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Upon hearing what sounds like a very plausible colony ship in trouble distress call, Crystal sees to relax a little. She slightly cocks her head as the heiress volunteers to help instead of retiring to her quarters. As they wait for the security chief to arrive, she steps up behind Sarah and whispers to her, "Colonists can be a rough crowd. So in case things go balls up, promise you'll take cover and let us handle it."

 

Crystal is pretty silent as they follow Riggs. As he organizes his rescue plan and issues instructions, she tries to take a count of just how many security personell the Star of Luxor actually has, and whether they tend to look more like ex Marines or mall cops.

 

As everyone waits, she joins Ibanez and Riggs, asking the latter in a low voice, "Excuse me, Chief Riggs, sir, but given Spinward Marches settlers might come prepared to fight, quite literally and possibly to the death, anything and everything the frontier throws at them, how do you want us to handle passengers bearing weapons?" She smiles apologetically as she pats her own holster, "I know, I know, I'm one of those myself, but I assume you will agree 200 complete strangers are a bigger security concern than one discharged Navy Lieutenant you surely realize is trying to keep Miss Van Horten out of trouble." She raises her hands, briefly flashing a grin, and adds, "Okay, okay, admittedly just the dangerous kind of trouble, but you can see why I'm asking."

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Riggs looks at Crystal, "Only interfere if they look to use them. If this is a true rescue, they will be more focused on getting off the ship....If it is the other thing....” He smiles, “Well let us just say,” He glances at Sarah, “Mr. Van Horton may be an a complete …. at times, but he knows the value of good help. Most of the crew are former military. The Captain is ex navy and has had input on who serves on this ship. While we do have some green crew, we have some that are more than capable of repelling any attack.”

 

The docking of the two ships is pretty bumpy, because of the upper atmosphere's turbulence. Docking is successful the first time. Riggs opens the air lock and proceeds through followed closely by Ibanez.

It is tense few minutes until the first colonist comes through the gangway hatch. They are wearing blue robes with hoods that stop just above their sandals. Most of them have their hoods up, but about every tenth one has their hood down and seem to be talking encouragement to the others. They file through the gangway and are lead off towards the stern dining area. Some of the them are woman and some are even children, the youngest of which hold the hand of a older child or of an adult. While the majority are human there is a smattering of other races mixed in as well. None of the colonists appear to be armed, however most smaller weapons could be hidden under those robes.

 

Three of the last four men that come out are obviously the crew of the transport, the fourth man wears blue robes are trimmed with red.

"My dear captain, on behalf of my order, I do apologize for the lose of your ship. I can make no promises, but I will......, the conversation  trails off as they move away. Riggs  comes through the hatch, he turns and waits near the hatch. Riggs picks up the  communicator, "Captain, how long can we hold? Ibanez needs to look at something  on the derelict. Yes, ma'am. I will tell him."

 

Ibanez pokes his head through and sees Joe and Crystal, he looks to Riggs, Riggs nods, "We got about an hour." Ibanez waves a hand to Joe.

"Joe I want you to come look at something for me."

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On hearing Rigg's reply, Crystal nods with a slight smil, and says, "Okay, if there's any sign of trouble, I think it'll be best if I focus on keeping Sarah out of it and myself out of the crew's way, then." Her expression betrays she's rather relieved dealing with potential troublemakers probably wouldn't actually fall on her, which might seem a bit weird given she had kind of volunteered just moments ago.

 

Receiving colonists coming through the hatch, Crystal does a brief routine welcoming them, telling them the cook is whipping something up to offer them sustenance while gathering in the dining lounge, and that crew is currently organizing accommodations. She's quite friendly and when she sees kids, she tries to to cheer them up with a few lyrics from popular children's songs.

 

However, after shepherding the first couple of colonists to the dining hall, Crystal briefly takes Wrench aside and whispers, "Can you do me a favor and see if the ship's data banks have anything on those blue robes? If these are the religious types they look to be, I'd prefer to know what we're dealing with here."

 

After the last group has been received, Crystal looks thoughtful as her gaze follows the man with the red-trimmed robe, before snapping back to the here and now due to Riggs and Ibanez talking like they've found something suspicious on the derelict. Before Ibanez and Joe head into the derelict, she looks from them to Riggs and asks, in a low voice, "I presume it might be best if I attend to the leader of these colonists, to ensure he feels welcome, is busy relating what they need, and doesn't have time to think about why we're dallying at the derelict?" It really sounds like a statement with a courtesy question mark at the end, really.

 

Unless the men indicate otherwise, she'll then head of to find red-trim, to butter him up with talk about how important it is to converse with community leaders to assess what their people really need, and to then chew his ear off. After all, there's all kinds of questions that might yield information that might be good to know for the Star's crew, like whether any of his people have special dietary requirements, whether any might need a medical check-up to see if the stress of this exceptional situation has taken a potentially dangerous toll, such as women in the family way, or if there's anything special the crew might try to consider in arranging accommodations.

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For those of you who have been waiting for the action to resume. Here is where we stand. 

 

Crystal has been talking to Librarian Ruddick. The Captain and Mr. Van Horton have been talking to the captain of the other ship. Wrench has been serving drinks to everyone.

Joe, Ibanez and Security Chief Riggs walk into the dining area, Joe is carrying some sort of a mechanism in his arms.

 

New replies should go here. 

 

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After having talked to him, Librarian Ruddick, the apparent leader of the group, doesn't really strike Crystal as someone with much in the way of leadership qualities. Imagine overseeing 200 people, but not having picked any NCOs, middle managers, senior scribes, or whatever else you want to call people you delegate part of the overseeing to to keep it manageable! He even seemed to pick the four he sent to do a head count at random, not because of any certainty they'd be the most diligent.

 

As Riggs, Ibanez and Joe arrive, Crystal is pondering what to make of Scribe Layla. She showed some actual initiative and technically promoted herself into that key NCO role of personal scribe. Given that beaming smile on her face, chances are it's because she's somehow infatuated with Ruddick; however, if this knowledge-seeker cult does have something like internal security, surely maneuvering herself into that position would be the smart play by an operative trying to control what he leaks to outsiders.

 

Well, time to keep being enthusiastically helpful. If Layla is just infatuated, she'll happily go along with helping the man; if she's anything else, she might show her hand. "Yes, Scribe Layla, I do hope it is acceptable for me to address you so despite not being a part of the Order. I'm Crystal, and I have been talking to the Librarian about how carefully analyzing the events leading up to the disaster might yield deeper insight into the cause thereof. That could yield new ideas on mitigating risks in future missions, some useful knowledge gleaned from an otherwise disastrous turn of events." She smiles, awaiting the woman's reaction to her suggestion, while also trying to stay alert to anyone visibly reacting to seeing whatever that piece of tech the boys brought in is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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