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CERES Another brew-tiful day

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Loske Matson, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Loske Matson

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    Walking out the interrogation room felt oddly suffocating. It was like they were just about to start shoveling lots of delicious cake into their faces, but their silly windpipes got in the way and now they were choking on too much information and no way to swallow it.


    She huffed loudly once the door was closed, untwisting her ponytail and re-tying it anxiously as she spoke.


    “I agree. We can chat with that Martian fellow, but that was probably just testosterone more than any other motivation.


    We need to start drafting up our notes, and see where we can get some more leads. I’m sure we’re not the only ones interested in what happened on Phoebe, and there are probably others already circulating. A biology lab, destroyed or not, is sure to have fragments now spiralling around in the vacuum and dangerous looters could pick that up. We should see if there have been any interactions with what was destroyed, y’know, to see if anybody was trying to clean up their mess a little more.”


    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  2. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    "I don't think the Martian was anything other than an antagonist..." He replied quietly, as he looked towards the mirror. Fanning his hand around his temple, his fingers wiggled. "Something in his eyes told me he didn't know much more than what was right in front of him. Standard Martian mentality."

    He took a deep breath as he turned to @Loske Matson, nodding in agreement. Crossing his arms, he continued to nod. "Right. I'll look back over the interview and jot down notes. We should be able to compile a fairly adequate synopsis but I'm not convinced this needs to be circulated through Helix yet." If Helix were a station, it would have depressurized a long time ago from all the leaks and despite how removed this event might have been, there was always room for a hefty dose of panic in Ceres.

    And nothing caused panic and outcry more than the Belters being given the shaft. Whether that was happening here was still up for debate but chances were good in Luka's book.

    Dropping his hands, he approached the woman with a smirk. "I'd suggest you take a break, citing you doing a good job here as reason enough to collect your thoughts. But something tells me you're too pepped up for that sort of thing?" She was fairly high energy, if not extremely enthusiastic. It remained to be seen as to whether that would serve her as value or detriment. "If not, we can reserve one of the planning rooms and work on a timeline..." He shrugged. "Might help with tracking down flight plans and sorting out recent traffic around the moon."
     
    #42 Lukas Forgrave, Jun 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  3. Loske Matson

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    She was somewhat appalled at the idea that she could just pack it in right now with all they were uncovering.


    “There is no way I’m letting you have all the fun here.” Loske pointed out, scratching where she’d just tightened her elastic. “I’ll get us some caf, and you get a room. I’ll meet you there in twenty minutes?”


    The walk away from the senior detective would also allow her to digest some of her own reflections on the interview, translate them to her hand-held, and come into the warroom with something more conducive for the two of them to work back from.


    **


    Coffees in hand, the rookie entered the room by pushing on the door with her shoulder. It appeared @Lukas Forgrave had used his time effectively, and the materials required to beautiful mind a timeline were available to them.


    “Thanks for waiting,” she grinned, handing over the caffeinated bevvy. “This’ll be better than the Medina, I promised.” The grounds were important to her, and had been preserved and brought with her from Earth. Just a few packets, but this seemed as good a time as any to crack one open.


    “So, where are we going to start? Might be worth looking at what happened before the Big Bang.” The big bang of Phoebe, that was.
     
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  4. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He figured that would be her answer. Just the brief morning spent together was enough to sort out her priorities. Getting to the bottom of things, some people had the passion for it and some didn't. He wondered how long that would last.

    ~~~

    He was busy racking his brain on where to begin. It was no small task tracking down the flight plans of numerous vessels, all flying in a space that wasn't controlled by Helix or Ceres Port Authority. That meant requisitions which meant effort and time and persistence. Information was power and no one was keen to give that up.

    They could take the formal route and put in an information request or they could tie it to an open case and use the formality of the judicial system, which could expedite the process. But it would reveal to all who were looking exactly what they were trying to do. Could be bad, could be nothing. It was an issue that could have no affect or suddenly sweep the rug out from under them.

