigh's.

They reached for help.

"I don't want to remember!" She sobbed, "I don't want to!" The sensation of something trickling down her neck caused the girl to shudder violently. "Make it go away! I don't want to see any of it!" Her hands suddenly withdrew to cover her ears, another explosion. "Help me!" She didn't care if anyone heard her screams. She didn't care if Andy knew. She just wanted it to stop.

"It's okay. It's okay." Raleigh started, trying to sound soothing, trying to reassure her. "I'm here. I'm going to help you, it's all right." He reached out a hand, touching her shoulder. She was terrified, and he wasn't sure what to do about it. Comforting, reassuring people, it wasn't exactly a skill he had a talent for.

"You don't have to remember anything. It's okay." He had his other hand, the metal one, on her other shoulder. "Let's get that medication. It's in my room." He tried to make eye contact with her, hoping she was still with him. Although, he knew it was obvious she'd never make it to his room alone. Getting on her own two feet didn't seem like an option.

"I'm gonna take you to my room, all right? Everything's fine. You're safe." Tentatively, Raleigh moved to pick the girl up off the bathroom floor. She was much lighter than he expected, carried in his arms easily. He left the bathroom, not encountering much of anyone on the way to his room. He recalled where they were supposed to be, remembered the shipment, remembered that he should have been at Andy's side, supporting her.

Everything was going terribly. He was really shit at this.

His room was near the end of the empty hall, and he locked it behind him, just in case anyone was still around. With Mac no longer as a roommate, the room was his alone and seemed a lot emptier than usual. Half of it was empty, left with simply a mattress.

Raleigh placed Georgia on his bed gently, glancing at her face, before going for the medication he had stashed away. "You doin' okay?" He started to ask, sitting in a chair beside the bed, preparing the medication. "Do you still not want to remember? Do you want this?"

There was a brief instinct to fight him. She felt so endangered, but she remembered reaching for his hands before, somewhat coming out of her darkness. Georgia let him pick her up. She shook in his arms, the fear trapped inside of her. She felt an odd familiarity, like this had happened before. Her head leaned against his shoulder and she closed her eyes, trying to close out the memories. Slowly they faded, the noises died.

For a moment she was unconscious, the last thing she saw was the symbol on Raleigh’s arm.

In Raleigh’s room she still trembled, regaining consciousness as she sat upright on the edge of his bed. Georgia glanced around briefly. There was no more fire, no more blood. But she didn’t need to see it to know it now. It was as clear as day to her that the nightmare had been a long lost memory. She wiped her tear-stained face, hand reaching to rest on her heart as if to calm its rapid beating.

Did she want the medication? Now that she had seen a brief peek of her life before the doctors, before the Seraphim, way before the Anne and Raleigh, could she go back to her oblivious life after seeing something so traumatizing? Would it erase everything she just saw or would it be a nightmare she constantly wondered about?

Her eyes drifted from the needle in his hand to the metal arm that held it. Her thoughts resurfaced to the Anne. They were supposed to be preparing for a shipment…Raleigh was supposed to be.

“Yes…please I can’t take this anymore…the noises, the blood-”

Georgia paused, her hand reaching to touch Raleigh’s jacket sleeve. It was the same…the same as something else. Her mind peeled its layers away and her other hand came to hold the fabric like a photo. “What is this? Where did you get this?”

I’m sure he’s worn this several times. Did I just not notice it? What am I remembering?

There was that nagging feeling, the same feeling students got when they just KNEW the answer to that test question.

Why can’t I recall?

“Wait,” She whispered, putting a quivering hand up to the syringe, “not yet. I’ve seen this before.”

"This?" Raleigh glanced at the insignia on his jacket, confused. He was relieved Georgia seemed a bit better now however. She seemed to be with him now, not lost to whatever thoughts or experiences she was having. She was making eye contact with him now, her eyes losing that terrified, distant look from before, and she was making conversation. They were good signs.

But why did she care about his jacket? Why did the symbols for his platoon matter?

"It's from my platoon, the one I was a part of for the Resistance." He paused, "It's not something anyone can usually identify. Did you see it somewhere?" It just didn't seem possible that Georgia could recognize it. His specific platoon, they were for fighting, for battle. They didn't help civilians, they didn't tend to the wounded. The only way anyone could have seen this insignia outside of the Resistance was on the battlefield.

Had Georgia been on the battlefield?

"Maybe you should take the medication. You were doing pretty bad back there." Regret was starting to hit him, along with the ugly feeling that this was his fault. He'd told her what that medication was for. He took it away. He did this to her, made her experience all this pain. Maybe he should have let sleeping dogs lie.

But she had her hand near the medication, making it obvious she didn't want it, not yet. Was she recalling something important? Did it have to do with his platoon?

He sighed, placing the medicine on the near by nightstand. "If you start freaking out again, I'm giving this to you, no objections." Raleigh then removed his jacket, exposing the bruise on his shoulder, and handed it to Georgia. "Look at it all you want if it helps."

"The Resistance...?"

All Georgia knew about the battle between the two were the experiments, dangerous rooms that were off-limits, (strange connection, that one) and that the majority of her life (that she could recall) had been spent in fear of it. Raleigh removed the jacket and she held it for a moment, examining the symbol closely, tracing the edges of the patch with her finger. How did she know the people of the Resistance?


Georgia turned to look at him curiously, and for a moment, she could see his wear. Her eyes softened and she let the garment rest in her lap. He really had been worried about her, even if he tried to cover it up with Andy finding out and him being in hot water. She knew he wouldn’t even admit it to himself. Somehow she had survived that traumatizing event, but the symbol on this jacket made her feel safe.

“Ok…I know.”

She was quiet for a moment. He probably wanted to leave so he could get back to his duties. Her tremors were gone, and she didn’t feel hot anymore. “I don’t know why, but I think I owe you more than I thought.” Georgia immediately blushed, that had come out wrong, “I mean…not like that,” The girl sighed, blowing a stray hair from her face with an eye-roll, “You’ve just done a lot for me. More than you may know.”

