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Last Updated     Dec 25 2019
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Fools, Fists And Bullets

An Early Morning Surprise

     Mikah, Zimzod, Aiden and Fesic were asleep without alarms set, after getting back to the ship from the dance club the night before.  Rol, Aali and Emkir were asleep too, but Rol set his alarm for 6 am and Aali and Emkir for 7 am.  Jocelynn was also aboard the ship, in bed after returning early in the morning from her walk on "the dark side".  Terin was asleep in a small apartment, with a "spacer groupie" he'd met at the club the night before.  They would all consider the smash and grab offered them by Leeta Leyba the next day, on 295-1113.  Despite the alarms set or plans to sleep in, Mikah and Fesic were the first to wake, around 6am.

Because he'd added a physical workout into his morning routine, Fesic came into the ship's lounge after Mikah.  Finding herself the one turning the lights on that morning, Mikah sparked up the caff cooker and sat down to check out the news.  What she found was on-going reporting on a new and major story rocking each system as it arrived and reporting began:

    Inthe (B575776-9  2  Green  Ag  723  F8 V)                            Date: 265-1113
    In a stunning announcement today, Lord Sir Muriima Kesgaamkag announced
    the results of a previously covert mission to the Algine system.  Long
    listed as a Red Zone by the Imperial Navy, the system is most well known
    in modern history as the system to which then-Duke Sir Norris Aella Aledon
    led a mission to eventually find the Imperial Warrant he used to take
    command during the Fifth Frontier War(5FW).  Military historians,
    interested civilians and those who espouse other beliefs have long
    questioned that stroke of luck after the loss of the INS Quasar Viper
    during the Third Frontier War(3FW).

    Lord Sir Kesgaamkag is identified as a minor Admiral in the planetary navy
    of the Fornice system, serving Lord Frederick Santanocheev, Count of
    Fornice, the former Grand Admiral then-Duke Norris relieved during the 5FW
    In a devoted search for the lost Far Trader IMS Kard Damasc and her owner,
    Lady Katherine hault-Evers, Sir Kesgaamkag got permission to search the
    Red-zoned systems for any trace of the missing ship and crew.  While the
    permissions did not specifically grant permission to land on any worlds,
    it did not deny that permission.  So, it was, according to Sir Kesgaamkag,
    that the crew of the ship jointly assembled by the Domain and Sector
    governments elected to attempt a landing when they detected possible signs
    of a wreck on the mainworld's surface.  Or rather, below it.

    TAS viewers will be reminded of the conditions the Arch-Duke's crew reported
    they found the Quasar Viper, a sunken and devastated wreck in a lake.  It
    is also recalled that the exploration and recovery attempt which brought
    back the Imperial Warrant so further damaged the wreck that it collapsed in
    on itself, consolidating the wreck's weight so completely that it then broke
    into a sub-lake sink hole and was swallowed up forever.  This was one
    stated reason why no further attempts were made to find the wreck, along
    with possible encounters of the highly xenophobic indigenous population.
    The risk was taken in this event because scans determined the possible wreck
    was exposed on the world's surface.

    Leading the team down on an initial exploratory attempt, Esquire Suuszil
    Lealkin and his team reported back that the "lake" above the wreck seemed
    to have drained into the sink hole which originally was said to have
    swallowed the wreck.  Despite the extreme damage, oxidation and age, a
    second and more comprehensive mission to the wreck was able to positively
    identify the vessel as the lost INS Quasar Viper!  Even more stunning, a
    small number of valuable artifacts were actually recovered intact including
    a gown made entirely of precious metals and gemstones.  That gown was,
    according to documents from the period, the possession of Lady Annaboulique
    Alkalikoi, a direct relative of then-Duchess Admiral Arbelatra Alkalikoi,
    former Regent and late Empress of the Third Imperium.  Her Ladyship
    Annaboulique was a Lieutenant assigned to the Quasar Viper during
    its ill-fated mission to carry the Warrant to the Marches.

    To say the least, this astounding discovery has caught every historian by
    surprise, not to mention many engineers and other professionals who could
    not have predicted the survival of the artifacts.  Needless to say, any
    hopes of converting the site to a monument honoring the ship's dead and
    the historic events their actions enabled is not possible, due to the
    indigenous on-world cultures.  However, this does finally put paid to many
    still-popular conspiracy theories targeting the Arch Duke and his
    administration.  This reporter admits to an interest in the reactions as
    this news continues to make its way throughout the worlds of the Spinward
    Marches.  In a statement, Sir Kesgaamkag said he and his crew were shocked
    and humbled to have played any role in the historic event their actions
    confirmed, and hoped it might better help them raise funds to continue the
    search for Lady hault-Evers.
                

At first, Mikah was distinctly uncomfortable with names being linked like "Lord Frederick Santanocheev", "Lady hault-Evers" and the Quasar Viper.  But, as the story quickly moved into the main parts of the report, Mikah felt more and more comfortable.  And after she'd gotten the main details, Mikah was not only very happy about it, but was considering sending an X-mail of congratulations to the Arch Duke.  Because they'd woken around the same time, Fesic was the first to join Mikah while she drank caff and watched continuing commentary on the lead as well as other news stories.  Rol was the only one in the lounge with Mikah when they first mentioned finding Lady hault-Evers and Mikah snorted, saying, "Yeah, they ain't never finding her." with a smile on her face.

    Rhylanor (A434934-F  2  Green  Hi Cap  910  M2 V6)                            Date: 251-1113
    While far too early for interstellar reaction to the legal news supporting
    Baron Anirladi Kishike's enfeoffment of the Heroni system, in-system
    reaction has begun to sharpen.  Significant members of the Rhylanor
    Peerage have stepped forward publicly to remind the lessor nobility that
    their awarded fiefs and grants are not entitlements.  Count Sir Miilkex
    Zaaxgev, who holds Rhylanor's capital region in the name of His Grace,
    Leonard, has sternly announced to the media that those risen to the ranks
    of nobility hold their titles to serve, not to be served.  Looking down
    his nose into the camera, and potentially at those officials he may disapprove
    of, to remind them all that every position is subject to review.  Even the
    Iridium Throne has, in the past come under review.

    Despite the firm history and service of the Nobility of the Third Imperium,
    continuing reaction to even Count Zaaxgev's comments have sparked
    significant reaction.  While mostly supported, there have been reactions
    from firm loyalists, who were "disappointed" by suggestions of disloyalty
    to the Emperor and Throne.  Factions of the population less
    fanatically supportive of the rights of nobility have begun a large number
    of discussions with many points of view, some of which have not always
    remained polite.  Still, the broad overview did not rise to themes of sedition
    while support for some lessor nobility have come in for criticism which has,
    at times, been sharp, noted or both.  The office of the Duke's Seneschal
    have released statements assuring the public those nobility are appointed to
    support and assist the government and safeguard the populace.
                

    Skull (C2237C7-9  2  Green  Po NA  601  M1 V)                            Date: 258-1113
    Continued messages of recovery continue to be reported on from the Skull
    system, where significant damage had been caused by a coup attempt to take
    over the system's mainworld.  Much of the information released to public
    news services include casualty and damage estimates which local authorities
    indicate are closing on final numbers.  The reports also include rough
    estimates of recovery and reconstruction mile-stones.

    An increasing number of additional reports have spread from the Skull
    system, following the interstellar ties which connect in-system based
    operations to out-system corporations.  An apparently significant vector
    of infiltration used by those now in custody had relied on over-taking
    numerous local corporate representatives.  Those corruptions not only
    allowed the infiltrators an easily manipulated entry point to the world's
    mid-level social avenues of authority.  The secondary effect of this
    vector of approach seems to have been attacks against multiple off-world
    citizens, and has also involved those worlds and parent corporations in
    responding to events here in the Skull system.
                

    Dinomn (B674632-9  S  Ag Ni  204  Im  K2 V)                            Date: 292-1113
    In an update to preparations for negotiations, authorities on Dinomn
    are setting the final points before talks begin on Tuesday, 295-1113.
    These talks, the first after the 5FW, have gathered a great deal of
    attention in addition to a number of visitors from significant noble
    courts in the sector.  While largely a world of low-tech farming
    communities, the system's orbital and interstellar plane are key to
    transit and communications in the sector.

    Owing to the accepted tech level of the actual world government, many
    of the preparations for these meetings have been extraordinary, including
    the accumulation of significant stocks of hard currency.  This, due to
    the world government's refusal to deal in electronic currency as part
    of their restrictions on technology.  Estimates of the ramped up
    security in the downport and other involved facilities include assurances
    that commerce across the port will not be affected.  Despite that, TAS
    does warn those with dealings in the downport to be aware of these planned
    activities and be prepared to alter their own plans.
                

    Regina (A788899-C  A  Ri Cp  703  Im  F7 V  M6 V M8 D)                       Date: 285-1113
    Imperial officers in-system remain very active while responding to recent
    events, which were escalated by the SuSAG request to consider the Gougeste
    system for membership in the Imperium.  Given the recent outcome of the
    Fifth Frontier War(5FW), senior members of the Admiralty assure the public
    that allowing a rapid expansion of Imperial borders in the quadrant without
    strategic consideration would not be wise.  Added to those concerns have
    been the less than welcoming comments of the Zhodani ambassador.

    In answer to the concerns of the Ambassador, both the Admiralty and the
    Duchess have extended their most open and complete assurances of good will.
    Beyond the diplomatic chatter, it is whispered that neither the Imperial
    or Zhodani militaries are likely capable of supporting a significant
    conflict again so recently after the end of the 5FW.  Despite that, many
    are reminded of the Fourth Frontier War(4FW), which history has stated
    neither force was prepared for either.  That "war" was characterized by
    significant amounts of commerce raiding and loss of lives to the merchant
    marine.  Given that, many take the assurances of the Admiralty with a
    grain of salt.

    Beyond the conversation, TAS has confirmed none of the recently requested
    border shifts could have been predicted by the Imperium, as the empire had
    been facing firm borders and less open relationships with systems such as
    Dekalb before the 5FW.  Strategists and historians both suggested a
    hardening of the then current border, or even potential contraction,
    without military investments that didn't seem likely from the Imperial throne.
    So, the best interpretation of events was that the current "unhappiness"
    might eventually drive the region to a sixth war, as the Ambassador said,
    but that would not happen for years.  On top of that, there would be a
    visible increase in both forces and tensions, not including the recently
    requested new Imperial Fleet to cover the Thanber-Dekalb-Retinae region.
    So, most experts were happy to leave short-term events in the hands of the
    diplomats.
                

