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  #16  
Old 06-02-2020, 08:56 AM
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Allyne – Engine Room
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Her new shipmates had scattered into the habitable part of the ship – to inspect the bridge, the common room, to vie for the best staterooms. But Allyne lingered in the cargo hold.


It was no good – she could resist no longer. She knew where to go … she had walked through the ship time and again on her pad. Back into the cargo airlocks then aft. The airlocks sshhhst just so. No gritty grind as the doors opened, no whine of the over-tuned servo, just an elegant sshhhst. The air here had the ozone tinge of the air management at the business end of the Hope.


She paused at the door at the end of the corridor. A simple sign

M-Drive
Port

Her fingers traced the sign. She savoured the moment. The she tore the inspectorate's seal from the door and folded it into her pocket and brushed the screen for entrance. Somewhere something measured her face or probed the trace DNA in her breath.

However it did it, it knew she was permitted to pass. Sshhhst the door opened and the gorgeous smell of drive-air flooded warmth through her, like an embrace.

left-aligned image

The stubby cylinder lay before her was bathed in near ultraviolet lights. Screens glowed with status.

The fuel inlets were still that mirrored red, which a year or two of oil-stained boots would dull over time.

As she stepped before the screen, it lit more intensely, shuttling through the vitals statistics. Taped beneath the screen another inspectorate’s certification. Another ass covered by the paper she crumpled into her pocket.


She circled the drive. She felt as if she could see through the panels into the interior – the hours spent studying using the pad had given her second-sight as far as the Hope’s drives were concerned.

At the bulkhead the drive was flush with the wall – the composite join one of the strongest parts of any ship, able to hold firm as the drive was over-clocked for greater manoeuvring than it was spec’ed for and in atmospheres more hostile than it should reasonably expect to be in. Her expert eye, and intelligent fingers inspected the join with approval.


CLANG CLANG she patted the engine firmly with the palm of her hand.

”Oh, you’ll do … you’ll more than do!” she said to the engineering around her. Looking behind her to make sure that no one had followed her into the room, she leaned over the drive and planted a light kiss on its warm plate

”Now you be good to me sweetheart and I’ll be sure to treat you well”


left-aligned image


J-Drive
Port


The simple sign again advertised what lay behind.

Two sets of certification sealed this door – the normal inspectorate and the guarantors of jump dynamics. She knew the maths, she knew the practical engineering … and she knew the risks in messing about with folding space to create your own pocket universe. The inspectorate’s sheet she crumpled into her pocket, but Dr May Hallander’s guarantee she folded carefully and put in her inside pocket. She’d researched the quality control on the J-Drive installation carefully before taking possession of the Spirit of Hope and Dr Hallander’s credentials were second to none. She’d rely on the good doctor’s certification.


The coolness of the J-Drive room was in contrast to the M-Drive’s warmth. The J-Drive was not a crude expeller of chemical energy, its manipulations were more internal. The banks of panels ranged either side of the alley. Steps climbed upwards to access over the public space to the heart of the drive. Allyne hoped things would never be desperate enough to climb up there… unwillingly her eyes drifted to the hazmat suits that hung easily to hand in every drive room. Once she had worn one. That time when the Warspite had taken that crippling hit – she’d worn it then … and climbed the ladder. No one who looked into the heart of a sick J-Drive had any desire to look there again.


Allyne ran her hands over the railings as she passed up and down the alley. Again the screens blinked to life, detailing the condition of the near-perfect drive. She placed a hand on the master panel and it acknowledged her, bringing up the control cards. She moved them, took a couple of preliminary steps to charging the drive.

Its mine – a J-Drive … a tear rolled down her cheek. She looked around again, wiping the emotion from her face.

Then her eyes turned to the ladder leading up to the circular hatch above.

The powerplant she thought The beast that gives this room its divine spark

And she climbed awkwardly up to the room above. Rather do this in zero-g

right-aligned image


Yes – it was a powerplant alright. New and gleaming … that won’t last long … but a powerplant for sure. There were all the same in some way. The condition monitoring panels were latest spec – but the things they told you? Well they were the very same she used to watch all night in the first navy tub she’d served. And the Danger of Death signs, ubiquitous on the panels and foot-wide wiring that held the massive power load this plant could spin-up and distribute. Yes very much danger of death.

Allyne smiled again. Her research had shown this to be a well put together facility and a short inspection was enough to confirm the quality.

”You’ve got yourself a quality boat here lady” she said out loud, one hand resting on the hot distribution cable, feeling the vibrations that shook her spine and made her teeth rattle in her jaw.

