Post by strangephantasm on Feb 15, 2009 15:16:50 GMT -5
"It's not a very big ship," Matthew started "But it's got a certain quality to it. Cozy, even.." "I'm sure that's nice, the Esperanza's so big and theres just the Captain and I on board. It's easy to feel lonely here." Tau stated "Well, come on inside and i'll show you around. I havent really done a lot of exploring so i'll show you around the common areas." he offered "Sure, that would be great!" the kitsune responded cheerfully
Matthew proceeded to give her the grande tour, frankly amazed that the pretty woman could be so fascinated by a vessel that was so tiny compared to the one she lived on. That was when he noticed, her eyes lit up with every new experience, every new thing that she took in was like a marvel to her. As a wanderer Matthew was free to come and go as he pleased, but this was the only kind of life she had ever known. He didn't know how long she had been living like this, but Tau must have become so bored seeing the same things day after day. He felt... sorry for her.
Suddenly he noticed a funny look come over her face, and the kitsune's ears perked up straight.
"Is there somebody here?" she asked curiously "No.. not unless Rupert is down in the engine room." He replied "It's not.. it's not below decks. I hear somebody breathing, and there are these odd scribbling noises.." Tau said
With a gulp he realised he might have made a mistake in bringing her here. He would have to try and distract her before anything... Uh oh, she was already setting off in search of the mysterious sound.
"Uh.. i'm sure it's nothing, maybe someone came back or... something.." Matt suggested nervously
(Smooth.) he berated himself (You're a real smooth operator arent you Matthew Brisker?!)
Her ears were twitching so wildly that she didn't appear to notice anything he said, let alone his nervousness.
"It sounds so... familliar." she stated
Oh boy, they were headed on a direct path to a certain room with a certain secret in it.
"Uhhh so Tau, tell me about yourself. What are your hobbies? What do you like to do?" He asked, in a desperate attempt to keep her from walking any further. Amazingly it appeared to work, and she turned to him with a smile bright enough to light up a dark room. "Ohh I mostly find ways to keep myself busy. I play games with Goo in the arcade all the time, but i'm not very good. He always wins the dance game for some reason! Then we go to my art gallery where I like to paint.... THAT'S IT!" she cried suddenly "It sounds like somebody is drawing."
With a renewed vigor she hurried down the passageways and rounded the corner to where a door barred her way.
"Hello?" She called, knocking on the door politely "Is somebody here?"
Rosabella was surprized to hear a voice she didn't recognize coming from outside. The fact that they didn't seem to know about her could mean only one thing, it was definately not a crewmember of the Kokoro. She rushed to the door and began pounding on it.
"Help me! Let me out of here!" she shouted "I don't want to be in here any more!"
Tau unlocked the door and was surprized by a tackle/hug.
"Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!" Rosa cried, squeezing Tau tightly
At that moment Matthew rounded the corner and winced at the furious look on the kitsunian's face.
"Do you mind explaining to me just what the meaning of this is?" she demanded "They've been keeping me in here forever now. I didn't think I was ever going to get out.." Rosa said
The first mate of the Esperanza wiped Rosa's eyes and caressed her cheeks.
"You don't have to worry any more sweetie," she assured "What's your name?" "Rosabella." she sniffed "But you can call me Rosa." "Well Rosa, you don't have to worry any more. I'm going to take you to my captain, he's a good man and he'll take care of everything. Unless.." she trailed off, looking at Matt
He felt ashamed that Tau was looking at him that way, as if he was going to try and stop her. He bowed his head walked away silently, but with a glance back over his shoulder he simply said "..Sorry."
Elrick sat alone on the bridge, staring out into space as usual. He had to admit that being turned down caused him a great deal of dissapointment. He needed an engineer, and not just any grease monkey either. Elrick needed someone with talent, someone like Alphonse.
Still, the man had his reasons and that was good enough for him. Well, these kinds of problems seemed to have a way of working themselves out in the end. He wasn't exactly concerned that the ship was going to fall apart any day now, he just wanted the Esperanza in top condition when it came to a fight.
