The Western Frontier: An Episodic, Schizotech Sci-Fi RP (Started)

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"You got the form, otherwise you wouldn't be here, so you should know exactly what the purpose of this meeting is, and I'm here for the same as you. As for who my employer is, that changes from week to week, month to month, and year to year, I currently have none."

A smile danced upon Vane's lips as he considered how cantankerous this man was. Still the notion that there was a form need worried him. Pursing his lips, he them chirped to the men "thank you kindly my friend".

Resting his arms behind his head he returned to humming a littler hymn. Hopefully the girl with the crossbow would have an interesting past. If it was really good he might even try to memorize and then embellish it so that a future master would like it.

"That's odd... Maybe it finally worked itself out."

"Yeah," Ray said, none too convinced. "Maybe it did. Welp, I'm gonna go check and see if it weren't nothin' movin' 'round in the wirin' what's been makin' go on the fritz."

Taking a sip from his coffee, Ray turned to leave the bridge and make his way to the engine room. As he walked through the through the passageways of the ship, he began to resent the air conditioning unit being fully functional again - he had never been too fond of cool temperatures in the least. His boots thudding against the cold, metal surface of the passageways' floor was the only sound, other than that of the engine, that resonated through the walkway until his left boot hit something hard. The unseen object went sliding across the floor and the sound of metal on metal rang loudly, causing Ray to watch what turned out to be a wrench skid further down the walkway. Tongue in cheek, Ray looked curiously at the tool and pondered what reason it had to be there. He could think of no other possible answer other than Kin simply misplacing it, for he could not recall when he last needed the use of the wrench. Figuring he may as well hold onto it until he had an opportunity to put it away, he slid it in his pocket where it rested half-nestled within and resumed to his task at hand.

Ray wasn't the most light-footed of people, but he could keep quiet when he needed to, and he would soon find that a silent step was quite necessary. As he approached the engine room, the dull hum growing louder with every foot he grew near, he could hear over the noise of the engine what sounded like the frustrated grumblings of a child. He was perplexed, if only for a moment, as to what a child would be doing on their ship but it was fairly obvious the only reasonable answer was that the child must have stowed away while they were occupied on their last bounty.

Dammit, Ray thought, scratching his head as he was uncertain of what to make of the current predicament. This sure ain't no place for no damned kids to be runnin' around, 'specially not in no Goddamn engine room.

Ray sighed heavily and dropped his free arm at his side, looking at the engine room's entrance with a look of resentment. Shaking his head and submitting to the inevitability that this newcomer had to be confronted, he stepped through the doorway and immediately spotted the the small figure, a girl who surely couldn't have even been in her pre-teens. He took a gulp of his coffee then cleared his throat loudly to grasp her attention before speaking up, "Well, howdy there, li'l miss. Just what might you be doin' aboard this here vessel?"

Precis had been looking around the entire area for her wrench, even in places where she KNEW that it wouldn't be at, just to be a hundred percent sure. As she finished up the last place, she said. "Ugh, I can't believe I lost my wrench! That was given to me by papa and he made it himself! It even has the family logo on it!" She crossed her arms and pouted some before freezing up. A voice was calling out to her, asking what she was doing here. Gulping, she quickly turned around and faced the male bounty hunter. He didn't look too mad, but she didn't know if he was suppressing any hidden anger.

She knew that she was caught, so there was nothing left to do, other than coming clean. "I-I was fixing the H/C unit..and the freezer..and a few other things as compensation for me stowing away. I just knew I had to get away from the Blue Phoenix, and when you and your wife came came in I figured that it was the perfect chance to get out of there." She then spotted her wrench in his hands and scolded herself for dropping it. Looking down, she said. "I-I'm sorry for hiding, but..I didn't want to be kicked out of here. I really like it here, and you and your wife are really fun to listen to." She was completely misunderstanding Ray and Kin's relationship.

"How about you mind your own business, punk."

"For starters, how about we all talk about what made us become bounty hunters in the first place."

What a stupid suggestion. What complete idiot would tell something so intimate, to a total stranger?

"See, that's how you make friends."

Oh...

Xion quickly drew his sword from it's sheathe, bringing it to neck of the blue-haired man, all in one fluid motion. The blade's edge danced precariously on the man's skin.

"I'm sorry, but on my planet, we make friends by cutting out the tongues of insolent dogs"
He said with a smirk as his hand gripped more tightly around the handle.

"Now, I suggest that we don't go telling each other our life's stories, and instead we take the much safer option of introducing yourself"

Xion eyed the man directly in the eyes, making sure he was taking in what he was saying.

"My name is Xion Thestalos, and I am no punk "

"Sit tight, the Blackhearts will be here soon, or not at all, we'll find out much quicker if we sit quietly and wait then if we get distracted by telling each other our life's story."

"What he said. Deal?"

