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Plans made, plans realised

Posted on Sun Dec 5th, 2021 @ 7:46pm by Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue & Passenger Emma Yonkers & Comm Tech Wulf Edevane

Mission: A Knife In The Darkness
Location: All across the 'Tross

It was a rare moment on the now very full ship. A moment where the galley was empty, except for two men. Even Flo had gone somewhere, probably his couch. Ken sat in his customary chair drinking a bulb of hot coffee. He had just finished a duty shift on the bridge and was enjoying the peace. And then a very familiar clang was heard as the elevator hatch slammed open and in floated Wulf.

Ken automatically reached over to the counter and grabbed a second bubble of coffee for his friend. It was positioned on the table right as Wulf stepped in. Ken looked at the younger man, smiled and nodded to the coffee. "Say, when was the last time we did something stupid?"

A wide shit-eating grin spread rapidly across Wulf's olive features and gleamed in his dark eyes with a happy maliciousness that echoed back to times past. "Been a while," the comm tech said, words wrapped in an intrigued amusement. "Long while." He canted his head to the side, shot Ken a look and then wandered over to embrace the offered coffee with a nod to the engineer. No, XO. Well, kinda both. Which brought Wulf to his main concern. "Before you stepped up to the bossman's second," he added, pointedly, the smile still lingering in anticipation of his friend's response.

"You know how Yonkers ruined my sweats when she first came aboard? Crossed out the UNMC logo and all that. That kind of screams for payback, doesn't it?" Ken explained with an equally wide shit-eating grin. "Not just payback because she's a Duster Marine, but also for simply ruining my nice sweatshirt."

Wulf scrunched up his face in a mixture of amusement and surprise. Because, yes, it did scream payback. But it had been a while since that day... and then it occurred to the tech, so he took his internal musings out loud and proud. "I rememeber well enough," he confirmed. "Thought you'd joined the grown-ups when you didn't do anything about it there and then," Wulf admitted. "But..." That wry smile coloured his words. "Now I get it. You were playing the long game, right?" There was a pause, and he added. "I'm in. Totally."

"I wish I was that devious man. I just didn't want to strike against an unwilling passenger. But now that's on the payroll she's fair game." Ken polished off his coffee. "I was thinking we do this." He pushed his terminal over to Wulf, showing the plan. It was bold, beautiful, and would royally piss off the Martian.

He should be saying no, and the tech knew it. Emma was someone he really cared about, someone he considered on a daily basis and was starting to wonder if he should refer to her as his girlfriend, or if that was making too many assumption. Plaything? He grinned, and then realised that Ken had no idea what was going on in the privacy of Wulf's own head.

"Fair game, huh?" Wulf said, rhetorically. "Sweet plan," he continued, having looked it over. A too brief moment of thought was then followed by. "Well, it might get me in trouble, but it won't get me killed. Let's do it!"

"Can you set the patterns on the fabricators? I'll have to feed them when Delphi isn't in the machine workshop or she might give it away by accident" Ken asked.

"Sure thing," agreed Wulf, a little swiftly. Emma was cute when she was angry. This would be fun. "I can run some software update or something. Sure Delphi could care less on the detail. Then we do an overnight run on the fabric?" He grinned. "Just like old times."

Ken emptied his bulb of coffee and grinned. "There'll be payback, of that I'm sure. But it'll be glorious in the moment." He stood and floated to his friend, giving his a good thump on the back. "Let's get started."

Minutes turned to hours, and of course those hours turned to days. Emma spent, what could be unhealthy amounts now, most of her free time in the cargo bay where she first woke. with a spare pair of ratchet straps she kept herself when they were not burning at a full Gee, her and her new vacuum armor she had bought before they shipped out.

Plenty of that time was used working on what she could with the suit, she replaced panels and sections where needed with parts she had bribed Wulf to print out with the fabricator. It was mostly done, though she really wish she knew how to upgrade the vox system up to par with modern Martian Marine vox, but she figured Wulf might be able to help there.

Then there was the time she just sat there reading messages over and over again from her folks and friends, they were all really old and over read but it kept her mind from wondering back to the cryo coffin. Then there were the dozen or so trashy novels she had downloaded to her hand comm. Again got to keep the mind busy.

And glorious it was. One could argue it was misusing the fabric fabricator, but not after seeing the result. Yonkers' pillow case, blanket, couch covering, a large cloth poster on the wall behind the bunk, and even a few jumpsuits in the closet. Everything was covered with the UNMC pattern. And not just once, it was a perfectly repeating pattern.

Ken grinned, standing next to Wulf. Ken was holding a large bag of the bedsheets and clothing they had replaced. Everything in Emma's corner was now replaced.

Having zero allegiance to either major power in the system, Wulf's enjoyment of this set-up was definitely more based on his friend's amusement than any particular sense of loyalty to either Earth or Mars. He loved Ken and Emma in completely different ways, this set-up being a return 'shot' for the defiling of the engineer/XO's own branding, and bringing the score back to evens. It did, in this moment of anticipatory glory, feel like Ken was jumping into the lead on points though, and the pure sense of happiness from the older man was absolutely worth the effort and secrecy deployed into this undercover (and overcover) mission.

"Never thought I'd be making a Martian Marine's bed up," Wulf said. "And even if I had, I never even considered it would be in totally the wrong... branding?" He beamed a grin. "I think she's gonna kill me," he added, that happiness vanishing swiftly as he half-joked. "You'll hook me up to the Autodoc, right?"

