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Fleur-de-lis Evans

"I don't know David," she said slumping against the seat. Her head was rushing. "I need hope," she said swiping a tear off her cheek. Her voice rose a little. "I've been evading them so long and they took everything. Not only did they leave Zoe and Mal on Serenity, they left my mother to go nearly crazy with Miranda. Then my father took her away from me, separating me from safety, knowing there's no way I could run to Simon and Kaylee. And, DAMN IT!" She whirled punching the ship. "I have to have something. And maybe he's all I got. I just... I'm tired of having to make a choice every step I take. What bar to drink in, which market to shop in, and damn it all, which place to bunker down for the night for a decent rest."

She fell silent, and listened to Khin from the other side of the door. What was he? This had happened to her Uncle, with Book. She waited trying to calm her heart rate down.

(Alright, sorry for the admonishment Mongoose, hope it wasn't out of line. But anyway hopefully Bleeding replies to her rant. She'll let you in but let Bleeding respond. And it was Sky who used the code, not Joe. Joe is entering from the gangway. She is the Captain and Mechanic on board.)

_____________

By the time she reached the gangway Joe had calmed. She remembered her father's advice. Trust those who make life hard, but step carefully with those who have more to them than seems right. She shook her head. Kingston stood at the base of the gangway.

"What's gong on Kingston?"

He looked up. "They want signiture, Cap," he said.

She marched up to the Alliance man and took the board. She scrawled a signature.

"I see. Thank you," the man said marching away.

"Get the gangway closed," she said. "We've got to get to Areial."

7/6/2010 #91
Bleeding Perfection

(Mongoose, let's say that when Kihn dodged David's grab, that David drew the 11.2 and aimed it at Kihn, then said what I had him say earlier. I see no correct place for me to insert that, and no way to edit it and make it fit. So we'll just go by my parenthesis clarification.)

David put a hand on Sky's shoulder. It had been a long time since he'd last seen her. Over five years. She had been a young girl back then, almost as old as River had been around the time that Mr. Universe had died.

"Life is tough for people outside the Alliance, Sky," he said, "I remember when I came here from a past timeline back on Earth. Things were tough for me back then. Your life will get better, with time, same as it was for me. A little fighting here, a little running there, and eventually you'll come out on top. It just takes time."

David smiled and moved to hug her.

7/7/2010 #92
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Sky gave him a watery smile. And after returning the embrace opened the hatchway. She stood in front of Khin.

"You tell us the truth," she said hands on her hips. "Book's secret nearly cost Serenity her crew, nearly. Luckily enough they treated him. There will be no secrets. Since you know so much about us you must tell us about you. There can be no secrets when this entire ships and its crew are putting their lives on the line for me and Joe."

_______

Joe boarded her ship watching the gangway close. It would be a long journey. She glanced over at her second in command. "Get her in the air. I have some things to sort out."

She mounted the stairs taking the easiest path to the mechanics quarters. Once she got there she said, "You know Sky is right. There are no secrets. I'm sure you remember quite clearly about Miranda, what this ships name represents for the verse. If we are taking you anywhere it's on our schedule, not yours, and you'll be flying an advanced shuttle, a mini-merchant of war so to speak. Meet in the back rooms in a few minutes. We'll begin our discussion there."

7/7/2010 #93
MongooseDelta

(Bleeding's parenthetical works for me. We'll just say that Kihn ignored the gun being held to his head, and maintained his focus on Joe, until both she and David departed. Then he followed them, as posted earlier.)

Kihn's expression was deadpan as he listened to Sky. Earlier he'd assumed a helpful, friendly dimeanor with her. Later, with Joe, he'd been assertive and pushy. It just seemed right. He couldn't put his finger on why. Now, he showed nothing, just standing there and listening. They were obviously rattled by his earlier performances, maybe by the flip flop. They hadn't quite settled yet, so he'd give them more time. Joe wanted a few minutes, and there were not quick and easy answers to what Sky had said, so he held his peace and waited for them to lead the way. After all, he didn't know where Joe planned to hold this meeting, his familiarity with a variety of ship layouts notwithstanding.

