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Vincent May-Rose

An island in space, sanctuary among the stars.

0 · 273 views · located in Blackrock

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by NotAFlyingToy

Groups

A relatively large nation within the Aurora, Isiria spans several star systems. Isiria is an Aschen member-state.
The crew of the transport/smuggling ship, The Rabbit
The Aschen Empire, a massive collection of semi-sovereign provinces that reigns over a great portion of the Milky Way Galaxy, paranoid, arrogant, and cruel, a once prosperous nation spirals into poverty, and self-destruction.

Description

One Republic wrote:I feel something so right doing the wrong thing.
I feel something so wrong doing the right thing.
I could lie, could lie, could lie, could lie,
but everything that kills me makes me feel alive.

History

On a little planet, home grown and filled with fantasy, there lived a lovely little family of four. The wife was a new addition to the family, bringing along a daughter who was quiet and different. Very different. The nuclear family grew and became their own people, and lived happily ever after in all the fairy tales.

Fairy tales don't exist, however.

The father was a wanderer, a fighter. He had landed long ago on the planet that he raised his family, an ambassador bringing new wonders to the primitive world, and he often told stories to the boy about the stars before his second marriage. He told him about life among pirates, smugglers, international police. He told them about the Aschen, the Taiyou, the Belkans; so many races that moved about and warred with each other, races that changed shapes, vampires, zombies. All these wondrous things of the universe. While his father filled his head with fancy, his mother took it out; grounding the stories in favor of her young, impressionable daughter.

The boy and the girl grew together, shared experiences with one another. She was there when he got his very first scar; a jagged line across his left eye, from a rogue beast that he had tried to fell with naught but a stick and the clothes on his back. She was there for his first scuffle, a fistfight with another bigger boy. His tenacity won him the day.

She was there, in the bed beside him in the dark, clutching a blanket to her chin, when they talked into the night, discussing dreams and fairy tales, and when they were older; politics, math, school, and the world. The boy and the girl grew. As they did, she kept his interest in all things technological a secret from their mother. He worked on parts, learned the ins and outs of Fire-type vessels.

When the boy was eighteen, he found the smugglers, a crashed ship in a derelict part of his world. They were looking for a mechanic, and he was free for the job.

It was then when the boy; Vincent, became a man.

So begins...

Vincent May-Rose's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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A lot of people came to the small world of Blackrock expecting the streets to be paved with gold. Well, that was a lie. Chances were, if you arrived on the 'rock, you were either in a lot of trouble or you were looking to start some. The barren, grey world was dusty and windy, the bitter sands kicking and swirling around those poor souls who called the world home, lashing at their faces. Goggles and windstorms were both commonplace here; all the better to hide the faces and objects of those who frequented the world. Even the buildings were shady; made of rusted metal and tarp, nailed down from the wind and sand with plastic visors and simple ties, themselves looking more like an odd cross between circus tents and fallout shelters, tinged with red and gold when the sun dared poke its head above the horizon.

Coot's Bar was one such building, thick nylon ropes extending from its corners and edges, burying deep into the ground to keep the hurricane winds - and other, less nature-friendly forces - from bowling it down. Inside, the decor was just as run down, with very few light sources and very few reasons not to drink, smoke, and fight. The small space port - if you could call it that; there was no service to speak of there - nearby ensured that travellers would visit this place.

Inside the bar sat the captain of a ship, though truthfully, he'd need a working boat to actually drive. His bronzed skin was a contrast to his gleaming white teeth, his grizzled face a contrast to his clear, intelligent eyes. He was well known to this planet, but not to the system surrounding it; his name and occupation were guarded as well as he could manage. On his head was a red bandana, tugged and knotted towards the back, hiding a mop of black hair.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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In his hand was a glass of cranberry juice, and in his eyes there was a cold fury. His ship was a mess; something that was in need of repair, and he hadn't the funds to do so. As he sat there surrounded by scum, Vincent May-Rose schemed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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#, as written by Tiko
At last Whisper came to stand before Coot's Bar. The local cesspool and haven of criminals and vagabonds. No one came to this moon if they weren't running from something, and what better place to forget that, than at the bar.

However, as she stepped inside she hesitated a time, her eyes lingering on Vincent seated across the way. For all her effort to find him, standing here now, she couldn't bring herself to approach him. It was many long moments that she stood in the doorway before she pushed her hood back and revealed her silver white locks of hair and pale complexion. It turned more than a few heads, for a girl like her, just wasn't something you see here on Blackrock. Even with her disheveled appearance, she had a softness about her that didn't belong in this lawless place.

“Hello, Vincent,” she said, letting her voice draw the attention of her brother.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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His eyes met the girl in the bar, and before he knew it his head was engaged in a quick double-take as he rose to his feet, the cranberry juice sloshing down his front. He blinked, wiping his eyes at the familiar face, bringing so many memories...

But it was different now. She was older, wiser-looking, her appearance dishevelled and sombre. There was a sadness, an aura of a woman who'd seen a lot in her lifetime, and very small amounts of it were good. He remembered back, way back, when she was a happy-go-lucky child, filled with brimming and bubbling energy and flowing intuition, who seemed to know what he was thinking; feeling, without him even voicing it. He remembered long talks.

All he could think, was where have you been.

"Jacquelyn!" He said, part surprised, part delight, part apprehension. Five years. He hadn't seen her in five long years. The distance between them shortened, and before he sent the brain pattern to his arms, they were around her in a hug, pressing her close to him.

Sister. He was hugging his sister.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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#, as written by Tiko
The apprehension Whisper had been harboring over seeing Vincent again swiftly faded within the warm embrace. A touch of a smile graced her lips as she returned the hug, albeit with less vigor.

