Moirai. The Fates of ancient Greek Mythology. None left alive remember how they measured, spun, and slashed the threads of fate, dictating how mere mortals lived and died. For any normal being, naming your starship - your interplanetary home - after these beings would be the height of arrogance.
It was no ordinary being, then, whose ship had touched down moments earlier on Ord Melul. The rhomboid hull rests on four extended landing struts as its engines' whine dwindles to silence. Seconds later, the doors of the ship open and the loading ramp lowers, revealing the interior of the ship to be filled with numerous, enormous crates. The spaceport workers jog up, knowing from experience that it would take an overnight shift to move everything out. Rather than start unloading, however, they stand at the bottom of the ramp, waiting expectantly.
A formless mass, colored a dark, soothing blue, slithers out from between the cracks in the crates. It starts off slow, but then moves faster and faster until there is a small pile of ooze on the ramp. It quivers, and from the ground up forms into a humanoid figure, slightly too tall and too thin. It shifts again, giving the vague outline of clothes. Its color slowly changes, taking on an appearance instantly recognizable to the workers before him.
The spindly figure, now sporting ash-grey skin covered by a loose blue shirt and faded red pants, looks up and scans the workers. His eyes, drops of blood in the otherwise black sclera, meet those of each and every worker arrayed in front of him, as if searching for an imposter.
Satisfied, he snatches the wide-brimmed grey hat resting on the peg next to him and starts descending to the rough, stone floor. The workers scatter in a frenzy of motion, bringing forth the cranes and forklifts to start unloading the precious cargo. The figure, shifting from androgynous to recognizably male as he puts the hat over the recently-shifted shoulder-length black hair, walks into the building without looking behind him.
Entering through the double doors, he walks down the hallway, carved out of the same rough stone the land was made out of. The stone gave way to paneled wood, and eventually he enters a doorway. A Niso secretary was scribbling down paperwork, with two empty bottles of Earth-imported Vodka and a third half-drained. She looks up as he enters, locking the door behind him.
"Hey, Lloyd. How was the trip?"
"Uneventful and uncomfortable," he says, shapeshifting the clothes back into his body, "Same as usual, in other words."
He walks over to the paneling on the left side, and presses it in, revealing a wardrobe. It reveals several identical long sleeved blue shirts with no collar, and faded red cargo pants. Selecting one of each, he starts putting them on. "How fares the search?"
"Work already? Don't you want to relax a bit?"
"What the fuck is there to do on this planet? Stare at the barren, empty rock? Stare at the mines Royale Terre is using to compound the emptiness?"
"You could drink," she says, taking another long draught from the bottle, "or you could fuck."
"Those are both more of your department than mine."
"We've narrowed it down to two candidates, both of whom are on planet at this time," the secretary says, rolling her eyes.
"Excellent," he says, "Call them in."
"Now. There's a fourth bottle in the cabinet behind you, if you finish the three that were in your desk drawer."
Lloyd unlocks the door to the hallway, and enters his office. He takes his hat off, sits down on his chair, dims the lights, and shifts his head into four pairs of eyestalks. He reads data from five different monitors, trying to piece together galactic events and what exactly was going on behind the scenes.
Moirai was an apt name for his ship. Seven lives, seven threads of fate, were about to be gathered, forming a foundation that would keep the galaxy intact through a crisis. All seven were in place on Ord Melul. It is now up to him to tie them together and spin them into rope.
2 Hours LaterEdit
An unusually tall human male entered the BCA spaceport on Ord Melul, looking around. His grey eyes scanned the signs in front of him, scratching at the five o'clock shadow no razor seemed to touch. His tanned skin marked him as someone who had been on Ord Melul for some time, while his lean muscles bespoke of a man accustomed to physical labour. He could easily pass for a miner. When he saw the hallway indicated, he turned and moved in with a little more confidence than he felt. His bearing, ready to move and strike at the first sign of trouble, as well as the scar barely poking out of his short-sleeved shirt, marked him as a military man. Why does the BCA want me? he wondered, I know what they do, and I'm not exactly their type... But this job might finally take me of this pisshole. he smirked at the thought. He'd spend far too long on solid ground.
He entered the reception area, nodding at the Niso secretary who motions him to wait. Noting the four drained vodka bottles - an a fifth nearly finished - with surprise, he leans against one wall. Expensive stuff. Either he pays her well or they're fucking.
The door opens, admitting a new arrival. The human male entering has a very, very different look to him. The man is short and squat, clean-shaven with close-cropped hair. His dark brown eyes scan the reception area the way Yorke's had only moments ago. The Niso secretary motioned him to sit and wait as well. Where Yorke's bearing suggested a military background, this other man's spoke of numerous bar fights and brawls.
The Niso takes another swig from her bottle and looks down at her computer. "Jack Yorke, Wayne Harre, Lloyd'll see you now."
The two men walked through the double doors and stopped dead, seeing the being that called them in. Four pairs of eyes on stalks stared at four different monitors, while four more pairs of hands sprouted from the sleeves on its shirt to record, analyze, and file away the tremendous amounts of data flowing in at once. One of the eyes twitches slightly, noticing the new arrivals. In a blink, the various parts rejoin to form the far more familiar body he wore for everyday dealings. Putting his wide-brimmed hat back on, Lloyd looks both his new arrivals over, eyes inscrutable.
"So, gentlemen," he says, "How would you like to get off this shiny rock, and with a starship to boot?"
Yorke attempted to go over what he had just seen in his head and had come to a conclusion. I've been a merchant and war veteran, but that is the weirdest thing I've even seen in my entire life. Looking over his shoulder he observed Wayne took was taking the shock worse than himself. Returning his focus back to Lloyd and saw his almost human appearance making the experience all the more surreal.
"I would find nothing more interesting to do." Yorke responded with Wayne simply nodding in agreement. Lloyd looked over both men once more and slightly adjusted his hat seeing the determination in Yorke's eyes, while he observed Wayne who was still trying to look for where those eyes had vanished to.
Lloyd smiled inwardly. Yorke would do nicely as an employee. Wayne... well, he'd work as a way to keep some of the attention away from his other assets. Either way, he had three ships to sell. Well, two to them - neither looked like the kind to work with one partner and one partner only.
"And what about you, Wayne Harre?"
"I.. uh.. well... yes. But what's the catch?"
Yorke perked up at this question, stiffening slightly. It was clear that he had the same question, but didn't want to put it quite so... rudely.
"The catch, Harre, is that each ship is far more than either of you could afford. So you will have to work it off. I trust you'll find the BCA to be a very... accommodating.. employer."
The two men nod, seeming satisfied.
"Good, good... let's get down to business, then," Lloyd says, pressing a couple buttons. The right wall turns into a screen, showing two ships, both rotating slowly. "The brick on the left is the Star Horizon. It uses a Slip-Space drive, and so is comparatively inexpensive, and can hold a crew of six. The brick on the right is the Dawn Voyager. That one uses a Hadron Supercoil, driving the price up higher, and has room for seven, as well as a docking bay for temporary passengers in smaller ships."
Lloyd waits while the two look over their choices.
"And Jack Yorke, you have first pick," he says, turning to the grey-eyed military man. "What's your choice?"
Studying both Vessels and weighing their advantages Yorke thought to himself which of these two would serve him to a greater degree. The Dawn Voyager has the superior drive, room and a nice docking bay that offers extra room for any guests. The Star Horizon is less expensive and when working for the BCA that could mean something and slip-space tends to be easier at learning. Yorke lightly scratched his facial hair before coming to his conclusion.
"I think the Dawn Voyager will make for an excellent vessel for me and my crew." Yorke said with a smile crossing his face as he began to observe the ship. Wayne choose the Star Horizon and seemed to be content with choice, although whether this was because he wouldn't be as heavily indebted to the BCA as Yorke or had experience with ships of a similar operational style remained a mystery to the other man.
"Excellent." Lloyd said he typed something upon his screen which established Yorke and Wayne as the owners of the Dawn Voyager and Star Horizon respectively.
"Now, however, you need to find your crews," Lloyd says. "You're definitely going to need a pilot, engineer, medic, and soldier. Which leaves one extra spot for Harre and two for Yorke. I will not have a hand in your crew choice at all, and you kind of need them in order to get your ship off the ground."
Lloyd extended one arm around them towards the door and opened it, while the other extended towards the two and bisected, holding a small tablet in each hand.
"I have more work to do, so go to your recruiting. Record the name, position, species, and other details you think necessary on the tablet I'm giving you," He squints at something, and then the hands holding the tablet twist to the other man. "These tablets will be your crew registry and captain's log. Now off with you."
