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Messages - Connor Murphy

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1
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: October 10, 2017, 09:14:20 AM »
Connor was intrigued as Jada moved in a bit closer, as if to divulge something only for his ears.  He was trying to maintain his distant composure, that is, keep his mind on the conversation and not the companion herself.  He was not even sure it was intentional, how every movement Jada made was perfectly smooth and accentuating.  Maybe it was the bourbon letting him slip, but the XO focused his eyes again on Jada's, finding in them a sincerity that drew back his attention.

"I was wrong."

No, he hadn't expected that.  It was a blatant admission and Connor sat silent before she continued.   The rest of the apology came out just as unadulterated and smooth before Jada sat back again in that lioness repose.  She managed to make amends without appearing vulnerable, smiling as she lifted her drink to sip on it casually.  Conner knew that Jada was sincere, but unlike most people, she didn't sit on the edge of her seat waiting for forgiveness.  It was as if she already knew she would get it.

The charade was over, having broken enough ice for the companion and officer to honestly move forward.  Connor nodded as Jada spoke of friendship and trust.  He wanted to be Jada's friend.  He wanted to her to trust him, but he wondered if he could trust her.  Jada was a complex woman, and proven to be unpredictable.  But the incident in the chapter house had inadvertently forged a bond between the two of them, a secret shared.  And there was the vow he made to protect her.  It seemed trust was something they would need to develop if any of it was going to work.

Connor took a sip of his drink, then replied. "I agree.  I would like to be your friend, Jada.  I hope I can continue to earn your trust.   I need friends here, and I need your trust.'  Cool blue eyes reflected his honesty.

2
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Spider Queen, Your Chariot Awaits
« on: October 04, 2017, 03:58:43 PM »
Connor piloted the shuttle through traffic until he was on their own vector that would lead them out of the atmosphere to where the Freyja circled in orbit.  The sun was setting, offering a brilliant display of hues not only in the sky, but on the billowy clouds they had passed through and now lingered below them.

He nodded at her alternative explanation for the Guild's willingness to offer her a position on their chapter house ship. He would not put it past them, the companions  didn't seem like the type that would rest as long as they knew there was a vulnerability, even if only within their closed system.  Would it be only a matter of time before someone is able to hack into it and exploit it through the cortex?  Mei may have a very good bargaining chip in her pocket.

Her last comment drew a sidelong glance from Connor.  The smirk Mei wore was a mischievous one.  The XO quirked a brow at his new companion, having no reason to doubt the woman could indeed do exactly what she claimed she wouldn't.  He hoped she wouldn't. 

Connor returned her smile when Mei offered her services as a drinking buddy.  "I mean, we don't have to drink all the time..."  He didn't want to come off like a lush.  "Just talking to someone who isn't trained to read you like a book would be nice."  He added, looking out the view port. Then his features went flat, realizing too late his mistake.  He laughed sheepishly, then looked back at Mei.  "I mean, who aren't actively in the practice of doing that."  Connor sighed, he was digging himself deeper.  Mei was indeed trained as a companion, and could very well use that training, he didn't know.  "Er, not that you can't, or shouldn't...or...ooof." 

He looked out ahead again, then laughed at himself, looking boyishly back to Mei.

3
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: October 04, 2017, 03:31:24 PM »
Jada was a complexity of subtle inflection, expressive features, and well crafted words.  She seemed to tread the thin wire that teetered between clever wordplay and flirting, always giving just enough to wonder, leaving Connor a bit off balance, like a skilled fighter.  But Connor had little doubt that her prediction of failure in any attempt to out seduce a companion was accurate, her wording poignant but couched in playful tones.

"If I ever try, you will be the first to know."  He replied with a broad grin, lifting his drink to her.   The thing with Jada was that he could not pin if she was flirting or not.  His ego was reasonable enough not to assume she was, or if she was, that it was nothing more than playful past time.  Regardless if it were or weren't, Connor enjoyed the lively nature of the conversation.   

When she asked about friends, Connor shook his head slightly.  "I have made some acquaintances. Haven't been here long enough yet, I imagine.  Can't say the captain...er...high priestess is a friend yet, but we do get along well.  Dominic Sinclair has helped me with adjusting to the ship, so I don't doubt he will be a friend.  And the new security expert, Miss Lau, is a right friendly person." He had taken a shine to Mei after picking her up to join the Freyja in Sihnon.  "Also met a very interesting companion who I was not so sure about at first, but I have a feeling we will be friends."    Connor teased, eyeing Jada over the rim of his glass as he took a drink.

4
Bar & Lounge / Re: How Many Is This Now?
« on: October 04, 2017, 03:10:58 PM »
Connor should have known the gray hair taunt was not going to work on a woman as astute as Dalila.  He shrugged and smiled instead, laughing at her comment about her sisters.   He himself had found a gray hair or two, but of course , wasn't going to bring that up.  The captain was a sharp woman, and probably already spotted them.

