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Mistress of Whispers

[IC thread] In the Black

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Everything was happening so fast for Athena. Her mind was racing. She had caused this mayhem, this fear for other people's lives that she could not protect with the simple bat of her eyelashes. This caused her strong wall inside of her to slightly crack. She actually cared about what happened to these people and how she effected their lives.

The world seemed to move in slow motion as she watched Jay find Jake and make sure he was okay and breathing. But when she turned back to the assumed paralyzed bounty hunter she gasped seeing a gun aimed at her. She heard it before she felt the bullet go through her side hitting no bones to cause it to stop in her body.

"Oh bloody hell..." Athena felt like she was in one of those old movies that they showed on wealthy planets. Putting her hand to her side as she felt blood start to soak her priceless silk clothes turning it from blue to a sickly purple. Falling to her knees she managed to knock the gun from Jacks berore she let herself lean back heavily with a groan of pain on one of the many crates as she heard footsteps approaching and looked up to see Jay. The corners of her vision began to become fuzzy.

Edited by XxWaterGaridanxX

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Jay - Pilot - witnessing things going south

 

Jay saw the gun go off. He saw Athena get shot. He saw the now completely paralyzed bounty hunter fall back. He saw it all happen, at the same time his mind played back all the scenes of comrades he had lost during the war to gunshots... and he swore vehemently.

 

Instead of panicking, he felt the coolness of mind he knew from stressful situations in battle. "Athena's shot." he proclaimed through the com to bring Teela and the rest up to speed. Then he unceremoniously dumped Jake's unconscious body and started to assess the severity of the wound. Old combat reflexes kicking in. He had seen Xiao do it hundreds of times as well.

 

He quickly checked to see if there was an exit wound. When he confirmed it, he sighed relieved. "Sorry for this." he told Athena, and he tore off a piece of Athena's dress. He split the piece quickly and efficiently, making a field med solution for a bleeding wound. He pressed it to the wound and told Athena to keep pressure on it. "Press here as hard as you can."

 

Jay needed more people to carry Athena and keep pressure on the wounds, though. "Signal Xiao to prep the infirmary." he ordered through the comm. "And someone come help me carry all these people."

 

He softly slapped Athena's cheek a few times and fixed her gaze with his. "Hey! Stay awake. You're gonna get through this just fine."

He didn't know that, of course, but he sounded completely convincing. It was a well practiced lie...

Edited by Biologist

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"Can I help you?

 

Smiling, Eli took a moment to clear his throat, gaze searching for the speakerphone; usually, the camera was near it. "Yes, hello!" he started, grin wide and friendly. "This is the Harmony, is it not? That being the case, I am Eli Hastings, a well-experienced liaison. I was hoping you had a spot open in the crew that I could fill; I'm looking for a bit of work," the man introduced, straight to the point.

 

Taking a step back, he shifted his hold on his portfolios into a more comfortable one. "Might I ask, is this the captain I'm speaking with?" he inquired, tilting his head a fraction.

Edited by Narvix

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Athena decided that the best thing she could do was focus on Jay's voice as she felt the throbbing pain corse through her. She knew her face was grimacing in a very none lady like way but she couldn't care less for once in her life. The companion groaned at the sound of her dress and a sudden pressure but Athena nodded and she did as she was told.

Her eyes opened slowly with the sudden slap to her cheeks ,not realizing when they had started to fall in the first place. "You..." She attempted to take a deep breath and instantly regretted it but keeping her eyes locked to Jay's even as she bit her lip in pain and started again, "Y-You ripped my dress." She jest but she couldn't care less about the fabric nor could she care if his words were a lies or not.

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Hearing the shot ring out, Teela whipped her sight back to the male bounty hunter and Athena. Settling her aim squarely on his head, her line of sight was broken by Jay who came rushing back carrying Jake. Teela swore softly under her breath - she was highly protective of her crew and would have loved to finish the bounty hunter off. With the moment gone, she unhooked the grate that had covered the air vent and let it drop."Coming in," she warned Jay and Nelson over the com. Diving out of the vent, she held on to the edge and, pushing her legs against the wall, vaulted backwards to a stack of crates. From there she jumped to a lower stack and then onto the ground. For all her acrobatics, the green-haired woman was remarkably silent.

