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You're all in a bar when . . .

Episode 00

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#41
Coolhand

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((OOC:- Its worth pointing out Kes has bright Red hair. Not sure if you confused her for pink or not))

Quola positively beamed upon receiving praise, she was not a vain person but it was nice to be complimented once in a while.

"I've mostly been working for CCS, went home to the fleet and finished my armour training first before i got scouted. Seems my type of skills are in high demand what with the move to drones and all. As for romance, not enough time and nobody interesting enough. Most Zentran men are just so.....clumsy when it comes to the whole deal." She looked off to the side affecting a mock expression of frustration. Her expression lightened again as she turned her head back to Nick.

Grabbing him by the arm she started to pull him over to their table "Come, sit down order a drink. Boss is picking up the tab, also Tommy is here." She gently shoved Nick into a seat before sliding back into hers as Kes' message arrived.

Kes' only indication of a response was the fluffly pink kitten on her shoulder giving an almost frightening thumbs up and a grin.


#42
jester

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Mack put down his mostly empty glass when Kes' finger pointed at him.

"Roger that Ma'am."

Sliding his chair back, he gave everyone else a quick wave and followed Kes, and Rod back to the booth.

#43
gradius

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Figures...

Roderick had only just entered the bar and was looking around for familiar faces when he caught one facing his way. Kes, pointing Mack's and his way and thumbing the door he was two steps away from.

Oh well, my fault I'm late and the others will still be around. Roderick thought as he began to spot more familiar faces, including one that would stand out in any crowd. Oh Lord, how did I miss Mama!?



Very soon after, a relieved Roderick accompanied Kes and Mack back to the booth.

#44
CrazyDreamer

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Olga watched the composition of the CCS contingent shake itself up. She was getting bored and had run out of more sane divertissement.

The Meltran stood up. And up. For three years now, she had been growing an inch per year in height while maintaining the same muscular proportions. And those who had seen her rare maclone training sessions knew that, maclone, she was even taller then than her 6'1" suggested and even bulkier than her current muscular proportions. At the same time, she seemed to be letting some of the other pilots catch up to her in age. . . .

"Barman! More Jäger!"

She picked up her message pad and poked the kitten. Quola, this place has computer-controlled speakers and lights; you wanna give us something to dance to?

#45
Rivel

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Nick chuckled. He wondered if Meltran women were also a little... clumsy. Even with all the therapy the remnants of the human race had retained after the fall of Earth, training an entire race of people in all the intricacies of human relationships beyond comradery and military leadership was the work of generations. Perhaps he was reading too much into this, but perhaps not.

As Nick had grown more confident, less stressed, and more willing to live in the moment, he had picked up more attention from the opposite sex. He was a traveller, a wanderer, a blend of dangerous and enticing. The fact that he had money and never lacked for work tilted him firmly on the 'enticing' end of the spectrum. It marked him as safe, compared to those who got money from more mysterious methods.

He'd had a few girlfriends, a few flings, but even the most caring, most emotionally secure person would have trouble forming a truly lasting connection. They didn't understand his history, they didn't understand the lifetime of military connections, the heady mix of fear, adrenaline, anger, and friendship that came from serving and fighting and watching men and women die. Perhaps that was why he'd come back, to be around those who understood.

He thought about all this while holding the drink menu in front of him. The waitress came by and he picked something at random, which he realized, as soon as he said the words, would turn out to be a strange spice beer entirely too complex and bitter for his tastes, but it was better than letting everyone know he had been completely spacing out.

He put the menu back on the table, making some noises about ordering something else, later.

"You know, that sounds pretty nice. Next time we go out, I'll make sure Tommy buys. He still owes me for breaking my ribs." he said, and grinned. Nick didn't truly bear any ill will towards Tommy, but it made for a good running joke.

"Armour training? My scale or maclone scale?"

#46
Coolhand

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In the space of one blink all the lights dimmed and various coloured lights hit the dancefloor. Some fairly generic dance/trance music came booming through the speakers located around the venue. Upon Olga's pad the small kitten ducked off screen only to reappear moments later dragging a large music selection menu to the center of the screen, it gave a few pants as if it were exhausted before throwing on a pair of shades and whipping out a DJ stand from seemingly nowhere. Olga would find she could select songs and playlists to fit her whim.

