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Kolohehonu

Unsportsmanlike Conduct - ic

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GM

 

The landing went off without a hitch. The young Lor customs official came up to the ship and began to look it over. The space dock was fairly crowded. Gear had bound up Cain and secured the harness under his shirt. "Go more than a hundred feet from me and we see how you like your bones being exposed to mid intensity resonance vibrations."

 

"You licensed to haul live animals or am I going to need to hack the computers?" Gear asked as the official waved for them to let him aboard. 

 

"In the name of the republic open up!" The Lor shouted. "Please?" 

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Starshot

 

"I'm licensed" replied Starshot, almost mumbling back at Gear. "Although its a regulated business. Medical uses, conservation, that type of thing. Paperwork was never my strength"

 

"All sorts of quarantine procedures too. You can understand. Some Greth Treejumper has the new plague under its skin, potentially. All sorts of decontamination problems. Its why I tend not to deal with live animals. You spend half your time filling in forms and going through Omnibac fumigation" 

 

He had had a few customers very disappointed due to very reasonable, albeit vexatious quarantine laws. 

 

"I doubt any livestock license stretches to sentient beings though. At least, not in this part of the galaxy"

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GM

 

The doors slid open and the Lor stepped aboard. He was a young alien with eager eyes and he looked over the two hunters.

 

"Purpose of your trip?" The young Lor asked. Gear flashed his bounty hunting license. 

 

"Bounty hunting." He shoved Carnivore Cain forward. "We plan to take him in and potentially an associate." The Lor looked Cain over and scanned through his data pad. His eyes went wide when he saw the bounty on The Carnivore's head. One tail pushed a pistol into Cain's spine. "We have... evidence that happens to be leaving with us. I don't recommend looking too closely. They can tear the flesh off your bones and still want more." 

 

"Well I suppose you can go, but I'm going to need to inspect those cages." He said pointing at the two sky Tyrant babies. 

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Starshot

 

Starshot kept back. He had kept his gun and helmet back in the Xeno. This was a game of diplomacy rather than firepower, unfortunately. He was more at home with the latter than the former. Still, playing host to well off tourists over the years made diplomacy and guile, if not second nature, at least not completely alien. Carrying plasma rifles around, and covering your head...not a great start. 

 

"Inspect them all you want" he answered, politely. "But I would do it at a distance. They can pluck of your fingers in a snap" he explained. To emphasise, he brought up his cybernetic hand. 

 

"Not a mistake Ill make twice" he grinned. 

 

"I have put them through the standard Omni-bac decontamination process. Nothing dangerous on them. But if you want to take a look, I'll just get my medical kit out..." he said, bringing out his kit. 

 

"Lets see...Ice pack...tourniquet....neuro-tranq....should all be good. Of course, if the blighters swallow your fingers, can't reattatch them..."

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GM

 

"No, no I'm sure if they've been cleaned there's no need for me to investigate any closer." The Lor rubbed his hand. "I'm sure as long as they stay in cages they will be absolutely fine." He clearly did not believe a word of that, but was rapidly trying to make it someone else's problem. 

 

"We're trying to get to Bugtown, what's the easiest way?" Gear asked shoving Cain forward and past the custom's officer. 

 

"Tram leaves in about twenty minutes from three corridors down from the port exit, smell will let you know which one it is." He nodded letting the burly Xobron take his very dangerous haul off the ship. 

Edited by Kolohehonu

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Starshot

 

Starshot plowed his way through the crowds towards the tram. He has the sense that the Nameless were not, as yet, very popular - or at least suffered under the burden of racial distrust. It felt like Nazi Germany again, and whilst he knew he was sensitive about these things, it remained the fact that he was sensitive. Insight did no good on its own. 

 

"Out of my way" he snapped at some presumably innocent Lor in his way. He barged forward. 

 

Easy...easy....its like you want a fight....want to punch away the pain...it won't work....

