Stars with Black Sails

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:54 am

Shawn's sudden change in direction caught Ezra off guard. He stopped immediately, very nearly crashing into the shorter girl, barely managing to halt his progress a few inches from her. He started to speak, but there were no words. He stared into her eyes for a moment, his differently colored hues reflecting hers clearly as the sky on a still pond. For a moment the world fell away, and Ezra felt like he would lose himself if he did not break free soon. Thankfully she backed away first, though the captain had to admit, only to himself, that he was sad that she did.

"No no... no reason to apologize." It took a bit of restraint on Ezra's part to keep his hands from going to her waist, but somehow he managed to keep his hands to himself, not that he really wanted to. His newest crew member was quickly growing on him, and he wasn't entirely sure why. "Let's go. I want to get off this world as soon as possible."

Ezra quickened his pace, spurred on by a force and a will that he could not place. He felt... off. As if they were being watched. His gut feeling was valid, for they were actually being followed. At first Ezra did not notice, but when he started to see the same faces surrounding them. He had to act fast, for once they were surrounded there would be no way to escape without a fight. Suddenly he grabbed Shawn's wrist as he took off into a sprint, his eyes darting chaotically to find the best route through the crowd and to the ship.

Bullets pierced the air. Bursts of heat and light surrounded them, sometimes cutting down someone around the two as they fled. Several paces ahead two more men appeared with automatic blaster rifles, aiming directly at the two. Ezra shoved to the side, colliding with Shawn and nearly knocking her over as they changed direction. The captain grunted loudly and faltered, tripping over his feet but managing to keep upright as they continued to flee.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:55 am

The sudden change in direction caught Shawn by surprise and when Ezra pulled her along behind him she stumbled. Noticing what was going on around them, she transmitted an emergency signal to Iota from her bracelex. As they ran she yanked at the device and pulled from it a small metal ball and tossed it behind them. Making sure that civilians were out of the way she pressed a button on it and the ball exploded, smoke and debris concealing the area behind them, temporarily concealing them from their pursuers.

Her anger at the FA began to grow and when Iota showed up and perched himself on her shoulder, she began to whisper commands. Originally he had been built as a helper for her, but her hatred of pirates grew and so did his improvements. He was now capable of holding compact, but powerful, weaponry. As they made their escape, Iota moved off of her shoulder and faced the clearing debris as they continued to run towards the ship.

When the smoke finally cleared, a small gun opened from its chest and fired. The bullet was small, but the pursuer that it hit sent him flying backwards, throwing him to the ground. Over and over Iota fired, keeping the ones after them back far enough that they could get away.

As it always did, having Iota in a dangerous situation made the engineer anxious. He was her first real companion and she wasn't sure she'd be able to make another. Not because she was incapable, but because Iota had been with her for years.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:56 am

Ezra did not stop running, unaware of what was happening behind them. He was determined to get them back to the Marauder as quickly as possible; not even the new hole in his side slowed him down more than a little bit. He pushed forward, his vision occasionally darkening and narrowing as he fought to maintain consciousness. The pain in his side was excruciating, but he was not going to let the FA or anyone else take his ship or his engineer.

An unexpected force whipped down the corridor, knocking both Ezra and Shawn to their feet as it moved over them like a tidal wave. Everything electronic became lifeless. Lights went dark. Machines stopped working. Sweat began to bead on Ezra's brow, for he knew exactly what had happened. The enemy set off an EMP, a very large weapon with a deceptively blast radius. Though it did not harm humans, anything electronic would be fried. Further, the blast disrupted Ezra's core enough to cause him more pain. Fire streamed through his veins, giving them a bright green glow under his skin.

"Come on, get up... we have to keep moving..." Ezra was losing strength quickly. They weren't far from the ship, but he was not sure if he'd make it in time. Still, he would try. Covering the hole in his body, he tugged Shawn up, trying to get her on her feet and moving again.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:56 am

"Iota!" Shawn struggled to her feet, disoriented and frantic. Her device was lying in the middle of the street, lifeless, the EMP knowing out his power. She started to turn back towards it, but noticed that Ezra was struggling to main upright and not because of the blast. She could see the blood on him and she had to make a decision. "I'm sorry..." She whispered. It tore her apart to do thos, but she moved to Ezra's side and helped him, urging him forward. The Marauder wasn't far off and she had to make sure they both made it back.

