The ORION Files (Closed/Started)

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Walker tried to call out to Mary to wait but she was already gone. "Damn that girl." He could go after her and make her wait but the way he sees it, she won't listen to him yet. Walker going to have to give her some time as he puts Resha on private comm, "Resha, where are you at at the moment?"

"I'm in my hanger Mr.Walker." He heard her say over comms.

"Good, stay there I'm on my way." Walker would soon make his way over to Resha location. "Hey Resha. Got something to ask ya" Walker said as he looks up towards her vehicle and then added, "And just to say your not in trouble." he added, not wanting to scare the young woman.

Resha didnt even look up at walker as he entered the hanger, nor when the male called out to her. "What is it Mr Walker?" He heard her ask, the soft noise of audioslave drifting from the fockpit. "Like a stoooone...." It wandered out into the hangar, the girl working on something in the cockpit, probably security for the fighter.

"Nice song," Walker said as he always enjoys the old classics. Smiling for a bit as he listens to it before deciding to get serious. "Resha..why didn't you come to me about Mary hitting you? I had to find out from another crewmate about this." Walker said as he was a bit annoyed by this.

It makes him feel like his crew can't tell him anything. If that happens then it would be an animal house with the crew doing whatever they want. Walker waited as he added, "Might want to turn the music off and come down here to chat if that's possible."

Resha turned off the music and jumped down. "Multiple reasons." She said as a matter of fact way. "It wisened me up. And i didnt want to give her more ammo." Said the girl, looking at him and folding ber arms. "I could have died by taking my helmet off. One of you being sick with the common cold, which is not so common on my planet, would have been deadly for me. I was so enthralled with aliens and new life i forgot basic first contact proceedures. I was being a child and an idiot and she indirectly reminded me of that. I want to go to this new stations, but i'm afraid the fucking air is going to kill me." She explained to him now.

Walker sigh as he rubs the bridge of his nose. Knowing some of the things she said were right. "I know Mary is..." Walker tries to think of a word that wasn't too mean. "Difficult to get along with. She has been with a lot of rowdy types of people in her life. But that doesn't excuse what she did. I would like to run a ship that has rules and hopefully people won't be afraid of someone else having a freakout."

Walker tries to explain, "If I just let Mary or anyone for that matter, do what they want then someone could end up dead." Walker said as he looks down at Resha. "As for the other thing...I'm not an officer or someone within the government. I also never did a first contact scenario. I'm just here to get pay by doing random jobs the universe throws at me. If you require something, you need to say it to me."

"I'm not even talking governmental stuff." The translator explained to him, the girl sighing back. "I'm talking health, my health. My body has never experienced any diseases known by your species or other interstellar ones. If i get sick, my odds of survival head into the single digits percentage wise." Resha fored back at him. "I wanna experience new cultures, just... I cant do that if im dead or dieing."

"Apologies for my silence. I am unused to this line of thinking. While Catican Shock troopers may be known for their destructive thinking, we are not primarily known for our deductive reasoning..." Edward said with a chuckle after a momentary period of silence, no doubt digesting all this information.

"Just two last queries and I think we're done analysing the data that we have. If the Sweet Child of Mine functions anything like a basic military vessel, she should have a log of the FAI-45's loadout just after launch and upon her return.

Also, if we can get the targeting telemetry data from Mary's fighter, we can see if she targeted the colony at any point. I don't think that it can clear us in a general sense, but I would like to know whether or not the crew member watching my back is the type of crew member that would fire upon noncombatants."

There was a momentarily lull in the conversation whilst Velka began to pull up the necessary information, shutting down the displays showing the audio and visuals of the news report; having no further need of them for the moment, but saved a copy just in case.

"Do you have any plans while we are here at the station?" Such a question brought Velka out of her reverie.

"Hmm?" She muttered turning to face Edward. "Oh, um, to be honest, I haven't exactly put much thought into it; I suppose I might have a look around, see if there is anything worth acquiring, although, given my past as a security officer, part of me might decide to try and clear out this hive of scum and villainy." She let that comment hang for a few seconds before eliciting a small laugh.

"That was a joke. I realise that given the circumstances, I have a statistically low percentage chance of succeeding in this venture, as I am but one being." She then turned back to the computer and continued to tap away. There was silence for a minute or two before Velka managed to find something.

"Just managed to find the munitions log, it appears that she used up the Spectre's complement of anti-fighter swarm missiles, along with somewhere around a quarter to a half of the 30mm revolver cannon's ammunition, usage of plasma weapons have been logged but I cannot get a precise read on the amount; finally Mary has used up the ten light anti-ship missiles that were supplied with the strike craft."

"As for targeting telemetry data, its gets a little more imprecise, suggesting a rush through the required procedures. Hmm... it looks like she may have targeted the TGR staging area with the anti-ship missiles, but judging from the spread out detonation points, may have caused some slight collateral damage to the colony. Log times suggest they were fired shortly before Mary returned to the Sweet."

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Velka's Quarters
Findings and Salutations
Edward Aubergine

The words, "trying and clear out this hive of scum and villainy does sound like an ideal use of shore leave... inspite of the potential genocide that Mary may have committed," had been on the tip of Edward Aubergine's tongue when Velka had chuckled before explaining that she was both jesting as well had calculated the probability of being able to kill every being aboard the station. He could have jested right back that were his investigatory companion serious, she could have asked Mary for some pointers... but 1) it seemed inappropriate at the time and 2) Shock Troopers were not known for their sense of humor so the statement could have been taken seriously and 3) the results of Edwards queries had returned.

"Just managed to find the munitions log, it appears that she used up the Spectre's complement of anti-fighter swarm missiles, along with somewhere around a quarter to a half of the 30mm revolver cannon's ammunition, usage of plasma weapons have been logged but I cannot get a precise read on the amount; finally Mary has used up the ten light anti-ship missiles that were supplied with the strike craft."

Glancing at the report, the Combat Minded Colossus of Combat noted the model number of the anti-ship missiles in question. According to the specifications, if he was remembering them right, the warheads were unlike traditional warheads in that when it detonated, it fired off a number of highly concentrated, highly energetic gamma rays that were capable of ripping apart the thinner hull armor of lighter ships. Of course, if it was capable of doing this to a reinforced hull plating there it was not hard to imagine what it could do to building or humans.

"As for targeting telemetry data, its gets a little more imprecise, suggesting a rush through the required procedures. Hmm... it looks like she may have targeted the TGR staging area with the anti-ship missiles, but judging from the spread out detonation points, may have caused some slight collateral damage to the colony. Log times suggest they were fired shortly before Mary returned to the Sweet."

The statement made Edward frown as a low rolling grumble signaled his displeasure at hearing the news of "slight collateral damage." It might have been a joke on her part but given the properties of the missiles, the term collateral damage should have been replaced with civilian casualties since the imprecise nature of the warheads virtually guaranteed civilian casualties. Now that they had garnered what information they could, the question was what did they do with said information. While Edward could have gone to Captain Walker with the data he and Velka had uncovered, much of it was speculation and there were still too many unknown factors. Informing the crew of their findings might spell doom for Mary, which Edward could not allow given that she was his comrade no matter her actions. The only thing left was to confront Mary and, perhaps, gain more insight into the situation.

"Velka. I trust that we can keep this data to ourselves before we have a moment to approach the Captain with it. I suspect that Mary will be able to provide additional information regarding her actions." The Armored Arms and Ammo Nut commented as he started heading towards the room's exit, the door sliding open silently as it detected his approach, "However, not that the ship has docked with the station, I should check on Irina before she boards the station."

Turning towards the corridor, Edward saw a technically bipedal (through the use of augmentation) bag of trouble walking quickly through the corridors. Reaching out, the Catican Shock Trooper snatched Genocide Mary by the arm and pulled her into the room.

"Mary... it seems that you and I have become rather famous during our retreat from Sasleyria." The Catican Shock trooper commented as he forwarded the news cast to the former Pirate's Personal Communications Device, "Though... given the nature of your suggested action... it would appear that your gained fame eclipses mine. Would you care to explain why you are being shown destroying an entire colony?"


The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Catican Heavy Shuttle Redeemer | Irina's Quarters
What's a Taylor Swift? Does it yodel?
Irina Rostikova

"What's this about a yodel?" A familiar voice belonging to Irina's fellow hacker chimed in through the intercom, "Cause thats an odd thing to suddenly need to know."

