Toko Aida

001 Precious Cargo

Toko Aida Space Station. Here, you and several other crew members have just met for the first time. You’ve been hired by a mysterious client for one single purpose. Deliver his cargo to JuNYV 369, a planet halfway across the galaxy. Bypass all checkpoints, do not open the crate, do not make detours. It might be a little suspicious, but the payout is promising to be more than you’ve ever had in your life. Will you deliver the crate and it’s contents, or will something unforeseen derail your entire mission? -The Box
[Dr.Watson is the janitor.] -04:38 Jan 18
[Drake is the alcoholic, cynical captain of the Hesperos, fresh out of crewmates after a disastrous prequel adventure.] -04:38 Jan 18
The Box: The Box is sitting in the cargo hold of The Ship, already loaded up and ready to go. It’s a little longer than 10 feet long and 5 feet in width. The entire thing is made of metal and covered in random buttons and what looks like a status screen. -04:38 Jan 18
[Mr. Lewis Is pretending to be his brother, an expert navigator.] -04:39 Jan 18
[Annya Marcel Communications expert aka bridge bunny] -04:39 Jan 18
[Rindi Demarc , the ship’s cook and secret guard of the box.] -04:40 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Thank you so much for allowing me on your crew sir. You won’t be disappointed,” the petit blonde said with a bubbly smile. -04:40 Jan 18
[Heather sarcastic humanoid technorganic thingy, back after the harrowing prequel. Currently in human guise] -04:43 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson smiles politely but says nothing. -04:44 Jan 18
[Heather stands at attention, face scrunched as if smelling some irritant that no one else can perceive. In fact, she probably does] -04:45 Jan 18
Drake: “Yeah yeah,” muttered Captain Drake as he waves Annya through the door. The staff room of the Hesperos was small and cramped, with a few leather chairs arranged around a briefing table. The air stunk of cigars and booze… most of it from Drake. He pushed a chair towards Heather before circling the room to find his own seat -04:48 Jan 18
[Rindi Demarc saunteed lazily to the staff room, an assumed, somewhat dim expression upon her face. She offered those she encountered a smile, ruffling her pink hair with one hand before putting a floppy brown hat on to cover most of the curls. ] -04:49 Jan 18
[Heather Heather studies the chair for a moment. “It’s clean, and its structure appears reasonably sound to support the weight of any of the individuals gathered here.” She pushes it back, and remains standing] -04:49 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “I-I’m sorry I’m late!” A nervous man’s cry shouted from just beyond the staff room door. Soon after a tall, lanky man with glasses scuttled in and took a seat. -04:49 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya chooses a chair and sinks into it, looking almost like a child in it. She does however wrinkle her nose as a good wiff of stale smoke escapes the leather. -04:50 Jan 18
The Box: In the staff room, sitting in one of the chairs was a gruff looking man. Taller than almost every member of the crew, and a face even a mother would shun, he was clearly impatient. “The Boss made clear demands that take off was to be at 0900 hours. We are two hours late. The Box MUST be delivered as soon as possible.” -04:50 Jan 18
Drake: “Yeah, I’m sorry too,” muttered Drake as he slumped into his leather captain’s chair. He took a swig from his hip flask and eyed the crew, giving them a glare that told them all to listen to the tall ugly man who was clearly important. “You heard the angry henchmen, people. SIT DOWN!” -04:51 Jan 18

The Man didn’t like being called an henchmen, either. But seeing as they were finally getting somewhere, he settled more firmly in his seat. Someone might have caught the glimpse of a gun under his coat, but who didn’t carry a gun these days? -The Box

Rindi Demarc: Rindi dropped into a chair, smiling obediently. She crossed her feet at the ankles, adding another scuff to worn looking knee high boots. -04:53 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Nervously, Mr. Lewis fiddled with an electronic pad and stylus. He was trying to sort his star maps for the mission but was too shakey to tap the right documents. -04:54 Jan 18
[Heather lowers herself to the edge of the seat from earlier, perched as though the rest of it were covered in wet paint.] -04:54 Jan 18
Grfg grfg grfg grfg -04:55 Jan 18
[Dr.Watson Yawned but remained silent.] -04:56 Jan 18
The Box: The Box remained sitting undisturbed in the cargo hold, even whilst the crew found their way in to their seats and were awaiting for departure from the Toko Aida Space Station. -04:58 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya put a hand to her ear, as though listening to something. “Captain?” -04:59 Jan 18
Drake: Drake gathered up the coffee-stained sheets of paper on the briefing desk and grunted at the Boss’s representative. “Right then, we’ve got Lewis on navigation, Marcel on comms, Rindi on crew welfare, Heather on the helm, and Watson…er….” He shifted through the papers and glanced at the janitor. “Er… Watson has a mop.” He took another swig from his hipflask. -05:00 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “We have comfrimation from the station finally,” she continued in a pleasant tone. -05:02 Jan 18
Drake: Drake blinked bloodshot eyes at Annya. “Confirmation of what?” -05:02 Jan 18

The impatient Giant was checking the time again. Shifting in his seat uncomfortably. “The Boss has already gone through everyone’s credentials. Why are we wasting time with this ceremony? We should be in the skies before the next Station Shift rolls over. You DO remember the Conditions of this delivery, Captain?” -The Box

Annya Marcel: “Our position on leaving the station?” she replied looking a tad intimidated of the henchman. -05:04 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi perked up and smiled even more at her name. She seemed excited to get underway, piping up in an enthusiastic voice. “I could get everyone some tea! That would help! Everyone likes tea!” She didn’t seem to realize just how innapropriate her timing was. -05:06 Jan 18
[Dr.Watson opened his eyes at the sound of his name but soon they drooped closed again] -05:06 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: He hesitated to speak, but Lewis knew eventually the floor would come to him. “I have our course mapped. I – I have the star maps ready!” He stood up as he spoke but plopped down almost immediately after. -05:07 Jan 18
Drake: “Ah…” Drake stared at Annya, then at the Henchman. “I was just er.. yeah… well, right…” Drake pushed out of his chair and stood a little shakily. “Welcome to the Hesperos, boys and girls. You all have your assignments. Watson, make sure the docking clamps are released. Rindi, check the water lines are sealed… and er… yeah, tea is good. Everyone else, join me on the bridge.” He turned around and collided with the wall, stumbling a little, then finding the door controls. The panel slid aside and revealed the circular chamber of the Hesperos bridge, where everyone’s individual stations awaited. -05:07 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Yes, Captain!” Rindi hopped up, practically running out the door in her energetic desire to complete her designated duties. -05:10 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Hoping out of the chair Annya followed behind the captain and eventually went to her station. Still with a bubbly smile she started to push buttons and adjust screens like she knew the system well instead of this being the first time she had sat at the station, and only second time on the bridge. -05:10 Jan 18

Finally seeing progress, the henchmen relaxed. …Only for a moment. With crew now leaving their seats to scatter across the ship, he had his own job to do. Raising from his seat, and towering over those left in the room, he made his way for the opposite door. “No one is to go near the crate.” He made sure to say in a loud booming voice. It was hard to miss! -The Box

Dr.Watson: “Hm? The clamps, yes.” Dr.Watson stretched his body while making a loud yawning noise at the same time. After he’d finished stretching he decided it was time to get those docking clamps released, some what following Rindi out. -05:11 Jan 18
Drake: “Aaagh, son of a…” Drake clutched his head as the Henchman boomed. He found his captain’s chair in the middle of the bridege and settled into it as the others rushed around him -05:11 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: The captain seemed a bit . . . tipsy. Mr. Lewis wondered if he could steal some alcohol for himself, to take the edge off. But, he hesitated. He was too meek to ask such a question directly. Instead, he followed the crew’s leader into the bridge and took to his station. -05:12 Jan 18
[Rindi Demarc waited til she was out of sight of the others, then hurried to the tiny galley, flipping the switch that would heat the water being used for tea before dashing out and tending to her other duties. She moved surely, but kept an eye out, ready to readopt her dim witted persona if necessary as she worked to double check that the water lines were sealed and everything was stowed.] -05:14 Jan 18
The Box: The Box did what boxes did. Sat in the cargo hold being uninteresting and box like. Even when the henchmen entered the cargo hold and took a grimacing look at the small screen on it’s top. All signs seemed normal. -05:14 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Stumbling, Dr.Watson steadied himself after the Henchdude’s startled him awake. He recomposed himself and made his way down to the docking clamps room and with much attentivity ensure that all the clamps were released. On a nearby wall there was a speaker box with a button, he depressed the button with his thumb. “The clamps are released, Cap.” -05:16 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “We’ve been given marker Blue Two, and told to watch out for the delarick ship that is being toed into the station,” Annya announced, keeping her eyes on her screen. -05:17 Jan 18
Drake: With Heather taking her seat in the pilot’s chair and donning the uplink helmet, the crew was ready. Drake grimaced as Watson’s voice crackled over the intercom. “Copy that. Heather, bring us about. Lewis, plot us a course for JuNYV 369. I wanna stay close the Cervantes Belt. And keep us clear of Dalios IX. I hate that place.” -05:20 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: He was anxious and excited. The ship was about to take off and the plan seemed to be going off without a hitch. Soon they would be in free space and Lewis would be free to do his job. He reviewed his star maps as they prepared to leave. -05:23 Jan 18
Drake: Drake swivelled in his chair and stared at Lewis. “Did you hear what I said?” -05:24 Jan 18
Drake: “Cervantes Belt. We need to hyperjump to a safe zone where the asteroids will conceal us from the checkpoint. I need a route.” -05:25 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: The water was warmed as Rindi returned to the galley. She took out cups and lids, placing a tea tablet into each cup before sealing it and pressing the tubes of the water heater to each cup, letting them fill with hot water through a tiny hole designed just for that purpose. After doing this, she snapped each tiny opening shut and pulled down a tray. She screwed each cup into place on the tray til they made an audible click. -05:25 Jan 18
[Heather has timed out.] -05:26 Jan 18