 

"Female bounty hunter's gone," she said to Jay. "Don't know if she'll be back though, and I'm sure she can find reinforcements. You take Jake." With that she helped Athena stand and began making her way towards the exit. "Faint when we're at Xiao's," she said to the other woman - while Teela was strong enough to carry to lithe companion back, she didn't exactly look forward to it. "Nelson, meet you back at the ship."

 

Giving the cargo bay another once-over from her position, Atlanta followed the captain and companion out.

 

 

Xiao observed Eli as she considered her options. The Harmony generally had openings for one position or another, but she very much doubted the captain would appreciate her handing them out. Then again, it had been a while since their last job - legit or otherwise - and they needed credits for, well, everything.

 

"Drop your weapons," she said, "and we can talk." She didn't see any weapons on the stranger from this vantage point, but apart from herself, no one had ever come to the Harmony not carrying.

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Looking quizzically at the camera, Eli pursed his lips. Drop his weapons? Should he leave them out here then? He'd rather not run the risk of someone stealing his armaments. "Alright, I'll do that but, uh... Is there a safe place I can put my guns? I don't want to chance anyone coming by and stealing them," he responded, shifting his weight slightly as he bent down to unholster the first gun. Setting it down at his feet, he stood straighter, unholstered the gun at his hip and unsheathed the knife he kept on his arm. Once he placed those at his feet as well, he looked back up at the camera and held his arms out to the sides. "I've no other weapons. What else will you have me do?" he inquired.

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Jay - Pilot - Huffing and Puffing

 

Jake was a heavy man. Being in a duffelbag and unconscious did not help in the least. Jay labored under the weight without saying a word though. He was brought up that way.

 

As quickly as he could, he followed Teela with the bleeding Athena to the ship, trying not to slip on the droplets of blood dripping on the floor from the wound.

 

"How long is that paralizing thing going to last? We need to signal Rose to come and collect his Hwen Dan Pi Gu." he grunted to Teela, surprised he was still thinking clearly after all that happened.

 

As they reached the door, they saw a stranger. "Tai Si." Jay swore under his breath. "Another one."

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Xiao looked at the inside of the door, then to the left and right of it, then to the door again. Nothing that looked remotely like a hatch that people could pass items through, which made sense considering that this was a space ship - easy-to-open hatched were probably a bad idea if you spent most of your time in the black. She was about to tell Eli that she couldn't help him with a safe place to store his guns, when Jay appeared in-screen and carrying a heavy bag. Her heart sank a little. Was Jake dead? Athena or Atlanta? Someone else?

 

She closed her eyes, once, and recalled the faces of the dead. What did one more matter, even if it was someone she had known. By the time she pressed the controls to open the cargo bay, her heart was perfectly still and her face expressionless.

 

"Jay, meet Eli Hastings. Mr. Hastings is seeking employment on the Harmony. Mr. Hastings, this is our pilot Jay."

 

It wasn't until she had answered the question that she acknowledged the sack Jay was carrying. "Anything I need to be involved in?" she inquired. She didn't ask about the other crew members - either they were coming, or they weren't.

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Jay - pilot - at the airlock

 

"Jake's unconscious. Athena's got shot. Side wound through and through. She's bleeding and woozy and needs your help."

 

Jay was talking fast but clearly as if he was reporting to a superior officer. It was a very efficient way of communicating.

 

He then moved past the newcomer and put the sack to the ground in the cargo bay as gently as he could, opening it completely for Jake to breathe freely.

 

"Cap will be bringing Athena." he continued and then looked at the new man. "I'm Jay. Captain will be here shortly. We're kinda busy, but I'm sure she can find time for you."

 

 

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The companion managed a chuckle at the captains quip about her not fainting, but it came out as more of a groan. She felt extremely light headed and began to bite the side of her cheek to keep focused enough to stay awake.

"The poison will last for 8 hours." Athena groaned in a sharp pain as she sat on the table in the medical room now, "6 more likely...big guy." she huffed out trying to say "he's a big guy" but only able to get the last words out as she brought her legs up onto the table.

She closed her eyes tightly against the pain thinking about how big of a scar she would have when it was all healed but then again it seemed normal to have scars in this world that was so unlike the one she was accustomed to.

 

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Nelson sighed and scratched his head, he had arrived a a t junction in the ventilation system he and teela had been using.

"All that drink has really muddled up my sense of direction... now was it left or right..." Nelson briefly pointed back and forth between the two directions.

"Ippy dippy.... on a course so true... the one I choose is you," He said his hand pointed towards the right passage way.

