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  #16  
Old 07-25-2010, 02:47 PM
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Hu Li pauses for a beat after the newcomer speaks, then leans back slowly against the bulkhead. It's nothing but a show of relaxing, going through the motions without any of the meaning, and it's just as obvious she intends it that way. Anything but at ease, she keeps watching the newcomer while he talks, her body almost motionless but still bespeaking a gazelle-like grace. She shakes her head just enough that her coal-black hair slides back over her shoulders, flicking a bit of ash from cigarette off of her nearly painted-on t-shirt. The fingers of her other hand stray away from the butt of her pistol, but they don't wander far.

"Reckon it ain't hard to suppose we got a reason to be tetchy around those as we don't know," she offers at last, meeting and holding James' gaze. "You got something, anything, speaks to the truth of what you're sellin'?"
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:18 PM
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"I saw him with McIntyre before, I can vouch for that much."

Tabitha looked at the man with the rifle and then at the newly anointed Captain. Running her fingers through her hair she continued.

"If he's a double-crosser we can vent him once we're off world. But he seems lost and willing to help. Perhaps we shouldn't look too much into that? What does the cherry blossom know of the river it is drifting down? as a wiser man than me once said.

That oughta tickle their brains for a spell.

Tab smiled quixotically then turned around and left the two to size each other up. She stopped in the doorway for a second.

"He did make a good point though. He found us without trying too hard, who knows who else might be this way inclined? I suggest we get this Lun Dong Shi Fixed. Fast."

Fast ForwardIf nothing else happens Tab goes back outside to keep watch (and escape the choking clouds of tobacco smoke).


 

Last edited by tsavatar; 07-25-2010 at 04:23 PM.
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  #18  
Old 07-25-2010, 06:29 PM
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As the bottle gets passed around and the near-future discussed, Hu Li's jacket finally finishes its slide off the crate, revealing the ship's folio lying where Sullah left it hours ago. Inside is the logbook, crew manifest and deed to the ship, all signed and proper. For once Sullah actually went the legal way about things, keeping all the registrations proper. But now he's gone and there's a dead man's name on some important papers and whose corpse is going to be picked up by the police any minute.

Hival wanders off to assess damage, going over the things he already knew were wrong with the ship on top of the strain of their hurried journey. The environmental controls were difficult, if stable. The hull had a few leaks of course, including a faulty seal on the belly-hatch. The port VTOL stabilizer didn't work so well, and half of the flight computers were on the fritz. The forward bay that once held extra bunks in place of the standard infirmary was now a mess of scrap metal where none of the lights work. And there was something wrong with the main turbine, but he couldn't quite put a finger on it yet. Plus the layers of dust and grime had yet to be scraped off much of the ship. Sullah had said to expect weeks to enact repairs and get it looking nice, but now....

As the mechanic went down to the cargo bay, he saw a pair of silhouettes in the doorway. At the bottom of the catwalk, Hival could see they were both somewhat young-ish, a smooth-cheeked boy maybe fourteen years old, and a girl about the same pulling a wheeled wagon behind her. ”Um, ahoy?” the boy calls out, obviously discomforted by the rickety ship and its dirty cargo bay. ”Ahoy the ship? Um, we saw you land, Pa wanted to know if you had anything good to sell? We got Leclerq's Yard over on Edge Street.” The boy seems very nervous, but his dirty, plain-made clothes make it obvious that even a relatively Coreward world like Beaumonde has its diggers and scrapers.

OOCThe first paragraph lists the big technical issues wrong with the ship at the moment. Anyone may make a (Mechanical Engineering + Intelligence) or (Perception + Intelligence) check to investigate ONE of these problems and discover more specifically what is wrong and what may be needed to fix it. Keep in mind, these are only the currently known problems, and there may be others that could be revealed by a quick trip into vacuum. You may elect to make one of the checks above simply to search for new problems. Keep in mind, each check takes time you may or may not have.