His other - third at this point - arm had already retracted and was typing away. The two men take their tablets and walk out the door as Lloyd shifts back into the eight-eyed, eight-handed form he used for data processing and entry.
So many people need shit done, so few look to more... reputable sources.
Yorke observed the tablet and gently brushing himself where Lloyd's extra limb had touched him. "How does he do that?" Wayne asked to no one in particular, the memories of the shapeshifter were freshly embedded in his head.
"I have no clue, but one thing is for certain our employer isn't something I've seen and from the looks of it, you haven't seen anything like him before too."
Both men began making their way out towards the lobby when the Niso secretary spoke up, "I trust your meeting with Lloyd went well?" Yorke uttered a confirmation about the results of the meeting. Wayne continued walking towards the exit after his own confirmation leaving the secretary and Yorke alone. The Niso looked Yorke up and down, although her focus seemed to be remained on certain aspects of the man before her. "I'm not going to fuck you." Yorke said catching her gaze.
The Niso merely slumped back into her chair and motioned for the new employee to come towards her, "It doesn't have to be about sex. I'm going to offer some ....suggestions to you though about where to find your crew members."
Yorke obliged, "You knew Lloyd wanted us to find our own crew members?" to which the female responded with a nod. She then put up a list of possible locations where various backgrounds and characters could be found. Yorke's eyes scanned the list over as he began recording the locations into his tablet, "Thanks for the help, umm... I never quite got your name."
"Isn't important." the Niso said and grabbed the bottle by her side taking a quick drink from it.
Yorke thanked her one last time before making his leave. First on the list is to find a good soldier or two. As he continued to make his way with his destination in mind: The Jethro District
Several days later, Yorke stumbled tiredly into the Drunken Astronaut, better known as the Drunken Astro, tavern on the south end of Jethro District. He'd spent the last three days combing the District for some Eurypt soldier, hoping to find him on this desolate waste of a planet. Of course, he turned up with nothing, and was understandably angry.
Angrily dropping a bunch of credits onto the bar before grabbing a bottle, chugging it gratefully. Beside him, a drunken human shakily stood, his own bottle nearly empty.
The drunk took a few meager steps, before puking all over the front of Yorke's shirt. "Goddammit you blasted drunk, do you know what I oughta do to you!?" Yorke shouted, hand drifting over the Heckler & Colt he kept holstered on him at all times. Before he could draw his gun, he felt a cold barrel pressed against the back of his head.
"My buddy's a little drunk right now. If you don't put your hands where I can see them, though, you'll be a little dead." the Eurypt Har-Bak ordered, one of his four hands holding a revolver while he let out a puff of smoke from his cigar.
Yorke listened to the accent of the voice and went over it is his head, coming to the conclusion that the voice was Eurypt in origin. Is this Har-Bak? Based on the stories that I heard from the locals about him it seems plausible that this very well may be, Yorke's train of thought was interrupted by the barrel being pressed his neck with even more aggression than previously.
"Well, what is going to be? You gonna put him down or do I have to put you down first?" Har-Bak continued exhaling another puff of smoke from his cigar, which brushed past the neck of Yorke. "Har-Bak?" Yorke said hoping this gamble of his was going to pay off and luckily it did. The Eurypt's grip seemed to loosen upon hearing his name being uttered.
With the present situation being more calm, Yorke allowed for a small sigh to escape his lips and lowered the man. The drunk individual thanked the Eurypt before walking away and puking to his heart's content upon an occupied table. With the tension practically evaporating between the two males, Yorke turned towards the Eurypt and with that a chuckle left his mouth. The Eurypt looked at him with confusion slightly tilting his head at the sight before him, "What's so funny? You need to go to the clinic?"
"I've been looking all around for you and in an sadistic twist of fate, it ends up with you finding me first and putting a gun against my head!" Yorke chuckled a bit more before straightening himself out. "Now that, that is over with I'd like to make you an offer to get off of this rock."
Har-Bak hesitated, chewing on his cigar. "That depends on why, mister...." Yorke offered his hand to the Eurypt, flashing a smile.
"Jack Yorke, captain of the Dawn Voyager." Har-Bak nodded, swirling the little liquor left in the shot glass he was using.
"I don't know, I've seen your type before. Let me guess; You're some cocked up playboy hoping to prove his worth to the galaxy? If so, then no. You people fall a dime a dozen, and I ain't too keen a fan of getting dragged to hell with ya."
"Playboy?" Yorke said cocking his head slightly, "I can assure you that I'm not that since I was just willing to get puked on and spent some time looking for you." Har-Bak continued to stare at him, just not yet convinced. "Here's the real reason I need you and your background on my crew; you ever hear of the BCA before?" Yorke said, his voice getting low to avoid others overhearing them; combined with the drunken yelling of the patrons, it made it easier to talk in secret.
Har-Bak nodded his head, "Heard of 'em before. What about it?"
Yorke mentally patted himself on the back seeing the man's interest growing, "What if I say they hired me? And what will you say if they asked me to look for a crew?"
Har-Bak nodded his head, before putting out his cigar on the bar. "Y'know what? Why the hell not? I'll give ya one year of my service. Prove your worth by this time next year, and I'll be mainstay." Yorke nodded, standing up. "Just give me a moment to grab my guns Yorke; I'll meet ya outside."
Waiting outside of the Drunken Astro had some perks to it, as it gave Yorke the opportunity to escape the stench of alcohol and hint of urine in the air within the building. It also gave him the time to think of his next move, One down, several others to go. Bringing additional security upon the ship seems logical since we're going to have to protect that Hadron Supercoil & ourselves from hostiles.
Reaching into his jacket pocket, Yorke pulled out the tablet and wrote Har-Bak's name onto the crew list and began examining where he might find the rest of his crew. He settled upon an area where a fight club was rumored to be held with some of its most well-known patrons & fighters where that of a military background: Bronson's Flat.
Har-Bak came out the tavern with his weapons hidden within a bag and greeted his captain. Yorke took a glance over the sheer size of the pack and looked his crew member in the eye, "What are you carrying in there, a HAZMAT robot?
"Nothing that won't come in handy if you're hiring me." Har-Bak responded and continued with, "So were we heading?" "To hire some more crewmembers." Yorke responded to the Eurypt soldier. Both men began walking towards the location with Yorke taking the lead. As they both continued to walk in silence, Har-Bak broke it with the following, "Shouldn't you be buying a new shirt?"
Yorke who was previously lost in his thoughts failed to remember the puke stains, which lay upon his clothing. "Shit. Give me a moment." he responded before heading to a nearby vendor's stand to purchase one. He finds one he likes and tosses down a few coins for it. "Stand guard while I change," he says, slipping into an alleyway. He quickly switches shirts and drops the old one in the garbage.
"Now that that's out of the way, where to?" Har-Bak asks.
"You know a place called Bronson's Flat?"
"Yeah. It's just down that way. I frequent the place."
"I figured as much."
The pair walk through the streets, making sure their hands are near their weapons whenever a drunken crowd starts to stumble past. Their vigilance proved unneeded, as their journey was without incident. Upon entering the bar, Yorke walked over to the fight pit while Har-Bak went to order drinks. Yorke looked down at the current match, taking his drink from Har-Bak as he returned. The fight was between a Skaakian and a Drothian. The two were veterans from the recent war between their species. The Drothian threw a punch towards the Skaakian, but she was able to dodge it, returning with a right hook, making the Drothian stumble back. The Skaakian raised her reptilian fist, striking the Drothian, freeing blood from his face.
"Skaakian bitch!" the Drothian yelled
"We should've took more than your arm!" The Drothian was referring to the Skaakian's arm below the elbow, which was cybernetic, due to an injury in the war.
Itslthmis Rh'ka kept quiet, and awaited for the Drothian to strike her. The Drothian began striking at her frantically. Rh'ka saw an opening, and struck her cybernetic fist into the Drothian's eye, making him stumble back. As he stumbles, Itslthmis quickly grabs a chair, and lifts it high, and brings it down, striking it over the head of the Drothian. He falls to the floor, and Itslthmis begins beating him over and over with the chair, splinters flying from the chair.
Seeing her foe submit, Itslthmis tosses the chair aside, and takes several breaths.
"Drothain fukaadjl. (asshole) Another fool who can't let the war go." Itslthmis glared at her fallen foe, flicking her tongue. She walked out of the pit, while the unconscious Drothian was tossed out the front door. Behind her, a pair of animals were being prepared to be thrown in to fight.
