13578/Discordants: The Dark Ships of the Black Order

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Discordants: The Dark Ships of the Black Order
Date of Scene: 28 January 2023
Location: Hyperspace
Synopsis: The Ravagers are forced to flee when confronted by a Black Order ship. Though now where shall they go?
Cast of Characters: Thor, Kraglin Obfonteri, Yondu Udonta, Harley Quinn

Thor has posed:
    The last port of call had been... a little trying on the crew.
    It was clear that some of the members had celebrated and celebrated well. For this day after their departure some of them were still feeling the effects. The barracks were thick with the sounds of alien beings in various states of disarray. Some were sprawled across their bunks moaning. Others were curled up with their tentacles wrapped around them in the corners of the room. One had made himself a cocoon just to endure the after-effects of the great malice known as Shore Leave.
    And yet the day's duties still had to be handled.
    So the dog's watch shift were lined up on the deck in the central corridor that connects all the different sections of the ship. It was there that duties were often divvied up. Sometimes by the captain, and sometimes by the first mate.
    It was also there thta the tall man known as SteveRogers found himself experiencing one of the few hangovers he's ever had. And the only one he could remember. He swayed a little to the left and right. And clearly... had seen better days.

Kraglin Obfonteri has posed:
Kraglin proves the necessity of having leave after shore leave. He's not exempt from the suffering - sporting two black eyes, one from the skin welded together over what's left of his right eyebrow. Stoic in front of the crew, once outside in the corridor, he sighs and slips a hand inside his red jacket to nurse the cracked ribs that haven't finished knitting together. It's his fault, being to cheap to pay for the high priced treatment.

Eyeing SteveRogers as he passes him on his way to main deck, "Ya look like ya got bit by the same shore leave dog I did?" Keeping his smile to himself, "What was it? I thought nothing could get you drunk."

Yondu Udonta has posed:
Yondu was not a nice man. One couldn't be when running a crew of Ravagers. He had to be the scariest of the scary bastards on the ship, or he might lose his position as captain. Thus he played his role well, though a few of them knew that deep inside he was a big softy. Anyone that said it outloud would get an arrow through them so it was kept quiet among those few.

He also had a sense of humor. Though again, that might not be appreciated. For it could be cruel, despite his nougat center. Today was one of those days. He was already at the main deck where the crew were gathering slowly but surely. Just a few more and they should be ready to get going.

For now, he stood there with his arms crossed, eyeballing each crew member and assessing them as they gathered. And once they were all present, then he started.

Ah'm expectin' a lot from ya today," he called out in an overly loud voice though, should one dare to ask, it was simply to be heard by all gathered. Completely unnecessary. Totally worth it for the winces and groans that came from the crew as he did it. "Ah know we just took off this mornin' but this ship ain't gonna get itself ready for the surplus. We need t'get everything prepped. Ya know the drill. Kraglin will be breakin' ya into teams and givin' the exact assignments after."

He looked along the line, meeting the eye of those who would do so before moving on to the next person. "Ah know some of ya are new to the crew. Just do yer job, support your fellow crew, and above all--don't fuck up. And we'll get along just fine. We're headin' back out to the edge near those singularities, see if we got anything new to pick up then we'll head for a few sites Ah heard about while planet-side. If ya got any additional tips or stops, get with me after this meetin'. Any questions?"

Harley Quinn has posed:
She should had asked for double the pay.

Really. From knife stabs due to bar brawls, bruises, drunkards (which had made her best shirt a mess when one had thrown up) along with all the rest? Definitely double. But being hired as a ship doctor with the Ravagers had proven too good to be true so sacrifices had to be made. Even that good shirt which was now drifting in space.

The new ship doctor was a tall woman, dark eyes with a severity to them, angular lines and dressed in plain ravager clothing, dark pants and a shirt along with a jacket she had taken from the guy that had vomited on her. It was only fair. No gun though, maybe she doesn't believe in them.

