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Matthew Jäger

Owns and Captains the Nimble Gryphon

0 · 315 views · located in The Rud'bul System

a character in “For a Fistful of Creds”, as played by Irish Wolf


Matthew is a man of decent height, standing somewhere around six feet, depending on his footwear. He doesn't possess an imposing body build, exercising enough to make sure he doesn't get fat, while in the lower gravity of his ship (or anywhere else for that matter). A broad and opening face, with friendly brown eyes, is framed with shortish, dark brown hair (styled by running gel coated fingers through it) and stubble, allowed to grow long enough to almost be called a beard before they get shaved off. Despite the fact he doesn't get much sun aboard ship or in the docks and that he removed the tanning beds from the Nimble Gryphon, his skin isn't overly pale, thanks to a few darker skinned ancestors, from somewhere down the family tree. Like everyone else, he has a few small scars from childhood accidents and the like. Only one tattoo adorns his body but its a good one; A redhead and voluptuous pinup girl lounges across his back, her legs open just enough to tease and her arms reaching up his shoulders, as if she were about to caress his neck.

He can normally be found wearing some sort of dark trousers, light colored shirt and a brown jacket (worn open), which hangs down to his mid thighs.


To sum up Matthew in one word, gambler. He loves the thrill of taking risks, the rattle of the dice, the soft shuffle of cards and the sweet anticipation of slipping cargo past a customs patrol or agent. He works very hard at keeping a natural honesty in his words and facial expressions, it helps him convince anyone he's suckering that they're getting the better end of the bargain. He's a liar and a cheat, when it help him get the upper hand but up front with his crew. If anyone aboard wants to move something illegally, to their next port of call, which is too small for him to have been contacted, he doesn't mind, so long as he gets a cut.

However, he will always get his jobs done, by hook or crook.


Genetic Mutation: Minor telepathic powers.
Matthew as the ability to "skim" thoughts as he calls its. While he can't delve into a person's thoughts, to dig around for secrets and the like or control them, he can pick up on the surface thoughts of another being. As a rule, he has to be in the same area and close to a person to do it or at least know right where they are.

Personal Defense:
Mr. Jäger prefers small, concealable or camouflaged weapons, if he gets into a situation where he needs to fight his way out. He keeps several "Saturday night specials" and zip guns on his person.


Matthew is a native of Mandeedor and spent the first twenty-six years of his life there. His childhood was fairly normal for the lower middle class there, his parents work double shifts, leaving him in the care of friends when they couldn't be around. In fact, he was part of a "pack" which got move around between a group of friends, whomever had the day off, took care of the groups kids. Like most of the youngsters, he got into fights, stole a few things, ect but somehow always knew the right things to say, to normally get himself and his friends out of major trouble. He also found his love of gambling in this pack, after they got old enough to understand card games, the kind they copied their parents playing. After his standard education, he went to work in one of the factories, under contract to make parts for the orbiting shipyards.

At the age of twenty-two, he was transferred up into space, after taking betting with his supervisor, working in the repair and refitting area of the shipyards. It was much better pay then working dirt side and he didn't have to pull double shifts. This left him enough leisure time, after working, to shower and head over to the rec area, where the ship crew normally waited. He picked up a serious gambling habit there, in flashy casinos and it was then that his natural telepathic abilities grew into something he could actively use. However, the fact they he always seemed to wake out with more money then he walked in with, brought him to the attention of the local crime syndicate. However, luck was on his side. A few friends managed to find out that there were people looking for him and sent a warning before he was found. He had also recently won a Ferrus Yacht (which he was planning on selling). Taking it was a sign, he pulled all of his money out of the bank and shipped out., just ahead of the thugs.

Forging the paper work he needed for the ship, Matthew renamed the vessel, the Nimble Gryphon. Ten years later and after a brief stint as a pleasure craft for hire, he current working as a legitimate cargo hauler and smuggler.

So begins...

Matthew Jäger's Story

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Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger
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Dreams were a strange thing, when one was confined within the existence defying Gap tank. Different for each and every person but strange to their own perceptions. For Matthew Jäger, as he drifted in his tank of breathable gel, he did not dream his own dreams but rather, slipped in and out the dreams of those around him. The telepathic part of his mind, reached out in the long darkness, seeking comfort in the mental presence of those around him. He was never sure and never asked, if any of his crew realized that their captain was within their minds, during the long sleep between solar systems. It would have been odd to ask in the first place and he didn't want to bring up his abilities.

