1125.10.4 - 11:20
The ship emerges from jumpspace. Nothing out of the ordinary appears on the passive scanners. She calls up a chart on Gvarokh's screen showing a decel/coast algorithm that she wants him to use. Its somewhat bold, but it will cut their travel time in half. Ashki has a large gravity well so she wants the residual velocity to carry them in at a reasonable rate. Why leave oneself exposed? The captain informs the crew that it should take about 6 hours to get to the planet.
The captain then hails the starport and informs them of their inbound flight plan. The starport informs them that a patrol cruiser will intercept them upon reaching orbit for a routine inspection. Whereupon, the starport's exact coordinates will be given.
This last bit comes as a surprise, but the starport authority informs the Miishakaal that this is just an added layer of security to keep would be marauders at bay.
The inbound flight goes by without a hitch. The inspection also goes smoothly and the starport's coordinates are given. The starport is located on the grav city of Skien. As soon as the patrol cruiser detaches, Shiraamer gives the order to descend.
19:00 Imperial Time, 18:58 Vilani Time, 15:15 Local Time
The upper levels of Ashki's atmosphere were clear and turbulent free. The city of Skien was on the dayside when the ship made its descent so those with a view outside were privileged to watch a sparkling sunrise.
Ashki's dense atmosphere (~2.2 atm) makes it possible for grav cities to operate a bit more openly at high altitudes with little air pressure manipulation required. The glistening white city of Skien is almost directly over its terrestrial twin Akem.
Miishakaal is given clearance to land. The starport itself is a two level cylinder which occupies 1/4 of the city. No, it's not a big city (population 9000+) when you compare it to Hrun's orbital cities like Shatison, but it's still impressive anyway for its open structure and shining spires with the world ocean (a little too blue) below. Form rules over function here.
Once the ship has come to rest inside its hangar bay, Shiraamer turns to Gvarokh and asks, "Got any plans for this stopover?"
He replies, "Narrr. It was a short jump. I will supervise cargo unloading. You can go shopping if you'd like."
Shiraamer smiles and straightens up a bit, "I think I just might do that. Let's see what this place has to offer. You need anything while I'm out?"
"Narrr, I think I'm good."
Shiraamer leaves the bridge and heads to her quarters to freshen up and change into something more appropriate for walking around the city.
Gvarokh contacts the Imperial Postal Service and informs them that they've arrived. He then contacts Skien Manufacturing to inform them that their aluminum and copper has arrived. He hails Simrii and Vlad to let them know that they've got cargo detail. Vincent gets fuel and life support detail. Slade goes over the engines and performs a maintenance check. Lakir gets himself ready for a bit of shore leave.
Characters: Shiraamer and Lakir
NPC: Sar Naggulii
Location: Miishakaal then Skien
19:15 Imperial Time, 19:13 Vilani Time, 15:30 Local Time
After getting news from Gvarokh that he's been granted shore leave, Lakir gets himself ready to go. As he does so, Gvarokh contacts him again to let him know that the captain will be going ashore as well.
"Understood," Lakir replies.
Once he's ready, he heads down to the crew lounge and waits for the captain. After a few minutes, she arrives. She's wearing a long, flowing white skirt with a white on white fleur-de-lis pattern. A bolero jacket covers a white lace blouse. Her hair is in a whispy updo with tendrils escaping, but still secure enough not to fall down. To help hold them up she has ornamental combs. Her heels have a light blue tint to them which matches her bolero jacket. She has a scarf around her waist that ties the two in and she has a pin on it that designates her status as captain of the Miishakaal. As she gets closer, Lakir notices that her earrings match her necklace and that they're a lovely blue variance.
"Hello Lakir. Are you waiting for me?"
She smiles, "That's sweet of you Lakir. Thank you."
"Not at all."
The pair leave the ship and enter the starport.
"That's a pretty necklace," Lakir compliments.
