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A Sad, Sad Place


a part of Martyrium, by Iye Khara.


Iye Khara holds sovereignty over A Sad, Sad Place, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

622 readers have been here.


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A Sad, Sad Place is a part of Martyrium.

6 Characters Here

Zack Archer [10] "Looks like trouble... I'll take care of it. Jag, take care of it."
Aranoth [9] "Ah yes, here's your problem... the device hasn't even been switched on."
Salis Hunar [7] Careful! Don't get your blood all over my stuff, now sit the fuck down so I can stitch you up!
Tyraus Ravia Pratix [6] "We've got a job to do."
Jag [3]
Avis Kaine [3] "Nothing more satisfying than a clean kill from half a mile away."

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7 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin-Naera Character Portrait: Tyraus Ravia Pratix Character Portrait: Zack Archer Character Portrait: Salis Hunar Character Portrait: Aranoth Character Portrait: Jag Character Portrait: Avis Kaine
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#, as written by Savader

A long, long time from now...

Actually, it's not really that far into the future...

In a galaxy far, far away...

Wait, that's not right either...

It's THIS galaxy...

Yeah, this one...

The one with the spiral, or whatever...


Well here we are, folks... The beginning of the story... The moment that started it all... Well, maybe not all of it, I mean, I'm not the guy who created the universe-- I'm just the guy who wrote this little introduction to an epic tale following a ragtag group of mercenaries doing whatever the hell they please throughout the Milky Way Galaxy IN that universe. No... No, that other guy was God. God did that. I'm not God. If you want creativity, then go and talk to that jerk. But hey, thanks for reminding me of my insecurities! Assholes... Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah; The beginning of a...really long journey...filled with...epic...stuff-- OKAY, YOU KNOW WHAT? FUCK THIS SHIT. JUST... Here it is...

It was a rather boring day for one particular crew of mercenaries that were currently stationed at a sad, sad place, in their equally sad, sad ship, doing God only knows what. One of them, however, was very clearly snoring quite loudly with the side of his face stuck to a desk thanks to the help of his own spit. In one hand, he held a near-empty bottle of whiskey. In the other? Well...that one... That one was digging around in the front of his pants. Again; doing God only knows what... This man, who was not unlike the common lowlife of a man you'd regularly find in any dysfunctional family's study each night after getting drunk for no other reason than simply because "fuck you", was none other than Captain Zack Archer: founder and current leader of the widely unknown mercenary business, The Second Horsemen. But hey, at least the name is cool. How many better names for a mercenary group can you think of other than the second horseman of the apocalypse? None, that's how many! Well, probably none aside from the actual horseman's name, War -- but that was already taken by another group known as War & Ruin, so fuck you anyway! Know why? Because that group doesn't have Captain "Mother-Fucking" Archer on-board their ship, now do they! No, they do NOT. And he's fucked a LOT of mothers, most likely, so deal with it!

So there was Archer, sleeping his troubles away without a care in the world. Wait, that doesn't sound right... If he's got troubles to sleep away, then doesn't that mean he's caring enough about them to do so...? Ahhh, that's right-- he's sleeping his cares away without trouble! What was I thinking? The Second Horsemen don't have any "troubles". Least not yet, anyway... Well, that was more-or-less the run-down of an average morning for Captain Zack Archer. A killer hangover from the now-passed Sunday night. Which meant that today was Monday. Which meant that something terrible was about to happen. Because Archer totally forgot all about it until that terrible something reminded him that it was so incredibly terrible.

The phone rang...

Well, it was the future, so it wasn't really a 'phone' phone, but rather the thing that acted as our sense of the word's replacement, which was in the form of an inter-galactic bridge of communication networks stretching across to every corner of the Milky Way Galaxy. In other words, a fancy-ass cellphone. But I'm going to call it the "holophone". So yeah-- suddenly, the "holophone" rang. And it was loud. At first, Archer just kinda grunted slightly, trying to turn his head the other way, only to give up because his face was too damn stuck to the surface of the desk he never used for anything other than...well, that. Then again, there was the occasional female bartender he'd pick up and bring back here from time-to-time... Anyway, as the "holophone" continued to ring, the orange light from the Caller ID's 3D hologram flashed the name of one of his clients, which illuminated the immediate area. This bright light was beginning to annoy the young captain, although he still managed to fight it with a scowl and a grit of his teeth.

Because someone on his ship chose to change the settings of his "holophone" so that it would continue to ring louder and louder each time he didn't pick it up; by the 4th ring, Archer was practically screaming inside his head, telling himself to 'Just pick the damn thing up already!' However, being Archer, he didn't actually give in until the 7th ring -- which was a good thing he did, too, because if he would have waited even one more second, he would have lost his chance at what was supposed to be their biggest job to date!

"HWAT!?" he yelled, rather stupidly, dropping the bottle of whiskey after forcefully ripping his face off of the desk. "D'YOU rEALIZE WHaT TiMe" Pausing to check the time on his holophone with squinted eyes, Archer nearly vomited all over his desk, but somehow managed to keep it down for the time being. "S'like... 12 iN the afTeRNOon, bro...!" he grunted into the receiver, burping a little. The voice that spoke from the other end of the connection sounded rather annoyed with Archer's usual lack of professionalism.

"Yeah, today's the day, asshole." said the client. "You know, THE day... I'm gonna need you guys out here to pick up the package within the next couple 'a hours, or else I've been told told to pass the job off to someone who can tell me with certainty what fuckin' day it is..." Archer merely scowled in disbelief before looking to his right at the calendar on his wall.

"Well I'm certain you it was on...MONDAY..." hiccuped Archer, looking ahead once more with a slight wobble. What happened next nearly made him drop the "holophone" out of startle.

"IT IS MONDAY, YOU JACKASS!!" screamed the client. "Now sober the FUCK UP, get DOWN HERE, and DELIVER THE PACKAGE!" With each raise in emphasis, Archer pulled his ear away from the receiver, creating something of a comical head-wag.

"O-Okay, okay! Jeez... You don't to yell--" began Archer, only to be cutoff by the sound of his client hanging up on him. "H... Hello...? Pssht, little bitch hung up on me...!" Turning off the "holophone" and setting it down on the desk he was now propping his elbows on top of, Archer sighed and rubbed his hands over his face. Trying to kick his thoughts into overdrive so that he could remember how important this job was supposed to be, Archer just sat there, barely breathing. And then it started coming back to him... For over a month, Archer had been promised a "special job", as it were, by a reliable client that would regularly get him jobs from various groups and other businesses. However, this one was said to be completely anonymous; Archer's client telling him how little he knew of them himself, other than the fact that they always pay well. This job in particular required some sort of package to be picked up and delivered to the mother ship and home of the Xilass race: The Dephdra. Until a week ago, Archer was beginning to lose hope, as most everyone on his ship figured he was spouting the regular nonsense that came out of his mouth each day, since there had yet to be any "big" or "special" jobs. The job itself was easy enough: Archer needed to swing by The Dephrdra again anyway in order to keep his promise with a certain Xilass crew member of his, so there was nothing all that "special" about it... And then he remembered the best part. The main reason why he accepted the offer back when he was first told about it.

"THE PAY!!" he suddenly shouted, waking up the female bartender that was crashing on the floor beside him. Her shout having made him give out a rather high-pitched scream of his own as he turned his head to look at the bizarre creature that was capable of making such a sound. Pausing for a moment to look at her, he scowled. "The fuck are YOU still doing here...?" he asked her in a strained voice. Her reaction to such words was less than pleased.

"Well, excuse ME for not being able to walk home after last night!" she sassed back at him. That's when they both smiled at each other, Archer giving her a nod.

"That good, huh?" he asked with a suave tone of voice.

"Oh, yeah~" she replied, giving him a suggestive look, by which Archer just leaned back in his chair, one arm over it as he stared at her until his smile began to fade.

"Well that doesn't quite answer my question, now does it!" he gradually shouted back at her, making her flinch slightly. "You can walk NOW, can'tcha'?! So get the fuck off my ship! I've got important mercenary crap to do here!" Finishing with that, he stood up and walked over to his coffee pot next to the sink. Scoffing, the female bartender stood up, albeit weakly at first, before moving towards the cabin door.