The civilian crowd had all but cleared the way for them, which made them open targets as they moved, but Shawn was more than just a simple engineer. Bobbing and weaving around everything she could to put something in between them and the attackers, she closed the distance with amazing speed, even pulling along her Captain.

Just before they were about to reach it, an FA agent stepped between her and safety. Ezra was already hurt, even if he was capable to take the man down, Shawn wasn't going to allow that to happen. He was barely holding onto his consciousness as it was. Shifting her body so she was between the agent and Ezra, squaring up, her eyes narrowed. The man advanced towards her, but he didn't get far. There was a lot of debris around them; Shawn kicked up a large flat piece of metal, blocking the punch he threw to try and disarm her. His force pushed her back a bit, but as the piece of metal fell, she ducked down, twisting her body, and grabbing the piece of metal using it again to swipe at his legs.

Not expecting her to be still standing, it knocked him off his feet. Wasting no time, she slammed her booted foot into his temple, knocking him out cold. Scurrying back to Ezra, she grabbed him and yanked him hard towards the ahip, until they were safely aboard.

"Do you have a medic on board? Shit... you're.. fuck..."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:57 am

As they stumbled onto the ship, Ezra felt a wave of peace begin to wash over him. His hands ceased their shaking, and while he regained none of his strength, he felt a little lighter than he did on solid ground. It felt good to be home. He looked up at Shawn, the girl who saved his life just one day after announcing her hatred of pirates. He was unsure why she cared so much, but it felt good to see a set of eyes that did not see him as her captain or boss, but as a person. It was almost enough to make him smile. Almost.

Before Ezra could answer a few members of the crew rushed toward them. Not a single one tried to wrest their captain from Shawn, but instead did their best to help them both. "We have a smart person on board, that's about as good as we have right now." They were somewhat rough with him, being inexperienced, though a couple appeared to have some knowledge in battlefield medicine. "We'll take him to medical," one man said. He was built like a standard soldier: tall with broad shoulders, muscular and tough, with a few scars and a deep voice that sounded like thunder in the distance.

"I...i..." Ezra tried to speak, but the darkness was rushing over him quickly, submerging him in unconsciousness as vast as the ocean.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:58 am

"He's got a wound in his side, I didn't see how bad." Shawn let the crew memebers take him, a frown on her face. "The FA is still out there, and headed this way, I don't know where the next destination is but we need to leave. Now. I can have the engine ready in less than five minutes." She knew the crew had no reason to listen to her, or believe her at all, but she was hoping that Ezra's state was enough of a push to get them to listen.

Casting a worried glance back at the Captain, Shawn took off towards the core, throwing her hair back up into a bun. It was time for work mode.

Bursting in through the door, she began to prepare everything finishing well before the five minute mark, and luckily, the crew believed her enough to push them out of atmo and a fair distance away from Seti, or enough that they would be safe for the time being. It was then that she began to set to work on developing a shielding device that would completely encompass the entire ship, making them nearly invisible, and undetectable by any ship. The tricky part was being able to make it compatible with the Dark Matter core the Marauder was run on.

"Iota, I need the-" Shawn stopped midsentence, a wave of dread and sadness crashing into her. Iota was gone. She had to leave him behind to save Ezra, and get back to the ship safely. Moisture brimmed her eyes, as she sank to the floor, covering her face with her hands. "I'm sorry... Iota, I'm so sorry..."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:58 am

The next few hours passed by as quiet as the vacuum that surrounded them. Ezra was kept in the med-bay, his XO taking temporary command of the Marauder. True to her word, Shawn had gotten everything prepared for an emergency lift-off. It was a shaky ascent, but soon enough they had burned out of Seti's atmosphere and gravity, propelling them into space. They weren't out of the woods just yet, for the area was still infested with FA vessels, but for the moment they were a safe distance away. The XO gave the order to warp toward the outer rim. Soon Seti was nothing more than a twinkling dot in the distance.

Ezra awoke a few hours after the escape, his eyes opening slowly. It didn't take long for him to realize where he was and what had happened, the pain in his side flaring when he tried to sit up. He was not alone. At the counter with his back turned was his resident 'smart person'. He was no medical professional, but he did have a background in biology, a promising career he had forsaken in order to sail on the Marauder, fulfilling a lifelong dream to see the galaxy.

