May 20, 2019 3:07 PM
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"I have -A- communicator. More like a little pocket computer, what with what i did to it. I could make all the ships i have a mark on try to undock and ram themselves forward, won't work, but it'll drag some people out with warning message. Slide to a console left open and trigger alarms in there... Leaves the guy at the main console there though, likely. He could kick me off the moment i try to do anything off near the front of the ship to help out, like unlocking the armory for us..."

She giggles, but stifles herself. "Man i have ideas. Half of them would blow up the ship, but the other half I'm sure you'll like. Got any plans for the one guy? I'm no good with combat if that's relevant..."

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"Yes, let's go with an idea that doesn't blow up the ship. If it's something you can claim to fix later, better yet, makes you look the hero. Maybe set off some alarm with a nice countdown? Countdowns are very dramatic."

Jean tugs down his shirt and adds, smiling, "I'll bet you anything you care to wager that I can talk that one guy away. If I get you ten minutes with the main console, can you do something exciting with it?"

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"I -SAID- it won't work, they locked the docking controls in place and, like, seven different ships suddenly throwing undocks and thrusters on, bad data, the guys directly infront of the console in the bay aren't trained to handle it. A little noise from a nearby ship that may have a gun on it, they back off, nobody to check in with. They send some techs. Sure, i can look heroic and type fast while i hit the stop button on my comm, let alone spend that time actually taking nearly full control, IF i get to that main console."

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"Fine, perfect, do that. Meanwhile I'll convince the main console fellow he has urgent business elsewhere, les doigts dans le nez, he's Starfleet, they'll do anything you say if you sound military about it. Then you go for the main console and do what you need to do. Sound like a plan?"

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"Sure, gimme a sec, stay quiet but keep drumming that, whatever it is." She tilts the communicator so he can see along, but moves menus and clicks fast for a few moments. She ends on a camera view of the terminal in the docking bay, looking at the surprised soldiers. Beeping and alarms start turning on above and through the feed.

Cynthia raises her off-hand in a 'shh' gesture toward Jean, before clicking a button. Through the communicator's microphone, it starts playing it's own playback of the alarms, the sounds of Jean tapping a vent, and start distorting the noises together. She adds in a nice, low and guttural voice of "The warp claims these ships as toll... Hehehehe... LEAVE MY BAY." to the mix and then clicks again, lowering her finger. The console in view begins expelling smoke, the soldiers beginning to freak out. Her voice and the distorted garbles keep playing on repeat.

She mutes the communicator, leaving the alarms overhead blaring for noise. Smiling, she points to the doorway up. "Your turn."

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Jean absolutely, definitely does not react to her little bit of voice-acting there. Nope. "My turn," he agrees, instead, and hops through the doorway.

There's a couple of small side terminals hanging off the hub, but they're unmanned; the soldiers are busy panicking. The man at the main console is a bridge officer from the badge pinned to the off shoulder of his yellow pullover, and he keeps casting worried glances at the loudspeaker but doesn't show any sign of bolting. Jean sizes him up: regulation haircut even though it's two weeks' warp to HQ, shiny boots, bitten nails. Yeah. One born every minute.

Straightening his hair minutely, Jean pulls himself into the stiff slouch of an officer who feels breathing is beneath his pay grade, and stalks up behind the other man.

Cough.

The officer jumps. "Sir!" he exclaims, getting a look at Jean. "Sir yes sir! Uh ... who are you?"

"Who am I?" Jean sing-songs back at him, dropping the French accent for a hint of Rim drawl. "You're not paid to ask questions! You're paid to keep this ship under control!"

"...I was told to stay here?"

"Right, we're short half our bridge officers and we want you staring at a flickering screen! Move, lieutenant!"

"...sir!" the officer squeaks, salutes, and dashes. Jean drops back into his usual posture and jogs back a little ways to wave Cynthia up.

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Cynthia walks over, and slides into the console's chair. She rambles her thoughts in a whisper as she goes. "Thought that'd be harder, wasn't rushing. Oh well... Link my communicator... Come on, here, right, done. Controls over, feeds over, yep yep... Password... Here, changed. Alright, local notes... Nothing special, check up fro-- what? Really?"

Her face drops, and she turns to look at Jean. "They're preparing the guns in the armory. Planning to shoot all of refugees? Uh..." She grabs her communicator and works on it for a moment. "Care to make an announcement? Like... Hi, I'm the new captain, rush them? I'll... Get the armory locked and wait for them to get to it. Run doors. That stuff." Cynthia hands the communicator over, the loudspeaker controls onscreen for him. Cynthia looks back to the console and works, mumbling something about Grav Tanks.

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"I give us five, maybe ten minutes before he realizes that I don't actually have any authority," Jean warns her, taking the comm. When he speaks into it, his voice is as level and dispassionate as a canned announcer.

"Attention, all passengers: please remain calm and help children and the elderly to move away from the armory area. Repeat, remain calm and move away from the armory. The situation is under control."

