2237-08-15 - Lasers And Feelings: Part I

Captain Meeghan Starhammer (Charlie) and Doctor Silver Fox (Irene) confront the Dread Space Pirate Jake, and his new invention that can destroy a whole solar system. They must seize it before the cyber zombies come to destroy the Universe of Darkness.

Date: 2237-08-15

Location: Crew Lounge

Related Scenes: None

Plot: None

Scene Number: 396

Jump to End

So! It's game night. Sort of. It's a small group tonight, for the latest edition of Lasers and Feelings. Where the heck did those pesky recon Marines even find the game, right? It's not exactly contraband or 'popular'.

Ah, nerds.

For her part, Erin looks excited. She sits at a square table with a six-sided die in front of her. She has a pencil and a notebook in front of her, and awaits the arrival of her victims. Err, players. Dare one trust a Trash Panda to GM?

How ever did Erin even talk Charlie into this? The Piconese woman is not really what one might expect when one brings up things like 'dice' and 'gaming' unless there's bets and triad cards involved. Start talking stats and roleplaying and her eyes are likely to glaze over. She reads, but her choice of books rarely delve into fantasy. If ever. Unless one counts bodices being ripped and giggling over words like 'turgid.' Even so, the woman shows up in her off-duties with a cigar in the process of being lit. She grabs a soda from the 'fridge before hiking her way over to the table that Erin has claimed, plunking down in a chair. "So what're we doing again?"

Aleksander is usually found lounging about in the Crew Lounge or Berthings instead of the Gym or Firing Range, his free time dedicated pretty much to himself instead of extra time training or working out. Today is no different as the Tauron can be seen walking into the room with a newer issue of Gun 'n Gurlz tucked under his arm. His destination is his usual couch, one built for three people, which he usually claims for himself. This time however, his gaze shifts to the two Recon women that are present with books. It isn't a stretch to assume that Aleksander has no idea what they are up to, or what Lasers and Feelings are.

Irene wasn't the toughest sell, she is an actress and an academy grad, so this kind of thing doesn't sound like crazy bananas to her. And maybe, it's a fantastic break from yet another hand of Triad. She shows up a little late, but she's in her sharp duty blues suggesting that she's not long off a shift and in her hands are peace offerings. Snacks, looks like - one box salty thin crackers, the other cookies. She sets the pair on the table as she drops into a free seat, sighing relief. "I feel like I've walked the length of the ship a hundred times today."

"Well, Chuck, it's really quite simple," begins Erin, sounding like an otherworldly Peppermint Patty. "What you do is you make a character. You're familiar with that, right? Someone else, someone not so you. And how you do that, well -- " She reaches under her notebook, and passes out a single sheet. " -- here. Read this, tell me what sort of character you want, and we'll start the game. I mean, you know -- try to get it started, and all."

She turns her attention to Irene, and grins widely. "I used to play this stuff a lot when I was in college. Not that I was any good, right -- who ever gets good at these games? -- but I, like, loved to pass time when I wasn't studying rocks."

"Uhm." Charlie accepts the sheet when it's given to her, staring at it. She squints at the sheet, then looks at Erin, then back at the sheet. "I mean, I guess? I've seen this stuff in vids and all. It's usually a bunch of guys sitting around pretending they're these big warriors that they clearly aren't. And there's always one dude pretending he's some super hot chick. That's always really weird." When rene joins them, she looks to the pilot with wide eyes. "Help?"

Irene laughs at the description rather than backing slowly out of the room. She's game, even if she admits not being a seasoned veteran, "There was a little group that played these. It didn't look so hard, but they clammed up when I tried to watch over their shoulders." Cause, she's Irene and all. Shoulders roll out a casual shrug as she smiles over at Charlie, saying, "It'll be fine. You can be the super hot chick, if you want."

"Sure, you can!" says Erin encouragingly to Charlie. "Or the Intrepid Engineer. Or, like me, the Savvy Soldier." She makes a hand-waving gesture. "Not that I'm playing a character in this, but, you know." Surreptitiously, she reaches for snacks. Salty snacks. Because they are there.

Reaching the couch, Aleksander plops down and lays out, making himself lazily comfortable. In another life, he may have been an overgrown feline, but here he is a Marine, ableit a somewhat lazy one. Opening his magazine, those who don't give a closer look will assume the Tauron's eyes are buried in the magazine, but he's actually keeping one ear open on the game that is starting up between Erin, Charlie, and Irene.

"What about..." Charlie squints at the sheet she's been given, "a sexy alien?" She's reading it all wrong. She's combining two styles, rather than a style and a role. "I want to be a sexy alien." She looks from Irene to Erin, then back. "Howabout that? That'll work, right? One of those green ladies, from that show off Caprica, yeah? Everyone wanted to frak them."

