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Last Updated    October 12 2017
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The Aftermath and
           Leaving Inthe

After the Shooting Was Over

     The rest of Thursday was a blur for the team as the police moved in securing everything and everyone.  They were all pinned down at first, until law enforcement confirmed no targets had been missed, or had found a chance to escape in the confusion.  That was followed by checks to make sure "who was who" or "who did what, or should be charged with what."  Additional forces were sent to take down those not present who could be identified as having broken laws.  This was, of course, followed by hours of questioning, statement taking, documentation, identification, etc...  "Fun."  By the time the team returned to their ship, there was no interest in doing anything other than just plain dying in bed.


A Discovery From The Past

     Inthe Downport, New Port Dunslade, Republic of Inthe, Inthe(Regina)
The days after the shoot-out were a wild string of events.  The crew very seriously worked at security, because they'd pissed off all the most powerful and violent vargr gangs.  Amidst the activities, they all kept up on the news as they could.  While reading out-system news, Brian saw an ad that the company 'Starshield Books' had released the book "Twilight's Peak" by Livern Wen.  That covered the events surrounding the Twilight's Peak legend.  It also included events in 1105 and the actions of the Far Trader March Harrier's crew.  Their accidental discovery and exposure of a secret Zhodani military supply stockpile in the Fulacin System(Rhylanor).

The book also had supplemental reading on the Gyro Cadiz Fleet, a reputed treasure fleet, from the Twilight's Peak Legend and The Octagon Society.  A well-known bit of Octagon Society trivia was that the Octagonal shaped orbital starport in the Risek System was a former Octagon Society facility.  It was bought by the Risek System after the society's collapse.  As soon as Brian read the announcement, he sparked up a comms screen, filled out an order form and sent it via x-mail.  The entire process took minutes and cost him Cr 85 to send the x-message and Cr 25 for the book.  If things went as planned, he scheduled the book to meet him at the starport in the Jae Tellona System(Rhylanor).  Should everything go as planned, the book would arrive shortly before the crew did, on their way to the Rhylanor System.

Seeing another notice in the news, Brian read the Regina System had completed a new survey after the Fifth Frontier War.  This updated the spacial data for wreckage hazards in that system.  Remembering there was a market for information of value from system to system, Brian did some research.  He then bought a data reader program, written by a firm in the Glisten System(Glisten), for Cr500.  Brian also downloaded the new survey and updated the ship's nav-charts.  During his time on the computer, Brian also did his best to search through the news for items on his shipmates or himself.

His search, running in the background, hit on an old news item from the end of the Fifth Frontier War.  At first Brian read it because he couldn't see why it came up in his search?  But as he read, he saw the piece covered reports from the Jesedipere System(Aramis).  There, a unit of Imperial Marine Commandos had been operating for two years.  Elements of the 1,266th Imperial Marine Guards Battalion were stationed there to fight insurgent vargr groups in that system halfway through the war.  But accusations had mounted that teams of Imperial commandos had shifted from appropriately surgical tactics to bloody and careless methods, leaving many innocent sophonts dead or crippled in lawless massacres.  In response to the mounting charges, and because the presence of the commandos had become a reason to fight on its own, the Imperial command moved the unit to a "stand by" depot in the Heya System while moving in the famous Rangers unit led by Lt. Col. Steven Bond.

The piece of information most interesting to Brian and his crew was that the unit was commanded by a Major Rol Kaihvos!  He considered how that bit of information might have lit a powder keg on Inthe, where they were mostly working against vargr!  Despite having the time for only a brief search, Brian accepted that he couldn't find follow up articles covering any further investigations or listings of charges.  Concerned about what this could mean for their ship and crew, Brian pinged Mikah and updated her.  Very surprised at this information, Mikah asked Brian to see if he could find out more, including any possible charges or rewards that might be out there for Rol?  In addition to his adventures on the computer, Brian set himself to finishing up the necessary maintenance of the engineering systems.

