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SLA Ten Forward • View topic - A Spark of Light.

A Spark of Light.

Firefly: Monarch is a sim based in the Firefly universe. The crew serves onboard a Firefly class starship running cargo, legal or not so legal.

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A Spark of Light.

Postby Tavey » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:52 am

It was time.

In the darkness of false dawn thousands of silent figures had made their way to this place. Some of those present had stood vigil, allowing the chill of the night to enter their bodies, the way the ice had entered their faith years before. They stood through the valley, in the locations that sang to them. The bomb craters, the trenches, the open spaces. Filling the desolation with their presence. This was a dead land, destroyed in a pointless war of dominance. Nothing really grew there now, as if in mute protest of the violation of that war.

At the Eastern end of the Vale, the faint glimmer of the sun crested above a distant hill. In reply, one lone man walked to a marker stone that had been placed there some time previously. He opened the shutter to an unlit lantern set into the dark grey granite of the stone. And waited.

Peaceful.

They all waited.

On this day of days.

A finger of sunlight touched the stone. The old grizzled man reached into the lantern with his firestarter and ignited the simple pillar candle within it. He then took a candle from his worn pocket and lit that from the flame.

“In the darkness there was a spark of light, and that light was knowing.” He said.
“We know now.”

Turning towards the next in line, moving very slowly, he began to sing. A wordless tone that he sent into the dawn sky. As the woman he walked to lit her own candle, she too picked up the tone, and added her own minor note to the melody.

One by one each silent sombre figure lit a candle, or lantern, or torch from the flame. And as each did they sang into the morning. Their light glowed from within pockets of mist collecting in the dead mans trenches, it shone from the top of ridges, and from beside rusting old hulks of machinery and weapons that had been left behind.

Their voices echoed into the morning. No words marred the multi layered tonal chant that they sang. It did not matter whether any could carry a tune, or matched the note that any other sang. It was a sound of celebration, of grief, of madness, of hope.

It was the tenth anniversary of the end of the war. Serenity Valley. Hera.

And the Browncoats had come.
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby KendleRJ » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:07 pm

Tarragon Hunter opened the Cargo Bay doors early, allowing the brisk morning air to roll through the corridors of the Monarch. And with the wind came the sound. It was more like a feeling that started in the soles of the feet and travelled across each nerve ending which resonated like it had turned her body into a bell.

She had managed to clean up in the kitchen, making it ready for the next person working there that day. Each person aboard would be on their own timetable; each one would be walking and waking at their own pace. So, early, and up before the dawn, she was privy to the growing, sorrowful sound that seemed to have emanated from the very ground outside.

It reached out and demanded attention, but her youth and her former associations made her turn away, not join in as it so begged the listener. She mourned. For Chris Rapson. For those who perished in the Battle that ended the War. For the souls whose bodies had bled upon the dirt turning it a bloody mud and churned it into a place for martyrs to be finally laid to an uncomfortable rest.

The light came and touched each man and woman that stood. First from their own self-made flame, and then by the flame of the sun above. It was moving. It was heart-wrenching. And it was inspiring.

It was a place she could not share, and with recent events, there was nothing that was there to lull her out onto its surface. Not now when the tension in the air itself could be cut by a knife.

Before she began her dailies, Tarra looked outside at the people standing. Against the backdrop of a glorious morning, marred only by the sheer number of Alliance ships that were streaking across the sky, moving as if to remind everyone that this occasion was held at their permission. Mixed feelings sat in her gut, but she focused on the need to do her katas, so she could build upon the pain, and transform it into something more constructive.

Like motion.

Like action.

Like prayer.

And in her flowing movements, Tarragon Hunter aka Serena Johnson, felt each vibration in the air and in her own way, she remembered.

~Tag Anyone in the Cargo Bay

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Quamie » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:32 pm

Ameri had been up for a while. The mournful wails from outside ran shivers down her spine. She had been too young to join in the War, though she had a growing suspicion that her Father had taken part, probably from the safety of behind his various business fronts. She was realizing much about her Father, as his character had been revealed in her kidnapping and in her forced nun-itude. She had holed up in a corner of the Cargo Bay, sharing silently the rememberence of those outside. She had seen the view, and the grief at the sight wrenched through her being.

Then Tarra came in, moving about in her katas, almost dancing to the music outside. It was heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It took the shy medic a few moments, but she emerged from the shadows almost as if emerging from the very ship itself, and stepped forward shyly. She liked Tarra, but hadn't had much time to really get to know the chef.

"That's beautiful," she commented softly. "Could you... teach me?"
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Tavey » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:34 pm

Kynthia had headed out early, long before false dawn even began to think about lightening the sky. She had walked along the old paths, and sniperways, heading to the one place where she needed to be on this day, of all days.

The place where it had all ended and begun for her.

When she reached the ridge, she was unsurprised to see others there ahead of her. And equally unsurprised at those who came later. It seemed that everyone had a place they wanted to be on this day. One or two greeted her with delighted smiles and outreached hands. The medics who had saved her life. Others looked startled or, in one case, suddenly pale. Kynthia simply nodded to the latter with a gentle smile. And held her own hands out in greeting.

Then she had knelt, praying to some faith she barely remembered once being a soldier for. Words floating in her mind that came from years of being trained and indoctrinated.

As the tones lifted into the air, she had straightened and waited. The sound moved closer, splitting and winding along different paths. The light that they brought to remember the lost and fallen also splitting, following the lines and clusters of people. Picking out the solitary ones who walked to where they could get their own illumination, then returning to their time alone.

As she held her own candle and began to intone in a solid low alto tone, Kynthia could feel the power of the moment run through her. Here, she was no longer an assassin for the church. No longer a woman with no past that she remembered.

Here she simply was. She closed her eyes and gave herself to the song, and the moment.
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Sam Crerar » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:15 am

Sam stood at the ridge, already holding her light. She had her brown coat on, her last remaining memorial to her fight in the war. She sang, quietly, deeply. The song pulled her into thoughts of the past, the memory of the war. Her desire to fight in the war was an act of desperation, not a desire for the freedom. A simple job, for an adolescent who just wanted to flee her family and their lifestyle. It wasn't until she was knee deep in the blood of her enemies and comrades that she understood why others would want to fight, not for a job, but for a cause. The cause she didn't care about at first became something she cherished. Even more so when she was shot and captured.

