Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:38 am

Rhys glanced over Kirei briefly seeing that the newcomer had already geared up, he nodded slightly to himself before responding to the question. "Only weapon we've got is the chain gun turret up top, not exactly set up to repel boarders on foot." He paused, then motioned for Kirei to follow as he headed off towards his own quarters. "There's a maintenance hatch down by the engine room, but from the way they're forming up, I don't think the Captain's the one that's going to need the support."

Rhys ducked through the hatchway into his quarters and cracked open the chest at the foot of his bunk, pulling out a combat vest and tossing it on his bed before kneeling down to pick through his limited arsenal as he continued to speak. "I'm no soldier, but it looks to me like they're aiming to heist the ship themselves, friend."
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

"And for one last instance, I'm Human again." - Sergeant Ghost

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:09 pm

Tay exhaled a breath of pure frustration as Marina slipped away from him yet again. For a second, he considered chasing her through the crowd, but the truth was he didn't really have anything else to say to her. In fact, there really didn't seem to be anything else to do but to let her go. It puzzled Tay how one woman could manage to be so frustrating.

The moment stretched on while he stood and stared at the crowd that Marina had disappeared into, Orpheus patiently and quizzically by.

"Why don't you go see if you can follow her. Make sure our esteemed passenger doesn't get herself into trouble." Riddle half suggested, half ordered. Orpheus looked to be on the verge of protesting, but Tay beat him to that line of reasoning. "Relax. If she's going to get mad at anyone, it's going to be me, and if she were so bent on using her vaunted powers of destruction on me, I'd be dead by now. Just follow her at a distance."

As Orpheus moved off to comply, Tay became aware of a familiar chiming sound: his comm.

Another sigh later, Tay put the device to his ear. "Yeah?"

Serenity's nervous squeal greeted his ear with her dire warning. "..."Rhys says you better get back here fast because strife is coming!"

Strife is coming? Tay mouthed those last three words to himself. It was one of those phrases that Rhys used when he was trying to sound all suave and sophisticated and such. Still, it sounded like trouble. Apparently Shuin did have people here, and apparently those people moved fast. Tay didn't think that they would probably want to storm the ship, given that most people viewed the Sonnets as being little more than flying scrap, but whatever their intentions, it they weren't good.

"You keep that ship locked down until I get there. I'm on the way." He hung up the comm and turned back to find Orpheus, but the man was already gone. Not willing to wait, Tay began trotting back in the direction of his ship. He didn't know what Shuin had in mind, nor did he want to find out.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Pryde » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:34 am

Static filled the line after Tay cut off the transmission from his end. Gulping a bit Serenity turned off the com station and hurried after Rhys. She caught up with him and the red-eyed man in the cargo compartment in the back of the ship. Both of them were carrying weapons and trying to decide on how best to proceed. Serenity hurried over to them but pulled up short when she saw Kirei. "Rhys," she called out to him.

"Serenity, I thought I told you to hide," Rhys said as soon as he saw her.

"Tay told me to lock down the ship and to keep it that way until he gets back."

Rhys just stared at her then glanced at Kirei and sighed. "Captain's orders."

"Okay," Serenity said, hurrying passed them and down the stairs towards the door control panel near the boarding ramp.

"Hey wait, Serenity," Rhys called after her but she just kept going.

She reached the door controls and slammed the big red button then the massive door beside her started to grind slowly closed. Gunfire suddenly rang out, panging off the hydraulics controlling the door but failing to damage it. Another round of gunfire was aimed in Serenity's direction and the poor wolf pup screamed in fear before falling out of the way. Bullets ricocheted off the door controls and a near miss nicked her leg just above the ankle. With tears in her eyes all she could do was crawl into a corner and shiver in fright as the doors ground to a halt, cutting off view from the interior to the outside. Both Kirei and Rhys hurried over to her then to check on her.
Last edited by Pryde on Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:44 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:12 am

OOC: I apologize for the delay... Writer's block had a death grip on me.
IC:

Several minutes later, Tehran strode casually into area of the landing pad, immediately taking note of a cluster of men exchanging hot words not too far from a ship. The ship in question was his, and was sealed up, which Tay was glad to see. The men were more or less along his path to the ship, so Tehran made no attempt to avoid them.

The men were all armed, conspicuously so, but Tehran wasn't terribly worried. He would have been surprised if they had instigated a fire fight on a public landing area. While the Higher Order was seldom involved in the affairs of the planets they sat in orbit around, a fire fight in such a highly trafficked area was still toeing a dangerous line. And once that line was crossed, there was no going back.

As Tay drew nearer to the men, he slowly gleaned what they were saying. It sounded like he had arrived mid berating.

"Didn't I tell you to wait for instructions? Didn't I? Because I certainly didn't tell you to start firing!"

"Well, they were closing the door, so I thought-"

The first man cut him off. "Believe me, you are not being paid to think. We'd all be in trouble if you were."

"Afternoon, boys!" Tehran called out with artificial cheeriness. Tehran trying to be cheery was such a mutually exclusive and unnatural thing , that all the men immediately stopped talking and several of them physically blanched.

"Well, well... Mr. Riddle." It was the first man that materialized out of the knot, a man that Tehran recognized as Snitch.

Snitch was best described as the spawn of a snake and a weasel union. He was slimy, wily, crafty, disloyal and completely small time. Unlike a snake or weasel, both of which pretty well knew and acknowledged their natures, Snitch labored under the misguided notion that he was, in fact an important person. This was not the case.

Still, he was one of those people you couldn't help but know, if you moved through these regions at all.

"Snitch." A series of other witticisms raced through Tay's mind ranging from "how's being a petty small timer working out for you" to "I see the vermin traps aren't working like they used to", but Tehran decided it was probably just best to leave it at "Snitch."

"So good to see you again, Captain." Snitch started, once again struggling with the fact that he wasn't the charismatic smooth talker he thought he was.

Any pretense of cheeriness was long gone from Riddle, having expired when Snitch showed his face. "Cut the grease, Snitch. I'm in a hurry, what do you want?"

