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Author Topic: H.M.A.S Badger ~ Online Æther Ship ~ Member's Wanted  (Read 36988 times)
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #550 on: October 28, 2010, 05:00:01 pm »

Pennypecker downed his brandy in a gulp thinking, “tasty but no real kick”.
He had hoped that Grey would give something away in his reaction to the message. Making a mental note not to play poker with the captain, he would have to wait and see.  

{"Your employer wished to communicate his desire for an epic flavor to our journey, and was citing some of his favorite bits of literature as examples”}

I dont think so!

Nice try Mr. Grey but Pennypecker is no fool, Ill play the part of one to find on what is going on. As for you Mr. Hurst, you my be the boss but I am a journalists, everything is my business. I am putting a puzzle together hear. For now, I will just go along collecting pieces. Dinner sounds like a good place to start.

Well in till dinner, Pennypecker decided to start getting the background information on the ship and crew. Starting with the ships officers he started interviewing each man as their duties permitted. Between them, he would try and at least speak with each crewmen.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 05:48:47 pm by Matthias Pennypecker » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #551 on: October 28, 2010, 05:32:00 pm »

Bailey noted the smug look of a man smoothly but only temporarily rebuffed on Pennypecker's features, and schooled himself to not react, either to Pennypecker or to Grey's references to 'bits of literature.' He had the impression that Pennypecker was nowhere near so fooled as one might hope. In any case, teh Sergeant-Major was used to schooling himself thus; a mason Bailey might be, but for many long years he had pretended to not be such for the sake of protecting his somewhat-assumed identity and thus his relatives. That was no longer a concern, but the ruse was a useful one in cases like this, so he kept it going for that reason. Grey knew, of course, but had said he understood Bailey's reticence.

In any case, Pennypecker would have to be prevented from uncovering too many secrets. Hmm... better post guards outside at intervals in the corridors, call it 'lockdown drill'...Also get some of the Corps lads trying out the onboard smallarms gunports; I think there's access for two dorsal ports outside Pennypecker's quarters... an active field of fire can be invaluable in any case...

As you say, MW, Kirza sent back, I'll get them on to it now.[/quote] Bailey caught Kirza's sendiong to frank's companion, Shi Iri, can we get an OK from Frank to release a about a company of trooper pairs for guard duty? And we need to start drilling the Corps for Battle Stations, repelling, boarding, and threatspotting...
Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #552 on: October 28, 2010, 06:26:43 pm »

Pennypecker had spoken with four or five of the ship officers and three of the crew men before a pattern appeared. Most of the men on this ship were British and that was what giveaway them away. Americans shake hands whenever they meet someone new. The British tend to be more formal, stiff really.

So as Pennypecker always offered his hand on a first meeting. the ships officers assumed a reason for it other then a friendly “hello“. By the third of forth time he noticed a probing of the officers thumb, as if testing for a certain hold or grip. If he recalled correctly Grey did the same thing on their first meeting. Pennypecker made a point of getting a second shake as the opportunity came up. No it only happens on the first go.

He should have made that connection sooner this ship, Widows Son! Pennypecker knew little about the freemasons but the ships name was it self a giveaway. Group of politicians and businessmen secret handshakes and secret business. Of course! Hearst! He would almost have to be one what with his connections. That message sure sounded the mumbo-jumbo usually associated with freemasons.

A ship with a crew load of freemasons? That was interesting, why but why the interest in Vandenberg and his theories!
Logged
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #553 on: October 28, 2010, 08:41:37 pm »

It wasn’t in till dinner that Pennypecker had the opportunity to put this suspicions to the test. He had entered the officers dinning hall, finding Captain Grey and most of the officers already in attendance enjoying a before dinner drink.

Nodding greetings to several officers to whom he had spoken to already, Pennypecker only sipped his whisky as he waited for a chance to redirect the conversation. That  opportunity came just after the soup was being served. A very nice lobster bisque .

“ So tell me Captain Grey, what is the interest The Order has in this expedition? Oh, it can be off the record if you like, I do know how freemasons like to keep their secrets.”

As Pennypecker asked the question he made a point of keeping and eye on the two men seating on Grays right and left. The man he met in Captains ready room, Bailey on Grey’s right was about to take his spoon into his mouth as he spoke. His hand froze for just a moment in hesitation as his eyes darted to the Captain. That and the way all conversation stopped at the table at his question, told Pennypecker that he had just struck a nerve.


The reaction all but confirmed Pennypecker’s suspicion. Not that Bailey didn’t cover it well, his poker face was almost as good as his commanders. If Pennypecker hadn’t been looking for it he would never have seen it. It did make Pennypecker smile as his eyes turned back to Captain Grays, waiting for his response.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 08:52:54 pm by Matthias Pennypecker » Logged
Theosophus Grey
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Commanding the FAAS Widow's Son


« Reply #554 on: October 29, 2010, 11:35:14 am »

Dabbing at his mouth with the linen napkin, Grey answered "None that I'm aware of, Mr. Pennypecker, at least not directly."