It was enough to put Raleigh, and even Andy on the side of the good guys. The Alliance were after her now, an apparently they'd targeted her in the past as well. That had to be where the explosions came from. She stood up and let the corner of her mouth curve into a half-smile. His jacket was passed back to him. She wouldn’t need to stare at the symbol anymore. She had a feeling it would come up whether she wanted it to or not. “Go on before I get you in trouble.” With that she left the room, and went to pack her things.

She had a lot of confessing to do later.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 07:26:03 pm by Pach_Work »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #49 on: December 08, 2014, 06:56:54 pm »
It had been almost too easy for Orion to free Seraph from his stay in Tartarus: a few short words, a formal looking document, and the name of an Alliance admiral Seraph didn’t recognize but made the Warden go pale. In the bounty hunter’s hanger, the dark haired Marked was surprised to see another ship there waiting for him already. It was much smaller than Orion’s vessel, a unique looking craft made of an odd metal that gleamed white in the light of the hangar. A gesture and a short explanation from the giant confirmed what he could already tell just from looking at it: it was the genzero ship that would be his to command for as long as he sought the woman from his dreams.

The weight of those dark eyes bearing down on him was a reminder of what was left unspoken: if Seraph did not abide by their agreement, if he attempted to flee or do anything other than confront his betrayer, then Orion would kill him. But there was nothing to worry about. The promise of Seraph’s salvation was too great: this was his opportunity to show the Alliance that he could surpass his inborn darkness. All Orion asked was that he talk with her at the time and coordinates he was given, but this was a secret test, wasn’t it? From what the giant had told him, this woman still harbored Marked from the Alliance, facilitating their corruption. Surely this was why she had followed him in his dreams for so long – his guilt at letting her lead him further into evil had been gnawing at his consciousness this entire time. This was his opportunity to rectify his past mistakes. This was his chance to show the Alliance the fruit of their tireless efforts to help him, to prove himself as worthy. If he killed Andrea Malcomina Kaplin, not only would he free the Marked she kept from the Alliance’s help, but he would finally take the last step to surpassing his own corrupt nature.

But that was all well and good in theory. Orion had left hours ago without fanfare, turning and stepping into his ship with only a brief parting: ‘Don’t be late’. But following that simple order was looking more and more unlikely as he found that there was a much bigger problem to face before figuring out exactly how he would kill the woman who's name haunted his dreams.

The white ship was rejecting him.

Seraph slammed his palm on the console, anger bubbling over as the engines abruptly cut out once again. He grit his teeth in frustration and forced himself to remain still, least his thrashings rip the injection points over the critical points in his body: needles inserted at his temples, resting in the major veins, and buried in his spine. That part had come easily enough – it seemed the ship recognized him for what he was the moment he sat down in its small cockpit, the brief, intense pain of their automatic insertion laughable compared to a decade of the Alliance’s training. The hard part came after that, in the wake of the brief connection he made with that other consciousness, a half second of passed understanding between two beings before it abruptly shut him out, restricting the system’s controls under some sort of biological lock.

Seraphim. Its name was the only thing he had gathered from their momentary interaction, before it fled from him. The name couldn’t be a coincidence, could it? This ship that the giant brought for him to use, his tool to hunt down the woman who had betrayed him, shared his name. Its body was rounded, connected to six, folding wing-like appendages that made the tattoos on his back ache. There was no doubt about it – this was a vessel designed for the Marked. Or perhaps the Marked were designed for the ships? He wasn’t sure, but the pressure behind his eyes began to throb whenever he tried to think about it too much. There was a whisper in his mind that was hinting that it didn’t matter, it didn’t matter,  it didn’t matter, vessels of the corrupt and tools of the damned, metal and life and sentience warped into something that would kill countless innocents if given the chance-

The ship’s interface flared under his touch, a white light and scalding heat that made Seraph cry out as he flung his hand away. But the burn did not linger in the untouched flesh of his palm; rather it seared through his mind at the injection points at his temples, burning away at the whisper until he could no longer hear it. For a brief moment, everything was clear, a clarity he hadn’t felt in years returned to him: he remembered what it meant for a Marked to partner with its ship, for two consciousness to meld and work together – there were fragments of another ship that he once flew under, bigger but with a heartbeat as familiar as his own, the thrum of its controls under his hands like the blood under his skin - but then it was gone again, smothered by not just one whisper, but many.

Do not be fooled, the ship is trying to trick us-

It is alive and wicked, seeking to control us against our will-

False memories, false feelings, false understanding, can’t we see it’s trying to manipulate us-

It would corrupt us, take back all those years the Alliance spent teaching us how to be better-

These wires and needles forced into us, making us feel things that are not out own, making us remember things that never happened-

It wants to help us? Return us to our true nature? What foolishness. Absurdity. What is there to help? We have been improved, we have been made better than we once were-

But it made a mistake, didn’t it? In trying to help us, it’s left itself vulnerable. If it can influence our mind, thoughts, feelings, then surely we can do the same to it-

Let’s show it that we cannot be corrupted. Not now, not again, not ever.

Seraph’s palm stung as it slammed back against the interface, the grin on his face aching as it pulled too far at the edges of his face. It was like flexing a forgotten muscle, sending his consciousness forward to find the Seraphim’s – he could feel its surprise, its horror as he began to wrap around it, consume it from the outside. There was that pulse of white again, longer and brighter than before, the cockpit a white sun as the glare blinded the his wild eyes. It was struggling, thrashing against his control, the very ship stuck in a fluctuation between humming to life and shutting back down as they fought for control – the heat in Seraph’s body was nearly unbearable, as if he had stepped into the fiery pit of an inferno, the ship using its connection with him to light his nerves on fire in an attempt to stop him.