"Fuck YOU, Archer!" she said back, giving him the finger.

"Too bad you already beat me to it, lady!" said Archer, waving the back of his hand at her in farewell as he poured himself a cup of fresh coffee while the woman growled at him before leaving. There was nothing like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning to Archer... Well, it was 12 in the afternoon, but that wasn't the point. Taking a few sips of the delicious concoction, he let out a satisfied sigh, walking back over to his desk to sit down once more. Head still pounding quite fiercely, he took a couple of sips more, already thinking that he would be needing a bit of the hair of the dog that bit him in order to make a comeback from last night's binge. But instead, he figured he had better get to work, so to speak...

Leaning over his desk a bit, one hand grasping the handle of his mug while the other stretched out its index finger to click in the ship's intercom system. Speaking into the mic, Archer made his first announcement of the day.

"Well... It's that time of the day once again, kiddies." he started, his voice low and soft over the ship's speakers; evidence that he was suffering from yet another hangover. "Just got off the phone with one of our top clients... Looks like that big job I mentioned awhile back is happening. Like, right now. That means it's time to WAKE UP, you lazy sacks of shit! Ow... It's time to go to work! Hnng... Let's get Rev started up and heading for planet Alta Jarvis, located in the...Centaur Region. Don't keep papa waiting! Guh..." Finally done torturing himself with the sound of his own loud voice, Archer took his finger off the switch to the intercom. And then, on cue, one of the hands stopped while passing by his doorway.

"Archer, dear." she said, pausing to give him a look. "It's 12 in the afternoon; the only one who hasn't already been awake since morning is you..." At this, Archer made note of two things: 1, that bitch bartender left his door wide open, and 2, Kelly was looking rather hot today for someone who wasn't even compatible with his species.

"I know, Kelly." replied Archer. "I was just doing the 'professional' thing for once." Taking another sip of his coffee, he then kicked back with his legs up on the desk, looking relaxed. "By the way; your ass is looking especially awesome today."

"My name's not 'Kelly'..." she said with a bored tone, giving the impression that she'd told him this many times before. "It's Kei'Hally..." Placing her hands on her hips, she blatantly ignored his 'observation'.

"Knew that too, Kelly." said Archer, giving her a tilted nod while looking away from her. This just made Kei'Hally smile wryly and roll her eyes before hanging her head back in defeat as she walked away. Things were looking good, Archer thought to himself as he finished his first cup of coffee. By then, Rin-Naera should have already been prepping the ship for departure just as the bartender finally left, and the others would be getting ready for any problematic situations that may arise to meet them in the near future. For while Archer's crew knew how much nonsense he spewed out each new day to be his regular thing, and no matter how much they figured on this "big job" having been just another one of those things, they also knew one very important thing: Archer never joked about a job...

They knew it was go-time.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zack Archer Character Portrait: Salis Hunar
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#, as written by Falron

It was your average morning aboard the ship for a certain Tatari woman... or what passed for normal aboard the vessel. Salis pulled on a vest, hand reaching up to pull the braid out before she left her small living quarters, entering the infirmary of the less than infamous Second Horseman. The medical facility was easily one of the dodgiest that Salis had ever set her eyes on... but in retrospect, there weren't many that she had actually seen. A quick sweep of the place informed the woman that no one had rummaged through the medicines for their hangover cure, which meant that Archer was probably still passed out somewhere on the ship with whatever woman he'd found on the station they were docked at.

Rolling her eyes she walked about her area, cleaning up loose ends, eyes drawn to anything that she deemed out of place. Once complete Salis made her way towards the canteen, noting how, as usual, the hallways were filled with minimal activity. They didn't have a job to do, the Captain passed out somewhere on the ship and nothing better to do than throw tennis balls at the wall. But could you really expect something more... active from a mercenary group that could barely get its shit together long enough to do a job and get paid.... Not really, but they all hoped that it would.

As she entered the canteen and collected her breakfast, the appearance of the meal making her nose wrinkle slightly, a gesture she was getting used to, she noticed how empty and quiet the place was without people drinking and making more noise than should be considered healthy. It was a silence that the Tatari woman enjoyed above the sound of raucous and drunken laughter that seemed to permeate the air of the ship too often for her tastes.

She sat there long after her meal was finished, enjoying the rare quiet of the canteen. Archer had been going on an on about a super special job that they would be getting, he didn't say when or what the fuck it was... but he pressed the importance of the pay every chance he got. And Salis (with majority of the crew) had begun believing that this "job" was just a way for the Captain to keep the morale of the crew up... The longer the charade went on the more he was failing at it.

As noon neared Salis found herself wandering back to her infirmary, back to her domain. As usual, it was deserted save for herself. To keep herself busy, and by extent from going bat-shit crazy, Salis did an inventory check, opening every cupboard and draw in sight. It was during this menial and downright dull task Archer's hungover and relatively soft voice graced the airways with its message. She stared at the nearest speakers with a slightly amused expression until the job was mentioned. So Archer hadn't been full of shit when he'd been talking about it? Fuck, Salis probably owed the guy an apology now for not believing him earlier. As his message ended with a groan of pain Salis was quick to finish her job, closing everything she'd left ajar with a grin on her face.

They were off to another job... a job that, if Archer was to be believed, would pay very well. She just hoped it wasn't something that would get them killed.

1 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Avis Kaine
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Avis's eyes were fixated to the glow of his computer screen, swiftly synchronizing the motions of his digipad and holoboard hands. Blinking a few times, he used his heel to dig at an itch on his ankle that he couldn’t be bothered to pay any attention to. “Seth,” he spoke into the monitor's mic. “Behind you, dude. Like, right behind you.”

“Barely got him,” came the reply a moment later.

“I’m surprised you didn’t notice,” he laughed. “He tried to hit you with a shotgun when he was tailing you earlier but he completely missed.”

“Yeah, that’s probably because I lowered the sound by a bit. I swear, the new speakers I got are great and all, but they’re obnoxiously loud. I think I undershot the volume trying to balance out the ear-splitting audio.”

“Excuses, excuses," Avis grinned. Despite being a hardcore VR gamer, there was a certain charm to games played with physical hardware that couldn't be replaced. It couldn't really be called nostalgia, but the whole retro feel was a refreshing change of pace once in a while. They were entirely different experiences and, while this medium for gaming in particular was considered archaic, it was nice being able to fall into something more casual. He slightly raised his head as a message was delivered through the ship's speakers. Looks like at least half of the dumbass's brain was in working order, which was good enough for him. "Hold on, something came up. I'll get back on later, alright?"

"Now look who's the one giving excu-" Seth was cut off as Avis shut down the system, rising from his seat and taking a moment to stretch a little. Sixty three kills, fourteen assists, and zero deaths. It was a decent score, but it wasn't like he had a lot of room to complain. He quickly suited up and collapsed his sniper rifle into a manageable size, attaching the reshaped block to his belt. He'd put off his meal for long enough so he supposed that now as good a time as any to grab a bite to eat. He opened up a large footlocker and withdrew his lunch, demolishing it in several seconds. It wasn't like he was starving, but fast eating had always been a tendency that's stuck with him through the years. He liked to think of it as a skill he attained while trying to save time between his games whenever real life called and punched him in the face through the receiver.

He also produced a metal cylinder, a small handle on its lid. He inserted it into a box in the corner of his room, sporting a receptacle sized perfectly for it. He slid in the container, a sharp hissing sound emanating within. Dragging the cylinder back out, he popped the lid. The once empty container was now filled to the brim with water, which he took a generous helping of.

Avis cracked his knuckles as he headed out of his room, briefly wondering if anyone would upstage any of his global rankings by the time they got back from the job. He doubted it.

