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Tiaan Peyton

"I swear if I have any other guy proposition me, again, I'll darn well kick the shit out of them. YOU HAVE THE WRONG PLUMBING!"

0 · 347 views · located in The Milky Way Universe

a character in “Nebula's Dawn: F.S.S. Salient”, originally authored by Rulke, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Name: Tiaan Peyton
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Rank: Fighter Pilot
Nationality: English.

Appearance
Image

Personality

Tiaan isn't what you expect to be in the position she's in, she's abrasive and has strong opinion, even often getting into fights. Most people who know her from a glance know she's a great fighter pilot and she's a bitch. In actual fact she's loyal and kind, but you have to dig deep. She comes from a long line of fighter pilots, as far back as WW2. This shows in ability to remain calm under intense pressure and able to preform manoeuvres not taught in the academy -- this can often get her into trouble for obvious reasons as they're often very dangerous.

Likes: Girls, Flying her Fighter, Family and Partying
Dislikes: Sexual Propositions, Layabouts and Drama
Quirks: Being from a long line of pilots, she's got profound experience and often uses it her advantage.

Equipment

An antique Swiss Army Knife that her Great, Great Grandfather owned in WW2 and he considered a good luck charm.

A photo of Stephanie and her taken a week before the accident.

History

Tiaan comes from a long line of Fighter Pilot's right back to conventional flight in WW2. This was often drilled into her when she was younger, how she has to preserve the name of the family by joining up and continuing the tradition. Being a teenager she rebelled and tried to fight this, going to nightclubs, getting drunk -- pretty much happy-go-lucky. This backfired immensely when a close friend of hers got into a car accident because of her negligence. She had gone to local party with a friend, but left her there. Turns out no one was willing to give Stephanie a lift so she tried to drive back, but crashed into oil truck causing it to jack knife and for all hell to break loose as the build up happened.

Meanwhile she had been screwing someone and woke up to hearing the news and the victim count.

The first name read off was Stephanie Lowerwitz.

This changed any perception of fun she had, she couldn't handle the death and went in a massive depression. Seeing her breakdown her parents signed her up to the local Air Cadet's Corp to see if this could cheer her up. Not caring about anything any more, she agreed and joined up.

It was there the spark of love struck for flight and within a year or so her new obsession had turned into a desire to do some good. To live up her to family name and make them proud. Never forgetting where she once was, and why she had the epiphany.

So begins...

Tiaan Peyton's Story

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Why had she thought it was a good idea, she knew she had been reassigned and after being on the Demeter; one of the oldest battleships, practically a relic. Being reassigned finally was something to celebrate, have fun let loose and live like you were going to die tomorrow. In retrospect this idea seem stupid, no moronic. Everything had started grand, she was drinking, dancing and having a laugh -- then she appeared, a girl wearing a gorgeous blue dress leaving nothing to the imagination. Honestly she should have ignored her, but the girl kept trying to get her attention. Somehow or another they got dancing and just as night couldn't seem to get better, she leaned in to kiss her. When their lips were almost touching she screamed. The girl's face been bothering constantly, now she knew why, she was almost twin to Stephanie. In horror and humiliation she ran out dragging her picture out and weeping.

She couldn't go home like this, but where could she go, not like she had anywhere else.

Tiaan then remembered the card, she was near the port, and could probably sneak into the ship, and get over this depression, wake up and leave. No one would be aware.

Fast forward to now, the card was flashing green incessantly and she had a major hang over. It didn't help she had fallen on an actual bed, and her tears had soaked the mattress. This wasn't good, not good at all.

Leaping up she tried to straighten herself up. Maybe she could still rush home to get her uniform, maybe it was still night. Hopefully it was, once more trying to stand, she felt the hum of the engines and sighed heavily.

Well fuck...

"Tiaan what have you done now, are you trying to get yourself killed?"

Glancing around she tried to see or guess where she was, it was a pretty spacious room with a chest of drawers, wardrobe and full sized window looking out into space. This was certainly not a room she should be in.

Just then she heard a footsteps and voices, "I tell you Frank there is someone here. I don't care what Captain says, not everyone arrived."

Oh shit... shitshitshit.

Looking herself over she grimace, her hair was an utter bedraggled mess and her dress wasn't sensible at all.

The door opened and she smiled sheepishly, "Uh... hi... I'm Peyton, Tiaan Peyton... don't suppose you guys know where my room is."

They merely glared.

Well this was great way to begin a new career...

Worse day of my life she thought, worse day ever.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray knew he was going to love this admiral from this point on; short speeches and no lectures was a way by which a CO could become from an inconvenience to a godsend.

As everyone remembered they had the fleshy things called legs and decided to stand up and go have a sniff around the ship and get comfortable Ray could not help but be nervous by the admiral's clear lack of any kind of "voyage blessing" in his speech.

Ray wasn't really a religious man even if Titan law decreed that people had to go to church on Sunday as part of their civic duty. There where quite a few people who where religious on Titan including Ray's family but Ray never liked the idea so much.

Even so making a speech without a voyage blessing was a rotten start for a voyage and could be seen as a bad omen; Ray knew this was a load of nonsense and that any misfortune which occurred in the voyage was ether because of coincidence or the mental state of seeing every bit of misfortune as the omen coming true. Ray tried to dismiss his feeling but could not and hoped the admiral would make the appropriate blessing once the journey began.

Ray decided he would pay a visit to his beauty, many wondered why he called her butcher pete and addressed her as female; the reason for this was that butcher pete was the name of her type and registration in the swing class. As far as the brass where concerned the ship had no other official name apart from its designation and crew names didn't matter in the name list.

Ray still hadn't decided on a name for her and decided to think about one later, he journeyed into the depths of the ship still marveling at the workmanship and the fantastic artificial gravity the ship had; Titan's colonies never developed beyond 71% earth gravity because of the effect the rain had on the generators and also the conservative party which was very popular on Titan believed that to extend the gravity would be a breach of tradition.

And so Ray wasn't used to this kind of gravity and found it rather tedious especially since he had spent most of the past few years in a gunship with barley 20% earth gravity at best and asteroid bases and space stations with barley 30% earth gravity.

As Ray managed to get himself lost again in the vast corridors and halls the ship possessed he decided to make a guess and took a left turn. As he marched on he saw a small commotion ahead of him and decided to investigate; it seemed that two crew personal where investigating a badly dressed but good looking chick.

Ray decided he would enjoy himself a bit by meddling In affairs he had no business with and stepped into the setuation holding his hands behind his back and mimicking the "officers stance" which every CO showed off.

With a sharp voice designed to make people jump in surprise and by copying the average Titan policeman Ray said:

"Allo allo allo; what's happening here then?"

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Seeing another person arrive she blanched and saluted instinctively driving through her mind for her rank and details, "I'm Tiann Peyton Fighter Pilot 1st Class--- of um.... um... oh year of the SS Demeter... number... oh um..." think Tiaan think!, "36789." Phew.

The guy she guessed called Frank replied in sharp tone, "How did you get on board."

Tentatively she pulled out her pass, "This..."

Catching the eye of the third person she swore she saw a wink, great, not only was she being humiliated but now she was being sexualised, "I understand this isn't my uniform, but I promise my stuff is already on board, it was sent earlier on. If you could just get the Captain---."

"He's busy!"

Looking desperately around she at this moment wished the earth would open up.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray found the entire situation outrageously amusing and wondered to whom the room belonged to and secretly hoped it turned out to belong to miss china town the CO and thus expand the drama.
Ray however wasn't so cruel to show his amusement and decided to help his fellow pilot, he wanted at least one of his guardian angles to owe him a favor and not leave him to fend for himself as they went after targets in their never ending quest for glory.

"Hay Fred, what's up mate?" he said to the man called Frank and began his normal procedure of confusing people to oblivion until they gave up.

"Who are you? My name's Frank and this matter Is under my authority" said Frank who was as Ray saw it a very frank person.

Ray made himself look even more official and saluted back to the damsel in distress and then turned to Frank the frank and said with his "I outrank you so piss off before I piss on your career kind of tone"

"Well Frodo I am Unit Commander Peter Raymond Davidson stand too when talking to a superior!"

Frank took his time and looked at the crew manifesto and then with a grin of triumph said savagely

" I can't see your name on the list princess so explain yourself before I turn you in"

Ray snatched the data pad and looked down on his profile; since he changed his name his full name was further down on his profile and he assumed Frank the frank ignoramus didn't read it all.
Ray then marked that part of the profile and gave it back to him and presented himself as an even nastier figure; Ray assumed the man didn't know that unit commander wasn't actually a high rank but he wasn't about to tell him that.

"Well then general Franco I belleive you where about to do something?"

Frank the Frank ignoramus Kaputtus looked at the data pad and went into attention, his fellow womanizer who acted the part of long Jones parrot during the conversation also saluted and both seemed rather pale apart from some very red cheeks.

"Sorry sir I didn't know sir, we where just doin our job sir"

Ray looked at Frank the Frank ignoramus Kaputtus pussyfootus and broke into a smile; a cruel smile of seemingly sadistic pleasure.

"Yes you do have a job Mr. François, your job is to inspect the ship is that correct?"

"Yes… sir"

"Well then Francis go to it! if your job is inspection have you inspected our waste disposal drains yet?

'No… sir" he said now knowing where the conversation was going

Ray enjoying every moment came closer to him and smiled again

"Well the drains do not inspect themselves; go to it bullet!"

And with that Frank the Frank ignoramus Kaputtus pussyfootus Idiotus and his parrot ran off, Ray wondered how long it would take for them to realize that Ray had no authority over them and how would they react to that knowledge.
He then turned to the lassie and saluted again and said at last with his friendly natured voice barley containing his will to laugh out loud.

"I wonder how long it will take for them to figure out I had no authority to give them that order" Ray then laughed unable to contain his amusement any longer, after regaining himself he offered his hand and said still chuckling from the bizarre event.

"Sorry about that, I can't help it. The names Ray by the way and don't worry about them. They won't recall your name as they will be to busy cursing mine.
I can see you had a bit of fun before our mission so I suggest we get rid of the evidence in the room you used and get you in a presentable state of affairs"


Ray entered the room and took out a jar of coffee and took out a few cups and pressed the hot water option on the tap.

"How many do you think you need?"

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Watching all that happened in morbid curiosity she almost didn't hear him, but after he repeated she replied, "Oh um, four should be enough, I didn't drink too much, but did drink hard, if ya catch my drift. This is rather embarrassing I normally better prepared than this." grinning sheepishly she continued, "Thank you though for getting rid of them, I can defend myself, but in state I am right now, doubt could win any fight. I'm Tiaan by the way, you might have heard of my family Clarice Peyton, I'm his daughter, his progeny. I know it doesn't seem likely, but last night was kinda of distressing, I just couldn't go home.

Seeing him fling over a uniform she stripped out her dress and threw on uniform hurriedly, relaxing a little as the cotton and polyester touch her skin. Although the insignia was wrong, she was now officially part of the crew, which was great -- she hoped her fighter had made the transfer since much like ship's, she could never have another Blue Tit (Mercury Class Fighter Customized out the wazoo).

"I'm rather ashamed can't truly thank you in anyway. I've got nothing really to give and what items do have, are considered priceless." she breathed sadly, "I hope you understand." she doubted he would mind, despite her misgiving about him, first impressions could be a bitch and in this case, she looked likely wrong.

"You look familiar, I swear my Father has a photo with ya in it, it's him and his whole fighter crew." He really did look like the guy, but surely he would have retired by now.

