Characters: Lakir, Simrii, Gvarokh and Slade
Location: Starship Solutions
1125.6.5 - 12:00 / 16:00 local time (18 1/2 hr day)
The taxi arrives at Starship Solutions. Cab fare is $5, which Gvarokh pays for. Exiting the taxi, the guys look around and notice that they're in an uncrowded (as in people), industrial part of the city. There's a sign that says, "Always Open" and so they proceed inside.
The room they enter is 10 meters by 30 meters by 5 meters high. Small equipment is on display and there are holoprojectors displaying various ship system's schema, obviously provided by the manufacturer. There are several spacers inside, in groups of 2 and 3. All are being assisted.
A clean shaven man about 5' 10" (1.778 m), with short blond hair, approaches them. He's dressed in a light blue button down shirt with a small Starship Solutions logo on it with jeans and workboots. "Hi, Eric Haseltine. Can I help you guys?"
Slade waits expectantly for somebody else to do the talking.
Lakir asks, "Is Esteban Rohrbach available?"
"Yes he is. Just a moment." He touches his commdot and says, "Esteban, you're wanted up front." To the guys he says, "He'll be here in just a minute."
About a minute later, a man of similar height but of hispanic/germanic solomani descent comes over. Although he wears the same outfit as Haseltine, his is a little dirtier and he looks like he didn't shave today.
Eric says to him, "Esteban, these gentlemen requested you by name."
Esteban looks at the four of them. To Eric he says, "Don't know 'em." Turning back to them he says, "Well, you know who I am. Who are you?" he smiles politely and extends his hand.
Simrii smiles a little, "Staino sent us, said you might be able to help the boss here," he gestures towards Lakir, "with some rare ship parts."
Lakir opts out of the ruse, "Lakir, of the ship Miishakaal. Ronald Staino over at Perma Pahehn Pistols recommended you for some esoteric starship components. This is Mr. Gavarokh, First Officer, and Mr. Slade, our Chief Engineer. My compatriot, and fellow cargo schlep, Mr. Kugiilii. As starship components are not my forte, I'll let Mr. Gavarokh explain our needs."
Gvarokh looks hesitantly at Lakir, not thrilled at being put on the spot like that, but goes for it. After flashing a glare at Lakir and growling at him, he turns to Esteban and says low enough to prevent bystanders from hearing, "As Lakir has said, we are with the merchant ship Miishakaal. We have need to enter Vilani space, but do not want to be left with a Vilani-only transponder when we are finished and wish to return to Imperial space. We have been searching for alternatives to that, and the search has apparently lead us to you."
"Business," Esteban says to Eric.
"Right," Eric smiles. "I'll leave you to it." Eric leaves.
Esteban answers Gvarokh, "You really have nothing to worry about. The Vilani transponder works in Imperial space. It works the same way as the Imperial transponder. In fact, it even transmits the same allegiance code: Imperial. However, it also transmits certain vilani registration codes that let vilani authorities know that you're not a criminal or a pirate. The only problem is, these registration codes expire after one year, forcing you to re-register."
Gvarokh asks, "This expiration thing, does it only affect those additional Vilani codes, or does the whole thing stop working after the year is up?"
"Just the additional vilani codes. And it's not like it stops working, more like it keeps transmitting expired registration codes."
Esteban continues, "The only time the vilani transponder might become a problem is back in the Imperial safe. They're still gung-ho about following Lucan's orders to the letter. This far out, the bureaucrats don't care. They'd rather see commerce continue to flow than worry that you're trading goods back and forth across the border. So long as it's not Imperial secrets or weapons of course. They're more worried about corsairs shutting down interstellar commerce altogether. If the economy falls apart, people are gonna pack up and move safeside. What's a bureaucrat without his tax base?" He smiles.
"If you're still worried, see if you can keep your old transponder. It doesn't do anyone in vilani space any good and your new one will expire in a year. If the bureaucrat you're dealing with doesn't budge, maybe a bribe will work. Or better yet, check with the techs doing the work. Ask or bribe them for your old transponder."
Gvarokh asks, "Do you think the techs would be that 'cooperative'?"
"Yeah, I do."
Lakir then says, "It's the waiting time and the honking big fee that's the put off. Any recommendations to ports that may be amenable to expediting the process?"
"Try a port that doesn't see alot of traffic. A shorter line to wait in might knock some time off. And if you've got anyone who's well versed in legal mumbo jumbo they find a loophole. And failing all else I've been told that bribery works on the right bureaucrat."
Lakir then asks, "As an aside, I assume theirs no one local looking to trade a Vilani transponder, maybe someone headed closer to the Core, who has no further need of theirs?"
"No one that's come through here."
Simrii does his best not to look disappointed. He smiles and looks about the room quickly to see if there's anyone he recognizes in the area, other than present company of course.
Gvarokh turns toward Lakir and says, "Lakir, do you have any more questions?"
Lakir turns to Slade: "Any other kit we're currently short of?"
Slade answers, "No, we're good."
Turning back to Esteban, Lakir says, "Thank you for your time Mr. Rohrbach." He shakes his hand and attempts to pass along a Cr 50 for his time and info.
