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Delfye

A cyborg human pilot pursuing life, stalked by death

0 · 107 views · located in Blue Heaven Docks and Maintenance

a character in “The Multiverse

Description

Delfye Ojive
36-year-old Human (Cyborg Enhancements) Engineer/Pilot

Appearance:
Delfye is an adult human of average height and build. He has a single exposed eye (not covered by cybernetics) with a green iris and the telltale black sclera of DE addiction. He has dirty blonde hair and tan skin that both show signs of radiation bleaching and darkening, respectively. His natural features are not unattractive, nor are they particularly appealing or notable. His cybernetic enhancements are quite prominent.

Delfye has a lensed apparatus permanently installed over his right eye. His left arm is a cybernetic limb containing a myriad collection of tools encased in a rather battered flesh-colored housing. It is more-or-less still in the shape of a human arm and hand, but it is clearly a prosthesis.

Strengths:
Delfye is a superb pilot of anything with an engine. Even before completing various Intercorp tactical driving/flying courses, he was an exceptional pilot.

He is a talented and experienced engineer specializing in propulsion. Delfye has extensive knowledge and experience building, repairing, tuning, and sabotaging engines and motors of every kind--from pulsed plasma thrusters to rubber-band mousetrap flywheels.

Delfye is a DE addict. He can improve his reaction time, strength, and stamina by increasing his dosage of the drug via his ocular implant.

Weaknesses

Delfye is dying of DE withdrawl. There is no cure for DE dependence, the outlawed drug is no longer manufactured, and he has only a three-month supply (at minimum life-sustaining levels) remaining.

Delfye is a miserable shot. If it were not for gravity, he likely couldn’t hit the ground with any form of projectile or energy weapon. His incompetence with weapons defeats even the best AI-driven auto-aiming systems.

Background:
Delfye’s past is something the sammaran has been encouraged to discard by his master. To help manage his withdrawal symptoms, the altered state of mind that comes with them, and his imminent death, he practices a form of buddhist meditation which encourages a focus on the present.

Delfye will say only that he came from Karakul Village, on the shores of its namesake lake, under the shadow of the mountain, from the region some of the oldest records still call Xinjiang, on the largest landmass of old Terra. He is following Aishe, who was sold by her family to Genecorp, as his final Yatra, or pilgrimage.

At least, that’s his story. He actually does want to make sure Aishe is cared-for. The yatra and the rest of the mumbo-jumbo, not so much. Delfye knows he is going to die soon, and that he isn’t coming back, despite what the master says. You probably have to believe in that bunk in order to reincarnate. Given that past he doesn’t want to talk about, he’d probably come back as a dung beetle, anyway.

Aishe’s sale provided her family with finances enough to provide food, clothing, education and a good future for her siblings. As a genetic drift marker, she will have a much better life off Old Terra, or so Genecorp promised. Even so, Delfye is concerned that--bright and adaptive as his favorite helper is--she will have trouble navigating the radically different universe outside the village, alone. When he expressed his worries to his master, the sammaran was encouraged to make a yatra as her guardian. Or maybe the master was just sick of him and looking for an excuse. Either way, he’s not coming back.

The collection team has a long head start on Delfye, but the sammaran remembers--even if he sometimes prefers not to--the wheres and ways of the multiverse. Though he has with him only his old cybernetics and long-disused skills of the worlds he left behind, he will do his best to find Aishe and ensure that she is treated with the fairness and care the ‘corpers promised.

So begins...

Delfye's Story

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Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Delfye Ojive Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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/write
Delfye was the last of the freighter Yamaya’s crew to disembark. Well, maybe Conrad was still aboard; from the way she talked, he guessed the ship’s owner rarely left her vessel.

The sammaran had said his goodbyes and declined the crew’s offers for drinks and the other distractions Blue Heaven offered. He had not eschewed friendly relations with the others during the weeks in transit, but everyone knew he was a temp, onboarded to fulfill mutual needs. The Yamaya’s--of an engineering assistant--and his--of transit to the colonies.

Smells, always the smells. Delfye had been on Terra a long time. Long enough to convince himself he had forgotten his life among the stars. He might meditate away the familiar thrum of a well-worn fusion drive, avert his eyes from the sprawling starfields out the viewports, or work and sweat away the stomach-churning shifts between poorly-tuned gravitational dampers. The smells though--recycled air, irradiated plasteel, and vaporized synthetic lubricants--those always brought back a flood of memories of before. Memories that unbalanced the sammaran more than the familiar weight of his cybernetic limb. Memories of--

Focus, old man. You’re not here for that.

Delfye took in the familiar terminus of Blue Heaven. Much had changed in a decade, even if it had the same stink. More non-humans. Maybe Sol’s economy was on the upswing again. Hopefully--that would make it more likely for Genecorp to keep her in-system. If Aishe was shipped off via a NLS popsicle hopper, that would complicate things for him, especially if he took a warp ship, and arrived four thousand years before she did.