She's in the process of eyeballing Kraglin with all those bruises showing when the Cap'in comes in. She looks him over, watching the show but not looking too impressed. Look, she may really be pissed off at all the drunkards she has been tending to this morning.

Questions? She has none. But she does tell Kraglin in a direct manner. "You better come to med bay later on before those get worse."

Then to SteveRogers, "And whoever got that hand fitted in deserved to be spaced. I will see to it later."

Making friends right at the start!

Thor has posed:
    SteveRogers answers Kraglin as he sways a bit on his feet. "That drink that Gamora prepared. I forget what she called it." Yet he shakes his head a little as if trying to clear it before he is forced to face the attention of the captain.
    Which is when the man started to walk along their gathered ranks. The foundling Asgardian watches the man walk, and to his credit... when Yondu started screaming at the top of his lungs his speech, or so it seemed to SteveRogers, he managed to only wince a little with a narrowing of his eyes. Yet he listened. Something in him seemed to gird him to pay attention to someone in authority, since it felt rare to hear orders directly from someone in that position. For an instant he wondered why that was.
    Then he realized someone was addressing him. He turned to look over at the woman, his eyebrow quirking. Then he lifted his right hand and looked at it before he asked Kraglin, "What is wrong with my hand?" But not too loudly as to carry too far.
    But that is the moment when a voice is heard on the comms echoing with a hiss and a crackle. It's the voice of Chumston the navigator as he calls out, "Cap'in to the bridge. Cap'in to the bridge."

Kraglin Obfonteri has posed:
Even standing behind the Captain, Kraglin rocks from heel to toe and winces when he comes on full throttle at the crew. Sadistic bastard. The carrot and the stick - not necessarily in that order. But, he knows the Cap's moves. Best to scare 'em good now or have hell to pay later. Kraglin has already got his eye on one or two that might be trouble and gives one of them the stink eye when the Cap tells them not to fuck up.

He's the unknown quantity behind the Captain, both enforcer, and nurse, as need be. He won't let on about the Captain's soft center or his own.

Right now he's none too sure about the new doc. She's a tall drink of water with a mouth on her that could skin a Badoon. He shrugs at the invitation to see her in sick bay. Still, she might know her stuff.

One side of his mouth lifts in a grin, "It looks kinda crooked if you ask me. Check her out and tell me how it goes. Why don't you?"

Yondu Udonta has posed:
"What the hell, Chumston?!

Yondu turned his head to look in the direction of the loudspeaker that had shared the announcement, as though that inanimate object were to blame instead of the being being up on the bridge. But as much as he was complaining, he also knew that Chumston wouldn't interrupt his first briefing unless it was something important.

He snapped his head back around to the group. "Good. No questions. Get to it! The new crew members, partner up with someone senior until Kraglin is available." He turned to head up the metal stairs, intent on getting to the bridge. "Kraglin, SteveRogers, yer with me. Doc, you come on too. Ya can look at them both while we're there."

And with that, he continued on his way as though fully expecting them all to listen. His destination was the bridge to see what Chumston was going on about.

Harley Quinn has posed:
That SteveRogers goes and asks someone who CLEARLY isn't a doctor about what's wrong with that hand makes the woman just roll her eyes with that kind of passive aggressiveness that has very little passive to it. But she won't indulge in sharing what exactly is wrong. She wasn't asked!

Even if it's so obvious.

Yet there's no time for more pleasantries because Chumston is calling. There goes the Captain's grand speech. And apparently something -is- happening. That gets her curious, which means she is more than happy to follow them in to the bridge. On the way she seems to remind some manners and tells the ones closer to her. "Call me Luna." a beat, "Or Doc."