Esteban protests, "No, that's ok. That's my job. Next time you're out this way and need stuff be sure to stop in. We've got branches on other worlds, you can try them too."
Simrii looks at the others and shrugs, "Well," he says quietly, "it was worth a shot after all, nothing ventured nothing gained and all that."
Gvarokh thinks to himself, "This is not what I expected. At least I didn't have to call back to the Captain to see how much she is willing to spend."
And with that they leave the store.
Lakir hails a cab with his PDA. It will be here shortly, "Well, I guess it's back to the ship then to pick up our stuff and grab a beer."
Gvarokh intercedes, "If none of you mind, I'd like to go to a gun shop and pick up a pistol. Something that doesn't raise the hackles of the authorities so much as a laser pistol does."
Simrii nods, "I have a few presents for the ship to pick up at Perma Pahehn Pistols. Nothing major you understand but a few of the essentials of life. Water, food, longarms." He grins a little.
Lakir adds, "Perma Pahehn Pistols, then, as Mr. Staino has been most helpful."
The taxi arrives and they all climb in. The taxibot is instructed to go to Perma Pahehn Pistols.
Characters: Lakir, Simrii, Gvarokh and Slade
NPC: Ronald Staino
Location: Perma Pahehn Pistols
1125.6.5 - 12:45 / 16:45 local time (18 1/2 hr day)
The four men enter the shop. It's appearance is quite familiar to Lakir and Simrii now, but this is Gvarokh's and Slade's first visit. It's a medium-sized shop, maybe 10 x 30 meters, with a backroom. Security cameras follow them as they enter the store. Each one has some sort of metal rod attached to it. Pistols and rifles of many types adorn the walls on the right side of the shop. Lethal and non-lethal varieties co-exist. A counter, running the entire length of the place, separates customers from the weapons. The left side of the place has various accessories: scopes, holsters, belts, jackets, armor, etc.
A short, thin man (5' 6" 125 lbs) with short dark hair that's obviously been treated with some sort of hair product approaches them. He has a gold chain around his neck peeking out from a thin polyester shirt. Lakir and Simrii instantly recognize him as Ronald Staino.
"Back again?" he says with a smile. He attempts to be funny, "Look I don't have any sort of frequent buyer plans."
Simrii grins, "I just feel like a kid in a candy store here."
"I see you've got more friends with you this time. What can I do for you?"
Gvarokh steps up and says, "I am looking for a standard 9mm auto pistol. My only weapon is not convenient for inconspicuous use."
The guy who Lakir referred to as "Staino" reaches under the cabinet and places one on the counter. "The NE-352, a 9mm semi-automatic. $199."
The price seems reasonable to Gvarokh.
Lakir asks, "How about ammo?"
"Regular DS and HE is 2 for a buck. Tranq is a buck and HEAP is a buck fifty."
Gvarokh picks the piece up and examines it. He picks it up properly, muzzle down. He ejects the magazine and racks the slide to make sure it is completely empty. It is. Then he puts the magazine back, and sees how it "feels". He then asks if he can dry-fire it to see what its trigger pull is like.
"Just a sec." Staino reaches into his pocket and pulls out a square piece of plastic and slaps Gvarokh on the arm with it. "Don't want the security system to get the wrong idea."
Gvarokh then points the weapon in a innocuous direction and does a couple of test pulls. Smooth. The trigger is easy enough to pull without fear of it being overly sensitive. Gvarokh then puts it down and asks about the reliability and serviceability of the item. He also asks how it performs "dirty".
Staino replies, "I haven't had any complaints or heard any complaints about Neuyoygan Enterprises' work. They make a solid weapon. Their average customer satisfaction level is 99.45%. She'll put up with a reasonable level of neglect but if you abuse her she'll kick back on you."
Gvarokh says, "I'll take it. I'll need two extra magazines too."
"Ok, whatcha want for ammo?"
"How many shots in the magazine."
"I will take 8 mags worth of DS, 2 mags worth of HE, 1 mags worth of Tranq and 2 mags worth of HEAP for those special occasions."
Staino punches buttons on his PDA. "Ok, that'll be $341."
Gvarokh pays the man.
"Your order will be brought up front in a couple of minutes. Anybody else need anything?"
A couple of "nopes" and some shaking of heads. A minute later Gvarokh's purchase arrives from the back room. Goodbyes are said and the four of them leave the store.
Location: The Bridge, a bar at the Larkarda Starport
13:25 / 17:25 local time
After a cab ride across Oriole and the starport, the group returns to The Bridge so that Lakir and Simrii can pick up their earlier purchases. Lakir suggested that the four of them grab a beer before heading back to the ship and everyone agreed to it. Taking a booth in the back of the bar, they're doing just that.
About 10 minutes after they sit down, Simrii gets up and walks to the bar. He talks to Jum for a bit. Jum laughs heartily. Simrii returns to the table.
After they finish their beer they walk up front to pay. Simrii passes his package along to Slade, "Carry that back to the ship for me would ya mate." Slade silently complies.
Jum hands Simrii a large rectangular box. "Thanks Jum!" Simrii is all smiles. "I'm all set guys."
With that they walk the rest of the way back to the ship.
NEXT: Leaving Larkarda