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    Three Pirates and a Pig

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    Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 16/02/11, 04:39 pm

    Just after noon the day after the botched rescue of her parents, Luk Mei Xiu sat in the specialized pilot's couch of Deliverance. Readouts scrolled across the HUD as she contemplated their next course. She decided to take them almost directly up from the system plane, moving them out of the path of any likely passersby while they contemplated their next move. It'd be a short trip, and the way clear, making the calculations simple. As she locked in the course, she heard the stairs to the crew deck lower, followed by her brother and Athena's voices.

    With a mental signal, she disengaged the neural interface. She waited for it to recede before swinging her legs over the edge of her resting place and looking towards the newcomers. She favored them with a smile as she reported.

    "System's working as expected, full control through the interface. We're making a short burn up, then we can lay in a jump in a more directed course. How's things with the new...crew, I guess?"
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 16/02/11, 04:52 pm

    "Good!" Weihan sprawled down lazily in the captain's chair, settling Lingling down on his lap. He looked tired, which was typical "I mean, the course is good. Thew new crew.... I haven't seen all of them today, I don't think? Doctor seems alright, anyway."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Kitrazzle on 17/02/11, 12:53 am

    Athena smiled back at Mei Xui as she sat at the nav/com station. "Glad to hear everything's working." She looks a little less sanguine about the newcomers. "I'm reserving judgement on them. Dr Jones gave us a false name, Mister Huang has some touches of Alliance military to his speech. Ran into him in the cargo bay this morning, doing yoga of all things."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 17/02/11, 01:13 am

    "Well, there's nothing wrong with *that*." Weihan waved a hand dismissively. Mei Xiu has been Alliance mil - that was hardly a problem. He was more concerned about some of the others and their leanings... "How do you know about the doctor, though? Its no surprise, I suppose. She mostly struck me as scared."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Kitrazzle on 17/02/11, 02:44 am

    Lacing her fingers together over her stomach, Athena nodded urbanely. "Nothing wrong, no, but we don't know what else he's hiding and it could be a source of friction. Granted, he didn't sound like a career officer, so I don't think he'll give us any trouble directly."

    She gave a sly little smirk when asked about Lee. "I may or may not have glanced over her shoulder when she was on the Cortex and looked her up afterwards. She suspects me of knowing, so I'm going to continue calling her Dr Jones until such time as she feels like trusting us. Her real name's Melena Tanner, big fancy doctor for the Companion Guild. Convicted in absentia of blackmail and sexual assault of a Companion, though the evidence presented was highly circumstantial." Athena flexed her eyebrows upward in an expression of quiet 'take that how you will' suspicion. "Of course there's no way to know the truth of the matter, but we do need a proper doctor on hand. It will cause certain...complications, but the benefits outweigh the risks at this point."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 17/02/11, 03:01 am

    "Well, that seems like its going to be an ongoing evaluation, really. I mean, I know we're criminals, but we happen to know we're innocent of everything before we resisted arrest. These folks...I don't know." Mei Xiu stepped off the pilot interface couch, walking over to the manual control console and taking a seat.

    "I'm not saying I don't trust them. Solomon seems a decent sort, and he's was in for the worst crime of the bunch. But any one of them could hit us with something out of nowhere, and then ai ya, wo mun wan luh, you know?"
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 17/02/11, 09:22 am

    Weihan frowned when Athena described Dr. Jones's background. The accusations didn't jive with his impressions, and he was usually a good judge of these thing - at least he had been. But the Companions ran a pretty tight ship. It would be something to keep an eye out for. He smiled over at his sister's comment.

    "Out of nowhere, Jei jei? I think I can handle that. Let me worry about them. Those sisters seem the worst of the lot really - but I think we'll be okay. If you notice any problems, let me know." He looked over at Athena thoughtfully. "Did you find anything out about the others?"
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Kitrazzle on 17/02/11, 09:09 pm

    Athena nodded at Mei Xui's cautious realism; the woman always had shown good sense. Any one of these strangers could theoretically land them in more hot water then they could handle at any time, but there wasn't much they could do about it until they were better informed.

