Stars with Black Sails

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Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:04 pm

"Earth used to mean two things. It was the dirt upon which we stood, and the name of our home, our light in the infinite cosmos. But the longer we lived there, the worse things got. We destroyed our home over the course a couple thousand years. If it wasn't for the wormholes we'd have probably gone extinct. We got lucky, that's all there was to it."

-P. Schroeder Rumsfeld, Historian

*****

"Sir, our latest reports on the outer planets are ready for your review." Vice Admiral Hugen nods to the Ensign and takes from him a tablet, which read his thumb print and prompts him to open the file. Displayed on the screen is a readout of the latest round of patrols near the border worlds, where civil unrest is usually the highest. However, due to increased patrols, the survey concluded that the risk of reopening trade routes between those planets and Earth had decreased significantly. Pleased with the report, Hugen opens a comm-link to his second-in-command.

"Mr Frye."

"Yes, sir?"

"Set a course for Star Station Pilgrimage and prepare system to execute warp."

"Aye sir."

*****

"The core worlds, those within Earth's solar system, were domesticated first, the ones that were habitable anyway. Mars, Europa, Titan, and such. The others took quite a bit longer because they were so far away and we didn't have the technology we have now to travel great distances in a short amount of time. People were put in stasis and packed on giant colony ships for the long voyage out of Sol System. They weren't prepared for a fight, really, and we still don't know who fired first, but whoever did cost Humanity greatly."

"But from the ashes of that shot, order eventually arose. The Federal Alliance was formed when the core planets and some of the outer sovereign planets signed an agreement and joined forces. Together they put down the civil disputes raging among the starts and brought peace to the galaxy. The war ended, but the fighting didn't. Not everyone agreed with the FA's laws and restrictions and punishments, and that paved the way for a new war to begin: A war of pirates."


-Alice Green, Archive Analyst

*****

Alarms sounded across all decks, echoing their high-pitched cries bouncing down every corridor. The merchant ship was under attack, though no shots had been fired at that point. It was a large, lumbering craft, easily twice the size of the approaching ship, but its defenses were not capable of fending off their attacker. There was a small security force aboard that would defend against attempts to board the merchant ship, though even they were highly skeptical.

Twenty two clicks away, the mysterious pirate vessel burned hot and hard toward the merchant's hauler, it's guns locked, loaded, and ready to fire. It closed the distance quickly, turning to come up on its side. Flashes of light pierced the space between them, slamming hard into the merchant's engines and weapons. Structural damage was kept to a minimum wherever possible, but after only a few volleys the defender's thrusters dimmed until they were extinguished entirely, leaving it adrift and helpless.

From the pirate's broadside four large spikes emerged, slamming into the hull of the freighter, held fast by tritanium chains. Once secure, four additional doors opened, considerably smaller than the hook compartments, and from them came a slew of pirate crew, covered in light armor suits that would protect them from the dangers of battle and of the vacuum of space. Together they climbed along the chains, diving through the spikes that had opened on the other side, allowing them entry to the failing merchant.

Victory would soon be theirs.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:17 pm

In the infinite reaches of space there was silence, and there was peace. Aside from the hiccups when pirates interrupted the trade lanes and decided to steal and tear apart rigs to get their greedy paws on what they were too lazy to pay for.

Shawn Miscavaige was very opinionated when it came to people who didn't work for what they had, honestly. She came from a very well off family, but when she came of age and went to off to be an engineer, she paid for everything herself, and relied on no one. So pirates, and corporate douchebags who used people to get what they want really pissed her off. It was why she chose to go on the outings that she did, as it gave her an opportunity to meet and fuck with the pirates.

Unfortunately for her, most of her trips were boring, albeit they gave her time to work on new projects and update the security for the merchant ships, unbeknownst to the captains.. in most cases. So while on her newest outing she didn't think there's be any run-ins, but she was wrong. The second the hooks breeches the side of the ship, the girl jumped out of her chair, a wide grin on her face.

"C'mon aboard.. I've been waiting for you..."