”Oh yes, she’s a beauty alright”



 

Last edited by Jon; 06-03-2020 at 05:59 AM.
  #17  
Old 06-03-2020, 12:07 PM
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The Spirit of Hope. Two decks, two double turrets, two sector J-Drive. Heh, seems we have a new lucky number. Dom slowly strides into the ship, carefully maneuvering his trunk past gleaming rivets, still covered in a light sheen of oil. Nice! Now, where's my room...

Dom easily finds the ship layout on one of the interactive wall panels. He carefully peels off the shipping film, stuffing the plastic into his pocket for careful disposal - might as well keep the ship nice for a bit! While there aren't any dedicated Captain's Quarters, a lone stateroom adjoins the Bridge.

It's perfect! The beds fold into the wall, leaving plenty of room to work at the expandable desk. Beautiful, modular, spartan - even roomy, compared to his berth in the services. Before leaving this new colony of Valojin, Dom takes a moment to sync the room's computer interface to his Comm. Closing his eyes, Dom breaths in the new ship smell, antiseptic and full of promise. Ah, but now decisions must be made. He hears some of his compatriots coming this way.

"Ah, Nezz, there you are. I think the bridge is just past the Captain's Quarters! Don't worry" he grins "I won't get too used to the idea. I'll grab Lynn, I'm sure she's salivating over the engines. We need to decide on our passenger - oh, and sign the Charter! I took the liberty of drawing up some boilerplate, take a look on the ship servers." Dom focuses, using his Mobile Comm to make his words a reality. Technology is marvelous...

.
.

"'Lo Lynn. We're meeting to decide on a Charter, and a Mysterious Benefactor. Can I peel you away from your lovelies for a moment?" Dom smiles at Allyne - good friends last forever!
 

Last edited by Mythrandil; 06-03-2020 at 12:08 PM.
  #18  
Old 06-04-2020, 09:41 AM
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Idrick



Before
Idrick looked down at Allyne. "Yeah it shows. I hope you don't mind but a certain someone may have mentioned something to. She worries about you you know. I told her not to worry I'd look out for you. Tell you what you do all that fixing you're good at and if you need some heavy lifting done let me know. " Idrick analyzed his own arms. He hadn't considered any type of implants or replacements before now. Time would eventually catch up with him. He clenched his fist and opened it slowly. Those were thoughts for a different day.

Idrick cringed as Allyne had them hold hands in a circle. Shows of affection weren't his strong point. Still, it was a heartwarming gesture. "You know, if only you could bottle that upbeat attitude of yours."



CurrentlyHaving taken a lay of the land Idrick wandered back towards Dom and the rest of the group. "I don't need a big room Captain. Put me wherever you think strategically suits our needs. I'll take care of the general stuff around the ship. I'm afraid I can't be of much help in her day to day operations. I'll keep her clean and if someone shows me how to do some basic maintenance I'll do that to. If he we hit anything that requires force or you need my input on security or legal measures I will jump in."

"As for our mysterious benefactor I can't say I'm thrilled. There is a good chance we can be framed and end up in prison for abetting in a crime or worse fall right into the middle of a conflict where we are severely outgunned. With that said. I place my trust in all of you and I promised to look out for all of you no matter what. To that end I will concede to what the group decides with no dissent. "





Last edited by Anael; 06-09-2020 at 05:54 PM.
  #19  
Old 06-06-2020, 05:34 AM
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Allyne – All aboard!
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”Lo Lynn. We’re meeting to decide on a Charter, and a Mysterious Benefactor. Can I peel you away from your lovelies for a moment?” It was Dom calling from below.

The engineer stuck her head out of the hatch to wave at her friend below. ”Sure Dom! Have you seen this place, its … just wonderful!” She pulled herself back up in to the powerplant and shouted back ”I’ll just correct the codes.”

And as she passed through each room, she gave voice command to each of the powerplant, J-Drive and M-Drive to recognise her as chief engineer. Then, crossing the echoey cargo deck she climbed up to the common area where the crew were gathering.


”Well friends, I can tell you we’ve lucked out with the Spirit of Hope, the old one was a doll – put this lady … well, she’s a princess. I can’t wait to put her through her paces.”

She crossed to the the counter, saying ”Hey, anyone found the coffee in this place? How is it – officer’s mess or enlisted men’s naafi?” she found the capsules and pushed them into the slot and watched the black treacle pour into a small cup. ”Hah! Naafi oil … guess it will have to do.” she said pulling a face as she downed the slick, bitter, liquid.