With a sudden start, the captain of the Nimble Gryphon, was ripped form seemingly endless sleep and thrown back into the waking reality. His eyes fought to stay closed, as he felt the rush of the gel around him, his mouth opening, to allow as much of the suddenly suffocating stuff, to be pulled form his lungs as possible. His back pushed lightly against the flat bottom of his tank. Unlike other models, the former pleasure craft, had tanks where those aboard her, would lay down in them, rather then stand. With a soft hiss, the clear top and sides slide away, opening the rest of his ship to the naked captain.

Matthew's chest was wracked with heavy coughs, as he sat up and swung his legs over the side of the tank. His lungs were trying to clear themselves of left over gel, which he spit out like a large glob of phlegm. Wiping off his face, he gently removed needles and sensor pads. Legs and arms stretched, flexing muscles and popping joints after the long sleep. For a moment he waited, before shoving off from the tank and wobbling around like a new born colt, trying out his legs for the first time. After a minute, his legs remember how they were suppose to work and he strolled over to the control panel.

Fingers moved slowly, as the captain set the computer to a more gentle awakening then he had. Each one of them had a smaller, private room, to sleep in, so they didn't have to wake up naked with each other. Each room had robe or towel, waiting for them, so they could enter the locker room decent and cross to the gender separated showers, to clean off the gel, still coating their bodies. Or they could be like the captain and walk around naked, their choice really.

His first task done, Jäger turned away from the console, where all life signs showed green and stepped into the showers. A cloud of steam drifted through the locker room, as he stepped back out and opened the one marked with his name. He could feel the crew waking, as he pulled on his clothing and stepped out into the ship proper. The gravity was low through most of the ship, about half Terran, save in the exercise chamber, which was set to almost Terran. Each step was almost a leap, as he moved up the main corridor, to the bridge.

Sitting comfortably in the command seat, he watched as the main computer did a system's check. Everything looked fine, life support was normal, nav computer was online, scanners showed nothing around them, ion sail had engaged, the electromagnetic torpedo launcher reported loaded and ready, each of the three balloon turrets looked armed, so on and so forth but he'd wait for his crew to check out each system on it's own. After they all gathered and reported in, he'd tell them about how he planned to finish this job and maybe about their other cargo.

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Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: Michaline T'Brook
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Michaline could feel the touch of anthers' presence at the very back of her mind. Somewhere in her subconscious she knew exactly who it was, but in the dream-state, she didn't bother exploring. It was only when that presence was ripped away did her mind sense the fact that they were waking up, and she along with them. Michaline sat up coughing. She swore under her breath. It was the same every time, for the past two years. Jager did it to her every time they were in cryo-stasis. She knew that it wasn't really his fault, but it pissed her off. Why can't he just stay in his own damn mind?

As far as she knew, she was the only one of the crew who even knew Jager had any sort of mind abilities. He preferred it that way, and would have preferred that she not know herself, but the relationship that Jager and Michaline shared was a different sort of bond. A strong friendship that border-lined on chaotic argumentation and a fierce determination that the two had each others' backs, which they did.

With a sigh, she wandered off to the showers, not bothering with the robe. Jager was done already, and none of the others would be up yet. Her left foot made a metalic clinking the whole way to the showers. Mic did her best to get the gel out of the parts, but she'd have to do a deep cleaning later, to make sure no gel stuck to the inner workings of it.

After cleaning, she wandered out to the bridge, her leg in one hand and her cleaning kit in the other. Her grey eyes floated over the screen. All weapons system a check and go. With a small sigh, she sat down, taking her leg apart piece by piece, only acknowledging Jager after she had completely dismantled it.

"One of these days that gel is gonna eat this leg through, and then you're going to buy me the replacement, Jager."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely Character Portrait: Michaline T'Brook Character Portrait: Jensen Gables
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Deirdre felt the gel begin to drain as she slowly woke. Her face contorted into a mask half way between disgust and nausea. The gel was never her favourite thing. She wasn't really sure anyone liked it.

As the lid opened, Deirdre sat up quickly. Immediately she stood, slipping into the small gap as the lid continued the slow motion opening. It was almost as if the machine liked to torture those inside by taking its time or maybe the captain had set it up that way as some cruel joke on his crew.