In the cargo hold, the henchman keyed in a few a few commands on the Box’s screen. Once that was finished, he exited to patrol the ship. The first person he came across in the halls, he glared at. No words, just glaring. -The Box

Mr. Lewis: Lewis reviewed the ships path for their journey. But something seemed off. The course was going to take them between Theymar and Vistus, two planets at war. That space was a literal minefield. Feeling clever for the first time since boarding the ship, Mr. Lewis re-plotted the course so that they would pass through Malikar and Regius instead. They’d actually be saving time. He wondered why it wasn’t a part of the original course. Perhaps because it was within proximity of Dalios IX. But the distance was negligible and not close enough that it would be an issue. “I’ve altered our course slightly to re-gain some lost time. Helmsman please take note.” -05:27 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: There was something very good as far as not being noticed in the area around the Cervantes Belt, communications, while not impossible, were limited to a multi-wave variant due to the energy pockets in that part of space. You could lose a tracking signal in there, though few knew that. -05:28 Jan 18

Heather nodded, her face concealed by the visor of the pilot’s helm. She relayed a complex series of commands into the console and the Hesperos shook as it turned slowly out of the space station dock. The stars drifted into view on the main screen and a steady thrumm began to build as the hyperdrive came online. -Drake

Drake: “Annya, we need to avoid the Federal checkpoint at Malikar. The Cervantes Belt should block most of their sensors, but you’ll need to scramble anything that gets through.” Drake took another swig from his hipflask. He was getting lower and lower in his seat -05:31 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson walked down the hallway toward the custodial closet to check on the things he had to work with. He had brought his own cleaning solutions, but he wanted to see what the ship had on hand. He passed the Henchman on the way and greeted his glare with a cheerful smile that lit up his whole face. -05:33 Jan 18
The Box: The Box continued being a big ass metal crate. Sitting alone in the dusty cargo hold. -05:33 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Aye Captain,” she replied with a bob of her head. “Um… Should we be noticed before there do you want a shadow signal or not?” A shadow signal was a great distraction, but there was a fraction of a chance of it being saw through. -05:33 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: There! All set! She set down the tray for just a moment, pulling on her apron and securing it before grabbing the tray and stepping out into the hall. She made her way with careful steps to the bridge, singsonging, “Tea time!” merrily as she entered. -05:34 Jan 18

The henchman only glared harder at Watson before he moved on down the hall. Killing the crew immediately isn’t what the Boss ordered. -The Box

Drake: “Er.. yeah… shadow…thing, copy that – TEA!” Drake sat up in his chair and grabbed a cup of tea, unscrewing the cap. He needed to sober up. The last time he got drunk on a mission he blew up a billion-dollar cargo freighter because he thought it was possessed by an alien hivemind. Never again… never again. -05:36 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Alright I’ll set that up once we are there,” Annya stood then saw the tea. “Ooo, wonderful. Thank you.” Taking the cup she smiled at Rindi. “I will keep an ear on odd communications remotely, if I might be dismissed Captain?” -05:38 Jan 18
Drake: “Hmm,” grunted Drake as he slurped his tea. -05:40 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Mr. Lewis was getting nervous again. The points on the map seemed to multiply without much warning. So, when Rindi came in with some tea he was all too happy to accept. ‘Ah. Yes. Tea. T-Thank you!” -05:40 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: She grinned as Annya and Drake took tea. However, when Mr. Lewis took his, she happened to spot the map he was looking at. A brief look of concern crossed her face at the nervous navigator, and she smiled brightly at him, patting him on the shoulder. “Welcome!” For a moment, she stood there, looking out the viewscreen as if mesmirized by the view, then finally tore herself away. -05:42 Jan 18

The Henchmen appeared near the doorway now, behind Rindi. He didn’t seem to approve of having tea while on a mission, but is was hard to tell what he was thinking other than looking sour and impatient. “How much time before we pass the first checkpoint?” -The Box

Annya Marcel: Taking the grunt as comfrimation Annya, with a spring in her step, left the bridge and headed down the hall nursing her cup of tea. “Did you get any tea?” she called out when she spotted Dr. Watson. -05:44 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: He smiled back as she touched his shoulder. It was an odd feeling. He thinked he liked it. But he had no time. Back to the maps he went. The Cervantes belt needed to be looked at again, carefully. The thought of fucking up terrified him. He would not mess this up. This would not be like last time. -05:45 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: thought* -05:46 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: That dude was seriously grumpy. At the end of the hall was the door he was looking for be before he opened it, the residual molecules left behind in the atmosphere by the tea caught his attention. Ah tea. As he opened the door to the closet, he heard the sensor ping his location. It was a system used to keep track of the crew members on a ship. Inside the custodial closet was another intercom, he pushed the button. “I smell teeeaaa~” -05:47 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: (Wups!) -05:47 Jan 18
Drake: The ship jolted as it entered hyperspace. Drake had his face buried in his hand as he sat. The motion of hyperspace was not good for his stomach or his headache. “Er… five minutes, boss. Gotta do some precise piloting work to get us past the Federal scanners.” -05:48 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Hello Annya, I didn’t get any tea, I’m was a little busy checking up on my chemicals.” He shook a bottle of some potentiall dangerous substance. -05:49 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Mr. Lewis had set the tea beside him, forgetting they were taking off. Due to the turbulance the hot liquid spilled over and landed upon his crotch. He screamed, loudly. -05:49 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Figuring that Watson must not have heard her, Annya shrugged and continued walking down the hall somewhat aimlessly. Of course she stopped at the door that led to the bay that held the box. How could she not be curious? -05:50 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: (damn it!) -05:50 Jan 18

The Henchmen grunted. Moving to lurked behind the Captain’s chair, but the moment Lewis screamed, the man was pulling out his gun and aiming it at the Mr’s head! ….He look very displeased to see it was just about tea. -The Box

Mr. Lewis: “Oh god! Oh god! Please don’t shoot me!” He screamed in a shrill, very unmasculine voice. He fainted, overwhelmed by pain and terror. -05:52 Jan 18
[Rindi Demarc yelped in response to the scream, her eyes widening. However, her attention snapped to the henchman as soon as the gun was drawn. Her eyes narrowed the barest amount before she held up her tray, complete with a still locked and sealed pair of teacups, like a shield, feigning terror.] -05:52 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya wrinkled her nose at the bottle of chemicals. “You might not want to have those on hand when you get your tea,” Annya advised in a somewhat serious tone, though her girlish smile returned quickly. -05:54 Jan 18
Drake: “Aaaaagh! EVERYONE STOP SHOUTING!” Drake turned in his chair to ssee Lewis unconscious, Rindi shielding herself and the Henchman waving a gun around. “You hate hyperspace too, huh?” -05:54 Jan 18
Drake: He stared questioningly at the Henchman -05:55 Jan 18

It was the first time the henchmen grinned. It looked just as churlish as his scowling. -The Box

A light on the pilot consol blipped. Heather preparing to announce that the Hesperos had arrived to the past check point coordinates. But the was a loud BOOM and the entire ship shook from the impact. Signals and sirens all going off at once. They were not outside of the Cervantes Belt but INSIDE and had just been struck by an asteroid! The navigation coordinates had been wrong! -The Box

