|Ambassador Annara Utoxier Lee|
Holt nods at Vathan and replies "Let me go with you. They know I'm second in command, and having an officer along will lend to the idea that we are not going to try anything."
Besides, if we need to blow those clamps, I might be able to figure a good way to do it, at least in the short term.
Vathan got demolition skills, I believe : )
"Good. I'll try and deal with the station then ..."
Ceres nods and heads for the bridge, intent on opening a comm-channel to the station. I'm not exactly sure *how* they'll react. But I am sure we will really poison the well if we simply blast our way out ... Grabbing the microphone, she hesitated for a long moment before pushing the button.
"Hello, this is Captain Ceres of the Martha MacTavish, requesting permission to undock shortly. We've noticed you got guests and would prefer to not be caught in the crossfire of local politics ..."
"I'm sorry Captain Ceres, but we can't have an un-aligned ship moving about while there are hostiles in the system, especially one as heavily armed as your scout ship is. I'm afraid you'll have to wait until the situation is resolved, or we can recall a ship to provide armed escort." The station traffic control officer replies crisply.
Sorry, got distracted last night, didn't finish up post
Vathan and Holt check around outside the ship, and find that the docking clamps can only be disengaged by station control, not locally overriden. At least not without being obviously seen.
Sigh. I knew it...
"And we can't sit stranded inside a target for an enemy we haven't made, waiting for a 'situation' we have no insight on to 'resolve'. We have *no* idea on why your guests came or what they brought with them and you have not been forthcoming with any information!" Ceres struck back with an icy tone. She paused a bit for emphasis then switched to a softer voice. "You must realize we can't simply sit here blind and deaf and twiddle our thumbs? I must put my crew first ..."
In order to give the captain an option, Vathan mobilizes the docking clamp team to collect explosives from the weapons locker, engineering schematics, and space suits. He asks Holt to lead the techies to determine the best locations and amounts of explosives. He and the others trained in demolitions and space-walking start practicing setting and arming explosives using the gloves of the space suits.
The voice on the communicator changes. "This is the station commander. I am sure, Captain, that you can appreciate the fact that while you are responsible for a dozen lives, I'm responsible for over 500 lives, including yours. You are an unknown ship from an uknown location. You have lied to us about your point of origin, and for all we know you are working with the Faithful, possibly even spies for them. Until their assault is repulsed, any attempt by your ship to leave, or any attempt by you or your crew to leave your ship, will be considered enemy action. I don't want to blow up your ship, or kill your crew, but by god, if it's that or risk my crew and a load of civilians, I will, by the Goddess, blow your g*$$+$n ass off the map and to hell with any potential diplomatic blowback if you happen to be who you claim to be. Do I make myself perfectly clear?" The man's voice is cool and even, until the last two sentences, which come out with a bite of steel.
Ceres rubbed her hands together. We are getting somewhere! That 'somewhere' were somewhat loosely defined and Ceres wasn't quite sure it was good just yet. But she had the boss on the line - and she suspected that one was the one capable of making the call to let them out.
"If we were a heavily armed ship of hostile intent, do you think I would be holding a civil conversation with you now? Not using said heavy armaments to make an exit?"
Ceres afforded herself a chuckle before assuming a more business like tone.
"Now, judging by the fact that I am enjoying a tour in a merry-go-around and chatting over voice-comms, I am going to go out on a limb and say you haven't been in contact with the core worlds for a while. As such you seem blissfully unaware of the recent developments. Either that, or you are in league with them, then we will shortly be enjoying a brief firework show followed by a religious revelation on the nature of afterlife."
A brief pause, then she continued. By everything holy, I sincerely hope it is not the later!
"Now, lets keep things positive. So! Let me fill you in on the latest news. The Civil War is on hold, we joined forces with some aliens and Them are snacking on outlying and isolated systems, ships and stations. So you can imagine my 'joy' of finding myself on an outlying and isolated system under attack by something to me unidentified. You may also understand our apprehension to handing out a map to our homeworld like candy to each and every stranger that asks."
"I am shortly going to transfer two data packets to you. The first will contain identification data of Their ships. I apologize in advance, it is as meagre as their name. Our mediums have yet to manage extract more information from the poor sods that stuck around to ask... The second contains some of our data of the SSS William Baird, the ship that bought us this wonderful news. It may look a bit scratched, it had an close encounter with a supernova to warn us via the most direct route."
"Now, I want you to take a quick look at both of them - then get me visual proof that the ships attacking your system is not Them or better yet, proceed with the undocking procedure and allow us to take a look ourself. If we can't get a proper confirmation, I must assume the worst. We will then, in order of preference, A) - make our way out and attempt to flee as this system burns or B) - make sure that no part of our logs or navigational equipments exist in pieces larger then stardust speckle. I would like to not die, but better me then my people. I have shown my hand, now it is your turn. Captain Ceres over."
"Sit tight." Is the brief response.
A good 20 minutes later, another person comes on the comm, with video. The 10 second delay makes it obvious the person speaking is speaking from the planet.
