The ORION Files (Closed/Started)

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"If I had eyes, I'd be looking at you like your an idiot, but I don't so I can't and staring at people with a single glowing red eye tend to come off more 'creepy and threatening' and not the preferred, and infinitely more useful 'please stop saying stupid things' look that is more applicable." Shanoa said as she plugged back into the suit to see what there was to be done about the situation.

Diagnostic Post --> Password Authentication --> Diagnostic Menu

Diagnostic Menu:
Transmitter Status (OFFLINE)
Life Support Status (ONLINE)
Armor Diagnostics (70% Efficiency) -> Submenu -> Suit Status (Right Arm - Severe damage)
Health Diagnostics (ONLINE) -> Submenu -> Standard Medical Monitoring Suite (ONLINE) | Emergency Medical Access Release/Ejection (ONLINE) | Low Density Skeletal Assist (Online) | Musculature Assist (Online)
Defensive Systems (OFFLINE) -> Submenu -> Stealth Suite
Offensive Systems (N/A) -> Submenu -> Install new module
Misc. Systems (ONLINE) -> Submenu -> Restricted Data (ONLINE) | Data Collection (OFFLINE) | Sight Augmentation (OFFLINE)

'Restricted' sounds fun, lets try that' Shanoa thought, and was greeted with a bunch of Hexadecimal code. "Who uses hex to hide things these days ..." she bemused aloud as she translated it.

Detonation Timing: 10
Payload Output: 100%
Health Monitor Bridge: Active
Transmitter Bridge: Active
Edit Mode: Disabled (Passcode Required)
Bob Mode: Permanently Disabled

"Neat, built in B.o.B, truly tax payer dollars well spent this suit. Anyway, good news, found the thing with to gizmo, and it's no counting down. Bad news, 10 second fuse, also, B.o.B is permanently offline. Tragic really." she said in a semi sarcastic tone. She joked but she figured these two bridges where the trigger in-case of capture. "Looks like it's got two triggers, one linked to health, the other to the transmitter. There's probably a hidden timer on the Transmitter trigger, if it's dark for so long the count down starts, and Ka-Boom. So I guess you all should decide how much you all really care about what she might have to say, cause I don't have a timer for that one, and that's the one I would assume thats going to be triggered.." she put forth as she had a quick look at the passcode entry box and length of it, and started running the numbers on how quick she could hack it in the allotted time, and deactivate it.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Pitt's Workshop
What's in the box... I mean armor?

"...There's probably a hidden timer on the transmitter trigger, if it's dark for so long the count down starts, and Ka-Boom. So I guess you all should decide how much you all really care about what she might have to say, cause I don't have a timer for that one, and that's the one I would assume that's going to be triggered."

"(This is bordering on criminally inefficient)" The Captive Computer thought to herself as she was bent over the workbench once again to grant the exotic unit that called itself Shanoa access to the armor's diagnostic port. It was almost as if they were intentionally performing minor tasks in order to help the others feel included rather than removing her from her armor. If this progressed any longer, she would more than likely grab the nearest and sharpest shard of metal within reach in order to end this ...

A quiet alarm beeped against SARA-00735's audio pickup as the suit, sensing a change in its captive's psychological processes, dispersed a the digital version of a sedative to SARA's CPU... or brain... or whatever.

"If I'm a machine... why would they include a medical monitor in the suit? If I'm an organic, why would my creators tell me that I am a machine? " The half dazed digital dame muttered audibly, her curiosity starting to get the better of her, "As much as I would like to continue my observations on how a democratic military unit functions... something that even a loose family like the Orkoros Liberation movement does not employ... a question of major importance has suddenly surfaced. What's under my armor?"

With the question asked the woman or machine or femme-bot started to straighten up, her hands reaching for the emergency release for her suit that Shanoa had reactivated. No sooner than a second later a furred hand reached out and slammed her back over the bench.

"Orkoros Libertion? Now what would they want with an artifact like the one you stole..." An unrecognized voice said from behind her, "Last I heard they were a flag waving, sibling mating, xenophobic bunch with access to military hardware... like this pretty armor. So unless it impregnates whole families of siblings, your friends/family were probably going to give it to your bigger friends, the CFM."

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Showers
Irina Rostikova

"What do you say we check on our catch? Maybe the others have gotten something useful out of her. After all, considering the trouble we went through to get her..." Mar mentioned casually to Mary as the trio were finished dressing with the fourth (Grace) suddenly pulling a disappearing act the likes of which Irina would have never seen had she seen it. She'd been distracted.

"Hey 'Pinky', I think you missed a spot." Mary said as she started out the door.

Looking behind her, Irina noticed that in all the plotting and commotion, she had failed to clean her tail of the paint job that the Stealthy Smokey Spirit had done on her, causing the Feline Like Female to look up at the ceiling and briefly question what part of the Grand Helix's plan this fell under. Zipping up the jump suit from crotch to cleavage, Irina followed the two friendly comrades, following them as they headed towards what where the prisoner was probably being held. Having been aboard the Redeemer for much of her time since the mission and then sent into a mind altering trip through hilarity this was the first that Irina had heard that they'd caught a prisoner.

As the two pilots continued to converse about whatever it was that pilots converse about, the Casteless Catican Merchant Mechanic was left to wonder what sort of information they'd gleaned from the captive. Who had the mysterious third part been? For what reason would they have stolen an artifact from a back water planet like the one Orion Company had just fled from? Edward had mentioned that some of the soldiers were obvious combat-omitons, how were they going to interrogate a machine that should have specifically been programmed not to release confidential information about its masters?

"If I'm a machine... why would they include a medical monitor in the suit? If I'm an organic, why would my creators tell me that I am a machine?" A half dazed voice muttered audibly,"As much as I would like to continue my observations on how a democratic military unit functions... something that even a loose family like the Orkoros Liberation movement does not employ... a question of major importance has suddenly surfaced. What's under my armor?"

There were two thing that Irina had noticed about the prisoner. The first was the fact that she was reaching for the armor's built-in release, which would have caused the small explosive bolts holding her armor together to send its pieces flying about the room. The second thing that she noticed was the fact that she could very distinctly smell the work of a Catican Gene splicer coming from the prisoner's body. Reaching out the usually placid pussy cat slammed the woman back down on the bench.

"Orkoros Libertion? Now what would they want with an artifact like the one you stole..." She cooed to the armored prisoner, "Last I heard they were a flag waving, sibling mating, xenophobic bunch with access to military hardware... like this pretty armor. So unless it impregnates whole families of siblings, your friends/family were probably going to give it to your bigger friends, the CFM."

CFM... the Corus Freedom Movement. The Great Corus was one of the three major galactic political powers that espoused an idealized society free from hardship. Of course if you thought that thinking for yourself was a hardship, all the better. Due to their political stance, the CFM didn't have an active military outside of a defense force... unless you believed the rumors that circulated around the fringes of "civilized" space that stated the TGC was responsible for the more militant, CFM which was in turn responsible for the creation of groups like Orkoros in order to advance the CFM agenda.

Reaching the workshop where the others were attempting to extricate SARA from her armour, Mary stopped at the door and let out what amounted to a groan crossed with a deep sigh. "Did these idiots miss the part where I said not to let that thing deeper into the ship?" She muttered. This was taking way to goddamn long and she was oh so very tempted to just go in, grab the prisoner and throw it out the nearest airlock; but after a couple of deep breaths to steady herself a bit, she decided against it. "Fucking amateurs..." She hissed under her breath.

Still standing at the door, she watched Irina slip forward and add herself to the clusterfuck; she appeared to be questioning the prisoner, but Mary had stopped really paying attention. Off to one side, she spotted the other bounty hunter...Elliot, standing with his weapon trained on the prisoner. At least someone has at least part of a fucking clue. "Hey," She called out. "If the prisoner tries anything, please don't shoot to wound." Shaking her head, Mary turned away from the shop, stopping momentarily to rest a hand on the upper arm of one of Mar's primary arms, gripping it lightly.

"Bit of advice." She said softly. "Get the hell off this tub when we hit Tortuga; there's a good chance this circus is going to get itself killed, out of sheer stupidity." Letting go, she made to leave, then stopped once more. "I know you're not too hot on my 'people', which is fair enough; that said, I'm pretty sure I could find you a ride out to somewhere at least nominally civilized like NPR. A lady of your skills wouldn't have much trouble getting a 'grey' job from there."

A corner of her mouth twitched a half smile, and she headed off once more. "If ya need me I'll be playing with my new ride."

<<< Mar >>>
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route to Tortuga Drift | Just Outside Pitt's Workshop
"Maybe going Pirate isn't such a bad idea after all..."

Following only a few steps behind in the Sweetie's corridor, Mar stopped just as Mary stood in the workshop doorway and peered over the Terran Pirate's head. What she saw was enough to make her grimace impressively, while Mary groaned and muttered to herself.

"Did these idiots miss the part where I said not to let that thing deeper into the ship? Fucking amateurs..."

"I've got a bad feeling about all of this." Mar said under her breath, shaking her head.

Still, as Irina stepped up to join the others surrounding their capture, the look on her face told the Shree that at least they were learning something valuable, so whatever they were doing wasn't all for naught. That didn't stop her from feeling nervous. Something about having their prisoner this close to the center of the ship struck her as a bad idea, especially with so many crew members in close proximity.

She shook her head again after a moment. Having so many members of the crew nearby was probably for the best if she really thought about it. Especially with Elliot keeping a rifle trained on their prisoner this whole time, she thought as Mary called out to make sure he shot to kill if anything happened. She was probably worrying over nothing.

As Mary turned, she placed a hand on one of Mar's upper true-arms, prompting a mildly surprised look from the Shree.

"Bit of advice. Get the hell off this tub when we hit Tortuga; there's a good chance this circus is going to get itself killed, out of sheer stupidity. I know you're not too hot on my 'people', which is fair enough; that said, I'm pretty sure I could find you a ride out to somewhere at least nominally civilized like NPR. A lady of your skills wouldn't have much trouble getting a 'grey' job from there."

Taking a moment to glance back inside the workshop, then back at Mary, a small wry smile spread on her lips as she replied, "You may be onto something there. We'll see."

At that, the Pirate strode past her and told her that if she needed to find her, she would be with her new ship. Watching her stride off for a few beats, Mar nodded then turned back to the workshop and placed one true-hand on the top of the doorway and the other on her hip.

"So, have we learned anything from her, or has this been a bust?" she asked dryly.

Brian continued silently watching the work as he inhaled, wondering how long it was going to take to jam, disarm, and remove the armour so they could continue on with processing and interrogating the manufactured. The timer measured three months had passed since the retreat- that... another malfunction. A strange one. Three months?

