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Artistic Differences Over Breakfast

     By 10am, Munarshu was in engineering checking the ship's maintenance logs, hoping to learn a bit of the ship's history as well as its needs. At the same time, Mikah and Zimzod were sitting after having eaten breakfast as Rol cleaned up his galley. Having been joined by Aiden and Sir Terin, Mikah had asked about the concert? Both Aiden and Terin explained how bad they thought the concert was. As the men made it clear they were uncertain why they'd suffered the punishment of the so-called concert, Dame Inger calmly ate and said they just didn't understand the performance.

As Aiden complained that it had no harmony, Inger simply said, "Uncultured swine" and Terin compared the performance to the most widely known musical failures he could remember. At the same time, Munarshu had searched through the very short engineering log and again saw most of the listed work there had actually been done by naval engineers. This was an odd thing, as the yacht was a civilian ship. But, without any other guidance, Munarshu realized he needed to ask Dame Aali.

As he returned to the lounge, Munarshu heard the men describing the performance, which piqued his curiosity. When Munarshu actually said he was disappointed to have missed the chance to attend, Inger said she could get more tickets and they could go again. Hearing this, Mikah accepted the offer and asked Aiden if he wanted to go back? The pilot happily said he'd wave good bye with a big fuzzy finger and a laugh.

As the conversation moved on and Mikah reminded them that Zimzod and Terin's surgeries were scheduled for the next day, Munarshu said he was going to do some research on engineering tools. When Mikah asked which ones, he said he was mostly looking into a sonic probe and gravity screwdriver. But he'd look into other tools, to see what he found. Mikah nodded at his apparent commitment to his job as Munarshu sparked up a terminal to search on.

As he went about his research, Munarshu quickly realized that the sonic probe was legally questionable in the Rhylanor system. As he read up on the issues, Munarshu saw the probe was largely considered a "break and entry" tool, and could be a reason for arrest in-system. Still, it was available from some of the high end engineering shops on-station. But he saw that if he bought one, he'd have to be careful with its use off-ship. The gravitic screwdriver was a much simpler matter, because he had one of lesser quality already. So getting a newer and better replacement would be a simple matter.

As he finished up cleaning, Rol asked Inger if the invitation to the concert was open to everyone and Inger said "sure". Off to the side, Terin warned "Don't do it." in a stage whisper as the retired Marine said he'd be interested in going. Mikah laughed at Terin's words. Rol said he'd been in the hospital and was glad to be out and to get off the ship too. Aiden threw in, "You won't be glad for long." in a tone that held subdued foreboding. As Rol joined in, Zimzod told Inger she'd have to tell the port to bring the "armored limo", and got a laugh from Mikah.

A Pause In The Action

     As the others talked about the concert, Terin was more concerned with other options, like what the crew wanted to do "now". Rol admitted that it wasn't something they should do right after having breakfast, but suggested they go back to the restaurant they'd eaten in before the shooting. As those in the lounge looked at him, he said it would be a good way of showing they didn't blame the restaurant for what happened. He even suggested they could walk through the same passages and intersections they had before. To show they could. Rol also mentioned the fact that they'd all be armed and "ready for something to happen" this time.

Looking up from the terminal he was working at, Munarshu mentioned the ship's engineering logs, and said they appeared almost non-existent. When he asked what happened to the logs, Mikah happily answered, "Nothing", as if that settled the question. With a smile on his face, but in an authoritative voice, Zimzod said, "We keep things neat clean on this ship. You got a problem with that?" The way he said it made it clear he was taunting, but also suggested Munarshu would get no more of an answer from the XO than the Captain.

Munarshu admitted he didn't have a problem with the answer, but did ask if the older logs were maintained in an historical database somewhere? Mikah said they were somewhere, but followed that up saying, "But you can't look at them." before giggling. Zimzod followed that up, saying "I'm sure they're somewhere. I'm not worried." From there, the answers got less complete and Munarshu realized he wasn't going to get what he wanted from them. He decided to wait until he could discuss it with Aali.

Evaluating how her recovering wounds felt, and remembering that she had a full day performing two operations each on the following two days, Mikah decided to spend the day getting some light activity. She planned to walk around the station and said she wanted to go shopping. Not only to end Munarshu's conversation, but because she really did want to get out in the station's open spaces and relax. As Munarshu spoke up, saying he needed some items, Mikah rolled her eyes fearing he'd just find ways to continue the same conversation off-ship. Still, she was sure she could ditch him if need be, so she said he could join her.

Moving in a different direction, Terin said he would be going for a run, and asked if anyone wanted to come with him? This got a much less than enthusiastic response from those in the lounge. Especially with Rol, Emkir and Mikah having recently been wounded and Rol just being out of the hospital. Inger and Aiden said they also wanted to go shopping with Mikah. And Aiden especially wanted to hit a book store. Mikah didn't say she had any specific plans, but admitted she needed to go back to Instel-Arms to replace her executive armor. When Rol said he wouldn't join them, Mikah joked that they needed a defensive magnet to draw fire and Rol graciously ignored the jibe.

When Zimzod said he'd stay with the ship, Terin asked if he wanted to go out for a fun, saying he just planned five kilometers. Zimzod snorted back at him saying, "Running is for people who need to get in shape. This is prime!" as he indicated his body. As he finished verbally stomping Terin in a proud and firm voice, the rest of those in the lounge burst out laughing for a bit. Eventually they went to their staterooms to prepare for the excursion. While most wore shipsuits, Inger wore jeans and a tee shirt and planned to buy some shipsuits. Munarshu also went out in casual clothes and planned to get some shipsuits, now that he was not operating daily in a scout uniform.

As Munarshu had no rights and went unarmed while Mikah holstered her snub pistol, with ball ammo, on her thigh. Inger brought her blade in an ankle scabbard. Aiden hip-holstered his custom snub, loaded with ball and tranq. Terin planned to go unarmed, in a running outfit for his run. As the others prepared, or waited for people to arm up, Terin changed into his running gear. And when they gathered in the lounge, Emkir and Aali came into the lounge and Zimzod reminded Mikah they had wanted to call a crew meeting.

Endings And Beginnings

     Agreeing, and since everyone was there, Mikah had everyone take seats as she started with the decision what to do with Zach's remains? Mikah had already decided they would cremate the body at some point, but not decided if that would be before or after the funeral? Of course, Zimzod reminded them all that he preferred to use the body for target practice. Mikah reminded them that they'd already told the port they wanted a Darrian ceremony. So they settled having Zach cremated and Mikah assigned Terin to set that up after his run. When Terin asked about authority, Mikah logged into a terminal and sent a message to the hospital stating Sir Terin would be their agent regarding Zach's body.

When Terin asked if the body should be cremated before or after the funeral, Mikah admitted there would likely be a lot of people who wanted to come and make sure Zach was dead. So she told Terin to have the body presented for viewing in an open casket funeral before returning to the hospital for the cremation. When he asked, to confirm, Mikah told him the funeral was in four days. Two days after the last of the stent operations. Mikah also reminded Terin he had to have the body dealt with by a mortician, to be prepared for the funeral. As Mikah and Terin discussed Zach, Emkir told Aali he'd like to get a replacement for his executive armor and even suggested buying two to have one spare.

After the discussions over Zach's remains, Mikah and Zimzod told the group about Baron Sir Kelslundt and his tattooed friends. Zimzod explained how he'd met the Baron, and told them about bringing Mikah in and meeting the "Contact". No one had any doubts the couple were an underworld contact. This, Mikah said, was why she had to miss the concert the night before. It did bother the crew that Zimzod and Mikah couldn't say who the couple were connected to. Zimzod said the job was to deliver a cargo, unmolested, to a contact in the D'Ganzio System. He said it was stressed that the cargo be delivered outside normal channels. When the crew asked, Mikah and Zimzod had to admit they didn't know what was in the cargo either.

After the preliminaries, Zimzod delivered the "good news", saying the system was controlled by Instel-Arms, as a corporate depot for all operations in the Spinward Marches Sector! Zimzod told the crew that succeeding in this operation would allow them to become agents of the government, which presumably meant they'd be agents of Instel-Arms too. Emkir's first thought was that it sounded like a "Win - Win" for the crew. When Zimzod was asked how large the "cargo" was, he said the couple didn't say. He explained that they told the couple they might have less cargo space and were told that would not be an issue.

Of course, there were issues the crew needed to think about. The shippers wanted them to smuggle a cargo into an Instel-Arms controlled system and not tell Instel-Arms about it. Aali admitted to concerns about that, saying the deal had, "the distinct odor of fish about it." Sir Terin played "Captain Obvious", saying it was obviously a smuggling job, before asking if there was someone on the crew who could forge documents? When Terin asked if there was some hollow or place they could put the cargo to hide it, Zimzod leered and laughed as he said, "Stick it in the sex doll." That got a laugh from the whole crew and cut the tension as they talked.

Of course, there were even more laughs when Munarshu said, "Wait! Wait! Wait! It's mine now..." which left the door open for Terin to say, "If the sex doll's gonna get so much use from him and smuggling, it has to be sturdy." Getting back to the job, Zimzod was asked what was in it for them, and had to admit the crew would only get status as "Agents" for a government. Healso admitted he wasn't told directly that it was the Instel-Arms government. Zimzod also said he wanted that because it could get him permission to buy an FGMP-15.

When that gave Aiden a reason to ask if they really wanted to put that kind of firepower in Zimzod's hands, Inger spoke up. She pointed out that Zimzod had always used force properly in her experience. She said there had only been one point where he and Mikah had gotten into things over Mikah's gauss rifle, and Zimzod had been the one to get shot. So Inger was OK with that idea. Rol agreed with Inger, but reminded them that a person wants to find a reason to use it once you give them a toy. When Inger chidingly asked if they were blaming the weapon or the man, Mikah made it clear she blamed Zimzod for anything he might do with an FGMP-15 in the future.