“It's good to see you Vincent. You're not an easy person to find. I would ask what brings you here, but... I imagine the warrants for your arrest speak loudly enough.”

There was a familiar touch of disapproval in her voice, but it was layered beneath gentle humor.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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He smiled, glad to hear the disapproval, welcoming it. He'd been the black sheep of sorts; leaving the family home to go work amidst the stars. At least, he had been until his little sister had followed in his footsteps. He released her, taking a step back to gaze down at her with a worried, furrowed brow.

"It's good to see you too, Jacquelyn. It's - damn, it's really nice to see you again. And yes, my presence here has little to do with the scenery and a lot to do with the noise of my pursuers. But I think it'd be more appropriate for me to ask what brings you here. Unless, you have loud pursuers as well. Why do you look for me, sister?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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When she finished regaling him, his mouth was agape, rubbing one hand underneath his chin, the scratching of skin against hair seemingly loud in the din of the place. When she finished, he nodded, tapping the table that sat between them when they moved to seats, partway through her tale. As her voice lapsed into the crowd, he began nodding.

"So, you stole a powerful gunship, all the combined knowledge of a single race's military, and have pissed off two major factions in the universe." He summarized, taking a sip of his juice, which lay nearly empty. "I can see why you'd want to come to me."

He paused, pressing his hands flat against the table. "The way I see it, we have two options. Either you live the life for a while, bunker down, sell the ship. You could run with me and my crew; we'd keep you out of the Aschen feelers. Or," he gritted his teeth through the word, "you deal with these people. Easier said than done; from what you've told me, it'll take a hell of a bargain."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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Vincent nodded, smiling slightly at her description of wandering. "Yeah, I remember thinking that, in the future, you were supposed to man the house and home after Ma and Dad died. But that plan's certainly not forming. We're here now; we'll find a way."

With a palm on his chin, he pushed his neck to the right, allowing it to pop in four short bursts, the crackpopopopop coming deep from within his vertebrae. He sighed in satisfaction, leaning away from her, the tension eased for the moment. Tapping his fingers, one by one on the table, he began to speak.

"There are ways. We could smuggle you through in the Rabbit, though she'll need some repairs before we go anywhere. Could disguise you; get you a fake ID and a DNA wipe. The black market here's extensive; there has to be a way through the net they'll set up. We just need to find a small enough fish." He leaned towards her, his green eyes meeting her own pools. "Mark me, Jacquelyn. We'll get you back to your old life. And we should start by showing me this ship of yours."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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It was beautiful, hand down one of the most gorgeous pieces of technology he'd seen since his ten years in flight. And he'd seen a lot in those ten years. Moving towards it, goggles placed firmly over his eyes and bandana hanging around his mouth, he wondered if the Aschen had a lot of birds like this. And if they did, why hadn't he and them done deals like this in the past?

Not that he'd ever consider it now. Jacquelyn was family, and a Rose never betrayed a rose. Still, he mourned the gold mine that he'd not known about. Maybe he'd get the opportunity to steal one, himself.

"You know when I was all, 'Sell the ship'?" He said, turning towards her, the corners of his eyes crinkling with his smile. "Forget that. Can we keep it forever?"

His smile abruptly dropped, however, folding his arms. "Okay, we could sell off some of the unneeded components, but the ship would prove useful. Especially the stealth. Even the Rabbit doesn't have much going for it stealth wise.

The setting changes from blackrock to The Kreios System

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose Character Portrait: Jayden Ryder Character Portrait: Vanora Skybrook Character Portrait: Vanora Rees

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#, as written by Tiko
(Post written by NotAFlyingToy, Script and Tiko)

Through the din of the spectators milling about the hanger, the sound of determined boots on the metallic floor rang out, belonging to a man who's stride revealed a beeline route towards the youthful racer. The man that belonged to the boots was tall, slim, and defined; angular cheeks and bronzed skin dominated the rest of his features, coupled with intelligent, hard eyes and a faint pink scar. Around his neck were his two defining features; a red bandana and goggles, both of them grimy with sand and the remains of sweat.

When he was in speaking range, he called out to the youth. "Impressive as always, Jayden. It's no wonder why you're always dodging me when I ask for you at the Rabbit's helm. You have a way with these things."

When Vincent May-Rose, Captain of the Rabbit stopped in front of the racer, he folded his arms, grinning down at Jayden with eerily white teeth. As he glanced around the cluster of people, his smile lessened slightly. "Tough break, the disqualification. What happened?"

Jay looked up sharply at the sound of a purposeful approach, eyes narrowing - though they softened to a more neutral expression when he identified Vincent. He shook his head as the man spoke, "One of the other racers attacked me and Jenna, the other front-runner. I outflew him and took his ship down, but he picked an attack point out of sight of everyone. As far as the officials are concerned, I could've just taken them both down without provocation."

Sighing, Jay shrugged his shoulders, "Nothing I can do about it now. Jenna lost her memory because she took some head damage in the crash, so until they bother with a salvage mission to fully determine who shot her ship? I'm grounded, or at least, barred from racing."

Vincent raised an eyebrow, hiding the full smile that threatened to bloom onto his face. This couldn't have happened at a better time. "Damn shame. I can't picture you not racing, Jayden. What are you planning to do now?"

Glancing from Vince to the Eclipse, Jay gave the man a knowing stare. "I figure I know where you're going with this, Vince," he said, folding his arms, "And I don't know. I'm still not sure a pirate's life's for me, if you know what I'm saying. I'm not big on shooting people."

"We're not-"

But the protest was cut off.