Last edited by GrimDarkOtter; 07-25-2010 at 06:33 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-25-2010, 07:42 PM
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When the little boy showed up, Tab winked at him and waved him in. She sat down on the grass, in the shadow of the Firefly and turned onto her stomach. The great dirty underbelly of the ship stretched before her.
The underside of something grand is often many small things. How easily the koan applied to this crew. A bunch of mercs and lowlifes on their own but together, a crew. A ship. A family. She stared at the undercarriage for a long time, smiling, committing every smudge and every panel to memory.

Roll

In hindsight perhaps it would have been better (although less in character) to take dull sense smell or taste? Dull ESP?
-2 step penalty to perception (sight) giving me a whopping d2!
Dice Perception + Intelligence:
1d6 1
1d2t 1 Running Total = 2


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  #20  
Old 07-25-2010, 07:58 PM
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Hival merely pointed to the other crewman when the boy showed up asking about goods. He had no time for such things.

First things first was the hull, get that sealed, and then tend to the turbine. He adjusted the thin towel that doubled as a kerchief around his neck, and pulled down his coverall sleeves over his multibands. With the parts he used to construct them, they were generally able to withstand any drips or sparks that came their way, but it was doubly assuring to just cover them. He counted hull holes that were visible in the current light, then got out his heavy duty flashlight and flipped it on. A second look at the holes was no in order, and he hoped for no discrepancy in the counts.

 

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Last edited by zevonian; 07-25-2010 at 07:59 PM. Reason: dice roller error.
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  #21  
Old 07-25-2010, 08:24 PM
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Deacon quickly saw that the conversation about who was in charge was more or less over, and the newcomers had taken the ‘Captain’s’ attention away from the current situation to one that was a bit more of the here and now. The cockpit seemed like the perfect place to relax and also get some work done at the same time. The flight comps had been acting up, and that meant trouble if they needed to get moving once again.

The cockpit was a quiet safe place. The doors locked from the inside, and it wasn’t exactly easy to break in if you were stuck on the outside. This served as an amusing thought to Deacon as if the newcomers turned out to be some form of villains wanting to take the ship, he was going to make sure to kill them with barrel rolls and ridiculous maneuvers before ever letting them get control of HIS wheel.

With a long sigh, Deacon found what tools the ship had and got down on his back beneath the first console. It was surely a mess inside, but if he wasn’t going to at least start working on it, who would?

Dice Perception+Intelligence Check:
2d6 2, 3 Total = 5

Dice Mechanical/Technical Engineering+Intelligence:
1d4 2
1d6t 5 Running Total = 7

(Take your pick due to what he's working on)
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  #22  
Old 07-25-2010, 10:18 PM
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Devon shakes his head when James introduces himself and moves his fingers and thumb in the 'talking too much' gesture about half way through. Then there's sound from the hold.

"Too many damn new noises." With a powerful stride Devon powers out of the galley out onto the catwalk. His pistol is quickly loosed from its holster, his coveralls already zipped down. Sighting on the person pulling the cart he's already shouted "Who are you and what do you want on my gorram ship!"
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  #23  
Old 07-26-2010, 12:51 AM
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In what feels like the space of a heartbeat, the kitchen is all but emptied. Hival's at least out about the business he ought be out about. Deacon slipped out so quiet she damn near didn't notice. Tab dumped a stranger in her lap and wandered off leaving a trail of the kind of half-baked not-quite philosophical-type nonsense that pissed her off now as much as it did when she was at Companion school. And last came Devon, running out the door and shouting something about his ship in the hold.

If she was the new captain, Hu Li had a feeling she wasn't doing it quite right.

"How shi sung chung," she tells herself, lowering her head for a moment, then looking up again at James and speaking aloud. "Reckon we can feel each other out later and see if there's a good fit," she tells him. "Right now, less you're aimin' to shoot me at this moment, got things more pressin'."

With that, she heads past him and toward the hold, intent on seeing what Devon's in there shouting about. Once she gets out there and sees the situation, she glances at Devon. "No call to be yellin' at a couple gorram kids," she says quietly. "Most particularly two might be just what we're needin'," she adds, even more softly.