He taps mute and flashes Cynthia a grin. "Everyone is going to want to see what's going on. Should get us some help, and maybe actually get the kids out of the way too, that would be great. Oh, hold on--" he re-enables the broadcast and adds, "Special units Aleph through Gimel to Corridor Five. Aleph through Gimel to Corridor Five. We have a code mauve, repeat, code mauve."

Satisfied, Jean hands her back the communicator. "Now whoever we get to help with the armory situation, it looks all nice and official. Having any luck locking it down? How long do we have to get over there and deal with it?"

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"Already locked the, uh, lockers? The holding rack-things. Doors are forced open nearby, so people can atleast walk around. Getting over? You'd be better at predicting people i think. Either way. Running through the center or back through the hatches? Either is fine for me. Rather the running. We'd head past the cargo bay and get a nice look."

Tap tap, the console puts up a 'LOCKED: NEW MANAGEMENT" screen. Cynthia stands up. "All on my comm now, let's go?"

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Jean snickers at 'NEW MANAGEMENT.'

"Running it is," he agrees, and takes off in the direction of the armory, dodging people in the hallway as he goes. (One woman turns to glare at him.) He runs oddly, with overexaggerated movements like a caricature of a sprinter, but he's reasonably fast nevertheless. The height helps.

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Cynthia, although slower due to her leg, keeps more or less up with Jean by clearing obstructions, people, and stairs by acrobatics. Moving to the armory, nearer the front of the ship, from the engines, firstly would take them through the cargobay. Clearing the doors, the first whiff of air isn't a good one...

Within, the sounds of cheap tools reverberate in the large, mostly empty space. Below, many refugees are dismantling odd, complex machines connected to large tanks. Upon the upper walkway to cross over to the rest of the ship, sits all of the soldiers in the room, armed and concealing rebreathers. The second breath still seems off...

Cynthia jumps backward, grabs Jean and pulls him back a few feet, and leans in to whisper. "That's fragging biohazard spreaders! Warcrime in a box, let alone half of them down there won't wake up tomorrow without protective gear by the time they'd finish. Hell, the floor'd still probably take em out tonight since they'll make us sleep in here! Confirmation of things being wrong here!" She leans back a little, releasing her grip of his shirt. "What's the plan? We'll be fine if we're in and out, mind you, but them..."

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....damn. Damn damn damn.

Jean thinks rapidly and whispers back: "I can be scary but I don't think I can be as scary as a squad of soldiers with guns, I don't think I can get the people to break by yelling at them and besides odds are that gets us shot -- is there another way at the tanks? Through the vents or cut through a partition from another room or operate them remotely?"

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"Weren't stupid enough to leave those controls on the ships mainframe... I could maybe do something from next to one, but with them being disassembled and probably empty? Not really worth it... Could always go off to the sides through the hangar we landed in, or the other, and get in or out from there..."

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Ugh. "We could maybe try and blend in with the crowd but I don't fancy coughing up blood from rad poisoning...how far along are they, can you tell from here? If we sprinted to the armory and got some guns, maybe we could try and take them...but it's got to be the same lot at the armory, they won't have left it unguarded..."

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"Not far enough. I'd say the armory is a good bet, I set it so only i can release a weapon from the rack. They'll have some already, but that's the best i can do." She looks at her communicator. "Atleast not those guys. Start the riot, or impromptu official kidnapping?"

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He doesn't want to get shot or get mostly-innocent people shot but they've already been exposed to toxic waste and sounding really confident only goes so far and damn it, he doesn't actually like high-pressure situations--

"Riot," Jean sighs. "Let's try to be subtle. She looks like she's in charge." He indicates a tall woman with long gray hair, standing a little apart and keeping a cool eye on the scene. "Can you go ask her about the technical aspects? Play clueless, like you just wandered in, you don't care about what they're doing but you're nerding out about the mechanics. Talk a little loud, use big scary words, you don't have a problem with them screwing around with the spreaders but you think they could be doing it better. I'll go below with the rabble, make sure they overhear, see how panicky I can get them."

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"And what, get me shot instead? Idiots just listen to people, someone like her would call me out. Have someone arrest me and leave me in the brig. Not a good idea, nope! Especially when this is going on. We gotta get to the armory, get them /armed/ first." Cynthia turns her head and sighs. She isn't valuing the colonists very highly, compared to when they might start firing at her. She looks slightly worried, but hasn't fixed her hair, most of her face is behind it as a small defence mechanism.

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Well, that's less than perfectly helpful. Okay, replanning with his new companion's safety at a slightly higher priority level...

"Fine. You go to the armory, it's locked to you anyway. Give me the comm."

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"Locked to-- nevermind." She stares at him for a moment, thinking. "Don't let them get a hold of it. If you'll get caught, break the chip inside. Rather not a record." The communicator is passed to him. "And don't get shot. It's pretty problematic."

She gives a small smile, before turning and jogging off down the platform headed toward the non-horrorfied hangarbay. Leave the regrets for him and for later.

