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Matilda Livingston

"Excuse me, move aside. I don't have time to dillydally."

1 · 307 views · located in Space

a character in “Skylab 014 Genesis || Remake”, originally authored by Byte, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

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β–Œ FULL NAME
X> Matilda Katerina Livingston II
β–Œ ALIASES
X> Ma'am, M'lady, Professor
β–Œ AGE
X> 33
β–Œ GENDER
X> Female
β–Œ ORIENTATION
X> Nothing's ever picked her fancy, although she's open-minded about the subject.
β–Œ ETHNICITY
X> Canadian
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β–Œ HAIR COLOR
X> A deep, chocolate-y brown.
β–Œ EYE COLOR
X> Amber
β–Œ HEIGHT
X> 5'9"
β–Œ WEIGHT
X> 131 lbs
β–Œ SKIN TONE
X> Peach
β–Œ GENERAL APPEARANCE
X> In spite of her enclosed, high-born upbringing, Matilda hasn't retained the senseless, almost obsessive compulsive need to look the part like so many of her relatives back on Earth. Quite the exact opposite, in fact, with her tiresome gloom, shaggy hair and clothes that have been worn past week's end. It's hard to tell the noble from behind the lab-coat curtain, anyway.
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β–Œ PERSONALITY
X> Matilda is the amalgamation of a smothered childhood and her own perfectionist attitude, resulting in a strange concoction of stiffness and formality that, unintentionally, mistakes statistics for empathy. It's certainly strange that someone so well-spoken lacks any sort of charisma, and just comes across as down right callous at times. Calculative, not unlike a robot, the woman has but a slippy grasp on social norms and basic respect for her fellow man; treating them like you would a thick-headed child when sharing her findings (unless they've proven some form of intellect prior). A Very talk-down approach. She seems a bit more patient concerning casual topics, however.

β–Œ LIKES
X> A fine wine || Poetry || Research || Intelligent debate || Romantics

β–Œ DISLIKES
X> Sloppy work || Indifference || Recklessness || Cherry-picking

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β–Œ FAMILY
X> She doesn't care, so why should you?

β–Œ HISTORY
X> Matilda's a member of a long laundry list of rich and posh assholes who've been leaching off of the success their great-great-great-grandfather once earned somewhere in the 1900's, content with sitting on their asses and looking all pretty and important. Matilda on the other hand, wasn't so complacent as to take her wealth for granted (only when it was convenient) and had, from a very early age, her own dreams and desires to fulfill. While her siblings took to gossip and vain laughs, she took to books and sciences; eventually leading her to take up a study in biology, and, shortly afterwards, specializing in microbiology. Specifically the observation of bacteria and viruses. She took the invitation to help in a research effort at Skylab 014 with some reluctance, but figured she could be of use somewhere at least.
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β–Œ CHARACTER SHEET
X> Byte, apparently
β–Œ INSPIRATION
X> StarlightPrincess; Nyx ; maccotango ; Verix
β–Œ FACECLAIM
X> Eriu - Ravietta
β–Œ THEME SONG(S)
X> Abney Park - Until the Day You Die
β–Œ HEX COLOR
X> Speech;#66023C

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So begins...

Matilda Livingston's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Yuzara Shyile Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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#, as written by Lyysa
"Is everything done?"

"Of course! You've asked that already many times."

The ponytail swayed as the woman turned her head around to stare at the man positioned in front of the computer, she didn't even try to hide her disappointed look, "Are you sure? Have you checked everything twice? Or no, three times? Is there not even the smallest chance you've missed something?"

The man just grinned back at her before letting a small snigger escape, "Yes, yes! Or no! Of course I've checked everything more than once! I've checked all the data at least ten times already since you've asked me. Just take a breath and try to calm down."

Piper snorted back at him before glaring some more, "That comment was completely unnecessary. I'm calm."

Jerry just rolled his eyes at the computer screen while snickering, "Yeah... yeah... Of course."

The stare just intensified by the comment, but since the reason to her annoyance had no intension in acknowledge her irritation she turned her eyes towards the window once more. She stood like that for a while, just looking outside out on the complete emptiness of space, or well, there were stars. Endless numbers of stars staring back at her, sending a comforting feeling through her body. Because even though they were trapped here, in the middle of nowhere - if there was one point in time this statement actually was correct it must be now. Because they were in the middle of space, there was nothing here, no neighbors, no stores, no internet, no trees. Just nothing but endless darkness surrounded them, well that and the big red planet.

After the long paus she suddenly started to nod slowly, as if she had decided to agree with what he had said earlier, "Alright. If you're sure that everything is done then let's start. Call Brewer over."

"Sure."

As the tangents were being pressed down she walked over there, glancing over Jerry's shoulder to check if he did what he's been asked to do. At the same time she had a chance to look over the data for herself, not that she even had the time to check everything before the door glide open and a very grumpy looking man entered, "You called?"

"Yes," she turned towards him as she spoke, positioning herself so she would look as tall as possible, a position of power. Even though it didn't matter much since he looked like a giant next to her. "Are everyone settled down now?"

"If they've found their sleeping cabinets? Yes, they have. I think most of them are done unpacking the things they brought as well. At least it seemed like that when I checked on them."

"Good," Piper nodded slowly to herself once more as she thought over what to do next even though she already knew that. "Leighton, turn on the speakers. I have an announcement for everyone."

"Oh, it's time?"

"Yes."

To the answer Jerry started grinning once more as he turned towards the computer once more, activating the space stations communication system. As he did so Piper walked over to her work space and picked up the small earpiece, "Is it on?"

Jerry was about to fall over by sniggering as he tried to get out a simple, "Y-Yes!"

"Oh... Oh. Uhm... Hi everyone, I hope you've find your sleeping space and been able to adapt to this new environment. But at the moment I need you to stop whatever it is you're doing and gather here in the control room."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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#, as written by Byte
"Hmm, no. This won't do."

With a mocking tone and a sigh that did little to elevate her irritation, Matilda hadn't hesitated for one moment to shoot down her assigned room.

"This won't do at all."

Another sigh, followed by a slow headshake.

White. Nothing but sanitized, boring, medical ward white. Nothing to draw the eye except the odd porthole (or was that just reserved for non-space faring ships?) peering into the vast emptiness that was space, and plain desk accompanied by, what she could only describe as; A chair eager to cause back pains.

"It's depressing."

Nevermind that she had to share the restroom on top of everything else. And with a mental note that she'd talk to the commander about this at a more appropriate time, Matilda began unpacking her personal belongings in an attempt to leave these mild annoyances behind for the time being. Which, Matilda being as she was, was easier said than done.

Just then, with a hum and a creak, the comm buzzed and the crew's commander spoke -- with an alarming lack of confidence -- asking everyone to gather. Probably for briefing, but that wasn't Matilda's business. If anything, it'd give her an excuse to talk to Piper about certain reservations. And without further delay, the woman made for the control room; dropping her initial intent to take stock of the research wing.

