Gvarokh Visits Shiraamer on the Bridge

Characters: Shiraamer & Gvarokh
Location: The Bridge on the Miishakaal

1125.11.6 - 12:00 Imperial Time, 5:05 Vilani Time

Shiraamer is on the bridge familiarizing herself with the Sardia system when Gvarokh joins her. She smiles, "Hello, Gvarokh."

"Hello, captain."

"It looks like we survived having passengers aboard."

"Yes, we did. The extra money will be nice to have."

Shiraamer notices something in Gvarokh's eyes. "Ok, what's up?"

"Nothing bad. But since we're in Vlani space and all the starports and worlds run on Vlani, maybe we should just roll with the punches and adopt Vilani time while we're here." He adds with a smile, "Orrrr not."

Shiraamer smiles and starts to chuckle, "Great minds must think alike. It's too confusing to go back and forth on the different times. I was just thinking about changing my clock to Vilani also. It's a good suggestion. We'll change over to Vilani time. Adjust schedules accordingly. When we can, we'll need to get a copy of all those rules and regulations also. The last thing we'll need is to get tied up in Vilani red tape or their legal system."

Gvarokh smiles too and says, "I'll get right on it. I won't bring this up with the crew, however, until after the passengers all leave. I'll start searching for those rules."

Gvarokh checks the library database for Sardia's Codes of Conduct for Offworlders but comes up empty. The TAS software bot informs him that one can be downloaded from the starport upon arrival in the Sardia system.

Arrival In the Sardia System

Characters: All
NPC: Chuck
Location: Various crew stations aboard the Miishakaal
System: Sardia

1125.11.6 - 14:07 Imperial Time, 7:12 Vilani Time

The crew are at their posts as the Miishakaal exits jumpspace. The crew comm is on shipwide. Shiraamer immediately initiates the deceleration burn while Gvarokh waits for the sensors to gather data. Everything appears clear as the ship makes its way towards Sardia.

As telemetry from further away comes in, Gvarokh can't help but mutter, "Uh oh."

"What?!" Shiraamer asks.

"It appears that one of the orbital cities has been attacked. It was looking hot on infrared so I switched over to image mag and I can clearly see that this one particular city has had the shit knocked out it."

"How recent?"

"Well, since it's still showing up as hot, I'd say that it was recent."

"Ok everyone, look sharp." To Gvarokh she says, "See if you can raise the starport over the comm."

Gvarokh's hails go unanswered for fifteen minutes.

"Miishakaal, this is Surata Down. Your transponder ID checks out even though we don't have you in our local database. Please be advised that there was just an incursion. An unidentified marauder just attacked the orbital city of Hadlans and inflicted serious damage and an unspecified number of casualties. Emergency response personnel have asked all traffic to steer clear for the time being."

Gvarokh asks, "Well, is the marauder still around?"

"Negative. Several warships were dispatched from one of the system's naval bases and they drove off the intruder. The intruder jumped away and the navy followed."

Gvarokh is puzzled. "How did they know which way they jumped."

"They didn't. It is standard practice for the ships assigned to this system to jump out to random worlds within range of the intruder's jump drive."

"Does that work?"

"Sometimes." After a pause, the starport comm officer continues, "Please maintain your current inbound flight vector. We are preparing for your arrival."

"Roger that Surata Down. Miishakaal out." With the external comm off, Gvarokh announces shipwide, with a tongue dipped in sarcasm, "Welcome to Sardia. Our ETA at Surata Down is 09:30 Vland time, 16:25 ship time."

Vlad quips, "Perhaps we Vargr should stay......inconspicuous during this stop over."

Gvarokh barks, "Well, I'm sure as hell ain't plannin' on running around Sardia! I might be willing to poke around the starport proper, but I ain't touchin' any ground that ain't extra-territorial."

Shiraamer adds, "As soon as you finish download the code of conduct distribute it to the rest of the crew. This doesn't sound like a place that I'll want to take a stroll at night. Let's get our business done as soon as we can and hopefully we won't have any problems. Also keep the ship ready to take off with as little prep as possible. I don't like the sound of that marauder." Shiraamer looks at the planet in front of her and smiles, "Other then that, enjoy Sardia."

Gvarokh logs in to the starport's network and begins to download the Codes of Conduct for Offworlders.

Arrival at Surata Down

Characters: All
NPC: Chuck
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Surata Down
System: Sardia

1125.11.6 - 16:25 Imperial Time, 9:30 Vilani Time, 2:53 Local Time

Miishakaal has landed at the starport without incident.

Due to the fact that the ship has landed during the Vilani rest period, there is no one working to receive the cargo. Gvarokh was fortunate that he caught the freight recipients on the flight in during the first work period. On the way in, he was repeatedly informed that someone would be at the gate when the next work period starts (at 16:00 Vilani time, 23:00 Imperial time). Apparently there aren't enough people living on this world to justify multiple shifts. When all is said and done Gvarokh mutters something negative about Vilani clocks. He then informs the crew of the offloading delay and suggests that Lakir, Vlad, Vincent and Simrii catch a nap, though it's not an order. He intends to catch one himself.