"Thank you. It was a present from an old boyfriend. According to him, the designer said the name of the piece was called Caspia, meaning Essence of the Sea. It was fashioned after an original from Terra in the 1940's by a Hollywood starlet. Movies were just 2D back then. I liked it, as well as the man, at least enough not to check to see if it really meant that." She finishes off the sentence with a knowing smile.
Whites and beiges are the pre-dominant colors in the starport and, the duo soon discover, the city as well. Lakir notices that the captain fits right in with her outfit, while he doesn't. White is the pre-dominant color worn on clothing in the place, with faded pastels rounding out the color spectrum. Skirts, of various lengths, and blouses are most common among women. Women of means appear to have their hair up like the captain. Long hair dominates all around.
Men wear canvas pants and short sleeve shirts. Men of means wear jackets that make them look diplomatic. Short hair appears to be the rule, with crew cuts popular. Facial hair is non-existent.
The police stick out somewhat with their tan uniforms, but their appearance is otherwise non-descript.
Everyone appears friendly. The captain gets polite nods from the women of means, courteous bows from the older men, and enticing smiles from the younger men.
There are no billboards here. The white walls are unadorned save the occasional one foot square sign designating a place of business. The occasional wall mounted vid screen only comes to life when someone touches it looking for directions. There are no windows on the street level. Sunlight streams in from overhead, a transparent canopy high over the street keeps the warmth in and moderates the wind gusts down to gentle breezes.
"So, where are we headed?" the captain asks with a smile.
"There's a gun shop I want to check out. It goes by the name of Satirine Saamlar. According to the map," Lakir waves his super-PDA, "it should be just the road a meters." Saamlar is the Vilani word for "ammunition."
Sure enough, the duo come across a sign outside a non-descript door. The sign features a yellow sun with various types of ammo, silhouetted in black, radiating out from its center.
The inside of the store is in stark contrast to the exterior. While the people are dressed the same, the colors of the displays and walls are solid blues, blacks, and yellows. Weapons are everywhere. Video screens demonstrate how various guns are used and manufactured. Lakir tries not to drool.
A tall gentleman approaches you. He's dressed in white from head to toe and his clothing hides the extra weight that he's carrying around. He has a mustache and short gray hair topped with a hat shaped like pint glass. His skin displays olive tones.
"Good afternoon," he shakes Lakir's hand, "I am Sar Naggulii."
Sar notices the captain's pin, "My apologies madam." He bows and kisses Shiraamer's hand. "It is not often that I come across a women of beauty who leads such a rugged life." He's obviously trying to cover his mistake in not greeting the captain first.
Shiraamer arches an eyebrow at the slight affront to her. She knows that if she were at home, that mistake would cost him dearly in his upcoming negotiations. She puts on a reserved but somewhat bored look and withdraws her hand. As her hand goes to her throat in a gesture of mock horror, she replies "Rugged? Do I look like I've led a rugged life? Oh dear." She steps away from him and turns her back to the men. She pulls a mirror out of her sash and pretends to examine her face for "signs of ruggedness" while in reality watching the two men.
"No-no-no. Not at all," Sar clasps his hands together while trying to placate her. "Just the opposite. Starship captains lead a rugged life and it tends to wear on them. You madam, show no signs of that life whatsoever. You are so beautiful I thought that you were of the local nobility."
Lakir turns slightly from Sar and addresses the Cap'n, "I fear that I may have made an error in thinking we could do business here Captain ... perhaps I should check for an alternate establishment..?" He takes out his PDA to initiate another search.
"No, please," Sar raises a finger to emphasize his point, "Your departure would not only deprive me of your business but it would deprive you of the best deals on the best equipment in all of Skien."
Shiraamer pauses in her primping and slowly slips her mirror where it came from. She holds up her hand to Lakir to stop him, "Perhaps Lakir we should give this entrepreneur first chance. We are here after all. If he doesn't have anything that catches your interest here, you may make other arrangements." Holding out her hand to Sar, she looks at him with a smile. "If you can impress both my companion and myself, then we shall indeed do business with you."
"Ahhhh thank you my lady," Sar takes her hand and kisses it again, "I do not disappoint." He holds onto her hand and intends to guide her through the store. "While the gentleman decides what merchandise he would like to inspect, perhaps I can get something for the lady. A glass of wine perhaps?"
