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The Gifts Of May

Regina     As the day moved towards lunch, Zimzod was still in psi-tolerance training in a hidden intelligence base in the Regina countryside outside Atora city.  In the suite, Rol, Aiden, Terin and Fesic were discussing the outcome of events before the crew decided to abandon the fight to control Munarshu's future.  They all knew, as did everyone except Zimzod and Munarshu, that the former engineer would never be returning to the ship.  In fact, Mr. Dilgaadin had been fairly honest that he'd end up under a prison rather than in one.  In his private hospital room, Munarshu staved off boredom by sleeping.  As he did, he didn't know the team carrying his official detention warrant were on their way and he'd never see the ship or his crew again.  Mikah, Emkir and Aali were in Emkir's private room, having just ended their part in the call with the Seneschal.  For the moment, the concern was on Emkir's treatment and recovery rather than looking too far into the future.

While the chef and his staff arrived in the suite to cook lunch and those there ate, Mikah and Aali had their lunch ordered with Emkir's and they sat with him.  After they'd eaten, Mikah called back to the suite and got Terin on the comms.  Giving Terin a list of certain items which Mikah wanted moved into engineering, for Aali to manage, Mikah told Terin to gather all Munarshu's remaining gear in the suite and move it to the ship.  The gear now owned by the engineering section included the mechanical, metalwork and electronics tool sets and his set of PRIS Binoculars.  After Terin agreed to that, Mikah also told him, "Have everyone organize all their military gear and take that back to the ship too."  That included permission for Terin to go into Mikah and Zimzod's bedrooms to collect their gear.

When the conversation about "what do return to the ship" brought the others into the conversation, Mikah decided each person should decide right then what honor weapons they'd keep with them?  For Mikah, it was her laser pistol.  Mikah didn't know what weapon Zimzod had with him at the intel base, but chose to hold his vibro-cutlass back, as an honor blade and chose her coral sword too.  Aiden, as everyone expected, chose his custom snub pistol, but reserved only tranq and ball ammo clips.  Aali selected the snub pistol Duke Luis gave her, with tranq rounds, and Emkir chose his 9mm.  Aali also chose to keep her laser sword too, and Emkir his custom cutlass.  Fesic also kept a snub pistol with Tranq, and his blade.  Rol had, as he'd done when he visited Sir Jeremy, his gauss pistol while Terin kept his snub pistol.

After Mikah gave Terin his instructions, he, Rol and Aiden gathered up everything which needed to be returned to the ship and loaded it in their larger gravCar.  The trip to Credo-Down and the maintenance and engineering sector of the downport was quick and they could see the Hotel California in a work gantry.  Checking in with one of the engineering crew managers, the men returned the weapons and Aiden's armor to the correct staterooms.  After that, they talked about Munarshu's stateroom and gear.  Since the engineer was gone, they could rent it out for passage or hire on a replacement if they cleaned the stateroom out.

At first, the three planned to grab some boxes from the port folks and pack everything away.  But, since they'd been told Munarshu would never see the light of day again, they decided to comm the crew and see if they could farm out their former engineer's gear.  Aiden grabbed the ACR, its ammunition and spare empty clips.  Terin took the Gauss shotgun pistol, though it had no ammo, and Mikah said Zimzod would want the remaining .50 caliber auto-pistol.  That auto-pistol had been half of a pair, but the other auto-pistol had been used to shoot Emkir and would not be returned.  Mikah said to give Zimzod the extra ammo for the auto-pistol too.

Rol saw Munarshu's snub rifle and ammo, and took that for himself.  Mikah took the UAC-21 Gauss Rifle and its accessories and ammo for herself, but said Zimzod should get Munarshu's submachinegun.  That came with ammo, a folding stock, laser sights and a shoulder strap.  Aali grabbed the UAC PDW-1120 Gauss Pistol and its accessories and ammo.  Aiden took the blacked titanium shelled UAC Shotgun.  They also found Munarshu had a regular shotgun in addition to 25 concussion grenades.  There were also ten "jackets" a person could fit over the grenades, and give them anti-personnel value.  The shotgun and grenades, they put in the ship's locker.

The last weapon Munarshu still had, after the three the Seneschalate had taken, was an extremely fine blade created by a craftsman using gravitics compressed-metals technology to create a very fine and flexible steel alloy weapon.  Emkir grabbed that for his own kit.  When it came to his armor, Mikah decided they would sell Munarshu's sealed combat armor, because no one else in the crew could use it.  Because executive armor was more generic, Mikah took the four sets Munarshu had not worn, but which would fit her.  Mikah could also wear Munarshu's ballistic bodysuit, which was somewhat better than basic cloth armor.  That suit was a bit tight, thanks to her different body shape and more toned muscles.

A set of OD green web gear hung next to Munarshu's vacc suit and PLSS, both of which Mikah told the others to put in the ship's locker along with Munarshu's thermal-meteoroid garment.  Aiden saw a pair of magnetic grips and grabbed those for himself.  Fesic grabbed the kit of five Suit Patches.  According to Mikah, they bagged up all Munarshu's clothing to be donated to good will.  When Aiden found Munarshu's scout belt buckle, he volunteered to return it to the IISS when he had them make him a new buckle.  Past that, they started going through Munarshu's electronics.  Hearing about that on the comms, Aali said Emkir had one and she'd like Munarshu's so they could share.

Mikah had them store Munarshu's assigned comms until she could add it to her spares.  Mikah also told them to put the Filter Respirator Combination, Radiation Counter, Atmosphere Tester and Emergency Beacon in the ship's locker.  Mikah also told them to put in the locker his Earbud/mouth boom Mic and extended Comms unit(video when hand-used only) because anyone could use those as plug in comms extensions.  Aiden took Munarshu's survival watch, because he needed a cron.  As he explored it, Aiden found out about the internal computer, database, radiation counter, magnetic compass, homing beacon and voice-activated inertial compass displaying data on a tiny and high-res screen.

Then there was the sonic probe.  It had enough legal uses that owning wasn't usually enough to stop one for being arrested for owning burglar's tools.  But it was still a favorite of low-grade burglars.  The probe is a multipurpose sonic tool the size of a cigarette pack that generates a low-intensity, focused beam of sound waves for cleaning delicate objects, combing hair or brushing teeth.  It can be used to pick mechanical locks(+3 to Lockpicking with TL 9- locks).  Locks above TL 9 automatically resist sonic probes.  Its vibrations can be linked to an advanced computer and 'very precisely' tuned to use it as a short-ranged ultrasonic scanner.  The computer needs a Sonic Probe Readout program(cost Cr 600) and gives the user a rough image of the interior of objects or containers.  It has a maximum range of six inches.

A sonic probe costs Cr 3,000 and weighs one quarter pound, and owning a sonic probe is legal almost everywhere.  Still, criminal use of a sonic probe is another matter.  In many jurisdictions, picking a lock or scanning a container with a sonic probe aggravates the offense, resulting in a longer sentence, stiffer fine or more crippling mutilation, depending on local customs.  Mikah first joked, "Aiden can have that." but realized it was more of an engineering tool.  So the probe went to Aali.  Rol grabbed the Sharurshid datapad and Munarshu's 500 km range Video Communicator was put in the ship's locker to sell later along with Munarshu's Hand Computer and Headpiece Data-Display/Recorder.  Fesic took the set of commdots, which meant he needed to remove them from the gear Munarshu had connected each dot to.

Fesic took the combination IR/LI goggles and Terin took the Image Converter Binoculars.  Munarshu's Inertial Locator was put in the ship's locker, to be used or sold off later.  Rol took the electronic map, though he understood he'd have to supply the unit with actual map files.  When they checked out Munarshu's heatsuit and power pack, they saw Mikah would be the only one who could fit into it, so she ended up with it.  Rol took the pocket tool kit.  While they had agreed something should be done with the "Hunting World - Regina" gear to create a comedic memorial to Munarshu, no one took the backpack he already had before going on the hunting trip, but didn't bring.  So, that went to the ship's locker.

At the same time, they were hitting gear like the flashlight.  And that brought a suggestion they put it on the bridge, for use in emergency situations.  Hearing that, Aiden suggested they set up a small emergency tool kit to keep on the bridge, and said the flashlight should be put in that.  Aiden also decided to create a list to talk with Mikah and Zimzod about later.  They agreed the three days field rations with "Hunting World - Regina" packaging should be stored in the galley, in case of emergencies.  Moving on, no one wanted the canteen so it went into the ship's locker too.  Fesic and Aiden split the ten-pack of water purifier pills.  The belt-mountable First aid kit went to Fesic.

Mikah took the "Hunting World - Regina" branded sleeping bag.  The silver thread "Hunting World - Regina" branded camping cot and silver thread "Hunting World - Regina" branded Backpack went in the ship's locker.  When they came to the sex doll and strawberry-flavored sexual lube, Aali said they should go into the ship's locker until someone "earned" them.  Fesic interrupted her and pointed out the lube should go in the galley as a food item.  They all laughed as Aali admitted Fesic had a point.  When Aiden whined about not being willing to eat anything strawberry-flavored in the coming week, Fesic told him, "Don't worry.  It'll slide right down." and everyone laughed again.

After The Gifts

     After the gear was managed and the crew conference call died, Aiden, Rol and Terin realized they could clean out Munarshu's stateroom entirely, and even possibly carry a passenger if they did.  So, they spent the afternoon having a GI party to clean out the space even while the engineers and port workers continued the ship's repairs.  Of course, the field trip did let them see the repairs to the Hotel California were coming along very nicely and they wondered how soon the work would be done?  At the same time, Aiden asked the others what they thought should be in an emergency bridge kit?  The recommendations came down to some basic emergency hand tools and lighting.

Just before lunch at the hospital, Mikah, Aali and Emkir waited until the doctor made his rounds.  During that visit, Mikah asked how long they expected to keep Emkir?  She was told the main issue was to be sure the shattered and reassembled bone fragments were starting to fuse.  Thanks to the QuikHeal and other treatments, they expected they could confirm things were working by the afternoon on Friday.  So, they expected to keep Emkir at least until then.  Now that they could plan, Mikah made jokes about getting the gravChair off the ship for him, but Emkir wasn't interested in that.  Done with the jokes, Mikah said she'd be leaving them to their lunch, and would come back the next day.  Aali and Emkir said good bye as Mikah left for the suite.  Aali also said she'd go back to the suite that night and return the next morning but stayed until after dinner.

