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CERES The Grounded Albatross

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by Antumbralite, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    @Violet @Dieter Kohler @Alanna Marston

    Violet laid face-down on the mess hall table, with a few towels creating a pillow for her. They had found a first aid kit in one of the lockers on The Albatross, and Keith was now attempting to do what he could for her.

    "All of the Tycho crew went through basic first aid training. The best I can hope to do is stop the bleeding and avoid infection," Keith explained to Alanna and Dieter as he applied a sterilizing agent to the wound. They had rolled up Violet's torn shirt enough to see where she was shot. The bandage she had previously was already completely saturated.

    Keith moved on to a foam compound that was designed to bond with skin cells and regrow the tissue. "I wasn't able to see the bullet; it must be too far in. We need to get her to a medical facility as soon as possible, sasa ke?" His leg had gone from a fiery feeling to a constant, throbbing pain. Fortunately, Keith was only grazed by the bullet, as he found out after they were on board.

    He finished by re-wrapping a new bandage around Violet's torso and gave her a small shot of local anesthetic to ease the pain. "I'm pretty sure some of the stuff in this kit is expired, so here's to hoping it works."

    Keith started to towel the blood from his hands while he looked at Dieter. "You're up, beratna."
     
  2. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Violet was vaguely aware of where Keith had taken her to, the mess hall -- the only place on the ship that had a table big enough to lay a person down on. Her cheek was pressed against the scratchy fabric of the towels and she stared at the nearby bulkhead with a blank expression.

    Every so often, she would wince when he prodded a particularly sensitive area, but she kept herself from crying out in pain -- she knew he was doing the best that he could, given the circumstances.

    She was still in disbelief that she had even made it back to the ship, never mind the fact that it was still here. It was a pleasant surprise that Keith hadn't just locked the ship down and tried to take off without her and the other Earther. Knowing that he had taken the risk to reach out to them at all, was shocking. He hadn't left them behind, or to die.

    How she found the strength to keep awake was beyond her. All she wanted to do was sleep, but some part of her feared succumbing to the feeling. What if she never woke up?

    As that dread and fear started to spread, she weakly reached out and gently curled her fingers into Dieter's jacket. "Don't... throw me out the airlock..." She mumbled.
     
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  3. Dieter Kohler

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    @Cpt_Buttersworth

    For the most part, Dieter had always had a knack for the initial part of conflict – the posturing, the first fist thrown or shot fired – but he’d never gotten any better at the downward curve of the arc, the abrupt stillness that marked the conclusion of the fight. As Marston tugged him aboard the ship, he remained in somewhat of a vacant daze, even when he’d helped gather supplies and arrange Violet in their makeshift med-bay. He’d received rudimentary medical training – hands on in the Navy, powerpoint slideshows with Star Helix - but he was more than relieved to let Keith do the actual patchwork while he stood uselessly at the foot of the functional bed.

    He became vaguely aware that his terminal was chirping at him, relaying a waiting communication from the ship once the device had proximity synced to the local network. Digging it out, he tapped listlessly at the screen until a gruff, distinctly accented voice filtered out of the terminal’s tinny speaker.

    "Albatross this is Saxon, transmitting on a hopefully encrypted channel. We have a medical bay on our ship. You have wounded, Rachel has told me as much. Do you want us to rendezvous with you and provide medical assistance?"

    Dieter stared hard at the device, considering the offer. Keith was right. They needed a medical facility, not a rusted dining room table and an outdated patch kit. At the same time, accepting the offer meant wading back out through the hazards of the station that they’d just narrowly escaped. Ceres certainly wasn’t getting any calmer, and at any given moment, would be filled with trigger-happy Martian Marines that could probably give two shots about the fate of some shot-up Earther. Hoping that he wasn’t making the decision that killed the young woman he thumbed the transmit button.

    “Saxon, Albatross. Thanks again for the assist – but we’re gonna see what we do here. Don’t want to get caught by the Reds with our asses hanging out.” He winced a little, shooting a quick glance at Marston.

