Training.   Posted by Talistryn.Group: 0
 GM, 1 post
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 23:46
She danced away from him, spinning gracefully away in a series of elaborate pirouettes and small hops, her plasma blade humming with each sweep away.  She knew she was trading ground for time, but her opponent was larger and less agile than she was, but had a much longer reach than she did.  She knew she had to use her speed to her advantage.

She was brought up short by the warning hum of the incoming strike, timed perfectly as her back was turned. She felt the burning pain as the blade scored its way across the small of her back, over her kidneys.  She screamed and fell as her legs gave way under her, rolling to her back to face her suddenly victorious attacker.

She smiled up at him as he reached a hand down to help her to feet, the pain in her backside fading.

"You've been watching too many old kung fu vids, Highness.  Never spend more energy on a move than needed, and never turn away from an opponent if you have any choice."  Captain Talistryn's voice was calm, slightly scolding.  "You know better than that."  He taps her backside again with the practice blade, sending a shock of painful-but-harmless energy through the receptors in her skin and muscles.

"Sorry, Captain.  I thought it was efficient and the spinning blade would make you keep your distance."

Her teacher shakes his head, deactivating his training sword and stowing it in a nearby rack.  He was average height, with chestnut-blonde hair.  He'd let it grow out a little bit and it made a nice, neat ponytail at the back of his head. The stubble of several days without shaving didn't hurt his features, nor did the cybernetic eye, glowing softly in the left socket, next to his natural, lambent green eye.  He was muscular, but toned and lithe, rather than heavily built, and he carried himself with an easy, deceptive grace.

Princess Aillithe turns off her practice sword and puts it away as well.  Her whole body ached from the hits she'd taken. She knew, somehow, that her teacher was taking it easy on her.  She also knew he'd never admit it.  Something about knowing there was always someone better.  She wasn't sure she believed it.

"When does the ship arrive, Captain? I'm eager to be home again and see my parents."

"Soon, highness.  For now, stretch and then meditate.  We have time."  He shrugs on the usual black jacket he wore aboard stations when travelling with her. It was old and worn and shiny-gray at the elbows, speaking to long hours and much use.

She sighed and sat on the floor, crossing her legs and closing her eyes.  She'd never gotten the point of this, but she would do it anyway.  She began counting her breaths, focusing on the in-and-out of her diaphragm and the motion of her ribs beneath her clothes.  She hated stations like this.  Only enough space for a couple of beds and the common-room for practicing and everything else.  She hated the cramped spaces and the simplicity of things.  She was 15 and a princess.  She should have suitors and castles and great, huge ships to travel in, not this freighter-jumping that Talistryn insisted on.  She was certain that he picked the scummiest, slowest, smallest ships he could find on purpose.  They'd never yet travelled aboard a ship suited to her station.

"Keep counting, Princess.  If you lose count, just start again."  She growled at him and his mind-reading.

"Yes, Captain."

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:45, Wed 18 July 2018.

 player, 1 post
Wed 8 Nov 2017
at 21:13
Moving three hundred pounds packed on to a seven foot frame was tricky. For a woman of five feet who looked like a good breeze could knock you over it was nearly impossible.

"Come on Oz! We're docking soon!"

An arm larger than she was snaked out and hurled her onto the bed with him. One lavender eye peeked through snarled lavender locks. She would have squealed in laughter if he hadn't knocked the breath from her. Instead she just shot him a wry grin.

"Out of bed, beast. Posk needs you to triple check the engine. Said something about a sensor."

With a growl he finally emerged from the blankets as she began ransacking his room.

"Yeah yeah, always a sensor. Or a scrubber. Or some other trifle Posk thinks can't wait. What are you looking for?"

She poked her head out from under the bed. He hadn't even seen her go under.

"My jacket! I know I left it here last night."

Oz sighed and lifted the bed. He had seen her like this many times. Passengers made her nervous but they made their runs much easier. They were less likely to be boarded when they had legitimate business to present. He picked her up like a child, set her on her feet and put his hands on her shoulders.

"Breathe, Ren. We'll be fine once we're loaded and on our way."

He picked a beat up brown jacket from his chair and handed it to her, ruffling her short black hair. She had been lucky enough to inherit their mother's hair and enough blue in her eyes to pass for human. Although they both had the pale skin and light sensitivity of their father, one would never guess they were related.

