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“No, while I like to fix things. I was never allowed to work on the jump computer.”, Wrench falls silent.

Martin Ibanez strolls up in his dress black uniform, a cutlass hangs from his left side. Several medals hang from his uniform. His green beret is in his hands. He nods toward both Crystal and Joe.

“How you all doing?, he says in a slowish drawl,. He orders a water.

“Nice smooth jump we had there. As you can tell, I am a marine. Just got out of the service a few months ago and just trying to find a place to settle down. How about you two? Naval officer and a Merchant Marine, I can guess, but your stories?”

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Crystal nods at the robot's response, albeit looking mildly disappointed at the brevity of it. She's pondering what other subject to broach when Ibanez approaches. She briefly glances at Joe, but decides he'd probably prefer to have a bit more time to work on his response, so she addresses the marine in that clear, melodious voice of hers.

 

"Well, truth to be told, I'm just a surfer girl dreaming of a career in musical theater or entertainment", she starts, grinning. "I know, doesn't really sound like quality military material, but my first commander had this idea about me having potential as a communications and morale officer." Crystal chuckles. "Sounds like being promoted for incompetence, right? It worked, though, my serving as a special attraction morale officer that frequently got reassigned from one ship and fleet to another, showing all those crews the Imperial Navy truly does care about keeping spirits up." She shrugs, "They decided that after three terms, my services were no longer required, so here I am."

 

She pauses, looking around the bar area, then adds with a grin, "Say, do you think Luxor still needs a hot musical act to wow this liner's VIP passengers?"

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“It would surprise me if they did not need one or more, but I suspect that fate will have it's say in the matter despite what you want. Fate has a way that puts you in the right place at the right time.”, say Ibanez.

 

The robot speaks up, “Master Jax, do you think we could get my tracks out of the storage units down below? I really do not like the legs they have put on me. I would be... more helpful, if I felt complete, besides which I feel unstable on these legs and I would hate to tumble and break some glasses or bottles.”

The bartender replies, “ Yeah I will head down and have them sent up here, if you will watch the bar for me and help these fine folks.”

“I will watch the bar and help these fine folks.”

The bartender turns and heads away.

“Is there anything you fine folks want?”

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Crystal shakes her head slightly and replies to Ibanez with a smirk, "Well, I sure hope this trip will go smoothly enough I'm not actually needed here, so unless somebody pinches me and I wake up in a luxury beach resort, I guess I'll have to politely disagree with fate on where I need to be."

 

She turns to the robot, slightly inclining her head, sounding fairly serious as she says,"Say, Wrench, have you considered that management had those legs put on you because somebody thinks a more humaniform, bipedal appearance might feel more familiar to the average cruise ship passenger, that is, less likely to trigger negative responses grounded in xeno- or technophobia?" She shrugs. "Not that I mind, but it might be something to consider before undoing the change, particularly in light of your concerns management might send you to the scrap heap."

 

Then, going back to a chirpier tone, Crystal adds, "Anyways, I would assume Luxor has beverages they want to establish as signature drinks for the vessel, so if you want to score brownie points with management, how about you make the most of an opportunity to sell us on some of those? I'd suggest suggesting something suitable as an aperitif, given we'll likely be wanting to head off to dinner after I finish it, and I guess my drink could be a bit girlier than the boys'."

 

She turns and grins at Ibanez, offering, "Sorry for dragging you into being sales pitched at like that, but it just feels like Wrench could use the practice."

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Joe wanders up to the group at the bar after getting back from his bout with transition sickness.  "Y-you w-would think a-after the number or j-jumps I've made, I-i'd be u-used to t-that!"

 

C-crystal, are you r-really t-tryin to psy-spy-syc... are you analyzing a bot?!?    N-never been r-round one an-nyone left on long enough t-to d-devlop a p-p-personality!

 

W-whats y-your s-story Wrench? And w-what have you got for j-jump n-nerves?" Joe laughs nervously...

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A beautiful redhead with pale skin walks I flanked by 3 massive gentlemen, who look anything but gentle, both of which have a cutlass on one hip and a pistol on the other hip. She flops down on a stool at the other end of the bar. She glares at the robot, “What is this 'thing' doing here? If he is serving alcohol., then I am not drinking.... better yet...”, she turns to one of the guards, “GET ME A DRINK.”

The guard hesitates, “Madame, I think...”

She cuts him off, “ You are right, I apologies, Mr Robot, I have had enough to drink. I just want this trip to be over with.”

 

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Crystal shrugs at Joe. "Is that what I'm doing? I don't know. I guess? But on a trip with what appears to have both a skeleton crew and a skeleton non-Luxor passenger compliment, the opportunity to delve into how well a service robot truly understands he impact the robot's own decisions might have on interactions with and relations to humaniti seems like one of the more fascinating uses of my time that might present itself, does it not?" We have already touched upon the conundrum that the self-chosen designation Wrench might be problematic due to the proverbial connotation of the term." 

 

She trails off, watching the small group approaching and trying to gauge what she might be dealing with here. Given the woman is flanked by bodyguards, quite possibly a mid- to high-level Luxor exec!

 

With a broad smile, Crystal gets up to circle the bar, making her way toward the new arrivals, talking to the robot while she does, "Actually, Wrench, why don't you be a dear and prepare a mild pick-me-up for madame? You know, something to help brighten the mood without taking an unnecessary extra toll."

 

She stops an arm's length from the near guard, offering him a nod, then glances past him directly at the woman as she speaks, very clearly and melodically, "Pardon the intrusion, madame, but I couldn't help overhear you apparently were not quite happy with the cruise so far? Even though I am not a Luxor employee, having only recently been discharged from my role as a morale officer in the Imperial Navy, I really cannot stand seeing someone already unhappy this early in the trip. So please, madame, let me know if there is anything I might do to try and help?"

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Wrench looks at Joe, “I am just a robot that has been aboard this ship since her launch, before that I was an explorer bot and now, I am just a simple bartender.” It is almost as if he says this last part in distaste. “I have just the concoction for you.”

 

As Crystal approaches the guards seem to tense up, but take no action.

The woman scoffs, “Well if you could convince my father into letting me marry who I want rather than marrying some bozo HE picked out, that might make this trip a little more enjoyable, but as it stands I suspect that you might have to kill him, just to get him to, maybe pay attention to what someone else wants.”

 

Wrench looks at Crystal. “I think I know just the thing she needs.” He turns around and starts mixing a few things, “I will be required to go to the kitchen for a few things. I will be back as soon as I can.” Wrench heads toward the kitchen.

 

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Crystal inclines her head slightly for a moment, then shakes it briefly as she replies, "Well, madame, I should think killing someone just to get their attention might be both a tad extreme, and ultimately counter-productive. That aside, I would assume he employs competent guards that like these here gentlemen", she again nods at the bodyguard, with a soft smile, "could easily gauge I would not pose much of a threat as an assassin."

 

She nods at Wrench's interjection, and after the robot heads off, continues, "So, madame, perhaps you would settle for my offering a sympathetic ear to share your sorrows in more detail? I know I am an outsider, but given I understand this is mostly a Luxor company trip, maybe that is exactly what you need right now." Crystal grins a little mischievously and adds, "And if you are not much into uniforms, I can bring party girl me if you prefer."

 

And possibly getting tossed out an airlock me, Crystal thinks. Trying to be what could probably be construed to be a bad influence on some corporate bigwig's daughter might not be the best of ideas in terms of trying to get on said bigwig's good side. Ah well, you only live once.

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