SPACE The Crew of the Albatross (Discord Log)

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Violet, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

    Character Biography:
    Shortly after the revolt on Tycho Station...

    Tycho station had been safely left behind by the battered old shuttle. The makeshift crew that had commandeered her having worked tirelessly for the first several hours of the journey to make sure the shuttle was at least space worthy. After the seals had been repaired and tested, Violet was the one to take the risk of pulling off her suit. Miraculously, she didn't immediately die or choke to death from the lack of breathable oxygen. It was still frigid as the life system was still struggling to pull the residual heat and dispersing it throughout the vessel. She had snagged an over-sized welding jacket from a locker - which likely belonged to one of the older Belters that they had run across in the lounge. She zipped it up and curled up on one of the crash couches in the cockpit. Now that the immediate issues had been dealt with, Violet had time to go read over the maintenance log in detail and to figure out what she needed to focus on next. "Looks like we still have some issues to be worked out... the Epstein drive is fluctuatin' somewhat but.. within tolerable parameters, for now." She murmured lowly to herself, under her breath.

    When he was sure that Violet wasn’t actively dying from asphyxiation, Dieter eagerly started worming out of his own suit as well, tossing it aside as he continued to fiddle with the display, slowly sorting out what was present and what was actually functional as far as communications, navigation and countermeasures. The ‘working’ column wasn’t a very long one, and the stuff that was there wasn’t exactly top-of-the-line. Some issues, he echoed, with a sarcastic snort. “Assuming that we manage to keep it from imploding and reducing us to our component atoms, where are we even headed? Everyone have somewhere to be?”

    Violet smirked slightly, glancing over towards the navigation station where Dieter was seated. It was the first time that she had gotten a good look at the man. Every other moment they had been running for their lives or sandwiched in the small tug ship, which she was oddly pleased to have brought along with them. He seemed to be roughly her age, though maybe a few years older. His graying temples hinted that was probably the case. She leaned back into her seat and she smiled more warmly in his direction. "Well... we're out of immediate danger, and my captain sort of... abandoned me. So... I'm nae in any sort of rush to be anywhere. What about you, eh?"

    “I noticed,” he laughed, finally prying his eyes off the panel and looking over at Violet to deliver a twitchy little wink, an action that repeated itself reflexively, thanks to a damaged nerve. “I take it they didn’t consider you an invaluable asset, then. Lucky for me.” He wasn’t sure why the last question made him defensive. He knew it wasn’t meant to be accusatory. “Uh. No. I’m….between gigs, right now. Got canned working security on Eros.” He grinned cheesily with a little shrug. “Again. Lucky me.”

    "So... A fired security guard, a ditched mechanic, and a Belter steal a ship? We sound like a really bad pub joke." Violet laughed softly, shaking her head. She wrinkled her nose playfully back at him, then looked back to the scrolling screen of logs. The small smile faltered a little as she turned her gaze away from him. Being abandoned by your crew was a tough thing to deal with, but she tried to not let it show. "And we're both lookin' for work."

    “A really bad pub joke,”
    Dieter agreed, with a shake of the head. “And don’t forget our friend with the launch clearance codes back there,” - he jerked his head back - or was it technically down, since it was below decks - indicating their Belter friend who had presumably gone to take a peek at the drive, or maybe a leak. “Toss in the privateers that saved our asses, and I think we’ve collectively used up our good fortune for the next year or two.” He stretched in the couch, then pushed himself up, getting a feel for the gravity of their current thrust. It wasn’t a lot, just enough to keep him from drifting up and hitting the ceiling when he rose - mostly because they weren’t headed anywhere in particular. He nosily leaned over the top of Violet’s couch, glancing at her screen over her shoulder before quickly losing interest and turning to pace the small bridge. “Yeah. Going to have to get back to civilization to find that. You think this piece of shit could make Ceres? I mean, it’s not ideal, but I might be able to worm my way back into the good graces of Star Helix, or at least catch a ride somewhere else. And there’s always a job for a ship mechanic, with all the rickety old boats puttering around the Belt. You’d probably find work within a day - maybe on the docks, if nothing else.”