"The Widow's Son was of course built under the auspices of the Masonic Order, specifically the Lunar Temple, with the expressed intention of promoting and protecting their extraterrestrial business interests, as well as a means to provide safe aetherpassage to her membership and others in dangerous times.  Your request for a charter was an ideal maiden journey for us, and I thank you and your employer for the opportunity.  I'd be happy to discuss the ship's purposes in more detail for your story, if you wish."

Pausing, then "Have you tried the salmon mousse?  I hear it's quite good."
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 11:38:53 am by Theosophus Grey » Logged

A gentleman and a scholar, albeit heavily armed.
Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #555 on: October 29, 2010, 07:11:09 pm »

Frank sent an OK back to Kirza for Bailey to put some of the troopers on guard duty, and sent to the rest of the corps to prepare for battle stations drills in half an hour.

He flipped through the last few pages of the journal, and noticed that there seemed to be another piece of paper tucked inside the back cover. "Hm, what's this?" he muttered, sliding the paper out and unfolding it. There was a short note at the top that seemed to have been written recently, though there was no date, in Raymond's distinctive handwriting.

If you have found this, it means I have failed. There is not time for me to give an explanation, nor would it be safe to do so here.

War between the United States and Great Britain may be coming, in fact it is closer than most would dare think. It is vital in that event, that the information contained here does not reach the States.

If all goes well, you may hear from me again soon.


He turned the paper over, surprised to see that on the reverse side was detailed mechanical and electrical drawings, though there was no indication of what they were for. There were no descriptions or specifications with them, but there were many circled numbers beside the drawings, which he guessed corresponded to other parts of the journal.

He studied the paper for several minutes before folding it again, and returning to his quarters placed the journal under a few other papers in the locked drawer of the small desk in the corner.

Their first drills for battle stations and repel boarders went well, though there had been a few small mishaps and there was room for improvement in timing, mainly because they were still a bit unfamiliar with the layout of their new ship. With a few weeks practice they'd be as good as they'd been on the Badger, though he wasn't aware of just how soon they might be in need of it...
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 12:03:38 am by Alexis Voltaire » Logged

~-- Purveyour of Useless Facts, Strange Advice, Plots --~
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #556 on: October 30, 2010, 03:36:00 am »

Pennypecker smiled pleasantly. The answer was what he had expected he would get.
“ Tell me Captain, when do you think we will arrive at Jupiter?” he asked changing the subject.
================================================================

At the port of New York a British war ship, The Hamilton, came into the coaling station before crossing the Atlantic on her way home. She drifted a little to close to an American war ship. No one knows for sure who opened fire first. The short skirmish ended with the American ship heavily damaged and run aground.  
The Hamilton, after fighting her way out of the Hudson harbor sailed south before sinking off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia.
The three days later the United States of America declared war on the British Empire. In the days that followed, Germany and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire sided with the Americans.
France and Italy sided with the British, and the world prepared to go to war.



« Last Edit: October 30, 2010, 03:39:17 am by Matthias Pennypecker » Logged
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #557 on: November 03, 2010, 02:38:07 pm »

Second cooks assistant Lawrence Olsen was making his way into the dark cargo hold, looking for that damned missing crepe pan.

“The captain must have his strawberry crepes on Sunday.” Olsen mocked the ships head chef as he climbed over shipping containers and boxes, looking for the missing equipment.

Passing a row of storage lockers Olsen noticed that one of them had sprung open. He paused a moment to secure it, and opening the locker he leaped back in fright as the dead mans still open eyes looked back. Stumbling back into one of the ships passageways the terrified young cook fell sprawling at the feet of one of the ships engineers.

“Oi! Watch it ! McGregor warned.
“What are you doing running around down in!,, Hay now what’s the matter son?”
All the cook could do was stammer, pointing into the cargo bay.
“ D,,D,, Dead man!”

It took the engineer about five minutes of stumbling around the cargo bay in till he found the locker. By the time he got back to the passageway, a medic was seeing to the cook and a ships security team was getting ready to head into the cargo bay.

“ He’s dead all right! A nasty gash from ear to ear. Who ever did him in, cut him up real bad first. Face arms, all sliced up. Looks like someone with one of those big grizzly knives you lot carry, carved him up bad.”

“ HE!” The security man demanded. “Do you know who it is? Who it is that’s dead!” the security asked as he and his men quickly entered the cargo bay.

“Its one of them passengers we took on at Mars port.” McGregor called out.
“ Not the Yank the other one, Vandenberg!”
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 02:47:57 pm by Matthias Pennypecker » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #558 on: November 03, 2010, 04:59:47 pm »

When the news of the findings of the security team reached Bailey, he hurried from the Duty Station amidships, through the passenger area, and nearly flitted  to the scene, but then noticed Pennypecker in the passageway, with a red substance on his hands and clothes, a wild look in his eye, and a blood-dripping, blue-tinged KhuKhuri in his hand.

