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Everything posted by Karren Gaunt

  1. Karren had to chuckle out loud upon reading Althea's message. Charming. Well, that was one pale word to describe the liaison if her step daughter meant who Karren thought she meant. Still, he wasn't crew yet. Not until Dan said otherwise anyway. Still they had plenty of power to take on a cell of killers, Dragonblooded or otherwise. Had to find the prey before killing and cleaning it though. ,, The big Lunar fired off two quick messages as the airbus closed with the central station through a thickening forest of towers. ,, 'Thief, you read Althea's message, right? This is more your area than mine. Find Sophia and I someone to beat into their senses. Please and thank you,' went the first, directed to Kestrel, words jaunty with the promise of righteous bloodshed. ,, 'Hope you had a nice ten days, but we're up to protect the peace again, Songbird. Meet me at Capital Central Station if you care to. I'll be there in 20 minutes. Hope to see ya smiling when I do,' went the second, bouncing out to her fellow Lunar's communicator.
  2. "Call me Karren," the big Lunar countered, expression softening a smidgeon, "I like the blue. Don't get a lot of that in this part of the 'Verse among the chosen if your entourage is a sign of anything." ,, She chuckled and cracked her neck, talons evaporating into motes of light as she stepped back from the brink, "As for business or pleasure, I'm on vacation for the next ten days and plan on getting as shit-faced as the good bar White Tiger can manage tonight. Business? I'll give you a few numbers. A fight? I've had my fill lately unless you're planning on hurting the good people of North Point. Pleasure? Heh. Yeah. *That* I'm willing to talk about." ,, "I don't suppose you'd mind turning the light show down a bit and coming inside? Easier to talk with a cold drink in your hand and a seat under our butts," Karren offered with a wave at the bar, a predator confident and at ease on her chosen ground, "Might even give me the names of your bad ass crew as things go where they go tonight."
  3. "...And that's why void flight without a space suit is awesome only *after* you throw out the idea of up and down," the big Lunar concluded another of her stories with, going to take a pull of her latest drink when she discovered, horror of horrors, that it was all but empty. A half-turn away from her much larger audience and a waggle of the depleted bottle got the barkeep digging for a replacement, and Karren smiled. She'd been doing that a lot this evening. North Point was all right in her humble opinion. ,, "So, Mr. Kent, right? My turn to ask a question now that I've answered yours," she commented teeth bared, "Judging by your jacket you work with lumber, what do you have in the way of large game up in these parts? I might try my luck later on this week." ,, "Well, Miss Karren," the man began, using the compromise title the big Lunar had surrendered to 6 bottles and a half hour ago, "We have plenty of deer and the occasional elk much as you, er, we need to be in hunting season to get a license for 'em." ,, "What about things with claws? Any of those left or is the local god of the woods too pansy to keep those safe and sound?" ,, Shocked silence followed by a clearing of the throat. "Ah. Er. There are some polecats and wolves in the planetary reserve near-by, but they haven't bothered any of us last few..." ,, Mr. Kent trailed off and the rest of the bar started whispering again as what seemed like an early sunrise started glaring through the window from up the street. Karren's smile became a frown and the frown a scowl as the babble picked up in notes of 'another exalt', 'no, five of them!', 'six!', 'coming here.', and general babbles of 'oh my incarnae'. Poor Mr. Kent and the nearest circle of listeners remained dead quiet though, watching the previously affable but intimidating amazon of Lunar become just plain intimidating. Her teeth showed, and not in a good way, a noise much akin to a predator's growl escaping her throat. The bar's mortal patrons and owner froze, silent as a grave. Not all of Karren's stories had been amusing anecdotes. ,, "Oh, for Luna's sake, I swear if these idiots want to cause me trouble on my oblivion-touched fraking vacation..! You. Hang onto my drink when the barkeep gets it," she commanded to the hapless Mr. Kent, eyes narrowed to golden slits, "And the rest of you, keep down and away from the windows if anything starts. I can't promise being able to take a fight out of town if they want one." ,, She stomped out the door and into the street, spotting Methis and his retinue with very little trouble thanks to the man's garb, if man he was. "All right, you. The light show is very impressive. You have my attention," she declared, one hand on her hip, the other up by her face as her finger sprouted chitonous talons in reflection to her anger, a red flush in her dark cheeks, "Now who are you and what do you want?"
