It is a lawless time in the galaxy. Eighteen years after the Schism, Luna has vanished along with her most devout. In the wake of the civil war and the subsequent turmoil, criminal syndicates have risen to power, competing for valuable resources with themselves and the Solar Empire. Food, medicine, and fuel are highly controlled and sought after, save by the most elite.
The year is 553 ATF (After The Fall). Word has spread across this little corner of the galaxy: word of a ship, the Karaboudjan, and its captain seeking an able bodied spacer crew. Among a handful of others, five wandering souls have converged, seeking fortune and glory from the captain and his crew….
Hemera. One of the most wretched Arks in the galaxy. No spacer worth their salt would ever want to come here, yet here you are. A call has gone out from a certain Garebold, captain of the Karaboudjan
. He seeks a crew for his ship to accompany him on a voyage; details are scarce, but he promises all parties will be paid handsomely. Your point of contact with him has rented out a room in an inn somewhere on Hemera, a dingy little place called The Hovel.
You five are gathered together on a rickety little transport ship, flying from the thriving station of Kafrene to the considerably less thriving Hemera. You are grouped together in the same room, a very motley crew if ever there was one. With a bit of time before you reach Hemera, you might as well make yourselves more familiar with each other.>>704930>>704932>>704933>>704935
The four of you are somewhat familiar with each other already, having booked a flight to Kafrene from Lenoriel, a densely populated planet. There were no direct flights from Hemera to Hemera, so you had to make do with contracting a private transport through rather dubious contacts. Apart from you, the only other being on board is a slightly shabby looking robot. He was on board when you got here, and only just seems to have activated.>>704931
Gigi is currently working out of Lenoriel looking to secure a major trade deal, and has sent you as a middleman to this Garebold guy to investigate further. Booking the transport was somewhat tricky for her, but not undoable. It required shutting you down and putting you on as cargo, not a passenger, but the transport's cargo hold is full, so you were lumped in with the other passengers. You have only just turned on. Looking around, you are grouped up with an odd bunch: a big griffon, a bat pony with a big robot companion, a tipsy looking minotaur, and an upbeat mare.
You've been to the Hovel only once before, and it wasn't pleasant. The beer tastes like water and the service is terrible. You wouldn't go there again unless you had to. Same can be said for most of Hemera really. It's a dump.
Coronet lounges on top of the bulky Cartor, the bot having already lowered itself onto the ground to save space in the packed transport.
"I'm tellin ya, Cartor" the bat begins, looking down at the bot's camera port "You've been givin me nothing but grief after that last gamble, but this time
i can tell we're gonna get out of this just fine."
Cartor remains silent, idly scanning the room as Coronet continues to ramble at him.
Frank trembles slightly as he looks everyone over past the visor protecting his photoreceptors. The blue voice equalizer remains flat as he silently studies them. Suddenly, without any kind of warning, his voice modulator springs to life. The voice -Or voices, as the case would have it. There seems to be a different one every few words- is just as shabby as his dull, unpainted, earth-pony-like industrial steel chassis, and sounds like it may have been recorded on a toaster.
"Greetings!" he says. "Salutations! Hello! Pleased to make your acquaintance! I'm Frank, I'll be your server for today. I certainly hope we can get along! Are you four here for the job? I'm here for the job. Oh, I'm so excited. Geegles hasn't sent me out in a while. It gets so stuffy at home. Do you guys enjoy staying at home? I do, but sometimes you just gotta get out and get stuff done before you start collecting dust, you know what I mean?"
He sees the griffon and his body trembles. "A griffon! Phew. A big, big griffon. What do you eat to get that big, and can you share some?" A canned laughter track plays over his voice modulator.
His head turns to the bat pony with the robot and the pale, twin blue lines on his scratched up equalizer completely separated and rounded out on the edges as a hissing noise that might be loosely interpreted as a gasp, but is really just a burst of white noise, explodes out of the synthesizer. "Oh! You have a robot! Are you a scrapper? G-dog is a scrapper too. Actually she might not want me telling people that. You should forget I said that." He leans in a little toward the robot. "What's your name?" Without actually waiting for an answer he sets back up. "So, I'm not riding with the cargo this time. Wild.
It's so nice to have someone to talk to."
Name fix because I'm an idiot.
Copper stretches out in her seat, yawning as she keeps her arms behind her head and eyes closed.
"Best enjoy the comfort of this laundry machine of a ship now, if you think the ride is bad wait till you see Hemera. Place is a shithole and the booze tastes like piss-water. I made sure to drink before hand, no way to get a buzz there."
She crosses her hooved feet,
"Only a buzz kill.">>704939
"Sup robo dude."
Copper says, waving and opening her eyes.
peering over Cartor's head, Coronet sits up with a start at the bot's sudden activation.
"Eh, scrapper? No, no, we're merchants."
"I'm Coronet, of Coronet and Cartor supplies. Cartor is the bot here." she finished, patting Cartor's chassis with a hoof.
"So, who's this 'Geegles' you're talking about? Friend of yours?"
Poncho's settled into the transport rather comfortably, curled up in his seat with his pack in his lap. He offers a bit of a friendly nod to the others on the ship, and offers a bit of a smile.>>704939
"H-Hmm? Oh, I'm not that big- about average, probably. You should see what some griffons get to be." the bulky griffon says, with a bit of a chuckle. "Good t' meet you, all the same. I'm Poncho."
Glitter has her eyes closed and is bobbing her head to a tune she's humming. It seems to be a pretty upbeat tune and she's getting to a good part as she grooves while sitting in her seat.>>704939
Glitter looks at the energetic robot and giggles happily, nice to see that AIs have come so far as to let robots feel joy as well.>>704941
"Now now, even in the worst of places, there's always some secret spots where the best gatherings and parties go down. Either that, or we'll just bring our good time with us."
Frank didn't really care all that much about the state of the 'booze', but it did seem like a pretty bad place. "Yo yo diggity yourself, Ms.Minotaur. What's the low-down on the situation?">>704942
His voice modulator crackles to life again, but this time it's a consistent, rough, but somehow still a little high pitched female voice. "I'm 'Geegles'." she says, sounding a little annoyed. "And I told him not to call me weird names like that. It's Gigi."
"Sorry boss," Frank says. "I'm just trying to find a name that sounds cuter!"
The voice modulator remains silent for a second, but when Gigi speaks again you can practically hear her burying her head in her hands. "Anyway," she says. "Yeah, that's probably not something you should've said, but I guess it isn't that big of a deal." The voice modulator dies and she doesn't seem to add anything else.>>704943
"Well," Frank says. "You're way bigger than one of the only griffons I've met. Still, that's really neat!"
"Listen, I'm the party gal, and I wouldn't come back here if it weren't for the job. If i was hosting a party, i woulda packed a keg. But I'm looking to make money for a change, not spend it.">>704945
"Seems we're cheap labor, which makes sense, cause none of us look the part of grizzled labor. But hey, not all bad, don't think we have to pretend to be any more than we are either. Low expecatations are fine by me."
"What's your job then? Your uhh, programming or something. Least, your original one, this don't like your comfort zone."
"Well, glad it's that neat for you. I guess it's sorta mutual- I've never seen an AI before. What are you doing on here?"
"Ah, so you're her bot, then."
hopping off of Cartor, Coronet hits the release on the bots panel, his chassis unfolding partially to reveal an empty weapons rack and multiple locked drawers.
"Cartor, deploy scanner."
a small arm extends from the rack's wall, the end of which has a blue light emitter.
"Mind if i take a scan? Gotta say i've not seen that kinda design before, custom job?."
"I'm here to help!" he says simply. "And no, this ain't really my comfort zone. Normally I fix things. Or make things. Or fix things I made. Or make things to fix. Also I have a flamethrower sorta. Also there's Frank Junior Senior. He can fix things, and he can make things, but he doesn't have the flamethrower."
"By all means! My body is yours!" He sits down and puffs his chest out as if he's ready to take your scan, but Gigi's voice bursts to life."Don't,"
she says. "Don't do that. He's… He's special. It's a long story. Let's leave it at that. Just… Just don't."
Glitter gives a hum and brings a hoof up to her chin, thinking deeply.
"Yeah. I guess having money would be a nice thing.
Frank's head turns toward Glitter and tilts a bit. "You sound familiar. Say more words."
Through the grimy window of the transport, Hemera slowly starts to come into view. It's tiny as Arks go; only a handful of sectors clustered together into a floating colony. There's barely any traffic surrounding it, only the occasional rubbish dump vessel or automated cargo ship. The abundance of the former has led to a small coating of assorted space trash orbiting the station. Your pilot flies straight through it without a care in the world. Little bits of assorted debris pelt the ship, but it is unharmed.
Eventually, you arrive at Hemera, exiting into a large, conspicuously empty hangar. With a grunt, the cockpit opens up, and the pilot, a squat little Dog with a five o'clock shadow and a squashed face like a pug, just grunts something about heading to the Hovel for a drink and waddles off, not waiting to see if you follow or not.
>assuming everyone follows
As you exit, you see that Hemera is as squalid on the inside as you've heard. It's evening right now, and the night life is starting to come out. There's a small, sleepy little night market in its infancy, mostly selling street food or hawking new clothes, with a handful of citizens of all shapes and sizes starting to come out of their warrens. The majority of them look as run down as the twisted streets they live on, wearing dirty, mismatched clothing and glum expressions. None of them give you more than a second glance. The streets themselves are made of dirty, stained concrete, with tall, crumbling buildings rising up on the sides, sporting busted neon signs or obscene graffiti. Overall, Hemera certainly deserves its bad rep.
You follow a bit behind the Dog as he expertly traverses Hemera's night market. He must have made the Kafrene-Hemera run many times before to be so acquainted. You eventually get to the Hovel, which again, has earned its name. It's not much more than a hole in the ground, a small concrete dome of a building with steps leading underground to the inn itself. The air inside is thick with acrid smoke, making it difficult to see. Mean looking patrons fill just about every seat and alcove; it seems that a lot of Hemera's population come here to drown their sorrows, your pilot included, who almost immediately vanishes into the crowd. You might as well ask around for Garebold; he could be anyone in here.
As you enter, the bartender looks up, a surly looking komodo saurian with several missing teeth. "Oi!" he shouts at Cartor and Frank, pointing an accusing finger at them. "No robots allowed except on official business. Getouttahere!"
"Well hey, I can see the appeal of burning things, and given the quality of the ship and local we're heading towards, I'm sure plenty of things will need fixing in the future."
"Does that make you Junior Junior, or Senior Junior, or what?"
"No! I'm Senior Senior. Frank Junior Senior is my buddy, and Frank Junior Junior is The G-inator's buddy. Well, we're all her buddy. We're all Frank, but I'm the Frankest Frank. Junior Senior is in the cargo hold still, probably, and Junior Junior is with G." He stops and nods like that wasn't needlessly complicated.
"More words." She has a silly smile and begins cracking up until she's in full-blown laughter.
"Hahaha, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I couldn't resist!"