Grumbling in annoyance Nelson began crawling through the ventilation again. His fault for picking the vent that couldn't be opened.

Nelson paused as he began to hear the sound of a voice. Nelson frowned and shimmied forward towards the voice.

 

"Dammit, where were you the exchange went bust!" A woman's voice echoed up through the vents. Nelson peered through the vent, he couldn't see the owner of the voice but he could make out a small ship, probably only a two person one.

"I don't care! You were stupid to listen to him, I thought I told you to hang near in case things went south! Don't you talk back to me, thanks to you we've not only lost our bait and our quarry but we lost Jack too! Ugh, when I get back you are in a world of hurt! And if you aren't down on your knees begging me for forgiveness you better hope the reavers get you first, cause it'll be a hell of a lot better than what I'm gonna do to you lot. Over and out!"

Nelson chuckled, as he listened to the female bounty hunters exchange, clearly the back up had been a bit lax. The echoing sound of a ships engine starting up echoed through the hangar.

Nelson eased open the vent and poked the silenced end of his rifle out.

"This here should come in handy," He said as he loaded his rifle with a tracer round. Nelson pulled the trigger and the round fired out with a quiet click and landed on the rear of the bounty hunters ship.

Nelson waited as he watched the ship exit into the airlock, the blast door lowered down and then he saw the ship fly off through the small window at the back. Nelson eased open the vent and dropped down onto the catwalk.

"Huh... I could use a drink," he groaned as he stretched, several cracks sounding loudly from his back. Nelson hefted the rifle up onto his shoulder and began walking back towards the ship.

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Xiao was about to take a look at Jake, when she saw Athena and the captain limp closer, followed by Atlanta. It looked like she'd have her work cut out for her. Xiao welcomed it - her mind, she had found, was best kept busy.

 

"Take Jake to the infirmary and get his vitals. I'll follow with Athena. Mr Hastings, I turn you over to the captain's care." Her voice was still polite, but like Jay, she had taken on a clipped, militaristic undertone.

 

Slipping in between Teela and Athena, Xiao took over supporting the companion's weight. The lithe woman was heavier than she looked, which suggested she had strong muscles.

 

She cast a glance at Atlanta before she turned. The young woman was covered in blood spatters, though she did not appear to be bleeding. Athena's, most likely then. Still, Xiao wanted to be sure she didn't miss anything.

 

"Let's get you to the med bay," she addressed both women. "I take it all did not go as planned?"

 

Teela watched her crew members go. The lot to sickbay for a check-up from the doctor, and Nelson nowhere to be seen. All did not go as planned, indeed.

 

Raising a hand to - Hastings, Xiao had said his name was? - to indicate that she'd be right with him, she tried her com. "Nelson, you there? Nelson?" No reply. Taking the piece out of her ear,  she briefly checked it. Great, her end was dead. That meant Nelson might still be hearing her - nothing indicated that the signal was being blocked - but she could not hear him. Sighing, she spoke into the com again. "Nelson, if you're getting this: return to ship. Repeat: return to ship."

 

With that done, she turned the useless com off and pocketed it. She'd give Nelson five minutes and then go look for him - starting with the nearest bar.

 

"Right, Hastings. I've got four minutes for you, so let's hear it," she addressed the man before her.

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More people had approached. They seemed to be fellow crew members as the woman inside greeted them by name and introduced Eli to them. The captain took care of her comrades first before getting to him. He was content to wait outside, still not wanting to chance his weapons being stolen.

 

The girl from the intercom still hadn't introduced herself.

 

Putting concern aside for later, Eli cleared his throat and began to speak at the captain's prompt. "I'm looking for a job, Captain, and I was hoping I could get one within your crew. I can make finding jobs a much easier task. There are several contacts in my portfolios, many of them likely to have something of interest for you. You'll also find that all would be within your... line of work," the man stated. Pulling the folder free from the batch, he stood straighter. "In case you need some convincing...."

 

He held the folder out to the woman, offering it for her examination if she so chose.

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Athena barely noted when she was shifted from one person to another. All she wanted to do now was sleep. Sleep soundly and pretend this whole mess never happened. Her thoughts drifted to the night that she woke up covered in someone else's blood rather than her own holding a blade that she had no recollection of having owned.