That done Quola answered Nick's question.

"Oh right, maclone scale. Queadluun types mostly, though i'm rated for several destroid types as a miclone. My primary role on the Damask Rose is as a maclone pilot. Unofficially I do a lot of cyber warfare stuff, like old times. Kes blows me out of the water when it comes to piloting though, I'm nothing special in that department." an embarrassed grin crossed her face.

She paused and took a sip at her drink.

"Anyway, what have you two been doing the past few years?"

#47
Rivel

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Nick slightly bobbed his head as music began to start playing. He wondered who was DJ'ing, or if someone had just hit 'play' on a playlist.

"Piloting, eh?" Nick briefly wondered if all the pilots he served with would continue to have green hair. "Better you than I. I'm still convinced putting me anywhere near a variable fighter is a horrible idea. Also, what's it like changing your size like that? Which way do you feel more comfortable?"

"I've, you know, been around." he said. "After the war ended, there was so much work in getting people home, dealing with refugees, and decommissioning equipment. I made a mint as a stevedore, handing cargo in zero g. Awful hours, and occasionally dangerous when it involved wreckage, but pay was great." His drink arrived and he took a pull, suppressing a grimace at...whatever he had just put in his mouth. He swallowed, and gave the beverage a wary look.

"Eventually, one of the things I packed up was myself. Traveled on cargo ships to various old-NUSA worlds, new colonies, habitats. I'd stay for a week, or a few months, or a year, in one case, and bounce at bars. Occasionally bumped into people I'd become halfway acquainted with in the intelligence community. That's how I was tracked down by Alexi," he said. He leaned back in his chair and took a much smaller sip, trying to place all the flavors. Cardamom? Really? "It was fun. Might do it again some time, for a while."

#48
CrazyDreamer

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The barman came over with a bottle of Jägermeister and a shotglass. He was just about to pour when Kes's "insta-party" hack kicked in. He paused, unsure of what to deal with first.

Olga solved the problem for him: She took the bottle, said "Tenk hyu," and poured him a shot before heading towards the dance area. There were so many drinkers at a mercenary convention that the proprietor has mostly covered the area in tables, but that didn't stop Olga. She chugged most of the bottle, handed it to the next person she passed to hold for her, and punched up a playlist labeled "butterfly metal." The aggressive metal power chords and equally aggressive(ly cheerful) bubblegum lyrics flooded the room, and she started to dance.

It started innocently enough with a little Watusi. It got harder and faster until the first stage climaxed with whooping and hollering and the jacket coming off. She threw it into the crowd, where it promptly hit an SMS member in the face. Now the real fun began: She pulled her sleeved up until they were above her biceps and started doing the Egyptian with body-building poses thrown in as freeze-frames.

By now, much of the bar had begun paying attention, although not all appreciatively. Although some of them were quite appreciative. . . .

#49
Rivel

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While waiting for Quola to answer, a pink devil passed nearby and music began to ramp up. He watched Olga dance a while, and then laughed.

"Seems a shame to leave her alone out there, want to dance? You can talk on the way." he said. Quola seemed willing, so he helped her up and navigated towards the dance floor. As he walked, his pace soon took to following the music, then he was less walking and more dancing-with-intent towards the dance floor, at times twirling to help Quola dance-navigate past obstacles and wandering drunks. It wasn't that she couldn't do it alone, it was just that it was more fun and you could accomplish more interesting movements with a partner as a counterbalance.

And that was how they crossed the floor, surging and slowing in time to the music, occasionally pausing outright as the music hit a pause only to bound forward when the inevitable resurgence came. By the time they actually reached Olga (dodging a jacket as they did so), they were both in the groove, but now came a different challenge: actually dancing in more-or-less one area. He had no idea how competent or confident a dancer Quola was, so he started simple, some basic footwork and clapped encouragement for her to move and get with it, either in a practiced or spastic way didn't matter, the important thing was just to move!

#50
Coolhand

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Quola was about to answer Nick's question when he asked her to dance, pausing for a second she gave him a big grin and a nod. She removed her red CCS jacket and hung it on her chair, the high necked sleeveless black shirt would allow for better mobility and be a lot less warm.

