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Insatiable Curiosity (The Reboot)

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    Waterrunner was there waiting in the officer's mess at the appointed hour.

    The room, able to accommodate up to fifty or so people, was pretty much empty. Waterrunner, and two other officers, were the only ones there.

    The room was furnished with three large, oval tables. The tables were made of polished hardwood with polished, brass legs underneath. This polish was evidently kept up by members of the crew; both the wood and the brass gleamed.

    The forward section of the wall was emblazoned with the Insatiable Curiosity's insignia - a large circle with a horse's head in its center, the name of the ship curved around inside the circle. The whole thing was made of what appeared to be glossy polymers, colored to the right colors of the emblem Kel had seen on monitors around the ship. The emblem had to have cost at least a few hundred thousand Lutuc. It was as impressive as it was beautiful.

    Waterrunner stood up as Kel came into the room. The two other officers, who were seated at a different table, looked up and nodded, but then returned to their private conversation. They were dressed in duty khakis. Waterrunner, herself, was dressed in bluejeans and a blouse. For all of that, though, she still looked beautiful.

    She was one of the Arabian-esque equines from the province of Mynan, though. She was fine-boned for her species, and had that slight up-curve to the fore of her head that gave her that pixie-like appearance known for her progeny. Her mane, kept to about medium length but combed to lay perfectly against the side of her neck, only added to her beatific appearance. The only thing present which might take away from any of this, were her eyes. They were light blue and beautiful, but they had a knowing about them that lent them an inescapable hardness. They were the eyes held by almost all high ranking officers, the eyes of responsibility and of those used to authority. Those eyes though, softened noticeably when Kel had come into the room.

    "You came!" she said enthusiastically.

    She pulled out a chair for Kel, seating her right next to herself at the head of the table.

    "How's the head?" She grimaced. "Sorry. Old habit." She smiled. "I haven't ordered yet." Then, "Ah. Here comes someone to take our order now."
    Rick Canaan's Signature
    Insatiable Curiosity Roleplay Information:
    Open ContentSPOILER

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      “Glory Victorious?” He repeated the words, lost in thought for a moment. “Your parents put a tall order on you, living up to that name. They must have put a lot of faith in you. Hope it does not weigh you down too much. What others expect from us and what we want for ourselves usually does not align.” He had noticed that he must have struck a nerve with him praising her actions, so he did not return to the subject, instead he turned towards the safe subject of food.

      “Not a fan of pizza? Miss Victorious! This cannot be! Maybe you just have not tried a good one?” He chuckled, his contemplative mood forgotten. “No matter, I can adjust. Pick something that you like then. I would be disrespecting the memory of grandma Salvatore if I let a guest stay hungry while under my roof!”

      When Victorious spoke her mind about her feelings towards Garran, he let out a sigh, knowing that he just landed straight in the middle of a personal conflict that had been brewing for a few days at least. “I can understand your point. But I mist note that mister Garran had not informed me of any animosities between his aid and him. Had I known I might have been more tactful.” He smiled an apologetic smile. “He first approached me to discuss a delicate request from mister Canaan, he explained briefly how he managed to take control of the supersoldier... then we were informed that another one of those pesky buggers is running amok in a security station. I think, that mister Garran tried to incapacitate the next supersoldier using the same security exploit he used the first time, only this time it had backfired, our enemy had the time to patch out that flaw...”

      He paused like if he was thinking what to say next, which was at least partially true. The other reason, was the message from Garran, that had just arrived on his ship comm servers, then got munched by the ship security and translated into a format recognizable to his own home-brew operating system to finally be sent to his physical firewall that he wore at all times. The machine then sent him the data packet. Salvatore did not live for so long being unprepared. The message itself was a bit troubling and it only added flavour to the situation that he landed in. Yet outwardly, seemingly, nothing has changed, well apart from the fox looking more saddened now.

      “I do not know if I should tell you this, as I am afraid that it can also colour our future relations... But I feel at least in some part responsible for the deaths that the supersoldier named Argil caused. Let me explain... I overheard a conversation that Argil had with his co-conspirator, but at the time I just suspected they were some gun nuts gushing over the weaponry of this ship... the true meaning of their conversation became clear to me only later, when the Curiosity's main gun batteries were sabotaged. The ship was in turmoil, and I decided that there was no way I will be able to inform the security of my findings in time to stop more carnage from the two... So I acted alone, with intent of apprehending them and presenting the duo to the security. Everything else be dammed. At that point I was not aware of the full extent of the tragedy, else I might felt inclined to also hurt them a bit more... well at least the other guy I actually managed to caught. Regardless, I had entered the cabin where Argil was living, and confronted him. I had noticed his augmentations as he was readying himself to strike me down... so I acted first. I had a high powered gun, the one you use to disable security drones and lightly armoured opponents... If I knew at that time what he was, I would have burned his husk to mono-atomic ash. Normally an opponent cannot grow back his head and a large part of his torso.” Salvatore smiled humourlessly and scoffed. “Yet the bastard was not normal... I could have stopped him then and there should I known.” Victorious could see the glimpses of pain and anguish surfacing briefly from under the mask of calm. “That mistake was the reason I acted so decisively the next time I encountered a supersoldier.” His last words were cold and flat. Victorious could still remember the sight of supersoldier's body being mercilessly cut down and burned under the flurry of strikes of the plasma blade, until nothing remained but a burned up pile of ashen gore.
      Terrapun's Signature
      "A smart machine will first consider which is more worth its while: to perform the given task or, instead, to figure some way out of it."
      Stanisław Lem "The Futurological Congress"