(And a fight is coming Elrick Peregrine, make no mistake about that. I suspect theres going to be a great deal of fighting very soon now..) he thought to himself
His contemplations were interrupted by the sudden hiss of a door sliding open. Surprized, he turned and saw Tau leading a pretty young woman towards him by the wrist.
"What have you brought me my dearheart?" he asked, a curious expression on his face.
He hadn't seen Tau get angry in a long time, and the look she wore was enraged.
"Elrick!" she shouted, dragging the lady close for his inspection "You're not going to believe what I found on the Kokoro. This poor girl was locked up in a cell all alone. Who knows how long she's been left to rot in there?"
His visage darkened as he took the girl by the chin, turning her cheeks to the sides and looking her over thoroughly.
"You are uninjured I assume." he said bluntly
The girl nodded shyly and he took her hand, kissing the back of it lightly.
"Captain Elrick Peregrine at your service my lady." he stated in a courtly voice "Might I have the honor of your name?" "R.. Rosa, Sir." she squeaked "Rosabella." "Well Lady Rosa, as I do not allow prisoners aboard my ship you are free to come and go as you please. While you are here I swear that no one shall harm you and any that tries will find themselves at the end of my blade. From this point onward you are under my protection. Tau, be a good girl and prepare a room for our guest won't you?"
The kitsunian nodded and practically skipped away. Perhaps, just perhaps she had made a friend?
Rosa stared at the captain with wide eyes. An extraordinarily handsome man whom she had assumed didn't actually exist had just stepped out of myth and given her freedom. One can hardly blame her for being unable to hold herself back.
"Now then, it pains me to inform you of this but things have become a bit dangerous for us lately as we were recently attacked at Arcturus Station--"
His eyes widened and his whole body went rigid as her lips pressed against his. She wrapped her arms around his neck, having to stand on her tiptoes as she did so. At that moment a whirl of emotions tore through him as he stood there unmoving. It seemed like an eternity since he had last kissed a woman. An eternity of lonliness since the day that Lisa..
Rosa let go of him and stepped back, blushing embarrasedly.
"I.. i'm sorry, it's just.. I.. I've been a prisoner for so long and I've been so.." she stammered
Elrick drew her close, wrapping her in a comforting warmth and whispered words into her ear that she would not soon forget.
They were in the Kokoro’s ice box/morgue. It was where they kept dead bounty heads…when they still hunted bounties, anyway. Not as extravagant as the Peregrine’s glorified grave, but it did the trick.
Victor Ace stood over the corpse of the conquered.
“Is your signal dim enough, Rod?” That was Greco. He was going over a very meticulous techno-ritual designed to scramble sensitive communications. Normally used on battlefields; like most of Ace’s inner circle, Greco excelled at winging it. Besides, they were engaged in some kind of battle, weren’t they? It was a battle for control; different stage, same stakes. You needn’t know about my plans, Martian. That would be cheating!
Whirls and swirls of thoughts drowned out Greco and Rod. They were still going over all that techno mumbo jumble, things beyond him.
He looked down at the corpse, grinning. That twisted day on Rylon X jumped out of his mind’s eye, swept the world away. He saw the duality of events, the split sky, and shivers ran up his spine—fear and rage and laughter, each voiceless and beyond description.
The Kokoro reasserted itself around him gently, which calmed him some. It hadn’t been another bout of interference; his memories were just acting up.
Regina is doing this to me. Yes, that was likely. I need you…Regina…
He focused on the corpse’s face. He was no longer grinning.
You look a little worn down, Krelian. Doing okay? I hope so. I want you to feel as welcome as possible.
Having this particular body shacked up in his ship, the feeling was indescribable.
Old man had caused so much trouble at Rylon, you could not imagine.
Good ole Commander Krelian had plagued him for months. Dreams about the white labyrinth, the things he’d faced. Like ink letters in a fairybook, he witnessed the long treks of his youth vicariously, the desert roads and dances. He wasn’t sure why he was still alive; Krelian had him in an iron grip, and still…Never again would he have to face that…and it was thanks to Regina.