Haha. Not likely you’d even end up in the same sector if you made that mistake. He thought with a grimace.

So let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, by finding the right person to ask the right questions. He counseled himself. The sammaran crossed from the Yamaya’s gangway airlock to the nearest of the glitchy monitors, then parsed through the information screens until he found a map of Blue Heaven.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Delfye

“For frett’s sake!” Delfye grumbled into his muted comm as he headbutted the “silence master alarm” panel inside the helmet. Either his oxygen was thirty seconds from depletion and death, or it wasn’t. Probably wasn’t, since this was the fifth time today that the suit’s processor had picked that particularly annoying alarm to ring. “Shut the frett up, already!” He counseled the balky bit of tech.
“This is only slightly better than EVA in my underwear.” Delfye groused as he reamed out another injector pintle deep inside the engine of the rustbucket he was working on.

That’s probably not accurate the mechanic reflected. If you spaced yourself in your underwear, at least you didn’t have any expectation of coming back alive. With a third-hand suit like this one--which did, in fact, smell as if its last owner had died inside it--it was more of a 60/40 proposition, and he wasn’t sure on which side of that he’d peg the odds of survival. But this kind of suit was what you wore when your papers were faked by a half-feral orc back in Kashgar, which meant that you worked for one of the shadow economy’s unlicensed and unbonded shipwrights, which meant you worked on vac-docked scows like this heap, which meant the boss didn’t give you a good suit, or even one with functioning emergency systems.

It also meant you better check in with the bridge of said scow every few minutes, to remind them that you were waaaay up the nozzle of their fusion drive, and not to enable the turbopumps or something else lethally stupid. Delfye had helmed tramp freighters like this one before. Its docking papers were probably about as real as his work visa, so it might need to leave on the quick-like. Delfye would like to be afforded at least a snowball’s chance of backing his bulky-balky-suited-self out of their engines before they lit them off and made him an extra crispy tech.

“Oh, of course the yfretting comms are out.” He grumped as he got nothing over the channel--not even static.



It had been a minute since Delfye had stepped off the Yamaya. More like three days, actually. He’d spent the first interviewing the Private Investigators on the Asteroid that were within his budget. That had not taken long, since there weren’t many. His pay from crewing up on the Yamaya had been pretty meager, and now it was gone. After buying a network pass for his implant, he’d had enough left to afford the retainer of the prosaic grizzled veteran ex-cop, or the slightly less-cliche inexperienced pretty face, operating out of her flat. He had opted for pretty face. She had seemed hungry for work and not stupid--just inexperienced, which Delfye supposed was just another form of stupid, if a transient one. However, he expected she would at least get out there and get him the publicly-available information on Genecorp drift markers, without leaving his own fingerprints all over the nets. Ex-cop… well, Delfye didn’t have good experiences with law enforcement, and he hadn’t trusted the PI not to “forget” his tasking or forget that he was not supposed to share whom had tasked him with it.

So, pretty face. He was supposed to meet her at 2100 local with the other half of her fee. He should have it in-hand by 2030, the way this job was going. If he wasn’t mechanic fricassee by then, that was.



Delfye finished up in the plasma chamber, backed out of the engine nozzle, and clambered back to the airlock stationside without incident. He had the sneaking suspicion that the fusion rocket had not had the requisite gas purge before the boss had sent him in to work on it, but his radiation detector was just as nonfunctional as the rest of the suit safety systems, so there was no way to know for sure.

It didn’t matter, anyway.

The sammaran extracted himself from the suit, hung it--and the shop tools--up, collected his wages, and left the seedy little repair shop. The sweat from the long day in the malfunctioning EVA suit was dry by then, but the stink of his labors clung to him. Well, tough luck. He thought to himself. He wasn’t trying to impress his PI. She’d just have to hold her nose while he forked over the credits if she had done her job right.

Before he continued on to his meeting, Delfye took a moment to pause on the main causeway of the upper section of the docks. Above him, resting on her landing pads, the sleek hull of a ship named “Ravana” gleamed in the station lights. Delfye did not know much about that vessel, save that it was new--it’s keel must have been laid after he disappeared to Old Terra--and very, very fast. The engineer could tell as much just from looking. The ship was a cluster of big engines--warp, exo-and-atmospheric, sublight--with only the minimal amount of pressurized crewspaces. He really wanted to steal give it a thorough inspection.