Serenity Valley was a fight she never fought, and probably would have died if she had. She learned of Serenity Valley in a wave that the Alliance sent to all of the prisoners, to gloat about it. It was hardly the greatest way to learn about it. Still, Serenity Valley held a change in her life. From a slaver, to a soldier and a medic, to a prisoner, to a smuggler, and now the first mate of a good ship. It was a wild ride in the past few years.

The Browncoats were the first people that Sam ever felt comfortable with. The only others were the crew of the Monarch. Although, she felt like now that they knew who and what she once was, that it was somewhat more tense. Nothing like she ever felt with the Browncoats. The constant threat of death and or mutilation might have made a difference, no one was going to condemn anyone who was not a traitor or a coward. As she sang in her low voice, she wondered if she would ever regain the feeling of familial comfort that she had known so well during the war, and that she had known before this latest debacle with her family. Would she be able to view the crew without any feeling of guilt or shame again? Oh for the simplicity of war.
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby KendleRJ » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:30 am

"That's beautiful," Ameri commented softly. "Could you... teach me?"

Tarra blushed. She hadn't realized that she had an audience and looked at Ameri, nodding slightly. "Of course I can teach you. But you know that it's more than just movements... at a proper speed, and proper timing, it will stand you in good stead as a manner to defend yourself."

Smiling to try and dissipate the initial embarrassment, she tried to shut out the haunting sounds from outside. And suddenly noticed that she had been speaking in hushed tones. Out of respect, most likely.

"We could start tomorrow, if you'd like," Tarra said. "I'll be working the kitchen, but after breakfast is made, I come here to... unwind..."

~Tag Ameri

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Jake Sjet » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:01 pm

Alas, unwinding was not on the cards.

For no sooner had Tarra made her promise to teach the young tormented waif of a girl how to do as she had done, the peace and serenity of the morning was shattered. Doors above them hissed open venomously, followed quickly by the solid thumping of boots, and followed by a quicker set of tip-tapping which sounded ever so slightly like sandals. These aural assaults were followed by a verbal broad side by the two parties involved, as they made their way down to the bottom of the cargo bay.

“-and I told ya, ya can’t have it!”
“Look, kid, you’ll get it back in a few hours, good as new, Scouts honour.”
“And if you were a scout I’d have reason to believe you.”
“Good point...does dating a girl Scout count?”
“No-NO! No it don’t! Now give me my ruddy compass back!”

“Careful there Shamus, you nearly went and cussed. What would Father Haggis think, all the way out there on the dusty edge? Go back to tending you tea kettles, or whatever it is you’ve been doing in that engine room that’s made the aft stink of new paint...or old paint...does paint expire?”

Nakali bounded off the last step and onto the cargo bay’s heavily reinforced deck. He was dressed in the same manner as someone who had been thrown through a charity shop backwards. In fact there was a little bit of everyone’s clothing on him. The entire effect leant itself to a dusty yellow colour scheme, with a heavy woollen cap over his head, and a thick towel like cloak of the same colour covering his shoulders and obscuring the rest of him. Laurence of Arabia he wasn’t, but he was worryingly close to look as though he might have snapped and gone native.

“Thats beside the point!” Shamus, wearing an all to bright shirt and kilt that seemed less his signature and more his natural state of being, reached out, ducking a hand into one of the cloaks main interior pockets, and plucked out a small grey box “This is mine! Be mine, ain’t your’s! Ya meant to ask before ya take, don’t the Core brats teach you manners or nothing?”

“Sure thing, they taught me a great deal of things.” He replied patiently, snatching the box back “Thanks Shoddy, your a life saver. Now, back to yourlair of nuts and bolts or I’ll taddle on you to the captain about what you’ve done in engineering.”

Shamus suddenly took a step back, going ever so slightly white.

“I...er...I...erm...ya...ya wouldn’t really?” Shamus stuttered, before finding the remains of his back bone “Besides, what about the food you gone pilfered from the pantry! Or the water eh? Roomin’ tea leaf is what you are.”

“Ahh, the colourful Scottish vocabulary...” he shook his head, slipping the box into a pocket and and walked on towards the open cargo bay doors, passing Tarra and Ameri on the way through “...morning ladies, hell of a nice day for a stroll? Tarra I’ll be back in a few hours, be a dear and make sure the good captain doesn’t take off without me like she tried to last time, nasty sun burn I got then if you recall?”

“Hey! Where the heck do you think your going! With my compass! Thats mine!” Shoddy wailed, not daring to set foot off the ship in his pursuit of the older Nakali and his purloined clothing and possessions. The young lithe Scot turned on one sandled clad foot, eyes darting around the cargo bay until he found Tarra.

“Well? Ya goona stop him, he’s walking off with half the ship’s food stuffs tucked under his arms, and my roomin’ compass to boot! I was just adding the finishing touches to...er...to something and he just waltz in and grabbed it...said something about ‘returning to the source’.” He shook his head, looking back at the retreating figure of Nakali “Mans totally nutso...”

TAG-Anyone in the cargo bay

Nakali and Shoddy, compressing three different posts into one.
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby KendleRJ » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:03 pm

It was difficult to ignore. Buddha knew that Tarragon Hunter tried. Shoddy in his infinite spluttering was fighting with Nakali about his compass. Trying to have a civil conversation while caterwauling was taking place would have simply been an exercise in futility.

Tarra looked nonplussed at Ameri, then at Shoddy. It would have remained her expression had there not been any mention of food. Nakali had lied to her, had remained aboard the ship under false pretences, had likened himself to sectioned fruit, and of course, now… after everything else… he had stolen from them all.

A compass for Shoddy might have been a family heirloom which was passed down from generation to generation, but the food being taken was a necessity that none of them could do without.

