Suddenly Ardjen grabbed Ciara's hand. "What are you doing?" he whispered while looking scared.
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Suddenly Ardjen grabbed Ciara's hand. "What are you doing?" he whispered while looking scared.
A few seconds later August stood outside of the bridge and typed in his access code, which opened the door for him. He stepped in and walked straight to his chair. He looked at Olaf, who seemed very busy with what he did best. It felt right to have the man behind the wheel again. Then August glanced over to the large dog, who glanced back at him, unimpressed, but somehow more at ease, despite their current situation.
August knew better than to bother his pilot with all sorts of distracting questions, but there was one thing that needed discussing. "We still have two people back on the surface, Olaf. Any chance we can hide off-planet and come back for them soon?" He hated to admit it, but the last year as captain had changed him. He used to live by the code where it was 'survival of the fittest', which also meant 'every man or woman for him- or herself'. He felt a bit troubled by how he now felt responsible for his crew and even cared for them. He actually hated the idea of leaving people behind, even if he barely knew one of them: Angel had come through for them when he could have also left them behind. Not long ago August would have thought that stupid: never help someone if you can't profit from it, but not anymore. He knew he would try his best to get Angel and Shadai back on his ship.
Ryan nodded. "I'll be back real quick. The store's over there. I'm sure nothing will go haywire this time. I mean, I got the cash on me and we're only talking about a bottle of booze. I'll be back in a sec!" With that, he sprinted over to the general store, the one that was supposed to have the liquor that Jelena had requested.
A few seconds later he walked into the store, which had the classic bell hanging next to the door, which jingled as soon as Ryan opened it. "Hello?" he spoke, not seeing anybody at the counter at the moment.
Thanks for posting this, Misty!
"Please", Nico said in reply to Maaike's inquiry about the opening hours of takeaways. "This is Barcelona. Something's always open." He smiled and then used his smartphone to order something simple, which in this case was pizzas. He ordered a margherita and a hawaii: nothing too fancy and one of them was vegetarian.
"They'll be here in about half an hour", he informed Maaike as he hung up the phone. She had installed herself on the bed and had made herself comfortable. Nico listened to her as she explained why she preffered starting right away. "Okay", he said. "So this is all that I know." The he started talking about what had happened to him after the accident, what he had witnessed in the hospital and all the weird dreams that he had experienced in which he simply knew that he wasn't dreaming. Then he went on about how weird they had acted at the hospital when he had inquired about his treatment and how they simply had denied that he had received any form of experimental drugs. He also told about his most recent 'dream' in which he had actually managed to control and manipulate his surroundings and about the woman he had encountered there: Juliana Locke. He told her about Ridderkerk, where she supposedly lived and everything else that he remembered about her. When he was done, more than 20 minutes had past.
"So, what now?" he asked Maaike.
Nico, who had gotten out of the car and had retrieved his own luggage from it, listened to Maake and nodded as she summed up what she needed. He led her inside the house, which he gave himself access to with his key. On the inside the house was carrying a typical mediterranean look as well. That is to say: the colors of the walls and floors were. The furniture had a more modern look. Nothing too abstract, but definitely not mediterranean. It looked a lot like the style that Nico held in his own house: simple, straight and without too many different colors. The rooms weren't too crowded with furniture; Nico liked things to appear roomy.
From the outside they stepped straight into the living room. One could see a hallway leading to the back of the house: it led to the bedrooms and the bathroom (the house had one big bathroom). To the right there was an open door leading to the kitchen, which in turn had a door leading to the garden terrace. To the left there was a closed door, which lead to Nico's office, but he wasn't planning on letting Maaike in there. Instead, he led her into the hallway and to the first door on the left: the guest room. It was adjacent to the living room and right opposite the bathroom. Nico's own bedroom was the second door on the right, next to the bathroom.
