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Unread 20th of August, 2008, 05:54
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Brother Will You Lend A Hand

Several months ago...


Easy to figure, hard to stomach how William ended up in the Battered Barrel in Beaumonde Port. The roar of landing ships was a constant cacaphony, but it fit his somber mood. Some days you mount up with wings as eagles, some days you run and are not weary. Some day you just walk and try not to faint. His was one of those days.

His duffel was between his ankles, his small medbag was visible in his lap, and a beer sat untasted in front of him. He could afford the cover, and a man without a drink in front of him in a shady bar like this would stand out, in a bad way.

Blue Sun Medical had moved in on his little practice. His partner Brian Chele, a retired Alliance military PA, had taken the generous buyout, apologizing. "I got mouths to feed, Will, and I can do more good by staying and helping a bit on the side than going." Sure, like they would let him help on the side. Blue Sun had only one side, and that was Blue Sun's.

No way I'm getting locked into a corporate contract, especially with a corporation that didn't shirk from using Tong muscle. Once those people get you, they own you.

So here he sat, looking for the man from the ad. It took a keyword search to find it in the Cortex personals, no frills or graphics.

"Independent freighter needs a doc. Room and board, passage and opportunity. Captain Price, 15X24." His message to the box number returned a terse, Battered Barrel, 1900L, be obvious. Thus, the medbag. He also sat in one of the most well-lit areas of the shadowy room.

It was actually 1904 when the man slides in front of him, across the table. Battered forty-five Colt Retro on his hip in a worn holster, no strap. Old, clean, well-mended clothes, courderoy and denim; what would have been termed a Greek fisherman's cap on Earth-That-Was, if he recalls correctly. His eyes are a watery blue; his face: old, worn, tired, maybe seventy. The veins in his nose say alcohol, though he seems sober at the moment. Something of a moon-face look and discoloration say liver problems, maybe hepatitis. Without expensive antivirals, it could be a chronic problem.

"You the doc?" he barks without preamble.

Last edited by Wired*Nun; 23rd of August, 2008 at 22:45.
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Unread 20th of August, 2008, 08:54
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Will places the worn bag on the table and replies, "That would be me, Captain. Brother William Mountbatten, at your service."

The monk stands as a matter of courtesy, offering the seat opposite for the old man to sit. To look as bad as he does in his 70s, Will thinks as he waits for Price to take the proffered chair, he won't be likely to see 80. That was a feat, given the miracles of modern medicine. Even in the harsh environments of the Rim, as long as a bullet or a blade didn't find you, one would expect to see their second century. Heck, Will's own great-grandfather turned 115 last month and was still quite healthy for a man his age.

"So, might I have the particulars of the job?" he continues once the other man sat down. "Compensation? Opportunities?"
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Unread 20th of August, 2008, 09:15
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"Hiram Price, Captain of La Folies." He pronounces it in the French manner, foll-ee.

He sits, stretching out a leg and incidentally resting his hand on his holster doing so. Will doesn't think it's about him - more likely about the place. There's plenty of hardware in evidence, despite the laws against it in town.

"No pay from me. Expenses, I cover. You got a sickbay that ain't in too bad a shape, though you'll be the judge of a that. My wife cooks fair, and you'll eat fresh most every day from her garden, better'n some rich folk. Your own space, and you got the freedom of your own affairs of profit, if it don't bring down trouble on the Folly an' her crew. My last doc got hisself bound by law for dealin' 'licit pharmaceuticals 'gainst my 'splicit orders, and I dis'sociated myself."

He pauses, looks Will in the eye.

"What you think 'bout that?"

Last edited by Wired*Nun; 23rd of August, 2008 at 22:46.
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Unread 21st of August, 2008, 05:19
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"Okay, then, I provide medical support to the crew of the ship in exchange for room, board, expenses and the opportunity to make money on the side," Will confirmed, holding the captain's gaze as he thought, At least my needs are taken care of and the infirmary will remain stocked.

"Given that my higher calling also frowns upon illicit drugs, I think you won't have much to worry about from me," he added with a wry smile. He pauses for a bit as he mulls over the various meanings of the word "opportunity," then nods his head in agreement. "I'll take it. When and where?"
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Unread 21st of August, 2008, 12:37
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"Wasn't 'bout ee-licit. There's ee-licit and there's ee-licit. Been known to deal ee-licit once or twice myself. It was about not followin' orders and bringin' down a load on the ship an' crew. Was about selfishity an' loyalty. You join up, you're crew. I'm captain. No uncertainties."


"I'll take it. When and where?"
"Here an' now." He stands up. "Follow me. If'n you got any more bidness groundside, you'll have 'til 0500 local to be aboard."

He turns and walks out, limping a little.

Presuming Will follows, Price leads them to a ship grounded on one of the public pads.

"Folly," he says by way of introduction. He opens the personnel hatch with a code, letting Will see it. Inside, he shows him a cabin. "Here's yer berth. Door code is default, 9999, set it yourself. I'm out, we lift at 0550. Medbay is down that way, if ya feel like checkin' it over."

He turns to limp down the passageway.


(((Post one more, then jump to the main prelude thread)))

Last edited by Wired*Nun; 22nd of August, 2008 at 00:00.
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Unread 22nd of August, 2008, 03:40
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"Here an' now." He stands up. "Follow me. If'n you got any more bidness groundside, you'll have 'til 0500 local to be aboard."

He turns and walks out, limping a little.
Will stands, retrieving his bag and replacing it with a couple coins as he rounds the table and follows Price out of the bar. The walk is short and the pace is slow for the Black Friar, but he was in no hurry. There would be plenty of time to get the rest of his belongings from the clinic.

The first sight of the ship made Will raise his eyebrow. It was an ugly beast, to be sure, oddly configured; he was no aeronautical engineer, but the transport hardly appeared spaceworthy.

"Folly," he says by way of introduction. He opens the personnel hatch with a code, letting Will see it. Inside, he shows him a cabin. "Here's yer berth. Door code is default, 9999, set it yourself. I'm out, we lift at 0550. Medbay is down that way, if ya feel like checkin' it over."

He turns to limp down the passageway.
"Thank you, Captain," Will answers to the retreating form as he turns his attention to the keypad. He sets a suitable code and inspects the small berth, before meandering his way through the corridors on the way to the infirmary.

He had heard about the Aphid-class of transports before, but wasn't truly familiar with the design, so the brief walkabout was helpful.

The infirmary was an older design, but still seemed to be in pretty good working order, complete with a functional MedComp and full set of supplies. It certainly would prove to be a satisfactory workspace.

Setting his doctor's bag on the counter, Will finds his way back to the cargo deck and heads out to the clinic to retrieve the remainder of his personal effects...
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Unread 22nd of August, 2008, 03:59
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