JUPITER A Mild Inconvenience

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Violet, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Several weeks had passed since the ragtag crew of the Albatross had been tasked with finding a misplaced OPA asset. Details had been sparse at best, but Violet had expected Keith and Dieter to return with a weapons cache, or perhaps some much needed supplies -- what she had not been prepared for was for only Keith to come back with a battered young Belter woman who could barely stand, an Earther brute carrying said woman, and then another injured Earther male. And there had been no sign of Dieter.

    The last revelation had stung more than Violet wanted to admit to herself. For years now, she had been on her own and she thought she had gotten used to people walking away or abandoning her. And then Dieter had come along. She'd been naive, and she was willing to own that much, but she did her best to hide her pain from the others that were now on the old ship.

    The crew had waited as long as they could on board the Albatross for their companion to change his mind, but he never returned. With Dieter gone, Marston decided to try her luck elsewhere as well. Violet couldn't blame the woman there. And so, the crew of the Albatross was reduced to just herself and Keith.

    Now, the Albatross was docked in a relatively isolated port on Io. Violet was down in the engine room running a few diagnostics. She was keeping to herself as much as possible, avoiding the newcomers as best she could, while she recovered from the blow Pallas had dealt her. Recover was a loose term. It was more akin to her burying the pain and locking it away. Just another scar to remind her of how the world really was.

    A spell of dizziness washed over the woman and she swayed in place, grabbing for one of the handrails nearby to steady herself. "Bloody hell..." She muttered to herself, running her free hand down her face. Over the past few weeks, the spells had been getting more and more frequent, and it was often accompanied by a wave of nausea. Symptoms that she attributed to the her body still recovering from the Subzero withdrawals, and the stress of Pallas. She'd kept them to herself, not wanting to make Keith feel any worse for the decisions that he had made to save her life.

    This time, however, the nausea didn't fade as it normally and she quickly realized that she was going to be sick. Clamping a hand over her mouth, she turned to bolt towards her room. Unfortunately, in her rush, Violet forgot about the panel that she'd opened above her and when she moved, the corner clocked her smartly on the side of her head. In her unstable state, it sent her sprawling onto the metal surface of the floor.

    Not my most graceful moment. She thought bitterly.
     
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  2. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    Keith had been having his first sound sleep in months, and he woke slowly to his bunk on The Albatross. It didn't quite feel like The Albatross with her crew abruptly halved, but Dieter and Alanna had made their decisions, and Keith made his own. He chose Violet, the best friend -- perhaps even more like a sister -- that he ever had.

    He stared at the ceiling as his eyes came into focus, replaying the events on Pallas Station. The crew had taken on a job from Keith's OPA contacts while The Alby was retrofitting in her berth. What they ultimately found was a woman slightly younger than Keith, beaten within an inch of her life. When Dieter realized that meant an even deeper involvement with the OPA, he left in a hurry, irate and detached. Alanna was none-too-crazy about the idea, herself, and wound up following Dieter's lead.

    The weeks of transit that followed were full of a pendulum of emotion. Sparrow, the injured woman, turned out to be a pleasure to be around. Keith had taken it upon himself to dress her wounds, though there was nothing he could do about her fractured jaw. Even with her recent upgrades, The Alby still lacked an auto-doc.

    Once the worst of the trauma had worn off, Sparrow had begun to warm up to him, and they spent several hours signing to one another in Belter gestures. The half-smile she gave Keith each time he had entered her bunk -- formerly Alanna's bunk -- left Keith feeling flushed and excited. It's not a crush, he would lie to himself repeatedly.

    While they mostly discussed their shared affinity for technology, Sparrow had told him about Wren, both her boss and the contact who had reached out to Keith for the job in the first place. Once Sparrow had been recovered, they had informed Wren and set course for Io. Wren had sounded like quite the woman, from Sparrow's description. Keith had only known her by reputation, and upon meeting her after first setting down on Io, he could see why. She was gentle, yet commanding, and very thankful for Sparrow's rescue.

    Keith lifted himself from the crash couch, dressing himself in preparation for visiting with Sparrow. He heard a loud sound from below-deck, followed by a muffled yelp. Violet was going to work herself to death.

    And thus, the other end of the emotional pendulum.

    Since Pallas, Violet had been a barely-contained wreck. Keith was not going to point it out to her, and he was mindful of her space. Dieter had broken her heart when he left, and while Keith had liked the man well enough, his abandonment of Violet had set in a bitterness that made it easy for him to let go. It wasn't going to be so easy for Violet.

    Once he was dressed, Keith headed to the engine room to check in with her before he departed. When he arrived, he found her on the floor, holding her head, and it looked like she had gotten sick, judging by the deck.

