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Fishing For Boomsticks
Summary: The Jackal crew and Swiftfoot, a Demarian "militia representative", embark on a salvage

mission in the space near Nalhom.

Cast: Harm, Mika, Swiftfoot, Torr
Air Date: 2005.06.23
Bridge <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, providing an even illumination across the bridge consoles. A rainbow of telltales and monitors add a touch of color, breathing life into the functional and utilitarian space. A few steps down, the bridge workstations are arranged in a rough semicircle, following the shark nosed form of the ship's bow. Two stations face forward and are centered beneath the main canopy. The other two workstations face the port and starboard, one on each side of the bridge. The space is tight, with arely enough room to move when all the stations are occupied.

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"VRM-0105-AK4, IND Jackal," Mika rattles off in response to her partner, nodding her head toward the communications computer. "Show 'em th' permit we got from th' cats, too, bollocks, s'all in there somewheres."

>> Outside the Ship: The Jackal remains on its slow coast, the shields coming up. It doesn't react to the fighter much, slowing a little bit with another burst from the thrusters. "We're Demarian Liscensed salvagers," comes the clipped response over the comm. "ID code VRM O105 AK4. The permits and shit are on the way over to you."

>> Outside the Ship: The HMS Indefatigable executes a sensor scan of the local space.

Torr sits in his usual station, a few readouts lit up in front of him. He seems to be dealing with communications and scans at the moment. "We got some shit out there. The fucking RNS mostly. One un-ided hit." He shrugs slightly.

>> Outside the Ship: As the Jackal raises its shields there's a rise in the levels of wariness on the part of the RNS scout ships, and its weapons come online. Silence on its end as the codes make their way across the network and are scoured by whoever's onboard. "Very well, Jackal," comes the eventual response. "Stay out of the RNS's way. Make yourself a nuisance and *we'll* make *ourselves* a nuisance, are we clear? Good luck to you." It falls away from the freighter's flank, threading its way through the rubbish and resuming its patrols.

With a snort, Mika watches the Sivadian vessel fade away. "Bollocks t'em, blinkin' tea-tippers," she mutters distastefully, aligning the ship to survey the wreckage before them. "What we got, 'otshot? What's th' scans say?"

"Hey. Sivadian girl right here." Harm intones from behind the captain's chair and then finds herself a seat to slip into, purposely not touching the panels or blinking lights. Yet. Why? Because she doesn't want to 'accidentally' hit something that'll cause the ship to do something unexpected. That and she's busy looking in her mirror at her makeup. A girl's gotta look good while being harrassed.

"Fucking sivadians," Torr mutters, shaking his head slightly. "We got a shitload of shit. Pieces, bits, whatever. You wanna take it in closer, see if we can check out any of the shit up close, find something good? Worth a try." He ignores Harm for the moment.

>> Outside the Ship: The Jackal picks up speed once more, angling toward the bigger bits of debris. Its course is relatively stable, the pilot perhaps taking it easy for once. It closes the distance rather quickly, sweeping close to the thick clusters of debris, scanners running at full as the privateers sweep for anything good.

Green eyes dart to the information that literally floods Torr's screen every now and again, but the deathgrip Mika's got the yoke in is a pretty good indicator that navigating all this junk is top priority. She flinches as a slagged chunk of dead starship slams into their shields. "Jus' tell me where t'go, angel," she responds before adding the obligatory, "shut up, 'armony."

Swiftfoot scritches lazily behind one ear, finding a seat and settling in. Her ears perk forward as she peers at the viewscreen, watching the ragged debris field slip by. She murmurs, almost to herself, "Nice view. Just glad we werrren't here a bit ago."

Harmony is in the midst of applying a second slick coat of lip gloss to her lips, pausing mid-way to admire her job of it and to blandly respond, "Yes, Captain." With sass. And then it's back to finishing the remaining half and pursing her lips together. Perfection. Sidelong the blonde bombshell's azure blue eyes slide to the Demarian that's suddenly on their bridge. "Uh. Hi there." Confusion meet lawyer.

>> Outside the Ship: The HMS Indefatigable executes a sensor scan of the local space.

"Bear thirty degrees," Torr states after some looking over the scans. "Got some shit over there," he adds. "Heat sig. Not a ship though, something smaller." He shrugs a little. "Take a look at the shit huh."

>> Outside the Ship: The shields of the Jackal light up as bits of debris ricochete into them. One large piece causes a particularly large flash. The ship changes direction a bit, cutting deeper into the field of wreckage, heading toward a specific goal.