Flipping a switch on her control consol, a panel opened up, giving her direct access to the upgraded weapons systems. "Iota, go greet our guests and try to herd them into the pit, yeah?" Iota was a small, basic AI that Shawn had created to be an extra pair of hands, so to speak. When she felt lazy or needed help fusing things together, or whatever she needed, Iota was her companion, and he always obeyed. The reason she wanted them in the Pit, which was what she called the secondary (nearly empty) cargo bay, was so she could pop the emergency door through her upgrades and flush out the pirates.

While murder was not exactly what she was going for, in space death happened, and pirates should know it was a risk of the job.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:18 pm

Ezra sat in his chair on the bridge, staring at several panels that told him everything that was happening. His crew carried tracking beacons so that he would always know where they were, as long as they were relatively close. He watched them fan out into groups, taking key parts of the ship as they moved along. He almost smiled at the precision of their maneuvers, something no other crew had. A few firefights broke out here or there, but for the most part the security staff knew better than to challenge Ezra's conditioned pirates, choosing instead to lay down their arms and be spared than to die for someone else's cargo.

The bridge was breached first to secure the captain of the freighter, which was so easy Ezra almost thought it could have been a trap, but quickly dismissed it once he learned the man's identity and background. "How does this man still command his own ship," he mumbled as he read the synopsis.

"Sir," Ezra's first officer approached. A young woman in her early thirties, Jen was not the stereotypical pirate. Her hair was blond and cut cutely, with braids on either side in front of her ears. She was a small thing, barely 5'2", petite and almost dainty looking. But it wasn't her looks that landed her that position. She possessed a skill that Ezra needed at the time that the other candidates did not. Besides, she had ways of staying alive.

"The crew reports wild success. No casualties, no injuries. They are sweeping the ship now."

"Good, thank you Jen. Keep an eye on them and make sure they stay on task. That last job on the frigate almost cost us the prize."

Jen smiled sweetly as she always did and nodded to her captain, her enthusiasm a stark contrast to his stoicism. "Yes, sir captain!" She trotted back to her station and sat down, replacing her hands on the console as she opened her channel up to the crew. "Alright, my guppies. Don't get distracted! Remember what we're here for."

"You got it, Jen! We're just about to breach the secondary hanger. My team will clean house and be back on board before you know it."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:19 pm

Having possessed capabilities no other engineer her age had, Shawn silently hacked into the community system of the pirate ship, watching her consol for her Iota. Her grin widened as she watched him herd several pirates down to the Pit. Once they were in a close enough position, she hit a button and the whole side door self open, the pressure yanking the pirates out and into space.

"Ha! Take that you filthy thieves!" Shawn cheered, closing the door again, once the pirates were gone. "Iota, move up to bay one, please. They're trying to take our things, and you know how I don't like people taking our things."

Turning her attention back to the other panel, she began to activate secret weapons, all of which having been upgraded from the ancient systems the captain had before. With a simple push of a button the machines began to open fire on the intruders while strategically avoiding the cowering crew memebers.

"Don't take things that don't belong to you~"

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:19 pm

"Hey Jen, how about you and me grab a beer after our shift tonight? You still owe me after that last failed date."

"Owe you a date," Jen asked as she laughed. "We were ambushed by Predators!"

"Not my fault! So c'mon, meet me at... hold on. What the fuck...? Oh god...! Grab onto something! Helmets on! AHHHHHHH!"

Alarms screamed from Jen's console as crew members suddenly were jettisoned into space. Comms flooded with their panicked cries and the sounds of gasping breaths from those who did not get their suits secured properly. Jen cried out to them, telling them to hold on and not to panic. Rescue drones were dispatched to collect the out-of-control pirates.

Ezra slammed his fist into the console on the arm of his chair, then stormed off the bridge angrily. All they had to do was let his crew do what they were there to do and no one would have been hurt. But their act of barbarism could not and would not be overlooked. Donning his own personal Gear inside the hanger, Ezra growled as he leapt from the Marauder and entered the dying freighter.