  4. Karren took in the exterior of the White Tiger, unmindful of the gathering dusk and the heavy clouds above that threatened rain in the coming hours. Looked nice enough. Nothing you’d look twice at in a first rate space port, but better than she had expected. Whole town was nice in a low key way. At least judging from the streets and the handful of people she had encountered between the station and the bed and breakfast and here. The big lunar had even had a chance to change into her ’good’ grey tank top with the insignia of the Void Swimmer on the back to go with her camouflage pants and black boots. Luggage and Yachiru was stowed away under a bed. She was beyond ready to see what these people were like once the alcohol started flowing given enough time to get the digital and old-fashioned rumor mills grinding. If the place turned out nice, might give the rest of the Circle a call. ,, Karren grinned, brushed a lock of red hair out of her face, and pushed open the door to the White Tiger, still chuckling inside at the convenient coincidence in names. Not bad, she conceded as the noise of voices fell away to whispers and curious stares. Cozy without being cramped. A nice well-stocked bar. Patrons that looked almost more curious at her being her than afraid. Still, once you’ve jumped in the water, you had to swim. Stupid to do otherwise. ,, “Heeeey! Guess word of my arrival proceeded me. Never would have thought that could happen,” joked Karren, planting her hands on her hips and giving the entire bar a theatrical once over before focusing her gaze on the proprietor, “Barkeep! What do you have in beers? I want to start slow.” ,, There was a silence and a split of attention between the lunar and the barkeep before the man, older than Karren but sounding downright differential, “Well, Miss, er… Karren. We do have a locally-bottled draft beer. Better than a lot I’ve drank over the year.” ,, “Oh, really? I’ll take a bottle and a seat at your bar. I have the first of many evenings to kill and the good people of North Point to see if you’re all worth meeting and greeting. I’ll be taking questions on a one-for-one barter basis long as the asker isn’t a professional reporter,” Karren shot back, the big amazon claiming a seat and sitting down with her back to the bar and facing the patrons with a gleam in her eye, “At least until I get too bored or too drunk to want to do that anymore and burst into song. I’ve been told by the brave that I’m pretty bad at that despite Luna’s other abundant blessings.” ,, The smirk turned sardonic at the ripples that made in the whispers and the discrete pictures that followed, resting her elbows on the bar and giving the collective bar a ’alright, whose first?’ challenge by her very posture. The smirk barely shifted when the barkeep pushed a cold bottle into her hand, heavy with dark, liquid gold. Well, symbolically heavy in the very best way. ,, A pull on the bottle confirmed her hopes. Oh. Yes. There would be fun.