To her surprise, Mikah got back to the suite to find no one else there.  Fesic had gone with Rol, Aiden and Terin to the ship.  Zimzod was still "in training" and she'd just left Emkir and Aali at the hospital.  Mikah learned about the four men when she asked the butler, "What's going on?" and she told Mikah there had been no crisis since the clock shooting and advised Mikah what the others were doing.  When she asked Mikah if there was anything she needed, Mikah asked about leftovers from lunch?  Mikah was told there was a meal made for her and only needed to be warmed up, so Mikah relaxed and enjoyed the food and silence.  Mikah planned to relax in the peace and quiet until the four men got back.  Then, she'd go to the building's gym and enjoy even more peace and quiet.

Despite Mikah's evil plans, the men got back just as the chef started cooking dinner.  Accepting that, Mikah shared the meal with them before announcing she would spend the evening in the building's gym.  After that, she figured she'd see what came up.  Fesic decided to do more work on his college classes.  Aiden knew he had to do his physical therapy, so he went to the gym and planned to swim after, too.  After that, Aiden planned to see if he could talk to Rol about having a HUD and some devices installed in his new combat armor.  Terin chose to do some stent-work before vegging out and watching whatever anyone else was.

When Mikah got back to the suite, she decided to watch an old movie.  After she started looking for something to watch, Terin figured he'd watch too.  And, despite it being "very old", Terin enjoyed it enough to keep with it.  Rol spent some of the evening practicing visual control of his IR-visual augmentation before planning out his suit and gear for the next day.  The meeting with the lawyers and the Jesediperei had finally been reset for the next morning at 10.  Part of that quick turn around after "the shooting" had been because Rol's lawyers had been the ones to repeatedly ask for delays.  Not that the requests were not legitimate, but they decided to throw the Jesediperei a bone.  The other was that the Jesediperei were becoming desperate to save their money.  After that, Rol relaxed and read until he set his clock and went to sleep.

As Rol sat and read, Aiden Asked, "Got a minute?"  Sighing and hoping to hide his annoyance, Rol asked what was up?  Aiden told Rol he was thinking about having a HUD installed in his combat armor and had some questions.  Rol nodded and Aiden asked how much it would cost him to have Rol do the work once he bought the needed parts?  Rol told Aiden it would cost Cr 100 as he privately wondered how long it would be before they remembered he'd work for free to support the crew?  Aiden nodded and said he could afford that and Rol suggested he get the parts and they'd see what happened next.  Rol also knew Emkir would be back Friday, as would Zimzod, and they should get the ship back soon, so he hoped he'd learn how long he had to wait for the legal issues to resolve the next morning.

After dinner with Emkir, Aali got back to the suite while Mikah and Aiden had been at the gym.  She spoke to Terin, Rol and Fesic before settling down.  Settling in, Aali decided to do some stent practice.  By the time she finished up, Mikah and Aiden had returned from the gym and she compared notes with Mikah before going to bed.  Aiden had spoken to Mikah about using one of the rented air cars to visit the IISS base...again.  And he hoped nothing would happen to further delay things.  He did tell Mikah he planned to bring back and turn in Munarshu's buckle.  Mikah gave him the OK to use one of the cars.  Before Rol and Aiden went to bed, they both set alarms to be up in time the next morning.


Catching Up On Plans

     Despite not having set an alarm, Terin found himself waking up at 6am.  He didn't know it but that was about the same time Rol's alarm went off.  Disgusted that he'd woken that early, Terin decided to get dressed, grab a light snack to 'steady his stomach' and go to the building's gym to get in a morning workout.  Fesic also woke up about the same time, and took stock of his situation.  While still in the first week of his recovery period, Fesic did feel a bit better but knew it was not time for him to start exercising again yet.  Still, Fesic did think about what he'd been told by the doctor about how to help recover.

He remembered the doctor at the resort had said something about using oxygen therapy, so long as he didn't overdo it.  Fesic remembered the doctor had said he should not go over a mix of more than ten or fifteen percent oxygen.  Thinking about that, he decided to check into having tubes of oxygen at the correct mix delivered.  What Fesic found was that he could have pure oxygen delivered with a breather mask that could be set for a mix-rate.  The systems in the mask would 'taste' the ambient air wherever Fesic used it and determine what the current oxygen saturation was?  Then, the system would augment that would more from the tanks, to reach the levels Fesic set on the device controller.

Having decided that, Fesic got the butler to help him find a business that was trusted which he could hire.  Eventually, he found he could pay Cr 50 a day to have them deliver tanks in the morning.  Those would have a "quick snap on/off" nozzle to connect a hose to the mask, which would also contain and control the breathing regulator.  They recommended he spend two hours each part of the day, so two in the morning, afternoon and evening for six total hours a day.  When Fesic said he wanted to set up a seven-day plan, the agent he worked with said they could knock the price down to Cr 35 a day.

Fesic was also told they would deliver two days' worth of tubes that morning, so he'd have a backup set of tubes.  That way, they could drop off an additional set each day, so there would be spares "just in case".  Fesic was good with that and paid the Cr 245 in advance.  After that, Fesic was promised a delivery within the next half hour.  They also said the delivering tech would explain how to set things up, manage filters and clean and handle the mask.  After that, Fesic ate breakfast and then worked on his lock picking training until the delivery arrived.  Then, he learned what he had to before strapping the mask on and going back to the lock picking.

Rol did his morning calisthenics before getting himself cleaned up, fed, dressed and ready for the appointment.  Being ready well enough before he had to leave, Rol relaxed and watched the morning news.  The next person to wake was Aiden' whose alarm had gone off as he'd set it to.  Unlike Rol's morning, Aiden's was a direct move to get through his morning routine and then get moving as quickly as possible.  That was because he had a bit of a distance to cover to get to the Scout base and get his business started.  He'd also been told it would take more than half the day to get the belt buckle made.  So, Aiden wanted to get that moving as early as he could, then hand in Munarshu's buckle.

Eventually, Aiden did get to the base and started stepping through the work needed to get the jobs done.  Turning Munarshu's buckle in turned out to be fairly easy, even if there was a bit of time eaten away because of the paperwork involved.  Still, the work was easily done and only started after Aiden had been brought in to get the work on his own buckle replaced.  There were a number of points where Aiden had to confirm data the service had on him or provide authorization for the service to update their data.  Especially where things changed because he'd been cloned.  During other periods where Aiden had little to do but wait, he was told he could visit the BX, commissary or other on-base shops.

Aiden did take advantage of the time he had to hit the BX and even the on-base consignment shops, to see what they had on offer?  And while there were some pretty weapons for him to look at, there was not much that called out to him and said 'take me home'.  That and using the free on-base transportation ate up some time and he had a datapad with him to read when he wanted to.  One thing he did find while shopping was a package of vacc suit patches for Cr 20 that had five patches.  Because he'd been considering getting some, Aiden bought the patches.  Eventually, Aiden had lunch on-base and then got his buckle, being charged Cr 5,000, and flew back to Atora and the suite in the mid-afternoon.

After waking up and getting through his morning routine, Zimzod met with the small team who had been working as his guides during his training.  The senior officer admitted the team felt Zimzod was coming along nicely, bit didn't explain what indicators they were using to decide that?  Of course, in a situation where they could literally be looking into his thoughts on a constant basis, he had to assume some level of mental monitoring was involved.  Despite his better understanding of both the use and value of psionics in covert Imperial operations, that was still close enough to the Zhodani thought police to run a chill up his spine at the thought.  Ironically, that 'chill' sparked a comforting understanding there were Imperial agents watching out against those abuses.

Zimzod did have to admit to himself that there was an element of 'who watches the watchers?' involved.  But that was the same as any government agency.  Who was to say an Imperial military organization was not poisoning populations that were not felt to be properly patriotic?  And covert work like that didn't need any psions at all.  That meant that psions would have an advantage "if" they went on the attack, but they were mostly no more dangerous than any other type of covert criminal.  And, Zimzod now better knew about the checks and balances out there, and even realized that it was good the Imperium had them in place.  If not, who would be able to hunt the Zhodani?

Considering that, Zimzod found his thoughts interrupted when they told him they'd be taking him on a 'field trip' the next day, before they'd return him to his crew.  Despite his questions and curiosity, Zimzod was not told anything about what the field trip would involve or even require of him?  Still, he got a comfortable vibe from those in the room and figured he'd might as well just kick back and relax because there wasn't really anything he could do.  After the morning meetings and discussions, it was back to the grind and one thing Zimzod did find himself in a bind over was the White Star Order.  Part of him hoped they would turn up in some of the historic examples of positive Imperial psionics.  At the same time, he tried to keep from thinking about them, to not spill the beans to anyone who was "checking his progress."

Aali had woken and done her morning routine before heading off to the hospital.  When she got to Emkir's room, she found him out of bed and sitting up in one of the room's semi-recliner chairs!  That pleased Aali very much, because she knew Emkir was cleared to move about so long as he kept his arm in the sling and allowed the braces to immobilize it.  When Emkir saw her walk into the room, he looked up and said, "Aali.  I'm dying to go outside.  Is there a courtyard we can go sit in?  I just want to feel the air."  Surprised by his sudden question, Aali said "I don't know" as she tried to think about an answer.  Getting her mind in gear, she told Emkir, "Let's find out.  There has to be."  Aali was sure she'd never seen a hospital without some sort of natural setting.

When Emkir agreed, Aali helped him stand and said, "Let's go for a walk." as she led him out towards the nurse's station.  After first asking for a courtyard or outdoor setting, the couple were directed but quickly found out it was raining outside.  When they asked another staffer about any other options, they were told the hospital had an arboretum and how to get there.  The two made their way to the arboretum and sat enjoying and chatting as Emkir's spirits came back.  Getting an evil glint in his eyes while they sat, Emkir suggested they "have a dinner delivered" that evening, to make it less "hospital" and more "life".

When Aali agreed, they used a local terminal to look for a likely service.  Eventually, they ordered a meal which would run them Cr 140 total, and connected the restaurant manager with the nursing staff to make sure there would be no issues.  And while this wasn't the normal sort of thing that happened at that hospital, they were used to working with the nobility and even less often, celebrities, to provide for unusual requests.  Beyond that, the two relaxed and chatted while Emkir periodically returned to the subject of his "really good" pain meds with an evil smile. 

