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TragicTrees

A Local Babe in a Nonfiction World
#1

  • It all started when the planets were abandoned.

    No, that isn’t right. It actually all started when the universe was created, when matter and dark matter balanced out, when the elements were made and meshed together to build worlds. It started when the first organisms fled the waters and took to the land and to the sky, and, eventually, to the space surrounding them. It started when life went from simply being to thriving, to taking a hold of their destiny and driving it forward to the stars, meeting other species who had run a similar gauntlet. It started when the worlds that were created and evolved began to interact with each other, sometimes helping, sometimes harming, sometimes finding themselves somewhere in between. It started when people rooted themselves in the universe, made themselves heard, letting it be known that they weren’t just beings that would be wiped off the slate through the waves of history.

    It ended when the planets were abandoned.

    All that's left of the universe’s population is now on ships, going from place to place, never landing on a planet for more than a day if they can help it. The practice is rooted within the hope for safety, to avoid the varying dangers of different planets, as well as the mutated creatures that remain as their only inhabitants. For some, however, the practice is also founded on superstition; what happened to create such an empty expanse is a mystery, and has been for years. Some say it's a curse. Others, a god. More lean towards a more scientific explanation, like disease. Others choose to leave the mystery a mystery, rather than wonder about it, thinking its best to just leave it alone.

    Some things, however, never work out the way one wants them to.


Character: Markus Gray
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: N/A

Markus Gray didn't really prefer being a scavenger. He actually would've preferred the cushioned life of a passenger on a generation ship, but those were difficult to get onto if you weren't born into the role. The next best option was light-house keeper, but he knew nothing about the mechanics of a beacon. Then came merchant, which was crossed out due to his horrid sales skills, and pirate was off the list due to his morals.

That left scavenger, which left him in the care of the Greenfly.

It wasn't a bad ship. It could've been worse. He could've been left on a planet, without any resources. Instead, he had a home, no matter how....dysfunctional and ever-changing it was. Currently, he sat in the small, cramped control deck, watching out the window as the ship sped along towards the lighthouse they were scheduled to resupply. They could just take it all and run, but then the Greenfly's reputation would be tainted, and it was likely the beacon would go down, at least for a while, until someone got notice that it still needed supplies. So, it made sense to just do what was asked of them. It was just the wait that was difficult.



Character: Polaroid
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: N/A

Ilston Market was nothing short of chaotic, and Polaroid had no problem with that. As captain of the ship, they probably should've been, but it was that sort of energy that they loved about the place. You couldn't find it anywhere else, not with the state of the universe as it was. It was an experience, that's how they viewed it, and trying to tame that would be a damn shame. So, they just didn't try.

In fact, they did the opposite. They reveled in it. They stood out in the hall, leaning against the metal wall, hood up and mask on, staff sticking out of their bag. They had no where to be at the moment; the ship was staying in the sector for a while longer, letting the business filter in and out, until another merchant ship came along. So, they would join and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the marketplace.



Character: Annie Penchant
Location: The Saint Antonia
Interacting With: N/A

Being a pirate was rather exciting. Annie enjoyed it for the adventure it brought, because it was enjoyable to board ships, meet new people, possibly injure those new people, and then get all their things. She rather loved free things. Now, the people she took from weren't necessarily happy in the end, and it was understandable, but she liked to think they would get over it in the end. After all, everyone needed those things, and pirates....just had a different way of doing things. It was the circle of life, in a way. A progression.

Other people didn't see it that way.

She sat in the kitchen area of the ship, tail flicking back and forth as she tinkered with some new parts they had stolen from a recent ship. Maybe she should've been bothered, but she couldn't find it in herself to be. Things were good on the ship, and she'd never see those people again.
 

Attachments

Vanillacrazycake

To whom you owe the pleasure...
#2
Character: Mojisola Nazunagy (Moji)
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: Markus Gray


No matter how often Mojisola would find herself in space, it always felt like the first time. Sure the artificial gravity was consistent in most areas of The Greenfly but it only took one chance encounter with a loosened bolt or a shorted fuse before you’re tumbling down a corridor with no knowing which way was up. She fixed that issues shortly after, but the dull, blackened, spot on her shoulder and throbbing pain in her head were still a reminder of the tentative nature of her new home.

It wasn’t a large ship by any stretch but the sheer number of red lights and flashing emergency codes on the central console would make even a veteran engineer cringe with discomfort. Many of it’s redundant systems were now it’s primaries, and in checking for functionality of other systems she found nothing but gaping holes where components used to be. Luxurious was hardly what she would call this place, but she was open minded, sooner or later she’d get used to the taste of the recycled air, the chill of the cabins, and maybe even the lack of windows in most parts of the ship. Keeping this this tub from buckling under the immense structural strain of maintaining a pressurized environment was a full time job unto itself, not to mention the rusting in key infrastructure making reinforcement virtually impossible. “Good thing I brought duct tape,” was all Moji could think to say about it.

But none of this could also compare to the immense strain of isolation she felt out here in the depths of space. Even in the most seedly sections of the lowest levels on a merchant ship, surrounded by pirates and criminals of all stripes, could compare to the stress of passing her new companions in the cramped halls of The Greenfly. As a Transhuman, not many people would even pay her a second glance, let alone allow her to join their crew, so when the opportunity came to make new friends and venture out into the unknown, she took the job without question. It didn’t occur to her how tense and awkward it would be to march around in silence, meditating on the hissing of the air systems, whilst repairing every possible facit of the ship with no attempt of idle conversation. It was hard, stressful even, to constantly avoid eye contact and focus solely on the mundane minor repairs. Sometimes she’d just carry a box of tools over to a vent and crawl in, idley knocking a wrench against the side to make it appear that she was working. It seemed all she could really think of was how she would go about breaking the ice and finally opening up to meet her new teammates.

Then it happened. It was quick. Like a burst of adrenaline, carrying her out from the narrow maintenance crawlspaces and onto the control deck. Looking forward out the dirty windshield was rugged, muscular, intimidating man that hired her onto the ship at the last market ship. He seemed transfixed, gazing out the window without seeming to have noticed her appear in the doorway. Her heart skipped a beat as her own voice spoke for the first time in days.

“H-hello, sir!” She shouted, much louder than she had intended to say, “I uh, didn’t properly introduce myself before, I’m Mojisola Nazunagy, but you can call me Moji!”
 

TragicTrees

A Local Babe in a Nonfiction World
#3
Character: Markus Gray
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: Mojisola Nazunagy (Moji)

Markus had, admittedly, zoned out. He had a habit of doing such; the ship was generally a quiet place, depending on the group that he was with, and this group hadn't seemed to be the type to be chatty. Some were just hitchhikers, scavengers hopping from ship to ship, not taking care to actually know the rest of the people on the ship. Others...well, he had hired one girl. Now, that didn't mean he trusted her as far as he could throw her, but he had a habit of taking in people that didn't have anywhere else to go, and her kind were the type that people avoided. He didn't, though. After all, at the end of the day, they were all the same: small, finite specks in an infinite universe that was ever-expanding and empty. None of them had a real home. Just ship after ship. He was ready to offer a small comfort of a stable place to stay for a while to any traveler that needed it. That said, even those he hired from time to time weren't social butterflies. That was fine.