"Captain Ceres, Boyar Eliciea Volkova, Imperial Attache Plenipotentiary. I am assigned to case since arrival." She pauses for effect. "We already determined that either you are with the Faithful, or were a lost colony. Have already received the packet you sent, from a wrecked cargo ship, approximately 23 years ago. The combat currently being picked up is not alien, it's g+!@!#n humans, if want to sully name calling them that. They are being dealt with. Please do not cause a scene by attempting to leave station. When attack is repulsed, will take cutter and visit ship in person. Until then, for military security in active theatre of war, must inform you that any attempt to leave the station will be seen as hostile act. Would rather not go to war with..." she pauses, and is obviously reading a phonetic card on her desk. "Tell'Than'Eee... or Hob'Stirs World, or Clooster'Puck, whichever one you are. Volkova Out." And the screen dies.
Well, that is something... Ceres muses after the screen dies, and puts up her feet on the control board again. Waiting for tele-transfers wasn't interesting (even with the thread of imminent threat and general doom) and she had adopted an more unofficial posture in anticipation. And of course, they had to *prove* they got video comms too! *Sigh* She picked up her own, internal, comm and hailed her crewmembers working outside.
"How is the assessment going? They are pinching their info tight but it looks like we are going to get some fancy official on visit, as soon as the shooting stops." she paused for a moment and glanced over the probe data. "Ophelia, unless more preparation is needed, would you return to the ship and see if you can't make some sense of the probe data? Vathan - I need you to re-sweep the ship and make sure no-one brought out anything that could identify us, since we are getting visitors again."
Things are quiet after that, the probes are able to give a steady, if cryptic, set of data.
Vathan and Holt and Higs manage to clean it up some using the advanced computer on the McTavish.
Nothing visual, but the energy readings indicate multiple fusion and fission reactor detonations at the warp point, and mass readings indicate at least one large asteroid ceases to be.
After about 4 hours, the probes data trail tapers off. Whatever happened looks like it took a lot of energy, and a lot of expense.
A few hours after that the comm link is opened again. And the woman appears on the screen again. "I'll be out in 36 hours. Roughly. Out."
The next day and a half passes slowly, but finally the comm system activates again. "Captain Ceres, would you care to meet aboard your ship, or on Station, or on my craft?"
Holt pours over the probe data, trying to get as much information as possible. The readings surprise her, at least at first, given the massive amount of energy and radiation that is being detected.
The announcement of a visit, which also means more diplomatic dealings and more opportunities for offense, causes Holt to go into maintenance mode again. She spends a day before the meeting running diagnostics on all of the engines and fuel components, making sure that if they need to make a quick escape, that everything is in tip top shape.
As far as her personal preparation for the meeting, she again dresses in her semi-formal uniform: stylish but functional black pants, tall boots, a blue heavy-cotton blouse with silver buttons and embroidery, and a many-pocketed black vest. This time she keeps her dagger in her boot and her auto-pistol on her hip, hoping it won't be necessary to use them.
"Fair enough." Ceres nods "Let's hope we have no cause to use them ..." She picks up the comm again and flick it back on. "All right, we are coming over - me, my second and my security officer. Will you be docking to the station, sending a shuttle or shall we link up with you?"
Bringing personal weapons almost feel like it will be easier to ask for forgiveness then permission. :)?
"We'll be expecting you 30 minutes after we arrive." Is the curt response.
The ship the woman is on docks about 100 ft from the McTavish. It is a sleek looking craft.
The trio move out of their ship, and over to the new arrival. At the airlock, they are met by a pair of burly looking Marines with combat armor. Said marines run a scanner over all 3, and demand their weapons before they can get onboard.
T/Sensors: 1d20 + 10 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 10 + 5 = 27
Anyone not relinquishing their weapons is not allowed on board.
Once on board, they find a small craft, about half the size of the McTavish. It's richly appointed inside, and they are led to a large conference room. A holographic display in the center of the table is currently displaying the McTavish in 3D. The craft is slowly spinning in place while the computer identifies bits and pieces of the ship, pointing out weaknesses in the design, the weapons system, where vital parts are, crew compliments, life support, duration, and so on.
"So, Lightbringer class. Not a bad ship. A century out of date, but not bad." The woman motions for the group to be seated. Other than the guards in the corners of the room, she's the only person at the table.
"So, which colony was it? Don't bother with the cover story. We're in the back of nowhere, but we're not completely cut off, and we're not stupid. The loss of the warp points never got as far as us. Hell, the nova's light hasn't even reached us yet. Did a number on the Empire. We are cut off, but not isolated. I've gotten permission to fill you in. Basically, we're going to assume you're not with the Fateful."
On the screen pops up a starmap, showing 6 systems. "This is the Lisan system. This is Lisandra, our home planet." She indicates the world McTavish picked up as the main radio source.
