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Perrin Phifer

Military Liason

0 · 399 views · located in The Far Future

a character in “The Sky Calls”, as played by El_Gringo

Description

Image


Name: Perrin Phifer
Age: Unknown
Gender: Male
Sexual Orientation: Unknown
Birth time & place: Unknown
Residence at the time of contract: Military Frigate, the UCF Extrapolis.
Family/Friends left behind: Unknown

Physical Description: Perrin is of middling height and a deceptively average build. He has black hair and a stern face. Usually clean-shaven, not only due to being in the military, but lacking the ability to grow anything beyond a thin goatee/mustache. Going through the rigors of being part of the Cosmic Marines, he rose high in the ranks without a silver spoon. One look at the man and you can tell he is a tough son of a bitch.

Area of Expertise: Perrin was a Cosmic Marine and served in several combat situations. After that, he transferred and served as military police. He was actually a whistle-blower over prisoner mistreatment, which garnered him media attention, making him a minor celebrity of sorts. Perrin ignored the recognition. In some cases, being a whistle-blower would get you black-balled. The military decided to use him to their favor, placing him in any situations where they wanted tasks followed by the book. The attention got him a diplomatic role of sorts.

Secondary Skill: Perrin tinkers in mechanics.

Personality: No one aboard The Precipice knowns much about Perrin, and that is how he likes it so far. He has a job of oversight aboard the ship and keeps a cool, but distant, demeanor.

Bio: No one aboard The Precipice is privy to Perrin's background. What little people do know is from his past media fame. The man takes his job seriously and has committed years to the military, re-upping several times. He has a Master's in history, planning to be a professor when and if he gets the chance for a living retirement.

Placed aboard the ship, his role is no secret: Ensure nothing is hidden from the military. If a ship were to come into contact with alien life, the government does not want that covered up. The government also wants to avoid smuggling of alien matter back into the known world without extreme oversight. Perrin is quality control. He can also help around the ship with various tasks and help in exploration if necessary.

Luxury Items: Nothing that anyone knows about.

[NPC/My character: More detail to be revealed at a later date]

So begins...

Perrin Phifer's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely
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Episode 1.1: The Pilot

Title: Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained


April 25th
Two days from launch
Kansas, United States, Earth
Kerwyn leaned against the pickup truck, holding a bottled water in his hand. Sweat poured down his brow from the hot, Western Kansas sun. He wiped at the rivulets with his forearm as a cool breeze ruffled the fields of wheat and caressed his skin. Taking a heavy drink from the bottle, he looked to the sky.

Up there The Precipice was docked at UCF Station 229 undergoing maintenance checks before the launch in the coming days. He smiled, wondering what sort of shenanigans the military could be up to. Kerwyn half expected to find bugs and cameras added all over tghe ship. The military would be in for a surprise once they scanned the ship by every inch and dumped all surveillance after takeoff. Hell, we have to lug one of them around with us anyway, he thought, draining the rest of the bottle with his lips.

Ernest and the boys were throwing the last of the hay bales. Being the captain of a soon to be starship, one of the first non-military vessels to launch into unknown space, one could think of many things to do before leaving Earth. Honest work seemed as good as any other choice. His phone and email had blown up with media calls. They wanted interviews, pictures, and he had major publications trying to sign him to book rights. Hollywood had not contacted him yet, he figured they would wait until the return trip to try to lock something up.

If The Precipice ever returned that is.

The media attention was not helped when it was learned that Perrin Phifer was the liason for the military aboard their ship. A former Cosmic Marine, the man was the League of Sovreignties' little tin angel, after revealing the disturbing treatment allowed at Blackwell, the solar system's maximum security prison for military prisoners.

Another hour or so of being a farm hand and he was off to dinner with a few kids and two ex-wives. Maybe they could hold off on any cat fighting since he was experiencing one of his last nights on Earth for a long time. Tossing the bottle into the back of the truck, he wiped wet hands on his jeans and rejoined the boys.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UCF Station 229
Perrin, already aboard The Precipice, was walking with the maintenance crew as they checked the interior of the ship. Space Monkeys were flying out in the zero g inspecting the hull and outer surface, but he had no interest in that. The bowels of this ship would be his home for the foreseeable future. He was committing it all to memory.

Once in the captain's quarters, one of the crewmen approached the HUD where one could overlook the status of all systems and pull video feed. Taking out a small object, he started to feel around the surface of the rostrum it was inlaid upon.

"What are you doing?"

The crewman turned around, "Orders were to bug this place up."

The liaison sighed. "The ship has to send routine messages back. There are mandatory communications policies in place. Plus, I'm literally a damn spy that is out in the open. These are rather, unnecessary."

"But my orders-" Perrin's eyebrows went up slightly and he raised his hand, palm out.

"I'm counter-ordering you. Take any other bugs out that were already in place." A hearty, feminine laugh sounded from behind them.

The crewman and Perrin stood at attention, saluting the woman who walked in. If it were as simple as only being on Earth, one would say she looked Spanish. This female has never set foot on that planet, preferring to hover above it or going back home to Venus.

"At ease gentlemen." The crewman went back to work.

"Admiral Fierro, I was told to meet you at 1800." That was still thirty-nine minutes from now.

She smiled, "How could I miss my chance to hop aboard and take a look? Good call on those bugs anyway, it would be bad press if word leaked out just how far the Imperator was going to monitor everything." Fierro should know, as the Press Secretary for the LoS military forces. Not the personal Imperator's secretary, that was reserved for the weak-chinned Dante Faltus.

The crewmen left the room to continue their inspection.

"To what do I owe the pleasure of this early meeting?" There was a twinkle in his eye as he said it.

