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Thomas Steelbeam

"Just been dragged through hyperspace on the outside of your ship, but I'm ok."

0 · 305 views · located in The Nightwing

a character in “The Nightwing's Voyage”, originally authored by ThomasR95, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Image
Tall humanoid, Bio-mechanical robot. Aged 19. About 6'2''. Bulky but sleek silver armour, tessellating neatly. Broad shoulders, long arms, slightly clumsy hands and feet but good enough for most tasks. Think Cyberman, but a little less intent on wiping out the human race. Strong and stealthy.

Strengths: communication, observation, close-quarters combat
Weaknesses: long ranged combat, intense underwater environments (short-circuiting)

Personality

Tom is a careful, well meaning individual, whose main priority is his friends' safety. He is quiet, but occasionally pops out with a witty quip, being a thoughtful person. He has a good sense of humour, but is a little slow sometimes. Frustration can lead to strong anger outbursts, but these quickly pass and he does not always understand the implications of his actions, or how others might perceive them. He makes friends with as many people as possible, trying to be accepted. He is skilled with electronics and computing, and has a good knowledge of physics at his disposal. He is a little prone to daydreaming and his mind frequently wanders off. He's distracted easily.

Equipment

Shoulder mounted thrusters for agility in space.
Weapons (should they be needed) are sword and shield, and two wrist-mounted missiles. Also a small handgun.
Image

History

Once human, Tom was persuaded to become one of the first 'Augmented Humans' in a project kept fairly secret, after a fatal accident.
He doesn't remember much of his previous life as a human.

So begins...

Thomas Steelbeam's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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“I think I heard th... did... you say that squidgy seagulls are nesting in your sister...?” Tom’s translator circuit clearly wasn’t working the way it should.

“I said she doesn’t speak Neorussian” Ann looked a bit confused, wondering how that mistranslation had happened.

The conversation went in all possible random directions for a while, so Saein thought it better to wait a bit before explaining anything.

Tom bent down to have a closer look at Ip, who backed away from him a little. The furnak didn’t like being within arm’s reach of alien creatures. Tom wondered aloud "How does that work then... I mean, if you don't mind me asking..."

“It’s fine” Ann replied. “Hmm... where should I begin explaining this... well, I’m blind. Ip here is my seeing-eye furnak in a much more literal sense than other species use that term. All animals from Wen have skin that performs some functions the rest of the universe uses their brains for, the, er, basic things that even the simplest animal needs. Emotions, automatic responses to the senses, that kind of things. Our brains are for the higher functions, like memory and reasoning and language. When we touch, our minds connect, and that way we instantly know how the other feels and can make use of each other’s senses, with some limitations. I can’t read or recognize faces this way, on the other hand telling furnaks apart is really easy for me.”

“And it gets really interesting when there’s a female furnak around” Saein interjected.

Ann giggled. “That it does. Thank you SO much for reminding me. Anyway, this difference between us and beings from other planets is also what makes it difficult for us to touch them, and why androids and prosthetics feel wrong to us on an instinctive level. Though, as Saein just pointed out to me when I was about to refuse you a handshake, touching your robot shell is not a problem when I think of it as armor.”

“It’s strange we don’t have a problem with clothing, isn’t it?” Saein thought aloud.

“We’ve had hundreds of thousands years to get used to it.”

That made sense to Saein. “Point. ...Okay, Tom, I’m about to start on a new row of holes, so why don’t you have a look. First we pull out the bullets that are still stuck in there, then we remove the paint around them, then we cut a sheet of metal to size, and finally we weld that over the holes, making sure it’s airtight - we don’t want leaks between compartments if we ever get hit by a missile or something. Holes in the floor are more difficult and more fun, but I think I’ve already filled all of those.” She handed Tom a pair of pliers. “If you start on the other side of this row, we can do this one together, and after that you’ll know how to do it.” She smiled at him. “Thanks for helping.”

After removing some bullets, Saein couldn’t help but ask “So how much of your human body is in there? I see you’ve had your hand replaced, so I’m guessing it’s not like a glove there...”

Suddenly, Annarein laughed.

Saein asked “What?”

“Now - hee - I get why he was waving his arm like that when he - hee hee - offered a hand!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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He accepted the pliers from Saein, and promptly dropped them. He awkwardly bent down and picked them up again.
"Still getting used to this new hand," he explained, and made his way to the other end of the row of bullet holes. Looking inside the first one, he found the bullet about two inches in, and prized it out. He looked around for the sheet of metal. Finding it, he cut a small-ish square out of it, and held it up to the hole. That should do it. Now... welding.
Before he found the welder, Saein asked “So how much of your human body is in there? I see you’ve had your hand replaced, so I’m guessing it’s not like a glove there...”
"Oh, yeah, there's no human stuff in my left arm below the elbow. That got lost. Well, I say lost, I mean, it was a bit... flat, after the accident. So with that bit of my arm being entirely robotic, I didn't worry too much about catching that bullet."
Annarein began laughing at his little joke earlier, and Tom couldn't help but chuckle. "Heh. Yeah, you'll have to get used to me making silly puns all the time," he grinned.
He glanced back at the piece of metal he still had in his hand. "Saein... uh... How do you use that thing?" He pointed at the welder. "As much as I'd like to melt my other hand off, Reggie might get a bit annoyed..." he joked, smirking boyishly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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"Heh. Yeah, you'll have to get used to me making silly puns all the time," Tom grinned.

