5042/The Robber Baron of Sector 70-6-8B

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The Robber Baron of Sector 70-6-8B
Date of Scene: 05 February 2021
Location: Sector 70-6-8B - Eskeem 6
Synopsis: The Guardians arrive at a theme park moon in hopes of stealing riches. Instead, they discover the entire place is one big scam and they're the real prize.
Cast of Characters: Nebula, Peter Quill, Rocket, Gamora, Drax, Groot

Nebula has posed:
    It's a large moon covered in breathable atmosphere, lush green forest and water. A veritable paradise. And rumoured to be the source of a large vein of Pentoth Crystals. Eskeem-6 is hardly a regular stop for.. anyone. It's out of the way and orbiting a dead planet with a hole in its side. War? most likely. Long ago? definitely.

    As the Milano sets down in to the docking bay area, large clamps take hold of the ship on either side and some kind of energy beam is fired directly at it from below. A tractor beam of some kind. There's a knock on the door and a man with more hair than grooming skills is waiting with a clipboard. He's wearing a a purple jumpsuit and has pointed ears and vertically slitted eyes.

    "Welcome to Eskeem Six. May all your dreams come true. Unexpected arrival fee 7 Credyts. Failure to lodge flight plan fee 9 Credyts. Docking clamps fee 4 Credyts. Welcome announcement fee 1 Credyts. Security of your ship for the duration of your stay 17 Credyts. Unregistered on Eskeem Six fee 72 Credyts. Your account number is #5042. Enjoy your stay on Eskeem Six. Employment agency is thataway," he says and points vaguely down the street, "and as new visitors to Eskeem Six you are invited to present yourself to Baron Von Vonner the Great Baron of Eskeem Six in Seven generations."

Peter Quill has posed:
Quill eyes the man with the clipboard an sighs hitting the button to open the door to the hold letting him aboard. As he does he looks over at the others counting briefly on his fingers, "Anyone have a hundred and?" more counting. "Twenty? Credits handy?" he says rummaging in his coat for what he has handy, barely fifty, hey it's been a slow couple of months with their long earth layover!

Rocket has posed:
Just why they're here, only the Guardians know. Rocket is not in the mood to go spilling any details to people or other creatures who don't need to know, but he /is/ putting the final touches on checking a gun or two he's going to bring with him. If the big one is a no-go, he's got smaller stuff to smuggle off the ship with him. After the docking, he lines up to head off only to have his path interrupted by..the welcoming party.

"Get a load of this guy!" he says, jerking a thumb in purple jumpsuit man's direction. "Hey, loser! How many of your 'credits' for this?" He makes finger quotes for that word, then gives him the middle finger.

"Uh..rude gestures 1 Credyt," he replies, caught off-guard by this.

"In that case, double it." Rocket gives him the salute with both hands. "Charge it to that guy. He's the captain of this thing, not me," Rocket adds, gesturing toward Quill before he moves to shove his way past. "Oh, I'll /present/ myself to whoever I feel like."

Gamora has posed:
    Admittedly, this is somewhat of a new experience for Gamora. Traditionally her arrival is a matter of secrecy, or heralds the destructionn of her destination, or is greeted with some ceremony should the world or ship fall under the banner of her father. More recently there's been a tendancy for crash landing.

    Fines, taxes, and the dead eyes of the occupationally downtrodden are new. The expected fealty to an overlord, not so much.

    Gamora watches their welcomer warily, and looks to Quill expectantly when payment is expected. Her eyes grow... ever so slightly wider when the money is not produced. "I... do not. Some generous, breathless humans attempted to slip their currency into my clothing, but we haven't yet converted it to Credyts." Gamora tilts her head slightly. Now that she says it out loud, that strikes her as strange. Hmm. "Rocket?"

    Rocket proves remarkably unhelpful.

    "... Drax?" She will ask her sister for change only as a last resort.

Drax has posed:
"I do not do this for the money, but I found a creature that wanted Erf heads badly."  A fanatic collector or going for the general rate-is there one?-who knows.  "But I do not understand why we are here.  Why we pay for things we do not need."  Drax disappears into down below into the cabins and comes back up to hand over the space dough.

Drax looks over the 'welcomer' with a squint.  "On Kylosia we welcome our strangers properly."

Nebula has posed:
    The man pokes Quill in the chest with the clipboard, "That's Credyts, not Credits. Learn to hear good." He rubs his nose and sniffles. "One Eskeem Six Credyt is worth 10,000 Galactic Credits. Office of Credit exchange is in the palace. There are no refunds and no exchange from Credyts to Credits."

    "Refueling costs 10 Credyts per Unit. Also if you don't give me a good tip that'll be an extra fee of 2 Credyts," he says as his fingers run through his scraggly beard. "You got a problem here, take it up with the Baron. I just work here," he says to Rocket. A horn toots in the distance, "Lunch break." He summarily turns on his heels and wanders off back toward the worker barracks of the docks.

    Nebula steps out of the shadows and stares at the man as he's walking away. "Why are we here again?," she asks accusingly and walks past Quill giving him a shoulder bump as she goes. Again, accusingly. Nebula pulls her hood up so as not to draw too much attention. She'd never even heard of this place, but that doesn't mean they haven't heard of her - or her sister.

    The town is a mishmash of modern materials in medieval town style with a palace off in the distance. Surrounded by forests, hovering carts and people of all shapes and sizes going about their daily business.