As he waited he counted off every shot he'd fired during the skirmish, every bit of material wasted in reconfiguration and repair since he'd walked onto the ship, every second of work he'd done, everything he'd need to replace... He considered what he'd do when the work here was done, what he'd do when the manufactured was processed and the wait began again, what he'd do to work the drugs out of his system keeping him painfully aware, how he'd beat the manufactured... He wondered what he'd do when he saw another station, what new bit of work he'd have done, what little thing he'd buy to keep himself entertained. When he'd next have the chance to fight, to kill, to break. He was rather let down by the skirmish, wishing he'd stayed behind and spent another day bloodying them.

He took his focus off the prisoner momentarily and checked his pistol. Full, armed, automatic. He wondered if he'd have to shoot any of the people in the room some day. They always did something that crossed the line. He wondered what they would do.

"So, have we learned anything from her, or has this been a bust?"

"They're still getting the armour off of it."


Walker sigh as he heard the news from Shaona. Scratching his chin a bit as he thinks things over. How was he going to deal with this problem? Perhaps they make her take off the armor and throw it out of the airlock. They needed more information from her and he didn't want to risk throwing her out of the airlock and their trail goes cold at the pirate port.

"So, have we learned anything from her, or has this been a bust?"

"They're still getting the armour off of it."

"The armor has a bomb strap to it and we are trying to get it off and out of here. I still want answers from the prisoner and I rather not space her just yet." Before Walker could say anything else, Pitt spoke up.


Pitt was watching Shaona closely as he really hated machines. Robots, "Smart" AIs and really anything that is a machine and has a mind of its own. The only exception are things he made himself which he KNOWS how it works. Like that Doctor protocol, he installed in the med bay. Mostly for fun to his semi-boring day. He will have to talk to Walker more about letting these dangerous machines loose around here.

Though his mind went elsewhere when he heard Irina said something interesting to the group."Orkoros Libertion? Now what would they want with an artifact like the one you stole...Last I heard they were a flag waving, sibling mating, xenophobic bunch with access to military hardware... like this pretty armor. So unless it impregnates whole families of siblings, your friends/family were probably going to give it to your bigger friends, the CFM."

"HA! The Corus Freedom Movement? They are only pawns of a much bigger shark!"

"oh god not this again... Walker said low enough to be a whisper.

"The Corus Freedom Movement just employees goons and people like her into their own little movement to make a mess of governments outside of the Corus Sphere! So when the time comes to put blame on people, the CFM goes "Ain't us! they are just bad eggs." But really the real masterminds are The Corus Sphere! They want everyone under their fingers and control everything! EVERYTHING I TELL YOU!" He runs over to a part of his workshop and pulls down a wall of paper that had a spider web link with random names and conspires attach to those names.

"Which is why I always tell Walker to NEVER EVER go to The Corus Sphere. Once you go there, you never leave. Ever heard of the Colony of Ocholla?! NOPE cause they got rid of it. Or..or was that TGR who did that..." he goes back to look at his web of conspires and tries to figure out himself.

Velka waited patiently and quietly compiled the results of everything that was going, in case something like this happened in the future; though she doubted their chances of this situation actually happening twice, still, useful to have on hand. She didn't take kindly to Mary calling the group 'idiots' when she passed on by, Velka, or more likely, Captain Walker, would have to have a word with the Pirate at some point about her attitude problem.

Velka wasn't sure how things were done back when Mary was an active pirate, but here, in a somewhat more organised setting, there was a certain order to things, and the group had to be thorough when getting to the bottom of this mystery.

The mention of organisations such as the Orkoros Liberation Movement and Corus Freedom Movement quickly brought up some old case files on the Reshani Databank about prior encounters with these people; it was mostly them conducting raids on science facilities to acquire advanced technology from the Reshani, fortunately, the majority of them failed, only a few pieces of civilian grade equipment had actually been acquired, stuff that could easily be replaced and improved upon in short order. If there was one thing that her people were known for, it was efficiency, well that and high-quality cybernetics.

It was at this moment that Pitt appeared to... what was the correct term again? Go off the deep end? Snap? More than likely both as he went into a full blown conspiracy rant, including the stereotypical wall of paper connected to others via various threads, some splitting off into others with various hand-drawn scribbles.

"Oh god, not this again..." Velka could hear the Captain speak in a low whisper, more likely to himself. She quietly leant over to said, Captain.

"I take it Pitt is prone to these... random outbursts of paranoia when people like the OLM and CFM are brought up?"

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Pitt's Workshop
Ideas! Lectures!
Irina Rostikova | SARA-00735

If the Catican Merchant Mechanic weren't already busy holding the prisoner down and keeping her from jettisoning her armor inside an enclosed area, Irina would have instinctively face-palmed in reaction to Pitt's lecture that, were it presented in a more formal setting, could have been titled: The Lost Colony of Ocholla: A Contemporary Roanoke or A Demonstration of The Corus Sphere's Influence? While she had no doubt that there were some fragments of reality laced in the man's diatribe, it was individuals such a Pitt who attempted to uncover the truth regarding The Corus Sphere only served to bury said truths under a mountain of conspiracies. Despite Mary's feeling regarding the disposable nature of the prisoner, the tidbit of information that this SARA-00735 had presented was intriguing enough to Irina that would offer some assistance in removing the prisoner's armor.

Based on the fact that they, the crew that had been guarding and attempting to remove the armor the prisoner, had dragged her into Pitt's workshop, it could be assumed that there were countermeasures installed on the armor that were hindering efforts to remove SARA's equipment. Leaning in the Sharp Sensed Catican delicately sniffed the armor to get an idea of what they were dealing with.

"Explosive charge... C-7... or some derivative..." The frequent Merchant of Firearms and Explosives muttered as she started to examined the armor's metal surface, "...Scoring..."

While some might have assumed that the pattern etched on surface of SARA's armor was some sort of Carbon Fiber design that some armor manufacturers thought was fashionable, it was actually micro-scoring designed to break apart into small but lethal metallic fragments were the explosives installed in the armor to detonate. This was not the real problem, at least not in Irina's mind. The real problem was the fact that they were on their way to Tortuga.

While Irina wasn't the type to make wild generalizations about a populace,, it was already bad enough that they would be entering the outskirts of Tortuga space in a large and tempting freighter but to enter the outskirts of Tortuga space after suffering an internal explosion would have made them a very tempting target for a large portion of Tortugans. Now, if the explosion occurred within Tortuga's borders, that would probably be worse as it might be seen as a sort of assault. So it would probably be best if they jettisoned the armor prior to their arrival, letting it detonate in the vast emptiness of the voice.

"So... here's an idea..." Irina said to the others of the Crew, "If she's so insistent on removing her armor, why don't we take her to the nearest airlock and let her eject out of her armor, drag her back into the ship and then vent the armor out of the ship. I'm ... umm... pretty sure that the airlock can take that sort of damage... and I'm pretty sure we'll want to do it before we get to our destination."

Yes, if the airlock could survive a glancing blow from a ship the size of the Redeemer, chances are, it could withstand a few dents caused by impact of bits of armor traveling at relatively low speeds.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Common Room/Kitchen
Grace's School for Unskilled Girls
Edward Aubergine

Edward Aubergine, one of two resident front line heavy weapons specialists aboard the converted freighter Sweet Child of Mine, stretched lazily as he looked at the pile of empty food containers in front of him. He made a mental note to himself to replace the food that he had consumed with supplies from the Redeemer as it would have been unfortunate should any of the Sweet Child of Mine's crew members take offense to his gorging himself. As he was discovering, humans were a fussy lot, often taking offense to the smallest of infractions, often meting out punitive forms of punishment instead of making an effort to correct the behavior through additional training. Taking the issue between Irina and the culprit that had defaced Ed's personal quarters, who he assumed was Grace based on residual scent left aboard the Redeemer, if the issue was the fact that Irina had collided and damaged one of the airlocks during their escape from the doomed mission, it would have been far more beneficial to both Irina and the crew were Grace to aid the relatively untrained pilot in additional training, even if that meant shooting at Irina while she attempted to dock the Redeemer.

~Sniff - Sniff - Snort!~

While the smell of burnt ozone caused by a short circuit would not have been a strange occurrence aboard an under crewed ship like the Sweet Child of Mine, the fact that the scent appeared to be traveling was strange. While it was possible that there was some sort of electrical surge that was causing circuits and fuses to short, such an occurrence would have been near instantaneous and occurred through out the ship rather than traverse the corridors in such a linear fashion. The ever curious and concerned Catican picked himself up slowly, more slowly than he would have liked, and started following the electro-metallic smell, grabbing a fire extinguisher as he exited the common area.

"Strange..." He muttered to himself as he noticed the lack of smoke in the air that would have also been present were there an issue with the electrical systems. Continuing on, he noticed that he was being lead towards the airlock where the Archer was docked, the smell growing increasingly stronger as he closed in on the ship.

Reaching his destination, Edward removed the safety pin from the fire suppressing foam dispenser and pointed it toward the closed entryway of the Archer. Using his second right hand, the gargantuan fire fighter and sometimes fire starter opened the door, while using his left hand to check the door for signs of warmth, indicating that there was an active conflagration on the other side.

Nothing. Not a sign of any sort of event that would have put both the Archer and the Sweet Child of Mine at risk, nothing other than the smell that he had detected at its greatest concentration. Entering the ship unannounced with fire suppressant at the ready, Edward turned a corner and was surprised to see Grace as she was donning a shirt, pulling it down around her waist.

"I apologize for the intrusion but... I smelled a possible electrical surge coming from the Archer and thought it best to investigate..." Edward apologized as he lowered the undischarged fire suppressant canister.


Grace had retrieved some normal everyday clothing to put on, and was only slightly surprised to see Ed there with a fire extinguisher. It only took her a few seconds to determine WHY he might come here with a fire extinguisher, which bothered her...but not visibly. It did mean, however, that Catican noses were sensitive to even her best stealth. Something to remember in the future. Grace shook her head at his assumption of a fire.

"No fires. Elliot and I maintain systems regularly."

She made no attempt to explain what he actually smelled, nor even appeared as though she HAD any idea. Grace was just being her normal 'too damn quiet' self.


If Grace could read Catican expressions, she would have noticed that Edward was frowning at the thought that it was possible that his comrade was hiding something from him. While it was true that there was no fire present in the Archer, the electrical smell was still present in the air. Unwilling to press the matter, the Massive Catican Shock Trooper dropped the topic but instead decided to focus on another.

"Grace, may I have a word with you regarding Irina?" He asked as gently as possible, "Is there an issue between you two?"


Not so much as hiding as omitting the unsaid or unasked, so no worries, right? Besides, with Grace not currently in any light-form, there wasn't any additional ozone-burning going on. That means it would quickly fade away too. Grace was silently waiting to see whether the Catican was leaving or if he had other matters to discuss. The Archer wasn't exactly for their access. They weren't making boundaries here, but it was still an intrusion. Still, he asked his question now, and Grace nodded.

"Yes, there is. You know there is."