A system flashes red two hops away. "This is Kalesta. This is the home of the Fateful. The planet was originally populated by religous zealots about a thousand years ago, and they mostly were left alone and left others alone. However, while our warp points were unaffected, theirs were not. They were isolated. Whole damn world went b*+!#%% insane, decided that this was gods sign they were the only ones to survive the great Cleansing. When the warp points came back on line for them, about 160ish years ago, it was like a religious schism. The faction that finally won decided they needed to launch holy war on everyone not them to finish god's work. They've been attacking us regularly ever since."
She points to a third star system, 4 jumps away. "That's Bandron. Another world settled by religious zealots. Fortunately, they aren't as bad as the Kalestens. Than Bandrons are very religious, dietary restrictions, don't work on certain days, don't show skin, bunch of other restrictions, but they also don't open fire on you for breathing. Bandron's on a dead end branch."
She brings up the map again, zooming out. "Our only major contact outside those two systems was through Kalesta, but that route is problematic at best. About 80 years ago, a military scout ship managed to punch it's way through the Kaleston military blockade. Almost got blown up when it arrived, but it managed to squawk loud enough before we blew it completely apart. The ship transmitted for 3 days about lost colony protocols, took over control from the crew. I'm guessing something similar happened when this ship arrived in your colony world. Now, I've told you about us. You ready to return the favor, Captain? Or should I call this meeting to an end?"
A century out of date means that it is top-modern in performance. I doubt anyone here has the economy to support a proper top-tier shipyard. Especially if the last contact was eighty years ago! Ignoring the remarks about her ship, Ceres listened with a neutral expression. The news that there *existed* a route back out was sweet, but tainted by the presence of fanatics. Bleh... But things cannot always be easy, can they? When it was her turn to speak up, she did so slowly and deliberate.
"Yes. But before we begin, there are two points I must stress. The first; star-charts more then a few jumps away from this jump-point will not be provided. Secondly: the name and exact nature of our homeworld will not be disclosed. Neither is mine to give nor would they help you in any tangible way, yet. Sorry."
The Captain didn't look overly sorry about this fact.
"Now, the abridged version of our story - the Super Nova did quite a number on our routes in and out. Until recently, we were largely isolated in our own little patch of space - much like you and your religious problem. Then, circumstances shifted and we could re-engage in proper space travel. Most of the old routes weren't feasible and we were forced to start charting new ones and exploring our neighbourhood again. Which brings us, this ship and crew, here."
Ceres tapped the table with her left hand fingers, leaned a bit back and grinned.
"Now, there is plenty of wonder out there still to be found. Things more refreshing then trench warfare - wonders of science and life. Should you have a science vessel or so to spare, there is one planet in certain I would recommend you to take a look at! I'll have my crew transfer a teaser picture later."
"But this is not really what either of us is after. Both our people could do good of some cultural exchange on a level more sophisticated then rock-throwing. Now, what I will do to enable this, is take my ship and crew back home and report. With me, I will bring samples and proof of another world worthy of trade and interaction; be it goods, information or envoys. Then, the politicians at home will discuss the matter and within a hopefully short span of time they will come to the logical conclusion. Upon which we or another more suitable ship will return with diplomats of our own and all this will rest on the shoulders of more ... suitable folks."
Ceres stopped with her soft tapping and entwined her hands.
"Your part in this is quite simple. You provide us with whatever diplomatic ensemble appropriate for the mission and the size of our ship, a quick refuelling and note to your space-marbles to hold their fire as we fly past. If there is more you wish to know, I can play twenty questions, but keep the two golden rules in mind."
From that point, things get political. Not necessarily in a bad way, but in an inevitable way.
The Lisandran's send a diplomatic cadre back with the McTavish. They also give the Telthani a code to broadcast when sending ships through the warp point, for safety concerns. The code won't stand down the automated defenses if more than a certain mass of ship comes through at once, or if more than 5 come through in a small window.
The diplomatic group returns with the McTavish to Telthani, and diplomacy ensues.
Over the next few years, it's determined that the 'Third Lisandran Imperial Fleet' is the only Lisandran Imperial Fleet. The entire fleet was originally a Frontier Fleet that was doing training maneuvers in the system when everything went haywire. The fleet is old, and badly repaired, due to lack of parts and infrastructure.
Their most advanced ship is a destroyer that managed to run the blockade of the Fateful a few decades ago. The Telthani find out that the ship they found was likely part of a massive battle the Lisandran's have records on, from about a 100 years ago. It was a major multi-species conflict against the Others (the aliens that just raid and attack, the ones the McTavish warned about). One of those massive ships must have ended up in the nova, and went sub-light. It would have taken decades to make the transit from where it was to the nova's warp points to find Telthani.
The Lightbringer class is a couple of centuries old, and was likely a flag admiral's personal ship, something he grew attached to as he was coming up in the ranks, and it was old enough for him to get one instead of it being decommissioned.
Over the next 10 years, the Lisandran's and Telthani begin working closer and closer together, Lisandra has had food shortages for decades, as the planet was never intended to feed it's entire population. They've had to learn farming the hard way. The sudden influx of food helps tremendously. Also, the Telthani have a metal rich system to exploit, and Lisandra is buying all the metal they can afford.