Why did Shoddy think that SHE could do anything? But she was Crew, and responsible, in part for a number of things. So, throwing on a thin, long jacket over her workout clothes, she palmed the scented sachet and intended to run after him. It wouldn’t have been her first choice, or even her second. In fact, it was probably so far down the list of things she might do that it made her angry to even have considered doing this.

“Shoddy, I’ll go get your compass, and the food,” she said. “Ameri, I have some chores, so I won’t be far from the Monarch.” The intent was to go and retrieve the items and then return immediately. After all, Nakali Xiancho Sjet had his quest, and Tarragon Hunter had her responsibilities. She should be all right; after all, she didn’t intend on getting out of sight line from the ship. The longer she waited, the farther he was getting.

Running to catch up to him, she said much closer, “Nakali Sjet, I believe you have a few things on you that don’t belong to you…”

~Tag Nakali / Anyone in the Cargo Bay or outside

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Quamie » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:33 pm

Ameri looked from Shoddy to Nakali, then back, perplexed. Then Nakali ran off, and Tarra ran after him. She looked at Shoddy. "Umm.."

Her gaze went to the cargo bay doors. Sam was out there, and Kynthia, both paying their respects. The haunting sounds- part of them might be Kynthia and Sam. "Do you think it's safe for them to be out there?"
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Jake Sjet » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:30 pm

“A planet where the skies are filled with purple demons and the golems in brown do wander about to their mournful wailings...” Shamus smiled nervously, a hand reaching around to rub at the back of his head as the smile went from nervous to foolish grin “Yeah...er...sure why not, what could go wrong?”

He let out a pent up breath after a few seconds, his eyes turning away from the young medic and looking out across the dusty landing field in the early light of morning.

“Though maybe...ya know...he won’t make it back in time?” Shoddy said wistfully to the morning air “Wouldn’t be the worst thing in all creation there, would it? Wee bit oh peace and quiet and all that...downright fine as they say...”

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Jake Sjet » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:03 pm

“Huum...belonging, nice word that, lots of potential for cups of tea, warm hearths and the like. Be-long-ing.” He grinned back at her, not breaking his stride as he ate up the distance between the Monarch and where ever he intended to go “Wonderful word, gotta thank the Germans for their additions to the English language. And I might or might not, seeing as it’s my word against the wunderkind back there. Do you know he’s making a recreation of the Sistine Chapel in engineering?

"Lovely," said Tarra with a deep breath. "You take something from him and make a frilly sentence out of it." She wasn't smiling. "And if it was such a concern about Shoddy's artistry, then why wait until now to say something? Or, here's an idea... why didn't you stop him?"

“And miss out on the face of our solider turned captain? Perish the thought. And thank you, I thought it was a suitably frilly sentence, lovely grammatical finery.” He smiled at her, slowing his pace just a little “And if you’re gonna keep coming back to a point in which I have no apparent interest, I didn’t take...I’m borrowing. All of which is on my person presently shall be returned to its rightful owner at some unspecified point in time in the near future.”

"Which means, you've taken it, you're not sorry, and you don't intend on giving any of it back." Tarra stopped. "I got it." Taking a breath, she looked at him. "Oh, and I'm sure you'll see the Captain long before I do. She was out early this morning for the memorial. So relay your own messages, will you? I've got chores." There was a hint of something in her tone, but it wasn't anything concrete.

“Yeah...’the memorial’...” the tone of pure, undiluted, 110% proof sarcasm rolled right off his tongue along with a small, pitiless laugh. He stopped as well, turning as looked at her, and began to remove the ‘borrowed’ jacket.

“Only thing they have to remember is how lucky they got off.” He laughed lightly, looking up as a new contrail roared across the lightening sky “They have U Day...the Brownies have today, and may either side roast side by side in the greater echelons of Hell. As a newsie you try to keep a level head ya know? Keep yourself behind the camera, not on the other side of it getting involved? Sure everyone remembers the Alliance carpet bombing Ashley Rode’s space port, and those ‘bio weapon’ accidents they kept having on the front lines...”

He looked over towards a set of foot hills that led towards a crack in the crust of Hera that became a valley of a certain name.

“But those Browncoats...holding their memorial...they committed all the same war crimes the Alliance did, all in the name of survival. Why do you think there are only two planets out there that glow in the dark? Both sides learned early on you don’t throw fire crackers at each other...” he rolled the jacket up, and gently tossed it back at her “Compass is in there...mind if I hang on to the apple? Call it breakfast for the trek?”

Tarra nodded. "I don't know much about any of that. Got equal opportunity to be lied to since I didn't live through any of it." She caught the jacket and looked at Nakali. Anger and disappointment, and something akin to pity crossed her face. He changed like the wind. And she tried to change along with it. "If you had checked the kitchen, you might have a bit more to take than just the apple. But if your trek isn't that long, then an apple should suffice." Checking through the pockets, she found the compass, and a few other bits.

"You gonna be okay?" she asked and then immediately regretted the question. But she would not have forgiven herself if she hadn't asked it.

“Yeah...” he looked down at the apple, turning it over in his hand “...it’ll do.”

He laughed a short dark thing that seemed to bubble up from some recess deep within, where voices whispered and broken shards of memory rattled and grated against one another. And no sooner had it arose it was cut off with a curt clearing of the throat, a little left right twitch of the head.

“No...” he grinned, shaking his head “...not in million years kiddo. I’m busted, broken...maybe this...”
He rapped a hand a little hard against the side of his head.

“...ALL...this, up here...is all me. Ya know I saw it happen, during the war? Guys who’d fought through a thousand front lines, killed with their bare hands, just going to pieces over a broken piece of glass ware in some bombed out house.” He smiled a little “Hey that’d be...one hell of a story wouldn’t it? And look where we are...Hera...now I have symmetry. A beginning, a middle...and a end.”

"You're not coming back, are you?" Tarra asked bluntly. "All that you've gone through, all that searching, all of that finding..." She looked at him quite plainly and stood close without touching. This was something he would have to feel as well as hear. "Are you asking me to let you walk away? From the Monarch? From Ameri? After everything you've been through are you looking for closure? Or an actual end?"

