• So many newbies lately! Here is a very important PSA about one of our most vital content policies! Read it even if you are an ancient member!


  • Total voters


Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Not accepting invites at this time
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Writing Levels
  1. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
Romance, Supernatural, Fantasy, Thriller, Space Exploration, Slice of Life




Space Bounty Express is "shipping company" and by that, we mean a bunch of poorly paid scoundrels flying around in a piece of junk that's barely space worthy. All we can promise is that your cargo WILL arrive on time and undamaged - even if the same can't be said for the crew.


WHO: Everyone is invited! Character Bios/Pics are not required, but totally encouraged! Post 'em if you got 'em.

WHAT: The wild, wild space! You are an employee, or a client of the Space Bounty Express. We gotta load up this ship and get our cargo where it's going. Humans, aliens, space cowboys!


HOW: This is an ACTION ADVENTURE WITH IMPROVISATIONAL GAME MASTERING. That means the object of this roleplay is to do the job and try not to get killed in the process From those interactions I will create a plot and story around you. The majority of this roleplay will just be developing your character and interacting within the setting!

My roleplays are always NEWBIE FRIENDLY so even if you are terrible at roleplay or have never participated in a ChaRP before, this will be easy for you to get involved in. :D Ask questions, let me know when you need help. I often give tips and direction out of character in the main chat room when people need a little direction. You can also reference our MINI CHARP GUIDE!

Last edited:
reserved for bios
reserved for bonus?
Name: Ekadzati Choden Li-La Te
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Personality: At first glance, Ekadzati appears to be a being of gentle serenity. Get to know her better though, and her quirky, spontaneous side comes through. Her words and actions often do not make sense from a perspective of straightforward logic, even if they do (to her) from her mystical, right-brained point of view. She maintains a childlike innocence and sense of wonder. This innocence leaves her ill-prepared for dealing with cunning mountebanks and the like. Ekadzati is also vulnerable to pushy, domineering types, as her instinct is to adapt to their needs and wants rather than stand up for herself, as long as it does not involve compromising her core values.

However, her odd behaviors tend to prevent her from being any good at conforming to the expectations of others.

Ekadzati was born into a peasant family in a small farming village on a backwater world. She was an odd child who nibbled at her hair, could not follow instructions very well, frequently wandered off, and would not talk. Beatings and other forms of harsh discipline failed to make her normal.

Eventually, her parents and the Village elders gave up on her, and foisted her off on a traveling monk named Gyaltso who had come to teach techniques for increasing crop yields, fight disease, treat injuries, and build devices and tools to improve their lives. Ekadzati had paid rapt attention during the classes, and started following the monk around, curious about everything he did. She even took an interest in the strange things he did, like sitting quietly in meditation for extended periods, or carrying out dancelike sequences of difficult moves and stances. The monk caught her attempting to imitate him, so he started to teach her with gentle patience.

When it came time for the monk to move on, Ekadzati's parents urged him to take her with him. With a subtle smile, the monk nodded and waved for the eight-year-old to follow. He was a member of the Opame Rinzen Order. The ORO is an ancient monastic order whose members seek to learn practical skills and mystic arts, and use them to right wrongs and help the suffering, while living modest, low-profile lives.

They have monasteries and smaller "chapels" on various worlds where they are legal, or where "law and order" is too weak to persecute them. They also have a number of "floating monasteries," traveling ships and asteroid bases in space. However, once they have completed their training and reached the rank of Ritvija, it is most common for a monk to travel, alone or in small groups, to be of service to others.

Ekadzati took to Gyaltso's gentle ways, and began to learn martial arts and meditation, as well as some of the practical skills he shared with various communities during his travels. Her first words were a flurry of precocious questions about the mystic Opame Rinzen sutras he read to her each evening.

Years passed, and she continued to show interest and aptitude for the Order's teachings and martial arts. When she turned 15, he asked her if she wanted to join, and she nodded enthusiastically. He brought her to an Opame Rinzen monastery, where she demonstrated her skills in martial arts, meditative practice, and knowledge of the sutras for the elder monks.

They agreed to initiate her into the Order, and give her the mystic golden face tattoos that would make it possible for her to access Wu-Li powers. These tattoos are normally invisible, but they appear when she is meditating or using Wu-Li abilities.

Ekadzati continued to train under Gyaltso, receiving supplemental training at monasteries and sacred sites they visited during their travels. At the age of 22, she attained the rank of Ritvija, an adept of the Order who is able to operate on their own and may take pupils.

Shortly after she went out on her first solo quest, a new regime took over the Concordium of the Stars, a vast interstellar government. This regime sought to impose a doctrine of "Naturalism," which held that each type of being had a specific place in a hierarchical "Chain of Being," a "natural" role they were expected to live by. One aspect of this doctrine was a fierce rejection of "the Unnatural," anything having to do with arcane forces. "The Unnatural" was blamed for all of the Concordium's problems, and anyone connected to it was scapegoated.

The Opame Rinzen Order came under increasingly severe ordinances of persecution, so that Ekadzati was forced into hiding, and has lost contact with other members of the Order.

Powers and Abilities:
Ekadzati is able to tap into Wu-Li, the cosmic "pattern of living energy" that underlies universal order and form. Using this...ahem...force, she is able to temporarily alter her mass and inertia, so that she can be light as a feather, or heavy as a boulder. Applying this effect can also give her increased speed and enable her to strike with great force. This ability tires with extended use.

In addition, only so much mass/inertia can be "borrowed" or "lent," and the balance must eventually be restored. The amount and duration can be increased with training and practice, but even the greatest Masters have their limits. If a user reaches their limit, the effect ceases, and they must "discharge" fully in the other direction before they can use that ability again. Thus, most Wu-Li techniques involve "dancing around the balance point," shifting back and forth from "lightness" to "heaviness," so that one never reaches their limit in either direction.

Runic Meditation: By taking time to visualize and meditate upon the runes of her Order's mystic alphabet, Ekadzati is able to "store" various "spells," such as blasts of "elemental" energy (wind, fire, water, lightning, etc.), healing, mending/repair, etc., depending on which runes or combinations of runes she meditates on. More powerful or complex effects require longer and deeper periods of meditation, with more runes, meanings, and interrelationships that need to be held in the mind. Once she uses a given Runic ability, she needs to meditate on it again before she can use it again.

Memory Stones: The Opame Rinzen Order has developed a way to store skills and memories in special, rare stones, and incorporate these into jewelry. Memory Stones cannot be used to store Runic meditations, but they can make it possible for a Ritvija to store a skill in a Stone, which can then be accessed by another Ritvija. This makes it possible for Ritvijai to carry many more skills than they would ordinarily have time to learn, so that they can provide a wider range of assistance to those in need.

The recipient will not be as good at the skill as the one who stored it prior to gaining practice with it, but they can generally perform tasks with the stored skill. Memory Stones may only be used to store "mundane" skills, such as first aid or techniques for restoring the fertility of topsoil.

Ekadzati's Memory Stones are built into her necklace.

The Wu-Li Staff:

1695912849177.pngEkadzati possesses a Wu-Li staff, distinctive weapon and scepter of office for a Ritvija. When not in use, the staff is shrunk to the length of a forearm and made light so that it may be carried easily or concealed in clothing. In combat, it extends instantly to its full six-foot length, and its weight may be adjusted using Wu-Li technique. If the staff is not in its owners possession, it defaults to a length of six feet and a weight of 23 pounds.

The staff is crafted and enchanted to serve as an extension of its wielder. It can transmit Runic spells that are otherwise limited to touch, as well as share in its wielder's ability to alter mass and inertia.

The more a Ritvija uses their staff, the more attuned they become to it, and vice versa. This attunement makes it easier to use Wu-Li abilities with the staff, as well as increasing the dexterity and power with which it can be used in combat. It becomes as natural to use as one's own body. A Ritvija who is deeply attuned to their staff can even feel through it, as if it was an appendage.

If a Ritvija tries to use another's staff, the staff will resist (thus being awkward and random in use) until a prolonged period of attunement allows the new user to wield it effectively.

Theme Music:

Last edited:
High soldier size comparison.png
【Name】Jaunt Bvetin
〘 Nicknames 〙'Fork(s)'
〘 Titles 〙Tiller
〘 Age 〙35
〘 Birthplace 〙Sopitae, Bvetin's chamber
〘 Species 〙Gardener
〘 SubSpecies 〙High Soldier
Gender 〙Male
〘 Romantic orientation 〙Hetero, nonmonogamous
Sexual orientation 〙Hetero
〘 Height 〙3.9m in diameter, 1.6m tall at the abdomen
〘 Weight 〙~700kg


〘 Body description 〙8-legged and a deep carmine Jaunt's faint misalignment of his rough bumpy surface and abdomen indicate a long history of immersion in complete violence. In a relaxed stance the diameter of a small car the legs are furry more as heat sinks than insulation or defense. At the end of each leg a prehensile segmented talon covered in setae used for mechanical or adhesive grip onto walls and surfaces. The blade forelimbs instead solidified into points. The four primary eyes are human sized, if more numerous, the middle pair having a reflective layer permitting excellent night vision. The outermost a conventional eyesight for accuracy. Underneath the cephalothorax are a set of horizontally mounted arms packed tightly against the bottom. While nowhere near the strength of the blade arms they are heavy, plated, and four fingered to interact with tools. The rear of his body heavy and rough much like an alligator it tapers toward the back and is prehensile to a minimal degree.

〘 Normal Aesthetic 〙Blood and fire in the service to the Matriarchy he wears only things to serve Her or those to which She has rightfully delegated. Has little sense of aesthetics and if he's wearing it the object has a purpose. He is rarely without a secondary ranged weapon if not at least a melee weapon for armor penetration. Paranoia defines his purpose and is never truly at rest.

〘 Personality 〙Named such as his task is primarily as a scout for the Matriarchy. Comfortable alone when far afield and capable with the various disciplines needed to do so. Jaunt was one of the few that volunteered when the Matriarchs attempted to quicken children to find Terra as they investigated for habitable worlds. Literate in English through Eigengrau with a quite formal voice, given a radio to produce it, can scratch messages into the floor if absolutely necessary. He's learned script exclusively for communicating with human false Matriarchs out of a pressing need to impress though otherwise prints. Thus a specialist among the High Soldiers he collects skills he feels he may need and spends little of his time specifically socializing with his own. Day to day he looks forward to seeing what else Terra has to offer and anything he can bring back to the Matriarchy.

〘 Disorders 〙Extremely Matriarchal, Fanaticism
〘 Fears 〙Sick Matriarchs, injury to children, unsafe matriarchs

〘 Affinities 〙As an Orthodox he worships at the feet of the Matriarchy. Though that belief is not blind should a false Matriarch abuse those within their demenese without due cause. If too far removed from their strictures or any reasonable duty of care to subordinates She may find they've deemed Her an Apostate Matriarch and no longer respect their orders. though the gardeners and humans are in somewhat general agreement about the things that would eventually constutute a violation of a duty of care. Told without reservation to their face even if he still would respect their life they will not her orders. They have a particular interest in humans due to the High Matriarch's dreamer and will prefer those individuals over other options.

As creatures with strong social tendencies and hypersocial as a whole the isolationists stand out. This title is for those in the military purposes whom demonstrate an ability to operate in exclusion. As well the ability to seek out and acquire more skills to suit the ends of the Matriarchy. The word chosen as the representation for them in Quietus is adequately described as 'someone turning over new soil'.

Oleophilic Herbivore Extremophile
Capable of consuming vegetable oils directly and can process most plants in spite of rot, thorns, and/or poison. Hydrofluoric stomach acid's strength and hostility to organic chemicals largely a cause. His entire gut microbiome full of multicellular mutualistic organisms able to tolerate the environment. They are fully capable of consuming the very poor nutrition of wood chips or a 2x4. Though pressure treatment chemicals or such things may cause upset. Eating/swallowing too much iron-based blood or meat will make him sick.

Rugged Thermocardiopulmonary System
High solders regulate temperature through vulcan organs specialized for thermal conductivity in addition to their breathing system. They have a few hearts and a number of blood sacs to fortify muscular pressure, maintain blood pressure, and store reserve oxygen. They are capable of tolerating environments that are anoxic, abnormally pressured, or high-temperature. As well as tolerate many environmental dangers such as ash, carbon monoxide, volcanic gases, or airborne particles such as silica. Should they be unable to vent enough heat into the environment they will begin to shed ammonia then water through evaporative sweating. A high soldier just fresh from heavy activity can often be enough to sear exposed human flesh with his breath.

Regenerative Kinetic armor
The high soldier's fibrous subdermal layer is full of pockets of non-newtonian fluid turning solid when impacted. This serves to maintain internal pressure as well as provide defense against punctures. The skin layer can fully regenerate if slowly though internal damage beyond that point is more of a concern. The healing process consumes copious amounts of food if not minerals as it progresses. This makes healing directly by a medic more complicated as one needs to get through the dermal layer actively endeavoring to keep one out.

Blade arms / Strength
If suitably enraged a high soldier can tear new orifices into a target with its sharp blade arms, cram them into a Volvo, then hoist and beat the floor with said Volvo. This will deplete their blood sacs of course but despite their sluggish demeanor afterward will remain extremely strong with their weaponized forelimbs.

While venomous their lumpy grinding mouthparts behind needle fangs indicate the venom used exclusively for warfare. The chemical is a ketamine-like dissociative mixed with a mild hallucinogen as they were used to siege and pacify Matriarchs in the Blood Wars. In a human-sized target Jaunt has to be very careful not to kill them, especially when they are injured. It also has an obvious pain-killing use which Jaunt is capable of dispensing by human norms though lacking in any advanced pharmaceutical knowledge. He otherwise won't, and is legally compelled not to, dispense any without a licensed doctor taking direct possession.
Last edited:

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 7:16 AM

Space Bounty Express is "shipping company" and by that, we mean a bunch of poorly paid scoundrels flying around in a piece of junk that's barely space worthy. All we can promise is that your cargo WILL arrive on time and undamaged - even if the same can't be said for the crew.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 10:28 AM

IT'S ANOTHER DAY, IT'S ANOTHER SHIPPING JOB... The Mission? Deliver these REALLY HUGE crates to the neighboring solar system. Don't peek into the damn crates. Don't let the crates get jostled around. Don't let the crates get WET. Otherwise, this should totally be a quick and easy job for the crew!

littlekreenToday at 11:01 AM

Jaunt was busily trying to figure out how to move these gigantic things let alone get them into the ship. They had a lifting pallet to hold onto at least but the crates were wide in a gesture of silent gesticulation toward each corner where eyes twitched in varied tandems to gague distance. The harness holding his radio turned off as he chattered to himself in the RF language of Quietus drawing volumes and vectors to work door clearances 'out loud'. As a Gardener, a herbivore soldier spider hit with nature's carcination bat just twitched his head and peered at something invisible to those that couldn't listen.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:03 AM

Captain Jezebel Macbeth wasn't exactly the greatest captain, but she did own the current flagship of Space Bounty Express, and thus was always victimteered into supervising all of these missions even though she was better suited for desk duty. She had a clipboard and was slowing checking off the pre-flight list.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:13 AM

Ekadzati approached the woman with the clipboard wearing fairly nondescript traveler's clothes; tunic, trousers, cloak, and supple leather moccassins, with a pack slung over a shoulder. She glanced up at the vessel she seemed to be in charge of. It had the look of a ship that...well, probably needed all the crew she could get. "Excuse me," she asked. "Are you the Captain of this vessel?"

littlekreenToday at 11:18 AM

Jaunt oriented his blade arms outward so he could flatten entirely to start a series of lift, shift, and slide to start lifting the huge crate and squeezing himself underneath. Ribbing of his abdomen grip the large object to keep it from sliding away from the power limbo. the crate was slightly angled at first but soon started to scooch backward until the box seemed to hover if not for the six pointed legs and two hard spikes holding the front by the corners. A slow smooth scooting as glinting eyes from a darkened foot or so of clearance migrated toward the captain.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:22 AM

"Uh, yeah! Captain Jezzy, that's me." she responded looking up from her clipboard. She almost snapped to make sure Jaunt was keeping those crates level but like... he was a giant spider, and she was honestly doing everything in her power not to be inwardly screaming every time he worked a shift.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 11:25 AM

    Ekadzati moved with graceful, balanced steps to make sure she was not in the crate-carrying being's way, angling herself to keep them in sight as she talked to the Captain. "My name is Ekadzati," she said. "Do you have any open positions on your crew?"

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:25 AM

    He was a little late to getting to the ship, but Cute Human Artificals Overload Symbiote (who looked like a normal small child) would arrive just in time to help. CHAOS was holding a uncapped water bottle for one of the other crew and would trip, the water bottle sailing through the air towards one of the huge crates.

LesbingusToday at 11:25 AM

The vessel that presently served as the flagship of the Space Bounty Express was not the most... glorious of vessels. Regardless of this fact, every ship required someone familiar with its inner workings.That was where Ansilla Upsilon-Rho / 2-Gelt came in.Ansilla, to the majority of the crew, was an enigmatic figure. Equal parts engineer and esoteric priestess, the heavily cyberized woman bore scant resemblance to the human she had once been. Skin had been usurped by armoured ceramics and titanium prostheses, muscle and sinew given way to carbon-composite meshes and steel-alloy cabling. Her entire lower half had been transfigured to the metallic likeness of a centipedal arthropod, and an additional pair of metallic arms extended from her voluminous purple robes. All of this an some little-understand attempt to become close to her mechanical deity. "Captain," she droned, her voice synthetic and bland. It buzzed with the unmistakable sound of artificial production, for no vocal chords remained to produce the sounds of speech.Ansilla had swept downward from an overhead gantry, her myriad legs allowing her to scale the ceiling and walls without issue."Preliminary checks have been completed. The retention of structural integrity during travel falls within..."Her violet eyes rotated, the multiple concentric rings that made up each of them lending her eyes the appearance of a serrated camera shutter. The engineer paused for a moment before continuing."...Acceptable parameters."

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:30 AM

Perhaps Ekadzati was fortunate to have grown up on a world where various species of shelled land-dwelling molluskoids filled the 'insect' role; otherwise she might have felt a bit...out of balance...among what to most humans qualified as giant creepy-crawlies.

littlekreenToday at 11:30 AM

The giant crate slowly moved the legs sticking out from the sides in deliberate 2 and 1 swings of legs one each side though it hoisted enough for there to be an audible click of a transciever spearker, "Honored matriarch Jezebel, I believe the doors are a couple inches too short to crane these in safely. I will have to carry them."

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:33 AM

Captain Jezebel absolutely made this face ( >_> ) at Ansilla, giving a slight nod and checking that off her list. "Oh, Eka-...Ekadzati," she stumbled over the name pronounciation. "Yeah, actually, we can definitely use some new crew members on shift. Especially after the last missi-- NOPE! NOPE! NOPE!" The Captain in a sudden flurry of swinging arms put herself inbetween CHAOS's STUPID WATER BOTTLE, successfully getting herself smashed in the chest with the damn thing. But thank god! She protected the crates."NO WATER IN THE DAMN CARGO HOLD! THERE'S INSTRUCTIONS! DO YOU NOT REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME!"'Last time' things went haywire and they lost two crewmates. Bloodily. It was a mess to clean up!

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:37 AM

CHAOS would tilt his head and look over at her. "CHAOS did not recieve instructions about water in the water hold, so Chaos did not know that he was not supposed to bring water to any crew members in the cargo hold, CHAOS is very sorry for the problem he has caused so far. CHAOS also lost siad logs for the last time since he was instructed to delete all records as the captain referred to the incident as "Too Traumatizing for Chaos processers. Chaos does not know why young intern James asked for water though."There would be a audible faceslap from said intern in the distance.

littlekreenToday at 11:39 AM

It was easier to see the remarkably flat Gardener riding the cargo gangplank hoisting his abdomen upward to keep the cargo from tipping and looked sideways through the legs as the radio on one side of his head broadcasted, "I would appreciate not having to spend a week for medics pick shrapnel out of my hide."

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 11:45 AM

    Ekadzati glanced over her shoulder. No sign of anyone from the Ministry of Orthodoxy or armored police thus far. "Do you have a Healer? I can serve in that role if you do not," she said, absently fiddling with one of her braids and nibbling at the tuft at the end.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:48 AM

"A medic on board would be a blessing!" exclaimed Captain Jezzy, especially now that she was half wet from that damn water bottle and probably now had a chest bruise. That CHAOS thing was getting some nasty glares, and James the intern was in for a world of hurt. In the meantime though... "We're almost all loaded up. So everybody make sure you got your gear so we can move out."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:51 AM

James the intern would take a moment to just move far far away from Jezbel.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:52 AM

Ekadzati knew basic first aid for several of the more common spacefaring peoples, and Memory Stones for more in-depth medical treatment. Unfortunately not for the species she was seeing thus far, apart from the Captain. She knew the basic principles though: hearts beat, fluids go 'round and 'round, usually some sort of respiration moves gas or fluid in and out; any interruption in this is a Bad Thing. And all bleeding stops, eventually. But more to the point, she had meditated enough on the Rune of Regeneration to have two uses stored. So long as she was not obvious about their use, what this crew did not know would not hurt them. She hoped.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:52 AM

    CHAOS who had no sense of self preservation and no ability to read anyone's mood in the slightest would approach the crates and go up to take a look inside.

littlekreenToday at 11:52 AM

Three back legs arced fairly high to grasp the cargo floor, Jaunt finally squeezed his way through the problem gap he didn't quite trust the crane motor to hold still for anymore. Not after it got shorted and refurbished anyway. As an all-terrain creature the scooting process reversed as he started shoving the object into its cargo harness. Finally able to breathe easily he stood up and secured the crate. Appearing on the underside of the hull with a wave of one four all-opposed hand from underneath the cephalothorax, "Cargo secured, Honored Matriarch."He circled in space as legs tacked floor and ceiling and clung to spin him grav-right.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:53 AM

"I can serve in that role," Ekadzati said, walking aboard the vessel. She already carried all her possessions.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:58 AM

    With the cargo loaded, everyone piled into the best ship Space Bounty Express had to offer - a real piece of shit named Applejack. Unfortunately for everyone, Captain Jezebel was also the day's Pilot. If the CHAOS unit didn't kill them all, the Captain's dodgy flying might! Once the ship left the loading bay, all crew members were free to move about the ship at their leisure. Except the captain. the Captain leaving the pilot chair would be bad.

  • littlekreenToday at 12:02 PM

    Gardeners were attentive creatures and his kind particularly. Though much like the captain most humans had that faint monkney of instinct loudly screaming and pointing whenever he walked past along the ceiling through hallways. There was a particular trick to it for some of them but he'd gotten used to human sized corridors and tunnels sometimes to the horror of meeting a large sized spider moving through an engineering tube sized space. He held a small bottle of coffee, if upside down, and was moving toward the bridge.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:08 PM

    CHAOS had definitely been loaded in with the cargo, as nobody had bothered to check on him before they had left. He would take a peek into the cargo to see what was in there, curious to what was in there.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:10 PM

    Taking a peep into the cargo crates was strictly prohibited. But it's not like they have cargo guards so... As CHAOS took a peek into one of the huge crates, something in the crate took a peek back.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 12:11 PM

    Ekadzati felt relief wash over her as the ship lifted off, tempered somewhat by the occasionally erratic application of RCS thrusters and uneven acceleration. She started to head toward the bridge/cockpit. If the controls were humanoid-standard (rather than adapted, say, to echolocators who communicated by scent), she might be able to serve there as well. She was stopped short by the hulking form of the massive arthropod taking up most of the space in the corridor. She slowed her pace to follow them.

littlekreenToday at 12:15 PM

The spider's slightly crosslegged stance adapted to accommodate the new crewmember and only slightly tilted his field of view to see. The transceiver clamped to one side of his cephalothorax had that same breathless baratone of someone who didn't use lungs to speak, "Hello, new false matriarch. You are a doctor? I am a perflourocarbon-blooded triploid. Do you have experience?"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:15 PM

CHAOS had once again not read the instructions, nor had the captain informed him when he revealed this information. " Oh Hello, are you a speaking and communicating species?"

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:16 PM

"I haaate my joo-ooob, IiiIIIIii haaaaate my joo-ooob," sand Captain Jezebel to herself as she kept the ship on course, unfortunately unaware of the hell that was about to make her really hate her job.

The crate appeared to be packed to uncomfortable capacity with small almost koala-esque creatures. In fact they might actually be creatures known as mogwai across the galaxy. A few gurgled greetings and they looked SO SAD AND HUNGRY in that crate!

littlekreenToday at 12:20 PM

Jaunt continued along the ceiling as they shortly made it to the bridge. The upside-down carafe arrived from above Jezebel's head in that four-fingered clamp, "You can hate your job while having coffee, honored Matriarch. I cleaned the machine first."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:20 PM

Ekadzati gave the being a bow of greeting. "With respect, I am not a matriarch, false or otherwise. I have neither children nor followers. I do not have direct experience with your species, but I know enough general principles to work with your ship's Autodoc in treating you, if it is programmed and equipped to serve you. If it is functional. Are you injured or sick?"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:22 PM

" Oh no, it seems that they have lacked to give you food to eat," CHAOS replied, pulling out a crowbar to open the crate and then preparing some meals of simple pie and cookies for the creature.

littlekreenToday at 12:26 PM

Gesticulations for Gardeners were more of utility than emotion but made a side motion with his other small hand in line with his head as he secured the coffee in a holder, "If is the best translation in quietus to represent that concept, for us at least. You are a false matriarch, because you are not my matriarch, but I am still subordinate. I have flourine supplements but the autodoc does not get through my armor plasm well."He twisted and lifted his head to look back toward cargo gathering where the water came from, "Should I watch the heretech robot, honored Matriarch Jezebel?"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:27 PM

James the intern would look over at Jezbel. " I'm so sorry about the water incident earlier. Have you seen the CHAOS unit since then?"

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:29 PM

Captain Jezzy was quite happy to have some coffee, but did make a grim expression about the CHAOS unit. "'s probably a good idea to make sure it's not trying to kill- JAMES." Speak of the IDIOT that brought that nightmare thing on board! "James it's your damn job to keep track of things you bring on board! Go FIND it!"

Unfortunately for them all, it was in fact too late! Those mogwai were happily loose in the cargo bay all having a grand delicious meal! And the more they ate, the more they wanted to party and scatter and open up the rest of the crates to let out their bretheren!

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:31 PM

James would look over at her and raise an eyebrow. " Yeah, I will try to remember that in the future- wait, sorry, you thought the little robot thing is mine? No, I thought it was one of those crew member bots. Are you saying that it isn't?" He asked, clearly even more confused.

CHAOS would help the mogwai to eat and get their bretheren out because he didn't see anything wrong with what he was doing after all. He also put out a glass of water for them to drink so they wouldn't be dehyrdated.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:32 PM

    The absolute horror on Captain Jezebel's face to realize that damn thing didn't belong to the stupid intern. It sure wasn't hired by the company!

  • littlekreenToday at 12:34 PM

    Jaunt backed and spun to get to the floor and eyed the door as all the sharp barbs flicked up on the blade arms, "Seek and destroy?"

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 12:39 PM

    Edging her way into the cockpit, Ekadzati was careful to avoid brushing against the arthropod. She did not wish to take the chance that such contact might be considered rude. And in the next moment, she was quite glad she'd done so! Otherwise, she might have started her career aboard with a "Physician, heal thyself!" moment. She got out of the way of the door, and made her way to the copilot's seat. A glance at the tension in the Captain's hands and the nervous way she watched the controls, and Ekadzati slid into the copilot's seat. She looked over the controls themselves. "Captain, I have also flown personal spacecraft, and light transports in this vessel's size class. May I?" she said, holding her hands over the copilot's controls.

  • littlekreenToday at 12:43 PM

    With a look toward Ekadzati, Jaunt started scuttling forward through the hall with blade arms forward. Even cramped as it was. The Gardeners had a certian sense when something was going wrong in their territory though normally with a Matriarch to determine what it was. He intended to meet the intruder and capture it unless told otherwise.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:48 PM

    "Seek an ddestroy indeed," muttered Captain Jezzy, who just KNEW someone else was going to end up dead today and hoped it wasn't her! She at least nodded quickly to Ekadzati to join her as co-pilot, cause now her hands were for sure unsteady at the controls.

  • The cargo bay was now FILLED with mogwai all free from their crates, partying hard, taking baths, eating a feast, and now MANY were popping out slimey mogwai pods from their backs or curling up into cocoons for a nice little nap and transformation. The situation was critical.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:52 PM

    CHAOS would look at a Mogwai curiously and then when he was sure that none of them were looking at him, he would stuff one in his mouth and swallow it whole.

littlekreenToday at 12:52 PM

Jaunt spread into the cargo bay advancing and with a quick motion there were two mogwai with a new hole and a dose of deleriant to soon be drooling on the floor, "This is bad, they broke into the cargo pods."

  • Jaunt didn't wait to see if there was anyone behind him to reply and in the havoc hadn't seen Chaos yet. The squelching noises came as he set to work slicing at pods and fangs dose the fuzzier creatures to pacify them. The volume turned up on the tranciever as some started trying to eat his legs, "HERETECH! WHERE ARE YOU!"

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 1:00 PM

    "Thank you," Ekadzati said. With a few moments of hesitation due to minor differences from the standardized control layout, and a few bodged repairs to the panel, Ekadzati brought up a holo-schematic of the ship and tabbed through to mass measurements. "The cargo crates you brought on board have enough mass to alter the vessel's moment of inertia. I am adjusting the gyrostabilizer system to compensate," she said, moving a set of sliders on the panel. "The ship should respond more smoothly to your control yoke now," she said. "I can also take the helm, if you wish to address the situation in the cargo bay directly."