 

He sniffed. Go to hell, my introspection! he snarled at the rational part of his brain. 

 

He forced himself to calm down, but was gruff all the same. "Come on, Gear, we have a damn tram to catch...."

 

 

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PC

 

The Xobron hunter kept a fairly tight leash on Cain. Gear knew the device was a one time rig, the last thing they needed was him trying to run early. As they walked Gear reached for his communicator. 

 

"Hello this is..." He paused. "Counselor Ditra 55?" Gear smiled feigning surprise. Yeah he knew all about that career. It was a good one. Or rather would be. "Yes I'd like to speak to the counselor. Tell her it's a friend. Greasy Gear. Helped with a case involving Communion tech smugglers." Hopefully they'd worked that case already. The three stood at a station with an unfortunate amount of refuse as Gear was transferred to the Counselor. "Ditra, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I have a mark mixed up with some bad bad people. Willing to erase him. He's supposed to do a hand off in Bugtown, could use some help navigating that part of town. Willing to do a favor for a friend?" Friend was a stretch, but it worked in the mob, maybe it would work here too. 

Edited by Kolohehonu

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Heritage   

At the time Gear reached out to his old acquaintance, she was at Otto's, a low key Bugtown bar, enjoying a drink with her berth neighbor Sindra One-Oh-Five. Sindra was a third generation Pink, and while it was common knowledge you should never trust a Pink, the young councilor always seemed to end up hanging out with the younger Infil unit. Otto's was a very 'outsider friendly' establishment, fairly dark with the occasional strip of blue biolight to minimize collisions. There were a few private rooms in the back for commercial transactions, but the owner didn't tolerate any 'hanky panky' or 'funny business' in his bar, though he would happily recommend another that did.

 

The two female units were in a well-padded booth not far from the entrance, slowly nursing their drinks as they discussed their plans for the day

 

"Do you work again tonight?"

 

"I work every night."

 

"Is this the massage parlor or the 'sophisticated business class lounge'?"

 

Sindra snorted. "There is absolutely nothing sophisticated about it. And no, tonight is sanitation attendant." She made a disgusted face.

 

Ditra was shocked. "Why in the name of the Great Mother are you working in that slime pit?"

 

The young Pink could only shrug. "Hey, I go where my boss sends me; if he thinks-"

 

Just then, Gear's call came through on her internal com line, the two-tone chime ringing off to her right while the bounty hunter's simian face slowly rotated in the corner of her eye.

 

"Sorry, I need to take this." Cocking her head to the right, Ditra picked up the call.

 

<Ah, so we're 'friends' now, eh, Gear? Nice to know where I stand!>

 

She patiently waited for Gear to make his pitch; she'd hoped her days of handing this sort of thing were behind her, but wasn't it also a councilor's job to keep her constituents safe? When he was done, she finally nodded.

 

<Alright, tell you what; meet me at Otto's, the place right near the tram turnabout? You can buy me a drink and tell me all about it.>

Edited by Heritage

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PC

 

"If there's any way we can meet up in private, I happen to have three life forms I'm trying to transport. Three life forms I'd rather limit how many eyes are on them." Gear sighed. Ok so they could get help, honestly he wanted nothing more than to hand off all this mess into the Rel's hands and be done. He could turn in Cain and be done. Collect the bounty and go... elsewhere. There wasn't a home exactly to go back to. "Otherwise sounds good, we'll meet you there."

 

"Ok Starshot when we get there we're headed for a bar called Otto's. We can get this guy into a back room I think and do some business with a friend. Get an extra set of eyes if nothing else." 

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Starshot

 

"The more eyes we have the better"

 

He was feeling a prickly sweat. Nerves. Too busy, too crowded. Anyone could have a Telaxian shock blade and stick in his back. He felt a mild agitation, a restlessness, in his hands. Cain.... he is a slippery customer....friends and contacts everywhere....yes, Cain was making him nervous. 