After that, Inger made a firm statement that she felt Zimzod had proven himself responsible with military hardware. Rol just said, "It's dicey. And obviously something we don't want on the books." Then, Mikah taunted Munarshu, answering Rol's comment with, "A lot of people don't want stuff on the books. Like all of our maintenance records." Rol joked that this was the first he'd heard of the ship actually having maintenance records. That got a laugh from Mikah as Munarshu looked at Aali and asked her where the ship's records were?

Getting To The Meat Of Things

     When Aali asked what he meant, Munarshu pointed out that the logs on the engineering computer only went back a couple of weeks. He wanted to know where the last year's records were? Taking the steps slowly, Aali told Munarshu there were reasons why he wasn't able to see the full records. She also told him he was too junior on the crew to have that discussion yet. As Munarshu prepared to answer her, Aali assured him there would probably come a time when he could have the data saying, "They eventually had to tell me." As the crew backed Aali up, Munarshu found he had to agree with the Chief Engineer because he had no other options.

As Munarshu accepted the situation and backed off, the ship's share holders agreed they wanted to accept the job. Mikah asked Zimzod to make the call as Terin also suggested they should ask the size of the cargo container? Given his junior position on the crew, Zimzod shot him a look that said, "Stop pretending you know more than the crew, little boy. We know what we're doing." Of course, shooting a glance to say that meant not having to take the flood of jokes and negative responses he'd get if he spoke out loud.

Joking about the comments, Rol asked Terin if he was asking Zimzod how big his package was? Terin answered Zimzod's glare saying, "Well, judging by the size of guns he likes, his package can't be that large." That got a loud "Ohhh!" from the others, who expected Zimzod to possibly put Terin through a bulkhead. Zimzod answered the challenge nodding and saying, "So.. We'll be doing some zero-gee training later, I'm sure." When Mikah jumped in saying, "Oh Yeah, I still have to teach you that, don't I Zimzod?", he answered, "Don't worry Sweetie. I'll bounce you around real nice-like." with a growing smile. Terin took her comments as a path out of the conversation as he asked Mikah what the crew should do now that they would be in port two weeks at least?

Mikah considered selling of Brian's books and the parts he had recovered from the gravWreck and dead android. She decided to move the books forward, saying they needed to have the books scanned. When he heard this, Terin ask what books she was talking about and they explained about Sir Brian's book collection. Mikah said they had to be scanned before a sale could be set up. Both Munarshu and Terin were intrigued as they described the collection of centuries old, or in some cases millennia-old, books. As Terin wondered how much the books were worth, Munarshu suggested his mother might be interested in the books.

When Mikah asked if his mother had several million credits to spend, Munarshu corrected his comments tosuggest the university his mother worked for might be interested. Mikah shrugged as she off-handedly said, "Sure, they can buy them if they want." But her comments didn't address the fact that the crew wanted to sell these books in-system now, and it would take at least 2.5 months just to send a message to the University about the books. By the time that message got to his mother, they intended to be off world and on their way. So whatever argument Munarshu made to keep one or more of the books would have to be a strong one, given he couldn't even prove there was interest.

As this conversation happened, Inger was just amazed at the personality traits this new crewmember displayed. Admittedly, Zimzod had recently mentioned visiting his homeworld. And various members of the crew had written home about their good fortune, Zach a bit later than he should have given the turn of events. But Munarshu's this direct consideration was new to her. Emkir joined in, mentioning Munarshu's 'early to bed and early to rise' work ethic. Of course, Emkir suggested he just thought it made them all look bad. In any event, Mikah reclaimed the conversation making it plain she wanted to get the books scanned and then get them on the market fairly quickly.

And that left no time for the months of communication Munarshu suggested, unless he came up with a very good answer. Because he had an interest in at least one of the books, Emkir volunteered to head up the effort to get the books scanned. Mikah let him have it, since she certainly didn't want to have to do it herself. Emkir figured that once he started putting the calls out to look into who he should use to do the scans, word of mouth about the project would also get out to possible buyers too. So the process would, at some point, start driving itself.

The older members of the crew were happy Emkir had learned not to ask for written bids. And the high end collectors would likely be more restrained than the hordes of media networks who had hoped to score off the crew. As that issue was settled, Aali brought up the spare parts Brian recovered and said Wall-e had a record of all the parts and their condition. She did say that list had changed from point to point over the last months due to moving about. While she didn't go into details about why they were moved, everyone except Munarshu and Terin understood the subtext. Mikah asked Aali to go ahead and try to find buyers as the engineer remembered Brian's auctions, cut short the by the events surrounding by his death.

Aali figured she'd use the records Wall-e stored to start creating auctions for the parts. She planned to sell off the gravCar parts first. She'd save the 'droid parts to compare them to the units they were buying, banking spare parts or even replacing dead parts on the androids. Aali also considered saving some parts of the gravCar, as spares for their air-raft. With that settled for now, Mikah brought up the Darrian cybernetic parts and began another early conversation about doing something with them. Emkir's suggestion was to sit on them until they could get a good bid. But that didn't suggest "How" they could legally get any bids.

Terin said that he was at the start of his research on how to do that. He had to admit that he couldn't reliably estimate when he'd be done but hoped to have some better answers in a few days, delayed by his stent surgery. He groused that the research had also been interrupted by the concert the night before. So he was uncertain when he might have anything concrete. With his report on his newly started activities, Mikah asked if anyone else had anything to discuss?

After The Meeting Was Over

     Inger asked if it was OK for her to try to pick up side jobs with the port, and was told she could. Terin again asked what the crew should do for the time being, as they wouldn't leave port for two weeks, and was told to keep out of trouble. As they talked about that, the crew went over the steps those getting stent implants needed to complete. Asked to let the stents heal for a week, they would each then have a class on using the stent. TAS would set that up for Aiden, Zimzod and Rol where Terin would need to set his own up.

After that class, they would work on their own to make use of the stent and schedule their initial scans if they had cloning insurance. Of course, Sir Terin didn't need to do this as he was on record stating he was not interested in cloning. He only hoped to use the implant to improve his navigational work. So they wouldn't be stuck in-system even two weeks if they could get their various issues taken care of sooner. But there were recommended times they had to deal with.

After discussing the implants, Aali reminded Mikah that she'd not been taking off the monthly payroll since becoming a share holder of the ship. Mikah remembered that had been brought up before and opened up the ship's crew management files on a terminal to make the changes. This was important as they were three days away from the new month and pay day. Mikah also paid a pro-rated salary of Cr 130 to Munarshu for the six days of the current month he'd been on staff. While she did that, Zimzod pointed out Terin was an indentured servant and wouldn't get paid. Aali also voluntarily gave up the salary she had earned since she had been given a share of the ship back on Mora.

With the finances done, Aali asked about the fact that Munarshu was the only crew member who didn't have some right to carry weapons. She felt that might make him a liability in some circumstances. The first thing they did was review what their rights allowed them to do. Their rights to bear arms really only let them carry weapons in Imperial space, except where some systems and governments recognized the Imperial rights on their sovereign territory. Like Rhylanor. But, at the same time, all systems and local governments could restrict that right.

The crew had seen that in the country of Runips on Jae Tellona, where they had to have special negotiated permission to carry "any" weapons at all. And even on Rhylanor, they had been told they could only bear weapons of a non-military nature. So, even going out with just her gauss pistol was pushing it for Lady Mikah. The best solution was not to push the issue. If it looked like there was going to be shooting, or the shooting had already started, Munarshu could always be thrown a weapon. That is, if one had not been dropped already. Of course, that last got a few comments on how well it had worked out for Rol recently.

Mikah pointed out that Munarshu's ability to carry weapons wasn't something they were going to solve soon, and they started talking about shopping again. Emkir and Aali both wanted to go to Instel-Arms, to replace Emkir's executive armor at the least. So the rest of the crew waited while they hung weapons off their shipsuits. Emkir chose to bring his 9mm while Aali brought her snub pistol. Of course, as Aali reviewed her weapons, she considered she just might want to also buy a 20-round mag-fed snubbie too.

While they geared up, Mikah told Rol to order the ship's re-stock of food and then called for a vehicle able to carry the six shoppers. The comments about Rol being the cook surprised Munarshu, who'd only seen him cook one meal so far. This took a bit of explanation by Emkir and Aali, who jokingly suggested his cooking was the source of the war crime accusations. When they pointed out Munarshu had missed the day's breakfast because he was getting up so early, Munarshu decided he had to consider the new information.

As they discussed this, Mikah called a transport company and ordered a vehicle and driver for the day. As she confirmed the request, Mikah made sure to say that the vehicle should be durable if it wasn't armored. She then gave the berth and ship name, and her credit information and got no questions. As Mikah made the decision to have ne vehicle and a driver, Zimzod said they should make sure the driver kept the motor running whenever they were at a destination.

As the others got ready to head out, Rol pulled up the data the detective inspector bumped him while he was in the hospital. Calling, Rol identified himself and the Inspector asked if Rol would prefer they sent a car for him instead of him making his own way to the compartment? The officer then asked Rol when he'd like to come in and was estimated it would take Rol about an hour to complete the work. Considering it was about 10:30am, Rol suggested 1pm and the Inspector said they'd send a car for him. Once done with security, Rol started considering the food order he'd need to make. With nine crew aboard, that was 27 meals a day on average.