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:03 PM

    "I honestly don't want to die today, so I'm hoping Jaunty has it under control," Captain Jezzy said hopefully. Taking and look at all the controls and listening to the jargon she only HALF understood, there was a bit of an anomoly on the weight of the ship. It was... kind of slowly increasing? How was THAT even possible? She hit the com buttons. "Jaunty, how do things look down in the cargo bay?"

littlekreenToday at 1:07 PM

The reply comes back crisp and without background noise, "Feral contaigion, honored Matriarch. They are making more of themsleves. Do you know what they are? I am trying to save some of the cargo that are untainted but I think I bit more than we started with."

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:07 PM

    James would look over at her. " Well, I imagine considering that I don't remember asking him to bring the water to the cargo bay, I imagine the robot- thing maybe got the Mogwai wet. We should be fine.... well unless he ate one of them- apparently, that can make someone immortal."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:07 PM

Ekadzati noted the peculiar apparent increase in mass as well. It was not every day that one got to witness a violation of the Principle of Conservation of Energy and Matter. There were ways such a thing could happen--a portable gravwell generator being activated, an accumulation of dark matter, some sort of extradimensional intrusion...or someone with Opame Rinzen training...

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:10 PM

"I know what they freaking do, James, I read the damn information package!" The Captain shouted! All of the special needs of their cargo was in the information packet, and now that blasted CHAOS unit was trying to kill them! Trying her best to contain her panic, she tapped the coms again. "Uh... is there, anu possible chance you can get them back into the crates? Or are we going to have to open up the cargo bay doors and yeet them into open space? PLEASE tell me we don't have to lose this cargo?"

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:10 PM

Yet as Jaunty's words came over the intercom, it appeared to be something even stranger--creatures that increased in total mass as they reproduced themselves, in apparent contravention of thermodynamics.

littlekreenToday at 1:13 PM

Jaunt was covered in gore, as gremlins caused wounds that oozed fibrous fluid, he started using drugged mogwai as body armor. Though it had started to get rather heavy. He replied over intercom, "I have to have an entire crate worth stuck to my armor plasm! I can put them in the crate but there are many more transforming. Can you find the heretech on sensors so I can stop the spreading?"

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:16 PM

"Searching for the CHAOS unit. THAT you can absolutely chuck into space once you catch it." insisted Jezebel. "If we can spare enough of the mogwai to keep the original shipping order, that'd be great. The rest can be destroyed or spaced." Of course she had NO hope that this was going to be the case! What a grim awful day!

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 1:21 PM

    Ekadzati felt a little twinge at Jaunt's use of that particular term, though he pronounced it 'heretech," so perhaps it meant something different to him. At least it was not directed toward her, and the Ministry of Orthodoxy was not involved. "Ekadzati to Jaunty, the creatures stuck to your armor plasm, are they a danger to you? Do you require treatment?"

  • littlekreenToday at 1:23 PM

    The mogwai that were not yet transformed at least had started to focus on being afraid rather than eating though Jaunt doubled back to start chucking drooling stoned mogwai back in a container like a feral claw machine sticking his hands to their heads and dropping them in. The ones on his back would take someone removing them but the crate filled up faster than he expected. "I don't know how many will transform of those that have eaten. They should stay out of the dreaming state long enough to contain."The reply came as he poked one with a leg to reply to Ekadzati, "They aren't going anywhere without being scraped off. I have a few leg bites but they haven't bit off anything yet."

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:23 PM

    James would be looking over the information package and then came to the end of it. " Hey, is this the wanted list for the most dangerous creatures in the galaxy?" He asked. " Because we might have a different problem if it is." He would show a wanted poster for the CHAOS unit, a dangerous decommisioned symbiote creature that caused chaos wherever it went.

  • CHAOS would look over at the Mogwai that were sleeping and would wonder if eating it had done anything. It didn't taste like anything that he had before.

  • littlekreenToday at 1:28 PM

    The level of exertion accidentally scorched a mogwai which gurgled a yelp as Jaunt's breath wafted over them loading and locking a crate though his venom sacks started to hurt much the same way, "I have two crates but I don't think I can bite all of them."He instead loomed to a few cowering mogwai and aggressively pointed toward the crate with a finger.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:35 PM

    "Jaunty, secure down the crates you do have and get out of there! Get any off you that you can, I'm going to open up the cargo doors and spaceblast the shits!" Captain Jezzy was already pulling up the controls to do so. The warning lights in the cargo hold going off!

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 1:37 PM

    A tone from the console caught Ekadzati's attention. "Captain, we may not wish to do that. The sensors have detected a Ministry of Orthodoxy cutter. While they do not monitor cargo transport, they might consider a sudden dumping of cargo in open space to be suspicious."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:37 PM

CHAOS had left the cargo hold a little while ago, having grabbed a few Mogwai to piggyback on and giving them food as he semed to sense tension.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:39 PM

    "If we don't dump them, they're going to over take the ship," the captain explained. Damn, she didn't want trouble with the freakin' Ministry either, but... the big boss SAID this shipment was legal!

littlekreenToday at 1:39 PM

"As it is willed, Honored Matriarch!" Jaunt quickly just yeeted the moping fuzzballs back into their box and closed the cargo box behind them. Quickly checking the box anchors as he hurried to the others to do the same. He could take some void shock but didn't want to risk it. Jaunt made for the safety of outside the bay as the drugged mogwais on his back gurgled from their heavily drugged state.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:40 PM

James would look over at her. "Has Jaunt found our chaotic thing yet?" He asked, concerned that there had been any word on the chaos thing.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:44 PM

"We would also be expected to report the navigational hazard to the Jump Gate Authority," Ekadzati said. The Applejack was on a ballistic course toward the jump gate that would take it to the next star system. The dumped cargo would become a slowly-spreading cluster of debris headed straight into the spacelane. While it would not be a great hazard, the JGA would have to send a maintenance vessel to tractor it away for disposal. "That could attract interest from the authorities at our next port of call." Usually, dodgy vessels like this didn't like to attract such interest. One of the main reasons she'd chosen to join its crew.

littlekreenToday at 1:44 PM

As Juant rounded the cargo hold a particular shape and fuzz drew his attention behind a grate. The spider reached back to one of the many objects stuck into his hide and chucked a sticky metal bolt at CHAOS as the transceiver gave a gore-muffled, "I SEE YOU, HERETECH!"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:46 PM

The CHAOS robot would go limp all of a sudden when the bolt would catch it and the little thing would become a dark blue goop substance and attach itself to one of the Mogwai it was carrying and run, leaving the robot behind.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:47 PM

All of this left Captain Jezzy cursing up a storm! They may as well just fly into a sun at this rate! She hit the comlink. "I'm altering course to an emergency station. If we can keep damage control up long enough, we might get there alive. "

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:51 PM

James would look over at her. " Well, at least nobody is dead," he replied, taking a sigh of relief as he would look over at her. " I really should have asked about that bot earlier."

littlekreenToday at 1:51 PM

There was no way to follow the goo where it had gone without compleely crushing the mogwai stuck to his back and he wasn't sure if they'd need the cargo. He continued forward to engineering and tuned his tranciever to the bridge with a few wet jabs of a finger, "The Heretech has turned to fluid and left the body behind. I am unable to follow. I am coming to the bridge."He emerged onto the bridge festooned and partly stabbed with whatever the creatures could get their hands on. If not glued to the armorplasm bleeding out than a fine drip of white blood from parts of his legs less well defended. Mogwai stuck to his back still partly under.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:52 PM

"James, you're fired." huffed Captain Jezebel Macbeth. If she could get away with tossing the guy out the airlock, she would've.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:53 PM

CHAOS who had made the right move would use the mogwai to take the bolt out of his back and would slid back into his body. " That always work" it said.

" I'm an unpaid intern, I can't be fired," James replied back to her. " That being said, I'm going to go and find a place away from this chaos."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:55 PM

This is not good! Ekadzati thought. The dangerous cargo spreading, the CHAOS creature able to turn itself into fluid and hide in small spaces... If this situation spread, the emergency station would surely call for assistance--and the nearest available combat force was aboard the MinOrtho cutter: Searcher teams, and armored special forces troops...who were looking for her.

littlekreenToday at 2:00 PM

Jaunt just lowered down to the ground, "I need someone to check if any of these are turning to coccoons on my back. A cauterizing blade should cut them free. We have a few hours until the rest wake up but I need food and time to cool down. There is more cargo than we started with and they are secure. All is not lost, Honored Matriarch."

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 2:00 PM

AND SO THE APPLEJACK SHIFTED COURSE. SLOWLY BECOMING FULL OF MORE AND MORE MOGWAI AND GREMLINS. THE CRITTERS GETTING INTO EVERY PART OF THE SHIP THEY COULD. By the time the ship made it to the emergency station and set into a quaranteen, it was quite nearly at capacity and about to blow up right there in space. Luckily, the emegergency station was equipted to handle these kinds of strange alien problems. The mogwai situation was gotten under control. Space Bounty Express would be billed HEAVILY for the cleanup services and repairs. The symbiot named CHAOS? Slipped through the cracks. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE NEXT CREW OF SPACE BOUNTY EXPRESS? FIND OUT NEXT TIME!
  • Thank You
Reactions: Diana
This charp is now scheduled for every Tuesday at Noon central, starting April 9th! 8D
  • Love
Reactions: Zarko Straadi
Name: Emry
Age: 13
Gender: Female
Personality: Emry hides behind a fierce, stoic exterior. Beneath that lies a cynicism far beyond her years. Beneath that: an impulsive, mischievous girl whose love language is pranks and sarcastic teasing. Presented with an opportunity for combat, her attitude is 'Lemme at 'em!' She's a risk-taker, a trouble-maker, a scoundrel, and a scrappy fighter.

Emry was born into a mercenary clan known as the Soaring Dragons. She was raised in an environment of strict discipline in which aptitude-testing and military training began in earliest childhood.

Though she was good in hand-to-hand combat, her best talents were starfighter combat and mechanics. At the age of 12, she reached the rank of Squire, which allowed her to follow her Knight into battle and provide assistance.

She entered her first battles fighting something called the Opame Rinzen Order, some crazy cult the Concordium wanted gone. Their fighter pilots were scary good, and they demonstrated astounding abilities in ground combat. However, their fighters and other defenses were of the sort most civilian groups outside of the Core Worlds might have, for dealing with pirates and starwaymen. They were no match for the massed combined-arms forces and heavy weaponry of the Soaring Dragons. During a ground assault on an Opame Rinzen monastery, she was given an order to kill a creche of children the monks had been protecting, juvenile members of their Order.

"But they're just children! They're no threat to anybody!" Emry protested.

"It's in our Contract," her Knight replied. "The Concordium wants them gone. Every one of them. You've seen how Unnatural they are! These may look like children, but they're tainted. You don't have to like a Contract, but you do have to carry it out. Fulfilling a Contract to the letter is our highest law. Now carry out your orders!"

Her Knight was watching her closely, reading her expressions. Clearly, he had chosen this mission to test her. She had been raised to Follow Orders, and she had no doubt that the Opame Rinzen children would die no matter what she did. She obeyed her Knight's command, but knew that she would never forgive herself, nor could she continue to serve with the Soaring Dragons.

1712121784575.pngEmry took her earliest opportunity to steal a fightercraft and escape. She headed out away from the Core Worlds, looking for fighter-escort gigs with anyone who wouldn't expect things like I.D., proof of ship-ownership or membership in a mercenary guild. Low-rent, dodgy missions that big operations like the Soaring Dragons wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

During one of these missions, she happened upon an Opame Rinzen "Floating Monastery." After completing her job, she went back and offered to fly for them in exchange for only basic necessities, and spare parts she might need for repairing her stolen fighter, the Amethyst Phoenix.

"Why would you do this?" the monk she was applying with said. "It is not customary for mercenary pilots to come so cheap."

"I owe you guys," she replied. "Don't ask me why or how much. I just owe you. A lot." The monk accepted her, and she began to fly in service of the people she once hunted. As Emry started spending more time with the monks, especially the younger Apprentices her own age, she started taking interest in their fighting styles. She was welcomed to join their martial arts classes and jumped at the opportunity.

Thanks to her prior training and experience, she did well enough to earn initiation into the Order as an Apprentice and receive their mystic tattoos and a student's Wu-Li Staff. Though she excelled at combat and channeling Wu-Li to alter her mass, their sitting meditations, Runic meditations, and attunement to Memory Stones proved to be quite a struggle.

Emry was starting to find a new home and family among the Opame Renzin, when she returned from a shuttle escort mission to find a task force of Soaring Dragon cruisers and their massive fighter and gunship complement finishing off the Diamond Sky Floating Monastery. She was just about to join battle, futile as it would be, when her Master gave her the order to flee.


"Go. It is not right that you should die so young. I will cover your escape."


"But nothing. Go. This instant."

Once again, Emry found herself faced with an order she did not want to obey. How did they even find us? Could they have...tracked me?! she thought. Reluctantly, she made her escape. Alone once again, Emry started taking shifty, one-time gigs. She decided that she could not serve the 'bad guys' because they were evil, nor the 'good guys,' because then she would have to see them get squashed. Instead, she would fly escort for ships she didn't have to get too attached to.

Powers and Abilities:

Wu-Li Combat:

Emry is skilled with the Wu-Li staff and 'Wu-Li Dancing,' techniques using the ability to alter mass and inertia. She has combined this training with her Soaring Dragon hand-to-hand and melee weapon techniques to produce an aggressive, pugilistic style.

Runic Meditations:

She is behind other Opame Rinzen students of her age in the use of Runic Meditations; the stillness, concentration, and focus required are very difficult for her. She has only managed to master Lesser Persuasion and gain a useful degree of competence with Monk's Invisible Hand.

Lesser Persuasion enables her to 'bend' the responses or reactions of another being to her, provided that being is not either especially strong-willed or actively resisting the ability.

Monk's Invisible Hand is a basic deflection Rune that allows a monk to shunt aside projectiles and blaster bolts with punches, kicks, blocks, and Staff swings that deflect them with invisible Wu-Li power. Because such movements are necessary to gather and direct the energies, the number of shots she can deflect is limited.

Memory Stones:

Emry has not yet mastered the art of using Memory Stones, and she does not own any.

Starfighter Combat:

She has quite a knack for starfighter combat. Her main weakness in this regard is a 'Damn the torpedoes!' recklessness and disregard for personal safety that tend to get her in trouble.

Starfighter Maintenance:

Emry is quite good at taking care of her fighter and souping it up, within the fairly narrow limits of her finances.
Theme Music:

Last edited:
  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 10:33 AM

    WE RETURN TO ANOTHER ADVENTURE OF SPACE BOUNTY EXPRESS! Our crew of the APPLEJACK, currently being overseen by Captain Jezebel MacBeth are already on route to their next delivery. A big crate in the cargo hold with stamps on every side stating do not open. Delivery of this cargo is going to give them so much money that the company will actually be able to upgrade and repair a few of their crappier ships. It is vital to succeed in this mission!

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 10:41 AM

    Slinking out in their goo form, the space symbiote known as Chaos would slink over to the crate and slide into the crate, technically not breaking any rules as they peaked at the new cargo inside.

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 10:54 AM

    The crate was carefully holding a large suitcase sized bio-holding box. The hibernation controls were running and the biomarkers showed oxygen levels and heart rate along with other measurements.

  • Meanwhile far from the cargo hold Wes Montoya had not left the engineering area since boarding. In fact he had a bedroll in the corner because he literally had not left. It wasn't that he was afraid of the captain. That would be ridiculous. In fact the real reason was even more ridiculous but he was just going to ignore that. He was getting paid well to keep this ship running and that's all that mattered. Well, decently well… why didn't he take Mister Carven's offer to assist in running his luxury yacht?

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:16 AM

    Jezebel was not meant to be a captain. A pencil pusher, an organizer... really she was best suited at the warehouses making sure inventory was done properly. But Space Bounty Express tended to lose employees at an unsustainable rate, so here she was... standing in with a ramshackle crew and a prayer. At least this time they'd made it out of the docks and out into space! Surely nothing would go wrong today!

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 11:36 AM

    **Ekadzati sat in the co-pilot's seat checking over the ship's systems and course. At least this time the cargo wasn't constantly increasing its mass.

littlekreenToday at 11:36 AM

Jaunt, a Gardener and carcinized space spider, had loaded the cargo as needed, being the resident armored forklift, and busied with tethering the crates down. Silent while they worked as far as audio went some portions of the signal space just whistled noisily as he doodled in Quietus their form of song.

  • SpiritToday at 11:37 AM

    "Okay, okay,'' Malika panted. "Made it through take-off.''
  • "At times like these, I am glad I actually do not have a body when I see you like this.''
  • "Hey, I'm new at this!'' They protested with a frown on their face.
  • "Do you think it's safe to get up yet?''
  • "Yes,'' Alex said, "we seem to be stable for now. I recommend finding whoever is in charge here, or someone that can take you to them to receive further instructions, orders, or however it works around here.''
  • Malika gave a nod before pushing themself up, starting to walk around. "Hello? Anyone here that can help me? I, um... have no idea what to do!''

littlekreenToday at 11:42 AM

A large multi-legged form circled about the wall and up the cieling to bend a huge spidery head toward them. A four fingered hand emerged from beneath the cephalothorax and flicked a device strapped to one side with a particularly practiced elegance alien to the face, "Honored Matriarch Jezebel should be at the bridge, false matriarch."

SpiritToday at 11:45 AM

Malika froze when the form appeared. They'd never really left... anywhere. Malika didn't see much humans, let alone any other beings in the vast universe. "Um...'' "Thank you,'' Alex interjected. "Would you perhaps be able to show us exactly where the bridge is? Or, if you have any maps, you may upload them to me, and I can show Malika the way. If you are busy.'' They proposed.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:47 AM

    CHAOS tilted its head at the suitcase and slinked inside of it as well to see what was in it.

  • littlekreenToday at 11:51 AM

    The hands gesticulated and pointed to the right direction from hold to front as Jaunt's mouthparts absently cleaned themselves, "You'll need to go that way, false matriarch, I can approximate a map if you understand white Quietus."A finger tapped the transceiver, "We do not have vocal flaps and use Eigengrau."

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:52 AM

    The small child would wake up from its " nap" of the symbiote jacking its body. " Where am I? I want my mommy."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 11:54 AM

    CHAOS has found a woman in a box

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 11:56 AM

    Emry picked up an un-escorted transport on her scope and accelerated to match velocity. "Amethyst Phoenix to..." the ship's transponder signal finally came through. "...Applejack, please come in." That's a funny name for a ship, she thought.

  • SpiritToday at 11:56 AM

    Malika quietly shook their head. "Sorry. Only English, I'm afraid.'' They told them, finally finding their voice back. Pink waves rolled over the screen of the watch Malika was wearing. "Right. We will attempt to find it ourself. Thank you for your aid." They let them know.
  • "Come on, Malika. That way."Straight to business with that one... Malika nodded before continuing to what was... hopefully where there was someone who could help them. "False matriach?'' They whispered to themself. And then they shouted out once more. "Hello? Anyone that can help me? Erm, someone called 'Honored Matriarch Jezebel'? ... Is this the bridge?"

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:58 AM

    Chaos would poke the lady with its goopy hand

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 12:00 PM

    Hearing the young person calling out, Ekadzati looked to Jezebel. "Would you like me to answer the comm, or assist the crewperson?" she asked.

  • littlekreenToday at 12:01 PM

    After the last debacle when he was covered in self-replicating ichor Jaunt had double checked the anchors for the cargo to make sure they didn't slide around this time. He followed along the ceiling with a faint skitter of legs in escorting the newcomer to the bridge. The floor tended to be covered in Obstacles so he commonly peeked around the ceilings of doors much at times to the alarm of passengers.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:02 PM

    Good lord, getting hailed out in space when you had precious cargo was never a good thing and Jezzy grimaced. "...answer the com and figure out what they want. I'mma deal wit-" she gestered her head towards the teen before heading out to greet the girl. "You really don't have to call me all those fancy things, that's just something Jaunty does. I'm Captain Jez and you can leave it at that! What do you need?"

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 12:02 PM

    The woman is in a hibernated state. It was almost like she was sleeping. The oddest thing beyond a woman in a box was her hands and feet were bound.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:03 PM

    Chaos titled its "head" or as much of a head that a goo could had and played with the bounds.

  • SpiritToday at 12:07 PM

    "Oh,'' Malika said, having no idea who 'Jaunty' was. "Um...''
  • "Hello,'' Alex took over. "I am Alex, an artificial intelligence- will you hold me at eye level please?'' They interrupted themself. Malika quietly obliged, holding up their wrist on a pink screen with fluctuating shades of lighter and darker pink. "I am Alex, an artificial intelligence created by Malika. Both of our pronouns are 'they/them/she'. Malika prefers not to be called any binary language.''
  • Malika cleared her throat, taking over again. "So, this is my first time here, and I'm really not sure what I'm supposed to do." They admitted. "We were hoping someone in charge might have instructions or orders."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 12:10 PM

    The bonds were easily slipped off the hibernating woman, the skin underneath slightly reddish from them. There were a few other minor cuts and scratches on the arms and face as well.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:10 PM

"We're happy to have some extra staff, Malika and Alex." Jezebel replied easily, looking them over carefully. Young, and that wasn't ideal for how much trouble these shipping contracts tended to be, but Jez wasn't the BIG BOSS and the Big Boss didn't much seem to curate who was hired."The crew manifest says you have engineering experience, well... we have a few on board so you'll do a little bit of fixing here and there, but also some other jobs too as we're understaffed. This is going to be a longer delivery so there's a chore chart up in the galley."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:11 PM

The symbiote would rub its goo to heal the nice unconcious lady's woman. " Lady get better," Chaos said.

  • littlekreenToday at 12:11 PM

    Jaunt's transceiver sounded from above, "I am Jaunt Bvetin. A Gardener high soldier will not do so. It is false matriarch unless the Matriarchy deems them an apostate. I serve the honored matriarch's needs."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:13 PM

Ekadzati nodded, and tabbed the comm. "Applejack to Amethyst Phoenix, what may we do for you?"
"Well, first let's talk about what I can do for you." The voice on the other side sounded young, brimming with plucky confidence. "You're flying all alone through the Black with no fighter escort, and since there aren't any targeting radars painting me right now, probably no gunnery either.
"I have a fighter, and a rather nice one if I do say so myself," Emry said, pulling her fighter into a snap roll. "But I don't have a ship to escort. Sooo, I'm thinking maybe we can do some business."
"You wish for us to hire you as a fighter escort?" Ekadzati asked.
"Got it in one!" the voice said. "I'm Emry, she/her. If you need me to do some kind of flying demonstration, just let me know the specifics."
"Ah. One moment please, I need to speak to my Captain," Ekadzati said, then muted the mic. "Captain? The transmission is from a fighter pilot who says she wishes to hire on as a fighter escort for our ship."

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:17 PM

    The look Jezebel cast over her shoulder towards Ekadzati spoke volumes without her even needing to say a word. Very plainly saying 'Whose gonna pay for that?!' with a slicing motion of her hand near her neck signaling, No Can Do.

  • SpiritToday at 12:18 PM

    Malika nodded. "I like to tinker,'' they simply said.
  • "Tinker,'' Alex confirmed. "And create sentient AI's. I hardly call that tinker. It should say digital stuff as well. Malika seems to have a particular knack for interacting with digital tech. Such as bots or AI."
  • Clearing their throat, Malika roughly shoved a sleeve over the watch. "Anywho,"The idea of having tasks to do was already tickling Malika's brain in just the right places. Tasks. Endless tasks. "I'll just try to find the galley and get to work them. If you need me-''
  • "Yes!'' Alex said. "That is where I will come in. Do you have any maps of the ships that we could use, so this one here doesn't get lost? I can also handle comms for Malika to be summoned.''
  • "In other words, do we need to set anyting up or link it?'' Malika asked. "...with Alex.'' They then meekly added.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:22 PM

    Jezebel didn't trust AI as far as she could spit, but was patient enough with this back and forth between the teen and their tech companion. "You can connect to any of the ship's consoles to download what you need. Since you'll be occasionally doing repairs it's a good thing for you to do anyway. Our biggest priority is making sure we stay in the stars and don't explode again... and well, that our cargo stays safe and untampered with. If we lose our cargo, we don't get paid."

  • littlekreenToday at 12:22 PM

    Jaunt squeezed in the door and circled the wall as he went to one of the consoles. He was pretty sure if they had turrets on the ship they'd only be good for damaging the ship by exploding. Still, he checked on the status of other options. His voice called out from the terminal, "I am on the 1600 kilohertz band if you need me, delegate Alex, but I cannot broadcast quietus very far."

SpiritToday at 12:27 PM

Malika nodded, already excited to take on the job at hand and- "Eh...explode? ... again?" They asked, gulping. "Erm... okay... sure, yeah, I'll try to make sure we don't explode." They promised.
"Thank you,'' Alex told the captain, ''for the assistance. We look forward working with you, Captain.'' They chirped. Malika only gave a nod and rushed off to find this chore chart.
"Summoned?'' She asked Alex. "I'm not a ghost, you know.''
"Thank you!'' Malika called out to the disembodied voice. "Just download the map or something,'' they grumbled to their AI. Which they did, and soon they'd found the galley. And lo and behold... chore chart! They set their watch to what the voice had said, first of all. "I never really got your name,'' they told whoever was on the other side, ''but thanks for the assist. Do you need anything? Over.'' Malika asked as they looked at the chore chart.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 12:27 PM

    Ekadzati nodded, then opened the mic. "I am sorry, my Captain says we do not have funds available for hiring a fighter escort."
  • "You didn't even ask me how much I charge," Emry replied. "Look, I'm not with any of the big merc corps, and I offer pretty steep discounts for not asking questions or wanting a whole bunch of paperwork and tracking metadata. Besides, it can get pretty costly not to have fighter escort if any pirates or ship-rustlers show up."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:28 PM

Jane would look up from her book as Jezbel and Malika talked" So, would now be a good time to say that I think I saw goo go into the crate?"
  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:30 PM

    Now that she was done with Malika, Jezebel crossed back to the flight command and stood just behind Ekadzati. "Listen, stranger, I'm not authorized to hire freelancers. If you want to tag along to prove you can do the job, then that might convince my employer to hire you full time. Otherwise I don't have any cash to pay you. I've got room and board at best."

  • "What do you mean goo went into the crate?" Jezebel asked the lurking reader, completely deadpan. Jane was basically useless at this point!

  • littlekreenToday at 12:35 PM

    Jaunt flicked off the transceiver as he received the transmission and replied to Alex over the band in a breathless formality to his voice, "I am Jaunt Bvetin, of Prime Matriarch Bvetin. Tiller and high soldier." the large head turned as he heard Jezebel say that particular phrase, "And I mostly may need an airlock soon to eject some problematic goo."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:38 PM

Emry took a moment to think about what she was hearing. 'Goo went into the crate?' Her stomach growled, making its opinion known. "...Alright, I don't mind proving myself," she said. "Permission to dock?"Ekadzati started checking the ship's systems. It looked like at least one of the Applejack's two fighter-docs was in working conditions. At least, the screen showed no warnings... "Captain?" she said, deferring to Jezebel.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:39 PM

    Jane looked up from her book. " Some sort of goo like substance went into the crate. It looked kind of like the logs of the escaped thing from last time, but Adventures of Glutrrrrp just got good.•

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:40 PM

    "Permission granted," grumbled Jezebel. As it seemed they might need a mercenary protector after all... The Captain pulled a gun from her belt and charged it up. "I'm going down to cargo to check on it and to greet our new guest. If it's that damn weird critter again, we're liable to all die before we even make it to our first stop."

SpiritToday at 12:41 PM

Malika nodded, but then realised it was a comms. "Alright, Alex should be done downloading the ship's stuff soon, depending on how high tech the consoles are-''
"Because I am very high tech,'' Alex bragged. "-and I'll be in the airlock shortly.'' They decided. Then, they looked at the chore chart.
"Can you scan this?''
"I'm downloading!''
"I know you can scan this. Just pause.''
"People,'' Alex complained. But soon, the pink light scanned over the chart.
"Thank you!'' And off Malika went. Problematic goo? What did that even mean? Well, she was about to find out.
"Enroute to the airlock,'' Malika spoke into the watch. "Or, what I hope is the airlock. Oh, I never gave you MY name. I'm Malika, the AI is Alex. We both use they/them/she pronouns and I don't use any binary language.""Download complete. TURN!'' Malika nearly slipped, but caught themself against a wall and sprinted further. "Enroute!'' They confirmed.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:41 PM

    CHAOS would looked at the lady. " You dead?" the goo asked.

littlekreenToday at 12:45 PM

Jaunt stopped examining the ship layout for something he could shoot at another ship to fall in line with the captain as instinct positively dragged him there when the captain charged a pistol. There were two clacks from under his cephalothorax as safeties turned off in quietus. He replied to Alex over the radio, "Ah, Understood delegate Alex. The orthodoxy prohibits anything but false matriarch. Matrem Vult. There appears to be a problem from a previous trip we may need to eject from the ship before it's an issue."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:45 PM

"Ah...did you get that?" Ekadzati said.
"Got it," Emry replied. "You must be exciting people to work with."
"I suppose we must. Applejack out," Ekadzati said, then turned the comm off. "Would you like me to come with you?" Ekadzati asked Jezebel. "If the person is a security threat, I may be able to assist." She figured she could probably use her Wu-Li abilities subtly enough, should it come to it.

SpiritToday at 12:49 PM

"I have no idea what that means!'' Malika excitedly answered in the radio, tone not at all matching the situation which caused Alex to sigh. "We are almost at the airlock.'' They let Jaunt know.
"We hope to meet you there. WILL YOU STOP RACING YOU'RE GOING TO-'' And then Malika crashed into some boxes.
"Sorry!'' They shouted to no one in particular.
"...that. Crash. You're going to crash.'' When the directions were done, it left a very out of breath Malika leaning on their knees to catch their breath.
"Ok, ok,'' they said, raising a shaky wrist. "We're here. ... Wait, what do I do?"
"If I had a face and a hand, I'd be facepalming now, just for the record.''

