NPC: Chuck and several passengers
Location: Miishakaal docked at Skiire Starport
With everyone on board and properly secured for launch, the captain announces
shipwide that the ship is ready for departure. With the control tower's
approval, Miishakaal leaves the hangar bay and soars into the sky.
Once clear of Ashkii's atmosphere, Shiraamer gives the all clear sign to the crew. They climb out of their seats and begin making pre-jump preparations.
She adds, "No rush. We've got over 5 hours before jump. Sardia is one quarter the size of Ashki so I'm going to conserve fuel and just coast to the jump point rather than burn it up with the extra accel and decel burns."
The outbound flight has gone without a hitch.
"Two minutes to jump." The crew strap themselves back into their seats. Captain Shiraamer dims the lights.
Shiraamer asks, "Slade, how we doing?"
"All good. We're ready down here."
"Ok, engaging jump drive," Shiraamer states. She engages the jump drive.
For those with a view on the bridge, or have tied their comm panel in with forward visual sensors, the stars ahead suddenly shift blue. A hole in space opens up directly in front of the ship. The familiar colors of jumpspace appear in the hole: chunks of white plasma etched with jagged blobs of pink shot through with electric bolts of neon blue all surrounded in a halo of overcast gray. Effortlessly, the Miishakaal glides right in. No one feels a thing.
Shiraamer announces, "We're in jumpspace people."
Location: Miishakaal crew lounge
The ship has just entered jumpspace. The passengers are either in their
cryoberths or asleep in their rooms. The captain decides to call a meeting of
the crew to give them their assignments for the week in jump.
"It's been a long time since we've had passengers on board and I can't say that I've missed them. I've enjoyed just traveling with my crew." She smiles, "But, we're stuck with them."
She nods to Gvarokh to proceed.
Gvarokh speaks up, "Right. Since our passengers arrrre Vilani, they live on Vland time. That means a thirty-two hourrrrr clock instead of our normal twenty-four. I want Chuck and Lakirrr to switch over to Vland time since they're ourrr stewards. Vlad, since you bunk upstairs, you might want to keep Vland time in mind in case you want to avoid the passengers."
Chuck nods in agreement.
Vlad smiles, showing way too many teeth, "I will keep the same schedule as my punching bag."
Lakir answers, "Hey.! I resemble that remark."
Gvarokh continues, "Passengers are restricted to the passenger area 'upstairs', though I suppose if a Colonel, or even a Captain, wish to roam, it will be hard to stop them." He looks to Shiraamer to confirm this.
Shiraamer agrees, "The passengers are indeed restricted to upstairs. It might come to the fact that it's impossible to perhaps stop wandering colonels but it doesn't mean that we can't send someone with them. And if they want to go to Engineering or the Bridge, they'll need to ask permission first. I don't care what rank they are. Miisha's my girl and I won't have people snooping around uninvited." She settles herself, then asks, "Any questions?"
Lakir slaps his knee reflexively, "Roger that. I'll feel them out for that anti-Vargr sentiment. Wouldn't want them feeln' uncomfy. Sides', that RSM looks like she might be a match, if the Capn' don't mind her joinin' the rousta' bout in the cargo hold later on..."
Shiraamer listens and nods, "I have no problems with that. Let me know what you find out about anti vargr, or other, feelings."
Gvarokh cocks his head to the side. His brow furrows and his ears go erect, "I didn't notice anything in their postures or their scents that would indicate that they had any problems with me. The two males seemed quite relaxed. The female seemed a little distant but there wasn't enough there for me to feel that she was a threat."
"Right. Thats it for me." Lakir stands and heads off for some sack time, in order to awake prior to the passengers. "Gotta slip inta' that steward routine now. Course, can't cook worth a shit, so Chuck make sure the grubs on for the cargo in the AM."
As he heads into the lift, Chuck scowls and mutters something under his breath, but its too quiet for anyone, including the vargr, too pick up.