    She glanced over her shoulder when she noticed he was leaning over her. Normally, it would have annoyed her to no end, but coming from Dieter she just let it go. She turned around in the crash couch so that she could face him as he paced about the room. It was slightly amusing to watch him move in the low gravity. What he said made sense. The both of them could scurry off to Ceres and just continue to live their dreary little lives as they always had: under the heel of someone else. Her eyes glanced around the outdated bridge for a moment, the vaguest of ideas popping in her head. What if they just kept this? 'They' was a loose definition. Dieter didn't seem to have the same line of thought. She could get this bird properly up and running, update the software and the equipment. She drummed her fingers against her bottom lip, eyes narrowing in thought. For years, well, her entire life really, she had been fixing other people's ships and kept them space worthy. Why couldn't she do the same for herself? Her eyes returned to Dieter. It would sound crazy if she proposed the idea to him now. He was more interested in Ceres, not gallivanting around the belt with a weird Terran and maybe an eccentric Belter, if Keith was interested. She smiled softly, a twinge of sadness in her expression. "Well, I think I've had enough of dock work in my life. I want somethin' more. We can go to Ceres though, it's as good as any plan."

    Dieter had never been accused of being overly sensitive, or in tune with the needs or desires of anybody apart from himself, but the less than subtle undertone of Violet’s consent with the idea told him he’d somehow already managed to tread on some subtle social cue. His first instinct at the whiff of a deeper conversation was to ex-filtrate to find whatever passed for a mess hall, mutter something about coffee or snacks - as if they’d find either on this old hunk of scrap, but he held off. There were only so many places he could run away to, and they were days out from Ceres - assuming that they even ended up going there. Idling awkwardly in the center of the bridge for a moment, he finally plopped back down on his couch.

    “More than just a steady income?” he inquired, finally taking the bait in his own sour sort of way, huffing as if the notion was entirely absurd. “That’s nothing to sneeze at out here. Wait, don’t tell me….did wee little Violet leave Earth with bright eyes and dreams of adventure on the untamed frontier? Not all it’s cracked up to be, is it?”

    She glanced over to him with a quirked brow, an amused smile at the corner of her mouth. The man wasn't comfortable with in depth conversation, and if she was honest, she wasn't very good at it either, but she was willing to give it a shot. "Never really left Earth, exactly. I was raised out here, technically speakin'."

    She thumbed through the console in front of her then gave a sigh, shutting off the display. The ship was old and busted, she already knew that and memorizing the things that needed fixing wasn't going to make things any better for the time being. "But wouldn't you rather be your own boss for a change?" She blurted out then quickly looking away. It was too quick to throw that at Dieter's feet and she already knew what the answer was going to be.

    His question seemed to entertain rather than irk her, which he considered at least a slight win. “Oh.” He hadn’t expected that answer about her youth, but it made sense. She looked and spoke like an Earther, but had the natural low-gravity grace of someone who hadn’t grown up under a sky. He was sure there was a long and complicated story there, but he was also quite sure he wasn’t in the right state of mind to hear it He expected the exchange to taper off with his cynicism, until she fired off a question that caught him off guard. “Sure - so long as there’s a bottomless bank account to write my own paycheck out of.” He chuckled at first, not sure if it was a poor attempt at a joke, before he slowly started to piece together what she meant, glancing around at the ship. It sounded…well, it sounded at least a little crazy. “Oh. Oh god. You’re serious, aren’t you?”

    She bit her bottom lip and gave a small shrug of her shoulders. There was a sheepish smile and the peeked at him out of the corner of her eye. "Well... I mean... we already have the ship, aye? So that's already a plus and sort of puts us ahead of the game. Most folks go into serious debt to buy their first starship." A strange mix of excitement, melancholy and apprehension twisted in her gut. How would he take the suggestion? Probably poorly, but she still wanted to know. Another thing that struck her as interesting, was that he didn't ask her to elaborate on her history, and he didn't immediately accuse her of being some sort of scummy drifter. It was a nice change of pace.

