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Mistress of Whispers

[IC thread] In the Black

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[Plan sounds good.. so this post should wrap up what Atlanta's doing]

 

Atlanta - pooltable

 

Glad to see that at least one of their party was having some luck, Atlanta smiled at the medic when she joined them after her meeting.

 

Just as quietly, still hidden behind her glass, she replied - since the others were still finishing up the pool match:

 

"We'll be there if you need us."

 

She knew how important the medical supplies were for any ship - simple common sense told her that. So it was good that it looked like they could replace/refill without too much trouble.

 

--- some time later (long enough for at least one of the hunters to leave) ---

 

"Ummm... anyone seen Jake?" Atlanta timidly asked, "I mean... I know he went to the bathroom - but shouldn't he be back by now?"

 

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"He has been gone for some time," Xiao agreed with Atlanta. "Maybe that drink isn't sitting too well with him?"

Replaying the event in her mind, she saw Jake get up to go to the bathroom, then the unknown man from the bar going in after. She hadn't made anything of it - just two men needing to do their business - but now that she thought of it, the man's companion had left too.

 

"Is there another exit from the hallway leading to the bathrooms?" she asked aloud as she got up.

 

"Maybe you two should see what's keeping Jake," she suggested to Jay and Nelson.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Nelson lifted up his bottle and looked inside, there was nothing left.

He shrugged and placed the bottle down.

"I guess I'll go and have a look at what that lovable lug is doing, maybe he's gotten himself stuck... t'ats happened to me before," He said and slowly walked towards the mens bathroom.

Nelson paused and quickly turned back

"Having to help someone out of it!" He exclaimed quickly, "Not me... I've never gotten stuck!" He scratched his head thoughtfully.

"I'll just go and check," He said.

Nelson quickly departed and bumped past a man walking away from them.

"Hey buddy, better hold onto it abit... something crazy must'a happened in there," He said as he walked past.

Nelson paused briefly then moved, slightly faster, towards the door. He opened it and his eyes widened.

In total there was a shattered mirror, cracked sink, two busted cubicle doors, one snapped in half and a hole in the wall. Not to mention the blood splashes occurring on the former two.

Nelson frowned and slowly walked forward, his eyes painting the picture in his head.

"Looks like it finished with the sink," He said quietly to himself, crouching down.

"Most likely got grabbed at the urinal... the attacker got thrown into the cubicle... moved quick, grabbed Jake knocked him back," Nelson moved forward, watching the scene pass by in his mind.

"Deflected his hit," He said noting the hole in the wall, that would've been a strong hit, he probably couldn't have caught the fist.

"Jake tried to knock him back into the cubicle, opponent used his inertia to bring Jakes head through the door..." Nelson continued.

"Jake pushed him off, assailant backed off towards the mirror. Jake rushes him, assailant slips on some water, that saves him," Nelson said, noting the small streak on the floor.

"He hits his head on the mirror, but the slip got him under Jakes hit... wish shatters it, bad luck. Assailent grabs Jake, still stunned by his miss and slams him onto the sink... fight over," Nelson said. His eyes trailed from the busted sink, noting the footprints and the lines of a dragged body.

"Assailant grabs Jake... and drags him towards the employee exit," Nelson finished. He walked over and experimentally turned the door knob, it was locked.

"Hmmm," He thought stroking his chin.

"There must've been an accomplice with the keys to unlock the door from the other side," He concluded.

Turning Nelson exited the bathroom and made his way over to rest.

"Well, hate to say this but looks like our Gun guy's gone n' got, got," He said and then went on to explain what had happened.

 

((Let's assume Nelson doesn't relay what happened in that amount of detail... also let me know if you don't like the fight scene... I was thinking of The Worlds End when I wrote it))

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((I don't know World's End, but I like the fight scene smile.gif ))

 

Jay - Pilot - Going to the men's room - Slightly worried

 

Jay looked up from the table as Xiao suggested to go and see what kept Jake. He walked over to the men's room with Nelson and swore under his breath as he saw the scene in front of them.

 

As he turned back towards the ladies to warn them of something gone wrong, the man behind the bar motioned him over, holding up the antiquated speaker of the In-Station Comm system, signaling there was a message.

 

Instead of going back to the pooltable, he walked over to the bar, took the receiver and listened. The message was short, but his face darkened none-the-less.

 

After hanging up, he approached his crew, annoyance and anger clear on his face. He let Nelson finish and added: "And whoever got him wants to trade him." He turned towards the companion. "For you."

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Athena- Companion- worried for once

 

The Companion's calm visage shattered in the split second that Jay turned to her... She had been caught. By some bounty hunters she assumed by the violent matter of the alternate kidnapping. How could they have her file? No one should even know who she is anymore... Unless someone talked. But she had paid good money and called in many favors for all of the illegal things that she did.

