Author Topic: Time for me to fly  (Read 1808 times)

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2016, 11:04:50 PM »
Inferno, Lt. Commander Vilari, stood at the closed port side entrance of Motley Moxie.  The man was lock, stock, and barrel lean muscle and keen eyed; a rifle with a laser sighting personified.   He was also confident bordering on cocky.  Not Kendrick level cocky.  As Turtle had said, that guy took it to a whole new level.  

Inferno was also a good guy.  The true kind of good guy.  Not the ones that said they were and then acted completely differently.  If there were pictures of people in dictionaries, beside noble would be a picture of Inferno.  His picture would probably also show up by impatient.  Then again, so would hers.

"Really."  Lirssa sighed, strolling the rest of the way from the woods to the clearing where she had parked her ship for the day.  "I told you I would get back to you via vid-com."

He nodded, slowly moving away from the entrance without having to be asked.  Guess he was afraid she'd somehow slip by if he weren't directly in her path.  It was a backwards compliment  Or, she was going to take it that way.  "You did, but you did not specify when, Lulu."  A broad smile as if he had caught her in a trick.

Stepping to the port door, she keyed her entry code, not even hiding it from Inferno.  Good guy, remember?  She rubbed at her eyes with the heels of her hands, not needing to stop her walking as she did so.  She knew what was inside and could go without seeing it for several steps.  Then there would be a wall or cargo, but for those steps she was fine.  "I left the duels early to get in touch with you.  Have you no faith in me?"

His smile sobered.  "Yes, I do, Lirssa.  Which is why I'm calling on you again."

That was a compliment, no backwards about it.  "Right, thanks."  There was one other chair available on the bridge when she dropped down into her pilot's chair.  She waved Inferno to it, but he remained standing. A few keys punched brought up her monitors from slumber.  "So, you going to give me more specifics now?"

"Barracuda's gone AWOL."
Cirque du Soliel contortionist -- skills similar to Lirssa's

"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2016, 01:51:26 PM »
Finding Barracuda, Eddie, should have been hard.  He should have made it hard.  Guess he wanted to be found.  That usually meant a person was at the end of their rope.  He had run.  He had hid.  And then he had given himself up as she rested Inbetween.  Like Elliot before, once she had touched someone, she was pretty good at recognizing them.  But the other person had to do the reaching out.  She couldn't find him.  So, Eddie had found her.  He wanted this done.  Whatever it was.

For a guy at the end of his rope, he was doing his level best to keep Lirssa away.  Another electrical bolt sizzled against the stone column she hid behind.  The air was dank, heat drew whispers of water from the puddles of water, leaking out of broken pipes lining the ceiling.  Eddie had found a pretty smelly place to hide out.  The basement of a waste management building in Stars End had a panorama of odors rarely found.  

It also had lovely chemicals that liked to explode.  When Eddie had decided to toss some fire her way upon her arriving, the large stone column was the best place she could get to.  Hiding behind the barrels was just insane and she didn't have time to check their labels to see 'oh, this one won't blow up.'

"Eddie!"  She yelled over her shoulder to him.  "You going to tell me what is going on?  You know I can't fight back.  Did you bring me here to barbecue me?"

The laugh was tired, edgy, and it bounced around the basement in a manic chorus.  At least the firing had stopped.  Lirssa dared to look around the column and get a longer look at layout.  The basement was about the size of a hockey rink.  Man, did she miss going to hockey games.

Focus, Lir.

Midway along the cement wall to her right was a cut out where the pipes along the ceiling cut through to the next room and whatever waited there.  Fingers, curling into a fist and relaxing, rested against the edge of that cut out.  Eddie was hiding there.

The rest of the room had its stone column support beams, barrels of boom-boom, or not boom-boom, products, and wooden crates.  Lots of flammable things.  Including her.

A small spark, like a pissed off firefly, zipped her way, pushing her back behind the column again.  "How do you choose, hm?"  Eddie's voice carried the curiosity of a child.

"Choose what?"

"Who you give that power to and who you don't?"

