RP Light of a Foreign Star


Staff member
The captain didn’t have the look of a cultist. He had all the appropriate trappings, the appropriate odd bobbles and grave stare of someone well within the knowledge of the things that lingered heavy, but it was in the feel of him that gave Lua pause. There was a weight to being outside the mundane, a certain air or spark of knowing behind their eyes. There was so much more for a person to know once held by the esoteric, and that gravity was hard to hide. The captain had that to him, hard not to given the look of his ship, but the essence of it, the feeling of it was missing. Maybe it was something in his eyes, something that wasn’t there that should be, or in his step, or how he twitched.

Perhaps he was a proper cultist, like how his ship was a proper ship, but Lua had her doubts.

Cold Harbor was a medium sized transport, though she hadn’t the foggiest about what model of ship hid under the layer of bone and symbol. In all honesty, Lua very much doubted she’d be able to tell even if the morbid decorations were removed, she never was much one for ships. So long as they kept the vacuum out and stopped the ghosts from getting into her head, one ship was as good as another. Lua didn’t know what the runes meant exactly, drawn with pitch tar so thick she could see the brushstrokes from when it had been smeared on. The bones were human, probably, Lua didn’t really know her bones, and the shapes they made reminded her of eyes.

The line of passengers wasn’t long, and it moved forward at a decent shuffle of feet and luggage. No one seemed too taken aback by the state of the ship, but wasn’t that just how cheap tickets were? There were all manner of slights a person would endure so long as it was affordable, and Cold Harbor didn’t demand a high price. The crewman taking their tickets felt more proper to her, or was something in the eyes, like when you have a secret and you’re really bad at keeping it. There wasn’t much to the boarding process, handing over a ticket and giving a name for the manifest. If that name matched the person giving it, well, it wasn’t like they were checking IDs.

Cheap flights had their perks.

The crewmate didn’t speak much when it was her turn to hand her ticket over, he just asked for her name and she gave it. The captain gave her a nod as she ascended the gangway.

Welcome aboard.” He said. “Common area and passenger bunk are up the stairs to your left. Feel free to leave your bags there and we’ll bring them up for you.

Thank you.” Lua responded with a small dip of her head before she stepped into the ship. It smelled of incense which lingered on the nose just above that tinge of machine processed air. There was something else mixed in that she couldn’t quite place, metallic, and not quite unlike the taste of spring water from deep in the earth, but the smell didn’t follow after her as she made her way down the cramped corridor. There was a hum as energy made its way through the veins and capillaries of the ship, and a gentle rumble of engines going through flight checks.

The stairway at the end of the corridor was claustrophobic, and some luggage that looked like it hadn’t a hope of fitting had been left neatly by a door marked ‘off limits’ that blocked further progress along the first floor. Lua, driven along by confidence and a small traveling bag, held it up to her chest before she stooped her way up the staircase. The second floor was… open for a space transport, which was to say that it was cramped but you could see across the room. A young mother and her daughter sat in a pair of bolted down ready chairs as they looked out the window. Well, the parts of the window that weren’t covered in that same black pitch. No bones though, which the little girl seemed taken by. A small area to lay out food was set against the wall, as well as a faucet for water. One of those old hook types you could attach a water bottle to if the gravity ever failed.

Lua gave the pair a wave as she passed, though only the little girl waved back.

The bunks were not good. Rows of slats half set into the wall for someone to slide into wherever they so chose to make the mistake of sleeping. Each was furnished with an almost flat pillow, a blanket so thin that she’d seen silk nighties that offered more warmth, and some heavy straps so you wouldn’t turn in your sleep. Or float off if gravity failed. Shockingly, there was someone already asleep on one of the bunks, so Lua kept quiet as she stepped over to the mortician's slab she had been assigned, and slid her bag into it. She slid a strap through the handles, just so it wouldn’t go sailing turning takeoff and returned to the common area.

Time to meet her fellow travelers then, here’s hoping they had something interesting to share.
The perks on travelling on cultist ships were many. They were cheap, available on short notice, none of the crew wanted to get too involved with you, they didn't ask questions, and notably, enough regular people booked them who were simply grateful for the company of other non-cultists. Sure, they weren't exactly comfortable, but they got you where you were going. And right now, Raymond was going somewhere that was not here. His prize, a simple, round, clear gem, was tucked into a canteen deep in his bag. He couldn't see anything special about it when he swiped it, but someone was paying good money to see it returned to its origin moon. Who was he to argue with cultural significance?

Today, he figured, he was going to be Mike. Michael. Nondescript, chances were at least three other passengers here were going by the same name. So, that was what he told the crewmember when he handed over his recently purchased ticket, and let his eyes roam over the hull of the ship. He didn't think he had crossed paths with this particular cult before. How interesting. How did they preserve these bones in the cold vacuum of space, protect them from radiation? In another life, he might have asked. Instead, he moved on and gave the captain a friendly smile. "Here's to a smooth ride," he said to the man when he moved on. Cultist or not, captains remained captains. In his experience.

Raymond slung his bag over his shoulder as he ascended the stairs into the ship. Something about being on one made him feel more at home than on any planet. Perhaps it was the constant noise, the vibrations in the ground and walls, the subtle shifting in every part - something you couldn't feel so viscerally on anything as big as a moon. The only thing separating you from the endless dark of space being technology and faith. Look at him, being all philosophical.

As soon as he spotted it, he beelined to what he could only assume was an eating area. If he could nab any welcome snacks that may be laid out, he was not going to turn it down.

Passing through the room, he realised that he was easily the most energetic person in it. Maybe it was the incense slowly making everyone drowsy, or the fact that those who booked this flight for financial reason were perpetually exhausted, poor working class. Miserable sods who thought being undercover meant you had to totally withdraw. Travelling was no fun like that.

Snatching a biscuit off a forgotten plate he turned to survey the room. Who, he wondered, could he attach himself to this time? Who was the most deer-in-headlights, who was the most brooding? How much did he know about the stars in this system to entertain the child he spotted at one of the ports, how worried was her mother about travelling alone? Who in here was itching for a drink?

The biscuit was hard as rocks.