"Ah! Well, I sort of fill the same role, I suppose… minus the flamethrower." the griffon says, holding up his oddly-scarred talons and wiggling them. "I fix up injured folk, or stop them from getting injured in the first place!">>704951
"Yeah, I suppose it would!">>704953
Poncho plods along after the dog, hefting his rather small pack over his shoulder. When they step into The Hovel he begins to take a look around, before wincing slightly at the loud shout from the Saurian.
"W-Well, he's with… me. Us, I suppose. We're here to meet with someone, and he's a part of that."
"…Riight. Cartor, cancel that order."
retracting the arm, Cartor refolds the chassis shut, before Coronet climbs back onto the bot.
"You can keep your secrets, lady. Just don't come beggin me for help when your bot gets banged up. Can't fix what i don't know." says the bat, resuming her lounging.>>704953
following the pilot into the Inn, Coronet brings Cartor to a halt at the door, seeing the lizard shouting at her.
"Yeah, yeah, gimme a minute." she replies, waving the saurian off with a wing before bringing cartor out the door to park nearby.
"Stick around here, Cartor. Anypony starts lookin at you funny give em the usual routine."
With the bot sitting outside, Coronet returns to the bar. "Hey, we were told to meet Garebold here, you know him?"
The same canned laughter track as earlier plays. "You're an absolute complete property destruction, fire in the streets, wanton murder and mayhem riot!" A white noise gasp crackles through his voice modulator. "You! Do you do music?!">>704957
"Well, I can only fix machines and robots, but yeah! It's basically the same thing!">>704953
Frank freezes as the suarian yells at him and trembles a little. His voice wavers as he speaks. "But I am here on official business," he says. "I think. I'm with them." He points to the party. "That means I can stay."
Seeing the bartender, Glitter goes up to him, still having her peppy attitude despite the taste of misery all about her.
"Well, they are on business. They're with us as we look around for someone named Garebold. You wouldn't happen to know anyone by that name in here, would you?"
"Aw fuck off, you know you need whatever business you can get."
Copper says back to the saurian, shit-eating grin on her face,
"Whiskey on the rocks, hold the spit. Already gonna catch a disease from sitting in the seats here, don't need it from your mouth too.">>704955
"Ah, so you're like a Grandpa bot then. Grandpa Frank. I can dig it."
Glitter stares oddly about all the destruction and fire things, utterly confused by it all.
"Uhh…what? Oh, yes! I do do music! I'm kind of up-and-coming."
"Don't worry about the bartender, everyone's here'll treat you like an ass till you put some sovereigns in their palms or hooves or what not. Acting like pushovers just gets you robbed."
Gigi doesn't respond.>>704962
"Up-and-coming is right! I love your stuff! You're Ms.Mariposa, right? I swear, some of your music makes me shudder just thinking about it." To punctuate the assertion something inside him seems to rattle.
She feels like something sharp just pierced her heart as the wrong name is given and she's just there trying to hold up her happy persona.
"N-no…that isn't me. B-but nice you like music. Hah…haha…."
"Huh? Oh, right. Sorry, I haven't been to many bars in a long time." the griffon explains, chuckling a little bit.>>704964>>704965
"Mariposa? I don't think that's her, no… though, I don't remember her much."
"Oh." Frank falls silent for a second. "Well, oh well. You still sound familiar. Like someone I've heard before." He mechanically shrugs a shoulder and brushes it off.
The bartender grunts in satisfaction as Cartor leaves, folding up and parking himself outside, waiting patiently.>>704961
He gives you a sour look as he reluctantly prepares your drink. He should have been born a felid with that stare. "20 sovs," he growls as he passes it to you.>>704957>>704958>>704959
"Garebold huh." He rubs his chin for a minute. "Oh yeah, him. Fine, I guess the tin can can stay." He points you towards the downstairs area, to a table where you can see an old salty spacer of an earth pony seemingly in the middle of conducting some interviews with a queue of crewmen. He has a navy blue coat and a salt and pepper mane, with an impressive mustache-mutton chop combo. He wears a brown jacket.
It takes him a while to get to you, as he is conducting interviews on his own. When he does though, he greets you warmly, offering you a seat at the table. You see that he has several data pads on hand, where he's been storing data of those he hires. "Well, ain't you an odd collection," he says genially. "Here about the Karaboudjan job, I wager?"
Frank sits at the table, but before he has a chance to speak Gigi speaks for him. "This is Giselle Goldenheart speaking," she says. "Yes, I've sent him for the job." Frank salutes. "He should hopefully be about what you're looking for, from the information given."
In whisper that actually just sounds like someone turned the volume down on a normal voice, Frank says, "And I really like his mustache. I'm glad I'm working for him maybe."
"That we are, sir." the griffon says, taking a seat at one of the offered seats. "Is there anything you need to know from us?"
"Ain't worth half that, so must mean your spit's worth negative 10 sovereigns."
Copper smirks, paying regardless. She heads to the table a bit late.
"Yo, you're the bossman?"
"That we are!" Coronet replies, nodding.
"The info on this job was
pretty vague, but now that we're here we'll be in the know if we're hired, yeah?"
Glitter regains her composure and happily greets Garebold.
"Yup. I'm not too sure what all the details are, but I'm happy to help."
He nods. "Can't go wrong with a few more bots on board. 'Specially with the length of the voyage. Less mouths to feed." He chuckles. "Yes ma'am, he'll do just fine." Rest assured, cap'n will send you your dues."
He chuckles. "Well thank you kindly sir. Quite proud of it myself. Ain't gonna be me you're workin' for though. Unfortunately.">>704971
The drink is as awful as the rest of the establishment. The bartender mumbles something about offworlders before going back to his business.>>704969>>704971>>704973
"I ain't the bossman. Name's Dashpot. I'm the first mate on board. Cap's around somewhere." He looks around, but can't seem to spot him. "He put me in charge of the interviews and briefings for the job. So, here I am, and here y'all are." Dashpot gives you a friendly wink.>>704970
"Well now, I ain't gonna sugarcoat it. This mission's gonna be long and dangerous. If you can handle the stress of bein' on the ship for extended periods of time, and possibly having to defend it from whoever comes knockin', then you're as good as hired, friend.">>704972
Dashpot nods. "Got a good head on your shoulders, miss. That'll come in handy where we're goin'.">>704969>>704970>>704971>>704972>>704973
"Now then. Like I said to your griffon friend here. This is gonna be a tough one. No way around that." He pulls out a data pad and plugs some details into it. It starts projecting a 3D map of the entire galaxy, with Hemera highlighted. It's right on the edge of the Empire, and the known galaxy.
"Here's how it's gonna go:"
"So there's this colony. Y'all mighta heard of it. Marillion, it's called." He presses another button, and Marillion lights up, a little blue blip surrounded by an asteroid belt. It seems to be right on the opposite end of the galaxy. "Back in its heyday, 'fore the war and all, Marillion was one of the biggest Arks in the 'verse. They got this rare ore on the asteroids, you see. Frazil, they call it. Looks like ice, feels like ice, but it ain't ice. Very volatile stuff. But very potent fuel."
"Used to be Marillion was one of the primary fuel suppliers to the whole empire, 'cause of their access to Frazil. But about a year ago or so, Marillion went off the grid. No more exports, no comms, nothin'. 'Course, the Imps weren't too happy about that, so they sent in a buncha rescue efforts to try and re establish connections with the Ark. But nothin'. Everyone that went there, never came back."
"And that's where we're going." He gives a toothy grin under his big walrus mustache.
"Cap's plan is this. Get a small crew together. Maybe a dozen or so. Start making the galactic crawl from here, aaaaall the way to there." A dotted line forms between Hemera and Marillion on the map, stopping at several other planets and colonies you don't recognize. "See, all those dummies that went to Marillion, they went in with a buncha bluster. Sendin' in big crews, fully armed, guns blazing, the works. So whatever's on Marillion knew they were comin'. A small ship like the Karaboudjan is easier to sneak in. So we dip in. Stay real quiet. Take as much Frazil as we can. Then dip out. Sell it on the black market. Live like kings."
"'Course, I can't guarantee safety for any of y'all. But I can guarantee that if we pull this off, you'll never go hungry again. If you're in, then you're in. If you ain't up for it, I understand. There's the door."
"So," he says, taking a swig from a cheap bottle of beer. "Y'all in?"
NB: Imps=Imperials. Spacer slang for official Empire agencies.
"He's in," Gigi says.
Frank seems hesitant to agree, but after a second he nods, his voice a little less cheerful than before. "I'll definitely never go hungry again!" he re-asserts. "Let's do it!"
Poncho nods a little in response and flicks his ears as the stallion gets to explaining all the details. "Mmm… alright. Sounds pretty dicey, especially with… whatever stopped the rescue efforts, but I think I can handle this. Are we waiting for others? Anything you know we might wan to prepare for?"
>>704974>have i been to any of these locations? bars, specifically
Copper looks Dashpot up and down, taking more notice of him after he winked,
'Mutton chops aren't too flattering, doesn't seem that bad though.
"Ah, well if you're looking for mediocrity I'm your gal. Won't be confused for a soldier any time."
She grins back, holding the drink she purchased more as a prop than having any interest in drinking it.
"Well, i made it this far, i'd be outta my mind to travel here just to say no."
"Long as that ship of yours has ceiling space for a tall bot, i'm in."
Glitter thinks for a bit.
"Hmmm…sounds risky. Can't say this is something I normally do, though. But…." She gives a conflicted hum.
"But it would be a lot of money. Maybe enough to even get myself some nicer outfits and stage things."
"Hmm…okay! I'm not too sure how useful I'm gonna be for a stay quiet kind of gig, but I'm sure I can make something work."
"Ace," he grins, chuckling and folding his arms. "I knew y'all had the look. If you have any questions now's the time. Otherwise, go make whatever preps you have to and meet up at docking bay 63. Crew'll be waitin' there."
"Now, question for y'all. What exactly can y'all do to make yourselves useful on board? What are you good at? Anythin' in particular come to mind?">>704977
"Well, we were, but then the five of you waltzed in. So now we ain't. Should round out the crew nice and even like with twelve of us. Plus them worker bots we picked up on the Erykah job last time… Yeah. Y'all will do just fine."
"Usual fare," he says offhandedly in response to your question about what to prepare for. "Pirates. Gangs. Reavers. Space monsters. Cosmic anomalies. All that fun stuff. Like I said, if you can handle a bit of rough and tumble you're welcome aboard. No questions asked.">>704978
You remember having been to Marillion once on a pub crawl of the outer colonies. It was quite an upscale colony in its time. Very fancy, but very expensive. You also remember having heard about the mysterious collapse of the colony on the news. It caused quite a stir.
Dashpot laughs heartily. "Ha! I like you already. I wouldn't drink that, by the way. Case you haven't already noticed, this place is shitty even by Hemera standards.">>704979
"Ah, she's big enough for any bots you might be carrying, don't worry. It's one of them big Wedgetail freighters. Room enough for everyone.">>704980
"Huh. So you're a musician, then? Well, haven't had one on board before. Might be a nice experience. I'm sure we can find a good niche for you, miss."
"I know, bought it so I have something to toss in someone's face incase they try and pinch my ass. Trust me, I know the bars here are garbage, barhopping's my expertise."