Swiftfoot turns her golden gaze to the blonde. "Sorrry, didn't mean to... startle you. I guess I'm just sneaky by naturrre. I'm Swiftfoot, the rrreprrresentative frrrom the militia."

So Mika complies. "On't," she assures him, checking the onboard guidance system and HUD before acting as directed. "Yeah. An' that's 'armony, our legal aide. Ms. Starchaser, if'n I coul' getcha up 'ere on co-pilot... Christ knows I blinkin' need all'a 'elp I can get." Her eyes narrow as they draw closer to the target. "What IS that?"

>> Outside the Ship: What the freighter nears was, at one time, a fully-operational Nall cruiser, but is now little more than a beetle's husk ripped to shreds by the unforgiving OATO forces. It's like a jigsaw puzzle, only impossible to determine what pieces go where.

Swiftfoot gets up and heads towards the front of the bridge, taking a seat next to Mika and surveying the console, before returning her gaze to the viewscreen.

"So there we fucking go," Torr mutters as eyes move over the screens. "Nall shit. Pretty fucked up too. Think theres anything worth checking out with that shit?"

>> Outside the Ship: The Jackal slows as it nears the hulk of a target it had been looking for. It hangs in space, mostly silent. The shields flicker now and then, more debris being destroyed or deflected.

"Oh, you didn't startle me. Only Mika's god-awful bed hair in the morning does that." Harmony casually returns to the Demarian while popping the top of her lip gloss back on and then clicking her compact closed. "Sometimes, with all the nuts that come running in and our of our ship, I wonder if we should simply -broadcast- our ship codes to everyone knows how to board." And she's back to watching the viewscreen in front of her with a tossed, "Nice meeting you, Swiftfoot."

>> Outside the Ship: The HMS Indefatigable fires her main engines and maneuvers through space at two-thirds her top speed towards the closest jump path to the IND Jackal.

The heads-up display suddenly lights up with something moving in and moving in *fast*.

>> Outside the Ship: The HMS Indefatigable cuts her engines and comes to a stop just in front of the jump point she was headed for. The RNS flagship makes no move to exit the system, and merely waits at the jump point silently

>> Outside the Ship: Someone else has spotted this catch, apparently: a second freighter painted a bold blue swings into the belt like a thunderbolt, a rival scavenger looking to feast upon the kill.

And Mika's suddenly alive with indignation, eyes widened. "Oh 'ELL no!" she shouts. "'otshot, drop beacon! Drop't now! That's blinkin' OURS!"

>> Outside the Ship: "Hey, back the fuck off," comes a clipped voice over the comm, eminating from the Jackal. An external door pops open on the freighter, a blinking beacon zipping out quickly, vectoring toward the remains of the cruiser. "Ours," comes the voice again as the beacon sets claim.

Torr glances up at the warning lights, a frown flicking over his face. "What the fuck is this shit?" He frowns. "Fuckers." He pulls out a cigarette, setting it in his lips and sparking it to life. He taps a button on his panel, triggering the beacon free, "Jesus. People need to fucking work for themselves."

Harm joins in on the ridicule and upset of this nabbing display. "God. Talk about greedy. Learn to get off your bloated tailpipes and, like, work for what you're salvaging. I mean, hey, we saw it first." It's ended with a flippant puff from her lips, like that was the best argument in the universe that could be given. Annnd now it's time to fix her boobs in her bra.

>> Outside the Ship: The other freighter -- identified on sensor scans as the UKT Eagle's Flight -- spirals back into the thick of the junk orbiting the bombarded planet. "Pah," comes the response as it dives back away.

Swiftfoot narrows her eyes briefly at the viewscreen and snorts in derision at the display. "More like a vulturrre than an eagle if you ask me."

Jerking the yoke back to position the ship perfectly over their catch, Mika scowls. "Too chicken t'fight, but they'll sure come make a profit, won't they," she snorts. "Gimme 'nother scan. Tell me what we got 'ere, darlin' -- anythin' good an' we'll suit up an' tow't in."

>> Outside the Ship: The HMS Indefatigable looms in the middle distance, along the route outsystem. RNS pickets and fighter patrols lazily cruise behind and ahead of the mammoth ship as it hovers motionless in space.

>> Outside the Ship: The Jackal remains motionless for a moment, then drifts a little closer to the cruiser before coming to a relative halt again, the freighter positioned above the ruined warship.

"Few bigass railguns," Torr replies to Mika after a moment scrutinizing the scans. "Looks like two of em could be fucking in good shape, one missing. One dead. Not a bad haul." He frowns a little. "I'm not a big fan of fucking zero grav ops. Let you and whoever take care of that shit. I got your ass up here."