Dr.Watson: Oh they’re relatively safe in this state, for me anyway. But I’ll humor you.” He smiled and set the bottle on a shelf, taking the cup of tea with his other hand blowing into it to cool the liquid down. The ship, though, lurched and the tea spalshed up. It scalded his lips, cheeks, and nose. He recoiled from the tea, gritting his teeth against the pain and wiped his face on his sleeve. -05:58 Jan 18
The Box: At the sudden impact and the ship’s shaking, the Box rocked back and forth until it finally landed with a metalic THUNK, followed by a slow HIIIISS. Something was seeping out of the crate now and all of the status lights on it’s keypad were going red. -05:58 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya dropped the cup of tea and used the wall to support herself and keep upright. Were they being fired upon? No, she wasn’t getting any hits to suggest that from the ear piece, but one thing was for sure, she needed to get back to the bridge now! -05:59 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: The sudden jolt woke Mr. Lewis up from his pain-induced slumber. He groaned at first, and upon viewing his navigation screen noticed the problem. Not wanting to be found out he quickly corrected it and hoped no one would be able to pin the blame on him. -05:59 Jan 18
Drake: “FUUUCK!” Drake spun the chair back and stared wide-eyed at the viewscreen as asteroids shot back and forth across the bow of the ship. “We overshot! Evasive manoeuvres! Heather, get us out of here!” He slammed a fist on the intercom button. “EVERYONE, BRACE FOR IMPACT… well… I mean… MORE IMPACTS!” -05:59 Jan 18
[Rindi Demarc shrieked, the jolt throwing her to the floor. She skidded a few feet before coming to a stop. The tray flew out of her hand, impacting a wall. Quickly, she pushed herself up, thowing herself into a chair and pulling on crash webbing. ] -05:59 Jan 18

The giant Henchman was alarmed! “Get this shit under control!” He bellowed, before shoving past anyone or anything in his way to march across the ship. He was headed quickly for the cargo hold. -The Box

Annya Marcel: Half running, half crawling as the ships stability was compromised, Annya went passed Watson and got to the bridge door. Once it opened she looked around. The view screen told her everything. -06:01 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Dammit. He thought he had set the coordinates correctly. It was exactly like last time, except his genitles suffered much more greatly. What did he do wrong? How could he make such an obvious mistake. Navigating the Cervantes Belt was so easy for his brother. Why couldn’t it be for him. -06:02 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: She was still at the door when the henchman shoved passed her. “Rude!” -06:02 Jan 18

More thunks and thuds could be heard as smaller rocks and space debris smashed against the outer hull of the ship. The coordinates had been corrected, but now Heather was struggling to manually fly the ship between the largest of the asteroids to keep them all from being knocked to pieces. It was not a smooth ride for the passengers! -The Box

Rindi Demarc: Waiting a moment to make certain that no eyes were on her, Rindi undid her crash webbing and edged along the wall to the door. She used a stumble from an impact to send her past the threshold, apologizing to Annya in a panicked voice and then running, presumably toward crew quarters in fear. As soon as she was away from the bridge, her pace increased, taking on the broad, steadying steps of someone used to running through halls during space combat. She rushed toward the cargo hold, at this point unconcerned if the one unnacounted for crew member saw her. -06:05 Jan 18
The Box: With the ship weaving violently in space, there was just enough force moving through the inside of the ship to send the Box sliding across the floor. It slid to the left a smidgen. Then weaved to the right. Another turn and it went skidding across the room, crashing up against the far wall. A BLEEPKIIISSSSHHH echoed in the empty room and the metal crate’s seal opened! -06:06 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Lewis braced himself. Despite being strapped into his seat, the turbulance still hit him hard. His fingers clung to the fabric of his seat. “This is maddness!” He shouted. -06:06 Jan 18

The Henchman reached the cargo hold first. He cursed outloud at the sight of the box over turned, and cursed again because the room was filled with icy cold fog wafted over the floor. He rushed to the crate to check on the status. -The Box

Drake: “Dammit!” Drake yelled as he undid his harness and rolled out of his seat. He knew he should have advertised for a gunnery officer instead of a janitor. He shouldn’t have been drinking when he drew up the roster. Crawling over to the gunnery console, he started pressing buttons. The missile bays were empty, and the lazer cannons were half-drained. But it would have to do. Clambering over the console and falling down on the other side, he keyed in some commands and started trying to target some of the smaller asteroids. But each swerve that Heather made threw his targetting. He would have to be careful, in case the Federal Checkpoint detected the weapons discharge. “Almost…. almost…” -06:11 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson fell back into the closet as the ship was rocked, his foot hit the doors panel and it closed shut. The tea was pretty much every where now and the mops, brooms, and everthing else in the closet was falling on him. Just before the door closed though, he saw Rindi striding toward the cargo hold. Then the door closed and he was piled on with cleaning supplies. -06:12 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: There was fog. Great. And the box wasn’t upright, and there was the henchman in all his grouchy glory. Rindi cursed and ran in anyway. “Need help?” -06:14 Jan 18
The Box: As the Henchman was moving to kneal next to the crate, it’s lid was shoved open, nearly smashing him in the face. An arm was seen first. A human arm in frost covered clothes and pale from the cold. A person was crawling out, moving stiffly and attempting to growl something out. -06:16 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: It was difficult, but Lewis tried to concentrate through the turbulence. Glancing at the star maps he saw the asteroids surrounding the ship. He saw a very small opening that they could manoeuvre through in the distance, but Heather would have to get them there and manoeuvre around a few small asteroids after. “Heather!” He yelled, barely able to recall her name. “There is an opening in the distance, if you can make your way through it we should only have a few small asteroids to avoid!” Avoiding them would be easier said than done however. But it might be their only chance. -06:17 Jan 18

The Henchman was cursing again. All of his focus was on the box. He was evening drawing out his gun. But when Rindi came bursting through the door offering help, it distracted him. …Long enough for the human crawling across the floor to grab his leg and jerk hard. He hit the floor and his gun went sliding across the room. “GET HER BACK IN THE BOX!” -The Box