    It would much like any other port of call if it weren't for the strange attempt to look like a renaissance faire. An alien renaissance faire. It's almost like someone thought to turn this place in to a tourist trap / theme park. Or that the nearest food vendor is selling basic for at a minimum price of 1 Credyt, or in real money.. 10,000 credits for some grub. Like all tourist traps, this place is a massive ripoff.

Peter Quill has posed:
"Hey easy with the clipboard," he says before the man wanders off and Quill turns to Rocket, "Gonna guess figuring us a way out of these clamps is going to cost us waaay less, right? Think you can manage it?" he asks. I mean really they're wanted for worse in on better moons so why stick around and pay if they don't have to. "But you know once we get a look around, I mean for one thing it's a theme park, which is awesome," then he drops his voice. "Also the crystals they mine here are worth a ^fortune"

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora's head subtly reels back as the 'credyt' exchange is spelled out to her. Desperate, heart pounding money concerns. This is also new. She keeps her composure, however. She draws up the hood of her cloak. She steps outside. She puzzles this over. And calmly, rationally, she says, "... We may have to kill this Baron." Gamora sighs. "No more middle fingers, until then."

    Gamora quirks an eyebrow at Quill and asks, "What does their worth have to do with us?"

Drax has posed:
"Is this Baron a bad person?" Drax asks anyone else who may be in the know, which is anyone.  "Perhaps they are exploiting someone?"  Drax looks over to Gamora and blinks.  "Got it.  No more middle fingers."

Theme parks?  Drax tries to place the words together and finds no meaning.  Grunt.

"I bet these workers only stayed because they cannot leave.  To pay to leave would be difficult."

Rocket has posed:
"You're the one who decided we should go here without checking anything else out first," Rocket accuses Quill, giving the representative of the place a scowl as he gets huffy before departing as soon as the horn sounds. "I hate grunts who get a little taste of power." He hates a lot of things, though.

Waving Quill off, he hops the last few feet to the surface of the rock they've landed on, or rather had their ship clamped to. "I'll figure something out, but it's gonna cost ya. Maybe we'll just get some of those crystals." He doesn't look concerned about paying at all, outrageous currency exchanges or not. All the more reason not to pay.

The medieval nature of this place is..strange to him. So is the concept of theme parks. "Maybe we should get enough crystals so these guys can afford to leave." Passing a few of them, he openly asks, "Hey, you! Yeah, you with your breasts almost falling out of whatever that is you're wearing! Are you stuck here because you can't leave? Do you wanna go? Should we find this Baron Von Vonningham or whatever his name is and blast him?"

Groot has posed:
Groot looms along with the others, looking a bit grimmer than his usual jovial or museful self and after a while mutters under his breath, "I am Groot." He makes a motion with his thumb across thin air but its not that hard to translate into non verval communication what he has in mind. He stands up taller, grows a bit bigger....obviously ready for...something.

Nebula has posed:
    The woman addressed to by Rocket peers .. then looks down past her chest to him. "Oh look it's a talkin' kitty kat. Hey Gaarvin I always wanted a talkin' cat. Come get it for us it'll be good in the store front." -- a low booming voice can be heard from the back, "What?" -- "A talkin' c.. nevermind. Come out here and grab the fury one."

    A stooped over man steps out of the building behind the woman and he stands up.. and up.. and up.. 9 feet tall all told and muscles everywhere. He looks like a humble man, a confused man, as his eyes sweep around the street for 'the talking cat' his wife so desperately wants him to get. His eyes fall upon Drax and he nods, "Right then." He moves forward with purpose to simply try and pick up the Kylosian as if that were a smart life choice.

    "You brought us to a theme park," Nebula says with displeasure and then adds wryly, "to steal some crystals." Well he is a Ravager, she shouldn't have expected any less. "This Baron needs a talking to either way," she says considering her days of old would have meant bombing this place from orbit until he begged for Thanos's justice.

    A young boy limps down the street toward Gamora with a crutch. He looks down at the ground and then holds out his hat, "A credyt for me troubles m'lady. I shant go hungry again tonight with your patronage... a second credyt too and I may hap have a roof over me head."

    One of the hovering cars approaches the group with what can only be described as giant chicken legs, steaming, hot, cooked to perfection. The woman pushing the cart shouts out, "Gnug Legs. Get your Gnug legs. 1 Credyt a leg! Fresh Gnug legs."

Peter Quill has posed:
"Ixnay on the teelsay," Quill whispers harshly in Pig Latin as he tries to keep the others from blowing his score. Though suddenly the nine-foot man becomes a more immediate problem. "Whoa, whoa!" Quill calls out. "Easy buddy, you don't want to do that, just go on back over there and bench press a few more moons, okay?" he says. "Let us just go about our day not stealing crystals or blowing up any barons?" he says shooting a pointed look at the rest of the guardians.

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora gringes at Rocket's open poll vis a vis the murder of the station's master and says "... *Subtlety* may be appropriate, Rocket? At least until we're sure of our-" Gamora begins to look up, "... course of..." Gamora finally finishes looking up at the large man who has arrived to abduct their shortest crew member, "... action."
    Gamora considers the... dynamic at play here, and begins to cautiously reach for one of the blades strapped to her back, when she's distracted by a small child.