But if this was the full extent of the pain it could deal, then this fight was already over. He had experienced pain far worse than this more times than he could count. The Alliance had taught him how to deal with agony and despair.

He felt the moment when the Seraphim broke under the weight of his mind, a brick wall suddenly shattering like thin glass. The heat dissipated and the bright white faded to a dull red hue, cabin painted in fractured shadow and deep crimson light from the console. Seraph sagged back into his seat, hand lifting from the thrumming interface to cover his sweating face, breath ragged and uneven. He closed his eyes and willed the throbbing in his mind to go away, to ignore the quiet cries from a consciousness that he held by the throat under the weight of his mental boot.

This was different, he knew. This was not the true partnership that made the Marked vessels so dangerous – the Seraphim was completely bound by him, a prisoner to his commands and forced to obey. It was a perversion of the partnership that was supposed to exist, a form of parasitic control that hurt him almost as much as it seemed to hurt the ship – even the whispers in his mind could not suppress the instinctive ache in his chest that told him so. But that was fine. That was more than enough. If absolute control meant he had to deal with that pain and handle some parts of the ship manually, then he would not object. It would get him to the coordinates the bounty hunter had given him and see to the fulfillment of their agreement. He would use this instrument as evil in order to reach his chance at salvation.

Laughter, sudden and unbidden, bubbled from within. The irony of it was not lost on him – using the very abilities he hated in order to be rid of them. But finally, he would have the opportunity he had been waiting for a decade to have. The ship’s thrum magnified as he willed the engines to life, the dark cockpit bathed in a crimson glare as it lifted from the ground, bright blue gleaming with malicious delight while the coordinates in his thoughts translated into the navigation systems. His smile hurt again, too wide and teeth grit too hard – he could feel the Seraphim’s pain as he forced it to obey, sharp fragments that dug into his mind as the needles sank deeper into his skin. There could be no more hesitation. This was his one and only chance.

Seraph would prove he was beyond the corruption of the Marked and free himself of a lifetime of painful dreams by killing the woman called Andrea Malcomina Kaplin.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #50 on: December 10, 2014, 01:33:53 am »
'Cause I need more time
Just a few more months and well be fine

Andy ruffled his hair and told him everything would be fine, but even as Mac said the words himself  he wasn’t sure he believed them.  As the group of pirates started to board the ship, and Andy switched to Captain mode Mac moved closer to the wall.  He didn’t like the look thrown his way by Roberts.  The survey was a bit much for casual interest. 

So say what’s on your mind
Cause I cant figure out just what’s inside

Andy didn’t want him to come to the meeting.  That much was clear.  He didn’t have time to explain that Anne could communicate with her better, but he was not linked to the ship in the way she expected.   He wasn’t Adam – but then, he’d already told her that.

“You can’t go alone.”  Hadn’t the pirate’s even suggested she take one of her men?  Clearly it was expected that she come with a guard.  He had a weapon on him, but he didn’t like to use it.  She knew that.  At the same time, he heard himself offer, “If Raleigh isn’t here by the time the shipment is off-loaded, I’m coming with you.”

So say alright
Cause I know we can make it if we try

The idea offered him comfort.  A touch of control in a situation he felt was rapidly moving beyond him.  He took a breath, unsure why there was a pressure in his chest like a storm waiting to break.

Cause I need more time

The last tree was loaded.  As fate would have it, he needed to follow through with his offer.  “After you,” he said to Andy.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2014, 09:58:13 pm »
Andy's jaw tightened at his insistence. Couldn't he see she was trying to keep him safe? To keep Anne safe? Not to mention, she wasn't even sure he could aim the gun he was packing,

She watched the trees, she watched the door. Where in the goram verse was Raleigh? She chewed on the inside of her cheek, trying to think of a way to keep Mac away from Rochester, but no answer he'd accept, besides maybe a direct order, presented itself in the six minutes it took for the trees to finish being loaded.

Roberts looked up at her, arching a brow. She ground her teeth. "Fine," she almost growled and headed down the steps from the catwalk to the cargo hold floor, listening to him following.

She paused in front of Fin. "I want you to stay with the ship. Send someone with a list of what you need to resupply. Contact me immediately if payment for those trees doesn't show up in the next twenty minutes. And if you see Raleigh, tell him he's ordered to stay with the ship since he couldn't be bothered to help with off loading." She saw his face fall, but he nodded. "Aye Captain."

Roberts rolled his toothpick and his eyes hearing the comment and led them to the personal craft that had accompanied the two cargo ships. A smirk played around his mouth, she wanted to wipe off his face with her fists, as Mac passed through the door behind her.

She sat down across from Mac in the small passenger area and almost glowered as Roberts moved to the cockpit. Why did he insist on putting her in these positions- to choose to be his captain or the woman sharing a bed with him. It was getting complicated to make decisions regarding him. She shook her head, "I hope I don't regret this."

She pulled her eyes away as they took off, watching out the small window at the dead landscape of the moon. She took shallow breaths and tried not to grind her teeth as they flew away from the main compound they had been docked at. Of course Rochester would have an off site location. She felt an old and familiar sinking in her stomach, her hands slipping to her hips.

It didn't take long to get to where they were going, traveling over the surface like they were. They lowered down into a false crater that opened for them to land in and then closed over their heads and she listened to the atmosphere reenter the space before Roberts came back, his face still covered in that stupid smirk. He opened the hatch, "Ladies first."

Andy's eyes narrowed, but she went through and toward the only door. It opened from the other side by an armed brute. She stepped through and he put an arm out to stop her from going more than a few steps. He looked down at her hands at the guns at her hips and tipped his head toward a table.

She arched a brow and shook her head.

"Come now Andy, did you really think you were getting a personal meeting, armed?" Roberts voice spoke to closely to the back of her neck.

She turned her head into his face, "If you think I'm going a step farther without any defenses, I think you're the one that is delusional."