Slipping around Devon, she descends the stairs quickly, smiling the most friendly smile she can manage at the two, particularly the boy.

"Leclerq's Yard, you're sayin'?" she asks, coming to a stop just before them. "Truth to tell, ain't so much thinkin' of sellin' as tradin'. How's that fit ya?"

Presuming they agree, she calls for Hival on the comm. "Get your list ready," she tells him. "Couple folks here we might could deal with to get some of it. Take Devon and the gravcart. Take Tabitha too so long as she's clean done with lyin' in the grass. You work out a square deal, get what you can get and get back fast. Aim to be jumpin' to the next spot before sundown."
 
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  #24  
Old 07-26-2010, 02:16 AM
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Ear to the hull, counting finished, he was listening to the ship. Hival reckoned that if hearing added another half to seeing in terms of adding up what was wrong. Sure, gunshots through hull equals bad was a simple deduction, but he had a hunch that something extra got nicked. And then the ship's comm came in through his bands. Working those technicalities out was easy enough, soon after first stepping foot on the vessel.

She must mean she's sending Devon to make a deal, and I'm going along to look at parts. Just because I know people, doesn't mean I can talk to them.

He started hitting buttons, more so than for usual response, and seconds afterward, wherever Hu Li was chiming in from now received a short list of items.
Hull sealant. Turbine related anything. VTOL stab crit. Auto Rooter Fuh Tang Belt.

An artificial verbal response followed. "Partial." The least he could do was send that much, in case he didn't come back from wherever he was being ordered to go.

And with that, he closed communication, and stepped away from the ship. He looked for Devon and Tabitha. Not caring which one he found first, or that he might be interrupting something, he typed up the same words for each of them. "Hival. Devon. Tabitha. Gravcart. Trade. Cargo. For. Parts."
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  #25  
Old 07-26-2010, 02:22 AM
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As hastily as they came together in the kitchen, the crew dashes apart trying to get the ship ready. Tabitha quickly starts to inspect the undercarriage for the ship, and she can easily see where the belly hatch won't close all the way, the lights from the cargo bay shining through the cracks. Unfortunately then Devon starts shouting at the inquisitive townies, startling Tabitha and causing her to jump and smack her forehead on the dull metal of the hull. She dazedly crawls out from under the ship with a large soot-mark covering a quickly-swelling bump.


Fortuantely, Hival's hull inspection proves a bit more thorough than Tabitha's. The cockpit, forward gantry and crew quarters all seem to be fine and airtight, but the rest of the ship is a mess. In addition to the belly hatch that won't close all the way, the sealant around the common room's skylight is obviously dried and cracked; the storage bay above the guest quarters has a few long cracks in the hull; the starboard shuttle-hatch has what looks like a bullet-hole through its viewport; and the port rear ailerons are ragged and pitted along the edge. Most of these could be easily patched with a bit of careful welding, but the skylight above the common room will require a space-worthy sealant, which means scraping out the old, dry gunk and injecting a new mix, and the belly-hatch issue could be a problem with the fitting of the door or the motors to close it.

In the cockpit, Deacon begins to fiddle around inside the various control panels and compartments, searching for the problematic items. The first thing of interest is that the long-range Coretex-suite in the nose of the cockpit has been replaced with a cleverly disguised mini-bar, complete with some quite classy refrigerated alcohol and a few stashes of salty snacks, all of which are labeled “Sullah in big black marker. As this is obviously beyond repair, Deacon moves on to the more finicky systems. A few quick tests and visual inspections show that the control systems work fine, even if the mobile surfaces on the ship are sticky and slow to respond. The inter-stellar course calculator is something of a mess, however, apparently fried by some electrical mishap long ago, judging by the dust and slag. Without a replacement, the only way to get from one end of the Verse to another would be to set a course manually. Other than that, the co-pilot's main flight controls appeared inactive and some of the switches above the pilot's station appeared to do absolutely nothing when flipped.