    Gamora is not without sympathy, though her heart has only had so much time or cause to open to the concept. However, she is well occustomed to having people beg her for a small variety of things - usually mercy - and is extremely well equipped to dismiss it. "One Credyt can also buy transport across several sectors, where the rest could be spent on a feast anywhere else in the galaxy. Begone, small child, you're not meant to..." Gamora hesitates briefly, imagining a very very large hand on her head while the scent of smoke filled the air, "... survive here."

    Gamora frowns and lowers her head, then gradually looks up at the towering obstacle of a man, as if only just remembering he's there, watching how it plays out with Quill's efforts.

Rocket has posed:
"You ain't the boss of me, Quill," Rocket retorts. "The only reason Groot an' I are taggin' along with you is 'cause you needed a real pilot, and we had nothin' better to do." They were also on the run from one thing or another, as is often the case, and the Milano and its crew provided some protection they wouldn't have otherwise had.

"And Groot says we should give the power to the people or something like that." The woman proves to be of no help here, only leading to him scowling at her next. "I ain't a cat," he answers, as his ears flatten and his upper lip curls. When the tall, /tall/ guy tries to grab Drax, Rocket runs a hand over his face but watches. How can you not watch at a time like this?

When the limping kid comes out with the crutch to beg for a handout. After Gamora's told the boy to scram, Rocket trudges over that way and squares the kid up with a look of scrutiny, almost eye to eye given their similar heights. "You can't scam a scammer. Beat it, kid. You ain't got a need for no crutch." He kicks the crutch aside, and the boy doesn't seem to know what to do. Nobody's done that before! Rocket chortles. "See? Look. Legs just as good as new!" He even reaches out to shove at them as proof. "Go on! Run back to your mommy and daddy before I give you a reason to limp!" No, subtlety is not a thing where he's concerned.

Groot has posed:
Groot is utterly fascinated by Rocket's habit of collecting arms and aids of those who do or...dont...need them. "I am Groot." He shakes his head looks from Drax to Rocket and Drax to the guy who has made a very large mistake and says,"I am Groot."

Drax has posed:
Drax has learned that others often have problems thinking Rocket is something he is not.  He does not understand this problem, but he recognizes it as an inherent weakness of most beings.  So that's why, at first, he stifles a grin when he expects Rocket to be scooped up.

The Kylosian's eyes light up when he sees the meat until he notices the beggar.  Quickly, he steps out to meet the guy to just shove him backwards, hard like they're on a playground, towards the shop he came from.  "I am no kitty!"

Nebula has posed:
    Nebula says to Peter in hushed tones, "I have told you before, do not speak in those strange tongues no one can understand you." He eyes look up at the confused giant and notices his gaze set on Drax with amusement. And the scammer boy.. this place has it all, "You've really out done yourself this time Quill."

    The big guy stumbles back and rubs his bald head in confusion, "My honey want you as kitty, you kitty." He says and steps forward again, but the woman with the abundance of chest says, "No you big oaf, the little one, with the fur!" She says pointing at Rocket. The big guy looks down at where she's pointing and his big hand reaches down to grab at Rocket this time.

    The hover cat of meat draws to a stop at the intersection and the woman behind it sees a potential customer or five. She motions to Drax, "Yes, come get your Gnug, only 1 Credyt a Gnug leg. Gnug leg is delicious so they say, so come eat some Gnug."

    Nebula's eyes narrow and she shares a look to Gamora wondering briefly how it is her sister managed to not kill the beggar on principle, "This is a place worthy of being cleansed." It's a dark wry humour, but at least it means Nebula is in good spirits. Her eyes fix on the palace down the winding road. "I bet there's a vault in that palace filled with the crystals."

Peter Quill has posed:
Peter looks to Nebula, "Really, you tell me that but not Giving Tree over there?" he says gesturing towards Groot. Adding quickly. "No offense buddy."

Though her comments about the palace gets him looking in that direction. "Glad someone else is thinking for a change," he sticks his fingers in his mouth and whistles. "Hey guys, stop harassing the locals, we've got work to do." And who knows with this Baron being such a dick they may actually be doing a little good as well. Even if it's by accident. "Also, Rocket, why would I need a pilot? I have me."

Gamora has posed:
    The discovery of the beggar's duplicity does little to ease Gamora's troubled mind, and her eyebrow twitches when Nebula speaks to her. Her eyes briefly flit anxiously to the distracted Drax, before focusing on Nebula. "Father's criteria was rarely so discerning." She says with just a hint of bitterness to her voice. "... But places like this... seem like they were designed to make people desperate." Which is as close as she'll outwardly come to agreeing with her sister on the matter. And, though the murder of the Baron isn't a NEW thought in her head, there's a tiny seed of a different reason for killing him besides self preservation. Just a little one. It's hard for her to muster THAT much sympathy for the obnoxious people who may well be just as trapped as the Guardians suddenly seem to be.

    When Quill gets her attention, she simply nods and says "Of course."

Drax has posed:
Sorry Rocket.  See there's this meat over there.  Drax looks at it and says, "This is what Groot is for.  Meat is what I am for." Then he promptly makes a beeline for the beckoning cart lady who might as well be the witch from 'Beauty and the Beast,' or the dark road to the castle.  DON'T GO MAURICE!

There's no waiting.  Drax just reaches out and grabs three legs in one go.  "Mmm.  Thank you.  I am very hungry."  He hands over the remaining balance of his space dough, that is, the measly balance of Galactic Credits from the dollar bill deal.  All the while, he doesn't stop eating, now holding them like wings.