"Mr PennyPecker, Sir, Drop the knife," he said, or you will force me to apply my own."  He was surprised to see Pennypecker heft the knife with an amazing degree of dexterity, even expertise, and advance toward him with a determined look in his eyes. Bailey sighed. Bloody Americans with their 'me-too, lookit meee, I'm an American hear me roar' attitudes he griped to himself. Bailey drew and struck with fluid precision and clubbed Pennypecker on the back of the head-neck connection with the back of the heavy, sword-sized neptunium khukhuri as the american charged past, obviously intent upon taking his opponent down 'with one blow' like his ilk usually thought of such things. Bailey kicked the knife free of the downed would-be knifer, called for backup on the uniform radio, and in a trice Pennypecker was recuperating in a cell in the Brig, next -door to the ships crewman who was suspected of killing Vandenberg.

"It's a fine kettle you've landed yourself in, Mr. Pennypecker," Bailey said, briefly telling him why he, Pennypecker, was not himself a suspect, and how they knew it wasn't a trooper. "We know it's not you, sir, because you obviously know how to handle a khukhuri, your rather amateurish attack on myself not withstanding."  Bailey said, grudgingly. "That's also how we knew it most likely wasn't a trooper, either; they're taught very easy, standard moves, which lend themselves to motor-level memorization, according to recent theories of physical learning. Frank knows which ones and who did 'em, I can't say I do, but I follow the general Gist of it, you might say, because it works. Bailey cleared his throat, "All of us, from myself down to the greenest recruited lads, all learn the same moves. Not because of standardization, really, but because they're what works."

"What we generally do, Mr. Pennypecker, 'we' meaning the Dragon Corps, (and just like any other soldiering organization that's honest about it) is kill people, or maim them beyond the ability to fight back, coupled with trying to set things to rights, which is why we do pretty well with security -- most of the time. That means, usually, truly heinous wounds; in the case of the khukhuri, it means dismemberment; thats what the knife is, really, essentially a superbly-designed butchering implement applied to the problem of defense and offense."

"Back in the Trans-Himalayan area in which it originated, the Khukhuri is a general-purpose tool , for the most part used either for clearing land by chopping things down, or for the butchering, often for ritual purposes, of livestock. One does not merely scratch and slash meat, Mr. Pennypecker, or do so to an enemy opponent; one cuts and chops meat to retain the optimum bulk for use in food, and to incapacitate an enemy, and to speed the bleeding-out of the animal -- or the enemy."

"Thus, one uses specific moves, and in the case of the khukhuri, at least, moves that are not generally used or even possible with other types of knives. I challenge you to knock someone out with a saber, for example. Sorry about that, by the way, but as far as I could tell you were intent upon attacking me, and with an already-bloody khukhuri, at that. You seemed to know at least partly what you were doing, so I thought it best to remove you from the field, so to speak, as gently as possible under the obtaining circumstances; because, you se, no matter how accomplished you might become, I've been using the weapon a lot longer than you have, and would hate to be forced to kill you." Bailey smiled then, not unkindly.

The body of your friend (I hope you'll forgive me for being so blunt about it) was slashed in a manner that suggested that the attacker was used to fighting with much-smaller weapons, perhaps a middle-sized 'Bowie' type likely being the largest. The arms were slashed as if to try and sugggest that a khukhuri was used, but the angles, as well as the starting ends of the wounds, were all wrong for that weapon. Too, our actual suspect had things of Mr. Vandenberg's in his possession, apparently looted from his pockets, items that suggest the motive was related to espionage -- and he was apprehended whilst attempting to send a message on your aetherphone-thingamajig."

"For that reason, we have decided to keep your Aetherphone under 24-hour guard in the Security Duty Station, right out in the open where it can be observed day and night; I hope you can see the necessity of this arrangement."

"Now, perhaps you could tell us your side of things. Such as, when you discovered Vandenburg's body, and where he was when you did so? That may seem trivial, but I assure you, it is not."



A news communique flashed across the Earth and the Solar system a few hours later:
Quote
HEADLINE--NATIONS BREATHE EASIER--STOP--WAR AVERTED FOR NOW --STOP-- TREATY SIGNED AT REYKYAVIK--RELATIONS STILL TENSE HOWEVER--END.

Meanwhile, across billions of miles, the aetherphone aboard the Beau Rosin  rang and rang, until jack yanked it from its cradle, and said, "HELLO! Brantley, you've got some explainin' to d--!" he was cut off by a roar of static and of all things, something like Morse code, apparently a British pattern. He set the transceiver down on the crate beside the ship's wheel, and jotted down the message's translation as best he could...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 06:26:57 pm by MWBailey » Logged
Theosophus Grey
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Commanding the FAAS Widow's Son


« Reply #559 on: November 03, 2010, 06:17:35 pm »

"Very well, Mr. Bailey, please keep me informed" Grey concluded, replacing the brass mouthpiece of the ship's tube back on its hook adjacent to the ready room desk.  Rubbing his eyes, he thought it's begun sooner than I would have thought; someone's in a bloody rush, and not afraid of showing their hand.  

In any case, Pennypecker would get his dinner questions answered, though perhaps not in the way he intended; he found Mr. Bailey's report of the journalist's behavior difficult to believe - not factually of course, Bailey being Bailey - but in that it seemed grossly out of character for the American who, while obnoxious in the way only newsmen can be, was certainly no mad-dog street brawler, at least to Grey's cold and discerning eyes.  It was time they had a more forthcoming conversation before things got out of hand... Turning back to his desk, Grey reread the last cable about the Reykyavik Accord, glad for the delay but knowing it wouldn't last - the Americans had been girding for war ever since the Mars debacle, and were baying for blood; it was only a matter of time.