"Now, Captain" he stated firmly as he swatted her behind, "I'll check the engine while you do.... whatever it is you do."

He could hear her grumbling to herself as she left the room. He went to put in his lenses and shave his head.
 GM, 2 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 01:15
The Princess fidgeted near her small travel bag.  Typical of Talistryn to limit how much she could take along. Not a suitable gown or evening dress in the whole bloody kit.  She sighed as they watched the station traffic. One case, "essentials" only. Aillithe rolled her eyes as she remembered what Talistryn considered "essential".  No makeup, no luxuries.  Nothing suitable for a Princess travelling the galaxy.

"Is it here yet, Captain?  Please tell me you booked passage on a real ship, this time?  No more garbage scows or junk sellers? Please?  I'm not sure I can look at another of those pig-eyed  Salvagers again. Eugh!"

"Hush!" Talistryn scowls at her.  He had been a friend of her father for a long time, and he would keep her safe.  He also wished she would pay attention to what he was trying to teach her about the universe.  He picked the worst-looking vessels he could find, as they were usually happy to have paying passengers.  They were usually good people, trying to get by in a galaxy that was really bigger than it knew what to do with itself.

He accepted that she was 15 and had been heavily sheltered by parents who were both too protective and too present.  Royalty, he figured.  He wondered sometimes where the old soldier he knew hid inside the man her father had become.

"But, captain!  I'm a princess! I need to be travelling in first class transports!  This is embarrassing!"

"Shush, child. It's nothing of the kind. If you'd pay closer attention, you'd learn things you might never have dreamed.  Even about the Salvagers."

He hoists his pair of gear boxes with ease, each one a large, metallic case.  They held his weapons, armor he wasn't wearing and the repair kit, and the training swords.  The soft canvas duffel draped over his shoulder held everything else. The essentials only.  He preferred to pack light.  Maybe the princess would see the bonus one day.

"Come on. Our ship is about to dock."  He nods at a small vessel outside the viewport, maneuvering in to dock.

Aillithe sighed as she saw yet another dirty, frumpy, slow old freighter.  She stuck her tongue out at her escort's back while she picked up her hard case and duffel.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:32, Thu 09 Nov 2017.

 player, 2 posts
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 01:46
Posk docked the Artemis with ease, as always. Osthen unloaded what little cargo they had while Mehren stepped onto the platform. She dressed in shades of brown, all well worn but comfortable. A gun belt settled on her hips with two pistols at the ready. Just another station with the run-of-the-mill business being done.

As Mehren spied the pair she was sure were her passengers she was approached by a rotund man and two goons. She plastered a disarming smile on her face.

"Mister Geck! So glad you found us again! I assume you have your cargo all ready to load?"

The slovenly Geck took some time to run his beady eyes over her before motioning to his men to bring the cargo.

"Mehren, sweet little Mehren. One of these days yer luck will run out. I just hope it chases you right to me."

She smiled even more sweetly and leaned close.

"You should be praying to every god you know that it never happens. Remember our last little.... rendezvous? How is your leg?"

She pulled back as he paled and nodded.

"Yeah yeah, here's my half. The rest on delivery."

Geck passed her a pouch and hastily left with his men. Mehren nodded to the two with baggage.

"Let's get you in and settled. Don't want to be here longer than I have to."
 GM, 3 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 02:20
Talistryn's face breaks into a crooked smile as the freighter captain waves them over.

"Of course. Thank you for making space for us on such short notice."  He sets down the larger of his two hard cases and sticks a hand into one of his pockets. The jacket shifts aside, revealing the armored baldric with the plasma-sword hanging from it.  The large pistol on the other side stuck out the bottom of the jacket anyway.  His hand comes out of the pocket a moment later with a credit chit.

"Here you are. Payment in full, in advance, as requested." His voice had a soft, easy-to-listen to quality. It was baritone, but it had no gravel in it at all to abrade the ears. And a hint of a soft, lilting accent that matched the easy grace of his movements.

"And a little extra for the short notice."

He picks up his case after Ren takes the credit chit from him.  He nods to his young, blonde charge who is scowling at the ship and the disreputable mess of people who had just picked up their cargo.

"I'm Talistryn and this is Aillithe.  Thanks again for your flexibility, Captain."