Rarely did the Companions true emotions show though as she looked around at the fellow passengers and crew of the ship, "I see..." She choked out as she stood, "Did they say nothing else?" She asked in a last hope to see if this was simply just because she was a companion far from home.

 

(Very good scene all together!))

Edited by XxWaterGaridanxX

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Xiao watched Athena carefully. It wasn't impossible that a customer became obsessed with a companion, but the guild usually handled that. She suspected there was more to the story than met the eye, but now was not the time to ask. Still, the companion likely noticed her scrutinous gaze.

 

"Did they say when and where?" she asked Jay. "Perhaps we can prepare a surprise for them."

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Jay - Pilot - annoyed

 

Jay looked annoyed, even angry: nobody messes with his platoo... crew!

 

"We have an hour. An hour to get back to the ship, get the captain in on this and prepare to kill those ta ma due 'till they're dead!" He gave Athena a look that conveyed a 'no-one gets left behind'-mentality that seemed to have been bred in the darkest times of the war.

 

"Let's go. Any bright ideas are welcome." He turned around to leave and was planning to get back to Harmony to plan bloody revenge....

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Xiao nodded slowly. Inspecting the location of the trade so they might set up an ambush was high on her list, but she saw the logic in letting their commander know. She wondered if she should run her data on Nelson to determine his area of expertise - she had refrained from doing so out of respect for his privacy, but someone's life might be at stake. The moral conundrum threw her for a loop - ethics was a class the Academy liked to take an 'alternate view' to. Still debating it, she began the walk back to the ship.

 

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

 

(As the group arrives back at the ship...)

 

Teela was sitting at the kitchen table. A knife and handful of fruit peels lay on the table, her bare feet propped up next to it. She turned a page of her book - an account from a Captain involved in the Exodus. It was a riveting read, though she was still unsure about the veracity of the log.

 

She looked up when the ship's proximity alert rang. Rising, she holstered her mare's leg. She wasn't alarmed - it was probably a trader or inspector - but it never hurt to be prepared.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Looking from the analyzing eyes of Xiao to the feirce blue ones of Jay's she couldn't help but feel guilty for bringing this upon the crew that she felt so deeply in dept to now.

"Jay-" she hurried after the determined stride of the the pilot. Placing a gentle hand on his shoulder as they went off to the ship, "You don't have to do this. Jake is part of your crew... I'm not." She smiled sadly, "I don't deserve your kindness." She told him as they stepped into their docked ship.

Athena's mind was running miles per second. How they had found her and how she could get herself out of here without anyone getting hurt. She had some extreme measures that she would use if the situation got out of hand, after all the bounty hunters wanted her alive... Well that's what she was assuming.

Edited by XxWaterGaridanxX

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Jay - pilot - getting angry

 

Jay looked at Athena when she placed her hand on his shoulder. His brow furrowed even deeper when she tried to distance herself from them. He held up his hand and shook his head.

 

"No." he said resolutely. "I'll have none of that. You're part of the crew, whether ya like it or no. We're not throwing you to the sharks just to save our own skin. If you think we'll accept this ultimatum, you've gravely underestimated the loyalty of this crew."

 

He realised the tone of his voice had become rather harsh with her. He tried to lighten the mood a bit:

 

"Besides, we ain't gonna loose a paying passenger! Cap would have my balls."

 

... And failed.

 

"Now, who is after you so bad that they'd kidnap Jake, of all people?"

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"Jay's right," Xiao confirmed, "We don't leave people behind. Though after this is over you may have to explain why they want you, or consider disembarking." As Xiao knew the captain, Teela was fine with secrets as long as they didn't interfere with ship operations. Getting the weapon's specialist abducted probably counted as interference. Xiao wondered how many other crewmembers had been forced to share their past with the captain after incidents. She suspected that, in addition to herself, both Jay and Nelson had secrets of their own. So far, Teela had never inquired about Xiao's, but then again - Xiao's past had never affected the ship.

 

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

 

Peering outside, Teela holstered the rifle again. Opening the cargo bay doors, she greeted the crew. She was still barefoot, but apparently not bothered by the cold metal grating under her feet.

 

"You're back sooner than I expected," she said to the group in general. "Loose all your money already, or got kicked out for bad behaviour? Where's Jake?" Her tone was pleasant and conversational - odds were Jake had picked up a girl and was opting to spend a bit more time aboard the station.

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Athena restrained herself from shearing a tear of pure amazement as she heard the words of the crew as she felt a swell of courage. These were amazing people and she wouldn't take back her actions that got her here.