While it was tempting to give a grammatical correction, Lirssa did manage to correctly assess the timing was not right.  And his question was one she constantly struggled with.  "I'm still learning that, Eddie."

"If you had shared it with me, people would not have been hurt at all.  Maybe people could be kept from getting hurt again.  You could do that, you know.  You could give me that power."

Lirssa rested her head back against the column, eyes closed tight.  "Damn," she muttered.  Eddie was a good guy.  She knew he was a good guy, but he saw the answers to the multiverses problems in her.  That scared her.

It wasn't like she hadn't given it thought.  But who would she pick?  Who would do the right thing every time, and what was the right thing?  Sometimes there were absolute right and wrong, but that was rare and nearly always had death of innocents in its tally sheet.  Other days were coated in the grey areas between, and finding a path, well, that just took living on the edge all the time and hoping the next step doesn't take you over.  "Eddie, I helped you when you needed it to save your friends.  But I can't save everyone."

You can't save everyone. Can you?

"I could have kept them all hidden, left without anyone getting hurt."

"And when the Agrasian came knocking? What then?  What about the next guy and the next time?  Eddie?"  Lirssa was not the right person to help him with this.  She didn't know the answers either.  "Come on home.  Let's get someone who can help you with these answers."

"You're the one.  Answer me!  Who do you choose?!"  The air dried out in seconds, heat rising, mists intensifying and then burning away.  Electricity and then fire slammed against the column, the heat penetrating her clothes.  He was cooking her on a stone.

"Don't do this, Eddie!  Don't make me do this."  The cry did not carry over the roar of flame and snap of electricity.

She was running out of time.  How could she do this?   How could she do to Eddie what she had done to her Uncle?  What she had done to those mages?  This was a good guy lost.  

And she was about to be baked Lirssa.  "I can't answer you if I'm dead!"  She yelled again, desperate to not make that last move.  To strip Eddie of his power -- if she even could.

She doubted he had actually heard her, but maybe he realized the same thing.  Dead Lir's tell no tales.  "I could have saved them."

But he had saved them.  This was something else.  This was something older.  "Eddie?  Tell me what you see?"

Silence as smoke and acrid scent of burning cement filled the air.  The silence was good enough for her.  Then she heard Eddie speak.  "A pipe.  My feet.  A charred column..." he sucked in a ragged breath that came back out again in a messy whimpering.  "A barrel."

"That's good."  She slid up to standing against the column.  "Eddie.  You need some help.  We're going to get it for you."

"Why?"

Lirssa smiled and stepped from around the column.  "Let me tell you a story I heard once.  There's this guy, and he fell into a hole.  A doctor comes by, and the guy yells 'Hey doc, I'm stuck in this hole, can you help me out?'  And the doctor writes a prescription and throws it in the hole before walking on.  A minister comes by, and the guy says, "Father, I'm in this hole, can you help me out?'  The minister prays for the guy and walks on.  Then a friend comes by, and the guy says, "Hey friend, I'm in this hole, can you help me out?'  And the friend jumps in the hole.  Guy asks, 'Why'd you do that?  Now we're both in here!'  And the friend answers, 'Yeah, but I've been in here before, and I know the way out.'"

Eddie shook and came to rest his head on Lirssa's shoulder.

[size=9]((The end parable I heard on West Wing))[/size]
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"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2016, 09:29:18 AM »
"You know, go through a battery of tests, and you could just join up."  Inferno stood just behind Lirssa's seat.

It was early morning. Moxie was warming up, and just a few more switches, the approval for the takeoff, and they'd be on their way crossing the dawn of horizon and into the black of space.  Lirssa could not get there fast enough.  "Independent contractor, Inferno, you know that."

He came around, his back to the wide panel of the viewport, and looked down at her.  She did not look back at him.  "Independent contractor who came looking for a flight with my team late last night.  Looking for it."  

Inferno had questions.  The last statement practically crashed with a flood of them.  But he would have to ask.  Straight out, he would have to ask why she needed this flight -- this particular flight.

