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A Community Service [IC]

The Sailor

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August 15th, 2015
0800 Hours
In the South China Sea, In route from the Phillipines to Vietnam

The sun was rising on the water, as a small cargo ship that had been re-purposed as a transport started making its way by islands that stood between the passengers and Ho Chi Minh City. The passengers, a group of college students and humanitarian-minded individuals are part of a effort to clean Agent Orange in the backwaters of Vietnam, as well as some trained for mine removal training as well.

What makes this special is three individuals on the boat, each metahuman, there on their own reasons.

Emily was there to work with the representative of Archetech, an unusual woman by the name of Naomi who was playing bodyguard for a Claremont Student. Casey Blankenship, who was there on a community service trip. In fact, Naomi was asked personally to assist in that role as bodyguard not just for Casey, but for the whole operation. Naomi had called around a few contacts, and Emily's name was prominent on her list. While they hadn't worked together in the past this she thought would be a good way to build contacts, not just as an Employee of Archetech, but as a superheroine in general.

It didn't matter much as people were thinking of getting breakfast that the host of the trip, a kindly old man who kept to himself but was a known humanitarian in the region, was providing. That should be whipped up in a hour...

Feel free to post what your characters do as they get up. Your trip's just started and it'll be a couple days before getting to Vietnam, so... time to settle in!

Edited by The Osprey
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God, I am such a dork!

Casey was super-excited about this trip; ever since reading about Agent Orange during a history class that touched on Vietnam, she'd wanted to visit Southeast Asia and lend a hand in the clean-up effort. As the proud daughter of an American military man, she felt it was her duty to help right a wrong from decades ago. And while Casey Blanenkship the student could help out during the say, perhaps one Miracle Girl might show up at night and add a little extra elbow grease to the problem.

So far, the trip had been a lot of fun; getting to meet other students who shared her love of volunteering was always a treat, and she now had almost a dozen new Facebook friends. Lots of Scouts both Girl and Boy, lots of Greenpeace and Sierra Club. Good times!

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"Okay, Rodriguez, make sure that crate stays secured. Wouldn't want it tumbling over and knocking someone overboard." Naomi said, scratching her head where there was a fresh scar near her temple. "This one's troublesome as someone packed the equipment in it top-heavy. Those openings on the bulkhead here should help keep it in position with those ties."

Rodriguez nodded, getting to work fast as Naomi walked about, making sure everything was in order on deck. As pretty much the ship's and it's crew and passengers bodyguard, things haven't been quiet, up to now. People are sliding into a routine, and with the ship being 3 days out from Ho Chi Minh, people are treating the trip more like a cruise.

She had a red flight-suit like pair of coveralls on, under a red load-bearing vest with all sorts of first aid equipment with hidden trauma plates, and an attached life preserver collar, which Naomi occasionally straightened out. She didn't like the look... felt more like a SAR swimmer than security. At least she wasn't sporting a rifle or anything, and that was important. Looking like you were a PMC could draw more attention and bad press for Archetech than anything. At least the red baseball cap she was wearing kept the sun out of her eyes.

She spots Casey as she was moving about on deck adjusting to the trip. "Well, Miss Blankenship... how's the trip treating ya?" She said, moving her hair back behind her large ears, making sure she had the man-overboard beacon clipped to her belt like everyone else on deck had. She had already lectured a couple college kids on not having their's on, and she had made a couple enemies. "I'm starting to think 55% of this ship's gonna hate me by the time we get to port."

Edited by The Osprey
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  • 2 weeks later...

Casey laughed and adjusted her glasses. "Oh, it's always that way, Miss Baines! Basically you're like any camp counselor; half the kids are Goody Two-Shoes who want your approval, and the other half want to sneak behind the mess hall and smoke cigarettes!" Like a good Scout, she was wearing a vest over her light windbreaker and T-shirt while on deck this far out to sea; if it had been a big cruise ship, she would have nixed it, but a boat this size was a different story. Otherwise she wore khaki shorts and leather boat shoes.

"So have you been to this part of the world before, Miss Baines? I visited a friend of mine in Japan a month or two ago; so cool!" It was nice that Claremont had arranged for her 'escort', though she did think it was a bit silly; surely a girl who could fly and lift a few tons could take care of herself!