”So what we gonna do about this Kelvin chap?” she said suddenly ”Much as I hate to be bound to someone just as soon as we get our freedom, did you see how much they charged us for fuel and mooring? The Cap used to deal with all that stuff – no wonder she worked us hard.” She sat on a chair, spinning it round so she was leaning facing its back as she faced her friends ”I mean getting our costs underwritten while we find our feet sounds sensible … so long as we make sure we build up our float while we do it we’ll be able to be free of that type once he’s gone.

“I mean, of course he’s dodgy. There is something up and we may get drawn in. I say if we don’t like it once we are in, we just drop him off at the nearest planet and wish him luck. And yes – that may cause us trouble, but that’s the life of the independent trader!”



 



 
  #20  
Old 06-07-2020, 09:52 AM
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"Alright," Nezzara grunted when confronted by Dom with the new and improved Charter "Hand it over then."

He frowned at the text, going through it article by article. At the same time he was absentmindedly continuing to talk to Dom.

"I've no problem with it if you do," Nezz said, meaning Dom getting comfortable in the bunk closest to the Bridge. "You can fly the thing, right? That bunk should always have a Pilot sleeping in it, in case there's need for an emergency manoeuvre."

His jaws were working a little as he considered the importance of signing the paper, but then again he did not disagree with any of it. Therefore he put his name under the document after only a brief pause.

After handing back the charter Nezzara gave Dom a friendly slap on the shoulder, following the man to their general meeting with a smile on his face. He was locked in for good now, and it felt strangely elating.

"A fine one," he responded when he heard Allyne talk about the merits of the ship. "That's for sure."

Next was the matter of Kelvin, a serious one indeed.

"So none of us trust the man. Good." The Doctor folded his hands in front of his chest. "Means everybody will keep a good eye on him if we take him on. If his money is good, which is believe it will be considering the registration stunt he pulled or didn't pull, then that's all that matters."

"We're all thinking there's a crime somewhere, but if we're not in on it what does it matter? Do you hold a passenger shuttle accountable just because a thief bought a ticket and made his getaway before a station could impose lockdown? That's what we'd be for this Kelvin, a ship rendering a legal service to an unknown customer."

Nezz shrugged. "It's one person dictating the course for a ship, not just booking a bunk. When you think about it like he's basically renting the whole ship with us as crew then the price becomes perfectly adequate. Nothing wrong or illegal with that, so not like the authorities could come at us with the old 'how could you think this was legit if there was this much money on offer' sort of stuff."

He smiled to himself a little, then added for clarification: "So yeah, I'd take that fellow on as long as he can provide some funds up front. It's a big transaction, so an advance seems reasonable, even if it's only for the first five jumps or so. And if you ask me we should just keep out of his business, because we're not complicit in anything that we don't know about. So let's not change that."

 

Last edited by Phettberg; 06-07-2020 at 01:51 PM.
  #21  
Old 06-07-2020, 01:04 PM
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Back near the airlock, Rafe found himself engaged in a whispered but very energetic exchange with his travelling companion. After a few terse exchanges, the two took turns nodding reluctantly at each other. Only after that did he excuse himself from Mara and wander over to silently add his name to the agreement. With the vote already in favor of accepting the clandestine contract with the spooky individual, Rafe felt confident in taking a peek at the travel arrangements. Namely he needed the first few stops on this odd little journey. Very well. I will start making enquiries about cargos and passengers. We will need two less passenger cabins. I shall be paying passage for the young actress so that she may have more room to express herself, or stow her shopping, whichever the case may be.


 
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  #22  
Old 06-08-2020, 02:03 PM
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To Idrick"Ah, none of that Idrick! You can call me Captain in front of the clientele, but here we are family. Call me Dom, or Boots, or any suitable nickname - if it is incomprehensible, more's the better! We have a saying among my people - 'Where my boots are, there is Valojin'. In other words, you have your pick of the ship; we are part-Owners, after all!" Dom claps the military man on the shoulder, friendly camaraderie dancing in his eyes. "If you can tolerate my snoring, you're even welcome to bunk with me! Though undoubtedly the night shift will be even more intolerable than my chainsaw of a larynx." Dom somehow waggles each of his eyebrows independently. Neural reconstruction has such unpredictable side effects.