"Clarice (Vulture) Peyton ring any bells?"

Of course her name from Demeter would need to change since new ship changed the whole dynamic, to be honest she never liked Birdy anyway.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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As Ray made the coffee and passed the first glass to Tiaan he decided to sit down near by.

"Don't worry about it, hell I am a Titan grad; we don't give a damn about earning shiny things." This wasn't exactly true but Ray liked to say it was and the academy needed all the support of its grads had to offer after losing so much prestige in the officers revolt.

"I heard about your name and even the name you just said but I am actually only 24; surprising isn't it? Well we Titans age faster then earthlings during our childhoods so my body is 26-8 years old while I am really 24. So I could not have flown with your old man and my parents are beer brewers so it was not my pa but plenty of my greater family has been flying the galaxy since it became profitable so the guy on the picture might be a distant relative."

Ray was about to keep the conversation going when Alice the CO came marching but Ray did not find It funny liked he believed he would. Ray was glad for Tiaan's sake the CO didn't explode but was a bit put off by the woman's puffed up approach to things and was of the impression that while the CO seemed to be taking the situation lightly she would remember all of this and use it if she stood to gain something for doing so.
Ray stood up to attention and tried to encourage Tiann to do the same and then saluted his Titan way that he knew would annoy the CO at least a bit.

"hello sir; I was just about to start cleaning up and hide all the evidence" Ray regretted sending frank away because he could use a clean up team but pilots had to help each other and he wasn't about to brake the most sacred of commandments.

Ray looked at Tiaan and wondered what he could do now? With the CO here the situation was no longer under his authority but he would at least try to keep under his influence.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Startled by the arrival of the other person she pushed away the sodden thing once known as her dress with her foot, trying to hide the fact she slept here. Slept through nearly everything. This really wasn't a good day. At least she wouldn't be called Birdy anymore, but to be honest she had found Birdy rather patronising as her Father had a real name, Vulture, a bird of prey, not some cheap insult. She had never fit in with those guys, in fact more than once she had fought them. Well she was off now and hoped this wouldn't go on her record, "If this is your room Miss--Sir---Madam---" feeling flustered she couldn't decide how to address the woman who was clearly above her rank, that's for sure.

"I understand how this looks." she took a long deep breath, "But, I promise this won't happen again. In fact I'd like to go see my Fighter arrived safely." as she spoke she tried to tidy her hair with her hand and fingers, making it less messy, but failing rather miserably."

Most people who saw Tiaan thought she looked cute, but also deeply sad inside, they could be right, but she also had a very upbeat demeanour and wasn't above a little fun. Although on the Demeter only chance she got with that was during Dock Leave, and even then it sucked to love someone and then leave them. So yesterday had seemed amazing, here was a girl coming on to her, so why the hell had she decided to scream.

God knows, still waiting for an answer she gave up on her hair growling annoyed and resumed saluting.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Calming a little she grinned; Tiaan had a beautiful lopsided smile, that spoke so much, but revealed little. Stephanie had joked she'd make a great politician, since everyone would believe her. Of course she had laughed it off, but after what she went through on Argus 50, she felt politicians got off lightly. It had been a routine mission on board the Demeter to collect minerals for transport, what happened though was one of crew members was on the make, and tried to sell them out to local smugglers, she had apparently been a great catch. This is what the record never told though, the reason Alfie didn't get taken in was because she persuaded him to commit suicide, it was easy, almost disturbing how simple it was, she got him to believe he was nothing and no one would miss him. He agreed and agreed and asked what should he do then, Tiaan had simply said this, "Walk out of the airlock and breath deeply."

That was terrifying to see him so solemn and yet so willing.

Fortunately it hadn't been put on record because her actions had scared the smugglers so much they fled. She didn't even have any powers, she just used his weakness to her advantage. No one believed her, and that mission was why she had begged, no pleaded for reassignment.

Eventually Captain Elias Riggs had given in and reassigned her, knowing she wasn't happy, but he was sorry to see her go, since outside of all the pilots she actually wasn't a red-shirt. Most pilots onboard Demeter didn't last a month, she had lasted 4 years.

"Thank you Lt Chen, your reputation precedes you. I heard of your actions on the colonies. Why I might not agree with how you handled it, your solution resulted in the least bloodshed. Glad someone had firm head on during that time."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Alice flicked Tiaan a smile. The expression was fleeting and tight, like she was unaccustomed to displaying that sort of emotion in front of... anyone. Raised by officers and secrets, Alice had spent her entire life suppressing her emotions in the presence of others. 'Stop smiling and salute' had been a more common command in her home than 'it's bedtime, go to sleep.' No one could call her family normal, even without knowing the things she did - about herself, about her mother, even about her illustrious Admiral father, whose record shown even brighter and less tarnished than her own.

An impossible record.

"Thank you, Peyton," Alice murmured, nodding to herself. "The colonies were difficult. I would have preferred any number of other choices but, well... they'd all have gotten someone killed."

And the colonies had been a difficult decision. Vega and Andromeda colonies, both under serious threat by a group of earth-born rebels who believed mankind did not belong in space. Something Alice had found rather amusing, as the rebels themselves were conducting their war in open space... that had not mattered at the time, however. Pointing out hypocritical tendencies was not going to help her. Yes, it had been a very difficult choice to make.

A good thing she had discovered that secret gas pocket just beneath the surface. The one that Vega's governor had been keeping a secret, to be used for his own profit. Evacuate the area, set the gas pocket alight as the rebels approached. Their ships went down, their crew were taken prisoner. So far as Alice knew, there had been only one casualty - a rebel engineer who got too close to the core when the explosion hit them. A wonderful record, considering the situation. All because of that governor's secrets...

Alice shrugged slightly to herself, then glanced over at the coffee pot. "Four cups, you wanted?" she asked calmly. "Best to get drinking. We can't have you hung over on duty."

Every movement sharp, clean, trained for battle, Alice crossed to the cabinets and pulled out a mug. She set it under the machine and poured a mug, then passed it across to Tiaan. She offered one to Davidson, as well, before returning her attention to the pilot girl. Her lopsided smile intrigued Alice... as did the numerous torturous events in the pilot's past.

"And you," she murmured. "From a long and shining line. Just like myself. You were on board the Demeter, were you not?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Turning away and sipping the cup thoughtfully she replied in a far away tone, "Yes..." what else could she say, so much had happened on board that ship very little was official record, true Argus 50 events had caused her to leave, but it wasn't the only thing. In fact it had actually been the final straw, but well maybe decades ago Demeter had been a fantastic vessel, state of art, but when she had lived in it. So many things happened. Part of the reason she had been called Birdy was her co-pilot Kelly, whom she had taken out on a routine mission to patrol the sector and scan for minerals. Unfortunately they has miscalculated oxygen levels and went too far, they managed to limp back, but Kelly's had never told her just how bad she was, she just kept saying, "We'll make it Birdy, we'll make it." sadly Kelly's died before any medical help could come back. Only later she had found out that Kelly's had a crush on her, but was too scared to say.

There were so many events that had happened, her time on Demeter had taught her one thing, she couldn't trust anyone for long periods of time. Maybe she was wrong, maybe it was just rules of the jungle there, but she was on board the Salient now a more modern vessel. Could she risk trusting anyone, or would they get hurt? When she had received confirmation of acceptance, she had looked over the logs and details of the flight. The thing that worried her at the time, was the flight path was locked under voice recognition and password. This suggested she had no idea what she was getting into, what else was new?

Turning back she grinned again sipping the cup carefully before answering, "But that's old news, no point living in the past eh?"

Not waiting for an answer, she downed the coffee before picking up her dress and taking another mug, still grinning.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Giving her lopsided grin she replied, "It's very hush-hush but anything gotta be better than The Demeter. My Dad told me of the Great Warship the Gordian, it was once the gem of the entire fleet." She had no idea why she bringing this up, but well she was happy to be out the Demeter, but she was wondering if this was actually the proverbial frying pan, "He was stationed on it through most of his career, brought tears to his eyes when he heard they had scrapped it for pieces." Now she remembered why she mentioned it, "This ship had pieces of her inside it, in a way it's like the child of her." she smiled brightly winking, "Maybe I'm just a sentimental old fool, but I did look up schematics of this, and three great warships gave pieces to this. It mightn't be obvious, but everything about this ship suggests secrets, whispers of far away or battles once had. We're standing in history, while on brink of it."

Whatever that meant that was sure, taking another sip, she let her wander around, Alice seemed less official that her demenour would suggest, Ray just seemed like a card, someone who loved to play Jack-the-lad. Where she fit in? Was she the Albratross of this mission dooming everyone? The fact she liked both these people scared her. Gulping down too much she choked and coughed up a bit.

Blushing she apologized, "Sorry, drank down too fast."

If only.

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Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Nodding she downed her second cup while picking up another, "Fingers crossed the transfer went through for her." There very little that could truly bother Tiaan outside her own emotional turmoil, but if anyone ever even scratched 'Blue Tit' she would rip their heads off. That fighter was everything to her, a Mercury Class Fighter fully customized with on board rail cannon, Mark 35 Jolt Thrusters, a full supply of five missiles on each wing and finally her secret weapon, a manually controlled proton beam under it. Completing this she was painted Electric Blue with words Blue Tit em-blazed in Gold. This was her pride and joy, and it would destroy her if she found out it hadn't made it.

As she made her way to the Hanger, she said very little, instead listening for the sounds of the ship, wondering if what she had said had been bullshit. But her father had said that all ships record events that took place on them and off them, while being built. It's why Prison Ships often drove people insane, many companies cut corners building them, not caring about loss of life. She wondered if Lt Chen original ship had such a history.

Arriving at the hanger, she opened and the door squeed in joy, there she was standing out in full glory, 'Blue Tit' also on the above the title was calligraphy which stated, 'Birdy's Blue Tit' Kelly had done it. She had almost forgotten it. She should probably paint over it, she kept telling herself that, but part of her felt this would hurt Kelly's memory.

"YES, HERE IT IS." she grinned gleefully, "Ain't she just a beaut!" she had put more love into that ship than any human she had been with. It was her baby, her everything, if she had lost it, it would destroy her.

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Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Her grin vanished and she stared for a bit, before walking silently over to the ship and stroking her lovingly, some people may have been disturbed with love she showed it. Either way she could less, running her hands over the sleek finish she considered before saying enigmatically, "It doesn't matter." with that said she continued to stroke the curves and bumps of her. Maybe Tiaan was a little messed up, but 'Blue Tit' had never let her down, people tended to do that. Thus said less truths spoken, less risks she took. Instead she would offer half-truths or not answer. In a way it was a game, and most people onboard The Demeter had failed. No one knew she blamed herself constantly for Kelly and Stephanie death. No one knew, and that was how she liked it.

"Everyone has secrets Lt, everyone."

She could admit she was confusing people, but well this was often the case and it was how she worked. Admiring the finish she bent down to check if there was any travelling damage, fortunately there was nothing except scars of battles, she never removed them. Much like a human this ship was a living person, it just never tried to screw her, both literally and figuratively.

Trust in space cost money, love in space cost secrets, and truth in space cost your life. Truth in space was a death sentence, no one wanted to know the real you. Instead they'd rather see you how they perceive you. Don't mistaken this for being a cynic or pessimistic, Tiaan could love, but in end up she saw only pain through it, so instead drifted through life and had fun.

Finally happy with her review of the 'Blue Tit' she smiled cheekily saying nothing, taking occasional sips. This was a tight-rope, lets see if she could keep balance.