His hand came up to touch her, but she caught his wrist in a vice grip, which she was pleased to see caused him to flinch as he spoke, "We both know you're hardly defenseless without a gun. And I think you know you're not leaving here until Rochester gets what was entrusted to you."

Andy's eyes slid around the small room, two more guards were coming through the only other door. She did know, which was part of the reason she hadn't wanted anyone else endangering their lives for the toxic information she was passing off.

She gripped and twisted his wrist tighter for a moment longer, thought of what they would do to Mac once they knew what he really was, "Pointless," she muttered before releasing him and held her arms out. She glared at Roberts rubbing his wrists as the brute came and pulled her guns loose slowly from their holsters and set them on the table. Her eyes slid to the brute as his hand slid into her coat and pulled the one at her side loose and set it next to the others.

She started to step forward and the brute shook his head again and she rolled her eyes and bent over to pull the knife from her boot and held it up to him. Mac's gun would join hers before they were escorted through a labyrinth of tunnels, meant to confuse them. Luckily Andy was good at directions and she had Anne in her head.

Roberts led them into a bright white and lavishly decorated room. There was an over sized table set with food on the far side and arrangement of wing back chairs on a large circular rug just in front of them. There were more guards stationed around this room, a Chima woman among them. Andy's brow raised as she saw her standing next to a finely dressed, late middle aged man, seated in one of the wing back chairs. He was pealing an orange and looked up with a smile as they came in. She heard Roberts shut the door behind them and she instinctively stopped in the middle of the rug several paces from the man.

The man looked back at the orange as Andy stopped mid room, "Ah Captain, its good to finally have you here. I wasn't sure there for awhile if we would ever have the chance to meet. I was afraid I was going to have to do something ugly when I caught wind of the attention you'd drawn to yourself." He dropped a complete and perfect curl of peal onto the silver plate to the side of him.

 "Zen will take your coat Captain" , he gestured to the Chima woman next to him as she stepped toward them.

Andy flexed her shoulders, "I'll keep it on if it's all the same to you."

The man looked up, a chilly danger in his eyes, "It's not. I insist."

Andy's eyes narrowed ever so slightly. They must have scanned her at some point, probably knew the chip was in her coat. She turned her hand in her sleeve as she shrugged it off her shoulders and down her arms, catching the chip with her fingers and tucking it up into the leather bracelet on her wrist.

She saw the Chima woman fold the coat over her arm, her eyes boring into Andy. The man stood up and stepped toward Andy and Mac. Instinctively Andy held still as he came closer. He tilted his head looking at her and circled her slowly, pulling a piece from the orange and pushing it into his mouth.

Andy tensed with him at her back, but didn't turn, not even when she felt his fingers slide between her braid and the open panel in the back of her shirt. "I almost mistook you for Vall'een. You do so look  like her with your hair its natural color. You must get tired of hearing that, which is why I suspect you put so much effort into being blond most of the time, isn't it?." His fingers twisted around it once then trailed down the braid, his knuckles brushing purposefully down the scales of her spine.

Her jaw clenched, her empty hands balling into fists to keep from letting her hair change or a shudder to pass through her, but mostly to keep from turning on him and snapping his wrist. "Though you keep your hair much shorter than she ever has. Perhaps something to do with your human half. I do so like that you took your father's name, though you spell that different than he does too, don't you? Ties to the Alliance can cause so many problems out here on the rim." He let the end of the braid slip through his fingers at the small of her back as he finished his rotation around her to face her.

It didn't seem he really wanted answers, so Andy kept her mouth shut. He moved toward Mac and peered hard at him, the side of his mouth tugging up as he slipped another piece of orange into his mouth. "Interesting choice of bodyguard."

His eyes focused on Mac, "I never forget a face, though in your case, your reputation proceeds you. Mac now, isn't it?" he lifted his knife, starting to scrape at a few stray white strands on the orange before he continued. "I am curious, though, why choose that one? Mac the Mechanic. It sounds so blase. Did Falcon give it to you? He is somewhat of an idiot, and he never did say during our failed negotiations for the... procurement of your skills." He glanced at Andy, her rescue had obviously stopped them.

Andy forced herself to not look at Mac, to admit anything about his identity that she did, or obviously did not, know. She calmly crossed her arms over her chest. "Enough. If you aren't interested in business, we should leave. If you are however serious about completing this transaction in as swift a manner as your man lead me to believe then I have your information, you have my payment. Let's be done with this."

Rochester glanced at the Chima woman then looked back at her, his hands paused in pulling apart the orange, "Manner's Andrea. We both know you were raised better than this." He sighed and passed the orange off and wiped his hands on an offered cloth, "Now, we're going to have a pleasant visit. Get to know one another, but if you must know, your money is ready to be delivered as soon as our meal is over and the information is in my hand. Besides, if you cut one more ground visit short for your men, you may have a mutiny on your hands."

He started to walk toward the table, "Come. Both of you." He gestured at the table with his knife.

Andy's eyes slid to Mac for a moment, wishing again that he had stayed safe on Anne, then she looked back to the man, before she stepped toward the table. He moved over and sat  down in the head chair with a flourish, "Sit. Eat. You've come so far, and I doubt you've had a descent meal in quite some time."

Andy wondered how much he really knew, and how much was inferred by where and the way they lived. Either way, he was right. Georgia was a terrible cook, though improving. Until she had her money, Andy knew she needed to play nice.

Rochester smiled, "I'll remind you it's considered rude in most cultures to talk business at a meal table. I'd much rather listen to your answers to my questions, or... Mac's answers, wouldn't you?"
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 06:41:36 pm by Peregrine »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2014, 07:04:28 pm »

Andy wasn’t one for talking while traveling which suited Mac fine.  He didn’t have much to say now that he’d been appointed companion.  They both knew his limitations, but he stood by the choice not to let her go alone.  Once at the meeting however, he did his best to follow the unwritten protocol which included not pouncing on their host as he fondled Andy’s hair.  Experience warned that it was always best not to care about such things.  Reactions were weaknesses.   He didn’t know the name Rochester likened Andy to, although he surmised it was a family member.  He made a mental note to look it up later.