To Nezz"Well, I got us out of that nebula in one piece didn't I! Well, we had enough pieces left that our skin stayed mostly intact. Ah. Anyway, I've learned a trick or two since then. Should be able to keep us from maneuvering into a quasar." Dom looks sheepish at his own statement. Despite having a great many small talents, he isn't exactly a bona fide expert in anything. Time enough to change that during jumps - he's brought along plenty of study material!

Whole CrewDom listens to Nezz, Allyne, and Rafe discuss the Charter and the Passenger. Fortunately, all seem to be in agreement in this case. "Very good! I'll just add my own signature..." Dom's scrawl is contrary to his normally neat script - a relic of his agrarian upbringing. "As the first Captain of the Spirit of Hope, I declare this Crew to be formed! May the powers that be grant us safe passage through the stars. Normally I would call a vote for a Common Matter regarding our Passenger, but I believe we are all in agreement. We will take his money, travel his course, and only dig deeply if we feel the water boiling around our necks. Most of us have military service - it is not such a different feeling, yes?" Again those eyebrows waggle with two lives all their own. "Can I see that COMM-disc? Thank you." Dom activates it, a simple matter. "This is Dominic Valojin, Captain of the Spirit of Hope. Kelvin, we have agreed to your preliminary proposal. You are cleared to board. Report at your earliest convenience to the Bridge - I believe we have much to discuss."

Dom relays the appropriate berth information - as if Kelvin doesn't already know. He grins as he disconnects the COMM. "How was that, appropriately official?" He turns to Rafe. "Once we know our destination, would you be willing to follow up with your inquiries, perhaps lead a trade inquiry to acquire goods? Oh, yes. I hereby designate you as our Designated Expert Negotiator" his finger points, traveling to each crew member in turn. "Nezz as Ship's Surgeon, Lynn as Chief Engineer, Idrick as Security Specialist. We'll see what Fetu feels like doing when we pick him up - that'll have to be our first point with Mr. Kelvin, completing our family!"

 

Last edited by Mythrandil; 06-08-2020 at 02:04 PM.
  #23  
Old 06-08-2020, 06:13 PM
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I believe the term you're looking for is Chief Purser, Captain. Rafe's delivery was dry enough that any sarcasm was a matter of mere conjecture. As for cargo options. I had fed in the data pending our itenirary. I have found a decent deal on small vehicles, and an even better deal on advanced machinery. Combined, those two trade goods will take up twenty-tons of cargo and costs us just shy of twenty thousand credits. That means we absolutely must make enough profit on passengers and freight to pay any port fees if we can't find a buyer at the next stop. However I have personal funds to cover that in a pinch. All of this goes without factoring in our enigmatic passenger's vague contributions.

The self-titled "Purser" paused to type a few quick replies to messages. And now we have Freight options up to our full load of incidental cargo lots. Just let me know how much of the hold you would like to keep empty. I have vendors lined up for days to get their goods shipped.


Tons of rolls in the previous post regarding our trade options.

Bank TransferSHIP TRANSFER COMMAND: Withdraw kCr13.5 from Spirit of Hope Float to Damiler Motorworks: Diblu Row Station. FOR: One lot personal vehicles.
SHIP TRANSFER COMMAND: Withdraw kCr5.625 from Spirit of Hope Float to Universal Export Ironworks: Diblu Row Station. FOR:One lot advanced machinery.
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  #24  
Old 06-10-2020, 12:52 AM
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Spirit of HopeTransfer commands confirmed
Current Funds Availabe:: kCr 10.925


Kelvin confirms receipt of the message with the tentative time for departure for 24 hours out.

 
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:03 PM
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While the cargo from Several dock workers have come and gone in the cargo bay, loading and securing their lots.the various companies arrive and get stored on The Spirit of Hope, two large metallic and electronically due to storage and securing requirements for shipping, the smallest increment for freight storage space is 1 ton.sealed crates arrive simply marked, Property of Kelvin-A.

It already bears the Harbormaster's seal.
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  #26  
Old 06-12-2020, 05:15 PM
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As the crew looks over the cargo, all of which has been delivered and sets up the room for passengers, someone notices an unmarked cargo box in the bay. It is locked and in a re-enforced crate but it doesn't bear any other markings other than "DO NOT OPEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED". It does not bear the Harbor Master's Seal or any other markings of ownership or Bill of Lading.
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  #27  
Old 06-13-2020, 10:34 AM
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Allyne – mystery package
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”Well that’s one mystery man on his way then.” said Allyne, with a smile as Kelvin’s receipt pinged through ”We leave at dawn!” she said in the tones of a cheap adventure flick.

