(2014-09-05) Boarding Parties
Boarding Parties
Summary: The Guardians track down Astrid to learn more about Lady Martuk
Date: (2014-09-05)
Related: http://ageofheroesmux.wikidot.com/plot:lady-martuk
NPCs: Astrid
Scene Runner: Jack Flag.
Social/Plot: Plot

-==[ Double R Diner — Business East ]==------——

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 the Double R, Vance is wearing standard street clothing; jeans, black t-shirt that reads "Star Wars", and colorful sneakers. On the table before him is a burger, fries, and a chocolate shake. He's eaten most of each and seems content with living in what he calls, 'the future'.

As it seems that the Double R Diner has being the official dining spot of the Guardians team this is where Courtney finds herself coming either to socialize with them or even if she just wants something to eat. She wanders in looking like she just stepped off some beach somewhere, t-shirt over a bikini top, board shorts and flip-flops. Heading straight to the booth that has been dubbed theirs (or the teams) she slides in across from Vance "What up space jockey?" she grabs a menu and looks over it, even though she probably has the thing memorized.

"Hey there." he states in greeting and then follows with the answer requested, "It's another glorious day Earthside. The birds are singing, the breeze is blowing, and there's nothing so horrific that would dissuade me from the goodness of today. How are you? Go surfing this morning?"

"Went surfing. Better to do that in the morning before the families with all the children and toys get to the beach." Courtney drops the menu onto the table when the waitress comes over and gives the woman a smile, ordering something breakfasty and the largest OJ that they have "Well none of us as been attacked by shape shifting aliens yet, so we have that go for us today." she slouches down in the booth, putting her feet up on the seat next to Vance.

Vance answers with a smile and a hint of initial sarcasm, "Oh, we wait for it. Or at least that's how I translate the re-active nature of being a super hero. In space, we'd pick a target and go after them until they collapse into a ball of sniveling goo. Then we'd go after the next group of nefarious evil-doers that needed their galactic butt kicked."

The difference in earth law and space law isn't lost on Courtney "Yeah, being a vigilante isn't exactly lauded here. No taking it to them or pre-empitive strikes." she nods her thanks at the waitress as her juice is set down "I can appreciate the get them before they get you mentality that is found throughout the galaxy.

"Didn't one of our presidents wait too long and instead of taking down terror, he had to woken up and then start his own 'war on terror' which, if I recall, was nothing more than securing his own interests in the middle east. But still, essentially taking it to the streets. The villains in this world have already said, "Hey, I'm a villain and I'm over here". Can't we go nab them first?"

"More than one in my opinion. But that's how hindsight works, you only know your mistakes after you make them." Courtney grabs her straw and dunks it into her juice after unpeeling the wrapper from it "So Mr. Get-Them-First, who's are first target?

"Giganta and Cheetah. Not only are they villains, but they're also hawt and it's been a while since I've been on a real date. Because I'm totally not counting Mary from last week." he rolls his eyes. "This online dating thing isn't all that it's claimed to be."

Courtney just stares at him for a long moment in what could only be described as disbelief "I don't think rounding up two female villains counts as a date, no matter how hot they are." his comment on online dating gets a nod of agreement though "So I've heard.

Vance was half joking and he cracks a smile after her response. "But it's definitely 'face-time' with them.", he says trying to be current with technology and slang.
She facepalms "You don't facetime, or hookup with bad guys Vance. All that gets you is some veneral disease and a knife in the back." Courtney and Vance sit across from each other at the usual booth. Vance is finishing his meal while Courtney is having her all american breakfast delivered.

"Hey, it's better than that Space Herp Jack picked up when going for the evil Countess Mambria of the Shi'ar." Vance says with a wide grin. Also joking, because he's well fed, happy to be alive and on earth, and wearing a black Star Wars t-shirt, jeans, and colorful sneakers.

Speak of the Jack, he enters. Not so casual, he does have a jacket on for fall, over usual tee and jeans. Not so colorful sneakers, he goes for the black/white loafer type (Supra or Osiris usually). Seeing the two together, "This can't be good, a secret meeting and I wasn't even invited." Though he makes sure to tell the waitress he want's the double everything breakfast (2 cakes, 2 eggs, 2 sausage, 2 beacon, 2 biscuits, etc.) before moving to join Courtney and Vance.

Courtney slides over to make room for Jack at the booth. At Vance's joking she nudges him in the leg with her foot. As usual she is dressed for the beach, t-shirt over a bikini top, boardshorts and flipflops. She pretends that fall is an option. "Morning Jack." she greets around a bite of her hashbrowns "No secret planning going on here. Just dating advice for our time handicapped friend.

Vance will spot their teammate and expect Jack to take a seat next to Court since boy's typically don't sit together. And with Court's accomidation he takes another french fry. "Dating advice… yeah. Don't pick up on supervillainesses. They'll cut you, or give you space herp… right Jack?"