The captain carried no weapons. He did not need them. Every defensive mechanism he encountered he melted without so much as a second glance. Stomping to the bridge, the crew turned in surprise, not expecting to see their own captain there with them. He immediately strode to the other captain and grabbed him by the throat. "Open a line to the entire ship," he commanded, one of his followers quickly doing as he was told.

"Attention all members of the crew. This is Captain Ezra of The Marauder. I had intended on simply procuring the items we needed and leaving your ship workable and her crew alive and well. However, one or more of you just jettisoned members of my crew into space. If the one responsible comes forward now, that will be the end of it. If not, I will have your crew members subjected to the same fate, one by one, beginning with your captain. You have two minutes to comply."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:20 pm

A cold chill ran down Shawn's spine as the voice of the pirate captain rang through the entire vessel. But she wasn't going to let some thief intimidate her. He wanted to meet the one responsible for the loss of his men? Fine. Pushing herself to her feet, she opened a comm line to respond as she moved silently through the ship.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the loss of scum to the cosmos. The one responsible for their perfectly timed demise, and expulsion into the beautiful expanse of space, is their own captain. Had he brains enough he would learn that theivery is not the way to go about getting the things you want. The one who, metaphorically, pulled the trigger on their lives was me." With her final word, Shawn stepped into the bay where the crew and Captain stood, the pirate on his throat.

With a sarcastic bow Shawn smirked, her arms crossed over her stomach, clearly defiant. "I am your grim reaper, pirate, and the engineer of this vessel. No one acted with me, in fact, none of them ever really knew I was here, or had installed any of the beautiful weaponry that disposed of those you call your crew. If you'd like to file a grievance I'll get back to you with an appropriate response within thirty days." Sarcasm and contempt laced her words; it was clear she felt no fear facing this man, despite the rest of the crew cowering under his gaze.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:21 pm

Ezra's crew began to chuckle, not only completely writing off the girl's sarcasm, but mocking her for it. It was perfectly clear to each of them that she did know who she had the honor of addressing, but none of them were about to step in to educate her. That was the captain's job, and he was very good at it. Ezra himself narrowed his gaze slightly but he didn't let off of the merchant captain's throat. In fact, he pressed tighter, constricting the airway further, causing the man to wheeze and struggle, taking in just enough air to stay alive but much too slow to be comfortable.

"You see that girl, captain? She will be the death of you and your crew. You see I hold myself accountable for every man and woman who flies under my colors. Their actions are mine, and so are their deaths. Your engineer has killed members of my crew, so I will tell you what is going to happen next."

Ezra raised his voice, his Ukrainian accent very audible. "True to my word, I will not kill any of your crew, captain. Instead..." Ezra brought his multi-colored eyes to bear on Shawn, his expression dull and void of any emotion whatsoever. "I will enlist your engineer into mine, to replace the one she killed. We will deploy your distress beacon but destroy your communications array and your engines. I'm sure one of your Federal zombies will come fetch you when they've decided it's in their best interest."

Without the need for a gesture or word, Shawn was surrounded by a hemisphere of pirates, each one pointing a blaster rifle at her. "And if she resists, I will not hesitate to make her watch as I destroy everyone she has ever worked for, every crew she's ever sailed with, and anyone who has ever shown her even the slightest kindness."

Ezra released the trembling man, lowered his visor, and made his way back to the door. "Garza... see that it is done. Take the girl to the brig. I will deal with her later."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:22 pm

That was exactly why Shawn hated pirates. They tried to rule by fear and intimidation, convincing people that they'd could go after and kill anyone you'd ever had contact with. She didnt feel the need to point out he had no idea who she was, or even how to find out who she'd had relations with. With who her family was did he really think he'd get close enough to kill anyone without getting caught? How arrogant.