      "The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."
      xkcd

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        *Kel decided to choose something on the fly to be dressed. Her "casual" clothing she wore whens he met with Victorious was to be cleaned a short time from now. Currently she was wearing a set of fatigues, which oddly matched to a degree. The lower half belonged to League, while the upper half was SRC. It was obvious that there was once some patches on the arm's and breast, but since removed. Otherwise, the shirt was pristine and clean. She was wearing a set of SRC boots as well, the leather which they were made were of a gray kind and from how light the gray was, it was obvious that they've seen use.

        Kel's expression was fairly relaxed, her cyber eye was covered with a crimson eyepatch versus her SRC eye patch she had earlier. This eyepatch was blank, the coloring matching her hair tips. Her hair was combed and neatly tied back into one large "pony" tail. Compared to how she looked earlier, she was dramatically changed. She had a borderline feral look with her hair down whilst tense, now she seemed very together. Her bandages would seem clean as well, showing signs that clearly note her practice with such bandages.

        She'd approach Waterrunner, and bow, "In-deed. This one also well." She softly smiles. She seems to favor her left hand side, likely because she lacked any signs of scaring. If one did not see her right side, they would see a relatively tamed exotic beauty. Her facial feature were lithe and mildly sharp, showing her predatory genes deep within. Her natural eye dimly glowed now revealed to the lights of the ship, "Th-ank you, Rew'ta-Nurren(*)." She ahems, "Wa-ter-run-ner."

        ( Reu ta ner rin (*)

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          Waterrunner's brows went up, her ears screwing forward. She smiled. "'Rew'ta-Nurren', eh?" she asked, bemused but also rather captivated. "Is that my name said in your language, then? I think I like it." She pulled out a chair for Kel to sit down. She retook hers. "I think I know I like it."

          After both of them were seated, Waterrunner raised a hand, waiving a waiter over. This officer's mess actually had those, not the more usual buffet style setups that she'd seen on other ships in the League.

          The waiter, a lynx, started making his way over.

          A snide voice though, rose from the table where the two other officers were sitting.

          "So you're a lesbian too, then, are you? Figures."

          The other one chimed in, jeering across the room at Waterrunner and her guest. "Yeah," he said. "Prettiest ones always are. Some kind of law of the universe. Guys got no chance at any of the real lookers, cause they're into sucking twat."

          "Can't say much for this pick, though," the other one sneered. "Missing an eye. And what's that? Hey missy!" This directed at Kel. "Give you a lobotomy, did she? That how she like her women?"

          Waterrunner was on her feet. Her cheeks were glowing red and hot. Tears were filling her eyes.

          "Aw, what you gonna do then?" asked one of the men. "Everybody knows you been suspended. Couldn't keep your fingers out of medical's stash, way I heard it. Stims was it?"

          The other laughed. "Yeah, she was floating above the floor most of the time, toes never touching the deck the entire time. I wonder how many patients she lost, all high like that all the time?"

          "Lost?" the first jeered. "That was how she made her girlfriends. She was supplying them on the side!" This sent both of them into hoots of raucous laughter.

          They shut up immediately, though, as Waterrunner came around the table. She had for the moment, forgotten about Kel. She stalked toward the two men, fists balled at her sides.

          "What am I going to do?" she demanded. Her voice was barely steady.

          "Aww, we was only joking!" one of them tried to say. But by then, she was too near to them. She grabbed one of them by the back of their head and slammed his face down on the table. It was hard enough to make everything on the table jump and lurch! She yanked the man's head up. He was unconscious. His face had blood coming out of it. He was missing teeth. She let him drop. His head flopped face-first back down to the table.

          "What?" Waterrunner said coolly, her eyes pinned on the other man. "You thought I needed rank to do something to you?"

          The remaining officer was trying to scramble to his feet. His legs got tangled in his chair and he went to the floor. He landed on his back. Waterrunner was over him. She planted a sandal-clad foot in the middle of his chest, stopping him where he lie. She leaned forward on the foot, putting considerable weight on him. Eponeons were large creatures.

          She leaned over him. She leered down into his eyes. "Got'nanything to say now?"

          "No! N-no, ma'am!"

