|A Day in the Life|
|Summary:||Marines at their best, among other things.|
|Cast:||Jeff Ryan Urfkgar Edouard Katriel Ruin Jantine Justine Donovan|
Command Center <Hancock Station>
- Viewscreens cover the walls of this broad room, showing images both of nearby space and of the planet below. In the center of the room is a holographic display module, able to simulate almost the entirety of the L49 System. Several consoles have been set up at the base of the viewscreens, accessing the asteroid's navigational, communications, and weaponry systems. A sliding door leads to the main command deck.
A tired looking Ryan is sitting is sitting at the command station. His eyes focussed on the reports flowing across his screen. The mess from earlier has mainly been cleaned up, but there's still the smell of burnt plastic, fabric and metal.
Jeff Ryan also has a small cut above his head with some dried blood.
Urfkgar kind of ambles with his tongue flicking out a few times as he gives the place the once over. He meanders over to where the general is seated.
Ryan glances up the lizard, "Don't start. Could have been worse."
Urfkgar shrugs and says, "When will the cannons be installed?"
In Zantra: Jeff Ryan shakes his head at the lizard, "They all repaired?"
Urfkgar grunts and scratches at his shoulder. "Two of them are. The third should be soon from what little attention I have paid to the engineers working on them."
In Zantra: The lunite nods and rubs his forehead, "I should have the first two installed as soon as we've finished the clean-up from this mess. Mainly superficial damage."
Urfkgar turns his eye towards each of the viewscreens in turn before he shrugs. "It is none of my concern. I am here to talk to you about something else. We need more marines. In order to get more, we need for our image to spread to those who are not already employed here. Softskins who my own appearance did not appeal to are easily swayed by females. There are often female softskins on the beach where we train. I wish to pay one to say the militia is good."
In Zantra: There's a silence as Jeff is just plain shocked at the suggestion. Especially coming from the Chief. He barely conceals a smirk as he thinks about it, "Could be interesting Mr Urfkgar. I'd have to look at how much we have left in our budget for public relations. I'll take it under advisement."
Urfkgar snorts and says, "The remphs are useless. If they were not, they would be marines. I will pay."
In Zantra: Ryan glances back at the report on his desk and finally nods at Urfkgar, "I'll get the PR people to run some numbers. We'll deduct the pay for whatever female you've selected from the cost. You pay her, we'll pay the rest. /If/ I decide to go along with this."
Urfkgar nods and says, "Good, I will take a softskin marine with me to select the correct female, or do you wish to be part of the selection process?"
In Zantra: Jeff Ryan glances at the reports and raises an eyebrow, "I have a lot to deal with just now Mr Urfkgar. Make sure the softskin approves before making your final choice."
Urfkgar nods and grunts as opposed to his normal grunting and nodding. He seems to be mixing things up, "Is there anything else?"
Jeff Ryan shakes his head, "Not just now Mr Urfkgar. I checked over the reports when I officially took command. You're doing a good job."
Urfkgar shrugs and says, "I know." He ambles over to the ICOM panel and mashes down a button. His declaration: "Urf need stupid new marine."
Urfkgar is standing by the ICOM panel while General Ryan's seated at the command station.
Edouard confidently strides into the room. He looks around for Urf, strides over to the Zangali, snaps to attention and salutes.
Urfkgar waves a hand vaguely and asks, "Stupid softskin new marine like grabass?"
Edouard relaxes a little and frowns slightly. "Grabass, sir?" he asks.
"Grabass," says the Zangali. "Urf need stupid softskin new marine see stupid softskin girlies. Say morerer gooderer. No morerer gooderer."
Edouard nods a little bit. "I don't think I'd be the best man for the job, sir," he says.
Jeff Ryan listens to the repartee with some amusement, but it's clear it's only one of many problems on his plate at the moment. And it's WAY down the list.
"Stupid softskin no like stupid softskin girlies? Like stupid softskins?" asks the Zangali after a minute or two of shoulder scratching.
"No, sir, not that," Edouard says after frowning a little. "There's just bound to be more capable men for the assignment."
"Stupid softskin marine. Do stuff Urf say. Urf say stupid softskin marine see stupid softskin girlies. Say morerer gooderer. Say no gooderer," says Urfkgar.
"You'd have a better idea than he would," says Jeff throwing in his two cents.
Edouard glances over to Jeff for a moment before looking back to Urf. "May I ask what my purpose is?"
"Say gooderer. Say no gooderer," explains Urfkgar. "See. Say."
Jeff Ryan sighs and shakes his head, "Just point to the kinda girl you know you wouldn't stand a chance with."
Edouard folds his hands behind his back. "I'm afraid this could infringe upon my religious beliefs," he says evenly, "Sir."
Jeff Ryan's eyes snap from those reports back to the Private and he's glaring, "You know what I'm staring at private? Casualty reports from today's little exercise. Another name could be added on quite easily. Just tell him who the cutest god-damned girl on the beach is." He's grumpy, but his heart isn't in it.
Urfkgar's head tilts left until his neck pops. He seems more confused than anything else and asks, "What stupid softskin marine? Stupid softskin marine no see stupid softskin girlies? What stupid softskin marine do stupid softskin marine see stupid softskin girlies?"
Edouard is momentarily taken aback by Jeff snapping, and he quickly snaps back to attention, "Yes, sir."
"Gooderer," says the Zangali. He lumbers off towards the sliding door leading to the command deck.
- The goal changes from good PR to good training as a marine informs the warrant officer of problems on the firing range.
Firing Range <Greenville Base, New Luna>
- Forming a complex of sixty-five booths, this range sees activity every hour of the day. Targets can be adjusted in distance, size, type, and movement with the touch of a button. Five booths are devoted to special weaponry, ten booths are dedicated to projectile weapons, twenty are devoted to pulse weaponry, and a full thirty are devoted to plasma weaponry. An overhead holoprojector displays scores, and can be configured to allow for competition between booths. A quartermaster sits in a booth near the entrance, allowing militiamen to borrow weaponry they otherwise would not have access to. A thick steel door leads to the main base.