That was why he sat in the control deck. It wasn't spacious, but it had a window, something that was rare on the ship, as well as the controls and a hard, metal chair that made his back feel like it would snap, but still allowed some rest for his legs. It was also easy to find, if anyone needed anything, which they almost did, but it was better safe than sorry. He'd sit and think, looking out into vastness of the vacuum surrounding them, and fiddle with his necklace, which was a blue, prism-like stone, attached to a leather cord by a metal cap attached to the flat side of it. He'd found it on the surface of a planet, in a place that seemed to be science oriented, with all sorts of devices and tools. It had been a good haul, but something about the necklace had intrigued him, so he kept it for himself, and wore it around his neck, hidden under his shirt when traversing the merchant vessels. When alone, though, he used it as a sort of worry stone, something to keep himself busy while he was lost in thought.

When the girl spoke up, he stiffened for a moment, before relaxing, turning the chair with his foot to face her, smiling a little in a way that could be seen as easy-going. No point in scaring the poor thing any more than she seemed to be already. "Nice t' meet you, Moji. I'm Markus Gray. Feel free to call me whatever you're comfortable with." He said, accent showing as he sat up, wincing when his back cracked. Maybe he should take to walking around the ship more. "Don't worry 'bout not properly introducing yourself before. Ain't easy being on a new ship, I know that much. No need to be a stranger, though, have a seat. Should be a folding chair around here somewhere. I noticed you've been tinkering with some of the systems around here, yea?"

When he had walked around the rest of the ship, he'd noticed her with her tools, working on various things, and he'd noticed the artificial gravity seemed to functioning better. Not that anything on the ship would be functioning well enough to be considered anything other than close to broken, but it was...better. The fact was, the Greenfly was rusty and dented, struggling to keep together. The systems were at best alright enough to function, and at worst risky to even let run. Any improvement, however, he would take, because he'd been living on the ship for a while, and he could tell when something changed, whether for worse or for better. It calmed his nerves to know at least something was the latter.
 

The Pattern

There are patterns everywhere
#4
Lighthouse delivery, Dan hasn't ever seen a lighthouse beyond a dot on sensors, beyond a navigation point on a computer, let alone actually deliver something to one. The one spaceborne object that isn't attacked by the leeches, the one job everyone can respect, the one object that unites everyone. Sure, Dan's made the donations, it's a faux pas not to but he never actually cared about the lighthouses that much, he didn't really think about the people who spend their lives aboard them nor did he actually think about how significant they were before now. Now, when he was looking at the supplies they were delivering. Food, water, medicine, enough to last a few people a few months. Most people only had enough food and water to feed a rat for a day or two, and that medicine. Oh that medicine. A few bottles of strong painkillers to the right guy can keep a starving man fat for at least a year and there's a hell of a lot more then just a few bottles in there... All for keeping a beacon running. A beacon that gives every scavenger the closest thing to a safe haven, a beacon that every pirate lurks near for easy prey, a beacon that merchant ships set up shop at to keep one of the last semblances of civilisation operating. It was the treasure trove in the Greenfly's cargo hold that first made Daniel think about the lighthouses, about how important they were. And that's the last item. Sure seems like everything's there. Nothing off the list.

Daniel had been tasked with keeping stock of everything on the list by one of the larger donors. If any little piece was scraped off the top, it was on Daniel's head. Although, cargo counting isn't his only reason for joining the others aboard that rusted old floating pile of junk. Dan needed a home to work from, he had proven himself a bad captain before, and his negotiation skills made for a better subordinate then a leader. Everything the Greenfly would scrape from the old ruins that scarred every surface of every world, he'd make the deals that kept them afloat, and possibly prosper depending on what they found. The Greenfly was a long-term home for Daniel if everything went alright.

Once Daniel was done with his inventory check, the third count so far, he walked along to the glorified cockpit that was given the very official name of 'control deck'. Daniel was just heading there for business with the closest thing the ship had to a captain, but when he heard the chirping of that weird organic robot thing Daniel had a feeling it'd be a little more eventful then a brief notice that the cargo's all there. Daniel hadn't seen a transhuman beyond a few deformed corpses in jars on shelves and on the floors of rotting biolabs on worlds he's looted before he first saw Mojisola. Or at least, Daniel thought they were biolabs, for all he knew the old universe had freaks on dozens of worlds who collected dead bodies. All Mojisola reminded Daniel of was the sad fact that those bio-components don't have a good shelf life. If they did, Daniel'd be the wealthiest man amongst the stars, a veritable Bezos of the modern day. He'd be able to charge a pretty penny from each and every transhuman for the components... But nope, the bio-components Daniel found in those bio-labs were heavily decomposed remains that had no use other then to poison local wildlife. Still, whilst most felt fear and perhaps hate at the sight of a transhuman, nothing but mild curiosity stirred in this scavenger's mind. As he entered the room, he spoke up. "Cargo's all fine for delivery. When'll we be arriving?" Daniel's voice couldn't have conveyed more boredom if he tried. Counting food for strangers wasn't exactly as interesting as scouting out an abandoned building for worthwhile scrap whilst simultaneously trying to figure out what purpose the building served before it was abandoned.
 

DemonicLillies

Hylics Enthusiast
#5
Character: Raker
Location: Ilston Marketplace
Interacting With: N/A

Raker was really starting to get tired of this place. He just needed a fuel filter, a god damn single fuel filter, but here he was, wandering aimlessly about this place trying to find one. Would he ever leave? Who knows at this point.

Glancing around at the stores he passed, he finally found one. Wasn't even in that bad a shape either.

"How much?" He asked the vendor. He didn't care how much, he needed it too much.

"Ain't f' sale." The vendor snapped back.

"Listen chucklenuts, I've been wandering this place for hours. I need this damn filter." He leaned over the table, locking eyes with the vendor.

"Y' really need it that much?" The vendor chuckled. "I'll take everything you got. Every last bit and I'll give you this filter.

Raker sorta lost it at that point. He grabbed the vendor by the neck, throwing him from behind his stall and onto the floor.

"How about I take this off your hands, and you stay the hell out of my way." He grabbed the filter and walked off. After he was sure he was out of the way, he let out the breath he'd been holding in. God that was exhausting. Was that really how people around here acted? All of his research showed it was but... no, no the research couldn't be wrong. Either way, he got the filter. Better get it back to his ship before something goes wrong.


Character: CA-54 GA-32
Location: Ilston Saint Antonia
Interacting With: N/A

CAGA had sort of been aimlessly wandering for a while now. It hated getting orders sure, but it... didn't really know what to do when it wasn't given one. It'd been hoping that someone would see it eventually, maybe give it an order or something. But no, it hadn't run into anyone.

It decided to take a seat and start fiddling with its arm. Stuff was always ending up out of tune, had to fix it every now and then. It had to hit its right arm off the wall a couple times, never really learned the way around this thing. Biggest downside to cannibalizing other robots it decided. But the upsides outweigh the downsides.

Well, there was no one around right now... couldn't hurt to power down for a little. Needed to save the energy. Just for... a few.... min....
 