  5. Time: 1st day after fully cleansing the moon. ,, Place: The planet below ,, Nestled midway along the gently-curving horn of land that framed North Point Bay, the creatively-named town of North Point was a quiet place, too far north to be conventional resort and too small to support anything more than a strictly local fishing and logging industries. It was a place for young people to dream of escaping to the city from and old people to retire to from the city. ,, There was a bit of excitement not too long ago when a 80 foot long shark threw itself on the nearest beach and turned into one of the legendary Lunar Exalted before heading inland without so much as a word to the locals, but combined tavern wisdom was that they never hear from the imposing woman again. After all, there was that big to do on the moon and all the rumbles of that going on. No, little towns like North Point didn’t get visitors like that. And heads nodded wisely into their beers in the simple assurance that tomorrow was going to be the same as today and yesterday and all the days before. ,, Sometimes tavern wisdom was wrong though. The big lunar was coming back. And she intended to stay for a while. ,, Karren Gaunt stepped onto the concrete of North Point’s airbus depot and grinned a big predatory as the rest of her fellow passengers scattered respectfully around her to greet friends and relatives or head outside into the town proper. Hefting her sheathed weapon and duffle bag full of luggage over one shoulder, she made long strides for the ticket counter, 7’2 of dark-skinned Amazonian leaving whispers of ’is that her?’ and ’why did she come back?’ in her wake. ,, The big lunar ignored the chatter beyond offering an amused ’I got my eye on you’ at the most outrageous of the whisperers. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and looked down at the clerk, stifling a chuckle at the way he was trying to avoid staring at anything disrespectful and apparently having trouble deciding what disrespectful was in this case. “Hey. My face is up here. Need some information about your town,” she opened bluntly. ,, “Yes, Ma’am?” he responded nervously, a trace of sweat dripping down his face, “I… I will help you however I can.” ,, “Good. I want the name of a good hotel in town. I want the name of your best watering hole. Annnd,” she finished, holding up third finger and leaning down at the man, a predatory smile on her face, “I want your name, so I know who to toast if I can find a good time tonight.” “Ummm. Ummm… Ah, Yes. Ma’am,” stammered the poor clerk, gaze torn between her face and her chest. He earned a point or two of Karren’s esteem when he swallowed the confusion and answered her questions. “The Widow Margret runs a bed and breakfast on the north side of the town, the Northern Lights, Ma’am. I can recommend the Black Boar Pub, much as others say the White Cub Bar is good, too. It’s, uh, new. The White Cub that is, and I haven’t been..,” he got out before clearing his throat, “And my name is George Pib, Ma’am, not that it will required that you toast me for…” “Oh, quiet you,” interrupted Karren, straightening back up, “I’ll toast whoever I want to toast. Stop cringing inside. I get enough of that at work, and I don’t want to put up with it this next week and a half, George.” “We’ll work on that,” Karren answered with a roll of her eyes and shift of her burdens to a more secure resting place, “For now though, and this goes for all you eager eavesdroppers in here, my name is Karren Gaunt, but you will call me Karren. Mrs. Gaunt was my Mother, Incarnae bless her soul wherever she ended up, and Ma’am is what people I trust with my life get to call me. I, am on vacation after keeping your moon from getting dragged into the underworld by a pair of uppity gods. I intend to enjoy myself, and see no reason why I can’t share the joy. We nice and shiny on that understanding, people?” Mumbles and nods from the watchers and listeners, some of it suspiously close to bows. “Heh. We’ll work on that, too. Right. You said the Northern Lights was a place where I could rest my head, George?” The big lunar waited for the nod before turning on one booted heel for the door and streets beyond, “Right. In that case, see some of you in the White Tiger in an hour. I’m feeling lucky about that name, what can I say?” ,,
  6. Meanwhile, Karren Gaunt herself was stretched out on an air bus inbound to the planetary capital, hands behind her head, booted feet up on the foot rest in front of her, golden eyes lazy and happy. Well, stretched out as she could manage given her stature and the usual cheapness of mortal transportation. The big Lunar didn't mind, she'd just spent the last ten days living up the Exalted life up in quiet North Point Bay, and while switching to one of her more petite skins would be handy, she might need a surprise face or three before they left the system with a peace treaty and a nice set of secure manses under their belt. ,, Incarnae, it felt good to do well while saving the world. She wouldn't trade her new hearthstones for her own planet. It only took a glance around at her fellow passengers trying to avoid overtly staring at her supernaturally polished looks. She hadn't even tried using the oathstone yet. Tee hee. ,, Karren chuckled to herself and looked out the window, starting to see outlying cityscape flash by below. Wouldn't be too much longer now. Then it was back to work. What was the problem again? Oh, yeah. Althea had mentioned some people needed persuading to not mess up the peace conference. She could do that. Might even be interestingly challenging. The big Lunar pulled out her combead from a pocket in her jacket and thumbed it over to her stepdaughter's channel, leaving a message that bubbled with sheer exuberance. ,, "Hey Althea. I'm back from my vacation. If you still need help keeping your party safe, give me any names and addresses of any known troublemakers if you have 'em, and Yachiru and I will get started problem solving. A contact number for an Imp spook would be nice, too. Always better to have them on speed dial rather than aiming a rifle at your head. I'll check if Sophia and Thief are still in for the fun after you get back to me. Tell Dan I still owe him something nice for leaving all that paperwork on his desk when I left and good luck with the new guy. Looking forward to hearing from you soon and catching up." ,, Message done, Karren popped the combead back in a coat pocket and started humming again, twirling a lock of hair around her finger as she waited for a call back or the airbus landing.