It seemed he had a reputation, which Mac found rather humorous.  Again though the emotions were masked as the pirate asked after his name.  Falcon wasn’t the best of subjects.  “No. Falcon didn’t give me my name.”  His mother had, but he wasn’t about to clarify that family was out there by the name of MacIntyre.  He let his fingers lace behind his back.  He approached the table when directed, but he had no intention of eating.  Mac wouldn’t put it past the slimy gentleman before him to lace the food with something…unappealing.

The seat at the table was pulled out for him by one of Rochester’s henchman.  Mac nodded and took his place; manners dictated that he put a napkin on his lap.  The hint was heavy in the air that he do some talking but he chose only to say, “Nice weather we’re having.”

The man lifted his head from cutting at the meat on his plate, "Bit chilly for my tastes, but one cannot complain when inhabiting a moon. At least we shouldn't need to be here long." He slid the bite into his mouth and then off his fork with his perfectly white teeth.

After chewing for a minute he looked at Andy. "I admit, I'm morbidly curious how you've convinced so many people you're an outer rimmer, when you are anything but. I've often wondered if your ties to the galactic council haven't helped you more than hurt you."

Andy shrugged, acting casual about his dancing around her Mother's position of power and influence. It wasn't something she brought up or thought about much, it was half a life time ago that she'd even seen her on more than a vid screen or an Alliance report. Raleigh was really the only one who knew where she came from.

"I've never used my supposed connections and I stopped being anything but an outer rimmer when that exact same galactic council went stark raving mad. How else could they justify choosing to listen to less advanced humans who threw a tantrum, unable to handle not being the most advanced space explorative species, and somehow convinced everyone genocide was the only course of action. Kind of turned me sour to the whole ABC's. That and watching my government slaughter millions of innocents before my eyes, so really a combination of things."

He smirked and took a drink from his glass, glancing at Mac over the gold rim, " I hadn't realized you witnessed the Exodus attacks. Still, an interesting way of looking at it, seeing as how you're half human."

Andy shrugged again, "I didn't say all humans were less advanced. Many fought on the right side."

"Yes, and those paid dearly for it." He scratched a small scar near his collar as his eyes slid again to Mac. "Though none so much as those that did and continue to aid and abed the remaining Marked."

He looked back and Andy, "You picked one up a few stops ago I believe. If you want to continue working with this organization, getting legitimate pay offs, you may need to stop all such charity work. Or get a different ship, half the Alliance is on the lookout for you. You could sell yours to me, I have quite a few rather lovely ships here on this moon that are at least twice as good as that rusty thing you call a ship."

Mac wasn't connected to Anne the way Andy currently was.  No disgusted voice hummed in his ear but he could imagine the ships reaction to being compared to a 'rusty thing'.  His own hand clenched in reflex, before he calmed and let his fork continue pushing the food around the plate in a semblance of eating. 

The others didn't seem effected by anything in the plates before them, but he remained cautious.  He didn't enjoy drawing attention to himself, but he felt inclined to ask, "You're rather free with the advice.  Is it the Anne you want?  Or something else?  We've offered to complete our transaction and go, but yet you keep us here.  Why?"

There had been a half angry half panicked buzzing in Andy's head, but nothing crystal clear. Down this deep under the ground, she was glad the connection was still there and Anne was behaving well enough to not do more to distract her at the petty comments.

"Business, business, business. I suppose that those in your situation, flying about on fumes, eating protein bars day in and day out to survive, can think of little else besides the payoff, resupplying and eeking out just enough to get to the next stop so you can do it all over again." He made a face, set his silverware down, wiped his mouth and dropped the napkin on his half eaten plate.

Andy tensed, her hand laying casually on the half dull butter knife, but it was better than nothing.

"When one is a position such as you, dealing with a person such as I, who could easily improve that situation with regular work and more than adequate pay, I would think I would humor that person Mac."

He laced his fingertips, resting them on his chin as he leaned back in his chair, his elbows on the arms. His full attention on the Mechanic. "I like to know exactly with whom I am doing business. In the case of you, I know more than I'm sure you'd like me to. In the case of your Captain, I know I do. I want to know the character, the caliber, the worth of those I choose, or not, to employ. You and your crew happened to draw undo attention to yourselves during a routine hand off. I have four dead men and a finger absent information fence who've woven quite the tale. Would you care to explain?"

Andy swallowed looking at the man in a new light, a sinking feeling in her stomach. "It was my fault." She managed not to blurt it, saying it with conviction. If he was going to do harm to them, she prefer the blame be laid squarely on her shoulders, where it belonged.

"An old haunt was in the bar where the meet was. I attracted his attention, and lost my composure."

The man raised a brow. She swallowed and continued, "It was Orion, the Falinian bounty hunter."

A smile broke across his face, "Ahh, not just a haunt, but the man who nearly killed you and captured your lover." His eyes went back to Mac, "Interesting that you seem to be a magnet for those particular people. I take it he wasn't hunting who you thought?" His eyes slid back to Andy as she shook her head. "Still. I had heard you were excellent, and then my first direct encounter with your brand of services has been less than stellar, and what you carry for me just so happens to be something I would have been very... displeased to lose."

Andy straightened, "If it is that important, take it, and keep our fee for the transport of it and we'll be on our way."

The man glanced at Zen and then his smile deepened, "Oh no, I always pay. Though to make it up to me, I had something more... unique in mind to square things away. You see, your mother has something I want, and I believe you are just the person to get it for me." He smiled at Mac, "Her mother is of course, Vall'een Caplain, one of The Chima Prime that sided with the Humans in the war, and the most recently appointed member of Alliance Council. I bet you didn't know your Captain is an Alliance Aristocrat." Andy's jaw clenched, her hand wrapping around the butter knife, unable to look at Mac.