    Mora (AA99AC7-F  2  Hi In  Green  112  M5 V)                            Date: 230-1113
    Word from the Arch-Duke's Economic council came with the release of
    early "Second Quarter" economic numbers for the sector.  While there had
    been low points and failures, there were also a number of truly outstanding
    wins.  One of those, according to economic news from the Trin's Veil
    subsector, was the Edenelt system.  Ruled by an unpopular "Lord High
    Marshal" until 1109, an uprising put the system into the hands of a ruling
    council of environmental scientists.  Since then, the world's economy
    has turned away from the formerly destructive processes and worked to
    develop methods to recover the world's environment.  From then on, the
    world has been a rising force in environmental sciences and
    environmentally-friendly technology.

    Adding to that internal success, the scientists of Edenelt had begun
    growing their economy externally because bidding on recovery projects
    throughout the subsector.  Having gained local success, Edenelt's new
    recovery-based industries have earned the world a number of steady
    contracts and economic gains.  Beyond that, the science developed in
    that system is now being felt in the war zone.  Most notably, the
    Darrian Confederation have hired teams from Edenelt to help in
    recovery in the entropic worlds.  With the system's star clearly on
    the rise, it is expected Archduke Norris will commend the council
    for excellence in government in next year's holiday address.

    Viewers would be reminded that the Holiday list, just like The Emperor's
    Holiday list, is generally used to reward the deserving with titles of
    ennoblement and related rights.
                

Those awake ate after Rol cooked, and watched the news while Aali and Emkir woke and went into her workout and his physical therapy before joining the others.  Aiden, Terin, Jocelynn and Zimzod still had not made any appearance and were believed asleep.  As they sat and talked, Emkir suggested Fesic could go into the rooms of those still sleeping and spoon with them.  Mikah even joked that Fesic could choose who to spoon with because he was awake this time.  When Rol had heard the reporting from Inthe, he could only say "Wow!" at first.  While he'd been told of the crew's involvement with the Viper, he'd had that reality "hammered in" during discussions of the events with Duke Leonard of Rhylanor.  So Rol had no idea where "the Quasar Viper in Algine" had come from but he was not gonna look a gift starship in its thrusters.

Mikah nodded at Rol's comment and said, "I think we should send the Arch-Duke a congratulatory x-mail."  When Rol didn't answer, she continued, "He'll know what we're talking about.  We just have to say 'Congratulations!'  Thinking about that, she figured "What the hell", because she knew the Arch Duke would be on Regina in thirty seven days for the ceremony transferring the allegiance of Branj Dilgaadin to Duchess Seldrian Aledon.  Eventually, she decided to send an x-mail to Norris on Regina with just the one word.  Mikah decided to play the joke for even more laughs when she saw the post would only cost her a credit.  That was because she'd noticed recently that, for some reason, Emkir or Aali had been covering Terin's costs.  Mikah decided it was time to drain the savings.  Moving to Terin's stateroom door, Mikah knocked hard enough to be sure she was heard.  Without waiting for a reply, Mikah called, "Hey Terin!  I need one credit."

That got the attention of everyone in the lounge along with some laughs.  After a brief pause, Mikah continued, "Since Emkir and Aali have been paying for a lot of your stuff and you have plenty of money, I figure you can kick back a little."  After a bit more verbal pushing, Terin finally came to his stateroom door with his IDent and bumped Mikah a credit to get her to move on.  At the same time, like Rol, Fesic and Aali had only heard about the events Emkir and Mikah had lived.  Indeed, Emkir'd been the one tasked with "handling" the Stepozhevaci Councilor and was very pleased that country had not been named in the reports.  Aali had every reason to believe Emkir and Mikah while Fesic had to wonder who's truth was "the" truth and who'd been caught in a cover-up or fraud?  And everyone currently awake had to wonder what might happen if something slipped to Jocelynn once she woke up and watched the news?  Mikah was thinking of other things as she finally sat and sent the x-mail.

Breakfast And A Show

     Shaking off the news, Fesic turned back to his research on the cargo of raw marble.  What he'd found in his research the night before was that the ask of KCr 13 per ton was a fairly good price.  Despite that, he knew that he couldn't much count on 'moving the needle' on that price to create more profit for the ship.  While they' only had one ton each of precious metals and radioactives, they were expensive enough that even two or three percent were thousands of credits in profit.  It would take a ten percent rise in the price to even make an additional thousand on that scale.  One thing Fesic did feel he could count on was the number of petty nobility in the Ghandi system.  All he had to do was find one noble who was redecorating and wanted to "make a statement" to make a big sale.

Other items that "might" make a profit included food, which could certainly be bought cheaply in Dinomn and would be in demand in the Ghandi system.  Past that, Fesic could try to research the docks to see if anyone was hauling tech goods or even novelties from more advanced systems and not getting their price in this port.  If he could find them and cut a deal, those might sell well in Ghandi, where a tech score could mean social advancement if it connected to the right market.  Also along those lines, if they looked for higher tech goods that were filling someone's cargo hold and not selling, they could try to make that one sale to someone trying to increase their own rank.  But counting on finding that cargo and making that one connection was a lot of ifs.  So that tactic was risky.

The easy routes in Dinomn were food, raw materials and novelties.  And the cargo of marble was as easy as they came, because it would fill their cargo bay leaving only one ton of space free.  That would even let them sell a high passage ticket on top of everything else.  So, he accepted it would be more than difficult to raise the profit margin to a point it could pay some of the bills.  He also recognized buying this cargo would save him time because he could secure from searching for more cargoes to fill their bay.  Making that decision, Fesic dug into his notes and gave the seller a call.

With things settling down as others in the crew woke, Mikah was struck by one really interesting coincidence.  A minor news item on the interstellar state was playing large locally because of the regular reminders the world government negotiations would happen in two days' time.  Which just happened to be the same day Dame Leeta Leyba had told them the smash and grab would happen.  And because the government thing was a negotiation between spacers and dirtsiders, there was only one place Mikah could think of for that to happen.  That was someplace on the starport...perhaps right next to where they were holding their smash and grab, even.  Concerned about that, Mikah decided to spend her day looking to see if she could figure out where on the port that would be?

About that time, Terin had returned to finish his morning routine and had come into the lounge as did Zimzod.  Rol made it his job to direct Zimzod to the vid-screen saying, "you're not gonna believe this."  Not really pleased with the way the morning was starting, Zimzod let himself be led as he asked, "OK.  What am I not gonna believe?"  Like Aiden, it didn't take long for Zimzod to start smiling as the dark omens were blown away by the news.  Terin's reaction was a "wow" similar to Rol's, but tempered by the odd crap he'd seen during his time in the Scouts.  So, they joined the others while they ate and watched the news.  As Mikah and Emkir worked at their chosen tasks and the others came out of their staterooms, everyone had come out into the lounge except Jocelynn.

When Rol asked if anyone had heard from Jocelynn, Mikah snapped, "We don't know.  She's your girlfriend."  After a small wave of laughs, Rol got up and knocked at the door, but got no answer.  Inside the stateroom, Jocelynn did hear "something" but was so far out of it that she convinced herself it was a dream and fell back into sleep.  Rol then tried her stateroom door to find it locked, and decided it wouldn't be locked unless she was inside.  When Rol didn't push things, Mikah said he could get on ship-wide comms if he was concerned?  Or, they could turn off the gravity in her stateroom.  That chatter died down when they all heard a buzz from the berth entrance.  Not "expecting" anyone, they looked at each other until Mikah told Rol to check it.

When Rol hit a terminal and answered the buzz, he saw the camera showed two human men dressed as generic ship's crew.  Before he greeted them, Rol joked in a flat tone, "Jehovah's witnesses.  I'll deal with this."  Activating the mic to ask how he could help them, the lead of the two introduced them as crew sent by the Synergy Transport and Logistics Service Line, to pick up vargr translators.  Hearing that, Rol let Fesic know his buyers were there.  Since the Cr 3,500 had been sent by the buyer the day before, the men only had to test the translators before leaving.  So, Fesic handed the devices over and watched while they played several recorded vargr speeches to the translators to be sure they worked.  That done, the men left with the translators and Rol secured the berth again.

Shortly after that transaction was done, Jocelynn finally woke up for the day.  After going through her morning routine, Jocelynn grabbed the hits of Borloi and staggered into the lounge looking for caff, breakfast and Mikah.  By that time, Mikah had been annoyed because security limited the many reports about the government negotiations she'd looked at.  The most she'd been able to come up with was that those meetings generally happened somewhere on the starport's facilities.  But where was not even hinted at.  For security reasons.  After cleaning up from breakfast and watching the news, Rol considered doing some stent work but decided to start on the "final assault" to complete Jocelynn's battledress instead.

For Aiden, the day was his turn to speak with Sir Vekaraste Rete at the order's hostelry.  In an immense spirit of 'let's get this over and done with', Aiden called the Order to say he was on his way.  Jocelynn got done with her morning routine and came out to the lounge just after Aiden left.  When Mikah saw her, she asked, "And where have you been?" in a voice mixing both curiosity and an expectation of juicy details.  Not sure what Mikah expected, Jocelynn told her "I was sleeping" in a confused voice.  Moving to the auto-serv to get some caff first before anything else, Jocelynn then grabbed a seat and dragged it over to where Mikah was working at her terminal, juggling both the mug of caff and bag of drugs with the other hand.

Greeting Jocelynn with a curious, "Hello", Mikah braced herself when the marine said, "I did a bad thing." in a more matter-of-fact tone.  Shifting back to her 'parent about to scold a child' voice, Mikah asked "What did you do?"  Shaking her head, Jocelynn admitted, "It didn't hurt anyone but myself but..."  Looking sheepish, Jocelynn set the bag of drugs down in front of Mikah as she said, "I had to buy these to get out of a stupid situation but...  Can you just test these and tell me what they are?"  Mikah looked down at the white-blue colored tablets and could instantly come up with a number of names that fit the appearance.  But she also knew that filler and coloring could make anything look like something else when it came to tablets.  That meant she would have to test them in the medical section if she wanted to do more than guess.

