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CERES Between an asteroid and the hard space

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Lukas Forgrave, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Felt a bit like rejection. Fair, but rejection all the same.

    He had let himself get distracted by legs and ink and making lace. There was breakfast to be made and Mamen's day to be had. "Fine...fine." He acquiesced as he pulled himself from the bed and stood up. Pocketing the watch in one of the pockets of his loose fitting sweats that he had just pulled on, he trudged out into the kitchen.

    Butter substitute, eggs that he was sure was either harvested in a synthetic fashion or were synthetic altogether, and some heavily seeded toast. That was his idea of getting the day started.

    Clicking the carafe into the coffee pot, the brew began just as the stove turned on and the air filters kicked to green.
     
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  2. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Sundays were a day for rejection, apparently. But it was also the day for things she didn't normally get to do.

    Like enjoy a little more sleep in the morning and then spend the day with her mother. The one day a week she refused to work. Even when times had gotten really tough, it was a hallow day of rest, and she found that the time she could spend with Lukas was also something she liked.

    Levi dozed for another five minutes, enjoying the warmth lingering on the bed. But the smells of food and the sounds of cooking were far too distracting to ignore. She was up, sloughing from the bed, gathering clothes and disappearing into the bathroom to shower and clean up. By the time she appeared back in the kitchen, steam lingering from the fresher, breakfast was ready.

    Setting down at the table another alert from her hand terminal called her attention as Lukas served up her plate.

    "Thanks ... oh fuck," brows furrowed as her eyes skimmed over a message from Gil, "we lost three more projects today."
     
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  3. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He took in a sharp bit of air as he set the plate down. He might have gotten a bit of pepper in his nose and he fought the urge to sneeze. Hearing the news, he kind of wished that he would have interrupted her. Could have used a bit of humor with all the grim information.

    The small kitchen wasn't particularly sterile today. Filled with the smell of perfectly cooked eggs, slightly burnt toast, and the unfortunate affairs of a small dock mechanic shop dealing with the outfall of political strife.

    "I'm sorry." He understood all too well what was going on. It was simply a matter of time before the UNN, and Earth, decided that Ceres wasn't worth it. Things were changing and it was the sort of change that had people worried, like a looming storm in the distance that just wouldn't push on - get the damage over with. Made people a bit more frugal about where they put their money.

    But if business was focused on murder and crime, then business would be good going forward - there was already an increase in foot traffic further down the rail line and things were only going to get worse until the bubble burst.

    He sat down with his plate and cut one of the eggs in half, bleeding it of the yolk. "Have you all talked about any alternative plans? Or are we just hoping things get better?"
     
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  4. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    The motion of putting down her terminal was a slow one, as if she were unsure of where to go from there. It wasn't exactly the way she'd wanted to start off her Sunday - even Gil had apologized for as much. But, as he'd said, it was better to know now so the best decisions could be made later.

    Levi furrowed her brows and cut into her meal, "He's been in talks with someone about buying out the space ... but I don't think he can afford it unless they give him a good deal."

    Business had been good, but it was difficult to make your own profit when your only client was controlling the cashflow.

    "His old space has already been sold. It's an implant shop now."
     
  5. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He nodded, not really taking into account the fact that real estate was a concern with everything else in motion. If Earth was a finite place, so caught in the notions of not having enough room to house their people or enough food to fill all the gaping mouths, Ceres was on a different level. It was hard enough getting water and air.

    "Maybe now is a good time to buy..." He shrugged slightly, unsure if that was the case or not. He assumed with how fragile this system was, that the market would follow in step with the political environment. But it was a lot to assume for a man who spent his spare time between busting heads and cross stitching.

    He finished up his meal and placed his plate in the sink. Passing by Levi, he placed a kiss on her forehead - adorned with a smile. "We've faced worse things than this." That was true. It would have been a lie to say everything was going to be alright. He wasn't Queenie, he didn't have foresight. "I'm going to shower. If you left me any water."

    He took off for a quick rinse before their day out.
     
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  6. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Had they?

    Collectively, together, as a couple ... maybe. Depends on when you associated them as an actual couple.

    Separately? Yes, she'd survived much worse. But years ago the prospect of working at Purgatory to make ends meet hadn't bothered her at all. Now she still woke up in a cold sweat, heart pounding so hard her ribs hurt, reliving nightmares from that night.

    "Maybe..." maybe she'd left him some water. Her eyes glanced to the tracker on the wall. There was definitely plenty of water left - she and Mamen weren't living here anymore so the usage for one man and his errant girlfriend were likely negligible. Levi finished her plate and moved to cleanup. By the time he finished the plates would be sitting in the drying rack and the woman would be standing outside with her things, a cloud of smoke surrounding her.

    The habit was becoming more of a habit lately to combat the stress infiltrating all aspects of her life.