Recapturing the speaking tube, Grey called "Central, locate Engineer's Mate Okana, and have her report to the Security Station to examine a piece of transmitting equipment, Mr. Bailey will provide direction, out".  Pausing a moment, he collected a few papers from his desk into the breast pocket of his bridge coat, before exiting the ready room on the way to the crewdeck; I think it's time I caught up with Frank...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 08:44:57 pm by Theosophus Grey » Logged
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #560 on: November 04, 2010, 03:27:16 am »

Pennypecker shrugged,
“I can only tell you what I saw. The man who attacked poor old Otto, was at least dressed as one of your troopers. In fact that big curvy knife I had, I took from him, I don’t carry or even own a knife. He was using a different knife on Otto when I found him.

Otto and I were about to go over some of his theories, he had gone to look for some notes in a trunk he had stowed. When he didn’t come back I went looking for him. When I found him he was tied and gagged, and the stranger was working him over. When he saw me he attacked me.

I managed to get a knife off him. Yea, I have used a knife before, not like the one I took from him. I am one third Cherokee. I am not sure if I able to wound him before he hit me on the head with the hilt of his knife. After that I don’t recall anything in till I woke up in sickbay”

Pennypecker had insisted on waiting in till the Captain was in the room before he told his story. The splitting headache he had precluded him from wanting to go over it more then once. At least in till he got some sleep.

“ I cant say what he believed he was doing with my aethergraph. The only message he could have sent could only be received by one of the other three receivers . The one Hearst has, one at the chief editors office in San Francisco at the Chronicle. The fourth is being used for some, Artic expedition on earth. You have people that can look over my equipment if you are unsure.

Captain Grey had in fact already did just that. And after being assured by his communication Officer that the aethergraph was just as he claimed it to be. He had given the order to return it to Pennypeckers cabin with the understanding that Pennypecker would keep his property well secure.

Pennypecker returned to his cabin and began going over his notes  looking for anything he had missed.. This was supposed to be a scientific expedition. It was obvious a lot more was going on then he had believed.
Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #561 on: November 04, 2010, 05:12:22 am »

Bailey wasn't sure how being 'one-third' of anything would transfer abilities from one race to another, but he let that point go. He also highly doubted that the 'aethergraph' was as unique as  Pennypecker and the comm officer asserted; surely there had been other prototypes and precursor devices, not to mention the amateur radio craze that was still in full swing on Earth, despite war preparations. In fact, he distinctly remembered seeing an 'Aetherophonical/Aethrographical Experiment Set in a shop window in London back during the days when he was testifying before the Parhoon Aftermath Inquest.

He kept thinking back to Mad Jack's 'Aetherphone,' as teh cantankerous old airship captain called it, on board the Beau Rosin, and the fact that it always seemed to be broken -- until the aether was excited by a transmission from someone or somewhere else, usually the enigmatic and somewhat nefarious-seeming Officer Brantley.

He went to the Comm Office, gave the Operator on duty the specific frequency that Pulsifer always used, and the callsign and shipname of the Beau Rosin, along with Pulsifer's name and apparent rank."Give this fellow a call, and call for me when you have him on the air, will you? Thanks.

It was not more than three seconds later that the request was rrendered mute, however. Teh message came over the subspace relay frequency, at 600 megacycles, Jack's customary frequency:

"Beau Rosin to Widows Son, Beau Rosin to Widow's Son, This is John Pulsifer, Captain of the Aether gunship RTAF Beau Rosin, calling Widow's Son, Please respond, over..."

messages went back and forth, the captain was called, and Pulsifer relayed the message he had overheard on his aetherphone. They thanked Pulsifer and invited him to come aboard, but h edeclined, saying that he had 'other matters to attend to,' and besides was 'nearly a whole parsec out.' "AUNTSALLY (he pronounced it "Aunt Sally") has business for me to attend to, and Brantley's apparently stuck in some other --!" he apparently caught himself just in time, "in some othe rlace, you know whati mean, MW, and needs a lift. Maybe next time!"

Kirza, Shi Iri, please tell the others I am well and will visit them sometime soon, Mingh sent. And Keep your MW and Frank out of trouble, will you?

When the message was decoded (a laborious process, as it turned out; it was both numerically and alphabetically substituted, and in a crazy, chaotic pattern that was difficult to discover, let alone crack),

The message began with an account of the Widow's Son's progress, occurrences on board and references to some sort of 'secret within the inner void,' followed by an apparently-hasty description of Vandenberg's abduction and murder, and then it cut of in mid-sentence, presumably at the moment that the Security team had shown up.

"A whole lot of nothing much, Sir," Bailey groused as he leaned his weight through his left hand on the right-hand visitor's chair in front of Grey's desk, after delivering his report to the Captain and being told to relax. "It's more than we knew, and I suppose a great deal more than we could have expected to find, but that's what worries me; how much were we expected to find? It's almost too easy, if you know what I mean, sir."
Logged
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #562 on: November 05, 2010, 04:07:24 am »

As appeared in,
The San Francisco Chronicle, The Tribune of Chicago, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The New York Times, The London Times and Neues Deutschland
------------------------------------------------------------
Murder In Deep Space!