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin-Naera Character Portrait: Zack Archer Character Portrait: Salis Hunar Character Portrait: Avis Kaine
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#, as written by Rann
Fine. Archer liked chili dogs. That's normal. But ... Rin sat in her little corner of the Revenant, struggling over what was the Second Horseman's finances. And wasn't this a heck of a doozy? She let out a frustrated sigh - they were in the red now, and there wasn't much tweaking she could do. Why, exactly, did Archer need to buy so many cheap women, so much liquor, and mountains upon mountains of chili dogs? the Minagora had no idea. It was ridiculous. And yet - classic Archer. To be expected really... you couldn't separate that man from his muses no less than you could separate Jag from herself for too long. The Noxchi might end up flipping tables. And that'd ... be detrimental to the team overall. Anyways, in some of her brief moments of peace when she's not trying to help out the others, she fluttered her wings to get the cramps out of the muscles. Stretching, they felt lighter and more at ease, letting her get back to work.

She was considering talking to Archer about setting apart a portion of each mission specifically for him, so that he wasn't allowed to touch the rest of the cash. Because the Gravity Diffuser in use is still behind by two models, and they'd have to restock the spare fuel stocks pretty soon. Not to mention food, they were starting to run low, and their chef, the Ilae'Illian named Velinare, was starting to make complaints that there wasn't enough ingredients to do anything but make chili dogs, and that there was more booze than water.

She wracked her brains. There simply wasn't enough cash left over - she also wondered how the medical supplies were doing. She thought about asking Salis about how it was, but then decided against it, still not feeling entirely comfortable around her. It reminded her of her old friend, Varen - fully aware that Varen was a status thing, and not the actual name - making her mist over with melancholy. One day, she'd have to redirect the ship to go and find her. One day.

In a way that avoided the prospect of war, of course.

So. She had scouted out a few prospect jobs not too long ago... there was that one from the Xilass "The One That Brings Light and Happiness to Stray Pets Abandoned In A Dark Sad Life; Beware The Kindness" - seriously, she was glad to get a sane Xilass on the team, because those names could really get long winded fast - asking to find a stray Qunar - those fluffy things akin to kittens on the human world, except cuter - for a nice sum of cash. It was pretty mundane though, despite it being a peaceful job. The more fighty members wouldn't go for it. Particularly Jag, who might just kill the first Qunar they come across.

Maybe that job from the Minagora Orn-Minet, who'd wanted them to board his ship and act as bodyguards for one of his business trips to the Relean Sector. Incidentally, the Relean Sect was where the last estimated location of the Xilass Dephdra that left advanced tech in it's wake for every port they dock at, so that might be pretty interesting. Didn't Aranoth mention something about that a while back? The problem with this one was a more personal one though - Orn-Minet was really a controlling business man, and Rin just can't stand authority in that form, amongst others. She'd rather not have to bend to his whims. So this one probably wasn't a go either, despite the more action involved.

"Just got off the phone with one of our top clients... Looks like that big job I mentioned awhile back is happening. Like, right now. That means it's time to WAKE UP, you lazy sacks of shit! Ow... It's time to go to work! Hnng... Let's get Rev started up and heading for planet Alta Jarvis, located in the...Centaur Region. Don't keep papa waiting! Guh..."

Rin just more or less stared at the ship's speaker in mute shock. Of course Archer was Archer, but sometimes he just manages to out-Archer himself in various ways that made little sense at all. Centaur Region would set them pretty far from the current location. Rin then quickly called both "The One That Brings Light and Happiness to Stray Pets Abandoned In A Dark Sad Life; Beware The Kindness" and Orn-Minet and kindly declined their offers, saying that they found a particularly good job that'd send them quite a distance away. She did, however, invite them to message again next time they were in the area.

She doubted they would. Leaving the budget for later, Rin flitted down the halls with agile speed, almost running into Salis in the process - quickly apologizing to the Tatari before speeding off - and got to the controls room for the Revenant, essentially powering up the booster system for them to fly off at a moment's notice. The calming whirr of the power core soothed her troubled mind - they were heading out again, after all.

She quickly called Archer on her holophone.

"Uh, Archer. Ship's ready to go - if you want to fly it, or you want to make me or Aranoth fly it..." She paused, and then decided, why not? It wouldn't harm, right? "We also need to talk about the finances... again. This can wait until after the mission, however, but please don't forget. I'll update your memo for you." And so she did.

The Minagora then zoomed over to Jag's room as naturally as anything., literally bumping into Avis this time, apologizing to the well-armed gamer profusely, even bowing down a few times before flying off again. After a short debate of whether she should or shouldn't, she decided to do it, and knocked on the shiny door to her Noxchi companion's room, partly because she sort of missed her, and partly because she really needed to be around her at all times in order to make sure the Noxchi didn't start any fights with the team.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin-Naera Character Portrait: Zack Archer Character Portrait: Jag
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jag's fist slammed into the wall of her little room on the revenant well shit it wasn't even really a room the damn thing was more like the starboard observation deck of this dumb piece of shit boat but jag didn't have fucking time to dick around in the fucking quarters or whatever and besides this shit gave you like a real nice view of the stars n shit which was pretty cool but not right now cause she was pissed off as shit right now so anyway back to the whole punching the wall thing have you ever noticed just how fucking infuriating chairs are with their dumb fuckin little legs n shit they ain't even actually legs man they're just like little stick things sticking out of a gay ass platform or whatever the hell with that shit as far as jag was concerned chairs were just for pussies who were too spineless to stand or some shit frankly that whole thing made more sense the less jag thought about it

wait shit she'd been pissed off about something before she'd been pissed off about chairs wait yeah i remember now she'd been pissed off cause she'd been punching the walls again and that shit left a whole bunch'a gay little cavities in the metal surface of the starboard observation wall and archer probably didn't appreciate that shit but man fuck that little cunt dude had dumb grey hair and dumb red clothes who the fuck has grey hair anyway i mean besides like old humans apparently but fuck old humans those dumb shitheads lived like sixty years or some shit before dying a shitty ol death or whatever not like jag cause jag was a fuckin noxchi so she was totally gonna live like a thousand years or some shit wait are you tellin me i'm gonna have to deal with this shit for another thousand years


she slammed her fist into the wall again and goddammit she made another fucking hole what the shit man and goddammit the dumb little cavities weren't even like aesthetically pleasing or whatever so she didn't even and all of a sudden she was soaring over the battlefield awaiting the airdrop as the echoes of gunfire and explosions and cries of death and agony the harmonies of carnage inglorious and beside her the other widowmakers were readying their guns but she didn't have to cause she'd had her shit ready for ages now and as the military transport reached the objective, the widowmakers hurled themselves from the ship and down to the ground jag herself at the helm alighting amidst the thick of battle with outsider forces all around and without hesitation as thermal rounds pinged off their armour and their shields simply ate the laser bursts that hurtled in from all sides the widowmakers took to producing widows anew hehe yeah that'd been a fun as shit battle but fuck now she was back in the gay ass little starboard observation with a whole bunch of new craters in the walls


jag reared her fist back again to make a new hole in the wall to be pissed off as shit about when archer's stupid shitty voice filtered in through the ship-wide intercom system which only pissed jag off all the more because i dunno it was probably gonna be some totally inane shit anyway and yeah apparently the dude had just woken up which wasn't surprising cause that asshat probably spent all the previous night drinking his brain to shit because humans were fuckin dumb as shit all like yeah i should totally drink this shit that turns me into a fucking dumbass well even more of a dumbass than i already was which was probably a lot cause humans are pretty much born with skulls full of nothing but dead flies and maybe like one brain cell that managed to get through that enables them to not forget how to breath or whatever

but anyway that was all pretty irrelevant apparently they had a job which jag knew not to get all excited about cause it was probably gonna be some real asinine as shit bullshit like hey i'm too lazy to take this dumb useless thing that absolutely nobody needs and nobody gives a shit about from here to some other shitty place so i'm gonna hire a bunch of heavily armed mercenaries to do it for me instead of getting the fuck off'a my ass and doin it myself cause i'm a dickface was dickface a real thing cause man that woulda been one shitty ass mutation or whatever and fuck her skull was fucking bursting with pain even more than usual made her just wanna tear a fucker's spine out of their back and then strangle them with it but wait shit they probably woulda died the second she tore their spine out the dumb fuckin cun

a rapping at the door to the starboard observation deck drew jag's attention "for fuck sake i don't give a fucking shit fuck off dickface" but then she decided what the fuck ever so she turned around and slammed her fist into the opening mechanism but she had sense enough at least not to do it too hard cause last time she'd broken the dumb fuckin opening mechanism that shitstain of a human cunt archer had taken funds outta her pay to pay for it but then again he'd also done that to repair the holes left over from the last time she'd gotten pissed off in the starboard observation "GOD FUCK--"

Ah. So it was Rin, then. Jag fell silent mid-snarl as she turned her glare to the Minagora, one eyebrow raised, her broad shoulders relaxing somewhat and the fury twisting at her mien abating almost immediately. At Rin's very presence, that all-encompassing vehemence, even the constant internal anguish that fuelled it... was alleviated, if only slightly. Enough for the memories and the thoughts and the sights and the sounds and the sensations to stop assaulting her at every second, like an army laying siege to a fortress that, for all its pretenses of inexorable might, was gradually wearing away. Jag exhaled the first free, easy breath she'd managed in what felt like years, and stepped away from the door in case Rin wanted to come in or some shit. Fuck if she knew. Maybe she just wanted to come here and make sure Jag had heard Archer's dumb as shit hungover little announcement or whatever.

