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  #76  
Unread 19th of September, 2008, 22:26
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Hiram punches the comm on the wall. "All right, be up there directly."

He replies to Yusheng, "Sure, you know what to do. You make the trays, someone else can bring 'em. I'm wanting two together at all times when dealin' with passengers, so mebbe Earl 'n Greta kin take care of it. "

He watches her leave with affection. Hope she's making the adjustment to having a crew...hopefully they'll take care of her when I'm gone." A stab of pain in his side reminds him he hasn't imbibed enough lately, and he takes a nip off of his hip flask.

He makes rounds after she leaves, on the way up to the bridge. Observed behavior is changed behavior, his instructors at Flight Academy used to say, and part of being a good captain was observing, and being everywhere at once. Good thing, too, as he spots Arthur descending the cargo bay ladder with a temp guage in his hand. "Got trouble already?" Hiram asks. "Don' want you outside that engine room for very long, not with us at full burn."

He also observes Earl approvingly as he loads the mule, well ahead of schedule.. How in the world this man every brought out any meanness in anyone is beyond me. He's almost pathetically eager to please...if I was his boss...oh, yeah, I am his boss...I'd be pretty haoppy to have a man like that on my crew.

"Load the pony, too, when you're done, and position the rest of the cargo for rapid unload. We can all pitch in when we set down, get it off quick an' clean."
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  #77  
Unread 20th of September, 2008, 01:54
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"Sure 'nough, Boss," Earl nods. "When are ya wantin' me to serve up chow ta our passengers?" the big man deduces that he'd likely be the one to serve. "Yer twitchy as a rabbit, Boss. I's the likely choice 'n case they get rowdy."
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  #78  
Unread 20th of September, 2008, 03:43
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"Right enough. I want two at all times when dealing with the passengers. You and whoever else - Greta or the Old Lady probably."

Last edited by Wired*Nun; 20th of September, 2008 at 04:11.
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  #79  
Unread 20th of September, 2008, 06:37
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Then to the infirmary. "Doc, I told you the plan. I'm hopin neither of these right fine fellows we're haulin' is anything more'n what he says, but you never know. So I want you to be ready for injuries, an' maybe for a bit of dopin' in case we got to put one out. You got anythin' that interferes with short-term memory? That rape drug? Might be best."
Brother Will frowns at the mention of inducing a short-term memory loss in the passengers. It was one thing to find a non-lethal way to disable an opponent in a dangerous situation, but it was something else entirely to erase memories for all but the most severe cases of psychological trauma -- like rape.

To induce a memory loss to keep a person from incriminating you is, well, unconscionable.

"Captain, it's unethical, at best, to administer that sort of drug without a medical necessity," Will replies, turning from the medcomp to address Hiram. "How dangerous would it be for these two passengers to know when we landed and ushered them ashore? They won't know our next destination."
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  #80  
Unread 21st of September, 2008, 11:51
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Greta is a bit annoyed about the reception of the job gotten on such short notice and with funds so tight. A big part is annoyance at herself for not finding something more suitable, as Hiram is right about the ability to track the Folly's current load. Still, no use crying about it, and the Captain wasn't looking to boot her off at Bernadette for one thing.

For now, however, Greta's duties are done, with little else to do until they get closer to their destination and she can send the wave to the settlers, and inform their passengers of the early arrival. Once she can check the Cortex again, she can look for a job to make up for this run as well as keep them moving.

If Yusheng comes looking for the younger woman, she'll find Greta in her quarters, the door open. She's straightening up the small space, not that it's in terrible need of it at the moment. But it gives her something to do for the moment while avoiding her current embarrassment.
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  #81  
Unread 23rd of September, 2008, 00:42
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Yusheng decides to make a pot of tea in hopes that Greta will share it with her. Then she heads toward Greta's cabin. Once there, she finds the door open. She peeks in and queries,"Greta, it Yusheng, you like have a cup of tea?" Yusheng feels a bit awkward, not having had much interaction with anyone but Hiram for a long time, much less another woman. Maybe she has news of what has been happening on some of the worlds she's visited. I stay on this ship so much and don't get to hear first-hand what's happening out there.
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  #82  
Unread 23rd of September, 2008, 01:00
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"Might be unethical for me ta have ta shoot 'em, too. Might be a kindness to just wake up not knowin' what happened." Looking at the doc, Hiram realizes he might have misunderstood.