A smile persisted as Dalila voiced her personal feelings about his presence on the ship, and when she lifted her drink with a toast, Connor leaned forward and lightly tapped his near empty glass against hers with a soft clink. "To teamwork."  He repeated with a sort nod.  Connor would admit he saw his new post as a true challenge.  He had concerns at first with serving a captain with little captaining experience, and wondering what liberty he would have to offer suggestions and advice.  But Dalila was realistic and practical, and her XO began to feel he could work with her  closely on the bridge, that their relationship would be productive and mutually beneficial.

Connor drained the last sip from his glass and set it on the bar.  He had had a couple by now, feeling the warm, relaxing effect of the whiskey.  His gaze swept around the lounge, still virtually empty as most took the opportunity to spend time on solid ground while the Freyja orbited the planet.  He saw no harm in another drink, and with a single finger, motioned the bartender for a refill.  His eyes shifted to Dalila, brows raised in question as his finger remained up and poised, ready to order the commanding companion another drink  if she so desired.

"Speaking of not being a companion, are there restrictions for myself or other crew as far as interactions with the companions on board?"  It was pretty clear that he and the crew were to avoid companions who were entertaining clients.  But they were a private and curious lot, and Connor didn't want to end up stepping into trouble out of ignorance.

 

5
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: October 02, 2017, 03:11:31 PM »
Connor was not fishing for complements, or looking to feed his ego when he challenged Jada to analyze him.  The XO was certainly confident, but was not vainly so, and never quite knew how to take compliments, usually displaying more humility than bravado in such cases.  But he would be lying if he was not curious about what Jada thought of him.  They had a complicated relationship, after all.

He nodded slightly as the companion described her observations about the Freyja's crew.  They were a top notch team, and Connor was impressed by the Guild's ability to find high quality people for the positions. It was nice to hear that he was respected by those he worked with, both before and behind his back.

Jada's further diagnoses were also on target, he enjoyed his off time, and his bourbon.  The therapist came out as the dark-skinned woman admonished him to watch his drinking, lest he fall like so many other spacers. Again, the woman was right as well as tactful, like a true professional.  But when her last piece of advice bubbled from plush lips, it took Connor off-guard and he laughed out loud.  He did not expect the sudden bawdy piece of wisdom.  But as Jada explained her reason, Connor nodded more emphatically.

He lifted his glass in a salute to the companion and took a drink.  "I shall try to control myself and resist screwing them."  He added, flashing a smile.   One thing Connor was learning, Jada had a sense of humor that was dark and brash.  He liked it.  He would not admit to her, but surely Jada could surmise that Connor had considered what she had warned against.  He was locked on a ship surrounded by beautiful, talented women. The man could imagine that getting real tempting.

"What if I want to test my wiles against them?"  He teased in return, taking another swig of his drink.  Of course that was ridiculous, you can't out-charm a highly trained companions.


@Claire   //  @Jada Depont

6
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: September 29, 2017, 11:02:38 AM »
Of course he was paying close attention.  It would be hard for Connor not to.  Just as it was with Dalila, Jada's nearly flawless features and alluring appearance gave him every reason to study the curve of her mouth when she spoke, the set of hazel green eyes, the movement of manicured brows.  Even Dominic was pleasing to look at, though Connor didn't find him attractive, he was nonetheless calming to address.

So the subtle wash of sorrow that crossed her dusky face as she answered was not missed by the XO.  He understood.  Jada's life was not as merry as many of the others who were raised in the Guild. Connor didn't understand all with which Jada struggled, but he began to sympathize rather than judge.  In the quiet moment that followed her answer, his gaze fell to his drink, downing the remains before setting it on the bar next to Jada's for a refill.

The mood lifted again as she asked about his story.  He laughed at her dark joke, appreciating the sharp wit.

"Well, I come from Santo.  Folks had a large successful farm.  I had a fascination with what lay out among the stars that I saw at night, what it was like on the other worlds in the 'verse.  The Navy was my ticket to see all of that and get paid to do it.  Liked it too, until the war." 

Then it was Connor's face that drew flat, his eyes shifting to the fresh drink set on the bar, picking it up and taking a sip of the quality bourbon.   His downcast eyes caught the elegant shoes Jada wore, sliding up her smooth legs to settle again on her eyes.  He let a small smile brush away the melancholy of his memories, focusing again on the fortune of his present company.

He thought for a moment, the liquor now warming his body and loosening his restraint.  "So, as a psychotherapist, I am interested in your assessment of the ship's new executive officer, and possible advice on his transition to such unfamiliar surroundings."  His small grin grew to a wry smile.  Jada was not shy, nor timid.  Connor was curious to see what she thought of him, both professionally and personally.

@Claire  //  @Jada Depont

7
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Walking It Off
« on: September 28, 2017, 11:54:41 AM »
It was unusual.  A week ago, Connor would have politely, but definitely declined an offer like Dominic's.  It just didn't happen in normal life.  But since joining the Freyja, nothing had been normal for Connor.  He was learning he had to step out of himself, if he was going to be able to work with companions on a regular basis.  They were a different type of animal altogether.   But the more he met companions one on one, the more normal they seemed to be.  He hadn't known Dominic long enough to see much normality.  But Connor was game to try working with the man.

