Friday, August 19, 2011

"Settling One's Hash."

The sun is on its bedtime roll on Washtown.  It hasn't set yet, providing enough harsh light to see through the dust being kicked up from Davion's boots.  He has just left the gallows, leaving a man behind there, to find Calina.

As Dav heads towards the center of town, Imrhien Fargis arches an eyebrow and glares at Davion, without so much as a word. She fists her hands at her hips and purses her lips.  Not the worst welcome Dav's had.

She wasn't the only one there at the gathering place: Tillery Woodhen, Cobb Compton, Luke Sands, Tabitha Diesel and Calina Tereshchenko were all in attendance.

Cobb Compton looks over yonder. "Howdy Mr. Tillery."
Luke replies, "Howdy Till," while Dav maintains a safe distance from Imrhien. "Look, I, I can explain about your guns in a minute... but before I do...." He glances over her shoulder. "Calina..... you need to follow me."
Calina Tereshchenko questions.  "Why?"
Tillery asks. "What did you do, Davion?"
Luke listens in.
Cobb Compton chuckles inwardly without knowin' what's going on, but thinks Calina has Davion whipped, "companion-style." Boy is he wrong.

Davion tilts his head to the side some. "Because I made you a promise. And I'm keeping to it."  Imrhien glowers at Davion for a moment longer before turning her gaze to Tillery. "Howdy Mr. Tillery."
"Hi, Immi." Till replies.

"Anyone know if local flight control picked up any low flying ships today? I mean... buzzing the town... a pretty hefty cargo boat, from the sound of it?" Cobb asks.
Luke watches Calina's reaction, confused.  Twisting to look at Cobb, he replies. "I haven't heard. Just flew in but I would guess the tower likely knows."  Imrhien glances back at Miss Calina, then returns her gaze to Davion, the murderous glower settling back over her features.
"Uh oh." Tillery mutters.  He gets out of the line of fire between Davion and Imrhien.

In the distance, from the direction of the gallows, the bounty hunter Hampton Fensen screams. "Gahhhh." He comes to, tugging on the ropes keeping him tied to the post.

"What the hell was that?" Tillery exclaims.
Calina Tereshchenko raises an eyebrow and takes a deep breath "Fine, though it is under protest.. I suppose Cobb and I can finish arguing about whatever really isn't important some other time" and steps away from the alter.
Cobb wanders off, but will be right back.  He whistles as he grins and heads back to the shop.
Imrhien perks an eyebrow at the tortured sound.  Luke inquires too. "What was that?"  Dav walks past Imrhien and Calina, on the way to the gallows.  The group follows.

The crowd finds Fensen kneeling, arms tied behind a pole that supports the standing structure of the gallows.  "Um…"  Tillery says, perplexed.
Luke asks. "…..Davion? Whats going on?"  "There a reason he's tied up?" Till continues.
Dav removes his pistol from its holster, approaching Calina and extending it to her. "I brought him to you...."
Fensen spits a mouthful of blood onto the wooden planks, coughing faintly.
Till's voice raises.  "Davion, what the hell have you done?  Is.. that a UAP uniform? Or what's left of it?"
He glances back to Tillery, aiming a dreadful finger. "You don't touch him, Tillery!! You don't know what he's done to a lot of us!"
Reiko Soyinka joins the fray, leaning on the railing, watching.  Imrhien squints at the bloke on the gallows and mutters, "Ain't I seen him somewhere b'fore?"
"Explain it Davion! Who is this?" Luke demands.
Holmeforth twists to the crowd, still offering the weapon to Calina. "This is one Hampton Fensen... bounty hunter from the Core... set to find me and hurt anyone who gets in his way. But he ain't gonna hurt no one again."
Fensen groans through restricted breathing. "Salu....tations."
Tillery wonders.  "Why would a bounty hunter be after you?"

Imrhien snaps her fingers, her eyes widening. "Santa!"

Tillery gives Immi an odd look.
Calina looks up at Davion, then down at the pistol. Her normally tranquil gray eyes seething with rage, fear and hatred as she sees the man kneeling on the platform. Should she scream and have the fit that is one movement from exploding? Or should she be calm... collected.... She moves past Davion and upto the platform. "Not yet."

Imrhien shrugs. "He was wearin' a set o' red long johns 'n had that white beard at th' Hoban one night a while back…. Looked like gorram Santa."
Cobb Compton looks around, rejoining the group.  "Well, howdy ... who is that?"
Luke watches Calina, while Tillery calls to her.  "Calina?"
"Till, why he's after me is beside the point." Dav explains.  "What matters is he hurt a lot of my friends to get to me. 'Til I brought the fight to him. Now, he's here for your justice."
"He's got to be 60 years old... Can he even lift a pistol?" Cobb says.

Fensen chuckles deeply. "I remember you, whore." He inches closer. "Ya know, I've got a sore shoulder blade, if you wanted to massage it again."  Tillery flinches at the man's language to Calina.  Reiko steps up.  "Companion, be wary."
"It seems that the tables have been turned you sack of niou-se."  Calina intervenes.  "I'm afraid that won't be happening... not for all the credits in the 'Verse."

Imrhien arches her brow and smirks. "Now he's lookin' for a quick, clean death, Miss Calina. Don't give it to 'im."
"Who is he?"  Cobb asks.  "Hey, were you the captain buzzing the town earlier in a cargo ship?"
Imrhien glances back over her shoulder, then back at the enraged Companion. "I got my fryin' pan on the boat, you could borrow it..."
"What did he do to you, Calina?"  Tillery wants to know.
Fensen grins out of one side of his mouth. "You townsfolk do anything, I promise you, Alliance'll be here in a jackrabbit's heartbeat, laying down the law on you. And you..." He peers to Calina. "...would only find work laying down with livestock."

Holmeforth runs forward, up the platform and lays a solid right hook into the hunter's jaw.  Reiko shrugs, "If you want the man dead, kill him."  Tillery huffs at the threat of Alliance, not worried about that.  Dav aims his own pistol at the hunter, looking to Calina. "I can do it, Calina... for you."
"Mister…."  Luke says.  "I don't know who you are….don't really care for that matter....but you should know threats of anything involving the Alliance don't' carry much weight here."
"Besides, not all of us are that defenseless in that respect."  Tillery adds.

Imrhien Fargis rolls her eyes, folding her arms beneath her breasts. "I stay string the bastard up 'n let her go at him with a bat." Luke continues.  "We could take him back to Colchester...Lock him in the how long he lasts with the cold and the Sleen."  Till lightly puts a hand on Calina's shoulder. "Calina? What did he do?"

"What I did?!?"  Fensen yells.  "I did what I had to do for the job. She knew where this bastard was so I had to find out, one way or another...."
"One way or another…"  Cobb mumbles while Tillery glances at Davion, knowing he WILL be asking about that later. "Did UAP military send you after him?"  Fensen speaks through a fattening lip. "Who employs me ain't much your concern right now."

