A new star, a new face, a new name.

Discussion of in-game politics. Please post "In character" in here, IE as in your game persona or character. This is not for discussion ABOUT the game or about politics in the game, but actual political debate.
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Piarou

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A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby Piarou » Wed May 10, 2017 8:54 pm

Excerpt of a daily log, by Firgo Hansson, Junior Dockingbay-Manager at SS Archimedes

“I had seen this ship come here often, these past few night-shifts. It was a battered-yet-refitted, newly painted HS-201 Kraken, sporting the name “The Hauler”. The captain was always the first to exit, making sure the passenger-staircase was firmly secured. When he was satisfied he signaled towards the door, and the passengers came filing out. And where normally newly-arrivals had a haggard and nervous look about them, travelers leaving this ship somehow seemed less tense. Less scared of their future.

There was also none of the usual hurrying. They waited patiently in line whilst their young host-for-the-past-trip had a chat with each and every one of them. These talks never lasted very long, but either ended with a laugh, a hug, or a firm grasping of hands. And always, before letting them go, there was the small gift appearing from a bag on the captain's hip. A brown round disc of some sort.

When the last of the passengers had been greeted and send on their way to their new future, the agile owner climbed back up the stairs, only to come back down almost immediately without the hip-bag, but with the private packages he had brought along on the trip. With a smile on his face and a spring in his gait he walked towards the postage-officer, handed them over, and went back to his ship to direct the unloading and loading of his cargo.

Today I decided, as it was quiet on the docks, to go down and have a chat with this new face. I told Joba to beep me if she needed me, grabbed my clipboard, and went down in the elevator. 'What kind of person would he be?', I wondered. 'Why hadn't I heard of him before?' After all, a Kraken, even one as rickety as his, didn't come cheap. 'Was he in the employ of one of the bigger companies?' 'Was he on RAM's paylist?' 'What even was his name?' These questions were swirling through my mind whilst I descended. And a small, far of part of my brain was asking the same question over and over again; 'Why are you all of a sudden so interested in this bloke?'

It was indeed the very first time in my twenty-odd years of service here that I went down to check out a captain, unless there was something very wrong going on that needed my personal attention. And that was not the case here. He had been nothing but an exemplary guest on our Space Station. I had checked, before going down, and his ship didn't have any flags in the system. Oh right. Piarou was his name. I had seen that on the records, of course. Hadn't rung any bells, that. Actually, that could also be the name of the company he worked for, seeing as it had no surname. Or first name. Or, well, whichever is missing.

He spotted me as I came out of the door into the loading-bay, but other than a short nod in my general direction he kept his attention on the goods being handled. As was the case most of the time, his hold had been filled with sacks of grain, alleviating the ever present hunger on this spinning wheel of metal I called home. Walking up towards him, I started to notice more and more details.

Most of his clothes were of a cheap, laborer's make. But the jacket he wore was unique. It vaguely reminded me of a retro-denim coat I once saw in a very old holo-play. His hair had a weird colour, somewhere between blond and red, with white strand intermixed here and there. And although his eyes were of the most boring brown one could ever see, there was a genuine warmth and joy in them, that I couldn't help but try to see more of them. And I knew I would be utterly destroyed inside if I ever saw them hurt.

As I was about to come within talking distance he waved his friends to take a brake. For I was certain, now that I had seen his eyes, that his crew-mates were also his friends. He then turned my way and looked me straight in the eyes.
“Greetings, sir. Anything I can do for you? There is nothing wrong, is there?” His voice was a nice tenor, with an accent I could not place.
“No no, there's nothing wrong. Nothing the matter at all, sir. Piarou, isn't it?”
“That's me, yeah. And good. I dislike doing things wrong. But as I was told that Dock-managers only come down when something is off, I was worried a little, I must say.” He hadn't looked worried at all, but now I saw him relax even more, which made me in turn feel calm and relaxed as well.
“Yeah, we normally are too busy to come down unless it is absolutely necessary, indeed. But it's a quiet evening, so I have some time to meet the new hero of our hungry citizens.”
He looked quizzical at that. “You want me to take you to my farms at Ceres?” he said, slight bewilderment in his voice? “For that is where the heroes live and work, toiling the soil and harvesting the grain.” At my confused look he smiled a broad smile. “Or did you mean me?” he asked, all bewilderment gone from his voice. “Nah, man, I am just a lucky lad who happens to be able to fly a spaceship, and who managed to make it through basic training in one piece.”