Can’t; can’t have wants. The sammaran reminded himself, closing his eyes and silently repeating the mantra the master had given him. Focus.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Connor Mueller Character Portrait: Delfye Ojive
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AHSC Esteem
Reverence II Class Planetary Assault Carrier
Imperial Defense Force


CIC

Admiral Hanley didn’t think she would once again find herself back at the Blue Heaven, with the miniscule asteroid prominently displayed within the center of the large, and airy command center within one of the largest, and most powerful Imperial Aschen warships in the galaxy. Her eyes were focused on the Blue Heaven much like a predator’s would be as it surveyed it’s prey. The shimmering blue, red, and green icons denoting various ships coming and going as well as their various vectors were displayed alongside the blue heaven, and the vectors for the Imperial formation that surrounded the Blue Heaven like a blockade, menacing any traffic that was coming, and going.

Hanley kept her hands firmly clasped behind her back, breaking her interlocked fingers only momentarily to push some errant strands of red hair out of her face. She was staring stonefaced at the display, and then she broke her gaze to avert towards her executive officer, Colonel Juergen Belzen, a middle aged, physically fit man with an olive complexion, a man of clear Tauron descent.

“Colonel, take us on a docking approach, use due caution I’d hate for the whole thing to strike the hull. Gravitic distortions or not, we should announce ourselves rather than sit out here, menacing the station. Line it up with Airlock truss Alpha nine.” Hanley added as she looked back towards the display.

“Admiral, there’s what appeares to be a civilian freighter blocking our approach vector. I have not parsed the origin, but it appears it’s make and design are unique.” The Colonel reported.

“Registration inquiry complete, Admiral.” A holographic woman flickered into view immediately on the console besides Hanley, offering her a warm smile. “Registration ‘Yamaya’ Origin unknown, comparing design features with all known vessels.”

While EVE Set to work, and Colonel Belzen set to plotting their approach vector, Hanley settled into her own position at the main console, briefly surveying the hundreds of people within the Esteem’s CIC Going about their functions like a well oiled machine, as was expected for those within the Imperial Military.

—-

All three of the Esteem’s massive plasmic-fusion drives came to life with a brilliant blue-green glow. Gracefully, the massive Reverence class lurched forward through the crowded blackness of space, slipping free from it’s position among the Imperial fleet, and crossing the vast gulf between itself, and the asteroid. The closer the sleek, yet bulbous Aschen warship approached, the larger it seemed to be, clocking in at roughly twenty three kilometers long, and nearly two thirds as wide, and deep. The Reverence II was a self contained city, carrying a compliment of soldiers, logistical personnel, and the manufacturing capabilities to keep an entire fleet supplied on even the longest deployments. It passed within a scant two kilometers above where the Yamaya was docked, and it’s sheer size was now glaringly obvious. It’s hull plating bore the years of battles, followed by refits, followed by even more battles as the iridescent alien material the massive ship was clad in seemed to be new in some places, and worn in others.

One could even make out recessed weapon emplacements that were easily as large as some civilian heavy freighters. These Turbodisruptor batteries were capable of unleashing enough destruction to flatten cities, and their power sources were linked through quick-charge capacitors to the Reverence’s gargantuan Deuterium-tritium cold fusion reactors.

The void filled with a static charge as the warship’s energy shields cycled, armored plates retracting to reveal a modest docking bay where transport shuttles were being fueled, and prepared for departure. It was at that moment a trio of sleek, and angular looking Raptor Talon starfighters passed beneath the Yamaya, rolling to starboard, and jetting along the Esteem’s hull.

While the helm crew of the Esteem carefully maneuvered the ship into position, Hanley watched the Blue Heaven on her display. Her eyes narrowed.

“What should we do about the freighter?” Belzen asked.

“They’ll get the message.” Hanley said, shifting her weight and clasping her hands behind her back once more.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Connor Mueller Character Portrait:
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0.75 INK

Mueller stares out the docking bay window as he jogs into the docks. Holy- Is that a Reverence? The entire CU Navy had been trained in recognizing opposition ships, and he supposes with the inclination towards "sovereign stateship" or whatever the Aschen were into, they could show up really anywhere. He glances over at the Yamaya, and sees that it's in the way of this massive monstrosity of a ship. Oh, shit. He pulls out his VTC and cranks a dial until he's in Hailing range of the Yamaya. Hey, this is a passerby to the Yamaya, there's an Aschen Reverance-Class trying to shoulder you out. I don't know where you're from but these people don't frakk around. Heads up!
He knew that something bad was about to happen, and he forgets, for the moment, about his task of finding the blue-cloaked woman.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Connor Mueller Character Portrait: Delfye Ojive Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Delfye

Something blotted out the wan light of distant Sol as it approached the asteroid colony.

Jesus Christ, that is a big ship. Delfye thought. He had stolen borrowed a lot of vehicles over the years. He had been the legitimate pilot of a somewhat smaller number. Of those, not one of them amounted to a kitten fart to the hurricane of metal and machinery that was cozying up to the asteroid.