  7. I can do Saturday afternoon after about 5ish pm cali time. Start without me and I'll have Karren play big damn hero if you need it. And then we can roll out the red carpet next week after putting the undead to bed.
  8. I'm guessing a Fair Folk for shits and giggles. Oh, and a Happy Birthday. ,, Sadly, Thursday doesn't work for me, at least not before 6:30 pm cali time at the earliest due to a meeting I have to go to. If that's best for the group though, go ahead without me.
  9. Soooo... Tuesday or Thursday afternoon then for the throwdown? I can play later given a bit of warning.
  10. Lesee... This week Monday I'm good after about 6 pm cali time, Tuesday-Thurday anytime before 6 pm cali time, and Friday any time after 1 pm cali time. Saturday-Sunday I'm busy with friends and stuff. Let's do this. It's been too long sicne we've burned motes and thrown dice against your beasties, krul.
  11. Well, I don't know how you want to do this ghost assault, krul, but we four players have talked and if you want to do a quick one-shot session in the chat, Fridays works out for all of us. Don't know if that works for you or even if you want to try something like that again, but there it is. Your loyal players are ready to pit themselves against the best horrors you care to throw at us in your interesting game.
  12. Karren considered her reflection in the mirror in front of her, hands going through the motions of arranging her hair in various styles, ponytail, braid, free flowing, others. It didn't particularly matter, not if she went warform as planned, but her quarters still smelled pleasantly of Dan from last night, and she had time to kill before the big briefing. She was already dressed in her combat uniform, had to look official to help Dan's case at least until the circle hit the tunnels and she could shed the trappings of civilization to prepare for the fight. ,, "Hmmm, Maybe I'd look good dyeing a stripe or two of it black below the shoulders," she mused aloud, fingering a lock of red hair between thumb and forefinger, "Certainly be different from any..." ,, Her thought was cut off by the buzz of the intercom, "Ma'am, it's MA Steele. I have your... delivery from the Star's Vengeance, Ma'am." ,, The big Lunar smiled, taking the pause as a good thing and abandoned the mirror with a turn and few long strides to unlock the door. She opened it to reveal one of her more trusted security staff, his arms burdened with long, wrapped shape that moaned faintly through it's coverings. The smile got only bigger, and golden eyes twinkled down at the man. "Very good, MA. I'll take that little toy and you can carry on getting the ship secure," she instructed with a nod, watching Steele perk up in badly-concealed relief as he handed over his burden. ,, She laughed inside as he hurried off, one hand planted on her hip, other holding the direlance. Karren re-entered her quarters and shut the door, chucking the weapon onto her bed. A few deft cuts and the wrapping uncurled to reveal pitch black soulsteel spotted with moving hands and faces. A small moonsilver coin stood out on the shaft, prompting a grunt of curiosity from Karren as she flicked it with one finger. Huh. She'd have to ask Janos latter if that was part of the endemoning process. For now though... The big Lunar fetched a crude-looking stone from atop her cluttered desk and inserted it into the hearthstone amulet. ,, "There we go. Now you're ready to help me kill the shrieking..," she began, hefting up the unholy spear in both hands to test it for balance before abruptly trailing off and cocking her head in confusion, "Eh? Are you talking to me, Heart's Blood?" ,, A pause. ,, "Well, I'm sorry. That's what I was calling your home before my friend Janos put you in there. What *is* your name?" ,, Pause. A chuckle. ,, "Nice to meet you, Yachiru. I take it you're why I'll be able to see and punch ghosts?" ,, Pause. ,, "Oh. I see. Not *just* seeing and punching ghosts. I can definitely see about trying to do that. Especially if that last charm is as impressive as you bragged about it being and if you help me." ,, Another pause. ,, "Consider it a promise, Yachiru. Now let's go. We have a meeting to get to and ghostly blood to impressively shed. Now where did I put that..? Aww. There's your new sheath. Everything is going to be awesome today." ,, The big Lunar shoved the soulsteel direlance into the harness she had prepared for it, settled it over one shoulder, and made sure to turn off the lights in her cabin before she left, whistling to herself as the telepathic voice of her new companion was cut off with the ending of flesh to weapon contact.
