Status

Recent Statuses

6 mos ago
Current "Old men are dangerous: it doesn't matter to them what is going to happen to the world" - Shaw
2 likes
1 yr ago
three years ago, I was bringing an old RP back from the dead. Oddly, I am once again bringing an old RP back from the dead. There's a certain symmetry to that.
1 like
4 yrs ago
bringing an old RP back from the dead...
3 likes
5 yrs ago
feels the need to POST!!
1 like

Bio

Howdy. I'm Dan. Been tabletop RP'ing since '90 (D&D 2, 3, 3.5, Rifts, Palladium, D20, Pathfinder, Shadowrun) and writing collaborative fiction for nearly ten years (JvS, represent!) In my day-to-day existence, I'm a theatre technician, a Daddy, I tend to work too much -- and writing is my escape. I take it pretty seriously.

I'm a pretty big fan of Sci-Fi (but I'm pretty selective about what I read,) Post Apocalyptica, certain Fantasy works (though I prefer my sword-and-sorcery via tabletop...) and Zombies. Used to watch a lot of movies, and read a lot, but having a three-year-old stymies that quite a bit.

Some character inspirations: Harry Callahan, Max Rockatansky, William Munny, Snake Plissken, Tyler Durden, Cpl. Hudson (RIP,) Severen (RIP,) Peter Venkman, Malcolm Reynolds, Han Solo (to be continued...)

I tend to look for small groups of dedicated, talented writers who post regularly and love the unknown of spontaneous or semi-planned RP. Hit me up with ideas!

Most Recent Posts

Not yet. I’ll link you later this eve / tomorrow.
I think the Padre is going to venture upstairs for a book and a spot of relaxation in the galley / common area. Anyone feel like jawin' with me?
Salad Water & the White Whale



JP/collab with @sail3695

To the uninitiated, the Twirling Rabbit and its’ patrons offered little to hold the eye. Them as come in was either smart enough not to fix their gaze on any one place or person for more than a cursory glance…or simply so dumb as to have a neon sign over their heads flashing “mark” as they gaped at the doin’s within its’ swinging doors.

The latest newcomer was a source of much musing and discussion among the regulars, provided you conjured the lingo. Water pouring off his hat brim was the first tell of an offworlder. The bulge in his coat over one hip, the second. But there were oddities that seemed to delay the verdict on this stranger. An odd flat stretch in a coat pocket which could be a big cortex reader, mayhaps a book. Clothes were all sorta rough, which gave one to think he was livin’ low. The battered shoes mighta thrown some judgments into that camp, but in a room like this, anyone stupid enough to believe that “clothes make the man” wasn’t bound to hold their chair for long.

He was on the short side…a point against purple or a badge. But the man’s face bore the main incongruity, way outta place with the shambles of his coverings. With barely an eye lifted, the old woman took this all in, as did her folk.

Coins dropped…loudly… followed abruptly with a name. That proved enough for McKee. He delivered his verdict, a single scrape of a chair leg on the floorboards. From the opposite corner came Heinz’s judgment, three deliberate shakes of the dice and a hard drop. Two votes for a detective, she acknowledged their opinions with a pair of fresh cards laid on the table.

The definitive vote was Meg’s. “Talk to her. Then get out. Don’t want none of yer trouble.”

Now that was interesting. Meg had stood that bar well long enough to smoke out any lawman, bounty hunter, or Federale who chose to blunder into her path. But this stranger she was kicking upstairs. Clearly, the barkeep read something up close that her two compadres couldn’t suss. In the Twirling Rabbit, when Meg said “trouble,” that was a word could offer several different meanings for the old woman to sort out.

Without looking up from her solitaire game, she pointed toward the empty chair. “Sit down,” she said. “Mind you don’t get my cards wet.”

He stepped toward the table, removing his hat and carefully setting it aside, so as to avoid sullying her space, the aged and worn green felt of its top belying its years of faithful service. Likewise, he shrugged out of his coat, draping over the back of the chair before him. He ran his hands through the thatch of unruly salt-and-pepper at his temples before sitting opposite the woman, fixing her with an even look. Lastly, he slowly drew his sidearm – with the left, ‘wrong’ hand, and placed it handle-facing-her on the fuzzy green surface. Lastly, he withdrew the ancient leather-bound book from its place of honor in his satchel, and placed it side-by-side with the weapon before sitting as asked.

