The ORION Files (Closed/Started)

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A rundown 'drift' station, located at the border of the Terran Grand Republic's sphere of control and the start of the Outer Colonies freedom and independence; the station was one of the first to be constructed along the border, meant be a rest and refuelling point for starships travelling between the regions. Over the years it has changed hands many times, sometimes for the better, sometimes not, so it now a mishmash of a station with odd additions here and there, housing merchants that cater to whatever needs a weary Spacer has.

The most famous of all these add-on was the 'Warden's Tooth', a seedy bar housed in the bow section of an old GRN cruiser that had been added to the station a little over a century ago. Most business on the station was conducted there, partially because it boasted a wide array of intoxicants, and partially because it had a few secure VIP sections for meetings. The dim light room was filled with people of all shapes and sizes, most were human, but there were a few aliens mixed in with the crowd, as waitresses went around, filling out orders or getting another round. At the counter a robotic bartender was making another drink for a human, who already seemed to be quite drunk.

Vid screen displays were dotted about, playing different things; some patrons watching the screens had headsets so they could listen without being disturbed by the music in the background, while others just stared at the images. Most screens were displaying sports, both human and non-human, such as the Shuttle Racing League, while a few were showing the local galactic news.

A patron lurched to his feet with a loud yell. "FUCKING HELL, lost AGAIN!" He was watching the SRL, and the last race had just finished. The broadcast showed the winner, 'Blue Hawk', who was waving to the crowd as he took a victory lap; nearby the news broadcast was running the lead story about how a luxury cruise liner had still not made port, and was now three days overdue. The liner had had roughly 500,000 passengers on board, and there were concerns that it had been attacked by pirates.

On second floor was the VIP section. There were ten different rooms, each large enough to fit at least fifteen people. Some were in use, while others were still open. A sign flicked above one of the occupied rooms. "Merc ship looking for crew. Pay depends on jobs taken."

---

Inside said room, was Rick Walker, Captain of an old goods hauler named 'Sweet Child of Mine'. He also ran the Outer Ring Initiative Operations Network, or ORION, Company; a small mercenary that plied its trade anywhere across known space. In his hands was a bottle of ale as he sat comfortably in his seat;
Beside him was the Sweety's Chief Engineer, and paranoid junker, Pit. He was a little over five feet tall, and wore a dark brown robe over his black spacesuit. His helmet was solid with cameras mounted to provide vision, and completely hide his face; the helmet also scrambled his voice so it sounds like a bunch of nonsense, only someone with the right descrambler frequency could understand what he was saying.

Pit looked over at Walker. "Ez cha sah cah Ca Ma Kamak." Walker sighed and took a swish of his ale, before setting the bottle down. "Anyone would be better then the last crew..."

<<< Mar >>>
Terran Grand Republic Territory Border | Drift Station | Warden's Tooth Bar
"Always bet on the fatter shuttles, they have a bigger power plant."

Sitting at the bar with four eyes locked on the nearest screen display, a young female Shree had also been watching the race that was the cause of the angry yell from what sounded like a Terran behind her. She was wearing a dark jacket over her orange thermal enviro-suit made of synthetic materials meant to simulate leather along with fur around the collar and cuffs. The image of one of the nastiest looking fish one could imagine on was emblazoned the back, teal on a red background. Beneath, it said "DEVIL-FISH #66" in a variety of languages.

She shook her head as she saw the end of the race and murmured something under her breath. Mar wasn't really surprised that "Blue Hawk" had won, since she had raced them before. They were good, almost as good as her, she thought with a small smile that showed a glimpse of needle-sharp teeth. Standing up, she tucked three of her four arms into various pockets and stepped away, but with one true-hand she patted the angry patron's shoulder in a gesture of sympathy. Then she headed up to the second level of the bar.

Really, seedy little dives like that weren't her style. Too quiet, the music was for shit, and the drinks were usually too strong for her tastes. Of course, the fact that they were too strong for her, a Shree, which was a species that got intoxicated on other things than alcohol, usually meant that they were just right for other species, like Terrans. No, she preferred the club scene. It was louder, brighter, had more... Life.

But, she wasn't there to relax, but to find the next paying job, only to get caught up watching the SRL. Places like this were pretty reliable when it came to looking for odd jobs for shifty people. Once she stepped onto the second level, she scanned the signs above the doors and found the one she wanted: "Merc Ship looking for crew. Pay depends on jobs taken."

Wasting no more time, she opened the door and stepped inside, raising a true-hand in a Terran-styled wave.

"Hey there," she said, her voice lightly distorted as it was filtered through the translator on her neck, "If you're still looking for crew, specifically a pilot, I'm for hire. Name's Mar."

The Orion Files | Drift Station | The Warden's Tooth
"Bureaucracy, Booze and Beatings..."
Irina Rostikova | Edward Aubergine

Irina Rostikova sighed as she settled down on the worn down and tattered bar stool, a pint of Firekkan Fire Water Ale fizzling away in front of her. Though she'd been on the station for nearly 2 hours, this was the first moment of rest that she'd gotten since she and her partner had landed. The Catican Technician briefly wondered if the sluggishness characteristic of every Customs Agent for the Terran Grand Republic was a job requirement or if it was something that drummed into them during training. She did have to admit that they did do a fairly thorough search of the Redeemer, having removed roughly 75% of the ship's organic armor plating, removed every wall panel from the cargo hold and nearly dismantled the ship's jump drive. Despite the comprehensive nature of his inspection, he never noticed the GFM[1] Device plugged into the Redeemer's power plant.

Taking a sip of her drink, Irina took a look at her surroundings, absently wondering how it was that she'd wound up on a backwater station such as this. While this wasn't the first time that she'd been aboard a Terran space station, this was by far, the most dilapidated. The fact that she had paid nearly twice the typical amount for a pint of Firekkan Fire Water Ale was proof of this, however the sensation of the fizzing and popping bubbles against her whiskers was definitely worth it. Sighing with contentment, the female Catican pulled out the data pad from its case on her belt and placed it on the bar, the holographic display firing up as it ran through its startup routines, namely scanning a block of predefined communications frequencies.

A little less than 950 Standard Terran years ago, humans discovered a form of electro-magnetic radiation that could be utilized to transmit data. Dubbed radio waves, the discovery was used to facilitate the transmission of everything from battlefield communications to civilian communications to encrypted computer communications. Of interest to Irina was its use as a means to transmit old Terran entertainment signals. It was through the detection of these signals that the Catican Hegemony became aware of the Terran Home world, even going so far as to slip Catican observers on their planet. While they did their best to blend in with the Terran feline population, the Catican observers were soon recalled after several incidents with their Terran hosts that ranged from being overly demanding to spending more time sleeping than observing.

Of course, the historical importance of the Terran radio signals was not what interested the Feline-esque technician rather it was the contents of these radio transmissions. Perhaps it was because the female Catican was more closely related to Terrans at the genetic level or the fact that she was naturally curious but her Creator had noticed that Irina Rostikova had taken a peculiar interest in all things Terran, especially Terran music.

The data pad beeped as it detected the presence of Terran radio signals that had traveled the 800 or so light years from Terra to this backwater station. Analyzing the signals, Irina was delighted to find that the radio emanations were from the Terran year 2005.

Tapping a clawed hand in time to the music, the Catican never noticed the large shadow that appeared behind her until it took the seat next to her's, or rather scooted the stool over. The massive seven foot tall Catican male huffed as he ordered a drink, a Terran whiskey. Eyeing the tiny 30 milliliter glass that the drink had come in, Edward Aubergine raised the right eyebrow of this central pair of eyes before ordering a larger glass of Terran whiskey instead of the kitten sized version. Throwing the glass back, the massive four armed alien drink cheap liquor in a single gulp.

"Ahh..." The Casteless warrior ahh'd, delighted at the inferno that the barely filtered liquid left in his throat, "I have completed the purchase of fuel rods for the Redeemer, though the dishonorable dock master attempted to sell me far more than the Eight Eights that I requested."

The smaller of the two Casteless Caticans sighed as she looked at her less than culturally aware comrade.

"You're aware, Edward, that humans have two more digits than the standard Catican," Irina started to say, as she displayed the five digits on her right hand for Edward to see, "Like us, they use a numerical system based on the number of digits on their hands and as a result your Eight Eights, which is Sixty Four in human terms, was probably translated to Eighty Eight."

Irina's partner growled at the bartender before he gestured at the empty glass. The Terran, not wanting to be bothered with a race on, placed the entire bottle of Terran whiskey in front of his colossal customer.

"Be that as it may, Raav-" Edward started to say, almost giving away Irina's true name to the universe.

"Irina!" Irina interrupted with a hiss of disbelief. Even if they were now members of the Casteless, their true names were still never to revealed to outsiders.

"Be that as it man, Rin, we are now running low on credits and if we are, as you are thinking, to pay back our debts to our creator, we will need to find employment. With the Redeemer now fully stocked with fuel rods, we can make it to an outpost that has more opportunities..." The Pile of Purple Fur knocked back another drink, "And better drink."

Irina's tail swished back and forth in annoyance as she considered the possibilities. If they were to get into the merchant business, it was more than likely that they would run into fellow Caticans, who would undoubtedly report their presence to the Hegemony and after... what had happened... the Hegemony would be out for both her's and her partner's blood. The only way out of it would be to pay off their debt, become full Catican citizens in and attempt to stave off any attempts on their lives via the prosecutorial amnesty that citizenry enjoyed. This meant that it would be safer to work with others who were not be acquainted with either her nor Edward or had potentially frequent contact with the Catican Hegemony.

As the female Catican's tail continued to swish back and forth a rough pair of hands grabbed it before grabbing onto the woman's shoulder, causing Irina to hiss in both surprise and outrage. Turning on the offender the woman with the cat ears and cat tail glared at the drunken human.

"He---hey baaybee--- I jusss won me a buncha creds--- how muuush fur a night with uuuuu?" Ensign Nathaniel Cray asked, swaying on his feet, unaware that if someone didn't interject on his behalf, the murderously eggplant purple pile of shag carpet standing next to him would be throwing him out of the nearest airlock.

[1] Gravitational Flux Modulation

Earlier

Mary yawned and stretched as she woke, her carbine rattling against the inside of the cockpit as she moved about. Sure she could've gotten a room somewhere on the station, but she wanted to keep an eye on 'Misha' and 'Stumpy', who was still in his cargo crate; it wasn't that she didn't trust station security but ... actually that was it. She didn't trust station security in the slightest, so she'd slipped into the hanger she'd landed in and spent the night sleeping lightly in the fighter's cockpit.

Sliding the carbine back into its compartment, she popped the canopy and dropped to the deck with a thud. Rummaging about and pulling some 'Ready Rations' from one of the craft's small gear bins, she ate and did a quick visual inspection of her stuff, before throwing a jacket on over the flight suit she was wearing, and heading for the main part of the station.

As she walked through the crowds, she smiled to herself at the number of people who stared at her augs; it's not like individuals with prosthetic limbs were rare or anything, especially out here, but so many of them tried to hide the fact, like they were trying to pretend their injury never happened. She took a much more different approach to things; the right arm, and both legs, of her flight suit and the right arm jacket were gone, though the suit had a fancy electro-molecular bonding strips on the arm and legs that allowed it to still seal vacuum tight when needed.

--

Stepping through the doors of the Warden's Tooth, she smiled; while the bar wasn't nearly as rough as she was used to, this was far more her speed. Despite its shabby appearance, the whole station was nicer than her old haunts. Nobody had tried to explicitly rob her, there were few bullet holes in the walls, and she'd yet to have to step over a dead body. Weaving her way through the crowd, she headed towards the stairs to the VIP area, the local 'net had a posting about a merc ship looking for crew, and she was in need of some semi-legit work...at least until she was sure there was nobody still gunning for her after what went down at NPR.