Rocket has posed:
"Do you always answer your own questions like that, Quill?" Rocket asks, because in his mind 'I have me' is enough of a reason for Rocket to pilot the Milano. "'cause I'd fly circles around you any day."

Further disputes over that particular line of thought are interrupted after Drax has shoved the taller guy, the taller guy has been directed to obtain Rocket instead, and Drax goes to help himself to Gnug legs. "Don't touch me!" he shouts, and the crutch makes its way into his possession to smack at the grabby hand as Rocket activates his personal thrusters, allowing him to get airborne and further out of range. So much going on, he can't even celebrate winning the bet Groot just offered.

"I'm starting to think Nebula here has the right idea. How's about we get inside and..present ourselves to the Baron?" Rocket's still going to find that phrasing something to laugh at.

Groot has posed:
Groot chuckles very darkly at Quinn's comment and nods, "I am Groot." He says both in reply to Quinn and nods at Rocket cackling. Unless stopped, Groot takes solace in the bet he lost by grabbing the guy and trying to toss him the bet (and lost) 20 yards in question. If he succeeds, he will nod to himself in satisfaction. In response to Rocket's last question he says, "I am Groot?"

Nebula has posed:
    The woman accepts the measly prize of space credits and blinks, "Thanks for the tip?" She touches a pad though and marks down 3 more credyts for the crew of the Milano and her hover cart continues on down the road as she calls out to sell her wares.

    The big guy is somewhat surprised that he's hit with a crutch. That doesn't do much to him, though the big tree gets his attention when he finds himself being grappled by branches. "Oh. Uh. I am Gaarvin, nice to meet you," he says. He's a big simple man, but his nine foot body goes flying and crashes in to the floating Gnug meat cart. Gnug legs go everywhere and the cart hits the ground smoking. The woman who owns it starts yelling at the big guy and the busty woman looks aghast and runs after her man.

    "Yes, we're sure to be off the radar of local authorities now," Nebula says wryly and starts walking toward the palace. Her concealed hands loosen the grip on the two combat staves she has hidden within her cloak and they retract back to nothing. A violence did not need to be broken out ..yet.

Peter Quill has posed:
"Guys, guys, can we all chill out for a moment?" Quill or possibly Quinn says looking around at his crew. "Gamora, wanna help me out here?" he says to the other 'reasonable adult', okay the only reasonable adult but Quill only a nodding relationship with reality sometimes. "Can we stop making a mess of this place and go up the yellow brick road to see the wonderful Baron of whatever this place is called again?"

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora straightens up a bit when addressed, and considers for a moment before turning to the others. "Everyone, you are making *less* sense than the Human Quill. Rocket, Groot, stop confusing and assaulting simpletons! Drax, we have food on the ship that does not cost a fortune, OR look like it was burnt on an open fire! Follow us, and we'll determine how much violence is appropriate!"

    Gamora looks to Quill, as if to ask 'Like that?'

Drax has posed:
"Noooo!" Drax calls out when the cart goes flying, his free hand outstretched for what was once more meat.  The cart might as well have been one of those crystals with the determination in his voice.

PLOP.  PLOP.  PLOP-PLOP.  The gnug legs rain down.

"Yes!  The seconds rule," Drax calls out before he stoops down to pick up as many legs as he can like they're daisies.

"It is free now.  It was a thirty second rule," the Kylosian announces when he rejoins the others with bouquets of legs.  "Try one.  You will feel less like an angry baby," he offers to Gamora as he walks past her.

Rocket has posed:
Rocket shoots a look at Quill. "You're the one who cost us a fortune just by landing here, so maybe you can go ahead and get us outta this mess." He's still got a plan to deal with the clamps on the Milano, probably, but time will tell whether that comes up or not.

Meanwhile, while Groot is dealing with the grabby guy, saying so much along the way, he answers, "Yeah, buddy. I don't think there's any pretending going on. We're a group of misfits. And you watch disturbing things." Oh, hey. A Gnug leg lands nearby, so he picks it up for a bite while, naturally, flipping off the merchant. "I found this on the ground. I ain't payin' for it." Drax..has a similar idea, just on a much grander scale. Calling Gamora what he does? That has Rocket doing a spit-take, then he, well, rockets off toward the place Quill wants them to go. Follow the flying not-raccoon!

Groot has posed:
Groot gently takes one of the legs, and scoops a bit of dirt up and gently buries it, patting the dirt as he lengths his legs a little and immediately follows Rocket. As he does, he shrugs around to the others backwards and then moves forward at full speed. "I am Groot.

Nebula has posed:
    There are guards posted at the entrance to the castle draw bridge. They look like they are for show, because the real security is carefully concealed in corners -- pivotable lasers and cameras. Force field generators. The amount of tech hidden in the castle is in stark contrast to the theme part town below.

    "Right...," Nebula says doubtfully as she surveils the odds of success here. A man in fancy dress steps out in front of the group, "To present to his Excellency the Baron von Vonner please provide me your titles and names."

    He is wearing a wig and has a tablet in his hands. So much for authenticity. They cut corners here for sure. Beyond him is a long gilded hall filled with people seated and watching the presentation area with gentle stringed instruments playing music to entertain the guests.