Thor has posed:
    It's right after the navigator makes that call for the captain's presence that the entire ship is rocked, jolting to the side with enough strength that all of the crew have to shift balance, looking almost like extras from a 1960s sci-fi show. A heavy rumbling boom is heard, ominous as suddenly the ship clicks over to emergency lighting, that grim crimson gleam bathing everyone in the blood-like color.
    Orders are issued, however. And to SteveRoger's credit he snaps to and nods, starting to walk forward at Yondu's left side and a pace behind. He spares a glance toward the good doctor, his scarred visage quirking an eyebrow. But then he nods as they continue with their stride.
    Once they pass through the opening doors onto the bridge the tableau that greets their eyes is not a positive one. The crew, at the least, aren't prone to fits of panic. Yet the large raven-winged ship in the viewscreen that floats just off their bow would likely send many other crews into fits of frenzy. It's not the largest ships one sees of the Black Order, those were the old dreadnoughts and battleships. This was 'just' a heavy cruiser. But it still packed enough firepower to burn a good sized planet down to its mantle.
    Chumston says over his shoulder, "We've been hailed, sir. I fed them the encoded transmission declaring hardware failure to buy us some time." And, to be fair, it did buy them some time as the ship was not firing nor maneuvering.

Kraglin Obfonteri has posed:
"Damn, Chumston, does he think we're deaf?" Kraglin mutters as he falls in behind the Captain. Then the ship's lights go as they buck under what could only be a missile hit and he's double-timing to the bridge to throw himself into the co-pilot chair.

One look at scans, "When did that show up? How far did you have the scan alarm set for?" he grouses at Chumston. "But good thinking on the transmission." Bent over the screens he's reading emission spectrums to see where they came in from. He knows who they are - just not why they're there. He also knows they are in trouble. Big trouble.

"Hail 'em, Cap'in or get the fuck outta here?"

Yondu Udonta has posed:
As the jar hits and the ship shifts, Yondu picked up his pace. Not running. The captain did not run. It gave a wrong impression. But he was not taking this at a leisurely stroll anymore as everything seemed to be going wrong at once.

On the bridge, his eyes narrowed as he eyed the ship on the screen. "Sonofabitch," he snarled upon recognizing the Black Order craft.

He moved to take the Captain's seat even as he glanced to the others. Since he wasn't sure if SteveRogers would know or remember, he explained. "Black Order run things out here near the edges of space. Ain't no Nova Corps or Lanterns playin' cop out here. The Black Order are bad guys who sort of bully everyone else in the neighborhood. They're the bigger kid that takes everyone's lunch money then beats them up fer the hell of it. Only they're more violent and will kill someone for not supporting their Lord and Savior, the Mad Titan, Thanos." He spat to the side in disgust at even having to say the name.

"Get the Titan propaganda out on the decks and send the word to the crew." Translation: Make it look like they were supporting the right side should they end up boarded. Not that he intended to Be boarded but one never knew with the Black Order. "Keep stallin' them that we're tryin' t' get things workin' t'answer properly. Our crew has three minutes to get everything ready." Then he looked to Kraglin. "After that three minutes, we'll accept their hail. But prep our exit and be ready t' punch it when Ah give the word."

Harley Quinn has posed:
To her credit the good Doctor seems to have quite the good balance when that first shake comes. From something hitting the ship?

Triple the pay. She definitely should had asked for triple. Though she guesses by the end of today she will be wishing she had asked for ten times more. Or some absurd number like that.

Regardless of her thoughts she follows them at double speed to the bridge. And then there's that ship in sight. Lips press to a thin line. Recognition? Perhaps. Her stare only lasts for a few moments before she hears what Kraglin says and she is starting to shake her head before Yondu begins to explain what the Black Order is. Expression hardens when he speaks that last name. Thanos.

There's a moment it looks like she will just stand there, staring, but then she is moving to sit down somewhere out of the way.