"He---hey baaybee--- I jusss won me a buncha creds--- how muuush fur a night with uuuuu?"

There was a commotion beside her, as some drunk accosted a cat-lady, while her massive purple companion looked about forty kinds of pissed off. Normally she'd let nature take its course and the galaxy would be free of one more drunk idiot; but here and now, if that purple mountain killed this moron, Security would have to get involved and that may very well scare off this job prospect.

Coming up behind the drunk, she placed her right hand on the back of his neck, with her thumb and fingers on either side, then began to slowly squeeze quite hard. The drunk twitched as soon as he felt the silicon pads of the palm of her right hand, and letting go of the furry woman, he tried to turn towards Mary, but her grip prevented that. Once he'd let go, and she was sure she had a firm hold, Mary's left arm snapped towards him, and she drove her fist into his left kidney with enough force to break a couple of his floating ribs.

The man's eyes wen wide and blank as pain beyond anything he thought possible overrode his nerves. He tried to scream, but the only sounds he could manage was a strained little wheezing; the only part of his body not locked by the pain was his bladder, and soon a dark stain began to spread from his crotch and down his legs.

Maintaining the grip on his neck, Mary gripped his left arm at the elbow with her left hand, and began to push the staggering mass of human shaped pain towards the exit. Around her she could hear the murmur of the other patrons, some laughed, others boasted that they'd've kicked her as if she'd tired that with them, while most just watched in silence. Guiding the man though the doorway as it slid open automatically upon their approach, she then let him go with a small push, causing him to stagger forwards a few paces...which as just enough space for her to shift all her weight to her left leg, raise her right leg up high enough to plant it in the small of his back, and then kick as hard as she could. Leaving him face down in a pile of trash, and in more pain than he thought possible, she returned to her original mission.

Breezing past the sight of the initial altercation without even a side glance, she bounded upstairs to the VIP room where the recruiting was supposed to be going on. Rapping to the door as she stepped through, she gave a rather cocky grin to the three individuals inside. "Well I see you've already got the muscle, so who about some talent? 'Red' Mary Williams, or 'Red' for short. I'm a Grandy Navy trained fighter jock with my own ship and an infantry support walker that I can bring to the table. I can handle maintenance on my own, so you don't need to have anyone from the ship babysit me. That said, and in the interest of full disclosure, there is a potential sticking point...I spent the just shy of thirty years as a pirate."

There was a series of whirrs and clicks from her right arm, as the outside of her forearm opened to reveal a built in pistol. Keeping the arm in a non-threatening position, she made sure she could see all three individuals without turning her head. "If that's going to be a problem, just say so and I'll be on my way...just please don't try anything rash."

On the whole, the general quietness of space was usually disturbing to a number of intelligent species. Sound is an important aspect of their lives, after all. You couldn't really get on without it. It was your early warning system, guaranteed to save your life if you were capable of acting upon it, thanks to that second half of the 'system', survival instincts. Most species didn't like being without it in space, so their proximity alarms and attack warnings were usually tailored to give their ears sort of a surround-sound kind of warning of things incoming. When nothing was going on, though, it was quiet, and Elliot actually liked it that way. It allowed him to concentrate on what he was doing, really. He could already see and appreciate the urgency of all the alarms, but he tended not to have them blaringly loud because of how distracting that could be.

Still, when nothing's going on, you've got nothing to pay attention to, and so you're either relaxing, pre-occupied with something else, or bored out of your mind. Elliot didn't get bored easy. It wasn't in his nature. He could keep up a decent focus, no problem. It had something to do with - despite all evidence to the contrary - not being human. All the biology was there and the brain worked, but it was really just a shift of the form. It was one that he liked, but in no way was Elliot Gratsky a human being. He simply made him up one day and decided to stick with it. He liked the challenge of the act, of doing things the human way. So, he was monitering the console and the expanse of space before him.

One of them had to be at the Archer's controls at all times, in case of emergency. At least, while they were en route anywhere. It prevented disaster. With he - the dark halred ex-soldier-looking dude - essentially on moniter duty, it meant that Grace was either sleeping or - more likely - checking her equipment and practicing her fight maneuvers. Grace was also not human, and equally not really Grace. It was hardly the secret identity that he had taken unto himself, more of a separation from whatever family she didn't want to talk about that Elliot never asked about. So, the score is one Amasi, one Ignis, no humans at all. They were a prospective mercenary team of essentially TWO looking for either work or more people or both.

The constant search for work and a willingness to go pursue and/or kill whatever people wanted for money - Hey, it's work. Let's not be picky - generally kept them in the black. Not always, but the only principles that Elliot worried about for the most part was feasibility, in terms of their own logistics and the client's ability to pay. They had done a number of things, and Grace rarely showed any objections. Actually, she hardly had opinions at all on the matter. Since he had a good head for tactical thinking, she tended to follow his lead, for the most part. It was only when it was important that the white-haired Ignis spoke up. To be honest, Elliot was hoping to get her to show a little more initiative, even though very little of what he did bothered her. Kinda' the reason he decided to make her a full partner.

Well, that's enough about them. The Archer was making its way to this drift station... It didn't have any official name on it. It was just an improvised ramshackle gathering of whatever they could weld together fast enough. It had a few nicknames, of course, like 'Rust Bucket' or 'Station POS'. Elliot maneuvered the gunship in for docking when he noticed something, a sleek and possibly dangerous-looking vessel, which rang up as the Devil-Fish. Wait a minute... He called Grace up to the front area of the ship. She arrived with barely a sound. Seriously, it was really hard to even hear her coming. It came so naturally, even though her abilities were more along the lines of light and perception, not sound and vibrations.

"The Devil-Fish. Isn't that a pirate vessel?"

She shook her head.

"That's the Devil Ray, Elliot. Devil-Fish is a racer."

"Just checking. Didn't want a case where a known pirate stole a designation to throw people off."

Forging a ship ID was the equivalent of stealing a person's license plate in the 20th Century, completely possible and usually to ill effect for the legitimate owner. The Archer docked and the two of them stepped out into the station. Grace tended to wear her sneak suit alot while away from the ship. Elliot was sporting a lower profile combat armor than his Paladin Armor right now, tucked under a dark jacket. They were both armed, but not a heavy load-out right now. If they needed anything, the ship was ready, willing, and able to impart it onto them. It was a secure vessel, Terran military fixer-upper with some custom work done on the interior. You wouldn't board her easily. They settled into the Warden's Tooth, where Elliot ordered a drink, and then Grace pointed out the sign regarding a merc ship.

"Merc ship, though. Looks like they're looking to fill up some lockers, and we've got a whole ship of our own. Dunno, Grace. Lemme see what else is going 'round, then we'll see."

The chances of there being much in the way of happenings here, though, was small. This was a midpoint between here and there. Any action going on here, was usually in relation to something going on somewhere else. It might be worth looking into, it might not. Anything could happen.

Just when Walker was going to say something towards Mar, an another woman just came bursting through the door. Seeming a bit eager to boost about herself a bit. Though the name caught his attention quickly enough. He set his ale down and sat back to take this all in. He didn't know much about Mar but he does indeed need a pilot, ever since the last one..well lets not discuss that. Though he was odd to see Sheer so far out here, but then again, this is near the edge of the TGR sphere of influence.

Just as he was about to address the two ladies in front of him, Pit started talking quiet fast and it seems a bit...piss off? "CHI CHA AZALA BAKAD CHE HIA CJADHA." Before Pit could go any further, Walker put his left hand up to stop him and said, "Slow down Pit. I can't fucking understand you when you talk this fast.." Walker rub the descrambler piece in his ear. After Pit slowed down and told Walker what was wrong Walker sighed. "Well before I say anything about you two joining the crew. Names Rick Walker..and this little..annoying junker is Pit." Walker said as he look over at Mary. "He says don't touch his ship." Though everyone could tell that Pit probably said it much more insulting way from how he acted.

"Anyways, I don't know much about you Mar but you sound way more professional then the last pilot I hired..though before I hired you on I would like to see some of your skills. If you don't mind." Walker said before grabbing his Ale and taking a swing of it once more. Setting down the now empty bottle as he turn his eyes on Mary. "Red Mary..I heard about you. Almost got assign a job in my Black Ops days in the TGR to come and bring you in." Walker chuckle, "Though someone else got picked for the job. Anyways from word of mouth you're pretty good in a fight and I think we might need someone like that."

From the side Pit was grumbling to himself. Walker sighed and looked at the Junker. "If you are going to complain, at least do it while getting me another." He handed the Junker his empty bottle. Pit got up and started complaining in his scramble up voice. Walking between the two women and handing to the bar.

"Well while we wait, you two can take a seat and tell me more about yourselves." Walker gesture to the seats in the large VIP room. Not wanting to let them stand there all day long.

VELKA

Velka looked around the decrepit station as she stepped off the transport that brought her here as the scarf she wore hung loosely around her; this place had certainly seen better days, was probably a nice place to live and work back in its heydey, but time and the constant changing of hands both high and low had brought her beauty down, and cracks were forming everywhere. She had come to this 'Drift Station' after receiving a random invitation to come here by the mercenary group known as ORION Company.

Searching her memory core, the name produced several hits; mostly from some notorious work they had done, which made her wonder why they wanted Velka given their reputation. The simplest answer to this was likely because they had heard of Velka's own reputation, and wanted someone of her talent, and dare we say unique appearance for themselves, and she was happy to oblige them, for now at the very least. But simplest wasn't always the correct one.

Anyway, the invitation stated that she was to come to this station, head to the... establishment known as The Warden's Tooth, and proceed up to its V.I.P Rooms; the place must have been either popular or wealthy enough to afford something like that. Making her way through some of the crowds that milled about the port area, she got her share of strange looks and curious glances; the same kind of look she received anywhere, not ones of disgust, but intrigue. Here she was, a walking talking, cybernetics freak's wet dream, out and about for all to see. A few were probably wondering where they could get some augments like hers, well they'd have to travel pretty far to get them.

Arriving at the entryway to The Warden's Tooth, what first caught Velka's attention was the absolute mess of a man laying face down in a pile of trash. Based on how he laid in a crumpled heap, he'd be needing a fair bit of medical attention, along with plenty of mental therapy to bring them back up to speed. Passing through the automatic door, she headed straight towards her destination. Up in the V.I.P area, she followed the telltale sounds of conversation, arriving at the open room, she leant against the door frame and knocked on it a couple times, waiting with her arms crossed.

<<< Mar >>>
Terran Grand Republic Territory Border | Drift Station | Warden's Tooth Bar, VIP Room
"Don't need to tell me twice."

It was no real surprise that the young Shree wasn't the only one looking for questionable work for what hoped to be decent pay. When another female, Terran this time, stepped in, Mar only gave her a second glance due to her very obvious cybernetics. Not because they seemed repulsive, as some might see them, or because of any particular interest in them since she was far more focused on ships and flying. No, it was because they reminded him of a Terran Mechanic with more than a few obviously-mechanical enhancements of his own.

The woman grinned, obviously confident in herself if Mar could read her human expressions right.

"Well I see you've already got the muscle, so who about some talent? 'Red' Mary Williams, or 'Red' for short. I'm a Grandy Navy trained fighter jock with my own ship and an infantry support walker that I can bring to the table. I can handle maintenance on my own, so you don't need to have anyone from the ship babysit me. That said, and in the interest of full disclosure, there is a potential sticking point...I spent the just shy of thirty years as a pirate."

At the mention of having been a pirate, Mar's four eyes immediately narrowed into dangerous slits when she turned her gaze toward 'Red' Mary. Even with her show of pulling out a hold-out pistol from her prosthetic arm, the Shree's glare didn't exactly lessen.