Both Yorke and Har-Bak had been watching the entertainment, observing the bloodied and beaten Drothian being taken away to make way for a new set of fighters. "And our crowd-pleasing favorite: Itslthmis Rh'ka has shown what happens if you decide to cross her folks!" the announcer shouted as the crowd cheered as the Skaakian walked over to the bar. "Let's also hear it for her opponent, Staskav Riker!" the mention of the Drothian's name seem to send boos throughout the crowd.
"Tough crowd." Yorke said examining the new fight between a Revnorian and Altaic which seemed to be a standstill before the Revnorian delivered knee to the cat's gut causing him to hunch over in pain before a fist collided with his jaw. "Yorke, I'm going to get a drink." Har-Bak said making his way towards the bar.
Yorke continued to watch the fight before heading off to his find his comrade. Seeing his comrade drinking a shot of whiskey, he began to walk towards the Eurypt and put his back against the counter. He continued watching the spectacle as the Revnorian managed to defeat the Altaic causing the fight club to erupt into another wave of cheering
"You seem to be enjoying yourself." a voice said next to Yorke. Turning himself towards the direction of the voice he was face to face with the female Skaakian. "I think my friend here seems more interested in this scene than me." Yorke said towards the female, "You on the other hand seem to enjoy being part of this."
"Indeed I do." Itslthmis Rh'ka replies.
"Nothing is better than getting in brawls with Drothian's who can't let the past go." Itslthmis comments, taking a sip from her beverage.
"What brings you to this establishment here?"
"Wanted to see the fighters and the fight they can put up against each other. I've heard some of them are even former military." Yorke responded hoping to get information of some of the other fighters involved. "You know any?"
Rh'ka smiled at the remark, "I may know a few." before taking a sip of her drink. "Although, why are you interested in ones with military history in their lives?"
"I have my reasons," Yorke said before Har-Bak asked the waiter for another drink of whiskey. "You sure you don't want any, Yorke? My treat." Har-Bak said as the waiter began to serving the next shot. Yorke responded by shaking his head towards the Eurypt.
"The fight, huh?" Itslthmis replies, taking another sip from her beverage.
"Most men I know come around these parts are just here to find some whore." Itslthmis laughs.
Itslthmis reaches into her pocket, pulling out a cigar. She then pulls out a lighter and uses it to light her cigar. She inhales from it, and exhales, releasing smoke.
"About the former military, I myself am an old vet. Went into the Skaakian/Drothian war. Special forces. Lost part of my arm in a major attack." Itslthmis extends her right arm, showing that her arm is cybernetic from the elbow down."
"What makes you look for veterans now, mister....?"
"You should probably give her the truth, Yorke. I'm sure you got enough information out of her." Har-Bak said downing most of his new drink. His partner nodded in acknowledgement before turn back to the Skaakian.
"What are you two planning?" Rh'ka questioned with her face one of curiosity and confusion at the two different species. "What truth?"
"There is a reason I came here and that is where you'll find the truth." Yorke said letting the Skaakian take it all in before continuing. "I've been placed in the position of Captain of The Dawn Voyager. That ship needs a crew and I've been looking for men & women to fill in roles."
"Hmm" Itslthmis pondered the thought. "Either I stay here, and die of age, or go with you, and fly around the galaxy."
Itslthmis smiled. "You got yourself a deal."
Shezmu's Blood was one of the more popular bars in the Jethro District and for good reason as the drinks were good and the good times kept coming. Yorke entered the bar hoping to get a drink after the stressful past couple of hours that he'd been experiencing in the name of a getting a stable crew together. From he managed to gather the current members have been diverse in their backgrounds, although the variety in them made them seem like an odd & hopefully effective bunch. Yorke's thoughts drifted to that of his crew which had made themselves at home within his own home. Lifting the mug of beer to his lips, his gray eyes scanned the room around him, one part of the bar was loaded with customers who were asking for drinks by someone named Basta. Oddly enough near one of the poker tables there was a robot playing poker with a human. Still nothing of particular interest stuck out, so he returned to the thoughts of his crew and what he was missing before he could deploy the Dawn Voyager. I've got my soldiers ready, but I still need several of the other roles to be filled in. Maybe, I'll find one or the other tomorrow.
Yorke's thoughts were interrupted as the human playing Poker began shouting at the robot. "That's fuckin' bullshit, man! There's no way that you didn't fix this shit!"
The robot folded it's cards, taking a long look at the red-faced angry man standing across from him. "I take it you want to go another round?" The robot chuckled before sarcastically mocking in his opponent in an Irish accent.
"You fucking cheated with your robot mumbo jumbo bullshit, Duster! You cheated me like you did everyone else on this fucking rock!" The human repeatedly slammed his fists on the poker table, spitting on Duster with each raging yell. The other patrons of the bar glued their eyes to the conflict at hand.
Duster calmly and slowly retrieved a tissue from his storage compartment on his torso, wiping the spit off him and flicking the wet issue ball at his opponent before replying. "Maybe you lost fair and square, Earth-boy. You lost your money. Your dignity. Go back home to your girl and ask for a good rub, why don'tcha?" Laughter from the patrons filled the bar.
In an instant, a shotgun slammed on the table, it's two loaded barrels aimed at Duster's head. The human chuckled. "Didn't hear that, care to repeat sir?"
Duster leaned forward, pushing the gun slightly away from him. "Go ask your girl for a rub, it'll make ya feel a wee bit better today, lad." The robot was soon hit with the barrel of the shotgun. The man spat on him again.
"You give me the money and we'll call it a day, I got an itchy trigger finger and I don't want to have sweet Basta over there clean up the mess."
"I don't mind a mess." Duster stood up, quickly drawing out an oversized pistol and aiming it at his opponent's head. A quick pull of the trigger left little left of the man's head, blood gushed out from where his head should be as he fell back onto the wood bar floor. Duster spun his pistol around on one of his fingers before holstering it.
A gunshot rang out across the bar, causing the chatter to stop in an instant. Everyone turns to the female Altaic Basta behind the bar holding her own shotgun in the air. "I need to know if any of you are going to start any shit in the bar. I still have a slug left in here, and it's itching to find a new home in someone's cranium. Unless any of you want a bullet in your head, I recommend you shut up, sit down, and drink your damn liquor. Duster smiled inside and walked over to the angry Basta.
"Lovely Basta, I assure you, that man was not worth your precious time. I have here a Plaht. Use this to hire two types of cleaners, I'm sure you know which kinds, and buy yourself a nice dress." Basta took the money and walked off, Duster chuckled and sat at the bar.
Yorke was dumbstruck on what had just occurred in front of him. Duster had just blown the man's brain matter onto the walls of the establishment. The once loud bar had fallen into silence as some tried to go over the events that had just transpired. Others were taking the shock of it better, but it may just be because these men and women were beyond the point of being drunk as they attempted to hold onto their mugs and lift them towards their mouths.
Feeling compelled to walk towards the scene, Yorke moved himself towards the robot known as 'Duster' and took a seat next to him. Slowly the life began to return to the bar as one man offered to buy a round for everyone in the bar. Yorke and Duster sat there in silence before Yorke broke it and looked into the robot's 'eyes', "That was quite a show you put on there. Although, I'm not exactly sure, but something is bothering and telling me what you just wasn't exactly legal."
"Nothing is illegal as long as you have the money to make sure that it is kept quiet." Duster replied nonchalantly playing with the cards in his hands. "So, you looking for a game, lad?"
"I'm not looking for a game so much as a name. I doubt 'Duster' is your name since I've never met a robot in my life who didn't at least have one digit in their name." Yorke said leaning in towards his counterpart.
"B'fore I give you a name...I want your name and your proposition, you came here to talk for a reason, I would assume." Duster responded, still shuffling his cards around with his cold, steel hands.
"Jack Yorke." the man put his hand out towards the machine, who lay the cards down, satisfied with his shuffling. "The Hero Of Concordia: Jack Yorke?" 'Duster' lifted his view towards the man. "Yes and how did you know that?" Yorke looked confused on how just a single name managed to give his mechanical counterpart that information.
"I have my ways, this shiny eye for instance gives me a bit of info of every wasted fool in this fine establishment. But before we continue I must say, oh how the mighty have fallen!" the machine appeared to give off a small chuckle of sorts. "I'm here through choice and it helps that I'm finally getting off this barren land. As for my proposition, I'm looking to compose a crew and so far I've found some of them." Yorke's replied his face beaming with pride and confidence.