"Vince!" Vanora's voice cut through the din of noise and activity about the hanger. "We've got government vessels converging. They've got a blockade setting up. If we don't skip out, we'll be landlocked."

The result was immediate as the warning spread through the room like wildfire. The hanger suitably descended into chaos as pilots and mechanics alike began to rush about in a frenzy of activity to get cleared out and their ships prepared for takeoff.

"Shit," the captain mumbled, surveying the situation, watching the panic. He turned back to the young pilot.

"Listen, Jayden, we don't have much time. In orbit there's an Aschen Reverance S, and it's got mine and my sister's names on it. We're looking for a pilot - a good one, and there doesn't get any better than you. You'll never have to lift a gun if you don't want - you'll just have to fly some hardcore military hardware. Tell me who can offer you the same."

And then he was in motion, moving out of the hangar, towards his shuttle. "We don't have much time; you coming, or not?"

Jayden glanced from Vince to the announcement of his disqualification on the overhead display, and sighed. "Fine, but the Eclipse is coming with me. I'm sure you have room for it on a ship that big."

Standing, Jay replaced his visor over his eyes, "Just tell me where you've got this puppy hiding and I'll meet you there."

The setting changes from the-kreios-system to The Haven

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose Character Portrait: Jayden Ryder Character Portrait: Vanora Skybrook Character Portrait: Vanora Rees

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#, as written by Tiko
(Post written by NotAFlyingToy, Script and Tiko)

As the trio of Vincent, Vanora and Jay filtered into the CIC, there appeared to be only one other woman on board the ship. A frail looking girl with silvery white locks of hair and a ghastly pale complexion. For Vincent's claim of siblings, it certainly took a far stretch of the imagination to see the resemblance.

“Here we go,” Whisper said as she worked over the controls, and with a sinking whirling sensation, the ship simply vanished from its place in the sky, jumping to a nearby span of space and well away from Veldspar.

“I don't think it was us they were interested in. Probably just a tip off about the racing,” Whisper remarked. With a glance to Jayden she added. “Most of those ships are going to be picked up before they even make it off planet. You're lucky. I'm Whisper by the way.”

Jay was so caught up in feasting his eyes on the inside of the Reverance that it took him a moment to realise that the girl was talking to him, and he hastily snapped to attention. "I suppose so," he replied, "I'm Jay, though I guess you already know that."

The young pilot gave Vince a suspicious glance, "I meant to ask this before but we didn't have time. How .. exactly did you get your hands on a Reverance whatever it was? By the looks of things it's a military vessel, and should have costed more than I imagine you've seen in a lifetime."

Vincent grinned. "It's true. I'm not even going to try and bluff you into thinking how vast my resources are. And it's not just any military vessel, my friend. It's the military vessel. A full blown Aschen Reverance, Stealth Class. Or so said one of the manuals. I hadn't even seen this ship before we got our hands on it."

He hopped up onto a highback chair, settled into the middle of the CIC. He put a foot down on the seat, settling his rear on the back of it, looking at all the instruments. "But does it really matter how I got it? The real question, is can you fly it." His eyes darted to his sister, quickly and discreetly. If they were going to reveal how the ship came to them, the ball was in her court.

"Pffff..." Jay cracked his knuckles, "Can I fly it? Can I fly it? Give me five minutes in the driver's seat and I'll fly whatever you can throw at me." The youth grinned, "I'm sure Avita and I can figure it out with enough time. And it looks like at least someone here knows how it works, otherwise we wouldn't have moved."

“Well, it's meant to be run by an AI. So manually piloting it is going to be a bit of a task and not so much a sit and steer task as you might be used to. Especially until we get an AI back on line to handle most of the major systems. Come have a look if you want,” Whisper replied, with a wave to the consoles that seemed made up of a wide assortment of screens and panels, rather than a more traditional cockpit setup. “The ship is meant to be run by a crew of forty. We're limping as it stands. Once we get the corrupted AI purged and the systems back online, we should be able to have you piloting it alone though.”

Jay raised an eyebrow, making his way over to the assortment of glowing panels, "I figured it wouldn't be as simple as a joystick and a go button, I've messed about with bigger vessels before -- but that is quite a lot of buttons. Not sure I have enough fingers, though I imagine with a little computer magic I'd be able to manage," The youth folded his arms, "But hold up, Whisper here seems to know everything that I'm going to need to - why'd you come all the way out here to fetch me when you already have a capable pilot? I'm not exactly going to be doing any flying like I would in the Eclipse in a vessel this complex."

“Because I'm not staying on board. As you may have surmised, the ship is a military vessel, and stolen – necessity I assure you. But it's not the ship they'll be coming after. It'll be me. So the sooner I get off ship, the sooner you guys can do whatever it is you guys do. But we need to get the ship in order and get its systems purged before we can get me back to Terra, or we'll be identified before we even set down.” Whisper sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “We can get some modifications done. I don't trust these AI systems, but if we can get a proper cockpit installed, I think with an AI to handle most of the major systems, we can get you flying this thing a bit smoother.”

Vincent's face, once bright, darkened at the prospect of Whisper leaving. He looked at the two, rubbing his chin with a bare hand. "In short, there's a lot of work to do. It's a big ship, meant for large crews, so we're going to need to get a few more bodies to fill up the CIC, at least. A skilled mechanic, some muscle, maybe someone who knows the ship a little better when Jacquelyn goes off to finish her whirwind of fabulous adventures." He shot the girl a smile.

"I can find some backwater contact to do the modifications if you tell me what I need to have done. As soon as we get rolling, I'm sure we can pay off any debts we incur."