Still on Vilani time, Vlad and Lakir have no problem napping.

Slade encounters the same scheduling problem for refueling and life support refurbishment. Since the captain wants a quick turnaround, he decides to take a nap himself so as to be sufficiently awake later on.

Of course, the docking fee is collected promptly. There's always someone on hand for that.

Gvarokh offers to oversee the waking of the low berth passengers so that the captain can see that the military passengers have a proper send off. Shiraamer immediately accepts.

The military passengers have disembarked, the colonel expressing his gratitude to Shiraamer for a safe and pleasant journey. Meanwhile, Chuck has begun the process of reviving the low berth passengers.

Unloading Cargo

Characters: All
NPC: Chuck
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Surata Down
System: Sardia

1125.11.6 - 23:00 Imperial Time, 16:00 Vilani Time, 9:23 Local Time

True to their word, the local cargo recipients are lined up outside the bay for the start of the second Vilani work period. Lakir, Vlad, Vincent and Simrii get to work unloading the ship while Gvarokh supervises and collects payments for delivery. During a lull, Chuck appears and heads over to join Gvarokh.

Slade oversees the refueling of the ship as well as the refurbishment of life support.

Meanwhile, Shiraamer hops on CargoNet to look for cargo headed to Theton. She finds the following:

She contacts the owners of the iron ore, metal parts, circuit boards, quartz, and both holocrystal lots and informs them that she'll be willing to haul them to Theton for the standard fare. They all eagerly accept and promise to have the materials delivered before the end of the current work period.

She then informs Gvarokh as to who, what, and when to expect with regards to the incoming cargo.

Back down in the loading bay, one of the gravtruck drivers chats up Gvarokh and Chuck while his cargo is being loaded. Both Gvarokh and Chuck have their comms on so the rest of the crew can hear what's being said, though they can't talk directly with the driver.

"You guys are lucky you didn't show up any sooner than you did."

"The marauder?" Gvarokh asks for confirmation.

"Oh yeah. Marauder's puttin' it nicely. It was those damn pirates again."


"Yeah, these guys have been hittin' us regularly. Every month or so we get raided by these guys. Well, we think it's the same guys. They've all got that damn flaming eye logo on their ships. Can you believe the balls on those fuckers? They don't even hide the fact that they're pirates!"

Gvarokh grunts to simultaneously acknowledge what the truck driver has said and to signal that he's not interested in continuing the conversation.

Demanding Passengers

Character: Shiraamer
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Surata Down
System: Sardia

1125.11.7 - 00:15 Imperial Time, 17:15 Vilani Time, 10:38 Local Time

No sooner has Shiraamer finished up the paperwork for the cargo hauling contracts when the ship's comm starts to buzz repeatedly. Several transmissions are trying to get through all at once.

Shiraamer answers one at random, "Hello, this is the Miishakaal."

A desperate looking middle aged man appears on screen, "Oh, thank the gods! I saw on CargoNet that you're going to Theton and I was hoping to catch you before you showed up on TravelNet. I need to book passage for two to Theton."

Shiraamer replies, "I haven't gone on TravelNet yet so you're in luck. I'll need to know more about you and your companion before agreeing to take you to Theton. What's the hurry to get there? Forgive me for asking, but you sound like it's essential that you get there."

The man on the vidscreen looks surprised, "You're kidding me, right? Didn't you see Kasha City on the way in? We want to get off this rock because it's not safe! This planet keeps getting attacked by pirates and the Navy's powerless to stop them!"

Shiraamer tries not to chuckle at the man's discomfort and instead she simply answers the man's request for passage. "I haven't yet assigned all my space for passengers. I will take your name and if I am able to accommodate you I will get back to you. We're not a luxury ship so there will be limited freedom aboard. We also have accommodations for low passage. The rates for both would be..."

She mulls this over for a bit. There's nothing in the Sardian Offworlder Book that prohibits her from charging extra money for offworld passage. The rules seem obsessed with social and cultural behavior and etiquette. She figures that an extra 10% should be safe. "8800 for middle passage and 1100 for low passage."

"A bargain!" he replies excitedly.

"Sir, I'll get back to you later," an terminates the call.

She takes another three calls and encounters similar reactions. These people are really spooked. After the fourth call, she grows weary of the paranoia and sets the comm to route people to the ship's mailbox where the auto responder tells them the same story she gave the others. She then heads to the galley to pour herself some coffee and ponder what to do next.

Planning For Passengers

Characters: Shiraamer & Gvarokh
NPC: Chuck
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Surata Down
System: Sardia

1125.11.7 - 01:15 Imperial Time, 18:15 Vilani Time, 11:38 Local Time

Cargo unloading is nearing completion. Gvarokh is pleased to see it going so well.

Shiraamer comms Gvarokh.

"Yes, captain?"