"Rickman," Ezra said, his voice weak but still easy to hear over the dull hum of the engines.

"Welcome back, Captain. How was your nap?" Peter Rickman was generally a light-hearted fellow, even when a situation was dire. It's why Ezra kept him on for so long. Anyone could b smart, but only some had the ability to make others feel better when the chips were down.

"Too long. Report."

"You're lucky. If you had sat outside much longer you would have probably bled out. The shell sli-"

"I meant crew report, Peter. Where are we? How long have we been in warp? How is Shawn?"

Peter sighed. "I knew what you meant, Ezra. But I was trying to be more personable. We've been at warp for a few hours now, on our way to Vega Outpost. Your engineer is fine. She got us prepped to launch as soon as she knew you were being taken care of."

"Good," Ezra said softly before sitting up. He winced and grit his teeth hard, his body protesting his every move, though he did not listen. Nor did he listen to Peter when he told him to lay back down. An icy stare was all the captain needed to quiet the man's rebellious insistence. Slowly he made his way back to his quarters so he could redress. There was a gift he needed to give, one of gratitude and repayment for the favor given freely to him, despite the sacrifice that was made to give it.

Ezra did not knock before entering the engine room. He spotted Shawn immediately and could see the puffy and red eyes. Her loss was great, even if the captain did not fully understand it. "I need your help with something," he said in his normal voice. In his arms was a crate, not too large or heavy but obviously holding something inside. Slowly and carefully he sat himself facing Shawn, then began opening the box. "I have a lot of parts in here that i've collected over the years, not all of them legal. I thought you could help me put them together. After all..." Ezra reached into his pocket and withdrew a data stick, which he offered to Shawn. "... no one should have to leave a friend behind."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:59 am

Shawn heard Ezra enter the room and did her best to wipe the wetness from her cheeks. When he held out the data stick for her to take, her brow furrowed in confusion and she just stared at him for a moment. Then it clicked. With a shaky hand she grabbed it, looking up at him. "Is this..? How did you..?" She couldn't formulate words; jumping to her feet, she grabbed her tablet and inserted the data into a slot on the side. All of Iotas memory and data was backed up and safe. She didn't have to lose her best friend.

Whirling to face Ezra, her face lit up, a wide smile spreading across her lips. "Thank you." Dropping back down in front of the box, she began to sift through the parts, occasionally glancing at the tablet. "Are you handy? I've got a couple of things I can make with these parts, but until I have Iota back I'm going to need help." Shawn didn't have to say that she would only trust him to help her.

Using her tablet, she pulled up the original blueprints to her small companion and held it out for Ezra to take. "Could you go through the box and find the parts similar to what's shown here? I've got something else I want to make, too." She planned on making him a bracelex just like hers, only slightly more advanced. Not only would it give him access to the core data like she had, but it would also allow him to control the ship and have secondary access to Iota in case she was unavailable. Pulling out several different tools, and parts of her own,  she began to pull together and create his gift, her focus solely on the task at hand. Shawn still needed to finish the cloaking device, but until she had her metallic companion it wasn't going to be finished for quite a while.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:00 am

"A bit, yes, though only in hardware. My body produces a much stronger EM field than Humans or Metas, so complicated devices and computer software tend to malfunction around me." Ezra was happy that she was happy. She had regained hope that her best friend would float again, but it also meant that she would have back the assistant she had become so used to having to help with her work. It benefited everyone.

Because she asked and did not command, Ezra began to sift through the crate of parts, looking for the ones she needed while removing some things he believed she would want. He wasn't an engineer by far, so he lacked the familiarity with more complex creations. But he had studied some, and had a working knowledge decent enough to get by in a pinch, as long as nothing catastrophic occurred.

He set the smaller bits in a metal pan to keep them from rolling and sliding away every time the ship made a maneuver or bounced through a gravity spike, while the larger things he sat carefully on the floor. "I am curious. Iota is your assistant and your friend. But you are talented and intelligent and pretty. Why would you have no other friends?"

Ezra didn't have as much tact as he used to have, having given it up a long time ago in lieu of straightforward and clear speech. When he threatened someone, it was extremely clear that it was a threat. A compliment was a compliment. The only emotion he had a hard time mastering was sarcasm, for he was so serious most of the time that most people could not tell when he was kidding around and when he was being serious.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:01 am

Hearing Ezra speaking, Shawn leaned forward and recorded his voice into her bracelex for voice recognition software. Watching it synchronize, she didn't respond at first, then she continued to work on her device, not looking up at him.