As he checked the calander, Rol figured he'd need to order three week's worth to re-stock what they'd eaten and also cover the next two weeks. Then, there would have to be another order before they lifted from Rhylanor to wherever they head out to. Eventually, Rol decided on 14 days standard fare and seven high. As he skimmed the port services sites providing foodstuffs for ships, Rol was able to find a deal for Cr 3,500.

Billing the ship's funds to pay, Rol told the caterer he wasn't interested in any of the other specialty items. Rol was told they'd deliver the food sometime that day and was asked to confirm someone would be at the ship to take the delivery? Rol asked if they could deliver it before 1 pm? Checking the current time, the caterer said they could do a rush order for an extra Cr 200. Rol didn't need to hear any more as he said, "Done" and they closed the deal.

While Rol was making his calls, Terin checked the location of the hospital where Sir Zachariah’s remains were, to see if he could do a run to the location. But he quickly found the facility was too far to run and figure he'd call them to set things up. When he had the hospital morgue staffer on the line, Terin started asking about the possibility of having the body prepared for a funeral and then returned to the hospital for the cremation?

But he was brought up short as the staffer reminded him they weren't a funeral home. Terin was told the hospital was only holding the body until the crew could decide what to do with it. Once they came to get the body, their role was done. And they certainly did not have the staff to prepare a body for a funeral viewing, as they were a medical facility. When Terin asked them for a recommendation, the hospital staffer pointed out the families or insurers generally handled that and the hospital could only advise him to check the port directory.

Thanking the staffer and saying they'd call again to make arraignments to move the body, Terin cut the call and checked the port directory for morticians. As the data scrolled off the screen, Terin realized he'd need to do some filtering. He tried the basic search cut for those who handled Darrian ceremonies. Even with that filter in place, the amount of data was huge. Figuring he might find a short cut, Terin called the Order's concierge to ask if they had a recommendation? Once asked, the Concierge he connected to made it clear that they "could" research a facility, but reminded Sir Terin that funerals were very personal. Because traditions and observances varied so widely, this was not an area the Order had a presence in.

They also made it clear it would take them a number of days to give him options that he'd have to start from square one with. Terin thanked them for their time and cut the call. Looking up, Terin tried to get Sir Rol's attention but the knight made it clear he was busy with station security. When Terin tried to suggest Rol make some time once he was done with security, Rol made it equally clear he was going to spend some time with security and Terin's insistence on interrupting was bothering him. Realizing he wasn't getting through to Rol, Terin set up a search for station-net sites which hosted customer ratings for funeral homes and went out for a run. Having pre-mapped his route, Terin planned to run five kilometers in a circuit to return to the berth.

Targeting Deals On Toys

     Once the transport arrived at the berth, the six crew headed out and found comfortable places to sit in the spacious cabin. As they settled in, the driver asked where they wanted to go first and the group quickly agreed Instel-Arms would be the first stop. Handling all the details, the driver called I-A to set up a parking space for his vehicle as he also introduced the group he was transporting. So, the crew found an organized contingent of concierge personnel waiting as they pulled up and began to debark.

Having been to Instel-Arms more than once, Munarshu came ready for a hike. He knew their venues tended to be large in the more important and populous systems, so he knew he could spend an hour or more even getting to the store section he wanted to shop in. The garish and noisy advertizing robots he expected didn't dissapoint. But he was surprised to see a neat formation of Instel-Arms people standing with datapads regarding the van as he debarked. And he was even more surprised when a Human female stepped up and introduced herself as his personal concerge for the shopping visit!

Munarshu was stopped flat-footed as this experience was very certainly different than his previous visits to their stores. When asked what he was interested in, the engineer told his concierge he was looking for personal and light weight armor. Nodding and saying, "OK", she led Munarshu to a small, four-person cart and climbed in herself. Once they were seated, the woman punched in some coordinates and they were off riding through the facility! Riding, Munarshu dealt with yet another shock as they rode the normally 15 to 20 minute walk to the personal armor section.

Along the way, Munarshu realized the tram was an android as it drove itself and the concierge turned to chat with him about his interests and armor needs? Munarshu divided his attention between her questions and their surroundings, not to mention the many people walking or using people movers and staring daggers back at him as they wondered how he rated a vehicle in the shop? To help in her advertising efforts, the concierge used the tram's windscreen, which was itself a touch screen datapad.

As they talked and rode, Munarshu narrowed the list down to a set of executive armor and a ballistic cloth armor load-out. He also brought up the idea of upgrading the firmware on his weapons. On that, the concierge told him they could send a messenger to his ship to recover his weapons so they could do the upgrades. Then she started explaining the fees that would be involved. When he asked if he could just do the work on-ship, they said it would be best done by an armorer. Of course, Sir Rol was an armorer and Munarshu realized he didn't need to pay for something the crew could do amongst themselves. So Munarshu decided to just shop for armor as they passed through many very flashy displays of almost everything else on the way.

One set of ads that did catch Munarshu's eye were those about the new advanced Laser pistol, fully operational with no backpack!(TL 16) When he asked about the pistol, Munarshue learned that each charged magazine powered five rounds. Cringing a bit, he asked about the costs and was told the pistol, with a magazine, cost KCr 30. And each extra magazine cost Cr 5,000. As Munarshu visibly cringed at the price, his concierge used his reaction to further dial in the economic footprint of her "client". In the end, Munarshu ordered a set of executive armor and an enhanced ballistic cloth bodysuit for a total of Cr 1,750. Once the costs were paid, Munarshu was taken to be fitted.

As she got off the van, as they arrived, Mikah was greeted by her personal concierge who hoped she was enjoying her laser pistol? Mikah said she was, and couldn't wait for a chance to use it. When the concierge reminded her they had firing ranges, Mikah said she might stop by during the next week, as she'd enjoyed firing it on their range when she bought the weapon. When he asked Mikah how they could help her, she said she needed to replace her executive armor and wanted to buy at least two or three sets of the armor. Without missing a beat, the concierge asked, "Is there anything else we can help with Your Ladyship with?"

Pausing, Mikah couldn't think of anything else she needed, and was told they had her data from the last fitting she didn't have to go through another fitting. She was also offered a break on the three she eventually ordered, paying Cr 1,000. When the concierge invited Mikah to browse as her order was made up, she agreed and he asked her what section she'd like to check out? After a pause to remember the technical details on her vacc suit's PLSS, Mikah remembered Sir Terin's issues and asked to look at survival supplies for the ship. She also admitted they had pretty near nothing when asked what they already had on the ship?

Boarding as he guided Mikah onto a cart, the concierge asked how much gear they could fit in their storage, and what capabilities Mikah was really interested in? Mikah told him they had the equivalent of a bare-bones world surface survival kit and four rescue balls. Then she asked what was "out there", looking for ideas. The representative said larger ships could carry a lifeboat. But, for their class ship, that wasn't an option. So the concierge asked if Mikah preferred space or surface-based survival gear. Mikah said she hoped for both.

Since Mikah was asking for the best of both worlds, the concierge felt the need to explain some parameters. He reminded her that space-based gear would provide extra vacuum and fire-survival options, and even range up to inflatable in-space habitats that could be deployed in an emergency. As for surface-based survival equipment, the rep admitted they could easily fill a ship the size of theirs with only a small sample of the equipment needed to survive in the many environments they could encounter.

Nodding, Mikah said she wanted a general kit she could give to each of her crew. When the rep went over the many options she could consider or focus on, Mikah tried to call her "survival expert", Sir Terin. But Terin didn't have his comms powered up as he enjoyed the clarity the run brought to him. Saying she'd get back to him on the survival gear, Mikah was asked if there was anything else she'd like to browse? When Mikah couldn't think of anything, the concierge invited her to see some things he'd like to show her.

When Mikah agreed, he drove the cart to a section containing pre-packaged survival kits. The concierge started with larger pre-packaged survival suites which took up large amounts of cargo space but provided many classes of options for emergency response and survival. Impressed with the huge array of options, Mikah had to admit they didn't have that much spare space to devote to an emergency kit. Nodding, the concierge led her to a selection of duffel-sized individual survival systems.

As she looked over the systems, each apparently was meant to break out into multiple items which could be stored in varying points on the ship, carried or stored in the duffel. This allowed each item to be placed where most useful in given situations. When she asked, Mikah was told these systems worked up from single-person systems to multi-person units. Counting the crew and considering Terin had his own survival gear, Mikah decided to buy nine duffels, to distribute to everyone except Terin. The ninth unit would be placed in engineering. The cost of each unit was Cr 1,000 so she paid the cost from the ship's funds.

Considering her own safety, Mikah asked about options and was told those were either vacc suit-based or combat-based. Outside actual armor, Mikah asked her options and was told about a variety of shipsuits which were made of ballistic cloth. They were more bulky than a normal shipsuits, but would provide regularly wearable armor in case of a surprise. Considering that a good idea, Mikah picked up two suits.

As Mikah left with her guide, the two concierges who moved over to Aali and Emkir from carts of their own, in case they wanted to shop for different things. When asked how they could help the couple, Emkir said he just needed to replace his executive armor and got a duly sympathetic reaction to his being wounded. Waving it off as just a flesh wound, Emkir said he wanted two suits of replacement armor and Aali said she wanted one. Since they, like Mikah, had already been measured, they were asked what else they might be interested in? Aali said she wanted a semi-automatic snub pistol.

Once they got to the snub pistol section of the venue, Aali bought a weapon handling 20-round magazines and got two additional clips along with the one that came with the weapon. She also bought an additional stock of 200 rounds ball ammunition. And both Aali and Emkir asked for some range time with Aali suggesting they have an instructor step in too. So they eventually spent Cr 1,850 for that as Aali took stock and came up with another question.