"This is just in case one of 'em turns out to be a plant, doc, not if they're just bystandin'. If one of them wants to do us harm, they might get a shot, or they might get shot, that's my thinkin'. If they're just what they seem, then they get off a mite early, none the worse." Hiram rubs his hand over his unshaven face.

"I didn't survive twenny years in the military an' thirty more in the Black by leavin' nothin' to chance, doc. You hold your objections, but you be ready to do what's necessary."

Last edited by Wired*Nun; 23rd of September, 2008 at 03:09.
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  #83  
Unread 23rd of September, 2008, 05:38
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Greta looks up from her cleaning when she hears Yusheng's voice. "Come on in. Tea would be lovely, thank you." She clears a spot on the bunk for the older woman to sit, gesturing for her to do so.

"Just taking the opportunity to keep this space neat. And keeps me out of the way for now, which seems prudent all things considered."
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  #84  
Unread 23rd of September, 2008, 23:26
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Originally Posted by Wired*Nun # "Right enough. I want two at all times when dealing with the passengers. You and whoever else - Greta or the Old Lady probably."
"H'okay Boss. I's be here. Jess have 'em fetch me when they's ready," Earl continues his labors.
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  #85  
Unread 24th of September, 2008, 06:16
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Yusheng steps inside Greta's quarters. She takes a seat on the bunk near Greta and carefully places a tray between them. On the tray is a pot of green tea, two delicate porcelain tea cups, hand embroidered napkins and a plate of crispy, sweet almond cookies. Yusheng skillfully pours tea in the two cups and hands one to Greta. She pauses a moment, then looks at Greta. "Don't be worry. Hiram get over thing quick. He figure out how to fix so it all be okay."

Yusheng waits for a response, then continues..."How you adjust to life on Folly? You like? It must be big change from what you life was like before." She looks at Greta knowingly, but without judgment.
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  #86  
Unread 24th of September, 2008, 08:21
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"I didn't survive twenny years in the military an' thirty more in the Black by leavin' nothin' to chance, doc. You hold your objections, but you be ready to do what's necessary."
Will holds the captain's gaze for a moment longer, then turns back to his work on the medcomp, muttering to himself as the captain exits. "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change..."

The old man was adamant on this course of action, and no amount of counsel from Will would change his mind, it seemed.

You know how a military outfit operates, Will; you voiced your objections - now just do your duty to the crew.

The Black Friar frowned again; just the thought of that left a bad taste in his mouth. He was no longer a pragmatic military surgeon, making do with the orders given him. His calling came from a higher power, one that did not allow for moral shades of gray. There must be something he can do.

Even if one of the passengers turns out to be an agent of some kind for either of the two opponents, administering a roofer shouldn't be necessary. He would have to think on this for a while and see if he could find an alternative solution.

OOC: Will is going to use his knowledge to determine another way around using a roofer against one of the passengers.
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Last edited by Left-Handed Bandit; 27th of September, 2008 at 10:56.
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  #87  
Unread 24th of September, 2008, 15:08
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Greta watches Yusheng pour the tea quietly. Her quarters are fairly sparse at the moment. Secured behind netting on a shelf is a good sized box with traditional Japanese designs decorating it. Hiding partially obscured by other clothes were two fine gowns under dustcovers. The blond woman glances at the rich items, incongruous with the work clothes and the holster for the pistols she now wears, before shrugging at Yusheng's words.

"I haven't really lived any other way since the War ended. It's not the worst life a girl could have. I should have been a bit more careful about catching attention, but I've shaken it before." She smiles disarmingly as she picks up a mug.

"What about you? How'd you come to meet a transport captain and become mistress of a boat like this?"
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  #88  
Unread 25th of September, 2008, 04:07
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As Hiram swings back through the ship on the way to the bridge, he calls to Arthur, "Engine room, dammit! You need to make water, get somebody to bring you a bottle!" He climbs the stairs mumbling to himself about deaf one-armed mechanics, morally rigid doctors and business factors with too much initiative. He bangs on the hatch to the bridge, deliberately stepping out of the view of the hardglass window.
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  #89  
Unread 25th of September, 2008, 06:04
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What about you? How'd you come to meet a transport captain and become mistress of a boat like this?
Hearing the question Yusheng smiles and a faraway look comes over her face.