"I do better with machines. People judge too harshly, and hate easily. They treat you differently because of your name, or who you're related to. A lot of people see me as a CEOs daughter, not an engineer, or even a person. I prefer my machines." Shawn narrowed her eyes, chewing on her lip. Pushing herself up onto her knees, she leaned towards Ezra and measured his forearm, then nodded. Putting a few finishing touches on her secret gift, she sat back and grinned.

"I made you something." The engineer took the bracelex and snapped it onto his arm. "It's like mine." Shawn explained what it could do, and that it was voice activated. Since he put out a higher EM field, she insulated the core inside so even an EMP would have to be insanely powerful to shut it down.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:01 am

Looking down at the bracelet, Ezra felt a small piece of his armor sluff away, revealing just a bit of the tenderness concealed within. It was a needless gesture, but a very kind one nonetheless. He hadn't received a gift in a very long time. Nothing notable or thoughtful at any rate. His crew and his contacts sometimes thanked him, but he rarely felt appreciated, even on board his own ship. In no time at all, Shawn had made him actually feel good about himself.

Of course most of that sentiment was kept under wraps, though he did smile. "Thank you, Shawn. You didn't have to do this, but I appreciate it." Ezra fooled around with it a bit, not having much of an idea how it worked or how it was supposed to do the things she spoke of, but he was sure he would figure it out in time. He went back to the task on which he had set himself before the kind gesture, using his power to weld and cut.

In only a few minutes he had already gathered together most of the parts on the list. "You know... this could take a while. Are you okay with that?"

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:02 am

"I can show you how to use it if you want. It has voice recognition software so if you issue a command, it'll respond, and there's an uplink to the Marauder too." Shawn leaned forward and pointed at some of the things on his bracelex before she went back to separating and organizing the things she was going to need for Iota.

"I am aware it could take a while. But it doesn't matter. I don't care how long it takes." Shawn looked up at him and grinned. "You're not doing too bad anyway. I can show you how to go to the next part." Shawn pulled the next section of blueprints, this one only showing a small section of the body piece. "Would you mind starting this part so I can get his data pack together? I'm going to insulate a back up just like I did for your bracelex." Without really waiting for a reaponse, she began to focus on the next task at hand. It was going to take her a while to piece all of him together again, but thanks to Ezra she had a shot.

Pausing for a moment Shawn looked up at him through her hair, a small smile touching her lips. She would have lost her best friend forever if not for him. Maybe, even though he was a pirate, he wasn't as bad as she had initially thought.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:03 am

Oblivious to the smile, Ezra kept his focus on the parts in front of him. With a set of plans, he could do quite a bit, but translating a design in his head to a physical item was always very difficult for him. That difficulty, however, seemed to be alleviated by the mood in the room. Shawn's angry demeanor had been replaced with... contentment? Could it be that she was actually enjoying that moment in time with a dirty, loathsome pirate?

"Luckily we have plenty of time. Vega is about a week out. We don't have any current obligations, so no pressing matters. Our resident smart person wants me on rest for the next few days, so I will be able to help between responsibilities." Admittedly, Ezra was having a nice time with Shawn. It seemed that, for a time, she had forgotten the animosity that spawned when they met, and he himself was discovering that he had more respect for her than he originally believed he would.

"You know you earned a lot of points today with the crew. You probably don't care, and that's fine. I just wanted you to know that there are some that are grateful to you." Ezra finished the piece he was working on, then leaned back to observe the work they had already accomplished. It wasn't much in the eyes of a maser, perhaps, but to him it was an accomplishment.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:04 am

Shawn went back to working on the data core for Iota, pulling a pair of magnifying glasses from her pocket, so she could see the smaller pieces better. "At least the whole crew doesn't want to lynch me now." She joked. Whether or not the crew hated her wasn't a concern. None of them came near the engine room, and even if they did Ezra was in there with her; Shawn knew for a fact that they wouldn't try anything with him there.