Whisper shook her head as she pulled up a map of the surrounding galaxy on a large display screen. “We should head here,” she replied, pointing out a distant solar system. “The Hundred Lions Confederacy. There will be a good market there for some of the weapons on board and they have no allegiance to the Aschen. That should more than fund the modifications and repairs while staying off the Aschen radar.”

Vincent nodded, rubbing his itchy nose with a thumb. "So sell the weapons, buy the mods. Pretty simple. By then we should know where we're at, in the sense of wanting new parts."

"The question I have for you now, Jayden, is are you willing to endure a bunch of danger, shootouts, dogfights, and being chased by the law while making a decent coin out of it all." He shrugged with a single shoulder. "It seems like a good deal to me."

Jayden looked around the ship, biting his lip, "Well I'm not gonna have much else to do for a while. So long as I'm safely tucked away in a cockpit for most of the firefights, you have yourself a pilot."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Whisper (Jacquelyn Rose) Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose Character Portrait: Jayden Ryder Character Portrait: Vanora Skybrook Character Portrait: Malena Character Portrait: Vanora Rees

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#, as written by Tiko
(Post written by NotAFlyingToy, Tiko, Script and Vyral)

Standing fast in front of his assembled crew (was three people really a crew?), Vincent May-Rose felt that much more like a captain. They had a pilot now - someone who could actually fly this bucket - and with a few more additions to the crew, they might be able to have a skeleton crew and turn a few profits. While having all of this super technology was a grand thing indeed, they needed to find a place to offload the weapons on the ship, pick up a few stragglers that would be willing to fly with them, and maybe some kind of tech expert. Or six.

He sure as shit didn't know how to fix it.

"Okay, here's where we are." Vincent said, propping a boot up onto a command console of the CIC. "Ptoro's a rough planet, so Vanora and I will be headed planetside, looking for a buyer or three. While we're out there, Jayden, Whisper, you guys will be doing interviews. Nab anyone you think looks their way around a ship this size and fish for interest. Discreetly, mind. I doubt the people that are looking for us are way the hell out here, but it's best to not rock the boat."

He turned to Vanora, cocking his head. "I'm giving Vanora and I a day. If we don't return by nightfall, something's gone wrong. If I don't check in periodically, something's gone wrong. If something happens, track us using the Tracers." He pointed to a flat disc attached to his gunbelt, a purchase he'd made when he began smuggling.

"Right. Any questions before we head out?"



1 hour later...

“We're going to have to purge the old AI entirely. The system is thoroughly corrupted, and even with repairs there's no telling that it will ever be stable enough. This will be better anyways. With a new AI we can better design the systems to run with a human pilot,” Whisper explained to Jayden.

It had been nearly an hour since Vincent and Vanora had departed and the pair had found their way to the hanger bay while they awaited the arrival of a prospective technician. The woman in question had come with an impressive array of references, as well as two years of experience on a Reverence S class vessel.

"Make sure you get one of those AIs that don't talk too much, I always feel uncomfortable having to have an extended conversation with a computer." Jayden replied from where he was perched on the wing of the Eclipse, his own ship - a single-person fighter designed for racing. The hangar of the Reverence was larger than most planetside buildings that he was used to, but largely empty. The vibrant blue-and-red Eclipse seemed dwarfed in the empty space.

The young pilot had his visor lowered and was tinkering with the back of the ship, schematics and blueprints flashing across his vision. "Who's this person we're hiring, again? I may or may not have been not listening when you told me the first time. As I recall it, I was making sure I didn't accidentally spill plasma on my legs at the time."



Beneath her heavy coat Malena was sweating. Being swathed in thick layers of clothing offered little advantage on Ptoro. The dusty platau on which the port was built was bathed in sunlight for most of the day and the ground beneath her feet radiated heat so vibrantly that her face, turned down to protect it from the rolling waves of sand and dirt, felt roasted. A group of similar folk were clustered around her, all wearing dirty but serviceable clothing and scanning the bulletins board with beedy eyes. Talk of a Revererence landing in such a backwater port spread fast, and everything from hopeful amatures to grizzled veterans had turned out hoping for a spot on the ship. Malena slipped into this catagory nicely.

Various messages flashed on the screens. The grime smeared across the glass made some difficult to read but there was an audible buzz when the words 'REVERENCE S' flashed p on the moniters. No-one had missed that, it seemed. Malena scanned the information quickly and squinted her eyes at another incoming swirl of sand. She couldn't believe her luck. Of all the things to find, the crew of the Reverence needed a techie. She flashed a reseme. Eager to get to the hanger way ahead of any competition she tugged her scarf up to protect her mouth and nose and set a steady pace.

She arrived at the designated hanger twenty minutes later. A gaggle of other potentials had gathered around the hangers bay doors and were staring in with a mixture of amazement and fear. For a lot of Ptoro's residents, this would be one of the largests ships they had seen. And likely, they would never see another Reverence cruiser in their lifetimes. At least, not if the peace held. Malena sifted through the crowd and spotted two people, a woman and a young man, crouched by the side of the Reverence's hanger. She made her way over to them, tugging her scarf down from her face and shaking out her hair. It needed a wash, badly, but the coating of grit managed to stay the otherwise greased-up look it had.

She asked, "Are either of you part of the crew?"

“Malena?” Whisper asked as she approached the woman, a hand offered in greeting. “I'm Whisper, and that's our pilot, Jayden,” she offered in introduction. There was a cleanliness to Whisper that contrasted sharply with Malena, and it left her looking rather out of place on Ptoro.

Jayden sat up straight, sliding his visor up and off with a relieved sigh, placing them down on the Eclipse's wing next to him. The surprisingly young man smiled down at Malena with a small wave of an oil-dirtied hand, "Howdy!" he said, swinging his legs over the edge of the wing to face the new arrival.