"If that's going to be a problem, just say so and I'll be on my way...just please don't try anything rash."

The next to speak was the robed being next to what was presumably the one recruiting them. The Terran, a male, had to either be the leader of this mercenary expedition, or a trusted representative. But the one next to him... She couldn't quite tell what species they were. They could have been human, for all she knew, but it was hard to be sure, what with the fact that they were completely covered and their voice was so heavily scrambled. The man next to him though seemed to understand what they said, once they said it a little slower.

"Well before I say anything about you two joining the crew. Names Rick Walker..and this little..annoying junker is Pit. He says don't touch his ship."

That last bit was pointedly addressed to the ex-pirate, something that immediately began to endear Pitt to the four-armed female. The fact that neither of them liked pirates was at least something they had in common. Then Walker turned to look at her.

"Anyways, I don't know much about you Mar but you sound way more professional then the last pilot I hired..though before I hired you on I would like to see some of your skills. If you don't mind."

Mar's lips spread into her own grin when he said that, and she slipped her hands from her pockets and shrugged. The human gesture was quite exaggerated on the Shree.

"I don't mind at all. Though, if you happen to follow the SRL at all, you may already know about me. I flew the Devil-Fish, Number 66 in the circuit a few seasons ago. But, if you want a demonstration, just tell me what you want to see, and I'll give you a show." she said, before clasping her hands behind her.

After taking a sip of his drink, Walker turned to 'Red'. As it turned out, Walker at least knew of 'Red' Mary Williams, though while he was originally assigned to take her in on behalf of the Terran Grand Republic, it seemed that someone else was given the job. It was no surprise that she wasn't turned away for her past piracy though. Outfits like this, that recruited out of dingy bars on drift stations? They couldn't exactly be picky, Mar thought with a soft huff of a suppressed chuckle. After all, that's how she managed to get some of her jobs before, because they couldn't exactly pass her over, despite being what she was.

As Pitt was sent to get another drink, Walker gestured to both of them to sit.

"Well while we wait, you two can take a seat and tell me more about yourselves."

Nodding, she strode over and practically lounged on one of the seats, looking quite at ease as she crossed her legs and draped her true-arms over the back. Her false-hands slipped themselves back into the pockets of her jacket.

"Well, it's obvious enough that I'm a Shree, so hopefully you don't mind someone from my species along with all that entails being on board. While I mainly fly a shuttle, I can pilot just about anything that can go through a vacuum or in-atmo, from gunships to frigates. Damn good at it, too, you'll see for yourself. Beyond that, I can handle myself in a fight, so long as it's up-close. I don't have anything that can really take the fight at medium-to-long range." she said.

There was a moment of hesitation before she exhaled a sigh and grimaced.

"And there's one other thing. Not sure if this will be relevant, but I'm basically living out of my ship. So if it helps, I don't really have any solid ties beyond that that should get in the way." she told him.

The Warden's Tooth, VIP lounge 3

Shanoa sat, sort of. Her mechanical body, which she'd named 'Nyx' was sitting, she was floating boredly in the robot cat's systems waiting for this to be over, as her soon to be former client finished confirming the integrity and authenticity of the data she'd been hired to collect, then slid a tray with a card loaded with creds across the table to 'her'. After confirming that all was in order with the payment she collected it and left that room to see several 'rough' looking types entering another VIP lounge.

Curious, she did a quick check on the local network to see what 'shenanigans' some one was planing, and found several things, but the only that matched the location and time frame, was a mercenary ship looking for a crew. Shanoa gave this some thought, could be fun, not to mention Mercenary crews typically got more work the freelancers. Plus there was the added benefits of having a more mobile base of operations then what she currently had.

While she mulled this over, another came up and knocked on the door-frame, and seemed to just, wait, for entry, a Reshani from the look of it. In the end the potential benefits out weighed the negatives and decided to go and 'try out', and walked over to the door the Reshani was waiting by and introduced her self, sort of. "I hear your looking to fill some lockers. Have any need of some one with a knack for getting in and out of places unnoticed?" she said from just in side the thresh hold of the door.

Brian Wojtek - The Warden's Tooth

Brian liked bars. Cheap liquor, loose women, bad gamblers, and a ready source of drunks looking to fight- there was one getting their ass kicked. How long had he been sitting on this station, in this bar: A week now? Or was it a month? He had credits to spare, the jobs always payed more than he ever needed from them. But what he really needed was purpose- or work and drinking only substituted for so long. Another alien whatever-it-was beer went down, another toxicity alarm sounded in his head, and another stimulant pumped into his system. And so another went down and the cycle repeated, trying to overwhelm a system designed specifically to fight intoxication- the engineers forgetting to install an accessible off-switch and the officers not caring if their soldiers were capable of enjoying themselves.

Tiring of just sitting Brian stood up from the bar, grabbed one of his bottles, and started idly surveying the room seeing if anything was actually happening tonight. His eyes briefly lingered on the eyes of a strange woman he assumed was spliced before noticing a couple of people heading toward the VIP lounges, he vaguely recalled someone saying something about them earlier and so after another swig headed up. Noticing a couple machines standing outside one of the rooms he looked at the flickering sign and joined the line with nothing better to do.

They tended to work as a team, either one knowing what method of information-gathering would work best in a setting. Elliot was the guy at the bar with a liberal attitude towards drinking who kept his eyes open and asked questions. If there was anything word-of-mouth going on that maybe an amicable bartender wanted to throw his way, something that wouldn't be on he station's computer net, that was the way. Grace, meanwhile, was an unreadable-but-inquisitive pretty face. She wasn't incredibly showy, nor did she have an 'act', but the eye candy was there even if she herself wasn't a big talker. It was in this fashion that Elliot got into a discussion about that missing liner. It got him the idea that finding it would certainly be a worthy prospect, if he only knew where to look. Trouble is...everybody knew where it had left and where it was suppose to be...but in space, it could go anywhere, including explode! That might be a dead-end wast of time. Grace, however...

"One of the men from that table said he was sure that Red Mary Williams went upstairs shortly before we arrived."

"Okay, something to work on, assuming she has any outstanding warrants. Anything?"

"I have the information already. Official statutes ended some time ago. Someone with a personal vendetta might pay, but we would have to locate a buyer first."

Grace's implant strikes again, delivering both bad and good news. Of course, there was only one problem - apart from any possible issues with capturing her - and that was the fact that she had gone up into that VIP room where they're hiring out mercenaries. According to Grace, any record of her days of piracy started when she was subbordinate to another leader. The fact that she was now looking for mercenary work suggested she wanted to go slightly more legit - money for gun-toting instead of money for nothing - but it may have been out of a desire to blend in.

"Okay, now we'll see what this thing's all about. We're assessing the situation to see if this is even worth doing or even feasible. Keep your weaponry out of any threatening postures."

"Alright, Elliot."

And so, they too would join the cue. Damn, there were alot of prospective mercenaries here...

The Orion Files | Drift Station | The Warden's Tooth
"Involuntary Application for Employment..."
Irina Rostikova | Edward Aubergine

Despite the rather embarrassing manner in which Mister Cray had been manhandled out of the Warden's Tooth, he was still rather lucky, for a human, that Quad-Armed Kitty named Edward had not been granted the pleasure of disemboweling the inebriated asshole and shoving him out an airlock. While it was a widely known fact that Terran blood boils in space, due to the fact that the laws of physics state that the ability of a material to maintain a liquid state is directly related to both Temperature as well as Pressure, it was unknown, at least to Edward, what would happen to a human's intestines if it was subjected to the low pressure environment of space. This is not to say that shoving Mister Nathaniel Cray out of an airlock would have been for purely scientific purposes, the rather large four armed feline would have preferred that the man's death provide something other than a satisfactory amount of pleasure.

Sighing at the wasted opportunity to collect some possibly profitable data, the Colossal Catican returned to his drink and his thoughts regarding the pair's current predicament. The Catican Hegemony was more than likely displeased with the Casteless couple, couple being in reference to their number not their relationship. They had lost a frigate, well half of a frigate since the aft portion of the ship was still likely drifting in Hegemony space, as well as a three or four eights of fighters and a great deal of Pure Blood lives. Calling a hunt on both Edward and Irina would have been economically foolish and the Ruling Caste would have had to hold one of its own members responsible for the loss. For now, the two of them were safe from any overt action by the Catican government but that did not mean that both of the fugitive Caticans were safe.

As her larger partner silently pursued the his multitude of thoughts, the Previously Persecuted Pus... Feline-esque Female eyed the augmented human that had saved her from having to reject the inebriated idiot while insisting that she was not in the business of pleasure... not in that capacity at least. To her dismay, rather than coming back to check on the Catican that she'd saved, the woman headed towards one of the VIP suites that advertised that it was looking for crew, a job that both Irina and Edward had thought too risky a venture to join, and started boasting loudly about both her history as a naval pilot as well as her time spent as a pirate.

The merchant mechanic cringed as her sharp ears overheard the entirety of the conversation.

"Well I see you've already got the muscle, so who about some talent? 'Red' Mary Williams, or 'Red' for short. I'm a Grandy Navy trained fighter jock with my own ship and an infantry support walker that I can bring to the table. I can handle maintenance on my own, so you don't need to have anyone from the ship babysit me. That said, and in the interest of full disclosure, there is a potential sticking point...I spent the just shy of thirty years as a pirate."

Having felt that she owed the woman a small debt, Irina suddenly found herself bolting off of the bar stool and leaping from the top of the bar to the second floor. While it would have normally been an act worthy of automatic ejection from the establishment, the bartender ensured that no glasses had been tipped over before returning his attention to the race.

"(The First Rule of Mitchel's Mercenary Manual, under the section of successfully selling yourself is that you do not fully disclose your past misdeeds. While it gives you the air of honesty, the patina of such an admission quickly wears off and the realization that your employer may have made an error ferments. If that happens at the very least one is looking at being fired, at worst they're turned over to the authorities for any reward that might be on their head.)" The Frantic Feline thought to herself as just about threw the door open with the word "WAIIIIIIIT!!!" ready to be loosed from her lips, at least until the captains words had resolved themselves.

"Red Mary..I heard about you. Almost got assign a job in my Black Ops days in the TGR to come and bring you in." The Captain said with a chuckle, "Though someone else got picked for the job. Anyways from word of mouth you're pretty good in a fight and I think we might need someone like that."

A sense of relief washed over Irina as she realized that she would not need to intervene on Red Mary's behalf and that the human would likely be hired on. Standing close to the door, the female couldn't help but eavesdrop on the continuing conversation.

"Well while we wait, you two can take a seat and tell me more about yourselves"

Another female voice, one that didn't belong to Red Mary started off the round of introductions.

"Well, it's obvious enough that I'm a Shree, so hopefully you don't mind someone from my species along with all that entails being on board. While I mainly fly a shuttle, I can pilot just about anything that can go through a vacuum or in-atmo, from gunships to frigates. Damn good at it, too, you'll see for yourself. Beyond that, I can handle myself in a fight, so long as it's up-close. I don't have anything that can really take the fight at medium-to-long range." she said, "And there's one other thing. Not sure if this will be relevant, but I'm basically living out of my ship. So if it helps, I don't really have any solid ties beyond that that should get in the way."

It was about this time that two more potential candidates entered the equation, passing the Catican without so much as a second glance. The first, a female Reshani, politely knocked on the door before allowing both her and a droid entrance. While the Reshani awaited a moment to speak, the AI addressed the captain in a rather brash manner.

"I hear your looking to fill some lockers. Have any need of some one with a knack for getting in and out of places unnoticed?" The AI stated.

"While you are considering your candidates, you may want to consider hiring someone with combat experience. I specialize in orbital/sub-orbital drop pod insertion, landing zone suppression, long range engagements, medium range engagements, hand to hand engagements, eradication missions, sabotage, demolitions..." A familiar voice from behind Irina started to say before she turned around and interrupted her cohort.