Before she gets to it, Irene pops the top corner button on her blues and lets the stress from her last shift vent out. Better. She goes for the cookie box right after, tugging the tab open and pulling out the tray, while asking, "What can I be then?" The cookies are some fancy Virgan things, golden, sweet and just hard enough to make for good tea dunking. First one she takes out, and spotting Aleksander, carefully aims and arcs one high and hopefully into his lap. She doesn't watch to see if it does, but pretends to be fully involved in her own sheet. "Dangerous... Doctor?"

And so, the GM replies. "Can't do that Chuck." Erin reaches out and points to the left of the sheet. "You can be an Alien, and you can be Sexy, but you can't be both. You need, like, an adjective, and then a role. You know? Like, me: I'm a savvy soldier, yeah? So, like, you can be a Sexy Soldier. Or an Alien Engineer or something, you know?"

The Trash Panda opens up a bag of snacks, and starts munching on them fervently. Like she hasn't had a meal yet. Gnosh gnosh.

"Sexy Explorer, looking for sexy.. aliens." Irene helpfully suggests.

There is no yelp of surprise or raised voice of protest, but the sound of magazine pages suddely rustling is the result of Aleksander reacting to the sudden projectile landing on his lap. Sitting up, he looks at what hit him and it seems like the cookie is the reason why the Tauron maintained his silence. He begins to much away but when he hears the selections that are being made, there is a stifled snort, obviously amused with what they are trying to come up with for their characters.

There's a sort of pout for Erin when she shoots down the 'sexy alien' idea. "But alien isn't an adjective, Chilly. It's a noun." Charlie is gonna be one of those, clearly. "This is confusing." She sighs, deeply, and squints at the sheet for a while. "Fine, I'll be aaaaaaaaaaa-" she drags out the sound for a while longer, "Daaaaaaangeroooooous-" Hmmmmmmm she makes the sound as she ponders the roles, "pilot." There's a look to Irene, as if to confirm she's made a good choice. Leaning to a nearby table, she grabs an ashtray to tap her cigar off into.

"Alien's an adjective, what're you -- never mind, it's not important. Okay!" Erin licks her lips, and then tosses her die a few times. Four, to be precise. She looks up the results, and then looks confused for a hot second. "All right, then. Umm. How should I say this?"


"The universe has collapsed! A, uh -- a huge plague that broke out among the, uh -- the House Worlds have shattered alliances and caused civilization to backslide for a thousand years. It is in this, uh -- this horridly, uh, gothic sort of, like -- there's all of these un-living beings, now, the plague -- the plague has made them rise from the dead to feed upon the flesssh of the living! Yes, this is -- "

%"You two are members of the small space ship, the Serendipity! Go ahead! Take a moment to describe yourselves!" Erin makes appropriately geeky hand gestures as she 'weaves' her world. Sort of poorly

"But that's me!" Irene laughs over at Charlie, but she's not demanding she change or anything. It's just funny to her. She's easily amused. "Okay, so a Dangerous Pilot, and a Sexy Doctor in the UNIVERSE OF DARKNESS full of dead things." She summarizes, before taking a cookie for herself and staring at it, hard, as if it'll help her come up with cool stuff. "So, my name is Doctor Fox and I have a white lab coat and sensible flats, oh and my hair is black or red? Maybe red and really long and wavy, and covers one eye." A red-haired Veronica Lake? She's maybe getting way into describing her character's hair, but it's obviously important.

"Nuh-uh, you said Dangerous Doctor. She didn't say we both can't be dangerous! We could be a ship full of danger." Clearly, Charlie likes the idea of a Danger Ship. Or maybe she just thinks all pilots are dangerous. Probably the latter. Most likely the latter. She is a marine, after all. She's always just packed into the back of a Raptor, praying she doesn't get shot down. For the sake of Erin's narrative, when it's turned on them, the woman just gets that 'help!' look again. She blinks at Irene's description and goes "Uhhhh." for a while. Actress she was not. Nor model. She was an athlete then a marine. There's no nerd buried under there. She thought this was a game! "Myyyyy character's name is uh- uhm... Meeghan Starhammer. She's got like, scars and stuff. She's out for like, vengeance 'cause her family was killed by this... plague thing?"

"It's not just a plague, Chuck: it's a cyber-virus plague. It was caused by a rogue AI that created nano-machines that could infect the living and turn them into mindless zombies." Erin grins widely. "So -- before we go on -- you must pick a number. Between 2 and 5. 2 means you're in-tune with your feelings a lot, and 5 means you're more into science. Choose and choose wisely, for this will be how your character comes off and all of that."