Dominic's first comment made sense. Connor was not at all comfortable on the Freyja when he boarded, and was not there yet.  But Dalila was a good example, once he became familiar with her, got to know her over a drink (or many), he became comfortable around her.

Connor sighed as he considered Dominic's words as he continued.  Introspection was not Connor strong suit, but he nodded and tried to begin and identify those things which stressed him.  Worry about all the new crew members, including himself, working together,  being in a room with a lot of companions,  having a companion as a captain...the list began.  He did not share the details with Dominic.  If they were somewhere private, or he knew the man better, he might have shared. 

Connor had been staring blankly ahead as he compiled his short list, then turned to Dominic. "Okay, I have some in mind."

8
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: September 28, 2017, 11:39:18 AM »
Connor was finally granted a sincere smile, the first one he had seen since meeting her, and it was reflected in her eyes, seeming to bring out the green, even in the subdued light of the lounge. Jada settled back into her chair like a lounging lioness.  There was no question that she was self-assured, as comfortable in her own skin as any companion he had yet to meet.  Jada seemed pleased to talk of herself, which Connor did not find arrogant.  Her willingness would make getting to know her much easier.  He sipped again at his drink, finding any reason for his eyes to remain on the mocha-skinned woman a good reason.

Her answer was intriguing.  Connor knew companions were highly trained, with a battery of skills that make them a man, or woman's, ideal companion, no matter the need.  He had never considered that psychotherapy would be an ideal practice to add to the repertoire.  What better way to meet the needs of a client than to be able to address what is going on in their head? It was an impressive school of knowledge to possess, and perhaps that contributed to Jada's powerful confidence.

Connor's brow quirked in interest.  "Psychotherapy? I can see where that would benefit a client."  And Jada proved not only intelligent, but wise...and a bit poetic.  She saw the limits of a companion's career, and had already considered her contingency.

"And you have never been tempted to leave the Guild and pursue that in private life?"  He inquired. Connor was curious whether a companion ever regretted their decision to join the Guild, if they were even given the choice.


9
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: September 27, 2017, 04:29:33 PM »
Jada took to the charade, and Connor relaxed a bit.  She revealed her name, as if for the first time, offering her hand.  He took it gently in his hand, in the manner a gentlemen would.  He may not have been a companion, but Connor had been an Alliance Navy Officer, and he learned the proper behavior for formal events.  Jada suddenly appeared so different.  From the moment of their first meeting on Sihnon, He had never really seen her not frowning or scowling at him.  She was certainly attractive even then, but he could see her real beauty now.

Jada possessed the same gracefulness he had noted with Dalila, the fluid ease of an experienced companion. She was proving to Connor that she was consummately charming and skilled in her trade.

Jada continued, and Connor almost missed the subtle nuance in her statement.  Safety.  They may be playing the part of strangers, but the clever companion reminded him so subtly of his vow to her.  Connor's eyes darted up from his drink to Jada's, holding her meaningful gaze for a moment, as if assuring her he had heard it.  Then the gaze broke and he sipped again at his drink.

Connor offered a small, knowing smile. "It is my duty, Ms. Dupont. One I perform gladly." 

Taking another drink, Connor's gaze swept the lounge before focusing attention again on Jada.  "I admit, I don't know much about the Guild, perhaps you can help educate me. It seems that each companion has their specialty, Is that true, do you have something at which you excel?"  Connor knew much about some aspects of Jada, more than anyone else.  But the rest of her he knew nothing about.  He was hoping to learn.

10
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: September 25, 2017, 10:51:06 AM »
Connor had taken the leap of faith and addressed the tension between them directly.  He didn't bring up what happened, the lounge was not the place to delve into that.   But the XO wanted to at least call a truce, to ease that nagging angst whenever they were within eyesight of one another.  He waited for more venom to spill from those plush lips.

Instead, an proposal was offered. Jada turned gracefully on her stool, towards him, the coltish stems of her legs crossing, the mocha toned skin revealed to her mid thigh.  Damn, but if every single one of them weren't so gorgeous.  His gaze darted back to Jada's hazel green eyes.  He wasn't sure if he heard Jada right, when she offered to put Sihnon behind them, and his brow quirked quizzically at her.  She was not gushing forgiveness, nor did Connor ever expect that.  But she made an offer that would allow them to both live civilly on the ship.  What the woman proposed was that she would forget how he had betrayed her in the garden.  Connor assumed that meant he was to forget that she was going to murder someone.

He took a sip of his bourbon, looking down into the glass when he lowered it to the bar.  Could he forget Sihnon, forget the side of Jada that no one else saw?  His eyes darted again to the soft features of the companion.  He didn't need an enemy on the Freyja, especially one of her status.  Again, he had no idea what Gao had done to drive Jada to such a drastic measure, so he was in no place to judge her actions.  Jada could, in fact, be someone he would very much like to get to know.  He would keep their secret.