TragicTrees

A Local Babe in a Nonfiction World
#6
Character: Markus Gray
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: Mojisola Nazunagy (Moji) & Daniel

And there was the hitchhiker. Markus could hear the boredom in his tone. He couldn't exactly blame him, deliveries were rather uneventful. It was a long trip for no immediate reward, and staring down what was months worth of supplies for hours while knowing it would all be given away was, at the very least, disappointing. It was a job that had to be done, though, and there was no way around it. It was best to just get it done with, so they could get back to doing what they did best. This slight detour was unavoidable, but would be over soon, with luck. Unloading the goods would take a bit, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't all that bad. He just hoped that all the cargo was actually there, because while he believed that just handing over the shipment was the honest and right thing to do, others might not be so eager to let all the supplies go.

"Good. Wonderful." Markus replied, sighing as he leaned back once more in his chair "Wouldn't want anything missing from cargo. That's a mess I don't want to clean up." His tone insinuated that if he had to, he would be extremely unhappy with whoever was the cause of the problem "We should be there in an hour or two. Unpacking will take a half-an-hour at the least, but then we'll be on our way to Thadus J33. Looks like a mining planet, from what I could tell. Should have a good haul in one of their facilities."



Character: Polaroid
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Raker

"Careful there, handsome, wouldn't want anyone to get hurt." A voice piped up from behind Raker.

It came from Polaroid, who looked rather unassuming, all things considered. An old gas-mask covered their face, the vintage type that would usually be found in junk piles, even with the near pristine condition it seemed to be in. The technology was out-dated, even for this time; it wasn't the very first version, with leather and goggles, but it was close, with a tinted black plastic guard covering the face almost completely, with a filter set near the mouth, allowing anything toxic in the air to be removed before it got to the user. It muffled their voice, but not completely, not enough to cover the raspy quality it held. More recent masks were able to be removed with ease, with a press of a button, folding back instead of coming off quickly, there if needed in case of an emergency. This one, however, was more tedious to remove and place back on, and most likely heavier. Their hoodie, a worn-out read, hung over their frame loosely, and with the hood up the only feature that could be seen about their head was that they had dark brown hair sticking up around their mask. Their jeans were ripped, in a manner that was less for style and more due to wear-and-tear. On their was what looked to be a self-made staff, which was probably the most interesting thing about them. Other than that, their short stature made them seem not all that threatening.

They sidled up besides Raker in an easy-going manner, as if they weren't all that perturbed by what had just happened. "Wouldn't want to cause a commotion over a little filter, hm? Folks get nervous when things get thrown around. Might convince them you're a criminal." There was a brief pause, before they laughed to themselves "Just kidding, everyone's a criminal around these parts! What's the piece for?"
 

Error 420

One Thousand Club
#7
Character: Green
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: Moji & Daniel & Markus

Green was going through one of his many repetitive days aboard the Greenfly, as he had since Markus had taken him in all those... days ago? Years? It always escaped Green how time passed. He wandered the hall on his "Patrol", which was always directly after "Second Breakfast" and 12 hours of sleep. Today's Patrol consisted of dramatically pointing his gun, the Lancer, down every hallway around every corner, and hitting everything that made a loud sound with a wrench until it stopped. He was a little more hasty today though, as he had a dire need to speak to Markus. He opened the bulkhead to the control deck, trying to sneak in to surprise Markus (to "keep him on his toes"), which never worked due to the fact that Green was seven feet tall and green, and the bulkhead creaked terribly. Today though, his stealth mission was interrupted by two visitors, a bearded male and an incredibly pale female. Green quickly drew the Lancer, waving it accusingly at the visitors.

"Markus!" he barked, "Are you okay?!" After remembering being told ahead of time about the visitors, he put away the gun, grinned at the visitors with a half-hearted "sorry", and turned to Markus. "Markus. We're out of the yellow things. In the fridge, the little yellow things in all those funny shapes? I need more, Markus!"

He realized what a rude host he was being. He turned to the pale female and bearded human and extended a b e e f y arm to shake. "Sorry, Markus says I'm a little 'jumpy' sometimes. Name's Green."

Green turned his head back to Markus. "Although really, the yellow things. I gotta have em, Markus."
 

DemonicLillies

Hylics Enthusiast
#8
Character: Raker
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Polaroid

Slightly startled by Polaroid, Raker's appearance shimmered a little before settling back to what it was before.

"I uh... I don't really know. I mean something is up with my ship I know that for sure but I... I don't know if this is the right thing to fix it. I just heard the name this one time and figured that was what I needed. Where does this even go in the ship. Does this even go on a ship?" He was rather panicked at this point, he hadn't looked this far ahead oh god. What does a filter even do!
 

Vanillacrazycake

To whom you owe the pleasure...
#9
Character: Mojisola Nazunagy (Moji)
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: Daniel & Markus & Green


Moji reached out hesitantly and shook the hand of the strange green man who just burst into the room behind Daniel, “I uh, don’t remember seeing you when I first came onto the ship…” she hesitated for a moment, passing a concerned glance at Markus who seemed completely unfazed by the orc's brutish behavior...Green, he said, she would have to remember that. All that aside, Moji got the distinct feeling that she would need to get used to such brash behavior very quickly. After his statement about the “Yellow things,” she decided it best to make a good impression.

“It is a pleasure to meet you Mister Green,” she then turned to the other and offered her hand again, “And you Mister...Daniel I think it was? I’m new to spacefaring, but I hope I can become a valued member of this team.”

Moji glanced around the Control Deck and decided to lean up against a fizzled control panel, propping herself up for comfort before continuing. The place was cramped, definitely not somewhere meant for four people to loiter, but she wasn’t about to overstep herself and force her way out of the room. Besides, these people were her new crew mates now, she had no intention of insulting them or their ship, especially with how new she was.

“I am curious though Captain,” She began slowly, “This...lighthouse and planet, Thadus J33, are we expecting trouble? I’m no stranger to violence, but I’m…” She trailed off, taking into account the present company, “...Lets just say that I’d much rather avoid confrontation if we can help it.” her eyes darted from Markus, to Mr. Green, then to the pistol he had just holstered, and again back to Markus.

Mojisola couldn’t be certain of it, but she could sense that she’d seen a pistol like the one Mr. Green was wielding before. It gave her chills just looking at it, but it wasn’t clear why. Judging by the way he threw it around, it couldn’t possibly be as terrifying as she thought it to be, could it? Would Markus let someone onboard with such a devastating weapon? But what was she thinking, there were so many conflicting thoughts about the nature of the thing that she wasn’t sure exactly why she was scared to begin with.

She felt that despite the tactless entrance and the strange gun these people could be trusted.

They all seemed hardened by years of strife, such burdened and worn faces, baring a similar distress to that of the Greenfly, but different somehow. Where time and space had worn the ship, so too had it weathered them. But unlike the derelict ship that lingered worryingly close to collapse, these people seemed collected, calm, cool, and despite their clear signs of experience remained contented to wander. Was this the fate of those who dared survive beyond the fringes of remnant society? A vagrant existence, doomed to unsettle the dust of ancient giants without aim, perhaps without purpose? To tempt the slumbering darkness that claimed the universe once before?

Moji relaxed her stance and crossed her arms, taking in the crew of the Greenfly as a collage of clashing personalities melded by a singular goal.

“Only time will tell,” she thought, “If this strange moment in time was meant to last...”
 