"Ya, I totally have space herpies," grins Jack sitting down, "Every other month, a belly burrower launches from my gut, takes over the ship and destroys another planet. Its pretty nasty." Then an off handed ponderance, "Is it too early for a shake." That's a serious thought.

Courtney looks between the two "And the table maturity drops another twenty points." her tone is full of dry sarcasm "So where are these two bad guys we going after holed up? Not her in Metropolis?

"Well, um. I really don't know. But where do you hide when you're a 50 foot tall chick?" notes and asks Vance. "I mean seriously, there's really not anywhere she can just hang out. Going to the movies is out fo the question, unless it's a drive-in."

"Ya, but what, we google earth and look around until we see here on the satellite?" Jack is pondering this, its a 50-foot tall woman they're talking about. He doesn't know if its serious, but if it is, he just wants to see. "Or like jump up into orbit and sensory sweep Earth?" That's assuming they're talking about finding someone on Earth, he came in mid conversation after all.

"Of course there is, warehouses, plane hangars any large industrial building or even closed up prisons could be large enough to house a 50 foot tall person." Courtney sips her juice before continuing "It might be tight, but interior designers are miracle workers with tight spaces these days.

"But a girl's got to shop. I mean seriously. How long can Giganta stay holded up in one place before going nutz. Even though, there's probably not a clothing line for 50' women, surely someone's got a size ray that will make it bigger." he pauses and smiles realizing he said 'make it bigger'.

Half grinning, Jack isn't commenting on words used and inneundo. "Wait, so we're looking for tall woman or some genius that sells gizmos to people trying to hide? I'm a little confused." His meal is finally brought out though, so now he has a focus. Food.

"And what about the other one? Cheetah, I guess her name tells it all, but is there anything else we need to know?" Courtney pushes the bits of hashbrowns left on her plate around "These two hang around together?

"From what my contact states. Now, mind you it's a NASA buddy of mine that knows things. I'm sure we're not going to be able to be as pro-active as I'd like. There's really no war-on-terror plan of my own. It's just hypothetical in nature." states Vance as his dreams are shattered by questions based in reality.

"What, some cheetah woman and really tall gal are terrorizing the planet? But we're looking for some mad scientest that grows clothers for the Really Big and Really Tall Double Plus Outlet mall?" Jack is a fountain of answers today. Most of his meat is eaten quickly, then eggs, some hashbrowns, pancakes are like dessert, saved for last it would seem.

"No Jack, Vance is just having a hard time adjusting to the new paradigm that is dating in the 21st century and is starting to think the female villians is a viable option." Courtney quickly explains the bit of the conversation that Jack missed.

"Anyway, yeah, dating fail. So Jack, what are we doing today?" asks Vance in a Pinky and the Brain motif before taking another fry, eating, then pushing his plate away and settling to the side of the booth.

"Well, we got coordinates on that galaxy, Centauras A, and got a scan of the habitable systems," he says, perhaps having asked someone for the help, maybe the new tech person that's looked at their ship. "There is a large intergalactic port near its black hole center, that's probably where Astrid is. If we're good letting Vance's on-line profile mellow a bit, see how many looks and kisses or whatever it is he gets at his site, I think we should head up there, see what she knows about Lady Martuk." A pause, he folds a pancake to eat like a taco, "I think she'a avaiable too, Vance, after we figure out what she wants from us …"

Courtney elbows Jack at the suggestion "You don't diddle the bad guys or the informants…jeeze don't you two know anything. It's like I am working with teenagers." she rolls her eyes "First Lobo says at this Astrid woman is bat-shit crazy, and she is as liable to stab you in the throat than look at you." okay maybe he didn't say it that way, but that's how she interpreted it "Play with her and you are asking for a funeral.

"Hey, what ever works." comments Vance regarding the new plan. "We've really got to get Martuk off our backs cause she's gonna bring the whole galaxy down on us."

Jack eats his pancake tacos, plans are made, clothing changes allowed - so they can finaly do team adventure in uniforms even. Queue Batman cutscene music, with a Guardians flare.

The galaxy in question is an elliptical cluster of stars with an oddly imposed dust lane (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d2/ESO_Centaurus_A_LABOCA.jpg/800px-ESO_Centaurus_A_LABOCA.jpg) with the intergalactic station being outside the normal rotation of stars and more 'hidden' in the dust lane itself. A well known destination outside of the Green Lantern designed space sector that houses Earth and its local galaxy cluster. As they're coming out of hypserspace close by, Vance at the helm/wheel, Jack in a back seat, Jack asks, "So, just go in find her, ask questions, or we gonna be sneaky this time?" Of course, they don't really have a sneaky it seems, other than sneaking into prison, which is really done by not being sneaky.