Edited by Heritage
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Erick Sloane.was one of those very people who had chosen to treat the trip as a vacation.  He had chosen to come on board for the philanthropy of course.  But, who said philanthropy couldn't include a little enjoyment.  Even if it cut a little close to the start of  the core term in the London Business School.  He couldn't remember the last night he kept normal hours as he laid in the cot staring up at the ceiling above.  It was...more boring than he expected.

Is it wrong of me to say I miss beating up drug runners and super thugs?    Fighting the chuckle that wanted to come out Erick found himself rising from the cot and going out to see the day.  Erick's boat shoes made not a sound as he made his way to the deck.  Though he'd rather be donning a suit and tie.  The salmon colored shorts and grey polo outfit made him fit ride in with the other college students.  Having chose to forgo actually wearing his vest as he surfaced, he did make sure to clip the mob beacon to his shirt.  Having been lectured once and all.

Reaching into the center of his collar Erick retrieved the sunglasses that had been adorned on his person.  Not quite as ready to greet the sun with the rest of the day.

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Naomi looked over to Casey. "I get around, Casey. And you can call me Naomi." She said, smiling. When it came to Casey she was low-maintenance. "There's something about this area that always seems to draw my attention." She said, adjusting the coveralls. "Then again there's always some weirdness I've had to deal with in the past few months." She said, sitting on the rail of the ship, balanced decently well, but it was obvious being on a boat wasn't Naomi's usual gig. "That that I thought I would end up watching over the entire population of this ship. Thought this job would have been just keepin' an eye on ya. I owed your dad one after one... well... embarassing crash, and thought I'd help out with this. Sure beats jumping through whatever separates our universe from another... long story."

She scratched her head. "To be honest I like the change of pace, at least Miss A knows I can keep my cool dealing with others. Also the life vest isn't necessary on deck unless you're not too sure on your feet. I noticed a couple waterphobes on the stern. If anything I'll have to keep an eye on them. They're more a liability than a swimmer like you. Of course I'd end up grabbing anyone out of the drink."

She noticed Erick start to being up and about. "Well... nice seein' ya up early. Breakfast'll be served shortly." She said. She still remembered her lecture from before. Something about him stuck out compared to the others. As far as she was concerned though, he didn't seem too bad.

Sighing she got up, patting Casey on her life vest. "...I think Rodriguez needs help, you and I can cover keeping this box in position while he gets the ties in place. I wonder what the blazes is in that thing..." She said. "Umm... Erick... wait there a sec this box could tip."

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===In another part of the sea===

On a pitching fishing trawler, a lone man dressed up as a rugged fisherman, with a uzi hidden under his apron looked at the sea, barely spotting a small cargo ship making it's way to Hoh Chi Minh. "Ay, Captain!"

A rugged man with a eye-patch, chewing on a cigar, dressed in military fatigues looked through his pair of binoculars. "Well... there's our target."

A woman stepped up behind the man, loaded with scars on his face barely covered by his beard and his shaggy hair. "Think the brat's onboard?"

"Countin' on it. The rat we paid off at the dock in Manila let it spill. Before I spilled him as chum a little bit ago."

The woman smirked. "Don't mess this up, Corvus."

"If this is your moldy little revenge game on that General in the Air Force, Cygnus, don't let it cloud your judgement."

Cygnus was already starting to dress up in some tourist looking clothes, grabbing a inflatable life vest. "Just keep tabs on my radio. When I signal ya, you can strike. This bait's gonna take time to set up."

"Taking advantage of a humanitarian's soft heart... I just don't like ya going in unarmed. There's at least two metas onboard, one that has a bad time dyin'."

"I'm aware. Thing is from the intel I got once you drop her she'll be out of commission long enough to strap some weights on her and heave her overboard. Or just make sure she's tied up enough where she won't be an issue when she wakes up."

"Then what about the kid? She has a friend with some high-tech connections."

"What about the pink-haired schoolgirl? She's busy somewhere else. She's not even on the trip and I've not seen any transmissions between Miss Blankenship and wherever that little brat is. That and if she tries we'll be jamming their radio soon enough anyways."

The man smirked, pulling the cigar from his mouth, before kissing Cygnus. "Jus' be there when we get there. Wanna celebrate once we can start sticking it to the man."

Cygnus grinned, buckling her vest and stepping to the side of the boat. "Better get ready to skedaddle. That cloaking device only works when we're stationary. Best to get in position without makin' yourselves obvious."