“Ahh… fuck me.” The sammaran muttered yet again, now looking past the Ravana to the large transparisteel ceiling of the pressurized berths, where he could see…a part of the immense warship. Just what he needed; ten thousand randy Space Nazis flooding Blue Heaven when he was already trying to find a needle in this haystack.

If he hadn’t liked Conrad, he might have had a nasty chuckle at the way the Reverence made its approach--like the Yamaya wasn’t even there. But he had liked the captain well enough, and was glad to see how she quickly undocked and used the Yamaya’s maneuvering thrusters to skedaddle to a berth on the far side of Blue Heaven. Good thing she hadn’t been sleeping. He assumed the freighter would redock somewhere else on BH. She certainly wasn’t going to get very far with her crew all ashore. She wasn’t solely held together with chicken-wire and bubblegum, like some of the ships Delfye had worked on; there was some string and duct-tape binding her guts together too. Still, she needed a full crew compliment to keep all her pieces flying in close formation to one another.

Well, better hurry. He concluded. Best find out what his PI had uncovered, before the Aschens arrived. Delfye wasn’t terribly concerned about the new arrivals, beyond their ability to overcrowd the station and generally get in the way. Even when he had been working for Intercorp he had never rated imperial notice. The Aschen high muckety-mucks were racist pricks, but they maintained discipline enough down through the ranks that their presence didn’t crush whoever’s throat they were standing on--unless they wanted it crushed.

With these thoughts in mind, Delfye hustled to the appointed meeting place, off the Blue Heaven Main Promenade.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miiya Aether Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Delfye

Walking quickly from the docks, Delfye cut through a few back alleyways, skirting the crowded boulevard of the Main Promenade. He slipped into Bar None, the dive where he was to meet his informant, a minute or two after the agreed-upon meeting time.

There she was, pretty face, shit, what was her name again? he wondered, wracking his brain. Sierra, that was it . Good, no sense in antagonizing her. She looked and smelled a lot better than he did, by virtue of not having spent the last six hours stuffed up a tramp freighter’s tailpipe. She’s probably going out after this. He thought to himself as he took a seat opposite the Private Eye. “Well?”

Not bad. Delfye thought to himself after Sierra finished her summary and uploaded the relevant details to his net. Apparently he had made the right choice--or maybe the information was just really easy to come by. Either way, she had gotten him what he asked for. “Thanks.” He said, releasing the rest of the funds to her account. “No, that’s all I need. Good work.” He said in response to her question. Delfye thought about offering to buy her a drink as a tip, but he didn’t think she was dressed like that to hang out with a grease monkey, so he just ordered himself a pint and nodded as she took her leave.

He parsed through the information in the files, the PI had sent him, while sipping at the lager. His ocular implant superimposed the data over his vision, so he could watch the bar while he read. Not that there was much to see. It was fairly busy with the usual customers: lots of local stroiders, maybe a tourist or two, no Aschen goons just yet.

So, she was here. That was a relief. The more Delfye read, the more impressed he was with Sierra. Not only had she managed to get visual confirmation of Aishe’s presence, she had also sent him the next week’s worth of GeneCorp transport schedules for those ships calling at Blue Heaven. When Delfye scrolled down to find the weekly schedule for the GM youth program, he took a moment to upload that tip to the PI. She had done some real digging--maybe posing as a parent or social worker--to get this. It was certainly not something that GeneCorp would openly publish on the nets.

It was enough for Delfye to have a good shot at contacting Aishe. The cyborg ordered himself a second pint, and began looking through station schematics on his ocular implant, formulating a plan.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Éclaire Hanley Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Connor Mueller Character Portrait: Bartholemew Kerrigan Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Bartholemew Kerrigan looks over the surrounding hustle and bustle with disdain, casting a heavy sigh as he begins the by-foot trek through an as-always busy Blue Heaven.

Another brothel special, I'm guessing...
he mumbled before proceeding through the gates towards the interior of the majestic superstructure.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miiya Aether Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Bartholemew Kerrigan Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The lights of all public areas in the Main Promenade flickered, then began to blare red and then blue, red and then blue, red and then blue. A voice calmly blared through the sound system for all to hear above the din.

Attention Everyone
Blue Heaven is now experiencing an Emergency Lockdown.

All scheduled shuttles have been cancelled until further notice.
All visitors and residents are to clear the docking areas.
There are no outgoing visitors or residents permitted at this time.
All incoming visitors and residents in the airlock queue may proceed.
All docked vessels are to remain in position.

Please remain calm and go about your business.
We thank you for your patience.


Any security alarms (as installed according to code and the respective business owner's preference of alarm) within private establishments such as Blue Heaven Luxury Condos, would receive the message of alarm and react accordingly.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Connor Mueller Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Blue Heaven Docks and Maintenance was filled with a loud buzz for exactly 3.14 seconds, followed by a public message. A voice calmly blared through the sound system for all to hear above the din.

