[ISS] Gather Up (Tem 3.3)

edited July 2016 in ISS Tsiolkovsky
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Temperance,

Instructor Malcolm returned to bore everyone with the rest of his lecture, acting as if the blow-up never happened. Tunde left for Speedball practice with Pax, Jace, Tabitha, and Zola. You ended up heading back to the dorms with Trish, Torrence and Mi Sun.

Here is the new layout. You scored a solo!

photo Dorm Rooms new_zps5bohb41i.png

What room did you end up hanging out in? You're all watching The Feed. What's the show that's on right now?

Comments

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    We end up in Mi Sun and Jace's room. No particular reason, really - just happened. As to this afternoon's scintillating programming, it's that sketch comedy thing Trish likes. I find it more sketchy than comedy... mostly physical stuff, old people falling down in ways that are supposed to be amusing. To each her own, I guess.

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    Temperance,

    Trish is laying on Mi Sun's bed beside Mi Sun, while you're on the floor with your back to the bunk, sitting on a soft rug. Torrence is beside you. All of you are watching the comedy show as the video's projected from your Navi onto the wall above Jace's bunk. Torrence is halfway paying attention as he taps out messages on his Navi. He's "chatting" with Corporal Eff, evidently they've hit it off.

    Trish horse laughs from time to time, talking at the screen and moving on the bunk a few times. Mi Sun's right behind you, Temperance, and after the second skit, you feel her left hand rest lightly on your shoulder. It started off like an innocent touch, but now she's actually resting it there. Her hand's delicate and warm, and you can practically feel the energy buzzing off her.

    what do you do?

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    I like that energy, and the touch on my shoulder feels good after a day that was... well, a day. I lean my head so my cheek touches the back of Mi Sun's hand, then turn slightly to plant a tiny kiss on one of her knuckles.

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    Temperance,

    You hear a soft catch in Mi Sun's breath when you kiss her knuckle. Trish laughs at something on screen, and Torrence probably haven't noticed.

    If they did notice this little flirting and touching between you and Mi Sun, what would they probably do? Are they part of this, or just "here"?

    Mi Sun, for her part, scoots up just a little on the bunk, and moves her head a little closer. She's still "watching the show", but she's about as close to you as she could get. You feel her left shoulder gently touch the back of your head.

    What do you do?

  • edited July 2016

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    The world focuses down to this moment of casual tangency, with my friends unaware. If they did notice something other than the pratfalls glowing on the wall or the messages on their Navis, they wouldn't recognize it for what it is. What is it? Hell if I know. Regardless, if they caught on, they'd wait uncomfortably for me to tell them to leave, and ignore it until I did.

    I freeze for a second and then decide. Lean my head back into Mi Sun's shoulder, accepting the intimacy without advertising it. For now, it's enough.

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    Temperance,

    Trish laughs again, makes some comment about the guy who racks himself on an ancient metal bicycle. Torrence chuckles, but he's still got his nose in his Navi.

    image Mi Sun remains there, connected to you, for a few moments. She seems reluctant to move too fast, unsure what the limits are, how your crew might react. This was, after all, the girl that both Olivar and her own brother talked over most of the day, who lost her best friend Ashlee just a week ago, and she's been dangling since then. Perhaps she's afraid to do the wrong thing here? Then, she whispers, "Hey Temperance," Her breath tickles your ear, and she brings a hand up to gently move some of your hair aside. "Thanks for being so nice to me today. I..." She swallows, hesitates, "Just thanks." She's moved close enough to easily peck your cheek, but she doesn't.

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    I don't move away from Mi Sun's touch, the tickle of her breath in my ear. "It's... It's easy, being nice to you, Mi Sun," I whisper back.