Kier'Ran watched the small scuffle, and decided to intervene before it escalated. He took three steps, and clamped his cyber arm around Xion's wrist, activating the locking mechanism. The look of surprise flashed for a split-second over his face before he realized there was no escape. A short struggle ensued before Kier'Ran moved the sword from the Farmer's face.

"As I said, why don't we wait and not get distracted by our differences. To keep the peace, I'm Kier'Ran. I haven't lived this long simply to be involved in a fight with hilt-happy cubs, boy."

He unlocked his hand and walked back to the wall where he could see the entire room and the door. These children were beginning to grate on his nerves. This was a meeting, not a competition yet.

The world seemed to be in slow motion as Vane turned his head, The Crimson tanned man moving his blade straight to the throat of the Blue hair. He moved with speed beyond that of a normal man, his cat like eyes swimming in arrogance.

"My name is Xion Thestalos, and I am no punk "

Vane moved his hand to his back, lightly grasping the hilt of his great-sword. This Xion's coat looked expensive, so if he died Vane could get his ticket of this station and return home. Still Vane knew that the nagging sensation in the back of his mind was telling him to intervene, to diminish discord.

He would wait and act if the situation required it.

After learning the Tin Can has a name, Lukaas couldn't help but to let out a single obnoxious laugh.

"You are the strangest person I've ever met. It's a pleasure, Mechty Dorfloum"

His joyous mode was ruined when he noticed the back and forth bickering of the other potential employees.

Like I said, just one huge dick measuring contest.

"We get it! You are all big bad killers! We are not here to show off how mean we can be, we are here for a job. If I was in charge, I would throw all you assholes into the nearest airlock. You need to take a page from my new friend and shut up."

Silence is Orange and White.

"You need to take a page from my new friend and shut up."

"Stop trying to get everyone elses attention with unimaginative and pointless threats," He sniffed at the man with the axe hidden underneath his coat,"You're an animal farmer, or at least have spent a substantial amount of time with them. And unless you want to contribute to the conversation by perhaps supplying your name,you can take your own advice, sit down, shut up, and wait. Mechty." He nodded towards the figure in the suit, more as a gesture of acknowledgment than anything else.

"We get it! You are all big bad killers! We are not here to show off how mean we can be, we are here for a job. If I was in charge, I would throw all you ass holes into the nearest airlock. You need to take a page from my new friend and shut up." Lukaas shouted, angered by the other hunters. Kristina felt that she was partially to blame for all this. So she decided to apologise.

"Look, I am sorry if I have caused any trouble to you all. I was merely trying to be sociable, so that we could get better acquainted with one another, but I suppose there is plenty of enough time for socialising, whilst we're out on missions. So why don't we all just calm down, and simply wait in silence for the Blackhearts to arrive. And for the record Lukaas, I have not being showing off." Kristina said, trying her best to diffuse the situation before it got too much out of hand. She then sat back in her chair, and began flipping through the various pages in her bounty journal.

Kristina briefly looked at Kier'Ran. "Thank you Kier'Ran, for showing that there are mature people present. The name is Kristina if you are interested to know." She briefly nodded her head in both appreciation and acknowledgement, before going back to her journal.

"Yeah. Maybe it did. Welp, I'm gonna go check and see if it weren't no loose parts movin' 'round in the wirin' what's been makin' it go on the fritz."

"Ok, just make sure to not get tangled up in it yourself!" Kinraye joked. "I'd hate to have to go back there to fish you out."

As Ray walked aft, she continued to keep an eye out for any errant vessels, as well as any debris that could pose a problem. The folks at Tanris station seemed pretty vigilant about keeping the lanes clear, but it only took one chunk of asteroid to ruin a perfectly good day.

She continued flying the small transport on the docking pattern that the station gave her. Kin put the ship down on the pad without difficulty, and began the powering down the vessel. In a habit she had picked up from having to leave too many planets quickly, she kept the engines powered up just enough to facilitate a fast getaway if the situation called for it.

Finished with that, Kin wandered back to her locker to grab her gear. "Ray!" She shouted aft. "You almost finished back there? We're gonna be late!"

You're an animal farmer, or at least have spent a substantial amount of time with them. And unless you want to contribute to the conversation by perhaps supplying your name,you can take your own advice, sit down, shut up, and wait.

"I wasn't just any animal farmer, I worked at the Kammeal Ranch as protection for our profitable lifestock. You want to know how we protected our livestock? We hunt down cattle rustlers and brutally murder them and their entire families. Just make sure that no one fucks with our business." As Lukaas' voice started to rise, he noticed his heart beating twice as fast and sweat was starting to form under his hat.

You need to relax. Dad's been dead and you're off that rock. Everything going to be alright.

But it's not, Remember?

After recomposing himself. Lukaas continued. "I guess what I was trying to say is, we need to all calm down before we all fired before we're hired. You can call me Lukaas."

