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    Onward

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    Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 05:35 pm

    After making coffee for them both, Mei Xiu had wandered off to another part of the ship, leaving Solomon alone with his slow roast and his thoughts. He wandered up to the main common room and stood in front of the floor to ceiling viewing panels as he sipped the strong, hot coffee.

    He flipped the switch to turn on the monitors and they blazed to life in their standby mode, which scrolled slowly through local news and weather for nearby systems along with updates on alliance shipping lanes and other pertenant information.

    Solomon grunted. It was too early for that sort of thing.

    With another few keystrokes on the control panel he switched to the forward exterior view of the ship, showing the millions of tiny lights flickering and sliding slowly by as the ship hurtled out through the black.

    Solomon smiled. This was his home. He had loved his ship dearly, and he mourned her loss as he mourned the loss of his son, but even on Deliverance the black was still here for him, and he knew that it always would be. Somewhere out there, among the planets and stars, his destiny was still waiting. For now, that was enough.

    When he heard someone approaching from behind him he spoke without turning around.

    "It's beautiful, isn't it?"


    Last edited by tuck on 21/02/11, 12:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 20/02/11, 06:06 pm

    Even with all of Lee's experience in sleeping odd hours, sleep finally caught up with her not long after she'd given Weihan his check up. She hadn't intended to sleep, merely to sit down in the quiet and think for a moment before heading out to do some research on the cortex. Somehow that hadn't quite worked, and next thing she was waking up sprawled awkwardly across the bed.
    A quick check of the clock told her she'd been asleep for several hours-which agreed with the kink in her neck she had from sleeping funny. Nothing to be done about it now, if she'd needed sleep that badly then it was good that she'd slept. Now, though, it was time to get to business. She planned on making herself as useful as possible in hopes of distracting people from looking into her background-not that she particularly expected it to work, but it was the best plan she had, since Athena had probably already gotten her name due to her lack of forethought.
    With that in mind, she walked into the common area. She could still get a lot of work done before the others woke up, most likely.
    Or not.
    For the second time that night there was someone already there. For a moment she didn't think he'd noticed her as he stared into what looked like the external view of the ship.
    "Yeah, it's amazing." Beautiful was definitely a word for it, Lee supposed. She would have probably gone with overwhelming or terrifying or awe inspiring. For all it's beauty it was a little cold for a girl who'd spent most of her life planetside. Sure, she'd traveled before, she'd even worked on a ship before. But there was something a little bit different about this small ship that was all any of them had anymore. "I'm guessing that's outside?"
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 06:13 pm

    "Sure is. Best view anywhere in the 'verse",Solomon said as he took another sip of his coffee. After another moment he turned and looked at the doctor. She looked as if she'd either just woken up or not yet been to sleep.

    "You're up early, Doctor. There's more coffee in the mess. I can get you some if you'd like."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 20/02/11, 06:36 pm

    Lee couldn't help but smile at the man's obvious love for the black. The smile she saw as he turned made it clear he was entirely at home in it.
    The suggestion of coffee brought a smile to her own face. "Oh, that would be brilliant." she said happily, "I'm still a bit in shock, I think. That makes sleeping rather difficult."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 06:48 pm

    Solomon smiled and set his own coffee down on one of the low tables.

    "Be right back, then..." he said as he walked toward the kitchen. He returned a minute later with a fresh cup of hot coffee and a small container of freeze-dried cream.

    "So, doctor..." he said as he handed her the cup, "You said you were from the Core worlds? Must be a little unsettling out here in the middle of nowhere."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 20/02/11, 06:57 pm

    Lee grinned at Solomon when he came back with coffee and cream. "Thank you so much." She gushed, taking the cup and adding in a touch of cream before stirring and taking a sip. "It's... very different." She admitted. "Persephone was strange enough, and it at least was still fairly urban." She blushed a bit and took another sip. "I've honestly never lived in a place where I didn't see a hundred faces I didn't know every day. This is so strange."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 07:06 pm

    Solomon smiled. He had never been a planetsider, but he was well aware that his life wasn't for everyone.

    "You get used to it after a while. In a lot of ways I think it's better out here without so many people always around. Whenever I'm planetside I feel... crowded. Trapped. I don't know, maybe that doesn't make much sense, but here I've got the whole wide 'verse opened up around me."

    He gestured to the panorama constantly unfolding on the monitor in front of them.

    "How could I possibly be content with just one piece of rock after seein' that? Besides, out here I know where I stand. Planetside you might know a million people, but you really don't know any of them. Spend a few weeks on a ship with someone and I guarantee you'll know who your friends are."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 20/02/11, 07:16 pm

    Lee nodded. "I think, given half a chance, I might get used to this." she admitted. "I tend to keep to myself anyway, and I never really did much with the whole big planet no matter where I lived." She shrugged. "A hundred stars or a hundred people around aren't quite so different when you don't go out and see either one."
    She took another long sip of coffee before continuing. "Not sure how I feel about getting cozy with a whole bunch of people I've never met, though. Perhaps it's a bit hypocritical of me, but knowing that everyone on this ship broke the law in ways big enough to get indentured? Not exactly something that's going to make me sleep well at night."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 09:50 pm

    Solomon took another swig of coffee and sat back on the arm of one of the pseudo-leather couches scattered around the room.