As chance would have it, three marines are hovering around a fourth who is working the bolt back and forth on a sniper rifle. He's looking a bit frustrated, and he ends up pulling out a multipurpose tool and banging at various pins until he pulls the lower reciever away from the upper reciever and removes the bolt entirely. He starts to fiddle with the firing pin. Meanwhile, the Zangali is gradually closing in on the group and grumbling.
Edouard continues following along quietly. He does, however, have a noticably calmer look on his face than the one usually on up on the station.
"No move. Say stuff need fix," bellows Urfkgar at the four marines around the disassembled sniper weapon. He indicated Edouard with a karate chop type hand gesture. He says, "Stupid softskin know stuff. Stupid softskin fix."
The marine fiddling with the firing pin freezes as do the rest. He says, "Uh, it's not ejecting, and when we manually pull the rounds after trying to fire, there's no mark on the primer from the firing pin. It's ate up just plain and simple."
"Let me see," the human says as he reaches to take the bolt. He then holds it up and peers inside, not yet fiddling with any parts.
The bolt is free of obstructions, but the firing pin retaining pin is broken. The Zangali just kind of lurks off to the side, glowering at the rest of the weapon. The other four marines shrug and shake their heads. One says helpfully, "Yeah, the pin is broke."
"Looks like it might have just unhooked," Edouard mutters in reply as he looks at it, one eye closed. He looks up and everyone else. "Anyone got some small pliers?"
The marine who had been doing the fiddling hands over his multipurpose tool which is complete with pliers. They're not the needle-nosed variety, but they will probably do in a pinch. The Zangali remains quiet other than random bits of grumbling, snorting, and grunting.
"Thanks," Edouard mutters as he accepts the tool. He swaps hands to put the tool in his good hand and then gets to work trying to get the spring back in.
With a bit of effort, Edouard seems to make good on his repair attempt. The marine, a corporal, nods and says, "Yeah, that should do it."
The Zangali grunts a bit louder and says, "Yup. Fix thingy. Shoot thingy."
With the spring back in place, Edouard hands the bolt and the tool back to the corporal.
The corporal puts the sniper rifle back together and holds it out towards Edouard, "You fixed it. You do the test fire. Know how it's done, or you want a quick class?"
The warrant officer lizard seems content to leave the training in the hands of the junior enlisted type, wandering over to inspect the weapons at the quartermaster's booth.
"I got it," the human says with a nod as he accepts the rifle. He then goes through a dry run of the gun's functions, with a touch of military flair to the procedure. Satisfied with the results, he looks to the corporal. "Have any rounds on you, sir?" he asks.
"Be a damned poor excuse for a marine otherwise," says the corporal as he produces a five round clip from his pocket and hands it over. "The scope is zeroed in to my eye at one hundred meters. We haven't done any long range shooting with it yet. The reticule is pretty self explanatory. The hash marks are sized to the average man's shoulders at the distance indicated on the right of the hash. Simple stuff. Targets on the range go out to a klick."
"Set the targets to six hundred meters, then?" Edouard asks as he loads the clip into the gun.
"Done," says the corporal. He thumbs a switch on the range control box dangling from his belt, and the six hundred meter target pops up. Then, he goes down in the prone to Edouard's left behind a spotting scope. "Easy shot, cuz, ain't no wind in these halls."
Edouard goes prone in the box as the corporal sets the range of the target, settling himself in as the target moves back. When it's in place he looks through the scope and spends a few moments adjusting the scope. He then takes aim on the target, holds his breath and pulls the trigger.
"Nice shot, cuz," says the corporal with the fancy spotting scope. "Hit dead on. Would have pink misted his sorry bad guy butt had it been a person out there and not a heavy sheet of industrial type plastic. See if you can put a second hole in there to cut down on wind resistance when we move it back."
Edouard nods a little bit at the report of his shot and looks over his shoulder to the other marines standing around. "Move it back to a klick," he says to them before looking back through the scope.
"Done and done," says the corporal as he thumbs the control box another time. The target retreats four hundred meters to the extreme end of the indoor range. The corporal makes some adjustments on his scope, "Whenever you're ready, cuz."
Edouard takes another few moments to adjust his scope before settling in to aim. He waits a few heartbeats to steady himself before firing again.
"Cue more imaginary pink mist," says the corporal cheerfully. "Hit him a hair lower than the last shot, but the difference is purely theoretical in the 'he's dead and you ain't' category."
Edouard pulls the bolt open for a quick glance inside. "Gun feels good," he reports.
"I'd it made a pretty good showing today," agrees the corporal. "Now, that we know you can shoot, what do you know about moving to and selecting good hide sites?"
"I graduated from sniper school a month ago, sir," Edouard replies matter-of-factly, still holding the gun up.
"A real live sniper school grad, huh?" asks the corporal. "Most of ours are home grown. You probably know more about the tech and math crap than some of our local variety. How about target selection? Who they tell you to be murdering?"
"Go for officers first, the higher the better," the human replies with a little nod.
"Know your rank structures, then." says the corporal. "All your insignia. Good. You go to school straight out of basic, or you been floating around a bit and seen some things?"
"I trained locally with the special operation forces some after basic before moving on," Edouard replies.
The corporal nods as he sits up, "Probably getting tired of hearing it ain't the same for a sniper as it is for a grunt, but I figure I spit it out like the rest of them. You be up where it relatively safe, and you got your sites set on a real, live breathing being, and you got to put a round between its eyes. It harder to do for you than, say, Joe up in the thick of things because you ain't got the same fight or flight business tickling your lower brain stem. You're safe, and you got time to think. Thinking is what get things missed up in this business. It all about muscle memory. We need targets that look like real, live folks instead of that plastic crap we got. We need stuff that when you hit them, they go all mushy, but we ain't got that, so all I can do is freak you out more by hammering this in and saying you're going to have to pull the trigger when it comes down to it. You not doing it may make things real messy for your side."