Cobb plays judge and jury.  "I say we just shoot him and interrogate him late….."
Wally, the unofficial village idiot, joins the group.  "Hey hey hey hey…stop… wait a second."  He walks up to gallows, looks at the man kneeling, reaches in his pocket and pulls out a can of oils and squirts it on the hinges of the trap door under Fensen.  "Ok, its all good."
Imrhien watches, her mouth falling open a bit, while Cobb looks incredulously at Wally.

Tabitha Diesel blinks, while Tillery composes himself. "That was... weird. Even for here."  Cobb steps up.  "Hangin's too good for him! Dismemberment's too good for him... by the way, what did he do?"
Imrhien Fargis snorts at Cobb. "We're waitin' to find that out from Miss Calina."
"Well, if you aren't working for the military or government…" Tillery adds. "…then you have very little to support you."

The bounty hunter glances down to Tillery. "I got years, my friend. I got connections. Man at my age doin' this work don't get far without connections."
"You ain't the only one with connections. And don't call me friend.  I can arrange it that no one wonders about you again."  Till proclaims.  Fensen laughs heartily. "You kill me, they'll send five more."  Imrhien chuckles softly, reaching a hand up behind her head to scratch at a bug bite.

"I handled five wives…" Cobb snorts.  "I can handle five ancient agents."
Reiko offers.  "An interesting equation. I suggest killing him and then locking up the next five who come here."  Dav lowers the pistol. "I know who sent him, and he's right about sending another five. Money ain't nothing to the people who hired him."
Tillery says, "Let's find out who sent him first. Because I doubt he's actually "Alliance."

Reiko looks to Davion.  "Have the predator's prey tell us all?"  "You are gonna have to answer about that, Davion…"  Tillery interjects.  "Because if they hurt Calina to get to you, you are responsible."  Davion stares down Tillery. "You sayin' that cause you think I don't know?"
"'lliance or not, if Miss Calina's got a right to kill him, he must deserve a painful death."  Imrhien replies.

Calina looks up at Hampton. "Did you think you could come into my house under a false pretense, beat me and leave me for near dead and there would be no consequence?"
Imrhien straightens up upon hearing that. "Right. Painful death."
Luke steps forward.  "Well lets see here...if we are going to be all legal like. The Sheriff is off planet, the judge is off planet, Miss Ana is off planet, that just leaves Washtown's Mayor to administer Justice...and that would be me by the way.  So evidence is presented of assault and attempted murder."
Imrhien chuckles. "We should make him suffer. Cut off some stuff." She cups her hands to her mouth and shouts, "Oy, Wally!  You got some gardenin' tools?"
Luke eyes Fensen.  "Do you have anything to say for yourself Sir?"
"Why would the Alliance be after a registered companion tho... unlessn' she sped her clock up on some magistrate…"  Cobb ponders, shuffling some dirt around.
Tillery shakes his head.  "Immi, could you swat Cobb please?"  Imrhien ambles over to Cobb with a smile and swats Cobb. "Sure an' certainly, Mr. Tillery." 
"Thank you."  Tillery expresses.  "Ouch."  Cobb rubs at his head. "Whaffor wuz that?" He mumbles.  Imrhien points at Tillery and mouths to Cobb, "He gives me jobs."

Fensen grins at Luke. "If I attempted murder, I would have seen it through. Miss Calina here was a message. Same thing with that Winterwolf. They were all messages."
"I see.."  Luke continues.  "…so assault, thuggery, beating of a woman, and a definite detection of glee in your actions."
"I'd call that last part being smug."  Fensen replies endearingly.
"So….after carefully reviewing evidence and testimony…"  Luke hands out the verdict.  "I have no choice but to declare you guilty.  But I will allow the victim to decide on your sentence and you is all legal like to follow through however she sees fit....even if it means ending you, you filthy son of a bitch."

Davion steps in.  "I brought him here to Calina... ain't none of you need to be a part of this."
"You brought him out in public and on the town gallows. Kinda made us a part of it."  Tillery explains, while Imrhien hisses, "Shoot him in the knee first, Miss Calina. Maybe foot."
Cobb mumbles,  "I say we find Sentry... dope him up till he squawks... then kill him…"
"Davion…..It is her choice."  Luke retorts.

Calina climbs up the steps and without saying a word, she digs her fingers into Hampton's ratted hair and throws all of her weight into one step... slinging toward the post and his head aimed right for it.

Tillery's jaw drops, while Imrhien cocks an eyebrow, tilting her head as she watches, the corners of her mouth quirking upward into the hint of a sardonic smile. Good to know they hadn't completely tamed the Companion.
Hampton Fensen cringes as the sound of bones cracking on his face as it connects with the post. He squints harshly, feeling blood rushing from the new split in his nose.
Cobb smiles, "Downright refreshin' to see some violence in town again.  Do him again, Calina"
Reiko watches without emotion and Tabitha leans on the rail, watching the display with utmost interest, wishing she had some popcorn.  Dav slides his pistol back into its holster, watching the Companion he knows show pure bloodlust.

The bounty hunter spits off the side. "Careful, honey... don't want no blood on them nice clothes."
Reiko Soyinka observes, "The clothes are washable."
Calina leans back and drives his head into the post again, some of his blood staining her hands as she lets go, "Bizui! Who gave you permission to speak?!"
Tillery cringes, "Aiya."  Cobb smirks, "Violent lil' lass when she's tempered…"
Imrhien feels a little lump of pride rise up in her throat and she almost demurely fans herself. "What a moment. I'm all choked up. Anyone got a hankie?"
"You're an odd woman, Immi."  Till stares at her.

Hampton Fensen sees stars this time, the gash on his face growing wider, deeper. A small pool of blood forms in his lap, spilling onto the wood. "You don't have it in you... to finish the job, Miss."
Tabitha Diesel hands the verklempt immi her grease rag.
Reiko approaches, "Companion, you may have my knife."  Imrhien flashes Tillery a toothy grin. "Why thanks, Mr. Tillery. 's the nicest thing anyone's said 'bout me in days!" She nods her head to Tabitha and murmurs, a "Thank ya kindly, ma'am," and uses the grease rag to dab at her face, leaving black grease splotches across her skin.

Luke stands aside as Reiko steps forward.  She draws her knife, hands it hilt first upward to Calina.  "It must be blooded, now."  Tillery is less than happy, not liking Calina being pushed to this point.
Calina smirks, "There you go... making assumptions about me. That seems to be happening a lot today." She wraps her hand around the hilt of the knife.  "You made this....." as she pulls his head back again and pulls it across his neck then shoves him off to the side of the platform... then spits at him before descending. "Bloody enough, Lady Rashad?"

Hampton Fensen watches the sky get blurry some, then black, feeling hot blood pour down his chest in his descent to the ground, landing with a heavy thud.

