Miles The two individuals start to walk deeper into the ship: Anelle, and her friend.
You fear for the worst.
Saoirse Thinking quickly, you raise a hand in the man's direction, trying to trap him in a stasis field - but your aim is off. The air to the left of him wavers and flickers - and he notices. Turning around as he runs, he fires a few shots in your direction, amidst the screams and shouts of those around you. Unperturbed, you make a second attempt - and this time he stops short, crumpling against the inside of a near-invisible sphere. He shouts and bashes his weapon against the side, and even fires a shot against the interior. He didn't think this through. It looks like he burns himself.
"He can't shoot as us while he's in there," you shout, "but the shield doesn't last forever! And somebody get a medic!"
Gonzz is by your side. "Good work. Might not be too bad if I had you on my team. This is the second one today. Morale is shit, everybody's whining and throwing tantrums."
Together, you head over and check the guy out. He's pounding on the inside of the sphere; his suit is lacerated by some of the damage his weapon did, and he's bleeding. He's young - probably 18 or 19 - he looks absolutely terrified.
"I don't get you," you say to him, shaking your head. "I mean, sure, I get that you're afraid. We all are. But do you really think you'd be safer on a bualadh craicinn Hiltorel colony than on this ship?"
"You don't understand," he whimpers, shaking. Then, screaming: "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!" he pounds his hands wildly against the inside of the shield; blood smears against the inner surface. "Everyone I know is dead! They're working us until we die! SCAMPS doesn't give a shit and we're never getting home." He suddenly realizes Gonzz is standing behind you - he seems to recognize him. He starts to stand but stumbles and clutches his chest. "YOU DID THIS! You and your asshole officers! I haven't slept in three days because of you! Only the stims are keeping me awake now! You think this is fine? You thought we could cover for everyone that died? Well, LOOK AT ME NOW!" He collapses to the side, weeping and whimpering incoherently.
You're no psychologist, but you can definitely tell something's mentally wrong with him.
"Look at me now..."
You glance at Gonzz in askance. He has a cold, hard, no-nonsense look on his face. "The doctors are too busy fixing up the people that actually need it to deal with this kid's crap. He's shot himself in the gut and killed one of our better guys out here. If he snapped once, he'll do it again."
You glance at the boy in the shield. He's sobbing more weakly now. Blood is pooling in the bottom of the hollow.
"Drop the shield and kill him," Gonzz orders, turning to walk away. "We can't risk losing anyone else, and this kid is history."
Bob "You had library? Bob like book; book has nice pictures in it," you say with a smile.
She giggles. "Only some of them. Most of my books didn't, but I bet we could've found one you would have liked."
"Bob very strong," you say. "Bob glad to help Anelle."
Anelle seems visibly cheered by you - by Jimmy, your friendly attitude, and your offer to help. Her face lights up with a veritable glow as she smiles brightly. "Let's go to the middle of the ship," she suggests. "I'm sure captain Maluk can come up with something for you to help with. I won't be able to help you, but that's okay."
Frank You think back to the mess hall and engineering, trying to figure out why everyone was so surprised. It was just a bit of plumbing. What's so impressive about that?
Doing a search on your PDA, you look for some kind of basic sign language to use to communicate with the Hiltorel - and find, pleasingly, that many of them speak English - of a sort. They have heavy accents, your PDA explains, due to their mouths not being able to form some human sounds.
After this, you insert your REKT token into a slot in the side of the machine; it uploads it to your account. You use it to purchase a pack of coagulant boosters. With this done, you check to see if the tranquilizers work on Hiltorel - and apparently, they absolutely do. SCAMPS uses some rather obscene language to detail the effects thereof. This seems to be normal behavior for him.
That wraps up your business in the armory, so you hook your PDA back on your belt and head down to the hangar to poke around.
After some effort, you manage to flag down an engineer. The hangar is massive - a great cavernous area with a tube out one side for launching fighters. Every now and then, a REKT CASKET will make a quick pit stop for repairs, and then go back out to defending the ship outside. The engineers look like they haven't in days. Morale is low. Nevertheless, you do manage to flag someone down - some girl named Mara. She pulls out a cigarette and smokes it as she talks to you, giving you various tips on how to repair a CASKET - get to the engine through the back, pull the seat forward to get to the fuel tank, better to rip out the control panel than fix it - and other related things.
Just then, some guy named Brom barges in, talking dramatically about how awesome he is. It seems he was an assassin or something, and he certainly hasn't tried to put that life behind him.
Buck & Lemons (( You guys make an epic duo. ))
<Narrator>: Buck and Lemons start looking around the hangar for some way to help. Naturally, nobody wants them to use any of the materials around - they're all reserved for fixing things that already exist. Nobody really wants them to touch any of the CASKETs that the hangar crew is fixing up, either. Buck follows Lemons around as he asks questions, hands in his pockets, making witty comments.
"Geez, Lemons, when are you going to find someone that wants to give you a job? It feels like we've been at this all afternoon!"
"I don't know, Buck - oh, look! That woman looks like she could use assistance!"
"Oh, I don't know, Lemons, that looks like it could end badly..."
"Just you wait!"