Back in the suite, Mikah woke and was doing her daily routine as Rol was leaving to meet with his lawyers.  Mikah came out into the living room to see Fesic relaxing in the living room with a mask on, connected to gas tubes!  From the color and labelling, Mikah saw they were small oxygen tubes, so she figured he was not on a 100% mix.  Ignoring that for the moment, Mikah had her breakfast.  While she was eating, Terin got back from his run, cleaned up and joined her as she was finishing up.  After he finished eating, Terin decided to dig into the data they'd gotten from the scouts on Sonthert.  After Mikah ate, she checked Fesic's new Oxy-therapy to make sure he wasn't over-doing it.

As a joke, Mikah even pantomimed twisting the tube to cut off his air and Fesic played along, faking he was suffocating before sitting up wide-eyed and saying, "Wait!  I can breath." with a laugh.  After that, Mikah called for a car and went to the hospital to check in on Emkir and Aali.  But when she got to his room, Emkir and Aali weren't there!  Figuring they'd gone for a stroll, Mikah checked with the desk nurse, who said they'd gone to the arboretum.  Getting directions there, Mikah wandered off to find the couple sitting and relaxing in the natural indoor setting.

Welcoming Mikah, Emkir verbally tripped over his words thanks to the drugs, and told her his surgery was scheduled for Friday, and then they would be letting him go home.  Mikah and Aali laughed and corrected him that he'd had his surgeries and he was being let out of the hospital on Friday.  That led to a fun discussion about how Emkir was getting "the good drugs".  Emkir did invite Mikah to join them for lunch.  Thanking Emkir, Mikah gave him a quick medical checkup, just to be sure, and told them she'd be leaving them to their own interests.  Still, she stayed with them for an hour before she left for the Tattdyrel Museum, which she'd planned to visit with Terin the day before.  Mikah spent the rest of her day at the museum once she'd gotten there.

Rol arrived early, to meet with his lawyers and so they sat him down and briefed him on what was planned.  Aside from the advantage in information, which Rol knew they had, he was also made more familiar with the fact the Jesediperei were almost literally beggaring themselves hanging on in the Regina system.  So, that was another advantage his team had and they said they planned to exploit it as much as possible.  Outside that, the legal situation had not changed despite the changes in some of the rumors and rhetoric.  So, it was up to the Jesediperei to create a legal change.  Something none of Rol's legal team, or even the Regina authorities, expected.  That said, they reinforced their advice that Rol should sit through the session and say nothing.

With the ball handed to the Jesediperei, Rol eventually saw they'd split their strategy in two.  First, they hit all the most significant accusations and tried to support them with the newest and most stirring testimony.  But that had not moved the Imperial Navy or legal authorities on Regina yet, so it fell short gain, in their big play.  Rol could only guess they hoped to somehow cow his legal team into becoming so concerned they advised Rol to cut a deal.  But, that wasn't going to happen because Rol's team knew what they were doing, what they were facing and facts the Jesediperei did not know.  That meant they were not concerned at all.

Second, and more surprising once he'd figured it out, the Jesediperei spokespeople appeared to be verbally targeting Rol himself.  Finally realizing that, Rol saw they must have been hoping to goad him into a reaction they could use.  Even sadder, they took the chances during those attacks to even try and make use of the rumors and events on Regina.  Suggesting the shooting of Admiral Meshrumiikiim and even Sir Sidigur even proved that Rol and the crew he was part of were all loose warheads, just waiting to explode all over whatever Imperial citizens were unfortunate enough to be in their paths whenever they went off.  Sadly for the Jesediperei, the Atora police and Regina Seneschalate had more facts than the attack rumors, and none of it supported attacks on Rol.

While it took almost two thirds of the meeting for Rol to realize this, they'd still failed to get anything close to a rise from the former officer because his lawyers had prepared him well.  That meant that Rol was even more comfortable later in the meeting than he had been at the start.  At a point, he'd even considered the comedic effect he'd get if he pretended to fall asleep on the Jesediperei.  Finally, the Jesediperei presentation ended and the ball was in the hands of the representative from the Seneschalate.  And that answer was "No" because nothing had been changed.  The statement was short and bitter in the ears of the Jesediperei.

When they then turned to Rol's legal team, that group outright challenged the Jesediperei to bankrupt themselves staying in the Regina system if they wanted.  But they were firm that their client would have no reason to change his position or they theirs.  And all couched in proper and polite "legalese".  The meeting ended with the firm understanding that the Jesediperei had simply not provided anything new enough to change the legal understanding of events on their world during the war.  So, they knew they'd failed, and meeting broke up.  Afterwards, Rol was asked to spend another forty minutes with his team discussing his deposition regarding Sir Jeremy.

This would serve as his testimony versus the Knight in his trial.  When they asked when he'd be available for that?  Rol said "now" and they agreed they could call the legal team which would handle the prosecution and get a team over to depose Rol that afternoon.  Rol was told that they wouldn't even need him for the rest of the case once they had his deposition.  That meant he'd be free to leave Regina afterwards.  Eventually, Rol spent the rest of the afternoon answering questions posed by the prosecution while Rol was supported by his lawyers and Sir Jeremy's lawyers also took part.

After they finished up, there was another short moment where Rol was advised to wait some time before publishing his "memoirs".  They also advised him to sit down with legal authorities to go over the manuscript first.  To help "polish off" those literary burrs which might badly interact with his various already made statements and given testimony.  Just in case.  Noting what was happening to Sir Jeremy, Rol took the hint and decided to seriously consider their advice.  That done, Rol left to return to the suite in the late afternoon.  He looked forward to telling the others he would be free to leave Regina as soon as Zimzod got back, Emkir got out of the hospital and the engineers finished repairs on the ship.

Terin spent the morning digging deeper into the data on the Sonthert system, now that they'd had new data.  He also did a test to collect the data he would need for an updated nav-plot.  While he could not really do anything with the data without a full ship's computer, he could be sure he could get it.  Taking a break after lunch, Terin hopped on the local merchant network and looked for the toy gun spring ejecting a banner with the word "Boom" on it.  He eventually found one that would cost him Cr 20.  When Terin checked on delivery costs, he saw "Same day" would cost Cr 20 and "Next day" would cost Cr 15.  Ordering it for "Same day" and paying Cr 40, Terin worked on his computer class into the afternoon, while he waited.

News Of The Day

     Fesic had spent the first part of the morning working on his lock pick studies before shifting to his college studies.  After he finished that, Fesic saw Terin had taken a break from what he was doing and asked if he wanted to play some video games?  Terin, who was about to start his computer studies, squared that away and joined Fesic to play.  In the hospital, after Mikah had left and they'd moved back to Emkir's room, Emkir and Aali sparked up a movie on his in-room screen and they relaxed as they watched.  That gave them something to do until their dinner arrived.

When Aiden got back to the suite, he walked in to see Terin and Fesic playing video games.  After waiving a greeting to the two, Aiden thought about the parts he'd need to install a HUD in his combat armor.  Remembering the mercenary warehouse in Credo, Aiden looked up their comms data and gave them a call.  When they answered and Aiden told them he needed parts to install a augmented HUD into his sealed armor, they asked what augments he wanted?  Aiden first said he wanted light enhancement and infrared filters.  Next, he said he wanted visual magnification.  Finally, he asked questions about integrating his weapons to his HUD.  Aiden was told integration kits depended on what type of weapon he wanted to tie into his HUD?

More modern weapons, which had internal electronics or electronic add-on modules could be directly tied into the HUD so he could manage weapon control apps and recover performance data from them.  Older or less technologically advanced mechanical-style weapons could have a micro-camera mounted on them, shooting down the weapon's sights.  That would give him an aim-point integration, but there was little more he could do with those styles of weapons.  Beyond that, they suggested he could shop for aim-management software which could be installed into his armor, at the cost of buying a mini-computer and installing that in the suit, to help improve his aim point.

When Aiden considered integration, he knew he wanted to have his custom snub pistol connected as well as his LAG.  Aiden also decided he wanted to integrate the ACR and UAC shotgun he'd grabbed from what Munarshu had left behind.  After some price checking and conversation, Aiden found he could get a HUD with light intensification, infrared and telescopic vision for Cr 3,000.  To integrate the weapons he'd selected and apply electronic aim correction, Aiden would have to buy a base tactical micro-comp for Cr 12,000 to connect the weapons to.  Then, he'd have to buy an integration kit, range sensor and an aim correcting kit including gyros, environmental sensors and the management software).  That would cost him Cr 3,600 each.

That also allowed him to integrate either through direct connection or wireless.  The total cost would be Cr 29,400.  After the parts were delivered and Rol did the installation, Aiden would have cables in one of the snap compartments in his armor and could swap from wireless integration to a hard connection.  Aiden placed the order and was told they would be delivered the next morning.  After placing his order, Aiden decided to relax and watch vids.  He was doing that while Terin and Fesic played video games when Rol got back to the suite.  Shortly before that, the chef had arrived to cook dinner.

When Rol said, "Hey guys", Terin said "Hi" and Fesic asked, "Hey Rol.  How'd it go?"  Rol told them all, "Well.  We're all gonna die, but not here."  Ignoring Rol's joke, Fesic fatalistically answered, "We're all gonna die someday." and Rol answered, "Well, I am pretty much done with what I have to do here, and I have been entirely cleared in this matter."  In a straight tone, Terin asked, "So, you're not gonna be hung?" and Rol repeated, "I have been cleared in this matter.  The legal case involving me has been resolved."  Fesic smiled and said, "Well, congratulations."  Rol smiled and said, "It's out of our hands now, and we just need to resolve all our other stuff and we can move on."  Fesic answered, "Yet another reason to celebrate."

Rol agreed and said they should find some time for that before he asked what they were doing in the suite?  Fesic said, "We're just hanging out." but Rol had noticed the video game and asked, "Who's winning?"  Without bothering to look at the scores, Terin said, "I am." with a self-satisfied tone.  Despite that, the scores showed Fesic had been clobbering Terin.  Fesic smirked and said, "This is what happens when you go up against a gunner."  And the gunner's smile was even larger than they expected.  When he was asked why that was, Fesic told them Rol's news meant he'd won a bet. Back on Lanth, He'd bet Cr 1,500 Rol wouldn't be charged.  He'd also paid to freeze the odds at one to one, so he was due a payment of Cr 3,000.