[The Box is now known as: The Lady From the] -06:20 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya finally made it to her seat after watching Rindi push past her also. Not that a communication expert was much help on the bridge during the attack of asteroids. No matter she watched the screens. -06:20 Jan 18
[The Lady From the is now known as: Lady From The Box] -06:20 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi grimaced. Oh, this was bad. She nodded and drew a tiny but deadly looking pistol from her apron pocket, training it on the girl. “You’d best get back in the box. Now.” Her voice was filled with a sudden deadly calm, and perhaps a hint of confusion. When she’d been given this job, she hadn’t been told what she was going to be guarding. But a job was a job. -06:21 Jan 18
Drake: Drake brought the lazer cannon online and blew apart the next asteroid that came hurtling towards the ship. It broke into a shower of smaller rocks that pelted the hull and sent the ship spiralling. Heather worked fast to bring it back under control and follow the heading that Lewis was relaying to her. -06:22 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: She was completely out of the box now, pushing herself up off the ground and standing. The movement of the ship was helping either, and she must have been in that crate a long time. There was so much ice damage to her skin that under her eyes had gone bluish. Her hair was pitch black and her clothes looked almost a century or older. Military issue, despite being frayed at the edges. “Over my dead body.” She growled out, her voice cracking. She was stumbling across the room for the Henchmen’s gun now! -06:23 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Mr. Lewis, there’s a dead spot at nine by forty seven alpha by gamma three. Could we be free of the astounds there?” Annya asked in a subdue voice. -06:24 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi dashed forward, barreling across the slippery floor and turning her motion into a controlled skid as she attempted to connect her shoulder with the girl’s chin and knock her down again. But the sudden jolt of the ship -06:27 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: (arg) -06:27 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: ‘s loss of control threw her forward a bit too fast and forcefully. -06:27 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Annya had relayed Lewis some useful information. His nerves felt like they were ripping, but he tried to focus and see what was in the distance. “Yes! There are some large asteroids parralel to that sector, but so long as we remain in control we should be able to avoid them!” -06:28 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: The small closet allowed for little mobility in his prone state. Dr.Watson grabbed and threw bottles at the doors panel until he managed to make it open. As he celebrated on the inside, a mop tipped over and hit the panel. The door hissed closed again. Dr.Watson growled in frustration, thrusting his hand toward the panel, causing it to spark and chirp forlornly. The door opened once more. -06:29 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: By sheer force of luck, the other women went tumbling past her when the ship jolted. But she too went stumbling. It was a frantic scramble as she shoved out a foot to connect with the Henchmen’s face as he lept across the floor trying to get to the gun first. But she had it. In a fast turn, she fired. Shooting the Henchmen through the neck. The Lady was still kneeling on the floor, gun now aimed in Rindi’s direction. She didn’t seemed to have any remorse for killing the other guy, but now he angry features looked more frantic. “Where the FUCK am I?” -06:31 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Heather was getting them into a safer part of the belt. They were going to be able to not be crushed into pieces. This was a good thing. Just to be on the safe side, Annya died creat the shadow signal, but made it a life lost shadow so that anyone that might have watched them would think all hands were lost aboard and only the automative system was still running. -06:34 Jan 18
Drake: Drake fired another shot that saved them from a catastrophic hull breach. As the next asteroid shattered Heather flew the ship through the debris and out of the Belt, slower to skirt the larger asteroids that separated them from the checkpoint. The vibrations eased off and the ship finally righted itself, the tension dissipating. -06:34 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi smacked her head on the wall, leaning on it for a few precious seconds. She looked at the gun trained on her, then down at her own gun. When she looked up, her eyes were hard and cold. She growled and tossed her pistol away. Whoever this woman was, she’d no doubt the mysterious stranger could kill her without trying. “They didn’t tell me I was guarding a prisoner. Where are you from? What business got you locked up?” -06:35 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: “Prisoner.” she said it like a statement, not a question. The gun remained aimed, even as she rose back to her feet. Her movements were still hindered buy the stiffness of her body and the weakness in her muscles, but it was easier to stand now that the ship had stopped moving. “And where were you escorting your prisoner, dear?” Though her head didn’t shift, her eyes were trying to take a quick glance at the surroundings. -06:38 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Lewis sat and stared blankly at the navigation screen. He fucked up, he was sure it was his fault. This was the time the crew was going to turn on him. Who knew what they would do? With his brother the crew would have been fine. But that boy, he nearly got them killed. He sighed morbidly under his breath. “Fuck.” Still, he kept an eye out for incoming danger. They only had just escaped the belt after all. He’d worry about punishment later. -06:38 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi pulled off her hat, a few strands of hair tugging before the pins that had held the hat on thus far fell to the ground. Appearing slightly nervous, she clutched the edges of the hat and held it in front of her. “Question for the captain, dear. I’m just the cook.” -06:40 Jan 18
Drake: Drake pulled himself up on the console, blinking bloodshot eyes, and slowly lit a cigar. “Annya…” he murmured. “Damage report.” -06:41 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Safe once more Annya stood. “This wasn’t the exciting I was expecting from this job, but on the plus side no one will follow us!” With a grin she nodded to te captain and went once more to the door. -06:41 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: (Nevermind!) -06:41 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: “Then I suggest you take me to the Captain.” She tilted the gun, motioning for the girl to get moving. There was still that wild look about her, as if she were struggling to keep it under control. She only gave a passing look at the dead man on the floor. -06:42 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson rolled out of the closet in a jumble of mops and bottles of cleaning solution. His janitorial uniform was spattered with the tea and he had bumped his elbows and the back of his head. It was unpleasant, but it was nice coming out of the closet. He hauled himself back onto his feet, trying to use a rag to absorb the tea out of his uniform and trudged to the bridge. “Well! That was an adventure.” He plopped himself into some vacant seat. -06:43 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Well, I hope you didn’t borrow this ship sir, because the damage is extensive. We need to repair three section of the haul or we might still get a breech even without anything hittin us, and in this type of space…” she left the rest unsaid. “Um, do you really want the full report?” -06:43 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi wasted no time. Now that her head was clear, that minute gesture with the gun was just the chance she needed. Her right hand shot into the hat, ripping the hidden needler out just enough to turn it toward the girl. Rindi fired the stun dart, which tore through the hat and directly at the girl and threw herself to the side an instant later. -06:45 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: Her movement wasn’t as fast as she would have liked it to be. She barely stumbled out of the way of the stun dart. The piece of metal ripping through one of the sleeves on her antique looking jacket. Now she was snarling in frustration, firing her own gun at the girl in response! Her aimed seemed to be off too and she was missing her target. But that didn’t stop her from shooting wildly. And now that the ship was settled, the laser fire was sure to be noticable! -06:47 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “Everything seems clear from here on in captain.” Lewis spoke solemnly. He was quiet. No one seemed to notice what he thought was his mistake. Maybe it was just his insecurities acting up. Maybe his coordinates were fine. Either way it didn’t matter now. There were more important things to deal with. “Perhaps I should plan route to a nearby planet for repair?” -06:48 Jan 18
Drake: “Screw it,” Drake said as he crawled back to his captain’s chair. “We’ll have to detour to Regius – get ourselves a refit. We hyperjump again and it could tear the hull right open.” He sat and removed his cigar with a belch of smoke. “LEWIS! WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?” -06:50 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: As the shooting started, Rindi dove for cover behind a control panel, desperately hoping it wasn’t one of the ones with some volatile explosive that idiot engineers seemed to thing belonged out in the open. She leaned around the edge, firing the needler again before ducking back. “Just tell me who you are and maybe we can stop the shooting!” -06:50 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: *think -06:50 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Shit. Lewis could handle the pressures of navigation but when it came to people he was a weakling. Underneath the crushing voice of the captain he felt squished. “Uh-uhm. Well you see.” He jabbered meekly and reviewed his star maps. Everything was planned correctly, the dots were aligned. He still couldn’t see what he missed. It still looked right. Was he really that awful at his job? -06:51 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya’s head shot up when the echo of the laser fire filtered into the bridge. She had almost missed it as the captain had started to yell at Lewis and for good reason. Why would anyone be firing a gun in this ship? Did that henchman get pissed off at the cook or the janitor? Probably. Still though it was time to be prudent. “View of the holding bay sir,” Annya didn’t bother to ask but put it on the main display. -06:52 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: “Attack and kidnap the Velondran Council and you ask who -I- am?” she screamed in response, now ducking behind a stack of storage boxes to avoid the other woman’s fire. Of course, the Lady had no idea that only people well versed on their history would know who and what the Velondran Council was, and it’s lack of existance in the present date. -06:54 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “I was about to ask if anyone else heard that shooting.” Dr.Watson stood up and smoothed the wrinkles out of his uniform. “Almost got killed by janitorial equipment, migh as well see if I can get shot.” He stepped out of the bridge and walk briskly to the cargo hold. When he got there the door was automatically close, he knocked on it. “Hellooo~ I heard some shooting?” -06:55 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Alright,” Rindi said, breathing out. “I have no idea if that is supposed to be impressive or just confusing. But either way, seems we’re at a stalemate, and I never knowingly agreed to transport a person.” She glanced over at the man she had been sent to work with, or rather, what was left of him. “Look, do you really have no idea why you were in that box?” -06:57 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: There was a momentary cease fire as the both called out to each other from across the room. “I know exactly why I was in that box. The fact that you don’t, both concerns and irks me.” The Lady took a deep breath. Being panicked was not getting her anywhere, though she was considering murdering every soul on the ship out of principal. -07:00 Jan 18