          She leaned harder on him. He let out a croaking wheeze. She wasn't heavy enough to crush his chest, but she could make it difficult breathing for him. And she was.

          "Wrong," she said. "I think you owe me and my guest an apology." She looked up, searching for Kel. A wicked little smirk came to her lips when she found her. "You wanna come over here and hear his apology?"
          Rick Canaan's Signature
          Insatiable Curiosity Roleplay Information:
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            *Kel was very quiet and very quick. She had shadowed Waterrunner and seemingly did nothing until she looked around for her. Kel could be found in front of the mare, kneeling before the fellow. She can be examining the officer, without her eyepatch, her eye glowing a soft "caution" yellow, "In all hon-is-tee, I think that one must un-der-stand some-thing first." With her hair tied back, her facial features could clearly be seen. Up until she spoke, she seemed completely stable, now though without her eyepatch, she seemed to favor her right side with the scars in full view, "This one warns fell-low, this one is not clear in mind..."

            To seemingly drive the point home, she extends her claws some and with this seems to absent mindedly "pick" at something in her very clearly sharp, beastial teeth before making a sucking sound and grinning largely, as she leaned forward, whispering softly, "Did you know... that I had mate? Ya ya, had mate." She nods, "I got Dyn'Freil Refi tag be-cause of him. Ah. Right. Trans-lay-tion. Ahm... friendly fire." She giggles softly, "And I am sneaky sneeper."

            She seemed utterly demented! "So this one wants apol-o-gee for Doctor. Be-cause this one does not care for in-sults... just in-sult for Doctors who stop sneeky sneepers from being bad." She giggles softly, her cybernetic eye turning a bright red as a laser focused on the middle of his head... then adruptly!

            She then stands, ties on her eye patch, smooths her uniform and ahems, an almost instant transformation back into her "relaxed" state. Softly smiling to Waterrunner, "This one thinks it is fine to re-lease that one after that one give apol-o-gee." Either one hell of an act or she really is unstable, of which there was few ways to find out.

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              Waterrunner pushed off of the man's chest. He was a chow variant canine, so his chest was able to take it. It did make him cough and roll over, though, holding his chest.

              Waterrunner had taken a step back then, and walked around the groaning canine. She put her arm around Kel's shoulder, all girlfriend-like and led her back to their table.

              "I think I'm gonna like you," she chortled. She gave Kel a quick squeeze in against herself, then let her go so she could sit down. "Got just the right touch of screwball crazy going on to keep the guys on their toes!"

              Then, "Uh oh." This was said softly, as Waterrunner's brows dropped down into two severe checkmarks of renewed ire. When Kel followed her gaze, she would find that two security guards were pushing their way in through the mess hall's doors. The waiter must have gone and called them.

              "What's all this, then?" said who was obviously the ranking guard. He was a Second Lieutenant Marine officer. The guard who'd come in with him, was a Private First Class. They were both canine. The officer was a rottweiler, while the PFC was a bulldog.

              The guards had stopped to take in the tableau. One officer was sitting at a table, slumped over it, a small pool of blood forming under his face. He could be seen breathing, though, so the guards looked down at the other man, the chow dog on the floor, who was still curled up around his abused chest.

              "What happened here?" the Lieutenant demanded. "You know there's no brawling on this ship!"

              "Oh we weren't brawling, officer," Waterrunner said coolly. "They were running their mouths and got a foot stuck in them." She snorted and folded her arms. "Mine." She raised a brow. "Is there a problem?"

              The Lieutenant scowled. His partner had gone to check the one at the table.

              "A big problem," the Lieutenant said. He unshouldered his ion carbine. It came on with a capacitor whine. "This is set only to stun, but it should even take a big'un like you out. And you there." The Lieutenant motioned for Kel to stand with a wave of the carbine. "On your feet. What is your name and designation?"

              Waterrunner took a step, putting herself between Kel and the guards. If Kel was as crazy as she'd let on, or if she did something to make the guards think she was crazy, it might get them both shot. Ion bursts at stun setting were not pleasant experiences!

              "She is my guest and my responsibility," she said to the Lieutenant.

              The other guard piped up. "This one'll be fine. He's coming around." He gave Waterrunner and Kel an appreciative glance. "Gonna need some dental work, though."

              "Of course he'll be fine," Waterrunner said indignantly. "I am a doctor. Anyway, this is one of my patients. I found her interesting and she's nice so we decided to have dinner and maybe get to know each other better. But then these two buffoons..." She spat the word. "Decided to ruin our evening by insulting us. And well..." Waterrunner scuffed the floor with the toe of one of her sandals. "Things got a little out of hand."

              "Out of hand?" the PFC put in. "This guy's teeth are knocked out."

              The Lieutenant sighed. He lowered his ion rifle. He evidently knew Waterrunner, or at least knew her by reputation.