The Pattern

There are patterns everywhere
#10
The sudden entrance of Green almost made Daniel draw his sidearm in surprise, and the only thing that stopped a bloody accident was Green's first word in the command deck. As soon as he mentioned the captain's name, Daniel knew he wasn't a threat. After the Orc's introduction, Dan made sure to shake his hand after Moji. "Daniel Raghallach, although Daniel will be fine." He sounded livelier then earlier, introductions always brought a smile to Daniel's face, especially when he's right about something; it was more eventful then just a brief notice.

Conveniently as well, Daniel had finally met the entire crew, and they seemed like a decent balance for scavenging. Someone who knows technology, a pilot and a bruiser with me as the negotiator... This should go quite smoothly. Although, Daniel's little summary of the team he was working with was interrupted when Moji brought up her curiosity over trouble. "Everyone needs those lighthouses working, pirates too. The drop-off will be easy if the lighthouse keepers are still alive. Although, I think Thadus could be an issue. If other people know about Thadus we're going to end up in a shootout. Some scavvers get really territorial." Daniel definitely seemed a lot more interested and alert at the mention of the mining planet, and that mild excitability was obvious in his voice as he put his viewpoint forwards. It actually managed to get Daniel's mind running over what could prove problematic.
 

TragicTrees

A Local Babe in a Nonfiction World
#11
Character: Markus Gray
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: The Crew of the Greenfly

Markus sighed as Green entered the room. Now, he wasn't exactly surprised. The man had a habit of doing things like this. He just sincerely wished he would put the gun away before he barged into a room with new folks. He wasn't keen on having a shootout, especially if it was in the control room, which could end in either a system blowing out or worse, the pressure destabilizing. Luckily, no one shot the guns that were present, making it less of a problem than he thought it would be, thankfully. He tapped his fingers on the arm on the chair lightly, telling himself that so long as they didn't kill each other before the light house, they should be fine for the rest of the trip. If they did...well, he'd deal with that problem when it came up. For now, they all seemed to be getting along well enough. In his experience with an ever-changing crew, issues would come up eventually, but they didn't always have to cause trouble to the point of injury.

"Green, we ain't restocking until we got something to barter with. That means work first. Everything else? Secondary. I got a few parts in exchange for agreeing to do this delivery, but that's for keeping this ship running, not trade." He started, running one hand through his hair "To the other concerns, Daniel here's right. The lighthouse is just a routine run. If anything, this is the safest thing we'll do in our lives. Pirates aren't about to raid a vessel that is holding cargo for a beacon, that's bad luck to 'em. The lighthouse itself is completely off-limits, because otherwise, navigating this place would be hell. So, the only trouble there is if the place spontaneously explodes, which is unlikely, all things considered." He paused a moment, shrugging his shoulders, and placing his arms behind his head, trying to add some comfort to the metal surface behind them.

"As for Thadus....well, I can say no one's been there for a bit. I scouted it out before the market, couldn't find any evidence of any ships. Now, that could mean the place is stripped clean, but I doubt it. Mining planets are full of machinery that merchants would love to have in their mitts. My best guess is that we'll be facing off against a few vermin, but nothing we can't handle." He continued, thinking over what he'd come up with when picking out that particular planet "Been to a few planets like it, most of the creatures there are blind as bats. So long as you stick with the group and stay quiet, you shouldn't have an issues. And if we come across a few other scavvers, not a problem. Just remember that gettin' away from the vermin is less about running faster than them and more about running faster than other groups. Let them do the work for you. And if that doesn't work, we all have guns. Should be as simple as they come."



Character: Polaroid
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Raker

Polaroid tilted their head at the taller being, considering him carefully for a moment, before casually plucking the object out of his hand to have a look. They turned it over a few times, acting like they were studying it. Which, in a way they were, but they already had the answer to the question. They just liked to draw it out; a little suspense was fun, and they found the fact that the person who'd just robbed a vendor using force seemed now so unsure of what they'd gotten amusing

Now, maybe they should've done something. After all, it was their ship; they owned the place, all the floors and vents, from end to end. They made all the important choices, especially concerning where it would stop next. It would make sense if they helped regulate any violence and theft that happened. However, they had realized a while back that if they did that, then they would be whacking every single person aboard the Ilston Market over the head with their staff, and that just wouldn't do.

"Well, I can guarantee, my man, that this is a bonafide machine part you have here." They announced, holding it out once more for the other to take "Un-fortun-ately for you, this fuel filter wouldn't do much for any ship. Kind of small, don't you think? This would be better suited for a car." They said the word car in an odd manner, pronouncing it more like 'care' than 'car' "Won't fix your ship with this, that's for sure!"
 

Squared

Taako from TV
#12

Strarphiur | Saint Antonia | @Bang Bang (Ghost)


He was having a bad day.

It had started off well enough. He'd flown through a magnificent interstellar cloud, and then he'd gone past a black hole, the closest he'd ever dared approach, and then he'd floated in peace, soaking in the light of a blue sun. He'd been relaxing nicely, four arms tucked behind his head, eyes closed, Dust membrane lazily spread about.

Then that dreadful thing had appeared out of nowhere. He'd sensed it even with his eyes closed, the shift in the Dark Matter all around him, but he'd ignored it. He'd assumed it was another Space Whale or an asteroid or something similar. Didn't cross his mind that it could be an actual, real spaceship. He'd never just randomly stumbled across one in outer space before. Sure, he'd observed them from a distance, when he closed in on more densely populated areas, but he'd expected to see them then. He hadn't expected it now.

Before Strarphiur knew it, he was surrounded by some sort of net, electric current running through it, and his body felt heavy, and he struggled, he struggled to break free but the more he struggled the more entangled he became.

Strarphiur was having a really bad day.

__________

Sound. Sound. It was so loud. Footsteps on metal, like thunder to his ears. The humming of the engines like angry roars. People talking, it was as if they were screaming over his head. Quiet. Please be quiet. Space was quiet. He missed space. He missed its stillness and its silence. The only thing he could hear out in space were the sounds of his own body, his heart beating, his breathing. It was reassuring. Now he couldn't hear his own heart. Had it stopped?

This wasn't the first time he was experiencing sound —he'd been curious about it in the past, curious enough to approach places with an atmosphere, with air. He'd come to the conclusion that he didn't like it. It was too loud.

His head hurt and his ears rang. He teetered on the edge for consciousness for a while. Felt himself being carried somewhere. They must've drugged him and his body was putting up a good fight, but everything felt sluggish, fuzzy. He felt strong arms pinning him down. He saw eyes, four of them, four piercing, dark eyes.

"Unhand me... at once... heathen..." His voice deep, trying to sound commanding, but it was too weak, too slurred. "Do you know... who... who I am... I'm going to..."

Going to what? He couldn't even move. He felt weaker by the second. He wanted to cry, but he refused to let these inferior creatures see him in such a state. So he gritted his teeth and he endured.


 
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DemonicLillies

Hylics Enthusiast
#13
Character: Raker
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Polaroid

"So you're telling me I... I stole something that I don't need?" He sighed, he didn't even know what this "care" thing was! Maybe he could just... walk back into the market and give the filter back? A gesture of peace perhaps. This required a little research.