He then told me all about his fast rise through the lower ranks due to a fortuitous stumble, some very helpful families, and the support of his amazing friends. He was open about everything, expressing hope that his experiences would help others in the future. Only when, still unable to place his accent, I asked him where he came from, he got a distant look in his eyes, was silent for a bit, and then shrugged. I decided to never ask that question again, as in that little moment he had something so sad over him I felt it pull at my heart.

As we were talking about which Space Stations he had visited, my beeper made the always annoying sound of being needed. Startled, he looked at the time, then his crew, and then back at me.
“Oh wow, we both really need to get back to work. This is very nice and all, but I want to depart for Apollo within the hour, if at all possible.”
“Yeah, I have to get back up there as well, I guess.” I waved vaguely towards the control-room. “That was my colleague telling me she needs something from me.”
“Well, it was nice talking to you. Come down again when I am here, and we can chat some more. If you have the time, of course.”
“Oh, I will. Have many lucks and no rogue astroids on your path.” I started to walk away, but turned around again. “Oh, and I just HAVE to ask. What are those brown discs you always give your passengers when they disembark?”
He had almost turned around but went full circle whilst he barked a hearty laugh. “Wait here, one second.” He ran into his ship, returning with one of those brown gifts in his hands. “Here, have one yourself.” he said, as he handed it to me. “It is called a stroopwafel, and it is a treat where I come from.” He then turned around, and walked to his crew, already giving new assignments.

When I returned in the control-room I still had the cookie, for that is what it was, in my hand. It smelled delicious. Sweet and yet spicy, just the way I liked it. And, as I now realized, just as he smelled as well.
“What is that?” Joba asked.
I broke it in two equal pieces, gave Joba the smaller one, and took a bite. “It is called a stroopwafel,” I said with my mouth full. “That captain gave it to me, but let's make my luck OUR luck.” And as the taste washed through my mouth, I felt better than I had felt in a long, long time.”
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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby LadyHawk » Thu May 11, 2017 12:33 am

***OOC: very nice post and storyline Pia, I hope for many more installments in the near future!!!**

LadyHawk was there to pick up several of her new colonists for Hawk Gardens, a distant outpost with lots promise to become part of a new central hub of commerce eventually. Still, that dream was a long way off and she empathized with the colonists she would be delivering out there...the near future, for them, would be a lonely existence cut off from most of the luxuries that the citizens of Apollo Cluster have grown accustomed to.

She greeted them with her usual hug and offering of a plate of chocolate chip cookies but immediately detected a far more delectable scent coming from their traveling bags. "What IS that, you are carrying? Stroopwafle??? Never heard of it but "<tasting a tidbit offered by one of her new colonists> "I have GOT to visit your new master and beg the recipe"

LadyHawk sought out the captain of the ship and stretched out a handshake of friendship. "I am more than certain you will fit in well as an esteemed member of our community here, Welcome!....and pretty please, how do you make that wonderful confection known as Stroopwafle?"

"Regarding your missions to Ceres, helping to enable the true heroes in the fight against starvation here, I fully support you as well...and you should definitely meet our leader of that campaign, Ram"
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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby gotpurplefleas » Thu May 11, 2017 1:58 am

Hi piarou...o/

I wholeheartedly agree...More Please!

and Welcome to Ascent
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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby RAM » Thu May 11, 2017 1:26 pm

Enjoyed it. Looking for me ... stroopwafels and writings.

Be care though. I might start calling you a stroopwafel baron!! :lol:
Ban cheese slicers. Make Apollo Sector grate again!
Fan Fiction from an old timer - RAM Memories
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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby davh62 » Thu May 11, 2017 3:44 pm

Very nice pia. Welcome to the game.
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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby Moneyman » Thu May 11, 2017 3:48 pm

:mrgreen: I prefer less text and more images in telling a story ... Don't worry, I stand alone on this opinion. :)
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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby Piarou » Mon May 15, 2017 7:28 pm

Undeliverable letter to Mrs. K. Duntree, stored at the Babylon postage relay station

Hi mum,

Sorry I didn't write to you sooner, but it was quite the puzzle to find out where you had taken your girls off to. And of course I realize this was with intent. You were ashamed of me, your only child, being in jail and all. But please read this letter, and give me a chance to explain what had happened back then. And the good stuff that happened to me since.

I will not tell you I was in jail wrongly. I DID take stuff without their owner's consent. So I WAS a criminal, in the purest sense of the word. But as far as I'm concerned, I was never a bad man. Do you know WHAT I stole? A crate filled with loafs of bread. And I even left behind more money than they were worth as well.