Last night had gone badly.  Nineteen years, give or take, and she should have been able to brush things off.  But they all just stood there.  Shook their heads.  Band-aid the broken instead of punishing the breaker.  It was not okay.  And she had to get away from it.  Get to some place orderly.

And dangerous.

There was too much anger still bubbling in her.  It had kept her up most of the night.  It had made her scream at the walls of the ship, run through the forest, and collapse on her bunk in frustration.  It was the flight, the risk, that was going to get her back to center.  She had to do some good somewhere.

And Inferno and his crew had supplied the answer.  Best scenario?  Four days.  Two out, get the job done, two back.  Lirssa thought about canceling the com connection, but if one of the foster homes needed to get in touch....well, there wasn't much she could do but direct them to someone who could help.  That list was dwindling.

Damn it all.  "Team set, Inferno?"

There were four days to get his questions answered. He was a smart man.  He did not press.  "Affirmative."

"Let's get out of here," and the moment the approval came through, her ship lifted off and shot to the sky, shaking free the trappings of gravity.
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"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2016, 01:53:18 PM »
Moxie was parked in a clearing of forest northwest of town. It was a particularly nice day, so Lirssa was enjoying the walk in the woods, but it had already gone off plan.  Not that she was worried.  Canaan not being at the beach house or anywhere in proximity of the beach for their usual lessons had been unexpected, but not troubling.  The warlock was likely distracted, or had been distracted and worn out, or any number of things that simply weren't her business.  

So, she went about hers.  There was still the gala that afternoon, and while getting clean in the Moxie's limited facilities worked for everyday, it was not going to work for today.  Not with what she was overhearing about what Jewell and Amthy were going to do to Aric to get him ready.  She really did owe him for agreeing to accompany her.  She'll repay the debt somehow.

The wondering of how was completely cast aside when she finally reached the clearing, and Inferno once again was standing there.  "Really?"  She felt all joy in her day vanish, energy draining like air from a balloon, slumping her shoulders.  

His smirk was too much.  "No," she said lifting a hand to cut him off.  She went past him to punch in the code to the entry.  Inferno followed her inside.  "Just need a pilot, Lulu.  Don't even have to use your --" his voice cut off.

Lirssa's gown was hanging from a hook where straps for cargo usually latched.  "As you can see, I've got other things to do today."

Whatever hesitation, or sense of decency, Inferno felt did not last long.  "Timetable is good for twelve."

"And you expect me to Cinderella it?"  It was unbelievable.  Or believable.  Everyone had their own agenda, and she just meshed herself into it.  "Just go," pointing him to the door as if he could not find it three steps behind him.

"Not your ship.  Just your skills."

"There are...I can't even count how many pilots out there.  Some better than me, too.  Go get their skills."  She took out her duffle bag, shoving in her little black shoes and the appropriate undergarments, not caring in the slightest that Inferno saw them.  Hair pin, earrings, and ring were more gently placed in a pocket of the bag.

"Sure."  Leave it to Inferno not to try and butter her up by denying there were others who flew better than her.  "But they don't have your particular view on life."

Whatever he meant by that, Lirssa had no idea.  The bag zipper was given a harsh tug to zip shut.  "What?"

"Can't trust them.  Either straight as a rail and no leeway for the seamier side of our work, or so far off the rails they'd as soon as turn us over.  You have a particular view that I can trust.  And besides," he smiled.  He could have a charming smile when he used it.  Probably why he kept it in reserve.  "We're accustomed to you.  And you to us."

Lirssa had to give him that one.  Some of the crew could be less than pleasant.  She glared at Inferno with the particular hate of giving in because, well, she really had nothing better to do.  "Fine.  2300.  What am I flying?"  Grumbling as she settled the strap of her bag on her shoulder, and then snatched the dress from the hook.  

"A Raptor 2322."

Lirssa pushed Inferno out the door just as he spoke, and the surprise caught her slamming the door closed, the whir of auto-locks humming behind her gaping expression.  "Oh for bloody sake."
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Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2016, 05:45:36 PM »
The Raptor 2322 was a sleek machine no matter what the build was called.  It had a bit more slope in its lines than the image Mr Matt had shown her, but likely that and other modifications were for it to be both more planet and space friendly.  In space, of course, aerodynamics didn?t count for much, but want to take the ship into gravity bound, air current riddled planet atmosphere, better have a good design.
 