Shoving the filter into his jacket pocket he produced some kind of electronic pad, scrolling through items on some list. Finally, he tapped on one, opening a large and detailed file. He muttered a few things to himself, staring intently at all the information. No... no a kind gesture wouldn't work. From the info he had on humans he'd probably end up dead if he went anywhere near that vendor again. Should he just keep the filter? He didn't have a use for it but... maybe he could sell it. He realised now that he'd sort of zoned out a little and had been ignoring Polaroid.

"Oh! Sorry my umm, my bad, zoned out a little there. I don't think I caught your uhhh, your name." He forced a smile. He wasn't very good at it.
 

TragicTrees

A Local Babe in a Nonfiction World
#14
Character: Polaroid
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Raker

Polaroid was still off to the side, not seeming annoyed in the slightest that they weren't being paid attention to. They didn't have much to do, anyway. The ship wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. The Thetis Sector seemed to be booking with business, and the more of that the better. They thrived off of how well the merchants did, after all. They all had to pay dues to Polaroid and those others who ran the ship, but the amount given was based off of how much business crossed their stalls. With this current flow of trade, the crew, no matter how small it was, was living rather comfortably. Other than that, anything that needed fixing was already done, either by them or another crew member. That left a lot of free time, with nothing exciting to fill it with. This passenger would have to do.

"That's because I didn't throw it, legs." They replied casually, the fact they were grinning implied by their tone "You can call me Polaroid. How about I take a look at your ship, big guy?" It would give them something to do, and they could maybe install a little surprise while they were at it. Nothing harmful, of course, but just a little something to keep themselves entertained.
 

DemonicLillies

Hylics Enthusiast
#15
Character: Raker
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Polaroid

"G-guh! My ship... right the uh... my uh ship. It's just in the... the hanger?" This felt like the part where he should reveal that he'd been secretly living in the marketplace for a few months now. The truth was that his ship had been attacked by pirates, blown right out of the sky. He managed to get this far by stowing away in a cargo ship, been living in vents for since then.

He started to walk toward the hanger, he'd kinda learned the layout of the ship in his time here but he decided to take a longer route anyway. Gave him more time to think of an excuse.

"I'm uhh... I'm L... Leon by the way. Leon.... Leon Kennedy." He felt he should worry about how much he was lying but this was his residence on the line, who knows what'd happen if they found out he'd been squatting here. On the way he fiddled with the filter a little, didn't really have any other use for it anyway.

They finally entered the hanger, just as Raker realised he'd gotten too caught up in playing with the filter and hadn't come up with a plan.

"It's that one!" He almost shouted, pointing at a random ship. God he was glad he couldn't sweat.
 

Error 420

One Thousand Club
#16

YELLOW THINGS INTENSIFIES

Green
The Greenfly
Interacting With: The Crew of the Greenfly
Green grinned wide as he shook hands with the new arrivals, pretending to understand everything that the three crew members were saying. He tuned out after hearing the disappointing news that there was no chance for a restock of "yellow things", but he wasn't sure if he'd remember what they'd look like by the time the dropoff was done. He waited until the room was silent, and everyone had given their tactical input, and then decided he needed to add something too, so he would seem like a helpful part of the crew.

"I uh... fixed the clangy thing. The big thing in the engine room. Big clangy thing. Not the one that goes woop woop but the one that goes crang crang crang. We should expect a 50% increase in efficiency in the sublight engines, just make sure to engage the gyrodampeners when you go like... really fast." Green smiled, satisfied to know words just big enough to pretend like he knew more about the mechanics of the ship than Markus. "Also I broke the fridge." The giant Orc then turned away from the rest of the crew to the entrance of the control deck, his massive figure making the metal grating of the floor creek as he leaned against the bulkhead, narrowly ducking his head down to not hit it on the doorway. "Also I think we have rats. Or squirrels. Something furry. But uhmm I also did the thing with the... engine you asked me to. We can leave for Thadus when you're ready." He began absentmindedly braiding his dreads, as he usually did when he felt like he had something important to say but forgot what it was, which was, unfortunately, most of the time.


 

The Pattern

There are patterns everywhere
#17
Character: Daniel Raghallach
Location: Greenfly Command Deck
Interacting With: The Greenfly's other crew members

Daniel was going to make a remark about the possibility that Thadus' mining drones could have gone rogue after centuries without maintenance, but Green's bizarre input had stunned the scavenger into silence. He struck the clangy thing that goes crang to increase the efficiency in sublight engines? But not the engine that went woop... I think I'll just leave propulsion engineering to these three, it's far too complicated... Maybe we should begin planning.

"When we get to Thadus' mines, we'll want to check the loading bays and the infirmaries first. The loading bays should have shiploads of ore, maybe equipment and the infirmary's the only decent spot for medical supplies. There's also the foreman's office if we can power it up. Ain't worth much for salvage but the info kept on site should give us a few new locations to loot. Anywhere from refineries to hospitals, and at least a few of them should have something worth scavenging in them." Daniel's excitement over how lucrative the Thadus job could be was increasingly obvious in his voice, with the mention of new locations and untouched ruins a smile gradually spread across the scavenger's face. Not long after he stopped talking, Daniel went into a daydream consisting of a working refinery surrounded by mountains of rare materials, piled so high and wide that skyscrapers look like toothpicks in comparison. Then the more realistic idea that every refinery the mines supplied was already stripped of anything useful struck Daniel back into the reality of the situation; he was on a rusted junk heap going to deliver the best haul he'd ever see in his lifetime to some strangers he'd never meet before going to search a dusty old mine with a yellow-thing-junkie, a glorified robot and some guy called Markus. It's safe to say that the smile didn't survive the sudden realisation Daniel had about reality.
 

Congenial Organism

✍️ Type Breaker ☕️
#18
Character: Wesley Kovak
Location: Outskirts of The Thetis Sector Lighthouse
Interacting With: @Dreamtique (Icarus)


Thetis Sector Lighthouse, uh... (fumbling noises) delta nine zero beta, south arrival.
This is Pilot Kovak, operator Zed Zero Nine Eight - piloting a captured vessel, requesting permission to land. Over.


Wesley leaned back in the cockpit chair the metal creaked with its swivel. Kovak stood up, grabbing the aviation headset from one of the side mounted console decks. Slipping the headset on, he adjusted the mic to his mouth fluidly while moving to the end of the cockpit cabin. He put one hand on the wall and used the other to give the metal panel a good tug before walking out onto the bridge. He looked out - the beautiful space-station-esque lighthouse was a sight for sore eyes. Drifting through space for weeks living on minimal rations and supplies - makes a grown man weary. Luckily not long after things went to shit he was able to patch up a behemoth of an abandoned pirate ship with some spare parts from his decommissioned scavenger ship.

He leaned forward placing both his hands above himself against the bridge's glass to support his forward weight as he took in the scenery. It was gorgeous and hard to believe that not so long ago - in the scale of the universe's time - mankind only sparsely grasped at space travel.

He listened to the ambient noise in the headset for a while awaiting the response from the space station. From the looks of it no one was there as far as he could tell anyway.

It was strange how he ended up here... not much memory before first boarding that scavenger ship nearly 10 years ago. Nothing but a name on a card and some left over recordings he assumed were himself.

Whatever the case may be, he was sure to enjoy the company of whoever or whatever it was in that lighthouse.