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:52 PM

    "We might need all hands if it's that damn creature again..." confessed Jezebel with that world weary sigh. she could've been nice and safe back at the warehouse, typing away on computer screens and filing paperwork. Yet here she was! Having to be responsible for a whole ship full of misfits and very expensive cargo! She hated this job so much. With a vague idea in mine, she hit up coms herself. "Hey new kid and bot, do you know anything about making containment fields?"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:53 PM

The goo bored of the lady already would hit the sides of the box to break itself out and go exploring

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 12:57 PM

The good had done a good job healing the lady of her superficially wounds. It's presents also did weird things to the hibernation system. Enough that it went into reboot mode. Rebooting causing the case to open.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:58 PM

The goo would be happy that the lady was better as it continued its breaking out

littlekreenToday at 12:58 PM

Jaunt missed his minigun but it was less conducive to maintaining an oxygenated atmosphere than the hollow point pistols. His fangs absently fiddled back and forth out of reflex of the urge to bite something picked up from the honored matriarch. They were partly psionic creatures and the longer he spent the more a physical limb he started to become. He called over comms to Alex, "Delegate alex, please ensure the airlock will proplerly cycle and not depressurize the ship. The door has been making whining noises on RF lately."

SpiritToday at 1:00 PM

"I am NOT a bot, I am an aritificial intelligence,'' Alex protested.
"Uhhh....'' came Malika's response with a few mutters, mumbles and whispers. "That depends. Is it magnetic? Or... Wait, what tools do I ha- what the fu-''
"We have found and located the 'goo'.'' Alex spoke in the comms. "And the ejection!'' Malika triumphantly said, taking position near it. "Um, the case just opened! I think it's rebooting!'' Malika concluded.
"Contaiment field copied.'' Alex said. "Malika, do you still have those electric magnet nodes?''
"Toss them in a circle around the goo. Hopefully they will react and respond.''
They gasped. "Right! I TOLD you those would come in handy!'' "Yes, less bragging, more aiming.'' Malika dug the first node out and tossed it, aiming for next to the goo.
"Copied, Jaunt. Attempting to take control of the airlock as Malika creates the field.''
  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:01 PM

    The goo noticed that it was being thrown unfun things and slide itself into the lady, hiding in her clothes.

SpiritToday at 1:05 PM

"Ah, shoot,'' Malika said. "Goo is back in the cargo, helping Alex with the airlock! Testing the door... carefully...'' PSTH! "DISENGAGING!!! Yup, that's broken.''
"Jaunt, if Malika is fixing the door, she will not be able to create the containment field. Goo is avoiding being near the nodes and has retreated. Further orders from you or the captain would be appreciated. Over.''
"If I don't fix this door, we risk the entire ship depressurizing!'' They added.
"Lovely,'' Alex dryly remarked.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:05 PM

"Please tell me that crate isn't open," Jezebel asked overcoms, knowing, just knowing with her luck that it was already too late! "We cannot let anything damage our cargo!"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:06 PM

The goo had definitely broke the crate to get out originally.

SpiritToday at 1:07 PM

"Yes, like I said, the crate is open and the goo came out. I attempted to create a force field around it, but it just went back inside,'' Malika confirmed. "I'm attempting to fix the door so it won't open and suck the air out like a balloon. If someone could come grab these nodes, then I'd HIGHLY appreciate it!! Over."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:07 PM

    Amelia was CONFUSED. She had just woken up inside a suitcase? And was inside a shipping crate? This couldn't be right. She moved her arm… odd.. and knocked on the crate. "Hello?"

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:08 PM

    " Lady is awake. CHAOS was worried that she was dead."

SpiritToday at 1:08 PM

Malika shrieked. "Captain... a voice just came from the crate... What the hell are we transporting?'' They asked. They glanced at the crate. "Is that a person? I can't leave position!'' As they'd been talking, Malika had tried to use whatever tools they had to tinker on the door. "This door cannot open, what is going on?!''

littlekreenToday at 1:08 PM

Jaunt turned to the captain as its formal voice seemed to waver with excitement on the idea of killing in the name of, "Rules of engagement, Honored Matriarch?"

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:09 PM

The voice came from inside the crate? She turned around quickly but there wasn't anyone else in there, though the crate WAS broken. "I… no I am not dead… yet…"

SpiritToday at 1:11 PM

"Captain?'' Malika asked again, wavering voice. ...What were they transporting? What was going on, and what did she sign up for? "Fuck it,'' they whispered. "Alex?''
"On it.'' Alex cleared their throat. "Whoever is speaking, you are on Applejack, a cargo ship enroute, there is currently some... troubles. But nothing to explicitly worried about; Malika is on the case. Could you please identify yourself?''

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:13 PM

" I am on you, don't worry about it. I am nice, I make you better."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:14 PM

    Wes had been listening to the com while tinkering in Engineering. It was safer that way, but hearing their cargo was a person made him mutter a string of curses. "We're not getting paid now!"

  • SpiritToday at 1:15 PM

    Malika spoke into comms again. "Is there anyone on comms that can bring me some, any, tools? This airlock is NOT cooperating and I don't like it!'' They complained. "Over.'' Alex cleared their throat again.
  • "Whoever is out there, please show yourself and identify yourself. There is nothing to worry about, Malika is currently attempting to fix the airlock. It is okay, we will not hurt you."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:17 PM

    Oookay she was on a ship. She was about to answer the crewmate outside but then the voice spoke again. "… nice? Better?" She whispered as she looked at her hands and arms then nodded. She then spoke louder. "I'm Amelia. Please don't shoot."

littlekreenToday at 1:17 PM

Jaunt wasn't going to leave the captain's side though wherever she was the sharp bits on his blade arms were moving up and down in a rhymic sawtooth motion of war excitement. They were killing machines and he was one particularly well oiled.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:18 PM

The goo was pleased with itself. " I like helping people. "

SpiritToday at 1:18 PM

"We're not armed!'' Malika shouted over their shoulder. "...But I don't suppose you have any tools, do you?'' Their voice took a desperate turn again when there was another very sharp hiss. "Anyone?! Please! Tools, I need tools!''
"As Malika said,'' Alex had a much calmer tone, ''they are not armed, and I do not have a body to hurt you, if that helps. Malika cannot currently come and help you because they are busy making repairs.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:19 PM

Emry swooped her fighter around the Applejack and down, to the pair of fighter-docks on the ventral surface. One of them was showing green, so she nudged over to it and eased up to connect to the ship. These things were standardized across most vessels in Concordium space, so the Applejack was able to make a seal over the cockpit of the Amethyst Phoenix and fasten docking clamps to the fighter. "Syncing with your sensor systems now," she said once the electronic connections were made. Her fighter's sensors--at least with regard to things like attacking ships and space debris--were almost certainly better than what this old crate had, and now their output would show up on the transport's bridge screens.

Once the seal was secure, a door opened in the floor of a small room at the bottom of the ship, and the cockpit of the Amethyst Phoenix rose up partially into the opening and locked into place. With a check to make sure the atmosphere aboard was breathable, Emry popped the canopy and climbed aboard the ship.

"Huh..." The room was dark. Emry used a wrist-light to find her way to a control panel and turned the lights on. The room was just fore of the cargo hold, a small chamber with the fighter-docks and a pilot's billet for each. It looked like it hadn't been used in ages. She opened the nearest door, and stepped out into the cargo bay, where there seemed to be quite a lot of commotion going on. "Huh..." she said again.

  • SpiritToday at 1:20 PM

    "Someone is connecting with the ship,'' Alex warned over comms.
  • "Well, I hope they have tools!'' Malika answered. And then, to the person entering, ''Who're you? Wait, nevermind. Do you have tools?'' "Yes, I assume you docked here, correct?'' Alex asked them. "On your ship, is there maybe a tool box or anything that Malika could use to repair the airlock? Quite urgent, if I do say so myself."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:21 PM

    Wes took his bag and finally left Engineering. If no one else was goi to do repairs he would. As long as the Captain stayed away it was all good. "Oh hello people. Where's the problem."

littlekreenToday at 1:22 PM

Jaunt contained himself as the ship docked and had to qualify his destructive mandate with a slower roll of the moving sawteeth, "I only have gun maintenance tools."

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:23 PM

Amelia figured that was a good enough assurance as she was going to get as she carefully got out of the crate. Her bare feet feeling the cold metal floor. She looked around in slight confusion. "How am I here?"

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:23 PM

Jezebel would've kicked open the door to the cargo hold if they worked that way. But for the moment she stopped in with gun ready. "What do you MEAN there's a person inside the crate?!" she shouted. Because Jezebel absolutely WAS NOT about to be shipping PEOPLE... unless, well... it was a consensual shipping! "What in hells is happening in here!"

  • SpiritToday at 1:24 PM

    "Yes!!'' Malika shouted. "Here, over by the airlock! Please tell me there's tools in that bag!!'' She shouted. "I would wave, but I can't lift my arms or I'm scared I'll kill everyone on board!''
  • "Hello,'' Alex greeted, again much calmer. "I am Alex, this is Malika, and they are currently attempting to stop the airlock from opening. The door is broken,'' they informed, still calm as could be. "Please-help-I-can't-keep-it-closed-for-much-longer,'' Malika squeaked. "And yes, THERE IS A PERSON INSIDE THE CRATE!!! PLEASE HELP ME!!''

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:24 PM

    " Lady was unconcious when CHAOS arrived, CHAOS does not think it was consensual."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:26 PM

    Wes was NOT going to deal with the whole girl in a box thing. No way, no how, but a broken bay door? That was child's play. "Okay okay…" He moved over grabbing a few tools and NOT paying attention to anyone else.

  • littlekreenToday at 1:26 PM

    Jaunt's voice had a tinge of an accent as his amped up mind contained the wrath like a pistol safety as she asked what's to happen in there as doctrine considered it as if she had powers over raw causality, "If it pleases the Honored Matriarch, Destruction of your enemies and purifying their bodies with fire would be preferable."

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:27 PM

    Carefully Amelia moved across the cargo bay. "I shouldn't be here…"

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:28 PM

    The goo continued to stay tucked away on Amelia's person.

SpiritToday at 1:28 PM

Malika gave a good twist on the singular wrench again. "How are you so calm?! Both of you!'' They asked. "The airlock door is about to open, and I was actually supposed to be down here to eject some goo, and now there's a person in the cargo and-'' "Malika! Breathe,'' Alex said. "Can't,'' they answered, out of breath with tears in their eyes. "Can't.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:28 PM

"Tools?" Emry echoed. "Uh...yes, but they're in my fighter's hold and--" A lady showed up with gun drawn, and everybody was talking about airlocks and women in crates and there was a GIANT SCARY SPIDER talking about destroying enemies with fire. "Soooo...are we about to explode already?" she said.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:28 PM

Ugh... Wes was there. Jezebel wasn't about to touch that problem today, not when there were bigger problems to deal with. "Malika, you settle down and just do whatever Mister Montoya asks you to do. Jaunt, focus on our stowaway. for our Guest in a Box, I am Captain Jezebel MacBeth. Why on earth were you in that crate? I'm guessing you didn't put yourself there?" The captain absolutely had her gun up aimed and ready, she wasn't playing.

SpiritToday at 1:30 PM

"Not as long as I can keep this door closed,'' Malika promised. But they gave a nod, although they had no idea who Mr. Montoya was. They assumed it was the new person showing up, though. "Like I said, I promise I will do my utmost best-'' They planted a foot on the nearest hold and pulled the wrench harder on the broken control of the door, ''-NOT to let us blow up.''

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:30 PM

    "Because it's not going to cause our deaths today…" Wes started whistling as he started pulling wires out of a panel. "We need the manual handle jiggled…"

  • "You said you were not armed!" Amilia accused as she stopped and put her hands up.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:32 PM

Jezebel had not said she wanted Ekadzati to accompany her, so she stayed in the co-pilot's chair. Which was probably better than leaving the cockpit unattended on autopilot. A red light started flashing over one of the controls. The airlock?! she thought. "Ekadzati to Cargo Bay, is everything alright down there?" she said over the intercom.

littlekreenToday at 1:33 PM

Jaunt looked at Emry as the fangs slipped back into their slots and the sawtooth pattern clacked shut with the firing of an order, "The false matriarch Malika requires tools." Without the faintest of concern for being as terrifying a shape as he was Jaunt was still respectful of a false matriach even if they were not expected. The large spider reared up slightly taller to eye level and turned his cephalothorax slightly, "You appear to have a contaminant hidden on your person, false matriarch. May we please purge it with fire?"

SpiritToday at 1:33 PM

Malika let out a mix between a groan and a yell. "It can cause our deaths if I let go! That's literally all it'll take, and then everyone'll be dead and I don't know how much longer I can keep holding on,'' they warned. Well, at least one problem was solved. Malika couldn't hold the door's control for it to keep shut and fix it, now someone was fixing it. The captain was taking care of the cargo.

Then- "Yes,'' Alex said, hurriedly. "We are not armed. We did not know the captain would arrive. With a gun,'' they accused. "I promise, we are speaking the truth. Look at Malika, does she look in any position to hurt anyone right now?''
"Besides myself?" They spoke through clenched teeth. "Maybe it'd help if everyone had a truce?'' They meekly suggested. "Because we are threatened to be sucked out of here, I don't see the need to create any more tension? Please? Pretty please?''

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:34 PM

"You have a little problem stowing away on you, Miss. I just need you to stay calm and tell me how you ended up in that crate. This gun is just to make sure we all stay safe here," explained Jezebel. With more calm than she actually felt, considering that Chaos Goo nearly got them all killed opening up cargo last time! "Not with fire Jaunty, for christ's sake!"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:35 PM

" Chaos didn't know that the creatures were so dangerous, Chaos was just having fun…. Though creature was tasty."

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:37 PM

Wes held the wire with his teeth, holding on to something inside and reached over to another panel. It was just out of reach so he repositioned himself and kicked the panel. He then kicked something inside that panel. There was a gear sound coming from the doors.

  • littlekreenToday at 1:37 PM

    Jaunt turned his head slightly, "I would remove it from their person, first, Honored Matriarch. burning false matriarchs is heretical."

SpiritToday at 1:37 PM

"Yes, please no fire!'' Malika confirmed. "How are we on the airlock?'' They asked, pulling their full weight on the wrench. And then it broke, leaving Malika to fall on the ground. "FUCK!!" They shouted. "MAGNET!'' Malika slapped it on the control as quickly as they could, causing it to short circuit. "Fuck!!" They repeated. Especially seeing as some of that electricity ended up in them, making them lurch backwards. But... the door seemed... stable for now? Their next step was looking over to see if the wires had been short circuited as well. Malika didn't think it was a good first impression to shock the person fixing the airlock.

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:39 PM

Amelia looked down where the voice was coming then at the woman with the gun. "How the hell should I know. I remember running and then blackness."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:40 PM

As far as Emry could tell, the situation with the airlock was the most urgent. She ran over to the girl who was asking for tools. "You need help holding this closed?"

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:42 PM

    Wes kicked the inside of the panel once more then repositioned himself. Taking the wires out of his mouth he shrugged at what was in his hand and started sticking them into new positions. Things started lighting up. "Good no smoke…"

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:42 PM

    Captain Jezebel counted to ten in her head, trying to temper her frustration and what was clearly a hot mess in every direction. Having to trust the crew would handle the busted airlock situation. "Are you a fugitive from the law? What were you running from?" she questioned sharply. Because the weren't in the business of hauling prisoners either! You needed permits for that kind of thing!

  • SpiritToday at 1:43 PM

    "No, I think I just about got it-'' Malika said, patting their hands. BZT.
  • "That magnet is not going to hold,'' Alex said. "I recommend going back to manual holding."
  • "...On the other hand. Yes, please.'' They said, relieved they wouldn't be on their own this time. "I've got two wrenches left. Here, you take this one, I'll take this one, and then we just... pull and hope for the best?'' Malika sounded more like they were asking, but they went to the manual control either way, putting their feet on the holds again and pulling their full weight backwards to keep the control there.

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:43 PM

    "What? No! I… I… I don't know who they were." Amelia put a hand to her head. "It.. no that doesn't make sense…"

  • Wes leaned back. Wires all back in place. He looked over at Malika. "You should be able to get it to close now, Wrench."

  • littlekreenToday at 1:46 PM

    Jaunt had recovered from the hyperactive state somewhat as his voice seemed to count in exact time with the captain, "8... 9... 10"As the stowaway wasn't something he could get at without molesting a matriarch he turned away to adress the more pressing issue of any of the matriarchs here being sucked into space. Two large blade arms reached over Malika's head and the tips wedged in the door brace, "I am at least as strong as the door. I think this is a priority for the moment."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:49 PM

"I got this," Emry said, pulling a thick scepter of dark purple-gray material out of one of her bell sleeves. She found a good spot for leverage, and pulled, tapping Wu-Li to increase her weight, and thus the force she could apply to holding the door closed.

On the Bridge, Ekadzati noticed something odd. "Captain, I am showing a moderate, but anomalous increase of mass in the cargo bay. Are you sure we got all of the Mogwai off the ship?"

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:50 PM

"Alright, if you can promise you're not gonna be a danger to ship and crew, Imma lower this gun and we can step off to the galley and have a little chat about how you might've ended up in that crate. But first..." Another heavy, world weary sigh.

"Chaos? Goo? Whatever you are, the same goes to you. You nearly got us killed last time, I need you to NOT harm this ship and it's crew or I swear to all the gods in this galaxy I am going to shoot you into a black hole. Got it?"

SpiritToday at 1:50 PM

Malika frowned at the guy, but didn't say anything. "Wrench?'' She mumbled to Alex, who at this point could be named 'social interpertation AI'.

"Their name is Malika,'' Alex told him. They didn't seem to mind though, carefully putting their feet on the ground and taking a deep breath before letting go. And letting out a deep breath.

"Thank you,'' they told everyone, sincerely. Now that the adrenaline was wearing off, this left Malika extremely shaky and they tried to catch their breath. Again.

"Malika, before you start to hyperventilate, please sit down.''
"Yes...'' Sitting down seemed good. They sank against the wall. Was the floor going in waves? Malika took deep, shaky and uneven breaths. "Yes.'' They mumbled. What a hell of a first shift... And it wasn't over yet. There was a person as cargo, goo and guns... They let out a whimper as they let their head sink onto their knees.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:50 PM

"We're... working on it, Ekadzati. You might wanna be sure some extra rooms are prepared for... guests." Another sigh.

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:52 PM

    Amelia finally crossed the distance to where everyone was. "Thank you very much. I still don't know what's going on but I am thankful I am here and not… well where WAS I going?"

littlekreenToday at 1:53 PM

Jaunt pulls at the airlock door trying to close it as Wes asked when the False Matriarch shut down. Though is gentle about it, as the mobile forklift avoids removing the door from the frame.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:55 PM

"Chaos is my given name. I do not hate goo. I will try to not hurt the crew or anyone on it…. As long as I can has my robot body back."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:56 PM

"So...we're safe then?" Emri asked. "Fair dinkum," she said, wrenching her "scepter" free and tucking it back up into her sleeve before anyone paid attention to it. "Soooo...I'm Emry, your new fighter escort. I'm better at keeping other people from blowing you up than at keeping you from blowing yourselves up, but I'll do my best."

"The mass anomaly has disappeared," Ekadzati said. "Perhaps when they have a chance, our mechanics could run a diagnostic on the internal sensors?" she said. "Yes, Captain. Once you have returned to the Bridge, I will see to the preparation of quarters."

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 1:56 PM

Wes watched the door finally close and then glanced at the Captain. Time to avoid talking to her for another day, pick up his tool bag and go back to the part of the ship she wouldn't come into.

littlekreenToday at 2:00 PM

Jaunt was partly satisfied, despite the commotion, that they'd found out the airlock was damaged before finding out half the ship just depressurized in transit. He was a deconstruction engineer, not a repairing engineer. With the airlock sorted, for now, he returned to the captain and the stowaway, "Trading in matriarchs tends to have Prime Matriarch Nemesis send kill squads. The Orthodoxy finds it Objectionable."

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:01 PM

!Ulp! Emry gulped. I'd better be more careful about using Wu-Li on here, she thought. This is gonna be the craziest gig I've ever had, I bet. But hey, there's someone here my own age! she thought. As long as she's not some kinda slave or anything, it'll be awesome!

She flinched a little at the GIANT SCARY SPIDER's mention of "Orthodoxy." I hope that's some kinda 'Orthodoxy' for the Giant Spider People, and he doesn't work for the Ministry of Orthodoxy! With that thought, she decided that steering clear of GIANT SCARY SPIDER would probably be a good idea, and not just because GIANT SCARY SPIDER.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 2:06 PM

And so somehow the crew of the Applejack narrowly avoided another near death experience at the hands of CHAOS. Perhaps even now gaining the strange creature as an ally. The new members of the had a very exciting first day on the job - Malika being an excited litte minx and Wes, well. His issue with the captain was complicated. Surely the freelance mercenary could help them in the future? However, the cargo being opened would prove to be a problem. Who is the lady from the box? FIND OUT ON THE NEXT SPACE BOUNTY EXPRESS!
Last edited:
  • Thank You
Reactions: Diana
A character sheet for Malika, with my own warning that it is VERY long. I went... a little overboard. Just a little. I figured I'd best just post it and try not to think about it any more, so ah... yeah, here you go! You DO NOT have to read it all, if at all!! I just hope someone likes it.

Name: Malika
Aliases: 'Wrench'
Age: 14
Height: 140CM/4'7.1 Feet / 55.12' inches
Gender: Nonbinary/Genderfluid
Pronouns: They/Them/She - Gender neutral language
Occupation: Crewmember (Role Determinant?)
Affiliation: Space Bounty Express (Applejack)
Loyalty: Captain Jezebel MacBeth
Favourite Saying(s): Some kind of variations of 'not a robot'.
Pet Peeve(s): Being mistaken for, called, and/or compared to a robot.

They have very pale skin to the extent that it may look synthetic. Their hair is very long, past the shoulders to roughly their waist. It is a mixed colour of orange and dark red, varying in shades between them. Sometimes by lock, other times multiple shades in one lock.

Their eyes are two colours. One is the metallic, dull colour, not reflective at all. The pupil looms in the middle, rather big. The other is a digital, light blue hue that seems to glow ever so slightly. In this state, they are very reflective and the pupils vary in size, being able to be just a big pin prick and a full stop again. As well as that, if you look closely you can see data rolling over the irises. Look very closely, and you might be able to make it out, but it is unreadable to pretty much everyone. Unlike the grey eyes, the blue ones are very reflective.

Despite her small stature, Malika is rather strong and they do have some muscle tone. However, looking at them, you would just think they are fit. Not that they have the strength that they actually do have.

Going for practical functionality, Malika always wears the stuff that they can do anything in without getting restricted or something getting in the way. The other most important thing is storage. And the last, but definitely not least, protection/coverage.
So, you will likely see Malika in their comfort clothing of cargo pants and shirts or hoodies. Mostly in dark and/or neutral tones, and she wears sturdy footwear. Usually a pair of sturdy, thick boots or hiking shoes.

Along with that, Malika also wears or carries a pair of brown, partly fingerless gloves of a very thick material. They often wear this when they are doing stuff like working or exploring and they protect good protection for their hands.
Storage is still important, so they can be seen carrying satchels, backpacks, fanny packs, belts and straps, anything that will allow them to carry ever more stuff!
Lastly, there is a mask/goggles they wear with them often. They wear it in their hair or around the neck. It is a typical, rusty brown, dystopian mask. The closest I have gotten is when I google 'steampunk', even though I have no idea what that is.

(Alright, Diana… I'm giving you the means to turn this against me and make them suffer >:) And hopefully heal with their new found family!
Anywho, I tried my best to adjust the backstory to the RP!)

Malika was created as a perfect hybrid between tech and bio. This was done by two partners. Doctor Harrison 'Harry' Melvin and Doctor Eric Wallace Grant. Dr. Grant, however, was the one that took Malika under his wing, treating them as a person rather than a subject. He was the one that worked with them the most.

Grant had an assistant, Adam S. Anderson. He also worked with Malika, and the three of them grew close. It was Grant that took Malika home each day, rather than letting them stay in the lab. It was Grant that baked her Mac and Cheese and cheesecake, and talked them through their first brainfreeze when they thought something was wrong with their mind. It was Grant that supported them through figuring out who they were, and how to be a person, and themself. It was Adam that supported all of that, cheering them on and hanging out with them.

And it was Harry Melvin who was against his 'superweapon' being coddled like that. It was Harry Melvin that said 'Grant, we have done it. We have created life. Think of the possibilities. A child, because who else is more innocent? Who is less suspicious than a kid? The abilities we gave her. Think of what we can do. Think of the power. And what are you doing with it? You're wasting it, coddling it and treating it like it's your own daughter!'
It was Grant that insisted Malika WAS a child.

He did not oblige with Melvin's demands, instead continuing to shield Malika from all the arguments. They grew even closer, which is when Harry said 'enough' and pulled the plug. He took care that Grant would not be in the picture anymore, thinking that he could 'fix' the damage his partner had done to Malika.
Instead, they turned against Harry and went through hell to get Grant back from the one that took him.

When they did get Grant back, Harry… Well, our dear Harry got rid of the leverage that did not work, and thus that was only getting in the way. He killed Eric.

Adam managed to tear Malika away, even in their grief stricken rage. He went through all Grant's files, only finding out now that Grant was dying. He would have died anyway. This did not make it any better, it just robbed them of all of the time Grant was spending with them to try and ensure Malika's safe future. With Adam.
Honouring his wishes, Adam pledged to keep Malika safe and figured the best way was to send them away. And so, he got them hired by a space cargo company.

What safer way from Harry to get away into literal space, always on the move? And cargo delivery is a pretty safe job, right…? Nothing could possibly go wrong! Ever!! Heygivehimabreakhetriedatleasthedidhisbestok

(Warning: A long and deep dive into Malika's character by moi, which hopefully includes many ways for Diana to make her torment more effective and for everyone to understand the character!)

Malika used to be a very excitable person with nothing but joy and wonder as they explored the world around them. They would ramble off ears of anyone who would listen to what was currently on their mind and with their energy level, it was not at all odd for them to quite literally bounce up and down. Yeah, they may not be the best at social situations, but they always mean well and work hard on whatever kept their interest at the time. They were especially interested in tinkering, AI and bots.

Nowadays, Malika is instead pretty concise and calm. They are also a very guarded, walls up person if they don't mean to be or don't want to be. Maybe they just don't dare getting attached to people, no matter how badly they want to.
What hasn't left is their capability to completely misread stuff, or to somehow come out with the first thing that is on their mind which can be a VERY sassy or witty comment. Then, not understanding why everyone is in awe or laughing, no matter how much Alex tries to explain. These are usually delivered in a very deadpan tone, and completely on accident.

In more ways than just one. Malika has learned that this world and people can be dangerous. They have had to fight. No matter how much they hate it. Malika always tries to start fights with an attempt to talk it out, so the fight can be immediately stopped. But if it is needed, they can and will fight, mostly playing defence.
But there is one thing that gets them mad. Furious, filled with rage. The badness. People who would take and not give and make others suffer. Those that go through with actions knowing fully well it is hurting people, especially when there is another way. People that cause suffering. The unfairness in the world, with all the bad people -people and otherwise- is really something they can get worked up about.

Still, as they have learn about the world and its dangers Malika has indeed grown guarded not just with their walls up. They always carry their weapon with them, or it's nearby and in reach. They refuse to sleep without it, often clutching it in their hand as they fall asleep. They are ready to jump into action at all times, and keep a keen eye out, letting their eyes wander everywhere and taking in their surroundings. Nowhere is truly safe; there is always something out to get them.

Malika mostly keeps to themself most of the time. They keep their distance from other people and instead takes their companionship from Alex, the AI that they built themself. It isn't like Malika has anything against other people, but social interaction with them can be very draining for them even if they do like it. So, they take lots of time to dive into their hobbies, tasks and duties as they are comfortably alone with Alex throughout the day.

For them, there is no such thing as a regular day. They have a very irregular, if not inconsistent, schedule regarding meals and sleep. But they do have their patterns. Usually, Malika is indeed by themself, taking care of whatever needs to be taken care of. Whether that be actual tasks and duties or their own little projects. A mix of those, perhaps. They do this until they have no other choice than to rest and/or eat, or when they actually feel calm/safe enough to do it on their own and actually kinda enjoy it. When they do sleep, it is often very heavy and can be very long before they wake up again.

Even though Malika can do a lot, they have no idea how. Malika is practical smart, NOT theory smart. Which means that do. They just… do. They can't explain it to you or to themself. It's clear the knowledge is there, Alex has run some tests and sometimes Malika spits out a string of numbers as if in a trance and then blinks, leaving Alex stunned as to how the math is there when she never seems to know or use it. Obviously, the knowledge is somewhere.
But Malika will not be able to explain anything or understand anything. They learn and know by doing. Malika themself doesn't even know how. And despite what her nickname might suggest, if you ask them for any wrench, they will stare at you blankly without knowing what you mean until you explain it's the 'round one used to unscrew or tighten stuff'.