Mac's eyebrows rose as Andy suggested they leave without payment.  She'd made promises with those funds and he sensed she was serious about cutting her losses and leaving.  He'd expected irritation but not fear.  He thought she'd gotten over her encounter with Orion, but clearly that wasn't the case.

He set his fork down in preparation of leaving.  "You seem rather obsessed with it." Again his reaction to Andy's heritage remained masked behind the calm.  He wasn't surprised - she could keep her secrets.

"I bet she doesn't know that you are simply one of four Rochester's floating through the galaxy, or that you put some reslin drops in my potatoes to see if it would loosen my tongue."  He didn't have long to wait for a reaction.  Two of the men near the door drew weapons and pointed them towards the visitors.  The sound of metal scraping against metal indicated the weapons were cocked and loaded.  Mac remained seated.  "I think we can talk character without violence.  Don't you?"

There was a moment's pause, but then the pirate waved a hand and the men stood down. 

Mac didn't take his eyes off Rochester, "I seriously doubt that Andy owes you anything in compensation for your men.  They should have moved faster."  He shrugged, "As for other jobs..."  His glance turned towards the ceiling and the walls, "if you remember me so fondly I suspect there are more immediate needs."

He put his elbows on the table and leaned forward.  Before Andy could interrupt him he charged on. "So how about we cut the charade.  You let Andy go with what she came for, and I'll stay, keep your secret and fix your problem."

« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 07:08:44 pm by Beau »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2014, 07:08:12 pm »
Anivegate Region – Vilino Constellation
The Outer Rim: Remote Moon Port
The Hanged Man bar and pub – 12:15 UST

“The Seraphim has docked.”

The click of ice cubes in thin glass as Orion set his drink on the bar was his acknowledgment to Nine’s announcement in his ear, dark eyes staring as the ice melted slowly under the heat of his palm. The bartender off to the side, polishing a glass with idle hands, looked his way nervously as if unsure if he should bother the giant by asking if he wanted another glass of water. He wasn't the only one that appeared uncomfortable – despite being a popular location, there were three open seats directly to Orion’s left and right, the only other occupants at the bar sitting at the far ends. It seemed the patrons had come to a silent agreement to give the massive man some space.

Orion wondered what made them the most uncomfortable: the grim expression, his unusual size, or the large knife he was spinning idly between the fingers of his left hand. Regardless, no one was going to dare ask why he seemed to be talking to himself. “He’s late and our targets are moving early. Not an ideal situation. What is the status of the woman?”

“Unknown. Andrea Kaplin entered Rochester’s compound fifteen minutes ago, with one other of her crew. The security there is good – better than most Alliance compounds, at least. They have a signal inhibitor installed, making remote access all but impossible without tripping their security. No wave comes or goes without being extensively verified, so there’s no chance of hacking their cameras. Rochester is apparently a paranoid man.”

"Naturally." Orion frowned into his glass. "Then it seems we no longer control the timing of our ambush. We'll need to adjust."

Nine paused, as if considering. “On the bright side, that means the fair captain’s comms will be disabled and she won’t know that we've boarded her ship until she’s finished with the meeting. If we have our bait waiting for her at the port, distracting her from an immediate return…”

Orion grunted his agreement, standing from his stool. He slid the knife into its holster with one hand as the other gestured for the bartender to take his glass. “Give Adam her personal communication ID and the bypass to activate it remotely. Instruct him on where to wait and tell him he is not to initiate contact until he has direct eyes on her. From there, he can do as he wishes.”

“Understood. Are you moving to the Queen Anne’s Revenge?”

“Mm.” He confirmed, the crowd of people parting before his long, heavy steps. He pushed open the doors and moved to the parked land speeder waiting for him. “I’ll be there in five minutes. How is it looking?”

“Security cameras show that most of the remaining crew is still occupied unloading trees into two cargo ships. They’re almost done, so you will likely arrive just as Rochester’s men depart. It seems a majority of the crew has left the ship to enjoy the port, so you’ll meet minimal resistance. Installing the remote chip to airlock door should be more than enough to get you in without any fanfare.”

“Good.” He powered up the vehicle, speaking a louder to be heard over the thrum of its engine as he pulled out. “You’ll have ten minutes to disable the ship and gather as much information as you can. I’ll destroy the chip when I’m leaving with our prey. I assume she is still there?”

“I haven’t seen anyone fitting our target’s profile leave the ship yet. She appears to still be on board.” The professionalism cracked then, broken by Nine’s giggle, a tinkling like electric bells. “You’re getting better with your jokes! Ten minutes? Please. I’ll have that ship’s data banks cracked and core systems corrupted in three. It’ll be at least a month before they’ll be able to repair it enough to even leave this moon.”
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 07:17:39 pm by Pride »


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2015, 07:15:55 pm »
The longer Georgia had to sit in the port clinic waiting room, the more edgy she grew. The blonde medical case eagerly tapped her fingers against her magazine page, gold eyes shifting about the room to survey her company. She’d been told her name would be called shortly, but it had already been 45 minutes, and the young woman was beginning to question her safety and confidentiality.  Doctors were required to keep her medical history a secret, weren’t they?

These days a simple test took no more than twenty minutes to diagnose a result. When she entered her information on the waiting list, the space under “Reason for visit” had been something she’d spent a lot of time on. There were multiple reasons, but Georgia ended up writing down hallucinations/dreams due to medication.

She flipped another page of the magazine, not even looking down at the pictures of the perfectly poised models. If she had she may have been slightly comforted by the fact that one of the women sported the very same lace-up boots she wore now.

The guilt ate away at her the more she thought about Raleigh. He had been helping her when he missed Andy’s orders. Georgia chewed on her bottom lip. Her presence on the Anne was crucial to her own survival, but after enough time aboard she began to worry more about the position she put the other crewmembers in.