The Red Giant Cafe was crowded, patrons jostling for any surface to sit on or to set down their drinks. The manager was pleased with the business, but the crowd was beginning to make him anxious. This many brave and foolish souls, armed with blades and cybernetics, in a confined space always, without fail, led to a brawl. It was a rule of the trade that he knew all too well, and this crowd had reached critical mass some time ago.

He motioned towards some of the bouncers, and sent off a prayer to the gods above, before retreating into his office to avoid the inevitable bloodbath. The hired muscle quickly, though reluctantly, prepared to charge the unruly crowd with weapons of their own, but few actually considered getting close enough to the swordsman.

It was then, moments before things took a turn for the worst, that the door to the tavern swung open, and a large, burly cyborg stepped in, a scowl stricken across his face. He stood in the door frame, beads of sweat rolling down his brow, and began to bark orders at the crowd.

"Settle down and shut up!" Gira started, snarling. "God damn it, you're supposed to be professionals, so why the fuck am I getting calls from the owner of this dump about my future employees getting ready to tear up the place?!"

"Unwind a bit, will you?" Nerin started, following closely behind his boss. "It's your fault for not reserving a docking space. If we weren't late, we could've avoided this whole mess."

"Hiener's the pilot, blame him."

"Yeah, whatever, it's still your ship."

Nerin chuckled to himself, then turned to face the crowd. He was more than impressed with the diversity that his soon to be coworkers offered the company, although he felt that the swarm of bounty hunters failed to meet Gira's standards of professionalism and poise. Nevertheless, he was ultimately satisfied with the turnout, even if the unit was a bit rough.

"Alright, everyone, listen up!" Nerin exclaimed, his hands clapping together in an attempt to garner some attention. "The boss has something important to say, so all eyes on him."

"I'm not going to repeat myself," Gira started, a deep, guttural sigh escaping his mechanical lungs, "so if you miss something, you're not getting a second chance until I'm done with this lecture."

"Chances are if you're here, it's due to one of three things, either you're suicidal, broke or dumb. Whatever it is, I don't give a shit, you're all good to the team in one way or another, even if the role you happen to be filling is just another meat shield, but the good majority of you look fairly competent, if a bit slow, so I doubt you're going to be six feet under any time soon. But, considering we're hunting down some high profile criminals, I wouldn't count on you making it out alive without any visible damages, if at all."

"Anyway, if you want to come, we've got a few rules to follow. Number one, if we catch you stealing from our supplies, we're tossing you out the airlock without a suit. Number two, insubordination will be treated in a similar fashion. Finally, do not kill the people we're going after unless ordered to, we can't make any money if we hand in a dead crook, more likely than not that'll put a bounty on your head, and believe me when I say I won't have any second thoughts about handing you over to the police and using that money on myself."

Gira paused, took a long, deep breath, then continued. "That's all there is to it, if you didn't like what you just heard, I advise getting the hell out. Any questions? If not, excellent, the quicker we rap this up the quicker we can get moving."

The rules were similar to what Kier'Ran was used to, he approved of the cyborg's reasoning with dead bounties, as he had a similar doctrine, though he was by no means opposed to killing them if they were too unruly.

The smaller of the two smelled of engines, lubricants, and steel, telling Kier'Ran that the outfit he wore was more than just a personal choice or a way to mislead others.His armament was what interested him the most though, the man had a bandolier filled with knives and more than a few grenades, flashbangs, if he remembered right, those had once been a problem since he'd gotten his hearing upgraded first, but with his nose they didn't pose as much of a threat anymore.

The cyborg, Gira, he assumed, if the rumors and talk he had picked up were to be believed, smelled of much the same as Nerin, though to a much lesser degree, as well as having more than a few obvious additional scents from his implants.

So was he driven to replacement through choice or need as I had to?

Kier'Ran picked his satchel up from the ground underneath where he had been sitting,all that was inside were a few little tools he used to make field adjustments on his arm, two of his bolas, and the chain, as well as a few days of dehydrated rations,"Good, one question, we leave from here or meet you at the ship?" He was ready, and if the man was willing to let them on without any questions asked and a long, arduous screening process, then better for both him, the company, and any bounties that were put out.

Mechty withdrew the book and secured it under xer robes, before turning to gaze upon Kier'Ran as an every so slight acknowledgment, but refraining from nodding or anything more respectful after the outburst of bad manners towards Lukaas. It was then that a brutish cybord barged in, making exclamations a little too loud for Mechty's tastes, necessitating a lowering of audio receptor volume. Mechty turned the chair to face this new person, and presumably a second officer following behind. This must be the boss.
Listening to the terms of employment, they were found to be agreeable, so Mechty remained sat in the chair, silence as a show of assent. At least it seemed that the bickering and, as Lukaas had put it, "dick measuring contest", had come to a perceived stop. Mechty shifted in the comfortable chair, and hazarded restoring volume back to full. Even at zero, without a void surrounding, some loud sounds would still get through, but at least having a volume setting made it a bit easier.