He would know what, as well, if he'd been paying attention. They're trying to escape the battlezone into a hyperjump, the Redeemer breaks an airlock and occupies the other, Archer has nothing to latch onto, and only because of quick thinking was Grace not separated from the group. Even with Irina making an apology, Grace has reason to resent her.


The Purple Ball of Fluff nodded slowly, as if his mind was chewing on Grace's words the same way that he had been chewing on Decadian Dragon Tail earlier during his marathon length meal. While he had known of the damage that had been caused by the Redeemer's collision with the Airlock, he had hoped that professionals such as Grace and Elliot would have dropped the matter in lieu of the fact that there were no casualties. Between the vandalism done to the Redeemer and Grace's own admission, he could see that he was wrong. While part of him wanted to chastise the mercenary about her "professionalism" he could understand her desire to teach the relatively inexperienced merchant a lesson, especially if the events surrounding the destroyed airlock had almost cost Grace her life.

"I had thought as much when I saw the vandalism aboard the Redeemer," Ed said, "and while I understand your reasoning for such actions, I must ask you a very simple question. To what lengths are you willing to go in order to punish Irina? While I am tasked with her safety, you and I are also comrades, even though this is only a recent development, and I would prefer to remain neutral in this matter. However, as this war of pranks escalates, there may be a point where it jeopardizes the safety and operation of this ship, perhaps during a mission."

Which, unknown to Edward Aubergine, was already a possibility considering the Grace's previous prank. If Irina were to attempt to open a door and then disable the protocol that the overly silent soldier it might have put Ed at risk were he in the middle of combat, something that was probably given their current destination.


To her mind, it would be remiss of her to let such a situation go unpunished. As Ed went on speaking, he would find that it would make Grace frown. She didn't do rage or - apparently - any great overt reaction, but having a reaction was certainly something. She waited for him to finish before speaking.

"I get creative, not vindictive, which is fortunate for her."

Because...well...a lesser person would have applied all of her abilities in a severe-to-fatal fashion.

"If this had been a small and petty grievance, I wouldn't bother, but it was not. The punishment is deserved, and she will have to accept that."


There was a slight lull in the conversation as the Catican Shock Trooper attempted to consider what alternatives existed. While the former soldier with the Catican Hegemony could respect Grace's desire to teach his partner a lesson, he wondered if she could redirect some of her efforts in a positive manner while teaching Irina a lesson regarding. Lessons?

"While I understand your grievances regarding my crew mate and believe that such actions would be acceptable in the spirit of squad building and camaraderie, in this case your action do not ensure that there will not be repeat of Irina's mistake in the future. Might I suggest that such energy might be better spent attempting to hone her piloting skills. While she is aware of the basics of piloting, she has never previously attempted to pilot in a combat situation." The Shock Trooper/Pilot suggested with a weary smile on his face, "While I may be up to the task, it is perhaps a more fitting that the one who desires to punish her do so in a more constructive manner."


Grace now had on a look that pretty much said 'Can't tell if joking or not' after he said that. Then, she decided that the Catican who ripped off a chair when they first met was not inclined to kidding that much. Whether this is true or not is in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless...

"If her piloting skills are that bad, she's a space hazard."

She considered it for a moment, then spoke up once more.

"Alright, but you break the news to her, after the yodeling."

The what now? Was that...the hint of a smirk on her face?


The normally tall and terrifying tank on two legs grumbled quietly, aware that this was probably something in the related to the concluding War of Pranks between Irina and Grace. Though he did not approve of it, he would not deny the mercenary her pleasure. Nodding in agreement, he considered asking Grace about the smell that had brought him aboard the Archer but decided that he would probably be pushing his luck in that regard.

"Very well. I will inform your student that she is to report to you for training once we have reached normal space and I will not inform her of this... yodeling that you speak of." The Four Eyed, Four Armed, Beserker Purple People Eater responded as he turned to exit the Archer, briefly wondering what he would have seen had he rushed in ten or so seconds sooner, as Grace was donning her clothing. Banishing the thought, the Sweetie's Resident Xenophile entered one of the freighters many narrow corridors and made his was towards the common room, expecting that he would run into his Catican cohort sooner or later.

Once Sara was analyzed, Shanoa began to report on a number of her component, including on the most-likely manner in which the explosive would be triggered. Elliot didn't know which was worse: That their enemy went to this much trouble or that they made such an obvious hash of it. Actually, the worst part might be that this...woman?...was caught philosophizing, and then made the dangerous move of reaching for the armor's release before somebody around here said it was safe. She shouldn't even be doing it herself if someone DID say it was safe. Elliot stood even more to attention with his rifle now.

"Don't even think about-"

He didn't have to do anything. The Catica, Irina, came in and forced her down. She seemed to know alot more about this Orkoros Libertion that Sara mentioned, which was more than Elliot knew, so he let them talk. Apparently, this was all in ties to one of the biggest political movements in space, so the mercenary had to agree: What did that have to do with this artifact? About this time, Mary came in and spoke to him about the prisoner.

"I may have to. The explosive has a Dead Man Switch."

What else would 'tied to her health' mean? It was a problem. Fortunately, Elliot had chosen the right weapon. If he blew off one of Sara's hands, it wouldn't matter if she were bionic, robotic, cybernetic, or totally organic. It would deter her from acting and her wound would be cauterized. That was the beauty of a plasma weapon. Mar came in after Mary left, wanted to know if they'd made any progress. Unfortunately, this led to Pitt going on about a even larger conspiracy that - judging from Walker's reaction - was spoken quite often by the man. All of this finally came to a head with Irina examining Sara and concluding that they could just have her risk removing the armor in an airlock. Interesting solution, however...

"Number one, not until we're in normal space. Number two, you break it, you bought it. If we lose the airlock again, it's definitely coming out of your pay. Right, Captain?"


Once Ed was gone, Grace considered the situation she'd just placed herself into. It could work out, or Irina could wash out. Either way, there would be a certain level of satisfaction to it. That, however, did not negate her reprogramming of the yodeling and recording prank. After all, Ed might appreciate it. She set to work on her own again, since there was little else to do.

<<< Mar >>>
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route to Tortuga Drift | Just Outside Pitt's Workshop
"Even centuries into the future, tin-foil hats have never gone out of style for some people."

The first one to reply was the normally silent Terran, Brian, and the answer he gave her was not only terse and straightforward, but also utterly uninformative regarding what she asked for.

"They're still getting the armor off of it."

Mar was silent for a moment before she looked pointedly in the direction of the prisoner, who was quite obviously still in full armor. A fact that she could plainly see for herself. She slowly turned to look back at Brian and locked her four eyes onto his two.

"I can see that. Have we learned anything from her?" she asked slowly, before Captain Walker caught her attention and caused her to glance in his direction.

"The armor has a bomb strap to it and we are trying to get it off and out of here. I still want answers from the prisoner and I rather not space her just yet."

Her lips thinned a little as she grimaced. That explained quite a bit regarding their slow progress in questioning her, since a bomb on the ship was obviously a higher priority. What it didn't explain, however, was why she had been brought deeper into the ship itself. To her, it made a lot more sense to take her to one of the shipping containers hooked up to the body of the freighter, and attempt to disarm it there. Replacing a container was generally more affordable than internal ship repairs.

Mary's offers to go pirate were beginning to get more and more tempting by the second. And that was before Pitt began to go on a tirade about some Orkoros Libertion and Corus Freedom Movement after their mention by Irina. The entirety of his rant struck her as nonsensical, and would have been more than a little hard to follow if she wanted to. And she didn't.

She was about to turn and leave when she heard Irina suggest that they take their capture to an airlock and have her jettison the armor. Then, they would quickly pull her into the ship before spacing the rigged armor. All of which sounded like a good idea to her. The Shree started to open her mouth to say so before Elliot spoke up and stopped her in her tracks.

"Number one, not until we're in normal space. Number two, you break it, you bought it. If we lose the airlock again, it's definitely coming out of your pay. Right, Captain?"

"Whoa, whoa, hold on. Lose the airlock... Again? The fuck happened to the airlock?!" Mar asked incredulously.

By the time Mary made it back to her ship, she'd run out of invectives for the folks in the machine shop...for now; instead, she turned her attention to the Spectre she'd acquired from that clusterfuck of a 'job'. "Alrighty hun, let's see how you're doing." She muttered quietly as she approached the strikecraft.

The Spectre was a slab sided, bruiser of a ship; ugly as sin, but that lent it a certain charm. Running the fingers of her left hand across the hull, she let them trail along the alloy skin until she reached her goal. Releasing a couple of catches, she popped open a maintenance hatch, much in the same way she'd done with Mar's Devil-Fish, and accessed a display.

"Hmm..okay...Gun an' missiles...ya, know those are dry. Fuels down 45..." She mumbled, going through the ship's systems and getting a feel for its operational expenditures and keeping any eye out for faults or other things that seemed out of place.

"I take it Pitt is prone to these... random outbursts of paranoia when people like the OLM and CFM are brought up?"

"eeeeyup. He even freaks out if he hears we are near their borders." Shaking his head as he really hates how paranoid Pitt is at times.

Walker sigh as he let the other chat among themselves about what was going on and what now. He really didn't feel like saying anything at the moment as he was trying to take everything in at the moment. Leaning up against the wall and resting as he tries to put things in order. Mar seems to be fine now as he would get off the wall and walk up to her. Giving her a pat on the shoulder/back. "Glad to see you up Mar. Had me a bit worry I would need to replace my best pilot so soon." He chuckles as he tries to joke with her.

Though in the back of his mind, he wonders who was going to stay and who was going to go. To be honest with himself, this whole job was a cluster fuck. It was too damn good to be true. He wouldn't give them any ill will if they leave. Hell, after this, he might put the old ship to rest and just get a small house to himself. Though that all depends on what the crew wants.

On the matter of the crew, his thoughts turn to Mary. If they do all stick around, he will have to sit with Mary and set her straight. This isn't a pirate ship, she can't just do what she wants and if she has a problem with this he was going to kick her off the next port with her stuff.

Next, he has to think of what to do with the prisoner. With all of this, he didn't think it would last this long. If he knew ahead of time, he would have just space her and be done with it. Though that came with problems all of its own. They still don't know fully WHY this group attack the colony, or for the fact HOW they knew. Traitors from one of the ships? a mole from inside the colony? Probably won't know when they need it if life has anything to say about it.

"You think the plan will work Irina?" Walker asked as he wanted this matter to be done and over with already. He heard about the airlock and he can't bring himself to be surprised or mad. While he didn't want his ship to be a wreck, at the moment they were just trying to get away. "If the airlock has to be destroyed again to deal with the bomb problem so be it..just get this problem done and over with."

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Pitt's Workshop
Someone Set Us Up the Bomb!
Irina Rostikova | SARA-00735

~Some time later~

"Yeah... why is she naked?" A rather confused looking Catican Merchant Mechanic asked in a rather amused voice as she looked down at the scene in front of the mid-ship airlock, "Also, Captain, is this a habit that I should be aware of? As it stands you've already been intimate with my vat-sister, mounted Mar and now we find you in the middle of the corridor on top of the naked prisoner. Just... what kind of ship are you running here?"