"It is, Companion. Thank you."
Tillery Woodhen gasps.
Imrhien Fargis lets out a low whistle, appraising the Companion, a newfound respect for her blossoming.
Reiko slides her eyes sideways to Tillery, but continues to watch Calina.
Tabitha Diesel watches in awe.
"Justice is done." Reiko speaks bluntly.
Calina uses the back of her to push the hair from her face, "Much more elegant than a gunshot."
"Calina?"  Luke asks.  "Unless you wish to do more to this man, I will declare that sentence has been delivered and justice has been served."

Cobb Compton wonders if the bar is open, staring at the body on the ground.  "I get kinda stiff, seein' stiffs…"
Tabitha twitches at the comment.

"You can have Wally clean it up."  Calina says as Davion presses a gentle hand on Calina's shoulder. "This should'a never happened... any of it. And I'm sorry." He starts down to the landing pads.  Reiko steps back, unstraps the sheath for the knife, then waits.
Luke nods, tapping the pad and signals for Wally to come clean up the mess.  Imrhien glances down at the man on the ground as he coughs out his final death throes, then mutters, "Justice ain't quite been served yet, Mr. Luke."

As the group slowly disperses, Cobb raises his voice.  "Ya'll ain't concerned that five more might be comin' to town, eh?"
Imrhien marches up to Davion, grabs his shoulder with one hand to turn him and slams her fist into the dead center of his face.  "I want my gorram guns back, you son-of-a-bitch."  Dav is caught completely off-guard by the punch, going weak in the knees and dropping like a sack of potatoes.

Tabitha asks, "You want for Wally to haul the carcass out into the woods for the critters to dispose of?"  Luke shrugs, "I'm thinking the incinerator at the spaceport."  "Well if they don't find a body they can't prove he was ever really here."
"C'mon - we got people to feed…"  Cobb says, "…cut him up and toss him in the pond for the fish."
Calina passes by, "People fish out of that pond. That's just gross."
Luke blinks at Tabby, "Baby…I have authority here and I officially represent Washtown. I am completely confident that justice has been served."  Tabitha nods, while Cobb sighs.

Imrhien Fargis smiles coldly, folding her arms beneath her breasts and glaring down the line of her body at Davion.  He wipes his mouth, feeling it swell. "I know I deserved that..."

A harsh engine bites the still air of the situation.  Wally, behind the controls of a mule, rounds a corner.  "LOOK OUT!!!! CANT TURN … OH CRAP!!!"  He loses control of the mule as it runs out of control and crashes into the gallows, crushing the dead man there.  "SORRY SORRY!"
Cobb Compton rushes under the clock tower.  "That guy is just unsafe with a mule!"
Luke looks over, inspecting the crash.  "WALLY!! Backup...the Mule has crushed his head on the post."  Imrhien stares after Wally, having a sort of sense of unreality in slow motion as he goes out of control and plows into Hampton.
Wally pulls back, dragging the body with mule and then lands the 2-ton vehicle on the dead hunter's body.  The sounds of bones crushing and flesh ripping fill the air.
"OH DAMN! SORRY SORRY.  Don't mean to disrespect a dead man."  Wally apologizes.
"Geez, Wally," Luke exclaims while Tabitha cringes and goes a bit pale.  Wally finally backs up dragging the mule more and then lands next to body.  Imrhien's mouth twitches and she chokes back a snicker. "Well, he'll sure as hell be unrecognizable now..."
Cobb throws an idea out,  "Squirt some lighter fluid on the carcass and toss him in the campfire."
Wally grabs a leg and begins pulling and stops, studying his boot.  He pulls it off and holds next to his own foot."  "Hot damn!"  He pulls off other boot and tosses them into Mule, dragging the body and pulls him to the back of Mule.  He glances back, making sure no one is looking and rummages through the pockets.

Reiko approaches the Companion, the knife is yours, in honor."  She offers the sheath with both hands, palms up.  "Blood it before returning it to its bed, each time it is drawn."  Calina bows her head gently as she takes the sheathed knife, "Thank you, Lady Rashad." She looks over at Tillery "Justice was done. That is what was.... needed."  She nods and walks away.

Davion gets to his feet slowly. "They didn't go to waste, Immy... and I still got em..."  She loses the humour in her expression and glares back down at Davion. "Best have 'em back to me quick as ya can 'less'n ya want another knuckle sandwich."  Dav nods gently, looking over his shoulder to Calina, proud yet with a hint of defeat and disappointment. He starts to the bar. "Come and get 'em, Im."

The Companion, Calina Tereshchenko, nods to everyone and walks off to her shop.

Cobb Compton looks about, stepping out from under the clock tower. "Is it safe now?"  He peers over, "What is Wally doin' to the body?"
"Woohoo…Free drink with medium order of fries oder!!"  Wally pockets the coupon, rolling the body into the mule and stands leaning against mule, wheezing for a few minutes.
Imrhien mutters, "Note to self: Self, don't ever kick the bucket in Washtown. Or anywheres near gorram Wally."
"All loaded Mister Luke. What you want I do with it?"  Wally asks.
Cobb sighs.  "Well, shucks... looks like the excitement is over.. I still think a daisy chain of grizwalds around his neck woulda' handled revenge and disposal... and fertilized the grass some."
Luke orders.  "Take it to the incinerator. Burn him to ash and we will spread them out somewhere
"Yessir."  Wally heads off.
Cobb protests.  "Oh hell, he's driving again.... RUN... DODGE... DROP AND ROLL!!"  Tabitha notices show is over and heads over to the saloon for a drink.  Wally hops in and adjusts the seats, slamming back and impaling a lever into the dead Fensen's eye socket with a squish.

"I've seen a lot of carnage, but that…"  Tillery gets lightheaded.  "I need to go throw up now."

In the bar, Davion crouches down behind the piano, removing new gun cases, placing them on top of the piano.  Imrhien counts 'em.  He glances over the newly-polished, extremely clean weapons, loaded with more ammo than what he left with.  He digs behind his coat, removing another weapon; one not belonging to her. He places it on top of the pile. "This was his... in the Core, they call it a Caterpillar."  She nods at Davion. "Reckon that'll do. But if you ever steal my guns again, you'll get more'n my fist in yer face. Maybe my boot up yer ass as I pistolwhip ya to death."  She cocks her head to the side, watching him. "Caterpillar?  Shouldn't you keep that? You hunted him down. Sorta trophy." 

Dav shakes his head, scrunching his face and feeling how swollen his jaw is. "Its yours... figure if I give you more bullets, you might misplace the one with my name on it." He forces a faint grin.  She shakes her head. "Reckon you did it for a good cause. You don't owe me nothin', Davion. Jus'... ask next time."  He nods gently, keeping the new gun on the pile, zipping up the rest. "Valhalla parked round here? I can bring em back, then get ya a drink .... or three?"  She jabs her thumb over her shoulder in the general direction of the landing pad and smiles. "Much obliged, Davion. I'm curious 'bout how you managed to track his ass down."  He lifts the bags into his arms, slinging a few rifles over his shoulder. "Wasn't easy, I'll say that." He passes by Imrhien en route to the ship.  She nods to him as he passes.