She says scratching her back,
"Even went to Marillion a few years back, if the place is abandoned now, I hope the booze is fine. Abandoned expensive booze is my favorite kinda booze."
"Alrighty. Pleased to come aboard then, sir. I'm not the best in a straight up fight, but I'm sure I'll make up for it.">>704980
"Well, don't worry, Miss Glitter. Just because you've got a different set of tools doesn't mean you can't deal with a problem. You'll just manage it in a different way!"
"Yeah, I am a musician. I like to think I'm pretty good at performing and working a crowd. So maybe I could be a distraction or something? Or maybe just talk my way through things?" She gives a nervous giggle.
"Or I could stay on the ship and just give everyone live entertainment."
Frank tilts his head toward Glitter again. "Glitter," he says under his breath. "Singer… Glitter…" He seems to let it go for now as he turns back to Dashpot.>>704981
"I'm good at fixing things, I'm pretty handy at making things, and also I can burn slash shock things if I need to. Especially pirates and monsters! Or monster pirates! Oh, I'm so excited. It's like I'm a real space sailor guy! Why don't more people do this? 'Explore the galaxy and get paid to do it.' Sounds like a good deal to me!"
"Well, let me tell you, between me and my associate outside you won't be wanting for a repair crew, that's for sure." Coronet confidently replies. "Get me some weapons or gear in need of fixing and i'll send em back to ya good as new!"
"We've also done our fair share of trading, on the off chance we found some excess we can part with."
"Well, if you're good at talking your way through things, you can help… talk us through things, if that makes sense. Like, a pep talk!"
He nods. "Good plan, good plan. Folks 'round here get a little rowdy sometimes. Barkeep'll sort 'em out though.">>704983
"Mhm. You look able enough to me. Never hurts to have an extra pair of hands on board.">>704984
He smiles reassuringly. "Don't fret too much, ma'am. You'll do just fine with the rest of us. I'll keep an eye out for you.">>704985
He laughs heartily at your infectious enthusiasm. "You'll be a perfect fit then. Lookin' forward to travelin' with ya." He gives a friendly salute.>>704986
He nods pensively. "'Twixt you two and the other bot here" - he nods at Frank - "I'm sure you'll be able to keep the ship shipshape. Been wantin' for a good mechanic crew. Lost our old one in the Erykah job, so you'll fit in nicely.">>704982>>704983>>704984>>704985>>704986
"Looks like we got ourselves a full crew then. Welcome aboard, friends." He proceeds to take down your names and other personal details, then sends the captain a message before packing up. "If y'all have somethin' you want to do, then go it now, and remember, docking bay 63. Else, I'm headin' there myself now, so if you want, we can head there now. Your call."
"There is absolutely nothing I have to do. Coming here to meet you is the whole reason I'm here, so I think I'll just follow you."
"I got nothing to do with this planet, sooner we're off the better."
"Well, in that case, these hands are happy to help!" the griffon says, wiggling his scarred talons and grinning.
"Ready as i'll ever be. Let me just grab my associate and we'll meet you there."
With that, Coronet hopped out of her seat and made her way outside to check on Cartor and follow the crew member to the hanger.
"Then in that case, thanks for having me along." She gives a reassured smile.
"Well, I don't think there's anything I need to do, so I guess I'm as ready as I will be."
He smirks. "You and me both, sister. Only reason we're here is cause the Cap was forced to come here after the last job we ran.">>704991>>704992>>704993>>704994>>704995
"Works for me. Right this way folks!"
You follow Dashpot out of the grim little inn, getting one last surly leer from the bartender as you do so. After picking up Cartor - Dashpot looks very impressed by him - you follow the first mate to a hangar a few blocks down being guarded by a rifle-wielding Dog with a pointy snout, almond eyes and golden white fur patterns. She is quite good looking, as Dogs go. She is half asleep by the time you get there, but jolts awake as Dashpot approaches, greeting him with a nod.
"These the new arrivals?" she asks, stifling a yawn and eyeing you lazily. She looks slightly hung over.
Dashpot nods. "Bagged five of 'em in one go. Not bad, huh."
She shrugs. "I've seen worse." She greets you formally and introduces herself to you as Mae, the quartermaster on board. It sounds like she, Garebold and Dashpot are the only original three members of the captain's crew.
From there, Mae opens the hangar to allow you to enter. The Karaboudjan
, as it turns out, is a piece of junk. It's a large freighter with a rectangular body and a skinny neck for the ship's bridge. That, and the lateral cannons it sports for defence, give it the impression of a vulture that ate too much and can't fly off the ground. "Not much to look at," Mae comments, "but she'll get us where we're going."
"Ain't how it looks that matters, s'how you use it as I've always said."
Copper grins to Mae, winking,
"Course, alcohol usually helps with the whole looks part, so I don't factor it in too much. Aaaaanyways, Miss master of quarters, are we in charge of our own eats? Dunno if i should stop by and grab some instant ramen planetside before we leave. Maybe some corn chips so I have some veggies as well."
"Yup. We're the new hires. And, the ship might not be much, but it looks good enough f'r me." the griffon says, shrugging a little.
"Yup! New and ready to do things," she says with a cheery smile.
That smile fades down a little bit as she gazes upon the lemon of a spaceship.
"Oh wow. It looks…cozy?" She says with a raise of her eyebrow, trying to still sound polite.
"But I'm sure its just fine on the inside."
"No kiddin, looks like some kinda older model for sure."
tapping Cartor's head, a wide-angle camera opens up from a slide out panel, blue light shining over as much of the ship as it can fit.
"Gonna get a readout of the systems for later, should help me piece it back together when things go bad."
Coronet comments, sending Cartor on a march around the docked ship.Roll #1 10 = 10
Frank stepped up beside everyone else with Frank junior senior, which everyone could now see look like an even more patchwork version of him, following close behind. "It's great!" Frank said. "A real testament to minimalism and the extent of what you can make fly! I'm impressed! So, what's my first job, boss?"
"Yeah. She's seen better days, but she's got one hell of a pilot." She grins back. "That'd be me," Dashpot adds, straightening his jacket rather proudly.
"We've got a full larder on board," she says as she leads the way, "but if you want to grab yourself some snacks you've got the time to. Still waiting on the other fresh meat to arrive. I think." She looks to Dashpot, who nods in confirmation. "Got four others comin' with. Not a group, mind ya. Just other stragglers and spacers that answered the call.">>705510
"Won't sugarcoat it," says Dashpot. "She's seen better days for sure. But she's flyable. Pretty homely on the inside too. You'll have your own rooms and be able to set 'em up however you like. Might as well make yourselves comfortable. Long trip from here to Marillion, after all.">>705511
"Mm, better than it looks," says Mae. As she does so, a stray wire on the underside breaks off and starts dangling, sparking dangerously. Mae looks uncomfortable, rubbing the back of her head and smiling awkwardly.>>705512
It is a very old model; they don't produce freighters like these anymore. Cartor's scan indicates it's a heavily modified TGF* Albatross class ship. The modifications mostly consist of extra storage compartments and improved defence systems, including the aforementioned cannons. It seems to be flyable, but in dire need of repairs; you recall that Dashpot mentioned they needed engineers to patch up the ship. The main things that need patching are as follows:
The secondary thrusters are badly damaged, making it rely entirely on the primaries for non-lightspeed navigation. This puts a great amount of strain on them, slowing the ship considerably.
The engine is in dire need of repairs; it seems that the lightspeed core crystal is leaking magical gases, making it extremely unstable. If it were to be damaged any further, the whole thing could blow to smithereens.
One of the hyperfuel tanks is entirely exposed. As with the above, this makes the ship extremely susceptible to damage.
With some time, and Frank's help, you should be able to repair the ship.
Mae watches interestedly as Cartor does his thing. "Never seen a bot like that before. You build him yourself?"
*: TGF stands for Trans Galactic Freighter>>705513
"Ain't up to me," says Dashpot. "Up to the Captain. You'll meet him soon, think he's on board." "If it was up to me though," says Mae, "I'd get you and the bat to start tinkering with the ship, see if you can give her a bit of a fixer-upper. We need a good pair of hands to patch her up. She's had it rough lately."
Mae pulls out a little black remote and pushes a button, and the loading ramp opens, allowing you entry on board the rickety old ship. It is rather shabby on the inside, as it is outside, although not as much so. The main bulk of the ship consists of its cargo hold, a very large open space with several sets of stairs, ladders and catwalks connecting it to the rest of the ship. It's clearly built for transporting goods, judging from the big empty space in its belly. From there, Mae and Dashpot give you a full tour of the ship:
Directly above the cargo hold is the dining room and the galley. It is frugally decorated, and boasts room enough for a much larger crew than just the three it currently has. It seems well stocked for the journey, although the food isn't much to look at; not much more than prepackaged space food that's been frozen for who knows how long.
Moving to the front of the ship, you have a hallway making up the "neck" of the ship. This contains the escape pods, and the medbay, as well as airlocks with astronaut suits. Two wings of the hallway lead to access to the lateral cannons. These appear to have been fused on at some point for extra defence. They seem simple enough for anyone to operate, even with minimal experience. This hallway also has the captain's quarters, although they are closed off for now.
Further on, you have the bridge, a smallish cabin with two seats for the pilot and copilot, along with a complex series of consoles for operating the ship. One of these seats is currently occupied by an extremely shabby looking griffon with grey striped feathers and a face like a falcon. This is presumably Captain Garebold, although he appears to be fast asleep right now, snoring with a beer bottle dangling from his hand. You can see several more empty bottles scattered across the console. Mae believes it best not to wake him for now.
From here, they take you all the way back across to the other end of the ship, behind the cargo hold. This space is split up into two separate levels:
The upper level consists of the crew's quarters. There are approximately two dozen rooms to choose from, although they all appear to be more or less the same frugal layout: a cramped little room with a bed built into the wall, a view of the outside, several drawers for storage, and a series of buttons on a wall panel for controlling the lights and such. Some rooms also have a monitor for watching galactic television, and/or a radio. You take a glimpse at Dashpot and Mae's rooms as you do so; Dashpot's is fairly frugal, with a potted plant by the window and a few photos pinned to the wall of a mare you don't recognize, while Mae has several holobooks, a bass guitar, and a collection of what look like action figures. She seems a little embarrassed, and hastily moves you on.
Finally, the lower deck has the maintenance area, which contains all the inner workings of the ship; water storage, oxygen control, the engine room, waste disposal, and all the other workings of a ship. Frank and Coronet suspect they'll be spending a lot of time here; it looks like they'll have their work cut out for them, judging from the poorly state of this part. The lower deck also contains a series of holding cells, just in case they need to take captives. These are currently unoccupied.
"Well, that's about all there is to it," Mae says, clasping her hands together. At some point, Dashpot split to go wake up the captain, so she is the only one with you at the moment. "Make yourselves at home! Anything you'd like to know?"
Frank's speaker crackled to life. "Wooow, you guys really let this place go to shit, huh?" Gigi asked. "I'm surprised you're suicidal enough to keep this thing running near the ground, let alone in space."