Fesic also mentioned that Mikah and Zimzod had bet on Rol's outcome too.  Zimzod had also bet Cr 1,500 that Rol wouldn't be charged, but he didn't lock the odds.  Mikah had bet Cr 1,500 Rol "would" be charged in a felony case, so she was out her money.  That meant word would have to be sent to Lanth, which was three jumps away, so that payment could be sent.  So, Fesic and Zimzod would get their cash in six weeks if there was not an agent for the betting firm in the Regina system.  And where Fesic would get Cr 3,000, Zimzod would have to find out what the odds settled at before even knowing how much he'd won?  As they talked about the bets, Mikah returned from the museum.

Seeing the smiles on Rol and Fesic's faces, Mikah asked, "What did you do?" in a concerned tone.  Rol told her, "We're pretty much done as far as the legal aspects of my case."  With a sudden smile, Mikah asked, "So, when is the sentence going to be carried out?"  That got laughs from the others.  With a very smug look on his face, Rol said, "The surprising thing is that they didn't want to charge me."  When Mikah asked, "Really?!" in a surprised tone, Rol said "yes" and Mikah continued, saying "Wow!"  Rol made it clear the Jesediperei "did' want to charge him but no one else did.  He also joked that they could keep trying but, sooner or later, they'd run out of money.  With a sudden smirk on her face, Mikah said, "So.  Next stop, Jesedipere!" and got more laughs.

After the jokes wound down, Mikah reminded the others that Zimzod would be back the next day and told them Emkir would be released on Friday too.  So, they only needed to find out when they'd get their ship back and they could travel again.  After that, they settled in to watch the news and wait for the chef to serve dinner.

    Dunmag (A427138-C  N  Lo Ni Cp 201  F7 V M3 V M7 V)     Date: 045-1113
    A news brief from the Dunmag system(Dunmag/Deneb) have stated
    that Royal Prince Varian's fleet had entered the system as of
    that report.  Regina media stated the report was nearly six
    weeks old.  The bulletin stated the Prince planned a brief stay
    in that system before proceeding onward, to meet with the Deneb
    Sector Duke.  The report continued, stating the Prince planned
    to meet with Arch Duke Norris somewhere in the Spinward Marches
    in order to perform the actual ceremony elevating Norris as the
    rank of Arch Duke, and awarding him leadership of the Deneb Domain.
     

    Rhylanor (A434934-F 2 Green Hi Cap 910 M2 V6)             Date: 108 - 1113
    Reports from the Rhylanor system suggest the Arch Duke may
    be ending his availability to landed nobility in the sector,
    responding to his command they attend him in Rhylanor before
    his grand tour.  This as advanced plans have been announced
    to prepare to move the Arch Duke's tour fleet.

    While dates have not yet been announced, investigations suggest
    the nature of supplies being boarded on the vessels of the fleet
    suggest mobility is in the offing.

    Speculation suggests the Arch Duke's fleet may intend to join
    with that of Royal Prince Varian, when his fleet arrives
    at Rhylanor, to possibly then proceed to the Mora system for
    the formal investiture.
                

    Rhylanor (A434934-F 2 Green Hi Cap 910 M2 V6)             Date: 106 - 1113
    Responding to surprise attacks in system during the
    previous year, construction has been approved on three
    new system monitors.  These appear to be, according to
    released data, monitors of more than one million tons
    displacement in size.

    When completed, these stations will act as both mobile
    bases and massive platforms act as defensive monitors.
    The Rhylanor Navy has already stepped up recruiting
    efforts to begin training many of the new staffers the
    stations will require, along with a large pool of NCOs
    and officers to lead those who will be assigned to
    the stations.
                

    Rhylanor (A434934-F 2 Green Hi Cap 910 M2 V6)             Date: 102 - 1113
    The Admiralty have announced that Duke Leonard's orders
    have been completed regarding the creation of system-wide
    blockades of both the Bevey and Kegina systems.  A result
    of this action has reportedly led to in the detaining
    of numerous merchant vessel crews who had been caught in
    the act of transporting migrants from Bevey to support
    the forced colonization of Kegina.

    Supporting this effort, a mobile naval base has been
    moved into Kegina's planetary orbit.  Those crews being
    held by order of Imperial Naval Officer's courts are
    being transported to Rhylanor for execution of their
    sentences.

    According to the Duke's Seneschal, those ships forfeited
    will be auctioned off once proper investigation of each
    vessel can be completed.  At the same time, Imperial Naval
    forces are preparing follow on "reaction forces" in the
    event the government of Bevey are not supportive of the
    Duke's investigation.  Additional Imperial Army units are
    being moved in to overtake those Imperial Marine formations
    which had been carrying out peace keeping operations
    on-world in the Kegina system.
                

    Regina (A788899-C A Ri Cp 703 Im F7V M6 V M8 D)         Date: 157 - 1113
    New data has been released by the Rhylanor Seneschalate,
    replacing some of the swirling rumors surrounding charges
    against Sir Jeremy.  In a release provided today, the
    Seneschal has stated the investigation of charges and data
    from the Jesedipere system, against Major Sir Rol Kaihvos
    have been completed.  After significant investigation
    and deliberation, it has been determined the data provided
    by the Jesediperei delegation did not change the material
    facts regarding events in that system during the war.

    With that decision, Admiral Sir Amshii has summed up
    the position of the Imperial Navy in stating that no
    evidence provided is seen as without value.  While
    His Lordship did not comment on Jesediperei requests to
    charge Sir Rol based on their data, the Admiral did
    say their data provided further viewpoints on the evidence
    being prepared for the trial of Sir Jeremy.  In
    addition to that data, Sir Rol has also been cleared to
    provide a deposition regarding the charges against Sir
    Jeremy now that he is no longer facing questions himself.

    When asked for details about the pending trial, the
    Seneschalate stated this had been the last hurtle to be
    surpassed before the trial could be set.  The media were
    told a date would soon be held on the calendar and made
    public for the prosecution of the charges against the
    Knight.  Until that time, Sir Jeremy remains held under
    house arrest in Atora City.
                

   Frenzie (A200436·A  N  Ni Va  * 110  Im M2 III M3 D)     Date: 135 - 1113
    Following events in the Thanber and Dekalb systems, which
    recently self-declared themselves member states of the
    Imperium, Naval forces have calmed the situation as fleet
    elements have been moved into position.  While there has
    been some discomfort in comments from Zhodani diplomatic
    sources, initial diplomatic teams have established talks
    with both system governments.  And while this action is
    in the forefront, the Admiralty have stated they are
    waiting for instruction from Capital!  This means couriers
    have been sent to the Iridium Throne itself.

    Despite loud rhetoric from hard line hawks and those
    supporting Imperial expansion, word from Rhylanor and Mora
    have repeatedly stated this process needs to be managed
    and taken at a pace which prevents confusion and the chance
    of unfortunate outcomes.  The current response, as described
    by the Seneschal of Duchess Delphine, is to create the
    systems client states of the Imperium while proceeding with
    further investigations.

    Some rumors from the talks suggest a move by the Imperial
    Navy to establish a forward Naval base in Thanber.  Such a
    base would support operations between the Imperial border
    and the Imperial base and research station in the Retinae
    system.  Despite these rumors, the admiralty have remained
    quiet on such maneuvers.
                

    Mora (AA99AC7-F  2  Hi In  Green  112 M5 V)                     Date: 101 - 1113
    The Spinward Marches Naval Command have officially issued
    a recall order for the Deneb Core Fleet.  The order to
    "Muster" has been transmitted, and is the first step to
    officially returning that fleet to the Deneb sector after
    its service during the Fifth Frontier War.  During those
    actions, the mustered strength of the Deneb Sector Core
    fleet took part in grand actions against the Zhodani 40th
    fleet, pushing it back from the Rhylanor system and taking
    part in destroying that fleet in detail after following
    it to the Porozlo system.  The Deneb fleet then took part
    in efforts from reinforcing the Lanth border fleet thrusts
    into the Sword Worlds home systems and lending formations
    to the drive to recover and relieve systems in the Jewell
    subsector.

    Rumors suggest that Arch Duke Norris had originally held
    the fleet in the Marches in case Zhodani reinforcements
    sparked further hostilities.  Following that, rumors suggest
    the Arch Duke intended to use the fleet in displays welcoming
    and joining fleets with Royal Prince Varian on the arrival
    of his fleet in the Marches.  This suggests the fleet will
    be mustered and held in the Mora system until the arrival
    of the Prince's fleet.  While the report covered many rumors,
    it also reminded viewers that the details involved are
    considered State Secrets, for the safety of the Nobility
    involved, and speculation of the same can be considered
    a crime.
                

As they listened to that report in the suite, Aiden moaned a plea that they be on the other side of the sector when that happened.  To the pilot's annoyance, Rol reminded him they'd likely be walking right into it because Mikah was a Lady of the Domain and may even be required to attend.  And while Aiden was annoyed, none of them could argue the point.  Still, the good news was that the Prince was not the Heir Apparent.  That was Princess Ciencia Iphegenia.

    Glisten (A000986-F  A  Hi Na In As Cp  821  Im  K9 V)            Date: 094-1113
    Denuli - Long aware a contract had been let to create an
    IISS forward base in the system, it was released that
    the first steps have been taken and a Naasirka construction
    fleet has checked in with authorities in the Rhylanor system
    before proceeding to the Denuli system to begin operations.
    This operation will be supported by the corporation, General
    Products LLC. In a further answer to "the unknown", it has
    been announced a formal negotiation period has been completed
    with beings currently described as "Shriekers".

    Sources admit it is unusual for Naasirka to be the primary
    contractor for base construction.  Still, speculation suggests
    there may be a number of reasons for the high-powered Data
    Technology megacorporation to have been chosen.  Chief among
    those are the needs to communicate with the apparently newly
    discovered Sentient race which inhabits that system.  Another
    consideration might be the need for heavy automation to support
    the base if hostilities break out in District 268, making the
    transfer of replacement base personnel difficult.
         

    Entrope (E336AAA-C  Green Hi 720 G6 V M1 D -Da)       Date: 120 - 1113
    The research teams of Doctor Klendeit Tellut Kuh-Len-Deh-it
      Tel-lu-it
have arrived in-system from GLIPS, in Glisten, to
    augment study of the ruins found during investigation
    of atrocities committed in that system at the end of
    the fifth frontier war

    The Darrian Confederation has begun releasing details of the
    damage to facilities and property in system as contracts are
    being announced to resolve the damage.  As expected, angry
    denials have been issued by all of the accused Sword world
    governments of any involvement in so called Atrocities or
    war crimes and claim to be able to prove evidence blaming
    the Darrians for the damage as they forced a Pro-Sword Worlds
    system to accept occupation simply due to the desire to re-
    create the Confederation's lost glory.