"Piper," Matilda nodded with the casual air that came with familiarity, or maybe she had never addressed her superiors by title. The commander never seemed to be bothered. Concerning Matilda at least.

"And mister Wolff," She dully noted the biomechanic nonchalantly fixing his arm, in the control room no less. "having trouble discerning priorities I see." Her eyes narrowed, briefly, before returning to the commander.

"Keep this brief, I was hoping to inspect the laboratory for any discrepancies."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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β€œIs it on?”

Though he would have appreciated the simple humour in turning on the microphone early, Quentin didn’t even hear that first part. He was intently focused on checking the air lock latches that held the vessel that had carried the bolstering crew to the Skylab. Now that they had arrived on mars, the last thing even a joker would want was for their vehicle to be the cause of a huge depressurization event. As the main pilot of the entry, he was the first aboard their transport, and the last to leave.

Thankfully, he had triple-checked the last latch in time to hear the continuation of the announcement. Pied Piper sending the first orders, eh? He smirked. This station must be a lot larger than it appeared from the cockpit if it’s sheer size warranted an intercom system. The longer he merely existed within the station, the more the size seemed to truly dawn on him.

The older man hadn’t even dropped off his small case of personal items and change of clothes. Thankfully, he already had trained to efficiently navigate the Sky Lab. He knew that the dormitories were on the way to Central. Quentin quickly dropped the case off in an empty dorm. The door held a plaque engraved with β€œQ. FISHER”. Once he had tossed the case inside, he briskly walked to the chute that led to the central hatch. With a hop, the old man leaped straight up the tube, toward the centre between spinning compartments, where there was no sensation of gravity. From the central tube, Quentin grabbed and pulled lightly on each of the many handholds that littered the zero-gee sections of the Skylab.

Hopefully he’ll be getting to ground soon. While Quentin is experienced with the sciences as all astronauts are by-nature, he does have a soft spot for soft earth… well, not Earth anymore. Mars was rocky, and sandy, and dry, and cold. Ungodly cold. with little atmosphere to speak of, the red planet waiting below was beautiful, yet terrifying.

Quentin couldn’t wait for the day humanity would eventually terraform the planet. He had a few ideas on how to solve the atmosphere problem, but it would be incredibly expensive… Cost was such a huge aspect in these sorts of things. Plus, most everyone else had already thought of them even back when NASA was created.

β€œHowdy, kids,” Quentin’s gravelly voice emitted as he floated down another shaft into the artificial gravity of the command centre. β€œCaprain, Ma’am,” he saluted after standing up, as he had always done back in his air force days. β€œFisher reporting, our entry vessel is snug as a bug in a rug.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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"This. This is so great."

Andreev barely had the time to drop his personal belongings on the bed before the words escaped his mouth. He ran his good hand over the desk, feeling the smooth surface with a smile.

"Helen? Helen, have you seen this? I've got a desk."

"The rooms are the exact same, Drew," a voice replied from down the hall.

"I'm gonna put stuff on it."

"Stop the presses."

He ignored Helen's last comment, carefully unpacking the duffel bag on his bed. It was a hurriedly packed thing from two years ago, mostly filled with books he'd read repeatedly throughout his time on the ship, with an added tablet carrying a vast library as a back-up plan for exactly that. The books found their home on the desk, alongside a strange plant inside a protective casing, the latter of which he now removed. It looked like a mixture between a cactus and a bamboo tree, and he stroked the glochids lovingly before getting his clothes out of the bag.

The closet was small, but then he didn't have a lot of clothes to speak of. He folded his trousers and hung up the shirts, nodding to himself as he stood for a while admiring his work. This room would have his personal touch in no time, and it would feel perfectly like a home for the months that they were there.



Helen, meanwhile, had possibly even less personal belongings than Andreev. She was sat on the bed, running her thumb over her phone in an attempt to find a song worth listening to. Her bag was thrown on top of the desk, a piece of equipment she doubted she'd have much use for. Most of her work would take place elsewhere on the station, and most of her belongings were tools she had fashioned for that exact purpose. As such, the desk became a place of storage for now, until the time came when she could be arsed to get up and unpack. She absent-mindedly rolled a cigarette between the fingers of her other hand, eventually placing it her mouth and lighting it up. The smoke detector above her seemed to be an ionisation detector, but with the door still open there was no way the smell would be bad enough for it to go off.

Stretching lazily, she paused almost in fright as she heard Piper's uncertain voice over the intercom. It took her a moment to realise Piper wasn't actually in the room, and by that time the second message came through:

"Oh... Oh. Uhm... Hi everyone, I hope you've find your sleeping space and been able to adapt to this new environment. But at the moment I need you to stop whatever it is you're doing and gather here in the control room."

"Fuck me," Helen mumbled, the cigarette rolling to the edge of her mouth. "Not a moment's peace in this dump, huh."

Andreev was at her door instantly. "You hear that?"

"I have ears," Helen said, replacing her phone in her pocket as she got up.

"Are you allowed to smoke in here?" Andreev asked as she stepped out of her room.

Helen smiled, ruffling the hair of the younger man as she said, "Don't worry about it, kid."

Then they walked towards the control room, Andreev a few steps ahead of her. He seemed unable to control his volume or speed when he was excited and curious, and immediately forgot she was behind him. It didn't bother Helen– though she wouldn't consider the two of them friends, she had a soft spot for the guy. Perhaps it was his behaviour, or the scars, but she felt kind of like the big sister having to fend off the bullies on the playground for him.

There was no more time to think of that though, as they entered the control room and saw the others. Andreev entered wordlessly, finding himself a seat so he could wait for the Captain's orders.

Helen gave a nod to the crowd. " 'Sup."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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#, as written by Lyysa
People weren't moving fast enough, she gave them an order. They should be running over here! No... She couldn't expect that much of them, she knew that. It was perhaps a bit early still, maybe they should have run some more test and controlled the data before doing this. But there was no point in regrets now, it was done and... Someone entered.

Piper glanced over her own shoulder towards the door to see who it was, Jon. He didn't seem that interested though, seeing how he didn't even look up from whatever it was that he was doing with his own arm at the moment did create a wrinkle between Piper's eyebrows. The lips even curved in annoyance but the facial expression disappeared as fast as it had appeared once he apologized.

"Anyways, you called?"

"Yes, I have an announcement to make to everyone, so you have to wait here until everyone arrive. It's important, so..." Just as Piper was about to finish her sentence the doors slid open once more, revealing Matilda on the other side. And she just nonchalantly walked inside, talking about being busy. Did anyone actually want to hear what she had to say? At the moment it felt like everyone just thought she was just bothering them when they were working. It didn't lighten her mood at all.

"Well, I was about to tell Wolff that I have an important announcement to make so the fact that you want to inspect the laboratory have to wait. And you have to wait for everyone else as well. At the moment all other priorities have to wait." Finally people started to drop in, most of them not making any sort of fuss about having more important things to do at the moment like some others. But Piper made sure to give Jerry a harsh look when he left his post when one of the female members entered, Rana was her name, Piper just didn't know that much about her since she withdrew from the rest of the crew. She never said much but at the moment she looked bothered by Jerry's approach. "You have work to do Leighton, get back to the computer."