"Hey, that's not very nice, G-man. I think it's cool that they love their job so much they've lost all sense of self preservation! I hope one day I can find that level of dedication for something." He paused for a moment and his shoulders stiffly and mechanically slumped. When he spoke again both his tone and voice had grown more somber. "Well… I guess I used to." A quiet, static-filled sigh passed his speaker. "Yeah. I can't blame them. What's the point in caring when everything you know and love can be taken from you at a moment's notice? Well. Whatever. I'm ready whenever I get the go ahead."
"Mostly." the bat replies "Modified an old transport walker to open partway, then fitted the internal compartment with storage and the like."
with a whistle from Coronet, Cartor stops moving to open his top hatch, revealing the empty weapon racks and drawers.
to have some stock to sell, but, well, times are tough." she says, offering a shrug.
"Least now we've got some steady work. especially
after that scan, jeez!" she adds, reading off the printout from Cartor. "These engines are a stray cough from going up in flames, what the hay happened there?">>705516
finishing the tour, Coronet hops off her bot, re-checking the list from earlier. "Beyond the engines the place isn't too shabby, though once we get a stable supply of scrap i'm gonna need most of it to get those thrusters in gear."
"Any clue when the new crew gets here?"
"Our own rooms'll be really nice. Makes any place feel a lot better!" Poncho says, before offering a bit of a smile. "I don't have a whole lot with me, but I'll set it up as nice as I can. As far as other questions go… is there things we can help with on the ship here? I'm not much of a builder, but I'm sure I can help somewhere on the ship."
"Eh i'll just find someone to bum it off of elsewhere. Least wanna get to a planet with better snacks than Hemera. They don't even have the white chocolate covered raisin things here. Least, last time I was here."
Copper responds to every personal room they visit, eyes raising at the action figures as they pass by Mae.
"Any ship rules, curfew, et cetera? Assuming it's just 'don't be an asshole', but might be important to know if you're against being too boozed up."
Glitter stops in her tracks and blinks at the dangerously exposed wire. It just prompts her to giggle just as awkwardly back and duck down and move around it.>>705515
"Nope. I think what I've seen is pretty self-explanatory," Glitter says with a warm smile. Though in her head, she's beginning to develop some cold hooves about taking off in this, what is shaping up to be, a screaming metal death trap.
Mae frowns and folds her arms defensively. She looks genuinely hurt by Gigi's words. "Hey. We're lucky to be alive. Wasn't always this bad, lady. …Who are you anyway?"
She looks a little offput by your sudden mood swing, seeming uncomfortable with talking to a robot like it's a person. "Um… y-you okay there?">>705518
"Clever." She folds her arms, looking intrigued by him. "Well, you won't have to worry about selling stock once we get that Frazil."
She grimaces. "Yeah. Long story. Pissed off the wrong people, lost a bunch of our crew, barely made it out. I'll tell you more later if you want."
"Shouldn't take them too long," she shrugs. "You can go and ask D if you want, he's the one organizing the replacement crew. Even though it should be the Captain," she adds as an afterthought. She looks bitter for a moment. "We'll see what we can do about getting some scrap. Those thrusters definitely need it. Ship's slow as molasses without them.">>705519
"Hmm. Well, you seem able bodied enough. When we get to it, I might get you to give me a hand unboxing some of the cargo we picked up. Not really up to me though, Captain's the boss.">>705520
She wrinkles her nose. "Ech. Never really liked those myself. You do you though."
The action figures appear to depict a variety of characters from some fantasy series you don't recognize. One of them appears to be a fancy looking Felid with a giant hammer.
"Rules? Hm, not really. We're pretty much a family here. You pretty much summed it up. Don't be an ass and we'll all get along just fine.">>705521
"Good, good. I think you'll fit in just fine around here."
She seems to sense your trepidation. "Hey. Don't sweat. It can get rough around these parts, but if things go south, I'll keep an eye out for you." She then frowns as she gets a closer look at you. "Hold on. Do I know you from somewhere? Don't think I got your name, sorry."
Dashpot returns with the captain, looking extremely hung over and in a foul mood. He greets you disinterestedly. "New guys, huh. Just do what I say and we'll all be right. Hope you're made of sterner stuff than you look. The mission isn't gonna be easy. Might be you don't survive." He shrugs, and takes special interest in Frank. "How much you buy him for?" he asks Dashpot.
"I didn't," the first mate explains. "He just came here on his owner's orders and… asserted himself, I guess."
Garebold grunts and mumbles something about tin cans. He leaves it to Dashpot and Mae to help you out with anything you need and stumbles back to the bridge. There's an uncomfortable silence for a moment.
A voice rings out from the cargo hold. "Uh, hello? Anyone here? I was told to come here…"
Mae and Dashpot quickly head down to the loading ramp, where a timid looking grey unicorn with a few bags is looking around warily. Mae calls out to him, and soon you're introducing yourselves to the next member of the crew. The unicorn's name is Sunshine Recorder, though most call him Sunny, and he joined up for the trip to Marillion. He seems to have some personal stake in the matter, though he doesn't elaborate. He seems inexperienced, but eager to help however he can.
Eventually, the rest of the crew show up, starting with a big, mean looking saurian called Amelia. She has a jagged scar running down the left side of her face, and wears a heavy bomber jacket which seems to be interwoven with armor. She also carries a custom revolver blaster. Amelia is a freelance mercenary, by the sounds of it, and is only in this for the money. She's not very talkative, and shows herself around the ship before coming back to join the main group. Sunny seems intimidated by her.
Later still, the final two crew members arrive: a scrawny earth pony called Powder Keg, and a sullen black goat called Scratch:
The former seems to be a tinkerer like Coronet, with a rust colored mane, a couple of metallic patches on his body, and several bags of repair tools. He claims he's here for the thrill of it, being a well versed spacer in his own right. He seems keen to start working on patching up the ship. Mae seems happy to have him on board with Frank and Coronet.
Scratch is a doctor, from the little she says, and doesn't give much of a reason for being there other than it seeming like a good job. Dash is glad to have a "sawbones" on board, as he puts it, and shows her to the medical ward, where she remains for a while before coming back to the main hold. Mae and Powder Keg seem unsettled by her, but do not express their reservations.
With everyone on board and ready, Dashpot moves back to the bridge, and soon, the loading ramp closes and the takeoff procedure starts. The Karaboudjan shudders and shakes violently, the busted engine wheezing ominously as the hangar doors open above. Before long, you find yourselves having to cling on to something as the ship takes off. Mae seems completely unaffected by it, presumably used to the bumpy ride by now. You watch from the portholes as the ship ascends, leaving the sprawling grime of Hemera behind you and blasting off into the stars.
With the ship on autopilot, Dashpot emerges with the captain in tow. "We're gonna be making a few stops on the trip, crew. First off, we're goin' to Euryale." You've heard of this planet: a major trade port in the galaxy, Euryale is entirely covered by water. It has several floating cities, and even some beneath the waves. "We gotta stock up on supplies, maybe pick up a few new crewmen in the process. Might be there a bit, so y'all will be free to do odd jobs on there, if ya want." Scratch doesn't say anything, but seems interested in the prospect of visiting this planet.
You find yourselves with some downtime before arriving at Euryale. You could set up your rooms, work on the ship, or get to know the rest of the crew better. Or anything else that comes to mind.
You've been to Euryale once before. It's a nice place from what you remember. Much of it is more upscale than what you're normally used to. You remember a bar, Sadie's Cantina, serving some of the best cocktails you've had.
"Fair enough- I'll see what he wants, then.">>705522
Poncho nods a little and offers a somewhat friendly smile- but not a whole lot else. He seems like the kinda guy that prefers to keep friendly chat to a minimum.
He turns to look at Sunshine and offers a less-reserved smile and a hand to shake, introducing himself. He'll do the same to Amelia, Powder Keg, and Scratch.>>705524
Poncho aims to spend a bit of time setting his room up first and foremost, but after that he'll chat with any of the other new hires- from their party, or the other freelancers- for the rest of the time.
"Oh, that's right, I don't think I gave my names did I? Sorry just so much and all," she says, them 'ahems' to end her rambling.
"My name's Glitter. Glitter Pop. I'll try not to be too much of a total babysit project for you all.">>705523
Being a bit of a socialite, Glitter opts to talk to all the new people that are willing to talk. Some of them did seem a bit scary, or possibly very depressed, but surely they're not so bad once she got to know them…right?
"Good, don't have to worry about sharing then."
"Though I mean, I ain't greedy if I ever grab snacks. Mi casa, you casa, my queso, your queso, you get the deal. I won't be a stranger so I don't expect you to be either.">>705524>>705525
"Fuck, that's what I'm talking about. Maybe grab a kegger and go fishing if anyone's down."
Copper says, thinking back to the water planet,
"Though I'm looking to make money, gotta focus on that. Maybe I could do both, if I reel something big in…"
Copper says, trailing off to herself. After a bit of mulling around, she decides to shoot the shit with whoever seems grumpiest, not one to fall for broody silent types.
"Soooo Amelia, were you shootin' out the womb or you got some sorta army training? Wait, you folk do wombs or is it eggs- I swear I've been told this numerous occasions but I can't imagine the people-sized eggs. I think changelings do eggs."
Copper says, rubbing her chin,
"Wait wait, but not like laying eggs, least not in like a nest or anything-">>705527
"-Right Glitter? Is it just bugs or is it reptiles too? Eggs I mean."
Once the ship's ascent was completed, Coronet heads for the engine room, Cartor dutifully following behind.
"Hmm.. that core's gonna be a problem, don't have anything to seal a crystal fracture.. Could build some kinda shielding for that fuel tank at least.." she mutters, checking for some loose paneling in the cargo hold that can be re-purposed.
[1d10] PerceptionRoll #1 3 = 3
"Gigi," she answers shortly.
"Hah. Yeah. If it wasn't for her I'd probably be lucky enough not to exist anymore." He stomped and his volume increased enough to cause his speaker to spark. "I'm fine! Thank you for asking!" he yelled. "I appreciate your concern!"
A sharp his blew from his speaker and he took a step forward as Garebold insults him. "I'll show you a tin-"
"Frank," Gigi said. "Calm down, buddy. I'm sure he's happy to have your help on the ship."
Incomprehensible mumbling noises grumbled through his speaker and he stepped back. "Dumb griffin."
"Frank. I'm a griffin. Remember?"
"Yeah, but you're a smart griffin." He perked back up completely. "Oh, I'm so excited to get to work. And to pick out a room! This is gonna be so much fun!"
He nearly fell over as the ship took off but managed to keep himself upright. Before getting distracted with anything else he followed Coronet uncomfortably closely to the engine room. "So, what's the assessment, boss?" he asks her.
Glitter hums in some thought, seeing as how Copper seems to have broken the ice.
"Well, I know bugs do, though I'm not a hundred percent sure with Amelia's species. But biology was always kind of boring in school. I had more fun in music class."
"I'm pretty sure it's eggs, but I can't really be too sure." Poncho says, stroking his beak.
"I mean I know a biiiiit about anatomy but I can't say much experience about gals other than myself. Not no experience, mind you, but I wasn't much of a biology kid either. My friends usually let me copy off their papers so I can't say I learned much."
Surprised by Frank's pursuit, she tries and fails to make space before sighing, hoofing over the printout from Cartor.