~Some time previous~

To make a long story short, it had been decided that Irina's hastily cobbled idea was the best idea that had come about in quite some time and thus they dragged the prisoner off to the closest airlock with the idea that they would allow prisoner SARA-00735 to jettison her armor without the possibility of any live bits of explosive being thrown about the interior of the ship. The downside of the idea was that either the Captain or Pitt was going to have to rush into the airlock and start the emergency venting process and given Pitt's eccentric personality, the Captain seemed the more logical choice in the matter.

The plan had gone off mostly without a hitch. SARA, standing in the middle of the airlock initiated the sequence that would detonate a series of small yield explosive bolts which would safely propel the armor away from its wearer's body and as Irina had predicted the airlock only suffered a minimal amount of damage (just some paint scratches here and there). The only problem which no one, including SARA, had thought was even a remote possibility was the fact that without her armor keeping her upright, the prisoner was essentially a jellyfish ended up on the floor of the airlock unable to move.

Unwilling to allow anyone to be vented out an airlock while in FTL, something that was considered an extremely cruel practice even among certain pirates, the hero/captain sprang into action and saved the damsel in four easy steps.

1) Started the emergency venting procedures
2) Jumped through the closing doors
3) Picked up the prisoner
4) Jumped back out of the airlock while carrying the prisoner and incidentally land on her naked body

Were any of the other crew members around to witness this heroic act of heroism, instead of being ordered away from the Airlock in case things went wrong, they might have witnessed this sequence of events and been a bit more amazed by the captain's actions. Instead, when the shock wave of the armor's explosives detonating rocked the ship, they were greeted by the sight of the Captain on top of yet another female.

" least I know how Captain Kirk feels on a daily basis." Walker smirk a bit.

"Riiiiiiiight... " Irina said, playing at being unconvinced by the Captain's jest, before pointing at a rather irate looking Pitt who just happened to be ranting whilst his translator was fritzing up, "Pitt says we're about to hit Tortuga... and a few other things... something about he saw her first."

<<< Mar >>>
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route to Tortuga Drift | Devil-Fish's Makeshift Hangar
"My poor ship!"

As plans went, the one they were going with to relieve their prisoner of her rigged armor was only somewhat terrible and slapdash. But one could certainly argue that there were far worse plans, and no one else had a better idea. So, when Walker had most of the other crew members that were gawking outside of Pitt's workshop go elsewhere for their safety, she decided to check on her shuttle.

Which was in a separate shipping container that could be sealed off from the rest of the Sweetie. And still contain air in the event that there was a disastrous hull breach.

Once the container was pressurized and she stepped inside, the Shree immediately felt her heart sink.

The Devil-Fish, her baby, had seen better days. The left-side thrusters were both dented and scratched thanks to how roughly she "landed" in the container, and some of the paint had atmosphere burns. Mar had pushed past the red-line of what the shuttle's recommended escape velocity was, and pushed the limit of what it could actually handle.

With a frown, she stepped up to the Devil-Fish. Placed a true-hand on one of the scratched-up thruster nacelles. She felt her eyes well up with foolish tears, and reached up with her other true-hand to wipe them away. Despite the fact that she had had a good reason to be rough on the old girl, it hurt to see her baby so roughed up. But she knew that it wasn't the first time that would happen, and it wouldn't be the last either. And she certainly shouldn't be so sentimental towards her new fighter, since it would inevitably take fire.

Mar exhaled shakily, and turned to look just inside the still-open main hatch. And as her eyes followed the trail of blood on it's way to the cockpit, she placed a false-hand on her belly. She ought to clean that up. And as she stepped inside, opened a compartment near the entrance and took out some of the industrial cleaning tools inside, she hoped that she wouldn't be cleaning up blood from her shuttle's floor very often.

Walker chuckled a bit at Pitt little outburst. Not knowing fully if Irina was getting it right or not but it didn't matter much to him. Getting up as he helped the prisoner up. "I'll be back in a moment..going to get the prisoner something to wear as well put her in one of our holding cells." Walker said as he grabbed hold of the prisoner and put her hands behind her back.

While he didn't think she would do anything, he wasn't going to give her a chance either. "If Tortuga is coming up..we better get ready in case something...unexpected happens." Walker said as he starts to lead SARA away from the group and toward the holding cells.

10 minutes later

After making sure SARA had clothes and the cell would hold her, Walker asked some of the crew on his ship on the whereabouts of Mary. Hearing she was working on her ship he made plans to go see her. Though one of his crew pulls him to the side. Saying that he saw a little..incident that happen between Mary and Resha. Sighing as he put his right hand on his forehead. He really didn't need this at this moment. Lightly letting his hand fall down on his face as he thanked the crewmate and left to deal with Mary.

Walking into the hanger as he spots Mary's fighter. Sighing out as he really wasn't looking forward to this as he made his way over. "Hey, Mary! I need to chat with you about a few things!" Walker yelled out and when Mary saw his face it would look like he was tired and had enough of today bullshit.

After taking stock of her expenditures, rearming what she could and refueling from Sweety's tanks; Mary set to work on some of the finer details of the 'Specters' cockpit, getting customized to the way she liked.

Currently she was tweaking the instrument panels, choosing what info was displayed where and all that, while humming 'Ode to Joy'.

"Hey, Mary! I need to chat with you about a few things!"

Sitting up, so her head popped into view, she threw a casual wave to Walker. "Yo Dicky boy!" She called out. "We nearing Tortuga yet?" Ducking out of sight for a moment, she keyed a few more things into the panel, then sat back up with a smile, happy with what she'd done. "Hey, while you're here I wanna run somethings past you. A ship needs a name, and I'm down to the short list; Dark Icarus, Bad Behaviour, Reaper, Ravager, The Lost One, Huntress, or Dammerung. What do you think?"

With everything squared away in the cockpit, she climbed out, forgoing the built in boarding ladder and instead just dropping to the decking beside Walker with a heavy 'thud'...and a slight sloshing from the refilled flask tucked away in her overalls.

While Mary was still inside the ship Walker shouted out, "Yeah we are almost there, probably be there within the next half hour if we are lucky...but that wasn't why I wanted to talk to you about." Walker said. Waiting for her to come out. As soon as she landed he added, "You can figure out a name later..What I need to talk about is more important. I got a report that you hit another teammate earlier today. One of the crewmates saw you punch Resha pretty hard after the mission. Care to explain about that?"

While Walker didn't care how Mary thought or talk to him, he wasn't going to let her run wild on the rest of the crew. That goes for everyone else as well. He didn't give a rat ass what they thought about him as long as they follow orders. Though as soon as this group turns on each other thats when he will step in to end it. He wasn't planning on getting killed on the field because two or more of his teammates are dumbasses and let something get in the way. While this crew didn't seem to be the type, at least not yet, to let grudges carry over he wasn't going to take that damn risk.

"Eee-eyup. He even freaks out if he hears we are near their borders." Captain Walker quietly responded to Velka as things seemed to be winding down regarding what to do about SARA; it was decided upon that she would be placed in the airlock, have her remove the armor, then quickly space and get her back inside before she went with it.

"I'll be back in a moment... going to get the prisoner something to wear as well put her in one of our holding cells." He quickly departed, then returned a few moments later with what looked like an engineer's jumpsuit, offering it to SARA and giving her a look that said; make it quick.

"If Tortuga is coming up..we better get ready in case something...unexpected happens." Walker then puts SARA's arms behind her back in a firm, but not bone breaking hold. He then lead her away from the group and towards the holding cells. Velka offered to help with the escort duty, but the Captain politely declined the assist but appreciated the gesture all the same.

With that said and done, the group departed from Pitt's workshop, who was still in some sort of conspiracy rant and went their separate ways to do whatever tasks they needed to do. Velka went back to her room and took to disassembling one of the surveillance drones so she could closely examine the pieces, she kept the door to her room open in case someone wanted her.

"Yeah we are almost there, probably be there within the next half hour if we are lucky...but that wasn't why I wanted to talk to you about. You can figure out a name later...What I need to talk about is more important. I got a report that you hit another teammate earlier today. One of the crewmates saw you punch Resha pretty hard after the mission. Care to explain about that?"

"Well shit I better get going so your deckape at the helm doesn't fuck our approach and get us all spaced...and naming a ship is a very serious matter." She added with a wink and a smirk, though the smirk faded as the 'real' reason to Walker's visit clicked.

Cocking her head to one side, she gave him a rather confused stare. "Is she whinging over that little 'administrative' rap?" She asked with a sake of her head. "I already yelled at you for your fuck up dirtside; what she got was just a little negative re-enforcement over her own bad choice in that affair." Mary went on, still not quite understanding why Walker was wasting her time on this.

"It's not like I put her in the medbay or you've got something important, I should really get to the helm." With that she took off at a brisk jog towards the lift that would take her to Sweety's bridge.

Walker would continue more with this conversation but at the time he knew it would be pointless and bad for the entire crew. If Mary wasn't at the helm when they reach the pirate port, they could all get spaced. Pirates were fickle like that about outsiders. Shaking his head as knew he was going to bring this back up when Mary wasn't busy.

Sighing out loudly as he thought to himself, ' After this pirate thing is done and over with..I'm going to have a nice long chat with you, Mary.' Walker watches her disappear fully as she travels down the hallway towards the Bridge. 'Perhaps I should visit Resha before we get to the port. See what she thinks about this mess and ask why she didn't bring it up to him at all.' Walker then took off to look for Resha.

The doors to the lift on Sweety's bridge slid open with a soft hiss, and Mary strolled in humming softly to herself. She looked around for a moment before heading towards the helm. "Yo...Deck monkey!" She called out. "Move your ass, I need that seat." The helmsman shifted slightly in his seat to glare over his shoulder at her. "Fuck off!" He snapped. "The Captain may've hired you thugs to do some jobs dirtside, but this ain't your ship!"

Mary smiled and let out a long suffering sigh before walking right up beside the helm. "I said FUCK OFF!" The man snapped. "If I was-" He never got to finish his sentence. Mary's left flicked out and stabbed the center release for the seat's restraints, while her right gripped the man hard by the front of his coveralls; as soon as she was sure the restraints were loose, she heaved, lifting the helmsman out of his seat and depositing him on the decking with a thud. "I wasn't really asking." She replied sweetly as she slid herself into the now vacant seat. "Now," She muttered "Let's see what this brick can do."

As the now rather irate (former) helmsman scrambled to his feet, he was about to exact retribution, when he stopped cold; Mary had unfolded the 'hold out' pistol in her right arm. She wasn't pointing it at him, but he could plainly see it. "Now, sit down, shut up, and you might learn something." She said with a smile, never taking her eyes off the displays in front of her.