He'd have to think quick to determine what to tell them, such that three experienced . . . whatever you wanted to call them . . . wouldn't see lies strung throughout, or blatant threats and disrespect, or anything else they would reject.

7/7/2010 #94
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Joe's eyebrows knitted together. She led them to a back section, decorated in a western style. The couches were soft and there was a filled tea pot and several cups and saucers set out. She sat back in a winged chair.

"Well, to start with," she said. "My mother said something I think fits this situation."

She saw Sky perk up. Her cousin spoke up, "Trust is like a vase... once it's broken, though you can fix it, the vase will never be the same."

Sky opted to pour the tea out and perch on the dresser. She said slowly.

"Khin, I don't mean to seem like I'm turning on you. I just want to tell you a story. There was a man, with white hair and upstanding credentials. He claimed to be a Preacher. Mal found out he wasn't. It caused much discord on Serenity. The crew split in two directions. On one end, River, Mal, Simon, and Zoe were angry for his lie. However, Kaylee, Wash and Inara, they said that whatever his past, it did not matter. There were many scars on Serenity, among it's passengers. But the one thing all of them, even the three who defended him, based their lives on was trust."

Joe picked up the thread, "See, they had to trust one another. Jayne nearly sold out Simon and River. Mal took him to the air lock, while Serenity was flying, and told him that he had once more chance. One more chance to be apart of the crew. Do you realize what that meant? That meant each person protected each other, no skin off their nose mattered. They were all they had. That wasn't the only tension. From day one, since Dobbs, it took my father two years to gain Mal and Zoe's trust."

A voice came from the back of the room. "Trust was everything on Serenity, and remains everything on Miranda." A boy stepped out of the shadows standing behind Joe. "I should rephrase. Trust IS everything BECAUSE of Miranda. The secret that broke the crew apart. Shortly after they required the new part for Serenity, they disbanded to different planets. Because of their actions, because of the severity of River's role, and their role in the Alliance's scheme being known, they trusted only each other with their locations. Trust is everything on this ship. There can be no lies here."

The three remained silent. The boy, really a young man, at the age of 21, glanced at David. "Hello, I'm Steven."

(alright, I have to look back at the ages of Joe and Tanner. Sky is 16, I believe or was she 19, anyway she's younger than her cousin. Steven is Joe's boyfriend)

7/7/2010 #95
MongooseDelta

Kihn listened to their speeches in stoic silence. He'd expected some kind of interrogation of himself and his past and/or motives, not an in-depth justification of their existence and way of life, as though they were on trail. Never-the-less, they seemed to feel a need to say it, and it didn't hinder him in any way to hear it, so he let them have their say, looking from one to the other as they took the floor.

There came a time when their talk ended, and the room fell silent. They looked to him, as though it was his turn to speak (right?) so he did.

"It sounds like Serenity is very important to you all."

7/7/2010 #96
Fleur-de-lis Evans

"The people," Joe said. "And those stories are meant to show you how important the truth is. What are you Khin? Are you Alliance or truly Brown coat? If you're a double agent you put us all in danger."

7/8/2010 #97
MongooseDelta

Kihn chuckled a moment. "I put you no where. You all ARE in danger. You've been in danger ever since this splinter group I mentioned decided that the only way to ensure better worlds was the utter neutralization of any and all elements that didn't buy in. You'll recall, since we're speaking of history, that after the news of Miranda broke, a sort of dis-organized chaos resulted among those few who cared. The rest remained as they had been; complacent, accepting, even apathetic toward the status quo and their place in it. Efforts to re-start a war of independence were quickly squashed, but the Alliance knew it couldn't exercise the kind of control it had prior to Miranda. So as the next, wiser generation took over and they loosened their grip, even the browncoat holdouts, excepting yourselves and a few others of course, settled into the new lives they were allowed. So, as Mal was so fond of saying, 'the war's long done. We're all just folk now.'"