The Network Intrusion Minded Neko had been analysing the Redeemer's security protocols when Shanoa had spoken, discovering the nasty little trick that Grace had been responsible for. The urge to disable Grace's code was reigned back by a sense of caution and the knowledge that the Snippy Little Sniper would have been more underhanded than to allow Irina to simply disarm the newly installed protocol... which was a good thing considering that Irina discovered another routine that checked to ensure that Irina had not restored the original security protocols which was then backed up by a third and fourth sub process that ensured that the secondary routine was not tampered with.

The easiest way around the problem would have been to shutdown the ship's main computers and restart the system one subsystem at a time, however, given that hey were docked to a pirate port of call, it might well have been a dinner bell for those who were looking for a ship to steal. Also, given the age and condition of the ship, there was no guarantee that the subsystems would have come back online in a timely manner, subjecting everyone to the possibility of a sudden and nearly instantaneous venting of atmosphere... though that was an improbable scenario... probably...

"Shanoa? Hey... it's Irina..." Irina paused as she realized of course Shanoa was aware of who she was talking to, "Hey... I'm stuck inside my quarters. SOMEONE messed around with the security permissions and made it so that the doors require a voice sample from me to open... except... the voice sample requested is something called a 'Yodel.'"

The Casino Bound Catican grumbled for a moment as she tried to manually force the doors open.

"[color=deeppink]Yeah... I'm stuck... think you could help?"

Mary had a point about looking bounty hunter, but the only way that they were going to put a stop to that is by some sort of radical action, such as Elliot becoming 20% more grizzled and wearing an eyepatch, or Grace dying her hair black and wearing the clothes that Irina had ruined at the showers. All of this was possible, but none of it was going to happen. Pickpockets and price-gouging, Elliot expected, though. That is, he and Grace expected to have to hurt someone for trying to remove anything from them. Well anyway, they were docked now, so they could leave.

Entering Tortuga, they headed through the airlock area and...well...for the hallways, that sorta' just kept on going, and all of this was essentially walking from one ship interior to another. Tortuga wasn't a nice place. It wasn't even a halfway decent sort of a place. It was just a place, a series of tube and ships. It was Waterworld in space. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Naturally, they had a few stares. They weren't pirates, and they DID have weapons. In this place, Grace was feeling a vibe similar to the streets of her youth. If anyone got too close to her with ideas, they were going to find bits of them missing. The expression on her face stated clearly 'I am not interested in you'. Elliot's expression was a bit friendlier, but the moment he saw anything threatening, that would vanish in a heartbeat.

So, they came across a place that had what they would be needing: A stiff drink.

Enter the establishment, and you will find yourself in a strange atmosphere. The music is odd-but-strangely-relaxing, there are a couple of men drunkenly dancing to it, falling over a few times, and things are not at all loud or lively. It's a pub. It's a pub like any pub. Elliot and Grace came to the counter and the owner of the place, apparently having no one to top off at the moment, came to them in a semi-pleasant manner.

"'Allo, what's this? I've got me license and all. Is this a bust?"

"Can't imagine why. I just got back from some rough action and, since we were coming here, I thought I'd invest some of our hard-earned currency to inflict inebriation upon our senses in a pleasant-ish atmosphere."

"Eh?"

"We came for a quiet drink."

"Oh! Right you are! Best drinks in all of Tortuga!"

.....

Due to the length of this post, the bulk of this discussion will be in spoiler tags. Enjoy!

"I'm gonna ask you one more time, and if you say no, you will be punched out. Now, do you have anything here to drink?"

"No."

Elliot punched his lights out.

"Let's go find another place."

Grace managed a smirk out of all of this, though.

Having made a clean escape from Walker, Mary was thinking ahead to hitting a few key bars with Mar, as well as making a mental list of people she really needed to contact while they were in dock; unfortunately for her, all that vanished from her mind as a purple furred hand grabbed her and yanked her into a room.

"Mary... it seems that you and I have become rather famous during our retreat from Sasleyria. Though... given the nature of your suggested action... it would appear that your gained fame eclipses mine. Would you care to explain why you are being shown destroying an entire colony?"

"Jesus fuck-buggering Christ!" Mary yelled, jerking her arm free. Taking a moment to compose herself, Mary glared at Ed before speaking once more. "You're lucky I didn't put a couple rounds in you, you furry idiot!" She snapped, raising her right arm to show that on instinct she'd deployed her hold-out gun. "I mean, I know it'd take more than even a full mag from this thing to drop you, but still..."

Putting the gun away, she stepped back from Ed and took another couple of deep breaths to steady her racing heart. "Okay then," She said a few seconds later. "What are you on about?" Pulling her comm device from a pocket, she played back the file that Ed had sent her. "Can't speak for the ground side footage, but this stuff of 'me' is a decent forgery, assuming your target audience knows fuck all about milspec gear. While my 'Spectre' could carry city-burners, she'd have to do it external and even then she's only got hard points for two; and nothing I brought with me could do much more than chip the paint on a cruiser, assuming my birds even got through its defensive fire...and ten AIM-60s are nowhere near enough to swamp one cruiser's point defence, let alone a pair of them."

Playing with the footage a bit, rewinding it, playing forwards slowly etcetera, Mary let out a low chuckle. "My guess is that the Grandies are doing their best to spin the fact that I tore their main LZ to shit." Looking up from the vid, she regarded Ed for a minute. "I was listening to you guys when that ambush happened. My guess is the Grandies, or their Chronus leash-holders, sent in a retrieval team before you guys to secure whatever the item was and 'sanitize' the area. You lot were supposed to good little scapegoats and die so they could blame the massacre on some 'rogue element', probably that tied into their bullshit justification for attacking Sasleyria in the first place."

"Once I realized that, and that Mar had a clean shot back to Sweety, I sent 'em a nice litter 'fuck you'. Yes I did launch at the Grandies, but it was ten little two kiloton laser heads that popped in high atmo, well outside the city. The only thing that would've hit were the grasers themselves, and even then, those would probably only sweep through a couple of city blocks."

Closing the vid, she made dismissive 'throwing away' gesture. "This is just Grandie propaganda bullshit to try and sell to the drones back home that they really are the good guys, and that everyone else is wrong and bad."

Irina's effort to try and force the doors open amused her. "maybe you shouldn't be skipping 'arm day' if you want to do that." she snarked, but opened the door. "So where you heading? Must be going somewhere if your dressed like that."

meanwhile ...

Shanoa being in the ships systems at present gave her Omnipresence, least with in the ship, and while she wasn't really spying on anyone, she was keeping tabs on them, if for no other reason then one of them might be up to something she might be inclined to join in on, and while Irina was an amusing distraction, by virtue of being trapped in her room another conversation caught her attention.

Ed and Mary where apparently having words. Apparently a TGR news broad cast was painting her as some kind of colony nuking terrorist, or something, and Ed was a bit displeased with it. Understandable. "I'm not about to defend a pirate." Shanoa said to the two once a break in the conversation formed. "In fact, far as I'm concerned only time a pirate has any value at all is when a bounty is put on their head, but in this case, regardless of whether Mary burnt a colony by mistake, or not is moot. The news is controlled by the TGR, and they do to lie or twist facts to suit them more then often then not."

<<< Mar >>>
Tortuga Drift | Shore Leave | The Blackstar Club
"Ooooh, maybe I ought to keep it to a two Mind Crawler maximum."

As it turned out, it didn't take very long after stepping onto the docks to find a wide variety of different bars, clubs, and other shops meant to draw people in the moment they were off their ships. In fact, it made her think of a Terran word that she had heard once, it had something to do with the produce called maize. But when she saw the dark blue neon lighting surrounding the sign for a club called The Blackstar, Mar knew which one she was going to start off in.

The Shree Ace could feel the music pounding through the air the moment she stepped inside, and like sitting in the cockpit of a fast ship, she felt completely in her element. The fact that she turned a few heads as she began to strut her way to the bar certainly helped.