Picking them up, and not yet aware how much it cost Jocelynn, Mikah just joked, "I hope they're not sugar." with a smile on her face.  Nodding, Jocelynn admitted, "I have a feeling they're probably fake." in an unhappy tone.  Nodding, Mikah said, "Let's go to medical and throw them in the scan and analyze what they're made of."  As she got up, Jocelynn followed Mikah back to the medical compartments.  There, Mikah scratched some material off one of the tablets into a spinning-separating device that would then scan the particles separated away from each grain.  After setting that to spin for five to seven minutes, Mikah went back to her research for the few minutes until it was done.  When she got back to the scanner, Mikah was able to confirm Jocelynn had bought herself ten hits of CBP, just like the pusher said.

When they came back to the lounge, Rol overheard the analysis and joked, "You know, you took ten minutes to put it in the analyzer when you could have taken one minute to put it in the human guinea pig."  With a smile, Mikah turned on him asking, "Did you just volunteer?"  Everyone laughed and Jocelynn suggested, "Maybe we should give him a couple.  Just to be safe."  That got more laughs.  After things settled down, Jocelynn considered her battledress and her other gear.  As she did, Jocelynn realized she could disconnect her old comms from the armor and sell it off since Mikah gave her a "team comms".  Jocelynn remembered that Fesic was handling the selling of spare gear but that Terin had also set up an auction for his own comms.  So she decided to check how her High Passage auction was doing before deciding.

Unfortunately, that auction was still sitting at the initial Cr 5,000 bid she'd set up the day before.  Disappointed with that, Jocelynn decided to ask Fesic to help her out.  When he asked, she told him to list it for Cr 300 but accept Cr 250.  Fesic agreed to list her old comms and turned to his keyboard to make the updates.  After that, Jocelynn decided it was time to do some financial planning and took a look at the accounts on her IDent.  What she saw was not what she expected, when she looked at her balance.  Checking the details of her recent payments, Jocelynn saw for the first time that the pusher had run the deal for Cr 2,000!

The others in the ship's lounge were shocked even more awake as Jocelynn exploded, "MOTHER FUCKER!!"  Bolting upright and kicking her seat back, Jocelynn needed to do something violent and ended up throwing her IDent across the lounge to slam into the compartment wall.  In a panicked voice, Fesic demanded, "What did I do?  I didn't do anything!  It wasn't me!"  As he did that, others in the space burst out in laughter at the absurdity of it all.  From where he sat, Terin asked, "Ah, are you ok Jocelynn?"  Walking up to her, Zimzod asked, "You aren't talking to me, are you?"  Jocelynn angrily snapped back, "Am I looking at you?"  Shrugging and not taking the situation too seriously, Zimzod said, "I don't know." and Jocelynn snarled, "Well, I am now."

Zimzod just smiled at that and said, "I don't know if I mind that.  You got a picture of your mom?"  That was as far as Jocelynn's fuse went that morning and she leapt in an attempt to tackle Zimzod.  Despite the surprise and early hour, Zimzod was able to react to her attack and caught Jocelynn mid-leap.  That led to them grappling with each other as Zimzod began laughing.  His reaction only fueled Jocelynn's anger and drove her to attack even more.  In the meantime, the rest of the crew cleared a space for them to burn off the energy and made jokes about the free entertainment.  Terin even pulled out his IDent to capture the fight on video.

The two struggled to get a better hold of each other as Zimzod laughed and Jocelynn finally managed to hook one of her feet behind one of Zimzod's ankles.  As he went down, Zimzod pulled Jocelynn down on top of him as some of the crew mentioned how the scene looked familiar.  Terin muttered something about Jocelynn not being allowed to practice medicine again.  Still laughing, Zimzod told Jocelynn, "If you really wanted the monster, all you had to do is ask."  Fesic called over, "Damn girl!  Save it for the drug lords!"  Not aware of what she had done the night before, he intended it to mean the coming smash 'n grab but the comment only fueled Jocelynn's anger at being robbed by the drug pusher and she glanced at Fesic saying, "You're next if you keep it up!"

Sitting atop Zimzod after knocking him down, Jocelynn really wanted to hit him, or someone.  Conflicted with some level of 'Zimzod is not the enemy' in her mind, Jocelynn was still angry enough to want to pound him, but she threw her punch at his shoulder.  Twisting to get her off him and defend himself, Zimzod tried to catch and reverse the punch and both the attack and defense failed, leaving the pair in a complex twisted knot on the floor.  Seeing that, Aali snarked, "Please read all instructions before attempting to disassemble the first officer."  And the more they fought, the more Zimzod laughed and Jocelynn decided to "end this", so she went to knee him in the groin, only he saw it coming and blocked with his leg.

Deciding it was time to end things, Mikah called out, "OK little girl.  Break it off."  Despite her anger and Zimzod's laughter, Jocelynn heard the order and backed off.  Turning to Fesic, she asked him what his problem was, because he'd made a great deal of noise himself.  Fesic answered in a still panicked and defensive voice as he complained, "I didn't do anything!  All I did was take her comms to sell.  She asked me to!"  Interrupting the flood of defense spilling from his mouth, Mikah snapped, "Fesic!  Shut Up."  That got everyone else in the compartment laughing including Jocelynn.

Finally able to do something other than hit people, Jocelynn let out a frustrated and angry, "You know..."  Getting everyone's attention, Jocelynn looked at Mikah and continued, "I told you what I did last night."  When Mikah nodded and answered "yeah", Jocelynn continued for the others, "I went to try and make some contacts, and...it didn't really go so well.  So, in order to...  I tried one bar, and I basically screwed up.  So, I went to another bar.  And, in the next bar, this guy approached me and I figured maybe he could help.  Turns out he was just a drug dealer.  So, to make it look legit, I fucking bought some drugs."  Jumping in, Terin asked what Jocelynn bought and she told him it was Borloi.

Then she got to the meat of her anger, as she told them, "I was only supposed to pay Cr 800 for it but he ran my IDent for Cr 2,000."  After a pause, she continued, "So, I think I have a mission tonight to find his little ass."  Not reading Jocelynn's mood well, Terin joked, "Wow.  You might have gotten ripped off at eight hundred."  Instead of stepping over to attack him, Jocelynn just agreed, "Yes, I know."  Zimzod jumped in then, saying, "You can trust him.  He's got a drug hobby."  Turning back to the still laughing first officer, Jocelynn apologized for attacking him and he just laughed it off.  Still pulling at a nerve of hers, Jocelynn tried to smack him for not taking her seriously.  That got through before Zimzod just blew her a kiss.

After the attacks ended, Jocelynn told the others in the compartment she didn't tell anyone else because she didn't want to put any of them into a position where they were endangered or in case they were questioned by authorities.  They could just say they didn't know.  Terin jumped in again, saying, "We coulda just said we don't know anyway."  When Jocelynn answered, "I know..." he cut her off, saying, "Have us in the loop next time so we can come rescue you..."  Having had enough of his backyard coaching, Jocelynn cut Terin off, angrily demanding, "You wanna be next?" in a threatening tone.  Before anyone else could react, Mikah called out, "Yes Please!" as she sat up and hoped to see Terin beat up for her pleasure.  That got everyone laughing as Zimzod stuttered out, "You should try it!  It's awesome."  Jocelynn waved Zimzod off, saying, "He's already been kneed by me."

The Mystery Of Jocelynn's Adventure

     Things calmed down a bit more as Jocelynn asked Mikah what the drug did, and was told it was a highly addictive depressant which could be refined into the medical anesthetic "Soma".  Still, that "highly addictive" part even had Terin suggesting they keep it in the medical cabinets in case it was needed and not be played with.  What followed was everyone jumping in with their own personal idea what the pills should be used for until Mikah made it clear they were not medically usable.  Explaining that, Mikah told them this drug was made "for effect" and had been refined to that elevated chemistry.  So, it would "start" with the anesthetic effects, it would rapidly escalate to dangerous levels.  And, it was more addictive and medically destructive than morphine.  Accepting that, Jocelynn told Mikah she'd leave the pills with her.

Shifting back to her earlier thought pattern, Jocelynn then asked, "Who wants to help me kill a drug dealer?"  Showing how little knowledge he had of the drug culture, Rol said, "You know, he might just have been trying to add you as a customer."  Everyone else in the compartment had to wonder just how Rol thought ripping your buyer off for thousands of credits equaled 'come shop here again'?  Any volunteers Jocelynn might have found were washed away in the verbal storm that hit Rol for his cluelessness.  Grabbing the conversation again, Jocelynn said, "I'd really like to go talk to him." in a grave-filler's tone.  When others said she wouldn't likely be able to find the pusher, Jocelynn said she was betting that was his turf and she'd be able to find him there.

Jocelynn looked around them expectantly as one then another of the crew reminded her they were planning the smash and grab in two days and her idea wasn't a smart one.  While Fesic guessed the pusher would be on a bender of his own with his own buy, Mikah just said, "I don't think it's wise."  When she complained about how little that left in her account, Fesic jokingly asked her for a half-million credit loan.  As others laughed at Fesic's comment Mikah made a guess at what he was passive-aggressively trying to say and told him, "We're not buying the part here." in a tired and 'because I said so' tone.  When Fesic said he was talking about cargo and not the cargo sealer, Mikah realized he might be talking about a deal he was working on instead of the damaged sealer.

After that, Mikah said the cash for the cargo would come out of ship's funds and told him he was not borrowing money for it.  Mikah reminded him this was an investment the ship made in cargos to resell and earn even more cash.  After Mikah told him he could buy the marble, Fesic realized he had to sell both the Ruthinium and isotopes, to make room in the cargo bay.  With that, Fesic decided to call the seller with the marble and tell the man he was interested but had to off-load his existing cargoes first.  Hearing that, the man asked if Fesic wanted to put a binding fee down on the marble, to give him a reason not to sell the lot to another buyer before then?  As Fesic paused after saying "Um..." Terin could be heard saying "Yes" in another part of the compartment.

Jumping in right after him, Mikah doubled down saying, "In this case, yes.  Listen to Terin."  Fesic reminded the seller they had yet to negotiate on the price as Mikah could be heard admitting how painful it had been for her to tell anyone to listen to Terin.  The seller reminded Fesic he had called and said he wanted to buy the lot.  That pretty much suggested he was paying the asking price on the marble.  When Fesic tried to argue that he'd called saying he had other cargoes to deal with, the seller reminded Fesic he had other customers to sell to.  As a result, he let Fesic know it was time to make a decision.