"Sounds nice, but I'm assuming you still want me to answer your questions, laddy?" 'Duster' said his fingers gently tapping the table. "I'm still interested in learning the man machine behind the armor. Let's start with your name & and some background." Yorke replied with him ordering a drink for both of them.
"Alright, lad. The name is BOB-5. 'Course that's the model line name, but I'm the last one left, may as well go by that. Entire line was turned into scraps for the next model. Fortunately, I'm surviving, and I've been doing so for nearly 300 years." BOB-5 answered the first part of Yorke's question.
"How'd you survive exactly?" Jack replied.
"Some stones are best left unturned, young Yorke." BOB went back to tossing cards around.
"Fair enough. Say, you've been around awhile, you must have seen a lot. What have you done in your time?" Pondered Yorke, sipping on his drink with each pause.
"I've mainly been a pilot, primarily for shipping companies. I've picked up high-stakes racing for the hell of it too, win every time. My main gig though is mercenary business, I'm a freelancer, that means I do what I want, when I want, and where I want. Damn good shot, I am. I've taken too many lives on the behalf of rich assholes to count. Doesn't really matter to me, s'long as I get me dough. I've been looking for the big-gig, one that'll let me retire in MegaPlex or Toka, some place nice." BOB went on about his past and his work before pausing and looking Yorke in the eyes.
"I've always hated people who ask too many questions, so I only ask two: What's the job and what's the pay?"
Upon hearing the word pilot leaving BOB-5's 'mouth', Yorke interest in the machine had risen to new heights. Continuing to listen the robot, Yorke can began realizing his immense luck as the he continued speaking about his past experiences with piloting.
"I've always hated people who ask too many questions, so I only ask two: What's the job and what's the pay?" BOB-5 said ending his speech and looking towards Yorke for an answer.
"You're in luck, Bob. It just so happens that I need a pilot and you seem to more than fit the quota if what you're telling me is true." Yorke said pausing taking a small sip from his drink before continuing. "As for pay, I can't tell you the exact amount since it can vary depending on the job."
"'Depending on the job,' eh? Just who are you working for?" BOB-5 looked at the man with confusion, well as much as a confused look can cross a machine's face.
"I'm sure you've heard of them, but the BCA." Yorke responded hoping that this would convince the machine to become part of his expanding crew.
"BCA, eh? Yeah, I've done work for them on occasions in the past. Tough work but good pay. It's all sort of hush hush, don't know much about the organization itself, but doesn't matter as long as I get some good bucks. I normally don't accept jobs like this, but you make a good first impression. So, I'll ride with you until I get the money I need to retire, just let me see some action and do more than stare at stars." BOB-5 pondered, and made up his mind.
Yorke seemed to be content with the machine's decision to join him and held out his hand. "Welcome to the Dawn Voyager. " BOB-5 took the hand and put it into his own mechanical one before talking. "Now that I'm part of your crew, how about we celebrate? Your treat, of course."
Yorke looked at BOB-5's still full drink and looked at the machine with an almost confused look, "Do you even drink? I mean I brought you one before, but you haven't even taken a sip yet." he said drinking some of his own alcohol. "Not in the mood to drink right now. What with the dead body and lying right next to ya; that reminds me, do you want that arsehole's drink?" BOB-5 and pointed towards the dead man's drink which was still untouched minus the speck of blood upon the glassware.
Yorke rejected offer, "I'm not exactly into drinking a dead man's alcohol." the machine simply shrugged, "You being my captain and all, I'm sure you know where we heading first then."
"Wherever you're heading, I'm willing to bet the Plaht that Mister "Duster" here tipped me with that I can get you there faster than any other navigator on Ord Melul can." Basta shifted her weight onto her other foot as she held up a pitcher of beer, "Refill?"
The Altiac woman wore navy blue vest over a tan button-up with a sapphire scarf around her neck. Flicking her shoulder-length maple hair, she looked at the human and synthetic, "So?"
Yorke motioned his hand to kindly reject the offer before looking up towards the feline, "Forgive me for not believing you, but I'm not exactly convinced that you're a navigator." BOB-5 seemed to be repressing laughter and fidgeting with his drink to him preoccupied.
Basta seemed to be almost offended by the remark, "I can assure you that I'll be able to find short cuts and prove to be effect as a navigator, these are some of my specialties."
"...shortcuts and drinks, lassie." BOB-5 snickered to himself.
Basta gave a small glare at the synthetic, "Remember, I still have a round in that shotgun."
Turning back to Yorke, she set the pitcher down and pulled up a chair next to the dead guy, "You're not the first captain to come in here looking for navigation help. I've made a bit of a side business selling my knowledge of shortcuts, and I've made more with that than what Bolts here tipped me." Basta placed an arm on the table and leaned in on it, "You wouldn't be the first BCA employee I've helped out."
Yorke shot the feline a look of disbelief, "You helped the BCA before?" looking for her to utter confirmation of the fact. Basta nodded before continuing with, "I've helped my fair share of travelers on their way to the next planet or two." her lips curling into a smile as remembered the others who were lost previously and her advice managed to get them out of these situations.
This is too good to just have happened all of a sudden. There has to be something else and I'm going to need some sort of proof. Yorke thought over to himself with his hand reaching for his facial hair. "Do have anyone willing to vouch for you? Or at least some sort of proof that you're as good as you say you are?"
Basta threw her head back and laughed, "All those people have gone on from Ord Melul and haven't looked back." Sighing and looking back to the human, she smiled, "Tell you what, I'm using to making bets, so I'll make a bet with you. I'll join you for the first mission, and if I can get you there faster than the normal route, then I'll join your little crew. If not, you can unceremoniously toss me out on Altaicia. My family has been wanting to have a word with me for a few years now..."
Basta stood up, placed her leg on her on the chair, and extended her hand to the human, "So, do we have a deal Mister..."
"You're willing to put that much on the line just to prove a point?" partially hoping the woman was joking about this all. "I mean from what I can tell you have built a life here and have remained popular in this bar, but you're willing to throw it away just to prove a point." Yorke ended with as he took one sip before his drink went empty.
"I'm a woman of my word. If this is what it takes to convince you that I should join then so be it." Basta said with confidence in her voice and looked Yorke straight in the eyes, "So we have a deal?"
Yorke looked towards his newly-made pilot who simply shrugged his mechanical shoulders as a response. The male began weighing out his options and indeed they seemed few by his standards. I don't know where else I'm going to find a navigator practically offering her services to me and so eager to prove herself that'd she put everything she worked for on the line. Yorke went his thoughts several more times before finally coming to a conclusion. "You got yourself a bet." he said holding his hand out towards her.
Shaking his hand, Basta smiled, "Don't worry about the bar, the place was already hopping before I came. Mitchell just hired me for my looks and ability to make a damned good cocktail."
Letting go, Basta walked back to the bar and hopped it, "MITCH! I'm taking that vacation you recommended I take. Get Iris to cover me, she needs the cash anyways." She then bent down and shoving bottles into a back, causing a mass amount of clinking that caused a middle-aged human to come out of the back.
"Basta, you're signed up for the rest of the week....you can't just walk out now!"
Looking at him as she grabbed the shotgun from behind the counter, she shrugged, "An opportunity came up and I'm taking it. Oh, while I'm gone, kick that drunk out who keeps playing 'Copperfront' on the jukebox. You wouldn't believe how many fights broke out over it."
Leaping back over the counter Basta rolled her neck, "So, if I'm taking orders from you, I should at least know your name and drink of choice."
"Jack Yorke." he said and began getting out of his seat. BOB-5 followed his lead and got out of his own seat and putting his cards in his pocket. "Nice to meet you, Yorke. My name is Basta Sekmet and I'm more than prepared to show you that I can be your navigator." the feline said overlooking her shotgun and dusting herself off afterwards.
The three of them began heading for door and was met a couple of men shouting towards the trio, specifically Basta saying they would miss her drinks, along with some cat calls coming from the crowd. "Looks like your fan club is going to miss you while you're on vacation." BOB-5 said as Jack closed the door to Shezmu's Blood.
Noticing the moon rising and the streets becoming more crowded with people heading out for night on the town, Yorke looked pulled out his pocket watch and saw the time before looking towards the two newly joined members of the Dawn Voyager. "You both should head home for the time being. I'll contact you guys once preparations are finalized."