“We’ll have no difficulty getting used to that,” Ann smiled, “but I won’t always get the visual ones.”

Tom asked how to use the welder and joked "As much as I'd like to melt my other hand off, Reggie might get a bit annoyed..."

Both sisters laughed. Saein replied “Oh, um, actually, I was planning to weld one sheet over this whole line of holes. I’m not sure how an idiot waving a machine gun around was able to draw a straight line on the wall, but it’s straight enough. One sheet is a bit heavier, but the wall will be stronger than with lots of little ones.”

A while later the section of wall was prepared for the last step of fixing (not counting a painting it, that would have to wait). Saein gave Tom a pair of gloves and a mask. “You’re going to want to wear these, unless your hands happen to be made of a thermal insulator. Dunno if you need the mask when you already have that helmet, but I guess you do know. Now, I’ll show you how to weld...”
Saein used the welding torch that belonged with the ship to teach Tom, instead of using her own gun. Even if she had wanted to let him borrow hers, it would have been impossible because it required a fingerprint to be switched on.

Ann and Ip turned away from them to protect their eyes. Though Ann’s eyes didn’t work, she’d rather not damage them more, just in case someone invented the impossible cure after all.

((OOC I don’t know a thing about welding. Pretend Saein gave a good welding lesson.))

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Dedrik Vals Character Portrait: Dia Fora Character Portrait: Dr. Alexander Greenhaven Character Portrait: Mercia Lamora Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig Character Portrait: Austin Albarn
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#, as written by Hoga
Austin continued his work in solitude, other then the occasional help from MAK. He began looking around for any information concerning the Nightwing's crew. He looked in the Intergalactic Counsels records. He really would like to wipe them from every system entirely, but that was far to much work to make just one person disappear. He had to constantly clear his own information from any database. It had taken him decades to disappear completely, and keeping on it was already annoying. Doing the same thing for the entire crew would be nearly impossible. Sure he could write a program, but it was impossible for the program to look everywhere. He had to look manually for a lot of the information he deleted about himself.

He decided the Intergalactic Counsel records would have to do. He prepared to clear everyone's names. But he had to make some quick preparations first. He quickly made some blind transfers and transactions of everybody's belongings. That way they wouldn't be traced back. He then put them all under one of his many account's under an assumed name. He made sure to use a few accounts to draw less suspicion. Not that any of that mattered much considering they were all off the record. He then made fake identity for the crew, and put everyone's belongings under new names. He opened up his backpack to check. He had a large amount of blank money cards and identification cards. He needed to get every body a new ID and such.

He unhooked from MAK, deciding to make the alterations he had decided on later. He searched the ship for a scanner, and promptly went to it. He pulled out all the cards he needed, a good stack of each type, and went to work authorizing them all. He hooked up all of the money cards to his private account, which held very large amounts of funds. He decided he was going to stick around for a while, and that this might help everyone out.

After the long process was complete, Austin sent another message to Regina.

It's Austin. I've taken some steps to hide the crew of the Nightwing. But I need to speak to the entire crew in person. Could you arrange this for me please? I'm unsure if they will listen to me. Also I've got a present for everybody. I'm sure it is something you will all enjoy.

OOC: I just tagged as many people as I could. This pretty much involves the whole crew.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Tom accepted the gloves, but not the mask. He really didn't like masks, they restricted his vision and made him feel claustrophobic. He wouldn't have used the gloves either, but it was much more likely that the flame could end up pointed at his hands than at his face, and having just joked about melting his hand off, he decided he'd best not leave it to chance.
Following Saein's instructions, he pointed the nozzle at the edge of the sheet of metal and hit the button. The flame shot forward in a blue cone and fused the metal together, leaving a neat line of molten steel behind it. Soon, one full edge of the sheet was stuck firmly to the wall, leaving the rest of the sheet hanging. It looked pretty strong. He lowered the torch.
"I think I've got the hang of it," he said to Saein (instantly regretting the terrible pun), "shall I finish this one off or go and find another to do?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Saein chuckled. “I can tell you’d love to do one entirely on your own. Let’s see you connect a short side to the long side, and then you can go find your own holes to fix and show off the result when you’re done with them.”

Tom neatly connected the two welds at the corner of the sheet. “You’ve got talent!” Saein commented. “Okay, go and find your own then, take the torch, I’ll finish this one with my ion gun. Just remember that that hole over there is the trash, and those ones are doors. And if there is a problem, just shout.”