As though from a great distance, he heard Greco ask, “Have you spoken to her yet, boss?”
All of the morgue’s thrumming came back, his mind pulled taut again. Something the crew had never seen in their captain was surprise, and that would never change. You can’t surprise Victor Ace!
He only shook his head in reply.
“You ought to,” Greco continued. He hadn’t needed to ask, Ace knew. Well, I take it back, then. It had surprised him that his crew had caught onto Regina’s importance, actually. Had he been too transparent?
Yes, I was, he answered himself. Raddam had me all excited, and I couldn’t help myself.
“She’s all in a twist, too,” Greco was saying. “Rumor is she went to see—”
“Connection failed,” Rod interjected. Greco swore softly and stopped fiddling with the morgue’s ancient data center. “I think it’s because we are trying to isolate the signal. It can’t make it past the Esperanza’s—”
“That’s the only way open to us,” Ace declared. He moved away from Krelian’s body, appraised his subordinates. “That, or we tell Peregrine what we’re about.”
“Really don’t think that’s a good idea, boss,” said Greco.
“This whole hair brained scheme,” Rod muttered, “is a bad idea.”
“Is that dissent I hear in your tone, Rod?” It was a casual question, often tossed around by Ace as a joke, and yet…the room grew cold and still when he tossed it this time.
Neither of his subordinates moved. For three long minutes, they gaped at him; their faces stone masks of fear and awe.
Victor Ace hardly noticed.
“I guess I’ll pay Elrick a visit, then.” He crossed his arms in thought, took a few steps toward them with his eyes closed. Greco twitched back.
“We may be able to reach further—”
You’re always avoiding conflict, Rodriguez—trying to prove something?
“No,” Ace said. “No, Rod, I think he’ll be very understanding. Let me just go—”
He was interrupted by the whish! of the door, and by Greco’s frustrated groan when they saw Janny slide in, as though she was sneaking. Ace grinned. He’d always appreciated Janny’s subtlety. At the same time, it meant that something was up.
Her face was flushed, but she seemed happy to be on her feet. He remembered that she and Greco had been having trouble adapting to the new environs—Greco had described their attempts to consolidate the Esperanza’s size with being stuck inside an egg; closed space, no light. Janny had had more trouble than her brother, but no one was sure why. Not even the late Dr. Kant—a brilliant doctor in her own right—had really understood the twins’ condition.
“What is it, Janny?” Ace cooed. He smiled at her. He was always gentle with her.
She smiled at Ace politely. Though he was sure something had gone amiss, she appeared calm. Same old Janny. “Well, it’s Rosa,” she said. “The Esperanza’s first mate—”
“Tau,” Rod filled in.
“Yes, Tau…well, Matt was giving her a tour, and…” Janny shrugged. “She heard Rosa. With those silly, adorable ears of hers. Let us say…Tau was not impressed.”
Everyone looked at Ace, but there was no reaction on his face. He was still smiling as though Janny had reported the weather.
The others felt angry for him.
“Andromeda!” Greco bellowed. It boomed off the walls of the small room and filled their ears. “He let the Kitsune just waltz off and…Damn it all. I guess there wasn’t much he could have done. Not much any of us could have, right?” He looked to Rod, who nodded.
“Brisker knows he made a mistake,” Ace said, the eye of the storm. “Right, Janny?”
“Yes, he does,” she said. Her smile faltered a little. “But…don’t be too hard on him, okay? He’s a keeper, Ace. You want to—”
“I know,” he said, waving his hand dismissively. He crossed the room, patted Janny on the shoulder, and stopped at the door. His back to them, he issued orders: “Okay, here’s what we do. Rod, keep trying. I’ll try to get to it with Elrick, but I have a feeling things have just been complicated further.”
“Do what I can, Ace,” Rod said, and disappeared with a tiny blue explosion.