"ED! We talked about this. I thought we were..." The Female Catican whispered before she realized that she was too late. If she talked him out of joining this mission, it was possible that rumors questioning their reliability could have been spread to other potential employers, thereby impacting their future marketability. Sighing she continued, "I thought we were going to start with the fact that you were instrumental in the Catican suppression of the Heloxians after their little 'practical joke' wiped out an entire colony."

Turning around to face the captain, her and Ed's future potential employer, Irina bowed and addressed the human.

"While my partner has many of the skills required of a Catican Shock Trooper and pilot, I possess the skills of both merchant and technologist. If hired, I can assist you with ship wide repairs and maintenance, deal negotiations with any of our potential employers as well as analysis of any anomalous items that we may discover on our travels. I am also skilled with drone control systems and currently utilize a fleet of sixteen droves that serve as point defense, repair and drone to ship combat platforms." The Humanized Cat Girl stated politely, her tail swaying behind her as she spread a thick layer of pheromones in the air, her secret weapon when it came to trade negotiations.

Walker listen to Mar and smiled, while he wasn't a fan of the SRL, he knew the name of Mar. He almost forgotten about her but from her chat he began to remember of how she was quickly rising to fame and how she was quickly banned. He never got to knowing the reason. He was either in his work or drinking his problems away.

Once she was finish, he was going to reply before people came bursting through the door. Quite a bit it seems like. Though being a bit buzz, he just stared at them all and sighed. "Alright, we'll discuss this in a moment..Too many people want my attention." He then turn to look at the Cat girl. "Look honey, I had a Cat girl as a lover a good while ago...and she used the same trick on me a few times...so don't try to pheromone me to win me over. Though I wouldn't mind having someone on my side for once to get me some good deals..so take a seat with your.." Walker looked at the big Catican Shock Trooper and then said, "purple furball and we'll discuss things." He gets up and looks at the other robot woman. "Get in here and take a saeat..all of you take a seat..I'll be back in a moment." He said as he went out and look at the entire bar.

"If anyone else wants a job, get our butt up here in five minutes. I don't want any more inturptions when I'm trying to have a talk with my future employees." He said and went back to his chair. Sighing as Pit came back, cursing a bit as he look at the other newcomers. Giving what seem to be a evil stare, hard to tell due to the mask, at the two mech women. "Today is going to be a long day..." Walker whisper to himself as he open up the bottle and took a chug of his drink.

The Orion Files | Drift Station | The Warden's Tooth
"A Congested Congregation of Crew and Cats"
Irina Rostikova | Edward Aubergine

"Get in here and take a saeat..all of you take a seat. I'll be back in a moment." The Captain and potential employer of Irina Rostikova and Edward Aubergine said looking a little dazed at the fact that it seemed like over 50% of the station's current population was probably trying cram itself in the small VIP section overlooking the Warden's Tooth. The captain was not the only one who appeared dazed as Edward took a look at the number of applicants and compared their estimated sum volume with the estimated volume of the room. It seemed impossible to jam that much flesh into one small area without either a good lubricant or a good amount of force.

"If you will excuse me, I believe that my presence at this meeting may be superfluous as Irina is able to speak on my behalf," the seemingly kitty cat muttered the apology to the captain as he started to back away from the room, attempting to make the quickest exit possible while knocking over the least number of candidates possible. At the very least he was able to stand just outside the room and listen to the captain's words.

The female Catican nodded to her counterpart as he stood in the doorway and listened for the captain to start speaking. Having been with a Catican courtesan, the Captain was more than likely aware that Catican shock troopers tended to get edgy around large congregations of strangers as a result of their genetics as well as their training. For the typical Catican Shock Trooper, the majority of encounters with large groups of strangers tended to involve a lot of shooting and killing as these large congregation of beings tended to be large a congregation of enemies.

Sitting down at one of the room's many chairs, the mostly human Catican found herself needing to sit at the edge of the furniture piece in order to allow her tail to move freely.

CRACK!! SHRRRRRRIPP!!

The back of the chair suddenly went missing as the Colossus of Catica ripped away the object's back rest and placed it against the wall. Having seen that his partner was sitting uncomfortably, the polite pus... Shock Trooper did what anyone with in inordinate amount of strength would do: Break the hell out of the furniture.

Looking about the room, Irina could practically feel all the attention centered on her, even if it wasn't an overt stare. Waving at her potential crew-mates, the Feline-esque female apologized.

"Apologies for the distraction. We Caticans don't often sit in seats with back rests or when we do, there's usually a hole cut out in the back rest..." Irina said as she scooted her booty back into the seat and settled down to wait for the Captain. Turning to her right, Irina noticed that she was seated next to the woman that had assisted her earlier with the drunken human, Ensign Cray. "I'm Irina. A pleasure to meet you. I'd like to thank you for taking care of that drunken man earlier but if you could assist me further, could you tell me anything you know about this job? To be truthful I didn't look over the details."

"Get in here and take a saeat..all of you take a seat..I'll be back in a moment." Spoke the human who appeared to be in charge of things here as he permitted them all entry before getting up from his chair and heading towards the door. Velka obliged and took a seat on the opposite side of the room from where the door was, taking her coat off and hanging it on the back of the chair. Looking around, she saw that a variety of people from across the racial spectrum had come along to this meeting. Regardless of the outcome, it was certainly going to be an interesting conversation.

When the human came back, she immediately noticed the glare that he gave her if she had to guess, there was something about Velka that he didn't like. The obvious suggestion was that he didn't particularly like Reshani. Well if that was the case, why to bother sending the invitation to her in the first place. No matter, she wasn't exactly here to socialise; but it wouldn't hurt to try and be at least a little friendly with her prospective employer.

CRACK!! SHRRRRRRIPP!!

With her thought distracted by the sudden loud noise, Velka turned around to see that the large, four-armed purple coloured fur-being had decided to remove the back of the chair. "Apologies for the distraction. We Caticans don't often sit in seats with backrests or when we do, there's usually a hole cut out in the backrest..." Said a much smaller feline looking female as she apologised and waved her hand to try and get the attention of everyone.

A Catican huh? Not very often to I encounter someone from your species. It'll be interesting to learn and study more.

For now, Velka leant back in her chair a little and began to watch what the others did, as was her nature.

Seeing that nobody had drawn on her, and that her 'potential' new boss had asked her to stay, she stowed her hold-out piece and found a seat. While the rest of the motely group introduced themselves, she simple sat and watched, taking the occasional nip from a flask she kept tucked into her suit.

So far they had her, the Shree, a pair of 'kitties' and a couple of clankers. As everyone was getting settled down as best they could, while their new boss did a final call for interested parties, she found herself joined by the smaller, and more human-looking, of the cats.

"I'm Irina. A pleasure to meet you. I'd like to thank you for taking care of that drunken man earlier but if you could assist me further, could you tell me anything you know about this job? To be truthful I didn't look over the details."

"Red" She replied, offering the flask as a way of greeting. Even out of the small opening of the neck of the flask, fumes could be seen in the air. The flask was partially full of 'shine made by on old fellow on Tortuga Drift, who made a living keeping the locals well inebriated. Shit's good fer two things. Degreasing parts an' killin' brain cells. "Sorry puss, honestly I wasn't payin' too much attention. I just saw a posting that said 'Crew Needed' and I need work, so here I am. Sounds like it's a merc gig though."

Walker grab the bottle of ale from Pit. Seeing the Junker giving the mechs a hard stare at the mech women. Sighing as he gave the paranoid Junker a small push. "Cool it," he simple said as he turn to look at both of them. "Pit here is a bit..distrustful of robots and other forms of AIs. Too long of a story to tell." Walker said as he took a swig of his ale.

He would then put the ale on the table as he smiled. Looking all around as he spied an ex-pirate, a Shree ,two cat aliens, two mechanical women, what seems to be an ex-TGR Marine, and two other humans. He look over at the two humans. Trying to gauge where they were from and who they used to work for. Though from their outfits and manners, nothing really fit. 'Must be Outer Colonies,' Walker thought.

"Now before I start, If you don't like the job or frankly don't like the pay. Thats fine. You are free to go no question asked. Though if you take this job, you follow my orders. Until the mission is finished. Got it? Good. Now before I hired you lot I like to hear about you some more. I'll start."

Walker said as he got comfy in his seat. "Names Rick Walker. Might have heard of me, might not. Don't really care which. I been with the TGR for a while before they honorable discharge me after a mission went bad. Don't ask me about it cause I don't like to talk about it. After a few months of wondering around I was starting to go low on funds. So I decide to put my skills to better use, and here I am now." He finish as he let the door open for anyone else to jump in next.

There appeared to be two possible issues with trying to pick up Red Mary as a wanted so-and-so from the immediate vicinity. The first was the large group of mercenaries, who of course may or may not be interested in staking out a claim on Miss Williams. The second was...whether or not there was even anything TO claim for finding and retrieving her. Grace still hadn't found anything on the database that might help. It's been years. She may have a past, but nobody may be interested. Well still...the gig itself may be worthwhile. With the guy looking to gain himself a crew asking everybody to walk in, Elliot and Grace exchanged a look and went inside.

"This may take a while. You want anything, Grace?"

She just shrugged. She could eat, she could wait. Elliot tapped into the commercial line and called the bartender downstairs.

"Yeah, I just got called into the VIP room with the mercs. Would you send somebody up with some sandwiches? Nothing fancy, just two slices of bread around something edible, preferrably meat."

Yes, Elliot was ordering sandwiches. What of it? Then...

CRACK!! SHRRRRRRIPP!!

Well, that was when the Caticans got Elliot's attention more. They were such a forceful people, sometimes. There seemed to be an explanation, but damn...was that really necessary? They seemed to have a colorful grouping here. Anyone of the uninitiated who walked in on this was gonna see some serious shit. The two seemingly-human mercs noticed Red Mary talking to Irina the Catican now. Grace was focusing on each person, consecutively, determining if they had anything particularly interesting posted about them. Nothing of consequence, though a few interesting points on those who were recognizable. The pilot of the Devil-Fish was here, for instance. Her identity was a matter of public record, easy to reach with her implant. Pit, however, was obviously not gonna be easy, being the paranoid 'round these parts.

It was at this point that the guy who wanted to be the boss decided to address them all with his opening speech. It wasn't bad, but explaining that he was fairly new at the mercenary game probably wasn't the best thing to do. Of course, he said that anybody could take a walk, as needed. Since there appeared to be a lull in activity, plus his food hadn't arrived yet. Elliot pulled out cig-pack from his coat, lit up, and took a drag. Hey, if they were going to get cozey and talk, they may as well go all the way, right? Walker was gonna find out about such a habit at some point, anyway. He broke the silence now.

"I'm Elliot Gratsky. Some of you might know me, mostly around the mercenary circles. I've been at it a few years, not long after I got out of the Marines. Nothing weird happened. Did my tour, lived to tell, and now I use my skills for a living. Got a ship, fair amount of guns, and plenty of experience."

Just then, the door opened aaand a young man went "WTF?" at the scene inside. He was holding a plate of sandwiches.

"I also ordered lunch. Yo! Over here!"

The man came over quietly, delivered and got paid, and then quickly left. He didn't want any of this on him. Elliot took a bite of his as Grace picked one up herself. He didn't order enough for everybody, but the plate had a few extra. Grace did not seem to be in any hurry to speak up here, so...onto the next person!

"Get in here and take a saeat..all of you take a seat..I'll be back in a moment."

Warnings hazily flashed in Brian's head as he stepped in and took a seat at the table, not that they made sense to him as his eyes lazily drifted towards the pretty spliced woman that vaguely resembled a humanoid cat. Watching the purple thing wreck the chair, Brian started noticing the rest of the room.