As Inger left the van, she was met by her personal concierge. Inger said she wanted a few sets of shipsuits and wanted to browse anything that was interesting. Once the woman confirmed she wanted standard suits, Inger was told they'd be Cr 10 each and the knight accepted the price. After that, the concierge offered the wide variety of weapons, combat gear and general spacer's goods the facility could provide. Pausing to think, Inger decided she could use a good pair of steel-toe boots. When those registered for Cr 50 a pair, Inger decided she'd buy two pair. Done wiht that, Inger suggested she might want to see personal armor options and they rode off in the cart.

As the concierges were totaling their order, Aali asked if they sold ballistic cloth based shipsuits? The answer was that they did sell them, though Aali was reminded that class of shipsuit was a fair bit bulkier than the standard garment. When Aali accepted that, they told her the cost would be Cr 1,500 each and Aali said she wanted a set as she also asked Emkir if he was interested? Emkir wasn't interested in those. As they talked, another cart rolled up with Inger and her concierge, to check out the personal armor Aali and Emkir were shopping around.

Greeting each other, Inger asked Aali's impression of the suits and why she thought they were worth it? Aali said it would be something one might be wearing day to day, in case of surprise. Inger couldn't see the logic of running around the ship expecting to be boarded by surprise but accepted Aali's thought while privately wondering if Captain Paranoid was rubbing off on the engineer? Still, Inger decided to drift with the others and see if they found anything that sparked her interests.

When Aiden stepped from the van into the care of his concierge, the pilot said he wanted executive armor, having been impressed with how it helped in the ambush. Having to be measured for the suit, the concierge had him join her on a cart as they rode off to that section of the store. As he looked over the display before purchasing, the concierge made use of the updating data on her hand-comp to see a number of the crew were opting for ballistic cloth shipsuits and offered the idea to Aiden.

Ever the counter-optimist, Aiden liked the idea and ordered an armored shipsuit. Once done with the mundane, Aiden decided to entertain his passion by diving into those handguns made of meticulously crafted pieces and sections. As he spent a pleasing amount of time touring those sections of the venue, he worked with the concierge to go through the books on handguns that he might find interesting.

As he was being fitted for his armor, Munarshu decided to ask if the concierge could recommend any local weapons clubs where he could get some range time? She told him Instel-Arms had ranges on-site. When she asked if he was interested in getting in some range time with a loaner weapon, Munarshu said he would. He also remembered that he'd first come out to get shipsuits and asked about options? Once he heard about the ballistic cloth suits, he ordered three in a grey/blue pattern meant to fade into machinery. As he reviewed former combat training exercises in his mind, Munarshu's memories sparked again.

While finishing with the fitting, he told his concierge that he "had to have" a shotgun. Given the data-feed coming across from the other members of his crew, the concierge was surprised, but confirmed that he wanted a simple shotgun. When Munarshu agreed, she ordered up a simple Cr 750 combat-rated shotgun. At his asking, she added in 490 4-guage rounds at a credit each and 10 HEDP fragmenting anti-armor rounds for Cr 150. After that, it was off to the firing range for Munarshu.

Aali and Emkir went to the range to fire off rounds with Aali's new snub pistol and Emkir's 9mm, each spending Cr 50 on ammo to use. Mikah soon joined them to get some practice with her snub pistol too. Munarshu eventually joined them to test his shotgun, spending Cr 25 in ammo. Inger watched and took notes on the performance of the variety of weapons used and chatted with Emkir as they both had 9mm handguns. While the others were on the range, Aiden continued to browse the gun sections and go over books with his concierge as she dreamed of a real client and commission.

Terin's Wild Run

     Several clicks into his planned run, Sir Terin was on a concourse with a number of bars when a group of men burst out into the concourse. It was immediately apparent to Terin that a brawl was spilling out into the concourse and that the drunken battle was blocking his way forward. Not wanting to abandon the way forward, as these fights generally burned out fast, Terin looked for a place to take cover so he could watch things develop.

Not expecting much, Terin found that taking partial cover turned out to be a wise precaution when gunshots sounded and everyone else started diving for cover too! Backing deeper into his cover, but still watching, Terin saw a man half in and out of the bar's entrance who started yelling, "That's right! I'm armed!" in a tone that let all in hearing know he thought the gun made him a God! The man continued, daring anyone to come and kill him before laughing a bit maniacally. All Terin could think was, 'and me without my weapon'.

Shrugging as he turned on his comms, Terin flinched at the sudden blast report of a shotgun as he was about to call port security. Terin saw the fired blast had sent the now wounded former-God spinning out of the doorway to collapse on the edge of the concourse as his blood began to pool around him. As security answered his line and Terin thought, 'Sux to be him.' the navigator could see what looked like the operator of the bar emerging from the door with a shotgun held across his hips. Looking over the weapons as he began identifying himself and the compartment number of the concourse section he was in, Terin could see this was a standard, "no frills or add on's" weapon. A work tool and no more.

When asked the situation, Terin was direct, "There was an asshole with a gun and the bar owner put him down with a shotgun. You might want to get here sometime real soon." The tone of voice Terin used made it clear the comment was not a slight but recognition responding officers would possibly need to cover some ground to arrive if there was not a local patrol. The dispatcher thanked Sir Terin for the report and said they had units responding. As he cleared the call, Terin could see some of those in the concourse had risen and a shouting fight was starting, as friends of the now wounded man took issue with the bar man's actions. And his friend's began a defense of the shooting.

Terin watched things start to devolve faster as factions formed over specific disagreements about how events played out. Different groups seemed willing to fight over issues from 'if the barman should have fired only in defense' to 'if they should have let the man run out of alcohol fumes and rounds in his magazine'? In such an erudite gathering of educated elite, Terin simply backed into his cover a bit more and waited for security to show up and take them all off to an "official conference site".

As a few of the wounded man's friends moved forward, claiming they wanted to help the man, the bar man raised the shotgun threatening all to back off from the dropped weapon. Realizing the direction things were moving would soon lead to more bleeding bodies on the ground, Terin decided it was time for a Knight of the Imperium to do "something". And the something he chose was to announce himself loudly, and demand everyone put their weapons down as he advanced from cover. Looking at Terin, the barman acerbically responded, "Well, Sir Knight. Since I'm the only one armed, and these morons wanna grab a weapon, I'm not gonna be putting anything down any time soon. If you wanna come and secure the weapon on the ground, then I'll be willing to put my weapon down."

Terin firmly announced, "Done!" as he advanced to the dropped handgun and bent to pick it up by its barrel. Of course, the man's comments incited more shouting and threats, though only Terin was actually moving as he crossed into the center of the fight, to the gun. And just as ironically, as he knelt to take the weapon by the barrel, the first security vehicle rolled up. So, as he stood, Terin was brought under the aim of responding troopers as they ordered him deliberately to put the weapon back down and raise his open hands.

Raising his hands after gently setting the handgun down, Terin considered identifying himself as the officers shouted instructions at him. Once he'd complied enough for the shouting to die down, Terin identified himself as a Knight of the Imperium who was intervening to restore order. After he spoke, he was thanked and told to stay in his pose until they were ready for him. Soon, four vehicles were on scene and enough officers that one called Terin to slowly move towards his vehicle.

Once close enough, and "wearing" a good number of laser-dot aim points, Terin was told to stop and asked where he had his Ident. After he identified where he carried it, an officer moved cautiously forward to retrieve it before stepping back before examining the credentials. In the meantime, more officers were moving in to disarm the barman and take him into custody, and to secure the wounded man and onlookers so they could bring in medical support. Soon, the officers returned his Ident and asked Terin how he was involved in the shootout?

Terin briefly explained that he'd been out on a run and suddenly found his way blocked as the fight broke out. He said he waited, hoping it would die down, and once the man with the gun was shot he wanted to calm things down and secure the weapon so there would not be more shooting. Terin could sense the change in the officer's attitudes as one of them asked, "So you're one of those people who doesn't realize exercise is fatal?" Having had instruction from a center where they could review the video from the concourse, Sir Terin was told his testimony had been confirmed.

But they also suggested that the next time he saw an incident like this he, should call security and stay clear personally. Terin missed the chance to say "Thank You Officer" and pointed out that he did call security. That gave the officer a chance to point out to the self-important nobleman that the important thing was to stay out of the situation after making the call. After Terin thanked the officers, they let him go on his way. As he continued to the end of that concourse, and not much further along his planned route, Terin was passed by a hovercraft which then pulled over ahead of him.

A Stray Shot From Left Field

     As the gull-wing doors opened, a very well-dressed man stepped from the vehicle and started waving for Sir Terin to join him. Not able to recognize the man, Terin could only tell that he appeared rich and his vehicle had no identifiable markings. Coming to stand by the man, Terin said, "Good morning Sir. How can I help you?" The man introduced himself as "Harlo" and said he had been in the bar to meet some people and cut a deal. As he talked, he said the folks he planned to meet must have gotten frightened off by the shooting. Harlo continued that he'd been impressed when he saw Sir Terin step into the fight to calm things down.

As Terin looked for any sense of purpose in the man's comments, Harlo said that he and those he had planned to meet had set their meeting on neutral ground. But now that the meeting had been blown, Harlo had to go to their berth in order to complete their deal and he hoped Sir Terin would be willing to help him balance things out, with the authority inherent in his rank? When Terin seemed uninterested, Harlo offered Cr 5,000 if Terin would help? Still not on board with the idea, Terin mentioned that he was not armed and was obviously not a "brawler type". Calming Terin, Harlo said he thought that Terin's "just being a Knight" would balance things.