“ ‘magine you’re the type of soul who, like meself, likes to see all the cards on the table. Name’s Collins. You mighta heard just now – I’m looking to flush out some vermin that needs dealing with.” He inclined his head toward the barkeep, back over his right shoulder. “Your friend thought I should ask you about Jonas Flint, Ma’am…”

He could feel eyes burning into the back of his head. Could smell cold steel ready to be pulled from oiled leather. Could sense the itch in their trigger fingers. Without his coat, the starched, grey collar of his shirt stood in stark contrast to the piece facing her, but both were well-worn, and oddly – not out of place on this figure. He tried to read this woman before him, but her face bore little emotion, save a faint glimmer in the corner of her eye.

“A friend of mine once told me the story of the magistrate Chen Shu-ku, from Earth-that-was. I keep wishing that it was so easy to trap prey. But it ain’t, is it? Do you know the tale?”

The old woman turned a card, laying it face up in one of the sequences before her. “Your magistrate relied upon superstitious ignorance.” Her eye took in the cleric’s collar. “Looks to be your grift as well…though not entirely.” A card landed near the pistol. “The ‘verse is full of men huntin’ other men for one thing or t’other,” she mused aloud, “but a Padre who lives by the sword…bit of a rarity, I’d conjure.”

She flipped another card, a mild contentment upon her face as it fell into one of her sequences. “You’re not the first Ahab to saunter in here, but I must admit to some small vexation.” She paused her game, lifting her eyes to finally meet his. “I’m curious,” she said, “why you thought to search for your whale in this room?”

“Been a long while since I read any fiction, and I’m no scholar. But if I’m getting your gist, you’re calling me & mine a lost cause. Ahab was mad, a man devoted to evil deeds and revenge. He was doomed from the very beginning, because he fought his fight against the forces of nature.” The clergyman leans forward, elbows on the card table, pleasant smile on his face. “I came in here because it had the look of filth and decrepitude about it. ‘Zactly the sort of joint a no good ri shao gou shi bing like Flint would piss in a cup and pass it off as ‘shine.” The smile broadens. “There’s a great deal about this place and your ways I may be ignorant of, but your read on me was wrong: I am the force of nature. And Flint ain’t no whale. He’s a dead man walking. Bleeds just the same as any other.”

“Jonas Flint.” She dropped three cards in rapid succession, then frowned at the result. “So now that I’m familiar with your game, only one question left. Why should I play along?”

The question took him a little by surprise. It honestly hadn’t dawned on him that anyone could require an ulterior motive, other than doing what was right and just. He didn’t have much to hide, and certainly had nothing to lose. “Well, Flint likely has his hands in more’n a few pies. Honest wit’cha, I have no idea if he calls the shots, or if he’s a hired thug, or somewhere in between. But I have no interest in his business. When I’m done what I need to do – you want to pick the pieces that fall to the floor? Add it to your empire, or sell it to the highest bidder? Fine with me. …my claim to him ends with his neck. Anything he’s a part of – I give you my word, I’ll see to it you get the spoils.”

He knew every eye in the joint was hinging on her next word, or movement. A lesser man, or a man without faith might have been scared. But the Padre was at ease. Today wasn’t his day to die. The path before him might have been partly shrouded, but he knew enough to know he had several more sunrises to see.

“And the streets shall be paved with gold,” she chuckled as her cards landed upon the table. “The promise of future reward is so much dust.” She lifted her eyes. “But we may still do a touch of business.” The old woman cast a glance toward the bar. She lifted an index finger, which set Meg to work preparing tea. “I know enough about your whale to keep you in the hunt. I’m willing to trade that information if you’ll provide me with what I need to know.”

He didn’t have to think long. This was the first potential lead he’d had in ages. “Sure, I’ll play 'long. What is it you need ta know?”

