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  #16  
Old 12-04-2015, 07:18 PM
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-Wren "recycled" his tea cup as he did every morning, Glad that he didn't gamble with the rest of the crew, and therefore never really seemed to have any of the mundane and ultimately boring jobs on the boat. And, in truth, that suited him just fine. He went about his usual daily check-up on both the mechanical and technical aspects of the Ferry, leaving a bit of the electronics and wiring work up to Vix... mostly relating to the ships security. Heaven forbid he should "accidentally" mess with something of hers again. He still felt the dull throb and the heat of the impact on his chest. She could pack a punch... even if playful. With a skip in his step he went about his usual routine for the next hour, give or take.

He ran general maintenance on the Ferry, processing some things that needed hardware or software up keep. He spent some time ensuring both the cargo lift as well as the mule were in perfect working order, and that they were oiled and ready for use. On this boat, he left nothing to chance. Luckily most of what Wren had to do was secondary to his nature and even left him with a handful of minutes, to work on some NewTech, all to himself. When he had only a couple minutes until landfall, he swapped his dirty shirt for a clean one, and strapped his gun to the harness across his back, then finally putting on his waistcoat. Lastly he made his way down to the cargo-hold awaiting any last minutes orders from Charlie, or forthcoming orders from Becca.
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2015, 10:45 PM
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Becca had remained relatively quiet as the others came in, nodding or winking at them and Sweet and Cheerful asseteven offering coffee or tea before they could help themselves. Her respect for Gail and Charlie was evident as she didn't speak over them or interrupt when they had the floor. This quality as bred in her from an early age, seeing her father's natural leadership abilities and how his subordinates and crew reacted to him.

She threw in a comment to Wren as they broke up to get to work. "Wren, th' nose gun chain feed relays tweaking out a bit. Says its fine now, but if you get a moment I'd feel better if you made sure."

She then said to Chao, "If Gee clears it, I'll boost Vix's signal and bounce it out right before we break atmo."

As Gail asked Becca to lead the way to the bridge, she simply said, "I'm on it if Gail allows her to call her that, if not ignore and I'll stopGee", and hopped out in front, coffee in hand.

As they strode along she said over her shoulder, "Say Gee. Alright if I go out with Horace again? Couldn't hurt." Her comment was sincere, but was loaded with pros and cons. On the one hand, she had a way of reading people, which combined with her memorable self and sweet and cheerful nature let her get her way more than not. It helped that she was just a step under Horace's skills with the bureaucracies that they ran into in their line of work. Often, it really helped that she had some "street knowledge" in ports and such that came with experience, not some book or tales of the verse. But... while all this may be true, she loved a good challenge, and being a quite memorable person, she didn't easily slip out of trouble like Horace did. And when she got into trouble... well, she tended to have a bit too much fun with it.

As she plopped down in the pilot's chair, she sent a shot text wave in reply back to Vix.
VixYou wish. Hour out Atmo sys check. Game on. Wren's got my dishes for month.

She didn't go to mentioning that what she had gained in some chores she had lost in others to Horace.

She checked the course again** with a slight lean to her right, and glanced over the controls once more. Comms and countermeasures were here thing and these panels were to her far right. She did a quick glance over to the navigators console and all looked well with Vix's 'rigged' hacking... stuff. Not that she'd know for sure as Vix could make an innocent piece of electronics look like it was something else while it was doing quite the opposite. Good thing was, between Vix, herself and Wren they had just about everything tech or electronic covered. Vix could hack just about anything, while Becca could establish and keep comms with just about anything, or jam or even make Charon's Ferry almost invisible to navsats and the electronic spectrum. And if they had a problem, Wren could fix or rig it to keep working or work around it. If all that failed, Vix could just blow the gorram thing up.

She checked the comms** again, using the ship's sensors to do a sweep for any incoming or passing by signals.

 

Last edited by JagerBlonde; 12-04-2015 at 10:54 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2015, 01:18 PM
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Horace harrumphed quietly, mostly to himself, during the captain's speech. 250 odd credits, indeed. Extremely standard pay for an extremely standard job. Which, ultimately, Horace was fine with– the money wasn't particularly good, but so long as they could keep making cargo runs at this rate without too many dry spells, they could turn a neat profit– but it was so far from Charlie’s style as to be almost comical. There was something else going on here, something to do with with Charlie's "personal business in Gracetown," and Horace hoped to any itinerant god who might be listening that it wasn't going to cost the ship any money.