"Yes, sir," Edouard says with a nod. He stays prone for the moment.
"Want to take another poke at that target?" asks the corporal. "You got three rounds left."
Edouard nods and hoists the gun up so he can look through the scope again. He takes his time again before pulling the trigger.
The corporal gets behind the spotter scope once more. "Ain't too shabby. Ain't too bad at all, but try one click up and one click right."
Edouard nods and makes a slight adjustment on the scopeand settles in for another shot, still taking his time.
The corporal peers through the scope and makes a tsking noise between his teeth. "I may have screwed you that time, cuz, and you were just a tad off on breathing and trigger pull instead of the scope being at fault. Put it back how you had it."
Edouard is quick to repeal the last adjustment, and even goes one click further for his own good. He then lines the target up again, settles his breathing, and shoots.
"There you go," says the corporal before sitting up. "Pretty as a picture that last one."
Edouard nods and sets the butt of the rifle down. He then pulls the bolt open and looks into the mechanisim. "Looks good still," he says.
"All right, good. Still want to smoke the piss out of the armorer, though," says the corporal. "Anyway, what sort of insertation methods they go over during the sniper course? We ain't got many qualified pilots to do drops, but we do plenty of landings."
Edouard closes the bolt and engages the safety. "Qualified for HALO jumps, sir," he replies.
"Good stuff," says the corporal. "What about water based landings?"
Edouard shakes his head a little bit. "No, sir," he says.
"All right, what about fast roping?" asks the corporal next. "Or any kind of basic rappeling know how. The fast roping part is easy if you got the basics down."
"Some in special ops training, yes," Edouard says with a nod.
The corporal nods, "It's easy stuff. You just hook up farther down the rope and jump out of the bird. It cuts down on your dangling in the air like a big ass target time. What about your E and E training? They go over much escape and evasion crap?"
Edouard nods a little. "Quite a bit."
"What about side arms and hand to hand? Not that I'm a proponent of hand to hand fighting, but it's the type of useless crap that gets taught. I'd rather plug a guy in the mug with a large caliber bullet than try dancing tango with him," says the corporal. "Quicker and less energy intensive. Don't give me that noisy stuff, either. If you got a pulse pistol, that's quieter than the grunting and screaming that's going to go down in a fist fight. Sneaking up to knife a guy isn't all that easy if you're squared off against a component group."
"Side arms, yes, but nothing with hand-to-hand beyond basic training," Edouard replies with a shake of his head.
"No big deal. Just shoot them. That gets the point across better than a karate-nin-jit-su-drop-kick-flying-leap," says the corporal. "Energy or projectile weapons? Standard issue is a DS, but we can get our grubby mitts on most anything with the right soul signing away."
"I'm proficient in energy weapons, but projectiles are my speciality," the human replies.
"We'll try to get you an auto and a tangler gun," says the corporal. "Or something. It's up the the pogue wims of the supply genies, though. We only have so much say. Let's see. You got any questions for me?"
Edouard shakes his head. "No, sir."
"None?" asks the corporal. "This is your free shot to ask whatever. Later, depending on the witnesses, I might have to treat you like an idiot for asking. If you catch me alone, though, I'll answer for free later."
"Yes, sir," Edouard says with a nod. "Thank you, sir."
"All right," says the corporal, standing. "Let's go turn in the rifle and pull a hand gun to make sure you're qualified on them."
"Yes, sir," Edouard says with a nod. He hauls himself up, bringing the gun up with him, and follows the corporal.
The corporal signs a datapad when Edouard brings the weapon towards the Quartermaster. He points, "In better shape than when you gave it to me, cock sucker. Anyway, the cherry is drawing a pistol. What're the options?"
"Energy or projectile?" asks the quartermaster. The insult rolled right off him like water off a duck.
"Your call," the corporal tells Edouard.
"Energy," the private replies.
"All right," says the quartermaster. "Here's a standard pulse pistol. It's not quite as fancy as the DS model that we're issuing now, but it's more accurate."
"Read that in a book?" asks the corporal.
"Thank you, sir," Edouard says to the quartermaster as he accepts the pistol.
"I'm qualified on every weapon you are," the quartermaster tells the corporal, sounding a bit snide.
"You got the time to be practicing with them since you aren't doing your job maintaining them," says the corporal. "Let's go, private." He walks back towards the firing range.
Edouard follows along obiently, looking over the gun on the way.
"Tell me that stupid prick gave you a weapon without a charged energy cell," says the corporal upon reaching the firing line.
Edouard smiles a little bit and shakes his head. "Looks just fine, sir," he says.
"My day couldn't be that easy," sighs the marine. "Ok, ok." He studies the range control box before thumbing a button. A target comes to a stop within spitting distance of Edouard. "See if you can't zap that."
Edouard lifts the gun up and takes a moment to aim at the target before pulling the trigger.
"Seen worse, sure, but I seen better, too," says the marine as he studies the target with a critical eye. The pulse beam hit in the general area of center mass. "For this stuff you might as well stand yourself comfortable. Sure, you couldn't be doing that in a real shit storm, but this is just the start of range time. We've got time for all that high speed sutff later. We're just seeing how you are on the weapon now. Use a two handed hold to keep your aim more steady. Breath and trigger squeeze same as you would on a rifle. Won't have a recoil so don't fret about it."
Edouard nods and makes the suggested adjustments. He takes a moment to settle down and then shoots.
The pulse blast hits nearer to center mass. The marine nods, "There you go. Square your feet off, too, pointing them down range. Here, let's see if I can put my money where my mouth is." He spreads his feet about a shoulder width apart and flexes at the knees, leaning his body forward a tad bit but keeping his head straight. Then, he pulls his AAI Equality pistol and fires twice. The corporal manages to avoid being an embarrassment to the NCO corps.
