Vincent Chats With Gvarokh

Characters: Gvarokh and Vincent
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Oriole Downport
System: Larkarda

1125.20.6 - 15:30 Imperial Time, 14:30 Vilani Time, 05:45 Local Time

As Gvarokh returns to the bridge, Vincent intercepts.

"Hey, captain?"

Gvarokh is still getting used to hearing himself referred to that way so it takes him a moment to respond. "Yes, Vincent? Everything went ok with the transponder installation, right?"

"Yeah, yeah, that was fine. I had a chance to make small talk with the technicians while they worked."


"Well, with things falling apart around this part of the Imperium, Mersshon might not be here when we get back."


"Yeah, Ellis thinks that Mersshon is going to pull out at some point, it's just a question of when. Two months. Two years. He didn't know. But he was certain that unless there was a major breakthrough in the war, that the whole thing's just spiraling down the drain."

"Did he have any idea what might trigger Mersshon to leave?"

"He didn't say anything specific but he did say that the naval bases were the only thing holding this portion of the Imperium together. If they went, what's left of the quadrant will fall."

Lakir's Shopping List Revisited

Characters: Gvarokh, Lakir
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Oriole Downport
System: Larkarda

1125.20.6 - 15:35 Imperial Time, 14:35 Vilani Time, 05:50 Local Time

Gvarokh returns to the bridge and notes an email has arrived from the bank.

"Deposit Received."

Investigating further, he sees that Mersshon has deposited 100,000 credits into the ship's account. The balance now stands at: 408,806 credits.

Pleased, Gvarokh prices out Lakir's shopping list. A few items, and their accessories, catch his attention, but he needs more information on some other stuff. He calls him up on the comm.

"Hi, Lakir."

"Hey Capn'"

"You've got 'Beef up the ships survival kits for ground environments' and 'Beef up the survival kits for Vacc environment'. Could you be more specific? Here's what's on our equipment list." Gvarokh sends it over to Lakir's SuperPDA. "Is there anything you think we're missing?"

"I was just thinkin back to Theton. We could've easily of ended up suckin corrosive if we'd gone for a land crossin'. And that shit in Sardia system with the pirates makes me think we should upgrade our PLSS to somethin' over the 4 hour standard tanks we're packin'."

"Actually, we've got the Type B tanks. 24 hours of air."

"A vacc shelter might not be a bad idea either for a trip this length. Any chance we can get some hand propulsion units for zero g manoeuvring?"

"Instead of the full size thruster packs?"

"Yeah, those things can be a bit expensive."

"I'll look into it."

"For the ground kits, we're suckin' in the 'protective clothing/shelter/food' department. Like I said, it's goin' ta be a long trip. Maybe some additional protective clothing, desert/cold/water, ERats and portable collapsible shelter for the A/R, as well as some personal survival kits, for that hump through the brush.

"If we're goin' ta do the 'contractor' routine, we'll need to upgrade the personal med kits, as well as maybe look at a surgical kit for Chuck, as well as gettin' a break down litter, and maybe runnin' some mods on a couple of the lowberths to support cas evac and stabilization."

"Rrrrrr, ok. Something to think about." He pauses, remembering that he had another question to ask. Then it hits him. "What was the name of the place that you, Simrii, and Vlad bought your weapons from when we were last here?"

"Perma Pahehn Pistols, over in Oriole."

"Thanks, Lakir."

Gvarokh terminates the call and gets back to the shopping list. The first thing he does is place an order for three Ma-57's from Perma Pahehn Pistols' website. He also picks up 12, 20 round magazines and 32,000 bullets (evenly distributed across the ammo types) for the weapon. And accessories too: holsters, holosim plugs, laser sights, lights and mounts. The total cost comes to 29,620 credits. Gvarokh is pleased to note that he qualifies for free delivery.

The next thing he does is track down a supply shop here at the starport. Imperial Outfitters meets his requirements so he begins to look over their gear. After selecting two hand thrusters (750 credits each), he decides to bring in Lakir.

"Sorry to bother you again, Lakir."

"Not a bother at all, cap'n."

"I was looking over survival gear and decided to let you pick it out. Link up with me."