Tabitha Diesel grabs a bottle of ale and a shot of whiskey.  Cobb meanders into the bar too, mumbling, "I think she shoulda' got an ear off' him at a minimum..."
Luke sighs deeply, smiling at Tabby.  He says nothing and just holds her.  She smiles back, whispering, "Did wally take care of the mess?  Hope he remembers to hose it down too."
"Yeah baby…"  Luke says quietly.  "He has taken it to the incinerator."
"Don't need any blood rotting in the sun and bin' all stinky."  Tabby waves a hand in front of her face.  She slides a beer down to the other end of the bar towards Cobb.  "You'd best not be waiting for an's help yourself around here." She chuckles while Luke hugs her a moment longer then breaths a sigh and smiles. 

Tabby makes a silly face at Cobb and points to the beer.
"Ahh… well, I kinda got in trouble here the other night whilst drunken,'" Cobb explains while looking to the door and seeing Tillery.  "Well, howdy Tillery."
Tabitha laughs.  "Well, as long as you don't get into trouble with Jadi or Ana, it's all good."
Luke glances over as Till walks up, grabbing a drink from the bar. "Mudder's Milk, Till?"

After returning the guns to Imrhien's bunk on Valhalla, Davion places three gentle knocks on the door to Calina's room. He clears his throat, feeling a sudden chill drift down his spine. Was one gorram day.  She drops the knife onto the floor and slumps onto the nearest chair... staring at her hands.... her mind racing over and over the events from moment ago, "What?!" she barks.  He checks the doorknob, noticing it was unlocked, and he turns it, stepping inside to see her. He takes a few careful steps inside. "Calina.... I know you don't want to...." His eyes find her bloodied hands, soaked in crimson from the hunter. "... your hands." He finds a washbowl and cloth and comes to her, kneeling down where she sits, soaking the cloth in the water.

She watches the water drip off ... some of the dried blood washing away. Calina watches him... her hands shaking and her rage still palpable.. so much so that tears run down her cheeks and that she can't even speak. She just glares at him.  He palms one of her hands, pressing the cloth gently into her smooth skin to rub at the drying blood. He avoids eye contact.

After rubbing the palm and fingers of her left hand clean, he drops the cloth into the water, watching the blood dilute. Pressing out the water, he starts on her right. "I don't know if it should have ended here or back on Fossil when I caught him.... I felt... you needed... something. I didn't want you walking around the rest of your life knowing he was out there and knowing you couldn't do nothing about it."

She closes her hands into small fists, "I cannot speak to you right now. I ... have no words. None. Only anger, sadness and confusion. You need to leave. You need to leave now." and she reaches up and shoves his shoulder, pushing him away. Somewhere she subconsciously sees what he is doing but... not now... his kind gesture means little in this moment.  He loses his grip on the washcloth, dropping into the bowl, red water spilling into a puddle on the floor. He blinks gently, getting to his feet and heading for the door. He opens it, twisting around for one more moment. "When it feels good; when you know you did what was right and it had to be done... I'll be here." He shuts the door behind him, steps growing faint as he descends the stairs and heads back for the bar.

(And so ends the storyline of the bounty hunter Hampton Fensen. He was a pleasure to instigate people of the Verse with and he went out through good old-fashioned rim-world street justice. I want to thank everyone involved in his final RP and he certainly got a perfect FFRP sendoff!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Rowing Up Dead River."

An old, twitchy hand tugs on his own beard.  Ice-blue eyes dance about the cockpit controls to his shuttle.  They are glazed over; nostalgia cutting through the stale air of the ship.  He ponders life; his own, mainly, when its ending.  What will he leave behind that no smuggler or scavenger can steal away?  Has he created a legacy?  Did he leave something here for posterity's sake?

"Bulletholes…." He speaks aloud, barely audible over the idling engines of the shuttle.  "…plenty of bulletholes."  He eases back into his piloting chair, catching a glimpse of his reflection in the glass.  He couldn't find the chiseled face he once had; a smile never visits his lips anymore.

His fingers run over a keyboard, punching in a command.  He plays back the vid-input one more time.  A younger man, Gunnar, graces the screen, a thick red goatee in the way of his yellow teeth.  Green eyes pierce at the seated hunter, Gunnar glances to and from the lens, checking to see if it was recording.  If Gunnar had had a father, Hampton would have been the closest man to it. 

If one sets the chronos back a few decades, Gunnar idolized Hampton.  He fashioned most of his hunting style in Fensen's image, even having the honor of assisting on four or five hunts.  They would bond as a father and son would, spending some time together between jobs as friends, never bringing up a hunt in conversation.  And Gunnar could make a wicked brew.

"Heard about your misfortunes with Holmeforth.  Ready to give it one last go before retirement?  Got a tip that he's on an industrial backwater called Fossil, hiding out among them welders.  Got a guy who can lead you right to him.  I'd go after him m'self but years ago I promised my hide a long vacation.  Its time to collect.  Get him this time."

Fensen uplinks the necessary funds for the tip, grateful there were still old colleagues out in the Black.  Most he'd known in his time went the way of technology on the Rim Worlds: obsolete.  Only a chosen few were lucky to live past forty years old, given their chosen profession.  And as he punches in the new coordinates for Fossil, he reminds himself why he's still alive.

"I'm the best at what I take on… and what I take on isn't very nice."

The hunt begins.

Fossil is indeed a backwater.  Industrial waste litters the ground and clouds the skies, noxious gasses being kicked up as Fensen's lands his shuttle.  There isn't even a port authority to grant clearance for his ship to land.  Better for me, Hampton thinks, no one'll see this coming.  The grime settles as the landing ramp presses into the toxic soil and the hunter steps out.

He straps a rifle to his back, gloved hand unclipping the safety strap to his X-34 pistol.  A rogue wind kicks up his half-cloak as he loads a fresh ammunition cartridge into the pistol, the click slicing through the stale air before the hardware returns to its holster.  He enters the marketplace.

The work day is over; no foot traffic graces the street.  A man stands in the distance, face smeared with carbon scoring from whatever meaningless job put food in his stomach.  He meets the hunter with a large grin; some teeth are missing.

"You looking' fer me?"  Fensen motions.

The man replies with an uproarious laugh, the long chuckles echoing about the tiny vacant market.  He waves the hunter to follow, removing him from the only civilization he's seen and onto the outskirts of the area.  The walls of nearby dilapidated buildings have fallen away, frames only left in their wake from poor maintenance, terrible upkeep or chemical explosions.

Fensen's guide aims his finger to a building in the far distance. The man speaks quietly "…dere…," then hurries away back to the market.  Fensen twists to watch his mole return to town.  Man didn't even ask for payment.  Holmeforth's a real unwelcome guest.  It is a sizable building: some walls are blown out with dark vine-like vegetation clinging to the last of its life along metal supports. 