Drake: Drake glanced at the viewscreen, seeing only a strange gas that had filled the holding bay. And when Watson mentioned shooting he frowned and keyed the intercom. “All hands, report in.” His voice echoed through the ship. -07:00 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: A low whistle came from the lips of the bridge bunny, the henchman was dead and there was a shoot out between the cook and another woman. Of course the box was also open. “There goes our pay,” she muttered sadly. -07:01 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: (nermind again) -07:01 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Why should I?” She paused, groaning at the sound of the person outside, and then the com. “Look, you best explain fast, because even if you shoot me, there are others on this ship who will be here any minute.” -07:01 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: The situation was dubious, but it may have just saved his ass. Lewis stood up and left his station. He no longer felt comfortable sitting down. -07:04 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: “I have no problem killing you.” She meant it. A voice over the com was demanding that crew check in, and someone was now beating on the cargo hold door. The Lady weighed her options. “I don’t intend to speak with a cook. Ask your Captain where we are headed. Tell him you’re in duress if you wish, but ask him. Now.” -07:06 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson punched the button of the nearest com. “I’m here outside the hold captain, there seems to be talking. My guess is Rindi’s in there with the Henchy dude.” -07:07 Jan 18
[Rindi Demarc muttered a few choice, unsavory words. She rose slowly, keeping the gun in her hand but no longer trained on the boxes. “You know, I might be able to help you, if you would just explain your situation.” She edged toward the com box near the door. “But I’ll do what you say. Show of good faith that you won’t shoot me in the back, yeah?”] -07:08 Jan 18
Drake: Drake glared at Lewis as he left the bridge, then pushed the intercom again after hearing Watson. “Rindi. Report. What are you doing in there?” -07:08 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: (Oh sorry, should’ve been more clear, he’s still in the bridge, just not sitting down at his station) -07:09 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: The Lady stayed hidden behind the boxes, but she did put her gun hand out. The muzzle raised towards the ceiling to show she wasn’t going to shoot. “If I shoot, it won’t be in the back. I promise you. Answer him.” -07:10 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Sighing, she pressed the button. “Captain, I’m here. We have a bit of a situation. Seems our cargo was alive. She’s demanding to know our destination.” -07:11 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Alive?” Annya repeated in a voice of wonder. There hadn’t been any indication that their cargo was a sentient being. Annya looked at the captain. Had he known? -07:13 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson hit the button on the com. “She hot?” -07:13 Jan 18
Drake: Drake paused, staring bloodshot at the wall… “What…?” He paused again. “The box is a she now? Why is the box a she?” -07:13 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “A-alive! What the hell!” The thought had never hit him. -07:15 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi glanced over her shoulder. “Okay, so maybe the crew isn’t as intellectual as I may have hinted. Are you sure you really want to waste blaster fire on these people?” She pushed the button on again, speaking to the captain. “There was a girl. Inside the box. The box is still a box, full of nothing but empty now that the girl is out and has been shooting at me.” -07:15 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “why don’t people ever talk?” Annya lamented. “Wouldn’t it be better if people talked face to face Captain?” -07:17 Jan 18
Lady From The Box: There was a snort from the woman behind the crates. “I am a woman. Tell him my name is Gillian Nadaine Gelvira, 8th member of the Velondran Council. I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to your crew, but I demand answers and will not hesitate to take this ship.” -07:17 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “Oh great. Well isn’t this just wonderful.” Whined Lewis. He wasn’t a gun expert. What if this she was a complete lunatic? What if they were fucked? -07:17 Jan 18
Drake: “So.. the box.. is a girl… as she’s been shooting at you…?” Drake took out his hip flask again. “Where’s that henchman guy? He’s got some explaining to do.” -07:19 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi pressed the button again. “She says her name is Gillian Nadaine Gelvire, 8th member of. Um. I think she said the Velondran Council. And yes, shooting at me.” She paused for a moment. “I think the henchman’s bought the farm, captain. Anyway, she’s willing to talk with us, but says that otherwise, she’s gonna take the ship.” -07:20 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Thinking ahead of himself, Lewis moved behind the captain. He was a larger man, and no one would noticed if he stood just a few inches behind him . . . just in case. -07:21 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya was now kneeling on the seat of her chair, her arms crossed over its back as she looks at the Captain, more or less ignoring Lewis. “Wait? Velondran? That’s impossible.” -07:22 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “What’s a Velondran?” Lewis asked. He had never heard of such a thing. -07:24 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Weeeellllllll once upon a time there was a greaaaaat big war….” Annya started. “War history was something of a passion of my father’s” she said with a giggle. -07:28 Jan 18
[Lady From The Box is now known as: Gillian] -07:28 Jan 18
Gillian: Flexing her empty hand just trying to get her blood to warm up, the Lady behind the crates was getting impatiently frustrated. The crew on this ship must be daft, because there were a hundred and one ways the standoff should be going differently. Out of frustration, she finally stepped out from behind the crates. She kept the gun in her hand, but it was at her side, as she marched across the cargo hold towards the door. “I will speak with the Captain in the person. Where is the bridge.” Not that she was waiting for Rindi to reply…! -07:31 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: The door opened and Dr.Watson was standing just in front of it with a cheery smile on his face. “Hello.” -07:34 Jan 18
Drake: Drake rubbed his face and exhaled loudly. “Uuugh, fine. So negotiating with a stowaway it is. That’s great. It was supposed to be a simple courier job. No aliens, no conspiracies, no mass slaughter of civilians, no unexplained deaths, no wide-scale psychiatric evaluation. But NOOO! The universe just isn’t that kind. FINE!” Muttering and cursing, the captain got out of his chair and headed out the bridge. “Heather, you have the bridge. Keep us behind the asteroids, engine and radio silence.” He then proceeded down the corridor, fiddling to relight his cigar. -07:36 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi frowned, waiting for the woman to near the door, and herself. She waited til Gillian was passing her, angled the dart gun at the other woman’s foot, and fired. With any luck the paralytic inside would work before Gillian could get her gun back up to bare if it actually hit. Just in case, Rindi dropped her gun at the same time to mask the sound of a miss. -07:36 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: *a second after, rather. -07:37 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “I’m cooooming tooooo!” Annya announced as she jumped out of her chair and followed after the captain. Like she’d sit back and miss this! -07:37 Jan 18
Gillian: Having someone right there in her face the moment the door was opened was probably a bad idea. She had her gun up and ready. — And then Rindi fired her dart gun! It hit Gillian in the back of her ankle. The woman firing her gun at close range, to hit Watson in the shoulder before the effects of the dart kicked in. Gillian hit the floor unconcious! -07:38 Jan 18
Gillian: *firing fired -07:39 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “I’ll, ugh, stay here with Heather if that’s okay.” Lewis muttered. He didn’t want anything to do with this Gillian. Clearly she was of the dodgy sort. In the worst case scenario he and Heather could pilot the ship to a nearby planet and make a break for it. “Good luck!” He shouted with an insincere smile. -07:39 Jan 18
Drake: Drake finished lighting his cigar and looked up as the sound of a lazer blast echoed through the ship. “HEY! I SAID I WAS COMING! STOP SHOOTING!” He quickened his pace, turning the corner towards the cargo hold. -07:41 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: The greeting he recieved was more unpleasant than the one he gave. He recoiled from the sound of the gun but it still hit him in the shoulder. Dr.Watson staggered backwards until his back touched the wall. God the pain was immense. This was worse than the closet. He groaned every time he moved. “Oh hey captain, it was my bad, I guess I shouldn’t have surprised her.” He grinned sheepishly. -07:42 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: The captain was blocking most of Annya’s view once they came around the corner. But when she stopped trying to jump up and look over his shoulder and looked down between his legs she saw a body on the floor. “Is she dead!” -07:43 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi winced at the gun. She waited for the inevitable pain, then realized she wasn’t in any. It was only then she noticed Watson’s pain. “Uh oh. You gonna be okay? -07:44 Jan 18
Gillian: Gillian probably looked dead. Pale as a ghost and patches of her skin tinted blue from the cryofreeze damage. But she was breathing and that was probably the only thing saving her from being mistaken as a corpse. -07:46 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “She’s not dead. But Watson here’s wounded.” -07:46 Jan 18
Drake: Drake looked at the smoke rising from Watson’s shoulder. His flesh had been singed. He was clearly in shock. “Er… fuck… should’a recruited a doctor.” He helped Watson sit down against the lockers then looked at Annya. “Try and find something to cool the wound, okay.” Then he peered at the unconscious woman. “What happened, Rindi?” -07:47 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Ew, that looks nasty!” Annya had gotten around the captain so she could see everything but shrank back when Rindi mentioned Watson’s injury. -07:48 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: For a moment, Rindi considered putting on her facade of dimness. However, she answered in her real voice and speech patterns. “She still had a gun. I wasn’t going to let her get out of here with it. I’d suggest tying her up til we can figure out who she really is. If she’s telling the truth.” -07:49 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Uh-okay!” she replied and ran into the cargo bay, the gave a shriek. She found the henchman. “I’m. I’m okay!” she quickly yelled out. -07:49 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Going back to his chair, Lewis began examining his star maps again. There was a mistake somewhere and he intended to find it. Before, he was too stressed or too excited. Now, things were peaceful in the bridge even if they were chaotic elsewhere. Examining the charts again he saw the mistake he made. He had mistakenly entered the wrong variable for the quadrant just outside the Cervantes Belt. A pang of guilt struck him in the stomach and he felt queasy. “Heather, I, I need to go to the bathroom. I’ll be back.” Lewis left Heather in the bridge and made his way to the restroom. On the way he noticed the commotion far down the hall. It seemed Watson was hurt. -07:49 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Hey cap, got a riddle for you. What has two thumbs, cleans ships, and a doctorite degree?” He pointed his thumbs at himself “This gu-Ow. Fuck.” -07:51 Jan 18
Drake: Drake peered past Rindi and saw Annya standing over the body of the Henchman. He had been shot in the throat and his neck was a mess of charred flesh. They had lost their contact and their cargo had…. evolved. This was a disaster. He smoked contemplatively on his cigar as Watson babbled something about thumbs. “Okay, let’s lock the she-box up and put the Henchman in stasis. Then we’ll get Watson fixed up and plot a course to Regius. The mission is over.” He stood and got Watson’s arm across his shoulder, helping him to his feet. -07:54 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya finally returned, still bright eyed. “I just brought the whole emergency med kit. There’s gel and stuff in there.” Annya avoided looking at Watson, but instead pushed the med kit in Rindi’s hands. -07:54 Jan 18