Peter Quill has posed:
Quill spots the security too but by then the wig guy is asking for titles and well better to keep going and come up with a plan after. Peter does an elaborate bow, "I'm..." Think Peter! Think! "Peter of Quill." Good one! But needs a little more..."Lord of Stars and Count of Chocula," perfect! He eyes the group, reaching over to grab Gamora's arm, "This is my wife the countess, and these others are our loyal servants. We would like to see the baron at his earliest convenience."

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora's expression goes from confused to genuinely startled when she's pulled close and announced as Quill's wife, one bot staying off of the ground after she stumbles towards him in his grasp. Wide blank eyes slowly turn from Quill to the fancily dressed man.

    "Hhhyyyyy..." The sound is not unlike a croak. The next one is slightly better "...yyyyyyeeeeeeeee..." there's a moment of hesitation and than a hissed "... eesssssssss..." She swallows. "I am... *Countess* Chocula. ... By marriage."

Drax has posed:
"I am called Drax the Destroyer.  I am not a servant to anyone.  He is our fool," Drax says of Quill as he eyes the guard and savagely tears flesh off his meat bouquet with his teeth.  He walks toward the man.

"Where can I throw away the bones?" Drax rumbles down at the man.

Rocket has posed:
Rocket assesses what he can make out of the castle's defenses, a few things like 'Oh' or 'I see' or 'Mmhmm' overheard. He remains above the ground thanks to his jetpack, then he covers what he can of his face following the big lie from Quill, which Gamora tries to follow up on, which Drax no-sells, and..oof. "Someone put me out of my misery," he mutters.

Groot has posed:
Groot speaks like the finest english butler imaginable, the most regal and royal speech conceivable, as he puffs himself up with dignity and incredulity fit for any galactic court that one could hope for. "I." He says quite pretentiously, "am Groot" and shows a hand with a glowing blue intriciate and woven genetic mark blue across the leaf of his hand, proof positive...er...that....he is the Count of Chocula?

Nebula has posed:
    Rocket's survey of the palace reveals something not entirely unexpected but may be surprising still. It's a facade. A set piece. The whole back area doesn't really exist.

    The man claps his hands together and a small robot zips out from around the corner, opens its lid and presents itself to Drax to deposit the bones. He taps on his tablet and gives Quill a somewhat unamused look. There is a flash of light as a computerised system scans their identities. "Peter Quill, Gamora, Nebula, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket and..." there's no identification coming up for Groot, "Groot." He narrows his eyes a touch, "..of Chocula."

    Nebula draws her hood back scowling as her identity is scanned. That's not good. That's never a good thing. If they're linked in with the Nova Corps that's a very bad thing. If a database somewhere knows she's a Daughter of Thanos that's a very very bad thing.

    The man in the wig steps back and enters the court of the Baron and cries out loudly, "Peter Quill aka Star Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket, Groot.. and the Daughters of Thanos Gamora and Nebula."

    Raised on a diase and sitting on a throne is a man dressed from head to toe in royal blues and purples. His hair is silver and wildly stiff, poking out in numerous directions like an exploding star. He sits up as he hears the announcements and his eyes widen, "Well well!"

    His accent is not in character, nor is he really. The 'audience' flickers - holograms - "This is a surprise. A big surprise. A good surprise. I like this surprise." He picks up a tablet from the arm of his throne chair and taps at it a few times, "A good good money making surprise." A finger taps against his lips and he motions the group, "Come in come in." A force field suddenly shoves the entire group in to the chamber and the door slams shut behind them.

Drax has posed:
Drax looks at the robot first, then he surrenders some bones.  "Stay here metal creature."  He then continues to eat as he waits for all of the business to get done.  He leans down to Rocket, kind of, and kind of speaks softer, but it's a stage whisper.  "Why are we waiting?"

While they are waiting so briefly, Drax no-look tosses a few more bones at the robot, but it's gone, and the bones fall to the ground  "Where did you go?!"  he exclaims to no one in his stage whisper.  He keeps looking behind him or this way or that for the robot as they enter.

And then they are announced.  No.

Then Gamora and Nebula are announced.

The response is instant.  All meat drops to the floor with a single amalgamated smack.  It's the only beat Nebula gets.  Drax drags his hands on his pants as he draws his daggers, already moving, already screaming, though it is unclear whether he's going after Nebula, Gamora, or both.


Peter Quill has posed:
"Whoa cool," Quill says as the holograms around them fade, but that moment of amusement fades quickly when Drax draws his knives. "Whoa buddy," Quill says drawing his weapons. "Sure they've killed a lot of people but they wouldn't kill your wife and daughter man, c'mon, you KNOW them they're your crew..." he looks to Gamora and Nebula for confirmation, stage whispering, "Chime in any time."

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora isn't typically on the short list of people in danger of freezing up, but she visibly goes rigid, her blood running cold when she and Nebula are so casually exposed; the proverbial sword Nebula was holding over her head, dropped without ceremony.

    Very suddenly, Gamora does not want to have her back turned to Drax.

    "DRAX-" she starts to speak as she pivots to look at Drax, only for the words and the movement to be interrupted by the forcefield propelling her forward. Caught off balance in mid-motion, Gamora staggers and stumbles, falling on her right shoulder at an angle, and rolling backwards and around. Still, her instincts serve her well enough that she propels herself into a couple more rolls to the side just to gain distance before she comes to a stop in a three point landing and dramatically throws her cloak to the side with a swing of her free arm, which she quickly brings back to draw a short sword from behind her back.