Her brow arched, "Imperator Snow is coming to the station tonight. It is hush-hush, other than us, the people aboard the Imperator's ship might be the only ones who know. He'll be aboard for a day or two, to see the crew of The Precipice off on their journey." It was Perrin's turn to smile.

"No doubt the idea of someone with a smart mind for public reaction? No doubt Faltus came up with it." She turned and hit the manual lock on the Captain's quarters.

"So, you'd rank Faltus over me on that then?"

Perrin put his hand to his chin in mock thought and Fierro slugged him in the shoulder, throwing him to the bed. She climbed atop and straddled him, pulling the pin out of her hair. Black tendrils flowed down toward him.

"Well, you almost hit as hard as him at least."

Her cheeks reddened and she lightly smacked him across the face, then their lips met. The Captain would not be the first to use this bed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Captain Argyle's Home - KS, US, Earth
Kerwyn had been making the rounds, calling all of the crew members on their personal devices to check in on them. Once they were far enough out, the items would be useless. Growing accustomed to having all your friends and families at beck and call, it was one of the many small luxuries one had to give up for interstellar travel. This was all done from the cozy study in his three level home set three levels down in his home, underground. Everything was digital hundreds of years ago, but books lined the walls. Encyclopedia Brittanica, a full collection, once a wealth of knowledge. Now it served as hardly a paperweight for humanity.
Progress was a fickle mistress. One that his crew needed to straddle.

The pilot, Deirdre, with her multicolor hair was an exciting thing to look at through the vid-com. She brought a certain wildness that he wanted to have out in the field. One would think with hundreds of years of progress in the social structure that men and women would finally be equal, but there were still whispers of some not liking a woman pilot. They could go straight to Hell for all Kerwyn cared.

An engineer, the old man who went by Gramps, was equally as fascinating but in a different way. Kerwyn did not know the man personally but he was a wealth of knowledge, structurally and in cooking. It was a risk to take on an elderly crew member, but the whole voyage was a risk anyway. The gent had stories for days.

Osborne had a brilliant mind, playing perhaps the most important role at all. One of the men to ask the questions, and seek the answers. There would be several situations where Kerwyn would have to bow out to the man's call.

Saeed, another Earther, was the decorated doctor for their voyage. He brought scientific knowledge with him too. Plenty of qualified medical applications were received, Mr. Ray made it to the top, a short few that Kerwyn met with. He couldn't help but feel in kindred spirit in the desire for exploration.

Farhenhorst . . . Alderich was a smart man and friend. He could easily cause friction with others. At times, Kerwyn could be a little too supportive. It always paid to have someone who was never afraid to crack the whip, even too quickly at times. Alderich and Kerwyn were a balancing act of command styles. It helped that the Farhenhorst's were investors in the ship and that Alderich's father knew Kerwyn's father, working together side by side in advancing ship technology.

So many others, and some left to call. Three of the crew were unnoficially designated as security. A small ship, but not of strict military command, there had to be an action plan in place if there was a threat from the inside. The Precipice even housed a small, two-celled brig. Aeron Christie, a woman to rival all the men at six-foot-four, was the first of them. She had gone to college with Kerwyn and was quite possibly his best friend. Being quite hilarious helped make him want to keep her around. There was also Wei-Chin Ho, who other than serving as Kerwyn's personal bodyguard, happened to be a combat medic who had served three tours.

Both were known quantities. A risk had been taken with Ferron Robert Kholl. He was a highly decorated policeman from Mars, and would quite literaly stand equal to Aeron in height. The Captain had met him while visiting a cousin on Mars as the men were in the force together. He seemed to have a brilliant mind for strategy, tactics, and planning. That wasn't even touching the surface of what he could do in action. Kerwyn never lied to himself, he was capable of commanding any situation, but he needed a sharp mind when they finally faced a threat of some sort. When and not if was his mantra. There had to be life out there.
This all went through his mind, sitting at his study. Way too much thinking going on, he had to clear his head for the family dinner. Sighing, he stood up and took one last look at his study. Then he made way for his wardrobe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UCF Station 229
Perrin checked his uniform a third time, ensuring all buttons and insignia were properly aligned. After finishing up a video for the media with Fierro, she had checked him over. When one was about to be face to face with the highest ranking human in the whole of the universe, a good impression was desirable. He waited for his entry from a grey, metal corridor. The station soldiers had already patted him down three times before bringing him to the door.

The door slid open again and a beast of a man climbed out, nearly too big for the door with his massive build. His skin was a dark mahogany, face clean-shaven. It was Darrick Bronx, one of the famed Cosmic Guard.

"Spread'em." Perrin didn't question, widening his stand and bringing his arms out. The guard roughly patted him down, grunting approval, then waved him inside.

The Imperator slouched slightly at a large table with holographic images springing up from it; the Earth's Solar System, fingertips touching in front of his face. He briefly glanced up to see Perrin salute. Bronx joined three other Guardsmen by the Imperator.
"Sit, please." Imperator Snow waved toward Fierro.

Snow reached out, grabbing the holograph, pulling the Earth toward him.

"We all come from this planet, spreading outward. Soon we will look to spread again. Colonies aren't overpopulating, but the bigger the League, the more money we generate. A universe for the reaping." He flicked the Earth back across the table to its starting point.

"Yes sir." Perrin said. Fierro was silent.

"Be candid here, no military formalities. How do you feel about being attached to a non-military vessel?"

"It's an honor sir."

"You were chosen for a reason. This whole Free Sky Initiative, its no secret we wanted nothing of it. The military is a well-oiled machine. Once we have private citizens flying out there enmass, who knows what sort of chaos we'll run in to."

