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The Voyages of the Airship "Crimson Lady"
An "Abney Park's Airship Pirates" game
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19th-Dec-2012 06:54 pm
npc
This scene takes place shortly after http://ap-crimson-lady.livejournal.com/7330.html. It is primarily intended for capt_tobias.

"Captain!" calls one of the Crimson Lady's crew. "There are two young ladies to see you."
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20th-Dec-2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Tobias steps down from his place on the poop deck onto the deck proper. He's been tired of cooping himself up in the aft cabin, reviewing accounts and ledgers, and after the previous night's excitement he's been relishing the fresh air. It's not the harsh blowing wind of a ship in motion, buffeted by the turbulence and skimming along the clouds, but it will do.

Still, it's obvious the recent turn of events has put him off his mood. **One last night,** he tells himself, **One last night and we might leave this place behind us. I should never have veered from our usual ports of call.**

"Tell them I don't 'entertain', dammit!" he bellows back without even looking towards the gang plank. "If they want a pirate for their fun, see if Mr. Flynn is healed up yet. He can wear a fucking eyepatch and go 'arr' a lot."
21st-Dec-2012 12:57 am (UTC)
There is a short conversation at the bottom of the gangplank. Tobias can hear the voices, but the words are carries away on the breeze. Based on their voices alone, they are probably younger than Iris.

The sailor returns up the gangplank and footsteps appoach Tobais.

"Captain," says the sailor who called to him earlier. "They said to show you this. And they'll leave if you're not interested."

The sailor holds out a framed monochrome photograph of a man, woman and two children, one male and perhaps five or six , and the other female and likely younger. The adults are recognizable - the man, Tobais's Uncle Renfrew and the woman, Abigail Worthington.
21st-Dec-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
With an impatient gesture, Tobias grabs the picture from his crewman and glances at it. The glance turns into a stare. A great deal of tension seeps out of the captain's shoulders. There is not a single doubt in his mind that man is his uncle. The features are too similar to his own, and suddenly Jacob knew what he would look like in just a couple of decades. His other hand slowly reaches out to the image, fingers lightly brushing the features of the two children.

"Permission to board granted," Tobias says softly. He turns to enter the aft cabin, his attention still upon the photograph. Straight in he walks, back towards the stern windows that illuminate the interior of his work room. Raising his head, he looks out at the brilliant blue sky through the multiple panes of glass and awaits his visitors.
21st-Dec-2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
"Crystal," says a girlish voice from just outside the room. "Can you have Kim put Papa's trunk in the room?"

"Certainly," replies another female voice from outside, probably older than the first. "Kim, command. Lower trunk. Thirty left. Kneel. Slowly, arms forward. Stop. Arms slight right. Arms forward full extent. Slowly lower load; release with full contact."

There is a noise appropriate to a trunk contacting the floor just inside the door.

"Good job Kim. Kim, command. Withdraw arms, stand, independent mode."

There are footsteps as the two girls enter the room.

"Captain," says the older voice. "This is Ashly Worthington and I am Crystal Hawksmore. I believe you traveled with my grandmother recently."

When Tobais looks at the girls, both have a resemblance to Uncle Renfrew, as well as their respective female relatives. Ashly seems no older than Heather and Crystal a couple of years older. Both are dressed similarly, with blue died leather vests over light blue blouses worn with matching bloomers and black leather boots.

Just inside the doorway, not quite blocking it, is a steamer trunk with brass corners, hinges, latch and locks.

Edited at 2012-12-21 02:31 pm (UTC)
21st-Dec-2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
Turning about, Tobias regards both Crystal and Ashly, his face a bland and emotionless mask. The trunk he ignores. Whatever it may be; gift, tribute, bomb; he simply does not care. Holding the picture of his deceased uncle, his only concern is answers. He can only hope these two women can provide them.

"You are correct, Miss Hawksmore," he intones with cool politeness. "She was the one who contracted our services."

He turns to face the younger woman. "And Worthington, is it? Any relation perchance to the woman who tried to blow my head off last night?" He waved a dismissive hand. "Considering the circumstances as I know them, I will not pursue legal action, even if such is possible for a man to do so in your city."

With a careful hand, he sets the picture frame down upon his desk. It is not by chance that he has placed the photo to face the women, though the similarity to how he stands compared to Renfrew is an unconscious action on his part.
21st-Dec-2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
Ashly replies, "I'm sorry about that. Mother..." She sighs. "Mother is not rational when it comes to Papa."

