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A Tale of Two Jackals?
Summary: Going to the scene of their last encounter, the Jackal crew seeks information on the Hyena.
Cast: Ace, Barry, Kravos, Swiftfoot, Solace, Torr
Air Date: 2006.07.19


Part 2 of a series.

Previous part: Meet Your Evil Twin

Next part: A Tale Of Two Jackals: Part 2


Warning: Contains Vulgarity


Crew Quarters <IND Jackal>
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The narrow passage opens up into a small wardroom. This space is ingeniously outfitted; its furniture and surfaces configured to serve either under nominal local gravity conditions, or that provided by the freighter's acceleration. Flanking the wardroom are a set of personal bunk modules containing a bed with built-in cabinetry, storage lockers, and privacy screens. Forward, a compact efficiency kitchen is located starboard, while to the portside is a small refresher unit. Between the two we find a little fitness space with a punching bag and workout center and a cozy niche with a fold-out sleeper couch and holoviewer.

Gentle light flows down from coves recessed into the dorsal and side wall framing, softly illuminating the room. Its deckplates are sturdy and diamond-gridded and provide a tough, rugged utilitarian feel, but what really completes the atmosphere is the bold, stylized jackal's head painted in fiery scarlet with bold, confident strokes on the hatches leading fore and aft.

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Torr snores softly from his bunk. He lays in the dark cubicle, privacy screen not up as the man sleeps. His chest rises and falls slowly as he sleeps.

The forward hatch opens, allowing one orange-furred Demarian to enter. She's not as soft-footed as one might think, on account of the boots. The hatch shuts behind her, and Swiftfoot clump clump clumps over to the kitchenette, opening the fridge and looking inside curiously.

Torr seems to sleep through the noise, for the most part. Then she starts her rummaging through the fridge and he shits slightly in the bunk. Dark eyes snap open, training quickly on the cat. "Meowmix," he greets.

"Oh, hey, sorry," the big cat says, blinking as she glances over at the Martian. "Didn't want to wake you. Just wanted a drrink, meh?" Swifty shrugs and holds up a bottle of beer, sending a questioning glance Torr's way. "Want one?"

"Fuck, we need Mika back here. She's a good goddamn bartender, I tell ya," Torr mutters, rolling out of his bunk and to his feet. He nods a little. "Yeah, might as well. Goddamn beer."

Swiftfoot nods, her ears drooping slightly as she digs another bottle out of the fridge and shuts the door. She walks over near the Martian's bunk and holds out one of the beers, her tail flicking absently. "You still feel like goin to trriple-ninerr? Figurred tonight would be a good night forr it, if'n you arre."

Torr takes the beer from her and pops it open. He nods at this and takes a pull before he speaks. "Yeah, con do that shit. Might as well get us on the fuckin' way now, huh?" He stands, already fully dressed, and moves toward the fore.

"Surre," the Demarian says, popping the top off of her beer bottle and taking a pull as well. She follows Torr toward the forward compartments, stifling a yawn. "Wonderr if we'll even see a damn thing. They've been like fuckin phantoms till they want to find us, you know?"


Cockpit <IND Jackal>
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The hatchway opens up to a small metal platform which overlooks a compact command center. Light filters out from hidden coves, evenly illuminating the bridge consoles. A rainbow of telltales and monitors add a touch of color, breathing life into the maze of metal and machinery. A few steps down, the main terminals are arranged in a rough semicircle, following the curvature of the ship's bow. Twin stations centered beneath the main canopy face forward, while another pair face the port and starboard, situated on either side of the cockpit just before two bulky turrets outfitted with the gunnery controls and targeting computers. The whole space is tight-packed, with little room to move when all positions are occupied.

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"Seems like everytime we in the fuckin' perserverance system they want to find us though," Torr replies to her as he enters the cockpit. He casts a glance over his shoulder as he speaks. Then he moves into the pilot's station, and begins the nescessary actions to lift the ship off.

Swiftfoot snorts and takes a seat at the starboard gunnery console, strapping herself in before taking another pull of the bottle in her paw. "Yeah, dunno... I wanna know how they always know wherre we arre. I wanna know how they werre bouncing ourr own fucking rregistrry back at us. I wanna know a lot of things." The Demarian shrugs vaguely, her tail flicking somewhat irritably.

"Well hopefully we fuckin' find that shit out, huh?" Torr muses, shaking his head a little bit. "We'll do whatever the fuck we have to." He guides the Jackal quickly through space, heading soon for the jumppoint.

Swiftfoot nods, her eyes going to the viewscreen as the ship jumps into transition space. She snorts after a moment, and looks down at the display from the starboard turret. "Just hope we don't end up gettin fucked up in the prrocess ya know?" She chuckles and shakes her head, looking back toward the Martian at the nav console. "Mika'd kill me, I think."

Barry comes into the bridge of the Jackal, laptop in hand. Instead of his usual position, he heads towards the comm console and drops himself heavily into the chair, doing up his crash restraints. He doesn't say anything yet, as he sets himself up on the chair, complete with the laptop.