Perrin nodded.

"You are my eyes and ears. Captain Argyle chose a system we had coined 'Excalibur' to travel to, a M3V Red Dwarf sun with six planets. All unexplored, five of them possibly nothing to write home about."

"And the sixth sir?"

Snow smiled. "The sixth showed promising signs of an initial scan. Lush land. In a separate system nearby, we found the remnants of a crashed ship. Not of human origin."

Perrin's poker face broke as his forehead wrinkled. Snow, cool as the name seemed, stared him down without a blink. "Yes. Very important. Argyle has unwittingly placed his crew in the vicinity of where we may discover more signs of intelligent life. Anything that is found must be reported, per the contract. Lets eat and talk more." Snow waved to someone as the hologram disappeared, replaced by countless dishes as the Guard took seats at the table.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Saeed Ray
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Caintry had already driven all the way down from Massachusetts to the Orbital Ferry Docking in Virginia, a long but not too terrible drive, and he was already so eager to make his way to the ship and be acquainted with the “crew”. However, by social science it really would not matter meeting the people, for who you are going to be friends with in such a confined area is already set, even if not in stone. The crew, or staff really, would most likely follow the cliches from cheesy teen movies from the 21st century in some sort of fashion; the most intellectuals will flock with their fellow scholars, the brutes with the brutes, and the ship-savvy ones likewise with conflicts in between the three. On the thought, Caintry only wished that he was right and the other option became was wrong where the groups would fall into a more political sense, but Caintry was seldom wrong. Saying that, when he was wrong he could admit it, unlike the brutes that clung to the original embedment as if it was a trench in a war, but that is thought for a different time. They were all leaving now.

Caintry, being on the beach staring out at the bright Atlantic, was stuck on the thought that none of this would be the same when he returned, and the fact that no one he knew would still be alive unless they were a baby. Even then, the baby would be old and wrinkly as she was in her twilight years, and Caintry would have hardly aged a full year. All of this is because the theory of relativity and how time acts in space, it seeming like a month to him on a certain planet but it really being several years or decades on Earth, and he wish that he would be like the brutes who did not know this and his heart wrenched for the people who had left family behind, statistically one would. Caintry imagined leaving your loving wife and babe for a time that seemed like merely thirty years or less to him, but then forced himself to imagine his homecoming to a grave and a senior lady, the tombstone reading his wife’s name and the old lady being his babe. Even if one sent messages every five seconds from the ship to keep contact, the effects would be disheartening at best. They would first receive a message every five seconds as expected, but then the farther you moved away the space between messages would grow to ten minutes, thirty minutes, an hour, ten hours, a day, year, decade. Eventually, you would return home before your messages do.

Caintry knew that the brutes do not know to what extent, but he liked to think that they knew that everything would change in some way when they return.

Off the beach, on the sandy side walk, was his friend from college that he made the ride with, and he made a motion to hurry. Sighing as he took in the few of endless water, he finally rose to make the final stretch of the trip and the final goodbye to his companion, possibly the closest he had in college and they were not even that close, but they had one binding bond. Prometheus. The legend that is thought to be one man, fighting the tyrant on a passive-terrorist level, and it hurt Caintry that he would have to leave the group, his comrades, at all. The friend was Jon Tune, a funny name fitted for a humorous friend, and he was the charismatic leader of Prometheus. Caintry, being the original brains behind the founding and considered the founding father of the founding fathers of the group, was thought to be a shoo-in for the leader role, but Caintry chose “Ole Tune” for he was such a good speaker and gregarious, also easy to like, that he knew he would hold the group together while the other five would work the genius behind operations and make major decisions. Jon was smart as well and helped with decisions too, but he his happy-go-lucky attitude was how he really got the position.

His bright face and silver-blonde hair were smiling as one it seemed when Caintry approached, apathetic at best, for he was still distraught about the decision. In truth, Caintry has only been graduated a few months, three to be exact, and had spent all his time delving into Prometheus and the independence movement, now over two thirds of Terra for it. He had not even heard of the Precipe’s journey into deep space before he got the offer in the mail, stating that they only took applications but they made an exception, and he immediately accepted. The only people he had told were those five founding fathers, and they all seemed happy for him, saying “You are the one out of the whole Sol system that needs to go; the universe is calling.” They were right, about the calling part at least; he had always felt as the stars were pulling him towards them with in inevitable destiny of their acquaintance

“You ready?” asked Jon in his bubbly charisma, but Caintry only gave a huff.

“It would be my first time in space, and do they not say that some are just not made for it? Ground-bound I believe is what they are referred to,” he replied cooly, a voice almost as a breeze or thin mountain air.

“Not you, Caintry. You know that. If anything you are the opposite, only born for the inbetween, and I would go as far to say you are a celestial body in truth. Meant to be out there with your brethren: the stars, planets, and galaxies. You are meant to drift among them and purely learn for the betterment of our species. It is what you have been meant to do, what you have been drawn to.”

Caintry let it sink in.

“I know I will come back, and I will tell you my stories and my theories. We will share weed,” a lie since he had turned it down many of times,” on a free Terra.” They both felt as if the free part was true, but they knew that they would never see eachother again, time would not permit.

The drive to the launch was quiet, Caintry taking in the world he would leave behind, and at the four seater rocket they said their final goodbye. Jon gave Caintry a grim look, the only grim look he had ever seen him give, and he spoke the words of Prometheus.

E pluribus unum.”

Near ancient words spoken by a nation long abolished, but even now the descendants remembered. The nation lived on through the people and the memory, and it was promised to be revived by the words. A return to the freedom that is stood for, all of Terra, and Caintry would miss it.