As he left, she turned and began to walk back down to her shop to gather her tools, when a pirate grabbed her arm to stop her. Before he could get a word oiy, she yanked her arm.from his grip, shoving him back. "Get your filthy hands off of me. I'm not resisting, I'm not running away, I'm going to get my tools. You really want an engineer without any equipment? How fucking stupid are you?" Shawn growled, turning again and briskly walking down to get her things. It annoyed her that she was followed all the way there, and watched as she got her things, then followed back up so she could put her suit on.

She was flanked as she left the merchant ship, her heart pounding as she entered the pirate vessel. What that captain didn't seem to know easy that her father kept track of every trip she went on. As soon as that distress beacons signal was picked up the FA was going to swarm that ship. Not in concern for the crew or captain, but because they feared her father and would search the ship until they found her and verified her safety. They wouldnt. Once word got back to the FA they would send out a search for her, and they would not have peace again. Served them right in her opinion.

Once on the ship, she allowed herself to be pulled and pushed down to the brig to await the stoic and frightening Pirate Captain. "Iota," Shawn murmured, "plug in and download all necessary information. Looks like we'll be here a while."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:23 pm

With the newest member of his crew safely aboard, Ezra stood at the helm of the ship she once served, his lips straight across and his eyes set, almost passively, on the blinking control panel. He stretched out his hand, and everyone watched as the panel began to spark and melt, until it was little more than a gnarled mess of metal and plastic. Even if they managed to get their engines back online they would have no ability to maneuver. They would be forced to wait on their reinforcements. Everything was going according to plan with very little deviation.

"Captain, we've secured the prisoner. But it looks like she is trying to break through the encryption and download information using."

"Let them look. She won't find anything useful there anyway." Ezra already knew what would happen, as he planned for that very maneuver months ago. The only information that was left in the ships open servers was general data that anyone could find if they scanned Marauder. The sensitive information was saved in a much safer location, and not even the crew knew where it was. What Iota would find would be mostly gibberish, as it was written in the language of the ship's creators, not matching any human language ever created.

Once aboard his ship, the harnesses were retracted and secured. The captain ordered their departure and the firing of their main batteries to finish disabling the ship before leaving the area. Ezra marched down to the brig first, interested in greeting his new engineer properly. The door slid open to reveal the cell block, small and uncomfortable, with only the very basic human needs represented in the dull cage.

On the other side of the barrier the captain stood, the same expression on his face as before. "I suppose I should welcome you to your new home."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:24 pm

While in the tiny cell, Iota worked to download relevant information but was unable to get through the encryption. So as she waited, Shawn did a manual override, pulled out a few tools and began to work on developing an encryption code to break through the defenses. It was proving to be more difficult than she would have liked, but a challenge was always good.

Hearing footsteps approaching, she split her attention, but did not look up, even as the captain spoke. "I wouldn't bother, I will never consider this my home. I only came here to spare the crew from your cruelty, and if I must I will work as an engineer until you get another. I make it a point to not work for pirates." She continued to work on her device, pulling several different tools out, creating a small handheld out of the scrap she had in the bag she brought with her.

If she sounded rude Shawn didn't care. He only got her because she didn't care to have unnecessary deaths on her hands. Besides, the FA would search the entire cosmos for her, so she was confident that she wouldn't have to remain with them for long.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:25 pm

"You think i'm cruel? It appears your short-sightedness is more severe than I originally predicted. So let's cut directly to the heart of the matter. I know who you are, Stitch. I know who your father is. I know where you grew up, and I have the locations of every job you've ever performed. I know where you went to school." Ezra's tone never changed, remaining even and steady even as he delivered his statement to the defiant engineer. "I know you've been trying to break our encryption protocols. Your success, or lack thereof, won't mean much."

Taking a seat on a chair near the door, Ezra smoothed out his clothing, a matter of habit and formality, not done for Shawn's benefit. "I am in an awkward position with you. There are members of the crew that want you hanged for your violence against their friends. You call me cruel, and yet you are the one that killed someone who was not threatening you. You vented them into space for no reason other than to protect whatever cargo you had there. Or maybe it was to suit your own prejudice."