Practically hopping out of the tank she began to shake her limbs, attempting to free them from the excess goo. It would have to be cleaned up but she didn't care. Deirdre just wanted it off of her skin, now. The movement reminded her body to breathe and the first breath was a choking one followed by her propping herself against the now fully opened tank and gagging.

“Fuck!” Deirdre spit and then stuck a finger into her mouth. She ran the digit around her gums and lips in an attempt to find any lingering globs of the stuff. Her rainbow coloured hair stuck to her face as she leaned over. Wiping the hair away from where it stuck to her cheek she grimaced again. The feel was horrid.

Naked, focused on wanting to be clean rather than caring about her appearance Deirdre stalked into the showers. The hot water rushed over her and she took a great deal of time to clean the gel from every part of her body.

A large sigh of contentment echoed off the shower walls as Deirdre turned off the water and stepped out to dry herself off. This she didn't mind. The bathroom facilities were nicer than many of the other ships she had flown on. Deirdre wrapped the towel around her hair and exited the shower. A toss of the towel into the laundry basket it left her enjoying the air on her skin.

Pulling on her tank top, her leggings and boots she began to consider the situation she found herself in. Not quite a month ago, annoyed after leaving yet another ship and having lost a great deal of money Deirdre had walked into a poker game that put her in the present situation. She had been so sure of her hand when she had bet her contract as a pilot. She still wasn't sure how she had lost but lost she had which found her here.

In her short time aboard the Gryphon she had flown them to the gap, survived a gap sleep, had flown them to pick up the cargo and then flew them back out towards the drop off point. This wakening was the second gap sleep of this particular journey. It wouldn't be long before they were landing, dropping the cargo and hopefully picking up a new contract.

As she pulled on her t-shirt Deirdre considered the crew she was now working with. She really hadn't gotten to see much since the pick up was short and the gap sleeps had taken most of their time since she had come aboard but she hoped they were at least as half way decent as they seemed. She knew she was a damn good pilot and there was nothing worse than a good pilot with a shitty crew.

There was the woman, Michaline. In charge of security and the weapons. She seemed to suit the part. Her twin, James she had no real thoughts on just yet as her interactions with him had been limited to a curt hello.

The navigator was the one she had to deal with the most so far. Jensen was sarcastic, brash and tended to joke. It seemed as if the two would need time to feel each other out more. He had treated her cooly as if her presence was not appreciated. Deirdre on the other hand did not care if he wanted her there or not. So far the atmosphere between them was one of basic acceptance.

“Need to remember to ask Jager what happened to their last pilot...” She had been meaning to ask him since he won her in the card game.

Deirdre brushed the long multi-coloured strands of hair that hung to her waist. Jager. She didn't know how he had done it but he had bested her. There was something nagging at the back of her mind and she simply couldn't figure out what it was. Something about the way he would look at the other players at the table, as if he knew whether or not they were bluffing. When she had watched the others, as every good poker player does she couldn't find the tells that he seemed to be reading. It had to be something else.

One last check in the mirror, Deirdre grabbed her elastic and slipped it on her wrist. She left the room and walked towards the bridge. As she neared it she smiled. The bridge was the one place she felt the most at home on any ship. No two ships handled the same but the bridge with her seat was always like settling into a favourite pair of boots. It was just right.

Voices bantered and joked as she entered. The all clear was also given. Heading to her chair she sat, slid her elastic off her wrist and tied up her hair. The rainbow was swept up into a loose ponytail as Deirdre readied herself. Smooth sailing.

“Ready to bring her in.”

Deidre smiled as her hands were placed on the controls. Her bright eyes sparkled in her enjoyment. Anyone looking at her now would think her the happiest person they had ever seen but it was only in this instance, when she was ready to guide a ship in that Deirdre knew such excitement. She had been searching her whole life for something that could rival the feeling. So far nothing compared.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: James T'Brook Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely Character Portrait: Michaline T'Brook Character Portrait: Jensen Gables
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Gap sleep was different for each individual, but James T'Brook theorized that his experience was typically unique, though that could be human narcisscism talking. However, the fact remained that despite the attitudes of his fellow crewmates, he enjoyed it. There was still much about Gap Travel that the Hegemony's greatest minds still didn't understand and James was different. For most people, their consciousness was limited to their Gap-tank or within their own subconscious. James', however, expanded.