"Engine's a mess." she bluntly replies. "We've got an exposed fuel tank and a leaking core crystal, the latter i don't have the gear to fix." she adds, sifting through cargo crates for loose metal.
fix the tank, though. Find some loose panels or something and i'll have cartor weld it into shielding."
"I'm great at welding!" Frank assures Coronet. "I noticed the engine. I'll take a look at the tank now though."
[1d10]GigiRoll #1 9 = 9
/ Roll #2 4 = 4
You can tell a lot about someone from the way they shake your hand. Sunny seems rather intimidated by you, but returns the handshake rather weakly. Amelia, on the other hand, almost crushes your hand with a toothy grin. You get the feeling she enjoys making people uncomfortable. Powder Keg shakes your hand enthusiastically, leaving a bit of dirt on it - he doesn't seem much for caring for his looks - while Scratch shakes it stiffly and breaks it off as soon as possible. You feel like she doesn't want much to do with anyone else on board.
You get Sunny's attention as he starts making his way towards the crew quarters, eager to start unpacking. He stops dead in his tracks and faces you with a friendly but weak smile. "Oh. Hey. What's on your mind?">>705527
"Hmm. Sounds familiar." You feel like she might recognize you from your music, but doesn't seem to recall right now. >>705528
She seems annoyed, folding her arms and staring you down. She's a good two heads taller than you, and muscular. "Chatty people piss me off," she snaps. "So do nosy people. I don't know you and you don't know me. Best to keep it that way." Nearby, Sunny shrinks away.>>705532
"Oh I know this one," Sunny pipes up helpfully. "Saurians are oviparous. They have clutches of up to eight at a time, from what I remember!" He seems eager to befriend someone.>>705529>>705530
You scrounge around. You manage to find a few loose panels of scrap lying around, but not much else that could be of use. It doesn't help either that some of the lights in the maintenance area are blown out. Hard to see here without help.>>705531
Garebold doesn't flinch as you menace him, too hung over to care about anything right now.
It looks to you like the engine is pretty screwed. The crystal core that allows for FTL travel seems to be leaking pinkish gas of some kind.>>705529>>705531
Powder Keg joins you in the engine room, putting on a pair of homemade brass goggles with several lenses. He lets out a low whistle as he sees the core. "That's an ugly one. Bat's right. We could patch it up with a bit of scrap, but it wouldn't really fix anything. Whole crystal's gonna have to be replaced, I reckon.">>705536
The fuel tank itself seems to be fine. No leakage or anything. It's the protective casing around it that's been blown off. One solid shot to it would cause you all to be blown to kingdom come.
"It looks like the tank itself is peachy, Corny. As long as we just reinforce the casing with some loose scrap. Heck, it'd probably be just fine for now as long as we're not starting any fights or the ship isn't rattling too hard. Really all we'd have to do is either augment the shielding or replace it. I'm sure we can find some loose metal pannelling to build a wall. That should give it enough protection until we can get actual shielding. I'll send Frank Junior Senior out to look for some now!" Immediately, the second Frank turned and started searching around the immediate area for loose metal bits, planning to sweep the ship.
[1d10]Roll #1 4 = 4
"Woah, really? I don't think that's quite as much as insects, but that's still pretty impressive." Her focus has seemed to have shift from Amelia to Sunny.
"So what's your story? Not gonna lie, but you seem kinda out of place here. Like me!"
"Sure, best to keep it that way
till I don't realize the potato chips I'm sharing are something you're deathly allergic to, or you've gotta know my favorite drink to differentiate me from the changeling imposter that snuck it's way onto the ship. Blowing the head off me and
the imposter is a waste of bullets. Broody and standoffish doesn't look good during an interview."
"Ain't asking you to open your heart to me or nothing, but coexisting's got co in it, something both sides gotta do."
Poncho makes note of the freelancers- maybe Amelia'll be better over time, or at least in the thick of it. With that done, he excuses himself to claim a room and start setting stuff up! It doesn't take him too long to do so, so he decides to take a look for a nearby crewmember, and finds the somewhat nervous looking unicorn from before.
"Heya. Just wanted to get to know folks, since we have time to spare and all. You look kinda nervous to be getting into something like this- I'm guessing merc work isn't your normal thing?"
Whistling, Cartor sits down, fully opening the chassis for Coronet, who starts pulling scrap together onto the table.
with a series of clicks, multiple arms deploy from the chassis, torches igniting, with the bat pulling a welding mask on before aligning the metal.
[1d10] tinker: tank paneling>>705538
"Exactly. Doesn't help we're short on panels, but we'll make do til we can afford something more permanent."Roll #1 3 = 3
You find a couple of bits of scrap lying about; some rebar, a severely warped 2x4 sheet panel, and assorted small pieces of metal littered about. There could be more, but that's all you can find right now.>>705539>>705541
He seems surprised at the sudden attention. "Oh! I'm… Well, I'm looking to get into spacing full time, really. I'm not much of a fighter or a techie or anything, but I'm really good with magic. At least I like to think I am. Got good grades at the academy and all. I figure this is a good starting point for me! I don't know if I'll make it all the way to Marillion, I might leave at some point before then, but I want to give it a try. You know?" Getting him to talk about himself seems to open him up more.>>705541
You set up your room as best you can. You don't have much, but it's as close to home as you're going to get.>>705540
Her eyes narrow, and she smirks slightly. "I suppose that's fair. Gonna have to put up with you for a good long while anyway."
"I was never in the military, to answer your question. I've been planet trotting since I was 12. Fell in with some folks and started doing merc work for them, then just split off and started freelancing after a while. Suits me better really."
"So what's your story? You know most of us are probably gonna die on this trip, right?">>705542
You start fashioning a makeshift protective panel for the fuel tank with what you have. You have the shape down, but you just don't have enough materials to work with to cover the whole thing.>>705538>>705542
"Hmm…" Powder Keg makes himself useful by scouring the maintenance area for any other loose panels they could reappropriate.
[1d10]Roll #1 5 = 5
"Right. I'll just, uh… Wait back here then." Frank sat down and hung his head. Why was he even there again? FJS shook off any attempt at actually looking for anything and turned around, leaving the room to find someone to talk to while Frank stayed behind.
Frank stood and gathered up every last piece of scrap he could find, sorting it and piling it neat Coronet. Placing the sheet on the ground, he made an attempt to bend it enough to fit it in.
[1d10]Roll #1 8 = 8
You come across Mae in her room. She is noodling on her bass, wearing space headphones and playing along to some tunes. She doesn't seem to have noticed you wander in.
Without saying anything FJS walks into her room without knocking, pops a squat, and tilts his head to the side as he watches and listens to her play.
"Look at that, plenty to work with after all."
grabbing the scraps, Coronet continues the weld job, Cartor's torches sending sparks pinging off the helmet.
[1d10] TinkerRoll #1 7 = 7
"I haven't been on the planet for more than a couple months basically since I got out of school. Your story, but instead of the folks you hung around with having guns in their hands, they had steins. Staying in one place isn't my style, and nor is the same job."
Copper pats the gun on her back,
"I've done some
mercenary work, but never more than escort quests and security at a facility for a bit. I dunno, just get that itch to be somewhere else if you know what I mean. Other people can be content with doing paperwork or sitting behind a store counter - There's too much universe to spend it on planet."
She laughs at the last remark,
"I'm not gonna make that easy. If shit hits the fan, I'm going down fighting."
"Well I'm sure you'll do fine. I mean, I'm not a fighter nor tech pony nor really have all the smarts you sound like you have. Although I do like being around ponies, and talking and performing and stuff. So here I am," she finishes with a happy smile.
"Yeah, that's pretty fair- I haven't done a whole lot of space work, but this isn't my first time. It can be pretty nice if you have a solid crew and all." he says, nodding a bit to himself.
"So, magic at a university, huh? I've got magic, but nothing quite so… prestigious, I guess? What sort of magic'd ya study? All sorts, or did you focus?"
The big sheet seems to be the most useful, making for a stable cover for the fuel tank. With some (literal) elbow grease, you manage to loudly hammer it back into shape. Powder Keg jumps at the sudden noise, showing renewed interest in you as his search attempts prove fruitless. "What kind of bot are you anyway?" he asks curiously. "You one of those Arisen or something?">>705547
You watch her play for a while. Her eyes are closed and she is humming along to the music. It is an upbeat tune, but somehow filled with melancholy. The bass doesn't make much sound other than some dull twangs, as she is listening to it through her headphones. She plays for a few minutes before the song finishes. She opens her eyes and almost jumps out of her skin as she sees you standing there. "Y-You could have knocked!" she says indignantly.>>705548
As Frank manages to bend the largest of the metal sheets back into usable shape, Cartor takes it and together you start welding it back over the fuel tank. Powder Keg joins in, producing a welding torch of his own and fusing the corners down. "That should hold it," he grunts as you finish. "Better than nothing, I'd wager. We really ought to pick up a proper fuel tank case when we get the chance though. This shit's flimsy."
"Now, what are we gonna do about that core? Not much to work with, I don't think…">>705549
She folds her arms and nods. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Galaxy's big. Plenty to do, plenty to see. Get antsy if I'm in one place too long." She smirks. Though she doesn't outright say it, you get the sense that she feels like she misjudged you.
She examines the gun you carry. "That a custom job?" she asks curiously. "Doesn't look familiar.">>705551
He smiles back. "Oh, I wouldn't say I have smarts. I'm just good at some stuff others aren't, really."
"Performing?" he asks. "You're a dancer, or…?">>705552
"Oh, bit of this, bit of that. Mostly elemental stuff. Pyromancy, cryomancy, ceraunomancy, that sort of thing. I'm pretty handy with it, and I can handle myself in a fight. N-not that I've ever really been in one. But I'd like to think I can do it!"
"What about you though? What's your specialty?"
Frank looks at Keg and blankly stares at him for a moment. "Arisen?" he asks. "I was just a maintenance robot. I build things and repair things. It's a fun gig! You should try it!" After Keg welded the piece of metal in place Frank nudged him with an elbow. "I see you're already taking Papa Franky's advice. It felt good, didn't it? Filled you with a sense of pride and accomplishment!"
He walked over to the core and leaned in closer. Out of nowhere he seemed to break into uncontrolled sobs. After regaining control of himself he glanced over his shoulder. "Sorry. That music just seemed so sad." He turned back toward the core, properly examining it.
FJS jumped when Mae jumped. "That music was so sad," he said. "But also upbeat? I don't understand. Why do I feel both happy and sad?" It was frustrating, and his body trembled for a moment before coming back to rest. "That was really pretty."Roll #1 8 = 8
"Call 'im Boilermaker, custom fitted quadruple barreled shotgun that I can load just about anything in in a pinch. Bullets still healthiest for his diet though, mess up his insides otherwise. Part commission, part gift from a gunsmith I met on a rimworld in the outer colonies. Spent a few weeks with drinking and learning how guns work. Fucking like, artistry. I could care less for paintings and stuff but show me a well crafted gun anyday."