    In an expected move, the Imperial Navy has received approval
    from the Arch Duke to support the reconstruction of
    Darrian defensive facilities there
                

    Hammermium (A5525AB-B  Ni Po  535 Im  M3 III)            Date: 087-1113
    While the Count has taken a more "hands off" position thanks
    to his earlier mistakes, it appears the Hammermium Corp.
    team have worked to reduce tensions.  Imperial authorities
    have happily reminded reporters this has appeared to
    de-escalate somewhat, and Imperial reaction forces, while
    still available in the region, do not appear to be needed.

    Still, the value of Hammermium Corp stock has slid somewhat
    on exchanges and it appears that some vendors contracting
    raw materials from HC may be reconsidering their purchasing
    connections.  This, especially, will have longer term effects
    both for the Corporation and the working population.
                

    Natoko (C8879AB-9  Green  Hi  904  F4 V)                         Date: 107 - 1113
    Despite a lack of cooperation from the Natokan system
    government, and following a surprise attack on Imperial
    naval forces supporting the investigation there, the
    system has been completely blockaded.  All vessels
    approaching or leaving any planetary or lunar surface,
    or any station in-system, will be stopped and examined

    No further information has yet been released on the stealth
    attack on Imperial Naval assets in-system, or how that was
    carried out?  But, an additional three squadrons of
    naval and IISS vessels have arrived to support operations
    there.  These vessels have been described as "screener"
    vessels.  Despite that, rumors have surfaced that suggested
    a new class of larger "fast attack" strike craft may have
    been deployed in system.  Still, no solid information has
    surfaced on such a vessel.

    Releases from the IISS command in Rhylanor have also stated
    the Scout Service have begun recalling detached scouts in
    the stellar region as well as their 100 dTon ships.  This
    suggests to some analysts that the Imperial Navy and Scouts
    are preparing to deploy a very large net indeed.
           

    Risek (A325579-A N Green NI 501 M5 V M3 D)                 Date: 100 - 1113
    The first wave of early colony ships have arrived in
    the nation of Podesta.  These settlers have been
    characterized as "tech" immigrants from the Nyassl system
    in the Usani Subsector of the Deneb.  Close to the
    great rift, world of Nyassl has no atmo or hydro,
    but maintains a higher tech base.  So, these settlers are
    seen as both experienced in living aboard arcologies and
    an expected tech boost to the Podesta nation's recovery
                

    Porozlo (A867A74-A Green Hi 201 M1 V M9 D)                   Date: 099 - 1113
    The months' long hot war between New Jindabyn, Sertao
    Forros and Ko Qiquiang seems to be dwindling down as the
    belligerent forces have become more entrenched.  Forces
    of the nation Ko Qiquiang have more heavily impacted and
    forced back due to that nation's early and failed attempt
    at an airborne coup and loss of atmospheric forces and
    their inability to protect their surface forces.
                

    Gougeste (C372510-A  Ni  A  420  CsIm  K2 V)                  Date: 115 - 1113
    Dispatches from the Gougeste system state that the SuSAG
   mercenary force have arrived in-system to quickly receive
   the surrender of the Colada Heavy Cruiser Sjisnopsen.
    Some of the unofficial dispatches broadcast to the fast
    courier along with the Commander's Report suggest a level
    of cold bloodedness as Mercenary Admiral Arnaakhe Miiiri.

    While none of these reports have been made public as yet,
    rumors suggest the Sword World Cruiser was ordered to
    refuse boarding attempts made by her surface troops as a
    condition of a peaceful surrender.  This trapped the
    forces which had been on the surface of Gougeste, insuring
    some panic by those trapped forces.  SuSAG representatives
    shrugged off the rumors, stating they were "certain the
    Admiral was preventing the theft of corporate materials,
    equipment and data storage systems.

    Imperial Navy Admiral Kuguir Uupdarsa, CINC Jewell, has
    stated in news releases, that he did order a squadron of
    Imperial Navy destroyers into the system with the
    mercenary fleet as observational forces.  Spokespersons
    for the Admiral have assured the public that the officers
    commanding those vessels will provide for Imperial Justice,
    even in that independent system.
            


Official Intrusions

     In the hospital, the restaurant Emkir ordered from catered his dinner with Aali into his room, much to the annoyance of the medical staff and excluded patients.  Emkir understood their feelings but didn't much care because his wife had been through a tough week so far.  When he heard someone snicker "It must be nice being rich" just a bit louder than they thought they had, Emkir answered back, "Yes, it is actually."  In the suite, the rest of the crew except Zimzod shared dinner and Zimzod ate with some of those he'd been working with during his training.  Zimzod's spirits were higher because he knew he'd be returning to Mikah and the crew the next day.

After dinner was done, Emkir started to feel very tired, but Aali thought it would be good for him to take a walk before she let him sleep.  Thinking, she suggested they take another walk to the hospital's arboretum before he went to sleep.  Still, after that walk, Aali did let him go to sleep and she then returned to the suite.  In the suite, Aiden had told Rol about his parts order, and the armorer said he'd check things out after the order arrived and he figured he'd do the work while they were in jump after leaving Regina.  Rol did stent work after eating.

Since his package had still not arrived, Terin decided to get back to his computer classes after dinner.  Not long after he started working on the classes, there was a buzz at the suite's door and decided that was his delivery.  Very excited, Terin told the others "that's for me" repeatedly as he went to answer the door.  Getting there just as the butler did, he stood as she opened the door to see a middle-aged man in a professional suit.  Greeting the man, the butler was told he was an officer from the Seneschalate.  Slipping into what he called 'diplomatic mode', Terin nodded both at the agent and the people Terin now realized he had with him.  Before he could introduce himself, the agent said they would like to see Lady Mikah and also needed to talk to a Sir Terin.

Pointing to himself, Terin said, "Well.  I'm Sir Terin."  He then pointed into the suite and continued, "and Lady Mikah is right here."  Pleased to have struck paydirt right off, the agent led his small group into the suite at Terin's invitation.  Mikah was in the living room with the others when Terin led a small group into the suite and made what introductions he could without having stopped to ask any questions.  As they explained they needed to talk to Mikah and Terin, Mikah looked at Terin and asked, "What did you do?" in a voice that was both surprised and accusatory.

Caught by surprise, Terin asked how he could help and was shown a notepad message which had a copy of the ad Terin had posted offering to create jump navigation tapes for hire.  With all the excitement the crew had been through in system, Terin had forgotten about the ad and had never been contacted by anyone looking to hire him.  Terin remembered the ad as he was told the two people who'd come with the Seneschalate agent were from the port, and Terin had posted the ad without getting the proper local certifications and checking the laws and restrictions for selling that kind of service.  He was reminded, in a grave tone, how dangerous it could be for the unqualified to sell potentially mis-calculated navigational data.

Terin agreed with the risks as they explained the local certification process and told him they were there to help him get started.  Which included paying the Cr 500 application fee.  And despite the fact it looked like the crew might be able to get moving soon, their tone made it clear to Terin that he had no choice.  Almost reading his mind, one of the couple told Terin that, despite the fact he'd already placed his ad, they'd waive the legal repercussions so long as he followed through with the application process.  So, the subtext was clear.  Pay the Cr 500 and follow through those parts of the process he could while in system or be cited for a crime.

Apologizing and admitting he didn't know about the regulations, without admitting he hadn't bothered to check first, Terin said he would be pleased to work with them to get his application moving.  Terin also very politely paid the Cr 500 application fee.  After an hour working with him, the port team said they had completed everything they needed at the moment.  They told him they'd call him the next day and let him know what his appointment would be in the coming week so he could come to the port and take the certification tests.  That pulled Terin up short as he admitted he didn't know when his ship would be leaving.  Shrugging, the port officials said that wouldn't matter as his leaving the system before completing the work, the application would be abandoned.

But, so long as he had started the process in good faith, the needs of his ship would be respected.  Still, they would set the appointment for him on the assumption he would not be leaving the system before then and he could update them as needed.  They made it clear Terin could cancel the appointments and abandon the process at any time, but was also told the Cr 500 fee was not refundable.  At the same time, the Seneschalate officer sat with Mikah and told her the repairs on the Hotel California were almost done and they'd be getting the ship back that Sunday.  He showed her pictures on a datapad as they talked.  Mikah checked out the pictures and acknowledged that the repairs carried out were only on the ship's hull and cargo bay, since Aali and the SDB station engineers had done the engineering work along with the androids.

Mikah was pleased when the man told her they'd resurfaced the cargo bay's walls, deck-sole and deck-ceiling too.  She remembered how badly that space had been blasted with shrapnel.  Still, he also mentioned they'd looked at the cargo sealing system and confirmed two of the system's modules were ruined, and would have to be replaced.  Mikah was not pleased about that because they'd gotten this one cheap thanks to Ms. Vik's port connections.  But a replacement could cost the ship well over Cr 100,000.  Of course, she could always look for replacement modules and save cash that way while also getting the system back on line.  Getting past those issues, the man then moved on to the subject he least wanted to cover.

Fixing Mikah with a look he hoped conveyed support, the Seneschalate officer reminded Mikah that the rumors surrounding them were still growing in many circumstances.  Not happy about something she could do little to stop, Mikah said, "Yeah.  We know." in a tight and annoyed voice.  She was even less pleased when he pointed out rumors seemed to rise from most of the places they visited in-system.  Nodding as she waited for him to get to his point, he came out and said, "The best way to kill off the rumors would be to kill off the source."  There was a brief pause as Mikah stared at him and the man realized what he'd said, correcting himself by saying, "Or, should I say, removing the source."

Not really sure she was going to be happy where the conversation was leading, Mikah listened as the man admitted the source of the rumors were agents the government had not located.  And, he admitted they would be very happy to kill those sources.  But since the rumors surrounded their crew, he said that their departure would make it easier for the government to hunt down and stamp out the rumor-mongers.  So, he suggested it was time for the Hotel California to leave port.  Mikah forced herself to relax as she accepted the man's point, and thanked him for coming as he rose to leave.  When Mikah demanded assurances the government could hunt them down, he made it clear it would be easier to hunt those pumping them up.