    Sorry, Sparrow. I'll be late, Keith thought, lowering himself to the deck beside Violet.

    "Oye, sesata," he spoke quietly, laying a hand on her shoulder. "You holding up okay?"
     
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  3. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Violet had been hoping that she was the only person on the ship, but when Keith appeared in the engine bay and put his hand on her shoulder those hopes were dashed. She was more than a little mortified, but she couldn't come up with a witty remark fast enough to play it off.

    As she pushed herself up into a more seated position, she wiped at her mouth with the back of her hand and she grimaced. "Sorry... I didnae think anyone else was here. Thought y'were off with that flame of yours." She answered, feeling through her hair for the goose egg on the side of her head. The knot was tender to the touch and she winced slightly, but luckily her fingers came away clean of blood.

    The woman offered an embarrassed smile at the question, but try as she might she couldn't keep that traitorous bottom lip from trembling slightly. Now, more than ever, she wanted nothing more than to crawl into a dark hole and disappear. Why was she such an emotional wreck? Yes, Dieter had broken her heart, she'd give herself that; but she hadn't struggled to keep herself together like this since her parents had ditched her on Callisto.

    She cleared her throat sharply and glanced away from Keith. He had somewhere to be, and she didn't want him to miss out on life because he felt obligated to take care of her.

    "Aye... I'm jus' peachy. Let me clean up this mess..."
     
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  4. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    Before Keith even knew he was going to, his lanky arms wrapped around Violet, stalling her from getting up. The gesture surprised him, as he was usually aloof and awkward, but it came naturally. He held the embrace .

    "You're my family, sasa ke? Mi not goin' anywhere. I can tell Sparrow I have things to do here. Im pochuye."

    Keith knew there was less to do than ever when it came to maintenance on The Albatross. She was not even a month into her new suite of upgrades; Violet was tinkering to keep herself occupied, rather than out of necessity.

    It was the first they had spoke about the situation since leaving Pallas. Keith wanted her to know it was out of respect, and not because he was too busy fawning over Sparrow. Now seemed like the time to confront the tension in the air.

    "You want somethin' for the head?"
     
    #4 Antumbralite, Jul 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
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  5. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    While Violet had known that she was hurting, she hadn't realized just how badly she had been needing someone to comfort her. At least, not until Keith had enveloped her in his arms. She reluctantly returned the embrace, dropping her head so that her forehead came to rest against his shoulder as she took a ragged breath to get her emotions under control.

    "I'm alright... was just stupid, y'ken." She mumbled to him, though it wasn't clear if she was talking about Dieter or the fact that she fell. Perhaps she was referring to both at the same time.

    Taking another breath, she leaned back and swiftly dragged a hand along the bottom of her eye to wipe away tears that had started to well up. Doubt and uncertainty clouded her mind. Why had Keith decided to stay? How long would it be before he decided to take off too? Would he ditch her somewhere and take the ship? Or just vanish altogether?

    She shook her head a few times, running a hand through her auburn hair. "Thanks... but I dinnae need anything. Except t'pay better attention t'what I'm doing."
     
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  6. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    Keith nodded, his eyes darting over her features for possible signs of a concussion. The vomiting had him worried, but it could have been unrelated. Violet just seemed to have banged her head, somewhat harmlessly. He felt overprotective and smothering. Violet had her armor on, so to speak, and Keith understood.

    "Aye. If you're sure."

    He got to his feet, reaching down to help Violet up. Wanting to do something to lift her spirits, Keith gave her a lopsided smile.

    "Mi gonna see if Wren has some Belter Brau somewhere. Maybe Ganymede gin. Milowda gettin' loaded later, ya?"
     
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  7. Tyson Lehliri

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    With a final, hard shove of the torque wrench, the head of one of the bolts fastening the bulkhead plate in place sheared clean off, and Tyson chucked the tool across the cabin, denting the opposite bulkhead.

    "Sunova bitch!" he growled, instantly regretting the outburst.

    The Lola was his increasingly ancient, and, as a result, decrepit hauling freighter. The amount of maintenance that went into keeping her flying was on the rise, much to his irritation. It had been about six months since he had her removed from her long-time berth at Red Planet Logistics on Mars, and she had barely made the transit to Io. He feared Lola might be nothing but spare parts soon.

    It had been an interesting journey, and in more than just the literal sense. A young woman named Sparrow had approached him when he was still serving as the logistics manager at Red Planet, with the intentions of setting up a shipping contract with her own company, Io Medical. She had gone one step further, offering him a lucrative position with the organization, but before Tyson had reached a decision, the shareholders at Red Planet demanded his resignation after a few dismal quarters.