She didn't think anything she'd say would matter. She didn't think that her insignificance would make one dent upon his psyche. After all, he didn't really like her, and had been pushing her away from the beginning. So, this last question, this last one... she resolved herself to hear the answer. And move on. Because it wouldn't matter either way. His life. His choice. His way.

He smiled at her, a genuine smile without any sarcasm or dry wit. It wasn’t an all together unpleasant thing to see. He was looking at her; he wasn’t avoiding her eyes, or making some half assed attempt at humour to distract her. He was there, mottled flesh and all.

“What I’m asking you to do...what I need...” he closed his eyes, his lips curling into a restrained snarl as he fought to keep his inner demons living up to their name “...I need to know what’s left for me, hell what’s ‘left’ of me. So...this is something I need to do. And this time, I can’t let you catch me...you don’t want to be near me, not today. I need to know...”
He looked down slightly.

“I...need to know that, ya know...you’ll be here afterwards.” He coughed slightly into one hand “Ya know, er...on the ground for me to come back to...the ship. That is.”

Tarra nodded. "I'll let the Captain know, but we ain't taking off right away, I 'spect." She didn't cross a line that he didn't need crossing. He was keeping himself together with duct tape and spit. And maybe some of those little clips from the tool box. And the drugs. Always the drugs...

"I don't catch you. You catch you. And if you're back by dinner, there should be something warm in the kitchen for you. Food wise, I mean." Tarra stepped back, giving him space. "If you didn't take a talker, I've got one here. There's plenty left of you. I'm sure you'll find that out."

Looking up, she smiled. At the man within and not the one with the bluster. "Take care of you. And know that it's worth doing it."

“Wish I had that confidence kid.” He said softly, taking a hesitant step backwards “And...er...”

Tarra waited. "Yes?" she asked. It was an open face, one that expected nothing, just that he would be all right. "Is there something else you need me to do?"

Need me to do...oh if only there were time and a willingness in the wind...but instead of wistful thinking and dramatic flair, he took another step back and held up the hand grasping the apple.

“Thanks for breakfast.” He said, making a nod of it, and turned slowly to make more head way on his out bound progress.

"You're welcome," Tarra said and turned back to the Monarch with everything in hand. He would be fine. He would always be fine. And she would make sure they waited. For Nakali. Whoever he might be when he returned...

TAG-No one! What will happen to Nakali! To Tarra! And That poor apple! Find out some time, some place, some how!

A Jp by Sjet and Kendle, posted on time by the first one :)
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Tavey » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:26 pm

Once the sun rose to fully illuminate the marker stone, oh so gently, the singing stopped. The man who had been chosen to begin the day, waited until he was sure the flame would not go out on the marker stone. And then bowed.

Afterwards..

He simply walked away.

There were no formal plans outside lighting the dead on their way. The Browncoats had always made do, and would manage today as well. The nearby bars were already open, waiting to make lots of shiny credits, or cash, or anything that the grieving and angered wanted to part with.

There had been talk of trying to get some kind of large party happening. Protein roasting on spits, pretending to be some kind of real meat and all sitting nicey nicey. Talk was that some of the ships might be doing such a thing, and keeping away from the drink and the talk.

Ahhh the talk. That was the real point behind this. Since Miranda there had been much talk. And this was the place that they wanted to make the final choices.

Were they going to war.. or not..

Kynthia didn't know. She finished her song and stood overlooking the small glade that she had been shot in. Where Maverick and his brother had fought, and ended their relationship. Her hands twitched. She ached for her rifle for one brief moment.

"Hey." The voice was deep and mellow. Kynthia turned and waited. "Captain Kynthia Talland?" asked a tall woman with a shaved head, striding towards her.

Kynthia nodded, tensing slightly. Weren't too many who knew her name, let alone that she was Captain now.

"I have something of yours." The Woman said. She unwrapped a long thin sticklike thing she was holding. "I took it once. Was planning on killing Maverick with it. Stole it, you could say, right out from under his nose."

It was a long, gleaming black rifle. Kynthia's eyes glued themselves to it. The woman turned it over in her hands, revealing a thin scar that ran along the barrel. Ky's hand immediately rose to her forehead, where the beginning of a twisted and knotted scar peaked out from the edge of her hair.

"Aye. It's yours. I hear Maverick is.. well.. let's say he's sleeping a lot more peacefully than he should be."

The woman handed the rifle over to Kynthia and then left.

"Wait. What's your name?" Ky's demand seemed to be lost on the wind, or ignored as the strange leather clad woman just kept walking. It didn't matter. She had her gun back.. that mattered.

"Best shot in the 'Verse. Jus' don't ask me to be fighting you one on one." She murmured, tucking the sniper rifle into the crook of her arm.

=============

All around the Valley, folk were settling into their plans for the rest of the day. Near to where Sam had spent her time, someone opened a jug of ale and was passing it around. "May your ship fly high, an' the Purple Bellied ones ne'er catch you up." they toasted.

TAG - Sam.

=============

The next ship over from The Monarch was one of the ones holding open house. Music spilled out and into the surrounding area of the shipyard. Folk began to arrive and set up tables for the foods and, most importantly, for the drink, to come.

=============

A messenger arrived at The Monarch. Thin and nervous, he held a large bag of letters and parcels. That alone guaranteed his safety. Mail was not to be ignored, or treated badly. It was as precious as air in the black most of the time. Who knew how long some of those battered and crumpled envelopes, those lovingly taped boxes, had been traveling.

He punched in the code for admittance to the ship, and waited for someone to reply.

"I got a box here addressed to The Monarch Crew, a letter for Serena Hunter and one for Captain Talland. Who'll sign?" He asked.

TAGS one and all!
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby KendleRJ » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:53 pm

On the walk back to the Monarch, Tarragon Hunter had time to go over the conversation. Nothing to read into it. He hadn’t said anything new. Had he? And as she walked, she realized one thing for certain… it didn’t matter if he had. Pushing her away. Again.