The Seneschalate officer left the suite while the port officials were still working with Terin, and they eventually left on their own.  Still, while they worked with Terin, Mikah announced they were getting the ship back that Sunday.  She then said, "Now that we're free to leave, we have to decide when we will leave?"  With everyone's attention, Mikah mentioned that the guy from the Seneschalate had pointed out that the rumors were still growing.  While the government was able to work against them, new rumors could sprout up more easily the longer they stayed in-system.  Mikah did admit they still had to wait until Zimzod got back and they got things organized.  But, Emkir would be out of the hospital the next day and they expected Zimzod then too.  So, they had two days to plan before the ship was theirs.

Speaking of planning, Terin asked Mikah about the Tattdyrel Museum, when he heard he'd visited it.  With a smirk on her face, Mikah said it was good and so much better to visit without him.  That got a laugh from the others which she shared.  After admitting they just had to wait before they could make solid plans, Mikah decided to relax and watch shows on the screen.  Aiden decided to do his physical therapy and followed that up by reading.  Fesic spent the evening studying his college classes as he did his oxygen therapy and paused, from time to time, to laugh at the situation Terin had gotten himself into.

Despite Fesic's attitude, Terin was pleased when the box with the toy gun arrived.  Terin was so happy, he opened the box and showed everyone the toy, and told them he planned to visit Munarshu and give it to him.  When he said, "this is the only gun Munarshu will ever get to use again", Mikah told him, "You should just give him one of yours.  And put a single round in it."  The suggestion behind her comment was obvious.  Fesic asked Terin if he seriously wanted to visit Munarshu the next day and Terin said he did.  In fact, Terin suggested they all go visit Munarshu and Fesic joked that Rol should make him a farewell meal.  But, after the laughs died down, most of them told Fesic Munarshu wouldn't eat anything Rol had cooked under the circumstances.


Not So Painful Goodbyes

     After the evening faded to night, Aali, Rol and Aiden set alarms to wake the next morning.  Despite not setting anything, Emkir was the first member of the crew to wake up, thanks to the staff coming to check his condition and take readings from his in-room monitors.  While the tech in-system was such they didn't really need to come to the room, no one wanted to forego the simple act of checking their patients with 'Mark I' eyeballs in the case something had gone wrong.  So, Emkir was up and even relaxing in one of the comfy chairs in his room when Aali arrived, having had breakfast.  In a bit of serendipity, Emkir was served a multi-colored gelatin dessert to celebrate that they planned to discharge him later that day.

At 7am, Aali's alarm went off at the same time as Rol's.  Each of the two got their morning routines done and came into the suite's living room to find the chef had already arrived.  Seeing that, Rol decided to ignore how he'd feel if his boss were standing and watching over his shoulder and watched the man prepare the meal.  At the same time, Aali grabbed a mug of caff and sat sipping with eyes glazed over until the drink kicked in.  After that, and eating the meal she was served, Aali went off to the hospital.  After she got to his room, they sat, talked and wondered how long they'd have to wait until the doctors were ready to let him go?

In between people coming to do additional or final tests, Emkir decided to visit Munarshu's hospital room.  When he told Aali he wanted to do that, Emkir had a wicked smile on his face and a nasty tone to his voice.  Still, she agreed and they went to the nurse's station to find out what room Munarshu was in?  After a brief trip and a few stops for directions, the couple finally made it to Munarshu's room.  When they found the room, Emkir had even asked permission from the police to go inside?  Emkir got a look up and down before the officer asked, "You're the one he shot.  Aren't you?"  When Emkir said he was, the officer came to attention, smiled and said, "Admiral, you are cleared to enter."

So, he and Aali had very satisfied smiles on their faces as they stepped in to see Munarshu was sleeping off the boredom.  Turning to Aali, Emkir said, "Let's rattle his cage." before actually noticing the cage built around the engineer's chest!  Rather than poking through the cage, Emkir tried to grab it and shake it but it was so firmly secured to the bedframe and floor that Emkir quickly gave up.  Despite Emkir stepping back, the attempt did wake Munarshu up and he actually brightened up and started apologizing.  He told Emkir how happy he was the Admiral was up and mobile already.  Despite his plans to rub Munarshu's face in his bad aim and situation, Emkir had to back off in the face of Munarshu's apologies and honest care.

Emkir just looked down on Munarshu and said, "You know?  I would be more angry but you are gonna suffer so much shit after you get out of here."  He held Munarshu's eyes with his before continuing, "I don't know if I actually want to heap more onto it but," and then paused.  Then, with a change of tone to a 'Burn, sucker, burn!' tone, Emkir finished off, "SO LONG, SUCKER!" as Aali busted out laughing.  At the same time, Emkir flipped Munarshu the middle finger with his right hand, before turning on his heels and leading Aali out of the room.  Just before he stepped out the door, Emkir turned, glared at Munarshu and said, "I really do hope you find your way."  After that, he left.

Having eaten, Rol decided to look for a local bar serving workers who'd just gotten done working the overnight shift.  In any properly technologically advanced society, people worked around the clock in security, maintenance and utility, electronic and computer management.  Add to that, service and construction workers as well as round-the-clock store and service venue staffs, and you are sure to find bars and other 'after work' venues for entertainment.  It didn't take long for Rol to find a bar, and there were not a lot of people drinking there, but Rol knew from the minute he walked in that they knew who he was.

The sad fact was that anyone who worked odd shifts knew they also worked the odd broadcasting hours, when the bulk of the population were not watching anything.  The result was that you watched canned vids, odd and less popular shows or you watched the news.  Add to that the cheesy "Good morning" shows and you still have few choices.  Especially if you've just gotten off work and have little energy beyond elbow bending.  The bad news for Rol was that his face was actually on the screen as he walked into the bar.  Despite being recognized right off, Rol soon found out the news might have been on the vid-screen, but the patrons had not really been paying attention to what was being said.

So, Rol was recognized, but that only led to uncertain comments about "why" he had been on the news.  And, as Rol ordered and sat to sip his beer, the comments became a friendly debate.  Things almost escalated when one of the drinkers asked, "Weren't you that guy who was arrested for war crimes?" and another drinker snarled out, "Naw.  That was all bullshit.  He was cleared!"  That broke the place into groups of people who thought he'd be accused, those that thought he'd been cleared, the people who thought Rol had something to do with a completely different news story, the people who just wanted to drink their beer and not be bothered and those who decided to randomly shout out comments meant to incite any of the other groups just for fun.

What no one did was actually try to draw Rol into the "debate", or get in his face.  That let Rol enjoy the novel experience and play spectator as he sipped his beers.  After an hour, he simply paid his bill and left to return to the suite.  While Rol was at the bar, Aiden's alarm went off and he did his morning routine and had breakfast before going to do his physical therapy and swim.  Sometime after he left, Mikah woke and fund most of the crew out of the suite.  Enjoying that, she had a nice leisurely breakfast before taking her caff over to sit and watch the news.  While most of the stories were items she'd seen, Mikah was surprised to see the news interrupted from time to time with "Sightings of Sir Rol in the city"!

While Mikah wasn't surprised he'd be spotted while they were in Atora, what amazed her was that the images sent to the news showed Rol sitting in a bar drinking beer with a time stamp that was just before she'd woken up!  Wondering what the hell Rol was up to, Mikah comm'd him, to reach Rol just as he was leaving the bar.  When Rol answered, she told him he was on the news.  Saying "Oh Great" in a way that made it sound like a groan, Rol asked Mikah, "Did they get my good side?"  Shrugging even though he knew Mikah could not see the move, Rol said he was done there and would be back to the suite soon.  Accepting that, Mikah said "OK" and cut the call with Rol.

After that call, Mikah comm'd Aali to talk about when Emkir was going to be released from the hospital?  Mikah caught Aali just after she and Emkir had "visited" Munarshu.  When Aali answered, Mikah said she just wanted to know how things were going and asked if the hospital had said anything about releasing Emkir?  Aali said the hospital had not yet said anything about releasing Emkir, but told her, "We just dropped in on Munarshu and had a little fun with him."  Catching the mischievous tone in Aali's voice, Mikah asked, "Oh?  What did you do?"  Aali said they'd poured a little salt in the wound and chuckled.  Accepting that, Mikah asked Aali to call her when they knew anything about when Emkir would be released before ending the call.

the last of the crew to wake up were Terin and Fesic.  They made it through their morning routines and then sat for breakfast about the time Rol got back from the bar.  Looking up, Terin said, "Morning!" and Rol asked, "Morning?"  After a pause, he admitted, "Yeah.  I guess it is morning."  Terin only shrugged and said, "It is for me." without any clue what Rol was on about?  Looking around, Rol asked, "Anyone want to go out today?"  Mikah said she couldn't because she had to be ready to pick up Aali and Emkir when they call.  Terin said he wanted to go out, because he wanted to visit Munarshu and give him the toy gun.

When everyone got into the discussion, Mikah said "If you want to go out, go out", making it clear they shouldn't stay just because she couldn't go.  Rol admitted he'd already been out and Mikah snarked, "You've even been in the news."  That prompted Terin to ask, "You've been out already?" and Rol said he was as Mikah said, "Yeah.  He was on the news, look." and then scrolled the vid back to show off some of the Rol sightings.  When a joke was made about Rol getting drunk at 9 am, Terin said, "And Munarshu's not here to shoot you in the chest with a tranq round" and got laughs from everyone.  After that, Rol said he'd wait and see what came up.

Speaking up again, Terin said that he wanted to go out, but wanted to stop by the hospital first.  Fesic told Rol he planned to take it easy, which Rol took to be code for 'I'm not going out'.  And Aiden appeared too paranoid to risk it, though Rol wondered what would happen if Aiden opened the door and saw his shadow?  Confirming with Fesic, Rol asked, "So, that means you don't wanna go?" and Fesic said he was correct.  Asking Terin why he was going to the hospital, the navigator said he wanted to visit Munarshu and then Emkir.  Rol accepted Terin's plans and decided to go with him to the hospital first.

After driving the smaller air car to the hospital, Terin and Rol signed in to visit with Munarshu and Emkir.  When they were told they should not be able to see Munarshu, they protested that they were crew on the ship Munarshu had been on and just wanted to say goodbye.  After some talk, hospital security said they could go in, but wanted the package Terin was carrying to be passed through their scanner.  Despite the box saying it contained a "toy" gun, this would not be the first time someone tried to use a toy box to sneak in a real weapon.  And, they were aware Munarshu was a legal prisoner awaiting trial.  So, they decided they needed to do some more significant investigation.