James goes round to the outside of the ship to take a look at the port stabilizer. An inspection from the ground doesn't reveal any trouble save that the VTOL rotors aren't working properly. Working on a hunch, the gunman goes back inside the ship and climbs out the dorsal airlock, walking along the top and onto the blunt wing. From there he sees a piece of paneling has come off, no doubt lost somewhere along their flightpath. Inside the hydraulic hosing, obviously loose of its fittings, is tangled up and split apart by what appears to be the remains of a very unfortunate goose. It is brief but distasteful work to pull out the intact pieces of carcass, exposing that three of the five main hydraulic hoses have been severed, and one of the rotary motors has been clogged with coagulated goose blood and shattered bones.

Down on the cargo ramp, the children are obviously startled when Devon starts yelling at them, not even noticing the thump of Tabitha's head against the underside of the ship. Hu Li's swift arrival and admonishment of Devon appear to comfort them somewhat. As the new Captain hits the deck off the stairs, he touches the brim of his hat and gives a small bow, saying ”Corey Leclerq, at your service, ma'am.” The girl, obviously Corey's sister, reaches into a paper bag in her wagon and produces a small peach that she timidly hands to the grown-up. Corey continues ”Pa might do trading, might do. Sent us along just to get your attention a bit. But we don't have a lot of credit's in Maison, so we's used to trading, no problem. You want something particular, I can set Mamie to run ahead, let Pa have a look about the Yard for it.”
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:34 AM
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Tabitha got up holding her forehead, barely suppressing a stringent desire to swear. She closed her eyes for a second and centred herself. I am many and one. It doesn't matter how much this gorramn hurts. It too will pass.

She walked back into the cargo hold smiling, tying her hair back in a bun.

"Don't mind the bad man, kid. He's just angry at the world."

She gave Devon a long look and waited for the others.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:29 AM
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Deacon dropped the tools he had been working with on the floor next to him and shimmied out from underneath a console. Laying there for a minute, he looked up at the ceiling, At least there can’t be anything wrong with that, he thought as he looked at the paneling above up. It was dirty, but still intact which was a plus. Not even bothering to get up from him back, he reached up to the console above and started to blindly feel buttons for the right one. Finding the intended one, he pressed down hard, “Oh Captain,” he said with a tone in his voice that obviously showed how much he was enjoying referring to Li by her new title, “looks like we’re needin a new long-range Cortex-suite and more importantly an inter-stellar course calculator. Deacon out.” He released the button and continued to lay there a moment. There was plenty more work to be done, and he knew it. Rolling over he pushed himself up, grabbed his tools, and headed back over to the co-pilot’s flight controls. These and the mysterious buttons were his agenda now until the parts he needed came. Another was to detach and sneak the mini-bar and its contents to a more suitable place.
 


EDIT: Added some more rolls for Complex Action.
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Last edited by Saratek; 07-26-2010 at 06:32 AM.
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  #28  
Old 07-26-2010, 07:40 AM
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"Yeah." Devon responds to Hu Li when she comes out the companionway behind him. Lowering the firearm he gives Hu Li a 'give me a break' look. "I can see that now." Pulling aside his coverall he slides the pistol back into its holster at his shoulder. "It's been a stressful, James just walking in freaked me out." Straightening his clothing out a bit and rolling his shoulders he follows Hu Li down the steps. There he parts ways with her, motioning to the kids to follow him into the cargo hold and bring their wagon.

"Tabitha, you get the great joy and supreme honor of accompanying me and the squirts to their pa's place." Hoping into the gravcart he forces it to life more than he turns it on, a high whine accompanying the warm up. Crawling out onto the bow he personally disengages the clamp dock, allowing the gravcart to float across the bay a few feet before holding her steady. "Hival, you coming or what?"