Snitch tried a friendly smile, but it came across both forced and uncertain. "From you, Riddle? Nothing. I'm just here to deliver a message: don't wait for Miss Marina... She's made other arrangements."

Tehran stared flatly at Snitch, his tongue working across the back of his teeth absently. Finally he simply said, "What a relief."

Without further comment, Tehran turned and began walking towards his ship. Pressing the intercomm button (and banging it sharply twice, because there was a loose connection that acted up there now and again), he spoke in to the speaker. "You can let me in now."

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:22 pm

By the time Rhys could catch up with Serenity the debacle was already in full swing. It was all he could do to pop off a few shots back out the closing door at the aggressors before it ground shut. He'd heard Serenity call out but mistakenly took it as a fearful plea rather than an emergent one. It was only after he approached the pup that he noticed her hand covering her lower leg and the blood pooling on the deck.

"Oh Tesoro..." He spoke softly before glancing over his shoulder and barking at Kirei to fetch a med-kit mounted on a nearby wall.

Rhys knelt down next to Serenity. "Serenity, did you get hit anywhere else?" He asked her as he replaced her trembling hand with his own, applying pressure to the wound. She only responded with a weakened whimper. He couldn't blame the poor thing. While he waited for the med-kit, Rhys did a quick visual scan for any other obvious wounds. He didn't see any.

Kirei finally slid the med-kit down next to him and Rhys wasted no time popping it open and grabbing some numbing spray and a pressure dressing. "Tesoro, this might smart a bit." He whispered to her before spraying the anesthetic over the wound. She let out a howl and one of her hands gripped onto Rhys' upper arm so tightly he was sure she broke skin. He whispered little bits of encouragement her way as the stuff worked into the wound and before long her grip slackened as the pain went away.

Rhys wrapped the pressure bandage around her leg and cinched it tight. He was just starting to tie the knot on the dressing when Riddle's voice filled the ship. "Kirei, hit the door will ya?" He called over his shoulder, before turning back to Serenity and elevating her injured leg, while resting her head in his lap. He leaned back against the bulkhead, hands stained with the pups blood, and his own starting to seep down his arm from where she'd grabbed hold of him. He's gonna kill me. he thought to himself, even as he whispered to Serenity that everything was going to be ok.
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

"And for one last instance, I'm Human again." - Sergeant Ghost

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:06 am

Riddle strode on to the ship through the cargo bay entrance, exhaling a weary sigh as he did, thinking all manner of dark thoughts in the direction of the men outside, Snitch, Shuin, and Marina.

Fine. If Marina wants to go off and vacation with that freak, I hope she at least sends a postcard. I'm done covering for her. Tehran stopped as a whimper reached his ears. He stepped around a stack of empty shipping crates, and found Serenity, Kirei, and Rhys clustered together, Serenity laying down with a bright spot of red spreading on her leg. Rhys was in the process of rifling through one of the medikits, while Kirei just glowered from nearby.

It took Riddle a split second to process what his eyes were seeing, but when he did, a dangerous look came to his face. He glared at Rhys a moment, but it soon became apparent that Rhys was not the source of his anger.

"Stay with her, Rhys. Kirei, you're with me."

Walking back to the entrance of the ship, Riddle slapped the button, causing the ramp to lower. He stood there patiently while until it was all the way down (the ship sometimes got cranky if you tried to put weight on the ramp before it was all the way down), and then drew his pistol and advanced on the knot of Snitch and his men.

The men obviously weren't expecting him. In fact, they didn't even notice him until he was standing a short distance away with a pistol pointed at them. It might have been comical to the outside observer how a single man with a pistol could get the jump on a handful of men, some armed with rifles, but at least momentarily they were too surprised to react.

This gave Riddle a chance to speak.

"Okay, boys, game time is over. Who wants to own up to shooting my mechanic? " Riddle didn't even give them a chance to respond before addressing Snitch by pointing the pistol directly at his head. "You're pathetic Snitch, absolutely pathetic. You got a problem with me, fine, out with it. But you do not shoot at my crew, and you do not shoot an unarmed girl. Does that make you feel like a man, hurting little girls? They haven't invented a hell hot enough or a hole deep enough for your kind. Now get away from my ship before I really start getting angry."

Riddle could almost see the train of thought that was going through Snitch's head. First, there was the incredulousness of being held at gunpoint. Then the fear. Then the defensiveness coupled with maybe a twinge of guilt over having shot the girl that Tehran described. After that was the weighing of the options, which involved several marked glances at Kirei. Finally, it seemed that Snitch decided that leaving was probably the simplest way to save face.

"Alright, Riddle. We're just doing our job. You go take care of your little girl." Snitch beckoned to his men, who began to slink off after him.

Riddle watched them until they were out of line of sight and then trotted back into the ship. He harbored no belief that they had actually left, but they were out of sight now. Close enough.

"How's she looking, Rhys? Do we need a doctor?" Tehran spoke as soon as he was back inside.


*************************

"Oh, I was hoping I'd run into you again." Shuin spoke as he stepped out in front of Marina, managing to sound surprised at this chance meeting, despite the fact that he had followed her after she had left Riddle. Shuin gave her a brave smile. "I apologize for running out on our lunch, but it seemed the easiest way of dealing with the unstable captain."

Shuin did not stop to give her a chance to respond, but merely plowed on. "Listen, I've been thinking, and I have a proposition for you." Shuin drew a deep breath, as if steeling himself up for something. "Okay, first off, I will be blunt: I was not entirely honest in regards to my side of the story... There is more to the story than I said, and none of it complimentary to mysef or Mr. Riddle. So here's my proposition: come with me. Just for a little while. Spend a few days with me on board my ship and I will tell you the whole story. The whole, true story." Shuin tried not to appear too earnest, but it was difficult in light of the fact that he very much wanted Marina to go with him.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Starlight » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:52 pm

As Shuin was poorly disgusing his desperation, Marina made no more than a token attempt to hide her impatience. Nevermind the fact she had just escaped Riddle's company, the scribe had no intention to be left behind with the Dream Chaser lifted from the docking pad.