In return, Lisandra never lost as much tech as Telthani did, and between the two, the general tech level of Telthani has gone up rapidly. The whole planet is back to a solid 9, and is pushing 10. In computers, thanks to the Mylthani, they are pushing 11 (and 12 with AI). In medical, they're a nice solid 9, early 10 (pushing 11 with the Mylthani's help).
The Mylthani have completely repaired the dome of the city, and gotten the metal foundries back online. They number, after 10 years, over 4 million. They've modified the dome city to keep a temperature in the 40's, which actually saves on life support, as the outside temperature is only in the 50's. They've been cloning off lifeforms from their planet and the dome now looks like a combination city and wildlife refuge. They are actually planning out another dome city purely for food and wildlife production, and they've begun modifying their planet's native life forms for survival in the hostile environment. They've started with algae and seaweed and plankton for the local oceans.
More to come
With a nearby economy to help, further exploration is put on hold. Those warp points not previous explored are placed under remote observation by probes, and a network of probes set up to send word back to both Telthani and Lisand.
The icy planet with life is claimed by all three groups (Telthani, Mylthani, and Lysandran) as a common world, and an initial colony is set up.
Mylthani begin limited experimentation on apes and monkeys regarding genetic manipulation with an eye toward fixing human genetic issues, as well as allowing for limited genetic manipulation to better help adapt humans for extreme environments.
Human empaths begin to be identified much earlier, and receive more advanced training than before.
8 years after contact, Telthani, Mylthani, and Lisandran sign the Mutual Assistance Treaty. The MAT allows for mixed military, free trade, and mutually assisted exploration.
2 years later, the first mixed exploration group is sent out from Join Exploration Command, which has been set up on a newly constructed space station in the system of Martha's Hub, formerly known as MWP08.
Station SSMAT-0001, The Lysandran Dream, designed by Lysandra in their double ring design, floats around a gas giant that's covered in life forms. Scientists spend their time examining the lifeforms, while the new Scout Corp prepares to begin careful exploration again. The station is capable of holding a full crew of 50,000 beings, although it's currently only populated by a mixed crew of 30,000.
A newly constructed fueling ship shuttles hydrogen from the other gas giant in the system (the one without life forms) to the station.
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
Fowki came into the meeting room once the office staff had gone, He did not like others to know he was on planet so had come in v the back with his own Security pass. His sister Aannra was sitting still looking at a big Screen show the gass giant and its space station. She had her back to him
"Lisa we need that report.."
She has slowly spun her seat around and stopped when she spotted it was not her PA who had come into the room.
"Fowki! When did you come down, I was told you where testing the new scout ship! why did you not vid?"
She got up and came over to take is arms. he had changed little, standing tall and still, His arms stiff. His lower face Prosthetics looked new.
He spoke to her in his Synthetic voice.
"I'm only here to ask you something and of course see you and the family. But the asking is the mean thing. I was told the holt Class was ready for testing, is it true?"
His voice sounded like a computer was talking, He had lost his voice box and most of his throat and upper chest in the war. That said the attack on his boarding school was not aimed at him, no the visiting Government officer was the target. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not that, that mattered to a boy with no voice.
The family had done what they could, best doctors, medical treatments. Two years of it, the an offer of work in the government, Guilt he suspected.
He was happy to hid away, while his famous sister took the limelight.
He was happy she did, only now and then did a news reported try and contact her half brother the Cyborg. he new that was what they called him, he did not mind. Here on a world that meant something. But He was a scout now and to scouts it meant nothing. Only the deep space meant something in there no one gave a &&&& what you looked and sounded like.
Aannra looked at him, She had never known what to say to her half brother, her father had had a mistress as Noble men did back then, it was seen as a status thing. He had taken his fathers name and was given a Knights ranking, But he never used it. He liked Scout better, earned felt better he said. He was the most Humble man she knew, he would never place himself before others. Kind an considerate the only passion he had was the scout service. Well she had some good news for him.
"Take a seat Fowki, we need to talk, and after, out with the kids, all three of them"
He would have smiled but it was hard to do so with a prosthetic lower Jaw. He did his best.
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
She laying on her back.
"And can you see that"
"yes, a blue dog"
"Now this one"
"A green sun"
"Good, now lets do the next set"
The tech had been showing her images all day, part of the final tests they said. She did was they asked, she had done for mouths. It had been like that from the moment she had regained consensuses. test and tweaking. In what little down time she had, she worked on ship designs, it kept her mind on what life should be like. It kept her focused.
I voice came over the lab comms.
"Sorry to disturb you Doctor, there is a message for Miss Ragnavold, Miss Ragnavold would you like me to relay it to you internal comms"
She spoke, her voice was not her own, it was a synthetic approximation and it still sounded odd to her ears.
The tech Doctor got up and left, as he did so the outside power to her body stopped. She thought on this a moment the said, then a voice some to her hidden ear.