But he knew they would succeed one day, and he would see the galaxy as he was always meant to. He said the words back.

E pluribus unum.”

That was their farewell. The small passenger rocket would orbitally swing him to above Kansas where the Precipice would be, and he along the way he would be consumed by wondrous though.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Saeed Ray
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Days Before Flight: Two

Gus sat back in the old wooden chair he so often found himself in most nights. It was one of those old style rocking chairs, the rickety thing stained a dark brown with the frame sitting on two large bowed pieces of wood. With each slight press of the foot his seat would go bobbing back only to come rocking back forward with a loud SKuh-weeech echoing into the quite night. Each time the noise was quickly followed by the all to familiar VRRIP sound his servo motors made whenever he moved his legs or feet.

The old man, affectionately referred to as Gramps by most in town, sat there rocking back and forth just staring up at the vast expanse of stars. By the look on his face you could tell he was contemplating the vast mysteries of life and the true meaning of why man was created.

More then likely though he was just drunk off his ass again on piss poor whiskey.

“There you are old man!”

Gramps cocked his head in the direction of the voice and immediately his eyes were greeted with a familiar face. But he already knew who it had been from the mere sound of her voice.

“Oh, hey there Alice.” Gramps said with a nod in her direction and a fatherly twinkle of pride in his eye. He watched as the girl he had seen grow up over the past several years made her way up the three small wooden steps that separated his porch from the red dirt parking lot that stretched out in front of his small bar.

In his whole life he was honestly surprised that one of the most satisfying things he had done was watch this once tiny freckled face child grow into an actual woman. Yet here he was, looking at her like a kid of his own. He was probably just going senile though; at least that's what he thought humorously to himself.

“So what brings you out here this late? Bar's been closed for about an hour.” Gramps asked whiled he continued to rock away in his chair. Suddenly the metallic exoskeleton that encased his arms whizzed to life, his hands retrieving an old cigar box that sat beside his chair. In a matter of moments he had a large freshly lit cigar plopped in his mouth. Closing the cigar box he sat it back down next to his chair on the wooden porch. With one quick gulp he finished off the glass of whiskey he had been idly holding and set the now empty cup atop his cigar box on the floor. Blowing out a large and oddly skunky smelling cloud of smoke he finally turned to Alice, giving her his full attention he noticed that she'd taken a seat in the two person glider chair directly across from him-Gramps really had a thing for rocking furniture.

“Oh, you know.” She said in her casual voice, as if those three words summed up her intent entirely. And oddly enough they had.

“Yeah...I know...” Gramps responded defeated, stopping his rocking for the first time in hours.

“Oh come on you old sour puss, don't be like that. How many years have you been telling me about how you'd do anything to get back up there?” She asked almost mockingly, but Gramps knew the smile on her face was just a mask.

What Alice had said was entirely true though, in fact for the whole twenty three years Alice had been alive Gramps had constantly regaled her with stories of his soldiers days in the vast galaxy (most stories were ridiculously hammed up and over the top, but still.) There was just some unexplainable feeling about being out there, right on the edge of everything-it was an edge Gramps had wanted to take a running jump off of ever since he'd gotten “the itch” as a young cadet.

And the one thing he'd missed the most was the ships. Oh those vast gleaming beautiful behemoths! Just thinking of them brought a warm feeling to his old bones.

And here it was-an opportunity to do exactly what he'd been wanting to for the past twenty odd years. So why was he dragging his feet so much on leaving?

“I know I know!” He said with a humorously over exaggerated hand wave, as if to shoo Alice's comment off. “It's just...well...you got the keys to the bar right?”

“Yep. You got your bags packed?”

“Bag.” Gramps corrected.

“What?” Alice asked, clearly confused.

“Bag. Singular. I only have one.” Gramps elaborated on his former eloquently crafted statement.

“Your going on a God knows how long journey and your only taking one bag?”

Gramps barked out a laugh and then sputtered a cough on his cigar. “Yep. He'll I've actually still got a bit of room left in the old duffle. Guess I'm a light traveler.” Slowly he began to rock back and forth again.

“Well then you shouldn't have trouble fittin this little thing I dug up in your bag.” She spoke like the object was as worthless as an extra pair of dirty socks. While she talked she tossed an extremely light rectangular shaped object towards Gramps. Surprisingly the old man snatched it out of the air with a bit of speed.

Looking at his new gift Gramps couldn't help but be choked up. It was an old picture encased in a cheap plastic frame, yet he was speechless for a moment as he stared into the tiny window of the past. It was a moment frozen in time that Gramps remembered well-he'd had a few less grey hairs in his beard back then and Alice was no bigger then his knee. In the photo Alice sat atop Gramp's shoulders while clutching a giant teddy bear-based on all the lights and people in the background it looked like they were at a fair or amusement park of sorts. They both had giant grins on their faces. Gramps bet that based on the way the picture had been taken rather askew Alice's father had been extremely drunk yet again, somehow the odd angle only added to the charm of the picture.

“Welp, I just wanted to drop by. Couldn't sleep and I knew you wouldn't be able to either. So I thought you might need some company.” Alice finally spoke up, breaking the silence that had suddenly fallen over the two.

“I-” Gramps began only to have his old voice catch like a boy in puberty. He had to swallow a lump in the back of his throat before he could go on. When he spoke up again his voice was back to its usual gruff tone. “I actually think I'm gonna turn in for the night. Gotta be up bright and early to catch my shuttle tomorrow. You still gonna pick me up and gemme a ride?”