He helped himself to a cup of Becca's coffee as the captain began saying his piece, slurping down the hot, viscous brew in four hearty gulps. The downside, he had discovered, of having a high tolerance to poisons of all sorts was that it took a lot of coffee in the morning to get himself going (and a lot of gutrot in the evening to get himself stopped, when the occasion arose). He made sure to grab a second cup, one which we would take more time finishing, as the speech ended and the crew went on to their various assignments.

"Right behind you, Gee" he croaked with a lopsided grin. Somehow, when Becca used the de facto nickname it was endearing, but Horace managed to inject a note of faint sardonicism. He followed Gail out of the kitchen, somewhat behind the more enthusiastic pilot.

"Wouldn't mind having Becca along, to be honest," Horace rumbled as they approached the bridge. "She brings certain... qualities to the job which I lack. Qualities which seem to have more currency out here in the backwater than a business degree, sorry a state as that is."
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2015, 04:08 PM
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When Horace began taking about her along, Becca nodded in agreement heartily after spinning to face Gail. As he described her qualities she stood up, leaned against the pilot's chair with one hand, while the other gestured with palm turned up, fingers spread in a motion of 'check this out' from her face down to her feet. The effect was cheesy, and over-the-top, but it mimicked a model showing off her garment as it was being described in detail at a fashion show.
All the while, she only smiled and said nothing.

Last edited by JagerBlonde; 12-06-2015 at 04:09 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-07-2015, 12:14 AM
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In response to Becca’s sugestion of boosting the signal for Chao, she approved.

Yea sure, you can do that Bee.

When Horace called Gail "Gee", her facial expression turned to annoyance.

It’s Gail to you! And jute be glad I don’t make you call me Ma’am.

She said it with humour in her tone, but the message was clear, only Becca could call her Gee.

Becca’s argument for coming along with her and Horace made sense and Gail saw no reason for not allowing it.

Sure, I don't expect that we will need to fly out in a hurry. It’s not like I need you to stay on the ship and keep the engine running on this one.

The young woman sat in the co-pilot’s chair on the bridge. Gail wasn't much of a pilot, but she liked to sit behind the wheel from time to time even if it was just to assist Becca.
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  #21  
Old 12-07-2015, 12:29 AM
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Becca gave Gail a thumbs up and plopped herself back down in the pilot's chair, flipping a few switches and twisting a dial. She put a headset up to her right ear only as she flipped another switch overhead and listened.

After a moment, she said, "Got it.

She flicked one switch and said louder, Vix. I've boosted your signal for Chao's housecalls and Doctorin'. Got it set so any replies go straight back to the "freq" you sent it out on. You wanna change it, just let me know and I'll change the boosted signal band to match. Becca out.

Just like Gail was particular about who was on a first letter name basis with her, so was Becca. Everyone on the crew knew that no one called her 'Bee', but Gail. It helped that on more than one occasion, Gail and called her Becca, or last name over a wave to send the signal that something had went wrong on her end. Becca had done the same with Gail at least once, and it sealed the bond of their friendship even more so than that of just crewmates. Becca didn't think Gail a saint, but she would follow her blindly anywhere in the verse without question.

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  #22  
Old 12-07-2015, 11:58 AM
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-It only takes Charlie several minutes before he remerges from his cabin, finally dressed with a grey dufflebag slung over his shoulder. The Captain's wearing his prominent navy blue Hawaiian shirt, like the kind a lost core world tourist on New Melbourne might wear. When comes to fashion Charlie is a man of extremes. Perhaps that was a piece of the spy left in him. One minute he could look like a hobo, the next a suave socialite. Whatever his business was today, it seemed rather casual. The only weapon he carries is his trademark pistol in a thigh holster, nothing to suggest that he is expecting any sort of danger.

Whistling past the crew without a word, Charlie quickly disappearing again towards one of the short range shuttle like a man on a mission. On the bridge, Becca is soon notified by a flashing orange light that the vessel has disengaged and already begun it's decent towards the planet below. Charlie makes a small radio check with the pilot, before his small vessel outpaces Charon's Ferry and quickly disappears towards it's destination. Likewise on the bridge, any attempts to contact Bennie before your arrival are in vain. It's likely that as frontier farmer, he used a public cortex terminal in town to arrange this delivery.
-In the galley Vix hits the cortex in search of useful tidbits of local information, however she seems to run into speed bumps every step of way. From the get go the whole of Whitestone Valley seemed rather sparse of digital records. This was not a result of anything sinister, but more likely due to the underdeveloped region's records still being kept in print, not online.