"Apologies for the distraction. We Caticans don't often sit in seats with back rests or when we do, there's usually a hole cut out in the back rest..." Catican... What was a Catican? Had he dealt with them before?

Brian tuned in as what he assumed to be the boss of the operation speak up again "Now before I start, If you don't like the job or frankly don't like the pay. Thats fine. You are free to go no question asked. Though if you take this job, you follow my orders. Until the mission is finished. Got it? Good. Now before I hired you lot I like to hear about you some more. I'll start. Names Rick Walker. Might have heard of me, might not. Don't really care which. I been with the TGR for a while before they honorable discharge me after a mission went bad. Don't ask me about it cause I don't like to talk about it. After a few months of wondering around I was starting to go low on funds. So I decide to put my skills to better use, and here I am now."

Not really thinking, after Elliot spoke, Brian spoke, "My name's Brian Wojtek. I have several decades of frontline experience operating Kodiak armour under the TGR's marine corp, and about a half decade of working outside it."

<<< Mar >>>
Terran Grand Republic Territory Border | Drift Station | Warden's Tooth Bar, VIP Room
"Please form an orderly queue and be seated."

As Walker, either her prospective employer or the representative of same, listened to her give a quick-and-dirty summary of the bare minimum of what he needed to know about her, Mar noticed the small smile that spread on his face. It was one of those little Terran expressions that she had picked up while growing on Black Ocean: Terrans usually considered baring ones teeth like that to be a friendly gesture when it was done with such ease. Shree, on the other hand, tended to consider it a very predatory and threatening gesture.

Mar, having experienced the mixture of various cultures growing up, appreciated it in a more Terran fashion, seeing it as a friendly gesture. It also made Walker look a little less imposing, at least as far as Terran's went.

Both three of them were immediately joined soon after by a quadruped robotic frame, and a pair of Catican if she figured right, male and female. Though it could be hard to tell, since some Caticans could look vastly different from one another to the point where, those who didn't know about their people at all or their cultures, would think that they came from completely different species in the first place. Though, from what little she had head about them, that was at least partly true. Mar only had some vague knowledge of them at best, and while the female looked almost like a Terran herself, the male was a large, four-armed purple fuzz monster.

Entertained by the new arrivals, Mar merely lounged back in her chair and watched as Walker spotted the others outside, called them in, and they all took their seats, with the Catican Male breaking through the seat of his own chair to presumably make room for his tail. The final count was five Terrans, two Caticans, one individual whose race, or even gender, was something that Mar couldn't really pick out, the robotic quadruped that looked vaguely feline, like that Terran Puma that she had heard about once from an Ex-TGR Marine, and lastly herself, a Shree. Quite the interesting crew, she thought with a small huff of amusement as Walker spoke up again.

"Now before I start, If you don't like the job or frankly don't like the pay. Thats fine. You are free to go no question asked. Though if you take this job, you follow my orders. Until the mission is finished. Got it? Good. Now before I hired you lot I like to hear about you some more. I'll start."

As he got a little more comfortable in his seat, Mar shifted her own position, leaning forward and draping both true-arms and false-arms over her thighs as she listened a little more intently.

"Names Rick Walker. Might have heard of me, might not. Don't really care which. I been with the TGR for a while before they honorable discharge me after a mission went bad. Don't ask me about it cause I don't like to talk about it. After a few months of wondering around I was starting to go low on funds. So I decide to put my skills to better use, and here I am now."

"Sounds reasonable enough to me. So long as we don't commit blatant piracy or unforgivable acts of terrorism on innocent people, I'm generally fine with whatever you'll tell me. So long as I get to fly, that is." she said, with a crooked smile that revealed quite a few rows of teeth.

Shanoa, just moved a little further into the room, but not much since she was already in the room. Her potential boss lay down the usual lines about 'I'm the leader, you'll fallow my orders don't like it, leave now', and introductions.

with the Caticans and the 'captain' already handling it, and the Shree not having an issue with the job in question long is it wasn't Piracy or Terrorism, the floor seemed open. "Shanoa, hacking, stealth infiltration, robotics expert." she started, intentionally sounds as robotic as possible, if only to see what kind of reactions she'd get to that tone, and when she swapped back to her normal manner of speaking. "Though, the robotics thing is more of a hobby/mandatory skill. Not like I can just bounce down to Radio Shack and pick up a new part case in case of damage or I need to upgrade Nyx here."She added, now sounding not robotic at all, though sitting like most cats do.

"Pit here is a bit..distrustful of robots and other forms of AIs. Too long of a story to tell." Spoke the human as he took a sip of his beverage.

"Understood, so long as your associate doesn't attack us without reason, then we should manage to get along," Velka stated in a clear and straightforward manner.

"Now before I start if you don't like the job or frankly don't like the pay. That's fine. You are free to go no question asked. Though if you take this job, you follow my orders. Until the mission is finished. Got it? Good. Now before I hired you lot I like to hear about you some more. I'll start." Said their commander as he called to order.

"Names Rick Walker. Might have heard of me, might not. Don't really care which. I have been with the TGR for a while before they honourable discharge me after a mission went bad. Don't ask me about it cause I don't like to talk about it. After a few months of wondering around, I was starting to go low on funds. So I decide to put my skills to better use, and here I am now." Several others had then stated their name along with associate abilities, apparently, the human known as Elliot had also ordered some food, though Velka wasn't particularly interested at the moment. Once the A.I designated Shanoa had spoken, Velka felt it was her time to talk.

"Greetings, my name is Velka. I am primarily capable of serving as a forward scout, reconnaissance operative, and designated marksman. In addition, I can perform maintenance work on cybernetic appendages should the need arise, and of course with permission."

The Orion Files | Drift Station | The Warden's Tooth
Short introductions are short
Irina Rostikova | Edward Aubergine

It was moments like this that Irina Rostikova, Catican Merchant turned Mercenary, wished that she'd given the old Catican adage "The tip of your snout will help you out" more credence. Taking the flask that Red had handed her, the Merchant Minded Mechanic took an experimental sniff of the liquid contained in the container and felt her eyes start to water as the potency of alcohol. Despite every nerve impulse in her body urging her to throw the potent jet fuel out the nearest airlock, the Catican Mechanic took an experimental sip of the drink, which had the smell of fermented Braktian Tofu and Terran Durian fruit.

"~HAK! CAFF! CAFF! CAFF! GAG! CAFF!~" Came standard issue reaction to the ingestion of a substance that a body had mistaken for poison.

To Irina's credit, she did not regurgitate the acrid and smokey tasting alcohol but instead managed to swallow the small sip of fiery lava in a flask. Passing the drinking vessel back to its owner, the Coughing Kitten paused for a moment as she remembered how to breathe.

"Sorry puss, honestly I wasn't payin' too much attention. I just saw a posting that said 'Crew Needed' and I need work, so here I am. Sounds like it's a merc gig though." Came the Cybernetic Pirate's response, causing her temporary drinking buddy to frown. The problem with mercenary work how horribly non-specific the range of work tended to be. Unlike a merchant vessel crew, where one could always expect a contingent of guards that worked with a small group of merchants and a ship's crew, mercenary groups required a wide range of skill sets in order to accomplish the wide ranging, grey market missions that these sorts of groups were often hired out to complete.

"How... ~CAFF CAFF CAFF~ ... interesting..." Irina said before the Captain addressed his potential crew.

"Now before I start, if you don't like the job or, frankly, don't like the pay. That's fine. You are free to go no question asked. Though if you take this job, you follow my orders until the mission is finished. Got it?" The Human in Charge started to say, Irina's mind wandering off during this typical establishment of rank.

"(What if you're mind has been over taken by a horde of Sarkelian Mind Maggots? Do we listen then? Should we follow the orders of a human whose main goal for the remaining 30 Terran Solar Cycles of his life will be to establish a Mind Maggot colony on all habitable planets within 20 parsecs?)" The snide little kitty thought to herself before she returned her attention to the captain.

"Name's Rick Walker. Might have heard of me, might not. Don't really care which. I been with the TGR for a while before they honorably discharged me after a mission went bad. Don't ask me about it cause I don't like to talk about it. After a few months of wandering around I was starting to go low on funds. So I decide to put my skills to better use, and here I am now." He finish as he let the door open for anyone else to jump in next.

"Sounds reasonable enough to me. So long as we don't commit blatant piracy or unforgivable acts of terrorism on innocent people, I'm generally fine with whatever you'll tell me. So long as I get to fly, that is." The Shree woman said aloud, ignorant of the former(?) pirate sitting a few chair away.

"Shanoa, hacking, stealth infiltration, robotics expert." Irina's robotic twin started to say, "Though, the robotics thing is more of a hobby/mandatory skill. Not like I can just bounce down to Radio Shack and pick up a new part case in case of damage or I need to upgrade Nyx here."

"(What's a Radio Shack?)" Irina thought to herself before the Reshani started to speak.

"Greetings, my name is Velka. I am primarily capable of serving as a forward scout, reconnaissance operative, and designated marksman. In addition, I can perform maintenance work on cybernetic appendages should the need arise, and of course with permission."

Clearing her throat, the Catican Female decided that it was her turn to speak, though in difference to the others who had yet to introduce themselves, she would keep it short.

"Hi. My name is Irina Rostikova and my partner, the large one just beyond the doorway is Edward Aubergine. For those of you who have knowledge of the Catican culture, you know that these are not our true names but simply the names that we use when interacting with non-Caticans. As I stated to the captain, I'm a merchant, mechanic and drone pilot by training and trade with specializations in exotic technology (exo-tech), gravity field modulation technology, network intrusion and countermeasures as well as drone based ship to ship combat and drone assisted ship repairs. I'm looking forward to working with this group," It was at this point that Irina flashed an eye at Shanoa and at Velka,"especially with those with whom my specialties can augment. I am currently in the process of rebuilding my trade network but once it is restored, I should be able to gain access to items that even this 'Radio Shack' might be envious of. As for my partner, he was a member of the Catican Drop Trooper Corp, specializing in orbital insertion into hostile territory and the establishment of a forward operating base once landed. He's hoping that he'll be able to use his orbital drop pod, which is attached to our shuttle the Redeemer, in the next few mission. Also... please don't mention Egg Plants around him... he gets terribly sensitive about that."

Pausing for a moment the gregarious Catican female thought for a moment if she should add the fact that they were members of the Casteless and that would undoubtedly bring this crew unwanted attention of any of the missions ventured into Catican space.

"I should add that Edward and I are looking forward to serving with this crew and paying off our debts to our creator." The woman opted to say instead before turning to her compatriot in the doorway, "Am I forgetting to add anything Edward?"

The four armed furball at the doorway paused for a moment before adding a single sentence to Irina's short introduction.

"Looking forward to cracking skulls with you all." The Shock Trooper said casually as he waited for the introductions to be completed so that the ritual of celebratory drinking could commence.

She grinned and did her best not to laugh as Irina choked on the sip of 'shine she'd had. Taking her flask back, she took a healthy swig of the home-brewed paint stripper, then let out a satisfied sigh. She was about to strike up a little small talk with the little Catican, when her new 'boss' began talking.

"Now before I start, if you don't like the job or frankly don't like the pay. That's fine. You are free to go no question asked. Though if you take this job, you follow my orders. Until the mission is finished. Got it? Good. Now before I hired you lot I like to hear about you some more. I'll start."

"Yay story time!" Mary chirped in a decidedly 'child-like' tone that seemed most out of place, considering her extensive augs, tattoos and the fact she was in a room full of 'hard' people. "I love stories." She added with a girlish giggle. Now thoroughly amused with herself, she took a swig from her flask she kicked her feet up onto the table, the lightweight poly-alloy structures clunking against the tabletop, and leaned back in her seat while others spoke.