 

"Especially in a bar" he added. "We better watch our step. Cain is cunning if nothing else" he said, putting his hand in his jacket just so they were doing something. 

 

"Lets hope your friend is trustworthy. For what its worth, you have earned my trust..."

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Heritage   

<I'll grab a room in back right now, and have a friend waiting up front to lead you to me.>

 

Ditra broke off the call and turned to Sindra. "Can you do me a quick favor?"

 

The lovely Pink grinned and stretched like a hungry cat. "For you, Deet? Anything."

 

- - -

 

The Bugtown tram was not quite an official conveyance, but it did have a regular schedule that it at least tried to follow. Even calling in a 'tram' was giving it too much credit, since it was really just a heavy duty cargo mule with three trailers attached to the back, each with pair of long benches bolted to the floor, back to back. The 'carriages' each could hold about twelve people, if they weren't much more than a meter wide, and it bumped and rattled quite a bit on its way to the far end of CoVic Station. A handful of other passengers shared the ride with Gear, Cain and Starshot (though they all gave them a wide berth), mostly Lor or other humanoids who very much kept to themselves. The long hallway was only intermittently lit, but as they got closer and closer to Bugtown, its walls were increasingly decorated with advertisements for the various nightclubs and other establishments to be found there, lurid signs traced out in luminous strips of red, green and blue that floated into view before once again disappearing into the darkness.

 

Finally the tram pulled into a wide circular chamber, the turnabout, which was closet thing to a central Bugtown square. A 'fountain' of cascading blue light danced in the middle of the circle, and there were a wide variety of storefronts around its edge. The crowd wasn't as dense as it had been back in the Main Plaza, but it made up for it in color, as Nameless shells in blue, gold, green and pink in every shape and size went about their business, along with the members of several other races. Everyone moved briskly, head slightly down, as if in a hurry to get out some nonexistent rain. The air was a heady mixture of potent smells, some tasty, others rather repugnant; underneath it all, one could detect a faint whiff of methane that must have slipped past the air scrubbers.

 

Across the circle, a pretty green-skinned woman in a jet black jumpsuit stood in the doorway of Otto's, beckoning the three travelers to join her.

Edited by Heritage

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PC

 

"Deetra. Good to see you. Looking same as ever." Gear said as he approached. From his understanding Nameless Chasis didn't age. He was trying for a joke. 

 

"This is Carnivore Cain, we need to discuss him in private. Then we can form a plan." Gear declared shoving Cain towards the entrance to Otto's. "This is Starshot, he's a good guy and helped me nab Cain."

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Starshot

 

"Pleased to meet you, madam" said Starshot, giving a stiff bow. Diplomacy was an oddity to man of action like himself. He had learned how to not put his foot in it. But not the niceties and subtleties of statecraft. Opinion would have to be reserved when it came to diplomats. But there was nothing to indicate antagonism. 

 

"We need help" he said, frankly. "This piece of junk" he prodded Cain "wants to sell these" he pointed at the Baby Tyrants. "And Bugtown...ahh...this place" he muttered, looking away "is his market stall..."

 

"Do you know about illegal trading here?" he asked "Illegal and, in this case, dangerous?"

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Heritage   

Their contact smiled and stood on tiptoe to kiss the Xobron on the cheek. "Nice to see you again, Gear, and nice to meet you, Starshot." She was quite pretty, with light green skin, dark eyes and an unruly mop of dark green curls. The Diplo gave Cain a disdainful look, and then sharply shook her head. "First rule of Bugtown, never discuss business on the street; anyone could be listening. Follow me." 

 

She took the Xobron by the hand and led the three men around to the back of the bar, leading them inside via the service entrance, then down a narrow hallway to a magnaseal door with a dull silver circle in the center. The Nameless agent place her palm against the disk, there was a hum and a click, and the door slid open. "After you, gentlemen," she said with a mischievous smile.