  13. Hope things loosen up for you enough for you to come back and post, Krul. I think that the four of us that are left, barring one or two things that may need your signature to make official before we go, are ready and willing to kick some ghostly ass one of these weekends or whenever. I am at any rate, so here's hoping. *salutes*
  14. "I'll be back with it by 1700 hours today. I thought it would be rude to bring a moaning weapon of destruction on a ship whose owner I'm on friendly terms with," Karren responded with a nod and a grin, visibly heartened at the prospect of success, "It's resting in my quarters right now wrapped in a sheet while the machine shop puts together a carrying harness for the thing." ,, "So. Unless you want to roll out the red carpet again, do you have a side airlock I can use? I have a report to deliver to Dan much as I'd love to take a grand tour."
  15. "You have me there. But you have one customer for the first idea, and you can be sure as hell I'll inform the others when I get back to the Dawn's Wrath. What they do with the information is their call. I like the idea of scaring a ghost back into the world with a bigger spirit. Irony," Karren answered, arms crossed over her chest, "The good kind. Not the annoying kind." ,, "Regardless what the others decide, I'd consider it a huge favor if you could get me something to see and hurt ghosts with by the time we do this. I do have a freshly looted soulsteel direlance you could tinker with. What do you say? I'm always game for interesting times," wrapped up the big Lunar.
  16. "Me seeing what's possible in the time we have mainly," Karren confessed, "It's my job to find solutions to problems threatening the crew, and *I* like the sound of what you have said so far. We're Exalted, chosen and empowered by the In... Er, the powers that rule the universe to solve it's problems for the greater good of all. Can't let a little thing like squeamishness over demons get in the way of saving the day. You were talking about demons, right?" ,, "Anyway," Karren finished with a clap of her hands, "I'd like to present a list of ideas to my husband. And I'd like him and the others to use them if they need it. I like the idea of us being able to win the fight ahead of us. Glorious as it'd be, there's no point in attacking a battleship with a hand pistol. Right tools for the right jobs. Nothing irks me more than feeling helpless in a fight. I haven't been helpless in a fight since I was ten. I don't intend to start now."
  17. After offering Captain Thayla a final apologetic salute, Karren caught up to Janos with a few long strides, golden eyes looking up at the ceiling as she worked out an opener. ,, "Something pretty simple actually. There is no way in creation I and at least a few other people in the Circle are going to be ready to punch ghosts in six days time, even with help from Dan's hired consultant to shave time off of polishing our mundane skills. You though, I'm pretty sure you know a trick or two towards that end, and I'd love to be able present Dan with another solution or two he can use to make things going more smoothly whether or not he chooses to do so. Then it's his fault if he fails to take the opportunity for whatever reason." ,, She grinned down at the Infernal, "Superior beings though we are, we all have our skill sets. And your skill sets are probably more useful than mine in the fight ahead I'll freely admit. So what do you got in the ghost killing department, wondermaker?"
