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Joe takes very well to the idea of hanging out and being friends.  He tends to be the good listener or quiet companion as he's learned his stutter and direct mannerisms can put people off.  He's willing to give anything a try though and asks to join in anything his new companions want to try and, for a beginner, is surprisingly good at it.  He does ask Sarah and wrench about the ship systems and tries with his new companions to get into everything and everywhere, including the 'where does this door go' game of exploring the ship.  One of his goals is to explore every emergency escape and alternative operating locations.

 

Overall he has a merry time with his new companions, let's them talk and tries to see and do everything on the ship.  Though before bed and after the others depart, he records notes he learned about the ship and gets his kit bag and old vacc suit readied for a quick departure.  He is used to things going wrong....

D

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On that first evening, in meeting Mr. Van Horton and dealing with guards, Crystal very much carries herself like a proud Imperial Navy officer who knows a bit about navigating high society. She also sounds like it when answering Sarah's questions about her career in the Navy, stressing how superiors willing to think outside the box found a suitable role for an artsy surfer girl that wasn't exactly military material, giving her a chance to serve in a unique way and allowing her to become the woman she is today, while giving back to the Navy by doing her part to keep up morale among personnel across the sectors. It sounds like she was passed around as some kind of special attraction singer-mascot and got transferred a lot, really, and over the course of a decade found her way from the Solomani Rim all the way to the Spinward Marches.

 

When hanging with Sarah as a friend, on the other hand, Crystal acts more like a chirpy socialite party girl keen on making the heiress's life just a little less boring for at least that one week. On the second day of the trip, she rather insistently asks Sarah help her find some less military-formal dinner attire at the shipboard shopping venues, "unless you want to deal with Lieutenant Cooke every evening, of course". Crystal is a bit concerned about the potential price tag of a luxury liner shopping spree, though, and thus upfront with Sarah about needing to stay within her budget.

 

Over the rest of the week, Crystal does her best on her mission of being a fun enough friend for Sarah so the heiress might actually get some enjoyment out of the trip: trying to motivate her to dance, comically quoting apparently-famous lines from plays by some long-dead Terran bard called Shakespeare, just hanging out by or in the pool, offering up a song or two about Navy life as a more entertaining way of sharing about her own past, or having a drink or three at the bar while chatting about whatever is on Sarah's mind. The one thing Crystal is really careful about is not going near the subject of forbidden love herself; she's trying to let Sarah forget about that for a little while, at least. The day before the Star of Luxor is scheduled to arrive at Overnale, the heiress might notice Crystal seems a bit distracted,like something is bugging her.

 

While Crystal is happy to hang with Joe and explore a bit, she just doesn't quite share his passion for ship systems. She comments on his being a "right Joe do-it-all", apparently a joke referencing that Shakespeare fellow. The exception is anything relating communications, given that was her formal area of expertise in the Navy. It becomes quite obvious she considers handling comms on a civilian vessel as a potential career alternative should she be unable to find gainful employ as an entertainer.

 

As far as Ibanez is concerned, Crystal isn't quite sure how to deal with him. His being tight-lipped might well mean he's seen too many horrors during his career in the Marines, so she doesn't want to push. Besides, a hard-nosed Marine might not think much of a former Navy officer admitting she wasn't really military material, and she hasn't actually done anything to show him she actually deserved those promotions. While Crystal is as friendly around Ibanez as anyone, somebody might pick up on the fact she seems uncharacteristically insecure for some reason.

 

Crystal seems genuinely curious about the surprising friendship between the heiress and the service bot, so she is quite happy to hang out with Wrench and hear what he has to say about this experience. She is absolutely fine with his explanation for why he's doing all that, and jokingly observes, "Hey, technically, I put you up to this, and it did help your morale, right?"

 

The day before the scheduled arrival at Overnale, she makes a point of finding Wrench alone to talk to him. "Honestly, I thought Sarah just asked you to come along for that dinner to mess with her father. It seems was wrong, and I think that can be a great thing for both of you. You don't like the role of a service bot, right? And everyone can see you're 'nothing' but a robot? I bet Mr. Van Horton won't mind losing a less-than-enthusiastic service robot from the Star to keep his daughter amused. So if the two of you make sure that's how he thinks of it, Sarah should be able to keep you close long-term." She sighs, starts as if to add something else, but then shakes her head, takes a deep breath and just says, "Maybe you should talk to her about the idea."