Ezra flexed his hands, playing with a bit of green light, bouncing it from palm to palm, the heat of which could be felt even inside Shawn's cell. "If you will not perform your duties on my ship, then I will grant you the same fate as our last engineer and move on. I really don't care one way or the other."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:25 pm

As Ezra spoke, fear began to worm it's way through her body. How did he know who she was? She had made it nearly impossible for anyone to find out who she really was, so how did this pirate know her handle? How did he know her name? Shawn glanced up at him for a brief moment, her jaw clenched, hoping the uncertainty and fear was not obvious.

"I will stay and work for you until you no longer require my services or you find someone else." Shawn went back to working on her code to crack their encryption, but paused. "How do you know who I am?" She continued to work, to keep her mind busy and to keep herself under control. Shawn couldn't let him in on the fact that his knowledge of her creeped her out.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:26 pm

Ezra had started to push out of the chair, but hearing Shawn break her silence gave him reason to pause. He settled back down, his eyes focused on her even though she did not return his gaze. Her question was a valid one, but he wondered how much he should let on so early. Lying was useful only sometimes, but he tried not to make a habit out of it. That did not mean, however, that he had to divulge all of his secrets, or any of them, for that matter.

"I have an angle inside the FA. I've been watching your ship for hours, gathering information from the crew roster. Of all the crew members, yours had the most holes in it, which meant there was something there worth knowing." The green mote between his hands dissipated until it vanished completely, taking the warmth with it. It was not a warm room, though it did not seem to bother him. "I simply followed the bread crumbs."

"This isn't fair though. I know so much about you, so allow me to tell you something about myself. I do not make idle threats, nor insincere promises. If I tell you something, then that is my full intention. If you cause trouble, I will not hesitate to blow you out the nearest airlock. However, if you keep your nose clean, I will drop you off safely on the nearest civilized world with enough resources to see you safely returned to that baby blanket you call the FA, and to your father. Choose carefully, for this is the only time I will offer this deal."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:22 pm


"Just because I don't side with you doesn't mean I side with the FA. I do not need to be coddled by my father's company, and I have not been associated with them or him for a very long time. Do not assume that just because I am his daughter that it means I agree with what they are doing." She set her tools down, and leaned back against the cell wall. Shawn remained silent for a long moment, before she finally turned and looked at Ezra.

How could she agree to work for a pirate? It didn't matter as long as she could play with her toys, and continue to work. It didn't mean she had to like what was happening, but as long as she wasn't hindered while she was working on other projects she could live with working for him.

"Staying here with half your crew wanting me dead, how can you guarantee my safety?" Shawn wasn't necessarily concerned about it, but she was curious as to how he was going to keep her alive. Was she going to have to remain in a cage, locked up like an animal?

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:23 pm

"Anyone who does not resist against the FA is their ally. Rule number 17: the friend of my enemy is my enemy." Ahh the rules. Did they even apply anymore? He had dreamed about them while he slept. His father's teachings knew not the taxing effects of time. "Even if you don't wear their uniform, that does not mean you aren't working for them. Do you even know what your captain was hauling?"

Ezra had leaned forward as he posed his question to emphasize its importance. Even if she was telling the truth about her lack of involvement in her father's work, or that of the FA, he could not take that risk. That question hung in the still air like smog, seeping into both their brains for several long seconds before he spoke again.

"As far as your safety is concerned, i cannot guarantee anything. You made a lot of enemies today, and no allies. I will issue an order that you are not to be harmed. They will think twice before defying an order from me. For now, you can stay in a room near mine. Mag locks from the inside in case of emergencies, but don't think that will keep me out if i want in."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:23 pm

"I'm a mechanical engineer with a minor in technological enhancements. I keep the rig running. I don't care what's on it, nor do I care to know. I pick long voyages so I have time to work on my projects. As far as I know we were carrying ferrets." Shawn sighed softly, pulling out a multi tool to keep working on a cloaking device she'd been creating. It wasn't for anyone or anything specifically, but she did have a dream where she'd have her own suit and could just explore space of her own free will.