He halts near the entrance, glancing to the soft soil as his hand slides out his pistol.  Fresh tracks heading inside the building.  His prey is there.  He slid to the wall, retrieving a shock grenade from his belt.  Activating it, he tosses it inside the doorway, hearing it clank a few times before settling.

Shock.  Flash.

The hunter opens his eyes once more, the walls dampening the audible shock, leaving a mere ringing in his ears that is a welcome reminder of being on a hunt.  He rushes inside, standing in the doorway as the light dims and the smoke clears.

No one.  A sleeping bag, change of clothes, loose credits, extra pair of boots.  He runs past all his prey's belongings to the rear door.  He raises a heavy, metal-coated combat boot kicking against the thin metal grating, wounding it bent and chipped.  He rams it with his shoulder, finally removing it from its rusty hinges.  The metal slab hits the ground outside, kicking up the dirty grime and surface soil as he steps out.

There he is.  Thirty yards away.  Fleeing for his life.  The bounty, Davion Holmeforth, scurries to safety across the industrial wasteland, seeking cover in another building.  Fensen is in tow, originally taking aim from such a distance but realizing its futility.  His heart races underneath his chest armor as he takes flight, quite speedy for a man of his years.  Holmeforth seeks shelter in another building.  In his stride, Fensen holsters his pistol, removing the rifle from his back, holding its body in his run.

The sounds of rotating gears take precedence over his own breathing.  The entrance was getting smaller and smaller at Fensen's approach.  The rust-stained duraplast doors force shut with much haste, giving the bounty hunter one split-second at freedom or isolation.  Firing off two rounds from the rifle into the door, he dives in, making it inside just in time, rolling to a steady crouch as he scans the perimeter.

Holmeforth sprints like mad through the abandoned factory, hurdling assembly line belts and dodging the massive metallic drums, not even grazing one.  He starts up a ladder, surrounded by protective bars and far enough out of Fensen's range.  His boots click against each metal rod, a close ricochet echoing in the vacant complex.  Apparently, the hunter didn't think he was so far away.

Dav reaches the roof of the complex, running to the edge and overlooking the drop.  He wouldn't survive that jump.  But what choice does he have.  He twists back around to witness Fensen ascending the roof, pistol already trained on him.

"I wouldn't…" The hunter negotiates.

Holmeforth displays an emotionless face, stepping off the edge and facing Fensen fully, walking out from behind a collection of barrels.  He breaks into a dead sprint, with his endpoint at the hunter.  Fensen takes no chances anymore, unloading two rounds into his oncoming target.

Its as if time slows down.  Fensen's eyes widen as his bullets pass right through Holmeforth, a violent burst of yellows, red and oranges silhouetting Dav.  The barrels explode, the quake destroying what stability the roof had.  What is he, a god?  Fensen asks himself as he feels the floor give out from under him.

Davion reaches outward to catch something to grasp, but fails, his body falling through and landing atop the small collection of rubble.  Fensen attempts the same, not finding anything.  Dropping a few feet, the strap to his rifle gets hooked on a support rod, leaving him dangling there, inspecting his motionless prey below.  He retrieves a combat knife from his forearm guard, lifting it over his head to find the rifle's strap.

A few cuts later and Fensen drops down into the room, rifle still stuck above.  Within a moment of landing, the hunter aims his pistol at his fallen target, walking around the body.

"And so it has finally come to this moment.  My last bounty.  My last job.  The final delivery to my final client.  The Holmeforth family will be proud to receive you.  Well, whats left of them.  As he told me himself, you and your brother certainly have some catching up to do."

As Fensen takes a step forward, the fallen man blinks and flickers, flashing a hue of blue, scan lines filtering down his translucent body.

"Gorram….. hologram!!"  The hunter spits to the ground.

Two footsteps pierce Fensen's eardrums.  They approach closely from behind.  The barrel of a pistol connects with the back of his head, to the right of his ponytail.  It taps the rough flesh.

"Its called a mechanized projected image..."

The bounty hunter ditches his weapon, raising his arms in defeat.

"…this is called an ambush…"

The pistol's hammer is cocked, the unflinching metallic sound echoing in his cranium.  The real Holmeforth speaks from behind the bounty hunter.

"…and I'm calling you dead."


Very special thanks to:
 -Imrhien Fargis for letting me use her land for the opening ship shots.
 -Cody Winterwolf for doubling as the welder.
 -The crew at InSilico for letting me use the North and East regions of their sim.

Friday, May 27, 2011


He managed to slip away long enough to buy him some time.  The crew of Valhalla was off in the small backwater town, collecting supplies for their next run.  Dav was there not ten minutes ago, using his pay from the last job to secure a private transport off this rock that was leaving within the hour.  He had little time, and until he found Fensen, every second counted.

Standing at the entrance to the cargo bay, he glanced around with dull, emotionless eyes; even a dead man's eyes.  Someone who didn't want to see this place as a home.

He walked in further, hands fumbling with the three notes he'd manage to scribble while at a saloon table with the crew.  Little did they know some were meant for them.  He had a chance to stare at each of the letters' recipients; none paying him any mind.  It was tough writing them, and even tougher walking the quiet ship to play delivery boy.

 First stop was the bridge.  Not to drop off a letter, but to sit in his chair one last time.  Sure he wasn't with this crew for too long, but this was his chair and they were family for those few months.  He reclined in it, throwing his arms over his head, before getting a swift kick back to reality.  His time table was being compromised.  He had to move.

He passed back down the ramp and headed into Meyer's office.  He unfolded the paper and placed it on the stack of papers in the middle of his desk.  It wasn't messy by any means; business just hadn't been tended to yet.


He headed back downstairs, en route to the Preacher's quarters.  He wasn't much for religion, but just in case, he thought.  "Better to be safe than sorry."


His final stop left him dazed in front of a sealed door.  He grimaced, spouting what Chinese cusses he knew well.  He knew what laid beyond the door; he just had to get to them.  Removing his ship key card, he prayed to Minx's gods for a show of good faith, as he slid the card in.  And when that door slid open.....

It was the first time he had smiled all day while he helped himself.


If she'd inspect further, as any weapons collector would, she'd realize he creatively-edited out the acquisition of a grenade into his arsenal.  Maybe his pen just ran out of ink, or the paper wasn't long enough.

He spoke to himself privately, dust and dirt being kicked up as the smallish shuttle landed outside Valhalla.  The bigger transport waited in orbit, en route to planets closer to the Core.  He stepped down the ramp and into the grass, walking stoically for the shuttle.

"Time to hunt the hunter." He spoke amidst the roaring engine exhaust.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"All Beer & Skittles."

The night before on Colchester was…. eventful.  Davion got his first taste of "bird-watching;" the underground fighting club below the Blue Dragon Bar.  His body ached, his nose crooked, knuckles swollen.  He was a walking pile of pain, glaring about the walkway through blackened eyes.  He found Calina Tereshchenko: the most gorgeous of Companions, who had attended the previous night's festivities.