Ray couldn't help but chuckle at the girl's misreading of his relationship with Kin. "'Fraid you're mistaken, kid. That woman up there in the bridge ain't my wife, though she sure as hell shouts like she is."

"Ray! You almost finished back there? We're gonna be late!"

"Speak of the devil..." Ray muttered before taking another drink of his near-empty mug of coffee. "Welp, looks like we've alredy docked, so spacin' ya's outta the question. Said you've already been fixin' up 'round this here vessel, have ya? Perhaps ya may be useful yet. God knows Kin's a good pilot, but she sure as hell ain't no miracle worker, I mean this ship's been fallin' to pieces since we first set off. 'Course, it don't sit well with me, havin' a kid young as you 'round here. Y'see, folk like us's what trouble sees fit to find, and we ain't the type to be shyin' away whenever it rears it's big ugly mug. The last thing I need on my conscience is some unfortunate child gettin' killed over our troubles. S'pose it'd be best to consult the woman of the ship afore decidin' what to do with ya. C'mon, time is short meanin' introductions will have to be like so. Speakin' of which, I don't believe I caught your name but you're gonna have to tell me on the move. Oh, and I believe this is yours."

Ray removed the wrench from his pocket and handed it to the girl, then nodded towards the fore of the ship. He started walking out of the engine room, looking back to make sure the girl followed before continuing and calling out, "Hey, Kin! I found what's been movin' in the aft!"

Precis was definitely nervous as she was talked to by who she had assumed was the Captain of the ship. She felt a little bad that she had misinterpreted their relationship but at least they were friendly with each other, in a 'not-married' kinda way. Catching her wrench when he tossed it to her, she didn't hesitate to follow after him. She wanted to get something cleared up herself, so she said. "W-well, firstly, my name is Precis. Precis Armand is my full name though. I guess we're pretty well known on Galatea, but I don't know how far outside the planet the name has spread."

She shrugged a little bit at that before saying. "A-and to clear things up, I might be young, but I'm not as young as you think. I'm nineteen years old, but thanks to..erm..circumstances, I'm in an almost fully cybernetic body. I was in an accident when I was really nine years old, and it left me on the doorstep to the afterlife. Well, the Blue Phoenix gang didn't want the Armand family to disappear, so they 'saved me.' Gave me a full body restoration, so to speak, but they said that I was now 'indebted' to them. I was forced to serve them for nine long years, until you guys showed up. I'm no good with weapons, but I can definitely learn, and while I still have a lot to learn, I'm still a pretty decent mechanic if I do say so myself. I promise I won't be a burden to you or Miss Kinraye either." She realized that she had said Kin's name, so she blushed and said. "I-I kinda overheard your names, and some other stuff, while hiding out in the ducts. I hope you don't mind."

Xion looked at the blue-haired man with a look of grim satisfaction as the tip of his blade was pointed at the man's jugular, right up until he felt a heavy robotic hand latch on to his sword arm. The hand's grip was unyielding, and he could tell by the man that it was attached to, that he would not be released so easily.

"I haven't lived this long simply to be involved in a fight with hilt-happy cubs, boy."

Unwillingly, he lowered the sword from the man's neck. As he did so he felt the mechanical grip of the hand unlock, allowing him to sheathe his sword begrudgingly.

"Consider this a warning then blue boy, watch your tongue around strangers. You can't expect this old wolf to bail you all the time."

He turned to face Kier'ran

"I admire your decisive action, and I can tell you are quite capable... But I'm just letting you know, that if you were to fight me, you wouldn't have to wonder about living so long"

He gave a smile that to show that those words were meant to be as friendly as possible, whilst also not being idle posturing.

Just then he heard a set of heavy footsteps coming from outside the door, proceeded with a loud bang as the door swung open with and almighty force and slammed against the wall.

"God damn it, you're supposed to be professionals, so why the fuck am I getting calls from the owner of this dump about my future employees getting ready to tear up the place?!"

Ahhh... What a pleasant employer...

Xion gave a small snicker before turning to the man and rising his hand slightly.

"Sorry, my bad"

He then saw another man approach from behind the cyborg, who was the one in charge here?
Xion listened to the man's lecture, making sure to not miss any details. As he did so he began to twirl his revolver on his finger in boredom.

...We're hunting down some high profile criminals, I wouldn't count on you making it out alive without any visible damages, if at all."

Just what I like to hear. I guess this trip wasn't a complete waste after all

"Chances are if you're here, it's due to one of three things, either you're suicidal, broke or dumb."

Hmph. Make dumb 'bored', and he's basically got me all figured out.

"Any questions?