"But we believe in our father," says Crystal. "Neither of us think he sold us out to the Imperials. But we have no hope of persuading the older generation. Even my family, who support having men back, believe it was our father's doing."

"We would love for you to reasure us," says Crystal. "But as you were not here then and we already know our father was something of a scoundrel, we are here for something more important. We want to hire you."
21st-Dec-2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
Tobias regards them carefully. Hire him? The women of this city have brought him nothing but headaches, and now two more of them wished to hire him. What fresh miseries would this bring?

Yet... He stares at them, taking in their shared features. The line of a cheek, the slope of the nose, the curve of the jaw... Shards of his mother stare back at him, shadows of his wayward uncle chuckling at him from the past with that sardonic grin. The two of them have been the only family he's ever known.

Until now. All the other traces he might dismiss as chance, but they stare at him with the same eyes that he sees in his own mirror every morning. They are younger than him as well, striking a fraternal note within him. There is some part of him, he realizes, that always wanted sisters.

"Ladies." Tobias stops, his lips twisting as he has no idea how to continue. The stern pirate captain begins to thaw, his heart slowly warming to the idea of belonging to an extended family. **Is this how the Chesapeakes feel? Is that what it is like to belong to something larger than yourself but at the same time more intimate?**

"This... This is no way to greet family. Please, forgive me." He spreads his hands in supplication. "I'm an only child and I had no idea that... that..." He gestures to the only two chairs in the room. "Please, sit and rest yourselves. Let's not talk of hiring and business. Instead, tell me what it is you wish to accomplish and how we might accomplish it together. Should you wish for refreshment, I can send our Cabin Boy down to the galley."
22nd-Dec-2012 03:38 am (UTC)
Ashly grins, and Crystal slowly smiles. "This is great," she says softly and Ashly lets out a less restrained "Whaoo!"

Crystal repeats herself, more firmly. "This is great. You see, we want our missing brothers back."

Ashly nods. "My brother, George, and our half brothers, Michael and Henry."
28th-Dec-2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
"Mine was lost when I was brought back. But the second future, I deliberately lost. I helped Renfrew Aerovane prevent his sons from being taken by the Imperials," replies Mr. Auster.

Edited at 2012-12-28 09:12 pm (UTC)
28th-Dec-2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
Things began to click into place for Tobias. He likened it to the end of a rather long, turbulent voyage, when the perimeter of the skyloft just came into view. "So you somehow sent a warning to my uncle, no doubt mentioning something to convince him it was genuine. Because if the Imperials get ahold of him..."

What? What could be so important about a lecherous pirate, one who had never even been a captain (granted by his own choice)?

"I get the feeling we're actually getting somewhere now, Mr. Auster. For the sake of argument, I shall choose to believe everything you've said. At least for now. Now bring us into home port, please. What happened... What would have happened... if the Imps got their grubby mittens on my family? Why only the menfolk?"
29th-Dec-2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
"I don't suppose the words, 'zombie apocalypse,' carry any meaning to you?" asks Mr. Auster.

"No sir," replies Ashly. "Nor for me," says Crystal.

"Let's take a few steps back then," says Mr. Auster. "The Imperials officially despise inventors and if they find anyone being creative, they drag them off to the city's Change Cage. Talk to any ex-Neo-Victorian and you'll find they all dread the Change Cages, even more than being left in the wilderness with giant carnivorous beasts. But not one of them knows what happens to anyone who goes into one."

The two teenagers look at him expectantly.

"Ah, so you don't know either," Mr. Auster says, addressing the two young ladies.

"I don't know what happens in every case, but I can tell you that at least some of those people are set up in research facilities. And, in the past, there were at least two facilities located away from the Imperial cities. I strongly suspect there are more. The facility relevant to our current discussion was responsible for the development of man-eating creatures for the northern reaches of this continent. To keep things simple, I'll just note here that the research included fixing things, like infertility, in the animals."

"So now, we use that background. Add pirates who are about out of fuel. Mix. Voila! Flying city. And Renfrew Aerovane develops the ability to have children. And that new found ability makes his male children a bit different than others, by an infinitesimally small amount."