It was the largest vessel Lirssa had ever helmed, and the first since her academy days that had weaponry.  When she arrived at the bay in Stars End late that night after duels, Inferno had been waiting for her.  On a table next to him was a muddy green flight suit, a helmet that he said ?Will have to do, no time to size it properly,? and a blaster.

?No thanks,? Lirssa said with a nod to the blaster.  ?Can?t believe you have me riding transport protection instead of helming the transport.?

?Pay is pay.?  He countered and gave a nod to the locker rooms at the back of the docking bay.  ?Get changed.?

Inferno had his full business demeanor on; curt and with a keen sense of where he was in the timeline of the mission.  The challenge, of course, was to keep her own tendency to try and break through that attitude under wraps.  There was a time and place, and if Inferno was offering a sidearm as part of the deal?  This was not the time nor the place.

In the locker room, Lirssa put the flight suit on, rolling the sleeves to quarter length.  For a helmet that had not been fitted to her, it was snug in the right places.  That was when the memories hit, of course.  The years ago at the academy.  Every sound, smell, hearing Coach snap at her through the com to stop taking risks.  Stop going where people could not follow.

The sensation crawled along her spine and up her scalp.  A reminder of how the edge truly felt.  Her heart skipped a beat and sped up.  Tugging the helmet off, she ran her fingers through the length of her hair.  She really should cut it.  Just chop it all off.  It was in the way.

Out from the locker room, Inferno stood with the sidearm in its holster out to her.  ?No," she repeated and brushed aside.  ?I?m doing the job, but I won?t carry that.?

It was just a milk run.  Port side of a ship carrying ambassadors to some treaty signing.  Wasn?t even deep space.  RhyDin's star would still be casting light on them.   That meant Inferno was keeping something from her.  ?What aren?t you telling me??  She asked as they approached their Falcons.  Engines were warmed.  The glow faint, the thrusters all that were needed to break atmosphere.  The big pulsers wouldn?t be fired up until they broke free into the black.

At the side of the Falcon meant to be hers, Inferno reached down to take one leg and boost her up to the side holds.  There was no permission asked.  Military precision to the task at hand: get her in the ship.  ?You have all the information in that transmission you received last night.?

?Right, last night,? she glowered down at him.  ?When this was supposed to happen, but got bumped to tonight.  Why??

?One of the ambassadors wasn?t ready.?  When he looked at her, there was no smile.  ?Are you??

?Milk run, right??

?Right.?

?Yeah, sure.  Let?s get it done.  So I can, as you say, get paid.?

That got a smirk as he turned for his own ship, shooting back to her over his shoulder.  ?Paid already.?

Damn him.  

There?s always a feeling in the gut.  One people are supposed to listen to, but they second guess.  Surely not going to happen to me.  I?m being paranoid.  What made me this way?  How fast that line of thought goes until you start analyzing something that happened in your childhood to make you distrust everyone.

Lirssa?s list was far too long to go through the whole thing.  Too many moments; too many ways people left.  Or said one thing when they didn?t mean it, just to get what they wanted.  Everything in trade, you see.  Best way to keep things simple and no sticky attachments.  

For all that Bubber was harsh on her, training her with little pity or tenderness, he was honest.  He had told her everyone leaves.  He had told her that he trained her so they could both eat -- both survive.  He had told her to trust no one, not even him.  

But now she had a family.  She had people that counted on her.  Sure, no one really needed her, exactly.  Someone could and would fill her place.  But still, she couldn?t die today.  The list of things she had to do in her daily diary, well, as ever it had ended with ?Can?t die today.?  She figured it was a good enough mantra.

Over the com, Inferno broke into her thoughts.  ?Let?s get into the black.  Meet you at the coordinates.?

Lirssa ran her fingers over the instrument panel to the helm -- little more than a stick with a triangular grip.  A few switches turned and she felt the stomach turning lift of the ship from the docking bay floor.  The ship answered her gentlest touch, and she was glad she made it out of the bay doors without smashing her tail on the framework.  