Once Tom was absorbed in removing bullets and scratching off paint, Ann told Saein “I think someone is going to spend a lot of time at your station to learn from you.”

“That’s fine by me, he’s nice.”

“What about your girlfriend, though? Will you keep enough time to spend with her?”

“Wuh?”

“Oh come on, Saein, you’ve got her scent all over you, and you’re obviously infatuated with someone. I have to admit I was a bit surprised, my sister with a shariva girl...”

“Minn is my roommate. She’s also the cook” Saein snapped at Ann.

Ann’s giggle changed into a high-pitched laugh. “Oh Saein...” she shook her head. “Well, if she is just your roommate, I guess she won’t mind if I share that room too...”

“I dunno if Minn would mind you in the bed...”

Ann chocked on her next laugh. “*cough* Just your *cough* room mate. *cough* Right. That’s okay, I’ve got Ip, I don’t need to be in the bed.”

Saein dropped her work and grabbed her sister’s hand so Ann could feel how she was glaring daggers at her. “I hate you.”

“I love you too!” Ann blew a kiss at her.

“Fine! MAK, give Annarein access to my room and show her where it is.”

Ann and Ip left, following MAK’s instructions. Ann could walk normally again, but she let Ip drag her bag of luggage over the floor. Ann didn’t seem entirely happy with this end of the discussion, she’d rather not be an obstacle between her sister and someone nice.

Once they were out of sight, Saein picked up her tools. A small smile appeared on her lips, and she was blushing a little.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Dedrik Vals Character Portrait: Dr. Alexander Greenhaven Character Portrait: Mercia Lamora
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#, as written by Centi85
Specialized boots with powerful electro-magnets positioned within the hard rubber soles. Dedrik was thankful for them, and the fact that his staff could also grasp onto the nearest metal object helped too, as though the man could stand firm, three points of contact to hold worked much better than two.

By the time the jumps were complete and everything had settled, the man disengaged his equipment, allowing him to once more begin movement around the ship. It seemed not everyone had the luck of having in their possession such luxuries, but Dedrik was thankful that his race equipped their warriors with anything that would ensure mission success; their ultimate goal was a weapon that could do anything, and that could be useful in every situation possible, leaving no room for failure. Even the Vasparti's staff itself was extremely versatile, magnetic systems being only a fraction of the weapon's functionality, though rarely did he use it for much else than what it's exterior states it would be used for.

Nevertheless, the man busied himself with helping whomever needed it. Because the suddenness of everything had obviously caught everyone by surprise, Dedrik found himself surrounded by floor-bound crew members, sprawled out and laying anywhere except within the safety chairs. He didn't blame them though, if he'd of been able to get to one he may have strapped in, no matter how much he detested the devices.

The Robot Tom seemed to be doing a fair job of helping as well, and it seemed nobody was in a critical state, most everyone at least up and walking. When the order for the crew to report to the hangar came through and after the doctor appeared, Dedrik felt it was safe to say the situation was under control here, and so he could leave. Everyone else would probably find their way there shortly, but the man himself felt it necessary to be there immediately.

Down the halls was when the Dedrik ran into the wanderer; almost quite literally too, as he rounded a corner fairly quickly. She had a few bruises, and as the man looked her over, searching for a name in his mind, the thought also occurred to him on how she managed to break so far from the main group. Just from the look about her, he could tell she was lost, and from the way she held herself he could also gather enough to at least assume she was a strong-type of woman, like the Captain, with probably too much pride to admit to the fact that was so obvious. He'd seen her before of course, and it was now he remembered that he truly never got a name. The Captain had taken charge and so readily accepted everyone, then of the few that did give a brief display, this woman hadn't been one of them.

With the entirety of all that having passed through his mind in a matter of a second, Dedrik cleared his throat, nodding in respect before straightening again. "Apologies, ma'am." he said simply. "If I may be so bold as to make an assumption, you seem lost... Is this correct?"

He was trained to help whomever was in need of it, and to be friendly, but for some reason when he tried a smile, it didn't work. Sighing mentally, instead he simply reapplied his stoic expression, or lack of.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Tom followed Saein's instructions, perfectly welding the corners together, and soon became absorbed in removing bullets and scratching off paint. He couldn't help overhearing part of the conversation though.
“That’s fine by me, he’s nice.”
Tom smiled. It was nice to have someone appreciating him. Come to think of it, he thought, it'd be nice to spend some time learning various mechanical knowledge from Saein, since I'm interested in that kinda thing. When I don't have any scouting duties, that is.
“What about your girlfriend, though? Will you keep enough time to spend with her?”
His eyebrows raised and he stifled a chuckle as Ann picked straight through Saein's feelings to the most embarrassing ones. What a pair. Then he actually did chuckle, and quickly turned away to hide his smirking face, trying to look busy with the repairs.