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Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

"She's taken me far already, I've been out this sector with her, never a more reliable ship." letting her hand wander over the paint she zoned out again, remembering her Father showing her his vessel, true at this point she hadn't wanted to enter academy, but also at this point she thought boys were icky, guess something never change. It had a gorgeous ship, painted similar to an antique Spitfire he had told her how she never let him down. Even let her see the inside and fly over London. Talk about panicking the City, the mayor had thought London was under attack, the he let her look over, and let the wind fly through her hair. it had been a wonderful time. One of her finest memories and she sometimes missed those times. Especially as she had told Stephanie after, and she had been so jealous, because whereas Tiaan had just wanted to party at a young age, Stephanie had plans to go to the academy. Funny how things change.

Hearing the Lt voice she woke up from the daze, "Dinner, you sure Lt? I don't mean to insult you by the refusal, but well..."

Unsure of how to finish she tried to answer again, "I'm flattered of course, but..."

Again she stalled, sighing she simply replied grinning almost kinda sadly, she nodded, "Okay, I'll be there. I think..."

She let the words hang, as she tried to work out what was going on here. Because this wasn't normal, no sirree, she needed to try find out what to do. Or better yet be late, and not show up, that way no one could get hurt. No one could get hurt. Albatross or not, she had to be careful and not make things awkward. Deep down she already knew things were changing, question was, did she want them too?

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Jumping in alarm Tiaan decided she didn't hear what she thought she did, and even if she did, she shouldn't be turning pink. Nope, she shouldn't be and now should start focusing again on ship, trying to hide her face, she leapt into her cockpit and check the controls, feeling the ship finally leaving the atmosphere she relaxed and sat in her wing. Probably should go to her room to relax, but despite it's size she found her fighter more homely. Checking the hatch in the cockpit she pulled out her lucky charm, a WW2 Swiss Army Knife, beautiful in design with a polished wooden handle and shiny sharp blade. She had made sure it was clean and in good working order. Sometimes the blood seeped into the cracks, but this time she had got it out.

Trying to work out what to do, she sat back and went over conversation in her mind, but no matter how she turned it over in her mind. Nothing made sense, why should she wear her dress, it's not like she it meant anything. Did it? Did it? Nah it couldn't it was just an apology, but still should she show, or instead pretend to forget -- not like she could really forget, but secrets would always exist, no matter the case.

Sitting back she wondered if this was all just a dream and she was still asleep, still to wake up? Maybe she could wake up now and leave the room, that thought seemed so inviting. Life didn't work like this, so it had to be a dream.

Pinching herself hard, she sighed and waited.

Nothing...

What now Tiaan, what now?

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray had taken the time to call the boys down in clean up, they claimed they had finished their shift of the day but when Ray reminded them of the rooms occupant they got right on the job.

Ray didn't say much while they where all in the room; he didn't understand the Co's intentions and wanted to make sure this was not a trap of some kind. Ray had a long standing dislike of CO's ever since he got his wings and a trust problem ever since the war which was really rich coming from him since he himself was now a bloody unit commander which was near the air forces rank of wing commander.

As the conversation progressed Ray felt the chances of the CO pulling off a double game was low enough for him to take part in it once they got to the hanger.

Tiaan was fussing over her fighter which Ray identified as being a major character in fighter pilots; pilots like him who had to deal with the heavy escorts and gunships didn't establish as much of a bond with their machines because they had a tendency of surviving battles only to be scrapped because the damage they had suffered was too expensive to repair. In a fighter you ether survived with your fighter or got killed with your fighter as there was no fancy armor to protect you like on the heavy escorts and the gunships.

However Ray and other heavy pilots normally knew their machines far better then fighter pilots did; Ray knew exactly how much his gunship could take and what he could or could not do because Gunships and heavy escorts where not built for fast and furious combat styles but for what heavy pilots called "shield wall" formations which acted as the iron fist of an attack.

Heavy pilots where naturally defensive while fighter pilots where mentally offensive because all they had to defend themselves with was their weapons and their speed; all they could do was kill of be killed and thus developed a connection with their machines which while it could be irrational was normally deeper then that of other smaller craft ships.

"Fine fighter you have there, in Saturn we normally have the federation's junked fighters but our military command got fed up with the treatment so we started making our own like this beauty for example:

Ray turned to his gunship and opened the cat flip door

"She doesn’t look like much but she is the closest think to a fighter command ship; hell I have enough room on her to bring two of your lot aboard if I wanted too and still have room for at least half the marines."

The designee of the swing class had room for only one fighter originally but Ray and his unit redesigned their stock of the swing class to include an up section which could strap another fighter to it at the expense of the old fashion observation deck which every one in Ray's unit agreed had no useful purpose.

Ray turned to the two women as he stood on the ramp

"Well sir if you are ever sent on a long distanced raid from the ship to command the fighters; this will be the place you will be on. Any of you want to have a look?"

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Hangar

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Jessica had been over the Rapier with a fine-toothed comb and a critical eye already. You could take her out of maintainer uniform, but you werent going to take her out of maintainer mentality when you put her in front of a new hull. All things, of course, were impossible to know, but her old job had been electrical; so she'd learned a bit of everything. Enough to now know that the Chief had been right, and this solid bird was going to be as easy in the void as she was on the deck. She couldnt wait to take it out even just for CAP, let alone combat.

Sitting where the broad wings met the side of the huge engine cowling, she was sketching with a grease pencil the finishing touches of some tail art. A hyena head, of course, looking dead on with a psychotic, fang-baring grin; spotted mohawk of a mane only adding to the dishevled and assylum-worthy appearance. It'd be painted by morning, and Jess already sees something worthy of distracting her from waiting.

"About time!" The call is loud, of course, as she jumps off the wing and strides towards Ray and Tiaan. Hyena did nothing in a small way. "I was beginning to wonder if I was the only void-sucker aboard this crate!"

Sharp eyes scan Tiaan, then Blue in the distance, then Tiaan again, all the while wearing a carnivore's smile not far removed from the one now on her fighter's tail... "Heavy fighter, eh? Cool, didnt know who was going to claim that beast."

Noticing Ray, the smile broadens and she nods in recognition, "And about time you found the hangar. You get lost and manage to pick up chicks on the way? I can tell this cruise is going to be a party... Please tell me that was the XO that just ditched... You know what they say, man, bad luck to boff someone you work with.." And a sly wink breaks the laser-intensity stare. Innapropriate? Ever so slightly. Military humor, whaddaya gonna do?

"But serriously, you two seem to both have the Huge Fucker field covered, I guess I'll be the one knocking ticks off your slow asses." And she jerks a thumb back at the Rapier in its slot. With decent armor in its own right and those huge engines pushing out plenty of thrust, the quad guns hanging off its wings and its compliment of internal anti-fighter missles meant the venerable old Rapier still had plenty of teeth to play interceptor and superiority fighter.

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Back in her welcome area, she grinned her usual lop-sided way before answering the new person, "Blue Tit here could outgun your craft any day of the week sister. I customized her myself and she not got anything but the best. You can hardly tell she was a Mercury Class Fighter, hell do they even make those anymore?"

Feeling much safer she continued, "Also you, gunner boy, it's not the size of your craft darlin' but how you use it?" winking she grinned again. This was much better and she was happy to be out her craft now, just bantering and flinging bullshit, although that girl wasn't the first underestimate Blue Tit, many thought just because of the obvious design, that they could out fly her. Let's just say boys didn't like losing, much as it was Tiaan's experience in this matter. Whatever happened after this she could worry about it later, for now she was in her colour, her climate.

"Also sister, the name Peyton, you recognize the name you should? My Father was flying before you were out of nappies. My Grandfather was flying before you were twinkle in the milkman's eye."

Smirking she waited for an answer, feeling much more in her element and relaxing completely.

Drama could wait.

The setting changes from Hangar to The Milky Way Universe

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And so it was that time again; pilot boasting.

Gunship pilots like Ray where normally not as boastful because they needed fighters to keep them safe from other fighters while the gunships did all the jobs a fighter could not do and a few things a fighter could do. The only real weaknesses of a gunship where: the sizes, the lack of maneuverability, take off time, inferior speed to fighters and the cost.

Ray jumped off the ramp but as he did so he pressed a button which extended a basket ball hoop from the Gunships interior and dropped a ball right into Ray's hands.
As he reached the ground he jumped up and issued a voice command to the ship to play hound dog as he stood up.

"I bet your fighters can't do that can they?" He said with a grin; gunships had so much spare room after you got rid of all the regulation crap no body needed.

He then tossed the ball back to the gunship's door and issued a voice command to close up the basketball set. The ship had belonged to his unit and was given to him since its last owners decision to retire early; they had both collaborated along with the rest of the unit and added a few things to spice up the shallow asteroid bases they where stationed in.

"Just don't leave me alone to go glory grabbing all the time, I might be able to hack and slash at anything and everything in my sights but I can't move my chunk of metal in a fighters speed. I am not complaining, at least if I get hit I have my armor.

You will do well to remember to keep my girl safe because if you ever get buggered out there I am the only angle who can get you out"

Ray sighed and moved to join the area the other two where standing at

"Pity I need to remove the basketball contraption, it just doesn’t work right with the rest of the ship"

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Hangar

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Jessica laughs at Tiaan, folding her arms in a 'challenge accepted' way.

"Your Grand-daddy could be Santa Claus and your Daddy can turn tricks on the corner for all it counts towards what -you- can do." Her grin gains an edge, "Hell, my -boots- have more deck time then you do, ring-knocker." The term was a derogatory one; a term mechanics applied to academy officers (they liked to wear their graduation rings) who beleived they were inherrently and genetically better then the ill-bred enlisted commoners.

Her eyes slide off of Tiaan to Ray as he demonstrates the advantages to extra room on a gunboat.

"A basketball hoop, really? Dammit, man, I thought you were about to unveil the kegerrator. Dont get my hopes up like that."

Chuckling, she spreads her hands out wide again, "And I said I'd be there, didnt I? No worries, I'll make sure no big, scary insurgeants scratch your paintjob just as long as you make sure to remember my hard work and dedication when we hit a planet with a bar."

She cocks her head to the side as the Salient's engines come to life in a deep, quiet thrum that sung through the ship and would become a constant background song for the next few months. There was no sensation of movement, of course, given the huge ship's artificial gravity. A quick, familiar thrill for Jessica as, again, she left the red Martian dirt behind. There was a whole lot of unknown ahead of them, and it all had the potential to be one badass adventure. She'd have to remember to talk to the Chief again, see if she could get her name on the flight schedual for an early patrol as soon as they hit open space.

The setting changes from Hangar to The Milky Way Universe

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

This was what it meant to be a fighter pilot, well if she wanted proof of how well she flew, time to bring up an event that wasn't declassified, "You probably remember a while ago a certain Merchant's Convoy went missing near Pluto, many figured it for lost. my old ship The Demeter was stationed nearby, this you probably heard as you did no doubt hear the Merchant Convoy's survived. Here's the classified bit, it took five fighter to defeat the pirates hijacking them, only one survived." she paused for dramatic moment before continuing, "Blue Tit survived and shot down the main ship by blowing up the fuselage. I survived as ya can see, but the four others got caught in the explosion or were shot down earlier on."

It wasn't proudest moment but proved she knew her flying and besides bragging wasn't really her forte. May as well be honest, turning towards Ray she grinned, "I'm a football girl dude -- also by football I mean European, not the pussified garbage America has."

It was often said she was way too blunt, but really she had to establish she wasn't no push-about, and that she had every right to pecking order as other.