Harmony is glaring at the viewscreen like only a high-class princess that's been pampered from the age of conception in the womb can. Feel the catty wrath. Then it's gone in a dramatic sigh while the chick flicks blonde hair behind her left shoulder, bored of the vulture that is trying to edge in on their quarry. "I'd so shoot them if they were in front of me. And, like, not moving. And were a -really- big target."

Apparently, Mika agrees with her partner. "Right. 'old us steady, an' listen fer me onna comms," she tells him, relinquishing her seat for the Martian to occupy. She nods to Swifty with a lopsided grin. "I want th' m'litia t'see jus' what we're bloody gettin', bollocks. C'mon an' suit up, we'll go fer a blinkin' spacewalk."

Swiftfoot looks vaguely queasy at the mention of zero-g. "I'm not exactly an experrrt. In fact, I'm prrretty terrrible. Mostly, I just fly or navigate. I can give it a shot, though."

Harm seems to be content in having her ass planted on her seat, now angling her tanned hand near her face and looking over the manicured nails skeptically. Something about spacewalking and open comms. But she's not named specifically, so its time well spent being self-absorbed.

As she passes through the cramped cockpit, Mika reaches to drumma-drum-drum fingers on her cousin's forehead. "Y'too, spacecase." The hatch whirls open as she approaches, and she pauses to half-turn in the frame to regard the Demarian. "Ah, if'n I can do't, y'can do't, bollocks," she declares before turning to plod into the airlock.

Harm heaves out a labored sigh of having to do manual labor, and of being noticed. "Awww..." She whines theatrically and slides out from her chair, following suit.


Starboard Cargo Hold <IND Jackal>
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The cargo hold is a utilitarian affair, a simple space framed by the reinforced bulkheads and deck acess plates. Tie downs and anchor pins line the area in a flexible grid, allowing all manner of cargo stored and secured. A quad set of mounting bars run the length of the small bay, allowing the installation of seating if required. The hold is fairly massive, sized for approximately 20K of cargo. Hidden behind large access panels and equipment banks are the varied multi-purpose support equipment, to allow for a variety of transport environments. On the port side of the hold is a heavy access hatch, providing the link between the cargo container and the freighter.

...........................................................................



While in the airlock, Mika removes an EVA suit from the rack and works her way into it, adjusting the straps and firmly securing it in place. The helmet she tucks under one arm before looking back into the cockpit to call to the others. "Y'don't suit up, y'can suck vaccuum!" Obviously intended for Harmony. Worksuits are not fashionable. Turning, she clunk-clunk-clunks awkwardly down the corridor and into the aft compartments.

Swiftfoot stops in the airlock and looks dubiously at the EVA suits, glancing over them to see if there's one that would fit her somewhat-different-than-human physique.

Please! Worksuits are not fashionable unless you're Harmony Slayton! Which, obviously, Mika is not. So, grinning her pearly whites from ear to ear, she pops open her perzonalized locker and tugs out a pink sequin-sewn worksuit, complete with blazing pink helmet and shade-tempered visor. "No thanks, hun. I'm sure Torr acts in such capacity for you every night, though." Blithely stated with the sweetest of melodies in her voice. Then it's hopping into her suit carefully, heels placed off to the side in exchange for boots.

Swiftfoot pokes around in the airlock, finally finding a suit that appears to be vaguely Demarian-shaped. After some difficulty, she gets herself firmly ensconced inside, and walks into the cargo bay, helmet in hand. "Hey, lucky me, I found one that fits. I'm prrretty sure it's good to go, but if you want to double-check me, feel frrree."

Harmony can't see the roll of the eyes the comment earns from Mika, as she's already passing through the portal into the spine and entering the starboard hold. Once inside, she begins reeling out the tow cables and double-checking the clawlike appendages at the ends, testing their security on the line, before readying a rather fearsome-looking plasma arc cutter. "I will, if'n y'promise not t'tell anyone m'not cert'fied t'use this," she promises, tapping a gloved finger upon the device's surface. Setting it on the workbench, she double-checks the Demarian's suit and notes, "we need someone up 'ere t'reel in th' cables, an' two people down there riggin' th' catch up. Who's it gonna be?"

Harmony's electronic-muffled voice is quick to filter through the helmet's mask, click. "I'll stay here and anchor. You two have the reeling cable fun - over there." She follows after her cousin again, letting her be the leader of this mission. Instead of nit-picking every step of the way. This isn't something she's versed in, and it's better to actually listen than die. That's so not in style this season.