When Ann left, he piped up.
"So, Minn's your ... roommate?" He enquired, his face the picture of innocence. "Good choice, she seems nice. You must be tickled pink." He barely managed to finish the sentence before he burst out laughing. Then, calming down a bit, he apologised.
"Sorry for being so mean. I don't know what it's like to have a girlfriend, never had one. Had plenty of crushes though. My first crush was the most unfortunate - just as I was beginning to pluck up the courage to express my feelings, she moved to another planet!" He laughed. "Guess I'm just too damn awkward to make the first move."
Tom turned and continued scraping the paint off a particularly large bullet hole. Speaking of awkward.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Saein

"So, Minn's your ... roommate?" Tom asked with an innocent face, as if Saein needed to be reminded what she had just been teased with. "Good choice, she seems nice. You must be tickled pink." He laughed, apologised, and talked about his being unlucky in love.

“Tom,” Saein replied sternly, “that wasn’t funny. Well, making fun of me is funny and allowed when you’re my sister, but that other thing wasn’t. Many shariva women get treated like shit, except nobody...” She stopped herself instead of finishing the sentence with “forces sex on shit”. It would sound too much like a joke. She shook her head. “So don’t make fun of Minn for what she is.”

After a pause she continued “And then there’s the awful irony that my skin in a way prevents what does happen to shariva. Firni aren’t likely to hurt each other because they’ll always hurt themselves too. Anyway. I’d like to know what it’s like to have a long term relationship too... Minn is just my long term roommate. For now. Soooo.... is there anyone you currently like?”

A while later, Saein’s thoughts drifted off. She wondered whether it was possible to give an already born shariva skin like her own. If it were possible, she thought surely all those unwanted girls would be very welcome on Wen.


Annarein

Ann found the room bigger than expected, and the bed too. She thought one could easily fit four or five people on it. Not that she would want to be one of those, as any firni will tell you, there is only one thing more comfortable to sleep on than a furnak, and that’s more than one furnak. It might seem uncomfortable to other humanoid species, and even more so to their pets, but that’s the way it is. Firni did use beds on spaceships, to avoid having to bring food for the furnaks.

Firni had never in any way needed animals to help them hunt, but their lack of fur had once limited them to the area around the equator where the nights were warm enough. Furnaks once were scavengers that started following groups of firni around for easy food from leftovers. The animals had been domesticated long before the invention of clothing or fire, and had allowed the firni to spread further north and south. Archeology wasn’t Ann’s area of expertise, but she did find it very interesting.

Ann found Saein’s luggage, she placed her own next to it. She’d probably move it to some other room later, but bringing it on the land speeder and back would be silly. It was a small disappointment she probably wouldn’t share a room with Saein, on the other hand, it would be wonderful if Saein had indeed found someone... and if not, Saein and Minn would be fighting soon and then there would be the possibility of room sharing after all.

Having nothing else to do in this room, she made her way back to the hangar.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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Saein was angry. He'd gone too far, without even meaning to. Crap.
"I'm sorry... I really didn't mean it that way." He hung his head. His robot form wasn't very good at displaying body language.
And then she asked him whether he fancied anyone... well that was an interesting change of mood. Straight away, Tom began speaking without really thinking about it.
"Well.. uh, well, no.... um... I haven't really got chance to know anyone yet."

(ooc - sorry for such a tiny post, I'm a bit stuck for ideas)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Dr. Alexander Greenhaven Character Portrait: Dia Fora
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Alexander

Alex was startled by the sudden appearance of Rokunam. He had long since returned to the infirmary, with Minn in tow, and began working on cleaning the Shariva's wounds. He turned away from her to face the alien who stated that someone was in need of medical assistance? It was hard to understand the way he talked.

"It's... health related, however, I have some concern, a trait that is far more human than I am, for themself and the entire crew. Would the Doctor hear my request out, or does he think I should bring it up to the attention of the Captain?"

"No, no, let me know, and then I'll decide if it is drastic enough to tell the captain." Alex cut off. "Give me a second to patch up Minn, okay?" The doctor turned on his heel, back to Minn, with a soft smile.

He easily got to work setting Minn up on the machine. He gave her a reassuring smile and then quickly hooked up the few others that had wondered in for attention. There weren't any serious injuries, but Alex had the machines do a full check through their systems just to be sure. Finally, he turned back to Rokunam. "As you were saying?"

Regina

Reggie and Dia arrived in the hangar, and the captain's frustrations immediately cut off their conversation. "I told everyone to meet in the hangar!" She chimed. A few people were scattered about, busying themselves. Saein and Thomas were speaking whiling fixing holes in the wall. Other than that, it was empty.

"MAK! Where is everyone?" She called.

"It seems they are still recovering from your driving skills." Reggie glared up at the ceiling as if MAK could see her. She sighed and rubbed her forehead. Of course, some people would still be a little shaken up after what just happened.

She had just rapidly jumped through three galaxies, anyone not prepared for it would feel a little shaken. Unless, they were used to it. Reggie could only imagine how Minn was doing. She freaked out during a smooth blast off, Reggie could only wonder how shaken up she was now.