The first stage of our monuments expedition has been marred by senseless tragedy. A foul assassin has murdered a respected man of sciences and explorer, Otto Vandenberg. Yours truly, M.H. Pennypecker surprised the bloodthirsty killer in the act. Yet, regretfully was not in time to save the leader of our expedition.
Worse yet was the shocking revelation, that the monstrous killer was a member of the crew of the Widows Son! No explanation was offered on how such a cold blooded fiend, could have slipped past the highly vaunted ship security to become a trusted crew member. One can only ask honest questions about the safety of the members of this expedition.
Despite the senseless preventable tragedy, The Vandenberg Expedition will endeavor to persevere. I vow you, my readers, that justice will he claimed on those responsible for this tragic death. Yes, we will go on. I will be your eye witness to this historic mission.
M.H. Pennypecker

« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 05:09:02 am by Matthias Pennypecker » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #563 on: November 05, 2010, 06:47:23 am »

"When Pennypecker is finished with his hysterics," Bailey said to the duty sergeant upon reading the Military News Communique, "Let's give him a chance to try to help in the investigation, instead of trying to hamstring the ship's company."

Within the hour, the British High Space Command sent a communique to the Widow's Son demanding to know what was going on. after several (almost ninety) messages back and forth throughout the day and much of the following night, it was decided that "all rights to the 'W''s
sovereignty of information" were to be "rescinded"; "The Aethographer must be moved back into the security Duty Station, that it was not to be moved back into Pennypacker's quarters, and that Pennypecker shall be allowed full access to the device, of course surrendering his manuscripts to be perused by security officials for the removal of militarily-sensitive information. Tests shall also be run to determine where other such devices of an illicit nature might be located."

At the end of the transmission, was a rather extraordinary statement: "All messages ordering the disbandment or cashiering of the Dragon Corps or its officers and men, or the Widow's Son, or containing defamatory language about the Widows Son, the British Military Complex or those of its allies, or any person or body connected thereto, shall henceforward be considered false transmissions issued by forces hostile to the British Empire."

"Well, isn't that a load of absolute hogwash," Bailey said upon reading the final communique. He made a point of going to Pennypecker's cabin with a copy of the document, and telling him, "this is not my doing, Pennypecker. I don't understand why you feel you have to vilify the entire ship and its company, but perhaps we can put our differences aside and try to figure out who is responsible, if they will try again, and how to prevent it. "

"You want to be a tough guy, tell me to piss off, and go off on your own to write another insulting article in return for my offer? Fine! I'm trying to get you on board with us, walking around with us, always among us, where we can have a prayer of protecting you if there're any others aboard. Sure, I can assign a 24-hour guard on your quarters, and even have a bodyguard in your room all the time, effectively putting you under house arrest, but the simple fact of the matter is, bodyguards get called away. They have to use the head occasionally, or there's a big noise down the hall and the other guards have disappeared. All of those are standard bodyguard-circumvention tactics and scenarios. "

"You want to make it tough for us to protect you? All we can do is play along with that, and just maybe get on-scene just fast enough to watch your charred corpse fall to the deck, or get called away just long enough for your head to end up in a box addressed to your paper. Your choice. No Bullying here, Pennypecker, no threats, It's just the bare unfortunate facts, things no one can really control. You want protection? Fine! get on teh team to solve this problem.  Or, leave yourself wide open and make it impossible for me to help you, or us to help each other."

"Now, if you choose to just see reason and take the positive road, We could start in a big way by you letting us keep that box of yours in the Duty Station with your assent (The High Command has already demanded that it be relocated back there; I'm basically disobeying a direct order by delaying and giving you a chance to play along, and maybe help us solve this thing before it throws the whole ship off kilter and we hit a Jovian moon 'cause nobody trusts anybody any more. it's happened before out here."

"Or," he said, continuing to offer positive options, "perhaps by putting in surveillance in here or it and the surveillance in another cabin, or in the duty station, we can see if anyone tries to mess with it; it wasn't meant to insult or isolate you in any way ,when I ordered it confiscated the first time, but to protect you from further trauma. Ok, ok, I admit I was anticipating the High Command too. I'm a soldier, you get that way in my line of work."

"Another way you could help out is by telling me just what you're hoping to find at our destination. Not Vandenberg's purpose, but your own. Do you actually have an expectation? I'm asking as a copper, basically, here, not a mason, believe it or not, and not meaning to be insulting. I really don't know, and I really need to in order to solve at least my part of the case as soon as possible, like I said, so the crew and troopers don't go all Gulf Streamy and start fighting each other. We'd never make it to Jupiter if that started happening. I need to solve this case now -- and I need your help to do it."
Logged
Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #564 on: November 05, 2010, 09:54:56 am »

Frank had been 'listening in' mentally, along with several of the Corps officers, to what was going on via the troopers assigned to guard duty. The shared mental link was a less-intrusive adaptation that Zhan had come up with for the observation technique once used by the Drene-Vah to keep watch over their members. It worked better than normal sending for sharing something that one of them was observing, although because the link required more concentration it didn't seem to work as well under stress.