@TragicTrees
 

TragicTrees

A Local Babe in a Nonfiction World
#19
Character: Polaroid
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Raker

Polaroid followed the other's finger to rest their gaze upon the ship that had been singled out. The fact of the matter was, they knew all the ships registered and parked in the hangar. They took owner names and what cargo was aboard, though they were fairly lenient with what was allowed aboard the Ilston Marketplace. They simply liked to fool around with the merchants, claim some things were illegal that actually weren't, because honestly, in this day and age, was anything truly banned? They didn't think so. But, the point was, they did know which ships were which, for the most part, and they were fairly sure that that particular vessel was not under the name 'Leon Kennedy'.

But they'd play along. It would be fun, until their attention span dwindled and they wandered off once more.

"Oooh, the STS Oregon, hm? An MK-2 shuttle vessel, very old model even by our standards!" They rattled off, gloved hands finding a place at their hips to prevent themselves from moving them around too much. "Seems to be freshly refurbished, though, so hats off to you. It is your ship after all, isn't it?" They glanced over, the movement of their head the only indication they were looking at him "But enough of me talking, it looks like it's in perfect condition, so the problem must be on the inside. You have the keys, yes?"




Character: Markus Gray
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: The Crew of the Greenfly


Markus let Green speak, deciding not to bring up the fact that the possibility of having either rats or squirrels, or anything of the sort, on the ship was extremely unlikely, and quite frankly, he had no idea about anything the other was talking about. However, he had found that pointing that out, and trying to get to a solid conclusion on what had actually happened versus what Green talked about when trying to relay the happenings, was completely and utterly useless. So, he stopped trying, and always checked around the ship himself later on. He was no mechanic, of course, but he was better than nothing. Well, he had been. With Moji now on the ship, he felt a little more comfortable, even if he had already told himself that he would continue his routine of making sure everything was in order.

Once Green finished, he turned his attention to Daniel. The man seemed to have high hopes for the outing, for whatever reason. Which, Markus generally did himself; he was confident he'd live, and that he'd get something out of every haul. It was the same type of confidence he had about other things, like about how his ship wouldn't suddenly depressurize, or how he wouldn't encounter any hostile vessels while on his way to a new location. He had nothing to prove that something negative wouldn't happen, but as he viewed it, he also had no proof that something negative would, and it didn't make sense to worry over it. So, he wasn't all that worried. He had a feeling that this man, though, was aiming too high.

"As I mentioned, I scouted this place out a while back. I'm landing us near the security facility. If we can boot that up, we'll have eyes everywhere that doesn't have a faulty camera." He replied nonchalantly, shutting his eyes as he continued to speak "No runnin' in without making sure it's mostly clear. Should also have the locations of any drones in the area. If we're able to get a handle on them, without breaking 'em, that should fetch a good trade in the market. Medical would also be a good hit in general; we need to restock ship supplies if we want to hit any sites that might be a bigger hassle than this one. Mess hall might have some old cans, an' those are considered antique by some, so we can grab those as well, along with the ore. Other than that? I suggest we avoid the mines in general. Can't be sure what's down in those, 'specially since no one's been around in a while."
 

DemonicLillies

Hylics Enthusiast
#20
Character: Raker
Location: Ilston Market
Interacting With: Polaroid

Raker's breathing had began to become more erratic and heavy. If he was physically able to sweat, he'd be drenched.

His eyes darted around the room for a moment as he patted down his clothing.

"I... I can't seem to uh... to find them. Think I might have... dropped them?" His voice wavered as he spoke. If he ran as fast as he could right now, what were his chances of escaping. Sure he could take a different form if he broke line of sight but... what then. Screw it, forget the planning he had to do something and do something now. He was a dead man if he didn't.

He looked around once more, before bolting as fast as his legs could take him. He darted back into the market, his appearance changing once he was hidden. He let himself breathe again.
 

Vanillacrazycake

To whom you owe the pleasure...
#21
Character: Mojisola Nazunagy
Location: The Greenfly
Interacting With: The Greenfly Crew


At this point, Moji had given up hope of understanding Mr. Green’s current train of thought and let him continue until he had seen himself out of the room and her unease followed him. As the Markus and Daniel continued to discuss the Thadus, she instead directed her attention to the flashing switchboard on the wall beside her and the star chart next to that.

Flipping off the switches for systems she knew she had checked, she began to take note of each ones she still needed to investigate, producing her PDA from one of her many cargo pants pockets and typing up a memo to herself. Every so often she would nod her head and give a word or two of agreement to the current conversation. She would glance over her shoulder from time to time at Markus who seemed perfectly relaxed about the mission ahead of them. Seeing that the strategy was sound and thought out well in advance, her mind began to wonder as the two remaining crewmen bounced their thoughts back and forth.

“I’m going to continue my survey of the ship,” She said abruptly, startling herself with her sudden input, “If you need me, I think I fixed the connections to most of the major rooms’ communication panels, you may use that now.” she began to walk out of the room, stopping just before the door, “I’ll take a look at the ‘clangy’ thing, as well as the ‘woop woop’ for good measure. Also…” she hesitated for a moment, glancing over her shoulder, “I brought some Aethesian Moonshine with, if we want to...you know, celebrate our first couple of days together or...something.” and with that she quickly exited, her hushed footsteps shaking the grated flooring along the corridor.

Moji’s heart was racing, she wanted so desperately to make friends with these people, knowing very well the situation they would soon find themselves in. There could be no shortage of solidarity amongst the crew, lest someone try to leave another behind. The Aethesian Moonshine wasn’t exactly the best ice breaker, in fact she had intended to keep that tidbit a secret. Alcohol and ship crews have been notorious throughout known history to be a poor mix. Even so, she preferred it this way, perhaps a bit of loosening up was exactly what the crew needed? Though she remained uncertain.

Marching her way back to her toolbox, she collected her equipment and began to head down the hall to the engine room, knowing full well she had a full night’s work ahead of her. It had been a long time since she had someone refer to sections of the ship by the sounds they made. Endearing was the word she figured was appropriate considering that the only other one to describe the jumble of “terminology” would better be construed as Terrifying. Sure enough, as she approached the magnetic bulkhead, she could feel the rumble through the floor. Not a good sign.

Nudging the door panel with her elbow, she was blasted immediately with a cloud of hot vapors with a droning wheeze billowing throughout. Through the dense condensation she could see before her the the sublight engine intakes surrounding the jump drive in the center, a horrific smell of burning rubber gave body to the otherwise tasteless steam. The engines were much larger than she thought they would be, she saw them once before getting onto the ship, but now looking at them from the interior she was surprised at just how big they really were.

“Lovely.” Moji said aloud to herself. She could see a tell tale scene before her, the large dent in the side of one of the intake casings over the sublight piping with a large red pipe wrench cast to the floor beneath it. Flakes of paint speckled the grating, and wiring beneath that. Pulling over a metal storage crate, she climbed up to inspect the damage, using all of her strength to remove the casing which clattered to the floor hollowly. She began to dig between the clearly punctured lines and piping, pulling out the impaled metal bits and to her surprise she found them completely empty. No grease, oil, or Ferrofluid, nothing, it was dry as a bone.

