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Mistress of Whispers

[IC thread] In the Black

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Jay - Pilot, sitting more comfortably in his pilot chair - Cockpit

 

Jay's hand had been hovering over the ideogram for "Full Burn" while maneuvering Harmony. He almost felt the shuttle being uncoupled and was eagerly awaiting the command from the captain. When it finally came, he pushed the LED screen with smug satisfaction and the ship sped away in a fiery ring of light from the fusion reactor.

 

"We're on our way, Captain. he dry dock awaits." he added through the intercom system, just for good measure.

 

He leaned back in his seat, grabbing his flask and taking a swig. "Thanks for the tremendous help, Atlanta. There's not much to do here anymore, so if you want to go do something else, I won't stop you." He smiled at the woman.

 

"I'll be here, making sure we don't run into another Bernard, just in case." With that he turned back to the screens in front of him, seemingly unperturbed by the events of the past hour. He let out a shuddering sigh, trying to keep his cool, but failing to mask the tension and stress he had been feeling.

Edited by Biologist

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Atlanta - cockpit

 

"I'd be glad to." Atlanta replied to Teela's request to assist in navigation. Of course, most of the reason for that need was eliminated due to being on the edge of the field.

 

The pursuing Bernard was no match for the Firefly in engine speed and was quickly left behind.

 

Crisis over, and Jay - happy to be in open space with no debris to worry about - seeming to no longer need her help navigating, Atlanta considered what she would be doing, if left to her own devices.Not much.... reading textbooks.

 

"I think I may check in Medical, see if Xiao needs help." Atlanta mused, then somewhat reminiscent of a hostess offering a guest a drink, asked Jay:

 

"Would you like me to get you anything from the commissary before I go?"

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A few days later.....

 

It was night when Harmony docked as a small trade moon. Well, technically speaking it was always night in the black. But specifically, the ship's internal clock, set to a twenty-four hour cycle to keep the human biorhythm going, indicated that it was currently 03:43.

 

The privately owned moon was near, but not on, a major trade route and as such was popular with captains from all over the 'verse who might be less than eager to show their credentials to Alliance patrols.

 

Xiao was awake and staring at the ceiling. She was quietly recounting names, as she had been doing for the past few hours.

 

Teela was also awake, though not in bed. She was in the cockpit to make sure the Harmony would dock safely. She had offered to let Jay sleep - as long as they weren't outrunning hostile raiders, Teela was more than capable of flying the ship - though he might not have held her to that.

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((Okay, so I'm back from the dead (school diplomas). I'm still interested in continuing this, so would anyone mind catching me up please?))

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((I'd suggest reading it because ther are some parts where Mistress moved Jake along.

Xiao and Athena moved Suren to the medical bay, and if I recall correctly she is still there other than that last post for the time skip.

But basically Jay and Atlanta stayed in the cockpit, Atlanta helping him get out of the asteroid feild and around the other ship.

The captain cleared the ship making sure that all the bodies were back on the ship, Jake, Nelson, and Athena helped with that. Nelson also made a creepy remark.

Aaaaannnnnddd yeah. We have done a time skip now so I think you got back at the right time.))

 

Athena- Companion- In her shuttle

 

Athena woke up, her eyelids heavy with sleep, head pounding with groggy thoughts floating though her head. "What..." she groaned and tried to recall what happened, she had been on the dance floor but the man that she was escorting asked if they could go somewhere more private, of course, she smiled and said yes dear.

The companion sat up, she was laying on the ground and something warm and sticky was on her cheek and it started to drip down onto her neck. She ignored it for a moment as she took a deep breath and froze, the coppery smell of blood greeted her, she opened her eyes to see nothing but pure darkness as she wiped her cheek off.

Standing on shaky heels she got the courage to turn on a light. What she saw stunned her, a scream stuck in her throat as she looked down at the bloody body of her date for the night. She looked down at her pale dress to see it stained with blood and her hands covered in it along with the long dagger still clutched in her right hand. Her heart was beating so fast, the only other time it had done this when the reavers came to her home.

"What have I done..." she said to herself as she backed away from the pool of blood staining her satin shoes and ran, bloody knife in hand.

 

 

Athena woke with a start in her plush bed, covered in a shear layer of sweat, gasping for air. It had been a while since she had had that dream and it caused her distress every time. What she wouldn't give to have it gone from her life forever..

Glancing over at her small watch she noted the time and sighed, she would never be able to get back to sleep now... She just hoped they would land soon.