As expected Vix's search bought up little information on the operations of the local Tongs. At the very least she is able to guess with some certainty that the ones operating in Whitestone are a small crew from the White Lotus Tong. This criminal entity is one of the biggest Tongs the Georgia System, even the 'verse. They are known to be more business-like and legitimate than some of their smaller more bloodthirsty counterparts, the Red Mantis and Blue Sun Tongs for example. However one shouldn't underestimate the White Lotus either, at the end of the day they still ruthless criminals.

Without getting too pedantic or grasping at straws there aren't may odd occurrences worth looking into on the cortex for Vix either. Once again this seems to be more a problem with sourcing information than it not existing. Most of the rich "Huen Dahn" in the region are agricultural barons. There's bound to be some wealth hidden away on their lavish and well guarded rural estates, however Vix shouldn't hold her breath for any shiny new tech from these guys.

The last thing on Vix's search agenda was to check up on the inhabitants of Gracetown and see if she could draw any ties to either the Independents or the Captain. Whitestone may have been a bit dry on online sources, but as far as the cortex was concerned "Gracetown" was nothing more than a black dot on the map. Once again, this was typical of the area. She would have been lucky to find more than a couple of sentences of any of the region's small villages. Whilst Vix couldn't get any specific information on Gracetown's inhabitants, there were certainly plenty of former Browncoats and Independents scattered throughout Whitestone and it's outskirts that popped out. Hundreds of them. Though with such little information to go off, it was like searching for a needle in a hay stack.

It seems that only really tangible thing that Vix managed to get out of her time on her databook is that she is able post on multiple community boards and public terminals advertising Chao's medical services. It seems that Whitestone is no different from the rest of Regina and that many of it's inhabitants, mostly miners, are suffering from Bowden’s Malady. This degenerative bone and muscle condition leaves its victims weak and in constant pain, and is caused by the ore-processors and atmospheric conditions of the harsh planet. After delivering their payload and docking back in town, Chao could expect to be approached with much work as he was willing take considering the shortage of medical professionals in small Rim towns. It was even possible for the doctor to make more money then the rest of the crew with their delivery considering the volume of potential patients.
-Marilou too was glued to a computer, in the privacy of her room checking the bounty boards and the VOC. It seems that the Whitestone Valley region has been rather void of official bounties in recent months, at least according to the cortex. Perhaps the local police and sheriffs were particularly competent? Maybe they preferred to solve their issues in house instead of hiring contractors, or just maybe they really didn't care too much at all as to what went on in their own backyard. Those contracts that are available are either for small time crooks or unprofitable bandits that would have undoubtedly disappeared deep into the wilderness. Considering the backwards nature of the region, it also would not be too much of a stretch to find that most bounties wouldn't be posted on the cortex but instead advertised in either local print or spread by word of mouth. Like Vix, it had become increasingly clear to Marilou that if she wanted any real information about Whitestone she would have to get it the old fashioned way.

Running short of legal bounties, Marilou begins to delve into the more shadier contracts on the VOC. After a bit of searching there appears to be only one reasonably profitable assassination job in the area, none other the governor himself. He has clearly managed to make an enemy of someone as there is a sizable 100,000 credit bounty on the man's head. The source of the contact is anonymous, which actually offers Marilou a bit of insight into who may be behind this job. Criminal entities, like the various Tongs and Syndicates, are usually quite open their intentions as way of sending a message to those that would cross them. Mercenaries, rogue outfits and other entities that have a vicious reputations to maintain are generally the same. More often than not, Marilou has found that it is the organizations that wish to keep a facade of legitimately and benevolence that go to greater lengths to hide their identity. Organizations like major corporations, trade unions and even the Alliance government itself.
-Back on the bridge, Becca gives the black a quick sensor sweep before she begins her decent into Regina. The sweep catches nothings too noteworthy in the space above Whitestone Valley. There's a seems to be steady flow of massive mining freighters, some twenty times the size of a Firefly, hauling the enormous loads of raw materials to off world destinations. Smaller ships and private vessels seem farther and fewer between, whilst a lone Alliance patrol cruiser quietly sulks around in orbit. All in all, a typical spectacle for this part of space.