“Simply put,” the woman’s impassive gaze held firm, “I need intel on a Firefly that touched down yesterday. It’s called ‘China Doll.”. She paused to eye the man for any sign of reaction. Finding none, she continued. “I want a basic profile of her crew… who might be capable of putting up a fight, who might not…and the types of weapons you see on display, if any.”

Meg arrived at their table, bearing a tray with two cups and pot of steeping tea. The old woman poured a cup as she finished. “Bring me that information,” she offered, “and I’ll divulge what there is to know about Jonas Flint and his cohorts. Care for tea?”

Father Collins puzzled over the information presented to him for a moment. This woman had connections, obviously – maybe only here, on Greenleaf, maybe in the wider Black. With her connections, she must have the means to get the information she seeks. Many questions rose in his mind – mostly of the ‘who?’ ‘why?’ and ‘what?’ variety. Something wasn’t right, and normally he followed his gut when something like this seemed off. But the prospect of intel on Flint was something he highly prized, and whatever these poor folk had done to pop up on the old woman’s radar, he didn’t envy them the position. He regarded the salad-water as it approached the table.

“Only drank tea once, in a hospital. China Doll. Sure. I’ll find out what you ask. And when next we meet for a face to face, I’ll weigh the worth of what you provide on Flint, and you’ll get news worth what you give me in reply. No more. You provide good intel, you get good intel. You got a landing pad or a berth where I can find this ‘China Doll, Ms…?’

“I’m known as Ellsbeth.” She dropped a lemon slice into her cup, then carefully poured the tea. “Rumor has it they’re berthed on row J. I’m confidant that you can take it from there.” With delicate hands, she lifted the porcelain to her lips, eyes returning to the cards arrayed before her.

He thought a spell before adding wordstuff to the mix. He knew that Ellsbeth was some manner of unsavory. He couldn’t tell how, or what she was involved in, could be whoring, could be slaving, could be murderous, could be thieving. Could be a mix of any of the above. And if she was involved with these folks aboard the ‘China Doll,’ then no doubt they were the same sort of folk. And if they was the same kind of mean-spirited, no-good, thieving, whoring, murderous Hwen Dan folk as Ellsbeth, then this was bad karma setting things right. And it meant precious information on Flint. He tried to separate his desire for retribution from tainting due process… but chances were his intuition was right. “Alright Ellsbeth. Row J. A Firefly, China Doll the label. I’ll have a look, get acquainted. If they’ll have me, I might catch a ride, it’ll give me a chance to gather what I need to know. You understand if I prefer to send you wave with your information from planetside, rather than from the ship… once they get where they’re going…”

He eyed her for any signs of balking at his considerations. “Might be offworld a spell. You never know with these tramp freighter crews. But once I get planetside again, I’ll give you what you need.” He began picking up the Code, wrapping it back into its worn cloth, and placed it back in its usual spot in his bag, and slowly retrieved his shooter, holstering it. “If there’s nothing else, Ellsbeth, I’ve got a transport to catch.” He extended his hand in offering.

Ellsbeth collected all the cards, a casual eye lifted upon the stranger. “Make hay while the sun shines,” she answered.

Pleasant sort. Collins shouldered his bag, flicked the brim of his cap at the barkeep, and strode out of the Twirling Rabbit, on his way to the docks. Mebbe pick up some kind of real protein on his way…
My door is always open, Hook!
Looking for a collab for Father Collins' next IC. Really enjoyed 'Out of the Cold!!' Great stuff!


"Twirling Rabbit"




Collins had been walking the streets and alleys of Khao Yai a good three hours. (Actually, ‘good’ was pushing luck. Lousy was more fitting.) He didn’t really have a program. No place special to be, nobody to hold sway over him. Back home, that was rare. There was always a place to go, or a days’ work (or ten) to be done. But since he’d gone off-world, in those rare occasions when he had himself to hisself, he knew what he had to do. Collins had meandered into and out of a dozen bars since leaving the Troy, and none had the right feel to it. Too clean. Too filthified. Too bright. Too sparsely packed with folk. Too ruttin’ busy. Too loud.