After a moment to familiarize herself with the basics, she killed the autopilot and enacted a rather radical course change, to take Sweety 'up' over the Tortuga System's ecliptic. "You were going to hit the ecliptic edge on." She packed her gun away and tapped at a few screens. "Granted that is pretty SOP for most ships and it does make the transition out of FTL pretty smooth...but here? Here, that just marks you as some fresh little lamb that's just wandered into the wolf's lair." Turning to look at the still glowering helmsman, she gave him a wicked grin. "Almost show time."

Reaching forward, she tapped the broadcast button for the ship-wide PA system. "Ladies, Gentlemen, unstable AIs and whatever the hell Ed is, we're about to drop into Tortuga. It'll be a 'unique' transition outta FTL so you may want to strap in. You got 5 minutes, after that, any broken bones are your own damned fault." She added, laughing a little bit.


After the five minutes elapsed, she tapped a few keys to bring the big old freighter out of FTL. "And here we go!" In n-space, there was a truly massive energy spike on all in system sensors as Sweety essentially did an emergency stop into the system. The ship shock and banged, anyone who'd not heeded Mary's warning was tossed about like a ragdoll; but as quickly as it'd started it was over. Sweety had bled so much speed she was down to less than 10 kilometers per hour, but Mary was already bringing the ship back up to speed and setting it on a heading towards a rather large and haphazard looking space station that was surrounded by scores of space craft of all sizes. "To those of you still breathing; Welcome to Tortuga."

<<< Mar >>>
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route to Tortuga Drift | Sweetie's Bridge
"Rough is a bit of an understatement."

Once the Devil-Fish's cockpit, loading doors, and the floor connecting the two were clean, Mar stood up and examined her handiwork. Quite frankly, the bits she scrubbed were probably cleaner than the rest of the ship after that. Which meant that it was probably high-time to clean the rest of it, but now was most definitely not the time. Especially since they were about to enter Tortuga's space. With that in mind, she put the seldom-used cleaning supplies back in the wall-cabinet and made her way out and through the tramp freighter's hallways.

As she stepped onto the bridge, the Shree arrived just in time to watch Mary pull the pilot bodily from the seat and toss him aside. Much like she had herself when she first took the helm. A huffing chuckle rumbled in her chest as she stepped up, placing a true-hand on the helmsman's shoulder even as Mary made a pointed display of a hold-out pistol hidden in her arm.

"Now, sit down, shut up, and you might learn something."

"You know, she might be right. After all, we're the two best pilots on the whole damn ship." Mar observed with a smug grin as she took a place right behind Mary and asked, "So how's our approach?"

"You were going to hit the ecliptic edge on. Granted that is pretty SOP for most ships and it does make the transition out of FTL pretty smooth...but here? Here, that just marks you as some fresh little lamb that's just wandered into the wolf's lair."

She had to admire the smooth skill that Mary showed at the controls. While it was clear that she wasn't as used to old tubs like the Sweetie, she certainly knew what she was doing as her hands danced along the console. Then she called over the ship's intercom, warning the crew of a rough transition to n-space.

Sparing a glance at the pirate, Mar's four hands shot out to grab any surface suitably secure enough to brace herself with, and squared off her hips. When the Sweet Child of Mine dropped out of FTL, the entire ship shook violently, threatening to throw her from where she stood, but an advantage of natural strength and having an additional pair of arms to brace with meant that she was able to stay on her feet, but just barely.

It was arguably the roughest transition to-or-from FTL speeds she had ever felt, but she could imagine worse. Not much worse, but worse.

"To those of you still breathing; Welcome to Tortuga."

Mar slowly let herself relax before she smiled at her.

"One hell of a welcome so far. But now that we're here, Mary, remember: You owe me a Tsi'vaan at the first bar or club that serves them." she pointed out with a friendly pat to Mary's organic shoulder.

Mary turned her head slightly and smiled at Mar as the shree put a hand on her shoulder.

"One hell of a welcome so far. But now that we're here, Mary, remember: You owe me a Tsi'vaan at the first bar or club that serves them."

" remembered." She chuckled; she was about to say something more, when she noticed the incoming transmission alert. "Whoops, on to part two of on getting us shot." She chirped in a far to upbeat tone. Tapping the 'Accept' button, a small screen flicked to life revealing the face of an old and scarred catican male.

"Unknown vessel." He growled. "Name, ship and captain." Even with Sweety's, at best adequate, sensors, she could see quite a few of the 'locals' changing course to intercept; just in case they turned out to be a legitimate bit of prey.

Mary simply hit the 'Transmit' button and smiled into the visual pick up for the comm. "Gaz, you old fossil; thought you'd 've kicked it by now." There was a slight transmission delay, then the old 'cat's eyes widened with surprise. "Red!" He exclaimed. " 'Net said all the Star's top people bit it in the blast...what happened?" Out of range of the camera pickups, Mary's hands clenched a couple of times; it took a moment longer for her to reply. "They did, and I have no fucking clue." She replied, an edge of pain in her voice. "I'll come see you once I get squared away; need to see the 'Shipbreaker'." "Sure thing Red; welcome home."

Cutting the channel, she turned and smiled at the others on the bridge. "See, with me here, no problems; now for part two." Changing course slightly, Mary aimed the Sweet Child of Mine towards a collection of mobile spacedocks of various ages and origins; these lattice-like gantries sat at the edge of a sizable collection of powered down hulks.

Tapping a comm code into her panel, Mary began to transmit. "Breaker Control, this is Red on the new inbound. I need some dockspace for a Re-and-Re and some time with the boss." After a moment, a heavily synthesized voice came back. "I wish I could tell you to fuck off for disrupting our schedule; but the boss likes you...probably for what you've done for his bottom line. Dock Four will be clear by the time you get in, and he said to come straight to his office."


Less than 20 minutes later, and with the help of a few auto-tugs, Sweety was moored in a surprisingly new Corus built spacedock. Shutting the engines down, she climbed free of the helm control and tapped the PA once more. "And with that, we're docked." Smiling to those in her immediate vicinity, she bowed slightly before turning her full attention to Mar. "Don't think I'm trying to welch on what I owe, but can the Tsi'vaan wait a bit? Want to get a couple of things squared away riky-tik."

And so, the situation with the bomb was finally resolved, painlessly and without the loss of the airlock. Again. The only thing was that this turned out to be a bit weird, as Sara turned out to be a bit...floppy? Elliot wasn't really sure how to take that. With the situation finally resolved, he could sling his rifle and deal with situations that had arisen since then. You see, due to the necessity to get Mar to the infirmary and to guard their explosive prisoner, Elliot has had no time whatsoever to do anything else at all. He's only up-to-date on the airlock business because Irina had made some sort of announcement and he'd asked Grace for some clarification. He needed to catch up.

It was due to this that he finally became aware of {A} just what Grace had to do to stay with the group, {B} what she'd been doing in regards to Irina since then (The Prank War), and {C} Ed's idea to instruct her on not being a total catastrophe in piloting. The idea of Grace coaching in piloting seemed very much like getting instructions from The Stig, but the white-haired girl was far more capable of communication. With the Archer in decent shape - a bit dinged by the battle, but none the worse for wear - and their weapons all checked out and not boobytrapped or bugged, they were good for supplies, but...

"Tortuge isn't exactly a great spot. There could be people there looking for revenge."

"Yes, we have a reputation."

She looked at him now, the two of them probably thinking the same thing.

"Arm ourselves accordingly?"


Unless Tortuga had some kind of laws involving weapons, Elliot and Grace were going loaded for bear, so the bear doesn't come at them while they're ill-prepared. Of course, they had to stop and strap in when Mary made that announcement. It was kind of annoying that their meal ticket was playing merry havoc with them, but as long as she wasn't dead, it would work out. They suddenly stopped with a jolt - an unpleasant one - and went back to their preparations. Open transmissions with the Tortuga docking clearance and such gave 'em pause, but nothing unusual happened. They would be at the docking area like everyone else, where they overheard Mary as they opened comms to speak to her.

"Since this is basically your old stomping grounds, I'll assume you'll be fine. However, Grace and I are mercenaries, and pirates tend not to like mercenaries who've taken down bounties. If there's anyone you're figuring for the revenge-taking type, now would be a good time to know."

Elliot was still in armor and with the shields - folded up right now - to boot. Grace was in her combat gear and assuming nothing on what will go right or wrong. Both of them were visibly armed. They were not taking any chances unless being armed in a PIRATE station where everybody was armed was somehow a bad idea...which wasn't likely.

The Orion Files | Catican Heavy Shuttle: Redeemer | Irina's Quarters
Some Time Later...
Irina Rostikova

It was a wonder why more of the crew had not fallen over from exhaustion the way Irina had since no one appeared to have gotten rest after Orion company's mad dash escape from Sasleyria. Perhaps it was a communal sense of dread that kept everyone super saturated in adrenaline but sooner or later someone was going to keel over... and it just happened to be the Catican Merchant Mechanic named Irina Rostikova.

Stretching out in the soft, silk like sheets made of Darden threads, the pink furred Catican blinked a number of times as she attempted to remember how it was that she had gotten into her quarters, a position that she was not unfamiliar with. She remembered being especially tired to the point where it hurt to even stand up. She remembered nearly falling on her face before being caught by a set of four purple fur covered arms. Ah... that explained it. Having noticed his partner's condition, the Four Armed Four Eyed Piloting Human Dismemberer must have carrier her back to the shuttle and tucked her in. While it was a gesture that was not unexpected from her companion and bodyguard, it was, nevertheless, a sweet and kind one.

Looking "through" the hull of her ship, the now semi-awake, semi-clothed Cat Girl noticed that the freighter had decelerated and was cruising through normal space which meant that they were close to their destination, Tortuga. Ever the eager beaver to make a few credits, and some space in their hold, the Cash Strapped Catican connected with the Redeemer's database and pulled up a directory of business establishments that ran out of the "rather colorful" space port.

"Accessories... Undertakers... Brothels... Restaurants... Weapons..." Irina muttered as she read through the unalphabetized catagories that database's author had slapped together, probably while under the influence of product from one of Tortuga's many chemical dispensaries befoe stopping on one and smiling brightly, "Casinos?"

It was not a widely publicized fact that Irina and Edward's former master had been a rather avid gambler and frequented many establishments similar to the unlicensed and unregulated casinos found on Tortuga. It was only at these places where fortunes could be made and squandered in the blink of an eye. It was also a little known fact that Irina and Edward's former master had also been the owner of several small Terran colonies for the span of three hands before their ownership was reverted back to their original colonial governors. Like her former master, Irina had a taste for gambling. While the results were somewhat dependent on chance, the majority of randomness could be offset by one's ability to read their opponent and whether or not they were bluffing or not. To the Casino Kitten, the sensation of outsmarting her opponent was second only to the thrill of outsmarting a rival merchant.

"That settles it." Irina purred happily as she started rummaging through her clothing for proper casino attire. If the Casino bound Catican was ready by the time they docked, she could probably offload her wares at the Casino of a moderate sum of credits before multiplying her chips at one of the card tables.