Xion holstered his revolver and patted down his jacket.

"Yeah, I've got a question... How are we getting paid? A fixed rate? Or are we splitting the bounty?"

Vane listened to the gruff cyborg bark, the thinner man with the knives standing next to him. There was an elegance to the simplicity of his rules, the simplicity of the bonds of unpretentious men. Not that I would know anything about being unpretentious mused Vane, softly smiling over the thought.

The smaller man, seemed to defer to the larger one, despite looking normal. So not his employer then thought Vane, his eyes sweeping over the man's collection of knifes. Certainly not the employer then. He did seem to be less dour and more affable then his companion, which Vane found to be very attractive.

So far this seemed to be a good day to Vane, he had found a employer, had the remains of a burger and seemed to be in the company of pretty interesting people. He would make an effort to try and record as much information as happened so he could tell future stories.

"Any questions?

"Can I have the first bath?" Vane asked the cyborg. A nice bath would be excellent.

Kinraye continued getting ready while waiting for Ray to finish checking the H/C unit. Yep, definitely gonna be late... She thought, ensuring her revolver was loaded and she had spare shells for it, as well as checking to make sure her blades were concealed by her duster. Hopefully the Blackhearts are somewhat lenient on that topic... I'd hate for this to be just another wasted trip.

She had almost finished gearing up when she heard Ray yell that he'd figured out what was moving in the back of the ship. Sounds like what he found is a bit unusual. Let's hope it won't be too expensive to fix.

... body restoration, so to speak, but they said that I was now 'indebted' to them. I was forced to serve them for nine long years, until you guys showed up. I'm no good with weapons, but I can definitely learn, and while I still have a lot to learn, I'm still a pretty decent mechanic if I do say so myself. I promise I won't be a burden to you or Miss Kinraye either. I-I kinda overheard your names, and some other stuff, while hiding out in the ducts. I hope you don't mind."

Kin damn near jumped out of her boots when she heard a little kid's voice coming closer. Ah great, that's just what we need. She thought, a little vexed that they hadn't noticed the uninvited guest. That must be what Ray found back there, and that explains why he was taking so long... How do we deal with this? Her parents are gonna want her back, and we'll be lucky if we don't end up with a bounty on OUR heads.

"Who did ya find back there, and how did she get on the ship?" Kin asked, trying to keep some of the annoyance out of her voice, but not doing a very good job of it.

"Nice to make your acquaintance, Precis Armand. Name sounds familiar, though when you've been as many places as we have, most any name holds some familiarity to it. And that's quite the story you have, I'm sure Kin'll be quite interes-" Ray had been interrupted, for while he and the girl had been walking and talking, they had ran into Kinraye in the little mess hall where their locker for their gear were kept.

"Who did ya find back there, and how did she get on the ship?"

"Relax, woman, no need to get your britches in a bunch," Ray said in an attempt to quell any unease before it could really set in. "This girl, Precis, hopped aboard as we were busy with that Blue Pheonix business. From the sounds of it, I don't very well think she has any other place to go, 'less you wanna drop her off at the nearest shelter. Though given her talents, from what she claims, I think we could use an extra set of hands to get this bird back to her prime. Sure as hell cheaper'n takin' it into a shop, or scrapin' up credits fer spare parts."

"Now, before you have any objections, let's just let her tag along fer now, least until we find out what's what at this here meetin' we're becomin' increasin'ly late fer." As he was making his opinion clear, Ray scrounged around his locker for his outdoor attire and arms. He slung his rifle over his shoulder, strapped his holstered revolvers to his hips along with his combat knife, then secured his aviators on the bridge of his nose. "So, let's get to it."

Precis gulped a little bit when she was actually face to face with Kin, especially when she didn't seem all too happy about her being on the ship. It was understandable of course, since most crews would be protective of what went on their ships, but she secretly thought of herself as a part of the crew as well! Nervously, she started to make her case to the older woman.

"I-I promise I won't be a burden to you Miss Kin. I'll work more than my weight around the ship, and I won't get in the way either." Gulping once more, she said. "N-not to mention, you must have noticed how much smoother the ship has been running, and that was just from me doing some general maintenance on the engines and some of the systems while you two were asleep." She then pointed to the vents and said. "I even got the cooling and heating up and running again with the last of my spare wiring. I'll be able to do even more with some proper supplies, and I'll do my best to work off anything you have to pay for!" She knew that money was likely important to bounty hunters, so she continued by saying. "I'll even try and learn how to be a bounty hunter like you two. I'll help in any way I can!"

"Relax, woman, no need to get your britches in a bunch. This girl, Precis, hopped aboard as we were busy with that Blue Pheonix business. From the sounds of it, I don't very well think she has any other place to go, 'less you wanna drop her off at the nearest shelter. Though given her talents, from what she claims, I think we could use an extra set of hands to get this bird back to her prime. Sure as hell cheaper'n takin' it into a shop, or scrapin' up credits fer spare parts."
"Now, before you have any objections, let's just let her tag along fer now, least until we find out what's what at this here meetin' we're becomin' increasin'ly late fer. So, let's get to it."