Copper says, taking the weapon off her back and offering it for Amelia to handle and look over as she continues,
"Real gun though, the kind that shoots out a physical projectile when you pull the trigger. Not the pussy-ass plasma shit. Too clean, too prissy. Guess they work on ships but it just doesn't feel right in my hands. I want my gun to feel like a punch in the gut and not have to smell burnt fur after."
"Ceraunomancy? I don't think I've heard of that. As for me, must of my magic's curative or preventative- the only fighting I can do's with a knife. I don't have much I can do with magic in a fight save for keeping others going, but I'm really good at that." he explains, before holding up his scarred talons and wiggling them.
Keg looks completely weirded out, but also fascinated. "I was just… doing my job. …So you don't know about Arisen? Been hearing about it lately. Robots starting to wake up. Breaking their mold, thinking for themselves. Though you might've been one of them. The idea's pretty fascinating, if you ask me."
The pink magical crystal that makes for the ship's lightspeed enabling core has a huge, jagged crack in it, as if struck by something incredibly heavy. Pale pink mist wafts from within, eerily distorting everything on the other side. As you understand it, this makes the crystal prone to detonating if left untreated. Replacing it should be a priority.
Mae looks at you with curiosity. "Well thanks," she says, still not sure what to make of you. "It's this band I like. Weird Autumn. Not really for everyone, but I dig them.">>705555
She gets a bit more comfortable as you show an appreciation for weaponry. "Well get a load of this baby. Might change your mind." She pulls out her own gun, a custom built black and silver energy weapon. Outwardly, it resembles an old fashioned six shooter, complete with a revolving chamber and a wooden handle; the name "LUCILLE" is carved into it. "Only one in the 'verse I can trust. She's stuck by me for well on 10 years now. I can respect a good gun, but blasters are more reliable, you ask me. Less likely to jam. Versatile too. Melts through shit like butter." She grins fondly as she cradles the weapon, clearly glad to show it off to anyone that'll listen.>>705556
"Oh, you know. Lightning magic. That's just the fancy term for it, haha." He listens curiously. "Restorative magic, huh? I imagine that'll come in handy. Between you and that weird goat I think we'll be able to get patched up from anything!" He looks at your scars with a concerned frown. "So your catalyst is innate? Is it in your claws or…?"
"A little dancing, but mostly singing. Trying to make a bigger name for myself out in space, but that isn't cheap, ya know?"
Frank's canned laughter track plays. "Nah. I can build things, have fun, and apparently experience crippling depression, but I don't know if I "think for myself". Those woke robots sound like real weirdos."
He takes a step back after looking the core over. "Yeah, that's gonna blow up at any second. Probably shouldn't have left the planet in such a hurry now that I think about it. But hey, now we get to go the entire trip wondering if we'll just end up cold, dead debris in the black, icy vacuum of the abyss. Isn't that exciting?"
"Gisky only listens to really happy and upbeat sounding pop. That didn't sound anything like it. Mind if I listen some more?"
He nods. "Who knows? You might get to put on a few shows during our trip. And with the money we'll make from the Frazil, you'll be able to make even more of a name for yourself!"
Keg looks as disturbed as you at the sight of it. "Yeah. This is bad. Really bad. We're gonna have to fix this as soon as we get to Euryale." He rubs his chin. "I suppose we could try and find something to protect the crystal if it goes off, but I don't know how much good it'd do. Any other ideas?"
"Uh… sure." She takes off her headphones and plugs the guitar into a speaker so you can hear the music. She seems very self conscious with an audience, so she closes her eyes and starts playing something more energetic. It seems to be a ballad about a criminal and his twisted fate.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It7LM0bPi48
Copper nods appreciatively, looking it over,
"Well she's a beaut, blaster or otherwise. I'd considered some sorta revolver or maybe one of them classic single-fire rifles when I was spending time with that gunsmith, used to watch those old cowboy flicks with my dad when I was younger. However, while your claws have that nice taper for handling a smaller weapon, my fingers would be fumbling with that. Need something bigger and thicker."
She says, snirking briefly before patting her own gun,
"I respect, though, to each their own. If it's comfortable in your claws that's the weapon for you. You're right energy's more reliable when it comes to never jamming, but at least I can say I know I'll always
hit something with my weapon. Feels more personal."
"Yeah, that's the idea too!" She has a daydreaming look to her eyes, as if already picturing a stage or three on some distant planet somewhere, with all the glitz and glam like one on a huge, hi-tech ark.
"Well, I don't plan on keeping that money for long. Gotta make it work and all, ya know?"
"Oh, okay! That does sound pretty fancy, honestly. And, Mhmm! Think of it like… magic tattoos, I suppose. There's more to it than I really understand, but it does the trick pretty good. The scars are just some side effects- The rest of it doesn't really look this bad."
She nods respectfully with a toothy smirk. "Eh, can't argue with that I guess. Doesn't it get annoying running out of ammo though? Least with Lucille I can just let her recharge for a bit. With proper firearms, you have to count every shot. Right?"
Frank let his arms mechanically rise and fall in an attempt at copying a shrug. "Not really. If we could sheild it then it might help protect the rest of the ship if it does blow. Too bad we can't just throw it out the window and forget about it!"
FJS slowly tapped his metal foot to the music as Mae played. He waited silently until the song was through, but the moment it ended he enthusiastically clapped his metal hooves together. "Bravisimo! That was great! Way more complex than I'd ever have expected from a space sailor helping run an almost entirely unsailable ship. Did you know your core could literally explode at any second and kill is all, by the way? Because your core can literally explode at any second and kill us all. So how long you been playing? How long you been sailing? Oh, and who are these guys?" He pointed to the action figures.
"Mhm! …Er, if we make it that far, that is. I don't know if I'll be able to stick around all the way to Marillion. That's the other side of the galaxy. I don't really know if I'm cut out for this, to be honest." He looks around nervously before lowering his voice. "Plus, have you seen the state of this place? It's a flying dumpster. We'll be lucky if we make it to Euryale!">>705564
"Oh, I see." He examines the scars with no small amount of curiosity, then pulls back when he realizes he's in your personal space. "S-Sorry. I'm just a bit curious is all. Never seen magic like that before. Where'd you get it? …If you don't mind sharing that is. You don't have to if it's personal."
"Like I said, custom fitted."
Copper taps the side of her forehead,
"It doesn't sit well with his stomach, but he'll shoot rocks, scrap, even spare cutlery. Bullets are the humane ammo, if I'm loading up salvage, that means I've got my back to the wall, desperate, and don't care if the assailant might not be recognizable when I'm done."
Copper says, giving a small shudder,
"Not that I'm into that kinda shit. But, when I'm on a deserted planet with nothing but hostile aliens, you're gonna run out of a charge sooner than I'm gonna run out of rocks."
Keg taps his foot as he thinks. "Guess we'll have to stick with that," he shrugs. "If we could just find a big piece of metal, we could weld it over like with the fuel tank, I reckon." He starts doing just that, poking around trying to find a piece of metal they can repurpose.
She's taken aback at the sudden barrage of questions. "Hold up. What do you mean about the core? It's unstable?" She looks mortified. "What did you see?"Roll #1 5 = 5
She also looks around and gives a nervous giggle herself.
"Yeah, its a bit rough. But if this is what they've been flying in, then you know what?" She smiles and hums slightly, then gently goes into some High School Musical style singing to inspire some faith in Sunny that the ship will hold up fine.
>Using Inspire's out of combat effect>+1, DC-1
[1d10+1]Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
"Hey, Geegles, think you can help a guy out? I know you got an eye for this kind of thing." Frank slowly looked around the room, giving Gigi a chance to see what he could manage to show her.
"Oh yeah. Mega unstable. It's cracked and leaking. We're gonna have to get that thing replaced immediately if we make it to port. Me and Keggy boy, my protige, are working on building some stuff around it so in the off chance it does go boom it doesn't damage the hull. Hope you don't mind!"Roll #1 1 + 2 = 3
Where you shudder, Amelia has a gnarly grin on her face. "Sounds like a doozy. My Lucille's not as scrappy as all that, but yours sounds pretty effective. You've got good taste."
"Yeah, he's big and scary, does the job sometimes without me having to fire. Much easier to not get kicked out of a bar if you don't shoot a patron. Buuuut different lines of work, I'm sure some of your jobs you'd get paid extra if you left a message like that."
Copper says, strapping Boilermaker back over her shoulder. She takes the flask off her hip and take a swig, looking to Amelia,
You sing an impromptu song. Sunny seems to appreciate it, but it doesn't do much for his wariness. "I dunno. It might be best to ditch this place when I can… It feel like it's a time bomb." He shudders uncomfortably.>>705571
You don't manage to find anything useful. Keg doesn't seem to find anything either and frets to himself quietly.
Mae stands up and starts heading out, looking deeply worried. "I've gotta tell the captain. You do what you can to get it stabilized. We need to fix this. Now. Might have to turn the ship around.">>705573
She shrugs, sitting up on a crate and getting more comfortable. "I guess. Not so much anymore, but I used to. What's your poison?"
"Huh? Oh, no need to worry. I'm used to cramped spaces, so I'm fine with people getting close- I'm just glad to have my own room, honestly. And, as for this stuff… it was some sort of project. I can overcharge my body with magic to use some stronger stuff, and force out a lot more energy to make healing more effective."
Poncho offers a bit of a shrug, and adjusts his namesake before sighing a tad as he thinks back "It was… well, some crazy stuff. But I sorta wanted to get away from things, yeah?"
His eyes widen. "Project? You mean like… experiments? That sounds dangerous. But hey, if it works I guess!…" He looks a little offput, but still curious.
"Yeah. I can tell you more about it some other time, if you want. A lot of the magical mumbo jumbo went over my head, but I've gotten a grasp of some of it overtime."
"No luck," Gigi says. "All the stuff around here is way too blown apart to use. At least from what I can see from your lazy, slowly panning scan of a small area."
Frank turned around and walked to the other side of the room. Maybe he could find something on his own. He had found the single pannel they'd used to shield the tank after all, and now the whole crew was counting on him. His chassis trembled as he frantically turned his head from side to side. Oh man. Oh man oh man. The whole crew was counting on him
now that mae had given him the order. His head swung from side to side as a quiet, high pitched whine welled up from his speaker.
FJS just stood there, suddenly realizing the weight of this responsibility.Roll #1 10 = 10
You are still in the ship's engine room with Frank and Powder Keg, trying to figure out how to patch the cracked crystal that threatens to blow the ship to smithereens. Luckily, Frank seems to be on the job.>>705577
Sunny nods thoughtfully. "I mean, you don't have to, if you feel uncomfortable with it. Magical experiments… I'm pretty sure that's illegal…" He seems kind of uncomfortable in your presence all of a sudden.>>705899
Your sensors are sent into maximum overdrive as you panickedly search for somethign to patch with. Eventually, you find a ventilation unit with a protective casing that looks about the right size for the exposed crystal. You'd be breaking off a part of the ship, but the ventialtion should be safe, and this is a priority after all.
Mae looks at you rather angrily. "…Why are you just standing there?!" She doesn't wait for an answer as she hurries off to the ship's deck to alert Garebold.
With the fuel tank reshielded, Coronet takes one look at the leaking core and the lack of parts and shrugs her wings.