With a subtle nod, Connor allowed a small smile to grace his masculine features.  He hefted his cup slightly, as if greeting Jada.

"Hello, I'm Connor Murphy, Executive Officer of the Freyja."    A new start began.

11
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Spider Queen, Your Chariot Awaits
« on: September 25, 2017, 10:26:18 AM »
So, that explained that undefinable quality about the new crew member. Mei's fluid yet controlled movement, polite and soothing tone and attractive features were explained in one small sentence.  She was one of them. Well, used to be.  Turned out not everyone the Guild selected turns out, though Connor suspected Mei fit all the requirements, except that  her moral compass was a bit off of true North.

Connor coughed a laugh at Mei's story, not expecting her explanation for her leaving the Guild.  He was not sure why he found it funny, or why he suddenly had more respect for the new cyber security chief.  Maybe it was that he had a thing for underdogs. Maybe it was because it slid her closer to his side of the scales when it came to occupants of the Freyja.  He was desperately outnumbered by trained companions and apprentices, whom he still viewed as semi-mystical.

"I have to give you credit, it takes chops to stand up for yourself like you did." Connor looked over at Mei, his smile broader now. "Looks like things turned out for you though.  And the Guild must have seen something in you, enough to trust you with a position in a floating chapter house."

The comm squawked with the approval for lift off, and Connor glanced from Mei to the controls.  Acknowledging the clearance with a "roger", the XO  guided the shuttle from the landing bay to the line of aerial traffic above and away from the port.

"Well, I am glad you are aboard, Mei, for selfish reasons.  I now have you to help me navigate through their protocols and such.  Not being one of them, I am counting on you.  Do you drink?  I can always use a drinking partner too."  He smiled again, though he didn't let on whether he was serious or not.  He was serious.

12
Bar & Lounge / Re: How Many Is This Now?
« on: September 25, 2017, 09:59:58 AM »
The Bourbon warmed his tongue and throat as Connor sipped more regularly from his glass.  Dalila was a good listener, he concluded.  Her eyes remained fixed on his, rather captivating jade green, instead of wandering around the lounge.  He, in turn, found no reason to turn his gaze from his drinking companion, given the engaging conversation.  The fact was that Dalila was hard to look away from in general. She was the first captain he had served under that he could describe as hěn hǎo kàn.  However, he would not allow that fact to affect his professionalism.  Then again, they were both off duty at the moment.

At the mention of the Oasis, Connor nodded, pointing at Dalila with his drink hand. "Yeah, that was the one.  Fine ship, just not my mug of brew." He implied again.  Seemed like the companion was aboard the cruise ship after he had already left.

Dalila continued, her tone more and more casual, her answer to Connor's question more revealing that he had expected. It was a surprise, and a bit of a relief, to hear that companions were not the perfect people they seemed to be.  It was easier to interact with people you felt were like you in some way.  He was in no way perfect.

The priestess/captain confessed her uncertainty in attaining her position.  Connor might understand why.  The little he had known of Dalila, and the more he was learning that evening, Connor figured she was not your typical companion.   Some establishments didn't trust those that operated a bit differently to rise.  Seems the Guild acknowledged Dalila's talents and traits and leveraged them instead.   The XO had great repsect for Dalila for the accomplishment, to earn both titles simultaneously.  It only further proved her extraordinary nature.

Connor grinned slightly when she mentioned expecting to have gray hair before earning such a role.  He leaned forward, again pointing at her, specifically at her head.  "You mean like that one there?" He taunted.  Of course there wasn't a singe strand of gray in Dalila's brown mane.  The alcohol was loosing Connor's ornery tongue, and it coaxed him to test his captain's sense of humor.


hěn hǎo kàn= well to look upon (easy on the eyes)

13
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Walking It Off
« on: September 25, 2017, 09:10:43 AM »
Connor glanced around the atrium, as if slightly uncomfortable, even though he stated that he wasn't.  It was just that Dominic's offer was unexpected and the crew officer was not sure how to answer.  Then he laughed at himself.  Get over yourself, Murph. The Freyja was not like any other ship he had served on, and he was going to have to adapt to its peculiar nature, or be unable to do his job to the best of his abilities. 

A finger lifted to rub his chin as Connor's gaze lifted again to the companion's, nodding once. "OK, yeah, I could use some help."  He admitted, not sure of what Dominic planned to do.  But understanding more about the Guild would help him understand what made Dalila tick.  Knowing your captain, how they thought, behaved, helped in anticipating their commands and taking proactive actions.   He would understand a little more about all of them and shed light on their unusual ways.

"I would appreciate that, Dominic."
Connor continued.

14
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: September 22, 2017, 04:13:04 PM »
Apparently the rather flat glance Connor gave Jada, and the strained pleasantness she in turn expressed, was enough for Danae to discern the consternation between her friend and the new bridge officer.   Like a good friend, the blonde began her effort to intervene and not so subtly force a face to face between the warring parties.  Of course, it was all done with the pretense of being polite and appropriate, for even Connor knew to be on his best behavior when the lounge was occupied by companions and clients.