”Just one more mystery person to bring on board.”

Personal Message: Fetu Abelard
Hey Fetu!

Better get a move on … we’re heading out tomorrow.

Keeping a room warm for you!

Allyne x


”Just sent Ms Abelard a chase … something tells me this Kelvin ain’t the waiting type.”


Allyne then picked up her bags. ”From the sounds of it, they are loading us up downstairs … Now Rafe, if you’ve got some vehicles down there, I’ve just got to take a look – learnt my arts at my Daddy’s knees on those things …” And with that the flighty engineer was heading back down to the cargo deck.


The haulers were still loading as she arrived, their plastic tape somehow a stronger psychological barrier that a laser beam that beeped if you broke it. Do not cross it said, and once learned you could not shake the instinct for safety the Navy had bred in her.

Instead she detoured to the staterooms at on this floor, preferring the one closest to the engine room. She flung her bags on the bed and tapped her pad on the reader, so that its access was set to her and her preferences set for the limited facilities provided.


By the time she’d returned to the cargo deck the goods were all set for the voyage.

Damiler Motorworks she thought as she checked the seals on the crates Not a bad workaday brand. Would be fun to strip and rebuild


But her attention was drawn to the unmarked crate …

”DO NOT OPEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE” it said in threatening font.


”Ho ho” she said outloud ”Now if there is a crate more asking for someone to crack open in the middle of the night, I’ve yet to see it.”

She tapped the communicator, broadcasting to all in the ship ”Hey you guys, you’ve just got to see what someone’s slipped on to our ship.” she said with a chuckle ”If you thought we were being set up before, you’re going to love this!”



 

Last edited by Jon; 06-13-2020 at 06:55 PM.
  #28  
Old 06-14-2020, 10:35 AM
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"So this is it." Doctor Arrouk grumbled as he stood next to Allyne in front of the strange package in their cargo hold. His thumbs were hooked leisurely into his belt as he looked the crate over.

"Now this is why we're getting paid so much," he admitted. "And knowing what's in there is exactly what I don't want."

The Doctor shrugged and blew some air through his nose.

"Maybe it's a bomb," he eventually ventured, contrary to his claims that he didn't want to know anyway. "Maybe a bioweapon. Maybe it's just some private stuff. The fact that this guy is going to join his mystery package on our ship tells me that it's probably not dangerous to us. Just tuck it away in some corner, don't want the passengers to see this extremely conspicuous mystery here."

Nezzara sighed, then turned towards the other end of the cargo hold where his personal luggage was still waiting to be deposited in a room. "I'll take something on this floor I reckon. The cabin mirroring the bridge maybe? I'm not one to entertain passengers, so I'd rather keep this whole deck for us alone."

He listened to what some of the others had to say about Kelvins things. Then he walked away to move in to his new home.

 

Last edited by Phettberg; 06-14-2020 at 10:35 AM.
  #29  
Old 06-14-2020, 11:07 AM
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Standing with his portable comm open, Rafe scanned documents furiously while looking at the cargo. The problem is, that's not our first passenger's cargo. His property is in the far corner of the hold and is labelled appropriately. I thought I'd checked in every other package we received. Everything is clearly marked, locked down, and corresponds with my cargo diagram. But this lot is not on my inventory or diagram at all. I don't know where it came from, who sent it, what it is, or where it's going.
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  #30  
Old 06-14-2020, 11:38 AM
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Eyeing the box with a queasy mix of anticipation and trepidation, Dom rolls his neck with a chorus of pops.

"Well, whatever it is, we need to know all we can about it. I understand your reservations, Nezz, and I agree that we shouldn't OPEN it... " He grins wickedly at Allyne. "Time to put our one-and-a-half University degrees to use! I want to put every sensor we have on that box. We have 24 hours, that's time enough for a complete integrated radiation count. Optical emisson spectra analysis if we have it, metallurgical database if we don't - we need to know what metal that is. Nezz" He hesitates "No, Rafe, will you and Mara check the security tapes? Audio and visual, whatever we have. Two eyes catch more discrepancies, and keeping the good doctor out of the loop gives makes him perfect to talk to any Imperial patrols that come knocking asking about suspicious parcels. We can get creative if need be, 'borrow' station logs, stow it next to the fusion reactor to get a read on whatever photons attenuate their way through. If we're lucky, we can get a full spectrum readout of that bogey. " Dominic rubs his hands together, excitedly. "Shall we begin! "
 

 

Last edited by Mythrandil; 06-14-2020 at 10:25 PM.
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