    "Thanks..." He took the coffee and sniffed, nodding. "It smells good." He didn't really need the caffeine but the flavor would hopefully be worth the potential for jitters. Setting the cup down on the table, he activated his terminal and flung the information into the room hologram. The Ceres Station flight zones began to illuminate the space with red and blues and greens.

    "I think we need to assess what information is currently available to us. Based on the profile of this explosion and who was involved, I'm assuming they would have done their best to scrub the intel..." He queried the system to input all outgoing flights from Ceres and Tycho - where Helix was prominent. The room filled with noise that needed to be cut down, tracing line to all places - including Phoebe. "Before the Big Bang, huh?"

    @Loske Matson
     
  5. Loske Matson

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    Loske took a timid sip of her coffee, letting the slurping sound indicate her actions as she shrugged. “Sure, why not? Just briefly, I figure we know Protogen’s the company that was working on Phoebe -- do we know how long they’ve been working there?


    Is that worth knowing?


    We know Mars blew Protogen’s lab on Phoebe up.


    That’s Mars versus Earth, with Belter employees being killed in the crossfire. That’s what we know before the big bang. Or, let’s just assume we knew all that.


    Now..”
    Loske looked around at the points that @Lukas Forgrave had used to illuminate the room. She stepped carefully, squinting at the floating text “we don’t know much, eh?” she released one hand from cradling the coffee container, and pointing at one of the streamlines that projected around them.


    “Do we know where those guns could have cruised from?”
     
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  6. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He stepped back as she moved in. Not that his personal space was being invaded, just that he was happy to give up the reigns for a spell. Pulling the coffee from the desk, he crossed his arms and sipped quietly.

    "Lot of a traffic to those parts. Saturn's rings are used extensively for ice mining. Means belter mining ships. Means Pur'n'kleen constantly moving through, mucking up the traffic patterns." He pointed to Saturn and pulled his hand inward, scrunching his thumb and middle finger together. Until the planet was right before them with all it's 150 plus satellites.

    "Doesn't seem like anyone truly owns the planet, though if anyone had claim on the frontier...I would wager on the belt. Though they'd scoff at that, the moons count I think. Until someone shows up with a big ship and says otherwise...but belta's down seem like the type to keep extensive written records." The sort that might indicate permits or requisitions, as-builts and diagrams for things like research facilities. They were more for oral tradition.

    "Which leaves us...with..." He reached up and pointed to two moons. "Phoebe and Titan. One for Research. One for Resorts." He smirked as he took a small sip. "Work and play."

    He had his doubts about the methodology of this investigation. Things had a way of disappearing and information was no different. But they had the place now, just needed to look at the right time.

    @Loske Matson
     
  7. Loske Matson

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    “That’s true..” Loske agreed, nodding along with the explanation of Saturn’s rings and the unlikelihood of Belter’s keeping official, broadcasted claim to Saturn and any of its associated territory.

    “So let me make sure I’m hearing you right.” She set down her coffee for uninhibited gesturing, mostly using her hands as a timeline and chopping down after each point was attemptedly made.

    “The water company is traveling over Saturn, completely disrupting traffic. Back and forth, back and forth, massive ship. Saturn right now, is without territorial claim -- no written deeds.

    This means Phoebe was also probably undocumented to the public until...well, a few hours ago at least. So we can take a look at when the explosion happened, and track within that hour for what kind of ships appeared there, and then trace the trajectory back where they came from.

    Who can we talk to, to make that happen?”


    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  8. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Luka wasn't particularly on the up and up when it came to technology. He was a detective because he was intuitive and could put the pieces of a puzzle together, knew where to look and what to avoid. But at the end of the day, when it came to ships and the comings and goings, he had a way of quickly reaching his limit.

    He was also a detective because he wasn't selected for MCRN academy. Seems he found another occupation where hitting things was always an alternative to talking things out.