Corvus nodded as Cygnus jumped over, bobbing up once the vest activated.

"Alright! Let's get hidden! Move out!"

The ship started to leave Cygnus behind as she sighed, she intentionally lightly cuts her forehead, tossing away the blade she used. She let a little blood drip on the vest before she leaned back and waited. The pirates soon disappeared like ghosts as the cloaking system came online. It wouldn't be long that the target would come over the horizon and whoever is on watch might see her. "And now we wait..."

Edited by The Osprey
Uncomplicated matters a bit...
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Casey adjusted her vest, smiled and wrinkled her nose. "Well, remember what I said about the Goody Two-Shoes...?" She laughed and rolled her eyes; she was comfortable enough to make fun of herself and her 'good girl' status, and that genuine humilty was part of her charm.

And then Mr. Sloane came up on deck; all the girls onboard (and let's be honest, a few of the guys) talked about him with giggles and hushed tones. Wealthy, good-looking and 'quite fit' as the English girls noted, he stood there on deck like a J.Crew catalog incarnate. The wind changed and Casey caught a whiff of his cologne, and automatically found herself self-consciously checking her hair and breath; yes, he was a college guy, which made it all fairly gross, but just look at him!

"Hi Mr Sloane!" She waved far too eagerly, the biggest smile of her life stretched across her giddy face. "Did you sleep well?"

What the heck was she saying?  'Did you sleep well'? Idiot!

Edited by Heritage
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"Thanks for the heads up.  If you need help, just let me know."  Erick responded to Naomi while pointing at the box he was warned about possibly tipping when they hoisted it around.  Flashing a smile he turned to Casey.  "Wow, I didn't think I was old enough to be called Mister.  Erick'll be fine, Miss Casey, and yes I slept well.  I give this cruise line four stars."  He replied with a light chuckle.

He didn't press or tease on the question.  She was too young for the latter, and too much a stranger for the former.  "Say ladies, when that box gets all rigged up.  What say you gals join me below for that breakfast Naomi mentioned.  Not many other people here to reminisce over Freedom City."  While speaking he was keeping his mind focused on the box.  Precognition meant his spatial awareness was well above the average person.  But, paranoia labored into him actually keeping tabs on his surrounding.

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Naomi grinned. "Most of that is right, but dinner will be on deck." She said as some tables were already being unfolded with chairs as well. "Nothing like eating in fresh air for once." She said, happy to have Casey's assistance.

Once the crate was stable and secure she looked about, stretching as her ears relaxed, but then they perked up. "Hey... Casey, and Erick was it?... you see that out there? That yellow dot? looks... out of place on the water." She said, scratching her head. She was about ready to grab her radio.

"And Casey... try not to use your powers much... don't wanna advertise. I got some leeway as my "sister" is a superhero." Naomi whispered, emphasizing her tone when talking about her fictional "sister". She knew the orange crate with her suit and flight pack, which blended in with the other emergency equipment on the decent size ship was available, but she can't really change with everyone milling about on deck. She had a feeling...

Edited by The Osprey
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Erick's head turned in the direction Naomi pointed.  Keeping a trained eye out for anything that stood out or looked yellow.  A small metallic shine in the distance providing even more direction.  "I think weather might've got to someone.  Don't see a ship, but that's definitely a person."  Looking up before he finished his thought out loud.  "Now, let's hope the weather doesn't get to us to. I think that looks pretty nasty.   Would be a good time for you to tell the captain, so we can bring her aboard."

Of course there had to be a situation.  Sometimes, Erick had to cop to the theory that his powers meant that on a subconscious level all of his choices steered him towards trouble.  It kept life interesting at least.  He wasn't particularly concerned about the boxes in the water. Life over property and all.  But if they had time, they could probably swing to manage getting those aboard.  The thunderheads overhead making it clear how big of an if that was though.

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Casey was happy to help secure the boxes, including some of her fine knotwork. When Miss Baines indicated the mysterious object out at sea, the blonde heroine shaded her eyes and...well, pretty much saw everything, but didn't want to blow her cover in front of Mr Sloane. "Oh yeah, there's...uh, definitely something out there. And those clouds look really bad, too." She got a pained look on her face, then leaned in close to whisper to her 'escort'.