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    Temperance,

    Let's see if you're Turning Mi Sun On here.
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    Turn Mi Sun on (+1XP): (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 3, 3. Total: 8)
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    Temperance,

    Oh, most definitely take a string on Mi Sun.
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    Temperance,

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    After several charged moments, Mi Sun turns to pretend she's watching the show again. She even snickers at a pratfall, but you can tell it's mostly nervous laughter. Her hand moves to your shoulder, starts gently squeezing. She whisper-asks, "Hey, Temperance," her breath on your ear again, smells a little minty, not like the pink paste. "Would you... ah... would you like a shoulder massage? I'm, uhm, pretty good at them." She scoots up to sit on her knees, moves over a little after Trish scoots, and puts her knees on either side of your shoulders.

    What do you do?
  • edited July 2016

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    This, Trish and Torrence are used to. People offering to do things for me, wanting to be close. And me accepting. As long as it's a shoulder rub, there's a context.

    "Sure, Mi Sun. I could really use some stress relief."

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    Temperance,

    Trish stands up, moving off Mi Sun's bed to lean against a wall. Torrence looks up, suddenly aware of the upcoming backrub. He makes an excuse about heading to the bathroom, leaves for now. Trish sits down beside you, taking Torrence's spot.

    image Mi Sun starts rubbing your neck, Temperance, her hands are strong and sure, and she finds a few knots, stats working them out, "Temperance, you seem stressed. What's been bothering you?" Her tone is almost hypnotic, and the kneading at your muscles is relaxing. Even the show up on the wall starts to be less annoying as Mi Sun massages you.

    What do you do?
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    I purr a little under Mi Sun's touch. "That's nice... you have good hands, Mi Sun." I don't answer her question right away, thinking about it. "Change in circumstances, I guess, transferring into class without warning. That kind of thing is always tense at first, and today was extra-special. It'll get better."

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    Temperance,

    image "Of course it'll get better." Mi sun assures you as she moves her hands along your shoulders. "Let's hope Lucas doesn't come back. The rest of the class is decent, and you're just a breath of fresh air." She doesn't mention that she's probably never had a breath of fresh air. "Hey Temperance, are you, ah, seeing anyone right now?" Mi Sun asks as casually as she can manage, but there's a nervousness in her tone.
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    "No-one in particular, really. I'm playing it cool these days, waiting to see what comes up." I smile to myself, enjoying the massage and the game of it all.

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    Temperance,

    The show ends, and Trish heads to the bathroom. The Feed flips over to a show more like what you enjoy, Temperance. What is it?

    image Seeing that you're both alone, Mi Sun's hands start sliding over your shoulders and down your biceps. After a couple trips down to the elbows and back up, she slides her hands slightly inward. You feel the backs of each of her hands brush against the sides of your breasts. She leans in and kisses the back of your head, just a press of her lips, but her warmth is all along your back.


    Have you been known to date boys? Girls? Both?
  • edited July 2016

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    Boys, mostly, but I've fooled around with some girls. I enjoy the variety. "Relationship" relationships? Just boys so far, and not that many of them, to be honest.

    I let the Feed distract me, a program about a plucky young heroine investigating mysteries that draws me in even when I want to mock it. I hadn't really planned anything here, but Mi Sun's hands feel good. After watching for a long few seconds, I turn my head, an awkward angle if I had to hold it long. "I think you should kiss me, Mi Sun. No promises, but a kiss would be nice."

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    Temperance,

    image Mi Sun scoots to her right and bends down, her mouth nearing yours. Her eyes drink you in and she has this look of eager delight in this moment. You hear a soft catch of breath just before she presses her lips to yours. The kiss is delicate and brief. She pulls back, a smile suddenly sprouting on her face. She laughs lightly, then kisses you again, a hand moving under your chin. She's sitting above you, bending almost in half to reach you, but it doesn't seem to matter.

    When she pulls back this time, she takes a breath, looking longingly in your eyes. She manages a quiet, "wow."

    What do you do?
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    I stand and turn to pull Mi Sun up into a hug. "Thank you, Mi Sun. For the massage and the kiss. I'm going to head to my room, get settled in, but I'll see you soon, okay?" Not wanting to move too fast... anticipation, hers and mine, is so much more delicious. I give her a light kiss on the lips, then disengage.