Eventually introductions made their way back around to where she was sitting, so once Irina finished introducing herself and her fuzzy eggplant of a companion. Mary spoke up once more. "For those of you that missed it the first time around; I'm Mary Williams, 'Red' to those that know me and 'that bitch' or 'you cunt' to those I've pissed off." She flashed an ear-to-ear grin that showed off two rows for perfectly straight, and impossibly white teeth, a good sign that they were not her originals. "And to those of your ex-Marine or Navy types, yes, THAT Williams family...I guess I'm the family black sheep."

"I'm a Grandy trained fighter jock; did two tours...well more like one and three-quarters...got sick of their bullshit and bailed." She smiled again, but were as the last one had been all bright and cheerful, this one was decidedly more predatory. "Since then, I've spent nearly four decades as a 'forced reclamation specialist' or 'pirate' for the unimaginative." As she spoke she kept her eyes on the newer arrivals, especially the big ex-KODIAK driver and the hard-case that named 'Elliot' who just 'reeked' of bounty hunter. "Semi-recent events dictated I find myself elsewhere for a time, and thus I am here." Despite the fact that she'd just admitted to a host of crimes, while technically in Grand Republic space, she remained totally relaxed.

Taking another long pull from her flask, she looked Elliot square in the eye. "Now, given the type of 'people' gathered here, I'm sure there are some thoughts about trying to bag for a bounty...let me give those people some advice. Don't. If there is a bounty on my ass, I know who'd 've set it, and I know that even if you got me...she would make sure you never got to enjoy it...gotta love family."

Walker sat back and listen to each and everyone little introduction. Watched as the catman destroyed part of the sofa, which he wasn't going to pay for. As well as listen to them chat among themselves. The crew was very, oddly enough, stands out like a sore thumb from his last crew. They were kind of lively and seem like they each would play an important role in this upcoming mission. While he wished Mary didn't admit to the crimes she committed, he wasn't going to reel her in at all. If anything happens that on her head, no his.

Walker raised his hands to get their attention as he looked at each of them. "Alright since introductions are over and you lot seem to be friendly with each other.." Looking over at pit and giving him a quick shove when Walker saw him giving a glare to the two mechanical women. "So far..I'll get to the point about the mission."

Walker cleared his throat and sat up as he said, "The TGR wants to hire me and the crew I assemble to help out in a little...skirmish they are about to have here soon. The planet we are going to go see is called Fortuna IV. A rather large outer Colony that form a Treaty with the TGR. Most details about the treaty I don't give a damn, but the reason we are going is because the Colony itself broke the treaty."

Walker grabs his ale and takes a swing before continuing, "Turns out they agreed to share anything found on said planet for supplies, money and whatever else they agreed to exchange. Though whatever Fortuna's miners found was a whole lot bigger than minerals. Which now they are laying claims to it, while the TGR believes they have rights."

Walker let that sink in a bit before continuing on. "So the TGR decided to send a nearby fleet patrol to handle the problem. Though they can't send any more into the Outer Colony without the risk of losing manpower in protecting their Inner colonies. And sending a fleet from home would just take to long. So they are hiring me...which includes you lot, to help out. Pay hasn't been finalized just yet but I'm working my charms to get it a bit higher. Though at the time I can pay each of you 8,000 creds. Not much but with so many here it's the best what I can do."

Walker grabs his ale and finished it and sets it back on the table. "If you have questions, save it for when we meet up again. IF you're going then the meeting point is at my ship in the East Shipyard. Ships name is called 'Sweet Child of Mine', Be there within the hour if you're planning on going. If not it was nice meeting y'all." Walker said as he leaves, with Pit walking right behind him.

Later, At the Shipyard

Walker was waiting outside of his ship. Sitting on a small lawn chair he brought out to relax and wait for any crew members to show up.

The Orion Files | Drift Station | The Hanger
Introducing the Redeemer
Irina Rostikova | Edward Aubergine

"16K Creds? That's about 10% of what I need to finish the proto..." Irina Rostikova started to say, stopping mid-sentence when she spotted the captain sitting in a type of Terran leisure chair known as a lawn chair, "Hello Captain Walker! I was expecting that you'd be in the middle of pre-flight preparations and not... relaxing." There was a slightly disapproving tone in the feline-esque feline's voice.

"Why don't you go prepare the Redeemer to dock with the Captain's ship," Irina said to Edward, gesturing towards the ship that was docked directly across from the strangely named Sweet Child of Mine. Walking over to the captain, she stood there for an awkward moment as she wondered what the man was thinking.

"She's a beaut, isn't she?" The Merchant Mechanic said with a nod towards her the stealth black shuttle [1] that was did not seem to have a visible cockpit canopy, "She's a converted medium range jump capable Catican cargo shuttle. Edward and I outfitted her with a drone control system so she's got 4 repair drones, 6 point defense drones, 4 kinetic assault drones and 2 missile drones at ou... your disposal. That's in addition to the forward and the read field kinetic turrets," There was a sense of pride in the Catgirl's voice as she continued to talk about her ship, "She's got a holographic cockpit suite and Ed's drop pod is docked in the tail section. If I might make a suggestion, hard docking he ship to your freighter's hull might be advisable if you would like to take advantage of the drone system."

There was another long pause, one that seemed to make the woman standing in front of the Captain rather uncomfortable... or perhaps it was the fact that she felt rather anxious about the mission that she Captain had outlined... and the fact that he hadn't finalized a contract with the TGR.

"If I may speak freely, Captain, in my experience with the TGR, it's unwise of you to start your mission without a fully finalized contract. Not that it would ever keep the TGR from denying you payment, at least a contract would be able to help establish legal recourse should that ever happen." Irina said as she started pacing for a moment, her voice sounding a bit more nervous until she finally got to the point, "I'm sorry Captain, I'm babbling and it's probably best that I get to the point. Before, when you said that you had been seeing a Catican female... was her name Katya by chance?"

Katya, Irina's vat sister, had become a member of the Casteless a few years ago and turned to some rather risky business ventures, one of which was taking advantage of her Nanex enhanced pheromones to gain access to her all too willing victims' credit accounts as well as getting any sort of gift that she could pawn off down the line. The last that Irina had heard, Katya had been wandering through out the TGR working her little scam. There... had been thoughts of locating her vat sister when Irina and Ed had become Casteless but reality and practicality made that idea a tertiary concern.

[1] Characters capable of seeing in the infrared spectrum are able to see running lights

She took another hit from her flask, before tucking it away and standing. "Fuck it, work is work. See ya in an hour Boss." She said, departing with a wave. Exiting the 'Warden's Tooth', she was surprised to see that the guy she'd tossed out the door was still there, and intact. Approaching the prostrated form she was amused to find that he was, in fact, asleep. After a couple of investigative pokes with her foot to see how out of it he was then, checking to see there was no one else about, she crouched and gave him a quick but through pat down, coming away with his wallet, a watch and two rings. The watch and rings went into a pocket of her flight suit, while the wallet she extracted his credit chit from, before tossing the rest. Whistling pleasantly to herself, she made her way to the nearest lift.

A little under an hour later

After getting herself squared away with the 'Harbour Master', and doing security sweeps of her gear and pre-flighting 'Misha', she was ready to go. "Station Control. This is Bonny Oh Two requesting clearance to launch at Hanger Four Five." She said over the 'Ground Control' frequency. "Bonny Oh Two, Station Control. Copy, cycling now." From inside her cockpit she watched as orange hazard lights began to strobe, warning anyone who may have been in the hanger, that it was about to begin to depressurize. This went on for two minutes, before the strobe became a pulse, and the environmental system began to remove the air from the hanger bay. Once there was no air left, the lights switched to a steady glow, as the outer doors opened to space. "Station Control, Bonny Oh Two. Requesting Grav Disconnect in Hanger Four Five." "Bonny Oh Two, Station Control. Copy, disconnecting." Blue lights joined the orange ones as the gravity in the hanger was shut off. "Bonny Oh Two, you are clear to launch, contact Station Traffic on One One Niner Seven Gamma for routing." "Copy Station."

De-activating the magnetic clamps in the fighter's landing struts, she used the RCS[1] to push the craft vertically, and then laterally; positioning the rear strut pads over the crate with 'Stumpy' inside, via a belly mounted camera, she re-activated the clamps and locked the crate to the fighter. Rotating her 'wings' ninety degrees, she used the greater thrust of her secondary engines to lift the crate clear of the hanger floor, before halting the rise and transitioning to forward flight.

"Bonny Oh Two, Station Traffic. Bonny Oh Two Station Traffic." She called, switching comm. channels. "Station Traffic, Bonny Oh Two. Go ahead." "Requesting vector to beacon Eight One Seven Dash Eight Eight from Hanger Four Five." "Copy Bonny Oh Two. Vector plotted, updating Nav Com." The fighter's VI acknowledged the incoming transmission and projected the flight path onto Mary's HUD. "Station Traffic, update is green. Departing now." "Copy Bonny Oh Two."

Following the flight path, she arced through the semi crowded 'air space' around the station towards the beacon. Spying the rundown looking freighter, she hailed it. "Sweet Child of Mine this is Bonny Oh Two, come in." What a stupid name for a ship. "Bonny Oh Two, the is Sweet Child. Go ahead." "I'm one of Capt. Walker's new hires; I need a hanger for an interceptor and a light walker." "Copy that Oh Two, we've been expecting you...port side, sixth from the bow. Red container marked Zero Seven. It's been converted into a hanger; transmitting clearance now."

Navigating to the indicated point, she reversed her actions from the station; first dropping off the container with her mech inside, then landing her fighter and re-pressurizing the retrofitted hanger. Once she had all that squared away, she had a crewmen point her in the direction of the Captain. Exiting a lift near the ships gangway, she approached Walker from behind and saw him in conversation with the smaller of the two kitties. "Hey you two, where's the purple mountain?"

[1] Reaction Control System

<<< Mar >>>
TGR Territory Border | Drift Station | Warden's Tooth Bar, VIP Room
"The pay is always negotiable."

As it turned out, the prospective crew was looking to be full of all sorts, including a pirate it seemed. As Red Mary, the human female cyborg, explained her own story, Mar was a little surprised to hear that she was actually Ex-TGR, something that she wouldn't have figured. Then again, she supposed that any races military would have all kinds. The Catican female, Irina, introduced herself and her partner as well, the two of them coming as a pair, along with the two seemingly un-augmented humans sticking together as well. While Irina and Edward were essentially a Merchant and Shock Trooper respectively, Mar got the feeling that the human pair were bounty hunters of some kind. The look that Mary directed at them at least gave that impression.

When the rest of them each said their piece, Walker spoke up again, mentioning that the job they were going to be hired for had to do with an Outer Colony, Fortuna IV, acting against TGR interests by withholding some excavated valuables that the TGR believed that they had the rights to. The pay wasn't finalized, largely due to Walker wanting to persuade their employers to part with some extra credits, and as of the time they were speaking, their pay was going to be 8000 credits each.

Mar frowned at that part. 8000 was reasonable, if a little low for what they were probably going to do. Presumably, they were there to pacify the locals and retrieve the excavated goods. Or at least, that was the impression she got, even with Walker mentioning it as a skirmish. With any luck, they wouldn't be biting off more than they could chew.

"If you have questions, save it for when we meet up again. IF you're going then the meeting point is at my ship in the East Shipyard. Ships name is called 'Sweet Child of Mine', Be there within the hour if you're planning on going. If not it was nice meeting y'all."

"Right. I'll meet you after I dock the Devil-Fish." Mar said as she stood up and exited the meeting room herself.

As she left the Warden's Tooth, she immediately made a beeline to where the Shuttle Bays were located. After all, Walker asked for her to give a demonstration of her piloting skills, and she was sure to deliver.