His walk had taken him on a circuitous route to nowhere. He followed no path save his nose, and a hunch he’d find something. Something important. He turned a corner onto yet another poorly-lit stretch of crowded Jao Gao, and immediately found what he was after: The Neon sign reported, in badly translated English, the ‘Twirling Rabbit.’ Except the sign was broken, and in the dim light with letters missing, Barstow saw only ‘Twirling Ra__t’ and said as much, under his breath. “Twirling Rat, huh? Seems my kind of place.” There was a cowboy retching violently at the corner of the establishment – too much ‘shine, or not enough, Collins couldn’t be sure.

He nimbly crossed the street between a pack of four thread-bare hare krishnas and a grav-truck that should have been on the scrap pile a decade ago and, side-stepping the vomit outside the ‘Twirling Ra__t,’ stepped inside. He knew at once this was the place, and silently cussed out his inner monologue for wasting three or more hours of time when this had obviously been the spot all along. All eyes turned to him as he entered. There were at the very least three or four illicit acts in progress that he could have judged on the spot, if he were back home, and near every one o’these old boys looked like they’d done a stretch or three. He tugged at the brim of his hat to the room, and as he did so the collected rain-water ran off in a small rivulet, and eyes turned back to their previous efforts.

He walked to the bar, placing his hands on its cool, worn top, and swiveled into a stool. There was no immediate response. He flipped a few coins onto the bar-top, and flicked one, such that it spun like a top. The barkeep approached, a hard-baked and squinty-eyed woman of maybe forty, with a voice like she’d gargled with broken glass once too often. “What’ll it be, drifter? We got beer, bourbon, an’ two kinds o’ the local tonic that’ll strip paint as soon as make you forget yer ills…”

“I’m not thirsty, dohn? I’m looking for someone.” She slapped her hand down on the spinning coin, stopping it dead. A few eyes close by took note. “Well this ain’t no whorehouse, and I don’t need no shi yan, stranger. You care to whet your whistle, you let me know…” She moved to leave him, but not before he slapped two more coins down on the table, slid them into her hand. Ja Hwo goes by the handle Jonas Flint. Travels with a few Kai Tze… I’m sure someone here might’ve heard of them.”

At the mention of Flint, there are some hushed utterances, and the scraping of a few chairs against the floor. The barkeep jerked her head toward a dark corner. “Talk to her. Then get out. Don’t want none of yer trouble.”

I just found the link... didn't think it would result in anything more than potential interest piqued. Also had no idea it was from another RPG. That's how little I read it. I just needed a few blanks filled in, is all. No biggie. Khao Yai it is. I'll go with that, it's enough to start!
This is super-good info re. Greenleaf.

tapatalk.com/groups/the_verse_online/…

Where is the Doll setting down? Carter City? Deja Thoris? I'm working on a good post, but I can't put it up till I know (at least OOC) where you're making port, because the only way Collins would get aboard the Doll would be a combo of luck, proximity, and potentially planet-side association in a common endeavour, which again would only happen if we happen to geographically be close to eachother.
Happy Sunday from the cargo bay!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Now that we're all staring Monday morning in the face, we thought it's time to make sure we're on the same page.

First, posts:

Part 2 of the Skyes' shuttle warmup will be posted tonight. If you still have something to write, now's the chance! We'll take it it offline today at 5PM EST and post it this evening.

Other posts we're aware of:
The Doc and the Cap'n are trading wits in the galley.
Abby's gonna mix it up with the passengers.
A JP is in the works for Pen, Sam, and the Cap'n.

And then, we land!

After speaking with the Skyes' representative, here's what our time on Greenleaf will look like:

Day 1: Landing -3PM local time (Immediate offload of seafood/passengers)
Day 2: Full day - (Cal + 1 will meet with a local to deal on a cargo haul)
The Skyes have work plans
Day 3: Full day
The Skyes have tourist plans
Abby's shopping for headphones
Day 4: Receive cargo & supplies
Prep for launch
Liftoff - 12:00PM Local time

Does that work for your character subplots? If you need additional time on planet to tell your story, let us know.

Write when it's fun,

sail


What day would you like the Preacher to arrive?

-D
Approaching Greenleaf...