“Course. Wouldn't miss it for the world Gramps.” Alice said quickly hopping up, clearly surprised that Gramps was turning in. “Still want me here at seven?”

“Nah make it six, we'll have some of my world famous eggs and bacon before we go. You wont be getting any for awhile so you better get your fill while ya can.” Gramps responded with a grin and a wink before bending down and collecting his cigar box and empty glass. “You better get goin to bed though if you wana be here on time, you need a ride home?”

“Nah, Ill be fine. Road my bike here, its out back. Thanks though. But yeah, ill be here at six. We can talk more about everything then to. Ok?” She asked the last part with an obvious air of hope-clearly she had things she wanted to say to Gramps before he left for his journey on The Precipice. They were both well aware that in reality chances were slim they'd see each other again.

“Sure, sure. Course we can. Now you just get on home safe.” Gramps said while wearing what could only be described as a grandfatherly grin.

“Allright. I'll see you in the mornin Gramps.” Alice said while actually smiling a bit herself, Gramps always seemed to be able to make her smile. Walking down the porch she was just about to disappear around the bar when Gramps called out to her.

“Hey kid?” His voice sounded distant.

“Yeah Gramps?” She asked after stopping mid step, eyeing the old timer with curiosity. It sounded like he was about to say something super important.

“Thanks for the photo.”

“Oh. No problem Gramps.” Alice quickly responded, awaiting for Gramps to say something else. But he just stared at her. After a few awkward moments she cleared her throat uncomfortably. “Well, allright Gramps. Ill see ya tommorow.” With that she turned the corner and moments later Gramps could hear her bike off into the night.

He collapsed back into his rocking chair beneath the weight of his new found crushing guilt. Sitting there in silence for a few moments he simply stared up at the stars, his eyes slightly glossed with tears.` Feeling far older then he ever had Gramps let out a deep sigh before finally picking himself back up out of his chair. He turned to go inside his bar/home which was ironically a small decommissioned freighter he'd retrofitted into a hole in the wall bar-he just couldn't sleep right in a regular home. He made his way inside only to quickly return back outside, a large green military style duffle bag slung over his shoulder.

Twenty minutes later a pair of headlights pierced the darkness of the small stretch of road that the bar sat off of, quickly the vehicle which turned out to be a cab made its way into the parking lot outside of Gramps' home. Making his way down to the Taxi Gramps opened the door and quickly slid in, his usual cheerful demeanor more subdued then was normal.

“So dispatch says your goin to the space port eh? Speakin of space port you hear about that Free Sky shit goin on buddy? Times is a changein buddy, I tell ya. Reminds me of this one time...”

The large burly cab man continued to do the speaking for both of them as they drove off into the night. And Gramps was fine with that. Right now he didn't have much to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely
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Two days on board the shuttle to get her to the station where her new ship, the Precipice waited. She didn’t know much about the people she was working with but that was nothing new. Deirdre was the sort of pilot who bounced around from ship to ship.

Follow the money. Naitre lived by this motto.

From the moment she left his ship and employ that was how she lived her life. If she didn’t stay anyplace too long it meant no worrying about getting close to people or bonding with crew.

Deirdre’s biggest concern about this contract was she was going to be with these people for awhile. It meant she had to find someone to get along with and that usually spelt trouble. She really prefered to keep people at arm's length and behind her carefully built wall of sarcasm and bluntness.

She sat in her seat, eyes closed. Perhaps, because the ship would be bigger than the small freighters she was used to it would be easier to hide away and keep to herself.
****
Two days later

The place was a flurry of activity. Shipping containers being moved and people. Everywhere.

Deirdre stood in the background, hoodie on and hood up to hide her hair. She was off to the side, out of the way. She didn’t want to get noticed, not yet. She was intent on watching.

She wanted to see who would come up to the ship, other than those working to stock it or do maintenance. She wanted to get the first glimpse of the crew, before they saw her. She hated being judged by appearance and while she wasn’t looking to draw conclusions about these people she just felt better knowing at little more than she did now.

It was somewhat ridiculous she knew. There would be a fair number of people on board and there was no way she would be able to peg who was actually flying with them and who was just doing things before take off but she told herself watching was better, informative.

She just didn’t want to admit that she was scared, nervous. This was her first true, legit job. She worked freighters that weren’t doing anything illegal but a lot of times what they did was more piracy than legal, her pay was under the table and there was questionable items being moved. Deirdre wasn’t used to something so...mainstream.

One thing she knew for certain, she wanted on that ship. Just standing here she was drawn to it. Her hands itched to get at the controls. Her body was vibrating with excitement at just the thought of the panel, the pilot’s seat and technology it might house.

Deirdre even contemplated sneaking on board now but she didn’t.

She didn’t want to admit it but part of her worried this wasn’t real. That it was a set up and once she set foot on the ship she would be arrested or she’d find out that she wasn’t actually going to be allowed to pilot her or go along on the journey. It seemed almost too good to be true.

For now Deirdre restrained herself and waited. There was enough activity here to keep her distracted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely
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Gramps had been aboard the UCF Space Station that housed The Precipice for no more then five minutes before he made a B-line for the ships hangar, his servo motors whizzing away as he weaved his way in and out of crowds of people. He clearly moved like a man who had been on his share of Space Stations-there was a certain dance to finagling your way through the crowds of busy people.

Up until this point he hadn't seen any pictures of The Precipice or even heard what class of starship it was, he'd done this on purpose so he could be extra surprised when he finally got to see his his giant new responsibility. He'd regretted this decision on the shuttle ride here though, the whole two day long journey he'd been unable to think of anything but what the ship would look like. Would it be a new model? One of the old birds he was used to flying on? Who knew, but as he finally set foot on the space station he new he made the right choice in waiting-as he ran off towards The Precipice he genuinely felt like a kid on Christmas morning, a fact that was rather apparent on his wrinkled toothy grinning face.

