Nemoni pirates attack Ungstir, but that doesn’t stop a defense attorney from doing his job!
A model of efficiency in both design and use of materials, the residential district of the Ungstiri community of Resilience consists of a series of caverns that once served the planetoid’s mining operations – which were moved deeper into the world remnant after the Ungstiri were forced to make their home on this last surviving chunk of the shattered colony planet.
The twisting passages lead to various caverns that have been converted into “hole-in-the-wall” habitats, home to extended, multigenerational families. The Ungstiri are a tight-knit, stick-together people, and often connect to each other’s homes and share in the responsibilities for raising and caring for the offspring.
Some communal caverns are used for teaching centers, while a few toward the surface of the planetoid provide windows onto the cosmos where Ungstiri may go to pay tribute to the spirits that guide them.
Jacob walks through the smoky haze between the district and the commons, briefcase in hand, coughing and waving his hand in front of his face.
Red Wolf inhales to yell to Mrs. McGrath, but only gets a lungful of smoke, starting a coughing fit as his eyes stream with tears. He keeps a tight hold on Teel’s hand, starting to lead towards the sound of the voice.
Teel and Red Wolf are deep in the residential district, staggering through the smoke towards the McGrath home. Coughing, Teel lowers her head, weakly yelling, “…ma?”
Jacob works his way through the smoking nightmare of the residential district, coughing. “Is there…*gak!* someone in charge *glurg!* around here?”
“Rest, Nat dear,” says a deep voice. “We’d jus’be gettin in the way, tryin to hunt her down. Th’medical types should be round soon.”
Teel perks up at the sound of Jacob’s voice, grimly sighing, “Sweet Mother Maybelline, not here, not now…” She peers back through the smoke. “Gettleman, that you?”
Jacob turns around in the roiling smoke. “Yeah, it’s *haragh!* me!”
Red Wolf frowns at the voice, hacking at the smoke in his lungs until he gains enough breath to comment angrily. “What he want? Not threa *chugh* threaten Teel again.”
Jacob looks down at the floor, and sees there’s some crawling space with a little more breatheable air than he would get standing. He measures his options, looking at his expensive silk-blend pants and jacket, and then at the tumult of smoke swirling around him. Finally, he mutters, “I can always buy a new suit.” He drops to his knees, then his belly, and crawls along the floor under the smoke. His briefcase scrapes along the rock floor as he drags it with him.
Teel drops to her knees, eying Jacob warily. “Lissen, Gettleman,” she says hoarsely, her voice choked with smoke. “Me an Red are on our way t’check on my famly. You’ll be safer comin with, so y’better keep up, aight?”
Jacob smiles, wiping a sooty cheek, and says, “Actually,” *cough*, “I’m here on behalf of my,” *cough*, “client, a Mr. Entropy. The term ‘false arrest,'” *cough*, “comes to mind.”
Red Wolf drops to his knees as Teel does, his own breeches not likely to be bothered by a bit of rock and soot, being Qua. He looks less than pleased as Teel invites Jacob along, then positively sizzles a scowl at the man, scolding angrily. “No time law talk now! Go see Teel family ok! Go away law talk later!”
Jacob jerks a thumb over his shoulder. “Hey, my client is,” *cough*, “in a jail in this infer-,” *cough*, “inferno!”
Teel rasps angrily, “An m’babies are too! Ifn they’re aight, I’ll come back with y’an check on this Entropy spud, kay? Otherwise, y’gonna jus’crawl roun in that flashy suit.” She turns and scuttles on.
Jacob sighs, rolling his eyes. “Way to put,” *cough*, “the people,” *cough*, “first.” Nevertheless, he shuffle-slides after Teel and Red Wolf.
Red Wolf mutters at Jacob, moving to follow Teel as he keeps his tight hold on her hand. “Baby better people put f.. *cough* first than jail man.”
Jacob smirks at Red Wolf, using his elbows for locomotion. “Yeah, right,” *cough*, “if the baby’s paying,” *cough*, “my fees.”
Red Wolf shakes his head with a frown, and mutters in his own tongue, shifting his gaze ahead as if dismissing the man from his notice. Soft moccassins slip once, and a loose bit of rock from the debris goes skittering off in Jacob’s direction without the Qua apparently noticing. “How far Teel think h…*cough* home is? Red Wolf hear *cough* Teel mother think.”
Teel is wracked with coughs for a moment, then presses on. “I swear, y’weren’t *kaff* born, Gettleman, y’were made.”