    Dieter stared at her incredulously. “This ship? Are we talking about the same one? The one that was leaking air - what, an hour ago?” Well. That decided it. He’d teamed up with a crazy person. An admittedly handy, resourceful crazy person who was probably at least partially responsible for him being alive at the moment, but someone who was at least slightly delusional. Still, he found himself pausing, giving the notion a few seconds to settle in before dismissing it outright. He wasn’t particularly looking forward to backtracking, trying to grovel to an Earth security corp to pick him back up, or resorting to another unreliable Belt-based employment contract. Settling in for something entirely different. Something maybe not permanent, but longer-term than he was used to. “How would that even work? For one thing, I think you’re skipping over the part where our belter friend helped us steal the vessel in question.”

    For a few moments, Violet stared back at Dieter, rather stunned that he was even entertaining the idea, let alone asking how it would work. She hadn't expected it to get this far in the conversation. Softly, she cleared her throat, rubbing the back of her neck. "There was a huge space battle around the station. We salvaged the ship, technically speakin." She said, spinning in her chair to properly face him with a grin. "And Keith probably has the codes to change the registration even. I wonder if I could pay him to change them..." She drummed her fingers against her bottom lip. "As for how it'd work, people always need t'get from one place to another... Or move somethin' from one station to the next. There's a cargo hold plenty big enough for that." It wasn't perfect, but it was something. And if she had her own ship, the chances of being left behind we're considerably lower. She didn't fool herself, it wouldn't be easy work, but there was a chance they could make it work.

    “Right. Are we going to mention to anybody how we had to get the launch clearance codes to conduct the ‘salvage’ operation?”
    He smirked, clearly joking. The girl had a point. He was fairly certain that nobody who took so much as a glance at the eyesore would think that it was anything but salvage. Wait. Oh, Christ. Now she was taking him seriously. Even worse, he was almost taking her seriously. “But…” he started, before realizing he had nothing to follow the word with. She was right again. Millions of Belters were spread throughout the rocks between Mars and Jupiter, sometime in larger colonies, sometimes in the middle of goddamn nowhere. There were always people and things looking to get from point A to point B. It took some actual searching to come up with something to come after the too-long pause. “You don’t even know me. And I don’t know you. And neither of us know this Keith guy, or what he’s running from.”

    Again, Violet gave a slight shrug and she smiled back at him. It was a lot to ask of someone you just met, and she hadn't planned on him even humoring her. Still, he hadn't outright said no, so she didn't want to push her luck. "I'm nae saying we make this an official thing right here and now... But it's certainly something worth considering. Think it over, Dieter. Not really like we're in a hurry, aye?"

    "Aye," replied Dieter, cheerfully emulating her accent, perhaps exaggerating his enthusiasm to table the topic. Because it was crazy, right? Right? Then why couldn't he stop picturing it? It seemed like a romantic dream better suited for a younger, greener version of Dieter - the open black, no corporate overlords, living life on his own terms. It certainly sounded better than another few years playing low-rent station security.

    Keith stopped in the doorway and saw that Violet and Dieter were no longer in their suits. Apparently, they were able to seal the ship, at least temporarily. Keith felt silly; he was too busy with an anxiety attack to notice. He removed his helmet. "We're squared away. What's the plan, kopeng?"

    The sound of the Belter's voice pulled Violet's attention away from Dieter and she smiled warmly back to him. She turned her chair just enough so that she could look between the two men. Tonguing the inside of her cheek, she leaned forward to rest her elbows on her knees, considering their options. "We were jus' tryin' to figure that out. Dieter here was talkin' about headin' to Ceres, maybe?"

    Keith nodded. Ceres was one of the largest hubs in the Belt. It was a good spot to lay low and plan their next move, or part ways. He had options, but not the slightest clue which were the better ones. The last day has been extremely jarring; almost surreal. Once the shock wore off, he imagined he would be in a better state of mind to decide. "Ceres, yeah. Been there many times. Sounds like a plan, bossmang."

    A faint smile played across the woman's lips at the phrase he used to address her. A brow arched curiously and she canted her head slightly to the side. She had been lucky that the two people she found on Tycho were both useful and not hateful pricks. After all the fighting that had broken out on Tycho, she had expected the three of them to fight more or for there to at least be some colorful language thrown about. She pushed a few loose strands of hair out of her eyes and tucked them behind her ear. "Actually... I was wonderin' if you'd know how to change the transponder codes, Keith? I could figure it out and probably brute force it after a few days but... I thought y'might have a faster way?"