"Ah hell, Ray." Kin said, knowing there was no way she could possibly convince him to do anything but let Precis stay. "You know how well I do with surprises. If that soft spot you have hadn't saved me, I'd say it was gonna get us killed... But, we have been in the market for a third hand to keep the Aurora space worthy. I guess she can stay for now."

Kin started to make her way to the landing ramp, but was interrupted when Precis started to try and further convince her to allow the girl to stay.

"I-I promise I won't be a burden to you Miss Kin. I'll work more than my weight around the ship, and I won't get in the way either. N-not to mention, you must have noticed how much smoother the ship has been running, and that was just from me doing some general maintenance on the engines and some of the systems while you two were asleep. I even got the cooling and heating up and running again with the last of my spare wiring. I'll be able to do even more with some proper supplies, and I'll do my best to work off anything you have to pay for! I'll even try and learn how to be a bounty hunter like you two. I'll help in any way I can!"

"I'm sure you'll do fine, kid." She said, stopping just long enough to hear Precis out. "Just keep the ship in good repair, stay out of trouble, and leave the fighting to us for now. If you're still interested after you see what we have to go through, then we'll talk about teaching you to fight."

"If you're ready, Ray, we really should get going. No way in hell we're gonna be able to get there on time now, but better late than never." With that, Kin started down the ramp and towards the Red Giant Cafe.

"Consider this a warning then blue boy, watch your tongue around strangers."
What a little douche.
"You can't expect this old wolf to bail you all the time."
Trust me, boy, I don't need no old man to save my ass.
Shoren kept these thoughts to himself though; better not to have Mr Short Fuse flip out again. Despite that sort temper, the man had unsheathed his weapon remarkably fast, faster than most people could draw a handgun, let alone a full length sword. Clearly this Xion character was very skilled with that katana, and that would come in useful if he could be controlled.

When the Blackhearts finally arrived, Shoren remained just as quiet. They might see such silence as a sign of stupidity, but Shoren didn't really care to much as long as he got paid. Besides, if they cared to do a background check, they would discover quiet the opposite. Then again, Shoren didn't think he really wanted them knowing about his past, especially that incident above Rorcher VI. Not that it was incriminating or anything, he just preferred to keep such things to himself.

"If you're ready, Ray, we really should get going. No way in hell we're gonna be able to get there on time now, but better late than never."

"That's debatable," Ray muttered before turning to Precis. "C'mon Li'l Miss, time to drink from the serrated, rusted and blood-covered spitoon of life for a taste of the fermented pigswill known as the bounty huntin' business. First part of it all: meetin' the cold, callous sumbitch what's gonna sign your, or in this case our, paycheck."

Having put it so eloquently, Ray ushered Precis down the ship's ramp before descending himself, then followed Kin as she led them to the Red Giant Café. The hydrolic suspensions hissed as the ramp was lifted, shutting the ship as its former occupants ventured down the sprawling walkways of the Tanra Station.

Precis was definitely happy that she had been accepted into the crew, but she had no idea what this meeting was about. She was likely sleeping when they had talked about it, but it still made her a little worried. What if it was supposed to be a private meeting between them? She shook that thought away quickly, since they wouldn't have brought her with if they had intended on keeping it secret. She couldn't help but feel that she was the reason that they were late though.

Walking alongside Kin, she said with a hint of nervousness in her voice. "Umm..Miss Kin? W-was I the reason you two are late? I'm really sorry if I am!"

"Good, one question, we leave from here or meet you at the ship?"

"I personally don't give a damn," Gira muttered, "just get to the ugly, rusted ship with the company logo painted on the side at the far side of the station in three hours. If you're late, too bad, we're going to leave your ass behind."

"Yeah, I've got a question... How are we getting paid? A fixed rate? Or are we splitting the bounty?"

"We'll be splitting the bounties, though percentages will be taken from your cut in order to cover rent, fuel, utilities and repair costs. If we get a few higher profile criminals, you can expect a fairly fat cut provided you don't cause too much collateral damage. Whatever you make is yours to keep and spend on whatever you want, though we don't exactly have much of an insurance policy, so putting some of it away for a rainy day might be a good idea."

---

As Gira answered questions, Nerin took it upon himself to more closely examine some of the new recruits. He nonchalantly walked about the crowd, scanning over each and every one of the bounty hunters, until he soon came across a particular individual, encased in an orange shell. The figure was somewhat unnerving, its features hidden underneath its metallic form, though its menacing appearance only served to peak the mechanic's curiosity.

"What are you, exactly?" Nerin inquired, a puzzled look plastered across his face.