He paused for a moment (good place to interrupt if you want) and then continued (unless someone interrupted)

"But you asked who I am? Such a complex question, and I don't think you really care." He held up his hands, begging their forbearance. "What you really want to know is my allegiance, and I'll tell you right now that it's not to you. You can try to kill me now, if that's who and what YOU are, but I think you were brought up better than that. So why would I be that forthright with you? Because I think too highly of each of you to demean you by any attempt at deception, and besides, it probably wouldn't work. Am I Alliance? Am I Browncoat? Am I Splinter Cell? Is it even relevant? The answer to each of these questions is no. You see, I have this ideal . . ."

He was falling now into oratory, a tradition of his ancestors, or so he'd been told, and the room, the people seemed to fade from his consciousness as he lost himself in the story he told.

"There is a way things ought to be. There is a truth, a justice, a freedom that should be striven for by and for all. It is not the Alliance vision of better worlds. It is not the splinter cell vision of order and control exerted by any means necessary, by a huge centralized government. It is not the Browncoat ideal of anarchy and every man, woman, or group for themselves. But it does exist, and it is incumbent upon each person who grasps it within themselves to do all in their power to make it available to all others. Against this truth, this justice, this freedom other forces exert themselves with a will and endurance that can hardly be comprehended. As one Old Earth philosopher and revolutionary stated, all it takes for this evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. And so it falls to men and women who grasp this truth, justice and freedom, or at least for a few of them, to strive against that evil in the hopes that it may be hindered enough for the apathetic, the complacent, to continue their lives in truth, justice and freedom. I am, if you will, one of those few who continue to strive. River, I believe, is another. I maintain the hope that the three of you are others who strive for truth, justice and freedom, rather than simply neo-browncoats tied to bitterness over wrongs done to your ancestors, which will get you no-where fast."

Another pause of just a beat.

"As I said before, I offer my services, knowledge and expertise to Sky, if she will have them. Otherwise I'll be on my way, or you can attempt to take out your frustrations upon me."

He had been somewhat animated as he spoke earlier, gesturing significantly, but he now stood relaxed and watchful.

7/8/2010 #98
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Sky stood. "Very well," she said. "I trust you. Hopefully you know what this means."

She walked out, quickly walking to her favorite niche in the ship.

_________

Joe watched Kihn. "You realize that Sky has felt the burn of the worst betrayal that could be done? Her own fahter nearly got her caught. Twice."

She stood. "Fine, you take these keys," she said. "Your kip is in the central rooms of the boat." She shook her head. But she put a hand on Steven's arm. He stayed put, but didn't say a word to Khin. He just gave him a calculating look.

7/8/2010 #99
Bleeding Perfection

(Once again, I'm a bit late here.)

David looked at steven.

"Hey, what's up," he said, "I'm David."

He watched the conversation.

(In a bit of a hurry.)

7/8/2010 #100
MongooseDelta

(I'll wait for you to have time to finish David's reaction to the conversation before I post again. I am not in a hurry. I did wonder if anyone has a plan for the IC planning of this rescue mission, or if we're just going to figure it out as we go along. As you might have picked up, I'm a big fan of planning every IC move, including the IC planning, in OOC discussions. I don't know if anyone else is with me on that or not, and since this isn't my game I'm willing to go with whatever way the moderator wants to do it.)

7/8/2010 #101
Fleur-de-lis Evans

(I have a partial plan.. Is it alright with you if Zoe is actually in hiding... I think it'd be more for her character, since she's had a baby and all. I was thinking Sky could take a shuttle to see Zoe. Ask for her help, ya know. And maybe she could help with busting out River. I'm assuming also that Inara is still in high community, considering the fact she was only on Serenity for transport, even though she did fight a few times. She wouldn't, in my mind, have been put in jail. But Kaylee, Simon and Mal are.)

(Oh, is it alright if I make up planet names? maybe a place for Zoe to be... if you don't like the Zoe bit then ya know, whatever, it's all good)

Steven nodded. "Nice to meet you." His eyes seemed to brighten, become less serious. "Would you like to know the way of Miranda?" He motioned to the ship. "Her mission, and I can aquaint you with Theo, our man at arms."

Joe smiled. "While you go off and do that, I am going to the cockpit to relieve Anthony."With that she kissed Steven and went out the door. She turned at the last minute and said, "You can choose where to go Kihn, but you may find that Crissie and Amber can grace you with conversation more up your alley. We've started to get a plan together, so to speak. Our first stop is Carina, a fringe planet."