Their special interests still exist to this day. Malika absolutely adores to tinker, working on stuff and projects all the time. To do this, they have one quirk; collecting all kinds of stuff. Mostly scrap and junk. If you need something, anything, then come to Malika first because chances are, they somehow have that one strange pipe in the exact shape you need. Or they somehow know where that tiny specific bolt is even in the mess. They never want to get rid of this stuff because maybe they can use it for whatever, and it may come in handy one day, and because they quite love their collection of scrap.
On top of that, Malika loves to work with AI and bots. Either on the AI/bot itself or on anything else.
And finally, Malika really, really likes to read. Anything, and I really mean everything. Any files, logs, manuals, anything she can get their hands on. Books are also not something to be forgotten, and their favourite genre is Sci-Fi. They enjoy reading books together with Alex.

Malika is far from perfect. Their fixation from tasks, endless tasks and work, refilling quicker than they can catch up, they'll never catch up- that stems too from a desire to run from their own bad stuff. To distract and avoid. It's not just that, though, they also just like it. But often, it can serve as a huge coping mechanism.
This also leads to them putting everything and everyone above themself and not taking care of themself. Which in turn leads to, when they finally sleep, a very heavy knocked out person. Filled with possibly a limbo they get stuck in between awareness and unconsciousness. Between nightmares and visions. They can sleep very restlessly, and Malika never goes to sleep without clutching their weapon tightly. If you do manage to wake her up, it can be dangerous to both themself and you.

And they're terrified of that. Of themself, of their mind and memories. Of losing both, quite literally. Of being a danger to those around them, the people they care about. Malika's biggest fear is themself. What they are. This in turns leads to a lot of self hatred and even more conflicted, bad feelings. Which of course, they avoid. And it's yet another reason to not get attached to people or stay away from them… what if? What if they lose themself again and hurt them? And then another thing… no matter how much they want to hate fighting… why can't they? Why is there always that rush of energy that they revel in, that sense of danger yet … fun? They hate themself for secretly loving fighting, trying to deny that they do… but feeling are feelings.
Best to keep away. No matter how badly they don't want to.

Last but not least is their pure desire for peace. For everything to be okay. This can in turn lead to refusal to see that, in fact, not everything is okay. Not everyone deserves the trust and second chances Malika insists on giving people, making them easy to manipulate and use. Their refusal to see the bad in people and in the world due to their own desire for peace can unintentionally be painful for others.

But in the end, Malika is a messed up person who can hopefully heal with their new possible found Applejack family!

(Note: I put Malika almost directly at the start of her arc so that they still had time to grow as a character!)

Malika has a digital mind. Ever heard the saying 'smooth brain'? Malika doesn't have a brain!
With their digital mind, there are various things to do. First of all, their mind works on data rather than whatever brains work on. This means that all their memories and knowledge are data. Along with that, it means they can transfer everything back and forth.
Also! Communication. Rather than usual comms, you could send Malika messages directly to her mind, if you have the means. It has to be done in the form of data, so probably with tech. You can even have comms directly to Malika's mind, such as voice and even video! Bots/AI can do this too. Alex, for one, is embedded and existing in Malika's mind.
Interface and UI is another thing. Malika can interface with tech and reach out with their mind. This, however, is directly dependent on the tech itself. Is it well guarded? Is it hostile? Broken? Etc. So, interaction with tech and mind steering is one thing.
Their thinking is the other one. Like I said, they don't know or realise it themself, but their mind works in strange ways. Without realising, they pick up on everything and their mind works over hours in analysing and working through stuff. An example is analysing their combat opponent's moves and then somehow predicting it. It is, however, not foolproof.

When their eyes are in their digital blue hue, Malika has the possibility to quite literally have a UI. Their eyes are digitally enhanced to be able to steer their mind partially -such as receiving and reading text messages, pulling up data etc-.
With the enhancements they can also zoom in and focus on certain stuff, much like those Sci-Fi screens. Malika has very good sight as well, in fact their eyes have the potential to be as good as a hawk, seeing very sharply and far into the distance. Their eyes must be good, after all. They directly connect to their mind, feeding it all the data it soaks up. I'm inclined to say that their eyes can glitch, as well. I'm inclined to say that Malika gets 'damaged' or hurt, that their eyes may be snowy or even cracked, including their view. Glitches can be seen in their eyes as well.

Malika's senses have been heightened as well. Although this was still heavily under development, they already have heightened senses, along with 'just a feeling', as they describe it. Of course, this is another trick of their mind processing said senses.

A very durable body has been given to Malika when they were created. This body focuses on strength, speed, power, endurance, durability, anything that makes Malika stronger. This was one of the focuses of their creation, so that they may survive as well as thrive in combat.
Sadly, they do not always realise their own strength.
They also have magnetism, but it is only with their own weapon for the moment, which is how they mostly control said weapon.

Malika has no need for sleep or food.
However, Malika's energy is some science I cannot figure out, yet Grant, Melvin and Anderson have. I have learned movement can create energy. Every person has electricity coming off of them, as well (which is why apparently, technology hates me). I have decided Malika runs on their own energy, in a continuous cycle of using that energy, creating it, and using it again.
They can also manipulate that energy, or soak up other energy sources. This how they keep running around without self care, even if barely.

Finally, Malika has the ability to quite literally tinker on themself. With the proper equipment, they would be able to alter and enhance themself to survive and thrive in their situations and surroundings, adapting as they go. Enhancements can be turned back/removed. Anything except their digital mind can be.
I refuse, however, to let this be plot armor and have them be invincible or way too overpowered and not able to be defeated. Because that goes against the very core of their character.
In this RP, they are at the very start of their story, just directly after Grant died. Aside from Alex in their mind, their original creation powers and their weapon, they have no further enhancements. And they would need the proper equipment for Alex to be able to enhance them. But! The possibility is there.

Yup, that's right. Their strength is also one of their greatest weaknesses. You see, what can you do with tech? You can hack it. What can you do with data? You can corrupt it, manipulate it, delete it…
Their mind is incredibly fragile and delicate. Alex does their utmost best to protect it, but… Well, it can be dangerous and very risky to have a mind like that.
Especially in regards to mental health, there's a reason Malika is drained so often. With everything their mind picks up, it is so easy to get overwhelmed. With the jumbled mess that the data can be, it does not do great results on their mental health. Especially not the, ah, darker data of the matter. In fact, Alex is working overtime ensuring that their bad memories and their mind doesn't get in the way too much.
This is also one of the big reasons Malika can't and does not trust themself, never fully.

Even though Malika has no need for food, hydration or sleep, when they do not take care of themself they feel every single result of that. And they won't die. So, really, in the end, what choice do they have?
As well as this, their energy manipulation takes their own direct energy to do something like shooting a bolt of lightning. As you can imagine, it is thus literally draining for them.
When they do sleep, it can be very heavily, between a limbo of sleep, awareness, dreams, visions, etc. They can be very hard to wake up, and can sleep for quite long and quite restlessly.
Everything from their mind to physical activity to just being them the way they are, is very tiring.

Like I said, it is very tiring to be Malika. However, their enhancements can also backfire, which is why there is the safeguard of removing them. For example, imagine they now have heat vision in their eyes and heat sense on their skin. But oops, now all sources of heat burn them. Imagine having heat sensitive skin to sense life/stuff around you. Now imagine sitting near a not so cosy anymore campfire, or walking outside in a heatwave under the burning sun… yeah. Heatstroke has not nothing on this, so Alex has to alter or remove it, only keeping the heat vision.

I have hinted at Malika losing themself before. This is why they begged Alex for help with the last sanity they have. Alex is now fully in charge of Malika's mind, their enhancements and anything. They have had to, upon request of Malika, add one more lock, a safeguard…
Malika cannot kill. Even if she were to want to, and try, they would not be able to do kill whether directly or indirectly cause death.
But there IS a way to kill Malika. It is not by straight up killing them; they'd just come back. Every time Malika dies, they are re-created again by Alex using the data they have of Malika. So, the way to kill Malika is to go via their mind.
See, if that data that pretty much IS Malika is gone… Malika cannot come back or would die. And that, is how you kill Malika. Via their tech. They have to cease to exist, they have to be deleted. And it's a terrifying prospect for them that they can so easily be broken into, hacked and/or erased. That they are so fragile.

Can you imagine being fourteen years old, being forever stuck at fourteen and not aging? Dying, millions of times over in different and the same ways, over and over again? Feeling every single little thing in a thousandfold? Malika is only a kid, yet she has to fight to get the only adult figure in their life back from their evil scientist creator. Only a kid, and will live until someone shuts them down. They have such a heavy burden on their shoulders to help people. Never feeling enough.
In the meanwhile, they suffer and have pure mental anguish. They are affected by their decisions, their trauma, their fights, everything.

The core of their character, in the end, is seeing how heroes can suffer. How they can lose, in more ways than one, no matter how powerful they are. What heroes -especially child/teen ones- sacrifice. It's about being allowed to lose, to be weak. And refusing to be such. Remaining a good person, enduring all of this. Despite all of it.

Whilst still living with Grant, Malika did not have any contact with outside people. They were already fascinated by AI and bots… and started to develop their own.
They started out as a very stiff, emotionless AI, of course. But Malika refused to stand for that. Through tireless work, Alex developed more and more. They grew to make choices of their own -such as their pronouns, the way they projected, coming up with a name together- and get ideas and thoughts. Their voice grew slightly less synthetic. The pronouns/gender they set on is the same as Malika, coincidentally. They/them/she, though Alex presents slightly more femme.
Soon enough, Alex developed into a very close companion to Malika and vice versa. Whilst they can be and are petty, and their humour is pretty dry, Alex is still considered (by me) a singularity.
For they have developed sentience. Through the friendship Malika showed her, however, Alex has not developed into the cliché 'will turn against us' AI. They are most loyal and caring to Malika, trying to make sure they are as safe and happy as they can be.

They reside in Malika's mind, and are pretty in charge of running the whole show. Malika's mind, memories, data, revival, enhancements, anything.
They can directly communicate with Malika in their mind, inhabit a piece of tech (such as the watch/bracelet Malika developed for them) or project herself straight out of Malika's mind. In doing so, Alex takes the form of a pink, nebula/misty sphere that always shifts with various shades of light pink. This directly contrasts Malika's signature colour of light blue.
Residing in their mind, they do have access to Malika's senses as well, seeing what they can see and receiving the data. Even if Malika isn't good at understand their senses or the data they receive, Alex is and can thus warn them of something THEY are feeling. They can't really feel it, but they receive all the data.

Alex enjoys reading with Malika and talking with them. Their conversations can be taunting each other, or about work, sure. But they have a LOT of conversations, and so a lot of them are also very interesting and gives both of them lots to think about. Alex also enjoys running all sorts of things, thinking and coming up with new things.
She also enjoys teasing and making fun of people, in all good fun. That means, yes, Alex is totally open to be made fun of as well, no matter how insulted and offended they act.

Finally, Alex really enjoys working together with Malika, aside from just being with them. Whether it is on one of Malika's projects, one of Alex's, Alex herself, Malika themself, you name it. Together, the two can brainstorm and bounce off each other, creating a perfect team in not only theory but also out in the field.

They are also very petty about the fact that they do not have a body. If they would have a body, it would be a femme humanoid with chin length, light pink, straight hair and pink eyes and a very pale, synthetic skin.

Malika has a very dystopian mask that can slightly shift in form. It looks like a dystopian, rusted brown breathing mask. The forms it can shift in is to cover just their mouth and nose, their entire face, or just their eyes. They wear this mask often, if not on their face around their neck or on their head in their hair. To conceal their identity is one thing, which is why when they speak through the mask, it is slightly disrupted.
Another thing is breathing; this mask takes Malika's energy and breath and cycles it into more breathable air, making sure that unless the mask breaks, Malika will be able to breathe in hostile environments.
They can also choose if it is more transparent or not, an even retreat the mask to just its framing to reveal their face.

They fight with an orb. Not just any orb, one that they have created together with Alex and their help. Within it is contained various combat methods.
One is a simple blade, a bayonet knife used for close range combat by, well, stabbing and slicing.
Another is a small, handheld energy ray gun with various energies/colours as settings. These rays are designed not to kill, but render the other unable to be a threat. Yes, they can hurt you, but they are NOT fatal.
Then, there are the mini-grenades. These can explode various things. Light, shocks, gases and liquids, and more.
Then, there is the orb itself in fighting mode. Malika can control it using magnetism and their tech/mind (tuned only to that orb) like some kind of telekinesis. In medium ranged combat, it is not uncommon for them to make the orb fly around to let the grenades explode, or make blades come out and stab or slice.
Out of combat mode, it is just an odd looking orb that is most always with Malika, hanging from their belt or in their satchel or something. Only they should be able to control it.

Malika is always tinkering to see if she can improve her gear, both mask and goggle. I imagine they added the breathing capabilities to the mask just before going into space.

Malika's Theme(s)
(TRIGGER WARNINGS: Extreme mental health themes, and even a song with suicidal themes. I will NOT write suicidal themes in the RP!!)

SONG ANALYSES (Aka me quoting lyrics and rambling)

Machine - Neoni
This is Malika's anger. Anger at the world; ''I'm so bored of the way the world's going round. Wow, would you look at the mess that we made? Why's no one raging?''
There's more! A double meaning of Malika's creation and their purpose: "Life, manufactured so we stay in line. Guess our comfort, it comes at a price. I'd rather risk it than stay inside this prison. Why? Is it easier just to comply? Cross your t's and go x out your eyes, just to make us a little more dead inside.
Their feelings are getting too much; ''Oh, I can't take it''.
Until... ''I'm on the loose, I'm comin' unglued. I'm trippin' fuses.''
Their anger at Melvin, mostly, or other bad people. "Can't stop me. You're not amused, but... I don't care.''
And then a double meaning. "I'm comin' for you.'' It can refer to coming for the bad people, OR coming for Grant, who Melvin has taken away. It applies to both of them, they're coming for both. This can apply in other situations as well.

Demons - Imagine Dragons
Hooooo boi. This? This is their relationship with Grant and... losing Grant. I could list ALL the lyrics to this song.
"I wanna hide the truth, I wanna shelter you. No matter what we breed, we still are made of greed." Grant. The beginning of the song, mostly him.
But then... "With the beast inside, there's nowhere we can hide. Look into my eyes, it's where my demons hide. Don't get too close, it's dark inside." Malika, horrified of themself.
AND THEN... "At the curtains call, it's the last of all. So they dug your grave. And the masquerade will come calling out at the mess you've made.'' Even though Malika saved Grant, it still wasn't enough. He still died. And it's still not over. I like to imagine this a fun scenario where Malika is held responsible for their actions whilst saving Grant. At his funeral. But no matter that.
AND THEEEEEEN... Grant's death. "Your eyes, they shine so bright. I wanna save that light." Grant would not want Malika to unravel or anything like that just because of their death. He wants them to be happy and save. But... well... "Don't wanna hide the truth". It's time Malika faces the world without Grant's protection. Even then, he still doesn't want her to unravel due to his death. BUT WELL!!!
"Don't wanna let you down, but I am hell-bound. Though this is all for you.'' Malika WILL carry on, they have no choice. But it's all with Grant still heavily in their mind. "They say it's what you make, I say it's up to fate.'' They have rejected Harry and his purpose with them. "It's woven in my soul; I need to let you go." Except they can't. "I can't escape this now, unless YOU show me how!''

The Code - Nemo
"Welcome to the show, let everybody know
I'm done playing the game, I'll break out of the chains"
Malika is very much done playing the game, and feels like chains are holding them down. Our dear old Harry, the pressure to keep saving the world (they're fourteen for goodness sake >:( ) and not being able to live a normal life. It's all so much pressure and pain, and yet every time they fall into same habits over their entire immortal life. So... they're kinda done.
"I, I went to Hell and back" (I think this one is self explanatory right? ... RIGHT??)
"I broke the code, whoa-oh-oh
Somewhere between the O's and ones
That's where I found my kingdom come" I *love* the double meaning of this. Because not only did Malika quite literally break their own code an turn against Harry, became their own person, etc, they also broke the gender code. I've been thinking about adding a wholesome nonbinary talk with Grant, but who knows.
Let me tell you a tale about life
'Bout the good and the bad, better hold on tight
Who decides what's wrong, what's right?
Everything is balance, everything's light
I got so much on my mind, and I been awake all night"
OH. My goodness. Welcome to Malika's mind. Welcome to their mental health. Who DOES decide what's wrong and right? Maybe Malika even. Because often that pressure falls to them. Everything's balance, but they can't keep it, at least not on their own. They can't keep carrying this weight. Soo... there's a lot on their mind. And they're awake all night.
I love this song because it both embraces Malika's nonbinary-ness *and* has a double meaning towards their origins, mental health, etc :) Congrats to Nemo, I kind of already felt like they were going to win from their first performance. Just the vibe they gave off.

Save Your Story - Citizen Soldier (TRIGGER WARNING: Suicidal themes)
This is what Malika fights for. What they sacrifice. What they endure. "It's in your suffering and in your strife that purpose breathes. If you wanna be a voice for the voiceless, gotta scream until you know that pain. Wanna give a little hope to the hopeless, pay your dues in that dark place.''
They do keep enduring for all of this. "Will you turn the light out, or be a human lighthouse? Will you fall apart, or into place? You are more than you're enduring. All your pain is just a hero forming.''
And finally... "You didn't choose this, but you'll be defined by the times you didn't quit. You'll be remembered by what the darkness did, or what you did with that. Keep breaking down, or break your chains.''
It's a song about Malika holding and hanging on with all their might.

DARKSIDE - Neoni (Trigger warning: Can be taken as suicidal themes, unless my third language English has been mistaken and it's just a saying)
Yay, Malika angst!
"There's no heroes or villains in this space, just shadows that dance in my headspace leaving nothing but phantoms in their wake." Oh. "There's parts of me I cannot hide; welcome to my darkside.'' OH. "Take a step into the havoc. Look around, this ain't even the half of it. Walking the line between panic and losing my mind, embracing the madness. I'm living in a nightmare." Oops...

The Tornado - Owl City
Just a short part of lyrics that describe Malika dying. Fun times. "It's always darkest before the dawn... And then the nightmare started. It got deafeningly loud, ever fiber in me screamed out but I couldn't make a sound. The whirling of a vortex. Save me from this terrible nightmare.''
Ok, fine have a spark of hope as well, you deserve it. >.> "And that was how I learned to live when you can run, but you can't hide. How to feel trapped in a tunnel, but come out the other side. Cause with all the stormy weather in this world, you learn to take life one storm at a time. And now when there's bad weather on the way, I keep hangin' on, because it's always darkest before the dawn. And I keep hanging on.''

Anyone Out There? - Wulf
Malika and Grant! "Thought I had a grip, but I lost it 'long the way. When you hold me back, I get strength from that. And I won't let you down.'' That's for Malika.
Then, Grant. "I don't wanna wake up counting my mistakes. I won't let you down. There's a place I go, where dreams get grown. And I won't let you own.''
Back to Malika! "There's a voice in my head, and it's tryin' to get out. Cause I got words to be said, but I choke 'em back down. Is anyone out there?'' Yeah, Grant's gone. "There's a voice in my head, and it's screaming with doubt, 'cause I got words to be heard. Are you listening now? Is anyone out there?'' Someone please help them. "I've been looking for so long, for somewhere to call my home. Did you hear what I said, am I coming through at all?"

Last but not least, I know that 'Hero' and 'Please Don't Go' don't exactly fit, but I thought it still fit Grant and Malika well. The rest of the songs are just songs that reminded me of Malika, ones that could fit well in the vibe and also in some lyrics. Like 'The Fine Print', about their hard work. And 'Unwritten' about them finally learning to enjoy themself, their life.

Malika Charat Genesis Ref.png
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: Zarko Straadi
IT'S A NEW DAY FOR THE SPACE BOUNTY EXPRESS... And our crew has a CARGO PROBLEM. In that their shipment is now AWAKE and now a decision must be made on whether or not to actually deliver it as per the contract, or... face the consequences. Applejack and it's crew are currently docked at a shady spaceport on the moon of Rigella to get repairs on recent damages, resupply, pick up new cargo and... figure out this current problem. The crew are able to step out to the open air market there on the dock to stretch their legs, with instructions to get back to the ship within three hours.

SpiritToday at 11:02 AM

Malika got up all sore and groaned. Well, so much for not having the time or means to ask where she should sleep... But they got up nonetheless, stretching majorly. "Repairs,'' they mumbled. Like a half awake zombie, they started to stumble through the ship to go look for anything that needed repairs. That's what they'd be doing; wandering through, repairing and maintaining whatever they saw on the spot.

littlekreenToday at 11:13 AM

Flopping on the bed of the cabin Jaunt was in might make it apparent that the red tank squeezed in between parts of the ceiling with red tubes and vents was something else. The noise and movement waking a tank that pivots two main eyes down at them then stuffs his face back where it came form. He slept wherever there was room and people had a bad habit of screaming him awake if he didn't see them first. The captain didn't seem to appreciate him occupying the cabin doorway though. Today he was in one of his containers mounted on the ceiling throughout the ship and inspecting his many, many, weapons. A particular Preator hand cannon he liked and needed calibration even if he couldn't use it on the ship without punching through a wall. He turned as someone thumped into the rough rubbery exterior of his alligator-like abdomen occupying half the hallway, "Hello? Does someone need something?"

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:17 AM

Emry had detached her fighter from the fighter-dock and landed it next to the Applejack. This gave her the chance to get into the fighter's cargo compartment and get out her stuff. With backpack slung over a shoulder and tool box in hand, she went to pick out a billet. She'd sorta picked out the one next to the port fighter dock, but hadn't actually been in it yet. She opened the door and turned on the light, which flickered to life like someone waking from a deep sleep. It was a small room, two one-person beds (for a pilot/co-pilot team), footlockers, and some storage cabinets. Emry coughed a little. It could definitely use some dusting. But for now: get her stuff put away, and find the galley!

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 11:17 AM

    Wes was glad to disembark the ship. He had never felt claustrophobic in a ship before, but with the realization of who was the Captain after signing the contract and realizing he was only being paid Chief Engineer wage and was not actually the Chief he needed to stretch his legs so to speak. That and he had a list of supplies to pick up.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:19 AM

Captain Jezebel MacBeth hadn't gotten many answers out of the cargo - uh, Amelia - likely as the girl couldn't seem to remember how she got in the box to begin with. Which surely was a problem if this was a case of sentient trafficking... The Captain wouldn't put it past the Big Boss to do some under the table deals, especially lately when the business was doing so poorly.For now, the Captain was trying to make contact with that Big Boss to ask about their cargo. What SHOULD they do and exactly how screwed were they? While the crew got to stretch their legs or do their own tasks, she was presently trying to get this call to connect across the cosmos.

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 11:20 AM

Amelia was obviously nervous about this whole notion of being cargo, or at least that was the only logical explanation for her jitteriness. She had been very unclear and insisted uncertain about her whole situation. But she was curious as she kept looking around the ship in the oddest spots.

SpiritToday at 11:21 AM

Unlike many people probably would, according to Alex who had downloaded some data, Malika would mostly stick to the ship. This was only their first day here, and the ship really did need repairs. Besides, what could they possibly pick up? They didn't even have any money. Alex, however, argued it might be interesting to see literal outer space... But Malika was fine. They were fine. They had Alex, their weapon and their mask. That's all they ever really... got. Yeah. They were fine. Oh, and tools. At the moment, they were busy crossing some wires, the panel carefully put down but still cluttering the spot next to them. Now, if they did this carefully enough, they may even get away without getting shocked!

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:22 AM

Ekadzati caught up with Wes with a few jogging steps. She too had a shopping list, of medical supplies the ship would hopefully not be needing. Hopefully. "Good day. I am Ekadzati. It is a pleasure to meet you," she said. She also had an ulterior motive for looking around the marketplace: get an idea of how much Ministry activity there might be here. This didn't look like the sort of place they frequented; rather the opposite. But one could not be too sure. Also, in case Wes needed any backup...

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 11:26 AM

CHAOS had taken its gooey self out of the robot body to look around for a new friend to borrow their body

littlekreenToday at 11:29 AM

Jaunt pivoted around his prodigious field of view to figure out where the prodding came from when he spied two arms nearby in an access tube and a panel sitting on the flat space of his rough leathery thorax. The skin was somewhat numb as well but there seemed to be tools there. Jaunt's voice came from his transceiver as a spidery leg it was stuck to came into view, "Do you need me to stay here long, False Matriarch?"

🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 11:30 AM

Wes extended his hand. "Wes Montoya, a pleasure." He then pointed to his left. "I believe this might be my first stop." The shop looked very clean and pristine compared to its surroundings and not like a normal mechanical shop.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:33 AM

Ekadzati took his hand, gave him a subtle smile with the shake, then examined the shop. It didn't look like a regular mechanic shop, so she wondered if it might contain any of the items on her list.

  • 🌈Ochalla🌈Today at 11:38 AM

    Inside there were several frosted panels with placards indicating small electronic components. Each seemed priced excessively high. "Hate having to barter," Wes whispered to Ekadzati.

SpiritToday at 11:41 AM

Meanwhile, Malika shut the wires and checked something off a list in their watch. "Great, okay, next up, deliver rapport.""That you did not need to make.'' Alex chimed in. "But still did!'' Malika stubbornly insisted, before speedwalking to where they had met the Captain the first time. Now, what did she say again? Ah yes. "Captain, erm, Jez?'' Now, that just felt so informal... Malika cleared their throat. "Not sure if you're here, but I did write up a rapport-'' "I helped.'' "Majorly, yes. I'll just... I'm just gonna leave it here if that's okay? And if you're NOT here, and I'm talking to air... well, then I guess you'll find it later. Of course, this is just my point of view, though. I can't make a report for the other crew members.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:44 AM

Ekadzati nodded. "It does seem like a needlessly complicated way to arrange a transaction," she whispered back.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:44 AM

"This is Captain Macbeth calling in, come in headquarters," Jezzy repeated into the coms, as she leaned against the console in the flight room. "Haaaay, can't come to coms right now, having my lunch." "Damnit Janet, we have a situation. I need to talk to Big Boss." "Boss isn't in today, which is totes awesome cause I finally get to clean out the employee fri-"Jez sighed heavily, muting the com when Malika made her presence known. "Thanks, kid. If you haven't already, you should check out the port while we have a chance. Once we get out into space again, we're gonna be there awhile. Might not have a chance like this to run loose for a few days."

littlekreenToday at 11:44 AM

The transciever slowly receeded back towad Jaunt's front as he latched it and reached backward to pick up Malika's plate with all the tools sitting on it with his back legs. The curved black tips of the cruor spider legs glued to it with a reflex and carefully lifted it up and to the side so the access panel wasn't resting on his butt. He started pulling weapons from his hidden container and holstered them to two holsters on his underside.

SpiritToday at 11:46 AM

Malika tilted their head. Situation... well... that certainly didn't sound good? "Oh, yeah, well, there's still a lot to be done around here and I need to fix the damages. Plus, I have no money so... It doesn't really have any use.'' "I say it does,'' Alex said. Malika just shook their head. "Nah, I'll just... go and fix the ship. It's fine.'' With a nod of respect, Malika left the Captain to deal with whatever 'situation' there was, making a note not to disturb her anymore today. And after that, Malika would go to the galley to make a new, up to date scan from the chore chart.

littlekreenToday at 11:47 AM

A backpack for the massive spider more resembled saddlebags and his in particular had a few fittings for an actual saddle. Though it had more straps in small loops as the climber tended to travel in six dimensions of freedom. He started walking his way across the ceilings to the spaceport turning the corner to pass the galley and leave the ship.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 11:49 AM

    Once Emry got her gear stowed, she headed out into the ship in search of food. Some narrow corrridors, a couple storage spaces, and---GIANT SCARY SPIDER, coming around the corner just as she was about to reach the door to the galley. "AAH-hahaha, uh, nice to meet you," she said, trying to cover up the interrupted squeal.

SpiritToday at 11:51 AM

Malika looked up as Jaunt came by, greeting him. "Oh, hey Jaunt.'' "Going out?'' Alex asked. "Lucky.'' The watch started to vibrate. "Take me with youuuu!'' Alex dramatically exclaimed. This led Malika to snort. "Please. Don't be so dramatic,'' they laughed. "We both know you can't-'' This time, the buzz came way more intensely. Yup, good for Alex. Because Malika was TOTALLY about to ruin the secret of an AI in their mind. Alex was way better at covering them. "...Why you can't go,'' Malika corrected. Then, they heard a squeal behind them and jumped, hand already flying towards their weapon but quickly relaxing as it was just that girl. "Oh hey,'' Malika greeted. And then "Oh! Hey!'' They walked up and reached out a hand with an attempted smile. "I still needed to thank you for yesterday. Without you, I don't think I'd have held the airlock...'' They totally would've. Alex told them to say this. Plus, it was just nice and Malika would feel bad if they didn't.

littlekreenToday at 11:51 AM

Two pedipalps absently reached down to move a bang of emry's displaced hair neatly aside in the gardner habit of unconscious fussing, "Hello, false matriarch. Good to see you. Do you want anything while I am having my weapons serviced?"

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:53 AM

    This crew is going to be a whole problem, thought Jez as she watched Malika leave. Sighing again, she flipped the coms back on. "Janet, tell Biggy to contact me ASAP. It's an emergecy." "Sure thing! How you doing with Wes on board, huh? I bet THAT is all kinds of--"Jez shut off the coms immediately, not interested in the slightest about Janet's opinions on her personal life. In the meantime, while the fate of Amelia was in limbo, the ship NEEDED new cargo or this crew wasn't going to get paid. Thus Jazzy left the cockpit to gear up and hunt them down a new contract.