Ah, the feeling of being owned. Edouard makes visual notes and tries his best to emulate the corporal. He then fires.
The corporal tucks his pistol away after putting it on safe, nodding as Edouard shoots again. He hits in the general area of center mass. "Yeah, well, you ain't doing too bad for a cherry. You got the knack for the sniper rifle, too, and that carries more weight of impact than these pistols. We'll try you a little farther out." He uses the control pad to move the target back a few meters.
Edouard nods and waits for the target to move back fully before aiming. He pauses a moment and shoots.
The shot clips the lower edge of the target. The corporal says, "Well, you saw what you did just as plain as I did. Try aiming like you were trying to hit it in the head or something. Not sure what you're doing. Maybe focusing too much on the rear sight of the pistol and not enough on the front sight blade. Focus on that. Make the target kind of blurry."
Edouard nods a little bit and offers, "Might be the pistol?" He then aims again and shoots.
"Yeah, blaming the equipment is always the way to go, but it gets you busted for not taking proper care of it. Although, in this case, blame be on that pogue back there. Deny, redirect, and make counter accusations. That's the code of conduct to be living by," says the corporal. The next shot, though, hits center mass, and he says, "Thinking it be the operator this time around."
"Spend more time with the rifle," Edouard quietly notes before lining up another shot.
This time the shot is even closer to the small silhouette inscribed in the center of the target. The corporal says, "Got to stay passable on everything, though, even if one thing is your speciality. Never know what kind of crappy hand they are going to deal you. I think that's enough for now, though, unless you want to keep training."
Edouard nods a little bit and lowers the gun. "I think that's good for now, sir," he says.
"All right. Turn in the pistol," says the corporal. He walks off towards the three other marines that have been working on their long range marksmanship skills during his absence. The Zangali finishes his inspection of the equipment the quartermaster has hoarded, and he ambles over to speak with the corporal.
"Thank you, sir," Edouard says, snapping to attention to give a quick salute. With the formalities over, he walks over to the quartermaster to drop off the gun.
The quartermaster accepts the pistol without comment at first. He ejects the energy cell and checks the weapon for any residual charge before putting it away in a locked cabinet. Then, he says, "Sign here." He roughly shoves a datapad up towards Edouard's face.
Edouard nods and accepts the datapad. He fumbles around for the stylus and shakily signs his name with it before handing it back to the other man.
"That's it," says the quartermaster as he takes the datapad back. The Zangali lumbers back as he heads for the exit.
- The hits just keep on coming.
Landing Bay <Hancock Station>
- This incredible chamber sports almost a square mile of poured plascrete, all watched over by a high communications tower. Most of the ceiling of this chamber is of a lightly buzzing blue energy, allowing ships in and out with a minimum of atmosphere loss. Cheery lighting fixtures line the walls in stark contrast to the otherwise utilitarian nature of the bay. There is a set of double doors near the back of the bay, manned by half a dozen armed New Luna Militia members.
Ruin is hip-deep in the inner workings of the third ion cannon, more or less oblivious to all around him.
Urfkgar ducks as he leaves the shuttle. Then, he ambles across the landing bay in the general direction of the double doors. Once he gets there, he starts snatching and inspecting bits of equipment from those on guard.
Ruin unearths himself at the noise, still a bit twitchy from yesterday's adventure, and does a respectable job of mostly hiding his wince when he sees Urfkgar. Quickly, he ducks back down. Busy! Yes! Very Busy, Really!
Urfkgar finishes his spot check of random bits and pieces of military issued gear. Then, he wanders back towards Ruin and the ion cannon.
Busy, busy, busy. Really. It would probably work better if Ruin had any skill at deception whatsoever, but alas he's got all the acting skill of a rubber hammer.
"No fixerereded?" asks the big lizard after grinding to a halt by the ion cannon.
Ruin startles, giving his head a good knock against the inside of the cannon's shell. "Ow..." He pops up, rubbing the back of his head. "No, sir," he says, bringing his hand 'round to see if there's any blood. "Not yet."
"Stupid softskin," grunts the Zangali as he watches Ruin with his single eye. He asks next, "No now stupid thingy fixereded?"
"Not for a while yet, sir," Ruin hazards, eyeing the thing. "It was easily the most damaged, and some parts are going to need replacing."
"Morerer smashededed," agrees Urfkgar easily as he eyeballs the defunct weapon system.
"Yes, sir," Ruin agrees, quickly adding, "That's why it will take a lot of work to make it function again."
Urfkgar scratches at his shoulder a bit as he mulls this over. Then, he says, "Yup. Urf know."
"So...ah...I'll just get back to it, shall I, sir?" asks Ruin hopefully.
"Do stuff need do," agrees Urfkgar.
Ruin nods, and ducks back into the tangle of wires, boards, and assorted large parts of the cannon, snagging a wrench from atop a metallic bulge as he does so.
Urfkgar watches without comment for now as Ruin goes about his business. Meanwhile, a marine comes up to talk to the Zangali, "Hey, chief, we got a problem." The Zangali stares at the marine until the marine continues, "We got a guy stuck in a wall locker."
Ruin unearths himself again, blinking. "How under Heaven did that happen?"
"Well, we put him there," says the marine. "You an engineer?"
"Yes," Ruin answers in vague puzzlement, patting the orange armband on his jumpsuit. "Why did you put someone in a wall locker?"
"It was funny at the time. All right," says the marine. "Besides, he short sheeted me. Can you get him out? We don't want to bust the locker."
Ruin immediately starts scooping up his tools, slotting them into places on his belt. "I'll certainly try," he agrees. "It shouldn't be too hard..." Tools gathered, he steps away from the cannon. "Where to?"
"Stuck up in the barracks," says the marine.
