Grimwold sits in the meeting room squirming occasionally as his crisp new dress uniform chafes and itches.
About to comment more on Bigfix's being a robot all along Grimwold bites his tongue as they're forbidden to talk about it. Well that's that then, hmph! Hush hush and here's a promotion to keep you happy...
Grimwold takes his new insignia without a smile and with only the slightest of nods.
"In addition to the new position of Chief Personnel Officer, the position of Ship's Counselor has been done away with. The duties of Counselor now fall to the CMO." She says, looking at Grimwold.
"Yes Ma'am I'm sure my staff and I will be able to handle that. "
He clears his throat and turns to address the rest of you. "Good morning, Lieutenants. I am Eoriel Stormcaller, and I received high marks in Logistics, Navigation, Infiltration, and Marksmanship. I know a lot about you - who doesn't know about the crew of the Excelsior on its maiden voyage - and am very proud to join your crew."
"Yes, welcome. " Grimwold says only slightly more warmly than Leo. Great another fresh cadet. Let's hope those high scores translate well on the field...
"Alright, sounds like we're finished here. You've got until tomorrow morning on Vega. You'll be flying first class on Transport #2286 out of New Horizons shuttle port at 11:00 tomorrow. All expenses are on the FEF, and you've each been given a 4000 credit bonus in your accounts. Enjoy your vacation!"
You can buy whatever with your money. If you want something that's not on the list of equipment ask me and we can work something out. Standard magic items are of course available.
Eoriel's credits are burning a hole in his pocket, so he takes his pistols down to Fat Harry and pays for them to be balanced and recalibrated. While that work is being done, he meets with Roric Fivefingers, another one of his contacts from his past in the Pale Ghosts, and picks up an infiltration kit which includes a mistcloak and a set of arcanite-ground lockpicks. He will also requisition a personal projectile deflection device (PDDD), a small grey studded shaft that projects a short-duration kinetic barrier. He ends up arguing with the quartermaster about his lack of arcane certification and has to demonstrate his proficiency before the ink-stained bean-counter will release it.
He swings by Fat Harry's the next morning to pick up his pair and checks into the outbound flight at the shuttleport with minutes to spare.
Getting masterwork upgrade on both pistols, a cloak of elven kind, masterwork theives tools, and a wand of shield (will be using Use Technology on this in the field).
The next day comes quickly, and with it the appointed departure time. The transport is a civilian one, and much more comfortable than the military accommodations that the crew are accustomed to. It's made even more so by flying first class. The officers actually have a separate compartment which more resembles a comfortable bar or coffee house than transportation. The spacious circular lounge is equipped with plenty of spacious cushioned auto-massage chairs (which can lay flat as beds), a fully stocked bar, and state of the art holo-projectors (with interactive holo-plays). All the surfaces and accents are polished darkwood, the walls painted in a relaxing beige color. There are over a dozen live plants scattered around the room. The ferns, flowers and trees of various sizes lend the air a fresh smell. The ceiling is transparent, affording a view of the endless starscape above. Staff are always on call outside if they need anything. There is a private bathroom attached, complete with a prestidigishower.
The trip to Bluefall will take some time, as it's a system in the Outworlds. The Outworlds is the area farthest from Vega that still falls under the FEF sphere of influence. It borders on the Blessed Empire of Ten Thousand Seas (BETTS), a militaristic interstellar empire of aquatic monstrous humanoids. The half dozen jumps, and the transport time between gates have them facing a 34 hour journey.
Bluefall isn't actually a member of the FEF or of the BETTS, but it contains islands controlled by both. The planet's independent Regency government remains committed to neutrality and promoting tourism and peace. An ocean world with only a smattering of islands, Bluefall is a famous vacation destination. With a stable climate, constant sunshine and a wide variety of indigenous non-sentient life, Bluefall is very attractive to most humanoid races. Think Hawaii on a planetary scale.
Please feel free to insert scenes in here wherever. I'd like to know each character's thoughts on the journey, and anything they do while en route. Also please finalize any purchases. But I'm gonna post more to keep the pacing up.
The journey goes by smoothly, as does arrival on Hughes Island and checking into the hotel. Before they know it, several days have passed by. Vacation on Bluefall isn't living up to their high expectations. What was it the crew were looking forward to? Lying on a lonely beach, soaking up the sunshine? Making the most of Hughes Island's resorts and casinos? Taking a tour on a submarine or snorkeling in the fabulous, pristine oceans that earn Bluefall its name? Whatever activities they had in mind, they've earned them, and had every intention of enjoying them to the fullest.