              "If not for that," he said. "And if these two morons decided to not press charges, I could let this slide. But..." He let out a long breath. "I can't just turn a blind eye to aggravated assault, even if these two idiots probably deserved it. The Master at Arms will want to at least ask you some questions. Come on. I'm gonna need to take both of you down to lockup till this can be sorted out."

              He made a whirling motion with his finger. "You know the drill. Turn around. I gotta cuff you."
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                "Since when is it customary to raise your firearm to one that is unarmed....not to mention a superior officer" a deep voice rumbled from behind the 2nd Lieutenant.

                For one as large as Sohdakin is, he can sometimes be eerily quiet. It was as though he just appeared from behind the rottweiler and he did not look one bit too happy as he had come into the mess hall just after the two security guards.

                "Perhaps I should include your disrespectful words towards the Commander when I send my comments to your commanding officer and how poorly you handled this situation. Raising your rifle to a unarmed suspect who posed no threat to you." he rumbled in irritation, smoke already starting to leak from his nostrils. "I expect more from a fellow officer, even a stupid butter bar such as yourself." Sohdakin almost growled, though a deep agitated rumble did reverberate from his chest as he eyed the Rottweiler down "Your partner seems to have more sense of the situation than you do. Perhaps I should speak to Lieutenant Commander Jaquoi and have him swap your rank with the PFC and give him those bars"

                The Major's tail slammed the floor, causing the dishes on a nearby table to rattle as he looked almost ready to do more than continue to verbally roast the Rottweiler. "You will let this slide and continue on your way. I will let your Commander know of the situation and let him handle it, this is now above your pay grade."

                Sohdakin turned from the 2nd Lieutenant, not giving the Rottweiler a chance to say anything more. He then looked to the PFC and gave the Bulldog a courteous nod. "Carry on Marine, I will take care of this mess. Make sure your Lieutenant doesn't accidentally shoot someone or himself tonight."

                Once the two security guards left, Sohdakin would turn to glare at Gwen and before she could have a chance to utter a word, he would raise a clawed finger to silence her. He moved around the tables to where the Chow was still crumpled on the floor and reached down to unceremoniously lift the dog back onto his feat before forcing him to sit next to his still unconscious friend. Slowly, the large Rohkah knelt down and lowered his broad muzzle so he could look at the Chow directly. With one arm across a knee to support his large frame, Sohdakin glared at the Chow. It was almost inaudible, but Gwen would surely hear the deep guttural growl that came from the Rohkah as he stared the Chow down for a moment.

                "You’re about as sharp as the leading edge on a bowling ball arent you? If I could, I would make the two of you go to all the oxygen generators on this ship and apologize to them for wasting their time. I care not for your excuses nor do I care to hear your side of the story....whatever idiotic nonsense it may be. All I know is that you did or said something to cause the Commander to take matters into her own hands. My advise right now is for you to take your friend to the infirmary to get treated,like right now. While there, I would do some deep soul searching should you persue this matter any further, I will make both of your lives a living hell. I would also start looking for other means of employment, we do not have room for the likes of you two among the ranks of the Insatiable Curiosity."

                Like the Rottweiler before him, Sohdakin stood back up and did not look back to see if the two actually left. Instead he looked at Gwen and sighed, his wings drooping slightly as he saw the blood on one of her hands. "You know damn well that Im the only one allowed to lose their temper around here. You shouldn't be agitating your condition any further, its about time that I be the one to tell you that you need to take it easy for a while till you are fully healed."

                Sohdakin sighed again and held out an open talon, motioning toward the door "Looks like you two are stuck with me for the time being. We will have plenty of time to discuss what happened and why I just pull both of your asses out of the fire"
                Sohdakin's Signature
                Sohdakin Stonetallon - Major
                Battle Dress Assault Commander
                Insatiable Curiosity Crew Card

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                  The Second Lieutenant made a gurking sound in his throat. His eyes went wide and he turned slowly around. His jaw dropped then, and he hurriedly slung his weapon and gave the big Major a salute.

                  "Sir! Yes Sir!" he said quickly. "But it was only on stun setting, Sir, and I wasn't going to shoot her unless... Well, unless..."

                  Everybody knew Gwen Waterrunner's reputation, though. She might be a doctor, but she behaved more like she'd been brought up on a farm with twenty older brothers, all twice her size. She was a scrapper, and wouldn't think twice about punching a guy's lights out for him for half a wrong word. Given the right circumstance, she could be all milk and honey, too, the nicest and most caring person on the ship. Say the wrong thing to her though, and whoever said it was likely in for a heap of trouble.

                  The Lieutenant was only being prudent, then. He didn't point any of this out, though. The Major looked like he was ready to bite a nail in half, already. So instead, he gave Sohdakin another, "Sir. Yes Sir." This one was just as sincere as the first, as he didn't want to incur further wrath, but there was a note of sullenness in it, though. Right after it, though, he moved to do as ordered - departing the room without another word.

                  The PFC followed out after the Lieutenant, giving Sohdakin a sharp salute as he went.