Lemons exits stage left. Loud crashing sounds are heard, including the terrified yowling of a cat and shrieking of a woman. A laugh track plays as Lemons returns, holding his head and shaking a bucket off his foot.
"I have no idea how that went wrong, Buck..."
Buck chuckles. "Well, you mighta tried not taking her equipment when she asked if you were the janitor."
"Was going to show her what I could do." Lemons finally manages to extricate himself from the bucket.
"Well, you certainly did," Buck says with a chortle. "Try over there!"
Lemons exits stage right. We hear screaming and clattering. Lemons re-emerges soon thereafter with the right arm of his jumpsuit on fire, shouting in Russian. Another laugh track plays as a few engineers pin him down and absolutely smother the fukc outta him with fire extinguishers.
Buck looks on smugly. "Well... that didn't go quite as planned, did it?"
"Next time, Buck," Lemons says, getting to his feet and brushing himself off. "Next time for sure." There's a pause, as the engineers that hosed him down begin to talk to him quietly. Lemons calls out, "Hey, Buck, they're giving me a job! I GOT A JOB!!!"
Screen cuts to black, with the words: "TWENTY MINUTES LATER". A particularly loud laugh track plays as the next scene reveals Lemons mopping a scorch mark off the hangar floor in a relatively quiet area.
"Hey, you missed a spot, Lemons!" Buck calls out. He's leaning up against a CASKET with his arms crossed, chatting up a pretty engineer.
Lemons does not seem pleased. "You are agitating me, Buck!" he shouts back. "Why don't you help?"
Buck shrugs. "If I helped, nobody would be back here to point out the spots you missed."
A final laughtrack, as Lemons groans.
Brom Caring little for Saoirse's ordeal with the fleeing suspect, you bow out gracefully. "Thanks for letting me see your PSI amp in action, Saoirse," you say loudly, over the roaring hubbub. "I look forward to seeing how well it works in a combat situation. I'm glad you met me, Saoirse! You'll make a fine sidekick."
You head to the hangar, waving and smiling at everyone you pass. The people here are almost adorable with how backwoods they are. Most of them don't even seem to know you. Poor, uneducated country bumpkins. You'll set them right, oh yes you will.
After a bit of searching, you find Mara talking to someone, and wait for a convenient opportunity to interrupt: this is immediately.
"Greetings, Mara!" you announce with a flourish and a dashing pose. "The striking man that stands before you is none other than the great Brom Keegan! I'm certain you've heard tales of my heroic deeds and adventures as the Assassin of Ermhelm. I'll have time to retell them later. For now, I am here on business."
You offer a handshake to the privileged young woman, who takes her cigarette out of her mouth for a moment. "You must be one of the new guys," she says. "Coming down to check out the job we've done?"
You give a nod. "Mr. Schernz told me that you would be the one to talk to about the CASKET technology. What sorts of changes have there been? And what features are there that I should be aware of?"
Mara straightens up and runs her (very greasy) hand through her dirty blonde hair and readjusts her ponytail. "Hmm. Changes in the past... fifty years? Well, we upgraded the chassis for the robotic arms with a stronger alloy - they almost never get blown off now, except in combat - and we added a PSI unit. Those ports on your neck?" She taps the side of her neck to illustrate. "Those hook into the chair, and you can help guide the ship a little with that. Generates an electromagnetic field. It helps PSI users a lot more, but it's cheap tech these days, so we throw it into all of them."
"I see! Excellent! And the engines, what are they?"
She seems to enjoy answering these questions. "Just your standard radiation-shielded antimatter engines, with the addition of a lit plume of copper chloride and gas so idiots stay out of the way. They'll give you a nice bit of maneuverability, and they'll run fine even with just one engine left." She pats the back of the CASKET next to her. "They're ugly little bastards, but they do their job well - provided they have a decent pilot."
You smile handsomely. You're fairly sure you see several females swoon out of the corner of your eye. "They've never had a pilot as good as me," you assure her. "By the way, you remind me somewhat of my tailor back on Ermhelm. I don't suppose you have any material from which you could craft me a cape? Red gabardine, perhaps? I've felt almost naked without it."
She laughs hard enough that she spits the cigarette out of her mouth. For a moment she stands there wheezing, and then it devolves into a cough.
"Are you all right, my good woman?" you ask, only mildly concerned. "Do you need me to seek assistance?" You're a bit distracted. You've only just noticed you can see your reflection in the metal of the nearby CASKET.
Mara shakes her head. "Didn't you say you were an assasin? Wouldn't a cape make you easier to spot? And who the hell wears capes, anyway?"
You shift your weight slightly, naturally falling into an oft-practiced heroic pose. "Heroes, my dear Mara. When a man wants someone taken out, he hires a hitman. When a man wants to make a statement, he hires me. It would never do to not let my victims know who killed them. They may not always deserve it, but I considered it... a parting gift."
"All right, listen up!" SCAMPS calls out over the comms, interrupting your activities. "Our new recruits from the cryotubes: get to the conference room. For those of you that haven't found it yet, it's on the upper decks, right above the hangar. Get here pronto or we'll toss you into the engine exhaust when we leave. None of you are irreplaceable."
((To anyone else not mentioned here, consider yourselves summoned. REKT: BTE awaits!))