Sep 24, 2019 5:27 AM
Titan Fleet Jamie and siblings escape the Venus Clam
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Physical movement between ships in the fleet is complicated. There are small craft designed for it, but they're very old, have gone mostly unmaintained, and were frequent targets for parts salvage back when the systems started failing thirty years back. The teleporters are extremely power expensive, and security keeps a tight watch on them as a result. Trying to move ship-to-ship with a flamesuit, even with a suit booster, is asking to get left behind and lost in the void. Mist teleportation is basically the only possible option for the average citizen - but Mists who can teleport more than thenselves and maybe one other, once a day at most, are very rare, and Mist isn't even one of the more common flame types on the Venus Clam

As a Misty Cloud themself, G could manage one ship-to-ship teleport with one of their siblings, but that would leave the others behind, which would be unacceptable. Getting four people from the Clam to the Lily would be impossible for all but two of the Mists in the fleet, in fact, so basically the only way to go about it is to take one of the cannibalised Sparrows. Luckily for their purposes, G knows a good mechanic. 

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Sarah is fiddling with a flamesuit, trying to boost the emergency storage capacity. She's been working on it on and off for the past year - the ship loses a few scavengers to suit-related flame exhaustion every year, and if the suits just had a bit of a larger reserve to work from... 

A puff of mist diffusing into the room's aura notifies her of her guest, and she looks up to find Angela breathing out a thick stream of it in the middle of the room. The Commander has never been very good at efficient porting, Sarah knows, always using more mist than necessary (just in case) and ending up shunting it to their lungs as a result. At least they figured out how to deal with it without hacking up said lungs. The properties of mist flames had made it an unpleasant sight. 

"Why the port, Commander?" She asks midly, setting the flamecore down on her desk. 

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"Time to go," G tells her, then pausing to cough out the last few tendrils of mist. Clearing their throat, they continue, "The Sparrow's ready?" 

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Startled, Sarah stands, "What, now? What happened?" The original plan had them leaving in two weeks, "There's nothing wrong with her that I can see, but there's no knowing for sure until we take her out. That's why we were going to do that test flight." Still, she starts packing up the few projects she has out, sticking them in her work cases - she's always ready to move, being a mechanic on the Clam means you live wherever the ship needs you.

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"Well, we're going to have to skip it," G says, ignoring the question. The very fact that they're leaving is enough insight into the lives of G and their siblings, frankly Sarah has no need to know exactly what their father has done to drive them away. 

"The Lily is only a little farther than it would be in two weeks," they tell Sarah, striding over to her workbench to help her pack, "Gerault is on scanners, he won't notice anything if I tell him not to. I've already alerted Arthur, he's covering the Lily's scanners; the kids are at the Sparrowdock, they're all packed - we're as ready as we can be." 

Packing up the last loose scrap, they sling a bag over their shoulder and pick one up in their left hand, before reaching out to offer Sarah their hand for the port. When she takes it, they gather up their mist, cover the two of them with a shroud of it, and move.

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Gabriello glances up at the small explosion of mist that heralds Gina's entrance. He feels Nido stir in his lap, his head lifting from his arm to check who's arriving before he lays it back down again. Gabriello lifts his youngest brother up into his arms as he gets up to greet his sibling, Xandro hopping down from the crate he was sitting on at his left. 

"We can go, then?" He assumes, reaching out to take one of the four large bags Sarah is carrying in his non-occupied arm. Xandro had helped him pack up their own things while Gina was porting around alerting everyone who is in on their plans.

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"Yes," the Commander agrees, "Let's get Sarah packed up and then get the Sparrow running, our departure window closes in an hour." 

Sparrows looked like long cylinders with flat bottoms, a wide rim extending all around the middle of it. The door opened downwards from the both port and starboard sides, allowing easier evacuation in emergencies - the Sparrows were intended for exploration as well as ship-to-ship movement. They could hold up to six people with fair comfort, with six bunks in a room at the back, but could hold up to twenty temporarily before the oxygen scrubbers became overburdened. 