    "You're up, beratna."

    Dieter shifted his gaze to Keith, blinking in confusion. Up for what, exactly? Did he mean getting the bullet out of Violet? He was not trained for that, nor anything Keith hadn’t already managed to do. Besides that, the trembling in his hands still hadn’t completely subs- oh. Right. He’d been injured as well, clubbed in the existing gunshot wound on his forearm with a crowbar. It didn’t feel great, and even under the bandage, swelling and bruising was visible around the edges. A fracture, maybe?

    Like a child presenting a skinned elbow to a parent, Dieter held the battered limb out across the table towards the belter, until he felt a tugging at his jacket.

    "Don't... throw me out the airlock..."

    Maybe the poorly stifled laughter was the wrong reaction, but he couldn’t help it. It wasn’t an unreasonable thing to say, not out here, but it struck him as so patently absurd that he couldn’t take it seriously. He wasn’t good at the whole ‘soothing’ thing either, so he sort of rested his good hand on her back and gave her gentle pat.

    “Jesus, Vi, who the hell did you crew with before this? We’ll toss you out when you’re dead, and not a second earlier – but you’re not getting away from us that easily just yet. Probably. Maybe.”
     
    #3 Dieter Kohler, Dec 14, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
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  4. Alanna Marston

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    The Albatross
    Mess Hall


    From the moment the airlock door of the Albatross has hissed shut behind her, Alanna had been in a state of disbelief. Everything that had happened that day — from meeting Kohler who happened to have an escape ship, to Kohler’s having previously met the crew of a UN-turned-OPA ship and then getting a lift to their dock from said crew, to having a massive, brutal firefight against a ragtag group of Belters — it all seemed coincidental and surreal. Now, standing in the dingy mess hall of the Albatross as she watched Keith wind a bandage against the injured woman’s stomach, she wondered vaguely whether this was all real. Perhaps she was hallucinating, bleeding out in some remote corridor of Ceres while Martian Marines and OPA resistance groups mercilessly battled their way through the station.

    Okay, probably not. Most of this adventure had been too strange for her to dream up, and some of the dialogue was just ridiculous. “Don’t…throw me out of the airlock…” said the injured woman — Vi, the others had called her, probably short for Violet or Viola — and Kohler laughed. Alanna wanted to laugh along with him at the absurdity of the thought, but she thought better of it. She knew she was the odd one out and didn’t want to do anything to alienate herself from the group. Safer that way.

    “Anything I can do to help?” she finally said, turning towards Keith, who was now preparing to work on Kohler’s arm. “I don’t have any medical training, but if there’s something simple…”

    @Dieter Kohler @Violet @Antumbralite
     
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  5. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    Keith inspected the bullet wound on Dieter's arm. He could not help but smile at Violet's comment, but his worry for her condition felt like lead in his stomach. Fortunately for Dieter, the bullet did not sink as deep into his tissue as it had for Violet.

    While he dug through the first aid kit for a pair of tweezers, he attempted to smile at Alanna, though he felt as if his face projected a pained grimace instead. "You very well saved our lives. That in its own is a huge help. I wish we could be meeting under better terms."

    Keith was ready to start picking the bullet fragments out of Dieter's arm. In an attempt to try to distract him from the invasive discomfort, Keith would try to get him to talk. "So, you'll have to tell me the tale of how you two met. And who the hell were the coyos you rode in with?"
     
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  6. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    A soft smile played across Violet's features at Dieter's remark and the awkward pat on her back. It actually seemed to work for its intended purpose and she relaxed a little on the table. Even if she was still slowly dying on the table, at least she wasn't alone. The local anesthetic that Keith had given her was gradually starting to dull the sharp, agonizing pain in her side. She could still feel the discomfort of the bullet that had lodged itself in her abdomen.