Torr leans back a little once he gets the ship on the way. He takes a long pull from the beer botte, then snickers. "Yeah oh well. We're doin' the best we fuckin' can, huh." He glances toward the other martian. "Gotcha timmieporn all queued up?"

"I thought Sol had that," the Demarian says, then chuckles dryly. Swiftfoot leans back in the chair a bit, trying to stretch her legs out. "I'm too fuckin tall forr this," she mutters, then takes another drink from her beer.

Barry raises a single hand to Torr, and on that single hand is a single finger raised. "Nope," he says, completely in business mode. If one was to look at his screen, they'd notice the schematics and readings from their last encounter with the Hyena. "Cut ya legs off, if ya want Swifty."

"Sol /is/ the goddamn porn," Torr remarks with a slight smirk, eyes moving toward Malion for a moment. "So what the fucks the plan? You people wanna go hang around triple niner, see if we pick up any friends, or what?"

"Sounds like a plan to me," Swiftfoot replies, looking over her shoulder at Barry. "Whatcha got therre, chief? Theirr specs? Good idea. Hey, wherre -is- Sol, anyway?"

"Sleepin'," Barry replies, as he runs of the comm console and also checking the laptop. "Just the schematics..." He slowly cracks his neck, and then streches his fingers out. "Last readings, just so we can get a decent fix, ya know?"

"Tire her out, huh," Torr comments, still smirking. He lifts the beer to his lips and takes another sip. "Fuckin' good shit. Maybe we can get the jump on 'em for once. Soon as we back into normalspace I want both of ya lookin' hard for that shit, copy?"

"Aye aye, sirr," Swiftfoot replies, sketching a half-assed salute with one white-furred paw as she takes a pull from the beer. She snorts after a moment, breaking down into good-natured laughter. "Now I sound like one of them damn militia squibs. Poorr fuckerrs. I don't think I could handle that shit."

"Yeah," Barry replies, distracted as he starts work on the system. "I thought I'd scratch me arse." He slowly shakes his head, and then continues with the bringing up the ECM system. "Sounds like the best plan of action."

"Really? Jam ya thumb up in there while you're at it?" Torr snorts. "You love that shit, sick fuck." He shakes his head at this. "Good call." He finishes off his beer then takes the controls, though only loosely.

Swiftfoot flicks an ear and chuckles, shaking her head. "You two oughta keep that kinda talk in the bedrroom, where it belongs. Rrest of us don't need to know that shit." She taps a claw absently on the beer bottle, one of her feet twitching somewhat nervously.

"Blow me," Barry counters, completely distracted by the job at hand. It wasn't hostile, but more as a slightly off reply. "Ain't into arse reaming, object insertion or buggery... Talk dirty with Swifty, not me." He smirks at this point.

Torr snorts and looks toward the Cat. "Meowmix, ya know - I got some new treats, they are real nice.." he winks then glances toward the viewscreen. He grips the controls a little more tightly.

"Long as they'rre not fish flavorred," Swiftfoot retorts. "I'm sick of that kind." She chuckles for a moment, one ear flicking as she finishes off her beer and stows the bottle in a nearby compartment. She eyes Torr only briefly before she turns back to the gunnery display, apparently looking over the controls.

"Ya been eatin' Jackies food Swifty?" Barry asks, still monitoring everything at the comm station. He's ready to work as soon as the ship enters real space once more. "Wonderin' where it's been going... Thought Torr mighta been using it for some bizarre sexual fetish."

Torr snorts. "I'm not that fuckin' bizarre," he remarks. He immediatly sets the ship on a vector toward triple niner - or that general area - as they enter into realspace.

As the ship crosses back over into real space and starts toward U-999, Swiftfoot turns to watch the viewscreen again. "See anything?" she inquires, head tilted curiously to the side.

"Just the usual traffic," Barry replies, as he goes about his work as they enter into real space. "Just the usual traffic... Switching to long range scan." He continues to work away, testing several possible contacts. Torr rolls his Piloting with a 0 modifier. Use a feat (+help feats) to try to overcome the impossible. The result of the roll is Great (2).

The sleek form of the Jackal cuts quickly through the cold space that surrounds it. Torr guides the ship easily through the fringes of the system, keeping the speed even as the ship draws toward triple niner.

Swiftfoot nods, turning away with a shrug. "Ah well, even if we don't find anything, that's something, I guess. means the fuckerrs didn't know we werre going to be herre this time." The felinoid's tail flicks absently, and she snorts. "Could always land, see if we see anything, meh? Even ask arround."

"Might be them," Barry says, double checking over the long range sensor scans. "Mightn't be them... Ain't too sure." He glances back towards Swifty, arching a brow. "Who ever it is, they're going to the niner."

"Well good," Torr replies. The ship slows, veering a little off the previous course, either by design or by chance. Torr grunts a little, letting the ship stay on that course and speed. "Fuckin' lets watch 'em for a bit, huh?"

Swiftfoot nods and offers a snort, shaking her head slightly. She eyes the display on the gunnery console for a moment, then shrugs. "I dunno. Guess it could be," she agrees, her ears flattening for a moment. "But I'm about as surre as Mal is. Prrobably less, actually. Hrh."