"As gracious as your offer is," she replied with a trace of sarcasm that Marina doubted the displaced nobleman would notice. "My place is on the Dream Chaser." Her voice frosted, though why she was moved to defend the irritable captain was beyond her at the moment. "Your opinion of Captain Riddle is regrettable and happens to be one that I do not share. Now if you'll excuse me," she added, already stepping around Shuin. "It's more than time I return."
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:07 am

Shuin's hands closed into fists unconsciously as Marina stepped around him.

He wanted her. More than anything in the world, he wanted her.

It would have been difficult to describe to an outside observer, but Marina, apart from her stunning beauty, also represented a world and a life to Shuin. She was respectability. She was nobility. She was prestige and honor. She was everything that Shuin had once had in life and had lost, and desperately wanted to reclaim. Deep down he knew that there was no way he could compel her to go with him, but his obsession with her was far beyond that point of reasoning.

"This isn't over between us, Marina. Nor between me and Riddle. I hope you will not regret your decision." Shuin called after her, trying to make the most indirect threat possible.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:20 am

Rhys started at the sound of Riddle's voice and the young man quickly looked up at the Captain. Serenity's head was still craddled in his lap but she had at least stopped whimpering after the anesthetic took effect. Rhys did his best to meet Riddle's gaze before he responded.

"I don't think so." He replied. "Shot just grazed her, shouldn't be more trouble than a few stitches and a lil shot to keep away infection."

The brown haired youth turned his gaze back down the the deck after making his report, unsure of what to expect from the Captain. He couldn't ever remember Serenity getting hurt before, much less while Rhys was supposedly in charge.
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

"And for one last instance, I'm Human again." - Sergeant Ghost

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:16 pm

Riddle dropped to one knee, examining the leg, although there was not much to see with the bandage already in place.

"How're you feeling, pup? Can you move your toes and foot?" He asked, gently probing the girl's foot. Serenity nodded weakly, demonstrating that there was no major nerve damage by wiggling her toes.

Riddle clasped her gently on the shoulder. "You'll be alright. Just be strong. If you start falling apart, whose going to keep the Chaser in the air?"

He didn't give her a chance to respond, but merely stood and addressed Rhys. There were a whole series of berratements and lectures coursing through his head, but right now they were crowded out by more pressing matters. "The second Orpheus and Marina are back on board, I want to know about it and I want that door shut behind them. I think we've more than worn out our welcome here... From more than just one group of people." Giving a glance to Kirei, the captain stood and began making his way rapidly to the cockpit. He didn't know how far out Marina was, or if she was even coming directly back, but he wanted to make sure the ship was ready to leave at a moment's notice.

That was one of the beautiful things about the Sonnets. They had a soft power down mode which allowed them to go from landed to flight in but a few seconds time. This particular trait Riddle found especially endearing at moments like these.

"C'mon, where are you guys..." He murmured to no one in particular as he began preflight anew.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Pryde » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:21 pm

Serenity grimaced but held in a pained cry as Rhys helped her to her feet. Her leg stung quite a bit but she tried her best to push it out of her mind. She'd been cut before, of course, accidents do happen in the engine room, but this was the first time she'd been shot at. That frightened her more than the sight of her own blood but now that Tay was back on board she could begin to relax. Then again not too much, there was still plenty of work to be done. Especially aboard a Sonnet.

"I--I think I'm okay, Rhys, thank you," she said in a shaken voice, "I was just scared is all."

Then she glanced back over her shoulder towards the stairs leading up to the elevator shaft. "Can you help me down into the engine room? Tay's going to need me down there."

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:21 am

"I'd rather see you to your quarters so you can rest a bit." Rhys replied as a frown stitched its way into his brow. "The 'Chaser'll hold together just this once without you."

The face Serenity made once he'd finished speaking suggested that he might as well have just recommended taking a roll in a pile of fleas. The pup seemed to be doing her best Captain Riddle impression as she simply held the stare silently, waiting for Rhys to admit his mistake.

He blew out a quick breath with slumping shoulders and then chuckled lightly. "Fine. Fine. You're right. The day the 'Chaser breaks atmo without breaking herself 'll prolly be the day Tay finds his long lost jolly sense of humor." he conceded. He adjusted the combat vest a bit on his shoulders before he looped an arm around Serenity's midsection and helped her drape her arm around the back of his neck for support. "Alright Tesoro, lets get you to work."
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

"And for one last instance, I'm Human again." - Sergeant Ghost

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Pryde » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:24 pm

Serenity nodded and allowed Rhys to help her down into the engine room. Once they were there she immediately started giving him commands and Rhys couldn't help but note how similar she looked to the Captain when giving orders. "I've only got one ARB unit right now since I still haven't fixed the other one," she was saying, "I need you to replace him for now."

Then she pointed at a nearby console dotted with various gauges. "Watch this gauge here, if it gets into the red before we break atmo press this switch here and pull this lever," she indicated each one with her finger, "That'll pump coolant into the engine and prevent a blow out."

Then she turned and jerked her thumb over at another console on the other side of the room. "I'll be over there monitoring the fuel lines and various subsystems, making sure everything's working proper during take off," she explained. She took half a step towards her station when suddenly she stopped and glanced back at him. "Rhys, if you run into trouble call me."

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Starlight » Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:23 pm

Marina brushed off Shuin's comment the same way as she would shoo away the noisome buzzing sound of an irritating insect. Wretched man. Had it really been worth the trouble to bother with him? She mulled over the thought while making her way back to the docking berth.

True, Marina had gleaned a few answers - though none of which had been provided by Shuin's ridiculous web of deceit. No, the answers were clues into the fallen noble's psyche and emotional state. The scribe had wanted to see how Shuin had fared in his tumble from grace and respectability. Conclusion... He hadn't fared well at all. But now she wondered if the man was more of a threat now than when he had simply been a greedy fop lusting after the next shiny trinket.

She tucked the thoughts away when Orpheus came to her side and together they quickly navigated their way through the crowds and corridors, breezeways and empty alleys. They didn't bother with conversation; the mercenary's concentration was too much on assessing the landscape, Marina's on how she would deal with Captain Riddle's next tantrum over her behavior. As if it was any of his concern...