    "Pur'n'kleen makes port here for the deliveries. They're likely keen on maintaining some form of record via digital ledger...and no one wants to cause enough huff to block water deliveries. Titan would keep track of traffic for audits and the like..." Luka mocked a belter shrug as he sipped his coffee.

    "Star Helix has formal routes for this sort of acquisition, backed by our link to Earth subsidiaries. Well...until the Belt or MCRN assumes full control. So we could request that information and weed it out." He pressed the rim of the coffee cup against his lips. "That is, unless the OPA has their navy stationed in that vicinity. Then they may not be so quick to disclose information like that. But..." His face made an expression of realization, both at the Free Navy and that he didn't really care.

    "Doesn't hurt to try..." He smirked, realizing that he also didn't care how quiet this investigation was.

    @Loske Matson
     
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  9. Loske Matson

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    “Yes. We’re going to try.” Loske nodded confidently, taking a final sip of her caf and feeling energized either by placebo or the conversation. There was no way she was going to let an investigation of this magnitude go without her at least doing whatever she could to get it off the ground. This was beyond the scope of the Medina, Ceres - it could unravel the whole Sol system and it was she and @Lukas Forgrave first on the scene. Awesome.


    No sooner had the assumed agreement taken place, than Loske had exchanged her coffee for a hand terminal, nimble phalanges interacting with the proper buttons to form an outgoing tightbeam request to the Pur’n’kleen officials. The request included access to the ship’s black box and radar recordings within the hours of 08:00-14:00 of this day.


    “Done. I guess now we wait -- how long do corporations usually take for official requests for information to an active investigation? You’d think they wouldn’t want to obstruct our swift execution of justice, right? So we should be about 15 minutes at most. I mean, if I were working at Pur’n’Kleen, this is probably the most interesting transmission I’ve ever received. Oh, but how far are they from Ceres? I guess we have to factor in the time to reception, then going through the bureaucratic ladder. Ick, okay, maybe now we’re looking at an hour or five. This is the pits.”


    And just like that, Loske had ridden a high right until she crashed. Her shoulders slumped and she pulled up a chair and slouched into it, splaying her arm across the table and resting her cheek in a palm as she released a heavy huff.


    “I’m going to grab some lunch. Hopefully by the time I’m back, we have a message. You want anything?”


    “Noodle wrap, or bowl.”


    Loske indicated a thumbs up and stepped out of the room with a little more pep in her step than when she’d come in.


    ----- Roughly an hour and a forty-five minutes later ----

    A noodle booped her nose as she slurped it up, sitting across from the senior detective. Her handheld lit up, a message received! Clammering excitedly, she reached across her bowl to read the notification on the screen, her face alive with excitement.


    From: Titan Industries

    To: Star Helix - Officer Matson

    Message:

    Officer Matson, we regret to inform you that we cannot disclose this information. The sensitivity of the recordings is privy to the ownership of Titan Industries only. The interference of the Free Navy between the two moons of Saturn limit the ability to share information that could hold Titan in a place of betrayal.

    Thank you for your query, and please accept this decline of your request as a last offer.



    Blue eyes looked up from the screen, and she stopped reading aloud. She looked at Lukas Forgrave with obvious dismay, and set the handheld on the table loudly. “Sometimes, I really, really, don’t love the OPA.”


    For the most part, the OPA was an army for belters. They were a coalition of aggressive ragamuffins that inked themselves with their ideals and unity. There were several on Ceres.


    “Wait a second..”

    Loske recalled some of her training. It was so much easier to be a bully behind a keyboard. Saying “no” with just writing was easy, it was when body language and personal connections were established that it became trickier to negotiate. And playing to people was Loske’s specialty.


    Once again, she requested a tight beam connection. This time, instead of bundling her words into a text-based message, she rested her hand held against the noodle bowl, propping it up so the camera captured her face.


    There was definitely a lag in the connection, and she could see her features glitching over the poor support. After about two minutes of awkwardly staring at the camera, someone on the other line approved reception.