Bit by bit, Becca pilots her vessel closer and closer to the barren world. The ship begins to shakes a little as Charon's Ferry breaks into the Rim world's thick atmosphere. The sea of clouds eventually give way to a blood red landscape, leading some to wonder why they even called the region "White" stone in first place. Open pit mines scar the earth and their magnitude is made quiet apparent from this great height. In the distance, pillars of smog from Whitestone's refineries grow larger and larger as the Firefly speeds towards the town. Their destination lies just beyond the urban areas, where the mountainous land opens for farming. It seems that the crew will be making their delivery right on time at this rate.

Last edited by Hack; 12-07-2015 at 12:05 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2015, 05:52 PM
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Marilou tilted back in her chair, one foot planted on top of her desk. The chair teetered onto its back legs, threatening to tip over any second if she should put just a smidge too much weight back. That was how she liked it though, to be on the edge, where anything could happen.

She stared at the screen, leaving the page with Governor Loredo Florence's contract open. She grabbed her pistol and spun it around like in those old westerns. To kill a governor... 100,000 credits. She wondered how much she was worth, factoring in the Blue Sun's investments. Her pride said at least a third or a half million credits, but another side within her said much, much less.

She had already done a quick search of Loredo Florence. He was not a well-liked man, but feared and respected. He wouldn't be missed, but in his place, who would keep law and order? Marilou kept politics to a minimum, otherwise she'd be paralyzed forever trying to decide on contracts. Her main concern was how she would do it. Sniping him from afar was the most straight forward choice. There would be plenty of good spots and openings, she was sure, but the difficulty was escape and evade the authorities. Killing a governor was no laughing matter even in a backwater region like Whitestone. They'd have the planetside and space shut down with the snap of a finger, making it that much harder for her to get out undetected. Even if she did escape, they'd hunt her down to the ends of the universe. She was already a fugitive so to speak, but killing a governor would bring in the big guns.

It would be the end of her life as she knew it. But an idea snapped into her mind as she tilted the chair a little further back. If the signals were jammed at the time of the shot then...

There was a slam as she leaned forward, bringing the chair back on its fours. She rubbed her forehead with her free hand in exasperation as something dawned on her. She couldn't do this as a one man job. She was good, but not that good. She'd need a team, but who would be more readily available than Charon's Ferry? Marilou questioned not their skills, but their resolve. Would they agree to kill a governor?

She sent a private message to the whole crew: Governor Loredo's face and the 100,000 credit bounty written below. Her profession was an open secret among the crew. She would often disappear for days at a time strapped for bear, and sometimes she came back with a wound or two for Doctor Chao to handle. When asked about what she did, she would just smile and shrug, or give an irrelevant reply. She never talked business at the dinner table, figuratively speaking. So for her to send this message to the crew, it was a very rare occurence. It was a signal for help.

As she let the message stew with the crew's minds, she stood up and got ready. Her suppressed HP Custom in her thigh holster, sniper rifle slung across her shoulder, 2 smoke grenades on her belt, and a ballistic vest under a tanktop. She threw on her black duster as well and did her hair back. For emergencies, she had the derringer in an ankle holster.

Marilou makes her way to the bridge to find Gail as the ship descended to land.

"The captain?"


Marilou wanted a reply for her note earlier, making no mention of the contract on the governor's head just yet.
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Last edited by grenadierman; 12-07-2015 at 05:59 PM.
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  #24  
Old 12-08-2015, 12:38 AM
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The crew of Charon’s Ferry knew their job well and short of some extraordinary circumstances, Gail didn’t have to issue many orders. Everyone pretty much knew what they had to do.

Becca nailed her atmospheric re-entry as usual, and the engine was purring like a kitten so Wren must have been doing something right.

Sitting in the co-pilot chair enjoying the view, Gail saw Marilou’s message about the Governor. Just as she got up to go talk to her about it, Marilou came up on bridge.

A moment of your time, Miss Victorina!

Gail’s tone seemed annoyed and she nodded towards the hallway that led to the bridge. She left the bridge expecting Marilou to follow her so they could talk in private. Once off the bridge and far enough from the hatch so Becca and Horace couldn't overhear them, she addressed Marilou.

I don’t mind turning a blind eye on your occasional side jobs, but I sure as hell draw the line at you trying to recruit members of the crew to carryout assassinations. Especially in he case of Governors. That’s a kind of heat we can do without. We might be thieves and smugglers, but we are not cold blooded killers.

Now I like you Marilou, and there's no one else I’d rather have to watch my back in a fight. I’d never turn you over to the authority, but I won’t risk this ship and this crew to protect you if you go and do something as foolish as killing a high ranking official.