Edited by XxWaterGaridanxX

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Jay - content pilot - cockpit

 

As he finished the last things on the docking procedure protocol checklist, Jay smiled. He would finally get some time to unwind, do some shopping and get some real coffee. He might check the cortex for interesting news or maybe even jobs. He knew it was the captain's job, but an extra pair of eyes might come in handy... On second thought, he had had an abysmal luck regarding job offers, so maybe he shouldn't.

 

He opened a comm channel for the ship and stated: "Ladies and getlemen, we have arrived. The temperature inside is agreeable, oxygen levels are acceptable and the local populace is ready to accept your money. I hope you enjoyed flying with Harmony and we wish you a pleasant stay." He switched channels to Teela's quarters and continued in a more serious tone: "Captain, we are ready for opening the hatch, they have sent an approximation of the repair costs and the control tower has given permission for zero gravity work outside." He was about to sign off, when he remembered there was something he wanted to discuss. "Could you come to the cockpit, please? There is one more thing I'd like to tell you. In private. Jay out."

 

He put down the headset and waited. He hoped it was unimportant, but he just couldn't let go of it...

Edited by Biologist

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Teela

 

"Will be right over," Teela confirmed Jay's request before switching back to the overcom.

 

"This is the captain speaking, We'll be setting down for repairs and out ETA to leave is six hours from now. Anyone who needs a little shore leave is free to do so, but do return in time." Then, switching to the engine room com only, she added: "Nelson, you're welcome to some time off. I can handle repairs." Admittedly Nelson was a much quicker engineer than Teela, but with a window of six hours she was confident she could handle the Harmony herself. After all, she'd made do before Nelson came on board too.

 

Announcements done, she sauntered over to the cockpit. "So what do you need to tell me?" she asked Jay.

 

 

Xiao

 

Xiao considered her options for a moment. She has already dismissed Suren from sickbay, so there was no pressing business to tend to on Harmony. She usually remained on board during stops though, as she didn't want anyone to recognize her, but this did not strike her as a moon with Alliance representatives. So maybe it was safe to venture out?

 

Still undecided, she nevertheless got dressed in a soft flowing ochre dress and overcoat. Heading out of the shuttle, she sat on the overhead catwalk, legs dangling off the side, to see who else might be leaving the ship today.

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Nelson woke with a start as the Captains voice echoed through the engineering room. He groaned and pressed his hand against the intercom.

"Mmmmalright cap. Rodger that will do," He said, his voice muffled through his arm. He rolled and then with a painful thud landed on the floor of the engineering bay. The jolt woke him and he shot up, then quickly proceeded to grab at his head.

Dammit, I really should stop drining sometime He thought as he reached down and downed the remainder of the bottle, hoping that the liquid would ease the pain. He then stumbled out of the engineering bay and made his way towards the infirmary. He reached the catwalk and did a double take as he registered Xiao seated down.

"Mornin' Doc, you happen to have any aspirin on you?" He asked, grimacing as each sound drilled further into his brain.

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Jay - suspicious Pilot - Cockpit

(With Teela)

 

Jay looked up as the Captain entered and rose himself to shut the door. When he turned to face Teela, his expression was a mixture of apology and worry.

 

"Yeah, it was something Atlanta said. When we got out of the Bernard thing, she asked me if I wanted anything from the Commissary. At the time it didn't register as odd, but it bugged me. I don't know if it is common parlance on moons and planets, but where I come from it is a military term. And Atlanta doesn't strike me as military. And that might just be what she wants."

 

He gave Teela a knowing look. "Just thought you outta know she might be trouble."

 

He added: "OR, you are already informed of her situation and it is none of my gorram business."

 

He tried to gauge the Captain's reaction.

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Atlanta - her cabin

 

The rest of the flight had been rather uneventful, the ship-cycles going as normal. Most of her time was spent reading, with the occasional pottering around - helping out as and when asked.

 

The docking announcement in the early hours came with little surprise - she knew they were heading somewhere to repair after the raiders, after all. It still woke her up.

 

Atlanta stretched, and then dressed in the clothes she'd put aside the night before. Then while brushing her hair, her eyes fell on the corner of her case that peeped out from under the bunk.

 

She considered briefly, Do I? Or don't I?, then decided she wasn't yet in dire straits. She didn't need to do anything drastic yet. Using her foot she pushed the case further under, then left her room.

 

She had no real idea of whether she'd leave the ship while repairs were being done, but then again was there any real reason to stay cooped up while the ship was stationed?

 

Her musing wanderings took her to the catwalk that overlooked the Firefly's shuttle bay.

 

 

[Feel free to have Teela intercept before she gets there - she'd have spent a while dressing and going through a 'morning' routine.]