Swiftfoot shoots a grin at Mika, "Cerrrtified? Meh, who needs cerrtified, right?" before sliding her helmet on with a muffled 'click'. She double-checks that it's in place before continuing, her voice now distorted, "Lead on, Captain."

Mika sends a grin right back up... way up... to the big cat before following suit and slapping her helmet on. Totally hidden behind the visor, she thumps at the knob where it connects to the lining of the headwear. "There's a li'l button right 'ere," comes her crackly voice over the suit's comm. "Turn't on an' I can 'ear ya on th' li'l speaker inside. 'armony, 'ook us up, we're goin' in." She nods her bulky head toward a smaller set of cables before buzzing the shipwide comm. "'otshot, take us in."

"Oookay." Harmony sing-songs out breathily over the dulled comm while picking up the smaller set of cables. "Like this, right? I've seen you guys doing it before..." She hooks the captain first, double-checking the catch and yanking it a few times. Then its onto the Demarian, with a brief, "Pardon." Hands moving on Swiftfoot to get her latched and hooked. Tug, tug, tug. "All set!"

Swiftfoot presses the button on her suit indicated by Mika. She then looks over her shoulder at Harm, and says, amid a bit of electronic crackle, "Thanks."

Now that they're all set, Mika locks down the hold and releases the bay doors, giving them a front-row seat into the wonders of space. "Stay on y'toes, watch fer any stray hoo-ha out there an' don't get yer pretty li'l 'ead whacked," she instructs the Demarian, then flips open a little console on the suit's forearm to show her the controls for the various functions. "I needja t'fix th' cables t'th' cannons so we can reel 'em in." Finally, cutter in hand, she bounds on out to ease her way down toward railgun numero uno.

Swiftfoot nods, listening as Mika gives instructions and shows her the functions of the console. "I like my head rrright wherrre it's at." The big cat nabs the tow cables before following hesitantly into the infinite blackness of space, also heading towards the first railgun.

"Ya'll have a nice trip." Harmony bids to the departing duo while finger-waving her bulky gloved fingers. She, in the meantime, admires the spacious space of spaceitude. It's very spacy. With diamonds.

Once there, Mika gets to work. The cruiser isn't really a cruiser anymore, and the damaged weaponry is mounted on the fragged remnants of what was once a sturdy and high-quality hull. Kicking on the beam to her PAC, she begins work at cutting it free. To the trained eye, her work is sloppy. She's certainly not a professional salvor, that's for sure. Some of the main circuits that control the flow of power and the distribution of energy between systems are wasted by the plasma beam, but hey... she does manage to free it. "Rig 'er up, mate," she tells Swifty. "When yer done buzz 'armony."

Swiftfoot hooks the tow cables to the railgun one at a time, pulling herself fairly comically across the surface of the railgun. In fact, it's quite obvious she's got almost no experience in this type of thing. She finally manages to get the cables firmly attached, and signals Harmony on the suit intercom. "We'rrre all good down herrre. Rrreel it on up."

Harmony, by this time, has become distracted like any flighty aristocratic girl with too much money and beauty to know what to do with in a lifetime. She's standing near the far side of the cargo hold, ensuring that her chosen rifle of the evening isn't going to be flying anywhere without her permission. Buzz. Buzzzz. Buzz. Oh! That's her cue. "Oops. Sorry!" She sends to the others through her comms, returning to the lines. La de dah. The legal blonde begins to reel the cords in with a liquid-smooth ease. Hand over hand. Without so much as a grunt. There's a bored sigh. But no grunts.

By this time, Mika has done the whole leap, hop, and skip thing over toward the second of the servicable weapons. And either knowingly or unknowingly, she renders it practically unservicable. Later, she will likely go on to blame its condition on the whole war-battle-killy thing, but everyone here knows the truth. Or do they? "Man, this thing's wasted." Yep, oblivious. But once she's got it freed, she offers the not-militia rep a thumbs-up and signals that their second and final catch is ready to go.

Swiftfoot makes her way clumsily over to the second railgun, hitting it a little fast, judging by the audible "oof" that comes in over the intercom. Hmm, must have hit that button in the impact. She manages to steady herself, and clambers across it, attaching the tow cables. When she gets them all securely attached, she buzzes Harmony. "Rrrailgun number two, rrready to rrroll."

With the first cashload out of the way, Harmony sets on the second, grumbling to herself at the buzzing. "I can only work so fast! I'm not a bloody Specialist!" She then begins the hauling of the load, complete with grunting and huffing this time. "God, this is heavy. What is this, my summer wardrobe?" And then she's quiet to concentrate on yanking the cable cords.

