(2014-07-09) A Quick Bite
A Quick Bite
Summary: Vance and Jack, fresh back to earth, meet and catch up all social like.
Date: 2014-07-09
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: Neither
Social/Plot: Social

At first glance, the black and white checkered floor and red and white vinyl booths give the place a bright 50s diner feel. A closer look reveals the cracked tile, worn tabletops, patched vinyl, and tarnished metal of a diner comfortable with its age.

Dominating the room is a long bar lined with barstools. Along the wall across from the long side of the bar are a row of booths, stretching to the restrooms and a payphone in the far back; on another wall are two large horseshoe booths against the glass windows looking out on the street. An old pinball machine and an equally old jukebox lean up against the wall nearby.

Scattered randomly on the walls is a sparse collection of 50s-era nostalgia. Behind the bar is an ancient soda fountain, along with a picture of an even more ancient lady labeled "Mary", and a sign reading "No Smile, No Service!"

Seated in one of the side booths, Vance is found spinning a cell phone on his table. To the side he has fries and a burger that have been nibbled upon and pushed away. Nearer to him is a glass of soda that slowly bubbles.

The bell rings, another costumer comes in. Its Jack Harrison who some people might know as Jack Flag. Actually, very few know that little bit, the same ones that probably know what his face looks like. So there he is and about to go order some food from the long counter in a traditional sense but then happens to see a Vance sitting there. He chins up towards the man's cell phone, "You know how to use that thing, its not like rotary." He makes the hand gesture to dial a 1920s style crank phone with extending ear piece, very classy in its out of date sort of way.

Quick to smile, Vance looks to his friend and says, "Yeah yeah… I know how it works. Or at least I think I do. I still can't find where to put the dime in it."

Flagging a wait girl instead, Jack moves to join Vance. He'll order when she shimmies over to take it from him instead. "You'll need a few dozen rows of dimes for that thing, one dime might get you a dozen characters. And you, spelling everything out proper like - gonna need a lot of dimes." Finally sitting as he says that he looks at the menu, non-obligatory and all, probably will get burger fries and maybe a good old American shake just the same.

"I remember back in the early 70s when we were working with computers with full sized keyboards. Now we have this… Even space tech isn't this hard to text. Heck, the Ship made it easy for us." Vance rattles on and then non sequitor like he asks, "Did you score with your old lady?"

"Ya, voice and all, crazy stuff - does it make you miss your pong paddles? My dad had a pair in the garage," asks Jack, ordering the same said food with the waitress comes by quickly. "Nah, I think we're on the outs now. She doesn't like long distance and we go a little farther than Kansas. What about you, the de-ice some Charles Angels extra for you?"

There's a moment of reflection as Vance recalls, "Oh cripes. Farrah was so hot. I wonder if she's still got it going? I mean surely her hotness is ageless…. then again, that was like 40 years ago… jeez. Nevermind."

"Plastic surgery, if you're into that - blow up dolls that move on their own, a little at least," offers Jack just the same. "Not my thing though cause it weirds me out when eyebrows don't move, but who knows, some older chicks are pretty hot still." Not that he recalls any specifically, but he's playing the safe angle.

"You know, I was totally homesick for Earth. And now that we're back, I'm actually kinda bored. I guess I didn't realize how much time had passed and that all my old friends would be … well, old. I also half expected my parents to be around. But that didn't go as planned either. Guess I thought it was going to b e 1979 again."

"Speaking of… You left Earth after the Spectre's thing got lifted. How come you never told me how cool Metropolis had become? This city is amazing with it's futuretech and automated stuff. Too bad that tech doesn't extend past New Troy."

"Ya," nods Jack, having received his food as well, so Vance isn't finishing his meal alone at least. "Well, cool and all, super space age, but come one, you don't think you'd mess old terra - eartha." Ya, latin and Jack don't mix, about as much as Spanish would mix for him too. "How much time have you spent in space anyways, this might be more your norm. They got some retro feel going on too, like this dive." The diner, "But, for me, I could use some New York, or heck, some good old Wisconson - red barns, silos and cows."

"The cows have all been abducted." smirks Vance putting space, aliens, and cows together. "But really. I was technically in space for 30ish years. Albeit most of the time I was a Vance-cicle. Still, I don't know. Guess I'm glad I'm back. But was just hoping for a little more - I guess. That little more for you may be New York or Wisconsin. I hung out in Nyork for a few days, it hasn't changed much other than some of the skyline and of course the supers."

Eating fries slathered in some ketchup, Jack nods. He does wipe the salt and grease off with a napkin at least. "The changes are smaller, just small tech. After the moon, space age stopped, retracted. Accidents in space program, budgetary constraints and no glamor in it all. Not until New Troy here of course, but this isn't so much us as outside influence. The biggest change is everyone is moving out of the country to be closer to where its at."