Her brows furrowed together in an expression just shy of a frown, Marina almost missed Loki's squawk of greeting. The scribe looked up realized they had reached the ship. She caught sight of the black crow flapping his wings in a way that she would have sworn was the avian equivalent to a human wave. Her stormy expression immediately melted into a warm smile and she lifted her own hand toward the bird. In her palm was a small mound of breadcrumbs, taken from a small pouch Marina always kept just in case Loki wanted a treat. Sometimes it was bread, other times bits candied fruit or nuts.

"Come inside Loki and the spoils will be yours," Marina called out as she and Orpheus climbed the loading ramp.
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:09 am

Loki's caw pierced in the air in glee as he caught sight of Marina returning, and as she held out her hand to him enticingly, he gladly was enticed. Swooping down amid a flurry of flapping black feathers, he roughly lighted on Marina's delicate arm and began pecking the offerings out of her hand.

From up in the cockpit, Tey heard someone shout that everyone was on board, so he wasted no time in slamming the Chaser's engines to full power. With Serenity out of commission, it was going to be a very interesting take off. Hopefully, Dream Chaser was feeling cooperative, or it could be a short flight.

"This is the captain." Tey spoke on the ship's intercomm, a notoriously unreliable thing that had a habit of rendering words unintelligible. Still, there wasn't any other option at the moment. "Every one find something to hold on to. This is going to be a rough one."

Trading the intercom mic for the comm mic, Tey spoke next to Traffic Control. "Dream Chaser now departing, vector 302 by 924."

Traffic control acknowledged, but by that time Tey was already engrossed in piloting the ship. Things were going well, so far, both engines providing lift, energy levels normal. Heat was peaking a little high, but once they hit cold space, that would dip sharply.

A jolting shudder began rumbling through the ship. Nothing new there, the Gravity Emulator had been acting up a little bit lately, that's probably what it was, trying to adjust the ship's gravity. Hopefully it wouldn't rattle anything loose in the engine compartment. With Serenity down there, it was nothing to worry about. With her not down there... Well, it was only something to mildly fret about.

Riddle also kept as much attention as he could spare on the sensor screen to see if there were any ships that seemed to be following his trajectory. Nothing jumped out at him, but a skilled pilot would be able to follow him while blending in with normal traffic patterns for quite some time.

The rumbling continued to grow worse throughout the ship before it finally subsided, just as the ship managed to shake itself free of the last remnant of Orthedos' gravity and the engine heat warning was kicking on. Once far enough from the planet, the Gravity Emulator seemed to figure out what it was trying to do, and stopped shaking the ship.

The engines cooled from the stress of breaking gravity and Riddle sighed lightly to himself. There was something so.. peaceful about breaking atmosphere. It was like a childbirth: messy, noisy, and painful, and there was just nothing but relief when it's finished.

The captain's blue eyes scanned the infinite horizon of space as he began to gently adjust the ship's course. Their flight path would take them directly past the Higher Order garrison fleet. While this wasn't a "problem", per se, it was one of those things that always left Riddle with a funny feeling on the back of his neck.

The fleet consisted of probably a good twenty battleship size ships and a wasp's nest of support ships. The ships were all dark, silent, and stationary, almost brooding. If he didn't know better, Tey could have mistaken the whole fleet for nothing more than a junkyard or collection of derelict ships. The vessels completely encapsulated the Higher Order: aloof, unapproachable, and alien. They were a sleeping giant that nobody wanted to wake up.

Tey held the course, watching the sensor read out for any sign of a tail, or any sign that the Higher Order was about to take exception to his presence in their midst. The ships remained silent as he slid past first one, then another, then many, but he couldn't help but notice that turret-like protrusions on the larger ships were rotating to track him.

It took about ten minutes to clear the Higher Order fleet, and by that time, the ship was ready to enter Paradox.

Well, technically, it was faster-than-light-travel, but since it was "impossible" to travel faster than light, the nick name "Paradox" had sprung into being to describe the process of interstellar travel. It had something to do with folding space, or time, or using a tunnel of tachyons, or something. Tey couldn't even begin to pretend he understood anything about light speed travel, other than how to make his ship do just that.

There was a build up of noise in the engine compartment as the drive prepared for the hop, a loud shudder, and sudden silence as the craft entered hyperspace. As far, so good.

Tey unbuckled himself from the pilot chair and went to find out how Serenity was doing.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Pryde » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:46 am

It was a little rough getting the ship in the air but somehow she managed, she always did with Tay at the helm and Serenity in the hold. As fortune would have it the coolant system was not needed this time around, so even though the needle did get close to the red Rhys didn't have to pull the lever after all. As soon as the ship broke atmo the engines cooled off quite a bit, now things had quieted down to about normal but "normal" on a Sonnet anything but. The ship was running, that was pretty much all that could be said and she would keep on running for awhile until the next little hiccup. When that moment came, however, Serenity's keen ears would alert her to the danger.

Now, though, she was feeling exhausted and after making sure the ARB was handling its assigned duties she turned around to face Rhys. "Okay, I think I will go to my room now," she informed him, "I'm feeling really tired."

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:46 pm

Tay was approaching the lift by the time Rhys and Serenity arrived up from the engine room. Rhys simply stood back after exiting the lift, watching on as Serenity hurried up to Tay as swiftly as her injured leg would let her. His young face had a frown shaded across it, effectively erasing the usual cocky sort of smirk that he normally wore.

He let Serenity get hurt, and it wasn't the sure-to-come lecture from Tay that had him glum. He felt guilty. He felt responsible. So he kept to the outskirts, remaining within reach in case her step faltered but once she tossed her arms around the Captain he stopped his progress and simply stood there with his hands shoved into his pockets and his eyes focused on the deck between his feet.
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:34 pm

"Easy there, pup." Tay said as Serenity grappled him, his cool eyes assessing her condition. She was as perky as always, but it was obvious that her leg was giving her some grief. "Let's get you somewhere to unwind... You shouldn't be walking around in the first place."