The Trash Panda scribbles down some notes onto her notebook, and then looks at the main sheet for the game again to make sure things are matched up right. And that she hasn't missed anything.

Double dangerous! Irene did start out with the dangerous doctor, but must have changed in order to not cramp Charlie's style. Since she's got the green light there, she switches adjectives with a grin at the other Dangerous, "Oh. Dangerous Doctor, then. And, I want grey hair that's straight and short, like to here, with bangs and to be mature and kinda scary. Doctor Silver." Again, the hair. She's hopelessly obsessed on her character's hairstyle. "And, she's really intelligent and logical. So, 5." There. Pleased, she shuts her mouth with the cookie at hand, then while chewing dares a look over at Aleks, maybe just to make sure she didn't knock him out with the treat she tossed his way.

"Uhm, okay, I mean, vengeance against the cyber-virus plague that killed her family, sure-" Charlie just shrugs and looks at Irene, helplessly. "Or whoever created it." It works! Maybe! The poor recon marine is still terribly lost. This is not the sort of game she understands. How does she win?! What's the goal! How does this work?! She leans on an elbow, puffing away at her cigar. "Uh, four. I'll go with four."

"Okay! Five and four, that works." Scribble scribble. "All right. We got -- " Erin points to Irene. " -- Doctor Silver Fox and -- " She points to Charlie. " -- Captain Meeghan Starhammer. You both fly in the small scow known as "the Daredevil" because you two are so -- " Hisssss. " -- dangerousssss."

She clears her throat.

"In your adventures, you've come upon reliable information that suggests that the cyber zombies have found the hideout of the Dread Space Pirate Jake." Beat. "The Dread Space Pirate, also known as DSP Jake, is rumored to be developing some sort of technology that will help eradicate the cyber zombies, system by system. However! It's not all good news, for this technology is a weapon that could destroy a sun!" Pssshh! "And, if those cyber zombies get their hands on it, well, it'll be alllll over for DSP Jake and his men -- and for sentient life as you know it."

She hunches over, and looks between Irene and Charlie. "So! What will you do, Danger Crew?"

Irene glances slowly aside at Charlie and raises an eyebrow. "I think you outrank me, but I suggest we do something dangerous." She puts some emphasis on the very last word, amused. Her thinking cap goes on though and her cookie is thoughtfully nibbled. "Do we know where Dread Space Pirate Jake lives? Is he the same one I treated for Outer Ring Flu and Explosive Sweat Syndrome?"

"Wait, woah-" Charlie looks panicked, "I didn't sign on to be a Captain! I don't wanna be in charge!" She almost drops her cigar and has to lean waaaaay over to catch it. She barely manages to keep hold and has to quickly ash it in the tray before she gets the stuff all over the floor. "Frak me, uh, yeah, something dangerous sounds good." There's a hopeful look at Erin, as if that'll be enough information to provide o the poor GM. "Uh, I mean... we... go... to the hideout? Right? 'Cause, uh, we gotta get to him and the technology before the zombies do, right?"

She leans over to Irene and asks, blowing smoke the opposite way: "Why's a pirate developing technology anyhow?"

"Well, yes! Yes, that was DSP Jake, Doctor Fox, but! He didn't pay his bill: he managed to leave without paying, which means that there's some serious debts to be considered." Erin looks to Charlie. "And, sure, that would probably be a good idea. Who knows if that tech will even work? But, DSP Jake and his crew isn't to be trifled with, so -- it would be most dangerous to try to land on his base planet, the Seventh Moon of Rodne."

She seems to be enjoying this too much.

"So, shall it be the dangerous way? Do you, uh -- do you think the Daredevil can hack it?" Beat. "I mean, what sort of Strengths does the ship have? And it has a flaw -- what is it?" The Trash Panda meaningfully points to the portion of the page that discusses how to build a ship for the game.

"Because he's my protege." Irene explains to Charlie, even though that's likely not true at all. She's just happily making stuff up like the professional liar she is. "So we go there at maximum speed and I remind him that he owes me about five million cubits for treatment rendered, but I'll accept his research on the cyborg plague instead or you'll explode his stupid base... because the Daredevil is Well-Armed and we have a Grim Reputation." She looks between the Recon marines, seeing if that'll fly at all.