"Total shame too. There's so much more /out there/ that needs to be discovered and addressed. Not to mention, stopped, because of the sheer threats that it poses to our bluegreen marble. Anyway, I was thinking of making the call back to the team to come pick me up. I think I became an adrenaline junkie while out there. Our lives were always in danger, we were always saving the universe. I need more excitement…"

And a split second after Vance's last comment there's a sudden explosion that rocks the diner blowing out all the windows and causing the bystanders to scream, duck, and hide. When the dust clears, three faceless 7' tall orange aliens stand in the room. Their large space rifles are pointed directly at Vance and Jack. The first one states, "Dead or alive, you're coming with us."

As the dust begins to clear, the two faceless alien creatures are standing within 20 feet of Jack and Vance. The first one carries a large blaster rifle (pointed at the two Guardians) and the second one, who stands a few feet back from the first (and to the left) carries a blaster pistol in one hand and in his other a holoprojector that displays the faces of Vance and Jack with alien writing displayed beneath.

"I paid that fine back on Centari Alpha," says Jack as he sees the holodispaly of himself and Vance in the faceless alien's (es) hand. Instead, his fists are balling/unballing, "I'll see what they want, you take the big one." Like they can tell the difference, so he walks forward, preparing to attempt to dodge if the shoot. Its lasers, a bit different then bullets.

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 62

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 67

SYS: Jack Flag rolls for DODGE. Result: 11 — None

Vance powers up, which just translates to triggering his force field and he stands up from the booth. "Which one is the big one?", Vance asks looking them both over while starting to focus his mind. He wishes he had his shield because lasers hurt; He's far better defensively against physical attacks.

The first alien states something in an alien language to his companion. The aliens do in fact attack. The first blast streaks through the air and strikes Vance's shield. It's not a killing attack, in fact it's an entangling attack. The energy of the blast forms 5 rings around the hero's force field and proceeds to squeeze. Vance's arms are pulled to his side and his legs are pulled together. He nearly falls and says, "Cripes!"

The second alien fires his blaster at Jack, hits and the rings will envelop him just as they did with Vance. However, Jack is far stronger than the rings can squeeze. He will easily break free if he so desires.

The 5-rings get Jack and he stands there a moment, hearing Vance and his 70s-clean profanity when he's caught. "Ya' got me," he says, turning to look sideways at Vance. Then he says quietly, "See what this is about, then turn the tides …" Its partially questioning but he flexes a hand a little, trying to hide the movement from the faceless aliens but so Vance can see the strain on the rings near that wrist.

Seeing that Jack has a plan, Vance nods, "Gotcha." He then falls onto the ground feigning helplessness.

The first alien comments in their own language and states in English, "You are lucky that alive is more valuable than dead."

The second alien states something in their own language and pushes a few buttons on a wrist panel and a 'beam-out' is initiated.

The four find themselves upon a transport pad where one other orange faceless alien will assist the second alien with the transport of the prisoners while the first one talks in English (or the ship translates it for Vance and Jack), "Lady Martuk will be pleased with our efficiency."

The second alien states, "We will be rich."

The third alien comments, "Unless we are double crossed, I do not trust the Skrulls."

SYS: Jack Flag rolls a strength FEAT. Result: 68 — Yellow

Assuming they're probably put aside, in the back, in a cell, somewhere nearby enough to hear but alone enough to be forgotten while plans are forumlated. Jack says to Vance, "The big one is the orange one." He's still not being serious, "You got enough to go from, Skrulls and Martuk, its a lead. I say we bust out, steal ship, bring down a Justice Hammer!" So he stands and does that flexing thing, to get his rings off, pop … pop … pop-pop-pop, then moves to see if he can yank off Vance's too (without it squishing Vance that is).

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls an agility FEAT. Result: 49 — Green

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 29

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 56

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 53

Left alone in the cell, Jack breaks free and subsequently breaks Vance free.

Vance states with a smile, "I'm keen to that."

The alarms sound as the two move through the ship. They encounter the third alien who has a blaster. He's taken down by Vance's TK blast before he has a chance to draw his weapon. The second and first aliens emerge from a bulkhead and begin their blasting toward Vance and Jack, both missing.

To give an idea of how large the ship is, think Millennium Falcon in square feet with four main areas, bridge, living, holding, and engine room. It's a small craft, but capable of hyperspace travel and the ship is already traveling through hyperspace in route to the Skrull Empire.