As they danced Quola tried her best to follow the taller mans lead, she had of course been out dancing before but she tended to be a bit clumsy about it. She had trod on a few toes in her days, thankfully she wasn't wearing heels this time. She raised her voice to answer his earlier questions.

"I was born full size." her voice was surprisingly clear despite the music "Back home were 'traditional'," she made inverted commas with her finger "so we walk around macloned." her hair flared out as she was assisted through a twirl by Nick "Miclone size is no different to maclone really though." she neatly ducked Olga's jacket, somehow managing to keep dancing as she did "Though changing back to miclone after a sortie frags my implant for a few hours, my fault for doing firmware mods though."

Dancing in one spot proved more challenging but she did her best, thankfully her meltrandi heritage gave her a natural sense of balance. This didn't stop her from tripping over Nick's feet and falling face first into his chest. With Nick's help she picked herself up, flashed him a smile and resumed dancing.

#51
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Dwer nursed his drink and watched the people dancing, he didn't recognise the Meltran with the blue (or was it green?) hair dancing with Rivel although she looked to be affiliated with CCS. He chuckled to himself as Olga's jacket enveloped one of the SMS crew's head. He was too tired to get up and join them, that and he couldn't dance to save his life nor was he inclined to learn. He just wanted to relax a while and soak in the atmopshere, and atmosphere that was all to rare on Helios these days. Strict laws and a tight fisted government had the morale of the people of Helios at record lows, one of the reasons Dwer had left to join CCS. Suddenly Dwer's pocket started vibrating, he swiftly answered.

"Dwer Koolhan speaking"

"Hello Mr Koolhan," the voice on the other end was female "my name is Stacy I represent CCS logistics division,I'm just calling to confirm that a pair of VF-19 model fighters under your name have arrived on site and are ready to be put into storage. I just need a few details before we can finalise arrangements."

Dwer nodded even though she couldn't see "No problems, what do you need?"

"Firstly," she replied "I need to verify the status of each fighter, whether they are fully functional or if they have been decomissioned. Records did not indicate and it would save us time if you had that information."

"Hrm," Dwer took a sip of his drink " Both fighters are fully functional but have been disarmed, no ammunition and the lasers have had their energy cells drained. They could be re-armed with some hangar time. Is that a problem?"

"No no, it will raise the storage fee however as we are required to post security on non-decomissioned fighters." data entry sounds could be heard on the other end "Ok that's all finsalised. We will deduct payment from the indicated account every month, an Invoice will arrive in your Inbox within 24 hours. If at any time you wish to access your stored craft we require at least 48 hours notice. On site fuelling and use of the airstrip will cost extra and will be detailed in the Invoice. Thankyou for your time, have a nice day."

"Goodbye." Dwer said and ended the call. Thankfully Dwer had a large amount saved from his UN days to help pay for the storage of the two Songbird units, augmented by the pay he'd be getting from CCS he could fairly comfortably keep them hangared in a secure location for quite a few years without much worry. He'd held on to both of the custom VF-19's after the NUSA conflict and had donated them to the HADF when he went home. Unfortunately the combination of the biometric locks and the sheer expense of running the machines meant they didn't see much flight time. When he again left the HADF he took the fighters with him, opting to use CCS storage. That way in his off time he could visit them, maybe even take a joyride or two when he could afford it.

Yawning heavily Dwer finished off his drink and stood up. He swiped his card through the barmans reader to pay for his drink and made for the exit, he needed to rest and the company Hotel was a better place to that than a bar.

#52
Rivel

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Nick listened, fascinated, as Quola told her story. Sure, he'd worked with Zentrans, fought with Zentrans, watched them die, but sometimes he still boggled at the implications, what this alien race walking and living amongst them meant. Mostly, it was pretty cool. Nick may have been taller than her, but only until she felt like being otherwise.

They danced next to Olga, and couldn't help but snerk a bit as she literally faceplanted into him. He gingerely helped her back to her feet and stepped up his game.