After a few moments of silence, she pulled another set of glasses out and handed them to the Captain. The lenses were a light blue, and were to shield him from her tools. She slid a pair of clip on blue lenses onto her glasses and pulled out another tool. This one was long and thin, the tip very fine. "Don't look at the light." Was all she said as she kicked it on. It was almost like a miniature welder, and would secure the innermost parts of Iota; what she was doing was closing a compartment that housed the insulated backup.

"Okay.." Sighing softly, Shawn pushed her glasses up on to her head and leaned back to stretch. Curiously she gazed over at what he had been working on, and she grinned. "Heeeey, not too bad. For this next piece, if you angle it slightly, like this, it'll go together easier, and it will be stronger."

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:04 am

Taking the advice to heart, Ezra angled the pieces and started to melt them together, taking his time so as to prevent any errors. The ambient temperature right around him was rising slowly, steadily, to the point where it may have started to feel uncomfortable. Ezra, of course, didn't seem to notice one bit, but then again he was used to a high body temperature. To him it was anything but abnormal. His eyes stayed focus on what he did, however, carefully locked on his project.

A two pieces became one, then another, until he had constructed a large portion of what would be the outer shell. It was a sleek design, modern and extremely durable, but with the versatility would make it adaptable to nearly any situation. The metals and materials Ezra had brought seemed to be extremely easy to work with, responsive to the touch but incredibly difficult to break. Feeling rather pleased, the captain turned his attention to Shawn, eager to see what she had going.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:05 am

Finishing up what was left on Iotas data pack, Shawn set that aside and immediately went to work on assembling the smaller pieces of his body. Her eyes were slightly narrow, her lips pursed in concentration, clicking smaller pieces into place, her hands moving fast. When she noticed that she was being watched, she looked up and tilted her head to the side.

"Oh, look at that!" Putting down the small piece she had been working on Shawn shifted her body and moved over to Ezra's side. "That's amazing. It's flawless!" She grinned wide at Ezra, hope in her eyes that she would have her best friend soon. Yes, it would take a while to put him all together, but with Ezra to help her it wouldn't take nearly as long.

Turning back to the small data pack, she plugged it into her tablet and began to synchronize it with her bracelex and his. If Iota was going to be a product of them working together, then he would also have access. As she was waiting for it to sync up, Shawn turned to Ezra, a soft smile on her lips.

"Thank you. Really. You didn't have to do this.. and I want you to know that it means more to me than you probably understand." She didn't say it in a derogatory way; she meant it to be grateful. No one understood her connection with Iota and likely no one would. But Ezra, even without understanding why, had brought her pieces, hope, to rebuild her best friend that she had lost to save him.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:06 am

"You'd be surprised," Ezra replied, a slight smile on his lips but a distant sorrowful look in his eyes. He knew what it was to lose everything and everyone, to give up all that he knew and offer it up as a sacrifice for what needed to be done. But it wasn't just the importance of preserving her friendship with the machine that brought him to her work space with spare parts in tow. It was his fault that she had to leave it behind in the first place. His accountability for his own actions were just as known among the crew as his wrath and vengeance.

Blinking rapidly, Ezra shook himself out of the dangerous train of thought he had been riding and brought himself back to the present. Genuinely glad that she was pleased, Ezra continued his work. "I wouldn't say flawless, anyway. I try to be careful about what I do. I'd rather do something slow and get it right the first time rather than quickly mess it up five or six times before I get it right." There was no sense in giving less than all of his ability to any task set in front of him. Why risk having to do the work again when he was perfectly capable of getting it right the first time?

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:06 am


Shawn just grinned at him. He may have been a Captain but she had no doubt that he could be a decent engineer assistant. She kept that thought to herself though, and turned back to her work. Part of the outer shell may have been completed but there was still so much left she had to do.

Shawn was excellent at throwing herself into her work, going silent for hours as she developed and created things, whether new or improving upon the old. Having lost Iota in such a way, she planned on improving his durability to ensure that something like this never happened again. Quickly her hands worked, a look of deep concentration on her face as the engineer put together the smaller pieces of Iotas inner shell. It was going to take a while for the data to completely sync with her bracelex and Ezra's, but that didn't mean she had to wait around.