    She didn't let got of Dieter's jacket, an irrational fear that if she released her grip they would disappear entirely. Their voices spoke lowly above her, and she was at least somewhat aware that Keith was trying to take care of Dieter's injuries. Her gaze drifted over to the other woman in the small room, not recognizing her, but since Keith and Dieter didn't seem to mind her presence, she clearly wasn't a threat.

    Keith's assessment of the situation was an astute one. He had stopped Violet from dying immediately, but he had only kept the inevitable at bay if her condition stayed the same. Venturing back out into Ceres wasn't much of an option, Violet realized with a detached certainty. There wasn't much else they could do with the blockade still in place. I'm going to die on this stupid table.

    There should have been panic or a rejection of the notion, but nothing came. She wondered if they would actually just toss her outside to let Ceres security clean up the mess once they got the station back under control.

    The ambient temperature of the ship should have been a controlled temperature that was comfortable for the crew, but Violet felt like she was freezing. Her body trembled. Her lips felt parched and her throat dry, which made it difficult for her to speak. The first attempt was unsuccessful, a low groan coming from her mouth instead of words. Slightly irritating. She licked her lips and cleared her throat, trying a second time and keeping it simple."Blanket?"
     
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  7. Dieter Kohler

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    Letting his functional hand rest comfortingly on Violet’s shoulder, Dieter braced a little as Keith went to work on the other arm, recognizing the attempt to distract him for what it was, but taking the bait all the same. Diverting his attention as the bandage was stripped away, his gaze settled on the Martian, forcing a thin smile at her as he spoke.

    “I was trying to fight my way off the station, and I bumped into Red, here. She had a better plan - FUCK. Ow. Jesus, Keith.” Dieter made a hissing noise as he inhaled sharply, snapping his attention towards the makeshift medic, before shaking his head and continuing, his tone taking on an almost apologetic tinge. “And the distinguished bunch of ladies and gentlemen that gave us a lift? Those were…you remember the gunship that saved our ass on Tycho? The Saxon? That was her crew. I had the, uh, experience of making their acquaintance on Politan. Lucky us, I guess.”

    After he’d shrugged, it was then that he realized Violet was saying something - or trying to. It took him a second to register the noise as a word, then his eyes darted around, looking for something blanket-esque. His instinct was to shrug out of his own jacket, and use that, but with his arm open under Keith’s knife, that wasn’t exactly practical.

    “Red,” he looked again at their newest companion. He almost hesitated to ask, because he’d put the young woman through enough already. Ruined the clever bit of her escape plan with his nausea, dragged her into a cart full of hooligans, and then tossed her into a particularly vicious firefight, all within the past hour. Then again, he was the one with the ship. That probably counted for something. He jabbed a finger at some of the mess drawers. “I think I saw some towels in there. You want to grab a few, see if we can get Vi warmed up a little?”

    Violet’s temperature dropping wasn’t surprising, with the blood loss, but it was concerning nonetheless, a subtle reminder that they weren’t out of the woods yet. He again considered running the gauntlet to the Saxon, but shook the idea aside. Too many variables. No way to re-stabilize her on the go, under fire if things took another turn for the worse. Flinching again from the pain of the amateur surgery, he gave Vi’s shoulder a little squeeze, both to comfort himself and encourage her. They needed to slip the blockade. Was that even possible. He looked to the other two, more functional people in the room. An OPA hacker. A journalist, former MCRN. Maybe he had another trick up his sleeve. Maybe she had connections in the Martian navy, or dirt on some figurehead or another. “Anyone have any ideas as far as getting off-station?”
     
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  8. Alanna Marston

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    Listening to Kohler tell the story of their adventure, even in a vastly simplified, general form, made Alanna more comfortable. There was very little to be calm about right now — while she was safely on board a ship, Martian Marines were running around outside doing who knows what, and any OPA sympathizers would probably shoot her on sight at this point. They couldn’t get off the station without being blown into ionized molecules by the MCRN, and Violet was teetering on the edge of death. But simply knowing that someone else was in this with her, that someone shared her experiences and, most likely, her internal panic, made things better.