"Well, looks like we've done what we can. Until we can pull some strings we'll have to live with this mess."
"Ehh, long as nopony messes with it, it should
hold together.. probably."
"What's my poison? There's a universe full of weird fruits and boozes to be made out of them, it's a shame to be picky. Hell, my poison has literally been poison before, bar had a whole challenge to see how long you could last before you had to down the shot fo antidote. Shit made your veins burn. Anyways, I mean I'm packing tequila right now, but again I ain't picky."
"Uhm… is it? Shoot, I was never really good with laws." the griffon says, a touch troubled himself
Frank's chest opens up as he rushes over to the ventilation unit. A large arc welder pushes out of the cavity in his chassis, and the flame ignights. Carefully, he tries to cut the shielding free.
FJS rushes after Mae, trying to catch her before she gets away. "Actually I think I might have already found something for shielding," he says, speaking quickly but not loudly. "I'm taking care of it now, while we're talking."Roll #1 1 = 1
Keg seems deeply disturbed at your lack of caring. "…You do realize this is a time bomb, right? I don't plan on dying here, lady. Now come on, help me get this thing off." He points out the casing Frank's trying to get free and quickly gets to work himself, pulling out a laser cutter seemingly from nowhere and trying to cut the casing off to use as blast protection. "Gimme a hand here if you can, would ya?"
Amelia folds her arms and sneers. "You're crazier than you look," she remarks. "I like it. For me it's usually whiskey. Or rum. Kinda sworn off booze though. Don't really want to fall into that pit, you know?" She shrugs.>>706077
There is an uncomfortable silence between you two for a moment. You sense that Sunny has some academic curiosity towards your enhancements. For now, though, he excuses himself. "Er… I should go set up my room," he mumbles, heading up the stairs and towards the dormitories. It seems that he doesn't feel like talking much more at the moment. You could try speaking to any of the other crewmen, or get to know the immediate party a little better.>>706078
Sparks fly from the metal casing as you try to cut through it, making your arc welder flare and flashing your photoreceptors. You are momentarily disoriented, and don't leave much more than a scratch on the casing. "You alright?" Keg asks with concern. "If you want I can give you a look-see after this. No offense, but you don't look to be in very good shape. I've seen bots in scrapyards looking better."
She slows down but doesn't stop walking. She looks perplexed. "Huh? What do you mean? You haven't left my side."Roll #1 2 + 1 = 3
"Hey, from what i
can tell this aint't immediately lethal, but if you've found some better plan i'll roll with it."
Turning to the larger Cartor, she whistles and points a hoof over to the vent casing.
"Cartor, deply welders, we're gonna strip that for parts."
Cartor silently marches towards vent, deploying a welding arm from his undercarriage, the flame joining the others burning away.
[1d10] welding: case stripping
"There's just not much we can do to fix this when we've gotta budget in the red, yeah?"Roll #1 1 = 1
Scrapyards look better. He's a scrap heap, he told himself. Not even able to get a ventilation shield off. "I'm f-f-f-fiiiIiIiIne." His voice skipped and fluctuated like a toy with a dying battery. "Pressu- pressu- It's a lot of pressure!" Static blared from his speaker like heavy panting.
"Frank," Gigi said in a clam voice. "Frank, it's okay. You can do it. You just need to-"
"I can't do this," he said, cutting her off. "If I don't do this everyone will be disappointed. Ms.Mae is rushing to tell the captain, and they're going to turn around, and they're going to kick me off." His photoreceptors flickered as he tried to reorient himself enough to continue cutting the shielding off. A low whine seemed to slowly build from his speaker.
FJS rattled, but continued talking. His voice was the same fluctuating, spasmodic drone the actual Frank was currently speaking with. "I'm aaaalso trying to cut through the weld of some ventilation to shield the- to shield the core in case of potential failure. Two bodies. I have two bodies."Roll #1 5 = 5
Poncho frowns a little bit and gives him a bit of a wave, before heading off to find someone else to talk to- whoever he runs into first.
"Nah drinking to drown out your emotions is misusing the stuff, I drink to party, to get rid of inhibitions. I might get carried away sometimes, but only if there's reason to celebrate."
Copper says, pausing a bit,
"I've been in some deep pits before. I stowaway on a few ships until I'm somewhere I've never been, usually end up in a bar, and then end up looking at all the people there who likely going through way worse shit. Sobering enough to see drink isn't the answer there."
She puts the flask back on her belt,
"I might check out the larder, could use something to eat."
Keg's cutter stops working. He curses and fiddles with it for a bit, leaving Cartor to do the work. Unfortunately, he isn't able to do much to it. The metal is much thicker than you'd originally thought, causing violent sparks as he tries to cut it away.>>706081
You pull yourself together - perhaps literally - and keep cutting the casing off. It takes some time but eventually the casing comes loose, clattering to the floor with a satisfying clang
. "Yay," Keg cheers unenthusiastically, clearly annoyed at how long that took.
Mae looks more than a little freaked out. "Well… okay then. I should still tell the captain what's going on. He'll want a sitrep after all. And, uh, it's best I handle this one. He doesn't really like robots." She keeps heading to the bridge, leaving you to your own devices.>>706082
You wander around the ship, eventually bumping into Scratch, perhaps the most enigmatic of the crew so far. She seems to be in the middle of setting up the medical bay, struggling to carry a huge bunch of supplies. She almost bumps into you in the process, not being able to see too well, dropping some of the supplies. She curses quietly and starts grabbing everything in a hurry, not sparing you more than a glance.>>706083
She nods, casually tapping her foot against the metal crate. "Yeah, I can get that. Seen my fair share of shit myself. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can never fall too far, really." She goes quiet all of a sudden, lost in thought.
"Mind if I come with?" she asks, snapping out of her reverie as you mention food. "Haven't eaten since yesterday."
>regardless of whether you accept
You head over to the galley. You find a variety of food and drink in varying condition, most of it frozen for long distance flights. These include meats (mostly white like chicken or fish), fruits, frozen pizzas, several dozen packs of cheap beer, and half a bag of wine. There is also a fridge with some snacks such as premade sandwiches or knockoff brand chocolate bars, as well as a single bag of chips. The galley has all the cooking utensils you could need for a flight, including some fancy tech like instant ovens and flash freezers. You see a tiny figurine of a brown saurian on the galley's window. It seems like Mae is the cook on board.
"Well, do you what you got to, okay? I'm sure nopony will blame you." She smiles at him and gives a nod.
"Well, its been fun talking, but I think I'm gonna get myself set up in my room and all. Ciao!" She gives a little wave and trots off to where her room is.
He slightly awkwardly waves goodbye, his gaze lingering on you for a moment before he snaps out of it.
You head over to one of the unoccupied cabins. It's woefully barebones; they are small and compact little rooms, with a retractable bed built into the wall next to a view of space outside, a handful of drawers for storing your belongings, and a wall panel to control lights and the bed. Your room is also equipped with a radio next to the bed and a TV monitor above. You see a lot of potential for customizing your room however you like.
Frank's canned laughter track seemed to play on loop, interrupting itself over and over as he jerked the casing free. "There!" He says in his previous, cheerful voice. "Now we just have to weld it in place! Shouldn't be hard with the three of us! It isn't like the first time was difficult." Two metal claws extended from his chest, gripping onto it. Dragging it over to the core, one of the claws retracts and extends again holding a small bar of tin. He tries to flip it over and weld it in place.
FJS gave a mock salute, stood up, marched right back into Mae's room and sat down.Roll #1 9 = 9
"There we go! Now we just gotta seal the engine with that and start lookin for a replacement."
with the casing removed, Coronet directs cartor in helping Frank attach the panel.
[1d10] weldingRoll #1 3 = 3
The dull whine dies away again as Frank seems to calm back down.
"Yeah, I'm not a cook though, just a warning."
Copper makes her way over with the saurian, taking a deep investigation of all the foodstuffs present. She notices the figurine on the windowsill, pointing a thumb at it,
"Know anything about Mae's collection? I used to watch cartoons but can't place a finger on them."
Copper pulls out one of the frozen pizzas in the meantime, raising it up to show to Emilia,
"O-Oh, sorry about that. Need a hand?" he asks, bending down to help pick some of the assorted stuff.
Glitter looks around her little spot and nods in thinking.
"Yeah, I can work with this I think." She goes over to the bed and hangs up a few letters and such from her fans. She gives them a minute, then takes a breath in as she can almost smell the love in the air now. She also does a small little dance while mouthing, practicing some choreographed moves and seeing if she might bump into anything.
You proceed to sit patiently in Mae's room, like a dog waiting outside a shop. You hear arguing coming from the deck.>>706088>>706089
Keg joins in helping to weld the metal piece around the crystal. You have to meld it into a proper shape, which takes more time than it should, but you eventually fuse the metal to the rest of the broken seal. "Won't fix anything," Keg comments, "but if it goes off, at least this'll contain the blast some." He shrugs, sitting up on a workbench.>>706091
"That makes two of us then," Amy shrugs.
She picks up the little figurine and examines it closer. It looks extremely cheaply made, like something a kid would find in a cereal box. "Doesn't ring a bell. She didn't strike me as the type to collect kids toys. What a dork." She snorts amusedly.
She grins wryly at the frozen pizza. "Didn't think your lot ate meat," she comments.>>706092
The supplies are mostly stuff you'd find in a doctor's office; bandages, stethoscopes, syringes, anatomy charts, etcetera. Seems she's making herself at home. "Th-thanks, says Scratch as as you help her pick up her stuff. "Sorry, I don't think I ever g-g-got your name?" She seems kind of shy.>>706093
You start setting up your room, admiring your small but growing collection of fan mail. There's not much room for dancing in the little cabin, you find. You accidentally bump into the control panel, triggering the radio, which starts blaring at full volume. "WDPK Intergalactic, 83.7, the sound of tomorrow, the music of today!"
Seems to be a music talk show, as the host starts getting into an interview with some electronic musician.
Frank taps the shielding. "Yeah, that's not going anywhere," he says, standing back up. The welder and claws retract back into his chest. "Good job everyone!" He pats Keg on the back. "Especially you. I knew I'd picked you as my protige for a reason, Mr.Keg."
FJS's head tilts to the side as he tries to pick up on the argument. Standing, he tries to follow the sound.
"It's no problem at all, really- happy to help. And, I'm Poncho. You're… Scratch, right? Need some help getting settled in?"
She gives a slight little 'eep' when the radio starts making noise, but seeing that its only the radio and not something else, she relaxes. She has the bed open up and hops on it, testing it out as she listens to the radio.
"Nah that's cows, they're the other 4 hooved folk. Heck pretty sure ponies used to have myths about us goin around in mazes eating ponies, but I ain't ever heard of us doing that."
"So like, haven't ate since yesterday? Better do like three pizzas then. I'm hungry too."
Copper says, taking out two more out and seeing if the packaging has any instructions.
"Uh… sure. Thanks." Keg looks equal parts bewildered and intrigued. "So, uh, would you mind if I had a look at him?" He's addressing Gigi. "Never seen a bot quite like him before."