Throwing on a rather low cut, sequined dress, the Pink Hued Furball walked towards the door...


that did not open when she approached it, causing the Confused and Contused Kitty to walk face first into the semi-organic portal. Frowning for a second, the all-dressed-but-trapped-in-her-room Catican approached the door again, this time a bit more cautiously and once again the door refused to open.

"What in the 8 and 8 hells?" Irina wondered aloud as she attempted to run a diagnostic on the door.

"Yodel for me, Irina Rostikova" The Door's Diagnostics responded to her queries.

"What's a yodel?" Irina wondered aloud as she started digging into the door's security parameters, which had, as was standard procedure, sync'd with the Sweet Child of Mine's security protocols.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Converted Hanger
Some Time Later (Part 2)
Edward Aubergine

While there was nothing that the Four Armed, Four Eyed Purple People Mangler would have liked more than to be able to get some shut eye in his bunk, he remained awake and ready in case any of the pirates that surrounded Tortuga decided that a lightly armed freighter with two shuttled docked on its exterior looked like too tempting a target to not attempt to board. After he had dropped his compatriot off in her quarters, the Colossal Combat Cat donned his armor once again and headed towards one of the storage containers that had been converted into a makeshift hanger, grabbing his smaller weapons as he departed the Redeemer. Putting holes in the hull would not help the situation were the crew suddenly faced with repelling a pirate boarding party.

Seated atop a cargo box that was chest height to the average sized human male, the Catican Shock Trooper started checking his weapons, scanning through various communications frequencies as he did. While ship to ship communications was possible at short ranges while traveling in FTL, ships traveling at faster than light speeds were unable to broadcast or receive transmissions outside of that short range. This was both a boon and curse as it nullified any tracking or listening devices Chronus had surreptitiously placed aboard the Freighter, it also meant that monitoring galactic news broadcasts for word of the raid on Salseyria was also impossible.

Switching to another frequency, the Mammoth Mountain of Cat Meat paused for a moment as the silhouette of a familiar, though blurry, ship came into view.

TNN News Feed:
The camera focused on the FAI-45 just as it had completed a high G turn before unleashing a salvo of between 8 - 12 missiles. In the background, communications chatter originating from an unknown source could be heard.

"NUKES! NUKES! NUKES! I COUNT NINE... NO TEN NUKES INBOUND. CALCULATING TRAJECTORY!" A voice called out, his voiced filled with panic as he attempted to make the calculations, "MISSILE VECTORS CONFIRMED! THEY'RE HEADED FOR THE COLONY!"

The camera cut to another scene as a blockade of TGR ships moved in to intercept the missiles, their flak cannons firing while their burned at full power.

"SASLEYRIA GROUND CONTROL! YOU HAVE TEN INBOUND NUKES COMING IN YOUR DIRECTION! EVACUATE! REPEAT, SASLEYRIA GROUND CONTROL, TEN INBOUND NUKES!" Another voice filled with desperation called out to the doomed colony, "They're never going to make it."

"Captain! Pillar of Winter is moving to intercept!" A voice could be heard over the open line, "Column of Summer as well!"

The screen flashed brightly as two ships, presumably the ships named in the transmission moved into the path of the missiles, one of them exploding as one of the ten missiles failed to avoid the ship. The other ship appeared to list for a moment before the hull cracked in half. A cloud of gas could be seen condensing as the ship's atmosphere froze in the vacuum while bits of the hull, and presumably the body of the crew, could be seen floating away from the wrecked ship at high speed.


The scene cut to a shot of the Capitol City of Salseyria just as the first of the missiles impact in the center of the city creating an intense and bright fireball. The shockwave caused by the warhead could be seen expanding, razing whole buildings as it consumed the city. The screams of the populace could be heard before the shockwave reached the camera's location and cut the video feed.

The scene changed once again, this time to a woman dressed the attire typical of a news media personality, her reddish hair styled in an asymetrical bob with the caption at the bottom identifying the reporter's name as being Mallery Millhaus.

"Shocking footage coming from the Colony of Salseyria as it fell victim to a savage attack. Preliminary reports suggest that a small paramilitary group was responsible for this heinous act, using the nuclear weapons as a means to destroy any evidence of their presence on the colony. While further comment is not expected while the incident is still under investigation by the TGR, authorities have released an image of the group's presumed ringleader." The woman said before a small window popped up on the upper right hand side of the news feed, showing a towering four armed, armored hulk standing in the middle of a room filled with burning bodies. The image shifted to another, this one showing the same Catican Shock Trooper dragging a wounded soldier out of a storage compound, "The Terran Grand Republic reports that they've dispatched search and rescue teams to look for survivors but emphasizing that it is too soon to give up hope on the survivors. Our thoughts are with the family of those affected by this senseless attack."

Edward remained silent for a moment as he attempted to determine how to react. One part of him desired to throw quite a few of the cargo boxes around the hanger or to punch a hole in the hull. Another part of him wanted to jump onto the Redeemer and travel back to Sasleyria and find out what was going on. Still another part of him wanted to find Mary and confront her about firing off a spread of Nukes on the colony. He did none of these things however. He needed to find out more information regarding the broadcast, specifically whether or not it had been doctored or not. Because Irina was asleep, the Colossally Confused Catican could not consult with her for a while. Despite this, he still had a few options left to him. While Shanoa would have possibly been able to make quick work of the image analysis, she seemed... unstable at times. Velka was another candidate, though he was unsure if she had the ability to process this sort of data. He could, of course, ask her... especially since she was walking in front of him.

"Velka. Might I have a word with you?" The Catican Shock Trooper asked quietly as he forwarded the news feed to his fellow crewmate, "I was wondering if you had the capability for image analysis and discretion..."

"Ladies, Gentlemen, unstable AIs and whatever the hell Ed is, we're about to drop into Tortuga. It'll be an 'unique' transition outta FTL so you may want to strap in. You got 5 minutes, after that, any broken bones are your own damned fault." Announced Mary over ship-wide communications, having apparently taken over pilot duties for the moment.

'Couldn't she have let the designated pilot do their job, wouldn't be complaining if it were Mar.' Velka grumbled to herself as she was busy working with a half re-assembled surveillance drone that she was going to retool as a marker-light drone; which would provide her with useful tactical information such as the distance between her and the target, and approximate light level, essentially it would act as a spotter for her.

She also took the opportunity to activate the rear claws on her feet, as these would help provide stability for the FTL jump. A few minutes later, Velka felt the ship lurch out of FTL travel, whilst she did tilt a little bit, ultimately she didn't fall over.

"To those of you still breathing; Welcome to Tortuga." Mary then announced again as Velka put her repair kit down and next to the drone.

"Right, turns out I need a secondary focusing lens in order to get proper readings. Hmm, I wonder if Pitt has one." The Reshani Recconissance Operative said aloud, obviously not expecting a response. She then left her room and went down the hallway towards the workshop, where she saw Edward approaching from the opposite direction.

"Velka. Might I have a word with you?" He asked, whilst at the same time sending her a link to a recent news feed. "I was wondering if you had the capability for image analysis and discretion..."

Before Velka could respond though, she took a few minutes to analyze the newsfeed, carefully going over each detail, before a look of concern and shock came over her.

"Well, this could be problematic for us Edward; especially if they tie this..." She says quietly, bringing up a projection of the oh so familiar ship that Mary was seen piloting for the mission. "...back to us, which is either possibility or an absolute guarantee. By the... what was she thinking to do this?" Velka then asked, clearly frustrated by the turn of events.

"Right, let's take this back to my quarters where I can properly analyze this." So the pair made the short trip back to her quarters where she transferred the newsfeed to a local computer terminal she had setup; then proceeded to close and lock the door.

"So, what specifically about this do you want me to look over?" As she sat down on a nearby chair next to the desk.

After the incident in the hangar, Resha had sealed herself up in a room she had claimed and only really came out for food. No sign of the girl was present in showers or even her hanger where she had moved her fighter up to, a private area to keep people from poking around it in her absence. It was actually a surprise for Mar and Mary to see the girl pop up into the bridge, walking in as she had been searching a bit for the woman. She began to talk and the suit began translating. "As much as i don't like you, i need info on not getting shot, killed or left for dead here." Resha's suit said, still in the pilot's suit with the head down, glistening tendrils and skin in the light of the bridge. "I still have a job to do, and if i can gain insight to this place, then i can bring back something of worth to my people at the least on how to handle these sorts of places. Not being killed, mugged or left for dead in a back corner somewhere" she explained, rather emotionless and in professional mode now, clearly not in the happy or cheery, excited mode everyone was used to seeing the girl in.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Velka's Quarters
Some Time Later (Part 3)
Edward Aubergine

Were someone to look at the Velka and Edwards has they proceeded down the corridor towards her quarters, they could have mistaken the large and well armored Shock Trooper as being the smaller synthetic's bigger and more brutish brother, a brother that would send someone flying through a bulkhead if they even looked at his sister in any manner but polite. The observer would have only been half right since, despite there being no relation between the two, the Massive Mountain of Cat Meat would have done so for any member of the Sweet Child o Mine's crew.

They traveled the corridors in silence with Edward attempting to figure out how it was that he, a being who preferred beating two rocks together to make fire, was going to determine that the footage broadcast on the media feed was authentic or doctored. He knew nothing of video or audio analysis. Was it even possible to determine if an image had been altered? Was it possible to determine if the communications recording were made during or after the assault? Edward did not even know if any of his questions would lead them towards determining what was going on, questions that were frankly giving him a head ache, which was the one good thing going on since it kept him occupied and not looking down at the rear quarter panel belonging to the synthetic female that was walking right in front of him.

Velka stopped in front the door to her quarters, the door sliding open and allowing the two of them access. Had he not been preoccupied with his thoughts, he might have taken a moment to look around the Reshani's quarters and perhaps paid her a compliment but it appeared that, like Edward, Velka was more concerned about business. Standing behind the chair where the Cloak Capable Chrome Dome had seated herself, the Colossal Catican Shock Trooper looked down at an image of Mary's fighter, the FAI-45.

"So, what specifically about this do you want me to look over?" She said, her hand laid out in front on top of the desk as she prepared to analyse the video.

That was a good question. What did he want her to look over? Was Velka going to have to look a pixel by pixel scan of the image to check for anomalies? Staring at the still image that seemed to float in front of them, the missiles caught Edward's eyes as they were launched from the craft.

"Could you find out the model of the warheads being launched out of Mary's craft? They don't look like they're large enough to carry a planet killing payload," The Catican asked as he thought about the communications chatter between the ships that were portraying a protective picket line between Mary and the Colony, "Also, if I'm not mistaken, Terran Military ships embed an identification code in their communications channels... by the time we were extracted from the Storage facility, both the Pillar of Winter and Column of Summer had already been destroyed and they were the only two ships other than the Chronus flag ship, so what ship did these communications come from and can we identify who is speaking?"