The ship in question banks toward triple-niner in a wide arc, apparently paying the IND Jackal and its crew no mind whatsoever.

"Like I said," Barry replies, still studying the comm reading. "Could be them, ain't sure." He presses several buttons, and then starts to scan at midrange. Torr is in the navigation console, Swifty's on starboard gunnery console and Barry's on the comms.

Torr nods a little bit, readjusting the Jackal's course. He takes it slow, angling the ship roughly toward triple niner and the other ship. "Give it another scan, huh?"

Swiftfoot stifles another yawn, turning away from the gunnery console to look at the viewscreen. "Meh," she notes, then looks over her shoulder at Barry, seemingly having nothing better to do just this second.

The unidentified ship keeps going toward the chunk of rock known as U-999, flying along as if it weren't even being watched.

Solace comes thumping onto the bridge, unceremoniously making her way to the engineering console and flopping down into the chair. "Hello." She finally says, reaching up to rub at her eyes. "What's up?"

"I'm pretty certain it is," Barry replies, looking closer at the comms display and the laptop. "Fuckin' lets get these bastards, huh?" He seems to pretty much ignore Swifty's Meh, and Torr's orders, but does glance back to Solace. "Hey babe... Think it might be that ship that's tried to bounce us in the past."

"Rather take 'em on the ground," Torr muses. The Jackal keeps it's same course, steady and slightly slow. "Might be tougher. Better chance of checkin' that shit out though. Thoughts?"

"Well, we'll have to deal with the crrew instead of just the ship," Swiftfoot offers, shrugging. "That's the obvious. If it -is- them, they'll prrobably take off as soon as we land. We'rre not exactly harrd to spot, you know?"

The Jackal may not be hard to spot, but the other ship is getting within close range of triple-niner, either oblivious to the Jackal’s presence, or ignoring them completely.

Solace just listens for the moment, apart from sending Barry a little wave. She goes over her console for a minute, checking everything and keeping one eye on the viewscreen.

"Land and keep the guns trained on their ship, or we could attempt to take their engines off line and then board," Barry comments, rather clinical as he continues with his work. "Might be havin' an off day and ain't picked us up yet... I hope."

>> Outside the Ship: "Fox to Hound," Ace's voice comes in over the comm, "How do you wish to handle this?"

"Well don't fuckin' let 'em take off, huh?" Torr guides the ship easily with one hand, pulling out his PDA with the other hand. He taps away at it, glancing up toward the Faux as it arrives. He smirks.

>> Outside the Ship: The Jackal hangs back a little from Triple Niner. A similar calliope class vessel is currently nearing triple niner. If anything, the Jackal is shadowing it. Over their comms comes Torr's voice. "Think we wanna take that shit in person. Nail the engines if we can, then board her. Think we can do that shit out here?"

Swiftfoot shrugs vaguely. "I'm herre to shoot shit if we need to shoot it," she comments, her tail flicking idly. "I think any way we slice this, it's gonna be a pain in the ass, frrankly, but what ya gonna do?" She eyes Torr for a moment, one eyeridge quirking upward. "They can't pick that shit up, can they?"

>> Outside the Ship: The Faux slides silently behind an asteroid, lights going out as she vanishes into the dark, "Is 999 space...no one patrols here, nyet."

"Anyone got a second pulse pistol I can borrow?" Solace pipes up. "I ain't got any decent ones out of that pile, least not any I trust." She falls back into silence, eyes on the viewscreen.

"We park them in," Barry suggests, arching a brow. "We make it physically impossible for them to take off... Two ships, and shit. Hell, might be illegal, but who's gonna pull us up for this?" He puts the laptop on top of the computer console, and then stands up, making his way across to the port gunnery console. "Lets' get these fuckers."

>> Outside the Ship: Torr's voice comes again over the secure comms the two ships share. "Yeah, no shit. Might be messy tryin' to board out here though. Bigman thinks we can box 'em in on the landing pad. Ya game?"

Torr snickers a little after he speaks over the comm. "Secure shit," he remarks at Swifty, then he nods to Malion. "Rather do that then fuckin' try and board 'em out here. Lets see if they land, then box 'em in. See if Ace is fuckin' in on it." Then he looks toward Solace. "Assault pistol in the airlock, one of the lockers. Was the other day anyway."

>> Outside the Ship: "Fox will follow your lead, da," Ace replies, "Josh and I are your back-up...just point and it will cease to exist."

"Sounds like a plan," the Demarian agrees, her eyes going back to the gunnery display. "Rratherr not have to shoot em up anyway. If we destrroy theirr shit, then we can't have it, rright?" Swiftfoot chuckles darkly then, a faintly predatory smile on her face.

>> Outside the Ship: The unidentified Calliope makes its way down to triple-niner, coming to what looks like a fairly sedate, textbook landing. Perfectly safe, perfectly sane.

Solace nods her head, falling silent again. She gets up from her chair, though she doesn't leave her console, standing over it absently and staring out the viewscreen.