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Sarah takes Joe on the GRAND tour. The engines although well maintained look ancient. Sarah explains that since the engines needed replaced, her father use some of his military connections to wrangle a new jump drive and better engines, which will be installed once the ship is back from this 'trail' run. Wrench does explain that the engines have never been completely replaced, just the parts that needed to be fixed at the time, since the engine was installed over 50 years ago. She show Joe all of decks 3 and 4, plus she gets Joe a tour of the bridge. The bridge looks like it has not been updated is the same time frame as the engines, with the exception of the Jump Computer. Joe learns that it would the ship could be controlled from the engine room, but only to operate the engines. All other vital systems are controlled from the bridge. Both would need to be maned to fully operate the ship.

 

In a private moment with the group she tells them that her father is trying to work out a deal with the authorities in the Meractor system, so that it is one of the high travel destination for the Star.

 

After that first night the group rarely sees Mr. Van Horton again, unless it is in passing. He either spends his time in his cabin or in conference with the captain. Which leaves the Navigator in command of the vessel, for most of the captains watch. Even though the navigator is new, the rest of the crew knows what they are doing, so things run pretty smoothly.

 

Sarah takes Crystal shopping and helps her pick out various outfits for this or that and even goes so far as to buy a few for Crystal despite any protests, when Crystal's budget runs low. Sarah even gives a few of her out fits to Crystal. If Crystal protests, Sarah simple points out that she is well off and friends should help friends out. She even buys a few outfits for Joe, Ibanez and even buys a little owl brooch for Wrench, telling him that Owls are a symbol of wisdom and he is one of the wisest 'people' she know. Sarah even has a tech help Wrench to replace his body back on his tracks. (Think Johnny Five from Short Circuit though a bit on the longer side.)

 

She does not question Crystal's worried looks, but does mention that as Crystal's friend, she will not pry into anything, but if Crystal wishes to ask her a question or confide in her, she will listen and if Crystal wishes to offer advice.

 

On the morning of the jump into the Overnale system, Sarah shows up, with out her guards, and she is dressed very casual, pants, shirt and her hair up in a pony tail. She invites you to breakfast with her in the front dinning hall,(in the bow).

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When Sarah mentions the planned Mertactor deal, the party might notice Crystal briefly quirking a brow. A little after, when she has a chance to get Joe alone, she asks him, "I reckon you're probably more versed in things like this than I am, so out of curiosity: from what you know, does Mertactor really sound like a system where one would try get a foot in with authorities just for the luxury cruise business?"

 

Crystal clearly enjoys the shopping trip, mentioning, "It feels like it's been half a lifetime since I last went shopping without worrying much about whether something is practical or appropriate." She's happy to help pick out things for the boys, too, and while Crystal isn't quite sure whether Wrench is actually wise, she seems to very much approve of the idea that even a robot should accessorize to underscore their personality. She's super supportive of Sarah getting Wrench back on tracks, and in a private moment tells the robot, "See, by putting up with those legs a little longer you gave Sarah a chance to be part of making this happen. Isn't that great?"

 

When Sarah offers to lend an ear, she seems conflicted, starting as if to say something and stopping herself several times. Eventually, with a deep sigh, she says, "It's not really about me, it's more about you, really. I think you need real friends, and I'm not sure how much good we can be. I mean, your father is probably happy enough you found a distraction for this trip, but do you think he'll approve of Joe in the long run? Or of Ibanez as more than a bodyguard? Or of me, a would-be singer or thespian who might do anything to secure a patron?" Crystal takes a deep breath, swallows as she lowers her head, then looks up again, hesitates, shakes her head slightly, and while clearly holding something back, she eventually continues, "I'm sorry, but I'm worried we may be doing little more than setting you up for disappointment, you know, and that's just really absolutely not what I wanted." She sighs again, then adds, "Wrench, though? For this purpose, he's just a robot, not really part of social ladders, right? I would be surprised if your father cared about keeping him on the Star as a reluctant-mopey bartender if you were to insist he's just the perfect robotic PA-jester or whatever, you know, the kind of synthetic companion you never knew you always wanted. Maybe talk to Wrench about the idea?"