"Hello Miss Ragnavold, I'm Fowki Utoxiter-Lee one of the founders and representative of one of the Funding Corporations for this research group, I think its about time we had a little talk, do you have time?."
She thought a moment, she had suspected for sometime that her trust fund, savings and selling all her things had long been passed in Cr cost for what had been done to her. Now she had a feeling she was going to find out just who and why some other party had been footing the bill.
"I've been waiting to see who would call. Mr Lee go on, I'm not going anyplace any time soon"
The conversation was quit long.
I wanted to tie off that Fowki thing now hes an NPC and have her at a starting point for what ever the GM has in mind. In a lab with nothing
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
She was sitting in a park on Telthani, it was late night and raining. The streets and been empty and she had been walking for hours. It was all part of rehab, testing the system in normal gravity. She new it, some where in the city was a lab pulling her telemetry data. She had a hood overcoat on. She did not feel the cold but she new it was that time of year, This was an Alien world, But it had been transformed like hers. Most of the indigenous life was the same. And old man walked past, rapped up and taking his dog for a walk. Wind blow and the part lights showed that the rain was becoming snow. She got up, an hours walk back then a recharge and rest. She did not sleep well, there where always ghost pains and the bad dreams. She could coup with them, it was being around others that up set her. They always looked, g~%*ing at the odd woman with her plastic looking face and glass like eyes. Oneday when they got the old tech back, things would be better, fully cloned bodys, but for now, it was ninites and synthetics. She turned and there in front of her a cop.
"Mam, Can I help yo..."
HE stopped dead as his eyes feel on her face and the glow form her eyes.
She fumbled and pulled out her ID.
"It's all right officer, I was just going, I'm needed back at the research center."
She held it out and he looked at it, then looked at her. He blinked then said.
"I see mam, well your ID is all in order, I err, I'm sorry.. I, hope you get back safely, I err could give you a lift back in the..."
She interrupted him.
"That want be necessary, ill be fine, but ... thanks.. ya thanks."
She put her ID away and pulled up her hood, passing him and walking fast she headed back to he research center.
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
she sat at the flight seat of the Scout ship, new off the production like, an Sz class scout,
"Ynji, hold position while we run remote diagnostic, over"
"Roguer that flight control, placing her on auto and hold"
She flicked off comms, then talked to the ships computer.
"Ship, hold position, power down main drive."[
The computers voice, eerily like her own synthetic voice came back.
"Holding position, powering down main drive, Scout Ynji.
She unpacked from the computer link and got up out off the pilot seat. Looking out the window she could see the large space station way off to the left. Today had been a good day, testing the Ships systems, while it did space trails, it would be hours until they can completed diagnostics so she took the time to get some rest. Walk off the light deck she entered the small sitting area, between the cabins. Talking a saint she sat back and looked around. It needed some work, it still did not have that lived in feel. It was all still to new, but given time. Trails where long, ships had to be tested and they needed to be checked. It was risky be a test pilot, but the pay was high, and that was what she needed right now, her medical bills where astronomical. Every penny she got from doing this was already spent. She had to face the fact she was dead broke, having the use of a million Cr ship did not help her, it was not hers to sell, and even if she could she would not, Scout loved to fly, a scout with out a ship was useless, all the training all the hard work, the fighting to stay alive, that was she could fly once more. Take away her wings, never!
But being broke all the time sucked, she needed a gig, some thing with a chance to make her rich. She patched in the ships comms to the Misstion data base from the stations. Scouts on the most part picked misstions when free, even Navy ones, if the navy would have them. If she could find a really good one with a chance of good pay,
She skimmed the lists, most where run of the mill, roud busting, moon scanning, odd archeology expedition. But there where not that many ships, then one court her eyes,
A real expedition, join systems, more details on exceptance. Humm. Volaters wanted. High risk, expirance needed. They would say nothing more unless she put her name down for consideration, well ok she would. She filled out the from and logged off. Getting up she went to her bunk, time to sleep, her body could go on for hours but under it she was still human, she needed rest, laying back her book she let most of her systems power down,
Sound was cut, and her eye feed, in the dark now encased in her she'll. she let her mind wonder to the past, old places and old faces, and images of the stars, she was soon fast asleep.
Over 500 people are assembled in the main auditorium of the DSS Darwinian, a massive space station recently constructed in orbit around Nevozmozhno, a gas giant with, impossibly, life.
The station was completed two years ago, and the massive push for exploration vessels at the same time.
Today, four massive exploration vessels spin around the triple wheeled station, one at each cardinal point. Nearby, in orbit, are other ships in the exploration fleet.
Commodore Viktoria Ceres stands on the platform as the gathered crews of the various ships find their places in their assigned chairs. The groups are a disparate lot, a mix of Telthani, Lisandran, and Mylthani. The Mylthani are the quietest in the room, their ears and noses twitching as they carry on silent mental conversations at the speed of thought.
Several humans, almost all Telthani, wear the golden psy corps badges indicating graduation from the Telthani Psy Corp facility.