He did not know what it was about the wormhole that made it possible, but the signal of the computer portion of his brain grew stronger as they traveled through the Gap. Perhaps it was because they were neither here nor there, but his brain became aware of the signals of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousand's of computers and machinery. He could hear the codes they broadcasted throughout his entire being from the binary of the Hegemony to the more instinctive code of the Gir Empire's machines to codes that no one yet knew about. Sometimes, he thought he heard the codes of organic consciousness, perhaps other cyborgs such as him. Then there was the message he received. The same one everytime.

01001111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110101 01110011 00100000 01100010 01110101 01110100 00100000 01100100 01101001 01100110 01100110 01100101 01110010 01100101 01101110 01110100

One of us, but different.

He had tried explaining this to his sister, about the longing he felt at that simple transmission. The alien, but familiar feeling of it. He hoped she understood his excitement. Someone should.

With a sigh, he felt the Nimble Griphon exit Gap space. His tank opened and he stepped out, fighting the urge to reject the oxygen rich gel within his body and to keep his legs study before muscle memory kicked in. He chose to put on his robe, though his body was not unattractive and each of his body parts were healthy-looking. It was simply impolite to walk around naked in front of people who were not members of his family. He quickly walked towards the shower rooms and cleansed himself of the gel while spitting out any of it remaining in him.

After dressing himself, he headed for the bridge of the ship and found he was the fourth one to enter, shortly after Jensen. Had he been so absorbed in the Gap that he hadn't risen in time? Sometimes, it was hard to tell. He smiled politely at Jensen when he heard his comment.

"My sister does not currently have any gambling debts registered in the systems of either legal or underground casinos, race tracks, fight clubs, or brothels. However, I cannot speak for Captain Jager. His name is blacklisted in two dozen establishments," he reported. He smiled slightly and closed his eyes before continuing, "The ship's computer is working at 100% capacity. Firewalls are triple-layered and system scramblers stand ready to interfere with law enforcement equipment."

He paused for a moment, considering recent security footage, "Michaline, please walk around the ship with your robe on. I do not need to see it when I check for the security cams."

He glanced at Captain Jager and Jensen, "That goes for you both. Jensen seems to have gained 1.5 pounds since last jump. Deirdre..."

He blushed slightly, showing human embarrassment for the first time since he awoke, "Is in fit condtion..."

He bowed his head slightly, "I apologize for any invasion of privacy. I always check the security cams."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: James T'Brook Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely Character Portrait: Michaline T'Brook Character Portrait: Jensen Gables
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Jäger was reading news feeds off the local data net, when the first of his crew arrive on the bridge of his converted yacht. It would appear that the political situation within the system had changed while the crew was sleeping, turning from degrading standoff to almost open warfare. One could hardly wonder that the administration Wadda, had place a large order of medical supplies, most of which had already been shipped in by bulk carriers, things like miles of bandages and heart monitors. However, there were a few things that required a smaller, faster ship to move them, things like drugs stored in powered cases, keeping them from turning toxic. Experimental or ones with limited testing, for which a war might prove them or could be used to sweep the formula under the rug for good.

He smiled slightly, as Michaline slipped into her seat. With the low gravity, it wasn't as hard for someone carrying their own leg, to move about and not fall over. Not as easy to move around as someone with two legs but not impossible. Kinda funny to watch but not with someone like Mic, who might hurt you, if you laughed at her. He could almost hear her thoughts, as she checked the weapon control panel and was content with the all green lights. She knew that he would want her to go physically check them, once her leg was taken care of. The torpedo wouldn't be that hard but the balloon turrets would be. Each one was decent sized sphere, with a heavy autocannon build into it and an ammo hopper, attached to the ship by a strong cable. They were launched from compartments built in and hidden in the hull. The turrets had two mods for firing, the first was to allow small AIs to control the guns, base off of information the main computer sent them or they could be remotely controlled from the bridge.

