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guangi32

A star to steer by

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" I suggest we stop long enough for everyone to sleep; say, six hours. Then we need to plan. Pool our information and intelligence. as my contribution, I want to let you all know I have obtaind some low-light visors, and an upgraded remote sensor for the ship, to facilitate reconnaisance and possible theft." He smiles ironically.

 

"I beleive Arn has some information regarding potential resistance to our, ah, acquisition, some of which might be useful to all of us; intelligence and accurate information are almost as important to merchants and sailors as to soldiers."

 

"Finally, we might be served to dig up information on our employers, but we have very little to go on. I will try to get in contact with some appropriate sources as situation permits; also I want to take on an engineer."

 

she held my eye.... brains AND courage, I think?

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I agree. Rest sounds good. Then we can see what Arn has to say, unless he would like to discuss it now? I think we also need to figure out what 'skills' we each bring to this mission.

LT

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"Yes, lets take the opportunity to rest up while we have it.  Then, of the two options I have outlined here on the monitors, I prefer the first.  And then en route a discussion of ourselves and our skills would be most appropriate."

 

cbs

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About your employers: †Zaphaxon Industrial Research is a legitimate business, aquiring technologies from outside the FSB or from old sites and ships, usually from the Accord but sometimes from ancient, "Lost Civilizations". †This is an extemely lucrative business and has never lost money for investors. †There is always more than one project going so that if one is a loss the others are a gain. †Additionally, Zaphaxon Industrial Research does not develop the technologies. †They sell the rights for development to companies within the AlbusXenon Group. †

 

AlbusXenon has a membership of 60 companies, industries and organizations openly and secretly it is believed there are at least 100 more. †AlbusXenon is the money source for the Splitter Coalition in the Harnic System. †AlbusXenon openly supports the movement, there is nothing secretive about their motives. †Most of the member companies and organizations predate the FSB membership of the Harnic Sector and do not see that the Sector has been reaping any benifits.

:D

Your rest period passes without incident. †The voyage to the jump point is uneventful, twelve hours of basic piloting with the most difficult part being flying around a Navy Battle Group engaged in Wargames.

 

At the jump point, the engines engage following the programing and then you're off...two times (at seven day intervals) during the voyage the vessel will drop down from Jumpdrive and reset automatically for the next jump. †Typically the navigator will be on the bridge at those times to ensure proper computer reads on the nav program. †Otherwise, for twenty one days there is little to do.

 

Almost as soon as the Jump has engaged and the main screen goes blank (there is nothing to see in jump space) a message appears on the screen. †A middle aged woman appears on the screen. †"After delivering cargo, go to see Guntier Doth at the Claser Vagul Brewery.  Ask for a case of the Old Victory Ale."

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"well, That was different. Anyone know who she was? And anyone have any ideas why we got that message?" Sira looks around at the others. "This mission keeps getting stranger and stranger."

LT

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Arn uses the time well, with so much to be done on a ship this big, he keeps himself occupied over the course of the transit. He's not bad with a wrench in his hand, and true to what he said at the beginning, he has kept things running as best he can. He also makes liberal use of the ship's gym, keeping to his rigorous physical training.

 

He shows some passing interest in the wargames Bulvies has to go around, but merrchant-grade sensors are not even able to get good reads.

 

Upon arrival to the destination system, he dresses comfortably, but does put a laser pistol on his hip. Looking at the Captain, he says simply: "Ready when you are, sir."

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Joshua smiles at the Bulvies newly-found youthfulness. attagirl!

 

"Well, since you asked, my real expertise lie with this ship, but I'm not too shabby when it comes to business or law, and I spent a fair amount of my younger days in the great outdoors. I know enough about Astrogation to recognise a superior- that jump course will shave days off our transit time."