Nodding, Fesic said he did want to buy the cargo, but offered Cr 12,500 per ton even though his research said the original ask of Cr 13,000 was a very good price.  After a pause to consider, and not surprisingly giving any reasons why, the seller offered Cr 12,800 per ton instead.  When Fesic agreed to that and started setting up to pay the seller a binding fee, Terin got involved again asking why they didn't just buy the cargo and have it moved into the bay until they could load it up.  Fesic agreed on that and he and the seller shifted gears as Fesic authorized the full payment and they discussed the delivery.  The seller agreed to deliver the cargo to the berth because the payment up front pleased him.  They then agreed the delivery would happen sometime that afternoon.  Fesic also told the others it would be good to get the cargo movers and get their current two tons of cargo out of the bay so they didn't have to spend hours shifting cargo around later to get those items out when they were sold.

Aali considered relaxing and doing some stent work since the 'droids had the engineering work under control.  When her thoughts mostly centered on the ship, Emkir reminded her there was an entire city connected to their berth that they could explore.  When Aali admitted that was true, Emkir even joked, "We could go drug shopping!"  While the others laughed at that, Jocelynn called out, "I know a good place!"  Laughing even more, most of the others made it clear to Jocelynn that she did Not know a good place.  Terin was heard to quip, "Maybe a good place for the pusher."  Aali simply looked at Jocelynn and said, "I don't think the word 'good' means what you think it means.

With things calming down, Emkir wanted to hit a casino and Aali told him she wanted to do some stent work first.  So, she did her work and they then planned to spend the next few hours at a casino on-station.  Aiden had missed the floorshow and was still out visiting Sir Vekaraste for his interview.  Rol had lured Jocelynn into finishing the work on her battledress while Zimzod figured they could finish up without him.  But, not before she checked her High Passage auction, which was still sitting at Cr 5,000.  Zimzod did have a joke so he leaned over and started, "So, Rosalynn..."  Looking up at him, Jocelynn asked, "Who the fuck is Rosalynn?" in a confused tone.  Rol asked Zimzod, "Have you taken any of those pills?" and got a laugh.  Zimzod moved on, saying, "Rol says he gets lonesome and wants a pair of your panties to sniff."  That joke just fell flat because he was playing it too much.

Mikah kept working to find out where the government negotiations would be held.  Unfortunately, for reasons of government security, the location was being kept secret.  While she worked at that, Zimzod went to do more stent-work.  With the morning show over, Terin connected to the ship's computer and updated their custom screen saver.  He uploaded the video of Jocelynn attacking Zimzod.  Looking up to see what he was doing, Jocelynn caught a short video clip of Aiden handing some guy she'd never seen his snub pistol.  Holding it by the barrel, Aiden smiled as the man took the pistol by its grip and suddenly acted like he'd been electrocuted!  The guy then fell to the floor and even pee'd himself!  After seeing that, Jocelynn demanded, "What was that?" in a shocked tone.  Looking at the slip again, Aiden and the others explained to her about Munarshu.  Then, they told her that her clip was now part of that.

After that, Terin went to find a gym to work out in for the morning, which cost him Cr 20.  Fesic called the broker, who was pleased because he was about to call them.  When Fesic asked what was up, the broker said a buyer was offering KCr 65 for their one ton of Ruthinium!  Given they'd paid KCr 28 for the lot, Fesic was very happy to say yes to that deal and ask when the buyer could come pick up the cargo?  After the payment was made and the buyer said they'd send a crew to get the cargo, the ship got Cr 17,550 and each of the crew got Cr 2,877.  After they'd finished that deal, the broker told Fesic there were now five interested buyers for the isotopes.

When Fesic suddenly changed the topic, and asked how his black eye was doing, the broker said Fesic's personal life was none of his business.  When Fesic persisted, because he was concerned how he'd appear to the buyers in the meeting, the broker said he could pay for a makeup job to hide it.  Overhearing the comments, the rest of those in the compartment joined in telling Fesic he had no reason to worry about the black eye.  Settling that, the broker told Fesic the next meeting, with all the buyers, would be in an hour so Fesic had time to prepare.  Since Fesic knew the marble cargo would be delivered "sometime" in the afternoon, he asked Rol, who was working on Jocelynn's armor, if he could help in case the delivery came during his sales meeting and Rol agreed.

It was not long after that point when Rol and Jocelynn finished making the last connections and sealing the final panel and the armor was ready for re-fitting to Jocelynn and function testing.  They did this as Zimzod worked on an experiment with his stent.  He had connected one of his comm dots to his stent and another to his battledress battle computer, and started working on trying to access that device.  He'd already had some success connecting from his stent to comm dots on other devices, but not much more than that.  Aali was really the crew's expert on reaching the "device beyond the commdot".  Still, Zimzod was working to see if he could connect, because of the hoped-for advantages in combat.  He knew that even complete success would not get him complete answers right off, but it would more quickly get him the data he needed to make decisions.

Jocelynn suggested the crew all armor up and set up comm dot networks to test them out, and Rol reminded her they still needed to get her armor set and tested first.  Rol did say he'd heard rumors of units of "augmented" special forces operatives being organized during the war, with not only "stent to battle computer" integration but willful cyborg modification.  That meant electronic prosthetic replacement of healthy body parts and other darker rumors which he didn't mention to the others.  Mikah did pay some attention to that conversation while she did her research because she continued to run into local security concerns.  What she had come up with, so far, was that:
      1) Where ever the negotiations would be held, it would be somewhere on the starport campus
      2) The smash and grab planned to hit a location on the starport campus
      3) The negotiations site would have large amounts of physical currency because of
                  government tech limits
      4) The smash and grab plan was attractive because there would be large amounts of
                  physical currency present

Despite the things she could not learn, Mikah was getting more concerned about the things she did know, because those did start to form a picture that seemed to be converging, to her.  One thing she did know was where the smash and grab would happen, so Mikah decided to check that.  She called the hotel and asked about renting function spaces for the following days.  That would cover both the time of the negotiations and the smash and grab.  When she asked if they did have space available, she was surprised to be told they did.  She was told the hotel did not have much space available, and that there would be qualifiers, especially since she admitted her request was "last minute".

When Mikah asked what qualifiers might be involved, she was given a list including what the space was needed for, what level of activity her group planned in those spaces and she was told port security might have questions too.  Mikah was also told there would be other events happening in the hotel at the same time and their needs could affect her group's plans.  When Mikah said she was hoping to rent out three ballrooms, the agent paused before saying that would be a large function and telling her the hotel only had two ballrooms available.  Hearing that, Mikah thanked the agent and said she'd try somewhere else before cutting the call and considering what she'd learned.

Putting The Pieces Together

     Securing her station, Mikah turned to the others in the compartment and said, "Guys, we have to talk."  Noticing Zimzod's lack of attention, she told him, "Zimzod, come out of your meditation."  When she had their attention, Mikah said, "Guys, I have the feeling we have not been told the entire truth about the operation that is planned for two days from now."  Rol asked, "Do you think Dame Leeta has set us up?"  Mikah nodded and said, "Yup.  I believe that what she's having us hit is this government conference and..."  Jocelynn interrupted her, asking, "Not a drug job?" and Mikah confirmed, "Not a drug job."  There was a pause during which Mikah asked herself what more information she could get before remembering she met Dame Leeta at the hostelry and Aiden should still be there!

Getting Aiden on the comms, Mikah cut through the pleasantries and asked, "Aiden, are you still at the hostelry?"  He said he was and Mikah told him to ask those at the hostelry what they knew of Dame Leeta Leyba?  Sir Vekaraste asked "Who?", which some took as a warning flag.  Still, he concentrated on only the most "spectacular" of Knights to come through the hostelry, but they understood he still did his best to find out who was visiting, so he could look them up and see if they fit his interests?  So, his not knowing the name was not good but not condemning.  So, Aiden suggested they bring this question to the attention of the Knights actually running the hostelry.  As this suggestion was made, Aiden asked if they had a picture and Mikah remembered they did.  Leeta had asked them to turn off their cameras but only after detecting them, so she was filmed arriving aboard the ship.  Mikah had Rol capture and pull an image to send Aiden as he went looking for the managers.

When they were brought up to speed, the facility managers did a name and image search through their database.  Because Lady Mikah said she met the "Knight" in one of the private meeting spaces, they assured her they "should" have her data on record.  Unfortunately, everyone's concern was ratcheted to "high" when they said they had no information at all.  This concerned them because they did not doubt Mikah had met the woman there.  But it raised questions like how the woman had gotten into that space to meet Mikah in the first place?  Of even a greater concern, the Knights told Mikah they had no record of her as a member of their Order!  That called into question her actual status as a Knight?  The Knights in charge of the site promised to immediately begin a review of their own video security to see what they could determine about this mysterious visitor?  They promised to update Lady Mikah's crew on what they found and also said they'd be bringing Station Security into the issue too.

Off the call with the hostelry, Mikah called the port and told them, "We have reason to believe a person named Leeta Leyba, and we're not certain that's her real identity but I'm sending you her picture, may be planning something to disrupt the conference to be held with the system government."  While the tech she reached was happy to take her information, he was more interested in how Mikah had gotten information on the plans?  Mikah answered, "Well, she offered us a job that targeted the location we believe your people will be using to meet with the system government.  And during further investigation on our own, we learned it was possible the meetings would happen at that facility.  Then, she had posed as a Knight in an Order my crew belongs to, and we determined she is not.  So, there you have it."

The tech Mikah was working with asked her to hold while he made sure his notes were complete and he had documented everything said, then asked her to hold on.  Next, he brought in additional and more senior members of his team to discuss the situation with Mikah.  Those people took a moment to review the notes before they confirmed with Mikah that "the person of interest" offered her crew a job?  When Mikah confirmed that, they then asked it Mikah still had a way to contact her?  Mikah confirmed that, and was asked if she could set up another meeting with "the person of interest" while claiming to have more questions about the job?  Mikah said they could and was asked if she thought she could get the woman to come to their ship?  Mikah said she believed they could and would try.