<<< Mar >>>
TGR Territory Border | Drift Station | Devil-Fish #66 Cockpit
"It's my turn to fly."

As the loading door of the Devil-Fish opened, Mar had already begun stripping out of what she considered her off-duty stationwear, tossing the synth-leather jacket onto a worn couch, quickly followed by her cargo pants as she stepped aboard. The cargo area of the shuttle looked very close to what most stations considered to be "Economy Quarters": A single room with only just enough in the way of amenities to be considered livable. And barring a few empty tubes branded with a smiling Shree face strewn about the floor, it was largely clean as well.

She strode through, still wearing the pale orange envrio-suit that acted almost like a second skin, and took down a dark gray jumpsuit and black helmet that hung from one of the cargo latch-points and started to slip into it with practiced efficiency.

By the time she sat in the pilots seat, she was fully dressed, including the domed helmet that immediately brought up her heads-up display. The cockpit itself was dominated by a control panel along with a few monitors meant to keep track of the various functions of the shuttle, but the oddest thing about it was a quartet of control sticks, each of which seemed to be attached to some sort of articulated arm.

Grasping the top two control sticks with her true-hands, her false hands flew across the control panel behind them and started her pre-flight checks. It didn't take long before she was finished, and she immediately began the engine start-up sequence as she pinged Station Control.

"Drift Station Control, this is Devil-Fish. Requesting permission to launch from Shuttle Bay Two-Zero. Engines are hot, ready to go." she said with a grin behind the dome of her helmet.

"Devil-Fish, this is Station Control. Launch clearance is granted from Bay Two-Zero, proceed with caution as external docks are congested at the present time." they replied as the airlocks behind her closed, and the ones ahead of her began to cycle.

"Affirmative, Station Control. Keep an eye on those external sensors for me. Devil-Fish, out." she told them.

The moment the airlock was opened, the garishly-painted shuttle screamed out of the bay with insane speed, and very narrowly avoided the underside of a heavy freighter. As she did, she whooped with exhilaration even as she heard Station Control begin to violently swear at her for being a reckless idiot. As her false-hands grabbed the remaining two control sticks, she couldn't help but think that they hadn't seen anything yet, and then she twisted the controls with a sudden violence.

The Devil-Fish executed a sharp, looping turn and started to speed right back in the direction of the Shuttle Bays, narrowly avoiding them as it turned again to fly up, parallel to the station as she twisted the controls again.

"Faster... Come on, faster!" she murmured under her breath as she twisted the shuttle to fit through the narrow gap between a pair of docked ships, before executing another loop, this time around the nose of one of them.

She kept passing dangerously close to both station hull and ships, but she never got so close as to bump shields or actually scrape hulls, and the way she flew had a rather violent grace to it. When she felt she was finished, she pulled away from the station, and with another flick of her wrists the shuttle made a quick about-face before flying almost lazily in the direction of the ship that her HUD identified as the Sweet Child of Mine.

"Sweet Child of Mine, this is Devil-Fish..." Mar said as she pinged them, her voice more than a little breathless.


<<< Mar >>>
TGR Territory Border | Drift Station | Sweet Child of Mine Docking Bay
"I'm one of the fastest female canines that you'll ever meet."

Once the Devil-Fish was safely tucked in one of the converted containers of the Sweet Child of Mine, she made her way through the ship's corridors with her helmet tucked under one false-arm and a data pad held firmly in the other. When she finally stepped out onto the Docking Bay, she immediately saw both Walker, lounging on a lawn chair as well as Red Mary and Irina.

Striding up to Walker, she gave him a pleased smile and offered the data pad to him. As she did, it was immediately noticeable that, unlike earlier, a very distinct, musky smell was emanating from her, and what little skin was showing was a little more... Vibrant.

"Well, Captain, you wanted a demonstration? Here you are. Hopefully that should be enough to convince you that I'm a superb pilot, one of the best." she said, her distorted voice still a little short of breath.

The data pad itself showed her Devil-Fish from a variety of different angles as the external sensor array recorded her entire flight. As Walker, and perhaps others, watched the footage, her smile turned a little sheepish.

"Now, I should probably get back aboard the Sweet Child of Mine. If any station authorities ask, I'm not here." she told him.

Walker watched as the first one to arrive was Irina. Smiling as he was glad she showed up. Both her and her big ball of fur will be great for the team. One for handling all the talking and the other if they need to break some arms here and there.

"Hello Captain Walker! I was expecting that you'd be in the middle of pre-flight preparations and not... relaxing."

"No need to worry about it at all Irina. Pit and the crew inside are taking care of things. Besides, last time I try to help out, i got yelled at by everyone to not touch anything." he half smiles as he jokes around. "Plus I rather greet my crew that shows up." Walker said as he would then listen to her describing their ship. Nodding along as he listens, while he was more of a gun man, he could appreciate a good ship.

"If I might make a suggestion, hard docking the ship to your freighter's hull might be advisable if you would like to take advantage of the drone system."

"Sounds like a plan. Tell your buddy he can hard dock it. Just let my crew know where he will be docking." He tells her as he gave the thumbs up for her idea. He would rather try to save room inside for any other smaller ships that might need the space. Like Mary's vehicles, if that woman joins at least.

Though what caught Walker off guard, was how much Irina could talk. As she sort of exploded in a frenzy of words at she spoke to him. "If I may speak freely, Captain, in my experience with the TGR, it's unwise of you to start your mission without a fully finalized contract. Not that it would ever keep the TGR from denying you payment, at least a contract would be able to help establish legal recourse should that ever happen. I'm sorry Captain, I'm babbling and it's probably best that I get to the point. Before, when you said that you had been seeing a Catican female... was her name Katya by chance?"

"Woah woah..Give me some time to speak at least." A light chuckle escaped from his lips. "Now for the first part. I know, remember I used to work for them before they got rid of me. So I know how much of a fuckin pain in the ass they are. Pardon my language, but they seem to be way too jumpy for me to settle things right there and then. Though I also see this as a good thing. They might pay extra to shut up and never speak about this ever again. They could also kill us all, but they would get hurt in the end in the merc business. If they ever need any help, I don't think any group within this sector would help them. Not even for a billion credits if word got around that they kill off their own Mercs without due cause..at least a damn good cause."

He took a small inhale before speaking about point two. "Yeah I think I know of a Katya. If we are speaking about the same one that is. We hook up for a bout..a week or two. Maybe three...hard to tell how long we were together. Time was going by fast and I was enjoying it too. Then one day I woke up, tied to the bed. Nude and all of my belongings gone with a "Sorry, take care" note."

He finished, but before he could comment any more about it, Mary showed up behind them. "Hey you two, where's the purple mountain?"

"He getting their ship docked to my ship as we speak. Glad you could join us Mary." Walker said as he smiles. Though not to long after that Mar shows up as she walks out of his ship. With a big old grin on her face and...a smell Walker didn't want to question at all. "

"Well, Captain, you wanted a demonstration? Here you are. Hopefully that should be enough to convince you that I'm a superb pilot, one of the best."

Walker took the data pad and watched it. A smiled grew on his face as he chuckled. "Well, hot damn..haven't seen skills like that in ages. Glad to have you on the team Mar." Walker said as he return Mar's data pad. "Got it..and make yourself home Mar."

Credits were credits. Work was work. Brian downed the rest of his bottle as he listened and the others started moving. Standing up he left the VIP area, then the bar and made his way to his briefly rented storage locker near the docks to collect his things.

Turning the light on in the dimly lit, Brian slowly breathed as he eyed the carefully organized room making everything was still there. Of course it was all still there. Gangers knew better than to fuck with him and even if they tried they'd have been offed by the booby traps on the locks. Slowly he repacked what little he had bothered to touch since he had reached the station, pulled on his skinsuit, checked his weapons, and awoke a couple drones to move the crates in the room. Parts, munitions, fabricators, etc.

As it always did though his Kodiak gleamed in his eyes, he could feel it's want in him as he looked upon it's black armoured form, red streaks across it's front plating. Strapping a footlocker to it's back and entering into it, Brian felt pride drip into him as the machine closed around him and probed into him with it's interface cabling. It's senses became his sense as his mind became it's mind. A simple dialogue played out about a thousand times a second for three short moments in his head and the machine, in which it verified he in fact was it's master and not another trying to deceive it, before the mechanisms awoke and he began to move.

Thumping along through the docks in his armour, stared at by some as others worriedly moved out of his way, Brian arrived at the ship he was told was the "Sweet Child of Mine." Eyeing the captain and the others from the meeting he approached and said plainly "Brian Wojtek reporting," his voice coming out synthesized and almost rumbling at them.

In the distance his sensors and his network reported his drones negotiating with the ships comms array for clearance to move his equipment in through it's hangar. Apparently successfully.

[OOC: This was done with Athol's approval.]

Situations in the meeting room had gone thusly, to sum up:

Elliot and Grace had eaten lunch,
Other people began their interesting tales,
The purple Catican actually got a laugh out of Elliot,
They had a wide range of skillsets with ex-marine people at its core,
Grace never bothered to explain herself.

Not that people would really take much notice. Grace didn't talk a good fight. She fought a good fight, and let others share in the bravado and such. It's not to say that she lacked any communications skills, either. She just didn't always have things to say. Still, after this, Mary Williams, the primary interest of the two bounty hunters, made her introduction next. It was clear that the woman knew right off that at least Elliot was looking at her like a paycheck, but he just smiled and let her say her peace. After all, she said some interesting things there. He wasn't intimidated in the slightest by her promise of mayhem to anyone trying to collect on her, but he did find it interesting.

Meanwhile, the A-Plot - AKA, the first job - was being explained by Walker, stating that TGR was actually hiring them to handle an independent contractor that got greedy. He was getting the job via the military committing the crime of convenience by hiring local color to deal with the problem, on account of being somewhat occupied and closer to the core worlds. They were to report to the Sweet Child of Mine at he Eastern Docks. The Archer wasn't AT the Easter Docks. Elliot and Grace headed out to rectify this problem. On the way...

"So, what do you think? Who is 'She'?"

"Mary Williams has a surviving mother and sister, according to official records. Both are rank officers in TGR."

"I know that. I think we have a shot at something better than a bounty: Keeping her alive for profit. It's steady pay on top of whatever jobs we take working for Rick."

"Mmm, that could work."

"You take the Archer over to the Eastern Dock. I'll contact the family, negotiate some work."

"Alright."

They arrived at the ship and got underway, maneuvering speed only for dock-to-dock transferance. It gave Elliot the chance he needed to connect to the station's main communication grid to boost his signal and get a word out to the official channel for Admiral or Rear-Admiral Williams. Elliot sat at the console and was immediately worried when he was put on hold. Well, lots of people claim to have business with a famous military family. And once he got through...well...the secretary was a bit surly and unhelpful. After identifying himself, he explained that he wished to speak to either Admiral on a personal matter that they would find rather important...

"I'm afraid I can't do that without some idea on what the matter entales. Regulations."

"Alright, my reason for calling is that I've located Mary Williams and will be in a position to keep a close eye on her for the time being."

"How exactly is that of any importance to them?"

"Well, I assume they care about their daughter, given her history."

"Hold please."

"Dammit."

More waiting, and then after a short while, the secretary informed him that the Admiral and Rear-Admiral are not taking any calls in regards to Mary Williams at this time. However, before he could express his full irritation, someone cut in, right over the secretary. It was a young adult male with a few traits showing that were shared by Mary.

"I'm sorry she put you through the run-around, Mr. Gratsky. I'm Captain Williams. I understand you've seen my sister?"

"I've signed onto a mercenary team which she is now a member, herself. It occurred to me that if she had someone menacing enough in the family that would exact retribution for claiming her bounty, there might be someone willing to pay for a guy like me to keep that from happening. A reasonable rate without the threat of military reprisal sounds real good, don't you think?"

