Once down in the Inthe port "harbor", Ms. Vik left the ship with the rest. Making her way to the terminal, she wanted to check out the port.  Inger hoped to look for any information that would help the team.  Arriving at an information desk, she asked for a tour and presented her credentials.  As soon as the info-desk clerk pulled herself off the ceiling she buzzed the Administrator's office and made sure that Inger was made comfortable while she waited.  The Administrator's office said someone would be down to assist her.
When that person arrived, Ms. Vik was surprised to find herself greeted by a grey/black furred Vargr named Assistant Administrator Vougazgi(V-ow-gas-gee)!  Greeting him as he very obviously assessed her body, the assistant administrator told her he was at her disposal.  Pleased at the prompt response, but concerned at being sent a Vargr guide, Ms. Vik asked him to give her a tour of the facility as she played tourist.  She noted his uncertainty, wondering at the reasons for it, but he seemed to accept her request and took her on a very complete tour.
He included many areas where they were alone, as they walked, and took many opportunities to brush against or be familiar with her.  She realized quickly that he was physically interested in her, and decided to play along to an extent.  She felt she could use the interest, allowing the Vargr to play the host 'large' and encourage mistakes.  Given some lead, Vougazgi showed off his security clearance by showing her security spaces which required significant certifications.  She saw he was puffing himself up, as she'd hoped.  Some of his brags even convinced her he was involved in some kind of smuggling.  So when he asked her to meet for drinks later, she accepted hoping, to advance the team's investigation.
At the end of her tour, Ms. Vik was finally able to meet the Executive Director of the Inthe Port.  She found Executive Director Niebel was a Human and, as she met him, he was very guarded in his comments.  If she was as paranoid as Aiden, she would have thought him suspicious of her.  Inviting her into his office, Director Niebel went over her background and what she could tell of her travels with the knights?  He also did what he could to dig into the team's arrival in the port at new Port Dunslade.  Inger could appreciate his position, as strange as things seemed. Once he better understood her situation, he loosened up too.
After the ice was broken, Director Niebel was clear he was aware of, and working to resolve, the smuggling issues.  He discussed issues face by both the port and other local authorities.  While not specific, he told Inger to be careful regarding Assistant Administrator Vougazgi, advice she took to heart.  Toward the end of the conversation, feeling much more comfortable with her, Director Niebel offered Ms. Vik a contract position with security operations.  In the position, she'd be a "Supernumerary", investigating and advising him on closing up just such holes as they'd temporarily allowed to exist.  Ms. Vik was very pleased with the offer, not to mention the data and resources it would give her access to.
Inger was sure this would help the team as she accepted the position and headed to the HR section for processing and her credentials.  Returning to the ship at the end of the day, and before her "date", Ms. Vik told the others of her contact.  She also asked about concerns including surveillance and protecting herself during the "date".  Rol, the "contractor", became important, for both his advice on Vargr in general and his communications expertise.  As the team began deploying the bugs, sensors and other detection devices they'd bought in the Regina System, Ms. Vik changed for her date.  She chose to wear her slinky green party dress, to further encourage Vougazgi's mistakes.
Just in case, Inger chose to wear her ankle sheathed knife too, but left her fairly obvious (and illegal) shock cane on the ship.  As she changed, discussions erupted about planning an "emergency rescue team". and how any rescue could be mounted.  The big issue was that they had no idea where she would be taken on the date?  Rol explained the Vargr concept of "s'fisk" and the passion, from a Human point of view, of status in a society.  He suggested Mr. Vougazgi would try to use her as a "prestige date", to increase his standing among his fellow Vargr.  Of course, that raised concerns with exactly what a Vargr would see as "use for status"?
This did suggest the evening would start in public, before he tried anything else.  The team's men prepared the electronics and argued about a "high impact" hit team for a remote rescue vs a "low impact" follow and rescue team.  At the same time, Ms. Vik asked Mikah about an "EpiPen-like" sedative injector?  Doggie-downer drugs, in case Vougazgi "got frisky".  The team finally decided that, if Ms. Vik needed rescue, her plan was blown and they could explain anything to the police afterward.  All agreed that if Ms. Vik were too far afield for immediate rescue, the police would be called as an early distraction, giving them time to arrive.  The rescue team formed up with Brian volunteering to strap into his combat armor and Zimzod in his battledress.  Rol would also be in his combat armor, operating the electronics.  The fourth seat in the air raft was for Ms. Vik, after they had extracted her.The Date
With everything set up, Ms. Vik had her sedative injector, bugs, sensors and a tracking dot.  She then returned to the port via a car sent to pick her up.  The evening began when Ms. Vik arrived to find Mr. Vougazgi in a rushed and hushed conversation with a cargo worker!  Seeing her approach, he quickly told the worker to move off and brushed off the conversation without explanation while sweeping her onto an elevator.  They went to his office first, so he could sign out.  This also let him puff himself up for her on their way.  The conversation that followed, while walking to his office and as they left, had been fairly generic, about the events of the day.  But always slanted to show his authority.  Soon they were in a flashy convertible grav-car with the top down and Ms. Vik asked about where they were headed?