While he walked back to his chair one more annoying character showed up, or well it was probably just her mood talking rubbish. So even though Quentin brought good news, news that made her breath out if just a little bit, she couldn't voice the praise without hissing, "Great! At least something is going as planned today!"

People continued to enter the control room, soon everyone was inside. There was Helen and Andreev who entered shortly after Quentin, after them Pete showed his ugly mug. But then the worst of them all showed up, Kevin. Piper didn't have any patient for the man at all. She would actually be happy if he just stayed far away from her today. She wouldn't care if he missed the announcement. But here he was. Showing of his teeth’s in a large grin, "Hello! Captain you look adorable like always!"

The moment his hand approached her face she waved it away, glaring at him, "King, keep your filthy hands to yourself. And stop bothering me, back away."

Kevin just laughed and raised his hands while he backed away, "Sure! I'm not here to start any fuzz, I'm just being friendly." The only answer he got from Piper was that she snorted at him before directing her attention towards the door once more.

Kevin continued to walk around the room, greeting people, "Jon, my man! What are you doing? Fixing your arm? Quentin, you're looking fine today! So are you Helen!"

In the end he ended up beside Matilda with the same huge smirk decorating his face, the confident bastard even stretched out his arm to place it around her shoulders, "Matilda, my queen, you're looking stunning like always! You and me after this, what do you say? You can't say no, like come one, it's me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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While normally people were setting up their belongings in a satisfactory way in their room, Eric was handling his own room in a different way. For one thing, there were three people in his room and everything was messy. Fortunately everyone was still clothed and the mess was more of the mechanical sort.

The room was small, white, and surprisingly tidy. What clothes he had was packed in the closet, and the books he had brought were stored neatly on the shelf. Small trinkets were kept in a box that was tucked underneath his bed, and the bed was empty except for the twenty-four year old man sprawled on the covers, humming what sounded suspiciously like an off-tune version of Eminem as he flipped through a book with planets on the cover.

The floor was, unlike the rest of the room, covered in a clear plastic tarp. Tools were scattered all over it, and seated on the tarp was another young man with similar features to the man on the bed, bent over a metallic leg belonging to a brown-haired man with a grimace on his face, although whether it was from the music or from the messing around with his prosthetic leg was difficult to guess.

"Dude, you done?" Eric asked, looking back down at his leg. Dressed in an olive-green jacket that had been pulled over a black shirt and loose brown shorts, Eric would have looked a bit as if he were posing with one leg outstretched and one pulled loosely up against his chest, leaning back against the side of his bed as he drummed his fingers lightly against the floor in accompaniment to Akira's off-tuned humming - if it weren't for the tools surrounding him and Makoto bent over his leg. "It's been over half an hour. Also, Chocolate."

Some of the joints in his right leg had been a bit creaky lately, squeaking whenever he bent his right leg or taking a few seconds to respond to his movement. Probably a bad joint connection or something. While Eric would normally deal with it himself in the form of percussive maintenance, it hadn't worked this time and so Eric had sought Makoto - and by extension Akira - out. And thus the slumber party in Eric's room had taken place.

It seemed to be coming to an end now. "I told you, not long now." Makoto muttered, not looking up from where he was staring at. Inwardly, Eric marvelled over how fast his leg had gone back to normal - only five minutes ago it had looked like a mess of wires and metal. Fingers trailing over the smooth metal with practiced motions, Makoto grabbed a screwdriver and continued to work. "I just need to screw everything back together. E... Eels. Akira?"

"Shark!" Akira replied breezily, not looking up from the book he was reading. He flipped the page, beginning on a new chapter as he continued "Shark's are edible - shark fin soup. Right Eric?"

"Yeah." Eric answered dully, closing his eyes. "Endangered though, so a lot of people are using faux shark fin. Honey - Ow fuck!" Eric winced as a familiar current ran through him, causing him to jolt and bang his back against the bed as he bit his lip to stop more pained exclamations from escaping. While Eric's prosthetics weren't too bad (shabby and old but well-used and well maintained), it definitely wasn't one of the top-of-the-line models that made reconnecting a synch. "Dammit, Makoto, warn me next time!"

"Ah, sorry! I forgot." Makoto apologised. Akira snickered, but gave Eric a pat on the shoulder as he scowled up at Akira, waiting for the tingling to fade. Straightening up with a stretch that popped the bones in his back and arms, Makoto gave Eric an apologetic smile. "Um. Some of the wires were loose; I tightened them up. I also did some maintenance. Should be alright now. Test it out?"

"Sure." Standing up, Eric did a few test stretches. "Hey, it worked!" No more squeaking sounds, and the response time was faster too. He shot a grin at Makoto, who was busy packing away his tools. "Thanks man. Also-"

He was interrupted by the speaker. Piper's voice filled the room, asking them all to meet in the central room.

"We've got a report to catch." Akira finished for him. Closing the book with a snap, he rolled off the bed, landing lightly on his feet with a grin. "C'mon, lets go! Race ya!" He grinned mischievously at the two, eyes twinkling. "First one to win gets Eric's onion soup, yeah?"

"Oh, onion soup?" Makoto asked hopefully, finishing his clean-up. Placing the rolled up tarp into his bag, he slipped it into the pouch at his side, straightening up. "i like onion soup. You're definitely not beating me in this one."

"Oh, so I'm making the prize? So glad to know that I have no say in this," Eric grumbled, slipping on his shoes. There was no heat to it, however, and there was a faint grin on his face as he asked his question, already knowing the answer. "So what does that mean if I win?"

"That you don't have to make the soup, of course!" Akira laughed, slapping Eric on the back as he made his way past him. The shorter man whirled around to smile at them, walking backwards. Eric's eyes narrowed. He had just enough time to notice that Akira had one hand on the door before the grin turned sly and Akira said "But that doesn't matter because I'm gonna win anyway!" and ran off, door banging open as the younger Kawasaki charged down the hall.

Two voices yelled after him, interrupting the peal of laughter. "Like hell you will!"

-------------

Fortunately for Eric, he made it to the control room first. Thank goodness for the maintenance - it helped that he could push both legs longer than normal thanks to them being, well, fake and not at risk of lactic acid. Unfortunately Akira had whined about losing, but one small cuff on the shoulder and a few shared jokes later and they split up, Makoto heading to his own buddies with a private smile on his face while Akira bounced towards the other pilots, chattering excitedly.

Eric, meanwhile, stuck to the back of the room. Folding his arms across his chest, he gave a few small waves or nods whenever someone he recognised entered, although he refrained from conversation. Waiting patiently, he leant against the wall, waiting to find out the purpose of why they were all called there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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#, as written by Mustafa
It was another boring morning for Iskander during this space journey. If you are in the space, it isn't easy to distinguish a day from a night because the space ship is lit by the Sun all the time. The passangers have to use special clocks to regulate their lifestyle. Iskander also has been using such device because he wants to be alwasy on time. He has suspected that in the nearest time he will have to meet with the commander, as he was doing it previously. But he didn't know that this time will be a little different.