                  The two antagonists in all of this, made their ways out right behind the Private and the Second Lieutenant, stealing glances back as if to make sure the Major, or more likely Waterrunner, hadn't decided to come after them after all.

                  As for Waterrunner herself, however... Hoo boy. She was standing up and she was a perfect picture of wet-cat indignity.

                  "We aren't going anywhere," she told Sohdakin point blank. Frost should have formed on the nearby table and fixtures from that ooh-so-arctic coolness in her tone. "We came to have dinner. You're welcome to join us, Major Stonestallon, but if you think I'm gonna follow you around like a hungry puppy just because you came in on your big white horse and 'saved' us, you have got another thing coming."

                  She snorted. "Oh close your jaw. You'll swallow a moth," she told the who by then, was a gaping Rohkah.

                  "I am going to assume you came down here to eat? Well, eat, then. We can talk about what just happened over our dinner."

                  She blinked.

                  "Oh, and I'd like to introduce you." She held out a hand, indicating Kel. "Kel? This is Major Stonestallon. Major Stonestallon? This is Kel." She leaned down real quick and asked Kel sotto voce, "Uh, I don't remember your rank or last name, honey. What are they?"
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                    *Kel watched the display, smiling softly the entire time. Kycuf'gin MPs always ruin the fun. SRC Records would show little issue between her and the MPs of the kind but with the League? Ho boy. Maybe a scuffle one or two, nothing much. She tends to work in shadows so she was rarely ever caught doing anything relatively mean. That being said, she wasn't -caught-. Once the Major steps in she grins, to him, "Been long time since had Nag'Rod." She looks to the Doctor, then to the Major. She claps her hands once!

                    She bows to him after snapping to attention, "Cap-tain Kel'Jec Ve'Houl. This one su-posed to meet up with you la-ter in time for ahm..." She frowns, stepping back as she seems to draw a blank and simply goes, 'PAH!' She looks back up with a smile, "Sim-ply re-port to you. Ship Captain say so." She ahems softly, looking to Waterrunner, "Best That One came along. On Majora, Mil-i-tary Doc-tor's are hon-ored and hold ranking equal to upper of-fis-er. Might have ahm... got-ten into more trouble, in your defense." She grins cheekily before returning her attention to Sodhakin.

                    "That being said, This One would not mind if dinner joined us for dinner." She grins, giggling softly, waving her hand dismissively as if joking, "Join us?" The entire time, she remained in a relatively bemused fashion, rarely ever leaving the "ever polite and silly" Kingrian mannerisms that the race is stereotyped for.
                    Last edited by Crusadra; 1 week ago. Reason: Was coming to clean up the swear, buuuuuut someone already did it.

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                      Haheen answered his pad quickly, giving Garaga a nod when he saw the kangaroo. At first, the rat was a little worried. He always tried not to leap to conclusions, but given what had been happening recently, he couldn’t help but hear “shootout” and think “attack”. Part of him was already imagining another supersoldier causing havoc and destruction in an attempt to finally beat the Curiosity into submission. He therefore felt relieved, and then a little disgusted at himself for feeling that relief, when he was informed it was a shootout between passengers.

                      “Of course, heading there now,” replied Haheen, already marching down the corridor towards the lifts that would take him to the passenger corridors, “Can I presume there have been no recorded fatalities so far? Is the injured party receiving appropriate medical treatment? Any suspects apprehended thus far?”

                      While listening to the responses to his rapid-fire questions, Haheen was also wondering about Yanktee. He’d told the bison to get some rest, use his time off to relax. Hopefully his unavailability meant that advice was being followed. But as he neared the scene of the shootout, Haheen had a strange feeling in his gut that perhaps there was some other cause to the lack of reply. He made a mental note to visit Yanktee’s quarters once this situation had been dealt with.

                      *

                      Victorious watched Salvatore out of the corner of her eye as he discussed her name and her parents’ expectations of her. It wasn’t often that non-caribou picked up on her species’ naming culture, and those that did tended to presume it was a self-given moniker, as if she had decided to brag one day about being better than everyone, and previously she had just been called ‘Stacy’.

                      It was unnerving how spot on the fox was, but she didn’t respond. No sense opening up old wounds. It had been a long time since she’d spoken to General Victorious. The old cow probably wouldn’t even recognise her now.

                      Or would pretend not to.

                      There was a reason she asked her friends to call her ‘Vic’.

                      “Any food is fine,” the caribou said, appreciating the change of subject, “Make pizza if you like. I’ve lived mostly on field rations, I can fake liking food with the best of them if that’s what your grandma would have wanted.”

                      Victorious began inspecting the armour now. It was nice. Really nice. The kind of thing she’d dreamt of owning and knew she never would.

                      Armour like this was for winners.

                      She just wished she knew what Garran was winning.

                      Hell, she wished she knew what game he was playing at all.