Automatically, she nods at the introduction, more for politeness than anything else.  "Yeah...Hi. Thanks for the berth." She shrugs her shoulder to adjust her duffel on her shoulder.

Aillithe scowled again.  She was a full head taller than the captain of this horrible little freighter, and, she was quite certain, many times as pretty.  She hated that Talistryn treated everyone so well, even when they were obviously beneath even him.  He had been a soldier, she knew, but still.  Her father seemed to like him well enough.  She could hear the respect in the word 'captain' when Talistryn used it, like it meant something to him.

She grumbled inwardly and tried to smile as Talistryn continued to chat with the freighter captain.

"If you'll lead the way, Captain, we'll head aboard and get out of your hair as much as possible."
 player, 3 posts
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 19:59
Mehren always did her best to stay out of people's minds. She didn't need to be telepathic to feel the waves of contempt rolling off of the girl. A long tirade about respect was on the tip of her tongue as Osthen laid a massive hand on her shoulder. It calmed her instantly. She smiled up at the big man, his head now wrapped in black cloth and his eyes a warm brown. Her focus went to the man.

"Of course. We always have room. Follow us please."

She lead them onto the ship through the cargo bay. Ren was all cool professionalism, her voice full of authority.

"This is where we store the cargo. Except for entering and leaving the ship it is off limits."

They climbed a set of metal stairs and went through a door. The corridor led them through the engine compartment on a catwalk.

"Engines are also off limits. It upsets Oz if he has to clean little girls out of the gears."

Oz nodded solemnly at Aillithe. "It does."

While Ren's voice was a little low and throaty, Oz had a rich bass that matched his outward appearance.

A hatch finally led them into the living area of the ship. Although shabby it was obviously a home to the crew. It was as warm and inviting as it could possibly be.

"At the front there is the cockpit, also off limit. Crew quarters are marked on the doors here to the right, and on the left are passenger quarters. Kitchen there, wash areas over there and this center bit is where we eat and play games. Pick any rooms you like, we have four so I'm sure you can make it work."

She walked over to a knotted rope that led up to a hammock. The little nook around it was filled with books and other possessions.

"This is where I think. Only disturb me here if it's an emergency."

At that moment a lanky teenage boy opened the hatch to the cockpit.

"Cap, incoming message. You'll want to see this."

Even with messy brown hair and unkempt clothes the kid was obviously destined to be a heart breaker. Once he finally got out of the awkward years, that is.

"On my way, Posk. If you fine folks need anything else just ask Oz."

With that she took off for the cockpit and Oz offered a silly but graceful bow.
 GM, 4 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 23:56
Aillithe follows behind Talistryn, suddenly wary of this crew.  She'd seen the glare the captain had given her, and was pretty sure Talistryn had too.  Maybe he wouldn't care, though she could never tell with him.  As they went through the ship, she realised it was, in fact, the smallest one they'd travelled in yet.  She manages to keep the frown from her lips, but she knows it shows in her eyes.

Talistryn picks out the smallest of the 4 rooms and sets his gear and duffle on the bed.  He had seen the glare the Captain gave the princess, and he had a pretty good idea of why.  Aillithe had been getting worse about her tantrums, and worse about her treatment of people generally.  He points to the next one for Aillithe to stow her gear while he locks his pistol back in the hardcase. On a ship this small, a gun like that would be more harm than good.

She's settling her duffle on the bed when the light dims as Talistryn stands in the doorway. He doesn't enter, but he looms there a moment, his cybernetic eye glowing softly, dimly illuminating bits of one side of his face and the very definite scowl thereupon.

"Aillithe. That's enough!  I thought, perhaps, that you could learn this lesson by watching and experiencing. I see now that is not true. I expect better of you than this." Talistryn's voice is a harsh, shipboard whisper, at least sparing her a public scolding.  "These are good people and deserve better from you than this!  You're confined to quarters until mealtime.  I want you to spend time thinking about what 'nobility' really means, and how you come by it." He takes a ring off his right middle finger, her father's signet ring, a symbol of her father's continued trust in her protector. "Your father knew it, and I thought he'd taught you.  I'll tell you this to get you started: it doesn't come from the crown or the title, Aillithe."  He steps back and the door hisses closed.  He tucks the signet into his pants pocket. It had been helpful on the station, but here, it wouldn't make much difference.  He had never been comfortable with the thing anyway.