The captain’s smile only widened, as the rest of the crew filed in and the banter began. He had to focus on his new feeds, to keep his abilities from skimming across the suddenly very “vocal” minds around him. Resistance and rebel forces infested Wadda, local government troops were trying to control or contain the situation but it was very clear that a larger power needed to step in. Propaganda from both sides blared across the local data net, denouncing each other and calling for the people to rally behind their personal causes. Rumors flew about pirates posing as rebels or local law enforcement stopping ships and stealing their cargo.

“You know Mic” said Matthew, smiling and pulling a pack of cards from a pocket in his coat, “Your contract doesn’t cover replacements limbs but I would be happy to play for the amount of a new leg.”

He chuckled, as the cards shifted in his hands. Of course neither of the twins would gamble with him anymore, two years about his ship had taught them at it wasn’t a good idea. If the captain didn’t want to lose, he generally didn’t and it was very hard to bluff him. Something the ship’s new pilot was likely on the verge of discovering for herself and that Jensen had more then likely been warned about. Of course, he did lose sometimes, some people just could be really bold and catch him by surprise.

“Jensen” said Jäger, “Deirdre, I’m seeing a lot of reports about pirates and rebels causing trouble in this system. I want you two to bring us to a rendezvous point with a friend of mine. He was suppose to coming into the system a day ago, flying a Number 5 Hull. Numbers might keep trouble from bothering us but if not, we can leave him as bait.”

He chuckled softly. Of course, he couldn’t leave Franz Malhotra as pirate bait, seeing as he was hauling a majority of the special cargo they had been hired to bring in. Of course, only one other person knew that and Mic knew the rules, she wasn’t suppose to say anything to the rest of the crew, even her brother, until the captain made the announcement. Most of the time, his crew would never know they were running anything until there was a nice fat bonus in their share of the pay off. Not telling them served a dual purpose. For one thing, if they got boarded and questioned, they couldn’t give away they were moving illegal goods. For another, if he was found out, the Hegemony wouldn’t jail them.

The captain glanced at the local starchart. There were three wormholes in the system, two of them were what are called Common Wormholes, which were found in every system and could be used in only one direction. The third, found on the other side of Rud'bul, was what was called a Grand Wormhole, which could be used to enter and leave the system and could be connected to multiple stars.

“And James” added Matthew, chuckling, “Its my ship, I’ll walk around buck naked if I want to and so can your sister.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: James T'Brook Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely Character Portrait: Michaline T'Brook Character Portrait: Jensen Gables
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Michaline snorted twice, once when her brother reprimanded her for walking around naked, and then again when Jager justified her. "And who ever said I need you to fight my battles for me, Jager? Our roles seemed quite the reverse when we met, no?" A slightly cynical smile stretched across her face, but it vanished once she put her leg back together. She winced when she reconnected it. It always hurt like hell, and she still wasn't completely used to it, even after twelve years. But then, Michaline was never one to cry or give up due to pain. The girl was a survivor, and had proved it many times over.

She stood up, testing the prosthetic, moving each toe, and all the joints. Finally, she shoved her camo pants down over it and stuck her boot back on, and made her way out to the main weapons control. The less minds in there with Jager the better, especially right after Gap-sleep. She did all her routine check-ups, her mind elsewhere. Unbidden, she thought back to the night before the crew had entered Gap-sleep.

"Do you remember the first time?"

Mic had made a soft noise into the darkness. "Like hell I do. Who remembers the first time they entered Gap-sleep? I suppose you would, but I don't. All I can ever remember is trying to keep you away from my mind."

"Always so touchy and closed-off...but that wasn't what I meant."
He chuckled softly.

At that point, she had been grateful for the darkness, because she had blushed. Yes, she remembered that first time. She remembered every detail. She turned away from him. "You probably know the answer to that question if you were paying close enough attention."

She smiled slightly, even though the memory was both pleasing and annoying. Two years aboard the Gryphon had taught Michaline a lot, including that her first impression of Jager when she had discovered he'd lied to her had been wrong. He was a better man than she had given him credit for, and being true to his word, he had never lied to her since. He always told her the full details of every mission, so far as she gave her word not to tell any of the rest of the crew, even James. She had agreed, and both partied had kept up their end of the bargain. Mic had heard quite a bit of Maholtra. She hadn't met him yet, so she had no opinion of him.

Without even thinking about it, she pulled the tool kit from her waistline and began tuning-up the weapons and their systems. She always did this, whether they were fine or not. This kept them good, and kept her mind from wandering. Or at least, it used to. Now she just thought too much.