The companion managed a sarcastic laugh for Jay as the Captain greeted them and she strode ahead of the group to tell Teela of what happened, "Captain, Jake has been kidnapped because of me. We have an hour until they come for me to trade for Jake. I'm guessing that these people are bounty hunters, only finding me on some whim of luck because there is no way that any one of the worlds know where I am or that I'm even still alive." She decided not to say anything more because there were many details that she did not wish to have to explain in such a short time.

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Teela's eyes narrowed. Kidnapped on account of Athena? She made a mental note to get to the bottom of that story - later.

 

"Right. And what do they want? Money? Cause in that case we might have to sell the ship." Teela's tone was light-hearted and jokingly, even though her mind was already coming up with ways to tackle the issue.

 

--------

 

Quietly making her way past the captain, Xiao headed for her shuttle. She was relatively certain she could hack into the station's mainframe to pull up a floor plan. That would go a long way in developing a plan to outsmart the bounty hunters.

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Jay - Pilot - Testy

 

Jay harrumphed indignantly. "If only they wanted money."

 

Then he looked Teela straight in the eyes. "No, they want Athena. We get Jake in return for her. Well, Choo fay wuh sih leh! They got themselves into a world'a hurt."

 

Then he looked around at those present, noting that Xiao was not here anymore.

 

"So what's the plan?"

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Atlanta - lost in thought while heading back to the ship

 

The whole incident with a crew member being held for ransom threw Atlanta for a loop. It wasn't because she never expected it to happen - it was that she never expected it to happen!

 

And that thought didn't even make sense. Part of her wondered if there was a mistake somewhere and that they were really after her. Then again would anyone hire Bounty Hunters to retrieve her?

 

It seemed very unlikely once she was able to reason with herself. After all, there were - other resources - at hand for those that were interested in her. Resources she hoped would remain at a very large distance.

 

Though that wasn't the immediate problem, the immediate issue was how to get Jake back - without handing over Athena.

 

An idea crossed her mind, one that was risky and daring, but might be worth a shot...

 

Looking over at Jay, who had asked for a plan:

 

"I have an idea....", she then looked over at Athena, "How easy would it be to make me look like you? And how long would it take to do so?"

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Teela watched Atlanta's plan unfold. To be honest, she wasn't sure how replacing one young, non-combatant girl with another was going to help. Unless Atlanta was happy to remain with the bounty hunters after the switch, which she highly doubted.

 

"What's your plan, Atlanta?" she asked forthright.

 

Xiao emerged from her shuttle with a pad in hand as Teela asked what Atlanta's plan was. She also had a plan, though she was hesitant to propose it - it involved her illegally downloaded lay-out of the station and a few well-placed snipers. If Atlanta had an alternative that would not end in bloodshed though, Xiao was certainly all for it.

 

 

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Atlanta - explaining her plan

 

"I was thinking - if it was possible for me to look like Athena in the given timeframe - we could make the bounty hunters doubt themselves." Atlanta started. "While they are trying to work out which one of us is their real target, it may be possible for the rest to rescue Jake."

 

"They may also turn on the one that hired them if they think the employer left out important info - such as having a near-identical sibling." Atlanta would be the first to admit the plan wasn't completely without risk, the bounty hunters may just decide to try and take them both. Or they may not be easily fooled by the 'twins' and work out it was a trick.

 

Of course, it all depended on whether the hunters were being paid enough to cover such 'complications'. And her acting ability. And whether Athena could make her a good enough look-alike.

 

This seemed a better idea in my head.... so many ifs and buts....

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"It's very risky," Teela replied to Atlanta's plan. "If I were an unscrupulous bounty hunter, I'd just take both of you. One of you is obviously my bounty and the other - well, there's always a market for pretty young women. What we can hope for though, is that they're a little less eager to start shooting when there are two potential targets they need alive."

 

Teela wasn't about to dismiss the plan as it did serve a good - if temporary - distraction that would leave the bounty hunters with their hands full. But she did want Atlanta to realize she might simply get snatched alongside Athena.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Athena was pacing, her thoughts racing, she was intelligent being as she was taught for many years what to do in all kinds of situations. But why was she coming up with a blank now?

She started to think out loud, eyes closed and still pacing, "Captain is right, although I do have the skill to make us look alike, that would be foolish, confuse them for a moment but foolish none the less." Her nails dug into her hands, "Who were they? I'm going to make an educated guess and say it was those two hooded people from the bar..." She remembered their clothing, "Well paid, known, they might have been on the road for a long time. Still, two people that's not a lot, but they are most likely skilled." She could feel blood in the palm of her hand, she was so mentally upset that this was happening.

