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Colonel Kane
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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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Scribe Layla looks at you. "You may address me however you wish. I think it is a good idea to question everyone and try to figure out what has happened for this disaster.". She looks toward Ruddick, "I also think that you and Crystal should go over and see what that gentleman had brought back from the ship. I will round up a few other scribes and start interviewing our group. Hopefully someone saw something that might help. When we are done, I can send the files to your personal device where you and Crystal can review them. We will do video recordings along with everyone's personal file. Crystal, may I have a moment with.... At that point you hear Riggs' raised voice "Crystal, you and the Librarian may want to join us."

 

 

As Joe, Ibanez and Chief Riggs approach the bar Captain MacLeod notices them. She stands up," Mr. Van Horton, Captain Luckman, let us take ourselves and these fine gentlemen and find a more, private place to talk." She looks at Riggs, who nods. He tells Joe and Ibanez, "Let us go somewhere where we can talk. "Rigg raises his voice, "Crystal, you and the Librarian may want to join us." Riggs leads you back past the life boats and heads towards your rooms. He stops at the luxury suite before your rooms and opens the door, "We will talk in the lounge." Once in the lounge, Riggs says " OK, Joe show us what you got there, you may set it down on the table and please tell us where you found it."

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Crystal nods at what Scribe Layla says. Sounds reasonable and... She hears Riggs, looks first at the Librarian, then Scribe Layla, and says, "Librarian Ruddick, I think you might want to consider asking your personal scribe to come along. Whatever the boys got there might be pertinent to the investigation she is to oversee for you." And should she act suspicious, we'd have her where Riggs could easily take her aside for questioning. Win-win.

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Ibanez seeing Joe's uncomfortableness says, "Joe and I found this bomb attached to the reactor of the ship. It looks like the connection between the Main drive and the reactor was corroded enough that it blew the connection. When the connection blew a piece hit the wall and ricocheted off, hitting the bomb which cracked this vial of liquid. The bomb only explodes when the two liquid components are combined causing a reaction. It was fate that the connection blew and broke this vial, just as Joe found the bomb id had just a few minutes left till it exploded. All of which means it was set to exploded while the ship was refueling in the gas giant." He stops and looks at the crowd. 

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Crystal nods slightly but with a mild frown as Ibanez explains. When he is done, she says, "So, sabotage." She looks to the freighter captain and says, "I should hope your crew actually checked critical systems before making the jump to Overnale, so presumably the bomb must have been planted by some who was on the ship when we got here?" She turns to Scribe Layla and states, in the command tone of someone expecting an order to be followed, "The Librarian requires you to compile a list of all members of your group that have the technical knowledge they could have planted this device. Asap." Next turning to Ruddick, she says, again sounding like she considers this quite non-negotiable, "Librarian, you will discuss with Captain McLeod and Security Chief Riggs why someone might target your mission, equipment, or manpower, so they can better asses the potential threat to this vessel."

 

She then takes a very, very deep breath before turning to Mr Van Horton, and her voice shaking ever so slightly as she is clearly fighting to maintain a confident posture, she says, "Back in the Navy, Sir, I'd have given a dignitary that needs to just let the crew do their jobs in a critical situation a tour of the ship or found some other way to entertainment them. But I'm afraid I am in no position to distract you like that, Sir. So with all due respect, Sir, I know you have picked Captain MacLeaod and Chief Riggs for their roles because you think they are quite capable of handling an emergency situation like this, and surely you are equally aware they will do a better job without the distraction of their CEO looking over their shoulder. So for the sake of yourself and everyone on board, Sir, please let them do so." 

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Captain Luckman says, "My Engineer took sick, and I had to replace him last minute. Chuck is pretty quiet, but he is Guild certified." As He stands up, he starts a coughing fit, his whole body shaking. He doubles over and fumbles out a red handkerchief from his pocket, after a few minutes his coughing fit stops. He wipes his mouth with the red handkerchief "No worries, it is just something I have to live with. Let me go get Chuck." He straightens back up and leaves the room.

 

Scribe Layla pulls out her data pad and looks at Crystal, "OK, I am setting up a search of our troupe. I assume with Military or police background." She begins tapping on her data-pad.

Librarian Ruddick says, "There is no reason I can think of to target my expedition. There are ruins on Wardn and they are covered in glyphs that have yet to be deciphered. Our travel path takes us through Zhodani space, but we got approval for that months ago." He pulls out his data-pad makes a few taps, "See, here is the letters from both the Imperial and Zhodani governments granting us permission to exit Imperial space and enter Zhodani space then to exit Zhodani and reenter Imperial space. It all is in order." He pauses," Only now it is all for nothing, because of this delay, we will not arrive in the right system at the right time, and we will end up being denied entry into Zhodani space. Now we will have to go the long way around. This will push our project back by several months" He falls silent.

 

Mr. Van Horton stands and looks at Crystal, "It is a good thing you are NOT my employee, or you would be looking for a new job, even though you do speak the truth. For the rest of the voyage, I will try to remain just an observer, however I will voice my concerns if I feel they are warranted. I can NOT have this vessel, or its crew endangered and yes, I DO have to watch the financial bottom-line. If that makes me an overbearing CEO."

 

Over the PA you hear, " Captain to the bridge for the jump to hyperspace."

The captain stands up and looks to Mr. Van Horton, " I think that under the circumstances, I should get to the bridge and oversee the jump." She turns and heads to the door when Mr. Van Horton speaks up, "Captain," he pauses, "you told me the First officer is ready to do his first unsupervised jump. Maybe we should hold to the schedule you proposed." He raises an eyebrow.

The captain smiles, "Mr. Van Horton, that is a fine idea. I will go inform him and be back in a few."  She leaves the room.

 

A few minutes later she returns and sits down.

Over the PA, "All passengers and crew this is First Officer Mulgrew, please be ready for the jump to hyperspace."

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Crystal nods at Captain Luckman's response, looking a bit concerned at the coughing fit, but ultimately, that's one for MacLeod and Riggs to have medical look into if they so wish.

 

She slightly shakes her head at Layla's word, responding, "That's probably too narrow. Such knowledge could come from civilian demolitions experience, like mining. But you better check with Riggs, Ibanez and Scavenge what they think, They will be more apt at defining optimal search parameters than I."

 

She frowns slightly at Ruddick's explanation. "Are you sure, Librarian? What kind of ruins are they, what are the texts presumed to pertain to, could somebody be looking to get there first? Not that it seems particularly important at the moment. It might be best if you work on that list with Scribe Layla and the others."

 

At Mr. Van Horton's response, Crystal lowers her head, slightly biting her lip. She takes a deep breath, then looks back at the CEO, just silently nodding before taking a few steps back, She then just stands there, looking somewhat distant. She clearly does still register Van Horton and the Captain discussing the jump procedure, shaking her head slightly for some reason.

 

Eventually, Crystal approaches Riggs and says, in a low voice, "I am sorry, sir, I was too eager to prove my worth, overstepped my authority with the Librarian and his assistant, and I fear I may have made things worse with Mr. Van Horton, and not just for myself. I..." She shakes her head, lowers it and adds, "If you feel I can still be of use in this investigation, please let me know how, sir. Otherwise, I shall confine myself to my quarters, to stay out of your way and not risk further aggrevating Mr. Van Horton."

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