 

Inside was a circular booth upholstered in some dark tanned skin, with an ugly lump of a table in its center. The room was lit by red biolight, though a small blue lantern on the table led to strange shadows. Already sitting in the booth was a young woman in a pale gray jumpsuit, with light green skin, dark eyes and...an unruly mop of dark green curls? She looked up as her guests arrived, then frowned when her 'twin' followed after them.

 

"Sindra, what exactly are you doing," asked Ditra as she got up from her seat, looking very annoyed.

 

The other 'Ditra' laughed as her skin shifted from pale green to bright pink, her curly hair straightened into long and silky strands like cotton candy, and her face became another, with a grin like a bratty child. "Teaching your friends the second rule of Bugtown; nothing here is what it seems!" She bowed dramatically with a flourish, and then backed out of the room.

 

"Sorry about that," she muttered as she stepped over to kiss the Xubron on the cheek, exactly as her duplicate had. "Nice to see you again, Gear. And you must be Starshot? Please, have a seat."

Edited by Heritage

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PC

 

"Good to see you Deetra." Gear said as he bent down to let her kiss him. He had a soft spot for pinks. He had a pink who used the designation 777, Lucky the boys called him. He had been Xor'cran's most trusted informant, confidant, and advisor. 

 

"Hello Sindra." Gear said as he sat Cain in the corner. Then he put down the two cages. There was the sound of scratching and crying from the cages. "You ever hear of Za'aki Sky Tyrants? Apparently the juveniles fetch a pretty penny. Cain is trying to meet a contact in Bugtown."

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Starshot

 

Starshot quite liked the ambience, but the "bugs" were disconcerting. They felt...engineered...

 

A sympathetic tingle went up his spine. He became somehow aware of the redundant and not so redundant cybernetics buried in his flesh. 

 

It made him want a drink. A beer. 

 

"And selling them is a bad idea" he added, grim and deep. He leaned forward to peer at the cases. "All teeth and claw and ferocity. Even like this. The adults are a living weapon" he explained. "And two of them smells like breeding opportunities..."

 

He leaned back, folding his arms somewhat tensely. "This isn't my jungle, but it looks like it is yours" he added, half-forcing a smile. "If you fancy doing some hunting?"

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Heritage   

"We make you uncomfortable," Ditra stated matter-of-factly as she looked at Starshot; she was still smiling, but there was a hint of sadness in her eyes as she shook her head. "It's a common reaction; that or an intense fascination. Both are understandable, given our nature; I'd say we're used to it, but...that's not entirely true."

 

Then she lighlty thumped her hands on the table. "Now, on to the business at hand; who would be in the market for a pair of Sky Tyrants? I think you might be right about a possible breeder, Herr Starshot. Give me a moment." She closed her eyes as she began a querry.

 

A few moments later there was a knock on the door, and another Pink, this one a handsome male, entered the back room, wearing a smart Otto's uniform and bearing a tray; on it were a large glass of what appeared to be a Weißbier (or at least the closest thing available light years from Earth), a mug of Xobron ale...and a glass of ice water for Cain. "Gentlemen; a round of drinks, courtesy of the lady." The Pink smiled as he placed the drinks in front of the appropriate drinkers, bowed and left.

Edited by Heritage

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GM

 

Cain had the sense to keep his head down until the pink had left. "The Rel want them. And the Rel gets what the Rel wants." Scowled the agitated hunter. "If I don't get these to my contact I get wiped from existence. You won't get your bounty, monkey." Snarled Cain at Gear. 

 

Gear for his part just watched quietly. 

"The Rel are time traveling gangsters." He used a tail to sip his ale. "Just as callous and brutal as the Carnivore believes." 

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Starshot

 

Starshot kept quiet. Being uncomfortable was doubly uncomfortable when somebody called you out for it. 

 

He couldn't help but give thanks for the Beer though. And perhaps, against wisdom, he drank too quickly. "I appreciate the diplomacy" he said, slowly and, appropriately enough, diplomatically. "I have no discomfort around aliens. I have been around enough" he explained. "The world of politics and whispers. This makes me uncomfortable. I can't trust anyone who makes it their job to make them trust me..." he explained, apologetically. 