One apple that he could take, and how long he was going to be was anyone’s guess. Wanted the ship there for his return, and she knew that it would be. It wasn’t going anywhere yet. Definitely, not yet, as she thought back on Shoddy's handiwork. She had everything in her hands from Nakali, and seeing the two on the ramp leading up to the Cargo Bay, she smiled. “See, said I would be back, didn’t I?” and reached into the jacket. “This is yours, I believe Shoddy,” she said and tossed his compass gently back to him. “Apple was his from breakfast, and the rest, I’ll put back. No harm, no foul, I s’pose.”

Did she believe that? Wrapping the thin jacket around her, she felt suddenly alone and empty. Like someone had scooped out her insides and left a hollow shell behind. He had gone off into the wilds of Hera by his lonesome... not like he hadn't done it before, but no offense meant: look at what had happened the last time. And had told her he didn’t need her. No, actually, to be fair, he said he didn’t WANT her around, not when he was closest to his goal. Like she caught him. Whatever had he meant by that?

So she obliged, and without a backward glance, turned to enter the bowels of the Monarch.

After chores and a quiet day, Tarra heard the call. Mail call. For HER. "Unless someone else wants to, I'll get the mail," she said, flicking on the intercom in the ship. After a beat, she was moving again.

~Tag Shipmates

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Quamie » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:40 pm

Ameri was there in the cargo bay when the mail came. She had been cleaning and doing chores, had begun a new painting and had just gotten into the rhythm when the knock came. The sounds from the other ship nearby floated her way. They were soothing.

"Tarra's coming," Ameri spoke quietly, mousing her way over. "But.. I'll sign."

She took the pen, holding it to sign, and her hand trembled. She'd never signed for packages before, in fact, she'd made it a habit to stay as far away from the cargo bay doors as she could. Now, if she signed, it was physical proof she'd been there. Her father could eventually know. She blinked.

Pursing her lips together, she took a deep breath and hastily scrawled her signature. She handed the data slate back and hurried away, back to the corner of the cargo bay where she'd been painting, forgetting to take the packages with her. "Does anyone have any outgoing mail?" she called as she went, head down.

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Galifestus » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:53 am

It was a small chunky ship, looking vauely like an old toaster with swing engines and a cabin riveted on. Its irregular metal plate hull was bare of paint but for its registration markings. The plating was scarred and pitted with age. It was about a quarter the size of the more common firefly class transport. The pad upon which it sat was neatly swept. Two young people, a boy and a girl sat at the edge of the pad, their legs hanging over the rock hard clay edge, trailing in the yellow grass below.

Bug had been chatting with his old friend. He had told of his life in service, and she had told of her life of religious seclusion. They had discussed many scenes of the city they had been scooped up from and their lives on the street there. They had talked briefly of their different shadowy memories of family before the street.

The sun began its rise and the two children did not notice the change in ambient noise, the lack of singing. There was a strangeness in the air, though, and their conversation began to lag as a feeling of tension rose. Around a nearby heavy transport, the tall figure of Chuy Lo apeared, striding long and quick, his face grave. He stopped before the kids.

"Sister Mary, tell the others we will be lifting in two hours." His order came in a calm, orderly voice, but there was something strange in his eyes.

"Yes, Reverend," the girl replied, standing and walking swiftly to the ship. The order was conveyed in the quiet calm tones of the convent and preparations were quickly underway. A party of four of the older sisters departed towards the market stalls at the edge of the downs.

The reverend meantime shared a few kind words with the boy, who responded with the manners trained into him. At last, the man handed the boy a small chip case, explaining in brief words that he could write or wave his friend at his liesure, though she might only reply once in two weeks.

The boy knew his visit was now to be over, and he stood on the grass and bowed politely, took his leave and began to cover the three miles to the Monarch's down. As he walked the foot traffic grew with folks returning to their ships. It was, for the more part, a dour and sullen crowd. It occured to the boy that it would be very easy to get his face stuffed in a bin if he annoyed any of this lot, and it would be as easy to set the whole mess into a rage. The thought made Bug quicken his pace and increase his caution to avoid collision.

It was a short hour's walk to the Monarch, and Bug could see a man laden with parcels and letters standing at the cargo door of the ship as he aproached. The man was just setting down a short stack of items, on the sill of the door as the boy stepped up.

"Help you, sir?" he asked in his service manner.

"Uh, no, kid. Signed for already by miss Weber. I'll just leave the stuff here, since she didn't stay to take it."

"Shway. I'll look to it then. Thank you sir."

Bug took up the small stack and stepped up into the ship as he sorted through it. He began looking for who got what.

~taggies
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Tavey » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:30 pm

Kynthia walked slowly back towards the ship. She nodded to those she passed.

By the time she got back to the area the Alliance had decided was to be the 'parking lot' for all the ships, she was dusty and tired. She paused, looking over the area. So many people.

So many deals that could be struck.
So much work.

A small smile quirked the corner of her mouth. She'd get to dealing later in the day, when the drink had loosened some of the tension. Or added to it. Deals could be made in the middle of a barfight too.

For now, she simply wanted to get her rifle back to the ship and tucked away. Catch up with the rest of the crew and see how they were doing. Eat something pure and simple. Tarra's cooking.

She sighed and kept walking.

TAG - anyone who wants to bump into her.
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby KendleRJ » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:24 pm

Tarragon Hunter had been so happy when she received mail. After all, the first mail from family in 6 years was something to celebrate. And a PARCEL? It was almost too much that she forgot to hand over her outgoing. Thanking both Ameri and Bug, she returned to the Lounge to sit down with something warm to drink and some comfy place to read.

However, after doing so, she was sorry that she had. And also sorry to have opened the parcel; like she had accepted its twisted purpose before understanding exactly what it was. It seemed that the Crerar's saw fit to send her a chef hat. Pristine, white and pressed, it sat unmarred in the box with the accompanying note card. Blank, except for her name.