At the time I was still dreaming of becoming the greatest, most famous holo-novel writer ever to come out of the back-alleys of Andromeda Station. I had just signed the contract for my second novel to be published, and I was in a good mood. This one was gonna be my breakthrough, I just knew it. As it was about the orphanage we used to live next to when you weren't the proprietor of the brothel yourself, I decided to give something back to them. I went to the market and searched for the best baker of sweet-breads there was. Following my nose I came to the stall of the fines baked goods I had ever seen.

As I approached the man behind the counter gave me a look of disdain that was almost enough to make me turn around. But no, I told myself, you do this for the children. They have suffered more than their share of unfair disdain, you can weather some to make their day a happy one. So I stepped up and asked the man what a crate of his finest honey-loaves would cost me. The seller didn't blink or blush when he named a price which could have bought me a dinner in a fine restaurant. I swallowed hard, but I had my mind set, so I reached for my chip-ring, and started to remove the necessary credits.
“Oh no,” the man said. “I could not possibly sell them to you. This is my last crate, and I'm sure to have regulars coming later today.” He then looked at the chips I was holding out to him with disgust. “And I can not possibly accept cash, especially not when it has been handled by the likes of you.”

Dumbfounded I stared at him, as he turned to some rich lady next to me to discuss an order of chocolate-chip cookies with her. I couldn't believe what just happened. Here I was, in a giving mood, and my good deed was obstructed by the unwillingness of this dough-d**k to sell me his goods, even though I was willing to pay him the insane price he asked. I looked at him, and then at the crate of breads I wanted to buy, and then back at him again, unsure what I was even thinking. But one thing I knew for sure. I wasn't gonna let some pretentious flour-f****r stop me.
“I need these. Here's your money!” I shouted, as I slammed the chips on his table, grabbed the crate, and started to run.

The years of having to run away from bullies finally paid off, as I made a clear getaway. Dashing through the crowd, the crate held high above my head, I managed to avoid capture by the few overweight constables that were slowly responding to the calls for help. In no time I had made it to the darker, lower areas of the station, where they didn't dare follow, for fear their shiny uniform would get stained. After catching my breath in a dark recess for a bit, where I transferred all the loaves into a huge bag I had brought along just for that, I started to descent even further to deliver my gift to the orphanage.

I still think the joyous laughter and the smiling faces of the kids as they tore into their share of the bread, crumbs sticking to their noses and cheeks, is more than enough payment for the hardships I had to endure afterwards. But when I got home, I started to feel bad. This was not who I was. This was not who I wanted to be. This was certainly not how you raised me. And even though we hadn't spoken for years, after the last time we met ended in yet another argument, I still wanted you to be proud of me. So I got off the couch, put on my coat again, and turned myself in.

The small hope I had had that they would be lenient with me because I had both paid, and had turned myself in, was quickly dashed as I heard the name of the baker spoken out loud. Turns out I had robbed the brother of the new chief of police. His favorite brother, I might add. Where normally a first-time offender for theft got a fine and two years light labor, I was sent to the Northern-most penal-colony on Ceres, to toil the nearly always frozen ground for three-and-a-half years.

It changed me. Not only did my body age almost fifteen years during that time, I also got a new purpose in life. Now, some people, or maybe even most, would get angry at all the injustice done to them. But not me. I had done this to myself. Yes, I was unjustly punished this harsh, but if I had just looked for another baker that day, who WOULD sell me a crate of bread, none of this would have happened. Another thing was that the memory of those children's faces was what kept me sane down there, in the cold. Just that simple thing of being given something extra made them the happiest they had been in a long time. And that in return made me feel very good. Every time when I was ready to give up and just lie down on the frozen ground, that memory was what kept me going. That feeling gave me enough energy to go on just a little longer, again and again.

So when I returned to Andromeda Station, I knew I wanted to have that feeling more often. I wanted to make people happy. And not just with silly holo-plays, but with genuine, meaningful acts. I wanted to be part of something good again. I didn't have a clue on the how and where, though. So I first needed a new job, to sustain myself while I figured that out. Sadly, finding a job was harder than I had thought. Nobody wanted an ex-criminal to work for them. There were plenty of people looking for jobs, which meant those offering one had applicants by the bushel. I had sold off almost all my furniture to pay for food, and was reaching the end of my hope when my luck changed.

