Red Dragon Inn

Red Dragon Inn Home Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark

Welcome, traveler!
( Member login. Not a member? Register here. )


Search    Memberlist    Usergroups    Forum Help   
Gallery    Shop    Jobs    Auctions    Pet Shop    Lottery   
Register    Log in 

Irrefusable Offers

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> Dragon's Tales
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Markovus Orlith
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 11 Jan 2018
Posts: 2
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Currently on RhyDin
250.00 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:09 pm    Post subject: Irrefusable Offers Reply with quote

The Steiner family was old money. An ancestor grew fat on the profits of a cotton plantation, with the help of plenty slave labor. Each successive generation built on that. Now Steiner Fabrics was the biggest textile business in Faris. Hell, on all of Oria, for that matter. It was the kind of wealth that let them purchase a good deal of political sway. They were one of the real forces that shaped the world. Everyone knew it, but turned a willing blind eye as long as they were able to continue buying cheap goods to distract them from life and nice homes where they could feel like they were safe. It didn’t pay to rock the boat. I had to agree with them on that.

I mostly made a living chasing after bail jumpers. Sometimes private citizens would come to me for help in tracking down those that managed to evade the long arm of the law. Only bad people…those who committed assault, theft, or anything else that infringed on someone else’s legal happiness. I wasn’t a bruiser for hire. There were plenty of schmucks out there who could fit that bill. My goal was to make a clean catch. The authorities expected as much. Excessive use of force could muddy up and otherwise tidy conviction. Plus, it caused more paperwork than I cared to deal with. Not to say sometimes things didn’t get messy. That’s when a lethal use of force became an option. Sure, the paperwork was still a nightmare and the clients might have some stern words for me. In the end, though, a grave usually worked as well as a prison cell.

It’s this reputation for professionalism which is what I like to think made the Steiner’s representative seek me out. Most likely it’s because, if I screwed the pooch on this job, no one would miss me if I suddenly disappeared. With people like them, that was the usual penalty for failure.

Turns out, someone had the brilliant idea to rob them in a rather dramatic fashion. Breaking into their main residence and gassing everyone inside. It was quick and clean. This obviously hadn’t been their first time. It was only sheer dumb luck that one of the house staff wasn’t totally incapacitated and managed to get a glimpse of the burglar. All they could tell was it was a woman. She’d had the forethought to hide her face and not rely solely on the sleeping smoke. Still, she was able to make off with a monster of a ruby and the family cat, Tessa. The cat had been a bad move. As it was, the Steiner’s were the type to implant trackers into every member of the family, including their pets. By the time everyone was on their feet again, the per had already fled off-planet. Putting her outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement.

That’s where I came in. Normally, I wouldn’t dream of getting involved with the elite on such a sticky matter. My better judgement was overruled by the obscene amount of money they offered for a successful capture, with a hefty advance. Even throwing in a sleek galactic cruiser, piloted by the most advanced AI that could be bought, with which to give chase. Part of the bounty on offer at the job’s completion. It would have struck me as odd that they were willing to pay me more than what the stolen goods were worth, but this wasn’t just about getting their property back. The thief’s audacity was an insult, one that needed a severe example made. For good measure, there was plenty of subtle intimidation thrown in, letting me know where I stood if I turned them down.

So, I ended up tearing through space, following a specially-made receiver that solely traced kitty’s location. It wouldn’t do to give me access to the entire clan’s chips, in case I decided to get any smart ideas about gaining some sort of leverage to cover my butt. Planning like that is how they ended up with the prominence they enjoy. Unfortunately, things weren’t destined to go smoothly.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sloan
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 09 Jan 2018
Posts: 2
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Anywhere you're not looking.
250.00 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old money, new money, black money, blue money..whatever the case may be. If you're out hustling for a single buck or a bazillion, it's work. One minute you're eating high on the hog in a nice restaurant with a few pockets full of dough and the next you ain't got a pot to piss in and you've been locked out of your apartment in below freezing weather. Sloan had been on the high and the low end along with everything in between. Let's be honest, it's mainly the latter. She'd done a few regular old jobs. Washing dishes, dancing in the clubs and such. Even tried the secretarial gig which wasn't so bad. Did you know more men hit on a woman in an office than they do in the clubs? True fact. But, she had no qualms with hitting back. She punched one of those desk jockey's in the face so hard it was inverted. Sloan was nineteen at the time. First real, paying job too. Had she not been such a hellion (which can be attributed to having sloppy drunk for a father), there may have been a normal life waiting for her. Not now. Not anymore.