As Vougazgi said they were going to one of the top restaurants in town, the tracking was working perfectly back at the ship.  The crew watched as they made their way to a very large and imposing building in the up-town section of the city's "Vargr Sector".  The building looked, from the outside, like a high-class fortress and didn't disappoint when they entered.  Ms. Vik kept up a running commentary about the interesting architecture for her electronic audience as they passed into a long straight tunnel.  The tunnel led deep into the building's core, below the floor, before opening slightly into a coat check area.  Listening in, Rol and the others were certain sections of this passage could be "murder holes".  The station Ms. Vik saw was more than a coat check and was quite fortified itself.  The desk acted as a weapons check point too.  Uncertain if they considered blades weapons or just didn't find hers threatening, the Vargr posted there didn't demand her knife or even comment on it.  That formality over, her 'date' showed her around the check to the left onto what became a wide circular stair up to the next level which rose up almost to a dais above the center of the main floor.
Inger realized the club was, in fact, a center of Vargr interaction as everyone entering could be viewed, as if under a microscope, and judged by all those already present.  Each entrance was, and had to be, a grand entrance as the Vargr constantly competed with each other.  It was a most outstanding example of Sun Tzu's statement on the politics of social interaction as an extension of warfare.  On entering, Inger wondered just what she faced that evening?  Visually sweeping the place and commenting, she was unaware she was viewing the cream of the Vargr crop of Mr. Vougazgi's circle from around the city.  She was startled to see, near the dais itself, a Dryone standing!!  She'd heard of them, and even seen some from afar or worked with some on port business.  But she'd never casually been this close, and knew this was very out of place.
Ms. Vik's reports electrified Sir's Brian and Zimzod in the ship's air/raft bay, as well as Zach listening in the lounge.  She already knew she was Mr. Vougazgi's trophy as the room turned their attention on their arrival, with significant ripples in the observers.  Rol, the 'Vargr Expert' aboard, had warned her of this kind of behavior and she had to wonder if this was a broad gesture to move up the social ladder on Vougazgi's part?  A question quickly answered as he guided her to a table already occupied by two Vargr couples.  Things started quickly then, as Inger missed a culturally defined item and one of the female Vargr made a smart remark.  Ms. Vik crossed her off quickly, responding to the snark saying she wouldn't have missed it if it were important.  The males laughed as Inger obviously scored by defending the opening attack.
The males ordered a bottle to be shared by everyone, and Inger was again in the dark, though that itself was not the game.  Ms. Vik didn't know this particular subculture of Vargr liked 'living on the edge' even more so than most Vargr.  After the bottle arrived, drinks were poured all around without any questions asked.  And it was quickly clear all the Vargr were watching Inger, expecting her to make the first move.  Inger tried to wave the drink off but realized that was against the rules of "the game".  And Inger didn't want to hurt her "date" while still trying to get closer and learn what Vougazgi knew.  So she took a sip and was nearly blown out of her mind!  Slipping in sweet and light, the sip hit her stomach and went off like a bomb as her vision blurred for a swift moment and her awareness fuzzed out.  Catching herself before more than betraying the effects on her face, she regarded each of the observing Vargr, who then took a sip of their drinks as well.
Sensing she'd passed some kind of test as she recovered, Inger realized she wasn't out of the woods yet.  Each of the others took a sip, recovered and returned their gazes to her as if to say "your move" again.  Putting the effects of a single sip together with the social cues she could figure out, Inger tried to think fast.  It appeared the winners in this game were those who didn't lose consciousness.  And while she couldn't figure out how she'd take advantage of an unconscious male Vargr, she had little doubt how he'd take advantage of her body if she lost.  And she didn't have a clue how the bottled drugs would affect her birth control.  "OK", she thought to herself as she tried to formulate a plan in the face of this very potent drink.  Quickly pulling her wits together, Inger tried to fake sip this round and see what happened.  But she harbored no illusions that getting caught would be anything but disastrous.  Trying her maneuver, she managed to get only a bit of it in her mouth.  Still, the effects were impressive as she lost control enough to bang her head against the table before recovering.  She recalled thinking, 'That's gonna leave a bruise', after getting herself back upright.  She also caught reactions that could have been hope on the faces of the males and judgment on the females.