As always, he got up early and has started to prepare for the meeting. His room was quite big but it was arranged in a minimalist manner. White walls and a metalic floor was an ideal background for silver furniture. The furniture of course wasn't made of wood but of artificail materials and it was stuck or screwed to the floor. The bed was attached to the wall and works as a camp bed, it was easily folded and hidden in a special bay in the wall. Near the bed, a desk was placed with a small lamp and modern computer on its surface.

Iskander has put his diary into the drawer of his desk and generaly has cleaned his room. In this book he has not only entries about his every day work but also malicious opinions about the rest of the crew. They have been traveling for almost two years, so he has had enought time to get to know everyone very well. If it landed in someone else's hands, it could create a real earth quake on the plane. So it was kept in a secret.

Iskander was preparing a cup of coffee when he heard Piper speaking through the speakers. He was surprised that the commander wants to meet with the crew earlier than previously. "Has something bad happened?" Iskander thought. He has left his room feverishly and went towards the place of the meeting holding a cup of coffee in his hand. He stopped suddenly near the intersection of two corridors, one of them led to the control room, because someone flew almost before his nose. He flinched and looked at his coffee, and thought "I need to tell Piper that she should hold her pets* in a cage. They could spill coffee on my silk shirt!"

"Good morning! Have I missed something?" Iskander said when he walked into the control room.

* A friendly way of talking to someone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston

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#, as written by Byte
Ever the flammable type, the commander.

"I can wait." A cold, harsh tone. "However, I'd be more comfortable knowing what resources I have at my disposal as soon as possible." The woman eyed her superior carefully, probably sizing her up. It was hard to tell when Piper was angry at you, or just in general frustrated with the current affairs. Matilda figured the latter. Usually was, anyway.

That said, she held off on mentioning that maybe it'd have been more efficient to notify everyone via comm. Having to wait on everyone felt a bit wasteful, even if the crew slowly flooded into the control room. One by one, too, which was odd (well, there were Helen and the meek russian lad).

And that's when he came in...

There was a look of relief. Then irritation as the good doctor sauntered in with a grin that couldn't be more telling if it tried, and Matilda was one of the few who had managed to pick up on the subtleties (if there were any with Kevin) when Kevin wasn't carrying his business-sense. This was one of those moments, and, like always, she could feel the dread kick in when he waltzed over to her -- the intent as clear as the smug grin on his face.

"Matilda, my queen,"

So it began. She brushed the hand away and flashed the man a frosty glare out of sheer reflex. Wouldn't be the first time he tried, and it was always met with the same response.

"No." Her stare lingered for a good few seconds. A subtle challenge, perhaps, daring him to continue.

"I've work to attend to after," She paused, turning away from the man. "as do you, no doubt."

And for a moment, Matilda eyed the commander expectantly. She didn't want to wait much longer, especially with the doctor on the prowl.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Yuzara Shyile Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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#, as written by Lyysa
His advances apparently wasn't welcomed today, too bad. But Kevin wasn't expecting anything else anyway, so he wasn't that surprised. He just shrugged it off with a smile and nodded his head in agreement, "Yeah, I guess I can entertain myself with work instead. It's not as fun, but well, you can't have it all. But you know, you're always welcome in case you change your mind. I'm not withdrawing the invitation."

By then everyone had gathered, at least it seemed like that to Piper. She was sure that she hadn't missed anyone even though people had made her lose her focus for short amounts of time. But the room was filled with people, moving around in anticipation or irritation. It could be anyone of them. Since people seemed to be bothered by her calling them over.

Yes, everyone was here. She was one hundred percent sure. So after one last glance over the familiar faces she clapped her hands together to get everyone attention, "Silence."

Once those who had been speaking with one another had quieted down she let her eyes sweep over their faces once more before speaking up, "I know most of you wonder why I've gathered you all here. I know that some of you have better things to do and once I am done you can return to your other duties. But this is important and it's not bad news. It's really good news actually. I know that this is something that will cheer you all up." She did try to put on a smile for them all, but it only seemed forced and unnatural. "So... Leighton and myself are proud to announce to you all that all the data checks out. Tomorrow morning some of you will be the first humans to walk on Mars. Isn't that worth taking a break in your work to hear?"

From the background you could hear someone clear his throat to gather everyone's attention, "So who's the lucky ones? I assume I'm one of them. If not there must been some mistake."

"No, you're not landing on Mars this time Ackner. We need people to set up the facility down there before people start their researches." The man was clearly offended by Piper's statement, his behavior couldn't be described as anything but childish. A grown up man started to murmur to himself about how he had to live with so much stupidity around himself, it looked pathetic. "The ones going down there are Fisher, Farran, Liu, Wolff and [some other names]. If anyone have any objects voice them now, and give me a real good reason to why you don't agree with me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Yuzara Shyile Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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Quentin pounded fists with Kevin with a huge friendly grin. β€œKevin my boy, you’re just the spitting image of some celebrity or another.” He laughed. β€œThough I am concerned what’s taking the rest of the crew so long. I had to rush here from the airlock after dropping my gear off.”

He nodded a greeting to Eric, who had entered the room inconspicuously and remained close to the back of the room. The old man stood at-attention and energetic, contrasting sharply with the tired to straight-up apathetic lot that had entered the control room. His large eyes would’ve twinkled if there were any light reflecting off from Mars into the control room. As it was, the control room was pointing to the side, relative to the planet. The only lighting was the flat low-power lighting that came standard on all spacecraft.

The news was delivered. Apparently everything has been set up and checked perfectly. Fisher would pilot the entry vehicle to bring the team down to the surface, where they would set up the base using the supplies that had already been delivered years ago from previous missions. The only things the team needed to bring were flight suits, EVA suits, and whatever equipment they needed to bring to the surface.

Fisher’s equipment was Rovers and assorted mining equipment. Though he was educated as well in engineering as any astronaut, he was not a savant science specialist like most everyone around. The old man was more like a jack of all trades, where his only shining quality was his damn good piloting skills.

β€œUnderstood, Ma’am. I’ll get the MDV prepped.” Fisher began to head to the door, ready to perform his particular duties. However, he did pause near the doorframe in case there was any more news to announce.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher

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#, as written by Byte
Stubborn as a mule, that one. She kept a practiced pokerface, attention on the commander's announcement as she seemed fed up waiting for anyone who was still missing from the roster. And the King? Well, Matilda figured he'd understood the message until such a time came where he felt to dare another attempt to court his Queen. He always did. Not unlike clockwork, in fact. She could only hope that wouldn't be for quite some time indeed.