"An skipping the details, as that involves finger pointing, the Imperials get a hold of Renfrew's sons and develop a disease that interferes with human reproduction, as well as some other, more dramatic effects. And in a hundred and fifty years, there's not a human being to be seen."
29th-Dec-2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
**Zombie... Zombie... ** The word sounds familiar to Tobias, something Xom had said at some point? He makes a mental note to ask his engineer later.

"Not quite following the jump from the people doing research to the skyloft, but it doesn't matter that much." Tobias chuckles ruefully. "So my uncle was... is... er, would have been more or less responsible for the end of humanity. Somehow, I am not surprised."

"I have to admit a bit of guilty relief, Mr. Auster. For a moment you had me worrying the Imperials would be hunting down all the Aerovane men!" He lets out a bitter laugh. "Last thing I need is another reason for the Imps to be after me!"

He stands up straight and runs his hands together briskly, a tell that he's ready to get down to business. "Now, the jackpot question, Mr. Auster. Do you have any idea where my uncle would have taken his sons? All of his sons?"
29th-Dec-2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
"To make a long answer short, I have nothing useful to contribute on the matter," says Mr. Auster. "Though perhaps I do have a question relative to the matter. Where did you get the KAM that's standing outside the cabin?"

"That's Kim, Mr. Auster," corrects Ashly.

"KIM? Oh blast," says Mr. Auster. "They did go with Kinetics in Motion. But she seems rather small and... She's a prototype, isn't she? Where did you get hold of her?" he asks, directing the question in the direction of the girls.

"Kim's been in my family since I was little," says Crystal. "She'll take general commands only from my mother, Ashly and myself. She's not too bright, though I did recently discover she has a direct control mode. Otherwise she does things like going through walls when doors are too small."

Mr. Auster is silent, but Ashly pipes up.

"Kim just came to carry the trunk. But Lucky can help us find our brothers."

Edited at 2012-12-29 05:42 pm (UTC)
30th-Dec-2012 04:41 am (UTC)
Tobias' hands stop their motion. The feeling of being an outsider very much nags at him, edging on his already frayed nerves and temper. He tentatively raises one to get a word in.

"Wait, wait. Reverse engines, please. Kim? Cam? Lucky? What's all this when it's at home, then??"
30th-Dec-2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Mr. Auster replies, "KAM, with a K, stands for Kinetic Amplification Machine. You wear it and it amplifies your strength. And more importantly, in the future where I utilized one, it can be equipped with a a breathing system for the passenger, so you don't end up catching the zombie disease."

He gestures in the direction of the teens. "My understanding is that KIM was a discarded name for the KAM series, but as the ladies actually posses one, I should let them explain."

Ashly says, "Kim lives with Crystal."

"Oh, thanks," replies Crystal, not sounding grateful in the least. "Kim's big for a ganger, but there's no way that an adult would fit inside. Maybe a child." A look of shock shows on her face.

"Lucky," she says. She turns to her sibling. "Ashly, we should introduce Lucky now."

Ashly heads over to the trunk while Crystal continues talking. "Father left Kim with my family, and Lucky used to by with Ashly's family. But he's a boy, so he was exiled to the Trading Post."

As Crystal talks, Ashly opens the trunk, removes some papers and lifts a false bottom that had made trunk seem to be packed with books."

"Lucky can identify family," continues Crystal. "He can say how closely someone is related and if they share a female or male lineage. But he's, well, I guess the best way to describe it is that he is part of the family."

Out of the chest rises an automaton, a doll that appears to be the same model as the Trentas.

"This is Lucky," says Ashly. "My brother and I used to play with him."
30th-Dec-2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
"Blast and damnation! Not another one! What the hell kind of games did you play as children??" Tobias swears, suddenly upright and tense. The creatures before him is a dead ringer for Lucifer, enough so that Tobias takes a step back. The Trentas have always disturbed him. He was not a man normally afraid of or biased against automatons, but he felt there was something fundamentally wrong with the Trentas themselves. He could only hope it was not something that ran consistently through their model series.

In a shaken voice, he hears himself asking, "What's his model number? And where is his partner??"
1st-Jan-2013 01:02 am (UTC)
A few minutes after Lucifer arrives, Lily enters the cabin. She's carrying a mug of steaming liquid - hawthorn tea, by the smell - but she also has her bag of medical equipment with her.