The morning sun's light and warmth stretched across the horizon of Ord Melul. Despite the warmth and light being provided by it, it little to improve the mood of the of the part of the Jethro District that Yorke was walking through. That tip better be right or else I might end up being part of attempted robbery scheme that went wrong. He thought as walked through the streets with his grey eyes focused on his surroundings. Pulling out his tablet, he noticed that he was heading in the right direction and was nearing his destination with every step.
The next few minutes passed interestingly as Yorke ended up in an alleyway with a couple of men guarding a door. "You need something?" one of the more burly men spoke up and looking towards Yorke for an answer.
"Yes, I'm here for an 'appointment'." Yorke responded and looked towards the men who simply looked at each other and whispered amongst themselves. Yorke was slowly, discretely reaching for his firearm, not liking the feeling that the men were giving off. One of the men reached for the door's handle and opened it. Yorke relaxed his movements and thanked the men before heading inside.
A man was wiping off some medical tools when he saw Yorke come in. "All right, give it to me straight, I can help with whatever problem you got no questions asked...for the right amount of money of course.." The man put down the tool and walked to a chair and sat down. "So what will it be bud?"
Yorke looked at the man and examined him. Hmm the tip said that two of them worked here, where's the other one? His train of thought was interrupted when one of the doormen came in. "Umm we got a problem Doc..." The man looked up at him. "What is it?" Gunfire was heard outside as a another man, with a bag, came running through the alley. "Quick get inside!" yelled the second doorman as he pulled out his pistol.
Scanning his eyes across the room, Yorke began looking for some sort of object that'd provide temporary cover. Making a quick dash for one of the wooden tables, Yorke knocked it over and crouched behind before more shots rang out. Reaching for his holster and pulling out his H&C Peacekeeper taking count of the ammunition within it. Full cylinder and some cover. Things aren't going as planned, but at least I can improvise! Yorke thought himself as he gritted his teeth and peaked out of his cover.
Raising his firearm to eye level and looking through the sights to train his sight of any targets that would come barging into the room. Seeing the barrel of a firearm, Yorke fired off a shot and hit the barrel causing its owner to drop the firearm. "Son of a bitch! Hurry up, guys before this asshole hits me next time!" the shout came from outside of the room and expecting it to be the owner of the firearm. More than one thug, that's at least some relief that I'm beginning to figure out their numbers.
The sound of another body taking cover behind the table made Yorke snap out of his thoughts. Noticing the man next to him and taking in some of his features such as his brown hair and cybernetic arm.
"Stefan what happened? I thought that errand I sent you on would be simple," said the doctor.
The man looked sternly at the elderly doctor. "You didn't mention that I was going to be getting it from one of the cartels!" Multiple sounds of gunshots were getting closer and closer to the shack, and the doorman was the first to go. "Shit!"
Stefan started breaking one of the floorboards and equipped himself with a Bower shotgun. "I'm sorry if you got caught in this," Stefan said to Yorke. "but I was convinced that this was going to be a simple job for Doc here." He began to load shells into the shotgun. "Tell you what, I'll give you some medical supplies when this is over. So mind if I have some help here?"
2 cartel members stacked up near the door. "Come out Kanoff! We know you're in there! Make this easy on yourself and the Doc and we promise to give the both of you a quick and painless death!" Stefan took out his Foley pistols and put them near his shells.
Yorke nodded as his partner got his own firearms prepared for the incoming cartel members. Both men waited behind the cover and heard the gentle tapping of footsteps and were feeling their respective weapons as they waited for the moment that one of the cartel members entered the room. It didn't take long before one of them burst into the room and fired two rounds into the room and impacted the table.
Yorke and Kanoff lifted themselves from their cover and proceeded to return fire of their own. The plasma-enhanced slug impacted the man's right arm causing him to yell in pain before a shotgun shell blew his chest open. Both men returned to cover as the other member burst into the room and fired his shotgun towards the men, but his shell only hit the wall. Before he could pump his shotgun, one of the slugs impacted his leg dropping the man. He tried dragging himself back behind the door, but a shell blew his arm off. Seeing now way out the man reached for his sidearm and shouted towards the two, "C'mon you cowards! I'll take both of you wi-" his sentence was cut off as plasma slug burrowed itself into his neck.
Yorke returned to his cover and looked at Stefan, who still had the same calm expression on his face. He's definitely seen some action before. No way any ordinary back alley surgeon's assistant could keep this straight face in combat.
Stefan kept a straight face while firing at the cartel members. He quickly switched to his Foley pistol and continued to return fire. Ok there's only four of them left. I'm going to have to make these shots count. Stefan thought as he took some deep breaths behind cover. The cartel members began to return fire at the two of them.
Just wait until they reload, and then quickly take them out. Stefan started to counting in his head. 10 seconds later, rifles clicked and as if on cue Stefan went out of cover and began shooting at the doorway killing a cartel member and wounding another one.
What the hell did this guy do before becoming a surgeon's assistant? Is he former military? No wait stop, focus one step at a time. Yorke moved up to the doorway as Stefan went behind cover near a crate. "There's only three of them left," he mouthed the words to Yorke. He motioned two were on the left and was seeking cover on the right.
Yorke looked the motions of his new ally and nodded and prepared his Peacekeeper, while Stefan loaded a new magazine into his own sidearm. Slowing his breath as he waited for one of the men to enter the doorway. The slow dripping of blood as footsteps began moving progressively closer to the entrance.
The first part of the figure was simply the barrel of his shotgun as the shouldered weapon began to scan the room looking for the two defenders. The barrel was grabbed by a hand and the owner of the weapon tried to jerk it back, but lost his balance as he was being pulled into the room. Yorke smashed the man's shotgun into his chin causing crack to echo. The yelled in both fury and pain and he attempted to deliver a right hook onto the perpetrator, but was met with a block and then a fist to his stomach. Dropping his shotgun the man's hand went over gut as a kick connected with his stunned frame and knocked him into a wall. Yorke aimed his sidearm and fired three rounds into the downed man making certain that he wouldn't get up.
Stefan had seen the events which had just occurred and looked towards Yorke with a new interest. This isn't one our usual types of customers.... he thought before snapping his attention back towards the doorway as another man came charging into the room intent on avenging his fallen comrade. Stefan fired two rounds and both made their mark on the man, one hitting his leg and other connecting with his side. Yorke towards turn the man delivered a swift punch towards the man. Another round ejected itself from Stefan's barrel and got the man through his heart. One more to go.
Stefan kept pressing on outside towards the last cartel member.
The member, hiding behind some trash cans was breathing heavily after witnessing his friends getting shot. Footsteps kept getting closer and closer to him. He appeared out of covered and aimed at aka off.
"Stefan look out!" yelled the Doc. The member smiled and pulled the trigger, but a click was heard. Stefan in turn smiled, "Always remember to reload ya idiot!" Stefan shot the last cartel member dead.
Scanning the room with grey eyes and noticing the situation was now under control, but the others specifically the doctor and guards seemed a bit on edge after the events which just occurred. Small arms and spent bullet casings littered the floor as Yorke checked his own firearm for how many rounds were still inside the cylinder. Two rounds stay lay within the weapon and being satisfied with that knowledge he closed put it back in its holster.
"Thank you for helping clean this whole mess." The doctor said attempting to make casual conversation in a very abnormal situation. Walking towards Yorke he put out his hand which he took and shook. "Sorry, but I never quite got your name." the doctor said with an awkward getting past his lips.
"Jack Yorke. Who exactly were those guys that just barged in?" Yorke said hoping to get more information about the situation at hand.
Stefan walked up behind Yorke. "They're part of the Arcadian Cartel." Stefan unloads his pistol and puts it down in the table. "I was supposed to get unregistered equipment from one of their supply crates, but I was misinformed who the owners would be." Kanoff stares at the Doc.
"I can't perform operations without anesthetic," the Doc says, looking through the bag, "And we go through it at such a high rate..."
So he is former military and from the sound of it he's actually seen real action in the field before. Yorke thought to himself before returning himself to the conversation and spoke to the men. "You think Arcadian Cartel is going to give you any more trouble; I mean I'd hate if they had to send any more of their guys to the same fate as these." Yorke bends down to pick up a small brown packet that had fallen out of the bag, and gives it a sniff.
"Honestly, I have a feeling that we might be seeing more of them soon," replied Stefan. "And Doc you can't constantly have me clean up your messes. Besides we shouldn't have lost Raze to this," he said gesturing to the dead doorman.
"Raze knew what he was signing up for, and you should too Stefan. I'm doing this for the best interests for all of us here," said Doc. The other doorman started to carry Raze's dead body and placed it in a body bag.