"That's me." She stuck out her hand and shook whispers firmly. By contrast to the prim and proper look of the ships woman, Malena felt grimey and more than a little repulsive. Wandering around Ptoro she blended in, but against the backdrop of a shiny new Reverence and its pristine crew she stuck out like a sore thumb. She dropped her hand to her side and shot the pilot a polite smile. He couldn't be more than a child. She turned her gaze back to Whisper. "So, what exactly are you paying me to do?"

Whisper's eyes studied Malena carefully as they grasped hands, and she maintained the contact for perhaps a moment longer than would be normal before she finally withdrew her hand. “The ship's AI was damaged and most of the systems are down. We've been limping on auto-control but we need to get the systems purged and a new AI installed. We're looking to get some hardware modifications done as well. I don't really trust these new AI systems, but as you know, these vessels are designed to be run exclusively off an AI. We can review the blue prints, but the plan is to get a proper cockpit installed, where a single human pilot can manage most of the ships systems with the assistance of an AI, rather than the other way around.”

Jayden nodded his head at Whisper's final sentence, "That's me. I'm good, but I can't sit at forty chairs at once. I'm not that good."

"How long have I got?" the technition asked.

“As long as you need, and as many hands as you need,” Whisper replied.

"Good." She glanced at the ship again. "This won't be a quick fix." She turned back to Whisper. "Does my board come out of my payment?"

“We're prepared to stay in port for however long is necessary. Come, I'll show you to the CIC.” At the inquiry into board though, Whisper pursed her lips. It would be harder to keep Malena from snooping around the ship if she were staying here, but on the flip side, that would be difficult to prevent with her working on it, and at least this way, they could keep an eye on her. “If you require room and board for the duration, I'm sure my brother can arrange that. We have space.”

"Alright then. Show me the way."

Jayden glanced down at his hands, "I shouldn't wander around the upper decks in this state, so I guess I'll finish up here then catch up if you're still around." he said, lifting his hand in a casual salute before going back to his visor and ship.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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There was something about being landlocked that always made Vincent uneasy, and not in that cliche, 'yo-ho-pirate's-life' that he had read about throughout his life. He didn't have aspirations of romance among the stars, and he didn't hate the feeling of solidity and gravity and all that fun stuff you didn't get in space. It was a simple truth; He was on a planet that was untrustworthy, and he was a criminal. There were probably seedier places that he could've landed - hell, he knew there were; he preferred it there - but he couldn't help the feeling of dislike for his surroundings. In this instance, he'd be much more comfortable skyward.

He was sitting on an empty crate of supplies that his crew had been unloading, his feet swaying slightly in the crisp air, taking in the dark red, barren surroundings that seemed inclined to swallow the Haven up. The dark ship was parked in a small, desolate location for fear of two things; being caught, and being caught.

Call it smuggler's paranoia, but there was something about sitting on a high tech warship that was re-fitted for smuggling once belonging to a powerful race of soldiers that didn't sit well in the pit of the captain's stomach.

Sipping at the black sludge someone in the Aschen military had the gall to call caffeine, Vincent looked out at the red rock surrounding him, deep in thought.

Thoughts of a sister.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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Vincent nodded at the woman, his gaze moving towards the small, transport vessel that the boxes had originated from. Everything was salvaged; from various weapons to seating arrangements to the coffee machine. The latter of all of these something that Vincent considered very, very important.

"My head's right here, Vanora." He said, grinning. A trickle of sweat ran from his bronzed temple, sliding into his ear, which he rubbed at absently with his shoulder. He hopped off the crate to go assist with the move, bumping her shoulder with his amicably. "You know, you're lucky you found me. Ain't many that would take a mouth like yours aboard."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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"Wren? Who knows." The captain said, grunting as he carried a crate off of the Rabbit's cargo, placing it at the bottom of the ramp. Standing in front of the small vessel, he put his hands on his hips, just above the gunbelt that held his disruptor pistol. He quirked his lips as he gazed upon his old ship.

"Sure am going to miss the old girl. Remember the slaver's run, Vanora? And how you screamed like a newborn when they tried to board us?" His lips quirked again. "Good times."

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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"Suppose it was. Hey, getting shot hurts, you know. It's terrifying. Especially with the prospect of you patching me up."

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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Vincent whirled, a sudden suave smile plastered on his face as he approached the men. He spread his arms towards them, his eyes glinting.

"Hello, Gentlemen!" He said, politely. "First time on Ptoro, huh? From the looks of you, I'd assume so." His eyes scanned the team of marines, taking in the amount of hardware they had. "The ship was sold to me, as a matter of fact - from a woman, you know. Pretty faces seem to make ripe deals, it seems."

He motioned to the ship. "The Haven's a great deal, but there's a few kicks to iron out. The blasted thing doesn't appear to work right; slow to respond. You in the market to buy, or...?"

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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A long, slow eyebrow raise was Vincent's response for a while, and his arms folded slowly as he watched the man, sizing him up. "This... Whisper, asked you to find me?" He asked, scratching the back of his head. He began looking for ways out; exits, a way to signal Vanora to come out blazing with one of those combat suits that they'd found when the transfer had been made.

"No offense, sir," He started, "but I'm not entirely sure I trust you. Can you prove you've been in contact with this woman named Whisper?"

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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The Captain caught the device, flipping through the tablet's images; places, dates. Things that his sister undoubtedly had mentioned; things that she'd spilled to him on the decks of the very ship that sat behind him. His frown started as soon as the name
Code: Select all
Jacquelyn Rose
appeared, and the frown deepend and widened as the man read onwards. He clicked out the side of his mouth, once, when he fully comprehended the detail of the tablet. And again.