"How are you... after yesterday's bird watcher's meeting?" She asks.  He shrugs a bit, squinting at her from a blackened eye. "Sore in a lot of places, swollen in others. I'll survive. How was the view?"

"It was entertaining. I'm glad no one was hurt too terribly."
He rubs at the back of his shoulder through his jacket. "They teach you first aid at the Academy?"

She nods "Yes, some basic first aid."
He nods in return. "By the time we got back to the ship, everyone else was passed out. Ain't had a chance to check everything."
Calina chuckles and waves her hand. "Come on to the Guild House. There is a first aid kit there."

A short, pain-filled stroll later...

 "Have a seat, Dav. I'll get the med kit." She disappears behind the screen and rummages through the cabinets.  Davion glances around, smelling incense. "Where's your room?" He asks as he sits, removing his jacket and shirt.

"This is only a way station, of sorts. There are some bedrooms in the back for Companions to use but we do not entertain clients here. Just a place for Companions to rest while waiting for their transports."

He nods gently, lifting his head to see her again. Aiming his face directly at hers, she'd notice his nose was slightly crooked from last night's 'bird watching.'"Didn't ask for entertainment... asked for your room."  The Companion moves behind him after setting the small bag on the counter, looking over the scratches, cuts and bruises "They aren't too bad... you'll be black and blue for a while, though. Don't go entering any modeling contests." She pauses and listens to his response "Why do you want my room?"

Dav feels the soreness and bruising burning at the skin on his back. Looking away, he took a deep breath. "Don't matter much, forget it."  She kneels down and looks looks at his nose "You'll need to see a doctor about your nose. It looks like it is broken. Now, now... you asked a question... I did... and I'd like an answer. Why did you want to know where my room was?"

Davion smirks out of one side of mouth, bringing a hand to his lips, "locking them," and "throwing away the key." Watching the imaginary key bounce along the flooring, his gentle eyes rise to meet hers again. "How's the client list?"

Calina pulls some bandages and medicine out of the kit, chuckling at his response "Not that I can share it with you... but it's been feast or famine. Extremely busy or nothing at all. How are things on your new boat? with your new crew?"

Davion dances his head a bit back and forth. "Can't complain with the new crew... I get on, I move stuff around, secure it, we land, I take it off, deliver it. I get paid...always a plus." Keeping his head low, he pondered her "drought" in business, seeing as she's at a 'way station' for Companions.

Calina pours some alcohol on one of the bandages and starts to dab the open wounds.  "Sorry... if it stings." She remains silent for a moment, cleaning the dried blood away from his shoulders and away from the cut on his ear. "Don't bleed on me... this dress is rather expensive." She says with a half smile.

The brute cringes a bit, but chuckles at her comment. "I'll try not ..." but he cringes again; a deeper gash getting properly cleaned. "...been nice seein' ya'gain."  She nods and tears off a piece of tape and places a bandage over a cut. "It's good to see you, too."

She reaches over and tilts his chin up and looks again. "You should most assuredly go to the hospital and have your nose looked at. Could eventually cause problems with breathing if not properly cared for."  He straightens his back some as he feels the bandage placed against his skin, then lowers his head once her touch abandons it. "You know I'm going to find him, right? Make him pay for what he did to you."

Calina takes a sharp breath and looks away. She near daily said prayers of thanks that the fight between she and the bounty hunter had not left any permanent scars. Her long hair fell across her face as she moved around... reaching for the med kit and rummaging through, almost as though she were trying to distract herself "I... if you think that is necessary."

He turns his head to the side, seeing her barely in his peripheral vision. "Its more than necessary. You should'a never been involved. I'm'a see to it that it never happens again."  After a long while in silence, pondering what happened and why and how... it was part of the reason for her drought in clients. It scared her such that she rarely saw anyone new despite a full inbox of requests. She turned down an offer to join another Guild House as a teacher because she feared staying in one place too long. "Thank you," she whispered quietly.

Davion leans over, reaching for his shirt and pulling it back on. Running a bruised hand through his hair, he flexed his digits gently, still feeling the puffiness in his knuckles. Standing up, he glanced back to her. "It'll be like it was. No more worryin' 'bout Fensen showing up.... I promise."  She stands, smiling softly "Don't get yourself shot in the process."  He forces a grin. "Never... wouldn't want to come back and risk ruining your dress."

He smiles sincerely this time, still withholding feelings of shame for not killing this bastard sooner. "Thanks for checking me out, Miss Calina."  She nods, "Glad to help out, Davion. I think most of them should heal without scarring."

The Valhalla Security Guard half-bows, showing her the courtesy she deserves. Twisting around, he drapes his jacket over his forearm, waving to her gently. "Not everyone deserves 'em..." He left the main room, rounding the corner. "... but I do."

She packs up the kit and cleans up the used bandages and tosses them in the trash.

Outside, he finds a young lady, perhaps an Acolyte, stopping her outside. "Little miss... I need a favor..." He lifts one of her hands, and deposits money into it; the prize money from the night previous. "See that this gets to Miss Calina... when she ain't lookin.' She wouldn't tell me which room was hers... can you believe that, with a face like this?" He points to his kisser, catching himself post-thought. "Well ... it don't always look like this... but make sure she gets it, yeah?"  He watches the semi-confused look on the young Acolyte's face, but she needs anyway and heads into the Guild building.

The startled young woman nods "Shi, shi." she responds and takes the money, disappearing back inside.  Davion starts on his way back to the ship., aiming to find a medic in his travels.

*Special thanks to Minx for playing the Young Acolyte!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


The hunter Hampton Fensen flicked at Cody's nose a few times, waiting for his prey to awaken. Sniffing the air, his nostrils almost burned from the bleach and cleaning solutions the med team left behind for 'sanitary reasons,' they said. He walked around to the side of the exam table, staring Cody down.

Cody Winterwolf slowly opens his eyes, blinking hard from he light then closing them to keep his eyes from hurting.  "Where'm I" he asks barely able to speak.  Fensen leans in a bit closer, examining the fresh bandages, then Cody's pale face as color slowly returns to it. "Where you are isn't important, Mr. Winterwolf. Whats important is that you survived."
The captive tries to get up. It takes him a moment to figure out he's strapped down on the bed and his side aching badly.
Fensen half-grins when he watches Cody fight to get out of the restraints. "Believe me when I say this, Mr. Winterwolf; getting that bullet out of you will be my only charitable act for the duration of our time together."

Cody grits his teeth then snarls as he pulls on the bindings. He can feel the straps cutting into his wrists as he does.  "What.. you want with me?"
The bounty hunter leans over the table, his face coming into the light better, scars cascading against his skin and through his thick beard. "You? Who said I want you? You're merely another message; a pawn in this great scheme to get your friend, the murderer Holmeforth, to deliver himself to me."
Winterwolf pulls harder on the straps waiting for them to give out. "He's not gorram stupid..... And he didn't kill no one..."
Fensen glances down at the restraints; reinforced so his captive could not escape. "A job is a job, Mr. Winterwolf. You of all people should know that. I have a man to deliver, whether he's guilty or not." He steps away slowly, heading to a side panel by the door, pushing a few buttons.