"Doc, you said this was anesthetic?" Yorke says.
"Yeah," the Doc replies, "Why?"
"This is raw opium. If you're using this to dull the pain, no wonder you have so many repeat customers."
"If that's opium, what you have there should last years. How are you going through it so fast?" Stefan asks.
"Well, Stefan, there's a good reason for that..." the Doc stammers
"Ah. I see. You're a dealer." Yorke says.
"What? No... that... that's not..."
"It actually fits," Stefan says. "This is the last straw, Doc. I quit."
"Wait Stefan what are you doing?!" asked the Doc, "Quit?! You can't quit! Who's going to be assisting me with my jobs?"
"Well you're gonna have to figure that out yourself." Stefan started to walk out of the complex.
Yorke looked as Stefan left the building and then turned his attention towards the doctor who took a seat and looked deep in thought. "You going to be alright? Those cartels are probably going to keep hitting this joint till they collect." he said looking at the man with concern for his safety and that of his employees.
"Me and my guards will be alright, I'm sure they won't be sending any more men if their last wave got devastated." the doctor said trying to muster a smile, but failing to do so. "Also, since I lost my assistant, I'm afraid I won't be able to help you with anything."
Yorke nodded as began making his towards doorway in pursuit of the man who just quit, "Goodbye, doctor." Upon entering the alley, Yorke's eyes scanned both possible directions where Stefan could've gone. He couldn't have gone too far he thought as he headed towards his right. And since he is now unemployed I'm sure he'll find my offer more than tempting. His lips curling into a small smirk as he began his search.
Stefan sighed as he walked along the busy streets. Great I'm out of the job, I won't be able to scrounge for any medical supplies myself, he thought as he checks his account and I'm low on money. Whoop de doo can this get any worse for me. Stefan walks into a gentlemen's club and sat down in a booth.
"Hey Stefan! What brings you here today?" asked a polite voice. Stefan looks up at one of the waitresses and smiles at her.
"Hey Cassi, umm just felt like coming in here. Had a rough day at work."
"Aww don't worry, I'll make sure you'll feel right at home here," she responded. "You want the usual right?" Stefan nods and Cassi went back to the bar.
"So, she someone you like?" asked a man sitting in the same booth.
Stefan looked at him, Oh it's the guy at the clinic earlier. Wonder why he followed me though? "Well...umm yeah maybe you could say that," he said feeling that he won't be able to lie out of this.
"You know I gotta say that I would never exactly pin you as the one who goes to a place like this." Yorke said towards Stefan.
"I had a rough day and you should since you were there with me." the man responded, "Yorke, was it?" to which the man nodded in confirmation. I know that I've heard that name somewhere before, but I can't put my finger on it.
Both men continued to sit in silence as they both appeared to be studying each other and trying to get a better feel for the other. It wasn't long before one of them managed to break the silence and spoke up, "What are you going to do now?" Yorke said hoping to strike up a conversation with the man.
"Huh?," Stefan said as his gaze broke and he took a moment before responding, "You know I'm not exactly sure. That was the only job that I had, besides I am not determined to head back there considering everything that just happened."
Yorke chuckled a bit and ran his hand through his hair, "I can tell by the way you stormed out there without even a second thought. You have to have something some sort of plan and I'm fairly certain that you can't bust out the old resume with 'Backwater Doctor's Assistant' under previous job experience."
Stefan chuckles a bit. "Well I'm a friend of one of the waitresses here. I'm not really into this kind of place, but I do get a discount off of drinks and food since I know one of the employees. Speaking of which here she comes now."
Cassi walks back to the booth and puts down a bottle in front of Stefan. "Here ya go Stefan!" she said cheerfully. Cassi looks towards Yorke. "Oh is this a friend of yours Stefan?"
"You can say that, I barely just met him several minutes ago."
"It's true," replied Yorke.
"Well since your here, do you want anything to drink as well?" asked Cassi.
"I'll have what he's having," said Yorke.
"All right then! Be right back!" Cassi walked off to the bar.
"She's a good girl, she's practically one of the reasons why I even stayed in that back water clinic. The club is just a short walk from there." Yorke nodded as the two were waiting for his drink. Stefan took small sips at a time. Hmm why would someone like Yorke come to a guy who works at-well formally worked at a back water clinic. I just can't put my finger on it.
"The way fought back there at the clinic," said Yorke. "No ordinary doctor's assistant wouldn't have been able to pull off what you did."
Stefan puts down his bottle and looked at Yorke. "Hmm maybe it was just dumb luck, after all the cartel members aren't really good fighters."
Yorke smiled at the man as he continued to drink, "Those cartel members weren't good fighters, but you were back there and what you did wasn't just dumb luck." he said casually and leaned slightly in the man's direction. Stefan raised his eyebrow in an attempt to feign confusion. "I heard what your boss, well former boss said before you stormed out. You're a veteran."
"And what about it? Sure, I may be a veteran, but those days are behind me now." Stefan responded no longer trying to hide this fact as he found it futile. "Why does it matter? I mean it doesn't exactly change anything between us."
"And that my friend it where you are wrong. It adds something entirely new to this equation and why I followed you here." Yorke responded.
Stefan leans towards Yorke with some interest and curiosity. "What are you trying to imply?" he asked.
Yorke smirked. "I was wondering if you'd be interested in joining my crew," Yorke replied. "I have ship, and already recruited a couple of interesting people. Plus after seeing you in action back, I could use a man like you."
Stefan takes another sip from his bottle, "Hmm why, do you want me to be your errand boy?"
"Oh no, I wouldn't want to have you do meaningless tasks like that," said Yorke. "Besides I have yet to see you use your other skills."
Stefan nods a bit. Hmm maybe this guy could be the real deal, or maybe just some con artist. But hey, I could use a job. "This all sounds promising."
"I can assure you that it will be all the more greater if you decide to join me." Yorke said with the glint of hope in his eyes shining all the more greater. C'mon Yorke, you got him right where ya want him. "Plus, if my memory serves me correctly then you could actually use this as a source of income."
Stefan was about to reply before Cassi returned with Yorke's drink in hand and handing it to him, "Here's your drink. And will that be all?"
Stefan turned the woman before answering, "Yes, thank you Cassi. I'll be sure to pay before I leave." the waitress nodded before heading off to help attend to the other various customers within the establishment.
"How about it, Stefan. You willing to join me and my crew?" Yorke said as he popped the top of the drink and took a sip from it.
Stefan leans back in his chair and ponders for a moment. Hmm this guy can be the real deal. Well it's not like I got nothing to lose. Stefan leans towards the table, "Yorke you got yourself a deal," he said. "But on one condition, I want to see the other crew members of your ship. Plus your medical bay, I can be of use to you as a medic."
Yorke smiles at Stefan. "All right then." He extends his hand towards Stefan.
"By the way I wasn't able to formally introduce myself, I'm Stefan Kanoff." Stefan takes Yorke's hand and shakes it. "You were spot on about my former occupation," said Kanoff. "I was a former combat medic in the Bliss Armed Forces."
Stefan takes some money out of his wallet and puts it on the table. "Well I guess now would be a good time as always to get acquainted with my new employer and crew mates." The two stand up and start walking towards the entrance of the club. Cassi spots the two.
"Oh hey Stefan! Are you and your friend going already?" Stefan turns and looks at Cassi. "Yeah, thanks for the drinks again Cassi. The money is on the table."
Cassi smiles at Stefan. "No problem, you've always been a good friend to me."
"I probably won't be seeing you for a while now," he said. Cassi's eyes widened.
"Oh you got a new job?" Stefan nodded and gestured towards Yorke. Stefan takes out his wallet and gives Cassi one his cards.
"Here take this, it's a card linked a private bank account. Use this to take care of yourself. Hopefully one day we'll be able to meet up again."
Cassi looks at him and starts to tear up a bit, then suddenly hugs him. "Thank you Stefan, you've always been a good person and friend to me. Please do me a favor and stay safe!"
Stefan smiles and hugs her back. "I promise."
Cassi gives Stefan a kiss on the cheek. "Good luck!"
Yorke's trip to through town had been peaceful, considering the events which occurred merely hours before at the doctor's office and with his crew almost assembled his mood was heightened. Almost done with everything and all I need is one more member to the crew. Yorke brought his tablet out and begun examining the roles and those attached to them. Each of the names had a saw description below them and personal comments from Yorke under them. All I'm missing is an engineer and he should be around this area.