After roughly an hour of dancing, chewing on Mind Crawlers, and halfheartedly flirting with several of the other club patrons, she found herself sitting at the bar with the fourth Mind Crawler of the night. As she felt the hexapedal reptile squirming helplessly between her teeth, she moved it around in her mouth until she found the head and slowly bit down with a rather bored expression.

Mar enjoyed a good party like the next pilot, but she was ultimately waiting on Mary at this point. Turning on the bar stool, she leaned back against the bar itself and took the time to swallow as she scanned the crowd. Her eyes were obviously glazed. The slightly glow-in-the-dark body paint that she had meticulously put on earlier was well-smudged by this point. And she was wondering where in the void that damn pirate was. After all, she knew the station better than anyone else on the crew, and she wanted to see at least some of Tortuga besides a club.

The Shree slid off of the stool and nearly fell on her face, but she managed to keep it to just an awkward stumble forward. Alright, maybe that fourth Mind Crawler was a little too much, she thought. Her head spun a little as she sat back down, and despite her irritation, she couldn't help but feel a little giddy. Maybe a few more minutes of waiting couldn't hurt.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Velka's Quarters
Standup on the Sweetie
Edward Aubergine

The Mountain of Cat Meat released Mary's arm as he listened to her explanation, following her train of thought as to why she was not responsible for the utter destruction of the colony the was formerly located on Sasleyria, trying to be as neutral in his evaluation of her story as possible. As she proceeded through her retelling of what had occurred from her perspective, Constable Kitty ran through the list of facts that he and Velka had determined through their analysis of the TGR broadcast, mentally checking them off. By the end of Mary's story, Edward was fairly convinced of his findings and of Mary's innocence, especially considering the fact that the TGR news cast had implicated him in the massacre by broadcasting images of the Catican Shock trooper walking away from a building filled with burning bodies.

"This is just Grandie propaganda bullshit to try and sell to the drones back home that they really are the good guys, and that everyone else is wrong and bad," The Freighter's resident pilot concluded as she closed the video.

"I'm not about to defend a pirate," Shanoa's voice stated via ship's intercom, "In fact, far as I'm concerned only time a pirate has any value at all is when a bounty is put on their head, but in this case, regardless of whether Mary burnt a colony by mistake, or not is moot. The news is controlled by the TGR, and they do to lie or twist facts to suit them more then often then not."

The Colossal Combat Cat scratched his head with one of his four arms rather sheepishly in response to Shanoa's analysis of the situation. While he did agree that it was irrelevant whether or not the former Space Scallywag had reduced a colony to fine radioactive dust, what was of importance was getting a gauge on Mary's character and whether or not she would be the type of Space Psycho that would bring more trouble to the ship in the future, a determining factor on how cautious Edward would need to be when on shore leave... and how much ammunition he should purchase... and how much armor he would need to wear... and how many people he would have to kill... and...

"You're correct, Shanoa, the point is moot. Velka and I determined that there were a few inconsistencies presented in the video the TGR presented and concluded the Mary had not destroyed the colony. What is noteworthy is that this news cast was transmitted to everyone living within broadcast range of the TGR and that, in order to maintain their outraged humanitarian stance, they will likely place a bounty on our heads. Given that it was relatively easy to connect the Spectre in the video feed to Mary and that Chronus is likely to be able to provide a full roster of this ship's crew, it is likely that anyone with even the slightest of rudimentary knowledge will be able to connect all of us." Edward Aubergine said, using what his thought process as a preface for the follow question, "The question becomes, what what us four should do next. Presenting the information we have gathered to Captain Walker is likely our best option. Given that he has not called for a meeting with you, Mary, means that he has likely not seen this news cast yet. From there it would most likely be best to propagate the information throughout the ship and warn our fellow crewmates to be on guard while on shore leave... or we can keep this information to ourselves as not to panic the crew, a panic that might come to the possible but unlikely conclusion of Mary's expulsion from the ship."

The Catican glanced around, noting that the two in the room and the one... where ever Shanoa was... had probably already thought of the best next step and he was simply and unnecessarily vocalizing them. With his glance, he also felt that it was a bit tense in the room given the topic of conversation. They were wanted fugitives whose words decrying their innocence would fall upon deaf ears. They would likely have to continuously look behind their backs until such a time that they could clear their names and it was likely that there were already an unknown number of mercenaries and bounty hunters already looking for them. Yes, it likely a situation that would cause them all to be nervous... which is why Edward did what he did next.

"I think that in the best interest of saving the ship, we vent Mary out an airlock and sell her Spectre as quickly as possible..." The Massive Mountain of Maul Capable Muscle said rather flatly and in a serious tone before clarifying his intentions, "... I'm joking... I'd best find Captain Walker. Anyone who would like to accompany me is welcome."


The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Catican Heavy Shuttle Redeemer | Irina's Quarters
Irina is not swole...
Irina Rostikova

The doors to Irina's quarters had refused to move even a quarter of a micron as she strained against their ceramic and organic composite material, which was expected since each of the Redeemer's internal doors were expected to be airtight in the event of a hull breach, allowing not even a breeze's worth of atmosphere to escape the ship. Of course, things might have been different had the Casino Bound Kitten not left her Muli-Arm Module in the main crew compartment of the ship since they could have cut through the door. Stepping away from the unmoveable and irritating entryway, chafed Catican consigner settled down on her bed, the bio-gel material shifting under her to offer more support.

"So where you heading? Must be going somewhere if your dressed like that," Shanoa's voice commented through the intercom.

"Well... I checked out the local directory of shops and locations aboard the station and I figured that I would sell some of the goods that I got from Chronus, since there's probably an innumerable number of tracking devices embedded in them, and taking my earnings and multiplying them by a factor of five in the station's casino..." Irina said as she stared at the doorway, wishing that her deceased boss had added Taroskan telekinesis to her genetic chain, "Get myself pampered for a bit by some burly boy at one of the local Catican run brothels before grabbing some new gear and heading back to the ship."

Of course, that wasn't the only thing that she had planned on doing while on Tortuga. Because the station likely had access to hyperwave communications, she wanted to do a bit of research on the Artifact that had been taken right from under their noses in that last mission. Also on the list was grabbing some gear for the prisoner that they'd taken. Given the amount of violent that they were bound to see, it wouldn't help SARA's fragile physique to be flopping about in the open. While the other crew likely wouldn't understand why she would invest her hard earned credits on someone that had tried to kill her, she did detect the telltale signs of Catican gene splicing on the poor prisoner... one that was quite famliar to Little Miss Meow Meow.

You see, every Gene Splicer in the Catican Hegemony had their own process and chemicals that they used in their life vats. This imparted each of their creations with a unique scent that acted as a sort of business card that identified the Master Splicer. While each of the families in the Genetic Engineering Caste were fairly unrestricted as to what they were able to create, there were a few rules that they were to follow, the primary being that all creations were to contain at least 25% Catican DNA in their genetic makeup. From what Irina could tell, Prisoner SARA had less than 5%. Further expanding the mystery regarding their unwelcome guest the fact that it appeared that her DNA had been spliced together using the same chemicals and processes used when Irina had been created...

"I'm not about to defend a pirate, in fact, far as I'm concerned only time a pirate has any value at all is when a bounty is put on their head, but in this case, regardless of whether Mary burnt a colony by mistake, or not is moot. The news is controlled by the TGR, and they do to lie or twist facts to suit them more then often than not."

Mary twitched as one of the comm speakers chimed in. "Stupid frakkin' toaster..." She muttered, flexing her left hand as she did, in an unconscious reflex to try and bleed off the newest spike in adrenaline. Ed nattered along with what Shanoa was saying, with Mary barely paying attention, but when he got to mentioning tracking her ship, and IDing the rest of the crew, she shook her head. "That is why, unlike the rest of you chuckleheads, I used a fake identity; and as for the Spectre? Those have been on the 'public' arms market for a few years now. Anyone outside of that shit-show we escaped from is going to be looking at either one of the larger merc fleets or a well to do Outer Colony world as the origin point for my bird."

"I think that in the best interest of saving the ship, we vent Mary out an airlock and sell her Spectre as quickly as possible... I'm joking... I'd best find Captain Walker. Anyone who would like to accompany me is welcome."