 

Crystal, who has settled on her old off-duty slacks and shirt combos, pretty casual yet neat and clearly of above-average quality, as appropriate morning wear, is a little surprised at the casual, unguarded Sarah showing up the morning of the scheduled Overnale. She looks the heiress up and down, then tugs at her own shirt a bit to straighten it and says, "Sure, I'd love to join you. This will do, I hope? Oh, and would you please allow us to escort you there? You know, in case your father noticed you were out and about all by yourself. Wouldn't want him to throw too much of a fit over something fairly insignificant, right?"

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As you all are eating breakfast in the main dinning room, Sarah tells you that she convinced her father to forgo the guards as she had a few friends who were former military and she was sure would protect her from any harm.

The captain comes one over the intercom, “Attention passengers, we will be exiting hyperspace here shortly, please prepare yourselves. Once we exit hyperspace it will be two hours until we reach the gas giant where we will refuel.”

Sarah says,”So guys tell me how many jumps have you made? This is my first and I am just a bit on the anxious side. Any pointers?”

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Crystal chuckles slightly at Sarah's explanation about the guards, saying, "Well, it probably helps that your ex military friends are among the ten or so wild cards on what is mostly a company trip." She grins, looking at Ibanez, adding, "Plus, at least one of us has that silent no-nonsense vibe I'd imagine Mr. Van Horten would look for in a guard." She goes on to joke about how she'd be wasted on a job like that, given the universe clearly wanted her to be heard,  a claim that doesn't seem completely outrageous when laid out in that clear, melodious voice of hers.

 

After the captain's announcement, at Sarah's question, Crystal responds, sounding a little bored, "I've lost count, honestly, touring the empire for the Navy. Sure, I was excited for my first few jumps, but on well-maintained, well-run ships, they tend to be pretty boring. It's normally the actually arriving someplace new after a couple of hours of in-system travel that's exciting." She shakes her head, sighs, and goes on, sounding rather more chirpy, "Oh, listen to me, all jaded from dozens of jumps. You? You'll want to sit where you have a good view for the exit from jump space! That moment when the outside turns back to starry normal? Special!"

 

Crystal raises a finger, adding in a more earnest tone, "Word of caution, though. Keep a baggie or something on hand in case you're one of those who find that visual experience stomach-churning. And for safety reasons, be seated. If the astrogation was mildly off and we exit closer to the gas giant's gravity well than planned, or we just chance upon random unexpected in-system debris, things could feel a bit rough." She hadn't heard anything suggesting they might have had a major jump mishap, so that should be more than enough cautionary words.

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Sarah watches the jump back to normal space in awe,”It is sooo beautiful.”

The Star travels the two hours to the Gas Giant. When the captain comes on the intercom,”Attention passengers. We are getting ready to descend into the planets atmosphere to begin refueling. There maybe bumps along the way. The forward dinning area will have the best view, for those wanting to watch the clouds. Please be cautious when traveling about the ship.”

With that the Star begins its descent into the planets atmosphere. There are bumps here and there but for the most part, it is a fairly smooth ride.

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Joe just is hanging out sipping something fruity and waiting for something to go wrong (but hes going to enjoy the good life while he has it.)  due to his speech issues, he doesnt say much but tends to hang out with whoever will let him and enjoys just being in the background.  just in case he keeps a tool kit and a credstick on him at all times and knows where the nearest pods and rescue equipment is located as well as first aid stations and the medical bay. 

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Crystal nods at Sarah's observation, chirping, "See, special! And even once you've done a few jumps, the way the stars will form slightly different patterns in the sky in new systems can be quite fascinating. Now, if you will excuse me for a moment, I should go fetch something before we get to the gas giant."

 

She returns to the dining area after barely more than the time it takes to walk to her stateroom and back, now with a pistol holster and pistol at her hip. Pre-empting any questions about it, Crystal explains to the heiress, "There, now I'm actually armed to offer protection, and yes, I absolutely do feel I should make a point of it. Around refueling at a gas giant is when in theory, in-system pirates are most likely to make a move, and this is the not-entirely-lawful frontier, right?" She chuckles and adds, "Okay, it's really just a show of potential force in case your father's men check in. But if any pirates do board us, I will toss over a table and make you take cover!"

 

As the ship begins refueling, Crystal advises Sarah, "Personally, I'm honestly more of an oceans girl, anything with good surf, you know? Still, seeing the massive cloud formations gas giants tend to have can be awe-inspiring. Those things are like the size of continents or even entire terrestrial worlds!" Gazing out the window, what she's actually watching for is tiny moving  specks of light, moving too fast be stars, too fast to even be debris orbiting the giant planet. After all, this really is the not-entirely-lawful frontier, and the Star of Luxor might be tempting for interstellar freebooters.