Continuing down the street among the various commuters, Yorke examined the recommendation from the Niso secretary. Abram Abakumov. Human with cybernetic enhancements and prior history with engineering. Has been doing odd jobs in the past time since arriving on Ord Melul and is currently working as a local mechanic. Using information gathered by locals of the area I was able to determine his location, but trying to convince him will be another story.
Yorke sighed to himself as he placed the tablet back within his pocket and continued walking towards his destination. Placing one hand over his facial hair and scratched it as he began thinking of ways to convince the man to become part of his crew.
A man sitting on a desk fixing a starship engine when he saw Yorke come in. "The names Abram I am a mechanic in this fine area. I can repair your ship or outfit with new weapons and robots. I have things you are not even allowed to sell. But if you are a cop or bounty hunter I would suggest you leave before things get messy." He then goes back to fixing the engine rewiring it and then sealing it. He then just throws it into a bin at the back of the store.
"I seem to have caught you at a busy time. You want me to come back later?" Yorke said attempting to strike conversation between the two.
"You don't have to go. Fixing stuff like that is nothing special, but as long as people don't know how to fix 'em I keep making money." Abram said with a smile as he reached for a nearby cloth.
"Good." Yorke responded before taking a nearby seat, "And to answer your previous question: No, I'm not a cop or a bounty hunter. Although, you shouldn't be going around asking people who enter your store this question, I mean what if one day you do run into that cop or bounty hunter?"
Cleaning his forehead from sweat and the other reaching for a water bottle before responding. "I suppose that I'll need to be the quicker on the draw than them. Besides it isn't like anyone takes that question seriously." Abram said before a sip of his water.
"Not many people take that seriously, anyway. Except for that one guy who tried to tell the local police. Let's just say I had to make a stop to the junkyard." Abram smiles and then reaches under his desk. He pulls out a decapitated robot head and begins to attach to a lamp.
"So why are you here?" Abram says as he finishes attaching the head. "Also, just out of curiosity, have you seen any robots around here? I need some pieces. I'm running low now.
Yorke's eyebrows were raised as he looked at the machine's head upon the lamp, "No, I don't think I know any robots that'd be willingly scavenged for spare parts."
Abram sighed and reclined himself back into his seat, "Looks like I'll have to buy those parts or look for other sources." placing a hand on his forehead before adjusting himself to his seat. "So why are you here?"
"I heard that you're a good engineer and wanted to see your handiwork with my own eyes." Yorke's eyes shifted towards the bin. "Looks like you can hold your own while working engines. Anything else that you can show to me?"
Abram mood piqued up upon hearing the man asking to see his handiwork, "I have you know that my work is in great quality and I'd willing to show you, but I'm going to need a name." "Jack Yorke." he responded extending his hand towards Abram.
"If you would like to see some of my work follow me." Abram walks into the backroom and inside is a fixed starship. "It was almost completely broken when I came here. There were scorch marks all over it and the airlock was broken. Then they brought it to me. Within a week it was fully operational." Abram smiles and then enters another room. "You seem like a man I can confide this next room is where I make illegal weapons do not tell anyone about it."
"But onto the main point what do you want with me. It is obvious you do not want a repair and asking to see my work is not normal customer behaviour so what do you want?."
"You must be confident in your abilities and you should keep the whole illegal weapons thing a bit quiet. I may not be a cop, but you don't want to mention it to one that comes in." Yorke said while looking over the starship, it wasn't anything too grand, but it clearly displayed the talents of an engineer who knew and loved his work. Abram took pride in the fact that his fixed ship had piqued the curiosity of Yorke.
"Now, what exactly are your reasons for coming here?" Abram said trying to understand Yorke's motives.
"I wanted to see your work first before I made my final decision to offer you this position or not." Yorke said now returning his attention towards Abram.
"What exactly are you going on about?" Abram said before taking another sip of his water bottle.
"I'm here to offer you a position as the engineer of my ship, The Dawn Voyager." he responded and intent on hearing the man's answer.
"I'll join but first I want to see your crew. I don't want to join a crew that is incompetent if I am happy I will join if not, then I don't. Also how much am I being paid. I may not like it here but it is better than not having any money." Abram then walks over to a large gun and begins to loosen and tightening screws and then adding a few things and then sealing it up.
"Also I have a favor if there is a robot onboard who wants upgrades I can do it. Well lets go see this crew shall we?"
"As captain, I can assure you that none of the men or women, I hand-picked for my crew are more than competent to get the job done." Yorke making his way to exit the room and entering the lobby. "As for pay, our payment can vary depending on the job at hand and based who we're working for I'd have to say that pay is good." Abram walked behind him and turned out the lights before locking the door.
Abram pull out a large duffle bag from out under the desk and let it drop upon it. Opening it up, he began placing his firearm into the bag and zipping it up. "You must be confident based on your tone."
Yorke looked at the engineer, "I am," he said placing his hand upon the entrance to the building, "Also, I'm going to need you to give me your contact information.
"Sure can do." Abram said as he gave Yorke his contact information.
"Thanks, I'll contact you soon. When I contact you, I'll give you our meeting place, where you'll be able to meet the rest of the crew." Yorke opened the door and began walking out before turning his head back towards Abram who tossed the duffle bag over his shoulder, "Goodbye."
Lloyd looked over his new employees in the hangar. As expected, Yorke had pieced together a highly competent, professional crew. Out of his six hirees, four were former military. The other two - his navigator and engineer - were similarly ideal picks, being quite skilled at their jobs.
Also as expected, Harre's crew was functional at best. Unlike Yorke's crew, none of them had been even considered for employment by the BCA.
Maybe I'll just take a very, very large chunk out of his contracts for the time being. Let them mutiny on him
"Good that you're all gathered here," he says, none of his misgivings showing through, "And your ships are fueled and shiny. Everyone get their stuff moved in, check systems, and launch. Remain in orbit above Ord Melul after liftoff; I will contact you around noon to give the first contract."
Nodding in dismissal, he walks out as the two crews start gathering their things while the boarding ramps lower. He halts at the door, just before the ships finish opening.
"And one last thing," he says, not turning around, "Don't even think of stealing these ships. Remember," he says as his hair shifts into two stalks, each holding a seemingly disembodied eye and mouth, "I have eyes everywhere." Seeing that the message was appropriately sent, he shifts the stalks back into his hair. He then turns around and tips his hat.
"Have a good flight."
Yorke looked towards his allies before stopping and looking at them, "I've sent the layout of the ship to you all. I've assigned your rooms and if you have any concerns, then address them once we begin our meeting. I've given you enough time to get your stuff moved in before then and wish that you'll be done when it starts."
Most of those group nodded their heads as they began looking at the layout upon their various devices. "Anything else we need to know, lad?" BOB-5 said with hands placed upon his bag once again, prepared to leave towards his newly assigned room. "No. That will be all for the time being. Dismissed." Yorke responded as the others began heading towards their respective rooms.
Picking up his bag, Yorke continued walking towards his room and heard the various voices of his shipmates as they began getting settled into their rooms. Looks like their enjoying their accommodations. Good way to start off the group morale. Upon reaching the door, he opened the door and left it open for any of his shipmates to come in. Dropping his bags upon the bed and opening them. He began shifting through the bags and began taking out some of its contents.
One Hour Later
Yorke looked at room after he was done unpacking and seemed to be content with the current situation of room minus some messy parts which would be fixed later. Pulling out his pocket watch he looked at the time and noticed the meeting should be starting soon. Putting away the watch, he began making his way to the meeting room.
After a short walk, Yorke located the room and entered in it. The room was large enough for his crew and with enough chairs for each of them. There was a display board upon one of the walls where they'd decide their agenda and various assignments. Reaching out for the intercom, Yorke made the announcement to the occupants of the ship "The meeting is about to start in five minutes; make your way down to the meeting room at this time."
BOB-5 settled in as soon as he boarded the Dawn Voyager. A room in the cargo hold was ideal, it was quiet and relatively hard to locate, perfect for someone not keen on interacting with the rest of the crew, and a nice view of space made it even better. The robot decorated the room with memorabilia of his past jobs. Prized guns. Bounty posters. Even some "souvenirs" off his kills. The room was small, but BOB didn't need anything but a closet to sleep with and some entertainment.
BOB sat down at a workbench to polish an old Heckler & Colt rifle of his while tuning into StarWave radio. Guns and old world music were two of the small amount of things that he took pleasure in, so a bit of Queen to go with cleaning up a gun went well.