Gillian: There was a groan from the floor, and a soft curse. The former box-lady was waking up. “Sonofa…. bitch….” -07:56 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi looked down at the kit, sighing. She opened it, moving to Watson and taking a pair of scissors from the kit. She cut Watson’s sleave off, then cleaned the wound and slapped a temporary bandage on it, the bandage adhering to his skin and releasing an analgesic into his flesh to sooth the pain. -07:58 Jan 18
Drake: Drake left Watson in Rindi’s care and walked over to Gillian, planting his boot on her chest as she rolled over. “Okay, Box-Bitch. You made a mess on my ship. I want answers, and I want questions too, cos I don’t know what the hell I should be asking you.” He motioned his cigar at her threateningly. -08:00 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya tilt her head and looked at the woman, her clothing sure looked old enough to have come from the end of the reign of the Velondran Council! “Who is your enemy?” -08:02 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Well that’s a bit better.” Dr.Watson made a note to himself to pick at the bandage later, he gave Rindi a thumbs up. “Hey captain, take it easy, she’s still defrosting.” He examined her and took note of different details of her physique. She was going to need some medicine to recover. “She needs chemical help.” With that he turned and walked down the hall toward the closet with his equipment in it. -08:02 Jan 18
Drake: Drake frowned at Annya, then back at Gillian. “Er, yeah… okay. Let’s start with that one. Who’s your enemy?!” He looked back at Annya. “Wait, why am I asking her who her enemy is?” -08:03 Jan 18
Drake: “WATSON! SIT DOWN! YOU’VE BEEN SHOT!” -08:04 Jan 18
Gillian: There was enough of that stun drug in her that there was no way she could twist his leg off like she really wanted. Instead, Gillian was reduced to grasping on to his foot with one hand and narrowing her eyes in a seething glare. “Tell me where you were intructed to take me, CAPTAIN, and perhaps there will be answers.” She flexed a hand, considering to dig her nails in to the captain’s leg, but the woman’s question caught her first. “The enemy should be obvious. They’ve been destroying half of the galaxy for the past fifteen years. Randimir.” -08:04 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Well if she’s really been in stasis for 160 years or more….” Annya blinked. “You did know that they’ve not had an independ government for that long, right?” -08:05 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: Lewis overheard the captain. “The mission, over?” He thought to himself. Man, he was feeling like a fuck up. The navigator was sure if he didn’t mess up the coordinates none of this would’ve happened. It would be nice to do things right for once. But, the situation had changed. If Lewis could at least navigate them to safety everything would be okay. Before doing so, however, he wanted to apologize to the captain personally. This mess-up never would’ve happened if Lewis was who he claimed to be. Not really able to help, he watched from a distance, moving closer to the cargo-hold’s entrance. -08:05 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Tis but a flesh wound captain, tis but a flesh wound.” His legs were shakey but he ignored it and went about collecting various chemicals and mixing them in various degrees. -08:06 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi shrugged when Watson left. She cleaned up the medkit before walking around the room and gathering the three weapons that had been dropped. -08:07 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “Hey, let me help you.” Lewis offered, moving out to help Watson. -08:07 Jan 18
Drake: Drake kept his foot on Gillian and glared at Annya. “WHAT?!” -08:08 Jan 18
Drake: “What are you talking about?!” -08:08 Jan 18
Drake: “What’s going on?!” -08:08 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Oh good, if she’s talking about the Randimir that was at the end, near the beginning of their last war.” -08:09 Jan 18
Gillian: Gillian was ready to start bellowing the same questions the Captain was. 160 years… what the fuck did that mean? The man’s weight was heavy on her chest though, with him distracted, she grabbed on to his foot with both hands and twisted! -08:09 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Turns out it was harder to keep his hand steady than he thought it would be. “Oh yeah, I need you to help make a chemical cocktail.” The bottles looked like they contained cleaner, which they did, but these cleaning chemicals mized together in certain ways could be used in other ways. He instructed Mr.Lewis on which chemicals to mix and in what portions, despite the questioning look he was giving him. -08:12 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “There are still so many questions about that of course. The council was I thought all killed. But history is made by the victors.” Annya shrugged. “Still though, makes you wonder.” -08:13 Jan 18
Drake: “Randi-whu-WAAAAGH!” Drake fell into the cargo hold, landing on top of the henchman’s body. -08:13 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi straightened, bringing one of the retrieved guns to bear. A laser pistol, not the needler. “I’d stop right there, if I were you, Councilwoman.” Rindi was going to make herself as indisposible to the captain as possible. Cause sooner or later, someone was going to realize her true job descrption and she didn’t want to be jettisoned when that happened. -08:14 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: *indispensible -08:15 Jan 18
Mr. Lewis: “Oh, uh, yes. Like this?” Lewis did his best to follow Watson’s instructions despite the commotion in the background. It was strange, using cleaning chemicals for an entirely different purpose. But, the man seemed to know what he was talking about. “This okay?” -08:15 Jan 18
Gillian: Had she any energy left, she would have pounced and attacked the captain. Instead, she merely shifted. One knee on the floor and her arm rest on her other knee. Gillian kept her eyes trained on Rindi, even while she directed her question towards Annya. “What do you mean by 160 years? What year is this?” -08:15 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Well I don’t know which calander your system used before joining the IROS alliance, but it’s 5763 by standered reckoning.” Annya tilted her head. “Does that help?” -08:17 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Yeah that’s perfect. Oh goody. Now please pour these two into this bottle and hand it to me when you’re done.” Once the mixture had been mixed, Dr.Watson was ready to make it into a compound. When Lewis placed it in his hand he stared a it for a good while. The mixture started bubbling then gave off brief pulses of light. “Excellent, in that pocket right there is a syringe, fill it with this please.” There was a bit less of the compound left, but it was alll part of the process. -08:20 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi calmly kept the gun aimed at Gillian, her face impassive. She held the stance of a trained soldier, despite the scuffed, stained clothes and the frizzy hair. -08:20 Jan 18
Drake: “Blarh!” Drake rolled over and hoisted himself up on the henchman’s body. As he did so, something dropped out of the dead man’s coat. “Hmm…” Drake grunted and pocketed the small device. Then he reclaimed his cigar and got back to his feet, turning to glare at the woman. “Okay, I get it. You’ve been in stasis and you’re all out of the loop and shit. Now shut the hell up while I fix my ship!” He moved to the intercom. “Heather, lay in a course for Regius. Full impulse.” -08:21 Jan 18
Gillian: …and she laughed! But it wasn’t filled with humor, nor sounded at all joyful. It was an awkward, strained, almost hysterical chortle. But her laughter stopped just as suddenly as it began. Her voice becoming strained. “I’m going to fucking kill everyone on this goddamned ship…!” Gone was that calm, collected, and controlled woman. Pain was evident across her face and she looked ready to flip! -08:22 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “If you kill everyone on the ship, I doubt you are going to get where you need to go. At least not in any good time. Can you navigate, pilot, fight off any pirates, and manage to defrost without turning into a puddle of goo? Do you know any modern docking codes?” -08:24 Jan 18
[Mr. Lewis logged out of the chat.] -((08:24 Jan 18))
Annya Marcel: “Um, is she a crazy woman? Maybe we should lock her up so she doesn’t hurt herself?” -08:25 Jan 18
[Lewis (hates firefox now)] -08:25 Jan 18
Lewis: The process was an experience for sure. He oooed and awwed a little bit at the chemical reaction. “I’ll have to remember this for later.” He thought. Then, grabbing the syringe from the pocket, Lewis filled it with the newly formed compound. For a few moments he stared at the syringe, intrigued by what he had just learned and done. It was nice to succeed at something. “Alright, so now what?” -08:25 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Well we have to have to get this thing into that nice lady over there.” He nodded toward Gillian. “Lets hop to it.” He trotted back toward where Gillian was laughing on the ground, but not close enough for her to reach. -08:27 Jan 18
Drake: “Right, that’s it,” said Drake. “Time for the Ice Queen to go to her palace.” He grabbed Gillian by the arm and pulled her to her feet. The woman was still unsteady and light-headed, stumbling as he pulled her. They moved back down the corridor, past Lewis and Watson, and towards one of the crew cabins. “You just get your beauty sleep, Sweet-Cheeks. We’ll be in dry dock in no time.” He tossed Gillian inside and closed the door, entering an override code to lock it. -08:27 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: But he was passed by the Captain and Gillian -08:28 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Uh hey cap” Dr.Watson said, following him. “I gotta get this into her to help her defrost properly.” -08:29 Jan 18
Lewis: “Wait, what?” Lewis followed Watson, eyes now buldging with fear. That woman was psychotic! What if she bit him! Would he catch something? -08:29 Jan 18
Gillian: Had she any strength she would fought them right then. She could see the motions so clearly in her head. But as she was so unceremoniously tossed in to a room, all Gillian could do was focus her screaming rage at the locked door. “I WILL FUCKING KILL EVERY ONE OF YOU. I WILL HUNT DOWN THE DESCENDANTS OF RANDIMIR AND KILL EVERY SINGLE ONE.” Of course, no one was listening to her now, and no one could see her breaking down in to sobs either! The woman had just discovered everything she knew was dead and gone. Over 160 years dead and gone…! -08:31 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Um, Captain, are we still taking the crazy to the guy that hired us?” Annya followed after the Captain as he shoved Gillian in the cabin. -08:32 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi sighed, pocketing weapons before going to retrive her hat and wiggling a finger through the hole in it. “Damn, that was my favorite hat, too.” -08:33 Jan 18
Drake: “I think she’s defrosted enough, Watson.” Drake dusted his hands, then looked at Annya. “Not with this hull damage, we’re not. We get back to Regius, fix the hull, then make the jump to the RV point. Hopefully they’ll still pay us, even if the cargo’s gone a bit soggy.” -08:33 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Bummer, I miss my Boo, thought this was going to be a fast job,” Annya sighs and continues to follow the captain. -08:35 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson follow the captain with patient persistence. “You don’t understand, she may sustain permanent damage or die. I don’t care if she’s crazy, Captain, I’m getting this into her.” He was patient, but he was quite adamant at the same time. -08:37 Jan 18
Lewis: “Watson is right! She’s still a person. And . . . to be honest. I don’t feel comfortable doing this anymore. I didn’t know . . . I didn’t know the cargo was a person.” She was crazy, she was terrifying, but she was human. Lewis didn’t feel right. -08:38 Jan 18
Lewis: “Oh god, what have I gotten myself into.” He thought with melancholy. Why did he need to go on this mission so badly? The money was negligable. It was pride he was after. -08:39 Jan 18
Drake: Drake turned. “Oh, I’m sorry, for a moment there I thought you were a GODDAM JANITOR!” His yell filled the corridor and brought everyone to silence. Then he jabbed his cigar at the cargo bay. “There’s blood that needs mopping up.” Then he jabbed the cigar at Lewis. “And we need a course to Regius. ONE THAT DOESN’T GO THROUGH A FUCKING ASTEROID FIELD!” -08:39 Jan 18