Nico opened the door to the guest room and turned on the light. "Here we are." He walked into the room, allowing Maaike to follow him in. In the center of the room, against the back wall was a luxurious bed which provided room for two persons and then some. the left wall was covered entirely by a large wardrobe. The wall to the right of the door had a desk against it. On it was a box with some pens and some post-its next to it, but other than that it was empty. Above the bed and on the wall opposite of it were a few paintings, which portrayed nothing in particular, at least not to Nico. He wasn't a big fan of abstract, but somehow he liked how the colors of these paintings went with the room.
"So, this is where you'll be sleeping", he said to Maaike. "And you can work from here as well." He pointed towards the desk. Beneath it in the wall were all the connections that Maaike would need for her work. "The bathroom is opposite of your room; my room is next to it." He paused for a moment and then added. "You want something to eat? I can order in if you want something."
For a moment Ardjen hestitated. Then he realized that his indecision would lead into him being left behind. He quickly followed Ciara and the two moved towards where the voice had come from. Before long the alley split into a route to the left and a route to the right. Before Ardjen could ask, a faint yellow glowing started in front of them. At first very small, then a bit bigger. The glow nevery became very bright, but in the dark alley it was easy to see. The sphere headed into the right alley. "Follow the light" the same voice that they had heard earlier whispered to them.
August had caught most of his breath and scraped himself up from the floor. He was still panting a bit as he gave orders: "Secure the ship and get to your stations! Ayla, man the turrets in case we need to shoot our way out; Ronon, get to the engine room." He made for the bridge himself. As an afterthought he added: "And get that wound looked at, Ronon!" And he was gone. He had made no mention of the people left behind on the surface.
Nico frowned and wondered if Maaike acted this way at work as well. He wasn't questioning her abilities, but her manners could use some improvement. Or was she just acting this way because this was like a trip for her? Whatever the reason, Nico simply had to accept her bedside manner, since he had no alternatives. It was dark outside, but he knew the route well. He drove them to the edge of the city and then out of it. The road became more quiet and before long theirs was about the only car on the road. Another ten minutes later Nico drove the car up to the gate in front of his vacation house. He typed in the code to open the fence on the console next to the gate and it opened. Not with a creepy sqeaking, but soundlesly. The place should be properly taken care of: Nico had hired help for that. That help would also know that Nico would be visiting now, if his secretary had properly informed the man and Nico had no reason to believe she hadn't.
"We're here", he told Maaike, wondering if that would be enough to wake her up. Meanwhile he stopped the car in front of his vacation home, while behind him the gate was closing. The house was pretty luxurious. Not a villa or anything, but a large bungalow, built in typical mediterranean style. There was a big garden surrounding it and surrounding that garden was a fence. The guarden was elegantly simple: mostly grass with here and there a tree or a bush and of course a terrace with a garden fireplace that doubled as a barbecue. Nico wasn't a fan of clichés, but he did have a jacuzzi in the garden.
Marcus saw none of this: the corner he had rounded to escape, hid the fire from him. He didn't see Ardjen or Ciara, nor was he certain if Karen and Cameron would follow him. Had he separated himself from the group, or would the others be able to follow?
At this point the chocolate was doing a fine job of melting in Ardjen's hand. The boy looked down and realized that he was still holding the food that now felt very strange. For a moment he thought about throwing it away, but then he remembered that Ciara had given it to him, sharing her food. He couldn't throw it away. A bit uncertain, he put it in his mouth and started chewing slowly. The sweetness filled his mouth: it was wonderful! It was also gone far too quickly and as Ardjen was licking his hand clean, he remembered the voice they had heard. "So what now?" he asked Ciara, not realizing that his mouth was covered with molten chocolate. There seemed to be two options: get away from the voice or going towards it.
Ryan got out of the mule and started to follow Mark to the store, but then hestitated. "Captain, would you terribly mind if I took a quick detour? I did promise to get Jelena that bottle of rum. I promise I won't be long and then get back to you here."