The thrill of power as she shot to the dark beyond zipped through her.  She smiled.  The cold and sterile glow of the city at night fell behind and was exchanged for the warm twinkle of the stars in a deeper black to welcome her home.  Etoile, her parents had called her.  They had known, like they had known so many things, that she needed to break free of gravity.  She had too much of her own, and could crush people around her with it if they got too close.

At the coordinates, a dump ship that looked more like a steel and glass building set on its side with cigar-like tapering ends, waited.  Inferno took up the starboard side.  Two more ships were at the aft.  Lirssa watched the commands come through the screen, the countdown to the jump.  Jumps were not routine for Lirssa, and she took in a deep breath when that countdown went to zero.  She pushed the button.

If anyone asked her to describe the feeling, she would have had difficulty -- though words were her play things to do with as she wanted.  It was like being peanut butter between two slices of bread.  For one moment, you felt both sides, and then it was done.  Your momentum and your brain met up.  It was an instant, of course.  Less than a breath or a blink of an eye.  Then the countdown to the end of the jump.  Coordinates confirming orientation and destination.  Peanut butter and bread once more, and then there.

There.  Where two dozen ships opened fire.  ?Damn you, Inferno.?

?Sorry, Lulu.?
Cirque du Soliel contortionist -- skills similar to Lirssa's

"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2016, 11:27:11 PM »
There?s a saying: he?s like a live wire.  It meant dangerous, of course.  Maybe reckless.  At that moment, Lirssa felt like a literal live wire.  Her skin was crawling, muscles twitching in infinitesimal irritations.  She could have been covered in spiders for as much as she felt like her skin was moving.  Sweat tickled and heated her body beneath the helmet and in the flight suit.  She wanted out of them.  She wanted to be clean.

Lirssa landed her Falcon in the docking bay, looking at the dull streaks of laser blasts along its hull that never smoked.  There had been no oxygen for them to burn.  It was quick, those hits.  Like hit by a huge hammer, bright light, and then nothing.  Twinkle lights in store windows during Yuletide.  Laser fire still streaked in her vision if she closed her eyes too long.  So she didn?t.

A droid opened the canopy and helped her from the ship, lowering her down to the floor.  She stood.  She managed it somehow.  

?Hey, Lulu!?  Inferno was beaming, sweat matting his hair down and decorating his flightsuit.  The other pilots, those that had made surprise exit from the transport vessel when the battle began, were gathered about cheering the victory, hugging each other and patting backs.  They were less than when they started.  But that would be thought about later.  They were alive.

Can?t die today.

And she hadn?t.  But she was not in a celebratory mood.

?Lulu!?  Inferno shouted again and trotted over to her side.  

That was when she had hit him.  The uppercut had done pretty well against Kruger and Kalamere.  It did really well against the unsuspecting Inferno.  He ended up on the ground of the bay.  The cheers dying down as they saw their commander clocked.  ?Don?t you ever!?  Lirssa yelled at him, his eyes growing wider.  

She turned on him, he was still laying on the ground, surprise keeping him there.  And probably the pain of his jaw.  There were footsteps coming fast behind her, but she heard Inferno call, ?No.  Leave her be.?

And there were just one pair of footsteps that caught her just as she jerked the locker room door open.  ?Lirssa,? he murmured.

She knew she was crying.  No matter what she did to try and stop, the tears were there.  ?Don?t ever do that again.  I couldn?t see their eyes.  If I?m going to kill someone??  She sucked in a breath.  She had hurt people, one or two had lost their lives at her hands, but she had always been able to look them in the eye.  She wanted to throw up.

?I know, Lirssa, but it had to be you.  I needed you on this mission.  I needed good pilots. People I could trust.?

She had heard that before.  ?And because I can accept shady??  She snarled at him.  ?Not that shady.  I want to help people.  Not kill them.?

?Sometimes one has to happen so the other can.?