By this time, a short plump woman and a somewhat taller barrel chested man are seen, both middle aged, sitting near a door. The woman perks up and peers at the approaching threesome. “Atelia, is that you?”
Jacob sees the debris coming, and blocks it rather quickly with his smoke-grimed briefcase. *CLANK!* He growls after Red Wolf. “Watch it.”
Jacob coughs, continuing to crawl under the smoke after Red Wolf and Teel.
Red Wolf mutters a rather unconvincing “sorry.” towards Jacob over his shoulder, then looks forward again, a smile flickering as he spots Teel’s mother. He squeezes her hand, then releases it. “Teel mother there, go to I follow.”
Kriskosivich arrives from City Commons .
Kriskosivich has arrived.
Teel, Red Wolf, and Jacob Gettleman are crawling through the smoke clouded caverns of the residential district, which has been hit by a series of explosions.
Kriskosivich hobbles in from the commons, snarling to himself.
Jacob clenches his teeth at the Qua’s weak apology, then gets to his hands and knees, shoving the briefcase ahead of himself.
Kriskosivich mutters and says loudly, “Vhat zee hell happeneed? Vhere ees everybody?! I eenformed zee police!”
Kriskosivich adds, “And Meestair Lebeau shot down zat Nemoni sheep tinky! It blew up and I tink he captured zome of zem!”
Kriskosivich also, promptly, coughs loudly in a fit and hits the floor, muttering.
Jacob coughs, waving a hand in front of his face as the smoke drifts into his nostrils, and then he falls on his side, caught in his own fit of rasping coughs. “Dammit.”
Red Wolf’s better nature turns on him at the moment he could much better be demonstrating his dislike of the lawyer, and he turns to crawl back to the man, catching his arm and attempting to help him up. “Red Wolf help. Crawl this way.”
Teel crawls towards the middle aged couple, anxious. “Ma, Da, y’aight?” She hugs them tightly. “Where’s th’twins?” The woman quickly says, “The babies are fine, they’re at the hospital just to be sure. We’re all cut up and a little burnt, but that’s all. Your friend N’Sha-El is at your ship, taking care of her boy and Hua.”
Jacob waves a hand weakly at Red Wolf. “No, no,” he coughs. “Go on without me.” Before anyone might suspect he has a martyr complex, he opens his briefcase, takes out his datapad, and begins tapping into it, speaking as he does so: “Add,” *cough*, “heroic fire crawl scene,” *cough*, “save a bunch of,” *cough*, “kids.”
Red Wolf peers at the lawyer Jacob with blinking brown eyes, then shakes his head as if the man is not worth figuring out. He shrugs. “Red Wolf offer. No want no have use.” He moves a little way after Teel, then turns to glance back towards the typing madman.
Kriskosivich mutters to himself, “Vhere zee hell are zey…Zey zaid zey’d be here in a coupeel meenutes, zees ees longeer. Damned cops…”
Jacob drops the datapad back into the briefcase, closes it, then begins crawling after Red Wolf and Teel again.
Teel glances back at Jacob. “Aight, Gettleman.” She hacks and coughs a little, then continues. “Let’s see this Entropy client a yers.” She gives the older couple another hug, then crawls back. “Sooner I get this done, sooner y’can get a better suit.”
Jacob nods to Teel. “Right.” He coughs, then turns and begins to crawl the other way. Shuffle. Slide. Shuffle. Slide. His briefcase scrapes along the rock floor. “You people,” *cough*, “are gonna,” *cough*, “pay for this suit.”
Red Wolf lifts a hand to wave briefly to Teel’s mother, then stops to await Teel, moving alongside her as she starts to pass him. He doesn’t ask, just moves alongside, determined to go with her.
Kriskosivich’s DataPADD chirps as it receives a new message.
Jacob hears that chirping sound, and adjusts his course for it. “HEY!” he calls, coughing.
Teel tenses at the chirping sound, then calms down. “Hoopin *cough*…” She crawls out after Jacob, staying near Red Wolf.
Red Wolf tries to breath more shallowly, moving a little closer to Teel so he can take her near hand again. He murmurs softly. “Red Wolf tell Teel babies *cough* fine. Glad right.”
Jacob bumps against Kriskosivich’s arm with the briefcase, then coughs and peers at the fallen Ungstiri. “Hey.” He shoves Kriskosivich’s shoulder. “Need a lawyer?” Cough.
Kriskosivich blinks and peers at Jacob, “No, no I don’t. Bah! who zee hell ees caling me…”
N’Sha-El arrives from City Commons .