After waiting painstakingly long in the lobby, Georgia fiddled with the small piece of paper that she’d brought along. Her prescription, though little good it would do if it were wrong. She’d brought it anyway to be safe. The wait almost felt longer when she’d been escorted to a room. When the doctor finally saw her, he had little information to offer about her own memories and experiences. All these years she thought she had the ability to recall her life on the dot…

“Could I…perhaps take a look at your…well, you know..” He hesitated, but Georgia removed her shirt, revealing the blotchy ring of a mark that took up most of her waist and torso. His hands were cold as he routinely pressed around it. “I’ve never seen one shaped so…uncertainly.” His mouth twisted in an observational frown. “I can’t conclude much more than if you continue to take that prescription, you may very well forget most of your life, Georgia. You may want to see the doctor who prescribed it to you to make sure that it wouldn’t harm you to refrain from using it.”

She chewed her bottom lip. Visiting that doctor would be impossible, “And the hallucinations?”

“Those should get better over time without the regular usage. I would suggest a drug prescription that would help you remember, but without your medical history I can’t do that. It may be better that I remain oblivious,” His eyes went to her mark and he nodded to her. She nodded back, understanding of the taboo subject. She was a danger wherever she went, even to somewhere as small as a local clinic.

Hesitantly, she took her leave, hoping that the questions she was left with had answers. She was afraid of what else she might remember, but she had to remain resiliant. The many times she had seen that elegant hallway, and the mysterious pale-haired woman that held her hand and smiled at her.

She had a feeling that the more past revealed to her, the less comfortable she felt with remaining on a ship with people who’d been a part of the Resistance. There was a history with that crew, and if Orion had an interest in them, she was just making it easier for him by combining two targets on one ship. If she did leave, would he go after them, or would he continue to pursue her? Who was his real priority?

Georgia had a gut-wrenching feeling that it was the pilot of the Seraphim.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2015, 05:36:29 pm »
Andy had had her suspicions about Rochester, everyone did, how could someone seem to be everywhere and nowhere. To hear Mac say it though, left a metallic tang on her tongue. She stared into the wall during Mac's exchange with the man.

She felt a buzzing in her head, a feeling of urgency. I'm not letting Mac stay, so shut up. But Anne kept up a running pressure in her head.

"Delicious proposition. Though I wonder what you think is stopping me from keeping you both until you give me what I want?"
He smirked and stood from the table, walking over to a service at the wall and pouring a drink, "You are wrong though, on several counts. Four being the first and the fact that I don't care about those men being second." He took a drink of the amber liquid in the glass. "I care about the inconvenience, the messes to clean up, the people I have to pay off. The cost to my reputation."

The last was the most important, Andy knew, the one he wanted compensation for. She stared at the wall, trying to think of a way out of the situation, at least for Mac.

She felt eyes on her and she looked over at Zen, her eyes narrowing, then at the two other men in the room. At least one a Chima mixed blood. Her fingers twisted and she pulled out the data chip and began rolling it across her knuckles.

That caught everyone's attention. She stilled herself and pulled on a smirk. She was about to play one of the only cards she had. "No."

The man looked at her, "No, what?"

Andy looked at him. "No I don't think you're going to keep us here. No to your propositions." She stood up, the chair screeching heavily against the floor. "I don't think you're going to do anything, or you would have done it by now. You keep saying this information is so important," she stopped the rotation of the chip, straddling it over her middle finger, the fingers on either side pressing down, "but you haven't taken it yet."

She watched him glance at Zen, who had moved quietly closer to Andy. Her fingers flexed and the chip groaned in protest, "I know how important it is. In fact, I'm willing to bet there isn't another copy of it in all the verse." Zen was staring daggers at her fingers. Andy stepped back from her chair, freeing up her movement and appearing more relaxed than she was, especially with the running 'Return to Ship' feeling she kept getting.

"If I were to say... break it?" the sound of plastic starting to crack slipped dangerously into the silence.

"Then you would surely die," it was Zen who said it.

Andy's eyes rolled over to her, a finger raising on her other hand. "Except, I know what's on it that you are so generously willing to pay for. I've seen it."

She felt a tingle go down her spine at the hormones in the room spiking, her com beeped three times in rapid succession and then the running diatribe from Anne suddenly went silent. "I did a job, and I've had nothing but trouble since I did it. So let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job," her fingers tightened, "I deliver, and then I get paid. There's no need for fuss. You feel I didn't do my job? Cut the fee, but threats?" She looked directly at Zen, she'd seen the way the Man turned to her during critical moments, how he was sweating now, "We both know they are beneath you."

She glanced down at the com, they'd been gone for well over an hour now and the messages were all marked urgent, "As nice as Mac's offer is, as his Captain I'm going to have to revoke it. Seems he's needed on my 'rust bucket' and I simply can't spare him. Now, are you going to take us back to the ship, where I will gladly hand over this piece of chaos and be on my way, or you going to make things get messy?"

Mac’s confidence took a beating as Rochester denied his claims and Andy took control of the conversation.  He didn’t look her way, but he physically fliched, “Captain, I really think…”

But she rolled on, and he was left to clench his fists in frustration, missing the cue that Rochester wasn’t the real power person in the room.  He stood as a hint that he was ready to leave.  “You heard the lady,” all he could say.

Zen smirked, and shook her head, "I think you're going to rethink that Captain. I think in a few moments, you may even beg me to let him stay."

Andy's brow furrowed, but at some signal she didn't see, one of the Chima guards had slid up silently closer to Mac and darted out an arm, slicing a shallow cut. Andy's jaw clenched as she looked back at Zen.

"I believe you know what the toxin of a Chima female will do men, but a Falinian Man?" Her dark smiled turned to Mac, "They react in the most... unexpected ways before it kills them."