And with the distraction off on his own little tangent, the commander spoke with the fraud-confidence she always displayed in the face of her crew. Her forced smile reflected that, Matilda thought. Reflective of her own behaviour when she tried relaying the good news and failing just as badly at it, and for a moment the woman felt relieved it wasn't her standing in the spotlight. 'This is why you use the comm, dear.', a condescending thought at best.

As for the message, Matilda felt... pleased, if only slight. Her work wouldn't be relevant for quite a while, but given that the first few readings checked out without so much as a fault was enough reason to give credit where it was due. And so, after mentally chastising Ackner's little tirade (that man had no tact, seriously) Matilda gave the parties responsible for the data a respectful nod.

"If that's all, I'll return to my duties."

Even if she wouldn't be with the ground team on their first take-off, it wouldn't hurt to come prepared when that day came. A good scientist always is, and so she left the control room; waving some of her fellow crew goodbye (and give some others another stern glaring) as she inched passed Quentin who hung clumsily before the doorway.

"Excuse me," She commented passingly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Yuzara Shyile Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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After Piper told Jon that he had to wait until everyone else arrived he silently continued working on his arm. It didn't take that long before familiar faces filled the room, though. Some more energetic than others and some more annoyed by the fact that they had to stop doing what they were doing just to get to this room. There was even someone who made a snarky remark directed to him fixing his arm but Jon had just answered that by faintly smiling into her general direction before continuing where he left off. Whenever someone new entered the room, they swiftly greeted everyone before taking a seat or a spot to stand and wait for the announcement. And then finally the announcement followed.

It was nice to have some good news for a change, and this particular piece of good news Piper had been preparing everyone for surely didn't disappoint. The fact that the data checked out meant that there was at least one less thing to worry about. It also meant that the first people would be able to start their mission on Mars and were able to maybe even make a landing on the planet. This thought was confirmed when Pete Ackner, a scientist on this mission specialised in geology, spoke up. He basically demanded to be one of the first to go make the landing but Piper quickly shot the proposal down, which caused him to mumble things to himself in quite a childish manner. Not that Jon cared, though. Pete was supposed to be an adult for christ sake. He should just have to learn and deal with it, he guessed.

"The ones going down there are Fisher, Farran, Liu, Wolff and [some other names]. If anyone have any objects voice them now, and give me a real good reason to why you don't agree with me." Piper concluded her announcement.

Jon simply nodded. Being one of the first people to set foot on Mars was surely a huge honor. After all, they would be the people to write history. Yet, to Jon at least, it didn't feel like such a huge accomplishment. He couldn't really put his finger on it why he felt that way but he still did. This didn't mean that he was going to do a bad job, however. Jon took his work very seriously, and luckily he did because there certainly was a lot more work to follow now that the first landing was a fact.

A few moments after the announcement Jon finished fixing up his arm. It had taken him a little longer than expected but he was happy that it was in a good condition once again. After a few little tests, he would immediately start prepping for the mission he had received. But first, he had a question.

"When will we be leaving captain?" Jon curiously asked the captain to make sure how much time he had to prepare for the mission before he was supposed to be sent off to the ground.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Yuzara Shyile Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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"So do you, Helen."


She winked at Kevin. "I always look good, babe," she said, but by then he had turned his focus towards Matilda. She smiled, shaking her head. Kevin seemed to have a knack for turning his attentions where they weren't wanted. Sometimes she wasn't sure whether he did it on purpose or not.


Soon people settled, and Piper was finally allowed to make her announcement. At first Helen hadn't thought much about what the subject of the meeting would be, having for the most part assumed that Piper wanted to get some of the ground rules down. After the actual words had been spoken, however, she felt a grin growing across her face. It faltered momentarily when Ackner butted in, but the next piece of information put it right back.


She was going to Mars.


Of course this shouldn't have come as a huge surprise given their mission, but Helen allowed herself a squeak of excitement all the same. She was a woman focuses on the now, and for the past two years she had let her work be her calling. A small part of her had been excited about where they were headed of course, but she hadn't considered what that meant until very recently. Consciously, not until the words came out of Piper's mouth.

"Awesome," she said. She felt as though she ought to say more, but the moment soon passed, and Jon posed the only other question she could think of. She was satisfied with that, however, glancing to see Matilda leaving out the corner of her eye. One day she would find out what that woman's deal was, but given that she hadn't managed it so far, it was very possible she needed some kind of psychology degree before she could understand.

For now, she turned back to the captain and listened for further instructions.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Yuzara Shyile Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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#, as written by Lyysa
Oh great, just as she had finished her announcement people started leaving right away. Well, those who wasn’t allowed to go down to the surface left anyway. The other ones was kind enough to stay, at least for a little while. Like Fisher, he seemed eager to leave the room as well. But she could understand why, he had important things to do now.

"When will we be leaving captain?"

There it was, the reason why she wanted those who were about to travel to stay right here, and the reason she wanted them to gather in here. Because how was she supposed to answer questions and have a discussion with them if they weren’t here with her? No, and this way she had everyone’s attention as well. So no one could miss the information.

Once again she tried to use her facial muscles to form a smile, she needed to seem friendly and approachable at least some times, β€œYou will be leaving tomorrow, or well, fifteen hours from now. Nine o’clock. So I want every one of you to be finished at least half an hour before that. You need to prep all your things and be ready to just take them with you down to the surface. And don’t forget to rest so you’re alert tomorrow!” Was there anything more she needed to say? No, she couldn’t think of anything. She probably covered it all. It felt like that anyway. β€œIs there anything else you need to know? If not, you are all free to leave.”

Even if this didn’t concern him Kevin had still stayed behind to listen to what else that could been added, he was happy for every one of them. It was probably exciting news, well Helen sure was happy anyway. He couldn’t help but smile at her reaction. It sure was fun to see someone who displayed what they truly felt. But Matilda was right in what she had said earlier, he needed to head over to his part of the space station. There was probably much to be done there, like unpacking. How exciting! This would be fun, the time of the century, something he would remember on his death bed. Surely.

But before that he needed to do something else, so he headed over to Helen and lightly bumped his elbow against her arm, β€œHow great is this?! I’m so happy for you, too bad I’m not allowed to join you. I would like to, but I will probably never head down to the surface, why would I? There is nothing I could do to help,” It wasn’t meant to sound like he was sad, but somehow it did. He could hear it himself as he said it, so he finished it all with a laugh and added, β€œJust picture me down there! There is too many things that are more exciting than working down there, like getting lost on Mars. Who else in the world would be able to boast about having such a bad sense of direction that they got lost on a whole other planet? No one! That would be awesome. Such a great way to start a conversation.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Yuzara Shyile Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Iskander Forbes Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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#, as written by Lyysa
"Alright, I guess that was all the questions then. In that case I will get back to my other duties and so should you," Piper gave those who were left a small nod before walking past Fisher and the others as she passed through the door. Yes, there were other things she needed to do. Like making a round to inspect that everyone was settled down and happy with what they had been provided. If something was missing, which it shouldn't because no one had complained? But well, you never knew. Perhaps they had been expecting something more and what they got wasn't reaching those expectations?