Thor has posed:
    Chumston answers the first officer, "No alarms, no nothin'." The navigator says, "Look at the scopes, the sensors read nothin' out there except the pure optics that detect the shadow across the starcharts." Which means the thing is invisible except to the naked eye. Chumston swivels one of his eyestalks over to look at Kraglin while the other locks onto Yondu, the third still looking at his scopes. "One minute they weren't there, the next they were."
    SteveRogers takes up a place beside the door that leads onto the bridge, having no station himself. He looks across the way at the display of the twisting ominous black wing of a ship. A glance is given toward the doctor, as if gauging by her expression how much anxiety he should be feeling. Then he looks back ahead.
    "They're hailing again," Says Klobart over at the engineering screen, looking anxiously at the fleshing blue light that likely was their equivalent of the hold button.
    Meanwhile down in the ship once they're informed, the crew start to run around and dig through the various boxes of propaganda that they use to help show their... enthusiasm for the proper regime. Doesn't take long to find the Titan propaganda as it's often black and purple with big lettering.

Kraglin Obfonteri has posed:
"Damn them, sneaking around." There is a note of admiration in the words. He double checks Chumston then gives him a thumbs up without glancing away from scans. That's awesome tech on that ship which anybody in their right mind would want. It just sucks to be on the wrong side of it.

"Squad leaders will tune them in, Cap'n. I'll just goose them about it, now. Battle stations, Titan ship on the starboard bow. Prep new crew. Standby for further orders," he announces in a flat, calm voice.

"We are Titan kiddies now, boys," he says under his breath. "Cap'n, hailing frequency is open."

Yondu Udonta has posed:
And as the frequencies were open, there was that bright smiling blue face with the stubble since he hadn't bothered shaving for a couple of days.

"All Glory Be to Thanos!" He somehow managed not to look like he had taken a bite out of a lemon while saying it. In fact, he played his role perfectly. Because when one had no loyalties but themselves, though technically not true since they were loyal to the Ravagers even if they were on the outs with that group these days, one put on the necessary act to try to avoid trouble. He had been told about the pirates of old on Terra and how they would put up whatever flag they needed to at the time. It was no different now in space.

"Ah'm Cap'n Yondu Udonta of the Eclector. How can we help you today?" Sugar would envy the sweetness of his tone as he offered these greetings to the giant ship outside. The fact it was that big, considering that the Eclector was not tiny by any means, were just intimidating as hell.

Harley Quinn has posed:
"You really don't know what the Black Order is?" Only now the Doctor seems to realize that the explanation had a recipient in particular, SteveRogers. And what the heck kind of name is that? Her scrutinizing gaze seems to take hold of the Asgardian for a few moments, almost as if she was looking beyond him and she lets out a thoughtful. "Mmmmm..." the kind of 'mmms' that could have a million different meanings!

When comms get opened up there's no more talking from Luna. She knows not to mess this up. It's too important for it. But her gaze bores on Yondu while the man speaks.

And what an actor he seems to be. That has her arching a brow. No wonder these pirates have survived this long.

Thor has posed:
    The tall foundling near the door looks at Luna and his expression is as clueless as she could imagine. Yet he took has that survivor's instinct as he turns and looks toward the display of the ship as Yondu begins to address them.
    At first only silence greets Yondu's declaration, no data coming back on that stream as Chumston remains quiet. He does swivel his eyestalks around, however, in the search of something. Until after a moment the line cracks open with a series of hiss and clicks and crackles, that are fed directly into the translation system. Curiously enough SteveRogers frowns and his lips part, but for now he says nothing.
    A handful of seconds later the translation software catches up and announces, "ATTENTION: Eclector. Contraband Conveyence Crime. Feasibility of corruption: high. Strong misgivings. Resolution to be boarding. Resolution to be confiscation. Disintegration possibility: high. Mitigating circumstances: cooperation. Error likelihood: 22%. Investigation. Balance in all things."
    Then the connection severs.
    Klobart says, "They're opening hangar bay doors." As he looks over at Yondu and Kraglin.

Kraglin Obfonteri has posed:
Leave it to the captain. He could talk the bark off of a Groot if he set his mind to it. Kraglin sits stiffly in his seat, waiting for the translation hardware to kick in. He makes a note to ask the captain to spend the money on an upgrade. Seconds count when dealing with the like of the bastards hanging off their bow.