Attention Everyone
Blue Heaven is now experiencing an Emergency Lockdown.

All scheduled shuttles have been cancelled until further notice.
All visitors and residents are to clear the docking areas.
There are no outgoing visitors or residents permitted at this time.
All incoming visitors and residents in the airlock queue may proceed.
All docked vessels are to remain in position.

Please remain calm and go about your business.
We thank you for your patience.


Unfortunately, there were just too many vessels attempting to dock. The staff was quickly overwhelmed, doing their best to acommodate those who had been waiting & still follow policy. They figured if nobody went through the checkpoint, they did their job just fine.

The docks began to get jam packed. A line formed at a vending machine over there.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Miiya Aether Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Bartholemew Kerrigan Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Delfye
It had been a productive few days since meeting the PI. Delfye had put together a plan that had a reasonable chance of success. It was a little dramatic and a little complicated, but that was by necessity. Getting Aishe away from her corporate handlers was not going to be easy--or cheap.

Delfye didn’t sleep anymore--hadn’t slept in over a decade--so the “not cheap” part of his plans turned out to not be a major issue. Working four days of three back-to-back shifts at the docks did not pay a lot--for an unlicensed mechanic--but it paid enough to rent the equipment he needed. With the Aschen fleet in town, suddenly everyone with a duffy wanted their ship tuned and ready to depart on a moment’s notice. Delfye couldn’t say he disagreed with the sentiment.

The sammaran was on his way to GeneCorp when the alert sounded. He didn’t waste breath on melodrama, but simply hung a left and pretended the electronics shop he entered had been his intended destination in the first place. The demonstration net access devices were as good a source as any to scour the station news for the source of the disturbance.

Except it wasn’t on the news yet. No big surprise there. Delfye switched over to the social nets and started digging through the cascade of garbage spewing from every opinionated ignoramus with a keyboard. The AI of the demo device he happened to grab--a ninth-generation Q-pad--was actually pretty good at shoveling shit, and got him a 90% probable answer to the question “WTF is going on?”

Two (or more, probablity 60/20%) unrelated homicides. One of them seemed to be important; either Aschen or one of the Dellevon family. SM probabilities were split in the 50’s either way, so not reliable info. Delfye hoped it wasn’t an imperial. That would really monky wrench his plans.

Well, GeneCorp was going to be shuttered until at least the end of the lockdown, so Delfye had time to kill. The kid minding the shop was glued to his own screen--probably researching or posting reactions to the lockdown, or maybe just playing a game. Delfye decided to entertain himself trying out the various flashy new tech toys on display.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Bartholemew Kerrigan Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Delfye
(From: The Promenade, following discreetly)

The sammaran moved when he heard the shout from GeneCorp security. The thief he had hired had done his job perfectly. Delfye blinked a command on his ocular implant, and a servo he had planted in the compressor of the ice-cream vendor at the corner intersection fired. He walked quickly toward Aishe as a jet of condensation spouted from the refrigeration unit. The jet quickly enveloped the crowded intersection in a cool-but-harmless nitrogen fog. That got some exclamations from the crowd, but it also captivated their attention as the balky ice cream stand continued to rattle and send out random jets of fog. “Shut it down!” Came a helpful shout from the throng.

“I’m trying!” The owner of the sabotaged machine yelled back as he kicked and pounded on the equipment.

“Aishe. It’s me, Delfye! Come with me!” He said quietly into the Ughyr girl’s ear.

She started at his touch, turning away from the ice cream stand with a shocked expression. “Wh--Del--” She began.

“Quiet!” The sammaran raised a finger to his lips and tugged urgently at her arm. “Quickly! You’re in danger! I need you to come with me right now.” When the girl hesitated, Delfye released her arm and gestured earnestly. “If ever you trusted me, come with me now!”

“I… my friend…” She stammered, taking a step forward, but then looking back to where Miiya had disappeared in the fog.

“She'll be fine! The threat is only to you… PLEASE, come now, there is no time!” Delfye insisted, and that was enough. Aishe followed the sammaran, her old mentor, as he led her around a corner and down a narrow alleyway.

“How… what are you doing here, Delfye? HOW are you here?” She asked as they walked quickly toward a large tarpaulin covering something in the alley.

“The master sent me to follow you. Get in, please.” Delfye pulled the tarp clear of the hoverpod parked in the alley. “I will explain everything once we are safe. Please, just hurry, Aishe!” He said, in response to her question of where they were going.

“Oh-kay.” Hesitantly, the girl climbed into the pod, followed by Delfye. He closed the hatch, powered up the pod, and lifted off in a skirl of debris and dust.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Bartholemew Kerrigan Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Delfye

“Your handler is loud.” Delfye noted as he struggled to keep the hoverpod steady. And of course she can ****ing fly! He thought to himself. He should have known better than to hope those wings were just for show, but it sure would have made things a lot easier.