Heather paged the crew on the intercom. “Captain, we have an incoming call. The ‘Benefactor’ of this Mission is questioning where his Man is and about the Cargo.” -Gillian

Drake: He turned and stomped back to the bridge. “One crew is sent to the psyche ward, and the other crew comes out of it.” -08:40 Jan 18
Drake: “Yeah yeah!” he yelled at the intercom as he passed -08:41 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Rindi righted the box, frowning at it. Slowly, the frown turned into a glare. “Great, just great. Last time I sign on to a mission without asking for details.” She spun, striding out into the hall in time to hear Lewis’s comment and the captain’s resulting bellow. She frowned, clapping Lewis on the shoulder and guiding him toward the bridge. “Come on, one thing at a time, Lewis.” -08:41 Jan 18
Drake: Drake got back into the bridge, took a swig from his hip flask, slumped into his chair, ruffled his hair, scratched his stubble and sighed. “Okay, on-screen,” he said to Heather. -08:43 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya, still following the captain sent back to her station and watched the screen. So the employeer wanted to talk to them, good! -08:44 Jan 18

The screen came up. All that could be seen was a man’s hands and the sillouette of his face in a dim room. “My man has not reported in. Is there a problem?” -Gillian

Lewis: “Fuck.” Lewis wasn’t an emotionally strong person. The mission, the situation, it was taking his toll on him and it hadn’t even been a day. The captain was brutal, and the navigator was cracking under the pressure. Still, he had the syringe. The girl would need it. What was he supposed to do. Be led, like a sheep, to the bridge. “I, she. I think she needs this to live.” He displayed the syringe. “She-we-I- I don’t know.” Lewis looked to Watson. -08:46 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya looked at the audio and video signal. Whoever this man was he had money to buy good scrambling technicians. It would take an expert with good equipment to even get an idea where it was coming from and this ship didn’t have that good of equipment. But the equipment wasn’t something that needed to be very big. -08:46 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson looked down at the patch on his uniform. It read ‘Dr. Dobs Watson – Janitor.’ He had insisted Dr be place in his patch, he may be a janitor but damnit he was a doctor first. “It’s cool Mr.Lewis, go to the bridge.” Dr.Watson turned back and headed to where Gillian was being held. -08:47 Jan 18
Lewis: He sighed. Resigned, he moved to the bridge. -08:48 Jan 18
Drake: Drake dragged on his cigar. “Your man is now your corpse, Chief. He got shot by your cargo. Oh, and your cargo is threatening to kill everyone else.” He paused momentarily. “And she drove us into an asteroid field and almost wrecked my ship. So the only problem here is that my costs have doubled. But enough about me, how are things with you?” -08:48 Jan 18
Drake: He smiled and glared at the same time. -08:48 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Lewis, you have to understand. We’re in this now, and we have to find a way out. But for now, just focus on your job. It’ll calm you.” She paused as she stepped onto the bridge, face draining of color. Giving the slightest nod, she moved off to one side of the room. -08:49 Jan 18

The man’s fingers tapped on the table. But that was the only movement he seemed to make. “…That is unfortunate. And breaches our contract. Have you or your crew spoken with the Cargo, Captain?” -Gillian

Lewis: Rindi was supportive. It helped, and it helped that she was right. He was navigator, he didn’t want to risk another mistake. As they shared a nod, Lewis was surprised to hear the captain say the woman drove them into the asteroid field. Perhaps he was being forgiving, perhaps he was merely trying to cover his own costs, but it worked out well for the navigator. Maybe this wouldn’t all end badly. -08:52 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: He knocked on the door. “Miss Gillian? I’m the dude you shot, Dr.Watson. How are you feeling?” -08:53 Jan 18
Gillian: Gillian was seated in her room now. She had searched the cabin top to bottom for anything of use. A weapon. Something to make a weapon. But aside from a bed and furniture there was little to work with. She was physically exhausted, and mentally over the edge. As she sat, staring at the door and rocking back and forth, she was warring with her desire to go batshit crazy towards everyone on the ship…. or control those feelings and direct them more efficiently. “Open the door, Dr. Watson. I can finish what I started.” -08:54 Jan 18
Drake: “A lot of things breach our contract, Doctor Claw. And yes, the Cargo said a load of crazy crap that confused and infuriated me. I should bill you for that too. But I’m a reasonable man. I’ve got a wife and kids to feed and I just want my money. So is there somewhere closer where we can drop this bitch off? Our hyperdrive is on the fritz, see.” -08:56 Jan 18
Lewis: Kids? That drunk? For the love of space, Lewis felt sorry for those little bastards. -08:56 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: This didn’t sound very pleasant. “What do you mean by that? I want to help you but I can’t have you killing folks.” -08:57 Jan 18

“How disappointing. No. I am afraid that without the Cargo in the condition agreed on, our contract is now null and void. Where does the Hesperos intend to land, Captain. I will have my associates reclaim the Cargo.” -Gillian

Rindi Demarc: Rindi’s back tensed. She chewed on the inside of her cheek, thinking rapidly. She frowned, but there was little she could do right now. -09:01 Jan 18
Drake: “Woah woah woah, woah…woah….woah…” Drake leant forward in his seat, blowing a cloud of smoke. “The only ‘associates’ of yours I wanna see right now are your shiney Federation Credits. We had a deal, Mr Shadow, and you’re not gonna fuck me on the small print. Your cargo’s fine, and you’re lucky I haven’t blown her out the airlock. So how about we renegotiate that contract of yours, right here, right now, and then I’ll tell you where we’re landing.” -09:02 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya frowned, the bastard! He wanted them all dead, great, just great. Annya looked at a small monitor on her wrist then back at the main viewer. -09:03 Jan 18
Gillian: “I don’t need the help you can offer, Doctor. Nothing is going to fix this.” The phrase sounded dark coming from her. As if she had just realized it herself. She could kill everyone on the ship, but all that was going to get her was a ship full of bodies. They weren’t who she was really pissed off at. -09:04 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: As Annya moved, a thought solidified in Rindi’s mind. She crossed the bridge, making it look like a stumble and coming to a stop on one knee next to Ms. Marcel. “Cut the comm. They’re going to track us!” she whispered harshly. -09:05 Jan 18
Lewis: Like everyone else Lewis was growing increasingly suspicious. He was already neurotic, and clearly in over his head. But then Rindi’s words came to him. “Just focus on your job.” Navigating . . . yes. He would have to focus on that, for now. He began sorting through his memory of various star maps and systems. -09:05 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya looked at Rindi and smirked. “One better,” she whispered back and hit a button. “Are you no longer going to make tea for us?” -09:06 Jan 18

“I’m afraid it is not up for negotiation, Captain. We will retrieve the Cargo.” The man on screen leaned forward, just enough so that curve of a perfect smile could be seen. “We will meet again very soon.” The screen blipped off and the connect cut. -Gillian