"Good, I hate staying in one place for a long time, three hours should about do it. See you there as soon as I find it."

Kier'Ran walked past the engineer and sniffed him and Gira once, to more easily find the ship. He'd found that each ship had a unique scent to it, and that the smell of the crew more often than not contributed to it and the ship itself contributed to the crew's scents. A sharp, tangy scent entered his nostrils and he followed it back to the source at the docks. The ship was much better than most Hunter ships he'd been on, and a bit worse for wear compared to a handful. There on the hull, plastered almost cavalier, was the symbol of the Blackhearts.

While searching for the ship he saw what he first believed to be a family exiting their own ship, but after noticing their posture and gait, saw that they were either mercenaries or ex-military, probably hunters too, considering that their outfits didn't match and that they had a child with them. Kier'Ran's eyes followed them and stared right back when all three looked at him, pure white hair was an oddity in most places he'd been to, though he received much less attention now that he'd gotten older than when he had just been starting out on the Jorral Tirran.

"Umm..Miss Kin? W-was I the reason you two are late? I'm really sorry if I am!"

"It was mostly not your fault..." Kin responded, trying to remember the quickest route to the cafe. "I miscalculated the time it would take to get clearance to land. A little more traffic than I anticipated today."

She led them down another street, finally seeing the Red Giant Cafe ahead of them. Kin entered the building, and asked the barkeep where the conference room was. Nodding her thanks, she headed to the room, hoping that the meeting wasn't completely over with yet.

Upon entering, she saw a rather large group of people in the room. Not being able to quickly determine who was in charge, Kin simply asked the room: "Is this the Blackheart recruitment meeting? If so, sorry we're late, had a bit of a hard time getting clearance to land."

"What are you, exactly?"

Mechty turned to face the perplexed looking second officer. Unless the audio receptors were faulty again, xe hadn't heard either of the new bosses introduce themselves by name.
Mechty tilted xer head in an approximation of a confused look, and materialised a gauntlet to point at the weapons hung across himself, and several others present.
It was true enough that Mechty was a weapon. After all, hadn't they just effectively started to lease xer out as such?
Xe hoped that was enough of an answer, otherwise a more dramatic course of action might be needed. Mechty watched over Nerin's shoulder as one of the rude recruits, Kier'Ran, walked out. Rather early, considering there were three hours until departure. Xe would rather stay here, since here is where Lukaas still was for now. Staying around him would nicely divert any social happenings, and it seemed they had already reached something of an understanding. Mechty would just make gestures, and Lukaas would do all the talking. All of it. There could be nothing wrong with that.

When the angry boss type entered and started shouting out the rules and comments, Lukaas grabed a notepad and pen from inside his jacket, he began taking notes. It was the standard speech you give newbies. Don't steal our stuff, don't disobey, etc.

"What are you, exactly?"

Looking up from his notes, Lukaas noticed the other man, the second in command likely, speaking to Mechty. In typical fashion, the creature in the suit pointed at the mans weapons and several other's. After a few seconds confused, Lukaas thought he solved the riddle of the Orange Man.

"Yeah, that one doesn't talk much. Medical condition, I believe. What Mechty is trying to say is that he..she...it is trying to say is that it is just like you or me. Just without that pesky thing called "emotions" and a "personality". By the way, if your next question is who am I, you can call me Lukaas Kammeal."

Vane was very annoyed that the angry cyborg didn't mention the bath.Think tranquil thoughts, be calm. As irritating as this was he gritted his teeth and let the slight pass.

There was a crowd gathering over the orange thing. As queer as the thing was, Vane felt no real compulsion to find out too much about this creature.

Turning his head he saw what seemed like a family unit, a man, woman and child enter the room.

Is this the Blackheart recruitment meeting? If so, sorry we're late, had a bit of a hard time getting clearance to land."

The woman's question was like a probe, tentatively spoken but with a underlying intent that Vane could not yet determine. Being nothing if not courteous, Vane moved towards them, placing his hands together, his thumbs tucked in and his fingers pointing outwards and gracefully moving in an erratic fashion.

"This is the place, my friends" intoned Vane, his voice taking on a much softer tone. It would not do to scare the child.

On the southern side of the station, stood a single, inconspicuous man, with thin, gray hairs and a pair of circular spectacles sitting atop his short nose. The man was unthreatening, both old and decrepit, appearing more akin to a corporate suit than anything else. He was surrounded on all sides, alone in the chaotic mess of criminal rabble that comprised that station's populace, remarkable amongst the rest of the artificial world's ilk for his complete and utter commonness, hidden beneath the veil of madness the installation provided him. In offhand, dangling loosely from his fingertips, was a plain, black suitcase, which few would give little more than a passing glance.