Gail leaves a moment of silence to let her words sink in, before continuing with a much softer tone.

For the other matter, if you still want to follow the Captain I’m ok with it, but only for his protection. I don’t want you spying on him. Every one has a right to privacy. Also if you chose to do it, remember that he used to serve as a Covert Intelligence Officer, for the Browncoats during the war. He can probably spot a tail from a mile away.
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  #25  
Old 12-08-2015, 01:18 AM
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Vix seeing the message responds CCing Gail.

RE:BountyI don't think the captain would be happy about us knocking over his fellow browncoats. Secondly this looks like a corporate job, they tend to be just as likely to turn us in and use the PR to be hailed heroes then pay us. Never trust 'Mr Johnson'

Alternatively I could attempt to trace the origin of the bounty. We could then sell said info, perhaps the governor would like to know who's putting a bounty on him and pay for them to have an accident. Blackmail is also a possibility, but messy. I suggest against it.


She then starts to type out a generic message on the Whitestone cortex boards.

The Doctor is inThe Doctor of Charon’s Ferry is offering his services for a price.
No house calls without sufficient compensation.

She stares at the message for a bit then looks around for Chao. If she doesn't see him in the gallery she access the intercom from her laptop and broadcasts to the entire ship. "Hey doc, want to check this message before I post it?"
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:07 PM
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-DM's Note
Feel to finish your conversation regarding the bounty or anything else retroactively before moving on.
-Charon's Ferry continues to cut across the overcast grey sky onward towards its destination. The desert beneath them becomes more mountainous as the Firefly passes into the Whitestone Valley. For a few brief moments, the small sprawling township where the crew will spend the night can be seen below. However, Becca continues flying onwards north past the settlement to where the valley opens out and vast fields and crops can be seen as far as the horizon. The once red earth is now hidden under a sea of green that sways gently in the wind.

It's not much longer before the ship is hovering above the Harrison farmstead itself. The vast property is hundreds, if not thousands, of acres in size with a quaint two story residence located almost square in the centre of it. Still high in the evening sky, the ships follows a dirt track for several miles towards the house. It is here that those on bridge notice that they are apparently not the only visitors Bennie might be expecting today.

A wall of orange dust is kicked up from the dirt road below as a convoy of vehicles also speeds towards the Harrison residence. At this distance it’s difficult to make out the occupants, however leading the convoy are a pair grey hoverbikes. Following not too far behind them is what appears to be a white convertible hover car. It looks to be one of those expensive vintage models, more of a rugged classic than a one of those sleek sporty models that are so popular on the core. As a mechanic, Wren could probably identify the exact make and model of the luxury car, however it would probably mean little to the crew. All they need to know is that whoever’s driving it is likely to be rather well off. Bring up the rear of the column is a vehicle that Wren can’t identify, but Becca and Marilou to their discomfort can. A “Puma”, also known by its official name as the LARV Mk.6, an older Alliance armoured car from the Unification War days. The bold crimson and yellow marking on the grey fighting vehicle suggest that it’s been acquisitioned and refitted by the local police.

Speeding overhead, Charon’s Ferry leaves the slower convoy a few miles down the road. There is plenty of room for Becca to land the Firefly and she puts down the ship in an open paddock just next to the farmstead without any effort. From what can be seen from the bridge, waiting for them outside the house is a short old lady with what appears to be some sort of longarm in her hands and a young girl, probably in her late teens or early twenties, sitting on a fence looking up at the spacefaring vessel in total awe.

Last edited by Hack; 12-08-2015 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:10 PM
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Chao munched on his breakfast, moving at what passed for a brisk pace for him towards the medlab. It seemed like he was gonna have a busy day, of course he could find work just about anywhere this rust bucket dropped him, but it looked like he was gonna have to be ready for a full blown siege. Mining towns were, without exception, small fortunes for the old doctor. What with all the ailments you could pick up a few miles underground, not to mention injuries, he usually had enough work to keep him occupied from landing to takeoff. Add on to that how most non-indentured miners made halfway decent money, and he had a very handsome profit.

He released a groan when the message went over the intercom, he had just made it down the stairs! For god's sake the kid couldn't have asked him sooner? Did she have any idea how much of a pain dragging himself up a flight of those things was? Still the damn girl probably didn't know what his rates were, and he'd want those posted on the online flier. Before forcing himself back up he dug though his pockets for the paper that said Price List B. That was the one he usually used for mining towns; C was for typical rim worlds, D was for areas where most were indentured, and A was for the prospering communities.