    Thus, Tyson had taken Sparrow up on her offer, and came to work for a woman named Chloe Emerson. She had been extremely generous in giving Tyson room and board, as well as the opportunity to haul cargo for Io Medical, which he preferred immensely to his former desk job. He had established a friendly relationship with both her and Sparrow, especially given the latter reminded him so much of his own daughter. Being millions of clicks away from her now was hard, but she had university to focus on.

    Tyson let out a frustrated breath, lumbering over to retrieve the wrench. The next time I have a shipment to run, it might have to be with another ship, he thought solemnly.
     
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  8. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Keith's remarks about getting "loaded" actually elicited a small chuckle from Violet after she had found her feet once more. She was still a little unsteady standing up, though the queasiness had finally passed.

    "Say what y'will, beratna, but that Wren character still makes me uneasy. I get the feeling she's trying to decide whether or nae to toss me out an airlock when we're in the same room." Violet said, making her way over to a locker in order to grab the needed supplies for cleaning up the mess she had made.

    For a brief while, a silence stretched between the two companions as she mopped up the sick off the floor. Once that had been taken care of, she tossed the trash into a receptacle and wiped off her hands on the legs of her drab jumper. She took a deep breath and tilted her head back slightly to look up at Keith. "However... if y'are gonna be drinkin', I'd be a rather shite scot if I didnae go along, sasa?" A sheepish smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, and she stuffed her hands into her pockets.
     
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  9. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    That seemed to cheer her up a bit, Keith thought as he returned Violet's smile.

    "Keya," he added with a nod. Violet had told him a little about Scotland, and it sounded like heaven. Yet, just thinking about Earth's gravity made Keith's bones ache. He walked to the door of the engine room, glancing back at Violet over his shoulder.

    "Mi gonya kom wámotim. Watch your head." It was meant to be an amusing statement, but Keith had meant it. As much as he wanted to worry about her, he had to remind himself that Violet was a perfectly capable person, and this was just her way of coping.

    Certainly more effective than his own coping methods.

    A chill ran through Keith's body as he exited the airlock. Though the worst of the Sub-zero withdrawal had seemed to pass, just the simple thought of it gave him a near-irresistible craving for the drug. He had to stay clean, for his sake. For Violet. For Sparrow.

    Winding through the subterranean tunnels of the old Io mining complex, Keith made his way towards Wren's clinic.
     
    #9 Antumbralite, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  10. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    When Tyson made his move to retrieve the previously chuckled wrench, a tall woman had stepped through the hatch which promptly clanged shut behind her. Chloe was a distinct figure, easy to pick out in a crowd with her braided hair and the delicate dreads. The beads that were interwoven into her locks clinked softly together when she moved. Half of her head was in the process of growing out, the fresh tresses only a few centimeters long. A deep, newly healed scar meandered its way out of her hair line and towards the corner of her eye across her temple.

    The head injury that she had sustained during the attempted coup of her faction, which resulted in her being forced to shave her hair, was only one of several wounds that the woman had earned during that turbulent time -- something that was only now coming to an end. At least for the time being. Alric would likely return to Io soon, and she could only imagine the wrath that man would unleash as he purged his own ranks.

    She was use to seeing the belter have violent outbursts, but not the plucky Martian who just wanted to fly his beloved ship, Lola. A brow rose slightly at the sight. "If this is a bad time, Tyson, I can always come back later?" She asked in her usual calm, oddly soothing tone of voice. Chloe often spoke softly with something akin to a sultry purr in the undertones.

    With her right shoulder, she leaned against the bulkhead and offered the martian a crooked smile. As if she knew that he wouldn't ask her to leave immediately. Quietly confident would have been an appropriate description of the belter smuggler.
     
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  11. Tyson Lehliri

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    Just as Tyson's fingers wrapped around the wrench, he heard Lola's hatch shut, and nearly let the wrench fly a second time from the startling noise. When he spun towards the door of the cargo hold, he saw Chloe leaning nearby.

    "Oh! Chloe! Sorry -- I, uh, wasn't expecting company."

    His face flushed with the embarrassment of his outburst and his surprise. Tyson cleared his throat and ran a hand through his hair.

    "I was trying to get into the hydraulic lines for the inner airlock. Hasn't been holding pressure on the seal, which is bad news if it gets vented. It's proving to be more difficult than I imagined..."

    Tyson dropped ungracefully onto an empty cargo container strapped to the deck behind him. He groaned as he sat, feeling exhausted with the near-constant time he spent on Lola's tune-ups. He gestured to the container beside the one he sat on, offering Chloe a seat. Lola was not built for lounging.