"Although Jessie, I may have something you like, check under my fighter, trust me you don't see these on any fighter mostly, I got it for really as a last stand sorta device, proton cannon, manually controlled that can pack a powerful punch. Does that make you wet your panties." she winked, not in flirty way, more to be cheeky and to show she wasn't what she first appeared. Besides she was too confused to think about 'that' for now.

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Hyena laughs lightly at Tiaan and shakes her head, "Yeah, I saw it. But I figured you had a gunner seat. What are you going to do with a manual turret in a dogfight? Put her in park every time you want to pop off a shot?"

Waving a hand dismissively to gloss over the comment, the pilot changes the conversation, "Now that the obligatory dick-waving is out of the way, we've got an issue."

Beckoning Ray and Tiaan in conspiratorily, that meat-eating grin spreads from ear to ear, "We're set up for pretty much The most boring sunset cruise in the Federation. This boat's got more guns then God, and we're heading out to the fringes of Big Fuckin Empty. Any pirates or insurgents out -that- goddamn far arent going to have the balls to step up to this crate unless they've gone completely batshit. What this says to me, is that smart people came -prepared-. See, I used to turn wrenches, and I've already tapped some guys I served with in another squadron. They know some comm crewman, who know some engineers, who have a compartment a few decks down that -no one- uses. I was going to just use it as an oversized closet, but I'm thinking it could have a more... 'social' calling. The kind of social you cant have in a ship's lounge with Big Brother breathing down your neck. You still with me?"

Jesus Christ, not 24 hours on board and she's already tapped into the JO Underground, planning to pool the resources of various enterprising individuals. Jess was the type of individual to whom you could trade a bent paperclip and by the end of the month she'd trade you back a brand new car. Came with growing up on a merchant dock, and maybe with being just plain sneaky.

"We need one last hoorah out here, before that XO with the starched shirt buckles down, and before people forget what shore leave was like. Besides, I dont know you two tug drivers, I dont trust people I dont know, and I dont fly with people I dont trust. So just think of it as 'building unit cohesion and encouraging good morale'."

She snaps her fingers and adds, almost as an asside to herself, "I think we can talk to a couple of the Marines and maybe that Nav I met at the breifing, too, they seemed pretty chill, if they can keep their mouths shut around the brass..."

Looking back to her fellow space-jockies, Hyena shrugs, "Whadaya say? I know you've got some hidey-holes in those big-ass birds, dont tell me you cant contribute. I've got some smokes, some cards.. We'll add in some booze and I'll see if I can scrounge up a cook willing to slide a few of the Staff Officer prime meat rations... One of the spaceframers is already working on cutting a grill out of a hydraulic drum... Oh, man, this is -so- on."

If that smile got any wider, it would split her skull, and she was practically dancing in place. Listen closely enough, and you might actually hear all those clever little gears in her head whirring at speeds to make FTL jealous.

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Tiaan Peyton

On one hand Tiaan loved this idea, on the other she was trying not to make big show. Although way things were going she doubted it be possible to avoid now. Chipping in she replied, "I can distract Lt General easily enough, you guys handle the supplies. All in all this could be fun." Why, why, why was she volunteering herself in this case. It's not like she had even been on board for a day, but now she was thinking of distracting her superior and letting a party happen. This wasn't right, not even close to right. Although wh was she kidding, she loved parties, and anything that loosened the crew up was a major plus. Either way, she wouldn't directly be involved and at least Lt Chen wouldn't assume anything as it was her who begun this.

Now to get that dress washed and try survive one day. Despite everything this day might not be the worse one ever. Not to mention maybe she could have some fun by taking such risks. Nothing was ever given by playing things safe. Nope, not at all, if anything Tiaan hated being cautious, preferred being impulsive. The only time she ever kept complete was during flying, and that was only to concentrate.

Remembering something she added, "To make an omelette gotta crack a few eggs eh?"

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Nodding Tiaan gave quick flash of trade-mark lop-sided grin before heading out the hanger. First thing to sort was getting her dress dried out and washed. Examining display on her gauntlet she pressed a few buttons, cycling through various departments, Barracks, Kitchen, Crew --- ah here we are now, Cleaning Staff, taking note of number she dialled up the number,

"Hello this Ms Peyton would I be able to drop my dress off to get washed."

There was a pause before a voice replied, "No bother, send it down, we'll have it done by tomorrow."

Sighing Tiaan responded, "That's not good enough, could you have done it before Dinner?" The voice said nothing for a while as if considering, "Well yes, but it will cost."

Smirking she replied, "No bother, just make sure to have it done, I'll bring the payment don't worry."

With that she closed the line.

Looking around she hall she saw people milling around, some scientists with clipboards walked by her, they were too engrossed to notice her. Which she was relieved about, because despite everything she still wished to not grow attached or deal with anyone. She wanted fun without strings, was that too much to ask? Really at least she was honest about it. Not that she hated people, she just hated connections, as they seemed doomed.

Whatever the case, might as well walk around here for a bit she thoughts.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to F.S.S. Salient

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Tiaan Peyton

Walking back from her room, she heard the klaxon with an announcement, "All fighters, scramble, scramble.". Grinning from ear to ear she took off in a quick jot, heading straight for hanger area. Weaving passed the people rushing to their stations, she entered code for the Hanger and before entering. It was pandemonium as the mechanics and hanger staff tried to make sure all the checks were done. Seeing Hyena she winked.

Approaching her fighter, she climbed on one of the wings, opened the cockpit and dropped in. Giving quick cursory glance over her console, she preformed pre-flight checks. Fuel, check, weaponry restocked, checked, oxygen, check, intercom working, "This is Peyton, can you hear me Hyena?". While waiting she checked the console, to see it responded.

This was where she belonged in her own opinion in her fighter in the vastness of space. Absolute freedom and will to do what she wished. Nothing but silence outside, while she she preformed a show in her head, a circus she rehearsed many times. Procedures were her life blood with patience.

Let's dust some pirate scum.

The setting changes from F.S.S. Salient to The Milky Way Universe

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Hyena hadnt gotten more then a few steps away from Marcus and Faith when the eriee, attention-grabbing tones of the General Quarters alarm sounded. When it's followed very closely by the call to Scramble, it's no drill. The pilot pivots on a boot and disappears down the coridoors back towards the hangar.

Dodging people in the hangar with a practiced ease, Hyena doesnt seem to even touch the rungs of the ladder into her own cockpit and jams the waiting helmet onto her head. Her hands had done their dance a thousand times across the console, leaving her to respond freely over the radio as the engines are primed, the weapons readied, and the lifesupport checked.

"Lima Charlie, Peyton. Damn good timing, isnt it? I'll be ready for the drinks by the time we get back." She laughs.

With a deep, frame-jolting pop, she releases her craft from its bracket, and the fighter with its grinning hyena tail art slides foreward with the hangar doors and the void beyond on its nose. The hangar was cold - they always were - but it was nothing compared to space. As the Rapier breaks the magnetic containment field that kept the atmosphere and vacuum safely separate, crystals of ice form for a half-second on any available condensation that peppers her hull, and the metal sings a short, faint song as it reacts to the change in pressure and temperature. But seals hold and cold hydraulics still function, and Hyena clears the shelter of the Salient and leaves its lights in her wake.

"Tuck in behind me and enjoy the view; I'll get you to the party in once peice."

Lighter, faster, and meaner, the fighter positions itself to be escort for Peyton's heavier-armed and heavier-hulled craft, but Hyena doesnt go easy on the throttle. If that frigate got within firing range of Miranda before support showed up, there wouldnt be much of a rescue. Speaking of, in case no one in the bridge had thought to do so, Hyena switches her radio to civilian frequencies to make contact. Wouldnt do to have the civilian fighter shoot at its saviors.

"Altamus Escort, this is Rapier 338 off the Salient. Inbound to you, two count. Check fire." Well wasnt that professional and courteous? The picture of military efficiency and - "Attacking vessel, you are to bend over, spread 'em, and smile real perdy-like." Cue facepalm.

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"No worries, Ronin, we'll delouse your six."

It isnt a half a breath after that the Salient's salvo errupts over the fighters' heads and off the side of the pirate hulk. No doubt even the glancing impact would cause the frigate to list in space, since anyone at the helm was now paste. Hyena whistles, impressed.

"Jesus ... And give you a haircut to boot.. We're apparently a full-service sort. Make for the hangar and tell 'em Hyena sent you; you'll get the best seat in the house."

By this point, she would be shooting past Miranda's beleagured ship, dipping its wings in a friendly waggle. With the first threat neutralized by the big guns, she lays into the throttle. As medium-sized fighters go, the Rapier's oversized engines pushed it with enough power to act, in this case, as an admirable interceptor. Hyena points her nose towards the distant freighters that continue to be herded and picked at by the pirate reinforcements, knowing full well she would arrive well before Peyton's support or the Salient's fight-ending firepower. But if she waited, then the pirates would inflict that much more damage and be that much closer to winning their prize. Sending the faster fighters in first was a standard procedure anyway, right?

She crosses the distance after a few terse moments of all-encompasing silence, until the contacts ahead begin to tickle the edges of her effective range. Unconciously, a toothy grin twists her face, and the bloody smile is a far cry from the friendly expressions she showed aboard ship. With a squeeze of the trigger, she sends the first opening rounds flying over the backs of the freighters. Too far out to accurately anticipate the small pirates, the shots were only meant to distract. It was a warning and a challenge; ignore her at their peril, because their free ride had just ended.

A handful would probably detatch to deal with the Federation interloper, and Hyena sails straight at them. With four foreward-facing guns dedicated to dogfighting and a slim profile that didnt lend itself well to making a target, it's a short burst before one of the charging patchwork fighters goes out in a ball of smothered flame and shrapnel.

The formation breaks at close range, and the conflict evolves into a tight ball of flashing engines and searing firepower. From a distance, it could be called beautiful if you could ignore the death happening inside it. Hyena uses herself as bait; breaking from the dogfight when she can to dart towards the pirates that are still targeting the freighters. Her charge would force them to disengage, potentially even choosing to chase her, instead. The advantage to being a single fighter is that the space around her becomes very crowded, very quickly. Less disciplined pirates must dedicate more time to avoiding a collision than accurate targeting of the nimble Rapier, even if that means she, herself, spends more time dodging then killing.

"Oh Peyton?" Hyena's voice is cheerful, if a little gutteral as the strain of her maneuvers compresses her lungs, "Be a dear and put on a little gas?"

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Smirking she replied, "Oh you'll see." with that she powered the engines fully, catching quite quickly up too Hyena, checking radar she saw the pirates had scrambled light fighters. Nothing too dangerous, but just enough to be a bother, taking initiative she yelled in the headset, "Hyena circle around, they're coming in too close. I think you pissed them off." It was a little unnerving but the pirates seem to want to go for weaker vessel, setting up her cannon, she aimed carefully, locking on before firing, a yellow amorphous blob, shot a wing off one of the fighters. It began to spin out of control, in horror Tiaan saw where it was headed, "Hyena evasive manoeuvres now!"

Hoping she had heard, she saw they had finally decided to target her, going back into main controls, she fired off two missile's this time hitting, "BULLSEYE!" although the cheer was short lived, as she saw the pirate vessel had released gunner ships.

Oh shit, this was bad.

Hoping she wasn't only one out there, she reversed the engines and slowly spun around, aiming the thrusters fully burning at the incoming gunner ship.

Praying silently she fired the engines completely, spinning back around to see a charred wreck of one of them.