She had no rebuttal to that.  None that made sense.  All she had was, ?Don?t ever,? and she shut the door on him.  She had another job to get to.
Cirque du Soliel contortionist -- skills similar to Lirssa's

"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2016, 06:34:30 PM »
The cantina had enough noise from the patrons and the music that Lirssa and Inferno had to lean towards each other across from the small round table to hear.  A light touch of sweet smoke drifted along with each passerby.  There was the crack of a pool game as the balls ricocheted off each other at the opening break.  Glasses clinked, people laughed, and Inferno sat rolling his drink around in his hands.  The amber liquid rocked back and forth.  ?Not going to apologize, Lulu.?

She had water in her glass, but it only trembled to the tapping of her fingers on the table beside it.  ?I did not expect you to.?  It wasn?t the man?s style.  Nor did he think he should.  ?You did the job you were paid to do.?

?Got the team together that I needed,? he added.  ?It worked.?

?And who cares what it does to the person??  It reminded her of Eddie -- Barracuda --, and how he cracked because she had done what she could at the moment.  Done the best she could.  But this was different, of course.  This was taking away, not adding.  ?Don?t answer.  I know your answer.?

?Do you??  His smirk had enough sorrow to make her think again.  

Good guy.  Inferno was a good guy.  ?Yeah, I do,? Lirssa replied softly.  ?It isn?t like you to not tell me things.  You?ve always been clear with me.  I--? she paused, ?trusted you.?  That list had dwindled to near nothing over the past several months.  She looked down at her hands.  One had to wonder, of course, if it was her, then, and not everyone else.  Maybe she had changed.

Inferno didn?t argue that she could still trust him, or thank her for the trust that had been there.  He moved on.  Acted like he still had it.  That?s one way to approach situations.  Particularly when it worked.  ?Got another flight for you tomorrow.  Good pay, but your kind of flight.  Just transport.?

?My ship still needs repair from a joyride I took.?

The snicker hollowed out when he took a drink that finished off his Ilirian ale.  ?Really should stop doing that, you know.  Gonna fly, get paid.?

?Yeah, I suppose.  I guess I just keep trying to do a good turn in the hopes it comes back to me.  But trade only works when both are playing the same rules.?

A grunt of agreement was all the man gave her.

Lirssa studied him, and in doing so realized she was studying herself, too.  The way they were the same.  The way they were different.  Every part of him she instantly reflected back on herself.  ?How?s your husband and kids??

The smile was instantaneous.  The sharp, military man sunk away beneath the bright eyed, big grinning happy man.  ?They are good, thanks.?

?Good.  Tell them I said Hi.?

?Can do.?

?What?s the job??

Inferno was back.  It was a sight to see him change with just the switch of topic.  Expression firm, confident, with friendliness a current byproduct of not killing anyone.  ?I?ll send you details.?  He stood up, straightened the jacket of his uniform and looked down at her.  ?Try to live in the world you are in, Lulu, and not the one you imagine it to be.?

When he walked away, Lirssa fumed silently.  She lived in the world.  Mostly.  Was it shameful to want it to be better?  To expect people to think beyond the immediate gratification?  Set sights on a goal and try to achieve it?  Where was the positive hopefulness?  

Where was hers? Setting herself up for a hard fall every time she was reminded that she had sought the best and found she had placed expectations too high.  

It was her fault.  The problem wasn?t she had changed.  It was she hadn?t.

And with a lopsided smile, she stood up and left to go check on the repairs of her ship.  Doubt she ever would change.
Cirque du Soliel contortionist -- skills similar to Lirssa's

"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2016, 09:49:01 AM »
?Don?t push it, Inferno, or I?ll be forced to mock your name,? Lirssa threatened as she stepped onto her ship past Lt Commander Charles Valari -- Charlie Valari.  It screamed to put in neon lights for a lounge act.  

In truth, her anger at Inferno had been dealt with last night in the most peaceful way.  As did all the rest of her stress.  Sometimes, a person just needs to be held.  Her body had felt like it was going to fly apart, and she just needed someone to hold her together for a little bit.  At the duels, she found Mister Dris, or well he didn?t like the title, even if she did still think of that in her head.  Dris was working, but Taneth had seen Lirssa needed to be on that caller?s couch, too, welcomed her, and Dris had just held her.  

