Topic: Docking Ring - Deck 4

This ring holds universal docking and coupling facilities for most small to mid range freighters. The central section of the ring holds ship repair and maintenance services. The Dockmaster's office is here to process new arrivals.

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

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The Devils Double, an Illiad-class cruiser, cruised towards the Greenleaf Skyplex. It's normal complimentary craft of dual Cutters was conspicuously absent.

On board, Jane scowled as she sat in her office, pouring over the massive monetary loss of the last job. At least she had the fool man's credits in advance. That would offset the cost of one of her interceptors, but the second would have to come out of this month's profits. The real blow would be the loss of personnel - she had lost at least a dozen employees in this venture.

She had gone over the events several times. The only way the Odyssey crew could have tracked them was if one of her captives had some kind of tracking device they hadn't been able to detect. She'd have a few words with the VP of Research and Engineering, apparently their scanning device still had a few bugs to work out.

The comm device on her desk chimed: "We are docking with Greenleaf, ma'am."

"I'm on my way," she responded, closing the files and transferring them to her cortex device. She couldn't wait to get to her apartment and open a bottle of wine. As she made her way to the bridge, the communications officer contacted the Skyplex.

="Devils Double to Greenleaf Control, requesting docking access in our usual slip."=

~Jane~

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

A man's voice crackled through the com system. =Copy that Devil's Double, Skyplex has you on their grid. You are cleared to Dock at Slip 12 as usual. Please check in all new arrivals with your vessels. Welcome home.=

-Skyplex Dockmaster's Office

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

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Jane scowled as she entered the bridge. She no longer had 'vessels', nor were there any new arrivals - she'd lost so much.

It only took a few moments to get the Devils Double securely docked. She put on her friendliest business face and stated, "You all know the drill. Keep your comm devices on and nearby, you never know when we'll be going back out. For now, enjoy the shore leave."

Having dismissed the crew, she exited the bridge and stepped out onto the Skyplex. It served as a sort of second home to her, when she wasn't on the Devils Double she could almost always be found here.

She nodded to familiar faces on Deck 4 as she headed for her apartment. She was keeping up appearances, but in her gut she knew the next few days would be even more hellish than what had just happened. How was she going to explain this kind of loss without losing her job?

~Jane~

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

<---- timeline cut ----->

-Diwu Alistair-

Stepping off his transport, Alistair was immediately struck by how cramped the Skyplex seemed in comparison to the stream of humanity steadily emptying the spaceship on its passengers. That, and the fist which impacted with a distressingly meaty thunk in his side, knocking the air out of him.

He should have been expecting it, of course, considering his day thus far, but he couldn't help feeling a little bit hurt. The crowd hoppers' favorite strategy was usually targeting the weakest-looking of the herd, counting on all the confusion of moving hundreds of people from one cramped space to another to hide it from Security. One might've thought getting access to the crowd to begin with would be a problem, but this was the Greenleaf Skyplex after all. Law was a tricky concept and even criminals had quotas to fill.
Which brought him back to the situation at hand.

"Uurrrgh," he managed smoothly, his dignity in no way diminished by the way he tried to camouflage himself as a man curled up on the floor, only being kept up by two of the hoppers holding his arms and walking him in pace with the crowd.
"Welcome to the Skyplex. Have you been here before?" the man to his left asked him conversationally. He started patting the pockets of Alistair's coat methodically but, Alistair noticed with some admiration, very discreetly.
"No. Been here. Though. Before. Left pocket. Standard fee." he gasped. He still hadn't managed to get a good look on the man's face, though he was quite tall and his grip was almost crushing Alistair's arm without any obvious effort. His friendly robber grunted in satisfaction as he drew out a slim parcel and slid it into his own jacket.
"Oh! Terribly sorry we did this the hard way then, but you know how the new ones act. It's always a lot of screaming and horrible, horrible accusations that, honestly, can be quite hurtful. Pleasure doing business with you. See you around then. And next time, try to be a bit thoughtful and give us the bloody signal, why don't you? I think I scrubbed my knuckles. Really..."

With that, they were gone as quickly as they had appeared, leaving Alistair wheezing and jostled every which way by the still-oblivious crowd.
"Would've helped if you'd told me there was a signal..." he muttered after them, trying to note which ones had grabbed him. He straightened up a bit and started towards the Dock Master's office.
From here on the day literally cannot get worse, so there's that, right?
Right.



OOC note: Feel free to direct and control my character as much as you need to in the following conversation - I'd rather it flowed naturally than have you wait for me to say obvious stuff like "hi" or nod or whatever.