More cursewords came into Bruno's mind. He was going to have a serious chat with Brian about this. However, that did not solve his problem. There seemed only one thing to do and that was blow Petersen off. The man would not be pleased but Bruno just had to find a way to set things right with him again later on. Right now he had a bar to attend. Yay for him: being stuck here with an aging depressed and not long from now probably drunk customer and two lovebirds who should have better things to do than hang out in a bar. Not long ago he had been pleased that they'd entered and bring a bit of distraction into his domain of boredom, but right now he simply wished that the bar would have opened an hour later. It was all Sarah's fault.
Then an idea came to him. Yes, he could still make this Sarah's problem. He phoned Petersen. It took a while before the man picked up the phone, but eventually he did: "Yes?"
"Major Petersen? I am so sorry but I cannot come to assist you right now. However, my colleague Miss Blake will assist you. I will forward the call to her right now and she will be happy to help you in any way possible."
This time it was Bruno who didn't wait for an answer. Instead, he put the call on hold and called Sarah again. And again it took a short time before she answered, this time cutting the pleasantries and calling Bruno names as soon as she picked up. As soon as he found an opening, he answered: "I've got Major Petersen on the line; he wants to talk to you." Immediately after that he connected Petersen's line to Sarah's and hung up his own phone. And now it was her problem. He smiled an evil grin as he thought about how clever he had been.
And now it was back to boredom. Bruno sighed.
Nor for mine.
Not expecting to be promoted to driver, Nico only barely managed to catch the car keys. This was in other part due to him having to catch them with his left hand, since he was carrying his bag in his right hand.
He pressed the button to unlock the car and the familiar beeping sound came to him, accompanied by briefly flashing car lights. So that was their ride. He looked at the vehicle for a moment. Maaike had probably hoped for something a bit sportier, but she was right: the car suited their purpose just fine.
Nico opened the trunk and put his bag in it, suspecting that the other bag in there was Maaike's. He closed the trunk, walked around the car and seated himself behind the wheel. He waited for Maaike to take her place as well, and then put on his seatbelt, after adjusting chair, steering wheel and mirrors to his own posture.
"Did you have a good trip?" he asked conversationally, as he drove the car away from the airport and towards his vacation house.
Inititally it seemed that by sheer luck Cameron managed to intimidate the other guard to let go of Karen, because that was exactly what he did. But if Karen or Cameronwould pay close attention, they would notice that both guards were now staring down the street they were in, at a bright orange glow: something back there was on fire. "By the Goddess! Friar's Keep. It's on fire!" Of course this was spoken in their strange language, so Cameron would at best have only understood a couple of words. Karen of course would have understood every word, but only if she had been listening. This was however, their chance to follow Marcus.
Marcus in turn, had failed to blindly follow Ardjen and Ciara. Like those two, he found himself in a dark alleyway, but a different one than the youngsters had chosen randomly.
Ardjen looked puzzled at the offer of food, but his mind was so occupied with other things that he simply took the offered piece of chocolate bar, although he had no idea what it was. Suddenly realizing that he was holding something, that now seemed to melt in his hand, he studied the brown unknown. But his study was interrupted by a voice:
"Come this way!" It came from the end of the the alley and although it had been only a whisper, the voice had also been clear; very strange. Completely forgetting the chocolate in his hand, Ardjen asked Ciara: "Did you hear that?" And indeed she had.
In the cockpit, Olaf would be able to see on the sensor screen that the two approaching ships were just about a minute away from getting into firing range. He still hadn't heard anything from the cargo bay, so he would have to trust on his own judgment. If there was any chance of escaping, the Odyssey would have to make a run for it right now.
As soon as August felt someone grab his hands, he closed them and squeezed as hard as he could. He managed a quick glance to make sure he wasn't helping a merc on board and then pulled his arms to his body, trying to get himself and Ayla aboard before the cargo ramp closed. He felt Ronon pulling him and his XO in as well. Although Ayla wasn't heavy at all, she was a big package to get aboard, especially since the ship trying to take off was pulling on her at the other side. Soon August began to feel the muscles in his arms burning, which he tried to ignore. As fast as he and Ronon could, Ayla was pulled on board. With only seconds to spare their XO had managed to climb inside the cargo bay. August lay on his back, breathing heavily and not feeling his arms.
