Zenith

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:14 pm

Re: Zenith

The shower was hot, cleansing and refreshing, a final indulgence for McNally who hadn’t had a good shower in months. The sanitation on the Roisin wasn’t bad, but the marble-line wet-room was a luxury he had never knew existed. He cut the water, taking two white towels from the rail, and slipped one around his waist before treading back into the bedroom with the other across his shoulders. The Dragon-Lady lay on her side, the red satin sheet only just hiding her blushes, her naked flank glistening with perspiration, her long, raven-black locks cascading across the pillow. She toyed with a strand of her hair as she regarded him with a crooked smirk. The hand-towel about his waist was scarcely covering his pelvis. ‘I think you need bigger towels,’ he said, settling next to her and vigorously drying his hair.

She slid over, lying across his lap and propping herself up on one elbow. ‘When are you leaving?’

‘I’m probably goin’ to ship out tonight,’ he replied. ‘Won’t rightly know the next time I’ll be back this way neither.’

‘You won’t consider staying?’ she asked, tracing a line of moisture down his chest. ‘I could use a man like you.’

He chuckled. ‘You kinda just did.’

She smiled at him. ‘You know what I mean.’

He frowned slightly. ‘I’m not that kind of man anymore, I was once, I was an enforcer, a thug like your man Fung, but somethin’ changed for me. I learned I was more than just a thug, I learned I could fight and earn a livin’. It gave me somethin’ better to be than just a thug.’

She took his hand. ‘I could offer something more... rewarding?’

‘Such as?’

‘I have need of a husband,’ she said. ‘It will soon be expected.’

He shook his head. ‘Sorry, bao bei, but I don’t think I’m the man for you on that score.’

She rolled onto her back and took his hat from the bedside table. ‘So it’s true what my father would say... bad guys wear hats?’

He nodded. ‘As I recall, your daddy was a wise old man.’ He stroked her shoulder. ‘I’m good for nothin’.’

She grinned. ‘Oh, I wouldn’t say that, you are good for some things... this afternoon you’ve been very good indeed.’

‘Hmm, well, thems not such things that makes a whole difference out in the black.’ He gathered her into his arms and kissed her gently, easing her back onto the bed. ‘I’d better make tracks or folks’ll start thinkin’ I’ve gone an’ bought the farm.’ He rose, grabbing his clothes from the pile on the floor, dressing quickly, finally sitting on the end of the bed tying up his boots.

She padded over to the wardrobe, resplendent in her nudity, and took a short-hemmed black silk cheongsam, slipping it on without a thought for underwear and dipped her toes into canvas shoes. She paused to brush the worst tangles from her hair but there was no way of her disguising what had occupied her early afternoon.

McNally on the other hand looked little different from when he came in, a little less tense perhaps, but his manner was once again slightly cold and aloof. He slipped his waist-coat on as she brought his hat over. ‘Thanks,’ he said, placing it carefully on his head.

‘You do look more handsome without it,’ she remarked.

He scowled slightly. ‘I ain’t gonna be workin’ for ya an’ I don’t wanna be a husband,’ he murmured. ‘So you don’t need to be usin’ kindly words as if they mean somethin’.’

‘As you wish,’ she said with mild exasperation, leading him out of the apartment and down to the workshop. She rummaged in a cargo crate while he took up the two pistols and the knives. ‘Here,’ she said, returning with a twin-rig of dark leather and a chest-rig and belt. ‘I suspect you’ll make better use of these than anyone around here. They came off a cargo delivered late last night, a jone yee looking to off-load weapons, among other things. That’s where the revolvers you have come from.’

‘That the guy your brother was talkin’ to last night?’

She nodded. ‘One Captain Reynolds. My brother introduced us but... I wasn’t particularly enamoured of him.’

‘I get it,’ McNally said. ‘You prefer the wrong type of man.’