Edited by Takhesis

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Teela

 

Teela frowned slightly at Jay's revelation, though she did not comment on it. It wouldn't do to have the crew think that she wasn't omniscient when it came to her ship. "Thank you for coming to me, Jay" she said simply. She waited briefly to see if the pilot had anything else to say, then left the cockpit.

 

The captain considered her priorities as she walked through the ship. On the one hand, she really didn't want to waste anytime starting on repairs. On the other hand, she didn't want to risk carrying an Alliance spy either. In the end, her antipathy towards the Alliance won out and she veered off in the direction of Atlanta's room.

 

She arrived just in time to intercept the young woman as she came out of her room. "Miss Ward," she said, "I'd like a word." She gestured towards the room to indicate that she didn't want to have this discussion in the hallway.

 

 

Xiao

 

Xiao half-grimaced, half-smiled at Nelson's question. The engineer was the only person she knew whose headaches were more frequent than her own and that was saying something. She wondered briefly if it was the drinking or - but then abandoned the thought. Of all people, she felt the least entitled to pry into others' secrets.

 

She retrieved her private bottle from a sleeve pocket and tossed it down to the engineer. She wasn't strong, but her aim was fine and gravity was working to her advantage.

 

"Are you going out, Nelson?" she inquired. She could certainly understand the desire to escape the ship. It was home, but it was also a tiny metal shell crammed with people. Planets, moons and space stations were a welcome reprieve. Xiao herself rarely ventured out - only when cabin fever was driving her up against the walls and even then only if the was absolutely certain she wouldn't be recognized. Still, she enjoyed watching the others go out and come back with stories, as a way of living through proxy.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Nelson caught the bottle with ease and downed half of the contents before good reason reminded him not to.

He quickly screwed the lid back on and chucked it back up to the doctor.

"Thanks, and yeah I'll be going out... some fresh air might help get this damned headache out of my head!" He said, rubbing his forehead.

"Also the cap seems to want me gone for some reason. Not sure what i've done to make her cross? Maybe she thinks that if I stay on the same boat as her for too long she'll fall in love with me and ruin her reputation," Nelson suggested, with a cheery smile. He rubbed his hand through his beard thoughtfully, trying to straighten out all the knots in it.

"Maybe I'll buy a come and some gel if they have any... or a razor, this things starting to have more soup in it then the kitchen," He said, as he brushed out some of the crumbs.

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Atlanta - caught by the Captain

 

"Of course," Atlanta replied, and reopened the door to her room as it had started to close behind her.

 

Her thoughts were a confused mess, Why would the captain want a word? Have I been found out? Unless its about payment - have I paid enough?

 

While she stepped back into her room, she quickly ran numbers in her head. It didn't really help the direction her thoughts were taking.

 

Once both were inside, Atlanta enquired, with as much grace as she could muster to hide her confusion:

 

"To what do I owe this visit?"

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Xiao

 

Xiao smiled genuinely at that. "Yes, I'm sure the captain's secret passion for you is the reason for your dismissal." She thought it was more likely that the captain wanted to do Nelson a favour by letting him take some time off after this hard work during the raid, but she didn't want to spoil the engineer's imagination.

 

 

Teela

 

Teela considered her options for a moment. Should she confront Atlanta head on, or take a more roundabout approach. Of course, there was also the chance that there was absolutely nothing to justify her suspicions. With that in mind, perhaps she should give Atlanta a chance to speak first.

 

"I was wondering if there is anything you'd like to share with me, miss Ward?"

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Atlanta

 

The mild question wasn't what Atlanta had expected, though to be honest she wasn't sure what she had expected. Sitting on the bunk, Atlanta settled herself.

 

Her pose took on a more serene look than would be seen on a junior scientist, as she answered.

 

"I'm not a junior scientist on a research project. I ran away from an arranged marriage."

 

There she paused to see the Captain's reaction. Hopefully my identity as miss Ward, junior scientist can remain relatively unquestioned. I did have the relevant schooling after all....

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Teela

 

Teela was taken aback by that. "An arranged marriage? There's still such a thing?" What planet did this girl come from?

 

 

She had more pressing issues deal with, so she decided to push on. "Where did you learn the term commissaries?" The only people using that word were either in the prison system or the army, so that narrowed it down. She wasn't sure which was better though - to have a convict or a soldier on board.

 

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((Alright, I was delayed again by my stupid computer, but hopefully everything is together now.))

 

Jake - His Cabin

 

Jake was slow to wake. Most likely because he had been staying up all night. Ever since the attack, he had been mending and polishing the small arsenal he had used. Especially Bertha. Yes, he did realize that it was good that he protected Athena instead of his most prized weapon, but he still felt angry at himself for scratching it up. He spent all night polishing the damned thing for pete's sake! The lack of sleep was catching up with him though, so getting out of his bead, he set of on the important mission of morning caffeine.