"I could fly out there in no time at all, and be back before anyone even noticed." The thought of someone stranded out there, waiting for the ship to slowly make its way to them, made her very upset. "Please, Miss Baines? I can be discreet!"

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She grumbled with a whisper. "No, we keep this by the book, not for your safety but our covers. Whoever that is out there is just a couple minutes off and it looks like they're afloat at least. Nothing... dire for the moment." She said, pulling up her radio. "Captain, Naomi here. We got a non-passenger in the water. Possible overboard. Any reports of anyone overboard in the area?"

The radio chirped back. "Negative. I think I see her I'll pull up and you can take care of things. We'd better make it quick, as I'm gonna have to get everyone below deck. Getting reports that storm heading our way is a real blow."

She looked over to Casey and noted Erick's observation skill. "Okay you two are drafted for the rescue. Once we pull alongside the overboard, Casey I'll need you to toss that life preserver ring on the bulkhead out to them tied to that rope over there. You know your knots. Erick, I'll need you to keep an eye on the line and help me pull them up. If they're unconscious I'm jumping in and Casey can help with the pulling."

She switched on a red switch on her belt clip for her radio activating the intercom. "Attention all on deck, there is a person overboard, Starboard side. We have people assisting. DO NOT jump in to assist unless asked by myself. Or Casey. She has the red hat on." She said, taking off her hat and putting it on Casey's head after switching off the intercom mode. "If I have to go in you're temporarily in charge."

The ship started to get close now, and the person in the water didn't look like they were having a good day. Blood from the head had gotten on her otherwise yellow life vest and she started to move her hands sluggishly. 

"Hmm...Naomi looked over to Casey and whispered. "She's close... look at that head gash and the pulse. That Mae West of hers is a bit tight around the neck so her blood pressure should leave a decent pulse on the skin. If she's really injured she'd have a weak pulse instead... that cut on the head looks bad but I've seen head cuts that look impressive but just give you a crimson mask. It's a old pro-wrestler trick. You're my tricorder here. She actually hurt?"

As she asked the distressed mariner was even in easy eyeshot of Erick...

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Erick didn't speak as they neared the sailor.  Instead he cautiously kept an eye on the woman 'in trouble.'  Erick played things close to the vest.  No one could accuse him of spending too much time planning ahead.  But, that didn't mean he was careless either.  Something was amiss.

At the same time they couldn't just leave the sailor overboard.  Erick reached for his shirt and began removing it.  "If you do go in.  I'm coming with you.  I get the feeling this isn't a one person job.  Look how close she's keeping those boxes.  Probably thinks they're important."  In reality, he was only pointing out the boxes to subtly hint their position to the others in a way that didn't seem out there.

If there were less open water, Erick might have suspected pirates.  But, then he would have hopefully had a precognitive flash beforehand.  Although that wasn't always the case.  Still, there was something that he couldn't quite place about the situation.  With those clothes, he suspected a passenger overboard on a cruise line.  But, then why overboard with so much material?

"Well either way.  I suppose the best way to get answers is to just ask.  And even if not really hurt, we can't really leave her out there."  Rather than risk civilians getting hurt, Erick figured jumping in if/when Naomi jumped in cut down the risks.  She was at least trained.  Better than that time I had to fight those frog men in the Nile.  Or the whole Yacht Club thing.  I swear every time I'm on a boat bad things happen.  


Edited by HG Morrison
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Naomi nodded. "Good idea. I'm not the best of swimmers but I'm learning."

She rummages through a box and finds a snorkeling vest still in place from a snorkeling trip the captain of the boat chartered out earlier. "Slip this on and puff it up if you need it. Not regulation but it'll be a start."

She steps up to the side. "Take care of the boxes, I'll check over the woman, then assist you with the heavy work."

She nods to Casey and jumps into the water, bobbing up moments later with a inflated life vest and backstrokes to the victim in the water... slowly, but makes it.

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Casey frowned as leaned over to Naomi. "I'm no doctor, but from what I can see, those injuries look pretty superficial; unless it's thirst or sunstroke, there's really nothing to knock her out, and she's not sunburned and her lips aren't white. Head wounds bleed a lot, even shallow ones like that. Either she's just sleepy or she's playing possum."

When the others jumped in the water, the blonde teen tensed up; she should be the one swimming out there! But then she nodded to herself and opted for the lookout role; if she saw any funny business from here, she could shout out an alarm. 

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