  18. Life was pretty good for Karren Gaunt in the week building up to Dan’s big assault on the ghostly holdouts. Busy busy busy. The definitely good kind of busy that is, just the way the big Lunar liked it. A few days to master a fun new charm, a few sessions with Aura to learn in hours what it’d take her months to master on her own, whip the security teams into better shape, tempt her Solar mate away from his work late at night a time or three, and even a field trip over to Janos’ ship to see what Janos could do about her being able to punch ghosts dead. ,, Maybe that would come to enough in time to help, maybe it wouldn’t. She had posted up an announcement that first day to contact Janos if you needed help beating ghosts. Hopefully her direlance would be ready by the time it came to settle this. ,, But all that paled in comparison to Karren’s ’me time’ on the planet below. The shuttle hadn’t even finished cooling from re-entry, skimming over the ocean toward the starport, when she tapped the pilot’s shoulder and said, “This is my stop. See you guys in three days.” ,, Jumping out of the back of a zooming shuttle only to break her fall by turning into a bird at the last second had been second best compared to the pilot’s look of shocked obedience. He’d learn. ,, And then it was down and down and down in her eel shape, losing the colors of the daylight world above for the blue-greys of the world below and then losing that for the intermittent flashes of insight from sonar pulses bouncing off the odd fish or glowing squid. The armored segments of Karren’s borrowed body wriggled against one another as her picked up what she was after. Something sleek. Something hungry. Something big. Unaturally so, to her delight. She redoubled her pace and joined the school of hangers on around her prey, lost in apreciation of the monster’s predatory perfection for a moment. ,, But only for a moment. She put on one last burst of speed, positioned herself above her target, and *expanded* into her spirit shape with a pressure wave that scattered the remoras surrounding her target. Now a dessert sand crawler was as unhydrodynamic as it nearly came, and Karren sank immediately, clamping onto the 80 foot long shark with all 8 legs and flipping it abruptly upside down. The beast reacted by thrashing in an attempt to break free, jaws snapping uselessly. A mane of prehensile tendrils ripped and tore chunks from the beast as they wrestled through the black night, essence ensuring the deadly maw remained useless. A dot of silver light glowed on a monstrous, chitonous head, oxygen pumping in and out of borrowed gills by the time thrashing became stillness and a frantic, bleeding spiral became a downward fall towards flooded mountains below. A shifting grip and the cracking of teeth through flesh and cartilage marked the end of Karren’s sacred hunt, heart’s blood tasted and form claimed. The dead shark fell, released by it’s killer. It’s killer melted into a streamlined shape and rose. ,, The next day was pretty good, too. ,, “Hey,” Karren volunteered, sliding into a barstool next to a pretty, blonde spacer, “This seat taken? I‘ve just finished losing most of my money. And I need a drink. Many drinks.” ,, “No, feel free,” replied the blonde, giving Karren’s borrowed skin the once over and smiling. 5’2, dark haired, dark-eyed, and dancer slim, the Lunar had picked it to be unassuming, solar magic making it exotically alluring. ,, “My name’s Annie. I think everyone heard you quit that game after bluffing on a pair of threes,” she added. Karren laughed in reply. ,, “Yeah, well. I'm vocal about my emotions. They were boring anyway. All the fun stuff’s over here, anyway,” the Lunar commented as she waved over the bartender, a return once over and a smile making it blatantly obvious what kind of fun stuff she meant. Or who rather she meant. The fact she had not so covertly been studying Annie from the corner of one eye throughout her card game made it super blatant. ,, “You have a name, miss short dark and hungry?” laughed the blonde, expression pleasantly bemused. ,, “You can call me Summer. Now let’s kill some drinks and see how well we can get to know one another before I’m due back aboard ship.” ,, Drinks followed. Many drinks. Many drinks and a scene change. ,, “Summer..? I don’t think this alley is a short