N’Sha-El has arrived.
Jacob keeps crawling under the smoke, heading for the commons. He bumps into Sha’s leg.
Kriskosivich reaches for his belt and unclips the datapad, bringing it up to his face and working at it.
Teel is not too far behind Jacob, crawling side by side with Red Wolf. The residential district is choked with smoke and covered with glass.
Kriskosivich smiles brightly from his position in the floor, “Yes!” he coughs, “A zale!” he yells. He stays near the entrance of the Commons.
Hack hack cough cough. Smoke is naaasty. Sha, barely visible in the haze and confusion, is beating away at the smoke, one hand covering her mouth as she tries to find her way forward. “Blazin’ bloody grasshoppin’…!” comes a growled, startled yelp as she is summarily bumped into. Her reflex is to kick. Hard.
Red Wolf blinks into the smoke in confusion, then looks to Teel for explanation. “Zale? What zale Teel?”
Jacob looks up at the woman he bumped into, smiles mildly, then slowly gets to his feet. The smoke has grown thinner out toward the cavernous entrance to the commons. Besmirched with soot and dirt, he takes his briefcase – now battered and grimed – and takes the kick right in the chest. That knocks what little breath he has clean away, and he goes sprawling backward with a coughing OOMF!
Kriskosivich stands as well as he is near the entrance to the commons, clipping his pad to his belt. and looking around.
N’Sha-El, having belatedly looked down to see just what it is that’s come up against her so suddenly, is just in time to see Jacob in his sooty suit and briefcase go a-flying into the swirling smoke again. She herself is rather sooty and grimy, sweat-tracks making ugly trails down her skin. “/Weasel/?” she snarls as she gets down on hands and knees and peers with watering eyes. “Serve y’right y’…Teel! TEEL –” she calls, stopped in mid-sentence by a racking, smoggy cough.
Teel coughs mightly as she makes it to the cleaner air at the entrance. “Sha?” That voice sounds familiar, and she sees the sprawled Gettleman. “What th’hoop? SHA!”
Red Wolf accompanies Teel right along, coughing only a little as his shallow breathing has helped. He echoes Teel’s call, shyly softer but no less pleased to hear the voice. “Sha!?”
Jacob shakes his head, breathing raggedly, then gets his briefcase, stands, and begins to stagger toward the commons. He puts a hand to his chest. “Aww, damn,” he coughs. “Ribs…”
Kriskosivich rubs his chin and looks around, “Eveerybody out of zere?” he asks to no one in particular.
Carved from the ancient rock of this planetary chunk, this chamber is about sixty yards in diameter with a domed ceiling that is one hundred feet tall at its highest point.
In contrast to the spaceport facility, which glows as if illuminated by a supernova thanks to high-powered lamps, this commons is more subtly lit. Shadows fill much of the higher reaches of the dome, while soft bluish-white lights provide a twilight glow to the rest of the chamber.
Archways lead to the spaceport, a tavern, and the planetoid’s commercial and residential districts.
Jacob staggers through the commons, coughing, a hand to his chest while he carries his briefcase in the other. He’s covered with soot.
Askeboz wanders in from the landing pad, a slightly confused look on his face. He scratches the silvery stubble on his chin as his eyes scan the room briefly.
Jacob gets just a few feet from the police station, then coughs violently, drops his briefcase and topples onto the stone floor, out cold.
Askeboz raises an eyebrow slowly as Jacob hits the floor. The Timonae walks over to him, nudging him with a foot. “Hey… guy…” He says, leaning over a little.
Jacob mumbles, slapping unconsciously at the foot, grumbling, “Fishsticks…no…god, no…”
“I’m with you, pal…. fuck processed seafood.” Askeboz says as he kneels down beside the lawyer. A glance is given to the briefcase, then another to Jacob. “Hell, I ain’t carrying you.” He adds, as if Gettleman could argue.
Jacob is unconscious on the ground outside the police station. Askeboz is leaning over him.
Kriskosivich hobbles in from the Commercial District behind the group, looking around.
Askeboz nudges Jacob a little, adjusting his jacket with the other hand. “Come on, guy… you gonna wake up?” He asks softly, tilting his head to the side a little as he watches the unconscious lawyer.
Red Wolf enters with Teel and Sha, one arm around Sha, the other hand holding Teel’s hand tightly.
Jacob doesn’t respond with anything at first, then he twitches, says, “I told you, ma…no,” *cough* “fishsticks…” And then he’s out again.