At the sight of both Lucifer and Lucky, she does a double take. It's at least six heartbeats before she speaks. "Your hawthorn tea, Captain." She tries to maintain her professionalism, but there's an air of uneasiness about her as she looks from one doll to the other.

Edited at 2013-01-01 01:04 am (UTC)
3rd-Jan-2013 12:45 am (UTC)
There's the soft clicking of high-heeled shoes on the deck, and Lucy makes her way into the cabin. "You wished to see us, Captain?"

As she notices Lucky, her usually expressionless features take on an unreadable expression. Back straight and chin up, she moves around the other doll to stand next to Lucifer, reaching out to hold her brother's hand. Lucky might be part of the wall for all she seems to react to him.
3rd-Jan-2013 12:49 am (UTC)
Lucifer takes his sister's hand and holds hands with her.
3rd-Jan-2013 01:10 am (UTC)
Tobias definitely feels a headache coming on. With every else that's been thrown at him today, attempting to renegotiate the entire contract with the Trentas is not something he feels he is up to at the moment... but still... he's not outfoxed yet. For the first time since he's met them, Tobias finally feels he has the upper hand.

"You and Lucy are almost always together, hand in hand, brother and sister. I'll go so far as to say you care about one another, more than anyone else. It's part of what makes me think of you as people, not objects. You have no idea how much I've envied you that. Now I find I do have kin of my own, cousins old enough to be the brothers and sisters I've always wanted.

"So consider this, Lucifer. My cousins have asked for my help in finding their brothers, my kin. I intend to do so, be the winds foul or fair. If I have to pilot this ship by my lonesome straight into the guns of an Imperial frigate to do so, I will do it. Seeing as how I am about to embark upon this course of action regardless of what you do or do not say, whether or not you wish to keep your secrets doesn't matter in that regard. But... if you are keeping information from me that could be potentially useful in planning and avoiding excess danger, that could also be considered willful negligence on your part."
3rd-Jan-2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
Lucifer stares at Tobais for a long moment.

Lucifer stares unblinking at Tobais as he speaks, "Do not visit Lunatic. He is not stable. He may call you familly one moment, and then the next have one of his actors crush your head like a grape."

"If you want to deal with the Colorado, be prepared to pay them the reparation money your Uncle owes."

"Mount Rain Skyloft. We left in a hurry. Your Uncle never explained why."

"The abandoned Imperial research facility your Uncle visited is now secured against your kind by strange armed automotons. Automotons may enter the first level, but we cannot access the lower levels."

"That covers the perils related to your Uncle within a reasonable distance. I belive this satisfies our contract," concludes Lucifer.
3rd-Jan-2013 07:07 pm (UTC)
The captain gives Lucifer a sharp nod. "Thank you, Lucifer. It certainly does. We at least have some reference points."

Rounding the table, he stretches out a roll of charts. "I have no idea who 'Lunatic' might be, but since Lucifer says we should not visit we will forego the pleasure. The Colorado... I'm not surprised he owes money to someone. We'll have to find out how much. Mount Rain Skyloft... I'll have to look that one up." He glances up at Mr. Auster. "I don't suppose you know what research facility he's talking about do you?"

Before the scientist can even answer, Tobias is focused back on the charts. "Crystal, Ashley, do either you have any idea where Julianna was at the time your father and brothers vanished?"
4th-Jan-2013 01:04 am (UTC)
"I'm not sure," says Ashly. "Near the eastern coast, up north."

"Roughly here," says Crystal, placing a finger near what is labeled on Tobias's chart as the Bay of Fundy. "We moved there from up north for timber to build the residential ring."

"For the lab," says Mister Auster. "I'm guessing, but considering where we are and the mention of the Colorado, maybe Cheyenne Mountain."
4th-Jan-2013 04:14 am (UTC)
Giving a low whistle, he shakes his head. "The Bay of Fundy is simply too far out to start from. We'll have to go at this West to East."

Straightening, he looks to Lily. "Doctor, I know it's hardly your neck of the woods, but do you know anything about the Colorado tribe?"
5th-Jan-2013 03:01 am (UTC)
"We trade with them regularly," she replies. "And sometimes they marry into our tribe - my cousins' husband was born to the Colorado, as a matter of fact. They're good folk - they understand the importance of family."

Edited at 2013-01-05 03:01 am (UTC)
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