    Gritting her teeth, she tersely calls out "WE DIDN'T HARM YOUR FAMILY!"

    Gamora's eyes dart to the side. "Probably."

    "Stand d-" before she can finish, Gamora is forced to block a blow from the rampaging Destroyer with a loud clang of steel meeting steel.

Rocket has posed:
"Hey, so there's something weird about this place. It's like it's all a front of some kind," Rocket begins to share, but as identities are scanned and reported, he gives a snarling glare at everything.

The doors slam shut and they're nudged or otherwise coaxed forward, and he looks behind him in annoyance before his attention whips back around toward the alleged Baron. "What did you just say? Daughters of Thanos?" he asks in an accusing tone, his eyes darting toward the women of the group...and Drax moving to lead into an attack. "Oh, fuck me.."

One of his guns is out, a smaller laser pistol, but what's he going to do with it? For now, watch the show. That wouldn't be a good thing to get in the middle of.

Nebula has posed:
    Nebula has been sitting on this time bomb since she used Drax to escape prison. Kylosians.. strangely honourable. If only life were as simple as it always seems to be in their eyes. She unpins her cloak from her neck and starts to back away to get a bit of distance as he at least gives them that one beat.

    "Drax," she says coolly, "It was necessary, to steer you to the real villain." Logic, as if this is going to work. She coils the cloak about her non-cybernetic arm to use as a defence against the knife. "Ronan was sent to your world by Thanos. Thanos is who you want dead, not Gamora or me."

    It twigs in her head after a moment when he begins to charge toward them, that he said 'USE' not 'KILL'... "Ahh shiiit," she mutters and deftly rolls out of the way of the Kylosian charge and uncoils the cloak, preparing to toss it over his head if he gets too close.

    The Baron sits forward on his chair as the tension and excitement grows, "Yes YES. You're all so deliciously wanted. The Nova Corp shall have the you furry one, may be your tree friend if there's anything on him. I'll sell your ship back to the Ravagers as a ransom.. and Thanos.. oh my.. OH MY. He will sing my praises to my people."

Drax has posed:
The truth is, Drax didn't even know Thanos had daughters when he met Nebula, and couldn't she have just told him to go after Thanos?  It doesn't matter.  It doesn't even enter Drax's mind because there is only room enough for one transgression at a time so the Baron can tweak Drax's nipples for all the Kylosian cares.

"YOU LIE!" the Kylosian moves past Quill and leaps, overshooting as the two sisters easily evade him.  But this is when it becomes clear who his first target is.  He charges at Nebula while letting out a roaring war cry.  Chairs are bulldozed, a dagger sheathed in the spray of debris, and he loops his arm through five of them just to sling them at Nebula as an opening for his bull charge.

Peter Quill has posed:
Quill ducks as Drax leaps past but comes up with both blasters in hand, toggling their stun feauture as he does. "Drax, dude, would you chill the hell out, I am sure if we all stop and talk this out there's a perfectly good explanation for why they didn't tell us they were the daughters of Thanos," he says looking to Nebula and then Gamora all but pleading for them to have a good explanation, because he definitely wants to hear it himself.

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora's mind races with how dizzyingly complicated this day has become. Kill the Baron. Loot the Crystals. Break the clamps. Maybe swipe some food if any carts are abandoned in the chaos of revolution. So straight forward.

    In a way - though not an unwelcome one - this is exacerbated by Quill seemingly taking their side, for the moment. She's not gonna lie, there was a stretch of time there where she assumed she was going to have to kill the entire crew to get out of this. Maybe that's not necessary? It's hard to tell, people so rarely take her side without being told to.

    "Nebula!" Gamora cries out as Drax's attack - staggering to witness - is aimed at her sister, and she whips around to look at Quill. "Blast him!! He's a wild animal, he can't be reasoned with!!" She demands, sadly deeming Quill's requested explanation to be a lower priority.

Rocket has posed:
Rocket is absolutely /not/ getting in the middle of this one. He does point out, "A good explanation for them not telling us they're Thanos' daughters? Maybe it's /because they're Thanos' daughters?/" he shouts back at Quill, engaging his personal thrusters so they appear at his back and carry him above reach of the ones who are supposed to be his mates.

"This is why I usually don't do the whole 'fly around the galaxy with a crew' thing. You never know when one of 'em's gonna betray you." As if he wasn't already thinking of ways to defeat each Guardian if it came down to it. Does that mean he has a plan for Drax? Not if he didn't get that far yet. "But in case you guys forgot, there's something ain't right about this whole place!"

Nebula has posed:
    The Baron hops up on his chair and snaps his fingers and hands together as he does a little dance, "Yes. Yes! Fight! Glorious. Show us how much she betrayed you. The blue one is a big lying liar!" He has no idea what has just transpired to kick off this, but he's _bored_ and this is the most potential entertainment he's had in ages. Suddenly, battle music blasts the room and coloured lights whip around the room like some sort of disco. The baron is enjoying this far too much.

    Nebula had intended to kill the crew. Kick Drax out an airlock was the best plan of action considering how tough he is. Being locked in a room with him when he's pissed off at her was not the plan. Not the plan at all. Nebula watches with bewilderment that her assessment of Drax's fighting style was spot on -- ie: she definitely didn't want to be in the way.