Last edited by Michael Aker (2012-03-08 13:32:47)

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

The overhead signs pointed clearly to the inditification registration booths spread across the cooridor, as well as the Dock masters office off to the side. Quite the que had built of of passengers clearing customs. Mercifully, the Dockmasters Office appeared to to have immediate queue.  It was a clean orderly office, but at the moment contained only one woman and a distinct appearance of the other staff having left rapidly.

The woman was dressed in a professional dark blue pantsuit, short dark bob hair cut and a thin Asian body type. She was working quickly on her Cortex unit when she saw Alistair enter. Seeing him as a clear man of means, she quickly wrapped up what she was doinod and approached the reception counter. Her name tag was imprinted with the name Shiela.

"Welcome to Greenleaf Skyplex, how may I help you today?"

-DemiGM

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

-Diwu Alistair-

Alistair entered the deserted office feeling more resigned than anything else, making sure his gloves were intact as he walked. He had been here before, too, seen the fearful looks from local bureaucrats as they moved past him in the corridors, heard the constant, pandering excuses, received the same vague promises about a meeting next week due to unforeseen workloads, often on behalf of the Alliance and invariably very important. Some things never changed, not even when it came to the tiresome assassination attempts he had almost grown to welcome.

Well, except for the one memorable occasion where the whole thing had been a setup from Upstairs, although he was not sure he could count that - that had hardly been the local magistrate's responsibility. In fact, the local magistrate had been the one to ensure his survival with the opportune arrival of less-corrupted... well, differently corrupted Security. The resulting reorganisation had not proved nearly as satisfying as he'd expected it to be. But then again, what ever was?
At least this time they left the mercs at home. Poison in the drink? Contact diseases? A needle prick, 'oh how clumsy of me and incidentally, why don't you sit down there and die a bit more discreetly than you arrived, and please ask your colleagues never to bother us ever again?' No, my dear, it'll take a bit more than that to stop us. We are the modern-day vampires of myth, the ghosts you did not think exist, the evil spirits fresh out of our prison; you invited us into your home once, and now you cannot get rid of us again. Never.
He was angry now, angry at the world, at what he was about to do, at the sheer heartless practicality of it and at how little he could make himself care. Mostly, he was angry at himself.
And so the circle goes on...
"I am here to speak with the Dockmaster. Tell him it's on Alliance business of the kind that cannot and will not wait, and I think you'll have no problem finding him. I'm sure he's a very talented man and he's in great demand these days or has personally authorised this discussion to be held with your most senior employee, but he does not have a choice in the matter. I am the assigned auditor" Cry 'havoc'! And let slip the titles of authority "to this Skyplex, expressly authorized by the Alliance to change any aspect of your business I deem necessary to get results, and believe me, I mean any aspect, including personnel. Make that abundantly clear for whoever is in charge. Do you understand?"
His eyelid did not even twitch.
Truth or not, if that doesn't get me the results I want I'm the bloody monarch of Londinium.
It still bothered him how little he cared about having delivered what would probably amount to a death sentence over the woman's career. Shooting the messenger might never have changed anything except the number of messengers in the world, but he if anyone knew that had never mattered in the least. It was the action, not the consequences, that mattered.

And so the circle goes on, and I prove to yet another one how little mercy the machine is capable of. Too bad, girlie. It's not your fault you got stuck here trying to deflect me, though that will hardly stop them from blaming you, will it? It doesn't matter now how guiltless you are - you are placed in my way and the wheels of progress do not stop for anyone. They crush what does not fold beneath them, and I doubt you will fold so easily. You are a career woman through and through, and you know as well as I do what will happen to you when you do. It might not be fair, but life rarely is. You will know that as well as I do. Very soon, now. Very soon.

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

Shiela tried to look impressed, but she'd heard way too many people come to her desk claiming to be more than they were.

"What was your name again?" she asked, looking up the appointment schedule.

~Other GM~

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

-Diwu Alistair-

Alistair blinked, temporarily stunned. Long live the king! She had not so much as batted an eyelid. He had pulled out all stops, threatened, gone over her head, even tried to appeal and all he got in return was... indifference! He was outraged, all earlier pangs of conscience temporarily drowned in the excitement of feeling slighted. Did she not know who he was? Did she not understand what he was capable of? She would be sorry for this, oh yes. Shiela, eh? Well, I think we shall soon find out which one of us recommends promotions. You will come to rue this day, I swear it.
Still trembling with indignation, he realized he still hadn't given her any name, had in fact not given any name at all and deflated a little bit, defeated by the system yet again.
"Diwu Alistair," he managed weakly. He sighed and lowered his head in resignation. "The Dockmaster should be expecting me by now. I don't want to keep him waiting."
I will have my revenge, Shiela. You'll see just yet.