Collins sat, cross-legged, in his room on the upper deck. Sweat stood out on his brow, dripped slowly down his nose. The room was in darkness, but his eyes had grown accustomed. Surely, it hadn’t come to this. He hadn’t seen what he thought he had seen… or had he? He thought back over the past week. Captain Hammond had been welcoming enough, mostly letting him attend his own affairs but Lamb, the deck-hand… he had been openly hostile, ‘specially when he had said words over the evening meal, two days out of Beaumonde. He had thought nothing of it for a spell, but when he had happened upon Lamb and the galley attendant, Alva Holt – who he’d had a very pleasant conversation with earlier that same day, having a heated argument and had witnessed Lamb grab the girl’s wrist in his mitt, the disparity of her tiny, artfully decorated limb pressed under his grease-covered, white-with-strain fist the size of a canned ham, flashing momentarily in his mind’s eye. There had been an ugly, red vein standing out on Lamb’s forehead, and he had uttered unseemly words at her as concerns her character as he held her arm up above her head, pinned against the wall. He was over a foot taller than Holt, and easily a hundred pounds heavier than her lithe frame. The Preacher had stood there, cup of tea in-hand, silently blowing to cool the liquid, a silent unasked question etched into his features, until the moment passed. Lamb released the young girl, shouldered past uttering additional filth in his general direction and was gone. Barstow had made an attempt to ask after Alva, but she had brushed past him, tears in her eyes.

That had been three days ago, and there had been tension in the air ever since. Collins had mostly kept hisself to hisself, but there had been an invite from the Cap’n for a communal meal that evening at 18:30, and it wouldn’t do to discourage such an offer. He cooked dumplings that afternoon to add to the meal, and while working alongside Alva, mostly silently save humming an old and familiar tune, he noticed a fresh bruise on her cheek. Asking after her health and well-being, she turned away from him, covering it with her fringe. But the response was clear enough.

The meal was a bit of a celebration. The crew had done well this trip out, and approached Greenleaf with money and prospects. All enjoyed themselves and relished the first good meal any of them could remember in a dog’s age. Lamb was well into his cups, and made several callous and unnecessary remarks at Holt’s expense. It wasn’t lost on the crew, some of whom made side-long glances at the drunk deck-hand. For his part, Collins looked to the Captain, who shrugged it off as the crew ‘blowing off steam.’

And so now Collins sat, cross-legged, in his room on the upper deck. It wasn’t their way. (Wasn’t it the way of every body?) It wasn’t his place. He had no right. They didn’t know his ways. Didn’t live by it. Who was he to stand in judgement of them? He was the stranger here. There may have been history between them he didn’t know about. (But the Cap’n did say that Lamb was pretty new to the crew…) His fingertips traced over the cover of the Code absently, feeling the worn edges of the leather.

When a few minutes later he stood outside Holt’s quarters, his resolve had cemented, his breathing even and shallow. The sounds coming from within were unmistakable, and so was his response. He rolled up his sleeves. Opened the door silently, and stepped across the threshold. He had her against the wall, canned-ham fist over her mouth, pants around his ankles. The gun was cold and smooth in his hand, and he pressed its barrel to the soft place behind Lamb’s ear. When the Preacher spoke, the voice was not his own, the emotion replaced by a steely monotone, ice-cold.

"Lamb… the Romans said: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.' This is the Code…" The hammer clicked into place with a note of finality, But then there was a hand on his shoulder. It belonged to the Captain. "Not like this, Father Collins. Leave him to me." The Captain spoke to Alva. "You alright, Holt? Go on now… out of here. Doc’ll see to that cut. I’ll find you after I deal with… this." There was at once, anguish and a deep sadness, disgust and sharpened steel in his voice. Lamb didn’t move. Not when the gun was lowered, and not when the Captain turned him face to face.

Have you ever been witness to a re-entry keel-hauling? …it was not the way Barstow Collins would have chosen to arrive on Greenleaf. But when they made port he got a firm handshake from the Captain, and Holt kissed him on the cheek, tears in her eyes. She pressed something small, folded in an old piece of fabric, into his hand, and hugged him for what felt like a long time, but was likely only a few seconds.

He turned, and walked off the boarding ramp into the heat of Greenleaf…
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