Days Spent Relaxing, Shopping And Trading

     Mikah took time to continue her studies on engineering by helping Brian.  Together, they found some worn or straight-out busted parts, and replaced them using ship's funds.  Between the two of them, and with some help from Aiden, the engineering maintenance was done in time for a safe launch.  Brian was pleased when he was able to add a shutdown of the power plant and some needed work on that system to the schedule.  It also let him do an initial power loading(IPL) of the new computer configuration, bringing the newly installed memory module on-line.  With the ship's power plant and computer were back on line, Brian activated his data gathering software, planning to turn it off just before jump.

Through the days leading to their planned launch, Rol shopped via the on-line port mall for clothing supplies.  He also found a deal on a "one week" case of "Unseal and eat" self-cooking meal packs.  Other than that, Rol helped out as asked, kept up on his physical work outs, maintained his gear and generally kept a low profile.  Zach's excitement about getting his trading credentials survived the insanity of the shoot-out and legal frenzy.  When he got the chance, Zach jumped in with gusto, looking for either cargoes to speculate on in-system or small courier sized shipments to carry to Risek for hire.  He did eventually find three speculative cargoes that all cost significantly more than he had to spend.

The closest cargo to his means were four tons of crystals, and he eventually asked Mikah if she'd front him the cash?  She asked how certain he was about making a profit?  Answering that drove him to hours researching the crystals market in the Inthe System.  Only, he couldn't be as certain about profit as Mikah wanted.  So Zach was forced to walk away from the cargo.  Back at the ship, Zach found hope his research on courier cargoes had paid off.  Zach got a call about a Cr 50,000 payment if their ship would transport a cargo for a shipper to a friend in the Risek System.

At first, Zach was very happy with the contact, who asked him if they could meet to discuss the particulars?  When Zach said he'd meet the man at his location, the other suggested a café on the Inthian side of the port's extrality line the next morning.  Zach was so pleased he didn't think to ask about the shipper's reluctance to have the meeting at his own location.  Zach also didn't know Aiden had been checking into courier cargoes.  They finally caught each other talking about their research and talked about their common goals.  Zach said he was working on a deal at the moment, but didn't give Aiden the details.

Zimzod spent a good amount of time doing equipment maintenance and replacing parts damaged or worn over the past week.  He also split his free time studying starship gunnery and reading up on the Risek System.  In her free time, Mikah also kept up with the news and watched for any items on the subject of the missing Lady hault-Evers or her ship.  Mikah also checked on the stories covering the reporter whose son was shot in their ship's park bay, and was disappointed that even the death of her son hadn't slowed her greed, or need for the lime light.  Now, she was using her "grief" to build a small but increasing share of viewers with anti-nobility rhetoric.  While it was obvious she was actually in pain over her loss, she'd found a profitable outlet for her emotions.

Happily for Mikah, there were no signs of evidence in the media to connect the team and Lady hault-Evers.  And she got no closer to an explanation of the reporter, even after a call to the Chief of Police.  On another plus, the Chief had become much friendlier and open since the team had proven they were on his side.  That, and the fact they'd scheduled a departure date.  She chalked the reporter up to there being all sorts of people in her universe...

Rol and Ms. Vik got Cr 200 from the ship's funds to buy panels from the starport and repair gunshot damage to the ship's air/raft.  In her free time afterwards, Ms. Vik paid Cr 300 for a tour of the city and local attractions of note, and paid extra for a body guard.  Bringing her camera with her, Ms. Vik had a very pleasant time and enjoyed getting some very nice shots.  For his part, Aiden reached out to the Traveller's Aide Society, asking about "confidential small cargos", and was surprised when he was told "very directly" that TAS doesn't get involved with shipments "of that type" by the concierge.

Rather than challenging this, Aiden ended the call.  After that, Aiden helped with cycling the power plant and spent a good amount of time looking up data for antique handguns on Inthe.  He also looked for good documentaries on what older handguns might be available, and did some favorite searches for hand guns and parts.  Aiden then checked on sales and auction sites, but found nothing of real quality or interest.  The closer they came to their launch date, the more Aiden thought of the ship's systems.  As they were checking out the computer module, Aiden ran a query to see what programs the ship had in its flight library?  He found the basic maneuver, jump and navigational software as well as Target(allowing ships to fire turrets), Gunner Interact and a basic Library from which to pull "Library Data"(a sort of Imperial Encyclopedia).  Besides the basic targeting and a "gunner interact" program, there were no improved offensive or defensive programs that could aid in escaping any attacker.