[Is the grav cart like the hovermule from Serenity or is it much more of a heavy industry type hover pickup with a forklift and or crane on it?]
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:02 AM
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William tipped his head in thanks to the first woman he had met upon approaching the ship, causing him to relax a lot more. Her words about him possibly being vented for being a double-crosser amused him, “I can assure you ventin’ me won’t be necessary. One of the reasons I was hired so much was ‘cause I stayed loyal to my contractor. Ain’t no amount of credits in the ‘Verse that’d make me betray the person who gives me trust and provides me with money for what I do.” He patiently awaited the verdict of who he assumed was the captain by everyone’s attitude towards her. Upon her words, he smiled a genuine smile of thanks before disguising with movement a more amused smile at how she had worded the possibly double-meaning sentence.

“Aye cap’n,” he said with a positive tone before following her back to the hold after shouldering his rifle. He patiently waited for the captain to finish speaking with the children and addressed the other man on the catwalk, “Sorry ‘bout that. As much as I regret doin’ it, if I hadn’t I might not have even reached ya’ll in time. It’s that suddenness that gets people shot, an’ based on what I observed, ya’ll were at least good enough folk to hear me out. I’ll buy you a drink when we have time to spare; make up for the trouble.” Finally the captain finished up with the children and James approached her, “S’cuse me cap’n, I might have been watchin’ ya’ll for a while, but I never got more than Sullah and Slade’s names. Mind fillin’ me in so as to make things a little easier before I get to work?”

“Thanks cap’n,” he offered before nodding to the children while going outside the ship to start helping out. He might not be much of a help with too much, but he knew when something was broken or not. He looked at the port stabilizer for a few minutes, pondering why it might not be moving before he realized he could access it better from the roof. With some wandering around the ship, he found the dorsal airlock and stepped out onto the wing. He pressed the recording button while he approached the mess that he knew was the problem. “External paneling came off, needs replacement. Request anti-goose armor,” he mused while pulling out the carcass of the dead goose and throwing it to the ground. He disliked the work and thought it was a shame that the goose had died such a gruesome death, but he made no more sign of discomfort at the work than as if he were doing other labor.

“Hmm,” he said contemplatively, “Looks like we’ll need a few fastenings for the hydraulic hoses, not to mention at least three more replacement hoses; these are destroyed. We’ll either need to clear out the rotary motor of the congealed blood and shattered bones or we’ll have to replace it with a new one. That’s about all I can see for now, end log.” James climbed back into the ship but kept his bloodied and dirtied gloves on; he thought he might need to use them more, and there was no point in wasting another pair just yet. “I did an inspection of the port VTOL stabilizer and found out it’s a mess. Can you forward this memo to the people you sent out to get parts?” he asked Hu Li.

OOCThe last two sentences are assuming that they left before James was done. If they didn't then just assume James gave the list to Hival.
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  #30  
Old 07-26-2010, 01:35 PM
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"What we're needing is a new ruttin' ship," Li mutters to herself as the needed parts list starts multiplying like a colony of cockroaches. "But what we got we got."

She manages to renew her smile as she reaches out to take the offered peach from Mamie, pulling out her knife and snapping it open as she cuts into the fruit. She's more eager than she tries to let on - it didn't take many days of what passed for a meal in the Black before real, actual, honest-to-God food like this seemed better than ... well, better than most anything.

"Looks to be we're needin' a goodly share of somethings in particular, Corey," she tells the boy. "You folks don't take too much advantage on a bunch of poor wanderin' types like us here, reckon we can do a shiny bit of business." At his slight bow, she returns a slight curtsy, buttoning it with a wink.

Pulling the three crew members aside before they leave, she has words for each of them. Looking first at Hival, she starts in a hoarse whisper. "We got lots more need than we got time or trade goods, looks like. Try and pick what we need most keep us off the dirt." Turning to Tabitha, she continues. "You already know to strike the best deal you can manage. Start with the shotguns - soon as have them off the ship as not. Crop supplements next. Patch tape after that - reckon a junkyard's always got call for that. Those three don't get us where we need to be, send me a wave." Last is Devon. "We don't want us no trouble with the locals, but don't be shy about drawin' if it comes to it. You see anyone what don't seem like he belongs, you let us know. Planet's too damn small to hide for long someone wants us found."
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