"Aint' hard," Barry comments, scratching idly at his flak jacket. "I've got me assault cleaned and ready to go... See what we can do." He seems pretty preoccupied at the moment. "At the least, get a prisoner from this fuckin' bullshit and find out who they are. If we're wrong... Torr's fault." Torr rolls his Piloting with a 0 modifier. Use a feat (+help feats) to try to overcome the impossible. The result of the roll is Good (1).

Torr nods a little bit at this. "No fuckin' joke," he replies. "S'why I wanted to hit 'em on the pad in the first place." He glances toward Barry and snorts. "Lets nail this fucker, huh?" He guides the ship in toward triple niner.

>> Outside the Ship: The Jackal begins picking up speed once more. The ship vectors in toward the asteroid, slipping into the landing bay shortly after the unidentified ship.

Swiftfoot nods, watching on the viewscreen as the Jackal moves toward triple-niner, her ears forward, watching curiously. Her nose wrinkles for a moment. "Hope we can get this shit taken carre of..."

>> Outside the Ship: DMS Faux enters from the surrounding asteroid fields. Solace turns and heads for the door without another word, slipping out into the corridor, and presumably for the airlock to locate the pistol.

>> Outside the Ship: The as-yet-unidentified freighter, sporting a rather dashing orange and yellow paint job, sits off to the side of the landing pad. Her port side is near the steel framework that houses the berths, her aft end up against solid rock. To the starboard and the front, though, it looks like there's open space to land.

Barry slowly stands, and then starts to make his way aft. Unlike Solace, he's stowards his weapon in the main corridor and returns with the AR a couple of moments later. "Jackal aft and Faux for'ard," he states, as he makes his way back in. "Can't move forward and back that way. Come around the port side..."

>> Outside the Ship: "Ace, block 'em in on the starboard side," Torr remarks over the comm. The Jackal glides quickly into the spot in front of the other ship.

Torr pulls his pistol out of its holster, charging it with a low hum. He nods a little bit as he watches the viewscreen to see what will happen as the Jackal touches down closely in front of the other freighter. He glances toward the Demarian. "Meowmix, take this shit over, huh, see if you can get 'em to open up. Me and Bigman will be in the airlock, let us know if they fuckin' open up, we'll go say hello."

>> Outside the Ship: The Faux slips smoothly into the berth on the starboard side, cutting it a bit closer to the ship than would normally be expected.

Swiftfoot's eyes narrow slightly as she spots the other ship, unsnapping her restraints and standing up from the gunnery console. She nods and makes her way up to the nav console, eyeing the viewscreen again critically. "Kay, chief. Have at 'err."

Barry cocks the AR, and nods in regards to Torr. "Comms on," he comments, completely in business mode. "Use encrypted channels, don't know if we're bein' monitored." He slowly makes his way aft, still limping slightly. "Ya seeing somethin' that ain't right, let us know straight 'way.

Torr nods a little bit. "Ya got that, Meowmix." He seems a little amused by Malion's attitude. He lets his MK6 hang loosely in one hand, the other hand relaxed by his side. "Lets do this shit, huh." He heads aft as well.

her head and mutters under her breath, one ear flicking halfway back. "Yeah, got it," the Demarian replies, snorting softly as she sits down at the nav station. She shakes her head and mutters under her breath, one ear flicking halfway back.

Barry storms through the hatch in the direction of the airlock. He doesn't say anything else.

>> Outside the Ship: For the moment, the orange-and-yellow ship seems to be sitting on the landing pad just as still as the other two Calliopes that have her parked in. She hasn't even activated her scanners. It almost seems like she's still oblivious to both the Jackal and the Faux, despite being quite nicely 'parked in'.

>> Outside the Ship: Swiftfoot's voice comes in over the comm. "This seem a little strrange to you, Ace? Seems prretty damn weirrd to me, I gotta say."

>> Outside the Ship: "Are you certain this is the ship you are looking for?" Ace asks in return.

>> Outside the Ship: "Barry seemed prretty surre..." the Demarian ventures, then trails off.

Just then, the airlock on the starboard side of other ship cycles open, and a single figure peers out, looking up at the Faux's bulky form. "What the...? Hey, what gives?" a male human demands, of seemingly nobody in particular.

Meanwhile…

Airlock <IND Jackal>
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An amber warning light washes the small airlock, chasing dull shadows across the gray hullsteel walls. It's sized for approximately five crew, with plenty of space for gear and equipment. Access panels and storage lockers frame the space, providing a sparse atmosphere of simple utility. Along one wall there is a rack for several EVA suits, along with ports for keeping the suits' systems charged and online. A hatchway emblazoned with a stylized jackal's head in bold red leads starboard into the ship's forward corridor, and is fitted with a windowed partition.

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Solace is staring absently at the airlock. She has a plain old pulse pistol on each hip, and she seems to be fiddling with a psiblocker, flicking it on and off, the hand of her cybernetic shoved in a pocket.

Barry makes his way into the airlock, looking like he's ready for action. "Ready?" he says, looking across to Solace. He streches out one gloved hand, his leather cracking with the movements.