Mary was tired, depressingly bordering on sober, and wanting to get off this tub as soon as she could; so when Ed tried to make a 'joke' it tweaked all the wrong nerves. Anger flashed through her, and she was about to call on her gun once more, when she realized he wasn't serious. Looking up, she stared straight into the towering Catican's eyes. "I have many other things I'd rather be doing than dealing with Dick right now."

With that she moved towards the doorway, and the corridors beyond, stopping only briefly to address Ed one last time. "Ed..if you do decide to come at me, I'll tell you this straight. You'll probably get me, but I'll make damned sure I take you with me." Storming off, she made a B-line to her quarters to gather a few things before heading station-side.

--

Now, having freshened up a bit and with her 'main' sidearm in an underarm holster, she exited the Sweet Child of Mine and stepped onto the docks. Her first stop was a heavily fortified structure that had been built into an old internal airlock between the docks and the main area of the station; this was Obsidian Financial Services' Tortuga branch, because someone had once realized that even pirates wanted somewhere secure to store their credits, and as long as the morality of how they came to get those credits didn't bother you, there was plenty to be had.

Stepping into the bank, she surrendered her sidearm, and the magazine of her holdout, before proceeding to the teller. The teller booths were all faced with kinetic resistant two way mirrors, and all communication between teller and customer was via intercom. "Greetings, how may I help you?" Came the query from the unseen teller. "I want to access all accounts pertaining to the vessel Regent Star, passcode Six-Niner-Gamma-Romeo-Whiskey. Authentication Red-Four-Four."

There was a few moments of silence, then the voice returned. "The authentication looks good, but the Regent Star was reported lost with all hands. We will need DNA verification." As the voice spoke, a small receptacle opened in front of Mary. "Please place an organic digit here." She stuck the index finger of her left hand into the port, there was a slight 'sting' in the tip of her finger and the port closed.

After another moments wait, the voice spoke once more. "Genetic ID confirmed. As senior surviving executor of the accounts, what would you like to do?" "Well...how much is there in the accounts?" "There is 120 000 credits between three accounts." "Alright...I'd like to withdraw 1000 credits right now, and then transfer the remaining total balance to my personal account. Romeo-Mike-One-Sixer-Alpha." A few minutes later, she left the bank with credits in hand and her personal account nicely topped up. Now...Mar...

It wasn't long before she heard the buzzing electronic 'music' that Mar, for some strange reason, seemed to enjoy. Weaving through the crowds outside the door, she pushed her way inside where the noise was even louder and more jarring. Making her way to the bar, she got a drink and a couple of shots; downing the shots in rapid succession, she then headed for Mar...she'd spotted Mar easily enough, but getting to her wasn't so simple.

After a few judicious kicks, stomps and one elbow, to get people out of her way, Mary slid onto a stool beside the obviously intoxicated Shree. "Hey, sorry I'm late, had to take care of a few things." She said while motioning to the nearest bartender for another drink.

The thing is...they weren't getting into trouble OR getting turned away OR getting gouged. No, it was literally that the first twelve places that he and Grace had come across to get a drink - A drink drink, mind you - were fucking out of anything drinkable. Navigating this station was also a pain. They were slowly committing its layout to memory, but to fully get a grasp of the place, they would actually have to cover alot of it before it became second nature. Uhh...no one was risking trying to pick their pockets. That was for damn sure. Anyone who wanted some of their cash was going to have to earn it...and the first candidate that might actually make it...

...was The Blackstar. The two mercenaries decided to use earplugs, the easy way to filter out the music. They didn't care that much, but it was a big difference between hearing it and being assaulted by it. Neither of them noticed Mar and Mary at the moment as they headed to the bar. There, Elliot signalled the one tending and proceeded to order by hand-signals. Given that the place was pretty loud, this was frankly just a better way to DO that. So...

Two strong drinks, go easy on the ice.

Then, he finally noticed Mar, and knowing that Shree biology was a little different, he added...

For human biology.

Coming right up.

Much better...

"Velka. I trust that we can keep this data to ourselves before we have a moment to approach the Captain with it. I suspect that Mary will be able to provide additional information regarding her actions." Edward stated as he motioned his way towards the exit. Velka quietly nodded in response to this, she supposed getting the information directly from Mary was probably the quickest method, but the Reshani Commando didn't want to utilize such a blunt method; coupled with the fact that both she and Mary weren't on the best of terms at the moment.

"However, now that the ship has docked with the station, I should check on Irina before she boards the station." He then left the room, turning a corridor and quickly moving out of sight, which was surprising for someone of Edward's stature.

Velka | Sweet Child of Mine | Personal Quarters
Looking for Work: Chapter 0

After Edward had left, Velka decided that she probably should leave the ship and explore Tortuga as well, for what it was worth; whilst she didn't like pirate ports and would love nothing more than to burn it to the ground, she realised that given their soon-to-be wanted status; it was more than likely that the Sweet's crew would be making use of such stations in the near future.

This realisation left Velka feeling annoyed and frustrated, she then thought about what she could do to rectify the situation; obviously, the consumption of either drugs or alcohol, or possibly both, given the situation was crossed off the list almost immediately, given her synthetic nature, she wouldn't feel any of the so called 'highs' or the 'buzz' one would get, then again, she wouldn't feel the lows either.

Going to a brothel or other such dens of pleasure was also crossed off, as she wasn't exactly equipped for that area, nor again would she derive pleasure from it, and she didn't want to deal with 'sex bot' comments from the rest of the crew. She had briefly considered gambling or hitting up a local casino, but she thought that might be better done with others and if she was to hear correctly, the others had made plans.

Somehow, her mind went back to her original plan of burning Tortuga to the ground; whilst Velka knew fully well that she could not perform such a service, perhaps she could do something similar on a smaller scale, perhaps deal with a few bothersome elements on the station, surely even a pirate port had its criminals?

"Well it is better than simply hanging about the ship all the time, and it would almost be like my old job as a security officer."

With that being said, Velka got up, got her gear together, and went out searching for trouble, as one might say.

<<< Mar >>>
Tortuga Drift | Shore Leave | The Blackstar Club
"Always know your limits."

When the ex-pirate finally showed up, Mar was in the middle of talking herself into heading back to the ship, and sleeping off the rest of her Mind Crawler high and, hopefully, the impending hangover. But the moment Mary sat down on the vacant stool next to her, Mar's lips quirked upward as she turned to face her.

"Hey, sorry I'm late, had to take care of a few things."

"Oh, that's fine, I was just killing time for over an hour. No big deal." she said dryly, although while the synthesized voice of her translator was clear, her real voice underneath was both slurred and oddly lilting.

So once the bartender brought Mary a drink, there was a moment of hesitation as Mar worked her teeth and frowned. Then she lifted a true-hand and said, "You know what? Give me another Mind Crawler. On my friend here."

The bartender was a human, which was a fairly common species on Tortuga as far as Mar could tell, leveled a knowing look at her. Had she been more sober, she would've been able to immediately tell that she wasn't the first Shree he had seen going past her Mind Crawler limit. Which made the fact that he simply nodded and went to go get another one a sign that he either didn't want to argue the matter, or felt that potential entertainment outweighed prudence.

What he brought back was a clear canister containing a wriggling hexapedal lizard with mottled red skin that had an odd sheen to it. And from the way it's mouth worked, it was trying and failing to squeal in obvious distress, although the pounding music easily drowned out it's cries. Handing the canister to Mar, she promptly twisted the cap off of one end and knocked it back like most people would down a shot.

But when she set the canister on the bar and turned to Mary, it was clear that she was in the process of gingerly chewing on the poor creature while it was still alive. She seemed to mumble something after a moment, but what she was trying to say was so incomprehensible her translator didn't even bother to try and make sense of it. What was worse was that on close inspection, it was clear that her eyes were having trouble focusing and had a wicked gleam to them as the Mind Crawler high went straight to her head.

That was when she spotted Grace and Elliot walking in, and she finally pushed the Mind Crawler against her cheek and waved at them.

"Hey, didn't know you two liked the club scene! Didn't figure you two for the type." she said cheerfully, before the Shree turned to Mary and asked with that same gleam still in her four eyes, "Anyway, so what is your plan for this glorious night on the town here in Tortuga Drift? Don't really care what we do, because I'm wasted, I'm horny, and I wanna have some fun!"