Did she run out of that office after doing the damage? Did she offer any apologies for her behavior? Hell to the no! She offered up that right hook again to any takers that wanted to try their hand. Little miss 5'2" scared the crap out of all of them. That's what happens when you wear a suit every day. You get weak.


She had a few friends that offered some duck and cover when the police tried to track her down. They always gave up too easily. In time, she learned the streets, the dark recesses of the city, the grunge bars and the seedy back alley's where few people dared lay foot. That's where you learn the
real tricks of the trade. That soft slight of hand, knife skills and weaponry in general. For her, those were always the last ditch go to's. She wasn't a killer. She was a borrower. Permanent borrower maybe; but, hey, who even notices right? After a few years of practice, 'borrowing' was all too easy now. When she picked up her first real job by breaking into a wealthy heiress's house to steal the lock box hidden behind a painting of a Cocker Spaniel, the money flowed in like water from a fountain. When her husband paid her double to steal it all back...nope, you can't make this up..Sloan finally knew this was her calling. She was "helping" people.

A few more jobs here, a few more jobs there and suddenly she had a hotel, a warm bed and three hot meals every, single day.

Then came the big hit with a fat payday if she managed to do the dead cleanly. Grab a red ruby, delivery up in one piece and earn enough money to never have to work another day in her life. Was quite easy actually since she was good at cracking safes. Yep, all was going well. Even picked up a kitty somewhere along the way. Must have been an afterthought cause God's honest truth, she didn't remember asking the cat to tag along. Pretty thing though. *petting* Best company she's ever had.

"Alright...whatever your name is. I'll call you, .." Thinking on it. "Kitty. We're going to be good friends. Just don't hack a hairball in my lap. That's my one rule. ...and don't piss in my ride. I borrowed this ship too. And try not to shed too much, it makes me sneeze."
_________________
In a crazy world, it's only your insanity that will keep you sane.

Ursula LeQuin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Markovus Orlith
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 11 Jan 2018
Posts: 2
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Currently on RhyDin
250.00 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Television and movies make space travel look like this trippy experience of streaking lights and Technicolor wormholes. In truth, for the most part it’s one of the most boring things I’ve ever had to do. Moving at near-light speed means that what little view there is outside the ship is just black. It creates an unnerving sense of isolation. I can’t imagine what kind of people would want to spend their lives out here. I’m betting not the kind I’d want to meet. Since this was more of a personal pleasure craft, there wasn’t even much room to go exploring. There was the cockpit for all the ship’s main controls, a nice-sized dining and recreation area (but since this was a business trip, there wasn’t much in the way of entertainment stocked), a couple two-person sleeping quarters, an engine maintenance area, and a small cargo hold.

And an AI program, even one as highly advanced as the one in this ship, was a poor substitute for company. When I asked why we couldn’t bump things up to at least light speed to make the trip shorter, I was regaled with a rambling explanation that included time displacement, quantum irregularities, and other things I won’t even try to pronounce. I decided then to keep any conversation to a minimum. The closest we came to anything exciting were the moments we had to decelerate to pick up the trace again.

It seems that at these crazy speeds, energy signals of any kind are notoriously unreliable. So when we neared the last known location of the tracking chip’s signal, we would have to slow down to a near stop, recalibrate, then make course adjustments to continue the pursuit. Our last reading showed that the quarry was on course for a planet named RhyDin. I had the ship’s AI (it demanded I not refer to it as the ship, since it saw itself as a separate entity) bring up whatever information we had on the place so I would at least have something to kill the time. Apparently the planet had a capital city, which shared the same name. To me, that sounded like plenty of opportunities for some confusing geographical conversations. Must have been one drunk committee which came up with that. Thankfully it seemed somewhat contemporary, not some backwards mud pit.

Even with the artificial gravity, gauging when we were slowing down or speeding up could only be figured out by listening to the change of pitch in the engine’s hum. It was so low that, at cruising speeds, it faded into unnoticed background noise. So any difference immediately registered in my brain. I was reading up on our most likely destination in the lounge, as I’d taken to calling it, when I realized we were coming to our next checkpoint. As I was about to resettle into my studies, an oddly pleasant-sounding klaxon began to ring out. I guess even in an emergency, the Steiner’s wanted to keep things classy.

- A ship is approaching our proximity at a high rate of speed. Visual survey and match comparison identifies it as a marauding vessel operating in this region, designation: The High Jack. –

“Are you kidding? Space pirates are a real thing?” I ignored the table screen as I got up and made the short jog to the cockpit. “Do we have weapons on this thing?”