Connor leaned on the bar casually, his hand wrapped loosely around his drink glass, exchanging niceties with Danae, until the women's drinks arrived.  No sooner had the bartender set the glasses down did Danae set her plan into motion by bowing out with painfully obvious intentions.  The officer gave the blonde a polite smile and a nod as she hurried off.  Connor looked down at his drink, trying to conceal a broader smile, finding a moment of amusement in Danae's scheme.

His gaze lifted, remaining straight ahead as Jada's did.  He took a sip of his drink, then replied to his unwilling companion.  "You would think a companion would be more subtle." He quipped.   Danae left them both in an awkward place, but her methods did provide an ice breaker.  Connor waited a moment, then continued, his eyes still forward.

"Its getting harder, trying to stay out of each other's way."  He continued, taking another drink of bourbon.  "Folks are going to catch on, like Danae, that we ain't exactly the best of friends."  Turning his head slightly, Connor looked over to Jada.   They were both stubborn, but Connor wanted to deal with the issue. Sooner or later, someone was going to start asking questions.



15
Bar & Lounge / Re: Nowhere To Hide
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:40:39 PM »
The Freyja had left Sihnon behind, and with it Connor tried to leave the incident in the chapter house garden.  He and Jada had given only the minimal information the authorities needed, as well as to their high priestess/captain.  Connor felt a little uneasy not sharing everything with Dalila, but was keeping quiet, at least until he understood the whole story behind Jada and Gao.  He had already betrayed Jada's trust, and the last thing he needed on the ship was an enemy.

Getting that story was not likely either.  Jada had avoided Connor like the plague, shooting him a cold glare whenever their gaze happened to meet.  It was like an open wound they just left to fester.  They both had plenty of work to keep them busy, too busy to cross paths most of the time.   But that evening in the lounge, there was a little help in bending those paths to cross.

As he entered the room,  roving eye saw Jada at the end of the bar, speaking with another woman.  It was unusual to see the companion in such a social environment, word was that he was not the only person getting the cold shoulder from Jada, folks said she had suddenly become very withdrawn.   Jada's gaze happened to find his, the usual hardness now looking more weary.  Her friend's eyes found him as well, and Connor broke the glance and began to make his way to the other end of the bar.

Connor had made it to the bar by the time Danae had dragged Jada after her.  He turned at their arrival, standing a little straighter when he saw Jada, catching the barely disguised displeasure in her features before shifting his gaze to the blonde.  His smile warmed.

"Good evening,  Jada..." He nodded, again glancing at the beautiful but dour Jada, before focusing on Danae, "... I don't think we have met.  Connor Murphy."  He introduced himself, offering his hand to Danae.

The scenario was obvious.  Jada's friend had no idea of the faux pas she was committing, bringing Jada and Connor together.  The tension was palpable.

Connor played it off as usual, trying not to let on to Danae that there was a problem between he and Jada.  "Um, may I get you, both, a drink." He added, eyes mostly on Danae, but darting to Jada to include her nevertheless.  It might have been an opportunity to try to make amends with Jada, and move on.

@Claire

16
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Walking It Off
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:07:30 PM »
Companions were a curious sort.  Not that Connor lumped them all in one group, or into one stereotype.  They had proved as different from one another as anyone.  But there were definitely traits they shared that were uncommon among, well, common folk.  Dominic also had those qualities.  Like being pensive.  In a conversation, most people were too busy thinking about something else, or just waiting for your jaw to stop moving so they could say the next thing on their mind. 

On the contrary, Connor could see that Dominic was attentive, listening carefully and measuring is own words, like Dalila did.  It was that sort of thing that sometimes caught the XO off guard, someone actually paying attention.  He had heard one companion call it  "continually being in the moment."

Had he been a man more hasty to draw opinions, Connor might have taken Dominic's comments as a sideways slight. But the companion spoke with no hint of arrogance or offense.  In fact, Dominic seemed sincerely curious as to why the Freyja might seem odd to the bridge officer.   It was that talent in a trained companion that drew out of you deeper thoughts you wouldn't readily share with a stranger.  Connor looked at the man for a moment, deciding how truthful he was going to be.

"I wouldn't say uncomfortable, your thing is to make people comfortable.  The way you do things is different, that's for sure.  It doesn't bother me, truthfully, its pretty interesting.  But its not what I am used to.  I am an outsider living on the inside.  That will take some getting used to.    Connor replied with a shrug and a smile.

@Dominic Sinclair

17
Tracker, Shipper, Plotter / Murph's Bridge Log
« on: September 20, 2017, 12:51:06 PM »
Date: Month 3, Day 3, 2517
Location:  Freyja - How Many is This Now?
With: @Dalila Moreno
Brief:  Captain and XO share a drink and break the ice.

Date: Month 3, Day 4, 2517
Location:  Sihnon - Your Chariot Awaits, Spider Queen
With: @Xiu Mei Lau 
Brief:  Connor picks up a new crew member and hopefully a friend.