Now when she thought about it she should probably get a notebook to be able to write down complaints. There could be a chance that some equipment could been stacked in the wrong place, there's always a chance. You never know before you check it yourself. She should probably check if everything on the station works as it should as well, it had been empty for a while. Yes, she should notify the computer guys about that. And she probably need Perry here as well to have another set of eyes so she wouldn't miss anything. While they were working they could probably go over some of assignments they had as well, plan ahead. Yeah, that sounded like a good idea.

But firstly something to write down notes on. Good thing she knew where to find it, and the rest of the evening passed by as it should. Well, she almost forgot about dinner but thankfully she did bring Perry with her and he reminded her of how important it was to actually eat. But other than that they checked most things on the station, doors lock mechanism and some alarms, lights in rooms where no one was and other stuff like that. Everything seemed to work like it should and Piper was pleased.

And so far no one had complained about anything, she hadn't been able to ask everyone yet because well time went by fast. And as the hours went on she had to put the notepad down in the end and say goodbye to Perry because both of them were tired by now. So once in between the sheets it didn't take long before she passed out by exhaustion.

The time passed peacefully, at least inside her cabin. She had no idea that somewhere inside the station people was arguing, and not in polite manners. No people or at least one was screaming at the other one. But early in the morning when her alarm went off she was greeted with silence once she left her room. First thing to be done was exercising, as all other days. It was extremely important.

Once that was done she was ready to make herself presentable. By then she was ready to meet and greet everyone that was supposed to leave them for the time being. She was actually rather excited to send them off, yes, this would be a great day. She was looking forward to it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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#, as written by Lyysa
Oh no... Oh noes... Rana could see it in the corner of her eye, a disaster waiting to happen. Or well, at least it felt like something like that. Her heart started beating faster, was that sweat dripping down her neck? No probably not, or maybe, but the feeling was exaggerated. Extremely exaggerated because she was nervous. She was so nervous that she could feel her hands starting shaking. Even though she probably made it worse she tried to focus her attention on the work in front of her, but she mostly made a mess.

Diana could see how Helen's sudden entrance made a huge impact on Rana, it wasn't such a big surprise though. Rana usually behaved in such fashion whenever anyone tried to approach her. It was the same way when Diana tried to befriend her, it took time. But persistence wins in the end. But there was something else, Diana knew a secret. Or a fun fact maybe? Yeah, it was a bit fun. Diana knew that Rana had a crush on Helen. Even though Rana herself had brushed it off as only admiration since she was so good at what she did. The whole crush thing was not something Rana had told her herself, it was something Diana had figured out by herself. Sometimes it was a bit too obvious.

"Hey girls," Oh noes, she's talking, Rana's heart was beating even faster now, "What's up? Are we enjoying the new view?"

Diana buffed at Rana in an attempt to make her answer the question but it only made Rana press her lips even tighter together, "Oh yes, it's beautiful! So different from what you're used to. It's fun to have something else to do as well, being locked inside a metal cage for two years was dreadful. I'm so happy to be outside again. Or is this even counted as being outside?"

The question was directed at Helen but she had no time to actually answer it out there because right after they were told to gather around the pod since they were supposed to return to the space station once more. Diana flashed a disappointed smile, "Well, I'm guessing we're going back to our new fancy metal cage once more."

While the other two were friendly towards each other Rana just followed them silently, glancing now and then at them. In her mind she really tried to convince herself to open her mouth, trying to plan out something to say. Something nice? Or something funny? Something else? How did you talk to others?! The more she thought about it the less she could think of, she got even more stressed by it. And annoyed at herself. At times like these she really could understand why people couldn't stand her present, she was so boring. So useless. Yeah and much, much more. The thoughts continued to occupy her mind as they travelled back.

When they had safely return to the space station and the doors glide open so they would be able to exit they were greeted by a stern looking Piper like always but also others who was interested in the results, this time she didn't even try to give them a smile. She just looked them bluntly in their eyes as she spoke, "How did it go?"

Kevin just sounded like an echo as he asked the same question with huge shining eyes like a kid, "Yeah! How did it go? Was it totally awesome?!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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#, as written by Byte
Matilda never was an advocate for field work, let alone on a planet she'd never set foot on, but when she felt some envy for those who did get to go onto an expedition she realised that maybe she was somewhat excited about getting out there and explore a whole new world. A barren, oxygen-deprived world... Though choices.

So, the rest of the evening/afternoon (hard to tell from space) the woman had managed to pass the time by doing her personal rounds and check ups on the lab, before taking herself and her dinner to her private chambers where she made preparations for the next day and then going off to bed.

And the morning after? Well, Matilda'd argue against sleeping on space beds on a regular basis, and she had the muscle aches and back-pain to back such claims up in future court. The result an earlier morning than usual, which was a good opportunity to wash and dress up before anybody else could peck her for a chat.

The rest of the day were taken as it came; mostly exploring every nook and cranny of the station that she hadn't picked up on the day before, a quick chat with Jerry about future schedules (she was curious about when it'd be her turn to pick Mars apart, of course) and trying to find Piper who, like always, had managed to evade the public eye until the group came back from their first excursion.

And Matilda was just in time to see the pod dock onto the station, so of course she made sure to drop in...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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Andreev

Perhaps not surprisingly, there wasn't much for the microbiologist to do until the samples started coming in. Andreev had spent the last two years familiarising himself with the available research– most of which was still available at the touch of a screen in his lab. He hadn't been too disappointed that he hadn't been among the first to land on Mars. He'd get down there soon enough, and until they finished the initial work he'd only be in the way. Thus, he had spent the remainder of the previous evening deep in a daydream about what his first time on Mars would be like, and time had simply passed.

He started the day by nigh obsessively cleaning his lab. By the time he finished with all the equipment, it was well past lunchtime. He acquired a quick snack from the canteen, and returned to his research notes. When the time came to greet the returning crew, he made his way down to the docking area with a few others. The crew barely had time to set foot inside before the questions came:

"How did it go?"

"Yeah! How did it go? Was it totally awesome?!"

Andreev put his hands in his pockets, looking out at the returned. Some seemed indifferent, others were still clearly overcome with the excitement. He nodded to a few of them, deciding not to speak up in fear of attracting attention away from the captain's question. He and Piper already had a strained relationship, he didn't need to go making it worse.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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Helen

"Oh yes, it's beautiful! So different from what you're used to. It's fun to have something else to do as well, being locked inside a metal cage for two years was dreadful. I'm so happy to be outside again. Or is this even counted as being outside?"

She smiled warmly at the two other women, not surprised by Rana's silence. She'd known people like Rana before, and didn't take it personally– once she began to feel more comfortable in Helen's presence, she thought, the woman would probably speak up more. Until then, Helen would just have to continue being her charming self.

Besides, she thought as she turned to offer Diana an answer, it was endearing. Cute, even. Unfortunately, at that time they were told to return to the upstairs, thus the conversation had to be cut short.

"Well, I'm guessing we're going back to our new fancy metal cage once more."