Close one, but now to check Hyena, "Hyena you there, please respond."

Waiting nervously she fired off two more missles this time missing the fighters as they swerved and fired their own in response.

Gasping she swung into a curve, trying to evade.

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With dramatic flair ideally suited to fighter pilot shenanigans, Hyena's painted Rapier splits the space between Tiaan and the missles that dog her. The energy emission from her engines disrupts their targeting computers, confusing their lock and turning their attentions onto her, instead. They turn onto her tail as she enters a back-breaking loop. Since they had already been at a right angle, the twin missles are unable to duplicate the Rapier's turn, and loose their lock halfway through the deadly merry-go-round.

As they sail off into open space before detonating harmlessly, Hyena's voice answers Tiaan with ever-present good cheer, "Of course I'm here. Where the hell else would I be?"

A continued loop brings her around onto the fighters that Tiaan had so recently pissed off, and a flurry of shots onto the top of the trailing craft breaks its spine in a flash of metal and broken electricals. The lead wobbles and breaks away from Tiaan with Hyena right behind it, twisting to match its evasive maneuvers.

"Dont let me catch you!" She openly taunts the unfortunate bastard, the hardy military craft rapidly closing the gap on the patchwork pirate fighter, "Almost there, I said dont let me catch you!"

Unable to out-turn the Rapier, the other pilot attempts to corkscrew out of the circle and throw her. It exposes his belly for a half-second, and like a cat with a mouse, it was all she was waiting for. A nasty laugh accompanies her shots, and the other fighter disintegrates beneath the withering punishment.

Rolling evasively, she expects someone else to be taking advantage of her dogged persuit of her target, but no shots come. She levels out, eyes darting across the starscape, to find the surviving fighters running. Really the only smart thing to do, now that their frigates were dead or dying and the Salient's full compliment was still going strong. A flash of annoyance in the pit of her gut, like she'd been cheated of her game. Hyena puts the retreating engines on her nose and throws the throttle foreward in persuit.

"Crap! They're getting away!"

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Tiaan Peyton

Whipping her helmet off, she felt some mechanics help her off, one even tried to grab her ass -- cheeky. That didn't bother her today, once they done congratulating her. She turned to the fighter to review any damage, other than some charring, nothing was terrible. BlueBird had done it again, although it was great she hadn't been only one to survive this time.

Turning to Hyena who was revelling in the attention she smirked, "Fly girls never change huh? We're certainly not to down to earth." waiting a little she added, "Great flying, but how did you avoid fighter hurtling at you, when I blew it's wing off, I lost sight of you so couldn't see what was going on."

While waiting she stretched and played through fight in her mind, overall it had been great fight. Pirates were never really trained flyers although she had once heard her Father had fought the legendary pirate Silver Eyes once known as Vice Admiral Atreus Eturrer, a very renowned Admiral at the time, sadly his story of heroics ended when he went over to Pirates. To this day no one knows why, or why he massacred his whole crew. Many who had fought Silver Eyes had died in action or barely escaped. It was actually that fight which had made her father return for a whole year to be with his family.

Hushed tones of reverence and fear were often heard when the name was spoken.

Secretly Tiaan wanted to be the one to kill him, it was her main goal. Shoot Silver Eyes out into space, and let his reign of tyranny end. Although it was unlikely to happen in this case, but maybe just maybe these pirates were led by him. If this was the case, this thing could blow up in their faces. Silver Eyes had fought full fleets and escaped. They'd be easy picking.

Shaking the thought out her mind, she smiled, although maybe she was just worrying too much.

The setting changes from Hangar to The Milky Way Universe

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The fleeing pirates had several kilometers' worth of lead on her Rapier, and while that normally wouldnt be enough distance to outrun the Federation fighter, it is just enough distance to make Hyena doubt. With no noise but her humming engines, it's enough time for the killing rush to cool, and for the niggling little thought to wriggle in that her six was hanging out in open space with no one to cover it. Much farther, and she'd be too far to even run back into the safety of the Salient's range if she got into trouble. Not even the temptation of more 'fun' mixing it up in another dogfight is enough to dismiss that threat, and reluctantly Hyena eases the throttle back from its stops.

In the hangar, the fighter pilot helmet and flightsuit that Tiaan adresses turns around, and it's not Hyena; just some other shmuck who looks vaguely confused when she calls him a flygirl. What, single-seat pilots all look alike to you or somethin? Trollolol.

The flickering red marks on her scopes reach the edge of her range and blink out of contact, and she shows the Rapier's wings in a wide turn back towards the Salient and its waiting hangar.

"Salient Control, Rapier 338, hostiles are no-factor." She reports glumly, "Do you want me to maintain a patrol until the civies get their escort or head back to the barn?"

Taking the time to run a functionality check in the meantime, Hyena is pleased that her craft is still in fighting shape after a furball like that. It'd gotten hairy quick when Tiaan had sent an out-of-control pirate in her direction, but the timely call for evasive maneuvers had really saved her ass from becomming a victim of fratricide. Not that her shoulder appreciated the harness digging into it during the sharp snap she'd had to execute, but that was a small price to pay for still feeling at all.

Life was remarkably fragile in the void, especially for such a small craft as a fighter. The whole cockpit compartment was a titanium and transparasteel bathtub, but if that tenuous sanctuary was breached, she'd be sitting in ice-cold space with only the discomfortingly thin fabric of her flightsuit between her and vaccuum. If -that- had even the smallest failure... Well, they say it lasted just long enough for you to feel it. Still, all of the above was prefferable to having some vital system punctured, leaving her spiraling - but alive - out into the endless black. Waiting for her air to run out seemed like pretty much the shittiest way to go, and as an afterthought Hyena makes a note to see the armory; it might be worth bringing along a pistol for just such an occasion...

With a quick shake, she disperses the last vestiges of adrenaline along with those gloomy thoughts, returning to basking in a pleased post-combat glow while she awaits a response.

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Tiaan Peyton

Looking at herself in the mirror she sighed, the dress was best thing she had, but in light of everything it seemed over the top. It probably was just a chance for the Officer to get to know her. Considering her family reputation it made sense, to do this. Although she had a mission, keep the Lt distracted, that meant acting like this was more. Although staring at her reflection, she wondered if she was a being a bitch. Part of her felt like she was regressing woman's right back with her actions. She was going to use her womanly wiles to make sure Lt remain unaware of the big party. It should have been easy, but she felt like this was wrong in so many ways.

Stripping out her uniform she looked at herself, semi attractive woman with small perky breasts, but lovely red hair with traces of black. It not like she didn't know how beautiful many thought she was, but still for some reason she felt ugly.

Lifting up the dark blue dress she slipped it on, zipping up the back carefully by using the mirror, then slipping her heels on she let out a long heavy sigh.

It was for Hyena, that what she needed to remember. It's best to sacrifice friendship with Lt for some with her wing mate, because in the end who did she have to rely on more. Logically it was her Hyena, sacrifices no matter how hard were necessary.

Taking one last look at herself, she headed towards the door checking her watch, twenty minutes until the party begins, that gives her plenty of time to begin this.

For better or for worse, let the games begin.

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Walking through the halls, she could hear the thrumming of the engine as it slowly reverberated the floor. It was a comforting sound, something that told her everything was going to be fine. Much like how sailors felt more welcome on the Sea, she felt more in her element in space. The silence as she swerved her Blue Tit, the lack of resistant this had, carefully angling her fighter. Complete and utter control, it's funny she could handle something as advanced as Mercury Class Fighter customized thoroughly, but when it came to human interaction, it was like she could do some. It just felt wholly pointless. This was different though it was a mission, the crew deserved some R&R, if she had distract --- let's be honest she was going be sending signals out the wazoo-- then so be it.

Arriving finally at the hallway, she went to enter, then turning away she coughed nervously.

"You've come this far, just do it Tiaan..."

Swinging around she tried once again to open the door, but her hand stopped as she shook a little afraid.

Deciding for cowards way she knocked quietly on the door.

Hearing nothing she turned away to go.

Shaking herself angrily she knocked louder.

Timidness rocked her core, it didn't help her dress felt really unprofessional and too revealing around here. She almost wished she had a bottle with her, at least to calm her nerves.

Sighing she knocked even louder and tried to say clearly, "It's me... Tiaan, you don't have to go looking for me. I'm... um... I'm here."

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After the salutations, the Admiral stepped in, inspecting Alice’s attire. She had on informal wear that was very close to formal.

“I wanted to talk to you about several things, for one, the Tartarus Group pilot, and several other private matters,”

He turned away for a moment, and observed the appetizers on the dinner table, one set out for the Lieutenant Commander, and another for a guest. Aronimus assumed that she was awaiting a guest, perhaps a fellow crew member, no matter though.

“Hmm, am I interrupting something?” the Admiral turned to Alice, “I can come back later when you are available Ms. Chen.”

The Admiral only said that out of courteousness, but he expected the Lieutenant Commander to be ready for anything, even if it meant that her dinner had to be delayed. Then a voice was heard,

"It's me... Tiaan, you don't have to go looking for me. I'm... um... I'm here,” it was one of the crew members, one of the many that Admiral could not keep track of. To him, they were just numerous indiscriminant faces that lingered throughout the ship, and saluted him as he crossed their paths. He knew though that they were they were the staple of a successful operation, and he would treat them with such a status.

Aronimus turned to Alice, “So you were expecting someone?”

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#, as written by Rulke
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Tiaan Peyton

Feeling slightly deflated and confused Tiaan started to walk away. After all that there wasn't going to be anything. Part of her considered just entering, but really what could she say, she could just wait around here for now. Because right now she couldn't exactly start doing anything. Slipping her gauntlet on she proceeded to call any nearby engineers. It took a while but she got through to one, sighing she spoke in a clipped tone.

"Please make sure Blue Tit is ready for next piece of action, for some reason when flying my scanners were glitching. I couldn't locate where anyone was."

Not even waiting for an answer she continued, "Also restock the missle bay. I want this done now. I don't care if you've a party to go to soon. Work first, fun later."

There a mumble of reply, before he hung up. She was probably bit too hard on him, but honestly could you blame her, she felt so confused about everything. So if she could bully anyone for sense of control she would.

Seeing nearby seat, she herself down, and let her mind wander, it wasn't too far, one thing for sure she would see the Admiral leave, as this was exit from this hallway. It would have to do.

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Tiaan Peyton

Once she saw admiral leaving down the hall, she gave quick wave, before heading off in a fast trot to her 'destiny'. Whatever happened hope the Lt could understand where Tiaan's allegiance lied, and why. Either way as she made her way to the room, she decided not be coward about it all. If a bitch she was considered, then bitch she must be, besides attachments only caused problems. As she had waited caught murmurs of conversation between some people nearby, saying that the pirate's had prisoners and they were rescued. She never really understood how anyone could devote their lives to wrecking others. What about the people's family or friend, didn't they get a say. Some would call this naive, but to her it was more really of practicalities. If you're outside the law you don't want people gathering up posse to hunt you. Maybe this was really kind of dense, but to her it made sense.

Once again arriving at the door, she knocked and forcing all her confidence she said clearly with stutter, "Honey, I'm home!" she laughed to herself before continuing, "Open the door and I'll tell you everything." emphasising the word everything she waited for answer. Bravado was one thing, but when she entered that room, it be like trying to swim in a rushing current, no doubt it would be shyness and embarrassment that made this 'date'. Still got to try for Hyena right.