"Yeah?" Jag's voice emerged as a hard rasp, the sorta voice you'd'a figured would come out of a throat that had a bunch of razor blades shoved down it or some way metaphorical shit like that or whatever.

2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zack Archer Character Portrait: Aranoth
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Having little else to do, Aranoth was at the terminal in his quarters, since there were only so many times that he could run a maintenance check on the Revenant's systems, be they engines, gravity control, or life support. While he had no need for sleep, Aranoth enjoyed having his own room. It offered privacy, as well as a place to call home. Granted, one with very unusual neighbours, but that was neither here nor there.

What Aranoth was doing at his terminal, for the nosy types who wish to know, was research. The usual stuff. Finding out things about the behaviour of organic life. Of all the duties he had, Aranoth held this one above almost all others. However, said research was interrupted when a rather bleary message was delivered over the intercom. Well, that answered the question of when Captain Archer was going to wake up, as well as when they were going to be doing that big important job he had been talking about for so long.

Rising from his seat, the Xilass exited his quarters, locking the door with the control panel. Assuming the Captain would require him to navigate the ship, Aranoth walked down the corridors to the front end of the Revenant, where the flight controls were located, and waited outside the room. Upon reaching his destination, he called Archer on his built-in communicator. "I have reached the cockpit, Captain Archer. If you wish, I can plot a course to Alta Jarvis." Going on the fact that the Captain was having another hangover, it was likely that Aranoth would have to pilot the Revenant.

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#, as written by Messiah
Archer's voice resonated over the speakers on the ship. Tyraus could tell that he was hungover. When wasn't he hung over? The execrul had long since stopped trying to change the man deemed to be in charge of the ship. Trying to get that man to change would have been no different than trying to stop a gnirloc from hunting a klexel. It just wasn't going to happen.

"Well... It's that time of the day once again, kiddies." he began, "Just got off the phone with one of our top clients... Looks like that big job I mentioned awhile back is happening. Like, right now. That means it's time to WAKE UP, you lazy sacks of shit! Ow... It's time to go to work! Hnng... Let's get Rev started up and heading for planet Alta Jarvis, located in the...Centaur Region. Don't keep papa waiting! Guh..."

He had wondered...

The captain had been boasting of an upcoming job a lot lately. Tyraus took it for nothing more than fluff. He hadn't really counted on the job to manifest itself and had been looking for other jobs. Things had been so slow lately that he'd been entertaining the possibility of looking for other work. Of course, he had a certain loyalty to Archer and the rest of the crew, but no work means no money and no money means you might not get to eat. There had to be a point where he said enough was enough.

But, thankfully, things seemed to be looking up.

Tyraus had his quarters nearest to the armory, by the exit of the ship, as he'd taken to unofficially labeling himself the chief weapons officer while aboard the ship, just as Archer had taken to unofficially labeling himself as the captain of the ship. By this point, most of the crew was willing to trust him with their weapons, especially if they were having problems. The only notable exception was Jag. He didn't even bother trying with the noxchi crew member. That would have been as futile as trying to change Archer's self-detrimental habits.

The vaegoth execrul that shacked up by the armory rarely ventured outside of it or his room these days, except for twice a day when he went to mess to have a meal. And, even then, he rarely saw any of the other crew members. A few days ago, he came upon the tatari, Salis, in the mess, but she didn't stay long after his arrival, and no words - other than a greeting and a farewell - were exchanged. He would have to bring up her reluctance to carry or use weapons at some point. If they were going to be facing gunfire, then they may not be able to afford to have her aboard the ship. Emergencies were inevitable, and if they needed the medic in the field as soon as possible, well, it wouldn't end well.

Tyraus relished the quiet whenever he could get it. In his younger days, he would hunger for battle, to the point where he would have gone stir-crazy after a wait like this. But now, there was a certain serenity that he took in his work, making sure his own weapons and the ones in the armory were maintained.

He had spent nearly fifteen years fighting pirates in the outer rim day in and day out. A break every once in a while was rare, and now he was glad for it.

But, at the same time, if he had remained in the outer rim, he would probably still be fighting them and helping the colonies out there. Now, he was just sitting around, trying to find some way to be busy. For the first time in years, those pirates would probably now have a chance to raid those colonies. Some sacrifices had to be made, and Tyraus had to make one in order to close a certain chapter of his life that had been open since the incident that had caused his discharge.

Normally, Tyraus wasn't one to hold grudges, but he didn't like to call this a grudge. He always told himself that this was justice. It was about more than just him. It was about Averii, and Frael, and Ket, and the rest of Omega Squad. They all deserved closure on the issue.

That was another task for another time. Now, he had to get to work. After the announcement had been made, Tyraus had gone to his room, where he had picked up a holopad and looked up the planet Alta Jarvis. The planet was a smaller hub world. Not as busy as some other worlds, but it had a fairly large population of mixed races. At least they wouldn't be out of place there.

A hub world like that meant that they could expect almost anything. Their contact could be anybody. He might have been of the reputable sort. He might not have been. Either way, he would have liked to know what they were getting themselves into.

So, that meant that the execrul was going to have to venture up the ship to the captain's quarters and ask him about it. And that's exactly what he did.

Archer's door was open when he arrived, and he let himself into the captain's quarters without so much as a word of warning from himself or a word of permission from the captain.

"Archer," he began, not bothering to sit down, as the white-haired human turned to look, "About this job. You haven't been exactly forthcoming. You know how I dislike surprises. Don't you humans have a saying about traps?" Knowing them, they probably had ten or twenty, "I'd much rather avoid walking into one. It would be good to have more than just yourself knowing what we're getting ourselves into. What kind of job is this? Who is our contact?"

Tyraus wasn't exactly hopeful that the captain would be willing to disclose the information that he had. He liked to do that from time to time, which directly contradicted Tyraus' own personal philosophy of being as prepared as possible before going into a job.

But, here he stood expectantly. Sometimes he wondered why he bothered.

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#, as written by Savader
Yup, things were going great on the Revenant, as they always did when a job came up. Archer was still kicking back in his seat when his holophone rang once again. Not picking it up right away, despite giving it a quick turn of his head, he smirked a little. Knowing it was likely Rin who was even bothering to call at this point. Finally picking it up, he was greeted with the small voice of the ship's scout, as was predicted.

"Heya, Tink. What's happening?" said Archer, speaking in his usual, confident tone of voice. Rin then went on to tell him that the ship was ready whenever he was, wondering whether or not he'd be doing the honors of taking her out. Archer pondered the thought of flying it out to Alta Jarvis, but decided against it, as it wasn't exciting enough to him as it were. "Nah, I think I'll pass. You take her out if you want to, Rin." he said, only for her to move on to a different topic. "Ohhh, certainly! I just love our talks! Especially when they're about finance." Giving her a "You got it, dude." he ended the call. Archer has had many "talks" with Rin over the company's finances, usually resulting in the scolding of something that Archer did, followed by some sort of compromise he was forced into. While he wasn't particularly excited at the thought of losing yet another privilege on his ship, he wasn't all too interested in the matter for the time being.