I was doing my midday run around the outer ring, as I had been doing since I had returned. The outer ring, as you may remember, has a little bit more gravity, and is a little colder than the rest of the Space Station. I was near the end of this day's exercise and was just about to start my sprint. I just needed to round the last corner. And there he was, standing in the middle of the small alley, nigh impossible for me to evade.

With a twist of my body I changed my momentum, and I just avoided knocking him over. But that resulted in me crashing into a wall, and to a dead-stop. As I was scrambling to get back on my feet, a bit dazed by the fall, he rushed over to me, a worried look on his face.
“Oh my. Are you alright, sir?” He offered me a hand to help me stand. “I hope you haven't hurt yourself too much.”
“Ooh, that hurt a bit.” I made use of his offered hand, immediately realizing he was much stronger than he looked. “But no broken bones, I think. Are you okay?”
“Yes, yes. You dodged my quite expertly, good sir. That was some awesome swerving right there just now.” The obvious show of relief that I was okay made me warm up to him fast. He was quite clearly a man of wealth, seeing he wore a very neat blue jacket, sporting the pins of a ship-captain.
“What is a man of your stature doing in these back alleys, sir?” The adrenaline still pumping through my veins made me lose my distance a bit, but I realized I was crossing the boundaries there, so I hastily added “If I may ask, that is, of course, sir.”
He acted as if he hadn't noticed my lack of respect and looked at me with an apologetic look in his soft brown eyes. “Well, to be honest, I seem to have found myself lost. You don't happen to know where I could find the registration-office, do you?”
“Wow, you REALLY are a long way off, sir.”
He smiled sheepishly. “I kinda figured that by now. But in my defense, this is my first time ever on a Space Station.”
“You are rock-born?” I figured that that might be why he was stronger than he looked. “You don't hear that often, rock-borne pilots.”
“So I've been told.”
“Anyways, let me take you to registration.” I started walking in the right direction. “I wanted to go by there today anyhow.”

During our walk we had a nice conversation. And as the first elevator we wanted to use to go to administration-level was out of order, I had ample time to get to know him. Even though he was just a couple years younger than I was, he had only recently finished Basic Training. Why he was found to be blooded I never found out. But he was here to register himself as a commercial captain. He also mentioned he was looking for crew. At least one or two, he said.
“Alone is also only alone, after all.” He stated during our ascent in the elevator. My hope flared up as he looked up at me. “You don't happen to be looking for a job, are you? I could use a runner with high reflexes like you.”
“As a matter of fact, I am desperately in need of employment, actually.” Looking in his honest face made me blurt out my fear. “But I doubt you want me, though. Seeing as I am an ex-convict.” We stepped out of the elevator into a near-empty hallway. “Nobody hires ex-convicts, in space.”
He stopped, turned me around and grabbed my shoulders firmly. His eyes seemed to pierce right into my soul as he looked at me. “Did you murder anyone?”
“No! Of course not!”
“Did you HURT anyone?”
“No.”
“Did you do your full sentence?”
“Yes. More than, actually.” I told him my story, his eyes continuously searching into mine, and when I finished he hugged me tight.
“You, my friend, are hired. We will do good, all around.”

And that is how I got hired as the first-mate in the crew of Captain Piarou. And I never regretted that day since. From the moment I set foot on his small GCT-4a Sparrow, which was devoid of all but the most basic of weaponry, and fully equipped to be used as a fast transport-hopper, I felt I was in the right place. As I write this to you our newest ship, a HS-201 Kraken, is being re-fitted for us, and our crew consists of 9 now. And in everything we do, we keep to our goal: Do good!

As I said, it took my quite a while to find out where you had taken your girls off to, but there you have it. This is what happened to your only son in the past few years. I hope that, finally, you can think of me with pride in your heart. Seeing as we will most likely never go to the combat-zones, I doubt we will ever meet. But we hop by Andromeda regularly, and I will check if I have mail from you every now and then. Maybe we can get to understand each other better through distance and letters after all.

Best wishes,
Your loving son,
Josh Duntree

Mrs. K. Duntree has been confirmed to have been aboard the transport TS. Loveshack, which was attacked and destroyed by pirates near Sodom somewhere in the past month. Letter will be stored for historic and archival purposes as per request of the Expanse Museum.
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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby gotpurplefleas » Mon May 15, 2017 10:45 pm

I don't want to interrupt this thread...but...wow...just wow

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Re: A new star, a new face, a new name.

Postby BoshingTong » Tue May 16, 2017 4:52 pm

Great writing should be added to the game as back story.
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