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The clouds swirl around the ship, some of the guests see shapes in the clouds and it becomes a game to some as to what the ‘shapes’ they see. A couple of hours later the Star climbs out of the gas giant’s clouds. All of the crowd have wandered off to other distractions, so it is just your party and the captain and Mr. Van Horton, who are seated at a table and have been going over papers the whole time. The captain looks like she would rather be anywhere else. She occasionally looks at her watch, she seems to be relieved when the Star heads up from the clouds. As the Star orbits the gas giant, an office comes running into the dining room, sees the captain and goes running up to her. He leans over to the captain and whispers in her ear. She stands up, “Adjust our heading to meet them at best possible speed.” She turns to Mr. Van Horton, “Excuse me sir, I must see to this.” 

He sits there staring up at her, “You will not deviate from our flight plan.” 

She rounds on him, “I must remind you of Imperial Navigation Act of 103, which states that ANY vessel, whether military or civilian is REQUIRED to respond to ANY GK, SOS or Mayday signal. As long as it does not endanger the ship and crew of the responding vessel. I feel that this does not endanger the ship or crew. YOU may OWN this ship, but I command this ship. If now if you will excuse me, I have a ship to rescue.”, she turns and walks away.  

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As the crowd engages in the shape spotting game, Crystal mostly tries to egg Sarah on, get her to call out whatever silly or wild ideas she might have, hoping that the heiress contributing might help some of the Luxor staff-passengers forget she's the heiress, for a few minutes at least, and just chat with her a bit.

 

After refueling is done, Crystal watches the CEO and the captain, eventually asking Sarah, "Say, do you know, how much has your father been accosting the captain during the trip so far? She reminds me a bit of Navy captains after a week of babysitting some high-ranking diplomat or the like, ready to jump at the slightest hint of the possibility some problem or other might need their attention more than the dignitary." She grins, adding, "Of course, when I actually saw a Navy captain in that position, it usually meant they already found some emergency to attend to and called on me to handing the dignitary off to me."

 

When the officer barges in with apparent urgency, Crystal reflexively approaches closer to the CEO's and captain's table, very much like a junior officer expecting to hear something she might need to know and react to. When the captain hits Mr. Van Horton with the Imperial Navigation Act of 103, she mutters under her breath, "Aw, sonofa..."

 

As the captain leaves, Crystal looks at the now-lone CEO, proof that protocols for securing VIPs aboard civilian ships are a bit lacking. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, then steps up to him and says, deliberately clear enough so that in the otherwise empty hall, Sarah and her friends will overhear, "Mr. Van Horton, sir, purely as a precautionary measure, would you permit me and my friends to escort you and your daughter to meet up with your regular guards in a more sheltered" - she points to the windows for emphasis - "inner section of the ship? For all we know we might be heading into debris, or even find the Signal GX is some ruthless freebooters' ploy, so I should hope you will agree it might be wiser to be overly safe than  potentially sorry, sir."

 

As she awaits the CEO's rely, she turns slightly to flash Sarah a slightly apologetic smile, and offer Ibanez a brief nod. Surely the ex-Marine will understand she wants him on heiress duty for the time being.

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Mr, Van Horton watches the captain, walk out of the room. He stands up and as Crystal starts talking to him, he turns his head toward her. “You will not escort me anywhere. I am going to the bridge, if you insist on getting in my way, I will have you arrested.” He starts to march off towards the bridge when Sarah strides up towards him, ”Do NOT talk to my friends that way, ….” she is cut off as her father tries to backhand her. His hand is stopped halfway to her face as Ibanez grabs a hold of it.

“UNHAND ME OR I WILL HAVE YOU ARRESTED AND THROWN IN JAIL.”

Ibanez releases his hand and smirks, ”Not like it would be the first time I have seen the inside of a prison, especially if you go to hit the young lady again.” Mr. Van Horton, storms off.

Sarah says, “I am headed to the bridge he must not”, she hesitates,” stop people from being rescued.” she takes off after her father.

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Joe just quietly sighs and mutters here we go...  He looks wistfully at the remainder of his lunch and heads off to see where this adventure will lead.  Things were getting a little dull around here anyway!