"MAK, notify the crew that I will be taking the land cruiser down to the planet shortly. Anyone who wants to come is to meet in the hangar. They are welcome to stay on the ship if they want."

"Right away, captain."

Narration

MAK's voice rang through the ship, notifying all crew members of Regina's plan. Anyone who wanted to, made their way to the hangar to be transported down to the planet. After those who wanted to arrived, they piled into the cruiser.

It didn't take long to get down to the small planet. After landing, they all piled out, and wondered off to whatever direction they chose.

Regina

Climbing out of the cruiser, Reggie immediately made her way to the small inn located nearby. The ground crunched beneath her boots, and the sky had sunken into a deep bloody red, slowly transitioning into a dark blue. The planet had settled into late afternoon.

She pushed open the door of the Inn, the smell of baking bread immediately hitting her nostrils. Inasri was not unfamiliar to her. She had been here long ago, back when her parents were still alive and she was still a youngling. She was, perhaps, 15, the last time she had been here.

"Well, well, well, look who decided to drag her raggedy bones back through my door."

A smile stretched across Reggie's face, as she spotted a man sitting in the corner, boots propped up onto the table, and a datapad in his hand. "Well, if I'm going to be treated with this kind of hospitality, I would rather spend my evening at the Nanchester Inn." Reggie quipped crossing her arms over her chest.

"Nanchester?! That's no place for a respectable captain such as yourself." The man said standing quickly, he held his arms out towards Reggie as if throwing the compliment towards her.

"Ah, I see." Reggie mused. "I'm respectable now?"

"You'll always be respectable here." The man made a gesture and Reggie stepped forward into the man's embrace. "It's been too long."

"Much too long indeed, Vic." Reggie agreed taking in the large man's embrace. "Where's Nelly?"

"Oh, she's mucking about somewhere." Vic stated. "Probably cleaning something. Speaking of which, you better do so yourself before she finds you. She'll-"

"Is that my Regina I hear?!"

"She was never yours to begin with, you wench!" Vic yelled to the disembodied voice.

"I swear! One day, I am going to beat the living pulp out of you!" A figure burst through the doorway, long red hair braided down her back flopping wildly behind her like a tail. "Reggie! You're home! And you look terrible!"

"Oh, thanks Nell, you look fantastic." Reggie quipped.

"Hush!" Nelly chastised pushing between the captain and Vic to properly hug the young girl. "Come upstairs. We'll get you cleaned up."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Tom had not meant his remark in a nasty way, Saein was glad to have changed the topic immediately so her don’t do that response did not lead to a discussion. Before they got a real chance to discuss attractive people, Maria’s large robot seemed to want something from them. And before they got a chance to figure that out, the captain finally arrived, and other people who wanted to see the planet followed soon after.

Saein helped Ann strap in in the land cruiser, Ip got secured to the seats using special belts that Ann owned for that purpose. Ann did not enjoy sitting in the land cruiser seat with her bruised back, but insisted on going down to the planet anyway.

-----

“Rather dull, huh?” Saein asked, repeating what Ann had said about the planet earlier.

“There’s nothing important or valuable here” Ann explained.

Saein took her sister’s hand. “But look at that sky!”

“It’s nice” Ann conceded without much enthusiasm.

Saein took her datapad from her pocket. “Let’s see what resources we’re running out of... oh shoot!” It couldn’t show the ship inventory because Saein hadn’t put the antenna back in yet. “Right then, let’s first find a place to sit down so I can fix my datapad.”

They followed the captain into the inn, just in time to witness her reunion with Nelly. It made Saein smile, she had thought Regina was a loner, but the captain turned out to have close friends after all. Ann, on the other hand, felt slightly intimidated by Nell bursting in so suddenly and noisily.

Ip found a spot under the table they chose to sit at. When they were asked to order something, Ann asked for the darkest beer, and Saein ordered water.

“When did you start drinking?” Saein asked while taking apart her datapad once again.

“Last time I saw you. You made me do it. When did you start drinking water?”

“Today. No calories for me today.”

“Ah yes. How are the Shifters wearing off?”

“I think they’re still giving me an oversized ego, but they’re mostly gone now.”

“But you always have an oversized ego” Ann teased.

“Oi! It takes one to know one!”

Saein moved slower and slower after she had put the antenna module back in place. During the final steps of putting the datapad back together, she was nodding off.

Ann noticed the silence. “When did you last sleep?”

“Lessee... I quit at the end of my shift, and then I got hired, and then... so... I think this is the third day now...” Saein put the last screw in, put the screwdriver and datapad back in the pockets they belonged in, and promptly fell asleep. Her head hit the table with a soft “bonk”, which didn’t wake her.

Ann tried to make her sister a bit more comfortable by taking off her jacket, folding it and placing it under Saein’s head. With one hand holding Saein’s, she kept half of her attention on Saein’s dreams, and the other half on waiting for someone to talk to her.