Tossing the tablet back to the man, he turned slightly to Vanora, giving her a worried glance. Shifting back towards the men, he sighed. "She sent you to find me? What do you need me for? Seems like you have all you need right there."

He waved towards the device.

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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The captain smiled. "Ah, but that part of my story, sir, was truth."

He turned to Vanora, speaking in a low voice. "Vanora, it appears as though I'm going on vacation for a while with these gentlemen. Tell Malena to start with the engines and work her way forward; diagnostics and whatnot. Jayden's the best that they come; I'm not worried about him." He said this all, knowing full well she knew precisely what to do in this kind of situation. He was nervous; when he got nervous, he got bossy.

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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He shook his head, keeping the distance. "Vanora, you're the only person I can trust to get this all done. Can you imagine if Wren was in charge of the ship? The place would be a nightmare of half-finished projects and random decorations." He half smiled at the image.

"No, this is a job only you can do. Regroup once Haven's awake; you guys can carry on without me. Just don't like, paint her pink or anything." He gave her a grin, here, accompanied with a clap on the shoulder. "I'll take Wren. She'll be more than sufficient for backup."

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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Vincent nodded at this news, lifting a shoulder in reply. "I'm sure we'll be fine; my crew can meet me with the Haven when all's said and done with you." He said, before turning to face the major directly.

"I'm used to being somebody's target, sir." He said, easily. It was not a boast; a mere statement of fact.

...Okay, so yeah. It was a boast.

"Unless you're offering a solution to that particular predicament. In which case, I'm definitely listening."

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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Vincent chuckled, softly. "I'm sure that's distressing for you," he responded. He turned back to look at Vanora, pausing. "Uh, sir. Captain, or whomever. I'd like to request to take my own ship." He pointed to the small transport that was docked near the Haven.

"It won't be able to outrun your hardware, so you don't need to worry about me bugging off. But I'd like to stand a chance in a dogfight, should the bogeymen catch us on the way. Know what I mean?"

The setting changes from the-haven to Blackrock

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose

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There were few who braved the seemingly grime-filled cesspits that the locals had the gall to call cities upon Blackrock, but it was a hell of a place for a bargain of any kind. Fast guns, fast girls, and fast ships were the only laws that were made to be followed; being quick on your feet and thoughts was the only guarantee that you’d be par for the course, let alone extraordinary. When you docked on a moon like this, you assumed that everyone had an angle, a hidden advantage that they kept in back pockets, waiting to unleash. A world filled with manipulators and the manipulated, a giant chess game where nobody was sure of the rules. And even if there were rules, the good people of Blackrock would be the first to toss them out the window.

All of this wasn’t exactly a deterrent for Vincent May Rose, but he’d have rather been a number of places that weren’t here. It wasn’t because of a bad experience - rock like this, you didn’t have any other kind - but more a general lack of anything worth stealing that hadn’t been taken five times over. The only things that left Blackrock in any sort of permanence were people, and he’d had enough of transport jobs in the past few journeys to last a lifetime.

Sitting in a dusky dark corner of one of the few bars that still allowed him inside on the godforsaken rock, Vincent scowled down at one of his scuffed boots, a thin white line of caked rabbit shit still visible on the toe. The young girl who he had been paid a generous sum to take off-world had refused to relinquish the pet - and its messy habits - when he had taken her aboard. She had insisted it was a good luck charm - the ship was called The Rabbit, after all, and couldn’t he see that Bumbles was lonely without her, and please Mr. Vincent, you won’t even know he’s there. Honest!

It had been those big green eyes that had done him in. And the little white turds that had him very nearly out again.

Clearing his mind of whiny little girls and their pet domestic animals, Vincent checked the traditional golden hands-watch on his wrist, his eyes rolling slightly when he saw that the contact was late. Never one to sit still, he propped his boots up on a table, moving a long trail of sludge along the heel of the left one as he stretched out to wait, his hands idly tapping at his empty holster.

Ryan always insisted that there were no weapons when he met his delivery boys. It was a pretty fruitless gesture, since all he had to do was grab at the belt of any of the dozens of passed out drunken slobs at this dive to arm himself, but Vincent usually humoured him. His unease about not having the compact little pistol with him had very little to do with the contact and a lot to do with the job that had been promised.

As if on cue, however, a short man and two larger, bulkier ones moved through the rambunctious crowd, sharing snarls and grimaces with the rest of the drinkers and merry goers. They wound their way slowly - ever so slowly - towards the smuggler, and Vincent watched their progress easily, sliding his mask of boredom over his features.

When the man hopped into a chair across from Vincent, the smuggler cocked a half-grin, tapping at his watch.

“Late again, Ryan.”

The man rolled his eyes, an impossibly deep voice emanating from him. “This is Blackrock, Rose. Nobody’s late.”

Vincent nodded, folding his arms across his chest. “Later than I’d like, then.”

“Like I care,” the man sneered, snapping his stubby fingers. One of the mountains of meat withdrew an envelope, tossing it on the table in front of the smuggler, bouncing off of the rabbit dung and spinning to a halt. Swinging his soiled boots to the floor, reaching to snatch the envelope and ripping it open.

“You know,” began Ryan as he watched Vincent count his earnings, “I heard an interestin’ tale about you and yours the other day.”

“Mmm?” the smuggler murmured, concentration on the money.

“You bet. From a reliable source, too. They say you’ve stolen before.”

“Me? Steal? Never. I’m nothing but a Saint.” Vincent frowned at the amount in his hand, opened the envelope wider, searching.

“Not your usual fare. Said that you’d stolen something real big. Something that you’re holding out on telling little old me about.”