"Whine, whine, whine, but I bet y'won't waste a second spendin' yer cut," Mika shoots back, killing the power to the PAC and heading back for the ship itself, pulling herself in with the aid of the umbilical cables. "Good job, kids, real good job." Between the two massive longarms, there is barely enough room to move in the bay of the smugglers' ship.

Swiftfoot makes haste getting back to the ship, edging herself in carefully between the two huge railguns. "Kind of a tight fit now, but well worrrth the efforrrt, I'd wager."

Harmony's whining comes to a halt once the load of salvage has been dragged into the cargo hold. Sighing a breath of air in satisfaction of a job well done, she dusts her hands free of dust and then sets them upon her hips. Time to play the waiting game while the others return. Vogue, Harm, baby, vogue.

Once everyone's safe inside, Mika closes up the huge reinforced bay doors and releases the lock on the hatchway leading back into the outside corridor. "Bandit, r'store opt'mal air pressure, cargo 'ol' cee-two," she orders the unseen onboard AI, which quickly complies. A few clicks build into a steady, satisfying hum, and after several minutes, ears begin popping. The captain then removes her helmet and ruffles her hair, flashing the others a grin before cycling the hatchway. "Alright guys, that 'bout does't. Drinks're on me when we get back t'th' cats, bollocks. S'get outta this dump."

With a click and an audible feline purr-sigh, Swiftfoot pops off her helmet and combs her fingers through her fluffy orange and white ruff. That's got to be the worst case of helmet-hair.. er.. fur ever. Yow. After a couple of minutes of intense grooming, she's at least presentable again, and sends a golden-eyed glance in Mika's direction. "I couldn't agrrree with you morrre. This place gives me the crrreeps."

Harmony does let out a snort and an amused laugh at the poofy fur when the Demarian removes her helmet. That is, before she begins to pop open her own pink-sheen helmet and reveals static cling tendrils lofting in the pressurizing hold. Not so funny now, is it? She silently wrangles the hair back into place with her slender fingers, acting proper about her own grooming. "I could so use a Pink Squirrel right now." The blonde agrees while clomping toward the archway to where the storage lockers are, getting ready to wriggle out of her lavish worksuit.

Swiftfoot finishes de-fluffling herself and clump-clumps out into the hallway, quite obviously dreading the effects of the suit on the -rest- of her fur...


Bridge <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, providing an even illumination across the bridge consoles. A rainbow of telltales and monitors add a touch of color, breathing life into the functional and utilitarian space. A few steps down, the bridge workstations are arranged in a rough semicircle, following the shark nosed form of the ship's bow. Two stations face forward and are centered beneath the main canopy. The other two workstations face the port and starboard, one on each side of the bridge. The space is tight, with arely enough room to move when all the stations are occupied.

...........................................................................


Swiftfoot sidles into the room, devoid of the EVA suit, but still trying to smooth down stray patches of fur. Dammit. It's apparently got a mind of its own.

The envirosuit is returned to the rack in the airlock and set to charge, and a somewhat sweatier Mika stumbles with the drunken sway of someone still readjusting to that whole gravity thing. She all but falls into the pilot's seat when it is offered by her pottymouthed partner, taking the yoke in unusually heavy hands. "Somebody get on' comm, identify ourselves, an' d'clare what we got onboard," she orders to whoever is behind her.

Swiftfoot heads over to the comm station, "This is the IND Jackal, declarrring the prrresence of two rrrather larrrge rrrailguns on boarrrd." She turns away from the comm station and shrugs slightly, "Comm isn't exactly my strrrong point, but I think they got the picturrre."

Harmony slides into an available seat with an air about her that seems to say 'don't look at me, I'm on break.' And she's leaning on her chosen console, tapping through a couple of menus. Oh, look! PONG! Poink... poink... poink...

>> Outside the Ship: The message is received by a patrol cruiser somewhat similar to the scouter that had hailed Jackal upon its arrival in the Nalia system. It banks to intercept the privateer vessel as she swings up and out of the debris field, sensors gliding over her shielded form. "Affirmative, Jackal," it intones after several minutes, apparently satisfied with the results, "safe travels on your return to Demaria. This is RNS Scout Six, over and out." Taking advantage of the wonders of zero-gravity, Scout Six performs a perfect loop-dee-loop and blasts back onto its course.

Mika patiently waits... well, as "patient" as Mika Tachyon gets, anyway, nail-drumming and ho-humming and yadda yadda aside, for the RNSers to finish their inspection before plotting a course for Demaria. "Right-o, off we go," she declares, and indeed. Off they go. Mission accomplished.

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