    She kicks off at a tangential run as bits of furniture explode along his trajectory. Bits of them being launched at it and revealing a shimmering blue forcefield protecting the baron as he watches down on high. "Drax! I-" she says with a touch of alarm in her voice. Her eyes shift around in their sockets as she tries to stay ahead of the furniture tsunami and also checks her records of conversations with him.

    ...tell him he needs to kill Thanos? no, she did that. Tell him she wants to kill Thanos? he might not care right now. Plead forgiveness? Well, that would achieve the desired outcome, but is her name Gamora? HELL NO. She kicks off the wall and throws down a punch at his head with her ouchy arm, the cybernetic one. She growls angrily as her rage takes over too. 'being reasonable' is not something that has ever appeared on Nebula's resume.

Drax has posed:
Quill must not even be heard with all that blood boiling in Drax's ears.  Gamora is right.  He cannot be reasoned with.  Can he even be stunned?  That remains to be discovered by the crew.

The disco-stravaganza takes off.  Drax does not stop for Nebula's explanations or anyone else's.  When Nebula kicks off the wall, he reaches up to pluck her attacking arm at her forearm to brutally slam her to the ground like a rag doll, as if he expects that to be hard enough for her head to explode and little cogs and wheel to fall out.

But then Drax lifts her up in front of him, speaking to something alive and kicking or not in some way, he says, "YOU WILL SUFFER."  She has delayed his justice for his family.  She has lied to him.  She has used his family.

Peter Quill has posed:
"I meant an explanation OTHER than that one!" Peter shouts at Rocket even if he did have a point. With Drax on the warpath, Peter activates his mask and kicks his rocket boots into gear, taking off and hopefully staying out of Drax's reach in case this doesn't work, turning his weapons on Drax, he says "Sorry buddy," and unleashes a torrent of stun blasts his way.

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora's brow furrows briefly when Rocket speaks. Okay. The small one may still have to die. And the tree. Can you stab trees to death? It's really never come up before.

    Gamora's mind races as the chaos surrounds her. The human's firing on Drax. Will that work? Rocket's staying out of it, sees her as an enemy. Can she trust him to stay out of it if they try to escape? No, he'll want the ship.

    The Baron. The Baron was the goal. The Baron started this. They can't leave while the Baron's alive and wants them to stay. Can she kill him? Would killing him even help?

    Nebula is swung towards the ground, and Gamora's heart leaps into her throat. Propelled by... complex feelings, Gamora very distinctly does *not* leap into the fray to save her Sister... but in a manner of speaking, she's rushing to save her. Gamora sprints to move as close to the Baron as she can, and desperately calls out "YOU! *Baron!* What..." Gamora very nearly has to choke down bile to make herself say this, "... What would it take to make you stop this?!"

Rocket has posed:
As it happens, Rocket's on the way toward the Baron as well. He's not being as..patient..as Gamora is. He wants to shoot something, or someone, especially after the music - which leads to him yelling, "What /is/ this shit?" - starts to play.

So, out comes that energy pistol, and he puts a blast to within inches of the guy's ear. "You! Idiot! Kill the music and the light show and explain this, or I'm gonna kill you! I don't care /who/ you are! It's been days since I shot something and you look as good a reason as any to put the count back to zero!"

Meanwhile, Drax, Nebula, and Quill are dealing with their own issues. It seems Groot got stuck outside the doors, somehow.

Nebula has posed:
    The Baron appears slightly startled when the energy weapon is fired. The blue shielding wibbles its length as it absorbs the blast and he peers down at Gamora, pleading to him. Yes, yes this he likes. The furry one though? not so much. He sits down and slams a hand against the arm of his chair, "You owe me a GREAT deal of money. And you stole a crutch, destroyed a Gnug cart, started a fight on main street, didn't tip McJuvan at the port. You're the kind of guests who get banned!"

    A scheming smile crosses his face, "But. I'm no fool. The moment Thanos knows his daughters were here he will come. And I have the perfect answer!," he says watching as Drax slams Nebula in to the ground and then lifts her back up again, "... ONE of the Daughters of Thanos shall be my BRIDE. Then.. and only then.. shall all debts be forgiven." The music cuts out but the lights still keep strobing around.

    Nebula is unsummarily slammed quite hard in to the ground. The interior structures of her body, replaced bit by bit with superior materials and artificial organs, is not exactly pleased with this level of percussive negotiation, but she survives it none the less with a groan and a shake of her head.

    Dangling from Drax's grip she kicks at his throat in retaliation, and a hidden hatch in her left thigh opens up and she draws out a gun. She points it at Drax's head and through choked breaths says, "... not it!"

Drax has posed:
The stun bolts from Peter's pistols don't appear to do anything but make Drax flex his abs, if one can attribute it to the bolts.  Maybe it is doing something, maybe it just takes time.  Drax seems unconcerned, but gets kicked in the throat which is enough for him to be distracted, coughing, when Nebula pulls the gun on him.

Drax...drops Nebula.  He must not think her gun will kill him.  Of course he is still coughing and then falls over.  Was it Quill's shooting?  Was it Nebula's kick to the throat?

Is Drax...stoppable?  All signs point toward yes...possibly by bad Gnug legs.