    “Hello, thank you so much for taking m----”


    “Officer Matson, following this thread it looks like we’ve declin--”


    “Y call. It means so much to our investigation for The Belt here---”


    “Ed your request on behalf of the OPA’s presen--”


    The interruptions were uncomfortable, and frustration was evident in the representative's face.


    “Thank you for your patience throughout this lag,”
    Loske was actively using warm language, empowering the other person to feel accepted and important rather than apologizing for the poor connection. There was already a fidget of facial features on the other side; although it took a handful of seconds to be seen. “On behalf of my partner and I,” she swiveled the camera around to show the other personality on the case, to make it all the more official, and then back to herself dominating the screen “we’re appealing your original rejection on the premise that The Free Navy is employed by Outer Planet Alliance. The warrant of this investigation” she hardly winced at this outright lie -- there was nothing official about any of this yet -- “is based on the foundation of Belter’s employed on Phoebe’s moon, and the jeopardy of their safety and livelihood. We’re interested in protecting others, should this be a target against The Belt, rather than Phoebe itself.”


    She paused, allowing the person on the other side to interject.


    When they didn’t, she continued: “Not something I can see the OPA taking up arms against, as their best interests are in the Belters as well, no?”

    The fellow on the other side nodded, playing into Loske’s puppy-dog eyes.

    “Think you could share what information you have, to help this move along and I can stop calling you? Otherwise, you and I are going to be sharing screens for a very long time. Constantly, probably. I can be very persistent.”


    “I believe that, officer Matson.”


    The rookie grinned, leaning back in her chair.


    “I’ll clear the sending of the transmissions, but you only have 48 hours to access it. I will then revoke the message. Please be efficient with your analysis.”


    “Thank you for aiding the law, Mr…”


    “Jetson.”


    “Thank you Mr. Jetson, we appreciate it!”


    “Check your inbox in an hour or so. I have to clear access.”


    The connection cut, and Loske set her terminal face down.


    “Ka-ching.”
     
  10. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Luka was hovering over his bowl of noodles, shoveling as best he could with a set of cheap synthetic wood chopsticks, when she got the message. He was sure the things were made out of mushrooms, everything was mushroom derived on Ceres - fungus had a way of getting into all the crevasses. The noodles were good, almost seemed fresh, and the broth was thick - like it had been supplemented with freeze dried flour - so needless to say, he was enjoying himself.

    Though the back and forth slurping between him and the younger detective was comical, from an outward perspective.

    When she started reading the message, he was looking up from his bowl with a mouth full of pad thai noodles, inching through consumption with the step wise help of the eating utensils.

    "Yeah. They're not the lovable type anyway." He bit off the noodles and wiped his mouth, leaning back, as he gauged what her response would be. Most people who worked for Helix would take the wall for a wall and move on. But he was starting to get a feel for the woman and he would have bet that she wasn't quitting just yet.

    To say he watched with mild amusement would have, perhaps, been putting it lightly. Resting his jaw on his hand, he picked as the freeze dried vegetables and bits of basil as the woman went back and forth with one of the dome operators from Titan. When she swiveled the camera to him, he wasn't expecting it, and gave an expression somewhere between disgruntled and a belter in the cart lights. It didn't help that he had just taken a big bite of a pepper.

    And then, with enough toiling, it seemed she was getting a piece of the puzzle that was needed. With her terminal set down, Luka smirked as he leaned back in his chair, ticking his tongue. "My my. Lying about a warrant like that to a port authority official." With his arms crossed and his jacket on the backing of his chair, he had forgotten it fairly easily revealed the belter tattoos on his upper arms and clavicle line - and the various service scars. Raking nails against his jaw, he nodded.

    "So we got that going for us. We should be able to copy the information without them being any wiser for it. Anything from Pur'n'kleen yet?" The puzzle needed many pieces and all he had going for him was a half filled bowl of thick noodle. And apparently a very persistent junior detective.