Moving to sit back behind the counter, Tarra took and smoothed out the precious paper letter. Her aunt wrote it, and obviously in as plain a hand as she could muster. After all, it seemed that she was a bit preoccupied. Silence seemed less silent and more empty according to the news she received. It was surprising, and for a saddened moment, she realized that they had not mentioned the other member of the crew that was off-loaded there. But how would they have known about him? How would she have known how she had felt about him?

Placing the lid on top of the hat, she pondered its true purpose as she re-read the letter.

Dearest Serena (oh, hell or Tarragon), it read.

I'm sending this to Hera, in the hopes that it will be picked up and forwarded on to you. Even out on the edge of the maps, we have heard of the gathering and all that it may mean.

After all, they knew of Serenity Valley, and that they would be going there. Or near there at some point. Her Uncle was sympathetic to the Browncoats, much like those that were all on the planet. And even those not so much so were here, so it made sense...

The boys are still enjoying the fudge recipe you taught me, along with some of the cocoa you left. And thankfully, Little Lucy is still too young to be fed it. Although your Uncle is more than happy to share, despite my scolding the lot of them!

It was all right until then. Tarra remembered chuckling the first time through and looked forward to more happy news. But, it wasn't to be. This part was painful, but she re-read it, nonetheless.

On a different note, dear neice, there has been a bit of a fuss here. We are thinking on moving to another world. All things considered. Saul Armstrong went and died. In his sleep, so I'm told. Though that lovely man Sol says as how he was murdered. Says that Maverick wouldn't have just gone and passed in his sleep. I don't know. Seemed to me that he was poorly most of the time. Kept himself to himself and didn't want no medical help. His skin was the wrong colour, if that makes any sense to you. His daughter also thinks he was killed too, poor thing. I suppose she is all alone in the 'Verse now, what with both her parents and her uncle dead. Sad affair for one so young.

Sad affair for all those left behind, she thought to herself. Her mind went to Kynthia first. The new Captain of the Monarch and the one that he gave the ship to. A wedding present. That's how close they were. And how far apart, too. She wondered what the reaction might be, and started fixin' something warm. Like she thought it would be needed. Like she promised. As she worked, the rest of the letter played out in her head.

So we're considering one of the closer worlds and keeping away from places like Silence. Our reason for staying kind of changed. So, if you should have any recommendations, we would be most glad to hear them. You've seen more of the 'Verse now than we have, and besides, you might come and visit more often!

Regular sign offs, from Aunt, Uncle, two nephews obviously more bored than wanting to write, and a little bit of spit from Lucy. Complete with chocolate. Overall, it was nice to hear from people. But the news... it was... distressin'.

Keep Busy. Keep cooking. That was best. Because thinking about anything right now wasn't quite going to help her or anyone else. There was plenty of day left, and that meant plenty of time for anything. The chanting had stopped, so perhaps that meant some were heading back to the ship. While others probably weren't.

So, a nice chili, complete with protein chunks to convince everyone that they were eatin' real meat, would sit and ripen on the simmering burner. And hopefully provide a nice smell to come home to. Because she needed that comfort, and wanted the others to feel it too. There was a smidgen left of scotch as she reached up on tippy toe to pull it down from a hidden cubby. And glasses.

~Tag anyone coming to or already in the Kitchen



**OOC - Thanks Tavey!**
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby SDJThorin » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:59 pm

Titan hadn't returned last night, he'd been wheeling and dealing since shortly after the wake had ended. The Slaver incident had marked the end of his time in the Black.

The surface and the space above were filled with people of power, on sides too numerous to count. Of course the Alliance and the Browncoats were here, but all the various Corporations and Guilds had members, ships and suites looking to buy and sell.

It was the perfect place to make the kinds of deals that Titan needed to make, to get his House built, staffed and the land titles signed. He had everything in order with a Cortex Sourcebox setup to handle his needs here, while the House was built.

He was in a fine mood and since he had been on the far side of Hera -- where things had been fully rebuilt and lacked the scars of the war -- he had purchased a great deal of real foodstuffs for the crew and passengers of the Monarch.

He knew that he'd need to get back before noon or else Tara would already have dinner started.

He'd docked his shuttle and was heading up to the kitchen, "Damn!" he grumbled -- she was already chopping things -- he quickened his pace and hoped!

He slowed for the last few steps, it was unseemly to rush in on someone.

"Hello Tara," he started, "I have something that I think you will thoroughly enjoy!" At that, Titan wheeled a large food carrier to the end of the counter, "Please, I would like you to use it all to do what you do best, a feast!"

[Tag - Tara]
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Sam Crerar » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:40 am

Sam noticed a former comrade after having been handed a mug of ale. "Frank Cooper?" Sam asked, heading over to the man, "Frank, I haven't seen you since, god, Medic training."

"Sam Crerar? Surprised you survived, you were rather naive when we graduated." Frank, a tall man, towered over her, but he was lean and had a jovial smile. His face was marred by the lack of his right eye, a patch over it.

"Not exactly naive now, or at least not nearly so." She said, hugging the man, "What have you been up to? I see you didn't get out of the war with both eyes."

Frank laughed, shaking his head. "Actually, I got out of the war with only a few wounds, mostly superficial." He smirked, "My eye, I lost when my ship's engine got a little tetchy with me. Never argue with a very ornery engine, it's worse than going against a battalion of purple-bellies. What about you?"

Sam shrugged, "I'm the first mate of a ship, the Monarch. But you didn't really tell me what you've been doing recently."

"Ah, well, I command the Icarus." Frank said, "I won it in a pool tournament a few years ago, got it up and running. Not going to win any beauty contests with it, but she's a good ship. Why don't we go somewhere a little more cozy, a bar perhaps? Somewhere a little less crowded, with seats, and more alcohol. I'll tell you all about the Icarus and my part of the war, if you tell me about the Monarch, and what happened to you in the war."

"Deal."
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby KendleRJ » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:47 pm

"Hello Tara," he started, "I have something that I think you will thoroughly enjoy!" At that, Titan wheeled a large food carrier to the end of the counter, "Please, I would like you to use it all to do what you do best, a feast!"