“Greco, Janny—you guys…” Ace scratched his head. “I don’t know. Take a breather. If you see Alph, send him my way.”
He walked out of the room with purpose then, and anger.
Tandem! What the hell’re you doing on the Esperanza?
He was just stepping out of the pod elevator, instinctively making his way to the bridge. He could see Alph at the end of the extravagant hallway, shifting from tiptoes to heels and looking smug. Victor Ace’s mood had taken a sour turn on the way there, and seeing his first mate prancing around the enemy’s ship was not helping in the least.
“Tandem!” he bellowed, jogging from the elevator to where Alph stood. Ace saw that he was waiting for a different elevator entirely, and made the mental leap that Tau would know even faster ways to the bridge…
More than anyone, Alphonse was sensitive to Ace’s moods. He saw that something was wrong immediately.
“Where’s Peregrine?” Ace snapped, eyes darting around the tall hallway. There was something predatory about his look right then.
“Up the hall,” Alph said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder. “What’s with you?”
“Long story,” Ace said. “Lead the way.”
When all Alph did was gaze at him, a dozen questions in his eyes, Ace snapped again: “Alphonse! Lead the way, I said. Go.”
They both turned...only to be met with Tau. She was standing in the middle of the hallway twenty feet away from them, her ears twitching, eyes narrowed. His first impression of Tau was that she had some backbone, but he'd felt at the time Elrick only kept her around to diddle her. Seeing her now, her stance so stalwart, he was not so sure.
Loyal followers are key, of course.
"Did you two want something?" asked the Kitsune pointedly, though she was really only glaring at Alphonse.
They stopped five feet shy of her.
Victor Ace looked from one to the other, aware of the tense air between them, before saying, "We have some business with Peregrine. Like to join us, kit?" He began to move again, heedless to her reaction.
Alph bounded after him, and Tau whirled around in pursuit, the only sane reaction either of the first mates could have had.
Ace burst into the room first; Alphonse and Tau were right on his heels, the tension between them palpable.
They were all aware that this would not be pretty.
His tongue burned with curses, but he stopped short just inside the door. Elrick and Rosa were embracing, and very close. He was not sure what to think at first glance.
That didn’t last long, however.
“Hah! I see the Martian is less than faithful.” He dared to advance into the room; Alph was right behind him, though Ace was too caught up in Elrick to notice. “I wonder what your wife would think, Peregrine…What are you doing with my prisoner?”
Elrick’s response was predictable, and endlessly frustrating. At Ace’s outburst, he and Rosa had jumped apart. Now, he took her by the shoulders and whispered some comforting words, then stepped in front of her. Looking at Ace, his face possessed a blackened contempt which Ace had never before witnessed.
“Victor Ace,” the Martian spat.
“I’ll ask one more time,” Ace said gravely. He’d advanced into the room until he was face to face with Elrick; eyes bright, face alight with rage. “What are you doing with my prisoner? Why is she off my ship—on your ship? Better answer good, martian, or we’re going to have problems.”
OOC: There are a couple reasons why this post is AWESOME.
Facts of the case: 1. Janny and Greco appear to have personality at last. I love them. 2. That part with "Do I hear dissent in your voice ROD" was just...so awesome, and so Ace. 3. lol "less than faithful" 4. OH SHIT ACE VS ELRICK WHAAAT 5. IT WAS AN ENDSAGA POST BITCH WHY WOULDNT IT BE AWESOME
Last Edit: Feb 17, 2009 22:28:40 GMT -5 by Sephith
Post by strangephantasm on Feb 17, 2009 19:29:33 GMT -5
The moment Ace uttered those words Tau could hear Elrick's blood surging through his body in waves of pure and unadulterated rage. Like water she moved to restrain him before something awful happened.
Rosa gasped at the sudden change in the captain. He had been so calm and collected, now there was murder in his eyes.