Last edited by Michael Aker (2012-03-09 02:28:57)

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

Shiela checked the schedule. A Mr. Alistair was down for a 4:30pm appointment. She looked at him squarely sizing him up. Neither unpleasant nor attractive, a good build, but not athletic, appeared many years older than he likely was, well manicured fingernails, and clothing that was far too expensive and impractical for traveling to a Rim depot. Yeah, probably a beuaracrat. Cry as he might, she had the backing of proceedure and system management to blunt anything he could throw her way.

"May I see your IDent card please." She said, sticking her hand our to recieve the demanded document.

-DemiGM

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

OOC: **applause for both of you**

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

-Diwu Alistair-

The bureaucracy is strong in this one.
Alistair wanted to protest, to intimidate, to wipe that faint smirk off her face but in the end he presented his card without a word to accompany it. What was the point? He realized, too late, his error in trying to scare her: he had assumed he was something to be afraid of. Forgot. I forgot myself again. That's not me. This is. He could wave around his title as much as he pleased, but at the end of the day some administrations simply were untouchable. From what he'd heard he certainly hadn't thought the Greenleaf Skyplex to be one of them, but there was something here that was not as it should be.
Be sure your accounting errors will find you out, Shiela. And perhaps, just perhaps, some of them might be for the shiny car and wealthy lifestyle you know nothing of at this moment... who ever said corruption can't go both ways?

Last edited by Michael Aker (2012-03-10 11:17:09)

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

Michael Aker wrote:

OOC note: Feel free to direct and control my character as much as you need to in the following conversation - I'd rather it flowed naturally than have you wait for me to say obvious stuff like "hi" or nod or whatever.

OOC: I meant to mention regarding this, if you find the pace frustrating (I know I did when I first joined text-based online roleplay) where you're waiting around for days for someone to reply to you, it's well worth getting involved in the community OOC (kudos for posting in Management, well done) and in generating multiple characters.

One thing I know some people from a creative-writing background as opposed to roleplay background sometimes like to do when they generate multiple characters is interweave their backgrounds and current plots, so posting as each of them is essentially telling the same story from different standpoints or scenes, so playing multiple characters needn't reduce your engagement with your character's story - each character will be developing it in their own thread, in their own way.

Probably best to have characters in multiple sims, though, to widen the number of people you're 'reliant' on for replies. Unless you like posting to yourself, one character to your other, in the same thread. I do! I don't know if that makes me really self-involved. :-)

Ash

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

Michael Aker wrote:

-Diwu Alistair-

The bureaucracy is strong in this one.
Alistair wanted to protest, to intimidate, to wipe that faint smirk off her face but in the end he presented his card without a word to accompany it. What was the point? He realized, too late, his error in trying to scare her: he had assumed he was something to be afraid of. Forgot. I forgot myself again. That's not me. This is. He could wave around his title as much as he pleased, but at the end of the day some administrations simply were untouchable. From what he'd heard he certainly hadn't thought the Greenleaf Skyplex to be one of them, but there was something here that was not as it should be.
Be sure your accounting errors will find you out, Shiela. And perhaps, just perhaps, some of them might be for the shiny car and wealthy lifestyle you know nothing of at this moment... who ever said corruption can't go both ways?

Shiela swiped the IDent Card in the reader behind the counter. It immediately brought up the whistles and bells associated with the Alliance. While she never fought directly in the war, several of her brothers had joined the Independent movement. The Alliance had not been kind to her family as a result. She was fortunate to even be hired in a staff position like this. The Administrator had a soft spot in her heart for women in trouble and had hired her anyways. Now some Alliance lackey was coming here to stir things up. So be it.

She switched to the scheduling screen again. And handed Alister his IDent Card back without any special acknowledgement. "Mr. Alister, you have an appointment with Administrator Wilson at 4:30. You are welcome to wait here. Or if you have a cortex unit you are welcome to enjoy the hospitality of the station until that time. If an earlier opportunity arises, I will inform you immediately upon Administrator Wilson's return."

She typed directly to Scarlett's Cortex, without changing facial expressions. =Alliance Administrator Alister has arrived early. He is being an ass.=

-DemiGM

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

-Diwu Alistair-

Alistair simply nodded, not trusting his voice enough to test it against her unyielding stolidity. I am the wave that ventured too far and broke upon the rocks above. Retreat while you can, little one, and nurse what authority you have left.
Heh. In a way, I guess I should be grateful to the harpy after all - now, at least, I know just how formidable protectors this station must have. What dark secrets must they not keep to presume this much? And, more importantly, on whom? It unnerves me that even the receptionist holds so much confidence in her Alliance ties...