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Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Tom got in the land cruiser and found himself sitting next to Ann. He greeted her politely.
"Hello again, Ann."
He sat in silence for a bit, as they landed. Walking alongside his new friends, he listened to them chatting about the planet.
It seemed dry, and very dull. Apart from a bar up ahead, which seemed fairly lively. The captain was already talking to the landowner, and it seemed that she knew him. At least that was a releif - if they did end up in any trouble, there was a chance that this man would stay loyal to Regina rather than the Council.
He walked inside and sat at a table on his own. He felt like relaxing, so he leaned back and closed his eyes. It was nice to be on firm ground for once.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Saein

Saein was ten years old and in a tree.


Annarein

Tom had said hello to her on the land cruiser, and she had said hi back, but he was still sitting at a table of his own now. Ann decided to let him be.

It seemed the captain and the man named Vic had returned. There didn’t appear to be a need to wake Saein from a nightmare anytime soon, so maybe now would be a good time to speak with the captain. While still letting it be a break, of course. Ann didn’t want to cause the captain to feel extra stress.

Ann snapped her fingers and pointed next to her, Ip got in position right away. It was indeed the captain who had returned with Vic, though she looked different. Ann couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She walked over to the pair. “Captain.” Ann gave a small nod. “Would you mind if I joined your conversation?”

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Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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Tom's eyes blinked open. He must have dropped off.
Looking around, he saw the captain still in conversation, and Saein in the act of leaving the bar. He dragged himself out of his seat, reminding himself that he had wanted to stretch his legs anyway.
He ambled outside and found her sitting by the landspeeder, welding something with her gun. He sat down next to her, resting his hands on his knees.
"I'd have thought you'd had enough of welding today!" he chuckled. "Heh... you know, I managed to salvage my old hand after Reggie removed it. I was wondering if you could teach me how to do ... stuff, so that it works again." He looked down at the brown replacement hand. "Because to be honest, this new one looks like it got fished out of a... hmm." He tapped on his knees for a bit, then realised how annoying it must be, and clasped his hands together in his lap, which really showed up the otherwise subtle size difference between his hands.
"And it's too small..." he mused.

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Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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Saein hadn't been busy for long when Tom sat down next to her. It would have been nice if he had helped her carry all that stuff she had shopped for, but that was her own fault for not asking him to join her.

"I'd have thought you'd had enough of welding today!" Tom chuckled.

"Precision welding is very different from fixing holes" Saein replied. She handed him the simple chess piece she had just finished, a knight. The head was a small bolt, three smaller screws were attached to it by the pointy ends to make a body, and the bottom of the piece was a nut. "Besides, if I don't finish this chess set on time, it won't be Eddie's birthday anymore."

Tom asked "Heh... you know, I managed to salvage my old hand after Reggie removed it. I was wondering if you could teach me how to do ... stuff, so that it works again." He looked at the spare part he had been given. "Because to be honest, this new one looks like it got fished out of a... hmm... And it's too small..."

Saein finished another knight before responding. "Fished out of a linree's butt? If it was, you should keep it, cause it won't be eaten a second time" she teased. She smiled. "Sure. Should be fun. But you're going to want to let me sleep first. Otherwise your hand might get stuck in a rude gesture by accident..."

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Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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Tom marvelled at the chess piece. It was skilfully made, and despite what it was made of, it did in fact look like a knight.
"I love chess. I used to play it loads, back at the Academy, but I've only ever won twice, and one of those times was by accident."
_ _ _

"Fished out of a linree's butt? If it was, you should keep it, cause it won't be eaten a second time"
He winced. He didn't know what a linree was, but if their butts were like other butts, they weren't particularly pleasant places to find a hand.
"Sure. Should be fun. But you're going to want to let me sleep first. Otherwise your hand might get stuck in a rude gesture by accident..."
Tom laughed at the image in his head of himself flipping everyone off and being able to blame it on Saein.
"Hah! Wouldn't that be a laugh!"
He noticed her datapad in her pocket and this reminded him that he didn't yet have one. "Hey Saein, you know those datapad thingys that all the crew have..." He remembered something else mid-sentence. "Oh, never mind - don't need one."
He had forgotten about the chip in his helmet head again. He hardly ever used it, and all it did was browse the internet and send emails. It also had a simple virtual chess program, but a guy can only put up with so much being beaten by his own helmet.
"How do I connect to the rest of the crew's datapads?" He asked.

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Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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“I’ve never played chess, so maybe you can teach and beat me” Saein said when Tom admitted he wasn’t very good at chess.

"How do I connect to the rest of the crew's datapads?" Tom asked.

“This is my own datapad, I’m not sure where some of the crew got their official Nightwing ones,” Saein replied, “but MAK just connected to it when I brought it on the ship and from then on everything worked automagically. So I guess you should ask MAK, maybe get a software update or something.”