                      But when Salvatore started talking about his partial responsibility for Argril, she looked up at him, staring him in the eyes and maintaining contact there. She frowned as he went into more and more detail. When he was finished, she paused. Thinking.

                      “You couldn’t have known,” she said firmly, “You tried to help, and you thought you had succeeded. Then you learnt it was a mistake, and you improved your tactic. I see no possible shame in that.”
                      SliceOfDog's Signature


                      My Insatiable Curiosity RP character - Haheen Jaquoi

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                        The Major simply gave the Rottweiler a disapproving look when he began to counter with the setting on his rifle. Sohdakin was not having any of it, however, he said nothing more as he had said plenty to get his point across. The 2nd Lieutenant seemed to understand that there was no arguing at this point and quit while he was ahead. Sohdakin was not out to ruin the Rottweilers career and made a mental note to go easy on the butter bar when he gave his report.

                        If there ever was a sight that could ever melt ones heart, it would have been the look Gwen had after everyone left....just before the ice queen made her triumphant return. Perfect. Sohdakin simply snorted, sending a light smoke ring towards her as he muttered a few choice words in Rohkah before his jaws clacked shut with a loud snap.

                        "Bah! You are as stubborn as you are beautiful," he quipped "You know darn well that I would never think of you as some hungry puppy that would follow me around, I thought that a change of scenery might be in order. However, if you wish to remain here and eat then we will eat here" the latter part of his sentence he seemed to fluster a bit as he almost did not include himself with the 'we' but had quickly caught on that she was inviting him to join them.

                        "I happen to like moths! They make a great snack"

                        Sohdakin smirked at that and then motioned to a different, larger table that did not have specs of blood or food on it. His attention soon turned to Kel'Jec Ve'Houl and hoped that the King'ras was not feeling ignored.

                        "Mmmmmm, yes, my new Sniper. Captain Ve'Houl, former League sniper who had a nasty run-in with an unwanted guest." he rumbled and bowed a greeting in return. He then motioned to her choice of open seats, letting her pick her seat before he sat down to join the two.

                        Sohdakin looked to Kel with a raised brow at the strange word "Nag'Rod?" he asked and pulled out a seat from the table to be replaced with what looked to be a large stool. The regular seats would otherwise get crushed under his larger frame, not to mention they didn't exactly accommodate ones with larger tails.

                        "Well, you are here as am I, so consider yourself reported. We can discuss your in-processing paperwork later." he chuckled softly as he heard Kel mention almost getting into more trouble defending Gwen, had Sohdakin not arrived. Although when she mentioned dinner joining for dinner he thought that she had meant Waterrunner. To this he snorted loudly and chuckled heartly.

                        "Ha! She would fight you, even as a cooked meal. I would highly recommend you not try to eat the good Doctor." to this he leaned in closer to the King'ras and whispered 'Don't tell her this but she can be downright scary at times. She once had Representative Cortez backpedaling....and he is a Abraxian! Even Chief Sansiqual gives her a wide berth when she has that no-nonsense look in her eyes' He teased and winked at Kel, hoping to ease the mood for everyone as this was supposed to be a relaxed atmosphere. There would be plenty of time for him to be her commanding officer later.
                        Sohdakin's Signature
                        Sohdakin Stonetallon - Major
                        Battle Dress Assault Commander
                        Insatiable Curiosity Crew Card

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                          "It's not as bad as all that, Sir. Just a couple of blokes got into a shouting contest, and then, always where booze is involved, it escalated from there."

                          Haheen found himself speaking with a greyhound, a sergeant Dremthin. "I got the 'lucky' one over here. The one what got the short end of the stick is on his way down to medical. Witnesses say he started it. Turned out the fella he decided to pick a fight with, was the better shot."

                          The sergeant brought Haheen to a fuming Eponeon. He was a big fellow. Not a brute, but built more like the Captain was, tall and lean of build. His markings were paint - the whole left side of his face and his whole muzzle were white with pink nostrils, bright blue eyes and the rest of his head was medium to dark chocolate brown.

                          He was seated in the floor out in the corridor, his back against the wall. His hands were cuffed behind him.

                          "James Cartham," the sergeant read. He was holding the Eponeon's ident card. He passed it to Haheen. "So then, James. Care to tell the Master at Arms what happened?" the sergeant asked, as Haheen took the card.

                          The Eponeon spat to the side. "He was drunk," he grunted. "It all started when we saw on the vid how my world was destroyed." He scowled up at Haheen. The pain in the horse's eyes was too real to be feigned. "I said a few things, asked the barkeep to turn the channel or turn it off, when that other bloke started runnin' of at the mouth about how lucky we were and it was about time us 'Pristine, strutting, full-of-ourselves so-and-so's got our comeuppance!'." In the Eponeon's eyes was held pure anger, anger rubbed raw from the pain of what had happened to his world.