He snaps the frequency closed, "What contraband? I wouldn't put it past them to bring something with them and plant it. "Oh, looky here. Looks like yer all ded."

"We can't jump from this position. Nav is calculating the shortest way out now." He regards the nav screen, "We're at 75 percent and calculating, Cap'n. We let them board and I'd say we have a 50/50 chance of surviving."

He looks back at Steverogers. "You ever seen these folks before? He's the only thing we didn't sell. Not that we sell crew, mind you." Does Kraglin sound like he wished they had?

Yondu Udonta has posed:
Not normally at least. Unless they really deserved it. Then all bets were off.

"That's what Ah was thinkin'. Being we just left the planet, we ain't got anything for them to find. But they ain't above plantin' things to get what they want. Fucking bastards." It was bad when a Ravager captain found someone else to be scum. "But who knows what a crewmate might have in their quarters that is contraband so better not to chance that."

He considered the numbers and gave a brief nod. "Turn off the external stabilizers. Let's start drifting. Even if it is toward them, doesn't matter. We need a mechanical problem t' stall until we get that 25 percent from nav." He considered a moment. "Open one exterior docking bay door about a quarter of the way. Then lock it there. Have some of the crew in spacesuits rushing out to work on it so they think we're tryin' to fix it so they can dock. Be sure they are tethered for when we move and they can slam the door shut then. All pilots to their M-Ships in case this goes completely wrong. Be ready to launch but wait for the signal."

Then he considered that ship on the exterior, eyes narrowing slightly. "Chumston, send over an apology as soon as everything goes 'wrong' and tell them we're workin' on it as we live to serve ...ya know the drill." He rolls his eyes a little at how dirty he feels just thinking the words so he sure as hell ain't saying them again.

Then he looked over to Kraglin. "Be ready to put up shields but not until we have to. Ah want them thinkin' we're cooperatin', just we have a piece of shit ship."

Thor has posed:
    Steverogers turns to look at the others and he says, "I have not. Though I must say their tone and manner." He pauses, not for dramatic effect, and yet it comes across that way. "It mislikes me."
    Which has Klobart rolling his eyes.
    In the meantime two shuttles have detached from the Black Order ship, like twin scarabs falling away from the sides of a corpse, the small space vessels turn end over end until they right themselves, thrusters flaring with white flame. Then their main engines ignite with a blue blaze and they start to hurtle across the distance toward the Eclector.
    While Yondu issues orders the senior crew does snap to and quick. They're used to things like this. At least the crew that are old hands. SteveRogers still has that slightly bewildered look yet he holds his position. If the captain wanted him here then he's here.
    Yet Klobart and Chumston and the others are already relaying orders to the crew teams and fairly qiuckly what Yondu wished for becomes reality. The hangar bay door for the Eclector starts to open sloowly... sloowly, then it creaks to a halt. Tingu the mechanic is already out there in his tentacled spheroid form with a 'space bubble' style helmet over the appendage he claims is his head. He has a large tool in one hand and he slams it into the door repeatedly.
    Chumston, for his part, waits a few seconds more then he's relaying his best apologies in his most reassuring tones.

Kraglin Obfonteri has posed:
"Yeah, smart guy. Nobody likes 'em." Kraglin turns back around from giving Steverogers the once over.

Eyes narrowed in concentration. "Prepare to open docking bay 5. Repair crew B into suits." He flips another switch to announce, "M-ship pilots to stations. Do not arm. I repeat do not arm. Be ready to launch on signal."

"I have shield controls slaved to my board, Cap'n," he replies.

"We're at eighty percent." Battle station will put the crew in areas where they can jump safely. Sudden moves in a space craft can turn corridors into 5-story drops which most crew can't survive."

Throughout the ship lights flash, telling crew to move to handholds or to strap into their seats.