"I realize you don't have reason to do anything I ask but I'd prefer 'Stitch' wasn't broadcast to the crew, and if my familial relations also kept secret. I have it hidden for a reason." Shawn glanced up at him for a moment, her expression losing all sarcastic emotion; she was very serious. Not only did she not want it getting out that she was Stitch, an incredibly skilled mechanic and hacker, but if his crew knew her family was associated with the FA they'd come after her, order or not.

"Iota return, I need to finish the encryption code before we can get any additional information, and you need a charge."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:24 pm

"Don't worry. You'll find out eventually. You're the one that is going to help us understand more about what it is anyway." Ezra stood and pressed his palm to a panel near the door to her cell. After a moment's delay, the door slowly slid open, prompting the captain to take a few steps back to allow Shawn to exit the cell. "These are the executive suites of the brig, if there could be such a thing. You don't want to know what's at the end of the hall. Now, step too. The crew will be in the mess hall for the next hour or so eating dinner. It's the best time to get you acclimated to the ship."

Surprisingly enough, Ezra turned his back to her and walked into the hallway, but not from disrespect. He seemed very sure that she would not try to stab him in the back or slip away from him while he wasn't looking. What did he know that she didn't? What assured him that she would stay behind him and not do something reckless? Ezra kept the answer to himself as he proceeded toward the most important part of her work: the engine room.

Before entering, Ezra stopped just shy of the door, whirling around to face Shawn with a look of absolute seriousness in his eyes. "This is the engine and machine room, where you'll spend most of your time on shift. Behind this door is the heart of the Marauder. You will not understand what you see in the beginning. There is to be no recording of any kind inside this room. Keep your friend..." Ezra hinted at the vox she spoke to before. "... to the task at hand. I will know if you break these rules, and you won't like what happens when I do."

After waiting for Shawn's acknowledgement, Ezra turned back around and unlocked the door, ushering her in briskly then locking the door behind him. The room was not terribly large, perhaps 20x25 feet with consoles and panels lining the walls. Conduits ran across the ceiling, ranging from rather large, to very small. The floor was kept clear of debris, though there were a few open panels spaced here and there, appearing to have been under repair when the chief engineer met his early doom.

In the center of the room was a wide cylinder that was secured to ceiling and floor, made of solid metal, again with panels and a few screens built into its walls. "This will be your baby for the duration of your stay here: the dark matter drive. It powers the ship using a process that was not conceived by humans. If it fails, not only will it kill everyone on this ship, but could create a singularity strong enough to pull nearby planets out of their orbit and kill billions." Ezra took a step to the side to allow her to explore the space, figuring it would be best to get it out of her system now rather than later.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:24 pm

Having him turn his back to her was confusing for Shawn, as she could have done nearly anything behind him and he would not see it. He either didn't think she was stupid enough to try something, or he wanted her to try, to prove to her that he could overpower her and use it as a show of 'who's the boss'. Either way she did not make the mistake of doing anything, and just followed him silently, making note of how to get from the brig to the engine room. He said he was going to put her near him for the time being to assure her safety, but that didn't mean she would actually go there.

The engine room was every mechanic dream. The conduits, and panels and screens, and especially the dark matter was enough to make any engineer worth their title squeal upon seeing it. Shawn kept herself in check for the most part, her eyes wide and excited. Entering the room she wandered around the space, avoiding the open panels in the floor. She did not touch what she did not understamd, but most of what she saw she understood. It was the dark matter, however, that interested her the most. She had studied dark matter for a short time while she was working on her engineering degrees but she never thought anyone would be able to use it to power a ship.

Shawn looked back at him, a touch of a smile on her lips, then turned back to the engine. It was truly a beauty and she honestly couldn't wait to get started learning about it, and beginning work on it. She couldn't see herself leaving that room for quite a while. Not only did she have a lot to learn, she wanted to finish her cloaking device and unencrypt whatever he was trying to hide from everyone else in the systems. Dark matter engine took first priority.

"When do I get started?"