    Wei Han's assessment made her smirk. Even with brain damage, the playboy's instincts still amazed her. She bowed her head at his question. Now was as good a time as any to make her report. "Preliminary searches were all I had time for last night. I have names, birth dates and places, and the charges they were arrested on. You're right, the Abel sisters are the only career criminals of the bunch; they were buried beneath rap sheets bigger then your ego. Various conspiracy to commit's, bribery, assault and battery, both petty and grand theft, the works. On the other side of the spectrum, we have Mr Solomon Phillip with second degree murder. He shot a Fed who had boarded his ship to arrest someone. Huang Li Shen was bound by law for assault of an Alliance officer, which matches what he told us. Everyone but the sisters seem to have kept their noses fairly clean."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 18/02/11, 12:16 am

    "Except for murder and assault, sexual or otherwise." Mei Xiu sighed heavily, slouching in her chair. "Again, not that they all seem like terrible people, and we'd be waiting a long time if we're trying to find honest and upright pirates. I just hate feeling so desperate. Rung txe fwo txoo bao yo wuo muhm." She threw her hands in the air, exasperated.
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 18/02/11, 12:33 am

    Weihan couldn't help but smirk at Athena's comment, but turned serious as his sister spoke. "We're not all of among the Āluóhàn*," he answered quietly. "If we follow this course, we will wind up doing things....more things... we may never have considered before. But we will take care of each other. That is what is important now."


    [* enlightened followers of Buddha, basically, ish Wink ]
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 18/02/11, 12:53 am

    "I couldn't agree more. I'm going to do whatever it takes to see you two safely through all this and get mom and dad back. Its just..." Mei Xiu looked down, her hands folded into her lap. She took a deep breath before continuing.

    "I've fought the good fight before. Its not like I haven't dealt with life or death situations before, but I always had people I could trust backing me up. I trust you two with my life." She pointed to the ceiling, her expression worried. "Now we're outnumbered, though. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I don't want to lose any more, you know?"
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Kitrazzle on 18/02/11, 02:46 am

    Athena sighed through her nose, her expression an odd mix of understanding, thoughtfulness, and lingering suspicion. "This is a slippery slope, comrades. As commendable as our willingness is to spare no effort for each others' sakes, we must bear in mind that the more laws we break in pursuit of your illustrious parents, the harder it will be to clear our names and regain our reputations."

    "That being said, I am a strong believer in extenuating circumstance. If Di-di had remembered what Krause had done, there's a good chance he would have given him a taste of his own medicine, which would put him on approximately the same legal footing that Mr Phillip was on. You know I don't like to trust people any further then I can throw them, but both of your rap sheets are probably longer then those three's. That fact alone makes me more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Of course I'm not saying we should trust any of them, I certainly don't expect the Abel's to give two figs about anyone but each other, but I'd favor giving them enough rope to hang themselves and seeing what they do."

    A grin broke through the calculating seriousness on her face. "Besides, Jei-jei, we've got the trump card. Even if we weren't the biggest team, Deliverance puts the game in our favor. If worst comes to worst, just deadbolt the other blast doors open and let them get sucked outside."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 18/02/11, 08:28 am

    As soon as Athena mentioned Krauss, Weihan's face took on a hard, blank look, and the rest of her words seemed to slide over him. He shook his head when she finished.

    "Clearing our names is bai lih mohn, Athena. There is no restoration. Only revenge."



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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 18/02/11, 08:37 am

    Mei Xiu traded a worried look with Athena and turned to regard her brother.

    "Di-di...that's definitely part of it, sure. But even more important is finding mom and dad." She swallowed somewhat nervously before continuing. "Right?"
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 18/02/11, 09:29 am

    Mei Xiu's reaction confused him - why would she question that? But Blue Sun wouldn't make it easy, either, and anything they tried might go harder on their family, and any of the other Fenghuang employees who'd been arrested... He suddenly felt very tired, and he rubbed the sides of his temples as though it might be any more effective this time at easing the dull ache.