    Taking another bite of the noodles, he opened up his terminal. "Belter's aren't known for giving in so easily. That's surprising."
     
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  11. Loske Matson

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    As if on cue, her terminal dinged a response to her message. Pur'n'kleen didn't seem to care so much about anything; just wanted to continue hauling ice and not being investigated too much. It was somewhat known that those that ended up on ice haulers had pasts they didn't want exposed, so at the first word Officer - it was the same reaction to shining a flashlight at a teenage house party. People tended to scatter.

    She grinned, as if all were falling into place and they weren't investigating something as sick as a whole moon exploding.

    "Yep. Check it out."
    With some swift movements, she forwarded the message to @Lukas Forgrave. "Let's review this stuff while we wait for Titan to release the files to us. I'll start working on a subtle encryption program for downloading the software; then have someone a little more technical than myself review it. Cool? Cool."

    She trusted Forgraves to project the message that Pur'n'kleen shared with them, as she wedged her tongue between her teeth and got to work on basic protocols for ghost downloads. She'd only taken the level 300 course, so she could get a fair way into it, but the academy only taught the basics.
     
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  12. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Someone a little more technical than herself. Surely she wasn't talking about him? After all, he was a Martian. Not much good except for hitting things and pulling a trigger.

    His terminal chirped and he lifted it up, taking a swig of the remaining coffee with the other hand. "Cold..." He winced before shrugging. "Still good."

    Standing up, he flicked the information onto the spherical projector as the information around Phoebe and Saturn was illuminated. By and large, the traffic was coded in blue. For Pur'n'kleen, he instructed the diagram to code it for yellow. That made sense to him for some reason.

    "Hmm." He stood up and looked around. Once coded like that, it was fairly easy to pick out the flight patterns for the rock hoppers. There was, evidently, three forms of ice mining ships. The sort that could mine and served the dual purpose of excavation and transport, those that could transport only, and those that could only mine. The last of those appeared to be the biggest and most cumbersome, setting up in rotation around the planet and serving as a barge and headquarters of sorts. Internally, Luka assumed these ships would also serve as drop off points for the Free Navy. And it was also the exact sort of ship they weren't interested in.

    "See here." He pointed. The time progressed quickly, though removed from the anticipated hour, as an indiscriminate ship strafed across the asteroid belt before boomeranging back towards Ceres. "Rock Hopping." With a twist of his hand, he pushed the time forward to the days before the explosion. "This will help, but we'll still need more."

    There was a lot of noise in there, but they weren't whittling it down.

    @Loske Matson
     
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  13. Loske Matson

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    Loske drew her chair nearer to her and plunked down, typing away on her screen. As she did so, a red colour splashed on the screen as well - attaching itself to two dots.


    “I’ve added Martian coded ships to the mix.”


    Another colour, green, joined “And unidentified ships. The source of their identification unknown, probably scavengers. But, we can triangulate these folks to their origin and then take them to the shipyards here, on Ceres, and elsewhere, to see if any Martian or otherwise ships recently checked in. Someone’s gotta know something.”


    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  14. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    "Hmm." He replied with a quiet nod as he watched. "Almost every base covered." He had set the cup of coffee down, by this point, instead resting an arm against his waist and the other holding his fingers fanned against his mouth. And as he rattled each finger, he watched the movement of the ships.

    "News reports sound off about a moon being destroyed. Reports indicate..." He pointed as the time table shifted forward. In the distance, a red ship. And nearby, a green one. They were too far away from Phoebe to be part of what some would consider normal traffic. And they looked to be engaged indirectly. "MCRN ship fires a nuclear payload at Phoebe. UNN Nathan Hale is en route and continues to observe afterwards, reporting findings..."