Instead of making more chess pieces, Saein thought she’d see what the end result would look like. She cut squares of metal tape and stuck them to the bottom of her empty black tin of candy to make a board. “Meh, looks boring. Let me show you a fun way to paint... just stay here...” She ran off, placed the tin and the second knight on the ground a hundred meters away, walked back, dropped to her stomach, carefully aimed, and shot at the tin. It made a loud “DING” noise when the ball of hot ionized gas hit it. A second shot made the chess piece bounce away.

After retrieving the tin and the knight, Saein showed them to Tom. The metal tape was now shining in lots of colors in a random pattern, the same had happened to the knight. “A fun way to paint, but it does involve lots of walking.” She wiped the sand off her clothes, took the first knight back from Tom, dipped it in one of the chemicals she had bought, and heated it. A few seconds later it was covered in a thin layer of black plastic.

Saein placed the two finished pieces on the chess board on the ground. “What do you think?”

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Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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After watching Saein shoot the unfinished chess set, Tom wondered why nothing else turned to rainbow colours when she shot them. Maybe it was a special setting. He wanted a rainbow gun now.
"That looks ...AWESOME!" He said, as the iridescent colours shimmered in front of him. "Eddie is gonna be so chuffed with that!"
He had a crazy idea. He ran about a hundred metres away, yelling as he ran, "Quick, Saein, shoot me! Shoot me!"
...And then he realised that he would look like an idiot, walking around glittering like a rainbow fairy. He ran back.
"Never mind. Over-excited kid moment over," he said, breathing heavily from his 200 metre sprint. "Nice to see my body works fine again, though!"
He thought over the less recent part of the conversation.
"If you like, Saein, I can teach you how to play chess when you're done making the set. Then maybe your birthday present to Eddie could come with an opponent!" He grinned. "Or, he could play against me, and win as his present from me," he chuckled.

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Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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Tom ran the distance needed to make her gun mostly harmless (to metal objects, anyway, and while on the energy saving short distance setting), and yelled that he wanted to be shot. Saein looked at Tom, then at her gun, then back to Tom, then back to her gun, then back to Tom again. She decided against shooting him, because it would probably be her who would be polishing off the colorful burn marks later if she did. Tom was back in front of her before she knew it, it was as if he was on a horse. For a moment she wondered how running like that would make him smell under his armor.

"Never mind. Over-excited kid moment over. Nice to see my body works fine again, though!" Tom commented on his own behavior.

Saein guffawed. “So exactly how did you survive your childhood?”

Tom offered to teach her how to play chess before she would give the set to Eddie, and suggested letting Eddie win from him as another present.

“I don’t know,” Saein replied, “I’d like to give it to him as soon as it is finished, and then I want to go catch some Z’s. But I’ll bet Eddie would like an opponent if he doesn’t have to pilot the ship at the time.” She paused her chess piece making for a long yawn.

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Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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“So exactly how did you survive your childhood?”

Tom looked down at himself.

"I didn't."


As Reggie approached the land cruiser, he heaved a sigh of relief. As much as he liked the planet, it was boring him almost to death, and he couldn't wait to get some kip.

"I haven't even found myself a room yet!" shouted his brain.

That was a problem. He hoped there would be one left that he could take. If not, he'd have to sleep standing up, and although his robotic body was capable of doing such a thing, he preferred not to.

"Good to see you captain," he greeted her with as much politeness as he could muster from his half-asleep state. "Do you know if there are any rooms left in the ship?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Annarein

The captain ignored Ann, or perhaps Ann had spoken too quietly when she asked if she might join the conversation. Or maybe the captain had thought Ann was speaking to a different captain because Ann was facing in the wrong direction - these things happened sometimes. Ann took the lack of answer as a yes, and listened in on Regina and Vic. She didn’t get much useful information this way.

After quite a while, the conversation stopped for a moment, then her datapad buzzed. Annarein let her fingers slide over the bumps on the screen, reading whole lines at once. Apparently the captain was going back to the ship, while crew members were welcome to sleep at the inn. Ann decided to follow the captain. If there was any information for her to study - there should be - it would be on the ship. She was also curious about this Minn girl, who apparently had not joined the trip to the planet. Which made sense, she was the cook and there wouldn’t be anything especially tasty for sale on this dull planet.


Saein

Saein slapped her forehead when Tom replied with “I didn’t” to her joking about him not surviving his childhood.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. I was just picturing a kid running around all day going ‘shoot me! shoot me!’” She waved her arms like a scared chicken to imitate the image in her mind.

She sat in awkward silence, welding the last few pieces. It didn’t take long to make half of them black, and the other half was painted in a single shot. Collecting them took some time, the chess pieces had bounced everywhere. A message telling the crew to go back to the land cruiser or sleep at the inn appeared on her datapad. She liked the timing of that. When she walked back, she noticed her sister, Tom, Bond and the captain among the small group gathering at the other side of the land cruiser. Bond didn’t look well, even compared to the tired others.

Saein stretched her arms and yawned. If it were up to her, this day was pretty much over, and if this were a democracy, it would be too. Come to think of it, if this were a dictatorship ruled by the captain, the result would still be bedtime. So naturally something would happen now to keep everyone awake. Saein looked around. Where was that thing that would keep her awake soon? She hoped it was something she could shoot.