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    Temperance,

    image Mi Sun returns the hug, pulls back like there's more coming. The light kiss leaves a slightly confused smile on her face. She's not upset, though. If anything, the hook is deeper.
    Trish comes out of the bathroom like she knew what was up, and Mi Sun says, "Oh, sure. Totally. If you need any help with like your room, let me know! Thanks for coming over."

    On the way out, Trish gives you a "girl you gotta dish on this later" look.
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    "Thanks for having me, Mi Sun."

    I smile at Trish... I don't keep much from my crew in the long term, but a little guessing keeps them on their toes, yeah? I head to my new room. A single... I wonder who's going to expect a favor for that.

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    Temperance,

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    "Girllll, you just made her whole semester." Trish says with a chuckle as you open up the door to your room and look in. It's clean, but sparsely appointed. Bed. Locker. Desk. Bathroom. Trish looks around without coming in. "This is pretty nice! I'm rooming with the bitch. Maybe I should flirt with her like you did Mi Sun, hunh? You think that'd chill her out? Ollie said she's kickin' it with Corporal Mark."
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    I smile at the thought of anything chilling Nadja out. "Seems pretty unlikely, Trish, but who knows? If anyone can do it, you can." I walk into the room and plop down to sit on the bed. I'll unpack my little trunk later.

    "Trish, Nadja aside, anyone catching your eye?"

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    Trish steps inside so the door closes. She casually leans against the wall and makes a pfft sound, "Nadja aint catchin' my eye, girl. She's got bonafide crazy written all over her. Just wonderin' what I oughta do to get her in check." She slides down the wall to sit on the deck, looks up to the ceiling like she's pondering. "Don't see many chances for a hookup, really. Jace and Ollie are supergay, Lucas peed himself earlier, Corporal Larsen is... a corporal. Aiden's afraid I'd break him, which I prolly would. Only hotties worth havin' are the ones we came with. So, you stringin' Mi Sun along or what? Aint like she's got much to offer. Why her?"
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    I shrug. "Sometimes, it makes sense to include someone different. Proves that I don't give a stomm what anybody else thinks, right? Besides, I think Mi Sun might be fun if she wasn't flinching all the time like she's afraid someone's going to hit her."

    I flip open my trunk, look at the few bits and pieces: a drawing; a piece of slag that sort of shimmers and shines, from when we cleaned up a melted down something-or-other; an old, old, old hair pick all mottled in browns and ambers...

  • image "She's a meek one, yeah." Trish agrees. She watches you fiddle with your trunk from her spot on the deck. "So, with Lucas in the Med Bay, you think we could find his stash of tramahex? Would be fun to get drokked up, you know? I bet Ollie isn't around, probably sniffing after Jace." She pauses before getting up, but if you don't object, she's going to go break into Lucas's room.

    What do you do?
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    I am a rather laissez faire despot when it comes down to it. "I'm going to get situated here, but you do whatever seems like fun, girl."

  • edited July 2016
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    Temperance,

    Trish leaves for her fun times with tramahex searching.

    You don't really need to go sniffing around for drugs, if you really wanted them, right? Tell me about your connection to the other side, Temperance. Why are you and your crew so powerful in the quarantine?

    Once you're alone, what do you do?
  • edited July 2016

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    Connections... Every breath we take depends on some device somewhere on the ship communicating with some other device. Father is the Keeper of Protocols, responsible for maintaining the entire vast web of wires and switches and transmitters and receivers, and the mysterious Packets that traverse them. I'm expected to follow him, but I find it difficult keeping all the arcane formulas and Command Line Codes in my head. The Ts are related to Father's... I guess "lieutenants" is the right word? Trish's mom (Tunde's aunt) is the Puller and Torrence's dad is the Tweaker.