It hadn't been hard to find The Precipice-all he really had to do was follow the commotion and sea of workers who ran two and fro doing last minute safety checks and bringing supplies aboard. Standing there amongst all the working men Gramps stood out like a sour thumb. Between the faded red Hawaiian styled shirt that he wore unbuttoned exposing a clean white tank top, to the recently bought Turkey Sandwich he still clutched in his right hand Gramps was an odd sight to say the least; it also wasn't helping that he was staring up at the ship in an extremely intense look that would best be described as "longing" by a passerby. His strange look was also complimented by the military issued cargo shorts he wore and tan steel toed boots around his feet-he looked like he'd just gotten back from some strange Militaristic Hawaiian Safari.

He stood there admiring the ship along with the sights and sounds of the space station in general-for some reason he just felt more at ease when surrounded by the infinite silent black death that was space.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely
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#, as written by RCJJ23
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26/04/2572, The Endurance

Ferron walked out of the small motel that he had stayed at for the past few days, in his hands the same briefcase that he had brought with him, and slung over his shoulder was a larger duffel bag that held some extra clothing, extra amenities, like extra toothbrushes and toothpaste and more importantly, some high grade inch thick steel plating, ready to be shaped into armored pieces for his own suit. While the suit was unlikely to be better than the planetary suit that he would likely be issued, it would serve well on its own as a quicker alternative during emergencies and he was unable to get a suit from the armory. He had looked over the plans to the ship, and considering its size, could take some time to traverse.

The reason for his current outing was that he had received a message over his communications unit referred to as comms from now on to head to a nearby conference hall, where he expected to be introduced to the crew that he would be serving with. What followed did not disappoint.

After the brief ten minute walk, he was quickly introduced to the other crew that he would be serving with. After their brief introductions, he sat down, his bags set in front of him, along with the rest of the crew as they listened to Kerwyrn's speech, Ferron noticing Kerwyrn's preference of not standing on the podium, a brief thought of perhaps not wanting to seem above them all, before Kerwyrn waved Perrin to come over. After his speech, and the refreshments waved to appear, Ferron sat for a moment, waiting long enough to give the opportunity to anyone who wanted to speak to them, otherwise heading over to the refreshments to grab some small tidbits to eat and a glass of water to drink, leaving his bags on his seat to collect later.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely
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Deirdre had watched them all arrive. From the older man, who walked around as if in awe yet entirely at home, to the last of those that appeared to be crew, judging by their baggage.

She slunk into the conference room at the tail end, stood at the back and waited. She kept her hood up. Deirdre kept feeling like she didn’t belong and at any moment they would realize it and kick her out.

The captain stood in front of them. Deirdre tried not to think too much on him. She didn’t want to think too long on any of them. That was how people got attached and became friends. Friends were a dangerous business on the docks.

You aren’t on the docks anymore, this isn’t some trashed freighter...

She took a slow, struggling breath in. She was going to have to learn to be on this ship. Her teeth worried her lower lip and she was glad for the hood to hide her face. Her eyes moved around the room. Everyone else looked so...professional. Or at least looked as if they knew they were meant to be here.

She couldn’t help but smile as the captain said predictability was boring.

Okay, so maybe I like him a little now. Deirdre got the feeling that working with him wouldn’t be so bad at all.

The military guy got up and Deirdre tensed a little. Was he going to be the hard assed, strict one who she would grow to hate? As he talked she frowned. He doesn’t seem so bad either.

She was waiting for the catch, the other shoe to drop but it didn’t seem to come.

The captain took the lead once more and showed them the planet they would be checking out. Deirdre leaned forward in her seat, pushing off her hood to give her a full range of vision.

So that was it. That was the run. She smiled.

The captain asked if anyone wanted to addressed the group and Deirdre held in a snort. She wouldn’t even dream of getting up in front of all of these people. What would she even say?

The talk of refreshments, the smell of the food made her painfully aware of how long it had been since she had eaten last. She had been too lost in her thoughts on the shuttle to bother with more than some coffee and a half a sandwich. It didn’t last long across the two days.

Deirdre stood, skirted the edge of the room and then slipped into a crowd of people. She quickly put some things on a plate and got out of there just as fast. She found an empty, egg shaped seat and sat down in it.

Most people looked ready to mingle. She was ready to watch them. Maybe she could figure out who she could talk to, should she attempt such a thing. The idea of trying to make friends filled her with a sense of anxiety and dread.

It will be fine. Just eat and mind your own business. Figure this all out soon enough.

Admittedly she wanted to know the old man’s story. She hadn’t figured them letting an elder gentleman on board a mission like this but there he was. It must mean he had something amazing to add and she couldn’t help but wonder what it was, who he was and what his story was.

Few more bites then maybe I will go talk to him.

Her eyes moved to the captain. She would have to talk to him sooner or later. They would be working together and she, following his orders.

Just a few more minutes. Want to eat while it is hot. It seemed logical though hid her anxiety behind her reasoning.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante Character Portrait: Deirdre Molle Sheely
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Gramps stood there for a moment looking at what was in his mind yet another gleaming achievement to mankinds ingenuity. She ran the length of about five hundred and thirty feet and just based on the shear size Gramps guessed shed had about seven or eight decks. Years serving above all sorts of man made ships had given Gramps that useful trait a lot of career soldiers(especially engineers) picked up over time; which was he could sum up a lot about a ship just by looking at them.