"I am feeling a bit parched. That would be delightful."
"Splendid. Do you have any preferences? If not, I have a splendid chardonnay for you to savor."
Shiraamer gives a small arch to her eyebrow and smiles that secret smile, "I'm sure whatever you choose would be fine Sar. If I can not trust your taste in wine and refreshments, how could I feel like I could trust your taste in inventory?"
"Such wisdom!" He waves one of his assistants over, "Gamuu, a glass of the chardonnay for the lovely lady."
Gamuu disappears into the back.
To Shiraamer, Sar asks, "Are you shopping here as well madam?"
"I rely on Lakir's recommendations for my firearms. Of course I'm always on the look out for that 'extra special' piece also." Shiraamer waits for the glass of wine and casually looks around.
"I see," Sar turns his attention to Lakir, "Sir?"
"Indeed. My needs are specific, and I require little time. For the Captain first though. Perhaps you could show her some accessories for a Nashisha Mk VII 10mm Snub Revolver, perhaps some speed loaders, or a laser pointer....over that glass of wine, of course."
"Ahhhh, an excellent choice."
"For myself, I'd be interested in your line of automatic shotgun's, something in 18 mm by 70 mm. As well, I'd be interested in any accessories you may carry for a Strausse/Markham 4 mm Gauss Pistol. Perhaps one of your associates could assist me?"
"Oh yes, indeed. I'll have Gamuu help you as soon as he..."
Gamuu returns with the chardonnay and hands it to Shiraamer.
"Thank you Gamuu," Sar says, "Would you please assist the gentleman. I believe that the Instellarms AA12 shotgun will meet his needs."
Gamuu bows, "Yes, sir."
"Sir, if you'll follow me," Gamuu leads the way to a display case featuring several shotguns. He opens it up and hands the Instellarms 18/12 Auto-Assault Shotgun over to Lakir. He then begins to describe all of its features, manufacturing specialties, and capabilities. He adds that the store has a full line of accessories and ammunition to go along with it.
"Do you have any questions regarding this model?"
Lakir asks, "Would you have the price list handy?"
"Yes, I believe that this model goes for 1,200 credits. However, Sar keeps the most up to date price in his head, if you follow my meaning sir."
"Indeed. I shall take it up with him when he returns then..."
Lakir then adds, "Do you have any accessories for the Strausse/Markham 4mm Gauss Pistol?"
"Yes sir we do. Did you have anything specific in mind?"
"Yes. Do you carry the 75 round snail drums or the 8cm sniper barrel extension?"
"We have both."
"And the MSRP on the items, just so I have the starting point...?"
"Let me check." He pulls out a PDA-like device and types a buttons before tapping the screen with his fingers, "5 credits for the drum and 250 for the barrel extension."
"Excellent! If I may, I'll amuse myself with the 18/12 while I await the return of the Captain and Sar. Would you have the list price for your 18 mm x 70 mm ammo selection available?"
"Yes. If you'd like, you can try it out in the weapon simulator room."
"Off to the sim room then!"
"Right this way sir."
Meanwhile, Shiraamer tries her wine. It is good. The chardonnay is smooth and rich in texture. "The man knows his wine," she thinks to herself.
Once Lakir and Gamuu are out of ear shot, Shiraamer leans in close to Sar. Her hand absently follows the V of her bolero jacket before resting on his arm. He is rapt with attention.
In a hush voice she starts talking, "My dear sir, I was wondering if you could help me a bit. My companion has been most diligent in his duties aboard the ship and I see how much he appreciates your inventory. Do you perhaps have something in the line that he's looking for that is a little special? I'd love to treat him to something from here."
His reply is as conspiratorial as Shiraamer's as he places his hand on hers, "Yes madam. I had Gamuu show him one of the finest models produced for auto shotguns. The Instellarms AA 18 stroke 12 has been described as both impressive and excellent by the evaluators of Imperial Armed Forces Journal." He raises a finger, "Sar Naggulii will not sell anything that it isn't of the highest quality."