Torr moves toward one of the lockers, pulling it roughly open. He rummages through it, then comes out with a few small, black bundles. He unrolls one and pulls it over his head. It ends up being a rough mask, holes cut in it for eyes and mouth. He tosses a similiar bundle at Sol, then Malion. "This is a nice disguise, huh?" He muses from behind the mask.

Solace gets hit with the bundle, then looks down at it, then up at Torr. "They can see our ship." She points out with a slight look of disbelief. "And they already know who we are. Why in the name of the Lady would we need a disguise?" She makes no move to pick it up, flicking off her psiblocker one last time and tucking it away.

"If ya're a gimp," Barry replies, shaking his head. Without warning he makes his way towards the airlock door. "Fuck this shit... I'm gonna fuckin' kill them."

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: Got one on the landing pad. Just emerging from the airlock.

>>> COMMNET Ace on FOXHOUND: "Da, I see him...

"We need a fuckin' disguise so the goddamn kommisar's have as little as possible on us, huh?" Torr shakes his masked head. "Christ, you wanna add to your goddamn bounty, Bigman? What the fuck." He starts toward the airlock. "Your choice." He hits the airlock release.

>>> COMMNET Hotshot on FOXHOUND: We're goin' to go give the fucks a Jackal hello.

Barry pushes the button on the door, and then waits for it to open. "I know the kommisars," he comments, shaking his head. "I just wanna get this outta the way." With the door open, he hoists the AR to his shoulder and departs the airlock.

>>> COMMNET Ace on FOXHOUND: "Will get Josh into airlock to back you up...will stay on our turrets here for the moment."

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: "Sounds good. Just keep a close eye, guys. I only see one so far. The rest could just be waiting in the airlock."

Solace rolls her eyes and follows without another word, leaving Torr to his gimp masks. She snags both of her guns on the way, after making sure that her comm is firmly in her ear.

>> Outside the Ship: Torr smirks a little behind the mask and shakes his head. "Fuckin' lets do this shit, then," he remarks. "Bigman, point. Sol, back us up." He waits for Malion to move out, his pistol now cradled in both hands, held at a slight downward angle. Eyes sweep the pad quickly as he emerges.

>> Outside the Ship: So, on the landing pad, we can count a total of three Calliope class ships, one of which is parked between the rock and the two other ships, and one confused-looking human. He peers out of the airlock of the orange-and-yellow vessel, still looking up at the Faux's bulk. "Hey, Maz, come take a look at this," he calls back behind him into the airlock. "Some asshole's got us parked in!"

>> Outside the Ship: Barry doesn't need to be told to take point, cautiously moving towards one of the crates nearby. Barry has his AR hoisted to his shoulder, and unlike Torr, he doesn't seem to be worried about concealing his identity. He doesn't do anything just yet, observing the men and the ship.

>> Outside the Ship: Solace snorts quietly, but holds her position about midway on the Jackal's ramp. Her hair has been pulled back at the base of her neck, out of her way, and she has two pistols out, also unmasked. Her pale eyes flick around the landing pad, looking beyond the ships for anything else.

>> Outside the Ship: Torr moves carefully behind Barry. His knees are bent slightly as he moves, his pistol not yet coming up to a firing position. He takes up an observation point off to the right flank of Barry, eyes narrowed slightly as he looks toward the suspect imposter.

>> Outside the Ship: 'Maz,' as it were, chooses to make an appearance at this point, a blonde, female human peering carefully out from behind the human male. "What's up, Vic? Er... the hell? HEY," she yells, gesturing futilely toward the Faux. "Back off! We can't even unload our cargo with you parked that close!" The two of them seem pretty occupied with the fact that the Faux is parked practically on top of them, so they haven't noticed anyone yet. 'Vic' seems to be looking around a bit nervously, though.

>>> COMMNET Ace on FOXHOUND: These people, they are too stupid to be your Hyenas

>> Outside the Ship: Barry raises his hand up to the transmit button on the collar of his disposal shop camo jacket, leaving his other hand to support the weapon of the barrel. He continues to observe the ship and who ever else might be disembarking from it. He speaks quietly and then kneels behind the boxes, still observing. He speaks quietly into the comm and then slips his hand back down to the pistol grip.

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: Could be an act, but it'd have to be a damn good one...

>>> COMMNET Fiddy Cal on FOXHOUND: Agree with you Ace... Then again, it could be an act. Look at Torr.

>>> COMMNET Tran on FOXHOUND: Grunts don't have to be smart. It doesn't have to be an act. What's the phrase about one hand not knowing what the other does? Besides, if they're local, they might know something anyway.

>> Outside the Ship: Click, hisss... The rush of compressed air is heard as the airlock cycles open and stops with the door a little over half-way opened. Enough room for someone to go through, yet offers cover all the same, and a barrel of a rifle peeks from the airlock. Josh can be, barely, seen from his hiding spot with his gaze sighted right down the optic hooked to the rifle. A red-dot sight with limited multi-target abilites. The ex-marine makes a note of the targets and waits.