He keeps half-an-ear on things as he heads back to his small room.  He tucks the hardcases against the wall opposite the bed so he can stretch out a little bit and read on a small tablet he pulls out of his duffle.  He leaves the door open.  Hopefully Aillithe would finally start to think about why he kept taking her on freighters like this.  It was an important set of things she needed to know.  He knew she was 15 and spoiled, and introspection didn't come naturally to her. A trait she shared with her mother, sadly.

He settles into the bed and his book, keeping half an ear on the goings on on the ship.  Part of it was old habits, but also because he wanted to make sure Aillithe was both safe, and sticking to her punishment.
 player, 4 posts
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 00:18
"NO!" Ren yelled as she slammed a fist into the wall. A slight, nearly indiscernable shudder went through the ship.

"She knows we can't make that meeting! Not wih passengers on board!"

As the captain growls and throws a few things Posk crouches in a corner yelling for Oz. The big man comes running.

"Easy Ren, whatever she wants we can make it work."

He dodges a few breakables before grabbing her around the waist.

"Get some air Posk. Tell our guests that we'll be a few minutes late taking off."

Posk runs out as Oz sets Ren down. She struggles a bit as she releases a string of foul language. Oz fixes her with a stare forcing her to share his calm. Finally her breathing returns to normal and she no longer looks ready to kill someone.

"Semira wants the delivery a month early. We would have to leave now and risk the passengers. Not to mention that a detour that big might catch someone's eye and get us searched. But if we don't, she maybe pays half of what she promised and sets a nice bounty on our heads."

Frustration hums through her and she grits her teeth to keep her voice down. Oz sighs and sits in the other seat.

"No choice then. We explain a minor detour, get things done quick and quiet. A little luck and things are easy."

"Luck has never been our friend, Oz."

Meanwhile a nervous Posk has found Talistryn to explain the slight delay.

"All apologies, sir. Shouldn't be long before the Cap's..... uh... ready."
 GM, 5 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 05:04
It takes a moment before Talistryn realises the boy is speaking to him.  He lowers the tablet from in front of his face and looks the boy over.  The dim light of the small room casts more shadow than light, so there is an eerie half-lit quality to his face as he looks up.

"Is everything all right?  I thought I heard shouting, but it's not really my business." He sits up and looks the pilot over a bit. He was obviously a competent pilot. The docking maneuvers had been performed flawlessly.  Not something most freighter pilots would go for.  Usually they had just enough pilot to get from A to B reliably. He was glad to see a young pilot doing so well.

"If I can help, just ask.  We're not in a hurry to be anywhere in particular. The girl may not quite get it yet, but the travelling is the point of the exercise.  You can let the Captain know that we understand that her livelihood must come first, so if she needs to go elsewhere first, that's fine with us if she is still willing to have us aboard."

He began to suspect, more strongly than he had at the beginning, that the business wasn't all aboveboard.  That wasn't a surprise. Most of the galaxy's independent freighters dabbled in moving vague-and-uncertain goods for vaguer and more uncertain clientele.  He wasn't one to judge.  Certainly this wasn't a slaver ship, which eased most of the worries he would have had about his current position. People needed to live, after all, and for that they needed money.

"Are you the pilot?" His voice is still gentle and genuine.  In some ways, his gentle manner contrasted with the cybernetic eye and the rough-and-tumble look about him, with the worn jacket and well-maintained, well-used boots, pants worn a little shiny at the knees.

"You did a very creditable job docking the vessel. You should be proud.  I've seen military ships that didn't dock that smoothly."
 player, 5 posts
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 10:24
Posk ducks his head a bit once Talistryn starts speaking. As far as he's come he still diverts his eyes. He keeps his hands loose at his sides and hunches slightly.

"Yes, sir, everything's fine. Cap's just gets grumpy when her plans get changed. We probably have to add a few days to the trip."

At the mention of the girl, a slight flush creeps into his cheeks. He couldn't help but notice how pretty she was. Then he's asked about being a pilot. His entire body changes. He stands up straight and his face lights up with a smile.

"Yes, sir! I love flying the Artemis! She may not look like much but she's better than those P...." he stops himself and looks terrified for a minute, then continues more calmly that before. "She's the best ship out there sir. Ren.. I mean the Captain.. has a lot more to teach me but she says I'm a good pilot."

"You are, Posk, one of the best."