Date: Month 3, Day 5 2517
Location:  Freyja - Walking it Off
With: @Dominic Sinclair 
Brief:  While walking off some stress, Connor interrupts Dominic's meditation.

Date: Month 3, Day 6, 2517
Location:  Sihnon - Last Train Out
With: @Jada Depont 
Brief:  Hoping to get the last shuttle back to the Freyja, Connor instead is pulled into Jada's dark secret.

Date: Month 3, Day 11, 2517
Location:  Freyja - Nowhere to Hide
With: @Jada Depont 
Brief:  Connor and Jada confront one another over the incident at the Sihnon Chapter House.


18
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Spider Queen, Your Chariot Awaits
« on: September 18, 2017, 11:38:38 AM »
"Alright then, you have been promoted to co-pilot." Connor joked, though his warm smile proved he welcomed Mei's company.  She was right, It would have been more awkward if they sat in different compartments, as if he was her chauffeur.   Though he was a ship's officer, and former military, Connor didn't like to stick to formalities, at least when not on the bridge of the Freyja.  "You can keep me awake." The officer added with a small laugh.

As he double-checked the seal on the entrance hatch and made a quick scan of the main cabin, his passenger asked an unexpected question.  Connor paused to look at Mei, giving a short nod.  It was clear in the soft, pleasant set of her attractive features that Mei meant no slight in the sudden question.  It would be painfully clear that Connor was no companion.   He offered an explanation, heading towards the cockpit.

"Taking a chapter house into the black is a fairly new concept. I am guessing that the Guild felt that a ship with a companion as a captain needed someone who knew space-faring vessels to help her run it."
It was no slight against Dalila, the high priestess/captain may have not been the most experienced with the day-to-day running of a ship, but she was every bit a competent leader. "And, as it turned out, I was looking for something different than a freighter or transport, a challenge.  It was a marriage made in the heavens."  He jibed with a wry grin. 

Having lead Mei into the cockpit, Connor gestured towards the pilot chair on the right. "You can sit there." He instructed, seeing her hesitate. Then he settled into the one on the left. After fastening the safety straps about him, Connor's fingers ran over several controls, bringing the engine to life with a hum.  Lights began to glow on the controls.  Connor glanced over at Mei to ensure that she was fastened in alright.  He would admit Mei was the best looking co-pilot he had ever had, even if she wasn't actually doing any piloting.

Connor clicked on the comm and put in his request for departure with the port control.  He flicked a few more switches as they waited the go ahead.  "I don't know if you have ever worked with companions, but you are in for a treat, serving on a ship full of them." Connor kept his tone neutral, making it harder to determine if he was being sincere or facetious.  He knew nothing of her history. The XO was privy to only the basics of Mei's file, for the guild, and reportedly the high priestess of the Sihon chapter house herself, had recruited Xiu Mei Lau personally.

"Do me a favor," Connor asked, reaching to point at the controls in front of Mei, "see that flashing red light? Flip up the switch below it."

19
Bar & Lounge / Re: How Many Is This Now?
« on: September 18, 2017, 10:12:28 AM »
The second glass of liquor was going down even smoother.  The first was beginning to course through his system, warm, relaxing.  Connor settled a little more comfortably in his seat, his attention given to Dalila as she answered his question, willingly and with detail. Her first officer was already learning more about the high priestess as they chatted casually over their drinks.

Dalila was no elitist.  Connor appreciated that, they seemed to agree that hard work, not pedigree, made someone successful.  Her own story was telling, Connor realized that the Guild practically raised the woman.  He once thought to compare the training and service of the companions to that of the military.  He was discovering it was far, far different. It was, in a way, a religious cult, like the old school monks on Earth-That-Was.

When the beautiful companion turned the question on him, Connor gave a short laugh and a grin.  He glanced down for a moment before answering. "The last thing I ever thought I would do was man the bridge of a ship full of companions. I have spent the time since the war serving on freighters and low-cost transports.  I suppose you can only haul crates and people from point A to point B so long before your brain starts to dull.  I had been offered a place on a cruise ship.  Clean, fancy, fun.  But I turned it down.  Wearing spiffy whites and being nice all the time on a party barge wasn't my thing." Connor paused to take a sip of his drink.  As the alcohol suffused his system, the more proper language he had afforded Dalila as a superior was fading into a more relaxed vernacular, more fitting a lounge conversation.

"But when I saw the posting for the Freyja, well...it was intriguing.  Companions were always a bit fascinating to me.   I mean, not only that they are all beautiful," a flash of an ornery grin curled at the corner of his lips, "...and I know what a lot of folks use them for.  I have never been with one, but the few times I met them, they just ooze serenity and mystery... that kind of rubs off on you." He paused again, realizing he was straying from his answer.

"Anyway, manning a ship full of companions sounded a whole lot more different than hauling goods or travelers, and different was what I was looking for.  Honestly, I had no idea what to expect.  Still don't, to some extent." 