Not even a minute later, he received yet another call; this time from the ship's technician. "Aranoth?" asked Archer, feigning surprise. That quickly faded back into his previous smile. Aranoth explained that he was at the ready for any commands to fly the ship, should Archer want him to. "Well, that's up to you, my friend. I already gave the go ahead to Rin, but if you wanna give her a hand, go right ahead. Never know what those little hands might need help with!" He added in a wink, as if the Xilass could somehow see such an expression over a communication link. Hanging up, Archer went back into his kicked-back, relaxed position, heaving a comfortable sigh.

Another couple of minutes, and this time, Archer had an actual visitor. Walking into his cabin without question, the explosives expert known as Tyraus was standing before him; the desk sitting between the two mercenaries. Archer turned his head in the Execrul's direction, acknowledging his presence without any qualms regarding his informal conduct. This was a rather usual encounter the white-haired captain had with the stoic man, so it was of no surprise to see him so suddenly. Without greeting his visitor, Archer waited for him to finish speaking his mind before looking away for a moment to smirk at nothing, and back at him, finally sitting up straight in his seat, leaning forward with his hands together over his desk. Once finished, Archer nodded, understanding where the Execrul was coming from.

"No idea." he said, a short silence between both men following after. Scoffing out a slight chuckle, he continued, albeit a little more serious this time out of consideration to who he was talking to. "Our 'contact' is the same guy who gets us all those other jobs from the smaller companies of the galaxy, so no change there. The only difference is that this specific group doesn't want anyone to know who they are or what they're up to-- not even the guy they hired to hire US. I don't know a damn thing about these guys, and I don't care. All we need to know is that someone needs a package delivered somewhere, and they're willing to pay us a loooot of money to do it for em. That's all that should matter to a bunch of lowly mercenaries like us, my friend." Archer paused, kicking back into his usual attitude as he leaned back in his chair again. "The job is simple: we head to station Z93 on Alta Jarvis, grab whatever the hell it is that needs grabbin'; take it to the Xilass' Dephdra, and get the fuck out of there. Easy money. The credits will be wired to the Second Horsemen's private account as soon as I send the confirmation order of the delivery to our client, who will then send word to our employers that the job is done." Finally finished with his explanation, Archer clapped his hands together. "Boom! And that's that. Any other questions?"

Archer understood why Tyraus was so curious over the details of such a sudden job, as any mentally sound mind would be, but he wasn't personally interested in such details. Someone needed the Second Horsemen's services, and the Second Horsemen needed a job; it was a win-win, whatever that job may be. Any worries over the possibility of picking up a device that could turn out to be potentially threatening to either them or the place they were meant to take it to was just unnecessary. They had an explosives expert and a master computer on-board the Revenant; any threats of that nature could easily be scanned without even peaking at what was inside the box, which they would do either way, as they did with any package they picked up. It was just common sense to at least run a security check on anything they brought aboard the ship, so that wasn't a problem. And given the fact that this specific group of mercenaries have only ever done so much throughout these past 3 years, it was hard to believe they would have any enemies out to get revenge on them, so a trap was also unlikely. Either way, Tyraus's discretion was taken into account, as Archer had done with most everything the Execrul brought to his attention. He was, more or less, Archer's only sliver of hope when it came to common sense. Something he made to remind himself of ever since he recruited the man back in the canyons of planet Gallek...

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#, as written by Falron

The Tatari woman sat behind her small desk, its surface littered with her inventory check. A frown worked its way onto her face, there was nothing unusual for there to be a lack of medical supplies on the Revenant, hell, it was expected. But this... this was worse than usual, she'd have to bring it up with the Minagoran, Rin, when she next saw her. Hopefully Jag wouldn't be present, if Salis was completely honest, the Noxchi woman scared the living shit out of her. She always felt like the woman would punch her.. or rip out her throat... should she not move out of her way quickly enough.

Salis shuddered at the thought and decided to push the thought out of her mind and returned her attention to the papers scattered across the table. The lack of funds going into the infirmary was probably Archer's fault... the entire ship didn't have anything but bloody chilli dogs to eat for the past week since Archer put such a large portion of the budget into his favourite food.

Oh, their wise and gracious leader...

She finished looking through their meager medical supplies and filed the paperwork away. She would talk to Archer about it, but everyone and their mother knew that the man hated talking finances and that was reason enough for him to shove his responsibilities onto poor Rin. Reaching over to the hollophone she pulled up Rin's number, quickly dialing it.

It rang a few times, the moment that the Minagoran answered Salis was speaking, "Hey Rin, I hope you're not to busy, but is it possible that I could talk to you about the state of the medical supplies?"

She hoped that she wasn't, with the supposedly huge payment that would be coming in with this job, Salis wanted to make sure that the infirmary got its fair share of he payout.

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#, as written by Rann
And sure enough, the giant stepped out of her room, looking somewhere between enraged and enraptured before setting her glare upon the Minagora. Rin offered a slight wave - she had long since been desensitized to Jag's violence, and more or less knows she's the only one really able to keep her steady. There was the problem of life span, of course.... but it wasn't time to worry about such things for now. She was exasperated by Archer's refusal to really mature - but she had expected more or less nothing at this point from him - and at the very least, their illustrious leader had the charisma to keep the team together, on some level, right? At least, she hoped. There was no accounting for the nickname, though. Tink? What did that have to do with anything?

"Just checking in on you." Rin said pleasantly. "Really. You - eh." She looked at the holes made by what appeared to be more fits of psychotic rage, and internally sighed, still keeping her relaxed cat-like smile on. "Glad to see you're as strong as ever!" She made mental calculations - to repair the holes, the materials needed would put them in the red by a little bit. Not a crucial amount, of course, but it was still noteworthy. She'd have to try and do some non-combat jobs on the side to reign in more cash. Once landing on the planet, she'd try to establish connections with anyone who might need it.

"I'm about to go and pilot the ship again." Rin said warmly to her large Noxchi friend. She almost gave the Minagoran equivalent of a shrug, invitingly flitting closer to the door, still faced towards Jag. "You heard Archer on the speakers, right? do you mind preparing the weapons for me? Moderate to light arms, I don't think this will necessity anything too major."

With a wave and a happy "bye!" the Minagora left Jag's room, and darted her way back towards the area to pilot the ship; wondering why Archer just didn't buckle down and hire an actual pilot. Air support during a mission could be invaluable, after all, and without a pilot at the helm, they lacked that option, most of the time. And without that, it limited possible plans Rin could make during an engagement - and god knew she didn't really trust the others to work as a team if she didn't try to outline exactly how they'd move. Everyone was really skilled individually - Rin was trying to make it so that they were strong as a team, too.

So far, though, that wasn't really working. It was a while until she noticed that her holophone was ringing. Rin pressed the holographic button in front of her, feeling a bit of guilt, as she picked up, already having set up the auto pilot for take off. It was Salis.

"Hey Rin," The Tatari medic said. "I hope you're not to busy, but is it possible that I could talk to you about the state of the medical supplies?"

"Yeah." Rin replied. "I'm on my way, just give me a sec."

She then set the controls on standby mode, before ringing up the Xilass - Aranoth. It seemed she wouldn't be piloting, apparently.

"Aranoth! Do you mind flying the ship, please? I have to talk to someone. And if Jag comes by, tell her I'm at the medic bay. thank you!"

And with that, the overburdened Minagora flew her way to the med bay, feeling further guilt and slight awkwardness - she still wasn't quite used to talking to another free Tatari yet, not after what happened to her old friend. In any case, this wasn't the time to dwell on such things. Rin smiled kindly at the canine-like medic, pushing her own personal feelings away in favor of more professionalism.

"What do you need? Is this about the supplies, Salis?"

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Jag stepped back a bit out of the threshold and into her quarters, in case Rin wanted to come in herself, but the little Minagora merely lingered back at the door, smiling in that strange way that sorta... Fuck if Jag really knew how to put it in words. Sure, she could recite every Wilde poem off the top of her head and Sexton verses came to her as easily as breathing, but nevertheless, Jag didn't deal in words. Mostly, she dealt in killing the ever-loving fuck outta shit. Which was way more fun than trying to put shit into words. Also way easier. Putting shit into words wasn't exactly a skill highlighted in the trials back when Jag'd been a little piece of shit fresh outta the gestation chambers, a specimen of physical might and cerebral malignity even before she knew her own name and place. Mostly back then it was all about killing the ever-loving fuck outta shit. And that was a life skill that'd served her a hell of a lot better throughout her century and a quarter of existence than putting shit into words, so, uh... yeah, stick that shit in your fuckin' pipe 'n smoke it.