SpiritToday at 11:54 AM

Malika turned their head towards Jaunt, speaking over their shoulder. "Oh, hey, Jaunt. If you need any tinkering, I can help, you know. I don't know how much it costs out there, but if you'd let me -and it's okay if not!- I could totally help with your weapon's upkeep. For free!'' They offered. "I'd just have to learn the schematics and whatnot, but-'' "I'd take them to a shop, Jaunt.'' Alex chimed in. "The last time Malika tried to figure out a weapon... Weeell....'' They frowned down at their watch. "Hey, that's besides the point! Besides, no one got hurt.'' "If you don't count being flinged across the entire room and against a concrete wall hurt... then, sure! No one got hurt.''Pouting and with a grumble, Malika just turned back to the girl in front of them, hand still held out.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:56 AM

Emry flinched a little at the pedipalps, but decided that standing her ground was best, until he spoke. "Wha--" Emry looked over her shoulder--nobody there who might be a 'false matriarch.' She tured back; the spider's round, unblinking eyes were regarding her! In an instant, she decided that being an impostor matriarch, whateverthehell he meant by that, was a pretty good way to get eaten, especially with him tasting her hair...She stiffened, and put her fists on her hips. "Who you callin' 'false,' buddy?! I...look real young for my age, the kids all grew up and moved away. They never call! You know how kids are. 'False matriarch,' HMMMF!"

SpiritToday at 12:00 PM

Malika blinked. "Ermm...'' They stared at their hand. Then lowered it, wiping it off. "If it helps, he calls me that, too.'' Malika whispered with a slight lean-in. "I think the only TRUE Matriarch here is Captain Jez.'' It still felt so informal, ugh! But, that was the request. "Anyways... Thanks for the help with the airlock,'' Malika concluded. "I'm just gonna go... scan the chore chart,'' they decided. Indeed, they moved to the chart and held up their watch. A blue and pink light shone over it whilst Malika wondered just how old the girl was. Had she mistakenly gotten excited over a potential peer? The kids had moved away? Though by definition, Malika was also older... What age was she at, now? Fifteen... sixteen? Didn't matter. They'd never go beyond fourteen, in both mind and body. It just didn't matter.

littlekreenToday at 12:00 PM

The pedipalps crossed in front of his 'face' as a gesture of restraint, at least for them, "You are a matriarch, but you are not my matriarch. The captain is the resident Honored Matriarch. It is the best translation from Quietus." He didn't have to pivot his body far to see directly behind him to Malika, "These would shatter your forearms if you fired them, false matriarch. I think it is best if delegate Alex is corrrect on the matter. I cannot fire them in the ship but I carry my weapons with me to service."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:07 PM

" go around calling everybody you meet 'false matriarch?' And you don't just have a word for not-a-matriarch?" she asked. "Seems kinda waddle-headed to me," she muttered under her breath. "But...I'm not actually a matriarch, OK, so please don't eat me or sic MinOrtho on me, OK? I' going now," she said, ducking past Jaunt's hulking form to get into the galley before she failed the tact-with-unknown-species thing too hardcore.

Not that she was doing so well with tact-with-familiar-ish-probably-species. "Uh, sorry," she said, offering the girl a hand. She'd been so...distracted was a bit of an understatement, but nonetheless...with GIANT SCARY SPIDER she hadn't really heard much of what the fast-talking (in two voices) girl had said, and she'd missed her handshake.

SpiritToday at 12:10 PM

Malika looked back from their scan, gulping. "Ah... right.'' A short, sharp BZT from the watch told them to shut up now, before they insisted it was no big deal! Because for a normal person, it'd totally be a big deal. They watched the girl go. The lights vanished back into their watch and they shrugged. "Well, good luck with your weapons,'' they told Jaunt, before also going past him. Only to be surprised that the girl was waiting for her and offering a handshake back! "Oh, hi!'' They said, gladly taking the handshake. "Soooo....'' Malika said nothing and Alex cleared their throat. "Sooooo...... This is Malika.'' "Oh! Oh, yes, hi! I'm Malika, this is Alex.'' At Alex's introduction, they held up their pink screened watch. "They're an AI.'' "I think that's kind of obvious to see,'' Alex proclaimed in a dry voice. "Right... well... there you have it.''

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:12 PM

CHAOS would be browsing the local wares to see if any object or person caught his attention.

littlekreenToday at 12:12 PM

The gardener tilted his head and spread the ridged mouthparts slightly, "We are herbivores, false matriarch Emry. Eating you is not only heresy it would make me sick. I am a high solder so Orthodoxy expects me to pay respect of title to Matriarchs." he watched her by peeping down below the roof of the door and waved with one pedipalp, "Have a good meal, false matriarch."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:15 PM

"Oh--alright then," she said over her shoulder to Jaunt. "I taste awful too. Uh...bye?" she said, waving back, then turned back to Malika and Alex.
"I'm Emry," she said. "It's nice to meet you both.

SpiritToday at 12:17 PM

Malika coughed in a failed attempt to hold in a laugh, sputtering slightly. With a pushed down smile, they waved back to Jaunt before he'd go. Well, that was hopefully one matter solved. "Yeah, nice to meet you,'' Malika said. "So, I heard on comms yesterday, you have your own ship, right? That's so cool. Well, I'm going to offer you the same thing I did Jaunt. If you need any help with upkeep, I can try my very best to help. But I understand wanting to keep your own things up, so this is where I'll leave it.'' Malika said.

littlekreenToday at 12:23 PM

Jaunt skittered through the halls as he left through the airlock and didn't pay much attention to the stares from alarmed dock crew at a large creature having to squeeze sideways through the opening. A grizzled maintenance worker started hacking loudly when Jaunt passed a maintience hatch having to evict the cigarette he'd swallowed as Jaunt just climbed up the dock wall to the next floor. The tiny elevators were cramped and he didn't want to squeeze in there any more than others wanted to stand almost surrounded by a huge blood-red spiny spider in a tiny people-moving container. He changed from local vox to ship comms as he reached out to the Captain, "Do you need any consumables for your person, Honored Matriarch Jezebel? I have a military requisition account for incidentals."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:30 PM

"Yeah--the Amethyst Phoenix, she's a Firedrake Class multi-role fighter. Oh--she/her. My pronouns, not the Phoenix's, but I call her 'she' too. I'm normally pretty fanatical about 'nobody touches my baby!' but I might take you up on that at some point. So, your AI...fully sapient?" she asked. "The Phoenix has one, but it's a non-sapient narrow AI that can do natural language and fightercraft stuff and autopilot, but can't make kill-decisions."

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:32 PM

As expected, Jaunt found Jezebel out on the dock attempting to hunt down that new contract and so far... not having any luck. At least not with cargo she was WILLING to take. She was about to shake her head to Jaunt's query when a peciliar look spread across her features."...we might want to equip Applejack with some new weapon and defense sets. That mercenary we took on board will be handy, but I got a feeling we might be in for some trouble soon. This isn't a fighting crew, we'll need all the protection we can get..."

SpiritToday at 12:33 PM

Malika couldn't help but smile at that. Pronouns! Well, would you look at that! "They/them, sometimes she,'' they replied back. "Same for me,'' Alex replied. "And yes, I am fully sentient. You can just talk to me, thank you.'' Malika cleared their throat, giving the screen a small tap. That... sounded rather rude. At least, to those who did not know Alex as well yet. "I can understand that,'' Malika said, even though they could, in fact, NOT understand all those classifications and roles. "I never let anyone touch my stuff, either. But if you need any upgrades or ideas, or even just simple fixes, I can do that. Only if you want to, though. I promise I won't do anything unless you ask me. Because, well... because, of course.'' No kill... No kill. No. Kill. Oh. Well. Well then. Malika's breath quickened a bit. ....Was Emry onto them already?! How...? But no, she was just talking about her ship. Not... not about Alex or Malika. Right? Darn it. "...Thanks for the pronouns,'' Malika eventually managed to say.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 12:41 PM

    For a second there, Malika went a little weird. But then they seemed to come back. "You're welcome," Emry said. "So, you're mechanics then? For the ship, I mean?" she said, giving a look around the galley to indicate the Applejack.

littlekreenToday at 12:42 PM

Jaunt kept pace with captain as he called out in Quietus to see if anything responded. A faint chirp from some nearby compatible machine asked for a check-in and Jaunt logged his presence there and that the honored matriarch was healthy. The matriarchs knew who he was assigned to and all else was opsec. He flipped the channel to vox again and replied to Honored Matriarch Jezebel as the creature of military was in his element, "Hardpoints are there but I do not think they are suited for high impulse weapons. You may have to take energy weapons. I suggest either recoil-compensated light weapons, plasma hardpoints, or internal capacitor laser point defense." He gestured putting a pedipalp through his hands making a ring, "Missle weapons are possible but it would need modifying a magazine through the hull. So single use."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:42 PM

CHAOS would tilt his head and found a pretty blue thing and would tap its gooey "hands" to ask the stall owner the price

SpiritToday at 12:44 PM

"Mmm... Well, I don't know. But I work here. I think.'' "Yes!'' Alex hastily interfered. "You do, you work here. And yes, the work you do is akin to a mechanic. I, however, am just along for the ride.'' "Oh, but not in a stowaway manner!'' Malika quickly assured. "Just... here.'' "I do not work here and I can do nothing with credits.'' "Technically you could spend them.'' "If you get them.'' "Yeah... Anyways, what about you? I didn't properly hear the comms after the whole situation in the airlock... You work here too, now?''

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:47 PM

"Sortof," Emry replied. "I'm the fighter escort. For room and board, right now I guess? I've found the room, so now I'm checking out the 'board,'" she said, as she started checking cupboards for anything to eat, or eat with/on, should she find the dishes and utensils first. "Have you eaten yet?"

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:48 PM

Jezebel just blinked at Jaunt for a moment. ...she honestly no freaking clue what he'd just listed off, it all sounded like gobbledegook to her! Once again proving she was far out of her element when it came to being a Captain, instead of the desk clerk where she belonged. Back at the office listening to Janet gossip, instead of trying to figure out how to manage a ship full of misfits and get back in one piece."...I'm just going to put you in charge of retrofitting anything we need on Applejack in terms of security. I still have to hunt us down another shipment of cargo. Else we're not going to be able to pay for the trek back home."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:52 PM

CHAOS was obviously very… they took the blue thing as their own when the stall owner didn't answer.

  • SpiritToday at 12:53 PM

    Malika nodded. "That sounds like a cool job,'' they said. But in reality, they shuddered at the fights they'd been through, blinking hard. This was NOT the time to cry, even if Malika could already feel their eyes pushing and their breath shuddering. "Huh? Oh, no, I haven't yet. I don't need to-'' BZT. "Yes, you do.'' "I mean, I'm not hungry.'' "When did you even eat for the last time? Malika, you have GOT to eat.'' "Yeah, well, I'm fine,'' they assured. Alex just scoffed. "Besides, there's a lot more to do here than just eating. Alex, can you pull up those schematics again?'' With a sigh, the AI did just what they had been asked. "See! So many damages... even though they're small, I'd better get on top of them. I'll also let Captain Jez know that the galley is pretty much empty...''

  • littlekreenToday at 12:56 PM

    "I can always get you home, at least," Jaunt added with a tilt of his head to get both eyes on her, "though not necessarily with your ship. One of your rights of me as an Honored Matriarch. I will pick up a point defense and light ballistic mount for the ship, Honored Matriarch. Some cameras in the hold I think I would like to add this time."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:03 PM

"Hey, are you OK?" Emry said. She recognized that sort of sudden freakout; she had them herself sometimes when the past didn't want to stay buried. Especially whenever she heard a child scream, or--she shook her head to clear it, trying to follow the pair's rapid conversation."Look...everybody else is kinda treating this like shore leave, I think? Maybe we could go have a look around? And you might as well tell Her Imperial Majesty Honored Matriarch Jezebel the First that the galley is empty."

SpiritToday at 1:08 PM

"Hm? Oh... yeah, I'm sure.''Wait, that wasn't about the food. "No, I mean, I'm fine. Yeah.'' Malika tried to shake it off and uncrossed their arms, pushing themself up the counter. "Yeah, most of the crew is on the market right now. I, however, have no money.'' To present it, they unfolded their data pad and held it up. The screen -as much as it was a screen as a hologram- indeed showed zero with a credit sign next to it. "So, it has no use. Plus, I really need to get onto those small damages,'' they groaned. Alex, however, jumped in. "Well, look, what can it hurt? As far as I have seen the market is messy. Maybe there'll be some scrap to collect?'' Alex's attempt worked. Malika's eyes glazed over, then lit up a little. "Oh, yeah! Scrap,'' they sighed contentedly. Then, their face fell. "...But, nevermind, because I have no place to put it.'' They sighed again, only to let a short laugh be known. "Yeah, I was planning on it. You might not want to let her hear you call her that, though. She told me to just call her 'Captain Jez'. Anyway, if you wanna go, I'll be right behind you. Maybe I can find something small to fit in one of my pockets,'' they mumbled. "I'll just go let the Captain know the galley is empty. I swear, I'm right behind you!!'' And off they went to find the Captain, soon enough clearing their throat again. "Captain? Very sorry to disturb you. Emry and me wanted to let you know that the galley is uh... Well, it's pretty much ah...'' "It's empty.'' Alex said, matter of fact.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:12 PM

Jez was not about to ask Jaunt how he meant to get them all home if she couldn't keep the ship in one piece. These spider people often had a really odd sense of what worked, and that tended to conflict with humanoid species...!"Uh... yeah! You work on that then!" she said to Jaunty. ...only to have Malika come up and announce the galley was void of food. Softly cursing under her breath as she shuffled through all of her pockets to produce a small drive. Jez was hesitant at first, but finally held out for Malika."This is... personal funds, so don't go wild. Purchase enough nonperishables to feed a crew of..." she counted in her head. "Eight. For a few days. Don't worry about water, we have plenty of that."

SpiritToday at 1:17 PM

Malika's eyes widened as they looked at the drive. "Right, oh, okay, well, um...'' "We can handle it,'' Alex jumped in. "So, one person eats three to five pounds. Not going wild, that means three. Three times eight is 24 pounds per day, which should lead us to how many days we'll go. A few days, so that's less than a week. I think five days will do. That is 120 pounds of food,'' Alex rambled. "I had that calculated by the time you said 'don't'! I just had to put it in human terms for your minds.'' "Hrm,'' Malika grumbled, already lost with the numbers that had shown up and flied past when Alex did this. They cautiously took the drive, hesitated and looked up, then tried to ask a question but instead... decided to see it as a task, nodded, and walked off back to meet Emry outside as promised. "44 minutes left,'' Alex warned, ''as of right now.'' "Got it. Find food, go back, don't get left behind with the Captain's funds.'' "Or,'' Alex huffed, ''how about we don't get left behind at all?'' "...That'd be nice. Hey, Emry!! I've got money for food.'' Alex's screen pulsed. "Would you like to go out and acoompany us on our mission?'' "It's just an errand...'' Malika mumbled. "Mission sounds better. So what do you say?''

littlekreenToday at 1:18 PM

Gardeners didn't advertise that the Matriarchs could quicken small volumes at interstellar distances as it worried nations about mercenaries entering facilities. That was a valid concern, of course, but they'd rather nobody plan for them to do that. It would also cost him a fair bit of credits but the discount for a matriarch coming with them in an emergency was at least significant. He said of it as he looked at the other two, "I have to pick up my hard tack and bread stone. My food is too high in flourine for most species. If you found powdered pucks somewhere that is not human food. I can eat almost anything that's a vegetable and not rotten to save cost on the Honored Matiarch."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:27 PM

"Oh yeah. Totallllly a 'mission!'" Emry replied. "I don't think the Cap is gonna leave us behind if we've got her creds and all the food. Worst case scenario, we eat well until what's left can fit in the Phoenix's cargo compartment, and she's got a wizzo seat you two would fit in just fine."

SpiritToday at 1:31 PM

Malika couldn't help but laugh. "What?" They asked. "You heard her!'' Alex said. "And the best thing is, I don't even require any space!'' They proudly announced, their screen pulsing again. "Well, for now-'' "I've ran calculations even on Jaunt's body mass and I know exactly what we need. Leave it to me,'' Alex offered. "Never been good with numbers, so, sure. As I was saying, Jaunt, Captain Jez said nonperishable, so I don't think vegetables will be a thing. We'll totally find you some uh, powdered pucks, though.'' Malika promised. Saving costs on someone else's accounts seemed like the best thing Jaunt could have offered her at the moment. And so, Malika set out in search of food. Which was, indeed according to Alex, a very real and very important mission. Next problem? How to shop for food if you never actually used food, unless you were quite literally starting to starve? Malika would just have to subtly try to rely on the person that DID eat food here, if Emry even ate food. Most people did, right? At least whatever portions Malika ate could be saved, or they could just spare expense and not buy it...? "So...'' Malika said. "I'm uh, I'm sorry about your kids.''

littlekreenToday at 1:36 PM

Jaunt looked over to Malika, "If delegate prefers, high soldier gardeners can digest vegetable oil but only as a supplement. It has the caloric density of gasoline."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:41 PM

"Huh? Oh! I..." But GIANT SCARY SPIDER was right there, so now was not a good time to explain about the 'kids.' She turned to him."'re a 'high soldier gardener?' The vegetables on your planet must be the toughest in the Galaxy," she said to him.

littlekreenToday at 1:46 PM

The gardener made the equivlent of a shrug by clacking the tips of the two blade arms together, "Well, the oppressors tried to shape us as bioweapons. We resisted the nanite bomb and so did enough of our biosphere after the" He paused trying to think of a way to describe a nation scale wall of buried charnel to convince nanites they shouldn't destroy territory past a point, "violent mitigation strategy to shut it down. The bread stone we eat is fungus that grows on coal and adapted to eat the nanites. The highest matriarch is nature, and does not surrender easily."

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:49 PM

    CHAOS would come back to the ship with his trinket. " I got blue shiny from nice men for free, " CHAOS told Jezbel. It was indeed a sapphire, not something that most shopkeepers would give away for free

SpiritToday at 1:50 PM

Malika looked up and blinked. "Wow... you eat... fungus and coal....'' "Yep, shopping for you should be easy!'' Alex chimed. "If we find any coal and mushrooms, we'll be sure to buy them.'' Malika finally stopped at a food stall. "Hey, okay, so, um, big order here-'' Remembering everything, Alex rattled off some numbers, and after making a merchant very annoyed, Malika was about to grab this. "I think I could pull thi-'' "Malika, no. That is WELL over a hundred pounds, PLEASE do not try.'' Right. Super strength... not a human feat. Even with super strength... Still not possible. Malika's strength was only for combat. And they used it for tinkering. "STUPID THING!!'' Nearby, a guy was discarding of an automatic transporter and Malika sped off without a word. They spent a few moments fixing it, and then BOOM. Done. "Tadaa! We can use this!'' "How'd you do that?'' "Oh! Um, sorry, I can give it back-'' "Nah. Least I can do is let you borrow it. I'll take your food there.'' First thing Malika did was excuse herself with Emry -yes, leaving her with the 'scary spider'- and rush back. "Got your funds! The food is in,'' Malika said, peeking in before rushing off back to Emry. "Okay!'' They panted. "Ten minutes left and we are in! Phew.'' Oh, how scared they had been, terrified, to get left behind like that..."Alright, well, this has been fun, it has been very nice to meet you... but um, I really gotta get on those small damages. Especially since we're departing and whatnot.'' Malika tried for a small wave before taking the data pad and rushing through the ship, trying to keep the poor thing together.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:53 PM

The small child would wonder outside of the ship, not knowing it was leaving at the same time CHAOS would enter the ship.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 2:00 PM

    Wes seemed to be doing well enough searching for electronics in what appeared to be a safe part of the marketplace, so Ekadzati went off in search of medical supplies. Having found most of what she needed, she wandered back to the Applejack.Malika and Alex got through the grocery shopping in a whirlwind of activity, such that Emry hadn't even gotten a chance to grab something out of one of the packages for a quick tide-over snack. Oh well. Then she saw a woman coming toward her, carrying some bags of her own. Is she part of the--Their eyes met, and they both knew. Ekadzati's face briefly flashed a look of hope; Emry's pain. But then Malika and Alex were back. "You're with the Applejack?" Ekadzati asked. Emry nodded. She knew the other woman would want to talk to her in private at some point. She would just have to figure out what to say when that time came."Yeah, I guess we'd better get back," Emry said, turning to jog over to her fighter. "See you all aboard," she said.

  • littlekreenToday at 2:01 PM

    After a short trip to pick up some used machine gun hardpoints and a laser CWIS for missiles he tracked down a merchant that sold gardener ration packs. It was part of their contacts and merchants usually preferred large friendly tanks being known to stop by regularly in dangerous locales. Jaunt picked up the food crate with the blade arms as they got back with it and recognized the bread stone as a human-sized terrarium with its pillar of coal, UV lights, and softly pivoting fungus in organized circles. Tiny snails with metal shells occasionally lurking between them and eating mycellium. Whenever the lights went out the mushrooms would glow beneath the transparent cover. He bolted it to the floor in the mess hall so it didn't decide to roll off and break. A faint sign was added to it, 'Gardener food. Poisonous to humans.'

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:05 PM

Ekadzati nodded. The others seemed to be in a great hurry, though she couldn't recall the Captain giving a deadline. To the contrary, it seemed that she would be busy for some time dealing with Amelia's situation, and finding a new gig. Ekadzati gave the girl a nod and started back toward the ship at her own pace. That's when she noticed a small child wandering alone, looking lost. She headed towards him, and crouched to his level. "Are your parents lost, dear?" she asked. A quick glance around revealed no one crying out or searching for a lost child.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:06 PM

The child looked confused at the woman. " My parents aren't lost, I just don't know where they are"

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:07 PM

Ekadzati smiled. "Alright, where was the last place you saw them?"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:08 PM

The small child would think for a moment. " Back before I saw goo and then went black and woke up on the ship here."

SpiritToday at 2:08 PM

Malika continued to try their best upkeeping the ship. Crossing wires here. Downloading data there, uploading it somewhere. They were speedwalking all over the ship, rushing endlessly from one task to the other. Soon, Malika's mind sunk back in the comfortable fixation of tasks, one after the other coming up on their data pad. This... this was nice. This was comfortable.

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:09 PM

"That ship?" Ekadzati said, pointing toward the Applejack. "Do you remember what planet your parents live on? What city?"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:10 PM

The child would nod their head. " the blue one with all the bright lights," the child replied.

littlekreenToday at 2:12 PM

Jaunt would wander through with a vertical shelf of a mushroom with one shiny black side after tracking down where the remaining crew had gone. the mushroom and its crunching mushroom noises smelled faintly of fruity truffles as someone arrived to hand him a weapons case. He skittered over to Ekadazi and the voice from behind unaffected by his eating, "This is the stowaway then?"

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:14 PM

"Stowaway?" Ekadzati replied. "The child appears to have had his body taken over by the 'goo' you were having trouble with in the Cargo Bay, but he does not remember anything from those times. I would like to be able to return him to his parents, if that is possible."

  • She turned back to the child. "Do you remember what planet your parents live on?"

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:20 PM

The child would offer a shrug. " My parents always called it home, so I don't know its name."

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:22 PM

Ekadzati turned to Jaunt. "Do you know what planet we picked him up on?"

Then she turned back to the child. "Do you know the name of the city you live in?"

The child seemed to be having a hard time coming up with an answer at the moment, and it looked like Captain Jez and the crew were getting ready for takeoff. "Alright, why don't you just come with me, I'll keep you safe until we can figure out how to get you home, alright?" she said, and started ushering the child back to the ship. "Were you able to deal with the 'goo?'" she asked Jaunt.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:32 PM

    The child would shrug again. " I would like that very much."

littlekreenToday at 2:41 PM

Jaunt couldn't nod like humans did and made a throat cutting gesture with one hand as the closest approximate, "the liquid material was in their body or suit of the taller one. I cannot attack something inside the body of the matriarch. I am not sure where the child came from exactly. The ship is porous."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:45 PM

CHAOS stuck out their tongue from the safe resting spot wit the gem at Jaunt and the others.

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:45 PM

'Porous' seemed like a rather disturbing attribute to apply to a spaceship, but Ekadzati guessed that Jaunt was referring to crew (and at least one stowaway) joining and leaving with little in the way of bureaucratic supervision. She herself had come aboard without any biometrics scans, DNA samples, or written contracts of the long and complicated sort, as might be the case with a more 'reputable' ship. "Come on then, let's go," she said, placing a gentle hand on the child's shoulder as she led him aboard.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 2:46 PM

By luck, everyone made it back to the ship on time and absolutely nothing went wrong at all. Not a thing. There's no kidnapped kid on that ship. A space fugative. An escaped experiment. Strange cargo. Stolen artifacts. Other Problems. No sirree, everything is going well or the crew of the Applejack! Well, except one small issue. By the time the captain got a new cargo contract and was certain everyone was loaded into the ship, the Big Boss finally gave her a callback. The jist of it? DELIVER THAT ORIGINAL CARGO OR THERE WON'T JUST BE MONEY ON THE LINE, THERE WILL BE LIVES ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK.What will happen to our motely crew of misfits? FIND OUT NEXT TIME ON SPACE BOUNTY EXPRESS.
  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 10:48 AM

    WE OPEN TODAY AT A TINY LITTLE SPACE BAR... called Moonshine Port. This small privately owned space bar orbits a planet of molten lava and is a popular spot for courier ships to refuel, wind down, and have a break inbetween travel and deliveries. Most of it's patrons are other cargo shippers, occasionally "smugglers" if you know who to talk to, or just flippin' weirdo travelers that like to take off routes through space. Moonshine Port is also on this sectors Top 100 List for Hottest Dancing Jingle Janglers... that could be good or bad dependin on who you ask. Our motley crew has stationed temporarily at this port for a small BREAK to get drinks and perhaps do a little personal side business unrelated to their current contract.

  • SpiritToday at 10:51 AM

    People. Malika was NOT good at people. What were they supposed to do now? Why were they even here, and not back on the ship trying to keep it together? Malika liked the ship. Why couldn't they just stay there and do work? Because here, there was no work to be done. Which left them completely out of their element without having any clue on what to do instead. Leaving them nervously looking around from a corner and people watching, wishing and thinking about being back on the ship, and all the lovely work they could do there instead... Besides, they were so new to the crew that it wasn't like they actually knew anyone. Even if they should have settled by now, Malika wasn't exactly a... people person at the moment. They'd kept to themself and poured all they had into work, hardly even sleeping.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 10:57 AM

    Captain Jezebel was also not a people person. Prefering to stick to quiet desk work - or honestly anything that WASN'T being a cargo ship captain. Nor was she keen on making a pitstop to some notorious space bar. Just, sometimes a woman needed a seriously alcoholic drink or two to help process some pretty weighty decisions that needed to be made... both moral and financial!So while the crew was told to go do what they want for the next few hours, Jezzy was at the bar having a good cold drink of something called a Tentacle Sunrise.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 10:59 AM

    Rafael Rivera was definitely old enough to be in this bar. He needed a break from travelling as his bones were acting up yet again. He didn't quite know why this was happening and groaned. " I'd like a shot of your strongest please," Rafael grunted, clearly in a ton of pain.

CHAOS was "cuddling" with the small child on the ship, taking a nice nap while everyone else drank.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 11:06 AM

    Emry listened for footsteps, then peeked out the door of her billet, left and right...then up. GIANT SCARY...well, she was starting to get a little more used to Jaunty, but he could still give one a start by being right around a corner when one wasn't expecting it. He wasn't the one she was trying to avoid right now. In fact, an encounter with him might even be helpful just now. Emry slipped around a corner and--face to face with Malika and Alex. "AAAH--Hiii," she giving a too-casual smile once she'd managed to avoid a collision. "Is it alright if we, uh, hang out?" As long as Ekad-whateverhernamewas couldn't catch her alone, she couldn't talk to her about...Wu-Li stuff.

littlekreenToday at 11:08 AM

Deliveries of materials were one thing but installations of equipment often came with installers. As the turrets and point defense had been duly ordered on Jaunt's interest in preserving the ship's honored matriarch the military logistics arm was the one who showed up at port to preform the service. With Gardener soldiers having a heavy presence in mercenary outfits since the end of their blood war if there was one around it wasn't a surprise to see a logistics group dropping in to do a field refit of this or that. Their non-interest in enforcing bounties or catching smugglers often a source of consternation for enforcers. At least, if you haven't managed to offend the matriarch of war enough to become persona non-grata. A dropship was busily mounted to the hull to properly install the point defense turret.Jaunt just waved to high soldiers from a bar window as each had the bare minimum of breathing apparatus and could have a communication with Jaunt over Quietus so he could get updates.

  • SpiritToday at 11:10 AM

    Hearing the yell, Malika blinked, snapped out of it and their hand flew towards their belt. A new tool hung there now; a strange, metal orb. It looked smooth aside from the various holes and ridges- okay, so it didn't look smooth, but an orb was an orb. They'd nearly grabbed it, looking straight into Emry's face, but really past it as well. In the light, their eyes seemed blue instead of grey... just momentarily. Must be the light, right ?It took a while for some of the tension to sag out of their shoulders, a long deep breath after Alex mentally instructed them to turning into a tired sigh. ...How to respond to this?
  • "U-um... um, sure... I suppose. I don-'' Malika stopped themself right there. Better not tell someone they didn't know how to 'hang out'. They did, however, wave back when they saw Jaunt through the window, smiling. So far, Jaunt had been helpful to them and he seemed nice! Malika liked him. She thought. At least. Maybe. They didn't know.

