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Nikki Harlow

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Nikki Harlow last won the day on February 2

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  1. I looked around the club, and let my guard down just a bit. Neur0hack!, or at least the first floor of it, was designed as one cavernous space with no barriers or alcoves for the unscrupulous to hide behind. In addition to the bouncers at the front door, I spotted another at the bar, and a few more mixed in with the crowd. The bar even had those cups with the printed lines that changed color if something had been slipped into your drink. The proprietors of this place seemed to be fully aware that they were in pirate territory, and taking reasonable precautions to make sure none of their patron
  2. I got off the gross-smelling elevator on the twelfth floor, and was greeted by a five-way intersection of hallways. The three on the right side of the elevator vestibule had the same green fish-scale patterned wallpaper and chaotically patterned carpet I’d seen in one of the hallways leading away from the lobby. One of those halls went around a sharp corner as though it went behind the elevator, one went straight out to the right, and one went straight ahead. Then there was a stretch of blank wall of about the width of a smallish room, a strange abstract pillar set against the wall as though i
  3. “I guess that explains how you recovered so quick after I shot you,” I said as we left the paddock and walked into “town”. “You… what?” Gretchen said uneasily. There was no reassuring way to answer that question. “During the boarding, I thought he was a pirate,” I said. “He’d somehow walked right up to Colleen, and he looked like he was reaching for a gun, so…” “Yeah, it… happens,” Nathan added. “Though I guess I’d feel differently if I weren’t so durable.” “It really worked out as well as it possibly could have,” I said. “It’s been great having
  4. "What'd you find?" I asked. "It's a scavenger 'treasure' map,” Nathan said. “It's either a map to, like, free stuff.....or maybe hookers. I don't know. Should we follow it?" “That could be interesting,” Gretchen said, “as long as it doesn’t turn out to be, um, that last thing you said.” “Yeah, you might be on your own in that case,” I joked. “Where does it say we should go?” “Right now it’s pointed straight ahead… probably. I think. The UI is kind of weird.” “Well, that’s convenient.” I gazed down the trail ahead, which cut straight through the cen
  5. “Escape the Wilderness” Ozymandias Station Vega System, Draconis Combine May 30, 3029 ____________________________________ "OK then. How do I make it go?" Nathan asked. The donkey alternated between stomping her feet and kicking at the air behind her, then suddenly snapped her head down to try to graze on one of the few tufts of grass left in the paddock. An extra rein that ran between her bridle and saddle prevented her from reaching all the way down, and she brayed in frustration. Nathan looked startled. "I think this one might not like me." “She’s testing y
  6. “Escape the Wilderness” Ozymandias Station Vega System, Draconis Combine May 30, 3029 ____________________________________ Nathan, Gretchen and I stepped through the door of the lift and onto an old-fashioned train platform. Dust, dirt and prairie grass stretched far into the distance to either side of us, literally rising up to meet the horizon. A warm breeze carried the scents of fresh hay, horses and pine trees, or perhaps pine air freshener. In spite of the apparent wind, the sparse clouds were completely motionless against the sky, which itself was painted a slightly
  7. “Hold on a minute,” I said just loud enough to be heard over the metallic clanging sounds that were coming from the sumo ring, for some reason. “Shouldn’t you all think this through in the morning - without the sake - before committing to a heist of an entire dropship?” “It’s unconventional, but this seems a lot safer than trying to pass through Malice’s neighborhood without any inside information,” Maxwell said. “And, this is a volunteer operation; you don’t need to get involved.” “Sure, but if this thing goes south, it’s going to put the non-participants in a difficul
  8. I turned over my pistol at the security checkpoint and passed through the metal detector without incident. Steve proudly declared “ladies first” before taking his turn, which Gretchen seemed to get a laugh out of. Then she stepped up to the counter. “This is all I’ve got,” Gretchen said, and took a multi-tool from her pocket and set it on the counter. The dockmaster gave her a blank look. “It has a knife in it.” “Sure, that’s all,” the dockmaster said. Please step through the metal detector.” Gretchen did, and it didn’t go off. Then she returned to the count
  9. I arrived in the shuttle bay early, but Gretchen was already there, working on something underneath the landing craft. "Something wrong?" "No, just looking everything over before we go. I wanted to make sure the repair to the landing gear is holding up." Gretchen wheeled herself out from under the engine and sat up on the creeper she'd been laying on. Instead of her usual jumpsuit she was wearing one of the plain, long-sleeved dresses she'd made. "I take it you're coming along to the station?" I asked. Gretchen folded up the creeper and carried it over to a locker in the
  10. We undocked from the jump ship immediately after arriving in the Vega system and headed toward the rendezvous point. I piloted, since Bessie’s autopilot wasn’t entirely trustworthy yet, while Gretchen kept an eye on the charts. Our client organizations’ senior staff occupied the rest of the seats on the bridge. “Hey, it looks like someone’s calling us!” Steve exclaimed. He was our go-to guy for ship-to-ship communications lately because of his Kuritan language skills. “Should I put them on speaker?” “Go ahead,” I said. Polka music blared over the bridge’s main speakers, with tub
  11. As soon as Nathan left, Alyssa stepped in to take his place in the conversation. “Hey, Nikki - everything alright? You seem to be in high demand today.” I smiled, and tried not to look stressed. “It’s fine, just a lot of bits and pieces that needed fixing - but I guess that’s expected after a barn-sized EMP grenade gets detonated on a dropship. Speaking of which, what are all these pirates doing back here?” “Hey, don’t talk about my boyfriend that way,” Alyssa said, grinning. “Who’s the new brass?” I asked in a quieter voice, nodding in the general direction of the woman wearing
  12. Music I noticed that Nikki ends up talking about music with other characters sometimes, so I made up some albums that might exist in the 3020s. These are all things she might have in the truck or on Bessie. Top Brass / Backhoe Heroes, Blaze of Gory - third wave revival Ska by a group of retired veterans, who were far from being "top brass" in their previous careers. Unlike most Ska music of the 3020s, "third wave revival" is slow enough that lyrics are discernable, and only one band member sings at a time while the others play brass instruments, drums or guitar. Rather than e
  13. Date: 12 March 3029 To: Schmidt, Nathan (nhschmidt@u.mail) From: Harlow, Nikki (nharlow.hurryupbessie@bizmail.mail) Subject: Congratulations Mr. Schmidt, Congratulations, you got the job. Should you choose to accept, your job title will be Engineer and your salary will be 1,300 C-bills per month, beginning on March 14 3029. You’ll be assigned a single-occupancy berth and a large storage locker on Hurry Up Bessie, both available immediately upon hire. Hurry Up Bessie Shipping and Freight has a medical fund to cover a portion of empl
  14. “I can even do the survey for free as a working interview,” Nathan said. “EMP tends to be a localized effect, so I'm pretty sure I can have that done in a day. I just need to isolate where Steve was when he pulled the pin and that'll give me a triangulation on where the survey needs to happen. And then from there, if you want to take a chance on me, I can start the repairs." “I’d really appreciate that,” I said, “but I need to be honest with you - your technical skills aren’t the only factor here. I’ve hired folks with warrants before, but they were just avoiding cops in one or two system
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