>> Outside the Ship: Solace just stays where she is, not bothering to sneak around, not bothering much of anything. She just watches, hands on her hips, silver eyes narrowed. Her lips purse, and she shrugs, moving down to the bottom of the ramp but no further.

>> Outside the Ship: Torr crouches down a little lower behind the crates which he has chosen to use as cover. Eyes remain fastened on the ship and those around it. He lifts his pistol a little, grunting softly as he uses a hand to toggle his comm on.

>> Outside the Ship: The man with the AR raises his hand once more, and is about to speak into his commlink, but stops and looks to Torr. He turns his head, and nods in reply to Torr. "Cover me," he quietly says to the other man. He takes several steps out from his cover, and then slowly starts to approach the ship. "How ye goin' dicker?" he calls out, back to his West Enaj accent. "I'm here representin' the Ungstir Debt Collection Agency, UDCA as ye might know us as... I'm just wondering if ye've seen a ship around? Believe it might be called... Give me a minute." He reaches down to his pocket and withdraws a datapad. "The IND Hyena... They're took out a loan an have failed to repay it." It's a gamble, but it might work.

>> Outside the Ship: The man shushes the woman with an annoyed wave of his hand. "Maz, quit it. This is triple-niner, you know?" Maz' eyes narrow as she glares at Vic for a moment. "Well don't you just know it all? Smartass..." She snorts and shakes her head, then starts to turn away, but seems to catch a flash of motion out of the corner of her eye, her gaze shifting around. "Umm... I think there's someone out here. Can we please go back inside, Vic? Please...?"

Vic has just started to nod, when Barry makes his appearance. The man seems taken aback, and blinks at the pseudo-Sivadian for a moment, his eyes narrowing suspiciously. However, it seems that Barry's open manner has caught him off guard. "Er... the Hyena? I think I remember seeing that ship somewhere. Black and red, right? Just got a kind of a logo painted on it, no name?" He thinks hard for a moment, tapping one finger against his chin.

>> Outside the Ship: Solace watches the interplay idly, though only briefly, her eyes still flicking around the rest of the landing pad, looking for anything else that might approach. She doesn't seem nervous, just wary, considering what happened last time they were here.

>> Outside the Ship: Torr seems to decide that the man is the threat. He shifts his aim slightly, moving his pistol so that it is lined up for a clean shot toward Vic if he needs to take it. He doesn't move or speak, rather, he watches Malion closely.

>> Outside the Ship: "If ye don't mind me asking sir," Barry says rather civilly, as he offers a pleasant smile to the man and his female friend. "I don't suppose if you know if she's still owned by a Mister, bear with me for a moment." He looks back down to his datapad. "Sorry miss Frances Gertland from La Terre? And also where you last saw the ship?"

>> Outside the Ship: Kravos's sight shifts a little as the ex-marine drinks in the different folks within his scope of view. The rifle cradled easily, barely moving as he breathes slow and steady, with his finger resting on the trigger. Relaxed and at-ease, simply waiting for the Go command to be given. The ex-soldier is silent, listening and waiting.

>>> COMMNET Ace on FOXHOUND: You know, if I pull the trigger up here, this will all be a moot point," she says dryly.

>> Outside the Ship: "Hmmmm," the man replies, still tapping one finger against his chin. "Naw, was owned by some guy. He was a real bastard, too. Think the crew called him Captain Horatio. I forget his first name, though..." Vic pauses to think again, and he shrugs. "Saw em on Castor a couple weeks back," he says, shrugging.

The blonde woman interjects then, her voice soft. "Acheros... Strange name, that's why I remembered it. Hadn't ever heard it before. Kind of liked it, actually." She offers a guarded smile to Barry, but her eyes flick around the landing pad again.

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: Now, now, Ace. Being dumb isn't a crime. Yet.

>> Outside the Ship: Solace tucks a pistol away for a moment to find a cigarette, lighting it with the middle finger of her prosthetic. She inhales deeply, leaving the cigarette between her lips as she retrieves her second pistol again.

>> Outside the Ship: Torr smirks a little as he watches Barry do his thing. He seems a little more relaxed than he has been, though by no means has he let his guard down. He keeps his sights set on the man.

>>> COMMNET Kravos on FOXHOUND: You sure? I mean, clean shot right where I am. I need to brush my skills, getting rusty.

>>> COMMNET Tran on FOXHOUND: Chill.

>> Outside the Ship: At the mention of the names, he goes pale and then slowly shakes his head at the what comes over the comm, and then laughs. He redirects his attention back to the couple, and offers an apologetic smile. "Sorry, just a collegue miss using the comm channel." The man raises raises his right hand, and then gives a finger to the cockpit of the Faux. "Thank you for your help Mister and Misses?" He pauses, almost expecting them both to provide names.

>> Outside the Ship: The man opens his mouth to speak, but the woman intercepts him. "Vic and Maz will do just fine," she says, offering another one of those guarded smiles. She eyes Barry, then shifts her gaze back to the Faux, one brow quirking upward. "Hey, is that ship yours? I'm kinda hoping it is, otherwise I don't think we can get out of here..."