Mary nodded when the bartender raised an eyebrow about Mar billing her for the 'crawler, it wasn't unheard of for the dumb and or intoxicated to try and get others to cover their expenses. Second drink in hand, she knocked it back quickly then signalled the closest bartender for three more, doubles this time.

For her part, Mary simply gave a small wave of acknowledgement as Mar greeted Elliot and Grace; she didn't have anything against them personally, but they were bounty hunters so that led to her feeling a little 'professional' aversion to them; some of the crowd must have been picking up on it judging by the side long looks some of the patrons were giving the duo, but fortunately no one seemed stupid enough to actually start anything.

"Anyway, so what is your plan for this glorious night on the town here in Tortuga Drift? Don't really care what we do, because I'm wasted, I'm horny, and I wanna have some fun!"

Downing her third and fourth drinks in rapid succession, she then just sipped her fifth. "Well, now that I'm not so depressingly sober, I'd love to go find a real party; it's been ages since I've had a good brawl." She chuckled, flashing her all to prefect teeth. "As for anything else? Well the night is young as they say." Sidling up ring next to Mar as she spoke, Mary ran a finger of her left hand down Mar's spine; Mary had 'encountered' more than a few Shree in her life, and had picked up a few interesting tidbits.

One was the location of a small nerve cluster near the base of the spine; a hard strike, like a kick or a punch, caused a temporary incapacitation, but with just the right light] touch, it caused the nerves to tingle in a much more pleasant fashion.

The door to Irina's rook slid open, with Shanoa's robotic cat body on the other side. The AI summoning it while Irina was talking. "Sounds ... better then hanging out here. I Shall join, since I've got fuck all else to do right now." AI said, her voice once again coming from the mechanical body.

Though, truth be told, she had 'this feeling' she should get out and have a look around the station. She didn't know why though, just that she should.

While they were waiting on their drinks, Elliot and Grace both noticed Mar trying to talk to them. They both knew that between the music and the eyeplugs they were wearing FOR the music, actually hearing her would be impossible...but they both got the gist of what she was asking. The two of them looked at each other and made hand-signs.

You tell her. I don't have the voice for this.

Allright.

He walked over, after having taken his drink from the tender of the bar.

"We're not. Pretty much every place we came across was literally out. There's at least eleven KO'd bartenders around the station for leading us along."

He also caught wind of Mary's plan to bar-crawl-and-brawl. It sounded like something they should shadow... Well, Grace was the better shadow. Elliot was the better lure than the shadow, pretty much on purpose. Well, it would serve, at least. They had to make certain Mary didn't get herself axed, and frankly their pilot friend didn't deserve it either.

Walker sigh as he wasn't really used to this. He was used to people being able to handle themselves and use to aliens already having things they need. Though it seem with Resha thats all different since she is a brand new alien that just jump into a large ocean that is the galaxy. "I know..which is why I said i'm not used to first contact stuff. I don't even know the first thing about it." Walker said as he added, "But I'm going to try my best and make sure you don't get sick and die while we are at the station or anywhere for that matter."

Then he added, "Just promise me that next time something like this happens with Mary..or anyone for that matter, that you will come talk to me first. I can't run a ship when my own crew is hiding stuff from me."

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Velka's Quarters
The Bearer of Bad News
Edward Aubergine

Walking through the extremely cramped corridors of the Sweet Child of Mine, the Armored Alien Enforcer headed towards the location of where the ship's computer reported Captain Walker's last known location, the Hanger. As he was still wearing his equipment in case any of the station's less savvy inhabitants decided to forcefully make their way onto the ship, the ship's crew gave him a rather wide berth, which was probably a wise thing as he was wearing the same exact armor as had been broadcast on the news feed.

Looking about, the Ever Observant Four Fists of Furry (yes I know I wrote Furry instead of Fury) noticed activity coming from the direction of Resha's prototype ship. Considering that Edward did not see him on the hanger deck and that it was very likely that both Mary and Mar had already departed for the station, it was probable that the Captain was speaking to the Former Test Pilot. Walking towards the unique craft, Edward paused for a moment, listening in to the conversation and ensuring that he was not interrupting anything of great importance... or at least greater importance to the information that he had for the Captain.

"Just promise me that next time something like this happens with Mary..or anyone for that matter, that you will come talk to me first. I can't run a ship when my own crew is hiding stuff from me." The Captain's voice drifted through the air, filled with a certain amount of anxiety and possible annoyance.

Given that the topic of the conversation, it seemed like a rather appropriate time to pass on the information that he was carrying. Rounding the corner so that both Resha and the Captain could see him, the Massive Mountain of Catican Muscle cleared his throat, vying for their attention before speaking.

"Apologies for the interruption..." Edward said respectfully, nodding in the direction of the suited alien pilot, "I could not help but overhear the topic of the conversation and thought it prudent to share some news with you, Captain Walker."

Without further word, the Catican Shock Trooper forwarded both the recorded news feed and the analysis that Velka had performed to the Captain's Portable Personal Device.


The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Catican Heavy Shuttle Redeemer | Irina's Quarters
Preparing to Depart for New New Vegas.
Irina Rostikova

The nearly claustrophobic kitty found herself able to breathe a bit easier as the door to her quarters slid open quietly, a slightly audible pop could be hear as the airtight seals on the door were released. It wasn't a far stretch in Irina's morbid minded sense of humor to imagine that her body would have been perfectly preserved has she passed away in the room, protected by some sort of freshness seal... though that might have been the waning panic doing the thinking for her. As the door slip open, it revealed Shanoa's robotic visage. It might have been the lack of air in her quarters speaking but rather than a nice and calm and simple thank you, Irina burst out of the room flying, her arms wrapping themselves around Shani's robot neck as the jubilant, jiggling chested Catican hugged the A.I. in thanks.

"Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou.Thankyou." Irina machine gunned her thanks before releasing her captive and settling down to finish preparing herself, checking her dress once more before leaving the shuttle, making a mental note to disable the security auto-sync when she returned.

"(Dress? Check. Credits? Check. Side Arm? Check. PPF? Charged. Fashion tape?)" The Casino Bound Kitty Cat paused for a moment and gave the front of her dress a momentary downward tug, ensuring that nothing would pop out, "(Check! Weapons Shipment? ... ... check)"

Having been trapped for some time, the Feline Weapons and Cute Clothing Dealer had not been able to check the Freighter's logs to ensure that the weapons and goods that she was going to sell had been packaged, separated and made ready for delivery once she had sold the entire thing. Running quickly through the cargo manifest, she found that her goods were ready.

"Hey Shani, since we're going to need a bankroll, I've gotta check on a contact or two and see if I can sell them the merchandise that I got from Chronus before we hit the casinos, if you don't mind. Shouldn't take too long. Do you want to come with or do you want to grab a couple of drinks and wait for me... wait... can you drink?" Irina asked her voice innocently curious. While it would have been a waste to give an AI a sense of taste and the ability to be affected by mind altering chemicals... there was something about Shanoa's personality that struck her as different from most A.I., at least not in the Technically Minded Merchant's experience. Most A.I. personalities were rather flat, except for entertainment models, and could put anyone to sleep with their voice alone were they to speak at length.

Passing through the Redeemer's doors, Irina and Shanoa entered the hanger. Spotting Edward waiting near the Resha's ship, she have her cohort a friendly and courteous wave as she waited for Shanoa to answer.


The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Holding Cell
Beep... beep... beep...
SARA-00735

If it wasn't obvious why SARA-00735 needed to be carried to her holding cell, it should have been noted that her muscles... or lack of muscle development kept her from moving under her own power. Years spent locked inside of her armor had made their conditioning superfluous as the armor acted as both the Blue Haired Human Hybrid's skeleton as well as her musculature. Laying inside the small room. SARA could only lay atop the thinly padded cot as the medical scanner installed in the room's ceiling scanned her.

"The following conditions have been noted in your medical record," The machine droned before listing off her symptoms, "Severe muscle atrophy caused by lack of use. 50% of nominal bone density due to calcium deficiency. Moderate hypoxia due to inadequate airflow. Low White Blood cell count..."