As Harlo worked to convince Terin there was no danger, Terin pointed out that Harlo hadn't expected the bar meeting to go bad either. Harlo answered, "My people didn't screw up the deal, some drunk did." Letting that slip past, Terin asked what the meeting was about and Harlo said he was buying some equipment from a guy. When Terin asked the guy if he was a merchant, Harlo said he was the owner of a ship. When Terin assumed it was a merchanter, Harlo corrected the Knight that he owned the ship and had a Captain working for him. He even asked Terin if he were looking for a job? Terin said he already had a job, though he kept the details to himself.

Still, Terin decided he could use Cr 5,000 and said he'd help. Once that was decided, Harlo invited Terin into his GEV and they rode off to a somewhat rundown concourse. On the plus side, as they rode, Terin noticed he had a message from Lady Mikah and called her back to see what was up? Unfortunately for Terin, Lady Mikah was on the weapons range at that point and he got her voice mail. Leaving the message, "Just calling back. Talk to you later", Terin cut the connection and settled in. On arrival, they found the berth entrance guarded by two men with weapons.

Looking past them, All Terin could see was the open cargo entrance to the ship, which appeared mated to the station seal. This suggested the ship had docked "seal to seal" and wasn't in a bay but connected to the outer hull of the station. Terin figured the ship must be over 2,000 tons as they rolled up to the guards and the driver rolled his window down. As this happened, the driver pointed to Harlo, who said he was there to meet a person. The name he used meant nothing to Terin. The guard said something into a comms mike and waited before pointing at Terin and asking, "Who's the other guy?"

Harlo grandly answered, "This is a Knight of the Imperium." and gestured to Terin saying, "Sir?" Seeing he was being invited to introduce himself, Terin said, "Yes, I'm Sir Terin Yundis, Companion of the Knight Defenders of the Marches." The guard heard this with a look that suggested he was trying to figure out how that changed things? Still, he told the driver to pull the hovercraft into the cargo bay. Once parked there, the gull-wings rose and Terin and Harlo stepped out as others of the ship's crew also arrived. Most of them were armed with low-grade weapons. Revolvers and a few shotguns.

Being on the ship itself, Terin realized that meant the enforcible law was now amix of Rhylanor and "theship's law". Terin considered the looks of things, with himself in a running suit, his "patron" in a suit which certainly cost several thousand credits and a gathering of armed ship's crew. The most heavily armed among the crew present was holding an ACR. In addition, some of them looked to be expecting trouble because they'd apparently grabbed some body armor too. Despite this show of force, Harlo didn't seem to be concerned. As Terin tried to look important, an apparently ranking crew member arrived, saying "So! Harlo! I see my choice was better than yours." and clearly enjoyed rubbing the situation in Harlo's face.

After a pause, the new arrival asked, "Did you bring the money?" Harlo turned to signal his driver. The man opened the vehicle's trunk to withdraw and open a briefcase and displayed a large cache of "physical" Imperial currency! This took many forms across the Imperium, with more advanced forms in the more advanced systems. In Rhylanor, each note was actually an acrylic, silicon and electronic amalgam shaped into a pocket-friendly mini-tablet. Such financial instruments could be plugged into verification devices to confirm they were authentic and provide other official details. Ultimately, the art and denominations would be printed on embedded plastic billets sandwiched into the bills.

Like a scene out of any covert-exchange vid, the man stepped up with a device that shot five lasers into specific points on a number of randomly selected notes while also connecting to two ports on each selected bill. The data resulting from the various test had to come up with a number of expected results and images in order to prove each tested instrument was authentic. And there seemed to be no issues with the cash at all as far as Terin could see. As one man tested the currency, another counted it and made a comment Terin and Harlo couldn't here.

Once the man was done with his tests, he looked up and said, "Harlo. You're 20,000 short." Terin's optimism sank as Harlo began to negotiate and the security unlimbered their weapons. Keeping calm, Terin listened as Harlo's efforts started going downhill quickly. Considering his experience, Terin looked for anything he might have experience in. He also reflected that Harlo being KCr 20 short on that deal didn't speak well for him being good for the Cr 5,000 he'd promised the knight. Looking for any hint of either a pay day or a chance to get out of this without shooting, Terin noticed Harlo had almost no jewelry besides a very fancy watch.

When Terin mentioned this, the lead crewman ignored Harlo for the moment, to turned and ask Terin, "OK. Are you even a real knight?" Terin said he was. Pointing to Harlo, he said, "Any real knight would know the watch he's wearing isn't worth the KCr 20 he's short," showing the man had noticed Terin's appraisal. After that, Terin and the man exchanged comments over what they each thought the other should know as the temperature in the bay dropped. Finally, the lead crewman asked if Terin was really with Harlo and Terin admitted he'd hired himself out to 'lend some authority' to Harlo's bid to do business with them.

Terin could see that had an effect on the equation as the man asked, "Are you enforcing the authority of the port?" Terin admitted he was just out to earn some extra cash, missing the chance to name drop some of the members of his crew who "Would" have been able to bring the might of the port down on any target. There was a pause after Terin spoke before the man asked Terin, "If I gave you Cr 500, would you forget you saw any of us?" In the pause, he measured Terin with his eyes. Realizing this road had come to a very definite fork, Terin said "I know nothing." as he took that branch of the road that meant he was going back to the ship instead of a hospital or morgue.

As Harlo viciously tarnished his silver-spoon raised lips cursing Terin out, one of the henchmen came forward and fished in the briefcase. The man pulled a Cr 500 instrument from the case and stepped over to hand it to Terin. Terin was then escorted back out of the berth as the lead crewman pleasantly said, "Goodbye." And once out of the berth, Terin spend an extra half hour running to get back to the Hotel California for the extra distance he'd ridden in the hovercraft. This was helped by the extra adreniline coursing through his system. But all in all, Terin was pleased to have gotten out of there with his skin after hopping into a vehicle with a stranger who had no references or background.

Browsing The Bling

     As the others spent ammunition in the Instel-Arms ranges, Aiden finished his shopping and bought Cr 50 in books covering antique mechanically-built handguns. Done shopping, Aiden settled in to read through his book for a brief time until the others prepared to have stuff delivered to the ship and were ready to return to the transport. As they boarded, Aali asked if they could next visit a jeweler's, so she could have the lanthanum and Tellona diamond ring sized. Taking a recommendation from the driver, as they had no associations on-station, the crew soon ended up in a shop where Aali presented the ring.

The jeweler was duly unimpressed by the lanthanum metal despite its value as a starship material. However he was much more impressed when Aali pointed out the gemstone chip was a Tellona Diamond! This even caused him to gush a bit, wondering where the knight had gotten the stone? He even mentioned that there had recently been a Tellona Diamond auction on-station. The man was truly excited about two such stones appearing so close together, because it suggested a larger supply while demand and prices were both up for the stone at the moment.

When Aali suggested that she preferred to watch as the jeweler worked, the man did his best to hide the insult he felt. He pointed out his shop and staff were fully bonded and insured. As everyone's hackles settled, the man explained the process of sizing the ring so that both Aali and Emkir fully understood the process, and the time it would take once they left the ring in his care. Eventually Emkir and Aali agreed to have the ring sized for Cr 90. Agreeing to leave the ring overnight to be worked on, the paperwork was done and the ring secured in the jeweler's safe as a recpit was handed over.

And as the couple worked with one of the staff, Mikah was disappointed to not find any loose stones for sale. Still, she browsed until she heard Emkir asking the man if he and Aali could see the shop's collection of Tellona Diamond jewelry? The man admitted that the stones were very rare and the shop didn't have access to any to sell. Twisting the knife for her own pleasure, Mikah raised her hand and said, "What? I have one." in a tone that inferred the stones could not be all that rare. And while few there intentionally showed off their rings, the man added two plus two and realized Mikah's ring matched Aali's as he began looking at the hands of the others.

There was a moment of astonished silence as the man began to realize the number of Tellona stones in his shop at the moment. When the man, and his staff did start speaking again, they seemed to have all turned to a very "business-only" manner, asking only those questions which were needed for any transactions. Still, they were friendly and interested in helping the crew with anything they were interested in. But they did make an effort to keep the special treatment unnoticed by those few other shoppers in the store.

As Mikah browed, she got a call from Terin and took a few moments to answer. Terin had been back at the ship, reaching out to funeral providers to deal with Zach's body. Once Terin explained to Mikah what he'd been told, Mikah made a face at the cost and gave him permission to make the deal with an annoyed sigh, before cutting the connection. Turning back to the shop's offerings, Mikah felt she needed a change of attitude and made the idle comment that she could use another set of earrings.

Saying, "...because I can't always wear the Starburst earrings", several of the staff nearly tripped over themselves trying to help her. And as they started asking about materials, styles and any other property of ear rings, Mikah turned to Munarshu and said, "Gladys? Watch and learn." She then slid comfortably into being served and cared for. At the same time, a very well-dressed man came out of the back of the shop. The man stopped to take a relaxed breath and made a point of looking over his domain, before the manager approached her saying, "Lady Kirlim! It is wonderful to find you in my shop.

The effect on everyone in the shop was instant, as the crew realized they had been identified and braced for the reactions of those suddenly in the company of celebrities. The staff of the shop realized just how much more special the group they were dealing with were and the very few other shoppers found themselves sharing rare air indeed. Of course, the many weapons the crew wore insured there was no rush "to meet" where someone might mis-read the action, given the recent news. When Mikah's clerk asked her what material she wanted, Mikah said she liked Lanthanum. The worker apologetically admitted this was rarely used as a fashion metal.