Ruin hurries for the doors. "Can't *believe* you *shut people in lockers*," he mutters to himself in disbelief. "Of all the high-schoolish..."
The marine follows. Urfkgar remains behind, staring at the cannons.
Lobby <Hancock Station>
- This very large room serves as an inner lobby for the facility, with a high-capacity lift shaft tube dominating the inner wall. Seating is available, arranged in aesthetic patterns for visitors, amidst floral planters and small flowering trees. Soft music plays from above, while various holoviewers around the room show a variety of programming. The lighting is bright and cheery.
Sitting in one of the artfully arranged chairs, one midget Mystic watches the world go by with curious eyes.
"See, what happened was," says the marine as he heads for the lifts. "We were just going to stick him in there a minute. Then, he tried to struggle, so we wrapped it in tape. I guess the tape jammed the lock or something after we sprayed it with old milk."
The Zangali eventually shows up on the deck, following the marine and Ruin.
Ruin says, "You people are incredibly inventive," Ruin concedes, giving an odd look to the out-of-place visitor. He pauses on his way to the lift, to see what Urfkgar makes of her."
Katriel tilts her head at the newest arrival, focusing lavender eyes on the man as he chatters on. But it's the Zangali that really gets her attention, when he finally appears. She leans forward a little bit, frowning. "Urf...?" she murmurs, an odd mix of emotions crossing her face.
"Yup. Urf," says the Zangali. "What?"
The marine continues to explain, "And, then we kind of hit it with a tangler grenade. See, he's a big boy, and he was rocking it back and forth like no other. We thought he still might make it out of there, so we thought we'd seal it up better. So, you're going to need anti-tangler spray."
Ruin just stares at the marine. "You did this as a joke?" he asks faintly. He looks to Urfkgar for a moment, and then shakes his head slightly. "Nevermind," he decides, his expression turning very calm. "Just tell me what else you did, please, and how many things we'll need to get." He pauses. "And whether he's still trying to get out."
Katriel winces a little as sudden memories of Zangali conversations flood her brain. "Uh, hi!" she tries gamely anyway, smiling at Urf. Her attention drifts back a little to Ruin and his chattering Marine buddy. "Somebody's stuck?" she asks, a small crease forming between her eyes.
"That's the thing," says the marine. "He's still pretty upset about the egg we put in his boots earlier, so when he pops out of there, he's going to be looking to kill somebody. Now, as far as we know, he doesn't have any weapons, but, I mean, come on. He's a marine. -Of course- he's packing something. We just haven't been able to figure out what. So, we need you to scan the milk covered, tangler coated, taped up wall locker with a weapon scanner. Then, we can decide if we need to hit it with a stun grenade or not."
Urfkgar eyeballs Katriel and says, "Stupid softskin girly." He doesn't bother questioning the short Mystic's random seeming appearance on the station. Instead, he gestures towards the marine with a karate chop type pointing movement. "Stupid softskin marine. Stuckeded stupid softskin marine. Stupid fixerered softskin. Fix."
"Sir, they wrapped it up with tape, sealed it, and then apparently used a grenade on it," says Ruin softly. "I'll get that locker open - but I think the Marine may need a medic, if he's even still alive. A locker wouldn't hold that much oxygen, and if he was struggling he'd run out faster." He turns and hurries for the lift.
"So... You need help?" she calls after the rapidly disappearing figure rushing for the lift.
Katriel says, "Umm, yeah, that would be me..."
The marine nods, "The man needs as much as he can get. Both of them. I mean."
The Zangali grunts vaguely by way of comment as he lumbers towards the lift.
Barracks <Hancock Station>
- Over three hundred beds are bolted to the rocky walls of this cavern three high, a metal partition-slash-ladder between each of the beds giving some tiny bit of privacy. The floors are of textured metal, and gleam in the harsh overhead lights. A long, squat industrial refresher unit adorns the center of the room, with dozens of lockers lining the long ends of it. A thick metal door leads out to the residence deck.
A crowd of marines are around a locker that is, as previously described, covered with milk, tape, and tangler spray. Banging noises come from inside it. One enterprising marine is hosing it down with anti-tangler spray as the group enters.
"Okay," Katriel responds agreeably, getting up to scurry after Ruin, trying to match his pace to the barracks.
The marine and Zangali, likewise, follow Ruin. Trying to keep pace doesn't present a problem for them, though.
Ruin hurries over to it, reaching into a compartment on his toolbelt for a small can of lubricant with one hand, and tugging a knife free with the other. "It's a good thing someone had that spray," he remarks, taking a knife to the tape near the lid, "as I had no idea where to find it." He sprays the lubricant at the hinges, in an attempt to clear the effect of the milk.
The marines, as a group, take a few steps back when Ruin shows up and starts making what appears to be progress on solving their little problem. The runner says, "I told you, man, it might get ugly. Can't you just poke a few air holes in there or something? Let him sleep it off?"
The Zangali doesn't comment as he eyeballs the locker and Ruin.
Trotting along behind them, Katriel follows everyone into the barracks, pausing for just a moment on the threshold of the room where so many people are in various stages of R&R. Wow. Lots of people. And then she presses right on through and over to the locker. "Air holes might be a good idea anyway," she agrees on general principles.
Ruin keeps cutting at the tape. "Cut the tape, break the seal - same as air holes," he says distractedly. "Urfkgar's here, if he's in any shape to need subduing." He briefly looks to the Mystic. "...Miss, I don't suppose you can tell?"
"Ooh-ooh," says the marine who had run the message down to the landing bay, "I love these games. How old am I?" He asks Katriel. "Do I have any brothers or sisters?"
"Prolly," Katriel replies with a nod, giving a quick glance over to the ohh'ing marine smiling bemusedly. Her eyes glaze over a bit as she focuses on the locker in front of her, and its hopefully still conscious contents.
The rest of the marines give the talkative one odd looks. The Zangali grunts something but remains focused on eyeballing the wall locker.