"A distraction! That's what we need! And I have.... Substances in my possession that I am the only one with an antidote. If I can get close to the two and administer it then they will have no choice but to save their own lives."

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Atlanta

 

Atlanta conceded the point, it was not the best plan, but at least she tried. As Athena continued pacing and plotting. When she reached the part about needing a distraction...

 

"Two of them. Two of .... us - I mean, you?" Atlanta waited til she had Athena's attention before continuing. "Chances are - after the initial confusion, 1 of them tries to grab you, the other tries to grab me - that would provide an opening to administer the ... substances."

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Teela held back as Athena and Atlanta talked. They were all grown-ups - if Atlanta was willing to risk her life, that was her prerogative. Of course, it was also Athena's prerogative not to accept Atlanta risking her life on her behalf. Either way, the two women would have to work out that particular conundrum themselves - as long as they did it quickly.

 

Meanwhile, Xiao was feeling conflicted. She had an alternative plan, one that posed much less risk to the crew. It would however, end with both bounty hunters dead. Then again, this particular plan might end with Athena or Atlanta dead, and that was no better.

 

Finally, she spoke up: "I might have an alternative. The bay where they want to make the exchange has several air ducts. I've identified two that would allow a pair of snipers to cover nearly the entire room."

 

That plan did rely on getting the bounty hunters in the right spot, but she figured Athena (or Atlanta, if they went with the bait and switch) could take care of that. It also required two snipers. Usually those positions would be filled by the Captain and Jake, but obviously the latter was no longer an option. They could also use the snipers to provide the distraction Athena needed, but then they'd have to rely on the Companion taking on two skilled bounty hunters in a hand-to-hand fight.

 

((Just tossing in additional options.))

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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((It's been so long I've forgotten my guys name!))

 

Nelson stroked his chin.

"That seems like it's more likely to succeed but Athena and Atlanta would both still be at risk," He said thoughtfully, his gaze turning to the two in question.

"As for the snipers i guess cap'n here would be suitable, as for the other... I was a fair shot with a huntin' rifle back on New Melbourne, reckon I could be of service, though I'd prefer not to kill them if I don't have to," Nelson said.

 

((It's small I know sad.gif )

Edited by Marcus Pheonix

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conflicted companion- Athena

 

"Atlanta..." She ran a hand through her blonde hair, "You realize what you could get hurt right? Or worse even killed in this process..." She needed to say it out loud to the younger woman in front of her as she locked eyes with her, "I won't allow that to happen. The only think I could see as acceptable in this sort of situation, " she broke eye contact with Atlanta to look at the others as well, "We could use the snipers, because why wouldn't we? They aren't going to expect anything less from us. I'll present myself to them and we make the switch, but the distraction would be Atlanta coming out of my shuttle looking like me, from far away they won't be able to tell if it is really me." She told them, in her head thinking of ways for her to make herself look a little more like Atlanta, "The confusion would be the thing I need to throw them off and administer the substances myself." She didn't want any one else to get harmed but even so there was always a chance to fumble in crazy plans like these.

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Teela

 

"If Nelson and I serve as snipers," Teela addressed Athena, "we'd need a line of sight unhindered by you and possibly Atlanta. Confusion and you sticking them with needles won't help there. So it's one or the other - snipers at range, or hand-administered tranqs."

 

She waited to see what the companion would say, and if the scientist was still willing to serve as a distraction-double now that the risks were clearer. Unlike Nelson, Teela was not above shooting dead people from a distance. As a matter of fact, she preferred it that way - it was a little boring admittedly, but also a great way not to get hurt yourself and while Teela loved a good adventure, she was also a very practical woman (at times).

 

"Does anyone else have any input, or are these are two options?" She made sure to include everyone in that question.

Edited by Mistress of Whispers

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Atlanta - standing around

 

"It looks like those are the only options we've got..." Atlanta mused, "Especially seeing we have a time restraint to implement any plan we come up with..."

 

She was certain that if they had more time to think things through, they could come up with something that these.... bounty hunters.... wouldn't expect. As it was, the sniper option seemed the one to be most expected - otherwise why would they take a hostage? - but also most likely to succeed.

 

The decoy route did depend on how similar she and Athena were to start with. Too many differences could render it impossible to pull off. Though Atlanta wouldn't have suggested it if she thought it was impossible...

 

"The sniper plan would be faster to get into place, depending on how long creating a believable lookalike would take. Of course, if I'm going to try and stay at a distance and not get close to them - the twin illusion wouldn't have to be so detailed." Atlanta would still have to mimic certain aspects - such as the way Athena walked and held herself - but most of the illusion would be provided by a borrowed costume.

 

[This could get really confusing xd.png Especially if Jake is fooled - since he's not there to hear the plan...]

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