Connor's smile broadened as he leaned forwards a bit. "So, High Priestess, what do you think of captaining a ship?"  He asked, keeping the tit-for-tat inquiries going.  Connor was finding his comfort with Dalilia growing with each question, and drink.

20
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: The Last Train Out
« on: September 18, 2017, 09:32:31 AM »
Flutes.  She just had to go back for those gorram flutes.  They would have been halfway to orbit and Gao would have been foiled.  Then again, it was his choice to go after Jada.  He had stepped into the mess on his own, and he could not blame Jada.  Connor had thought to be the hero, saving the companion from the psychopath.  He had no idea the complexity of the situation.  The XO was the only one not to point a gun at some one, and somehow he ended up being the villain.

 Connor sighed as he stepped back, allowing the guards to rouse the gunman and drag him out of the gazebo.  Jada would not meet his gaze, but the icy wall of her glare was still lingering in his mind.  She stalked off into the garden, as graceful and deadly as a tigress.  The guard commander turned to go after her, but Connor stayed the man with a hand on the shoulder. "I am Executive Officer Murphy of the Freyja. It's waiting for us to depart.  We will provide written statements in a wave by the end of the day." The sincerity and quiet plea in Connor's eyes  must have convinced the officer, who reluctantly stepped back to bark orders to his men.

Connor made his way through the garden, longer legs and a hasty pace eventually brought him up to Jada.  His eyes remained forward, walking in silence until they reached the shuttle.  The man didn't know what to think of the woman walking beside him, what she was capable of.  Jada had asked him to be an accomplice to murder.  But that didn't bother him as much as why she wanted to kill Gao.  That was still very  much a mystery.

Before stepping into the craft, Connor spun around and looked at Jada, his jaw set. "Eventually, you will tell me what the hell that was all about."  He said sharply before stepping into the vessel and forward into the cockpit.  He didn't expect an answer, he didn't expect a word.  It was obvious by the hard set of her eyes that Jada had nothing to say to him.

21
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: The Last Train Out
« on: September 15, 2017, 10:45:06 AM »
Jada shifted more, clearing the way again for a clean shot to Gao's head.  The edge in the woman's voice gave Connor pause.  It was hard and cold, and for a moment, the first officer was not so sure she would not shoot him to get him out of her way.   He had met more companions in the past two weeks than he had in his entire life, and each of them have been even-tempered and level headed.  The fact that Jada was neither at the moment was unsettling to say the least.  It also proved that she had damn good reason to want free of the man forever.

Connor allowed his mind to imagine what Gao could have done to Jada to earn death.  What came to mind made him angry too.  If she had time to explain, Connor might have been swayed.  Mistreating women was top of his list of reasons a man should suffer.  But it was too late, guards were already running through the garden to the gazebo.

He had not taken his eyes off of Jada.  He suddenly felt for her.  Whether right nor no, he had taken away what she thought would have been freedom.  And if Gao had the clout she claimed, that may have been true.   Connor owed Jada now the promise he had made, to keep her safe.  She may hate him, may refuse it, but Connor would see to it nevertheless.  His eyes remained pinned to Jada. 

"I'm sorry."  He breathed quietly.  The sober sincerity clear in his gaze.  He was sorry for robbing her of her vengeance, sorry for whatever the bastard had done to her.

The clamor of armed men surrounded the gazebo, the click of safetys being released from weapons was followed by loud and vehement instructions to Jada to drop the gun.  Connor stood slowly, hands raised, his eyes finally tearing from the searing gaze of the companion.  "I am Connor Murphy, Executive Officer of the Freyja, this man attempted to kill Ms. Depont with the gun.  We overcame him."  He tried to explain quickly.  It was nearly the truth.  Though he had not believed Gao's intent was to kill Jada, he would give her the smaller lie that the gunman's intent was murder, leveraging a more serious charge against him, and hopefully making it more difficult for Gao to buy, coerce or otherwise wiggle his way out of it.

22
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: The Last Train Out
« on: September 15, 2017, 07:51:20 AM »
By the time Connor had turned his head to ask Jada if she were alright, the companion had already scooped up the gun and had it aimed at the man on the ground.  It took only a single breath for the XO to read the intent in the woman's hazel/green gaze.  It wasn't fear or uncertainty.  It was a hard, determined decision...finish him off.  Jada shifted to get a clean line of sight with Gao's head.  Connor's brow furrowed, first in confusion and then disbelief, she was really going to do it.

His hand went up, palm out in a gesture of alarm. "Whoa, whoa, whoa!" He sputtered.  "You can't just shoot him!  Turn him over to the Law and they will take care of it." Connor tried to reason with Jada, but the lines in her perfect complexion betrayed an inner emotional struggle.  There was something deeper going on, and he could only imagine what it was that would drive the woman to murder.

The flood of consequences battered about his head.  He would have to lie to the authorities about what happened, he could be implicated in murder if the truth was discovered.  Connor had just met Jada, and she was about to toss him into a big steamy pile of trouble.  It was true, he already felt responsible for the companions on the Freyja, but risking the charge of conspiracy to commit murder for one of them was a whole different bag of cats.