"I do think, since I know who and why. I'll agree to a contract with you, provided you keep me - and only me - apprised of her status, whether she's staying out of trouble or hurt or even just doing fine. I haven't seen her in some time...and I worry about her, unlike some. Is that acceptable?"

"Very acceptable. I will transmit a standard bodyguard contract to you and you'll get periodic reports."

With the side-contract finalized with Captain Williams, the Archer soon pulled up to a spot in the Eastern Docks, not far from the Sweet Child of Mine. Elliot stepped out to meet the rest of the gang, as per request.

"Alright, I'm here. Grace is minding the Archer at the moment."

"Alright since introductions are over and you lot seem to be friendly with each other..." Velka noticed Pit glare at her again, which earned him a quick shove from Walker. "So far..I'll get to the point about the mission."

The mission was that Captain Walker and his hired crew to assist in a future skirmish that the Terran Grand Republic was having with a planet regarding ownership rights over some important cargo that the planet had uncovered whilst mining, with both sides laying claim to it. Whatever this mystery item was, it must have been either highly valuable or of high strategic importance that both parties were willing to fight over it. Logically, the most sensible option would have been to split the item between both sides; perhaps the nature of the item itself was the reason this hadn't been considered. Guess the team would find out later down the line.

"If you have questions, save it for when we meet up again. IF you're going then the meeting point is at my ship in the East Shipyard. Ships name is called 'Sweet Child of Mine', Be there within the hour if you're planning on going. If not it was nice meeting y'all." With that, both Captain Walker and Pit left the VIP Room.

The payment they would be receiving each was... acceptable for the most part, they could do a lot worse. Leaving the room herself, Velka went to find the closest thing to a weapons shop on this station so she could perform some maintenance on the scope of the Fulcrum, as its auto-adjustment zoom was slightly out of synchronisation with the other targeting systems. That little job took longer that it appeared, as Velka would have to manually test each component before adding it to the scope assembly. With that business dealt with, the Reshani decided to head on over to the 'Sweet Child of Mine' as Captain Walker put it.

En-route Velka heard talk of some sort of small shuttlecraft doing tricks and stunts around the station. From what she could gather, those spectating were rather impressed. Eventually, Velka managed to find the ship in question, and already saw that several others from the earlier meeting were there already. Approaching the group, she pulled up her multi-goggles.

"Velka reporting in." She said with a quick salute.

Before Irina could answer, Mar showed up looking more than a little flushed...and smelling a bit like a ship's quarters after a too much time away from port.

"Well, Captain, you wanted a demonstration? Here you are. Hopefully that should be enough to convince you that I'm a superb pilot, one of the best. Now, I should probably get back aboard the Sweet Child of Mine. If any station authorities ask, I'm not here."

Mary let out a crack of laughter at Mar's last comment. "A woman after my own heart." Intercepting the pad before Mar could re-claim it, Mary hit replay and let out a low whistle of approval as she watched. "Not bad, you might even be as good as me." She said with a smile. "Hell it may be a good thing you got bum-rushed out of SRL...your talents were being wasted tossing trash haulers around a circuit."

Her good humor was somewhat soured by the arrival of a suit of KODIAK armour; Marines tended to get all prickly about bullshit like 'Duty' and 'Honour', the same pointless crap that made bailing on the Navy so easy. How the Hell did he keep that tin can? She thought, that last she'd heard...that she'd been paying attention to at least, the KODIAK was some pretty cutting edge gear. "Just watch where you step Oso." She said, as Wojtek spoke.

Behind him came the bounty hunter and the Reshani. She eyed Elliot, trying to get a read on what he might be thinking, and most importantly wither or not he and his partner were going to make her life...difficult. Unfortunately, that seemed to be easier said than done, as he seemed about as readable as a blank wall. Velka was a complete unknown to her; she'd seen a few Reshani here and there, but that was about it.

Giving the new arrivals a nod of acknowledgement, she handed the pad back to Mar. "C'mon, I wanna see this rig of yours, see if she's capable of keeping up with my 'Misha'."

<<< Mar >>>
TGR Territory Border | Drift Station | Sweet Child of Mine Docking Bay
"Born to fly."

As Walker looked over the data pad, watching her reckless little demonstration earlier, she immediately noticed his smile and couldn't help but grin a little wider herself. It was always nice to have one's talents appreciated.

"Well, hot damn..haven't seen skills like that in ages. Glad to have you on the team Mar. Got it, and make yourself home Mar."

"I plan to." she said as she reached out to take back her data pad, only for Red Mary to snatch it out of Walker's hand first.

The Shree immediately turned to level a narrow, four-eyed stare at the augmented former pirate, who promptly ignored her and restarted the recording from the beginning. As she watched, Mar crossed her true-arms across her barrel-chest and placed a false-hand on a hip while she waited. During all of that, they were shortly joined by Elliot, one of the two un-augmented humans, who mentioned that his partner was minding what was presumably their ship, while the other synthetic member of their crew, who introduced herself as Velka, reported in as well.

When the recording was done, Red Mary, much like Walker, seemed to like what she had seen, and Mar couldn't help but puff up her chest a little out of smug pride.

"Not bad, you might even be as good as me. Hell it may be a good thing you got bum-rushed out of SRL... Your talents were being wasted tossing trash haulers around a circuit."

While she knew that Mary meant that comment largely as praise, she couldn't help but prickle a little at the implication that the Devil-Fish was a 'trash hauler'. But, the crowd around the docks was growing quickly as a rather sleek mech suit strode over, the sight of which distracted Mar from Red Mary for a few good seconds. While she wasn't really one for ground vehicles, generally preferring anything that could soar through the skies or blackness of space, she had to appreciate a truly fine machine like the mech that stepped up.

"Brian Wojtek reporting."

"Sexy machine you've got there." Mar said with an appreciative nod.

Mary, on the other hand, gave it a rather dark look before finally handing the pad back to Mar.

"C'mon, I wanna see this rig of yours, see if she's capable of keeping up with my 'Misha'."

Snatching it up with her empty false-hand, Mar snorted a little with wry amusement, but nodded as she started to walk back up the gangway to the ship's airlock.

"Sure. You might not think the Devil-Fish is pretty, but she's fast, and she can fly circles around most other racing shuttles after the time and care I put in her. And she was never a trash hauler." Mar pointed out a little testily.

The Orion Files | Drift Station | The Hanger
I ST-ST-STUTTERED!
Irina Rostikova

Irina had not the wits to answer even as simple a question as the one that had been posed by Red. She was utterly and completely shocked by the revelation that Captain Walker had just revealed, that he might be able to help Irina locate her vat sibling. Like Irina, Katya had become a member of the Casteless when she fled the Catican Hegemony with a large shipment of Catican made weapons. Unlike Irina, however, Katya was alone and had no one to help watch her back. In Irina's mind, there had always been a high probability that her Vat Sister had been killed or captured or worse... the Hegemony had on recently started to mandate that all merchants in Caste Servitor travel with a body guard due to increasing reports of the kidnap and enslavement of female Catican merchants.

Surely, the Captain might have been mistaken by the woman's identity but there was a way for Irina Rostikova to verify the authenticity of what the former soldier for the TGR had said.

"~SNIFFFFFFFFFFF~" Went the Catican Merchant Mechanic's nose as it hoovered up the scent coming off of the Captain's body. It was a widely known fact that the Catican sense of smell was highly developed, a Pureblood's sense of smell being able to determine the genetic makeup of a subject by smell, and despite the fact that only 25% of Irina's genetic sequencing was Catican, there were a variety of things that she could tell about the captain such as the last time he took a shower, the places he'd been and who had been around him and the fact that he was correct, that he had seen Katya Rostikova.

If the Captain had turned to look at Irina, he would have probably noticed that she had turned visibly red after sniffing him, probably due to the fact that not only had he been with Katya, he'd slept with her on numerous occasions. Turning to look for help, the crimson faced Catican noticed that Mary and Mar had slipped off to parts unknown leaving only her, the Captain and...

"Velka reporting in." Oh thank her maker, someone else was here.

"H...H...HI VELKA!" The rather Red Faced Feline practically screamed as she turned and grabbed Velka's hand, giving it a thorough and vigorous shaking, "YOU KNOW THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT I'VE EVER MET A RESHANI! I'M DEFINITELY LOOKING FORWARD TO LEARNING MORE ABOUT YOUR CULTURE!"

This was a great way to start her first day on the job...


The Orion Files | Catican Cargo Shuttle: Redeemer | Cockpit
Not so fancy flying...
Edward Aubergine

"Drift Station Flight Control, this is Catican Cargo Shuttle Redeemer requesting clearance for departure. Uploading telemetry and destination coordinates." The Eggplant Colored Catican pilot reported as he strapped into the standing pilot's harness and started running through his pre-launch safety checks. While it was a time consuming affair, Edward Aubergine would have rather ensured that he got to his destination, which was roughly 50 meters ahead of him, in one piece than to cut a few corners and ended up breathing vacuum. As he waited for the station's flight control center to respond to his request, he went through the remainder of the checklist, even going so far as to over pressurize the cabin to ensure there were no leaks.

"Negative clearance Redeemer, there's a yahoo out here clogging up the airspace." an overly annoyed voice responded, "They appear to be headed to the same destination you are... friend of your's?" The voice continued in a rather ominous tone.

"Negative, Drift Station Flight Control, those two and I have only recently become acquainted as we are only now working under the same captain." The Redeemer's pilot responded pausing for a moment before continuing with a certain edge to his voice, "However, if you are implying that there is something wrong with my comrade running an unscheduled stress test of their ship, I would be more than happy to show you what happens when a ship does break down due to pilot negligence."

"No no... we're fine. You're cleared for launch, Redeemer. Safe travels." The tower said though the words, "Stupid fucking furballs..." could be heard as the operator forgot to switch his microphone off.

With clearance to launch granted, the Catican Pilot fired up the ship's power plant, activating all the ship's systems. As the cockpit's VR system came online, Edward Aubergine suddenly found himself floating inside the hanger. Looking around, the by the numbers pilot verified that the system was working properly with no blind spots before he released the docking clamps with mental flick.

While most space faring species preferred a physical control system consisting of a pair of control sicks and foot pedals, Caticans utilized their Nanex implants to relay their commands to the ship. Those who had designed the system found a 30% increase in response time with an 80% reduction in piloting errors.

Hold his hand palm side up over his head, the Giant Catican gently extended his arm upwards while another open hand was extended forward , as if he was pushing on something both above him and in front of him. The ship responded, moving downwards away from the docking clamps and moving the ship away from the hull of the station.

"Sweet Child of Mine this is Redeemer commencing external hard dock procedures." The Catican reported over ship to ship communications as he began his docking maneuver, an homage to his fellow pilots. Through a series of gestures, the ship began move along the hull of the station, the nose of the Redeemer maintaining a distance of 10m away from the stations hull. After 180 degrees of rotation along the X and Y axis, the Redeemer with on the other side of the station's dock and directly above the Sweet Child of Mine. Looking at the ship directly below him, Edward could was puzzled by the ethos of Terran Ship Design. As they were designed for a variety of roles, modular ships were good for a variety of roles but never a master at any specific role. This was far cry from the Catican ships designs that were purpose specific, not unlike the members of the Servitor Caste "Commencing Hard Dock..."

There was a loud banging noise that echoed through the hulls of both ships as the docking clamps of both ships met and mated, ensuring that the Redeemer would stay put even under the most extreme of maneuvers. The sound was immediately followed by the hiss caused by equalizing air pressures... and just like that, Edward had docked with his new home.

"Welcome home... Ed..." Edward whispered to himself as he exited the darkened cockpit and boarded the Sweet Child of Mine.

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