The Prisoner ignored the scanner as it continued drone on about the wide array of health issues that she was facing as it was fairly obvious that SARA would not be released from her holding cell any time soon nor would it make sense for the crew of this freighter to assist her with any of her health related issues unless it was simply to prolong her life so that they could interrogate her at some future date. Besides, her head hurt, her body ached in a manner that felt as if she was getting sick and she was too tired to listen to the ongoing litany of diagnoses. Closing her eyes, Prisoner-00735 drifted off to sleep.

Velka | Tortuga Drift | Security Terminus - Bounty Office
Looking for Work: Chapter 1

After passing through the surprisingly thorough security checkpoint, Velka wandered around the Drift station's concourse, keeping an eye out for any opportunities that caught her attention. She didn't have to wait long though, as the specialist started seeing wanted posters for a human named Taliesin Rafe.

Said human looked to have a lanky sort of figure, appeared to be either in his late thirties or early forties with a medium length dark brown ponytail with some powder blue highlights. Eyes were a pale green, yet one of them looked to be a cybernetic implant judging from the slight sheen it gave. Dressed in what appeared to be a mixture of professional business attire and a military, as evidenced by the lightweight ballistics vest worn underneath a suit jacket in his picture. His tanned face appeared to have a few scars around the right eye, and a horizontal one going across his nose

As was usual, there was a listed dead or alive payment, bringing him in alive would net the victor around 20000 Credits, though there might be some deductions based on the condition of the subject; Velka wondered what that was about. Bringing them in dead would make the payout 10000, whilst evidence of their demise would 7500. "Certainly quite the drop-off in pay," Thought Velka, "then again, it pays to have quality service, let's hope I meet their standards."

Before she set off to the bounty office for more information, she made a copy of the bounty details, which listed the perpetrator's crime as; DISRUPTING CASINO OPERATIONS

"Someone is robbing from a casino? Well, that is certainly a bad play." She asked herself as she walked off towards the bounty office.

Five Minutes Later...

Gantu, a somewhat large, amphibious looking humanoid and head of security for this part of the station was busy watching the security cameras when the little red light on his intercom started blinking. Breathing a heavy sigh, he pushed the receive button.

"What is it, Merrick?" He asked in a bored tone.

"Hey uh, boss, some metal, and I mean Metal, looking chick wants to see you, says its about a bounty or something."

"Bounty?" He asked, confused for a moment before letting out a low chuckle. "Heh, heh, heh, looks like someone finally wants to take a crack at old Taliesin. Send them in Merrick, I want to meet this here 'metal chick'."

"Right boss, just a sec." The intercom went silent, shortly after, a dull sounding buzz was heard, and the door to his office unlocked, opening up to reveal Velka. She stepped in, took a brief look at her surrounding, before taking a seat at the offered chair.

"Well, this is a surprise, didn't expect to see a Reshani of all things out here, thought you Synths kept to yourselves. Still, if you looking to take down Taliesin, I won't judge on who or what you are; so long as you're capable. Now, what have you come to me for?" He asked, leaning back in his chair with arms crossed.

"Information, Mr Gantu about the target, about the exact nature of his misdemeanours. The poster says; 'Disrupting Casino Operations', but what does that entail exactly?"

"Well good on you, most hunters would have gone off and tried tracking him down, and not care about the why's and where's. Nice to see someone who does their homework for a change. Say, can I get you a drink before we start, Miss...?" He asked, reaching down to get something from under his desk.

"Velka, and thank you for the offer Mr Gantu, but alcohol doesn't really do anything for me. Besides, I would prefer to keep a clear head when on assignment."

"Fair enough, more for me then." Gantu said with a smirk, putting one of the glasses away before pouring some amber coloured liquid in a tumbler glass. "Velka you say? Name rings a bell. A specialist in your field in I'm not mistaken? Anyway, onto the matter at hand." He added before putting the bottle to one side.

"The reason we're after Taliesin is that he has been secretly cheating at the slot machines and various card tables, and we believe it is to do with some kind of special poker chip he carries on him." As Gantu spoke, various security cam pictures began showing up on a holographic screen in from of him, showing Taliesin from various angles, with a few focusing on a red/white poker chip, seemingly ordinary at first glance.

"We think this chip allows him to influence the slot machines so that they increasingly give him better odds, and to view cards to engage in a form of card counting, meaning he can better predict when to play or fold." He said taking a sip of his drink.

"If you are so sure it is him, why haven't you dealt with the problem?" Velka asked, sounding somewhat annoyed at the incompetence of security here.

"Because this man is a slippery bugger, seemingly able to escape when we move on him, and the times we do catch him, we can never find the proof of the chip for a conviction, or better yet, smooth talk his way out of it. If we could catch him with the chip, everyone could breathe a little easier."

"I best go catch a crooked card shark then," Velka said with a little smile. She got up to leave before being stopped by Gantu.

"Before you go, here is a list of casinos' that Rafe likes to frequent. And be careful, he has been seen with a couple of guards on occasion; but you look like a walking small-scale arsenal, so I doubt you'd have issues dealing with some goons." He tapped a few commands into his keyboard, and Velka received a notification.

"Thank you for the warning. You should have your man by the end of the day." Velka then left the office, reading through the information as she went to the first casino.

<<< Mar >>>
Tortuga Drift | Shore Leave | The Blackstar Club
"Oh, you might regret that."

If it had been in question before, the way Mary slammed back her third and fourth drinks laid to rest any suspicions that she could possibly be a lightweight. But when she came to her fifth glass, she decided to nurse it more slowly as she answered the heavily intoxicated Shree.

"Well, now that I'm not so depressingly sober, I'd love to go find a real party; it's been ages since I've had a good brawl. As for anything else? Well the night is young as they say."

Then her hand reached over and stroked Mar's back, paying particular attention to a sensitive cluster of nerves. The result was a sharp gasp and a shiver of pleasure that went up and down her spine, and spread through her limbs. Mar gave Mary a sidelong glance, not even noticing Elliot's reply. Once she took the time to finish off her Mind Crawler and swallow it, she regarded her Pirate companion with a wide and wicked grin with a plethora of slightly bloodied teeth.

"Well then, why don't you show me what you consider a real party?" she purred as she pushed herself away from the bar and onto slightly shaky feet.

Thanks to her near-fall earlier, she was at least somewhat aware of how fucked-up she was, so she managed to avoid face-planting this time. And since she was on a heady Tsi'vaan trip, she was looking forward to any kind of fun at that point, and a brawl among other things had piqued her interest.

"Well then, why don't you show me what you consider a real party?"

"Atta girl!" Mary replied, knocking back her fifth drink. As she stood, she felt the familiar 'buzz' of alcohol washing through her system. That's better... Mar had turned slightly towards the door, and Mary seeing an opportunity too good to pass up, reached out and gave Mar a slap on her well sized rear end. "Good to tall, dark and chilly?"

The Shree nearly jumped, and had to fight against stumbling into the bar, before her four eyes locked onto Mary's two. Her earlier grin returned, but with a decidedly more wicked edge to it. "Oooh, I'm gonna make you pay for that." she promised with a purr as she wrapped both a true-arm and a false-arm around the ex-pirate's waist, "Lead the way."

"I've never paid for anything in my life." She laughed, wrapping her own single arm around the former racer's much more substantial waist in reply. Guiding them out of the crowd, Mary set them onto the main thoroughfare of the station, pointing out places of interest as they went. The Shipbreaker's station-side office, the bank and most of the larger and more popular places to drink and consume other various intoxicants were located right near the docks; as to be in the best position to cash in arriving crews flush with credits.

Pointing out the various places, she singled out the Shipbreaker's office, while taking an opportunity to grab a handful of Mar's backside. "Before we head out, I should take you to meet Shipbreaker...fun toys and he's a big race fan, hell he'd probably get mad at me for not introducing you."

Mar nodded as she moved to return the favor with her false-hand, while her true-hand continued to casually rub her companion's hip as she said, "Not a bad idea, but not while I'm on a Mind-Crawler high, and you promised me fun, remember?"

Mar's 'response' caught her off-guard and much to her annoyance she let out a bit of a 'squeek' as the false-hand upped the ante. "Easy there," She muttered, running a thumb over the nerve cluster on Mar's back again. "We get too carried away out here, we're likely to find company...and I don't feel like sharing today."