Ceres is up! Time for the speech to send the crews off on their exploration routes. So far, I have Ramirez as Captain, Ynja as Pilot and First Officer, Catherine as Chief Engineer, and Ivan as Quartermaster. That sound right to everyone?
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
Ynja looked at the room, she felt exceedingly uncomfortable in such a large crewed, there was open staring at her as she made her way to her seat. A small group of Tech whispered and openly pointed as she walked along the top rung walkway. She looked away, She had got her orders the other day, First Officer and Pilot. She was a scout First Officer meant little to her as she knew it would to other scouts. But Pilot was a role and just as captain was, they would respect that. So she had her Pilot suit on, they way want dress suits be she was a spacer. Dressing up just far a bugger off and find stuff party was nothing she had time for. She did her best not to be jostled but in the pit of her stomach she was starting for feel that sick feeling. Big space and to many all around her. She focused on finding her seat and who ever was to be the captain of there small band. She truned off sound, that helped a little, as she overly-ed a seating place she spotted her seat. Then next to something that made stop with a little shock. There stood a tall Telthani that in itself was not shocking, what was, was the golden psy corps badge on his chest. And for once her was someone getting as many stairs and looks as she was. So that where going to place all the odd balls in one crew, Well that was fine, took some of the looks of her and she could deal with that. She was more than fine around PSI's it had been a PSI corps member who had broken in to her world of darkness after the... She did no think about it. She walked up to her Captain. She did not salute, Scouts tended not to, if he wanted her to she would.
Her mouth did not move as a her female synthetic said a little to lordly.
"Captain Ramirez, Scout Pilot Ynja Eva Ragnavold reporting"
More looks from others around them, She just kept her synthetic eyes focused on him.
If he has any kind of empathy up he was feel she is very uncomfortable in this crowed.
She sat behind her old friend viktoria. As she got up to address the gathering, other stop brass was there. It was importent she be there, she had pushed long and hard for the Psi corps it have repression on the ships heading to new systems. May where here who she herself had helped train. Vathens boy was in here some place, as well others. She had to block out the Myithia chattering, but that was easy now. She waited in silence, later there would be meeting with dignatrees and others of note, all very political, but for now she just enjoyed the atmosphere of anticipation in the room.
The nascent Scout Service struggled with its culture. While the Navy wanted to claim it as a child, it had been invaded or infected by so many civilians that the relationship was tenuous at best. The civilians had initially come from academia and a small surveyor community, but soon the flood arrived of entrepreneurs and prospectors who were fueled with a fever not unlike a "gold rush." Naval ranks were one of the first casualties of the new service; the civilians wanted less hierarchy and more democracy. Then, uniforms became optional as a compromise to the Navy veterans. From the Navy point of view, it became a club not a service.
While not a strict by-the-book Navy man, his four years at the academy and another four years on duty definitely put Aramis Ramirez in the Navy camp. It had taken him a year into his first Scout tour to abandon his uniform. His dress slowly evolved as his relationships with the non-Navy scouts improved. Now after his first scout tour, he was an amalgamation. He wore his Navy dress blue pants with the academy red line down the side in high black boots. Over a nice but casual white shirt, he wore a dark brown leather jacket that hung to his waist with patches sewn all over it among them one from the psy corps. The jacket had been a birthday present many years ago from his real father who he had only met a half dozen years before that. While it was a serviceable leather jacket, it had mesh armor tailored inside, just like the suits his father used to wear when he was a bodyguard.
As they gathered for the departure for his second tour, he was much more confident than last time. He had been promoted from first officer to captain of his own ship. He had skimmed the dossiers of his crew but had not committed them to memory yet. There would be time for that when the pushed off. Plus, it wanted to put some of that documentation in context with the person, because people change. They were an eclectic bunch, but that's what was needed when you were out in the middle of nowhere.
"At ease, Scout." Aramis replied at his obviously uncomfortable pilot. Her dossier was exceptionally thick, and her Navy etiquette shown through even without a salute. He offered a friendly smile and his hand, and they shook hands. "Nice to meet you, Ragnavold."
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
She takes Aramis hand and shakes it, with try at a smile, it looks odd as her face moves unnaturally into place.
Good he was not one of the stuffy kinds of ex-navy boys,
She had done her time in the ranks and found it hard work being anything more than a spacer. They had made her a officer in Collage just on good grades. But that was just lots of running around square bashing with the odd playing dumb ass war games. Not real command, she knew belters kids who had more nounce about them in a real space fight than the kids she trained with. Then looking at his clothing she could see Capt Ramirez was chilled, he must be good or they would not have given him the command chair, so she relaxed just a little.
"and you Capt Ramirez, I hope we have a good and safe tour."
Letting his hand go, she look down she spotted her seat next to his, taking it while crossing her legs and arms. She then asked.
"Is it true we will have a Holt class system explorer at our disposal. Lot more room than my Jump scout That Ill be bringing. Been told they do 4G, O.. I was told we would be a crew of four, are we the only two here."