    "What are you going to do," Levi asked as he joined her and they began walking, "if the OPA get what they want?"
     
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  7. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Water wasn't too bad, though they were getting close to the ration limit for the week. They increased those rations with families but Luka hadn't gotten around to filing that form with the resource office. Seems it was easier to fake that sort of thing where he had actual sway, such as marriage records that could illicit obtaining proper medical coverage where it previously was nonexistent.

    He scratched his head over that as he finished rinsing off, having trouble recalling if he pulled that back out of the files or if Levi was still his spouse. On Record.

    He wore his typical outfit with a jacket that appeared heavier than it actually was. With the turmoil going on in Ceres, low as the rumble was, he opted to arm himself with his standard cannon. "You know those are bad for you, right?" He pointed with a furrowed brow, playfully waving away the smoke.

    Pocketing his hands with a smile, he walked in step with her. Their normal route between his place and hers. And he shook his head to her question.

    "I don't know. I haven't really thought about it." If he started thinking about it, then he legitimized the concern. And that was two steps away from seriously considering Helix without the monetary and political backbone of the UNN. And while he aligned more closely with the OPA than he liked to openly admit, the fact remained that there was still a very small and influential sub-chapter that would love nothing more than to reduce the universe to ash - the Belt sitting pristine at the center.

    No blue orb. No red one either.

    "Maybe I'll open up a seamstress shop. Or..." He thought. "Maybe I'll take up bartending. Lean a bit more on my bouncing experience." The stars were the limit. But if he were being honest, he'd consider taken her and Mamen and getting out of Ceres. Maybe travel to Tycho, lay low or join up with the CPM. They were ruthless and pretty much a crew of criminals, but at least they valued the dollar over geopolitics. At least...that's what he thought before finding out about their involvement on Eros.
     
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  8. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    She wasn't want to spend a lot of time thinking about it either, but with the way things were leaning around the Belt Levi worried they'd be forced to think on it pretty seriously sooner rather than later. Her handle on the situation was not nearly as good as Lukas - her knowledge came from what Gil reported in the mornings, or what news was whispered through the bars at night.

    Both sources had to be taken with a whole lot of synthetic salt.

    "Queenie could give you some of her patterns..." she offered with a half smirk and a glance, tossing the half-gone cigarette to the ground and stamping on it as they walked. He was right, they were bad for her, she just couldn't help the cravings anymore.

    The expression was a fleeting one, melting under a furrowed brow, "If I lose this job in the shop...working the bar isn't going to pay for Mamen's medication..."
     
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  9. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He had plenty of patterns. And it was like catching a bug, he could always use some more. But it wasn't the time to make a smart ass remark regarding his enthusiasm for knitting and cross-stitching accessories. The worry that Levi had, over her mother, was a serious one.

    And a legitimate concern.

    When they were first together, he may have been able to get away with diffusing her concern with his status as an officer. It afforded solid medical care and on top of being married, he could take on elderly in-laws as dependents. That put them under his coverage. But that assumed the medication would be covered, which he wasn't sure of. And it also assumed he'd be an officer for long, something he was even less sure of.

    "How about we cross that bridge when we get to it?" He offered as an alternative as they moved down the steps, leading to the closest rail station. "Let's hurry, wouldn't want to miss Mamen's day." He grabbed her hand and raced down the tiled path, jamming his hand into the opening before the door could shut.
     
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  10. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    "Lukas!" Mamen wheezed as the pair arrived at the small apartment door.

    Du Pomang found himself within the firm grasp of the older woman, a hug and kiss to his cheek following, "I'm so glad you decided to come. We're-" wheezing and coughing commenced, drawing a concerned look from Levi, "getting noodles for lunch and you're favorite-" wheeze, "favorite show is playing."

    "Mamen, did you take your medication?"

    "No, no not yet. Moving a little slow this morning, I'll take it now."

    Mamen was wearing a blue sundress and cardigan, her long silver hair pulled back in a french twist. She always dressed for Sundays.

    "Come in, sit, did you eat yet?" she said as she made her way back into the kitchen to find her meds.

    "We ate, did you?"

    "Had some toast and jam Queenie brought over. Oh, delicious. You should try some. How are you Lukas?"
     
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  11. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Mamen was a rare breed, able to simultaneously appear lively and tired at the same time. Her disease, despite not taking her medication, didn't seem to keep her down.

    And his favorite show...

    He smiled at her grasp and kiss and he returned the hug. "I wouldn't miss it for the world." Or the Station, for that matter. He followed her and Levi in, looking around inquisitively. He perked up at the mention of more toast and jam.

    "On the mend, as always..." Gunshot wounds were part of the business and his was healing well enough. Bruises and broken bones, those were part of the business as well. "I might get better if I had a bit of that jam..."