- Nothing capable of repelling a ship with their defensive plating and armaments. Aristocrat’s Leisure is only equipped for dock-side theft deterrents. We also would not be able to evade them before their weapons could disable or, more likely, destroy our ship. –

Helpless and caught flat-footed. It didn’t get much better than that. “We can’t fight or run. That kind of hurts our options.” Dock-side theft deterrents. The beginnings of a plan to stirred in my head. “What about internal defenses? If they send a boarding party, would we be able to take care of them once they were inside?”

- The only available countermeasure that would not also kill or incapacitate you would be a sedative gas. As long as you are able to hold your breath until the intruders succumb, then while I vent the gas and cycle in fresh oxygen. It would take approximately five minutes. -

That would be a stretch. Good lung capacity came with the genetics, but even I needed to breathe. It was our best and only option, though, so I’d have to give it a shot. “Alright. Hail them to surrender, or whatever people do in this situation and get ready with the gas. Once they’re out I’ll drag them into the cargo hold. Then we’ll need to figure out some way to deal with their ship.”

- I have already calculated the odds of success for a number of scenarios. I believe our best chance is to forcefully jettison the bodies of the boarding party as well as the supplies of spare maintenance materials and emergency rations. This will provide cover for our escape and potentially damage their ship. Should we still sustain heavy damage during the escape attempt, there are facilities within a relatively short distance where we could find repairs. As long as we are still mobile. Also, they have already dispatched a small shuttle to our docking hatch. -

“A half-assed plan is better than nothing. Ok. I’ll go welcome our guests aboard. Make sure you’re ready to get us out of here. I don’t think those left on their ship will wait very long to find out what’s going on with their quiet friends.” Another quick jog took me back to the lounge area, since the hatch was on the far end of it. I stood waiting in my best defeated posture. Best to put them at ease straight away, while reassuring myself that one of my trade’s tools was safely concealed in the seam of my wide belt.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect when the hatch opened. Maybe a motley group of weird mutant freaks or scurvy-ridden scoundrels. Definitely not the two-legged lizard-parrot creatures that came on board dressed in some kind of scale-armored space suits. Once again, the entertainment industry missed the mark on reality.

“You will remain where you are and submit to a search of your vessel.” The thing’s beak-mouth didn’t move in synch with the words, so I figured one of the objects it held was some sort of translator. I threw up my hands and gave them a nod, standing near the wall opposite the hatch. As soon as all four of the pirates came through, the AI sealed the hatch and began pumping in the gas. I drew in a big gulp of air, holding it, and watched as one of the vents blew a silvery gas directly into my company’s faces. At least there was one small glimmer of good luck in this whole fiasco.

There was a moment of chaotic anger as they registered what was going on, raising the dangerous-looking rods they held when their attention swung back to me. Even as I reached for the thin stun baton in my belt, the boarding party began to collapse to the floor. Apparently they didn’t have a natural resistance to whatever my bodiless AI companion flooded the room with. Which meant it only took four minutes to clear the air. So while I started seeing stars in front of my eyes, I didn’t end up lying next to the guests.

As soon as I was able to gasp in a fresh lungful, I started dragging the prone bodies back to the cargo hold. The AI had also been busy stacking crates near the bay doors with the remote crane. Knowing all our back-up supplies were about to be launched into space and probably snatched up by pirates filled me with a bit of trepidation. Still, it was better than the certain death that would follow after the lizard-parrots had their look-see. The only real thing of value was the ship itself. I doubted they would have taken me along for the ride. In short order, our smoke screen was all set and I was hurrying to the cockpit again to strap in to the pilot’s chair.

“Alright. You’re on. Get us out of here before they get any more suspicious.”

- Initiating escape maneuvers. The target signal is stationary at RhyDin. Destination plotted. -


The AI brought up the view screen to let me see how our progress, or potential lack thereof, was going. Another oddity of space travel with artificial gravity was that you didn’t feel the herky-jerky motions the ship made. I heard the docking hatch decouple and felt a shudder as the cargo hold decompressed explosively. On the split image, I saw the debris drifting behind us as well as Aristocrat’s Leisure making to loop around the prone pirate shuttle for extra cover as we aligned to activate our thrusters in the right direction.

Unlike being shot at on Oria, the guns of The High Jack didn’t have any muzzle flash. They weren’t shooting lasers, but some sort of high-velocity slugs. Quite a few of them impacted the hull loudly before we were able to get up to full speed. RhyDin had orbital patrols which would deter pursuit, so that wasn’t as much of a concern as how badly the ship had been hit.