"I'll plug you in, though she might be getting after me first." Ken laughed before closing the door. "Now we should be getting scarce."

"Hopefully, yeah," Wulf agreed, a flash of a worried grin accompanying the words. "I'm gonna deny everything," he added, headed for cover.

Bit later...

Whistling some cadence from her time in boot, Emma made her way to her bunk. There was only so much time she could sit in the cargo bay, and she could put on some show or movie to waist some time. She had dropped into her bunk and started flipping though menus on the screen, when she noticed her bunk had been... Desecrated.

"MOTHER FUCKER!!!" She bolted straight up and grabbed the air pistol she kept in her bunk drawer, sure it only fired foam darts with suction cups on them, but she did add a little bit of the self sealing glue for vac suits. It would adhere with anything they hit, and would take a special solvent to remove them.

Steaming out of the cabin she started hunting the one other Marine aboard.

Hiding deep in the ship. Well, not really deep as he was sitting in the galley eating a bowl of some snack Wulf had bought them, Ken was enjoying himself. He had executed a plan successfully, life was good.

Up in Ops, Wulf heard the Martian's loud cursing over both his background music and his work focus. A quirky lopsided smile took up residence on his olive features as he considered Emma's current mood and Ken's personal safety. Should be a fun confrontation, might learn some new swearwords, and he'd get to see the way Emma's gorgeous hazel green gaze deepen into that fierce glare that spoke of primal warrior. He loved that look.

Ducking from his console to the hatch that led down to the crew deck latter, he hesitated to open it, listening for boots on deck and That Moment. The one where she located Ken - her no doubt prime suspect.

Moving slowly through the ship's passageways, Emma soon found her target. Just sitting there are cocky in the galley, munching away on some sort of soy snack. Quietly she raised her foam dart pistol and took aim, she knew the first round would only at most get the back of his neck, but she was sure he would twist to see what hit him, and then she could could get the center of his forehead.

The bump against his head confused Ken. He scrunched up his face as he turned to the hatch to see the big Martian. His face broke out in a grin, "Seen your quarters, I take it?"

With out speaking, Emma fired off a few more rounds at Ken, one hit it's mark and stuck to his forehead. With an evil grin she finally spoke. "Yeah I saw it... Seems like you replaced everything with toilet paper." With a grunt she tossed the dart pistol onto the table and dropped into a chair across from him.

"So... What is the next step in your Earther games? Cause in a real military this tic for tack will go on until the XO has to get involved.. but since you are..." She pointed at him and grinned.

"Well, you kicked Wulf's ass, in response I shot you, in response you wrecked my sweats, and in response to that I upgraded your quarters. As far as I'm concerned we're even." Ken shrugged with a grin as he pulled the dart off his head. "So if you decide to retaliate it means you're tipped equilibrium and I'll just need to one-up it."

Skidding softly up to the galley entrance, Wulf stopped abruptly at that threshold and took a moment to gauge the mood of the scene within. "Both still breathing?" He asked, a wonky smile adding to the tentative nature of his question.

"Well for the record I wrecked the sweats cause they had your earther military all over them." Emma shrugged and grinned before looking at Wulf. "Yeah, For now." She giggled as she glanced at the red circle on Ken's forehead from her dart.

"Awww," Wulf noted with mock indignation. He loved both these people, in very different ways, and he didn't want to see either of them truly hurt. He had, however, kinda hoped for some form of fight-club style entertainment to be forthcoming from all the hard work. "For now?" He asked, poking the situation optimistically. Then Wulf followed Emma's line of sight to that same overt, rosy mark. "You shot him?"

A grin. Comtech looked to engineer. "She shot you?"

"She shot me, aye." Ken agreed easily. "But she should shoot you twice, because you were the one who actually did the screen printing." And Ken grinned.

The simple perfection of Wulf's 'Who? Me?' expression implied a great deal of previous use. That dark doe-eyed look of mock innocence could only be hiding guilt, and they all knew it well enough. He held both hands up in casual surrender and hit Emma with those baby-browns. "I kinda did," Wulf admitted.


Emma's armed hand appeared out from under the table in a heartbeat and lanced two of the sticky darts towards Wulf. At first her dark Mars Marine death glare peered out at him before she started smiling then laughing. "You two are a pair aren't you? What's next? All my undies flash frozen to the hull?"

"Ow!" mock-complained Wulf as he took the fair hits and ducked his head. His gaze rose slowly back upwards to catch said glare just as it shifted to amusement and he beamed a big stupid, wonky grin. "Totally worth it," the tech admitted. "But..." there was a second or two of consideration. "You're right, it's your turn now." There was a brief reprisal of the previous smile and Wulf moved much closer to Emma. "Pranking is kinda our thing," he explained, then did a visual check on Ken before adding. "And you're one of us now. So fair game all round." A longer pause as he considered the Martian's underwear and what he really wanted to do with such, then moved on through said dirty thoughts and decided not to discuss that in front of Ken.

"Or we can all team up and try to get Mickey again.' Ken suggested.

"Pranking the boss? Now that would be ballzy. What are you thinking?" Emma Grinned leaning forward in her seat. "We could sneak in his cabin after he is asleep and glue his boots to the deck."

"Pfft," said Wulf on an exhale. "That's impossible. Captain has super senses when it comes to this kinda thing. He just... I dunno... he just knows." There was a flash of humour in his expression despite his pessimism. "But hey," he added, giving Emma puppy dog eyes. "Maybe you're the game-changer."


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