When most of the inner shell had been assembled, she set it aside and continued to work on her first project with Iota. The encryption codes. It was proving to be difficult, but she was determined. More so since Ezra didn't think she'd be able to crack the code and get in. But she would. Shawn never gave up on something unless it was completely and undeniably impossible.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:07 am

Ezra seemed pretty content with the silence, resting his back against the bulkhead and continuing his work. Hardly ever did he desire communication and dialogue for the simply sake of avoiding awkward silences. Besides, judging by the way Shawn has locked her focus entirely on her project, Ezra doubted he would get much of a response anyway. So rather than press any issues or break her conversation just to put words in the air, he worked silently, carefully, and meticulously to amend the mistake he'd made.

After several silent minutes went by, the PA system overhead came to life, barking clearly the captain's name and asking him to come to the bridge. After a brief moment of consideration, Ezra stopped. He closed his eyes and breathed a deep breath, then laid his work carefully on the counter to Shawn's right.

"A captain's duty is never done... even when he'd just almost bled to death. I'll come by later to check on things." Pushing himself to his feet was no easy task, but he managed to get it down without wincing once, though his entire body felt as though it might fall apart any moment. Ezra then made his way to the bridge as requested. He stopped just inside the door, completely dumbfounded by what he was seeing.

"What's wrong sir," the man asked teasingly. "Feel like you've seen a ghost?"

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:07 am


The sound of the PA system coming on did not cut through Shawn's concentrarion, nor did Ezra's movement or his simple farewell. She barely looked up, mumbling a soft 'see ya' before once again delving deep into her work. After so long, however, she shifted her position as her back was beginning to ache, and she looked up to see that the captain was gone. For a long moment she stared at the space he had previously occupied a slender eyebrow raising. Where had he gone?

Standing up to stretch, Shawn yawned deeply, her exhaustion beginning to catch up to her once again. Not yet having slept, or really taken a moment to relax, she thought about wandering the vessel and exploring as a tiny break from her work. The engineer walked to the door and stood there, her hand hovering over the door lock, debating whether or not she should venture out. Ezra had said that a lot of the crew no longer wanted her dead, but there were still some that did. Without knowing who was who, and without Ezra by her side to protect her, there was no telling if she'd return to that room alive.

Shawn's hand fell to her side, and she sighed softly, turning back towards her projects, the parts strewn across the floor. "Well, I guess my break is over." She half smiled to herself, almost disappointed, as she once again threw herself into completing the encryption, and rebuilding her best, and only, friend.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Machine Man on Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:24 am

Ezra stood in the doorway, his mouth closed and eyes locked as a set of figures turned toward him, though he did not need to wait to see their faces to know who they were. Erik, back from the dead. While he wasn't sure how it was possible, his original engineer was standing in front of him, very much alive and apparently unharmed by the event that had caused his expected demise. In his typical fashion, Erik wore a sarcastic smile. Against his back, Jen rested her head, her sobbing almost silent but consuming.

The man standing next to Erik, however, was what haunted him the most. A face from his deep past, one that he hoped never to see again. Roughly the same age as the captain, the unnamed male was scruffy looking, with thick brown hair and quite a bit of stubble on his face. The smile he wore was sarcastic, but mischievous as well, just like Ezra remembered.

"Erik, good to see you alive. I see you've made a new friend," Ezra spoke, his eyes never leaving the one strange to the rest of the crew."

"Aye, I did sir. Plucked me out of the stars as I drifted along. I figured I knew where you'd be going, and he was kind enough to deliver us here." Erik gestured to Jack, the scruffy-looking Loki-wannabe. "His name is..."

"Jack," Ezra interrupted. "Yes, I know. Been a long time, hasn't it?"

"Oh yes, Ezra. A very long time. Last time I saw you, you were standing in the middle of a pile of rubble and bodies. But now look at you, a ship's captain?!" Jack belly laughed at the notion, though no one seemed to understand why. "You just can't stay out of the spotlight, can you?"

"What do you want, Jack?" Ezra's patience for the man clearly never existed. There was a deeply-seeded hatred for Jack, and Ezra would have loved to end him right then and there, but he knew he couldn't. The only Meta he had not beaten, Jack was the living embodiment of bad news.

"What I always want, my old friend. Erik... did you know that Ezra replaced you already? Not just any old engineer though. He actually got the girl that tried to kill you!"

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:23 pm

Once again consumed by her work, Shawn began to piece together the rest of the outer shell. The inner protection for the data pack was mostly complete, but she couldn't finish it completely until it had been synchronized. With the world around her completely blocked out, she let her thoughts wander. How was it that a pirate was kinder to her than anyone else? He knew who she was and yet treated her no differently, as far as she knew, even going so far to help her repair her AI. An AI that he had no connection to.