This was the first of many shocks, both literally and metaphorically, the entirety of the engine room was a mess of the highest order. It seemed like the ship had been shot at on many occasions, most control panels were fried, LCD screens shattered, cables cut, it was by pure miracle that the ship actually had any thrust at all let alone the remarkable speeds they were getting already. On cursory glance, the ship was dead, drifting in space with no hope of recovery. But the diagnostics being run by her tools and the ship’s onboard navigation revealed completely to the contrary. They were moving, no doubt about it, and the thrusters were functioning. Somehow, despite the damage the old girl still found herself too stubborn to die. Too stubborn to not keep chugging. But how could that be?

Returning again to the smashed intakes, she snaked a wire camera into the tubing to take a look inside the junction connecting all sublight engines. Empty. Strange…

“Where did Green say he was going again…” she wondered to herself, “Perhaps...no, no...but maybe…”

Moji started slowly at first, walking out of the engine room and glancing between the cabins and stopping finally just before the control room, drawing her pocket knife and looking to the rubber tubing that followed the perimeter of the ship. With a quick exhale, she plunged the knife into its side and gave it a gentle twist. Dry here too. In a surge of curiosity and realization she knew what it all meant. No fluids, no fuel, nothing was being pumped through the primary liquid routing systems. Which meant that the clanging noises Green had remedied were not a product of misfiring systems, they were functioning just fine, the clanging he fixed was the pumping system constantly resetting itself. There were no fluids because the sublight intakes weren’t pumping anything at all, they probably hadn’t for who knows how long. The Greenfly was only flying on emergency thrusters…

Emergency thrusters? No that couldn’t be right, we were flying at nominal speeds, maybe even a little under average for a ship this size. But if that were true...she needed to find Green. She began to run headlong down the hallways, opening rooms and peaking inside, eventually finding Green in one of them, sticking her head inside and shouting breathlessly, “Mr. Green!” with a wide grin she looked to him and began, “I need your to hit some stuff for me.”
 

The Pattern

There are patterns everywhere
#22
Character: Daniel Raghallach
Location: Greenfly
Interacting With: Greenfly crew

"I don't drink." Again, Daniel was interrupted just before he was about to bring up rogue mining drones, and he ended up having to change the subject to the moonshine, although he made sure to say it as politely as he could in an attempt to make the statement a little less dismissive of Moji's sentiment. It didn't sound very charming but Daniel wasn't exactly a man known for his charisma, as anyone on the command deck could tell. "I'll be in the hold if either of you need me. And let me know when we're ready to make the donation." After that little notice, Daniel makes his way out of the cramped cockpit that was generously named the command deck.

The walk was fairly uneventful, Daniel had to step over the odd pile of debris and hanging wire but he didn't lose his footing on the way. When he finally reached the cargo hold, he decided to quickly dart into a side room that connects to the cargo hold, which Daniel had fashioned into his room on board the ship. It probably served to store a ground vehicle once, but nowadays the larger second door was jammed shut and Daniel had already gotten himself comfortable in it so Daniel just thought of it as extra accommodation.

The reason why Daniel popped into his room was just to fetch a camping chair Daniel had bought shortly before he boarded and a news magazine written for scavengers called the Weekly Haul, again something Daniel brought with him as he first boarded along with a camping bed, a very weird desk and a worn-out chest of drawers. After Daniel dragged out the chair and the magazine, he set up the chair beside the large stockpile that'd soon be delivered to the lighthouse and began to relax on the chair, his feet on the stockpile. The front page story about how a potential coalition between five pirate gangs was thwarted by two drunk scavengers, an elderly Kavost and the sewage treatment area of a ruined generation ship immediately grabbed Daniel's attention almost as soon as he began reading.
 

Bang Bang

Flibbidy Gibbet
#23

Currently
Image


Interactions: Stra
Location: Saint Antonia
Tags: @Squared
NAME | JEREMIAH 'GHOST' KOWALSKI

It was an impossibility to move quietly on a ship.

Walkways rang metallic with every footstep, so that even the calmest of strolls sounded like a kind of thundering of elephants. Of course, unlike a certain captured prisoner, Ghost was used to it; the way each step they made echoed throughout the ship in a thousand vibrations was comforting. Faced daily with the vastness of space, along with its tendency to swallow people whole never to be seen again, the physical validation that you were real and could affect things was disproportionately pleasant compared to how simple it was.

Soon though, their crew wouldn't have to worry about dying out in the abyss. They could fix the blinking star map, have the wandering phalanges replaced at last, mend the engine brakers, outfit the entire piloting system anew, rewire the comms system, address whatever it was that kept making screaming noises whenever they accelerated too fast, deal with—

Stopping just shy of the Hold, Ghost paused to rub their temples. Things were better than ever, the ship decked out with new weapons, new defenses, but no matter how fast they kept things upgraded, things kept falling apart, be it due to the wear of space or the attacks of those they pillaged. The chances of happening upon a wild, lone Space Angel had to be what, one in a million? And here they were, about to go and face one flesh to flesh. With this, they could stop worrying for life, finally stop looking over their shoulder fretting about what would happen if They caught up with them. They could stop telling the crew that everything was fine, ships like this just made those noises.

And with that, they set to harvesting.

The Angel had been knocked out by the electric voltage, but seemed to be coming too, twitching in a way that could also be residual spasms, but Ghost wasn't taking the chance. Locking the hold door behind them, they messaged through to the comms to let the crew know what was happening and that they were to steer clear of the hold for a couple of hours— if they were doing this, Ghost didn't want it on their consciences, though they doubted the robit would care. Annie probably wouldn't be able to look them straight in the eye a couple of days for this, but Ghost had a top priority, and that was the survival of the ship and the safety of their crew. Random strangers had never interferred with that before, so why should they start doing so now.

The only reason that could possibly interfere was how breath-taking the Angel was. Ghost had seen passing, blurred photographs in their time and seen a fair bit of Dust swapping hands here and there, but it was nothing compared to seeing the real deal a meter away from you. Though far better travelled and cultured than most of their race, even Ghost felt what the old human term 'alien' had meant, looking over at the collapsed figure. They didn't seem real, didn't seem as if they could be of the same dimension as this one. Their slowly awakening limbs had the Dust about them shifting, glimmering like the view outside turned into curtains. And now, Ghost had to destroy a little piece of that.

They didn't so much as flinch as they got to work.

Pinning an unconscious being slighter than themselves was not difficult. Harvesting the Dust, despite inexperience, wasn't even half as tricky as they'd imagined. It was a simple matter of strength against weakness, efficiency against the racing of time until the other came too proper. "Unhand me... at once... heathen..." The Angel muttered beneath them, voice like that of a drunkard. "Do you know... who... who I am... I'm going to..."
"Yes," Ghost answered, without meeting the squinting eyes beneath their own. "You're the one who's going to save this ship."

When it was over, the Dust of the Angel remained, but had been depleted; Ghost may never have encountered an Angel before, but they'd read volumes on them, admittedly fascinated, and thus they knew the mechanics of how to ensure preservation and potential future income. They messaged through to the rest of the ship again, informing them the harvest was complete and they'd be doubling it to the Market, before some other professional scum could come pirate it off of them.

Standing now, Ghost had released the weakened Angel and, after sending the stored Dust through the chute to cargo, set about smoothing down their clothes. They didn't say anything to the Angel - after all, what could they say? - aside from a quiet, nonchalant, "What's your name?"