He did quickly say the shop could easily get some of the metal to work with. After that, the clerk began showing Mikah various pieces in styles they could cast from lanthanum for her. Asking what stones she preferred, the Manager stepped in to apologize that Tellona Diamonds couldn't be offered. Mikah was very friendly as she said she wasn't interested in another Tellona Diamond. She then went on to say she'd seen enough of Tellona diamonds to last her for a lifetime. This, of course, stopped everyone who'd heard it yet again, as they tried to justify what they knew of the value and rarity of the stones with Lady Mikah's attitude.

Despite the reactions of the others, the manager just nodded knowingly as Mikah asked what they had in rubies? Leading Mikah to a display, they begin showing off the styles, cuts and settings they had. The clerk said they could easily pull the stones from an existing setting to mate it to a set of lanthanum pieces to match. The collection in-store, as well as that presented in video but able to be ordered in under a day ranged from the 'easily affordable' to 'jewelry for the elite'. Their most expensive set of ear rings were priced at KCr 250, which was well out of what Mikah was looking to spend. She did spend a few seconds examining the set, which was created from gold, silver, iridium, rubies and diamonds.

As Mikah checked out the bling, Aiden asked if they made anything out of ship's armor or other heavy duty composites? Assuming the knight meant to have something worked out of a keepsake lump of debris he'd carried out of the war, they said they hadn't worked on a medium like that. They did know such products were asked for from time to time. Mikah admitted that her piece could just be plain gold or platinum rather than lanthanum. When she said this, the clerk and manager introduced a collection of pieces made to represent the many Counties, Duchies and other political organizations and fiefdoms that made up the Marches and nearby Deneb polities.

When she asked, Mikah was happy to see if they'ed create a pair of ear rings representing the Domain of Deneb's new Unicorn insignia? While they didn't have any pieces in stock, they could order pieces and set the vid to display and holographically project examples. When Mikah saw a piece she liked, she asked how long it would take to make? The manager asked if they needed to rush the order? When Mikah said they only planned to be in-system for two weeks or so, they said it would only take a week's time at a normal pace and cost her KCr 30.

As they began the paperwork for the sale, the manager asked Mikah if there was a special occasion she was shopping for and Mikah said there wasn't. Munarshu kept his comments to himself as the others were used to this sort of thing from Mikah. Deciding to continue "welcoming" Munarshu to the crew, Inger caught his attention as he browsed and said, "You should get something for your mother." This comment got a good laugh from the crew members in the shop and smiles from the staff. They had no clue what was so funny, but were willing to join in because these customers were important.

The manager went over the details of the ear rings with Mikah, pointing out the two pair of brilliant rubies in each of the two unicorn heads, placed in the eye socket and nostril, were imported all the way from the Ruby system. This was ironic, considering her service in the neighboring Emerald system. But soon, the man moved on to point out the 24-carat gold-base sculpture, highlighted by micro-platinum "piping" to bring out the lines of the Unicorn head. He then finished up with the descriptions of the ten round cut diamonds which equaled five carats in total. Station

Following the jokes at Munarshu's expense, Inger couldn't help considering her stolen jewelry as she browsed the shop's selections. Mentioning on her lost loot, Aali asked if anyone else had followed up with the JAG to see what had happened with the complaint investigation? When no one spoke up, Inger suggested they should. As the chatter died out with the plans made to follow up once back at the ship, Inger looked for something that would complement the lanthanum ring. The nearest clerk suggested she couldn't go wrong with something in yellow gold.

When she asked if Inger wanted a ring that interlaced with the lanthanum ring, Inger said she was also looking for ear rings, like Mikah. Examining Inger's ring, which was a clear stone mounted on "bronze-ish" lanthanum, the woman started offing choices of yellow or white gold, platinum, iridium and various colored precious stones. As Inger looked over the pieces in the display, a pair of emerald-set gold earrings caught her attention. She liked that they would match most of her party dresses. When she asked to see the pair, the clerk drew them out and Inger was able to catch the cost of Cr 2,000.

Looking closer at the pair, they were made in a "drop stone" style with the emeralds surrounded by a spray of white semi-precious stones. Looking in a mirror, Inger was pleased at the "green planet surrounded by stars" effect against the flaming universe of her red hair. After trying them on, Inger went ahead and bought them. As Mikah and Inger made their buys, the others browsed but no one saw anything that really caught anyone's attention. So they were soon enough heading back to their ride and talking about the next stop. When Munarshu suggested shopping for engineering and ship-support tools, Aali agreed and they were off.

As they rode, Mikah saw she had a message on her comms from Terin. After hearing the knight's message replying to her earlier call, Mikah called him back. Making a bee-line back to the ship, Terin was almost at the berth when Mikah's call came through. When Terin asked how he could help her, Mikah said she'd earlier called to get his opinion on survival gear, but they'd already bought it so it was too late. As Terin asked, Mikah explained what she'd bought. Terin made some comparisons with his gear. Mostly that the new gear came with fire survival gear. Soon after the call, Terin arrived at the ship to find Zimzod relaxing and watching vids and Rol making lunch.

Lunch Plans And Paybacks

     After the others had left, Rol had ordered the food and set an appointment with security. Around 11am, as Rol did gear maintenance, the caterer arrived. As usual, the representative activated a small troop of androids that loaded the food order into the ship's galley. Once that was done, Rol relaxed until it was time to start cooking and even adjusted his ingredients as Terin returned from his run. Terin went into his stateroom to shower and dress as lunch was cooked. While in his stateroom, Terin hid the Cr 500 instrument.

As Terin went to leave his stateroom, he found Sir Zimzod blocking the way after opening his door. Surprised, Terin asked, "Sir Zimzod?" and the First Officer asked, "Hi Terin. Wanna get in some zero-g practice?" with a menacing grin on his face. Terin said he would but would like to eat lunch first, and check up on his research. Affecting a surprised tone, Zimzod said, "Wow, I thought you wanted to practice in the cargo bay the way you were shooting your mouth off earlier." Terin responded, "I do. After an hour to eat lunch and check my research." in an easy voice. Accepting that, Zimzod said, "Ok then, let's grab chow."

Once done with lunch, and after cleaning up, Rol checked his emails and found the usual requests and offers for appearances and interviews. There were a few from TAS, which Rol actually read because of his experiences with that network. The TAS requests were invitations like the others, asking if he wanted to make further interviews? They also asked after the crew, and especially those who'd been aboard the Dawnstar Horizon. He was even offered a "Finder's fee" if he helped convince those crew to participate.

After Terin finished eating, he checked the search he'd set up and found it listed a huge number of computer sites which would provide ratings for funeral services and cremation. As he started manually checking each site, the first level of refinement was to ignore those sites that required a paid membership to check out ratings and reviews. The few other sites he checked into seemed to be listings of thousands of links by the name of each Funerary provider. Each time he clicked on a link, Terin would see another monstrously large list of items which varied in the type and apparent quality of data entered by the reviewer.

Trying to make usable sense out of so much data, Terin only checked a few links from a handful of sites before he accepted that there was just too much data to do more than take one of the positive reviews at its claims. So Terin made his selection and called a mortician's contact to be greeted by a representative who asked how he could help? Terin said he represented a ship which had lost a crewmember recently and needed to hire a firm to retrieve the body from the hospital and prepare it for a viewing. Then, to recover the body after the funeral, cremate the remains and deliver the ashes to his ship.

As the representative started asking questions and Terin started giving names, he could see the bells ringing behind the rep's eyes. It quickly became apparent the man knew exactly who Terin was talking about and everything that had been publically released. Including the fact the Duke planned to be involved in the funeral somehow. When Terin asked about costs, the man said a lot depended on the combat damage to the body, as they wanted the viewing to be open casket.

The estimate was between KCr 5 and 10, and would be firmed up once they had custody of the body. Once he had some information to give, Terin said he needed to check with the ship's captain before he could give any authorizations and cut the line. Calling Mikah, Terin got the approval to proceed and called the funeral providers back. Getting the same representative on the line, Terin said the ship's captain had approved the price range and was given the explanation of steps that had to be taken.

First, Terin had to call the hospital and grant the providers permission to take custody of Sir Zachariah’s remains. Then, he'd need to tell the port about the providers, so they could interface with each other to get the body to the ceremonies. They would even send files to Terin, identifying the vehicles and personnel involved. So there were no questions when it came to identification and security. When Terin agreed, and signed off with them, he quickly received the file and made the calls to the port and hospital.

Done with that, and wondering what to do with the rest of his afternoon, Terin turned from the terminal to see Zimzod hovering over him...waiting. After flinching from the initial surprise, Terin responded to the knight's evil smile saying, "So impatient." with a nod of his head. As the two regarded each other, Zimzod asked if Terin was ready to go "play" and Terin said he was. After securing his terminal, Terin and Zimzod went back to the cargo bay to turn off the gravity and "play".

More Fun On The Station

     Stopping at one of the many engineering services and support stores along the way, Munarshu went to investigate the gravitic screwdrivers in stock. Using gravitic force to push or pull or apply force to connecting screws, bolts, etc, the hand grip was an electronic work aide. As he checked the offerings, Munarshu found a more advanced unit than his failing screwdriver for Cr 500. Aali, who'd followed her junior engineer in, saw what Munarshu was looking at and made it clear she approved of the buy. They then considered buying microfoil, but decided they had enough supply of that.

As expected, when Munarshu looked for a sonic probe, he found the device was largely considered a "burglar’s tool". So the chain they were in didn't sell the device. Checking the port-web on his net-connected glasses, Munarshu also asked Aali if the ship had a portable densometer? Aali said it did as she and the others browsed the shop. Eventually, Munarshu's search brought back a few dozen sonic probes for sale with a bulk of them on auction sites. Trying to ignore the auctions, Munarshu tried to hone in on the top quality items. But he found those were only being sold on the auction sites he wanted to avoid. Even worse, many were not even pictured in the sales.