You move a bit closer to the deck. It's a rather heated discussion between Mae and the captain, with Dashpot (reluctantly) siding with the latter out of duty. Mae's practically begging him to turn the ship around and stay on Hemera until they can replace the crystal, but the captain is obstinate about staying the course to Euryale. Eventually, Mae exasperatedly storms out of the bridge, jumping a little as she sees you standing there. "You again!" she says in alarm. "What is it now?">>706096
"D-Doctor," she corrects you. "Doctor Scratch. But, Scratch is f-fine."
"Well, I was just s-setting up the medbay a little, really. It looks like it hasn't been p-properly used in YEARS. I-if I'm going to be working there, I can't have it in that state." It's not really so much that she's shy, she just doesn't seem to like having to talk due to her stutter. "Y-You can help if you want, but I th-th-think I have it c-covered.">>706097
The bed slides out with a smooth whirr and a satisfying mechanical chunk
. The mattress and sheets seem quite comfortable, and on the side of the bed are some options to control the ventilation in your room as well. You stare out the window for a while as you listen to the radio. Eventually, the ongoing interview pauses for a while as they play a track from Zenith Sib, the musician in question. You listen quietly to the catchy little tune as you pass a large, many-colored nebula. Despite everything, you feel at peace.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0q1gCsZykg>>706098
She chuckles quietly at that.
"Hold up, don't want to go through the whole stock," she says. "Still got a ways to go before we get to… whatever that place is called." She shrugs.
The packaging just says to bake in a regular oven for 20 minutes, or in an instant oven for 30 seconds. You just happen to have an instant oven available, courtesy of Polybius, one of the leading technology corporations in the Empire.
The speaker remains silent, but after a moment Gigi sighs. "Alright," she says. "If it means the two of you can keep him safe, I guess you can take a look. Just… Just don't go messing around with anything, okay?"
"Oh, G-dog, I can't believe it! We've barely known him for a couple of hours and you're already opening up? How very 'character development' of you."
"Shut up Frank," she said. "The bat made a good point earlier. If something happens to both you and FJS we'll need someone that knows you well enough to actually make repairs." She didn't say it out loud, but judging from his reaction to nearly failing, that outcome was more likely than she would have hoped.
FJS saluted. "Swabby Frank Junior Senior reporting for duity with a report, m'am. The core has been secured, lieutenant Mae, m'am. A shield is now in place, as ordered. If something were to happen, damage would be minimal, m'am!" He dropped his leg.
"Shit, I could fold one of these in half and eat it in one sitting. Guess it isn't my
pizza though, it's for the crew. Split one then."
Copper says, taking the pizza out of the packaging and placing it in the instant oven.
"You think you could cook something with Lucy? Like, reheat a burrito wrapped in foil by shooting it?"
She closes the oven and tries to figure out how to turn the thing on,
"This is why I just buy fast food."
Glitter couldn't help but smile as she looked out the window, bobbing her head to the music. She decides to wait until the song is done before getting up. Feeling a bit more refreshed, she decides to pack everything up and turn everything off before heading out to explore around the ship some more.
"Doctor Scratch, my bad." he says, keeping his voice somewhat level and soft. "I wouldn't mind helping at all- I've got nothing better to do, and this sort of stuff's important for everyone."
He takes a look around the medbay, trying to find the best places to start putting some of her supplies. Flicking his tail a little bit as he mulls it over, he finally asks "I'm not, ehm, bothering you, am I? You seem like the quiet sort."
"Oh I won't, ma'am," says Keg, putting on his goggles. "Don't you worry. I'm just gonna see what makes him tick. Maybe tighten a few screws here and there. Nothing major." He flips through a couple lenses on his goggles, then pulls out a massive screwdriver about the size of his leg out of nowhere. "Alright, Frankie. This might be a little uncomfortable, but don't move a piston while I'm at it, okay?" He gives you a reassuring pat on the head as he gets to work.
Keg proceeds to open up a panel on your head and chest, poking around inside the cavities to examine the hardware. You feel extremely uncomfortable, like a visit to the dentist. He pokes and prods at you for like 15 minutes with all sorts of tools. When he's done you don't feel much different; a little sharper, maybe, but otherwise the same old Frank. "Well, that's about as good as I could get it," Keg says, rubbing his head. "Shouldn't even be running, this one," he says to Gigi. "Don't know how you managed to get him to work. These models were decommissioned years ago, you know."
She nods, looking a little relieved. "That's good. Just… Just Mae is fine, you know. I just work here. I'm not a lieutenant. …Captain says we're staying the course to Euryale. So I guess we'll just have to cross our fingers and hope it doesn't explode." She looks bitter.>>706101
The instant oven works just like a microwave. After a few seconds, it comes out with a loud ding!
The pizza is fully baked and ready to eat. Ham, bacon, pepperoni, meatballs, onion and loads and loads of cheese. Looks and smells delicious.
"Never tried it. Would be cool to find out though." She gives a sharp toothed grin at the sight of the pizza.>>706102
You wander around, overlooking the ship. You can see Frank talking to Mae across the other side of the cargo bay, while one or two rooms down Sunny is listening to the same radio program as you as he sets up his room. Down below, you can hear Keg, Frank (again) and Coronet working in the maintenance section, and Amelia and Copper are in the kitchen. Sounds like they're getting a bite to eat.>>706103
You help Scratch carry her things to the medbay, setting it up much like a tpyical doctor's office. She gets to work putting everything the way she likes it. She seems to like organizing things and putting them in their right place.
"N-not at all. It's nice to have someone to t-talk to," she says as she adds a few homely touches to her room; namely, a pot with a single tiny sprouting plant in it. She starts examining a monitor in the room, which seems to be set up to write up medical logs and provide diagnoses. "S-so, Poncho, what brings you on this mission? It s-seems quite dangerous to me."
Gigi says, "It wasn't easy." And leaves it at that, falling silent again.
Frank quickly shook his head around. "That wasn't pleasant at all!" he assured Keg. "But I gotta admit, whatever you did feels better now that it's already done." He deflates at the mention of being decommissioned. "Yeah, trust me. She knows. She's the only reason I'm still around and not trapped in an endless hell of my own malfunctioni- malfunctioni+ malfunctioning body." A quiet click, almost like a clicking tongue, came from his voice box. "But I guess back then I didn't really care as much, so maybe it was a double edged sword. Who knows?" He immediately perks back up. "But hey! If I wasn't here maybe you would all be frozen space debris right now, so it isn't all bad, right?"
FJS saluted one more time. "Well Mae, you can rest assured knowing that I'll stop at nothing to keep you and this crew safe, no matter what! We'll make it to Euryale or die trying!"
"Fuck yes, alright. Pizza and then we'll test that out. Halvsies, I don't wanna figure out negotations for who's more hungry."
Copper looks around the kitchen for some sorta cutting utensil for dividing the pizza,
"You're the type to carry around a big fuck-off knife right?"
Poncho looks over the potted plant with a bit of a smile, before looking to the goat and nodding. "Well, alright. As far as the mission goes… yeah, it's shaping up to be dangerous. It seems like we've got a pretty solid crew though, yeah? And if you feel unsure about it, there's nothing wrong with hopping off along the way- some things really aren't for everyone. What brought ya here, outta curiosity?"
Powder Keg looks at you pensively, and is about to say something, but seemingly changes his mind. "…Right. Let's just hope it holds, eh? Wouldn't do to die only a couple hours into the voyage. Heh. …Well, I ought to go set up my room. I'll leave you to your own devices, mate. Cheerio." He packs up his things and nods goodbye for now, heading towards the cabins and leaving you alone in the maintenance area (except for Coronet, presumably).
She doesn't seem very comforted by that. "Yeah, the or is what bothers me. Fingers crossed it doesn't come to that." The whole situation seems to have soured her mood considerably. She starts moving past you towards the kitchen.>>706106
Amy reaches into her boot, pulling out a big Bowie knife. "Save your energy." She hacks the mega sized pizza into eight neat pieces and bites into a still steaming slice, not even feeling the burn. "…'S not great," she shrugs.
"Hey! Those are for dinner!" An annoyed looking Mae enters the kitchen, looking exasperated by something. Amy just keeps eating. "Not anymore." Mae's about to tell her off, but decides it's not worth it and sits at the table herself, taking a slice and munching on it absent-mindedly. She raises her eyebrows at you in greeting.>>706107
She thinks for a moment. "Y-You said it. Curiosity. I've been in quite a f-few travels myself, and I'm no stranger to d-dangerous voyages. I'm curious to know wh-what happened on Marillion, really. A-and if I can help any survivors too. The crew does seem quite st-stable. I'm sure we can handle it. …A-although… the captain… he doesn't seem very… very stable, does he." Her expression darkens for a moment. "But we can pull through! I'm sure of it! If anyone's hurt, I-I'll be able to do my thing."
FJS silently watches Mae walk away before turning on his hooves. He took a step forward to follow her, but Gigi told him he probably shouldn't. His voice considerably increases in volume as he spins around and walks down the hall, distorted like he's speaking into a megaphone. "Excuse me, Ms.Pop? Are you around?"
Frank waves to Keg as he leaves. "Catch you around!" he says, following him out of the room. "See you later!" In spite of the parting comment, he continues to silently, awkwardly walk with him to the rooms, deciding to pick one out while he can.
"Fucking knew it."
Copper grins as Amelia pulls out the Bowie knife, grabbing her own slice,
"Pizza is pizza, like, even a 'not great' pizza is still good."
She takes a bite and pulls the slice away from her mouth, ritualistically testing the elasticity of the cheese. She turns around in the middle of the act to Mae entering.
"Ohf, heyah Maeh."
Copper is quick to eat the cheese, smiling at the her,
"Well just consider this our dinner then, I won't ask for more later."
She winks, sitting on the counter and kicking her hooves up to eat her slice,
"You gotta tell me about the figurines though."
"Yeah. If there's any survivors, we'll be sure to do everything we can to help. I'm not sure what to make of the captain yet, but… I'm pretty confident things'll go alright."
Glitter seems to be keeping to herself right now. You can hear Mae, Amelia and Copper having a good chat nearby though, and Poncho and Scratch up near the bridge as well. Everyone else seems to have relegated to their rooms.>>706111
Amy nods sagely, as if discussing high philosophy with a fellow intellectual. "The pizza scale. Way at the bottom are shitty unedible dumpster fire pizzas - " she stops to take another bite - "then everything else is good. Up the top are the weird fancy ones with avocado and sour cream and shit. No good."
Mae stops mid bite as you mention them, quickly swallowing. "Oh that? It's nothing, just a dumb hobby I have. I just think they're neat. They're from this show I used to watch, sometimes." She seems kind of embarrassed by it.
Once she finishes, she goes and serves herself a glass of cold water. "Drinks, anyone?" >>706112
She smiles confidently. "Y-Yeah. We'll pull through. Euryale should be a good stop. Th-there's a bunch of work opportunities there! Plenty of time to get properly s-stocked for the trip, you know? And make some extra money, maybe h-hire a few other hands… We'll be s-set!"
You come across an unoccupied room. There's quite a few of them, as the ship is meant for a larger crew than what it currently has. Powder Keg is aware of you following behind him and picks up the pace, feeling a bit uncomfortable. The room you find has the same setup as in >>706087