"Ready when you are, Cap'n. Let's see what these bastards are up to."

Yondu Udonta has posed:
"You might want t' take a seat, SteveRogers. Doc."

Yondu was continuing to stare at that ship in the viewscreen. As though it might lead to some great insight in their intentions as he watched. Maybe if he had x-ray vision, he would be watching what they were doing over there. But instead, it was just that game played between ships in space.

"The trick is knowin' when t' flinch."

The ship was starting to list to the side a bit thanks to the turning off of stabilizers. The entry door to the hangar bay was malfunctioning. Or so it appeared. No shields on. Everything to exhibit they were just cooperating but that everything was going wrong in their attempt to do so.

He was counting in his head. Five percent in those few seconds. Should be five more now. Ten percent and they'd have their heading. "Fire a right thruster so we don't drift into 'em. But make sure the ship goes tumbling. Be sure our interior grav stays on though." Cause they didn't want everyone falling all over the place unless they had to go there.

A few more seconds being ticked away. Five more percent hopefully. He couldn't wait much more because they were going to lose patience or catch on to the gig.

"On my signal..."

He took a breath, held it. Braced his booted feet on the floor to push him more solidly back in the seat. "NOW! Shields up! Break right. Close those doors and get us to the exit point!"

Thor has posed:
    Doing as he wishes, the two crewmates take up seats on several of the makeshift grav seats. Straps are locked in, personal shields engaged.
    There's a sudden flare of light and then a purplish blaze that turns the display screen white as a loud, VZAAM! is heard. A single bolt from one of their weapons fired across the bow. But at the least it didn't hit the ship. A warning, however. Though they do not open up hailing frequencies. Perhaps thinking that single rail gun shot was enough to warn off any... trickery.
    Several lights on various control boards light up as crew teams report in their readiness state. Jump stations are set, shield control is ready for Kraglin. It's all coming into place. Those two shuttles from the Black Order ship are still on full burn toward the Eclector, hurtling through space but mainly only seen when they pass in front of the glow of a star.
    The repair crews affecting the exterior of the ship are the last to drift toward the entrance... they drift closer. And when Yondu sees them ever so subtly slip inside. That's when his signal is called.
    There's the roar of the lead thrusters and engines firing in the ship, that subtle 'shimmy' that the Eclector has when it uses full power. The shields spring to life as the ship breaks to the right. And as if that were the signal to open fire the Black Order's ship suddenly explodes in flame and fury.
    Several rounds slam into the shielded Ravager ship, sending its twisting a little more to the side than it should. Then it lurches forward once their course is adjusted and they leap forward burning fuel to the exit point.

Kraglin Obfonteri has posed:
Kraglin yells, long-fingered hand hovering over shield control, "In yer seats. We are go!" The rail-gun shot across their bow is answered with a volley from their side guns. Shields shimmer into existence, 100 percent power on the starboard side.The Black Order ship no doubt was prepped to fire and Kraglin wonders how much damage they took when one of the boards lights up red. They shake and shimmy into full thrust, pulling them out of range of the gravitational pull of the other ship.

"Woooooo-eeee. Fuck you, you fucks!" he yells in elation and very well-grounded fear.

Every viewing screen in the ship turns white as they transition into no where and turn themselves inside out.

Yondu Udonta has posed:
It was a chance and he only hoped they would be able to make it to to the jump point. If they could get there, they could then choose between additional gates and hopefully lose the Dark Order in the process. Though jumping too many times in short order would also lead to them being potentially physically affected.

Good thing he'd brought on a doctor. Though it would suck if she was the one that got hurt in the jumps.

Hopefully it wouldn't matter. Three or four jumps and they might be clear. If the shields stayed up.

Yondu kept his eye on the screen as the displays were brought up from the back of the ship and other angles as well, so they could see the sides. Too keep an eye on any pursuit. "Hard to port. Then get us to the closet next jump point," he ordered immediately to nav since they would have all points in the area available.