Tay scooped Serenity's light frame up into a fireman's carry, giving Rhys a subtle "come along" nod as he turned and carried Serenity up to her quarters.

The quarters in question were an interesting array of engine parts, schematics and various shiny and unusual things that Serenity had taken a liking to. It was a bit more like a strange art gallery with a bed in the corner. Of course, given that Serenity really didn't spend much time up here, it made sense.

Tay deposited the young girl on her bed with a grunt. "There. Now you stay put and get some rest. Dinner will be on soon, so we'll come and get you when it's time." Tay tried to wipe a bit of engine grease off of Serenity's cheek with his thumb. It turned out to be a poor decision as the grease spot just smeared into a grease line.

Grunting again, Tay just decided to leave well enough alone. He turned and left the room.

Rhys was waiting out in the hallway, looking a little like a prisoner on death row waiting for his turn at the gallows.

Riddle took two steps, then turned and looked at Rhys. "Don't get me wrong, I blame you entirely for her getting hurt. But I can see, surprisingly enough, that you actually seem to care about someone other than yourself, so I'm not going to say any more. Let's both make sure that doesn't happen again."

With that, the captain turned and began walking down the hallway. "I'm going to go get supper started. Find our guest and make sure he hasn't gotten himself in to trouble."

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Pryde » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:48 pm

Serenity rolled up into a little ball, her hand lightly probing the bandage on her injured leg. It still burned like fire but the spray Rhys had used on her ankle was starting to make it feel better. She let her eyelids droop closed but not a moment after they did the memory of bullets pinging off the metal around her came back to her clear as day and she snapped them back open again. It was then she heard Riddle's voice in the corridor outside her room. Normally his remark to Rhys would have been muffled by the thick door between them, but Serenity's hearing was a bit above average.

It wasn't Rhys' fault, she thought quietly to herself, her ears drooping, I'm the one to blame. I shouldn't have run off like that. She debated following Tay to explain this but he gave her a direct order to stay. Almost reluctantly she stretched out on the bed and tried to relax. She could talk to Tay about it later when they came to get her for dinner...

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:25 pm

Rhys looked up as Tay came out of Serenity’s quarters and watched him take off in the other direction. The young man was half-way through a dejected sigh when Tay turned around to face him, causing him to stiffen up and stand straight.

He nodded solemnly and silently as the Captain said his piece, then gave one last nod in the affirmative to acknowledge his receipt of the orders. Then Tay was gone, heading off to the galley.

Rhys paused there in the corridor for a few moments before spinning on his heel and heading off in the other direction. He tucked his thumbs into the shoulder straps of the ballistic vest he still wore and adjusted its weight over his shoulders. Any other day he’d take offense to what he’d equate to babysitting, but after what he’d let happen that afternoon he wasn’t so sure he didn’t deserve the delegated duty.

He rounded another corner and saw Marina headed in his direction. He still wasn’t quite able to force a smile with the weight of Serenity’s injury bearing down on him, but he managed a polite nod in her direction.

“Seen the new guy around anywhere?” He asked her, his normally over-confident tone quite noticeably dampened.
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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Starlight » Thu Oct 22, 2009 3:10 pm

The scribe paused in the act of delicately scratching Loki beneath his beak, the spot Marina had found he liked rubbed best. She raised an eyebrow quizzically at Rhys’ expression but refrained from questioning it for the moment. “I don’t believe so, but then I’ve just come from the docking bay.”

Temper, still simmering, pricked at her tongue. “Why do you ask? Has the Captain decided in a fit of pique to eject him through an airlock?”

Rhys shrugged at the armor again, his eyes darting away from hers for a breif moment as he processed her tone and wordage. He'd not been filled in on what had gone on out in the town proper because of what had happened to Serenity, but by the way she spoke he could safely assume things didn't go well.

He blinked once then finally made eye contact again. "I don't know about all that," He started, "He's off starting supper and just wanted me to check in on the fella... The guy hasn't made all that great of an impression yet, if you ask me." The last bit was spoken in a terse, heavy tone as Rhys thought back to how scared Serenity had been of Kerei.

"Hmm, if I see him I will point him in your direction to be sure." With a last ruffle to his feathers, Marina lifted Loki so he could perch on her shoulder. "Are you ready to tell me what happened?" She asked the Mercenary without preamble.

He tucked his thumbs back into the straps of the armor and closed his eyes as he took in a deep breath. "Shuins thugs popped off a few shots into the ship as we were closing up the ramp." he spoke softly. "One of 'em got Serenity in the leg." He added darkly.

Loki cawed a protest as his perch took off running down the corridor. He flapped his sleek black wings, aimed a beady glare at Rhys then took off for a more secure place to smooth his feathers.

Marina's pretty sandals slapped against the scarred metal floor as she ran through the halls like a vibro-arrow shot from a Paristan bow.
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:01 pm

Riddle was not a culinary extraordinaire by any stretch of the imagination, but he was good at the meals he did make. They might not have been the most creative or exotic flavors, but they were good, hearty meals, which Riddle preferred over most of the "gourmet" meals, which just seemed to be a fancy way of saying "small".

The new foodstuffs they had just taken on board made galley duty that much better. He was trying to use up the perishable foods first, which meant there would be more fresh fruits and vegetables in the meals for the next week or so. Riddle did not expect many complaints on that regard.

Looking over his manifest that was in the foodstuff container, Riddle frowned. Apparently there was a package of dried spices somewhere, but it hadn't made it as far as the galley yet. Must have been put in the storage room. Mumbling a mild curse vaguely directed at Rhys, Riddle stepped out to of the galley, aiming to find his wayward spices.

Under most other circumstances, Tay was a pretty observant fellow. Even when he wasn't necessarily being observant, he was usually attentive. At the moment, however, he was not either of those things to any great degree, and mistakenly (and subconsciously) dismissed the rhythmic slapping noise as just another noise produced by his ship.

Stepping out into the hallway, he had just enough time to put up his arms and brace himself before Marina ran bodily in to him.