Eventually, Munarshu realized he wasn't getting a probe and paid for his screwdriver before they moved on. Munarshu said his best suit was fifteen years old and he'd like something new for the concert later. Inger jumped on that bandwagon, saying she needed a new dress. And once that started, they all agreed to stop for lunch and then go to a clothing store. As they rode, Aali said she didn't need anything despite Emkir's suggestion she get something fun and frilly. But she was used to life in the scouts and a lack of room for a large wardrobe. Checking that space, she and Emkir shared a stateroom and the storage there.

The place they stopped for chow was "middle of the ground" and cost everyone Cr 20 each. As they ate, they saw their first signs the media were awaren of their activities. Then they moved on to a mid-style scanner-based clothing store. As they arrived in the shop, Munarshu made it clear he was looking for the sort of suit which would be fitting for a concert. Inger did tell him casual dress was accepted, but if he wanted to dress up, he certainly had that option. The staff at the shop were ready to help with a suit and wanted to know what accessories he needed as well? As they talked, Inger admitted she liked to dress up and Emkir said that it was worth the wait to see Inger dressed up.

As they talked about the kind of suit Munarshu wanted, and Inger suggested a casual suit, Aali reminded them all Munarshu would need a suit for the funeral too. Emkir chimed in, reminding them Duke Leonard would be part of the funeral and Inger suggested a casual suit for the concert and a more formal suit for the funeral. Munarshu suggested a single suit with some other shirts and accessories which were alternatively formal or casual. Eventually, with the help of the shop staff, Munarshu spent Cr 1,200 on a single civilian Vilani style suit with an additional shirt, shoes and basic accessories. Once that was decided, they led him off to be scanned and begin the fabrication process.

Mikah spent the time looking at options and decided to go for a Solomani style grey business suit with slacks and flats while Emkir worked to convince Aali she needed more sexy frilly things. But Aali waved that off as Inger looked for something "not green". "Not green", for Inger, meant purple and white. Mikah's suit cost her Cr 1,000 as Inger went for a knee-length party dress showing a bit of cleavage. The shoes were matching two-inch pumps and a pair of white gold and amethyst ear rings. These eventually cost Inger Cr 1,500.

While Aiden had the suits he'd bought on Mora and wasn't going to the concert, he considered the upcoming funeral and thought about combining needs. A new suit should be solemn enough for the funeral, and also have the ability to be used casually. Next, he wondered if they could make it out of the same ballistic cloth Inger had a suit made from? When he settled on a black suit with accessories, it ended up costing Cr 2,000. With no one else adding to their wardrobe, the crew went out to the van to see a much larger media contingent and Mikah made the decision it was time to return to the ship. Despite the barrage of called questions and requests, even Munarshu acquitted himself well as he repeated the mantra "No Comment" and they got back aboard the van and returned to the berth.

Meanwhile, The Others were...

     Once the station security vehicle arrived, Rol went out to give his statement on the attack at the trade show. Despite the event having happened only just over 100 days before, Rol had the feeling it had been years since then. Still, he was able to recall the event in enough detail to give his testimony. All his comments and answers were recorded and he was placed under the restriction of a testifying witness during the process. It did help that the authorities had a full video of the attack, which allowed Rol to assume the roll of narrator and commenter on the events. Eventually, after half-hour trips to and from the station and an hour giving testimony, Rol returned to the ship.

As Rol entering the berth's lounge, he could hear what sounded like Zimzod...giggling. As he stepped into the lounge proper and asked, "What's so funny?" Rol saw Zimzod giggling at some kind of comedy vid while Terin was on the other side of the lounge working at a terminal. Stopping and looking closer, Rol realized Sir Terin was all bruised up. As they greeted each other Terin answered the unasked question glumly, "We did some zero-g training." After Rol replied, "You don't seem to have had much training." Zimzod laughed out, "Dude! I used him like a beachball!"

Looking at Terin, Zimzod happily continued, "Dude, you bounce off ship walls real good." Terin did reflect to himself that he did learn something despite Rol's opinion. He learned not to piss off Zimzod. Rol only nodded and said, "Well, you're lucky he went easy on you." Zimzod admitted to Terin that he'd set the grav-fields so that they never actually hit any walls. Anyone getting too close to a surface would be repulsed back, though this often used some interesting levels of force too. Of course, he said this with a level of condescension making it clear he could have made things a lot worse for Terin.

When Rol asked when his next training session was, the unspoken answer was, 'When the bruises heal.' Done with the conversation, Rol settled in to ask about his run? Terin told Rol how the rest of his day had gone. After that, Terin returned to work on his research until the rest of the crew returned while Rol went into his stateroom and busted out laughing for a bit. Then, he returned to watch vids with Zimzod after laying out the suit he planned to wear to the concert. Before watching the vids, Rol snuck a chance to take a picture of Sir Terin and his bruises.

At a point in the afternoon, a courier from Instel-Arms arrived and dropped off gear from a shotgun to duffle bags marked as survival gear. Zimzod took charge, as First Officer, and had the gear moved into the ship's locker until it could be sorted. Zimzod did checkout the shotgun and nodded because it was effective. Nothing special, but effective. When the bus-load of crew returned and the bills came to Cr 6,000, and Mikah paid.


Dinner And Deliveries

     Once back at the ship, Mikah saw Terin's new 'coloring' and went up to slap him on the back and ask how things were going? She didn't know how he'd gotten beaten up, but enjoyed the flinch of pain that resulted from her slap. Straightening up, Mikah asked, "What happened to you?" and Terin said "I'm probably a little bit tender there." Zimzod jumped in saying, "He's probably tender everywhere!" with a huge smile on his face. Explaining he'd done some zero-g training with Zimzod, Terin returned to researching the cybernetic parts and planned to do that for the rest of the evening.

As Mikah finished with Terin, she asked those planning to go to the concert if they wanted to have dinner aboard the ship or at a restaurant? They agreed to eat on the ship and Terin joked, "Eat light", suggesting they might see the food again on their shoes thanks to the concert. Rol asked the returning crew how the shopping went and Mikah said, "It was fantastic." When Rol asked about anything significant, she told him about the various armored items the crew had bought.

After that, Rol updated her on the cost of the food he'd ordered. With Rol's report, Mikah took a shower, changed cloths and relaxed until dinner was ready. Told the gear had arrived from Instel-Arms, Munarshu recovered his toys and looked around the ship's locker for a spare datapad. He was disappointed, based on what he'd heard about Emkir's datapads, because there were no longer any spares aboard.

When she returned, Aali settled her new items and then began setting up auctions to sell the parts from Brian's gravWreck. When Munarshu came back out from the ship's locker, Aali asked him to help her with the auctions and explained how they got the parts and hadn't sold them yet. Because the data on all the parts were in a file provided by Wall-e, it was a simple process of researching the parts to see what they were selling for on the station before grabbing the basic blurb from some site selling them new and then setting a price. The most important part was setting the terms of delivery, so no one was coming to the ship unless they had proven credentials. The two worked on that until dinner was served.

Inger called the JAG, to ask about their stolen goods and was told they could only say they were following up leads and had no new information on the case. While Inger was doing that, Emkir called Captain Musnim and checked on their application status. When he got Musnim on the line, Emkir asked if he'd had fun the night before? The Captain asked, in a very cautious voice, if that conversation was covered under Admiral Saigacrem's umbrella? When Emkir assured the man it was, the captain formally said, "I have decided it is in the Imperium’s best interests to certify your ship to carry x-Parcels." Emkir smiled to himself as he answered, "Excellent!"

The Captain told him they should get notification early the next day, and Emkir repeated "Excellent!" Emkir thanked the man, telling him the crew appreciated his help. The Captain looked Emkir in the eyes and said "We appreciate your service to the Imperium." When the Captain asked if there was anything else he could do for them, Emkir said he was grateful for the help and they were all set. As he cut the line, Emkir started thinking about the need to have a safe installed and updated Mikah, asking where they wanted the safe?

Mikah said they wanted it in the cargo bay and they discussed the size of safe to order. They checked on the sizes available and realized they could have a three or five ton safe installed. And the maximum cargo carry amount was 5 tons, so they decided to get the five ton safe. That would take up seven tons of their cargo bay. As they did that, Aiden put his purchases away. Aiden then grabbed an e-reader and sat in the lounge until dinner, reading and "enjoying the entertainment" that was Terin's condition.

As Rol started cooking dinner, Zimzod said he was ready to make the call and tell the tattooed man they were taking his job. Mikah said they should call the crew together again to discuss it once more before they made the call. So they called a crew meeting. Once everyone was together, Zimzod reminded the others they had talked about the job and this was their last discussion before they accepted it. Munarshu was of the opinion that he had no say, as hired crew. Rol suggested they make sure to keep a full tank of fuel.

Inger asked about the pay again, and they discussed that the only real compensation was in possibly being made agents of a government. Beyond that, they would get a payment of Cr 10,000 and the benefits that being a government agent would provide. When Aali asked how many jumps away this was, they checked the charts and saw they'd have to jump from Rhylanor to the Equus system. Then they'd have to jump to the Skull and Resten systems, moving into the Lunion subsector. Next, they'd jump to the subsector capitol, Lunion, before passing through the Rabwhar system, on the very edge of the empire's borders. Finally, they'd jump to the D'Ganzio system. So it was six total jumps.