"All in the name of adventure," Helen replied as they made their way towards the pod. "Though I for one am definitely planning to run naked through Hyde Park once this is over. After four and a half years I'll be lucky if I don't develop severe claustrophobia."

She grinned, winking at them both. "You're both invited, of course."

With that she returned to her seat in the pod, wishing not for the first time that she had a pack of cigarettes to keep her company for the ride. However, the trip back seemed somehow shorter than the trip down, as they were in the docking area before she knew it. She let most of the crew leave first, taking a moment to brace herself for the annoying procedure of getting the damn space suit off, but already heart Piper's voice somewhere outside.

"How did it go?"

Helen shook her head, wondering where on Earth the woman had derived such awful social skills. She stepped outside with the rest of the crew, catching an excited Kevin by Piper's side, and grinning at him.

"Yeah! How did it go? Was it totally awesome?!"

"We colonised half the planet and fought a space alien," she said. "Unfortunately it was too powerful and in return for our lives we promised it could marry Piper. It also works to create an alliance between humans and space aliens, which is pretty neat."

She laughed at her own joke and shook her head. "Nah, it was good. Lot of rocks.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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#, as written by Lyysa
"We colonised half the planet and fought a space alien. Unfortunately it was too powerful and in return for our lives we promised it could marry Piper. It also works to create an alliance between humans and space aliens, which is pretty neat."

At least someone was laughing. Even though he probably was laughing a little too much and a bit too loud, Kevin laughed so much that even he received a harsh glare from Piper. It wasn't that surprised that she wasn't finding the joke even a little amusing. She didn't even smile at it. If anything, her usual frown got even more apparent.

"Nah, it was good. Lot of rocks."

"Cool, you got to tell me everything! I want to know all you have to offer about the trip! Tell me more about the alien, that part was the best."

"That has to wait for later," Who would tell her what had happened without joking it away? And who wouldn't mind to stay behind to tell so she could do the official report. Well, there was only one she could think of. "Diana, I trust you will tell me about the progress without unnecessary details. Please tell me about how everything went down there and how the facility looks at the moment. Everyone else are free to go so you can get out of the spacesuits and spend the evening together."

Once everyone had left Piper turned her attention towards Diana, she could understand that the poor woman probably was not feeling like talking to her at the moment. Yeah, she was probably warm and uncomfortable inside that suit. In the back of her mind Piper knew that she was being uncooperative at the moment. But at the same time, she wanted to know if she would be able to send down other's so they could start actually working. And she wanted to send the report back to earth so she could take the evening off as well. She wanted to get back to her quarter and well... relax or something. Read her favorite book again.

"Alright tell me about how it went, you don’t have to be detailed, I can ask the other ones once they've changed. I just want a quick overlook." And yes, Piper did get her description in the end. Once Diana was done she rushed away as well. It didn't bother Piper, she was used to being alone. So she just simply walked out of the docking area and made her way to the control room so she could start typing up that report.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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#, as written by Lyysa
Some time had passed since the last encounter with the crew inside Skylab 014 Genesis, nothing spectacular had happened since then. The ground station had been set up properly and people had even traveled down there for research finally. Piper was pleased. Everything was going according to plan. Well, almost everything. At the moment, she was sitting in front of her computer and having some extremely annoying troubles with it.

She had tried to contact Earth at least ten times but there was no connection to be found. She couldn't even send a typed message back to them to boast about their success. It was so annoying, after another failed attempt she just gave up. She let out an irritated sigh and leaned her forehead against her palms. As she did so the doors glided open and someone else entered the control room.

"What are you doing? Sleeping?" Jerry smiled at her, not in a friendly or flirtatious way. It was more like a smile you made when you found yourself funny and was just waiting for the others to laugh as well. But Piper did not laugh. She just glared at him.

"We're having problems. I can't create a connection with earth, there is something wrong."

"What? Really?" Suddenly Jerry was intrigued, or terrified, Piper couldn't read his expressions, "Let me take a look."

Piper stood up to let Jerry sit down on the chair, because well... she had no clue what to do. And she hoped that Jerry if anyone would be able to fix their problem. If he wasn't able to do it... she had no clue what to do if that was the case. She would have to consult someone. Perry probably. Or someone else. But Jerry would be able to fix it! She was sure of it.

"I'm leaving it to you, I'm sure you will be able to fix it. If not, let me know, we need to fix this issue fast. We can't let the others know and worry for nothing." Jerry just nodded as an answer to her statements, too focused on the problems at hand to waste any more time talking with her.

Since he was so concentrated Piper decided that it was probably for the best to leave him alone. If it was her who was busy working she would want to be left alone as well. So she walked out of the control room but the doors had just closed behind her as another problem appeared before her. Or well, another human being. A stressed one at that. Piper knew that something was wrong when she saw Diana rushing up to her but she couldn't keep from sighing, because she was already stressed and tired from the connection failure.

"Commander! P-Piper! Some-some-", Diana was breathing heavily, so heavily that Piper couldn't hear what she was trying to say once she had stopped in front of her.

"What? Talk properly."

Diana took a couple of deep breathes and collected herself, "Rana is missing."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff

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#, as written by Lyysa
"Rana is missing."

Wait what? Piper suddenly had her full attention on Diana and what she had told her, almost not able to comprehend what she had just been told. Someone was missing? They had to be kidding right? How could someone go missing?! It was not like anyone would be able to just go outside and vanish? Right?

"What?" Oh, Helen, the sudden voice that came out of nowhere did startle Piper. She was embarrassed to admit it but she had jolted a little, therefor she avoided to make eye contact with the woman, "What makes you say that? What's happened? How long has she been gone?"

"Are you sure that she's not just in her room?" Perhaps it was a little rude, but it was a legitimate question.

"Well... no," Diana suddenly looked very uncomfortable, like she was wasting peoples time, "I've knocked on her door multiple times but she hasn't answered once. I have not seen her in two days. Yes, I know that it's not much! But this place is cramped, it's impossible not to run into the same person several times a day! At first I thought that perhaps she was sick and rested in her bed. But then... well, today I went to Kevin to ask him if Rana had reported her sickness to him and he told me no. He hadn't seen her at all either! I know something is wrong!"

"Oh," That sure did sound strange. But could someone really go missing? And what would the other's say? All these problems stocking up, if anyone would find out they would be so disappointed with her! This must stay quiet, for now. But Helen had already heard about it... Then Piper had to let her follow along so she can't tell anyone else! "Since you've checked the communal parts of station already I guess all that's left to do is look inside her room. She's probably there but if not three people are better than two, we have a greater chance of finding anything useful if we look together.

Diana nodded in agreement and they all went to Rana's room. The first thing Piper did was knocking on the door, no answer. She waited a bit longer before knocking again, this time a bit louder. There was still no answer and she glanced towards Diana who was looking like a nervous wreck, "Since she doesn't answer I guess I'll have to open the door?"