  • DawnToday at 11:19 AM

    Ro probably should have been on the other side of the counter, or at least that was what everyone kept telling him. "Wastin' that pretty face on drillin'," they'd say all the damn time. "Could be makin good credit slingin' drinks!"He'd rather be sipping them, like right now, taking his time with a shot of something vibrant blue to nurse the cuts and bruises of the two-month molten mining shift he'd just come off. Dark haired and golden-eyed and, for anyone could tell, human. He was kind of in his own little world at the moment, smelling faintly of metal and soot but at least he'd showered before coming to drown his life regrets at the bar counter.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 11:25 AM

    The music playing in Moonshine Port was a life band of idiots that truly wouldn't know good music if it kicked them in their big puffy asses. Luckily, most of the patrons in this space bar were too drink or too tired to really care about the jovial WIPWOMPS of a trombone looking instrument and the odd OOOOOWAAHH OOHH AAHWAHHOOOO of the Sir'am that was singing. Cheaps drinks though! There absolutely, definitely, for sure wasn't somebody lurking in a corner booth watching everyone that came in, and they for sure weren't plotting to give a certain someone here today a bad time.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 11:28 AM

    "Whoa, sorry," Emry said. The human(oid?) half of the pair seemed pretty jumpy, in the 'could grab a gun and ray you down in the next instant' way. I hope she wasn't in the Dragons, she thought. Whoa, did their eyes just flash blue? She followed Malika's gaze and joined in waving back at Jaunt. "So anyway...would you like to go check out the port?"

  • littlekreenToday at 11:31 AM

    Jaunt returned to the bar and tried to avoid crowding the crew or the patrons in huge spider. Propping himself on his two blade legs he asked the bartender with a click of his transceiver, "A shot of Dreamtime, please, and a cup of cindermead. Settle to dropship Haephestia as sundries."The first, dreamtime, was a shot clear when looking at it directly but seemed to shift out of the center of one's vision. Poured from a bottle labeled 'unfit for human consumption'. The second was a earthy smelling amber liquid with small fuzzy bits inside. He looked to Emry with the side two eyes, "It's fairly active today. Logistics dropping off packages while they're here."

SpiritToday at 11:32 AM

[Could you look that direction a few times more, subtly?]
Well. That wasn't good.
Uh, sure, what's up?
[Maybe nothing. Still, though.]
Malika glanced in the direction Alex indicated a few more times, acting as if they were just looking around. Which... they were, in a way. "It's okay,'' Malika told Emry. "I'm just... uh... Yeah, I'd love to check out the port.'' And then Jaunt showed up and said that. Malika had thought... Port, no people, possible work? Great deal. "...Maybe we can help them.'' Malika concluded. Translation: Give me something to do, please.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:36 AM

Ekadzati silently peered through the door to check on the child. He and the amoeboid creature seemed to be asleep, cuddled together. With a moment of concentration, she drew a glowing rune in the air as she formed a mudra with her fingertips, then another when the first one faded. A Rune of Following, which would allow her to keep track of the child should he wake up, and a ward to give warning should anyone approach the room. She quietly closed the door and headed the port.

littlekreenToday at 11:43 AM

There were a few engineer Gardeners for the interior bits of the install that perked up with Ekadzati exited the ship then went back to their duties. rather smaller creatures than jaunt they only came up to one's hips and had vibrant coloration between them.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:44 AM

Emry hadn't meant to lead the pair into the bar, it was just the quickest duck-into-someplace-to-get-out-of-sight someplace available. Jaunty was drinking cocktails that looked like something you'd either use to clean a plasma injector, or feed through one as fuel. "Oh, yeah, logistics, uh-huh," she said. That didn't sound fun at all.

"So...what sort of things do you like to do in port?" she asked Malika-Alex. She cringed a little, resisting the urge to facepalm. Ugh, that came out super weird, she thought. Especially in this run-down spaceport bar.

  • littlekreenToday at 11:51 AM

    Jaunt replied, "I'm sure they'd allow you to carry small things if you wanted, false matriarch Malika. We stock sundries at places like these."He rose the glass of dreamtime and extended a long red pointed tongue into it as the level went down though it didn't affect his voice at all, "It's hard on us to be away from proper Gardener Matriarchs, though I am a tiller."

  • QuietSuburbsToday at 11:51 AM

    Struggling to drown out the music and conversation around him, a young man held his head between his hands, his palms enveloping his ears. "Why does it have to be so loud?" He took a thin swig of water, too tired to order an actual drink. Maki knew tonight would be a long night, he just didn't know how or why.

  • SpiritToday at 11:52 AM

    Malika had walked into the bar themself, of course. But only because everyone else had, and they had figured it was like a requirement socialising. Walking outside again was a relief, breathing in the sweet... uh, space air? How did that even work? Malika had grabbed their mask just to be sure. But it hadn't been needed! Only the framing was on at the moment, well, framing their face. Mostly hidden by their hair, casually loose tonight. It was rather long, waves and curls. Mixed orange and red shades. "Oh, I don't... I don't know? I mean... I've never been ... been to a space station. Or a, uh, port.'' After a bit of silence, they admitted it with a sigh. "...I've never- I mean, this is my first time in space. I come from Earth.''

  • DawnToday at 11:56 AM

    The young man to his left was complaining about the noise and Ro just snorted a little, side-eyeing him with a little grin. "Because drillers and shippers are near deaf. All that machinery's loud as fuck," he replied, even though he was pretty sure the question had been rhetorical. He paused, considered, then offered his hand to shake. "First time here?"

littlekreenToday at 11:58 AM

"Good to see a Matriarch trying new things," said the transceiver as he tilted his head to look at the shotglass and swirl his tongue about it, "The air is stale on the space stations. No life in it alarms the senses. For us at least. Earth was wounded but vibrant when we met humans, unlike our injured homeworld. Many places has this scent of machined air with nothing but dust."

SpiritToday at 12:00 PM

Malika put up a sour face upon his mention of Earth. "Yeah... wounded,'' they said, voice cutting ice and bitter. "With a scent of-'' They took a shaky breath, trying to push back the tears and shaking their head. "Oh, nevermind.'' They concluded. Earth held nothing but bad memories or good memories tainted for them. But... Oh, how they missed those good times. It felt bitter and unfair that they couldn't- couldn't...

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:00 PM

By this point Captain Jezzy had sucked down three of those Tentacle Sunrises (hold the tentacles) and she was pretty damned smashed! Smashed enough the music actually sounded good - but definitely was not helping her make decisions about what to do about her crew and cargo problems. "Another!" she signalled the barkeep. This wouldn't be an issue for the crew at all.

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:03 PM

"You're from Earth? That's awesome!" Emry said. "I've never been there. Or really been 'outside' on a...oops," With what they said next, apparently 'Earth' was full of bad memories for Malika, not the sort of things one would expect from The Fabled Ancestral Home of Humankind.

QuietSuburbsToday at 12:03 PM

Maki was now shaking, as if the volume of everything was actually moving him. "Yeah, you can tell?" He turned to the person beside him, tired eyes staring blankly at him. "Never was a fan of loud sounds. Kind of a big issue, honestly." He let go of one of his ears, just long enough to shake the hand, wincing as he did so.

SpiritToday at 12:05 PM

Malika didn't mean to be mean, but glared at Emry. A glare brimming with tears. They honestly weren't mad at her, they were just mad at ... well, Earth. At how people thought about Earth. But then they just said 'oops' and Malika looked away with a sigh. "...I'm gonna go ask if I can carry some stuff. I can carry big stuff. I'm fine.'' But their voice sounded deadpan and they wouldn't make eye contact, hugging themself.

Off they went. But Alex wouldn't go so quickly. "Excuse me, Jaunt?'' Malika wouldn't notice this, and Alex was still linked to his communications, which hopefully could also get her to talk to Emry. Or have a translator. "May I speak, or use you as a transmitter?''

  • DawnToday at 12:07 PM

    Ro cocked an eyebrow at the question of whether or not he could tell the guy was noise-skittish because it was damn obvious. Still, he had just enough fucks to give left in him to keep up his smile and conversation. "To be fair, the band gets better the drunker you get," he laughed, shaking the hand in his before letting go to take back up his drink. "Name's Ro by the way. What should I call you, unless 'Skittish' is fine with you?"

  • littlekreenToday at 12:11 PM

    Jaunt replied over RF at Alex's contact,
    Yes, delegate Alex?
    He nodded quietly as he returned the shotglass and moved the long tongue to the amber colored drink, "Of course, False Matriarch, If you see a large pink biped, that is matriarch seeker Sprinkles with the logistics fleet."Jaunt continued to Emry, "Yes, the matriarchy found the Voyager probe spoken of the first Dreamer to find earth with its golden disc." Though gardeners nowadays took care to skip the portion about the council of matriarchs gating across interstellar distances. It nearly killed them, besides.

  • SpiritToday at 12:13 PM

    Malika only gave a nod, before approaching whoever was they could first. "Need some extra hands?'' Alex on the other hand, made sure to continue talking. "I was hoping to speak to Emry, but I have no permission to do so yet. Whereas I am already linked to your comms with your permission. By the way, I need to thank you for linking Malika and me into the general comms. That being said, I was hoping to speak with the both of you and did not know how else to do it."

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:18 PM

That absolutely, for certain not suspicious individual sitting in a corner booth finally got to his feet and stood up to his full ten foot height. He had a head that was almost entirely tentacles, and an expression on his face that was... welp. ANGRY AS HELL. If tentacles could look angry? He moved across the room until he was standing ominously behind Captain Jezebel, who currently appeared to be smashed out of her mind.

"So you think it's FUN to drink down my FAMILY?" Came out a robotic, translated voice. O' course this drink absolutely was not made out of his people, but a drunk tentacle man wasn't going to see the difference. He shoved the captain right off her bar stool and that Tentacle Sunrise went spilling everywhere!

QuietSuburbsToday at 12:19 PM

"Skittish?!" His voice turned highly feminine with the exclamation. "No, no. My name's Maki." the young man's voice returned to normal, a faux smile across his face. "Nice to meet you, Ro-"

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:20 PM

Captain Jezzy hit the floor with a loud shout of "OW FUCK!" And followed up with hysterical laughter as soon as she saw who shoved her! That didn't help the situation at all.

littlekreenToday at 12:20 PM

Jaunt replied to Alex over RF the Gardeners more able to multitask for communication,
I can leave my transceiver open if you like. It is just a radio.
The large pink biped was more clear a spider from the legs backing her four wings folded back like a cloak. Sprinkles looked over to Malika and pat her on the head as the bell from her collar emitted the Gardener Matriarch's perky voice, "Hello, Matriarch Malika! You can help bring in the boxes of tablets to your ship. They are for Jaunt."

At the Captain being threatened Jaunt turned around as outside the window, several Gardeners turned to look. He put his drink down and sucked in the long tongue to rear up to the tentacle man's eye-height from the side, "Sir. I am compelled not to fight in a neutral zone. Do not mistake that as I am unable to hurt you if you strike my honored matriarch again."

SpiritToday at 12:24 PM

Malika gave a nod. Aware of nothing, they picked up the box with ease. It was clear they had strength. They finally had something to do, barely even reacting on the pat except with a flinch. Strangely, they were already getting used to it this fast, maybe because of Jaunt. They'd seen him do it to Emry.

"Thank you, Jaunt. Now, Emry, that was nothing personal I assure you. I do not want to speak ill of Malika, nor spill their business. But what I can tell you is that Malika has... had bad experiences on Earth. I do not think they want to talk about it, but I can assure you, it was nothing personal. In fact, I think they ah, quite like you. I hope you can understand. I hope you can also understand that they are unable to answer any questions about Earth without being reminded of this, and that I do not feel comfortable sharing for them.''

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:25 PM

"Jaunsy... Jaunsy I gos it..." slurred Captain Jezzy, climbing up to her feet in a sway. "Lissen... buddy! I'mma ma ma not here for troubles! Jus... you know... they taste good?" That didn't help either!

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:27 PM

Emry opened her mouth to apologize, then closed it as Malika left. The other teenager had given her 'Stay away from me, you freak!' vibe as hardcore as possible without actually shouting it out. Emry sighed. Well, that went well--oh COME ON! she thought as some cephalopod dude shoved Captain Jez and...well, his words made no sense. She hurried to the Captain's side. "Sir, your translator must be broken. But whatever your problem with the Captain is, we can talk this out like grownups, right? Wha? I mean, right?" As she was talking, Alex's voice came through on her Squadron Channel. Yeah, right, 'nothing personal,' got it, she thought.

DawnToday at 12:28 PM

"Maki. Nice to meet ya," Ro chuckled, loving the voice crack. And then he laughed even more at the scuffle that unfolded just seconds later. A shipper captain was on her ass and some sensitive tentacle person was losing their shit. He made zero effort to hide the fact he was watching; this was the most exciting thing to happen around him in months! "My money's on the cap'n," he told Maki with a grin.

littlekreenToday at 12:28 PM

Jaunt backed off at his Honored Matriarch's order but the large black fangs folding out of his pedipalps spoke of a particular restrained violence as the two main eyes fixated on the tentacle man, "Matrem Vult, honored Matriarch." The buzzing in his head from her inebriation was part of why he was after some himself.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:29 PM

"UPUUGHBLUGHHBUYGHULP!" Well, whatever that statement was from the tentacle headed man, it couldn't be translated by his translator. But it was a safe bet he'd just said some really insulting curse words to both Jaunt and Captain Jezzy. But now there was three of them standing there and he didn't know who to shove first... So in quick succession, he shoved Jezzy and Emry with his tentacle arms, and then attempted to chest kick Jaunt with a tentacle leg. BAR BRAWL ACTIVATED.

SpiritToday at 12:32 PM

And all that time, Malika was still ever so innocently loading Jaunt's tablets in quick succession. They didn't know where Jaunt's Quarters were, so they put it in the cargo bay. For now. Later, they'd have to tell Jaunt that tablets had come. They had none the wiser idea of what was going on, and there seemed to be interference on the comms for Alex. "Emry? You don't have to talk about it... I just really wanted you to know that Malika has been through a lot, and is a good person. I promise you...''

littlekreenToday at 12:34 PM

Jaunt responded to Alex,
I have my own share of bodies I've buried for the Matriarchy. I understand. I will be more mindful of the the matriarch's needs in the fut[buzzing discordance]
As he was kicked in the bottom of his cephalothorax and jolted upward. A vibrating pressure of violence from Jezebel's pocket came from Jaunt's instinctual restraint. The claws on his blade arm flipped down to a bumpy overlap as he backed up to get a fixed gaze on the tentacle man. He bent up on the two large blade legs and a closed fist from where he'd been kicked shot out to hit the tentacle man in return. The blade legs of their living forklift could crumple an airlock.

SpiritToday at 12:35 PM

Alex was silent for a while. "Jaunt?'' They asked next. "Are you reading me?'' ... "Is anyone reading me?''

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:35 PM

Emry raised her mass and used an inward sweep of her left arm to clear the shoving tentacles away while she moved in a diagonal that let them flow past her while she got in close. Wrapping the fingers of her left hand around the tentacle and taking hold of his shoulder with the other, she shifted her weight to use tentacle-man's own forward motion to pitch him past her. Just as Jaunty's fist flashed by her in a blur.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:37 PM

    Rafael had been taking a slow drink of the strongest liquor the bartender handed to him and he just sighed when a bar brawl broke out. He hadn't even been here for an hour… and if something made him mad… well, he often blacked out and had no clue what happened.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:38 PM

"Hey now..!" Jezebel had stumbled back into the bar from the shove, and that woulda been fine, but this tentacled jerk had went swinging at her crew. Were she SOBER she would've tried to talk the man down like any sane Captain would. ...Yet she was smashed on Tentacle Sunrises, with a heap of BIG PROBLEMS on her shoulders, and well... a fight felt good right about now."Donchu start messin wit muh crew!" she shouted, pushing off from the bar and swinging that fist of hers to punch that tentacle guy in he face. Only between Emry and Jaunt, the tentacle man was no longer where he'd been standing so Jezebel's punch ended up landed on some other innocent bar bystander!

QuietSuburbsToday at 12:38 PM

Maki saw the commotion, realizing what was happening. He stared, before deciding to tackle the Cthulu-man. "I don't take kindly to bullies around these parts!" He was significantly smaller than the man, about 5 feet tall, but he was furious that someone would drunkenly attack a stranger.

SpiritToday at 12:39 PM

Next, Alex shifted to the general comms. "Is anyone reading me? There seems to be interference on the comms. Should I tell Malika? What's going on? Captain Jez?'' If this didn't work, they would tell Malika.

littlekreenToday at 12:40 PM

Alex immediately was met on general comms with several dozen gardeners watching from the hull of the craft and singing a particular song:
Napalm Records
POWERWOLF - Amen & Attack | Napalm Records

SpiritToday at 12:43 PM

Music? "H-hello?'' Alex tried again. "Anyone?'' ...

[Malika, I have lost contact with the crew. I think you should get inside.]


Malika put down the box. Lost... contact? That was bad. That was bad, right?'' Rushing outside, they grabbed their orb and ran back to the bar. It took exactly 0.2 seconds of looking around to spot the Captain. And a fight. An actual fight. The first fight they'd seen since... since... They froze on the spot.

DawnToday at 12:43 PM

Ro was laughing openly now, watching the fight spread to onlookers as the captain missed her mark and hit someone else, sending drinks flying in the process and pissing people off. There was laughter and arguments and soon the whole damn bar was fighting and Ro just sipped his drink, ducking flying shot glasses. Maki suddenly joined the fray and he ordered another shot of vibrant blue to cheers the man. "My money's on the short one now!"

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:45 PM

    Rafael really had no intention of getting involved in this fight and was going to stay as far back as possible. But then the person froze. " Now's a really bad time for that," he replied, pulling her back with so much pain as he did

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:45 PM

    The bar of patrons erupted into a flurry of chaos! Drunk and bored... this was a pretty normal occurrance out in a place like this, even if it was a little wild and scary. Additional people started jumping into the fray taking free swings at whomever had recently pissed them off, not paid their tab, or just looked kinda funny. Some of the less fighty folks were taking bets in the back on who was coming to come out of this without losing a finger. "I'LL TAKE THAT BET!" someone shouted at Ro.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 12:46 PM

    Ekadzati had just stepped out of the ship when one of the young people ran past her for the bar. Wu-Li! she thought, sensing Emry tapping into her power. She hurried after Malika. They seemed as tense as a taut guitar string. She put a gentle hand on their shoulder, just before chaos erupted. She moved in flowing, dancelike steps, steering attacks away from Malika like a human current of water.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:47 PM

    Maki gets yeeted right over the bar over Ro's head. It was bound to happen.

littlekreenToday at 12:48 PM

Sprinkles followed Malika as she heard what was going on in the bar as the ceiling behind her sprouted lurking eyeballs, "Ssh, Jaunt will not allow anyone to be hurt. Nor I you."Jaunt's head throbbed with the instinctual need to start carving holes in threats to his honored matriarch as the restraint she'd ordered kept his violent wrath holstered. A burning and jerky violence from someone punching him at all angles in the thorax and one in an inconvienent painful location where a back leg stuck to their head and smashed the offender against the floor. Jaunt was taking punches but it felt like a punching bag full of gel which many of the violent ones were apparently taking gleeful pleasure in.

  • SpiritToday at 12:49 PM

    Malika's breath hitched in their chest and throat. A choked cry making its way free.
    But whatever Alex said was lost. Pictures of battles lost and won. Grant being gone. Harrison leading over her as she was strapped in, with a fucking syringe. And them being helpless to help either Adam or a weakened dr. Grant. With a shorter breath, they unwillingly ignored the dimmed everything.

  • And them someone touched her. And all hell broke loose. Malika, against Alex's shout, erupted a scream and tossed the orb. A bright flash of light went through the entire room. Knowing this was coming, Malika shut their eyes, only dealing with some white eyelids. Anyone else, however, would be blinded if they had their eyes open at the time, or even had eyes that were sensitive to this, would be blinded. For a few seconds, for a few minutes, it depended on exposure. The idea was, a big bright light erupted with a force of, well, an explosion of white. And they just stood there, in the middle, arm raised to protect their eyes and not daring to even peek.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:52 PM

    FLASH. Malika's bright light bomb went off in the bar, and it did in fact sent most of the patrons whose eyes were open into screams of shocked pain! The rest... well, it was certainly confusing and put a damper on this giant brawl. Now patrons were stumbling all over the place, with only a few people still trying to shove and fight... but without the wild chaos of a mass brawl, they too simmered down.

  • DawnToday at 12:52 PM

    "Ah shit." Ro sighed, slapping some credits into the other's palm, then he leaned over the bar counter, looking down at Maki where he'd been thrown. "You okay, kid?" And then came the flashbang and he dropped his glass and cursed as he squeezed his eyes shut against the terribly bright light. Didn't help the huge spots in his vision when he tried opening his eyes again.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:53 PM

    Rafael didn't know wha the fuck that thing was, ut he didn't need to know that orbs generally meant bad things. He would close his eyes for a second, taking a deep breath and keeping them closed for now. " ....Really hate my instinct to help people right now," he replied, grunting in pain as he didn't know how long he could keep his arm up.

  • QuietSuburbsToday at 12:54 PM

    Maki was unresponsive, his body limp. The force of the impact had knocked him unconscious, at the very least. His mind was blank, other than a single image.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 12:54 PM

Jez was lucky enough to have been face planted on the ground, so other than a bit of light glare she wasn't blinded and only had hella light spots in her eyes. It was quite sobering though, especially when she frantically looked up to find Malika there in the room looking wrecked."Jaunt... Jaunt, get the girl out of here..." she grunted out, trying to pick herself off the floor.

  • SpiritToday at 12:56 PM

    But there was no need for that. Malika finally lowered their arm, made direct eye contact -or were they looking past- and shook their head, letting out more choked cries. After that, they turned around. "No...'' They muttered. ... They raised their hand to recall their orb, it floating to their hand. When they had it, they clutched it tight and ran out the door, breathing frantically and practically falling against the nearest wall. Wherever that was. Where even were they?

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:57 PM

Emry finished yeeting Tentacleface, but now there was mayhem all around. She reduced her mass for quick dodges, raising it again briefly for punches and throws, hopefully keeping use of Wu-Li subtle enough that nobody would notice--except for one certain person, of course. She was using hers too, but even more subtly.

Then someone set off a flashbang, shattering Emry's concentration, and she took a hit to the jaw that staggered her. Emry dove for the deck, drawing her blaster as she did so, and rolled in the general direction of the nearest table. Malika wasn't the only one with military reflexes.Except that Emry couldn't see well enough to shoot at the moment. She holstered her blaster. But from what little she could hear over the ringing in her ears indicated that things were settling down.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 12:57 PM

Rafael would take a deep breath, slowly lowering his arm down and would debate if he wanted to go after the girl or just see if the guy who was yeeted was okay.

littlekreenToday at 12:58 PM

Raucous indecipherable cheers went across general comms as the audience saw a matriarch of any kind disable an entire room of combatants. Jaunt had thrown two off with a leg as he got flashed and his combat instincts nearly broke as one blade leg pounded straight next to one fellow's head with a tiny divot in the deckplate. He looked to Jezebel as his sight faded in for movement at least and shook off the pulse. A clinging leg glued to Jezebel on the floor and hoisted her backward onto the joint between his cephalothorax and thorax. At orders changed and threats disrupted he started moving off toward the cordon established behind the pink matriarch seeker.

  • DawnToday at 12:58 PM

    No response. That ain't good. "Aw shit. Kid?" Ro scrambled over the counter and knelt beside Maki, still trying to blink away the spots in his vision but it was getting slowly better. With still no answer, he reached up and popped the compact medic scanner from on his hip - one of a few standard gadgets for drillers - and began to analyze Maki starting with his head down. "No breaks. Hey kid!" He gave Maki's cheek a friendly smack. "Wake up~"

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 1:01 PM

    "Miss?" Ekadzati said. After the flashbang, she'd let her Staff slip from her sleeve and subtly increased its length while shrouding it mostly in the folds of her tunic. With its tip touching the ground, she could sense vibrations from the movements of others while she waited for the spots to clear from her eyes. There, she thought, picking out a set of footfalls. Using her Staff as a cane, she followed Malika out. "Miss? Are you alright?"

  • QuietSuburbsToday at 1:04 PM

    "Machiko?" was all that escaped his lips, the voice once again feminine. His eyes fluttered, then shut. The young man was alive, but barely.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:05 PM

Rafael would noticed that somebody else had take care of the kid that had been popped behind the bar. " Well, I definitely don't love the amount of pain I'm in," he mumbled, going back to his glass quietly, downing the remaining drink. The pain was certainly getting worse the further from home he got, but finishing the drink had surpressed it for now. Why he wasn't drunk was still a mystery to him.

  • SpiritToday at 1:06 PM

    Malika was definitely not okay. Being called a 'miss' only made it worse, but Alex was on the case. "Malika is not a miss,'' they let the stranger know from their watch display. "They are nonbinary, and only occasionally use she, but most of the time, they use they/them pronouns. Same for me.'' Malika only muttered something incomprehensible, or tried to. Their breathing was way too irregular and fast, and they had pushed up against the wall, knees tucked in wrapped arms. Head in there.

littlekreenToday at 1:07 PM

Jaunt stopped near the other matriarch seeming unconcerned about the weight of the drunken captain other than to absently keep er onboard with one pair of middle legs. Sprinkles had retreated behind the cordon as combat ebbed until they were sure the bar wouldn't spill violence toward her as people fled. Jaunt's mind was still angrily throbbing at the threat to matriarchs and had to fiddle with his transciever to restart it. It took a minute for him to respond to Alex,
Bar brawl with a blood sponge threatening the honored matriarch, delegate Alex. There wasn't any threat to your false matriarch but she arrived and disabled them. The honored matriarch is drunk.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:08 PM

"My apologies," Ekadzati said, placing her hands in front of her chest, palms together, fingers pointing upward, and bowed. "Are they alright? I am the ship's medic, and I may also serve in the role of a counselor," she said, fidgeting with a loose beaded braid.

DawnToday at 1:09 PM

Oh. Well that was interesting. Last time Maki's voice had pitched, Ro had assumed it was a voice crack but this time it didn't seem to be the case. He kind of felt a bit foolish now, thinking he was looking at a regular ol' human when he ought to know better. Or maybe it wasn't even so complicated as species. He shouldn't assume, right? Who was Machiko, he wondered, as he pressed a stabilizer serum to Maki's neck and injected it with a hiss of the compact pen. "Hey, anyone here a medic? This guy's pretty hurt," he said loudly. Like really loudly. "Ya'll can bicker later."

SpiritToday at 1:10 PM

"Thank you,'' they let Jaunt know via their radio. "I lost all comms and told Malika. I suppose that makes this somewhat my fault. As you said, it had no threat to them. At least, not physically... Mentally however, I'm afraid...'' Finally, Malika lifted their head and it flopped against the wall with a soft thud. They seemed unaffected. All they could see was that lab, the aftermath and.. and the wreckage they'd sowed. "Grant...'' They asked. "...Is Grant okay?'' There was a long, long silence. "Malika,'' Alex eventually said, their voice softer and wavering now. "...Grant is gone.''

littlekreenToday at 1:14 PM

Jaunt looked at Ro and gestured with his arm that hadn't been kicked to one of the regions on his patterned hide, "Do you have a knife? My hoploplasm will serve to staunch blood. Stab sideways into the top layer."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:15 PM

CHAOS had woke up from their nap with small child and would goop their way over to the bar, taking a deep breath as they did. Oh, so many fresh unconcious bodies to borrow. They would slink around, looking to see if any needed help.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:16 PM

"I think imma throw up," burped Captain Jezebel. Those drinks and the adrenaline from the fight were hitting hard and fast. She hadn't even yet realized she was being hauled off by the giant spider Jaunt.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:20 PM

Rafael would take a deep breath before approaching Captain Jezbel, finally taking the chance to look at the world's cheapest description he had been provided. " Are you Captain Jezbell?" He asked.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 1:20 PM

    Ekadzati's head snapped toward the sound of the call for a medic. "Excuse me, I have to go. I'll come back as soon as I can," she said to Malika, then hurried into the bar.
  • Once she could see again, Emry crawled out from under cover. MalikAlex were gone, and so were the Captain and Jaunt. Which meant it was time to slip away before the gendarmes showed up. She was just about to the door when she came face to face with her.
  • "We need to talk, in private," the woman said softly.Emry sighed, gave a little nod, and backed up a step to let Ekadzati in. She turned and followed her to the injured person.
  • Ekadzati crouched next to the fallen man. Thankfully, she had her medkit with her, if for no other reason than to substantiate her cover. She opened it and took out a hand-scanner that she swept over the man. "Is there a proper hospital facility here that he can access?" she asked.

SpiritToday at 1:22 PM

"That is okay. I was just about to suggest you go take care of those inside. Malika's blast may have left a couple of people with... vision problems. It flashes the eyes in such a manner that one's vision is impaired for a few minutes at most. Symptoms may continue for a while, but it is not permanent, should not hurt or damage and- in fact, if you would grant me permission, I can send over the data of the blast to whatever tech you may have on you, if that would help,'' they suggested. Talking had no use and was too slow. "I shall take care of Malika.''

DawnToday at 1:22 PM

Ro patted the knife on his toolkit but also shook his head. "I gave him stabilizer, so same thing. But something's really wrong with him and I'm not sure it's physical. Scanner said nothing's broken." He looked up at the insectoid and squinted, considering. "You're with the shippers, yeah? Ya'll got a decent med bay I heard. Can you take hiiii--what the fuck--" Ro stared at the dark ooze that had entered the bar. "That's not an oil ooze, right?" reaching for his toolkit but remembering his cold canister wasn't there off world. "Tell me that's not an oil ooze right now."

littlekreenToday at 1:24 PM

Jaunt shifted a hand back and forth, "Neutrality agreements prohibit the logistics fleet from taking medical passengers outside merc contracts. I think the Honored Matriarch's vessel has a medbay that will serve, yes. If that is the ooze I think it is perhaps we should leave before it can reeenter."

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:24 PM

    " CHAOS not oil ooze, CHAOS is CHAOS," the goo replied to the man. It sniffed Makil curiously.

  • Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 1:25 PM

    At the sound of CHAOS - or rather the SIGHT of CHAOS, a couple patrons in the bar that couple still see immediately started to shout and book it out of the bar. Fleeing in terror.