She then gives up on the small talk as the stress of being in a room this full get to her again.
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
She looks up in shock
"Sorry, I err, I meant 40 no sorry 30 I'm err a little, its the crewed so.. Im .. this will not affect my work, it just."
She looks back down again, her nervousness was getting the better of her. So so many in one place, they where all looking at her, talking about her. She took some deep breaths and held herself still, counting to 10, just as she had been trained after the operations.
Viktoria looked out over the crowd and smiled. It was truly a marvel! When I joined, the Navy was a rag-tag bunch of enthusiasts and archaeologists - the Scouts a subject of history. Earlier, when she stood in front of her mirror and inspected her parade uniform, she had wondered how she had turned so old. She had noticed the weathering and the wrinkles, erosion caused by the rush of time. It had flown past her so fast - but their achievements had been even swifter. And now, look at us! Row upon row of eager explorers, ready to carry the torch into the darkness. If we keep up this pace, the future looks bright. I might even find some room to fit in a visit to Terra myself when I retire ... But enough daydreaming, time to face the music! Clearing her throat, she adjusted her notes one last time and started to speak in a clear, authoritative voice...
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
She was a little in ore, up on stage was the famous Ceres and behind her the telepath that had been with her when they had discovered a whole new alien race. Save it from extinction and give it a whole new world. They where here now in this room.
She had seen a Vid-film of what her and her crew had done. What must it have been like jumping into whole new unknown systems. They where the bravest of the brave, and here she was looking to do the very same soon. They had done with far less then she would have. The belters now had food they never had before, new computers system so any things. She wished then that should could have courage like that.
Ceres was a woman she could look up to, a woman they helped and push back the darkness. She felt emboldened seeing her and hearing Ceres's words.
Ophelia turned her gaze from the engine in front of her to the holo-vid when she heard Ceres' voice. Grease stained the tips of her fingers the same as a scholar of the bygone ages might have been marked by ink.
Good for you... Commodore... To think of how far we've come. when I was a girl I dreamt of flying amongst the stars... and here I stand today, triple checking a ship of my own design that will land of interstellar soil.
She turns her head back to the engine, very slightly adjusting the tension in a coil as she mumbles "As distances vanish and the people can flow freely from place to place, society will cross a psychological specific heat boundary and enter a new state. No longer a solid or liquid, we have become as a vapor and will expand to fill all available space. And like a gas, we shall not be easily contained... Sister Miriam Godwinson, 'But for the Grace of God'"
And soon these young people will set off to distant worlds in a ship of my own design. Will this be my legacy? Are these my children? Only time will tell... I just hope that I can enable the dreams of these new recruits the same way that others enabled mine... that I can be the giant upon which they need to stand.
Ivan stood amidst the assembly, listening to the speech of the Commodore. He noticed a flake of dust upon his officer insignia of the Merchant Marines. He cleaned it off, and similarly adjusted the silks of his uniform. After all, if his time amongst the elite of Lysandra and his training from the trade masters had taught him anything, it was that first impressions were often more important than your actual trade goods.
Merchant Marines... a title clearly thought up in a PR office. It may sound impressive to the common folk... surely the intent of the agency that came up with it... but it draws little more than scorn from the more... combat oriented marines. But they, like everyone, need supplies, so their officers put up with it... just another instance of need over want.
He groomed his beard and mustache for the dozenth time today. If this moment was going to be photographed for the history books, one must look their best. History may remember great deeds, but it also remembers all blunders. Still, he found the time to inspect the others, the more militarily minded, around him.
They relish the chance at fame and fortune and accomplishment... to be acknowledged for their abilities and their deeds... not that different from myself, really. I wonder how many of them question their leadership? How many contemplate the decisions of their superiors? They can't all follow blindly.
He barely heard the words, more engrossed with his own thoughts, but he smiled and clapped along with everyone just the same.
Would I be able to do the same that these people did? Would I be able to throw myself into an unknown ship soaked with radiation for the possibility of uncovering some tidbit of information? And if I wasn't capable of that.. does that make me more or less foolish? Or is this entire question nothing more than sophistry?
Bringing his mind to bear, he clapped and cheered at the ending of the great speech that he almost completely missed. Still, the content was easily guessed, and she was confident that he could fake it will enough at the dinner party following. This wasn't his first PR rodeo after all...
- - - - -
Ivan hid his grimace at the amateurish hors d'oeuvres being served as he placed his empty glass on the serving tray and grabbed another glass of wine. Out of the corner of his eye, he spied a man he identified as the captain of his new assignment speaking with a woman who seemed, at least off the cuff, as someone who had spent more time in a ship than with people.
This seems like a grand opportunity to introduce myself.
Glass in hand, he walked over to the captain and attempts to feign interest in other conversation until an opening presented itself. Turning to the captain, he added, with a slight accent "Ah, 'ello Captain Ramirez." Despite the odd sound to his speech, he pronounces the captains name perfectly. "I am Ivan Arkady Leonid Lazarev, your new quartermaster. Pleased to meet you. I very much look forward to serving under your guidance."