Listening to Mikah's side of the conversation, Zimzod said, "We should have bugged the place."  The apparent senior person in the station-side team smiled and told Mikah, "I think we can have backup there for that meeting.  And we can give you a comms link to call so we can swarm after she arrives at your ship."  Surprised at the sudden rush to arrest, Mikah asked, "Don't you want to find out if the situation is legitimate or not?"  The woman waved that off, reminding Mikah she had already told them this Miss Leyba had posed as a Knight and member of a Chivalric Order and was not.  We can add to that the leg-work your crew have done which you stated indicates there is a real threat of some incident happening."  When they said that the fraud alone was enough for them to act, Mikah said she was good with the plan.

They gave her the comms data and began working with Mikah to set up when this would happen.  Given the cargo deliveries and pickup they had, Mikah decided it should happen after seven or eight that night and the station agreed.  After that, the call ended and Mikah called Aiden, Emkir and Aali telling them they had to come back to the ship to prepare for coming events.  At the casino, Emkir had been doing so well he'd splurged for the VIP options for lunch before returning to the tables.  The good news for Mikah was that Emkir was getting that itch that told him it was perhaps time to walk away instead of losing his gains trying to force a rally.  So, Emkir was good with grabbing a cab back to the berth.  In the end, Emkir was only down the cab and lunch costs and ended up with a tidy profit of Cr 9,760!  Of course, their leaving didn't happen without the offer of comps from the casino, in the form of an over-night suite and meals for free, but they had to plead ship's business.

With the others returning to the ship, including Terin who'd gotten done with his workout, Mikah was concerned about things being said around Fesic and what he might do with anything he did not like overhearing.  So, Mikah solved that by telling him to continue his preparations and possibly be prepared to handle his meeting in his stateroom.  When he protested and asked why, Mikah told him things might be going sideways with their smash and grab, because it seemed he'd not been listening earlier.  When Fesic asked if she'd realized he'd been the voice of reason, she told him there would never be a time when he was the voice of reason!  Still, she did get him to agree to go into his stateroom.  Once he was there, she had Rol lock him in until she gave other orders.

It did not take long for Fesic to see he'd been locked in and he just shrugged and figured he'd be told why soon enough.  So, he concentrated on setting up what he needed in order to be prepared for the meeting with the broker and buyers.  At the same time, Zimzod asked Mikah to step into their stateroom and said, "Mikah?  We have a problem here."  After a pause, Mikah asked why and Zimzod said, "Because you told everybody about it and..."  Interrupting him, Mikah snapped, "Oh, get off your high horse..."  When he said, "No..." she cut him off again saying, "Yes" and he answered "No..." When she tried to cut him off again, he cut her off to say, "The woman you're bringing here is a psion."  Again, there was a pause before Mikah asked, "How do you know?"  Without missing a beat, Zimzod said, "Because I got a buzzing in my head when she tried to read my mind." in a matter of fact tone.

Mikah's instant response was "Really?" in a tone that mixed surprise, curiosity and a sudden bit of distrust as she continued, "Doesn't that make you a psion?"  When Zimzod said, "No." as if that settled the question, Mikah said, "You said your sensitive to psions."  As she said that, Mikah turned to reach for a ship's comms and Zimzod reached out to wrap his battledress-enhanced arms around her, hug her and give her a kiss.  Hugging her in a way that pinned her arms and kept her from the comms.  Considering her options, Mikah started screaming, which did nothing for her thanks to the sound proofing of the staterooms.  When that didn't work, Mikah demanded, "OK, let me go." and Zimzod said he thought they should talk.

Mikah snapped, "About what?  You being a psion and not telling anybody about it?"  Zimzod just insisted, "I'm not a psion."  Mikah angrily demanded, "How long did we fight against those people?"  Zimzod only repeated, "I am not a psion."  After trying his grip again, Mikah challenged, "Than how do you know she's a psion?"  He considered before telling her, "Because there is this...feeling I get that bothers me."  During another pause, with Zimzod giving her the time she needed to think, Mikah thought back over her association with Zimzod and made a realization.  She then asked, "So this is what you were away for that whole time you were with IRIS on Regina?"  As Zimzod tried to think how to explain what happened, she challenged, "You were being trained."  Zimzod told her he wasn't being trained, but he was being evaluated.

Continuing, Zimzod said, "I'm not a psion because I can't do anything.  I can't read your mind.  The only thing I can do is feel it when there's another psion in the room trying to read my mind."  That was not exactly correct, because Zimzod was told he would possibly sense it when a psion close to him was using their talent significantly.  Mikah accused, "That still makes you a psion" and Zimzod answered, "No.  Not really."  Mikah snapped back, "Yep.  Sorry." in a tone that said she had no pity at all for him.  Tring an entirely different tack, Zimzod said, "Well, if you're gonna kill me, you're really gonna miss the sex." and it was so bizarre a statement Mikah laughed despite the situation.  Switching to one of his more comedic voices, Zimzod said, "I'm sexy.  Don'tcha want me?"

Taking an annoyed breath while resolutely not following his comments in that direction, Mikah asked, "And what are you gonna do with this psion when she comes back onboard?" in a tart and accusing tone.  After trying to come up with a quick answer, Zimzod had to ask, "What do you mean, what am I gonna do with the psion?"  Mikah asked, "Are you gonna out her?  And let us do what we can with her?"  Happily, Zimzod said, "Sure!"  He followed that up by saying it would be a great way to get rid of the buzzing.  He added, "I'm just telling you because I think she's gonna read your mind and anticipate whatever's going down."  Mikah said, "You know, we have those psi-shields from Duke Leonard.  You know that we have those."  When Zimzod said, "Yeah?" in a tone suggesting she continue, Mikah asked, "Are we gonna have to wear those for the rest of our lives on this ship if you're on here?"  In a tired tone, Zimzod said, "I told you.  I can't read your mind.  I can't do any psionic anything.  All I do is get this annoying buzzing in my head whenever people try to pull any shit on me."

Suddenly challenging Zimzod, Mikah demanded, "What's going on in Fesic's mind?" and Zimzod asked "What?" as he was caught by surprise.  She repeated the question and Zimzod told her, "I have no idea." in an honest and emphatic tone.  He didn't say he doubted anyone including Fesic could tell her that.  Mikah nodded and said, "I don't think he does either." in an odd moment of unknown synchronicity.  Giving in out of frustration, Mikah said, "Alright.  If I get one whiff." as she tried to turn and look him in the eyes.  Failing to do more than give him side-eye from her right eye, she repeated, "One.  Whiff." in a threatening tone.  Feeling her relax if only just barely, Zimzod said, "Oh, stop it." and leaned in to give her a big wet kiss on the cheek.

Finally, as she struggled more against the kiss than anything else, Zimzod asked, "If I let you go, are you going to spaz out again?  Because I'm not a psion."  Mikah asked, "You promise?" and Zimzod said, "I promise.  I have no abilities what so ever."  Acerbically, Mikah told him, "Well, that I know." with an attempted glance down to his groin.  With a sudden smirk on his face, Zimzod said, "You weren't saying that when Fesic walked in on us."  After they both chuckled over that, Mikah said, "OK.  I won't spaz out right now."  With that, Zimzod dropped his arms letting her loose and Mikah moved over to where her laser pistol lay, stopping to give Zimzod a glance before she hooked the holster to her belt.  Turning to Zimzod, she said, "It will never leave my side." and Zimzod nodded saying, "Well, you have nothing to fear from me."

That done, Mikah let Zimzod lead the way back out into the lounge and everyone noticed Mikah had suddenly armed herself.  In the time spent, everyone else had returned to the ship.  When Rol asked "What's going on?" Mikah said, "Everybody, we're...having a visitor later today."  Looking at Rol, she said, "You're probably wondering why I asked you to lock him in his stateroom" while pointing at Fesic's door.  When Rol said, "I just thought he pissed you off again." Mikah answered, "Well, Yeah." and Zimzod said, "There is that."  After a pause, Mikah continued, "Our Knight who we've been having meetings with is coming over later.  I haven't called her yet, but I'm gonna invite her over tonight."  She then looked at each of them as she emphatically said, "We are not going to disrupt the meeting between the orbital community and the down-world government, because that seems to be happening in the exact same hotel she's asking us to attack."

Waiting a beat for that to sink in, Mikah was about to continue when Terin sparked up saying, "So, Fesic was right!"  Mikah immediately told him, "Yes but that's not why I had him locked in his stateroom.  I didn't want him to come out and ruin the trap we will lay for her."  Terin downplayed her concerns, saying, "Well, I don't think he'd do that anyway." and Mikah and Zimzod both told him they didn't trust him not to.  Mikah added her complaints about his opening the box with the android in it saying, "And I should have shot him then."  She then continued to say she felt he'd proven "somewhat untrustworthy with confidential information in the past."  Mikah also told everyone that no one was to tell Fesic anything that was said during the meeting.

After that mandate, Mikah told them, "We're gonna bring her in, I've notified the port, the port is going to take her down.  But, until the port makes their move, we are to act as if everything is on."  When Rol asked if she wanted some of the crew in another location, ready to react, she said she didn't, and told them to just let the port do what they want to do.  Terin asked if it would be good to have some of the port's people hidden in the ship, so they could surprise her and Mikah said that was up to the port and how they wanted to handle it.  When Rol asked if they were having the meeting on the ship, Mikah made it clear that was where the port wanted her, telling them the port asked them to invite her in.  When Rol asked if Mikah wanted everyone ready, Mikah said they can be prepared without making it obvious.

When Mikah said that Rol could be finishing the settings on Jocelynn's battledress so she could be in it, Emkir asked if they wanted to risk the port security seeing her battledress?  Admitting that was not a good idea, Mikah said they would hide Jocelynn's battledress and Rol could be "doing tests" on Zimzod's armor.  After making sure she'd covered all the bases and answered all the questions, Mikah reminded them all they were not to discuss any of what was said with Fesic and then she told Rol he could unlock the gunner's stateroom door.  Despite that, Fesic decided it would be better to take part in the meeting with the broker in his stateroom for privacy and to keep the crew's activities in the lounge from interrupting the meeting.