The Catican paused for a moment as he attempted to figure out if there was anything else he could do to provide some guidelines for Velka's video and audio analysis.

"Also... can you make query the galactic ship registry and make sure that the registration numbers belong to Mary>" The Militant Four Armed People Mauler asked as he pointed at the numbers painted on the side of the ship. Perhaps they would get a lucky break and the registration numbers would not match that of Mary's fighter or even better would not list Mary at all.

It felt like a lot of work to ask of Velka but it needed to be done. They needed to see if the Sasleyria could be traced back to the Sweet Child o Mine and Orion Company,.

<<< Mar >>>
Sweet Child of Mine | En-Route to Tortuga Drift | Sweetie's Bridge
"Just a little night on the town."

Given Mary's remark about remembering what she owed, Mar could only shake her head and smirk. But when there was a ping of incoming comms, she kept quiet as the Ex-Pirate spoke to someone named Gaz. Someone who she seemed to be quite familiar with, to no-one's particular surprise. Since Mary considered this her home station for some time, it stood to reason that there were quite a few friends, colleagues, and undoubtedly rivals on Tortuga Drift.

But once her conversation was done, and she started getting the Sweet Child of Mine on approach, which Mar took as her cue to get ready for a night on the station, which meant a change of clothes.

For roughly the next twenty minutes, the Shree took the time to swing by the Med Bay first to have her wounds checked out and resealed, before she went to her quarters on board the Sweetie and made some preparations. When she stepped back onto the bridge, she was dressed surprisingly skimpily.

Instead of the leather jacket and jeans she had on earlier, she was wearing a thick vest made out of a dark, iridescent material that shimmered with every step, and a matching wrap around her waist that seemed like an odd cross between a loincloth and a skirt. At each wrist, both of her ankles and around her neck was a black plastic band, and worn on each finger was a shining silver ring. Lastly, there were lines of blue paint in odd angular designs that ran along her bared skin. From her face and scalp, down her neck to her bare chest, to all four arms and even partway down her legs.

After Mary made an announcement over the intercom, telling everyone that they had docked, she turned to Mar.

"Don't think I'm trying to welch on what I owe, but can the Tsi'vaan wait a bit? Want to get a couple of things squared away riky-tik."

"Sure thing," she said with an easy shrug, "I'll probably have found a nice club by the time your business is done. So look for me there."

She was in the middle of turning to head towards the airlock when she saw their newest addition to the crew step through the hatch. Mar's blue-lined eyes blinked as Resha made a beeline straight to the two pilots even as she Elliot's voice come through on the intercom.

"As much as I don't like you, I need info on not getting shot, killed or left for dead here. I still have a job to do, and if I can gain insight to this place, then I can bring back something of worth to my people at the least on how to handle these sorts of places. Not being killed, mugged or left for dead in a back corner somewhere."

Mar gave her an easy smile and placed her true hands on her hips while her false arms gingerly crossed over her chest. She didn't want to smear the body pain while it was only mostly-dry. Although, if she was lucky, it was probably going to end up smeared later on that night.

"Well, as it turns out, Mary has a few things she needs to take care of before everything's in order, but tell you what: Stick with me, and I can be your bodyguard. Although I'll warn you, I'm gonna go clubbing first and foremost." she told her, the bare claw of one of her feet tapping idly against the metal floor.

"Could you find out the model of the warheads being launched out of Mary's craft? They don't look like they're large enough to carry a planet killing payload," Asked Edward whilst Velka split the news feed into two components, audio and visual, that way she could examine both halves simultaneously; and compare and contrast the two for any contradictions. She then opened up a third display that had specifications regarding Mary's craft that she used in the last mission and was scrolling through it whilst Edward continued talking.

"Also, if I'm not mistaken, Terran Military ships embed an identification code in their communications channels... by the time we were extracted from the Storage facility, both the Pillar of Winter and Column of Summer had already been destroyed and they were the only two ships other than the Chronus flag ship, so what ship did these communications come from and can we identify who is speaking?" The four-armed Catican appeared to have paused in speaking, around the same time that Velka had located the munitions manifest for the strike craft.

"Also... can you make a query to the galactic ship registry and make sure that the registration numbers belong to Mary?"

"Hmm, that last one may take a little time Edward, but the others I can do now. Please, have a seat." Velka then turned around and enlarged the display that had the strike craft specifications so that Edward could see clearly.

"First of all, you were right about the payload, these missiles are nowhere near big enough to have that kind of blast yield; according to the specifications I have on Mary's strike craft, these are AIM-60/3 Medium Range Anti-Fighter Missiles, whose warheads have an approximate yield of around 2 Kilotons, which, whilst they would cause a degree of collateral damage, it wouldn't be of the magnitude shown here.

Communications was another gray area, though I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be another false flag and that the audio was recorded shortly before the broadcast went on air, and then carefully spliced into the feed to make it seem like it happened in real time. There are certainly official communication codes within the footage, it's just I'd have to run it through some kind of official naval communications hub in order to get any kind of match." Velka paused, carefully taping a few more commands in an attempt to get any additional clues. As she was about to speak, she received a notification about the ship's ownership, this was something she did whilst looking through the manifest. Velka changed the manifest display to a 3D model of the ship.

"As for the ship in question, the vessel is known as the FAI-45 'Spectre' Trans-Atmospheric Interceptor Strike Craft, a bit of a mouthful that one; I searched through the registry and found only one recent hit, apparently listed under a Mary-Anne Eloise of Troy City, Planet Cullman in the Polaris system." Velka then pulled up the image that was attached to the identification.

Mary smirked a bit when she saw what Mar had left to go get changed into; Shree had an interesting notion of what one would call fashion. Shaking her head slightly she was about to comm Walker when a couple of things happened at once; Elliot chirped on comms to her and Resha appeared on the bridge, looking to speak to her as well.

"Since this is basically your old stomping grounds, I'll assume you'll be fine. However, Grace and I are mercenaries, and pirates tend not to like mercenaries who've taken down bounties. If there's anyone you're figuring for the revenge-taking type, now would be a good time to know."

"As much as I don't like you, I need info on not getting shot, killed or left for dead here. I still have a job to do, and if I can gain insight to this place, then I can bring back something of worth to my people at the least on how to handle these sorts of places. Not being killed, mugged or left for dead in a back corner somewhere"

She muted her comm and turned her attention to Resha; made sense to deal with the girl in front of her first. Resha still seemed a little sore about Mary's discipline, which was a bit confusing for Mary, but that was something to deal with at a later date. "You want to know how to survive? It's not too hard. Don't flash a lot of credits, don't go into the hab blocks alone. If you stick to the market and the docks you'll be fine; station rules keep the nasty inter-ship rivalries off station, and the real psychos are not welcome here. If you stick with Mar you should be fine, the only people who are going to fuck with a Shree are those that are trying to fuck a Shree." She added, smiling at Mar.

"The worst you'll probably have to deal with are lewd comments and probably the occasional grope...and feel free to deck the ones that do that. So long as you don't kill them, nobody is going to care that much."

With that taken care off, she unmuted her comm and replied to Elliot. "So, you were asking about people gunning for you? So long as you don't try and take anyone in while you're on the station you should be fine; you two do give off a pretty heavy 'bounty hunter' vibe, so don't expect to get an overly welcome reception anywhere, but open gun play is rather discouraged stations-side so I doubt anyone is going to start anything like're more likely to get hit either by pickpockets or just gouged if you deal with any vendors."

Hopefully that was enough to satisfy the others; she really needed to get away to the Shipbreaker, they were sitting in his dock after all and had yet to even work out how to pay him. Switching to Walker's private comm channel, she whistled, while waving good bye to those on the bridge. "Hey boss man. Meet me in my hanger, we gotta go see someone and deal with some business, like right away."

"Understood and Mary, we are not done talking about earlier. Once this is done I would like to continue where we left off. Then I need to speak to Resha afterwards..." Walker said as started to head towards the hanger to meet up with Mary.

Silently she rolled her eyes. Really? I thought I'd already explained myself; what more is there to talk about? "Alright, see you in a bit." Arriving at her hanger a few moments before Walker, she rummaged around in the rear cockpit of her new ride and pulled out an emergency flight helmet. Compared to hers it was pretty basic, no HUD, no link to external comms or cameras, but it'd feed the wearer O2 if the canopy seals and it was tied into the intercom.

Seeing Walker walk in, she dropped out of her ship, and without warning stuffed the spare helmet on him and adjusted the straps. "Here," She said as she worked. "We gotta go talk to the Shipbreaker, and he doesn't keep his office on the station."

Walker seem to fidget at first as she surprise him but relax and let her put on the helmet. "Great..and never knew I needed help with a helmet." He said, but it wasn't in a mean gesture, more poking fun than anything. "Anything I should know about this shipbreaker before we start chatting? I rather not say something and we get blown off the face of the galaxy.."

"Heh...sorry, force of habit from the old days." She chuckled, as she waved him towards the boarding ladder for the rear cockpit. "Well believe it or not, the Shipbreaker is about as close to an 'honest' business man as is possible in these parts; as I heard him once say 'It's not wise to anger the heavily armed and unregulated'. So long as you deal with him on the level he'll mostly do the same. That said, he will try and get you for every credit he can, especially since you're a new player who's shown up unannounced as it were; knowing me only got you in the door so to speak."

Once Walker was into the rear seat, she made sure he was properly strapped in, before climbing into the front cockpit; once she was set, she cycled the hanger and slipped the fighter into space heading for a lone beacon that sat amidst a sizable collection of powered down hulks.

"A honest business man out here? That's pretty damn rare." Walker said as he strap himself in and double checks his seatbelt. Making sure that he was safely secure in it. "Well as long as you are there, everything should go alright. I'm sure being here for most of your life you have learn a few things to stay ahead of the game." Walker sat back in his seat and relax. Walker would turn his head and look out the window. So many hulks out here as he whistles. "A lot of dead ships out here..thought for sure the pirates would have already scrap most of these old beauties."

She let out a sharp bark of laughter at Walker's comment. "About the only thing rarer is an honest politician." Weaving her way through the hulks, she took them low over the stripped hull of a very old colony transport. "Most of these have been stripped down to the decking long ago; now they just get cut up for plating for if somebody needs some structural work. Scrap alloys are worth so little it's not even worth melting the old crates down, easier to just cut off patch panels as needed."

As if to prover her point they over flew a collection of construction remotes cutting the rear of the transports hull into uniform sized plates and carrying them over to a nearby manned tender.

Clearing the scrapyard, the fighter entered into a clear patch of space with an old but obviously well maintained cruise liner floating at the center; Mary immediately killed her forward momentum, and commed the ship. "This is Red to Breaker Control Actual. Your boss is expecting me." There was a moment or two of silence, then a very similar synthesized voice as earlier responded.