    Blue was saying something about getting a towel, so she nodded and turned towards the small compartment while keeping her mind on the conversation. After rummaging around through a disorganized assortment of tools, plastic cutlery, and absorbent wipes, she found an off-colored towel that had clearly been through more than it was meant to. Still, better than nothing.

    Turning back towards the group, she gently wrapped the towel around Violet. After a moment’s thought, she took off her jacket and placed it over the Earther as well. It wasn’t like she really needed it.

    “Any ideas as far as getting off-station?” Kohler was asking. As she considered the question, Alanna leaned against the wall of the small cabin, rubbing her eyes to clear their post-adrenaline haze. Getting past the Martian blockade was unlikely with the most optimistic outlook and suicidal with the most pessimistic. But if Violet was going to survive, they would need to try. There was something strange about risking her life for the sake of someone she had just met, but back in her Navy days she had risked her life for billions of Martians she had never met at all. This, she told herself firmly, was the same thing, just on a smaller scale.

    “If this thing doesn’t have PDCs, there’s no way we’re just gunning it past the blockade,” she said. “Torps can maneuver way faster than we ever will, even if we go to max burn. And with Violet’s wound, I’m not sure high acceleration is a good idea anyway.” Alanna folded her arms to mark the end of her thought, then immediately dropped them and continued. “If…okay, I have one idea, but it’s a pretty shitty one. If we can somehow manage to blow the hangar — something that looks like an accident — and then shut down the ship completely, we could pose as debris and drift past the fleet. It would take a while to clear their sensors, and we’d have to be in suits the whole time — no life support or anything that emits infrared. And then once we’re far enough away, we burn like hell and hope they don’t decide to go after us.”

    She shrugged. “It’s not great, I know. If anyone else has a better idea, I’m all ears.”

    @Dieter Kohler @Violet @Antumbralite
     
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  9. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    Once Dieter started speaking, Keith went to work, perhaps a little too vigorously. “I was trying to fight my way off the station, and I bumped into Red, here. She had a better plan - FUCK. Ow. Jesus, Keith," Dieter exclaimed.

    Keith winced. "Sorry about that." As Dieter continued the story, Keith picked out the bullet fragments that he was able to locate. He repeated the same steps with the man's arm as he had with Violet. Once Alanna covered Violet, Keith laid two skinny fingers on the side of Violet's neck to check her pulse as Alanna outlined her plan.

    When she finished, Keith nodded. "I like it. I think it's within our capabilities, if we can find something to blow the hangar with." He pulled his hand away from Violet, glancing at Alanna and Dieter. He nodded his head towards the kitchen in a 'follow me' manner. He squeezed Violet's hand softly. "We'll be right back."

    After Keith entered the kitchen, he washed his hands in the sink. Turning around to face Alanna and Dieter, he spoke in a low voice. "Her heartbeat is consistently slowing. She's cold to the touch and turning white." He sighed, looking conflicted. "I have an idea, but you probably won't like it. I know I don't."

    Clearing his throat, Keith continued. "I have access to a shot I can give her that will put her into a near-coma, ya? It will give her more time, but I don't know how it will affect her in her current state. Also, it's technically a narcotic," he paused, gauging their reactions. "She still seems with it enough to consent, I just want your opinions."

    Keith leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. "Then we can figure out how the hell we can get out of here and get her to an autodoc."
     
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  10. Dieter Kohler

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    Dieter had already been trying to compile a mental list of combustible materials when Keith gestured them away from Violet. His mind immediately jumped to the worst case scenario. If he didn’t want Violet to overhear something, it probably meant that she was worse than she looked. Had Keith noticed something he hadn’t mentioned? Perforated organs? Internal arterial bleed?