Frank turned one of the yellowed pages from an old book that had been bound into the journal, reading the text several times without really paying attention to it, lost in thought about something else entirely. What had Vandenburg known that was important enough for whoever wanted the information to try something like that?

Aye, we'll try to keep them out of trouble, Shi-iri sent with a slight laugh in response to Mingh's thought.

Frank looked up, realizing he wasn't making any progress on figuring out the information in the journal. He stuck the paper he'd been taking notes on in it as a bookmark and put it back in the drawer of his desk, closing his eyes for a moment as he caught up on what had just happened.

He spent the next several hours helping to decipher message Jack had sent them. It had been anything but easy to decode, but he agreed with what Bailey said about them being expected to find the information. "Seems like whoever is behind this doesn't care about trying to keep what they're doing secret, or they want us to think that they don't..."
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 10:08:29 am by Alexis Voltaire » Logged
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #565 on: November 10, 2010, 04:17:48 pm »

 
Turning to Captain Grey, Pennypecker respectfully reminded the Captain that he had made a Gentlemen’s agreement or contract with Mr. William Randolph Hearst of New York.{ a brother mason }

 Then pointed out accurately that this was not in any way a military venture. That when The Widows Son/ Captain Grey accepted the Newspapers offer of charter, it was for the intent of Mr. Pennypecker to report his views of what was happing on this voyage. The ship was in effect temporally in the employ of Mr. Hearst. So normal military rules do not apply on this voyage. And to change them for no other reason then you don’t like what is written, would be breaking your word and trust to Hearst. { a brother mason }

In the end the decision was made by The Captain to use his authority to overrule what ever misguided orders had been sent. After all Pennypecker was right this was a Hearst charter not a military operation. That and the fact, that this ship was privately owned by the Luna Masonic temple and NOT a military ship at all. Their would be no censorship on Mr. Pennypeckers reports as nothing in this mission was of a military nature nothing could be called military sensitive. He would also retain his personal property, to fulfill what is the mission of this voyage.

“As to the last Mr. Bailey we have at least this much in common. I have no idea what we will find at our destination. I was upfront on my end when I briefed Captain Grey. What I am after is simple, a story. I have no other motives. This will be, so far as any one knows, the first ship out that far, that’s one story and a good one. If we find life, that’s an even better story. You see, it’s a win, win undertaking for me.

As for my dispatch, I am paid to write the truth as I see it. I wont hide that truth or the facts from my readers. If it can be shown that anything I have written is wrong of false. I will in the interest of finding the truth, print a retraction. I have had to do just that, in two cases in the past. And would be happy to do it now, if warranted.

If, Vandengerg had other ideas, they died with him. So innless you know something I don’t know we both will have to wait in till we get to the moon to find out.”
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 04:42:49 pm by Matthias Pennypecker » Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #566 on: November 10, 2010, 04:59:34 pm »

"In that case, Captain Grey, I have no choice but to follow your orders," Bailey said, "but I see it as my duty to warn you that once word gets out -- and it will, once the next story is sent out -- that there may well be a ship or an entire sortie sent after us by the admiralty; they get testy about  countermanded orders.Of course, I and Kirza, for two, will stand by you, if such a thing comes to pass, but the rest of the Corps aboard? I can't say. Kirza says that she is not certain either."

"As for whether or not you are telling the truth, Mr. Pennypecker, that was never in doubt; I merely wished to point out that if you continue to irritate the British government, they may well find a way to remove said irritant. I would not deprive you of your right to report, to do your job! Don't you remember that I said that I was disobeying a direct order? I fear for your safety, sir, not that of the empire. You're only one civilian, begging your pardon."

After the meeting broke up, Bailey returned to the Security Main Duty Station and began setting up an around-the-clock guard on Mr. Pennypecker and his quarters. "Don't be obtrusive, don't stalk the fellow," he said, tersely and testily,"but don't let him out of your sight either. It's for his protection. Mr. Pennypecker is not our enemy. he is a friend we must protect. If he gets too close to secrets, just warn him off. Keep him out of the armory, for example. Nothing to hide there, but what if he trips over the box of aether grenades? I think you know what I mean. If he gets whacked, we all get whacked. Got it? Good."

"Now, about the prisoner," he said, Cartwright? Go and make sure that all of the locks on his cage are secure, and start scrounging up a suit and a portable Liquid Environment assembly for him; requisition it from Medical Storage." Bailey rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I have an idea of a way to be sure he is 'sufficiently restrained,' as I believe Mr. Pennypecker expressed it."
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 03:58:10 am by MWBailey » Logged
Theosophus Grey
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


Commanding the FAAS Widow's Son


« Reply #567 on: November 10, 2010, 06:51:08 pm »

Grey caught up with Frank Vilhaus in the ship's canteen, sipping tea and looking confusedly through a sheaf of stained papers spread out over the narrow counter in front of him.  "Join you, Frank?" Grey queried, ordering a black coffee from the steward as he took the stool next to the young botanist.