She didn't wait for an answer though, she just picked up her own keycard and typed her code before the door glide open revealing what was inside.

Nothing.

It was empty. Piper couldn't believe her eyes, it was actually empty. No Rana to be seen. Was this a joke? Such a cruel joke in that case. Diana walked past her and entered the room, searching for something. Or a clue. But somehow it seemed that she was searching after something specific. Piper observed her for a while before asking, "What are you looking after?"

"Rana's diary," Diana paused as she realized that she had told them something personal. But at the same time, if anything would tell them about Rana's disappearance it would be that book. "It's a small pink book. She told me that it was for documenting her research and such but I... accidently glanced over her shoulder when she was writing inside it and it was definitively a diary."

"Oh, okay... I'll help you," Piper didn't know why they would be looking after that book. But hey, Diana could be right. perhaps Rana had seen something and documented it. It surely peeked Piper's curiosity, it felt like perhaps they would reveal some huge secret. But there was nothing to be found, not even the smallest indication to what could have happened. This was giving Piper a headache.

What was she supposed to do now? Rana wasn't anywhere to be seen inside the space station nor in her room, there was only one thing left to do. Or at least that was the only thing Piper could think of. She had to assemble everyone again and ask them if they knew anything. If not... should she make everyone open their room so she could inspect it? Perhaps or perhaps not. It would probably make a lot of people angry.

But in any case, she had to make the announcement. So she picked up her intercom, "Gather in the control room, this applies to everyone."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston

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#, as written by Byte
β€œBlighted machine.”

A sneer, more a hiss, pierced the immovable flat screen riddled with snowy static. And just when she was about to contact some associates on several data she'd collected beforehand. Nothing worse than having to sit through some digital hiccup, hands tied because every other analysis had been run more times than protocol prescribed.

β€œWork.”

Another hiss, almost disinterested in nature as Matilda realised giving some unfeeling hunk of technology the death glare wouldn't progress anything but force more wrinkles on her face. Still... with the connection cut, it made one wonder who the hell was authorized to fix this problem. β€œI was done for the day anyway.” And defeated, the woman left the lab with a bitter after-taste. Never was one to leave business unfinished.

β€œGather in the control room, this applies to everyone.”

And just like that, the grimace had grown even more depressing after the captain's command. Did this mean she wasn't the only one having connection problems? Still, that was nothing to call a general meeting for... Piper did sound distressed. Uncharacteristically so, even. Matilda made a sharp turn to the left in a split-second decision.

Despite her brain working over hours to find the underlying meaning behind the meeting, Matilda had managed to find her way through the ship fairly quickly. Perhaps familiarity kicking in after having toured the place several times now. That, and the control room wasn't exactly a rare place for her to start the day off in.

The woman took to a spot somewhere at the end of the room, genuinely curious about what Piper had to mention.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Helen Liu Character Portrait: Andreev Nicanor Character Portrait: Kevin King Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston Character Portrait: Quentin Fisher Character Portrait: Jon Wolff Character Portrait: Eric Zarzuela

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#, as written by Lyysa
"We couldn't have somehow... Left her there?"

Piper suddenly felt a chill go down her spine, it was a justified question. But could it be true? Had they somehow forgotten about someone down on the surface? Just the thought made Piper's stress levels rise through the roof. If they, no if she had screwed up so badly she would surely be kicked of this mission. Well, at least she would be degraded. Perry would take her place instead. That would be disastrous for her career. She would never be able to get another job. Perhaps at a supermarket if she was lucky. But she would go down in history as the one leading the mission were they abandoned another crew member on Mars. Oh my God, the humiliation. She would never be able to show her face outside again.

"Lorenzo, you must know? Were you on the last trip miss Farran was on?"

Diana only shook her head before adding, "No, I wasn't assigned to that one."

Piper's heart sank even deeper, it felt like it had landed inside her stomach by now. The pulse was raising, she could hear the heart beats inside her ears. It was drumming so fast and so loudly it felt like everyone around her could hear it as well. Without saying anything more she hurried away towards the control room.

The scene that greeted her was however not what she was expecting, she had assigned Jerry to the communication problem but instead of working he was flirting with another technician instead. She couldn't do anything else than sigh in frustration.

"How about this, you and me, tomorrow night? I can ask one of my chef friends if he can make something a little nicer than usual? Doesn't that sound sweet?"

The woman named Mia leaned forward to show of her cleavage a little more while giggling, "Oh? Like a date?"

You could clearly see that the response was unexpected, but Jerry soon cracked up in a huge smile, "Y-Yeah!"

"Sure, why not? It could be fun."

Piper cleared her throat to make the two disgusting "love birds" notice her presence and stop with the nonsense. And they almost jumped out of their seats and if Piper wasn't mistaken she was almost certain that she could see a hint of a blush on their cheeks.

She walked up to them and looked down at the computer, "Have you fixed the problem?"

"No, not yet but we have almost pin pointed the reason why. Just a moment more and we will know." Mia nodded in agreement and Piper silently looked of in the distant with a frustrated face. She pressed her lips together to not let anything inappropriate come out. But this was so stressful, she just wanted to scream and shout at everyone at this point. But that wouldn't help anything.

It was pleasing to see everyone gather so quickly, at least something good happened today. But now when everyone was gathered Piper had to tell them about the disappearance of Rana even though she wanted to keep it a secret. She wanted to dig a huge hole and just burry the whole thing inside that. The deepest hole in history so no one ever would be able to figure it out. But that wasn't right, she had to ask them about clues. Or anything. She clutched at straws at this point.

"I have some bad news and I need your help..." She paused and her gaze was all over the room by now, it felt like she was about to pass out because of the situation, but she just had to swallow her pride and get it over with. So she took a couple of deep breathes and leaned against the table before continuing, "Something terrible has happened. One of us has gone missing, Rana Farran hasn't been seen the last couple of days. I've already looked inside her room and she's not there either. So... I need your help. Please, if you know anything help us figure out what has happened."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Piper Lafleur Character Portrait: Matilda Livingston

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#, as written by Byte
"I have some bad news and I need your help..."

A questioning look shot up at Piper, and Matilda couldn't help but feel as though bad news was but a mild understatement concerning the actual affair. The other option? Well, maybe Piper had decided doing everything herself wasn't such a great idea after all, but when Matilda spotted the gloom on her captain's face it was more than clear that this wasn't something brushed off with indifference.

A missing person rarely was deserving of such treatment, anyway.

Matilda, though, couldn't really think of anything progressive to add. In the time they've been at the station she'd only seen a handful of crew members, and even fewer she had spoken to. Unfortunately, Rana was one of them (not that the girl was especially talkative herself).

Her brain rattled through several possible outcomes. Some an inconvenient oversight, others... far less so. Although leaving someone out in space was a very implausible outcome, Matilda hadn't left it out. Other options were that Rana had been picked up by a transport, but that'd beg the question why nobody on the entire station had heard a single thing.

In the end, Matilda decided it wasn't worth speaking up, but stuck around in case anyone else could give some insight.