Lakir uses the ship's internal network to link up his PDA to Gvarokh's hand comp. When all is said and done, they agree to the following:

8 Desert Survival Kits
3 General Survival Kits
1 Survival Still
8 packages of water purification tablets (250 count)
8 water filters
8 High tech sleeping bags
80 Coldpacks and Heatpacks
4 ice axes
16 Rescue Balls
8 Space Parkas
8 suits of High Tech Cold Weather Clothing

Gvarokh notes that the final bill will come to 31,740 credits. He receives notice that he qualifies for free shipping and hits "place order".

Gvarokh then thanks Lakir for his help and they terminate the connection.

Darrurz Returns to the Ship

Characters: All (initially, then just Gvarokh and Darrurz)
NPC: Chuck, Simrii (initially)
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Oriole Downport
System: Larkarda

1125.20.6 - 18:30 Imperial Time, 17:30 Vilani Time, 08:45 Local Time

Darrurz returns to the ship loaded up with his personal effects. He finds the crew, including a large vargr that must be Vladgorkfeg, unpacking a couple dozen boxes of equipment, mostly survival gear. Rescue balls, survival still, cold weather clothing. Perplexed, he cocks his head and casts a glance over at Gvarokh, emitting a slight whine that asks, "What's going on?"

Gvarokh replies, "Just replacing equipment that was taken from us by pirates on our last run."

"You'll have to tellll me about that sometiiiime." Darrurz moves on to the next subject, "I took the liberty of looking up cargoes on my way over, if yerrrr interested."

"Of course! That's what I hired you for!"

Darrurz and Gvarokh leave the cargo hold and head to the bridge. Along the way, Darrurz sets his stuff down in the crew lounge, taking only his handcomp with him. His tail starts wagging.

"I only ffffound one promising cargo: an 11 ton lot of Shibuya Squid, vacuum packed and fffrrrozen at sea. It's going to cost 68,200 cccrrrredits, but I believe that I can sell it for 121,550 credits." His confidence subsides. His ears droop. His tail stops wagging. "At the very least I can guarantee 71,500 credits. It wouldn't be much, but it would more than pay for itself and our berrrthing costs at Apmudurduna." While Gvarokh thinks about this, he adds, "Apmudurduna isn't good for speculation. It's not a destination so much as it's a way station. If yerrrr not interested, there's some fffreight we could haul."

Gvarokh says, "Let's give it a go. No reason not to try. Can we fill up the rest of the hold with freight?"

Darrurz's ears perk up. His tail wags. "Yes, there is enough freight on CargoNet to fill up the hold."

Gvarokh's tone becomes serious. "I know that I've been a bit crrrrryptic since the interrrrview. I owe you a bit of an explanation.

"Our last trip to Vilani space was actually to rescue a spy, which we did. Our currrrent foray is to deliver a message to someone deeper in Vilani space. No rescues this time, just delivering a message. The rescue is the reason for swapping the transponder. Since we arrrre going back into Vilani space, we figure it would be best to be someone else this time around.

"The reason for some of the supplies is to restock, but also because we are considering outfitting ourselves to be able to do 'odd jobs' when the freight or cargo is light. However, we are definitely hoping to pick up some even better equipment over our next two stops." He says that with a smile.

The smile fades. "Because of Captain Shiraamer's death, we probably won't be back to Larkarda again. Due to deteriorating conditions, we don't plan on staying around this area of space either. We will likely head deeper into Vilani space, or maybe risk a flight through Corridor to the Domain of Deneb if that doesn't pan out."

Since Darrurz asked earlier, Gvarokh also describes the Pirate attack. He mentions how the captain surrendered and, as a result, were allowed to live because they were the "nice" pirates. A different pirate would not have been so kind. He also states that they likely won't do that again, as Gvarokh doesn't think the crew would be willing. "The next pirate we meet will likely involve a fight, whether overt or after boarding."

Darrurz traces the laser burn on his snout with his paw and as he does so he stands taller, somehow larger and his shoulders fill. Gvarokh can smell the gain in Darrurz's charisma as a thoughtful look crosses his face and a low and menacing growl comes from deep within his throat, but it's only for a second and, as whatever it was passes, it leaves Darrurz as he was a moment before. Darrurz's paw comes down to his side. "I'll fiiiight the baaaastards again. Our people with the Flaaaaming Eye on their ships? Something goooing on there I'd like to find out about. I'm not built for hand-to-hand combat, but I'd be happy to swat anyone from looong range if yoou like.

"Thanks for filling me in on your recent activities, I was a little woorried with everything that was goooing on.

"I need to taalk to you about paaay and commission. What were your thoughts on those subjects?"