The fellow in the wall locker seems to be still among the living; although, he's pretty angry about his prediciment and thinking bad thoughts about his so called friends.
Katriel blinks a few times, canting her head to the side as she stares at the locker encased soldier. "Ummm... He's plenty mad, alright..." she notes to people in general. "Might wunna... give him some space, when he pops out."
Ruin gives the talkative Marine a *very* odd look before nodding to the Mystic. "Just so long as he doesn't need a doctor, Miss, that's all I worry about," he says, clearing the last of the tape from the lid. "If the lubricant's enough, he should probably be able to get out..." He closes the utility knife and puts it away, retrieving a screwdriver. "...And if not, I can undo these hinges..."
"We're going to just let him out?" asks the marine, sounding a bit incredoulous. "But, -I'll- need a doctor once he gets clear of that death trap - I mean, uh, wall locker."
Urfkgar scratches at his shoulder as he looks from Mr. Bright Guy marine to the wall locker which still has the vestiges of tangler spray, tape, and milk gone bad covering it.
"Maybe it might be better for the people who trapped him in there to be elsewhere now?" Katriel asks, nibbling on her lip as she considers the angry man. "I could make'im sleep, but... I think that'll just make him madder when he wakes up again."
Ruin is working a bit more slowly now that he knows the prisoner has air, but he's still working determinedly at the hinges of the locker. "Count of five before this door comes off," he says calmly. "One way or another."
"Uh," says the chatty marine. "I'm getting out of here." He hussles and heads out of the barracks. A few of the other marines who had been crowded around the wall locker follow him.
Katriel watches the fleeing marines, and shakes her head a little. "Go somewhere far," is her recommendation before she focuses on the locker once more.
Jantine walks into the barracks, looking for a place to rest, instead he finds it a mess of attention, just as it always is when he really needs to sleep. He shakes his head, and heads over to his bunk anyways, but not before noticeing Ruin in the swirl of it all, as is becoming an obvious trend.
The door pops off the wall locker under the leverage applied by Ruin and out pops a red faced, muscle bound marine like some demented, knife wielding jack in the box. Gasping, he screams, "I'm going to cut his balls off!"
Ruin gets down and out of the way as quickly as he can. Wide-eyed, he looks from the berserk Marine to Urfkgar - and goes quite still.
Katriel swallows a little, taking a step back from the enraged man. That only lasts about ten seconds though, and then she sort of waves her hand in front of the recently released locker prisoner. "Hey, hi," she greets, with a hopeful little smile. "Glad to see you're alright-- we were real worried."
Once in the barracks, Edouard walks over to his bunk, idly watching the action by the locker.
"Where the hell did that freaking fairy go?" demands the red faced, knife wielding marine as he climbs out of the wall locker. It should be noted that he's wearing socks that seem to be covered in egg yolks.
The Zangali doesn't bother to get involved, saying something that sounds like, "Train time stupid fixerer softskin."
Jantine continues on his path towards his bunk, he rubs his eyes, and reaches the commotion by the locker, with little more than a glance, except at the frozen Ruin, who appears to have gotten himself in trouble once again. He comes up to him from behind, taps his shoulder lightly and says "You alright man?"
"...Hell if I know," Ruin answers quietly, eyes all on the berserk Marine. He scoots back, away from the man, and pockets his tools again. "I'm not the one who put him in there, but that doesn't always matter." He looks up at Jantine with a little wry sort of smile. "You tend to follow in ruin's wake."
Katriel tries getting the man's attention again, taking a step closer again. "I think he's real, real sorry about the whole thing," she offers by way of apologetic explanation.
"Real, real sorry? Maybe give me a freaking apology with a cherry on top? What the hell good does that do me? He stuck me in a freaking locker! I'm going to make him real, real sorry! I'm going to cut off his nuts!" says the man with smelly socks. He looks at Ruin with narrowed eyes, "You lying to me, fart stick?"
The Zangali remains on the sidelines with his arms folded across his chest. He might even be looking vaguely amused, but his nearly non-existent facial expressions are hard to read.
Edouard stands by his bunk for a moment before approaching the action a little.
Jantine backs up with Ruin, making sure as to keep himself out of the action, however, as a safegaurd for his friend, he positions himself in such a way that if this comes to blows he can either protect Ruin, or attempt to break up whatever happens.
Ruin looks at the Marine, and at Jantine's protective stance, and shakes his head. "You shouldn't," he warns Jantine. To the Marine, he says, "I'm a terrible liar. But every man has to sleep sometime. I'm sure you'll find him sooner or later."
"Hey! He's the guy who just got you out of that thing," Katriel points out. "Go be mad at somebody else-- if you gotta," she continues, a little gadfly before the bull of a man.
"Yeah? So you're lying?" demands the muscular dude with smelly socks and a fairly large knife, addressing Ruin. He twists to glare at Katriel next, "I want to go be mad at the freaking loser who got me stuck in there. Where'd he go? You're hiding him from me. You're all, like, accomplices! I should cut all your balls off!"
The Zangali continues to stand by as the man rants and rages at various beings beside an overturned wall locker that has seen better days. The doors have been pried off, and tape, a bit of tangler spray, and stale milk litter the area.
The doors of the barracks open swiftly to reveal Justine. Her mouth drops open wide as she looks out over the -situation- in the barracks. "What the..." She trails off as she spies the man wielding a knife. Justine is unable to utter anything as a wave of confusion sweeps over her. She simply backs up a few feet, nearly running into the door she just entered in from.
Edouard folds his arms across his chest and watches.
Jantine keeps his stance "It's alright Ruin, I know what I'm doing" he says resolutely. While his face remains hard, those who do know him see the fear dancing around in the young man's eyes, almost reflecting off the knife in the marine's hand, fortuneately for him, the only person who does really know him is slightly behind him, so none can tell about his internal struggle.