Peter Quill has posed:
"Wow, didn't think that would work!" Quill exclaims as Drax hits the ground. "Ah man, where the heck is Groot? We need to carry him out of here," he says looking at Drax's bulk his frown hidden behind his mask. Though his attention is brought back to the Baron by his demand for a bride. "Wow buddy, I really should let you do that, just to see what your "bride" does to you," he says, before he lifts both blasters dialing them up from stun to 11. "But seriously dude, let's all of us walk away from this today before anyone gets blasted with holes they're not going to be able to fix."

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora recoils briefly when Rocket fires at the Baron, shooting him a sharp look before making her plea. The Baron's response... does not reassure her. And his condition? Well, Gamora is... taken aback by it, to say the least.

    Her eyes wide, Gamora turns this over in her head frantically. Does he really want to be *closer* to Thanos? Does he know what he's inviting on himself? Does he think he would be granted mercy, or a place at Father's side?

    *Would* he?

    ... How much does Gamora really want Nebula to live?

    When Nebula chimes in, Gamora pivots in place just long enough to give her a look that says 'are you fucking kidding me right now?!' while throwing her arms in the air, before facing the Baron again.

    As her hands curl into trembling fists at her sides, Gamora agitatedly answers, "... *FINE!* Just STOP him!!"

    She does not actually specify which one. Perhaps it slipped her mind in the urgency of the moment.

    When she hears Quill's relatively relaxed entry into the conversation, Gamora squints briefly with confusion, before turning enough to witness Drax beginning to slow down. Is the Baron already doing something, or did she just make the most ill timed commitment of her life? "Quill, you... you defeated the Destroyer?" she sounds more confused than impressed... but still notably impressed.

Rocket has posed:
Rocket snarls at the Baron when the shielding stops his second shot from getting through. Why'd he take another pop at the guy? Because he's Rocket, that's why! And he's not at all liking what he's being told. "Hahaha! Either of them would chew you up and spit you out before you knew what happened, you loser!"

He zips around in search of a weak spot in the shield, maybe a way to disable it, but no luck there so far. "Here's the other thing. We ain't payin' you a single unit or credit or credyt for anything. You sent your lackey to extort us the moment we landed, and you know what else? That stupid kid didn't even have a limp! You're runnin' a scam here, and I don't even care if you ban us because this place sucks almost as much as Earth!"

Still looking for something he can damage, he flips a switch on his pistol and sends a few concussive blasts at the dais the Baron's upon.

After trying to get Gamora to move away first, at least. Drax is down? Who knew?

Nebula has posed:
    Nebula drops to the ground and coughs for breath. Despite her reinforced wind pipe, Drax the Destroyer has an impressive grip strength. She puts the gun away as she sees Drax somehow drop. Improbable, she's not sure how they managed that. But she's thankful that Quill is a sucker for a damsel in distress. He did just save the life of a mass murderer after all.

    The Baron grins like the cheshire cat himself as Gamora accepts the agreement. Then he flinches curling up tightly in his chair when Rocket shoots concussive blasts at the dais. The shield starts to wibble more and the blue turns to red. With enough persistence, it is evidence Rocket would get through.

    He thrusts a hand up in to the air and straightens, "Enough!" He stares at Quill's warning and Rocket's taunts and says, "I'm in charge here and I say what's ... what." Did his eyebrows just dance? a little may be. He reaches down and presses a button on his chair.

    From the roof a grenade drops with a thud on the floor and with a few timely beeps of warning it sends out a knock-out pulse. Night night for the Guardians. Except Groot, who is probably quite oblivious to all that has just transpired inside the throne room.

    The Baron slumps in to his chair and ponders the small furry one. "Ya knoooow, ... when you wake up little furry monster, I may just offer you the job of court jester. You've got the right kinda brain for my scam-town."

Peter Quill has posed:
Quill grins at Gamora his brain filtering out the disbelief and only seeing the impressed part of her look his way. He blows on one of his blaster barrels, "All in a day's work for Star Lord," he says before he spins the gun on his finger, and points it at the Baron again. "Seriously dude nobody's going to marry you," he says. "Now let us the hell off your crappy planet or-"

The grenade drops. "Shit," Quill curses trying to activate his jets which only means the blast catches him in the and throws him hard against the wall, rockets still sputtering as he hits the ground unconscious.

Gamora has posed:
    Gamora blinks once at Star Lord's answer. "... Huh."

    That's getting filed away somewhere.

    Gamora looks at the Baron and distinctly makes an 'eugh' face at the dancing eyebrows. "... Hold a moment, you didn't-" a grenade lands near her feet "-actually-" Gamora draws in a sharp hiss of breath and throws one arm in front of her eyes in the instant before the grenade goes off, and Gamora unceremoniously collapses to the ground.

Rocket has posed:
As the grenade bursts, Rocket only gets out a "Fuck me sideways" before he tries flying out of range.

Instead, he bounces off the nearest wall and lands in a heap, out.

Nebula has posed:
    Hardened from such energy waves, her brain encased in weird polymers. An EMP would do a better job if her circuitry were exposed. Nebula stumbles up to her feet just as the grenade goes off and everyone else drops down. The doors burst open and armored guards enter with guns held up and pointed at Nebula and the other unmoving bodies.

    Nebula rolls her eyes... "Great.. just great..." and places her hands on her head and drops down to her knees. This is not a fight she can win right now, not with everyone else unconscious. The Baron smirks, "Take them ... to the mines." Then he lifts two fingers up, "Not those two," he says pointing to the blue and green one, "I have something else in mind for them."