"Gvarokh, I've spent the last hour fielding calls from desperate people who want off this rock. Apparently the attack on that city in orbit got them all spooked. I tried to dissuade them from booking passage by saying that we're not a luxury ship and charging them an extra ten percent. Nothing worked. So, I'm gonna take them as I received them, provided that there's nothing creepy about them. But before I do that, we have to make sure we've got enough food for them at a reasonable price."

"Define reasonable."

"I don't know. Just get as good a deal as possible. And if anybody has a special diet, they don't get picked."

"Ok," Gvarokh replies.

The captain continues, "So as soon as you can get me some idea as to when we'll be done loading cargo, let me know so that I can contact the passengers. I want to leave ASAP."

Gvarokh turns to Chuck, "You're our chef Chuck. If we take on passengers, are we going to need more food?"

"Yep. I've used the fresh stuff this week with our military guests. All we've got right now is frozen dinners and rations. If that's ok with everyone then I won't need to pick up food right now, but it will dip into our reserves."

"Ok, I'm putting you in charge of finding food. You heard the captain about price. Let me know what you find."

"Aye aye, sir."

Gvarokh adds, "If the passengers are that desperate to get off this planet, they won't be that picky over the food. So, if food is too expensive, just make sure we can cover our reserves. I don't imagine this place will have a whole lot of fresh, anyway," he finishes with a grin.

"Aye. There was nothing in the library data that even hinted they had anything besides hydroponics and greenhouse crops. But I'll see what I can find."

Chuck heads back into the ship to utilize a terminal to access the planet's internet. If that comes up empty, he'll set out on foot.

Chuck's Hunt For Food

Character: Gvarokh
NPC: Chuck
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Surata Down
System: Sardia

1125.11.7 - 02:30 Imperial Time, 19:30 Vilani Time, 12:53 Local Time

Cargo loading has only recently begun. Vincent and Simrii have begged off due to fatigue. Unlike Chuck, Vlad, and Lakir, they haven't adjusted yet to Vilani time. And as for Gvarokh, well, Vargr have retained the ability of their ancestors to nap at will so he made full use of the Vilani rest period.

Chuck comms in.

"Go ahead, Chuck."

"Hey Gvarokh. I couldn't find any fresh food at the starport. They don't sell it there and everything that's imported is spoken for. If we want hydroponics or dome farm food, I'll have to go into the city to get it. But it's gonna cost extra. There's a food export tax that doubles the cost of the food. Basically, they don't want offworlders to eat all their food while out in space. I can get standard frozen dinners at the starport though for the usual price. So, what do you want me to get?"

Gvarokh replies, "I don't want any trips into town. No reason to get executed for chewing gum or somesuch. Just get enough frozen food to keep us out of the reserves. Then we can hope for better luck on Theton."

"Roger that."

Looking At The Line of Passengers

Character: Shiraamer
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Surata Down
System: Sardia

1125.11.7 - 04:30 Imperial Time, 21:30 Vilani Time, 14:53 Local Time

Cargo loading is nearing completion and the captain has already sent invites to the first batch of passengers. All have agreed to her terms for transport. As soon as cargo loading is complete, Gvarokh is to assist the captain with screening the passengers, to make sure that they're not dangerous to the crew in any way. Shiraamer heads over to the starboard airlock where the passenger access terminal is located.

She can see a line forming. There's maybe 20 to 30 people out there. Its orderly right now "and better stay that way" she mutters to herself. She announces to the crowd that she will perform screening of potential passengers once her 1st officer arrives, which will be soon. The crowd mumbles to itself but remains low key. "I hate ferrying strangers around," she thinks to herself, "So damned self-important and demanding. Well, those officers we just ferried were polite enough, but they're the exception, not the rule."

Shiraamer looks at a clock again. Not nearly enough time has passed.

Ready For Departure

Characters: All
NPC: Chuck
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Surata Down
System: Sardia

1125.11.7 - 05:45 Imperial Time, 22:45 Vilani Time, 16:08 Local Time

The new fuel has been purified and life support refurbished. Cargo has been loaded. Passengers, both middle and low, have been grudgingly accepted. Frozen food to feed said passengers and crew has been delivered and stored.

Simrii and Vincent have been woken up from their naps, much to their chagrin, and are now in their respective turrets, ready for take off.

Shiraamer is at the helm with Gvarokh monitoring the sensors, comm, and other instruments.

The rest of the crew are at their regular stations for launch.

Eager to be away from another batch of xenophobes, Shiraamer pushes Miisha as fast as she'll let her. Once clear of the atmosphere she lets out her breath, not realizing that she'd been holding it in.

She announces over the comm to the crew, "Theton's a big world so I'm going to accelerate all the way to the jump point. It shouldn't take too long. This place isn't that big." She checks her instruments. "Ok, a little over two hours and we'll be in jump."

To Gvarokh she adds, "I'm certainly glad that we didn't have to deal with any of those damn xenophobes. Good job on the quick turnaround."

Gvarokh nods, but doesn't say anything.

Next: An Encounter With Pirates