“Now now, Ryan,” Vincent murmured, reaching into the envelope, “you’re not that old.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Ryan bristled slightly, and it took real effort to prevent a smile from slipping out.

“They want it back, it looks like. They offered me a lot of money to take it back, Rose. I’m... entertaining other offers.”

Vincent stopped snooping through the envelope. Folded the funds, put them in his jacket pocket, zipped it shut. Straightened in his chair, folded his hands on top of the envelope, and met the shorter man’s gaze. “You’re six hundred short.”

“Considering it a fee for me even entertaining the notion.”

Now, the smuggler did smile. “My dear Ryan,” he said, slowly. “You know how much contraband goes in and out of the Rabbit each time she makes a stop. Whatever I apparently stole from this reliable source of yours is probably deep into the Aurora right now.”

“Know for a fact it ain’t.”

Vincent raised an eyebrow. “I’m not joking. Even I don’t even know what’s in our hold right now. I swear that one of my crewmates is conducting science experiments. It’d explain the mild explosions.”

“We aren’t discussing contraband, Rose,” the short man said, his eyes glittering. “We’re discussing the method of transportation.”

Realization slammed into Vincent, then. He recalled a moment, years before, when he’d flown off of Blackrock, a fresh wound in his shoulder and hysterical, nervous laughter filling his throat, as a one eyed man’s ship became his own. He schooled his features, keeping that cocky grin on his face.

“Well, now,” Vincent said, rubbing his chin. “You’re going to have a problem there.”

Ryan snorted. “You’re here. Ship’s docked. We could take it from you lickety-split.”

“You haven’t ever met my first mate, have you?” Vincent said, mildly.

“Doesn’t matter who the man - or woman - is on the boat. A gunship’ll dice it just the same.”

“Now I know you’ve never met Vanora,” Vincent grinned. “I’m pretty sure she’d just swallow whatever your ships’ll shoot and spit them back at you.”

“Look, Vincent,” Ryan said, spreading his hands. “I don’t want to hurt you or yours. But unless you can beat his offer...”

A long silence filled the room, and Ryan let the threat hang, smug and superior with his two lunkhead bodyguards flanking him, beefy arms folded across chests. Vincent didn’t do anything, just let his smile slowly fade into a serious line, his eyes narrowing perceptibly. He leaned forwards, his hands gripping the table.

“Go on.”

Ryan blinked. “What?”

“You were about to tell me what will happen if I couldn’t beat his offer,” Vincent pointed out. “You didn’t finish your sentence.”

Ryan raised an eyebrow. “I’ll take The Rabbit, shoot your crew, leave you stranded. I’m sure there are plenty of people on this rock that’d love to see you trapped.”

Vincent nodded. “Sounds like interesting terms,” he said. “Might I make a counter-offer?”

Ryan shrugged. “By all means.”

The table was suddenly upended, spiralling towards the two beefheads with a force aided by the three propulsion grenades Vincent had planted before the meeting began. He was out of his chair and swinging it hard, smashing the wood against the short man’s face, the wood cracking and splintering with the force of the blow. The two men staggered backwards as the table hit them, both drawing weaponry as Vincent hit the floor, bellying towards a passed out patron. A bullet was discharged into the wall where Vincent had been moments before, exploding in rock and wood.

A brief pause followed.

A skinny old man rose to his feet, put his hands to his mouth, and hollered, “BAR FIGHT!”

Suddenly, every man, woman, and child in the establishment was trading blows; one of the big men smashed in the face with a bottle, a small boy leapt atop a chandelier with a pellet gun and began firing rounds, three robed monk-looking figures drew knives and charged at three stoic knight-looking figures, who drew blades.

A woman with red hair began bellowing out laughter as her husband and her man for the night leapt at each other’s throats. A large black man was cowering on the floor as three elderly women hit at him with their canes. Two teenaged boys were running from scuffle to scuffle, handing out blunt instruments.

Through it all, Vincent rolled forwards, dodging and ducking through the chaotic crowd, finally grabbing Ryan and hauling his head so that the man’s ear was near the smuggler’s mouth.

“Threaten my crew again,” he whispered, smiling thinly. “Make my day.”

“You ad your goddab ode liders,” the short man croaked through a heavily broken nose. Vincent laughed, patted him on the head, and threw a left hook that had the gangster out like a light. The smuggler stood then, hands in pockets, and surveyed the fray.

With a shrug and a “Fuck it,” he leapt into it.

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Character Portrait: Vincent May-Rose Character Portrait: Leon Theodoris

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If there were two things that Vincent May-Rose’s ears were finely tuned towards, it was the sound of offers being made for a sale and shouts of anger. If asked about the way his head whipped around to take in the crowd, he’d insist that it was part of his business - nay, his duty - to know when something was worth buying, and had tempers flaring.

After all. If it was worth selling, it sure as hell was worth stealing.

Rubbing a rapidly forming bruise on his jaw absently, the smuggler buried his free hand into his coat pocket, skirting the edges of the circle to see what all the hullabaloo was about. It took him four seconds to see the figure, bound and wolflike, in the middle of the thrashing and shouting mob. Disgust curled in his belly, equaled with a rising annoyance.

Playing the hero did not do well for his reputation.

Sighing, he glanced at the man to his right, shouting his own figures as loud as he could. The man’s hands were above his head, waving his coin rapidly. Vincent considered for a moment, then drew the man’s pistol clear of his holster and fired into the air.

The effect was not as well received as he had hoped. The din stopped for a moment as a few eyes landed on him, before immediately turning back to the lupine and doubling their efforts.

Frowning, Vincent turned the gun on it’s original owner, pointing at his thigh. He fired again.