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Alice turned and smiled when Tiaan's voice came through the comm. She crossed the room and silently admitted the girl into the dimly lit cabin, stepping back towards the table to give her a little space. Alice looked entirely different, in this environment, than she did on the bridge - not so stiff-backed and proper, a smile gracing her high cheekbones and sparkling in her eyes. Her hair fell around her in dark, cushioning plumes.

"Welcome back," she murmured, amused by Tiaan's attempt at a brave entrance. The girl was terrified. Alice could tell. "I hope you're hungry. Dinner is ready."

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Tiaan Peyton

Entering the room, she gave her trademark lopsided grin, looking around. The room was certainly nice, and much bigger than her own. Although that was to be expected, but still it's amazing she had thought could sleep here, to avoid going home. All in all things had turned out good, now just to force her confidence back and let this game begin. Tiaan did know this dance well, hell she was quite good at seduction, but mostly those had been wide-eyed cadets or girls 'experimenting' but not really into the idea. Just wanting to try, essentially wanting to have their cake and eat it.

It pissed her off to be honest, it was hard enough with all the leers from crew members on the Demeter, but now to add insult to injury proper relationships weren't on her horizon. Maybe she should actually try, she knew the signs, and they were ringing out, but wouldn't it be a betrayal for the Lt, that she had been delayed not for love---at least not obvious love, but to let a party go on.

All these thoughts flew through her mind, but deciding on one sentence she enunciated, "You look beautiful, Lt, I mean Mam, I mean... um..." holding her tongue she blushed deep pink, turning away a little flustered, "I don't mean you don't normally look beautiful... but... oh shit... um wait, ignore that..." this was going fantastic, "It's more obvious with your hair down." breathing a sigh of relief, she gave the grin again.

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Amusement ticked up Alice's lip. She raised one thin eyebrow at Tiaan.
"No need to be so nervous," she murmured, turning and walking to the table. She held Tiaan's chair for her, gesturing for the pilot to take her seat. "Tell me. Do you eat meat?"

A perfectly innocent question - one that any good host would ask. But Alice was only making light talk now. She could see the anxiety, the secrets churning in Tiaan's brain. The panic. The girl was not only here for dinner, and Alice knew it all too well.

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Tiaan Peyton

Smiling she nodded, "Only certain kinds." she sniggered before remembering where she was, "I mean yes I do." Stupid, stupid, stupid. Trying to get herself on right foot, she continued, "I couldn't help noticing the portrait photo of group of people, is that crew of your last ship? I thought it was a prison ship." She had really just noticed it, but didn't interest her so much, she was trying to bring her confidence up to get ready for the dance. Idle chatter was in itself good way to flirt, just had to be subtle with wording and more.

Continuing she replied to herself, more than anything, "I see, Demeter was a science class vessel from UK final golden age, when we had the Pantheon Fleet, unfortunately all but the weaker ships were crushed. It was tragic. Hermes, Demeter and couple others survived. Although it ended it for good. I wasn't born during this time though." she laughed, "I just read about it, my Dad made sure got educated well about the ships."

She found herself actually looking at the picture again, and wondering something, could that young woman really be the Lt?

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The question caught Alice off-guard, not easy to do. Wordlessly, she paced across the room in her tall, slim heels and picked the frame from its resting place. She looked down into her own eyes, frozen with brilliance and excitement. That had not been so long ago - the beginning of her career, but the end of a more cheerful time.
"Yes," she murmured, smiling slightly, sadly. She rubbed a thumb fondly across the glass, across the face of a man she knew to be dead, and then set the picture down again. "We didn't know what we were getting into. We were so excited... but the Nottingham wasn't really what we thought it was going to be."

She stood for one moment longer, staring at the photograph, then shook memories from her mind and turned back to Tiaan. Her smile returned, bright and confident, and she gestured to the plates.

"Let's eat," she murmured, stepping over to the kitchen area and bringing back a bowl of chicken fettuccine, still piping hot. Alice's mother used to joke that if she had not been so good in the military, she would have been a chef.

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Tiaan Peyton

Nodding she took her place, playing the role she was meant too. Accepting the hosts graciousness and her meal too. Deciding she would like to find out more, she continued probing, "Rarely do we realize what our actions cost, until it's too late." thinking back to rushing to the crash, she remembers pushing through the crowd, seeing stretchers covered in white sheets, while siren rang out loudly. Tears streaming down her eyes, as she saw her friend's car, mutilated completely. Cries of agony and bright dancing lights making her dizzy, she remembers puking her guts out, partially due to alcohol and also because she felt dizzy and unable to comprehend anything. All she could think of was Tara really worth it, the lay. Why hadn't she stayed with Steph, making sure she got home safely. Her selfish need for pleasure had killed her best friend.

Returning to present, she realized her eyes had begun to tear up, accepting the plate, she smiled wistfully, trying to get mind back on present. You got work to do, stop thinking of things you can't change girl. Right now she was playing a game, best act the part.

"It all looks very delicious." a subtle double entrendre to sweeten the deal.

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"I'm glad," Alice answered, smiling graciously. She spooned some fettuccine onto Tiaan's plate, then onto her own, before taking a seat. She leaned back comfortable and crossed her legs. Everything she did had a grace and elegance about it which was difficult to name - as though she were a dancer instead of a trained fighter. She had history, of course, in the musical arts, but she had dropped them at an early age. She only wanted to be like her parents.

Leaning forwards, resting her elbows on the table and her chin on the backs of her hands, Alice gave Tiaan an almost dangerous smile. Seductive, certainly, but also hungry. Craving knowledge of the pilot.

"You sound like you speak from experience," she observed quietly. "You know someone who's died."

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Tiaan Peyton

Shrugging she ignored the question, not wishing to answer. Knowledge was power her Mum had taught her, while her Dad had taught her how awesome space was and it's various and varied history, her Mother had made sure to teach her smarts for survival. It's best not dwell in the past right now, and besides she didn't feel like answering. One, Lt had no right on knowing and two, she came here to have fun to think about what could have been. Giving a sly wink, she considered the wording before she said it, "I doubt it's as fascinating as your time on a prison ship. I of course can't compare to that, before Demeter I was fresh out the academy, sleeping with wide-eyed girl cadets, but not really interested in love." smiling thoughtfully she continued, "Although, one time in the academy, I took one of the fighter on a joyride for a dare. We hadn't even got proper flight training." laughing a little she went on, "I crashed right into the Sergeant major study, while he was entertaining one of the cadets. No one was hurt of course, but he told me to keep quiet, and he'd say the ship malfunctioned."

That was certainly hilarious time and it made her laugh to remember his shock when he saw her pop out dozily out the cockpit as he was getting himself blown. It was utterly priceless. The girl was even more embarrassed by this. Tiaan had used this to her advantage and gotten some of her own pleasure from the vixen. And boy was she good with her mouth. Very good. To be honest the girl was probably little confused with her sexuality, she was rare occurrence when people weren't using her experiment.

"That's biggest thing for me. This ship here is probably going to be new biggest thing, it's almost dream come true, to be on here."

Yes, dream. When would you wake up though...

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Alice smirked idly and picked up one of the glasses of deep red wine that rested on the table. She had never been drunk - not since she had started her training at the Academy - but she did not mind one small glass at dinner. That had even been proven healthy. She sipped idly at the rosy brocade, watching Tiaan across the rim of her glass. The darkness of her eyes was not one solely of color.

"The Nottingham was definitely an interesting first assignment," she whispered, seeing a way in. Spotting her target. The point of this dinner had been changed, somewhere along the way. No longer forging connections. Alice's first concern was safety, order, and obedience on board this ship. "You haven't seen anything until you've stood face to face with a man whose murdered more than a hundred people with his bare hands. And survived the fight." Slowly, Alice laid her glass down, fixing Tiaan with that still-dangerous stare. She knew the woman might hate her for a while after this.

Alice had been taught as a child that romance had to come second to duty. And today, it would.

"I remember a time when the crew decided to have a party, under the radar," she told the girl, and knew that would spark alarm. This story. Too close to the truth of that day. "They got drunk. Very drunk. Someone was too fogged to lock his prisoners down. Fifty people died that day, most of them good officers." She glanced at the picture again, at the smiling face of that man. That man she had loved. The man who was died. Then her eyes flicked back to Tiaan. "Pray, tell me. What made the crew think that I would not find out about the party below decks tonight?"

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Tiaan Peyton

Gulping a little, she tried to regain control, "What makes you say that. Why can't I come here without any ulterior motive? Are you that suspicious of actions, you want assess and understand all." Tiaan had no idea why she was getting so angry, but she couldn't stop, downing the glass she continued, "I don't have to play games Lt Chen, I don't have to even socialise on here. But you know what, thought I'd try. Maybe I was mistaken in this case. Maybe you never lost your paranoia from your times on Nottingham, that even a friendly gesture is seen as something with malicious intent. For a non-date Lt, you sure know how to hold them. You command me to wear my party dress after finding me in hung over in your room." she laughed mockingly, "I'm not naive little girl Lt Chen, I know a play. I do them myself many times." taking a breath she went on, "Not to mention, even if I did come here under motives you may call wrong or immoral. I came because I sensed something. I'm a fly girl, I'm brash, I laugh in face of fear and often take un-needed risks all for thrill."

There was a long pause.

"I... I lose anyone who... who I may connect with. There is no game, there is no winning for Tiaan Peyton, all she'll get is going out in a blaze of glory."

Taking the Lt hand she squeezed it, "The average lifespan of pilots out the academy is 10 minutes. The average lifespan of pilots in space is 4 months. I've... outlived both those. I've outlived my expiration date, I should feel happy, but those people, those pilots they were skilled, some even better than me. Why did lady luck make me her bitch? Why am I the one to see my comrades go into space forever..." gripping the hand tighter, she continued, "You don't want this lucky girl Lt, you will die before her. And she will hate it."

The cosmic dice would never set her free. This was her curse.

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Alice sighed quietly, looked down at Tiaan's hand on her own. She knew the pilot's pain. She knew seeing your loved ones go out to die. Slowly, she came to her feet, laying one long-fingered hand across Tiaan's cheek.

"I'm not afraid of Lady Luck," she told Tiaan with remarkable calm. "I'm not going to die any time soon. And I'm not suspicious of why you agreed to come here, I know. I'm not guessing. I know that there is a party going on below decks, without permission from the Admiral. No matter my original intentions for tonight, I am Lieutenant Commander before I am anyone's friend."

Something inside of her hoped that Tiaan would understand her devotion to keeping the ship running and the crew alive through this journey. The other part doubted that Tiaan would take this as anything more than a bid for authority. How could Tiaan possibly understand? She hadn't been on the Nottingham that day when an unauthorized party had cost so many their lives.

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Tiaan Peyton

Frowning she looked at the Lt eyes and could see such pain hidden in her gaze. Many would have missed it, but she had seen the look from so many people who were friends with pilots. Her luck had come at great cost people hated her for it, they couldn't lay her and she wouldn't die. If only they knew there had been times she had wanted to walk into the airlock and open it up. If only.

"I... I actually understand." coughing nervously she leant over the table and gave the Lt a small peck on the cheek before whispering with untold remorse, "Lady luck is jealous woman. I doubt she'll allow me this freedom."

Going back to her original position she then mumbled with a hint of disappointment in her voice, "Marriage to one you never wished is a great curse. I best go before old girl takes her anger out on you."

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Tiaan Peyton

Shrugging she merely replied, "I would never have gone. As much as I love parties, I would rather not grow attached to anyone." Tiaan then did any unexpected thing walking slowly over to the Lt she wrapped her arms around her, one on back, and one the neck and kissed her passionately. It felt so good, but she must fight it, she just had to know before she went.