There?s magic in touch; even something so innocuous as keeping an arm around a friend so all the worries and voices whirling in her head settle down.  By the end of the night, Lirssa was feeling better and ready to face the flight in the morning with Inferno and his crew.  

A crew that included Kendrick.  ?Good to see you, Lulu.?

?Is that my callsign??  Lirssa asked, because she could not honestly say it was good to see him.  The thought chasing that was no matter what kind of player Kendrick was, he was also a good soldier, and had piloted them out of chaos while she was playing battery pack to Barracuda.

?Sure!?  He grinned as if everyone knew that.  ?We should see more of you, Lulu.  I know I?d like to.?

Lirssa stopped and just looked up at him, her face lax, showing nothing more than pity for him.  

?Don?t start, Kendrick,? Inferno pushed the soldier on to take a seat at the back of Moxie.  Turning an apologetic half smile to Lirssa, he pitched his voice low, ?He?s good at his job.?

?Yeah, was just thinking that myself, so decided not to punch him.?  She took up her seat at the helm.  ?There?s no promise that thought will remain the overriding one for the duration though.?

Taking up the seat next to hers, he chuckled.  ?Glad it is a short run, then.  Just get us up to our ship.  Quietly.?

?And that?s the trick isn?t it?  Sneaking past Stars End and Gateway Station is something new for me.?

?Not exactly,? he countered with a smirk.

The engines warmed, and Lirssa kept the communications turned off as she skipped that part of the ignition sequence.  ?And just what does that mean??  She did not look at him.  He could not possibly know.  That was back in her days at the academy, where she had been asked to leave.  Those files should be long gone.

?Your recent spat of joyriding isn?t new.  Took a pilot pod from school, broke atmo on the pole to stay hidden, and took a sporting run around the moons, right??

Okay, so he knew.  That was a little disturbing, and Lirssa felt her shoulders tighten again.  Not the best way to be flying.  ?Geez, Inferno, what is it with you??

There was no apology in his eyes.  ?You?re on my crew.?  It was his only explanation.

And it told her everything she needed to know.  ?Well, sit tight, and let me do my job getting you all quiet like up to your next shindig with death.?

It was a low grunt with a wisp of breath: a weary laugh.  That was disturbing, too.
Cirque du Soliel contortionist -- skills similar to Lirssa's

"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2016, 03:11:59 PM »
The communication had been brief.

"Show done?" Inferno had sent to her com device.  

It had sat there waiting for her reply while she trained with Canaan.

After shower, she finally took up the device to scroll through messages and a reply back.  "Yes."

There was no delay after that.  Was he watching?  Had he been waiting?  Surely not.  He just got to his messages faster.  That had to be it.

"Good.  Job for you."

"More details."

"Face to face.  Meet you at Stars End Bar.  Two hours."

Two hours later, Lirssa strolled into the bar and Inferno moved from his chair near the window.  Without a word, bottle of juice offered to her, and he moved to at able further back in the afternoon emptiness of the bar.  "Need you to make a delivery."

Lirssa almost retorted that he could have sent that via text.  It would have spared her the trip out to Stars End and avoided the shrinkage of her free time.

But that was just the point.  Inferno would not have done so if it wasn't important.  He was all soldier, pure business, but he knew not to mess with her.  Particularly since last time.

With a clench of her fist, knuckles popping as the skin blanched white, Lirssa frowned, "Euphemisms are fun when flirting or writing poetry, Inferno.  Let's limit it to those events."  What is it about grape juice?  It probably did not really quench her thirst, but it sure felt like it did.  She avoided sighing like one of those advertising models after taking a healthy swig.

"Delivering Kendrick.  He's got something to take care of a few sectors over.  You need to rendezvous with his transport.  Can't bring them in too close.  Don't want them on Gateway's radar at all."

The grape juice was nearly spit out when Inferno told her whom she would be transporting.  "Not just him, right?"