He let out a loud sharp whistle at no one in particular as he eyed The Precipice, the way she gleamed ever so slightly made Gramps wonder if she was completely brand new or had just been extremely well takein care of. He bet the former of the two, but you never knew-he was all to aware just how much love and devotion a man could put into a ship. Infact he'd seen more then his fair share of scrap buckets flying through the stars much more enhanced then their manufacturers ever intended.

“Mr. Amante?”

Gramps swung around horrified, his eyes scanning for the large burly bearded farmhand that had been his father. Then he remembered he was Mr. Amante. Duh.

“Please kid, call me Gramps.” The old man said as he quickly gave the person speaking to him a once over. He looked fairly young to Gramps, probably late teens early twenties, and based on the kids clothes he was military. Very very low ranking military. His unblemished skin and gawky frame gave him away as an enlistee fresh out of school who still hadn't quite grown into his body. He'd get there though, Gramps was sure.

The sight of the kid made Gramps grin both inwardly and outwards, a fresh smile genuinely sliding across his face as he gave the Cadet his complete attention. He couldn't help but think of himself over a hundred years ago as a fresh faced cadet, the memory was so long ago and foreign it almost seemed to belong to someone else-the one thing he remembered clear as day though was the fear of failure: wanting, no, needing to prove yourself. Poor kid.

“I've been following you since you got on the Station...you...run a lot faster then I thought you would for an old man, lost you in a crowd about two corridors down the hall. Anyways, I'm supposed to take you to a meeting for all The Ships Officers.” The kid finished nodding towards The Precipice. He spoke like he was sure of what he was talking about so Gramps was inclined to believe him.

“Welp, just lead the way sonny.” Gramps responded kindly, not bothering to question the kid.

He could tell the kid was slightly surprised at the lack of questions but relieved to have Gramps on his way to the meeting. Following the Cadet for a few moments through the station they quickly arrived, the soldier showing Gramps the door but not entering himself-clearly he had more grunt work to do else where.

“Thanks kid.” Gramps said while giving the unnamed cadet a pat on the shoulder, it was one of those really friendly gestures that normally felt forced and awkward when coming from most people but Gramps always seemed to somehow pull it off. It was like he gave off the vibe he always actually cared about the person he was talking with.

The meeting room wasn't much, likely designed by some military minded individual no doubt. But hey, the chairs looked really comfy! And the food he eyed towards the back of the gathering group looked way better then the two dollar turkey sandwich he'd bought on the shuttle ride over. Only Gramps would walk into a highly important meeting wearing an unbottoned Hawaiian shirt and holding a cheap shuttle dinner sandwich. But here he was.

Quickly he'd taken a seat (suspiciously choosing the one closest to the food.) He had to admit it felt pretty good as the egg shaped piece of furniture enveloped him in its comfy embrace. He'd listened to Kerwyns speech as intently as he had the cadet from moments before, even clapping along with the rest of the group here and there.

Unfortunatley midway through Kerwyns speech Gramps had become increasingly hungry from the smells of the table food. He even began unwrapping his sandwich-just a quick bite wouldn't hurt, right?

Then Kerwyn stared right at him and he lost his appetite, he really hoped that the look had been completely unrelated...but who knew? Talk about first impressions.

After Kerwyn finished her turned the floor over to Perrin, clearly a much more military minded man-both consciously and subconsciously Gramps was willing to wager. He didn't hold it against the man though-far from it actually, he could completely relate to him. In Gramp's opinion all the criticisms of the Military just boiled down to ideals andd nine times out of ten the “oppressive government” was just as human as everyone else; flawed and thinking they were in the right. But usually if you sat down with an actual soldier you'd learn they were just doing their jobs, jobs which could run the course of their entire lives like it had for Gramps.

His mind was torn from its wandering opinions as the image of the planet they would be headed to first popped up. Gramps could hardly control himself; the mere thought that they would infact be the very first human beings to journey into this unknown area nearly made him jump out of his servomotors in excitement. This is what he'd been waiting for.

When all was said and done they offered the floor up to anyone wanting to say a few words. Gramps was the last person want to be in the spotlight so he remained quite. Instead he sat at the ready like a lion waiting to pounce as he eyed the table of assorted foods and with the first sign of the group beginning to shuffle to life he was off-his servomotors wizzing him to the front of the line. The whole thing unfolded quietly but rather comedicly to any paying attention.

Returning to the Egg seats clutching a hot plate of food (the contents of which had mostly been chosen based off smell) Gramps made no effort to find his old seat. Instead he picked a seat next to the person clearly doing their best to go unnoticed to the crowd. It was impossible to tell Whether this had been the intentional act of an inherently kind old man trying to help a clearly uncomfortable person or if he was just a man of practicality. Maybe he just wanted to choose the seat closest to him that was open, or perhaps it was the fact that he'd noticed what looked like a rainbow wig and wanted to investigate. The truth was probably mixed somewhere in between all of these.

Regardless of 'why' he sat down like the two were old friends. Effortlessly he began speaking, as if they had lunch together everyday. “So you actually get to take a look at her yet? She sure is something I tell ya, cant wait to get her out there and put her through her paces.” Clearly Gramps had made up his mind that the ship was a woman, a fact he assumed everyone else had come to the same conclusion on.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Ferron Robert Kholl Character Portrait: Caintry Osborne Character Portrait: Perrin Phifer Character Portrait: Kerwyn J. Argyle Character Portrait: Gus "Gramps" Amante
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Saeed had stayed with his family for as long as he possibly could, maybe a bit longer than he should have. Luckily he had the money to provide himself with top of the line transportation to the station hovering in orbit over Earth. The ship he was on rocketed forward with a purpose that was motivated by money as Saeed had slipped the driver more than a few credits in order to make sure he made it to the briefing in time. In the meantime, he simply sat in the back surrounded by multiple computer pads filled with information on many different topics. For the most part, they pertained to his profession, notes and documents regarding the human body and procedures. Some new experimental processes were in the works, and Saeed spent a good chunk of his time reading through these to see if they were worth his time and effort to make them work. He would be cut off from most of this information once they headed out into the void, so he had to make sure he could work on the fly with what he already knew.