Time stopped and she was high on ecstasy and the moment.

Releasing she simply said, "What could have been. Goodbye Lt."

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Tiaan Peyton

Things had been an utter whirlwind of confusion, a kiss, an ambush and half the crew were drunk out their minds, how could things get any worse? Now she was about to launch out the ship unsure how long she could hold them off. Even Hyena who normally was jovial, seemed sober and a little nervous. It seemed like everyone was prepared for the worse already some people had been lost, and the depressing thing was it was pilots who were inebriated. Hyena must be hating herself right now thought Tiaan, strapping her belt on, she did quick pre-flight check, running over the usual tests before closing cockpit.

"Tiaan ready to launch Admiral, I'll take a quick team and try do as much damage as possible." with a tear falling from her eye, she continued, "Admiral, I served under you proudly, but I fear the chances of me returning are small."

Getting the go ahead she wiped her eyes, pulled down the visor and whispered, "Once more unto the breach Peyton, give 'em hell!"

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Ray simply stayed on the gunship for a few moments, so many thoughts rushed in his mind combined with the emotions of a thousand memories of past battlefields. Ray did not know what to make of these events and at times it seemed as if he was living a dream.

Ray suddenly became self aware again; he left his dream land as suddenly as he had entered it and was left with the harsh reality of his situation.
Punching himself to his feet Ray rushed to outside the gunship and directly into the quartermasters office; the man in charged of the armaments and equipment on all the fighters, bombers and gunships the salient possessed.

Ray would not sit tight while the battle was waged overhead, he had to fight and if this meant life or death Ray was in one of his moods in which he could not care less about ether possibilities.

As he entered the room the quartermaster stood and saluted; Ray outranked him by a tiny margin and while most officers new to this kind of duty would not be so fast on their feet this case was different; Ray had caught the quartermaster and his assistant playing cards while on duty.

"Is there any thing I can do for you sir?" said the young quartermaster nervously; he was a young man barley out of his teens but most likely displayed an inborn talent which gave him such a high placed and rewarding occupation and Ray planed to handle the situation accordingly.

"I want twenty two sparrow missiles, four X3 torpedo's, my twin Zardos heavy cannons installed, a few tanks of Nano repair fluids you choose which brand, a number of sidekick proximity bombs, the codes for A level shields and whatever you think I should carry against odds of more then 20 to 1"

The quartermaster momentarily speechless soon remembered himself after a rough shake which reminded him who and what where pounding the ship at the moment. After this realization he and his assistant soon went to work; the quartermaster issuing orders to the robots and the assistant rushing to the hanger to direct them.

Fighters and bombers had a standard gear issue which normally suited them fine but gunships and especially the old swing class designed for multiple tasks could have thousands of possible set ups. While there was standard issue gear for the gunships pilots who served for long periods of time often developed their own tastes.

The quartermaster soon turned to Ray again and said

"well sir we are going to be kind of busy soon but you got your request in sooner rather then later so we should be finished in a few minutes… em can you please not mention us playing cards? It just seemed like a calming thing to do when faced with such odds..."

"sure" said Ray as he walked outside the room.

Ray returned to the gunship and saw that work was indeed in progress and then entered the gunship patching in to the comm. System.
Ray heard a few voices but one got his ear; Tiaan.

Ray realizing this was his chance to get into the action crossed into the conversation and added

"If a team of fighters is going out they are going to need some heavy armor; I can offer that heavy armor. This is Charlie S210* Ready, willing and able to launch Admiral!"

Ray then tuned into Tiaan's frequency and sent a cheery message to her:
"Race you to the action, or is your fighter not up to the contest?"

Ray wondered if this was his last battle... it would be a shame to be killed by pirates and Ray wondered if maybe he should have gotten himself killed back in the Titan wars. Ether way Ray smiled as he lit his pipe and looked for the correct record for his Jukebox... if he was going to die today at least he wanted to go down with some good old swing.

Ray now again seeing the massive forces he would have to face knew that if he could not win he had one more duty to preform...

Switching to the quartermaster office on his comm Ray smiled and proceeded to make this his quite possibly final request from the man.

"Hi matey one more thing,Can you also load me a Plz1660 supercharge generator? i feel that i need an extra kick to handle all this mass"

the quartermaster puzzled ask with a degree of cation

"Sir the 1660 isn't very reliable and can under some conditions..."

"I know all about that, but don't worry... i know what i am doing" cut in Ray

"if you say so sir, it will only take a few minutes... i guess that's the good thing about the 1660; its easy to put in but on the other hand... its a hell to get out."

Ray smiled, it sure was a hell to get out but... his usage of it on the Q ships didn't require such an effort. Ray now had all he needed; if he died today he would make sure to take as many pirate scum as possible with him.

(ooc *: code name, in character sheet

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Bridge

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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The Admiral sat back and watched the destruction unfold, his fingers steepled before his face.

ADAM did his job well- Not a shot was missed. Not until the debris was so heavy that the canons would not reach the enemy did ADAM fail to wipe out a ship. But now there arose the problem... They could not shoot the enemy. It was a tough call. Deploy the fighters or not? To deploy the fighters would throw them into the most dangerous debris field they would be likely to face in their career. Only the best pilots would manage to get through it all unscathed, and then on top of that they would have to begin fighting the enemy in that field. But if he didn't deploy the fighters, the Salient's fighting capacity would be reduced to the main canon, which was the only armament on the ship that could plow through all of the debris and still do any decent kind of damage.

"ADAM, patch me through to the engineering department. I need to know the status on the main cannon." The requested window appeared before him, and to his mild surprise he saw a fully armed marine on the other end.

"Adriana Stark reporting. What do you need, Admiral?" Stark's reply was distorted by the suit, but it was clear now why a marine was down in that corner of the ship.

"A status on the particle canon."

Stark hesitated and looked back at the control panels. She turned back and spoke up a few seconds later. "It's... rattled from its previous use. I can have it ready to fire soon... hopefully. I'll let you know when we can attack."

"Thank you Corporal, that will be all." The admiral closed the com link and thought for a moment. There was no main armament... If he was to maintain the offensive in the battle, he would have to send out the pilots. Lucky for him, the pilots were confirming their readiness for combat at that very moment. Surprising, seeing as many of the pilots were drunk and unfit to operate heavy machinery.

Admiral Weston sent his voice through the intercom. "Those pilots able and willing to fly, you are clear to do so. You are to keep all enemy ships out of the debris field; it is to be our shield from the enemy."

He then looked towards the front of the bridge. "Navigator Summer, plot all the launching pilots paths through the debris so that they may patrol the field without crashing."

The navigator gave a quick "Yes sir," and began typing away at his terminal. "Opening hangar doors. Pilots Peyton, Davidson, Cooper, and Jones have confirmed launch. FTL drives at 10% charge. The enemy is not entering the debris field... They seem to be gathering near the Altamus vessels. Course plotting near--"

"The WHAT IS AT TEN PERCENT!?" Aronimus thundered from his chair.

The navigator stopped typing. "The Faster-Than-Light drives, sir." He looked back at the admiral, his confusion evident. "Were we not escaping?"

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Grinning back at Ray she responded by flying down the run-way and out the hatch replying back, "You're on slow poke." Once she was out though, she realized it was no time to mess about, the ships on horizon beginning to batter down the ruined ship. She swung around leading her squadron, "Helens, Kyle, Oscar and Vent, we need to do something really risky."

There was a few murmurs over the com, "We need to make sure that ruined ship survives, think we can?"

Not hearing a answer, she prayed to whoever existed and patched into Ray's bomber, "This is really dangerous, but if we succeed you can likely save our comrades. I warn you now Ray, none of my squad including me are likely to survive."

Waiting she started the formation, "Helens fire heat-seeking missiles."

Weaving in and around the junk she let loose her missiles, "That's it guys, dodge and dive, make sure to keep the ships distracted."

It was hopeless, but if she could delay long enough, the team in danger could get out. This is what we needed, "FIRE!" she yelled letting loose her second stock, c'mon Blue Bird, let's teach them pirate's that we aren't just Federation girls, we're Federation bitches and you never never argue against a bitch.

Reversing her thrusters she made the signal for them to hide around the wreckage, "How much has everyone got left?"

"1 Salvo"

"3 Salvos, although my wing been hit."

"0, I'll guide back Oscar."

"3, let's do this."

"FIRE!"

The missiles hitting the ships weren't doing much damage, but if it made it possible for Ray to do the plan, then all be fine. We just need more time guys, "Where the hell is Hyena?!"

As in response a voice replied, "She's refusing to leave the bay, we think she's in shock."

"Shit, that's all we need. FIRE!"

Moving back, she checked the scanner, appears they were sending more fighter, "Ray I hope you're fucking hurrying!"

Manual aiming her cannon she fired at some of wreckage causing it to move towards one of the approaching ships, "NEVER MESS WITH FUCKING BIRDY!"

The wreckages collided with three fighters crushing them.

This was hardly the beginning, but this delay did seemed to have halted the weapons.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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"Well i guess its 1-0 to you... hmf" Chuckled Ray as he saw the trail left by the fighters launch boosters. Ray began to calibrate the gunship for take of as the rest of the Salients fighters and interceptors left for space; the Swing class was a reliable and powerful ship however its take off system along with its engines where obsolete in the face of the even changing fighter market. Ray soon noticed that his power level was inadequate to maintain his engines, his weapon system and the hazed shield at the same time and decided to reduce the shield to 10% since once in space Ray would not need to tax so much power into his engines and he would be able to handle his shields as a higher capacity. As his engines powered up for launch Ray cursed; fighters and interceptors did not need to direct so much power into the engines for launch because they had their launch boosters, the Swing class came from an age before the launch booster and there was no practical way to add one into the design.

Ray began the slow process of expanding engine power while avoiding any over heating and approached his launch position with care, back on the pirate frigate Ray did not need to waste so much time and effort on the launch because the Gunship had been modded for the fast and sleek infiltration duty. Now in full battle gear the Gunship slugged along the launch platform as the engines neared launch speed. By now the battle had started as the Salients fighters engaged the enemy, Ray switched to launch pattern B and within a few moments the carefully generated engine power roared the gunship into space. The Gunship was now finally in space, Ray hardy had the time to take a read out of the situation when Tiaan ordered him to hurry.

"Copy that Tiaan sorry about the delay, My sensors are reading 5 enemy squadrons now launching from a light carrier. Keep your sights on fighters allready spacing around us; i will take out the carriers" Pirate ship where mostly pieces of salvage and rarely true military grade material and thus most of the pirate fighters where housed on former civilian vessels converted into crude but speedy carriers.

"Computer Target and lock on enemy unit R3red" said Ray now opening his missile pods and releasing his two satellite weapon launchers .

"Target acquired and locked" said the dull voice of his computer

Ray activated his screen and switched to Command center display, the map was a rough chart of the current location of friendly and enemy units based on the data sent to the command center from each fighter. Other then the Salient and other gunships only Ray could give the fighters the information they needed or warn them of impending danger.
"Please brake from target R3red, now launching missiles" said Ray into his communicator

The missiles whom at first flew without any target in mind soon processed their target information and then adjusting their course towards the carrier. Enemy interceptors soon hurtled themselves at the missiles and tried to shoot them down before they reached the vulnerable carrier and its cargo of fighters ; the two satellite launchers soon detected this threat and released a number of mini mines which soon found the interceptors and detonated. The missiles now with a clear route to the carrier entered the final faze of the attack and soon smashed into the carrier targeting the most important areas on the ship.