She sighs a wistful sigh,"Oh.....that a loooong, loooong story. After I finish university, my parent push me to marry someone with title, an aristocrat. My family have lots of money, but no kind of title, so they want to make connection with good family. We go to ball to do dancing and for me and my sisters to meet men. At the ball I meet Hiram. I think he very handsome. He very, very good dancer. He was still military officer then. He was older but he still look niiiccce in his uniform."

Yusheng's eyes twinkle as she remembers how he looked. "Anyway, my parent no like him. His family have title, but they not good enough for my parent. Hiram no care about title anyway. His older brother get title. Well...I fall in love with Hiram and he with me. We see each other in secret. Hiram was ready to retire from military, so he put in papers, retire and buy Folly. He want to marry me before he leave with Folly. My parent find out. They get very upset and tell me I can't see him anymore. They tell me if I no find good man to marry they find one for me. We have BIG fight. Later I sneak away to Hiram. We get married anyway, then we leave on Folly. My parent never speak to me again."

Yusheng chuckles. "You know, funny thing is, I find out one of my sister fall in love with Hiram brother. She marry him too!!"
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  #90  
Unread 25th of September, 2008, 06:04
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Arthur jumps, dropping his tools. He watches the captain leave and grumbles, but he packs up his things and starts back to the engine room. All the way up the steps he's trying to think of things to speed them up, if only to get Hiram off his back.
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  #91  
Unread 25th of September, 2008, 08:54
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Sam swings around to get the door when he hears the bang. As he is about to open it he realizes he can't see anyone outside. Must be Hiram... Probably testing me since he wanted this thing sealed off. Or I suppose there is the off chance that someone is gonna sneak attack me when I open the door... A few moments pass and the door opens. Hiram finds the barrel of a shotgun 6 inches from his face and a smiling Sam holding the other end. "Howdy cap'n." Sam lowers the gun and returns to his chair. "Can't be too careful with unknowns on board. Have a seat and check this out on the monitor." Sam presses the 'play' button with the shotgun barrel and then places the gun back in its home. "Picked that up a few minutes ago. Thought it looked right peculiar, so figgurd I'd run it past ya."
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  #92  
Unread 26th of September, 2008, 00:39
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Since Hiram can't get in to the bolted door until Sam opens it, he waits until it opens. Seeing the business end of the shotgun, he grunts.

"Hunh. Yer half right. Cocky gonna get you killed someday, son. Don't open the hatch less'n you know who's on the other side. If'n I was of a mind to, I coulda rolled a grenade or a gasser in there and' never been in yer line of fire. Or just stuck my piece in the gap and commenced to shooting."

Lesson over, he bolts the hatch behind him and plops himself down in the copilot's chair. He stares at the video.

"Bulk cargo pod...look at the spin. Funny. See how it's wobblin'? Off-center? What's that mean to you?" Socratic method always makes the teaching stick.

Last edited by Wired*Nun; 26th of September, 2008 at 03:00.
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  #93  
Unread 26th of September, 2008, 07:50
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Sam glances down at the screen for a moment before giving his assesment, "I'd say it's a malfunctioning stabalizer. Either that or one side weighs a lot more than the other."
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  #94  
Unread 26th of September, 2008, 23:40
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"Maybe on the first, absolutely on the second. Unnerstand? If it warn't unbalanced, it wouldn't matter if a stabilizer was workin' or not, even if it had one, which these things usually don't. An empty bulk pod, or one that was full of something all the same - like grain or lumber - wouldn't wobble."

"Everythin' moves around its center of gravity. Only if the COG is far off its geometric center will it wobble or tumble strange. So to me, this thing ain't empty, and it ain't full of bulk cargo."