Jag actually had no clue what she was talking about right now, she just really, really liked the shit outta that expression.

More importantly, with all of the above having occupied Jag's skull for all of about a half a second, Rin had spoken up, so Jag shut up about words and pipes and smoking and whatnot or whatever to pay attention to the little Minagora. "Just checking in on you," she reported brightly, much as could be expected-- if any of the dumb cunts on this piece of shit tub could be expected to go around just randomly checking in on people, it was Rin. er wait hang on hang on not to imply that rin was one of the dumb cunts or anything no that wasn't-- if there was anybody on this ship-- shit, anybody Jag could think of in general-- who was totally not a dumb cunt, then it was definitely Rin. Jag'd said that to her before, but from Rin's reaction she had gathered that telling someone they weren't a dumb cunt didn't really work as a compliment, which Jag really didn't get, 'cause it sure as hell sounded complimentary as shit to her, but then, the hell did she know?

wait fuck now i'm just babbling again what the shit

"Really, you-- eh." Something seemed to have caught Rin's attention-- Jag followed her gaze to the holes in the wall. "Glad to see you're as strong as ever!" the Minagora exclaimed happily, managing to find a way to look pleased with a turn of events that Jag was well aware got on the Minagora's nerves. ... wait shit I shoulda thought'a that before I went and did it again. fuck some shitty ass friend she was couldn't even stop herself doin shit she knew would piss rin off-- just made her even more pissed off at herself for her neglect-- couldn't help but clench her hands into fists and feel the urge to just punch another hole in these stupid fuckin walls just to vent her dissatisfaction with herself but wait that woulda been even more fuckin stupid of her goddammit she kept fuckin up made her just wanna punch a fuckin wall or

... wait. goddammit.

Rin's voice sorta brought Jag back into reality, fortuitously. "I'm about to go and pilot the ship again," she remarked, fluttering on back through the threshold into the hall. Jag couldn't help but feel a little put out-- kinda hoped Rin would stick around, y'know. But it couldn't be helped that Archer was too much of a cunt to hire an actual fuckin' pilot. Well, actually, it probably could be helped. Maybe if I put him in a headlock until he acquiesced. But... naw, that shit wouldn't work. Last time she'd tried that, she'd accidentally... uh, broken the person in question. Fuckin' runts, eh? Even those goddamn lizards like that shithead Pratix were less fuckin' useless than humans. But then they also had that whole retarded as shit 'DEATH BEFORE DISHONOUR ALL HAIL THE COLLECTIVE FUCK YEAH EXCESSIVE RULES AND OVERBEARING GUIDELINES' or whatever, so pretty much, runts and lizards were about as useless as any other race.

And then people called Jag racist when she said the galaxy woulda been so much better off if the Noxchi just enslaved all the other races and took shit over.

"You heard Archer on the speakers, right?" Rin continued, forcing Jag to stop thinking about whatever she'd just been thinking about that she'd completely forgotten about the second she stopped thinking about it. "Do you mind preparing the weapons for me? Moderate to light arms, I don't think this will necessity anything too major."

Jag gave a grunt that sounded somewhere between 'aye' and an extremely filthy Noxchi swear word, and with that and a typically vibrant farewell, Rin was off. Jag tried not to let her departure distress her too much, but she couldn't help but feel as soon as the Minagora left her line of sight that she had passed somewhere out into... into... elsewhere somehow. She knew that was bullshit and Rin was just around the corner, logically speaking she knew that, but... how could she possibly be certain of what she couldn't see? She just... couldn't be. Anything that wasn't directly within reach was just too intangible, too.... ambiguous, lost in a haze. A haze the mere contemplation of which provoked discontent and doubt in Jag-- she'd used to be able to fathom that strange void...

Shaking her head, clinging to some vestige of control, Jag repeated in her head-- get the weapons ready. Something for her to fixate on. Anchor her. Avoid losing track of herself. Avoid thinking about the holes in the wall and how they'd pissed off Rin and how that probably made Jag a really shitty friend and shit she probably shoulda offered to let rin take it outta her pay or some shit to fix it cause that fuckin shithead archer kept spending their money on hot dogs or some shit the fuck was up with that anyway why the fuck were they called hot dogs they weren't even goddamn dogs for fuck sake they were like little sausage things in a bun and they tasted shitty anyway especially with that weird chilly shit archer slathered all over it which also didn't make any sense cause that shit wasn't fucking chilly at all for fuck sake people were so incredibly stupid it consistently baffled jag that they managed to jut exist without incurring brain damage from the effort of doing so

... wait.


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Being tasked with piloting the ship was good, since the captain's skill at doing so was... a little hit-and-miss, though thankfully he knew how to perform a few maneuvers without crashing the ship. Getting to fly the Revenant with Rin on the other hand was something Aranoth looked forward to. With the order given to get the ship underway, the Xilass entered the cockpit to start the hyperdrive.

Just as Aranoth had finished preparing the hyperdrive, he received another call, this time from Rin herself. What she had to say was admittedly kinda disappointing, but everyone on the ship did have important jobs to do, after all. Only thing was that Rin seemed to be doing nearly half of them by herself.

"Understood. I am already in the cockpit, and the hyperdrive is now ready," Aranoth replied. "One more thing though, this is not an urgent request, but I would appreciate being able to speak with you when you have the time." And with that, the call was ended as both crew members went about their respective duties. As if being alone during the night hours wasn't enough. Still, at least there was something for Aranoth to focus his attention on at this time.

The journey to Alta Jarvis was a relatively short one, only two jumps through hyperspace. As the ship prepared to jump, Aranoth sent out the notification over intercom. "First jump to Alta Jarvis will begin in five... four... three... two... one..." Once the ship entered hyperspace, one could see the stars streaking past the ship, a familiar sight to any seasoned space traveller. All Aranoth had to do now was to figure out how to make the next couple hours or so pass by. Well, it wouldn't be long until the next trip back to the Dephdra. A quick self-diagnostic of internal systems and vitals seemed like the most productive way to while away the hours.

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#, as written by Messiah
Tyraus listened respectfully to Archer talking about the job. There was definitely something up about this. If this was such a simple delivery job as he claimed it to be, why were they getting paid so much? And what exactly did this company have to hide?

"Walking into this blind isn't a good idea, Archer. The money is only good if we're alive to spend it." The execrul paused, then, and stepped closer, "You know I respect you." It was true. The human had managed to get the better of him once, and that had earned Tyraus' respect. "But, if any of the crew is killed because you didn't do your research or kept us in the dark, I will be holding you accountable." Tyraus didn't allow any hint of anger or resentment show through. It wasn't a threat, it was honesty - a warning, maybe. He wanted to be clear about what he intended. And, of course, his promise could only be fulfilled if they both managed to survive.

If Archer was going to be this casual (as he often was) about this, Tyraus would just have to do his own part to keep ahead of this. That meant that he was going to have to make another stop.

With a respectful nod to the captain, "I'll leave you to... whatever it is you're doing," and then he exited the human's quarters. His next stop would have to be to see Aranoth, the xilass tech expert, who was sure to either be in his quarters or in the cockpit. The quarters seemed empty, so he headed to the cockpit.

Aranoth was at the flight controls, just as Tyraus had expected of him. For a moment, he stood near the back of the cockpit, just watching, and not saying anything.

Finally, after a little while, he spoke up.

"We don't know what we're picking up. Aranoth, I want it checked before it's allowed on board the ship. I want it checked three times. I want you to make sure there's nothing in that package that could be harmful to the ship or the crew. I'll be checking it as well for explosives."

And, without waiting for a confirmation from the xilass, Tyraus turned around and vacated the cockpit, and made to return to lower parts of the ship where his quarters, the armory, and the cargo bay were all located.

He took to his quarters and sat at his desk. Inside one of the drawers, he took out some more appealing cuisine. Today, he'd be dining in his room.