Costume changes are as quick as a thought for Courtney nee Stargirl. :P She's ready and waiting before the other two can say Let's go. During the travel she sat in the back and flipped through a fashion magazine of some sort while the boys acted as chaueffers. "However we get in, one of you can do the talking this time. I had my fill of talking to crazy folks with Lobo.

"I say we go in direct. The less convoluted we are, the less crazy this chick may be - or I hope." states Vance who remains all casual in the pilot's seat. But if she ends up like Wilma Dearing, I call dibs."

"Wilma Dearing, I don't get it, like Wilma before she married Fred or something?" Ya, that one is lost on Jack completely. "And you're covered this time Courtney, its just Lobo didn't want to talk with me is all."

Even as they talk, it seems three ships take off from the station and are headed directly towards the Guardians. There is a flash on the panels, they are being hailed it would seem.

Was about to stage whisper to Jack who Wilma Dearing was, but his own question keeps her from doing so "I'm sure it had something to do with you being a guy." and of course the fact that she was ballsy enough to start a bar fight "That's not a good sign is it?" she asks about the three ships that are incoming.

Intoning toward Stargirl, Vance states, "Hey Uhura, could you get that com and tell them that Major Vance Astrovik is at the helm and will gladly offer them an audience if they are sexy green alien chicks. Otherwise, we're going to blast them out of the galaxy."

Jack raises a finger, turning and getting on the com, just cause Stargirl said she wasn't doing the talking. "Don't know what you want, but Major Astrovik is at the helm and …."

A grey faced lady with similar black tattoo like patches on her eyes to Lobo shows up on the small communications device, "Enough, I have no use for You or this Vance, you're out of your galaxy. Turn back or we'll be doing the blasting." Two ships break off, escorts to her it seems like. Sensors indicate their weapons are loading up.

Courtney is pretty sure that Vance couldn't be talking to her like that and her attention turns back to her magazine as if no words were spoken in her direction. The threat though is enough to pull her attention back "Maybe sneaky was a better option.

Vance says, "Tell her that we're here to trade information. We know where her boyfriend Lobo is and in exchange, we want to know about Lady Martuk." He's going out on a limb in regards to the boyfriend thing. She may be his daughter for all he knows.

Jack relays, "We know where your," he begins. "Shut it worm, I can hear your friend in the back there, he's not being very sneaky," counters Astrid. Jack says, "She can totally hear you." "Silence," says Astrid again, "Chummer ain't my ride or die Guardians, I don't need you going for Martuk, she'll know I caved." Or told them.

"Fire," she says, and the two smaller ships begin to fire. They are not the same class of ship as the ones the Guardians are using, but her ship pulls away as they engage, as if she is using them for a distraction.

If a ship v. ship fire fight there isn't much Stargirl can do. The guys are at the controls so she just braces herself for the crazy flying that is about to happen.

"Talk about rude." notes Vance as he dodges blaster fire and returns fire of his own. "Lady, you just took the wrong path. Jack, cut the coms and track that ship. She's going down."

As Vance engages the others, both to avoid fire and stop them from being menaces, Jack nods and starts to work the controls. Easily killing the comsys, he does take a moment on the tracking as Astrid is trying to be elusive. The little ships take some fire and light damage before taking evasive maneuvers. The Guardians seem to have the upper hand. Though, Jack calls out, "Got her, she's trying to line up a quick jump … readings on the little guys, they're readying ventalation tubes, they might be preparing to board us …." as if suggesting Vance keep away until he can blast them out of space.

Vance hits the afterburners and says, "Target her hyperdrive. We'll stop her first and then deal with the other goons second." Vance pilots the craft more toward Astrid than anything else. With the intent of giving Jack a clear shot.

While the two guys have been discussing tactics and doing evasive manuevers Stargirl has slipped to the airlock and left the ship all together, without so much as a "Hey guys I'm going to pew-pew those ships out there." Nope not a single WORD. Out the windsheild, or whatever it's called she can be seen, forcefield around her and staff in hand as it fires energy beams at the ventalation tubes that the two ships are trying to deploy. Did she mention she could survive in space without a suit? She's full of surprises.

"Gotcha," responds Jack to Vance, focusing on the guns and shooting for Astrid's ship. Even as he's shooting and eventually lining it up to start damaging her hyperdrive, he notices the floating figure of Stargirl, "What the?! For real?!" As if that made her cooler than before even. Communiations off, but even as Astrid is lining up for jumping, there is a pause from the ship, then it starts to move again, maybe realizing their hyperdrive is off. One of the escort ships of hers turns to fire at Stargirl, maybe earning her attention rather than actually getting her.

"What the crap?" Vance asks as he quickly indicates Stargirl's initiative and actions. But he pays only a second of attention her way as he focuses on closing on Astrid's ship, which is crippled by Jack's superior blaster skills.

Vance says, "We're closing now. Prepare to board her ship."