As it was Delfye had to spend quite a bit of effort flying, himself. The hoverpod was more than a bit balky; he had removed the speed limiters on the impellers, but it had been a rush job. Also, the pod had been a salvage title from the get-go. With his repairs, it had about ten minutes of flight time left in it. Maybe. He had used five of those sneaking it into the bazaar’s back alley.

Aishe was looking back at the pursuing winged girl. “She’s not my “handler”, she’s my friend. Can we stop, please?” She knew Delfye well, and she trusted the sammaran. He was an acolyte of the monks of the monastery under the mountain, and the village handyman. He had come to Karakul when she was young--when she was free to run amok with the other half-feral children of the village. She had been fascinated by the sammaran’s cybernetics and the ways he had applied them to repairing the village’s limited tech. Delfye had spent hundreds of hours teaching her the engineering principles behind the power, water, and communications equipment.

“You might think so now, but--no--we can’t stop. Before you knew me, I worked for Intercorp.” He started explaining himself to Aishe as he flew them on a rather hair-raising course, weaving through the central cavern toward the Airlocks. [color=FF5733] “That’s where I got this.” [/color] He tapped the cybernetic apparatus grafted over his eye. “It’s control; It made me property of the corporation. Now that they’re defunct, so am I.”

Aishe had been okay with walking the crowded extraterrestrial market. She had stood the steady accelerations and stomach-churning gravity shifts of launch and transit to Blue Heaven. She was decidedly NOT okay with tumbling through the station interior in a bucket of bolts that seemed like it was angry at their presence and trying to get revenge by shaking itself apart in midair. “Okay okay, just… Concentrate on flying, please!” She overspoke Delfye, to preoccupied with their imminent death to do much listening.

“I don’t want to see the same thing happen to you, Aishe.” He said, taking his eyes off the controls to look over at her.

“I don’t want to see the inside of my guts!! Aieee!” She retorted, clenching her eyes shut as they tumbled out of the sky, only to recover, inches from the ground, when Delfye pulled a smoldering wire from the suddenly-dead flight controls and bridged the circuit with a spanner from his prosthetic arm. “Just FLY!” She clung tight to her restaints and tried not to vomit. “On second thought; just LAND!”

“Right, hold that thought, this part might be a bit tricky…” Delfye gritted, as they approached the narrow passage of the checkpoint between the main cavern and the docks.

“THIS part?!” Aishe moaned, cracking an eye. Better to see death coming, than for it to be a surprise, right?
(OOC: To - Airlock and Checkpoint)

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Delfye
(From: The Bazaar)
“Shit!!” The cargo passage was open, as he’d hoped, but there was a container in transit. “Bad luck.” He reflected to himself. “Well, we might fit…” He throttled up, leaned on the horn (it made a sickly hoot, then a sizzle) and aimed for the largest gap.
KA-RASH!!
The pod, itself, didn’t do too bad. It made it through the checkpoint, with a tremendous squeal of tortured metal, sans all of the external hardware on the starboard side and about a foot of canopy. Those got left behind in a sort of mangled mess decorating the cargo container.

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The cargo checkpoint controller stood, mouth agape for long enough that the security AI determined he was incapacitated, and confirmed its own request to seal the cargo passage. The physical gate came crashing down and the field barriers energized a split-second later.

(To: The Docks)

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Character Portrait: Belle LeTroix Character Portrait: Delfye Character Portrait: Connor Mueller Character Portrait: Delfye Ojive Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The small transport ship, ever so covertly popped back into normal space, a process that would have taken hours at least took mere mere seconds. Belle was taken aback, nowhere was Xamoyos anymore and instead she saw... something else coming into view, a stark contrast to the greens and blues of a life-rich planet and instead the artificial lights of a more intentional structure.

Belle didn't know why the systems of the Deep 17 transport reacted to her input, but it was as if it were made for her in some way, or her for it? This chunk of rock in space was her destination all the same for some reason. But she felt many beings collected, a place where she may no longer feel alone, and find purpose. As the lights of the cockpit flickered, a voice came over the control panel.

"Oh woOoow! Seriously, a neoprimordial entity!? Those aren't too common, I think? Can you speak, do you have a naAaame? Also hi, I'm Bashemath, and I'm sooOOoo interested in knowing eEEeeverything about you! Oh and um, you are currently like grandthefting some Deep 17 tech," a very upbeat young woman's voice was heard speaking, and Belle was suddenly curious as to where it was coming from. "Um, how did you know how to operate it, anyways? Like, the bio-metric scanner shouldn't have allowed anything non-human to operate, which meaaans... um... actually you're getting kinda close to the Blue Heaven docks, you dooOOo know how to land... riiIIIiiight?"

