1125.10.1 - 18:30
The fuel has been refined and the cargo hold has been filled up. There being no need to stick around, the captain gives the order to prepare for departure.
A tug attaches itself to Miishakaal and pulls her to the downport airlock. Once in position, the tug uncouples itself from Miishakaal and returns to the downport. After the walls close behind the tug, the ceiling opens up to a cloudy sky. The landing pad lifts the ship up to the surface. Once locked into place, the all clear signal is given. Gvarokh fires the thrusters and the ship rises from the pad.
Once clear of the atmosphere, the captain asks for a three hour burn, giving the ship four and a half hour flight time before jump. She doesn't want to linger in the system for too long, for fear of the return of the pirates.
The ship jumps successfully.
The crew occupied themselves with their normal jumpspace activities. No need to go into it here. The highlights were the Poker Game and the Last Briefing Before Ashki.
Characters: All but Simrii
Location: Miishakaal crew lounge
1125.10.3 - 20:00
The crew sits down for its weekly poker game. Since it's a short jump week, the crew opts to have it earlier in the week, rather that the typical Thursday. Everyone except Simrii is present.
"Where's Simrii," the captain asks.
"Reading in the port turret I think," Vincent offers.
The captain frowns, "He can be such a loner sometimes."
Vincent was the one who came up with the idea of poker night. However, luck has not been on his side and he always winds up handing over alot of money. Tonight, he's on fire. He regularly has full houses. Four of a kinds are uncommon and a royal flush even makes an appearance. He cleans house.
The captain continues to use apparel distraction to make up for her modest card playing skills. It has some effect on most, but Vincent is virtually unstoppable.
After winning last time, Chuck plays a bit cocky. It proves to be his undoing.
Vincent won $70.
Shiraamer won $20.
Slade won $7.
Lakir lost $5.
Gvarokh lost $15.
Vlad lost $27.
Chuck lost $50.
Location: Miishakaal crew lounge
1125.10.4 - 09:00
Although not everyone has finished their breakfast, the captain calls the meeting to order, "Ok gentlemen, we should be emerging from jump space in just a couple hours. Here's what we know about Ashki. It's a waterworld. The atmosphere is breathable but its got this metallic tang to it that will irritate the hell out of your nose and lungs. So if we have to descend to the surface, we're gonna need filter masks. We probably won't have to do that though. The starport is located on a grav city and all the grav cities are located high enough in the atmosphere that the taint isn't a problem.
"The planet has a population of 340,000. The starport is top of the line. A's all the way. The tech level is 13, so if you need to do some shopping, you might find some good stuff here. However, since the world is technically listed as 'non-industrial', don't expect much in the way of product selection.
Lakir raises his hand, "Question Cap'n. How long we plan on spending on this fish bowl?"
"Just as long as it takes to unload this cargo and find a new one for Sardia. Why?" She smiles, "Planning on doing some more shopping?"
"Yeah!...Still gotta find a high tech shotgun to go with that classy freebie sim plug! Least wise, some higher tech rounds for Simrii's clutch O' shotguns....."
"Well, the law level is three so you're safe there," she smiles, "But try not to get into any trouble."
Looking around at the group, Lakir asks, "Meant to ask ya, what happened to bubble broad?"
The captain replies, "While you were unloading the ship, starport security picked her up for questioning."
"We get any additional info outta her before she departed?...Sure would'a been nice ta get some first person info on who might'a wanted ta jack' em. She stuck out in the loadin' bay, and the cargo wasn't worth jack....would'a been nice ta' pump her for some info....least we might'ta been able ta 'void the same profile ...if these pirates are profilin' trade though this area, mind..."
She replies, "No we didn't. She asked for passage but there was just something about her attitude toward the old captain and crew that I didn't particularly care for. I figured I'd do everybody a favor and politely turn her down."
"Hunh. Probl'y just as well.....sounds like she, or some one or thing with her, was pro'ly the target... less them 'jakers decided on shotin' fish....just for the halibut...."(undercover sad smile)
Chucks ask rhetorically, "Do pirates ever need a reason to attack anyone if they think they're easy prey?"
"Target practice on live 'uns, even in a low pop system, 'specially with a naval base, can make random target practice rather pricey....that, and replacin' the expended kit, or absorbing the wear on laser lenses...these day's...I'd think twice, course that would be if I was interested in continuin' down my chosen career path...'possed to populatin' the void 'tween the stars with my baseline constituents..."
"Any other questions?" The captain looks around the room but doesn't see any. "Then that concludes this meeting."
Next: Arrival in Ashki System