"Uhm-" Charlie shrugs when Irene decides their ship, "I'm good with that." A marine is always good with well-armed! "Five-million cubits is a lot. What'd you do, build him an all-new body?" She gasps, suddenly, pointing at Irene with her cigar, "Did you make him a cylon?! How dare you!?" She's mixing real with fake. She's not very good at this at all. "Are cylons behind the zombie plague? Did Iris start the plague? Is it all her fault? Did I just win the game? What's my prize?"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Captain, slow down." Erin snickers. "It isn't about winning, exactly. It's about the story." She makes a hand-waving gesture. "Just go along. You'll see."

"So! You approach the Seventh Moon of Rodne when you're hailed." She clears her throat, and puts on a raspy voice. "'Whatchoo want? Whatchoo be doin' in my system!'" Poor! "DSP Jake seems unimpressed by the Daredevil, because he has his defenses up and feels ready! No way he's going to pay that money willingly. So -- " Erin looks to Charlie again. " -- Captain. Do you want to fly in on a frontal assault? Try to sneak your way in?" She looks to Irene. "Or are you going to take the con and try to get your former student to back down and pay up?"

"I didn't!" Irene laughs, claiming innocence to the point of putting both her hands up so that Charlie won't like, arrest her for working with the Cylons to start a cyber zombie plague. When Erin puts the story back on the rails, she looks grateful, "I think I'll have to reason with him. Maybe you can find somewhere we can sneak in or something we can explode if he doesn't cooperate." She gets into character proper after that, smoothing her hair down and making her posture more rigid. Her tone and bearing becomes dignified and well, chilly. "We meet again, Jake. It seems there's been some sort of regrettable misunderstanding in regards to an outstanding bill you owe my office. You know, for the treatment to prevent an embarrassing recurrence of Weeping Posteriorial Rot. If you're having difficulty raising the amount owing, perhaps we can discuss a reasonable settlement?"

Erin interrupts: "Irene, here." She pushes over her die. "Roll this just once. You're looking to hit feelings, so you need to roll a 5 or above."

"Oh, no. I have no feelings." Irene realizes, but she'll roll for them anyway.

"Well if I've learned anything from pilots, it's that you charge in with all weapons," Charlie opines, leaning in to squint at that six-sided die that Erin's got. She reaches out with her free hand towards it. "So what does this do? I've used it for gambling before. Is that what this is?" She reaches out to set the cigar aside for the moment, balancing it on the ash tray. This frees her up to crack open her soda. "We're well-armed. Frak his defenses. We're the best ship, yeah? We'll just blow up his frakkin' defenses 'til he lets us in. Teach him a lessen. He'll give the doctor her cubits and give us the tech. He doesn't want his face eaten by zombies, does he?" But when Irene insists on going the feelings route, there's a frown as she looks to Erin: "Can I just sort of... fly ahead and pew pew while she does that? 'Cause, y'know. Misdirection and all."

Again, Erin has to interrupt. For results! "And, sure, Captain, here -- " She takes the die from Irene, and gives it to Charlie. " -- what you're doing is mean and dangerous, so roll this twice, wouldja? And I'll tell you what happens."

Irene watches the die turn up four, and torpedo her con work. It's definitely time for plan B! Or rather, the secret plan A is go. "Let's blow him up and then I'll replace his arms and legs with mops, and install a chip in his brain so that he does what we tell him to." Cause that's how dangerous doctors do, in the pilot's head.

"Super dangerous," Charlie intones as she takes the die. She rolls it over in her hand for a moment as she drinks deep of her soda. "Okay, here's to blowing shit up!" She rolls the die once, waits long enough for Erin to see the result -- a two -- and then picks it up and rolls again. A three! "is that good?"

"All right. Well -- " Erin looks to Irene, and shrugs her shoulders. " -- DSP Jake doesn't respond at first, but, in a few seconds, laughs over the con. 'You think I'm falling for that shit? Think again, you old bitch! I'm not paying you a damn cubit, and you know it! Frak off, you hag!' And that hurts. He cut a bit deep, but -- "

Erin points over at Charlie. " -- that's what Captain Starhammer rolls forwards and opens fire! Pew pew pew! With guns ablazing, she lays waste to the base's defenses! And that forces DSP Jake and his men to get into their ship and face off against you!"

"Their ship is massive, but -- they still want to get you on the con. After seeing what the Daredevil could do, the pirates seem to want to -- settle." Erin looks between the two.

"I think I'd prefer if he had mop arms." Irene says, halfway in character. He did call her a hag and worse. "We should disable his ship before settling anything. The price is now all his research on the plague and his left arm or right leg, his choice." She settles back in her chair with a look at Charlie, seeing where her thoughts lie on the matter. Her cookie is finally polished off.

