The Dawnstar Horizon burned thrust to catch up with the Tukera Long Liner Equus.  Scout Ryddoth was in charge as the ship's commander.  Admiral Meshrumiikiim, Scout Radetsky and Ms. Vik had been assigned as crew to help.  While they made their final approach on Equus, Admiral Meshrumiikiim worked to dig up anything on the Porozlo world-net.  But he wasn't able to find very much, and none of what he'd found was helpful.  When they'd talked about security and non-lethal weapons, Radetsky had said he had a snub pistol and shotgun.  And Ms. Vik said she had a stun-cane.  After that, they decided the crew should wield the small or non-lethal weapons when bringing the knights aboard.  Eventually, Ryddoth and Radetsky returned to the bridge and the Horizon came alongside the Equus.  They also moved all their gear from the cargo bay to one of the staterooms, because they had to open that compartment to space.
Once the docking passage was extended, secured and pressurized, and the hatches opened, both Ms. Vik and the Admiral looked across at Equus' first officer.  Then the two crossed to Equus and introduced themselves.  To his side, the first officer intorduced the ship's second officer.  They were told Ms. Vik would follow that officer to the Captain.  Meanwhile, he would wait with the Admiral for the knights to be escorted to the lock for the transfer.  After docking, Aidan had gotten into his vacc suit, and had secured himself to a tie-down to depressurize and open the Horizon's cargo hatch.  After that, Aidan slipped out of the bay into space and looked across to see the cargo handlers from Equus already guiding a cargo container out of their bay.  they then maneuvered it to the Horizon's cargo hatch.
Ms. Vik was led to Equus' bridge hatch.  There, the second officer entered and assumed command as the captain left the bridge to talk with her.  At the same time, a team of deck workers led by a purser's officer had gone to gather the three knights and escort them to the hatch and off the ship.  While Aiden continued the cargo dance, Ms. Vik learned nothing new except that Equus' captain had actually been looking forward to talking to and getting to know the knights.  He was very sad that hadn't worked out.  On Horizon's bridge, Ryddoth had secured all the hatches and doors not leading from the air-lock to the ship's crew lounge.  While waiting for events to happen, Ryddoth had a brief conversation with the Equus' second officer, who asked that they both close and lock their hatches and depressurized the docking passage until Ms. Vik returned to the Horizon.
When he was told of the request, Admiral Meshrumiikiim asked for the hatches to be left open and said he'd guard their end with an armed crewman until Ms. Vik returned.  They agreed to that, and Emkir waited until the knights followed Equus' crew down to the hatch.  Emkir could see the other ship's crew were not giving much time for them to "get into any trouble".  When they arrived, Emkir escorted them into the crew lounge.  Having finished her conversation at about the same time, Ms. Vik was escorted back to the hatch.  She crossed over to the Dawnstar Horizon and called the bridge for instructions to close and lock the hatch.  Following that, they depressurized and retracted the docking passage.  With instructions from Ryddoth, Ms. Vik finished that and moved to the lounge, to join the others there while waiting for Radetsky to complete the EVA transfer.  When they'd gotten to the lounge, the Admiral had told the knights to sit and wait.
Sir Brian sat in the outer most seat at the lounge table with his back against the fresher wall ( Seat B on the image to the right ).  Dame Mikah sat with her back against the rear bulkhead (Seat D), effectively blocking the other two seats at the table.  This didn't bother Sir Zimzod who, despite the Admiral's 'request', had no interest in sitting.  It came to a test of wills between Knight and Admiral as both remained standing, staring at each other.  The final exchange came when the Admiral ordered Sir Zimzod to sit.  Zimzod snarled, "I have been drugged, kidnapped and spent too much time on my back.  I do not not feel like sitting.  I need to stand."  Taking on his anger directly, the Admiral angrily demanded, "I want to know what made three Knights of The Imperium commit an armed assault on a cruise liner?"