COMMNET Tran on FOXHOUND: Okay, can I shoot her now?

>> Outside the Ship: Torr takes a few slow steps back from his position of cover, lowering his weapon a little bit. He keeps eyes on the targets though, he smirks a little then lifts his comm back up to his lips, talking quietly.

>>> COMMNET Hotshot on FOXHOUND: Naw, don't need to fuckin' murder anyone.

>> Outside the Ship: Solace lifts a hand without putting away a pistol and snags her cigarette, exhaling and dropping to stomp it out. She glances over at Torr, arches an eyebrow, and mutters back into her comm.

>>> COMMNET Tran on FOXHOUND: Since when?"

>> Outside the Ship: Kravos doesn't leave his cover as he murmurs in a silent manner into the throat-mic he uses.

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: Cmon, we already can't go to La Terre, you wanna add Ungstir to that list too?

>>> COMMNET Hotshot on FOXHOUND: We don't fuckin' kill people who ain't done shit to us."

>>> COMMNET Kravos on FOXHOUND: Doubt Ungstir gives a ass what happens out here."

>>> COMMNET Tran on FOXHOUND: I just think th'chick looks fuckin' sneaky. I don't trust her.

>> Outside the Ship: "Thank you Vic and Maz," Barry says, still continuing with his charade. He slowly lowers his hand, but does't confirm the question about the Faux just yet. "Is there anyway that I'll be able to contact you in the future? The company that I word for does have a system work, where people like yourselves, who have provided information are awarded with money... Doesn't that sound great?" He then speaks into his commlink once more, lowering his tone to a discreet level.

>>> COMMNET Fiddy Cal on FOXHOUND: Would everyone shut the fuck up before I /kill/ someone? I'm trying to get a lead here... These aren't the people." Everyone has been given one experience point! Confetti points brought to you by:

>> Outside the Ship: "Money? Really? That does sound great, doesn't it?" Vic says, then looks down at his companion. The woman nods a grudging agreement. He continues to speak, "The name's Vic Kade. Maz here is my wife. This lovely piece of work is the Starshard, so that should make it easy to find us, yeah?" He smiles, and slips an arm protectively around the blonde. "So, you'll contact us if we get anything, right?" Ahh, money, how it makes the world go round.

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: There, see? Nobody had to shoot anybody today. If they were screwing with us, -then- we shoot them.

>>> COMMNET Hotshot on FOXHOUND: Exactly

>> Outside the Ship: Solace grumbles quietly to herself, but doesn't say anything, stomping unnecessarily on her cigarette. She relaxes somewhat, however, and scratches the end of her nose, still without putting away the gun, and bonks herself on the forehead with the grip. "...ouch."

>> Outside the Ship: Torr straightens up as Malion seems more at ease and so do those talking to him. He lets the pistol fall discreetly to his side as he moves toward the Jackal. He doesn't turn his back, however, keeping his guard up.

>> Outside the Ship: Barry offers a friendly smile, and then makes a quick note on his datapad. "Thank ye Mister and Misses Kade," he says. "I'll be in touch in the near future. If you have any problems, please don't hestate to contact the Office." He quickly bows, and then starts to make his way back towards the Jackal, a smirk on his lips as he goes.

>>> COMMNET Ace on FOXHOUND: They are too naive to live out here...should put them out of their misery.

>> Outside the Ship: Kravos keeps his position, waiting for those he has in his sights, to leave first. Never one to turn his back on potiental threats, unless he hasta.

>> Outside the Ship: Solace is busy rubbing her forehead, after putting her pistol away this time, of course. She grumbles quietly to herself and continues waiting, not seeming in a terribly good mood now.

>> Outside the Ship: "...He never said whether or not it was his ship," Maz complains bitterly, looking up at Vic. He nods, then calls after Barry, "Hey, buddy, if that's your ship, would you mind moving it?" He shrugs and looks down at his companion. "I dunno, hon, not so sure I want to go looking around this place anyway. Can probably move our cargo just as easy on Resilience, and without all this kind of bullshit, too." The two of them simply stand there in the airlock entrance of the Starshard, looking rather lost and watching Barry

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: A feline chuff precedes the words: "Weekend warriors. He's a tough guy wanting to prove himself to his girrl."

>> Outside the Ship: Torr rolls the skimask up so it looks more like a hat than a mask. He glances at Sol, smirking a little bit. "What the fuck'd ya hit yourself for?" He still watches the situation, eyes mostly following Mal now. He lifts his commlink to speak.

>>> COMMNET Hotshot on FOXHOUND: Fuckin' idiot."

>> Outside the Ship: Barry turns back to the man, and gives a nod, his face completely straight. "I'm sorry, but that's not my ship, and I think the Captain's just disembarked." he casually replies, motioning towards the Faux. "Have a pleasent day." He turns back towards the Jackal, trying not to laugh.

>> Outside the Ship: "Bitch." Solace replies to Torr, then makes a face. A small sigh, and she shrugs. "Let's get back on board then, yeah? I need something t'fuckin' eat." The Timmiegirl suggests.