 

"In other words, I trust actions and choices, not words and promises. I do not take offence at the latter, but they are empty as space"

 

He put down his beer and put his hands together, giving a smile. 

 

"If you really want trust, can you help us? Show us to the dealers?"

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Heritage   

At length, the Diplo opened her eyes, and then turned to Starshot with a smile, inclining her head slightly. "Touché, Herr Starshot; actions, as always, speak louder than words." The green-skinned beauty leaned forward and steepled her fingers. "The Third Hive are...something like a family of criminals and terrorists; our 'black sheep'. Officially, they have no presence on CoVic Station; their queen is in hiding somewhere out in Lor space, and their designations go unlisted in the station's logs. However, they are very much here, and very powerful." She paused to take a sip of her drink before continuing. "There's a sector of town that's listed as being 'unsafe and under repairs', but it's actually a Third Hive neighborhood through and through; we call it 'the Knot'. She shrugged. "If that kind of deal is going down in Bugtown, that's where it would be."

 

Then she looked at each of the three men in turn with very serious eyes.

 

"Now, I can take you there, but it is not a safe place, not even for my kind; I could not guarantee your safety."

Edited by Heritage

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Starshot

 

"If you want a guarantee, by a tri-thermal toaster"

 

Starshot rose up, putting down (with some lamentations) the last of his beer (or what tasted like beer).

 

"We expected trouble, and still do. I wouldn't be surprised if Cain has some tricks up his sleeves and some friends in dark corners. So eyes open" he concluded. 

 

"If it means busting some more heads to get to the sellers, that's the kind of business we are in. We are prepared"

 

He was pretty sure Gear would be in the same song sheet, but gave him a nod of agreement. 

 

"Whenever you are ready, lets go. I suggest quickly though, words can travel faster than light in the right place. And this looks just that kind of place...best keep moving...."

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GM

 

"well then, lets make sure he isn't late and this is all a waste." Gear remarked. Cain for his part was more than happy to lead them to where they needed to go. He seemed to want to continue to exist. 

 

The Knot was what anyone would call a rough neighborhood. There was a way people held themselves. They tended to stay together or if they went by themselves they kept their head down and moved quickly. No one was openly hostile as the four arrived but everyone saw and made note of them. 

 

"That front stoop." Cain gestured at the front of what was probably a residential building of some kind. There were a few clusters of nameless moving around, but no one paid much mind. "I'm supposed to go there to meet with my contact."

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Heritage   

Before they left Otto's, Ditra decided she didn't want a councillor be seen in the company of these fine gentlemen, so she decided to return the favor and borrow Sindra's likeness for this operation. Besides she hadn't had a chance to give her new mimetic skinpack a proper workout.

 

On the way to the Knot, 'Sindra' was very chatty, sharing various details about the Nameless community, but once they entered the shady district, she was all business. She pulled up her hood and kept her head down until they'd reached their destination.

 

 "I did a quick background check on the building; it's registered to a Pink designated Zander One-Oh-Nine. It's a tenement, mostly Pink, lots of units for mainly short stays." She sighed and shook her head. "Basically your 'one stop shop' for criminal activity."

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Starshot

 

"Full of scum" muttered Starshot, under his breath. A little too loudly than prudence would suggest. 

 

He shook his head and gave a blunt "Sorry". He half meant it too. 

 

He clenched and unclenched his hands, both metal and flesh. He was without his gun, but he had no hesitation in straight forward pugilism if it came to it. Still, the landscape, both architecturally and socially, was not his preferred. 

 

"Lets get this on with it then" he said soft in volume, hard in timbre. He gave Cain a shove forward. 

 

"I'm pretty sure you have some oily plan in your head. When it blooms, I may have to slightly kill you" he threatened. 

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