 

If he happens to get by Crystal for a moment he will murmur in a surprisingly singsong sotto voice  I get the girl, but why are you protecting the suit?  He wants to stand infront of a wall full of death, let him and good riddance.  I will follow the miss and see that she doesnt get into too much trouble 

 

With that he grins and takes off after miss Van Horton  and the bridge

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Crystal looks quite taken aback by Mr. Van Horton's needlessly confrontational tone, momentarily standing there with her mouth agape, at a loss how to respond to the CEO's rather rude reaction to what she was certain had been a perfectly reasonably worded request. She's thus slow to react when Sarah intervenes, and can but look on as the situation between the Van Hortons and Ibanez escalates.

 

As the CEO storms off, Crystal moves to check on Sarah, only to find the heiress is already set on confronting her father again. At Sarah's words, she slightly inclines her head, quirking a brow, then just nods, "Right, I'll be with you in a moment."

 

She pauses to slightly adjust her clothes and ostensibly check on whether her pistol is secure in its holster, giving Joe an easy opportunity to share his thoughts. Crystal shrugs slightly and responds in a low voice, "I was hoping to somehow play peacemaker between those two, but I think it's far too late for that." She sighs, like there's more, but doesn't actually comment further.

 

Crystal then takes off toward the bridge alongside Joe, but it is pretty obvious something is weighing on her.

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Mr. Van Horton makes his way towards the bridge at a fast walk, followed by his daughter, which in turn in is followed by Ibanez, Joe, Crystal with Wrench bring up the rear. Sara stays far enough behind Mr. Van Horton so that she is out of arms reach. Ibanez is exactly a half step behind her and to the side.

 

You make your way onto the bridge, you see the captain near the communications station listening to a head set, she seems to be listening to the distress call. She looks up and sees Mr. Van Horton, she motions to the Comms Officer, which turns the distress call onto a speaker.

“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, This is the Proxima Mary. Main drive down is down, reactor low on fuel. Orbit is deteriorating. We estimate we have about 3 hours till we descend to a point of no return.”

“Proxima Mary, this is the captain of the Star of Luxor, we should be to your position in 45 minutes, that is plenty of time to get your crew off.”

“Captain, I hope you have enough room for 203 souls.”

“203?”, The captain is shocked. “Why are you carrying so many people?”

“Star, we are transporting a group of colonists. 8 of our ten modules are berths for the colony.”

“Alright, we will be there shortly.” The captain takes off the headset. She turns around and see the first officer, ”Murry, make ready to accept all the new passengers.” The first officer hurries off.

The captain see Mr. Van Horton, “Helm, if you can get us there a bit early it would help.”

“Aye, Aye, Ma'am.”

Mr. Van Horton starts to approach the captain, the glare she gives him stoping him in his tracks. She walks over to the intercom system, “Attention all crew and passengers, We have received a distress call and are moving to assist. All passengers, please retire to your cabins and stay there until further notice.” She pauses, “Security Chief Riggs to the bridge on the double, please.”

Mr. Van Horton, nods to her, “I will retire to my cabin.” He turns and walks away.

Sarah, “Is there anything I can do to help out Captain?”

The captain looks at Sarah and then you all. She holds up a finger. A couple of minutes go by and the Security Chief Riggs comes onto the bridge, you can tell he ran, not that he is out of breath or sweating, just by the speed in which he got there. He snaps a crisp salute. “Ma'am, Security Chief Riggs reporting as order.”

The captain smiles, “Riggs, these guys have volunteered to help escort the crew and passengers of the ship we just received a mayday from to the aft dining lounge. There should be 203 new passengers and have someone inform the cook that they may need fed. After they are fed, we will need to see then to bunks.'

“Ma'am.” He rounds on you, “Right folks, follow me.” with that he leaves the bridge.

 

The wait is almost unbearable. Sarah is nervous and Wrench starts talking to her about this that and everything. Rigg and Ibanez start up a conversation between them. Mostly about the ships they served on as marines. Rigg called all of his security offices to the boarding hatch and has had them form a 'chain', from the hatch to the dining area. Each one spaced just in the right position that they can be seen by each other and help guide people to the dining area, your job along with Sarah and Wrench will be to help escort them to the dining area. Rigg and Ibanez will go into the doomed ship and sweep for any stragglers.

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