Shiraamer gives a delicate shimmy when he says that, "Forceful and intelligent. You sir are a true find. Perhaps I'll find a suitable accessory after all. I trust that your Gammu will keep track of what catches his eye."
"I certainly hope so."
Shiraamer sips her wine, "An excellent vintage sir. My compliments. It is so nice to do business in a civilized manner."
"But of course. I am pleased that the wine pleases you."
"Do you have anything interesting for my gun?"
"Which one? The Nashisha that your companion recommended or the one in your jacket?"
Noticing her surprise, which almost causes her to snarf her wine, he laughs to show her that being armed is trivial, "My lady, we may be lax in our gun laws but we are diligent in our awareness. The city's sensors detected your snub pistol and your companion's gauss pistol once you left your ship. That information was relayed to us once you entered my store. Fear not, I've had customers in here with much greater firepower."
Shiraamer files away the information about the city's sensors recording their weapons as soon as they left the ship and also the fact that they relay it to their business for updates later on the planet.
You reach the display case. He pulls out the Nashisha Mk VII 10 mm snub revolver and hands over to Shiraamer to examine. He extols the virtues of the weapon: low recoil, improved range, high quality craftsmanship. He also draws Shiraamer's eye to the grip, which is painted and carved wood. Sar explains that the wood is from the Minakhi tree from the Kuragan Jungle on Vland and that he has the paperwork from the craftsman to back up that claim. The carving on the left side appears to be of an ancient shugillii hard at work preparing food while the right side depicts an early bazaar scene from old Vland.
She runs her hand over the inlay and feels the grip in her hand, trying to hide the fact that it really does appeal to her. "Hmmm. It does appear to have nice workmanship. Comes with papers you say?"
She puts it back down and smiles, "I'm glad that you were informed about our weaponry. I was afraid at first that I had misjudged how well it went with my outfit and that it stuck out too much. I'm glad to see it was technology that gave it away and not the outfit."
"Oh no madam, it is completely concealed to the naked eye."
She draws it out to show him (proper etiquette being observed). "And what do you have to enhance this little piece?"
He holds out his hands, "May I?" He looks it over and notes the model. He frowns, "I'm afraid there isn't much that I can do. While the quality of the pistol is not in question, there is insufficient integrity to the weapon to mount a laser sight." He hands it back to her.
Shiraamer gives a delicate and sexy pout, "Oh darn. I've grown so fond of it."
"There's no reason not to keep it madam. You have two lovely hands after all."
Shiraamer gives Sar a brilliant smile, "Of course! I can have both."
She lets her eyes casually go back to the previous weapon, "How much did you say that piece was? Do you have something that would be an upgrade for it?" Shiraamer casually looks around to see how Lakir is doing. She notes that he seems to be done.
"Well I would normally sell it for a 1000 credits due to the fine craftsmanship of the weapon and the unique artwork in the grip, but for you I would sell it for 700."
"700? Hmmm." Shiraamer looks over the artwork again, having already made up her mind to buy it, she pretends to give in graciously. "I would be disappointed if I don't buy something. I think I shall take you up on your gracious offer and take that beautiful weapon."
She gestures towards Lakir, "It looks like Lakir is finished with his purchases." Shiraamer leans in closer, taking Sar's hand, and whispers low by his ear, "If you would please be so kind as to find out if there is something that I can buy Lakir from your wonderful shop." She leans back again and offers him her hand. "I thank you for your wonderful assistance kind sir."
"You are most welcome and I do believe he has made it plainly obvious what he would like to have."
Lakir and Gamuu walk towards Shiraamer and Sar as they make their way towards an alcove near their position. Lakir is holding a shotgun, the smile on his face hard to miss.
As they get near, Gamuu says, "I am taking the gentleman to the weapon sim."
"Very good," Sar replies.
Shiraamer arches her eyebrow a bit, "Weapons sim? Perhaps I should try out this new piece?" Looking at Sar, she asks, "Would you be giving me instructions on how to use it? Or someone else?" She then looks coyly away. "If you would permit me madam, I will be all too happy to instruct you."