She smiled. ‘Exactly.’ She handed him the tangles of leather holsters along with a duffle-bag. He quickly placed the weapons in the bag and slung it over one shoulder. ‘Until the next time, McNally shian shen?

‘What about the fifty,’ he asked. ‘For the repair.’

She shook her head. ‘It was my pleasure, McNally shian shen... although not entirely I think.’

He lowered his eyes. ‘It certainly was divertin’,’ he murmured, finally fixing her with a hardened gaze. ‘Don’t know when I’ll be next past this way so... so long, Chang shao jeh.’ He pinched the brim of his hat.

‘Li,’ she said softly. ‘You can call me Li.’

‘Well, you can drop the shian shen... just call me McNally.’

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:14 pm

Re: Zenith

On a convenient scrap of wasteland, not too far from the spaceport, Kid ducked behind the ruined wall and waited. She'd spent the best part of the afternoon visiting various stores. Never buying more than one ingredient anywhere and never in huge quantities. Had been a good excuse to pick up a couple of other things the ship didn't need as such, but would run smoother with - "To make it look natural-like, cap'n". The actual mixing hadn't taken that long, the recipe came back to her almost immediately. She counted down the seconds 4..3..2..1.. there was silence. She knew better than to stand up yet. Sure enough, a few seconds later, there was a loud pop, and a fine shower of dirt. So the fuses burned a little slow. That she could deal with. She poked her head out and inspected the mini-crater. Shiny.

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:14 pm

Re: Zenith

McNally sauntered back to the ship through the bustling afternoon, the heat of the day telling. He reached the spaceport, spotting crew-members from another ship being hassled by a group of Feds. An argument broke out over something the Feds had found in a crate and the crew started getting defensive, pointing fingers at each other. They’re in dire need of a scapegoat, McNally thought as he walked past, easily avoiding any awkward conversation himself. He reached the Roisin Dubh seeing Kid replacing a spoiler while Regan, chewing on a cigar, was supervising the refuelling crew.

Kid caught his eye as he reached the foot of the cargo ramp. ‘Where’ve you been?’ she said, slightly exasperated. ‘Could do with some of your muscles.’ She slammed a wrench against the spoiler-plate. ‘These things’re heavy.’

‘Sorry, Kid,’ McNally murmured. ‘I got... distracted.’

Regan strode over. ‘Good shoppin’ trip?’

‘Not bad,’ McNally said, shaking the duffle-bag gently. ‘Not half-bad at all. Listen, how about I dump this in m’cabin, then give ya a’hand, uh Kid?’

She opened her mouth to fire back a witty retort, then actually realised what McNally had just said. All she could say in reply was, ‘Sure.’ As McNally jogged up the ramp, she felt her own brow. ‘Am I gettin’ sick from the heat or was McNally soundin’ somewhat amenable just then?’

Regan took the cigar from his mouth and looked at it. ‘Unless someone’s cut these with burstweed, I just heard the same damned thing.’

McNally reappeared, without his hat or waistcoat, rolling up his sleeves. He stopped as the mechanic and the Captain stared at him with slight frowns. ‘So’re we fixing this baby up or we out here to catch some rays?’

Regan stuffed the cigar back in his mouth. ‘Just don’t break anything else,’ he said and went back over to the refuelling crew.

Kid just shook her head. ‘Come on, give me a hand with this,’ she said, stooping for another spoiler.

‘I got it,’ McNally grunted, hefting the reinforced slab up and into an empty slot.

Kid tucked her compact frame between him and the ship, sliding a retaining bolt into place and suddenly realised that he smelled... clean!?

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:14 pm

Re: Zenith

The Aftermath of Zenith

The Rosin Dubh, hummed and whirred as she took to the air, leaving the fresh hell behind that was Zenith. Taking to the Black once more.