Cody can hear the slight tapping of the keypad. His ears pick up the faint hum around the room.  He frowns. "Hurtin' folk ... don't work..... Just riles em."
Fensen slowly approaches the examination table again as a slit in the ceiling reveals a long robotic arm. At its end is a recording lens, red light starting to flash. "I beg to differ. Now wave to your friends. They'll want to be sure its you."
Cody tries to open his eyes, but can't. The light's too bright for him.

Fensen lifts his arm and bashes it down over the new bandaging, breaking the stitches underneath.  Cody feels the shock of pain as he's hit hard. All he can do is grunt and gasp. He tries to curl up to protect his injured side, but can't as the restraints hold him in one place.  He groans and tries to catch his breath.

Fensen gets closer, removing a small scalpel from the table. He slides it under the bandages, lifting it, slicing through the bandages to expose the wound. A small stream of fresh blood trickles down. "Now, I have a small bet going with myself. I am trying to figure out which of your friends will hand over Holmeforth. Who is your bet, Mr. Winterwolf?"  Cody feels the cold metal as it slides up the inside of the bandaging. He tries to move away from it. "Don't know...." he says hoarsely.

The hunter tosses the scalpel aside, one hand parting the sliced bandages. His other hand hovers over the wound, making a tight fist, minus his index finger, which jabs into the wound, exploring. "I can't hear you!"
Cody cries out as he feels the finger enter the wound. The pain is excruciating as he struggles hard against the bindings.  Fensen slides his finger out of the wound, flicking his finger, a few droplets of blood shot over the examination table. The hunter steps away and collects himself. "You'll answer... or next time I go in, I'll find your appendix."

Cody gasps again trying to get the pain under control. His head spinning as the pain threatens to send him into oblivion.  Fensen approaches the table once more, taking a long breath. "I take it you're not a gambling man, then. But your silence won't save you, Mr. Winterwolf. Only one thing will...."
Cody tries to open his eyes to focus on the old man. His eyes squinting against the glare of the light. "Won't... work...... bettin'... you'll..... meet.... Lily... soon… 'nough.."

The hunter snickers at the wounded pawn. "This 'Lily' may try... but she'll only find you if she has Holmeforth in tow. I'll hand you over in exchange for him."
"If….. she..... don't?  Lily.... She... ain't... like... any.. one..... you ever.... met….."
Fensen grins widely, his gross breath filling Cody's nostrils. "Then someone will. Out there... " He points to the closed door. "...someone wants you returned safe and sound. They'd have nothing to gain from harboring a known fugitive."
"Deluded….."  Cody mutters as he tries to pull against the restraints again.
"Then enlighten me, kind sir. What makes Holmeforth so damned important to you and your people?"

"A friend.  Co-worker."
"And all of your friends and loved ones around you are ready to watch you die for this friend... co-worker?"

"Won't die….."  Cody smirks even though he's in pain.
Fensen admires Winterwolf's resiliency. "I watched them fix you. I can unfix you twice as fast."
Cody growls at the man. "Won't... stop.. me."
The hunter steps back for a second, winding up, and laying a swift right hook into Cody's face.  Cody feels his head reel at the hit. His eyes register stars as he tastes blood in his mouth.

Hampton Fensen steps down the examination table, laying some heavy jabs into Cody's ribcage, wishing to hear a small crack.  Cody feels the damaged rib on his right side give way under the assault. He feels the wind knocked out of him then starts having trouble breathing below the layer of agony.  Fensen turns away and shakes his fist some, feeling some searing pain inside. He hasn't full-on punched a big brute in a long while. But damn, it felt good.  Cody groans as he tries to breathe. His world starts to spin out into darkness as he starts to lose consciousness.

Fensen watches Winterwolf choke for air. Realizing he's still on camera, he strides slowly to the wall panel. Cody continues to fight for oxygen, while Fensen stares down at him, then glancing up at the camera, displaying a cold, deadpan stare for a few seconds before cutting the transmission.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Browncoats: Redemption in the Mashable Awards!

Calling all Browncoats. Whether you've gotten your Browncoats: Redemption DVD yet or not, this is an all call to help. @Twitchange is currently dominating our category in the Mashable Awards. If each of you voted once a day through 12/15 we can show Mashable that the Browncoats are a force to be reckoned with. You could double dip and vote from Twitter & Facebook each vote counts, but you can only vote from each once a day.

@browncoatsmovie in the Most Creative Social Good Campaign!

Thank you!!  Please spread the word!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Harum Scarum."

It is a quiet morning on Hale's Moon.  A little too quiet.  The Hunter, Hampton Fensen, waiting atop Firefly's Bar, uses his long-range monocular to hone in on the defenseless bounty, the murdering coward Davion Holmeforth.

Davion Holmeforth steps in quietly, carrying two small bags. One bag with food and electrolyte water, while the other contains fresh bandages. He slowly slips towards Cody's bedside.  He places a quick hand above Cody's mouth and nose, feeling his breath. At least he was breathing.

Cody whispers, "Xoxo.. back?.."  Davion smiles. "No, just Doc Dav. Brought some food and some clean bandages. We need to take care of that wound."  Cody nods. He tries to sit up but feels lousy. He groans a little.

Dav helps Cody sit up, working the blood-stained bandages off. Balling it up, he tosses it aside. Grabbing the fresh clean bandages, he sits bedside, carefully wrapping around the wound, going around a few times extra for good measure. "Now, growl for me." And as Cody growled, Dav tightened the bandages, securing them in place.
"Gorram!" Cody grimaces as Dav tightens the bandages.  Dav holds Cody in place, then helps him lay back down. "I know, hurts like ten bastards. But you can't risk getting that infected." Leans over the bed, and removes a bottle of electrolyte water, handing it to Cody. "Can't risk getting dehydrated, either."  Cody groans, " I know... Just feel like hell."

The quasi-doc nods slowly, pointing down to the bag. "Got some food in there for you. Nothing fancy, just enough to get by: crackers, some protein, and more of that water."  "Don't know as I'm much hungry…"  Dav interjects.  "Well have some... you might not feel hungry but your body needs some nourishment. I'll be back in a few hours to check on you."   Cody nods, reaching into the bag and pulls out a protein bar.  He opens it and tries a bite not feeling too good.  Dav smiles slowly. "You'll pull through this. Just hold out a little longer." Dav heads for the door.

Dav's route is direct to the Applecado Transport & Salvage Office.  Passing by a trash barrel, he deposits the bloody bandages quickly, whistling in his carefree stride.  The red stains pick up beautifully in the monocular from the new view above Fook's.  The hunter grins deeply.