On top of checking the box and toy, they had Terin stay right where he was as they called in backup.  This was because it was completely possible the weapon was real, and that might mean Terin might also have more weapons and be a criminal himself.  Of course, after they'd pulled the toy from the box, they had a bit of fun passing it around to "test" it.  Soon enough, they decided it was some kind of prank and the hospital's security lead signed off on permission for them to see Munarshu and bring in the package.  This happened while Mikah, who was watching general programming back at the suite, saw the current show she was watching interrupted by a news alert!

Bracing for the bad news, she watched as a reporter announced that Sir Rol Kaihvos and a crew member had become involved in a security incident at the hospital where Sir Munarshu Sidigur and Admiral Sir Emkir Meshrumiikiim were being treated!  Planting her forehead in her right palm and wondering why the universe was so full of idiots she could not shoot, Mikah just turned the tri-vid off and decided to find something else fun to do.  Before she killed the vid, Mikah did see a clip showing the hospital guards playing with Terin's toy gun with the spring-loaded flag very obvious.

Eventually arriving at Munarshu's room, the two were surprised to see two police officers "guarding" the door.  Having been present when Aali and Emkir "visited", the one guard had made it clear they were only there to keep Munarshu from escaping or anyone from hurting him.  After they too were suitably entertained while "checking out" the toy gun, the pair were allowed into the room where they found Munarshu sleeping.  Familiar with waking combat experienced veterans, Terin whacked Munarshu on the left foot to get him up.  As the engineer came to realize he had visitors, Terin said "Munarshu" in a friendly tone.

After Munarshu grumbled awake and then said, "Hey guys!" in a happier tone, Terin said, "I just figured we'd stop by and bring you a present."  Showing his lack of a connection with reality, Munarshu asked, "So, you're here to get me out?" and Terin said, "Nooo," in the tone you'd use to slow down a mount you were riding.  Terin then continued, "You're stuck here for a while.  The unfortunate news is that the government is pressing charges against you and there ain't shit we can do about it.  Hopefully, your lawyers can put a spin on it so, you know, make it an accidental discharge of a weapon or something."  Munarshu shook his head and cut Terin off, telling them he'd told his lawyer he was guilty so he just hoped to avoid the death penalty or life in prison.

Knowing exactly what was "planned" for Munarshu, Terin decided to change the conversation as he raised up the box and said, "Well, here's a present for you."  Unfortunately, Terin had "planned" to hand Munarshu the box and laugh as the engineer opened it and tried out the toy.  But, secured as he was, to prevent any possible pulls on his compromised rib cage, Terin could only set the box down near Munarshu's left hand, and realized there was no way Munarshu could open the box.  Opening the box for Munarshu, Terin showed Munarshu the toy gun and put it in the Engineer's hand.  Sadly, after Munarshu pulled the trigger, they all saw there was no way for Munarshu to fold the flag back into the toy gun again.

The gun was more of a dud than a laugh.  Still, Terin did take a picture of Munarshu holding the toy with the flag out and even told him to wave it a bit on video.  Standing there, both Terin and Rol realized Munarshu was screwed and would remain that way for the rest of his life.  All five or six months of the rest of his life.  Rol broke the silence that seemed to want to swallow the room, and told Munarshu the crew were planning to leave since there would not be any charges filed against him.  Rol finished up by saying, "I wish you were as fortunate."  When Munarshu said, "Maybe, before you leave, I'll get a chance to take you out and buy you a drink to celebrate", Terin said, "I don't think so." in a tone which suggested how sad he was that Munarshu still had so little a grasp of reality.

Rol firmly nailed that in by bluntly saying, "I don't think that will be possible.  Good luck in your recovery."  Trying to lighten the blow, Terin said, "We'll probably be gone before you get out of the hospital."  Still the clueless wonder, Munarshu told Terin, "You never know what might happen."  Nodding, the two prepared to leave but Terin grabbed the vid-screen controller and said, "Let me find watch."  He then surfed through until he found a "pay to view" channel showing hardcore 'male on male' pornography with a huge something good for you to smile on his face.  Terin then set the controller down just outside Munarshu's reach and moved the nurse call button that far away too, despite the engineer's protests.

Saying, "Good luck in the future.  Hope you beat the rap and all.  Goodbye", Terin and Rol left Munarshu behind.  From there, they went to see Emkir.  Rol and Terin arrived to find Emkir and Aali sitting, chatting and waiting for the doctors to tell them when they'd be cutting Emkir loose?  As Emkir asked, "What's up guys?" Terin asked him how he felt?  Emkir gave Terin a crooked smile as he said, "Better.  But they've got me on some good drugs, so, you know..."  Terin nodded and said he had some good stuff for his hookah back at the suite.  Breaking the pause that created, Terin said, "We just stopped by to see Munarshu on our way here..."  Emkir interrupted him saying, "So did I."  Surprised, Terin asked, "Did you?" and showed Emkir and Aali the video he'd taken as he described the toy to Emkir.  Watching the vid, Emkir said that should be added to the ship's screen savers.

they chatted about Emkir's coming release and what plans Terin and Rol had until another nurse arrived to check on Emkir.  With that, the two men got ready to leave as Rol quipped, "It's probing time." with a smile.  Leaving the hospital room, Terin and Rol talked about what to do next?  Checking a listing of the city's museums, they saw the listing for the official Regina Planetary War Museum and decided to go there.  Leaving the hospital, they called a taxi and rode to the site, which was just outside the city.  The museum had taken over, and been built into, the location of a pre-modern era defense base, designed to attack ships in Regina orbit.

When they got to the museum, both men had to admit the size of the structure was massive enough to house displays covering the planet and region's military past.  Entering, the two found the displays were divided between the historic periods of Regina since its colonial founding.  That included Regina's development as a regional power, including military events following the elevation of Regina to a Duchy, by then Imperial Regent Arbellatra.  That included one of the most famous incidents in Regina history, when the then Marquis of Regina had occupied the Menorb system, to insure their loyalty to the Regent.  The place was so large, it even still had some of the original weapons systems from the fort on display.  It was certainly an all-day visit and the two spent Cr 20 each for lunch, returning to the suite well after dinner.

After Mikah killed the vid, she decided to go for a swim.  That burned off an hour, and after, she looked through the show schedule for anything to watch, like entertainment vids, and ignore the news.  But, when nothing interested her, Mikah decided to go shopping for ingredients for Vargr juice.  Before she left the suite, Mikah called the hospital to make sure they knew to call her comms instead of the suite.  That shopping trip could eat up the rest of the day because Mikah needed to travel a bit and buy a number of controlled items and would likely cost her between Cr 250 and 300.  Lucky for her, Mikah's medical credentials and the fact she was the ship's doctor and surgeon meant she could use that to get anything she might want.

In Another Part Of Town

     Zimzod woke to an alarm set to keep him on his training schedule.  Still, as he went through his morning routine, he wondered what the "field trip" he'd been told he was going on would be about?  After he'd eaten breakfast, they got him and what little gear he had together and took him to a different section of the base to prepare.  The first thing they needed to do, thanks to his "training", was to complete the forms to register as a 'Government Known Psion'.  They told Zimzod this would also give him a level of protection as long as the Imperial organizations providing protection became aware he needed it.  They did admit, that was chancy, at best, but better than nothing.

Zimzod was cautioned that almost all local planetary police forces and even many Imperial Ministry of Justice organizations are unaware of Imperial psionic programs.  That meant their coming to the rescue would be more of a surprise than something to expect, and not something he'd be able to call for.  After that was done, Zimzod was told he was being taken back to Atora city, where they would visit some government offices.  However, before they could do that, a worker came in and spent the next two hours making him a suit which was correct for business styles on Regina.  After that was done, they told him to act as if he was an aide to the man he was with and they headed for the motorpool.

After a forty-minute airCar ride back to Atora, they landed in a lot reserved for government workers and made their way into one of the offices of the Duchy.  For the next few hours, including their lunch stop at a cafeteria internal to a Duchy facility, they toured various locations.  At each, Zimzod was taken to a secure room after the "tour" and asked who he thought the psions were?  Eventually, as they continued this into the later afternoon, Zimzod realized the point of the exercise was to show him there were already more than a few registered psions if there could be this many just in Atora city.  This was especially important when he considered that this was one of the most anti-Zhodani systems in the Marches.

Eventually, they brought Zimzod to an office in which waited two men wearing grey suits, whose appearances were so generic Zimzod could not easily describe them from memory an hour later.  After the office's door closed, Zimzod suddenly found himself back in one of the worst and most vicious battles he'd ever been caught in.  It had happened 1103, when Zimzod's unit was supporting actions against smugglers in the Dojodo system(Mora).  For Zimzod, the fight began when his ammunition convoy came under ambush and assault, and he caught shrapnel in the lower gut.  Not killed outright, the wounded Zimzod had to scramble for cover and ignore his wounds as he joined in fighting the ambushers.  It was a hell of a battle, and only ended well because of a company of Marines led by one Marine Lieutenant McDonald.

That was also Zimzod's first real taste of the confusion, horror and isolation of true man to man combat.  Making things much worse, Zimzod's confusion at finding himself in the middle his memory intensified the hammering he took from all the emotions and confusion flooding him from his past.  But it was so powerful, it was not a memory.  It felt real.  As if he was really back there, reliving everything and not even sure he wasn't, or would survive this time.  A part of him even thought he'd lost it and dreamed the rest of his life and was just waking up again in the middle of the battle.  After a minute reliving the pure terror and horror of the battle, he suddenly found himself again standing in the same office with the two men dispassionately gazing at him.

Zimzod was given just the space of a couple breaths to try and recover from that experience before he was forced to re-live a handful more of the most tragic or traumatic moments of his life before they let him breath and recover.  As he did, one of the men explained, "This is to show you what a real and fully trained psion can do to you" in a reasonable, calm and conversational tone.  When Zimzod nodded and strained to say, "OK", the other man said, "So, don't get to feeling comfortable."  They then explained that what Zimzod had experienced was a mild telepathic attack.  Mild.

They reminded Zimzod that telepathy was also only one of the psionic talents 'out there', with many attacks that could be immediately and instantly fatal.  Zimzod got the picture.  He could be slammed into the windshield like a bug.  Despite the fact this was something he needed to have been shown, Zimzod only snarled, "You guys suck."  One of the men answered, "Yes.  We know." in a pleased tone which showed he was certain the message had been delivered.  Still, Zimzod shook it off once he'd recovered and they then took him back to the suite. 