On To Other Plans

     After the meeting ended and things settled down, Jocelynn wanted to go to a bar because she was pissed off and wanted a drink.  While Zimzod was all for getting Mikah back in bed, she said that wasn't gonna happen.  In fact, Mikah felt she could use a drink too, and didn't trust Jocelynn to not go running off to hunt her dealer.  Rol decided he'd do equipment maintenance while he waited for the cargo delivery to arrive.  Aiden decided to join Jocelynn and Mikah in hitting a bar while Aali wanted to read and Emkir was OK with relaxing and watching the news.  Into this, Terin suggested they go to an amusement park and Mikah snapped, "Shut up Terin!"  As the others all broke out in laughter, Terin called over the noise, "I'll take that as a 'no'."  Accepting that, Terin decided to go with the others to a bar.  When Mikah asked what Zimzod would do, he said he was going back to his stent-work.  As the bar crawl left, Jocelynn made it clear they should visit a bar close by.

Eventually, Fesic joined the planned meeting with the broker and his five buyers.  Over the next forty-five minutes, the broker led three rallies of bidding before things finished up.  In the end, the sale price was MCr 1.35, which made Fesic very happy.  After the meeting was over and Fesic could, he finished the numbers and started telling everyone the good news.  Outside the ship in the berth, Rol was supervising while the marble seller's delivery people helped out by moving the waiting ruthinium and isotopes out of the cargo bay before loading in their delivery.  So, Fesic told Emkir, Aali and Zimzod while Emkir and Aali told him Emkir had won KCr 10 at the casino that day too.  Deciding not to call the group at the pub, Fesic did tell Rol when he got back from the cargo work.  That meant Cr 240,002 for the ship and Cr 62,222 for each of the crew.

At the same time, Mikah, Jocelynn, Aiden and Terin were drinking at a bar nearby the ship's berth unaware of their good fortune.  Jocelynn was drinking hard out of anger, but not much because she had to nurse her cash more than her alcohol.  Mikah was also drinking hard but not so much she could not keep her eyes on the mission, which was to keep Jocelynn from going pusher-hunting.  That meant one shot and then beers.  That was the same for Terin, who would only commit to one hard drink with things so unsettled.  And Aiden felt safe nursing his one beer.  Planning to relax and nurse drinks for a couple of hours, Mikah realized she still had to make the call and pulled her comms out to call Leeta.

When Mikah said some of the crew had come up with additional questions, Leeta was happy to come by and asked what time Mikah wanted her to come to the ship?  She was told eight that evening and said she'd be there before they ended the call and Mikah called the port offices to update them.  Meanwhile, Terin had come over to Mikah's point of view and was busy trying to convince Jocelynn she would never find the drug pusher again and shouldn't bother trying.  After sitting and relaxing for some time, the crew at the pub decided to return to the ship as Rol was cooking dinner.  When they got back, Fesic gave them all the good news.  Even Mikah was impressed while Zimzod was shaking his head and saying "Local boy didn't fuck up."

After lunch, Fesic suggested they all go out for ice cream and Jocelynn, forgetting about Mikah's orders, said, "But we have to have the meeting first."  Tartly thanking Jocelynn for letting the cat fly out of the bag, Mikah told Fesic they were going to have a visitor that evening.  Suddenly getting a new idea, Mikah looked at Jocelynn and asked, "Why don't you go out for ice cream with Fesic?" in a saccharine-sweet tone.  Jocelynn, who'd realized what she'd done, went from apologetic to almost gleeful when she realized that would give her the chance to go hunting while Mikah was busy.  Mikah's last word on it was to tell them to stay out of trouble.  When she snapped that at them, Fesic looked back and Mikah asking, "Stay out of trouble?  This is us." as if that was the most ridiculous suggestion possible.

Off To The Shanking

     Hearing that, Mikah considered the words for a moment or two before ordering, "Terin, you go with them."  When Terin protested, Fesic said he shouldn't worry because they were just looking at a shanking as if he were only talking about a walk in an agro-dome.  Finally, Terin accepted and said, "OK, I'll baby sit."  Leaving the ship together, Fesic really did want to go for ice cream while Jocelynn started talking up "this really great place I found last night."  Of course, Terin dumped on that when he asked, "Would this be the place where you got ripped off?" in a sarcastic tone.  Jocelynn only turned back to Terin and shushed him very loudly, which threatened to get them all laughing.  Steering them to a more local shop, Terin said, "We're going to go here instead."

Annoyed, Jocelynn bluntly told Terin she wanted to get the guy who ripped her off.  Nodding, Terin answered her, saying, "I know, but then Mikah will kill all of us."  Jocelynn quickly answered back, "What Mikah doesn't know won't hurt us." with absolute certainty of her truth.  Shaking his head, Terin told Jocelynn, "You're newer to this club than I am and I have to tell you...  Shit doesn't go down that way.  Ever."  Laughing at the conversation between then, Fesic pointed at Terin as he said, "We should just tie him up so we could go hunting."  Looking at Terin, Jocelynn asked, "What's the worst that can happen?  We run someone over in a rental car?"  All Terin could do in reply was repeat the old line that Fesic was only supposed to wing the guy....

Jocelynn just laughed as the look in her eyes reminded Terin of the unreality of that claim.  Like a ground car driver could control every element of a chase which had sprung up randomly and was getting even more out of control as it rushed to the bloody ending.  When her look reminded him of the chaos of the situation, Terin nodded and admitted he'd feared Fesic would run him over at certain points in the chase.  Finally, Terin said, "Let's get some ice cream first.  And then, we'll discuss your plans for getting revenge."  When they laughed about her getting them hopped up on sugar before leading them on, Jocelynn said she had some good drugs she could offer them.  Almost scornfully, Terin cut her off, saying, "Oh no you don't!  I have some good drugs." in a tone which let her know what Jocelynn may have considered good drugs were only kid's doses.

While Tern ordered Jocelynn the largest sunday he could, to slow her down, he was soon shown he could waste his cash but she would never eat more than a bit of the order.  Laying it on thick while they sat and ate, Jocelynn reminded them both of exactly what had been pulled on her the night before and told them again and again how she'd like to find the guy and introduce him to some four-letter words.  Like "Stab, Stab, Stab."  On Terin's other side, Fesic was whispering that they'd never find the dealer anyway, so they'd might as well go and keep Jocelynn out of even more trouble.  Terin made it clear this was the dealer's home turf and he knew it.  Terin was certain he had friend there and they didn't.  Terin also pointed out they couldn't bring any weapons.

Jocelynn laughed at the last part, telling Terin she could take the dealer apart with her bare hands and very clearly showing no fear or concern at all for her own safety.  Of course, Terin asked what would happen if he had four or five friends with him and she said they'd have to wait in line with a smile on her face.  Jocelynn reminded Terin this was a lone dealer who was also a user and who's sole value to the universe was the small bit of cash he can get back to his source when he's not risking his life stealing the drugs for himself.  So there would be no friends with him, ever.  At best, he would have a bunch of spectators who would watch to see who got killed and what they could scavenge from the bodies afterwards, but no one would help him...or Jocelynn for that matter.

Fesic told Terin that Jocelynn was going to go with or without him coming so he might as well go along and help.  When he put it that way, Terin agreed to follow her and see if they could find the pusher.  With an air of complete confidence, Jocelynn said, "Oh, we can find him." and he had to wonder what measures she had in mind?  Past that, Terin pushed that this was going to become a big mess and they'd all get stuck in it.  Fesic argued that they could go along and keep it from turning into a big mess.  Finally, Terin agreed they had to stay away from the ship until the meeting was done, because Mikah didn't want Fesic there.  So, he agreed to go.  The trip off to the distant docking arm took just over an hour, ad during the ride Jocelynn told the others everything that happened the night before.

Out Of Thin Air

     Mikah and the others waited aboard the ship waiting for the port's plan to be carried out.  After Mikah had told them about the 8pm meeting, they had planned to have their people positioned in the docking arm where the Upgrade was berthed.  When the suspect walked into their position, they would move in to swarm and arrest her.  Mikah and the crew were just expected to stand by to give statements afterwards, in support of the charges and further investigation.  Agreeing, Mikah told them about Jocelynn, Fesic and Terin and was told the port didn't care so long as they didn't try to get involved or get in the way.  After the call ended, Mikah told Zimzod to get into his battledress and had Rol help him.

When it came close to 8pm, Aali and Emkir got prepared for "what would come next" and waited, but did holster sidearms just in case.  Aiden set up his snub with half tranq and half ball as Aali loaded all tranq in her snubbie.  Rol also had a snub with tranq while Mikah had her laser pistol.  Zimzod had his dual .45's on his hips.  Aiden, Mikah and Aali also put on executive armor, also just in case.  They waited as Aiden read and Rol watched vids.  Everyone else relaxed or watched the vid Rol had on until the call came.

Suddenly, while the crew relaxed, Leeta Leyba Appeared!  Thanks to where she appeared, some of the crew didn't even know she was there until she snarled, "The first person to move dies!" and they all noticed she had a body pistol drawn and ready.  When Zimzod snarked, "In battledress?" with all the confidence in the world, Leeta snarled, "I shoot you in the head, you die." as her aim steadied on him for the moment.  What bothered Zimzod more was the return of the buzzing in his head.  After Zimzod nodded and relaxed back she told everyone to disarm as she tracked her weapon around the compartment.  It also seemed that each time one of them got it in their mind to try anything, she would shift her aim to them as soon as they started to brace to take action, as if she could sense the attack coming.

Zimzod and Rol were the first to realize what they were dealing with.  The others were still in the dark as the two came to grips with the fact they were dealing with a Zhodani agent who was likely a former jump commando.  A veteran who, during the war, used psionic skills to teleport from their ship to a targeted Imperial ship and assault Imperial crews inside their warships.  Operating with a pre-cognitive psion to spot locations aboard targeted ships, they would then use telepathy to "see" the spot and teleport inside the otherwise heavily defended vessel.  Then, set loose all hell.  Thinking she could just teleport away if attacked, and not understanding each "port" weakened her energy reserves, Rol was the first person to set his weapon down and disarm.  True to form, almost as if she'd known she'd defeated him, Leeta had her weapon trained elsewhere.