    Keith's signature goofy, lopsided smile appeared on his face. "Aye, that's certainly something I can do. We definitely wouldn't want to be flying Tycho colors right now if we don't know friend from foe. Any ideas on what you want her changed to?" His gaze bounced between Violet and Dieter, curious as to what name they had in mind.

    She drummed her fingers against her bottom lip in thought, brow creasing slightly as she chewed the inside of her cheek. "See... that's the thing. What if we sort of... jus'... took it for ourselves? It's technically salvage, aye?"

    Keith leaned against the door frame of the cockpit, crossing his arms across his chest. Typically it was defensive body language, but he felt remarkably relaxed in their company. Plus, the Sub-Zero was kicking in, so that probably helped. His curiosity was piqued. "I would say so," he agreed. "Tycho was selling these old units off. If we changed the transponder, I can't imagine the new coyos in charge would make a fuss." He shrugged. "I could be wrong., but it's not like we're stealing some Martian battleship." Keith took a moment to look around the cockpit, finally ending by patting and sliding his hand down the bulkhead where he stood. "It would be a big fix-up, but I owe you guys."

    When Keith didn't immediately shoot her down, a bright smile came to her face. "Oh! Really? Well, that's bloody excellent." The slender woman pushed herself onto her feet, nearly lifting into the air in the low gravity. "It's nae like anyone is gonna actually miss this old work horse, but we could certainly fix her up and get her on her feet again, aye? Jus' with... y'know... some serious tender love 'n care."

    Keith nodded in agreement. Violet seemed surprised at his willingness, to which he had to smile again. "Belters are always on the move, kopeng. A ship is just a home as any." He assessed the ship again. It was junk, but that was the charm. Putting their work into it made it theirs. He stopped himself. Theirs? Ours? he thought. Are they inviting me on as crew? Keith didn't want to impose. "Are you inviting me on as crew?" The words left his mouth, regardless, and he mentally chastised himself.

    A trill of excitement fluttered in her stomach as Keith asked the question and she gave a little hop, clasping her hands together beneath her chin. "Well... I dinnae know! But I think we could make somethin' work, aye? It's nae like this is my ship exactly. Take jobs that we can find and jus' figure it out as we go." It was a strange thing to be as elated by the premise as she was, but for once she had a chance to take control of her life and guide it the way she wanted to; instead of having to follow around on someone else's ship, until they got tired of her or left her behind. This was the closest shot she had at having a home of her own.

    Violet's cheer over the idea was contagious. It already appealed to Keith, but she seemed just as excited at the prospect as he did. He glanced over at Dieter; the apprehension of the man was visible, but that was not to say he was out. Worst case, Keith and Violet could start from the ground up. If they were going to Ceres, they could get supplies, and possibly even more crew. "Aye. We can make it work. Tycho wasn't a bad gig but... roaming the black, doing as we please? Sign me up."

    She could see the enthusiasm in Keith's expression and she bounced lightly on the balls of her feet. A soft laugh escaped her and she turned slightly to look down at Dieter, wondering what he would make of all this. He had been reserved and reasonably reluctant about her proposal, but maybe he would change his mind? It was possible, but she doubted that he would be so easily convinced. "Okay. So. That's two of us sailin' through the void, aye?"

    Keith smiled. He was wanting to hear Dieter's input, but he felt the effects of the Sub-Zero coming down. His vision began to blur at the edges; his extremities started to tingle; and he felt as if he could sleep for days. "Say... I'm feeling pretty tired," he barely got the words out before he yawned. "I think I'll go lay down in one of the couches in there," he pointed over his shoulder with his thumb.

    The change in Keith's demeanor was rather sudden and Violet quirked her mouth to the side. Her head canted subtly and a concerned expression crossed her features. It had been a long day, and she didn't know the man well enough to say something. Maybe he was just tired. She looked between Dieter, who was busy nose down in the computer system, and Keith. They were a curious trio: a technician, a mechanic and whatever Dieter was."Yeah, sure thing, Keith. Go get some rest."