"Breaker Control Actual copies, you are IFF clear. Sending nav point to Hanger 4." "Red copies Hanger 4." With that, she reapplied some thrust and moved towards the nav point. "The Shipbreaker has plenty of business rivals, many of whom are willing to be 'proactive' about getting him out of the way; I know he's got some pretty nasty defense stealthed up around his ship, and I am in no way willing to risk tripping them."

"A shame really.." Walker said as he took his eyes off the old ships. Listening to Mary talk to Breaker Control Actual as he let her speak. Keeping quiet as they chatted for a short bit. "Understandable...if I was working out in a pirate port, I would want the best defense against any people who are looking...cut off the competition."

The fighter slid easily into the indicated hanger bay; once it had touched down and Mary had cut the engines, the whole craft and the platform it was on where drawn through a large airlock and deeper into the ship. The platform stopped with a solid *thunk* that they felt inside the small craft, and a few moments later a green light shone in front of them indicating a successful re-pressurization.

With the green light going, Mary opened the canopies and unstrapped her helmet. "Just leave your bucket on the seat." She called out as she unstrapped. Once free of her restraints, she bailed over the edge of the cockpit and dropped to the deck. As she stood back up, she was greeted by an approaching member of the Shipbreaker's full armoured security staff. "Follow me please." The officer said through a vocal synthesizer.

Walker stayed in his seat as they went down. Not moving until Mary said it was alright. He didn't want any part of this meeting to go belly up. Though not a moment later Mary was already going and getting up. Doing what she said as he unstrap himself and set his helmet down on the seat. Follow suit as he landed on the ground as well. His eyes doing a quick looking with what was in front of him. Trying to take in everything in case they have to make a run for it if things go south. Walker looked up the Shipbreaker's Security member. Wondering how many were here as he heard the officer speak. Nodding as he follow behind Mary as they both follow the officer.

It was a relatively short trip to the lifts and then a slightly longer one to what had once been the liners grand ballroom; the security officer stopped at the double doors and waved them onwards. Nodding, Mary led Walker through the doors; the first thing to greet them was an almost painfully attractive catican male of a similar build to Irina, but with golden blonde fur to Irina's neon pink, sitting behind a large desk. Behind the desk a large wall blocked one's view of the rest of the massive room

"I always knew you were too mean to go out like that." He said, coming around the desk to grasp Mary's hand. "You and I need to catch up Red...but later, the boss is waiting." "Sure thing Melen." Mary replied with a smile. Leading Walker passed Melen's desk and around the wall, the entered into the heart of the Shipbreaker's operation. The former ballroom had windows like and old style greenhouse, giving a fantastic view of space, while on the floor there were cubicles all in a neat grid where hundreds of people from most known species worked and organized the Shipbreaker's operations.

Heading down the central corridor, Mary took Walker to the man himself; a massively obese man, floating on an industrial counter-grav pallet. He was dressed in a colourful robe, and was floating amidst a bank of holo-screens. "Hey there fatboy!" She said brightly. "This is Captain Walker, owner of that tub I came in I told control, it needs some Re-and-Re...and maybe some upgrades."

Walker stare at the large obese of a man sitting on grav pallet. Wondering who this man was and how he got so damn fat. He was a bit tongue tied at the moment until he clear his throat. "Tub huh? Well can't really say anything is a old rig. Anyways Nice to meet Ship Breaker."

The Shipbreaker, let out a deep rumbling laugh at Mary's introduction, waving away all but one of the screens. "Good to see you too you old bitch." Turning his attention to Walker his many chinned face creased with a smile. "My name is Mr. Watts, Shipbreaker is more of a title that these savages have saddled me with." Mary smiled and stuck out her tongue.

"So Captain Walker, I've been going over our dockside scans of your ship...and trust me she's on better shape than a lot of what we deal with...and I think we can help you. Miss Williams said to put you down for a 'Re-and-Re', a Reset and Refurbishment. That entails us doing a wipe and recoding of your ships transponder and a tune up of your thrusters and drive core. For upgrades, since your ship seems to be pretty much standard, we've got a selection of sensor suites we could add as well as things like jammers/scramblers, light and heavy weapons, armour, improved shielding and the like."

With the wave of a pudgy hand, a holo-display came to life in front of Walker. "The basic is going to run you about 100k assuming there's no hiccups."

Walker stare at the floating fatman as he think over the offer. 100k!? Damn it..I don't have that much..Hell I doubt the crew has that much together, but I wouldn't even have ask them anyways. While Walker was semi-freaking out in his mind, he also started to form something. "Heh well Mr.Watts I would say the basic is fine but I might have something worth more than credits. How would you like Orion services to help you out with anything outside of your pirate port?"

Mr. Watts tipped back on his platform and eyed Walker carefully for a moment, before smiling. "What you're say Captain is that you're broke, but you still really need that work I right?" Shifting forwards once more he looked Walker square in the eye. "Fortunately I have need of a ship like yours that doesn't have the 'history' that any of the locals do...and isn't known to any of my 'colleagues' on New Providence."

Bringing up another display, he entered a few commands to get things rolling. "You pay what you can and my people will contact you as needed to pay down what you owe; and don't worry about 'messy' jobs. Violence is such an inefficient way to conduct business."

Reaching forward, Mr. Watts shook Walker's hand. "A word of warning though...don't cross me; I'm sure Miss Williams has heard the stories and can give you details if you wish." With that he made a small 'shooing' motion to end the meeting. In short order they were back outside the Shipbreaker's office, and being escorted back to the hanger. "Well, I think that went rather well." Mary said.

Walker chuckle when Mr. Watts said that, "You got me but I'm always looking to lower the price a bit on anything really." Walker admitted as he listen to the bit of details of what Mr. Watt said. Liking the idea of it not being a 'messy' job though he will have to see how this job fully plays out. What is plan isn't what happens. "Thank you Mr. Watts and I don't like double crossing people who are helping me out." Walker said as he left with Mary. Walker was trying to calm himself as he sighs out once they were out of sight of Mr. Watts. "You think so? Cause I was hoping my little offer wouldn't offend him."

"As if!" Mary laughed. "At least a third of the ships here probably owe him credits. Like I said, Shipbreaker is a pretty honest business man...and probably one of the biggest pirates in the black." She said as they got to the hanger; after strapping back in and launching, Mary set course for where Sweet Child of Mine was docked.

"Look at all this." She continued, indicating to the powerless hulks they were cruising past. "More than half of these were probably taken so somebody could pay off their tab to the Shipbreaker. I don't know how old he is, but he's been at this a long time; he was an entrenched figure when I got here."

As she brought her fighter into the dock, they could see surveyor drones already swarming over Sweety to take more detailed scans for the work to come.

Walker let out a whistle as he see all the ships. "Damn...I'm surprised how powerful this guy seems. Though I'm sure the pirate leaders around here actually like the guy...or at least tolerate him for now." Walker shake his head at the sight. It was quiet for a bit as he sighs, " I just hope I didn't make a mistake in offering this guy our service for a patch up."

"Well it's either that or get Pit to do it with whatever credits you do have." She teased. Coming along side, Mary easily slid her ship back into its usual spot. Landing done, and the hanger full of air once more, she exited the fighter in her usual fashion. "Alrighty then, I'll leave you to deal with the details for your ship, I'm off to find Mar." With that Mary took off before Walker could start on how she'd hurt Resha's feelings or whatever it was he'd wanted to waste her time with earlier.

The girl nodded, listening to both the Shree and Mary. Resha absorbed the information she was given. Her tone din't change but was sure to make note of what she could, getting out a pen and paper notebook, starting to write in Kyrn, meaning it looked rather alien and incomprehensible to the rest of the group. "I'll be in my Hanger for a bit, need to lock down the fighter so these savages don't run off with it." Said the Kyrnoxian, leaving and heading back to the hangar. From there, she hopped into the cockpit and began to adjust values, setting alarms and so forth that she could control incase anything touched it.

After he was unneeded Brian examined his supplies carefully as time passed, going through his rituals, and adjusting his processes. Slowly breaking his mind away from diagnostics he found the room he'd been assigned and took to grooming himself. Finding the shower, then returning to shave and check the ports on this head, carefully cleaning around them as he checked the seals on them. He replaced his garb with a set of old fatigues kept immaculately by himself and the synthetic skin he kept underneath them should he need a hardseal. Holsters and pockets were checked and stocked with his standard fare. His machine pistol and a few magnetic survival pistols all loaded. The pockets with a variety including loose ammunition, skeleton keys, cheap batteries, and credit sticks attached to various accounts. An old blade or three found sheaths, and a rolled machete was carefully fitted into his jacket like a slip of paper.

This was what he did when he "relaxed." There was never really any relaxing, simply eternal preparedness masked by whatever it is he may be doing to distract himself. Distractions. He needed one after how botched the job had been. The flood of everything barely kept in check with how short and pointless it had been.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Velka's Quarters
Conspiracies abound
Edward Aubergine

The Massive Mountain of Muscles rubbed his temples with one of his four hands as he attempted to make sense of the situation. While some of the evidence that they had gathered suggested that Mary had indeed fired missiles in the heat of battle, there was no indication of what she had been targeting, though given the missiles shown in the video, it was most likely enemy fighters. Still he needed to ensure that her former pirate princess had not been carrying any weapon that was capable of leveling a colony. Glancing at Velka, he realized that he'd been quiet for a time as he rubbed his temples.

"Apologies for my silence. I am unused to this line of thinking. While Catican Shock troopers may be known for their destructive thinking, we are not primarily known for our deductive reasoning..." Edward said with a chuckle at his own joke, "Just two last queries and I think we're done analyzing the data that we have. If the Sweet Child of Mine functions anything like a basic military vessel, she should have a log of the FAI-45's loadout just after launch and upon her return. Also, if we can get the targeting telemetry data from Mary's fighter, we can see if she targeted the colony at any point. I don't think that it can clear us in a general sense, but I would like to know whether or not the crew member watching my back is the type of crew member that would fire upon non-combatants."

As he waited for Velka to pull up the requested information, he changed the topic of conversation. Now that they were safely docked at the station, he could stand down for a time... at least until he set foot on the station.

"Do you have any plans while we are here at the station?" The Colossal Catican Shock Trooper asked with genuine curiosity. While Shock Trooper were given shore leave, their time was frequently spent cleaning their gear and and replenishing their personal supplies. That he was free to decide how he wanted to spend his free time left him a bit ... confused on what to do with himself.

The Orion Files | Mother Ship: Sweet Child of Mine | Catican Heavy Shuttle Redeemer | Irina's Quarters
And now this...
Irina Rostikova



With the exploding suit situation was resolved Shanoa parked her body, and just chilled in the ships systems for the time being. She briefly considered popping in and taking a jab at pirates when Resha asked about the port, but Irina caught her attention and her being stuck in her room was more interesting. Besides, it saved her from dealing with the pirate.

"What's this about a yodel?" she asked through the ships coms, but only in Irina's room. "Cuase thats an odd thing to suddenly need to know"

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