She smiled again slightly to herself. Sometimes that was a good thing.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: James T'Brook Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely Character Portrait: Michaline T'Brook Character Portrait: Jensen Gables
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Her laughter, barely contained came out as a snort as James commented on his sister and the captain's state of dress as well as the navigator's weight. She turned her eyes to the man as he commented on her “condition.”

A small smirk formed as James appeared to blush and look away. “No issues by me, we all got jobs to do. You say it is part of yours and I won't argue.” Deirdre gave him a wink.

The sound of shuffling cards made her eyes narrow. “I think I need to get off this bloody ship. Make the run and then see if I can convince him to let my contract go.” Deirdre began to think about the best way to go about disengaging herself from a captain who seemed to make it a habit of gambling for his crew. While she loved a good game as the rest, Deirdre wasn't entirely convinced it made for good crew loyalty.

Deirdre nodded to Jager's command, “Aye.” The captain was meeting up with a friend. “Wonder if it is the other captain we played cards with? Malhatr? Mahtor? Whatever....wonder what his ship is like?” Deirdre's mind wandered to the card game. Both men had been playing when she arrived, both had tried for her contract, Jager was just the one to win.

Something suddenly clicked in her mind. “Wait a sec...both men were playing for a pilot's contract...what the hell are they doing to their pilots?”

Deirdre turned slightly to look at her captain. He seemed easy going enough. “Gotta find out about the old pilot. Find out what the hell I am in for with these people and get the hell out.”

With a slight shake of her head, rainbow ponytail swinging a little she glanced at the navigator. Deirdre waited to see what the man had to say as far as coordinates and possible issues with the area they were flying into. He couldn't predict possible attacks but he could plot out a decent route with easy escape routes.

Before Jensen could say anything though, Deirdre heard the captain tease James, a mock reprimand about asking them to dress. She raised an eyebrow as Jager came to the woman's defense. Michaline didn't look like the type that needed a man to stand up for her and yet...Jager had been quick to it.

“Couple. Makes sense.” Deirdre again recalled the poker game, the night she had met Matthew Jager. He may have been the type she'd have taken to bed for fun but she was so angry at the loss of her contract that Deirdre had stormed away from the table at the end of the hand.

Her anger was taken out with another body that night but now it seemed that she saved herself a good deal of grief as well. Nothing worse than getting on a crew to find out you had stepped on toes before ever flying a mission. Deirdre had made that mistake before and wasn't keen to repeat it. She didn't really care if she pissed people off it just tended to make a job easier if she wasn't hated right off the bat. “Let them get to know you, they'll hate you in enough time.” A smile formed at the thought of Naitre's advice. He was never one to have "friends" and he didn't go out of his way to play nice.

Deirdre frowned slightly at Michaline's response. There was history between she and the captain, that much was for sure. Her own thoughts drifted unbidden to Theo and their own back and forth. A shrug of her shoulders, an exhale of frustration and Deirdre dismissed it all.

Deirdre turned to face Jensen, “So give me a route and I'll fly her in. If we are looking at pirates and the like then give me a few alternates too and we will go from there.” She gave him a small nod. She wasn't sure just how much to spell out for him, she hoped though he would prove half way decent in his job if and when things got stressful.

Her hands slid along the controls, itching to release the power and to see how this ship flew. Her heart was pounding and her breathing was slightly erratic. It was like this every time before she got to fly. The anticipation was sweet as it heralded the rush that was to come.

“I love this...” It was the only thought on her mind as she looked out onto the stars, her face peaceful and waited for the flight plan.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely Character Portrait: Jensen Gables
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#, as written by Cypher
"Yes, captain, we get it, your ship, your rules. And we all know you cheat at cards, but whatever, whatever, you get this one." Jensen raised one hand in mock-exasperation, throwing his head back in defeat. His other hand was still locked into the port by his Icepick, and as he spoke, his mind wandered through the systems of the ship's navigational computers. Gables, still clueless about his captain's telepathy, made no effort to hide his current thoughts; mostly because they were nowhere near incriminating for everything:

'Navigational compass oriented to G-North, velocity reporting oh-point-two-four C, heading oh-nine-zero... No signs of gravitational anomalies, no other ship signals in the area--scratch that, Number Five Hull, bearing one-eight-zero... Didn't the cap say we were meeting a Number Five at the RV point?'

