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Back Down To Mars

Posted on Fri Mar 27th, 2020 @ 2:01am by Commanding Officer Mickey Serendipity & Pilot Allegra Jennings & Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue & Passenger Kol Wescott-Fitzgerald & Comm Tech Wulf Edevane

Mission: Port In A Storm
Location: Tether Carriage, enroute to Olympus Mons Tether Port
Timeline: Once we're all back together after police shenanigans

An hour into the descent, they all met up again.

The tether car was massive, comprising of two traction units above and belong, as well as pressurised passenger and cargo levels spanning ten decks. It rode down one of the seven nanotube cables connecting High Elysium to the tether port atop Olympus Mons, an elevator with lounges, a bar, a small restaurant and other minor amenities.

The bars name was 'Ascendancy', and whilst small it was decked out in the glory of an era that never was: chromed finished, bare girders, and a droning hum on a loop playing through hidden speakers. The walls were splashed with holo prints of strange-looking dirigibles and in black and white, emblazed with names like Acheron and R101.

The looked like smaller, narrower versions of the cargo lifters that floated across the Earth's stratosphere on automatic.

"Well," Mickey said as he watched the waiter depart. "That could have gone better."

Ken shrugged as he sniffed his whisky. "It could've gone far worse too. The backgrounds you gave Kol and Wulf stuck solid."

"Kinda," said Wulf, as he cast his gaze worriedly about the bar. "That guy didn't buy them though. We would have been screwed if someone hadn't helped us." He looked to Allegra and Mickey briefly with a small smile, then resumed his visual scouring of the room.

"I'd be happy to take the credit, but all I did was call in an IOU I had with the port inspector. I got no pull with the HEPD," Mickey said and took a sip. "And if the guy didn't buy them he'd have sent through a search turbine, the sort of thing that chews up Real Fake ID's. And given those are fake Real Fake's because we don't have a guy on the inside of the MCR Border Control...well."

He then tipped his drink towards Wulf.

"Congrats go to you Wulf, nice work," he then pushed a credit chit. "There is our last hundred Ceres Yen. Go to the vending booth and get a disposable terminal, something locked to the local Martian net. Then use that to make up some real Real Fakes. By the time you get back, I'll have name of a guy you can contact for all the stamps and foils you'll need."

Wulf sipped his soda while he tried to stop searching for trouble and just allow himself to chill. They were all back together, safe as they could be, and in one piece. This was a Good Thing. And he really wanted to believe everything Mickey was selling, but that MCRN investigator had him a little rattled. Wulf didn't say that out loud, though, and he did allow Mickey to distract him with a compliment.

"Thanks boss," Wulf said, and a smile pushed briefly outwards across his face. He placed his fingertips on the credit chit and looked up to meet Mickey's gaze. "Y'know, Mickey," he added, the smile now a light frown as he considered what he was about to say. "I could help some with the credit situation... Just let me know."

He finished his drink, pushed back from their table and stood up straight. "I'm on it, Captain," Wulf promised. "I won't let ya down."

Mickey kept himself from correcting the kid...Captain. Guess he was now. He watched Wulf head off to spend the last of their money. He then looked at Ken, Allegra, and Kol.

"We need money. Right now we couldn't even undock the Albatross if we wanted too, not without blowing the lock and outrunning every PDC and torpedo the MCRN would throw at us. So we need cash upfront type of work. So, ya know, not honest work," Mickey sipped his drink. "When we get down the Stalk there'll be a guy waiting for us, call him an old friend of mine from back in the day. But I'd like at least an option B if my friend doesn't come through."

With his pink finger poking out from the side of the glass, he pointed at Allegra.

"What was the name of that Vector Red guy? Wore the salmon pink suit, worked for an Earth grain combine operating out of Europa. Had a sideline in disassembled plasma torpedoes?" Mickey asked.

Was she the only one without a drink? Allegra wasn’t sure. But she had been a bit uncharacteristically quiet, watching and barely listening to the others as they chatted. She should have paid more attention, but it wasn’t until Wulf left them, her gaze trailing after him that she figured she needed to get her head out of wherever it had dawdled off.

It seemed like Wulf was off to do something Wulf-like and Allegra forced her gaze back to the others, her gaze skimming past Mickey and darting back as he pointed his pinky at her and asked the question. Her forehead wrinkled as she concentrated, “Santa Claus?” She blurted, the memory of meeting Mickey for the first time slipping forth, “Some weird Earth name. Edward?” No that wasn’t it. Ester? Astrid? No those were more…"Estaban." The name springing to mind, "Why? Please tell you you're not thinking of visiting him? He tried to make me a slave.”

"Estaban..." Mickey said, trying out the name and finding it just as oily as the last time he'd said it. "And no I'm not looking at selling you on for fun and profit. But the guy was a gray market arms trafficker for the OPA, stands to reason he knows people who know people. Might be able to get us a line on a job if my contacts down on the ground come up short. Albatross ain't leaving dock without paying her fees, and she;'s not leaving orbit without reaction mass in her tanks and O2 in her hull. And for that, we need cash money upfront. Which eliminates 90% of the honest work out there."

"Give me enough time to get a lay of the land and I might be able to point us in a profitable direction," Kol offered quietly from his perch. He'd spent the better part of half a decade working white collar, he reckoned that given enough time he'd be able to track down a few of the more questionable characters that called Mars home. Taking a sip from his drink he cursed their situation, in an ideal world he'd have a connection to the UNIB database to fall back on, they might not have worked on cases of Martian origin but there had been plenty with connections to the dome habitats on the red giant. "In the meantime, I'm down to tackle any job you throw our way" the ex-unib agent promised. The more work they did the more of Mars he would see.

He strolled back across the bar with a little more confidence in his step than when he'd wandered off under instruction, and in his hand, Wulf held a shiny new burner terminal. He'd sat in a quiet corner by himself to fire up the basics and swiftly worked up the shell of what Mickey needed. Something he'd done many a time before, something that was practically a reflex action. But there was no magic in simply doing the deed in a flash of fingertips across a clear screen, so Wulf did his pre-work alone.

Wulf hung back at the bar for a moment, waited for another soda to be delivered to his hand and, with a flicker of that universal 'another round?' wave, aimed to catch Mickey or Ken's gaze in case their table wanted a re-fill.

Ken placed his now empty glass on the table. "We could always talk with the McCullaghs. They usually have a couple hundred tonnnes of cargo that needs moving to the moons around Saturn. It's not entirely legal, but they pay is up front, it's generally not harmful stuff, and they pay up front. Also puts us way away from Mars and Earth right now. Downside is they still want to kill Wulf for that 'situation'."

Crossing her arms, Allegra sat back in her chair. She didn't want to have to deal with the nonsense that was Esteban, but if Mickey felt it needed to be done. She also didn't want to have to reach out to her father, either and was currently weighing each of those options in her own little bubble.

"We walk into a meeting with a McCullagh I want us packing. Which means we need to find items down on Mars when we get there," Mickey rubbed his chin. "Which we can't do without funds. Which we can't do anything about without resulting to possibly ventilating our techie...I know a guy who can front us for hardware, no questions asked. Call it a 'ya owe me' chit."

Mickey picked up his glass and sipped it.

"He's a little on the skittish side of things."

 

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