After that, Aiden asked Brian about writing one and Brian dismissed the idea, saying they should just buy one when they could.  Emkir spent much of the day in contact with the press, because of the significant role the crew played in the previous day's events.  He handled lingering questions about the warehouse incident and the club party while having no problem playing up his role in events.  He also spent a good amount of time looking for sales of TL A, B, or C vacc suits.  While he found a vendor who could deliver, the prices were much higher than what the suits would be worth.  So Emkir passed the site by.  This was still a matter of concern, as his vacc suit had been an unrepairable mess since the fight in the Rech System.

Finally, after dinner, Emkir asked who wanted to go to the casino?  The knights agreed it'd be interesting and, after changing into casual clothes, they took the air/raft.  They enjoyed an evening gaming until the inevitable happened and one of the knights was recognized.  They were at first mobbed by gamblers and then casino security with a concierge, who's only complaint was to ask them to give the casino a warning next time they visited.  That way, the casino could protect the knights from the "rif raff".  The evening continued briefly, and the concierge asked if there were any "off menu" items they might want?  But they were just up for some fun.  Quickly the crowds and press made it clear they had had their fun for the night.  So they were escorted through the large mob of media that magically appeared outside to their air/raft and returned to the ship.  On the ship, Ms. Vik volunteered to take the first security watch of the night and to wake Aiden for the second.

Last Minute Plans Going South

     The next day, Zach prepared to meet with the shipper wanting to hire them and made sure to ask Mikah to monitor their comms in case anything went wrong.  He dressed in a business suit, hooking his dagger to his belt and took the port crawler to the terminal building.  Taking the in-terminal monorail to the correct building, Zach passed through customs, where a minor crowd of onlookers showed due attention when they heard he was one of the knight's crew.  Thankfully for Zach, that passed quickly and he made his way to the named café for his appointment.  During their encounter, the sender, a Mr. Daorum, described the cargo as 'collectable figurines', and the two agreed the ship would carry the cargo.  After that, Mr. Daorum gave Zach a Cred-Chip that was inactive but showed a KCr 50 value.  It also had the address to pick up the cargo.  Mr. Daorum told Zach he'd give the activation code for the Cred-Chip when they picked up the cargo.

Back at the ship, Emkir returned to the comms boards, where he not only responded to questions about the "shoot out" at the building but also about the impromptu visit to the casino and events of the previous days.  Emkir made many promises to various reporters that he'd call them if the knights were coming out in public again, but never once recorded a caller ID to contact.  The most intriguing calls he got were offers to pay them for interviews.  When he started getting bids, Emkir asked the knights if they were interested?  Brian asked 'why not' and Emkir accepted a Cr 5,000 offer for the knight.  He also continued playing up his role, not telling Brian he'd also accepted an offer for Cr 5,000 himself.  While Brian enjoyed playing mind games with his interviewer, everyone on the crew were unaware Admiral Meshrumiikiim was giving his own performance.

Getting back to the ship, Zach hoped to get either Ms. Vik or the Admiral to help with the port as he brought the cargo aboard.  Not able to find the Admiral, he asked Ms. Vik.  She turned the tables on Zach, asking about any documentation or even a verbal description of the cargo?  She found Zach had nothing, Zip.  Zero.  Nil...  Annoyed he'd ignored the obvious problems with a "huge paycheck for almost no information", Ms. Vik went with him to meet the shipper.  There, she'd protect ship and crew in case Zach brought back something stolen, illegal or, stars forbid, something The Imperium took a "specific" interest in.  Her recent encounter with the Dryone was still on her mind.  After all, it was a death sentence to be found in possession of Ancient artifacts.  And they tended to shoot first and ask questions only before they killed the surviving wounded.