Zimzod decided to start concentrating on ducks as he also released the catches on his pistols and set them down, disarming himself as much as he could in battledress.  Figuring they knew something the others didn't, Emkir looked at Aali and shrugged as he asked, "Shall we?"  He also disarmed as he spoke and Aali followed suit.  Eventually, each of them had disarmed, and there was a pause before Leeta nudged her pistol forward and said, "Let's go to the bridge, shall we?"  In a tone of annoyance, Mikah asked, "All of us?" When Leeta confirmed, "All of you." Mikah decided she wasn't letting this bitch steal her new ship!  At the same time, the ship's comms began to buzz.  In an act of defiance, Mikah turned to reach for the comms and Leeta steadied her aim as she told Mikah to let it ring.

Mikah challenged, "They're going to know something's wrong." and Leeta ordered her to let it ring and move into the bridge with a tone that said she didn't care about the comms or consequences.  With the tension rising in the moment, Mikah finally snapped and rushed Leeta even as the psion sensed the act and turned toward her to fire!  Almost immediately following her, in the cover of the gunshot and rising emotions, Zimzod used his enhanced speed and strength to grab Leeta, bash her down and beat her unconscious.  Apparently having planned to wound, Leeta suddenly forced her aim up and shot Mikah in the chest as she charged.  Zimzod's charge came just as Mikah dropped, and Leeta did manage to get a shot off.  That bounced off of Zimzod's right shoulder spauldron.

Zimzod quickly nailed Leeta to the compartment bulkhead and then bashed her down.  Still, he didn't want her dead but knew she was a telepath so he needed her out cold.  On the floor, she was still moaning, which meant she was still awake so Zimzod punched her in the face, perhaps doing a bit more damage than he'd planned.  Looking down at his handiwork, Zimzod realized he'd pretty much broken every bone in her face as he worried she might not live through the injuries.  Sure, Leeta was out cold, Zimzod ordered Rol to call security while he moved to start treating Mikah.

What Zimzod saw as he cleared the area of the wound was a very clean entry wound, just aside the sternum and perfectly placed to strike the heart!  He could also see Mikah's breathing was weak, which made sense since her thorax had been punctured and the lungs were likely partly collapsed.  As the rest of the crew began reacting, and exchanging ideas about keeping Leeta out cold, Rol reached the station and called for help.  In the meantime, Zimzod sent someone for Mikah's scanner in medical, and ordered, "Someone keep a gun on her.  If she moves, kill her." as he pointed at Leeta's unconscious form.  Thinking better of that, because he really wanted the answers she could give, Zimzod confirmed Aiden had tranq rounds in his snub pistol and told him to tranq her if she even thinks of waking up.

Once he had the scanner and checked Mikah's wound, Zimzod saw just how bad things were.  While there wasn't really much "actual" damage, the basic problem was a sucking chest wound so the lungs were not functioning normally.  That complication would be easy to manage with a pressurized oxygen source.  And the bullet had remained whole, rather than shredding and shredding much of the tissue and organs there.  In the back of his mind, Zimzod was willing to grant that in part to her executive armor because it closed around the slug and compacted it even as the fabric was being ripped apart.  The bad news was that the round had penetrated the pericardium around her heart.  The bleeding there was putting intense pressure on her heart and interrupting that organ.

From his training, Zimzod worked to relive the pressure in her chest and fully reinflate Mikah's lungs so the only remaining crisis was the punctured pericardium.  Cursing, Zimzod remembered the autodoc they had was not restocked so it couldn't be used to save Mikah now.  The good news was that emergency responders were starting to arrive including pre-positioned teams of medical responders "just in case".  So, a doctor took over Mikah's case very quickly after Zimzod figured out what the issue was, allowing for a fast and complete handover.  Zimzod then found himself pushed out of the way so the medical team could do their job while also being pulled into the circle of security officers so they could find out what happened?

When the security leads demanded to know if they had any information about how she'd evaded the planned arrest, Zimzod said, "She blinked into our ship's commons with her weapon drawn."  When the senior man asked, "Blinked?" in confusion, Zimzod confirmed that and even gave a brief explanation of the scene.  Zimzod also told them they had internal security cameras so they had vid data of the events that happened.  It wasn't long after Zimzod agreed to download the video of events on the ship that officers and marines from the Imperial Navy started arriving and taking control of the site.  As this happened, all station personnel except the medical team were removed and an Imperial Commander received the crystal containing the video data from Rol, after Zimzod asked him to download it.

Soon after that, an Imperial Navy doctor and team arrived and looked over the situation.  Seeing the treatment already under way, the Imperial doctor stepped up to "assist" the station doctor for some time, before telling that doctor he could take over and the station medical team should step away.  They were then escorted out of the ship leaving only the crew and Imperial Navy or Marine personnel behind.  The senior officer of the Imperial team reviewed the video with Zimzod while the other crew were kept sitting nearby in the lounge.  Nodding after the action was completed, he then admitted they wouldn't have to debrief the crew on "how" the events happened but needed to understand the "why"?  Starting at the moment, the officer asked Zimzod what their relationship was with the suspect?

As this all happened, another medical team had arrived bringing stasis boards and other gear.  They went directly to work on Leeta, testing her blood and injecting her with other meds.  Both teams got Mikah and Leeta each onto a board and the team working on Leeta got her moved out quickly.  The team working on Mikah took more time and care, but moved her out of the ship to a waiting transport too.  This happened while Zimzod explained without reservation what Leeta had offered the crew, from beginning to end.  After he was done, they told him Mikah was being moved to a hospital for additional surgery and treatment and Zimzod was told he could go with her.  The others were told they and the ship would have to stay in port for at least two to three more days so a proper debrief could be held but none of them faced any charges.  That included everyone on the crew who'd had contact with Leeta.  Leaving on the ambulance, Zimzod left Rol in charge, and he started trying to reach out to Terin, Fesic and Jocelynn.

The Wages Of Tourists

     After leaving the ship and having ice cream, Jocelynn, Terin and Fesic used the station's public transit or people movers for an hour plus.  During that trip, Jocelynn explained everything that had happened the night before and also gave them a thumb nail description of the drug dealer too.  One of the things she tried to impress on the others was that the people she was working to find believed in revenge.  That meant that her attempt to get revenge would also play into that role.  And having allies might change her standing in the "right eyes" too.  The hunting trip finally moved to an "active footing" as Jocelynn brought them back to the bar where she'd met the dealer.

As they walked in and started looking for the dealer, under the cover of also looking for a place to sit, those in the bar gave them each a look up and down.  It was also quickly clear that some of the bar's staff members recognized Jocelynn too, and they started giving her the stink eye.  Not recognizing Jocelynn's two new "friends", the staff didn't take any actions and Jocelynn led the others to sit at a table and punch their orders into the table console.  When the waitress came to deliver their drinks, she fixed Jocelynn with a look and said, "I see you brought friends this time." in a tone that suggested Jocelynn had no reason or right to come back.

Guessing word must have spread thanks to her performance in the other two bars, Jocelynn just said she liked the place from the night before and wanted to show it to her friends.  The whiskeys for Fesic and Jocelynn arrived in standard "plasmic" tumblers and Terin's beer was served in an opened container instead of sealed, like he'd ordered.  Terin privately decided that was a statement from the bar.  Having been told what Jocelynn said had been the whole story of the night before, Terin decided there had to be more to it and asked Jocelynn exactly what she'd done in both places to get asked to move on?  Quietly, Jocelynn went back over events in both bars to the best she could remember, adding any details she remembered but clearly not mentioning the "Traveler" comment since she never realized she made it.  After checking the folks they could see out and not seeing the dealer there, Fesic suggested they pay for their drinks and leave, and the others agreed.

While Terin refused to even sip at his beer, the others did enjoy their whiskey.  They did sit and chat and did their best to "appear friendly", for almost half an hour but made no contacts.  For a laugh, Fesic took a sip off Terin's beer just to show him what a whimp he was, after Terin had made it clear he wasn't going to drink it.  When Terin said they should just go back to the ship, Jocelynn pointed out he'd beat Fesic up repeatedly for messing with his hookah.  She told him he hadn't lost anything and she was out KCr 2, so he had no leg to stand on.  And she wasn't quiet about that because arguing over a hookah and money would only look better to the crowd she was looking for.  When Terin said they could wander around and look in the back alleys Jocelynn cut him off, saying, "Oh!  That's a great idea.  Wandering the back alleys."

Terin argued he'd only suggested the "look into" back alleys. Not go into them.  Eventually, Jocelynn agreed to that and they left the bar with Jocelynn hugging the wall and Terin furthest from it.  As they walked, each of them would turn and look down each passage they came to, to see if they spot anything.  They wandered looking like tourists for some time before a trio of locals came up behind them during their distraction.  The ones that bumped Jocelynn and Fesic made an effort to "bump them forward" while the one hitting Terin literally knocked him down and "fell" on top of him!  Hitting the deck and feeling a body slam him to the deck, Terin was trying to recover and figure out just what the hell was happening before he realized someone was grabbing at his pockets!

Finally able to try and react at all, Terin was just about to move when the person on top of him lifted themselves up enough to deliver a nasty knee to the center of Terin's back and then prop up to take off like a track star!  Rather than reacting to an attack, Fesic just spun on the guy who bumped him demanding "what the fuck" and wanting to get them out of his face and space.  As Jocelynn spun on her man, she had the situational awareness to spot the guy rifling Terin's pockets and realized this was a regular tactic, and they were targets of opportunity.  Seeing that, Jocelynn went full-out marine on the man in front of her, trying to take her man down quickly.  Not expecting to face someone combat hardened and quick, the thief was caught flat-footed and she slammed him in the solar plexus "just right".  The man simply got a shocked look on his face as he folded to the deck.

At the same time, Jocelynn noted that the guy "on" Terin had propped himself up to start sprinting down the companionway.  Also, neither Fesic nor his attacker had realized the situation had stepped outside what they expected.  So just as the actual thief was about to sprint, Jocelynn launched herself past Fesic and his man to slam the man off Terin and into the companionway wall.  Caught completely by surprise, the thief could only lay there and try to recover from the attack so he could respond.  At the same time, Fesic had just noticed Jocelynn flying across his field of view, behind the man who slammed into him.  And...he then noticed Terin was on the floor!

He was also noticing these things at the same time the man facing off with him did.  Fesic took a quick swing at the man just as he had started to back peddle, preparing to flee a situation that had clearly fallen apart.  Fesic only managed to graze the man as he backed off and that convinced the man to turn and take off as fast as he could.  Nodding to himself, Fesic took off after him.  Terin was finally ready to rejoin the activity having seen the one man on the ground gasping for breath while Jocelynn was on top of another, apparently "offering" her own brand of medical aid.  Terin had also seen Fesic take off back the way they'd come for no reason Terin could guess.  Rather than join the fight right off, Terin went through his own pockets, to make sure he still had his IDent.