    It was an assumption that this particular ship was UNN. But given their ties to Earth, source codes for UNN ships were part of the standard intel. And with a single flick of this thumb, all UNN ships were white. And this one happened to pan out. And just like that, the moon blew up in their stylized projection, blasting bits of 2-D LED imagery outward.

    The MCRN ship left, the UNN Nathan Hale remained, just as was reported. And then more ships moved about. None of them were close to the wreckage, except a few here and there. "Neither yellow, nor red...not white. Green." Luka repeated. "I wonder what these ships were doing. And how they bypassed UNN nets..."

    Not Martian, not rock hoppers, and not UNN. Who was left? Titan? Salvagers? Protogen black ops?

    @Loske Matson
     
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  15. Loske Matson

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    “It’s worth trying to find that out. I’m sure Hale has shared all he can, and if he was in a UNN ship those are pretty top-of-the-line. To avoid detection from one of those, you’ve got to be near invisible.” Loske drummed her fingers against her chin, jutting out a hip to balance her weight.


    “Let’s try and cross reference this ships with as much zoom as we can. It’s strange we can see things from this record, and nothing was reported from UNN nets.”

    @Lukas Forgrave
     
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  16. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He let out a deep sigh as the colors painted over the office space. Ships floating about here and there, dancing across the desk or coloring imprints of yellow, red, and white, across Loske's eager expression. It was difficult, he admitted to himself, being on the cusp of something but fighting the thoughts they were missing vital information that couldn't just be mined out.

    He wasn't one for giving up, though, and neither was she. Admittedly, that was more the case for her than him. But she was new to Ceres and new to the way politics worked on the Asteroid. These lone, unnamed ships, could be anything. They could be UN vessels with removed black boxes, they could be OPA that would just as soon shoot the two cops an alley way then deal with the oncoming reports, it could be MCRN and a remaining skeleton crew.

    He wasn't sure but what he did know is that whatever they found, it wasn't going to make anything easier.

    "I'm not sure if we have the intelligence from port to indicate the travel routes for these ships, outside of our zoom capability..." He circled his fingers around the ship, highlighting them in white, and reversed time steadily. Narrowing his eyes, it dawned on him that the signature could be pulled from the ships in this method and then pushed through to port. If they were amenable. "We don't know where they were going or where they came from, but there's not a civilian ship out there that hasn't passed through either Ceres or Tycho for necessities or another. I say..." He paused, strumming his fingers on the table. "We go down to Port, ask them why our information is up to date, maybe scare a clerk into giving up the details."

    @Loske Matson
     
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  17. Loske Matson

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    Now they were getting somewhere. If @Lukas Forgrave hadn't offered a suggestion to get them outside this tiny, multi-coloured room, she was going to lose her mind.

    "Yes."
    She responded, almost in the same beat as the end of his sentence. There was no hesitation in her that she wanted to just get on with it. A gosh darn planet had just blown up!

    With the coffee imbuing energy through her veins, she clasped her hands together excitedly and then unclasped them just as quickly, closing off her terminal and beep-booping a few commands into the screen to store the most up-to-date and highest resolution of the images for the ships they'd indicated in white. She also requested that a .txt rendering be provided from what they could scrape from the visuals.

    Confidently, she crossed the room and swung open the door - wordlessly indicating the urgency of let's go!
     
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  18. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    The sudden and quick response didn't register any physical expression from him. But he did find it amusing. He wondered how often she had been to the dock. It wasn't a place that was particularly fond of Inners, Martian or Earther or whoever classified as such on a given day. It was where the Beltas took to the skeleton of Ceres, resenting the implementation of bureaucracy, which they rightfully interpreted as just another means of control.

    Except when leaving it, it wasn't a happy place. And he mentally traced over Sarah's Line.

    As the screen retracted and pulled back into the terminal, he took the remaining swig of his cold coffee and pulled his jacket on. He wasn't cold but he felt naked without it, wandering the streets with ink exposed that indicated something far removed from service at Helix.

    Giving the young woman and almost undetectable nod, he led the way out of the facility.