He turned away without another word, found a chair and threw himself into it in a manner that another - a very petty and unpleasant fellow, Alistair reckoned - would've described as "sulky".
He withdrew his Cortex unit and let the frustrations of the day melt away as he started logging in. He had work to do.

I must tread lightly here from now on. And that suits me well, doesn't it? I am but a lowly auditor in the end, always jumping on my masters' commands. Yes, I should be grateful indeed - I must be reminded until I can stop forgetting, or else there will be a new external auditor on this station before long.  But before that... I must know just how the little detail of the whole station being somebody's bloody fiefdom could have passed us by. This changes things. This changes a lot of things. 'All the best-laid plans...' isn't that right? Well, don't worry. I have the feeling I'll have plenty of practice on that front shortly... and as soon as I can get a hold of him, the means to enact them, too. Yes. I wouldn't worry on that front.
He even managed a smile at that thought. It was not a particularly pleasant smile.
Not for my own sake, at least.

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

Shiela watched the light blink from Scarlett's acknowlegement of her message. She couldn't believe the guy was going to sit there the whole time. She turned her back to him for a moment wondering what to do next. He was processed, the appointment was acknowledged and she had given him instructions.... what now? Part of her said go back to what you were doing, but he was just sitting there.

After some moments she turned back to him. "Mr. Alister, the Administrator is aware you are here. May I get you some tea?"

-DemiGM

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

-Diwu Alistair-

Scenario one. Poison in the tea.
Alistair looked up from his cortex at a complete loss, torn from that all too different world to handle the transition smoothly. The old words started up in his head again semi-automatically, more by rote than anything else by now. 
Scenario two. Contact poison on the cup.
"I, uh..."
Scenario three. Poisoned needle in her hand.
What the hell should I do?
Scenario four. Physical assault initiated with boiling beverage.
I would be a fool to give her the barest excuse, wouldn't I?
Scenario five. Armed assault while target is distracted by the beverage.
Only a fool would even entertain the thought. But if they wanted me dead, why do it this way? Why not simply gun me down in the corridors?
Counterscenario one. Do not accept.
Unless their grip on the station is more tenuous than previously thought.
Counterscenario two. Do not accept.
Or they want me alive. Maybe it's paralysing.
Counterscenario three. Do not accept.
Maybe they are so certain in their Great Protector that they see no need to kill me.
Counterscenario four. Do not accept, or, failing that, attack by surprise.
It is very plausible another actor is trying to get rid of me. One can hardly throw a stone without hitting one of their lackeys nowadays. Successfully identifying one of their agents would be worth something, wouldn't it? And a cup of heavenly tea..
Counterscenario five. Do not accept and extract yourself from the scene immediately.
Maybe I'm just trying to find excuses for drinking tea.
I would be a bloody fool to say yes. Do I really value a cup of tea over my own life?

He tried to smile pleasantly at her.
"Thank you, Shiela, that would be delightful."

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

She turned without saying anything. So he drinks tea...

She went over to the coffee and beverage counter on the side of the office. They had a wide selection of herbal teas. God what kind. She grabbed some Green, Earl Grey and Peach. She would give him a choice. She set a small handful of creamer cups and sugar packets on a saucer and filled the cup with hot water. After a couple minutes she returned.

"Mr. Alister. You may have your choice of tea. If there is something else you would like, I can see if we have it." She handed him the teacup and saucer.

-Shiela

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

(OOC: Help! How do Brits say no to tea accessories politely? And does one steep tea bags?)

-Diwu Alistair-

Alistair hesitated for a moment before gingerly taking the saucer and teacup from her, making sure not to press down too tightly where he was holding. Being careful never costs anything. Except for the pleasure of hot tea, I suppose, but we all make our sacrifices, don't we? But how soothing the power of routines can be! I have not even touched the tea and I feel better already. And is that the slight tinge of civility I taste?

"Thank you, miss Shiela, but I'm really just fine."

So it is. Perhaps I should start with that one next time. It might have convinced them to bring out the good tea.

He studied the tea bags somewhat disdainfully, chose the Green tea with a slight grimace and started the same old ritual he had acquired throughout the years. It was a very simple ritual - it began with surreptitiously sniffing the water, moved on to drawing a finger around the tea cup, wound down by starting to check the tea bag for small holes and rapidly giving up, and finished with him feeling defiantly resigned to his fate.
By damnation, if I let mere fear of death come between me and my tea I might as well be dead already. Come gunfire or poisoned water, I shall not be denied.