"I was wondrin' where you got to, Tighten," Tarra said, adding the protein chunks into the pot. Next up were the beans. She had been soaking and then peeling them so that they added the right amount of flavour and texture without being too much. "That's a mighty big carrier you've got there. Whatever is in it? And I think I might use it for mid-day meal tomorrow, if that's ok. After all, with this spread, we could invite half the Browncoats to dinner and still have leftovers!"

Smiling widely, she surreptitiously swept her paper off the counter and slid it beneath. Same with the bottle and glasses. No need to share when neither were needed. Not yet.

"Tell me," she asked with a quiet and conspiratorial air, "You got any spices in there?"

~Tag Titan / Anyone in the Kitchen

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Galifestus » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:37 am

Kynthia had tucked her rifle away in her cabin. Back in her possession again, where it needed to be. And where she could use it properly. It had been made for her after all. But she felt twitchy, as though something still needed to be dealt with. Something important.

Finally, she just got walking, aimlessly through the throngs of people determined to have a good time. And found herself standing outside a short stubby ship. She stared at it for a while, wondering if she should actually take those extra couple of steps to go and speak to him.

"You know," said the familiar low gravelly voice of the preacher from behind her, "it is a funny thing to be an hour looking all over the downs only to find the subject of your search standing outside your own ship."

He strode forward, his arms coming up for a friendly embrace.

Kynthia smiled and hugged the big man back, just as tightly.

"'Tis right good to be seeing you." She said. "I'm glad you could make it."

She stepped back, looking up into the face of her dear friend. Searching for signs that he was content. Finally, she nodded slightly.

"You look good."

"Ha!" came a burst from a grin. "It's been a long time since I looked good." His smile pulled all of the scars into strange shapes on his face. He indicated the edge of the landing pad and sat down himself.

Kynthia sat down and turned slightly towards him. "Ain't what's on the outside that matters. You know that. 'Tis on the inside is important. An' that's where you look good. Bein' back in the robes suits you."

"Well, I do have a bit of news, actually. About the Order." his look became more grave.

"I had a visit from a messenger from the Archbishop of Londinium. It was a long and complex message, but boiled down to this: Any further activity in capacity as judgment and execution would be viewed as murder in the eyes of the Church, the Senate and God. The news has been spread to the whole order, with you as the final member of the order to receive it.

"On the other hand, I was confirmed in my takeover of the convent."

Kynthia shook her head slowly. "Typical." she muttered. "We vanish for near on ten year. Not a word then, was there. We were a bad memory they hoped wouldn't come back."

A wry smile crossed her face as she looked into Chuy's eyes with a twinkle in her own. "Ain't like I stand on havin' once been half of their top assassin team, no more than you do." She shrugged. "So, you're now their head of their hidden convent? For real?"

He turned a grin upon her, "Yup. I reckon they want to keep me where they can keep an eye on me. I feel like I can do some good there while keeping out of the way some."


They sat and chatted, as old friends do for a while.

With a loud bang and a puff of smoke, one of the side engines started on the blocky looking ship behind them. A half minute later the other engine started up. A party of well laden nuns walked onto the down from another ramp about a third of the way around the circular pad and into the little ship. Lo watched quietly as they boarded. Another older nun came at a nunly pace to stand a respectful distance away, waiting.

"Thank you, Sister Clara. I'll be right along presently. I guess that's my cue. I was glad to see you. Glad to show you some of these gals you left me with. Not so glad to see your weapon back, though I understand how it must be a comfort."


Kynthia laughed as she stood up. "Why ain't I surprised that you know 'bout the rifle. Didn't see you up on the ridge."


She dusted off the seat of her dark blue trousers, grinning. "Sneaky how a man your size does move without bein' seen. Downright unsettling."


She waited until he stood up, then moved in for another hug. Holding him tightly, as if she might never see him again. Which was, after all, the simple truth.

"Be well." It was the last thing he might say to her for some time, and it suited. He released her from his arms and watched as she turned to go. Then he turned away himself, without allowing his reluctance to show. He strode aboard the little ship and its door whined closed, and almost before it was, the ship began to power up to lift.

If hadn't been for his duty to the convent, enforced by the Church hierarchy and its close ties to the senate, he would have stayed longer. They had made it quite clear that there would be consequences if he stopped on Hera a moment too long. He stood on the tiny bridge till they broke atmo, and then he turned to go aft to one of the six cells optimistically called staterooms. One of the sisters, the one who had approached on the down, called a question to him.

"Home, Sister Clara, before they get nervous. I'll be in my chamber."

Although she headed away from the ship, not looking back so that he wouldn't have to see how much she missed his wry humour and his advice, Kynthia paused and glanced when she heard the engines fire.


"Figures." She muttered, seeing the name of the ship finally. "The Saint Florian."

~tags.

A JP from Kynthia and Chuy by Tavey and Fess
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby SDJThorin » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:46 pm

"Tell me," she asked with a quiet and conspiratorial air, "You got any spices in there?"

Titan produced a thick leather wallet -- akin to one that would hold pipeweed -- and smiled at the question, "Better, I've got herbs and spices," he said while tossing it to her. "Save the carrier's contents for a dinner when the whole crew is present. It'll keep for a few days before needing new refrigerant. If you need anything else to go with that, let me know and I'll get it."

He paused for a moment, obviously thinking about something, then continued, "I'll be staying on Hera for awhile... and this is my farewell to you... If you ever get tired of travelling in the Black and want a place where you can finish up your Guild training..." He smiled, seeing that her current answer would be a 'No', "Well, enough of that. If you ever need anything, you give me a Wave and my House will be open to you. Lord knows how hard it is to find good Chefs that aren't uppity fools."

Titan wasn't usually so... awkward... but at that moment he was a little off balance -- the reality of what he had started only a few hours ago was finally starting to sink in. He needed sleep badly. With a hand covered yawn, he looked around the kitchen, then back at Tarra. "Like I said, if you need anything else, just let me know... I'll be in my bunk should anyone need to talk to me."