Rindi Demarc: She rose to her feet, giving a wry grin. “Well, this is about to get real interesting. -09:08 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “And I’m afraid that tea may have to take a back burner for now.” -09:08 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “Captain, do you want to wait for his people to find us, or go and get your money?” Granted she’d feel bad for those that tried to find them. -09:08 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Fix what exactly? -09:09 Jan 18
Drake: Drake stared at the blank screen, cigar dangling from his mouth, hipflask in his hand. He paused. “Balls.” -09:10 Jan 18
Lewis: “W-wait! How are we? What are we? Dammit!” Lewis was slowly losing his ability to articulate, but there wasn’t time. He knew it, they all knew it. They might be screwed. -09:11 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Well, Captain, assuming we have a chance due to the wonderful Ms. Marcel here, what’s your plan?” She kept her tone calm. Hopefully her calm and Annya’s would keep the others calm. -09:12 Jan 18
Lewis: Lewis hadn’t realized it until now. But Lewis appeared to be far more than a cook. In fact, it seemed like she knew a lot more than she let on. He wondered . . . could he possibly have a chance with her? -09:15 Jan 18
Gillian: “One hundred and sixty years of lost time…” There was no way to get it back. Everyone was gone. ….but what had happened to the others? Eleven other men and women were part of the Council. Could the same thing have happened with them? Gillian was up to her feet, now leaning against the lock door. “Where was our destination? Do you know? If I promised NOT to murder your entire crew and offered payment, how flexible would your Captain be?” She asked quickly. Plans and ideas were formulating in her cloudy head. All she needed was to get them organized! -09:16 Jan 18
Drake: “Ah crap,” Drake muttered as Rindi asked what his plan was. He got up and put his hip flask away. “Right, looks like we’re all going to be hunted down and killed, so…” He tapped his cigar as he thought. “…let’s not get hunted down and killed. Er…” He looked at everyone, then coughed. “I’m gonna talk to psychobitch again.” He headed back out into the corridor. -09:18 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson squinted at her question. “Ah I was asleep when they discussed that part, and it wasn’t exactly imparative that I know, since I work as the janitor.” He scratched at his scalp. “Well you kind of made a bad first impression. Like, really bad. I don’t know the dude too well but the payment would have to be worth the risk of getting killed i think.” -09:20 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya didn’t like that answer, but it was something at least. “Lewis, we need to go somewhere less expected but we will want to go along this general path,” Annya wasn’t taking over command, but even with sending false information, getting out of “here” was still smart. Couldn’t take the chance that there was any chance their basic location had been configured from the late henchman. -09:21 Jan 18
Lewis: “O-o right!” Lewis thought. The man needed to focus. Star maps, uncharted space. Did he know of any places where it would be difficult to find and follow. “Of course!” He blurted, jumping up excitedly and running to his station. He began furiously typing into the console. -09:23 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Getting a move on is a good plan. I doubt boss man’s going to let us get out of this alive. He can’t risk anyone passing on knowledge of her being alive. I don’t know who she is, but I… I know she’s worth a lot. And if she’s telling the truth, we cannot risk getting caught with her before the Captain makes some sort of peace with her.” She chewed on the inside of her cheek again, before resuming speech. “Annya, are our emergency beacons the kind that just stay where you put them or do you think we can get them to do a little hop through hyperspace?” -09:26 Jan 18
Drake: “I didn’t do anything wrong,” Drake muttered as he walked along the corridor. “I just wanted to be small-time. Why can’t I be small-time? There always has to be a conspiracy.” He turned the corner and found Watson leaning against the door of the crew quarters. “Am I disturbing you?” -09:27 Jan 18
Gillian: There was a new voice behind the door again. The dear, dear Captain. “We were discussing my fate. Am I going to be delivered, remain a prisoner, or can I make you a proposition?” -09:29 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Yeah cap what she said, she wants to make a deal.” -09:30 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya looked at Rindi in surprised then smirked. “I like your thinking,” she narrowed her eyes. “We should have a talk when this job is over.” Annya turned her chair and typed a few things. “Good, they’re stationary but we have the right technology to jerryrig them. Only two though. That enough?” -09:30 Jan 18
Drake: Drake leant against the door next to Watson. “Okay, first of all: shut the hell up. Second of all: who are these guys who put you on ice and why are they trying to kill me?” -09:30 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Should be.” She reached up, tugging on her lip before grinning. “What do you think would work better? Sending them off in a couple directions, screaming, or sending two off silent in one direction? That’d make a decent sized false path.” -09:33 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya shook her head. “If we had more, multiple paths would make more sense, but a storing single path. They wouldn’t expect that a false trail from a third rate crew.” -09:35 Jan 18
Gillian: She smirked at the door. Resting both her hands against it as she explained. “I told you. I am part of the Velondran Council. There are… were twelve of us. We were to sign a peace treaty and end the Sol Wars. We were betrayed, I was iced. I don’t know who did it, but I would very much like to find out…” she trailed off. “If you help me, I can pay you. Imagine a very rich woman, and top that with 160 years worth of interest…” -09:36 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Right, you have any engineering experience?” She grinned at the three remaining on the bridge with her. -09:36 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: “Permission to gasp, captain?” -09:37 Jan 18
Lewis: “Uh. No” Lewis responded to Rindi’s question. “But, I just remembered, I altered our course at the begining of our mission.” -09:39 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “If this ships engines went we’d be screwed, but something like this,” Annya thought for a moment then looked down at her wrist. “Piece of cake. Assuming you can find what’s suppose to be in the storage closet.” A list come up on the larger screen at her station. -09:39 Jan 18
Drake: Drake held his hand up to Watson and put his ear to the door. “Sol Wars… THE Sol Wars? You’ve been in stasis since…” He trailed off, deciding that it was better to count money than years. “Alright, Sleeping Beauty, you’ve got my attention. But Velondran is deader than the Space Pizza franchise. What makes you think you still even have a bank account?” -09:41 Jan 18
Dr.Watson: Dr.Watson held in his gasp. -09:43 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “I’ll see what I can do. Meet you in the cargo hold.” She pulled out a datapad, snapping a scan of the list on the screen and dashing out of the room. She paused just past the door, turning to look over her shoulder. She looked as if she was about to speak, but shook her head, grinning and running down the hall to find the needed parts! -09:44 Jan 18
Gillian: “Not all that glitters is gold, sweetheart. Not all riches reside in banks. Look, I don’t have to play nice with you. You can let me off on the next planet and forget you ever saw me. But I need a ship and information. And you… probably going to be in some deep shit once the Big Bad discovers one of his hired guns is dead and the rest of his crew let the Cat out of her Box.” -09:46 Jan 18
Lewis: Lewis made a few additional adjustments to their course. With some detailed searching he found some additional shortcuts in addition to the one he had found earlier. They also zig-zagged a bit, which would hopefully keep their followers off their tail. -09:47 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya smirked. “This has turned into a fun game. mr. Lewis keep us from getting killed,” and Annya got out of her chair in a fluid motion and strode out of the bridge. -09:48 Jan 18
Drake: “No, no, the paying us part is good.” Drake tugged on his cigar. “So, you have a plan to lose the Big Bad?” -09:48 Jan 18
Lewis: “Fun? Oh. I don’t know about that. Terrifying maybe. But then again, I’ve never felt so alive.” He laughed. But it was true. Despite his fear this is the situation he had been begging for. A time to show his true skill. They would evade their pursuers and make good time. The only question was, when would it end? -09:50 Jan 18
Gillian: “Hrrm. …Tell me where I was to be shipped, and I can tell you where we can hide. I need to know.” -09:51 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: Her footsteps echoed loudly on the deck plating as she ran. She paused near the supply closet, comparing parts to their numbers and images on the list and taking armfuls to the cargo bay. There was the box, too. Rindi stared at it for a long moment, then walked over to it, starting to prize off panels, opening them for Annya. “Ms. Marcel, got another question.” -09:51 Jan 18
Lewis: Lewis waved the girls off as he returned to his star maps. He hoped their diversion would work, and that his navigation skills would hold water. -09:51 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: Annya was choosing the best distress becons. The condition was not to her liking. “Yes Ms. Demarc?” -09:53 Jan 18
Drake: “JuNYV 369, in the Elteron Nebula.” Drake said, folding his arms and leaning against the door. -09:54 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Do you think they have a tracer on this box? We could put it on the beacons, if they do.” She frowned, staring at the thing’s insides. -09:54 Jan 18
Gillian: There was a snort on her side of the door. “Imagine that. The old Randimir Asylum. ….Alter course for the third moon of Shambala. Axis 349876. It is the most sickeningly sweet, good natured, lawful and completely conspicious planet, that to hide there would be sheer stupidity and thus, the last place they’d look.” -09:58 Jan 18
Annya Marcel: “It did, but it got prementaly scrambled when we went though the Belt. It seemed prudent.” -09:58 Jan 18
Rindi Demarc: “Ah, good, in that case. I have the things you need. Good to know this thing won’t come back to bite us in the collective ass.” -10:00 Jan 18
Drake: “Sheer stupidity. Sounds like a plan.” Drake tapped a code to open the door and then turned back to the bridge. “Welcome to the Hesperos. Don’t be alarmed if the janitor sticks you with a needle.” -10:01 Jan 18
Gillian: “… Janitor does what?” -10:01 Jan 18

TO BE CONTINUED……!!! -Gillian