    ~~~

    The tram clattered against the hollowed out rock formation engulfing the tunnel system. An occasional bump or scrape of metal sent sparks jostling against the exterior or, in other cases, left one of the tracer lights blinking a slow epileptic response. After a harder than normal hit, Luka lifted his hand and smacked a fist against the blinking light. It relented and stabilized.

    The metal snake was cutting through the station, starting out on the plaza line at the Greenwich interchange. And with every stop, it was evident that they were moving down gradient in script. Plaza to circle line, back on to the plaza line and up into Cutty Station, taking the Express up into the Piers. From there, the world was their oyster.

    "Do me a favor." Gripping the metal railing, he leaned over towards the woman. "Let me do the talking at first. And...no martial arts." He leaned away and smirked. "Probably less effective going against metal pipes and ship wrenches. And long shifters are raring for a fight or argument."

    @Loske Matson
     
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  19. Loske Matson

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    Every time the train jolted, her body tensed. The first few times she'd ridden the transit line, she'd pretended she was surfing. Her stance wide enough to support her on a board and keep her legs strong enough not to fall over onto an unsuspecting, or worse, unfriendly, passenger. It was never that she was able to ride the train without any sort of frown or judgemental glance.

    @Lukas Forgrave broke the silence. She'd been reading an advertisement for soup when he suggested that he take the lead in the conversation; and that made sense. He was the senior, she the rookie. But what!? No martial arts? She frowned obviously at that suggestion -- confident that she was better at hand-to-hand combat than any sort of weapon in her hand. Dodging sounded the most effective in the ship wrenches and water-pipe illustration.

    She merely sighed in acceptance, swaying as the train took another turn before it came to a literally screeching halt.

    "Alright, one mute detective coming up."

    A broken microphone communicated the name of their stop, and the doors creaked open, beckoning the departure of the Star Helix duo.
     
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  20. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Bio
    He shook his head, face twisted into a mild smirk. "Not mute. Just...tempered." He hadn't worked with her long but he was getting the impression that that sort of task would be more difficult than expected. It was easy to bristle the tumbleweeds trudging down the docks, even after hours. Despite being a Martian, he had been there for a while. He was on fairly good terms with dock workers, Helix association and all.

    50/50 shot, we get shot. That was the saying when the badges rolled in on the cargo. Realistically speaking, the abrupt embrace of a vacuum was more likely. After all, who wanted to waste those plastic bullets when an emergency ejection button served the same purpose? On top of that, bypassing the red tape saved the mushroom workers the time from processing another stiff. Win-win.

    But a young attractive Earther woman, nails cleaned and eyes bright - that would only serve to piss these people off. Or worse.

    He stepped off the train with her at his side, blue eyes lifting upwards to the muted green display that detailed comings and goings of port control. Not much was happening, good time to take part in some aggressive questioning.

    A ruffled dock worker approached. He wore full body grease-stained coveralls, zipper pulled down to his mid stomach, and it did nothing to hide his ink or the muscles that were clearly an artifact of steroid abuse. Luka stared the man down for a second, eyeing the chromed power wrench that was slung over his shoulder and held by those meat hooks the worker probably considered his hands.

    The tattoo across his chest was vibrant red and black, like the surface of Mars cracked open to reveal a dying coal fire below. And the whole scene was marred by the scars of an overactive sebaceous system. Prepubescence or symptoms of steroid use, it was hard to tell. The detective found it oddly distracting.

    "You gonna fuckin' stare all day or you gonna get?" Luka decided the man was Martian and was silently surprised. Then the hulk pointed his power wrench at the crate behind them. "Get da fuck out of da way, zakomang!" He made a shifting motion with the business end of the tool and Luka scooted, changing his mind. That was a belta for sure.

    "Come on." He mumbled to @Loske Matson as he jammed his hands into his pants pockets. "Port Control is up there." He nodded towards the office, third floor up, two docks down. Not far now.
     

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