Yeah she's taking on two alien spaceships by herself. Can Stargirl's forcefield handle it? To a certain degree sure, but the best part about space is no air friction or gravity to fight to her maunverability is that much greater. She has no clue what the guys are up too, they really need to get some kind of comm-devices or something. She's doing her job though, keeping the two smaller ships occupied while Vance and Jack deal with the bigger one. Pew-Pew-Pew, goes her staff as she fires more energy blasts at the ships, doing superficial damage to them…for now.

The ships are meant for ship to ship contact, not against a highly manuevarable Stargirl and her beams. They try to turn at her, but instead simply circle at best presenting good targets. Even with superficial damage, a little more could easily take one if she pushes her damage potential.

"On it boss," says Jack to Vance, being in the zone. Letting him do the piloting, he prepares grapple/tacking devices (beams) and readies their own ventilation tube. "I can get you a hole in her side," and he opens up a steady series of blasts until the opening presents itself. She is trying to turn and fire back, but Vance is the better pilot.

With the hole in the side, Vance states, "Now focus on the engines. Put them out of their misery and set her adrift. Let's take her down before Stargirl gets caught up in over her head."

If Stargirl could have heard that she would be insulted…so insulted, but she didn't so Vance is safe from her wraith. She flies around, strafing this ship and shooting at that one. Having watched enough sci-fi shows she pulls the make them shoot each other manuever by drawing the fire of one as she flies between them.

It actually works, strifing each other, but not as cool as the movies. One ship gets a limp, listing and trying to correct back towards the floating space port. The other gets lucky and is only grazed, but still too big to fire directly on Stargirl.

Jack isn't insulted, but speaks up, "Dude, she could probably kick our butts," circumstance situation dependent of course. He focuses on the engines now, to cripple the ship so they can begin to close. Its not long before Astrid is immobile in the sky.

"And look incredibly hot doing so. Didja catch that top she was wearing earlier? Bazinga." notes Vance as he does a power slide with the ship to regard the space battle Stargirl is in and give Jack a line of fire if he needs.

With one of the ships to damaged to fight on and the other on not going for the challenge Stargirl represents, she flies back to the Guardians ship and out of view of the battle. The hissing of the airlock pressurizing et al is heard shortly before she is once more back in the ship and taking her seat in the back. "Your welcome.


Jack focuses on stopping Astrid then getting boarding tech ready. "Thanks … again!" Says Jack while he tries to focus. "A little closer Vance, our lines won't reach quite that far." To help Vance get good adjustment to they can get in that hole.

As this seems inevitable, the blinking of the comsys goes off, she is probably trying to hail them it would seem.

"Vance will click the button while manuevering closer. "What is it, Astrid? Do you surrender now?" He shifts the stick to the left a bit more, engages a docking thruster and will put the connector right on target.

"Wouldn't boarding them be easier with teleporters and Star Trek tech?" Stargirl asks as she watches the procedures carefully. She's gotten out of her seat and leans forward to look at the read outs and what not that go across the control panels.

"Totally better, whip us up some of that stuff, I want it," grins Jack looking at where Courtney is out of her seat and looking at the read outs.

Coming onto the screen, Astrid considers that, "Sure, you have me Major, I'll tell you what you want, we part company here before you board me."

It's takes biting her lip to keep Stargirl from making comments about the woman's appearence as her image comes up..that hair. Letting Vance do the talking she keeps quiet so as not to blow anything.

"And how do I know you're going to tell us the truth if I don't board you?" - which is straight out of some 70s spoof porn and Vance realizes it as he smirks.

Jack remains quiet, not snickering either. "You think boarding me will loosen my lips?" She blinks. Then sighs, "Fine, have your way, come aboard. I'll tell you what I know of Lady Martuk and what she wants." Even though there is a hole in her ship and all, she opens her air lock if they want to use that more proper like even. Jack shrugs, "That was easy," not realizing the comsys is still up as he stands to go back for this boarding party stuff.

Vance will also be all about the boarding party stuff and he'll want to be in front. He is of course a major and an astronaut (which are rock stars of his time)>

Having nothing to contribute Stargirl goes back to the airlock or whereever the boarding tunnel is to watch and make sure that none of Astrid's men are trying to sneak attack.

The men luckily do not sneak (lucky for them with Stargirl keeping an eye out). They enter, conversation is had. More bad banter between Vance and Astrid, lots of allusions it would seem. The truth is revealed. Skrull's want to launch a blitzkrieg on the Milky Way before the systems there could unite against them or Alert the Nova Corps. There is something on earth that would help the fleet have instant teleportation between the galaxies, better than hyper drive. One big reason she is after the guardians, especially the ones tied to earth, is that she doesn't want the Guardians stopping spies they sent to find the item already, who are actualy digging at ancient earth sites as 'archeologists' in the hopes of finding the artifact she is after.

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