Dame Mikah exploded at that, angrily complaining that they had been gassed into unconsciousness, and kidnapped to an unknown world where they were forced to save a scientist.  Then, they were gassed again, and found themselves aboard Equus with no answers, explanations or apologies.  She charged that someone on Equus had to have had some information on how they got there?  And that person, or those persons, were the only path to learning the truth and getting them justice.  The anger and frustration in her voice, and in her attitude, were obvious.  And the information was enough for the Admiral realize there was somemthing missing here, and back off.  Ms. Vik arrived to hear the end of Dame Mikah's "explanation".  Shortly after Dame Mikah finished, Aidan Radetsky called in that he'd finished receiving the cargo and was securing the bay doors.  Ryddoth answered from the bridge, warning Radetsky to be aware that Equus was beginning to pull away.  At the sam time, the Admiral was coming to the decision they'd been placed in the middle of a no-win-situation, where the knights were both in the right and in the wrong.
Emkir considered and decided that all they could do was help the knights as much as possible while following orders not to deliver them to the highport.  Those thoughts were interrupted when Sir Zimzod asked for access to his gear, to change from the paper ship's cloths issued him on Equus.  When Emkir checked that with Ryddoth on the bridge, he was told their gear was in a cargo bin, in the depressurized cargo bay until they landed.  Effectively, the answer was a big "No".  Exasperated, Sir Zimzod looked Admiral Meshrumiikiim in the eyes and said, "Can't you order him to re-pressurize?  I mean, you are an Admiral, aren't you?"  The sarcasm in his words could be cut with a knife as Emkir let out a sigh.  He'd had a life filled with encounters with non-scouts who didn't understand how the IISS worked.  Looking back at the Knight, he said, "Actually, unless you have worked with the IISS, you would not know this.  It actually goes sort of like this, I am in charge of the mission...  But Ryddoth is in command of the ship".
He didn't add the rest of that sentance, 'At least, until you're someone else's problem.'  So Emkir suggested that what needed to be done was to do some blood tests.  Find traces of the drug used and/or any bacteria they could have picked up on their mystery world.  Sadly, the equipment for that wasn't available on-ship.  Hitting a firm bulkhead, Sir Zimzod decided to sit and realized he was blocked from the seats at the table.  When he told Sir Brian to move over, Brian refused, saying, "Climb over the table.  It looks sturdy." with a smile on his face.  Then, there was a bit of slapstick between the two until Admiral Meshrumiikiim pointed out that the table folded into the wall.  Then, Sir Zimzod made a great show of noisily moving the table to take a seat(Seat A).
In the cargo bay, Radetsky had to close the hatch from outside and slip in the air-lock near the front starboard end of the ship.  This was because there was no air-lock for him to use to move from the depressurized hold to the pressurized interior of the ship.  So, making the move inside the ship's skin meant re-pressurizing the cargo bay and Ryddoth didn't seem to want that.  In the lounge, they waited, watching a vid Mikah had found, called "K'kree-Hiver Wars - 1100", until Radetsky finished up and joined them.  Still in his vacc suit, but with his helmet off, Radetsky alerted Ryddoth, who began to up-thrust.
That began the remaining one hour of burn in-system back to Porozlo.  Ryddoth's orders were to land dirtside, to prevent the knights from reaching the highport and menacing the Equus until he could hand them over to Imperial authorities...  But Nothing ever goes smoothly in service to the Imperium.  During the in-bound trip back to Porozlo, they received a signal GQ and an urgent comms from the main starport central offices.
(NOTE: K'kree: Militant centaur-like, interstellar jump                  capable sentients.  During their long and very                  violent history, the K'kree finally found a philosphy                  which led them to peace.  It taught that no form of                  animal-life should be killed unless it spread                  blasphemy.  As a result, their race found peace in                  the form of a religious culture that became                  one of militant vegetarianism.
Hivers: Hivers: Sentient, interstellar jump capable                  Plants who use remote combat systems and warbots                  and do their best not to be trapped into close                  personal combat.                  Imagine being a K'kree officer on a first contact                  mission with the only other advanced species your                  race has ever met.                  Only to find they are...Dinner!
_________________________________________________________________________ Next: The Enlightened Measure