cut to the Imperial Hotel…” ,, Karren made a show of looking around, “Ya know… I think you’re right. Let’s rest here a bit. Get a reading.” ,, “’Kay..?” ,, Annie slumped against the wall, visibly woozy. Karren looked up and down the alley again, nodded upon seeing no one or any cameras, and abruptly put on two feet of height and a whole lot of muscle in weight. ,, “What the frag is..?!” Annie exclaimed before a dark hand muzzled her words. ,, “Shush. I’m working, murderer,” Karren chastised as her finger tips sprouted needlesharp silver talons, “You were a lot of fun to hang out with and I’m going to have fond memories whenever I don your face, but it’s really too bad about the pickpocket you killed. Seriously? The kid probably just needed rationbar money to survive another day. Not cool.” ,, “Hoo nin hyo..?!” started to exclaim Annie from behind the muzzle, struggling for freedom before the talons drove through her chest and ripped out her heart. A crunch of teeth through muscle. The wiping of hands and face on cloth. ,, “Hmmm. Well, that’s my good deed for the day. Let’s see. Dumpster over there, clear sky above here. Yeah. Easy clean up.” ,, She couldn’t wait to get back to the Dawn’s Wrath and solving the universe’s big problems. Life was pretty good for Karren Gaunt. ,,
  19. Karren started the crossing from the Dawn's Wrath to the Star's Vengeance once she got the go ahead with as little formality as 'I'm going dancing between the stars for a bit, honey. Don't wait up for me.' over the coms to Dan and a step into the airlock. Hair mussed by the evacuation of air from the chamber, she silently laughed into one hand as the stars came into view with opening doors. A push off against the wall latter and she was spinning out into the void, drinking in the million, million points of light around her and gleaming horizon slowly receding below her. ,, This view never got old. ,, She'd dreamt of a seeing it hundred times growing up in the slums of Miranda with no more life expectancy than she could wrest from the next knife fight. Heh. Another glance and the big lunar made out the slightly larger speck of light that was her goal. An act of will and an exhalation of essence and her flesh sprouted a dozen glowing tendrils, clothing vanishing into Elsewhere. She wiggled her new appendages joyfully, feeling the stellar wind they were drinking in and practically begging her kick out again as thrust. Karren concurred and took off, barrel rolling and looping towards the Star's Vengeance. ,, The big lunar got the biggest shit-eating grin when she saw the reception Janos had put together for her. She put on a final burst of speed as she approached the forcefield holding the air in the docking bay and dissolved the tendrils back into essence. She hit the deck with a tumble and a thud, coming to a halt on one knee a few feet from the Infernal, clothing reappearing. "Man. I'm impressed," she volunteered as she rose to her full height, dusting off her hands, "All this for me, Captain? And who's your friend? Her name escapes me at the moment."
  20. When: A day and a bit after the Abyssals got their expensive boat destroyed Where: Space, near the Star's Vengance ,, A com signal opened between the Dawn's Wrath and the Star's Vengance, on Karren's private security frequency. ,, 'Star's Vengeance, this is Security Chief Gaunt of the Dawn's Wrath. I'd like to talk to Captain Janos about our ghost problem and how to deal with it. Face to face aboard his ship I mean so that other people won't overhear. It's important. I can make the swim myself in a few minutes if you don't go darting off on me or try to blow me up, so no worries there. So... Permission to come aboard?' ,, The big Lunar kept the signal open, leaning against the bulkhead of the deserted corridor leading to the portside maintenance airlock, waiting for an answer and dressed casually in tan tanktop, green pants, and black boots, hair in a messy ponytail. Her looming, already attractive form radiated the inhuman beauty of her new hearthstone, Karren greatly enjoying the extra little dash of positive focus she got from the mortal crewmen and women now that she had mounted the magical gem in her swirling moonsilver tattoos. Life was good, and she hoped Janos was in the mood to play host so that they could make it even better together.