Connor still crouched over the unconscious man. "Jada,"  he spoke in a softer tone, his eyes fixing on hers, "...don't do this.  I promise he will never threaten you again. You know he is going to jail for what he's done.  And as long as you are on my ship, no one is going to get a chance to hurt you."  He held out his hand, silently asking for the gun.   "We are both going to end up in yī dà tuó dà biàn* if you do this."


*A big pile of shit


23
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Walking It Off
« on: September 14, 2017, 09:39:08 AM »
Soft skin or not, the man had a firm handshake.   That said a lot to the spacer.  A man with a weak grip just seemed a bit less trustworthy, and one of Connor's intents as he got accustomed to the ship was to determine who he could and could not trust.   If you learned that, one could avoid a lot of headaches.

Dominic's answer made a point, with seemingly genuine humility, to clarify his role on the flying chapter house.  Connor nodded politely. It boiled down to him being one of the more senior companions, as opposed to being an apprentice.  The bridge officer didn't pretend to fully understand the hierarchy of the guild, which seemed less rigid that that of the military or a ship's crew that he was used to.

"Me, well, I am kind of the captain...the high priestess' right hand man...when it comes to flying the ship."  Connor was still wrapping his head around Dalila's dual roles of running the chapter house as a guild operation, while also running it like a ship. "I manage the day-to-day operation of the Freyja, making sure the crew are doing what they are supposed to, troubleshooting and such.  Basically making sure this flying chapter house doesn't get lost in the black, or drop like a rock onto a planet."

It was, by far, the most unusual and challenging position Connor had ever held. But in the end, it was not much different than any other ship.  He took it upon himself to make sure the ship goes where it was supposed to, works like it is supposed to, and that the cargo, crew and passengers are taken care of.

"Can't say I have been on a ship like this one, I mean, all full of companions."

24
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Spider Queen, Your Chariot Awaits
« on: September 08, 2017, 10:16:54 AM »
At the woman's curious reply, Connor looked at her for a brief moment, then smiled.  Was her comment a jab at her mother?  The XO filed it away and nodded that he got the picture, the two of them were on a first name basis and could bypass some of the courteous decorum the companions seemed to employ.  He certainly had nothing against companions, but it was nice to know there would be yet another person aboard who was not of that order. Though he had to admit, Mei's demeanor was very similar to those of the guild.

"Nope, you are my only passenger."
Connor replied as they made their way through the port.  Rounding a corner, Connor lead Mei down a short hall and into a small docking bay.  The shuttle sat in the center.   Connor paused momentarily. "Your chariot awaits, Mei!"  He chimed with a flourish towards the waiting craft.  Heading up into the shuttle, Connor opened the hatch and made sure Mei got in, then followed her and secured her luggage in the cargo space in the back.  He returned to the passenger cabin, standing with hands on hips. The craft was well appointed, not one fitted to entertain clients, but one suitably adorned to transport a client to the Freyja in comfort.

"You can stay back here if you want, or you may join me in the cockpit for some company, its totally up to you." Connor offered, moving to reach behind Mei to hit the button that closed the entrance hatch. Connor was all for having company on the flight back to the Freyja, especially to learn more of a new crew member.


25
Freyja ~ Companion Chapter Ship / Re: Walking It Off
« on: September 08, 2017, 09:37:48 AM »
Connor offered a firm handshake, taking a hasty glance over the companion as Dominic was doing the same to him.  They were certainly diverse men.  Dominic's hand felt smooth and supple in the deck officer's calloused palm.  The barefoot companion's garments were light and loose fitting and somehow unstained and unwrinkled, even after lying in the garden grass. In contrast, Connor wore dark work pants and boots, his green button up shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows.  A small radio was clipped to his belt.

It was something Connor was getting used to, the seemingly perpetual cordial demeanor of the companions.  It must have taken quite a bit to get them angry or flustered, for they always seemed to have it together, in control of their emotions and, as such, in control of the situation.  Certainly it was part of their training, to have poise.  Even when he and Dalila had a little too much to drink in the lounge, she never really lost her composure.  Maybe the meditation Connor had interrupted was all part of it.

"Good to meet you, Dominic."
Connor replied. "You are one of the instructors, right?"


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2517, The Unification War has been over for a decade and Miranda is still a secret. Into The Black is an Alternate Universe Firefly & Serenity fandom roleplaying game. It centers around independent crews of different ships which travel all over the 'verse created by Joss Whedon.

Welcome to Into The Black

Rules
Setting
Crew List
Face claim
English Slang
Chinese Slang

Mature board ~ LGBT+ Friendly ~ No Word count

Re: A Job Offer by Seth Downey
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Re: Ghosts From the Past by Cameron Whitmore
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Re: Someone Has Got To Fly This Ship by Cain Dyer
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Re: A Job Offer by Dalila Moreno
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Alternate modern day Earth, Dystopia & Arranged Marriage



Distant Fantasies RPG-D