    Nodding, he untangled Violet’s hand from the corner of his jacket with both of his, as if were some expensive glass ornament that might break if handled too harshly. He gave it a quick pat between his, ducking a little where she could see him, if her eyes were still open. She might understand the implication, too, so he tried lying through a weak smile. “Right over there, Vi. Gonna talk tactics. We’ll only be a second.”

    When he’d joined the pair in the kitchen, he crossed his arms and leaned on the as Keith made his suggestion. Not a ‘say your goodbyes,’ as he’d feared. Something nearly as unsavory.

    “By ‘have access to’, you mean you’re holding,” Dieter grinned ruefully and shook his head, as if the audacity of the statement was simply beyond his ability to believe. He'd thought it had been dangerous to travel with the Belter before. He started a slow, silent clap for a moment, congratulating Keith on his life accomplishments. “Wow. Terrorist affiliation and a junkie? You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you, beratna? Why can’t any of them be good?”

    Dieter was more than familiar with Belters and their chemical concoctions. Working security, a great deal of time and money was wasted dealing with the endless stream of addicts. He supposed the Belt’s drug problem was job security. He did some mental narrowing of the potential list of substances, based on Keith’s description, and the fact that the man had napped a considerable portion of the initial trip to Ceres. A downer. A heavy downer.

    “You’re talking about what - Sub-zero?” Dieter searched his eyes, looking for a reaction to his law-enforcement-educated guess, a glance to Marston to see if the name registered meaning with her. Christ. She might also pick up a habit for life, Keith.”

    He was quiet for another moment, visibly irate, but also at a loss for ideas. Shaking his head, he looked down at the deck, then slowly up at Alanna. “But yeah. If it stabilizes her, keeps her breathing - yeah. Unless you've got another brilliant plan, Red?”
     
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  11. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    Keith was not expecting a favorable reaction to his idea. To be fair, it was hardly a good one, but their options were limited. Dieter had been extremely suspicious of him ever since the incident with the boarders on their way here, when his affiliation to the OPA had a light shined on it. Now, it was clear that suspicion was only growing deeper.

    "I'm not a terrorist. And, ya, I know it's a shit idea. There's no part of me that wants to give her Sub-Zero, sasa ke? But I threw myself in front of armed Beltas to help her, and I won't stop now. The only worse thing is losing her," Keith said solemnly.

    He pushed himself off from the counter, staring down Dieter and Alanna. "If you are opposed, I understand. But I want Violet to make the call for herself." Keith was just settling in for their backlash when he remembered. "Pashang!"

    The Sub-zero was in his duffel bag. His duffel bag was in the corridor outside the hangar. The Belter that attacked him with a knife during their skirmish had sliced the strap, and it had probably been looted by now. Keith held up a finger to Dieter and Alanna. "Hold that thought. I'll be right back," he said, limping as fast as he could out of the mess room, the airlock, then the hangar.

    He cautiously peeked his head out into the corridor, fulling expecting a detail of Martian marines there. Instead, there was a pair of impoverished Belters combing over the bodies of the gang that had attacked Keith earlier. He spied his duffel bag against a wall, seemingly untouched.

    Keith crept out into the hallway, but drew the attention of the Belters, regardless. They glared at him, but said nothing. Without a word of his own, Keith crossed over to his duffel and retrieved it. It had spots of blood soaking into the fabric, but aside from the gash from the knife, everything appeared intact. Starting back to the hangar, he noticed one of the Belters was holding the wrench he lost during the fray. Keith frowned, but thought better of it. He could always get another.

    A minute or two later, Keith re-entered the mess room, unpacking his bag onto the kitchen counter. He only had one syringe of Sub-Zero left.
     
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  12. Violet

    Violet Mackenzie

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    Violet wasn't an idiot. She knew when Keith pulled the others aside that something was wrong. Of course, her situation was the topic of discussion, it didn't take much critical thought to piece that together. Dieter's attempts to reassure her only made things worse. Why was he lying to her? Did he know something? She wanted to ask him to stay with her, to tell him that she was scared and that she didn't want to be left alone. He was gone before she could get the words out.