"Hello. Pleased to meet you, too. This is our pilot, Ynja Eva Ragnavold." Aramis avoids attempting to flawlessly pronounce the quartermaster's name. Instead, the name slowly turns in his mind.
Lazarev, a Lysandran. His dossier was very thin. Although, his comfort at in soiree like this one indicates quite a bit.
Ivan/Holt, can you get your background into your profile when you can. No hurry. Cheers
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
Nods at the new commer, , she looked passed him at the room sideways.
This was a little better, the crewed has thinned out, but she was still a little uneasy.
But thepis new commer was blacking out her view that made her feel better.
She was still getting the odd look, but not so much now.
"Nice to meet you"
She did not offer her cybernetic hand.
The only sign of rank on her was a scout service pin.
Ivan turns to the... pilot, adjusting his monocle as he looked her up and down as if he was inspecting a piece of merchandise. Finally he smiles and responds "And nice to meet you as vell, Miss Ragnavoid"
Turning back to the captain he says "Robotics sure 'ave come a long vay. Is it common to give theum belter surnames? Or just for this model?"
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
She closes her eyes for a long moment, then opens them again,
the sooner this was out the way the better
she says slowly as if she had said the same words many times before.
"I'm human, heavily bio cyberised but human underneath , there was an accident while testing our new ship, in high orbit I was the only survivor, this"
She opens her arms,
"was how I survived."
She puts her arms down again.
Ivan turns back to Ynja, the panic in his eyes hidden behind a well practiced calm smile. He bows low before her and says "Please accept my apologies. I had no idea and I am so sorry for the disrespect that I have just shown you."
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
"Its fine, really it ok, No disrespect taken...I just get that a lot. I wish they could make the Form a little less robot like, but its a new area, I hope one day we will have or find the tech to give me back a body that's flesh and blood."
She looks around
"But your right about the name, I grow up a belter, then Navy then Scouts, I have spent most of my life in space. Feels a bit odd to be so packed in with others like this."
That was an understatement but she was not about to start talking about that now.
"Captain Ramirez here was just telling me about his history. What's your if you don't mind me asking"
Yep lets move this away from that
|Cathrine Nikolayevna Gagarin|
Cathrine stretched and looked out over the crowd. An easy feat, considering she was probably taller then most of them. Hmm. Hmm. There! She noticed a familiar face. Ivan! With some effort, she shoved her way trough all the people (seriously? Did they have nothing better to do then stand in her way? *Sigh*.) As soon as she made it to her new crew, the hint of disdain disappeared from her face and her grin widened.
"Iven! It's been e while! Heerd you were in some trouble, but ... cleerly not! Heh."
I'm going to assume Cathrine and Ivan is on somewhat friendly terms, since she could borrow money after all. Might be mutual or one-sided, at your discretion!
After giving/forcing a quick familiar hug from Ivan, Cat finally acknowledged the other two. She gave Ynja a polite nod (she had heard about that one. The Belter community wasn't overwhelmingly large and if one of their own exploded - they knew. Even more so if they actually lived trough!). Then she turned to the last one and froze, eyes locked at that badge. It wasn't polite to stare, she knew that much (and had even managed to avoid it just a moment before!). But ... E psychic! Her throat suddenly felt far too dry. Forcing her eyes away from the badge and up towards the man's eyes, she nodded again.
"Hello. I'm Cethrine ..."
"CAN YOU READ MY MIND?!?!?!
|Ynja Eva Ragnavold|
As the belter came over Ynij did her best to smile, Cathrine Nikolayevna Gagarin, Vladimir sister, she know who she was at onc . Long ago she had had a thing for Vladimir Gagarin, the belter family's are few and finding some one you get along with. She had never meet Cathrine, but Vladimir has talked a lot about her and the family. They where long time belters, family ship the worlds. Knowing that Vladimir sister was going to be on the crew made her fell a lot better, some one who understood the prospectors like as well if not better than her. Most of all she did not freak out at the sight of her, that said pages about what she was like as a person.
"Hello Cathrine, it's nice to meet you at long last, if you do not mind me asking, how's your brother, Vladimir, last time we talked he was looking to get his hands on a ship. Must have heard I was on the team designing the new S class, he seemed very keen to get one."
to the liberty of linking back story's indirectly, she had a fling with your brother but has never meet you. But knows you and the family feel free to have him tell you about her.etc it must have been a small community but she left it early to join the navy
Ivan rises from his bow and smiles at Ynja. "Vell, I vas actually commenting on just how lifelike it is. And it is amazing that someone could survive an incident that could require such measures. You must have a very strong vill, Miss Ragnavoid."
- - - - -
Ivan grins at Catherine and very willingly returns the hug, adding. "Ah, Catherine, it has been quite some time. I 'ope things 'ave been vell for you."
As they separate he chuckles under his breath at her comment, replying "Ah yes, there vas an unfortunate... misunderstanding. But it 'as been vorked out."
Friendly terms seems appropriate to me.