The man cried out, falling backwards, and that time the crowd stopped their jeering now that a definite casualty was amongst them.

“You all should be ashamed of yourselves,” Vincent snarled, sliding the borrowed pistol into his belt, “tossing figures over a live being like this. Have you no sense of grace?”

Vincent had their attention now as all eyes were upon him. Kane though it would seem was unimpressed. He rested his arms on his knee as he pressed his weight down against the wolfen creatures chest.

"And who the fuck are you to tell me how to run my business?" Kane asked.

He didn't reach for the gun at his hip and arrogance was written all over his face. Several bodies were already moving hands for their guns, ready to draw if things went south. There were about four of Kane's men among the crowd and a brief glance was all it took to send one of them quietly maneuvering through the spectators to get around behind Vincent unnoticed.

Vincent let out a nasally laugh, stepping into the circle of men to stand over the lupine. “Well, for starters, these ingrates are giving you terrible figures. First of all, look at this coat!”

Vincent leaned downwards, gripped some of the lupine’s fur, and sunk his fingers into it. “Fine, silken, heavy. This one’s eaten well. Good muscle structure, too; at least, what we can see of his arms. But you’re doing it all wrong, sir!”

He gestured with wide palms. “You need to let the merchandise stand up. No slave buyer worth his spit would buy a damn dog breath without seeing the hind leg muscle. Are you new at this? First day on the job?”

Vincent glanced back towards a bystander, rolling his eyes. The man chuckled, nodding agreeably. Doubtful that he knew a word of what Vincent was saying, but some men loved to look smarter than others.

Whirling back to Kane, Vincent folded his arms. “Well,” he barked, “are you going to get the product on his feet or not?”

"And how many dolls have you smuggled on the black market lately?" Kane sneered.

The dig drew a few guffaws from the crowd as Kane stood up straight. The canid creature proved far less humored by the situation as it capitalized upon Kane's distraction with Vincent. Rolling to the side he knocked his weight into the back of Kane's legs.

"What the fu-" Kane began before the furred oddity had his hands around the holster strapped to Kane's leg.

The gun was pulled free with a tug and the bound captive scooted back in the dirt as the weapon whined to life in his hands. With his wrist bounds, he had an awkward one handed grip on the weapon that didn't lend for a great deal of accuracy, and the weapon wavered between Kane and Vincent.

Kane's hands were already easing up in a show of being unarmed.

"Hey now, no need for any of that. It was just business, eh?" he asked.

The slaver quirked a smirk as he took a seemingly wary step back to leave room for his men to open fire.

Vincent stepped back, too, keeping pace with Kane as the lupine had the pistol pointed between both of them. “I wouldn’t call it business,” Vincent continued, waiting for Kane’s eyes to flit to his, “because, as usual, you can’t a dog to fleas.”

With that, Vincent suddenly lunged, grabbing a fist full of Kane’s shirt and slamming his head into the other man’s nose. As Kane’s head rocketed backwards, Vincent drew his borrowed gun, leaping to tackle the Wolven as gunfire erupted around them.

Vincent felt a bullet ruffle his hair as he hit earth, men collapsing forwards as the bullets collided with other targets than those intended. The crowd, too, drew pistols and began to randomly fire into their own midst, pleased roars and cries of pain rising above the din.

The captive fired at Vincent, and a wave of heated air scorched past as the wayward shot missed its mark. The weapon appeared to be of no local make, and the streak of light struck a nearby building structure leaving the sheet metal scorched and blackened. The scent of burnt metal filled the street as Vincent's weight drew a grunt out of the captive before it could fire off a second shot.

“I had it under control!” Vincent shouted at the lupine, trying to pin the other humanoid to the ground, “For God’s sakes, don’t move.”

The Wolven's first instinct was to resist, but beaten and malnourished, and with its wrists bound, Vincent had the upper hand. It took a moment more before realization dawned upon it and it raised its bound hands up between them. The length of twine had been bound tight enough that the fur was stained red where it had bit into flesh.

"Get me loose," the canid creature growled.

Vincent’s response was to roll his eyes. “Well, you did just try to shoot me,” he said, pointedly, wrapping his arms around the lupine’s waist as a shot snapped home near their heads.

“Okay, do what you can to shift your weight; we’re going to roll.”

Without further fanfare, he hauled his weight to the side, rolling the two between scuffling boots and kicked up dust. Once they were clear of the melee, Vincent hopped to his feet and hauled up the lupine, pointing the pistol at the knot in the twine and staring at the Wolven’s eyes.

“Kay. Don’t shoot me.”

“Only if you don’t hurry,” the Wolven replied.

“I like your style,” the human fired back, then pulled the trigger, severing the rope. Following through with the motion, Vincent kept the pistol pointed between the lupine’s legs, at a very important piece of anatomy.

“We good?”

The Wolven rubbed at his wrists as he tried to work the circulation back into them while surveying the situation. The gunfight in the street was scattering as participants sought cover in the nearby buildings, and behind whatever bits of scrap and junk they could find.

"We're good," he replied. "Where are we?" he added trying to get his bearings.

Vincent smiled, tapping his nose. “Not far from my ship. You look like a man who could use a lift.”

He turned and began jogging down the dusty streets as the gunfight behind them increased in pace, bystanders joining into the fray. “Once we outrun those guys, we should be clear from any further distraction-”

“ROSE!” came a bellow from down the street. Vincent’s smile died as he glanced towards the sound to behold Ryan and several other thug-like people from the bar tussle, advancing towards him steadily.

“...Or we run,” Vincent shot at his new companion, and exploded into a sprint, his pursuers increasing their pace to match.