                          "So I invites the bloke to come out into the corridor and have a what-for. So he follows me out here, then the next thing I know, he's pulling out this Saturday-Night-Special of a little ion pistol. I figured he meant to shoot me, so I drew down on him. He was too drunk to shoot straight, but he got off the first shot. You can see the scorch mark up there."

                          He raised his muzzle, indicating with it. There was a lengthy scorch mark up by the ceiling, the kind left by an ion discharge at full load.

                          Here, the sergeant chimed in. "That one was a one Edgar Brumice, a panther from Haag's World. I have his full residency status pulled up. He bought a ticket on..." The sergeant gave a date, then swiped a few things on his pad. A file pinged on Haheen's pad, indicating it was awaiting approval to open. "He's got two priors for drunk and disorderly, and one previous for aggravated assault. Right proper hot head, if what his priors say about him. Also, it's worth pointing out that Mister Cartham's weapon was set to minimal discharge."

                          The Eponeon spoke up. "Yeah, just mostly carry it for show." He shrugged. "You know, to impress the ladies and stuff." His eyes became wide and he looked defensive. "I'd never carry a weapon that was set to maximum discharge, believe me! Storming thing could go off and somebody could get hurt!"

                          The sergeant was watching the horse. When he'd finished, he cleared his throat and looked back up at Haheen. "Anyway, Sir, I was just holding him until you arrived. All of the witnesses corroborate his story. The other guy started it and even tried for a lethal shot. I was intending to let this one go. The other one I'm thinking 'Attempted Murder'." He gave a shrug. "Pretty clear-cut case as far as I'm concerned. The other guy started it, then attempted to murder him."

                          He gestured to the Eponeon. "For him, it is pretty much an open-and-shut case of self defense."

                          The sergeant looked back down at the Eponeon, who looked back up at the sergeant, then back over to Haheen. Hope was building in his eyes.

                          The sergeant looked back up at Haheen again. "Thought I'd ask you, though, Sir, since someone of Mister Cartham's race was involved." He cleared his throat. "Tensions are already pretty high aboard ship. I figured it better come from a senior officer, so it didn't look like we were showing favoritism."
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                            Curio took a deep breath as he exited the simulation and then smiled at the Chief's praise. He had done well hadn't he. A real combat scenario would probably be less predictable but still. "Why thanks Chief!" he said and hopped down the few steps back to the floor, back to the world of being smaller than most.
                            He gave his attention when Sansiqual talked about his bird and then gave a laugh. "My duct tape and hope repairs seem to have held up then. I'd do a more thorough scan of her if you think that is all that is wrong with her. She is very overdue. Those fan engines also sparked my interest and perhaps we can hybridize her a bit... the main engines are easy to pull off of her tail. The ones on the wings are a bit harder to reach but seeing as her superstructure probably has a few stress marks that could be patched up perhaps pulling her down to her skeleton and letting you rebuild her to proper safety specs would be a good idea..."

                            Curio bit his prosthetic hand's knuckle for a second and followed the rhino down the impressive launch bay of cargo vessels again. "I must admit... I had some trouble firing at the raiders... I have defended myself before but my heavy falcon only has point defense turrets, they do the work and they stop firing at any ship deemed disabled. They don't destroy unless I tell them to... I don't even have any forward fire power on her..." the fennec gave a huff and furrowed his brow. "That lance didn't leave much of them after it fired a second time... Of course, if ordered to fire I will fire but..."
                            Curio left that last bit hanging as he became a bit silent, biting gently at his own knuckle as the thoughts of firing upon living beings fought with the idea of upgrading his own ship.
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                              The changes that the last few days of events had brought about aboard the Curiosity could be subtle. As he walked the corridors of the ship, Garran noted how crew members moved from task to task slightly quicker. Conversations were shriller and hushed, with participants pausing as the Akalian and his canine escort walked by. More than once Garran noticed a crew member stare at Argil, eyes wide with fear. A subconscious command urged the canine to walk faster. The last thing Garran needed was to get bogged down explaining himself to Security on every deck. He could always have them call the Master-at-Arms, but he’d rather not deal with Haheen till his nanite issue was resolved. The Rat was perceptive, and Garran doubted his ability to hide his ruminations from a fellow professional at this point.
                              Shadows danced at the edges of his perception. Indistinct echoes of other minds and consciousnesses swirled around the ship like a hazy fog. He needed his glasses. Without the full effect of his implants he felt vulnerable. Argril's demeanor shifted slightly in response to Garran's unease. His breath quickened slightly as his muscles tensed. Garran sighed and took a deep breath, trying to settle his mind. The duo slowed as he began meditative breathing. The ghosts and shades of his fellow shipmates receded as he brought his augments under control.