At hearing Xiao's voice she stirred and focused more intently to the people and ship around her, "It was a good plan," she paused to take a breath and adjust her sticky blood soaked piece of cloth on her side, this made her wince, " Just didn't plan on the big brute being so resilient." She stated and bit her lip as she made an awkward move trying to stand a bit straighter but a shock of pain went though her. She truly hated being in pain like this.

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Nelson groaned and wiped the sweat off his brow, he had been lightly running through the hallways. He couldn't believe how easily he got lost.

But finally he made it back to the ship. Sighing with relief he hurried forward inside.

"Ahh sorry I'm late cap'n, Ill get down to the engine room straight away," Nelson said urgently to teela.

He'd put his rifle into a cover as he wanted to keep the type of weapon secret for now at least. Nelson then hurried down to the engine room and returned his rifle to it's resting place next to the Hecate.

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"Teela Nadir, captain of this boat," she said by way of introduction as she took the new guy's folder. As she opened it, Nelson made his way past them. She nodded in response to the engineer's statement, then watched him go. There was something peculiar about that man, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Not that it mattered much. As long as the crew's oddities did not put the ship in danger, it was fine by her.

 

Flipping through the folder, she noted several jobs that might be of interest to her crew. She also noted that he'd been smart enough to block out part of the contact addresses - he'd left enough to prove they were real, not enough for her to pursue herself. Clever.

 

Looking up from the folder, she assessed the man himself. Not classically handsome, but attractive nonetheless - interesting looking. He also looked like a man with something to hide, but maybe that was just her caution speaking. In her experience, no one signed up for the Harmony unless they had something to hide.

 

"What cut do you take?" she inquired after his fee.

 

 

-----

 

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry," Xiao responded to Athena. The old Earth poem came to her automatically. She'd always loved to read, though she hadn't found the peace for it in year.

 

"Put Jake down on that bed," she called to Jay, while helping Athena up on another. Two full beds. Incidentally, that also filled the med bay - the Harmony wasn't the most spacious of ships.

 

"Any allergies or religious exemptions I need to be aware of?" she inquired with Athena. She'd once tended a man whose religious forbade antibiotics. She had administered them anyway, saving his life and putting him in a bad way with his faith. Back then, she thought she'd made the right decision to save him. Now, she realized she'd done it for herself - she hadn't been ready to lose anyone back then.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Athena hissed through her teeth as she got onto the bed and laid back her head feeling light as ever and she closed her eyes against the light of the room. A thought skirted across her thoughts telling her she deserved this for bringing this down on the crew. That she ought to be the one harmed for being so selfish as to not take care of this herself. But it flitted away even as she tried to grasp for it and tell it that she had no choice.

 

"Be absolute for death; either death or life Shall thereby be the sweeter." she quoted Romeo and Juliette for Xiao... Or was it Measure for Measure.... Either way she quoted the old man from back on the old Earth.

 

"But lets not let that day be the day shall we?" she asked more to herself, realizing that she had asked a question a moment ago she answered, "No, no, no Doc. None of the above." she chucked slightly, "Not the religious type." her words were getting soft, all she wanted to do was sleep.

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Jay - Pilot - glad he doesn't have to carry Jake anymore

 

Jay put down Jake as gently as he could. The removed the sack, so that Xiao would be able to examine him more easily. He heard as hiss from Athena and the clear clipped questions from the resident medic. He knew she hadn't always been a medic, but she had taken to the calling remarkably well.

 

"I'll go and leave you three to your work then, unless you need me for something." he told Xiao. He refrained from adding sir out of habit.

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Xiao considered Jay's offer. It would help to have someone wake Jake, but it would probably help even more to have some start the ship.

"I did pre-flight prep," she replied, "you might want to check that I didn't mess anything up." It was intended to be a joke, but Xiao's inflection was completely serious - she rarely joked and never got to intonation right.

 

Having sent Jay off, she turned her attention back to Athena.

"Good. I will give you something for the pain then. It might also make you feel drows, so go ahead if you want to sleep."

With that she prepared the shot and cut away the companion's shirt. A distant part of her brain registered that Athena was in excellent condition, then filed the information away as of no immediate knews. Administering the painkiller, she took a moment to lay out the suture kit - it would give the drugs a moment to kick in, and Xiao had always preferred to prepare before getting to work.

 

Angling her hands so Athena couldn't see her checking the wound - most patients found that disconcerting, she'd learned - Xiao noted with satisfaction that the bullet had gone clean through. There was a lot of blood, but not having to pull out pieces of metal certainly made her job easier. She carefully began to desinfect the wound.