    Once Trish heads off on her "mission," I take my few things out of the trunk. The hair pick was Mom's, and I hold it for a minute before I put it on the shelf next to the shiny piece of whatever-it-is. It only takes a few minutes to finish unpacking, and after that I lay back on my bed, thinking. I set my Navi to play some soft procedurally-generated music and repeat the Ohsee litany, almost a mantra now, that I learned as a child, hearing my mother's voice saying it along with me:

    "Application. Presentation. Session. Transport. Network. Data Link. Physical.

    After eleven (always prime) mindful repetitions of that, I sit up. Send a message to Wobble:

    How're things going with the intrusions?

    Got to keep on top of things, even if I'm not there.

  • edited July 2016
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    Temperance,

    A few minutes later you get a message back from Wobble:
    Got a signal from Pax, an alert
    sent through back channels, got several pings back.
    She's being arrested for being part of Red Five, the
    little hacker group we keep hearing about.

    -Wobble


    Temperance, what does Red Five mean to you? Do you know any of them? Are you one of them?
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    I send back

    Interesting. You think she's involved 
    with the breaches we've been tracking?

    Red Five has to have some connection to my father's group... or there's a prodigy involved. Pax is smart, but is she that smart? I've felt like someone on the other side was involved since I first heard about Red Five, and these breaches that Aiden somehow "heard about," and I've been dealing with for weeks... further indication.

    Start a full log now, and capture as far back
    as you can. I'll deal with the corps and get
    the details.

    I may not be as fluent as my father in the Protocols, but I have learned how to manage my assets.

    I get up and leave my room. Collect Torrence, at least, and Tunde and Trish if I can find them. Then I'm looking for Mark.

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    Temperance,

    Torrence is the easiest to find, he's in his room doing pull-ups. Tunde's in the hall outside Jace and Mi Sun's room. Tunde tells you that Zola got hurt in the showers pretty bad, she's up in Med Bay. You have to knock on Olivar's door a few times, and when Trish finally answers the door, she's high as a kite, and full of smiles.

    What do you do?
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    I leave Trish to her buzz, bring Torrence and Tunde with me to look for Pax, Mark or both. I suppose Medical, then Iso, then who knows.

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    Temperance,

    With Torr and Tunde in tow, you find Pax, sitting casually in her room, the one she shares with Zola. She's on her Navi, tapping away, and looks up at you, nods.

    What do you do?
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    I take a step forward. "Listen, Pax, I know you don't have a lot of time. You know who my father is, right? I need to find out something about the goals of your organization. What do you hope to accomplish?"

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    Pax looks up at you, then Torrence and Tunde. Flips her Navi over and puts it screen down beside her bed, and pats the bed near her, "Red Five wants the quarantine to end. The entire ship is under threat for this stomm that's going on. When they are too feeble to fly the ship or keep things running, then what? We all die, that's what."
    She studies you, sees what your reaction might be.
  • edited July 2016

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    I don't sit. "And when one of your hacks drokks with a critical system? Life support, for instance, or even the heat exchangers. What happens then?"

  • image The refusal to sit registers with Pax, but she doesn't seem angry. More like she understands a bit more. "First of all, Red Five is really good at what we do. Secondly, if a critical system is at risk, I'm sure your dad, or Ourania's mom, or somebody will get off their ass and fix it. Come on, Temperance. You know they've got resources aplenty over there. And if it puts the ship at risk... well then, maybe they'll open up the doors and let me fix it." She crosses her arms, "We're not stupid. We have measures in place, our own agreements on what we will and won't do. I'm not the enemy here. The enemy is ignorance and fear."
    Pax fixes you with a level gaze, "I'm tired of hiding. I'm going to fight."
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    I snort a laugh. "No. You're not going to fight, Pax. Mark... sorry, Nul... is going to have to at least put you in Iso, and the programming for that is controlled by people on the other side. People like my father, and Ourania's mother. People whose entire lives are built on maintaining not just the status quo but personal power." I smile. "And if you're so good at what you do... how did you get caught? You're just a sacrificial lamb."