 

 

 

and that's an eternity of pure boredom I'm very happy to avoid, thanks Nick

 

Joshua spends the jump-time reading, toying listlessly with the fitness equipment, and trying to engage people in conversations on astrogation, piloting, and amusing anecdotes relating to the BULVIES technical specifications- perhaps the leaast successful of his conversational forays, unless there's another pilot/mechanic in the room...

he also has a collection of various-quality jokes, and a violin he can't play.

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Nick spends most of her time between a computer screen and a paper book of poetry. †She won't share the book, just smiles and changes the subject when it is mentioned. †She has been found in the gym, has engaged in some conversation, but mostly has kept her distance.

 

"well, Sir, I have spent most of my time on the Training vessel, IBIS Flight, where I earned my masters in Navagational Research and proceeded to teach others the science. †Prior to that I grew up around the Starport on Danae I. †I have to confess, I was a bit of a street hooligan."

 

they won't ask, I won't have to go back there, even for them I can't go back there...

 

"I am qualified on both grav and wheeled ground craft. †I can figure out most little things that need done, and know when to ask for help when I can't. †Now, sir, about that cargo, and that message, is there a course of action you prefer?"

 

why did they not answer Sira? †I won't work with men who ignore inteligent questions. †how does she stay so calm, she is so confident with her self, I wish I could be like that. †She's very pretty, bet that helps.

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[a bit out of synch here-sorry]

 

"Sira, beats every kind of damnation outta me. You're sharp, and we probably need to know what's going on here, but for now I don't have anything that'll help. We can hope that message was the mysterious little data-package in the ship's systems. I certainly hope so. I'll check it out, but some help might shed more light on it. Anyone who's got a head for data systems analysis should speak up...."

 

is this her field? she's no team mascott- but exactly what IS it she brings to the "team"? hmmmmm. enigma. Fascinating....

 

 

"The big secret is, I have no plan. I was hoping to cleverly conceal that fact by waiting for someone else to propose something I could work with, but now I guess I've gotta lay my cards on the table. Maybe I can dig up some info on this mission at our next port-of-call, but whatever shadow-play is going on here.... well, it's working through roughly legitimate channels, so far." He frowns, thoughtfully- but it doesn't help. He just can't think of anything that might assist.

 

everyone has secrets. How much CAN we know about the motives of our employers? Keep your eyes peeled....

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"Alright. Here's what I propose. We play along for the moment, but we watch our backs and generally live paranoid once we're out of jumpspace. It looked to me like there were other teams on this job, which would seem strange but maybe our employers want some healthy competition or, and it's a nasty thought, they might expecta degree of attrition.

 

So, we may have direct competitiors looking for the same big pay-off we are, and frankly, they might figure their chances of success are better without us cramping their style. It sounds harsh, but there's a long, long history of amazingly babarbaric behaviour in the field of economics and trade. So, we pay attention to details. We deliver this cargo once we've done a little recon- intelligence is almost as important to merchants as to soldiers, you know. We see what happens.

 

Sira, Nick, I'd appreciate any input you have for me on this, and any knowledge or skill you can bring to bear. Arn, your thought s are valued, chip in if you think of something, and try to keep us from doing anything suicidally stupid, okay?"

 

Its quite a spiel. let's see what they think of it

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Sira is thoughtful for a moment. how  much to tell them? I don't want them to be afraid, yet to tell them the truth...

 "My skills are varied. I have some scientific ability and computer, along with the ablity to 'gather' information. I am very intuitive, which is why I was asked to join this mission. I also have a way with words, diplomacy if you will. At the same time I am no slouch at combat and I am familiar with the use of a body pistol. If need be I have some 'influence' in the higher circles of society." She pauses. "I think we should meet this prson, two of us, whiel the other two are nearby. One should be me, so I can see if she is what she claims. I think we should follow Joshua's advice, because he is correct. there are those in the "rich" sector that would think nothing of removing us from the table if they deemed us a threat. Let's do this job, but do it so we all come out the other side."