Gvarokh sighs. "The old system was a bit flawed. It involved a convoluted profit sharing plan. There weren't any regularrrrr paychecks. The captain paid us, and herself, when she could, out of the ship's account. With the warrrrr going on..." he throws his paws up in the air. "It was always a good idea to have money on hand for rrrrrepairs. Forrr rrrright now, I'd like to give you an equal share, the same as any other crewman. I intend to re-work the plan while we're in jump to Apmudurduna."

Darrurz's cocks his head to one side as he looks at Gvarokh for a second, and his ears flap a little as they go up and down. "I'm happppy with that for my duties as pilot. But whatt about my Brockerage commission? Any brocker worth his hair would take commission, whether the cargo made annny money or not."

Darrurz pauses for a second "If you are the ship owner, captain and brocker, that commission goes into the ship fund, it makes it easy, which is why Captain Siirkasaare didn't take any money when she brockered, as she would just be taking it away from herself.

"I don't have a share in the ship, so if I don't take any commission I'm taking money away from myself.

"How about if I make money on any carrrrgo, I take a normal commission, 15% of the sale value, but if I don't make anything I take nothing?"

Gvarokh stiffens, his ears pull back, and his eyes flash. With a growl deep in his throat, he forcefully says, "No one on this ship pulls double shares!! Everyone has multiple jobs! Everyone does what is necessary to get the job done! No one double-laps!" His sudden fury slows, and he continues, though still annoyed, "I did not intend to carrrve out any commissions for speculative trrrade. I hadn't even thought of it."

Gvarokh thinks for a few seconds while calming down, then continues. "Perhaps, we could account for speculative cargo separately. We would have to slice off the standard freight rates, of course, to make sure the ship's funds are maintained, but we could definitely take any surplus speculative cargo gains and divide that up differently, granting commission out of that."

Darrurz shrinks a little away from Gvarokh's outburst, and his tail wags slightly while he diverts his eyes for a moment, but only for a moment. He stiffens and his tail becomes rock solid. With a growl in his voice, though not enough for a challenge, he responds, "I work, I've always worked, I worked hard enough I earrrnt my own ship, and then I worrked some more to pay it off. You have no idea how much a good broker costs, but I need a job and you need someone to make you some money."

Darrurz looks Gvarokh straight in the eye, "Where do I bunk?"

Gvarokh meets his gaze and stands, partly to emphasize that he's in charge, partly to show that the meeting is over. With a snarl he replies, "Upper deck. Any room, port side. Once you've selected it, it'll automatically be keyed in as yours by paw print."

Darrurz respectfully departs.

Leaving Larkarda

Characters: All
NPC: Chuck, Simrii
Location: Miishakaal, parked at Oriole Downport
System: Larkarda

1125.20.6 - 23:15 Imperial Time, 22:15 Vilani Time, 13:30 Local Time

New equipment purchases have been unpacked and stored.

Speculative cargo, 11 tons of Shibuya Squid, has been purchased in hopes of turning a profit at Apmudurduna.

Freight has been loaded: 10 tons each of lumber, pre-ceramic powders, aluminum, electronic parts, and nitrogen compounds.

Darrurz, the new Ship's Trader, is aboard and on the bridge to observe Gvarokh in his flight routine. He'll save unpacking for later.

Everyone else is in their usual positions, ready for launch.

It's been a while since the ship was fully loaded so it feels sluggish for a few seconds before the contra grav adjusts to the extra mass. Gvarokh eases the ship away from Oriole Downport, his mind certain that they're forgetting something. It takes him a moment to realize that its Shiraamer's presence he's missing. He looks over at her urn, smiles sadly, and then gradually shifts the thrusters into full burn.

Miishakaal responds and soars up into space.

Gvarokh has taken Apmudurduna's smaller size into account when plotting his departure flight plan. Once clear of Larkarda's traffic, he programs the computer to shut down thrusters 160 minutes into launch. They'll coast to the jump point at just under 350,000 kph (209,000 mph).

Darrurz observes all this and approves of Gvarokh's fuel savings measure.

The lateness and length of the day prompts Gvarokh to take a nap on the bridge. As is standard operating procedure, if Miisha's sensors detect anything, they'll wake him up.

Darrurz, similarly fatigued, does likewise.

1125.20.7 - 3:27 Imperial Time, 26:27 Vilani Time

Miishakaal jumps without incident.

Next: Apmudurduna