After that, they passed 'Bordello Row', where Mary exchanged surprised greetings with a few of the workers, and then the arms bazaar and general markets. Now past the big draws, she turned them down a smaller side corridor and into what even the residents of Tortuga would call a 'rough' area. As they walked, heavy driving music became louder and louder. Rounding a corner, they stood in front of what had once been one of the mining stations crew break areas; now a damaged sign the read 'Dead Orbit' hung above the door.

Stepping inside, the music was much louder; the bar, over in a corner, look more like a fortified gun position than somewhere to get drinks, the atmosphere was heavily charged with excitement while most of the patrons placed bets on a bare knuckle brawl going on in front of the live band. Still with her arm around Mar, Mary took them over to the bar where she banged on the kinetic resistant window with her right fist. "Hey you old fucker!" She bellowed while smiling. "You owe me a drink, I ain't dead yet!"

A Shree male, obviously pushing 100, but still very large and powerfully built stepped into view. "Well look what the Void spat out." He replied, in a rasping voice. "Never thought you show up here again." As he spoke, he poured a glass of something and slid it though a small hatch, towards Mary; even at a distance one could see heavy fumes coming off of it.

The old Shree turned his slightly foggy gaze to Mar. "Watch yourself young blood, Red here is what we call 'destabilizing influence'." Out of the hatch came a jar with a very small, but blindingly colourful, and very animated 'crawler. "Hey!" Mary said with a touch on indignation, downing her drink rapidly. "The correct term is 'fucking shit disturber', get it right!" Laughing, she waved across the room with her mostly empty glass. "Welcome to my home!"

Walker was caught off guard by Edward showing up.

"Apologies for the interruption...I could not help but overhear the topic of the conversation and thought it prudent to share some news with you, Captain Walker."

Though before he could say anything, he got a pop up on his wrist computer.

"Let us take a look see.." Walker said as he opens up the files and took a look at them. Watching the video recording as he saw what happen. Stopping the video a few times to rewind it as he let out a sigh and pinch the bridge of his nose. Rubbing it as he tried to form any feelings at all from this.

"What does Velka think of it? And has Mary seen this at all?" Walker asked. Dealing with Mary has been a drain already about what happens to Resha, and now this? This whole scenario was far worst then Walker could have thought. It didn't even matter at all if this video is fake, the TGR and Chronus have it. They could easily turn the whole TGR's sphere against them. Make them a running fugitive.

This just means they will have to stay out of TGR space for good or find some way to get TGR, or even Chronus for that matter, to wipe the blood from their hands.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | The Hanger
Advice from Ed
Edward Aubergine

"What does Velka think of it? And has Mary seen this at all." The Captain asked after watching the news footage that included the doctored video of Mary's spectre launching the colony killing strike.

"Both Velka and I came to the conclusion that this is an obvious forgery, as any being with even a moderate knowledge of munitions can see. There is no possibility that Mary's ship fired the warheads that devastated the colony, if it was even destroyed as the media footage implies." Edward responded coolly, becoming used to presenting the facts as he saw them, "We have confronted Mary with this footage and as expected, she declined involvement in the destruction, though she did state that she launched a number of missiles at the TGR staging area while likely would have caused some amount of collateral damage." He paused for a moment, taking into consideration that he had been looking at Mary's actions in a rather negative light, "While the collateral damage might be unfortunate, it's likely that any civilian killed by Mary would have killed in the TGR's subsequent assault."

Having delivered his report to the Captain, he waited for a response or orders. However, he could see that the Captain already had his hands filled for the day and was likely in need of some assistance.

"If we had access to the TGR military database, it is likely that we could discover the identities of the voices from the TGR military communications channel that had been included in the broadcast. We could then track them down and then we could 'convince' them to assist us in clearing our name... or... we could enlist the aid of our prisoner in seeing if her patrons had any recording assets in the area that might assist us in clearing our name, though I doubt they would elect to aid us without us paying or performing some sort of service on their behalf." The Advice Filled Armored Feline continued before falling silent once again.

Shanoa was surprised she was so 'affectionately assaulted', it was weird for her to say the least, but not a bad kinda weird. After Irina ran a few 'checks', she started out, getting a little ways into the hall and toward the hanger before Irina explained the where going to need a bit of 'walking around' money, which was fine, and then asked something she could only classify as 'to stupid for words'. Which surprised Shanoa a bit, she figured Irina was smarter then to ask something as silly as 'could she eat or drink'.

"Are you sure your ok? You where getting enough air in there right?" Shanoa asked, deciding against being full on rude about the question when she did just let the Fashionable Feline out of an air tight room not long ago. "Cause I feel like the answer to that should be rather obvious."

The Orion Files | Tortuga | Marketplace
Crazy Sal's Cosmic Co-Op and Outlet
Irina Rostikova

~CLUNK! WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRR! CRUNCH!~

The Merry Little Merchant smiled at the sounds being broadcast through the freighter's hull as the space dock's personnel started swarming the freighter as they snaked fuel, water and electrical lines into the appropriate positions. She briefly considered asking Captain Walker if he needed any fake ship registries setup while Irina and Shanoa were on shore but dismissed the thought when the doors to the airlock slid open, revealing a windowed space bridge.

"Are you sure your ok? You where getting enough air in there right?" Shanoa asked in a manner that belied the fact that she was on the cusp of a sarcastic retort, "Cause I feel like the answer to that should be rather obvious."

Gesturing for her Compatriot in a Killer Kitty Chassis to proceed, Irina gave the question some thought in regards to how she should answer. She, of course, didn't want to answer in a fashion that would have implied that the Ever Pleasant A.I. had chosen to reside in a rather dated chassis but at the same time, Shanoa could have probably done with an update to a more modern body that didn't scream "I'm going to maul you if you look at me funny."

"Well, it's not all that obvious actually. Since it's the first time that I've encountered your model of chassis, I'm not sure if it has any of the synthetic receptors for taste, touch and smell that have become features. Of course, a lot of people asked why an A.I. would want these sorts of options, outside of utilitarian reasons like bio/chemical toxin detection, but they're not getting that the more sensory input you allow an sort of intelligence, the more you allow it to expand beyond its original purpose." Irina commented as they reached the midpoint of the space bridge, pausing to admire the light recon fighter that passed overhead, "Now you can't tell me that you haven't been the least bit curious as to what all the fuss about food is all about, can you?"

Continuing on they passed over the bridge and entered the station proper, entering some sort of market area. Looking about, the Catican Merchant/Mechanic inhaled deeply, savoring the unique scent of the market... its DNA. Every market that Irina had ever visited had its own distinct smell that was dependent not only the food being hawked but the number of vendors and the type of merchandise being sold. With a large enough database of samples, you could tell where a particular object had been sold based solely on how it smelled, which was particularly useful if you were ever wanted to track down the origin of an object.

"Oh... that place looks promising!" The Excited Exchanger of Imports commented as she headed towards a rather particularly jittery looking merchant that proclaimed himself as being the proprietor of Crazy Sal's Cosmic Co-Op and Outlet which had prices so low you would call its proprietor insane.

"Look, it might not say Sony on the outside of but it's the insides that count," Crazy Sal stated to a doubtful looking client, "Look, look, look... look... ... look... ... ... look, my man, I guarantee that this thing was made using the guts of Sony model that you're looking for but at only ... a hal-... a quarter the price! Why pay a premium for the external label?!"

'Well, at least we know it's fake.' Walker thought as he shakes his head. "Well, this is just great. the TGR got us by the balls, and we might be on the government most wanted list." He then whispers lightly to himself, "I'm going to need a drink after this...probably a few."

He wonders where Mary was at this moment but pushes that thought out of his mind for now. She has been trying too hard to keep herself away from him, and if Ed already tried to talk to her, she probably already made up her mind to not talk about it. He'll let her be off for now, but only until they finish the repairs of the ship.

"Alright, we'll question the prisoner first. See what info we can get out of her. I doubt it will be much since she just a low grunt, but we better see if there anything she knows at least. We'll get over this major hurdle when we can. Once we get repairs and set off, we'll look for more clues while we do missions to get our wallets bigger. Can't clear our names if we're broke." He chuckles lightly, hoping his stupid joke could get the purple cat to smile.

"Until the repairs are finished, just take a rest, Ed. If you want to, go out and explore. Just don't get into too much trouble. I already have enough with Mary." He patted Ed's shoulder and start to walk away. Heading towards his room to lock himself in and drink his problems away for now.