    "Interesting you should mention that, Doctor. I don't believe you ever mentioned exactly what it was you didn't do."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 20/02/11, 10:04 pm

    Lee was very interested all of a sudden in the upholstery pattern of a nearby couch. She should have seen that one coming a mile away. She gripped the mug carefully in both hands to keep from spilling anything-her hands were starting to shake.

    "Erm, yeah. I suppose I didn't." she replied, still looking away in an attempt to school her features. She shouldn't have this problem-she had always been a brilliant actress, she was used to having to lie-and lie well at that. Why was it all of a sudden so much harder?

    Oh, right. More was riding on this one. If the wrong crewmember decided they weren't keen on having a rapist on board, not only would her innocence not matter, but she'd probably end up stranded somewhere unpleasant.

    Well, it wasn't like Solomon could take offense-he willingly admitted to murder. Still, though. Telling them at this point was probably not the smartest move. People tended to get weird about sexual crimes-and for good reason, too. Back in simpler times she would have been the first one rooting for tougher punishments for rapists. "I'm not quite sure that's any of your business." She told him eventually. "With all due respect. I think perhaps it is unwise to trust too quickly, especially with that sort of information."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 10:31 pm

    Solomon nodded and took a long drink of his coffee.

    "Maybe." he said, "But unfortunately we may not have the time you need to get cozy."

    He stood up and took a step towards the viewing screen, gesturing towards it with one finger.

    "That may look like a whole lot of space out there, Doctor, but don't let it fool you none. It's a smaller galaxy than you may think. The past has a way of comin' back for you, sooner or later. Don't misunderstand me, I don't like prying into your business any more than you do. A man's demons are his own, and as long as he fights them on his own terms, then I'm fine with it."

    He turned and gazed steadily at the doctor.

    "But the moment those demons start knockin' on my door, then I got a problem."

    He turned back to the screen and held the still-steaming cup up to his mouth.

    "With all due respect."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 20/02/11, 10:43 pm

    Lee swallowed hard and sat down on the couch she'd been staring at. She knew he was right. It'd already come calling once, getting her arrested and nearly wrecking poor Nick's whole life. Granted everyone on this ship had something to be arrested for, but everyone else had been honest. Well, except for those sisters, and she could already tell that they were career criminal types.

    In the end, it might raise more suspicion if she didn't tell. She didn't want to risk it. After a few moment's silence as they sat staring at the monitor, she shook her head. "Rape." she said softly. "They think I raped my lover. Well, ex lover now, I suppose. I don't think it's wise to romantically attach yourself to the woman who called you a rapist."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 10:58 pm

    For a long while Solomon was silent as he stared at the monitor and finished off the last of his coffee. He carefully set the cup down on the low table and sighed.

    "I've been around a long time, Doctor. Met lotsa folks. Some of them good, some bad. Most somewhere in between. And truth be told, I've never seen that being one or the other ever had much to do with where someone ended up. If luck be a lady, then she's a fickle bitch. And when she looks your way, god help the man or woman who strikes her fancy."

    He turned to her and nodded.

    "I'm willing to take you at your word, Doctor. We've got a new home, now. A new chance. It's maybe not the best situation, but right now it's all we have. I'm not about to begrudge anyone the same chance I've got. But I appreciate the honesty."


    Last edited by tuck on 21/02/11, 12:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 20/02/11, 11:18 pm

    She grew steadily more nervous as the silence lasted. Her instincts were screaming at her to run, to hide, to figure out some way to keep him from telling the others. Surely there was something she could do. Some way that she could stop the inevitable condemnation.

    Instead she forced herself to remain calm, to sit there continuing to drink her coffee and act as nonchalant as if they'd been discussing the weather on Ariel. She flattered herself that she showed not a sign of concern, right up until the point when Solomon started talking.

    She did let a sigh of relief escape when he was done speaking. This was perhaps the best thing that could have happened. No requests for more information, no quirked eyebrows and pointed look, not even a vague expression of curiosity or condemnation. Just... acceptance. She thanked all her lucky stars for that. "Thank you." she told him, gratitude thickening her voice a bit. "It's only fair, you were honest with me. And you having done the one thing people would think of as worse than mine. If I was honest with you, it's because a certain rough old spacer decided it was a good idea first."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 20/02/11, 11:54 pm

    Solomon smiled.

    "We're all in the same boat here, Doctor. Literally and figuratively. For better or worse we're shipmates. I won't say nothin' to the rest of the crew, but bear in mind that whatever else they may be they're not stupid."

    He paused for a second and then shrugged.

    "Most of 'em, anyway."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by Queenofinsanity6 on 21/02/11, 12:04 am

    Lee returned his smile with a wry one of her own and a bit of a startled laugh. "That's very true." She told him, the smile fading from her face. "But there's a a bit of a distance between announcing a thing and it perhaps maybe coming to light down the line, on it's own, after time and hopefully a bit of trust has accrued, don't you think?"

    She shrugged and took another drink from her now mostly empty mug. "In any case, I try not to worry unduly about things I cannot change and focus on things that I can. Otherwise, in a predicament such as the one we currently find ourselves in, one might be inclined to melancholy."
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    Re: Onward

    Post by tuck on 21/02/11, 12:11 am

    Solomon gave Lee a half-grin and turned back towards the viewing screen.

    "One just might, Doc. One just might."

    ~End~

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