That was also one jump short of the Lanth system. When they asked about how to get to Zach's homeworld, to deliver their body, they started to discuss how they'd get to the Gothe system. They saw they could run the Imperial border in a rimward line and then cut spinward to the Five Sisters subsector to get to Gothe. If not that, they had to continue spinward through the Vilis subsector and then turn rimward through the Darrian Confederation. When Zimzod asked again if anyone objected to taking the job, Inger asked if 'credentials for a gun' were really worth all this?

Zimzod made it clear he thought it was worth it and even Sir Terin said that being agents of a government could open doors for them. Rol countered that, saying it could close door too. When Inger asked if this was really worth the price of the weapon, she was reminded this was not paying for the weapon. It would just give them permission to shop for the weapon. When Zimzod said he hoped that doing a favor for Instel-Arms would help them cut the price down, they talked about how there was no evidence they were doing Instel-Arms a favor. For all they knew, they could be helping someone smuggle something into the system which Instel-Arms didn't want imported.

As that point was made, it became clear this could put them on the wrong side of Instel-Arms if it went bad. Terin joined Munarshu in admitting he had no vote. With a smile on his face, Zimzod joked, "You're a servant. Shut up bitch!" and got a lot of laughs. When Rol brought up the legality of the unknown cargo, Zimzod and Mikah both said the tattooed man had said the cargo would be completely legal. Rol said he'd hardly have told them if it was illegal, and they all had to admit that was true.

Still, Rol said he was neutral on the job. He would do it to help out Zimzod, but saw no other reason to do the job or not want to do it. Aali admitted that she felt she was in the same place Rol was. She only wished there was some indication what was in the cargo they'd be shipping? When Zimzod suggested they could find a way to open and re-seal the container, both Emkir and Aali said that was not an option given the encryption on a cargo seal. Rol warned that they could possibly activate something explosive or significantly destructive opening it in their own cargo bay.

Still, Rol and Aali admitted the crew needed to start setting up jobs on their own and those jobs would include risks. And they were troubleshooters, so they had to run the line and take risks. As Aali admitted that she felt they 'had' to take the job, Emkir said he was willing to take the risk in hopes of a good reward. When Emkir said his one reservation was that they didn't have a good record not getting caught with things, Rol joked that there was always a first time. Getting serious, Rol pointed out that they had to establish themselves and this would help with that.

As the crew discussed the ramifications of the job, they all began to agree this was about more than certifying one crew member or all of them. And they agreed they needed to establish themselves. They needed to move beyond their past record and become known for doing jobs and who they helped. In the end, they all agreed this would be a first step and felt there were no obvious negative implications for the Imperium. So Zimzod called the contact number the tattooed man gave him and found himself talking to the woman instead.

Surprisingly, the woman appeared to be near the top level of a high-rise spire, dressed in very expensive professional garb which appeared to cover up all the tattoos on on her throat, face and hands. In addition, it seemed she was in charge of, and pausing, a meeting of executives. Looking down at her comms as if she were communicating with him every day, the woman said, "Sir Zimzod. So pleasant to see you. Do you have an answer for me?" Caught by surprise, as she was obviously not your garden variety air-head after all, Zimzod said, "Uhhh... Yeah." as he was a bit stunned. When she raised an eyebrow, Zimzod continued, saying "We decided to do the job..."

When he got that far, she interrupted him saying, "That's wonderful! I'll have my people contact you about the details later on." and she cut the contact! No sooner had he been hung up on by the woman that there was a buzz from the berth. Reacting to that, Mikah said, "Wow! that was fast!" When Mikah answered, she saw a delivery person at the berth entrance with a box. When Mikah asked who he was and what his business was, the man said his delivery firm was paid to deliver a condolences package. Not sure what that meant, Mikah looked at Munarshu and said, "Hey Gladys, could you go out and get that?" Aali said, "Don't open that on the ship."

Saying "Sure", Munarshu went out through engineering and grabbed the portable densometer before heading to the berth entrance. Once he was standing opposite the delivery man, Munarshu scanned man and package with the densometer through the plexiglas. What he could see of the package suggested sub-packages within the main one, appearing to contain small and neatly organized substances that showed some level of composition variation. When Munarshu tried to fine tune the scan, it appeared the items were not "hard-dense", so they didn't appear to be solid objects.

Not having any more real data than he had before, Munarshu decided he would sign for the package and at least get a shot of the delivery man's ride as he seemed ready to just leave anyway. Once he had the package, Munarshu brought it into the cargo bay as the most presumably armored compartment in the ship. Once there, he opened the package, which was not wrapped to be difficult to open, and found a plastifilm sheet that read "condolences for your loss, from the Open Skies Corporation". As soon as he reported that, Mikah and the others started laughing, which confused both Terin and Munarshu.

As Munarshu asked who Open Skies Corporation were, he could see through the sheet of plastic to the stacks of boxes of chocolates below it. Mikah first said, "They are no one you have to worry about." with a chuckle. When Munarshu reported that it looked like chocolates, she told him to try one to the laughter of the rest of the watching crew. Munarshu simply stated, "There are many things I'm willing to do as ship's crew. This is not one of them." He also pointed out he was not the indentured servant, but said he didn't think the stuff would go boom.

As he seemed to be investigating one of the boxes, Munarshu asked what they wanted him to do with the delivery? Mikah said to put it in one of the rooms off the central berth space. And as he did that, out of view of the crew, Munarshu took and wrapped four pieces of chocolate from one of what turned out to be ten boxes. And, the name was that of a fairly high-end chocolatier! Munarshu closed and also took the opened box but put the rest of the chocolates in the berth galley. Eventually, Munarshu returned the densometer to engineering and made a stop in his stateroom, to store the box and wrapped chocolates out of view of the others, as he returned to the lounge.

Once the excitement was over, Emkir got on the comms and started looking for information on a place to have scan Brian's books. Not going to the concert, Emkir planned to spend the whole evening researching the best place to hire. Aali also was not going to the concert, and planned to meditate on her stent in their stateroom. After eating dinner, Inger changed into her new dress and prepared for the concert. When she considered a weapon, Inger felt her hip holster was just not going to cut it. Thinking about her shock cane, Inger realized it wasn't a significant defensive weapon. Eventually, she decided not to wear a weapon at all. Mikah changed into a casual skirt and blouse with her gauss pistol in a thigh holster.

Rol dressed in the suit he prepared and wore his snub pistol from a hip holster. He loaded half the six shots with Tranq and half HEAP. Munarshu wore his suit and couldn't carry any weapons. Zimzod put on a suit and carried his K-bar visibly, while having two of his throwing knives in a left-leg under-slacks scabbard. Not going to the concert, Aiden decided to read a bit, watch vids and relax as Captain Paranoid felt it not smart to go out on the station by himself. Terin planned to continue his research and recovery from the bruising.

The Evening's Events

     Of those who went to the concert, Rol really enjoyed it. He even liked it better than Dame Inger. Munarshu and Mikah thought the concert was "OK". It wasn't something Mikah, Munarshu or Rol would do again if it was the same music. But they weren't sorry they went and had a good enough time. Still, after the first ten minutes of the performance, Zimzod said "I'll see you later" and left. When he would be asked later, Zimzod's view was that, while he did not agree with Aiden much and didn't know Terin, they were 100% correct on this concert. Before Zimzod left, Munarshu offered his four companions a piece of chocolate each.

Rol asked, "Where did this come from?" and Mikah accepted one saying she planned to save hers for later. Inger took hers and munched on it right out as Rol examined the piece and noticed it appeared to be very high-end chocolate. Very appreciably, after swallowing the candy, Inger asked "Where did you get these?" in a voice that suggested she'd leave 'right now' to get more. Munarshu told them these were four pieces of the chocolate which were delivered from Open Skies. As Mikah told Inger she'd observe the former administrator, Rol tried his and it tasted...really...good!

Recognizing the name of the chocolatier, Rol mumbled, "Oh Man! I've been wanting to try these guys for a long time." Still not certain about them, Mikah looked for a way to wrap hers up and save it so it didn't melt. At the same time, Zimzod ate and enjoyed his before asking Munarshu for another one. Munarshu said he brought a box that started out with 12 pieces, so he had eight more. The rest were in the galley in the berth. But he did give Zimzod another piece. When Rol said he wanted to experiment with the chocolates, Munarshu pointed out there were nine more boxes in the galley at the berth.

Still, despite the chocolates, Zimzod eventually left them and went to a bar to see if he can get laid. Leaving the theater, Zimzod checked into a number of the places nearby and found the prices too high, the people too over dressed and too snooty for his tastes. So he grabbed a Cr 15 cab out of that area of the station and asked the driver to find a good drinking bar. When the driver asked some questions about his tastes, Zimzod made it clear he was just ship's crew and had been brought into the wrong part of the station.

Getting a hint from their conversation, the driver dropped him at a working class bar where Zimzod's suit set him apart almost as much as his visible blade sheath. Still, there were no fights and Zimzod was very friendly with everyone, even raising a toast or two. But after spending Cr 40 on drinks, the knight ended up spending another Cr 20 to get back to the ship without a friend in tow. On the way back from the concert, Munarshu dipped into the chocolates himself as he shared the rest of the box.

On the ship, Terin had confirmed, on the cybernetics, that he'd have to sit down and have a heart to heart chat with the captain about dealing with the underworld. There were no other options he could see. Emkir spent the evening researching who to hire to scan Brian's books. By the evening's end, he narrowed his search down to four or five facilities advertising they served a number of museums and confirmed the claims were true. So these five would be the ones he'd like to meet with, and perhaps bring one of the books as an example. Alongside him, Aali worked on the auctions alone after Munarshu left for the concert. Aali was saving the 'droid parts until she could compare them with the 'droids they were buying, and see if any of them were useful as spares.

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Next: Hobbing With The Nobs