Ren appears at the door. She steps in looking ashamed as she wraps her arms around Posk in a warm hug.

"I'm sorry kid. I shouldn't have yelled like that."

She steps back and looks up at him.

"Now head on back, we've got to take off."

Posk nods and leaves the room. She turns her attention to the man on the bunk.

"I'm sorry to say this but one of my deliveries needs to made earlier than I had hoped. We'll have to add a few days to the trip."
 GM, 6 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 00:30
Talistryn sets his tablet aside and nods at the ship captain.  Posk seemed like a good-hearted but nervous kid.  No doubt he was more confident when flying the ship. He'd seen that before, too, many times.

"Of course, Captain.  It's your ship and your livelihood.  You must do what you think is best.  We are happy to take a few extra days if needed.  We are not headed anywhere in particular."  He bites the inside of his left cheek as he ponders a moment.

"I need to apologise for Aillithe.  This trip is her father's idea, to get her out into the galaxy and seeing things that should be seen.  Try to get her to understand something of how the world works.  She's young and headstrong.  No excuse, but perhaps it explains her a little. I'll keep a closer eye on her.  You deserve her respect."

He knew that while Aillithe would need apologise for her own behaviour, he felt that he owed one too for not cutting the disrespect off earlier.

"Please let us know if we can help with anything while we're here.  I know we paid, but I hate to feel like a free-loader while everyone around me works."  He chuckles ruefuly, shaking his head and looking at her feet a moment. The motion shakes his hair loose over his shoulders, slightly wavy when not in the ponytail. Hints that he might clean up pretty well.

"Old habits, I'm afraid. Hard to sit idle in a barracks."
 player, 6 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 01:07
Ren crosses her arms and leans against the wall. He may not be exactly as he seems but he had been as honest as any person she ever dealt with. Between being genuine and easy on the eyes she was satisfied that this trip wouldn't be a complete disaster.

"Listen, I get it. She's a spoiled kid who has never had a rough day in her life. You don't need to apologize for anything. But some day someone will tip her off of that pedestal and she better pray it doesn't kill her."

There is no anger or rebuke in her tone. Only world-weary honesty as she calls it how she sees it. And her eyes miss very little.

"Besides, I was a little quick on reaction myself. I'm wound pretty tight most days. I'm sure we'll be fine. As far as helping out feel free to pitch in anywhere. In fact it might not hurt to hand the girl over to Oz for a day. He has a real way with people."

She couldn't begin to count the number of times and ways he had helped her over the years. Even Posk warmed to him.

"So how did a military lifer end up a personal bodyguard?"
 GM, 7 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 Royal Weaponmaster
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 01:49
"It was a more natural transition than you might expect at first, really." Talistryn smiles a little, slightly ruefully, but cheerfully nevertheless.

"I'd served with her father during some...unpleasantness.  He's a good fellow. A little blind past the end of his nose, but he means well and is willing to put in the effort to make up some of the difference.  He wasn't a good soldier, however.  He knew it, but family politics meant he had to serve, even if he was a disgrace to his uniform."

Talistryn thought a few moments.  The war hadn't been the worst thing he'd seen, but he hoped he never had to deal with one again.  His left eyelids twitch a little bit around his cybernetic eye in remembered pain before he continues.

"I was eventually promoted away from the unit he was assigned to.  Additional training, cybernetic and genetic augmentation.  Seemed like a good idea at the time.  Got a new eye to replace the damaged one while I was there.  Her father remembered me. Something about saving his life." Talistryn shrugged. "I told him I was just doing what needed done, but he wouldn't hear it."  He pulls the signet ring out of the pocket, where it suddenly felt heavy and awkward. "He'd been promoted too, after the war.  Right up the ranks.  Made me Captain of his Personal Guard and Royal Weaponmaster.  Seemed to think I was the best swordsman he'd ever seen."

Talistryn is clearly uneasy with the titles and the rationale behind them.  He was a soldier. He did what needed doing and to the best of his ability.  Good, better, best weren't really things he concerned himself with.  Other people said stuff, and he knew enough about politics to know that most of it, especially if it was compliments, was blowing smoke and currying favour.

"So, here we are. Taking daddy's little Princess on a freighter tour of the Galaxy. And trying to teach her to fight.  That part seems to be going okay.  It's the thinking that she struggles with."