Day’s passed, but the memories we’re still fresh, the horrors hadn’t faded, and without the groups of people around, Alisha was struggling to take her mind from it all. It had been a many first times for her, and none of the pleasant ones sprang to mind. Her heart still thudded in her throat as she thought about the reever attack, the bangs and shock to her arms from the recoil. Watching Reever after Reever run in, uncaring of those falling dead around them. Watching Reevers sprinting towards them as Lock pulling his rifle round and sprayed the area in bullets. The terror as she sat in the darkened building sewing up Lock’s body, to turn and see the beast upon her. The memory of the creatures flesh on hers, staring into those uncaring rage filled eyes.

The young doctor sat alone in her room, with only a single light to see by. She had tried, she had tried so hard, but her resolve had faltered, as she looked down at the empty bottles strewn across her desk. It wasn’t the same bubbly joy she got from drinking, the memories still haunted her, and it was a bitter taste in her mouth, that she had been defeated by something so trivial. The hip flask made another journy to her lips, she had missed the call for food, her stomach churning, though Alisha was not sure if she could have forced the food down anyway.

Warren’s name stood out starkly on the white envelope on her desk, and she glared at it. The problem has been weighing on her mind since she’d got the letter. Since her green eyes glanced over the name, and it took a couple of seconds for her to realise it’s meaning.
McNally had been right, it certainly looked like Wyatt had set his brother up, and she just couldn’t fantham how someone could set their own twin up to die. And then steal his identity.

Even worse. She couldn’t figure out what to do about it. They would go to Higgin’s Moon, find him, and confront him. See what he had to say for himself. But then what? What if if HAD set Warren up, what if three inoccents had died and the blood is on his hands. What then…

Alisha hadn’t told McNally, but the thought about pulling a gun on her brother had crossed her mind. Though that thought had prompted Donut’s ‘words of wisdom’
When you pull that gun, you best be lookin’ to use it, an’ I don’t mean shooting an arm or a leg. When you pull that gun, you best be lookin’ to kill. You need to weigh up whats worth more… Your life? Or theirs?

Her flask made it back her lips before she realised it was empty. He’s going to be so disapointed in me…

Post Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:14 pm

Re: Zenith

Regan felt decidedly twitchy as he stood waiting for Poppy and his new First Mate to finish taking down the Cortex uplink. There were already shots sounding from the far side of the spaceport, obviously Bobo had found out that the crews didn't have his hostages, and therefore couldn't return them...

As they entered the Roisin via the cargo ramp, Regan stopped abruptly and raised his eyebrows.

"I don't remember paying for that..."

Burton grinned, and continued securing the anti grav mule with cargo straps. "Kid found it on her way back to the ship... Figured it might come in handy..."

Regan was about to answer, but a bullet ricocheted off the edge of the ramp and whinged off into the air. He jabbed at the 'close' button and leaped up the stairs, heading through the crew lounge and into the cockpit. Strapping himself into the co-pilot's seat, he nodded to McNally.

"Ok Chuckles, our welcome just ran out. Let's blow this rock!"

Without answering McNally jabbed a couple of buttons, hauled back on the yoke, and the Roisin rose into the air, her nose coming up until, almost at the vertical, she went into hard burn, the blast flattening a couple of deserted buildings nearby. She cleared atmo in a few minutes, and ran for the black....

*************************************************************************************************************

Kid felt the change in the ship as the Roisin left atmo and finally relaxed. She would need to adjust the wiring back before the circuits overheated, but that weren't a huge problem. Maybe she'd even get Layla to deal with it, see how she coped with somethin that had been rewired almost as often as it'd been used. For now though, there was somethin more important to do. She found the cleanest box she could and made her way up to the crew quarters. She slipped quietly into the room, sliding the door shut behind her and took stock. Not a whole heap. She would find an address, or get Chai to dig it out, send it off next planet they hit. Get the captain to write a note too. That'd be good. Folks that got it deserved to know what had happened. Slowly and neatly, through the haze of tears, she packed Oz's things away.

Amongst the papers in his locker, she found a sealed envelope, addressed to Regan. She slipped it into her pocket, to give to him later...
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