  • "Jeh-seh-bell," was all Jezzy could really croak out at the question. She likely was not going to be able to answer much. "To the ship...!" she attempted to drunkenly order whomever was on her crew. They all looked a bit wibbly wobbly to her at this point!

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:28 PM

Ekadzati switched to the 'communications' settings for her medscanner so she could 'ping' Alex with its contact info. As the man said, nothing was broken as far as the scanner could determine. But she was also gently touching him with her other hand at the neck, shoulder, and sternum, reaching out with Wu-Li to sense the man's energy meridians, hopefully without making it apparent that she was doing so.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:28 PM

Rafael would take that as a yes. " That's great to know," he replied, going back to the bar to grab his cane and walking over to the ship wit her.

DawnToday at 1:29 PM

"Okay..." Ro said slowly at the Not Oil Ooze. "This guy's not for eating, in case that was on your agenda," he added, wagging a finger at CHAOS. "I don't know who your matriarch is unless you're talking about the drunk captain?" he said to the insectoid. "This guy just needs a proper look at."

SpiritToday at 1:30 PM

As soon as the ping came in, Alex accepted and started to scour through their files. Gear, weapons, orb, soon enough they were at the flash ability. Pulling selective information from that, they then sent anything medically relevant to the medic.

littlekreenToday at 1:31 PM

Jaunt looked back as he noted the quietus markers indicating a withdrawal as the logistics fleet had spotted the goo inside the station as well after the hardpoint installation. Gardeners were at the docks hurriedly re-loading packages for a later delivery. He backed up putting him in range to grab the man under Ro with one hand and drag him closer for a sideways carry underneath, "I can carry them both to the medbay." Jaunt Wheeled about as Jezebel gave her order from atop the spider mount ready to scuttle forward toward the ship, "As you will it, Honored Matriarch!"

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:32 PM

    CHAOS would totally not frown when he learned Maki was not food. " CHAOS can borrow body and make go to ship faster,, go brrr... super fast," he replied to Ro.

  • DawnToday at 1:36 PM

    "Mmmm I'm gonna say no to that one, CHAOS buddy, but thanks for the offer." Ro was (kind of) sure this creature meant well? Maybe? But body borrowing without consent was a little... The insectoid was on the move with Maki and Ro snapped his attention back to that, jogging to catch up. "I'm coming with. Wanna make sure the kid's okay." Besides, he had nothing better to do.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:38 PM

    CHAOS would slink up to Ro. " Okay, CHAOS won't borrow body of that one," it replied, slinking around to see if there was any unconcious bodies it can borrow to walk to ship faster.

  • Zarko StraadiToday at 1:39 PM

    Ekadzati's attempt to sense what was happening with the man was interrupted by Jauntie coming in to collect him and take him to the ship's medical bay. She nodded an affirmative to the other man as he joined the group heading for the ship. Emry stuck close to her, figuring she'd need to help cover any use of Wu-Li on the woman's part.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:42 PM

CHAOS not knowing the drama that Jezbel had experienced with tentacle man would pick up that body first, burrowing the goo and walking over the body back to the ship for now. This probably wouldn't be a problem for later.

  • CHAOS would come back again, grabbing another body, this one not too far from the tentacle man, and would drag it over to the ship as well.

littlekreenToday at 1:45 PM

Jaunt had to hold onto the captain's legs by sticking two of his own to her shoes to keep her from falling over as he did the six legged shuffle with a load beneath him. He tried not to think of the pressing need to smash something in half as it sprayed like a red fountain as the matriarch slurred above him. Jaunt's arm hurt but he didn't think it was serious as he watched the tentacle man lope by at speed likely from the creature. The speaker had a certain buzz of a gardener incensed but didn't say anything. Jaunt thought to himself that maybe the blood fountain would be later. There would be so much blood with these goo creatures that he'd have to take a joyful shower after.
  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:45 PM

    CHAOS would come back a third time, this time being a bit more selective and grabbing the barkeep from behind the bar to take with them.

SpiritToday at 1:49 PM

Alex had been talking to Malika nonstop, waiting for answers. But it didn't help. They were shut down... Fully. With a sigh... Alex hated doing this.
[Okay, Malika. We both don't like this, but I know you trust me and I have permissions. I know you'll understand. The ship is leaving. So I'm going to have to override you... for your own good.]

No answer. So... they partially overrode Malika just enough to get them to walk back on the ship to somewhere safe and strap in to the nearest chair. At least for now, that would do, and Alex went silent. They'd just have to... snap out of it, eventually.
  • littlekreenToday at 1:49 PM

    The clicking of Jaunt's fangs came as the third body loped by. Fire maybe fire. Cauterize the wound. Cauterize the oil and make it burn. A rippling plume of heated breath left him as he tried to calm down though the buzz was still there, "I will have to order more rations. Maybe sprinkles left us some. How do I make goo bleed?"

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:49 PM

    CHAos would get the barkeep onto the ship and come back, grabbing a fourth body, this time a young lady heading it over to the ship.

  • DawnToday at 1:54 PM

    Between the ooze hijacking bodies and the insectoid talking about making things bleed, Ro was a little concerned about where they were heading. He wasn't willing to leave Maki alone with them, however. And really, he couldn't explain why he felt the need to protect the young man he'd only just met, but maybe he was reminded a bit of himself - a younger, way more naïve him.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:54 PM

CHAOS would come back for a fifth body, just grabbing whatever was by the bathroom this time and rushing to the ship.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:56 PM

"You got this?" Emry said sotto voce. She knew the monks had some way of communicating without speaking, but she'd never learned it. I'll probably have to at least let her teach me that... she thought. The medic nodded, so Emry headed for the gangway so she could get aboard her fighter. "What the--?" she sputtered, seeing the stack of bodies aboard the ship. "Emry to Captain Jez, I think I heard you saying something about us not transporting passengers involuntarily? Well, we've got half the bar stacked in here now."

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:56 PM

CHAOS figured it had time to grab a sixth body and would find what it deemed as the most attractive bar person in the room and headed back to the ship with that body.

littlekreenToday at 1:58 PM

Jaunt carefully pivoted the captain's legs forward as not to hit her head on the ship airlock scuttling into the ship figuring that she might be passed out already. Once into familiar territory the pressing violence in his head abated somewhat remembering where the medbay was. He had to crawl fairly close to the floor in an odd position as he moved the man to medbay. He looked sideways in medbay to boxes of gardener Human-Snax™ with their odd branding that humans commented looked a lot like soylent pet treats.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 1:58 PM

Rafael would slowly limp back into the ship, hitting its cane as the weird goo creature piloted a seventh body onto the ship, not caring what it looked like.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:59 PM

Ekadzati powered up the biobed and started scanning the injured man with its sensors, while also sensing his energy meridians with the occasional gentle touch.

Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:00 PM

CHAOS knowing that it didn't have much time would run back to the abr and grab the eighth and final body, as it lingered in the doorway, booking it to the ship, with just a few moments to spare.Rafael would make it onto the ship just as his legs decided to give.

DawnToday at 2:03 PM

Ro just settled into a chair in the corner of the med bay, staying out of the way but watching closely while Maki was seen to. It wasn't like he had to go anywhere else; everything he owned was in the small backpack slung over one shoulder. He did get a chuckle from the captain though, thinking she seemed fun to work for.

  • Lucky, Phantom of the DiscordToday at 2:04 PM

    Chaos managed to do one more quick run and grab one last unconcious body close to the ship.

Diana Ò◇ÓOPToday at 2:06 PM

And so as our crew settled in to leave the Moonshine Port, with some new willing passengers (and unknowingly a few UNwilling passengers) one could say this rest stop was a.. relaxing...? Scratch that, this was another hot mess disaster for the crew of the Applejack! Making their problems ten times worse and giving them a reputation that was going to get whispered around the galaxy.

What was going to happen when the Captain wakes up from her druken hangover? Are those unconscious kidnapped people going to riot? Who is Maki and what is their secret? FIND OUT ON THE NEXT SPACE BOUNTY EXPRESS.
Okay I guess I'll put this nerd in here cause I would love to play again next time~





Molten Drill Operation
Dangerous Environments Certification
Interior and Exterior Ship Welding
First Aid
Name: Inquisitor Damarys Vethi'shaan
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: NienieDreamer

Diana Ò◇Ó
OPToday at 10:54 AM

WE OPEN TO THE SHIP BEING STILL IN DOCKED ORBIT AT THE MOONSHINE PORT... Captain Jezebel is knocked out from too many Tentacle Sunrises, and hangover to beat all hangovers. There is a cargo bay of unconscious kidnapped people thanks to the CHAOS goo. They were supposed to take off for a delivery THREE HOURS AGO.The Mission: Do something about these kidnapped people. Clean up the mess. Get back to space.

SpiritToday at 10:56 AM

Malika was still shaken up from the day before. Or the night, they supposed. Was it really ever day and night in space? So disorienting. Nonetheless, they had absolutely thrown themself into their work. Fixing wires, at the moment. Should they address it to people? No... they could not possibly. But then, what to do about it? And Emry... The only girl around their age, and they'd ruined it, hadn't they? Why did they get so... so... defensive? Ugh. People-ing was hard. Too hard. Even with the wires- "Ouch!'' Tears sprung in their eyes The pain, both mental, physical... Ugh.

littlekreenToday at 11:02 AM

Jaunt had ended up in the captain's cabin and was dutifully positioned directly overtop the unconscious captain. As Gardeners weren't personal space sort of creatures and he was amped up from the barely restrained chaos of a barfight, a dozen intruders dragged in by the goo they couldn't evict or destroy, and the honored matriarch giving him a psionic headache from the number of alcoholic drinks she'd drank. He used his two blade arms to protect view of the bed with an open door so he could see threats coming. The blast of arc noise caught his attention as he called over local comms, "Did something arc? I can hear it nearby."

H3]SpiritToday at 11:04 AM[/H3]
Malika took their watch and put it up. "Oh. Yes. That was me. Sorry. Everything under control. Over and out.'' They were not in the mood to talk. They'd just fix the wiring.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:05 AM

With the seeminly uninjured young man in the medbay, Ekadzati tried again to sense Maki's energy meridians while the biobed's scanners worked to do the same.

Today at 11:06 AM

Maki had slowly begun to writhe unconsciously, his lips moving with no sound. He was mouthing some statment, but it was unclear.

SpiritToday at 11:08 AM

Once more the wires crossed and sparked. "OW!'' They exclaimed, and then some colourful mumbling at the panel. Fine. Just fine. If it wanted to fight, it got a fight. Malika's anger was already picking up, they could feel it in their chest. They tried to take a couple of deep breaths. No dice. They'd just fix the wires later. Maybe there was an issue in the other panel that was causing this? They thought the issue went deeper than just this... Grumbling, they decided to go to the other side of the wall, check that panel. If it was in the middle... they'd have a problem. But before that... "Still me. Seems to be an issue with the wiring. Going to check it out now. Over and out.'' And on they went.

littlekreenToday at 11:11 AM

Jaunt replied after tilting his head and swaying to gather perspective on the spectrum he could sense, "I don't think that's your only short. False Matriarch. There's something less volatile arcing nearby. Is there a bad ground?"

SpiritToday at 11:14 AM

Malika stopped walking. "What?'' They even forgot the comms stuff that had been taught to her! "What's nearby? Bad ground?'' Malika leaned down onto the ground, touching it. "Bad ground... I mean, the floor seems fine here?''

littlekreenToday at 11:15 AM

It wasn't something he could really track down other than a coarsely sensed distance, "Electrical ground, False Matriarch. You may have a live wire touching a housing?"

SpiritToday at 11:17 AM

"What? Oh. Alex, can you scan?'' There was a bit of a silence. "There seems to be an error in the wires. We were on our way to see if we could reach it on the other side's panel, but until then I cannot tell you any more. We will be on our way and update you.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:24 AM

Emry paced back and forth in the cargo bay. So how am I gonna get them back to the bar without drawing lots of attention? She could hear echoes of Malika's voice, but thought better of asking the other teenager for help. Whatever the AI might have said to try to smooth things over, Malika's body language and I-won't-even-talk-to-you attitude had been as far away from 'not personal' as they could get.

But I need that auto-transporter...Reluctantly, she turned and followed the sound of Malika and Alex's voices. "...Uh...excuse me...sorry to bother you. I'm sorry about...certain planets--" She sighed. "Look, I'm better at blowing people out of the sky than whatever this is supposed to be," she said, gesturing back and forth from herself to MalikAlex with an index finger. "Can I...can I borrow that auto-transporter you fixed so I can start taking people back to the bar? If that's what I should even be doing. Is the Captain still..."

Ekadzati turned to Ro. "Sir, do you have any medical training?"

littlekreenToday at 11:26 AM

Jaunt tried to figure out where it was coming from but it was just a broad 'that way' like someone playing bass floors away. He wasn't all that much of an engineer as much basic gunsmith but troubleshooting interference was something of a species necessity. He posited to Alex and Malika, "Delegate Alex, perhaps it is a water or conductive fluid that has been energized? The airlock was shorting quite a bit perhaps that is why the hydraulics were unhappy."

Today at 11:27 AM

Maki had suddenly started gaining beads of sweat on his brow, his expression now furious. "See..." His heart was racing, his eyes starting to move rapidly. "He..."

SpiritToday at 11:32 AM

Malika turned around. Oh.. They crossed their arms over their chest, shuffling on their feet and through stances. "Oh, you're not bothering...'' Their voice, however, sounded hesitant. What were they supposed to say to her?! "You mean Earth. It's okay, you can say it,'' Malika assured, averting their gaze to the floor. Earth. Earth. Earth. Earth. Damn it. "Same,'' they mumbled.

"Oh, um, I mean... at... this.'' They grabbed the panel and pulled it off the wiring. "...Machines are easier. Easier than people. They... I can understand them. But... not people. They're so...'' She sighed and shrugged, shaking their head. They perked up however, at a request. An actual request! Not only their first request, which made them hold in a squeal, but a request from Emry of all people to hopefully make it up a little.

They didn't even care about making up; they deserved this and way, much more. After all, it was all their fault. But they nodded. "Oh, yeah. Just uh... lemme troubleshoot this and I'll help you operate it. I gave it quite the few upgrades.'' In fact, they worked on it without sleep whilst they were out of it mentally... but Malika didnd't add that. Instead of a rusty thing, it was now an actual piece of tech. "I'll be right with you.'' They cleared their throat. "Where are the hydraulics located? Over.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:33 AM

"Please breathe slowly," Ekadzati said. Keeping her body between her hands and Ro, she began touching pressure-points and using her Wu-Li energy to try to balance Maki's energy meridians.

"Oh!" Emry said, feeling relief wash over her. "I'm not good at people either. Unless they're in an enemy fighter, or maybe somebody in a bar brawl that needs a bop on the head." Wait, would that sound like I'm being threatening? Oh no, I bet it totally does! "Uh, somebody out there...far away," she said, gesturing in the opposite direction from Malika and Alex.

littlekreenToday at 11:41 AM

Jaunt pondered sending the Quietus for it but the subjective language likely didn't work well for anyone beside other Gardeners. Instead he replied, "There is a floor access by the wall you will need to remove with a hex wrench to take the hydraulics panel off. Either side may be the issue. I had to force the doors closed it is possible a seal is leaking."

SpiritToday at 11:46 AM

Malika nodded. "Yes, well... machines are...'' Better? No... "...Nice. Excuse me, I really gotta take care of this one first. A leak could be serious, and dangerous if the water is electrified. You can come along if you want... Uh, but it'll probably be boring for you. You'll need my data pad to control the auto-transporter, though.'' They reached and pulled out a small object. It was like a very small, not fully round sphere, just a small tube. Opening their hand, it opened in their palm to a holo-pad. "See?'' They turned around and closed the panel.

"On my way, over.'' Not daring to check if Emry followed them, Malika hurried to where Jaunt had specified. Wait... "What is a hex wrench... again?'' "If you could descirbe it, it would be helpful,'' Alex added.

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:48 AM

"OK...thanks. If you want, I could help you with the hydraulics? I could take the other side," Emry said.

littlekreenToday at 11:48 AM

"Hexagonal bar bent into a right angle for turning. Or bits if you have socket screwdrivers. I have some for my hand cannons. They help avoid stripping." He added helpfully.

Today at 11:48 AM

"He's... proud..." Maki was slowing down, his voice focusing. "I can be..." Suddenly, he sat up, his eyes wide open. "Dad ge-- Where... Am I?"

SpiritToday at 11:49 AM

Malika gasped. "Right!'' They said. Suddenly they stopped altogether and turned to Emry very slowly. "Wait... did you just say... people? Back to the bar? Wh-what happened? Oh, and I haven't seen the Captain yet.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:51 AM

Ekadzati gave a da Vinci smile. "There are many ways to answer that question, but the one you likely seek is, 'you are still in Moonshine Port, aboard the Applejack.' How are you feeling?"

Today at 11:53 AM

"Like a bus hit me. How did I... Oh." He looked over at Ro, before turning back to the smiling stranger. "The Applejack, huh? Nice name."

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:55 AM

"That chaos least that's what I think I heard somebody call it, it brought a bunch of people here from the bar, don't ask me why. I'm bad at people, but completely rubbish at gelatinous blobs of alien goo," Emry said. "I'm not even so sure we should bring them back to the bar, as long as they're unconscious. What if they're hurt, or that goo sucked their brains out or something? It's kidnapping, even if you bring them back, isn't it?"

Ekadzati shrugged. "I did not name it. Do you know what could have happened to you? Our scanners could not detect any injuries, yet you were unconscious."

SpiritToday at 12:00 PM

Malika burst out laughing for a while, then stopped, and laughed again. "Sorry, sorry,'' they said, wiping some tears. "Oh, man... I really needed that, they said eventually, looking at Emry with a small, watery smile. "Thanks. Anyways,'' they said, getting another wrench out and reaching it out, "we may need to weld this shut eventually. But for now, just a quick fix will do. I know you upkeep your ship, so here you go.'' If Emry wouldn't take it, they'd just... awkwardly put it down. And start working on their side.

"CHAOS took people...? Good thing we haven't taken off,'' they sighed. "My first shift, when we met, I was called to eject it. Don't we have a medic on board?'' They still fuzzily remembered... something. Stuff. "We can have a medic take a look at the people before sending them back? Maybe not in the bar... or in the way... just... in a safe space? Besides, I don't think it's kidnapping! It's like... putting them back, right?'' All this was said whilst they worked on the side of the door.

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:07 PM

Emry took the wrench and started in on the panel for the other side of the door. One of the bolts was rusted in place, so she had to raise her mass with Wu-Li and lean on it, until it finally budged with a scree of protest, and she was able to work it off.

"I'm...pretty sure we have a medic, but she took that other guy to the medical bay," Emry said, trying to hide her discomfort at the thought of talking to the woman. She shook her head to push away bad memories. "Okay..." she said, pulling off the panel. She was now opposite Malika and Alex, glimpsing them through a thicket of hydraulic hoses and pumps.

Today at 12:08 PM

"Wait... But I swear I felt..." Maki rubbed the back of his head, where the main impact was. Nothing. "Wasn't it?" He felt around the rest of his back, only to find the same result... "Nothing's broken or... How? I thought my skull was completely fractured by the impact."

SpiritToday at 12:10 PM

"Yup, I'm done.'' Malika confirmed with a nod. "Still, we can check, right?'' They put the wrench back where it was, but didn't dare ask for the other one back. Instead, they crawled right in. "Ahhh... there it is. Watch out. It might be electrified.'' Malika went silent, going to work for a bit. "Alex, open comms.'' "Done.'' "Jaunt, there are leaks. I can fix the electricity for now, however, this is going to have to be welded up seriously soon. But I have to help Emry with something, so I can't do that right now. Over. Emry, if you fix as much of the leaks as you can... I'm going to the electricity.'' They took a deep breath. "Wish me luck.'' And wish they didn't get electrified in front of someone...

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:14 PM

Ekadzati opened her mouth to reply, but she could not speak of any of the things she sensed, without admitting to being able to sense them. " are more hard-headed than you thought?" She looked to Ro. "Could you please keep an eye on him and call for me if anything changes? I would like to look in on the rest of the crew and them come back."

SpiritToday at 12:17 PM

Careful now... Malika tried their best to navigate through the dry patches and avoid the water. Sometimes a drop landed on them and they would wince, but it was going pretty well. As far as crawling into walls went. "Alex,'' they brought out, strained. "You're almost at the source of the power surge we detected. Should be-'' "I see it!'' Malika said, raising their voice to let Emry know as well. And now. Off to work they go. With tools, they started to fix the issue. "How are you doing, Emry?''

littlekreenToday at 12:23 PM

Jaunt shifted upward a bit and contorted his head to look underneath him at the Captain. Still asleep after he cleaned the honored matriarch. Something more a duty to him he'd not considered anything else of it. Though he'd calmed down now as the captain's sleep was less distorted by alcohol. The large spider put away the two pistols and moved out of the Captain's quarters and locked the door behind him. Circling up to the ceiling he started making his way to the airlock before noticing the noise in the wall. A curious limb tapped at the wall and spoke over comms, "Is that you in the wall, false matriarch? The captain is stable but still sleeping I have come to assist."

SpiritToday at 12:24 PM

Malika flinched at the tapping. "Yes,'' they brought out, still strained. "I found the source!'' Their voice was muffled, but still understandable and excited about this. "I'm fixing it right now, I asked Emry to fix as much leaks as possible to hold off the problem. You could do the same if you wanna. Not that you need my permission. But we seriously need to weld this up as soon as possible...''

littlekreenToday at 12:26 PM

Jaunt pondered the matter, "My purpose is for making holes in things. Not fixing them. How bad is the damage?"

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:27 PM

" careful," Emry said. She found the nearest Maintenance closet and got out some 'sorber rags and a coil of spare hydraulic hose. She shut off the hydraulic valves and mopped up the spilled fluid in her work area. She measured and cut some lengths of hose, then used them to replace the leaking hoses."Alright, I'm gonna start testing with half press--" ~Tap, tap, tap~ GIANT SCARY SPIDER! "WAH! Uh, hehe, no? Oh, you mean the other 'false matriarch?' Ehehe, nobody here but us false matriarchs..."

SpiritToday at 12:28 PM

"Uhh... okay,'' Malika told them. "And... it's not .. that bad. I'ts just... kinda... leaking. Everywhere. Oh! And the water is electrified. Isn't that fun.'' The last, they muttered. Of course, they hadn't even really thought about shutting off the water. Good for Emry. But it was still leaking... Malika shuffled up a bit. "So, the damage is mostly that these wires are errr... doing something that makes the water go all ... electrified. Yeah. And since you shut the doors forcibly, I believe it would also help to get the leaks welded up. I can't do that right now. I've got to go help Emry, and it's already taking long...'' they pouted, not that anyone could see it. But probably, they could hear it in her voice.

littlekreenToday at 12:30 PM

It was a wee bit easier to see the large shiny fangs under the pedipalps he often gesticulated with when he was on the ceiling. Jaunt pivoted slightly to fix the side eyes at Emry nearby, "I can help false matriarch Emry here while you go in the walls. I am too large. I do not need a wrench to tighten the hoses."

SpiritToday at 12:32 PM

"Wait! Tightening them by force, again, may just do more damage,'' rung out Malika's muffled voice. "Please don't do that. We really need a welding. This is just a temporary fix. Wait... have you been forcing them shut all along? Emry?! Please don't tell me you've been forcing them shut all the time!'' Malika's alarmed voice still came through the wall. "I just gotta fix this, then I'll be right there!''

littlekreenToday at 12:34 PM

Jaunt did know the difference though his needs were specifically keeping hoses on the cieling from coming loose, "Just the torqued screw connections between ceiling units, false matriarch. I usually do not do repairs on the main lines."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:36 PM

"O...kaaay..." Emry said, trying not to shudder at the sight of Jauntie's huge, sharp, pointy chelicerae. I don't think I wanna know what a vegetarian needs those for... she thought. "'Forcing them shut?' I turned off the hydraulic valves so the fluid would stop flowing while I replaced some leaky hoses, and I tightened them on with clamps, but I haven't done anything with the metal conduits yet. I'm not crimping them, if that's what you mean?"

SpiritToday at 12:37 PM

"....Okay ...'' There wasn't a lot they could do to stop him, huh? Malika gave a defeated sigh. "Oh, man.'' They continued to fix in silence and ... ZAP! "Got it! The issue, I mean. I reached the issue.'' With a bit of shuffling, they got on their back and pushed themself with their feet to push themself under the issue. "Okay, just gotta fix the electricity. Then I have one more panel to fix and we can go to the auto-transporter,'' they promised. "And uh... yeah, I think that's what I mean. As long as no one does any more forcible damage to the hoses as much as the doors, everything'll... should... be fine!'' They cheerily replied that last part.

littlekreenToday at 12:40 PM

Jaunt took a small syringe of fibrous white material from his underside, "Do you need sealant for the connections, false matriarchs This should serve at pressure."

Today at 12:40 PM

Maki would sit on the table, his short legs swinging back and forth. "Hope this doesn't take too long..."

SpiritToday at 12:43 PM

"No thank you! I'm fine!'' Malika shouted. "It's an electricity issue. But it's better than forcing the stuff shut! We can't leave it this way long, though... if the leaks keep coming it may sap through stuff, or build pressure, or, well, anything that results in either a major critical failure or... uh... boom. Anyways, I'm almost done here!''

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:48 PM

"I will be back shortly," Ekadzati said, then left for the Captain's quarters. Cap'n Jez, or Honored Matriarch Captain Jezebel, whichever one might prefer, was snoring with a complete absence of dignity, drool pooling on her pillow next to her open mouth. Ekadzati decided not to bother her. She quietly closed the Captain's door and went to check on the rest. The goo was gibber-snoring next to the child (the child! still no closer to a solution!), but at least it was causing no trouble for the moment.

Emry gingerly took the syringe. "Is this...spider silk?" If so, giant spider silk would probably be better for the leak she'd found in one of the metal high-pressure conduits than a spot-weld. "Lemme just...try this out then," she said, carefully using the substance to patch the leak."Okay, I think that should just about do it. Malika, if you done with all the sparky wires and got everything all closed up, I'll put some fluid back in and make sure we got all the leaks."

Today at 12:53 PM

The scars... They didn't notice the scars? Should I tell them or... Maki stood up, landing on the floor before walking out the door, trying to figure out where the others were.

littlekreenToday at 12:54 PM

Jaunt had helpfully cleaned and re-dressed the captain but couldn't do anything about the drooling. He'd even braided the hair out of partial boredom and partial need to care for a distressed honored matriarch. He passed off the syringe to Emry, "Silk? No, but it is close. this is hoploplasm. The top layer of my armor is a bio-safe sealant. It will hold pressure quite well. It will replenish. "The sealant seemed to almost turn more fibrous as it hit the air and started to dry. It turned into a hard shell that turned a pastel shade of red as it slowly cured entirely.

SpiritToday at 12:56 PM

Malika fidgeted around a little bit more and did... whatever it took to get these wires good. They closed the panel carefully. "Yes, I am done with the sparky wires!'' They exlcaimed happily.With difficultly and ... okay, fine, some cursing -but only some!- Malika emerged again. Their hair was an absolute mess right now and they were out of breath. "I... 'm b.. ack.'' They panted. Malika stood up and took a second to fix their ponytail quickly, gathering most of the hair into it.

"Ready to go! One last panel. I put the auto-transporter in the cargo bay to help the crew out! After I gave it some upgrades in engineering, of course. We'll go there right after that panel! Hang on.'' Malika quickly ran back to the panel, arrived and opened it. "Yes! I can reach the issue now!'' They said. And then, to a stranger, "WAh! I mean... hello!'' Before focusing on the panel. "DONE! Finally, let's get to your auto- Wait... you're not supposed to be here!'' They told the new person. "...Are you?''

Today at 1:01 PM

Maki stood in the doorway, staring at the others. "I'm... not supposed to..." Before he could finish the statement, he started backing away, feeling eyes staring down on him from the shadows. "Not again.." He clutched his head in his hands, trying to ignore her face... Her face... What had he done?

SpiritToday at 1:03 PM

Malika looked around. Was he looking at her? "Uh... are you okay?'' They asked. They took a step to approach him, but thought better of it. If someone would approach them whilst they were like that... yeah, yeesh, no. "I can... this is the medbay, right? Did you come from there, because you probably need to go back? Like, is there a medic there?''

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:05 PM

"I...I don't know what could have caused it," the woman said. "Eddo just...walked away from me and wouldn't stop, wouldn't say anything!" "Mmm." INQUISITOR DAMARYS glanced over at the woman in the frumpy server's uniform. "Not even to tell you he was going to get some milk?"

"No! He just...walked right to a ship and lay down in its cargo bay! There were others there! Bodies! There! That's the one!" the woman said, pointing at the Applejack.

Damarys, flanked by a pair of Holy Guardian battledroids, increased her pace toward the suspect vessel. She wore a crisp black uniform with silver accents. The droids were glossy white with gold insignia of the Ministry of Orthodoxy on their chests.

Today at 1:05 PM

"No, no... It's been years..." He seemed to ignore their questions, looking down at his feet. Eventually, he looked back up, seeing the face was gone. "The... Medbay? N-no... I was just there, I don't need to go back."

SpiritToday at 1:08 PM

"Um,'' Alex said over general comms. "We may have a problem. I am picking up on some people outside the ship...'' They told Jaunt, because that was the one who they had been communicating with most.

"Okay, Alex, comm with Jaunt.'' "Copy.''Malika cleared her throat and took a deep breath. What to do... what would they want to do? ... What would Grant do? "Um... Hey, listen. Can you tell me your name? If... if you know it?''