    Mamen seemed excited about it. That made Luka excited about it. And it meant more toast, which was always a plus.
     
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  12. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    "Anything to keep you on the mend-" Mamen chuckled rasply, moving to the breadbox only to be stopped by her daughter who sent her back on her mission to take her meds.

    Levi pulled out the bread with a faint smile and plopped two pieces into the toaster. She moved to find the jam next. When had Queenie been in to deliver jam? Where had she gotten it? Silly question really, where did Queenie get any of her exotic things.

    "We're going to have to jam on the go," she announced as she spied the jar in the fridge door shelf, "Sunday doesn't wait," and if they didn't leave soon then Luka wouldn't get that full ten minutes to browse through the yarn shop if they were going to make the afternoon show at the marquee.

    ["Mamen, are you ready to go?"] in Italian.
    ["I just have to put on my shoes."] from the back bedroom.

    Toast popped, jam spread, jar replaced to fridge and bread back in bin, Levi walked the second breakfast over to Lukas and held it out for him to bite.
     
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  13. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    Levi was a woman on a mission. He watched quietly as she scurried about, dealing with the toast and Mamen at the same time. On one hand, he wasn't sure how he felt about jam on the go. But on the other hand, all his favorite foods were handheld for the very reason that he could eat and go.

    He was stuck in an unfortunate dichotomy.

    It was true though. Sunday doesn't wait. And why should it?

    He took a bite of the offered toast, unsure if he was going to get the whole piece of toast or if she was going to hold it like a carrot - leading him all the way to the market. "Hmm..." Eyebrows raised as he mulled it over. "That's good jam." He nodded, mouth full, as he went on. "Good bread too." He held up the ok sign, thumb pressed against pointer and three fingers held upward in a curve. "Perfectly toasted."

    He was clearly stalling. Breakfast on the go could only be on the go if they were...on the go.
     
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  14. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Levi bit into her own piece of toast, holding it between her teeth as she simultaneously fed her boyfriend second breakfast and leaned to gather her mother's purse and necessary things for the day. It was a testament to her professional multitasking both at the bar and at the shop. Needless to mention what she had to do at the club...

    Mamen's purse looped over her arm, Levi chewed the bite of toast, pausing for the shortest of moments - "It is good-" before looking over her shoulder.

    "Mamen."

    "Here I am," wheeze, "here I am. Ready ready, don't you just-" cough "-love that jam?"

    Holding Luka's piece out for him to take another bite she released it into his own possession to hand her mother the breathing mask and steer the older woman out of the apartment.
     
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  15. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    "I do." He confirmed with a nod, holding the half eaten piece of toast in his left hand. His other was gripping the door as he held it open for Mamen and Levi. He supposed he could compromise as toast partially on the go.

    "Come on, Mamen...these shops won't peruse themselves." He appreciated how much effort Levi was putting into the surprisingly difficult task of getting Mamen out the door. She seemed to have the habit of dawdling, which didn't surprise him - the sooner they got to the market, the sooner the day would be approaching over.

    No point in really rushing it.

    "I got a yarn store that's calling my name."
     
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  16. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Mamen wasn't moving as fast as she used to. Or, at the very least, not as fast as she had on that first Sunday outing Lukas had joined them. Going out was becoming much more difficult, catching her breath took frequent stops despite the use of her medication as prescribed. Levi tended to these things with tethered care and bitter reserve.

    As if she could simply force the inevitable to never happen through sheer will.

    Mamen, on the other hand, kept her spirits up and brushed off her daughter's worry with humor and jokes. When they made it to the yarn shop Levi excused herself to let them shop while she went and ordered their tickets for the marquee.

    "Ohh," Mamen removed her breathing mask to take in the smell of the shop, "I love that smell, don't you? Smells like home..." a place very far away from here, but perhaps Lukas thought she meant their old home up the lane from his own. Maybe she did.

    "I was thinking of making Adi something for her birthday. Blue and green ... but all she wears is black, black, black."
     
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  17. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    He nodded though he wasn't sure what exactly she meant. Home seemed like a ubiquitous thing for people who lived in a place they couldn't consider home. For Mamen, Luka wondered where that place was. And for Levi, he wondered if it was Earth or if that was just the fantasy - given the briefest moment of life in the palm of her hand.

    He found that he adhered home to people, and no longer a hole in Brentwood. Home felt more attached to cherry blossoms and the sleepy warmth beneath the sheets. Or eating toast out of her hand.

    Luka wasn't one for perusing by sight alone. Instead, he moved from metal rung to metal rung, running his hands over the fine skeins of silk and yarn and wool. Each item graced by his touch bobbled back and forth, like pendulums, indicating his wake through the store. In the back, there were fabrics sold by the yard and in every color - vibrant and earthen, whatever someone could want.

    He cursed his quickness for settling on 10 minutes, realizing that he could spend all day here.