                              Even with his eyes closed however, he was not alone. A green prompt appeared, projected by nanites across his optic nerve. "Augment type DX-342 lacks proper controller. Adaptation possible," it read. Garran’s brow furrowed. He felt the nanites feeding the options to his subconscious. It felt instinctual to say yes. Before he could, Rick’s warning echoed in his mind, so long as you don't have a way for the A.I. to get through to you, there will be no way for it to get in. Garran realized he had been holding his breath and exhaled. With a thought, he dismissed the prompt and refused the adaptation. Giving his nanites a direct outlet for psionic connection was the very think MIKE would want to accomplish.

                              The duo reached the lifts without incident. The personnel lift was unoccupied when it arrived. Even so, with Argril’s mass and his own brooding, Garran felt cramped. A realization was beginning to dawn on him. He would have to consult with Salvatore to ensure that his nanites hadn't completely integrated into his psionic augments. Even if they didn’t for their own psionic projectors they could easily adapt to and co-opt his glass’s functionality. A familiar pit was forming in his stomach as the lift lowered itself down the shaft. The glass windows opened out onto the hanger deck. He stared at the dark arrowhead shape of the Stromboli as it got ever closer. Well, he thought, at least my assistant won’t be killing me….
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                                Garran's E-Butler suddenly chimed in. Apparently able to discern the nature of his thoughts, it said, "I have reviewed the nature of your optical prosthetic. I can format my systems to manufacture a new one for you. It will take twenty-four hours to complete. A caloric intake of roughly five-thousand above normal dietary intake will be required, along with a ready power source. I have formatted the ability to intake D-sink power-augmentation. If no D-sink is available, you can connect to a standard source of current."

                                A diagram rose in Garran's virtual vision. It displayed an anthro body plan, two arms, two legs, a head, and an upright torso. Two areas in the diagram blinked red, one on the end of the diagram's left foot, the other on the opposite shoulder.

                                "Standard, gator-clamp electrodes will suffice for the procedure. The nanites will manufacture the device, it appearing nearby as you designate. You will be required to remain inactive for the duration of the procedure. The procedure can begin upon your command."

                                Garran then felt a light tap on his shoulder. It was Argril. When Garran turned to look at him, the diagram in his HUD shrinking down to an icon and moving to the left of his periphery, he found Argril regarding him with a forlorn expression.

                                "I require sustenance," he said. It was spoken low, so as to not be overheard by anyone nearby. The doberman's ears rose to points; his stump of a tail wagged slightly. "I'm hungry."
                                *****




                                Sansiqual regarded Curio with a slightly grim expression. He reached up and rubbed his jaw, his expression somewhat indecisive.

                                "The thing is," he said. "The Cap'n ordered me to test you out so you could fly just that kind of mission. Well, maybe fly one." He gave Curio a slight shake of his head, looking a little sorrowful down at the fennic. "See, you're the only Voidborn we got on board. On top of that, your ship isn't likely to appear on Treffpunkt's registry."

                                He nodded, watching the diminutive fox connect the dots in his head.

                                "We're about to launch an excursion onto that station. A recon mission. Then there's a plan to send an assault team." He made a slow sweeping gesture with his hand. "Under the radar. That's where you come in."

                                Sansiqual pursed his lips.

                                "Your ship can carry four Battle Dress suits and about six troops. It won't be suspected as coming from us. And you're the best pilot we go aboard." He gave Curio a grave nod. "We're gonna conduct what repairs are necessary for now, so we can be sure there won't be any sudden engine failures or leaks or anything. The rest will need to wait for later."

                                The big rhino filled his expansive chest. He nodded gravely. "In fact, I've got orders to take you to the Captain, himself, if you passed. Well, you passed."

                                He eyed the small fox. "You have the right to decline, o'course, but it might turn out we'll really need what you got under those tall ears o'yors." He smiled. "Captain's a good bloke, though, you'll see. In the mean time, I'm gonna scare up a crew and get'em to seeing to that leak you got, and we're gonna mount a new point-defense system on yor bird. For now, we need to get going." He gave Curio a grin, a god on a mountain grinning down on his devotees. "This Cap'n isn't the kind ya keep waitin'."
                                *****




                                Waterrunner watched the big dragon. Her expression was quickly becoming an impatient one. Then suddenly she blurted, "You're an idiot." She said it as if it were a statement of fact, not just mere supposition. But when the hurt expression came over Sohdakin's features, she sighed and rolled her eyes.

                                "But you are a decent idiot," she amended. She reached and patted the top of Sohdakin's hand.

                                "You're well-meaning," she said, giving the hand the pat. "It makes you genuine." She smiled. Then, unexpectedly, she leaned forward and gave Sohdakin a kiss on his cheek. "You try very hard to be decent to people. That makes you sweet." She gave the top of Sohdakin's hand a squeeze then let go. She snorted. "Epona only knows we could use a lot more like you just now."

                                With that, she got up, breathing expansively. She looked down at both Sohdakin and Kel with a smile. She gave a look around then, sighing again. "Well, seems our waiter has run off. What do the two of you want? I'll go tell the cook to get it started for us."
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