They walk downstairs towards the weapon simulator room.
Shiraamer says, "I'm afraid after this our time to leave will soon be upon us."
Sar replies, "Alas all good things must come to an end."
As Lakir and Gamuu enter the sim room, Gamuu says, "I have the following prices
listed: 1Cr (Ball/Shot), 1.5 Cr (DS, HE, Tranq), 2 Cr (HEAP)." He puts his PDA
away and walks over to a rack of sim plugs. He soon finds the plug and gestures
for the weapon, "May I?"
Lakir hands over the shotgun and Gamuu inserts the plug. He then hands it back to Lakir and powers up the simulator. "You may proceed," he says and steps away, "If you have any questions, feel free to ask."
Lakir has no problem finding his way around the shotgun. He performs effortlessly and finds it to be quite effective, "Gives new meaning to 'painting the target'," he says smiling.
Lakir notices that Shiraamer and Sar have joined them here. Sar has inserted a sim plug into the snub revolver she's holding and is now showing her how to use it. He offers suggestions as to a proper stance and grip, gently guiding her legs and arms to where they should be. Although he's touching her, he's careful not to do anything that could be construed as inappropriate. Not that Shiraamer needed his instruction, but she's playing with him.
She does a fine job with the targets as she is skilled with a handgun. She finds the weapon to be all the Sar has made it out to be.
"Excellent shooting madam," Sar says. "I see that you are no stranger to handguns. This one should make a fine addition to your arsenal. Indeed, I believe that it would be the crown jewel."
She nods her head in acknowledgment of Sar's compliment, "Thank you kind sir. Alas, unless I must tear myself away from you and your establishment. I did forget to ask if a sim for this comes with it. I think I might need more practice once I'm outside of your inspiring presence."
Sar smiles, flashing alot of teeth, "You flatter me madam but I'm certain that my presence does not inspire your performance. But yes, a sim comes with each weapon at no extra charge."
Shiraamer notices that Lakir watched her shoot. He has a subdued grin on his face. He offers, "Cap'n you should try the light weight visible IR pointer, in place of the rear sight."
Shiraamer replies with a smile, "Maybe I will." She turns to face Sar and continues, "I believe it is time to see how much lighter my coffers will be. You have just sooo many delightful things here, I'm sure that it will become a popular spot whenever I'm in the area."
He bows, "Indeed it shall."
Gamuu speaks up, "Sar, I informed the gentleman of the book price, but I told him that you have the most up to date prices in your head."
"Thank you Gamuu. Please wrap our customers' purchases up."
Gamuu then takes the guns from Lakir and Shiraamer and disappears through the doorway.
"Please," Sar gestures towards the stairs, "Let us return to my shop."
Once back upstairs, Sar continues, "Madam, before I give you a price for your purchases today, I would like to know if you have need of any ammunition or accessories for either one of these weapons."
"That would be good," Shiraamer replies, "Do you have such a sight that Lakir was referring to?"
"Then please figure that in on the quote. I believe that you have my other request for purchases."
"Lakir? I'll leave it up to you to give them our requirements for ammunition."
"Indeed Cap'n...I take it you will be acquiring the AA-18/12?"
"I'll take that as a yes. We'll require 3, 15 round mags, 2, 30 round drums and 2, 60 round drums....a short barrel would be nice to have, in addition to the standard length. I take it a sling is standard with the weapon?"
"Yes, it is."
"We'll want 30 rounds of Tranq, 60 rounds HE, 60 Rounds DS, 60 rounds HEAP and an additional 180 rounds each of ball and shot. Our ship's load of 17mm is getting somewhat low. For yourself, Captain, perhaps 6 speed loaders and the laser pointer? I've also noticed your ammo selection is a bit down on conventional loads, so perhaps a 100 rounds each of ball and DS...."
Looking to Sar, he adds "Perhaps you also have the shot round available?"
"Yes, we do."