Today at 1:11 PM

"My name? Oh, right. I'm Maki Uzui." He stumbled a bit, before straightening himself. I'm fine, just act fine. He tried to look at the new person, but his eyes kept on chalking over, failing to focus on their face.

SpiritToday at 1:13 PM

Malika nodded slowly. "Okay. I'm Malika. I'm not gonna hurt you. You're safe now, you're on Applejack. You're, uh, probably one of the people Emry mentioned. B-but no need to worry about that now! You are fully safe on board here.'' Malika took a deep breath. "Now... you are here. On board. You don't need to worry about anything. Okay?'' Yeah, they were not as good at this as Grant had been.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:23 PM

"Whoa...that's a handy ability to have!" Emry said. "I'm glad my bodily fluids aren't so useful. You know, so nobody wants to suck 'em out of me." She gave Jauntie a nod, not sure how his species would take a smile. It was weird, being totally creeped out by someone, and kinda liking them at the same time.

Then she heard Alex's voice over the comm. "Did they say 'people?' Outside the ship? What kind of people? Uh...Jauntie, maybe you could go first? I could....go with you, try to help...but...not good at people."

Ekadzati went toward the gangway, but peering through the doorway, she could see the calf-boots of the woman and the feet of her droids. She backed away out of sight.

"I'm sorry, Jaunt, I cannot help you with them," she said. "And you shouldn't either," she said, gently taking Emry by the arm.

SpiritToday at 1:27 PM

Malika spoke out again over comms. "Hello? Jaunt? Emry? Alex picked out some readings outside the ship... Also, if the medic is here, I believe ... you may need to come here.'' Best to avoid any words or references to 'patient' and keep it neutral. Then, Malika cleared their throat. "Hello? It's okay... you don't need to respond if you don't feel ready. Just... take all the time you need, and you let me know whenever you feel ready, okay? Or when you need something.''

littlekreenToday at 1:30 PM

Jaunt replied to Alex, "Yes, the hoploplasm gives us our bullet resistance." Then looked to Emry, "There's someone outside? I'll go look at the bridge." He pulled closer to the ceiling as he squeezed past the individuals in the corridor his alligator like leathery abdomen moving past above.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:30 PM

Damarys tapped her wrist-comm. "Applejack, this is Inquisitor Vethi'shaan of the Ministry of Orthodoxy. We have received reports of Unnatural activity and kidnapping tied to this vessel. Open up, and submit to a search."

SpiritToday at 1:31 PM

"Okay,'' Malika spoke. "Lemme know- Uh oh... Jaunt?'' Malika's breath picked up in speed. They couldn't panic, they had to protect and take care of this whole other human being (was he, though?) that may need her! "Jaunt... did you hear that?'' They stumbled back, trying to push back tears and make their voice not sound like they were about to cry, but failing.

"Maybe if we open up, we can explain? Maybe they'll understand?'' They asked over comms, truly panicking now. Bargaining, probably, Alex concluded.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:33 PM

"Wha? Why?" Emry said, looking up at Ekadzati, to see a meaningful look in her eye. "You mean..." Then the crisp, commanding voice came over the comm. "So...maybe new plan, we just shove the people out of the cargo bay and launch as fast as we can go?"

littlekreenToday at 1:34 PM

Jaunt switched bands and replied in that breathless gardener tone, "Minor repairs to airlock, as current. Please wait. Intruders acquired by the heretic organism can be dealt with in a moment, false matriarch."

SpiritToday at 1:36 PM

"But...'' Malika told Jaunt, over ship comms only. "Didn't we... already repair it? I just... I just did, right, the panel is- didn't I say that? Because I did it.''

Today at 1:37 PM

"What's happening?! The Ministry?" Maki was panicking now. A million things that could go wrong flashed before his eyes. Mom was... I can't...

littlekreenToday at 1:38 PM

Jaunt turned to Malika as he dialed down to his local transceiver, "You are not on our roster. I suggest returning to the pod. The other perhaps too."

SpiritToday at 1:38 PM

"Um...'' Malika admitted. "I... don't know. Sounds like... someone's... I should probably just open the door... right? They'll just... search and we can explain and then maybe we can explain and they'll understand and take the people and everything is good, right? Wait, what pod? I mean-'' They switched the comms on. "What pod? What others? I don't...''

Today at 1:41 PM

Maki was frozen, eyes wide. "Mom..." He couldn't understand what was happening around him. The panic, the sudden voice, none of it. All he knew was he couldn't go back.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:42 PM

"Inquisitor Vethi'saan to Applejack, you have a heretic organism on board? Is it secured?" So they have a Gardener in charge, she thought. Those things make no sense half the time.

SpiritToday at 1:43 PM

Malika turned to him, distraught. "What?" They asked. And then in the comms; "....What? The who of the what is secured now? Look... This-this is all a big misunderstanding, right, I-''

littlekreenToday at 1:44 PM

Jaunt was an obedient creature and it already took willpower for him not to open the door immediately to the will of an imposing matriarch. Especially with his own disabled. He shook his pedipalps side to side as the other false matriarch wanted to open the door, "As you will it, false matriarch. May the future be in your favor," he replied to the inquisitor as he moved to ensure the airlock would cycle, "No, I am too large to pursue the amorphous creature, false matriarch, and it is particularly difficult to secure. My honored matriarch is currently medically indisposed. I therefore defer to the false ones present."

SpiritToday at 1:46 PM

Malika fell silent on that. What did that mean? Was Jaunt upset at them? Still, they walked over to the door, hand hovering over the release button. But... something wasn't right. "Calling Medic. Calling ... calling Emry? Are you there? Are you okay?''

Malika tried really, really hard to push the tears back and said one last thing in the channel. "S...someone. Someone tell me. Tell me what to do. P-please.'' Yeah, they were definitely crying now. And scared. Very very scared.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:51 PM

"Inquisitor," a prissy voice said from Damarys' wrist-comm, "we have a report of this vessel being under quarantine recently, a...Mogwai infestation."

"I see. Good work, Commander." Damary said. "Dispatch fighter escort and a boarding craft."

"Yes, Inquisitor.

Amorphous creature? Damarys thought. Could it be... she wondered. If so, this ship could be her best capture yet.

littlekreenToday at 1:57 PM

Jaunt looked to Malika as he was minding the airlock, "We have a shipping pod, with a manifest for one secured person. I suggest you make a decision, false matriarch."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:58 PM

"Uh," Emry said, "I don't know which 'false matriarch you're talking to, but...what was the decision again?"

littlekreenToday at 2:00 PM

Jaunt had intuition that was running full bore at kinds of things that were disliked. Things that were out of place beneath a matriarch's sight. "Both of you are false matriarchs to me. Get in the pod and you will become fully secured."

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:03 PM

Emry looked at Jauntie, then at Malika. Then, a sudden chill came over her. Wait...wasn't the Inquisitor asking him to 'secure' a 'heretical organism?' Isn't he all into 'Orthodoxy' too? Baaaaaad feels right now!

What is Maki's mysterious secret? Just who does Jaunt want to put in that pod anyway, and why? Will Captain Jez ever wake up, and if she does, will she wish she didn't? Will the Applejack and her crew of misfits escape the clutches of the Ministry of Orthodoxy? And what about those poor people from the bar? FIND OUT NEXT TIME, ON SPACE BOUNTY EXPRESS!
WE OPEN TO A TENSE CONFRONTATION on the tarmac at Moonshine Port. INQUISITOR DAMARYS VETHI'SHAAN is demanding to search the ship. With Captain Jezebel still unconsious in the grip of too many Tentacle Sunrises, the crew of the Applejack struggles to make a decision. Jaunt wants someone in a pod, but will there be any volunteers? And in the cargo bay, bodies are stirring...

SpiritToday at 11:11 AM

Malika was still kind of out of it. To have an experience like this so shortly after that flash... Would they need to do combat? No, they couldn't. They couldn't, right? Besides, no one here knew. Did those people outside know? They were just here for the bodies, right? Not for Malika. "Malika, breathe.'' But they WERE breathing! And what was up with that stuff about the pod and Jaunt? If Emry died, WHAT ABOUT HER KIDS?!!

littlekreenToday at 11:23 AM

The inquisitors of this particular orthodoxy were one rather at odds with his own. Jaunt wasn't sure how much the inquisitor was listening and did not speak his mind lest they hear his transmissions. He could feel that prime matriarch Nemesis had noticed the new contention at the active stance so soon after combat. A breadcrumb of orders he found in his head as not to start a war with the inquisitor to protect the honored Matriarch. There was too much to lose to protect the stowaways even if the captain allowed their existence.He started the opening the airlock door as the delay was too long already and said what amounted to a formal military greeting for the high soldier Gardeners when she appeared, "The lineage of war recognizes your authority in this demesne to resolve the situation, Matriarch Damarys. How is your will best served?"

SpiritToday at 11:27 AM

Malika finally stepped up, giving Jaunt a tap and leaning in to whisper. "They said they're here for the people ... probably those people there,'' they said, gesturing at the unconscious bodies. "What if we just... give them to the lady?'' She looked at the lady in question. "Look, I'm sure this is all some misunderstanding. If you just come and get those bodies, will you leave then? We did not do this.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 11:51 AM

Ekadzati did not need Wu-Li to know that there was no way this vessel would pass an Inquisitorial inspection, even if she managed to sneak herself and Emry off somehow. Who is even second in command? She opened her mouth to ask Jaunt to help prepare for an emergency launch, when he went and opened the hatch to let the Inquisitor in. "Emry?" she whispered, but the girl was gone.

Repressing a shudder, Damarys gave the spider a curt nod of acknowledgement. As the gangway came down, she caught a glimpse of someone who looked like a young girl. She arched an eyebrow at the young person's words. That has got to be the worst protestation of innocence I have ever heard, she thought.

From the Cargo Bay, Emry heard moans, and the occasional random thump. She headed there, and sure enough, the people were rising to their feet with awkward, twitchy movements. "Uh...sorry everyone...must have been a great party but it's time to go home now," she said, lifting the cover for the Cargo Bay door and slapping the button underneath. Klaxons sounded, and yellow rotating lights announced the opening of the Cargo Bay door as it hissed open, lowering to the ground with a clank and a final wheeze of hydraulics. "OK, party's over everybody, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here," Emry said. She hadn't heard Malika's words to the Inquisitor, so she figured her own cover story was pretty slick, given the time she'd had to make it up. People went to drunken after-parties when bartenders wouldn't serve them anymore, right?

Damarys was just about to start up the gangway when she saw the horde of bar patrons starting to shamble down the gangway. Some of them headed for her. "Inquisitor! Thank goodness!" one of them said. Others got one look at her and her droids and scattered, stumble-running away as fast as they could..

SpiritToday at 11:54 AM

Malika turned around to Emry. What was she getting at? Party? What party? All they could was just... blink. What were they doing? They made sure to move to the side to let the people through, confusion ever so present. Malika wanted to ask what Emry was talking about, but Alex had told them not to, in their mind. So, they didn't. "...Do we still need to get into a pod?'' They instead asked Jaunt.

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:12 PM

Emry went down the ramp right behind them, imitating the clumsiness of their movements. She made a flailing movement with an arm to "accidentally" tap the outside button and start the Cargo Bay door closing again, the surreptitiously used her watch to get the Amethyst Phoenix to begin its startup sequence. A quick glance showed that the Inquisitor was being mobbed, so she kept her head turned away from her and her droids as she engaged a 'random walk' in the general direction of the fighter.I hope the repairs went well, Ekadzati thought as she turned and ran for the cockpit.

"All of you, calm yourselves, Damarys snapped. "You will be processed shortly. LE-1, get recognition data on the runners," she said, inwardly cursing the fact that she only had two droids with her. The Port Authority had objected to a larger force, which would have meant paperwork. Though if she had known just what this ship might be carrying... One of the Inquisitor's droids peeled off and started sending out scanning pulses.

Uh-oh, Emry thought, bolting for her ship with only a modest use of Wu-Li to boost her speed. She hurried aboard, jumped into her pilot's seat, and powered up the vortex risers. I hope they get away! Her chest tightened at the thought of them all being arrested, and her being a failure, again. But she had to get the Phoenix, didn't she? A fighter escort without a fighter...wasn't.

Dropping into the Applejack's pilot seat, Ekadzati hit the button to close the main hatch. The Cargo Bay door was thankfully already closing. Her other hand started flipping switches in a blur to start the ship's systems spinning up."All crew, prepare for emergency launch," she said over the ship's intercom.

SpiritToday at 12:17 PM

Malika didn't know what else to do, so they just went after Emry. She seemed to know what to do. Maybe she'd have something for Malika to do. Woah. That was fast. Luckily, Malika was plenty fast themself. They could've made it through the hatch, but that'd just be... invasive. After all, this was Emry's ship. It'd basically be like entering a room or a house without asking! Well, a floating lil quarters... sounded cool to have your own ship, really. But unless Malika could somehow build one, because buying one was out of the question. Waaaay too expensive. Either way, Adam had wanted them on a spaceship and now they were, so there. Still, they meekly nodded. "Uh, hello? Can I ask... what exactly we're doing?'' Emergency launch?! "...Can I help?'' They guessed a ship like that would mean a LOT to its owner. If they already thought it was like a cozy floating little travelling home, they could only imagine how attached a pilot could get.

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:24 PM

"Boss, we got a problem. It's been more than three hours, and the 'Jack still ain't launched. They got an Inquisitor nosin' around! The Boss clenched his teeth. Why had he trusted that fool Jez with this delivery again? Well, mainly 'cause nobody in his own organization would touch it with a tractor beam, but still... "They must have opened the box. The Viggo is in range, innit? Get 'em on the horn an have 'em clean up this fuckin' mess!"

"On it, Boss."

littlekreenToday at 12:32 PM

Gardeners were particular creatures as ones that had survived a grey goo event trying to exterminate them the pulses on high soldiers likely responded in parts with something approaching garbage and incoherent noise. He dutifully followed along with the Inquisitor as creature of rote, unhappy with the situation but trying to keep it contained to both the goo and the unwanted barflies. If the droids entered the mess hall his hermetically sealed fungal food tower would glow with a very particular hunger of synthetics. While not in of themselves anomolous, their diet was something produced of nature being particularly angry about continuing to exist.He skipped the honorific that most other matriarchs seemed to argue about, "As it is willed, Matriarch. I am calm until a storm is willed for."

Zarko StraadiToday at 12:45 PM

Emry jolted at the unexpected voice. At least it wasn't the Inquisitor! "Aaah! Quick, get in! We're making a daring escape, and I hope they are too," she said, hitting the button to open the fighter's gangway, which led to the back of the cockpit. "Take the Wizzo seat!" she said, pointing with her thumb at the seat behind hers. "And strap in! Here we go!"

The vortex risers lifted the fighter off the ground as Emry powered up the shields. A wireframe holographic projection of the fighter's surroundings appeared around her, with red reticles identifying the Ministry cutter in high orbit, and the boarding craft and fighter escorts departing from it.

Is that meant to be a threat? Damarys thought as her second droid finally parted the booze-breathed bar patrons out of her way. She was about to follow the Gardiner onto the ship when the airlock door slammed shut in her face, separating her from the hulking creature. The gangway under her feet began to rise, and she was forced to jump off in a rather undignified manner before it clanked shut, blending in to the ship's hull.

Damarys backed away from the wash of the light freighter's risers as it too began to lift off.

SpiritToday at 12:50 PM

"They?'' But Malika dove in nonetheless. They didn't sit down yet. Until Emry told them to, that was. It'd just be rude! "Strap. In.'' Yeah, okay. That surely WOULDN'T be rude, right? Malika looked around themself. "Woah,'' they marveled. "That is good tech.'' Holographics? Of the surroundings? Even the red enemIes?! "I gotta get tech like that,'' Malika mumbled, already thinking of upgrades to make to the Applejack.

Honestly... seeing this ship only stunned them. If Emry, a solo pilot could get resources like this and keep it running, why couldn't an official company cargo ship?! "Tell me what I can do,'' Malika offered. "Also, how does one exactly make a 'daring escape'? Also, I don't have pilot experience.'' That last was an admission. "Also,'' they continued, because it seemed stuff had finally gotten back to normal and they had to say it NOW, ''I'm sorry for getting so defensive. Earth has... bad memories for me.'' They averted their eyes. "I'm sorry. But, I was thinking... I do have a, uh... contact. On Earth, I mean. If you really want... I can try to put you in contact with said ... contact, but I would prefer if all of this and my contact stays between us. I'd rather not have others know.'' Of course, they'd discussed this with Adam. In fact, it was his suggestion, even.

littlekreenToday at 12:51 PM

Jaunt was surprised at the door shutting in his face and was more focused on not offending the inquisitor matriarch while preserving the captain's rights as honored matriarch had taken much of his focus. The Gardener called over comms, "What is going on, false matriarchs? The inquisitor has fallen off the ship, I think unharmed. We are moving? If we are attacked I can power the point defense interceptors but I may not shoot back."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:02 PM

"All crew, secure for extreme maneuvers," Ekadzati said over the ship's intercom, hoping the vessel would be capable of such. "We're fleeing," she replied to Jaunt's query. "Yes, power the point defenses, please." She lifted off and pointed the Applejack's nose toward the sky.

Emry had no time to process the fusillade of words coming from Malika. "For now? Just hang on," she said, as the ship shuddered from some shots fired by one of the battledroids.

WHEEEP! WHEEP! "Wha? That's a missile warning!" Emry said, noting the new targets as they appeared. They weren't coming from the Ministry cutter or its fighters. "Somebody's taking shots at us--or maybe the Applejack, hiding in the planet's northern aurora," she said, as she shoved the fighter's throttles forward, pressing her and Malika into their seats.

littlekreenToday at 1:06 PM

Jaunt had headed to the point defense but could at least turn it on auto remotely from the midship hardpoint it was attached to. He wasn't far when the laser point defense thunked to life with the charging of capacitors. Jaunt didn't have much time to check its status but trusted that Gardener logistics installed and tested it. He skittered as quickly as his gripping legs could hold the walls through the hallways to get to the bridge with his placid and breathless tone, "I am coming to the forward weapons. Point defense is online."

SpiritToday at 1:06 PM

Malika did as asked- missile? "Missile?'' They asked. "I mean, if someone's taking shots at us it's probably that lady who we're fleeing from, right?'' They asked. Ah yes. Logic. "I am completely cut off from the Applejack,'' Alex perked up. "Damn it.'' Malika said. "So, no comms for me, I guess.''

That was okay, Emry was calling the shots. "Yes, I don't like not knowing what is going on,'' Alex told Malika. "....Damn it.'' Of course, Malika couldn't properly read the holographic. They weren't a pilot, they weren't a space fighter. Malika was used to simple parcour and fight. Just kick and hit stuff. At least that was simple! Now what were they supposed to do except sit in a seat?! They were pretty much helpless in space, what kind of idea was this from Adam?! Okay, they got the idea; 'get off Earth and Melvin won't find you'. But still, this was so not their element!

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:09 PM

"Inquisitor, your position is being fired upon," the Commander's prissy voice said from Damary's commlink. "Or perhaps the Applejack, he added. "It is too early to tell which, but I recommend you seek safety." LE-1 was firing on the rogue fighter, but it had quality shields--and quality engines as well, judging by the alacrity with which it took off. "To my shuttle," Damarys said, walking off at a brisk pace.

"But Inquisitor..." one of the bar patrons said. She ignored them, heading off toward her shuttle with her droids in tow.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:18 PM

To her relief, Emry saw the holographic image of the Applejack lift off as well. It was not nearly as fast as the Phoenix, so she circled around to come alongside. She opened hailing frequencies. "Amethyst Phoenix to Applejack, permission to sync sensor arrays. We're picking up missiles inbound!"

"Permission granted," Ekadzati's voice said over the comm. Emry tapped at controls with a free hand, steering with the joystick in the other."It's not the Inquisitor's ships. Somebody else is shooting at us!" she said for Malika's benefit. "Dunno who though." The missiles steered to pursue the Applejack as the ship ascended. "Looks like we've got some fighter escortin' to do," she said to Malika. "Don't worry, The Phoenix and I have got this."

littlekreenToday at 1:22 PM

As Jaunt got to the bridge he dwarved the human-scale console of the weapons platform. While there was a new panel where he presumed the gardeners had repaired or replaced something it seemed to recognize all the weapons systems and the machine gun hardpoints. The point defense for its part, carrying the matiarch's penchant for naming themselves for female caretaker entities from earth's history named their weapons systems after the male ones.

As the the Indra hybrid defense turret spooled up and fixed on the incoming projectile lancing a bright blue beam from the interior plasma channel. A particular strangeness for a cargo ship to have the military defense weapon Jaunt had focused on defense given their luck.Jaunt's hardpoints rose from the ship and whirled around not of a programmatic smoothness but of someone in direct control. The slug rounds aimed for some of the missles heading for the Inquisitor though the point defense something better for the job. He called out, "I am attempting to deal with the missles. I am unsure what is being targeted."

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:24 PM

In the cockpit of the Applejack, new targets appeared on the ship's screens as data from the Amethyst Phoenix came in. Missiles? Why? Ekadzati thought. "Jaunt, your systems should be showing missiles inbound," she said. She gave Jaunty a brief smile when his massive form started taking up most of the room in the ship's cockpit.

"It...looks like it's us," she said as the missiles changed course to follow the Applejack.

SpiritToday at 1:25 PM

Malika only gave a nod. There was nothing they could do here. Ugh, why wasn't this just ground combat? They could do ground combat! Kick and hit stuff. Kick and hit stuff. But they'd just have to trust Emry. Which they did, really. She seemed... close with her ship. That was possible, Malika was best friends with her watch. If she said the both of them had go this, then they'd got this. However, they just didn't like sitting back and not being able to help! They were really, really ... wait, no. They did NOT want to fight. They did NOT want to fight. They did NOT... want to fight... Malika bit back tears, taking a deep breath. Stupid instincts, stupid Melvin!! Why? Why!!

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:29 PM

"Malika, there's a comm panel to your right. I'm giving you permission to run a data link for Alex to the Applejack so they can coordinate with the ship, and the Phoenix's EW systems can work in tandem with whatever the Applejack's got. Normally the Phoenix's AI handles the WSO's job, but if you can do any talking we need to do with the 'Jack, I can concentrate on the flying and shooting." ...Something about the raggedness of the deep breath from behind her. "Are you OK, Malika?" Emry said.

SpiritToday at 1:32 PM

Malika looked to their right, immediately starting to tap away on the panels with the hand wearing the watch and the other hand tapped away on their watch. Momentarily they stopped. "Hm? Yes. I'm fine. Just...'' How to say this... "Not used to space. And stuff. I mean, I'm from Earth... I like, uh, sturdy ... earth. Beneath my feet. Yeah.'' That was a solid excuse, right? They turned back to the console and their watch. At least that was something to do. "Malika on the Amethyst Phoenix to Jaunt on the Applejack, are you reading me?'' They tried.

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:33 PM

"Inquisitor, the missiles are targeting the suspect vessel," the Commander said. "Should we task our fighters to intercept?""No. There's more than one way to purge Heresy. Get the boarding craft and its escorts in position to pursue, in case the Applejack escapes. But use your sensors to find the vessel that fired them," Damarys said as she boarded her shuttle and took the pilot's seat.

"Yes, Inquisitor."

littlekreenToday at 1:37 PM

"Affirmative, reading you clear. The ship may have an ECM package so I am controlling our weapons through the Quietus node", Jaunt mentally had statuses and readouts in an elaborate webbed network of quietus transmissions between him and the console. Snipping lines of detection and noise in the Applejack's limited sensors where the weapon was getting confused about targeting while dragging their marionette toward violence. The point defense was limited by the Applejack's meager reactors however and he called out, "There's a lot of missiles. I don't know if the point defense can intercept them before the capacitors run dry."

SpiritToday at 1:39 PM

Malika nodded, even though Jaunt couldn't see them. "I have gotten permission to and am sending out a data link from the Amethyst Phoenix to the Applejack. Linking them could help Emry... I think, and please run all comms through me from now on. I'm not an expert, but I'll try my best.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:43 PM

"Uh...OK," Emry replied. "There's a sick bag in the pocket in the back of my seat in front of you. Please use it if you need it. We're probably gonna be doing some fancy maneuvering." Hearing Jaunt's reply, she grinned. "That's what we're here for, Jauntie," she said, giving the Gardener's nickname a hint of cute. "We'll thin 'em out for ya!"

Aboard the Viggo, a scruffy-looking helmsperson said, "Uh, Cap? That MinOrtho cutter is turnin' toward us. We'd better vamoose before they spot us, we got no chance goin' toe to toe with them."

"Alright, fine, let's beat it. Are the missiles still on target?"

"Yeah, looks like the 'Jack's got a fighter escort. How did they get a fighter escort?!"

"That's da Boss' problem not ours, just go!" the Captain said.

SpiritToday at 1:45 PM

"No, it's not that,'' Malika assured her. They were used to being tossed around. Literally. It was a long time ago... actually, had they ever gotten sick? Really, sick, not just their mind or a physical reaction on something that wasn't natural in the first place? "Yeah...'' Malika put in. "'We'. I'm not sure how much I'm doing,'' they admitted to both Jaunt and Emry. "Not as much as Emry herself, that's for sure. I'm just... talking.''

Zarko StraadiToday at 1:53 PM

"Amethyst Phoenix to Applejack, do you have comm encryption?"

Aboard the Applejack, Ekadzati looked to Jaunt. "Do we?"

littlekreenToday at 1:57 PM

Jaunt looked over to Ekadzati quickly as his human habituation asked him to turn, "Not military grade. The Inquisitor perhaps not, but enough to keep away something that feels the need to hide in an aurora can see easily."

He turned back to focus on the lurching repeated thumps that were jolting the hull as the machine guns fired in short bursts to conserve ammunition. He dialed down the point laser's range to try and keep it as a reserve as the power supplies dwindled by constant use

SpiritToday at 1:58 PM

"Power is draining fast,'' Alex put in. "I recommend staying at the current level for a while.'' Of course the power was draining just when Malika was not available to engineer. Because then everything would go wrong at just the wrong moment. "Jaunt, how are things looking over there? What is up with those missile, or missiles?'' They asked. "Those are the things that follow you and explode, right?'' They then asked.

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:03 PM

"Alright, here we go," Emry said, shoving the throttles to full military power and steering the fighter toward the incoming missiles. Acceleration pressed girl and enby into their seats like giants' hands, desite the craft's inertial dampeners. She grabbed her helmet from its holder and crammed it on. Its systems woke, and she turned her head left to right and up and down, checking the traverse of her guns. She locked targeting radars and began firing lasers. The missiles started loosing chaff, but their systems were cheap compared to the Soaring Dragon systems her fighter had. On the hologram, missile tracks started winking out. Tracers and point-defense lasers from the Applejack flashed past. They were a bit less effective due to the Applejack's power limitations, but with Jaunt targeting them, they too began to cut into the numbers of incoming missiles.

littlekreenToday at 2:07 PM

Jaunt replied as the swarm advanced the pips of light dancing around incoming fire or evading as one of their own went down to keep themselves from being hit, "Extended range hunter-killer torpedo from a swarm pod. They are hunting the Applejack. The point defense system range is shrinking they are closing range. Try to keep them from hitting the dorsal hardpoint." He gestured upward with one hand as he couldn't express the location in a thought to others in quietus.

SpiritToday at 2:10 PM

Malika gulped, hard. "Right. Just clarifying.'' Their voice had a little squeck in it and their throat tightened up. Extened range hunter-killer torpedo from a swarm pod did NOT sound good. Not at all. "So, don't let the swarm of killer pods hit us. Got it. Not that I can do much, but got it. They glanced at Emry, but didn't speak to her. She had to concentrate. And Malika was not about to break that concentration no matter what.

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:11 PM

Ekadzati pulled the Applejack into a tight turn (well, as tight as the freighter could manage...) to steer away from the oncoming missiles. She took slow, deep breaths to remain calm, and attune her senses to the vessel and its weapons' firing arcs. She made a few nudges to the controls to orient it to offer Jaunt as much effective aim as she could.

"Errmph...whainthefuck..." Jezebel muttered as the ship pitched and rolled. " I?" she muttered, climbing to her feet and staggering to the nearest wall for support. No...the Applejack was drunk, apparently, because the room kept rolling even when she held herself still. She stumbled toward the cockpit. "JAAAAUNT! Whadda you..." Then she saw that it was that woman she'd hired at the controls. "Eka...zatwhateveryernameis, wha..."

"Captain, we're under attack. We need a place to lie low for awhile."

"Attack?" Jez replied, then groaned. "That was our place to lie low!"

Damarys lifted off in her shuttle, heading in pursuit of the Applejack, but hanging back to stay out of the way of the fighting.

SpiritToday at 2:13 PM

"Captain?'' Malika asked. "Okay, Captain. Well, basically, someone came for the people that, uh, slime? Well, it kidnapped a bunch of pepole. And someone came for them. Then, we made an emergency 'daring escape' and now there's extended range hunter-killer torpedoes from a swarm pod after us.'' Malika filled in, with great social skills.

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:20 PM

Emry took out as many missiles as she could, but a few of them still flashed past, headed for the* Applejack. "Hang on," she said, cutting engines long enough to spin her fighter end-over-end, then lit engines again in pursuit of the remaining missiles, pouring on afterburners. Even with the inertial dampeners, the acceleration stretched the skin of her face, and blackness teased at the edges of her vision as she started firing on the missiles from behind.

littlekreenToday at 2:21 PM

Jaunt called out in the placid voice of gardeners using speech, "brace for impacts!" As missiles started getting intercepted close info for the ship to be in blast range. "Head along vector in the system logistics turned around. Try to ride the ftl wake. The seeker can handle it."

Zarko StraadiToday at 2:24 PM