Code by @AgWordSmith
 

Squared

Taako from TV
#24

Strarphiur | Saint Antonia | @Bang Bang (Ghost)

What's your name. What's your name, they'd had the nerve to ask. As if acknowledging that Strarphiur was a real person, as if they did the horrifying things they did knowing that this was a person they were doing it to. No, not just a person. A higher being. They, pale, mortal, atmosphere-bound, dared look down on him, master of the stars. Strarphiur would have none of that.

His body ached. The gravity on the spaceship was not as strong as some of the planets he'd visited in the past, but his body was not used to any sort of gravity to begin with. He was on the floor, like some sort of weak, pathetic creature. He stared at his Dust membrane, no longer covered in Dust. He stared at his hands. They had lost their glow. He felt sick to the stomach, he felt like he'd been cut off from the world, like he was stuck inside a glass box, able to see everything happening around him but unable to interact with it. He'd heard and read stories of Nebulim who'd had their Dust taken away before, but nothing could've prepared him from how it really felt. It had always been one of those distant things, those things that he'd never thought would happen to him. And now it had happened.

That's when an even worse realization came. This wasn't the end of it. It's not like they would now set him free, that he'd have the time to regenerate his Dust, that he'd be able to go back to his old life. They were going to keep him, harvest him again, or sell him, or parade him about. That was his future now. There was a knot in his throat that he couldn't swallow. Was there a way out of this? The sounds of the spaceship, the extra gravity, the sudden loss of Dust, they made him feel weaker and more vulnerable than he'd ever felt before. But surely this couldn't be it. Surely this wouldn't be how his story played out. He just needed to be patient. Wait for an opportune moment.

He glanced up at the creature who'd so casually stolen his future from him. Strarphiur's already thin pupils constricted, barely looking like a single sharp line now. He would not let anyone look down on him. He would not be weak and he would not be defeated. They could take away his Dust but they couldn't take away his pride.

Strarphiur closed his eyes. Exhaled. Gathered all the strength that was left in his body. He opened his eyes, gritted his teeth, and stood up, back straight, fists clenched. By all accounts, he should not have been able to do this, given his state. It should have been difficult to even move, let alone stand, but spite was a strong motivator. Damned to a black hole he'd be, if he let this inferior creature think they'd broken him.

"My name is Strarphiur the Skyborn." This time his voice wasn't frail. It was not threatening either, simply even, deep and confident.


 

Error 420

One Thousand Club
#25
To say Green was reluctant to modify his previous "repairs" would be incredibly reductive. A more accurate response would be violently reluctant. He took it upon himself to assume a more consultative role in the repairs, providing Moji with a thorough understanding of the ludicrously dangerous setup constructed, which button did what, and wincing every time his perfectly constructed bypasses were thrown out in favor of actual functioning parts. He would likely have not stood for it, were he not instructed to trust Daniel and Moji and had Moji not been kind to him in their first meeting. He was able to restrain himself with an occasional 'hit with wrench' instruction from Moji and the relief that it would probably stop clanging when they were done. Greenfly was fast, for a scav ship, and he prided himself on that. But even faster? To quote Green himself, "Hell yeah."

After Moji had gathered what precisely needed to be done and had begun work, Green relaxed. About as much as Green ever relaxed, a state even Markus rarely saw him. His massive shoulders relaxed and he leaned against a wall, no longer so tall and large. In the poorly cleaned and miscolored lighting of the engine room, he could almost look human, something that could never be, something Green would have to continue waiting for.

"There's a story out in the 'Verge," he looks to Moji, explaining, "that's where I'm from. The Verge, about the next galaxy over from here. Really dingy place. There aren't scavvers out there, pirates neither. Nobody goes there 'xcept for slavers. Lighthouses don't work no more, nobody ever leaves whatever hut they have on their rock. Families been livin' there since forever, supposedly." He looks up, seeing that he's been carried away by exposition. He pulls out the Lancer, cleaning it with his rough tunic. "Anyways, the story's like this. It takes place a long time ago, when the gods breathed life into the universe, when the cities scaled planets, when our people-" he looks up at Moji again, gesturing to his chest, "Orcs, that is-lived. And not just survived, but lived. Prospered. Moons with seas of beer and fields of grain - real grain. When we looked to the sky not because we had to, but because we wanted to. You've got it easy, you know? Pretty young human, no mutations, I bet you've got favors to cash in, a home maybe? A free ride every now and then?..." He trails off, more aggressively polishing his gun.

"Anyways, people liked Orcs. There was a big Orc, the biggest one of them all. Named Athena. But she wasn't a warrior, not to start. No, she was a mother. Had two little boys with some weird thing with a buncha arms, we call them 'angels.' But one day, Athena, she left her sons. She left her planet, where all the Orcs were happy. She had a ship, you see, the fastest ship in the universe. And she took this ship to find our ancestors, humans. She found the homeland, the world humans come from. Weren't we their descendants? Surely they'd let their children back home. But the Humans said no. They tried to shoot down her ship, but she dodged every single shot from a fleet of a million. Athena escaped, and made it home to warn our people, but she was followed. Within a week, our homes were bombarded by humans, trying to 'cleanse us of degeneracy'. But every world they'd come, and Athena would be right behind them. She cut through their ships like they were nothin'. Millions of human warships taken down by just her one ship. She was a big goddamned hero. The humans assaulted every world for decades, and every one was taken down by her. But one day, they stopped. There were no more strikes. It looked like they'd just given up. And she could finally return home. But her years in the skies had changed her. She had not known company but for the presence of human corpses adrift in space. Time Dilation kept her young all those years, but when she returned, all around her had aged. Her family's land, rich with grain, had wilted under the fires of metal raining from her victories. Many of her friends had died from age, deformities. All that remained for her was her two sons. But her sons knew only war. They had grown rich through their mother's name, they owned the lands remaining upon the planet, the people as their slaves. There they waged a war more sinister than the humans ever had, building terrible weapons of germs and fire. The great hero lie in the burned soil and wept for many days."

Green now stands, his body fully relaxed, his eyes fixed on the floor, his tone no longer filled with childlike wonder.

"It was here she wept and here she woke, to news, granted to her by an old friend, that the humans were not finished. They were sending their deadliest, their most powerful ship, the one called only Death. And there Death was above her, the vastness of a moon. And Athena took once more to her ship, to complete her destiny. With a flash of light, the human fleet was repelled before her, world by world defended. Fleets spread out across a galaxy were disintegrated by a singular vessel, one whose speed whipped nebula into stars. They were defeated in mere minutes. However, she was left adrift, with little fuel. She made one last desperate jump home, only to be lost, lighthouse after lighthouse snuffed out by humanity. It took her many days of finding her bearing, her maps made useless by the stars she created. She eventually found her way home, only to arrive at the sight of Death's fury, humanity's rage. A planet of ash and soot. There were two survivors, her sons, adrift in space on their own ship, barely functioning in orbit. She docked with the ship, only to find her older son beating the other to death, his flesh mangled by his many hands. With one shot from the blaster at Athena's waist, he was dead too. And so Athena was left there, to mourn in the ashes of her home, surviving only to remain dead inside, weeping over the corpses of two sons she had lost long before the war."

The story's solemn note is quickly undercut with a rapid shot from Green's hip. "There was a squirrel there, right? Did you see that?" He holsters the Lancer, muttering "big bushy tail and everything."
 

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