However, their vacation is ruined by constant newscasts. The waiters in the hotel's overpriced restaurant practically ignore the crew as they follow every word on the holos. Their fellow tourists carry autoscrolls with them everywhere, monitoring each news report. The world's current preoccupation centers on Thon Mardian, a terrorist who's been on the run from the law ever since he tried to kidnap the ruler of Bluefall's Regency government a year ago. Thon Mardian was picked up in a nearby system two weeks ago.
Today, the RSV Tuscarora arrives in-system, bringing the terrorist to trial. As she crawls toward Bluefall to deliver the terrorist to Regency Island, holocameras show every detail of the courtroom, Mardian's jail cell, and the incredible security throughout the star system.
It's hard to avoid the holo screens, especially at this hour of the morning as the Tuscarora makes her final approach to the Starport Sigma One on Regency Island. The officers need to get some breakfast before a hard day of recreation, so they can't avoid the hotel restaurant. Almost involuntarily, they crane their necks with the rest of Bluefall to watch the Tuscarora disappear in a fireball, raining charred wreckage into the crystal ocean and sending a cloud of black smoke into the perfect blue sky.
Kimefe spends her time on the transport alternating between testing her newly-fitted gun and trying to crack the autoscroll.
Once the group gets to Bluefall she jumps from one activity to another, but amuses herself nearer to Mardian's arrival by learning from the security setup and working out possible ways to get around it.
She swears quietly as she watches the ship go out in flame, but is too stunned for the moment to do anything.
Grimwold sits at the breakfast table with a sizeable hangover. Argueing with one of the only waiters he's managed to get attention from. "Listen, I need an ale! My head is spli... Hey are you watching that holo agai... Oh. Oh s#!t." he says, as he looks to the holoscreen thats distracting the waiter.
Eoriel is very fidgety, for an elf. During the voyage, he slouches in his chair, inspects the bottles on the bar, paces the room, leans against the ceiling, fusses with the ferns, and chews on his fingernails.
Finally, he straps on his sidearms and steps into one of the holo-projectors. There, he works on his quick-draw, testing himself against multiple opponents and trying to put as many slugs downrange as he can.
Returning famished from an extensive snorkeling trip, Eoriel is sitting in his swim trunks and eating an enourmous breakfast while he inspects the oyster-like shellfish he retrieved on his dive. He ignores the dirty looks the wait staff give him as he pries them open with his pen-knife and looks for pearls. The creatures are full of a grey-green tissue and squirt a smelly purple goo when puncutred. He wipes the stains off his fingers on the tablecloth and turns in supplication when the server behind him cries out in alarm, ready to disarm her complaint with a charming retort when he catches sight of the holo over the girl's shoulder.
"Corellon save them," he whispers in shock as the smoking wreckage plummets into the ocean he just left. Two seconds later, he is out of his chair and making a beeline for his room, breakfast and oysters left forgotten on the table.
Blowing all my coin on a headband of intellect
Horus spends most of his trip and vacation catching up some reading he's been putting off and enjoying the novelty of having a hat that makes him smarter. He thoroughly enjoys the added comforts that travelling civilian style brings.
The morning of the Tuscarora explosion finds him enjoying a heavy breakfast with his fellow FEF officers and he nearly chokes when the great ship tears appart raining ruin from the sky.
"Sweet mother of mercy. That's bad. Really bad."
Eoriel's thoughts are racing as he quickly showers and changes into his FEF Uniform, securing all his gear. He ignores his luggage, his extra clothes, and all his unessentials save a small leather pouch that he tucks away inside his vest.
Something must have gone catastrophically wrong for a ship carring such an important prisoner to explode at the last instant. There's no way security was lax, not with that terrorist onboard, and that means it took big guns or lots of money to take that ship down. I know Bluefall's an Outworld, but I bet there's and FEF outpost here, or at least an embassy. This place is going to be a hectic mess for the next couple of days, and I'd rather be there.
Once attired and equipped, he will try to locate the rest of the officers and discuss their plans.
Mordanna is purchasing a belt of dexterity +2
She spends the remainder her time on the beach and enjoying the surf.
On the morning that the news is reporting about the terrorist she is eating a light breakfast of fresh pineapple.
When the ships explodes Mordanna stops eating and is motionless as she watches the ship go down.
That could have been us. We are fortunate to be here.
Mordanna sighs deeply.