He grunted under the impact, grappling her instinctively in an odd and awkward embrace; an embrace he held for perhaps just a second too long, making it seem that much more awkward.

"Where are you off to in such a hurry? Don't tell me something else in the Chaser is leaking again..."

Marina blinked a few times, dizzy from the concussion and the confusion. Where had Tay come from? He was absolutely the last person on her list that she wanted to see. She looked up into Riddle's always-aggrieved and often impatient stare, forgot for a moment that she was still angry with him. "Leaking? No, I.." Marina cleared her throat, forcing her thoughts to click back on task. Her voice wavered then resumed it's normally cool, regal tones. "I was on my way to see Serenity. Rhys just told me what happened."

Riddle grunted at this, returning to his default pose of crossed arms and a mildly sour look in his face. "She's fine. A nick on the leg is all. I told her to get some rest." Riddle stated, leaving an almost implied impression that Marina ought to just take his word for it and let it drop so Serenity could get the aforementioned rest. He almost went on to mention how this could have been avoided if Marina hadn't chosen to associate with slime like Shuin, but decided that was a battle he really didn't want to get in to right now.

Instead, he looked down at her exposed feet, protected only by the ornate and delicate looking sandals. "Besides, you really shouldn't be running in that get up anyways. You're liable to trip and end up recovering in a bed along side her."

Marina angled her chin in a way that almost dared someone to try and lay a punch on it. "Your constant concern for my welfare is heartwarming, Captain. Perhaps I should consult you every morning when I dress to be sure it is adequately safe?"

RIddle just looked at her for a moment, his tongue working against his teeth absently as he thought about what an appropriate response to that would be. "Yeah, why don't you do that? That'd give us something new to argue about, at least. So maybe next time you could wear something other than those dainty little lady things before you come pelting down the hallway blindly." He pointed down at her sandals to illustrate his point.

"Captain, arguing with you is as productive as beating my head against a concrete pillar and just as likely to induce a splitting headache." She folded her arms over her chest, almost standing sandal-to-boot with him. Even with the height descrepancy between them, Marina still managed to pose as though she were looking down her pretty nose at him. "Now are you through being a fashion maeven or is there something else you would like to critique?"

Tay just stared at her for a moment, feeling a frustration well up inside of him indescribably. He couldn't even pin down what exactly it was that he was frustrated about, it was merely that she was so.. so... something.

"No, I think we're done here. In summary, Serenity's fine, don't run in your sandals if you can't even stop in time to avoid crashing in to me, and try to avoid crashing into me too often, okay?"

For a moment, Marina's eyes narrowed to lethal slits. "At the moment I am most happy to avoid you completely." For the second time that day, she swept past him with temper swirling in almost tangible clouds around her.

Riddle just glared at her back (shapely, some part of his brain managed to register) and then turned back to the task of tracking down the wayward spices.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:42 pm

Rhys hadn't thought he could feel any worse about what had happened. That was before he watched the expression on Marina's face change from annoyance at the captain to pure terror for Serenity. He didn't make a move as she bolted down the hallway, the young man simply dropped his head down and let out a heavy sigh. Where the frell is this guy? he thought to himself in frustration.

He shook his head, trying to force out the negative thoughts, and took off towards the main hold. If he didn't come across the newcomer soon he was going to get rather annoyed.
"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." - C. S. Lewis

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:01 am

((OOC: Pushing on...))

Riddle managed to make it back to the galley with his treasure, the package of spices, in hand. His thoughts were still lingering darkly on Marina, up until the time he saw Loki perched on one of the shelving units. For whatever reason, the sight of the scruffy, black bird brightened Riddle's mood noticeably.

Clucking to Loki, Riddle found a chunks of fresh fruit to give to the bird. Loki looked critically at Riddle, obviously unapproving of the clucking noises, but accepted the offerings greedily. While Loki was choking down the bits of fruit, Tay managed to sneak in a little pet on the back of Loki's neck. Loki made a noise that clearly expressed the fact he would have taken exception to this wayward affection, were it not for the fact that he was busy with the food in front of him.

Moving on, Tay opened the spice package and added a few pinches of his selected herbs to finish off the stew he was creating. It needed jus another ten minutes, which was just about perfect; it was just about ten minutes until dinner time.

Tay pushed the intercomm on the wall and informed the rest of the crew it was just about dinner time, then went about setting the table with bowls and plates, enough for the crew and their passenger.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Pryde » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:06 am

Serenity was on her bunk toying with some machinery. She had a variety of different parts sitting in her lap and a computer laying next to her on the bed. She was busy systematically checking each piece for any damaged circuitry by sending an electric surge through each one. Whenever she came across a bad one she tossed it into a growing pile next to the door and picked up another. Eventually there was a knock on her door and Tay entered to carry her to the mess. Serenity pushed the parts away from herself and lifted her arms for Tay. He picked her up and the two of them were on their way down the corridor towards the mess.

"I'm building something for Rhys," she announced as they walked, or rather as Tay walked and she was carried, "It's an electronic lock-pick, he's always talking about how he never has a key so I'm going to make him one to thank him for patching up my leg."

Then she looked at him curiously for a moment. "Do you think he has a color preference? Like something with a blue casing or maybe black? Marina's been teaching me how to paint," she explained, seeming rather proud of that fact.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:22 am

"Ive always pictured Rhys liking bright colors, light yellow or pink." Tay murmured to Serenity, with just a hint of sarcasm in his voice, light enough that Serenity probably wouldn't even pick up on it.

Pulling out her customary chair towards one end of the table, Tay placed Serenity effortlessly down in her seat. This effortlessness was not so much a testament to Tay's strength as it was to the fact that Serenity was so light.

The tables and chairs within the mess hall were a rustic collection of wood furniture that had been scavenged from various places. Most were mismatching, all of them were nicked and dinged from use and abuse, but for whatever reason, Riddle was attached to the furniture and refused to replace it. Of course, that might have been due to the fact that replacements caused money, something that Tay had never had excess of. Still, there was a deep sentimental value in the wooden chairs, complete with their comfortable (if also mismatching) cushions. They just seemed to be such an integral part of the ship that replacing them would somehow make the ship something less than what it was.