"I suppose that's why..." The engineer mumbled to herself, considering that guilt was his motivation for it. Though there was no way he would have known they would have gotten attacked. "Maybe that's not it.." She bit her lip, trying to come up with a reasonable explanation and finding none. Brushing it off, she shook her head and turned her thoughts back to Iota.

Putting down her current work, she picked up his original blueprints and began to pull together a new design. Sleek, and compact, including the new materials that Ezra had provided to her.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Machine Man on Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:56 pm

Jack's laugh echoed across the bridge, grating on Ezra's nerves immediately, so much, in fact, that the captain did not initially notice the deathly glare he received from Erik the Engineer. "You replaced me!? With the girl that tried to KILL ME!?" The sound of his voice snapped Ezra out of his memories and back to the present. He scowled slightly, his facial features becoming strong and cold.

"The Marauder needed an engineer. You were gone. I took the cards that were given to me and dealt with them in the way I best saw fit." Ezra's explanation was very matter-of-fact. He was a captain, and did not have to explain his actions to his crew. "I filled a role that needed to be filled, and she was the most qualified person aboard that ship."

"You asshole... You don't even care do you?"

"I do not," Ezra replied, the bored scowl still written across his fingers."

"Oooo, so cold, Ezra." Jack piped in then, inserting his two cents at the most inappropriate time, as always. "Not a funeral or grave to be had for your lost crew members. Just replaced them like you'd replace a damaged weapon or broken panel. I don't recall you being so dark. Let's see how the rest of your crew feels about your replacement."

Reaching through the Void, as was Jack's ability, he appeared behind Shawn and, by merely resting his hand on her shoulder, pulled her onto the bridge. He materialized in his original spot, while Shawn was placed to Ezra's right, much to the crew's astonishment.

The novelty, however, quickly wore off, as gasps turned to murmurs of treachery and murder and revenge.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Danry on Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:49 pm

Shawn felt someone touch her, and her entire body froze. For one long moment, she felt panic rise inside of her; within the blink of an eye she was no longer in the engine room, but on the bridge. In her hands was the tablet, Iotas blueprints displayed on the screen. Completely dumbfounded, Shawn looked around the room, every single one of them an unfamiliar face except for the few she thought she killed, and Ezra.

The seconds ticked by as she stood there, her eyes wide confusion and fear written across her features. 'What the fuck is going on?' Shawn could not comprehend how she had gotten from the engine room to the bridge. While she felt somewhat relieved that those she had ejected into space had survived, she was also a bit apprehensive. It had been an accidental almost death, as she had never intended to actually kill them, but she doubted they'd feel that way. Plus, from what it looked like, the previous engineer was back and that meant one thing.

Shawn was no longer welcome, or needed, aboard the Marauder.

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

Post by Machine Man on Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:14 am

Ezra scowled when Shawn suddenly appeared on his flank, not surprised by her appearance but very much irritated by it. She was supposed to be kept safe and sound back in engineering, where the piercing gaze of each crew member could not reach her. Immediately and instinctively he grabbed Shawns hand and pulled her behind him protectively, though he never leg go of her.

"My decisions are not yours to judge, Jack, nor do I need to explain myself to the crew. You all sail under my command. If you do not approve of my decisions feel free to disembark the next time we land on world. If you want to push the issue, you'll find yourself off-ship before we even touch ground again." Ezra's threat hung heavily in the air, causing much of the crew to shrink back. His temperature rose sharply, prepared to defend her against anyone who tried to inflict any harm on her.

Jack, in the meantime, just grinned, delighting in the pain and misery he had brought to the ship. "Oh Ezra, always rushing to the aid of the weak. You're so predictable it's boring. And you, dear sweet grease-monkey, always trying to look so tough in front of everyone else. But I know the truth. I see through you."

Murmurs circulated among the crew. Doubt, anger, and anxiety flowed through them like the rising tide, leaving many of them on a razor's edge. Ezra watched carefully, reading the body language and flow of energy among the crew, hoping that none of them would try to do anything stupid.

"Erik, you are no longer the ship's engineer. You may stay on board as a deck hand until we make port, but after that you are to find another ship to sail on. Understood?"

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Re: Stars with Black Sails

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