Rol spent his morning taking care of his gear and going over his inventory before launch.  Finishing up, Rol found Zach and Ms. Vik preparing to leave.  He agreed to help reconfigure the cutter by folding the seats down into the cargo deck before Zach and Ms. Vik left.  Zimzod played gunnery games with his ship's weapons training simulator during the day as Aiden took a morning nap.  After the nap, Aiden watched vids and began cleaning up the flight deck while doing some studying with the astrogation training software.  The cutter flight to Mr. Daorum's address, interrupted by a brief stop at customs, was easy and uneventful.

Over the area, Ms. Vik got even more annoyed when she learned there were no markings for the buildings from the air and Zach had only gotten a ground address.  She suggested that calling the shipper would be a better way of finding the location than dropping the cutter to street level to look at the local signs as they flew by.  After a phone call, they located a described green building and set down while Mr. Daorum came out to meet them.  He was followed by a cargo laden robot.  That was configured on an eight-wheeled flatbed.  It had an upright "torso" with two 'lift and move' arms on each side.  The torso swiveled on its base so it could lift one box with the first set of arms and swivel to set it down on any transport while picking up a another box with the second pair of arms.  As they met him, Mr. Daorum was ready to start loading his boxes immediately.  He was a little surprised to see that Zach had questions, and back up.

With Ms. Vik's prompting Zach tried to slow things down, asking for any paperwork the man had including certification of legal ownership, a proper manifest of the goods, properly filled out customs declarations, etc...   Ms. Vik quietly thought about asking if he even had a gum wrapper?  The only thing the shipper allowed was for Zach to open a box and visually inspect some of the figurines.  Also, at Zach's request, Daorum printed out a shipping manifest from the robot on the spot.  Zach chose to inspect a box and saw the box was filled with ceramic figures about which he could tell nothing.  And the more things were delayed, the more the shipper's mood was "not" improving.  The more Zach asked questions, the more upset Mr. Daorum got, as it appeared the earlier agreement wouldn't be honored!  Soon, he not only gestured wildly while speaking in raised voice but also started to push at Zach, forcing the merchant to brush his hands aside or dodge each contact.

Finally, Zach and Ms. Vik announced they were calling the deal off and Mr. Daorum erupted.  At the same time, a door opened from the warehouse and three men came flooding out towards them with tire irons and other items.  They then made a sudden retreat, seeing the toughs, and Ms. Vik struck out with a cane she'd had but Zach hadn't noticed.  She used it to zap Mr. Daorum, who went down.  That gave them more time to slip back into the cutter and slap the door controls.  Zach rushed to the cutter's bridge while Ms. Vik called Mikah on the comms.  Mikah got their coordinates and called the police, who said that a car was coming, and asked if they felt safe staying on scene?  Zach figured they only had tire irons and hand-held weapons so he said, "Sure" as he looked out and down towards the ground.

Having risen straight up, Zach realized his attackers were in the conical blind spot beneath them, so he pushed some side thrust to get a view of the men below.  But he got a shock as they came into view and he saw one was standing braced with both hands raised and joined as if aiming a hand gun!  Zach realized they were drawing fire as he saw a puff from the weapon's barrel and jerked the cutter's controls.  He moved sideways, beginning to move evasively.  In the rear of the craft, Ms. Vik wildly grabbed for anything to brace herself with and, once secure, wondered if she could reach the back of Zach's head with her shock cane?  She also wondered if the resulting crash would be worth it?

Zach continued working to avoid the rising fire until three squad cars squealed in, responding to either Mikah's call or reports of shots fired.  After that, things calmed down real fast.  Eventually, the police operator told Mikah to have her friends land and give statements to the officers on scene as the bad guys had been arrested and secured.  After they landed, Zach checked the cutter hull to find a few bullet scars before he and Inger gave their statements to the police.  They were assured the charges could be pressed without Ms. Vik and Zach being in solar system, so long as statements were given.  At the same time, several of the officers were none too gently searching through the boxes of figures leaving a number of them broken on the pavement.