Archer only ever ate chili dogs, and he only ever got the ingredients for it. Chili dogs were the first meal he'd shared with Archer, and it was then that he discovered that he didn't like them. Tyraus had told him, several times, that he didn't like the messy concoction, but the captain just looked at him like he was insane. Now the execrul had taken to dipping into his personal account that the crew was unaware of, maybe except for Aranoth. That was precisely what he hated to do, as he was saving the money there for something else - something other than himself.

When he arrived at his desk, he discovered that he had a message on his holophone that hadn't been there when he had left his quarters in the morning.

He recognized the frequency, as it had been used to contact him on several occasions before. It was surely from Nexa, a "representative of the Federation".

The message would be the same as the others. Some higher-ups at the Federation were trying to get a hold of him to save face at their handling of the Toeckel Incident. They wanted to bring him in, probably apologize, and maybe pin a medal on him and call him a hero for saving those civilians at great personal cost.

"This is Nexa Asa Veces," the message began. He knew it. Nexa was young, probably younger than Tyraus had been when Omega Squad had been killed by the Toeckel settlement. She would have been much too young to even remember. "And I'm calling on behalf of Sparas Kelun Ordranus," it continued. Tyraus knew that name. Ordranus had been one of the ones as part of his trial to recommend the punishment of discharge. No doubt the man wanted to clear his own conscience for his part in Tyraus' judgment. "He would like to meet with you and discuss the Toeckel Incident from approximately fifteen years ago." That said about as much about it as anything else. It had taken fifteen years. "This is the most recent number listed under your name, and I do hope you are getting these messages. Please contact us when you get a chance."

Just like every other time they had called him, the message would go without a response from Tyraus. He held no grudge against the Federation or Ordranus for the judgment levied upon him, but Tyraus wasn't interested in apologies, nor was he interested in ceremonies.

It was as simple as that.

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#, as written by Falron

Salis breathed an audible sigh of relief when Rin informed her that she'd come over. She finished going through the stocks and set about tidying her workspace before the Minagoran appeared. As she tidied she froze as she came across a rough sketch of two young Tatari, their eyes barely open. Gritting her teeth she shoved the picture into her pocket, she would have to search for a job that would take her back to them, back to Herina. Or somehow convince Archer to go back just to save her two girls... but she somehow doubted that he would agree, if it didn't make him money, he was probably too fucking lazy to do jack shit.

She flinched at the thought of leaving them there for longer than necessary.

Salis forced herself to push them aside and turned in time to see Rin enter the infirmary, looking rushed as usual. It was unfair that Archer dumped so many jobs on the young girl, the man was notorious for dumping his duties on others, but this was a new low, even for him. Beside all that Rin was highly professional, a warm smile on her face despite the fact that Salis knew that she felt awkward around the Tatari.

She nodded in response to her question and took a seat behind her desk, gesturing to one of the padded chairs on the other side of the metal desk, "Unfortunately yes... Archer's never been good at thinking about what the infirmary needs and seems to always spend too much of he budget on his own pleasures."

She chuckled before shaking her head, "This job's supposed to rake in a large sum of cash, and the medical supplies are running dangerously low. I have enough for some minor injuries or if someone gets the stomach bug or a hang over... nothing more serious though."

She pushed over the latest stock numbers before getting to the point, "All I'm asking for is enough of budget to keep this place afloat and the people on board alive and in one piece."

She gave the little Minagoran a warm smile before letting her curiosity get the better of her, "How do you do it? All those jobs that Archer palms off on you... how do you manage?"

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#, as written by Rann
Rin was doing mental acrobatics in her mind. There simply wasn't enough cash to stretch out, was there? More medical supplies, too, was added to the list, along with the high price of whoever Archer felt like fucking at any moment in time, and how many chili dogs he felt like eating, or the repairs to Jag's room ... -so many times this has happened, too, Jag just wrecking things and Rin having to clean up after her, but Rin tried her best to not get frustrated at her psychotic friend, she had her reasons, after all - whatever repairs Aranoth needed to his body from whatever he did. Or if not repairs, at least money for the materials used to do self-maintenance, right? Sure, this new job would dole out a lot of money - though Rin herself already had misgivings about the mission at hand; not really certain whether it was really smart to just blindly take it, despite them giving many previous assignments and clients - but nonetheless. She'd find a way. Probably would have to go without sleep for the next while, but such things are unavoidable. Better not to have a conflict, that'd just make them even more of a rag-tag group of individuals who happened to be travelling together, rather than an actual team. Teamwork? What? Was there such thing?

Now for these people, there wasn't. The Minagora forced herself not to sigh as she listened to Salis's request, nodding her head pleasantly, taking a seat as best as she could, opposite to the Tatari. Her wings went flat to make room for the back of the chair, and she more or less snuggled in. She couldn't be long, though - Aranoth was waiting for her, wasn't he?

The Tatari made a bit of a laugh as she shook her head. "This job's supposed to rake in a large sum of cash, and the medical supplies are running dangerously low." Salis said derisively. "I have enough for some minor injuries or if someone gets the stomach bug or a hang over... nothing more serious though. All I'm asking for is enough of budget to keep this place afloat and the people on board alive and in one piece."

This was a bit of a problem, wasn't it? Rin was correct in her assumption, and she knew, more or less, that she really would have to pull off a lot of smaller, miscellaneous jobs in the background. Somehow.

"Sure." Rin said. "Medicine is important, after all. If someone get's injured, we need to be able to treat them. According to how much Archer's job will net us.." She thought in her head, and decided to fluff the numbers a little bit in Salis's favor. It wouldn't do any harm as long as she managed to complete extra jobs on the side, after all. "You should have enough for most combat injuries and some general illnesses common to space travel - we can't develop a native immune system, after all."

"How do you do it? All those jobs that Archer palms off on you... how do you manage?"

Rin smiled again.

"Someone has to do it, right?" She did the Minagoran equivalent of a shrug, acting as if it was nothing major to her. "If I do it, and it helps, then that's what matters." She wasn't necessarily lying, but it's not as if Rin was just going to let anyone have an inkling of the exhaustion she felt. They depended on her, after all. "In any case, Salis, I gotta go, Aranoth needs me for something." She let out a bit of a chuckle. "See you later!"

And with that, once again, Rin flew off to head back to the cockpit where she heard Aranoth's voice drone over the intercom - they were going through hyperspace now, were they not? The stream of stars blurring past stunned her momentarily, but then she continued on, only stopping to check up on any requests lined up at station 293 in Alta Jarvis, numbly noting that a rival Merc Team (or possibly gofers) were taking up quite a lot of the jobs. The Nolai Regents - presumably named after the star in the Sothoth Quarter - and Rin quickly jotted the name down in her mental notepad, before accepting various jobs; specifically the ones where she'd help balance people's finances. The major one that caught her interest was for the small budding business, "Yolanum Softworks", that specialized in little apps and modifications to the standard holophone, in which she had to more or less help them win the stock market rat race by investing and buying the right stocks and whatnot in order to stay afloat in the hyper-competitive business world.

Hopefully, the Nolai Regents didn't have a Minagora on their crew that was equally or more skilled than Rin at finances. In any case, it gave her little things to do during the wait for reaching Alta Jarvis. She also looked at a few other jobs, like finding another domestic pet, or... entertaining the client, in another one. Rin more or less stared at that one a bit - sure, the reward was awesomely high, and she did fit the criteria... (Minagora females only) but then again, it didn't make much imagination to deduce what that job would entail. She sighed - if things got drastic, she just might have to take that one. Otherwise, she'd pretend she'd never even saw it. How Jag would react if she found out - that was possibly even worse than the act itself.

Rin then took her seat next to the Xilass, once again maneuvering her wings so that they didn't fit awkwardly. She regarded him -it was a him, right? She didn't know much about Xilass and self identity - with a kind, if not very slightly worn smile.

"Well, I'm here." She said easily enough, already looking up the stocks for Yolanum to put their shares into, and doing even more mental acrobats in her head. "What do you need, Aranoth? I'll help with whatever I can." With that, she tapped a holographic button, securing Yolanum's finances for now, when she got a sudden notification. Curious, Rin tapped into it, hearing a pre-recorded message going into her neural link. She set it to private, to make sure no one else overheard it.