Andy's fingers tightened over the chip, "Give him your antidote before I break this." If the toxin on the blade were concentrated, it could kill him in a matter of minutes and only an antidote made from the same female's toxin would spare him a great deal of pain.

Zen seemed to completely relax, the man Rochester didn't move closer but started drinking from his glass.

"You certainly are wily, I'll grant you that. Though I wouldn't expect anything less from one of Val'een's children." Andy raised a brow, [color=lime green]"Now, we're wasting precious time. Even now I'm sure he's feeling the affects. He's no good to either of us dead. Give me the data, and I'll consider forgetting all this mess and perhaps take him up on his offer. You of course will be escorted back to your ship. It's good to see another woman in a position like ours, perhaps we'll work together again. Now decide Captain."

Andy's free hand clenched in a fist, she could feel the guards tensing and ready to move. She looked over at Mac, her heart racing. He didn't look to be in pain, it could all be a bluff, but all she could think was I can't let you die.

Her fingers clenched ever so slightly before she rolled the data chip into her hand and extended her arm, offering it up in her palm. She kept her eyes on Mac, hoping she'd made the right call. One guard took the data and walked toward Zen, while another grabbed her arms, pinning them behind her back.

"Good choice choice Captain," Zen nodded and they started dragging her away.

Andy jerked against the hold, "You said you'd take him up on his offer, you can't do that if he'd dead."

Zen smirked as she held the data between two fingers and Andy was pulled through the door, "I said, I would consider it." Andy's eyes darted back to Mac just before the door slammed in her face with a metal clang and the sound of locks being engaged.

She broke the hold on her arms, but there were more guards in the hall and these ones all had guns on her, they shoved her down the hall, away from the door.


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Re: Chained to the sky[Closed]
« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2015, 10:56:24 pm »
A few minutes after everyone was off the ship except Finn and Raleigh, Anne let the ship make almost a sighing sound.

For the heck of it, she garbled Georgia's transport computer. It would keep the shuttle from being able to be tracked, looking like a broken tracker and would keep it from starting... for awhile. Hopefully it would keep Georgia away long enough to get her left behind, Anne was still bitter enough to hope it happened. She only needed one pilot, she just had to convince Mac to be it.

She started playing around with some of her memory storage, clearing out caches of useless flight data when she felt it. Someone, or rather some thing was hacking into her systems and trying to leave a swamp behind.

Anne's engine purred to life and her voice quietly said through the ship, "No chance in the nether verse." She sent a string of messages to Mac and the Captain, but felt they were moving sluggishly- probably something to do with where they had gone.

"Raleigh, if you're not drunk off your butt, I just thought you'd like to know that someone is attempting to access my primary memory and control functions," Anne said calmly over the speakers.

She was already dumping the cache she'd just gathered into the memory banks that had been accessed and was back tracking the signal. "Thank the verse Mac removed enough restrictions to let me remove the rest so I can fight this or we would be in the black with no fuel." She muttered to herself.

She tried to access the neural connection with Andy, but was only able to see that she was looking at her hand next to a butter knife and fancy plate, before the connection blanked out again. She'd have to direct Mac how to boost that when they got back, since he was stubborn and refused to link with her fully and make life easier.

That's when she noticed a moon atmo airlock was being opened. The garbage dumped in her system was causing more of a distraction that she thought. She found Raleigh and Finn with a quick scan, her voice coming into the rooms they were in. "Someone's boarding through a non-port airlock. I can think of only a few people with the skill, I suggest you prepare yourselves for a fight while I call back the rest of the crew."

She got a half message off to the captain, before her communication systems were corrupted while she kept the attack from shutting down primary functions. She also got a bead on the sending signal and sent back her own nasty bit of code to counter attack.


Zen smiled in a triumphant way as the shut door in Andy's face. The smile dropped as she looked back at Mac and Rochester and took the data chip from the guard that brought it over. She tucked it away and a bit of a smirk danced back around her mouth at the look on Mac's face as she walked over to him and offered him a cloth napkin for the shallow cut on his arm.

"Women with human blood are such irrational and foolish creatures when they think they are in love. That one in particular" she waved in the general direction of the closed hatched, "has a track record that makes things even easier."

She studied him for a minute as she ran her fingernails delicately down one side of his face as she inhaled deeply closing her eyes, her scales seemed to ripple. "She didn't hide it very well truthfully. I could smell you on her, coming out in her emotions, such a sickly sweet worry."

Her eyes snapped open as she pulled her hand back without breaking his skin. "So easy to manipulate, once I realized her connection." She walked over and poured herself a drink then turned back to him.

"Now, what to do with you Mac. Do I actually kill you? Or do I  risk using your skills while I have them and possibly have you cause more problems than you're worth?."

She took a drink of the swirling blue/green liquid. "You know quite more than most. Granted your information is a bit outdated, it is still more than I've encountered in the last five years. It puzzles me and makes me wonder who has a loose tongue. I'd threaten you, but you don't seem to respond to threats like your Captain come lover. You would have stayed willingly if she hadn't insisted she was leaving with you. Though, now she knows more than I'd like, perhaps you'll behave if I threaten her?"

She cocked her head to the side, "Though I don't think that would work either since last record we had of you... well let's just say I had Lucas pegged for a 'one great love in a lifetime' kind and you've already had that, haven't you Mac?" She narrowed her eyes, "Either you care more for the captain than I gave you credit for or more likely, and if you're honest with yourself, you chafe of your current surroundings and were looking for an excuse to leave."

She finished her drink and set it down with a purposeful smack on the wood, "No. I don't think you love the poor Captain."

She turned to the nearly forgotten fancy man, "Rochester, take him to the ship bay. Even if he was having second thoughts about his offer, getting back his own ship, damaged though it may be, might keep him with us longer than even he anticipated." She smiled, turning the data chip in her fingers and then walked out, leaving Mac to be directed by the Rochester embodiment.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 02:04:44 am by Peregrine »