He caught Olga's act and meandered his dancing next to her, then leapt up, backwards, and caught himself on both hands. He twisted into a one hand handstand and flashed a flex of his own before popping back up to his feet. He grinned at Quola, and it was a bit like staring into the sun.

Then he looked over at the SMS, and gave them a smarmy look. The expression read, simultaneously, 'You got Served. You gonna take that?'

A little fact that I chatted over with Crazydreamer: Nick is one of the most persuasive people in the galaxy (15 Stat+Skill), and one of the best acrobats. There may be those better than him, but they are vanishingly rare.

#53
Abaddon

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Events unfolded rather rapidly around Tommy. Olga got on her feet, dancing/starting a fight, Quola and Nick joined the dancing, and Dwer seemed to take a call then exit rather rapidly. When he has been on active service he would have responded quickly to the changing situation, however a couple of years as a musician had mellowed his previously twitchy responses.

Taking a moment to survey the situation he polished off his most recent drink before standing up and cracking his knuckles.

By the time he had taken the few steps to get to the dance floor Nick had finished an impromptu dance/acrobatics show and was looking intently at a handful of SMS folks.

Oh crap... he knew where this was going to go and quickly took in the crowd. SMS and CSS personal seemed to be fairly evenly distributed amongst the crowd and, thankfully, no one was obviously armed.

Next to him a SMS pilot, judging by the flight suit, moved to stand-up with a less than pleased look on his face.

Without too much though Tommy reached out and put his gloved left hand on the man's shoulder, "Are you really sure you want to do start something here mate?"

Tommy's face held a smile but his eyes showed nothing but readiness for a brawl.

#54
CrazyDreamer

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The SMS members steamed as Olga ignored them, instead fiddling with the music control menus. Finally she found what what was looking for and punched it in. The program obligingly mixed in her selection: the short-lived Meltrandi Marine Pep Band's gender-bending cover of "The Boys Are Back in Town."

Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed girls that had been away
Haven't changed, haven't much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy


She started dancing again, this time with rather more gyrations and . . . slink. Years of doing ground recon had resulted in her reverting to a more cat-like manner of moving than she'd practiced as an assault/bomber pilot. This was all that and then some. This kept up for a couple of verses.

You know that chick that used to dance a lot
Every night she'd be on the floor shaking what she'd got
Man when I tell you she was cool, she was red hot
I mean she was steaming


She started moving towards the tables. It was almost as if . . . yep, there she went. Up on the table where she'd left the bottle. The table looked like it might not be able to take it for long, and yet it did. The occupants didn't. After a moment, it started looking like Olga's shirt wouldn't, either; now she was definitely teasing the SMS flyboys.

Spread the word around
Guess who's back in town


You spread the word around

Friday night they'll be dressed to kill
Down at Dino's bar and grill
The drink will flow and blood will spill
And if the girls want to fight, you'd better let them


Aaaand . . . there went her shirt after the jacket. She was wearing a sports bra, of course; hand-to-hand combat rather demanded maximum support. Still.

The girls are back in town again


As the song ended, Olga reclaimed her bottle from off the table and took a swig from it, smirking directly at the table of SMS boys holding her shirt and jacket.

#55
CrazyDreamer

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After several moments of stunned silence, one of the SMS members who had kept quiet at the back of the table stood up. "I'm sure 'Momma' will take it as a compliment if we say that a bunch of musclebound jarheads like you could certainly win a bar fight—"

"Dem schtraight, hyu twiggy flyboy."

"—and I'm sure that you'll win plenty of security contracts for nightclubs. We have to be going; SMS is putting on a mock dogfight over the display grounds tomorrow . . . for the benefit of people who need real security."

He collected the jacket and shirt from his fellows, dumped them in the middle of the table, and headed for the door. The rest of the SMS drinkers rose and followed him.

#56
Coolhand

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"Ja-ne!" Quola gave the SMS pilots the cheesiest grin she could muster and waved tauntingly.

As the SMS crew left the music track changed as Quola toggled the selection with but a thought. Quola's grin widened into a much more genuine smile as she spun towards Olga, deftly swiping the Jäger bottle taking a hearty swig and returning it to Olga's hands almost in one motion. She let the potent beverage assault her senses as the music kicked in. Taking a deep breath she sang along, her tone was perfect and her voice clear as she sung the first verse.