"Where did you live before joining Harmony?" she inquired. She had also learned that most people liked to be distracted while she worked on them. She looked up to give the companion a chance to reply - and to check if she was even still awake.

 

Looking over the companion's prone form to the other bed, Xiao caught Jake stirring. Good. It looked like he might wake up under his own power.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Jay - Pilot - doing piloty stuff

 

At Xiao's dismissal, Jay went to the cockpit to check on the pre-flight preparations the doctor had executed. He was pleased, he hadn't expected anything else: that woman was eerily precise in executing protocols.

 

He sat down in the pilot seat and started up the remainder of the necessary preparations to be able to take off at any moment.

 

In a moment of clarity, he put up the scanners on the screen to check for unwanted attention of the female bounty hunter, but he couldn't discern anything out of the ordinary. It didn't matter. Once he got Harmony to full burn, they would not be traceable, unless she had some very sophisticated purple-belly tech.

 

Once he was convinced there were no flashing lights or emergency warnings, he opened a com-channel and called Teela.

 

"Everything's ready for departure, captain. Did Harmony get her necessary repairs?"

Edited by Biologist

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Eli smiled warmly, waving a flippant hand. "I don't expect anything but an equal cut. I believe I counted four members of your crew, including yourself. If I haven't assumed incorrectly, I'll request a twenty percent cut. My primary role would be as liaison of your crew but I pride myself in being a decent cook as well. If you need someone to, I'd be glad to make up meals, no addition to my cut." The man carefully took his paperwork back from the captain, awaiting her response.

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Athena closed her eyes then on, her arm on the injured side under her head as to keep it out of the way of Xiao. She didn't like seeing her own skin torn as being a companion it was her goal to be the perfect woman for her clients, she so hoped that the salve that she carried with her would erase the scar other wise she might have to go in for professional heath.

 

"Hera." she tried not to move as Xiao examined her even with her cold hands they were steady and unfazed by the blood, she bit her tongue at the sound of her shirt ripping as well, the whole outfit had gone to ruins but that was the cost of being in her situation now wasn't it.

 

"That was a very long time ago though," her eyes tightened against the memories flooding back to her, her side was sufficiently numb as she spoke and it caused her body to relax but she still shook her head to rid herself of the memories. "Xiao..." her voice became soft, "you are too talented to be on a ship like this.." the words slipped out before she could stop them and let herself fall into the open arms of the black behind her eyelids.

 

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Teela chewed her bottom lip - a habit that annoyed her and she'd been trying to kick - and then nodded. "Some of the expenses come out first," she said, "and then you're in for an equal cut. While Teela dutifully paid for any side trips Harmony made to accommodate her captain's (many) whims, food and fuel for the main enterprise was paid for through missions.

 

She was waiting for Eli's response, when Jay came in over the com. Repairs, right. "Ask Nelson," she replied after hitting the com button, "but I think he might have been interrupted when we went to pick up Jake."

 

That done, she turned back to the new entrepreneur. "I'm willing to run that first mission you have there. And we do need a cook. You in?" Teela was always happy to take on new people - it made life interesting - and Eli might actually bring money (and literal food) to the table.

 

------------

 

With Athena unconscious, and the need for pleasantries gone, fixing her up was quick work. Xiao's stitches were meticulous and almost impossibly small. The wound would scar - all bullet wounds did - but it would be as minimal as it could be. Behind her, she felt Jake rise to a sitting position. If he was well enough to sit, he must have been awake for some time. Awake and quiet. It wasn't much of a surprise - Jay was in the business of violence, after all - even if it was a bit disconcerting.

 

"Did we get 'em?" the weapon's expert said. Xiao noted that he still sounded slightly slurred. Not entirely his old self yet, then.

 

"I believe Rose has the male in custody. The female escaped." No use pretending she didn't know what Jake was referring to - even if she could also see its conclusion looming.

 

"When we goin' after her?" Ah, there it was.

 

"We're not." Xiao's voice carried no hint of emotion, even if she gave an inward sigh.

 

Cursing, Jake fumbled off the bed and set out to find the captain. Xiao merely watched him go.

 

((@ Marcus, you're welcome to run into Jake in the corridors and let him know about the tracker. I'll RP Jake.))

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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[[shoot. Sorry! I'll post in a little bit. My head's just currently hurting so I'm waiting for pain meds to kick in.]]

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