The five of them troop up the stairs onto the small ship, setting Sarah's bags down inside the bunkroom and continuing into the cockpit. Riel sets Nido down in a chair and buckles him up while the others all take their seats, and Sarah sets her hand down on the handprint scanner in the center of the controls and feeds a stream of Lightning into them, waking the ship. 

She goes through the startup sequence one-handed while she straps herself into the pilot's seat, gesturing to Angela to key themself into the scanner as well so they can take over if there's an emergency. 

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They do so, seal the Sparrows doors, and then contact Gerault.

"Sir?" Gerault's voice sounds from their bracer.

"We're ready, open Dock 12," they tell him.

"Sir," he confirms, and the wall before the Sparrow shudders and starts to pull apart. 

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Once they're all the way open, she disengages the Sparrow's magnetic locks and beings slowly, carefully guiding her out of the Sparrowdock, and out into space. 

Tense, she guides them further from the Clam, the giant cityship intimidating in its size and vastly superior weaponry - not that she believes the Admiral would order the Sparrow shot down, but the tractor beams were still a threat. She can't see the other ships in the fleet with the naked eye, with the distance and the dark colour scheme of the Titan Fleet, but they register on the scanners. The closest ship to them (aside from the Clam) is the Tridente, then the Dagger, and finally their destination, the Black Lily - all in different directions, of course. She turns the ship towards the Lily and brings their speed up as much as is safe; at this speed, they should reach it in five hours. 

"There," she murmurs, relieved. She leans back and glances to the Commander, "Five hours, Sir," she tells them. She turns to look at their brothers, "Don't leave the seats, please," she tells them, "I can't be sure if this will be a smooth ride all throughout, so it's safer if you stay strapped in unless you need to use the facilities." 

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G nods, glancing back as well. Nido is asleep, and Riel and Xandro have their bracers on, setting up some kind of cooperative game to keep themselves occupied. G sets their visor to keep an eye on the Clam's security feed, settling in for a long ride. 

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In an alcove near the Black Lily's Sparrowdocks, Arthur flips through his deck, absently setting out the cards for a round of solitaire. Facing him his visor sits, hooked up to a maintenance box on the wall, running a little mist-aided program to make a certain ship invisible to the Lily's scanners. He's had it up and running for about six hours now, since G had contacted him. He knows the Clam Sparrow should be arriving any minute, if all went well, but there's no use worrying. He sets a red seven on a black eight and hums to himself. 

Moments later, his visor lets out a soft chirp, and he glances up to check the holographic display. Hurriedly he leaps to his feet, pulls his cards together and pockets them, reaches out to detach the visor and settle it over his right eye, and heads out into the corridor. A few turns later finds him outside the Sparrowdocks, and he lets himself in and leans against the inside wall to watch the doors to bay twelve, keeping an eye on the Lily's security feed on his visor. 

 

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With both of them on the case, nothing will happen on either ship that one of them won't know about! 

 The trip ggoes smoothly. They arrive just after the five hour mark, sliding into the Lily's Sparrowdock without incident. While Sarah shuts the shuttle down, G gets out of their seat to stretch, and then kneel down in front of Xandro and unbuckle him. Once he's free, they carefully lift him into their arms; it's been a hell of a day, and they woke their brothers to leave in the middle of the night.  

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He stirs, cracking his eyelids open to see who is carrying him. 

"Gina?" He mumbles into their shoulder. He reaches out with his flames to get a read of their surroundings, colliding with the aura of the Lily's soul. The foreign sensation brings him to full wakefulness. 

"Let me down, I can walk," he demands, tapping Gina's arm. 

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"Alright, no need to hit me," they snort, setting him on his feet. They lead him into the bunkroom to pick up some of the bags, then head out of the open Sparrow doors. 

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Gabriello carries the dozing Nido and their bags behind them, trailing Sarah out into the main hangar of the Sparrowdock. 

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Where Arthur is waiting.

He pushes off the wall to greet them, giving a lazy hybrid of a salute and a wave. "You made it," he says, "That's just great. If we could maybe hurry it along, though? She's waiting for you, and I'd really like to get some sleep before my shift, which is in four hours, just by the way." 

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"Thanks for your help, Arthur," G says, ignoring the majority of the snark, "Just lead us to her, and you can go." 

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