Belle has no idea what this voice is talking about, but it is interesting! She poked at the buttons with her thin fingers, hoping that at least one of them would open this flying contraption. Also, why were the lights in the craft starting to flash red, and why was it now making an annoyingly loud whining noise?

Moments later a Deep 17 vessel approaches for landing... and crash lands onto the docks, skidding across on its side before flopping over upside down to a stop.

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Delfye
(From: The Airlocks and Checkpoint)
“Well...shit.” Delfye swore as the pod lost three-quarters of its remaining power. He was quite a pilot, but what was left of the conveyance hardly counted as a vehicle at this point. More like a flying falling trash heap. In any case, the sammaran shut up as he concentrated on bringing them down on-target and in one piece.

More or less…

It turned out there was not enough juice left in the cells to bring them to a complete stop. The station bulkhead--and the pod’s crumple zones, actually the pod now was one big crumple zone--did the rest. ”Okay, we’re here.” he said, kicking out the rest of the windscreen and helping a shaken, stirred, and very greenish-hued Aishe from the wreckage. ”As I was saying--oh, sorry, here.” The sammaran found his explanation interrupted the the spatter of the contents of his passenger’s stomach on the station floor. The grease rag he handed her was probably not the most appropriate handkerchief. ”Okay, come in here… sit down a minute.” Delfye opened the inner door of the airlock where a station runabout was docked.

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Miiya Aether
(From: The Airlocks and Checkpoint)
”YAHHH!!!”There was some--but not much--warning as Miiya bombed into Delfye, feet first, at full speed, launching them both into the open airlock. ”LET! GO! OF! MY! FRIEND!!” The Aeros youth punctuated each word with a closed-fist strike at Delfye’s face. In the narrow airlock, she couldn’t get purchase or extend her wings to put real power behind her blows, but her purpose was to keep Aishe’s abductor off-balance, not to put him out of action. “Aishe! Run!” She cried, trying to bring a knee up into Delfye’s softer bits.

Suddenly, the Aeros found herself pulled back, by an arm around her throat. “Miiya! Stop! I know him! He’s my friend!” Aishe grunted, hauling the diminutive girl off the sammaran.

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Delfye
The pilot was having his bell rung by the furious assault. Miiya’s punches might not have had a lot of inertia behind them, but they were fast and her fists were small. It was like being battered by a ball-peen hammer. Trying, and failing, to get his guard up, Delfye felt himself liberated of at least one tooth, and it was a good bet one of those punches fractured his nose. Staggering to his feet as Aishe pulled Miiya off him, he palmed the inner door closed, and there was a hiss as the airlock matched pressure with the runabout docked to the exterior hatch. “Jesus!” He gasped bringing a hand up to his abused face. “Calm down, kid!”

The sammaran took advantage of his reprieve to open the hatch to the ship and stumble inside, backing up against the bulkhead farthest from the struggling Miiya. “I’b here to helb.” He insisted, tasting the warm coppery tang of blood on his hand and in his throat as his abused nose began bleeding freely. “I just neeb to talk to bAishe.”

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Miiya

Miiya’s blood was up, and it did not easily settle once stirred. She just barely caught herself from elbowing her friend in the face to break her hold. “Rrgh!! Let me GO!” She snarled, before calming herself.

Do. not. beat. up. your. wards. Arfline.

If that wasn’t in the handbook for dealing with GM’s, it ought to be, Miiya thought, and settled down a little. “You know this guy?!” She repeated, trying to keep the incredulity out of her voice. When Delfye spoke, she whirled on him, fists back at the ready. Her thigh hurt something fierce, and now that she wasn’t in active aviation or combat, the pain was making its way through her mental blocks, goading her back into punching mood. The man’s flinching was gratifying, so she didn’t renew her assault, except with words.

“Just TALK? You stole a pod, ran the checkpoint, and broke into this ship…” She waved her arm threateningly, first at Delfye, and then at the duffy around them. “...just to talk?! Yeah, right!!” There was a whole list of other things she should blame Delfye for, but the adrenaline and pain were making it tough to think and speak clearly.

“Miiya, please. Calm down! This is all a big misunderstanding, I’m sure.” Aishe implored the GeneCorp intern. Delfye collected himself enough to at least stand upright (head tilted back and nose pinched with a puke-y shop rag) and agree.

Miiya had a moment to collect herself. Her [literally] ruffled feathers settled. Her thigh burned, and she had the strong suspicion she was making some sort of mistake, she just couldn’t tell what it was, and frett, but my leg hurts! she looked at the man, and her friend, facing her down. “Fine! Talk then, but I’m calling security!” That, she could be sure, she needed to do; call this in, since she had not had the chance on the promenade.

“No… Miiya.” Aishe began, but Delfye stopped her.

”It’s fibe. Do whab you neeb to do.” The sammaran said, motioning to the airlock.