"Now somethin' strange coulda happened - somethin' that squarshed all the bulk stuff into one end, but there's no damage visible. So it's interesting. An' you din't pick up any beacon, right? We more or less just lucked across it...that makes it innerstin'...and inneretin' things innerest me. 'Specially when they're likely to be legally salvageable. So as soon as we drop these folks and stuff off, and get fuelled again, let's come back an' check it out. So you keep a good locator log an' I'll show you how to set up an astrophysical reconstruction plot later."
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  #95  
Unread 27th of September, 2008, 06:28
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"Sounds good ta me cap'n." Sam does a double check on the coordinates and vector and marks them down for future reference. He, like the captain, is very interested in what the pod contains. "It's interesting to me why someone would just leave it floating out here. Someone has to know that it's here, or atleast what vector it's on. Right cap'n? I mean, it's not like it coulda just fallen outta the back of the cargohold in mid flight with noone noticing."
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  #96  
Unread 27th of September, 2008, 23:22
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"Well, these things is made to strap on the outside, but you're right. Not like a credit fallin' outa yer pocket. Could be off some wreck, got detached an' drifted for a while...or it could be there deliberate. But without even a short-range beacon...I dunno. Got me a powerful curiosity about it now." He grins, and a bit of what the old Master Pilot Price must have looked like shows through.

"Good job, hotshot. Never know, might be really juicy." He claps Sam on the shoulder, then flinches a bit as he stands. He pulls out his flask and takes a swallow, staring out at the Black. He puts it away after a moment, then takes a look out the window before unbolting the hatch, hand falling naturally onto his holster.

"I'll be back in a bit," he says as he leaves.
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  #97  
Unread 28th of September, 2008, 11:47
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Greta listens to Yusheng's story, her smile widening. "Sounds like the romance stories my friends and I would read in our dormitory at night. You and Hiram were very lucky to find each other, and stay together despite everything."

She turns her cup in her hand and stares at the brown liquid inside. "My own story is more like a tragedy. I'm not quite ready to share it though. Let's just say this is not at all how I imagined things turning out when I was a girl." She smiles again, humorlessly.
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  #98  
Unread 29th of September, 2008, 09:05
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Yusheng delicately sips her tea and enjoys a cookie as she listens to Greta.

"My own story is more like a tragedy. I'm not quite ready to share it though."
"That okay. You can tell me when you ready. We have plenty time for many other conversation here on Folly." Yusheng smiles, then continues...

"What kind of news you hear from worlds you visit before you come here. You know...the kind of news that not make it into Cortex because Alliance no want everyone to know. I love to hear, if you have something to tell me." Yusheng puts down her tea cup and leans forward looking eager and hopeful.

As they talk, Nan Ching prances in, happy that she's located her mistress. She pokes around Greta's quarters sniffing and snorting. Satisfied with her "investigation" she rubs her face on Yusheng's pants leg then sits down at her feet and stares at the two ladies. She cocks her head and tries to look as cute as possible. Her little dog brain longs for a tidbit of almond cookie.
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  #99  
Unread 8th of October, 2008, 01:46
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Things hum along for an hour or two. The muted thrum of full burn is there but everyone gets used to it after a while, except for Arthur, who is acutely aware of it within the confines of the engine room and the core rotates rapidly, processing fuel and powering the low-inertial drive.

Engine's doing just fine, no need to stay here all the time lookin' at it.

Because of the sound, the first indication something is out of place coems when the hatch opens. Arthur catches the motion out of the corner of his eye. He knows he locked the hatch from the inside. That wouldn't stop Hiram with the override code - hell, it wouldn't stop Arthur with a minute to fiddle with the electronics under the control cover - but it should have stopped a passenger.

The younger of the two passengers - DeNuncio or something, what was it? stands in the hatchway, looking confused or speculative, wide-eyed at the whirling machinery and shout-over sound.

Arthur is to the right of the door as the man stands in it, somewhat behind the end of the moving core, about twenty feet away. The man doesn't seem to have noticed him yet.

Last edited by Wired*Nun; 8th of October, 2008 at 05:31.
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Unread 8th of October, 2008, 05:39
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The two women chatting in Greta's quarters hear a querelous voice coming from down the corridor. "Hellooo? Is anyone there? I'd like a cup of tea if I may, or at least some fresh boiled water so i can make one."

A glance out the door sees the older man, Mr. Genning, framed in the doorway of the lounge area, wringing his hands. Greta knows she told him - both of them - that they weren't allowed off the passenger deck until she told them so. Perhaps she should have checked up on them sooner.
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