(remember Sky is off in her own niche in the ship, a room to the left of the infirmary.)

7/9/2010 #102
Abiz206

(Or we can just abandon the whole no charactors from the show rule. :P )

7/10/2010 #103
MongooseDelta

(Should my PC know who Crissie and Amber are, or are they NPC members of the crew?)

Kihn nodded to Sky right before she left, and then Joe.

"Thank you."

He figured he'd leave it at that.

They had given him enough information on his quarters, in combination with his prior knowledge of this kind of ship, for him to reach them, and that's just what he did. It had been a long and eventful day and he could use the rest.

He carefully set his pack down by the head of the platform that passed for a bed, draped his jacket over it. He decided to keep his load bearing gear on for at least this first nap -- he didn't trust the lock on the door, especially with this crew -- lay down and was asleep within the first two minutes after his head hit the small pillow.

7/11/2010 #104
Fleur-de-lis Evans

(No. They're just Crew Members)

Joe watched him leave. She sighed, turning to David, "Long time no see," she said. "If you want you can go pick a room or whatever. I have to go speak with the pilot."

___________

Steven watched her go. He decided he go see if Sky was up for a duel, maybe it'd help keep her mind of things. He made his way down to the Medical level, and turned right. "Hey, want to duel?"

Sky looked up. It would keep her mind of things, at least until they started launching the plan. "Sure, thing."

She rose, taking her saber off the wall and getting into position. She hadn't had an honorable fight in a long time, and it felt good to be somewhere remotely safe and out of the spot light.

7/11/2010 #105
MongooseDelta

(I was going to let him nap through the next round of posts, but Fleur says it's getting lonely, so I'm advancing the time line, as it pertains to Kihn.)

Exactly 45 minutes after his head hit the pillow, Kihn began to return to consciousness. He lay still for two minutes, processing, until he was more fully aware. Then he opened his eyes a crack, peering through his eye lashes, while remaining just as still and relaxed as he had for the last two minutes. He listened, smelled, and tasted the air, attempting to determine if anyone was around.

7/13/2010 #106
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Amber stood outside the new guy's kip. After pacing back toward the exit to the weapons deck she turned to the door. She raised her hand, rapping on the door.

7/13/2010 #107
MongooseDelta

Kihn rolled to a seated position, rubbed the salt from his eyes, and spoke. "Come in." The visitor would probably notice that he still wore his load bearing gear. He wondered, idly, what they'd think of that. If anything. He didn't even know who they were, as he'd been asleep when they walked by the first time, and two steps weren't quite enough for him to identify someone. But from the knock it sounded like an assertive female. That, of course, could be any member of the crew other than David or Steven. So Kihn waited to see who would walk through the door, and what they wanted.

7/13/2010 #108
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Amber opened the door, stepping only as far as a few feet from the door jam. "A fighter," she said. "You probably have good eyes for tactics and evasion as well." She tapped her foot. "We've got plans to help out Sky, after we land on Aerial. However, there's a contact we must make on planet and we haven't decided who should go in. Maybe you could help if I had my adviser explain what we were thinking. She's one deck below in the powder chamber."

She regarded him again. There were a lot of types like him, including her who didn't believe the Brown Coat or the Alliance's way of doing things. People, like her, who needed money and a place to work. "I'm Amber Walsh."

7/13/2010 #109
MongooseDelta

"Snowy Owl," Kihn said, rising and extending his hand. "You're working with Sky, and so'm I, so I guess that means I'll be working with you. Lead on."

7/13/2010 #110
Fleur-de-lis Evans

She turned, her boots thumping through the ship. She went down a flight and walked to a small room near the end. She pushed the door open.

A woman sat at the table. Her strawberry blond hair was in a pixie cut and she was studying maps and security breifings for the docking station on Ariel.

"That's Crissie Rhineland," Amber said. "Crissie this is Snowy Owl."

Crissie looked up. She waved absently to an overturned and empty crate by the makeshift table. After Amber sat at the head of the table, she said. "So, what have you found."