The time is now.  And the Hunter strikes.  Climbing into the Eagle's Nest was an easy task.  Cody stares up at the stranger.  "Who're you?"  He tries to sit up holding his side, looking for his weapon.  Slow, calculating steps end at the foot of the bed, boots clicking. When he watches the man rise he leans over him, pressing his hand into Cody's stomach, sending a shock of pain up his body. "I'm the man who needs a bargaining chip. And now I have one." His smile grew as he brought his forearm closer to Cody's face, a small compartment pumping out a gas.

Cody grimaces in pain and falls back. He inhales the gas unknowingly and frowns feeling the rooms spin. The stranger notices it's taking more gas then needed to knock him out.  Fensen brings his forearm closer to Cody, a second compartment deploying the reserve gas. Fensen twists his head away from it, until the ox is unconscious. Blowing the excess gas out of the way to mix with the stale air, he grins. "Sweet dreams, Mr. Winterwolf."  Cody feels the world drift into oblivion.

Climbing into the Eagle's Nest was an easy task, as stated.  Now climbing down with an ox on his back proved rather difficult for the old hunter.  He keeps to the back of buildings, dodging what little foot traffic there was.

The "Brigand" rests at its quiet, out-of-the-way unauthorized landing pad.  With a click at his waist, the entryway opens quickly.  Fensen deposits the unconscious body inside, climbing in to drag him to the back of the seats.  Firing up the engines, he takes the pilot's chair, almost jumping at the sight of the town's Mayor, Seana Kawanishi, as she raps on the hull.  Starting to hover, the repulsers kicking up wind and dust, he lifts the "Brigand" into the air.  Seana is forced to duck as the boat moves, kissing sky as it ascends into the clouds.  She hauls ass out of the way.

Having a quick chuckle at the ease of his escape, Hampton opens a clear channel to Traffic Control.  "Hale's Moon Tower, this is shuttle "Brigand," clearance to break atmo."
"Clearance denied.  Please return to port."
Adjusting a few controls, the hunter stops dead in his tracks, the voice sounding vaguely familiar.  Like a particular bystander he just almost flattened.  Fensen chuckles loudly over the comm.  "Too late, sister."

She brings the headset transmitter closer to her lips.  "IAV Abraham Sinkov, this is Flight Control: Hale's Moon.  We have an unauthorized departure in violation of our control authority.  Please reel them in for us."  Seana receives the acknowledgement and places some bets on whether the shuttle will escape the Frigate's pursuit.

Fensen grimaces in his pilot's seat, opening a console near his feet, ripping the transponder free.  The ship's presence on radar gets fuzzy.  He continues pounding at the controls, getting just enough juice out of this old bird to evade the frigate, fancy flying and all.  Kawanishi gets the wave from the Frigate, and acknowledgement that the shuttle's profile's been broadcast to the region with the appropriate alerts.  "Regional Traffic, this is Hale's Moon Flight Control, addendum to that Hot Boat alert.  There's evidence the boat has passengers aboard under duress."

Davion slides out from the shop, hearing all the commotion.  Greeting him is Kawanishi and Jai Raghilda. "Hey Dav.  Have you seen Cody?  We need to conduct a scientificalike experiment."
Davion shakes his head. "Just checked up on him an hour ago. He was too weak to go anywhere. Did you check the Eagle's Nest?"
"His link's dropped out of range." Seana adds.
Davion Holmeforth eyes widen. "Like... flatlined?"
"No, no. Comms link.  Just dropped off the air. Boat boosted out of here hot a little while ago. Gut feeling Cody was aboard."  She continues.
"I heard it ... didn't think much of it. Just another boat getting too close to the building." Dav gets a might frantic. "I'm'a check upstairs!"  He runs off in a dead sprint.
Seana explains.  "The Sinkov couldn't get to them. Have a regional alert out with the boat's profile and ident. Might catch them."

"I only ever had to deal with pirates." Jai adds.
Davion returns, bending over, catching his breath. "He ain't there."
Jai asks.  "He got his shades and meds?"
Davion shakes his head, wiping at his mouth. "They're still up there. Like he up and vanished!"  Jai crosses her arms.  "He wouldn't leave without his shades.  He's super light sensitive."
"Can hope the pilot's not an expert in hiding a boat in plain sight." Seana goes into detail.  "They pulled their pulse beacon, but the boat's not stealthy. Down side is there's some big gaps in NavTrac coverage out there."

The town doc, Aroha Hannu, joins the group.  "Anyone know any of the people on the boat?"  Jai questions.  "Once they get out of range of our arrays, they'll just need to steer clear of the main relays."  Seana sighs.
"Did I hear skuttle of a kidnapping?" Doc Hannu pries.
Dav cringes. "'Liance wouldn't just nab him like that. They've got protocol and some such, no?"  "Above boards, no. Black ops? In a heartbeat. But more likely to send a bounty hunter." Seana declares.  Doc Hannu looks over at the young man.  "Not sure about a kidnapping. Had a boat take off under suspicious circumstances and evade the Frigate…" Seana continues.  "…Cody might have been board."  Hannu asks. "Cody? On someone else's ship? Willingly?"

Jai cringes.  "We think he may have been snatched.  We got descriptions on any of them?"
Seana checks her data.  "Good profile on the boat. Pilot looked like an older guy."
Doc Hannu aids.  "Any reg numbers on the hull?"  While Dav pulls on his hair. "My one gorram job. Just take care of Cody and make sure he don't die. Now POOF, he's gone!" He kicks at the rocks under his boots.

"There any outstanding bounties on Cody?" Jai wonders.
"Yeah. We've got the idents for the boat. And I wouldn't be surprised about a bounty, knowing how Cody finds trouble."  Seana continues.  Jai calms.  "He's been staying out of trouble lately."
Doc Hannu inquires.  "For some time now, he's been good....hasn't he?"  She questions herself as she scratches her head.  "After he popped a cap in a Marshal's butt, he's been quiet."  Jai explains.
Doc Hannu recollects.  "That was a time a go.... and from what I heard, the Marshal deserved it."
"Yesterday was the first scuffle in a while…" Jai intervenes.  "…someone tried a snatch on Tillery.  I don't know the story."  Seana agrees.  "Aye. Was an odd situation, that."  She continues checking the data coming in.  "We've got an outbound vector for that boat, and doubt the pilot knows what kind of range we've got. Probably hasn't waited to alter course."

"Deserve has nothing to do with nothing when it comes to law enforcement types." Jai adds.  "You mess with the big blue wall, you get the big blue wall."  Doc Hannu prepares to leave.  "I have my own troubles today.... so I'll leave you to these worries….."  Seana heads off as well.  "I'll make some calls when I get back to my office.  See if we can't find Cody, and whoever took him. If that's the case."
"I will, ummmm.  I will think of something." Jai departs.  Dav growls under his breath, heading back to his apartment.

Deep in the Black, Hampton adjusts his flightpath, starting a long zig-zagging trajectory to evade any vultures following him.  As his hands drop to his knees, he twists around in his pilot's chair, cold ice blue eyes focusing on the unconscious form of his captive, Cody Winterwolf.