  21. "Nice," complemented the big redhead, holding the shimmering medallion up to eye level and letting it twirl on it's chain in front of her, "I've had these in my past lives and seen them on the elders who did my tats, but never actually held one of these this time around. I owe you a favor, Thief. Just make sure you cash it in for something interesting, okay? I hate being bored." ,, Karren laughed and tossed the amulet up and into her closed fist, "Sophia really needed this. Catch and get going, Miss Kitty! It's safe enough to split up long as you stay away from where the ghosts broke things. I still have dibs on the stone of inhuman beauty. Dan isn't going to know what hit him." ,, She turned and chucked the amulet at the smaller Lunar, not bothering to look back as she peeled off another copy of the map for Kestrel, gesturing the thief in for an explanation of her eccentric notes, suppressing her impatience to get going right now.
  22. "So you really don't have any hearthstone slots on you," rhetorically asked Karren to her fellow lunar in mild disbelieve, not having believed it the first and second time she'd heard it, "Well. We'll just have to see if our thief comes through for you once we've mapped all these wonders out. All of these wonderful wonderful wonders. All of them ours for the attuning." ,, She all but cackled, her inner looter drowling at the prospect of so much useful essense powers free and clear. She had considered herself lucky to find her underground Miranda manse as intact as she had, but here? Over thirty for the attuning and so few of them to split it up between them. ,, "Right. So let's tunnel run down here, make a list of what we have and contact the others once we've decided what's tasty. Hmm, have to stay clear of the damaged ones. For now anyway. Punching smoke that can kill you is pretty terrible. Let's go," she exclaimed before striding into the manse before them, ready for an afternoon of exploration, glad to hear Sophia's footfalls behind her. Always good to have back up, and Sophia was good in a scrape in her own way. ,, And so went the afternoon, in and out and between manses in the secure region of the moon's depth, a list of unidentified ones shrinking and identified ones growing, jokes cracked and a loose promise to go heartblood hunting on the next deathworld they stumbled near exchanged. Karren communicated her choicer finds over the comes, counting down her progress and adding comments like 'Found a stone of inhuman beauty. Dibs!' or 'Man, another Sidie one. Lame.' ,, Finally it was done, and Karren strode back into the moon's control room, flipped her combead on, and announced over the channel reserved for the Dawn's Wrath's officers, "We're done mapping this thing. If anyone wants a cut, get down here. Sophia and I have outrageous tales of valor to share. Oh, also Sophia could use a hearthstone amulet or two. If anyone has some they'd be willing to trade for a favor that is."
  23. "Goal! Go team where we happen to be sitting right now!" exclaimed Karren before knocking back a long drag of her ale, "How much more time was left on this match anyway?" ,, "Eleven minutes, thirty-two second, Ma'm," responded one of the observers on their side, somewhat less perturbed now that his superior's companion seemed less... scary in her enthusiasm. The other team looked noticeably less happy, starting to grumble as the alcohol got flowing on their side of the field as well. ,, Karren shifted to the edge of her seat, dark eyes following the action like a hawk does a mouse below.
  24. Dyna no doubt too busy regluing the place back together with spit, toothpicks, and loving prayers to small gods to answer immediately, Karren drummed her fingers on the faintly moaning shaft of her new toy. A thought occurred to her, and she smiled ferally. Much as she hoped otherwise, it would probably take some time to organize a fun assault on the ghosts. Enough time to kill an afternoon going finding a few new hearthstones with her favorite crewmates. She was basically useless for the next day or so anyway. ,, 'Stay on the line with Dyna' she mouthed to her fellow lunar before changing channels to Kestrel's frequency. ,, "Karren to Kestrel. Hey. I was thinking, surprise orders from Dan aside, we probably have a few hours to kill. And we have a moon full of manses open and free for us. Like to join me and Sophia tunnel running and picking out a choice hearthstone or three apiece, safety in numbers and good company aside? If you find any moonsilver hearthstone amulets laying around before joining us, I'll owe you a few favors. Interested?" ,, She flicked a strand of red hair out of her face, looking around as she waited, a big smile on her face.
  25. Karren's gonna want to pick up that Stone of Inhuman Beauty as we work to purge this place of the undead swarms if it's free and clear. She has a slot open on her armor and it suits her obvious here-I-am style of being. ,, The essense is nice, too.
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