After working with the police, Zach and Ms. Vik went back to the ship empty handed and Zach gave up on trade attempts on Inthe to concentrate on completing a nav-plot to the Risek System.  Adding a level of whimsy to the day, Zimzod spent much of it working on his physical workout but took breaks to practice his stealth.  He did this by attempting to sneak up behind people and pounce on them with a powder filled sock.  If he marked them before they noticed, he won.  If they jumped out of their skins in fear, or hit something head first in panic when he pounced, he not only won but got a great laugh out of it.

When Inger and Zach returned, Zimzod decided to stalk Ms. Vik, to the point he'd just been reaching out to tag her.  Still very wound up thanks to the shooting, Inger surprising Zimzod as she spun on him.  Thanks to her frustration with Zach's lack of sense, the "moment of touch" came and it was Zimzod's turn to dodge as her knife cut the air he'd occupied!  Taken completely by surprise, with only his reflexes saving him, Zimzod called out, "Damn Bitch!"  He then backed off with a shocked smile on his face and perhaps that much more respect for the former port administrator.

Zach got working on the nav-plot and Aiden worked with him, hoping to improve his understanding of astrogation.  Zach called Mikah, to ask where they should plot their entry into the Risek System?  He said there were several points, including the Risek Prime precipitation point or another close to the system's gas giant, and a few others for other in-system destinations.  Mikah asked where they were going to be able to connect with the Marquis?  Zimzod, who'd overheard the conversation, joined in.

Zach checked his records and said the Marquis, Lord Credeath Omris Vyaus, had almost never been in the Risek System.  He spent all his time in Capital(Core) in the Moot.  The system was left in the hands of Seneschalate Officer Isabelle hault-Walters along with the Imperial Governor, Baron Antje Klausen.  Other authorities included the leaders of each of the three governments in system, the CEO of the SuSAG division and the Imperial Admiral, Admiral Lord Hoheluft Chauss.  Overloaded for the moment, Mikah demanded where they were most likely to be able to report to either the Seneschal or the Governor?

The answer was Risek-Prime, so that was the target for the jump, to contact the Naval HQ, Seneschalate and Imperial Governor on arrival.  Having done the math for the destination system, Zach plotted in the arrival vector and began aligning it with all the other bodies and hazards in the system.  The others worked while Brian took a break from his own work to cook a hot meal.  Seeing that, Mikah joined him in the galley.  While he cooked, they talked and hung out as the others slowly drifted into the compartment.  In the end, everyone relaxed until it was time to sleep for the next day's launch.  The ship was secured and they all drifted off to bed.

Liftoff Day

     That day, everyone woke to their individually set alarms and set about their duties.  The port was in contact as needed, and teams from the local and Republican authorities finished their business with the crew.  A final delivery of replacement ammunition from the Inthian Military arrived and was stowed for later.  The crew's Idents were again updated to remove their right to carry weapons.  With one last physical external walk around by Zimzod and flight deck pre-flights by Aiden, the ship was ready to lift, burn for orbit and the 100d limit.

Before jumping from the Inthe System(Regina), the hours of out-system burn from Inthe orbit went quietly.  The ship ultimately arrived at zero vee at the pre-planned jump point beyond the 100-diameter limit.  Having fine-tuned his plot during the burn, Zach had long since bounced his plot to the bridge.  There, Aiden spun up the nav-programs and locked the plot into the computer.  When they reached station, Aiden sent a final confirmation to Inthe Mainport control with their out-system flight plan.  That would be carried to Risek by x-boat as a standard policy.

While the report wouldn't arrive until after they did, it would trigger an investigation if the Pilot Error didn't arrive on schedule.  This was quite possibly what triggered the search for Lady hault-Evers' ship if it was not other supporting friends.  All proper procedures taken care of, Aiden traditionally dimmed and raised the lights as he hit the execute command.  This released the massive jump energies from capacitors into the jump grid.  Those watching from the ship's ports would be able to watch the growing light from 'inside the flame' as space briefly burned white before fading to the formless grey of jump.

Next: Risek: Bad News On Arrival