Location: Miishakaal crew lounge
As the briefing ends and the crew disperses, Gvarokh says to Chuck, "Chuck, a
Chuck stays in the room, "Sure thing, Gvarokh."
When everyone else has gone, Gvarokh says, "Chuck, I know you probably don't like the steward role much, but we weren't given much choice with the passengers. I really do appreciate the effort you put out, and thank you for your work with both these passengers, and the low passengers. You are doing a great job."
Chuck smiles, "Thanks for the kind words, Gvarokh. It's always nice to be appreciated. But you're mistaken. I don't mind playing the role of steward at all. I like people, generally speaking that is."
Gvarokh stammers, "I thought... well you seemed a bit unhappy at the end of the briefing..."
"Oh that, well..." the smile vanishes. "It's Lakir. He treats me like a simpleton. Back at Ashki, after that great dinner the captain had delivered to the ship, he starts showing me how to use a computer terminal to look for food, like I've been living in the Stone Age my whole life! A frickin' computer! And just now he's telling me to have breakfast ready for our guests? Duh! Aren't I the one who's been cooking meals on this ship every day now for months? Where does he get off?"
Gvarokh looks at Chuck with a toothless smile for a bit, then says, "Well, you just have to keep in mind Lakir is like that. He can be abrasive at times. Remember that his 'people skills' revolve around interrogation and skulking on the back streets. The sad part is that is still more than most of the crew, apart from the captain and us."
Chuck sighs. The momentary rush of anger deflates out of him. "Well, thanks for listening Gvarokh." He looks over at the galley and then back at Gvarokh. "Well, I better get over to the galley. Our passengers are going to be up in a couple of hours and they're gonna want breakfast. Gotta brush up on my vilani cuisine." With a resigned smile, he heads over to the galley.
Gvarokh heads back to his room to catch some sleep. He makes a mental note to corner Lakir sometime later in the jump week.
Characters: Lakir & Vlad
NPC: Chuck, 3 Medium Military Passengers
Location: Jumpspace aboard the Miishakaal
Lakir and Vlad have risen in their respective rooms after a two hour nap. The
Vilani day has begun. Both guys emerge from their rooms, nod to one another,
and sit in the passenger lounge and wait for the passengers to emerge from their
rooms. Vlad soon falls back to sleep on the couch.
A hour goes by. Vlad's nose twitches and he wakes up. "Food," he says matter of factly.
The sound of the lift can be heard and there's Chuck arriving with a tray full of what Lakir recognizes as Vilani breakfast.
Vlad sniffs and licks his jaws.
"This isn't for you Vlad," Chuck playfully reprimands, "It's for our guests."
Vlad whines a bit.
"And don't beg in front of them. It's rude. If you wait, I'll see what I can scrape up for you in the galley."
Vlad's tag wags in approval.
The passengers emerge from their rooms, as if on cue, and sit at the table.
"Good Drandirs" are exchanged among everyone. Introductions are given again as well. Neither Vlad nor Lakir sense any reluctance on the part of the passengers at seeing Vlad.
As the passengers sit down to eat, Lakir gets right down to it. He asks the RSM if she'd like a sparring partner for the week. She seems rather surprised, if not taken aback, by the offer.
Seeing the reluctance on her face, Captain Lishenii gives her a nudge, "Go on Sergeant Major. I'm no match for you anymore."
She looks over at the colonel who seconds the idea with a nod.
"Perhaps I will," she says with some hesitation, "but it'll have to wait until the next drandir. I'd like to get the feel of the ship's artificial gravity first."
Lakir knows that a drandir is a Vilani "day" so he has about 32 hours. "Tomorrow's good," he says.
The colonel asks, "How much of the ship are we allowed to see. I'd like to get some exercise myself. Nothing too physical. Just some jogging."
Chuck answers, "The captain's given permission for passengers to visit the cargo hold but only with an escort. I believe that engineering and the bridge are off limits unless you specifically ask her for permission to enter those areas."
The colonel replies, "That's good enough for me. It's her ship. I respect that."