"I threw a wish in the well,
Don't ask me, I'll never tell
I looked to you as it fell,
And now you're in my way"


Her cheeks flushed rosy red as the alcohol took effect, her voice began to slur a bit as she continued the song. Quola was not used to drinking, one might call her a lightweight. As the chorus came around her voice was far louder than the one coming from the speakers.

"Hey, I jush met you,
And thish ish crazy,
But heer'sh my number,
Sho call me, maybe?"


Jägermeister as it turned out was rather strong, far too strong for poor Quola. Her world spun and her legs gave out, she fell to her knees and cradled her head in her hands.

"Ooh, bad idea Quora" she slurred her own name, the pink cat on her implant interface shook its head and gave her a 'tut tut' gesture.

"Quiet joo, didn't ask your opinion."

#57
Rivel

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Nick looked a little chagrined as it went from a display of general prowess to a full on floor show (Nick didn't take off his shirt for just anyone, natch), and it seemed Olga's last display was enough to drive off the SMS. A mock dogfight, eh? Now that was more than a little interesting. He wondered if a combined arms demonstration immediately following their display could really take the wind out of their sails.

Something to think about, although he put it out of his head as he watched Quola use her pipes. More retro-pop, but excellently catchy and maybe a little flattering? She didn't seem to be seeing just how much she was downing, though, and he dove and slid on his knees to catch her as she dropped down.

"Whoa there, you alright? I oughta introduce you to a friend of mine, you two can be lightweights together," he joked, helping her to her feet and over to a chair. He ordered a couple waters, no ice, and tapped out a message to Alexi.

-/SMS doing a dogfight tomorrow. Thoughts on a counter-demo immediately after?/-

#58
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The SMS pilot scowled at Tommy, "Not in here...bujt if you'd care to take this outside I'd be pleased to take this outside."

Taking his hand off of the man's shoulder Tommy's smile broadened, "You wouldn't like the outcome of that my friend. I'd rather not risk my hands on you before I have too."

It seemed fate was going to allow Tommy to get his wish as whatever had transpired between Olga and her SMS 'friend' came to rather sudden conclusion. Rather quickly the entirety of the SMS crowd packed up shop and left, with Tommy's companion leaving with a shove and a glare.

Spying a so-far untouched drink on the bar Tommy picked it up and moved away from the bar towards Nick and Quola.

"Well...certainly has turned out to be an interesting night. hasn't it?"

#59
Coolhand

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Quola lay her head on Nick's shoulder, not entirely aware that he'd moved her over to a table. She was aware that he was warm and that moving made her world spin, so she felt it obvious to cuddle up to the nearest comfortable thing and wait for the spinning to stop. Her eyelids were starting to feel heavy, as she started to drift from consciousness the thought occurred to her that maybe she was appearing too affectionate.

Maybe she didn't care though, nor was she in much of a position to be thinking about such complicated things. Maybe Nick had been nice to her, and perhaps she liked that. She did know for certain though, that his shoulder made a good pillow.

Soon Nick felt Quola's body relax against his, she had drifted off into sleep.

#60
Rivel

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What a long strange trip it has been, Nick thought to himself. As Quola drifted off to sleep against him, he resettled himself to make sure the two of them were comfortable and gently reached up and smoothed down a mussed lock of hair. Heh. One of these days he’d make some friends who had a normal and healthy relationship with alcohol, but this was just fine. He’d enjoyed showing off a little, enjoyed dancing like he wasn’t about to march into hell again, and enjoyed a strange bit of continuity. That was all too rare these days.

With his free hand he reached down and had another sip of the spice beer. His nose wrinkled at the wave of cardamom, but it was growing on him.

“Something like that, Tommy. I suppose I’m used to it, or at least, I suppose I expect it,” he replied. “I should take a full turn on the convention floor at some point, but I’ll give this one a few minutes to rest,” he said, indicating the snoozing Quola.

He looked over Tommy’s shoulder and caught the eye of the waitress. He mouthed the word ‘water’ and she shot him a thumbs up. Cool, that will be one problem handled.





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