Miiya did not think twice about stepping where directed. She was used to doing as she was told, and it was just involuntary, like breathing; step out, and make a call. Her fingers found the mangled PED in her pocket at the same moment she crossed the threshold into the airlock.

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Delfye
The instant Miiya was in the airlock, Delfye closed the ship’s hatch, sealing her in. He palmed the intercom to the pressurization chamber and spoke calmly. “Stab back, I’m closib the ouber door.” From the console, he closed the station’s outer airlock door, equalized the pressure, and opened the station-side inner door. “I neeb you to get oub. I don’t want to debressurize the airlock wib you in ib.” But I will if I have to. was the part of that left unsaid.

“Delfye, what are you doing? She’s my friend, too.” Aishe gasped.

Once Miiya was out of the airlock, Delfye sealed the airlock from both sides. “I’b sorry, bAishe, it has to be this wayb. I habe to knowb for certain.” He walked over to the duffy’s controls and opened a clear safety cover over a manual handle. He pulled the handle halfway down. A tremor ran through the small ship as Delfye released the hard dock. Then he stepped away from the controls. “Oogh, that kid can hib.” He groaned, taking a seat at the rear of the runabout and tilting his bloody face back. He did something to his ocular implant. After a moment the blood stopped flowing from his nose. His black eye faded and the swelling bruises on his face vanished.

He took a long breath, gathering his thoughts. When he spoke, his voice was clear and crisp. “That’s the “go home” lever, Aishe. Pull it the rest of the way down, we undock, and I take you back to your family. Push it back up to “hard dock” and you stay the property of GeneCorp.” That was as simple as he could make it. “I was property of a corporation, once. They gave me the keys to the universe, but they also used me up.” He pointed to the jet-black sclera of his one visible eye. “I’ve got maybe three months left--less now, thanks to your feathered “friend”. I never had a choice, so I wanted to make sure you have one.” He pointed toward the airlock. “She can’t get you here. They can’t hear you. They can’t get you. If they put bugs or implants in you--or told you they did--I’ve jammed them, and we can get them out. You’re safe, now.” He held up a hand when Aishe started to speak. “Wait, let me finish. I am a great pilot, Intercorp made me one of the best.” He tapped his cybernetic lens. “They can’t catch us. I’ve got a real ship waiting. I can get you home.” He pointed again to the undocking lever. ”If that’s what you want. The choice is yours, alone.”

“Go home?” Aishe looked at Delfye with an incredulous stare. Her gaze dropped to the floor for a moment. “Delfye, you don’t know anything!” She paused, trying to put the enormity of his misapprehension into words. She’d been the sammaran’s assistant when she’d known him as the village tinker--acolyte of the monks in the monastery under the mountain. She’d helped him install and repair the solar panels and wind turbines that provided unreliable electrification and net access to her and the other villagers. She told the man this, repeating what he already knew, before she told him what he had not known.

“I did that in spite of the beatings, Delfye. You--you didn’t see, y-you were an outsider, so you didn’t know.” She gritted, still looking down. “I wasn’t supposed to read. I wasn’t supposed to understand sine waves or the piecemeal math you taught me to rectify power onto the local grid, and I sure as **** wasn’t supposed to go on the nets; see that there was… all this.” She waved a shaking hand at the duffy and Blue Heaven beyond. It took a little while, and it was hard to do it without crying, but Aishe described just what kind of life she’d escaped, coming here--leaving home--and why she would never go back. “Property of GeneCorp? Okay--sign me up! Better than staying the property of my father, and then the husband he chooses for me.” She said, blinking back angry tears. “I’m sorry bad things happened to you, Delfye, and I know you’re just trying to help, but…stop, please.”

With careful and deliberate motions, she made her way to the docking lever and pressed it firmly back into place. “I’m sorry you came all this way for nothing. Maybe… maybe GeneCorp’s like Intercorp--maybe I’m trading the devil I know for the one I don’t. Maybe they’ll use me up like they did you, but--one thing is for sure, Delfye: I’m never going home. I’ll die first.” She pointed to the controls. “Open the airlock, please.”

Standing by the console, Aishe pressed her lips into a thin line and shook her head. “You know, you could have just asked--without all this.”

I’m glad you think so. Delfye thought to himself, and returned a wan smile from Aishe that he did not feel inside. “Be careful. Watch out for yourself.” He said, before keying open the airlock.

“Wait… what’s going to happen to you?” Aishe stopped him before he could open the hatches.

Delfye gave his former assistant a wry grin. “Doesn’t matter,” he said. “Whatever it is, though, it’s on me. Looks like the first order of business is to get beat to a pulp by your friend.” He eyed the incensed Aeros beating on the airlock door. “Maybe you could put in a good word for me? Ask her to leave me a couple of teeth?” He suggested, before opening the hatches.