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Jean moves back a little, to an alcove where he can watch the cargo bay and see if anyone comes in or out without being himself overheard. (Or breathing in any more toxic fumes than necessary.) Once ensconced, he retrieves his little silicate disc, taps it onto the back of the communicator, and dials. "Gimel. How's the cat?" he murmurs into the comm, cradling it against his ear as he peers forward to check that the hallway is still empty. "Yes. I didn't tear my pants."

Pause. "I couldn't say. No. Not unless I have to."

Someone passes by, walking along the perpendicular corridor. Jean flattens himself against the wall, and resumes speaking once they're past. "There's snacks in the cargo bay. I think I saw a dozen doughnuts. --Yes. Have fun."

He hangs up.

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Cynthia makes her way out into the 'left' hangarbay. She jogs past the men standing around, and goes over to the entrance to the vehicle bay. If not up through the center cargo, systems room, and then to the frontal-center armory and medbay, or across the right through the 'horror-hangar' and the crew quarters into the medbay and armory, the left hangar and through the vehicle bay would do. She keys in her code, and the door slides open. A quiet side, filled with what many would call junk and half-pieces. A good bit of motivation hits with the idea she could pick through it later.

She sneaks over to the forced-open door of the armory, and peers inside. Three crew, one near a console swearing, two attempting to pry open a weapon rack. One of two two is already holding a handgun. Cynthia slides backward, examining whats nearby. A piece of ship armor, not useful. A toolpack? Full of bolts, but with a heavy wrench. A decent weapon, Cynthia grabs it. Broken sockets, a pack of nails, on top of the empty crates. Vehicle heavy-rifle. Jackpot. She walks over and pushes the end toward the door, atleast in range of the console presser. Working order, some loaded ammunition, what idiots.

A plan is hatched. Set the rifle to fire in fifteen seconds, wreck the console with that guard. Acceptable loss. She runs in, hits the armed guard with the wrench, and useful or not she can grab a small-arm and fire. One, two, the gun ticks. Six, seven, she's next to the door, heart beating. Eleven, twelve, what if it goes wrong? A bad shot, a malfunction, thirteen, does she hit hard enough, fourteen, a deep breath.Fifteen, a scream and a bang, Cynthia sprints into the armory...

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Meanwhile, Jean has found a back way into the lower part of the cargo bay, through the janitor's closet. (It's amazing how often that trick works.) He's mingling with the refugees, "helping" them dismantle the spreaders.

"Is that valve supposed to be pointing to DANGER TOXIC?" he asks, blinking at one of the tanks and looking clueless.

"Dunno," shrugs the big guy who's shoulder-to-shoulder with him. "Pass me the wrench there."

Jean hands him the wrong wrench and squeezes past to go sow discord in another knot of workers. "Does anyone else feel itchy? I feel itchy. I read this thing on the net about toxin exposure..."

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BANG. Dead-on. Dead on arrival. Console down. The sound reverberates down the corridors from the opened doors to the armory.

Shrill screaming punctuates the wildly swung wrench into the second soldier, connecting to the side of his head to make him crumple onto the floor. A quick decision leaves the wrench to be thrown into the chest of the third. Ineffectual, but slows him down. Cynthia quickly releases a nearby rifle, grabbing it and pointing it toward the remaining soldier. He has only a moment to realize what's happening before the shot tears through his neck, the third lucky hit.

Standing there, near the corpses of three men, an armory unlocked for a deadly overtaking of the ship, Cynthia begins to shake heavily, before sliding down the wall into a sitting position. It... It wasn't that easy...

The sound of footfalls rushing towards the armory get louder and louder...

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People are murmuring in the cargo bay. Progress on the dismantling has slowed and stalled.

The gray-haired woman points, and guards clamber down access ladders into the bay. The crowd isn't hostile -- not quite -- but there's a gulf between them and the men in uniform.

Jean slips out again, quietly, and goes to meet an old friend.

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Beeoooou. A quick, useless shot towards the front of the ship. Grumbles and shouts of alarm respond.

Alright, keep focused... Get up, point towards them, keep them back. First exit i came in, second to meds should be fine, focus on the third...

Cynthia gets up off the floor, pushing herself up against a weapon rack. Once up, she takes cover near the way towards the bridge. Beeou, a shot to keep them further away.

Not good. I'm not holding it stable enough, not hitting near enough, not enough training, not enough... Stop it!

She stops a shaking of her hands, deep breath, keeping the rifle trained.

Hopefully the feds up there are as scared as i am. Hopefully my refugees will come... No, i need to say that out loud.

Cynthia peers towards the door towards the Medical Bay, spotting a few peering in. One slides back away before she can speak. "Feds are poisoning us in the cargo, found out they caused the explosion. Get in here!"

Alright, probably worked. Just need to keep here for a minute or two, not get sh-... Focus!

She stops the shakes that started in, and keeps her mind off a potential death. Checking her ammo, a glance towards a few who are sneaking in and taking weapons, flexing against her leg brace...

And up we go. No turning back now.

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