While Terin searched for his IDent, Jocelynn decided it was time to carry out the second step in her first aid tool kit and tried to knee the guy in his crotch.  Sadly, the crotch was not an available target thanks to how the man had been folded against the wall but she did repeatedly slam her knee into his gut and other parts of his body.  Thanks to their positions, the knee slams were not very powerful, so while the man was now desperately trying to defend himself, she wasn't hurting him much.  That was the bad news because she had put the other guy down but wasn't sure how long it would take him to start recovering.  And with Terin apparently out of things and Fesic gone, that meant it would become two against one.  And, ironically, when the thief had gone fishing in Terin's pocket, he'd managed to grab Terin's utility knife, but hadn't realized he had a weapon!  Nor had Jocelynn.

Terin found his IDent and also found his sunglasses were broken in the fight.  Finally ready to join the fight, Terin got off the floor and turned on the first man Jocelynn knocked down.  Standing over the man, Terin kicked the crook in the crotch, multiplying his agony.  After that, Terin assured himself Jocelynn was in control of her man before he looked down the companionway for any sign of Fesic.  When his man took off running, Fesic had gone charging after him.  While the crook had the lead because he'd been first off the mark, Fesic saw he was faster than the guy in the chase.  What Fesic couldn't beat was the fact this was the crook's home turf.  He knew the layout of the concourse and knew where all the obstacles and other opportunities were and how to create traffic.

Despite his speed, Fesic could tell the crook was getting away thanks to the traffic he was creating.  Still determined, Fesic continued the chase.  Pushing through the clumps of disturbed and angry people the thief bumped, Fesic "winged" someone who was already upset about being bumped and that man reached out to snag Fesic and pull him up short.  Not pulled off his feet, Fesic's attention was drawn to the very large, very brawny man who now had his arm in an iron grip.  At the same time, the man very slowly and very deliberately said, "How many times I need to tell you ship jockeys to watch where the fuck you going?"  The man's tone was annoyed but also suggested his mental faculties were not all there.

Coming to himself quickly, Fesic started apologizing and pointing at the man he'd been chasing when this new man simply hauled off and swung a fist.  Reacting, Fesic ducked the swing while the other man still had a firm grip on him.  Fesic realized this man was a heavy-worlder, so he was built big and powerful even if his mind was slow.  He could lift massive loads and move them without tech support.  When Fesic desperately offered, "Let me go and I'll buy you a drink." the man swung again forcing Fesic to try and dodge.  Thanks to the grip the man had, Fesic couldn't effectively dodge this time and the man pile drove him down to the deck.

The nasty punch knocked Fesic to the floor but didn't knock him unconscious as the large man said, "You pay attention where you going next time" with a pointing finger jabbing towards Fesic.  After that, the large man turned and continued on his way leaving Fesic on the ground behind him.  Back near where Jocelynn was still pounding on her man, Terin couldn't see any sign of Fesic so he asked Jocelynn if she needed help?  Jocelynn was a bit too busy to answer Terin while she kept up the beating she was giving the thief.  At that time, station security arrived to intervene.

Hearing Terin comment that security was arriving, Jocelynn stopped swinging and kicking and just sat on her man to keep him pinned.  The other crook was still on the deck and now closed up in a fetal position having recovered a bit from the chest strike and now suffering from the kick to the groin.  As security arrived, they first saw the man lying on his own and asked, "Medical incident?"  Terin shook his head and said, "No, crushed nuts." before pointing them to where Jocelynn had his friend pinned.  When one of the officers asked, "Can you please get off the gentleman?"  At that, Jocelynn demanded, "Gentleman?  Who robbed us?"  Taking a deep breath, the officer repeated, "would you please get off the gentleman, ma'am."  because assaults happened but security had to separate the parties first.

Nodding, Jocelynn rose and was pleased when the crook didn't try to run, though she couldn't tell if he couldn't or realized it wouldn't help him if he did.  When security asked what was going on, Terin said, "These guys jumped us."  Pointing at the guy Jocelynn was sitting on, he said, "That guy reached into my pocket and stole something.  Let me sort through my gear and I'll tell you what."  As Terin yammered on about what happened, the one security man nodded to the other, who moved up to grab the crook by the collar and pull him up.  About then, Terin figured out the only thing he was missing was his utility knife, and he said so.

A third security man started to frisk the crook and quickly found Terin's utility knife on the man.  After that, one of the officers introduced the man to Terin and Jocelynn because they'd arrested him enough times to know him on sight.  They talked as Jocelynn thanked the officers for arriving and then said there had been a third man, and a third member of our party, and pointed in the direction she thought they ran off in.  Taking the details for a report, they confirmed there was one more member of their party and they were from the IMV Upgrade.  What they did not tell Jocelynn and Terin was that there had been a system alert placed to all officers to be aware of possible intent to attack members of that ship's crew, based on the events at the ship earlier.

Adding to that, which was a concern, Terin flashed his IDent and showed he was an Imperial Knight!  So, the pair, or trio, of station trash had jumped an Imperial Knight and his companions and gotten kicked about for their stupidity and bad choices.  Becoming immediately more polite, the lead officer now apologized and asked, "You said there was a third member of your party, My Lord?"  When Terin confirmed that, they asked for any details to help search for the companion.  After they got scant details from Terin the officers got on their comms and started spreading the message.  Soon, they were able to turn back to Terin and Jocelynn as other officers came to secure and remove the two thieves and tell them their people were conducting a sweep for Fesic.

Where he lay on the deck, Fesic knew he had a snapped rib or two from the sharp pain in his chest.  Glad those around him or passing him were just glancing at or ignoring him as they moved, Fesic didn't get up quickly after the first try earned him a sharp pain.  Soon enough, station security arrived and reported they found him after asking Fesic his name.  After confirming who he was, they offered Fesic medical assistance and he accepted that so they called in medical support.  Twenty minutes later, Terin was showing no ill effects for having kissed the floor and Jocelynn was in good shape when they brought them to where Fesic was being put on a gurney to be taken to medical services for bruised ribs, not broken ribs.

With Jocelynn and Terin there, they got permission to take Fesic in for treatment and then return them to the ship, telling Fesic he should be more or less OK in a few days.  The entire time after they got Jocelynn to where Fesic was, she was upset that she'd gotten him beat up again.  As part of the procedure, station security called the ship to get the captain and Rol took the call.  When he was told they had three of his crew who were involved in "a scuffle", Rol only asked if they had started the fight, and was told the station didn't believe the crew started things and that security had the criminals in custody.  After that, Rol thanked them and said the ship would be ready to receive the three when they arrived.  Of course, that was a couple of hours later because of the distance and the time spent treating Fesic and Terin.

While Jocelynn was very apologetic for getting them beat up, she was adamant she would not give up her revenge when Terin tried to point out how useless it was.  On the ship, Rol told the others what he'd just been told by security and was just getting into how little the officer told him when Terin called the ship himself.  When Rol saw it was Terin, he first asked, "Who died?" in a resigned tone of voice.  Terin said that no one had died but they'd been jumped by three guys in a concourse while they were walking.  Terin was very happy to tell Rol, "We captured two of them, security came, Fesic got beat up." as if he'd suffered no damage himself.  Shrugging that off, Rol asked, "What about the bad news?"  After the laughs that got, Terin said security was giving them a ride back to the ship and they'd be back soon.

At the hospital, Mikah was taken directly in to the emergency trauma operating room where they confirmed the wound was delicate but not complex.  Mikah's heart was under significant pressure thanks to the blood filling the pericardium, despite a plastic sheath cover and suction kit helping resolve her breathing issues, along with the use of a pressurized oxygen mask.  Mikah had still been out cold thanks to both medicines and the shock from her wound.  That meant they had to get the blood out of the pericardium and seal that wound inside her chest before they could clean her thorax up and take measures to prevent infection before sewing her up and letting her heal.  An early report to Zimzod said the doctors were working on the issues and expected she'd be able to get up and move about in a week or so.  He was told she would not be awake until the next day.

Zimzod was allowed to sit in her room and did reach out to their gift shop to buy some flowers for her, to be delivered before they expected Mikah to wake up.  That way, they'd be that much fresher when she woke.  At the ship, Terin, Fesic and Jocelynn have finally gotten back and Fesic had been brought back in a gravChair, just to be sure he was delivered without further injury.  When they were welcomed back, Terin asked, "Something really bad had to have happened for you to be left here in charge, so what happened?"

Rol ignored the insult, and explained, "Our guest arrived in a way we didn't expect.  Mainly through teleportation."  That stopped all three of the returning crew and Terin's head came up.  His ship had faced jump commandos during the war, and he'd barely managed to beat one in personal combat only through complete luck.  Still, he'd still been badly wounded and received his knighthood for those actions.  Continuing, Rol said, "And she came prepared to shoot us all.  In the resulting incident, Mikah jumped her and got shot,  She's in the hospital and Zimzod went with her."  Interrupting Rol, Terin asked, "What do you mean Mikah jumped her?  Why didn't you jump her first?"

Rol explained he'd been waiting until they were bunched up in a corridor to jump Leeta, and continued to explain the screwball kind of plan that only an officer could come up with because it was almost guaranteed to fail.  When Rol qualified his plan by explaining they'd figured out Leeta had to have been a Zhodani Jump commando, and he'd seen those things before, he said you had to attack them when they weren't ready for you.  Terin only said, "They're always ready for you.  You don't have a choice."  Rol defended his choice because a corridor changed how people moved and made it unusual enough that Leeta would have to change how she covered them and give him a chance.  But the others knew a corridor would only bunch them up to the point where one shot would rip through more than one victim and make Leeta's pistol that much more dangerous.


Where everyone is at the end of the session:

     Mikah: In recovery in hospital after surgery
     Zimzod: In Mikah's room at the hospital watching over her
     Fesic: Just back at the ship and needing rest because of his injury after a mugging attempt
     Terin: Just back at the ship and mostly recovered from his injuries after a mugging attempt
     Everyone Else: In the ship after the fight with Leeta or the mugging attempt

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Next: A Brief Pause In The Aftermath