As Serenity settled in her chair gingerly, careful not to bump her tender leg, Tehran portioned a bowl of stew for her, complete with a generous portion of bread and butter (real, fresh butter, which was a nice switch from the butter flavoring they usually had to use).

"Eat up, pup. You could use some meat on your bones." Riddle informed her, collapsing into his own seat while he waited with an air of impatience for the rest of the crew.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:03 pm

Shuin did not reach as high as he once did. While once he had had a veritable army loyal to the Melchor Family and a nearly endless supply of resources, now he was reduced to practically scavenging for what power that he could.

For all his foppishness and arrogance, however, Shuin had learned a lesson or two from noble politics. Mostly, he learned that no matter what happened, always have a backup plan, always have the knife up the sleeve no one knew about. And when he fell from grace, Shuin had been sure to drag his nails all the way down that slope, bringing an appreciable piece of wealth with him. It wasn't much, comparatively, but it was enough for now.

Striding aboard the bridge of the Last Regret as though he was stepping through the door way of his private estate, Shuin exuded an imperious attitude, fully expecting to be catered to waited on hand and foot. If such was his expectation, than disappointment was quick to find him.

"Captain Chalaylin, do we have them?" Shuin had hired Chalaylin and her ship the Last Regret indefinitely with a modest down payment, and a promise of more to come. The ship wasn't ideal, but it certainly had its advantages; Chalaylin was a Summek, as was the majority of her six body crew. Humans and Summeks didn't typically get along great, but the very qualities that usually alienated the Summeks from "honorable" humans, were the very qualities Shuin now reveled in: stealth, trickery, and subterfuge. Summeks were masters of the cheap shot and the unexpected kill blow. Sure, in previous days, Shuin wouldn't have been caught dead on the bridge of a Summek ship, much less patronizing them with his money, but times had changed, and he was forced to adapt. What he had once considered vermin and filth, he now considered... vermin and filth still, but allies as well.

The Summek captain turned and looked at Shuin with a look of irritation and annoyance. Shuin couldn't tell if that's how the Summek always looked, or if the captain was genuinely irritated every time Shuin was present. Either way, it made no difference. She was being paid to do a job, nothing more.

"It depends on what you mean by 'have'." Calaylin spoke in a typical Summek voice, fairly low and quiet, with a strange vibrating quality about it. "We have tracked their Paradox jump vector. Based on velocity and current astronomical conditions, the only possible destination is Seraya, unless it is a false jump. How paranoid is this Captain Riddle?"

Shuin frowned at the question. "Paranoid? I don't know. But what I do know is that he is a broke fool with a half broken ship. I do not think he would risk making multiple Paradox jumps unless he detected you. Did he detect you?"

At this question, Calaylin's erect ears flattened and the two small appendages next to her mouth shook in what must have been agitation. "This vessel is a Summek Slider. Nothing on board a mekaliviss Sonnet could have hope of detecting us. Have we not remain unseen in orbit right under the Higher Order?"

Shuin did not share Calaylin's confidence in this matter, but merely grunted instead. "Very well. Overtaken them. I want to arrive at Seraya ahead of them."

Calaylin just gave an almost sneer at this, evidently not impressed by the order. "It will be a strain on the ship's Paradox Drive to achieve this rapid of transit. An additional fee would be in order."

This prompted a matching sneer from Shuin. "Fine. Just make it happen."

And Captain Calaylin did. The Last Regret slid under the Higher Order garrison fleet, which did not react to the presence of the smaller vessel. Once clear, the Regret sprang into Paradox, the Paradox Drive shaking the ship violently under the strain. As the shuddering faded into the silence of hyperspace travel, Shuin vowed that this time, he would not let Marina slip through is hands. One way or another, she would be with him.

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Starlight » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:59 pm

Marina was in her private quarters. A book lay open on her lap, unread though her eyes were transfixed on the well-worn pages. She should have been scribing, devotedly marking the latest turn in her adventures. She could have been dressing for dinner, a habit that entertained Serenity and made Riddle sneer. Instead, the lady sat idle in the comfortable chair, lost in her thoughts and unhappy with the direction they were taking.

She thought of Serenity and her injury (which she had checked on anyway in spite of the Captain’s summation). Marina felt guilt creeping over her that the little one had been injured by a mercenary… A mercenary sent by Shuin.

The name made her thoughts take an abrupt twist down an even darker path. She remembered the glint behind Shuin’s eyes, a light that was not quite sane. She recalled the desperation coloring his words, the lies that rolled so easily off his noble tongue.

"This isn’t over between us, Marina."

Marina wasn’t accustomed to emotions such as fear so she didn’t recognize the tremble of emotion that skated down her limbs. On a sound of impatience, the scribe closed her book and replaced it on the little shelf that held a small, eclectic collection of books, tomes, scrolls, and data-files. These weren’t her Chronicles – those were kept in a heavily-secured terminal and storage box. These compilations were in her possession solely for Marina’s own enjoyment.

Her fingertips had just brushed affectionately down the spine of the book she’d neglected when Riddle’s announcement of the evening meal rumbled out of the intercom unit, complete with crackles of ill-timed static.

For a moment she was tempted to remain in her suite of rooms. Marina was sure she wouldn’t be very good company tonight. She was tired. There was work to do…. Riddle would be there, making insufferable comments what happened earlier. The scribe squared her shoulders. Since when had she ever backed down from a war fought only with words and voice?

“Heavens spare me from the male species,” she muttered sourly and went to change her clothes.

A few minutes later, dressed in a simple dress of pale-blue silk and her hair caught up in a simple braid, Marina stepped into the dining hall. She took her place next to Serenity without so much as a glance at Riddle, automatically brushing the backs of her fingers over the young girl’s cheek in a gesture of affection. “Still holding up alright?” she asked while smoothing down the skirt of her gown.
My horse's feet are as swift as rolling thunder,
He carries me away from all my fears;
And when the world threatens to fall asunder,
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
~Bonnie Lewis

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by VagueDurin » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:36 pm

Rhys glanced up at the nearest speaker as the Captain announced that dinner would be commencing shortly. He did it every time the intercom belched out noise, yet he always wondered why. Did he expect to someday see Tay squatting up there in the corner of the bulkhead or something?