    "Of course. Of course it is."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Kitrazzle on 18/02/11, 02:51 pm

    Athena looked to Mei Xui with a worried glance in the same instant that the pilot looked to her. Depression and rage were definitely not good signs, and neither was the headache. Standing silently, she moved behind Weihan and began massaging his scalp, careful to not use too much pressure.

    "Well, while we're wishing, don't give up hope. Your parents aren't exactly the sort of people to sit around and twiddle their thumbs, after all."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 18/02/11, 07:08 pm

    Weihan tensed initially when Athena touched his head, stifling a more brusque reaction, and made himself relax. It did feel better - he slumped back in his hair and closed his eyes.

    "No, you're right, but I don't know what they can do now. Did I say anything to you, before they showed up?"
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 19/02/11, 12:11 am

    "Before Krauss and the feds showed up? Day of, you didn't say too much. Before that, though, you'd mentioned hearing some troubling rumors from...someone. Mom, maybe? Or Tian Xing? Not to sound mocking, but I can't remember." Mei Xiu, shrugged apologetically. "It seemed kind of far-fetched at the time."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 19/02/11, 01:39 am

    "Then maybe there is a plan. Was a plan." He shook is head, leaning forward just out of Athena's reach. "Mi tian gohn. But we *will* make this work out. Hopefully without spacing any of the new crew... I'll try and work out some kind of reasonable arrangement to keep them happy."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 19/02/11, 08:46 am

    Mei Xiu forced her features into a cheery smile, leaning forward as she spoke.

    "Right! So then I guess we need to worry about more immediate issues at the moment, like feeding everyone and keeping this ship flying. Well, fueled anyway. I'm certain Deliverance will be flying fine for a good while."

    Her face screwed up in thought, considering.

    "And I guess there was talk of arming everyone, and that means we need to...find out how to do that without alerting the government." She paused, a look of mild surprise on her face. "That felt far more comfortable to say than it seems like it should have. I guess this whole 'pirate' thing is going to take some getting used to." Despite herself, she smiled, happy to have some purpose after the disastrous rescue attempt.
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Kitrazzle on 21/02/11, 11:17 pm

    After taxing the synapses for a bit, Athena couldn't remember hearing anything that would lead her to believe that anyone in the family or company had known what was coming. He must have told Mei Xui when they weren't around her. She went back to her seat at nav/com when Weihan removed himself from easy massaging range, sitting sideways with her arm over the back of the chair. Mei Xui's surprise at her ease with voicing plots against her former employers made her chuckle.

    "Just a bit, yeah. We should be feeling a lot easier about it once we've done a few jobs. We might even take weapons from the ships we hit instead of buying them, but you're right about the more pressing matters. We need money before we can pay the crew and outfit Deliverance for longer voyages. And I might just have a lead on that..."

    A mischievous grin curled her lips. "There was a container ship scheduled to leave Persephone about five hours ago. I got the manifest and itinerary when I was hunting down the prisoner transport. She's carrying all sorts of goods, and we'll still be within easy range of her for a while."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by elanya on 23/02/11, 12:29 am

    "We need weapons now, before we go after anything. If she's still in range once we have that sorted, we'll see. It seems like some of the crew might have some useful contacts, on that front.... Though it may take some careful coordination all its own. We're going to have to be careful where we show ourselves."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Josh on 23/02/11, 01:07 am

    Mei Xiu leaned forward, an idea forming in her brain. She smiled as she spoke up.

    "We may not need weapons first. You said it was a container ship, right? Do you remember the model? Its possible we might be able to manage it without even alerting the crew."
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    Re: Three Pirates and a Pig

    Post by Kitrazzle on 23/02/11, 02:38 am

    The slyness in her grin grew as Mei Xui took her train of thought and began to run with it. "Tian Lu class, the long range light freighter. She's called Savannah, registered to one Malachi Ostrowski of Ezra."

    Athena twirled a lock of cherry red hair around her finger, smirking just a little. "It sounds like you're thinking what I'm thinking. Give me a few hours before we approach the others and I'll have a 3-D model of the blueprints worked up with the manifest and container locations."

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