"It ain't gonna be easy to talk to Tanner," Crissie said. She tapped the map without looking up from the briefing. "They've got blue hands stationed at three key locations we could have used. The only other way is suicide for Joe. She could request a meeting with him, but that may end in a duel. They've apparently got a previous Brown Coater in for some top secret tests, physical and mental. Tanner is a huge part of it."

7/13/2010 #111
MongooseDelta

(can I have Kihn know, personally or via briefings from the alliance command, what they're talking about? If so, can I make it up, or do you need to brief me OOC before I post his response?)

7/13/2010 #112
Fleur-de-lis Evans

(Well as far as certain plans go, Khin can give advice. But I'm thinking for the Tanner contact that Khin can volunteer to go in. That way Joe doesn't risk anything. As for why they are at the hospital, it's because tests are being run on River. She's about 30 or so now, I assume. Tanner is one of her assigned doctors at the facility in which she is being held. You can have Khin know it is her but say nothing.)

7/13/2010 #113
MongooseDelta

(I'll decide what Kihn DOES and SAYS, obviously. The question is how much he KNOWS. Now, assuming that River is held in the hospital on Ariel, and Kihn is intimately acquainted with her situation there (Since he was one of the people dealing with her on a more or less daily basis, maybe being an interrogator or something), and Tanner is a doctor there, Kihn's going to know quite a bit more than any member of the crew. So yes, he'd be the natural choice to make contact with anyone there, given that he chooses to risk giving up his relative freedom to do so. So is it:

A. I make up this intelligence, or

B. You give it to me, I give it to Kihn, and he then chooses whether or not to give it to the crew?

Please advise, and thanks.

BTW, the following exposition is for y'all's information only. Your PCs won't know it unless they have some kind of inside source you haven't posted about yet.)

Kihn, AKA Snowy Owl, listened in silence, only raising an eyebrow a bit at the revelation of how much they knew. Again he wondered if he'd be any more use than another foot soldier to them at all. Maybe he'd do better by both them and himself to just disembark on this planet they were headed toward. But that, of course, was a cope out, and he'd never been one to accept those. No, they needed to infiltrate the hospital on Ariel. That would be as easy for him as going to work. The problem, and the reason he'd searched Sky out, was the rescue itself. If he could have just walked out with River, he would have done so, months ago. They needed some kind of diversion, and they needed the getaway vehicle, and that was assuming everything went down smooth. Which it probably wouldn't.

So they might end up needing some muscle after all, and it couldn't hurt to have someone on the inside who could move about unhindered and without question. Of course, he couldn't advertise that fact. Several of them had seen his ident card, heard him playing himself off as an operative, but he got the impression they didn't entirely buy the act. Which was fine. Let them continue to doubt his authenticity. They wouldn't trust him even as much as they did now, if they thought he were truly an operative.

As for the alliance personel on Ariel, most of them were afraid of him, or more precisely, the legends associated with his title. The rest just accepted him. Few there would be who would take an interest and not fear him due to the title, or to the reputation he'd built for himself around the facilities there. Then there was the government itself, which tended to just slow things down with its beurocracy. The Snowy Owl could manipulate, threaten, bribe or deceive his way through that easily enough, and most would bend over backward to satisfy him. After all, his clearance was higher than theirs, and he reported to someone higher than their bosses.

But then there were the agents of the Old Guard and their Splinter Cell Assetts. Those could be more of a problem, not because they knew the truth of the Snowy Owl, nor because they weren't afraid of him, but because they were, by nature, even less trusting than the crew of the Miranda. Any move that they thought to be counter to their operations and they would pull out the stops to try to see him dead. It was they he would have to worry about surviving, evading, resisting and escaping. It was because of their threat that he was glad he was the best, and even more glad he might have some of the best of the browncoat holdouts to back him up. That was, assuming he could keep at least a functional trust from them.

The Snowy owl drew out his ident card; the card with no name, no rank, and no serial number; the card that gained him respect or fear or hatred just about everywhere he went, and slapped it down on the table between the two women.

"The Snowy Owl will fly over the mouse."