LT

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Chapter Three: The Shorak System

 

The †Shorak System is near the center of the Harnic Sector. †This twin star system has six planets, one of which is a gas giant that has an inhabited moon. †Three of the planets are inhabited after a fashion. †DiVallo, closest to the suns and hot but also rich in a rare metal, there is a mining colony there. †Next out is Tavalto, a trading center and a moral sinkhole. †Beyond these is the ocean world of Alhambra, producing major food exports it is a place visited for the excitement of racing on the seas in sailing ships. †The moon mentioned earlier is a resort for the very rich known as Utopian Dreams.

:;):

During the jump you find a match for the woman whose message appeared. †She is Councilor Amie Grunzel, a vocal proponent of the Separation Movement in the Harnic Sector, also known as the Splitter Coalition.

 

Otherwise the jump is uneventful, no engine malfunctions and jump calculations right on (the dice were with you). †

 

Your vessel comes out of jump drive on schedule and the pilot takes over. †Unlike Zilj Hathine, the Docking Authority is impolite and dictatorial. †You are charged 3000 CR to dock in a second rate facility within one mile of Nicksburg Shuttle Service. †Communication with Nicksburg brings Sabot Defraene with a wheeled transport. †He drops off a box 10'x10'x8' and picks up the engine parts.

 

"I understand that any ZIR company could use these," he says handing you an invoice which reads:

 

--Memory Storage devices, hand held computer 3.5 tyg and higher, 200 boxes of 20 each--Delivery to any ZIR affiliate expected.

 

"Thanks for this (he points at the parts), and I was told to give you this as well," he hands you a data disc. †Then he departs. †The disc has a detailed map of the city, Firbanx with warnings for particularly nasty portions of town. †On the outskirts of a bad section known as Spacer's Woe you find the Claser Vagul Brewery shown.

:D

Good Evening!

Will you go? †What will you take?

 

The distance is five miles from your docking facility.

 

Do you want to try and recruit some crew members? †

 

You notice that ZIR is using your ship to move supplies from place to place at no cost. †So they aren't really losing money on this deal yet. †The items you are moving are low value but necessary to business.

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"The Splitter Coaltion. Hmm That's interesting. Now I am very interested in meeting with her." She looks at the others. Do we want to go as a group? Or shoudl we spilt up? If we split up Joshua can find some extra crea like he wanted. I for one intend to go to the Claser Vagul Brewery." While she waits for a reply, Sira will get her body pistol and prepare to go.

LT

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Firbanx is about as lawless a city as can be found in the Federation. †Here enforcement of the laws is left to the merchant houses, cooperatives, or conglomerates. †After Dafraene leaves a group of men and women appear in the hanger. †

 

One, a well dressed man with a heavy projectile firing revolver in a holster under his left arm, separates himself from the little group and smiling he hails you near the open cargo bay door.

"Hello, and a happy happy joyous day to you. †I am tax collector Hul Ingody. †You were informed that 3000 CR would be needed to dock here. †That will pay for a week with shore power and waste services. †But you may want to consider security." Here he pauses and gestures to the other men and women who had come into the docking bay with him.

 

"Your affiliation with ZIR will get normal security guards once every five hour while on rounds. †But for 1000 CR a day three of these expert security persons will watch after your interests, all day every day that you are here." †As he finishes he hands over his credentials as a Port Authority Official and a second bundle as a Security Services Professional.

 

Hul waits expectantly.

 

:)

 

Good evening, †I'll stand by and see where you want to go from here. †Firbanx is a violent town. †You will have to watch your back here. †Keep in mind that everything is for sale here, especially lies. †Oddly, outside of Firbanx, this planet is lawful and a beautiful still mainly wild planet with little industry or agriculture. †Very Earth like.

 

Besides an engineer you might want to hire a cargo specialist, to keep track of cargo, cost contracts, docking fees, haggling and ships supplies. †You will either have to buy hi quality fuel of skim from the gas giant. †You will need to think about replenishing food stocks before you leave as well.

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