He read through his flier three times just to procrastinate, then with a groan he began his trek back to Vix. By the time he reached his 'companion' he had sweat beads forming on his head and a light scowl on his face. He hands her the paper and gives the simple instructions "Make sure this info is on it."
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  #28  
Old 12-08-2015, 01:32 PM
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Becca doesn't respond to Marilou's message as she is now in front of, or rather behind, her on the bridge. Occupied with flying the ship, she listens to the conversation, but doesn't comment as she banks the ship this way and that, more for her own enjoyment than out of necessity.
Soaring over the convoy as she heads towards the landing spot, she simply says, Uh-oh. That can't be good for anyone, especially us."
Settling the Firefly down was a piece of cake as the starboard and port jet controls swiveled the outer atmo engines into a semi-controlled hover before the footpads reached out like an insect testing a branch before lighting upon it.
And then they were down.
Becca smiled as she had noted the young woman looking at the ship land, but contrary to her facial expression, her question didn't sound so good.
Think they know what's coming down the road? Don't look like it. I have an almost overwhelming urge to scoop them all up and fly south.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:35 PM
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BeforeMarilou looked dumbfounded for a moment during Gail's speech, like a child unable to comprehend something deeper. It was not the first time that the nature of her skills and seemingly lack of restraint in using it caused confrontation with one of the crew.

"No... listen Gail. My idea is, save for how it's done, perfect okay? Will you just listen?" Marilou's tone was a pitch higher than usual and her eyes had widened, "I never share details of my job unless it's for a good reason and we both know that. *This* is a good reason! I can kill him by myself, and none of you even need to wash your hands. You aren't cold blooded killers if you aren't the ones pulling the trigger, and I'm already one, Gail. "

She closed her eyes and sighed through her nose. Her fingers pinched the bridge of her nose as a migraine began to settle in.

"This is a hundred thousand credits. Split evenly, that's about twelve thousand five hundred each, and the only thing you all would have to do is set the stage for me. Done right, there wouldn't be a trail for the feds to follow in the first place. I'd be nothing, not even a shadow."

Marilou back leans against a railing, both hands firmly planted on it. Whether from the argument about the governor or something else occupying her mind, her only response regarding the captain is a slow nod with hardly a smile to it.


NowMarilou spies the convoy from the bridge and a thought crosses her mind.

"That must be the governor. Who else would bring a damn Puma along as an escort? The son of a bitchgo neong yung duh has a hundred Gee on his head. Becca's right, this isn't good. We didn't get paid in advance."

Still, the reveal of a Puma in the governor's armoury dims what bright flames she had regarding the assassination. But if their client is involved with the governor somehow...

"That armoured car is kicking up serious dust, Becca. I'd be surprised if nobody could hear or see it alone from here."

Tailing the captain would have to wait. She started patting herself, making sure all her gear was there and ready to go.

"Gail, if we don't wanna get involved with the governor we'd better do it quick."
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Last edited by grenadierman; 12-08-2015 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:43 PM
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Horace spent the short pause of atmospheric descent on the bridge, making himself roughly presentable. Early on in his time on the ship, he had identified a particularly shiny patch of metal just to the left of the bridge's entryway, which he had taken to using as a de facto mirror when the occasion presented itself. One hand braced against the doorway (an unnecessary precaution with Becca's smooth flying), he straightened his tie, picked a piece of lint off his slightly stained waistcoat, and made sure his shirt was fully tucked in. No reason to leave a bad first impression.

His eyebrows shot up in surprise when he received the message about killing the governor. The job seemed outside the wheelhouse of most of the crew, and he doubted that the captain would approve, but these people were still filled with surprises for him, so who knows? The money was certainly better than standard cargo hauls: a definite appeal. Still, he doubted he could be of any particular use to a mission of this sort, expect possibly as last-resort method to help with any legal difficulties that would certainly arise if any of the crew got caught. He was no lawyer, but in this sort of backwater, his legal know-how might be sufficient to make at least a bit of a difference. At any rate, he had never killed anyone before, or even participated in a murder. Horace resolved to see how the rest of the crew would respond before committing himself one way or another.

Horace was definitely not happy to see that Bennie had company. Anything which might complicate the drop-off was, almost by definition, bad for business. "If we act fast, we might be able to finish the drop off, get our money, and leave them to deal with whatever this is all about. Anything further service we might offer them in light of their current plight may well require..." Horace took a moment to relish this next word "...renegotiation."
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