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:25 pm

For a moment Ezra let her marvel upon the work she would be doing, quite surprised that she had become so eager to get started. Even for someone like her, whose lust for knowledge was borderline compulsive, given the circumstances in which she found herself. "Tomorrow. I cannot ban the crew tonight. They'll be mourning the dead, and that means lots of alcohol and emotions. The last thing I need is one of them catching you in a hall or down in the kitchen. Tonight you sleep. We get started early, and sometimes a bounty comes up quickly. I'll take you to your room, where you will stay till first bell. Then I will bring you back here and you can get to work."

Ezra took a brief look around the room, his eyes lingering on the core longer than anywhere else before he opened the door again. "Come on, time to go. Marauder needs her beauty sleep." Standing in the door waiting for Shawn to follow him, Ezra was reminded of years long gone, of times when he took others under his wing and cared for them, showed them how to realize their potential. He remembered the ones he'd lost along the way, and suddenly he felt very tired.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:26 pm

Casting one last glance back at the core, Shawn turned to Ezra and exited the room. It was probably a good idea for her to stay in her room while they mourned the deaths of their crew. That she caused. For a moment a pang of guilt pulled at her, but it disappeared after she silently reminded herself that they were pirates. It couldn't be helped. Pirates were ruthless brutes who went after someone just because of their name, or even just because they felt like it. There was no need to feel guilty for their deaths, they knew their lives could end at any moment when they signed on to be a thief.

Taking a long, deep breath, she pushed the thoughts to the back of her mind, deciding she needed to focus on what was ahead of her. Shawn mentally made a list of things to do, mostly having Iota upload dark matter research so she could go over it. She was also determined to prove him wrong about cracking his encryption software. It was for no other reason than to prove her hacking capabilities, as she hated when people doubted her ability to do something. She had no need for the information hidden within the Marauder, and she likely wouldn't do anything with it, but it was the principle of it.

Then there was her cloaking device. The dream of going out in her own suit was far fetched at best, but that didn't mean it couldn't have other uses. If she felt like it, she could modify the small thing and decrease the distance the pirate ship was detected by the merchant vessels or even one from the FA. She might have been able to hide it completely if a FA ship came looking for them. With dark matter now involved there was no telling the new things she could do, or invent, or improve upon.

But why was she considering upgrades to a pirate ship? This wasn't her home. This wasn't a permanent option. But knowing what she did about the ship, whatever she learned about it, would Ezra really just let her walk away? Could she walk away from an engineers dream?

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:27 pm

As the two walked, Ezra pointed out various points of interest so she would not be completely lost once the storm blew over. He wondered if she was even listening, but he never stopped to check. If she didn't learn, that was her problem and she would have to figure it out herself. They passed the brig, the only sound coming from a rhythmic clanging of metal-on-metal. Ezra knew the origin of the noise, but did not comment on it. That was none of her concern anyway.

Finally they had arrived at the place Ezra called the barracks, an ironic nod to his military and paramilitary backgrounds. "These rooms are mostly full, minus the dead, so come and go during off-peak times. Day starts at 0700 and ends when the work is done or they're too exhausted to continue. If you need to go somewhere special, contact me and I will escort you."

Ezra slid open an access panel to the side of the door and placed his palm against the scanner. The screen lit up with a list of options, which he chose from until the scanner lit up again. "Put your palm on the screen. This will set up your authorizations, including the one for your quarters. Do not mess with them. I will find out, and I will be unhappy."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:28 pm

It didn't look like it she was paying attention, but she was making note as they walked along. She memorized the way as they walked, while she went over everything in her head. Trying to rationalize her consideration of upgrading a ship that not only was run by pirates, but was run on a Dark Matter core, which she knew practically nothing about. As they walked she murmured for Iota to download any relevant information regarding Dark Matter to a tablet she carried so she could study up on it. If she could learn about the substance she could learn about the core technology.