Ann grabbed Saein’s left hand with her own and wrapped Saein’s arm around her. Saein began to say something, yawned again (this time remembering to cover her mouth), and successfully completed her short sentence. “Hey sis.”

Tom was talking with the captain, and she wasn’t interested in what was wrong with Bond, so besides Annarein there wasn’t really anyone around to talk to. Saein helped her sister and the furnak back into the land cruiser, sat down next to them, and hoped they would leave soon.

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Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam
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Regina

"All right? Everything's...fine. You?"

Bond seemed a bit distracted, which concerned the captain. Reggie sighed. "I'm okay," She stated.

"Are we...heading back?"

"Good to see you, Captain. Do you know if there are any rooms left in the ship?"

Reggie was startled by the sudden appearance of Thomas. Even the robot sounded tired. Everyone just needed a good night's sleep. So much had happened in the past days, and she could see the exhaustion in her crew's faces. "Yeah, Thomas, we're going back to the ship. Unless you would like to stay at the Inn?"

She gestured back behind her, towards the Inn she was just at. "I think we could all use a good night's rest. And, Thomas, there's the barracks where most of the crew will be staying. Although, our resident android, Dlew, stays in MAK's main computer room. It's up to you though."

Reggie sighed once again, and when the allotted time was finally up, she climbed into the pilot's seat of the land cruiser as the rest of her crew followed. When all were strapped in, Reggie started up the cruiser and headed back up to the Nightwing.

She barely remembered the trip. It was like she had fallen asleep, and didn't wake up until she was halfway down the corridor to her room. "MAK, did we get back okay?" She questioned, leaning against the wall.

"Yes, captain. The cruiser experienced no turbulence, and you parked it perfectly. You even hooked it up for diagnosis." MAK explained. "Is everything alright, Captain?"

"Yes, MAK, everything is fine. Just tired."

Running a hand through her hair, Reggie continued on down the corridor to the elevator. She stepped inside, and immediately told MAK to take her straight to her quarters. The elevator shot up, and the captain eagerly began removing her clothes during the trip.

The doors slid open, and she stepped inside her room, throwing her clothes to the floor. She collapsed on her bed, curling up around herself, and immediately welcomed sleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Regina (Reggie) Oris Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Tom hadn't met Dlew the resident android, but he decided the computer room would be quite a nice place to stay. That is, if there was a bed in there. Somehow he doubted it. In the end, he resolved to stay in the barracks - at least that way, he'd quickly meet all the crew he hadn't met yet.
Lost in his thoughts, he got in the speeder and before he knew it they were back in the ship. Saein and Regina left swiftly and Ann wandered off too, and he decided he'd have a proper explore of the ship.
He got up and caught Bond's eye before he disappeared as well.

"Hey, Bond - you know the barracks? Can you take me there?"

"I can take you there..." said MAK, but Tom ignored him. He much preferred to be guided by someone he could see.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Eddie Ackers Character Portrait: Minerva (Minn) Darv Character Portrait: Saein Vernig Character Portrait: Rokunam Character Portrait: Bond Mason Character Portrait: Thomas Steelbeam Character Portrait: Caroline-Marie (Maria) Shirokuromahotsukai Character Portrait: Annarein (Ann) Vernig
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Bond

Disoriented when they arrived back on the ship, Bond jumped a little at Tom's request. His eyes scanned the robot-like humanoid thing...thing...he ...he couldn't think straight, but gave a nod. He thought he remembered where they were and without a word, started down the hallway.

His thumb grazed his pocket. Somehow the screwdriver had returned there.

"Here...we are," he sighed, seeing the beds and nearly collapsing with happiness. "Kinda far from everything...but...looks comfy."

Laying back on the bottom bunk of the closest beds, he smiled a little. "Oh yeah. Comfy."


Minn

Busying herself with the food, Minn was happy more crew members had arrived to eat this time, even if they were a little rude. Well, the girl was. "I'm the cook," she answered her and then turned to Ann and Eddie. The chess set was beautiful and Minn glanced sideways at Saein with a smile. Eddie definitely liked it.

"Furnak?" she inquired, tilting her head at Ann's question. "There should be plenty if he gets in here now," she giggled, hoping that a furnak wasn't too large for the kitchen. She couldn't quite put her finger on what they looked like from memory.

Facing Rokunam, she handed him a plate and bowl with yet another smile. She was just happy she was working with food. "You can help yourself," she assured. "But I like serving too. Have a seat!"

With everyone seated and with food, she sighed and leaned against the counter. "It's mostly done," she replied to Saein's request to help her clean up. "Just what has food in it."

Eye lids drooping a little, she focused on Eddie, examining the pieces of his present happily. Part of her felt bad, but didn't know what to make him for his birthday either. Her cheeks grew hot at the memory of strawberries and she had to shake her head and face Ann again to concentrate fully. "What's your furnak's name?"