Ruin slants a look at Justine that says, "Yes, it's called suicide," but doesn't say so aloud. "Why would we lie to you?" he asks levelly. "I'm an engineer, not a fighter, why would I want you angry with me? I just didn't want you to die in that box." He shakes his head. "If you hurt me, who will get you out of the box next time?"
"He's not lyin'," Katriel insists, giving a quick shake of her head. "And we don't know where he went-- he was just bright enough not to be here when you got out of that thing," she continues, rolling her eyes just a little. "Not exactly a hard thing to figure out," she points out patiently, before her eyes slip over to Ruin. "Really? So'm I," she declares with a bright smile, seeming genuinely pleased at this discovery. "An engineer, I mean-- not really a fighter either, really, though, so I guess you could say that too," she rambles in a long stream of words.
"Who's going to freaking put me in a box again if I cut off all your balls?" replies the guy with the knife. "Would you put a man in a box known for cutting off people's nuts? I don't think so! Would you put a man in the box who just talked about cutting off testicles? Maybe!" says the bulgy marine with the knife. He looks over at Katriel, "Who are you, anyway? You might be innocent. I haven't seen you before. You're too shrimpy to put me in a box, anyway." He uses the knife to indicate Ruin and Jantine, "These two jokers, though, I'm not so sure about. I think I'm going to need to neuter them. How you guys want to do this? You want to tell me where your sidekicks went, or you want me to cut off your balls?"
The Zangali doesn't have anything to say either way about all this.
Edouard doesn't seem to be all that enthralled about balls being cut off, so he wanders back over to his bunk.
Jantine keeps staring straight at the marine, not heeding Ruin's glance "I just came in here" he replies resolutely "I didn't see where he went"
Justine slaps a hand against her forehead as she continues to watch the mess unfold. She gives her head a shake and makes her way towards her bunk and the footlocker beside it. The footlocker opens with a small -click- and Justine begins to shove her numerous personal items into an olive bag that she was carrying on her shoulder. "This place..." Justine lets out a small sigh as she stacks her NLM uniform on top of her bunk and places her pistol on top of her uniform.
The guy on a bunk beside Justine's tears his attention away from the ongoing saga center stage and asks her, "What's up?"
"I was busy getting you out," says Ruin, frowning as he looks the Marine in the eyes. "I admit to being focused on that; you could have suffocated in there."
"Katriel," the little Mystic says, turning her attention back to the large man with the knife, offering him both a smile and her hand as she tries stepping a little bit in front of the two threatened people. "It's true-- and I saw him before that, down in the lobby. I've never been here before, I have no idea where someone would go to get away from you. Prolly the furthest place they could think of," she notes.
"Useless. The bunch of you," decides the marine. He stalks out in sock clad feet, leaving a trail of egg yolk as he goes.
The Zangali snorts and watches the man go.
Justine finally reaches the bottom of her footlocker and retrieves her most prized possession, a pack of Sivadian smokes. She almost sutffs these into her bag, but descides against it and shoves it into a pocket of her jacket instead. She rises to her feet slowly with her bag draped over her right arm. Reaching to pick up the uniform and gun, Justine gives her head a brief shake before turning towards the man who questioned her. "I'm getting the hell out of here, want to come?" Justine lets out a small laugh before heading back towards barracks door, making sure she carefully avoids the traill of egg yolk.
"AWOL style or day trip to the beach out of here?" the man calls after Justine.
Ruin breathes a heavy sigh of heartfelt relief. "That was...much closer than I prefer." He pats Jantine's arm lightly. "Thanks." He smiles slightly at Justine's stormy passage, his expression shifting to one of amused tolerance.
Edouard opens up the locker at the foot of his bed and kneels down infront of it to start rummaging around it.
Jantine nods at Ruin, watching the man leave. He then returns to his initial mission of going to get some rest, the addrenaline from the expierience already begining to wear off.
Katriel slowly breathes out in a very carefully controlled sigh, watching the man as he storms off. "Wow. That went better than I thought it would," she notes, glancing over at Ruin and Jantine. "Umm, it was nice meeting you, anyway," she tells them both, turning a little to head out of the barracks.
The Zangali grunts and scratches at his shoulder a bit before he produces a package of carrots from his pocket.
Justine turns again towards the man who addressed her and lets out a deep breath before explaining. "I'm going civvie. I'm shacking up with an engineer who has a beachfront property, so to answer your question." Justine smiles faintly before turning once more. "A little of both, I guess."
"Yeah, I know the one," says the guy on the bunk. "You have yourself a good time while we stay up here and make sure you have a beach to go to." He's grinning when he says the last bit, though.
After spending a few moments looking through his stuff, he closes his locker and stands up. The man looks around a little.
Jantine lays down on his bunk, ready to get some sleep at last.
The Zangali flips the wall locker over so that it is resting on the open side. He takes a seat somewhat gingerly on it and dumps the bag of carrots out. Then, he scrounges through a few more pockets pulling out a small, plastic bottle filled with some sort of sauce. Then, he produces a silvery packages of something that gets torn open.
Ruin looks over at Jantine and says, "Dear Lord, that's the best idea I've seen all day." Undoing his toolbelt, he heads over to his own bunk and gracelessly flops down onto it, face-first.
Justine holds the uniform against herself with one hand and she places a hand against her chest with the other as she looks towards the man once more. "My valiant hero," she swoons before winking coyly at the man. She then turns away, chuckling to herself as she leaves the barracks.
The man on the bunk says, "Why is it always they hit on me when they are leaving?"
"Because you're a loser, and they're just toying with your emotions - not trying to get in your pants," responds his neighbor.
Urfkgar tears open the silvery package, scoops the carrots up off the wall locker, and stuffs them in the packet. Then, he opens the bottle and dumps its contents into the mixture. The whole thing smells pretty awful - over powering the sour milk and rotten egg smell that has already spread throughout the barracks.