Five great explosions rattled the carrier; three at the launch bay, one at the engines and the last in the area which Ray assumed was the command bridge of the ship. the carrier remained intact however all five launching squadrons vanished from Ray's sensors as the launch bay area collapsed, now retreating the carrier fired its remaining ammunition into space causing minor damage to the Salient's fighters before it left the area of battle with which Ray was concerned.

Ray smiled and flew towards Tiaan's fighter group hoping to get some protection against the pirate fighters.

Ray chuckled and said "mind if i hide here? i need time before i can pinpoint another target for my missiles"

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton - Blue Bird - Space

Waiting she noted that there were only three fighters left distracting, and one heavy gun ship. As she heard Ray, she replied with, "Glad you could join us." checking her console for the missles she had left, the computer flashed up two among other things. Smirking she glanced a nearly destroyed Pirate Ship just trying to get out of line of fire behind the stronger ones, relaying a message to Ray she yelled, "Beat this boyo!" locking on to the energy signature she fired both her missiles.

Releasing from the wings, they shot down, speeding towards the target, zipping around the wreckage, swerving the nearby wrecked ships, before one collided with a piece of wreckage, crossing her fingers Tiaan watched the console showing the trail, before the missiles finally hit the ship. Since it was already stumbling, it now appeared almost dead. Checking her life signs scanner, it appeared most were clustered away from the control panel, that was enough for now.

Examining the wreckage, she thanked whoever was guiding them for such an amazing admiral and crew. This should have been a bloodbath, but fortunately they were surviving, amazing to imagine, watching vast expanses of space, she noted the fleet of Pirate Ships was still huge, and it would be amazing to even survive much longer. It appeared the leader appeared to be unable to think.

Were they playing with them, she was interrupted by a crackle from intercom, "Oi, Tiaan don't kill 'em all let Hyena do some!"

Gasping in horror she saw the fighter and realized that Hyena was drunk, trying to raise the channel she yelled, "Get back Hyena, we're fine go sober up!"

"It's pirate's I can handle them blindfolded."

Realizing how fruitless this was she tried to raise admiral, "Hyena out here drunk, get her out of here, please."

Just as she got through, she saw Hyena was flying too close to the actual fleet, firing everything she could, "HYENA GET OUT OF THERE, QUICK!"

As she yelled through, something caught her eyes on the scanner, a ship had snuck up behind her, and was firing, performing an evasive manoeuvre, cork-screwing the Blue Bird, she checked her radar, but saw no sign of the fighter.

Looking from the glass, she saw Hyena was okay, fortunately she had reacted in time and had moved out of range of the cannons.

"Don't do that again." she yelled through the intercom, before firing two at the fighter chasing her and breathing a heavy sigh of relief.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray chuckled at first upon hearing Hyena's voice, they where a small unit as it was and to have another fighter among them would be quite helpful.

"Don't worry Hyena, there are plenty to go arou.."


As Tiaan's voice cracked into the system Ray realized what was going on and shuddered, turning around as fast as he could in an attempt to protect Hyena's fighter Ray attempted to fire his second magazine of missiles but knew that he would never turn in time.

Ray saw those last moments on his screen, he closed his eyes and shut the communication system down as Hyena lined up for the pirate fighter to take out.

Soon her signature on his sensors was gone, Ray sat their shocked… why was this affecting him like this? This was nothing new after all!

Suddenly his gunship rattled as a missile stuck his armor, opening his eyes and getting over his confusion Ray realized that two heavy fighters had targeted him.

"armor taking damage… shields unable to disperse enemy fire" said the monotone voice of the ships computer.

Ray smiled and increased the power of his new generator; with its power he could maintain all his systems at near full capacity... it was a pity that the generator had not reached the required power levels to help Hyena but that was life.


"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 4% and rising"

Ray opened the computer control area and dismissed all safety protocols, as long as the generator's hazard level stayed lower then 29% the chances of a meltdown where only 10-20% in the worst case scenario. If Ray wanted to fight at his full capacity he needed the generators power no matter if doing so may cost his life and the life of anyone in his gunships area.

Ray knew that his actions would be reported to the Salient and hoped no one would interfere with his plan… at least yet.

Turning around Ray activated his twin cannons and blasted the first heavy fighter to pieces; the heavy fighter stunned at the sudden increased maneuverability of the gunship had no time to doge the attack and was blasted to pieces after three seconds of concentrated fire.

He then suddenly saw Hyena's signature on his screen again... so she was not as dead as he supposed she was. Ray breathed a sigh of relief and opened the comm channel unable to stop himself from grinning like an idiot.

"Hell Hyena even my scanners gave up on you! glad to still have you with us!"

"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 6% and rising"

Ray cursed and switched off the come hoping Hyena had not heard that, while had had disabled the safety protocols he could not disable the warning system. The second heavy fighter realizing his inferior position against the gunship attempted to retreat however Ray fired his second missile salvo just in time to knock him out and eradicate a few other interceptors whom had come to the heavy fighters rescue.

Ray turned about and passed Tiaan's squad, Ray sent her one short message before increasing his speed in the direction of the enemy fleet.

"i guess i can't stay with you chaps, too much of a target and i would not want to attract flies for you would i?. Don't worry, i put on an extra generator on my systems so i should be fine... just get rid of any interceptors that come my way would you?"

Ray loaded his last but most deadly missile salvo and lined up to strike what he thought to be a pirate command ship.

Ray grinned "Say goodbye to your engines suckers!" and fired his missiles, the missiles flew true and began firing a variety of scrap designed to confuse the enemy's defensive systems. the first few missiles where destroyed by overwhelming defensive fire however quite a few where able to avoid the defenses and approach the enemy's engines. Once missile however was hit by the defensive lasers however it did not blow and instead turned towards the command bridge of the pirate vessel.

Ray raised his hazard shields to 50% to protect him from the effects of the blast, at last the true fighting would begin. The thought of direct battle made Ray happy however one comment was able to return Ray to the reality of his situation.

"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 9% and rising"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Hyena was in the void, her venerable Rapier cutting a bloody swathe through the furball. Contrary to popular beleif, she was stone cold sober. Which probably made her laughing fits all the more disconcerting.

<Dont let me catch you! Dont let me catch you!>

She was taunting a pirate, dogging his tail in a deadly game of keep-away that twisted around debris and wrenched tight turns around other ships. The pirate attempted to use the gunships under her protection to his advantage - zipping under Tiaan and snapping his nose up to blast over Ray - only to have Hyena cut across the searing wake of the twos' engine pylons. Her shields warp and energy arcs spectacularly across the metal skin like some grim aurora, but the maneuver saves her time, and as the pirate is swooping back down from climbing Ray's back, his belly flashes across Hyena's nose. It's all she needs, and the quad cannons of the Rapier chew her quarry apart until he vanishes entirely in a shrapnel-filled fire that's snuffed out a breath later by the vacuum.

<Will you you overgrown Tug jockies hurry up and core that big bastard?> Her next taunt is reserved for the gunship pilots, pulling tightly back towards them and accelerating to intercept another wave, <Im going to run out of bullets before they run out of fighters at this rate!>

A missile loosed from her wing scatters the oncomming threat, the heat-seaker choosing an unlucky target to send spiraling out into the stars, ripping itself apart. Hyena pulls her nose up and to the right to select her next prey, only to have to disengage in a sickening roll as his wingman discourages her choice. She breaks off from the persuit to fire a heckling salvo of bullets in order to chase away another fighter who was attempting to sneak a lock on Tiaan.

<That's it. You two are on the hook for my drinks. For eternity. You know that, right?>

She grunts and turns on her side, flashing between their wings to nip at another pair of predatory pirates (say that three times fast) who think they can slip through her screen.

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Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Losing communication with Ray she was almost back, but considering how that guy had saved her a few times today, she should preform another sweep, radioing Hyena she said, "Ray's comm channel down, I may need help to drag the ship back manually, you in?"

While she waited, she did an extended radar check, this was hopeless to be honest, the wreckage and other vehicles were making it impossible to find anything. Cursing her luck she swung her bird around, whispering, "Blue Bird, you ready."

She barely had any time, she knew this, everyone knew it, but she was taught never to leave a man behind, she was taught to help others. It was dangerous, hell it was likely impossible, but she needed to try, hearing someone try to get through her, it appeared to be someone on the bridge, "Peyton, you're moving out, we can't guarantee, you'll make it back in time, not even caring she responded back, "Delay it, Birdy won't let you down, no she won't!"

Changing frequency to Hyena ship she yelled out when she heard a beep, she didn't care if she deafened the pilot, she had found the ship, she had done the impossible, "Hyena come in, we need to act fast, our two ships can pull him back!"

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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When Ray had dropped off her scopes, Hyena had assumed the worst. There were just too many pirate fighters and not enough -her- to go around. It'd torn at her, because that wasnt just a hunk of metal she'd been flying cover for, it'd been someone that she'd stood on the deck with. The pressing threat of the situation had prevented it from settling fully, but when Tiaan calls out that she's going to fall out of the return formation to search, the reality slams into Hyena like a brick wall.

<On your wing.>

She responds without hesitation, keying up a countdown on her HUD to keep track of time. If the Salient jumped while they were still out here, they wouldnt last long against a fleet of pirates looking for revenge. Even if they shut down and played dead, even if those pirates skipped salvage and vanished, they would be millions of kilometers from any source of oxygen. But if they didnt try, it'd be Ray facing those fates.

The two flit through the debris field, and the numbers on her clock keep ticking down despite all willpower to the contrary. If she wanted to be a scout pilot she would be flying an Arrow. The Rapier just didnt have the sensor package to pick out one dead fighter hulk from another at any kind of range, leaving her to pick manually at a painfully slow pace. Tiaan makes the call. She'd found something. Pointing her nose at the activity, between Bluebird's size and the Rapier's overlarge engines, they could pull the other craft back into the hangar bay with minimal effort.

Only...

<Tiaan! Disengage! Engines are runaway!>

Hyena's fighter can advise her of -that- critical peice of information, at least, outlining Ray's bird with ominous red highlights. The size of the gunship promises that if they were caught in the imminent explosion, it'd be bad. Very bad. The shrapnel alone could hull her, and then she'd be just as dead. Some rescue this was turning out to be.

<Shit, Ray, you reading? Eject, man, we'll recover. Eject!>

Another few seconds off of her clock.

<Eject!>

Even at the distance she'd retreated, the erruption of fire and steel rocks the Rapier. Sensors scream, and light blinds her despite an automatic dampening of her canopy. Something metal screeches across her wing, sending her into a violent tumble. By the time she recovers, the fire has been suffocated by the vaccuum, and she can see no signs that Ray had ever gotten or heeded her desparate call.

Alarms are still shrieking in the background as she keys Tiaan, <... I've got nothing, Blue.>

Another alert chimes its two cents, her countdown. <We have to go, Blue. NOW. Or we're just as dead.>

Stubborn as pilots may be, they were all dependant upon a friendly deck to come home to. Already blasted in that direction, Hyena gooses her throttle and races back towards the Salient before her hangar doors can shutter for the jump. One of her engines gives sporradic bursts of protest, a 4-foot sliver of Ray's gunship imbeded in the scorched cowling. Cold dread and shock slowly warm in the face of a smoldering anger, and when she hits the comm again, her growl just makes her callsign all the more appropriate. Hunger and teeth.

<Next time these pricks cross our scopes, they die.>