As they stopped in front of the panel, Shawn stepped forward and placed her hand against it. "I won't touch anything that I'm not authorized to." She said, though it was more for her benefit. If she had her way, she'd force her way into the walls of the ship and figure it out from the inside, but she was on a pirate vessel with no allies as he had stated earlier. There was no way she was going to do, say, or touch anything without his permission. Anyone else on the crew could fuck off for all of the care she gave, but he had proven to be someone she didn't want to fuck with.

Even though she felt tired, she wasn't going to go to bed. She had too much to do. She had to set a code, read up on Dark Matter, and who knew what else she could get into her head by the time first bell.

When the door to her room slid open, she raised an eyebrow. Shawn had never seen such a set up before. It was oddly shaped, with only the bare essentials (not that she needed much). It wasn't like anything she was used to but she wasn't going to complqin. As long as she had space to work on her "off" time, there would be no problem.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:28 pm

"See that you don't. I'm at the back of the hall on the opposite side if you need something." Stepping backwards, Ezra left the room and headed for his quarters. One might have assumed that the captain would have the best room on the ship, with luxurious furniture, lots of space, and as many of home's comforts as possible. His room, however, was quite the opposite.

Ezra's dorm was no larger than anyone else's. A basic bunk sat in the far corner, a desk on the opposite wall, a viewing screen mounted on the wall shared with the hallway, and a restroom. There were larger rooms on the ship, but the captain didn't need so much space. He did not have a partner. He didn't have an abundance of personal items. Honestly he spent very little time in his room.

He tried to lay down to sleep, but Ezra could not keep his eyes closed. Taking Shawn on board presented a great deal of risk. True, they needed a capable mechanic, but they could have held out until they reached a neutral world where he could take more time and recruit someone that the crew would not want to lynch. Why did he take on someone that murdered his own crew. Too restless to sleep, Ezra pulled off his long jacket and pants, replacing them with a tank top and shorts, revealing the artificial limbs that clutched to his right arm and left leg, their designs mimicking the odd shape of the interior of the Marauder.

Ezra slipped out of his room and headed for the engine room so he could do what he always did when he couldn't sleep: talk to the core.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:29 pm


Shawn spent most of the night compiling and researching information on Dark Matter, going through what Iota had downloaded for her. She had an incredible memory, able to memorize nearly everything she read, so as she skimmed through the research papers, the documentation, and experimentation results, she retained most of that information. While she was doing that, her encryption device was scanning through the system creating a code specific to the Marauder in order to crack the hidden files wide open.

By the time she had finished going through Dark Matter related information, and mechanical advances if humans managed to incorporate it, it was nearly time for first bell. It wasn't the first time she'd pulled an all-nighter, but she hadn't slept well the night before the attack on the merchant ship so she was beginning to feel exhaustion set in. Never one to abandon her duties due to lack of sleep, she decided that she was going to push through it and begin her work as an engineer of a pirate ship.

"Iota you recharge today. If I need you I will call for you. Keep me updated on the encryption software and let me know when it's finished."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:29 pm

Ezra's conversation with Marauder had gone on longer than he had anticipated. It was easy to get lost in his own thoughts and meander through a conversation without paying any attention to how much time had gone by. It didn't matter much, as he rarely slept anyway, but it helped fill the gaps of time between events. He stood from the box upon which he sat and exited the engine room, passing a few members of his crew and nodding to them as they began their morning routines or finished out their night-shift responsibilities.

Once he reached his room, Ezra grabbed a clean uniform and a towel and made his way to the weight room. Originally set up to be a dorm for a crew member, Ezra repurposed it once it became apparent that he would not need that many on his crew. It was mostly free-weights, with a couple of machines in the corner for rehab after an injury. He never missed a workout, unless there was an emergency that prevented him from going before first bell rang.

After his workout the captain headed for the shower room. The dorms were not large enough to accommodate a shower stall, so the crew used a rather large locker room style with individual shower stalls. It marked the half-way point between crew quarters and the kitchen which made its use convenient for most of them. Ezra stood under the water, his eyes closed as it trickled down his body, washing away the sweat and the previous day's bloody memories.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

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