Vlad keeps looking at Chuck with an impatient, hungry stare.
Chuck finally gives in, "Oh alright Vlad. Let's go." To the passengers, he adds, "If you need anything more, you know how to reach me."
Chuck and Vlad depart via the lift, leaving Lakir alone with the passengers as they continue to eat breakfast.
Lakir enquires as to Colonel's time line for his walkabout, in order to final clear it with the Cap'n, as well as to make sure either he or Chuck are available for escort.
"Sometime after breakfast I suppose," the colonel replies.
"We don't usually take passengers," Lakir says, "and certainly hadn't counted on such esteemed members of the Forces looking for transport in this region.
"That's quite all right."
"Please pardon if the service is not up to what I'm sure you are accustomed to. We've heard rumours of some nasties frequenting this area, and hope we can provide adequately for your safety."
"I imagine that we'll be quite safe in jumpspace," the colonel says with a wry smile.
"Ok, I'll be back in a few." Lakir then retreats to his stateroom. He consults the cargo loading diagram, to see if any adjustments can be made in-flight, to accommodate a 'jogging track', as well as the 'circle of swatting', so loved by Vlad. The internal cameras for the cargo hold reveal enough space for someone to go jogging, even if its not quite a circular path, and the space near the main hold door is adequate for sparring. "Now to check with the cap'n," he says to no one in particular.
Characters: Lakir & Shiraamer
Location: Jumpspace aboard the Miishakaal
Shiraamer is in her quarters about to head to the galley for dinner when her
comm chimes. It's Lakir.
"Hello, Lakir. What can I do for you?"
"Evening, cap'n. I've got a request from the Colonel to go joggin' round the cargo hold. An exercise thing. I've checked the hold and I'm fairly certain that he can have some kinda track without movin' the cargo round. I'll go with as escort if Chuck ain't available. Whaddya say?"
Shiraamer, never really having the need to exercise, shudders at the thought of jogging before dinner. "As long as they're accompanied it will be fine. Better you then me. Walking is fine but jogging? Oh well, to each their own. If you can do it without moving things around and they are escorted then I'm fine with it."
"Thanks cap'n. Will do. Lakir out."
Shiraamer heads to the galley to see if Chuck has prepared something for dinner while Lakir rejoins the passengers.
NPC: 3 Medium Military Passengers
Location: Miishakaal, in jumpspace
Lakir returns to the passenger lounge to find that the passengers have
finished eating breakfast. He informs them that the captain has granted
permission to them to jog in the cargo hold. The colonel and captain are
noticeably pleased while the RSM seems non-plussed, as if she were just given an
order. All three return to their quarters to change into clothing suitable for
jogging. Once they've stretched, they signal that they're ready.
Lakir leads them into the lift and down to the crew lounge. Vlad is there with the captain. Chuck can be heard in the galley. All three say "hello" while the passengers offer "Good Drandirs."
The group turns the corner and heads into the cargo bay. As soon as the door opens the cargo bay lights start coming on in the area by the door. Lakir accesses the controls and turns all of the bay lights on to daytime brightness.
The passengers offer their thanks and commence to jogging. Lakir climbs up a ladder and perches himself at the top. It affords him enough of a view of the cargo hold that he can see all of the doors out of the hold. If the passengers were foolish enough to leave the hold, he would spot their departure immediately.
After two hours of jogging around the cargo hold, the passengers seem to have
had enough. Lakir is glad as he's been waiting on them to finish so that he
could grab some grub. After seeing them to the lift where they're presumably
headed back to their rooms for showers, or more exercise, Lakir isn't sure, he
heads to the galley to scrape some leftovers together to eat.
Lakir brings his food up to the passenger lounge to eat, just in case he's needed. He eats, reads, and sits on a couch. Eventually the day catches up to him and he falls asleep.
Lakir hears his name called and he immediately wakes up. It's the colonel.
He's smiling at Lakir, clearly amused by the fact that he fell asleep.
"Sorry 'bout that. Must've nodded off."