"Vintar Sharathra Nurvat here, leader of the Nolai Regents." The voice, as well as the name sounded incredibly Execrulian. Rin did a few cross-checks, halting her work with Yolanum, and quickly brought up basic information, a 52 year old female, with some military service. She listened carefully to the rest of it. "Rin-Naera, of the Second Horsemen. You should know, that you taking up some of the jobs doesn't sit so well with us. We suggest that you leave the Centaur Region entirely, unless you want a conflict. Because this is our territory, and you muscling in on here makes money-getting harder for us. Let's hope you listen to this warning, between Mercs."

And that was that. Rin only let herself make a bit of a troubled frown, before beaming again at Aranoth. she'd have to talk to Archer about this, in private, wouldn't she? Might be best to just ignore the job completely, if it meant conflict with another team. But on the other hand...

"If you have time..." She whispered quietly to the Xilass. "Look up whatever you can on the Nolai Regents. Keep this private, and please relay whatever information you find to me."

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin-Naera Character Portrait: Tyraus Ravia Pratix Character Portrait: Zack Archer Character Portrait: Aranoth
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#, as written by Savader
Archer merely sat in his seat, a simple smile on his face as he listened to his friend mention a few important points regarding the suspicion that came with this job. All obvious ones, but important all the same. Archer scoffed out a small chuckle at that. He didn't know what package it was they were supposed to be picking up; he did know that it was odd for someone to be paying a small group of mercenaries like the Second Horsemen such a large amount of credits to deliver such a simple package; and he was aware that it could prove more troublesome than his client had originally let on. All of this meant that the package had to be either very valuable... or very dangerous. Either way, Archer was well aware of these strong points Tyraus was bringing up, yet didn't drop his usual confident gaze whilst waiting for the execrul to finish.

When he finally did finish, however, Archer was no longer smiling as prominently as before; his expression now containing a hint of annoyance, as though he were upset that a member of his crew could ever believe that he'd put any of them in harm's way so ignorantly... Then again, the impression he had given them all upon meeting and working with them over the last few years wasn't all too commendable, so it was understandable if none of them truly got what he was about. Realizing this, he frowned wryly, giving the air an understanding shrug and nod, as if to say 'Well played, Life'. Bottom line, Archer wasn't about to let his lovable crew die because of some stupid delivery mission. Not even for the pay it came with. Just wasn't worth it to him. He was leading a rather comfortable life with them at the moment, and he wasn't about to let that end over something so small. If Tyraus was ready to hold Archer responsible for such a thing, then Archer was ready to accept any punishment the execrul thought to be fair, because there was no way in hell he was going to let any of them die. And if he did, then he wouldn't deserve to be this ship's captain anymore, so he thought it was perfectly reasonable for Tyraus to punish him accordingly. He gave him another smile and a dismissive wave, nodding along with him to show he understood. With that, Tyraus bid farewell to the captain and left him to his devices.

Archer sat there in silence as he mulled over the mission in more depth. He was -- like he had when his client first brought the idea of this mission to him a month ago -- wondering if the possible risk that came with not knowing anything about the job other than what to do and where to go was even worth it... Sighing, he pulled up a datapad that was sitting at the end of his desk, now looking at his recent financial activity-- something Rin had forwarded to him about a week ago, which he had only barely looked at until now. It was obvious that what Rin needed to talk to him about involved this very issue, but that was beside the point. He really went all out over the past few weeks, and it showed on the data in front of him. He knew he was probably getting a little crazy, but he never could have imagined it would be this bad... His shoulders falling as he let out another, depressed sigh, he realized he was going to have to force himself to take a break from the high life of chili dogs and sex. At least for a little while. When was the last time he had a simple steak dinner, anyway...?

Whatever the case, risk or no risk, they had to see this mission through. They needed the money now more than ever, and it was all because he went overboard with the company's money. Not even Archer was dumb enough to miss how serious this was. Dropping the datapad back onto the desk with an audible clatter, he began massaging his shoulder as he continued thinking about the whole thing. The mission itself was beyond suspicious, but it wasn't their job as mercenaries to pry, and seeing as how they needed the money, it left him little choice.

"Hmph..." he grunted aloud while scratching the back of his head. "Guess I'll just have to be extra careful on this one." That being said, he was still doubting that there would be any significant trouble to worry about. But being a little mindful of the possibility couldn't hurt this time around, as long as it meant keeping his crew alive. Either way, he chose to stop being so dramatic about the whole thing, knowing that there was no sense in worrying about any 'what-ifs'. If it was too late to cut their losses by the time they picked up the package, he'd take the lives of his crew above all else once trouble finally came uh knockin' -- just as he always did with anything else. He would deal with any future problems whenever they decided to meet him in the present. Until then, this was just like any other job...

It was then that Aranoth's voice came over the intercom, counting down the ship's jump into hyperspace. With that, the now-sober Archer jumped up from his seat and walked over to the door of his cabin, grabbing his iconic red leather jacket on the way. Throwing it on, he eyed himself in the mirror for a moment, giving himself a wink before heading towards the elevator that would take him down to the main floor of the Revenant. It was time he payed the rest of his crew a visit.

3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin-Naera Character Portrait: Tyraus Ravia Pratix Character Portrait: Aranoth
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As Aranoth sat back in the pilot's seat, waiting for the internal scan to be completed, he heard the cockpit door open. Since the self-diagnostic was running in the background, his ability to carry on a conversation was unimpaired, so the Xilass glanced round to see who it was. Ah, it was Tyraus. Aranoth was just about to ask what the Execrul wanted when the latter managed to answer that question before it had even been spoken.

"We don't know what we're picking up. Aranoth, I want it checked before it's allowed on board the ship. I want it checked three times. I want you to make sure there's nothing in that package that could be harmful to the ship or the crew. I'll be checking it as well for explosives."

"Acknowledged. These are indeed valid concerns. Once we receive the package I will -" The sound of the doors opening and closing again caused the Xilass to stop talking. He looked round again to see that Tyraus had left the cockpit. That was... actually somewhat rude, but if he had pressing matters to attend to elsewhere, then so be it. His brief appearance was a welcome break to the monotony of waiting in the cockpit, if nothing else. Leaning back in the chair, Aranoth prepared himself for more of said monotony.

Some time later, the doors opened again, and this time it was Rin who entered. She was just sitting in the chair next to Aranoth and already she was asking how she could be of assistance. Aranoth was going to answer when he saw that the Minagora's attention was diverted. A message going directly to her neural link, perhaps? Regardless, it was rude to interrupt her concentration. Once she had finished, Rin instructed Aranoth to search for information on a group called the Nolai Regents whenever possible, and to keep said findings private.

"Understood." the Xilass replied. "I would likely be able to... acquire some information from local databases once we arrive at our destination, but what I currently know is that they are a dominant mercenary group within the Centaur region. Hopefully we should be able to avoid an encounter with them while we receive our cargo." As much as Aranoth would've liked to believe those words, it didn't seem too likely that the Second Horsemen would be able to keep quiet for that long before raising some hell. Still, the Nolai Regents couldn't be everywhere at once, so if they were lucky, they just might be able to quickly get in and out, right under their noses.

Aranoth swivelled the pilot's seat round to face Rin, his brow furrowed as he tried to think of how best to respond to the offer of help she had given just as she had entered, even though Aranoth hadn't even asked for help of any kind. Eventually, he reasoned that blunt honesty was probably the best option here. No point in trying to sidestep the issue.

"The reason I called you was not because I required help in anything, Rin," he told her. "In fact, it is the other way around. With the amount of work you do it is a miracle you have not yet exhausted yourself today. Please do not hesitate to ask me for assistance in your duties in the future." Without waiting for a reply, Aranoth swivelled the chair back to its original position. The Xilass kept silent for a few minutes before speaking up again.

"Since you have made yourself comfortable, I assume you have no other duties to attend to as of now. It will be several hours before we reach our destination, so if you want, we could chat for a while. I think it has been a while since we last had a proper informal chat, wouldn't you agree?"