    Keith gave the two a lazy wave and retreated to the lounge. He dropped onto the nearest crash couch and recalled his conversation with Violet. Becoming part of a crew with her and possibly Dieter was wildly appealing. Now that he was forced out of Tycho, it would give him something to do while he laid low and gained reassignment from The Network. But now that Fred Johnson was dead, who knew if that would ever come. Time would tell. For now, the embrace of deep sleep swallowed him whole.

    Once he was satisfied that the clink of Keith’s steps against the metallic grating was far enough away, Dieter stirred. He hadn’t been idly prodding at the screen, but he hadn’t exactly been oblivious, either. Someone with a background like his rarely was.

    “Come one, come all, eh?” He inquired, without looking up from the screen as he prodded through a few more of the ship’s logs. It was a few seconds before he glanced at Violet, smirking as he jerked his head backwards, where Keith had disappeared to. “You know that needing to escape the station doesn’t qualify him a good person, right?” Same goes for me, he didn’t add.

    Violet wrinkled her nose at Dieter, putting entirely more trust in the man than she should have. In her defense, the stranger had taken a bullet for her, so that had earned him a few extra brownie points. She stepped over to the console that he was working on and leaned her hip against it, arms folded over her chest. There was a teasing smile on her lips. "I'm pretty sure we're all bad guys here. We did steal a starship."

    "That’s…a fair point,” Dieter acknowledged, leaning back in his couch and stretching, unable to stifle a wry grin as he looked up at her. “Regular crew of outlaws. Sounds like this thing is happening with or without me, then?”

    Violet winked down at him, hopping up on the console. She leaned forward with her hands braced on either side of her legs. "Well... We'd be happy to have you, y'ken? So... Preferably with you?" She murmured a little awkwardly and tilted her head down, then risked a quick glance up at him.

    “It’s probably one of the worst ideas I’ve heard in a while.” He rested his hands behind his head, intentionally drawing out the pause - enjoying this a bit too much. “But…I don’t exactly have a list of reputable contracts waiting on me out here, so….yeah. What the hell. I’ll keep you two assholes breathing until something comes along.” Something around the edges of the smile seemed to fade, thought the expression itself remained steady. “So long as we turn a profit.”

    Her head snapped up and she grinned brightly. "Seriously? We can turn a profit. Dinnae worry about that none." She could tell that he was enjoying teasing her, but she didn't seem to mind his antics. "Whenever Keith wakes up, we'll have to name this old gal." She chuckled and lightly patted the console.

    "You seem pretty sure about that,” he countered, dropping his arms then to stretch out in front of him, then picked at the quick patch job on his wounded arm. The throbbing had dulled to a steady ache, and so far as he could tell, there weren’t any indications of severe damage - a neat through-and-through in the muscle of his forearm. So long as there wasn’t an infection, it would heal. If they made it to Ceres, it’d be an outpatient procedure to gel the damaged tissue right back up to serviceable use. So far as getting shot went - not that bad, in his experience. “Name it?” He chuckled. “What’s wrong with ‘Piece of Shit?’ Ooh. Maybe ‘Flying Fuck.’”

    She scoffed at him, reaching out to swat at his hand as he started to pick at the dressing on his arm. "Dinnae pick at it. You'll make it worse." She smirked at him, shaking her head. They would need to properly stock up the medbay that they had, and take inventory of what they already had on board. "You don't name your home 'Flying Fuck'."

    He scowled like an angry child at having his hand smacked, then violently rocked the couch back on its un-oiled, squealing gimbals where she couldn’t reach him - going to town as he prodded at the bullet wound urgently enough with his index finger to actually hurt a lot, staring Violet down defiantly the whole time. “Then you’d better not let me name it.” he smirked.

    She raised a brow at him as he petulantly prodded at the arm. She held up her hands and shook her head a few more times. "Alright. Alright. You're makin' my arm hurt. Keith and I will name her. I'll go see what's in the medbay, there might be some pain medication." She hopped off the console and slipped past him. "Glad you're givin' us a chance." She murmured lowly before she ducked out of bridge.

    @Dieter Kohler | @Antumbralite

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