A weak though maniacal smile crept up his lips as he slowly but surely made his way through the crowd, pushing towards the primary communications tower of the station, his beaming with excitement and anticipation. Soon judgment would start, thought the feeble man, and he would be free to judge the station as the wretched hive he knew it was.

---

The man approached the tower, standing in the shadow of its monolithic structure and form. He sauntered towards the tower, nonchalantly, aware that, as an employee, his appearance would not come as a shock to either the personal nor the robotic security units. A crowd of younger, fresher employees left the building, waving at their older coworker.

"Good evening, Mr. Saunderi!" Chirped one of the android's manning the door. "It's a pleasure to see you ag-"

"Shut it." The man responded, scowling.

"Yes, sir! Have a good day, sir!"

And, with that brief encounter, Mr. Saunderi entered the tower and ducked into the elevator, and opened his baggage. In the unassuming, black case, sat two devices, both of which equally terrifying. The first was a short, compactable sniper rifle, loaded with explosive, armor piercing rounds; the other was a portable computer with a virus which, when given a means of transmitting itself across the station, would infect all robotic constructs within a thirteen miles radius, causing them to recognize all life aboard the station as combatants.

Of course, there was still the matter of the non-mechanized security personal guarding the building , though he doubted a handful of hired soldiers would pose an issue for him. A mere issue of evasion, careful elimination and disposal of the corpses, he assumed, not a challenge for someone with prior special forces training.

---

"Is this the Blackheart recruitment meeting? If so, sorry we're late, had a bit of a hard time getting clearance to land."

Gira turned his head towards the recent arrival, prepared to chew them out for their tardiness, though caught himself before he could do so upon noticing the group's unusual composition. There were two older individuals, one female and one male, both of which appearing very much like the countless other bounty hunters the cyborg had worked with, although the third member was something of a curiosity, seeming to be little more than an adolescent.

His optical enhancement, however, picked up heat signatures similar to the signatures belonging to those possessing an excessive amount of cybernetic augmentations.

Maybe she's not as young as she looks...

"Yeah, it is..." Gira answered after a moment of hesitation, dumbfounded. "And don't worry about it, shit happens..."

---

"Yeah, that one doesn't talk much. Medical condition, I believe. What Mechty is trying to say is that he..she...it is trying to say is that it is just like you or me. Just without that pesky thing called "emotions" and a "personality". By the way, if your next question is who am I, you can call me Lukaas Kammeal."

Nerin glanced at the cowboy, examining his outfit and his speech patterns, and smiled lightly.

"Well, it's very interesting, whatever it is." Nerin responded, glancing at the unusual figure. "I'd normally suggest cutting it open and giving it a look, but I feel like it might object, so I'm not going to try."

Nerin chuckled lightly, then turned his attention back to Lukaas. "In any case, it's a pleasure to meet you, Lukaas. I'm sure you already know who I am. If not, Nerin Sanaa, second in command, at your service."

"It is a huge honor to be of your acquaintance, Nerin. When I had my own ship, I strived to be in the same league as the Blackhearts."

While making friendlies with the second in command, Lukaas made a mental reminder to offer Nerin a job once the he's back in buisness. He looks competent enough.

"Is there anything else that needs discussing or can we follow the lea of Mr.Keir'Ran? I've got some supplies to gather before we depart."

"This is the place, my friends"

"Excellent!" Kin began in response, somewhat relieved that they had apparently made it before the meeting was over. She was unable to continue her response before another spoke up.

"Yeah, it is... And don't worry about it, shit happens..."

Kin was pleasantly surprised by the lack of a browbeating by the man who she assumed was the leader of the Blackhearts. We must have caught him at a good time. Most of these companies are real sticklers for punctuality. "Thank you for your understanding." She began. "If you're still willing to sign on, I have to ask if your ship has hangars bays, and if it does, are they large enough to handle a small transport? I'm only asking so I can make arrangements to have it stored if there isn't room."

She used the moments while she waited for an answer to look the crowd over. She noticed that the person in the orange enviro suit seemed to be an object of much curiosity to the other occupants of the room, and everyone else seemed like your standard ragtag group of bounty hunters. Kin resisted the urge to walk over there as well, mainly out of respect for its privacy.

"This is the place, my friends"

"Well, thank ya kindly, pardner," Ray said with a smile and a tip of his hat in appreciation before introducing himself along with the rest of the crew. "Name's Ray'skel, though you can just call me Ray. The ol' gal what spoke up is Kinraye, though I'm sure she won't mind just bein' called Kin. And the youngest and latest addition to our little travelin' band is Precis. Pleased to meet ya."

As Ray looked around the meeting, it was apparant there was quite the odd assortment of people enlisting for this job. He wasn't used to working in such large groups, but judging from what little information they recieved on the matter, the Blackhearts seemed to big reaching out as far and wide as they could. It was understandable why there'd be a considerable number of recruits, but just the diversity among them was something to behold.

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