"I hope I'm not bothering you, but I had need of your linguistic skills... although it appears we're already on the same page, as it were" the Captain continued, pulling a wad of folded papesr from the breast of his bridgecoat.  Unfolding them before the incredulous scholar, it was clear that the same mysterious symbols were evident on both sets of documents. 

"These were a result of the Lodge's research into the Founder relics you encountered some time ago, Frank, and seem to have something to do with our destination; ...but what on earth do you have there?"
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 07:08:04 pm by Theosophus Grey » Logged
Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #568 on: November 11, 2010, 07:01:02 am »

Pennypecker felt rather like a gold fish in a bowl as the security men followed him around, always keeping him in sight. As annoying as it was being trailed around like this he did manage to get a useable quote or two from one of the men assigned to stare at him.
He had tried to pump them for information on the captured assassin to no avail and the request he had made to speak with the prisoner was also rebuffed. He would have to wait and see what information he could get later.

The warning he had been given about his safety Pennypecker accepted as sound. After all who knew if the captured assassin was working alone. It was not the first time he had faced the possibility of his life being in danger. It was part of the risk he took. The last big story he had been working on, was exposing some of San Francisco most violent Chinatown Tong gangs. Nasty business all around, he had to live with a hefty price on his head for several months.

He rather doubted he had much to fear from the British Government. If the latest news from Earth was correct the peace was holding but fragile at best. It was hard to believe the Brits would risk shattering it by killing, one little annoying newspaperman.

“ And what the heck is a, "portable Liquid Environment assembly!?" What ever it is, Ill give it a day of two for things to calm down. Then see if I can get some photos of that!”
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #569 on: November 11, 2010, 07:42:39 am »

As it turned out, Bailey was saved the trouble of justifying his use of the Liquid Environment Tank; Gelnick, the cook's mate who had attacked Vandenberger, began rattling his cage and shouting obscenities and threats at Cartwright and Korza the moment they showed up, and it was obvious that he had been throwing his food and ...ahem...'waste matter' through the bars.

"what a damned mess!" Cartwright and Korza said in near-unison, both aloud and in mindspeak, as they had begun to do as they grew closer since the fight in the metal and ice caverns of Iceberg station. A few nearby dragon and human minds chuckled at the sound, and more than a few expressed similar display at Korza's mental images of the ruinous state of the brig. "Right, thats it, Gelnick, you sorry excuse for a spacer! its the suit 'n' tank for you now."

"Oh bloody hell, I'm so scared. I'll just soil the suit and make you change my dipey, you lil spitfire," Gelnick sneered at the wiry young woman. "C'mon, you'll like that!"

Within the hour the Brig had been cleaned up and the tank, a resin-sided, wood-framed, rubber-bottomed giant fishtank-like affair, was sitting in the middle of the brig, water and deodorizing, algae-and-mildew-preventive solvent being poured in by the bucketful through a small hatch in the top of the tank. Used in cases of long-term suit-induced decompression (which often happened when a tether broke or a trooper was thrown clear of his companion or a ship and floated in the void for longer than his oxygen supply and battery life allowed), the suit kept the occupant floating in the liquid in a near-weightless situation.

Lines radiating from the arms and legs of the suit and anchored to the sides of the tank kept the suit floating in a prone, belly-down position, while the suit itself made it difficult for the occupant to move. all bodily wastes were removed by lines attached via catheters, and all air and sound were piped in. The jailers could communicate with the prisoner through the suit radio, which was watertight and kept in an always-on setting, a line  being run in inside the regular spacewalk tether.

After the initial attempted (and invariably impotent) violent reaction of the occupant, said occupant invariably settled down and fell into a rhythm of sleeping for about twelve hours and remaining awake for several more hours, the sleeping periods becoming longer and longer as  boredom set in. It would be necessary to remove the prisoner from the environment after about a week and let him be confined in a regular cell for about three days, in order to prevent boredom-induced dementia and possible insanity, but after that, into the suit and tank he would go again, the tanked periods becoming longer and longer in cases of long-term confinement.

"Let Mr. Pennypecker in so he can take some photos of this, he's bound to have been chomping at the bit waiting," Bailey said after two days.
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Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #570 on: November 11, 2010, 11:22:50 pm »

On the bridge the duty officer had just changed, Lieutenant Commander Upton Fitzwater had just arrived.

 “All systems are normal and all scopes are clear, Sir!”

“ Very good, maintain,, did you say all scopes clear?”

“Yes Sir!”

“Then, what is that?” Fitzwater said as he gazed out the port side windows. In the distance two ships were quickly closing on the Widows Son. Then the two ships launched their rockets.

“ Helm! evasive action!  Battle stations all hands! Captain to the bridge! We are under attack!”
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #571 on: November 12, 2010, 12:26:31 am »

Bailey, the security detail, and the Dragon Troopers all proceeded hurriedly but in good order to their posts. Teh security man in Pennypecker's vicinity walked up to him, saying, "sorry, sir, but the normal guard detail will have to be altered, now. please stay close by me, and let us return to your quarters; if you prefer to watch the battle, I suggest you accompany me the one of the remote-connected dorsal stations just down this corridor. There are a periscope and a radar screen for sighting the targets, and the emplacement is relatively safe from enemy gunf-!".