"Oh, just some tweaks here and there", Ryan said. But they weren't 'just' some tweaks. When Ryan had found the time and the right people, he had sometimes traded parts they didn't need for parts to give Sophie some extra power. The result was that in essence Sophie was now housing an upgraded engine which was more than capable of moving along the fully loaded mule without trouble and then had some more power to spare, which Ryan had smartly managed to convert into the car being able to gain more speed, rather than giving it yet more pulling power. He hadn't just pimped Sophie to get a faster car, well, not quite anyway. The main reason for the overhaul was that Sophie had been equipped with a gunmount. Not only was that, together with the ammo, permanent extra weight, but the car also needed to have a bit more power under the hood to compensate for the kickback the gun gave.
Ryan spotted the store where they should be able to get the parts they needed. "Hang on!" he said to Mark as he tried one of his favourite manoeuvres on these kinds of grounds: a hard brake with a 180 degrees turn on the wheel. Suddenly Sophie was a big bowl of dust, spinning half a circle and coming to a full stop right in front of the story. Ryan gave Mark a broad smile with his now very sandy teeth. "We're there."
Bruno was silent for a moment, not really sure about what had just happened. He slowly hung up the phone, whispering: "Well, that has never happened before." In his minds all sorts of punishments for Sarah popped in, but that wouldn't get him out of his predicament. He decided to go for plan B and call Brian, his most junior colleague. The man had only been on the ship for a couple of months and since he was still on a temp contract, he definitely wouldn't say know. The trouble was that the man wasn't any good. Bruno felt pretty sure that Brian's contract wouldn't get extended when it ended, because the man simply had no feel for the job. But not his problem, certainly not right now.
Bruno picked up the phone again and called Brian, not sure when the man's actual shift would start.
Yay, Robert's back!
Ardjen didn't pay much attention to Ciara's rummaging through her bag. Instead, he kept looking back nervously. He had been pretty sure that he could find the way back. They'd taken a left turn and then a right... or had they taken another left turn before that? Suddenly he realized that Ciara was right: they didn't know how to get back to the group. Finding a safe place did seem the best option.
He had no idea what a 'restaurant' was, but the word 'pub' was familiar: "There aren't any pubs open at this time, not with the curfew." He looked around and realized that he had no idea where exactly they were. He was familiar with this part of the city in general, but the current street he didn't recognize. "But we can't stay here" he said, stating the obvious.
The landing spot seemed a quiet place from afar. If somebody were to stop on one of the hills about a mile away from the ship, they'd say Atlantis' landing spot seemed peaceful. The only thing that could be seen moving, was a red object that was surrounded by dust. The ball, a car obviously, was moving rather quickly. Either the driver was in a hurry, or the chauffeur liked speed. Those who knew the driver, knew that the latter was true.
Ryan sat behind the wheel with a big grin on his face. In retrospect that hadn't been the smartest move: although his eyes were protected against the dust, his teeth and throat weren't. But at the moment the chief engineer of Atlantis didn't care: he was driving again and had a vast space ahead of him to boost. Sofie wasn't built for racing, but the red mule could pick up some speed when pushed. And Ryan was pushing. In fact, he decided to push a little harder. Man, this felt great!
Although he was thoroughly enjoying his life at the moment, Ryan hadn't forgotten that he and Mark were actually heading towards somewhere. He may have made a bit of a detour, but Ryan never lost track of their destination and before long they were getting close.
Ryan squinted his eyes and looked at where Mark was pointing. "Got it", he said. Before he drove any further, he retrieved some goggles from under the dashboard and put them on, so his eyes would be protected against the sand when he'd put his foot down on the pedal. With his eyes safely behind the transparent plastic, he headed off.
(continued in other thread)
Phoenix Roleplaying » Posts by Mischa Brendel
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