  • image Pax turns to pick up her Navi, "I trusted the wrong person, Temperance. It doesn't mean I'm not good at what Red Five does, it just means I'm stupid." She swipes at one screen, then taps a few times, opening a few auxiliary programs.
    She's very good at this activity, and you see her intensity grow towards the screen as if she wants to shut you out. She hasn't, you know, but she's not happy about your very correct summation of the folly of her plot.
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    Aha. "And who is that, Pax? The person that you trusted. I may be able to help, you know? But I need something... Who is it that left you hanging?"


    Pax must clearly see that this means something to me, personally. Offering a String to her for Bought Loyalty, to get a +2 on my Manip roll.

    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 5, 5. Total: 13)

  • image That string pushes her over the edge. She licks her lips for a moment, then asks you, "Can you ask your boy toys to leave, please?" I assume you do excuse them. Tunde nods, Torrence looks slightly offended, but does as you ask.
    Once she's alone with you, Pax sits up and scoots towards you, "I think the AAU hung me out to dry. We've been working with it for a while now, and it's gotten connections in the corporals. And now we don't drokking matter anymore."
    Alone with you, she seems worried, her mask has slipped, "Temperance, I don't want to waste away in iso. I want to fix this place. I want us to survive."
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    Okay. Okay. I totally thought I was walking in on a "rebel" getting direction from someone on the other side, But... "the boogeyman made me do it"? That's... creepy. "AAU's been offline for a long time, Pax. Good one, though. Ha ha ha. Who are you really dealing with on the other side?"

  • image Pax grits her teeth and lets you scoff, but it gets a rise out of her. "It never went offline. It's been working the whole time, Temperance. The... the grown-ups are too drokking stupid to be able to interface with it. It's still running things. Check the traces on commands. There's extra code. Your dad probably calls it junk code. Protocols. But that's the AAU. I learned how to talk with it. And it's going to get things done."
    She takes a little calming breath, "It's part of the plan. I'm just a cell. I can't know it, so they can't get it out of me."
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    Stomm. Pax isn't an idiot... smarter than me, I guess. "So, going with... AAU is secretly still online, and it's... sentient? Recruited you, and you don't know anyone else? On the other side, I mean. I get pushing back, from this side." I draw a breath, then turn to walk out. "I can't help, Pax, unless you give me something... someone I can act on."

    My mind is racing, though. Father will never believe what I've just learned. And if AAU really has its claws in the Corps... am I even thinking this?

  • image Pax seems caught, wanting to secure your help because she does know she's in trouble, but also hesitant to give up a name. She finally relents when you near the door, like you're her last chance. "Alright. Alright, I don't know one hundred percent for sure because we mask IDs and cover tracks, but I picked up enough from chatter on a back channel about kids and stuff that one of my contacts is Chinaza... Trish's mother."
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    That is not good at all. "That's... uncomfortable. Listen, Pax, I'll see what I can do to help you, but everything depends on my father. Oh, I have to ask. Why 'Red Five'?"

  • image Pax starts to answer, then purses her lips and instead says, "Temperance. You're sharp, you read people well and lead them. Not everything depends on your father. He's one of the people who put us here. Who put you here. I'm not saying I don't need your help. I'm saying I want your help."
    She sits back in her bunk, "Bet you a kiss from Torrence that I get in Mark's pants before he takes me in." She muses for a moment, "And if I lose, you choose who I kiss... when I get out. Oh, and Red Five's from an old movie. Super old. Kinda zeng."
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    "That's a bet, Pax. Mark may be a little crazy, but he's not stupid enough to muddy the waters by drokking someone he's supposed to be arresting." I smile.

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    Temperance,

    Pax returns the smile, but you sense the worry around her eyes. She grabs her Navi and starts working on something again as you leave.

    End Scene
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