SYS: Jack Flag rolls a fighting FEAT. Result: 80 — Yellow

SYS: Jack Flag rolls an agility FEAT. Result: 49 — Green

A blaster is enough to draw a line, Jack is moving to give that one a fist, or one of them. Actually the line was drawn at rings and abducting, but its a second line and even worse than the first. "Ya, double crossed, she sent us for you." Just to throw them off their games once Jack and Vance move on. While slugging around fists of justice, he tries to be careful in the cramped space so as not to damage anything vital with an orange alien punching bag.

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls an agility FEAT. Result: 9 — White

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 33

Alien number two hesitates in his actions based on Jack's comments. The first one responds, "DIE EARTHLING!" and fires a split second after Jack knocks the alien into next week with supermassivefistpunches.

However, Vance isn't quite so lucky with his TK attack. In fact, he misses the second alien with his TK blast. He comments, "Dang it!". Luckily the second alien is still confused until Jack is seen wailing on his leader. He is very close to Jack and turns his blaster pistol toward Jack, but won't have time to fire until Jack acts.

SYS: Jack Flag rolls a fighting FEAT. Result: 83 — Yellow

SYS: Jack Flag rolls an agility FEAT. Result: 38 — White

Little time to think, so Jack grabs for him and does a wall slam tactic. In part to open him up more for Vance to TK his arse again, and to make sure he doesn't shoot jack. Good news, he slams him into a bulkhead, bad news, there are some sparks. They don't fall out of hyperspace, but no telling what component might need some repairs. "Eat wall Orangie!"

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls an agility FEAT. Result: 33 — White

The slam disorients the alien, the TK blast misses again and strikes the same console that Jack just damaged. More sparks fly and Vance mutters, "Oh heck. I'm really in need of some target practice."

The aliens as a collective no longer pose a threat, they're stripped of tech and taken into the holding cell where Jack and Vance were originally. Thus leaving the two Guardians to have control over the ship, and its repairs.

On the bridge (four chairs faced forward like a modern 747 flight deck), Vance states, "The countdown says we've got 2 hours before we arrive in Skrull space. It'll probably take me that long to fix what we broke. You got a plan?"

Helping with the securing and stripping (only of tech) of the aliens, Jack is comfortable to just sit in the co-pilot seat of the bridge as they look over the readings. "2 hours, its good. I'd like to find this Lady Martuk, see what this kidnapping business is about. And if this is some old flame of yours and this is her invite for exotic alien vacation, I'm not amused." Though he's not serious either. "Lets test the translators, see if we can maybe mimic the orange guys as long as possible to see who knows where we can find her?" Its a thought, offered for Vance to confirm, deny, modify.

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls a reason FEAT. Result: 69 — Yellow

"Sounds like a start." states Vance as he toys with the console. He's been exposed to alien tech for quite a while so he has a better chance at systems operations. He finds the right settings and says, "Done. They will hear us as the aliens. Though the wool will probably be over their eyes for a few minutes at most. I'm still not sure where we will be jumping into. If we're lucky it will be a planet, if unlucky, a Skrull armada."

"It'll have to be a good few minutes. Lets assume its close to where they wanted to go, they don't look too Skrull, so they might not be welcome around their either even if the lady they work for is on the inside of this Armada." Just a thought, Jack could be completely wrong. "How's your flying fingers feeling, better than mind blasting?" Only teasing about the near misses from earlier, he knows Vance could zonk him with a good blast if he tried. "Just in case its that Armada, or you need me at the stick, so you can get us a new jump point if we need to high tail it?"

"We'll be exiting a defined jump point, just as they entered the one in Earth space. I suspect that there will be something there waiting on us. All I read here is JumpPoint 336AR1. So yeah, we're going to have to wing it. If we run into heavy resistance then I'm good with the flying. Ace pilot and all that. Or something. Now, let me get to the repairs on the life support system you broke before we asphyxiate."

"Totally knew you could do that, fix it," says Jack, explaining that hitting the life support system was all part of the made up plan to begin with. "Any guns you want me to figure out then, on this ship, before we get there?" Not to keep Vance in the cockpit, but as he goes off to fix what he needs. Jack will even follow, wingmanning it in case the other needs hydrospanners and the like - assistant and all.

"Absolutely. Make sure you know how to use their weapons. It's all we've got and I don't have my shield. We cannot afford to blow this opportunity."

Vance will go to do his repairs. Two hours will quickly pass and with the repairs completed just before dropping out of hyperspace.

In the cockpit, the two Guardians see the hyperspace portal open and eject them into normal space where they see within 1 astronomical unit a large Skrull armada. Near to the portal are several attack craft patrolling the area. The moment they come into normal space they are hailed. "Unknown craft, identify yourselves, your purpose, and your cargo."