Just as he decided the tea had steeped long enough to be drinkable, his Cortex unit gave off a little squeak that had him all but jumping off the chair.
No. I shall not be denied!
Annoyed, Alistair reached out for the cup of tea again, but by now another squeak had followed the first one, then another, then another, and he realized, with a sudden, sinking feeling, that it was doing so in the burst code of Emergency:Empire.
Oh no. No no no no no...
He reached for his Cortex unit with uncommon alacrity, fumbled his grip, almost dropping it with his shaking hands, then finally managed to hold it still long enough to read, all the while dreading what was to come.
Beside him, his tea stood cooling, untouched.

Last edited by Michael Aker (2012-03-19 23:22:23)

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

(-Cortex unit of Diwu Alistair-

There were two messages on the Cortex unit. The first one had been sent to him some time prior without him noticing. It had been indifferently encrypted and read

14-5-23 4-5-20-1-3-8-13-5-14-20 9-14-6-15 16-8-1-14-20-1-19-13 23-8-5-14 13-5-5-20?

The second message was the one that Alistair had heard signalled. It was hardly any better protected and was all the more chilling because of what that lapse meant. It was arranged in rudimentary dots and dashes and simply read:

---. - ... . --. -. --- .-. - ... / . .... - / --- -

)

Last edited by Michael Aker (2012-03-20 20:32:01)

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

OOC: *runs to Robert* Help? PM?

Ash

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

OOC: The question and exclamation marks are there only to help you with the sentence structure. They're not something I've encrypted.

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

OOC: Sorry for the long delay everyone. Moving took a bit longer than anticipated and I'm way behind on regular work now. But we are fianlly all in the new house. Of course we are living in a sea of boxes now.

IC: Sheila withdrew back behind the desk watching as the odd little man carried on some argument in his head that she had no concept about. She considered asking if her needed help, but then considered if she really wanted to help him. She rolled her eyes as she went back to completing Form 230 on the arrivals screen, cursing the Verse for besetting her with a beuracrat. Hopefully Scarlett or Maya would be back soon to take care of him.

-Shiela NPC

Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

OOC: No problem. The morse code message read "To the strongest!" which is allegedly what the dying Alexander the Great told his generals when asked to whom he bequeathed his kingdom. It might prove relevant. Then again, it might not.

-Diwu Alistair-

Alistair stood absolutely still as he waited for the end of the world to catch up with him.  What is this I read? What is this I see? Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it... my world is dead and ashes, and I with it. What can remain for me now?
It should've concerned him he couldn't make himself care enough to answer the question. It didn't. Nothing did anymore.
And then a small voice he recognized as his own spoke up, and though it chilled him to hear the tone of madness in it, he listened.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?
Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only   
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,   
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,   
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only    
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),    
And I will show you something different from either    
Your shadow at morning striding behind you    
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;    
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

He stood considering that for a moment.
Eliot, is it? Now I understand better what he was talking about. I would, however, be amiss in not calling into question the usefulness of ancient dead wordwranglers to my current position, unless they're prepared to miraculously resurrect and elect me zombie poet-king of the universe. Actually, considering my alternatives, that's the best I can hope for right now...
Still, hearing the poem yet again made him feel a little better, and a semblance of his former resolve started to return.
I am not helped by wallowing in self-pity. Let's move on from my impending insanity for a little bit and consider the situation.
He did so.
No hope. There is no hope at all. Barring the zombie army, that is. Wonder if there are necromancers for hire on the station?
And the little voice spoke up yet again.
So farewell, hope; and with hope farewell, fear; if not victory within thy grasp then with vengeance be content. For that purpose, who better sent?
That cheered him up considerably. After a minute, the thought was even able to bring a bitter little smile to his lips.
Yes. It doesn't need to be about victory, after all. There's no chance for that. But making sure the bastards pay a heavy price? I can do that. None better for it. I think I already know where to start...
He raised his Cortex unit and dashed away four numbers to his first correspondent, the smile still intact.
=11:43=

Lazarus, come forth.


-> Split to Quentin, Deck 5: The Golden Paradise Casino.

OOC: 11:43 is a reference to the Bible verse in the Gospel According to John of the same number. It concerns itself with the resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus and in KJV simply reads: " And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth." This won't be the longest set-up ever to a zombie joke, I promise.

Last edited by Michael Aker (2012-03-28 17:35:56)

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Re: Docking Ring - Deck 4

OOC: Meaning, you have an even longer setup in your back pocket?  lol

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