"The meeting is about to start in five minutes; make your way down to the meeting room at this time." BOB sighed and sat his rifle down, flicking off the radio and room lights on his way to the meeting room.
Stepping off the elevator, BOB already heard chatter going on down the hall. Walking into the room, BOB examined the crew, scanning them for any entries in the Pan-Galactic Information Network. In an instant, BOB knew any public information on them and had already formed his first impressions before even taking his seat. Next to him was Har-Bak, a dirty Scorp who would surely smell if BOB had nostrils. Across from him was a man who had the robot's attention when he stepped in.
"Alright everybody, take a moment to introduce yourselves to each other, it's important to get along. The meeting will start shortly." Yorke got everyone's attention, hoping for a good boost in crew morale. If the mission was to be a success, people had to get along.
Gladly will, Yorke. BOB thought to himself, before slowly standing off and reaching to his side. Abram looked up to see the synthetic towering over him. "Can I help you?" Abakumov jokingly asked. "Definitely, love." BOB kicked Abram onto the ground and drew out one of his Demon pistols, getting everyone's attention and guns drawn and pointed at BOB's back. One foot on him and a gun in his face was all that was needed to keep the Russian down.
"So, Yorke, you do background checks on your crew or do you not mind harboring a fugitive?" BOB sarcastically asked Yorke, not moving Abakumov out of his sight.
"What the hell are you talking about, BOB?" Yorke asked while aiming his Peacekeeper revolver at BOB across the room.
"You brought on Abram Abakumov, a wanted man with a good 147 Plaht bounty. Charges are racketeering, fraud, smuggling, fleeing justice, and murder. Seems worth killing to me. I could use the money. If the rest of you want to protect this man, you're no better than he is."
Jack Yorke was still processing the entire situation at hand as his eyes shifted around the room. BOB-5 still had his sidearm traced upon the downed Russian who was trying to reach around for any possible way to get the synthetic's foot off of him. Har-Bak and Rh'ka both seemed to be prepared to pull the trigger the moment arrived to do so, although whether they seemed more intent on killing Abram or BOB-5 was unknown. Basta seemed indifferent about the situation and gave off the sense of 'your call, Yorke.' Stefan also seemed to be thinking the situation over and appeared less intent on the idea of pulling the trigger.
So I have my pilot crushing the engineer under his metallic foot and pointing his gun at him. Abram is wanted criminal on multiple various accounts of crime and he's struggling. To add to this all, I have the rest of my crew aiming their firearms at robot and most seem willing to fire if things go south. Right. This isn't exactly how I wanted this meeting to go down, but I got work with what I got. Yorke thought before returning his attention to the situation. BOB-5 continued to stare at the group and Abram was still struggling.
"BOB-5, stand down. Look we can talk these things out, there is no need to start a small firefight." Yorke said continued to watch the movements of the robot, "Look as a gesture of good will." he returned the Peacekeeper to its holster.
BOB-5's grip upon his pistol seemed to loosen, but only slightly, "I'm not exactly sure what you want from this man. He's worth his fair share of coin and isn't exactly in the position to fight back."
"Look, he may be worth some money, but he's worth more to us alive than dead. He may be a criminal, but-" Yorke was cut by BOB-5, "I'm not hearing the convincing argument." as began applying more pressure onto the downed Russian's face. "When I met you it wasn't exactly the most pretty sight, but I choose you because I believed you had the skills that my crew needed. Even with the knowledge that the man under your foot may be wanted, he can prove himself with his abilities."
BOB-5 took his digit off the trigger and holstered it, then kneeling down to help Abram back up. Everyone else withdrew their guns off him, with Basta yawning. Wasn't the first time BOB's tried to kill someone in her presence.
"Keep a mental note kid, as soon as this job's done, you're a dead man. Start planning your funeral, find a good place to get buried, I hear Skeaver space is nice. The rest of you...I'll be in my room if you need me." BOB intimidated Abram and slowly walked off back to his quarters as the room went quiet.
Despite hearing 'Skeavers' before the synthetic left, Basta cleared her throat and stood up, "Now that the excitement is over, I'm Basta Sekmet and in addition to knowing every shortcut in the Galaxy, I'm a damned good bartender who brought her own booze."
Leaning forward on the table, she gave a serious look to the others, "I just want to get one thing clear, the first person who makes a joke comparing me to an Earth cat won't see booze for a month." Thinking that she had made her point, she sat down and began sipping the green drink she had brought with her to the meeting room.
"Name's Har-Bak." The Eurypt casually lit one of his seemingly endless cigars, his hand carefully cupping around the match while doing so. Satisfied, Har-Bak waved the match, extinguishing it's flame. "I'll be your weapons guy. For the rest of the ride, I'll be checking our weapons systems." The four-armed alien then crossed his arms, two on his chest and two behind his head.
Itslthmis stood up. "Name's Itslthmis Rh'ka. Special forces, home-made drug maker, and sniper. I'll be shooting things that look hostile."
Itslthmis sat back down, putting her feet on the table.
Stefan drank a bit from his bottle, forgetting it was his turn. "Oh me already!" He put down the bottle and stood up. "Ok," he clears his throat. "I'm Stefan Kanoff, former infantry ground unit of the Bliss Military, experienced combat medic, and if you need any medical supplies I'm your guy. Also I'm aptly known for the abuse I take and payoff I get-"
Har-Bak interrupted him. "I need to know what you do, not your backstory or your sales pitch."
"Uhh ok then," Stefan grabbed his bottle and sat back down.
Abram stands up and says "Hello there everyone I am the engineer on this ship. That crazy robot just tried to collect the bounty on my head. Yes it is true I am wanted, I did kill men and women and I am not proud of it. I did it because I had to." Abram then looks around the ship and says, "Onto what I am here for. I am going to be fixing the ship and other systems on this ship." Abram then sits back down.
Yorke observed his entire crew, minus their pilot. I'll send him the brief summary after this meeting. He was attentive as his crew began discussing their roles and some personal information about themselves, but some he'd regret hearing, such as Rh'ka's recreational drug production, but Basta's 'threat' of removing beverages was one that he took lightly. Abram willing to admit to BOB-5's accusations showed progress in his relationship with the crew, but it would take more than that for him to prove his worth and Yorke knew it.
"Well, now that you all know more about each other I find it only fair that you know a bit about myself." Yorke took a small pause before proceeding. "1st Lieutenant Jack Yorke, at your service. I've fought during the Centurion Civil War and was present during several major engagements and participated in the Battle Of Concordia." Stefan seemed to be particularly interested after hearing the statement, along with the others. "I've assisted and have commanded groups before during these engagements, which is why I believe Lloyd saw something in me and gave me command of this fine ship."
"I can assure that under my command that we'll operate as a team and will accomplish our missions, even if there may be some feelings of doubt. These feelings will be wiped away as we continue to work together and grow with each other. You were all chosen for the skill set that you offer to the group, and I firmly believe that you're all valuable parts of this crew."
All eyes were on Yorke after he finished his small speech. Clearing his throat, he turned his attention to the display upon the wall. "This will be our chain-of-command based on my current impressions of the group." The display lights up and displayed the names of the crew members.
- 1st-in-Command: Jack Yorke
- 2nd-in-Command: Stefan Kanoff
- Itslthmis Rh'ka
- Basta Sekmet
- Abram Abakumov
"This chain of command is subject to change." Yorke announced to the room as those in the room began looking the list over.
Basta finished her drink and looked around the table, "If that's all Yorke, I'll be down in the dining area making some drinks while we wait for our first mission." Getting up she stretched and headed for the door leaning in the frame, waiting to see if the Captain had any last orders.
"That will be all. Dismissed." Yorke said to the group before continuing, "If any of you desire to join Basta in drinking then do so, but only lightly. We still have a job to complete and I'd prefer it if my crew was sober during the mission." various group members nodded and made their way out of the room as Basta had left. "If any of you have anything in particular you want then feel free to tell me." she said towards the group, but was no longer in Yorke's line of sight.
Sighing to himself, Yorke took a nearby seat and laid back. Staring at the ceiling before he took out his tablet and began typing BOB-5 his message about what was discussed and his position on the ship. The messaged ended with Basta's offer of drinks to the crew, but leaving out the part where he recommended that that he take easy on the drinks. I doubt he could even get drunk to begin with. Yorke thought as sent the message to his pilot.
Lifting himself out of the seat, he put away his tablet before stretching. Not much to do, until that mission starts, might as well join the rest of team for the time being. And with that thought, Yorke left the room making his way towards where the rest were heading.