>> Outside the Ship: "Oh... thanks anyway," the man replies, then shrugs. "Cmon, let's go back inside like you wanted to. As soon as that ship moves, we'll get the hell out of here. Place gives me the creeps anyway." The blonde nods in mute agreement, following him back up the ramp into the orange-and-yellow Calliope.

>> Outside the Ship: Torr snickers a little as he watches Barry, then he nods to Sol. "Yeah, fuckin' good shit, huh." He taps the airlock keypad, then steps inside as the thing hisses open.

>> Outside the Ship: Kravos waits as he watches the duo board their ship and with that, he lets the airlock seal itself shut and he returns to the bridge of the ship.

>> Outside the Ship: Barry continues towards the Jackal, aware of his surrondings, but not sparing a look back to the ship behind him. A faint grin plays on his and he follows the rest of the Jackals up the boarding ramp.

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: Nice work, by the way, chief. Couldn't have done better myself.

>> Outside the Ship: Solace waits until everyone else has boarded, lagging behind for a moment. She raises a hand, points it like a gun at the orange and yellow ship. "Bang." She mutters, then snorts and turns around, ducking inside the Jackal.

>>> COMMNET Hotshot on FOXHOUND: We got some leads now. Just gotta check 'em out.

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: Well, we've at least got a little more info now, meh? Got the captain's name and all. That oughta help.

>>> COMMNET Ace on FOXHOUND: "Where you go, we go, da?

Swiftfoot sits at the pilot's station, her booted feet propped up on the nav console. She chuckles and shakes her head as she watches the pair of humans retreat back aboard their ship.

Solace thumps into the cockpit, slumping into her seat. She pulls her comm out of her ear and tucks it into a pocket, crossing her arms over her chest. She seems more broody than grumpy at the moment.

>>> COMMNET Fuzzball on FOXHOUND: Always good to have you along, Ace. Always. Still wish you woulda gone with us to X-23.

The felinoid's ears flick back as the hatch cycles open, and she looks up from speaking into her commlink. "S'wrrong, Sol?" she inquires, blinking at the Timonae, her feet dropping off of the nav console to the floor where they belong.

Barry makes his way into the cockpit, snickering at what just occured. "Reckon we head to Castor," he comments, looking between Swifty and Solace. The fake Sivadian makes his way back to his usual position at the port turret, and looks over to Solace. "Ya right sol?" He then speaks into his commlink once more, and then shakes his head.

>>> COMMNET Fiddy Cal on FOXHOUND: Oi Ace, better than killing them all, weren't it?

"Mazes. Nothing's fucking wrong. Lay off." The Timmiegirl replies, not looking at either of those addressing her. She stares out the viewscreen instead, lips pursed.

"Castor it is," Torr comments as he arrives back on scene. "Figures the bastard's hook up with some furry aliens. We hang out on Demaria, they fuckin' take castor. Bullshit." He glances toward Sol but doesn't speak. "I'm gonna grab some sleep. Think we gonna track em down now? Figure the more we know the better."

"Sorry," comes the subdued reply from Swiftfoot, the big cat starting to get up from the nav console until she hears Torr say he's going to bed. "Well, having the captain's name is a starrt. And since we have that, we know that they ain't just mixing us up with them." The felinoid snorts and shakes her head, then flops back down at the pilot's station.

Barry rubs the bridge of his nose. "Sorry," he mumbles out, taking a moment to strap himself in. He arches a reply that comes over the comm channel, and then snickers. He doesn't have much to say about the current situation.

"If you don't need me, c'n I have permission to be excused?" Solace asks, rising from her chair and turning for the door without an answer.

Swiftfoot sighs, her ears drooping as she watches the retreating figure of the Timmiegirl. She turns and gives a helpless glance to Barry, her expression seeming to convey a sense of 'what just hit me?'

Barry slowly turns his head, and watches as Solace walks off, and frowns a bit. His expression mimics that of the Demarian's as he looks back to her. "What we do?"

Swiftfoot shrugs vaguely. "I don't even know, chief. I don't even know." She shakes her head, ears still drooping. "Wish I did..." The felinoid snorts then. "So you wanna go to Castorr tonight? I can take us therre now if'n you like. Herre, I'll play Ask Ace..."

>> Outside the Ship: The Jackal's engines start to cycle up, and the pilot's voice comes in over the comms. "Castorr sound good to you, Ace?"

Barry slowly nods, but doesn't repond to Swifty. But she's known him that long, she most likely knows most of his body language. He goes about his job, quietly and dutifully doing it.

>> Outside the Ship: The Faux follows suit, her engines flaring to life, "Da, right behind you, Swifty."

"Ey... they said that the captain's name was Horratio, yeah?" the Demarian inquires softly, apparently deciding to broach the subject sooner rather than later. She finishes up with the preflight checks and sends the Jackal hurtling into space, out toward the outer reaches of the system. "I mean... not sayin he's rrelated, it might be a common last name..."

"Might be," Barry replies, slowly shaking his head. He doesn't say much more beyond this, but slowly shakes his head as he looks over the starfield from the view screen. "Acheros Horatio..."

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