    "Black is easy to match with..." He smiled as he looked over his shoulder, Mamen slowly meandering through the store. He realized that he wasn't sure when Levi's birthday was which wasn't surprising. They knew so much and so little about one another. "If you make it, I'm sure she'd wear it."

    There. He found the proper section for silk fibers. Now he just needed to sort out colors. Black?
     
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  18. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Mamen chuckled wheezily, "That's what she says, so I ask her-" cough "what kind of colors does she like to match with it? And she says every other shade of black."

    "Such colors she used to wear when she was younger. I always loved her in green with the brown of her hair and her eyes," she stopped in front of a stand of green material, a faint play of color lingering in a pattern that only shown as it moved under the light, "isn't this lovely." It was there that the woman caught her breath with slow, deep, rhythmic lungfulls, "I wonder what I could make with it. I'll have to give it some thought."
     
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  19. Lukas Forgrave

    Lukas Forgrave Scourge of the Water Pipes

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    It was interesting to think on. Despite what Levi's preferences for clothing were, she seemed to favor colorful tattoos. While the inscriptions across her head where in black and white, some of his favorite pieces contained hues and captured emotion and story through the use of color. The shape of a planet, the falling leaves of a cherry blossom, and the faces of those she felt she left behind.

    Forgotten dreams, memories of pain, memories of regret. Colors, painful in both beauty and allure. He felt an odd mix of emotions on the subject, but shouldered it for the fabric that Mamen had taken a liking to.

    "Mhm..." His eyes lit up with the play of light, the way the green seemed to move and shimmer with the effects of Mamen's palm beneath the fabric. Like a curtain of white cut across with every shift of an angle, it was attention grabbing to say the least. "You have a great eye for fabric, Mamen...this sort, the thread count al-"

    A whistle whipped through the small shop and Luka couldn't grasp it, like the sound was as sharp as a knife - cutting an incision that couldn't even be felt. The glass behind Mamen, stained to indicate in rose and verdant blue that the shop tailored to threads-men of all caliber, rattled against the loosely sealed frame. Luka wasn't sure why he had thought it, but he was positive that this location never saw rain - yet it seemed water tight.

    The yellow lights hanging on the door outside shined inward, through a fine hole in the glass that wasn't there before. Luka paused as Mamen stood there, blinking and coughing - just as she always had. But the fabric was ripped at the center of her mass, covered in blood. And she leaned forward, blood dripping down from the corner of her lips. Luka was sure she had simply smeared her lipstick, but why was it so wet?

    He caught the full weight of her small body against him, the cloth falling to the floor, as her frail hands gripped at his shoulders. He was immediately caught, not even noticing the second hole in the glass, the way the shop owner was nowhere to be found, at the way his shoulder gulped slowly with dark blood.

    "Mamen..." He shook his head, brow lifting in a way that suggested an acute and almost debilitating onset of confusion. "Mom...open your eyes..."



     
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  20. Levi Jones

    Levi Jones Wikibreaker

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    Lukas wasn't the only person to have noticed the strange sound filling the small shop. Nor was he the only person to see the tiny holes piercing the stained glass of the shop front. Nor the slump of Mamen's frail body ... or the dark stain slowly oozing from his shoulder. A woman towards the front trembled, gripping her nearby child, backed away towards the door and fled with a gasp.

    Mamen balked in his grasp, a pained gurgle escaping her mouth. A choking cough, blood sputtering from her lips and spraying across his front.

    "...shooter...." said a man who had moved from the back, eyes wide. A hand lifted to point an finger at Lukas and the woman in his arms, equal parts terrified, confused, accusatory, "shooter! Everyone out!" And then he fled, hands over his head, throwing open the door yelling as he went.

    Levi saw him exit from a dozen yards away, heard him yelling, heard a small panic begin to form in the market crowds. Shooter. Shooter! Brown eyes quickly canvased the faces in front of the store, expecting to see Bough or some other gang causing trouble. Had they been followed? Her steps quickened, she immediately regretted leaving her father's pistol back at the apartment. She battled a growing crowd of fleeing people as others began to take note of bullet holes in the storefront. Another woman came sprawling out of the shop, Call a Medic - please, someone's been shot!

    A vice grip clamped down on her chest, cold and sharply painful. She shouldered her way to the door, shoving the pleading woman aside who seemed to have dropped her hand terminal in the chaos and couldn't make the call.

    "Lukas?" her voice left her mouth hoarse over a dry throat, "Mamen?" Levi shoved aside another person on their way out and came to a dead stop at the sight of Luka and Mamen in his arms. Was he hugging her? What was that stain?

    "You - you've been -" then she noticed the stain on the back of her mother's shirt and the vice grip tightened so swiftly it took all the air out of her lungs, stunning her on the spot.

    "Luka...? ...what?"
     
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