7/13/2010 #114
Fleur-de-lis Evans

(Well here's the thing. I'm thinking they keep River in a separate facility, one that's harder to break into. She's just on Aerial to get tested, to see if they can figure out if she knows anything. As far as Tanner goes, he acts as if he doesn't know who River is. You can feel free to make up information about the other facility they hold River at. Khin will be of use since they are also trying to keep Sky away from the Alliance.)

Amber raised her eyebrow. "I see," she said. She didn't care one way or another who Snowy Owl really was.

Crissie tensed a bit but brushed off the phrase easily enough. "Whoever you are," she said, "you should know we aren't interested in saving River when we get Aerial. That would put Joe and the rest of us at great risk. We're just interested in getting someone in to get security information from Tanner, who has recently been assigned work at the holding facility on Eros, which is where they keep River and what they term "her kind" locked up tight."

She trailed off. "If you have any information about Eros that would be helpful, as we have to keep Miranda out of sight when we near the planet itself, when we drop off the few on board who are actually risking their necks to save her. Which is why, before we get to Eros we were hoping to stop by another planet to try and persuade someone to join us."

(Feel free to make up as much information about Eros and the holding facility as you want)

7/14/2010 #115
MongooseDelta

"Do ya have some paper and pencil I can use?" Kihn asked. "Lots of it. Ariel, Eros, I can give you what you need and more. The only reason that would leave to contact Tanner would be for confirmation. I can get to him easily, but the information I could provide you, from him, would only be what I'll provide to you tonight. What's your will?"

7/14/2010 #116
Fleur-de-lis Evans

Amber tapped her chin, scanning the maps. "Well first of all, we'll need to know how easy it is for a shuttle to land inconspicously at the air dock. We are not going to land Miranda there, as we still have cargo to devliver."

"Plus," Crissie said, "we can't, but are going to have to, bring Tanner aboard once we get River out. It's highly dangerous for him to stay on Eros. That's why we need to land a shuttle, or two. As for Aerial we'll be landing in the bay. That's why it's going to be difficult to get to Tanner. He has the paperwork a few of us need to sneak into Eros. We aren't launching the plan right off, either, as we have several cargo missions between now and when Joe wants to try and contact her, the woman who lives on Pendrast."

Both woman looked at each other before saying in unison: "Which is the planet we know least about. Got any information on Pendrast?"

7/15/2010 . Edited 7/29/2010 #117
MongooseDelta

"Landing the shuttle won't be hard at all, especially assuming that you can disguise her identity. It'll be getting out of the dock that'll pose the difficulty. As it's a secure facility you're trying to get into, if you go through the front door they'll be scanning you with facial recognition, looking for weapons, the whole kit and kaboodle. It can be done, and the security personnel are run of the mill at that point. But do anything to raise flags and you've got the blue hands to deal with." Kihn paused in his description of the set up, glancing around.

"I, of course, won't have any of those difficulties, and if you're with me they'll give you far less scrutiny."

He took the paper and began a series of quick but sufficiently detailed sketches showing the layout, location of cameras, scanners, guards and the like, and best routs through if one was trying to be inconspicuous. He labeled it Ariel and shoved it aside when he was done.

"Still don't know why you need Tanner. But I can get intel, paper work, the works out of him either on-site or back on Miranda," he said, as he began similar sketches of the Eros facility, "or, again, if you're with me you wont' need the paper work until you get to the holding cell wing itself, and at that point paper work won't help you. The guards need written orders over the commissioner's sig before they'll let you in, or, again, my word."

He was still a little nervous about going back into the lion's den, but he didn't show it at all. He was committed.

(What do you mean by, "God an information . . .?")

7/15/2010 #118
Fleur-de-lis Evans

(They aren't breaking River out of the hospital in Aerial as I've said before. They are going to be breaking her out the holding facility on Eros... It would be suicide to break her out of Aerial, as I've explained, since Joe is basically "free." )

7/15/2010 #119
MongooseDelta

(I'm missing posts, apparently, as my last post isn't there, and as I got something in my e-mail asserting that they're not breaking River out of the Ariel place due to security concerns. So? The point is that Kihn can get them into and out of Ariel, Eros, or anywhere else run by the alliance.)

7/16/2010 #120
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