"In addition, kind Sar, I'll require the 8cm sniper barrel extension for my 4mm Strausse/Markham gauss pistol I discussed earlier with Gamuu, as well as 4, 75 round snail drums."
Shiraamer smiles at Lakir and in a low voice whispers to Sar (so Lakir can hear also) "It's such a good thing he's around. I know I'd have forgotten something.
Sar replies in kind, "Most thorough."
A little louder, Shiraamer asks, "Also can you recommend a good eatery that delivers? I would like to treat the rest of my crew."
"Absolutely," he beams, "My cousin has a restaurant. The Sparkling Skire in the Sky. I admit the name leaves a little to be desired but the food is superb. Be sure to tell him Sar sent you."
"We shall certainly check it out." Shiraamer replies.
"Now let me see if I've got your list correct. For the lady, I have the Nashisha snub, 6 speed loaders, a laser pointer, 100 rounds of ball and DS. For the gentleman, the Instellarms 18/12 shotgun, an additional short barrel, 3 x 15 round mags, 2 x 30 round drums and 2 x 60 round drums, 30 rounds of Tranq, 60 rounds HE, 60 Rounds DS, 60 rounds HEAP and 180 rounds of ball and shot. Plus 4 75 round snail drums for a 4 mm Strausse/Markham gauss pistol. Along with a barrel extension for said weapon. Is this correct?"
"And please include 100 rounds of 10mm Shot, for the Captains snub."
"Ah yes. My apologies. And those sim plugs are free of charge."
Sar pulls out a PDA like device and runs his fingers over it. "For the lady, I have a bill of 2,150 credits and for the gentleman I have a bill of 850 credits."
Shiraamer ponders that amount, "I'll never remember that amount, perhaps you should split it up differently. Make my portion a nice around figure of 3,000 credits and then the rest out of Lakirs." Shiraamer knows that she doesn't have to "remember" that amount since it is taken out automatically but is relying on any gentlemen present not to argue with her.
"Very good madam." Sar rings up her purchase.
With a gracious bow to the Capn', Lakir thanks her, "Why thank you Madam. That is very kind of you."
Shiraamer smiles, "I was glad to do it."
Sar asks, "Would you like me to deliver this to your ship so that you can continue with any further shopping you may have planned?"
"Delivered, I should think, Captain? I'll comm Gavrokh and tell him to expect a load...?"
Shiraamer nods, "Thank you. Lakir, please notify the guys to expect a shipment."
"Gamuu, the order is to be delivered to...." He looks to the captain.
"...The starship Miishakaal, at the starport."
After the transaction, Lakir asks Sar, "Would you be kind enough to direct us to a clothier able to supply my Captain with a vest similar to mine? I fear I was quite negligent at our last stop, and failed to acquire this most vital piece of field kit for her. As well, I will need to acquire some fabric for some modifications to my own vest, as it seems I need to increase my carrying capacity somewhat."
"No offense my good sir but I truly hope to never see your beautiful captain in such a... a... functional outfit." He smiles to show that he meant to be funny and not insulting. "But in all seriousness, you can try Ashki Outfitters. I believe that it's located near the starport as they supply offworlders with the n ecessary gear to explore our world."
"If I am clothed in such a vest, I would certainly hope that I wouldn't have too many witnesses. Still if I need it, it would be a good to have it. Of course if there is a place which can outfit me with equal or better protection of his vest and yet not be bulky or unsightly....then I would be interested to hear of that also."
"Madam, if there is a more clandestine outfit that holds the quantity of stuff that Mr. Lakir's vest holds, I'm sure that the entire galaxy would like to know of it."
Shiraamer gives a delightful and sexy chuckle.
Sar takes the captain's hand and kisses it, "Thank you madam. I hope that your purchase serves you well and that it never has to be used."
Sar then shakes Lakir's hand, "Good day sir. Take care of your lovely captain. I would like to see you return to my humble store again someday."
Shiraamer takes Lakir's arm, "Shall we proceed on to our next stop then?"
The duo take their leave of Sar and his establishment.
Next: Shopping at Skien - Part 2