Reaching for her cigar, Charlie looks pleased with herself. Clearly being a dangerous pilot is where it's at! Pff, talking. This is why she's never in charge. Too much talking involved. More pew pew is needed. She puffs on the cigar a few times before looking sidelong at Irene, "What if he's right-handed? Why not his right arm or left leg?" She swaps cigar for soda, sipping at the can. "Uhm... I say we disable the ship first. Take out his engines. Then let the doc talk."

And, so, Erin gestures to Charlie. "Roll twice." And then, to Irene. "And you roll once." She scribbles down some notes.

"That seems cruel." Irene says of chopping off the pirate's dominant arm, though apparently the other arm or leg is just fine. "But I guess he can choose any limb he likes. I'll respect his decision. Roll good!" She rolls the die once and pushes it over to Charlie so she can get to the pew=pews.

There's a little shrug for Irene, "Thought we were going for cruel?" Either Charlie is figuring out how to play her not-feelings-dangerous pilot or she's just that mean! "I mean, you wanna give him mop arms, right? He'd mop better with his dominant arm! I bet our ship is super dirty. Dangerous pilots never clean." She finishes off her cigar, stubbing it out in the ash tray before just leaning back in her chair with her soda to await the results.

"Before DSP Jake can say anything, two well-timed shots from the front cannons -- bzzzamp! bzzzamp! -- shatter his ship's shields and defenses, effectively making his ship dead in space. Desperately, Jake says into the con: 'No more! No more! I'll do whatever you want!'" Beat. "And, so, the Doctor has the con, and she manages to talk Jake down, but -- "

Erin looks slyly to both of the players. " -- there's only one way to make sure the cyber zombies never get this technology." She leaves it at that.

"I keep thinking Sexy Doctor." Irene admits with a vaguely embarrassed smile, "We should do that. All arms and legs are made of mops." That's more like a dangerous doctor, Charlie had it. Once Erin describes the positive results of the attack she grins and offers the good captain a congratulatory cookie. "Yay! But, what? Does that mean we have to do more than humiliate him? Maybe he'll move to another universe."

"I think," Charlie says to Irene after a glance to Erin, "she means we oughta blow him up." She ascribes the 'explode' motion with her hands and an explosion sound with her mouth. Kerplow. There's a look back to their erstwhile GM with big eyes. "Can we do that? Explode his ship, then raid his base for the technology?" It's a proper recon mission!

"You could do that. But what if the cyber zombies find the base, and uncover the tech? Or find you?" Erin calmly shoves a mouthful of chips into her mouth. Crunch, crunch. "Tough choices, Captain. An enemy surrendered. Plunder to be had. Or! The safety of the Universe of Darkness." She grins. "What will you do?"

Irene narrows her eyes and twists her mouth thoughtfully. Thinking. "Tell him to transfer 5 million cubits to my Libran bank account and then we'll, uhm." She looks to Charlie and thinks a moment or two longer. "We're dangerous, let's take the technology and all his cool pirate clothes and take over his business."

"Oh! Oh!" Charlie points at Irene with her soda, "Let's become the new Dread Pirate Jake! We'll blow him up and then take over his base. We'll fight off the zombies and it'll all become ours, yeah? His cubits and business and technology and everything, yeah?" She looks to Erin, hopeful. "Can we do that?"

"You can! And you do!" Erin holds her hands up. "And so, it is, and it came to be, that Doctor Silver Fox and Captain Meeghan Starhammer, and the Daredevil, took the Dread Space Pirate Jake's holdout on the Seventh Moon of Rodne, determined to make profit for themselves. But! Even with the star base repaired, and the businesses moving, it would only be a matter of time before the cyber zombies would come for the technology."

"Next time!"

Erin reaches for the die. "Definitely next time. And we definitely need to get more people on board, if you plan to fend off all those zombies on your own, guys."

"We have the technology." Irene intones, before reaching for a cracker rather than dice. "But we need a dangerous scientist. Doesn't sound like we can amputate or explode our way out of this mess ourselves." Sadly. "Maybe one with feelings. Then someone else can be Space Pirate Jake, now our cabinboy." Munch.

"Co-Dread Pirates!" Charlie looks pleased with this turn of events, lifting her can to drain it of the soda. "We need more people," she agrees with Erin. There's a snort in Irene's direction. "Definitely a scientist. And nah, we blew up Jake, remember? We're Pirate Jake now. We need... soldiers, I think, to fight the zombies when they come."

"You two plot that. I'm going to see if I can't catch Katja before she heads to the gym." Erin scoops up her die and her sheet, notebook and pencils, and then packs up briefly. And then, she's off to find the other pilot, whistling softly to herself.


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