    Their words were muffled, but she could hear the underlying tones of anger in Dieter's voice when he spoke. Why were they fighting now? Was this really the time?

    Her eyes felt heavy and the painkillers that Keith had given her were starting to catch up with her. She heard the sound of someone rushing through the ship towards the airlock, but her eyes had already closed. Would she wake up? Was this what it was like to die, just falling asleep? Had she someone to talk to or to focus on, she might have stayed awake. The adrenaline that had kept her going for so long was waning and all she wanted now was to rest.

    By the time Keith had returned to the mess hall, Violet had slipped into unconsciousness.
     
  13. Dieter Kohler

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    As Keith slipped away to do god-knows-what outside the safety of the hull, Dieter cast a long glance at Marston that finally ended with a microscopic shake of his head, a sigh, and a return to the mess. This was insane. Maybe the Martians Marines had proper medicine on them, maybe they could flag some down and request medical assistance. Then again, maybe the Martians would open fire without saying so much as ‘hi.’ After all, they were shipping with a member of the OPA.

    Peeling himself away from the counter, he returned to Violet’s side, frowning as he tried to figure out how to phrase the question. Keith was right. It was her decision. He was just worried that a mind clouded by blood loss and under the influence of pain might not be in the right mindset to make that kind of call.

    When he saw that her eyes were closed, he gave her a gentle shake. “Vi?”

    "Shit." No response. A little too forcefully, he jabbed to fingers into the side of her carotid artery, tension growing visibly in his shoulders until he found the pulse. It wasn’t much, but it was there. When Keith reappeared and started sorting through his back, Dieter ignored the knot in his stomach and spoke up.

    “She’s out cold. Hurry up and let's get it over with. Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, yeah? Especially if she’s still alive.”
     
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  14. Antumbralite

    Antumbralite Keith Caileanach

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    Keith was none-too-happy at Dieter's announcement. Having Violet's consent would have added a little less guilt to the idea of shooting her up with his nasty habit, but now he did not even have that much. He would need to make the call for her, and it felt very much like a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation. He grabbed the syringe of Sub-Zero, biting off the plastic cap and spitting it onto the deck. He spun to face Dieter and hesitated. "I hope I'm not wrong about this."

    Composing himself, he walked next to the man and crouched down towards Violet. He rolled up one of her sleeves and ran his slender fingers along her skin, trying to feel for a vein. Considering the amount of blood she had lost, he was finding it difficult. He reached down to his waist with his free hand and removed his belt. Wrapping it around her bicep, he tightened it to constrict her blood flow, making her veins more visible after a moment. Keith looked at Dieter, letting out a breath he did not know he was holding.

    The needle went in, and he removed the belt. He stared at Violet's expressionless face; she looked peaceful. Hopefully, that was how she felt. A light from his peripheral vision caused him to look up.

    It came from his portable console, alerting him that he had an unread message. Keith looked back down at Violet. He had done everything he could for her, standing over her was not going to help. With a sigh, he retrieved his console from the counter and sat down in one of the chairs they had pushed away from the mess hall table.

    There was a priority alert on the news bulletins that the MCRN was lifting the Ceres blockade, but all incoming and outgoing ships were subject to search and seizure. Good news for The Albatross. He then opened the message:

    CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE WON AN ALL-EXPENSES PAID TRIP TO THE DREAMY DOMES OF TITAN!
    >>> CLICK HERE <<<
    It was quite obvious that Keith was not the recipient of such an alluring prize, but the message was definitely for him. The network was contacting him about work. Based on this particular code, he would need to make his way to Tycho Station. Looking up at Dieter, he spoke. "How would you feel about going back into the mouth of the beast, if it meant a med team for her?" Keith nodded at Violet. "Tycho is closer than anything, and I may have some work lined up for us."
     
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