BBOOMBOOM

He was cut off as the rockets hit and the ship shifted under the impact. "Which way, sir?" he asked, urgently.

outside, the rockets had not only failed to penetrate; the neptunium-alloy hull plating had made them shatter and explode in reaction. several of the smallarms batteries got off volleys from both plasma and one or two Vilhaus weapons.

On the 'Dragon Deck,' Bailey assembled and took charge of an anti-boarding platoon of both human and dragon troopers, getting both types of troopers into their suits and helmets in case of a hull breach or a Boarding Sortie order, the Villar Perosa machine gun strapped to his back; several others had similar weapons, just in case. Just one of the double-barrelled machine guns tended to fill a corridor or hatchway with a deadly cloud of medium-caliber bullets, and were ideal for the kind of action that looked to be likely. "This is it, Commander Vilhaus," he said, and then to the platoon: "People! We are at war with whoever is attacking us! Cartwright! Becker! Squads one and two to cover the bridge!

The squads set out, carrying both plasma and machine guns, grenades, and each squad had at least one Mondragon grenade, in case things got really dicey. When they arrived on station, the two enemy ships were much closer, and the Widow's Son began to return fire with her big guns and rockets.

Bailey positioned the rest of the platoon, experienced troopers all, in squad formation at the outside walls (still inside teh ship, of course) of all three Fighting Decks, and three squads from another platoon amidships to defend the passenger and other interior areas.

"HEADS UP PEOPLE!" He bellowed both over the suit radios and in the corridor he was in itself. Stand your ground! Hold what you've got and make 'em PAY!"

"OORAH!" came the stout reply...
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 01:27:37 am by MWBailey » Logged
Alexis Voltaire
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


Shàlle We Dànce?


« Reply #572 on: November 12, 2010, 08:48:54 am »

"I'm not quite sure." Frank replied, looking curiously at the matching symbols."This seems to be Raymond Lawrence's journal, I was asked to take a look at it to see if I could find any reason as to why I got sent to Mars on the Badger in the first place. So far, I haven't found anything about about that, and even if it is in here it's probably in code... I did find this though..."

He took the folded piece of paper out of the back of the journal and spread it out with the mechanical drawings facing up. "Best I can figure, it's schematics for a radio or transmitting device of some kind, but even that doesn't exactly make sense from the drawings. I think the numbers here," He tapped one of the many circled numbers next to the drawings. "correspond to some other details or information in the journal that could tell us what it is, but I haven't found out yet just where or how it's been put in here..."


Frank looked up as the alarms began to sound a second later, and the call came over the ship's intercom for battle stations. He hastily gathered up his papers and rushed back to the Corps deck to get his rifle. The rest of the troopers were scrambling to get their weapons and get into position, and he narrowly avoided running into one of the dragons coming through the main doorway as two distant impacts shook the ship.

He took position in a corridor near one of the main airlocks with Shi-iri and two other troopers, and it sounded from the the increased rate of fire as the two ships came closer, that they wouldn't have long to wait...
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #573 on: November 12, 2010, 03:45:00 pm »

Racks suddenly slid open in the walls of the corridors and the gun emplacements as someone on the bridge pushed the relevant button, and the call, "Suit Protocol for all hands, Repeat, Suit Protocol for all hands, hull breach likely, we say again, hull breach likely," sounded out over the intercoms.

"Mr. Pennypecker, sir, would you mind awfully bringing two suits from the locker that just opened over there? The helmets are hung with their suits." The Security officer intoned and plied the rotating 6-barrel plasma cannon attached to the remote weapon emplacement. "I'll show you how they go on."
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Matthias Pennypecker
Guest
« Reply #574 on: November 12, 2010, 05:33:22 pm »

With a sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach Pennypecker began to suit up, mirroring the motions of the trooper who was assisting him.

A few years ago Pennypecker had written a story about two Australian inventors, Buchanan and Gordon. They had invented a deep-water diving suit and had brought it to San Francisco for underwater trials. As part of the story Pennypecker had been suited up in the bulky brass rig and lowered into a shallow stretch of San Francisco bay. He did manage to do it but also found it to be, for some strange reason, the single most terrifying moment of his life! It still gave him horrible dreams. Only the idea of a hull breach kept him going.

The space suit was less confining then the deep sea suit so his nervousness quickly changed to annoyance when he realized how hard it was going to be for him to take notes on the battle raging around him.

Vowing to himself, to practice writing with these dammed gloves on, as soon as he had a chance. Pennypecker found a spot close to gun emplacement viewing port. From this spot pressed up against the window he could see everything going on outside as two ships maneuvered around the Widows Son.

He had to crunch down almost to the floor after the Gunner screamed at him to,

“GET THE HELL OUT OF MY LINE OF SIGHT! OR ILL BLOW YOUR BLOOD HEAD OFF MYSELF!”

 So Pennypecker spent the rest of the battle on his knees right below the gunner, trying to franticly to take notes on the battle. Noting every order as it came over the com, desperate to capture the mood and events. This was his first space battle and he wanted get every detail right. His only regret was that he was not on the bridge, must be pretty exciting up their right now…
 
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