"How dare you... how dare you speak of her you despicable curr?" he growled "You know nothing of my Lisa and you know nothing of me! Who the hell are you to judge when you and yours are naught but kidnaping scoundrels?" "Scoundrels?" Ace scoffed "You have no right to talk like that Worldslayer. You're a genocidal madman roaming about the universe doing as you please. You and your cronies think you can take whatever you like as if property meant nothing to you. Your pal Samuun already stole from me and now you'd take what's mine as well!" "That girl belongs to no one, she is not an object to be used. Not be you, not by anyone. I will not allow you to have her."
Alphonse was furious.
"You have no idea what I had to go through to get Rosa on the Kokoro! You haven't got any idea what it was like on Rylon, watching that Siryan friend of yours ripping people apart and then coming after us!" he yelled
Faster than the eye could blink Tau's fist slammed into his face, sending him flying against the wall where he landed in a heap. Everyone was stunned at the violent outburst from the sweet and innocent Tau, who was breathing heavily through gritted teeth.
"Hardship?" she snarled "You want to talk about hardship? Hardship is crying in a cell, cold and alone. It's not knowing what's happened to the people you care about, not knowing what will happen to you."
There were tears streaming down her angry cheeks at the memory of that place, and those terrible men who had taken away everything she loved.
"Hardship is knowing that you are completely helpless, that your life doesn't belong to you at all and that you are at the mercy of someone who doesent give any consideration to your feelings at all! You don't give a damn about Rosa or her feelings, and that makes you monsters! Heartless, greedy, self-centered monsters!"
There was a sound, almost a whisper as Crystalis emerged from it's sheath. Elrick's eyes had gone cold and black.
"....And now you've gone and made Tau cry." he said, taking a step toward Ace "STOP IT!" Rosa shouted "Stop fighting!"
The two men looked at the girl who was helping Alphonse to his feet. He left eye was nearly swollen shut, blood coming out of his nose.
"Girl hits like a goddamn truck.." he coughed
Rosa glared at them all.
"I'm so sick of people getting hurt because of me. All those people... All those people got killed and it's all because of me. Even.."
The doors suddenly opened with a hiss.
"Victor Ace and Elrick Peregrine, I might have known you two would go and upset this little one." Samuun said in a chiding voice, striding into the room with an ornate wooden box under his arm
Rosabella ran to his side and hugged him tightly, hiding her face in the thick tufts of fur.
"Samuun... what are you doing here?" Elrick asked "What's going on?" "A little fairy told me that there was someone new on the ship. I could only conclude that this little one had been let out of her cage." he replied, stroking her hair "And here she is all shaken up." "She's staying with us now." the captain replied "Like hell she is!" Ace yelled
Samuun sighed, dealing humans could be so tedious. Especially these two.
"Gentlemen, I'LL be the one to take care of Rosabella. Whether she's on the Kokoro or the Esperanza." he stated "We have a contract!" Ace reminded him loudly "Yes, and I am well aware of what will happen when the God-King finds out about this escapade." the Siryan said
Elrick's eyes widened, his sword returning to it's sheath.
"I knew someone wanted Lady Rosa, and I had intended to rescue her myself. But you working for the God-King.... this changes things." he said, staring at Ace "Oh-hoh, so even the Great Peregrine thinks twice about meddling in other peoples affairs.. if they're important enough." he smirked
Elrick gave unnervingly pleasant smile saying:
"All the worlds shall be thy enemy, prince with a thousand enemies; and when they catch you, they shall kill you. But first, they must catch you.... Still, it pays to be cautious when dealing with somone almost as dangerous as yourself."
Samuun interrupted their banter, saying something to Elrick in a language Ace couldn't understand.
"F'edet sil'yahim garlethimakun! I have a present for you."
He tossed the box to the captain who stared at it curiously. When he opened the latch he nearly dropped it, his jaw hanging open.
"Soyev nerakun Mars..." he whispered
The captain looked at the siryan in disbelief. Then he gave Ace the briefest of glances before his eyes were torn back to the box.
"We'll discuss this later."
With that he walked away, exiting the bridge and cradling the container in his arms as if it were a baby, leaving the others stunned.