We should point out, since it was mentioned, that Elliot and Grace had seen the posters for Rafe, but...acting on the advice of Mary to tone down the bounty hunting on the pirate station, they weren't going to actively pursue him. True, the man was disliked IN this place, but they weren't really interested unless he happened to drop into view. Grace would get a signal in her eyes and...Elliot would probably catch sight if he WAS around. That said, they still kind of had other business to attend to. Mary was still unaware that they were making sure she didn't end up dead, though part of that was - of course - due to the fact that they'd played it rather loose. Mary had been a pirate for a long time and could certainly handle herself. Elliot was looking for that one slip in a million where she ends up gutted, that's all. Having eyed their conversation with somewhere between amusement and surprise, he returned to Grace.

"Follow."

He knew she couldn't really hear him right not, so she'd be heading out of the loud room so they could pull out their earplugs. Grace still looked a little confused, though.

"What's going on, Elliot?"

"They're going to another dive for some 'fun'."

"I saw how they were acting. Should we really be watching this?"

"If they were just into that, I'd said no, but it looks like they wanna beat up a bar. We need to make sure nothing fatal happens, that's all. This place wasn't exactly our style, anyway."

Damn straight. Give Elliot a bar that understands that hangovers are a thing, not some place that would make your thrice-drunk head explode. Now, Mary began to point out places to Mar that were popular for getting drunk. The two mercs had passed those places on the way here. Notice how the bartender is either KO'd or nursing a throbbing skull for being out of the booze? So, they eventually came to Bordello Row, to place called the Dead Orbit... It was a dive, alright. Not bad, but obviously the kind of place where you need your wits about you doubly-so because you're taking in drinks that'll reduce your capacity around dangerous folks. Well...Elliot and Grace were dangerous too. Mary and Mar had made it to the bar, but someone - maybe several someones - wanted to play first. Buncha' tough guys, first-rate trash. The man in front of Elliot was one-eyed with an eyepatch that had little spikes coming off of it.

"Heh... Can't tell if it's a slaver or a mercenary. Maybe it's both. Tell me something, little man... What'll you take for that 'xotic piece of ass you got there?"

"Me? Nothing."

"That's what I thought. Alright, missy, you're coming with m- AAAUGH!!"

Elliot smirked. Grace lived on the streets for years with nothing but a crappy blade to defend herself. Now, she had top-notch hardware, the likes of which had just removed most of the man's extended fingers in a swift motion.

"My friend, however, will start taking payments in whatever unwanted limbs you stick in her direction. We're not slavers."

Now, this understandably created a problem, but not the normal kind of problem. The guy that'd blocked their path was backing off to stop the bleeding and maybe get his fingers fixed. The reaction from everybody else was mixed. Some were laughing or cheering, some were getting angry, and - weirdly - some were getting turned on.

"Grace, I think they like you."

"I don't like them."

<<< Mar >>>
Tortuga Drift | Shore Leave | Dead Orbit Bar
"Go looking for trouble, won't be long to find it."

While Mary led her heavily-inebriated Shree companion through Tortuga Drift to a "real party", she was kind enough to point out some of the offerings the station had on the way, even calling out to a familiar faces as they cropped out. Not that Mar paid much attention, with her focus as thoroughly shattered as it was. Her four eyes' gaze, normally so steady and intense, darted to take in as much of her surroundings as possible, to the point where most of their trip ended up being a blur.

Which meant that Mar was incredibly thankful when they came up to a little dive with a sign that said "Dead Orbit". The Ex-Pirate led them both inside, and as she took them to a heavily reinforced bar, the Shree Pilot immediately took notice of the bartender, who was a fellow Shree himself. An old one at that, given the rougher, washed out texture of his hide. That, and the fact that his teeth had some noticeable gaps between the rows.

What came as no surprise, however, was that he and Mary knew each other, which prompted a soft laugh from Mar. So when he turned to her, her head tilted a little to one side and she regarded him with an easy smile.

"Watch yourself young blood, Red here is what we call 'destabilizing influence'."

A canister holding her sixth Mind Crawler of the night slid through the bar's hatch. She snatched it up without any hesitation, but instead of simply knocking it back like the last one, this time she reached in with a true-hand and pulled it out by the tail.

"As if I'm not?" she said with a smirk, before she tilted her head back.

Her mouth opened as she lowered the Tsi'vaan into it, and then she began the now-familiar, torturous process of chewing on the poor thing to get the most out of it's high. Then she heard a scream behind her, one that didn't sound like it was the result of the bare-knuckle brawl by the stage, and her head whipped around to find the source. As some bar patron cradled what was left of his hand against his chest, Grace flicked a knife with some casual ease, Elliot right next to her. Apparently those two decided to come along for the ride.

She patted Mary's organic shoulder with a true-hand while she finished off her Mind-Crawler with some audible crunching.

"I think we've got a party." she said after she swallowed, before she stood up and strode up to the Bounty Hunting Duo.

The moment she reached them, she crossed both pairs of arms over her barrel chest and spread her lips into what could only be technically considered a grin. But the multitude of bared, bloodied teeth couldn't really be considered particularly friendly, and her eyes gleamed dangerously.

"Are these fine sapients giving you any trouble?" she asked sweetly.

"I think we've got a party."

"Hmmm?" Turning in the direction Mar was already heading, she raised an eyebrow at the fact that Elliot and Grace seemed to have followed them here, Dead Orbit was an out of the way place, and neither of the bounty hunters had really struck her as 'dive bar' types...at least in their off hours; but those were questions for a later date.

The alcohol was starting to makes itself known, but she'd spent the better part of three decades intoxicated to some degree, so she was much more functional than one might assume. Eyeing the ones that'd confronted Elliot and Grace, she was less than impressed; chains and decorative spikes dotted their clothes, a couple wore obvious trophies from prizes. Little boys playing at being hard men.

"Are these fine sapients giving you any trouble?"

They're not worth the breath. She thought as she ghosted passed, using Mar's size to hide her movements. Most everyone was focused on Grace or the idiot that she's just preformed a minor amputation on, Mary was looking at the crew Mr. Fingerless was with. One was moving to tend to Fingerless, a couple were just standing there looking stunned, but one wannabe hard boy was stuffing a hand under is over decorated coat.

Slipping out of 'cover' she launched herself at the drawing Hard Boy, and slammed a vicious left cross into the side of his head, sending him careening into a table, scattering the patrons, and their drinks, sitting there.

Shanoa thought about Irina's reply a bit before responding. "No, not really. 'Fuel' is 'fuel' after all. The thing I don't get the fascination with is 'sex'. Strikes me as odd you lot would be so into the reproductive process 'just cause'." She said, replying in full as the walked a long, stopping and some shop called 'Crazy Sal's' as Irina seemed certain 'this was the place'.

"But the exploration of that requires a body I don't have, and no, 'just any old body' will not due. If I'm going to go that rout, I'm going to be very picky."

He wouldn't call this a situation. More like that moment of confusion between events whether people decide to escalate into one or not. On the one hand, they don't take kindly to mercenaries like them, most of the time. But on the other hand, the one without fingers, Grace would not allow anyone to touch her in an unwarranted fashion...and she had a right to keep it that way. During this time, Mar stepped over to them and asked if these people were bothering them.

"Just a minor misunderstanding."

The kind where the fingers misunderstood that there is a perpetual line in the sand drawn against such intrusions. Now, even as this exchange went on, there were two things of interest. Three, if you count Mary's reaction to Mar's inquiry. First, Mar had bloody teeth...probably from eating those...whatever-they-were. Grace hadn't seen this, she she raised an eyebrow at it. The second thing, which they both noticed, was the guy reaching into his clothes, probably for a weapon, probably a gun.

Don't do it. You'll never make it.

Elliot was poised to potentially dodge, shield, and draw his gun to fire...if he needed to. He could possibly just stop the shot from reaching anybody, like himself or Grace or Mar...whom he really didn't want to see shot in the back again, or anywhere. However, Mary clobbered him, so he really didn't have to do anything. Now, Elliot smiled.

"We were just having trouble finding anywhere for a drink, 'cause the people of Tortuga are all so hearty when it comes to downing the stuff."

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