"Lulu, I promise you, his mind is going to be focused on his mission.  There won't be room for him to be his usual self."  He thumbed the paper label on his beer bottle.  "And if he is, I give you permission to kill him."

"Like I need your permission if it gets to that point."  There was not going to be a moment of debating what it would do to the team or the mission.

Inferno chuckled, drank from his beer, and shook his head.  "True, but you have it all the same."  He leaned forward a little, the muscles of his arm rolled as one hand clenched.  "He won't.  He needs to rendezvous at 0550."

Of course he did.  Why ever would there be a flight that was not at some ungrateful hour of the morning?  "Right," she snarled.  "Pay?"

"Thought you should get hazard pay."  His grin was sympathetic even has he joked.  "3500."

"Appealing to my pocket book, eh?"

"Appealing to your heart, Lulu.  I know what you do with most of those funds."

"My life is an open book."

"Almost.  Want to tell me about him?"

Him.  Inferno and his damn research.  "No.  That part of my life isn't open to you or working for you, got it?"

He held up both hands, forefinger and thumb keeping hold of the beer bottle.  "Understood."  With one last finishing swallow, he flipped the bottle over his head.  It spun end over end to clatter and crash into the waste bin.  Showoff.  "So, take the job?"

"Yeah.  Send a muzzle with Kendrick, right?"

He did not agree, but he stood up and nodded.  "Thanks, Lulu," and he left.

Grape juice suddenly was not enough.
Cirque du Soliel contortionist -- skills similar to Lirssa's

"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven

Lirssa Sarengrave

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Re: Time for me to fly
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2016, 01:29:49 PM »
"Don't look so pathetic," Lirssa scowled at Inferno over her bottle of grape juice.

Stars End Bar was as quiet as the music box appealing for someone to put in some credits and give it a tune to play would allow.  The room was spattered with sippers.  No one was hitting the bottle heavily.  No one was scowling or brooding.

Except maybe Lirssa.  Inferno huffed a chuckle.  "I'd say the same of you.  That message that came though from Ortiz was just great fun."

"I haven't seen it."  Before Inferno could pull out his com device, Lirssa's hand sliced away from her bottle.  "And I don't want to see it.  Look, you tracked me down.  Do you have a job for me or not?"

"I did.  Not sure you're in a good place to take it."  Inferno was watching her carefully.  

It unnerved her.  Lirssa had kept herself busy.  Between the studio, classes, stops at the houses, and work at the Foundation -- which now ran smoothly without her most times --, she had found a new rhythm to her life.  It should have been enough.  It should have broken past her longing for the stars.

The sky, though, had been taken away from her.  It was a niggling madness growing in her.  She needed to fly.  "I am in as good a place as I ever am."

"No, you're in a craving.  I can see it.  Look at your hands, Lulu.  You clench that bottle any harder and bones or glass are going to break.  I can't have you at the helm of one of our ships that way."

"So, you think denying me the one thing that is going to make me feel better is the smart thing to do?"  Lirssa hissed out the heat that broke a sweat out along her back.  "Get me flying, Inferno."

Inferno shook his head, sitting back, the label of his beer bottle curled in bits on the table.  "No, Lirssa.  Not this mission.  Maybe another one.  I'll find you again when it comes around."  He stood and paused at her shoulder.  "Stop chasing it.  It'll turn around and bite you.  You know it."  And he left already pushing buttons on his com device.

Lirssa growled and slammed the bottle on the table.  Grape juice sloshed out the top and leaked from the now cracked bottom.  Shaking her hand free of juice, she stood up and went to the restroom to wash it off.

In the mirror, she tried to see what Inferno did.  And she couldn't miss it.  Even as she tried to smile away the anger and the anxiousness, it was still there in her eyes.  They were too sharp, a cut of green glass.  When she thought of flying, of piloting her ship again -- any ship -- the sharp cut gained a fire to it.  

Rattled, she shut her eyes and turned from the mirror.
Cirque du Soliel contortionist -- skills similar to Lirssa's

"Anyone can handle a bad girl. It's the good girls men should be warned against." - David Niven