"It's quite alright Lakir. It takes a while to adjust from Imperial time to Vilani time. Why don't you head off to your room to catch some sleep. If we need anything, we'll comm you. Unless, of course, you're under orders to stand guard."
"No, no. Ok. Thanks."
"If you want, we'll wake you before secondmeal. That way you can join us. It'll help speed up the adjustment process."
"Sure. That'll work."
Lakir then heads off to his room to catch some sleep. He sends a message to Gvarokh, Vlad, and Chuck to let them know he's sacking out.
Characters: Lakir & Vlad (sort of)
NPC: 3 Medium Military Passengers & Chuck (briefly)
Location: Miishakaal, in jumpspace
Lakir is woken up by a comm call from the colonel inviting him to join them
for secondmeal. He accepts. The meal is mostly small talk, superficial stuff:
past campaigns, bars on certain worlds, the effectiveness of certain handguns,
etc. Lakir is careful not to reveal his true past, but instead gives one of his
cover backgrounds from when he was working behind enemy lines. It works
effortlessly, like putting on an old pair of jeans.
Nothing of interest is divulged by either the colonel or the captain.
After a while he's informed that he isn't needed and that he should feel free to do whatever it is that he does during jump. So, he tracks down Vlad for some sparring as a warm up for his contest with the RSM. Vlad gives him a good drumming but he manages to do ok.
Although the rest of the crew is up and about, Lakir makes it a point to keep with the Vilani clock. He's suddenly tired from the time lag and sparring with Vlad so he decides to hit the sack.
Lakir is woken up by a comm call from Captain Lishenii, "You don't want to
miss breakfast. You'll certainly need it if you're sparring with the Regimental
Sergeant Major today."
As if on cue, Lakir's stomach starts growling.
Lakir eats quite a bit at breakfast. His body isn't used to the Vilani tradition of two meals a day. He digests the meal while the passengers get their jog in. It's late for the rest of the crew so no one is up except for the passengers, Lakir, Vlad, and Chuck. The latter doesn't last long as he has to be up to cook breakfast for the rest of the crew.
The RSM concludes her jog earlier than the others. When asked why, she says that she wishes to be rested for their sparring match.
Vlad, Lakir, and the RSM watch the old men finish their jog. Vlad then escorts the men upstairs leaving Lakir alone with the RSM.
Sparring with the RSM doesn't go as well as Lakir had hoped. It's been a long time since he fought a woman so he decided to take it easy on the RSM. She takes advantage of it and makes quick work of Lakir. Even after he decides to go full tilt, he finds that he's not much of a match for her. Her good looks always remain a distraction. While Vlad hit much harder than the RSM, she made up for it with effectiveness.
And speaking of Vlad, his laughter is heard after one of the RSM's more embarrassing takedowns of Lakir.
"Ahhh pinky, you have much to learrrrrnnn." He then walks off leaving Lakir alone again with the RSM.
Lakir holds up his hand indicating that he wants to take a break and catch his breath. While she takes a drink of water, he asks, "You know what surprises me?"
She swallows the water. "No, what?"
"With all the rumours of missing persons and ships floating around the ports these days, I'm surprised that three highly placed individuals are travelling via private shippers."
She frowns. "There's no mystery. For small numbers of military personnel to travel via private craft, it saves money and resources. That madman who calls himself, 'Emperor', has created a huge drain on our fleets. Fighting him and the corsairs has got us stretched a bit thin. It's hard to justify moving a navy ship to a backwater like Sardia.
"Secondly, our presence acts as a bit of a military escort for private vessels. Should you fall under attack by corsairs and get boarded, our training and expertise could help you repel boarders."
"Well, hopefully this trip goes off without a hitch. Have you had any 'repel boarders' action on these trips?"
"Fortunately, no." Her demeanor indicates that the conversation is finished. Then, to confirm it, she says, "Thank you for the exercise. Perhaps we can do this again before the end of the trip."
She then heads to the lift, with Lakir in tow.
Next: The Rest of the Week in Jump