The young man shook his head slightly and paused in the hallway. He glanced around for a moment, and then sighed in frustration. He hadn't tracked down Kirei. He could only imagine the sarcastic comments that Riddle would have for him about managing to lose the large passenger on a ship in the middle of space. That thought was almost enough for Rhys to ignore the rumbling in his stomach and press on in his search... almost.

Instead he turned around and headed back to his quarters. Once inside he stripped out of the combat vest and stowed his weapons. Riddle wasn't a fan of him carrying weapons around even when it was necessary; it'd be a cold day on the 'Chaser when Rhys showed up to the dinner table packing heat. As he finished getting ready he came across the vile of fragrance that Marina had no doubt encouraged Serenity to pick up for him. With a good natured shrug, Rhys applied some of the fragrance, and then ducked out of his quarters and right into the path of two hulks of beings.

He jumped back into his doorway silently, trying very hard to maintain some semblance of grace to save face as Brennan and Kirei lumbered past. He was pretty sure Brennan was chuckling under his breath. Rhys fell into step behind the two larger beings and silently followed them up to the dining room. Once inside, he sidestepped around the two and slipped into his seat at the table casually.
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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Pryde » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:26 pm

Serenity was already busily wolfing down her meal by the time Marina and the others showed up. When Marina had asked her how she was doing all she could managed to say was a mumbled, "Mmhmm!"

She had already forgotten about the incident that caused the injury on her leg, though occasionally bumping it had a way of reminding her. Food was her main focus now, though, and Serenity had a very healthy appetite. She wasn't always the most well-mannered of the group and probably still isn't but Marina and Tay have been working separately to change that. When Tay had first met Serenity she had a propensity for not chewing her food as much as she should, nearly swallowing it whole. This led to several choking incidents in which Tay had to intervene. Since then he'd been instructing her in what Serenity had affectionately dubbed "food safety."

This wasn't the last of many habits he's tried to break her of. A lot of her behavior was an odd mixture of wolf-like instinct and that of humans. Tay had quickly learned to be careful when introducing her to prospective clients, her first tendency was usually to sniff them to determine if they were friend or foe. Needless to say that little habit came with its own slew of problems. Her other habits were generally things he could deal with most of the time, except on one occasion when Serenity came into the cockpit smelling not only like she had stepped in something but rather that she had taken a virtual bath in it. She had one day found an interesting scent on one of the planets they had visited and wishing to share it with Tay she did as wolves do--or at least how they would have done back in the glory days of ancient Terra--she rolled around in it. It took hours of scrubbing to get that smell out of her hair and Serenity hated every minute of it.

Serenity gulped down nearly an entire glass of water in one go before a familiar scent wafted into her nostrils. She put the glass down on the table then sniffed at it a bit and her smile broadened. "Oh my god, Rhys! You're wearing the scent we bought you, I knew you'd like it!"

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Re: Nowhere Bound: This Travesty We Call the Past

Post by Xalsin » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:02 am

Riddle eyed each member of his crew and passengers as they entered the quasi-dining room, giving a faint nod of approval as each one made their appearance.

The first to appear was Marina, dressed in cool colors which seemed to contrast with the warm affection she doted on Serenity. Yet those cool colors matched just perfectly with the slightly frigid, slightly aloof look Marina managed to bestow upon Tehran. His frown soured at the corners of his mouth for the split second that their eyes met, but Marina's attention was diverted to Serenity, so he did not have to think of anything to say to her. Which was good, because he couldn't really think of anything good to say to her at the moment, and he really didn't want to get into an argument right now; they had work, they had fresh supplies, they should be all be happy. Should be.

Orpheus and the newcomer walked into the room next. Kirei stalked in like a hunter, checking every corner for the inevitable prey that must have been lurking somewhere. If Marina had been aloof, than Kirei was one step from apotheosis. He glared at each of the assembled crew each in turn, as if deciding just how much disdain to assign each of them. It wasn't immediately clear who exactly won that contest, other than to say that the majority of Kirei's wrath was obviously reserved for Serenity. There was no missing the narrowing of his eyes or the look of ire on his face that flashed briefly before Kirei was able to collect his face into a constricted mask.

Riddle watched Kirei for a second longer, just long enough for Kirei to sit down on the far end of the table from Serenity, before taking a seat at the far end of the table from Serenity.

Next was Orpheus, whom sat down, whether by instinct or design, in such a way that imposed himself between Kirei and Serenity. He was good like that, always looking out for the other crew members, like a sentinel. Despite his alertness to the situation around him, Orpheus still had that distant quality about him, as one who bore on his back the weight of traumas and guilt that should have long been buried. Still, Riddle did not poke his nose into another man's business, and was just satisfied to have Orpheus's service for the time.

Then there was Rhys. Good looking, ingratiatingly charming, and good at making people believe him. If there was one thing Tehran had learned never to trust, it was an honest face, and Rhys had that in spades. Of course, Riddle had his own, more personal reasons for distrusting Rhys, but he understood well what Rhys was: a talented, smooth talking, disaster waiting to happen. Tay felt he had Rhys in check for the moment, but he had his suspicions that Rhys's treachery would be but a better offer away if that check ever faded.

Serenity's comment about Rhys' choice of scent brought Tay out of his thoughts and also brought a raised eyebrow with it. He wasn't quite sure what got his attention more, the idea that Rhys was wearing some sort of perfume, or the fact that Serenity was apparently buying gifts for Rhys. Riddle gave Rhys a scowl anyways, just in case that was what was needed.

With the crew and passengers gathered, Riddle finally took his seat and unceramoniously began scooping a generous serving of stew into his bowl. "Well, it might not be quite as refined a meal as some of you are used to," Tay shot a glance at Marina with this statement, then to Kirei, just in case, "but most of the ingredients are fresh, at least."

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