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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Sam Crerar » Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:06 am

"And so, there I was, the Alliance forces coming my way, and there was nothing for me to do except grab my rifle and pack and run. I barely had time to grab my boots, to say nothin' about my knickers, much less pants and a shirt." Frank explained, with elaborate hand motions as he was telling his story in the back of a crowded bar with Sam laughing into her drink.

"I bet they could see your lily white tail glowing in the dark as you ran." She replied, in between fits of laughter. She shook her head.

"I'm sure they could, until I fell into a mud bog, then my lily white became rather brown, and not from gose." Frank replied with a chuckle. "I used a reed to breathe through as they passed me. That suited me perfectly, but then I had to hike back to the base camp, cold, naked, and covered in the slimiest mud you can imagine. Imagine the surprise of the sentries when I showed up at the gate yelling at them that the Alliance was planning an ambush." He took a swig of the ale. "It was only because of that they didn't shoot me, I think, but they still made me fight naked when the ambush came. I spent thirty days peeling potatoes, since they couldn't exactly throw me in a brig. And I'd already been busted down to private, twice."

"No doubt for sneaking out to woo some unsuspecting civilian, or soldier, or officer..." Sam said, with a laugh. "About the only people you refused to try to woo were purple-bellies, and only because they'd shoot you."

Frank shrugged, "Well, you know, there are only a few other ways to entertain oneself during war-time."

"You did a good job entertaining yourself during medic school. If I remember correctly, you put itching powder in half of Beta Squad's dress uniforms for final inspection." Sam replied with a smirk. "I just hope you're not half as cruel to your crew aboard the Icarus."

Frank feigned being stabbed through the heart. "My dear Samantha, you wound me. I'm not cruel at all. A wonderful captain, I assure you. I wish I had the chance to show you, but, you have your own priorities, with the Monarch. Something you have yet to regale me about."

Sam's smile faded slightly, looking down for a second. "The Monarch's a good ship, don't get me wrong. But, eh, things with the crew ain't been so shiny past couple of weeks."

"What's up?" Frank asked, raising an eyebrow. "You're a kinda prickly person to get to know, but usually, once you're used to people, things are alright..."

Sam leaned back in her chair. "You come from a less than stellar background yourself, Frank, and you knew who I was when no one else did. A side effect of that less than stellar background I suppose. When you knew me last, I was just leaving the family, and never wanted to go back. That never changed." She sighed, "Also, telling people who I was related to never changed either. Until a few weeks ago. They found me, and took half my crew hostage to be sold as slaves until we got away. Things just haven't been the same since. Ky, my captain, still trusts me, but it just feels like she's the only one. Aside from Cat. I can't look anyone else in the eye, not even Tarra..." Sam sighed, "Tarra is our cook, a young girl who's turning into a fine woman, despite her insecurities. She's a nice lass, very good looking too."

Frank sighed, then put a hand on Sam's. "Listen, ten to one says if they're a good crew, it's more a point of you not forgiving you then them not forgiving you. If it makes you too uncomfortable, though, you can always join the Icarus. Or, I have another ship that I own, looking for a good captain for it. We could be partners."

Sam hesitated. "Thanks, Frank, but, I'm not really interested in leaving the Monarch. It's the closest thing to a home I've really ever had, and the crew.... it'll get better. I hope."

"You change your mind, just give me a wave, we'll fight the Alliance once again, one tariff dodge at a time."
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Samantha "Sam the Knife" Crerar
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Tavey » Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:28 am

Kynthia walked through the throngs of people, without a single plan in her head for where she was going. She knew she needed money. They needed a job.

Something was still wrong with The Monarch, and she needed to know what was happening. If she was strictly truthful, she had to admit that she might need to come up with the money for a new ship. Shoddy was fighting a losing battle with the engine. The structure wasn't as secure as it had been. The old girl was making new noises. None of which was good.

Shrugging, she made her way into a bar filled with browncoats and hustlers. She perched on one of the stools, listening to the conversations around her as she sipped some clear liquid that made her throat burn.

Her head turned at one snippet. There was a high stakes game in play. This could be the answer, if she was willing to try. She finished her drink, and the next one, thinking hard about how much she could raise. If she used the ship, she might be able to..

no..

too risky...

too..

An hour later, she found herself sitting at a round wooden table in the back room of the bar, holding a hand of cards that she couldn't believe and facing down six men who had scars and brutality etched into their very skin.

This was not going to be good. So, so not good...

((OOC Note: it is now mid morning in game time. Please adjust accordingly to stay in time with the events of the day. Thanks!))
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"Oh Bother." Said The Borg. "We've assimilated Pooh."
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Re: A Spark of Light.

Postby Tavey » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:29 pm

High above the World, in a vast and ugly ship, eyes watched the happenings below. The ships arriving and taking off. Listened to reports from informants and troops on the surface.

The eyes belonged to an old man with a flat angry expression. He strode from console to console, leaning over the shoulders of the men and women sitting at them. His uniform was pressed perfectly. He did not like what he was hearing.

Finally he pointed at one screen. Jabbed would be more accurate a description in fact.

"There." He stated. "That building there has had too many visitors. They aren't leaving in a timely fashion. Take care of it."

The other side of the valley, far away from The Monarch, a squad of Alliance Troops were mobilised. They swept into a shabby old brick building, clearing it of suspected rebellion members, and arrested the owners. Killed a few more. It was swift and brutal.

The whispers began almost immediately among those who had witnessed it from outside the place. And the whispers began to spread.

TAG - any who might hear a cortex wave..

The ship next to The Monarch was holding a party. They had decked out the sturdy vessel with home made flags and silliness. Music was blaring from speakers that had been rigged off the ramp and they had set up a makeshift barbeque. The sounds of merriment echoed into The Monarch.

TAG - anyone who wants to go play!

In the meantime, Kynthia was holding her own in the card game. And was getting a bit concerned about how easy a time she was having. But until she figured out what exactly the catch was, she had to keep going. All too often these games came at too high a price.

TAG - Grey

And TAG any who are working on their own stories!!
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