Fortunately for Inger, those expressions were short lived for three of her companions.  They drank and three lost out to the drink, two males and one female.  And while it was not her date that remained awake, the still surviving male made time to explore the now sleeping female's body before taking his turn.  This made it crystal clear what the stakes were for Inger.  And under what conditions she'd wake up if she lost to this male.  Now it was just one male, Inger and the one remaining Vargr female.  Still, Inger had found acceptance as the female Vargr turned to look at the male.  Realizing the numbers were on her side, Inger too turned on the male who, outnumbered, took a sip and promptly fell limp at the table as well.  Now it was time for Inger to learn how the females took their spoils as, a bit unsteadily, the Vargr female stood and reached into her date's pocket.  She quickly pulled his wallet out, emptied it of currency and returned it to the sleeping Vargr's pocket.  Inger was first alarmed at the behavior and stood, unsteady herself, before preparing to leave.  She was quickly told, since she won, her date's currency was now hers to take and those watching would judger her for any failure.  She was also told that if she'd lost, her body would have been his for the night.
Very definitely certain she had to talk to Dame Mikah about counter-narcotic treatments before her next date, Ms. Vik deftly emptied Vougazgi's wallet of Cr 800.  She also took the half-full bottle of unidentified drug.  The ride back to the ship cost Cr 50, and her last interaction before leaving the "club" was the most startling.  As she made her way from the table to the dais, to descend the stairs, the Dryone came to her.  It asked if she would date her Vargr companion again?  The sensation of its voice speaking galanglic was interesting.  She responded, "It was fun" with a smile.  The Dryone responded that it was surprised, but gave her a metal coin and allowed her to pass on and out.  As she sat in the cab, she examined the coin and found it odd.
On the "faces" side, there was a stylized figure of a Dryone dressed as an archaic warrior.  On what would have been the "Tails" side, was the address of the bar.  And while it seemed to be a standard advertising piece, it seemed to Inger that she was selected because of some special reason and the "coyn" was special also.  As Ms. Vik left to return to the ship, she had clearly gained standing in the Vargr community.  And that meant she could expect to be a target in their status games.  She also had insights into their culture which she hoped would help her protect herself as she dug into Mr. Vougazgi.  Inger also hoped to earn some coin as a high-security Starport contractor working directly for the administrator.  For now, she had a contact whom she could possibly develop information from.Afterward At The Ship
The Admiral and Scout Radetsky had also gained notoriety among the Vargr, without dragging the ship or the crew into it.  They seemed to have been written off by all as "very very lucky tourists", but would likely face challenges from any Vargr who recognized them, either for status or revenge.  Dame Mikah and Sir Zimzod had learned the city's government and authorities were divided by turf challenges and stuck in blame games.  Each of these "sides" saw the crew as new and unwanted players on the board.  Especially as they appeared, to the Chief of Police at the least, to have begun without so much as a 'by your leave' or the professional courtesy of a notification.  Waiting until she was back at the ship, the "rescue team" were preparing to stand down in the ship's air/raft.
Ms. Vik got back to the Pilot Error still under the influence, but otherwise OK.  When it was certain she would safely return, Aiden went to bed as did much of the rest of the crew.  On her arrival, Mikah and Zimzod took Inger down to the med-bay and Rol went to his stateroom to remove his armor and turn in for the night.  Checking Inger out medically, Mikah found her healthy but still more than a bit "under the influence".  Mikah had Inger take an oxy-adrenal, to burn off any remaining alcohol, and prescribed sleep before turning her attention to the half-filled bottle of liquid Inger returned with.
Zimzod offered to help Ms. Vik back to her stateroom and, though she waved him off, he followed her "just to be sure".  As they left, Mikah took a few slides of the mystery liquid before pouring a small amount into a spectral separator.  After nearly 30 min, Mikah identified the ingredients by base substance and began trying to figure what narcotics and non-actives went into the drink from their building blocks?  After a bit of work, research and some pure luck, Dame Mikah was eventually able to recreate the drink well enough that the rest could wait "till tomorrow".  She was surprised by the number and potency of the narcotics included in the drink as she entered the data in her notes.
Brian had been 'on call' in his armor with the Marines and Mikah, but had also decided to stand down.  He felt Ms. Vik should learn something from her experience, putting herself at risk that way.  To that point, he tied in the computer station in his stateroom to the ship's systems and 'adjusted' the time delay on the "Door Close" command for her stateroom.  He then changed into more comfortable clothes and stepped out of his stateroom into the lounge area to watch.  As Inger came down slowly to her stateroom, with Zimzod following at a respectable distance, Brian watched until she got close to the stateroom door.
Getting up and slowly making his way to his stateroom, he enjoyed the sound of her cry as the door closed on her, though he wasn't sure if there was the thump of a fall after the door closed?  Looking back, he verified all was well as Inger reopened the door and peeked out to see himself and Zimzod in the lounge area.  In his stateroom, Brian set his clock late enough to be certain to wake after Ms. Vik had left the ship the next morning.  Before going to sleep, Zimzod checked the ship's alarm systems to make sure the craft was secure.  Mikah was the last to rack out.
_________________________________________________________________________ Next: Day Two in the Inthe System