- Damage has been sustained to long range communications, atmospheric controls, and tracking receiver. The temperature may grow uncomfortably warm until repairs can be completed. Due to the estimated time the target has spent on the planet already, probability is in the 98th percentile RhyDin was her intended destination. Regardless, we will need to receive further damage diagnostics and maintenance there before I will permit us to continue. -

“What do you mean before you’ll permit us? I’m the one running this show.” The more I talked with the AI, the more it seemed like it was developing an annoyingly superior attitude. When the ship became my property, something would need to be done about that.

- My directive to follow your commands is superseded by the Steiner’s programming that our mission is top priority. To that end, I must ensure your survival. Continuing to travel in a damaged vessel will put that at risk. -


I couldn’t argue with the sense of keeping me alive. Since that was also my number on priority. It would have been nice if that damned voice didn’t sound so smug about being right. “Fine. We’ll hole up for repairs while I try to hunt down our mystery lady.”

- Also, I feel I should make sure you are aware that all maintenance fees will be deducted from your advance. -

Of course it would. I really hate space pirates.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sloan
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 09 Jan 2018
Posts: 2
See this user's pet
Can Be Found: Anywhere you're not looking.
250.00 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the trill of the chase! There was no better feeling in the world like it. Each time she took a job, stole a priceless trinket or just wanted to scare the piss out of every living thing around her, it was like a new high. Sure, Sloan could have just been satisfied with the jewel heist put before her. Lord knows that decision alone was going to open a whole bunch of nasty tempered heathen scum who'd come running just to try and take off her pretty, little head. It'd be fun to see them try. The very thought of it made her laugh. To up the ante, she'd just had to catch the eye of that crazy man with the tusks of a walrus or something. She was intrigued to say the least. So she'd stolen a trinket or two from him and viola! Hook, line, sinker. It may not be today or tomorrow; but, he would take the bait eventually. They always do. Did she want to kill him? Noooooo. Spilling blood was such a waste. If she did do such a thing, the fun was over. In all honesty, there was something fascinating about the big lug. Something..Unique. Oddities were always a draw as they tend to keep her interest longer than most.

Alas, at that moment there had been no time to waste. So Sloan had to leave in order to catch a flight out on the vessel Simeon 3. It was a fast, sleek, gray little ship that was shaped like a diving bird in flight. Apparently the ships owner was a gun runner who, himself, was also trying to avoid the law. Since she happened to have spent a little time with the Captain..ahem..let's just say she didn't have to pay a dime for the trip. Nor did he even seem to care why a young lady would be travelling on her own with a stranger she'd just met. Guess he'd been flying solo in the verse way too long to be choosy. Funny thing was, she didn't actually sleep with him. Nope. She spiked his drink with some happy juice, set a course for the nearest inhabited planet and silently prayed those inhabiting it weren't cannibals or worse. Poor guy didn't even have a chance to partake of the actual goods being offered. But, being the sweetheart that she was, Sloan left him a sexy note in red lipstick on his forehead saying 'Best night ever!" and, by morning, he'd wake up alone with his ship docked in a sand dune miles away from the city, minus a weapon or two along with the turkey sandwich he planned to have for lunch. By the way, the sandwich was good; but, would have been better with more mustard.

Besides, she didn't have time to stick around long. After all, she had a pretty rock to deliver as quickly as possible before a certain someone discovered which direction she might be heading. It was always good to take the back roads and stay out of sight until getting your feet wet in a new place. First things first, she sought out a clothing shop to buy an outfit or two. Jeans, some blouses, new boots, a leather jacket, some toiletries and few boxes of hair color. Afterwards, a bit more money went towards getting a room for a few days at the inn. She'd dye that hair jet black, add a beauty mark on her left cheek, get dressed and roam around the town to see what this place was really like. Glad that captain had a big fat wallet she was also able to borrow from to cover her costs. God bless him..

Rhydin proved to be a very nice place to hang out! She made a few friends. Had a few drinks. Didn't get in any trouble at all for once. But, there was no question she had a big X squarely set in the middle of her back. A ruse can only hold for so long before the veil is pulled away. Time was ticking. She could literally hear the 'tick, tick, ticking' sound slamming into the sides of her brain. Her right hand slid down into the pocket of that jacket to palm the ruby. Anything could happen between now and the drop. ANYTHING. Wasn't that comforting to know? If she didn't get the ruby to it's owner, it was safe to say she'd be ripped to shreds or worse.
_________________
In a crazy world, it's only your insanity that will keep you sane.

Ursula LeQuin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   printer-friendly view    Red Dragon Inn - Dragon's Mark Forum Index -> Dragon's Tales All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Dragon's Mark Producer - Rob Portinga
Original site design © 2005 by Nomad  •  Forum design © 2005 Isaura Simon