Some other pads contained news snippets about the upcoming launch of the Precipice, the ship he would be calling home for the foreseeable future. It was a good looking ship, and the media coverage on it was getting to the point of claustrophobia. Saeed was no stranger to the news mongers that called themselves reporters and their cameras. He had gone up in front of them numerous times, when he had worked on high profile clients, or entered a heavily militarized zone on a Doctors without Borders mission. Those were nothing compared to this, everyone wanted to know everything about everybody, and he hoped his family could avoid the ever pressing questions of the needlessly curious.

“Mr. Ray.” The pilot spoke up, breaking Saeed from his trance as he looked towards the cockpit. “We’ll be arriving at the station within five minutes.” Saeed checked his watch, giving a smug face and a nod as he realized how quick the pilot had been.

“You made good time.” Saeed stated.

“It’s easy to take the back channels when the military’s occupied with the launch of the civilian explorer ships sir. I’ll let you know when we’ve docked.” Saeed gave a nod, although the pilot couldn’t see him in his sealed off section. Saeed took one last look around, a small private shuttle with all the amenities of home and possibly his last moment of luxury for quite some time. Lush leather seats, movie projector, mini-bar. He doubted he would have any of these things aboard the Precipice, but that wasn’t a deal breaker for him. He had dealt with worse. He gave a sigh as he started gathering up all the info pads and stacking them together to clean the place up a little. He checked his watch again, he would be cutting it close but hopefully he would get there for the briefing.




Saeed stepped off the shuttle, his hand reached up and straightening his already straight tie in an attempt to calm himself slightly. His nerves hadn’t been this rattled since his final exam in med school. His black suit, red tie, and immaculate hair could fool people around him into thinking he was some kind of ambassador, if it weren’t for the fact that he was carrying a couple bags of luggage himself. Once he got his bearings about him, he managed to push himself forward on what would be the third most exciting moment of his life.

When he walked into the conference room, he saw that he was nearly the last person to arrive, going by the number already getting seated and ready for the briefing. He sorted his way through all the people, getting a look at everyone as he found himself a seat near the front. There was definitely an assortment of personalities here if looks were anything to go from. Military, rainbow hair, old men and intellectuals such as himself. He wouldn’t judge them from their appearance alone, but it was hard to not draw conclusions as to what everyone’s jobs were. Engineers, pilots, security, etc.

He finished setting his luggage down and took a seat to wait for the briefing, his sitting posture rigid and proper out of reflex. The captain of the Precipice, one Kerwyn Argyle if Saeed remembered correctly, started almost the moment Saeed sat down. Cut it a little close this time. Saeed thought to himself as he listened to Kerwyn talk about their mission and goals, along with a bit of motivational bravado for good measure. Saeed didn’t clap with a couple of the others, but he would be lying if he said he wasn’t excited. Instead he played with a ring on his finger, next to his wedding band. A purple metal material with three jade crystal like rocks that he circled around his middle finger. His ‘Narissa’ band if you will, the other three representing his children still sitting in his luggage.

Everything about the briefing was fairly standard, given the situation for which they were being briefed. When the military liaison stepped forward, Saeed didn’t flinch or show any signs of discomfort towards the man. He had dealt with the military before, and in situations like this one as well. Other doctors and non-military members he had worked with in the past called them ‘Squealers’. Tattletales, military reporters, etc. The man went on about how he wanted to be a part of the team, how he was hoping that his military attachments wouldn’t affect the crew as a whole, and Saeed inwardly scoffed. They were going on a mission that, just a few years prior the military had condoned with violent action that resulted in the deaths of many adventuring lives such as the ones currently in this room. People didn’t forget that easily, and while Saeed wasn’t one to hold onto grudges that didn’t even concern him, he wasn’t naive either. This man was going to need to earn his place, more so than most, on this ship.

Once he was done, Kerwyn showed the group their first mission. An unnamed planet in the system of Excalibur. Named after the king maker sword, kind of pretentious but then again this was a major step forward for everyone here. Kerwyn then made a note that there were refreshments and food near the back, and asked if anyone would like to address the group as a whole. Saeed thought about it, maybe it would be a good chance to let everyone know who he was and his role towards them. Might make it easier to get medical information out of them in order to better ascertain the level of care each individual might need. He spared a glance towards the old man with some kind of metallic exoskeleton and grimaced a little on the inside. He would need an engineer not a doctor if something went wrong.

In the end though, Saeed decided against it. He knew he wasn’t the most articulate man when it came to conveying his message to people less educated than himself, and that arrogance was part of his problem. If he got up to speak to the group as a whole, he was afraid he would make himself look like a much larger ass than he thought he was, and so it was better to simply keep it contained to a one on one basis. Saeed stood from his sitting position, approaching Captain Argyle with a confident stride.

“Captain Argyle.” Saeed stated, holding out his hand for a shake. “A pleasure to meet you again.” Saeed wasted no time getting to the point of his approach. “Would it be possible, now that we have most of the preliminaries out of the way, for me to get a hold of the medical records for the crew? It would assist me in getting ahead of the infirmary setup and documentation.”