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Jay - Pilot - preparing to get off board

 

Jay was getting his things together after a quick shower. He sniffed his clothes hanging on the chair and made a mental note to have them washed. Stuffing them in a laundry bag - he had been wearing them for a few weeks now - he picked out a fresh set. Not that he had much choice. He made another mental note to buy more clothes.

 

When he had put on his boots and strapped on his gun, he was finally ready to leave the ship and have some fun. He pushed a button on the comm and connected to the ship in general.

 

"This is your pilot speaking. I will be leaving Harmony for a while to shoot some pool and have a few drinks. Anyone who wants to join, meet up at the airlock in five. Jay out."

 

He hoped Nelson and Jake would join for the game of pool, but anyone was welcome...

Edited by Biologist

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Jake - Beyond tired

 

"Yea, yea, I'll be right there." Jake mumbled as he took a sip of coffee.

Though he hated the taste, Jake barred through it since he knew that it would wake him up. Taking the mug of the vile fluid with him, Jake walked back to his bunk and grabbed his third revolver; lots of power, and good for just about any range. By the time he arrived at the exit, he had downed the rest of the mug, and was feeling slightly more alive than he had a while ago.

"You have anyplace particular in mind Jay?" He asked, his speech still partially slurred from sleep deprivation.

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Jay - Pilot - Ready to party

 

Jay flashed Jake a smile and shrugged. "I dunno. I've only heard from this place a few days ago. What the cortex says isn't much, so I figure we set out to find the nearest bar and pool table and find out what people are like around here. I hope they have decent coffee, though."

 

He at looked Jake, seizing him up. "Are you awake enough for a game?"

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Athena-Companion- Catwalk

 

Athena had been in the middle of getting dressed in a simple black floor length dress (basically a maxi dress, not very formal) as well as a matching black lace shall over her head, covering her stark white blonde hair when Jays voice came over the intercom. She paused for a moment as she began apply red lipstick, adding to how truly pale and perfect her skin was. She glanced down at the healing mark on her neck and frowned slightly. It would heal. She hoped.

Exiting her shuttle she noted Xiao sitting on the catwalk along with Nelson below. She wasn't sure what she was walking into but either way she walked out onto the metal catwalk, her boots clicking with every step. She stopped next to Xiao, "Good morning Xiao." She said with a soft smile, the doctor was always kind to Athena and she had an admiration for a woman who could stay calm in certain situations.

She glanced at Nelson, "Nelson." She said with a nod before returning to eyes to Xiao, "Planning to go out today Doctor?"

Edited by XxWaterGaridanxX

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Xiao

 

"Good morning, Athena," Xiao said pleasantly as she studied the Companion's face. She didn't ask how Athena's night had been - she recognized the faint lines under the woman's eyes from her own sleepless (or nightmare-ridden) nights.

 

"I haven't decided," she answered Athena's question. The truth was that she probably wouldn't go out - she hardly ever did - but she had learned that answering a 'no' all the time stood out. It was better to 'consider it', then find an excuse not to.

 

"How about you?" she inquired. "Jay has invited everyone to a game of pool, or whatever they do for recreation here."

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Nelson smiled up at the companion.

"Mornin' m'lady nice to know your as positive as ever," He said. He then looked at Xiao in mild amusement.

"You should come with us, place a few bets on the outcome of the game. Ill give you a hint you're looking at the winner. Don't matter how drunk I am I'll win!" Nelson said cheerily. He leaned over and began to whisper.

"Between you and me, those two owe me a lot more than they know, when I'm old and ready to retire I'm going to make them pay up," Nelson finished with the amusement evident on his face.

"Anyways catcha later ladies, duty calls," Nelson said and he made his way down to the area Jay had decided would be the meeting point.

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Atlanta

 

"Indeed there is." Atlanta confirmed to Teela's surprise at her reason for running away.

 

Then the next question, that dealing with an offhand choice of word in the aftermath of a pirate attack.

 

"The family of my 'betrothed' has a strong military background." Atlanta said, "I can only assume I picked up the term from them." And some of the workforce that were employed by my father....

 

Atlanta was hoping her relatively vague, but precise answer would satisfy the Captain. After all, one could never be certain who was working for whom long term or who could be paid for a one-off job.

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"Don't worry 'bout me." Jake replied with a large yawn. "I just need something stronger than coffee is all. You think Nelson will let me use that motor oil that he calls alcohol? Might have enough of a kick."

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