Jantine still lays down on his bed, his eye's stay open however, looking at the bottom of the bunk above him. He doesn't seem to mind the smell, but he does take a few deep sniff's to make sure it's what he thinks it is.
Edouard sits down on the edge of his bunk, and yawns lazily.
Urfkgar rolls the torn section of the silver packet down a bit and starts to shake the contents up as he sits content for all intents and purposes on the smelly wall locker.
Jantine can't seem to sleep, perhaps because his eyes are open, but either way, he gets up, and shambles over in Urf's direction, intent on asking him the question he had tried to ask last night.
"What?" asks the Zangali as he watches Jantine's approach.
Jantine hesitates, and then askes in a mild voice "Not now, I'm too tired, but later, could you teach me how to fire this thing?" he inquires, fidgiting with the holstered pistol stapped to his waist.
"Stupid softskin need train. Urf train stupid softskin," says the Zangali while he continues to shake the bag around.
Jantine nods "Thank you" he says, and after a slight pause "Sir" he heads back to his bunk, gratefully. He lays down, and feels now he can sleep easily.
Edouard stands up and stretches a little before starting to head out.
The Zangali doesn't seem to notice the pause or even the sir. He concentrates on his chow preperations.
- The adventures of Urf continue as we learn how supply guys run the military.
Quartermaster <Hancock Station>
- Set up in a small cavern in the tough rock of the asteroid, the majority of the Quartermaster's office consists of dozens upon dozens of locked cabinets set up in four rows. Near the front is a fancy wooden desk with a computer atop it, and two monitors. One seems to be a feedback terminal of some sort, giving a ticker-tape tally of various key supplies. The other is a large computer monitor for accessing the logs of what is on the Station and what needs to be. A securely locked metal door leads out to the Residence Deck.
Donovan nods his head as Justine puts her gear down on his desk, he gives her a friendly smile as she turns to leave. "Have a good one, then, lass." He says, then turns back to his paperwork.
Urfkgar ambles in and directs his progress towards Donovan's desk. He starts the conversation with his standard demand, "Urf need stuff."
Justine smiles to herself faintly as she keeps her head down as she passes Urf and makes her way out the door to the Residence Deck.
"Paperwork?" Donovan asks patiently, holding out a hand. He just waits, giving the impression that he can probably wait all day.
Urfkgar produces some crumpled pages from a cargo pocket. It looks like at one point they may have been stapled together, but that is no longer the case. He doesn't bother to straighten or arrange them. He just tosses them out on the desk. The paperwork, at least, seems to be the standard forms and filled out by someone other than the Zangali because it, at first glance, seems to be correct.
Someone's been burning the midnight oil because the request range from A with armor and ammo to Z with ziplines and zippos.
"Urf need all stuff," says the Zangali as he gestures to the paperwork with his bad hand. "Urf no need. Urf no say Urf need."
Edouard walks into the cavern, looking around curiously. After seeing everyone, he cautiously walks towards Urf and Donovan.
"I'm talking about priority." Donovan says simply, then spreads his hands in defeat. "We simply can't get everything, and we especially can't just have everything on hand." He shakes his head. "I'll send you my list as soon as I have it finished." He eyes the chrono on his wrist with a sigh. Looks like he doesn't get that early day after all.
Urfkgar grunts and says, "Urf need marine fake fight stuff. Now. Urf need shoot stuff. Now. Urf need no bash stuff. Now. Urf need doc stuff. Now."
Edouard comes to a stop a respectable distance away from Urf and stands at ease.
"Mr. Urfkgar." Donovan says, still in that friendly voice that hides the annoyance that's apparent in his eyes. "Far be it for me to pull rank, but repeating yourself does absolutely no good. I'm not talking, pardon my language, out of my ass. I'm telling you the facts. The fact is, I am not a magical equipment fairy that pulls things out of my rear end. I will order what is in the budget, I will give you what I have on hand, and you will have to make do with that. Please close the door behind you on the way out." With that, the big man returns to his notations.
The Zangali doesn't seem to be all that impressed, glowering down at Donovan. He says, "Urf no need marine fake fight stuff kill stuff. Stupid softskin marines need marine fake fight stuff kill stuff. No marine fake fight stuff. Marines no kill bad guys. Marines no kill bad guys. Bad guys kill stupid remph softskin. Stupid remph softskin morerer stuff. Morerer stuff no gooderer. Stuff need go marines. Stuff no go marines. Stuff no good. Stuff no good. All killeded."
Edouard stands by quietly before he heads out, seeing as things seem to be busy.
"This conversation is over, Mr. Urfkgar." Donovan replies simply, not even looking up. He turns the page, and continues on his notations.
"What stuff here?" demands the Zangali. "Stuff here. Urf need. Urf take."
"It'll be delivered once I'm done with the paperwork." Donovan replies, finally glancing up. His face is impassive, losing its usual friendly expression. "The same way it always is."
"Stupid softskin say," replies the dubious Zangali. "Urf no see."
"This isn't a free-for-all. I need to keep detailed records." Donovan says, raising a hand in a definate 'shooing' motion. "It'll be sent when I'm done. Tomorrow morning."
"Stupid softskin do stuff now," grunts Urfkgar. "Stuff do now. Urf take now. Stupid softskin do stupid remph stuff."
"It will be delivered tomorrow morning. I won't be able to get -anything- done unless you leave me to do it, Mr. Urfkgar. I don't want to make that an order, but you're coming close." Donovan says, reaching for his cup of coffee and taking a sip.
Urfkgar considers this while he scratches at his shoulder. Then, he announces, "Urf no care stupid remph softskin say. Urf care stupid remph softskin do. Urf care stupid remph softskin no do. Stupid remph softskin no do stuff say. Urf bash stupid remph softskin." That being said, though, the big lizard turns and lumbers out.
Donovan sighs to himself and returns to his work, determined to get it done as quickly as possible so he can get himself dinner.