Aiden had done stent work to finish out his morning and then had lunch in the suite.  it was soon after that, when the delivery of his ordered parts arrived and he went through the boxes to confirm all the items ordered had been delivered.  Done with that, Aiden decided to watch vids with Mikah when she'd thought about doing that, but found himself abandoned by her when Mikah decided to go shopping.  Into the afternoon, Fesic finished up with his lock picking studies and transitioned to his college studies.


Gathering At Last

     Mikah was a couple of hours into her hunt for ingredients, and had spent Cr 210, when she got the call.  Mikah was told Emkir would be released at 3:30 pm.  Knowing how hospitals work, Mikah knew better than to take what she was told at face value and figured she had until 4:30 at best.  Still, she knew many enough hospitals were more efficient than that.  So she planned to arrive at 3:30 despite the fact she'd likely end up sitting or standing around waiting.  When she arrived, Mikah found, to her pleasure, that Emkir and Aali were sitting waiting with all the paperwork done and his bag of drugs and instruction chip.

By the time Mikah had arrived, Emkir had already met with the doctor and he and Aali had been briefed and given his prescriptions and instructions.  They had his arm in a sling, and was told to keep it that way for another week and a half(until the 169th).  After that, Emkir was told the pressure cuffs and other appliances should stay on, and he should stay on light duty for another two weeks.  Once done with that, he could start his physical therapy.  The doctor also said they'd documented everything his ship's doctor might need if there were any issues.  After that, Emkir was free.  So, after Mikah loaded them up, it was a thirty-minute ride back to the suite.

Emkir just wanted to sit in a recliner and veg out after the whole experience.  And, he wanted a drink!  When he asked for the drink, Mikah snapped, "Not with the drugs you're on!"  Aali just made a joke about getting him some vargr juice.  they relaxed until the chef arrived with his staff to start cooking dinner.  Shortly after that, Zimzod returned to the suite, sniffed the scent of cooking food in the suite and announced, "It's tropical hot dog night!".  Despite the fact no one in the space knew what that meant, everyone laughed.  While everyone was saying hello, Mikah said, "Well!  We have news for you!" in almost announcer style.  Zimzod only looked at her and said, "Really" in a flat and uncertain voice.

Aiden muttered, "Yeah.  You missed a lot." and Mikah said, "You missed some big stuff."  Looking around, Zimzod asked, "Is Rol here?" and Mikah said he wasn't.  With a smile on his face, Zimzod asked, "Did they hang Rol?" in a tone that suggested he needed a laugh and that would be it.  Reigning in her enthusiasm, Mikah answered, "Unfortunately, no." and Zimzod repeated, "No?" in a disappointed tone.  In a disappointed voice of her own, Mikah told Zimzod, "He was exonerated.  So, he's off the hook."  After Zimzod nodded and said, "OK", Mikah said, "we're getting the ship back Sunday."  After a pause, playing at thinking, Mikah said, "Ummm, we're less a crew member." in a tone suggesting she was trying to sneak it past Zimzod.

When Zimzod's next "OK" came out as a question, Mikah pointed and said, "See Emkir sitting over there, looking all pathetic and everything?"  Zimzod started to say, "I see..." and then finished up with, "Yeah.  You're looking pretty shitty dude."  Into the pregnant pause that resulted from everyone waiting for Mikah to 'drop the other shoe', Mikah said "Munarshu shot him."  Looking Emkir over, Zimzod said, "I would like to say I'm surprised, but I'm not." given Munarshu's history with the crew.  After he said that, everyone in the space laughed.  From there, Mikah explained everything from the hunting trip to the chest wounds before telling Zimzod about Munarshu missing the alarm clock and shooting Emkir.

Then, she explained that the Atora police had Munarshu, he was going to be tried by then and is no longer a member of their crew.  Mikah also explained details like Terin's punch and how Munarshu folded up like a bad card table.  Mikah also told Zimzod that the Seneschal had said they would be taking care of Munarshu for the rest of his life.  As she said that, a number of people guessed that might be as long as a week.  Even before she finished, Zimzod was shaking with barely suppressed laughter, and when she did finish, he let loose, gasping, "That's fucking classic!"  Everyone else joined in with his laughter.  Mikah then told Zimzod that Munarshu was in the hospital, being treated so he can be put on trial.  Zimzod joked, "Fixing him up so they can hang him." and laughed some more.

Looking around at the others in the room, Zimzod noticed Fesic had a gas mask on and asked, "What the fuck happened to you?!" in a 'what the hell!' tone.  When Fesic said he'd gone hunting with Munarshu, Zimzod asked, "Did he shoot you too?" Fesic said he didn't but then explained his part in the hunting expedition.  Fesic also got to show Zimzod the video of Munarshu and the gopher hole.  After the video, Zimzod confirmed with Mikah that they were not getting Munarshu back.  Hearing that, Zimzod complained, "Then who the fuck is gonna amuse me?"  Pointing with sudden inspiration, Mikah said, "Oh!  Aiden's back!" in a tone which suggested the pilot was Zimzod's replacement toy.  That got everyone except Aiden laughing again.

When the laughs again stopped, Mikah said, "So, we'll have dinner.  And then, we'll have a party."  Zimzod agreed with that as they moved into the dining room.  Mikah asked, "So, how was your week?" as they moved.  Zimzod thought for a second before saying, "Uhhh.  I tell you, it sucked very very much. " Zimzod decided to make up a story blaming Mikah for starting things with IRIS.  Sadly for him, Mikah just wasn't buying, but she did not push on what happened to him.  Pushing past the moment, Zimzod asked, "Do we have any spirits here?" and Mikah happily answered, "Of course we do!"  Zimzod answered her, "Outstanding!  'Cause I haven't gotten drunk or had sex in a week!"

After dinner, Aali made sure she got a drink or two but Emkir didn't.  Zimzod made sure he and Mikah got drinks and, when he was ready, moved into the bedroom for their own private party.  Aiden just relaxed and watched vids and Fesic decided drinking would be fun.  Especially because Emkir couldn't.  Everyone else in the suite just relaxed and shared drinks and chatter until Terin and Rol finally got back to the suite.  Before they'd left the museum, the two had visited the souvenir shop.  Rol bought an e-book covering all the battles of the frontier wars in the marches for Cr 250.  Terin bought a model of a Tigress class Dreadnaught, to give to Mikah, for Cr 50.

By the time Rol and Terin got back, Emkir and Aali had gone into their bedroom and Mikah and Zimzod to theirs.  Seeing Rol arrive, Aiden moved up and told the armorer the parts he'd ordered for his HUD and weapons integration had arrived.  Rol nodded and said, "Ok.  Why don't you put them on the ship so they're all in one place?"  Aiden said he would, but considered waiting the two days, when they'd get the ship back rather than wasting a trip to the port the next day.  Rol decided to put the book in his bedroom and go to sleep.  Terin put the model in his bedroom and then decided to go for a late-night run.  Emkir eventually succumbed to the drugs and fell asleep in the chair he was sitting in.


A Morning And A Chaser

     Despite her "activities" the night before, Mikah woke bright and early to find herself, as she had before, entangled in a Zimzod.  She tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't.  Worse yet, she suddenly realized she had an "intense need" for fluids.  So, she first went to relieve herself of some fluids that really wanted "out", and then filled and drained several cups of water while also taking some analgesics.  Then, Mikah cleaned up, put on a shipsuit and went into the living room to see what was happening.  There, Mikah noticed Emkir sleeping in his chair and decided it was time to give him a checkup.  Waking Emkir, Mikah purred, "Time for your prostate exam." with a smirk on her face.

Mikah was not sure what dream Emkir had been in the middle of, but the way he reacted was as if he'd woken from a nightmare.  Rearing up with a half cry, it took Emkir a moment or two to get his thoughts organized.  Recovering, Emkir told Mikah it was time for his meds and he needed to pee.  Mikah then asked the butler for some caff and sat down.  The butler asked Emkir what he wanted too.  Emkir said he was going to wait for Aali to wake but asked for a roll, croissant or something like that and some caff.  The butler got that for him and brought Mikah a mug of caff and cup of water.

A short time later, Zimzod woke to find Mikah had left already.  By that time, the butler had told Mikah and Emkir that the chef would be arriving soon.  After checking the fresher and other parts of the bedroom for her, Zimzod shrugged and then took a shower and got dressed.  Then, he stepped into the living room to see Mikah and Emkir hanging out and waiting for breakfast to be served.  Looking at Mikah, Zimzod said, "I guess I didn't wear you out enough."  Mikah smiled at him and answered, "Nope" in a snarky tone.  Zimzod just answered her back, "OK!"  Looking Zimzod up and down, Mikah said, "So, I guess I should give you a complete physical to see what they did to you?"  Zimzod only joked, "Isn't that what we did last night?" and Mikah laughed.

About the time the chef was serving breakfast, all of the others started stepping out of their bedrooms after their morning routines.  Rol saw Zimzod and said, "Zimzod.  I see you're back."  When Zimzod said, "Yeah.  You noticed?"  When Rol asked, "Where were you?" Zimzod paused before saying, "You don't want to know."  Terin followed that up, asking, "I could listen some." and Zimzod told him, "Eat up."  Still, he did look around the table and say, "It was very unpleasant." in a voice that echoed dark sentiments.  As they looked up at him, hoping for more, Zimzod added, "Not the sex," referring to the night before.  He then finished, "I meant the weeks' vacation."

When Rol asked, "Can you say, anything at all about it?" Zimzod simply shook his head and said, "No."  Rol said, "OK" just before Zimzod added, "I don't want to.  I feel violated."  Mikah joked, "Maybe I should give you a prostate exam too." and Zimzod shot back, "Umm, no thanks."  Rol went fishing, asking, "Did you give as good as you got?"  Just then, Terin sparked up and said, "Well, so long as you had a good time."  Rol picked up the conversation again, saying, "I guess that means you're not up for going out?"  Surprising them, Zimzod answered, "No.  I'm up for going out."

Suddenly, Terin remembered the model kit he'd bought the night before.  Saying, "Oh Mikah, I have a present for you", Terin got up and went into his bedroom to get the kit.  As he brought it out, Terin said, "It's from the museum"  and showed her the kit.  As Mikah looked at the kit, Terin said, "Since you always said you wanted a dreadnaught, I got you one."  Zimzod saw the box and even pointed out it was a Tigress class, just like Mikah wanted.  They all laughed as they shared jokes and ate breakfast.


Where everyone is at the end of the session:

       Everyone is gathered in the Suite living room for breakfast

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Next: The End Of This Ride