    "What can I do for ya? How's Sparrow recovering?"
     
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  12. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    When Keith reached the entrance to Wren’s clinic, he paused at the door. Using both hands to slick back his hair and scratch his facial hair straight, he felt the pang of nervousness of seeing Sparrow. He should have been used to her company by now, but Keith could not help but feel like he was walking on eggshells -- or what he imagined eggshells would be like, with never having had real ones before -- trying to make a decent impression on her. He knew it was his anxiety putting the doubts in his head, so he took a deep breath and let the motion sensor open the door.

    The sour-faced receptionist sat behind a transparent screen on the far end of the cramped waiting room, meeting his gaze with a look of annoyance. Keith got the impression that his regular visits were not as endearing to the man as they were to Sparrow.

    “Doc not here right now,”
    was the greeting Keith received from the receptionist, and he promptly turned his attention back to his work.

    “Mi here for Sparrow. But… when will Doctor Wren, uh, Chloe be back?” Keith was still not used to calling Wren by her real name. He was extremely hesitant about compromising his own identity at first, but returning Sparrow safely home was worth it. Chloe had proved to be quite the ally, and Keith had found himself doing odd jobs for her here and there in the short time since arriving on Io.

    The receptionist did not bother looking back up. He shrugged in response to Keith’s question, and angled his head towards the doorway that lead back to the examination rooms.

    Keith walked past the inquiring looks of the handful of Belters seated in the waiting room, heading for the back of the clinic where the long-term recovery rooms were located. Sparrow’s door was closed, which meant she might be napping. He would feel bad if he woke her, but he decided to risk it and pressed the alert button on the keypad next to the door.
     
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  13. Chloe Emerson

    Chloe Emerson "Wren"

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    The tall belter woman had politely waited for the man to offer her a seat, though it had been a conscious effort on her part. Normally, she would have simply walked onto the ship and made herself at home. The Lola was different, however, and she made an attempt to let Tyson feel like he was in his own home. Io was a long ways from Mars, and she was in need of skilled pilots after the purge of Icarus.

    Her dark eyes swept over the interior of the aging ship momentarily, taking in the details and the battered state of the ship. It certainly wasn't in any condition to do anything other than haul legitimate goods. Useful enough for refugee relief, but liable to prove problematic in the future. Unless... she provided the funds to retrofit the vessel.

    Which is what had brought her here in the first place.

    Chloe's attention shifted back to Tyson. She was still recovering from the shock of betrayal, and it had left her shakier than she cared to admit. Making small talk had not even occurred to her before Tyson had spoke up first. She took a deep breath in through her nostrils and then slowly exhaled out her mouth, gathering her thoughts before speaking.

    "Sparrow is recovery is progressing. The trauma itself will take time to heal, however." She replied in a low murmur, folding her long arms over her chest.

    "But we both know that I did not pay a visit for pleasantries, Lehlrii." One of her hands gestured around the cargo bay with a casual wave. "This ship is barely space worthy. I've an offer to make."

    Silence fell once more as she stared the Martian down with her intense gaze, waiting to see what his initial reaction would be. Reading people is something she was supposed to be good at, but after Hawk's unexpected betrayal... she worried that she had fallen out of practice. There wasn't time to lick her wounds, she needed to wrest control once more and prevent further damage.
     
  14. Sparrow

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    Sparrow's recovery was moving along at a fairly good pace. The fracture in her jaw was on the mend, and the dark bruises on her face had all but faded away. All that was left were faded yellow splotches around her eyes and mouth.

    Much of her time was spent in the clinic, keeping herself busy with other patients, or cleaning. There were plenty of things that she could have done outside of the clinic, but the young woman had taken to making excuses to not leave. It wasn't because she wanted to stay in the clinic indefinitely, but every time the chance arose to leave... she found herself frozen with fear at the very prospect.

    Today was no different. She had elected to stay locked in her room, and was re-calibrating her customized hand terminal for the third time this week.

    The screen in front of her face flashed in a bright green strobe, letting her know that someone had keyed the button on the other side. She expected it to be Chloe, who no doubt would try to drag her out of the room and get her back on her feet again.

    When she opened the door and saw Keith looming over her, she felt her heart leap up into her throat and lodge itself firmly in place. Her breath caught and her eyes went wide. She'd totally forgotten about their get together, and she was by no means dressed for such a meeting. Her purple hair was pulled back in a sloppy bun at the nape of her neck, and she was wearing a pair of shorts and a plain tank top.

    She blinked up at him, her cheeks turning a deep crimson as she tried to smooth out her hair with one hand, while the other made a quick few signs to him in a warm greeting.
     
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