SYS: Jack Flag rolls a reason FEAT. Result: 59 — Green

Bad news, Patrol, good news they're on the outskirts of the armada, but there is this patrol of several attack craft. Jack only needs to buy some time, leave up the space-fu to Vance if needed. "This is TK-421, we have a few criminals, its about Lady Martuk." He tries to put in the reference but not indicating if Lady Martuk is 'good' or 'bad', but rather hoping to illicit from the other end what the Skrull's think of this figure.

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 18

"Understood TK-421. You may proceed to the the flagship and land in hangar bay 3. You will then be escorted to our Lady Martuk to deliver the prisoners." is the response from the communicator. The communication is closed.

Vance alters course and starts flying for the largest flagship looking craft in the armada. The jaunt will take just a few minutes. He will then ask, "Ok, you have a fancy plan for part two?"

"You didn't, per chance, whip us up a teleporter so we can phase our arses back to Earth did you?" He's not counting on it, but there is that .001 percent chance of hope that Vance did do that. Jack does offer, "Good news, we know where to find Lady Martuk. We still don't know what she wants. I vote … and hear me out, I vote we go with the orange guys as prisoner. Act smarmy, we tell her when we see her that if she wants us, to send a real escort, not the sloppy trash she sent to earth. We'll pretend to be offended by it even." Then again, that might not work at all. Vance is flying.

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls a reason FEAT. Result: 56 — Green

That's when the lights go on in Vance's head. "Wait! I may have the answer…" he stands and moves to the pile of tech that the aliens were carrying. He rummages through and finds the holoprojector, stands and presents it as if it will have the anwer.

SYS: Jack Flag rolls a reason FEAT. Result: 71 — Green

"Ya, absolute genius Vance," says Jack looking at it, "We do a scooby do switcharoo - us for them, them for us. Will it project enough to actually cover us all up enough - or just us for them, and a couple of dummy projections that look like us. We're already in the memory so that's a plus …."

"Hang on, what?" asks Vance as he tries to figure out the new plan. "Are you talking like we reprogram this saying we're the bounty hunters and they're the bounty? That totally won't work if Lady Martuk is the one that set the bounty." He still hasn't turned it on to reveal the true nature of the bounty.

"Oh, you're not saying we disguise ourselves," responds Jack as he looks at the holoprojector now. "What's the real answer you found then," cause he was way off tanget it would seem and yet is all ears to hear what the more reasonable of the two has devised for a potential plan.

Vance pushes 'play' on the holoprojector. The small images of Vance and Jack appear in the air a few inches above the projector and words are translated through the ship's devices, "Wanted for crimes against the empire, Vance Astrovik (AKA Justice) and Jack Harrison, (AKA Jack Flag) are to be captured dead or alive and returned to Lada Maluk who, if alive, will condem them to the slave mines of R'nanor with their comrades known as the Guardians of the Galaxy." The transmission ends. Vance stands there somewhat dumbfounded. He mutters, "Cripes."

"Ya, it'll work," says Jack, still thinking Vance might have some plan despite 'cripes'ing the idea. "Do some mind trick, amplify the images. If that doesn't work, we turn now before we're any close to being inside the Armada … cause a few ships I'm good with you dodging, just not the entire fleet …"

Vance bolts for the captain's chair and takes the controls. He yanks on the stick and diverts their course. "I don't have those mind tricks… there's no way we're going to fool them with a switcheroo. We've got to get out of here and save our friends. See what you can do to find R'nanor on the nav system."

SYS: Jack Flag rolls a reason FEAT. Result: 40 — White

Jumping to the co-seat Jack nods, "I'm on it, R'nanor it is." He does some beeping and booping, his fingers mostly know where to go. "You sure R'nanor is a system they'd have in their data banks." He asks the obvious, forget the Skrulls have every system in their system, he doesn't think he would miskey it on the alien keyboards.

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls an agility FEAT. Result: 65 — Yellow

SYS: Vance Astrovik rolls 1d100: 8

Dodging through alien attack craft who are suddenly wise to the rouse, Vance is able to navigate back to the hyperspace portal without being blown into space dust. "You're right…" he comments, "They probably wouldn't list a prison planet in this particular database. We're going to have to head back to Earth, it's the only destination in the nav computer…" Then right into the hyperspace portal they go. Eluding the enemy - for now.

Even making the jump into space, Jack isn't quite done. "Who can we get in touch with here, we'll figure out R'nanor and head that way? Those SHIELD people, right, Captain America will have an answer I get." Then again, he's a fan-boy, Cap can do no wrong. He tries retyping it in just the same, but he's probably still misspelling it.

End of Adventure

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