Jensen's face creased as he removed his Icepick from the port on his console. "Cap," he grunted, "Did you say we were meeting up with a Number Five at the RV point? The relay nearest us says we've got a couple dozen Number Fives in Rud'bul, but I couldn't get a bead on their ID signatures." He shrugged. "Damn freedom of information laws."

Gables glanced back at the pilot's chair before he jacked back into the computer. Dierdre had mentioned she was bringing the ship in; and Jensen halfheartedly muttered something along the lines of, "well just do it already then; quit stalling" before he settled back into the difficult job of plotting a course through a mostly unsettled system. What in the hell did she think she was doing anyways? Less than two weeks ago it had been another pilot sitting in that chair, and one of Jensen's best friends at that. He and Jensen had been thick as thieves; a bond forged through the typical co-dependence that pilots and navigators displayed, a bond that was forged through blood, sweat, and more than a little grain alcohol. That chair had been the seat of a man whom had played Texas Hold'em with Jager and Gables every time the Big Three convened for their annual game; a game that had been put on hold indefinitely. That chair held a man who had carried Jensen out of a fire in the Gryphon's engine suite when a coolant leak sprung up that only Jensen could fix.

That chair held a dead man's spirit now, and Dierdre was sitting on it. Jensen was more than a little bitter at her. He knew it was childish, he knew it was petty, but dammit, as far as he was concerned, nobody could be a better pilot than Bloc was. He scowled inwardly, and returned to his duty.

'Asteroid adrift from the field off starboard. Diverting course, altering heading to oh-seven-three to avoid collision. Keep up, Dee; you may have impressed the captain, but you're sitting right in Bloc's shadow.'

The silence was broken, as if on cue, by Deirdre's voice. Jensen separated from the computer again, his voice atonal, his eyes distant. "There's a 'roid adrift in the system and it's across our course, Dee. Alter bearing to oh-seven-three, follow my waypoint, then divert back to oh-nine-oh and continue to the RV." He smiled cockily, a shadow of his former self, before plugging back in. "try not to schmear us across the surface of that asteroid; I like my parts attached and inside me, thank'ee very much."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Matthew Jäger Character Portrait: James T'Brook Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely Character Portrait: Michaline T'Brook Character Portrait: Jensen Gables
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"I cannot control how you behave, but my sister should know better than to walk around naked in a gambling degenerate's ship. No offense," James told Jager with a slight smile. They both knew he didn't mean what he said about him. They had flown into danger and death for nothing more than a fistful of credits for years now and James trusted him with his and Michaline's life. However, he frowned as his brain analyzed the looks the two were giving each other. Physical attraction brought on by hormones? No... Mich is too smart for that, he thought, barely containing a shudder. The thought of his sister dating and even... touching and being touched by a strange man, even if he was his friend, disturbed him. On one hand, he shouldn't be surprised. His computerized portion of his brain assured him that it was perfectly normal, but then he questioned how Jager would provide for her. How would he treat her once their relationship normalized? Neither he nor Mich opened up to many people, but that mad the people they did open up to nearer and dearer to their hearts. If Jager harmed his sister.... He'd have to talk to Mich soon.

At Deidre's comments, he couldn't help but blush once again, possibly as a result of organic hormones. He smiled slightly at her and, after calming himself, replied, "Then I shall continue to monitor your condition, Ms. Sheely." He winked at her in response, a rare show of emotion on his part, but then, Mich was always telling him that he needed act more human and less like a machine.

At Jensen's comments, James again activated his own internal computer and accessed the ship's AI, if it could be called that. Several safeguards and limiters prevented the AI's from reaching true sentience, not to mention the lack of memory and internal processors necessary for reaching true sentience in the first place. Perhaps, if he found the right tech, he could rig up a true sentient AI. The thought cheered him. After a moment, he raised an eyebrow.

"Mr. Gables, cheating is a relative term. I believe Captain Jager refers to his actions as "intelligence". Also, Hegemony studies in human psychology state that the functioning of the ship is improved by .951% and the integration of new crewmembers in harmony with the rest of the crew by 5.5103%," James stated, though not without sympathy. The previous pilot was a good man and an excellent pilot, "We will not forget Ms. Sheely's predecessor, Jensen."